Friday, September 28, 2007

Stuffing Face With Spicy Coconut Milk Noodle

It's sort of amazing how many of my posts could accurately be titled that way, as that is what I am doing pretty much all the time.

The important part, of course, is to leave room for the Sparks at the end.

Hello! It's Friday night, the biggest party of the year will technically start in a little over an hour, and I am not showered OR dressed.

And the party is happening at my house.

I am pretty much ready, if by "ready" you mean "sitting at the computer still wearing my coat, stuffing my face with Spicy Coconut Milk Noodle." But like I said before, it's amazing how many other words in my life--like for example "working", "writing", and "cleaning" can all mean "sitting at the computer stuffing my face with Spicy Coconut Milk Noodle."

But seriously, folks. I've never been this ready for a party in my entire life. The bathroom is CLEAN clean. You could eat off the floor. So is the kitchen. I have my costume all ready. (The theme of this pary, besides "Holy Shit Aarwenn is throwing her first house party in two years," is, "Back to School!") I have a keg, arranged for, picked up, and paid for. It's in my Jeep now. I don't have keg cups or mixers, but people are bringing those. I have very few munchies, but people are bringing those too. (SPECIFIC people who know their tasks, not just random people that I hope remember.) The apartment is cleaner than it's ever been, including the day I moved in. My neighbors have been warned of the party, I've wiped down all flat surfaces in all rooms, I've de-furred the apartment and the dog, I've even gotten my hair done.

-Post broke off here, as the LT showed up with all sorts of things, and the party commenced!--

It's now Saturday afternoon--late afternoon. The party went well, although it was a little small since apparently half of Seattle is out sick. We had plenty of people here anyway--the kind of crowd where you can't really keep track of all the conversations, and I'm sure a lot of things happened that I didn't even see.

On a more updated note, Tukwila PD found the LT's motorcycle! LT and I arranged a long and complicated plan to go get it, as we now have two people and three vehicles on this side of the water. The plan, which depends on ferry times, probably won't be complete until nine or ten tonight, and that's just in time for us to go to ANOTHER party.


Also, I'm currently stuffing my face with Spicy Coconut Milk Noodle.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away

Or maybe it’s more appropriate to say that we are in a continuous cycle of giving and taking. Feng Shui teaches that we really own nothing on this earth, not even the bodies we stand up in, as we certainly can’t take our possessions or our bodies with us when we die. So an appropriate response to any theft is to take a deep breath and say, “Well, they’ve come for it.” “They” being some representation of the world outside us or around us, some element that helps themselves to our possessions without notifying us, and “it” being some element that we expected to hang on to for the indeterminate future.

And after this weekend, the LT can say, “Well, they’ve come for the motorcycle.”

I'll put that more plainly: the LT and I came back from Beerfest to discover that his motorcycle was stolen, the wrenched-off ignition lock lying in the street.

Yes, he has insurance. Theft insurance, even, which you have to pay extra for with a motorcycle because of this very possibility. Yes, I was very attached to that motorcycle and am rather sad that we can’t ride it anymore. (That we know of. SPD may find it—the nice officer who came to take Mark’s statement about 1:07 this morning said the chances were better than average that he’d get it back. I’m not so sure.) In fact, my own father owned a motorcycle when he and my mother got married, which was stolen not long after they were married. He never replaced it.

The awful part is that LT has worked twelve hours a day every day this week and been called in to work twice in the middle of the night on top of that. (And last week, and for the next two weeks.) I put in eight hours of overtime myself, not including my normal tutoring. I was insulted at Beerfest by a boy who told me I needed acne cream. (Maybe if I repeat it enough, the sting of this remark will eventually dissipate.) Two lines of girls—the line I was in and an upstart line—both in line for the same four porta-potties almost got in a knock-down drag-out brawl, resulting in me comforting some gorgeous tennis-player-type blonde who was crying over being called “ferret-faced” by some female who was apparently shallower than Saran Wrap. Four security guards crossed their arms in front of the four porta-potties, sending in one girl at a time after that.

