Swim away! Swim away!!!

Sean's cleaning the fish tank.
Today we had Matt & Fernanda's Engagement Shower, tonight is Kolja's birthday celebration - we're going to see the Matrix and then hit some bar or something.
And Capitol Hill Library opens today!
See you next month - on a new page!

Fun with Photoshop. Or, how I killed my brother and turned him into a barn, fields, and trees - and made my father disappear.....
(Cuz I know how much y'all love before and after pictures.)
Working on the video now - can't get it to show up in the right place. So far I've only done Susie the dog, and the video plays in the middle table cell, instead of the media player popping up and playing the video. And I think there's some sort of compression that I'm missing, because it's taking minutes to load. It's on the server if you want to check it out - she's in the list of dogs.
And any Flash junkies out there? I have this 404 error page (we're required to use Flash, but I didn't want a Flash site for northern Indiana - voila: a Flash 404 page.) I want to crop one inch off the top of the whole movie. I don't know how to do it without messing up the alignment of the whole movie. Anyone?

The day started with Jon and I searching for his brother, Marc. Seems that Marc sent an e-mail to my work Friday at 3:00 saying he'd meet me at my house the next morning at ten. But if the boy would read my website (yes, blaming it on him here) I left work at 2:30. So I never saw his e-mail. So I left my house at 9:30, picked up Jon on Capitol Hill, went to Bauhaus coffee, and we went to Marc's place in Bellevue. Marc wasn't there, because he was at my house, sitting in the front yard, since Sean was at a work meeting that morning (Sean worked 65 hours last week - arrgh). So here's the dilemma. No cell phones. No one answers my phone. We have no way to tell Marc "stay there" or "come here". So this is Jon looking at me by the payphone at the AM-PM by Marc's place, wondering just what it is we should do. We knew, whatever we chose, Marc would choose the opposite.
Sure enough, we get all the way back to my place and by now Sean's home. As we pull into the driveway, Sean comes out the front door shaking his head No.
So we hopped back into my car and drove all the way back to Bellevue, where Marc and I mashed our teeth and glared at each other. So two hours after the trip started, we headed out to the Gorge.
This is the view that is the Gorge in George, Washington (yes, seriously, George, Washington.) The weather was great - the drive was too hot, but on this hill there was a nice breeze.
Death Cab For Cutie - great as always. These guys are so charming. The whole audience sang Happy Birthday to Chris Walla's Dad.
Neko Case - totally impressed. I love her voice and her recorded work. Her set was her, a guitar, and a guy with her playing banjo. If you don't know who she is - she's like an indie Patsy Cline. I like her more now.
Modest Mouse - Seen `em a bazillion times and they were Modest Mouse. I liked them better when they were three broke kids in Issaquah. Jeremiah drummed for them even though I heard he quit the band.
Jurassic 5 - Got the people moving - although it got pretty dorky how many times they "spoke directly" to the audience - since this is a festival out in nowhere, it was projected to the entire state, which sounded contrived.
"Yo what up, WashingTON!?" "Yeah! WashingTON!" "Thank you WashingTON!" "Shout out to WashingTON!" I wanted to say "Stop referring to us as a state!! You sound like dorks!"
And now, I will try to describe the Flaming Lips set.
This is a terrible picture, I know, but it was the best I could do and it was getting dark. I just *had* to try to capture this for you all.
I knew just a little bit - I knew they had people in animal costumes on stage during their set, and it's usually someone quasi-locally-famous. Sure enough, the show's MC, El Vez, came out in a rabbit
bodysuit. Meanwhile, Jon and I started watching the side-stage area (it's all outdoors, so it's pretty easy to see the bands hanging out by their buses). Jon's saying "Um, I see a bunny.... and I think a zebra? And is that a cow?" And I said "Do you know anything about the Flaming Lips shows?" And he said "No" and I said "Good."
See all these balloons? There are two (or three?) guys on stage whose *only job* was to fill up balloons and set them free into the audience. But look at the very center of the stage - see that huge orange thing? It's a balloon - they also constantly made these GIANT balloons about 6 feet big - maybe two or three of these per song - which get carried to the end of the stage and set free.... they were really really thin, so they'd pop pretty soon - and they were filled with glitter. It was balloon madness. I do not want to even think about what this band alone does to the environment. But it sure was a spectacle.
