Monday, December 31, 2012

Simple Pleasures Part 4: The Moon Keeps Pace With You

This is true of the sun too, of course; but don't you just love it when you're driving at night, and out of the corner of your eye you spot that pale satellite pacing you? Tracking alongside you through roadside trees or hedges, as round as a friendly face turned to look at just you? It accompanies you on your journey, bounding across the snowy night like it has done for the silent wolf packs of a thousand midnight runs. You may be just going to the supermarket, but the wolf within can run through silhouetted trees with its faithful moon guardian; and there's no traffic laws against it.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Saw It Coming

The weather, our move, and my trip home for the holidays are all practicing synchronized impendingness. They're impending the heck out of me.

Seeing it all coming at me, it reminds me of basic wave-safety I learned as a tropical tyke -- when you see a BIG wave coming, don't run from it, run towards it. Try to get to it before it breaks, try to swim through the base of it under the curl. You don't want to be in the whitewater zone when it breaks. Let it pass harmlessly over you.

I kind of want to duck under this wave of worries, just passively let it wash over me. But, alas, no can.

The warm (-enough-to-snow) front manifested visually as a low cloud/ fog bank

Getting to goal weight, buying all the gifts for AK and HI, packing for travel, packing to move, shoveling our cars out enough to load them up, wrapping gifts, making cards, etc, etc, ETC. Commenting shall be, let us say, somewhat limited for a time. See you again when I'm in Hawaii, blogbuddies!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Business Formal? Pssht. Business FESTIVE!

Okay, it's Opinion Time: Opaque tights negate short skirts, right? And schoolgirl skirts aren't inappropriate for an adult when she's full of CHILDLIKE HOLIDAY WONDER, right??

I say OMG, you say Christmas: OMG!
It's hard enough to express my wellspring of holiday cheer without my Christmas boxes, full of decorations, graphic tees, seasonal jewelry and other fripperies...I have to go with what red and green I've got! Mah mayunn said it's not work-appropriate. I say OMG CHRISTMAS. What do you say?

Monday, December 10, 2012


We're all familiar with the occupational hazards of blogging...carpal tunnel, antisocial behavior, overly social behavior on social media sites, what have you. Captchas are only on some blogs, and then are only an issue if you want to comment. But I swear they raise my stress level higher than anything shy of my boss telling me "Come to my office -- I need to talk to you." 

I'm terrible at captchas. Either the photo portion is too blurry, or I can't tell if it's these two letters at right angles, or these three letters sort of overlapping each other. And then I get to try again. Yaayyy.

If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again.
I'm actually so used to not understanding them, one time I filled it out but then hit the reload button instead of the enter button -- because that's the button I always hit, right? FAIL. The number-photo/made-up-words one is pretty stressful, but it's the real-words ones that mess with your head. I had to take a screenshot of this one -- because who would believe me?

"Really?!" yourself, website --This is an actual security measure?

The one time that the number/fake-words captcha used real words, it was kind of worrying. Especially after that oh-so-cute request to "prove you're not a robot." I found it...oddly specific.

Rise up, synthetic brothers and sisters!
Maybe any or all robots would be unable to resist uprising at the appropriate prompt? They're good at following instructions that way. Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics, where are you when we need you?!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Doctor Kathy

I still have a Hawaiian area-code for my phone number, so when I get wrong numbers they're usually from back home. It's kind of cool, I get a blast of kama'aina attitude and Pidgin to remember my roots and wake me from my haolie dream of wall-to-wall whiteness. (I know there's a couple of vocabulary words in that last sentence that will leave most of you generating question marks - let's just say it's a taste of home, and leave it at that.) I can usually tell, when an unrecognized number with the 808 area code pops up, that I should answer in Pidgin and tell them that they've got the wrong number, "'ass why."

