Happy Birthday Sean!

Sean, Becca, Josh

Jon & Fernanda

Sean gets Teletubbies on his 34th
Let's try this month in Arial font, shall we? (So far I think it looks kinda boring....)
So Sean's birthday party was last night - we served red beans and rice and greens and cornbread. Sean stepped in to help me chop the greens and cut the tip of his index finder off. I looked for it but Sean had already thrown it away ("I already let it go" he said). It bled for quite a while and of course we had NO gauze or anything to take care of it. He's fine now. It really is gross, though. I told him he will always remember his 34th birthday when he sees his finger. Or lack thereof.
I got Sean tickets to see The Kids in the Hall (kinda the Canadian equivalent to Saturday Night Live but the same 5 guys) since they are doing a reunion tour and they are hitting Seattle this time! He also got a good bottle of wine, tickets to Mariners vs. Blue Jays, two video games (thanks a lot, Lee), a Pez, CD jewel cases (we were almost out), and a birthday cake baked with love by Fernanda.
Emily brought ABF Mint Girl Scout cookies (Already Been Frozen). I'd just like to say, there are people in the world, then there's really cool people in the world. Those who show up with a box of ABF Girl Scout cookies will forever be in the really cool category.
We had a lot of friends over and the food turned out good (we have to make the cheddar jalepeno cornbread again, it was fabulous) so I think he had a pretty good birthday.

Chris and Nick bond with Jalen

Lisa and Mike

Nick & Jalen


The Johnston Architects website is finally on the air tonight. I'm so proud! It's johnstonarchitects.com. A sample of an old page can be found here.


Today Dan, our landlord, drained our pool and hacked it to bits. I'm so happy. By this summer, we should have a concrete back yard instead of our geriatric pool. Street hockey, anyone?

Chiseling the pool and throwing it all in....
including the diving board.


We just got back from a great dinner at Bick's, thanks to Sean's great gift certificate from my Starbucks homies. Cousin Shane is back in town tonight but I don't know for how long. Today we (and our whole neighborhood) listened to our pool being filled. I had gin tonight so I will stop writing now.


It's time for TRULY STORYTIME! which is named after Truly because she gets many stories from me at work.
One evening, we decided what to have for dinner and I was ready with my grocery list and putting my shoes on. Jon was on the couch reading or something and Sean says "Oh, by the way: Christa got married." I looked up with a whaaa? look on my face and Sean explains that she finally married Peter.
In London, Ontario during Christmastime 1994 Christa brought home Peter from New Mexico. It was difficult because the family was previously quite attached to her last boyfriend, Damon. Also, Christa repeated her bad habit of falling in love with an American (weren't Sean and Susan marrying Americans enough? Why can't she meet a nice Canadian man? These Americans keep taking the "kids" away from their families) Nonetheless, we gathered `round the kitchen table to play Trivial Pursuit (bad idea) and people were drinking and arguing with the answers printed on the cards ("Well.... what year was this game printed?") and slapping their fists on the table and it was all-around messy.
So return to 2002 when Sean says Christa married Peter. Why hadn't we heard? I asked. Who told you? How long ago? Was anyone there? Turns out she didn't tell anyone because she thought the whole family hated him. Love of her life, been dating him for eight years, and she keeps her wedding to him a secret. Because we were such jerks that night during Trivial Pursuit. This is what happens when families don't get together often enough. Drunken Trivial Pursuit games last a decade.
So I drive away going Huh.
But you see, it was the night before I got my period. Unbeknownst to me, I was maybe a wee bit emotional and not quite prepared for it. I walked into Central Market, grabbed a cart, went to the fish department and saw the guy who usually helps me. But this time when he said "What can I get for you?" I looked up and focused right onto his name tag. I think I even mouthed the name. Peter. I started bawling. I kept saying "I'm so sorry" but the confusion I impaled on him was irreversible. I was sobbing and saying "One...pound of.... the halibut... I'm sorry Peter...." and I think I said something about a bad day, although I'd had a lovely day.
I continued to shop with tears in my eyes. I mean, she married this guy and didn't tell us because she thought we hated him. The man she's gonna spend the rest of her life with but shhh! Don't tell anyone! Isn't that just so miserable? Now imagine thinking about that with PMS!
By the time I made it home, I walked in, sat in the middle of the living room floor with groceries in my hands, and I wailed "the fish guy's name is Peter" and started bawling again. Sean rushed up and put his arms around
me whispering "I'm sorry honey" while I sobbed on the living room floor with my bags of groceries and Jon, still sitting on the couch, looked at me like I had switched from a human being to an alien.
Welcome to PMS my friends. Righteous!

