Monday, December 26, 2005

This year our annual Coney Dog Bowl takes place on January 2 which makes me feel a whole lot better. Since the party coincides with watching the major Bowl games, we usually hold it on New Years Day--hungover and miserable. But I'm looking forward to the party this year since we'll have a day to recover before opening our home to our friends to partake in this annual shindig.

What, might you ask, the hell is a Coney Dog Bowl? It's a time honored tradition in our home. Given that Pa is from Michigan and prides himself as a lover of Coneys-- which, if you don't want to take the time to read the article (and I wouldn't blame you but it is a good one), is a hot dog loaded with beanless chili mustard and onions. These are, thank God, only eaten in our household once a year, when Pa arranges to have two blocks of "Coney Sauce" imported from the Midwest. This year, Grandpa and Grandma have been our Coney mules, which saved us a boatload in Fed Ex costs and the blocks are thawing nicely--ready to be gobbled up by the 2nd.

Part of the preparation of the Coney Dog Bowl is the design of the invitation, which Pa does entirely on his own. The first Coney invitation featured our pal Moofie as a pup--to serve, not only as the Coney mascot, but as an interpreter of sorts--to provide a clear definition of the event.

Year after year, Moofie modeled in some more adventurous scenes, including posing with Audrey Hepburn or as a bandito

Moof was able to take a break this year when Pa produced a flyer designed as an invite to an art gallery opening. Titled "THE CONEY IN MODERN ART" the invite features artwork presented by the fictitious "Oscar and Cheryl Mayer Traveling Collection" with "closely held masterpieces never before seen in public including de Kooning’s One with Everything, Ellsworth Kellly’s Beige, Brown, Yellow, Maroon, Warhol’s Chili Cans, Stuart Davis’s Detroit, and Max Ernst’s tormented Zehn Frankfurter -Acht Brötchen! (Ten Hot Dogs-Eight Buns!)

The highlight of the flyer is the infamous "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp which had been defiled by his brother, who threw a Coney in the urinal and wrote "U.R. Stupid" and titled it "Wiener" in mustard as explained in the text below:

"In 1917, under the pseudonym 'R. Mutt', Marcel Duchamp entered Fountain (a urinal laid on its backside) in a show promoting avant-garde art.
The prank was intended to challenge conventional thinking on the use of found objects and taunted artists and critics alike.

Duchamp’s brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon was in attendance and was not amused. Immediately recognizing Fountain as his brother’s doing, Raymond responded in anger by placing his lunch, a coney dog, inside Fountain. Entitled Wiener! and signed 'U.R. Stupid' in mustard, Duchamp-Villon’s sophomoric message to his brother is widely recognized as the first appearance of the coney in modern art.

One would think, after reading the invite, that Pa has a lot of free time on his hands. Well, he does, since he's decided that sleep is for the weak.

In any event, the party will be free flowing with laughter and Coneys. And new this year (since we haven't thrown a Coney Dog Bowl since Na's been home) is that "the wet wipes will be plentiful and the sippy cups bottomless."

Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is Mr. Mom (you gave a baby chili?) But thank goodness Na won't go near the stuff!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Medicare, Shmedicare

I feel for the hundreds of thousands of senior citizens living in America who, after January 1, must begin the painful process of enrolling in Medicare Part D. Like anything with this practically worthless, fucked-up system, Medicare Part D has to be one of the hardest things to figure out, let alone apply for.

Why is someone like me, a 37 year-old, even remotely concerned? I'm enrolling my mom. And aside from tackling the holidays and dealing with the visiting relatives and spreading comfort and joy, I spend the majority of my time making phone calls to Medicare, Social Security and the Department of Health and Social Services to try and get what I thought were simple answers to some very basic questions. Today, I was on hold for about an hour and a half total, after calling the three agencies mentioned above--and each entity referred me to the other, so it was like being stuck in a goddamned traffic circle without a way to get out.

Oh they try to make things easy by automating their frickin' system so that instead of waiting for a live, clueless person, one gets lost in a phone tree, taking direction from a canned, clueless voice. And they try to make it personable by playing Baby Boomer appropriate hold music while you wait; but, honestly, wouldn't anyone have the right mind NOT to include "SHOUT!" as a hold song? Because, after all, isn't that what one wants to do when one is stuck on hold all afternoon?

It isn't just a matter of choosing or enrolling in one medicare-approved third party insurance company either; for me, it's about getting my mom enrolled after meeting low-income requirements and then finding out who decides to choose the insurance carrier: me or Social Security. Funny thing is, Social Security couldn't tell me!
I swear they make this complicated so that people will miss the deadline to enroll (which is actually May 15, 2006) so that they get penalized and will pay higher premiums.

