Saturday, July 31, 2010
Boyfriend and I are day sleepers. I've always tended to be night owl, but with Boyfriend going to work at 9pm and returning between 4am-7am, I've switched over to being fully nocturnal.

With a long weekend (made longer by Boyfriend being sick) our hours got really strange. I woke up at 10pm, and Boyfriend slept until 4am. After breakfast, we decided we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather (sweater temperatures with super thick fog) and wanted to go for a walk. Our roommate suggested we take her dogs to a dog park. So off we went to Magnuson Park.

In an effort to shorten my blogs (they've been massive lately) I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Boyfriend taught me how to skip rocks.

We wandered along the shore of Lake Washington.

We found this cool little nook with this awesome looking tree.

And ate wild blackberries.

And picked wild flowers.

All said and done, it was a great day. I felt like a kid again. And when we got back home, we explored the downtown area (2 blocks from our house), found a great little place to have lunch, and wandered around a cool pawn shop. Paired with the brownies and cookies that came in the mail from home, this is looking like it's going to be a swell weekend. And tomorrow? Tomorrow we go visit (and for me, meet) some of Boyfriend's relatives.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Boyfriend's gone and contracted a summer cold. It would be cute if it weren't so crappy. He's got a fever and an itchy throat. And the poor guy is having trouble sleeping because of his fever. So I've been playing nursemaid, making him tea and juice. When we gave in and got out of bed today, I got him some Chinese take out, and stopped at the grocery store for juice and soup and the ingredients for grilled cheese sandwiches. All the yummy sick food.

As much as I like having him home from work, and getting to spend extra time with him, I wish he was feeling better. I wish I could do more than bring him juice and food. Still, I feel like I'm helping more than if he had the stomach flu.

Oh, Boyfriend. Hurry and get better!
Friday, July 16, 2010
In order to understand how a relatively intelligent girl (like myself) could be so ridiculously stupid, there are two things you need to know before proceeding.

1-I love to cook.
2-I hate spicy things.

Dangerously delicious? Or deliciously dangerous?

So when I set about making 30 jalapeno poppers for a BBQ at our new place, I had no idea what I was doing. I bought fresh jalapenos, washed them, set the cream cheese out on the counter to soften, and got to deseeding the peppers. I cut out the middle seedy parts, and sliced them in half. About a third of the way through stuffing the halves with my cream cheese mixture, I felt a burning on my ring finger. I thought maybe I'd just had a paper cut I didn't know about. A la lemon juice paper cut detection.

Pictured: Not the preferred method for discovering wounds

About ten more poppers down the road, my thumb started to burn as well. I finished putting the cream cheese in the peppers, but paused before wrapping them in bacon to wash my hands. I figured I should get the oil out of the invisible little cuts I had by washing my hands. In hindsight, this was my first mistake.

Within twenty minutes, the heat was spreading to my fingertips and intensifying. I realized something was very wrong. I assumed my allergy to bell peppers might be a factor in my sensitivity to the jalapenos. I googled 'jalapeno burns' and found only other people asking if it was possible to get burned from the oil in the peppers. I tried washing my hands a few more times, finding temporary relief in the cool water.

After another twenty minutes, I realized that it was only going to get worse as time passed. Now all five fingers on my left hand hurt, as well as most of my palm, and the fingertips on my right hand had just started to warm unpleasantly. I grabbed a cold beer from the fridge, and held it in my left hand while I googled again with my right hand. This time 'home remedy jalapeno burn', and came back with pages and pages of results.

It seemed that most people recommended baking soda paste, while some recommended soaking your afflicted areas in vinegar or milk or yogurt. I tried vinegar first, with no relief. I washed my hands again, then tried the baking soda paste. It relieved the burning a little while it was in the paste, but taking it out of the bowl only brought the pain right back. I didn't let it dry into a thicker paste, as it felt like it only trapped the heat in my skin and intensified it.

The catch-22 of this situation is that in order to try some new remedy, I had to wash my hands, which only made the burning worse ten minutes later. I unfortunately lost my appetite (which was terrible, because everything Boyfriend and the new Roomie were cooking smelled amazing), but still forced myself to have a brat, so I could take some pain medication. I took five Advil liqui-gels, with two beers, which shows you how much I was hurting. Two hours in, it felt like I had put my hands on the stove.

This is what I felt like.

There were other things I began to try. Dawn soap: nope. Sugar scrub: nope. Oil absorbing clay facial mask: nope. Soaking in milk: nope. Thicker baking soda paste: nope. I found a bit of relief from hand sanitizer, just enough to finish reading the home remedy search results. I read stories of people that had accidentally touched their eyes or nose, and all I could think was how grateful I was that I hadn't done these things. I would have lost the last little bit of composure that remained and been a whimpering lump on the floor. I would have looked like this;

Finally I stumbled across someone who said the nurse at the hospital she went to for her burns rubbed her hands in hydrogen peroxide, and followed it up with hydro-cortisone cream. A few other people swore by rubbing alcohol. Unfortunately, of the three, I only had hydrogen peroxide. By this point I was so nauseated from the pain (the Advil wasn't touching it) that Boyfriend was starting to notice that this was actually a problem. (That high pain tolerance has always made it difficult for loved ones to realize how badly I'm injured. Like the time I cut off the tip of my thumb, but mom didn't realize she needed to take me to the ER for twenty minutes.) He'd seen me trying different solutions, but I'd been so quiet about it all, and he'd been so preoccupied with manning the grill, that he didn't realize it was causing me actual pain. He took one look at my face, and asked if there was anything he could do. It'd been almost four hours at this point, and I'd already looked up hundreds of comments, and tried most of them. I decided right then I was going to walk to the Walgreen's on the corner and buy myself a damn bottle of rubbing alcohol. Before I left, I gave in and took one more Advil, and one of the Darvocets I had left over from the Kidney Stone incident in April.

