Sunday, December 21, 2008

What happens when it snows in Seattle?

We go out and play!

Here's me, bundled up in front of our apt. We got about 8" of snow, right in the middle of Seattle (which means they got a heckuva lot more out in the mountains).


Here's our street, with all the cars covered in snow. You can't see it very well in the picture but the snow has been flattened by SLEDDERS and X-COUNTRY SKIERS, no cars. Only one car has dared to drive on our street all day, as far as we can tell.

For those of you who are wondering about our travel plans, here's the story:

We were scheduled to fly out for the midwest for the holidays at 6:15 am Sunday morning. At about 6 pm Saturday night, Thundersnow Storm No. 2 hit with full flurry and by 10 pm when we went to bed we had already gotten 4 inches of snow, Alaska Airlines had canceled most of their flights overnight and Sunday morning, and the towncar service that was taking us to the airport had canceled (their one bad-weather vehicle just went out of commission in a snow-related accident). We knew that 1) we were going to have a heckuva time getting to the airport in the morning and 2) our flight would most likely be canceled. We packed anyway, just in case, and I went to bed to read my new favorite vampire book, Twilight. My very Studly Hubby stayed up a little later to call all the taxi, shuttle, and towncar services in town and scour through the snow-emergency bus schedules, but came to bed without any promising leads.

We set the alarm for 2:30 am with the intention of getting up, checking the flight status, and if it hadn't been canceled trying to get to the airport (our alternative plan was to pay the penalty to rebook the flight). At 2 am, the phone rang with a message from the airline that our flight had been canceled. We whooped for joy and relief. They automatically rebooked us for an already-full flight on Monday, we got our return flight changed and our rental car changed, and we are now all set with a much better plan. Hopefully this time we can actually get to the airport and get on the plane and get out of Seattle. Stupid snow!

I hope to see some of you soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thundersnow!!

Thunder is SO rare here, and so is snow, so when we had the two together last night, the headlines all over the news in the morning read 'THUNDERSNOW'... oh my, what a story! Good thing I'm from the midwest so I know how to recognize these immediately.

The city has been shut down. Even in the midwest, this would have been one heckuva storm. We had something like 6 inches, and most of it stuck because it's FREEZING outside (in the 20s). People were sledding down neighborhood streets and snowboarding down closed freeway ramps. Because nobody here knows how to drive in snow, the city only has two snowplows, and it's REALLY HILLY, lots of streets simply get closed and everybody stays at home when it snows. That means... SNOW DAY!!! oh, what glory it is.

You can find some GREAT photos on the Seattle PI website:A jacknived bus downtown. The buses were on snow routes only (which means no hills) but still were slip-sliding all over the place. Those poor bus drivers! Plus nobody wanted to drive so the buses were very full.

A snowboarder goes down a city street in West Seattle. What fun! It would be hard to fall though.

I'm used to snow and cold but one thing I'm not used to is the concept of using chains on your tires. When it snows out here it's serious business and everyone goes for their chains (chains are required in the mountain passes). The busses all had chains and lots of cars did too. They make this awful grinding sound on the roads but they sure do help with traction!

Tomorrow I will be heading in to work, on foot, so I can get a few things done before I leave for the holiday. Microsoft is shut down, schools are already cancelled, and it will be a ghost town at work tomorrow. Time to party!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Workin' out in Cowboy Boots!

The other day my Studly Hubby picked me up from work and we drove to the gym, but when we got there we realized that my gym bag had been left at home. It takes 15 minutes to get to the gym, so it would take as long to go back and get my stuff as it would for the Studly Hubby to just work out for 30 minutes, so I decided to just wait for him. And then I realized it takes me about 25 minutes to do all my physical therapy exercises and if the Studly Hubby loaned me his Studly sweatpants (that he was wearing over his shorts) I could easily do that while I waited. The problem was, we are supposed to wear shoes out on the gym floor at all times and the only shoes I had were the ones I had on - my Ariat FatBaby cowboy boots (below):

As I have told you all before (more than once), these are totally rad boots. But they are definitely not gym appropriate. Especially when you are wearing them over too-big sweatpants and trying to work out at a gym.

But I am strong and I persevered. First, I stood in front of the full-length mirror in the locker room and psyched myself up. I looked like an idiot, but an idiot with some sort of purpose (because nobody goes out in public looking that dumb without a purpose). So I puffed out my chest and marched on out.

And... nobody noticed or cared. And the boots are quite comfortable! Now that I am safely through this experience, I can say that I'm glad I bravely put myself out there. But if you have been dying to wear cowboy boots to the gym, you may still want to proceed with caution... it might have just been a lucky night.

Taped Foot!

My physical therapist taped my foot on Monday!!

She wanted to test the theory that orthotics will alleviate my knee problems. She put tape across the arch so that when I'm bearing weight my arch can't collapse. It feels so weird!! I think it helped a little too, although it doesn't resolve the issue (that my ankle is stiff so I'm turning my foot in because I can't bend it as I normally should).

Having a taped up foot makes me feel really athletic. While I was at the gym, I strutted around barefoot for a few minutes to show off, but nobody noticed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bells toll for the Dahlia

We left a Christmas party Saturday night and found that while we were at the party, Seattle had turned into a winter wonderland. For those of you who are not aware, this is rare for Seattle. It rarely gets below 40F and hardly ever snows. Not only did it snow cats and dogs on Saturday night, but the snow stuck all the way through today and now it's supposed to snow some more! Even though it is only in the 20s, it feels like it is frigidly cold out there (it's all about your perspective) and it reminded me of my roots (the midwest) so I wore my big warm Minnesota sweatshirt on Monday. I hear it's even COLDER back in the midwest and I shiver to even think about it.

