Sunday, March 30, 2014

This Is It

Two weeks to go until April 15th. This is where the rubber hits the road, the women are separated from the girls, and sanity and reality part ways. From here on out, there is no existence but the dazed fog of the hypnotized, the glassy eyes, the glossed-over look, the perpetual expression of the stunned. No more breathing until this thing is done. Just eat, drink, and - worst of all - sleep taxes. Taxes, numbers, deadlines, reminders. Checking the box, double-checking the figures, delivering bad news.

No one is happy. Not you, not me. Except you get to sleep at night. Not me. I live in constant fear of not being able to make it to the finish line, knowing that a permanent crack-up is just around the corner, lying in wait, ready to pounce on the first sign of surrender. I can't cry and I can't laugh because I'm not sure which is which anymore. Good grief, I chose this for a living? Who in their right mind would do that?

Oh, wait. It must be a prerequisite - to be a masochistic, marathon runner, super-woman wannabe. Someone who feels in control enough of the time to feel like one can do anything, take charge of any challenge before her.

Until April, that is. That's when she crumbles. When she is supplied with a chocolate IV and a gerbil feeder with an unlimited supply of coffee at her desk. And a pillow for the rare times she is allowed to put her head down. Because, she is not going home. Not for two more weeks.




Free Quote

spooning leds to forking
so use condiments

- T-Shirt sold at Mother's Bistro & Bar, Portland OR

call your mother

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free Quotes

Every day on the way to work, I pass a sign that reads, "Free Quotes." It's a small A-frame board on the sidewalk. I have no idea what it actually promotes but I keep hoping to see a bard quoting Shakespeare or something like that.

In the meantime, I will provide you with two free quotes:
I'm not bossy. I just have better ideas than you.
Taco Bell is Tinker Bell's evil twin. 
Both are courtesy of Jackie, the bar waitress, at Pazzo Ristorante in Portland. If you're ever in the area, stop in and sit at one of her tables. She's a hoot.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


When I lived in Chicago, I wore wool. There was winter-weight wool and summer-weight wool and everyone knew the difference between worsted, merino, and gabardine.

By contrast, in Seattle, we have different kinds of rain jackets: ones with hoods and ones without. (The last couple of days have been "ones without" kind of days.)

There are regional differences, too. Such as, the closer you get to the Washington/Oregon border, the slower people drive. It's like the river is the wrong end of a magnet, creating a force field that slows everyone down. Or, it might have something to do with Portland traffic. Once you cross the river, you can't really go anywhere in hurry so drivers just let off the accelerator around Washington mile post 10 and coast the rest of the way.

My personal theory is that Oregon drivers take "speed limit" literally. As in, there is a limit to the commodity of speed which will be fully depleted once you hit your allotted limit. Ergo, they drive slowly so as not to use up their limit. (Maybe there's no more!)

You might call it, "laid back."

I call it, "get out of the left lane!"

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cleaning Tip #107

If my vacuum cleaner isn't willing to pick it up then neither am I. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Moving On Up

Our new place is a furnished mother-in-law apartment in the daylight basement of a nice home in a very nice neighborhood. The area is very Bellevue-like here (read, self-aggrandizing). The homes, grocery store, nearby restaurants, and the people who populate it all adhere to whatever the codes are for exuding wealth (yoga pants, and Audis). We are only nine miles east of where we were before but we have literally crossed the tracks.

I used to be able to hear the railroad tracks. Not just the horns the trains blow at intersections, I could hear their wheels making squeaking protestations on the tracks as they hauled mile-long cargo. Now, I live high above the tracks where I can barely hear the train whistle over the active quarry next door.  At least, we're not in the flight path of PDX anymore which is a definite improvement.

Starved for extra noise, we found ourselves living beneath hosts who walk like an army of elephants. Only two people, their children grown and gone, they make up for the emptiness of their household by making extra tracks. Truly, the home is beautiful with a large deck and and expansive view of the river which makes upstairs neighbors and the fact that we have to creep around the side of the house to enter at the back a mere side note.

Luckily, our landlords have also scheduled to refinish their hardwood floors this week.

We shall sleep well, I'm sure. The gentle grinding will be like the waves of the ocean . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I just told my husband that the reason senior citizens don't buy things on the internet is because they can't see the expiration date on their credit cards.

He said, "What?"

This Title Is Intentionally Blank

From: Kellie
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:33 PM
To: Lynn C Dot
Subject: blank

LOL   and if it’s unintentionally blank should someone be notified?  :D

From: Lynn C Dot
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:30 PM
To: Kellie
Subject: blank

If I have a blank page but it doesn’t say that it’s blank, is it intentionally or unintentionally blank?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Four Weeks To Go

I am dog tired.

It's tax season. (Did I mention that already?) Also, we had to move because our landlady is crazy. (I think I mentioned that, too.) And, these things happened simultaneously. As in, at the same time. As in, I did four tax returns yesterday and then went home to pack, shlepped stuff to the new place, and unpacked. All. In. One. Day.

