We've cleaned up and eaten leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And by leftovers, I mean cake.
I was expecting 65+ but we had 50. It sounds like a lot of people, but when you throw a party on a pool, there's a lot of space. But now I know if I ever want to throw a party for 75+ (say, oh, our Going Away rager), I can.
Cleaning up took 15 minutes with a garbage bag and a recycling bin.
And Noah and Monica got married in our yard. On my birthday. And I will remember my 34th fondly.
P.S. We just bought Prince tickets for $10. You can too. Hurry hurry!

Ahhh... the bad perms of the 70's. This was third grade. Note the strange formation of my lips to cover my retainer. Which I was supposed to remove for the picture. Which I forgot. Just like in my first grade picture.
It's most likely that my Mom sewed that sundress.
And hey look! My eyebrows have been crooked all along! (I have forever been in a state of "A-ha!")
I do miss my mole. Now I just have a scar in that place.
When Uncle Tim & Aunt Julie got married, we drove from the wedding to the reception in a whole long motorcade of cars, following the newlyweds' car which was all decorated and what-not. We had to drive through the main drag of Middlebury.
(I got to ride with Chip, my second cousin, who had the cool car.)
So off we went, and that very day Middlebury was having their parade, which ended the second we drove up. Tim & Julie's wedding motorcade finished the parade. And I saw Robbie Zook, and I knew he saw me, and it was my 8th birthday, and at that moment, while driving past a whole street full of people cheering, my life was perfect.


I'm trying to look snooty, but I just look like a knob
Tonight was manicures and pedicures and eyebrow wax jobs with Dawn & Amy.
Yes, I just said wax jobs.
I feel fabulous.
Rain rain rain, and cold and dark most of the day. But you know what? Bring it on. I want it out of its system by Friday, and it looks like that just may happen.
Still, it feels strange wearing a long sleeved shirt with a sweater over it, and there have been multiple times this week that I was tempted to turn on the heater. The HEATER. It's AUGUST. And there's a new air conditioner, still in its box, in our garage. Where it shall remain.

Rascal (and my purse)

Sad Noah
I wanted to include a picture of Rascal, since he's been hanging out at our office lately. He took a bit of a rough landing while camping a couple weeks ago with his owner Sally (he prefers extreme sports, but sometimes it backfires on him). He is a very friendly and happy dog. And he can run surprisingly well with that wrapped leg jutting out into the air.
I also wanted to show you Noah - this picture was taken just seconds after he used the pepper grinder that exploded
whole peppercorns into his plate of pasta. He actually attempted to pick every peppercorn out, which was impossible. You can't see the peppercorns on the table, but trust me, there's tons. I just bought peppercorns to fill the pepper grinder that afternoon, and in one fell swoop, the grinder was cleaned out. I just love this expression on his face.
We fixed him a whole new plate of pasta. And laughed at him. Even though I was the one that didn't properly seal the pepper grinder.
Soon after Sean got home tonight, he informed me that Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, and Joe Satriani are touring. And I thought "I wonder how long he's been waiting to tell me this?" Then he tried to impersonate the commercial on the radio by singing "The Boys are Back in Town into Smooooooke on the Waaaaterrrr into [guitar sounds] and uhhh.... Snapple!" (Really, what did he sing? Anything??)
And some special news to any of you who know our family - cousin Roxanne is pregnant! The only picture I can find of her on my site is from ten years ago.
Okay - here's some scans of Roxanne.

Party supplies from Costco, Fred Meyer, and the Dollar Store (what up). It keeps dumping rain. My sources tell me it may be wet Friday night, but it won't actually be raining. Our neighbor, Bruce came over tonight to discuss carpeting, or at least plastic, to cover the pool. We will have Christmas lights galore, though, that's fo shizzle. The only thing missing is Caitlin.

