Friday, January 26, 2007

All a-flutter with the impending sister-visit

My sister is coming to visit for the first time in over a decade. Yes, isn't that PATHETIC? I have no clue why she never felt compelled to leave the steaming discomfort of a Chicago summer for the mild, glittery beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but there you have it.

I am impossibly excited about this visit, even though it's just for a few days. Among other things, it has motivated me to redo our tiny little den/ music room/ guest room/ drying rack room/ dog room for her to sleep in. We have an itsy bitsy house, and have never had a private place for guests to stay. But that's going to change. My sister has put me up in gracious comfort many, many times, and I intend to return the hospitality.

So I researched, and researched, for a daybed. This room will only be used by guests, oh, maybe never again. So whatever I put in here has to be functional as a reading sofa and, more importantly, the place where my dogs lounge all day while I work - thusly:

So I found the PERFECT daybed. It's unusual. It's compact. It's low to the ground, so my geriatric dogs can continue to haul their butts up onto it. It has storage space, which is pretty much a requirement for every piece of furniture that enters this house. I bought accessories, and got all happy.

And then it all started to unravel. I started getting apologetic back-order alerts via email. It's going to be a nail-biter, whether this thing gets here or whether I am out the week my sister gets here, buying something else, something boring and storage-deficient and terribly disappointing. And then we got a lump removed from Toby's head, and I realized that we may not be able to bathe him before my (highly allergic) sister gets here because now he has stitches. Doh! Suddenly, the calm, happy state of nesting anticiption that I've been in for weeks is wavering.

But I will rally. I have contacted the importer of the world's perfect daybed, and told them my tale of woe, and Claudia assures me that they think it'll be here. I think she was deeply moved by my profound and slightly unhinged adoration for this item of furniture. We can always fiture out how to put a shower cap on Toby. It'll all be just fine. It always is!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

To be anonymous, or not...

Well, it's been a while since I blogged, obviously! Partly this is because I recently accepted a very exciting part-time job. In theh past I have been able to talk about my consulting work without explicitly revealing the identify of myself or my clients, but my new job is too specific to really be genericized - if I blog about it in any detail whatsoever, anyone who lives in Seattle could figure out where I work, and thus who I am.

Now, I'm not fixated on anonymity. As if anyone out there on the Web really cares about me and my little life! Obviously I've posted pictures here, and it's mainly a few friends and family who read this anyway. It's been a matter of laziness, really. I want to be able to write about my life, and I'd prefer not to risk people who don't know me figuring out who my clients are, JUST IN CASE. Plus I link to my sister's blog, and she really wants to keep her blogging and professional identities separate. Since we have the same last many people with that name could really be working for a small animal clinic in Nevada? I wouldn't want to expose her. My business partner, my friends, my family and our dead crazy Rutabega relatives - they deserve the option of privacy. But without them - what do I have to blog about, really? My dogs, I guess. And there's already probably too much of that.

So it seems I have to make a choice. I either make a practice of not blogging about work, or convert to a public identify and make a practice of not talking about family and friends whose business is their own. In general, the correct answer to that dilemma is: Never, ever blog about work, you fathead! But ironically, this is the kind of job where it would actually be good for people to stumble on information about what I do, and to know how to find me. It's a community organizing job, basically. A blog could be a great tool. Or, maybe my time for blogging has come to a close, or at least a pause.

So, some decisions to muse upon. Meanwhile, if there are fewer entries here - it's basically because I'm a terribly lazy self-censor. That, and I have to finish up four ginormous consulting gigs in order to start the new job properly.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Vehicular Ice Skating

For nearly two days I've been watching cars wipe out on the block next to our house. They make it up the first two blocks of the hill, and just when they think they've got it made, the third block takes them down. Even cars that look like they should have pretty good traction spin and slide, their wheels whining with the strain. It is the Block of Doom.

So today when I went out, I took a circuitious route that provides a gentler descent from the hill. On the way home? I got distracted by the bright sun and the dry streets gracing other parts of town. I forgot my plan and took a turn I shouldn't have, and found myself heading down the Block of Doom.

I could hear the Blue Danube Waltz playing in my head as my trusty, All-Wheel-Drive Subaru slowly, gracefully rotated itself 180 degrees, landing my car neatly and uneventfully at the bottom of the block, ass-first. I made a tidy little three-point turn and drove up my driveway.

The ice is supposed to stick around a couple more days.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The bitch-slapping continues, but it's PURTY

Yesterday's slapfest began with hail. Possibly the most intense hailstorm I've ever experienced, which is something coming from a Midwestern gal. It completely covered the ground in white like snow. Here is our front walkway, with mug inserted for scale:

The pounding on the house grew so loud that Nelly resigned herself to the end of the world and took refuge under my desk, basking in the grim satisfaction of being proven right that the world is headed for hell in a handbasket so long as she isn't in charge of it.

But she was mistaken, because then the hail turned immediately into snow. Enrico took the dogs out for a long walk, because they LOVE snow, especially Nelly. It's probably the only thing that turns her curmudgeonly soul back into a playful puppy. She rolls, she flings snow up into the air gleefully with her snout, she digs, she hounds Toby to chase me, chase me, CHASE ME NOW! Then Enrico attempted to shovel our sidewalk with a garden shovel since we don't own a snowshovel. Why? BECAUSE WE LIVE IN SEATTLE, that's why.

The end result this morning is a layer of crushed icy hail covered with four inches of snow. The radio keeps insisting that Seattle "only got about an inch of snow," proving once again that the entire south end of the city apparently forgot to turn off its cloaking device, rendering us invisible to our fellow citizens downtown and northwards.

It would be no big deal in the midwest, but of course we have these big hills here and sometimes nothing short of tire chains will get you where you want to go. Enrico reported a slew of cars abandoned at the bottom of our hill last night. I had one appointment scheduled today, clear across town, and while I could probably make it in our trusty Subaru, it can wait. It's only my accountant.

Meanwhile, it's pretty. It's so very, very pretty. Here is the view out our bedroom window, just after sunup:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

We are so Mother Nature's bitch

Seriously, how many poundings do the great states of Washington and Colorado have to take this year while the rest of the country is having unseasonably warm weather? Why did we rise to the top of Mother Nature's Smackdown List? Is it global warming? An excessive love of fleece clothing? WHAT?

We've had wave upon wave of lashing windstorms, just as Colorado has had wave upon wave of snowstorms. Our roof is leaking. The roof was put on a mere three years ago. YES, it is probably under warrantee. But our roofer, like all roofers, is no doubt booked for the next six months fixing all the roofs that failed or flew away or collapsed under a tree in the past few weeks. The general protocol is: If you can cover it with a tarp, do so. Then call us in May. If you call a roofer pleading anything less than catastrophic roof failure, prepare to be laughed at.

Enrico thinks he may have patched the roof. We'll have an opportunity to test that tonight during the high winds, sleet and snow.

Dude. Seriously. If I wanted to be slapped around by the weather, I would've stayed in Chicago. Where I believe my sister is currently rollerblading in a tank top.