Tuesday, December 06, 2005
This morning I dreamt I was dead and only Karry could see me. Well, other people could see me but if they could, they were clearly dead as well. My dog was there and she came to me for a minute but then went back to this nearby park area to play with other dead dogs. From a dead person’s perspective, there was no difference between the dead and the living, so it was kind of hard to figure out who was and who wasn’t. Karry came over and it was decided that I would have to tell her family I was dead but I didn’t want to scare her kids with my invisibility so in trying to figure out ways to tell them. I tried writing a note – which I couldn’t quite do – apparently your handwriting is even worse when you’re dead. Then I put a sheet over my head and could see through it into a mirror. It was so upsetting to have to see myself like that and have to consider letting the kids see me like this way that I started to cry big wailing sobs that ended up sounding much like the “wooooooo’s” you hear stereotypical ghosts make. So I had the dawning that maybe those ghosts in the sheets weren’t trying to scare you but were really just trying to make their presence known without scaring you too much.
Here’s what swoon has to say:
If you dreamed of being dead yourself, it indicates an approaching release from all your worries and/or a recovery from illness. If you spoke with someone who is dead, you will soon hear very good news. To dream of a death frequently signifies news of a birth. To be aware of a dead person you cannot identify portends an inheritance which may not be personal but could be indirectly beneficial.
On a less weird note - check out this really cool Advent Calendar.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Oh sure, I’ve had my fair share of psycho ones – the ones that I think I can “fix” then realized I cannot get away from their sucking lifeforce quick enough – there are a couple of suckers in my life right now, but they’re not sucking hard enough for the total blow-off, and they’re FAR from my point.
My point is, I Am So Thankful.
Saturday I got a BOUNTY of goodies from my friend Dave (someone I met through one of the Flaky People) as a belated birthday present – turns out, the “big” present just got back from the JEWELER and I should have that in a day or too. You should have seen this box, though! Dave and I know how to make each other happy – we both know that the other likes the little things so he horded various goodies from various events from work and I SCORED. Make Up Forever lipgloss, powder, eye & lipliners, and foundation; a cute toy taxi and various other NY mementos that got me almost homesick weepy; a great history of the pin-up book where he inscribed, “Why aren’t YOU in this book?”; and the list literally goes on and on. It’s SO nice to be appreciated.
Karry started out as my boss’s wife. Then I befriended their 3 year old (at the time) daughter then we became friends, and so on. She’s now become a vital part of my daily life. So a while back, I found out I was pregnant. I was scheduled for an ultrasound and since Tommy is out to sea, I asked if she would possibly consider maybe wanting to go in with me….and before I could get the request out she was all, “Yep, I’m there.” Yesterday the day finally arrived for the ultrasound. Karry rushed into my exam room and hugged me not even noticing that a paper sheet was all that covered me from the waist down. She and I jabbered like monkeys – she was just as nervous and excited as I was to see this little bean. The doctor came in, we got down to business (they use actual Trojan condoms for the ultrasound “tool” – I thought that was interesting), and Karry stood at my side holding my hand with one hand and stroking my arm with the other (okay, she may have been a little more nervous than I was). The ultrasound revealed the most precious heartbeat you ever did see and our hands clenched even tighter. Afterwards she said she wanted to come to every ultrasound from now on – whether Tommy was here or not. Tears come to my eyes as I type this – I am just so fucking lucky!!!
Because of my age, I have to consider whether or not I should get a CVS. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s best (and because of that, if you’re against them, DO NOT comment – do your best to bite your tongue and respect my decision). Karry informed her mom, Linda, another good friend that came out of my employment, and Linda volunteered to drive me saying we can take her comfy Lexus because “the seats are made for relaxing after a ‘procedure.’” When I talked to Karry today, she was all, “No, I’ll take you, one of us will take you, you are NOT going alone.” Granted, a mild battle of generational wills may ensue but I’m just so in awe that it is occurring over my behalf.
Then last night, my dear friend Stef, a girl I met and became friends with by commenting on her blog, and I went to dinner at Fare Start (I highly recommend you go there) – her treat because we were celebrating the heartbeat. She’s been amazing throughout this whole thing. I’m prone to nervousness (if you couldn’t tell) and she gave me a mantra that I’m sure she didn’t know was going to be so powerfully soothing to me:
Let it happen.
So Very Thankful.
And there are so many more – my friend Souson is pregnant (5 weeks ahead of me) and has been great to be with on this manic journey; Laura has BRILLIANT insights that keep me going (“When you're growing someone else's ears, you need to REST after a moderately invasive procedure”). Others I’ve mentioned in this blog before, others still quietly keep me strong (like my amazing mother-in-law, my siblings, etc.) and my love for them is boundless. All I can hope is I occupy the same role in their lives as they do in mine.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my friends for the past, present, and future.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I'm babysitting him while his owner is out to sea. I've always liked snakes and just can't get enough of this one. He's so sweet and slow and laid back.
Last night I bought the tree-thing he's laying on and the silk leaves. He LOVES it. You can tell his owner is a bachelor because all that was in the cage was that half-log thing and the water bowl. My next step is to replace the newspaper with something more jungle-looking.
I had to feed him today. NOT something I wanted to do but I also didn't want to be gushing over him but still be too baby-ish to feed him. So I went to the pet store, said I needed a small mouse, looked at is SUPER QUICK to make sure it was small enough (if it was too big I would then have to try to get it out of the cage and replace it with a smaller one - that was not going to happen), they put it in a bag, I drove home, and dropped it in the cage and left. When I checked on Zep later, it was gone. So that wasn't so bad and I won't have to deal with it for another 2 weeks.....but what if it was too small and thus not filling enough?
Thursday, September 29, 2005
They have karaoke nights on Thursday and Saturday. This is one of those kinds of bars where people come by themselves to sing/perform. I cannot understand this since well, it's KARAOKE people! Anyhoo, one of our friends did a song so Tommy and I got curious about the selections in the Great Big Book of Karaoke.
