Great Aunt Lois and my Grandma
Today I regretfully declined membership into the SDA. Long story. It breaks my heart, but apparently I'm not in the right position to be involved in something which requires money and/or time. I was very upset about this today (as you can imagine from how pumped I was a week ago).
Tomorrow morning I join my family in Indiana - Mom for three days, then the Culvers for three days. I am loaded with embroidery and knitting supplies, and three pairs of shorts (the only ones I could find that still fit).

Uncle Herbie, Burt, my Dad

Julie and Herbie

Grandpa & Joel eating.... duck

Craig, Ben, Joel, Jamey, Chad, Laura (1989?)
Scanning that Halloween picture with Aunt Julie reminded me of this picture of Gen 3 at Halloween. Ben, Joel, Jamey and Laura are Julie's children. Isn't that cool? Halloween through the generations.
So hey - here's my LiveJournal - I rarely update it, but seeing as how I'm gonna be gone and all, I'll be able to communicate that way for the next six days. Errrr..... I guess just sign your name in the comments?
Thanks for the government lessons today you guys.


Noah playing in the sun
Went to Stephanie's tonight to get my hair cut - no pictures of the haircut, sorry. It isn't that different, just trimmed. And a bit choppier.
Joe asked Sean to cater his wedding, in exchange, he will pay for my flight so I can be at the wedding! I am so stoked about this!
Total for Paypal is now at $180 - I sent out a mass e-mail update regarding Sean & I and immigration (to tell people where the money is going soon) - e-mail me if I didn't send it to you.
So Sean and I just had a fairly embarrassing conversation....

Chris working in the sun
Perhaps you, gentle readers, can help us out.
Today I was reading about the elections in Canada, but instead of the headlines screaming "Paul Martin is Prime Minister!" they were instead discussing the minority. Whatever the minority is. I'm guessing that they had some sort of election for the House of Commons and House of... Representatives (?) in Canada. And what is the House of Parliament? The "House of Representatives"?
So here's our problem.
I asked Sean to explain Canada's government "layout" in comparison to the United States' "layout." Unfortunately, once we got to "Senators, Governors, and the House of Representatives" I was lost. I realized that I don't know who is who, and who represents what. We have a Senator, Gary Locke. I have NO IDEA who my governor is, or what they even govern. And Representatives? No clue. Is my governor a House member? Who goes where and what do they do?
And the Canadian government? Can someone draw me a diagram or something? Sheesh!
And where the hell does the queen fit into all this?!
(Yes, I took Government in High School.)

On the right is Mocha - Chris' dog. Mocha visited Johnston Architects all day long. Todd called him "Speed bump" because that's what he was.
I was going to scan my To Do list, but then it was too depressing. I did get some things done today - I went to Target to buy needed items, and bought some embroidery thread, and yarn, and knitting needles for the trip. I also scanned another thirty or so images for Grandma.
See, Grandma gave me ALL of the family photos to scan. Mind you I only have about a third of them, but it's still HUNDREDS. And after they are scanned, I go through each one and fix scratches and blobs and weird colors (all of the images from the seventies were yellow). So each picture takes a good 5-10 minutes, and after an hour of doing this, I want a stiff drink. And I don't drink.

Stick `em up!
But I have cleaned up some treasures. When I have then time to go through all of them again and format them for the web, I will put some up. Actually no. This one is so good I'm going to do it now. Hang on - I'll be right back.
Okay! There it is!
(A plague on the internet and 72 dots per inch!) You'll just have to trust me - this image is finely detailed and the lighting makes these cowboys just glow. The boys are Tommy Terry (who I don't know - I had to e-mail this to my Dad's cousin Danny to find out), my Uncle Burt, Danny Culver, and John Phillips (cousins).
Anyhoo. That's just an example of the cool stuff I'm scanning. The goal is to have every family picture (generations worth) scanned, and give every member of the family a set of the images on disk. Which will be appreciated years and years from now. But in the meantime, I'm cross-eyed.
How is it 11:15 pm already?!?
P.S. My trip home is to see my Mom for a few days, then my Dad and the rest of the Culvers for the next few days. So it's not just a trip to see Grandma. It's just usually there's a bazillion of us and now there will be a handful.

