Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hey Officer Krupke...

We left Spokane at about 10 am on the 27th to head back to Seattle and a few hours of work. I was tres triste about the holiday being over and no longer being able to, without any kind of remorse, consume a half a bag of potato chips and pie for dinner, and was in no mood to have a flippant state trooper pull us over for speeding. Ironically, Christian was driving, which meant that the trooper caught him in the five minutes where he wasn't going exactly 72 miles per hour on cruise control.

The trooper knocked on my window, I handed him our paperwork and our conversation went like this:

State trooper: Were you folks looking for a speeding ticket today?
Me (very annoyed at the rhetorical question to which I was supposed to reply no, while hanging my head in shame and beating my breast): Does anyone answer yes to that question?
ST: Well, you must have been, because you were speeding.

(We were going 81. Christian asked)

Me: It's pretty straight through here. It's hard to not speed.
ST: Not according to the law. The law says you drive the speed limit at all times.

Now, all of this was said in a very flip tone as if he was our moral superior and had the obligation to belittle us for committing the unforgivable crime of driving 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, when we had just been outstripped by at least three SUVs going half again as fast at the time he pulled us over. I absolutely despise being talked down to, especially by someone who willingly lives in Moses Lake. As he walked away, I did mutter "dill hole", and he might have heard me. Ahem. I'm almost certain he did, as when he returned from his car, he handed back our paperwork (sans ticket) and asked:

ST: Where are you coming from?
Me: Spokane
ST (putting his hand to his ear and leaning in): What?
Me: Spokane
ST: Are you having a bad day? (Said in that tone most people use when repeating a line that someone they hate just said, that singsongy tone that implies mockery.)
Me: Yes, Christmas is over, we left my parents' house and now I have to go to work.
ST: Is that any reason to treat me badly?
Me (surprised and REALLY annoyed, now): I wasn't treating you badly.
ST: Yes, you are. You just did. Be thankful you weren't the one driving. You would have gotten a big ticket. You shouldn't treat people badly.
Me (indignant): I wasn't!

It was too late, though, as he was walking away in a huff, like I had crushed his tiny little soul and he had to go cry in his car.

It was a damn good thing he walked away when he did. I probably would have gotten arrested for what I was going to say next.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

No sentence that starts with "As Carl Jung said..." ever ends well.

When I was in college, I had to take 4 years of philosophy. In the upper level classes, I had the honor and pleasure of listening to the incessant posturing and minutiae quibbling of the pompous philosophy majors and Scholastics who were so fixated on the interpretation of the actual that, to prove to themselves that we do, in fact, exist in corporeal form, they were compelled to screw every girl they could William James into bed. I did gain one invaluable bit of wisdom from my involvement with these individuals, however. Apparently, philosophers don't read novels. None of them, according to the odious twit who had the nerve to look down his nose at "Sir Walter's Concubine," or whatever high minded work of fine fiction my roommates and I were reading aloud at the time that pasty little twerp came over for party. I never did find out who invited him.

Because so many philosophers were also "psychiatrists", like the above-mentioned Jung, my classmates would INEVITABLY end up arguing about the archetypes of man and how their fathers never loved them and does the building next door really exist, or do we just perceive it to exist, and blah blah blah until I wanted to pound my head against the desk and scream.

So, when a guy who HAD to have gone to a Jesuit college came on NPR to express his shock and dismay at the remake of King Kong and his disgust over the imagery of the ape who OBVIOUSLY represents the fear of the white man towards the black man and what was with the aborigines and then actually used the phrase "As Jung said....," I felt my forehead involuntarily strike my desk. The consequent blackout was a welcome release.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Power of Hasselhoff

Sit down, swallow your drink and read this. And then keep reading. All 104.

All hail manly Knight Rider.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's because I haven't been to church in two weeks.

Why why WHY??? It's been snowing in Spokane for a month. A MONTH!! And now, that we're going there, desperate for actual winter, we get weather we could have gotten at home. This has been a shitty two weeks. I need a miracle.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Up next: Star Wars: Revenge of the Lop

It could only be improved by the replacement of Hayden Christensen with bunnies.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Proud to be an American, at least today. Check my accessories tomorrow.

Just in case I was harboring any doubts that the woman on the elevator with me was not only a right wing Christian but very, very patriotic, she had to wear her "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" button and not one, but TWO World Trade Center memorial pins, one of which was actually cross-stitched on a background of an American flag. 'Cause you know, if you don't advertise your committment to never forget 9/11, that means you're a calloused liberal whore who couldn't care less about terrorism.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wallowing in Gender Roles

As those driving by laughed and elbowed fellow passengers and said, "I'll bet his wife made him do that."

But it's the only way you can get them to the peak:

And the inevitable question is asked, "Can't we just leave them up all year?"