So the lead singer, who looks about 7 feet tall on stage in his white suit, has a podium in the center of the stage, the band is awesome, their music is awesome, and there are 20+ animals on stage dancing. That's all they do is dance through the entire set wearing animal costumes. And they REALLY danced. At one point the crowd chanted for a "PY-RA-MID!" and the animals complied, making two animal pyramids on the sides of the stage. They also did conga lines and some break dancing. Hee hee - seeing a cow break dance - that never gets old. At the end of the set the lead singer of Flaming Lips said some of the animals on stage were The Thermals (one of the bands that performed on the small stage earlier that day). When he said that suddenly four of the animals were going crazy - you could tell which ones were The Thermals. It was truly an experience.
But the show of all shows, if you can believe that someone's crazy enough to follow The Flaming Lips, was Coldplay.
Oh. my. God.
I love Coldplay more than I've ever loved Coldplay. What a charming, talented, beautiful band. The lead singer (Chris, whom I will now refer to as just Chris) had a piano in the center of the stage and the lighting was just gorgeous (it was completely nightfall by now) and the timing was just perfect for everyone to snuggle down on the hill with their blankets, and for the stoners to fall asleep from baking their brains all day. The lighting was all blues and purples (except for the song Yellow, of course, then it was yellow and orange and some people looked around squinting like they were disoriented).
Chris was very funny - at one point he said "This is a song for Gyna - that's not a funny name to us" and "This is called The Scientist and it'll depress the hell out of all of you - I'm sorry" and another time he said "This is where we say this is our last song, then you all go manic, then we come back on stage. Okay."
It was all so warm and fuzzy I just didn't want it to end. But alas, it did, and we walked out to the grass parking field, passing the pond with tons of frogs and bullfrogs singing. It was so cool.
About an hour towards the Halls' parent's house in Yakima, this dang "Check" light came on.
Yeah, thanks for the help.
So here I am in Nowhere, Washington (no, that one's not really the name of the town) with an architect and a video game designer and my car's being weird.
It was *not* a good time for my car to be weird.
Being without many resources, I turned to the Honda Civic manual, which told me that the check light meant that I *may* have some problems with my emissions. Contact high? Bad gas? A little more info, please? Once we shut it off and restarted it, it was fine. Later, though, I realized that my super-duper aftermarket air filter, which makes my car go vroom, now sounds like vrOOm, so I think it's the air filter. Now it sounds like a Boy Car and I sit a little lower in my driver's seat and try to sneer at people and look cool. So far it's working.
The night at the Hall's was fine - I slept like a groupie and awoke to coffee and a home-cooked meal, which I watched them all eat while I gnawed on a croissant. I am *not* a morning person after a night on the... slope?
The drive home was nice and cool in the overcast pass and that concludes this long run-on of an entry.
Sean's already in the peanut-butter-on-toast-in-bed phase of the evening so I'm going to join him. Because we're legal and I CAN.


What I did all damn day.
Can anyone figure out why the "Graduation Day" link in the top left (on the Graduation Day page only) makes all the links blip ever so slightly? It's driving me batty....
The Middlebury link on the bottom will eventually be a java pop-up window with a general map of northern Indiana, showing where Middlebury is (since nobody knows).
And any comments/ideas/complaints, as before, would be ever so helpful.
I swear I'll tell you all about the music festival when I get time.... the Germans are on their way over for dinner and a game of Settlers, so it won't be tonight.

We're back from the show but I'm too lazy to update with everything.
I can tell you that I need to invest much more time into The Flaming Lips and Coldplay (particularly their new CD from last year).
The weather was gorgeous.
I posted this picture because it shows my short haircut. It's not that short - I'll get over it. In a couple months. And I need to hack at my bangs some more. They look too normal.
Shane's band, Robosexuals, played last night at Graceland but I missed it.

