Tired. Grumpy. Stressed.

I was going to do this whole long post about how Fuzzy was in a car accident last night, and Forester Gump isn't driveable (drivable? Whatever.) and was towed to Parts Unknown, and how we spent the evening melting in the emergency waiting room at Kaiser, but I'm tired, and recounting it isn't a purge, it's more like dwelling, so instead I'm writing this.

is one of the sweetest people you could ever hope to count among your friends. Thank you. We owe you. Next time you have an emergency in the middle of the night, don't hesitate to call, and I meant it about owing you lunch, or something. And thanks to for leaving you access to his truck while he's away.

And on that note, I'm going to shower, and then I'm going to go find the largest possible designer coffee drink money can buy and inhale it before going to work, where I will endeavor to concentrate and be productive before bailing out around three.

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful long weekend.
Me? I plan to sleep. A lot.

Wee-Hour Whining

I woke up from a nightmare to a room that was too-hot, and I couldn't remember why. Opening my eyes, I realized the shade on the bedroom window had been pulled down, and no air was coming in. I staid in bed a while, eyes closed, listening to the rhythm of Fuzzy and the dogs as they breathed sleep in and out of their mouths, as one.

But the room felt wrong, and my teeth itch, and I have a stress-induced ear-ache that's throbbing, pulsing really. Not enough pressure to blow out easily, and yet enough to be really bothersome. Ick.

So I got up, and opened the door, and the air out in the hall was deliciously cool, like a soft sigh against my skin, and now I'm sitting here, far too much ibuprofen later, and trying to decide not if I should go back to sleep, because I'm exhausted, but if I can.

I've toyed with a wet washcloth and cool water, and that's helped some, but my movements woke the dogs, and they're in here now, under my desk, guarding my feet from the treacherous cables, wires, and odd pieces of lint that wait there to torture me.

Or something.

Hey, you try being coherent while in pain at three am.
(Computer clock's wrong, I know this. It says 2:45 but the cable box says 3:08 amd now I'm idly wondering if other people have mini timewarps in their houses, too, or if it's just me. We won't even go into the pre-coffee math involved in knowing how many times one can hit the snooze button.)

Bed. Is. Calling.
I. Shall. Answer.

Music Speaks Louder than Words

In order for anyone reading this to really understand its significance, you need to understand that my mother and stepfather are no mere “dollar voters” (those folks who read their organization's newsletter to decide which pizza company to boycott that week), but Capital-A Activists.

When I was twelve, for example, they were instrumental in starting the Modesto chapter of Amnesty International, while I lurked and tried to ask intelligent questions. I have been alternately dragged to, or a willing participant in, peace marches, anti-nuke rallies, a protest against Lawrence Livermore Labs, and tons of pro-Cuba, pro-Choice, and pro-Gay and Lesbian events. (I played Becky Bell in a street-theatre demonstration that involved lying down in front of San Jose's light rail, several years ago, and sang “The Engineer Song” at another demonstration, at one point, and the first time I did clinic defense, a rather notorious local OR-member barricaded himself in his van because we wouldn't let him near the clinic doors, and made so many calls to 911 that he was finally arrested for mis-using it.)

But really, this entry isn't about all that.

It's about Fuzzy indulging me for my birthday, which was a week ago, really, but my present was last night: Premier tickets to see Peter, Paul & Mary at the Mountain Winery, with a gourmet dinner on the deck of the Chateau up there, before, and passes for the private reception, after.

The food was wonderful – the theme was Pacific Rim – and selections included cashew salad, and three different fruit salads, olive bread, marinated mushrooms, their version of California roll, thai pasta, chicken marinated in some kind of chilli and orange combination, and Mahi-mahi with pineapple salsa. The view was amazing, the entire valley spread out below us.

The concert began with everyone realizing it was getting much colder than expected. And I was annoyed, at first, because the person directly in front of me was very very tall, and I'm very very short, and for a few minutes I was miffed. And then they started to sing, beginning with no introduction, just launching right into “Weave me the Sunshine,” breaking up into laughter because (as we found out later) Mary had mavved a lyric the night before, and they'd reminded her of it as they walked out.

And then they did Puff. Or maybe, really, we all did Puff, because I don't think there was anyone who wasn't singing along. Noel Paul Stookey said in another concert, once, that he felt all politicians should be required to sing for their constituents, because it's so much harder to lie through song, than it is to lie through the spoken word, but there were no liars there last night. I ceased to be miffed at TallGuy, though, when I heard him singing, off-key, but with total sincerity, and saw him reach for his daughter's hand (she was my age, or a bit older, he was probably around seventy), during the line, “Dragons live forever; not so little boys.” I mean, really, how can you be annoyed with anyone who gets all mushy during Puff?

And so it continued. We sang, they sang. The second half was their solo section, and Peter talked about his current pet project: Arts in the Schools, and Mary shared her gardening hobby with us, and her new pet project: keeping Water from becoming a trade item, and Noel (Paul) read a rude poem about Asparagus, and then sang the Garden Song, which, despite my almost complete lack of religious tendencies, has long been a favorite of mine.