Styrofoam Kitty posted a recipe for a Key Lime cake, and she suggested that I should make it. I planned to, but out of all the cake mixes, QFC was out of butter flavor, and I am not allowing myself to go to Central Market this month to save money.
I had already picked out the Nellie & Joe's Key Lime juice, so I went ahead and made a chocolate cake with my bourbon cream cheese frosting, but replaced the bourbon with the key lime juice. It's wonderful! Thanks Styro!
While at QFC, I realized that I had not heard "Living in America" by James Brown for at least a decade, which made me appreciate my last decade so much more.
Today I went to Seth's Graduation Party (my landlords' son) and took (14-year-old) Nick (their other son) to Starbucks, while he played with my stereo, finally settling with "Straight Outta Compton" by NWA to blast on the way back to the house. We plan to have the four of them over for dinner before Seth goes to boot camp next month. Talk about cleaning the house!
No, don't talk about cleaning the house. Unless it's to say you're on your way over to clean my house.
We have rented the house from them for over five years and never had them over for dinner!
Grandma called tonight to give me a heads up - turns out that NOBODY IS GOING TO BE THERE for the fourth of July this year. They all heard I was coming and scattered. No. Actually, Todd and Ben W are focusing on summer jobs, the Rouches are camping, the sub-Culvers are going to NY, the other sub-Culvers I don't remember what, Nancy is coming out right after I leave, and I'm HOPING that Laura will still be there. So I told Grandma "It looks like we'll just get trashed and knit." And she said "Okay."
So I may not be coming home with very many pictures. "Here's me and Grandma knitting" "Here's me knitting and Grandma with a lampshade on her head" "Here's Grandma knitting and me sleeping at her feet"

Last night a bunch of us went to see Fahrenheit 9-11 (as did half of Johnston Architects at different times and locations - I know what we'll all be talking about Monday morning!)
I was nervous, actually. I knew I was about to see things I didn't want to see, but needed to see. The stupid theater played about twenty minutes of commercials (no, not previews, but commercials) and people were cupping their ears because the sound was way too high, but everything was adjusted by the time they played the movie.
I did okay - I knew I was going to cry during the actual 9-11 part, and I did, but I maintained my composure for the rest. It's one of those movies I can't explain, but it's a movie that makes you wish that everyone was required to watch it. I learned a lot. Please go see it.
And this makes me happy.
This very smart man on the left was selling anti-Bush t-shirts at the movie theater. The t-shirt he's holding up is a picture of Bush that says "I don't believe you."
In happier news: I'm a Secret Agent! Secret Agent Josephine made me a logo and everything! And I love how she captured my hair curling under on one side and flipping out on the other.
Some updates: Jon and his strange blister-rash ordeal? He went to a "real" doctor Monday who finally determined that he had a reaction to the brick sealant that was used at his site. It was a reaction very similar to a chemical burn, and there's nothing he can do except wait for his outer shell to crust off. Which it is doing now. SO sexy!! And yes, his work is covering the medical bills.
Also, Alison had her baby girl Thursday night - eight pounds, five ounces, with the name Sonya. (Sonia?) Sounds like everyone is doing fine.
I, on the other hand, woke up at 7 am to cramps, and a salad that had to be made, and mail that had to be taken to the post office, and an all-day retreat to go to.
Thankfully, it was worth the pain and grogginess, because I was at the yearly retreat for the SDA, which is an organization I'm joining with a cultish fervor. SDA stands for Society of Design Administration (which is a division of the AIA, which stands for the American Institute of Architects).
Okay, check this out.
The SDA is comprised of administrative specialists in architecture or engineering fields and you get SO MUCH out of this organization. They have brown-bag lunches at all different locations, and each of these lunches is a class on something totally useful, like it can be HR related, or how to do something kick ass on Excel, or supervisory skills, or whatever. Plus, once a month, they meet at Rock Salt for a nice dinner with longer classes on more extensive subjects like How a Bridge is Built or Security in the Workplace or How to be a Google Ninja Master (Amy I totally need to contact your Google Guru/Instructor). Each of these classes is worth credit-hours, and after so many years in the biz and so many credits, you can become certified in SDA. Plus, every year they host CANstruction, which is something to be very proud of (click Competition, then see past winners - okay, CANstruction is a competition amongst designerly teams for building structures out of non-perishable foods, then all of the food is donated - it takes place during Bite of Seattle).
Oh and my dudes! Eh?!
I'm totally psyched. And of course, I dedicated myself to about nine projects so I'm going to be busier than ever. Just what I needed, right?
The fee is $250 a year, but if I can get JA to participate in CANstruction, my national fees are waived, so it would just be $85 through the end of 2005 (plus JA would be donating food, so it's all good). Wish me luck.
Okay, now I'm exhausted.

Things I Do That May Annoy You
I will stare at your teeth when you're talking. It could be hours. I have to focus on your mouth to fully comprehend what you're saying. I think my hearing is fine, it's just lazy. Then after we part, I will cringe with the thought that I never once looked into your eyes, while you rush to the bathroom to finally see what's stuck between your teeth. Are you a great friend of mine? Are you a family member? I don't know what color your eyes are.
You will say something and I will say "What?" or "Huh?" This is because I wasn't able to look at your mouth, so my brain wasn't prepared to absorb your words. Yes, I totally heard what you said, it just hasn't properly connected until you look at me and say it again.
When I drop you off and you're in my car, and you have your hand on the door handle, and you say "Thanks for the ride, goodbye" and get out? I will be looking straight ahead. And I'll go "Uh huh. Bye" and drive away. Then two seconds later I'll realize how totally rude I was.
I behave similarly when you leave my house. You know where our front door is, right? Okay well I'm over here at this part of the house so I'll just shout out "Okay bye!" Then you will drive away and I'll think "Was that rude?"
If your nipples are hard, I will stare at them. Like a deer in headlights.
I can't figure out why I have so many friends.

