30 April 2010

good food, good drink, good goggles, let's eat.

My mom arrived Sunday afternoon, and it's been a whirlwind of excitement since she's been here. And by whirlwind, I mean lots of long walks, cooking, good beer, and talking.

I know. I live a tough existence.

When she arrived, we made yummy pork chops on Sunday afternoon, delicious steak on Monday, chowed down on salty potato chips, artichoke dip, pot-stickers, and bell peppers & hummus on Tuesday (hey, we got lazy) and the ended the cooking/eating spree with tacos last night. Well, they would have been tacos if we remembered to get tortillas, cheese, and sour cream at the store. Instead, it was more turkey taco meat and salad, with guacamole and salsa on the side. As a former pesco-vegetarian (for 15 years) I am fairly new to this meat-eating business. It's pretty exciting.

However, I have very sensitive eyes (I'm a delicate flower, what can I say?), so I really struggle to cut onions. Even if someone else cuts, my eyes get all sorts of crazy if I'm within 20 feet. Solution: remember those nice goggle I got Amos for his birthday?

I wear them cooking. I'm a problem-solver.

Ahm. Continuing on... I introduced my mom to the local microbrew of Manny's Pale ale, the semi-local microbrew of Rogue's Northwestern ale, and the not-local-at-all Spaten Oktoberfest (add some international flavor you know? We cultured.)

While I was at work, my mom entertained herself by running a (rather humongous) set of stairs by my neighborhood, watching DVDs of Mad Men, being introduced to Modern Family, and reading Lipstick Jihad. She also went on a bike ride, where she got caught in a rather strong downpour. As a caring daughter, I called to check in once I heard the rain.

"Hi Mom. You want me to come pick you up?"

"No, it's fine. I made two friends. We're going to keep riding!"

Oh yes, did I mention that my mom makes friends wherever she goes? She gets it from my grandfather. I think it's genetic. Anyway, she returned to my house all muddy, tired, and generally proud of herself. I'm proud too: riding in the rain is one of those things that authenticates you as worthy of this perennially damp city. Kudos to her.

This morning, I dropped her off at the Amtrak bright and early. My friends, if you are ever in need of traveling from Seattle to Portland, I highly suggest the train. It's not much longer than driving, there's no traffic, and it's picturesque and relaxing. (I swear, Amtrak paid me no dinero for that endorsement)

She is going down to Portland to visit my younger sister, who turns 24 today (happy, happy birthday Megs!) I'm following her down this weekend, where we plan to go to an 80's night (costumes are REQUIRED), enjoy a carrot cake (that I'm baking as we speak, or rather as I type), and just generally have a good time.

Sigh - Life is Good.*

*Man, I wish someone hadn't made that a slogan for a t-shirt company. It kind of makes it sound commercial-y instead of just corny, which was the way I liked it.

29 April 2010

poetic self portrait

A yearbook's endpages, filled with promises
to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness
of a teenager's promise. Not like I'm dying
for a letter from the class stoner
ten years on but...
Do you remember the way the girls
would call out "love you!"
conveniently leaving out the "I"
as if they didn't want to commit
to their own declarations.

I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept
and hope you won't get uncomfortable
if I should go into some deeper stuff here.

excerpt of the poem Self-Portrait at 28 by David Berman.

thanks to ill seen, ill said for introducing me to david berman. 
Image from le love.

28 April 2010

why do i wait until the last minute?

Have This:

(Desperately) Looking for This:

Stupid dell printers are making this procrastination habit of mine a touch more difficult. Or stupid dell ink, rather.

I have an old dell printer, back from the dark ages (read: college). It's huge. It's one of those 3-in-1s that is supposed to scan, print, copy, and fax (wait... that's 4 functions... maybe it's a 4-in-1). Anyway, it only prints now because it's hardware doesn't get along with Vista. Sidenote: Yes, still running Vista because I believe in doing things the hard way, not the easy way (The easy way would be Windows 7).

