A reader writes, Where the hell have you been?
Well, I'll tell you where I'm not. I'm definitely not in Indianapolis, or at the United States Gran Prix (not that we had plans to go this year, but I'm just saying).
Nope. I'm still in Albuquerque, in the circle of hell reserved for wives who take vacation time without their husbands.
Somewhere along the line, Adam contracted a summer head cold and has been home from work for the past couple of days. He passes the time sprawled out on the downstairs couch, dozing in front of DVDs and mining his way through another kleenex box. He's sick, he's miserable, he's enjoying it far more than he should.
I swear, the boy lives for minor illnesses. All the better for me to dote upon him, you see. When I'm home, I'm bringing him tea, more kleenex, drugs, food and little pressies to lift his spirit. When I'm at work, I make lists of his requests (or demands, depending upon how you look at things) and lend an ear to how he's dying, DYING!
He's not dying. He's fine. He just has the sniffles.
How this guy's survived through twenty-eight years of allergies, I'll never understand.
And then he sneezes enough times to pique the interest of storm chase crews, and I feel bad for poking fun at him, because the man's sick
and it's wrong to kick him when he's down.
"You should get me a bell," he says. "Because I can barely whisper. And then I could ring the bell when I needed you."
I do not need to spend a weekend hearing nothing but: DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING! followed by, "Hi. Fluff my pillow."
He'd do it, too.
So he's sick and he's wallowing, and I'm healthy and not. And really, that's it
for the past week. Lots of tending to the infink and escaping to work and hand washing. And weird-ass dreams, because like hell I'm going to be sleeping anywhere near Mr. Death Warmed Over, which means I'm running on Night Four on the couch.
You know, fun times. How 'bout you?
one of those scary INTARWEB! people, breezed into New Mexico last week from the coast and we got to hang out. It was superfantastic, one word.
It was so superfantastic, Jordan had to come over to be sucked into the awesome. And Adam had to document it in sitcom angles. A hell of a way to cap off a lazy week. Very pleased.
I am more sorry about Aaron Spelling's passing than I really have any right to be.
Good night, Charlie.
I have done absolutely nothing this week, and it has been all I hoped it would be. I have lounged around in my pajamas, worked on things, watched a lot of DVDs, and generally enjoyed lazing at home.
It's fantastic. I highly recommend it.
Different people have different reactions to high-stress, emotional periods in their lives. Some folks turn to the Chunky Monkey. I tend to dye my hair blue.
Which brings me to a funny story about Lucy. Two apartments ago, I decided I wanted to dye my hair, but the financials weren't working in my favor for a salon job (much like last night, but, y'know), so I took it upon myself to color my own hair. One box of Miss Clairol later, and I was totally rocking the red. The bathroom, well, it took some mopping, but I got it clean and then got to work.
But here's the thing, I didn't tell Adam. I thought it'd be totally awesome to surprise him with Slightly Different Hair Color! and see if he noticed.
He probably wouldn't have noticed it (let's be honest), if it wasn't for Lucy. Somehow, she managed to get into the bathroom trash and dig out the color-stained gloves and rolled
in it. White ferret. Red hair dye. Adam panics.
The first thing he did was taste it, which he later described as tasting like leftover death on toast. From that, he deduced Lucy wasn't hemoraging. Then he washed her off, but she remained, shall we say, rather pink? Concerned, he dug through the trash to see what she could have possibly done to herself, which is when he found the box, which is when he called me at work and had the following conversation:Adam:
Could we maybe not dye the ferret pink?Sarah:
I didn't dye the ferret pink.Adam:
Oh, you did dye the ferret pink.Sarah:
Um, I'm sorry?Adam:
Fortunately for you, she thinks she's the prettiest pretty princess.Sarah:
Of all time.
I went home at dinner and was presented with the pink ferret. She managed to get dye on her feet, her belly and the top of her head. Unfortunately, this happened pre-digital camera, so there is no evidence. Just the story.
Okay, readers, I've got Mac-centric questions for you. Someone's got to have an answer, and to make it more enticing, I will give a small prize to the person who can help me.
So, my first question is WHAT IS UP WITH MY FRIGGIN' KEYBOARD? Seriously, this constant throwing-the-J-key thing was cute for five minutes, but I have to finish a friggin' book on this machine and I'm tired of treating the J-key with kid gloves because it has delicate kitty sensibilities about its usage.
If you know A) how to fix it permanently or B) what's causing the issue or C) have a spare 12" G4 iBook keyboard, please e-mail me.
Secondly, if nobody can help with the J-key issue, do you at least know when the Albuquerque Apple store is slated to open?
E-mail me, and we'll talk pressies.
Lucy, as we knew her.