Stressed myself out all day that I gave myself a horrible headache. Came home stomping with a furrowed brow that even Koolaid and a bath couldn't fix. (And sorry I was so grumpy you guys.)
I talked to Mom and decided that I cannot go to Joe's wedding, and Sean will not join me for my travels this Christmas and New Years (Atlanta for Christmas on Mom's side, New Years with Dad's side). It's just not the right time for us to be taking all this time for travel with all the personal expenses and housesitting stress and trying to catch up every year for the next three months. It's heartbreaking, but necessary. Sean needs to spend more time with his family, and frankly, my family monopolizes all the American holidays. And even some Canadian ones.
And I missed Sam's kickball game tonight.
Tomorrow shall be a better day. At least it's not roasting hot in Seattle any more. For now.

Q: How many people on SNL have portrayed Ronald Reagan?

A: Seven! (Chevy Chase, Phil Hartman, Joe Piscopo, Randy Quaid, Charles Rocket, Harry Shearer, and Robin Williams).
Two entries in a row with no images. Can you believe it?
I sat down and plugged my camera into the computer, but nothing showed up. Two whole days with nothing photo-worthy. I guess that's full-time work for ya.
Something incredible today, though. I got a large donation from someone I don't even know. I e-mailed her and said "Um, who are you?" and she responded with this wonderful e-mail letting me know that she reads me (and Heather, Bonnie, Ferra, Estella, and Amanda) and she's in Slough, England, and I guess the exchange rate is totally in her favor (the U.S. dollar sucks right now). We e-mailed back and forth a couple of times today, and JANE if you're out there, get that hotmail account so you can start leaving comments! (Or, you know, you don't need to put your e-mail and web address on the comment form and it will still show up - just put a name.)
And any other readers of mine who may be in Slough? Please buy Jane a cup of coffee for me.
Notice to Seattleites: We are going to see Fahrenheit 9/11 this Friday night at 10:30 at the Meridian (pre-pay for tickets as it will sell out, I hope). We are trying to come up with a place to meet for dinner beforehand, and so far I suggested Six Arms and that's all I've heard. (This is being organized by Meredith.)
In other news, Joe and Jean have set their wedding date - it's August 14, in Sacramento. Sean will represent, and I will be there in attendance. Not that we know how we're going to get there, but we will be there.
Hey! I'm back - Sean came home and we headed out so I could get some sugar (chocolate donut) and we could do some shopping at the Grocery Outlet (see Amanda?!). We spent ten dollars and got all sorts of stuff. Then Sean started making up a country song about having to shop at the Grocery Outlet, and we worked on it some more on the way home (it's becoming a duet) and it's called "That's Country". We even rhymed "pay" with "the USA". The first line is "Ya got four kids at home" but the "home" is really twanged. It's going to be a major hit.
It could make us our first million. Well, either that or the erotica novel I'm going to write that takes place in an office, titled "Three Hole Punch." I'm serious.

His Legacy Lives ... wait.
Sean and I are having the darndest time trying to remember who portrayed Reagan on Saturday Night Live. All the other presidents we could remember, but Reagan? Was it like four different actors or something? For the whole eight years we got nothin'. Who was it?!?

06-20-04, Part Two
Another hot day.
To the left is a towel I made last week - it's orange and red thread, and didn't photograph very well. But we like it (Estella - note the sugar bowl).
Today I paid rent - which normally sounds like a bad thing, but we love our landlords. They are probably the closest thing we have to family in Seattle, and we treat them as such. When Maureen saw my blue-white legs, she said "working on your tan?" and we did a pale comparison (I won - see below).
We discussed my and Sean's desire to move to Vancouver, which they had heard years ago, so they were all "uh-huh."
I talked to them for about an hour and wished Dan a Happy Father's Day, then rushed off to Noah & Monica's Engagement Shower.

Me & Maureen

See? I win!!


Noah & Monica's back yard

The cake

The shower theme was Gardening Items

"Noah! Smile!"

Josh & Emily

Sean & Josh

Lovely notes on the paper siding of their house
They had tons of good food and a devil's food cake with raspberry filling and OH MAN I stuffed myself. Why do I do that? If something tastes good, I'll just keep eating until I'm full to my trachea. Then I complain about being too full for the rest of the day. Bah.
They also served drinks that were a combination of beer and ginger ale which were... interesting. I tried it, then set it down.
Since we've been home this evening, I've done nothing but lay on the bed daydreaming. Too full to move and too lazy to get anything done in the heat.
I may start another towel later.