Fortunately the whole event paled in comparison to our triumphant entry, the LT and I able to buzz in for free and, more importantly, past a line that was miles long. (In any big city, free admission pales in comparison to being to skip the line or achieve free parking, for example.) A group of us went out for really good Thai food, disdaining to feed ourselves on fair food at Beerfest, and today, the ‘Hawks beat the Bengals and the Steelers beat the 49’ers. Next week, the ‘Hawks play the 49’ers. Should be an interesting game.

And tomorrow I get to work from home, a wonderful thing, and I get to try out a new salon on Friday (Vain, for those playing along at home) and most importantly, my BACK TO SCHOOL! Party is on Friday, and drinking games galore, fifty of my closest friends in costume, and a brand-new (to me) Polaroid camera to record the events will chase away a lot of ills. And even if it doesn’t, I keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Only Phone Calls I've Gotten On My Landline Are Telemarketers, Or, Fall Reminds Me Of Aging

And I have no idea how to retrieve my messages anyway, so this is probably as it should be. Oh: and once I called myself--only to see if my phone number works.

It does.

I could summarize this week, but instead I'll say that I am really REALLY looking forward to this weekend, which I suspect will be amazing. Tomorrow night, the LT and I will be volunteering at the Fremont Oktoberfest, which I think will be some work, but also a blast, and then Saturday we get to actually GO to Oktoberfest! For free!

Sunday I think we have something or other. (My apologies if whoever we're spending time on Sunday is reading this. You're important. I swear.)

On the Radar This Week, or, What This Post Is Really About

I've been spending all my free time (what there is of it) with my old friend Beau Prichard, who besides having a brand-new book out, is also starring in Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas, an engrossing drama about a real prick of a theater critic (but aren't they all?) who ends up working for vampires and discovers what real evil is. (I can't help but wonder if Mr McPherson got in a few personal zings against theater critics that may or may not have lambasted him in the past.)

It's a one-man show, and Beau is in the process of learning his lines, not an easy feat when it was written by an Irishman with apparently no grammar school education; the changes in tense throughout are appalling. He keeps me in Sparks Light and I pace around his apartment in the Central District, wearing holes in the rug, or occasionally stretching between paces, hearing my joints pop. His roommate, a real darling whom I would have fallen for were I five years younger, pokes his head around corners and makes sarcastic comments between riffs on Guitar Hero. It's all very "we'll look back on this one day and laugh", or at least it would be if Beau and I both weren't closer to thirty than we are to twenty. Still, I'm proud of him--the man can actually finish his novels, something I've yet to do--and as life expectancies lengthen, we have more and more years to make our own paths rather than needing to hop on pre-made ones to save time.

Not that Beau is particularly behind--he's not. As I said, he's written far more novels than I have and actually has one available to sell. And my perspective is skewed, too. One of the reasons I love living in Capitol Hill is that it keeps me with one foot in the art scene, one eye watching people who have carved out unusual lives for themselves and don't seem burdened down by guilt that they're not Type-A enough, and half my brain on my novel. The other half of my brain, of course, is focused on nanotechnology, giant lasers, and chemicals galore. The other half of my brain is stressing that I won't put my name on a patent or make sweeping changes in the Lazy B before my car loan is up (the end of my short-term goals). The other half of my brain is constantly pushing myself to do better and better things while I'm this young, racing against the clock.

In addition, people keep getting married on me, which can (in my darker moments) contribute to my sense of urgency. I do also realize that just because some of my friends are married doesn't mean that they have their lives any more settled or have necessarily accomplished more. (I mean, marriage is a big accomplishment, don't get me wrong. But it's not necessarily a good analogy for winning a patent, or writing a novel, or starting a full-fledged acting career. I don't know if you can ever really cross marriage off on a list titled, "Things Done.")

However. In the midst of all this strife, I recently devoured "Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant", a wonderful collection of essays written by authors who love food and cooks who love to write, about that extremely personal of issues: cooking and eating for and by yourself, and only yourself. I read every single word--parts of it I even went back and read again--and it's so wonderful. Not just because I get to peek into the private lives of some amazing people and some of my favorite cooks, but also because like a good music anthology, it almost accidentally covers the extremely complex relationship that humans have with food, both good and bad, and the specific periods of life that such relationships recall. I read about apartments the size of postage stamps and cooking setups with two burners and no kitchen sink, meaning that Laurie Colwin had to do her dishes in her bathtub, I read about mothers getting angry about secretly consumed carbohydrates, and about the best salsa rosa ever, one I intend to try immediately if I ever go back to cream. Indeed, the best essays were part food and part memoir, times of extreme loneliness at 26 and wondering what effect the hash had on the food at the ripe old age of thirty. It's essays like that that I live for, reminding me that perfection is impossible--especially in my kitchen--and that one's life at 26, even though it seems settled, may not even resemble one's life at 30, which is good because that's after my short-term goals are over and I think I'll want to do something else.

