The more you know

Hello, Internets!

Did you miss me? I've missed you, but apparently not enough to crawl out from under the crocheted afghan I've been hiding under whilst I've planted myself in the leather recliner in my parents' living room. Sorry.

Seriously. I've watched more TV in the past 72 hours than I probably have in all of 2008. And I'm TOTALLY OKAY WITH THAT. I'm home in Denver for the holidays and am realizing that almost none of my friends are around here anymore; either that or they all have their own families and traditions going on. Or, I'm just too lazy to crawl out from under said crocheted afghan to call them and hang out. If you just read this last paragraph, scratched your head, and thought, "Hey, LMNT, I still live in Denver, what gives?" Sorry.

I left behind a foot of snow in Seattle to come to Denver--and the trip was just shy of a nightmare. Were it a true nightmare, we would have skidded 200 feet off the runway and burst into flames, but we didn't, so I can't complain too much.

Spending the first 23 years of my life here made me ignorant to a little issue people who are not from here call "being at altitude." However, it only took me six months of not living here to realize that little issue is actually quite a condition. So I'd like to take this opportunity to share my public service announcement to all people not currently living at altitude about what you can expect if you ever find yourself at altitude:

1. There is no air here. Period. End of story. Don't be fooled thinking you are fit and can run up that flight of stairs. You cannot, at least not without wheezing. You may as well just keep that hiney squarely planted on that recliner, under the afghan.

2. Your lips are going to fall off. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am addicted to chap stick. If I don't have a tube on my person at all times, it is highly likely that I may have a meltdown and end up fetal in the corner tugging on my ears. And, that's anywhere. If I find myself at altitude without my beloved Burt's Bees, the world better watch out. It's a little bit on the dry side here. I'm pretty sure I shed a layer of lippage daily.

3. Blow all you want, nothing will come out. Well, that's not entirely true. At first, because it's so dry here, everything inside your nasal cavity will shrivel up and come out. But once you've lost your sinuses and half your brain out of your nostrils, you'll swear that there's something still in there. And you'll keep blowing, and blowing, and blowing, but to no avail.

4. You will be perpetually parched. You will wake up thirsty and it will stay with you all day. Drink plenty of water--it may also help with your lip leprosy and imaginary booger syndrome (IBS), but don't count on it. Also, if you think you can substitute alcoholic libations for water, think again. Because there is no air here your blood thins, therefore alcohol and its sometimes glorious--sometimes devastating--effects take hold of your body and mind much quicker than when you are at sea level. Consider yourself warned. You may want to remove any people that would be a tempting "drunk dial" from your cell phone before you get here--not that I've done that, I'm just looking out for you, Internets.

5. People may start calling you Rip Van Winkle. Whenever I come back here, I cannot seem to sleep enough. Usually an early riser, I end up sleeping like crazy and always wake up really groggy. And maybe it's the lack of oxygen, or all of the nose blowing, but naps are not a luxury, they are a survival necessity. And I'm sure that has NOTHING to do with me spending the majority of my time under the crocheted afghan on the recliner, it just so happens naps make the hard work of being awake, the inability to breathe, and dealing with the trauma of losing your lips, that much more comfortable


Apocalypse, now?

I stand corrected.

Note to self: If one thinks they can stick it to Jack Frost (or the meteorologists), make sure one knows at what one is nipping.

At 4:30 this morning, I woke up to ice pellets pelting against my window. Plink, plink, plink, plink. It was fantastic, and I did think it was my just desserts after
last night's rant. I did manage to fall back asleep, thankfully. But then at 5:30 awoke with a fright to a very loud, very deep, very house-shaking rumble of thunder. Thunder? In December? In Seattle? In a snowstorm?

There are two things that rarely happen here: 1) snow, and 2) thunderstorms. As I was lying in bed, trying to make sense of everything I know and repent for all of my sins, the room flashed bright and was followed by an immediate (and sharp) clap of thunder. My poor old house shook so much, I thought it may collapse. When I looked out the window, I half expected to see that the skies had opened up and started raining frogs.

No frogs, yet. But just in case frogs were in the forecast, I was proactive and worked from home.


This trip to Colorado can't come soon enough

Note to self: The meteorologist's word should be taken just about as seriously as the e-mail that claims Bill Gates will pay you thousands of dollars if you forward the message to seven of your friends in seven minutes and if you don't do that bad things will happen to you like they did to my neighbors, cousins, dentist's step-father...

Ever since I moved to Seattle, I've become a wimp. There's something in the air, or the water, or the decaf coffee.

According to the sensationalist news, the entire country is in the bony icy clutches of a terrible cold snap. The thermometers out here have been hovering in the low 30s, which admittedly is cold for here. But having grown up in a climate where it gets colder and where it actually snows, and where neither of those two things cause the city to go into anaphylactic shock, what I'm about to admit makes me feel very, very ashamed.

For a few days, there have been predictions of horrible snow in the city, and when I say horrible snow, we're talking 1-3 inches. In Seattle's defense, it doesn't snow that often, the city is quite hilly, and usually sheets of ice precede the snow, so I have learned to cope with the horror that is a flurry or two. It does shut the city down, mostly because people have no idea what to do and they lose all common sense.