Tommy performed Peaches by the Presidents of the United States and then he got hooked. He started looking for more songs but I forced him to abstain since it was already 2 hours later than I should have stayed in the first place.
And I, well, I thought it'd be a good idea to stir things up and throw caution to the wind. I've only sang karaoke twice - the first time was in NY where you rent a room and you're only surrounded by friends, the second was in Dallas at a bar my old roommate owns so I was also surrounded by friends. At the former I performed Bust a Move then discovered it's a very difficult karaoke song since there are SO many words crammed into one glorious song and you really only THINK you know they lyrics til you're up on "stage." So yeah, I should have learned my lesson but I thought I needed to cut the seriousness of some of the ballad-y selections being performed hence my need to stir and thus forget the No Rap Rule. And yet........
Fortunately I have a great husband that will hop on "stage" with me for back-up.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Anyhoo, my point is I made her Tomato Pie last night and it is So Good. I used the blessed Pillsbury pie dough and didn't pre-bake and it came out perfect nonetheless. Next time I want to add crab or shrimp to it. My Lord, it was delicious.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Our friends, Morgan & Aaron, Tommy and I went to Pioneer Square. Aaron is a big blues fan and initially wanted to go to Highway 99 but the band that was scheduled to play looked pretty lame so I did some research (some call it meddling....) and I saw that Alberta Adams was playing at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant. We got there early to have a bite to eat. I wasn't sure what to order so I asked the table next to me if they've eaten there before - they had and recommended the catfish. Say no more! I love me some catfish. THEN it dawned on me that who I asked WAS Alberta Adams. Fortunately her and her friend were very nice.
NOCR makes a damn fine catfish with damn fine hushpuppies and red beans & rice. And Alberta Adams Rocked The House. Ohmigod, she was so amazing! She had to be helped up on stage and then had to sit through her act but her voice, oh, her voice didn't show an ounce of age. My kingdom to see her back in her Duke Ellington days!!!
Our $10 cover got us into a bunch of other clubs in Pioneer Square. I had heard good things about Fenix Underground but when we got to the front of the club, the music that was coming out of it was way too hard to follow after Alberta's bliss so we headed to Doc Maynard's for a beer and watched The Randy Oxford Band - another good Southern bluesy rock band. You don't see much trombone anymore and Randy knows how to play.
I tend to go out to see a lot of bands and most of the time I figure I'm one of the oldest people in the clubs, I just don't look it (unbiased people assure me). I couldn't get over how many "over 30" people there were out at these places. I was a bit uncomfortable about it. Isn't that weird? I'm not usually uncomfortable being around people my own age - but for the record, the people around my age I am around did not look like these Pioneer Square People. I can't explain it, either way, we went to Temple Billiards to play some pool and I was more comfortable around the mixed-age group.
Temple Billiards was a surprisingly comfortable pool hall. Tommy and I love Belltown Billiards and didn't think anything would compare but on a non-weekend night (or not too late on weekends), this would be a fun place to hang out. They've got a trance-y club going on in the basement and the bass is too loud downstairs to hear the good jukebox upstairs. I love a good jukebox - Tommy played a Scissor Sisters song for me and was still able to get some Creedence for him.
So after we played really long, bad games of pool (it's so nice to play with your equals), we headed home and I listened to the new Horrorpops (good, just not as good as there last one) while the rest of the car slept - which reminds me of my favorite line:
I want to die like my grandfather - peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming in terror like the rest of the people in the car.
Have a lovely week!
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
But it sure makes a girl (of divorced parents) wonder about her marriage mortality. I already felt bad for leaving Tommy the whole weekend but he was SO supportive of the cause - so much so that I came home to this bouquet.
He is so great. He said he wanted me to come home to them since I did such a good thing for my friend. He didn't even think about it being Sept. 11th or that they were the exact type of flower I wore in my hair when we got married, he's just That Good. I cannot begin to tell you how truly thankful I am that he is in my life and I can only wish this for my friend in Portland then for everyone else. They Are Out There!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is a "creatively" blurry picture representing a lovely night. I met my rockin' friend Amy V in Portland Friday night. She works for American Spirit cigs and they were one of the sponsors of Music Fest NW.
It was so, so good seeing her, albeit briefly. We visited for a bit then headed for Mississippi Studios - this crazy-great and comfy bar/recording studio. We went there to see James Hall and since we got there early, we sat outside watching Buster Keaton silent movies - could this place get any better?!? Yes, it could:
While out there we heard people talking about the next act and how they hoped he did "Future's So Bright." Turns out the next act was Pat Macdonald, former singer of Timbuk 3 (TELL ME you remember that overplayed song!). The fest's calendar had him classified as "folk" so Amy and I planned to stay outside watching movies. But upon hearing the first few minutes of his dirty, electric guitar and harmonica, we went in and grabbed seats. This guy was so good!!! Bought a cd and everything. He sounds like dirtier Morphine - I swear!
To make the night better, James Hall went on next. He was just as excellent and entertained us with many, many encores including a Hall and Oates cover Amy V raved about. The night was filled with great and interesting company. Dreamy!
The next day, I picked up some damn fine coffee & a 2 disc cd of Portland bands at Stumptown (look how cool and comfy the place looks!). Then we headed to Nob Hill and ate at Mio - sushi is a tradition for Amy V and me. It was good - not raveable but good. Then we went to Whole Foods and we parted ways. Thanks Amy for a lovely visit! Come up and see me some time!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I got to bed at about 4am Sunday morning after a rather long flight. (Why are pilots so ridiculously honest lately? Do I really need to know that we're sitting on the tarmac FOREVER waiting to fix a faulty fuel valve?!? It's already virtually impossible to sleep in my cramped seat, I don't need visions of fireballs dancing in my head.) For the record, I DID share my cookies with the guy next to me (I told Mac I didn't like to share but I know that's wrong and I figured with the fuel valve issue, I should try to be as nice as I could in what could be my last hours). Turns out he hadn't had a cookie in a year and a half because he'd been living in China (they don't have cookies there?) and he was quite impressed with Mac's scotchies.
