One of those All Over The Place posts. Because I'm multi-faceted.
Yesterday I did my usual wandering around the office ten minutes after I got there, going "Coffee? Coffee?" Usually there are a few takers. Sometimes quite a few. Yesterday morning we BUMRUSHED Louise, who was working by herself that morning. And this is Seattle, you know. It's not like we're all getting the same plain ole lattes. Louise did a fabulous job. Coffee Crew. On 45th. Visit. Tip well.
Another episode of Unnecessary Packaging. The usual culprit: Office Depot, packing three dinky things of ink and some paper towels in two big boxes. Now the United States Postal Service is jumping on the bandwagon by packaging stamps in giant hunks of styrofoam so the roll doesn't bend. Because MAN that would just RUIN my day to get a roll of stamps that got kinda sorta folded.
The cats are having a fabulous time with the clothing laying in heaps throughout the house and warm bodies sleeping all over the floor. Hobbes seeks out Shane's cowboy sweater no matter where he leaves it. If you pick it up and move it to another room, you will find Hobbes in that room a few minutes later. And Dominique just works the room. Above is what I found the other morning - Dominique somehow managed to steal the entire head space of the mattress from Dave, who complied by slinking his whole upper body onto the floor. In my sympathy, I took a picture and headed out to work.
Speaking of which but not really, tonight I got home from work and saw that the garage had a bunch of beer bottles and empty Canadian cigarette packs, and I said "What happened here?" And Sean replied "I guess the guys had a garage party last night"
"Which guys?" (they are all working these weird day and night shifts for a few days now and I never really know who's coming and going - seriously - the other day I thought I heard someone coming home at six a.m. and it freaked me out so I got up to check on whoever it was but it was Uncle Pete waving goodbye and heading out.)
"Uh, I think Colum and Dave... and Shan. Oh! And Mark."
"Who's Mark?"
"He's the drummer for Robosexuals."
"He was here last night?"
"Uh, yeah, he was here this morning too. He's staying here."
"................Where did he sleep?"
"Between the table and the fireplace"
So Internet, I'd love to introduce you to Mark, and post a picture of him and all, but I have no idea what this guy looks like myself, even though I stepped over him to leave for work this morning. And didn't notice the fourth body on my living room floor.
I tell ya, this month is going down in the history books.
Non-knitters you can just skip down to the comments now.
I started these v. tall socks (but not striped cuz that's silly - just solid black Cascade 220) from Knitty.com even though I had only knitted a few scarves and panels for a stupid, stupid sweater up until now. I even contacted the author of the pattern to make sure I understood everything, and she e-mailed right back! to say "Okay I'll check it at home and get back to you"! and then I never heard from her again.
But no matter, I knew I had that eight hour layover in Orlando and what better way to pass the time at an airport than attempting five size-two double-pointed-needle-knitting for the first time? Alone? And afraid? See? PERFECT!
I got it right by about the fifth try, which sounds atrocious, but really, I had a lot of time on my hands and it was fun trying to figure out how to use the needles (seriously people, YOU take five long toothpicks in a plastic sleeve, a skein of yarn, and those directions, and let's see what YOU would do). And don't even get me started on stitch-holders that don't open. I got those teeny little rubber circles and I have yet to figure out how they help. (Meredith later made me homemade stitch markers for Christmas and they RULE. If only I could find them now. Sigh. January.)
ANYHOO I started this sucker and counted down for my first 15 rows of ONE BY ONE rib stitch ("Hi! I'm in Hell!") and by then I'm LONG back home in Seattle and weeks have gone by and I pick it up now and then and wrestle a row out. And put it back down.
But! There's a story here I swear! I did some internet research (go figure) and found this craziness. Knitting two socks at the same time on two circulars. And I studied those lessons a couple times before I picked up my two needles. Plus I decided to make life even more difficult by trying this crazy Twisted German cast-on (warning: two pop-up ads - I DETEST about.com) which required Sean sitting next to me with the instructions and about twenty minutes of full attention.
Then I knit this sucker and lemme tell ya, the amount of physics involved is exhausting. My eyes hurt after casting on 180 stitches and knitting just one row. But here it is.
The start of two socks on two size 2 circulars.
Thank you very much.
(Reminder: I didn't get nominated for a Bloggie but there's still time to help me leave Seattle in a blaze of glory.)
P.S. Mom - looks like Shane and Pete and Colum are staying another week or two, so yes, you do get to pick which one you're sleeping with! (Mom is coming to visit starting next Thursday.)

