Monday, July 31, 2006

Little Britain

My Studly Hubby and I have found a new great show, from the BBC of course. It's called Little Britain, and is a smart sketch comedy show with mainly two guys playing all sorts of funny characters, both male and female, hetero and homo, hick and liberal, all sorts. The two guys are shown on the left. The US seems to always be lagging in sketch comedy.

I HATE hills... but I like Seattle

I am hating hills more and more. First, there was the burned clutch incident, then today my Studly Hubby and I tried to go for a short easy run and it turned into a crazy hard hill run because that's what everything is around here. According to our neighbor we're only about a mile away from a beautiful lake (Green Lake) but I bet it's all hills all the way there.

I like Seattle though. Every place we've gone out to eat has been delicious, the weather is grand (a cool 70F, as opposed to the midwest's 100F heat wave), the people are super friendly, our apt seems to like us ok, and we're starting to get used to the traffic (at least my Studly Hubby is, I haven't attempted to drive yet and won't until I have to).

Plus I found my socks and underwear today in one of our many unpacked boxes, and we bought a super neato strawberry print tablecloth at Ikea. Man, Ikea is a nuthouse.

World Traveller

This is where I've been so far:




I found this neato site thru Peggy in Scotland, whose blog is full of interesting ideas. I still have a few more places to go (according to the site I've only seen 4% of the world, but that's much less because I haven't actually seen all of the US or Canada, it just lights up the whole country if you've been to either one).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Burnin' Down the CLUTCH

We are seriously challenging our clutch in this City of Many Steep and Confusing Hills (Seattle). We took the parents-in-laws out for a day on the town on Sat, got detoured by some popular parade going through downtown, and ended up at the bottom of a steep hill that the car just simply couldn't get up. Thanks to my Studly Hubby's excellent clutch driving and quick thinking, we managed a route around it and got home but were all a bit traumatized and the clutch a little shorter lived (has anyone ever smelt a burned clutch? I have). I was reminded of my first few months in Minneapolis when every time I drove anywhere I would have a heart attack because of the crazy traffic and jammed freeways. By the time I left there six years later it was all normal and untraumatizing. Hopefully Seattle will become like that (or we'll buy a new car).

This morning when we woke up there was a dead cat in our backyard. My Studly Hubby's Studly Mommy might have witnessed the murder but didn't catch any of the details as she didn't realize a murder was taking place until we found the body. Not knowing what to do and being new to the neighborhood, we decided to simply shut the window blind, which worked quite effectively. Eventually our next door neighbors found the body and dealt with the murder while we peeked at them through the blinds. Hopefully they didn't see us or implicate us in the murder.

Did you know that Grey's Anatomy takes place in Seattle? I just learned this tonight. It's on an hour later here.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

We've Arrived!

We arrived yesterday, emptied out the truck in the afternoon and then walked down the street to a waterfront seafood restaraunt and pigged out. What a load of work (the moving, not the pigging out). We are now gearing up for a day of Seattle touristing including a boat tour and trip down to Pike's Market. We also have to get the truck returned before we hit something with it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Moving Moving Moving

We are en route to Seattle right now (can you believe it? the wonders of technology). We have had a big couple of days.

First, I had to say good-bye to everyone, which has been ongoing for a few months but this weekend, and Monday, was the Big Bad Final Goodbye and that was infinitely harder. On Monday, I said good-bye to everyone at work, held it together till I got outside, then bawled my eyes out. Do you know of anyone who has ever cried when they LEFT work? Well, now you do, that's me.

Then, we had to get all our stuff ready for the Crazy Moving Morning on Tuesday. We had movers coming, so wanted to have everything ready to maximize their Amazing Muscle Power, so we unplugged things, pulled apart furniture, and kicked up as much dust as we could manage. Then we slept in it. I woke up this morning and immediately sneezed right in my husband's face. Being a generally cleanly guy, and slightly stressed about the imprending Crazy Moving Morning, he got a little pissed and gave me a loudly delivered Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze lecture. I suppose I should have learned that by now but I just never really understood the principal. Now I do.

Then we moved. It was great. The movers did all the heavy lifting (with some help from the Studly Hubby and his Studly Pop), the ladies did all the heavy cleaning (except I spent most of the time sneezing so it was mostly my Studly Hubby's Studly Mommy) and then we had a very nice Last Lunch at the Birchwood Cafe, a super-spectacular good-whole-food kind of place down the block that was even better after a long morning of sneezing. Then we jumped in the truck, which is at least twice the size of what we would have needed and taller than our building, jumped several curbs on the way around the block and headed off down the freeway.

