Saturday, December 20, 2008

The calm during the storm

A keen assessment from a KING 5 reporter just now:

"So, how's it going out there?"


And so it continues. I'm starting to wonder if I've been transported back to the Frozen Tundra of Wisconsin! We're on snowstorm number 3 for the week. Though right now, there's not much that is stormy about the tiny flakes gently drifting down outside the living room window. If the meteorologists are to be believed, strong winds and 4 to 8 inches of snow are headed our way later tonight. This is on top of the snow left over from last weekend, and the Thursday storm that gave me my first snow day in 5 years. As the owner of a bright blue saturn with a big heart but tiny engine, navigating the hills of West Seattle has been an adventure this week. So as of now, I'm smartly snuggled in my favorite chair, watching the ever dwindling traffic outside. Our house is perched atop one of the main roads in WS, one of the few streets that actually gets plow attention. You can judge the road conditions just by watching the cars out the window. I've spent more time standing in front of our picture windows in the past few days than I have in the previous 3 months we've lived here.

The roomie and I ventured out for coffee and girl talk this morning, Christmas shopping was completed, the aisles of the grocery store braved and raided for "emergency rations". Which in this house means peanut butter, apples, yogurt and bottles of wine. And cat food. Can't forget the boys. Then when my sister got home from work we ventured back out for the other essential to a snowed in day....movies! The poor (but cute) guy working at Hollywood video was rather flustered by all the customers, but took a few minutes to debate the finer points of the X-Files film with us. Seeing it twice this summer was a birthday present to myself, and I enjoyed that he had sat through it as well. (I'm a huge fan. I would watch Mulder and Scully watch paint dry. Which might just be more entertaining than IWTB, but I digress)

Our driving is decidedly done for the night, the three of us are home safe, enjoying the Christmas lights and the joys of online poker. Tonight may be the night I actually learn how play. And the picture? Sunrise before the storm, Friday morning.

Enjoy your weekend!

Update It's now 9:15 and officially snowing like a bat out of hell. The snow penis fairy has been by to visit the neighborhood, and we just saw a man walk by wearing a rain poncho. Wrong kind of precipitation there sir!

Friday, December 12, 2008

4 Things

At this point, this post is ridiculously outdated, but I've decided I MUST finish it! It's become a point of honor!

4 Things I Did Today (or 6 days ago, in this case)

1. I went to the gym and stayed on the bike for over an hour. With my notoriously short attention span, this is very hard for me to do. So how was I successful this time? I was catching up on my New Yorkers and got caught up in the articles. This one actually had me restarting the time on the bike. I'm a bit of a politics junkie and I enjoy reading all kinds of points of view.

2. I spent a good amount of time watching the weather, then laughing gleefully when the low went north and the TV weather woody was proved wrong. We'll see if I'm still laughing when I leave for home in a few minutes.

3. Consumed an obscene amount of coffee. I had a cup of decaf with my breakfast this morning. I stopped for a 4-shot americano at Tully's on my way to work. This accomplished 2 things...caffeine and saying goodbye to my sister who will be in Canada for the weekend. While at work I've had 2 more cups of decaf. One of the perks of my place of employment is free beverages. This can be dangerous, but hey, at least I get exercise walking to the bathroom once an hour.

4. Spent a decent amount of time ranting to my roomie because I'm by myself at work tonight. I'm feeling a little sheepish about that right now, seeing as the work night ended up being no big deal. It was the theoretical screwing over that had me in a tizzy, and now I'm slightly miffed over the fact that I wasted that energy for nothing!

4 Things On My To-Do List:

1. Finish Christmas shopping. I'm fairly close to done, but need a few more things for certain someones on my list

2. learn a language. Ok, this is a long term to-do, obviously. I would love to learn italian, french, and to brush up on my spanish. I used to be fairly fluent, but a re-scheduling in college (stupidly to get more time off with my now ex-fiance, I might add) led me away from taking more classes once I graduated from high school. I can still understand some of it, and could have a halting conversation if needed. But I want more than that!

3. Get back in better shape. I have all these goals and steps I mean to take, I just need to put my money where my mouth is. I used to be a pretty decent dancer, and it's time I get back to that.

4. stop rolling my eyes every time a certain someone opens his mouth. I'm not 12 years old, and really need to stop acting like it. Yet there's just something about this particular guy that gets on my last nerve and makes me want to punch him. Not good.

4 Guilty Pleasures:

1. Peanut butter. Now to most people, this wouldn't be such a bad thing. It's a fairly healthy food item, right? Well, it's not so healthy if you could eat an entire jar over the course of a two-day weekend. Which I have done more than once. It's gotten to the point where I can't keep it in the house very often because I just don't trust myself

2. Dance movies. I was a tap dancer for 13 years, and I still miss it dearly. After the new year, I'm hoping to go back to classes, in addition to the ballet I took up a few months ago. I love Center Stage, Save the Last Dance, Billy Elliot. If they're on TV I will watch them, no matter how cheesy the plot. I still harbor the little girl fantasy of performing on stage with a company on a regular basis. I don't have the talent for such dreams, but I'll settle for a once a year recital. For now though, I'll continue to live vicariously through the dancers on screen

3. Really good coffee. I live in Seattle, that should be explanation enough. I spend 4 bucks a day on coffee and refuse to feel guilty about that!