Saturday mornings are for sleeping. Especially in our household, as Sean works early on Sunday mornings, so this is the one day that our family gets to sleep in a giant heap for as long as we want.
After my entirely-too-busy week, Saturday morning was my golden ring, and it was ruined.
At about 8:20 there was the most horrible noise. We had some windows in our house open, but not the window above our bed. It was still unbelievably loud. At 8:30 I looked at Sean, who was wide awake, and said "What is that?" and he said "it's coming from over there" while pointing across the street. We laid there for a while but I couldn't take it anymore. I threw on a pair of shorts, and in my angry morning stupor, I headed out the door.
We live on a corner. The noise was coming from our neighbor across the street from the side of our house. I walked towards his back/side yard and peered over the wall. It was a man breaking up a tree stump with a chain saw.
At 8:30 a.m.
After about three minutes of me waving my arms and trying to get his attention, he finally saw me and was startled, and turned off his chain saw. He was annoyed with me already.
"Could you wait maybe a half an hour before starting that? We were sleeping."
"Don't you hear the construction trucks?"
(giant question mark over my head) "...no?"
"Well, we start at 8 o'clock." and he picks up his chainsaw again.
"Thank you for being so unfriendly about this" I said, as I was climbing down from his wall and stomping away. And he starts chain sawing again.
I turned on my computer to look up the Seattle City Noise Ordinance to verify that it starts at 9 am. It does. I figure I'll call the non-emergency police line if he does this again.
But then? The chain saw stops, I hear him rustling stuff around in his garage, and suddenly he's MOWING THE LAWN. But not his lawn, oh no, but the small patch of grass along the sidewalk that runs along the side of our house. And then I call the police.
They say that it is worth a police visit, but they have to catch him in the act, and by now it's almost nine, so do I want an officer sent out?
No, of course not. Maybe if he does it again. Because, really. Retaliation is a bitch. The next time we have people over for dinner on our patio? Or have a driveway/back yard party? He could play the same card against us. And it is never a good time to start a battle with a neighbor. I've heard horror stories.
But I was up for the rest of the day. Oh, and remember when he said "Don't you hear the construction trucks?" We later realized that he was referring to the city's street construction that's been going on for years in our neighborhood. On WEEKDAYS. Jerk.
I watched the Station Agent with Sean on Friday night, and again with Amanda on Saturday night. I just love that movie. We did some embroidery and had Hamburger Helper. It was a lovely evening.
Got a call from Grandma - who informed me that not only would Nancy and the boys not be home for the 4th of July, but neither would my step-brother Todd, nor my cousin Ben W. I cannot tell you how much this bums me out. It's just so great having all of the cousins together. At least Laura will be there (Remember Laura? From the Alaskan cruise? The cruise that I never made a web page for?) and I'll have a couple days with my Mom.
So all in all the Saturday worked out to be a great day. Hot, but still fun.
Today is a softball game and an engagement shower.
And Happy Father's Day, Dad!!

Mornin' Love

I'm skipping about twenty things

Johnston Architects Thursday morning
I didn't write. I'm sorry.
It's been hot here. And for you new people? I have a comfort zone with a range of about one-and-a-half degrees. It's weeks like this that I can't believe I lived in Las Vegas for 14 years. How did I do it? Eighty degrees out here is HOT. I can't explain it.
I had one of those weeks were I overexerted myself. Yeah, no surprise to most of my readers, but still - it was hard to get through. On Thursday evening I was triple-booked, which included taking a nap (the nap was one of my bookings), but we have no air conditioning in our house, so the nap was more like laying in bed and complaining about the heat.
Then we went to Six Arms to discuss the group trip to Vegas, which I'm starting to doubt. How does one save five grand and go to Vegas? And it's the German's sending-away party. I'm bummed.

The ceiling at Chop Suey
I took this picture, which I've kinda taken before, to show you the lounge at Chop Suey - those symbols on the right are cut-outs in black plastic on a window, so the street lights come in and those symbols end up reflecting all over the place in various degrees and sizes. I just love it. Same for the port hole cut-outs. The room swirls with shapes in light.
We were there to see Jason's band, Hint Hint.

