Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Can Keep a Girl Up at 3:30 in the Morning?

A MAN, of course.

And I refer to just one man: Mr. Potter.

Yes, I have finally got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I have read it, and I should be beaten heavily for doing such a thing to myself on a work night. It is three thirty in the morning and my eyes hurt, and I am going to bed for the next three hours. Everyone wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wiped out and Working

One of the interesting things about getting paid for your brainwork, with its definite intangible qualities, as opposed to getting paid for more visible work like (for example) running around waiting tables, is that your work is definitely cyclical. Some days you get to enjoy the results of your brainwork, days on which you write reports, attend important meetings in which Decisions Get Made, and tell your boss things like, "The Air Filtration team loves me!"

And then are days--that stretch into weeks, that stretch into months--in which you sit on your rear, read some reports, and do basically nothing.

Or at least it FEELS like nothing.

And while those times are happening, I'm worried and stressed out. I read as much as I can, drop by my bosses' office, try to arrange meetings with people--and nothing happens. I sit on my rear for months and feel guilty about it, terrible slow-motion knawing-away-at-me guilt, but there's nothing I can do about the nature of the business, and that makes me feel out of control and stressed about it, like I'm drifting along a pretty lake and pretty soon, with no warning, a gigantic pleasure cruiser will come along, and WHAM.

That never happens. Although this happens every summer, this period of downtime, I haven't dropped the ball yet, no one has suggested to me that I'm not working enough. But the possibility that they might--that eats away at me.

So let me just say that even though I'm dead exhausted and working on my days off, the sudden upswing in activity--just as it always happens--is so much easier to face than a vague, terrifying anxiety, and therefore even though I have fifteen social events to attend this weekend and only 24 hours in the day and people keep scheduling meetings on my days off and I can't take a break for the next two months, I feel great.

Also, my friend BL is in town--a very old friend from college--and I fully expect to kick it, as the kids say, with both him and assorted friends and motley hangers-on every night this week, and it will be awesome.

Send coffee.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Birds and the Bees

T-Town, who is not dead but indeed is married, emailed me today to complain about her lack of exposure on this blog. "I do not feel that I have done anything so grievous as to be demoted to a once a month supporting character in the drama of your life," she wrote, "and furthermore, I object to being referred to as "panicked" the morning of my wedding. I think I was quite calm, thankyouverymuch! So if you could simply print a retraction of the aforementioned comment about my mental state the morning of my wedding and begin to include me in more of your online life, that would be great. Thanks."

Let it heretofore be said: T-Town was NOT panicked on the morning of her wedding. In fact she was remarkably calm. I admit to stretching the truth to make a funny blog post, so sue me. Calm brides are just not as funny as panicked ones. I have spoken.

Moving on: I wrote that I had appreciated the laugh, and that the LT had made me laugh that day too, as he called me and said, "HIBABY!" and hung up, just like that. And she wrote the following, which is too good not to share:

"I'm glad I could make you laugh. I am sometimes afraid that people will not understand my sarcasm over the Internet, but you always seem to get it.

For example: here at the Pierce County Office, there tends to be three kinds of people:

1. People who have had their sense of humor beaten out of them by working for The Man
2. People who are so tired of working for The Man they communicate entirely in bitter sarcasm, and
3. People who are too stupid or too new to feel as though their soul has been eaten by The Man.

And the other day there was a post on the Intranet want ads that displayed all of this very well. It was a contentious debate over how to rid your house of unwanted bees and the war raged on for three days.

The original poster was a #2. He explained that he had bees living under his house and before he sprayed them with gasoline and torched them out, he figured he would ask if anyone had a better idea.

The next poster was a #3 and he explained that gasoline is noxious and would probably kill the bees even if you did not light it on fire.

The next poster was a #1 and she said that bees are harmless and valuable and gave him the contact information of five area beekeepers he could contact to come "reclaim" his bees.

The next poster was also a #1 who suggested that the original poster would be put on some type of arson watch list if he was not careful about his posts from now on.

Then the original poster explained that these are not honey bees and he had no real intention of burning his hose down he just wanted some advice on riding his home of bees.

Enter a new poster obviously a #3 of the "new" variety, who suggested Simple Green, actually a reasonable suggestion...


It went on and on this way with people cracking jokes about "igniting a firestorm of controversy" and other people berating people for joking about arson until...

The only sane person finally suggested that the man with the bee problem should acquire some Mexican killer bees to kill the bees he has.

A perfect solution! The End.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All Discombobulated

...a word that is not used often enough, I think.

LT and I were talking on the phone a few nights ago, and our chat turned to upcoming events, and people coming into town, and more weddings and trips we were taking and camping trips and all sorts of other things, and by the time we were done I felt like I should have gotten out my calendar. But since I hadn't done that, I was going crazy trying to remember everything instead, and my brain is now twitched so far ahead that I just looked at this blog and was SHOCKED to see that I had only written five posts in July. And then I was even more shocked to realize that indeed we are only halfway THROUGH July, and I still have half a month to go!

Which is good, because although the LT and I have gone camping, taken Titan to the beach, and also Titan and I stroll through a wading pool on warm evenings, therefore celebrating summer in a small, citified way, we have not yet played around with the sailboat, an important thing to do as much as possible every summer. In fact, I have bought a new swimsuit for just such an occasion.

La la la. Onto Aarwenn Summer Culture.


Burn Notice and Psych, both lots of fun.

Listening To

Back To Basics

Handsome Boy Modeling School


Blue Scholars

Tombraider Soundtrack


Fruit by the pound. Hooray summer in the PNW.