So I get that. But what doesn't make sense is the proactive paralysis we get. And I say we, because I bought into it today. That horrible snow storm was supposed to hit this morning. And because of that, all of the schools up and down the Puget Sound were closed, and my work-sponsored commuter bus completely cancelled all of its routes. And I, usually being of sound mind and judgment thought the forecast to be believeable and decided, like most of Seattle, to work from home. And thank goodness I did, because it did not snow one little flake at my house. Not-a-one. The morning storm quickly became the early afternoon storm, then late afternoon storm, then night storm. It's night time now, still no storm.

I've lost my edge. No longer am I the cool rugged Colorado girl who can brave the elements--okay, I may have never been her. Now I'm no longer the girl who can make fun of all the wimps that put their life on hold because of the mere thought of snow, because today I became one of them.

Knotted knickers and other unfortunate things

Internets, I have a confession to make. Sometimes, when recounting a story for you, in the spirit of making the story accessible and not completely full of mundane details, "and then we did this... and I said this... and I chewed my carrot 14 times before swallowing it..." I may change the story a little bit.

For shame, I know.

I firmly believe this is my privilege as a writer. And I'm telling you this because I believe if any knickers are to be knotted they should be because of this--not because of how much a person in the story emotes (or doesn't emote, because as I've already pointed out, it's my privilege to share as much of that as I want and it will always be colored by my own lens on the experience). Skewer me if you want to, you can be Oprah and I'll be James Frey and we can talk about how disappointing everything is, and how I've just shattered the world into a million little pieces. But trust me, it was much easier to read (okay, or maybe it was much easier to write) what was posted, even if I left out some details.

In my mind, the important detail is not the when or where of the hug or if that hug even existed at that space in time, in fact it has absolutely nothing to do with said hug, it is all about what was said and how much that means to me (in light of what I did or did not get in previous relationships). So if knickers are to be knotted, they should be either over the fact that I changed the time/space continuum to make my story easier to tell, or over the fact that I would have ever been in a relationship where a guy would not think my outstanding friends to be outstanding. For shame, I know.


Fresh like spring!

Note to self: Getting along with your friends is definitely on the "gotta have it" list.

New Friend accompanied me to a dinner party on Saturday night and made me like him that much more.

Before I go all gushy on you, I wonder, when does New Friend get a new nickname. It's been four months (four months? holy geez), and depending upon how you count, this is the second or third longest grown-up relationship of my life. Only, I'm not sure what we're calling it. I mean, I think it's a relationship. In the literal sense it is a relationship, but any interaction between two people could be called a relationship. And I assume this is a committed thing but the last time I assumed with New Friend we ended up needing some clarification. Granted, I did leave him a voicemail a month into it rambling on and on about how I have a big heart and that I cared about him and actually uttered the phrase, "I throw myself into life 100%!" (oh, yes I did, Internets. On voicemail!). But I think it's safe to assume this is a relationship and that we both like each other. And so maybe when we have that clarification conversation, New Friend will have a new name. But this is not really a post about that.

I was all worked up to invite him to this shin-dig, worried that he'd say no, that he wouldn't want to meet my friends, and that he would dread every second of it. Not because that's who he is, but that's how Old Friend would have responded. I would have had to try my hardest to convince Old Friend that I really only surround myself with the best people I can and that he may actually have fun--and even then I would have been cowtowing to him all night trying to make sure he was having a good time. And I was all prepared to do that when I invited New Friend but he responded right away with a, "Sure. That sounds like fun." And then when the actual night came, I was all nervous that he'd hate it, but he didn't. He was a natural--and deep down I knew that it wouldn't be like Old Friend, but it felt so good to actually see it play out that way.

I didn't really do my part in prepping him before we got there--who was who, or who does what, or what is or isn't off limits for conversation(but New Friend is English, and with that accent, you can get away with anything, hence a 30-minute conversation on acceptable curse words and how it varies between the UK and US). But it turns out I didn't need to worry about a thing. He just made the night so easy, and as usual, so easy to be myself.

As we left, he gave me a little hug thanking me for inviting him and saying that I had some pretty outstanding people for friends. And I just took it all in, because he's right, I do. And the fact that he recognizes makes him pretty outstanding, too.


I get a do-over

So, here's the deal. When the HGTV folks set up my prize consultation, they mentioned to a local True Value (not necessarily MY local True Value) that Steve Watson would be coming to town and that he and I may stop by and purchase some items for my project.

That had me all freaked out at the time, because I thought I may have to spend all of my prize money in one fell swoop--and if I were to use the money on my yard, the plant selection in December is not so great. Fortunately my aunt let me know that her True Value in Wisconsin sells beef jerky. So if push came to shove I could just buy $5000 worth of jerky and never have to go to the supermarket again. Hello, Scurvy!

But when Steve was in town last week, we just sat at my house talking projects. No visit to True Value, no purchasing anything with the prize money, and certainly no jerky. I don't think the people at True Value were particularly pleased with that--apparently they want me to have my jerky, and they believe it to be a photo-op.

