Am I the only one that thought W looked like Alfred E. Newman?!?
Today I took my car to #1 Japanese Auto and told them to check everything, as well as perform a tune-up. The brakes are squeaking, there's a slight clicking noise when I turn right (CV joint?), and who knows else could be wrong. He called me couple hours later to say "There's nothing wrong with your car" and I said "Are you sure you're a mechanic?" Then he told me I absolutely needed two new front tires, and that seemed to even things out. I'm getting the tires tomorrow before we leave for Vancouver.
Today Ray gave Todd these Slang Flashcards. We were all cracking up. Awesome. Buy them.
Kolja sent me an e-mail today to let me know they arrived home okay.
My cover letter and resume are ready to be handed in at the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver tomorrow.
The streetlight has been fixed. (scroll half-way down) Here's the real story - I reported this damn streetlight flickering like a strobe light into our bedroom window 6 months ago. I knew where to report it. But they never fixed it. Then it went completely dark a couple months ago right at our intersection and that's dangerous. So I wrote to this columnist and said "Can you fix this?" and the Question and Answer were created. Within 48 hours that light was fixed. And Sean pointed out it seems to be about three-times brighter than it ever was, like they even upgraded the light bulb in there. Thank you media!
Marc (Jon's brother) and Dawn are engaged! Both of the Hall brothers shall be married off next year!
Cyndi wanted to know how Jon & Amy got engaged. Since talkingjon.com no longer exists, I'll have to do this myself. Jon decided they would go to dinner at their favorite restaurant in Wallingford on a Monday night, which Amy thought was weird, because it was just a Monday night. But she wasn't complaining! Then they get to the restaurant and it's closed. As in closed down. Which totally threw Jon for a loop. So they decided to eat at Bizarro Italian Cafe instead, and those of you locals know that this is a crazy, packed in, loud little place. Not the best place for Mr. Quiet Shy Guy to propose. So he stressed the whole time that this just wasn't right. As soon as they got home he was just JONESIN' because he had the ring in his pocket the whole time. She laid on the couch (food coma) and he held her hand and asked "Are you happy?" and she said "Of course I'm happy!" and he said "Close your eyes" and he set the ring box in her hand. When she opened her eyes she started crying before she even opened the box. And the rest is too personal. You all know she said yes.
Sean is listening to "Wildfire" by Michael Murphy. Yes. That Wildfire. She ran calling Wiiiiiiiiild Fiiire. There are some things we just don't discuss.
Last night Lauren and I went to Northgate Shopping Center so we could get her a crock pot at Target. Then today I read this. We didn't see a thing, so this must have happened just before or just after we were there. Northgate Shopping center is one enclosed building with one garage along the side. Next time we shop at Target, we're packing heat.
I'm just kidding. I don't own a gun. And I certainly don't have any heat. Ask anyone who knows me. I'm always freezing.
Thanks to Michelle who braved the hurricanes to send me a rocking mixed CD.
ER starts in five minutes. See ya.

J-A wanted to know what happened to the fish
Yeah, he came back. In the form of a see-through membrane with a dark socket-like place where an eye used to be. Ugh. And normally you all know I'm good at giving my fish a proper burial. But by showing up again, four days later, Sean and I avoided doing anything to him, because really I thought it would fall apart as soon as I scooped him, and that's just gross.
He disappeared again today. Thankfully.
I'm a horrible fish mother.
But I am a GREAT fish aunt, because I've been fish-sitting for Jon and Amy for the past few days and today I changed their water and put some good water conditioner in their bowl (I brought it from my house) and also brought them some better food. And there's a little baby fish! And a couple clusters of eggs! I am a nurturing soul!
Friday we're going up to Vancouver to get a feel for the place. Not that we haven't been there 100 times, but we are looking at the city like prospective residents. Well okay we did that all along too. But prospective residents soon! Friday night we're having dinner (last I heard it's at Paul & Rachel's place) with Paul & Rachel (go figure), Andrea, and Mark. I met this group when Sean & I went to Andrea's Christmas party last year. And if you click the link that says "last year" you will see Greg's latest tangent with my site - how long the pictures take to load.
Oh hey I'm back! I went to December 2003 and read the whole dang thing. I do that all the time.
And it took so long to read, I'm going to bed now.
Kolja und Xa verlassen mich eine Notiz und sagen he - wir verpassen Sie. Ich werde hoffen, daß Sie es Heim sicher gemacht haben. Or something.

The Germans have left the country.
It hurts.

And we're back! Again!


Big honkin' diamond!

Amy & Emily (Due Oct 2!)