Jason & Sean

Hint Hint's personal bottle of booze
Jason (who was already drunk) told us about his previous past however-many-hours, where he hung out with No Doubt and Blink 182, and snuck them into Neumo's to see the Streets, and how they got the private balcony and a private room downstairs, then they were in the band's limo all night taking X and other such things, and how great it was, and how they were all such cool people, and how crazy it was all night, and the whole time all I kept thinking was, "Man, that sounds so tiring."
I also saw three members of Juno and one member of Automaton and I was happy.
By the time the band went on (they were scheduled on at 10, I think they started at 10:45) I just couldn't take it. By about the fifth song, I turned to Sean and shook my head no. By the time he settled our tab (where Sean noticed that bottle of booze behind the bar and pointed it out to me), the band was on their last song. I was so tired I wanted to cry.
At which point we passed Sarah Kidd (old Starbucks homie) on the sidewalk and she said "Hey! How are you?!" And I replied "I'm so tired I want to cry." and that was about it.
Then we drove home alongside the most amazing heat lightning all over the eastern sky. It was beautiful to drive along.
Then we walked into the rush of hot air that is our home at about 11:45, opened all of the windows, and I go to shut down my computer so I can GO TO BED and see an e-mail from Amy. Asking me to call her. Because she took Jon to the ER. So I'm like hyperventilating to get to the phone and right away she says "It's okay, he's home, we're home, it's okay" and then proceeds to tell me that Jon woke up with puffy hands, went to work, it got worse and some weird rash spread up to his arms, then kept spreading, then he went home and laid down until Amy could meet him there. When she got there, he was laying in bed, and when he rolled over, she couldn't hardly recognize him. His face was about twice its size and one of his eyes was all wonky, he was covered in blisters, etc. So she took him to the ER.
They ran a bazillion tests and never did figure out what it was. The closest guess is an allergic reaction (inhaled? internal?) to something during his site visit (he's an architect - architects beware!) the day before, so they gave him a shot right away, and some steroids to take home. I talked to him today and he's not getting any better - if he's the same tomorrow, they are going back to the ER.
And they had planned on going to his family reunion in Oregon this weekend. They aren't going, of course. This family reunion has been in the planning for months. Totally sucky.
There are so many of us now!!
Today we had a picnic lunch to send Chris on his way (today was his last day). I picked up loads and loads of Indian food from Taste of India on Roosevelt, then we set up at the Center for Urban Horticulture at UW (just a walk down the street from our office). Alison was able to join us... she is due to go into labor and second now!
After the picnic, we watched a slideshow of Todd's honeymoon (not all of it, of course - just the cool architecture and gorgeous scenery) and tonight Sean & I rented The Station Agent, which verified how much I love that movie. Please go rent it.
Also tonight Amanda drunk-dialed me a couple times, and I decided to stay home all day tomorrow to rest and embroider instead of attending the Fremont Solstice Parade.
(Paypal update: $90.87!)

Seattle Blogger Meetup

Hey everyone! Don't look over here!
Look! I took a picture of twenty people and managed to get NO ONE to look at the camera! That takes SKILL!
We met at Ralph's this month - a froufrou grocery store with a nice big seating area (and WiFi!) and I was able to get some mini babybel cheese for dinner. Yes. Cheese. That is all.
But it's better than two s'mores.
And I ate two lunches today.
So there.

She said "Pleather" but I can't find it & Wired Fool

Tara & Samantha
Today I had lunch at 11, then later Sally asked if I wanted to go get some fish tacos, and well yeah, so that was the second lunch. Then later again Caitlin needed coffee so we went to the Ave (University Avenue in University District) and we met two lovely homeless men who felt the need to chat us up, and we got her some coffee. It was a good day.
The carpet in my office looks pretty cool. Around three, William asked if he had received a fax yet. And I said no. And he said is the fax machine on? And I gave him a DUH look while saying yeah then he walked away and I noticed the fax machine had been unplugged. All day.
I love my job.
Every night this week I've told myself that I would be in bed by ten-thirty, and each night it's been more like midnight. I'm tired. And here I am blogging.
But! PayPal! Twenty-eight dollars! Woooooo!!!

Too busy, I'm sorry. I hardly had a chance to visit any web sites today, let alone my own. But I appreciate what you guys are all saying, and Tara, you're right - I should and will e-mail notify Seattle events in the future.
I miss visiting all of you - I am booked every night/day through the end of this Sunday. I will try to catch up at some point.
Today I archived a bunch of stuff at work, and this afternoon the carpet installers showed up and started pulling the rug from underneath me. But I look forward to seeing the office tomorrow!
I don't recommend two s'mores for dinner.
For those who didn't see it, I started the PayPal thing. It's on the index page. $28 so far! Woooooo!!!!!
Lately KEXP has been playing this band, Citizen Cope, and I love it. Hard to explain, really, kinda bluesy folksy reggae rap, which I know doesn't sound like my style, but trust me - look into this CD. Especially the hidden track "Bullet and a Target."

Mmmmm... glue
P.S. Don't look into the CD I linked to - apparently it's his old one from 2002 and it sucks. His new CD doesn't come out until this AUGUST. Ugh.


This is Boozer. He's an eight month old bull mastiff who gave me sweet, sweet lovin' this morning at the cafe by my work.
The PayPal thing? I'm actually considering it. It just feels kinda - beggy. So I'm mulling it over. But even if I get $50, it can go towards the physical (out of pocket expense) or FBI background check ($18).
Super Duper thanks to Christina, who gave me a heads-up about this mailing list for immigrants trying to get to Canada. I've already signed up.
I printed the application today - it's about 70 pages. And j-a? Yes, I still have to apply to immigrate to Canada even though Sean and I are married. He has to "sponsor" me, which means that he has to prove that he can support me for up to three years. Our situation is a bit tricky since neither of us live in Canada at the time of the application, but it's still the same paperwork. The process takes anywhere from 45 days to many, many months after we submit the application and all payments.
Seattleites! Join Sally & I tomorrow night (Tuesday) for SuperSize Me at the Uptown (Queen Anne) at 7:30. (Amy & Jon?)
P.S. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments, as usual.
P.P.S. I did it!! Yikes!!

