Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joining our Thin Mint family room and Lemon Library

On Friday, we painted our hallway orange. Oh yes we did.

The actual color is Benjamin Moore's Tangerine Melt. And it isn't the whole hallway, it's the back wall. It looks good but I won't lie. Going from stark white to dark orange is still a shock. I'm excited to see it all once the art is up and furniture back in place.

Speaking of art, is having a 10% off sale this weekend and I'm taking advantage of it. I've never owned an oil painting before. Let's see what the O can do for me.

The windowsill herb garden is doing well. The cilantro and parsley are kicking ass. Oregano was the first to come up and has the slowest growth. The chives are non-existent. And that's my micro garden update.

We bought a few color samples of various shades of cream for the wall opposite the orange. My decoration inspiration is the witch's house from Hansel and Gretel, and I'm starting with a creamsicle hallway. Mwahahahaha.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twinkle toes

Should I admit this? Oh heck, we're all friends here.

I'm watching "Dancing with the Stars" right now. I expect to stay up past my bedtime to watch the finale. And I am quietly rooting for Nicole Scherzinger ... I probably shouldn't have just Googled the spelling of her name because now I know how the "live" show ends two hours from now.

I'll probably watch it anyway. It's such a pleasure to watch someone with real talent.

The news today featured a story about a couple who is going around tazing single women unloading groceries from their cars so they can rob them. It's happened at least three times so far.

You just wonder. Well, I wonder. The reporter said they tazed the women in the neck, knocked them to the ground. Took their stuff.

This fills me with ...uncharitable... feelings. Like, the opposite of peace and love and understanding. It makes me want to sign up for a Terminator 2 Linda Hamilton montage and a concealed weapons permit.

In happier news, my oregano plant has its first tiny sprout. Let's just focus on that. And the faaaabulous dancing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kingdom Hospital

I don't know what it is about Kingdom Hospital -- TV mini-series based on Lars von Trier's "The Kingdom" adapted by Stephen King. It's stuck with me.

When it showed on television years ago I was only able to watch about 3/4 of the episodes. But now, now! Jer got me the series so I can watch it, all.

I wonder if I'll still like it.

Only one way to find out. I wonder if there's anybody else out there with the same mindworm?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mental trickery and the lost art of moderation

I'm not great at practicing moderation; I gravitate towards the all-or-nothing behaviors. Combine that with my tendency towards frequent distraction and sometimes my habits go all bi-polar. GO GO GO. SLEEP. WATCH TV. GOOOOOO. WHAT? GROWING A LOGO BEAN NOW CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Lately I've been cultivating a new habit and it's in the fragile stage. About a week ago I started going to the gym again, but I've been careful how I word this to myself. The goal is not "go to the gym" or something nebulous like "be healthy." The goal I'm carrying around in my head, the one I cling to is: "Exercise 30 minutes a day."

After I mutter that to myself I tack on such encouragement as, "Seriously? You can't walk around the block a few times? What makes you think you're so special you don't have to exercise? Gah, it's not like I'm asking for 45 minutes or something. In the time you took to make that excuse you could be half-way done."

The trick is, and I'll look away while my fingers type this part, is that I hardly ever stop at 30 minutes. Once I start I just keep going, because of that all-or-nothing thing.

With the exception of Thursday, I've been to the gym every day for a week. I won't get into why that's a big deal, but let's acknowledge it, move on and in no way jinx myself. After all, it's only been a week, the habit is still fragile, let's not make it self-conscious.

It also helps with motivation to not think in terms of calories, but in how many pints of beer I'm burning off. Intense workout on the elliptical for 35 minutes? You get a credit for 2 pints, which can be redeemed at a later date. (The trick here is that when I'm exercising daily I never feel like drinking as much. Shh. Don't tell myself.)

It's all about outsmarting ingrained traits, however is it really outsmarting when part of you is actively manipulating the other part and that part is really just playing along?


I will now go and forget we ever had this conversation.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Inspired by the logo bean

Time to start a new experiment. Yesterday I bought six packets of flower seeds and a starter kit for a small windowsill herb garden.

Let's back up a step. One of the swag items I brought home from the conference was a small cylindrical container filled with soil and a logo bean -- the bean is stamped with a company logo. The idea is you plant it, care for it, and stare at the logo -- also on the outside of the container -- while it grows. You are probably supposed to associate nurturing, care-giver type feelings with the company's name, and I don't know about that. All I know is, I love watching the little pale tendril curling up and pushing out of the soil.