On a side note; Poor Boyfriend! Both times I've been 'ill' since we got together, he's been unable to do anything to make me feel better. All he can really offer is comfort, which I appreciate, but I know he wishes he could do more. He got a stomach bug on tour, and it drove me crazy that all I could do was rub his back or hold his hair or offer him Gatorade. Eventually I'll get the Flu (or, knowing me, Bronchitis or Pneumonia) and then he can make me soup and cover me in blankets and bring me hot tea with lemon. You know you've got it bad for someone when getting sick is romanticized. Jeez...

But back to the story... Before I took off for the pharmacy, I grabbed my bottle of hydrogen peroxide, poured a little bit into my cupped palm, and rubbed it all over both hands. Instantly, I felt better. With my hands still damp (and doing that annoying, half itchy, half painful peroxide fizz thing) I held them in front of the fan in the front room. Sweet, sweet relief. I waited, sure it would be just as momentary as the other solutions had been. This one, however, gave me about ten minutes of relief. Just enough time for me to get down to Walgreen's, find the rubbing alcohol and purchase it. The burning was just beginning to return when I tore open the bottle outside the automatic door. I poured a little into my palm, and rubbed it around. Amazing.

I made it all the way home without having to use it again. After five minutes, however, it was coming back. It was greatly lessened, however. So begun the 90 minutes of alternating between peroxide and alcohol, all the while blowing on them or holding them in front of a fan. By this point, Boyfriend and I had been up for almost 24 hours. All that was keeping me awake was the pain, because god knows the chemical cocktail I concocted for myself was designed to take down a barn animal. After the peroxide had made my skin stingy and patchy and white (still preferable to being engulfed by invisible flames) I switched to simply soaking my poor hands in rubbing alcohol.

Finally, after six hours, my hands were cool enough that I could sleep. I had to have Boyfriend help me undress and get into pj's, because my poor little hands were bright pink, with little red sores on the fingers of my left hand. They were completely useless.

I woke about six hours later, when I rolled over in my sleep and put my hand on Boyfriend's bare chest. It felt like he was on fire. While my hands felt fine while they were held useless in front of me, if I touched anything, especially warm things like Boyfriend or my own body, it burned. Still! I was starving, since all I'd had to eat the day before was one damn brat, I decided I deserved a treat. After all I'd been through the day before, it only seemed fitting to reward myself for coming out sane and sans Urgent Care trip.

So I had ice cream for breakfast. Even then, it was a small consolation.

The weirdest part of the aftermath? My fingernails. The beds of my fingernails were all tender. Each one felt as though I'd smashed the tip with a poorly aimed hammer or a slammed car door. I didn't realize how often I reach over and scratch Boyfriend's back, or how often your fingernails are of use (buttons, zippers, opening anything), until I couldn't do anything with them. The skin on my hands (particularly the left) looked thin and shiny. They also felt ridiculously soft. I don't really want to repeat the chemical peel I gave myself for it, though. My skin looked and felt better after a two days. My fingernails, however, took four. And the moral of the story? Gloves. Gloves, gloves, gloves.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
When we awoke from our well deserved nap, we joined my family upstairs (my Mom works swing shift and gets off at 11:30pm) for spaghetti and softball sized meatballs. Those made amazing meatball subs the next day, lemme tell ya. We were still pretty tired, even after a six hour nap, so crashed in the wee hours, along with the rest of the household.

The family cat had kittens in late April, so we enjoyed those for a bit before bed. My hairy, rock star of a Boyfriend playing with kittens is a precious sight. When we woke after another ten hours of sleep (so, so nice) we went upstairs into the main house for breakfast, thankfully spared from a ginormous feast. Instead, we had cereal and toast. My father is Italian, and my mother is Irish. So feeding house guests is one of their hobbies. Seriously. Every friend I've ever had, even if they're only friendly acquaintances, knows that Lori's parents will always feed you, insist on a second helping, and send you home with leftovers. I warned my parents a week before we flew out there (when they called and asked me to email a list of the meals we wanted during the visit) that we'd need to slowly stretch our stomachs back out, especially so soon after tour. When we stopped there for two nights (right after Easter) I was sure our stomachs were going to burst. A la pigeons and alka seltzer. Luckily, the 'rents took it easy on us for this most recent Tulsa trip.

Sunday we spent as nerds. We sat in my parents' basement, drank a 12 pack of Mountain Dew White Out, and played video games (Boyfriend breaking in his brand new PS3, and I reunited with my beloved Sims 3).

