Monday, August 17, 2009

Hell Week Begins: Day 1

Ok folks, back from a week of travel, well rested thanks to a day of honest-to god-thunderstorms on Saturday and ready for Hell Week. Bring on the puking, I'm ready!

Maybe I should explain.

In college, the week before exams was called "dead week". This, as we all know, was for two reasons: a) because life was cancelled except for studying (meaning, things were 'dead') and b) for those of us who were diligent; the hours we put in studying liked to kill us.... or b.2) For those of us who didn't put those hours in studying, I guess you could say we spent dead week digging our own grave. I, being the brilliant and supportive spouse that I am, bailed and went to Minnesota for dead week. You see, DHB takes his board exams this Wednesday and Friday. We call this 'hell week'.

I must admit, I was a little unimpressed with the twin cities area. However, when I spent 4 or 5 hours meandering through the back roads of southern Minnesota into Wisconsin along the Mississippi river.... gorgeous. (alas, I digress, this entry isn't about me... more on this as soon as my photos are available).

So, dead week is down and hell week begins today. Here's my three part strategy: 1) Junk food, 2) keep my head down, 3) mindless television.

1) DHB could out chocolate me on the worst hormonal day of my life. Its really like living with a bulimic only more compulsive and without the purge. In anticipation of this I have collected the following: Ghirridelli triple chocolate with extra chocolate inside brownies, one dozen chocolate iced donuts from the bakery, mini chocolate iced donettes (for easier portability and less guilt when eaten en mass) One pound of Reasen chocolate candies, Cakesters, and chocolate syrup. I still have to get the 'pot of chocolate' from the chocolate shop run by dwarfs down the street (no, I do not jest) and some filler (like potato chips and mountain dew). If I'm missing anything let me know.

2) Keep my head down: Yeah, I haven't really gotten this one as worked out yet. I'm knitting under a deadline... maybe that will help? I'm open to suggestions. Will probably need to solicit your assistance on this one.

3) Mindless television: This one is really to keep him from calling out the names and characteristics of various disorders in his sleep. Lets face it, its both disruptive and disturbing. I had a great solution to this: Dexter. (DHB is to violence as DHB is to chocolate) Problem is, I really don't think I can handle Dexter anymore (no clue when I became such a wuss, but I think it was the addition of Jimmy Schmitz). We've been through all of the original CSI's on demand (none of the NY or Miami crap) and DHB just doesn't have the same affinity for HGTV's If Walls Could Talk that I do. So... I'm thinking season three of Everest. Something mindless to suck us in and tune us out for 5 more blessed days.

So.... more than anything, I suppose this is simply a heads up, a plea for support and part one in what promises to be a very entertaining series of blogs. If you have any coping mechanisms to share, please, by all means don't hold back!!!

Wish us luck!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Quickening the Fibers of the Soul

A formal happy Friday to you!

Let me just say, if you survived this week, you deserve a hearty congratulations, pat on the back, stiff drink, trip to Disney, whatever. Between the full moon and the lunar eclipse, I don't know a soul who has gone unscathed. It's really just a bad combination any way you cut it. All that said, do think it marked the start of Monsoon season here in SLC.

I've been starting to mourn the absence of rain here. Seriously, I grew up in hurricane country, where we sit on our porches, under a sky that has exposes the parts of mother-nature that bring the strongest of men to their knees, taking in the storm until we feel the storm might take us. We plan supper time around the evening rain, because it washes away our day and lets us breathe easily enough to enjoy our food and our families. We believe that the purpose of the sweltering heat is so that we can run through the soaking wet grass with no shoes. We create by the splinters of light that open the sky in the dark nights of July.

So, I've literally been mourning. Don't get me wrong, the sunshine and blue skies are nice, but after every day for a month and a half you start to become hostile, drawing the shades, hiding under the covers and taking your inner Wednesday Adams to an extreme.... or maybe that's just me? This is exactly what I was doing on Wednesday afternoon around 6:30 when I heard my text message notifier ding (actually its more of a gong... a little ominous... but that's irrelevant). I was comfortable and not moving. It went off again. I burrowed deeper. The phone started ringing. I ignored it as guilt started creeping in. Finally I talked myself into getting up and seeing who was interrupting my angst-fest. Three guesses.... it was the same guy who I have a sneaking suspicion switched out my regular coffee for decaf this morning and continues to play hide the toilet paper just out of Julie's reach, putting her in a very awkward situation at least once a week. (Yes, I believe he does have a death wish - one of you might want to reach out and stage some sort of intervention).

Despite his twisted sense of humor, the darling man, who has taken notice of my sunshine induced disdain, was calling me to make sure I was watching the rain move in.

I squealed. I squealed and bounced and jumped and skipped and did a few CanCan kicks. I ran to the front room upstairs and sure enough, you could see it pouring in the mountains and raining so hard in the city that it was completely removed from view. I threw open the windows and took a deep breath. I breathed it in, held it and then bounded (yes, I bounded) down stairs as the first drops started to fall.

