Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daylight Savings What?

It's that time of year again! Everyone get ready! And now let me tell you what this means for me:

The good:
- we get an extra hour today, which is really good because both my Studly Hubby and I are working hard on assignments - he has a homework assignment due at noon (getting more and more time-consuming as he nears the final stretch of his final quarter), and I have a grant proposal to send over to a co-worker, also at noon. Now we have an extra hour to work! Oh I just love working on Sunday (and all day Saturday too!)
- We get to sleep in tomorrow, and for a few days after that it'll still feel like sleeping in. Now that's a pleasure!
- It'll be light out when we wake up now (which was the whole point), which means getting up will be 10% easier.

The bad:
- It gets dark now at FOUR THIRTY. How is this normal? How can anyone deal with this? When I was in Minnesota, I always wondered what happened to our sanity right after daylight savings time. It seems to me that when it's getting dark at 4:30 you should be heading home around 3:30 or even earlier but people still go about their usual business somehow and just get home an hour after dark. And out here on the West Coast, the usual business is to get home at 7 pm. So now it'll be even weirder (plus it gets dark even earlier, and it rains all the time). Gag!!

So I'm just hanging on until March, when the days start getting noticeably longer and the rain starts letting up and I can start feeling normal again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hike Up Little Si

Sunday was absolutely georgeous here (absolutely GEORGEOUS!) so we thought we'd go on another hike. I consulted with our neighbor, who looks athletic, and she thought a hike up Mount Si would be good. Next we consulted our Hike Book, which we bought at a little bookstore down the street, and decided that maybe Little Si (a mini-Si) would be more like it. Little Si is Mount Si's little sister, is located right next door, and is only an hour hike to the top (vs. a four hour hike to the top of Mount Si). A website detailing both Mount Si and Little Si, with some more great pictures, is here.

Little Si, it turns out, is really a fantastic hike. It's steep and challenging, but rather short and well populated, so you never worry that it will kill you and you might die alone in the wilderness. It was steep enough to slow us down though. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I am continually getting my butt kicked out here by all sorts of people. For example, we were happily hiking along the trail when we came across a middle-aged couple and their six-year old daughter. The couple was helping their daughter up some really steep rocks on the trail so we passed them. Then, for the next fifteen minutes, we just about died trying to stay ahead of them. We finally let them pass us so we could have some peace. Next, as we're catching our breath from that little adventure, a woman and her dog pass us as they jog by. Jogging??! I was shocked. But by the end not one, but THREE joggers passed us on the trail. As if climbing up steep rock isn't hard enough, these people feel like they need to jog it. I shook my fist at one of them as they breezed past.

But oh! The top was beautiful. There was a large flat rock overlooking Mount Si on one side and the flatlands on the other, and everyone that had passed us on the trail was sprawled out enjoying the view and handing out twizzlers to their kids and small pets. I did a little yoga (I felt inspired), we each ate a victory apple, then we set off to hike back down. Then we took ourselves out for some Chinese food.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A 100-Hit Day

I got over 100 hits to my blog today. For some reason, the whole world is looking at a picture I have of Dog the Bounty Hunter this week. Well, I take what I can get and I'm excited to hit 100 today, whatever the reason.

Happy 100 to ME!!

Maybe that's lucky, and I should go do some risky thing like rob a bank to see whether the luck carries over.

Cruising the Neighborhood

Our new neighborhood totally rocks out. It is called Wallingford, and despite being right in the middle of Seattle it is considered a "quiet" and "close-knit" neighborhood. We have found that to be exactly the case. It almost has a small-town feel (except the houses are worth $500,000 plus and each placed on little itty-bitty plots of land). So when the weather was amazing on Sat I had to take a break and go out and take a few pictures to show you all my new digs.

The top picture is of our apt, which is the bottom of a triplex. From the front, all you see are our two little bottom windows and it doesn't look like much, but around back it's all ground-level and it's actually a very nice place.

The next picture is of the roundabout at the end of our block. There are lots of these in our neighborhood to keep heavy traffic out (it works) and they are often full of flowers (but I still don't know who keeps them maintained...).

The third picture down is an example of one of the many fancy houses that we're surrounded by. There are also quite a few 2-3 bdr homes, it seems to be a mixed neighborhood. People here have money, but it doesn't get flaunted around too badly. You see quite a few nice cars but they are often parked on the street and need to be washed. You see super fancy houses like the one above, but the lawn might be brown or it may end up being a rental property.