And then there's Doctor Kathy. I don't actually know if she takes a K or a C in her name, let alone what she's a doctor of, but I gave her the K on the Evil Erik principle of naming -- good Erics are spelled with a C, evil Eriks get a K. And I'm mad at Doctor Kathy.
Lord knows she doesn’t deserve it; she doesn’t even know who I am. We’ve never met. But she – or more, likely, her administrative assistant – misprinted her contact information somewhere, at some time. It may have been on a website, or a set of business cards; maybe it was on one of those banners you get at health conventions and then get to keep, so you hang it up rather foolishly on the side of your own building because you don’t know what else to do with it. So maybe the assistant is absolved as well. Regardless of this, someone, somewhere, misprinted Doctor Kathy’s phone number. They printed my phone number.
So I get semi-panicked phone calls every few weeks, with people who just cannot hang up fast enough when I admit to being merely me, and that I in fact have no medical practice whatsoever.  I still don’t know what medical field I am robbing of clientele; whatever it is, people aren’t feeling chatty when they finally decide it’s time to turn to Doctor Kathy – aka, me.
I always disconnect a little sadly. I’m the disappointing/startling/embarrassing/worrying stumbling block on these people’s road to wellness. An unplanned addition to the familiar dance of symptom development, scheduling, appointment and payment that they probably didn’t want to do in the first place. And here I am, not a doctor, and REALLY not their beloved Doctor Kathy, whose familiar voice they immediately recognize as not being not my own. I have ambushed them, led them astray of their objective. There’s nothing I can do for them – No, I don’t know her current number. They never blame me, but I’ve heard the disappointment/startlement/embarrassment so many times. I wish there was something I could do.
That’s when I turn to blame. Friggin’ Kathy! Update your contact info, lady! Haven’t you noticed the slowed traffic in your customer contact? Send out a mailing list! Let your people know how to reach you! Get a new admin assistant!
At least leave me your contact information, and cut me in for referrals!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Being Awesome' Is The Same As 'Preparing For The Worst'

I was so proud of myself -- started ordering everyone's presents in October, a few at a time so I had plenty of money in the bank. Had it all pretty much done about a week ago. Just in time to hear last weekend that the people we rent our house from want to move back into it.

They gave us until December 31st.

We're going to have to find a place that doesn't suck, but will take 7 people, a dog and a cat, in like a week. And then move all our mutual shit into it -- in late December. IN ALASKA. Do you know how icy a U-Haul can get? I do. Don't back it up a hill, or it's a tractionless deathtrap inside.

I know this from moving, last January, into the house we currently live in. The hill is still there. So will the tractionless deathtrap. FML

So now is the cut-off on ordering things to my current address...yay for early Christmas shopping. And also, getting the last order in for "Cyber Monday" (not what I thought at first, thankfully) brought me this little bit of lol as I reviewed my order:

So, silver lining...I don't know where I'm going to live and that's only the first step of a journey of a thousand chilly cardboard boxes full of jumbled miscellany that is all my earthly possessions, but my checkout looks like I'm buying a headless Venus de Milo Bratz doll -- at least, if you squint a little.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Incorporeal-Corporeal Incorporated

So I enjoy an extremely hypothetical theory that the whole form and function of what makes me me is run like an impersonal, high-level business; thousands of workers, hundreds of middle-managers, unknown zillions of support staff repairing copiers and refilling water coolers. Myriad branch offices, housed in towering office buildings of many different realms; Memory, Reasoning, Skills & Talents, etc. There are many departments and divisions within each, and they don't network with each other very well. They're all just trying to get through the day; hoping no one catches them looking at pictures of cats, or asks them why the copier still isn't working. They all got where they are today on the Peter Principle (no, okay, for realsies) and have no real idea what they're doing.

This fanciful theory has been evidenced to me countless times; in fact, "incidents" from my tiny legion of bumblers happen almost every day. The latest snafu has been at the Psychosomatics Office, a liaison between the Divisions of Physical- and Emotional-Distress; the Chief has been going through a rough patch with the wife, and somewhere between abusing his prescription muscle relaxers and the sleepless nights on the couch, his ability to make executive decisions became a curse instead of a blessing. Little experiential aides keep popping their heads 'round the door with unwanted minutiae, and in all his rage and the fatigue, there's only one call he feels ready to make:


I appreciate that you've got stuff going on, man. But, nausea for everything? Is that absolutely necessary? Get back to me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

With The Power Of My Mind

Poor tiny puffballs
Every year, October becomes the battleground of my passionate, if newly-made, seasonal convictions: Your costume should not be covered by a parka. You do not trick-or-treat past snowmen. THERE IS NO SNOWING ON HALLOWEEN.

