Oh, chimney fires....
I was driving to work this morning thinking about what my life had been like a couple of years ago and saw a fire truck go by. No lights, no sirens, just meandering along. I found myself laughing.
I believe it was New Years of 2007*. I had a friend over crashing at my place, and I had fallen asleep on my living room sofa, as I did quite frequently at that time. My friend had started a fire in my wood burning stove, and everything was all cozy, cheerful, and warm. I remember waking up briefly in the middle of the night and seeing the room completely choked with smoke. I was vaguely alarmed for a minute until I saw my friend busily doing something at the fireplace. Oh, he's got it handled, I thought, and immediately fell asleep again.
The next morning everything seemed to be fine. My friend took off to run to the store, and I started picking up a bit - my place was a pit, as usual. I was in the dining room when I caught a whiff of smoke. I shot a glance at the stove. It sat there, innocuous as ever, doing its best to look completely innocent. I wasn't fooled. I marched over and pulled open the door.
There was no fire, not even any residual burning embers, but the inside of the stove was filled with smoke. I slammed the door closed and glared at it for a long moment. Don't you dare, I thought at the stove. This is unacceptable. Reluctantly I pulled the door open. Smoke flowed out into the room, and I slammed it closed again. I grabbed some shoes and walked outside to look up at the chimney. There was definitely smoke. Not just a little bit of smoke. There was billowing smoke.
I did some creative swearing, Fire Fear** suddenly raging full force. I knew it had to be a chimney fire, and I was furious. I knew the chimney had been cleaned and inspected less than a year before - there was no reason for anything to be catching fire up there. It was a good thing there were no visible flames, or I may have had a panic attack and fainted before I was able to call anyone.
And of course the first person I called was my friend. "You need to get back here right now!" I shrieked into the phone when he picked up. "This is your fault!"
"What?!" he asked, confused and alarmed.
"Just get back here!" I snapped, voice still shrill. I hung up the phone and waited outside until his car pulled into my driveway a couple minutes later. He got out of his car, and I stabbed a pointed finger towards the chimney.
"What?!" he asked again.
"What do you mean, WHAT?" I cried. "LOOK! There's smoke! There shouldn't be smoke! Something's on fire, and you're calling the fire department, because this is your fault! You're the one who wanted a fire last night!"
He cringed, knowing about my fire fear, and wisely didn't argue with me, even though in retrospect I was possibly overreacting. "Okay, okay."
I followed him inside and watched as he checked inside the stove, then called 9-1-1. "This isn't an emergency," he said calmly to the operator, "but we've got a bit of a chimney fire going here..."
I had calmed down a bit now that the situation was being handled, and suddenly was struck by a deep horror. Firemen. Were coming here. To my house. And it was a mess. I exploded into action, attacking the pile of stuff on the dining room table.
My friend watched me, bewildered. "What are you doing?"
I gave him in incredulous look. "My house is a mess!"
He raised his eyebrows. "Yeah.... it's always a mess."
"I know. But there are strangers that are going to be walking around in here! Firemen, for God's sake! Come on, help me clean!"
My long suffering friend helped me clean as much as we could in the few minutes it took the fire department to arrive.
And oh yes, they made quite an entrance.
I live on a tiny, quiet little dead end street in a duplex. So when the fire trucks came roaring into the neighborhood, lights on and sirens going full force, it drew some spectators. Including my new neighbors living in the other side of the duplex whom I hadn't had a chance to meet properly. After assuring them that no, our duplex wasn't going to burn to the ground, and hi by the way, I'm Becca, I went inside to watch the firemen.
One of them was hot. And by hot I mean really hot. And after a moment, I realized I recognized him. He looked at me and gave me one of those funny little smiles that said he recognized me but couldn't quite place who I was. I had met him once and instantly lusted after him - he had dated a crazy former co worker for a couple of weeks. He was responsible. He owned a beautiful house. He was gorgeous. And did I mention that he was a fire fighter? Uh, sexy?! And now he was here. In my house. My messy looks-like-a-hurricane--and-a-tornado-had-its-way-in-here house. Putting out a chimney fire. Looking at me with my tangled hair, sloppy sweat pants, and ratty t-shirt.
I listened to one of the older men tell me I need to have the chimney cleaned and inspected again before using the wood stove, waited until they had all filed out of my house and driven away, then did a face plant into my dining room table.
"No more fires in the wood stove," I told my friend. "Not ever."
*I could definitely be wrong about this... I have a terrible memory for past dates. But I'm pretty sure it was '07... except maybe it was '06.... damnit.
** I am so paranoid about fire it's not even funny. Before I go to bed I wander around and make sure everything electronic that emits heat is unplugged. I run my hands over the stove burners to make sure they're off because I don't trust the knobs. I sleep with a fire extinguisher next to my bed. No, I'm not kidding.
