Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April is National Poetry Month

For some reason I just now found out (on April 30th!) that April is National Poetry Month. Apparently this was started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. April was chosen because as T. S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month" and they hoped to lessen that. In honor of National Poetry Month I'm including a favorite poem of mine. The date I wrote this was February 5th, 1995.


The flight cut through the smoke filled room,
the vibrant sound, accompanied by smooth tones, rose to a destined crescendo.

The sweat poured from his brow
as the Jazzman spoke to the auditory senses of his audience.

Chairs rumbled beneath their energetic bodies
as his language moved their beings with each emphatic tone.

Their thoughts were transported to an imagined zone,
where images dance to the funky tribal rhythms.

As he made his descent back into reality
he pulled them to the furthermost edge of their individual thrones.

And, as he hit the final resounding note,
his awestruck admirers released their tension in a cloud of applause.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fundraising Update: $1484.01!!

Thanks to new donations from Whole Foods Market (the 5% day), my Aunt Judy, Mary Joy (go Wenatchee contingent!) and some dishes I sold to my new company my current amount raised is $1,484.01! Only $715.99 to go until I meet the minimum amount required to participate in The Breast Cancer 3day! If I can get 30 people to come to the Boobie-Que I'll be able to hit that in no time! I'm so excited to be almost done with the fundraising portion of this event. It has been weighing heavy on my mind, no doubt. As soon as I am done I'll start helping my other team mates meet their goals.

Go Seattle Warming Hut Hotties!

Side note - the Seattle Warming Hut Hotties have also started a team that will participate in the 2008 Race for the Cure on June 21st. This is a 5k walk and anyone that would like to join us is encouraged so sign up. It's a pretty flat fun walk. If you're interested here is the link to our team page. Please let me know if you have any questions. The more the merrier!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Backyard Update - Pearl Arbor

We're finally making some serious progress on our backyard project. As a reminder, here is what we started with, this was the first phase, and this was the second phase. As soon as the warmer dry weather hit this spring Chris began the next phase that we refer to as Pearl Arbor. He finished this phase this past weekend. In addition we spend time, and numerous trips to nurseries, planting out the raised flower beds and building our pots path up the stairs to the deck. Sadly it began to rain yesterday before I got my pictures taken, but try to imagine what this will be like in full sunshine! I'm really beginning to love our backyard!

Pearl Arbor
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Hops on Pearl Arbor
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Stone Kitty and the Apple Tree
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Pots Path
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Stone Rabbit and the Rose Bush
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Welcome Back Water Taxi!

Today was the opening day of the 2008 West Seattle Water Taxi Season. I went down to Seacrest to watch Chris working crowd control. There was a live band (Once), a clown, and free ice cream from the Husky Deli (YUMMY!). The weather wasn't as good as they predicted but there was still a good sized crowd down at Seacrest. Captain Joe was driving the taxi today and doing a darn fine job. I'm exited to see the water taxi back in action, but sad because I won't be riding it as much this year (darn Bellevue!). Here are some photos I took of Chris working, Joe on the boat, Dow Constantine speaking and Chris's boss Kevin Clark speaking. Fun times!

Chris acting important:
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Here comes the taxi!
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Captain Joe:
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Chris watching Dow speak:
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Chris watching Kevin speak:
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Waiting for the Paper

Two years we've lived in this house. Two years we've subscribed to the Friday, Saturday & Sunday local newspaper. Two years we haven't missed a delivery. I get up on the weekends between 6 and 6:30, make coffee, open the front door and grab the paper. Yesterday, no paper. It arrived 5 minutes before I left the house for my training walk (7:30). Today, no paper. This is my paper time, but hard to do without the paper. I hope it arrives soon.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

LA Fitness - Shame On You!