Now we're in Moorhead, Minnesota (next to Fargo, North Dakota) trying to pick up some last snatches of good accent before we head off into the Westlands.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Packing Packing Packing

We have a lot of stuff. When it's all tucked away into corners and closets it still seems like a lot of stuff, but after packing all weekend (and for the past month) it REALLY seems like a lot of stuff. If we can find our camera I'm going to take a picture of the floor-to-ceiling stack of boxes in our dining room to show y'all. The trouble is, now that everything is packed it's getting tough to find some things.

We ran out of boxes twice. The first time, we went into my lab, unpacked a bunch of supplies (shoving them pretty much everywhere - sorry guys) and then took home about ten boxes. We also went to Menards and bought a few boxes, but the small ones were $2 each (we bought six, all they had) and the medium sized ones were $7.50 each. We weren't about to spend $7.50 each for as many boxes as we needed, which is where the lab came in. My mom bought boxes for her move (and gave us a lot of them), and didn't spend $7.50 per box, so maybe if you buy them elsewhere and/or in bulk they are cheaper (she bought them at U-Haul). But we didn't really have time to box-shop or order boxes so the next time we ran out we went to a local bookstore, and then the local co-op. The co-op had the best boxes; they were APPLE boxes that were not only super sturdy but also smelled like apples. We first stacked them in the hallway (we were running out of room in our apt at this point) where they made the hallway smell like apples and then we brought them in and packed them with sheets and towels which I'm also hoping will smell like apples.


Now I'm off to run a few pre-moving errands, then in to work for the last time (boo!!) to make some trouble for my co-workers and hopefully finish organizing a few things. Not only am I working up until the last minute, but I'm actually taking things with me from this job to Seattle to finish there - I have a paper to finish writing. I love it that much that I don't even mind taking it with me. But even if I didn't love it that much, it would be worth it because it's good for my career (both the paper AND Seattle).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hot Yoga in the Hot Summer

Went to hot yoga tonight, and it was weird - it didn't feel nearly as hot as it used to. Maybe they turned down the heat because it's already so hot outside, or maybe I've acclimated, I'm not sure... but it was kind of nice. I didn't feel as sick at the end and didn't get the usual dehydration headache immediately afterwards.

My new pseudo-booty shorts were really exciting. I wore my contacts just so I could look at them all through the class, and they looked GREAT. At least, today they did. Next month, when I've lost my spectacular booty because I haven't been teaching spin classes anymore it may not look so great and then I'll have to stop wearing my contacts to class.

The Zipper Situation

I have a pair of pants that has a fly that either always comes open or eludes my zippy fingers. I ran an experiment yesterday where I actually documented the Zipper Situation after each Zipper Encounter so that I could have some statistics at the end of the day. My results were fairly simple: when I was paying attention, the fly somehow managed to stay zipped. My conclusion (from this limited sample set): The fly must be eluding my zippy fingers. Next time I wear those pants, I will try to pay more attention.

Speaking of paying attention, in my last two weeks at my current job, I have managed to mysteriously lose two important protocols, and a rack that I have had and loved since I started six years ago. The stuff I haven't lost I am putting up for auction at a Bench Sale tomorrow. Now this is a neat-o idea (that I came up with all by myself): instead of tossing out all your crap when you leave, hold a widely publicized Bench Sale at your bench or desk, get everyone excited, and then convince your co-workers they need your crap and then you don't have to deal with getting rid of it. Everyone comes out happier in the end. I am actually not going to auction anything off or even sell it at bargain prices (although my co-workers really thought it would be more fun - but I'm going for less work, not more here) - I am planning to simply give everything away to whomever looks interested. The problem is, if there is a high commodity item (and I may have a few), a fight may break out. This is particularly dangerous where I work because there are two people with training in martial arts and a few other people that just like to fight. Hmmm, actually, it may be an interesting day tomorrow...

When I put up a sign for my Bench Sale tomorrow, it got changed immediately to "Stench Sale" and then, later, "Wench Sale." I'm getting confused.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday Update

The boss came back alive and in good spirits, despite being soaked

The ice cream sundae issue has not been resolved.

My pants remained zipped.

Weather Drama


Our weather looks like this (left) right now. My boss went out for a run about twenty minutes ago. we are expected to get "strong winds, large hail, heavy rain" for the next twenty minutes. And we have a special invited speaker coming within the hour for a visit to our lab. If the boss gets back alive and in time, he may be looking a little worse for the wear. We'll see how it turns out.
There is a war going on between Ithaca, NY and Two Harbors, WI over which city is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae. I have learned from my Wisconsin-raised co-worker Uncle KT that Wisconsinites are CRAZY about their dairy. I believe Two Harbors, WI will win this one due to sheer determination.

