Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The long season of waiting

Inside flowers are blooming and the temperatures are nearly tropical if you huddle at the edge of the charred circle in front of the the heater. I've taken the hammer to the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom... curtains, lights, linens, storage, give away. We are stuck in this house for at least six more months and without the specter of school eating away at my soul I have taken with fierce vigilance to making this house livable. Forget the last two year, I couldn't think that far outside of myself.

As it turns out the school where I was recently hired called me with only one class available, a M/W class, 5 hours a week interpreting. They called me at the end of the first week of classes, the next Monday was a holiday. Tuesday we were snow stormed, snow ambushed really, and the campus was closed for three days. I am going to throw a little fit if I have to delay gratification any longer. Monday will be my first day unless there is a flood or plague. My throat daren't feel a little scratchy.

They said rain mixed with snow, and only a 20% chance at that. They totally lied. We rarely get 4-6 inches of nice powdery snow here and when we do we celebrate by crashing into each other and bringing all commerce and civil services to a screeching halt. At my house we lit up the BBQ and filed the runners on our sleds. I live on the awesomest hill for sledding.

I got out my snowboard before anything and strapped in. About halfway down the hill I couldn't take all the broken bones anymore. I might have to hang my hat up after 12 years of boarding. Can it be?

I have to go return pants now. Pants! Can you believe that?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thank you, Service Industry, thank you

The Sunday afternoon shift generally is about as bad as it gets, slow and old the time passes not hardly at all... what I expected. Except this Sunday afternoon I made rent in a few short hours.

Servers and bartenders in general out drink everyone. Writers and trust fundies, and frat boys included. Industry people as we are called, are the ninja gladiators of alcohol consumption and a large group of servers with an open bar tab is a lucrative and dangerous arrangement indeed. This group was set loose by my same owner, though from a different establishment.

In no time at all they went right to the top shelf. (hiii-ya) I was heartbroken to inform them that "No, we do not carry Louis XIII cognac but if we did I would line it up stat! in shot glasses for you, unfortunately the best I can to is dirty old Scotch. Old, old Scotch." *Sigh*

I have to admit, I feel a bit of a twinge watching kids shooting single malt scotch that is one, older then they are and two, costs more then one paycheck could cover. Does alcohol deserve our reverence at all?? However, my devious third thought was I should have ordered one more because four, my boss is picking up the tab and five if I ran off with a shot of Macallan 25 it would mean another eight dollars on my tip and I can not see one single downside to this arrangement.

But I didn't. Now I wish I had because I will never buy one for myself.

Meanwhile, without reservation I served car bombs and shots of Patron and fruity martinis until the check was as long as my arm. When the tab was cut off they slapped me on the back full of love and adoration, then trailed out into the night, not hardly a sign of intoxication on them.

Something as ephemeral as a swarm of beer-locust I can not contain. I knew I could only love them as long as they chose to stay, then so bittersweet, set them free to the next bar.

Soft landings babies!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

I am effective and efficient

Today was a big day. A mighty mighty big day. I hung new curtains and bought a wedding dress. Who knew it could be so simple.

As it turns out I will only have one class a week to interpret. Don't all jump at once but if you need interpreting services I am available part time. Or if you need someone to walk around your office with a tray of drinks I can do that too.

In the meantime, I am going to go remodel something.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


When I went into the coffee shop this morning the sky was only eleven feet off the ground and snowing furiously, big and gorgeously. I was there ostensibly to pick up newspaper with which to clean every interior window in my house, a task I literally catapulted myself out of bed for. A half an hour later I looked up from the crossword puzzle to see the sky clear blue and blinding, horizon to horizon.

I rushed home to make a snowman.


I washed all my interior windows, and what the hell... washed all the exterior windows too. The out-of-doors was hot blinding blue ice cold and with gloves and smartwool and boots I got numb still all the way down. I got a pole with a squeegee and every time I reached up high my pants nearly fell off me. My cat sat at my heels.

I washed every window in and out, then washed all the bedding, pillows too, all the towels, mats, rugs, and curtains. I swept all the floors, took out the garbage, packed up books, donated shoes, dusted and vacuumed. Then I rearranged the bedroom, from east to west and barely made it to work on time.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Cocktail waitress

It is 4:48 am. I just got home, almost an hour past my bedtime. This whole thing, this whole "I'm suddenly a runner again" thing is killing me. My knee is swollen all sorts of ways, so bad that my knee cap disappeared after walking on it all night for 10 hours of work after running. The closing shift sucks. I remember this summer when I worked till close after running a 24 mile training run in the morning, then came in for 10 hours on my feet.