It EATS ink. I've always had a problem with the whole "cheap printer and expensive ink" thing. I know it's a business strategy called the Loss Leader (aka razor and blade) pioneered by Gillette who realized that they could take a loss on the razor and make it up by ripping everyone's eyes out on the blade prices. Those b*stards. I'm more in the camp that I like to buy an expensive things to get marginally better prices in the future (I have dubbed this the "Prius Hybrid Strategy.")

So it was Saturday night, I had to print off something by 8:30AM on Sunday and I. Had. No. Ink. I usually order my ink online, but as it's liquid gold, I was putting it off and spending my money on other, more important things (nail polish, wine, and picture frames).

Down to the wire (ug, this is the story of my life lately...) I headed out to Target, where Yahoo Search told me Dell ink was located.


Target said Best Buy may have it. I headed to Best Buy.


The Google search engine told me Staple would have it.

Staples was... closed. (It was almost 9 on a Saturday night, to be fair to the Big Box Store.)

F Word.

I truged home, where (my hero) Amos found some color ink we hadn't used. He put it in and -- volia! -- I was able to print. Granted, it was bright blue but if anyone has a problem with it, I suggest they take it up with Dell.

That's it. There's no real ending to this story.

27 April 2010

me likey.

Amos, can we please have one of these? Please? We can hang it in our living room until we get a place with a porch. (I've already thought this out.)

I know it costs $1,800... but I still love it. If you would like to build us one on the cheap, I'd be okay with that too.

24 April 2010

not the gold-medal winner of blog posts.

I'm sorry. Maybe I should start there. I meant to have a wonderful post for you today. A good one: slightly funny, a bit self-depreciating, a tad hopeful - you know, my shtick*. I especially wanted to have it for you today since my posts have been every other day instead of every day. I feel committed to providing excellence for you. I hope you know that this - a crappy, photo heavy post - hurts me as much as it hurts you. Just know that.

See, my mom is coming to visit me on Sunday and I'm SO  excited I can't really focus on much else. I was going to write about it, but I couldn't find a picture of a happy kid for inspiration.On an especially disturbing note, why is it when I google "happy kid" I get a picture of Michael Jackson?

You know what, I don't want an answer to that question.

Long story short, I lost all inspiration for a "My Mom Is Visiting, Yea!" post. You understand.

I've been thinking of what in my life would be good fodder for a post. My bad bang day? Meh. Um... my drippy faucet that finally got fixed? Wah. How much I like Sugar in the Raw? Well, that may work, but I don't have the energy to make it work today. Sigh.


So here it is. A crappy, picture heavy post of things I found while searching for inspiration. Until next week, when I promise to get my sh*t together.

i wish my hair looked like that. my bangs are all sorts of wonky today.

 wah, wah - what a cute little monster. 

There wasn't any theme or anything to those photos and they are all from one source. For a minute, I thought this dark horse of a post was going to make it. Nope. Dah. Stopping. See you Monday.

*um, how great of a word is shtick?
** stop reading. This shiznit isn't getting any better.

22 April 2010

dear dishes.

Dear Dishes,

I feel we need to talk. To level, if you will. You have positively taken over my life. I feel we are spending too much time together. You're there when I first wake up in the morning, and you're staring me in the eye when I grab a glass of water before bed. You don't appreciate the amount of time I spend with you. Every day, I scrub, I rinse, and I repeat. You seem oblivious to this fact. You insist on multiplying like inantimate rabbits, and it's not okay with me.

So please stop. You're making me fantasize about one of these:

I hope you understand my concern.

Best Wishes,

PS - Rust stain under my faucet, you're next on my letter writing campaign. You need to clean up your act.

20 April 2010

just call me suzy homemaker.

last week was a busy, CRAZY week at work (story of my life these days...), but Thursday was Amos' birthday and I wanted to do it up right. In my family, we don't do birthdays, we do birthweekends, unless that's not enough time. Then we resort to birthweeks.

