The Joys of Living In The Flight Path of An International Airport

Oh, Wait. You thought there were joys involved in living in the flight path of an international airport? Well, I am sorry to have mislead you with that subject line, but there are no joys to be had living in the flight path of an international airport. Not a one. Not a damned one. I mean, unless you think joy is having your HDTV cut out every, oh, I dunno, FOUR SECONDS or so because there is a LINE of airplanes queued up, quite literally for MILES, just to the left of the window you've chosen to stick your receiver in and each time they fly directly overhead, they literally block your TV signal to the satellite in space that is so generously beaming Oprah down to you while you work out. I guess that's a lot like joy. Just like it, I'd say.

It's a not unlike scraping your knuckle on a shelf in the fridge as you reach for the lime in the back, and then squeezing that lime (and the juice from a jalapeno, let's not forget) ALL OVER your bloody knuckle. Now, living in the flight path has nothing to do with that little joy. I could have done that any ol' place. It's just that... when I want to make chili lime popcorn for dinner after working out, and I've just had to witness the gore that is a) seeing the local news team's haggard faces in HDTV and b) seeing them FROZEN GHOULISHLY MID-WORD while the TV tried to retrieve the signal blocked by the FLEET above me.... well, you can see where I'm going with this.

And the only reason I even bring up the chili lime popcorn and the fact that I had it for dinner (as a follow up to a mid afternoon snack of french fries, naturally) is that I have had to really watch CLH's diet lately and I offered the popcorn to him without considering that it was covered with a 1/3 cup of butter. I am a thoughtless person living in the flight path of an international airport.

You see, CLH might have something wrong with his gall bladder and he has been taking some dietary precautions to make sure it doesn't turn into something more serious. Fatty foods exacerbate gall bladder issues. So, while he chugs gallon upon gallon of apple juice (something about malic acid dissolving gallstones...) I have been trying to plan meals, since I do a majority of the cooking, that don't include lots of fats. Which is nearly impossible for me because, well, I LOVE FAT. I don't understand you if you've got a sweet tooth, because, given the choice between a candy bar and a bag of pork rinds, I will almost always go for the pork rinds. Or potato chips, or french fries, or Cheez Doodles. Oh, how i love Cheez Doodles...

Somehow, the internal systems gods saw fit to equip me with a decent metabolism and a love for green leafy vegetables (this, after the anatomy gods cursed me with a big ass and no boobs to match), so, I manage to stay in a somewhat normal weight range... even after I've eaten a whole bag of Robert's "SmartPuffs". In one sitting.

So, while I try to enjoy my one hour of sinful pleasure a night as my screen intermittently goes black, then pixilated, then gorily animated with wrinkles and fake eyelashes and spray on tans in time to the international airport's landing schedule, CLH fights with an aching internal organ the size of a golf ball. We all have our individual battles, now, don't we?

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Saved Voicemail from Taller Younger Brother #1

"Here's a tip for you. If people come to your door and are selling God, it's okay to say no thanks. And if kids ever come to your door selling cookies, it's okay to say no thanks, too. But, if kids ever come to your door selling cookies MADE by God, you should definitely say yes."

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The Difference A (Sunny) Day Makes

-Went sailing today (economy in crapper=clients in the building industry with no work=no work for me=day of sailing on friend's boat. Hooray for no work! Question mark? Exclamation point?). Had a much better day on the water than on Sunday.

-After living a relatively dog free life for the past nine years, I suddenly find myself surrounded by dogs. Swimming in dogs. Bombarded by dogs. I will tell you about my adventures in dogsitting soon. I have another gig lined up for next week and I'm really looking forward to it.

-I am learning to slow down and make better decisions for myself. I know this sounds so banal, but it's pretty important for me to say this aloud. This is what the flu taught me: I spend a lot of time serving others. It is now my time to serve myself.

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A Short List of Things I Am Obsessing Over Lately

-Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video
-Pastel colored peanut M&Ms

Um... know what's more addictive that crack cocaine? The "Single Ladies" video. WHY CAN'T I STOP WATCHING IT???? And what's with the sudden bad chocolate fix? I don't even LIKE chocolate all that much. And yet, about a dozen M&Ms find their way into my mouth every day. As my brother would say, "Sister, these are questions that even scientists have not yet found the answers to..."

Right up there with my new favorite video of Beyonce (woke up with it in my head, not even kidding): Lady GaGa's "Pokerface". And let's not forget about Pink's "So What?" You see? This is what happens when I get five seconds away from the house that Poor Planning built and I get to enjoy things like CABLE FUCKING TELEVISION.