Optional funny ending: I was with Tut-Tut just last night (maybe at some point in the future I'll open up a school for girls) and I was having her write an essay on technological changes and how they've improved--or ruined--our lives. She was having a hard time thinking of an example. "What about texting?" I said.

"But texting's not NEW," she said in tones of great disgust. "Texting has been around FOREVER."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Remember Very Few Things About This Week

I worked a lot.

However I DID actually find time (a long lunch hour on Thursday, the only free time I've had ever) to work on the long and long-suffering cleaning project (did I mention I was de-cluttering my house?) and I found some things of note:

  • My power bill, unpaid.

  • Bus schedules that became inaccurate a year ago.

  • Several wedding invitations, most of which I went to, but without actually sending the RSVP card because I lost it

  • Several cable bills, all of which I paid online

  • Pilates/Yoga studio fliers from a year and a half ago

  • Receipts, saved from a time when I meant to track everything I bought

  • Cards I bought for people and never sent

  • A lease agreement from two and a half years ago.

  • And hordes of other things.

  • Also today, for the first time, I am pleased to announce that I have a house phone line for the first time in two years, maybe longer. It came as a package with the rest of the cable stuff and I got it, and then I had to track down a phone, and THEN I had to track down a BATTERY, and THEN I had to remember to set the handset on the actual charger. And once I had done that, after I got to wonder why it was dead a few hours later, I realized I also had to plug the phone base in to an actual plug on the wall. Who knew? I now have four extension cords running off of one socket in a series. And that reminds me: I should probably get renters' insurance.

    The point of this post: I only had my house line for six months before I started using it! Once I found it under the piles of paper, of course.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    New! Shiny! And it Moves!

    Check it out, right to the right of this main space. The LT will soon be an LT in the RESERVES. Yes, the Reserves. Not Active Duty. He will soon be a member of the Reserves.

    How soon, you ask?

    Great question! Check out my handy-dandy Countdown! -->

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    Apparently I Have Really Ugly Clothes

    I have this bag of clothes that I'm trying to sell to consignment or second hand shops and I've been turned down twice. I will have to donate them, not that that's a bad thing, but I can't help but feel slightly rejected. My clothes are so ugly that even secondhand shops won't take them? That can't be good. Maybe I've been walking around wearing ugly clothes this whole time and no one told me. (Tut-tuts! I expected more out of you all!)

    Seriously, what is the good of hanging around teenagers if they don't tell you when you're out of fashion? It's possible that they think I'm too far gone to be saved, in which case, I might as well let myself out to pasture now. On the other hand, they are certainly handy for keeping up on on musical tastes. I was in the dance club on the cruise ship with all the girls, and I knew EVERY single song that was played. On one song, Ali asked me, "Okay, so what's THIS song?"

    "Souljaboy", I said, with authority, trying to act like I'd known the song for months, when the truth was I had heard it for the first time with New Tut-Tut just a few days before. See? Teenagers ARE good for something!

    On another note, the LT had my new computer all ready for me when I got back, it's awesome, and I'm typing on it now. Everyone thank the LT for keeping me sane. (My previous computer was almost ten years old, and that is just ridiculous for a computer.) The problem is, the chair I'm using for my computer desk is far too tall for it, and I had never realized that before because I didn't spend enough time at the computer. Now that I'm more sucked in because of my awesome new computer, I realize that there's terrible glare on my screen and sitting here for hours on end will make me bent double before my time.

    Of course, I could just sit here less, but we all know THAT'S not going to happen, so I'll have to find another chair! Darn, more stuff to buy!

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Too Tiredf to Spell

    I wrote a post on the other blog and tried to use the word "excellent". After spelling it wrong four times I had to have google correct it for me. And the typo in the title is accidental, but I thought I'd leave it because it was so apropos.