According to the official Ice Cream Sundae website, Ithaca is the home of the ice cream sundae and it was invented in 1892. Check out the website for a complete description and full history of the sundae, as well as sundae supplies, a description of the War of the Sundaes, and a how-to on sending a sundae-gram. I believe we all need more ice cream sundaes in our lives.

Zip up your pants!

I have this one pair of pants that I am either constantly forgetting to zip up, or the zipper is always coming down on its own. Now that I have a PhD I think I will use my honed research skills to vigorously test these theories. I have learned through my PhD training that I will need proper controls, diligent documentation, and statistical analyses. I will begin by documenting the Zipper Situation. What better place to do this than a blog?

7 am.

Zipper Situation:

My zipper is up.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Garage Sailin'

We sold some stuff at a good old fashioned garage sale on Saturday. It was over at a friend's house, who lives in our neighborhood. All you have to do in our neighborhood to have a good turnout for a garage sale is throw up a few signs pointing people in the right direction. Then, put some stuff out. Then, go out there and make sure people pay for the stuff instead of steal it. We had trouble with the second and third part (our friends put up the signs so we were relieved of that duty). For some reason, we didn't get our act together until well into the mid-morning, which is past the prime garage sale crowd, especially when it's hot out. So we crazily drove around in our friend's van trying to transport our furniture from our apartment over to their house in time to sell it. This involved getting through some construction and a one-way, and negotiating the lack of brakes and steering in their van. Apparently we did something wrong, because about a half an hour later someone showed up to the garage sale yammering about some a-hole that was driving the wrong way down their street in a big red van ("oh! that van right there! is that YOUR van?? I think that was the van!!"). We got in big trouble for that. Then, we tried to stay outside to man the garage sale but it was so friggin hot that we wilted and started hallucinating and found ourselves bargaining backwards with people (we will give you five dollars to take that dresser. No! ten dollars!). Fortunately nobody was interested at that time and then later we managed to sell the dresser for five dollars. And some pots for two dollars. We gave away another piece of furniture to a friend that showed up. And another piece didn't sell, so got left in the alley. We made $7 total. And we had to take our friends out for lunch, so in all we lost $5. We decided we did ok. Especially because we managed to sell the dresser.

FREE hot yoga

It's FRIGGIN' HOT here (near 100F) so I thought I'd make the best of it and do some free hot yoga in my backyard. Our back door served as a nice full-length mirror and I knew most of the poses so I counted down the time for each pose in my head (usually talking myself into something a little shorter than what they do in class). I did work up some sweat and managed to be a bit sore the next day so I did a fairly good job I think. The negatives of this free hot yoga are that the grass was a bit prickly and I got kinda dirty rolling around in it (and decided therefore to skip a few of the "floor" poses), and also I cheated quite a bit since there wasn't a crazy teacher yelling at me in my face. Also my neighbor got home while I was all twisted up in a pose and she thought I had gone insane (esp since it was nearly 100F outside). The positives were that it was very close to home, could be done any time, and the great outdoors made for an entertaining backdrop.

I taught my last spin class yesterday and then worried all night last night that I'm going to lose my fine rear-end within the month since I won't have any of my own super-fun spin classes to go to. So I'm going to try to make up for it with some extra hot yoga and more running (which I hate but am capable of). But I may still lose the fine rear. So everybody get a good look now. It's a beaut.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ransacking the Kitchen

We tore apart our kitchen last night. The goal: get out the tv stand we tucked into the corner for storage of such things as the popcorn popper, George Forman grill, and wafflemaker, and were also using as a table for the microwave, bread maker, kitchen knives and toaster. The tv stand will be sold at a garage sale a friend of ours is conveniently hosting tomorrow, along with my dresser and desk, and a few pots and pans. I feel like now that I am approaching 30 it is time to start using appropriate (and functional) furniture for each room. The problem: since the tv stand held just about everything in our kitchen, our kitchen floor is now covered with junk. Junk all over the floor makes me edgy, but I have the feeling I'm going to have to put up with that until we move. So get ready for some increasingly edgy posts.

Although I'm not sure what an edgy post would consist of.

Maybe a rant or two about various things.

Here's a rant for ya: snotty rich kids really drive me nutso. I hate the lot of them.