Now, you might be the type who likes to do tax returns. Or, you may be someone who likes to move. But I'll just bet you've never done both before. (You don't know what you're missing out on.)

Today, I said To hell with tax returns and I spent the most of the day moving more stuff and cleaning. Now, you might wonder what one moves when one moves from one furnished apartment to another. It turns out it can be a lot when you've been living in a place for a while. But that's another story.

We're done. We're moved. And, we're tired.

Tomorrow, it's back to tax returns.

I'll tell you about the new place later. Right now, I'm dog tired.

(By To hell with tax returns, I mean I'll be working this weekend.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Pacific Northwest fallacy #131: All people who wear yoga pants actually do yoga.

Question For Today

Would you have a middle initial if Invisible was your middle name?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day

From the KenKen Facebook page.

Professional Gambler Bets Wrong In Tax Court - Takeout Expenses Are Gambling Losses, Not Business Expenses

The article is really about gambling. And taxes. Not that you should gamble on taxes, however. It's a good article but what got my attention was the first line:
When the calendar turns to mid-March and tax season makes the leap from annoying to soul-crushing, . . .   
[more at]
Because, my friends, we are there.

Send chocolate . . .

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Half Full

There are a few, couple redeeming qualities to this condo situated at the end of the PDX runway*. One is the river. It makes sense that transportation hubs should locate near a river. There's generally little elevation for highways or rail and international ports support the barge traffic moving cargo along the river. I'm sure there's an excellent reason for the airport being located here as well but I haven't a clue what that might be. Perhaps, it has something to do with the wind that whips down the river corridor.

Even as transportation is lured to the river, so is housing. Therefore, we have an odd mix of trucking companies alongside condos peppered with restaurants, walking trails, and railroad tracks.

Trains, planes, and automobiles.

We've had a few days of sunshine+ to enjoy walking on the river and that is what we will miss the most about our current temporary accommodations. With nearby mile-long trains at our backs, we take in beautiful sunsets over the decrepit but stunning-from-afar steel structure of the I-5 bridge. Everyone comes out with sun. Old people, children, foreigners, and lovers all stroll along the river communing with each other and the recently forgotten outdoors.

But just this week, I discovered another redeeming quality: the lamppost outside my bedroom window. Not only does it provide a convenient, perpetual night light, I also took no notice of Daylight Savings Time as it's always daylight in the glow of our well-located condo.

As for the runway, I have a suggestion for the next tenant to live here: the planes probably won't hit you but I wouldn't recommend putting your hands in the air.

 *I exaggerate. But only slightly.
+Note to Right: It should be there in a few days. Hang in there!

In my next life

I'm going to become a manicurist and call my business Task At Hand. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


If you think this site is whacky, you should see my real life. It's stranger than anything I could make up and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But you'll believe this: it's tax season again. No real news here. It's just a busy time.

We're holding up so far. No one's been to the hospital yet. I'm working some weekend days but not every day yet. I'm trying to cook large meals so that I can freeze the leftovers for future meals but when that runs out, it'll be nothing but take-out. I also avoid wearing anything that wrinkles because there's no time for ironing. I made it a point to buy a lot of knits at the after-Christmas sales this year.

But, for bonus points this year, we are moving. Not Moving - with a capital - M. Just moving- little m. The landlady of our Portland-area condo just decided to be insane. Not sure why, exactly. Clearly, there's a longer story here but the punch line is she's crazy and we've come to the mutual conclusion that we should move along.

This presents several problems, not the least of which is it's tax season (see above). Looking for a place to live and moving is not high on the priorities list right now. Right now, basic human functions need to be freaking scheduled so, no, we don't have a lot of free time for this pile of expletives. Oh, and by the way, there is a dearth of furnished apartments where we are so despite our landlady's point of view that since we don't have a lot of stuff to move, finding a place to live is harder than it might appear. Since it's March, it's also quite possible that it will be raining on moving day. So there's that to look forward to as well.

She's right in that we don't have a lot of stuff but it's always more than you think it is. Having a place here means we don't have to travel back and forth with suitcases. We can cook and eat at home. And, we live here almost 50% of the time. That means clothes, toiletries, linens, a TV, and kitchen supplies. And don't forget the coffee maker and red coffee cups!

We found a place, though. It took five weeks to find it. Lease isn't signed yet but it's looking good which means we could be moving in a few weeks. Not ideal timing but it is what it is. As for the rest of my life, it's just fine. Amusing, to be sure.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Expect precipitation over the next few days.

Our recommendation: Stay in bed.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Corporate Secrets

Stopped at Starbucks for my bad habit and saw the soy container left out on the counter. It said "organic" and "other natural flavors." 

I was going to take a picture but I've been asked to leave a Starbucks before for taking pictures. (Remember that, Vicki?) Apparently, Starbucks is worried about corporate spies. 

Anyway, I don't have any idea what those other natural flavors could be. Must be the crack.