It's time for installment number two of why I like Central Market better than any other grocery store. Case in point this evening: QFC.
First of all, QFC acts like they are the hip store. Their prices are sky-high for no reason. Their blue cheese potato salad rocks, but they never carry it. Their movie department took a nose-dive when DVD's got popular. I digress.......
The cats informed me that they were going to die of starvation if I didn't get them cat food pronto (even though they had canned cat food earlier in the day). Since Petco is next to QFC, I figured I would go there for the night's groceries. Sean is making a simple radiatore pasta in garlic sauce with petit peas and onions and baked tuna, with his garlic bread. I needed about five things. QFC had oranges for 99¢ a pound and I balked. The place was trashed, most of the dairy and freezer sections had big bald spots. But the Queen of the evening was the woman at, of all places, the fish department. She walked away as I walked up. She came back a couple minutes later with a "you still here?" look on her face. I was reading the package of previously frozen tuna (yes, in a package but on display on ice) and asked "Do you have any fresh tuna?" "This is flash frozen" she replied. "O-kayyy, do you have any tuna that isn't smoked?" "This isn't smoked" she replied. "The ingredients on the package say smoke." "Hhhmmmmf" she snorted, as she picked up the package. "It says smoke as a preservative and to retain redness." "Yes," I say, "that's what I read. I don't want smoke." "Well, it's just smoke as a preservative, not the flavor. It won't taste like it." "Fine," I say, "I'll take it." She then picks up the smallest piece in there, and I say "Oh, I'll take a larger piece." So she grabs another bitty sushi-sized piece and I say "Actually, I'll take the one you were holding before." Oh yeah. Big sigh. I meant the piece she picked up to read to me, but instead, she picked up the piece she had just thrown back down. I was really annoying her now. When she finally hands me the correct piece of flash-frozen pre-packaged tuna, I discover that it's frozen solid. I took it to the freezer department and laid it to rest with the orange juice cans.
The line was downright silly - everyone on break and one checker. I walked out the door vowing to never return.
Sure enough, Central Market was selling oranges for dirt cheap and their fish department was offering two kinds of fresh tuna. I should have known. [No, Peter the fish department hero was not working tonight.]
Another benefit that I may not have stressed in my last pro-Central Market entry is the fact that I always see at least one Starbucks customer to say Hi to (tonight was Shane). Had I walked through the whole store I'm sure I would have seen more.
Oh, hey - speaking of which: Chris (iced venti nonfat mocha), I saw you Friday night walking into Bick's when I was on my way out. I had gin that night and was happy enough just getting out of there without falling on my eye and it was loud and crowded so I just smiled and kept walking.
And note to worried readers: Bick's is one residential block from our house - we walked.
Last night Jon, Sean, and I went to Jen's Going Away party as she was promoted to store manager (in training) at Starbucks. We went to Leilani Lanes for bowling (despite Dad's thorough training, I do not choose to bowl) and it was Saturday night and don't you know? That's Cosmic Bowling Night. There was a condom in the parking lot, and we parked over something that resembled a cat's leg. I think Kent bussed bowlers up for the evening. Would you believe the line went out the door for $17 bowling and $4 shoe rentals? And it doesn't even start until 10 p.m. Karaoke in the bar too - OH YEAH it was a rager.
We ended up going to Pig & Whistle in Greenwood instead. Jen just called me an hour ago to apologize: "Was I acting drunk last night? I wasn't? Are you sure? Okay, good."