Concert at the Gorge and staying at the Hall residence in Yakima overnight - see y'all Sunday....
(My hair is bobbed at my ears. GAAAHH!!)

I left work early this afternoon- there was no one there but Todd and Rashmi and I. So I bailed at 2:30.
Last night at Six Arms, Leslie proudly showed me her new baby - this Subaru. So a heads up to all the Seattleites - don't get too close to this car or she will freak. Look at her - I told her to kiss the car for the picture, and she frenched it.
While I was away, Sean was a bad person and saw X2 without me - he said he was tired of waiting for me. To partially make up for it, he gave me detailed explanations of all six previews before the film.
This afternoon I am getting my haircut to cut off the final Fry of 2002. I am sad to see it go, but this is what growing up and being responsible is all about.
The Krispy Kreme (see story!) store opened Tuesday at 5 a.m. and the state patrol were assigned to the intersection and parking lot to keep it all under control. This is the world that we have become. And although it's difficult to tell, the car in front of me had stuffed animals loaded, in a row, in the back window. A concept I *hope* I will never understand. When I told the State Patrolman that I was only there to take pictures, he looked at me like I was crazy. As in, crazier than the people who are waiting in a drive-thru line for an hour for mediocre donuts.
And now for a quick diversion, ladies and gentlemen, I present Sean and Dominique:
I am taking this exact cruise with my Grandma and aunts, uncles, and cousins this July. Ahoy!

Jalen's Cat Scratch Fever medicine ended this week. I am not impressed with the results.
During the weeks (three!) that we were dosing him, I was quite pleased. He didn't hack, scratch, yak, grunt, or sneeze on my glasses quite as much as usual. But now, it's coming back. Add to that his vomiting once a day from his new food, which we were supposed to change to "figure out" what he's allergic to. Whelp, we are now certain that he's "allergic" to Eukanuba Lamb & Rice cat fud.
So, once a dud always a dud with this guy.
I spent ALL day today starting the website for my Dad. I'm linking the "sample" page - any of you with Macs or weird desktop display settings, lemme know how it looks!

Anybody can do this....
So, am I the Good, the Bad, or the Dull? (Scroll to the bottom of the article)
And who is this reporter?

Thursday night we (Jon, me, Jason the New Project) saw Juno at Graceland - I'll see them again on the first of June at the Vera Project.
I don't remember Friday. Oh wait, yes I do. I spent five hours making a cake. Okay well not really five, it's just that I searched online for an hour just to find the cake, and we didn't go to the store until nine.
It's an Italian Cream Cake from allrecipes.com.
The oven decided to *stop working* while the third cake was baking. My husband, being the genius that he is, took the broiler element out of the top and stuck it in the bottom (we knew the lower element was going bad - there was this weird spot in the corner of it that was always pure orange and bright even if the temp was low).
The next day was Jon's surprise Last AIA Licensing Test Party. It was also Earl's (Jon's Dad) birthday last Tuesday, and Diane's (Amy's Mom) birthday that day, so I put three candles in the cake. Jon was very surprised.

Jon doesn't know what hit him

The celebrants

Cutting the cake (duh)


The Halls

Julie & Sean
Sunday was Six Thumbs softball and Sean did a job on his pinky - it's nasty and bulbous. He jammed it trying to catch a ground ball and the ball hit his pinky and made it all purple and gross. We hope it isn't broken.
We played Settlers with Joe and Emily & Josh last night. We haven't done the dishes since Friday (including all the cake dishes).
I scanned 135 pictures for my Dad's animal shelter (my final school project). Alexandra is coming over tomorrow to help me with the layout. Jason is coming over sometime to help me with Flash. This WILL get done.
Send drugs.