Anyhoo, went to bed at 4:00, Tommy got home from duty at 8:30. We watched crap on tv, he went and got Burger King breakfast, then we took a nap. We took one of those "I know I'd sleep a lot better if we weren't spooning but even though I was only gone for 48 hours, damn, I missed my husband" sleeps that's just so dreamy. After, I got up, worked in the garden for a bit (8 ripe tomatoes!!!), then took a much needed shower.
We headed to Tacoma to Sports Authority, dinner and a movie. We were initially going to eat at Chevy's but decided to try Famous Dave's BBQ. Yay! We've discovered good BBQ not too far from home!!!
Afterwards we saw 40 Year Old Virgin. If you haven't seen it yet, go.....NOW! Two thumbs way up. The waxing scene KILLED me and it turns out, it's real!
And now I'm starting to bore myself with all this wonderful weekend reporting so I am going to sign off. Not sure if I made it sound as amazing as it was but my, I am a thankful one.
With cookies in hand, they dropped me off at my gate.
Thank you to everyone that made this SUCH a great visit!!!
We had lovely gelato across from Mann's Chinese Theater, I bought some really rockin' sunglasses (I have an appt to see if I'm cut out for the Accuvue for Astigmatism contacts and if not, these sunglasses are cool enough to get me back into my gas perms), and met up with Jessica's friend Mac who, get this, baked us cookies! Oatmeal Scotchies with plenty of scotchy chips! And, AND he's got The Coolest Scar across the back of his skull that I wish I took a picture of.
Then I had to say my goodbyes which sucked. I was quickly getting attached to the chaos.
Jessica and I headed to the Hollywood Farmer's Market to meet Michael and his sister (who was unable to go to dinner the night before). His sister (of course) rocks. They had to head for Malibu where he was drumming for some blues band so they left us to sample the market wares. We had delicious tamales, papusas, and lemonade.
We then headed to Amoeba Records then caught Hustle and Flow. LOVED both the record store and the movie.
Later we went to Ross where I scored a green cord blazer, red top, and disco black sequined scarf.
Went back home and took showers to perk up (Jessica was tired, too). Went to a little party in the Hollywood hills (well, it was up in hills that I am assuming was in Hollywood), met more great people including the afore mentioned Hugo, and then headed to meet the second reason for my trip, our friend Michael at this great sushi place.
Katsu-ya on Ventura Blvd is a tiny place. Our reservation for 8 people made them laugh a slow and painful laugh - much like our wait. Fortunately, it gave me time to visit with Michael. Michael is this amazing guy I met decades ago when I waited tables at this crappy little frat place in Arlington, TX. He then met my sister through an ex of hers. He has since become a rather popular drummer drumming for everyone from Pleasure Club to Blind Boys of Alabama. I finally got to meet his wife who was accompanied by her sister and some other friends makeing for some great company.
After a long wait, we finally got to devour really good sushi - so good in fact, little Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels took her there recently. She (and we) ate their signature dish - Seared Tuna with Japanese Salsa. The picture of it in the first link does not do the avocado tower justice. It rocked but not nearly as much as the baked crab roll. Good Lord, that was almost as good as the company.
We headed home full and happy stopping at Ralph's grocery to pick up stuff for this:
Overnight Coffee Cake (more like Overnight Caramel Rolls)
(from Linda McClellan of Liberty, TX for the HEB Grocery Store Cookbook – Vol. 2)
14 frozen Parker House Rolls, frozen (the kind of rolls that rise)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup brown sugar
1 3 5/8-ounce box butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
1 stick butter or margarine, cut into pieces
Layer ingredients into oiled tube or bundt pan in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover with a clean, cry towel and leave at room temperature overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from over and invert onto serving plate. Serve hot or cold (it won’t make it to “cold”).
We assembled it, chatted with Alex for a bit, then went to bed and talked til the wee hours. What can I say, that's what we do.
It started off with me getting up at 2:30 am to go to the airport. I flew to L.A. to meet my sister. She now lives in Austin but was going to be there to pick up her stuff from her previous residence appropriately nicknamed, Casa de Chaos.
Alex & Milo picked us up and took us back to the casa. While there I was able to cuddle this lovely baby (see pic), Selke (sp?). Note to future mother self: do not wear black around babies - the make their own ricotta and it doesn't just wipe off. So yeah, Jessica held her for a while, passed her to me and BLEAH! But looking at this face, do you think I cared? Not in the slightest.
Casa de Chaos ROCKS. It's in Sherman Oaks, Spanish tile throughout most of the house. 2 dogs, several cats, a baby, a 3 year old, and 4 adults you'd want to be spend your Last Days with.
I am so thankful for the people I come across and these were no exception. I just love to be instantly comfortable in a group. Granted, my sis prepped them about me and me about them but I think even if we weren't prepped, it'd be just as comfortable.
My kingdom to nuzzle this baby's crazy hair once again (the pic does not do the hair volume justice).
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
2-1/4 cups Quick Quaker® Oats or 2-3/4 cups Old Fashioned Quaker® Oats, uncooked
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, shredded carrot, chopped apple, chopped nuts, or any combination in between
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (nutmeg, ginger, or whatever)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3-1/3 cups skim milk
4 egg whites, lightly beaten or 1/2 cup egg substitute (Kay uses 2 eggs – doesn’t like to waste…though now that I have been turned onto Papetti Egg Whites, I may start using that instead)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
Fat-free milk or nonfat yogurt and fruit (optional) – my fave: Dannon Light & Fit vanilla
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, combine oats, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil and vanilla; mix well. Add to dry ingredients; mix until well blended. Pour into baking dish.
3. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool slightly
4. Serve topped with milk or yogurt and fruit, if desired. Store leftover oatmeal tightly covered in refrigerator
Servings: 8 SERVINGS
Currently, I'm serving a carrot, raisin, cranberry version but I'm also partial to THE banana- almond combo.