Monday we went down to the tattoo parlor and got corresponding/matching tattoos. Neither of us are newcomers to the ink world; this was his fourth and my fifth. When I got my most recent tattoo (about two weeks after we became a couple) we both lamented that we wanted more tattoos. I suggested that we go down and get tattooed together, on the same day. All but one of my tattoos were group outings. The idea sounds a bit trivial, but I think it's a fun way to bond with people. The idea stuck. A few weeks later, as we were discussing what we wanted for our next tattoos, I suggested corresponding tattoos. Personally, I think it's bad luck to get a lover's name or likeness inked. It's a jinx. In fact, Boyfriend has Crazy Ex #1's name on his upper arm inside a heart. GAG. My suggestion was to get art we already wanted individually in the same session. I've been wanting a black bird or an owl for quite a while now, and Boyfriend's always been a huge fan of the coelacanth. (He's a weird one. That's why I love him.) And I've always loved that old saying, 'If a bird and a fish fell in love, where would they make their home?' It rang especially true as our unrequited love become requited after five long years, when we lived 2,000 miles apart. When I posed this idea to Boyfriend, he said, "Who knew the answer would be, 'In a van'?"

So in April when we passed through Tulsa briefly, we decided we go down and make an appointment with an artist. Two days before we were set to do so, Boyfriend and I were discussing it and he said, "You know, I've been thinking about getting a dime tattooed someday."

The few of you that know us both really well and/or had to suffer through the aforementioned five years of unrequited love/torture, know the significance of the dime. My parents said at our wedding they're not going to throw rice or confetti, they're going to throw dimes. I told them that would really hurt and be a waste of $100. Long story short (and perhaps I'll blog about this later on), dimes have been a running joke between Boyfriend and I since the Great Dime Diving Night in December of 2004.

Boyfriend's been reading The Golden Bough for a while now (he's almost done!), and oak trees have taken on significance for him. So he decided that he wanted the tails side of the dime. I, of course, immediately thought, 'We haven't decided on what kind of design we want for our bird/fish tattoos, so I'll just get heads.'

And that is how we came to have 4" dimes on our sides.

The rest of our time in Tulsa was spent with The Bestest and my family, going on outings, having great family dinners, playing board games until the wee hours of the morning, watching movies, smoking hookah (No pot ever! Ew! Gross! Ick!), visiting my favorite bars and restaurants and putting off packing. Oh, and video games. Did I mention that Boyfriend and I killed five 12 packs of Mountain Dew White Out while he played Grand Theft Auto IV and I played The Sims 3? Yeah. We're a match made in nerd heaven.

When the big day came and it was finally time for us to load up my car, I quickly packed the piles of belongings into boxes (we'd take breaks from video games to stretch and sort a few things) while Boyfriend used his developed car packing talent (from years of loading and unloading musical equipment into cars of various sizes) to expertly put all of my things in my little baby SUV. We said goodbye to my mom and The Bestest (the brothers and Dad were out buying my youngest brother's first car.) I congratulated myself on not crying as we drove away.

It really was the best way for me to move out. Two week visits punctuated the six months we were forced to have a long distance relationship. Then we had tour, so I was on a BO scented musical adventure. Even with tour, I got to visit my family. So it was like weaning myself off of my very close knit family. It helped both me and the parental unit, I think.

We got a much later start than we had originally intended, partly because I put off serious packing until my last day (still though, it only took twenty minutes), and partly because I was dreading the moment I said my final goodbyes to the Fam, but mostly because Boyfriend and I decided we wanted to get a good night's sleep before we drove 2,000 miles in 3 days.

We stopped at Spangles (one of the regional highlights of tour) for dinner, even though we had originally intended it to be breakfast. After an uneventful, mostly dark drive, we arrived in Denver a little after 2:00am, and met up with one of my oldest friends to stay at his place. (On a side note, isn't it crazy how friends and family are scattered as we grow older?) We slept on his floor for four hours, then woke up to share a French Press worth of coffee and giant muffin with him before he had to leave for rugby practice and we had to hit the road again.

(This is me using my blog to abuse parenthesis.)

We planned to stop in Cheyenne for lunch, but the interstate only had fast food to offer, and we were craving Chinese something fierce.So we continued on through the bottom of Wyoming (a truly, painfully boring drive) until we hit Laramie. We saw a billboard advertising a Thai place, and decided to stop there. Unfortunately, we both neglected to remember the exit number. And Laramie has like, two exits, five miles apart. That's only a tiny exaggeration. We decided to pull off the highway for gas, and let the google search on my phone find enough of signal to function. As luck would have it, there was a Chinese Buffet across the street from the gas station. Unfortunately for me, there was absolutely nothing green on the buffet line that wasn't battered and deep friend. I'd had my heart set on some beef and broccoli... but alas. At least their wrapped chicken was so tasty it made up for the lack of vegetables.