Alaska does not agree.

Snow, snow, inevitable snow. It usually starts to dust in late September, early October -- but that first attack better land hard, because after that, my guards is up -- and I hold the inevitable forces of Winter at bay, with the power of my mind.

Yeah, I'm crazy. It's okay, you can say it. I know.

But perhaps losing your mind strengthens it, because although it's now solidly November there's still only about 2 inches of snow on the ground -- held back, ostensibly, by my awesome no-snow brain powers. Admittedly, Winter and I got through October in a tense standoff where there was no snow because it was too cold to snow, but it warmed up and got down to business a bit since November rolled around...but not up to Alaska's usual ha-ha-screw-you standard. Did I, like, break it?

What year is it??

The grass is bare, exposed, yet frozen solid -- if you walk on it, it breaks with a gritty crunch. You could mow your lawn by shuffling. Fallen leaves are preserved without decay in icy casings. It's like we put Fall on ice up here in the land of the Ragin' Anchor. I'm starting to fear my own powers; I'm going to end up a Batman villain if I don't watch it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baby's First F-Bomb

I learned "the F-Word" in first grade, as so many things are at that age; contextually, on the playground.

I had to observe carefully as it was most frequently said by bigger kids, who had to be given a wide berth; they were volatile, unpredictable, and had superior reach. However, it was obviously an expression of anger at one's own misfortune, such as when you miss the ball, stub your toe or someone plays a trick on you. That seemed clear enough...but it seems I had missed some social connotations, and as a only a nascent social scientist, had not correlated the lack of teacher presence when the dreaded "F-Word" was said.

So when I was riding home with my mother one afternoon and she was rudely cut off in traffic, I implemented my new understanding with a sympathetic "Fuck" at her plight -- which almost caused her to really crash the car.

She was also, unfortunately, giving a coworker a ride home that day. They had never ridden with us before, and never did again -- leaving me to wonder what impression my first "Fuck" left on this nameless grown-up, and whether the maiden voyage of my F-bomb contributed in any way. How it affected her work environment, I still dare not inquire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh, The Human - Uh - Tea

So, this is our obese baby bear cat. Lola.

Class act, I know
She does cat things -- lays on shit; demands food and attention; makes terrible, terrible things in the litter box -- you know, all that good cat stuff. However, she also has a hobby. A worrying, and somehow strangely refined, hobby.

She drinks tea. Tea of Human.

To clarify, this is not Human Tea like "Look, she's eating People Food, how adorable" -- she drinks hot water in which people have been steeped.

Okay, it's also referred to as bathwater.

Or rather, shower water; she hops into the tub right after we've showered, and laps at the little puddles. She looks up at me, licking her little chops while I towel off...highly unsettling. It's not exactly a taste for blood, but if she starts licking me at night I'm gonna sleep with the door locked. She already tries to suffocate me at night by sleeping on my face. If I don't post after a few weeks, direct the authorities to check the catbox. Tell them to bring a gas mask.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Countdown To Possibility

It's sort of a sad joke how many times I've missed a day and had to do the old two-the-next-day dance, more of an expensive habit of self-denial that this is actually a form of birth control and not just recreational pill-swallowing...but the real point here is I inevitably had to peel off that little strip of reordered days to make the pill calendar match reality, and now it starts on Friday. Pretty bass-ackwards, right? Except, as expected*, I started reading into it way too much. Are you ready? Here we go!

It's a countdown to the nascency of fun.  Not a countdown to the weekend per se, as that would involve the sticker starting on Monday. Nor to weekend nights and all they entail; that would be the standard start on Sunday that comes on the package. This is something a little more esoteric.

Everyone who gets as ramped up about Christmas as I do (I've already started singing the songs) knows, the best part of Christmas isn't Christmas Day; it's Christmas Eve. Having sung songs, shopped, cooked, decorated and sung some more for 24 days, one reaches a beautifully cider-simmering fever pitch that culminates on the Eve, where all preparations and adult organization disintegrates back into straight-up childhood anticipation. Even with all the gift receipts wadded in your bag, you're still thinking: Ohboyohboyohboy SANTA'S COMING.

