Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sometimes She's a Lady

This concrete sculpture under an overpass was lit with rainbows at night

I think of karma as the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It's really important.  It makes sense that even though your loved ones share your angers, vulnerabilities, joys, concerns and frustrations, they should also get to benefit from a little grace.

This was highlighted for me last weekend on a trip to Seattle with G.
We stayed at a nice hotel in Belltown

While there, we decided to visit Uwajimaya, which is sort of an Asian indoor mall/supermarket. Great food and fun shopping. One of the things I love about Seattle is the variety of people and experiences there.  I saw small blonde children expertly eating with chopsticks, heard both French and Spanish spoken and enjoyed a crowd of people with a neat vibe to them. There was kind of an excitement in the air.  We found a quiet corner and had yummy Thai food for lunch.  Crowds are neat but they make me tired so I get to take frequent breaks.  

After that, we moved the car to longer-term parking and went to the Wing Luke museum. I think it's second only to the Seattle Art Museum. Amazing tour with a knowledgeable guide, an area for discussion of social justice and equality and good history as viewed through the eyes of those who lived and continue to live it.  

And G lost a bunch of cash.  

Yeah. It was an accident. The case was "just in case" money and not something we carry around with us regularly.  But he had it in his pocket with his keys and when we moved the car... gone. I'm hoping that someone with good karma, or someone who really needed it, found it.  Because we looked and it was gone, gone, gone.  

I got an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like angry awful. And a little desperate.  If I'm really honest, I also felt relieved that it wasn't me who lost that money because my sweet husband was quite upset about the whole thing.  Not really about the money, I realized, but about how upset I'd be.  Yes, it's distressing to lose something. But what's worse is when you have to tell someone about how you screwed up.  I hate that feeling and I had this moment of clarity about how I could help him feel better.  
G: How angry are you right now? 
Me: I'm a little upset. 
G: What can I do to make it up? 

That's such a hard question.  There's just no answer to it.  It was just bad luck and nothing would bring back that cash.  

Me: How would you react if I just told you the same thing? 
G: I'd say it's just money and we shouldn't let it ruin our trip. 
Me: Let's do that. But I want cool wife points. 
G: Ok. 

And like that, it was all ok. We enjoyed the museum, some dinner and a quiet evening.  
Pretty little fountain- You can see loaner bicycles in the background

Hardcore relaxation

Yup, Good Karma

G in his natural environment

I enjoyed eating at Black Bottle in Belltown

The next day, we planned to meet my friend Matt at the Zeitgeist Coffeehouse in Pioneer Square.  I love that place with it's sort of hipster vibe and not just rice milk, but almond milk too.  At the front, there was a man in his 60s ordering a sandwhich. He was well dressed and extremely demanding.  As the cashier took his order, he tried cajoling her to do special things for him, like adding tomatoes to his food and an extra shot for free, promising to come there often. His use of familiar terms and inability to stop directing her got on my nerves. Plus, every thirty seconds he asked for something else on top of his other demands. 
Finally, the other cashier asked him to step out of the way so that we could order.  I asked for my almond milk latte and the man thought it was ok to step into my space to talk to me about how he and his wife drink almond milk now too. It's so much healthier. 

I don't drink almond milk because it's yummy. Yes, it is, but I'm allergic to milk AND soy and I don't have much choice.  I wanted to say "There is something about your face I don't like.  Maybe it's because you think you're so important."  
But I didn't.  I just turned my back on him and he talked to G instead.  So we got our food and sat to wait. 

Matt didn't show up.  

And it was my fault.  

I'd miscommunicated with him and he was expecting us out in Ballard. It took an hour and a half to get there, through Seattle traffic, a protest and a bridge closing, at which point I jumped out of the car while G parked and talked to Matt for 8 minutes until he had to take off. I'm blaming Facebook and its message system.   

What a cluster****.  
Me: How mad are you right now? 
G: Pretty mad. 
Me: How can I make it up? I mean, there are lots of things to do here... 
G: Give me a minute. 


A minute goes by of quiet contemplation and me sitting quietly on a bench.  

G: Ok. I'm cool.  Let's have a good day. 
Me: Really? This isn't a passive aggressive thing? You're not going to be angry later?
G: Nope.  This is what good karma will buy you. 

He meant it. He got over it and I got over it and we had a great afternoon. We even had a fantastic restaurant experience with Puerto Rican food. I was really sad to miss Matt, especially since he was the one who invited us to the locks.  Hopefully I'll plan better next time. 
There was an outdoor sculpture

Bunches of salmon- this is the underground fish ladder viewing spot

The locks were the most interesting to me. We watched for hours.

And this- THIS is a jasmine tree. Oh my gosh....

In working on the locks, people need to not fear falling. That's a museum in the background

Did I mention that the fish would jump clear out of the water?
So yeah, karma. Sometimes she's a lady.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Life has been a bit of a bummer lately. Eleanor the kitty has been sick, and she has had to start a new medicine for her thyroid. As she gets older, or older than the old-as-dirt she is now, I have had to contemplate her eventual demise. I hate that.  She's been my only true constant for the last 17 years.  I was talking to my sister, Patti, about the bloodwork. She said "You know what they're going to tell you? They're going to tell you that it's unnatural for a cat to live that long!"  But still, every morning she wakes me up and we cuddle.  I carry her downstairs for a drink of water and some breakfast.  Then medicine and back upstairs so I can dress and do my hair.  She sometimes give me an opinion on an outfit.  Sometimes I just drug her with catnip.  We have similar routines for after work and evening and she has stuff that she does with G now too.  It's a lovely life.