Hobbes & drycleaning

Lauren & matching bagel

Celebrating their engagement at Six Arms

Love Cats
So there's that excitement. Jon and I had been shopping for rings and diamonds for a few weeks. We got the diamond from a friend of mine who runs Jewelry Palace in Federal Way (thanks Ken!), so if any of you want an excellent deal on diamonds or jewels, come to me and I'll take you down there. The ring (setting) came from EE Robbins Jewelers.
Wedding planning has gone fast forward. They've picked the date, the church, and the reception location. AND? Amy and her Mom went to a bridal show that very next Sunday, and Amy came home with a WEDDING DRESS. That girl is READY to get married!
Other news? Immigration is moving right along - there's an update there. And I still have all of you to thank.
Also in kinda creepy news - we had a pinky fish die - we knew it was coming (old age) and he sunk to the bottom of the tank and he was still somewhat breathing, and when that happens, you just know he'll be floating on the top by tomorrow, but I wanted him to die in peace in his home, and the next day..... he disappeared. Not eaten (too big), not suicide (too weak to jump out), not decomposing anywhere where we can see him. I've been giving Big Pleco the staredown, but he's not saying anything. And wouldn't there be bones or.... something? Weird.

And we're back!
We (possibly) figured out why this you-know-what site was linking to my August 2004 journal. There's a picture of me in the third grade at the top. Gross.
We changed the August 2004 journal link so the gross pervs will get a blank page, and hopefully they will stop linking. Maybe. In the mean time, I'm reporting the site to some sort of authority - I'm looking into exactly who tomorrow.
And now, back to our regular Daymented blab....

JA coffee run Friday morning

Sally's party Friday night

Pitcher Plants at the Seattle Horticulture Center

Grandma got Sean some Cutco knives!

Spike's fat belly!

Amy & Jon
Spike is our nocturnal plecostomas (his lower body has these tiny suction/spikey things that stick to you) who lives inside a hunk of wood in our fish tank. I've seen him maybe once a year in all the years that we've owned him, and even then, it was some sporadic occasion like me turning on the lights in the middle of the night, or seeing him stuck in that piece of wood when Sean takes it out to clean the tank. But for some reason, Spikey showed up yesterday and was just tootin' around in the tank like it was a normal day, which made me grab my camera and take about twenty pictures of him. He was out again today. I'm worried. But he seemed fine.
Tonight we went to Jon & Amy's for Greg to walk me through the server set-up on the phone (thanks, Greg) and while I was focused on the computers in the office, Amy was getting trashed on two glasses of wine. Sean said she did a backbend in the living room. I didn't ask any details.

This is how the cats behave when Sean comes home with a big bag of cat food and the cats haven't had any cat food since about 10 o'clock that same morning. (Oh! The horror!)
I went to Demeter's website today to check out the current fragrance list, and have found my next desires:
Almond, Black Pepper, Christmas Tree, Firefly, Gardenia, Greenhouse, Heliotrope, Honey, Jasmine, Lettuce, Lime, Sawdust, Snow, Violet, and Wet Garden. Just a few.
And before I go, I have a message to the dude that works at Radio Shack in the U Village:
You probably shouldn't be singing along to Fiona Apple in the shop. Loudly. With lots of customers around.
Because you're tone deaf.
Maybe you should wait until the store's empty.
Mmmmm, actually, not even then.
P.S. New Snarkywood is up! Although I still think Downward Spiral Britney is my favorite. (And if you're looking for constant snark, there's always Fugging It Up.)


Cary, Baby Lana, and Julie
Yeeeeaaaaahhhh, I dunno.
Something about a you-know-what site linking to my August journal with such a high amount of traffic it not only crippled the server, but Jon's DSL connection in his home (where our server is hooked up). I'm not posting the you-know-what site because as soon as you go there it installs two viruses onto your computer.
Also? The link that you click to get to my August journal? On the you-know-what site? Is a picture of MY COUSIN. That I took in Florida two years ago. (Yes he's wearing clothes.)
Greg sent me the header information from the site (keywords, meta), and... it's all about little boys. They changed the picture of my cousin so it's smaller and has a different file name. This whole thing is creepy.
Also woke up to 75 comment spams in my inbox. All different ip addresses too, so I have to go through and block all of those and delete them.
In much nicer news, Amanda and I made this beautiful asparagus tart last night. It was simple and delicious and I highly recommend it. We substituted swiss emmenthal for the gruyere, but otherwise it was the same.
(Have you seen my recipes page in the past couple days? It's just one recipe for now, but it's worth it.)
Looks like I'm scheduled to go to Jon's Saturday to do more server re-arranging. In the meantime you're stuck with this. But it's better than nothing, and I can still post what I ate yesterday :o)

Server's wiggin. No idea. But I'm still here. And Greg and Jon and I are working on it, so sit tight.

Cousin Shane and his girlfriend Katie were in town to see Jason perform with Hint Hint at Bumbershoot (possibly their last show?) and they picked up some posters at Flatstock (which was in Bumbershoot).
I also made a point to take Katie to Krispy Kreme since she's never been.
This weekend has been all about cooking and baking and playing Settlers and talking on the phone (two hours alone with JenB!) and watching movies. I expect to be about eight pounds heavier by the end of this long weekend.