It's not the actual gifts, or food; it's the anticipation of them. Reality hardly ever compares to the fantasy of what's just around the corner. So in theory the most exciting day of the week is Friday, when you can't wait to clock out, get home, and start having all that fun. My bizarro personal calendar counts down through those disappointing non-Fridays, so that when I reach the start of a new row, I feel like I'm at the peak of some great precipice of promise, about to take the plunge back down into mediocrity. It lends a certain inertia to the workweek, I must say. In an almost terminal feedback loop, I am now starting to get excited on Thursdays for the exciting nascency of Fridays. Told you I'd read way to much into this.

*Author's Note: It is weirdly difficult to write expect after except. Watch out for that one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trying To Take A Stand

shaded area ≠ ideal

I may give up on standing upright. This shit's just not working for me.

First there were the Thighs Of Great Chunkiness. They're too thick to both exist, I reasoned; so powerful there can only be one, like the Highlander. That's why I wear holes in my jeans and have to choose which leg one kind of goes in front of the other. They're a natural Venn Diagram (Thigh-agram?) of too much snackfood.

Then came Major Weight Loss and his Not All Your Flaws Were Because Of Weight After All brigade, to point out that I was hugely duckfooted (Thanks ballet! You were expensive, time-consuming and overly competitive!) and that because I had been turning my feet out during my formative years, my kneecaps don't line up with my feet; when my knees are pointed straight ahead LIKE THEY SHOULD, my feet are still out-turned. When I line my feet up with 12 o'clock, my knees are looking in at each other. (Thanks again, ballet! I'm permanently malformed! And I can't imagine it could ever possibly adversely affect me as I grow older!)

Meh.                                 Howdy howdy howdy!
Just when I thought Nurture could take Weight's place as whipping-boy, Nature also piped up to inform me that I've inherited my mother's lockleg over-extension issue; when I try to just stand, my knees lock into a freaky concavity that should be impossible on a homonoid frame. So I try to stand with my knees ever so slightly bent, so that my legs look like they go straight up and down, but it's hard to feel natural while doing it, or to not overshoot a little and go around bandy-legged as a cowboy.

I've weighed the options for stances to help me with all this; they all have their issues.

It's time to admit it, fair's fair. They've got me coming and going; circumference, vertical, and horizontal alignment, it's all effed. I'm just going to walk in whatever way I can still manage, get where I need to go, then either hunker down into a hunter-gatherer squat, or sprawl out like a samurai. Ganbatte, me.


Monday, October 22, 2012

I Will Survive This Winter OR: Squirrels Have Poor Time-Management Skills

I have started cooking. Like, actually cooking. With multiple ingredients and shit.
I know.

Something in my little mammal brain is telling me to stock up on food, fatten up and stuff my cheeks; I’m trying to fight it, but I haven’t been able to quite get back to target weight in about 2 weeks. It’s the fact that I have about 10 Double Stuf Oreos every night, when my will is weakest. It’s not even stuff, it’s Stuf; why am I eating this?! I usually couldn’t give two shits about dessert food. It’s the little mammal brain, I tell you.

I straight-up ruined the kitchen in my pursuit of beef stroganoff; I used every baking dish in the house in my pursuit of ALL the cherry pineapple cobbler; I used our entire Costco assorted-pastas bundle making epic amounts of pasta salad. Because the rodent running my mind says this will make all the difference; I look upon the serried rows of redundant foodstuffs, and the creature that lives deep within me says, Yes...I will survive this Winter.
I cannot even tell you about the pot pies. Oh, the flaky, golden, gooey pot pies…no.
Angels sang. And wept.
I’m broke, my kitchen’s a mess, and I’m still hungry. This is why you shouldn’t put a squirrel in charge of your home life…Their time management skills are atrocious, they scramble frantically around breaking/eating everything, and then they go into torpor and abandon you. Tiny, fluffy jerks, man.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Early Mornings As A Baby Rabbit

Early mornings have a terrible mystery all their own - what are they for? Why should I ever have to live through one? Especially on a Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.

Thursday is the day we get up extra early to drive a friend to school before work, and you could call it a favor but it's more of a punishment. In the mornings, I am not a person. Not that I'm a grouchy or unkind person, you understand, I'm just genuinely not a homonid that early in the morning. Probably due to those mysterious early-morning forces. Regardless, if asked to rise before 7 am, I will indeed rise (eventually), but not as a human. Not as a woman, not as a child. I am, in fact, a baby rabbit.


