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Showing posts from November, 2010

Why have a blog if you can't be snarky?*

Well, after my blissful 10 days off, I returned to the grind, and one more happy customer.  In my real work life, I'm courteous and professional, but this was kind of therapeutic to write.  The regular text is word for word from an e-mail I received, and the italics are what I wish I could say...

Betsy-
it's amazing how time flies when nothing is being done. It is bad enough that I have to ask the government-no..pay the government to tell me I have a wetland on my property, but now I have to chase the issue. So far I've--paid $770 for which I expect to receive nothing of value.

Oh, you are so right!  You haven’t received any benefit from the zoning code.  At all.  Because who cares if your neighbors construct a meat rendering plant or an amusement park near your back yard, or put their drainfield in the wetland that feeds your well?  That wouldn’t be a problem.  The land use regulations that have kept this huge, fast-growing county fairly rural have done absolutely nothing…

Home Alone Pt. I

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I’ve been snowed in for 48 hours now, and I’m about to summon the enthusiasm to put chains on and attempt navigate down this steep icy hill we live on.

If anyone wonders why we get so stuck here in the Seattle area, here's why:



R. bailed at the first sign of snow, and took refuge at a lower elevation, leaving me home alone.

On the one hand, it’s kind of fun and relaxing, and I’ve had a chance to start a new writing project, walk down to the falls, and nap a lot.  On the other hand, it’s a bit lonely, and it feels like a preview of what it will be like to live up here when I’m old and have no where to go and am too chicken to drive in any sort of weather or darkness.

R. has memories, I’m sure, of being stuck up here without power for 12 days during the big windstorm, so I don’t really blame him for his escape.  We probably have pretty different views on how it was. Me:  I thought it was fun.  Both kids captive, no distratctions. 

I divided the day into three parts:  Morning Heal…

'Nother day, 'nother angry person

I haven't written anything here for a while, because it seems like there's getting to be a sameness to the posts.  I've been trying to come up with a different angle, a different topic to write about, but so far, nothing.  So, here goes again...

The other day, I was paged to go talk to someone in the permit center.  It started out the way it usually does, but I’m getting better at suspecting the ones that are going to turn out bad.  When I smile and introduce myself and hold out my hand, she just looks down and ignores me.

The conversation starts out innocently enough. “Could you tell me something about this parcel, and whether it has wetlands on it?”

I look it up, and learn that in 2002, someone from our office visited the site and noted that wetlands and streams are present.  I tell her that.

“Where do you get off, telling me I have wetlands on my property?”  Her voice is now raised, about 1 minute into the conversation.  I don’t know it yet, but this is only the first …

The Sleepover

I’m reading a book right now called, In the Neighborhood, by Peter Lovenheim.  The authors’ hypothesis is that in order to know our neighbors, we need to sleep over at their house for a night, so he asks neighbors, previously unknown to him, if he can come over for a sleepover. It’s kind of a sad and quirky little study of the breakdown of community in the suburbs, and has me wondering if I’d let a random neighbor sleep here.

That was in my head the other day when I had 15 minutes to spare at the local library.  I went to the magazine section to see what my neighbors are reading, and picked up Backwoods Home Magazine.  The cover advertised stories about the best guns for the winter, making soap, how bad will the economy get, and cutting your own hair.  Sort of a paranoid version of the Whole Earth Catalog.

I dove right for the article about cutting your own hair, because I had this incident several years ago that my boss keeps bringing up in which was facilitating a meeting with an ap…

Horror-scopes

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Aries (3/21 – 4/19): Its tough when the weather changes, but find that as one big opportunity to nap. There's not much else going on. Be sure to set your alarm for that nice week we get in February, though.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20): Lately, I’ve been arguing with B. about the state senate race, because he intends to vote for the right-wing guy who’s named after the Flintstones' dinosaur.

“Do you even know what your guy stands for?” I ask.

“No, but we gotta get rid of big government. I do know that.”

So I look Dino up on Wikipedia, and there’s really almost no information about what he believes in, which seems suspicious, doesn’t it? But I do about two minutes more research and share what I find.

“Okay, he's opposed to public breastfeeding.”

“Me too!” B. exclaims. “I hate it when I’m out in public, and some movement catches my eye so I look and there’s a big ole’ breast staring right back at me, and then the mom looks at me like I’m some kind of creep. So that clinch…