And at the end, as the fog was rolling in, there was the ritual last encore of “Blowin' in the Wind,” which, of course, meant the audience was singing as well. In that moment, surrounded by redwoods, at the top of a mountain, with blue lights, and starlight, and wisps of fog, the energy was at once powerful and serene, and filled with possibilities.

And then it was over, and we trekked up the hill to the room where the private reception was to be held. We read over the literature from the host organization, Environmental Volunteers a group that goes into classrooms and gets kids excited about natural sciences.

There was dessert there: peach cobbler, chocolate dipped strawberries, and brownies laced heavily with Jack Daniels. And, more importantly, there was coffee, and it was warm!

Finally, the trio arrived, and they each spoke a bit about the concert and the evening, and then Mary and Noel bailed, but Peter worked the crowd. He teased the kids, hugged everyone, and I got my moment with him. I told him about this legacy of activsim my parents had handed to me (that I'm doing very little with…and that needs to change), and about music, and that being in that room was my birthday present, and he stopped me, and started singing, and made the whole room sing. And someone from Environmental Volunteers said, “You have to have a picture, we'll send it to you.”

Last weekend, I was having a miserable birthday because we worked and fought, and this weekend, beginning with a giggle-filled dinner with , and and Fuzzy, (where I didn't talk much, I know, and I'm sorry, but y'all made me laugh, and I /so/ needed that), and culminating with being smooched and serenaded by Puff the Magic Dragon's dad, I have been wrapped in a bubble of pure delight.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
And music does speak louder than words.

Toy Surprises

So, we got home from work around nine last night, after a jam-packed day of phoning, faxing, and printing for me, and rebuilding a network for Fuzzy. Now that the dogs are staying outside during the day, we really need to be better about getting home at decent hours, because Zorro doesn't handle chilly weather well, and Cleo tends to bark her head off given anything remotely encouraging. Like, you know, wind, squirrels, light, dark, whatever.

When we got to the front door, there was a box sitting beside the lock box. “Did you order something?” I was asked. But I hadn't. Still, it wasn't ticking, so we brought it inside.

It was addressed to me, and accompanied by a card, “Happy Birthday, from Guess Who ;)”

And inside: A box of Godiva chocolates…all dark…my favorite.


It took me a minute to process this, and then I realized who my birthday elf must have been, because we'd had a brief ICQ chat that involved questions like, “What's your address, again?” and “What's your favorite kind of chocolate.” Hey, when I've worked 12 hour days on little sleep, I'm entitled to less-than-bright moments.

Chocolate, anyone?

Flaming Mondays

On Monday, our work day ended in drama. There's a new upscale retail/condo development about a city-block from my office, and that afternoon it literally went up in smoke, ultimately becoming an eight-alarm fire. It was breezy that day, and as a result, burning embers were carried across the neighborhood.

From our office windows, we watched the flames from the main fire, and from a burning apartment complex across the street, and we watched clouds of brown and black and grey smoke turning a sunny afternoon into temporary twilight. And we debated leaving early, or staying to watch.

Eventually, embers landed on our building, and the guys from my office went up to hose everything down, just as we were told to bail. E. told me later, as we sat in traffic for an hour on the way to my home two miles away(he gave me a ride), that at one point, with the hose in use on the other side of the building, and a mass of burning stuff at his feet he resorted to dropping his pants and weilding a hose of a different sort, only after the fact realizing that he was in full view of the freeway below.

Of course, an hour later, we found this hilarious. Hell, it was probably hilarious there.

Halfway home, stuck in the slow crawl of people fleeing the affected neighborhood, and people being re-routed around the same neighborhood, we watched the SWAT team and still more firetrucks heading toward the main blaze, and as one we started giggling, for there, directly in front of us, was a car with the following license plate:

Two days later, there's still a faint smoky smell in the office, but I'm not entirely sure it isn't just my over-active imagination.

Still, if all Mondays held such drama…well, they'd still be Mondays.

I am Leo, hear me Roar?

So pointed me toward cainer.com, and I have to say, that though I almost never read horoscopes, I get a kick out of the way this guy writes. Here's what he said about Leo's today:

Imagine what this world would be like if we all understood one another. No soap operas, no farces, no comedies of errors. No diplomats, no translators, no interpreters, no explainers. Misunderstanding makes life interesting. It provides excitement and keeps us on our toes. It makes the world go round. That, and perhaps also, disagreement. You can’t beat a bit of conflict for sparking off an adventure. That said, we all, every so often, have to reach concord and harmony. And soon you’ll have your taste of that.

International Toothpaste

We ran out of Fuzzy's favorite toothpaste a couple days ago, and since there's been no time to go shopping, we've been raiding the tubes we bought while on various vacations. This week, we're using a tube of Canadian Colgate, instead of our usual American AquaFresh.