The cold brought two things worth telling you about:
1) our Dahlia, which bloomed very late (September) and had a very happy fall, was doing just fine until Saturday night when it got covered in snow and then died. I took a picture of it right before it died, when it was still blooming beautifully under a fresh dusting of snow.


2) our neighbor's dog, Zephyr, enjoyed the snow and posed dramatically for this great shot:

3) I got out my wonderful ELECTRIC BLANKET and had a fine time snuggling underneath it with the temperature cranked up to ELEVEN all night last night. Oh, what wonderfulness!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cauliflower!!!

We took a picture of these two different weird-o kinds of cauliflower at the co-op yesterday. The one on the right is clearly 'purple' cauliflower and I already forgot the name of the one on the left but we bought some because it was just too weird not too.

One good thing about getting a random assortment of veggies every other week is that you get used to and even start to enjoy having weird-o new veggies to eat all the time. Usually they are fun to look at AND good to eat!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Let's Talk About Facebook Status Updates

Two reasons:
1) it will get me more hits on my blog
2) it is an interesting topic, and needs some attention

So for those of you that are hopelessly out there (eg NOT ON FACEBOOK), there is this feature called 'status update.' This keeps people posted on your whereabouts and doings. I love it for a great many reasons, but mostly because it makes me feel more connected to friends that are far far away. If I know they are currently at the store or making out with the upstairs neighbor or feeding their diabetic cat then I feel like we are still communicating with each other in some small way even if we haven't really communicated in ages.

But status updates have a higher purpose: creative character building (in a very public forum). You want to update your friends, sure, but you also want to create something people will remember you by (in a good way). For example, why would you simply say that you're at the store when you could say that you just farted at the store?

The problem is, you gotta put some effort into it to give your status update that higher purpose. And I recommend everyone try because otherwise it's a Big Opportunity Wasted. But if you try too hard it all goes wrong and that's just a bad scene. So at the very least, update your status like a normal person and if you get a chance, throw something good in there every once in a while.

My advice: ....aw heck, I don't have any advice because I'm still working it out myself. But here's some other good advice: if you think you know how to write good status updates, you need to write a book about it! then give me a cut because you will make a fortune.

If you are interested in doing further reading, check out these links:

What kind of Facebook Status Update Loser Are You? (outlines the seven-plus types of status updater with some humor)
Collection of Great Status Updates (a blog with many very funny updates on different subjects - not sure if you'd want to use them though!)
Top 10 things NOT to say in a Status Update (from WIRED - read this before you post!)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ariana Huffington's take on Blogging

The Studly Hubby and I have gotten hooked on Internet TV. We don't get cable and typically get our cable show fix through Netflix. But things like The Daily Show, which is a daily news talk show, get missed... thus the need for Internet TV - almost instant access to almost anything!!

Well tonight we were watching a recent Daily Show with Ariana Huffington (of the Huffington Post website). She was talking up her new book about blogging. Apparently blogging is all about saying the things you normally don't say. And that it can be much more intimate than a conversation. And that you should voice your opinions and reveal your passions. What! I had no idea. I thought blogging was just for losers that have no social life. I guess really cool people can blog too! In fact, maybe if you are a regular blogger like me, that means you ARE a really cool person...

bloggers unite! we are standing strong and gaining respect, and we will come out on top (or at least at the top of the page with each new post).

The belated Thanksgiving Post

We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. It was quite the opposite of the stereotypical American Thanksgiving dinner - quiet, relatively simple (only ONE kind of potatoes!), and the man (my Studly Hubby!) did all the cooking while I hung around with my mom and li'l bro.

This is why Thanksgiving was so great (the things I have to be Thankful for on Thanksgiving:

1). The food was DELICIOUS - the Studly Hubby mixed his love for cooking with skill and fresh organic ingredients (mostly from our veggie box!) - oh, he is such a great chef!
2). It did not stress me out (it was our THIRD turkey for invited guests, and it went very smoothly)
3). The table setting was GORGEOUS. My mom bought us a beautiful fall bouquet of flowers, and we finally buckled before the guests arrived and bought new dishes and a new tablecloth. Plus we scrounged up some nice serving dishes and wine glasses and even used matching silverware.
4). We had red AND white wine
5). I was in EXCELLENT company - all the way from Iowa!!

Some pictures:


The Studly Hubby has a pre-dinner toast to all the good food and good company!


We all sit down for dinner (my mom and brother were the guests). Doesn't the table look pretty?


The beautiful fall bouquet my mom bought for us, and a pumpkin pie pumpkin! It came in our "Thanksgiving" veggie box along with the potatoes, celery, zucchini, brussel sprouts, and carrots that were used for the meal. I actually prefer pumpkin from the can for my pumpkin pies (I am very picky) so after Thanksgiving I traded the pumpkin with a co-worker for two acorn squashes which we will enthusiastically use to make Carribean Squash Pork (in the crockpot) - delish!

Even though I really missed seeing the extended family and my dad and his family, this was an awesome-fantastic (supreme) Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ever wonder about Kevin Smith?

Ever wonder how Kevin Smith funded his first movie, Clerks? (with his credit card!). Ever wonder what the story is behind his canceled Superman script? or why he protested his own movie, Dogma?

Well you should watch 'An Evening with Kevin Smith'!! This is a compilation of clips from Kevin Smith's Q&As at various colleges across the country. He is QUITE funny, and if you've enjoyed any of his movies (Clerks, Mall Rats, Dogma, Jersey Girl, are a few and Zach and Miri is the most recent) you will like this.

Some of his particularly funny clips can be seen on YouTube. I particularly enjoyed his story about protesting Dogma, and the clip of it on the evening news.