It's the little things that have begun to eat away at me. I've posted before about how in the beginning I loved my new gym, but then it ate another gym and soon I couldn't fit in the locker room. Well, it has continued to slowly go downhill. So beings a short rant about the things that are currently bothering me at my new gym.
  • The training staff - the are a bunch of stuck up teenagers. They stand around and eat fast food and look up videos on YouTube at the training desk. And yet they keep calling me over and over again to set up my "free" training session. No thank you!
  • The equipment - It seems like everyday something new is broken. Today many of the elliptical machines had "out of order" signs on them. Lame.
  • The front desk staff - ummm...I'm pretty sure they don't have personalities. Double lame.
  • The showers - with the influx of new members the showers have gotten progressively worse. Today there was what I believe to be the hide of a Sasquatch caught in the drain of the shower I was in. Ewww.
  • The maintenance staff - these guys stood behind me as I worked out on the elliptical trainer for about 1/2 hour yesterday discussing how some of the equipment was malfunctioning. I hate when people who are not working out stand around in a group talking super loud behind you as you sweat profusely. It's rude. Triple lame. (oh and as noted in the 2nd bullet - they didn't fix anything).
  • The locker rooms - still very overcrowded. And many of the lockers are broken.
  • NO MORE HAIRDRYERS - today I got out of the shower, got dressed, and went to the counter to dry my hair. Yesterday there were four hairdryers. Today there were zero. Gee thanks. Not a sign anywhere warning us. How hard would it be for one of the training staff to run to the store and buy a new one? Oh right, they're too busy with their YouTube!
So, I went to the website for this club today with the intent of outlining some of these items. And guess what. They don't have an option to email them! They have a 1-800 number that routes to somewhere in Arizona and a "mailing" address. WHO SENDS SNAIL MAIL ANYMORE?! So one more item to add to the list:
  • Their website - it sucks. Guess I'll get out my pad and pen and write a letter. Yeah right.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reaper vs. Reefer?

Today the Seattle Times ran this story about a drug bust in Seattle. Apparently it is called Operation Green Reaper. Shouldn't it be Operation Green Reefer?

Rant - Earth Week Edition

Here is my rant about water bottles.

A few years ago I jumped on the "drink more water" band wagon. I understood the need to stay hydrated and realized that I felt better when I did. So we started buying convenient bottled water from the grocery store.

I would often refill the bottles over and over again and when I did finish with one I would recycle it. Then some studies came out that stated you shouldn't re-use a disposable water bottle. They were dangerous and would leach chemicals into the water. So I would only use them once. Of course I quickly became aware of how wasteful that was and switched to a more "green" choice, the trendy plastic water bottles made by companies such as Nalgene and CamelBak.

So we got a Brita pitcher for our fridge, kept numerous CamelBak and Nalgene bottles around the house, and we've been using these for a couple of years now. For Christmas this past year I even gave the CamelBak flip top water bottle as a gift to a few of my relatives. Imagine my horror when I recently found out that I was encouraging them to ingest dangerous chemicals that could lead to breast or prostate cancer!

Of course Nalgene and CamelBak have jumped on this, pulled their dangerous bottles off the shelf and they are producing a whole new line of "BPA Free" bottles. So I guess I will go out a buy a couple of these as soon as they are available. Or maybe a couple Sigg bottles (although I hate the taste of aluminum).

So here is the new dillema right. What do we do with our dangerous water bottles. I can't recycle them (or can I???). I don't want to donate them and kill someone. Do I just dump them in the landfill with the rest of the mistakes we've made?

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Battle

We have two cats. Neither of which are "long" haired cats. Yet our entire house is constantly covered in cat hair. Not only covered in cat hair but you can often find it floating by in the air. The other day Chris said "I think I just saw our third cat float by". It doesn't usually bother me that much. I've always had cats and dealt with the consequences. I actually don't hardly notice anymore.

But then my parents came to visit for the weekend. All I heard about was how much cat hair was on their clothes. My dad was walking around with a lint roller and rolling off the couch before he sat down each time. And here I thought the place was pretty clean. I mean, we even have a cleaning lady that comes twice a month to help fight the cat hair for me. But apparently it is still everywhere.

Oh, and at my walk on Saturday morning my co-captain Stephanie looked at me and said "Boy you're hairy". I'm hoping she meant the cat hair and not me in general.

This sort of sums up how it works:

humorous pictures

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Blame My Parents

Everytime my parents have decided to come to Seattle to visit, or to cross the mountain passes in general, we've had a snowstorm. Of course, stupid me was thinking that since it was April, the MIDDLE OF APRIL, we'd be safe this time. No such luck. My parents are crossing the passes today to visit so of course there is a snowstorm. Not much in the way of snow here at our house but I was caught in a crazy hail storm driving home yesterday. But, my sister-in-law sent me a couple of pictures yesterday of the snow at her place in Edmonds. Can you believe it is snowing in April? Crazy......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Random Music

I'm working on a document at work today so I brought my iRiver in with me to tune out those around me. I have a folder on it called Random Music in which I have a bunch of random songs that string together into some pretty interesting listening. It just struck me how varied my tastes can be. Here is a sample of some of the tunes I'm rocking to today:

