Sunday, December 20, 2009

And what did Santa bring for you?

I was just recalling a time when my friend's dad asked me what Santa brought me for Christmas. I must have been young enough where it was possible to still believe, but old enough to have a good deal of logic. I sat there and smiled because I didn't know what to say. Or maybe I didn't smile. Likely I had a look of panic and a tense smile that was moments away from turning into the ugly mouth that crumples before crying. I can find the words in writing, but in real life I'm usually stumped. I'd never believed in Santa but I couldn't say that there was no Santa in front of my friend! I didn't want to be the one to spill the secret. I also couldn't tell him what "Santa" did give me, because in knowing that Santa didn't exist I would be lying. I was such an honest kid that I didn't even know how to lie. I couldn't figure out how to say what my presents were without admitting they were from my parents. Finally I said, "I don't know" because I just didn't know what to say.

I think of that often and still wonder what my friend's dad thought of that strange little girl who didn't know what Santa brought her for Christmas.

Happy Holidays! Santa told me that I should say that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tasha vs Tasha

I'm having an argument with myself and trying to decide who wins.

I'm lucky right now and have a bit of a dream job. I get to edit and work at home. I don't have to go anywhere, which is awesome since I'm a homebody. I can stay home for days and be perfectly fine. (House arrest would be cake if I ever got in trouble.) I don't have to make fake chit chat or act cheery if I don't want to. I don't have someone looking over my shoulder. I can have bad hair days, my clothes don't have to match, I can talk to myself. I work with cats on my lap. Best of all? I don't even have to get dressed if I don't want to. And that's where the argument comes in.

This is a 7 month contract job that I'm 4 months into and I'll soon be "back to work." This is a much needed break from the "real work-world" and it feels like I'm getting time off. Part of me thinks I should get up early and get dressed every day so it's not such a shock when I have to do that again. The other part tells me I should relax and enjoy what I have while I have it.

Oddly, it just came to me a few weeks ago that I didn't HAVE to get up at 7:30 to start working at 9 or 9:30. I could get up at 8:50 if I want! Who says I have to put on a pair of pants that button when I can wear my pajama bottoms and a robe? I feel really special and fancy when I dress up now (get dressed, rather). Unfortunately, this is resulting in me not feeling so great about myself. I don't like that I feel lazy and unkempt and stagnant. I don't feel attractive. I'm in a rut where now I don't want to bike and I consider myself an avid cyclist. I'm starting to feel flabby and then I feel worse. Hey, let me have another beer and add more empty calories to my diet. Why isn't this enough motivation for me to get out there then? I know how good exercise makes me feel. Why do I feel MORE like staying in my pajamas and not doing anything for myself?

Why can't I thoroughly enjoy working from home AND keep myself motivated to take care of myself? Where's my balance? I wonder if this is how stay-at-home moms feel.

So, I continue to argue with myself while sitting at home in my pajamas, angry at myself that I'm not motivated to get up and go outside, while loving that I can sit here in my pajamas, but feeling ugly.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cruising in a cruiser

I've never been arrested, but when I was 20 I took a ride in the back of a cop car. In 1992 I was visiting my grandpa in Texas and I was going on morning bike rides on his old 3 speed bike. I'm an avid bicyclist now so I cringe when I look back and wonder what I was thinking - no helmet and no knowledge of road rules for bicycling in the street.

I always thought you should ride AGAINST traffic so you and the drivers could see each other but I ended up with my head breaking a car windshield and a tooth knocked out. Remember the part about no helmet? L-U-C-K-Y me! I was fine except for the tooth.

The cops came, an ambulance came, and I was knocked silly. So silly that the ambulance folks had to convince me to get out of the middle of the road where I was looking for my tooth. I really thought the dentist could put it back together. I know I argued with them, convinced I was right.

I was just a few blocks from my grandpa's house - I had ALMOST made it back - but the bike was so bent up that I couldn't push it or ride it so I ended up in the back seat of the cop car...I *think* I might have asked for a ride.

Now here is the embarrassing part. As I was sitting behind the wire fencing on the hard molded plastic seat of a police car giving directions while silly with shock, I recognized one of the cops as James K from my high school English class. (Did you know the back seat of a cop car was hard plastic and not plush? Makes sense if they have to hose it out. I think I even exclaimed my surprise and slid around for emphasis.) I was the shy girl who never spoke in class and there I was trying to be friendly and chatty with James, telling him I recognized him from high school! "Remember! From Mr. Frank's class? I sat next to you!"

At the time I was kind of put off that he was being all professional, acting like he didn't remember and telling me to calm down or something. When I think about it now from his perspective, I see a crazy bruised and bloody girl missing a front tooth, fingers through the wire mesh, trying to be uncharacteristically chatty and him trying to be cool in front of his partner. I can only imagine the ribbing he must have gotten after they dropped me off. "Oooh, you really attract those crazy girls!" The thing is, I thought he was a jerk in high school.