I wanted to kick-start the birthweekend off right. I had finally decided what I was going to get the boy -- my first two ideas, while fabulous, were prohibitively, mind-blowing, I-wish-I-was-a-kabillionaire expensive -- so I was down to the wire. Late Wednesday night, I ran out to REI and snagged some gear to support his newly acquired triathlon habit.  I mean, I didn't hold back. The kid got the Cadillac of goggles.

Then came time to wrap it. It was Thursday afternoon, and I hadn't gotten wrapping paper. I looked in the drawer and we only had duct-tape. Amos was due home any minute. I remembered some fantastic, crafty blogger out there who had wrapped all the Christmas gifts with paper grocery bags. Eureka! I was going to show create beautiful wrapped presents while saving the planet. Goooooooooo me!

Except my brown bag wrapping job looked like crap. It looked like an intoxicated 5-year old wrapped it.

Amos was due home in T-minus 3 minutes...

Mother Eff. My back was up against the wall. Panicked, I decided it was time to embrace the siutation. I needed to wrap my hands around the fact that I am not yet the type of person who stocks their house with wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, or even sharp sicssors. I began a staring contest with my abominably wrapped present. I waited for inspiration to hit.

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. Slowly, I started to unroll the duct tape. Unroll lots of it.

I made a duct tape bow to compliment my paper bag wrapping paper.

You know what? It kind of looked cool.

I also got balloons, broke out the Mud Slinger beer, and ordered the meaty-est meat pizza there is, just to really get the party started.

Score: Suzy homemaker is up by one.

17 April 2010

meet nikki.

My blogging friends, I want to make an introduction. to Nicole, but you can call her Nikki. She is an Artist, capital A.

Nikki and I went to high school together, and I only have fond, fun memories of her. Back in the day, it was obvious that Nikki was blessed with some mad talent. Authentic talent. Talent which she has honed over years. She is now prepared to take the world by storm.

Our paths have crossed a couple times in the years since GJHS (go Tigers!), and I'm so excited to find out that Nikki has launched her website: Nicole Arcieri Design

Check it out. It's pretty amazing, and it also has all her contact info in case you or your loved ones are in some need of art in your life, which I (obvs) highly recommend.


makes me feel all good inside when i see cool people doing cool things.

15 April 2010

shhh! can't you see i'm reading?

Last Wednesday night, my dear friend A. (of A Little Soft Shoe) and I were supposed to go to a lovely little dive-ish bar in my neighborhood and enjoy $1 PBR and $1 taco night (um, were close enough to college age that it's not that trashy. don't judge.) But then she sent me this and I immediatly forgot all about PBR. Books? Reading? While Drinking? In a bar with Swanky Dark Wood Paneling? Yes. Hell Yes.

So I bust out my Kindle (oh yea, I take my reading seriously), grabbed A, and we headed off to the Sorrento hotel to read some books. I was excited. I was going to be surrounded with... no, I was going to bask in... no, I was going to luxuriate in the presence of other bibliophiles enjoying happy hour prices.

When A. and I got there, it was beautiful. And quiet. Really quiet. The waitress whispered. We whispered back. The table was at the perfect height to hit your knees on every time (ow.) We ordered what were expensive glasses of happy hour wine and realized that swanky hotel bars have to pay for all that wood paneling and fancy schmancy seating somehow. I was starving and ordered macaroni and cheese too.

A. and I hadn't seen each other in days, but we couldn't really bring ourselves to whisper and disturb the other (silent) patrons. Instead we just kept looking at each other while we pulled out our books (A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius by Dave Eggers for her and No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July for moi).

We read. And drank wine. I ate my heart-breakingly small and devastatingly mediocre mac 'n' cheese. Everywhere was silent and the bar quickly filled up. Only in such a wonderful city could a silent reading night fill out and have a queue. I kind of loved it, and I kind of thought that maybe us Seattleites need a friggin' life.