So, Steve's coming back to Seattle on Monday. And we're going to meet at the True Value (again, not MY local True Value), where I will have to spend all of the money. Not all at one time, but I sadly can't go to MY local True Value, the one with all of the amazing plants for my yard. I'm trying to temper my disappointment around that with the fact that they are giving me $5000 dollars. I can suck it up and drive down there, although I already know they won't have the great plant selection of MY local True Value. I guess this means either I will have to do that bathroom project and get all of my stuff from there. Or, I'm going to have a heckuvalotta jerky on my hands.


Should have had some Velveeta dip at the ready

Oh, dear, sweet, Internets. I am coming to you, arms open, ready to admit that I may have a problem. I am addicted to RockBand. Where once I had the musical, the kitchen, improv, or even friends, now I have a video game. And that may sound pathetic, and this may be me justifying my behavior, but it's really fun!

But worry not, Internet. I will not dedicate a whole post to the glory that is my fake plastic Fender Stratocaster (one that I'm half tempted to name Lucille), because I owe you more than that. However, honestly, the only notes running through my head are those of guitar solos (in green, red, yellow, blue, and orange).

But seriously, no more talk of RockBand. I do have a little bit of life left outside of my Xbox.

Today, my kitchen and a tiny little blurb about winning the True Value contest were featured on the front page of the Life & Arts section of one of Seattle's primary newspapers. I still can't believe that I won that contest, but I know that I have to believe it because today, I also met Steve Watson from HGTV's "Don't Sweat It," and was casually awarded the cash prize. We visited for a couple hours in which we talked about home improvement projects, extreme home improvement projects (that was mostly him talking), the economy and housing market, the disco couch in my makeshift TV room and how that disco couch goes well with Lucille, and how I'm addicted to a certain-game-that-will-not-be-named, and how Steve is also hooked on that game and how he has built a room with a stage and a pull down screen so that when he and his friends are playing, they can stand on the stage, face the screen, and at the same time be facing the fans, er, friends, watching them from the floor, so it looks like they are actually performing in concert. I'm telling you, people, this game-that-shall-not-be-talked-about will make you do crazy things. Like spend $5000 at True Value to trick out your game room, er, guest room. But I haven't gone that far... yet.

Actually, we talked through what I could do to create a master bathroom and I have to admit, it seems a lot more feasible and you might start hearing me talk about tackling a new project--and the more you hear me talk about a new project, the less you'll hear me talking about a little something that starts with an X and ends with an x and is NOT Xerox.

It wasn't until after my guests left this afternoon that I realized I was not really much of a gracious host. I offered them drinks, but didn't have any food for them. Not that it was expected, but it would have been nice and very DomestiKat-ish of me. And then I thought, if only I had been raised in the South, I probably would have thought of that ahead of time. But a southern belle I am not. My roots are more Midwestern than anything.

Note to self: Next time you have an HGTV host in your house, have snacks. Do right by your family. At a minimum: little smokies.


Making Virginia Woolf proud, but not becuase I'm about to walk into a river with rocks in my pockets. I'm just melancholy.

I'm exhausted. The week took a bite yesterday, gnashed me all up between its teeth and spit me out--and it's only Tuesday. My brain is simultaneously on overdrive and running on idle--and I'm no physiologist, but I think that means its about ready to explode. If it did explode here is the stream of consciousness that would be spattered all over:

Really? I still can't believe it. And now I don't know what to think. I can't believe I got all weepy eyed over a twix bar in a vending machine. But I can believe it. Ugh. I really don't want to get up and go to work tomorrow, I just want to sleep all day and if I do that, then maybe everything will be different, or somehow better, or back to the way it was. Agh. Work. Enough.

Hmmmm. Maybe we're not on the same page. Dang it. I kinda thought we were. But maybe not. Shut up, gremlin, you're fine. Things are fine. Yay, I unlocked "Livin' on a Prayer." Definitely today's highlight. Although it's really fascinating how intense I'm being and actually how much my perfectionism is coming out. That's the gremlin again. Damn, she's an ugly gremlin. And I think I'm a little too hooked by the bright shiny object. But really, greencard and no call? Gremlin, I mean it!

Okay, okay. Every thing's going to be okay, right? Oh, my house is a mess. I really need to get it in shape for the HGTV consultation. What am I going to do with everything? I sure was cranky tonight. Was? Still am. Blarg. I think it's time for bed. Maybe going to sleep will make this headache go away, and maybe I can just sleep all day.

I don't want to be on the verge all day tomorrow. That makes me tired and makes my eyes red and makes me eat two of everything. Oh boy. Hermie the elf, my favorite, is on tomorrow night. In high school, we had a teacher that looked like Hermie. I think I had a crush on him. In fact, I think I may have had a crush on him because he looked like Hermie. Oh my God. Really? Yes. I have always had a thing for nerds. Maybe watching that will make me happy. Maybe. I'm putting my faith in a stop motion animation bunch of misfits to bring me out of my foggy funk. What are "statements you can't believe you just made on the Internets?" That's it, I'm going to sleep.