    Hello from San Jose! I was in Miami two days ago and the Bahamas two days before that. My brain is actually emitting a buzzing noise when it tries to think, like a very old computer that sounds like its chewing gravel when it has to run more than two applications at once. (Speaking of very old computers, the LT is building me a new one as I speak! YAY! Thank you, LT!)

    I was home for about four hours on Tuesday, between spending all night in a Miami airport and taking off again for my business trip to San Jose. Fortunately here on the West Coast there are Starbucks galore, oh so handy if you're trying to stay awake in a business meeting. Also let me just say that I absolutely love Miami and plan to convince the LT to move there. Nobody tell him, 'kay?


    Titan wearing his vest, five weekends ago.

    LT and I on the beach in Seaside, Oregon, four weekends ago.

    Leslie and I ready to go out, three weekends ago.

    Titan wants to go out, too!

    Pictures from backstage at the Wilco Concert, three weeks ago

    Miami, looking gorgeous, last weekend.

    And yes, I will post more pictures from Miami! Coming soon!

    After I sleep for twelve hours.

    Notes from the Miami Airport, 12:25 am

    Do not forgot cute quotes from this cruise weekend! Too late. (We said a lot of really funny things--I think--but I forgot them all. Dangit!

    Spanish television appears to have a lot of actual making out on it.
    I ended up watching some silly reality television show about matching up couples due to their astrology sign, and even though most of the questions were standard dating questions, they showed a “successful” couple in flashbacks who appeared to make out constantly. Although it was odd, it was neat. American dating shows often stick to a chaste peck during TV time and then flash forward to the sex part.

    Speaking of television, I can see why non-native speakers can teach themselves English by watching television. Especially television with sub-titles. Since reality TV is equally bad in Spanish-speaking and English-speaking countries, it was easy to figure out what questions they were asking—and then match the questions to the sentences flashed on the screen at the bottom.

    Speaking of, again: Maybe I could have used a little more of that TV watching.
    My Spanish is, yes, pretty bad, although after a few days in Miami and on a cruise where most of the guests were bilingual, Spanish and English, I picked a little back up. (Of course, my ORIGINAL plan was to work on my Spanish long before the trip with The Intern Who Is No Longer An Intern, who speaks Spanish fluently—having spent many summers in the Dominican Republic—but we all know how well my pre-planning works out in general. Honestly, I just never got around to it.) In any case, I was faking it well enough by the end of the trip that two very nice boys from Mexico told me my Spanish was excellent. And while I tried to appreciate the compliment, I knew they were either kidding me or just plain wrong—I couldn’t even remember the word for “rain”. (I was trying to say it rains in Seattle. In case you’re wondering, gentle readers, it’s “Hace joviendo”—“We Have Rain.”) (A lot of Spanish phrases, literally translated, sound like badly-written commercial jingles, I don’t know why.)

    Okay, so I was told by a nice older lady here at the airport that my Spanish was good, but I must admit she had an ulterior motive. She was selling me coffee. (Perhaps she wouldn’t have worked so hard to flatter me if she knew how likely it was that I, personally, would buy coffee.)

    All in all it was a great weekend, in fact a fantastic weekend, both the parts in Miami and the parts on the cruise, and especially the parts with my girlfriends and ESPECIALLY the part with a Miss A. Klinger, who was my buddy the whole trip and whom I should really email more, and especially fly to L.A. to see the first chance I get.

    But of course, it was also just as amazing to see Anna Banana, one of my closest sorority sisters of all time, and also my old roommate Noaillese, who roomed with me for two years. Now that I am sitting in a lonely Miami airport at Oh-Dark Thirty I keep thinking I hear their voices, and yes, I realize how crazy that makes me sound.

    My excuse: it’s been almost a week since I slept more then four hours per day, including naps.

    I have talked with the LT twice, both of us laughing from exhaustion (he went on a two-day backpacking trip, and by the way I should ALWAYS call him when we’re both this tired, he thought all my jokes were funny) and arranged most of my trips for the next three days (I won’t be home until Friday) and have at least some idea of what I’ll be doing here at the airport for the next seven hours. (Sleeping and watching movies.) I am so tired I am ready to fall over dead.