The Weekend Recap That Goes On Forever
First, Why We Built Our Screened In Patio:


Next, Sean and I made a big hunka BBQ'd beef in the crock pot Saturday. And our cats were livin' large:
The recipe? A hunk of brisket, a few dashes of liquid smoke, and a bunch of spices (mustard, onion salt, whatever) in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Remove and shred. Place back into the crock pot with a chopped onion and a bottle of KC Masterpiece sauce and cook for another hour. Serve piled on some sesame buns with greens (sauteed spinach with a dash of sugar and white vinegar) and corn on the cob. Rejoice.
While the beef was slow-cooking, Sean (and others) helped Noah install windows in his house:

(Found on the refrigerator)
While Sean nursed his aching back, I headed down to the waterfront for a meetup of bloggers, which was a partially different crowd than our usual Blogger Meetup that meets once a month. I met some new bloggers and shared a bit of fish & chips with Amanda, had a quick talk with Anita Rowland, then headed home to Sean and Beef.
After our gluttony, Sean watched the third Lord of the Rings movie, while I stitched a new tea towel ("Dayment") and got thoroughly confused by the movie plot.
Which brings us to Sunday.

At Pacific Place
(1) I watched the Six Thumbs softball team get pummeled, (2) Amy called me to inform me that Heidi got married, and (3) Amanda and I went to see The Stepford Wives at Pacific Place.
(1) I don't need to discuss further. Ugh.
(2) Heidi worked with me at Starbucks and I loved her. She's tiny and adorable and sassy, and she and Brandon dated all through high school. Once, when we went to a Starbucks Anniversary party at Bucca Di Beppo, we parked in a scary dirt parking lot and we all noticed this creepy man nearby. Someone mentioned Creepy Man, and Heidi, in her tiny voice, said "It's okay! I have a hair stick!"
And I knew I would always remember that.

Heidi & Brandon
This afternoon I e-mailed Kirsten for the Heidi Wedding Scoop and she sent me this picture. So Heidi? If you're out there? Welcome to Wedded Bliss.
(3) Stepford Wives was totally cute. We enjoyed it.
Lastly, Round and Round and Round We Go......
Presently tensions are high at Chez D, as Sean and I are completely befuddled in our plans to move to Vancouver BC. My immigration application is $1500, and even though we are both working full-time, that's an impossible amount for us to save up (we rarely cover our rent and bills in full each month). We could put all of our stuff into storage and rent a small apartment for the next 6-12 months to "save up", but then we'd just have to move again, and that's a lot of packing and moving in a short amount of time. He could go up there now and start working while staying at cousin Shane's, but we'd be splitting rent on our home down here, paying for living expenses in two different cities, we'd be separated, etc. And even then, it would still be really difficult for us to save the money for us to get a place to live up there. It's like a vicious circle. It's mind boggling.
I can't stand it. We've been married for ten years and it's just so difficult to get to where we want to go so we can start a family, and the first step is not something we can't grasp. Especially when we don't know what the first step would be. So here we are, day in and day out, going through the motions, and years go by, and we have nothing to show for it. No, I don't mean nothing in a bad way, I mean no next step. We just can't seem to progress. If it weren't for the immigration issue, we'd be in better shape, but I happened to fall in love with a Canadian as well as a Canadian city. Aeeeeerrrrrrgggggh.
P.S. Spell-check thought that by "Aeeeeerrrrrgggggh" I meant "Beekeeper."

Chris' Going Away Party

Lauren & Geoff's cool living room

Chatting in the back yard

Sarah checks out my cake

Me & Julie

William's awesome salad - I'll try to get the recipe

Marc & Ryan

Lauren & Kyle

Chris, Noah, Stephanie

Chris opens his gifts (we got him a bunch of tools)

The level

Our hosts Lauren & Geoff

Lauren, Todd, Marc

Marc & Sarah

Me & Andrew

Chris & Sean with Ryan
Chris is originally from Alaska, and he's an architect with us at Johnston Architects. His parents recently moved down from Alaska to Bellingham (between Seattle and Vancouver BC) and bought some property. Chris has decided to become a carpenter and move to Bellingham, where he can use his mad skillz to build beautiful homes. It will be quite the combination of talents.
His going away gifts were many useful tools to get him started.
The food was fantastic - I think I smell a lot of Johnston Architects potlucks in my future. William's salad was comprised of watercress, grapefruit, sweet onion, and avocado (and more, but I don't know what), and I will try to get the recipe to post here.
In the mean time, enjoy the pictures.
Good luck Chris - we'll miss you!