I guess I'm not that great at edgy. I'll keep working on this.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

DOG the Bounty Hunter

We found another great show to watch - Dog the Bounty Hunter (on A&E, we rented the first season on Netflix). Dog is a ripped 50's ex-con who hunts down bad guys with a vengeance, turns into a bit of a dope right after as he brags about it and then gets all fatherly towards them and helps them out any way he can (he gives each one a last cigarette before taking them in, has also given them money, good advice, and cut them slack on drugs they've found etc). One bad guy said after getting arrested by him, "ya know, I've been arrested alotta times but you gentlemen were the nicest anyone's ever been. It's been a real pleasure." It's really surreal. And talk about surreal! His wife, Beth, is a large blonde bombshell with two-inch hot pink nails, an american flag tank top that barely fits over her size DDD breasts, a mouth that makes you cover your ears and an excellent sense of humor. And to make it weirder, Beth actually had a boob job to enlarge her boobies to that size. Not sure why anyone would do that, but it certainly makes everything she does more fun to watch, even from a female's perspective.

I am a long-time fan of Janet Evanovitch's Plum series about a bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum and so was interested to see what real-life bounty hunting is all about. It turns out, a lot of the stuff in the novels is right on: most of the hunted are doped-up space cadets who skipped bail due to their own incompetence, and are as polite as can be once they're caught. The whole first season of Dog did not reveal any fights or scrapes (unfortunately), just some dirty chases and a few confrontations with neighbors. It was still super fun though. And so are the Plum books. Bounty hunting is an interesting sport.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You can't cancel AOL!

AOL is turning into one of those religious cults that kill you before they let you leave. Check out this transcript (you can also hear the conversation if you turn your sound on). What an ordeal!

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Bombproof Allergy Med Combo

As a chronic allergy sufferer I have spent my whole life trying out various allergy meds. Last weekend I put everything I had to the test as I spent most of each day sorting through dusty farm crap in dusty barns and outbuildings. And I found a combination of meds that really did the trick, so I thought I would share. It is made up of two important components:

1. Benedryl
2. Claritin/Allegra/Zyrtec (your choice)

Take the Benedryl by night (this is key; Benedryl by day is no fun) then take the other med (Clalritin/Allegra/Zyrtec) first thing in the morning (whichever you prefer, I've listed them in increasing strength). I'm no doctor (or at least not an MD kind of doctor) so I have no idea if this is an allowed drug combination - at the very least I wouldn't recommend doing this long-term. And I'm not really recommending it - please don't sue me if you try it and die. But when faced with some acute allergens it certainly was my savior. I used a half-dose of the Benedryl and an over-the-counter Claritin and was happy as a clam. I kept taking the Benedryl for the next few nights after I got back from the farm and never had any residual allergies either. What a deal!!

What I Found in my Desk

As part of the Moving Extravaganza, I spent the better part of this evening sorting/packing the Things in my Desk. Here's a sampling of what I found:

1. Millions of bobby pins. Where did they all come from? It's like the bobby pins were hooking up and having baby bobby pins.

2. A diary from Jr. High. I had to stop everything to read it. Boy did I obsess over boys!

3. 10 rolls of Scotch tape. Now that I know where they all are, I won't have to buy any for at least two years. Unless they get lost in my desk again.

4. 8 million pens (and a few pencils), most of which work. What does a girl do with so many pens? I kept them of course. I can't stand to throw away a good pen. I will stash them all around our new apartment so that I will never be without a pen.

5. Much dust. Allergy medication to the rescue!!

6. Loads of good stationary, some that I've had since childhood, most of which has only been used a tiny bit. I'm into cards these days, so it all got thrown in the Goodwill pile (whew!).

7. Loads of good cards. Kept them all.

8. 3 1/2" floppy disks, don't know what they have on them, will never know, so threw them out.

9. Several maps of the midwest. What does a girl from the midwest moving to the coast do with maps of the midwest? I kept them. Except the Minneapolis bike trails maps. I doubt I'll need those again.

10. THREE dictionaries. Damn! I'm one good speller. Or maybe I'm not, and that's why I need all those dictionaries.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Moving Tips

I know a lot of people moving right now, or getting ready to move, like us, and I recently helped my mom move (a BIG move, if you want my perspective) so I think I'm becoming quite an expert.

So, here is What I've Learned About Moving:

1. You can make money off of some of your old crap! So clear it out early and reap the reward. Half Price Books is a great place to take your old books, CD's, DVD's, and magazines. They even take stuff they aren't going to sell and donate it to the appropriate places.

2. Hired Moving Guys rock out. They know what they're doing, look good doing it, and don't cost as much as you'd think. You can find some at eMove.com.

3. Get free boxes from co-workers who've just moved. Or, if you buy them (U-Haul sells boxes) they will all be the same size and then easier to pack into the truck.

4. For long-distance hauls Penske is the best. U-Haul: no good (they have crappy trucks, crappy roadside assistance, and no guarantee that they'll have a truck for you - although they may be cheaper).