This is one of those breakfasts that "sticks to the ribs" in a good way AND it's healthy AND it's delicious.
Big news (and that is a sad reflection of my current state that said news is considered "big"): Tommy and I have started going to the gym. I've wanted to do this forever. We lived on base for a year or so and didn't even go near the gym. Oh sure, I could go without him, and I did (every now and then) when he was out at sea, but it's far more motivating when he goes with me.
Turns out - he loves it. He's never been one for exercise - I think because it is always so forced on him what with the Navy and all - but now that he's doing it for the heck of it, he sees how good you can feel after. And the iPod Shuffle doesn't hurt. He discovered music and running are a delightful mix. And he looks hot doing it. I feel like each step is clumsy and painful and wrong when I run (I've got craptastic knees) but he just looks GOOD. Though I guess he looks good doing anything so I should have known.
So yeah, we got Shuffles. I was going to just get him one but Apple's superior marketing skills helped me decide that my iPod was just too cumbersome - look how little and light the Shuffle is - just the sound of the name sounds breezy - shuffle. And it is just totally precious.
I could not imagine doing anything aerobic without music - especially when it's contained in a device the size of a pack of gum....a thin pack at that! And the current selection definitely shows how manic I can be. My shuffle includes such great songs as [roll credits]:
Gap Band - Burn Rubber
Jem - Save Me
Cibo Matto - Spoon
Orgy - Blue Monday
A couple of those really long techno songs off the Trainspotting Soundtrack
Lenny Kravitz - Lady
Crystal Waters - 100% True Love
Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life (that's right, I said it)
Golden Earring - Twilight Zone
And many more!
I banish you high cholesterol and excessive jiggle!
Monday, August 15, 2005
I guess because it was my birthday, I've had Altered Images' Happy Birthday song in my head (that's not true - I OFTEN have that song in my head with or without my birthday nearby) and I was deep into the B&N sale when I decided to see how cheap I could get it on cd. Behold! New Wave Hits of the 70's & 80's - a 3, count 'em, THREE disc collection for only $11.32 with your B&N card! SO very excited.
The Flying Lizards version of Money (That's What I Want) often caresses my brain so I bought Wedding Singer 2 as well for a mere $9.70 with said green card. It's got some gems on it as well - not as many, but still.
AND for a few more purchases, it's all being shipped to my door for FREE. Why go into the average-priced store when online is SO much cheaper?!?
Thanks, Barnes and Noble!
When I was a kid, I was pretty much the last one picked for kickball, got my ass kicked at tetherball, and even though I towered over EVERYONE, I sucked at basketball. Such humiliation tends to stay permanently imprinted on one's brain.
And yet, I try to exorcise.
Tommy is BIG into dirtbikes so when he bought his Yamaha, the Honda became "mine." I want to be tough, really I do, but it is so hard adopting a hobby where you know you're going to fall down...probably while going at a decent speed. Oh and I have no idea how to drive a stickshift and apparently that hinders me as well.
And yet, I try. I've taken the bike out three times. The first was very basic, just back and forth once I got the beast kick started and moving (2 things I tend to have trouble with). The second time I gave myself quite the pep talk and told myself I was going to fall and it would hurt but it wouldn't kill me and it'd be fun overall. Sure enough, I fell, it hurt, but it didn't kill me and I had fun.
Well, time flies - 8 months to be exact, and we went out on Saturday for my third try. It was like it was my first but I got the hang of it after numerous starts and stalls and here are pics to document it. I didn't fall but I was way too hot and tired to push myself to even attempt to do anything that would warrant falling. (Excuses, excuses: I tried to give blood that morning and they rejected me because my hemoglobin count was so low - hence me being beat before I even got out there.) Plus I was just plain scared - which is so stupid. Carpe diem, dammit!
But check out this pic (and others on flickr - I've got the red bike, Tommy's got the blue). It really looks like I can ride, doesn't it?
I'm getting there. Next time I will not be such a baby.
I will not be such a baby.
I will not be such a baby.
Carpe diem, dammit!
We had a lovely Friday date night. We took the ferry downtown, stopped at Schmancy to see the Plush You! show - I saw many cute stuffed animals and treats but damn, it was hot in that place and we had reservations for dinner at the Pink Door (amazon publishes menus now?!?). The rooftop deck is SO Just Right. Tomatoes and grapes are planted among other herbs and plants all the way around the perimeter in little window boxes. There are big Christmas lights hanging on the pergola overhead, and the plastic table cloths add to the comfortable ambience. I had the Lasagna Pink Door and Tommy had the rigatoni and meatballs. Both were good (mine was better) and the olive oil and bread to start you off was divine...and the house white they serve in Pilsner Urquell bottles didn't hurt either. If we weren't so full I would have wanted to stay for dessert and more wine. But we walked over to Roq la Rue to the Devil's Hobby Hut opening, stopped at Whiskey Bar to have a DOLLAR beer and look at the paintings, then headed back. Dreamy!
(As for the photo - apparently the ferry is bumpier than it feels - I'm not that wasted.)
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Today was great. Filled with The Loudest Singing Waitress at Red Robin, great emails and phone calls, GREAT salmon dinner, wonderful gifts, delicious Reese's Blizzard cake, and the dreamiest of friends.
Thank you, thank you!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I must try to get some sleep - but I just taught myself how to add my flickr pics to this blog so I'm a bit wound up.
We have a great house. It's SO Just Right. The Most Fabulous Detail is what we call The Zen Garden - a small, narrow fenced in area off the master bedroom. In it, there's a gorgeous rhododendron pruned to be tree-like, I planted some hosta and lilies, and various other plants. But the best part is the little pond. When we first moved here, there was a crack in it. I'm really proud of myself that was capable of fixing it and I've been slowly but surely adding plants to it and most recently, three cute little koi (or really large goldfish - not sure which).
Upon a couple of occasions I have come out to mild mayhem - a plant has overturned and made the water murky and the fish ticked - what could do this?
Well, I woke up about an hour ago to splashing.