Post Stardom Depression
Well, yesterday's over. I doubt I'll *ever* have this many hits to my site again. The server is now resting. It had a big day.
Some hits from GGLO are still trickling in, so I changed the GGLO entry below. At least for a little while, until things calm down.
I received quite a few e-mails yesterday - it was very nice to have strangers let me know that they were here and looked around. Oddly, with all those visits yesterday, six had left comments. That's one out of every one hundred and thirty people.
And now I'd like to present:
My Shoreline 24 Hour Fitness Experience
I was interested in finding a gym with a pool. Yes, I know I had a pool and filled it with dirt, but we won't get into that now.
I did some online research and found that Shoreline 24 Hour Fitness had a pool. Of course, the web site said to call to get their hours, as not all 24 Hour Fitness Gyms are actually open 24 hours (pretty dumb name then, huh?)
So I call.
When I said "Hi, what are your hours?" She said "Oh! You are not a member here? Can I get your phone number just in case we get disconnected?"
Nice. I give a fake number.
Then I hear "Hi! My name is Robert and I'm the general manager here at Shoreline 24 Hour Fitness!"
After a few minutes of high energy conversation he invites me to some "Free Nutrition Seminar" at 7pm that evening.
"Um, I actually just want to see the pool."
Then he asks if I can be there within the hour so he can show me the fitness center.
I just want to see the pool.
Because it's a rare Tuesday with a full hour's gap of nothing to do, I go. I want to see the brainwashing. I get off on this stuff.
Let it be noted here that I just purchased the new Marilyn Manson CD that morning, and that *may* have contributed to my mindset. I'm just sayin'.
Sure enough, I am introduced to two different people as soon as I walk in the door. The second guy, this short, squat, beady-eyed boy with snaky grin, takes me to the "seminar".
It's in a racquetball room. Within all the other racquetball rooms.
So here's a group of four trainers yelling over the "TONK!" of racquetball all around us, and they have some tables set up with vitamins and sports drinks, all of which they sell at the facility.
They suggested that we all take vitamins and supplements and drink these special bottled drinks.
They suggested that we eat carbohydrates  4 to 1 over proteins. They also suggested that these carbs should come from fruits and vegetables. He recommends potatoes twice.
They suggested that we follow the USDA food pyramid and not believe the hype regarding the Atkins diet.
I'm not quite sure what the seminar was for.
Regardless, they then offered me a free hour with a personal trainer to do a fitness assessment, and I sign up for one with a woman who looked about 40, with long yellow hair, a barrel chest that no longer had any breasts, and, I'm not kidding, glitter on her face. Like, she specifically applied glitter lotion to her 40 year-old face to match her tight shirt and tight shorts and tennis shoes, to go work out.
I tell her, while holding my free bottle of hot pink whey drink, "can I just go look at the pool? I just want to see the pool."
"Um, that's, um, yeah, I uhhhh, I'll take you there."
She walks funny. She's solid, stiff muscle.
The pool stinks. It's a small cute hotel pool for relaxing after working out. It has a jacuzzi attached in it. There are no laps to be done in this pool. That's was all I needed to know.
Ahh, but you see, I had to pass the reception/sales area to leave. And this muscle woman was with me and introduced me to snaky guy again. I said "Yeah. We met."
And he says "What do you think!? Why don't we come back here?! And I'm in a cubicle. And he has a FLIP CHART. This flip chart shows me what everyone else has to pay. But not me! I get a deal! I don't know why! But it's a deal! They are going to WAIVE the $300 startup fee! And I work at Starbucks! So I get an additional $5 off per month! And I don't have to pay the BLAHbehblah either! What a bargain! And adding another family member is only $20 more a month! Wow! Just $54 a month for me and Sean to go swimming in a crappy decorative pool! And they take the money directly out of our bank account for us! He just needs a blank check, and first and last payments today!
Eeerrrt. Stop.
I say "Thanks. I'll talk to my husband and see what he thinks."
"What? You need to talk to him before you spend your money?"
"Heh. No. I want to discuss this with him to decide if this is what we want to do."
"Well I'm sure if you two have an open, honest relationship with each other, he wouldn't be *opposed* to a fitness plan!"
"I'm not going to sign up today. I just came to see the pool."
"If there's a problem with the money, I can just take a check for $50 today and you can postdate it for payday."
"No, it's not that, it's just that we talked about swimming a few months ago, and that's all we've discussed. I didn't plan on signing up for a gym today - I just came to see the pool"
"Why would it take you three months find a fitness plan?"
While he's asking this, and I have no idea why he asked me this, I was sighing and standing up and walking away. It wasn't fun anymore. I didn't say anything, I just walked away while he yelled "Oh! Okay!" in a really rude and sarcastic I'm-a-cool-guy-with-beady-eyes-who-works-out-everyday type of way.
As I was walking out the front door, I yelled to the receptionist, "Cancel my appointment with What's-Her-Face." Then I threw my bottle of pink whey whatevah into the bushes by their front door.
Thankfully, they asked for my phone number three times, and all three times I gave them the same fake number. So whoever has the phone number I gave them, I am *so sorry*.