Bird at Cafe Diva (eating biscotti)

JA Friday lunch at Magnuson Park
It was a beautiful day for a picnic, so that's what we did. This week we got a new employee - another Todd (he's in the picture above - second from the left).
We stopped at 60th Street Desserts (what kind of catering company doesn't have a web site? In Seattle? In 2004?!) to stock up on food just across the street from the park.
I'm embarrassed to say that this is the first time I've ever been to Magnuson Park, even though it's about three minutes from our office. It sits on 350 acres, along a mile of beach, at the old Sand Point Naval Air Station . It hosts a nine-acre off-leash dog area, with a little gated-off area that has a sign that reads "Small, Shy Dog Area". It would have taken all day to see everything that the park has to offer, but some day I'd like to go back and take some pictures.
Magnuson Park also has the Sound Garden, which is where the band Soundgarden got their name.
We had a good dinner last night and a good breakfast this morning, both recipes are now on the recipes page. In between those meals we watched Rushmore, which I haven't seen in a couple years (Heather's brother Matthew reminded me that I haven't seen that movie in a while). I think I need to rent Royal Tannenbaums again, too.
I did a Not-Like-Me thing this week: I signed up for the FreeFlatSceens deal. You do a free trial of something for two weeks to a month, and get eight people to do the same, and you
get a TV. Serious. They've also had these for Free Ipods too. I signed up after I read an article about it on Wired News and did some online research for a couple weeks (after I trusted it). I signed up for a free two-week trial of Blockbuster Online (just like Netflix) and marked my calendar for the day after two-weeks to cancel the account before I get charged for the subscription ($19.99 a month). Once that trial is over, and eight other people do the same (any of the trials offered) via my link, I get a flat screen TV mailed to my house. The TV I chose is small, but it has a built-in DVD player and VHS recorder. EIGHT PEOPLE! It can't be that hard, right? Some of the trials were junk to download, but others are easier like Stamps.com (I wish I would have done this because I'm going to be making stamps there anyway). And we need a better small TV for our bedroom.
This weekend, gloriously, we have no plans. While thousands upon thousands deal with the traffic and crowds at Bumbershoot, I will rent movies and do laundry. And I'm okay with that.

Yeah, it's blurry, but it's Robin Williams. And he's doing another show at the Showbox today (Thursday - I'm blogging ahead) so get ye to a ticket outlet if you want to see him in such a small venue. It was definitely a treat. He made us laugh for two hours.
Jason got to meet him afterwards, while Sean and I were busy gabbing with Grace. Drat.
I'm not allowed to blog too much about what he said because Caitlin is seeing his show tonight, but I will say that I'm super impressed with how much of his comedy was local. He did his research.
Tonight is also the "Arsonists Are Punks" fundraiser show at Neumo's - we may go. I'm having lifestyle flashbacks this week! Only I don't have to wake up at 3:30 a.m. anymore. Which is nice.


Perhaps I'm just stuck in my Seattle grunge days. Or I'm living in the past. Or I refuse to grow up.
But there are just some things that annoy me:
I paid you to sing. Not to hear the audience sing. I don't find it cute when you hold your hand up to your ear so you can hear your audience finish every line.
When a band member says "the name of the city we're in now" why does the crowd scream like crazy? Is it that amazing that a famous person yelled "SEATTTLLLLE!" Is it that incredible the nineteenth time?!
A medley of every Purple Rain song condensed into eight minutes? I know you're Jehovah's Witness now, but you're the one touring, so sing it.
I appreciate the smoke-free thing. Really, I do. Let's all be healthy.
That being said, I miss the days of a smoky club where my feet stick to the floor and the women's restroom is out of toilet paper, and I can be surly by the back door or flirt with the bartender for a free drink. But stadium show? Beer was EIGHT DOLLARS. For ONE BEER. Then you head to your seat and a 165-pound "security guard" tells you that beer isn't allowed in the seating area. (Are they trying to promote binge drinking?) The whole thing felt like Disneyland, only we weren't moving.
If I wanted to hear a ten-minute saxophone solo of "What a Wonderful World" while you do a costume change, I would have gone to a Kenny G show.
The long video of Alicia Keys' speech for you getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while showing concert footage and playing bits of all of your good songs? A bit self-promotional, don't you think?
For all of you that received the free CD at the door - lemme tell ya something. Jason mentioned this before we got there. There's a big stink in the recording industry right now because of this. See, you get moved up in the charts by how many CD's have been distributed - it isn't tracked in dollars, it's done by count of CDs. So Prince's Musicology is doing very well in the charts. Because he's handing it out for free to anyone who goes to any show on his tour. This has the bean counters pretty annoyed, because it isn't exactly a true count. This is a new thing that Prince has started, and it may change the face of how CD "sales" are tracked. What a mess.
Jason almost got into a fist fight as soon as the show started, and Sean and Jason were in rare form in the cab after we left the show (about an hour after it started - once the Prince Unplugged started). I commend the cab driver for not laughing. It was classic.
Tomorrow night - Robin Williams with an audience of 500.
("Sing it!" "Clap your hands!" "Wave your arms!" "Sing!" "I can't hear you!" "SEAAAATTTTLLLLLLLLLE!")