Later we stopped at some of the weirdest little gas stations and truck stops we've ever been to. (And we've been to a lot.) One was in a tiny place called Point of Rocks where we got or giant sodas for free. I don't know if it's because we were probably the only tattooed and long haired people she'd ever seen, or if it was because she knew how horribly mixed their soda fountain was. We weren't able to drink the soda (almost entirely syrup and flat), but threw them out at another little truck stop that used propaganda type ads as advertising. A weird little place called Little America. It was like a tiny, manufactured city of a truck stop. They did, however, have the cleanest, nicest bathroom I've ever seen on the side of an interstate. Leather sofas in the waiting area of the womens restroom, floor to ceiling walls and doors on every (very spacious) toilet stall. It was a little oasis of cleanliness, which was much appreciated, even as Stepford-creepy as it was.

We drove on again, pushing ourselves to make it to Salt Lake City before nightfall, wanting to hit a Golden Corral (Boyfriend had never been, and it's one of those hokey things I simply adore) before we turned in for the night. Make up for our deep fried Chinese lunch with a salad and plate of vegetables.

Just as we thought we were going to go crazy from the boring, beige scenery that is Wyoming (Seriously, it's worse than Kansas and both Dakotas.), we crossed the state line. Almost instantly, there were trees, and green things, and real mountains. It was like Utah had given the corner of the land it didn't want to Wyoming. We were weaving through gorgeous mountain valleys that looked like something from a model train layout.

The hotel we splurged on that night was not anything to write home about. In fact, it's long hallways and single painting made it a bit creepy. There was a frame every ten or so feet, but they each had the exact same print in them. A lonely looking pink and gold chair sitting in a sea of white negative space. We decided (after a shower) that we'd hit a Golden Corral in Idaho on the way back home, and we'd just eat in the restaurant in the lobby. The thing that really stood out about this hotel, and made it a super enjoyable stay for us, was the bed. For once, I'm not being pervy. It was honestly the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. It was a California King, which at 5'11" and 6'3" we appreciate more than short people will ever understand. We fell asleep after watching a movie. I woke four hours later, certain I'd slept through our alarm because I was so rested. I've never been happier to fall back asleep.

The drive from Salt Lake City to Seattle is 14 hours. We stopped at a Golden Corral in Boise, and stuffed ourselves. Boyfriend mostly on barbecue, and I mostly on Caesar salad and macaroni and cheese. We tried not to fall asleep as we drove through beautiful parts of Oregon. They were so picturesque it made me long for my camera, which was securely tucked away in the back. Unfortunately.

We stopped in Washington at the first open gas station. Oregon is one of two states that does not have self service gas stations. You are not allowed to pump your own gas. You have to stay in the car, while some junkie or redneck collects your payment and does it for you. The problem with this is not so much the inconvenience of not being self sufficient, but being nocturnal, or being stuck in Oregon at night when no gas stations are open. Grateful to finally be in our home state, we happily gassed up the car, got ourselves the biggest cups of coffee they had, and those little 5 Hour Energy shots. (Which are essentially vitamin B overdoses.)

It was a long trek, and by the time we got to the prettiest parts of Washington (the mountain passes between the eastern side of the state and the sound) it was pitch black, and raining. I was wired on energy drinks, desperately needed to pee, and became convinced that one of the truckers that kept speeding past me or riding up on my tail was actually trying to kill me. Seriously. Why else would someone who drives professionally be going 90mph on a winding mountain pass at 3:00am in the rain? Homicide seemed logical at the time.

We finally rolled back into our own driveway about 3:30am (unmurdered by crazy truckers), went promptly to our room, and collapsed into sleep.
Monday, July 12, 2010
As I'm sure you've noticed, I've decided to mess with my layout. I'm struggling to build a new (i.e. custom) layout, but my CSS is a bit rusty.

If any of my fellow bloggers have any tips/pointers they'd be willing to offer, pleeease let me know. This is driving me crazy.

Sorry for the construction. =/
Friday, July 9, 2010
Boyfriend and I moved into our awesome new place on the 12th of May, and on the 15th, caught a plane back to Tulsa. We were going to visit for two weeks, all the while packing the rest of my transportable things. The trek back to Seattle would be a three day drive. 2,000 miles in three days. We're professionals by now.

Friday night (May 14th) we went out to the guys' show, and had a jolly good time. The guys got to play with one of their buddy bands, so we knew it was going to be a good show. Right before the guys went up on stage, Boyfriend and D gave me their drink tickets, so that I could get them a shot of Fireball Whiskey. It's a cinnamon flavored whiskey. It's amazing. Every time I drink it, I think of Ogden's Old Firewhiskey from Harry Potter, and it makes me smile.

A big, happy, dorky smile.

Later on during their set, I approached the bar only to see a sizable line. I asked an older man in an Hawaiian shirt if it was 'the line for beer.' He looked at my face briefly, but his eyes quickly fell a few inches lower, where most mens usually do, and he said, "I'll buy you that beer."

It was pretty obvious from his slurred speech that he was already three thousand sheets to the wind. I smiled and said, "Thanks, but I'm getting beer for my boyfriend and his band mates."

Still staring at my chest, he said, "I'll buy them beer, too."

And he did. He bought us a pitcher of Guinness, put a cigarette in his mouth and said, "I'm gonna go outside and smoke. Bring me a pint, will you?" I thanked him, got our pitcher and cups, and poured four out before I poured his. Shitty of me, I know, but he was old enough to be my father and he was staring down my shirt pretty steadily for a full minute. So yeah, I made sure me and my guys got beer first.