5. When renting a truck online, don't rent it immediately - prices are like airfare and can vary widely (ours dropped $800 in a day) - scan prices every day for a week or so to get an idea and then nab a deal when you see it and don't look back.

6. Whatever weekend you pick to move will be the hottest and sunniest. Wear sunscreen.

7. Take what you will need right away when you get to your new house and put it in a brightly colored container so you can find it easily (not a box that looks like all your other hundreds of boxes): sheets and towels, shower curtain, paper towels, paper plates and plastic forks, a change of clothes, tylenol, allergy medication, poison ivy treatment, soap, and lots of booze.

8. Your purse and other things you need should be put someplace safe ("safe" is NOT on the floor in the living room or on the kitchen table, things in these locations will be randomly packed into boxes and disappear - not a good thing when it's the keys to the moving van. I suggest a "safe" place as the backseat of your car or your pants pocket).

Ok, that's all I can think of for now. Feel free to submit your own advice if you've got some.

Good luck moving everybody!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ode to the Booty Shorts

The ladies in my hot yoga class are not only ripped and mean looking, but they wear almost nothing - booty shorts and a sports bra at the most. Normally I don't pay attention because I don't wear my glasses, but last week I made the mistake of wearing my contacts (I wanted to see myself in the mirror but ended up looking mostly at everybody else). I discovered that A) my biking shorts, which go from my belly button down to my knees, just aren't going to cut it anymore and B) I'm not nearly in as good of shape as I could be. So, I set out to change that (or at least the first part of that, which is the easiest to change) and ordered some shorts from Adidas. These are not booty shorts, which I don't think I'm ready for. Instead they are "gateway shorts" (compare with pot, the "gateway" drug) which will help ease me into the more dangerous idea of booty shorts. Maybe someday I will cross the bridge into booty shorts, and then you will all hear my roar.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A new home for Beauty!

When I was 10, I used my entire allowance to buy a baby cockatiel that I brought home and named "Beauty." He decided after a bit that he liked me and showed his affection by squaking at me regularly, particularly at 5 am when the sun came up. I learned to put him in a closet at night and he learned to ring his bell when I forgot to feed him and we got along very well. Then one day I left for college and the poor guy got left behind where he was moved to a pretty spot by the window in a room with a heavy door so he could freely squak every morning when the sun came up. He made his home there and learned to ring his bell louder to get the attention of my mom and my brother during the longer and longer bouts when I was gone. And he started to like my mom and my brother just like he liked me and he would squak at all of us when we were together and ring his bell at us when he was hungry. But my brother went to college and my mom moved to a new house and we thought maybe he would want a new family to squak at. Just as I was thinking about who might want a bird, a good friend of mine from college wrote and said "I want a bird!" So last weekend Beauty went to Ohio to a new home. And so far he seems to like it quite a bit because he's already squaking at her regularly. I miss him but am glad that he has a new home where he will get all the attention he deserves.

Improv Games

My Studly Hubby is entering into the last stages of his animation program - where he develops a short film (this class) and then creates it (next class). So to start out, they had a session today on creative development and he learned about Thinking Outside the Box through improv games. For example, two people are sitting in a room wondering what to do. One says "Jimmy" and the other says "went" then the first says "to" and the second says "California!" and there you go, you have a story. It sort of reminds me of Mad Libs, which was my favorite thing to do in Junior High. Yes, I was a nerd even then. You never grow out of it, so don't even try.

Speaking of Mad Libs, you can now do them online! A nifty site let my Studly Hubby and I create one just now:

In 1600 an Italian garbage man named Galileo
expanded Copernicus's wriggly theories, but during the
Inquisition in Italy he was totally arrested. After
pooping for six months in jail, Galileo was
forced to jousting.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

Had a super busy fourth - had to:

- visit my horse at his new happy home
- visit my old college roommate, she came to take my bird we had a lovely ladies' lunch with our moms
- help my mom clear out her garage and all the buildings on her farm
- mow the lawn. I took a shift in the four hour job since the friggin riding lawn more is broken AGAIN
- help even more with clearing out the farm, this time the Studly Hubby showed up and we finally made some progress
- weed a little, sweep some, get a mysterious bite on my arm which is now swelling up considerably, and get extremely dirty
- get the standard 4th of July sunburn, I even wore sunblock! it makes no difference.
- set up my 78-yr old grandma with some farm chores. She swept, shoveled, painted, and even brought us some peanut butter sandwiches and cake! Go grandma!

But! I did not get poison ivy this weekend (I'm pretty sure). That will be a first for the fourth.