Sonya's Summer Party
Attending parties with people Sean does not know is not his thing.
Attending parties with people I don't know is totally my thing. So I called Amanda and off we went to Sonya's Summer Party on Capitol Hill.
Sonya and her two roommates live in an adorable apartment in a big old house with tiny tile and wood floors and a big party deck. There was vodka-soaked watermelon, punch that packed a punch, and a table full of food (Amanda and I brought beer, Ho-Ho's, and a pineapple), and dancing. The weather was perfect.
Also? Amanda met her future husband, and they even kissed goodnight! So cute!!
Yes of course they were drunk and probably won't remember half the things that they said to each other, but it was cute at the time.
As soon as I got home around 1:30 it started pouring rain - I was glad I got home when I did. It was so loud I had to shut one of our bedroom windows.
It's supposed to rain all week. I sent an e-mail to Steve Pool to find out if we're safe for Friday night, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.
Today Sean and I cleaned the house as best as we would allow (I mean, let's not be crazy). I mean, we'll be outdoors, right? RIGHT?!

I *Heart* Fridays
That chick in the background is like "Why is that woman taking a picture of me?" We do this every morning, but I took a picture today. It's a nice break around 9 a.m. every day.
Lauren W. also rounded up the troops for a lunch in the sun at Agua Verde, a lakeside cafe with great tacos. The weather was perfect.
After work I came home and took a nap, then Sean and I saw Garden State, which Sean liked, and I was... melancholy. It was okay. (Sorry)

(clockwise) Cary, Andrew, Caitlin, Sally, Chris, Lauren, Lauren, Todd, Me
Today is also my Dad's birthday, and I reminded myself since before Joe's wedding that it was coming up. And all week, every morning, I would think "Doh!" and then this morning I said "Okay call Dad before you leave the house" and then the whole day went by and I never called him. So Happy Birthday Dad, from your forgetful daughter. You should have had more kids so you'd have better birthdays. It's just too much responsibility for one child.
This week I need to send out a reminder for the party - I have very few comments saying people are coming, compared to how many people I know are coming. And the food is already starting to stress me out. I told Sean tonight I will rally up my girls for salads, because they're dependable like that. And if people don't like duck, they better bring something else to eat! The pool is still crazy and full of weeds, and the Kinko's carpet thing isn't going to happen now, so we're now considering pallets, or a tarp, or....? (*huff huff*)
I wanted Sean to take this picture of Dominique and I (note this exact web entry in the background) so you could see that she's fine, and she no longer looks freaky, and she's happy. But then she turned her glowy reflective eyes towards the flash and she looks like a possessed pupil-less demon. But I assure you that she was purring while Sean was holding the camera saying "Shewpeee! Shewpeee-Dewpeee!" And note that her insane toe hairs are growing back nicely.
Sean called Jason today and Jason told him that Hint Hint broke up. They had everything in their band van stolen while staying in San Francisco, including all of their instruments and their personal stuff (and a great camera). This is about the fifth time I've heard of a band van getting broken into. It's devastating. Also, the chick in Hint Hint is joining Pretty Girls Make Graves, so there's some more gossip for ya. I'm sure Jason will be in another band in no time. Gabe, too. Their kind of talent doesn't sit still.
Joe & Jean's wedding pictures (including some of mine). And those
jeans I'm wearing? I swear, the contrast is exploding in that picture. (And here's all the pics from my camera. Sorry, no time to make them all designerly.)

This One's For Heather


Angry Dominique

The cats have had their baths. All three. And I must admit, I have NEVER given any of the cats a bath. So, you know, after twelve+ years of ownership, I got my butt in gear and tortured them (or so they think). They are now all fluffy and happy and cleaning themselves while purring.
Sean and I are very proud of ourselves. No blood was shed!
(And they smell like coconut!)
They look so good, we made a pact to do this more often. They disagreed. Vehemently.

Chris Brown visited us yesterday, and the JA gang went out for lunch with him. It was a nice visit.
Check out Paul's beautiful site header of Vancouver.
Method now makes laundry stuff. So I e-mailed them and wrote "Can I get some coupons?" and someone wrote back right away and said "Sure! Give us your address and we'll send some!" Then I sent Method a mental hug.
My favorite image by Erica Mulherin is now available on a grocery tote. Which is exactly where it was meant to be. I love that image so much I could have a lengthy conversation about it. Instead, I'll just show you this drawing as well.
Seattle Weblogger Meetup was tonight.
Confidential to Amy: Happy Anniversary.