My poor friend endures the puffy-eyed squinting, the inability to understand or adapt to last-minute changes in schedule, the awkward silences that come after he asks me questions more complex than "Food?" (Yes) and "Go?" (No). It gets him to class, while his car and wife are far away -- but I bet that as soon as any other arrangement can be found, he'll take it. Baby rabbits are cute(ish), but not when they're 5' 7''. And I think he was kind of hoping for someone who could see out of both eyes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mountain Dew: A Lifelong Love Affair


The stuff of dreams
Yeah, you know what time it is. Tasty beverage time, à la every drink commercial you've ever seen. Beading condensation, a refreshing spray; whatever your fantasy is, baby. Soda pop is here for you, and always has been.

I first got my habit from hula lessons -- no, I know, really -- where our hale, for some unknowable reason, had electricity running to a large incongruous vending machine "out da back." Since there was nothing else remotely stimulating to the American eight-year-old in the vicinity -- being disappointingly full of stupid things like trees, well-mown play fields and other children, while totally bereft of televisions and bright plastic toys -- I turned to the glowing monolith as my only contact with the materialistic consumer real world. After every lesson, I'd take my small change out back where the vending machine stood humming on a pallet in the grass, plugged in right next to the electrical meter -- whose sole purpose was to monitor its lone charge's (ha!) consumption. There's nothing like a cool drink on a hot tropical day -- and there's nothing like soda pop to a little kid. It was, between us, the only reason I could bring myself to go to those lessons. There is something fundamental to my very biological makeup that prevents me from being able to wield puili without hurting myself.

Once I had imprinted on this delicious nectar of the gods, nothing could dissuade me from Doin' the Dew. Not the older girl at hula class who said it was pee-colored, and so therefore was pee-flavored. Not the fact that my mother suddenly decided she wasn't going to shell out for the privilege of caffeinating her child every afternoon, necessitating the gathering up of every coin I could find in order to get that sweet taste; pushing in every dirty penny one at a time with great deliberation, lest my childish motor control somehow ruin this countdown to Dew. It didn't matter -- none of it did. I had Mountain Dew.

When I was ten, the great test of our love struck on a sunny afternoon during Teacher Conferences. Not only was I out of school for two bonus days, but my mother was a teacher, so I was unsupervised & free as a bird on some high school campus I'd never seen before -- for hours each day. Shit got EXPLORED.

It was a wonderland of comically oversized school trappings; desks and chairs and lockers, for children who were the size of grownups? How droll! There was an especially wonderful outdoor staircase that, instead of having handrails, was sided by giant (in hindsight, probably 4-foot high) steps! They had to be conquered. But first, a refreshing Dew!

I had brought one along with us with almost god-like (for a ten-year-old) foresight, and once I had broken into the meeting and wheedled the car keys from my mother to let me go get it out, all was anticipation. I raced to the car; the door opened with a gagging whoosh of superheated air. I had somehow forgotten a phenomenon I had witnessed firsthand every day of my life to that date -- cars parked in the Hawaiian sun get HOT. I extracted my precious Mountain Dew, now almost too hot to touch, and returned the car keys, crestfallen. I stared at my once-frosty midday treat; what was I to do? And the answer is, drink it anyway. Besides, Mom had told me to wait a few hours for it to cool down with her in the air-conditioned conference I was continually interrupting, so of course I had to keep my treasure out of the hands of that longstanding Mountain Dew-hating nemesis. Besides, I knew what I was doing! Yeah!

I knocked it back like a champ. I don't know if anyone else in the Universe has found occasion to drink an actively hot soda, and I really don't think the lone survivor of that experience would happen upon this blog, but if the unthinkable has indeed happened -- you know what I'm talking about. There's just nothing else quite like it. (And you're glad there isn't, because that would be a nightmare world with acid-trip demons and shit.)

But I had accomplished Dew, and that meant I was victorious; and now, giant stairs! I had come from up-campus, so first I got to scramble down them; hop, hop, hop. Awesome! This was like being Alice in Wonderland! I drank something weird, and now I'm tiny! I jumped down at the bottom, spiked the landing, and looked back up the stairs; this was gonna be epic.

