TTDNST: Icebergs

I feel kind of bad.  It’s been about two weeks since I wrote a Things That Do Not Suck Thursday post.  I know, blogger feature fail.  No use crying over absentminded bloggers, though, is there?  Let’s just move right along and pretend not to notice that little blip on the radar.  Kinda like when you’re swimming in a pool with little kids, and you swim through a warm spot and you know exactly who did it but there’s really no use pointing it out because all that will do is make the kid cry and that’s the last thing you need to be responsible for is some little kid crying.

So, I’ve been kinda into icebergs lately.  Can’t imagine why.  It’s not like I’ve been living in an inferno for the last week or anything.  Ahem.  Wes and I were watching the “Ice Worlds” episode of Planet Earth recently and I just couldn’t get over how pretty icebergs are.  This led me to believe that icebergs would be a swell thing to feature as my Thing That Does Not Suck.  Don’t worry though, I’ll pepper the pretty pictures with some fun trivia.

Do you feel cooler yet?

Do you feel cooler yet?

The process of iceberg formation is called carving, and when the icebergs fall apart it’s called calving.  No, they’re not turkeys or cows, so I have no idea why carving and calving were selected to describe the birth and death of icebergs.  Just go with it, yeah?

This iceberg is extra aerodynamic.

This iceberg is extra aerodynamic.

The air trapped in a fully formed iceberg could be as old as 3000 years old, which is pretty cool seeing as how that’s probably the purest air to be found anywhere nowadays.  The sound icebergs make when they melt is described as a fizzing sound.  This is caused by all the tiny little air bubbles escaping.  Incidentally, those air bubbles are also why icebergs are white.

Wouldn't you just love to sail through that arch?

Wouldn't you just love to sail through that arch?

There was a secret WWII plan, called Habbukuk, to manufacture icebergs to use as aircraft carriers.  I don’t think that one worked out, though.  Would’ve been cool though.

The Heat Invasion

It’s been a weird year.  First we had the longest, coldest winter I can ever recall enduring.  Temperatures down to 10 degrees for several days straight, so much snow you could almost imagine seeing penguins lugeing down the street past the mailboxes and frozen-shut cars.  We bundled up and hibernated through the cold as best we could, but spring was a long time coming and it didn’t truly start warming up until May.

Well.  Color me daft for pleading for sunshine because now we’ve got it.  Buckets of it.  Steaming, stinking buckets of sunshine pervading our lives and liquefying the rubber right off our cars.  Heat wave?  This isn’t a heat wave.  This is a heat deluge.  An infestation, an occupation, an effing hostile takeover.  Washington should never get this hot.  We’re simply not equipped.  Very few houses are air conditioned, and the local stores never remember to stock up on enough fans which means that two days into a hot weather streak there is no comfort to be found anywhere.

Our house was 89 degrees yesterday (it was almost 100 degrees outside), and this was after all the windows had been shut all day and the drapes were drawn over every window.  Do you have any idea what it’s like to try to fall asleep when it’s that hot in your house?  No?  Allow me to paint you a picture…

You trudge upstairs, cursing your tank top-and-shorts ensemble for being too warm.  The window is open but the only way you can tell is because more hot air is flooding in.  You step into your room and let out an involuntary gasp because it’s literally like standing in a sauna.  The heat is oppressive, and as you lay back on top of the sheets of your bed you can feel waves of heat rising from your mattress.  You imagine yourself as a pizza, cooking slowly on a hot slab of stone.  You drift into a fitful, twitchy sleep only to awake when a drip of your own sweat pools in your eye and startles you awake.  You blearily gaze at the clock, with it’s stupid red numbers, and you despair at having to spend another six hours and thirteen minutes roasting alive.  You close your eyes again and try to fall back asleep, but all you can do is recoil in horror at the sensation of feeling your skin emitting more sweat.  The night passes slowly, and you awake in the morning feeling pummeled and sore, like instead of sleeping you were rolling around in the clothes dryer all night.

It’s distinctly possible that moving the throw pillows off our bed last night prompted me to burst into tears over the prospect of yet another sleepless night.  It’s also distinctly possible that watching penguins on Planet Earth as well as Wes telling me he loves me also made me cry, so maybe don’t put too much weight on that particular statement.  However!  It’s hot!  And I’m not sleeping!  Which means one thing: miserable pregnant woman.


I think we might have found a way to cope with the dreaded heat, though.  I crash on the floor of our basement, where it’s slightly cooler, until about midnight when the upstairs is a little more manageable.  Wes wakes me and we trudge up to bed together, sleeping with the windows and curtains open and three different fans going.  It’s noisy and bright, but infinitely better than the alternative (sleeping in the hot, oppressive, quiet dark).

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for dealing with a heat wave?  Suggestions welcome!

The Shield Finale Tantrum

Anyone out there a fan of The Shield?  Or, should I say, used to be a fan of the show since it’s officially over and done with?  Wes and I were big fans of the show for a long time now.  He got me into it back during the very beginning of our relationship.  Back then, if I was watching TV it was either because of a good movie or because I wanted to kill some time watching the Classical Arts Showcase.  When Wes suggested The Shield to me, I initially balked.  The show was on too late, it was really violent, and he never wanted to come watch it with me.

No thanks.