Now, I started reading Coraline last night and my dreams got all a'fluster. FORTUNATELY I did not read it before bed last night or I would have really panicked. OF COURSE Tommy has duty, meaning he's on the boat and I'm alone so for about 5 minutes I laid in bed wondering what sort of ghost kid is playing in the pond. Eventually I got up enough nerve to tippy-toe into the bathroom (you can't see the pond from the sliding glass doors that lead out of the master bedroom but there's a tall, narrow window in the bathroom that overlooks it). It was too dark and creepy to make out what was a'splashin'. So I tippy-toed back and flipped on the outside light then tippy-toed back to the window. (I'm a raging dork, aren't I?)
Sure enough, there was a racoon IN my pond. I banged on the glass and it skittered away but came back a minute later. I watched it for a minute - he would drag his little front arms through the water in front of him then scoot a few steps then drag his arms through the water again then scoot some more. Now, the last time I had to clean out the pond, I couldn't catch the fish with a net (okay, it was a large strainer - but still) and I resorted to literally catching them with my hands and dropping them in a bucket of water - sure, this took a while but I still did it so I was sure this creature with his cute little mask and his pink little hands would succeed if I let him. So I banged on the glass again (but obviously not before I got my camera).
I remember reading that an effective racoon trap is to put something shiny in a hollowed out log, the racoon would stick his hand through a hole, grab the shiny thing, then get trapped because he can't pull his clenched fist back out through the hole - they're to stubborn to let the shiny object go. Well, that might not make sense but it is 2:44 in the a.m. and I am still feeling the effects of the Nyquil I swigged before going to bed a few hours ago so my point is, this racoon saw THREE shiny thing and did not want to let them go. Loud, hissy noises would scare him away, but he was back in no time. I finally had to fling the screen door and jump out there scaring him and myself a couple times.
I think he's gone now and the pond pump is only trickling (normally it slightly gushes) but I'm too scared to go out there, get on my knees, and forage through the muck to see what's wrong.
Today's my birthday - I'm another year older but you wouldn't be able to tell by my actions.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Tomorrow is my birthday. Since it's That Close and presents are pending, the age thing isn't bothering me so much. To add to said bliss, Karry, Lauren, and Ijee called this morning and sung in unison [in the style of Annie, as if you couldn't tell]:
Your birthday's tomorrow!
It's only a day a-way!
I am so thankful that I got the job that lead me to these amazing and wonderful friends. This is Lolo (nickname for Lauren) and Ijee (nickname for Elijah). They rock so hard.
Friday, August 05, 2005
My rather lax job affords me the time to surf the net EXCESSIVELY (when I should be doing my schoolwork at the kinda crappy school I go to online) and I stumbled upon this site thus feeding my preview-lovin’ veins. Here's a few of the things I'm excited about:
Walk the Line - good Lord! Joaquin as Johnny Cash and Reese as June Carter. SO exciting! I saw them (the really Johnny and June) live in Ft. Worth YEARS ago. A friend and I scored front row center tix (same day as the Superbowl - conflict of Texan interest). They were great - he was positively orange from all the cake makeup trawled on but it didn't matter - it was The Man in Black up close and personal. A harelip scar could only make the story that much sexier.
2046 - slick, slick, slick! Can't wait! I LOVED Fallen Angels and In the Mood for Love and Chungking Express (probably in that order) and 2046 looks like the Best Of all those with a bigger budget. EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
King Kong - I loved the Jessica Lange version but I heard this one is going to be more true to the original (with a much bigger budget). I'm such a sucker for the Frankenstein/misunderstood monster story. I just get weepy thinking of that scene when Kong is about to get fully shot up and Jessica knows that if he's still holding her, they won't shoot so she's screaming, "Don't put me down, you big stupid ape!" So basically if I get weepy at that, stuff like The Green Mile is HORRIBLE for me (why I saw that movie, I'll never know - 3 movie theatre napkins do not cut that kind of weeping).
Revolver - Revolver, revolver, all hail Revolver!!! Lock, Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels is cinematic genius. Snatch was good but too star-studded or something. I'm a little worried about the dazzling cast of Revolver but not so much so that it would prevent me from being giddy with excitement while playing the preview over and over again.
And there's more - Brothers Grimm looks like it has potential, Corpse Bride - OF COURSE, Neil Gaiman's Mirromask has some Bowie/Labyrinth qualities, and many, many more!
Now I'm off to go have a picnic in the park by work - there'll be a magician and everything!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
"Mother-love is not inevitable.
The good mother is a great artist ever creating beauty out of chaos."
It's kinda sappy but I like it especially since I continue reading the author info:
-- Alice Randall, Novelist, The Wind Done Gone and first black woman to write a No. 1 country song.
That looks good on a resume.
Monday, July 18, 2005
And more importantly - I wonder what presents they got - ESPECIALLY from Shatner.
After much research then a big discovery that all the “good” places were booked because I waited so long to book one (what was I thinking?!?), we found a “primitive” site at Lake Alder which is considered a “Tacoma Power Park” (something like 70% of all the power comes from the nearby dam you can walk too – DAM!).
I love serendipity. This place was PERFECT. It was “primitive” but still really close to parking and a decent bathroom (I developed my trick where I took with me a disinfecting wipe in my left hand and a baby wipe in my right). We stayed at #224 if you want a visual. We were surrounded by ferns, blackberries, and tall evergreens. Our site came complete with a picnic bench and cooking/fire pit and a perfectly cut out area for our tent. We set up tent and wandered around the park for a while. The dam is cool just because you don’t see dams much and there’s so many things you can say (a la one of those Vacation movies) – “I sure hope there aren’t too many dam personnel milling about” “I wonder if there’s a dam giftshop” “Where’s the dam bathroom?” or the classic, “Dam!”
