Sunday, July 26, 2009


I grew up in Northern Virginia, the capitol of Hot & Humid. But Hot weather in Seattle is different; I think that's because it's dry heat in an environment that's used to being humid. All the plants look stunned.

Today was Too Hot, and that's not good — because the rest of the week is going to be Hotter.

The only reason I'm not currently sprawled in a wading pool in my (relatively cool) back yard is that Fred Meyer was out of wading pools.

The house itself is warm, even though I've had the front screen door, and the back (unscreened) door open most of the evening.

The basement TV room is habitable; the main floor is a bit cozy; and the upstairs, a former attic with a cathedral ceiling, is like an oven, despite a fan that's been going all day and French doors open onto the breeze from the Sound.

I can't believe that the first couple of years here there weren't any sun awnings on the West-facing front window and French doors. The awnings, plus interior shades and curtains, make quite a difference most days.

But's just Hot. The cats spent the day laying around looking like moth-eaten furs at a crummy estate sale. After dark, they recovered somewhat and are now out in the back yard. I even let Sheba, the deaf white cat, go out wandering tonight so she could cool off.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fremont zombie walk video

Hank Graham has posted his semi-official video of the 2009 record-breaking Fremont Zombie Walk.

Not only is this professional-quality documentary work, but Jonathan Coulton allowed them to use his "Re: Your Brains" as the sound track.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stuff on my house

The painters are coming tomorrow to pressure wash the house; they'll be back next week to apply semi-solid stain and then to paint the trim. I can't believe it's been five years since the house was painted!

In preparation for their visit, I've been removing things that are next to the house and on the porches — no small task, it turns out. Two plants are espaliered against the house; on the hidden north side, I'd been storing the wheelbarrow, ladders, a bag of sand, and extra garden chairs under the overhang. Somehow the front of the house has two sets of house numbers! Fragile planters had to be moved, and bushes trimmed. Hose holders and such had to be unscrewed from the trim. All of this cleanup revealed piles of moldy leaves, and big weeds growing in the leaves. More cleanup!

As a result, I've gotten very little officework done this week. When I did sit down at my desk, I got to tangle with AT&T over the iPhone bill (friendly but confusing) and with Bank of America over web long-in (worst identity verification I've ever encountered on a website).

Susan is out of town for the week, so no evening yoga classes. But there's a special yoga dance class every morning at Taj Yoga this week, so I've been up there every morning at 9 — which means I'm not getting to to work until just before 11.

Next week, back to normal. But with the painters swarming all over the house.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The return of the Zombie Flu

I'm still having episodes of exhaustion and aches, so have cancelled yet another weekend's plans. When I have energy, I spend a few hours at my desk, so am able to keep up with all my work projects.

The high point of the day was petting Garibaldi, the semi-feral tomcat. He was sleeping out on the raised deck in the back yard and I went out to talk with him. I usually do this from a distance of about three feet. He runs away if I get any closer.

Today he hissed as I approached, but then rolled onto his back and stretched out as if he wanted his stomach rubbed. So I reached out and rubbed him. He twisted away, then rolled back to be petted, then got up and head-butted my hand, then shrunk away, then came back and lay down again and let me scratch his chin. There was obviously an argument going on between the part of him that wanted to be petted and the part that was frightened. After about three minutes, he stood up and moved away. I went inside and got a can of food and put some into his bowl on the back porch, then went inside and let him eat by himself.

Garibaldi's fur is nice and soft, like Sheba's.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Zombie Flu

Forget the swine flu...this is the Zombie Flu.

The Scholarly Gentleman and I worked registration at the record-setting Fremont Zombie Walk Friday afternoon and evening. We got home very late, and I attributed SG's comments about a sore throat and fever to all the yelling we'd been doing ("Zombies? Register here! Whoops, let me wipe the blood off that pen.") and standing in the hot sun for several hours. It seemed like something a good night's sleep and rehydration would take care of.


Saturday morning, the SG looked and sounded like a zombie who'd died of bronchitis. He retired to the crypt.

By Sunday morning, he was feeling slightly less ghoulish, but I was flattened with milder but definitely similar symptoms. (The weather is warm -- but not 99.9 degrees, surely?)

All social plans for the weekend were canceled, with many apologies.

We'll be back from the dead. Soon.