Still haven't received the pictures, so here's another teaser. I have no idea when I started looking so old (I was tired), but I love the look on Joe's face. In the middle of rushing, you can tell he's looking forward to this.
To the right are Joe and Jean at the pope's table, with Joe in the pope's chair, at his rehearsal dinner, talking on his cell phone. Because it's a LOT of work planning your own wedding. Especially an outdoor wedding.

With her Dad

Back of her dress
I'm presently eating a salad that I washed three times, and I keep crunching on dirt. I hate when that happens.
Today I updated Dad's site with some grad pictures, including Max, who was adopted by Aunt Nancy's family (see the bottom of
08-11-04 below) - Dylan and Lukas are now on Dogtown's site! They flew him to San Jose, and he's doing quite well.
Wash your salad mix very well. Trust me.

Back From Sacramento
The cats knew we were leaving, but we had no way of telling them we'd be home in four days, and to please not pee on the bed. Besides us saying "We'll be back in four days, and please don't pee on the bed" because we're that type of couple that assumes our cats understand us, and that they actually care.
And they only peed on the bathroom rug.
Sacramento was hot and dry. Joe & Jean's house was swarming with visiting family and friends, and an unbelievable amount of supplies for the reception (they did all of the food and drinks). Coolers, paper plates, sodas and water bottles, groceries, beer, boxes of shrimp - stuff was everywhere.

Sean was happy
The day before the wedding was the rehearsal and preparation. For some reason I was completely wiped out and spent a lot of time trying to take short naps. We also went to Home Depot for a plumbing snake, since their sink was clogged with seven boxes worth of shrimp peels. But on the way was a POLLO LOCO! Rejoice!! It's been years!

I was thrilled

It was beautiful
For all of the stress and hurrying around, the wedding went off beautifully. The morning (the ceremony was at ten a.m.) was cool and breezy, which I'll take any day over roasting hot. We had a big barbeque and softball game later that afternoon. I'll post the pictures when I get all of them (my camera maxed out after 60 shots).
We caught an earlier flight this afternoon so we got home by six, instead of nine, so we could do some laundry and relax.
Oh hey my medical exam for immigration was Thursday morning - I put it on the immigration page.

Grandma Dayment? What was it like living in America?*
I was a victim of road rage yesterday. Seriously. I had to call my Mom, my Aunt Nancy, and my friend Cyndi just to talk me down.
I was driving home from work, and was waiting for the light to turn green so I could turn right. The guy across the intersection was turning left. The light (a solid green light, not an arrow) turned green, and we both turned at the same time. Apparently he thought that he had the right of way and I was supposed to yield. So he held his horn down. And I was angry, because not only was he wrong, but now he was mad at me for turning right at a green light. Whatever dude.
But then he floors it and goes into the lane to the right of me to catch up with me, and I'm thinking "Okay, just don't make eye contact, he just wants to flip me off" but instead, I see his arms turn.
He swerved into my lane, sending me into the lane to the left of me. Which was oncoming traffic.
I had just enough time to swerve, look at his license plate (WA: 529NJM), and continue to make a u-turn to go to the nearest gas station to call police.
So I get to the Shell station on Blakeley and 25th NE, and I run in and say "Can I use your phone to call 911?" and the employee guy, talking on a cordless phone (as always), points behind him and says "There's a payphone out there." After my string of Tourette's I called 911 and gave them the info. He had a cream/gold smaller mid-size car, maybe a Volvo or Honda or something. I was so focused on his license and not getting hit, I didn't see what kind of car he drove.
And there's my story.
*And now, for the second time in a decade, I have the song "Living in America" by James Brown in my head. "Eye to eye! Sta-tion to sta-tion!"
On to better news!
Alexandra is back in Seattle after spending the last 5 months in Barcelona and Hamburg.