And then he ruined our carefully established 1950's dynamic by asking, upon seeing this picture, "Is my butt really that big?" To which I replied, "No, those sweatpants are just really unflattering."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Welcome to the Jungle

I'm going to record the incredible conversation in bird that is being shouted across my house right now. We moved Vampyra into the kitchen on Friday night for "locational therapy" and you'd think we had connected her to electrodes and were shocking her every time she had an aggressive thought. Which, apparently, is all the time. The screeching and chirping and chattering....oh my God. From the time the sun comes up until we finally cover her cage she is furious and scolding us for not letting her be near her looooooove. But there's just too much abuse. Fritz's poor little feet.

Jayden and Kyan were over yesterday and the birds would chirp and Jayden would shrink back and ask if Stanze was going to bite him. I took Fritz out to show Jayden that not all birds are vicious blood suckers and Fritz bit me. He was giving me a manicure and got a little overzealous. My nails look great though. Jayden has been traumatized forever, though. It's ironic that he's more comfortable with snakes than birds. All he wanted was to hold the snake. "Is Frederick awake? Can I hold him? Can he be around my neck?" God, if my mom had been there, I would have had 911 already dialed with paramedics standing by to restart her heart.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Susan Salas, Media Whore

Last year, on an idle Saturday, Christian and I wanted to go visit the Serpentarium, the Monroe, Washington home of the Reptile Man and his herp collection. We had a grand time, la la la, until we got to the front and saw that the young woman behind the counter had a small snake around her neck. When I asked her about it, as it was quite beautiful, she told me that it was a baby anaconda, an unexpected addition to the Serpentarium family that one day appeared along with its many siblings in the anaconda tank. Oops. It's usually an excellent idea, when keeping multiple animals in the same cage, to SEX THEM. Anacondas, unlike most other herps, bear live young as they're primarily water-dwelling, and are not nest-sitters, so the keepers, unless they were really observant (har) wouldn't know the female was gravid. Anyway, she told me that all of the other anaconda babies had been purchased, and she was going to keep the one on her neck until it got too big, and then she was going to give it to a zoo. My head began to spin and steam came pouring out of my ears as I did a fair Donald-Duck-turning-into-a-teapot imitation. Before Christian could stop me, I got really snippy with her and told her that zoos don't want outgrown pets and that they have enough animals to take care of without having to take in every idiot's ill-guided attempt to have a cool animal that gets creepy when the pet gets big enough to eat adult rabbits. She was not pleased with me. The recent news reports about pet Burmese pythons released in the Everglades really chapped my ass and I now have a yen to ensure that large python and boa species be illegal for import, breeding and sale. I just don't think that the average consumer is equipped to handle an animal that gets to be over 20 feet long and needs a cage that's 10 x 10.

SO, the long and short is that the Reptile Man was on KUOW today, so I thought I'd call and get his opinion on this issue as his staff doesn't seem to be at all educated about these issues. However, by the time I got on the radio, I had two seconds and people were standing at my desk. Hear me make a doof out of myself here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm in the paper!! I'M IN THE PAPER!!

From the Seattle Times:

The Seattle Choral Company, recently a part of Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Hail to the Conquering Hero," stages two shows of its own today (8 p.m.) in Town Hall (downtown at Eighth Avenue at Seneca Street), and tomorrow (8 p.m.) in St. Thomas Episcopal Church (8398 N.E. 12th St., in Medina). The program is called "December Starlight: Carols for the Christmas Season," and it focuses on traditional carols plus new additions to the holiday choral repertoire. In that latter category are works premiered by retired choral great Dale Warland, whose Dale Warland Singers were a byword for excellence and innovation. The works include pieces by Frank Ferko, Stephen Paulus, Marjorie Hess and Steve Heitzeg (the enchanting "little tree," to an e.e. cummings poem). Also on tap: recent works of Jon Washburn, Frank Ticheli, Jennifer Higdon and two Northwest composers, Bern Herbolsheimer and Donna Gartman Schultz.
Harpist Bethany Chattin and oboist Gabriel Renteria join conductor Fred Coleman and his chorus for these two concerts (tickets: 800-838-3006 or http://www.seattlechoralcompany.org/).

After this weekend, the Seattle Choral Company goes on to guest with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor/trumpeter Doc Severinsen for five holiday pops concerts that should prove wildly popular. Holiday Pops with Doc Severinsen features the former "Tonight" show trumpeter and starts at 7:30 Thursday, continuing through Dec. 11; for details, visit http://www.seattlesymphony.org/ or call 206-215-4747 for tickets.

The singers join the Symphony again on New Year's Eve, where a Gershwin/Bernstein gala will include the Choral Company singers in Bernstein's "West Side Story" Suites, under the baton of Gerard Schwarz. The singers will portray the Sharks and the Jets, as well as leading roles: Monica Harris (as Anita), Lisa Rogers Lee (Francisca), Susan Salas (Rosalia) [ME ME ME!!!], Tessa Studebaker (Consuelo), Charles Logan (Riff) and Craig Garretson (Bernardo). For tickets and New Year's Eve party details, call the above Seattle Symphony number.

