Facebook can be very deceptive. It doesn’t reveal what happening beneath the surface. What proceeded or followed the smile, home improvement project, or trip. With that in mind, here’s a rare glimpse into the world of “rajalary.”
Yes, the tag team of Richard Allen and Julie Ann LARY.
Just like we share the amazing branding of “rajalary,” we share one brain. As such, if one of us is using excess processing power, the other is struggling to keep up. There’s little redundancy in our brain, frequent latency, and laughable scalability.
Let’s explore further.
This week, Rich completed the last bit of flooring in our laundry room and pantry. The week before, he ripped up the old flooring, and prepared it to lay down strips of bamboo. After he completed the prep work, he covered the sub-floor with a tar paper barrier, purposely covering up the vent in the floor because he didn’t want a cat falling down the vent.
The following day, he was going to cut a hole in the paper, before laying down a layer of cork. However, during this time, Julie was working on a stressful project, requiring extensive compute power. Depleted of the necessary computation resources, Rich laid down the cork, and then over a two-day period cut and fitting together the bamboo flooring.
A day or so, after completing the project, Julie noticed the new vent cover for the laundry room was on the top shelf of a closet. She wondered, “Did Rich forget to cut a hole for the vent?”
I bet you know the answer.
Using our single brain, we reasoned, it was for the best. After all, we keep our kitty litter box in the laundry room, and having a floor vent can result in kitty litter falling into the vent and getting in the heat ducts.
How Assumptions Work
A few weeks ago, Rich’s daughter, Stacey found out she needed to fly to Japan for a project. She had tickets to Pink Martini at Chateau St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, and wondered if we could use the tickets. Of course, we said, “yes.”
She emailed the tickets to Rich who output them. I subsequently placed them in a folder and went online to research what we needed to bring, such as a blanket to place on the lawn, stadium chairs, and picnic dinner. I then shared my findings with Rich who said we had reserved seats, and weren’t on the lawn.
“Knowing” we had reserved seats, I would pack some snacks to eat, and a small towel to wipe off the chairs since rain was in the forecast. We then planned a full-day of activities with our arriving in Woodinville around 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. concert.
Saturday morning, bright and early, we headed to the Home Depot in Oak Harbor to get stuff for home improvement projects. We then proceeded to McDonald’s for our obligatory junk food breakfast, using the coupons from the McDonald’s app on our mobile phones. Our next stop was the grocery store for food for the week.
Once home, we put the food away, did a couple of chores, and around 10:30, got ready to leave for the day.
Our first stop was Anacortes to get bags of cat food we’d ordered weeks early. Our fussy cats eat Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul, which is stocked in a handful of boutique pet food stores, and half the time, the store needs to special order it! Bratty spoiled cats!
Stocked up on cat food, we headed to La Connor to get a gift for an upcoming event, and then zipped down to Burlington, on the way, stopping at a “honor” farm stand, where we bought eight cobs of corn for $2, and a zucchini for a $1. The produce was likely picked hours earlier.
Stocked up on cat food, corn, zucchini, and the gift, we zoomed over to North Cascade Harley-Davidson to pick up some parts Rich ordered for Gatsby (see pictures), and also buy a couple motorcycle necessities, like a gremlin bell.
We then scurried over to Carl’s Jr to inhale some food before going to Fred Meyer to buy items that aren’t in the grocery store we patronize on Whidbey Island. Half an hour later, we had six boxes of Duncan Hines and Krusteaz cake and pastry mix, four boxes of Good ‘N Plenty, three loaves of day-old bread (one for our visiting seagull), a day-old French apple pie, two bags of “ugly” brussels sprouts and two bags of “ugly” apples (Fred Meyer puts their “ugly” produce in bags, and sells each bag for a buck), one bag of Dove chocolates, container of powdered buttermilk, and skin cream I can’t find on the island.
No Need for Wine. We’re Having Pink Martini
Our car was brimmed with “stuff” as we headed south to Kirkland. On the way, we checked out, Vinterra, a new development within walking distance of our old house. A few years earlier, the plot of land housed a huge wholesale nursery with dozens of acres of trees, bushes, annuals and perennials. When the nursery was sold, they left hundreds of plants. Unfortunately, it was a hot summer, and by the time Rich and I wandered over to the nursery, to see what was happening, most of the plants – including Japanese maples and other small ornamental trees – were dead from lack of water.
The land is now narrow streets with modest-sized houses, selling in the low $900.000’s to just over $1 million. The definitely don’t feel like million-dollar homes with the 2,661-square foot model house, having white pressboard cupboards, mid-range appliances, commonplace lighting, and run-of-the-mill flooring, carpet, and tile. At least, they created a nice pond, park, and children’s play area. Also touring the new development was a flock of Canadian geese.
