Sunday, May 25, 2008

First spring rose


The roses are blooming again! I've been neglecting them but they are blooming regardless. Picture courtesy of the Studly Hubby and our very Studly Camera (from the Studly Hubby's Studly Parents).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

FolkLife!

The Studly Hubby and I went down to the Seattle Center today to partake in this weekend's festivals - FolkLife!


A bunch of hippies perform music, make food, do various street performances, and sell their hippy artwork and the rest of Seattle comes to check it out.

We actually bought some hippy artwork, something we don't do but are trying to get better at.



My massage therapist was manning a table at centrally located massage tent (they had a receptionist and four massage therapists and were booked solid all weekend). I stopped by to say hi and she gave me a quick sweaty distracted hug. She has been wonderful to me and my aching back over the past month. She said she usually makes thousands of dollars at these festivals and attracts some new clients, and at the really hippy festivals she gets to trade massages for food and goods, and run all around barefoot!



We also checked out America's New Craze, the Wii Fit (they had a demonstration tent with lots of stations where you could try it out). For those of you who have your head stuck in the sand, the Wii is Nintendo's new video game system and the Wii Fit is an attachment for it that you stand on (the white thing the lady above is standing on) that can detect your movement respond accordingly. In the end you are supposed to get some exercise. You can do things like yoga, skiing, soccer, or play silly games they made up. It looked pretty cool.


Folklife took up most of the large area around the Space Needle and there were tons of people, vendors, demonstrations, and other activities. Really it was a lot of fun. We generally hit all the festivals at least once to check them out and this was one of the better ones I've ever been to.


One of the highlights of any event at the Seattle Center is the big fountain next to the Space Needle. In the summer there are always kids (and adults) playing in it but it's a georgeous thing to look at all by itself. There's a little too much concrete around it for my tastes though... maybe it's to provide some space for people to go in muddy conditions (I've been to the Seattle Center when it's muddy and it was not fun).

What happened to the crunch cone?

One of my favorite summer treats is a Dairy Queen crunch cone. I have been eating these for years and years. When I was in graduate school and college we would often take breaks and head over to Dairy Queen where I would relish the crunch cone in the bright sunshine before heading back into the library-cave to continue studying. In fact in graduate school we strategically placed our apartment within walking distance of TWO Dairy Queens... or maybe there were so many Dairy Queens in Minneapolis that every apartment was within walking distance of a Dairy Queen...

When we moved into Seattle we were hugely disappointed in the overall lack of ice cream especially within walking distance of our apartment. Here in Seattle the only Diary Queen we can find is way out on the East Side and after you haul yourself all the way over there they've never even heard of a crunch cone!

In fact when I do a Google Search for a dairy queen crunch cone nothing comes up that resembles what I am thinking of. And this is not some long-lost childhood crazy memory, it's something I ate just last summer at a Dairy Queen in Iowa. Is this just a midwest thing?

Well anyway, a new ice cream place opened recently in our neighborhood. It isn't Dairy Queen but it is homemade ice cream and they have exotic flavors like Balsamic Strawberry and Honey Lavendar and Salty Caramel. We were innocently going to the bank today and on the way we somehow found ourselves walking out of their store laden with their delicious homemade ice cream in several flavors. The lavendar is particularly hypnotic.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bullet Train

I'm so sorry I haven't blogged in over a week! I try not to let that happen very often but WHAM! all of a sudden a week has gone by and I didn't even blog.

Usually I just do science by day and by night I'm a superhero with a cape and flying skills and everything. But this past week I've had to do science by night as well, since I'm going to be out-of-office for a bit over the next two weeks (mom is visiting, then off to a conference in Boston and short vacation in NYC after). The Studly Hubby also had to give up his nightly superhero adventures (he has a great outfit you should see it). Yesterday was his last day at Microsoft until September - as a contract worker he gets laid off temporarily after every year so he can't sue them for keeping him on as a contractor indefinitely. Other than cramming three weeks of work into the last week so he could get his final project done, it's not a bad deal having the summer off. He can moonlight at some of the other awesome companies in Seattle, get some animation done and other personal projects he's been craving to work on (learning ASP.net was on the list), and he can collect unemployment when he's not moonlighting so we don't go broke.

Also on the list of things we've been doing -

We babysat Mz. Zephyr again, the upstairs-neighbor dog


I also picked my first bouquet of flowers from my garden (most of the flowers were already there, I just had to weed around them):

And the Studly Hubby started raising money for our fund-raising bike ride in September (for the American Lung Association). He's already raised $235!! Our goal is $500 each. We are part of a team of 6 and Derek is coming in a close 2nd right now. (I have ZERO dollars so far, so I'm a distant last place). Now we should probably start training...



If you want to donate money to help kids get to asthma camp and for lung research (which I do) and many other good things that the American Lung Association does, click here and enter in my name or Derek's name to help sponsor one of us in our ride. We don't know who donates so if you want a personal thank-you note let me know it was you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Facebook

The Studly Hubby and I finally Fell To Modern Technology and signed up for Facebook accounts. So now we're on there just like everyone else and you can come find us and say hello. No guarantees that I'll figure out you've been by though, so thanks in advance.

Speaking of modern technology, now that I'm laid up with a back injury, I've been watching a lot of crappy TV lately. Our new TV is so awesome it even makes crappy TV kind of good. My new favorite show is Gossip Girls which is crappy in a really addictive way. The first thing that got me hooked were the style-setting trends - now I know that headbands are indeed back in style and so are Converse, and I intend to use this to my advantage. But now I also know that teenagers really do use their cell phones like passing notes and blogs for spreading gossip. How interesting! What a concept!