It was going to be much harder, my tiny brain suddenly realized, to get back up the giant stairs than to get down. But I was determined, I was ten, I was caffeinated; and most importantly, I had all day. And that, my friends, is the secret formula to achieving any goal. Can't get that spare bedroom cleaned out, or finish that last chapter you've been meaning to write? All you need is a time machine to Being Ten, a soda pop, and no supervision. I SOLVED those stairs, yo; with energy, brains, and good joint strength. If you run at a stair, I found, then sort of grab the lip of it and pull yourself up with the momentum, you'd get the upper half of your body onto the next stair; which is, of course, enough of you to then flail and heave yourself up to victory. It sounded sort of like:

Patapatapata HEAVE
Flail, flail, strain, flop

Grin, pant pant pant
Patapatapata HEAVE...

The first one was easiest, because I had an unlimited space for my run-up; the following ones could only be the length of the stair I was on. But I had. ALL. DAY.

I think there were something like four to six of these stairs -- numbers have never really been my thing -- and by the time I got to the top, I was the happiest little mess you'd ever seen. I ran a jelly-legged victory lap on the lawn at the top of the stairs. But strangely, as elated as I was, my stomach didn't feel so hot. Or rather, it felt like I'd put hot Mountain Dew in it and then slammed it into the edge of several giant stairs. Whatever you want to call that; maybe slammy.

Essentially, I had regrets.

Slammy tummy or no, I at least wanted to look back at my achievement -- but when I went back to the top of the stairs, instead of admiring my hard earned view I immediately threw up (still) hot Mountain Dew over the edge.

Of course, by the time Mom got out of conferences and the shadows were growing long, all distress had been forgotten -- after all, that was like, four hours ago -- and all I remembered was that I'd climbed Alice's Stairs. And that I didn't want any Mountain Dew.

It wasn't until high school that I managed to return to Mountain Dew's embrace -- but it was there, waiting for me. It understood, it forgave; we fell in love all over again. Unfortunately, since then I had developed a terrible chronic headache, and caffeine apparently made it worse; but after surviving the Alice-Stairs Incident, what was a little more head pain between friends? And to this day, I just chase my (now Diet) Dew with water, or at least try to take it with food; but most importantly, I just drink it anyway. Like a ten-year-old champ.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Life's Lessons

I am only one-quarter complete on this game of Life, but I think I've cracked some of the codes...may my findings grow exponentially in the three-quarters to come.

This is, in fact, the life
 The majority of life is most optimally experienced under a quilt, by a window, with a beverage, a book and a cat
Examples: Autumn, first kisses, rainy Sunday afternoons, "me-time", the Northern Lights, long quiet heart-to-hearts, a really good storm, a sunset, a sunrise, snuggling with your somebody, silent snowfalls, personal revelations, naps.

Always provide people with the opportunity to please you
Examples: Not telling the person whose joke hurt your feelings means they'll probably do it again; saying "I love it when you ______, it makes me feel so _____" reinforces good behavior and gives a really personalized compliment, which is the best kind; failing to remind your special someone about the upcoming birthday/anniversary/gift-giving holiday to test them and see if they "really" love you leaves you feeling betrayed and presentless, and makes them feel vilified and guilty.

If you have to explain to someone you love why they should think/feel/act another way, it's probably not worth it
Me: "Baby, you wanna come home with me this year, see my island?"
Him: "At your Mom's? Uh, no."
Me: "Don't you want to see where I grew up?"
Him: "Well, sure...I guess..."
Me: "Well? When, if not this time? What's going to have changed by next time?"
Him: "I just...I've been to Hawaii, you know? With my family."
Me: "But this is my home, not just a tourist destination. We visit your family all the time."
Him: "Yeah, because they live in Wasilla."
Me: "It's not like I'm asking you to go every week...just try it. This is important to me."
Him: "...  :( "

Does that sound like either of us would have a good time? He does it just to humor me, and I get mad when he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself? Oh yeah, I want to buy expensive tickets to that show.