Kolja wanted a hug too

Together again
Later this month Alexandra and Kolja fill up the rest of their immigration time to travel all over the west coast. They will be staying with my Aunt Nancy and her family in San Jose for a few days, which will be great!!
Joe and Jean's wedding is this weekend, so I'll try to update Sunday night.
Oh! And my medical exam for immigration is tomorrow morning!
Miss me.

08-09-04 again
What we did on our summer vacation tonight
(Or, time well spent with big fat spiders)




It's coming right along. One task down, twenty-seven to go. I also cut back the hops vines growing over the back wall. That's right - remember the Ivy War of 2001? Which we won? Well the same neighbor has now planted HOPS VINES in the same place. So instead of hacking back ivy, we're hacking back hops vines, which have tiny little hairy spikes that stick to you, your clothes, and anything else it comes in contact with. And me being me, I dove right into it without wearing gloves so now I have tiny little red spots on my hands and arms.
But I lived.
To the left is Cary, a new architect at Johnston Architects. Check out his new PC. Is that not the cutest little thing you ever saw? It has a removable/exchangeable CD-Rom to floppy drive, like a laptop. That's the whole computer!! (But I still hate Dell!)

From John in the Morning on KEXP FM / KEXP.org:
Hey everyone, before we get to the list, wanted to get you some more info on Scott Giampino and family. As many of you might have seen on the news this weekend or read on the list Friday, Scott was the apparent
victim of the serial arsonist in town. The family escaped but both their cats were killed and they lost everything. Its one thing to almost kill these wonderful people and another to burn up everything they own but you burn their 2 kitties as well? That ain't right. We need to help. Here's the full story with more info on how to help. Thanks for letting me post this, playlist follows...
As most of you know, Scott and Ali Giampino were victims of an arson fire at their Lake Forest Park home last night. Shortly before 1 am, Ali awoke to sounds of broken glass and fire engulfing their home. Blessedly, they
and their son Max escaped unharmed in what must have been an absolutely terrifying couple of minutes. Their two cats, their possessions, and their home did not fare as well - they have lost virtually everything.
They are fully insured and will eventually be able to replace their lost possessions. In the meantime, an account has been set up at U.S. Bank and donations are currently being accepted. The account is called "The
Giampino Fund" and you may make donations at any local branch. Please reference account #153556105382 when doing so. And, for added reference, the account was established by Denise Maupin - you may need to give that information to the teller, but the account name should suffice.
Temporary housing accommodations have been arranged and the Capitol Hill branch of Sonic Boom Records is also currently accepting donations. Since they are without a home, the most useful donations are monetary,
gift certificates, and good thoughts. Max could sure use some clothing - he wears a size 4T or 5T (like his daddy, he's big for his age). Toys and books would be useful, as well. The little guy is down with Clifford The Big Red Dog, Tonka trucks, and stuff that is cool. Seeing that little bug on the news was enough to make me want to buy him Disneyland if he wants it.
There are multiple benefits in the works so keep an eye out for details. Since moving here from Chicago two years ago, the Giampinos have quickly become beloved members of this community. I know I speak for everyone when I say we are all damn lucky they are still with us today. It's not gonna be good times replacing Scott's records or Ali's beautiful perfume decanter collection but we're all sure thankful they are alive.
This fire has officially been declared an arson and agents from the Washington Insurance Council, the Arson Alarm Foundation and the ATF are offering a $38,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and
conviction of the parties responsible for the fires. Anyone with information should call 1-800-55ARSON.
This is why John in the Morning is the coolest radio DJ on the planet.


Wonder how our pool's doing lately? Here it is! In all it's crusty, weedy, fried glory!
This is where I have decided to have my party later this month. Because, really, this area is just begging for a party.
First, remove all junk, do a dump run and a haz mat run. Can we borrow your truck?
Next, weed out all of the weeds growing in all the cracks and sweep up all the pine needles on all the cement.
Next, level that dirt in the pool, and mow.
Soon before the party, Sean is getting the carpet from Kinko's (his store just happens to be replacing the carpet this week) and laying it over the pool. Can we borrow your truck?
I know it's kinda weird but what else can we do? Even if we tilled, everyone would be sitting/standing on dirt. This way, it's all covered and comfy and cozy for lawn furniture and sitting on the ground.
And it's gonna take a LOT of carpet.
Last year's party, we all hung out in the back patio and the front driveway, which worked fine, I guess, but I'm expecting more people this year, and really, this is a nice big space that just needs some love.
And a lot of Christmas lights.
And lawn furniture.
But we have the tiki torches! That's a start!
They crowded around her, and Koko, who plays favorites, asked one woman
wearing red to come closer. The woman handed her a business card, which Koko
promptly ate.