I hope that's the last time I am ever locked in the back of a cop car. I don't think any other reason for being there would be as funny.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No more splinters

It appears our landlord is going to replace the deck with some of that fancy recycled plastic stuff that looks good forever. This is great news since there are several places where the wood is soft and rotten, there's a hornets' nest tucked up under it, and oh, it looks like shit.

I've enjoyed three things about the deck in the year I've lived here: sunshine, being up high, and peeling the paint. I like to peel paint. Someone years back decided to paint it a terrible pale blueish gray and years of Seattle weather have caused it to curl and peel, much to my delight. I can't describe the thrill I get on a hot day when the remaining paint is soft and pliable and I can peel it like sunburned skin. Oh the rush when a big section comes up!

Today, the first day of fall, was nearly 90 degrees and the paint peeled just how I like it to come up. I'm excited to have a new deck where I won't have to wonder if my foot is going to fall through or if I'll get splinters in my toes, but I'll have to find something else to be neurotic about while I sit on the new deck.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sharing the oddities

I'm going to try posting here more often with just some random thoughts or things that bring me joy rather than only when I have a story to tell.

Here's today's thing that made me smile and feel a little goofy. I have weighted contact lenses to correct a slight astigmatism. When I look at the lenses I can tell which part should be at the bottom 6 o'clock position. I like to put them in with the weighted half at the top so that I can feel them turn into the correct position and watch my vision get more and more sharp with each blink.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Well that was weird

As if a waxing appointment wasn't awkward enough, I had one the other day that has prompted a post so I can stop thinking about it! I didn't go to my regular location so I didn't see the woman who usually leaves me bare and smooth and I don't think I'll do that again. I hope my lady never leaves and she'll one day wax my 80 year old legs.

Before I ever had my legs waxed I thought it would be horrifying to lie there half naked, hairy legs exposed, and twisted into unnatural positions while someone else rips my hair out. I can deal with the pain, but I thought I would eventually run out of places to go because how could I face the same person again after she's seen me like THAT? Well, the unexpected thing is that this vulnerability makes me want only one person to help me out. I started feeling protective of myself and now I don't want just anyone seeing me in my undies.

The whole thing was awkward and clunky. I rode my bike there from work and since it was a hot day I was wearing my skorts, which is an awful name by the way. As I waited at lights standing with my bike I could imagine the bicyclists behind me STARING at my man legs wondering why that dude was wearing a pink top and a skort. I could feel the breeze whipping those little long hairs around catching the sun and reflecting them like tinsel. I felt like I took the tassels from my handle bars and stuck them on my legs.

You would think that I'd feel comfortable sitting in the waiting area of a waxing salon among my people, but it turns out most women hide behind pants until their legs are ready to come out in public again. Not me! I sit there with nowhere to hide willing my time to hurry up while trying to cool off and dry my sweat. At last, hurray! Here she comes to bring me back. Oh wait. Did I get the new girl? Awww hell.

I turn into a dork in new situations. I just can't play it cool and look like I know what I'm doing. There at the new location with different decor and a different layout with a different esthetician, there's a different routine. She was soft spoken and timid and as I stood up to greet her she said something, turned, and disappeared down the hallway into the room. Did she ask me to give her a minute? Should I just stand here with my tinsel legs and wait for her to come back? Is she waiting for me in the room wondering where I am? When will she come back for me? Why am I just STANDING here? Maybe she asked me to come on back. Just a minute. Come on back. They don't even have the same number of syllables. What did she SAY? Why would she come out for me if she wasn't ready, right? OK I'm going back and I hope I don't walk in one someone naked.

It turns out she wasn't ready and I startled her when she turned around. It became an Eddie Izzard moment, "Oh, I....sorry, should I.....oh, I'll just....ok." Somehow she was also communicating it was ok, go ahead and put the bag down and hop up on this table. And because I just HAD to explain myself I tried to tell her what was going through my head in the waiting area, but sometimes it's just better to smile and move on. I forget that just because I surround myself with people who GET me, who are all a little bit out of the ordinary, the normal unsuspecting stranger isn't necessarily going to think it's as funny as I do. Yeah.

I don't understand the practice of leaving the room for privacy while I take off my stupid skort when in just a couple of minutes she'll see me in my underwear anyway. I quickly wiggled out of my bike stuff, sat on the table, and oh no not THIS AGAIN! Which way should I have my legs? OK that way - there's where the wax pot is. But wait, should I be on my back or my stomach? Why doesn't this lady speak up and give me some instruction? Well, I'll just sit here with this ridiculous tea towel covering half my lap. After forever has passed she finally came back in looking confused that I wasn't in The Position. And it never got better.