The thought of not having that makes me need to breathe in a paper bag.  She seems to be responding to the medicine, but still isn't eating much.  This morning was the most she's eaten- a quarter of her canned food.  She has turned her nose up at the most tempting foods- yogurt- and the holy grail of her existence, canned tuna.  Hopefully this week she will get back towards normal.

So, in the meantime, I have to manage my anxiety.  The best thing I can do is make a gratitude list. If you're not familiar, a gratitude list is a list of specific things for which one is thankful.  It helps to see the beauty and kindness of one's everyday life and gives focus to the positive.  So here we go, things I am thankful for:

1. Seeing old classmates last weekend that I haven't seen in 20 years.
2. Flip flops.
3. Old fuzzy kitties and a patient husband.
4. Fall is coming!
5. G seems pretty ok with his new job and we both get to walk to work.
6. Health insurance. We both have it. And a roof over our heads and electricity and food. And we don't have to worry about those being in jeopardy.
7. Family. I've been able to reconnect with my nieces and nephews this year. I hope they come visit sometime. I'm going to include friends here to, since most of them are as close as family.
8. Working out lately with my friend Kim and enjoying it- even at 7 a.m.
9. So far, everyone in our family has good health. And we had three healthy babies born this year; two on my side, one on G's side.
10.  Travel. We have gone on several day trips and a few overnighters.  We're heading out again on Saturday.  There is a lot to do and love about Washington and Oregon. How could we not take advantage?

Ok, I'm feeling better. See? It works.  What are you most grateful for? Leave a note in the comments!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I went to high school with a guy named Rob.  We were in the same class and worked at Ski Bluewood together for our high school years, along with Bill and Gene and several others.  I was in the rental shop and most of them were ski instructors.  Rob and I went to our senior homecoming as friends.  He was a nice guy, polite, well-spoken and generally a sunny sort of fellow.  He went to college right away- Gonzaga- for a business degree. Great school.  Later he got another degree in cinema and worked as a lighting designer for stage and theater in the San Francisco Bay area.

He died recently. I didn't ask from what. If I were meant to know, someone would have told me.  This is perhaps the only reason I regret skipping our 20 year class reunion.

I would have liked to catch up with him, to hear stories of art and cinema in San Francisco.  He was a traveler and I think he had some great adventures that now I won't get to hear about.  No sitting in a pub in Dayton, laughing about how we've all grown and changed and made huge mistakes and had small triumphs and unexpected turns in our lives.  I won't get to introduce Rob to my husband and say "I remember how nice you always were to me.  I appreciate your kindness. I'm glad to re-make your acquaintance".

The only thing left to do is to go to his memorial this weekend in Dayton.  A couple of us from the Class of '91 sent flowers and are going to gather before the funeral to say hello and have a cup of coffee.  It will be nice to see everyone.

I guess I'll be going to that reunion after all.  You will be missed, Rob.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wish It Would Snow

It's so hot. There are honey bees out pollinating things and that's cool. I guess. I like bees. They do important bee things, like make the world go 'round.
For that, sunshine is important. And heat and bright sunny days.

But man, I moved north because I get underboob sweat when I walk outdoors in Oklahoma from March-November. Sorry for crossing the too much information line, but it had to be said; nothing conveys feeling like discussing sweat in uncomfortable places. It runs over my ribs and hits my hip bones and generally bothers me.  That also means that I'm burning my pale skin and exposing myself to the sun's harmful rays.
Yes, that's really why I moved back to Washington state.  I was melting.  Now? I'm melting.

Yes, it's in the 90s every day right now. I hate it. Mostly I hate it because we don't have air conditioning in our house, much like every other person in this part of the state. We bought a little window unit for our bedroom, but Eleanor the kitty stays downstairs all day (I thought she was smart?) and ceiling fans and box fans only do so much.  The sweat is unimaginable, squirting from my armpits and dehydrating my poor body. On top of that, I'm working out twice a day because I'm training a person I work with and I'm doing my regular stuff with G at night.

So my life is about cold, fizzy hydration.  Thank goodness we have a Sodastream.

Rather than keep complaining about the big hot ball of gas in the sky, I'm going to remind myself of the things I love about winter.  Once March rolled around in Oklahoma, I'd start becoming anxious about the heat.  By May it would be 100 degrees outside in the afternoon and from June through September, it wouldn't get below 90 at night.  I'd say "I miss winter" and my friends would say "wait until winter, then you'll miss this".  But they were wrong.

I don't miss summer, ever. I love spring and I love fall best of all, but I'm not a summer girl.

So, some things I love about winter:
Vibrant Colors


Warm houses on cold days!

Frozen Vistas

A reason to stay home and snuggle 

And everything moves at a slower pace. 

I can't wait! Oh, fall, get here fast. 
I guess in the meantime, I can settle for this: