Monday, December 31, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Do not use more than 4 times per day

I asked myself: how can something be both icy and hot at the same time?

Now I have my answer.

Icy Hot is weird. I am not sure how to describe the sensation. It is both icy and it is hot -- absolutely no false advertising there. It is like a self-inflicted chemical burn, but my skin isn't turning red or peeling off. At least not yet.

I'm not exactly convinced it has helped my muscle pain. It is fairer to say it has taken my mind off muscle pain, because now I am more worried about my skin turning inside out, and finding words to describe the tingling in my limbs, so when I call an ambulance we can avoid small talk and get right down to the business of gluing me back together.

That said, I am not against it. I am only mid-way through this wacky experiment. It smells medicinal, even though I bought the rapid vanishing scent formula. It applied clear. And as promised, it's got this phantom dry-ice burn thing going on.

Truth be told, the only reason I am doing this was to use more of my flexible spending money. If my arms fall off, I have only bureaucracy to blame. And my own damnable curiosity!

(I just IM'd Jer and he said to hang in there, it does help. I am paraphrasing because he's never actually said the words "hang in there." But deep down I know that's exactly what he means.)

Square Peg, Round Hole

At Tully's coffee this morning, I noticed they'd added stanchions to control the flow of the line. The front of the line is now marked by a small sign that says, "Enter here" and is on the far side of the entrance of the store, not exactly intuitive since you have to walk to back side of the registers instead of just stand in front of them. As I waited, I noticed one or two people get in line from the wrong end, completely defeating the purpose.

When I finally got to the front of the line, I had the following conversation:

Me: The new line is kind of confusing.
Lead barista: Yeah, you should've seen it the first day. Everyone kept coming in the wrong side.
Me: Maybe you could make the sign bigger. Or go back to the old way.
Lead barista: This is more user-friendly.

Yeah, because user-friendly means pissing off your pre-caffeinated customers. Oooh Tully's, if I didn't enjoy your coffee so darned much...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Our Christmas holiday was spent on the couch, watching DVDs (US version of The Office seasons 1 and 2, Venture Brothers season 2, Futurama Bender's Big Score, and The IT Crowd), playing Lego Star Wars on the Gamecube, and indulging in the occasional adult beverage. It was fantastic, if only for the fact I had Jer to myself for 3 whole days. Plus it snowed on Christmas day. How great is that?

I received several wonderful cookbooks, a set of Faulkner, a pair of Fluevogs from Jer, a couple of non-fiction books (including a beginning running handbook and the 4 hour work week), and "The Prestige," which I've already mentioned. It was a very good year. Post-Christmas I bought myself: two King-sized sheet sets on sale at SmartBargains.com (our current sheets came free with the bed six months ago and are falling apart) and two Champion sports bras on sale at One Hanes Place (my current ones are about 5 years old and I want to run more in 2008). w00t.

This year I'm finally starting to feel more secure financially, so I decided to explore local donation opportunities. In my research I came across a special event at Planned Parenthood I thought I'd share with you. Now through December 31, a long-time supporter will match, dollar for dollar, every donation they receive up to a total of $250,000. It's an organization I feel strongly about, and it's a pretty neat deal, so there you go.

Outside the weather is doing a wacky subtle hybrid of rain/snow. I'm looking forward to my second 4-day weekend in a row. And I'm starting to think about my goals-not-resolutions for next year. Happy Thursday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

An Elaborate Recap of 2007

2006 was fairly forgettable, except for the fact it was a bad year and I was happy to see it go. I never wrote a recap because it wasn't worth it to me, but 2007 on the other hand, that's a year I can get behind.

January
I believe the year started with a hangover. I was overwhelmed at work and was in the office on Saturdays to catch up. I went bowling in Capitol Hill with work and to the Chapel after for drinks. There was a lot of snow and ice in January, and I had difficulty convincing cab drivers to drive me all the way to West Seattle where it was rumored to be the end of times.

Found out I was good at darts. Obtained more Le Creuset. Jer was temporarily unemployed. I was pretty much depressed this whole month.

February
This month also started with a hangover. I found an incredible meatloaf recipe and made fried chicken. Jer started a new job.

Obtained more Le Creuset. Obsessed with work.

I went to the Bodies Exhibition to see cadavers and was scared straight. Maybe I should exercise? crosses my mind.

Went to Metropolitan Market for the first time and learned where to buy cilantro/Chinese Parsley. First trip to Charlestown Street Cafe for dinner. First trip to Daiso.

Jer and I spent a weekend in Port Angeles before he started his new job. We ate well, but the trip was not a good one. He was worried about starting his new job on the following Monday and I was in a poor headspace.

I paid off my photography school loan in February. That still makes me happy.

March
Lily visited, yay. We ate our way across Seattle and went on a tour of Theo Chocolate.

First trip to the dentist in Seattle.

Donated blood. Learned how to make a proper omelet. Drank too much. Went to Jak's Grill for the first time. Wrote lyrics for the first time.

We bought a new mattress! First new one I've had in 10 years. And it was king-sized. Happy times! (Jer was at the emergency room getting his hand stitched together as it was delivered.)

The biggest news of the month was: I started with a personal trainer again. I returned to the gym after an absence of about 6 months.

Jer and I went to the Woodinville Wine Weekend. This month was a pretty good one.

April
Second day of Woodinville Wine Weekend. Ate at the Mongolian Grill for the first time.

I take the first steps to treat my body healthier, but this is a very long road. The initial pain of workouts is overwhelming and I spend many hours on the couch with a heating pad.

I made a Shepherd's Pie. I took a random vacation day to relax.

I started weighing my food with a scale and counting calories. Then I signed up for a weight loss contest at the gym. Courtney and Chris took me to see Rat City Rollergirls.

I quit drinking for the contest. Mostly to see if I could do it.

May
Water taxi season started! I took photos at Courtney's auction for the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk and I helped a co-worker move. I also started looking into taking financial planning courses.

I set up my online photo store and photo blog.

Still dieting and not drinking.

Played golf for the first time on a 9 hole par 3 course. Then went to Beveridge Place Pub for the first time. (A lot of firsts this year.) Was embarrassed to ask the bartender for a Diet Coke, but got over myself.

Sent an entry to a playwriting contest. Started a Project Management class. Our friend Mike came to visit. Submitted to photofriday.com for the first time.

To sum up my March recap: this month was about dieting, not drinking, and photography. I completed the weight loss contest with a 15 pound loss.

June
The first day of this month ended up being one of the worst of my entire life. It made me realize a couple of important things and since that night, everything has been better. Jer rescued me from a stupid situation I put myself into, and for the first time in a long time, I realized how much he cared for me. Probably more than I cared for myself at the time. 2006 was bad for us both and for the previous few months, things had been steadily improving, but this was the night it all came together. My drinking was one problem, a friendship with someone who was a bad influence was another, and wandering off into the night and getting myself lost in an industrial section of the city at 11pm was the final straw.

I bought a knee brace. Gym, photography, and professional rejection... Jer's sister had a baby girl.

Jer and I went to Gasworks for the first time. We started (this month) to spend more concentrated quality time together. Also, Jer bought me a fisheye lens as a belated Christmas present.

July
Friends over for Fourth of July, photos taken. Jer and I walked/roller bladed to Seafair. It was awesome. If only because he conceded to leave the house and engage in a form of exercise!

My parents visited, yay! I proceeded to take them EVERYWHERE, including Bainbridge Island.

Jer and I ate at the Royal India Grill for the first time.

Created a new and improved budget for saving for a house downpayment.

Jer and I walked around the park on a pretty summer day.

August
Jer and I went to a movie. (I'm highlighting these outings because they were huge for our relationship. After 7 years, our life together meant taking each other for granted.)

KOMO-TV blogger meetup.

I submitted photos to a stock photography site after hemming and hawing for years. I was ultimately accepted.

I turned 30. I got engaged. We ordered our wedding bands. Jer started his crazy working-at-night schedule -- which incidentally is still happening, 4 months later.

September
I rented a slide scanner and scanned in all my slides from photography school. That was a pain in the ass.

First trip to Skylark Cafe. First visit to the Ballard Locks. Jer and I spent a lovely afternoon exploring the Locks and the Salmon Ladder.

Another cleaning at the dentist. First bra fitting at Macy's. First taste of poutine.

Jer and I went to the Greek Festival. Jer and I saw They Might Be Giants in concert.

I bought a yogurt maker and snapped a lucky shot of a bald eagle with the Space Needle in the background.

October
Started selling on half.com. Sold last year's Halloween costume on eBay.

I married Jeremy.

Saw "Bat Boy: The Musical." Cooked a fair amount this month. Jer and I went to a corn maze and pumpkin patch. It was awesome.

I went to see Crazy Aunt Purl do her book reading in Seattle and then I bought biking shorts with padding. I started a spinning class.

Fires in San Diego. Parents temporarily evacuated.

Jer and I went to a movie and a pub. I went to the doctor for an annual checkup. No surprises.

November
Sold a lot more items on half.com. Started saving for a wedding dinner with the families. Made Beef Daube Provencal.

Paid to have the knives sharpened at the Farmer's Market. Took the car in for an oil change. Bought clothes. Jer and I drove to Tacoma for Carl's, Jr.

More pumpkin beer!

I cooked a lot of food for Thanksgiving, including my grandmother's recipe for Greek Stuffing. Started playing Diablo II again.

Went to a fancy bar or two with CRo and drank things with egg whites in them.

December
It snowed!

My Saturday spinning class ended. I made yogurt finally. Jer and I saw Mike Doughty at the Triple Door. So much fun.

I tried absinthe!

Jer and I went to southern California to visit families and go to our fancy wedding dinner. My sister appeared unexpectedly and we all had a great time. Then I caught a cold on the way home.

I went on the Christmas Ship for the first time.

Recap of Recap:
2007 was about trying a lot of things for the first time. It was also about reclaiming a relationship from the pits of relationship purgatory and giving it a brand new life. And lastly, it was about physical pain (the gym) and photography (On Focus Photo.) And as a second lastly, it was about making new Seattle friends.

Thanks for bearing with me! Looking forward to what 2008 has in store. -- Christy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Week of Holiday Excess & Adventure

I tried to go home at a sensible time. At 6pm, I was standing at the bus stop, waiting for the 6:10 bus to take me home. I entertained myself with thoughts of how good I was, going home and curling up to read "The Prestige," and definitely not drinking anymore alcohol.

At 6:25pm, I thought, I have been waiting for this bus for a long time and maybe it isn't coming? Just then I saw CRo.

CRo and I discussed our options. She texted Metro and first it said our bus was coming and then it said our bus had sailed mysteriously by without us noticing. Instead of anger, we embraced opportunity and stopped in for a quick drink at The Can Can. I had two very creative and tasty drinks. The first had egg and nutmeg and maple syrup and something else and the second was one of the best Bloody Marys I've ever had.

We took a different bus home so we could eat at the Luna Park Cafe, where I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fried egg and chili. We amused ourselves by feeding the jukebox at our table and me trying in vain to get the apparatus to play "Mac the Knife."

After all the excess, this morning I feel remarkably better than I should, but it occurs to me I haven't told you about the Christmas Ship yet. I want to thank Courtney and her husband for showing me a great time last Wednesday night.

As their website says, The Christmas Ship has been a Northwest tradition for 58 years. It leaves from different locations and travels along different routes during the month of December, and for a fee you can ride on the boat and listen to carolers on the loud speaker and see all the pretty lights. There are two "stops" along the tour when the boats pause in their journey and the carolers let loose. On the shore at these stops, is often a bonfire and hot chocolate for the residents. Our trip lasted a couple of hours and there were games for the kids, and booze for the adults. You can also order box lunches ahead of time, which I highly recommend, because those lunches are tasty and filling.

The night we went was unsurprisingly rainy and cold, but most of the ship was covered and warm, with a few exceptions where people would gather to hear the choir better. Only then you were at the mercy of the weather.

We traveled on the Parade Boat, which follows the actual Christmas Ship and holds the overflow of people. One of the highlights was going outside to watch The Christmas Ship navigate under the 90 through a tight spot, and then staring up at the bottom of the bridge as we followed behind.

Tomorrow is the last run of the Christmas ship this year, but as I wrote it is an annual tradition. Mark your calendar for next year and then buy your tickets fast because it sells out most nights. Thanks again, Chris and Courtney, for a great time!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

eTrade alert

If you have an eTrade account, today is customer appreciation day -- that means no commissions on trades. Great time to rebalance your portfolio or pick yourself up a little something for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Caffeine at 8pm

I feel self-destructive in only the way a Tuesday in December can make you feel. I want to eat things full of sugar and drink gallons of soda, rotting the teeth right out of my head. I want to stay up late and watch mindless, soul-killing infomercials about products that lie. I want to commit sloth over and over, curl up under the covers until a spiralling line of drool stains my pillow grey.

After indulging in sugar and a diet soda, I feel mildly jumpy. Like my eyes are propped against their will, dry, threatening to fold. My tongue is coated in stale caramel flavoring. And a cat suddenly finds the space in my lap appealing, her head resting in the crook of my typing arm. She stretches against my side, purring and demanding I scratch her chin. So I bleed energy from my fingers and type-pet-type-scratch-type until she loses interest and uses my bladder as a vertical trampoline.

But that comes later. For now, she purrrrrs.

I taste the potential for change as a disconcerting melody. So I grab on to moments with a death grip and say to my brain, pay attention, it's shifting. Flash bulb this one... I've decided in my unscientific analysis (AKA my opinion) that Alzheimer's is the brain's inability to shift back from sleep state to waking state. In my dreams I accept anything as possible. I construct elaborate stories about impossible things and I believe them completely. When I wake, sometimes there's a moment of disorientation, and I think, "This is what it is to not know who I am."

Maybe Alzheimer's is when the brain can't distinguish between the disorientation of dreams and the ephemeral structure of memory. Fffppppt. Shuffle the cards. Shoe matches shoe. Hat matches hat. Or maybe I'm just writing out of my ass. Wouldn't be the first time.

Not even early risers at a yard sale would buy what I'm selling.

Surprises & Sickness

One of the best surprises happened during the California trip: my sister magically appeared fresh from Iraq. Or mostly fresh. It was completely unpredicted and I cried a little. As my in-laws would say, "I squirted some."

She attended the dinner and met Jer's family, most of whom didn't believe she actually existed. But she did, and she does, and it was awesome.

Today the sniffles are letting up a bit. I woke up fewer times choking than the previous night, always good.

Make sure you check out tomorrow's photo at On Focus Photo Blog. I am especially proud of it. Fish-eye, meet rose. So happy together.

I admit I am not in the best mood ever. I've been eating too much and need to go back to the gym, but with all the sniffles and the scratchy throat, I've been giving myself a pass. As well as an inordinate amount of heavy cream. There are other things going on which make me cranky, and someday I may tell the Internet about it, but now is not the time.

One more thing. My sister made me get a manicure and pedicure while she had her hair lightened. I've never had this done before and it was weird. I am not sure whether I liked it or not, but it seemed like an awful lot of time to stare at a person filing the bottom of my foot or snipping the crap out of my cuticles. Also, nail filing is the worst noise in the entire world.

So... I think I lean towards not liking it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

28 Dogs, 3 Cats, 6 Goats, 1 Baby

Hi! It has been so long, Internet. I was way too busy to miss you much but you were sometimes on my mind. I'll give you that.

The fancy wedding dinner was very nice. The families all got along. The limo showed up on time. I looked like this:

I took lots and lots and lots of photos on this trip. Many will find their way to my photo site. Speaking of photos, I was just notified that one of my flickr photos is being used in the fourth edition of the Schmap Seattle Guide. It's in the Bite of Seattle section -- if you click the link it should display in the far right.

Back to the trip... I took photos of goats and babies and dogs and roses and cacti and the baby photos are so cute they would literally make your brain explode. Unfortunately it is not my baby, so I won't be posting these photos anywhere near the Internet, but I assure you: very cute.

I spent a few days in San Diego and a few days in Temecula. Now I am in my pajamas, and my sinuses are stuffed and achy. I managed to catch a cold on the last day of my trip, when my body finally gave up and said, Self, go home and sleep. As a result, I see the world right now through a very odd fog of decongestants and lozenges.

Somewhere past the yellow haze, Vash is crying. I must go to him... and drink a gallon of water, fold my laundry, and then sleep for many hours in a row. Pictures later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

To the Skies

It's time for me to make some decisions along with coffee and decide what to pack. I put a pile of things by the door that I mustn't forget, and I have tiny lists scattered around. Now I must make those things fit into the spaces I can carry over my shoulder and on wheels.

The highest of priorities are:

  • Package thing for shipping
  • Post 2 photoblog entries
  • Wash the towels and jeans
  • Drink coffee
  • Pack for trip
I found a cute red necklace at Macy's to match my dress, and yesterday I bought a suitable "foundation garment," as Tim Gunn's Guide to Style might say. The limo is paid for, the wedding dinner is completely saved for, and my arms are buff.

As a wise man once said, "These are the good times."

Do not fret, Internet. I will take pictures for you and it'll be just like you were there. See you in a week, unless I post sooner.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy day after Repeal Day!

Last night's adventures were initiated by C Ro and inspired by Repeal Day -- the day prohibition was repealed. The evening started at Vessel, where they offered numerous drink specials and offered 33% off discounts for anyone wearing 1933 garb. C Ro looked fabulous in her stole and fancy dress. I rocked the business casual. We were later joined by Beard Boy and her other friends, who all looked fantastic in their 30's-themed outfits as well.

I tried many things. There was Dewar's on the rocks, a Presbyterian (Scotch, ginger beer, ginger ale, Peychaud's bitters), and also absinthe. I asked the waitress if it was real and she assured me it was, but I do not know the brand or any other details. It tasted the way I expected, like black licorice juice. It was served very prettily on a silver tray, and I was able to finally try louching -- adding sugar and water to cloud the spirit. It is not something I would drink on a daily basis, but I enjoyed the experience.

A slightly wobbly walk later, we arrived at The Zig Zag Cafe, which is located just below Pike Place Market. I ordered a beer, but didn't drink it. I felt the evening's activities catch up with me, so I switched to water. There was more talking and nibbling of food and ultimately a cab ride home to my cats.

Not a bad way to celebrate Repeal Day, I'd say.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Little Night Music

Last night was fantastic. Jer and I saw Mike Doughty at The Triple Door. If you're not familiar, he was also the lead singer of Soul Coughing.

The Triple Door is an awesome venue. It's a dim, intimate setting with rows of staggered and graded tables, chairs, and booths. A server takes your drink and food order, and places a carafe of water in front of you. I never felt crowded, we had an incredible view, and even though I was in the same row as 15 other patrons or so, our place settings were grouped and angled so it didn't seem like we intruded on other conversations or groups. I just loved it. Also, I continuously marvelled at how the servers managed to stay unobtrusive, even as they cleared plates and refilled drinks.

Meals were on the pricey side since you are a captive audience, but well seasoned and prepared. I actually hesitate to tell you about The Triple Door, because I want to keep it all to myself.

Opening for Mike Doughty was Kris Orlowski, who I enjoyed well enough to purchase his CD. (I rarely do that.) He was very nice and down to earth and signed the insert in my CD. After a brief intermission, Mike Doughty and his cellist/guitarist (Scrap?) took questions/requests from the audience and played for an hour and a half. My only disappointment is he did not play "I Hear the Bells," but he played most of his other songs from "Haughty Melodic," one of my favorite albums ever.

Last year Jer and I drove to Everett to see Mike Doughty open for Barenaked Ladies at the Everett Events Center. It snowed pretty violently and we found ourselves stuck in Everett, checking into a hotel at the last minute. I have to say, not getting trapped in a strange town on a Sunday night would've made this year's show a highlight, but the venue plus the show plus the great service made it an extremely memorable evening.

I highly recommend the artist and the venue by giving them both one billion imaginary stars and a tube of toothpaste. They may divide the spoils however they like.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Yogurt is yummy

I finally made yogurt and it's not that hard. It's actually kind of a wobbly.

I purchased a packet of yogurt starter, a yogurt maker, and a thermometer. First you bring 1 liter of milk to its boiling point on the stove, then let it cool to about 44 degrees Celsius. Then you mix the milk with the starter and put it all in the yogurt maker. Plug the yogurt maker in, and let it sit for about 5 1/2 hours -- depending on the starter used. Finally, stick in the fridge for about 8 hours.

The end result was yogurt, which is fantastic for my first batch. It is more tart than I expected, but tasty. Next I will experiment adding additional flavors and/or sugar. I have my eye on a vanilla yogurt recipe for next time.

This is not the only way to make yogurt, but it worked for me. The end.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My Minutiae

Last morning of spinning and it wiped me out. The theme was Ironman. I worked my ass off, came home and slept.

This time last year and the year before (give or take a day), it snowed, so I shouldn't have been surprised when I woke from my nap and shrieked, "Snow!"

Jer unfortunately had to work downtown, but the roads didn't seem too bad. I drank two cups of coffee and hung lights around the living room and now I'm feeling the season.

I also confirmed our reservations for the fancy wedding dinner, and that they could provide a highchair. Phew. And then reserved a van to take us to the airport next weekend. Now we just have to find something for Jer to wear. (I found myself a red dress.)

It is still snowing softly outside. You can see the flakes against the streetlights. It won't last, but it makes for a cozy evening.

SNOW (and happy birthday lily)

I looked outside and saw this:

Yay, December!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I wonder if the very important thing I try to say every time I post was somehow already said one drunken wordy night and I will never get it back. If I sit here with the drapes closed and my mind open exclusively to the comedy channel, will I finally be funny?

I read once you have to write at least a million words before you write anything of consequence. I'm guessing that person didn't count blogging in that estimate.

Today I left the house, got on a bus, sat for awhile, walked a couple of blocks, moved in place, walked back, sat some more, walked, drank a beer, walked, and got a ride home. Both the cats were asleep. Chiana is propped against my pillow and Vash is on the couch. I will join them in dreamland soon.

Last night I met a friend after work and had a very tasty whisky sour made with egg white. It was in a hip, dim, candle-lit bar, with dark corners and pneumatic stools. Spoiling the mood however was a large flat screen tv over the counter demanding attention. Football, it said, you watch it.

This entry: I don't know how to end you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm a Frayed Knot

Today some inconsequential wire inside is fraying, rubbing another bit raw. And I would like to fall face first into a bucket of comfort food -- a Monte Cristo sandwich, cajun tater tots, meatloaf -- but I would feel a whole lot better if I just went to the gym and knocked that stupid wire back into place.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"I Kick Ass for the Lord"

I'm reporting to you live from the living room floor where, some time ago, we put on a DVD titled "Dead Alive."

I've never seen so much fake blood, at least I hope it's fake. A bottle of wine, a cat in the lap, and a great cult flick. Yessirree. That's Sunday for you.

The moon was big tonight, big and yellow and toothy. It rose over the buildings over the bay and finally disappeared up above the window. But then you knew that, didn't you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Jer and I started playing Diablo II again. I created a barbarian character named Face and he's playing a paladin named Knuckles. This leads to a wide variety of "So's your face," jokes.

I'll spare you the other (very funny) Diablo in-jokes we've amassed over the years. Except if you ever hear me yell, "Don't be a hero Wolf!" you should know I'm referring to an old hireling with a penchant for kamikaze stunts and not a Dick Wolf Production.

This whole vacation thing passed far too quickly. I'm not unhappy to return to the working world by any means, but it's certainly been nice to think, hey, I'd rather be sleeping and do it. Or, I haven't read that book yet! And then dive in. It's true, I've eaten more than I should but I've also worked out for an hour three times this week. The apartment is in okay shape. And I'm reading three different books. Tomorrow I will probably do my Christmas shopping online.

If I had the funds, I would live like this all the time. Nothing extravagant, just reading and cooking and sleeping and playing Diablo II. Maybe join a playwriting group. Go to the library. Experience new things. I hear there's an ice skating rink at Seattle Center for the holidays, I'd like to try that. Ice skating isn't one of my skills exactly, but Jer is great at it. Before we started dating I remember watching him play roller hockey with friends at the university gym.

He's tried to teach me a couple of times. I can get started okay and glide in the right direction, but then I can't figure out how to stop without sitting down and tearing a hole in my pants.

The solution to this problem is clear: buy more pants.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Sunny, Chilly Friday

I sure do enjoy being an adult. For breakfast I ate a slice of pumpkin pie and a Diet Dr. Pepper. Also I had to mail something outside and I didn't have time to shower first, so I put on a knit cap and ran downstairs in my pajamas. Unfortunately, I ran into two of our older residents putting up a Christmas tree in the lobby. They looked at me funny. But as an adult, I can choose to ignore their alienation or I can drink it away with Baileys and coffee.

I will probably drink the pain away.

Thanksgiving dinner went very well. All the dishes turned out and Jer loved the smoked turkey. My tragic secret is that turkey does not do much for me. I mostly consider it a vehicle for transporting gravy into my face. I would recommend the smoked turkey however because it is not only tasty but pre-cooked. One less thing to worry about.

I ended up making two pumpkin pies, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Greek Stuffing. We also had gravy and dinner rolls, as predicted. You should know I am not perfect though. I burned the pine nuts for the stuffing. I got distracted by foaming potatoes and let the nuts toast longer than the prescribed 5 minutes, 425 degrees. ("Five minutes, Turkish.") And in case you were wondering, burned, dark brown pine nuts should not be eaten. They taste like char.

Jer graciously volunteered to brave the store and buy me some more pine nuts. He said it was crazy busy, but he returned triumphant and I was able to finish the stuffing.

I am watching "Bizarre Foods" and they are talking about jellied moose nose. Naturally, my thoughts turn toward preservation. In the next year, I think I will learn more about preserving food. I believe I have a decent pickle recipe from the Internet. That will be my baby step. If you have any suggestions on books or recipes or websites, please post a comment.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

a subtle assault on the senses

On Thanksgiving morn, I recommend you avoid watching a show called "Eaten Alive" documenting parasites and their effects on the human body.

Although I must say, it is fascinatingly gruesome.

I assume this delicious irony is brought to me by the vegans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let the Bodies Hit the Flo'

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

I'm on the floor. Where are you?

I should be making a pumpkin pie or two. Maybe I will do that. I very constructively moved all the cans I need to the counter, along with the ground ginger, ground clover, and ground cinnamon. I looked at the instructions and then came in and sat down on the floor.

Standing hurts.

Let's see. On Day-Whatever-This-Is-Of-Vacation I called my parents and they told me all about their European cruise, and then Jer dropped me off downtown on his way to work so I could mail a package and go to the gym. It wasn't the smartest thing in the world to go back to they gym so soon after yesterday, but there it is.

Muscles mad. Head fuzzy. Ground good.

I still haven't made a timeline of food for tomorrow. If I remember everything, there will be turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, some kind of vegetable, some gravy I bought at Target (that's how I roll), and oh yes, dinner rolls. And Greek Stuffing. And? Mystery.

Maybe not mystery.

Unless you consider Ibuprofen and a bottle of Red Zinfandel, mystery.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why Jer is Awesome

We were down to our final bottle of pumpkin beer, and it was Jer's -- we shared the other bottles except one I drank by myself while working on photos. At the realization there would be no more for a whole year, I may have... shown some disappointment.

I'm one of those people who show emotion on their face pretty clearly. I'm fun to scare because I will give you a good reaction, whether it's a shout, shriek, or scream. For awhile I thought I'd become an actor, but I wasn't persistent enough. I'm pretty sure all you need to be successful at anything is a little talent and a whole lot of persistence.

Jer offered to get us more pumpkin beer. He called the Elysian and found they had bottles for sale at their Capitol Hill location. So we drove out there, and obtained more beer.

Then we got stuck in the parking lot. In the five minutes we spent inside the bar, an office delivery truck parked perpendicular to a water heater truck, with only a narrow gap between them. Eventually we figured out if I guided Jer through, and he trusted me, we could only just make it through the gap. I'd say about five inches to spare.

Unfortunately we were stuck in that parking lot just long enough for all our clothes to smell like brewery. It's amazing how that stuff permeates.

And that, dear Internet, is why Jer is awesome.

The Trip for Trans Fats

On day three of vacation, which would be Monday, I ran some errands in the morning -- post office, Staples, Target, and Safeway. And then hung out (hanged?) in the apartment for the rest of the day.

Wait, that's not true. We drove to Tacoma. How did I forget Tacoma?

Sunday night, Jer and I watched "Supersize Me" on CBC. Only instead of having the intended effect -- fast food, ew -- we both found ourselves craving some grease and trans fats.

We used to live exclusively on fast food, and although it was cheap! and easy! and greasy! it was also very very bad. We rarely eat fast food these days, but we were missing Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger and it was a vacation day, and heck, the closest one is in Tacoma. Why not go? (For my central coast readers, as far as driving distance goes, Tacoma is to Seattle what Ventura is to Santa Barbara.) (For everybody else, it's about a half hour away.)

So I ran my errands -- I used my new canvas totes at 3 of the 4 stores, and it only confused the checkers a little -- I programmed the Tacoma address into the GPS, and we hit the road.

As I ate my burger, I found it tasty and worth the drive. My side dish of onion rings however, was a greasy shock to the system. I could only eat a few of them. For the rest of the evening it felt like my throat and tongue were coated with oil. It was awful. It was sad. I asked for so little... and I guess I got it.

So this morning I went to the gym and worked with my trainer for an hour. I am just beginning to experience the soreness and I could definitely go back to sleep, but I feel a little better about our culinary adventure yesterday. Or misstep, as it were.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Like most Sundays, I'm at the computer, waiting for Jer to wake up. The big item on the agenda is to make guacamole. And maybe catch up on "Dexter."

In honor of my successful shopping trip, I went through the closet and removed any items that were too short or too baggy. It left me with some buyer's remorse since some of the items were only 4 months old, however it was the biggest purge yet. Some of the items I'd been holding onto "just in case." Like the two pairs of pants with obliterated eyehooks and me having to face the fact that I would never fix them. Or the blue slacks that appear to have deflated from behind. So very flattering.

Now they're gone. Or at least packed up. Suddenly I have an abundance of hangars.

Today is the second day of vacation and I am already falling into bad, old habits. Too much television watching, not enough focus. I don't know if there's anything I necessarily need to get out of these days except to relax, but there are undercurrents of guilt in not spending my time more productively.

It's your last chance to buy my teakettle. Auction ends tonight at 8:05pm PST.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In Search of Slacks

It is 11am. I am just back from shopping.

I decided I didn't want to be locked into leaving the house on Black Friday, and if I could find deals ahead of time, I would take advantage.

This morning J.C. Penney had a doorbuster sale starting at 7am, and since that's where I've been buying my slacks of late -- and I had a coupon plus a gift card -- I decided to go.

I left the apartment at 6:45 am, arrived at the mall at 7:05 am, and avoided the petite section (because I am not 5 ft 4 in tall like I thought but rather 5 ft 5.5 in), and braved the rest of the store. Unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable about the rest of the store, and my wandering took me from petites directly to women's sizes. I thought, hm, maybe sizes just jump? One day you're proportionately wee and the next you have womanly curves? So I tried on some smaller women's sizes but they didn't hug the right parts of me. I didn't dare go back to Juniors so I sucked it up and kept walking. Could it be that there are no clothes for people in between?

Part of the problem here -- and maybe why you are wondering why I didn't know about regular sizes -- is that I have been a larger size for a very long time. I pretty much went from a Junior size to a full-figured size. And then stopped buying clothes. I allowed zippers to bust and buttons to crack before I'd bother tossing an item. At one point I owned one pair of stretch black pants that I wore everyday, because the thought of going shopping and looking at my fat in those horrible three-way mirrors was more than I could handle. And the kicker is, I'm not that fat.

Eventually I found the regular women's apparel and dove in. It was awesome. It was exciting. I am going DOWN in sizes rather than up, consistently, and over the longest range of time in my life. I am doing this by making healthier choices, not dieting exactly, and working out. And the small changes are continually yielding tangible results. Three sizes I've dropped...

I bought more workout pants -- the old ones are one tug away from mooning people -- I bought a few shirts (need more), slacks for a week, 1 pair of Isotoner gloves, 2 dresses... and 6 pairs of black socks. Quite a haul.

I did have to skip spinning this morning to catch the sale, but I will make up the workout -- as soon as the rain lets up and I get done with my well-deserved nap. Three hours at the mall and all I got was this awesome bag of clothes...

Not too shabby for my first day of vacation.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Frugalicious

I have some guilt about all the plastic in my life, so I decided to buy some canvas totes.

A secondary benefit is that it reduces the plastic available for Vash to chew on. What a weird cat. We actually had to install babyproof locks on the kitchen cabinets to keep him from indulging his bizarre midnight appetite.

I first read about this particular tote on Queercents, one of my favorite personal finance sites.

Of course now I have to remember I have them. I took a trip to Costco tonight and forgot them completely. It was raining, and instead of accepting one of their boxes -- I'm stubborn, did you know that? -- I juggled. Photos in my jacket, wine under my arm, CFL bulbs across my chest, chicken stacked on the bulbs. Also, rain.

I did okay. Next time I will do better with my fancy canvas tote.

The CFL bulbs weren't because of guilt, they were because I'm frugal. A pack of six for $13.99 with a $10 instant rebate. Get thee to Costco and buy yourself some energy savings. Or just leave your lights off. Either way.

The Conspiracy of Socks

I've saved 82% of what I need for the fancy wedding dinner. With my next paycheck I should reach the goal amount. Fan-tastic.

At my physical a couple weeks ago, I found out I'm an inch and a half taller than I thought. Consequently, I must buy pants. See I was trying to ignore it, but my current pants fall too short, and -- since losing more weight -- are too baggy. (Add in a pair of scuffed black shoes and I am the picture of professionalism!)

That said, I will be braving the mall on Black Friday.

I am mentally psyching myself up in every spare moment. You WILL wake up before 5am on a Friday. You WILL fight to reach the sale rack. You WILL, like your warrior ancestors (probably one in their somewhere), stare down the shopping beast and return triumphant with new and stylish skins! Raaaaawwwwrrrr!

And some black socks. Don't forget socks. I hate spending money on socks. All this saving money backfires because I've trained myself to ask about every single purchase: this or a house? House wins over socks every time, except I can't NOT wear socks in winter. Stupid mandatory footwear.

Recently I discovered I can do a real push-up or 10. I'm 30 years old and I'm doing my first real push-ups, not from the knee. Is that sad? It might be sad.

The cats remain unimpressed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Smith Machine

At the gym today I did squats on the Smith Machine. And for the first time did them correctly, which nets me a gold star and fantastic quads.

I was pretty sure my trainer was lying when he told me it was called a Smith Machine ... I may have even cracked a joke about using the Jones machine next, but that's just the relationship we have. We so crazy.

Then I overheard another trainer cheering on his client, and I could've sworn he said, "Rip it up hard." More likely he said, "Rip it apart," but for the rest of my session I kept yelling, "Rip it up... hard!" because I'm 12.

Squat is an ugly word.

On the commute home last night, the bus got a flat tire. We squished two buses worth of people into one bus. I'm glad that doesn't happen very often. I'm not prone to claustrophobia but if ever I was going to feel it, it'd be then.

Today wasn't all that great. Tomorrow will be better.

I am more ready than you can possibly know for my week of vacation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Overall you could say the weekend was domestically satisfying. On Saturday night I washed and folded many loads of laundry, decluttered the entryway, watched too much Bravo -- "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and the movie "Honey" -- and dusted. Sunday morning I woke up too early, loaded a mostly full knife block into my backpack, and drove to Jiffy Lube for an oil change. Then I walked over to the farmer's market, paid to have my knives sharpened, and bought Cirrus cheese from Port Townsend Creamery, a baguette, and a jar of pumpkin butter.

It was surreal walking around carrying 6 dull knives and a pair of kitchen scissors on my back. I kept wondering what the guys at the Jiffy Lube would think if they knew what I was packing. I was like the world's most inefficient hitman.

Hold on, [swing bag around, unzip], just give me a second, [fumble, fumble, draw], don't move, I SAID DON'T MOVE, [thrust dull knife at target, scratching the target really badly]. DamMIT. [run]

After I got home, I started prep work on the beef stew, stopped to chat with the landlady, and put the stew in the oven. It turned out well, though I would probably skip the noddles and just add potatoes next time. Jer and I ate dinner while watching the English language version of "Kiki's Delivery Service," which I thought was only okay. We usually watch sub-titled anime, so I'm not sure how much the experience would change without dubbing. It was sort of strange to say, "That sounds a lot like Janeane Garafalo," and then see her name in the credits.

I'm taking vacation days all next week and it looks like Jer will have Thanksgiving evening off, which is very nice. So far I've bought ingredients to make the green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and ordered the turkey. Not particularly imaginative, but comforty-type food. I might try my hand at the family Greek Stuffing recipe, and I will definitely be making mashed potatoes. Beyond that I should sit down and hammer out a menu.

Whatever I do, it'll beat my lame attempt last year. I think we stocked up on turkey TV dinners and ate that for a week.

Apathy and I, we are on-again off-again.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The spinning theme today was bootcamp. Spent most of the time out of the saddle in zones 3 and 4. It was tough, but good. I came home, ate an apple (used my new apple slicer, and promptly fell asleep.

It's silly but I didn't know these apple slicers existed; suddenly apples are exciting again.

It's been a good couple of weeks selling on half.com. I sold this book today: Walker Evans: Polaroids. I bought it with my employee discount when I worked at Barnes & Noble and was going to photography school. It was supposed to inspire me; I even bought a Polaroid SX-70 so I could shoot just like Walker Evans.

It didn't work out. I sold the SX-70 when I left school and couldn't get a full-time job. I found out too late I couldn't get a job because someone held a grudge and didn't have the integrity to clue me in. But that's another story.

The bright side is that the book sold for twice what I paid for it, and the proceeds will go to a good cause.

I finally reserved the limo for our fancy wedding party. It may have required a pint or two of courage -- Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, to be exact -- but I manned up and did the deed. Now I guess the next thing I need to do is find a dress.

I imagine that will require the opposite of manning up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Chat Stew, So Meaty"

Just a reminder, if you're in the market for a tea kettle, boy have I got a deal for you! Only 2 1/2 days left to bid!

Tonight I arranged to use the car to go grocery shopping and bought the ingredients to make Beef Daube Provencal, which as far as I can tell is French for fancy stew. I think that will be my Sunday project.

I received my blood test results from my physical last week. My thyroid (T3, T4) levels are all normal, which is the best news I've heard all day. I am so thankful not to have to worry about that right now -- no pills, no radioactive anything, no semimonthly blood tests. Hoo-ray.

The cats have spent the last 15 minutes slap-fighting. Chiana temporarily holds the higher ground from atop my slide scanner. Vash is staring me down at floor level. I am protecting myself with a red spray bottle. And now you know everything.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Since October 1, I've sold 20 items on half.com and 1 item on ebay. That's a lot of visits to the post office!

Today there was work and gym -- i am strong like bull, w00t -- then a batch of brown rice and a scrubdown of the bathroom sink and toilet. I am very much like the person Fergie sings about in her Glamorous song, which would explain the tiara and the pearls you can't see. But trust me they are fabulous.

There were no commuting incidents today, no frantic running through the streets of downtown. I still need to hire a limo for the fancy wedding dinner but I keep putting it off because I dislike using the phone. No other reason. It is number one on my Google to-do list though.

Have I mentioned that I ordered my Thanksgiving turkey from GobbleGobble.com? It is a smoked turkey; I have never had smoked turkey. Actually I have never served or carved a turkey at all. Maybe I should buy some sort of electric knife that vibrates dangerously. Or one of those really big forks to hold it in place while I hack at it with some kind of knife that doesn't vibrate.

I am going to be so good at this Thanksgiving dinner thing.

Technically though it might be a Thanksgiving lunch since we're not sure if Jer gets the evening off. More wine for me I guess. Opa!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Run, Christy, Run

I understand bus drivers have to be trained, I truly understand that they are not born intuitively knowing a route, but I am so ready for them all to hurry up and finish. Tonight's commute was just awful.

My bus driver forgot to switch the sign from "TERMINAL" to "37" until it was pulling away from my stop. I watched it pull away in horror and muttered, "You've got to be kidding me." Then I proceeded to chase it. From Pike to Union to University to Seneca, as fast as my legs would carry me. I may have been wheezing but I caught it!

Then, as I approached my stop, I pulled the rope and wobbled to stand behind the driver. She completely missed the stop. I pointed it out and she pulled over. I walked back home.

On Friday, the driver went the wrong way and missed 2 stops. It stresses me out when I feel like I have to watch the driver's every move. I don't like it, though it does make me much more appreciative of the days things go smoothly.

Last night was really great. Jer and I ate dinner at PF Changs. We had a coupon to try something on their new menu for free. I ordered the prawns with garlic noodles and they were good. Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but not the worst. What I really liked was the ginger beer. It's fantastic.

Then we got ice cream and went home and watched "The Island of Lost Souls." It's just about my favorite movie ever and I haven't seen it in years, just found a copy on eBay. It came out in 1932 and it's based on H.G. Wells' "Island of Dr. Moreau." I wish they'd release this officially on DVD because it deserves it. Charles Laughton is an incredibly creepy Dr. Moreau. And his creations are downright terrifying. It's so much better than the other film versions...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Change your clocks

Every Sunday morning for weeks I find myself in the same spot: sitting at my desk, catching up on Bloglines, checking statements, basically goofing off. Jer is still asleep surrounded by cats and goose feathers. He got home from work around 1:30am and he'll be sleeping for another couple of hours.

And every Sunday morning like clockwork, I hear his work phone buzz and vibrate on his desk. It, irrationally, annoys the crap out of me -- that that piece of plastic has so much control over our lives.

This is our one day off together and truthfully it's usually just an email he can ignore or a quick question, nothing important, but I just wish they'd leave him alone for one day.

In the Venn diagram of our weeks, Sunday is the only day that overlaps completely. I guess it shouldn't come as a shock that I'm protective of it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ibuprofen you complete me

Five days at the gym this week and my muscles are complaining, however I still managed to get excited about spinning this morning. The theme today was "climbing Mount Si," so we spent a lot of time in zone 4 (highest tension) out of the saddle. I pushed myself hard and felt good after -- excepting the muscle aches but I think fault lies more in deadlifts with my trainer yesterday or the 3 miles I jogged on Thursday.

I told Jer about the deadlifts and he said, "Why are you lifting zombies?"

Only a scant few years ago I avoided the gym like a zombie plague. Hello, irony. You are my bitch now.

Anywho. I am home alone again on a Saturday night and I'm not all that motivated to action. I need to pre-post some photoblog entries, clean some stuff, and quit dwelling on things I cannot control. A gal spends all her free time reading about the economy and securing a mortgage and she's liable to go a little batty, you know?

Now that we're officially married, Jer and I were finally able to combine our renter's insurance policies. He was looking over the updated paperwork and noticed a couple of things. First, we are not covered due to acts of war. Accidental or civil, declared or not declared, it doesn't matter. Also, in case of a nuclear explosion, we are not covered.

I think it's important to know these things up front. It will certainly influence which way I vote come election time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

too funny, and by funny i mean sad

So I've been reading this "blogger" for about, I don't know, 2 years. And it turns out she's a fake, a liar, a totally made up personality done as an exercise for a book. I find this out, and I post the following comment:

On November 3rd, 2007 01:41 am (UTC), an anonymous reader commented:
It's too bad
I suppose what I find disappointing isn't that this was a lie -- because there was some beautiful writing and drawings, and that is commendable -- it's that when I think back to how I found your site it becomes extremely distasteful. "[Name_removed]" sent me an email on June 11, 2005, saying she liked my site and included her site in the signature. And so I went to the site, and I read it, sure. I commented once on the guestbook. I enjoyed it for the merit of the writing. But now that I know it was a marketing ploy? I can't actually forgive that, which is too bad. I probably would've liked your book.

 

For the record, I don't really care if you or "[Name_removed]" liked my site or not, it's that you made the lie personal; you advertised under false pretenses. But hey, you're a fantastic writer and I wish you well in all your future endeavors. The experiment just didn't work for me that's all, but it sounds like it worked for the rest of them. - Christy

If it's not clear, [Name_removed] is the name the author used as the blogger -- she pretended she was an artistic, bright, high school girl. Not 5 minutes after I post the comment, it gets deleted. I am not surprised, not at all. It certainly explains why ALL of the comments are positive so far. Truth is, I read the blog and I rooted for her and it made me happy to cheer somebody else on. Somebody who had talent and was stuck on the edge of something great. And yes, a part of me is sad that a person I respected doesn't exist anymore, but that's not why I'm angry. I'm angry and disgusted because that email was a sales pitch and I fell for it. And the next time I will trust that much less...

I won't give it anymore publicity by providing a link. But damn. I guess I just like to believe that our word is very important, that it's pretty much the only thing we have.

Times like this, the internet frightens me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy November!

Oh hey. A chance to sit down. I'll take it.

It's been a busy couple of days. Doctor, trainer, chicken adobo from Oriental Mart... Meetings, eBay auction, writing writing writing, grocery shopping, haunted elevator and... scene.

To view my supreme eBay handiwork, visit: Pfaltzgraff Monaco Tea Kettle. It's chip-resistant, don't-ya-know, and a very pretty mosaic of cobalt blue and turquoise.

I'd keep the kettle, but I already have a blue one and I decided that no matter how much a person likes Genmaicha, there's no reason for two kettles. I'm actually sitting here trying to think of a reason to have two kettles and the ONLY thing I can think of is MAYBE if I had to defend a parapet and needed a vessel to boil hot oil in. But even then I bet my stock pot would work.

Yesterday at the doctor I received a bit of good news. I'm overweight, which is excellent because that means I'm not obese anymore, according to the BMI. You see, overweight is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from normal, or rather, a treadmill, an elliptical machine, and a chest press. (Yes, I think I'll keep all the commas. It's very important that you pause to breathe. Good for stress management.)

At the grocery store I bought ingredients to make Chicken Jalfrezi, which I've never made before. That will be tomorrow night's project, or maybe Saturday. On Sunday we might go see Blade Runner at the Cinerama. Or we might not.

I'm a wild thing; you can't pin me down. Unless you offer me a truffle. Then all bets are off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wedding Dinner Update

I love October -- I'd go so far as to say it's my favorite month; don't tell August, wicked temper -- but as far as pay days go, this month dragged. With my online sales, plus a couple of unexpected but very appreciated gifts from family, I've managed to save 32% of the wedding dinner money. Once I transfer over the work bonus, I'll be at 44%. Right on target for December.

I also started saving for a honeymoon. Australia is a top contender, but no decisions have been made yet. We are still influence-able if any other countries want to bribe us.

Tomorrow I scheduled a tetanus shot since it's been 10 years. I'm trying to burn through some of my flexible spending plan since I've got about half of it left. Any recommendations on moderately priced elective surgery? I've already had Lasik, so that's right out...

After being stabbed in the arm, I have an appointment with my trainer. I emailed him to ask if we could skip arms on account of the horrible tetanus aching and he wrote back, "Sure, we'll just do triceps." So funny that one.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lunch and a movie

Jer and I ate lunch at Chipotle on the Ave today, and boy was it ever tasty. I had the burrito bowl, which I think they spell bol, with chicken and light cheese/sour cream. Then we drove down the street and saw "The Darjeeling Limited."

I'm generally pretty fond of Wes Anderson's films, and I liked this one just fine. I laughed, I gasped, I hardly looked at my watch at all. When it comes out on DVD, I will buy it and watch it again. And that is my review.

The theatre was old and the seats weren't particularly comfortable, but it was the bathrooms I found most interesting. The women's room was up a set of stairs, the width of one person, sharp turn to the left. A mirror, a sink, an open door frame, and two stalls. No separation between bathroom and stairs. I found this... unsettling. This is usually the case when I suspect people buying popcorn in the lobby can hear me washing my hands or what not.

When the movie let out we wandered down the street to explore Wallingford and stretch our legs. We ended up at Murphy's pub and split an order of chicken strips and a tasty beverage. A post-film discussion was had. Then I may have talked about Treasury Bonds for no reason. It's what I do.

And now we are home again. Second weekend in a row we've ended up in the Wallingford area -- last Sunday we ate brunch at Elysian's Tangletown location, in case you're playing the home game.

On the docket for evening is a viewing of "Dark City" on DVD, and possibly some writing of thank you notes.

The cat is howling in the hallway. I think I'll go tease him.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Assorted and mixed

Jer and I saw Spamalot on Thursday at the Paramount Theatre. We sat close and to the side and -- what are the odds -- were seated next to some of his coworkers, one of whom has the same job title as me. In a second strange coincidence, this particular person is also great friends with the woman who used to do my current job. AND was invited to the same party I'd been invited to this weekend. (I already RSVP'd I couldn't make it.)

To that I say, weird.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It kept my mind off the twitchy guy in front of me who kept bobbing his head from side-to-side directly in my line of sight, and the guy behind me who kept clearing his throat by way of sucking in air through his nose.

Who pays all sorts of money to sit in the front and then makes snoring/gagging noises for two hours? And he was with people. People who could have given him a tissue! Or a breathe-right strip! Or a ball gag.

In exercise news, I went to spinning class this morning for the second week in a row. This class was especially fun because today was Halloween-themed and one of the two instructors dressed up and tried to scare us throughout the class. I kept an eye on him the entire time, so there would be no unfortunate shrieking on my part. Or peeing of the pants. Not that I would ever...

I should also mention that if you're in the market for a personal trainer, I highly recommend mine. I know he's looking for more clients so I thought I'd give him a shout-out. You can leave a comment or send me an email if you want more information. I've been seeing him twice a week since last March and it's made a HUGE difference in my results.

In the 17 days since I've been married, I've seen my husband awake and alert for all or part of 7 days -- 2 of those because he took vacation days, one to get married and the other to see Spamalot. Or 41 percent of my off hours. The rest of the time he was at work or asleep. In case you were wondering, that kind of sucks monkey ballz.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Apparently my parents are home. They are no longer evacuated. As of yesterday.

So that's good. Fires still going strong though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I drove myself crazy reading the news about San Diego. The news never changed: it's on fire. There's not much a person can do two states away, so why do I keep looking? The news never tells me what I want to hear anyway, which is mostly where the fire is right now. How close is it to the house? How is it 0% contained? You can't even throw us a 1% bone?

So I went to City Kitchens on my lunch break and visited their closeout room. I love that room. The problem is I usually find something I absolutely need, and today was no exception. I found the Le Creuset 11 3/4 inch skillet I've been wanting for the last year. It was half off, in red. I can live with red.

Then I went to Daiso and spent $16 on plastic food containers for lunch and silicone baking cups.

I guess that's what they call retail therapy.

Family is safe. Pets are safe. I give myself permission to stop thinking about it for the rest of the night. You may resume regularly scheduled worrying tomorrow.

Fire update

I got through to my parents a few minutes ago. They did evacuate (with their dog and cat) and are staying with friends. So far their house is fine.

Hopefully it stays that way.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Knock on wood

I spoke with my parents about an hour and a half ago. They live in San Diego and they'd just gotten word their neighborhood was being evacuated. The fires are very bad there now.

Not much to do but sit and wait and hope they don't lose their home.

Orange juice from a can

I never like to admit my body is fighting something. It feels like I failed, like I didn't wash my hands enough or consume enough vitamin C. And then there's the problem of missing something. It drives me batty that I might miss something IMPORTANT because I stayed home. Like, this will be the day my coworkers win the lottery but I was too busy being a wuss so I couldn't chip in and now I'm forever doomed. Doooomed!

It's silly.

And overall I don't feel that bad. Except for the pain in my armpit -- lymph nodes and I have an uneasy history -- and the vague distraction of an on-the-cusp sore throat. I could probably go in and be fabulous, but ugh, the effort. My only medical opinion is that one should listen to their body, and my body is telling me that it needs a day. So I'm giving it one day to fall apart. Then... we'll see.

I made orange juice from concentrate last night. It reminds me of weekend breakfast growing up. My parents would make potatoes and eggs and toast, and my sister or I made the OJ. If it was my turn I'd set the big glass pitcher on the formica table, the one with the curved lip and bell shape, rip the paper ring from around the can of concentrate, and use a wooden spoon to make it plop into the pitcher. Then I'd fill the can three times with water and pour it over top, spending the next few minutes mashing the pulpy mess into the water, swirling it around, smooshing it into the sides of the glass until, voila: orange juice.

But last night I didn't pair it with toast and eggs and potatoes. I mixed it with vodka and ice. There's nothing quite like an inflamed lymph node to make you feel sorry for yourself, I tell ya what.

So today I'll take it easy. I have to make a quick trip to the post office, which I'm happy to do because it means I've sold a couple of half.com items (Coldplay's X&Y CD and Xenosaga for PS2) and an 8x10 photo of Fall Leaves (Thanks, Daniel!). Then I will hole up on the couch with fluids and read a book or watch TV or just stare at the bay. It's a brisk sunny one today, and Jer has the day off, so I will make him do my bidding -- once he finally wakes up.

Happy Fall.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A dark and stormy night

Wednesday night I went to hear Crazy Aunt Purl read from her book, "Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair". I arrived about a half hour ahead of time and there was already a shortage of seats. I begged a chair from a woman at the cafe who was using it to hold her backpack and sat down.

I immediately noticed two things about the crowd: it was almost entirely women, and all the women were knitting or wearing something they'd knitted. Since I have not yet succumbed to the knitter's call, I could only eavesdrop on conversations about scarves getting away from people and hats that were dead on the needle.

I had a good time though. Laurie Perry, aka Crazy Aunt Purl, was a charismatic speaker who happens to speak the way she writes, which is funny and honest, sometimes painfully. I bought her book in the store and waited for a little while in line, admittedly not long, when I decided to leave. It would've been nice to say hi, I'm one of your lurkers, but I was on a mission. This was the only night I had a car AND the GPS AND I needed to buy padded bike shorts at REI. REI was only open for another hour.

Yep. Bike shorts.

I signed up for a spinning class that starts tomorrow and goes 8 weeks. As I weighed my options in the signing line, butt comfort edged out book signing. And it edged it out good.

I am only human.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Online garage sale

I decided to put the money I'm making selling photos and stuff on half.com and eBay toward our fancy family wedding dinner in December. That saddens me a little because I really wanted to be irresponsible and buy something frivolous or photography related, but then I couldn't handle the guilt of depleting our house downpayment fund even a little bit.

It'll take a few weeks to see the half.com money, but before factoring it in I've saved 10% toward my goal of $2500. (Counting those earnings puts me closer to 12%.) It is likely I will only raise half the funds before the party since it is only 2 months away (and that's still a stretch) but it's a fun exercise, especially since I have the money if I need it. So no pressure.

To be fair, for the next 2 months I will also redirect the money I usually buy index funds with to my Wedding Dinner account. (A sub-account with ING). Assuming my salary remains constant, that will put me at 44% saved.

This entry loves parantheses.

If you want to contribute to my online garage sale, check out my photos for purchase at On Focus Photo. I added a couple new ones last night. Or you can view my items on half.com. I'll be putting another batch of CDs up in the next week since most of the initial ones sold.

Attention: As a special bonus, if you order photos from On Focus Photo before December 3, 2007, you can use the coupon code WEDDINNER at checkout and save 30% off your total order. There's no limit to the number of times you can use this coupon before 12/3/07, and you can pass on the code to anyone who might be interested. As always, shipping is free.

All proceeds go to helping me pay for our family wedding dinner. And hey, photos make great Christmas presents! Thanks for looking.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pumpkins and Corn

On Sunday I made breakfast -- potatoes, eggs, and coffee, our old standby -- and then we drove to Snohomish to see Bob's Corn and Pumpkin Farm. It was amazing weather; I didn't even need a jacket. At first we wandered around their small store and then I bought a jar of pumpkin butter and two handstamps for the corn maze. Hayrides left periodically for the corn maze, but we opted to walk since it was only down the road a bit.

Outside the maze was a white tent and a lot of pumpkins on the vine. We weaved in and out of the pumpkin field as I took pictures with the fixed 50mm and the fisheye. (One or two turned out really well.) Eventually we made our way to the maze, which was about 10 acres and 2.5 miles to walk through. Before we went in we grabbed an aerial map of the maze, faintly printed on an 8x10 sheet of paper, some sections blurred. The woman said, "Not like it'll be much help, but here you go..."

After hitting several dead ends and me loudly proclaiming that we were going to die in there, Jer pulled out the map. Turns out years of video game playing has made him an EXPERT in reading aerial map views, no matter how convoluted. We'd pause at a fork, he'd glance down, shrug, then say, "This way." And he was always right! We even picked up another maze-goer who ended up deferring entirely to Jer as well.

If I'm ever on an Amazing (heh, A-maize-ing, as in corn) Race-type show, I want Jer to be my partner. He is unstoppable. If not for him there's a good chance I would still be trapped in there.

On our walk back to the car we saw some people setting up a hot air balloon and I took more photos. I took so many in fact, that I ran out of room on my memory card. Note to self: next time bring backup. Then we shared an ear of roasted corn and a bottle of water. It was so very wholesome.

Overall, I highly recommend the pumpkin/maze experience, especially on a pretty fall day like yesterday. I had a surprisingly awesome time.

In non-agricultural news, my eBay auction ended on a good note last night and I mailed the costume out this morning. I also sold a DVD set on half.com, which gives us that much more space and money to contemplate our next splurge items.

Maybe we will buy a pony.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Le Soup

I finished the chorizo and kale soup at about 1pm. It turned out well; I'll probably make it again. You can laugh but it was my first time cooking with either chorizo or kale so it was an adventure. Thankfully, they are forgiving ingredients.

If you'd like the recipe, send me an email. I paired it with thick slices of warm baguette smothered in Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. That butter is like crack to me.

I posted a few more items for sale on my store at half.com, and added a link to the sidebar.

I buy most of my books from half.com or local used bookstores. If you're patient, half.com is a great site for finding deals and getting a little cash for the clutter. I've been active on it for about 5 years and I've never had a problem -- it helps to pay attention to feedback ratings and comments. These days it's owned by eBay, so you benefit from seeing feedback from both sites mixed together for each user.

Speaking of eBay, my auction ends tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, I will endeavor to find some pumpkins and take pictures of them. And maybe buy some apple butter. Go fall!

Friday, October 12, 2007

When Life Gives You...

"Bat Boy" was great. Go see it.

After the play I went to Safeway to buy stuff on my list. Stuff bought, I headed home and unpacked the groceries. At the bottom of one of the bags were two limes that I most definitely did not purchase.

I'm hip to the lemons, but what do you do when life gives you limes?

Night on the Town

Married life isn't terribly different from non-married life. I'm sitting at the coffee table in the living room, drinking coffee, and watching "Arrested Development" on CBC. In an hour I'll drive up the street and watch the play, "Bat Boy: The Musical."

I've wanted to see this play for about three years. It's pretty much the only thing that could get me out of the house tonight, since I feel like such a slug. Hence the coffee.

This afternoon I walked down to Pike Place Market and bought a French baguette and a pound of Chorizo Picante. Tomorrow I'll make chorizo and kale soup from a recipe a former coworker gave me.

That's pretty much my life. Now with more rings.

This weekend I'm pressing Jer to take me to the pumpkin patch and go through a corn maze. And then maybe we can finally drink that Veuve Clicquot chilling in the fridge... That's the weekend in a nutshell. A mighty big nutshell.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Wedding Album

We were married at sunset on Alki Beach. Our friend Chris performed the ceremony (which was perfect), and his wife Courtney (who I can't thank enough) and friend Matt (also huge thanks) were witnesses. After the ceremony, we ate too much at the Celtic Swell.

Also, I must thank the tripod and camera remote control, without which we would have had no pictures.

Here are some photos:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Bells are Ringing

So I'm getting married tomorrow. People keep asking if I'm excited, and it's tough to answer. I mean, sure, yes, but it doesn't really feel momentous. Jer and I have been together 7 1/2 years -- living together for all but a few months. These days it's difficult to imagine what life would be like without him. We've had some tough times and we've had some great times, as you do.

Personally, it was more important to me that he asked. When he asked I knew he wanted to be with me for the rest of our lives, and that's what I was excited about. I knew where I stood. The actual marriage part is just gravy -- of course if he pulled out at the last minute then I'd reevaluate that statement.

I just feel like the wedding is a formality, albeit a formality I wanted to happen, that forces everybody to recognize that yes, we're in a real relationship and if one of us dies, we get the other person's stuff. Also, hi, I happen to value this person and I am announcing it to everybody and the government.

There's this pretty darn good life we've built together, and this ceremony will just sew it up into a nice little package that other people can understand. Because you tell someone you have a boyfriend and they assume different things than if you tell them you have a husband. I'm sort of tired of that assumption.

I'm also excited to spend time with family and friends and celebrate, and know that even the friends and family that can't be there in person, will be with us in spirit. But the ceremony part? Where I have to be looked at and will probably cry? Let's just say, it's something I have to do, and I will be happy when it is over.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite poems, "A Dedication to My Wife" by T.S. Eliot:

To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,
The breathing in unison

 

Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
And babble the same speech without need of meaning.

 

No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only

 

But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to you in public.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Auction started!

My ebay auction started last night. You can see it here.

After watching the finale of Top Chef last night, I fell asleep about 6:30pm and stayed asleep through this morning. So no chili or chicken making. But I did have a cat on my pillow and one draped across my legs for many hours, which makes up for having to eat Lean Cuisine for lunch again. My trainer says if I eat more sodium I might not sweat as much when I'm working out, so maybe this is a blessing.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Chili in here

I was good last night and did what I was supposed to, as opposed to drinking two giant steins of Manny's on tap and stumbling in the door like the previous night. Instead I went grocery shopping for the first time in weeks and took out the trash. So now, tonight or Saturday depending how I feel, I'll use this recipe to make chili, because it is chili weather.

It's a great recipe but I always make a few modifications. I cut out the green bell peppers and add garlic and diced jalapenos. I halve the meat and double the beans, and instead of tomato sauce I use Mexican tomato sauce, and instead of tomato juice I'm using fire roasted diced tomatoes in a can. Basically it's the same recipe, only ten kinds of spicier. Also I bought some Mexican chili powder which I can't wait to try...

I also bought the ingredients to make this: Slow Cooker Lime Garlic Chicken. I'll make brown rice instead of white with it though. Maybe add a wee more garlic than it calls for. I likes the garlic. Hm, and maybe some more spice; it looks bland.

Tomorrow night Courtney will show me the town, which is conveniently located behind a barrel of chocolate martinis, a couch, and a mismatched pajama set (speaking for myself.) I am excited about that. Also, next week at this time, assuming all goes as planned, I'll be a Mrs. somebody. I won't be changing my name officially until at least January though, since I have to fly in December.

While we're out there, I'm arranging a small get together for my parents and Jer's parents. I turned in my Food & Beverage Agreement yesterday, and now all that's left is to actually invite them. I may even hire a limo. Exciting times.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Will work for books

I've spent the last two evenings putting my possessions for sale online. Not too many, just dabbling. I haven't sold anything on ebay or half.com since the Great Moving Sale of 2005, and while the process has changed, it's still familiar. How refreshing.

First I scheduled an ebay auction to start tomorrow night (7pm PST) and run for 10 days. I'm selling last year's Halloween costume, Little Red Riding Hood, in its entirety. This includes dress, cape, wig, petticoat, wolf in a basket, and lacey ankle socks (unworn). Although it's probably the cutest costume I've owned since reaching adulthood, I've lost a few pounds and it just doesn't fit right anymore. Practically new though, and a great deal for a lucky someone.

Then I posted a few books for sale on half.com. Here's a link. I also have loads of CDs I could sell, but I've got to make sure it's worth my time first. So many of them start at $0.75, and at that rate I'd just as soon trade them into a used bookstore or record store and take the credit.

I don't have any defined goal for the money I might make. Mostly I just want to get rid of clutter, and if I can make a buck or two, that's nice. In the long-term I need to auction off some of our action figure collection. It takes up way too much space, but I keep putting it off because it represents a colossal amount of work. Just thinking about it makes me say, ugh.

In photo news: I'm looking into either buying a mat cutter or finding a source to buy pre-cut mats from, so I can offer that as an option on my photo site. I know I'd much rather buy a print already in a mat, than just a print. And the experiment wouldn't be too much of an initial investment. It would also put me on the path of possibly having a booth at a local festival, with the prints matted and in clear bags. That'd be fun.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bald Eagle

I added two new photos to the On Focus Photo store tonight. The first one is a bald eagle in front of the Space Needle:

The second is a shot of some pretty red fall leaves. If you go to the store, click on "Newest Photos" to view them.

Besides a photogenic day, it's business as usual. Although without getting into any detail, my boss is leaving for an incredible opportunity. As a result, there will be some changes in my work-related future. Some unknowns. I don't have a clear idea of what those changes will entail, but I don't foresee anything really bad. (always knock on wood) But now you know that's going on.

Jer's night shift has been extended indefinitely, which is a bummer. The upsides are I have lots of time to work on my photos and Jer gets paid a wee bit more to work these hours -- the downside is I only see him one entire day per week. But it won't last forever. And hopefully we're disciplined enough to put the extra pay towards our house downpayment.

Speaking of disciplined spending, today I bought a yogurt maker. I am going to make my own yogurt. This is either the best idea I've ever had, or I am going to give myself salmonella. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jer and I went to see They Might Be Giants last night at the Moore Theatre. It was great, awesome, best concert ever. Full of energy (although now I am not). Bright lights, fast songs, close seats, good. Can I go back to sleep now? I'll be your best friend...

Quick aside: both this and the last concert of theirs I went to featured a fellow concert-goer with wiltingly bad body odor. Why???

I love They Might Be Giants. Their songs make me happy. It is worth the sleep deprivation. The end.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Questions?

Tonight? I experienced poutine? And it? Was an experience! Thank you, Canada. For all the fulfillment.

And plus? I love you gravy, french fries, and cheese curds. I heart your heart squeezing goodness. You complete me.

And thank you, Courtney. For all the new places. Courtney is a pal (which I just spelled pla, and I wish I could think of a good acronym for.) She took me out and showed me the town. And poutine. Mmmm. I wish it was acceptable to order gravy in a pint and drink it down. A pox on the world that it is not.

Also, I was accused of being from Vancouver, which is not so bad. In my secret heart sometimes I wish I was more like Kids in the Hall.

Today, unexpected things happened, as they do. And I will either adapt or I will not. Life is funny. But hey. I have my job, I have my health, and I have friends, which is more than I can say for where I was two years ago. Two years ago and two days, back when I was unemployed. Things happen and you deal. That is my philosophy.

There is pizza and pajamas in my future. And maybe silly drinks. The end. Also, good night.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Your standard update

As predicted, my weekend involved a lot of keywording the images you can see on Alamy's site. I was able to finish over half of the images, so there's about 39 left.

On Saturday, Jer and I went to the Greek Festival. We split the moussaka, pasticho, souvlaki, spanakopita, Greek coffee, and loukamathes. (I am not looking up the spelling so don't give me a hard time if I screwed up.) We also bought a couple of desserts to take home. Very tasty. We avoided the gyro line since it was incredibly long and we can get those pretty much any time.

And on Sunday I drank wine and keyworded some more. We watched "Vertigo," and that's about it. Oh, and I don't think I've mentioned, but I have collarbones again, or rather, I've lost enough weight now that they're showing through my skin. Before the Greek Festival I'd lost 4 pounds in the last month, but then I went and ate all that tasty food. But shhh. Here is my secret: it was worth every calorie.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

For the ladies

I added a list of personal finance blogs I read regularly to the sidebar. They're all pretty good; check them out if you have any interest.

On Thursday I went to Macy's for my first bra fitting. This is one of those female things that has always intimidated me, but seemed like it'd be a good idea. And since I've lost almost 25 pounds, I decided it was a good time to take my top off.

Turns out it was a great experience. A woman representing Vanity Fair took my measurements, and she, along with the person she was training, spent a half hour bringing me different bras to try on. They fit well, looked nice, and were only a slightly different size than what I've been wearing for roughly 17 years - and not that different in price. It was such an epiphany I didn't want to wear my old bra again after trying on ones that actually fit.

They also gave me a free candle, so maybe I'm biased because of the free stuff.

Anyway, if you've never been to a bra fitting - and you think it might help - I say give it a try. It's free at Macy's, you can make an appointment, and they're having a special bra fitting event through next week.

Never fear. I'll get back to non-bra subjects such as photography, exercise, finance, science-fiction, or booze in the next entry.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Victory!

After 1 month of waiting, all 90 photos I submitted to Alamy just passed the quality control stage. That means I can keyword and post them for sale world-wide! Yay, seems too insignificant. Hooray? Tally-ho? Cool beans?

When I'm not at the Greek Festival eating honey and phyllo and nuts this weekend you can bet your sweet ass I'll be keywording. And then I'll hop back on the rollercoaster and get the next batch ready for submission.

Happy days.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

ING interest rate

So ... anybody else notice ING quietly changed their interest rates yesterday from 4.50% APY to 4.30% APY?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

my personal best

What I appreciate most about working with a personal trainer are the moments when I'm struggling to lift some weight or move my body in an alien way, and he gets me to keep going. And I find that I can do these incredible things, things that if I think too much about them, I'd convince myself straight away that I'm not the sort of person who would ever do that.

Here I am, me, on the vertical chest press. Or shoulders on the ball doing 30 reps per arm with a 12 pound weight and then another 30, and another, and... Sweat everywhere. Slightly light-headed. I finish and he's telling me the next impossible move and I ignore the negative thoughts and nod, "Okay. I'll try." Because I trust him. And finally, after years of avoiding the gym and exercise, I trust myself.

My body is changing and has changed so that I hardly recognize parts of it. I catch a glimpse of my arm and there's muscle in there! You can see it defined through the skin. I press a hand into my abs, because hey, I feel muscle in there too, like tough little knots. And it's so strange. I'm a bookworm. Sometimes I take pictures. I get winded from climbing a couple flights of stairs... Or I did.

I get bogged down in labels because it's easier to live on auto-pilot and let the labels define me. What's hard is facing that trainer twice a week and fighting against inertia. To cinch my pants and hop on the treadmill. To climb stairs that lead nowhere as I watch a passerby eat ice cream and remind myself that it's not about what that person is doing, it's about what I'm doing. And what I've done.

Above all, it's about truly understanding that the words "personal best" mean everything. At the end of the day, it's just me comparing myself to me. And I hope that no matter what challenges I face in my life, I'll remember what I learned from my trainer -- no matter how impossible it seems, just nod and say, "Okay. I'll try."

Of course if Yoda were my trainer he would strongly disagree. But then if Yoda were my trainer I'd probably be doing lunges in a swamp somewhere, own a light saber, and spend most of my time trying to move objects with my mind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"but son it's only tuesday"

Jer had to extend his night shift for one last week so here I am again. I just finished getting some photos together for shipping tomorrow -- fancy moisture resistant photo mailers and packing slips, hooray! And now I think I'd like to read some more of Your Money or Your Life, except that so far it manages to both empower and enverate at the same time. This is one of those books with big ideas. The kind you have to read slowly.

There's a cat in my lap DEMANDING attention. It is almost the extent of my social interaction today, this cat and her purring. Although I did have a conversation about sci-fi books on the water taxi, which was very pleasant. But still, the cat comes in a close second on the social meter. Is that sad? Maybe it's sad.

Have you checked out the new photos I added to the store yet? The salmon is one of my favorites. I took it at the Ballard Locks a little over a week ago. I'm also partial to this shot, which I took off the top of the Space Needle with my fish-eye lens. Beautiful day.

I'm about to call it an early night and fall asleep reading. Sounds like a solid plan. Sweet dreams.

Monday, September 17, 2007

things that rub me the wrong way for $1000

This morning the dental hygienist referred to me as a "young adult." I know you're supposed to be flattered when someone says that, but I wanted to grab her and say, "Just adult. Drop the young. No patronizing."

But then you really shouldn't grab the person who is chiseling at your molars with a sharp metal pick. So I kept my mouth shut, so to speak.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

slow but steady

I added some new photos to my store at OnFocusPhoto.com.

16 are from the Seattle 3-Day Walk last Sunday -- portraits of the Warming Hut Hotties -- and 12 are brand new general photos. I'll be adding more general pix in the coming weeks.

As always, thanks for looking.

We're off to the Celtic Swell for a late breakfast. I must needs flee this damned computer; the rain is calling.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

no news is good news, right?

I returned the scanner this morning, and I'd like to thank our Garmin Nuvi GPS for making the experience so pleasant. I love that thing.

I scanned slides and negatives for about 6 hours last night. I didn't watch anything in particular -- old episodes of the Celebrity Paranormal Project, Top Chef, and Fat March. I am so happy to be done with the scanning phase of the project. Although at least I could sit in the living room and look out the window. Now I'm stuck at my desk in the office with some mp3s that I'm afraid to listen to, in case I miss my mom's call. I like to listen loud.

Tonight I'm attempting to pre-post a bunch of images to my photoblog because I ran out as of yesterday. So really, nothing new. I did manage to take out the recyclables, vacuum the kitchen, and make a batch of brown rice this afternoon, but other than that it's all about the photos.

Jer is at work. Cats are asleep somewhere. And I am craving chocolate cake like you wouldn't believe. I tried to satisfy the urge with a snack pack of pudding, but my body isn't having it. I may have to skip straight to the scotch. That'll shut it up.

It occurred to me today that it's almost fall, which means pumpkin beer! Pumpkin beer makes everything okay.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A night at the movies, or three

As I've been scanning slides these many evenings (found a new setting, whee!), I've watched several of my favorite DVDs as a soundtrack. Tuesday night I watched, "My Dinner with Andre." Wednesday night I watched, "Lost in Translation," and tonight I watched the Disney version of "Hunchback of Notre Dame," which I will now refer to as HoND.

Have you seen HoND? I submit to you that it is a fine, fine film. One of the greats. It is the opposite of light-hearted. It is dark and kind of terrifying and mostly about how ugly people have tomatoes thrown at them, and gypsies are murdered by cruel tyrants... Ah, but the music is brilliant. (And the book it's based on ain't too shabby either.) Yes, I also own the soundtrack. One song called Hellfire has a chorus of Mea culpa, Mea culpa as the creepy Frollo sings about his lust for the gypsy Esmerelda -- after he smells her hair and then steals her scarf so he can smell that too -- with lines like:

  • It's not my fault, if in God's plan, He made the devil so much stronger than a man!
  • Like fire
    Hellfire
    This fire in my skin
    This burning
    Desire
    Is turning me to sin
  • She will be mine or she will burn

Oh, Stephen Schwartz. First you gave me Pippin. Now you give me HoND. How can I ever thank you?

Also? In that song, the animators draw a seductive woman out of flames and she beckons the sweaty Frollo to have unholy thoughts. Old man moaning is involved. Go, Disney! Or the song about hanging? Superb. And thank you, thank you, thank you to Tom Hulce for his wonderful voice. Just gives me shivers.

Last but not least. Today Jer and I applied and received our marriage license. We're thinking we'll make it official on Oct 10, because 10-10 is easy to remember, especially because it is where the hands fall on every clock in every commercial to show that the clock's face is happy. Did you notice? I bet you did.

I really thought it'd be more difficult to get the license. You just hand over $60, show a driver's license, and fill out a form or two. At least in this state. I walked away thinking, "Geez, they'll give these things to anybody... well, as long as one of you has an obvious penis and the other an obvious vagina." I wonder if you look androgynous how they handle that. Do they make you prove it?