I have come to realize that I need to win the lottery.
People ask me, what would you do with all that money?
I'll tell you.
I would go on a Free People shopping spree.
And winning the lottery is exactly what you'd need to have a Free People shopping spree. Because that super cute square neck tunic cami? $98. Big, cozy, bright orange fuzzy sweater? $118. Beautiful-edgy-and-perfect-for-work blazer? $188. True Religion jeans? $228.
It's ridiculous how much people (myself included) are willing to spend on clothes.
I actually had a lot more I was planning to say about this, but then I started looking more at the Free People site. OH MY GOD. I need that and I need that and that would look great with that.....
Excuse me. I have to go buy a lottery ticket.
Oh, LoLCats, my guilty pleasure...
It was exciting. It was intense. It was well written. And except for the one atrocious actress stepping in to fill Katie Cassidy's role, it was everything I had hoped for.
Okay, now we can move on (unless you want me to find and post more pictures of Dean? No? Damn).
I had re-watched seasons one, two, and three in preparation for the fourth season (meaning I've watched every single episode two or three times now... wow, that's sad) and the season premiere definitely didn't disappoint.
Except for one thing.
I mean seriously, this woman opens her mouth and her voice is so irritating that it instantly makes me cringe. Which isn't her fault. But the fact that her lines are wooden and her expression robotic is.
She might as well just been blatantly holding the script out in front of her during the few (thank goodness) scenes she was present for. It probably would have had about the same effect.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I guess no television show, not even Supernatural, can be perfect one hundred percent of the time.
Moving on from heinous actresses, I think it's wonderful how the character development, which has been deep, consistent, and believable through all three seasons, appears to be on a great track with the fourth season.
I don't want to spoil anything, but the premiere episode left me beyond excited. I have a feeling that this season is going to go in a really good direction. You know, as long as they quickly get rid of/replace the drama school dropout.
I know what I'll be doing every Thursday night. ^_^
I was glancing at my spam folder today to before I cleared it (and... you know... to make sure Blizzard hadn't tried to sent me a beta key for Wrath of the Lich King) when I stumbled across this pleasant and uplifting subject line:
"Dumb and poor? Here's a simple way to make MONEY!"
Thank you, spam mail, you're once again proving that you can be a useful source of self esteem boosts and clever get rich quick schemes!
Ah, another vastly productive extended weekend.
I love going to Bumbershoot.
It has a strange name, but Seattle's music and arts festival that spans three days over Labor Day weekend every year is an absolute blast. I generally only go one day out of the three, because to be honest, I can only handle one day of wandering around a jam-packed festival ground for five to eight hours. Bubble of personal space? Non existent.
I always go to Bumbershoot with the express intention of seeing two or three bands, then spend the rest of my time wandering around and stumbling across new music that I never would have discovered otherwise. This year I went specifically to see The Offspring and Flobots. And my great random find for 2008?
Cheb i Sabbah & 1002 Nights
From Bumbershoot's writeup:
"Known as a DJ whose talent is mixing Arabic, Asian and African sounds to rock a party, Cheb i Sabbah will be performing with 1002 Nights, his troupe of dancers and instrumentalists, and Riffat Sultana, a singer who comes from a rich lineage of Indian and Pakistani musical talent."
My group of friends and I were slowly making our way towards the Flatstock rock concert poster exhibit when we passed the Fisher Green stage and had to stop. The bizarre mix of techno-y dance-y type beats with traditional middle eastern sounding music was absolutely arresting. They had already amassed a huge crowd of happily dancing people which we promptly joined (though SOME OF US were too 'tired' to dance... I would prefer not to name names.... but it was NILS). The dancer on stage was extremely talented and a blast to watch... I have no idea what exactly she was doing, but it looked vaguely belly-danceish. I couldn't see very well.
And that was the only musical act I stumbled across that I thought to myself I NEED TO LOOK THEM UP LATER.
The vendor areas were chock full of awesome hippie goods. Rainbow clothing, duct tape wallets, jewelry, masks made out of silverware, airbrush tattoos, art of every kind, more clothing... you name it, it was probably there. My personal favorite were the handmade journals... soft leather covers filled with recycled cotton paper... totally "tree free", as I was told by the vendor. There was a particularly stunning huge sketch book that I would have killed for.... and I would have had to with a price tag of $200. Oh, if only I was less broke... I definitely made sure I picked up one of their business cards, and I'll be saving that website.
And that was Bumbershoot in a nutshell. Lots of fun. Walking back to the ferry, though, was less than fun. Note to self - make sure I have cash for the monorail next time.
My calves still hurt...