4. Bad '80's music. If it was popular when I was little, I still love it. I'm convinced I have the musical taste of someone 10 years older than my actual age, but I don't care. I get teased about it by certain individuals, but I will listen to my 'old lady' radio station with pride!

4 Random Facts about Me:

1. My shoulders are double jointed. It's creepy. It kept me from doing backstroke when I was on swimteam because of the way they pop. I used to be able to link my hands behind my back and pull them over my head. I say used to because I've since built up the muscles around the joint enough that I can't do it anymore, but it used to be a great party trick

2. I have the attention span of a gnat. I was actually diagnosed with ADHD a year ago, but other than acknowledging I have it, I've never done anything for it.

3. I harbor fantasies of being a surfer girl someday

4. 99% of the time I have my nails and toenails painted the same color. Even in the winter when no one will see my feet.

In which I rant about the impending weather woody

Seriously weather people, what the hell? Since when did I give you permission to wreck my weekend? From the sounds of one of the local TV broadcasts, impending doom is set to envelop Seattle for the weekend. Wind, rain, bitter cold, and...duhn duhn duhnnn....the dreaded s word. Snow. Are you kidding me? They're predicting anywhere from a trace to 6 inches depending on a low that's still forming off the coast. Now, I grew up in Wisconsin. I know how to drive in the scary white stuff. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I can do it. What I'm dreading is the other drivers who don't know how to deal with this particular precip. Not to mention I live on top of a giant hill and the thought of driving up that thing when it's covered in ice makes Izzie the Ion shiver in her slightly battered hubcaps.

Normally the thought of spending the weekend indoors with my books and bad movies would be welcoming after spending my work week up to my eyeballs in bad news, gloom and doom, and the occasional Santa suit wearing penguin. But this weekend I actually have honest to goodness PLANS for the second week in a row. Saturday I'm planning on getting the last of my holiday goodies, and will be meeting friends for sushi that night. If ice gets in my way, I'm going to be seriously pissed. I don't have a large people network yet, and my closest friends here are even busier than I am, so when we find time to get together it's a big deal from me. Weather gods, I curse you! Not since my wannabe tornado chaser days have I watched a storm system with this kind of interest. Hopefully the low shifts north and we won't have to worry about it. The next few hours will tell. Clouds, I've got my evil eye on you! BEHAVE!!!

And to end the post on a funny note....have you ever seen Good Morning America's "Three Words segment? It's set to music, and people hold up signs describing their week. Jay Leno got a hold of it and his take on things is here. Me like!

My 3 words to describe my week's end? NO FLIPPING SNOW!

Happy Friday to one and all

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wow, what a hole!

Christmas has come once again to the K house. As I write, F1 and F2 are huddled under the branches of the newly acquired Christmas tree. All 6.5 feet of it. And yes, this is a real honest-to-goodness sap dripping needle dropping wonderfully smelly pine tree. The ornaments aren't on it yet, but what IS on it are my collection of light strings, which I managed to untangle without bloodshed, gunshots, and a minimum of cursing, and the best tree topper ever. We're talking a circle covered in green and silver tinsel, outlined with fake plastic poinsettia and snowflake light covers, and green and red lights. And it blinks. We're talking the best that 5 bucks could buy you at ShopKo sometime in 1982. I still have the original box, with price tag. This particular topper is older than my sister. At some point, my grandma decided she didn't want it anymore and presented it to me along with other less memorable items. I would think that someday I'll upgrade to something slightly more classy, but for now, it's perfect. The sibling watched with a grin as I plugged in our ghetto topper and giggled to myself when it made it past it's 30 second warm up and started blinking. The blinking has no set time pattern either, it tends to just spasm whenever it feels like, which ads to it's charm.

This is the first live tree I've had in a few years. The past 2 Christmases I didn't see much of a point. I was living by myself, and in that first apartment in Little Rhody the electrical system was so suspect I was afraid I would burn the house down. And by the time Little Rhody Christmas 2.0 rolled around, I'd decided I wasn't going to be staying and didn't want to buy a tree stand only to pitch it 2 months later when I moved. I did have a foot tall table top number that served more as a feline chew toy than it did holiday cheer, so the real deal is a vast improvement.

I'm really excited for Christmas this year. We're talking little kid jumping up and down watching for reindeer excited. I can't wait to finish my shopping, start some cards, maybe bake some cookies. The sis and I will be going home to spend the holiday with our family, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'm blessed with 2 pretty cool people who also happen to be my parents, and it will be good to see them.

And 5 days off of work won't hurt either. ;) Jolly Chrimble! And in case you're wondering about the title of this post, I'll tell you that it comes from one of my favorite Christmas movies. If you can figure it out, you get a virtual cookie!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

6 Ordinary Things

One of my new favorite reads, La Belette Rouge, has tagged her readers with a meme and I'm jumping at the chance to chime in. She asked us to list 6 unimportant things that make you happy. Here goes!

