The hazards of marrying an environmental engineer

I can’t remember exactly when, but early on in our relationship, Cody and I attended a housewarming. At some point within the flow of party conversation, after we all gushed about the hostess’ new place, Cody casually noted that the land upon which the abode was located would “liquefy in an earthquake.”  But hey, cheers and congrats!

One morning not so long ago, Cody, Stella, and I sat in a cozy coffee shop enjoying pastries when he mused about the property having once been a dry cleaner, apparently just like most other commercial properties in existence. They’re among the worst and most common of God-awful polluters, and during his decade of work in the city he’d learned about the toxic nature of that particular block of Seattle’s quaint Queen Anne neighborhood. He explained that the toxic fumes were no doubt rising up from the ground beneath us at that very moment. Oh but don’t worry, the building provides some shelter from it and only the cafe’s employees were in any “real” danger.  Man, aren’t these croissants delicious?

And then last night, we were relaxing in bed while watching the finale of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” that classic cinematic climax known for making hearts soar. During George’s emotional, snow-covered moments of awakening (and manic sprinting), Cody flatly remarked in regards to the flurry, “Asbestos. It’s all asbestos.” And whenever asbestos is released into the air, an angel gets its wings. Wink!

But he wasn’t 100% sure, so we did a bit of googling and it turns out that George’s snowfall was created with foamite, relatively benign and used in fire extinguishers. However, the fake flakes in the poppy field scene in “The Wizard of Oz” (the stuff they sprinkled all over Judy Garland) were genuine asbestos. So there you go. Merry Christmas!

The thing is, Cody’s really not a negative guy! He’s kind and content. It’s just that his occupation has led him to become extremely informed about some really negative stuff, which pops up at inopportune moments. Actually, when it comes to news-worthy environmental scares (like BPA, for example), he’s consistently the least worried person I know. Probably because he’s intimately acquainted with the “real” environmental threats. And he’ll tell you all about them at your holiday soiree.


  1. Jenny · December 19, 2010

    Hilarious!! Thanks for the info on the Wizard of Oz, and enjoy the season!

  2. amberhj · December 19, 2010

    Thanks, Jenny! Happy holidays to you and yours, too! Wish we’d get a little nontoxic snow…

  3. Jessica · December 27, 2010

    That is awesome!

  4. Pingback: Blogging. Stella. Me me me! | The Life and Times of Stella

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