We then drove a few minutes to our old house. The new owners must not realize you need to water and trim the plants, mow the grass, and keep the leaves and needles off the roof. The house was upsetting to see, especially the peonies, which had withered and the tubers were probably dead.
Just 15 months earlier, when we sold the house, the landscaping and lawn was lush and colorful.
Distressed by the house, we headed down the hill to Woodinville and Chateau St. Michelle Winery. Yes, we used live about two miles from the Woodinville wine district. Several times, we’d walked down to the wineries or picked up the Burke-Gilman Trail, which allows you to ride to Redmond in one direction or the University of Washington and Eastlake in the other.
After waiting for 15 minutes to get into the winery, we were directed to a parking spot at the back of the lot. Because we had reserved seats, and didn’t need to find a place to sit on the lawn, we walked to The Commons for a light dinner. We’d never been there, even though we’d driven by it dozens of times (and me hundreds when I worked near downtown Redmond).
We were immediately seated and ordered a chop salad (romaine, red cabbage, pickled red onions, avocado, freeze-dried corn, tomatoes, barrel-aged Greek feta, toasted pumpkin seeds and creamy buttermilk dressing) to split, along with a loaf of sourdough bread with garlic butter. It was super yummy, and Rich didn’t seem to notice it contained feta cheese, which normally he’d NEVER eat.
Our bellies full, we headed back to the winery, and stood in line for at least half an hour until our bag of food and my purse were inspected. We then had to stand with our arms outstretched so a man could pass a wander over our bodies! Lots of security.
Finally inside, we headed towards the reserved chairs… and learned… our tickets were for the lawn area.
I assumed Rich had reviewed the tickets. And Rich assumed all the gibberish on the tickets indicated where our seats were located.
There we were, less than half an hour before Pink Martini played with no chairs, a 26 x 16-inch hand towel, and 95% of the lawn area filled with thousands of people with stadium chairs, blankets, small collapsible tables, and various foods and accouterments.
We headed to the top of the venue, and found an empty spot across from a walkway. I laid out the hand towel for my tooshie, and wished Rich “good luck.”
As a special note, it’d been raining for most of the day so the grass was slightly damp, but not muddy.
Rich isn’t’ called “Teflon Man” for nothing. He scrambled to his feet, and headed back to the car, which was fortunately contained Stacey’s old wedding dress from 2001. After Stacey got married, her dress ended up in my garage in Sherwood, OR and then migrated to Round Rock, TX, Mount Vernon, WA, Coupeville, WA, and most recently the back of my car where it was destined for Value Village.
Opportunely, the dress was in a large garment bag, which Rich felt would make an ideal barrier between the grass and our butts. He returned lickety-split with the garment bag, and a throw rug from the back of my car. Note: There are lightweight throw rugs in the back of both of our cars because it’s easier to wash a rug than carpeting.
The solution was perfect. As the concert started, we enjoyed the noshes — fruit, cheese sticks, pistachios, chocolates, and frightening muffins — I’d brought while sitting on our classy garment bag blanket. After eating, we moved to the very back of the venue and stood for the rest of the concert. The sound was great, and we could see over everyone.
Towards the end of the concert, it started to drizzle, which quickly turned to rain. We scurried under a tree, and listened to the end of the concert, and then scrambled to our car. Because of our parking spot, we were on the road within 20 minutes, and reached the Mukilteo ferry by 10:30… and arrived home just before midnight.
It was a fabulous day from Coupeville to Oak Harbor, La Connor, Burlington, Kirkland, Woodinville, and then back to Coupeville!
About Those Muffins
The frightening muffins were the result of defective brain wiring. When we moved to Coupeville, we consolidated the food at our Kirkland and Mount Vernon houses. Some of the food in the latter, cake and pudding mixes, canned goods, pasta, grains, and more had originally came from my mother’s house when she moved to Mount Vernon in 2012. And for whatever reason, I didn’t have the ability to throw away the food, even though it was older than the average kindergartner.
A few weeks ago, there was a community garage sale. Knowing we’d need sustenance, I made oatmeal cookies, but at the last minute, added a bag of chopped toffee bits, which had been skulking in the pantry for years. Even though it tasted “stale,” my wire-crossed brain added them to the batter. Bad decision. The resulting cookies were ghastly. Nevertheless, Rich wolfed them down.
Then last Friday, in preparation to see Pink Martini, I decided to bake a box of Krusteaz chocolate muffins. After adding the egg, milk, and oil, I decided to taste the batter. It was definitely past its prime. I flipped over the box, which had an expiration date of 2011. Not wanting to waste any food, I reasoned, adding peanut butter chips would hide the pronounced stale after taste.
The muffins looked gorgeous when they emerged from the oven, but the taste. Let’s just say, Rich soldiered through one muffin and decided they rested needed to be trashed.
I’ve since sorted through the pantry, chucking old food, realizing there’s no way to camouflage the taste.