He'd also thrown down $30 for one pitcher of Guinness. The bartender made change, handed it to me, and I tipped him $3. He seemed confused, as well. When I brought Drunky McOldman his beer, I tried to give him his change. He told me (in the aforementioned slurred speech) that he'd left the extra $18 as a tip for the bartender, since they were taking care of his car keys for him. I told him I'd tipped the bartenders, but I could go back and give them the rest if he wanted me to. He told me to buy us all more beer.

So halfway through the show my guys not only got the cinnamon whiskey they were expecting, but two pitchers of beer they weren't. It was a very happy surprise. I even splurged later and treated Boyfriend and myself to a whiskey and coke while we were waiting for the buddy band to play (my guys played first, they played last.) It was during this time that Boyfriend and I spotted a time traveler. He was quite obviously someone from the 1880's, coming into the future, just to play pinball.


We watched him for the better part of half an hour, and all he ever did was play pinball. No drinking, no smoking, no socializing. Just pinball. Now, the reason he was so fascinating (and why I'm so disappointed in the poor quality of the cell phone picture), is how he was dressed. His hair was combed and slicked to the side, and his mustache was impressive. Not quite Sam Elliot impressive, but still. He was wearing a white shirt with billowing sleeves, suspenders, a form fitting vest (complete with pocket watch chain), and a belt with an empty holster. He had loose fitting cotton pants tucked into black boots. Even his posture seemed out of place. The only conclusion Boyfriend and I could come to was that he must have been a time traveler. After a defeat that had visibly angered him, he checked his pocket watch, and walked outside. Back to his Tardis, I guess.

The buddy band played later and the guys watched with great enthusiasm. The thrashing around in the mosh pit kind. Okay, that was all Boyfriend. I stood in the back of the room by the sound booth, watching the crowd carefully to make sure none of my guys took an elbow to the face. Even with my careful eye on them, Boyfriend took a bad gouge to the eye, which resulted in a pretty wicked red mark that lasted throughout our entire Tulsa visit.

He was so proud.

After the show we went back to G's house, and quickly packed the rest of our things. We borrowed the Ogre for the first trip, and took Boyfriend's car on the second. I had packed our suitcase (we shared one again, just like tour) before the show, so we didn't have to worry about that. We unloaded the perishable food from the car, grabbed the suitcase, and started for the bus station (which is delightfully nearby.) Our plane was scheduled to leave at 9:35, and the bus would drop us at the airport at 8:17, according to the schedule. We stopped at the grocery store to get cash back for the bus fare, and still made it to the station with time to spare. The bus arrived on time, we climbed aboard, and the driver looked at our suitcase and asked, "Airport?"

We took a seat behind the driver, and the bus lurched into motion. We drove through a little bit of downtown Burien, then through a residential area. Within a few minutes, we were driving past the back side of the airport (employee parking, hangers with dismembered planes, etc.) I was looking for the bus stop, but didn't see any of the public side of the airport. Soon we were passing hotels and restaurants. I thought, 'All right, any minute now it'll be our stop.'

Then suddenly, we were back in a residential area. Boyfriend and I were ridiculously tired (we'd been awake for about 20 hours, which included a show for him, and lots of moving of our/his possessions.) So it was understandable that we weren't on our A-game. I checked my phone for the time, and saw that it was 8:26; nine minutes past our scheduled stop time at the airport. I walked up to the driver to ask him, and he stopped his conversation with the pretty jogger that was sitting in the front most seat.

"Oh, no. Oh, Lord, oh, Lord, oh, Lord," he said. He pulled over to the side of the road just then (no bus stop in sight) and handed me two transfers. He told us to cross the street, which bus number we needed to look for, and told us which exit to take once we were on it. Boyfriend and I were spacey and tired (and enjoying people watching too much), and the bus driver was too busy getting his flirt on. Neither party acknowledged our mutual errors. Instead, we simply thanked him, and crossed the street.

I called my dad, explained what happened, and asked him to look up the bus schedule for us. Before he could navigate the site, the bus had arrived. Exactly twenty minutes later, Boyfriend and I got off at the hotel and restaurant saturated bus stop. The airport itself was across the street, behind a train station and airport parking. With less than half an hour to go, we began to run. I know for a fact that some of my habitual readers are 'endowed' with the same 'gifts' that I have. You will sympathize when I tell you that Santiago y Diego were not 'strapped in' for running. I had to jog carefully to keep myself from becoming indecent.

When we finally got into the airport itself, we saw the baggage check line for Southwest wrapping back and forth within it's elastic maze. We'd planned on checking our bag, but luckily it was the smaller of our two suitcases, designed to be carried on. With fifteen minutes to go, we bypassed the baggage check and headed straight for security. Boyfriend wasn't even out of breath. I, however, was frantically removing my shoes, and putting my laptop, bag and purse into their own bins, all while trying to figure out how I could rearrange the bald Cubans in my shirt in a discreet manner to relieve myself of my severe case of quadraboob.

I tried to draw what was going on, but MS Paint crashed, like, three bazillionty times from the abundance of unruly boobies.

Discretion was impossible, since airport security is pretty much paid to look at you. As we were putting everything back in place (except my chest), one of the security guys informed us that our bag needed to be searched.