We walked around the swimming area and boat docks then headed back to get dinner ready. Tommy made a damn fine fire while I got the grill going (we got a cute little grill on sale from Rite Aid). Dinner totally rocked. I grilled corn on the cob (I go the super lazy way and don’t even remove the silks til after – just set the cobs in there undisturbed shucks on the grill and roll from time to time for about 20 minutes or so – I like to shuck mine and continue rolling them til they get a bit brown in places but you can skip that step if you want to) and Costco buffalo burgers. Buffalo can be tricky to find – Central Market carries a good brand, Trader Joe’s was shockingly disappointing – they tasted like school cafeteria burgers, and Costco’s are wonderful (and cheaper). I made double cheeseburgers with them which was a bit excessive (do I want to finish my corn or my burger?). After, we got our drink on by the fire. Bella Sera makes a damn fine, CHEAP Pinot Grigio. It's WAY too easy to drink, as my sister and I would say. Tommy opted for his tradmark Jack & Coke.
There is nothing like staring into a fire. I learned that from my Daddy probably during Indian Princesses. What’s even better is neither Tommy nor I feels obligated to talk all the time (shut up anyone that wants to comment that that’s a shock with my chatty nature!) so we sat there together and pondered. From time to time we’d talk but overall, we were just pleased with the company and the environment.
The night grew cold. Like REALLY cold. I checked the weather before leaving and the low was supposed to be 55 and apparently in a tent in the middle of nowhere, that translates to COLD. In the middle of the night, after having a weird “too real” dream, we both ended up getting up to put on socks and our hoodies. Next time, we’ll be more prepared with something to kind of keep the floor and thus the mattress warmer plus warmer less bulky jimmies.
So about this dream – in it I had come out of the tent to stand by the fire. Tommy was there (even though he went to bed before me in “real life”) and he was poking at the fire and chiding me to do something I forget but was unsafe or creepy or something but he wouldn’t let up so I said I was going back into the tent. “Fine!” he snapped. Except when I got back into the tent, he was there all cuddled up and said, “Finally” like he’d been waiting for me the whole time – like in “real life.” It creeped me out enough to wake up and realize how cold I was which lead me to think about how supposedly when ghosts are present, it gets really cold which lead me to getting spooked. The dreamy was only mildly –yet effectively - creepy and I started comparing Fire Tommy to Ethan in Lost – did you see the episodes he was in? Ethan was just this basic, nerdy looking guy but he kind of hovered and loomed really creepy….til he threatened to kill everyone on the island one by one….but before that. Needless to say, it took me forever to go back to sleep (I tend to go back into bad dreams only to find newer and more creepy versions of the same dream) but eventually I did. The last dream I had I swear my old dog Jasmine came to me. This sounds corny but I think she just wanted a visit – apparently angels don’t know how to rub her spot just right so I did. I woke up happy but then I started missing her and have been in an on & off funk ever since [I just stepped on a moth by accident and maimed it and that's upset me! RIP Moth]. I don’t want another dog, I want HER. Fortunately, Tommy is great about these things so he puts up with my corniness and makes me feel all better.
Moral of that paragraph is I’m smudging the next campsite we stay in.
I know telling others about your dreams is supposed to be boring and pointless except for those telling it and sometimes for those featured in it but I will use my “this is my blog, it’s a personal journal” card on this one.
We ended up getting up at dawn (we think – neither one of us brought a watch) and Tommy made a fire – this one to cook on (what me nervous?). I made scrambled Egg Beaters, Leavenworth sausage, and tortillas. Tommy wasn’t crazy about the eggs – I think they had a slight reaction to the iron skillet (I will be shopping the Amazon Friday sale this Friday for a good, cheap, nonstick pan). I thought they tasted fine noting the iron-y taste. (What can I say? An iron skillet just sounded camp-y!) We sat around and looked at the fire some more (not as fun as in the dark but nice nonetheless) and for some reason, I guess because it was so early, it was too chilly so we went back to take a long nap. We think we woke up several hours later because it was downright hot. We took down our camp, took a walk back to the dam then headed out.
That sounds like a great weekend, right? But wait! There’s more!
On the way back we stopped at Half Price Books where I found a copy of London Fields for Tommy’s dad, Bel Canto for his mom, and a few books for his sis. While there, I found a first edition hardback of the said Bel Canto, first ed hb of Coraline, and a paperback of The Chosen – possibly my next read. Tommy also found an Ann Rule book (he pretty much reads nothing but true crime – any recommendations would be much appreciated).
To stay on the fun roll, we ate dinner at Chevy’s. I can’t get enough of the shrimp and crab enchiladas and their corn tomalito stuff…but fortunately I have the foresight to ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal so I can box up half of it so there’s more room to enjoy their flawless chips and salsa.
Then we went home, unpacked, took MUCH NEEDED showers then went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with two, count ‘em TWO previews to The Corpse Bride and a preview to Bad News Bears that made us want to see the movie). I LOVED the first half of the movie with the character development of all the kids especially Charlie – the house he lived in had so many great details. The look of the movie is great – I was in awe of Augustus Gloop’s complexion and the whole cast was perfect. I just thought the movie missed something. Hello? Tim Burton did it! I was dreading the boat seen that scared the hell out of me in the original but there was nothing to be scared about in this one. Plus I couldn't understand most of what the oompa-loompas were singing (sing-along subtitles would have been AWESOME here) in there sometimes overly-modernized-attempted songs. I wouldn’t say, “Don’t see it” just “Don’t be as as excited as I was to see it.” You know how when you get so excited to see a movie that you blow it out of proportion so when you do see it, it doesn't measure up? I think that's what I did.
Then we went home and went to bed. A weekend well spent.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Saturday we headed to George, WA (we even saw a Martha Inn) to see Warped Tour at the Gorge. Everything I heard about the Gorge was true - it's truly stunning. I often ended up staring at the canyon-y landscape rather than the bands.
I worried about the concert itself - I'm going to be thirty-friggin-nine exactly a month from the show date so I dreaded being around all the young punks. But it turned out to not be too bad. We ran into friends from Tommy's boat and hung out with them on and off. Overall though, Tommy and I are great companions - we have about the same tolerance for all sorts of things which works out great.