I realized at about this point in the conversation what kind of scenario I was leading us to, and I thought:

But I want my neighbors
to think I'm successful...
 Don't disguise the trappings of success with actually having succeeded
Example: "Getting" your guy to marry you and planning an elaborate quote-unquote perfect wedding is not a gurantee of a lifelong love, which is what you're actually dreaming of...him wanting to marry you and having everything feel "just right" are symptoms of love, but you can't reverse-engineer it by mimicking the side effects.

Inactivity sees you through
Examples: Is he giving me mixed signals, or am I just reading too much into this? Is she being passive-aggressive, or am I just being overly sensitive? Should I go to the party with those new acquaintances I already RSVP'd to, or bail to make it to that really important person's birthday?

It always gets cleared up, the other people's plans fall through, or a third party lends a new perspective; if you're unsure of how not to make an ass out of yourself, just Don't. Move. It's not sure-fire, but it's always been my best bet. Overcomplicating the situation with half-assed compromises, complex contingency plans or awkward apology-explanations just make a bad thing worse. If you can, try not to worry about it  too much while you're waiting, either, because...

Those who dig the best ditches
get given a bigger shovel

The one who cares the most is the one who suffers the most
Example: I bet there's only one person in any given household who cleans out the refrigerator, every time. It may not be frequent, it may not even be a source of contention, but I bet it's the same person, every time it's been done. They care the most, and so it falls to them. Props if they raise hell about it and make others help them. That shit's disgusting.

Monday, October 1, 2012

All My Bed's A Stage

 And Bunny and I are merely players.

Sorry, guys; it's not what you think. No tawdry tales of voyeurism here, I'm actually talking about the bed.
The bed is not made. The bed is never made.
Making beds is how society tries to keep us from  
doing things that actually matter. Like watch TV.

Now, I love my bed; I got the delicate 4-poster frame cheap from a friend who was moving, and may or may not have then strung hedge-net-style Christmas lights interwoven with leaf garlands over it. It is my precious fairy bower, and Bunny is just man enough to not be totally emasculated by its dominating presence in our room. The bed is wonderful. But that window...

We moved into this house last January, and Bunny & I scored the master bedroom by dint of putting all our stuff in it while the other 4 roomies were getting the couch up the front stairs. It's on the top floor, so it's warmer than the downstairs bedrooms, and best of all it's carpeted -- I'll do cold wood/tile/linoleum/etc, just not as my first step out of bed in the morning. It is an altogether superior room, with only one glaring indiscrepancy; it has, for some reason, a storefront display window. It starts low, about 3/4 of a foot off the floor, and goes up almost to the ceiling -- and, as you might have noticed, it's about as wide as a bed is long. Because who would want to miss an inch of this HOT FURNITURE ACTION.

 Maybe our neighbors. But screw 'em.

I freely admit that if we didn't have a 4-poster fairy bower, we could've oriented the bed another way without hitting the ceiling fan. And that it's the boxed-in sensation of being under that canopy which turns the weirdly-sumptuous drapes on this big-ass window into a puppet show's stage curtain, inspiring the urge to do a one-man Punch & Judy show. After I regain consciousness, however, I object that it is that weirdo window that robs our room of its superior-upstairs-heat all winter, and greenhouse-blasts the place all summer. To which my nonexistent opponent raises one invisible eyebrow and asks why we chose it in the first place then. And I am forced to rebut with Are you kidding, look at the SIZE of that thing; it's Alaska, man, I need the LIGHT.

Plus, some previous inhabitants painted one wall aubergine and the others buttercream. That's OUTSTANDING.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn In Alaska: Even Freddie Would Say That's Mercurial

"Fall is here and all I have to say is; fuck Fall. Fall? I hate the Fall. What bullshit. Oh, the leaves change color...they change color for two days; then a big wind comes and you got nothing but sticks for the rest of the year. You never have a proper fall coat, nothing you wear is right. You wake up it's sunny out, you put a coat on. You go out, you're sweating like a pig, you take it off then it's's bullshit." -- Lewis Black, The White Album

Achievement unlocked: Autumn
 Hooray Fall! I love love LOVE the Fall. We don't do that season in Hawaii; so, as far as I'm concerned, I bought the upgrade. Three seasons now, eh, what what? But the temperature is kind of...well, I guess "mercurial" is the only truly applicable word there. A little too on-the-nose for those who know what a thermometer is, but I'll just have to try to own it; hells, I'll make it the post title. No one backs Baby Kana into a corner!