I tried to get a nice picture of the view. We live on the side of a hill facing the water, and across the water is downtown Seattle. It's a spectacular view. This means, at the end of each block, if you look south you gasp in amazement (especially on a clear night when downtown is all lit up). Unfortunately it wasn't very photogenic, perhaps because it's a bit far away so in the photograph all you see are the cars in front of the camera. Our neighborhood also has a nice playground about ten blocks away from us, and small but very popular shopping area with a grocery store (QFC), some restaraunts, and a few small but useful shops. I took pictures of all that but again it didn't turn out all that great, because there were people and cars everywhere and all I could get was one shop at a time instead of the whole experience. If you really want an idea of our neighborhood you may just have to come visit us. But hopefully the pictures helped.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dog the Bounty Hunter, Season 2

I've gotten an extraordinary number of hits from people doing searches for Dog the Bounty Hunter (pictured at left), which reminded me to post a blog about Season 2 of this spectacular show.

Season 2 was even better than Season 1. His wife Beth gets into a brawl in a motel parking lot (thanks to her dirty mouth), his son Leland is still uber-hot and throws a few hard-swung punches in to defend Beth in that motel parking lot, the blond 7-yr-old gets a mullet just like his daddy (Dog), and it somehow looks cute, and Beth's boobs are as big as ever.

If you want verification that Beth indeed had a boob job, check out the Special Features of the Season 1 disk - in it is the "pilot" episode where she has her original boobs - much more normal looking.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My Studly Hubby and his cookies

My Studly Hubby made some chocolate chip cookies the other night (which contributes towards my unwavering loyalty to him). A few mornings later, I was helping him pack his lunch and I asked "how many cookies do you want for your lunch?" to which he replied "5" and I said "whoa! that's a lot!" and he replied

"DON'T JUDGE ME!"

Don't worry Studly Hubby, I won't judge your cookie love. If anything, it makes you a better man.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Questionnaire Answers

I found on Newt's Muse, a blog I've started reading, a template for some questions that looked like fun to answer. My Studly Hubby, who is really good at these things, helped me spice it up. So here it is (get ready!) - the questions are in black and my answers are in blue:

Winter Holiday of Your Choice Blog Extravaganza Gift Exchange Questionnaire Answers


If I could, I'd invent arm warmers, because damn it, the world needs these .

If you came over to my house to play and touched my Studly Hubby suggestively I'd be a little bit mad at you forever. (Except chances are good that neither of us would notice.)

The color mustard yellow makes me want to shave my eyeballs with acheese grater.
The color blue is so beautiful that when I see them, abeam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest onions, or look at President Bushy-poo.

An itchy ear gives me the willies and I might need to consider afrontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.

I love the feel of scabs so much I want to hump them like a puppy ona sofa pillow. (Seriously. Scabs feel so weird it's good.)

No one should have to watch me eat Girl Scout Cookies, because then I might consider being polite enough to share, and I don't want to share them.

If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I'd be my own biggest customer: roses

Three things I like that anyone might like: Walking, dark chocolate, Dairy Queen

Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: Brewer's Yeast, dried squid, hot yoga

I have TOO MANY jeans, and not enough jeans.

Okay, we know the best things in life aren't things, but these are the best things in life if there are going to be best things: 1989 Toyota Camries (especially red ones).

It's true, I'm flatulent. I'm learning to be proud of it.

If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose total peeing freedom and use it to pee on the ceiling OR out the car window . One or the other.

And
If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be: Thanksgiving! This has the best food and most time for family.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Arrest Warrant for Wesley Snipes

Do you all remember Wesley Snipes? He was the fondly remembered hero of "Blade" (and he was in "White Men Can't Jump!"), and now he's WANTED for tax evasion (and nobody can find him!). Apparently he had a lousy accountant who got caught helping some other big money-earners evade their taxes (these lousy accountant types get part of the tax return as payment). Wesley Snipes was one of the clients. The accountant claimed Mr. Snipes' total income was zero and he got a 7 million dollar tax refund.

I'd like a 7 million dollar tax refund.

I don't think I need to explain my opinion on this one.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Max the Pig-Dog



So we had an exciting weekend with Max, the Pig-Dog (the pictures are of him in our kitchen). It turns out he is much better behaved than his owner let on, at least during the day. He never so much as considered going potty in our apartment and was pretty calm about the whole getting-ripped-from-his-home-with-no-warning ordeal. Upon his arrival, he happily trotted all around our apartment and checked it out, then snorfed around in the corners looking for food, then plopped down on the couch like he owned the place. We took him out for a few long walks, the Studly Hubby played ball with him a bit, and then we all cuddled on the couch for some tv time (this dog actually watches tv, it's cute). We were just starting to really think that getting a dog would be a good thing (we even did a little dog search on PetFinder.com), when it all took a turn for the worse.