I knew instantly it was because of some of our toiletries. Sure enough, it was explained to us that we could check our bag, or they could throw away our toiletries, or we could fill out paperwork to have it mailed to us or picked up from the airport at a later date. Considering it was a $3 bottle of hair detangler (Boyfriend and I go through about a gallon a week) and a $5 tub of old lady cold cream, and our plane was going to take off in less than 15 minutes, I tried to hurry the meek little security guy along. He verified twice that we were okay with our toiletries being thrown away before giving us our bag and sending us on our way.

Strangely enough, they let me carry on a super sharp pair of scissors....

Shoes tied, bags slung over shoulders, we started jogging again towards our gate. Which of course, was the very last gate in the terminal. Surprisingly, we weren't the last people on the plane. An old couple we ran past boarded after us, and then a family of five. Still, Boyfriend and I didn't get to sit next to each other on our first flight together. (Grrr!) People didn't even move for the family of five, whose three boys all looked younger than school age. The flight crew even offered free alcohol to people if they would move for the family, but no one did.

Boyfriend was sitting across the aisle from me, doing his best to distract me from how terrified I am of flying. Once the flight attendants had us all strapped in and explained how to survive a crash and taken their seats again for take off, Boyfriend turned in his seat and held my hand.

Luckily, it was a very smooth take off and landing. The flying part doesn't bother me. It's actually pretty cool. But leaving the ground and finding it again scare the shit out of me. We had a short layover in St. Louis, and Boyfriend treated me to ludicrously expensive airport Burger King.

We got to sit next to each other on our very short jaunt from St. Louis to Tulsa, thankfully. Our only legitimate complaint with this flight was the fact that no snacks were served, due to a passenger having a severe peanut allergy. So severe I don't even get my Chips Ahoy 100 calorie snack? You jerk. I'd be angrier, but I'm pretty sure that passenger was the two year old sitting in front of me that I was flirting with/making faces at/playing peek-a-boo with during taxiing.

We landed in Tulsa, and my Brother greeted us at the airport. We didn't have to wait at baggage claim, so headed straight back to my parents' house for a well earned nap before my Mom got off work, and my parents began their ritualistic stuffing of Boyfriend and I with awesome food.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sometimes my relationship with Boyfriend feels really weird. I've known him for almost six years, so most of the time it feels like we've been together that long. In reality, we've been together romantically for ten months, and only living together for four months. Granted, we lived in a van together for two of those months, so it kinda got fast tracked. Every once and a while, something will happen that reminds me how young the openly romantic aspect of our relationship still is.

Like when he does something ridiculously cute and I giggle more than I should, or find it much more adorable than it actually is. Like when he plays video games and laughs like a ten year old when things blow up. Or when he randomly tackles me in a hug and tickles me.

I got on my computer the other day and found this:

When I asked him what it was, he said, "Oh... that's me doing a handstand."

I laughed appreciatively and said, "I'm saving this."

He protested, "You don't have to, it's just a doodle."

"Nope. It's awesome." And so it's now on the front of my virtual refrigerator.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Started this one in May, just now getting it posted. I know, I know. Welcome to the procrastination packed world of Loriology. Things have been crazy. Anyway, here it is, finally.

Boyfriend and I got lost in downtown Seattle during rush hour.

That is how we found our new place. Not directly, mind you, but that's what started the sequence of events. Chinatown is on the southern side of downtown Seattle, so we got lost in a tangle of one way streets as we tried to leave it that Thursday afternoon. It was about 5:00 when we left. We got home a little past 6:00. Personally, I didn't mind it. Getting lost is one of the best ways for me to learn my way around. And the weather was surprisingly pleasant. All but one day since we've returned from tour has been ridiculously sunny and beautiful. We ended up driving down a street full of historical apartment buildings. Most of them had posh names and sleek, modernized logos and names. Which I've learned in my apartment hunt means they think it's okay to charge $1600 for a mediocre one bedroom apartment.

One, however, looked pretty cool. It was called The Embassy. (Another red brick building with molded plaster trim. I have a type.) Their sign said 'Now Renting Studio Apartments' with a number underneath. So while we were sitting at the red light adjacent, I gave it a call. Since it was after 5:00, the office was closed, but I left a message for Bruce, the Office Manager. "Hi Bruce, my name is Lori, and I drove past your building today and saw the sign about your Studio apartments for lease. I have a few questions about price and parking, utilities and whatnot. If you could give me a call at ###-###-####, it would be much appreciated. Thank you, and have a great evening."

(Seriously, that's what I sound like on the phone. I'm a dork. Thanks, resume full of reception jobs.)

Now, very few of you know what my voicemail message says. It's crucial to the story, so I'll post it here. I swear to god, this is my real outgoing message. I've had unrecognized numbers call me and the only message left is a second or two of laughter. It came about one night a few years ago right after I moved to Oklahoma. I had terrible insomnia, and was in a goofy mood. Anyway, this is it;

"You have reached the voicemail inbox for Lori, Evil Overlord and Aspiring Ruler of the Universe. To receive information on how to apply for Henchmanship, please press 2. For jetpack maintenance, please press 3. For all other inquiries, leave a message including your name, date and time of inquiry, and interesting subject matter. Due to high call volume and time consuming nefarious activities, only entertaining inquiries will receive a return call. Thank you."