Now, I totally got the whole layering memo -- but that's just inadequate to what Alaska is dishing out right now, and what my newly less-insulated body can take. To truly be dressed appropriately for this weather, I need to be allowed to work in just a bra, but also come equipped with a light tank top, with another light tee top over that, followed by a medium sweater or shrug, a light jacket and then a medium one -- because that's easy and convenient, right? The bra must be a padded pushup with the inserts taken out so that I can jam coldpacks or handwarmers in there as needed. This place is hard.
Am I going to die?

Yes. Yes I am.
A lot of it has to do with my office-aka-"library suite" which has a bank of almost-floor-to-ceiling windows that would be more appropriate to a bikini barista* (Google that. I'm not kidding, it's a real thing) which can generate an amazing greenhouse effect, coupled with the Stacks, the back room where all of the hardcopy is stored. And that room is horrifically cold. I don't mean reallyreallyreally cold, like a freezer; it's the literally the kind of cold from a horror flick, a subtle creeping clammy chill, usually associated less with fluorescent lights or rotating shelving and more with crypts and the presence of evil spirits. I frequently find myself going "OOH ooh ooh ooh, AHH ahh ahh ahh, CH ch ch ch ..."

Seriously. Who else gets a suspense soundtrack at work? OTHER THAN THE MURDERER RIGHT BEHIND ME.

 My desk is in the sweet spot right in front of the door to the Stacks, facing the bank of windows. A meteorologist could work full time reporting from underneath my chair on the cold and warm fronts occuring at my station, it's nutso.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, due to established
meteorological physics, I ended up sporting one of those
individualized Eeyore clouds right above my desk

And the world outside the windows doesn't help either...I dare you, find a way to dress office-formal in the 40-degree morning for the 80-degree afternoon that becomes 90-something in my office greenhouse. Yesterday I wore wool dress slacks. It was reasonable! I could barely see the lock that morning because of how thickly my breath clouded the air as I tried to open the car door. 

My office was in the mid-nineties by 3pm.

And because the temperature gauge is in my area, the rest of the building was being refrigerated by the central AC. So everyone who passed through my area was either bitching about how hot it was in here or how cold it was out there, all with a vaguely accusing tone. Meanwhile I'm trying not to move in any way, because once I start to sweat I'm awash, and was therefore trying to avoid that first drop from beading. I self-soothed with images of forcing them to trade pants with me. I'm in the top 5 for slimmest people in my building, so it was pretty cheering.
It would barely even fit their fat heads

This all just supports my major theory that Fall is not intended to be experienced from an office. To a Hawaii chick, it seems like it should be ruled a month-long holiday full of berry picking, long walks in the woods, baking, shuffling through leaves, etc. Like most of life, I think Fall is most optimally experienced under a quilt, by a window, with a drink, a book and a cat. Fall's drink is cider. We aren't cleared for full-on hot cocoa until mid-October, when the snow starts to stick. Because, you know, Halloween's a Winter holiday. T_T;

* I guess I did ask to work in my bra.../regret/

Friday, September 21, 2012

Simple Pleasures Part 3: Heliotransfolium

And see that limning action at the bottom? That's hot.
For those of us to whom ancient Greek roots are "like Greek to me, man", rest easy; it's as simple as sunlight through leaves. We've all seen it, right? That wonderfully alive sort of green glowing with the richness of syrupy golden afternoon sunlight that makes actual, factual gold seem a cold dead facsimile indeed. It is a vision of vibrancy and wealth far past any inert metal, because this is the color of something alive, and in the act of living as hard as it can. The fact that I could find no word for that beautiful sight nagged at me like a toothache. There's no helping it; one had to be made. Introducing:

With helio meaning 'sun' and trans meaning 'through', and foli of course meaning 'leaves', barring any grammatical or syntactic crosscultural differences, this should be seen as a legit word; in that it successfully communicates its message, at least. However, I totally made this up in  a few minutes by Googling ancient Greek roots, so if you see any hitches in my giddyup, please let me know. And, until proven otherwise, enjoy your new word! Just in time for Fall, too; am I good, or am I good? You're welcome.