My Studly Hubby always has a short night on Sat nights because his homework assignment is due on Sun. So we went to bed around 11:30 or so, and Max came into the bedroom with us and we pointed him to his sleeping-pillow. He tried getting up in our bed with us (fortunately it was too high for him to jump) but eventually settled with the pillow. Around 1 am, however, we woke up to the sound of him playing with his ball. I guess the ball is that much fun that he woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it and had to play with it. I got up, took him out to pee, and eventually he settled back down. Then at 2 am, our neighbors woke us up, which woke Max up, and he barked at them for a while, keeping us up and probably making our neighbors wonder. Then at 4 am, we both woke up because we were way too hot - it turns out that Max had accidentally turned our electric blanket on while he was playing with his ball. Then, at 5:30 am, the alarm went off for the Studly Hubby to get up. He says between all the chaos, the dog's constant snorting and my constant snoring he only got about a half an hour of sleep.

The next day went pretty well though - we went for an even longer walk, all the way to my work where the Studly Hubby and Max bonded in the courtyard while I did a few things in the lab. Then Max sacked out for the rest of the afternoon. I think if we do that again we may have to figure out a different sleeping strategy, and if we get a dog for real we should wait until after graduation in December. Plus the Studly Hubby is going to need some extra sleep this week.

How to make a giant Chihuahua

How does one go about making a giant Chihuahua??

Mess with the Igf-1 gene, which was recently discovered to play a role dictating the size of a dog. This may be a gene involved in making a type of growth factor.

There is actually something to be said for this research: dog breeds (purebreds at least) have less genetic variation than humans, and a very well documented breeding history. Therefore they make a great model for genetic hunts for, say, cancer-causing genes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Blog Dreams

I had a dream last night that I met Mad Cabbie. In my dream, we were at a big lecture with all my friends from high school, college and graduate school but Mad Cabbie was the one sitting next to me. I was showing him my new dreadlocks, which looked like crap because I have no idea how to do dreads. He was very encouraging however. Meanwhile my friends were trying to give various important presentations and couldn't get the microphone to work, so they were distracting the very large audience with various entertainment that hadn't been worked out very well. And some people I knew from Minnesota were very upset because they were failing out of medical school (even though they were about to graduate from a Ph.D. program, last I heard).

Is this the first of my high school reunion anxiety dreams? Or is it a leftover moving-to-seattle anxiety dream? It's hard to tell. But it was sure interesting. I found out after from my Studly Hubby that I was snoring like a train, too.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fall Colors

Fall here in Seattle has been excellent. It's still very warm out - all last week it was sunny with highs in the 70s. And now the leaves are changing colors and starting to fall to the ground and it's spectacular. I think fall is going to last a bit longer here than it ever did in Iowa or Minnesota, the trees seem to be taking their time and dropping leaves whenever they want instead of all at once. To the left is a pic we took Thursday night of a tree just outside our front door (literally, I took the picture from our doorway). It was already dark out by the time we got home (we get home around 7 pm) and we were heading out for a run. I can identify at least three different primary colors in those leaves. I hope they hang on for a few more days so I can continue to have a breathtaking scene on my first step out the front door.

By the way, the roses in our front yard are still blooming happily.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Urban Legend... or a True Story??

All this talk about dog-sitting brought out a good story at work yesterday. A friend of a friend was dog-sitting for a Great Dane (these are BIG dogs - compare with a chihuahua, left). A few days into it, the dog died of old age. She called up the owners, who weren't upset, but she needed to find something to do with it because they were going to be gone for a few weeks. They made a few phone calls and then told her that the best thing would be to take the dog to the vet so the vet could properly store it. The problem was, this dogsitter didn't have a car. As you may imagine, it's very difficult travelling around with a giant dead dog, especially without a car. So she brainstormed for a bit, and finally decided to put the great dane in a giant suitcase and carry it with her on the bus to the vet. So she lugged the suitcase onto the bus with her and sat right by the door of the bus, so that she wouldn't have to carry it very far. Then, at one of the stops, a guy in the back of the bus jumped up, ran over and grabbed the suitcase, and jumped off the bus with it before she could stop him.