After she started doing her thing, I couldn't hear what she was mumbling so I'm not sure if she was making conversation or giving me instructions. Eventually I stopped saying, "what?!" and decided to just smile. And when she would suddenly move my leg I'd startle and stiffen in surprise and she'd be wrestling with my locked leg trying to maneuver me into a pose. It must have looked funny. I think we fed off each others awkwardness and I never relaxed like I do with the woman I usually see. Thankfully I was not there for a Brazilian and I'm used to this kind of torture because she hadn't quite mastered a technique. It was more painful than usual.

In the end it was worth it. The cool breeze soothed my legs on the ride home and I didn't even mind standing at the lights. I had hoped I'd impress the other bikers with my smooth legs, but that appointment took so long that I was the lone bicyclist on the normally crowded spandex highway. At least now I can continue to wear my skort even if I do get that weird summer tan line.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Egg Kabunza!

I'm sure most people have had a version of this delicious egg and toast breakfast. This was one of the few things my dad could make that would always turn out great.

We had a special orange tupperware cookie cutter that made the perfect size hole in the bread. After making the hole (you can also use a cup!) you crack an egg into the bread while it's on the skillet. Fry the egg and flip the whole thing. You can then use the punched out hole to mop up the yolk.

I'm curious what other people call this. In our house it was called Egg Kabunza. I didn't realize until later that this was a name my dad made up and no wonder no one else ever knew what I was talking about when I asked if they wanted an Egg Kabunza for breakfast.

Monday, May 25, 2009

That One Time I Moo'd

I look forward to my bike ride to work. For me it's a half hour to fully wake up and start feeling alive. I don't know if I'm a morning person or not. I enjoy the quietness, color of the sky, and the crisp undisturbed air. But I can't carry on a conversation and I get grumpy if I try. Years ago, I quickly found out that the 5 a.m. barista shift was not for me. A grumpy morning talker trying to serve espresso to grumpy people pre-caffeine? I'm surprised I wasn't fired. If I had my way, customers would have written their orders on scrap paper and if they didn't make eye contact with me I might make their drink. It would depend on if they had brushed their teeth.

For the sake of this story, I'll say I'm a morning person unless there are other people involved. Something happened last week. The sun was warm, the sky was clear and blue, birds were chirping, and the flowers looked just right in the morning light. What's this feeling? Happy in the morning? My usual scowl must have softened and the prickly warning I emit cautioning others not to even bother nodding a hello turned fluffy. I passed another bicyclist while walking through the Ballard Locks and I found myself turning my head to look at him, smiling, and saying hello. WHAT? And then I matched his pace for an exchange about the weather? And can you believe I didn't even want to push him over the fence into the duck-filled water below?

After I passed him and turned the corner I came across an oncoming bicyclist. I was still in shock over my pleasant morning encounter and was running the conversation over in my head. My shackles had not yet raised back up and while I was still showing signs of pleasantry, this second bicyclist nodded and said hello. Because of the activity in my head and being somewhat surprised, my greeting didn't come out as planned. My brain tried to say hi, g'morning, and good day all at the same time but it came out as "guhrmooooooooo....."

And I didn't even look around to see who else might have seen me walking by myself, mooing, and laughing out loud. It was the kind of good morning that makes the rest of my day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Five Years!

Happy Anniversary to us! On May 25 we'll celebrate five years together, and what a wonderful time we've had. This was taken outside of Buffalo, NY on our elopement/honeymoon/vacation trip in October 2008. It was the perfect wedding. Just our style.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Burpless Muncher!

A few weeks ago my neighbor and I planted a garden! There was some existing space and because the sun is just so great at the south end of the yard, he dug up some more space. We now have over 500 square feet of garden space.

It turns out, the garden was a major selling point for both of us to move into the side-by-side duplex. He and his roomie moved in a month before me and my husband. Fortunately we all like each other because we share one big backyard and a deck that runs along the back of the house. No fences for us.

Neighbor-J knows a lot about gardening. His parents live on a farm so he's putting his knowledge to good use, and I am getting experience learning from a master. I've been going outside every day to check on the seedlings, but thanks to some freak SNOW on April 1, it hasn't been warm enough for anything to come up.

We'll have a full crop of strawberries, rhubarb, peas, beans, tomatoes, salad greens, beets, and a few sunflowers and poppies. My favorite thing we planted though? It HAS to be the burpless muncher cucumbers, not so much for the actual fruit (fruit right? it has seeds...) but for the name.

"What are you eating? That looks delicious!"
"Oh, it's just a salad I made from my burpless munchers! Bite?"