Strawberry and banana daiquiris. With a little added spinach and flax oil, you can convince yourself it's good for you.

Hooray for summer!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Also, a Note

I was just searching my posts and I can't find a mention of this at all! What is WRONG with me??

Happy One Year Anniversary a month late, sweetie! (Could I just say Happy 13-Month Anniversary?)

For our one year, we went out to dinner, and the LT got me two dozen of the most gorgeous, perfect roses I have ever seen:

They wouldn't even all fit in the same vase. They were stunning. They made my whole apartment look better. Thank you, love.

"Just Back Up Over That Tree!"

When we last left our heroine and her faithful companions, they were starting on a long, slow ride in the back of a sheriff's truck, away from a jeep our heroine thought she might never see again.

The sheriff dropped us off at our campsite with nary a lecture, and we moped around (or at least I did) trying to figure out what the hell we were going to do. We had trapped the Jeep on a path that couldn't even be called a road; there was almost no track, meaning that anyone we got to bail us out would need both a car that could get back there AND a towing winch.

We took a walk down the camping road, more for something to do with Titan than for any other reason, and lo and behold: we saw a great big rig with a towing winch being loaded onto a trailer. The three of us looked at each other, and agreed that even though they (the people with the four-wheeling rig) appeared to be leaving, they were our only shot, and we might as well try. As we approached, I asked the LT to ask them, and he looked at me. "You'll have a better chance," he said, a serious compliment to a woman who hadn't showered or combed her hair in four days.

We approached. I had no idea what to say. How DO you ask strangers to give up their plans and drive forty minutes up a mountain road to bail YOU out?

I stated our case, finishing by saying, "So, I was wondering if you could drive us back up there and help us tow out my Jeep."

The two guys looked at each other.

"Sure," the driver said, the sweetest sound I had ever heard. "We can do that. Give me a few minutes to set up and come on back."

LT, Dave and I ran back to our campsite with Titan, tied him back up, and ran back down the road. We did our best to make ourselves useful and complimented everyone effusively, and before too long, we were riding in the back of another pick up truck, pulling a four-wheeling rig behind us and praying the Jeep was still there.

Me, standing next to the rig that became our savior. The guy who owns it is under it. Notice the pretty sunshine and how cold I am--the mountain altitude bites through a sweatshirt in a hurry.

The rig, in position, with the winch.

LT and I watching the Jeep's progress. Notice how the rear passenger tire is actually floating. This is NOT optimal.

After a few minutes, we realized that the ground under the Jeep was so soft that, as the winch pulled, it was simply eroding the ground under it, not climbing back on TOP of the ground as we hoped it would. The Jeep was just scraping out the hillside like a big shovel. This was putting extra stress on the winch and compromising our leverage, none too strong in the first place. New steps had to be taken.

The guys backed their rig up OVER a tree, to solidify its bracing, and someone had to get in the Jeep and steer--and apply the brake--as the boys rearranged the winching. That someone was me. LT offered, but it was my Jeep, and if it was going anywhere, I was driving it.

LT giving me helpful instructions like, "Let the clutch out veeerrrrry slowly. If you pop it, the sudden stress on the winch could--although it's unlikely--snap it."

Coming around...

Success! (No picture.)

Posing with my rescuers, and my boyfriend.

Off the mountain WITH Jeep.

And that, ladies, and gentleman, is how you get the donkey to come down the minaret.

Moral of the story: don't get the donkey up there in the first place.

Ah, Seattle

There are weeks--or weekends, rather--when I think I get out a fair amount, that I actively explore this city that is mine, an amazing city that is the destination of so many pilgrimages.

And then I learn about the Pioneer Square Fire Festival, and an art installation in my very own park, which is sadly gone. (The temporary quality being, of course, once of the characteristics of an art installation.)

If you have five minutes, want to watch something trippy and relaxing, and need to get your art in for the day, definitely watch the video.

Anyway, it's times like these when I think, "Damn, what do I DO with my time?"


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Whew! Wedding is over!

No, not MY wedding! T-Town's wedding, the wedding of the year, the wedding that has consumed everyone's thoughts for at least a month, or at least all of MY thoughts, or at least all of my thoughts that weren't devoted to work or my novel or my dog, or my cousin in town, or my boyfriend or the three other college friends coming into town in the next few weeks.

The wedding went very smoothly, considering the size of the bridal party and the number of completely slacker bridesmaids (moi) and the number of things that had to be coordinated at the last minute. For example: as the wedding was at noon, and the pictures were first, we were up at SIX. Six. In the morning. Six grumpy bridesmaids, one panicked bride, having all spent the night together in a hotel room after a rehearsal, up at six in the morning to start getting our hair done at seven.

I do not do early well.

But fortunately, after enough caffeine, we woke up:


More about this coming in a later post, I promise this time, no excuses. Because I have a ton of other pictures to post, from my cousin and her fiance visiting me (hi, guys!) and about a guy on a motorcycle, and a bunch of other things. Yes. I swear.

Random Pictures:

Pretty Titan.

LT and I on our one-year anniversary.

Next up: How did my Jeep get off that mountain, already?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Update on my Soda Bread

It molded in the hot weather while I was gone. Boo.

On the one hand, it's okay, because it cost just the price of a tiny bit of flour to make and at least Titan didn't get it, but on the other hand, boo that my time and energy to make bread were wasted! Boo! Stupid bread boo!

Off to Trader Joe's again. (I have time and money to go the grocery store, and yes--I successfully avoided going last week when I didn't have the budget! Yay!