Like A Bass And A Fiddle, Like A Laugh And A Riddle
As a reward to myself for completing the 4.2 mile round-trip, 1700 foot elevation hike to the top of Tiger Mountain (an accomplishment of no small distinction, considering exercise and I have not exactly been on speaking terms recently), I treated myself to a XXX Drive-In "409 Tri-Power Burger" with a side of onion rings.
As Isaac Newton observed: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". The equally perceptive Taoists would see this as the logical, inevitable and necessary "Yang" to my hiking "Yin".
Regardless of your philosophical predilection, however, so far as I'm concerned, harmony has been achieved, and for a brief moment the universe finds itself perfectly in balance.
...with taxes that is, for another year, as of 7:58 p.m. last night, two hours ahead of schedule.
In 16 sessions totaling 60 hours over a five week period I and my one volunteer (thanks Karen!) completed a total of 37 returns for 43 people, and checked the work on about ten more; not a record for me by any stretch, but we would have busted 40 returns, if there hadn't been a number of last-minute cancellations over the course of the season that couldn't be rescheduled because we filled up appointment slots so quickly. Still, I got in all of my "regulars", people who have used the program for the past three or four years, and had a lot of new faces show up as well, which is good. And even this relatively modest amount of activity still puts my site well above average locally in terms of number of clients served.
Even so, I'm still looking forward to having my weekends back again.
Sun So Hot I Froze To Death, Susannah Don't You Cry
Well, our brief little sojourn into spring appears to be over. It was nice to actually be able to walk out of the house in the morning and NOT see your breath, and to have it get warm enough during the day that you actually had to stop for a moment to consider whether or not you needed the jacket if you were going outside. It even got warm - and dry - enough to break out the helmet and body armor and hop on Little Nellie (once a new battery was installed) for a few jaunts to work and around town.
And the Sun! Watching Seattleites shed layers of thermal-protecting outerwear like a snake shedding its skin is one of our annual rituals. And for a brief couple of days, people were positively a-glow, although that was also due in no small measure to the large numbers of otherwise pasty-skinned citizens trying to expose as much flesh as decorum permits in an attempt to maximize Vitamin D production.
Of course, we're now returning to our regularly scheduled program of wet, gray, and dark - while perhaps not quite as bone-chillingly cold as we've experienced for most of the past 4 1/2 months - although, we're hearing unsettling rumors of possible snow for Easter.
It's frustrating, like only being able to have one spoonful of ice cream, and all we can do is cross our fingers and hope the big, bright yellow ball-in-the-sky doesn't stay angry with us for too long.
Theatre people think the sun is overrated anyway: you can't color it, you can't point it where you want it to shine, and you can't make it brighter or dimmer on-cue. Really, it's just horrible instrument for lighting anything.
Still, it was good to get my hands on power tools, and wrenches, and do some actual physical labor; doing it with friends and colleagues was just the icing on the cake.
From Our "You Know The Times Have Really Changed When..." Dept.:
This morning, as I was doing a bit of pre-work grocery shopping at the Wallingford QFC, a very familiar song came over the speakers: The Ramones' 1976 punk anthem "Blitzkrieg Bop". And it wasn't some mixed down Muzak version either, but the actual song, playing at about two-thirds volume over the loudspeakers in a mainstream urban neighborhood grocery store at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
I smiled at first, because it just seemed like such an odd, goofy choice for shopping music, and for a moment I wondered if some store employee had put it on as a joke, it being April 1st and all. But, looking around, nobody else seemed to particularly notice. Well, except for one of the guys stocking in the produce section, whom I overheard asking one of his buddies, "Is this ZZ Top?"
Later however, I came to a rather sobering realization: my generation has now apparently officially supplanted my parent's as "the middle-aged people whose Favorite Music Of Their Youth now gets played in grocery stores". I was even more taken aback by the realization that "Blitzkrieg Bop" is more than 30 years old, and that in fact I know and regularly work with people who weren't even born when the song first came out.
So, I guess I should expect to regularly hear other music from my formative years being pumped under-volume through shopping malls and retail stores for the next decade or two. Yeah, shopping to The Sex Pistols or Romeo Void or The Stranglers (or to go to the other generational musical extreme: Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, and The Village People), knowing the marketers are specifically targeting Yours Truly is going to make the experience soooooo much more pleasant from here on out.
Although, on the other hand, Talking Heads as shopping music does sort of seem like a natural, no matter what age you are.
*Sigh!* I just hope they don't add any sappy violins...