Okay, so she wasn't constantly covered in matching styrofoam clingies, but, y'know, that's our girl there.
And I really like how she looks completely without her dignity in this photo, but she's bearing up well under the disgrace, and she's going to kill me just as soon as she can reach me.
God, I'm going to miss her.
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. I'm so sorry to report Lucy died in her sleep this afternoon. We are all so very sad, but again, we thank you.
Lucy is sick.
I do not want to write one of those heart-wrenching entries detailing her rapid illness, so I won't. She was never really my ferret. This is not my story to tell.
Adam is sitting with her now, holding her and telling her she is his sweet little girl. I feel like saying any more would intrude upon their privacy.
Think of her. Think of him.
On Sunday morning, we wake up early with the idea of getting all the shopping done before the church crowd jam the roads. This is par for our weekend course; the pious traffic can push Adam to the very edge, a leftover side effect from a decade of Christian school. It begins with dire mumblings about oversized SUVs going ten under the limit and what would Jesus drive, and ends five minutes later with the big forehead vein bluging in an alarming manner and GAH! When it became apparent he would someday pop in a fury of New Testiment verses and gunk, we started getting up earlier.
It's just better that way.
This Sunday, we take the Civic. Just a standard Sunday morning run to Target and Raley's. We run through the list: trash bags, pastrami, chicken for fajitas, fish-comma-nice, and more half-and-half than I know what to do with. Groceries for the week and the normal "crap, put that on the Target list," just another day in suburbia.
Except, hello, what's this? The Civic is refusing to start. Push the key to the third setting, it starts, let go and it dies. Repeatedly.
This is not good. Heck, we've got perishible items in the hot trunk, and it's the middle of the hottest stretch in our chunk of the desert. This? Is bad.
But I'm not worried. This particular problem happened to me the week before and after waiting twenty minutes, I got the car started and drove home. But Adam -- away from his tools, his Hanes manuals and the intarweb -- Adam's a little unnerved. When it doesn't start repeatedly, he asks the one question I know he hates asking.
"What do we do? We've got to get the groceries home."
I hand him my cell phone. "Call the calvary."
Fifteen minutes later, his parents roll up, all smiles and hugs, ready to take us home. On the way home, Adam's dad offers to grab a strap and tow the ailing Honda back to the house, but Adam stands firm. He's going to fix this.
For the next two hours, he hunches over his laptop, doing research. I stay out of his hair, cleaning the house, giving him a plate of bagel and lox, and keeping him in the iced coffee, but he's a man on a mission and he's GOING. TO. FIX. THIS.
A bit before 1 p.m. he comes bounding downstairs and announces we're going. "If it doesn't start, I think I can hot wire it. But if it does start, it can cut out on the road,
and then I'll have to hot wire it on the side of the road. And that would suck. So I think I'm just going to hot wire it."
So we go back to Raley's, and Adam gets down to work.
And here's where we get to the commentary on the Albuquerque mindset. For ten minutes, he sits in the driver's seat with a cracked steering column, stripping wires and holding them up to get a better look at them. It's flashing-neon-sign obvious he's starting a car minus a key, but does anyone blink?
Oh, c'mon. Not one person takes a second glance. Have we learned nothing form the previous Civic experience?
The car fires right up and we got it home without incident and now a new part is on order.
And let me tell you, if we weren't getting 40+ miles per gallon in the city, the Civic would be out on its little Civic ear. But gas mileage trumps reliability for now, and the Miatas both are seeing lots of drive time, so everyone wins.
Especially Adam. If his Parent Corporation decides to make cutbacks, he can begin an exciting new career in dealing in hot, Reagan-era Hondas, and isn't that filled with Champagne wishes and caviar dreams?
Hey, if you ever need to hotwire an 1980s vintage Honda Civic, I know a guy. No questions asked.
Well, actually a lot of questions asked, the first one being "show me proof of ownership" and the last one being "can I have a cookie," but that doesn't sound as sexy, y'know?
This was interesting:The notion that diet may influence the risk of developing skin cancer seems not to hold up under investigation, Australian researchers report.
According to their study in the journal BMC Cancer, high levels of dietary fat do not increase --and may decrease -- the risk of skin cancer.
Pass the bacon.
With the heat comes the aversion to hot drinks, which is a serious "duh" for most people, but we've all learned I can be a little slow on the uptake. This swiftlessness was underlined last weekend when my mom and I went for afternoon tea in the name of research and mother-daughter bonding.
Now, whiling away several hours at St. James
sounds lovely in theory, but it wasn't until we were sitting down with the first pot that I realized it was hot, I was hot and the tea? That tea was never going to live with an ice cube in perfect harmony.