After a good hour and a half, I started to get antsy. Started to have fantasies about screaming on the top of my lungs or flipping over plates of unsuspecting customers. It was time to split. Luckily, A. seemed to be feeling the same way. We packed up, leaving the others to enjoy their communal silence.

As we walked to the bus stop to head home, A. and I were talking (trying to catch up on the lost time) and I realized that I read plenty when I'm out. At coffeehouses. At coffeehouses that serve alcohol. At coffeehouses that serve much better, more reasonably priced alcohol than this place, with better food to boot. I looked at A. and she looked at me. Um, why did we think that would be so exciting?

Not trying to shift blame here, but I think we allowed ourselves to be misguided by The Stranger, who's author wrote a compelling piece about the completely-fantastic-nature-of-such-an-event. After all, he argued, it's just so hard to read and have a drink sometimes. But then... thinking back to the article...wait a sec, he was reading where?... of course he was bothered while reading in a popular gay bar that's known for its jello shots and dance parties. I would probably wonder what the heck he was doing he was cracking The New Yorker there too. Geesh.

I returned home to Amos, who was incredulous when I told him that the night wasn't as awesome as I would have hoped. (You mean it wasn't super fun to sit in a silent bar and read a book while drinking expensive cocktails?! No way!)

I rolled my eyes and went to go get ready for bed, and that's when it struck me.

I had just attended a very, very upscale study hall.*

Update: Amos just informed me that, for the last 12 hours, I had a typo in my title. whoops.

*ok, so this was actually a comment a poster had left on The Strangers comments. But I didn't know/believe him until that exact moment. But to include such a line in a story makes it clunky, so I took artistic license.

13 April 2010


have you all heard the term before? i certainly hadn't until (the always fantastic) etsy introduced me to it. it's like recycle, except you bring the said object up a level, make it a bit classier... i think. to make sure, i looked it up on wikipedia (what did people do before such a thing existed?)

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Brilliant. Look at these charming, creative, and darn crafty upcycled things.

i am in awe of these people.

10 April 2010

TGIF, thank the Lord

It's been a crazy week. The bike accident. Busy deadlines at work with crazy clients. A frantic 30 minutes searching for a set of keys that had fallen out on the sidewalk in a frantic attempt to run & catch a bus.

I'm ready for the weekend.

No big plans set in stone yet, but here's what I'm hoping for:

A movie night with fun friends. the big question - do we see Mother, the psychological thriller showing at the boutique theater by the university, or do we go and scare ourselves silly with The Shining, at a theater where we can drink beer and eat pizza in the theater?

on saturday, i want to go on a bike ride (the bike doctor said it was okay to ride!) and i love how a long ride makes me feel totally satisfied and tired. i know i'll be tuckered out and sore early, since its one of the first rides of the season for me.

 after that, i hope to play in my kitchen and attempt my first roast chicken. I got a new (to me) cookbook the other day, Tyler Florence Dinner at My Place and it has a yummy looking recipe for Roast Chicken with Wilted Lettuce and Peas. Before playing in said kitchen, I need to get over and grab some veggies at the Farmer's Market... I just couldn't bring myself to buy them at the store.

Sunday afternoon, there's a benefit concert over at the Tractor Tavern, a great venue in Ballard. The Blackberry Bushes String Band is playing, and I do love me some bluegrass. They have lyrics like 'hold back time, start the day with kisses and end it with wine,' which I think it a life-philosophy to which I can subscribe. Also, I'm hoping a good friend of mine will come and bring her new boy, who I have not gotten to spend nearly enough time with...

Doesn't it seem like the weekend comes just when you cannot. wait. another. day.
See you all on monday!