...Have any of you worked at a gym? What sort of training do you have for this? Is it an all day "Don't Take No for an Answer" type training deal? I mean, it was so horrible it was downright humorous. Every person I had contact with there seemed to be cultish and ... guilty ... with beaming smiles.
And what's the benefit to this system? Do they really get more members by running in circles with numbers and deals and traps while training every person there to be snaky? Wouldn't they save money by having the receptionist just answer the questions over the phone? Remember, this all started by me calling to find out their HOURS.
Do the employees *only* work on commission?
For shame.

Those fifteen minutes of fame?
They're starting right now.
Oh! And meet Jon and Amy in the Cast link above!

The weather has been fabulous. Friday at JA we sat outside University Village for lunch. Note the guys looking all summery and me wrapped in my winter coat. I'm No Circulation Girl.
Dooce, on the other hand, writes of how hot she is when she sleeps, and Caitlin has night sweats as well. I can't imagine it.
I can't stand high heat or humidity either. I think my comfort range varies by about three degrees.
My very easy torture device against Sean? Touch him with my toes.
Sometimes I'll be so cold, only a boiling bath can help. And some of those baths, I swear, my body lowers the temperature of the bath water.
Friday night Marc came over and we rearranged the second bedroom. Okay, Marc rearranged the room, I went to the grocery store. He did a great job. Now the futon is against the wall (there used to be shelves behind it) and the table and those shelves were moved out to the patio, which the cats were quite happy with.
After our dinner and interior design, we went to see Hint Hint at Graceland. Jason is just so awesome on drums.
Marc had his first Chocolate Cake and I stared at the bartender who made it (Fred).
Soon after that we left - the lead singer of the Rapture sounded just like Kevin McDonald from Kids in the Hall, and once I had that thought, I couldn't get it out.
After Marc got tanked on one drink, I drove him back to our place and he took a picture of Sean and I. Then I said "Wait! You didn't count to three!" Then he took another and I said "Wait! I looked like a dork!" Then Sean starts talking and Marc clicks again, and, well, we ended up with quite a few pictures - so I decided to put them all here. Some were blurry, and those were the ones I like the best.
You are all free to right-click Save Picture As. Heh!
Today I finished my last assignment (at the school downtown) for my video editing class and ran into Matt and Fernanda and the Germans by Pike Market as I was walking back to my car. The Germans are coming over tomorrow - Alexandra to help me organize and start my final school projects, and Kolja to hang out with Sean and make dinner for us.
As it should be.
The garden is still somewhat alive.
Oh yeah - I'm going to the Sasquatch Music Festival with the Hall Brothers. Begin jealousy now.