I sweated through two hours and three pots, but lesson learned. Later that evening I bounced the idea of iced coffee off Adam. "Never work," he said. "Can't get it sweet enough. I can dump a pound of sugar into the pot and it just kind of sits at the bottom and yuck."
Which is how we've come to have a jar of simple syrup sitting in the fridge next to a pitcher of cold coffee. Should you be wondering.
You know what's harder than driving in heels? Changing a tire. In heels. And don't think I'm missing the symbolism of the nail-in-my-sidewall being in the shape of a 6, either.
Funny thing, Adam was ahead of me in traffic. We were going to vote together before he went to work and I went to the coffee shop, but a couple of SUVs decided to cut in between us, and when I pulled off the road, he didn't see.
And y'know, today was the day when I didn't have my cell phone.
But meh. It was just a tire change. I came up with new and exciting profanity, ripped my last good pair of work pants and ended up covered in grime, but I got that bastard changed with hand tools in under twenty minutes. That felt good.
And then, just as I was turning around to get back on the road, I saw Adam zip by, and even though it was a split second, and he wasn't looking in my direction, and he was going a good 45 m.p.h., I could see he was worried. I tried to flag him down, but, he was already gone.
One bootlegger's turn later, and I followed him up to the house, where he came out of the garage looking completely worried and pissed off, and then he saw the donut and made the "oooooooooooooooh" cooing face reserved for small children with boo-boos or injured puppies.
Bucky's been changed over to a set of nearly dead Azenis as a stop gap measure, and a new set of Bridgestones are on order. And I'm back to being broke.
And listen, if I somehow become magically impregnated and give birth in the span of the next twelve hours, I'm naming the kid Damien. Or Rosemary, if it's a girl. But seriously. I wouldn't even be shocked.
I don't know about you, but I'm planning on cowering in dark, air conditioned rooms until January. Good lord, it's hot.
I always manage to forget June is the brutal month until Bill Eisenhood's replacement smirks about highs in the upper 90s for the first time and it comes flooding back to me in shimmery-from-the-heat clarity. We are now entering the hottest days.
Adam calls from his air conditioned office, giving me updates on the heat. He reports the temperature read-out on the PNM building was 92 when he trudge back from Flying Star with his morning coffee and cookie. He claims the pigeon on his window ledge just plumeted six stories to its untimely pigeon death, struck down by heat stroke. He swears up and down KOB's up-to-the-minute temperature tracker is flirting with four digets. And he reports he ate a sidewalk-fried egg for lunch ("needed salt").
I remind him of the homemade raspberry ice cream in the freezer, but admit if I could drape myself over a 50 pound block of ice I would.
He asks why we live in the desert (a word we've managed to avoid the whole conversation), and I remind him it could be worse. It could be Phoenix.
He reports the current temperature in Tempe is appropriate to roasting Thanksgiving turkeys, and suddenly our heat doesn't seem to bad. This change of heart will last five minutes at most, and then we're back to planning the first annual indoor waterballoon toss tournament. For the first time this year, I will seriously consider shaving the cat just so she can have a little relief from the heat.
Which prompts Adam to tell me to douse myself with some cool-ish water. He can tell, the heat's gone to my head.
It's too darn hot.
Another story in pictures.
DARTH MAUL'S DAY JOB!
Darth Maul sits at his desk, counting the hours till he can go home to his loving wife.
Darth Maul hates paperwork.
MAUL!!! I need this contract written by 7:00 tomorrow morning! No going home till you've finished it!
I'll be back in two weeks. Going to Acopoco. Or Tahiti. Wherever my big-breasted mistress booked us . . .
*throws hat down*
*papers smoldering, DM quietly huffing*
MAUL!!!! The contracts! I'm calling a meeting to discuss this! You'll have to report to HR for anger management coun --
The moral of the story: Sith Lords don't do paperwork.
Odds and ends . . .
The National Spelling Bee, the Mecca for word nerds, is happening today. The mugs at AOTT5MA
are doing their annual live blog coverage with Shonda Rimes of Grey's Anatomy fame.
Awesome. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Awesome.
My dental work's done for the time being. I have two titanium pins lodged in my tooth. "Tooth" is misleading, actually, as it's now more filling than anything. It is my pirate tooth. Later in the year, I'll get a crown, which makes the tooth the pirate king, add a Buttercup into the mix and we're about three notes away from owing the estates of Guilbert and Sullivan some serious bank.
I've succumbed to the wedge fad.
The primaries are on Tuesday. Y'all in the 505 need to get out and vote.
Tom bought a house on the other side of town.
I'm still having J-key issues.
Adam is still a fantastic spouse.
And I'm still revising my little heart out.
The real vintage stuff