The 6-8 week mark is usually when my eccentricities start popping out in plain view of the neighbors. No sense in hiding it, so, true to form, pajamas and all, I grabbed a bag of peanuts and my dog Bodhi and headed for the middle of the front yard. I plopped my giddy ass down in the grass cross-legged. Bodhi, who understands the 'oh she's dropped her basket' routine, sat down next to me at rapt attention, keeping guard and sensing that this was a very important and strange mission he had been asked to be a part of... and then the rain came. There we sat, planted, faces towards the sky, sniffing the air, getting soaking wet, shelling and sharing peanuts and laughing manically (well Bodhi wasn't laughing but he was wagging his tail manically) for a good 10 or 15 minutes until the rain moved out.

Now granted it was only 10 minutes or so of rain, but it was enough of a fix to whet my appetite for more. Fortunately the wind blew with a purpose yesterday and there's another chance of rain today and tomorrow.

If this is monsoon season, it means two things. 1) I'm just going to be obnoxiously elated for the foreseeable future and 2) it will be followed with a quickness by ... wait for it... Fall.... and if you don't know what fall does to my head space, well... you're about to find out. (no worries, its a good time)

No moral this time kids.... only this... if you get a thick, rolling, heady, baritone, feel it in your chest, thunderstorm.... work your way through it with every expression of passion you can think of on my behalf ok?

So much love.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peeking Down the Rabbit Hole and How Not To Go Hiking...

Hollah!!!!!!! (I answered the phone like that the other day to one of my co-workers and was greeted with extended silence and a then very haughty "why do you talk like that".... like its a regular thing or something. I mean, normally its something along the lines of "Good afternoon, this is Julie!". He's a little touchy though and his sense of humor requires a pair of high-end jumper cables at a minimum. Anyway... Hollah.

I really only have a brief second because I have a conference call starting in exactly 32 minutes that requires moderate preparation. (Yes boys and girls, that would be 6:30 my time. I'm taking phoning it in to a whole new level).

I mentioned in an earlier post that this is open season at work for the months of July, August, and September, all you can really do is put your head down and pray. That being the case, I realized yesterday as I was wrapping up for the day, I've showered twice since Friday. All I have eaten is a bowl of soup in last 48 hours, haven't worn anything but various renditions of pajamas since Saturday... maybe Friday... not sure and was struggling to remember the last time I left the house. Not so much the darkness (though poor DHB might beg to differ) as just running raged and no time! (It is way to early to be hearing the Guess Who in my head). So yesterday when I wrapped up at 3, I spent an hour returning to human form, complete with exfoliant, astringent, and bless my soul... perfume. I then put on matching clothes and decided that some fresh air was in order.

I had heard of a dog park not far from here so I thought that would be a nice way for me to get some fresh air without getting all nasty after my shower and give the dogs some exercise as well. I thought this, because where I come from, more often than not, dog parks resemble a glorified, over-sized back yard. After all, this one is right in the middle of downtown, across the street from the capital building. Take a minute, to share my vision... Me in my white shorts and pretty blue tank top with gleaming, shiny, very clean hair just drying in the sun, leisurely tossing a tennis ball while my two golden retrievers frolic through the freshly cut grass. (yikes.... bad romantic comedy, much?) No fear, I my vision was misdirected and I was circumstantially saved from lameness by the grace of ... well.. maybe grace is not the best choice of words here.

Turns out, dog park in SLC means hiking. Now, I'm totally down with hiking. I just usually like to have shoes on. Maybe a hair tie. Some water is always a good idea, but I don't want to be accused of being high maintenance. Give me the hair tie, I'll pass on the water. It started out misleading. We meandered down ... straight down.... this beautiful paved sidewalk over looking the canyon. It was relatively landscaped with statues and what not. I just figure the big back yard in my vision was a the bottom of the hill. It was paved. How was I to know. So we got to the bottom (from 10th ave to 1st ave if that helps put it in perspective) and saw this pretty little trail. So, we proceeded. Then we found a creek. Curious. Dharma is only normal when she's in water so I couldn't resist. They jumped in. We continued. Long story short, as usual, I ended up diving down the rabbit hole ("Hmmm... I wonder what's around this corner, oh my, how strange is that! Uh oh, I've lost the trail. Um.. I can't get up that hill without shoes on and the creek bank and path are gone. I'll just hike in the stream. Gee, climbing up on this moss covered dam with slippery flip flops seems like a great idea... oh my god i almost died. Oooh, what's that!"

Long story short, I almost fell off a dam and died, I flirted with heat stroke, I cut my foot, my shorts are ruined, I had to take another shower, the dogs smell like a swamp, and it was the absolute best afternoon I've had in ages.

All that said, the moral of this blog, ladies and gentlemen, screw the big backyard, when given the option. Always take the rabbit hole. Always.