William & Izaac

Caitlin & Chad

Sean & Noah

The towel is finished! I still need to clean it up and cut away all the loose strings. It ain't perfect, but I'm satisfied. I finished it during lunch at work today.
I made my banana cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting for Chris' Going Away Party tomorrow night. As always, I made a load of frosting and drowned the cake with it. Not that I'm complaining. I even have some more frosting leftover, and I'm trying to think of what I can use it for. Fruit dip? Another dessert? By the spoon?
Today was dark and dreary and I look forward to going to sleep now, since that seemed to be the theme all day.

Learning Embroidery

Hobbes liked her shoes
Tonight Amanda came over to teach me embroidering. My first foul towels: "Third Nose" (personal joke with Cyndi, so she gets my first piece of work), and the term pictured above, which comes from Benny who worked with us at Applebee's back in the day. We're keeping that one. (As you can see, I'm trying to avoid strange search engine searches.)
Amanda bonded with our cats very well, which is a requirement upon entering our home. We also had a lovely dinner and Amanda was introduced to Joe via Asheron's Call.
There is more embroidering in my future.


In front of my desk

Bacon Pride
I was testing something on my camera, and had to take a picture, so that's why there's a picture of my bulletin board above. Because I share everything with you.
Let's see... there's a picture of Hobbes as a baby, chewing on my knee. When we first brought him home, we thought he was deaf, then we thought he was retarded. He was the meanest kitten I have ever met. Which means that all of his baby pictures are him arched at the camera or chewing on a body part. Also note the plaid stretch pants. Thank you.
Sean and I in our black hair phase in Indiana circa 1995. This photographer I worked with at Applebee's thought Sean and I "looked neat!" and asked if she could take pictures of us for her portfolio. We did this in the middle of the night with a sheet hung up on the wall at my Grandparent's lakehouse. I love those pictures. And she ended up getting a real photography gig shooting for the Olympics. So we all win!
Homemade kitty ornament - is it from you Trae? I don't remember. It was in a care package from someone from nervousness.org.
My business card. Jamey's old furniture brochure. The paint sample of the color that I painted this room.
See the little paper next to the round Bauhaus sticker (Greg - the coffee shop, not the band)? It has a quote that I cut out of a magazine forever ago. It says:
Critical Condition
Rocker Chris Isaak suspects a few folks may be scratching their heads, wondering how he landed his own comedy series, The Chris Isaak Show, on Showtime."I know: How did he get a show? Why him?" says Isaak, 44. "All I can say is what I tell every kid in America: Penmanship is important."
See? It's historical. I don't even remember a Chris Isaak show. And I love his quote.
Automaton sticker. Magazine clippings. Wedding picture of my Starbucks customer Anne (I was at that wedding) and Truly's old register tag from Starbucks (I made it - it says Truly and then Soo wrote Truly in Korean below it) (man I miss Truly). Picture of Chad. Picture of Susan's son Ethan who's now, er, six? SEVEN?? My old register tag from Starbucks at the top. A card I bought for my Mom but I liked it so much I kept it for my bulletin board. At the bottom right are a few pieces of paper where I drew out my idea for a website called Daymented. It's laughable. Summer of 2000. My categories were going to be: Recent, Seattle, Vegas, Culver, Links, July, E-mail. I was going to have a constant page called July with pictures from every July trip to see my family each summer. I guess Culver was just more pictures of Culvers? I don't recall. (Is there any sort of psychological term for being obsessed with your own family?) Anyhoo, clipped above that is a color-copy of a painting by Sean's Uncle Ronnie who is an awesome painter (he's also a silversmith who designed and created Sean's wedding ring).
Whew. I've missed talking to you guys.
And keep in mind that this is maybe one-eighth of my bulletin board.
The whole house smells like bacon, thanks to my dear husband. I can't handle the smell of bacon. Even though I'm eating meat again, I just heave when I smell bacon or sausage. Another example of my meat difficulties: I bought this good deli-sliced roast beef to make roll-ups for lunch at work, and it was bloody! It looked like blood! It smelled like blood! So I put the slices on a plate and microwaved them until they were brown. To Sean's horror. Then I blotted all the juices off of them with a paper towel, and hummed in my denial while building the roll-up.
Another giftie in the mail today! From Styrofoam Kitty again! A headbangin' CD! Because music can never be too angry!

JenB? The title below? I was sure you'd say something. Anyone?

The World Ain't Right Without You Babe
And she fell to her knees and stretched her arms to the sky, threw her head back and shouted:
I! Have! A Blog!
(Well? I do.)
I can't begin to tell you how much I missed my links page. And all of you.
Cyndi sent me a care package of ramen and cup o'soups and a brain and a l'il chub. Oh! And a pair of
Strawberry Shortcake socks. She always sends the most conversation-starting gifts. Gifts only she gets away with (except that doll that year - I never got over that one). J-A sent me a beautiful postcard from Hong Kong, Styrofoam Kitty sent me a poppy-rockin' CD of the Washdown. And that's just in the time that my site was, um, broken.
And two bloggers offered me the chance to guest host their blog. Awwwwww.
Here are the
from when the site was down. For nostalgia.
I am off to collapse with excitement. Maybe even twitch....
Note to Jimmy: I do have fishnets - the good ones with the seam down the back! And I believe they would fit you.