My fish is dying. To my daily friends: I apologize. [They've been hearing about this all week.]
He's just a mutt fish, but we've had him for a few years now (which is pretty good), and I consider myself fairly lucky with fish. We have a pretty big tank and they've been happy overall, but this guy has been sick-like for quite a few months now. It got so bad, he swam in little circles because his belly is so bloated (no, he's NOT pregnant), and now that he's been moved to a sick tank, he "rests" upside-down in the corner. It's disturbing. When you walk into the room and he sees you, he starts swimming as if to say "Nope! I'm fine! Really! I was just resting!" but as soon as you turn your back, he's upside-down in the corner again. He's been in the sick tank for a week now.
The problem is, there is one sure, humane way to kill a fish - and that's to cut his head off. It's quickest. Sean and I have no plans of doing this, as we can't handle it. A long, long time ago, Sean and Ben were fishing at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan and Sean accidentally killed a little, tiny fish - he felt so bad, they rushed back to the cabin to clean and scale the little guy and cook him in a frying pan. Sean felt that he had to eat it to justify killing it. And so he did.
There's euthanizing chemicals too, but I hate taking that step. Flushing a fish down the toilet is horribly cruel - the sewer is no place to die - it's like acid to them. I don't even do that after they die - I have a special place in the ground by the front door marked with a heart. Alka-Seltzer will "drown" a fish by adding too much oxygen - but I can't imagine just dropping that tablet in there. Yuck. I don't like any of my options. I've tried three different medications - the poor guy is probably doped up.
I love having a fish tank - it's like creating the perfect world within your home. I always thought it took a lot of work, but it doesn't. And bigger tanks are easier to maintain once it's all set up. I also like the sound of cascading water (the filter) as white noise. We started the dumb way - a tank, a filter and water. And we learned. We suffered one fish suicide (I swear, he jumped) and Hobbes caught and ate our first bala shark. But over time you learn problems as they occur, and how to fix them. I was recently doing some online research about glass catfish, because we had some in our first tank for a couple years and I just loved them, and the online document said you MUST have them in at least a school of six (we had two), you MUST feed them blood worms or frozen food (we never did this), you MUST watch and make sure they eat (never did), and you MUST quarantine them for three weeks before putting them in a community tank (nope - we just dropped them in). Wow. Those must've been some strong glass catfish - we had them for a couple years before giving them away to someone else! And they kept living!
Thanks for letting me ramble on about fish.........
Last night in Sign Language class, I found out that Tomoka is moving to Colorado. She's here from Japan as an Au Pair, but the host family she stayed with had an abusive four-year-old son under her care. Her punched her and kicked her whenever he could, and after breaking his knee recently (no, she didn't do it), he starting hurling things at her. Evil. So now she's found another host family in Colorado and she leaves next week. During her remaining time here, she wants to get her navel pierced and see a punk show. I think I can help her....
There is something humming in my house and I can't figure out what it is. Like an electrical hum. It fades in and out, like it's keeping a beat.
Sean's on his way home from working a double and Shane's coming over tonight, so I'll stop writing for now.

We have this customer at Starbucks who drives me crazy because she keeps a baby seat in the back of her car with a doll in it to use the carpool lanes. She's admitted it with a chuckle like I'd find it charming or something. I've even sent my cops out there (Walter, Bill) to glare at her, which they've done swimmingly, but there isn't much else they can do until she's caught in the act.
Jen called last night and left a message telling me to turn on the news right now, because there was footage of an accident earlier that morning in which a woman and her mannequin caused a highway pile-up during rush hour while she got into the carpool lane. I'm so sorry I missed the footage, but the Seattle Times had the story on the front page, including the woman's name! Man, I hope her phone number isn't listed. She may as well just move now. Two of the vehicles involved were busloads of kids. Here's the article (see last entry at the bottom).
Oh, remember the strange humming noise last night? It was the sound of our home heater running out of oil.

Last night after I got home from Six Arms, I checked on Sick Fish, and he was still not well. I told Sean that I thought he should spend his last days in the big tank with his friends, since it didn't look like he would make it much longer. He agreed. When I put him in the big tank, he hardly swam - he just drifted into the back corner and turned on his side. But I figure, at least he was in clear, unmedicated water with the warm grow light.
He died this morning.
Sean buried him in our fish graveyard.
I brought a lot of work home with me for Johnston Architects, plus I will be organizing some things in the office this weekend. Jon also plans to have another cooking day tomorrow (we're thinking of some sort of fish chowder with stuff from Pike Place Market) and tomorrow night is the 13th birthday party for James, who is the son of one of my daily customers. He invited me to his birthday party! I'm so excited!
Sunday will probably be more web work for Johnston Architects (I need to add another page to the site - which means re-making all the category jpegs), and I need to teach myself how to put a .pdf file on their website.
Boy, my weekend suddenly doesn't look like much of a weekend. I'll have to stock it with some more fun stuff somewhere in there.