From NE corner
(Joe? There are your bags of sand. Come get them.)

From NW corner

This weekend has been all about the spending. Money just grows on trees at our home, and we love throwing it out of the window for sport.
Okay that's not true.
But we did have an extra paycheck this month, and we spent it. Quickly.
We knew we wanted an air conditioner, so we ordered one online from Home Depot (it was an online only sale and we compared it with everywhere else, and it was still worth it with the shipping charge). I dropped off my wedding band to get it re-sized, as it's been over two years since Truly and I pried it off of my finger at Starbucks with lots of soap and water. I got an ionic hair dryer because mine's about to die, and these people sang the ionic praises.
Then? Grocery Outlet (or as Amanda calls it, "G-O"). A whole cart of food and cleaning stuff for $83. Grocery Outlet sells stuff like Spaghetti-O's shaped like cartoon characters from last year's big hit, or odd sauces that just didn't make it. But they also sell cheap cheap cheap basics and that's what we got.
Then to the drug store for a mega-pack of extremely-high-priced Gillette Mach 3 razor cartridges, and on a whim, a box of hair bleach and a box of strawberry blonde.
My hair was getting a bit too drab/gray/sad as it grew out. I only used a third of the bleach and the red (mixed them in bowls, dunked my fingers in it, ran my fingers through my hair), so I can re-apply two more times.

After streaks of bleach

After streaks of strawberry blonde
I'm thinking the red will fade a bit over the next week, because that's what red dye does.
Okay next?
Sean got his hair cut, and Carkeek Nails is next door, and I saw their sign that said "Eyebrows $10" and I bolted. Lemme tell ya, if you want your eyebrows waxed (and you know you do) go to these chicks. I laid on a bed of cotton sheets and a lacy cotton pillow, and she waxed with SO little pain, and then she spent another fifteen minutes plucking and even trimming with little tiny scissors. It was so wonderful I almost fell asleep.
Also? Manicures are $10 and pedicures are $22. I've never had a pedicure before (and if you see my feet, it shows) and I told Sean that I want a gift certificate to Carkeek Nails for my birthday. The chairs? Those massage chairs. And all the trashy tabloid mags you can digest. And they carry OPI so I can paint my nails "I'm Not Really a Waitress" even though I should probably get one of these. Maybe for our anniversary...
(and how fun is this?!)
I am So. Excited.
Next stop, after the hair coloring, was Starbucks to visit with Heidi, and then PetSmart, where we loaded up on fish necessities. Sean has an unhappy fish skimming the top of the tank, so I got some tea tree oil medicine, and some super cool fish food, and a giant bag of cat litter.
(They are selling finches at PetSmart and it didn't seem right. They were totally cute, though.)
Christmas? This.
Next $100 to throw out the window? These. One of each, except for Delight and Solid. They are a totally Stupid Is as Stupid Does gift, and I'm okay with that. (Thanks for the link SleepyPie).
Also? Friday night Sean and I saw Super Size Me ($3 at the second-run theater!), which is the third time I've seen that movie. I could watch Morgan Spurlock eat McDonald's every day.
Immigration page has been updated.
And Alexandra gets back from Hamburg tomorrow!!!

How to be an evil sister-in-law

Ryan! Wake up! Picture!

No! You have to look! Smile!

