Monday, September 29, 2008

The Controls

So before I blab about the Democrat dinner, I want to moan a little about my shishi apartment. I hate this place, and I really need to stop saying that because my kids are beginning to copy me. But I have some valid complaints, and not all of them about about the size, or lack thereof.

The forced air is as forced as I can ever imagine. It is GALE FORCE winds. We've named the passenger side of the bed Galviston. And whoever sleeps there is going to wake up with wind-blown hair and a dry, cracked upper respiratory system. The so-called "control" for this is a big screen, wall mounted, touch screen computer in the hallway. You can press anything you want on that screen and it won't make a lick of difference. Fan: on, off, auto, whatever. You have four different time periods you can schedule the temp for, but no one's listening. I have shivered and chilled all summer long with the AC cranked so high, I was actually craving hot cocoa on a 103* day. I'm still wearing my fluffy, sheepskin slippers. So, I've been using the worlds most high tech and effective AC controls: pillows. I toss them over any and all unruly vents until I feel about right. But now that it's fall, and I still can't turn the AC off, it might be time to call the landlord. So that's one benefit of renting: if something's broken you just call the landlord and they'll send someone out to fix the fridge in a week or two or whenever they get around to it.

So tonight, suffering under the violation of an AC assault, I turned to our newly visible fireplace (it was covered in bikes until now). I wanted to install one in our last house, be we were unsure about insurance rates, as it was already a shaky deal, and a fireplace just never made it up to the top of the list of priorities during the time we lived there. So I never got my winter fire, and it hurts my little soul. But here, I thought, I may have fire. So I flipped the little switch and the gaudiest and most atrocious painted fire I have ever seen, beyond even my worst and ugliest nightmares, lights up. And instead of tears of joy at my long sought reunion with fire, I wept tears of sorrow. It was so horrible, it was worse than no fire. I will spend another winter, apparently, huddling around a candle, hoping that one little genuine flame will somehow warm and ignite my soul.

I haven't wanted to clean the apartment, and most of you who know me won't find that to be surprising. But I haven't been cleaning it, which is something I can usually force myself to do. But this place is so soul-suckingly bland that I find no spiritual benefit from clean or messy. I can't tell the difference in how I feel. But a new Wenatchee friend, Rita, was telling me that she switched recently from viewing her garage as a problem to be fixed to asking herself, "What do I want to create here?" And that inspired me to do the same. So I did a lot of re-arranging this weekend and things look much more livable: note the photo of bikes in the bedroom. But my heart still cringes every time I step over the threshold into this den of beige.

Okay, I'm done with that for now. I'll move on to the topic of kidspeak.
Me, "I sure hope that so-n-so-who-ever-probably-some-rich-politician has to eat crow some day."
Coyote, "That's not good!"
Me, "Oh why is that? You think I'm being to hard on him?"
Coyote, "Crow is MEAT!"
The photo is of Coyote helping Huck with the cider press.

About The Dinner: I was worried I wouldn't know anyone there, but the entire Unitarian church attended, so I was not alone. I hung out with Rita, a very cool woman the same age as my mom. And I talked with Renae, a mom of young kids. We went bike riding together this summer. As fortune would have it, we got seats at a table of Unitarians and I sat next to another amazing lady, Mary Ellen, and I ended up sitting next to her again in church the next morning.

Gregoire breezed in, gave a funny, rousing speech, and then ran out again. So I didn't get to meet her. This is probably for the best, since I'm totally star struck and this sort of state causes me to blather incoherently. So I'm actually thankful I didn't get a chance to make a fool out of myself. I learned, though, that she was raised by a single mom in Auburn, WA, who worked as a short order cook and lacked a high school diploma. I also learned that her opponent plans to lower the minimum wage by $1.50 and deregulate health care, as he stated at the recent gubernatorial debates.

Gregoire was amazing, but I was even more taken with Goldmark's speech. He's running for Commissioner of Public Lands. He wasn't the most polished speaker, but he had substance. And after listing to some major failings of the current commissioner (which involve rubber stamping Weyerhauser's requests so stupidly that it resulted in major mudslides, wiping out Centralia's municipal water system), he actually stated that he has a personal relationship with the land. He actually spoke about his spiritual and emotional connection to the earth!! IT was AMAZING! He was the last speaker in a long night, so I may have been the only one left paying attention, but his speech really resonated with me.

And also, Huck's playing in Ska band tonight. Today, the kids had their first day of Karate, which was Blue's idea and I don't know where she got it. The kids spent the weekend in Spokane; the last one probably as my parents are moving to Salem, OR for my dad's new position as a pastor at a church there. Well, I'm glad SOMEBODY is hiring!

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