I never even made it in to Johnston Architects this weekend - it was snowy and haily and gross.
I did, however, decide to spend money that we don't have buying bras on Saturday, as my weight gain from last year has caused me to practically take an eye out whenever I unsnapped my bra. I feel much better now.
That afternoon Jon made a fish chowder that didn't.... work. We blamed it on the recipe. He ended up flushing it down the toilet; and there was lots of it.
I then went to James' 13th birthday party and had a great time meeting Elaine's HUGE family. It took place at Bitter Lake Community Center, which was a great deal, because they had a huge kitchen, full basketball courts, and a giant room for DJing and dancing. Oddly, the place was loaded with Kozmo.com balloons. Maybe Kozmo donated stuff to the city when they went out of business....? Elaine gave me huge amounts of leftovers (most of which spilled in my car) and I took the party chocolates to Starbucks, because I support my girls whenever possible.
Note to Starbucks customers: we love chocolate. And we love you.
Sunday was more gross weather, but Jon was on a mission to remedy last night's fish chowder fiasco, so he created a fantastic meal featured in this month's Bon Appetit. It's Almond Crusted Salmon with a Lemon Cream Sauce, and Roasted New Potatoes with Spring Herb Pesto (both in the magazine), and he also steamed asparagus with butter. I wanted to lick the plate. We also made those no-bake chocolate oatmeal peanut butter cookies, and soon after that Jon fell asleep on the couch.
Sean and I are heading over there tonight and I'm so excited, because I get the leftovers!
Once again I had 90 things to do today, and instead, I slept. I needed it.

So I found some old negatives and decided to get them printed. There's quite a few, but here's a few for now...



Holding my hair
Two days after our wedding in 1994, I finally got to cut my hair off.
I had been waiting to do it for a year (I wanted to keep my hair long so it would be in a high beehive for the wedding, which it was).
The hair studio was so excited when I told them my plans.
An audience of stylists watched as Dominique (I remember her name because it's the same as my cat) cut the ponytail off. I still have that ponytail, along with Sean's cut ponytail from 1996, in storage. Isn't that kinda gross?
Anyway, that day I rushed out to buy some used combat boots, just because it seemed necessary. And I got a lot of ugly orange dresses from a thrift store. And I cleaned out the thirty barrettes and ponytail holders from my car.
I haven't had long hair since then, and I'm presently "growing it out" (over the course of years). But the more I look at some old pictures, the more I miss my really short hair, too.

So Sean was driving to work Friday, when he sees a big metal "thing" on the freeway. He decides that it could damage his tires, so he tries to straddle it. The thing flies up and whacks open his fuel injector. Amazingly, he makes it to an exit and gets to the nearest gas station. As soon as he cuts the engine, all the fuel spills out into the parking lot.
Oh yeah, they LOVED Sean.
His car was towed and we'll find out on Monday just how bad the damage is.
I'm pleased to say that I saw Automaton last night. They failed to show up for two of the last four shows I went to, but last night they showed up, and they were wonderful. And they have a new CD coming out next month!
Today, after MUCH sleeping in, I finally got some work done at Johnston Architects, plus I went to Starbucks tonight and talked to one of our night shift cops for a while (he used to be on mornings, but he got a new shift, so I hardly get to see him anymore). I am expecting a picture of his dog for this website soon. It seems to be a theme to have pictures of Starbucks' customers' pets on display here. It just feels right.
The Six Arms Softball Team (named Six Thumbs) had their first practice today, but as I'm the Music Director for the team, I didn't need to be there. Sean also missed it since he is bartending today.
Tomorrow I will spend the afternoon cheering for Jon as he runs the Mercer Island Run (it's a Half Marathon).
I hope to get dinner out of it.

So how's this for trippy? Sean's car was $250, including the towing, which isn't too bad, and we picked up his car on Thursday. On Friday (the next day) on his way to work, he hit a huge nail on I-5 (again - that dang freeway). I mean, this sucker was like a railroad spike. It went through both sides of his tire and into his brake line, which was severed. So his car is in the shop and we'll find out more on Monday.
This week in review: I bleached my hair white again. I took pictures of Fernanda's projects to start a portfolio. Amy (a customer from Starbucks) joined us for the first time at Six Arms Thursday night. She and Emily planned a Parker Posey Pizza & Pajama Party together, which we all attended Saturday night. Friday night I went to Chris' Jambalaya Party (Chris works at Johnston Architects). Today I visited Mark Williams, who was the first person I met in Seattle in 1996. [Literally - I walked off the plane and we shook hands.] It was great to see him again. He recently moved back to Seattle so I'm sure we'll be hooking up when we can.
I'm sure there's other stuff I did last week, but I can't remember it now.
This finally concludes the month of March 2002.