Kolja's Birthday Party

In Kolja's Apartment Building

The view on the way there (from I-5)
It was a lovely night for a birthday party - albeit a bit warm. The Six Arms gang was there, along with Germans all over the place - it's like they breed or something. There were also quite a few couples there that I met but never found out their names (I have got to get better at that).

Sean & Monica

Josh, Em (she's starting to look pregnant!), Nanda, Mon

Why does he do that?

Anne, Pete, Melanie

Melanie, Verena

That's better

(Showing off their worn/new library cards)

Happy Birthday, Kolja!


Follow through
What kind of instant oatmeal company doesn't provide cooking instructions on the individual packets? Nature's Path, that's who. I got to work with my packet of oatmeal, and found myself instructionless. I had to call Central Market and ask the guy who answered the phone (Michael) to find the product on the shelves, make note of the cooking directions, and tell me. Which he did.
After this I went to central-market.com to leave a comment thanking Michael, and went to naturespath.com to recommend printing the directions on each packet.
After all this, I make the oatmeal according to the directions in a mug in the microwave at work, completely forgetting that oatmeal expands to about ten times the volume while cooking, then settles to it's normal one cup. The microwave was a disaster.
Since Heather was back in town from the east coast, we made the commitment to get together for lunch - we went to Little Cedars for fantastic falafel, and then she kept trying to share my baklava with me (I made it difficult for her). As you can see to the left, they have fabulous decor, such as a poster of lettuce. Another beautiful addition to the decor? Their server, as seen on the right. Every time he left our table, we'd be all a-flutter, and say "Uh... where was I?"
After the great lunch I had a visit from Mr. Cutiepants himself - Ryan Edward, Esquire. He chuckled and cooed and smiled, and did all the things that babies do in public to fool everyone. He hung out at my desk while I explained Excel spreadsheets to him. He couldn't really focus on the screen, so he decided to just focus on my nose instead. Sometimes I'd rather focus on my nose than Excel as well, so I let it slide.
It was on this day that we realized the server was down. After a few e-mails back and forth with Greg, I realized there was nothing I could do from the office, so I let it go. I will have to figure something out this weekend. I could have paid hosting, I know, but I have thousands (seriously) of pictures on this site, so I can't even fathom what it would cost. Instead, I'll make a temp page for the meantime. My site is free for a reason. Reasons lke these.
The office is coming right along. Today was loud - they did some major wall chopping today. But it let in sunlight from a new angle - something I hadn't considered.

Our new space - about to slice


This is my plecostomas. He rules. I want to hug him and squeeze him, but he tells me it's not allowed.
To the right are some new Johnston Architects employees: Lauren, Sally, and Andrew (and me). We took a break at Baskin Robbins this afternoon. Today we ordered more furniture and got all the phone lines and phone system hooked up in each spot. I didn't know anyone's phone extension, which made for good fun while answering the phone.... "Is Chris there?" "Ummmmm..... yes." "Can I speak to him?" "Uhhhhh...." It was truly professional. We have it all worked out now. I think.
I feel like I was on the phone all night tonight. Oh wait. I was. My cordless phone battery is dead. But I had a good talk with Amy and cousin Debra, and I made microwave s'mores while Sean and Jon are battling it out the the Mariners v. Blue Jays game.
May the best Canadians team win.

Just as I was leaving the office today, Ray asked if I could just keep working every day. Not much pomp and circumstance, I know, but there it is. Yayy rent! Yayy grocery money!
All of the IKEA furniture showed up at the office today, but it wasn't quite right, so tomorrow I'm ordering another ton of furniture. The office will be great when it's finished.
In the meantime, however, it's pretty crazy.
Instead of doing laundry and buying groceries tonight, I instead turned on the TV and never turned it off. VH1. And it was a bunch of programs I had already seen. Sean got home at 9:30 to find me zoned out from hunger and square eyes, so he made me a fried egg sandwich, and that rounds out my day. I wish I had more to give you, dear readers, but I don't.
So I will leave you with a story.
In 9th grade, Kristy and I went to McDonald's with Todd. Todd was Kristy's boyfriend who had this totally cool lowered truck (this was 1985). So we rode in the back in the bed, and when we got to the parking lot, we were jumping up and down. This made Todd SO ANGRY because it was bad for his truck (which is also exactly why we were doing this). So we kept jumping. To give us a scare, he jolted the truck about a foot forward in the parking space. While I was airborne. Which made the gate of the truck clip my heel and flip me completely upside-down. I landed head first on the pavement. And I was okay. They both rushed over to me screaming "oh my God are you okay?" and then I laughed and they laughed and we laughed. To the horror of all the diners inside McDonald's.
So if I ever die of a hemmorage in my brain, that's what it's from.