So someone at GGLO Architecture & Interior Design discovered my website and now it's "uncovered." People from GGLO are lurking about and it's totally fine with me. I don't work there anymore, but Jon does, so I'll ....HEH! No I won't!
Sorry, Jon, but I need to come clean:
YES I had a crush on Clayton AND Matt Haba AND Don MacKay AND Todd Bertellotti and probably a few others I've forgotten.
YES I was, and still am, a horrible influence to Jon. Yes Jon has become a permanent fixture in my & Sean's lives. I call his parents "Mom" and "Dad". I fight with his little brother. He goes to my hometown and Sean's hometown to hang with our families for summer vacations. He's going home with me this June.
YES I hooked up Jon with the woman he lives with today. They are in love and she's totally awesome and some of you know her from the company she works for doing business with GGLO.
YES I'm still bitter that Linda wanted me fired from the day I started and yes I'm bitter that Bill Gaylord never figured out my name. MY NAME IS NOT TRACY.
YES I adored just about every person that worked there. Except the ones who made it very clear how much they looked down upon me. Unfortunately there were about five of you. You know who you are.
YES I take psychological credit for Press Apartments. That's right. Press. I look at that building and remember all the nights that we stood on the sidewalk looking at every teeny flaw in every inch of that structure Jon could see while we should have been walking to our sign language classes. I remember Sean and I spending an afternoon making lasagna to deliver to Jon at the office on a Sunday because he was practically living at the office for a few weekends in a row. I remember seeing the interior gameroom before it was open, and asking Jon "Lori Naig did the colors, no?" I remember how hard he worked on that thing. I was there.
So all you GGLO employees who think you're discovering something by being here - look all you want. Jon's everywhere on this site - even his high school reunion that he took ME to. This site's been public for years.
Jon's not embarrassed of me like GGLO was.
Sorry, Jon. These are my words, not yours.

The month started with Matthew's birthday at Six Arms Thursday night. I brought brownies as a birthday cake substitute.
Friday I had a bout with my hormones and had to wait for some Minolta Copier reps to give me their spiel before I could go home - once I got home, I took two Midol and went to bed - the cats were so excited. They know the drill. If I come home dragging my feet and take out my contacts, they run to the bed and wait for me. Hobbes on the right, Dominique on my left, Jalen draped across my left shoulder. I thought I'd lay down and wait for the pills to kick in, but I fell asleep and woke up three hours later.
We had the Germans over later that night to watch Casino. They did very well, only covering their eyes a few times. Man, does that movie get brutal at the end. And now, me with everyone you already know.....

Birthday Boy

Monica & I

Matt & Fernanda

Me & Sam

Kolja & Noah

Saturday night we went to Jon & Amy's to celebrate Marc. I don't really know what we were celebrating; we were just told to come over because Marc was coming over and he was done with a project at his job or something. We managed to drag Joe with us and take him to a show later at some bar in Magnolia to see Double Wide and Punchdrunk. The bar was very... caucasian. We went to this show because Valerie's brother drums for both bands.

Jon & I

Back yard flowers
Remember last week I said Hobbes was fine? Well his arthritis is back in his back left leg - he's been limping for a couple days now. Hobbes has had this for years (we call it his old football injury) and we treated it with acupuncture a couple times. I'm not sure what the verdict will be this time.
So this morning I took both Jalen and Hobbes to the vet (Jalen is having a checkup for his Cat Scratch Fever and Hobbes will have an x-ray).

King of the Litterheads
The Six Thumbs softball game yesterday was wet and cold and windy. We lost horribly.
I took this picture Friday at work (Johnston Architects) because Rashmi was wearing this awesome dress, and Todd's wife is pregnant so I thought I'd throw him in a picture too. They are out on our deck on a lovely spring day - we can finally start having lunch out there again!
This week in school I start my LAST CLASS for my certificate program (Multimedia Design at UW) which lasts until June 9. I want to create a website for my Dad's no-kill animal shelter and I have video and some pictures, but there's a lot more that I need to organize. I'm also doing some things here and there for Sarah's website, creating Matt and Fernanda's engagement party page, and there are about five other people waiting for me to create sites for them. Can I tell you how happy I am that this program's almost over?!?
Later this summer, Sean and Joe and I have decided to take sign language together. I'm a bit rusty, so I don't mind taking ASL I over again with them, and it's just so dang useful in loud bars - they both see the benefits of learning it.