Now, Boyfriend and I are practically nocturnal anyway, but we've become day sleepers since we got back from tour because of work. He leaves for work between 9:00 and 9:30, and returns about sunrise, usually. So my schedule is pretty much the same. Being nocturnal can be a right pain in the ass when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world (banks, governments, coffee shops, etc) but there are a few perks, other than saving on sunscreen. One of the many is that I miss pesky collection and telemarketer calls during the day.

So when we woke up Friday afternoon, about 4:30, I had a message waiting for me from Bruce, the property manager; "Hi this is Bruce from the Embassy Apartments, and maybe your new lair... Alright, (chuckle) sorry, doing my best after hearing your message. If you'd like to check out the apartments.... " Then gives me all the contact/website info.

I'd listened to it in 'bed' (a couple of sleeping bags and blankets on the floor in D's room, in G's house) so Boyfriend heard it, too. We both chuckled along with Bruce. I meant to give him a call back, or at the very least, check out the website, but I was still quite sleepy, and at the lay-in-bed-and-do-nothing-but-maybe-grope-my-significant-other stage of waking up. After three days full of being ignored or rejected by housing inquiries, I was considering posting a housing wanted ad, instead of just sifting through them all. I jokingly said, "That's what I should post as our Craigslist ad; Aspiring Super Villain and Sidekick seek new Lair."

To which Boyfriend responded, "Sidekick!?"

I said, "I know, but 'sidekick' sounds catchier than 'Two Aspiring Villains of Equal Importance and Evildoingness."

Boyfriend mumbled into his pillow, "Yeah, you're right." We snuggled up in bags together, but my brain was quite awake. I was doing my writing thing; turning phrases over in my head, crafting and reshaping them for maximum hilarity. After twenty minutes, I knew I had to do it.

I sat up and grabbed my laptop, and went to work. After the first paragraph or so, Boyfriend had woken fully and was looking over my shoulder, suggesting sentences, amendments and additions. After about an hour of typing, giggling maniacally, and having D remind us what dorks/nerds we are every five minutes or so, I had my lovely ad and an accompanying MS Paint drawing.

Aspiring Super Villain and Sidekick Seek New Lair
An aspiring Super Villain and her magnificent Sidekick are seeking a new Lair, preferably in the Northern neighborhoods of Seattle. However, for the right lair, we'll be willing to go as far south as White Center, or as far north as Lynnwood. We're looking for just one room in an established lair, and would prefer our own bathroom, although that is not a necessity (villains on a budget must accept a few inconveniences.) As far as budget goes, we'd like something around $400 if utilities are not included, and something around $500 if they are. We are, however, a little flexible. We recognize the value of a good lair.

We have no pets, do not smoke, are drug free and the alter ego has a steady day job to save up money for a hypno-ray (which let me tell you, does not come cheap these days.) We would need parking for at least one vehicle, but if you can accommodate our hovertank it would be much appreciated. We also recognize that in the world of Super Villainy, flexibility is key. We would be willing to do month to month, or a 6, 9 or 12 month lease for the right lair.

Potential Roommates/Henchmen must have a sense of humor and be almost as awesome as we are. Those are the only requirements, really. Should you meet our qualifications for henchmenship, we will issue you your uniform and jetpack.

We would gladly wring our hands and laugh maniacally if we found a studio apt, a room in your house, abandoned amusement park, haunted castle, or volcano. If you have any of these available, be a good little minion, and contact us immediately.

Yes, that's the real ad. Unfortunately, it's down now, but it was really on Craigslist for the weekend.

And it worked. This was the second email we received in response;
[Title of the e-mail was: The Lair (No really, that is what I call it)]
Little further south than you are looking for as it is in Burien…. BUT…

Ideal parking, brightly lit room and the wifi SSID is “The Lair”. Could work into longer term than the 2 months currently shown in the ad:


Breathlessly awaiting the monologue before the ax falls!

Boyfriend came over and read over my shoulder when I started making exciting squeally noises. Her ad is down now, too, but the first line of it read, "One bus to rule them all!" and proceeded to use the nearby bus station as a selling point. We chuckled in unison (Boyfriend and I do and say a lot of things in unison. It freaks people out. We delight in those moments.) and Boyfriend said, "She referenced Lord of the Rings in her opening sentence. My kind of nerd."

The ad also said that the room was presently available, and would be available at least through July 31st (which works out perfectly for us, as the next tour starts at the beginning of August.) It also mentioned that if needed, it could be furnished. Also perfect, because we're not moving any of my furniture from Tulsa to Seattle, and Boyfriend doesn't have any. Our potential roommate's ad stated that she was ok with liquor, but absolutely not 420 friendly. Also perfect for us, as Boyfriend and I loathe pot, but love booze (a really strange combination in our creative fields, lemme tell ya.) It only had one bathroom to share, and she had pets, but oh well. (Boyfriend wasn't too keen on the animals, but personally I was excited at the prospect of having pets without actually being their owner. Like the Cool Pet Aunt.)