CLH and I visited friends last weekend and we spent the night drinking South American liquor and watching women dressed in vinyl unitards and spike heels sing incredibly catchy pop songs on the TV. No, wait. It wasn't even cable. How 2001 of me. No, this was Apple TV with ON DEMAND videos. What's that? You haven't seen the in-home video of the choreographer who taught Beyonce her "Single Ladies" moves? Well, hold on to your pisco sour. I'm just gonna dial it up on YouTube on my 72" plasma TV. In the meantime, enjoy this photo montage from to the accompaniment of Frank Sinatra's greatest hits on shuffle mode. ON MY TV. WHAAAAA? A dollar and ninety-nine cents later, we were watching "So What". And then we were imitating Dave Chapelle imitating Lil' John because we had watched THAT on YouTube. ON THE TV. This is what happens when you hang with the suburban kids. And when drinking dulls your sense of an appropriate use of time. You get a taste of what life would be like if you weren't busy building consensus and sweeping the pine needles out of your front room. And you long for normalcy. Just a little bit of late night drinking after the kids have been put to bed and zoning out on the couch to watch Pink driving a John Deer tractor in rush hour traffic. You know. Just regular ol' fun.

*Sorry, Tara. I copied and pasted part of this right out of the email I sent you the other day. I can't tell which is greater: my enormous sense of shame, or my appalling laziness.

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The REAL reason I live in the Northwest: Writing Material

This evening, CLH asked me to stop off at the grocery store on the way home. He had a hankering for something sweet and NEEDED me to pick up a scone or a cookie or something. And, you see, to get this sweet thing, I had to go to this particular grocery store because they are the only grocery store around that sells sugar free sweet things. CLH does not eat sugar, you see. And since he had just gotten over a bout of flu-like body aches, and since I was feeling bad for him, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get him something to satisfy his honey tooth.

Now, normally I avoid this grocery store like the plague. I love organic strawberries and bulk bins full of popcorn and quinoa just as much as the next health conscious person, but i can't stand to walk into this grocery store. It's not the selection (which, admittedly, could be better.) It's not the cashiers (though, for a bunch of granola crunching hippies, they can be fucking surly when they want to.) No. The reason I hate shopping there is the customers. The stand-in-the-doorway-and-marvel-at-stuff-all-around-like-fucking-four-month-olds, finicky, righteous customers. And I swear they all stand in the doorway and block it every time I go in there. Every. Last. One of them. It's like they've never seen groceries before. Or they've all just woken up out the comas they've all been in for the last 46 years and they can't understand why the automatic doors behind them keep making that sucking sound. IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE STANDING ON THE SENSOR, JACKASS. Is there some kind of correlation between health food enthusiasts and their impossibly slow response time to stimuli? Can they not just fucking make a beeline for the carrots like the rest of us high strung gluten intolerant weirdos? Does the steady purchase of fruit and nut bars impair one's ability to walk in a straight line with a sense of purpose or urgency or both? Is the health food inside this place lowering everyone's blood pressure to near catatonic levels? Because, if I had to guess, I'd say everyone was operating with a pulse of about -9 over -7. Which is about the pulse of a bag of cedar shavings.

I decide that, since I'm already there, I might as well pick up a few more groceries. Which means I need to tuck my chin into my chest, firmly grip my shopping basket with one hand, and push my way through the throngs of idiots with my other arm held out in front of me like an offensive lineman. I get everything I need, then head over to the bakery section for needed non-sugared sweet thing. And, horror of horrors, they are out. No non-sugared sweet things. Plenty of vegan, evaporated can juice sweetened things. But nothing sweetened with honey or molasses or ground-up hippy bones.

I call CLH to deliver the bad news. I hardly get the words out when this lady next to me starts squawking at the young woman behind the deli case (which, lucky for me, is next to the bakery case). I can't hear what CLH is directing me to do (what was that? You want Scottish oats instead of a cookie?) because this woman's complaint is so ridiculous and so loud, it's causing me to ignore CLH and listen to her instead. "Well, it's been like this since the summer when your chef did something to the recipe. These cookies are harder than dog biscuits! I can't serve these! I mean, feel these! (and here she bangs said cookies on the deli counter). I mean..." and here she sputters, and exhales in exasperation, and then trails off, having run out of analogies for hard cookies. I'm trying not to stare, but I'm pretty sure the deli counter woman has a look of complete and utter disinterest on her face.

I try to get back to what CLH is telling me (What? You don't want a cookie after all? You mean I had to enter this hell just to pick up eggs I could have bought SOMEWHERE ELSE?) and eventually I head over to the checkout line. I pay, bag my stuff up in the bag I brought (See? I can care about the Earth AND hate health food store customers at the same time) and head towards the door. Which makes me break out in a cold sweat because I'm going to have to ram my way through another clusterfuck of people who haven't yet mastered one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. And even though I have chocked my feet against the checkout stand like a sprinter in a starting block so I can run like hell, I too slow down near the door. For a moment I think I have caught the slow motion disease and I panic. But then my vision sharpens and my ears hone in on a sound. And I realize I've stopped dead in my tracks because I cannot believe that, after five solid minutes of complaining and banging the counter with her bag of evidence, this woman has still not run out of righteous indignation at being served harder than normal cookies.

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