Ryan pay attention! Smile!
Do any of you work at a grocery store? So you could answer this?
You know those coupons that print out based on what you just purchased? Like when I buy cat litter then it offers a coupon for cat food when my receipt is printed. I can understand that.
Tonight I went to QFC and purchased a pound of hamburger, a box of Hamburger Helper, and a giant jug of generic vegetable oil, and it printed out a coupon for Propel Fitness Water.
I don't see it.
Ryan left today, only to inform Sean that his flight was at ten, not ten-thirty. Yup. He missed his flight. Thankfully, he caught another plane so he could make it to New York by midnight.
That's what he gets for leaving us responsible for him in any way, shape, or form.

Hee hee!
Today is Susan's birthday, by the way. This is her on the left at my 7th birthday party. Okay, maybe 6th. I don't recall. My point is, she's awesome and I've had the privilege of knowing her since we were toddlers, and this winter she's moving back into the house she grew up in, across the street from my Dad's house. This thrills me to no end. Happy 34th Susan!
Here's the web page I made for IKEA today, per their requests.
Bonnie has comments now! Eleven children! And COMMENTS!
Anyone who saw Fahrenheit 9/11 won't find this surprising.
Speaking of, here's today's Bushism.
Tonight I'm e-mailing out the page for the August Everything Party. If you didn't get an invite, then I either (A) don't like you or (B) didn't have your e-mail address nearby. Assume that I like you and e-mail me so I can send it to you.
Laundry in both the washer and dryer, and Hamburger Helper calling me.

Been staying up too late. And I still have no idea why the site was down all day today.
Kolja visited with us this evening, and Ryan leaves tomorrow.
Once I get my seven loads of laundry done, and maybe some sleep, I'll post again.

Ryan (Sean's half-brother on his Mom's side)
I kept insisting that they stand really close together so the fencing behind the tree wouldn't show up. On the last picture above, Ryan was saying "Okay, he's making me uncomfortable."
It was hard getting Sean to NOT MAKE A FACE so finally I said "Okay fine go ahead" then he felt better. At least a got a couple decent ones.
When I met Ryan he was going by the name "Rockcrusher" and his skills were finding golf balls in the "deserd" and, well.... rockcrushing I guess. He was five. Now he's 21.
Ryan does not like cheese, bread, fish, or sweets, so he's pretty much been fasting all this week while he's staying with us. Because really, people who don't like cheese should be punished. Or hypnotized.
Speaking of punishment, our neighborhood has an arsonist. This sortakinda bothers me, like sortakinda heart palpitations and sortakinda hyperventilating and sortakinda NOT SLEEPING
because the Sean and I already HAD a neighborhood arsonist, and that was enough for one lifetime thank you. January 6, 1997, ghetto apartment building in Federal Way, Sean and Joe and I woke up to the firemen kicking in our door, and the building had been on fire for 45 minutes, while we slept in solid smoke, and I'm running around in the smoke saying "Getthecats getthecats getthecats" until Joe grabbed my shoulders and SHOOK me and said "PUT ON SHOES. PUT ON A COAT. GO" and we were the last people out of the building, even though the fire was set right below us, and I was caught on the television news wearing a formal dress and Chucks (when your building is on fire and you were sleeping naked, you don't really coordinate or accessorize) next to a Christmas tree box full of four really pissed off cats, and my apartment stank until the day we moved out, but until that day (when we moved to Palm Desert) I never fully slept at night, and I still freak out if I smell wood burning (including every. single. fireplace. in my neighborhood October through April), and I still own three fire extinguishers, and I still check the oven and stove three times a night after we go to bed, and where was I? Oh yeah. Arsonist.


Stephanie & Chris

Sean & Ryan at Costco
Ryan's in town so I haven't had time to post. He took us to Costco and we spent $100 on stuff we don't need (but it's so cheap! What a bargain! We have toilet paper for the next year!).
We also taught him how to play Settlers which I'm sure is a big surprise to all of you.
Napoleon Dynamite rules. I {heart} Jon Heder.
Stopped by to see Stephanie & Chris on Saturday so Stephanie could trim my bangs.
Yup. The fun never stops.
I'm compiling my invite list for this year's August Everything Party, so if you've changed your e-mail address recently, or you want to be added to the list, lemme know.