09 April 2010

things that would UP my class factor

i've gotten myself into a bit of a dilemma. it's nothing new, really. it's been a bit of a problem my entire life.

um, i like expensive things. 

 it's a bit of a talent, really. i can walk into a store and WHAMO, pick out the most spendy thing in the store. it's not like i have a radar for glitzy either. too bad this talent of mine doesn't make me any money... rather, it ends up costing me a pretty penny.

i try to lock up my spending habits and stick to low quantity, high quality sort of wares. Nice basics, especially while i'm renting. i figure the time for expensive things is when i own a place. and with the price of seattle real estate, that's going to be when i'm 55.

until then, i'm contenting myself with delicious, detailed, vivid fantasies. here are my latest obsessions, mainly centered around chairs, tables, and kitchens. (i'm sensing that i may need to have some friends over for dinner this weekend. my thoughts are all centered on food, sitting, and room for company...)

Barcelona chairs, to slip into with a glass of wine and good conversation

Philippe Stark ghost dining room chairs with a heavy wood table, classic shape with a twist

Eames rocking chairs, meant to sit in a sunny window and enjoy morning coffee

industrial chandeliers over a big table for loads of company

well, these pretty much speak for themselves...

is the weekend here yet?

08 April 2010

we've all had a boss like this one:

one of my previous jobs was awful. it was one of those rigid-button-up-take-yourself-way-too-seriously-jobs where the appearance of working was way more important than actually working. all day i'd be busy doing little tasks that didn't matter but my boss thought were super duper important. this sign was a humorous little reminder of the general absurdity of those type of situations.

via i can read.

07 April 2010

i was taken down by the SLUT.

By SLUT, I mean the South Lake Union Trolley, which was renamed the South Lake Union Streetcar once the powers-that-be realized the unfortunate (and rather hilarious) acronym. 

The SLUT rides (oh, i can't help myself...) on these skinny rails that are on the right side of the curb lane... where bikes ride. The rails are the perfect size for a road bike tire:

You get where this is going. Bike + skinny tire-grabbing rails = lots of sprawled out, cursing bikers.

Today, I became one of them.

I was heading back from a delightful lunch at FareStart (an awesome organization which you should look up - ahm, once you are done reading my post, of course), and I was biking the quick ride home when... BAM... I found myself in the other lane on my side with my bike laying feet away from me. A very nice gentleman in a suit ran over and picked me and my bike up and made sure there were no broken bones. ("ARE YOU OKAY? MOVE YOUR WRISTS! CAN YOU MOVE YOUR WRISTS?!" He was very sweet and very earnest.)

I walked my bike for awhile, waiting for my hands to stop shaking, and I gave a silent thankful prayer that no cars had been around me when I fell (car vs. biker is not a game I want to play). I then noticed that my chain had come off my bike, and until that was fixed, there was no way I could ride home. Mother Eff.

Baptism by fire: I was (slowly) able to figure out how to put my chain back on my bike and make sure my gears were working. Then I (slowly) petaled, grandma-style, home where I lugged my bike up to my apartment and sat down to check out my war wounds.

As soon as I scrubbed the grease from my fingers, I called my mom to ask: "Ma, how do I clean road rash?" (An really efficient way to get your mother's attention, btw.) Then I dunked my elbow, knuckles, and upper thigh in hydrogen peroxide. Which. Hurt. A. Lot.

Naturally, this is when I take a break to take some photos. Because if I'm going to have war wounds, I'm going to show you them, for shizzle. I'm no martyr. Please note: I was wearing a jacket at the time of this fall. Several layers of my skin came off upon meeting the asphalt, even through my jacket.

There's also a big road rash on my upper thigh, but I think I might regret putting a picture of my ass on the internet.

After I was done taking pictures of my what-I-can-only-hope-turn-into-badass-scars, I looked more closely at my bike, which now has bent handlebars and the left gear shifter is wonky. WAH WAH, guess I'm making myself an appointment with the bike tuner.

Let's just say that I'm driving anywhere else I have to go today.

Pictures (in order) from Zazzle and The Seattle Times.

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