OF COURSE the only band I wanted to see - bought my ticket because of, in fact, didn't play til the very end BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT! The Horrorpops ROCK! I have played the hell out of their Hell Yeah! cd and worried they weren't going to be as awesome live but they SO stood up to the plate. Any band that has a badass babe on stand up bass as a lead singer AND naughty back-up dancers is okay in my book - and the Horrorpops lead the pack! I even got a t-shirt. I can't wait for their next album!
I used to be big into rockabilly but slacked mainly because this area doesn't have much good local stuff but I've got the bug again, I can feel it!
Overall the show was great and the people were decent - though I was taken aback by the staggering amount of boy and girl booty crack I witnessed. Seriously, wear a belt! And apparently the latest girl trend is not to have your thong peeking out but bad granny panties - just say WOAH! Studded belts all around, please and thank you!
Sunday we went to Leavenworth. I was hoping to take part in Polka Rama but found out that it was only on Friday and Saturday (what the?!?). So we walked around the cutesy town and stopped in at some shops. I bought some GREAT yarn at Wooly Bully AND it was 40% off. If you're a knitter and go to Leavenworth, stop there! We also bought some great sausage at Willis Sausage Haus, got a brat at an outdoor stand, then watched the Chicken Dance being performed in the gazebo at the Town Square area. Ya gotta love the lederhosen!
Then we headed home stopping at IKEA for some stuff for our camping trip next weekend. We want to have a tub of stuff we just take camping so we don't have to take our "nice" kitchen stuff. They HAD a rockin cutting board with a knife built in that would have been ideal but they sold out of it and won't be restocking since it's a summer item (drat, drat, double drat) but we found plenty of other stuff to get us by.
And that's our weekend in a nutshell.....oh, and we bought cherries and tuna honey jerky at a roadside stand. I can recommend the former but not the latter.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
But the MAIN two people are Britney Spears-Federline with that God-awful 3-piece-sized wad of gum she smacks on and Tom Cruise.
First, Britney. Granted, she didn't sign up to be a role model but platinum records kind of force you there. I was influenced by music and movies when I was 13 - but who would have thought that Madonna and Def Leppard were actually SAFE? Whitney said it best when she sang, "I believe the children are our future..." and look where she is now! I fear for our future if the (most-recent) mother of Kevin's kids has as much influence as it would appear. I tried watching Chaotic and it hurt my brain. Then just seeing this picture Did Me In (I initially saw a worse/better version of the pic on eonline.com but it's not there anymore). And you KNOW she had a turbo chunk of gum in her mouth, too! I don't care that chewing gum MAY improve your memory and thus make you smarter. You know what else improves your memory and thus makes you smarter? Books*.
And now for Tom. I sing the gospel of SF's Mark Morford. If you don't subscribe to his column, do so. If you've never read his work and have a lot of time on your hands - scroll through his archive. It's like reading the equivalent of really good chocolate pudding. Okay, I'm not quite sure what that means exactly aside from: it's just really good. Today's column is all about the perplexing state of Tom Cruise. Morford reads my mind but types it out far better so I bow to his rant on the subject. Thank you, Mark Morford!
I'm through being bitter and jaded..........for now.
*I was supposed to be reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff (which is hilarious, by the way) for Satan's Bookclub but on the drive to Tommy's rockin' grandparents', his really rockin' mom gave me a copy of Secret Life of Bees. If you haven't read it, read the excerpt. It's cripplingly beautiful. I haven't rushed home to be with a book since Bel Canto.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I pricelined a 4-star hotel (the Hyatt near Robson St.) and got it for $75 a night. Our nice, comfy room had a balcony overlooking The Fairmount (something tells me priceline doesn't sell their rooms).
We started out at Granville Public Market. We bought some great bread at Terra Breads and some salami at one of the many meat stalls. Lee's Donuts had just pulled out fresh donut holes so we couldn't exactly pass that up either. I looked for Duso's Spices but couldn't find it. South China Seas Trading Co. did me just right, though. I bought some red Thai rice and some spices including those cute little star anise pods that look so great in the magnetic spice rack that my dear, a little too skinny friend Dave gave me.
The rest of the day was spent walking around window shopping and such.
Later that night we went to dinner at Memphis Blues BBQ House. It was WONDERFUL. Granted, it was kind of weird traveling all the way to Vancouver for BBQ but, like I've said before, it just doesn't exist in my neck o' the woods and we haven't tasted much in Seattle, either. Tommy and I split the Memphis platter which basically took up the whole table (it was a 2-top). The sides (cole slaw, potato salad, and beans) were just adequate which was fine because it left more room for the ridiculously good fries, brisket, 2 kinds of ribs, pulled pork, sausage, and chicken. It was a silly amount of food and we ended up making a homeless guy VERY happy with the leftovers.
I made Tommy go for a walk with me once we got back to the hotel (you could tell he wanted to just slink into his blissful meat coma) so we walked up and down way-too-congested Robson St.
Just in case our arteries weren't fully clogged, we stopped and got some decent fudge.
The next morning we met Uncle Jim (no relation) at Zin Restaurant. UJ and I each had the rockin' Huevos Rancheros. It came in a fried red flour tortilla bowl and had layers of hashbrowns, eggs, chorizo, ranchero sauce, and sour cream and had two cheddar crisps* garnishing it. Spectacular, spectacular! Tommy had the waffles (waffles are to Tommy as cheese is to me) but regretably they tasted frozen (gasp!).
Then we walked around some more - I dragged Tommy and Uncle Jim into the MAC store so I could buy a couple of lipsticks (NY Apple and Rocker). It came out to about the same price as in the states with my MAC card. I was hoping to get a refill for the Lightful Protective Foundation Powder compact I bought at the Sydney airport but apparently it's only sold in a couple of international airports and Japan (something about it having too much SPF to be approved by the FDA or something - the bastards!). I will try not to get too much sun (the shade I bought is a bit light) til the next time my Aussie friends come to visit and hopefully they can pick me up a refill or two.