I was thrilled. I wrote back:
Dear Potential Henchperson,
It seems a further exchange of information is needed. As I am about to retire to my chambers I will wait to hear back from you before contacting you via cell phone, either with a voice or text message.

1-How furnished is furnished? I am hoping this means mattress, because that is much better than loads of comforters and sleeping bags piled on top of each other. It's fun when you're ten years old, but it's just not practical to make a blanket fort every night when you're in your mid-twenties. And I don't know about you, but this Super Villain to be needs some beauty rest every once and a while. If this doesn't mean mattress, I hope you won't mind the aforementioned blanket fort being erected every few nights.

2-We would be looking to occupy our new Lair on June 1st, but may be able to negotiate an earlier occupation... say May 15th? Petty details to be determined at a later date.

3-We survive mostly on a diet of bacon and coffee. Like 'The Oregon Trail', but with less dysentery and fewer snakebites. On the occasion we are not making the kitchen smell like a breakfast oriented greasy spoon, we'll likely be cooking an elaborate family meal. You see, minion, we like to cook. And when we go all out, we go all out. So hopefully you like to eat. It's not every day, but about once a week I fall back on my plan to take over the world by feeding everyone in the vicinity entirely too much delicious food. This plan always backfires, because I too fall prey to the food coma. But I never stop trying. Persistance is the key to World Domination. (Don't worry though, my food coma always drains the villainy out of me long enough to do the dishes.)

4-Google Maps shows us that there is a German deli next door. How is the food?

I will contact you tomorrow evening (later today... did I mention that like all good Villains, we're primarily nocturnal?) to discuss a viewing of the property and perhaps the fitting for your uniform and jetpack.


When we awoke the next morning (and by that I mean afternoon) I checked my email first thing, and discovered a response that had arrived only four hours later.
Dear Super Villain in Training,

First let me say that I am truly sorry the little toe callus has taken over your existence. It seems that you may not have been nearly as evil previous to its appearance. And interesting to note that any number of small Thai or Vietnamese women could be your kryptonite!

Now on to your pertinent inquiries.
Bed… check
Early check in… check
Bacon & coffee… check and check
Others cooking… check
Me eating…. Check
German Deli…status unknown due to shortness of time at current location

Here is the not so skinny.I moved into this place on the first… furniture, over all, has yet to join me. (Although it may by the 15th) What is here is your bed and a small coffee table in the room.

This having been an office between its last time as a residence and this… closet space is, well nonexistent. To that end there are wardrobes in our futures. Sadly, Ikea does not sell the ones with Narnia inside, despite my continued protests to customer service and the UN.

Feel free to call at any hour, if I answer I am awake, if not my vm is always up for a chat.

I am the founder of Ellipsis Anonymous, by the way… We meet every Tuesday and Thursday in my imagination.

As far as my henchmanship goes, I find that I do better at crafting my own hijinx. I think it best we consider a Super Villain alliance rather than a minion hierarchy. I’m not built for tights and jetpacks inevitably scorch my ass.

Last note as far as drawbacks of the place.. the one thing closet sized in the building is the shower. No tub and a shower that may have come from one of those Japanese coffin hotels. The ones where the bed becomes a shower, becomes a storage unit? Yeah… well... it is upright though so that is a bonus.

I don’t have much in the way of recent blogs to let you know about me, but as you are a writer this may help instead, being a bit more personal than a blog. (Not a bad review site either, btw)
[Then she gave me a link to an uber cool review site called Urbis]

It’s my birthday.. yay me! Rent my place so I can celebrate! LOL

I called immediately, even before I got a cup of coffee, and made an appointment to go see it that night. She and I ended up chatting for ten minutes after we set up our meet time.

We arrived about ten minutes past the time we'd discussed (Lori and Boyfriend standard, unfortunately) and called to let her know we were near. She guided us to the little side street behind that leads to the parking, and we met the dogs. There was a nice sized, fenced in porch, and a massive garage. A little bit of a yard for the dogs to play in. The back of the house holds a decent sized kitchen with a ton of counter space. There are two large living rooms, and the room for rent was the back corner of the house. About 8'x13', which was a massive improvement over the Chinatown closet we looked at. A business is run out of the front of the house, and the living quarters are in the back. Within two blocks there are multiple grocery stores, 24-hour pharmacies, bars, amazing smelling Italian places, the library, the post office, and a police station. Factor in the fact that it was all bills included, (cable and wifi part of that) we got along with the roommate, and there were pets that I got to play with... well. I tried to do the 'let us think about it' thing, but after about fifteen minutes it was obvious that this was the fit for us.

We hung out with our soon to be new roommate for another twenty minutes, then ran to one of the nearby grocery stores to pull out cash from an ATM to make a deposit.

When we left the band house, we told D we'd be back in half an hour or so to make dinner, so told him not to give in to the frozen pizzas calling his name. (All of the guys love when I cook big meals for them. They're musicians. Food is one of the primary ways to earn their affection.) Needless to say, D was happy to see us when we arrived two and a half hours later. I made a greek meatloaf that night, humming to myself, happy with the security of a deposit down and a lease signed, five days before we had to leave town for Tulsa. SUCCESS!!

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Seattle, United States
During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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