I'm here but I'm busy working and watching TV.
I'm really happy that it's Friday. I need a weekend BAD.

My Mouse STILL isn't working
I took the picture of the beer cap, because I was taking a load of laundry out of the washer to put in the dryer, and a beer cap fell out. And I thought "Oh! Haha! I'll blog this!" but then later I just happened to be talking to Sean when he was taking the next load out of the washer and putting it in the dryer, and another beer cap fell out, and I was all "Yeah. That'll happen."
The cans? Yeah they're 6-7 pounds each SO WHAT there's a lot of people to feed. They are in a pyramid because Colum assembled them and took a picture, like "Look at all this big American food!" when actually it only took two meals to get through the tuna. And we're having taco night Thursday. So sue me.
And I don't even want to think of the damaging effects from storing the giant can of tuna in front of the fish tank.
Here's Shane practicing a song in the kitchen. See, his band is playing at the Comet Saturday. I think it's Saturday. I don't know my days this month. I also don't know where to find the baking dishes, my plastic bowls, or the parts to the stand mixer. But anyway - his & Shan's band (Robosexuals) and Dave's band (Rock'n) are playing I think Saturday night at the Comet, which is the tavern across the street somewhere near Neumo's. Meet us there. It should be verrrrrry interesting. And it's one of their last nights here, so it will be bittersweet for me. I will be taking a Lush bath EVERY NIGHT for the whole week after they go. And buying groceries in SMALL PORTIONS! I'm gonna shop at 7-11! Every day! And buy trial sizes of..... something! And GO TO SLEEP AT TEN! But even with all that, I will miss the chaos that is this month of Hot Canadians. But I won't miss the shoes. Or the beer caps. Or the salad. Costco only sells salad mix by the truckload so I don't think ANY of us are going to miss salad. For MONTHS.
Next Monday! SALAD PARTY! MY HOUSE! Bring Your Own Dressing!
But you have to leave by 9:45!
P.S. Sean has a torn meniscus and isn't working. Anywhere. MRI Friday. Surgery Monday. No sick pay. January is for LOSERS. Well not Jackson but everyone else.

More immigration fun.

There are very few things cooler in this world than shoes with cherry balls. Over at Amanda's site we were going crazy over cool boots (expensive and very smart) and over at Martha's site we were praising these shoes that Martha purchased, but she posted a link to these shoes and I actually let out an audible gasp.
I'm a simple gal with simple tastes, I think, or maybe that's because I can only afford simple things, I don't know, but I do know this: these shoes are worth creating a wardrobe around. Black suede! Red patent leather! Non-skid! High-heeled! And do I need to say it?
Also? Can you say Neon Green Patent? sigh.
And another shoe I would wardrobe around.
Someone please pry the mouse out of my hand. </female>
Immigration situation has been updated.

I wear a size 8 1/2. Thank you.

Six Arms!
Todd's & Colum's Birthdays!

Reunited and it feels so gooooood

Josh & Iggy

Me & Iggy

Sean & Iggy

Shan & Jalen
Thursday night we actually went to Six Arms! It seems like months since we've been there.
I think it has been months.
Iggy graced us with his presence, and we all bid for time to hold him - he's a pretty chill little guy. And he loves bottles.
Friday night we had Todd & Tamsin over for some Culver Duck! I also made a birthday cake for Todd & Colum since Todd was out of town on his birthday, we didn't do anything for him at work.
Dominique worked the crowd as usual, plus we had the uber-entertaining Jane magazine laying around, and it never fails - if that thing is in your house, people will gather to read it. I can't explain it.

Tamsin, Jane magazine, Todd, Dominique

Colum: February 14, Todd: January 9

Birthday Boys!
Today I finally had a day to hang out at home and meal-plan, then Amy took me to Costco to load up again. After this, I picked up Jon and brought him up to my house to help me unload all of the groceries, and we had just enough time for me to grill them some sandwiches before heading out to their Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game.
The rest of the boys got home an hour later and we had dinner and played Settlers.
Tomorrow is more of the same - I hoped to go to a yarn exchange at Jessica's house, but instead I think I need to stay home and do some of *my own* laundry and relax a little (we don't have Monday off as a holiday). I need to knit. It's been too long.