I wish I had a topographical map so I could see how steep the downhill slope I went down for the last three months was... it was vertical. I used to have days like this before I even got out of bed.

Coming home at 4am my house actually smells like cocaine. I don't know what combination of cleaning products the man, Clark, used while I was gone but my house smells like post-nasal cocaine drip... from what I have heard. I don't really know actually.


I wrote and posted this after coming home from work, then realized it really did sound like I was out partying, which I was not. My knee was insulted and swoll up so I couldn't even bend it and I should have just stayed on the couch elevating and icing.

While I was Running With Music (tm) yesterday I got charged by a pit bull the neighbors were chasing with rake handles. At the last minute the he veered off and went for a lap dog instead. Every one got very excited and called the police. I didn't pee my pants but I think I twisted my knee.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Onward Goddamnit

I'm all full of endorphins, a super-rad rocket ship of euphoria. I invented a new thing tonight that I call Running With Music. In this blaze of glory begins my training for the next marathon. I know, it is ten months away but my resolution for 2007 is to run the Portland Marathon in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

What I didn't elaborate on back in October is that I trained to run the marathon in 4:10. Over zealous and devil may care, I practically overtook the pacer bounding along with a 3:50 balloon over his head between mile three and four. I decided Here! was my pace and with a fantastic glory in my mind charged the course with the 3:50ers for 13.1 miles, until I was all used up. I let the red balloon slowly pull away and vanish. It was a very sobering moment.

In the end I finished with the exact time I set out to run but instead of feeling triumphant I was disappointed and unsatisfied. I think I could have run a 4 hour marathon if my eyes hadn't gotten so big. I could have run a 3:50 marathon if I had had a little more faith in myself when I had set my goal in the first place.

I could have run a 3:50 marathon if I hadn't been so wussy about having a heart-attack or a little death on the course. If only I had manned up, I could have and should have.

So I can't be shy this year. I can't know I should have set the bar higher in the end.

Other resolutions for the NEW YEAR 2007: Some are new, and some are repeats from years past, years in which I failed (BOO, HISS)... yes failed.

I am going to become a morning person. Within a few short days of finishing school I snapped back into my 4am schedule. I am hard wired this way but I try and will try again. I am going to do my running in the early mornings and be all perky and alive. You won't even know me.

Maybe too this will reduce the number of mysterious ailments I bring back from my dreams... swollen knuckle, pinched earlobe, eerie premonition...

Anyway, in this most recent attempt I have developed a taste for valerian root tea which most people find disgusting, but then, that is what they said about beer the first time they tried it too.

I am going to run 1000 miles this year. I have tried this for the last few years and then go take 20 credits and have a breakdown, or come up with tendonitis or break something or go vacationing. This goal means an average of 20 miles a week, despite wedding or weakness.


Get married. My, our way. The tides are strong. I keep getting swept up in what a wedding should be.

Be a better friend, a better daughter, a better stranger, a better face in the crowd, a better Buddhist, a better athlete, a better animal, a more honest liar, an awesome interpreter, a better relaxer/notcarer, a better debt payer/notimpulse buyer, a frequenter blogger, a laundry folder,

... there is no end to the list of improvements I could make. I resolve every day anew.


I forgot to mention one of the best highlights of 2006. My father took up running last fall. I like to think I was his inspiration. I sent him a ten week training schedule that over the course of 10 weeks will build a runner. He built himself into a 30 minute runner and on Christmas we ran. It was awesome.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Last week I cleaned out the fridge, wipe wipe wipe. Being energy conscious I turned to dial to off before I transported all the food to the counter, propped open the door and began scrubbing *hallelujah* . I chuck the expired and sometimes fuzzy food, then wiped down each jar and bottle before placing it back in the fridge with an eye for the interior design, food feng shui .

48 hours later Clark is hollering with great sadness from the kitchen. His popsicles are melted. And the bloodworms I keep for the frogs. The bananas I keep frozen for smoothies are sugary fragrant. I forgot to turn the fridge back on. Drat me.

One thing about Clark you might not know, he is a popsicle eating dynamo. He prefers the sugar-free popsicles he says because you can eat them all night and not get a stomach ache. This might not be of concern to a popsicle amatuer but Clark eats popsicles by the case. More often then not he tastes like a grape when I kiss him.

As often, I come home to find him in the middle of a popsicle bacchanalia with the heat cranked up to 90 degrees, bare feet and short sleeves. And unrepentant.

The gas bill came today... so besides the pool of worm blood in the freezer there are other hells to pay. Still, I swear, I didn't do it on purpose.


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