I haven't planted anything from seed in years and I don't know how it'll go. I have, however, been keeping all the house plants alive. I fertilized and seeded the lawn to mostly good results. I just might be ready for the next step.

Though I don't really like this whole lawn weeding business. Be gone, weeds.

Jer and I also bought 4 concrete blocks to raise the level of our rain barrel, which is still overturned on the side yard. We still need to figure out how we want to modify the gutters.

I am swiftly entering areas I know nothing about. Sir Google may be lending a hand soon.

A year ago this week we entered into mutual acceptance with the seller of our home, and lined up the inspection. Although we didn't get to move in until August, I can't figure out how a year has already passed. I am continually grateful and awed that we live in such a wonderful place. Even if it means my car is now growing its own moss cover.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

True Confessions

Sometimes I want to find a crowd, stand in the middle of it, and yell:


Sunday, May 09, 2010

My first trip to Carkeek Park

Rocks on the beach at Carkeek Park, Seattle

Since I've returned from Phoenix, the weather in Seattle has been just fantastic. Blue skies, sun, short-sleeves weather. Yesterday I charged the camera batteries and Jer and I went to Carkeek Park for the first time.

The thing about parks in Seattle, which I am still getting used to, is that they're not parks in the sense I know. In southern CA, a park was a deliberate patch of land, maintained and sculpted. You could generally stand in the middle of a patch of grass and see it from end-to-end.

Parks in Seattle are on a different scale. They have nature trails. They often have educational centers. Some of them even have model airplane fields. According to Wikipedia (which I think all Internet articles should begin with as a rule), Carkeek Park is 216 acres, nearby Discovery Park in Magnolia is 534 acres, and Lincoln Park in West Seattle is 135 acres.

You can get lost in a Seattle park. That is some serious nature.

It seemed an awful waste to ignore this weather opportunity, so I charged the camera batteries and Jer and I made a trip to Carkeek Park. My first, his second. When we arrived I handed him my trusty Nikon D70, I picked up my D700, and I gave him his first lesson on shooting manual.

It went very well and we will likely do it again. The next place I'd like to vist is Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore, WA. It's only 316 acres but for some reason it gets to be a state park.

My quest is to find out what makes it so special. And also to take a lot of pictures.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bursting the travel bubble

Phoenix happened. At times it was exhausting. At times it was fascinating, surreal, weird, overwhelming, tasty, and ear splitting. I woke at 4am last Sunday and didn't get to breathe until 8:30pm on Thursday, when I plopped down on the living room floor and checked my email at the coffee table.

I met a lot of interesting people, both at the conference and during the travel parts. I met a travelling CIO for a healthcare IT company, completely coincidentally on the flight home. On the shuttle van home, I met a retired insurance director who was playing golf for a few days after a trip with his wife to Bucharest.

I won't go into details about the work bits but I'm glad I had the opportunity to go and see what it was all about. I added a couple of photos of the hotel grounds to my photoblog. The place was beautifully decorated and is apparently the only hotel in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced design. I only had twenty minutes to snap pictures between hotel checkout and another meeting so I'm just glad I could take any.

Note to Christy in the future: the key to success at these things is either to pace yourself or be willing to schedule a nap every now and then. Also? Attending the event that ends at 11pm means the event that starts the next morning at 8am will make life very difficult, if not painful.

I only left the hotel once for a work dinner so all I saw were strip malls and desert. I also (unfortunately) never visited any of the hotel's 8 pools even though I brought a swimsuit.

I think I was doing it wrong.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Hello Phoenix, I'm comin' for you

I'm getting on a plane tomorrow and flying to Phoenix, AZ. I've never been to Phoenix, except to pause before transferring to another plane.

This time I get to leave the airport.

I'm attending a conference for work and I expect I'll be nodding and smiling a lot for the next 5 days. I will also be staffing a tradeshow booth, which I just found out about. I'm excited about it actually, but it did require a trip to the mall to buy navy slacks.

Navy slacks were much harder to find than I expected. I also needed a pair of khakis. The last time I wore khaki pants I was working at Blockbuster Video.

I *think* I'll bring a camera. The grounds of the hotel are supposed to be very nice. I just need to figure out how to pack it since the carry-on will be my laptop.

Wish me luck!