Todd, Jane magazine, Tamsin, Dominique

Watching the fish eat bloodworms
Samantha came over last night to help me make dinner for the boys. We made Port Salut sandwiches:
On Como bread, butter the outsides, and spread yellow mustard on the inside of one slice.
Grill on a flattop and layer thick-sliced Port Salut, ground black pepper, thick-sliced tomato, and onion. Fry until cheese is goopy. Yum.
After our dinner we all snuggled up to watch Shaun of the Dead, which is adorable in a guts-getting-ripped-out sort of way.
Tonight after a long emotional day at work (not even having to do with work) I came home to roast two chickens, and make mashed potatoes out of a whole bag of potatoes, and some steamed asparagus. With crumb cake for dessert.
Did you know I don't cook well?
I like to bake - sure - but NOT COOK.

Shane had a rough day too
Needless to say I was pretty proud of dinner tonight. (The chickens weren't blackened!)
And now to move on to why I had a crazy day....
The next step in my Immigration Story. And a shout out to my boss, Ray, for dealing with me making long distance calls to Vegas and swearing all day.
At the front desk.
If that doesn't win me Sexiest Receptionist, I don't know what will.
Who wants to take me to Costco tomorrow or Friday?

P.S. Good luck Heather. We're all so proud of you!


Remember Jamey's chocolate bars?
I'm still working on the piece
I brought home.

The cupboard project.
When we got home from Vancouver yesterday and noticed Colum's excellent cleaning job, Sean got a bit antsy since he obviously planned on cleaning the kitchen when he got home. Once he started to prepare Heather's Tortellini soup, he got frustrated that he couldn't find the cans of tomatoes. I was on the phone with Mom, and walked by him, whispering "He's pulled everything out of the cupboards! I think he's organizing them!" and Mom replied "Don't distract him!" Later I heard the vacuum cleaner kick up and I whispered "I think he's vacuuming the cupboards now!" and Mom said "Don't interrupt him!"
When it was all said and done, Sean called me over to teach me the new-and-improved layout of our kitchen cupboards. Beautiful!



Sean & Colum

Shan & Dave

Shan helps with baking
The boys played poker last night until the wee hours. I didn't ask how much money exchanged hands. I also put this mucky-muck on Sean's scalp, which he sported for the rest of the festivities. It's greeeeeasssy. We also made a box of Brown & Haley Cookie Bars, which I highly recommend, if you can find the mix. They are a layer of shortbread, then caramel, then big crunched-up Almond Roca bits. YUMMY. I tried to get a picture of the box for you, but it doesn't exist on the internet yet. I wrote an e-mail to Brown & Haley and I hope they respond so you can all go out and buy these mixes as well.
Today was a sad yet fond farewell to Heather - we met at University Zoka for coffee and knitting and goodbyes. She's good people.
I just asked Dave what to blog about and he said "The salmon. It was good." I made a big plank of salmon with honey and cayenne pepper, served with Broccoli Bleu Cheese casserole, plus salad. It's what Jon used to cook for me back when he cooked for me. Or, really, back when he cooked at all.
Marc came over tonight so Sean could install his sound card. I'm just telling you this because there's a picture.

Goodbye Girls

Marc & Sean
I have an Excel spreadsheet to make for Shane, so goodnight.

Why I Can't Wait to Move to Vancouver, or
Andrea's Surprise Birthday Party & Hot Hot Heat

Mick & Andrea
I lied to you, internets.
I said I was going to Vancouver Saturday night, but actually we left Friday afternoon for Andrea's surprise birthday party at a tapas restaurant called Tapastree at 8 p.m. We breezed through customs and soon found ourselves in a winter wonderland - for some reason when it snowed in Vancouver last weekend it never melted (which is rare for Vancouver - just like Seattle). We got to Tapastree at 8:30 and Andrea was very surprised to see us - you may recall my lying to her on my previous post. I finally got to meet Travis and Laura, and Danica and Jeff, and after about three years of visiting Pinder's site, and sharing mp3's, and buying QOTSA tickets from him, we finally finally met Pinder in person. It was a very good "reunion". We also got to hang out with Andrea and Mark and Paul which is reason enough to go to Vancouver.
Tapastree was a great choice for the party, and Sean and I ordered a couple small dishes each. I decided to take this rare opportunity to have the chicken livers braised in a green onion cream sauce thinking someone would help me partake.
It was quite stupid of me to think this. I ended up with a small platter of about ten chicken livers in front of me, and only two people would even try a sliver of it, on a dare. And they both hated it. I think I ate about seven of them, so I'm stocked with about a month's worth of iron, thanks. And they were tasty.