Monday, December 05, 2005

To breathe or not to breathe. It's not really ever the question.

Every time we drive to Bellingham to visit Christian's folks, we drive by an alpaca farm in Mount Vernon, and every time I squeal and whine and beg to stop, but we always have a timeline to get to Bellingham and we are inevitably running late due to Christian's incessant pottering and it's too late to stop on the way home as we most likely stayed longer than we planned because Christian had to teach his dad ONE MORE THING in Photoshop.

Well, the day after Thanksgiving, we left Bellingham in the early afternoon to drive home while it was still light out, and since it was only three and I deemed that we had plenty of time to get the fake Christmas tree home and decorate it (because it HAD TO BE DONE that night or Christmas would be ruined), I grovelled wheedled and begged until I got my way, and we stopped at the farm. We hit their lovely little shop with sweaters and blankets knitted out of alpaca wool and I purchased some dreamy yarn with which to make impractical over-the-knee stockings from Handknit Holidays because I don't have enough complex knitting projects started right now, what with the matching sweaters I'm making for my nephews, Christan's Aran sweater and my beaded cardigan that I'M NEVER GOING TO FINISH.

Because when I get really excited I chatter incessantly, I found out from the woman behind the counter that the farm would be opening all of their stores on December 1st and that I should come back and visit and buy more things and see the alpacas in the daytime. Could I pet one? I asked, as I have a weird and passionate yearning to own an alpaca or llama, although more alpaca than llama, but either member of the camel family would do. They make little mumbling noises under their breath and have soft noses. She told me that she had attended a birth of a brand new alpaca baby that morning and she imagined that the owners of the farm would let me pet one if I returned. Pet a baby alpaca. Oh God.

So, on Saturday, we hopped in the car and drove the long hour to Mount Vernon, marvelling at the lingering snow as we got farther north and complaining bitterly that we live in the land of perpetual sogginess. We made it to the farm at about 2:30 and I bought another skein of yarn, partly because I didn't have enough for the stockings with one skein and partly because I wanted to butter the farm owner up to make sure she would let me see the baby alpaca. I made polite conversation as long as I could, and then asked in the voice I reserve only for use when asking special favors if I could PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE pet an alpaca, and the woman whose shrine I shall now build over my TV agreed to take me into the barn to see the new babies. I tried hard to be cool and not run squealing into the yard, flinging myself on the ground in joyous convulsions.

When the kind lady took us into the barn, though, I had to pause. There TWO baby alpacas, one a week old and one a DAY OLD, but they were kept with their mothers in a little enclosed room full of hay. Hay and dander. Oy. Now, I have made many bad decisions in my life pertaining to my health, but pretty much all of them have revolved around staying in places in which animals had shed every hair and bit of dander in the exact spot I was sitting or sleeping, resulting in a grand mal asthma attack requiring weeks of medication and my mother lecturing me about how I needed to be responsible for my own health and blah blah blah. I KNEW that going into that room would have dire consequences, especially as I was just diagnosed with pleurisy, but OH MY GOD, there were TWO BABY ALPACAS!!! How can a potential asthma attack compete with that much cuteness?? SO MUCH CUTENESS HOW DO THEY NOT EXPLODE??

Can you see the eyelashes??? CAN YOU????? I don't think I actually spoke real words for 45 minutes. The little black alpaca really took to us, and wriggled his way between our legs, to the surprise of all, especially the owner's sister in the room with us. He even frolicked. FROLICKED AND SCAMPERED, I TELL YOU! She couldn't believe how affectionate he was with us, and even his mother looked like she only wanted to trample us, rather than rip our heads off with her not-insubstantial teeth.

Who needs to breathe when a baby alpaca loves you? Not I.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I just want to take things slow.

Weatherpeople are teases. They are the girl in high school who loved to make out and grind with all the boys but would never let them get under her shirt. They are the boy in college who would constantly call you and tell you how beautiful you were but would never kiss you and would run away if you mentioned the "b" word. Yes, I know he was gay, but I was naive. Geez, people, I went to Catholic school.

I want to live in a place that gets snow. Lots and lots of snow. But I live here, in the city that fears snow like LA fears an earthquake, like New York fears Midwesterners on vacation. A potential dusting causes an orgy of dire prophesies from newscasters and portentious warnings from the police force to not drive if at all possible and to tape the windows and have candles ready.

I have yet to see a snowfall here that lasts for more than 12 hours and that actually sticks to the road, but you would never know that from the way the weatherpeople are speaking in terrified, quivering voices and throwing dramatic charts up on the news screens. It's like they can see the end of times approaching on the Doppler radar, sweeping up from Tacoma like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I wish.