I should use this blog for gossip. Here is the gossip around our house:

1. The dog we dogsat for this weekend has a secret crush on the neighbor's cat, but if you ask her about it she'll tell you it's not true.

2. The Studly Hubby got caught eating too much bread the other night and came down with a wicked case of the hiccups.

3. The strawberry plants in the back garden have been showing off something awful and one of them even flowered last week (the nearby basil plant is both shocked and bewildered).

4. Our new Honda Civic blatantly sucked down a whole tank of gas last month, and I had to pay out of my own pocket to fill it back up again!

wow we need to get out more.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Studly Hubby's Big Date

Like most boys with a love for video games, my Studly Hubby rushed immediately out to buy Grand Theft Auto (GTA) when it came out a few weeks ago and has been happily playing every chance he can get. One of the new features of the game is that your player can hang out with women, and sure enough, my Studly Hubby got a date with 'Michelle' early on in the game. They went bowling. She's from the midwest. I'm not sure if I should be jealous or not. I guess they haven't gone on a second date yet because he's been so busy roughing up bad guys and making drug deliveries, but the second date is coming and he lets me know whenever he calls her to try to set one up (and one time she flat-out rejected him and he moped around the apartment wondering why). Apparently his co-workers and carpool found out about Michelle and they frequently ask him about her so that anyone who doesn't know better thinks he is really dating someone named Michelle.

I played GTA the other night and it turns out I'm pretty bad at driving a car with a video game controller. Every time I hijacked a car the cops came after me and instead of driving away from the cops like you're supposed to do, I drove straight into a nearby building or off the side of a bridge. This usually doesn't end well, even though the Studly Hubby was shouting commands at me to help me figure it out before I got caught by the cops (which never worked out). Finally the Studly Hubby took the controller away from me and got away from the cops himself, then handed the controller back so I could take my time learning how to use it while I weaved around the city streets and ran into trash cans and light posts. It was quite an adventure.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

All about my eyeballs

I had a huge Adventure of Eyewear this weekend.

It started when I turned 30 and then almost immediately pulled a muscle in my back and had to shuffle around the apartment with a walking stick and a back brace for the next two weeks feeling really old (I know this doesn't have anything to do with eyewear but I'm getting there). This brought on a sort of low-level panic about the state of my body in general and I scheduled a bunch of doctor's appointments I had been putting off including one at the eye clinic (and another with a dermatologist, but that story is for another day). I went in to a new eye doctor last week that had been recommended and had a really great experience and came out with a new prescription and some new trial contacts.

Now I should back up for a second. I have a really complicated Eyewear Situation. My eyes have three problems, none of which are major by themselves but altogether it is just craziness.

1. I am near sighted, which is a pretty normal problem (my prescription is +3.0).
2. I am also far sighted (I know it's weird to be near sighted AND far sighted but bear with me), meaning that not only are far-away things blurry but I can't focus on things that are close up either, like reading material. Thus I need bifocals for seeing far away and close up.
3. I have a very minor astigmatism (prescription 0.75).

This means that my glasses are usually around $450, and unfortunately there are no contacts that can correct for all three problems at once. I can, however, wear contacts that correct for the near-sightedness and the astigmatism and then wear reading glasses when I need them.

My former eye doctor was not very good so gave me crappy contacts that didn't correct for the astigmatism and then gave me the wrong reading glasses. I gave up almost immediately on the contacts and instead just wore glasses all the time. Also my former eye doctor's clinic had a crappy selection of glasses so I never even really liked the glasses I bought.

This time around things were very different. After my exam, the eye doctor fashioned a pair of tester glasses for me (they looked like crazy-man goggles) and had me walk around the office with them on so he could fine-tune all three of my prescriptions. Then he gave me some contacts I actually really like and the right reading prescription and sent me on my way.

My awesome new contacts, which correct for two of my three eye problems

Instead of picking out glasses at the eye clinic, I went to an artsy private glasswear studio in the funky Fremont neighborhood and had the time of my life browsing their amazing selection of unique and artsy frames with some real help from the staff. I found not just one but a half a dozen glasses that I really liked and then the Studly Hubby and the staff helped me narrow it down to one that I bought. Sidenote: the frames were priced the same as anywhere else even though they were from independent dealers, however the store cuts the lenses themselves so in the end it was a tad more expensive, $500 instead of $450 - but well worth it.

After all that they recommended the most amazing sandwich shop, Paseo, where we had an out-of-this-world sandwich, and then they recommended a good place to buy cheap 'readers' (Anthropologie) where I finally got the right reading glasses. I was feeling pretty lucky so also went to R.E.I. and bought some sunglasses.

My new sunglasses and 'readers', both of which I can finally wear again

Next week I get my new $500 glasses in and can start sporting those around - I will post a picture ASAP. Hopefully this pair will last a little longer since I won't have to wear them every day. Also FYI my fancy new staff eye insurance (vs. old student insurance) paid for about half of this, which was a huge treat.

A Husband's Duty


Aren't I lucky? Well, I had to take him down to the market and stand him in front of the flower booth and say, "You are buying me flowers today. Those flowers right there. Now buy them." But the nice thing was he complied immediately and not only that but insisted on an even bigger bouquet than the one I had picked out. So he's getting there. And the flowers are beautiful!