Andrea & Pinder

Jeff & Danica

Laura & Travis


Pinder & Jeff

Mick & Andrea again

I said "Act like you don't know I'm taking a picture"
and this is what they did

Andrea opens the gift we all contributed to

A PlayStation 2!


Thanks to Mick

After the party we walked across the street to Mark's apartment and talked with him and Paul until about one. The next morning I got coffee and breakfast for Sean, then headed over to Lush to meet Tara. Tara sent me an e-mail Thursday night saying "Hey cool I live in Vancouver too and I came across your website..." and I wrote back saying "Hi! Let's meet Saturday!" and we did. NEW FRIEND! They're adding up already! Tara works for EA temporarily and will start working as a web designer and graphic artist for a wholesale housewares company next month. She drives a 95 Honda Civic named Glee! and we have the same taste in clothes. There's more but it's between us. She came over to Shane's later that afternoon to meet Sean and hang out with Paul and Mark who came over and brought us lattes (HEART). Then later that evening we had dinner with Debra and Dave at a Greek restaurant up the street from their apartment. And it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing some more. The whole time we were eating, it just kept snowing. And we had to drive downtown to a club that we've never heard of to get to the Hot Hot Heat show (thanks for the directions Mark!) after shoving all of the snow off my car.

Paul & Mark again

Me & Tara!

The new Hot Hot Heat
We made it just fine, although we were there about two hours early. There was an opening band (Elizabeth) as well.
A few things about the show:
1. The fat kid wearing the Hawaiian shirt with the blow up doll that he brought to the show. He seriously reminded me of the fat kid in Animal House. And he was playing up this blow-up doll like it was the funniest prop anyone's ever used. It annoyed me to no end. Sean said "Well if he's not gonna get laid at least he can be the comedian" and that exactly how it looked. Annoying.
2. Hot Hot Heat's band manager. When I got to the show I inquired as to getting a message to the band to let them know I was there. The girl at the front door told me to head down a hallway along the side of the stage. Where I was abruptly stopped by a middle-aged gentlemen who wanted to know just where I thought I was going. He then informed me that he was their manager and they weren't there yet and nobody was allowed back stage. Well la-dee-dah. Turns out that I saw Steve and Paul when they walked into the front door of the club, and we exchanged hugs and very quick chat. Manager be damned.
3. Sean walks into the crowd to take a few pictures (now keep in mind this club has an occupancy of 200) and the manager grabs Sean's arm and says "No more pictures" and Sean says "Okay" and the guy says "Ya got it?" like he's Sean's 4th grade teacher or something. This is Hot Hot Heat, not The Doors. And no pictures? In this day and age where every cell phone has a camera? And what? Are we gonna sell the images to Star magazine or something? He bothered me.
Hot Hot Heat comes to Neumo's in March and that manager's gonna be pissed to see me backstage. But that's where I'll be. DOESN'T HE KNOW WHO I AM?
The snow became rain during the show so the drive back to Shane's that night was less scary. The next morning we went to Starbucks and took our time getting back home. About a half-hour south of Vancouver I started laughing in the car, because I remembered that I left my LEFTOVER LIVER in Shane's fridge.
1. Shane's a vegetarian.
2. Shane (or anyone else who lives there) won't be home for two weeks.
Thank you.
We came home to a very clean home, as Colum decided to clean our kitchen (lottery tickets on sale soon!) so we started making Heather's Tortellini Soup and salad and bread for dinner.
What a lovely day.
As to Sean's work schedule: Sean is taking a week's vacation and a week of leave to work with Shane and they boys for the next two weeks. After this, he will return to Kinko's to work his new schedule - Sundays through Thursdays 7a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This may or may not have something to do with Sean telling Kraig (his boss) that he's thinking of waiting tables until we move.
We are both VERY happy with this.
And we are also VERY excited about the new friends we have in Vancouver. Thanks, you guys, for giving us so much to look forward to!