Eventually we walked enough to make room for Mondo Gelato. So, so good.
Then we headed for Lynn Canyon Park to cross the suspension bridge. The Capilano Bridge is a bit more famous but why spend $22CAD when you can go to Lynn Canyon for free? The park and views were stunning and the bridge was Goldilocks scary. I HIGHLY (get it? suspension bridge humor!) recommend you visit if you get the opportunity.
On the way back we stopped at the Roots factory store - I can't normally fit into their clothes much less stuffed with all that we ate while in Vancouver - but I definitely want to go back if and when we have a baby (I was thisclose to buying a little onesie covered in monkeys - not sure why I'm so obsessed with monkeys and babies but if we have a boy, there's a deadstock crib set from Land of Nod covered in blue monkeys that I would have to buy off ebay or some place).
Then we headed out of town stopping at the last duty free shop to spend the rest of our Canadian money on booze, a box of big Kit-Kats with a bonus Kit-Kat radio for my sister, among other things. Note to self: if you get in the bus lane to get to the shop, you skip a big chunk of the line and save a ton of time because you get to "cut" to the front of the line by showing your shop receipt.
As you can see, it was a lovely, lovely trip.
*I'm a cheese freak and have been known, on many an occasion, to add grated cheese to a really hot nonstick pan to fry til golden - a.k.a. cheddar crisps! Horrible, I know.....horribly delicious that is!
Monday, June 27, 2005
Saturday my sis-in-law and I met Stef & Mike at Hi-Life for brunch then went to Swanson's Nursery to take the copper trellis class.
First off, I'm a BIG brunch fan and Hi-Life was like the place Goldilocks would pick. I had The Best biscuits and gravy I think I have ever had - and I'm from The South. Normally I'd order a side of sausage because the sausage gravy falls short. Not here. They have the "would you like a little gravy with your sausage?" mentality that I truly appreciate. They're so confident they've cornered the biscuits and gravy market, they post the recipe! I'd make the gravy but I'm plenty happy with Pillsburys' frozen biscuits.
There's nothing like dining company that's willing to share so Stef and I split the B&G and the custard dipped Fancy French toast (ooh-la-la!) the espresso-mascarpone was INSANELY wonderful. Who woulda thunk it? Mike ventured into the lunch menu and chose the grilled serrano ham sandwich which was quite tasty but not as good as those damn biscuits and gravy!
AND Hi-Life has really good coffee. Two thumbs Way Up!
Then it was off to Swanson's. The class was really interesting - I learned to spot-weld! There's all manner of things you can do with a copper trellis. The one our lovely teacher Stacey made was similar to this one. Very Asian-y, bamboo-looking.
Afterwards, we explored the nursery. Ever since we bought our house, I am so into gardening (you should SEE the strawberries I just plucked from it!). Swanson had two plants I've been looking for that I will probably end up planting together: Persian Shield which has these AMAZING metallic purple tinged leaves and a purple angel's trumpet that's going to smell amazing. To add to what may be a HUGE pot, I bought some purple sage and the dark opal basil.
The nursery is gorgeous - I'm almost glad it's so far away.
Then sis-in-law and I headed back to Bremerton - stopping at Trader Joe's of course.
Sunday was a friend's 5th birthday (if you don't have at least one 5 year old friend, you're missing out). It was at this really cool indoor soccer field so I actually even got some exercise.
Then we came home, ate nachos and went to bed very early.
So how was your weekend?
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I bring this up because I swear if I gush about Tommy outside....and now apparently online....we have a fight shortly thereafter. It's like these friggin' Evil Spirits toy with me. "Oh, you think he's dreamy? What will you think he is when we throw this into the mix."
Granted "this" is petty nothingness, "just a tiff," but I don't tiff well and tend to get this "impending doom" feeling after so it takes a while to shake it off and move on.
But the point of this rambling is that I'll try harder to gush less about my husband online....and outside.
Silly, I know. Especially 'coz I've got plenty to gush about.
First off, and this is a bit dated but I did just get a blog and all, the MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss went to Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Their tension-building reenactment onstage made my mouth water and got me to feeling all squishy inside. I saw The Notebook and it was fine but I do not remember seeing such chemistry. Said mojo had Lindsay Lohan squealing, "Ohmigod!" but this time it was justifiable. I really did feel like I was watching something VERY intimate. And now I'm (obviously) obsessed - during repeats I hover with the DVR remote and rewind and pause and rewind and pause. Mr. Gosling was obviously into it and that just made it worse....in a good way if you know what I'm sayin'.
Granted, I haven't watched the repeat in a week or so but it was still fresh in my mind (and is still saved all warm and cozy in my DVR - gosh, technology can sometimes be so Good) when we saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith on Sunday. Now, I am SO not a fan of Jennifer Aniston but I do hope if Brad and Angelina have become Brangelina (or Bradgina as I prefer), I hope it happened after and not because of the breakup because, that said, they are so very HOT together. Like if a bootleg sex tape comes out of them, I would so buy it (I felt guilty for buying the Pam and Tommy tape but at the same time I was so pleased to find they were so in love....at least for that moment) even though the whole paparrazzi thing has gotten way, way, way out of hand. Anyhoo, Brad and Angelina are stunning specimens on their own but together, they look so good their name should be Damn! Hmmmm, that is what I shall call them from now on: "I enjoyed the performances of Damn! in Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
Anyhoo, the movie is decent, worth seeing at the theatre, and there's a brief moment in the picture that shows that Angelina can act. Just a tiny growly thing similar to the spit bubble Patricia Arquette caterwauls into in the best movie ever. Needless to say, I was moved by the frustrated growl. And for some reason I felt kinda sexy afterwards - kinda lovey-dovey sexy. To the point that I think Tommy (husband not Lee - duh!) may have felt used, like I was pretending he was Brad or something, which I wasn't (I don't get that whole pretending you're someone else thing - kinda creeps me out), I just felt "in tune" or something maybe because of their hotness and all the guns and such.
I like me a good movie with love and gratuitous violence.