Badly Drawn Boy - About a Boy
Barry Manilow - Mandy
Billy Bragg, Wilco & Natalie Merchant - Birds & Ships
Blink 182 - I Miss You
Billy Vera & The Beaters - At This Moment
Billy Joel & Elton John - Piano Man
Cat Stevens - Moonshadow
Del Amitri - Always The Last To Know
Elliott Smith - Harvest Moon
Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly
Garth Brooks - Long Neck Bottle
Gomez - Tijuana Lady
Johnathan Richmond - I Was Dancing In A Lesbian Bar
Jem - Just A Ride
Jon Bon Jovi - Always
Joni Mitchell - A Case of You
Kid Rock - Cowboy
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Matthew Sweet - Let Me Be The One
Neil Diamond - I Am I Said
Nora Jones - Come Away
Pop-O-Pies - Truckin'
REM - Mrs. Robinson
Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Ryan Adams - Firecracker

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mexico Vs. Some Other Team

If you were anywhere near Qwest Field last night you knew that Mexico was playing an exhibition football game. Fans dressed in the country's colors, faces painted, draped in Mexican flags were everywhere.

What was missing was any indication of who they were playing.

56,400 Mexico fans showed up for the game. About 16 fans for their opponent, China, tried to stay hidden.

It was impressive. Qwest field was a sea of green, red and white last night and the fans enjoyed every minute of the game. Every time Mexico made a good play a cry of Ole' would sound. When Mexico had possession the place shook with the chant of Mexico, Mexico! If the ref made a call against Mexico the crowd was on it's feet yelling and stomping. They sang the national anthem with passion. They banged drums. They even did the wave, over and over again. It was contagious. And the fans were rewarded with Mexico winning the game 1-0.

Viva Mexico!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Urban Guilt

Every time I drive my car from West Seattle to Bellevue and back for work I feel guilty. I drive alone. I drive a car that doesn't get the best gas mileage ever. I'm another person clogging up the roads.

But driving to work is fast. It takes me approximately 27 minutes from my driveway to the parking lot at work (of course I leave before 7am to avoid the major commute time).

Today I rode the bus in. I left the house at 6:47am. I caught the 21 Express to downtown where I entered the bus tunnel and caught the 550 Express to Bellevue. Upon arrival in Bellevue I exited the bus and walked the 1 block to my office arriving at the front door at 8:21am. 8:21am!! It took me 1 hour and 34 minutes to bus the 17.2 miles from my house to my office. Not what I would call Rapid Transit.

But, I did feel less guilty.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Break out the short pants!

If you were anywhere near the northwest this past weekend you know how absolutely fabulous it was. Well, Friday and Saturday at least.

I can't even begin to describe how excited I was on Saturday morning when I pulled my rubbermaid container of short pants out from under the guest bed and switched them with my winter sweaters. Goodbye frumpy sweaters, hello cute fun short pants!

I even wore my new Keen sandals with my short pants all day on Saturday. And boy was I glad I did. Chris and I traveled to Olympia Saturday morning to take Grandma to the nursery to get flowers for her planters and a new shrub for her side yard. When we were working in the yard planting our purchases It was about 80 degrees. So awesome, so warm, yay Spring!

Saturday night we went to the Mariners game to enjoy the weather. It was perfect baseball weather and the views from Safeco Field were incredible. Here are a couple of shots I took at the game.

Typical Seattle, yesterday it rained on and off all day. I made the most of it by making a trip to Half Price Pots for new planters for the backyard. Then I went to Lowes and used a gift card we had to get flowers for the planters. At home I planted all of them and lined the steps to our deck with the new planters. I'm not the one with the green thumb in the family but it was fun to get my hands dirty and arrange the flowers just how I wanted them. Of course the true test will be if they live. Time will tell......

Friday, April 11, 2008

OMG - What is that giant mass of incandescent gas in the sky?!

IT IS SUNNY IN SEATTLE!! I want to shout from the mountaintops. Not only is it sunny, but temperatures are supposed to get above "this is ridiculous" and reach somewhere around "I can actually take my jacket off outside" today! AND, they are saying that tomorrow is going to be even better. Whoever is doing all the sacrifices to the sun gods, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Oh, and please keep it up.

Of course by Sunday they say it will be raining and cold again. But in typical Seattle fashion I only imagine that people will be flocking outside tomorrow to make the most of it. BBQs will be uncovered, hammocks will return to yards, lawns will be mowed, kayaks will be paddled, drives will be taken, and Frisbees will be thrown.