I'd noticed when we were in Baja for Christmas, the year before that, that CocaCola was sweeter, and chocolate was grainier, but I'd also noticed that the toothpaste was, well, gloppier. It didn't come out of the tube in a pasty cylinder, much like the toothpaste equivalent of canned cranberry sauce (you know, the kind where, if you don't take measures, you can see the ring-marks from the can?), but instead sort of splatted onto the bristles of my toothbrush. It was also sweeter than I generally expected toothpaste to be.

I was mildly suprised when the Canadian toothpaste, which Fuzzy had grabbed while in Toronto for a Geek Conference, was much more like the Mexican stuff than the American stuff: Gloppy, sweet, and sort of glowy green, despite not being a gel.

Do we, as Americans, have such bad teeth that we require a more abrasive toothpaste, or is this just a result of the difference in which chemicals are allowed where? Or is the real problem that I'm comparing American AquaFresh to Mexican Crest and Canadian Colgate?

Just an idle thought while trying to survive the work day.

Full Price Offer!

So, I just got off the phone with my realtor Anne Hansen, and she said she'd received a full price offer on our townhouse today. Yes!

The buyer has asked that we pay for Section I termite items, which is a normal seller-paid cost anyway, and any HOA transfer fees, which our HOA doesn't charge.

We're countering, with a capped liability of $3,000 for those termite repairs. The person wanting to buy didn't ask about the floors, so we're not offering to resurface them, but we got a quote to have it done.

Mysteriously, that number $3,000 is haunting us in another way. We're $3k short of the cash to increase the deposit (which sits in escrow until closing), and only because lenders are taking so long to fund stuff, that I won't get commissions for another two weeks. ARGH.

Well, we'll figure it out somehow.

In any case, we're glad that we got an offer so soon when the average time on the market in this city is currently around 38 days.

It’s Done!

We worked like dogs, and my day off that was supposed to be a rest day for my birthday ended up being a workday. It's good that we never bothered to confirm plans for dinner last night, because at midnight, I was still painting the entry. We tried hard to match the original color, but it's still about half a shade darker than the original, which means we have to paint the whole front section, after all, but at least we don't have to rush.

By the time Pablo came yesterday afternoon to clean our carpets, Fuzzy and I were both in tears, and I was so stressed and tired that I was ready to call Anne and say, “Forget it, this isn't worth it.” But Fuzzy knew that I was just reacting to workstuff and homestuff, and didn't really mean that. Did I mention that I'm also having the PMS week from hell on top of everything else? Do I need to?

At noon today, I went to take a nap with the dogs while Fuzzy finished some outside stuff. At 12:56 he woke me from the deepest sleep I've had in weeks, telling me Anne was on her way, and there was already a couple with a toddler waiting to see the place, and was it okay to let them in? “Take the dogs,” I told him, “and I'll invite them inside.” So I smoothed the bed, and slipped on shoes, and they wandered around my house. “Oooh,” said Wife, “There's room for your weight set here, and look at the bathroom? It's so cute.” (For those who don't know, the powder room on the first floor of our townhouse is painted to look like a field beyond a picket fence.)

They won't, I don't think, make an offer, because they seemed to really want one more bedroom, but they wanted to send a friend. At 4 PM Anne called us to let us know that about 30 people (though people means 'buying units' and could mean couples) wandered through. That's actually really good for the first weekend on the market. She thinks we may get offers this week. I'm trying not to hope, and yet I want this to go quickly, just because I want to move NOW. (Patience is not one of my virtues, these days).

So, even though I had drive-through Bento for my birthday dinner, and am now at work trying to catch up, at least I know all the work we did was not completely wasted. (Also, Anne herself was impressed, and the formerly-purple wall which I painted something kinda salmon-y looks AMAZING, and echoes one of the colors in the living room rug.

It's 5:26 on Sunday evening, and my weekend has been spent doing things that no one should have to do on their weekend, but, finally, it's DONE.

Three Good Things

Since I'm not going to work tomorrow, the guys decided a birthday lunch was in order for me today. Our company president bought lunch for the whole company for the occasion. Just Bento Boxes, but what an interesting mix of veggies in the tempura: It included asparagus and ube (a veryvery purple yam). Yum.

/And/ they gave me presents. They know my addictions too well, I think, for I received a B&N gift card and a Starbucks card.

Finally, the condo is actually on MLS. There's no picture yet, but it at least has a listing (some info is wrong, but hey.) this link takes you to the listing.

* * *
*sigh* I have painting to do. Still. Fuzzy complained that the paint I chose for the entry and bathroom is 'pale, almost white', but I explained that all I wanted was the merest hint of peachy-pink to warm the rooms a little. /I/ get to paint the tint on the big wall, which we primed by moonlight.

Also, the gardeners have done the bulk of the stuff in our back yard – we've never seen it vine free, and now it is, and mulched, and manured, and sprinkler heads are in, and Cleo's rolled in it, but Zorro's afraid of it. Tomorrow: SOD.