Then, I went to college.  College changed things, the most dramatic changes being that I was now a good three hours’ drive away from Wes the majority of the time and I was watching more TV than I ever had before.  I was ready to try this show he was so excited about.  Every week, Wes and I would commandeer a TV (him at his house, I in my dorm room) and watch the program while on the phone with each other.  Mind you, this entailed a solid hour of cell phone call, none of it spent talking.  We watched the show together from opposite sides of the state, and it was something we looked forward to every week.

As you can see, this show’s been with us for a long time.  Seven years, in fact.  A lot has changed in our relationship during this show.  We’ve broken up, gotten back together, gotten engaged and then married; we’ve gone from living with parents to living on our own; this show’s seen me through high school, college, and now worker-bee-dom.  I know I butchered the syntax of that sentence, but I hope you get what I’m trying to convey.  This show meant a lot to us.  We kind of grew up with these characters, and while we despised virtually every decision they made, we watched and we hoped for the best outcome because there was a connection there.

The last season, which we just finished almost a year behind everyone else because that’s how we roll, was a dismal finish for us.  Both Wes and I were horrified by how the show writers chose to leave it.  The last episode in particular was perhaps the most hurtful of all.  The show writers left a few loose story threads dangling, they chose an abhorrent and upsetting end for some, and left the main character’s fate maddeningly ambiguous.  I don’t think it’s artsy to leave readers/viewers guessing, I think its downright inconsiderate.

I’m not saying the acting wasn’t superb, or that the story ended in a way that I would consider inconsistent with the other seasons.  It’s just that after everything these show writers have put us through, watching characters we liked die too soon while watching the evil ones flourish and take others down with them, to leave it on such a vague and unsettling tone was a slap in the face.  As much as I used to love this show, I honestly wish I’d never started watching it.  Not well played, not well played at all.

I’m Out

Hey, guess what?  It’s been so crazy around here, what with the relentless Pregnancy Files updates, that I completely forgot to mention that I’m skipping town for a few days.  Wes and I are going to go hang out in Eastern Washington for awhile, so the blog will be a bit quiet owing to the fact that I have not a laptop and, as such, will have to resort to telling every inane thing that happens to me to some unwitting family member.

Don’t you just wish you could come too?

The good news is, we’re all caught up to where I am in pregnancy so you won’t have to read through the updates every day.  This also means I’m actually going to have to start coming up with content every day again.  Heh.  I’ll ruminate on that all weekend.  I hope you all have a lovely time doing whatever it is you’re doing.  See you on the flip of the vacation!

(A special note to anyone thinking of robbing us while we’re gone…We have a savage, bloodthirsty dog loose on our property who will not hesitate to devour you where you stand.  Also, our neighbors are watching the house for us while we’re gone.  Because they’re awesome.  So, for your own good, stay away.  Please.)

Bedraggled, Flowbee-Loving Hippie

I’d just like to take this opportunity to break away from ALL PREGNANCY ALL THE TIME around here and talk about something that does not concern my uterus.  Something like…My hair.  Yes, this is ground-breaking stuff.  Hard hitting!  Substantial and meaty!  Like a good steak!  Mmmmmm, steak…

Wes and I had the pleasure of a lot of spare time this weekend, which we put to good use by investigating.  First, we went to our local Farmer’s Market to discern whether it would be less expensive to buy our produce there or to continue patronizing Safeway’s produce section.  We strolled around and sampled nectarines (which were amazing) ice cream (which was over-priced), and fresh cheese (which was precisely as incredible as it sounds).

As it turns out, the prices for produce at the Farmer’s Market were  much better than the prices at Safeway, and the produce looked yummier.  The only problem was availability.  Not all veggies are available every week at the Market, so we’ll probably just stick to buying a few things there.  The onions sure as heck looked better, and I’m betting that farmers don’t often get confused about whether their onions are yellow or white.

After that journey, we headed to Costco.  Oodles of people keep telling us that Costco will save us so much money, so we decided to see for ourselves.  I gotta say, strolling Costco is a cheap way to get some lunch.  I scarfed so many random samples that I wasn’t even hungry for a real meal afterward.  The prices were better on some items, worse on others.  We’ll probably hold off on purchasing a membership until we have to buy diapers in bulk someday.

But neither of those has to do with my hair.  After our journey, we got haircuts.  At SuperCuts.  Now, you may remember that I used to get my hair cut by a very talented lady at a very lovely salon who served me wine while I waited and let me read as many trashy celebrity magazines as I wanted to.  It was awesome.  Wes also had his hair cut by her, though I doubt he enjoyed the magazines quite so much.

Well, as y’all know, times are a little lean over here at Casa de Mitchell.  I’m hardly in a position to justify spending $200 on my hair right now, especially considering I wear my hair in a ponytail except when I’m sleeping.  I actually hadn’t gotten my hair done since January, so by the time we stumbled into SuperCuts I looked like a bedraggled Flowbie-loving  hippie.  My hair was so long it was actually giving me headaches, so I knew it time to take care of business.

I watched as my head was not lovingly shampooed but rather unceremoniously sprayed with water from a spray bottle until I was shivering a little.  I shuddered as my layers were hacked to roughly the same length, and died a little on the inside when I left the salon with my hair still dripping wet.  Yes, it was a cheap haircut, and yes, it looks just fine all pulled up into a ponytail.  But man, is there ever a disparity between our life a year ago and our life now.

Wes and I left the salon holding hands and smiling.  Not because we loved our haircuts so very much, but because at least we still have enough money to go to SuperCuts and we’re not so vain that we can’t think the other looks broke but hot.  This recession’s done a lot of things, but it hasn’t taken away our ability to laugh where necessary, and appreciate free lunches.