1. Personalized license plates. I love them because they shed a little bit of light on the personality of the otherwise unknown drivers of the cars cruising the highways with me. I saw one last weekend while coming out of the grocery store that launched me into a giggle-fit. The car was a silver jetta with an equality symbol sticker, and a plate that proudly read "Vajetta". Whether the driver (a female, I might add) intended for the plate to sound suspiciously similar to a part of the female anatomy, I'll never know for certain. But that's what it looked like to me and I found it rather awesome.

2. My cell phone. The phone itself has seen better days. It's a Moto Razr that I've dropped so many times the keypad doesn't light up any more. So why does it inspire happiness? Because it's BRIGHT FUCKING PINKKKKKK!!!! I use the profanity because it's particular shade is just that obnoxious. And I love it. :) I bought it specifically for the color and not much else. Usually I'm more rational in my purchases, but I HAD to have the pink phone. It needs to be replaced, but I'm dragging my feet. The newer phone I want only comes in maroon. Sad face.

3. Puppies at work. My office is very dog friendly. Fridays tend to be the best days for at the desk puppy cuddles. I don't have a dog myself yet, but I love them. Since F1 and F2 aren't exactly office friendly, I'll take the lovin' I get from my co-workers' loveable mutts. Nothing makes a crummy workday better than writing with Travel Guy's Monster Dog resting his head on my knee. Seriously, that puppy is huge. I'm 5'7" and when he's standing on all fours, his head is past my waist.

4. Green Orbitz. Green of the spearmint variety, to be exact. I have an addiction to it that rivals my sister's nicotene habit. I would call myself a chain chewer, actually. It's something that started when I quit smoking around 3 years ago, and just won't let up. I have a pack in my purse 90% of the time, and will go buy more if I don't have a piece for my morning workout. It's ridiculous, but something that's a must have.

5. The old woman wearing the leopard print fur coat. At 7:30 a.m., at the grocery store. She was also wearing a ridiculously fabulous pair of bright purple pumps, and had a monster sized pair of sunglasses perched on her head. This is in Seattle. Early monring. The sun is barely UP at that time of day, thus making the sunglasses completely unnecessary. Which is exactly why I loved her entire ensemble. She had to be in her late 70's, maybe even early 80's (she looked about the same age as my own dear Grandma) and I loved that she was dressed so spectacularly so early in the morning. I felt scrubby in my beloved hoodie/jazz pants/hat combo, and thought maybe the next time I need soy milk so early I should at least make the effort to wear something other than a 2 sizes too big sweatshirt. This woman was like a postcard to me of what I want to be many years in the future. Fabulous grocery store gal, I salute you!

6. My flat iron. Now to many people, this may seem a little frivolous. But I have recently fallen in love with this particular appliance all over again. I have monstrously thick hair that's a frustrating combination of wavy and curly. My usual routine is the scrunch the curls and let them air dry. Which then leaves me feeling like the chubby 5th grader with a bad 1980's perm. The other morning I had some extra time on my hands and thought, oh why not. It took most of an hour to do (and my hair doesn't quite hit my's not long, there's just a ton of it) and when I looked in the mirror when the last strand was straight I thought, well welcome back! I felt more like myself than I have in ages. It was sort of shocking, to be honest. I always envied my classmates with their straight "normal" hair. And while 90% of those surveyed say I look better with the curls, I feel so much more put together and, well, prettier, when I spend the morning with the flat iron. Which I've decided I'll be doing on a regular basis again!

So there you have it. 6 ordinary things that maybe insignificant to some, but are a few of the little things that make me happy.

Now it's your turn! Tell me about the little things that make your day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where do the days go?

Mine seem to disappear in a whirlwind of coffee, working out, and work. The day to day routine, after a while, leaves something to be desired. I don't know what causes this restlessness, the dissatisfaction with things that have to happen to get through the week. I found myself loading the dishwasher with a sigh last night, thinking 'Is this what my next 10 years is going to look like?'.

I admit, I get bored easily. My mother is going to retire soon, after teaching at the same school for almost 30 years. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but can I picture myself doing the same thing for 30 years? No way. I've been in the same industry for 8 years now, but have changed my roll within 'the biz' many times already. Changing technology will do that. I love my current job, I really do. Yet there's that part of me that can't help but wonder what else is out there. Not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon, but you know what I mean.

The day gets lost in breakfast, a walk or a trip to the gym, the scramble to get ready for work, fix lunch, pack dinner. The 20 minute commute, 8 hours or work, the drive home. Another hour spent reading or surfing, maybe watching TV, and then I crawl into bed exhausted. Lather rinse repeat, 5 days a week.

So it's the little things that make the routine better. Bugging my sister while she's at work is one. The baristas at my favorite coffee shop who know my drink. Knowing the back half of my work night is spent watching one of my favorite shows. That fit of glee I feel when something I created gets picked up. Random unexpected text messages.

I have a short vacation coming up and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be headed home to visit family and some hometown friends. And that, to me, is so much more important than getting annoyed with my dishwasher. Maybe I just need to remember that the next time I'm feeling whiny.

After all, it's Thursday, the sun is out, and the smell of Christmas shopping is in the air. What's not to love? *grin*