Chris and I will be spending the day planting plants for his Grandparents in Olympia. I'm not really into yard work (huge understatement) but being outside will be awesome. And we're hoping to make it home in time to catch the Mariners game, our first of the season (yes I know, I can't believe we haven't been to one yet either!).

Has Spring finally sprung?!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snowshoeing without Snowshoes

Last weekend Chris and I ventured to Ashford, WA to enjoy a cabin weekend with a group of his coworkers from Argosy. Amazingly enough, as far as I can remember, I've never been up to Mt. Rainier. I know, I know, how lame! We arrived Friday night at the cabin which was located just outside the Paradise entrance to the park. The cabin left much to be desired but there was plenty of room for the 13 of us who made the trek and it was warm. I slept on the way up so that I could enjoy the fun times that lay ahead that evening:
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Friday night we played games. Cookie organized a hilarious game of "camping terms" charades. Of course it quickly went downhill into "lewd terms" charades after a couple of beers, but it was tons of fun. Chris had packed the Wii with us and once charades was over he broke out Guitar Hero III. With 13 people it eventually turned into a bunch of different games being played about the cabin. Games on the Wii, card games at the table, and drinking games in the kitchen. The best part was that it snowed a couple inches that evening and there were spontaneous snowball fights on the deck. I'm pretty sure the last person went to bed around 3am (of course that wasn't me - I was in bed at something like 11:30 - because that's how I roll).

Saturday morning came way to early for a few of our group and we had to leave them behind as we ventured up to the mountain. It was a beautiful drive up, like driving through a snow tunnel:
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Poor Josh, Kara and Joe had to ride the whole way up crammed into the backseat of our Subaru (I can't ride in the backseat on windy roads like that or there would have been major pukage):
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The visitors center was surrounded by snow. It was pretty neat that you couldn't see out many of the windows because the snow was so deep:
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There was this crazy area in the visitors center that had stuffed animals that looked like they had been there since the 1960s. They were really mangy and gross. And then, there was this lone antler, just lying there:
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After a while we headed outside and for some dumb reason decided we would begin to walk the loop trail, that is designed for snowshoeing, even though none of us actually had snowshoes (well actually Cookie and Aren had some in their car, but they were too lazy to go get them). Yes I know, not the brightest idea. It took us about 1 hour to do the 1.5 mile loop (actually I have no idea how long it took us, but we were out there for a LONG time). Keep in mind that hiking a snowshoeing trail without snowshoes means that about every 6th step you leg sinks into the snow up to at least your knee. Now also keep in mind that most of us only had sneakers on, and jeans. Here are some random photos from our journey:
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After we were done with our "hike" we decided to warm up in the lunchroom of the visitors center. Talk about the area that time forgot. I'm pretty sure the entire visitors center was built in the 60s and then ignored.

All in all the trip was great fun, and I'd love to go up again. Next time though I'm taking snowshoes, for sure!
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Attack of the stomach virus.

Ugh. That about sums up the past two days. 4am on Monday morning I woke up with some crazy stomach virus that knocked me out for 2 days straight. Today I was able to make it to work, and so far it is going well, but we'll see how long this lasts.

I've heard from numerous people that this *virus* is going around. Well if that is the truth, people look out! It is no fun.

But, to try and look on the bright side, here are some good things about staying home sick:
Thankfully I'm back in the world of the not so sick and I don't have to rely on soup for sustenance.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Courtney House

Lisa and Matt were in NYC last week for spring break. This is what they brought me back:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fundraising Update: $610!

The people I know totally rock. I have now raised $610 towards my goal of $2,200. This does not yet include the money from the Whole Foods 5% day which should put me close to $1,300! Only about $900 left to go!

A shout out to those that have donated since my last update: From the Wenatchee Contingent - The Neels, The Lawells, The Woodwards, The Johnsons, The Wards, The McNairs, The Halgrens, and My Awesome Cousin Stacey Dore'! You all totally rock! And a special shout out to my friend Christy's friend Gina for her surprise, and much appreciated, donation!

Next up - picking a date for the Boobie-Que!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day 6 of the great eyebrow twitch of 2008.

My left eyebrow has been twitching since Friday. FRIDAY! That means that today is the 6th full day of twitching. I can even see it when I look in the mirror. If you Google eyebrow twitch it says that stress, caffeine, or lack of sleep can cause this. I don't really feel stressed, I've been limiting myself to 1 cup of coffee a day (you really can't expect me to quit cold turkey, can you), and I average 8 hours of sleep a night (I really love sleeping). So why, oh why dear Internet is my eyebrow still twitching?

Oh so very annoying.
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