Oh, what I would give to be a fly on the wall when that guy opened his stolen suitcase, expecting all kinds of treasures.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pig Dog

In the name of dog research, I am dog sitting for a co-worker this weekend. The dog is a 13 year old Schipperke (right), with attitude. She calls him Pig Dog, but his real name is Max. I guess his wide shoulders and frequent snorting noises make him pig-like. I think he's very cute. She's afraid he's going to drive us nuts, so she has set up a back-up plan for us in case we need to get rid of him - a kennel at her place. Also, he's known to bark frequently so we're giving him to another co-worker during the weekdays so he doesn't bother our neighbors. So, we'll just have him Sat-Sun. I consider it a treat. It's like baby-sitting for a cute niece. Only it's a dog that looks like a pig and barks a lot.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Toilet paper and paper towels

My Studly Hubby gets all upset when I put new rolls of toilet paper and paper towels on the holder "backwards" - he claims that there is a correct way to put rolls on (so that the new sheets are on top) and I can't seem to remember what that is when I am in the middle of doing it. He claims that the user-interface of these paper towel and toilet paper rolls is important (his words, this is what you get when you marry a web designer), and that when this user interface is flawed it can really mess someone up. I don't know or notice the difference. I also don't really notice different kinds of tea or good food vs bad food so I'm not sure if I'm much of a judge on this whole deal. All I know is that I'm incapable of creating a good user-interface with new paper towel and toilet paper rolls and now I get all nervous whenever I put one on because I'm sure I'm going to do it wrong.

Good news for this week:

1. I'm making progress on a paper I'm writing up from graduate school. It was pretty hard at first trying to remember all that confusing stuff, but then I realized I can copy most of it from my thesis and it got better after that.

2. We have three friends in Seattle now! Last weekend we went out with some people from Derek's school and one of his new co-workers, and even though all the school friends are moving away the co-worker was great and I claim him as my friend now. Then on Friday night we went out with two of my co-workers who are not only great but live next door so we will most likely be going out again (the bar we went to was two blocks away, too - it doesn't get much better than that!). I was so excited to have friends I could hardly sleep. Plus they have cable.

3. I have unpacked all of our boxes from our move. I have not yet put it all away yet, or hung pictures, but my nesting instincts tell me that it's definitely getting better. Now that we have friends I am newly invigorated to get it all finished and invite some people over. Plus there is a beer store down the street where I can get stocked up.

4. I have discovered a new favorite kind of beer, called Pyramid Hefeweizen. It is so good! It is like Blue Moon (one of my former favorites) only even better. And did I mention that there is a beer store just down the street? Pyramid is apparently a local brewing company near the Safeco (Mariners) field downtown, and they sell large volumes of beer in reusable glass jugs for all your party needs - now that we have 3 friends, and a cheap but good beer supply source, we could have a whole party! Or we could just go there for a tour and beer tasting sometime, that would be fun too.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Running in the dark and the rain

My Studly Hubby and I haven't joined a gym here yet in Seattle - so far it's been working out to go out running every couple of days and go to the occasional yoga class (one yoga class so far, but hoping for more...). The weather has been great so far and when the weather is great it's easy to get myself to go out for a run. But, when it gets dark... and rains... I'm not so sure. So tonight, it was dark. And raining (my Studly Hubby claims it wasn't really raining but it was drizzling and I think we can count that). And we went out and ran. And it was good! So, we win.

Screech

For those of you who are part of my generation, you have to have watched Saved By the Bell. And if you did, then you know who Screech was. He was the comic relief on the show - the nerdy, annoying, and funny-looking kid that somehow fell in with the "cool crowd" and provided entertainment for all (as long as the laugh track was working). Well, apparently Screech now lives in Wisconsin and is about to have his house foreclosed - so he tried to sell T-shirts to raise money to save his house. When that didn't work, he made a sex video.

Can you imagine? Let's not.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Donuts...!

My Studly Hubby and I moved into a place that is only THREE BLOCKS from a donut place called Winchell's Donuts. To make things worse, they are open 24/7, so that they can tempt us constantly.

We've been very good so far and have only gone there two (maybe three) times. Across the street from the donut place is an even worse place called Dick's Drive-In, which supposedly has the best hamburgers in town (though not quite as good as the good ol' Hamburg Inn #2 in Iowa City) and also serves up a killer strawberry shake. To make things worse, they are cheap, and fast. Tonight we went to the donut place. I had a dream last night about fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and have been craving chocolate all day because of it. If you have any idea why I might have a dream about chocolate chip cookies, please lete me know because I am clueless about it. The donut satisfied my craving - and it was much closer and easier than going out to find (or actually baking - gah) a decent chocolate chip cookie. Besides, it was kind of fun walking through our neighborhood after dark and peering into everyone's houses. I am in the midst of Interior Organization and Decorating in our new apartment and am very interested in fresh ideas. Plus, I am a nosy neighbor.

Happy donuts everybody!!