I still haven't gotten anything accomplished and the deadline is fast approaching. I'll tell you though, once I'm finished with this mess, I'm going into business for counseling seniors because I don't know how anyone can get themselves enrolled.

Tomorrow's another day, eh?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ho, Ho--H-, aw hell 10 more miles?

'twas the week before Christmas with all of its stress.
I said "I'll run a race," and Pa said, "Surely you jest."
"You're running already--all throughout town.
Traffic makes you crazy, the malls bring you down."
"And that's exactly why," I said with a smile,
"if I do something for me, it'll make all this worthwhile."
So off we went--two hours away,
way down to Olympia on a chilly Sunday.

The Christmas Classic Marathon was the name of the race.
It was freezing cold, so I quickened my pace.
I ran the half, all 13.1 miles,
I saw Santa headgear in various styles.
For two hours and fifteen, I was really hopping,
while Pa and Na spent their free time shopping.
See they were at the mall, all cozy and warm
while I passed lots of horses and a Christmas tree farm.

I wore racing Santa socks on my very cold feet.
They wicked away moisture and people said they were neat.
I carried my phone so I could listen to music
but it kept taking pictures, so I barely used it.
I carried Clif Bar Jellies and ate them after an hour,
but they went down too hard and my stomach went sour.
So the last half was a little harder than the first,
but I felt much better after the gas bubble burst!

When I finally crossed the finish, Na and Pa were on hand.
They took lots of pictures, they said I did grand!
There was hot apple cider inside of a kettle.
We noshed on doughnuts and candy,
and I even got a medal.

I feel so much better after running this race.
The Christmas blues are over,
I've got a smile on my face!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oy, the Dilemma!

Ok, so since our heating oil debacle is pretty much history, I can now move on to dilemmas that are more trivial, meaningless and downright stupid.

Every year, I get a new portable MP3 player--not because I need to be up on the latest technology or anything (though certainly that is a bonus) but because I usually beat the shit out of the one I have, thereby rendering it useless after 12 months.

Good thing Pa bought me my first MP3 player with a buyer protection plan--which, by the way, is TOTALLY worth the extra $30-$50 depending on where you buy your electronics.

This whole "leasing" program I developed started roughly 4 years ago when Pa bought me my first player--a Nike 120PSA made by Rio. It only had 64MB of memory (ROFL!) and it took an AA battery, but it sounded awesome and it was the smallest of its kind and perfect for running! It died actually two years later, and like I mentioned, we sent it in through our buyer's protection plan.

Even though I hated the fact that the AA battery died after every use, I decided to get the next version and was especially excited since Nike partnered with Philips. To me, the Philips Nike PSA 128 Max was an upgrade -- not only in memory, but the fact that it required two AAA batteries that lasted longer than the previous generation. Well it, too, died a violent death a year later and so I sent it in and last year, bought the next version: The Philips Nike PSA 220. Again, it was a great upgrade AND as an added bonus, no additional batteries required!!! The unit has a lithium ion rechargeable battery that lasts a really long time.

Anyway, it was great while it lasted--which was about a year and so after the headphones broke and the backside began to corrode, I boxed it up and sent it back for a refund, which brings us to today.

I'm faced with the ultimate dilemma. At first, I was going to cave and buy a Nano or an iPod, but after reading the sucky reviews for the Nano and knowing that the iPod is so, like, two years ago, I decided against that idea. Then my darling husband reminded me that we have a free Rhapsody account and now they make MP3 players compatible with "Rhapsody to Go"--which basically means I can load any of the 1.3 MILLION songs and borrow them whenever I want.

Sounds great, huh?

Yeah, well, Philips Nike has a new player and's probably got like the smallest amount of storage on the market but for runners, it's an absolute dream. It works with a pod you put on your shoe and basically, it will TELL YOU, through your headphones, how far you've run, how long you've run and your pace. To me, that's like the coolest thing next to sliced bread; but it's not compatible with "Rhapsody to Go" which means I have to be like everyone else and buy my music, not borrow it (Sheepish grin).

So what to do, what to do, what to do: Buy a great new MP3 Player that has ooodles of storage and is compatible with Rhapsody to Go or buy another Philips player that has the cool running features?

See? I warned you this was meaningless, trivial and downright stupid!

A Christmas Miracle!

For those of you intimate with our heating oil debacle, I'm happy to report that our homeowner's insurance is going to cover everything, except for the first batch of oil we ordered. But hey--$800 is better than $8,000!

Did you hear that big sigh yesterday? That was us! PHEW!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tis the Season -- Part Two

One thing I enjoy most about the holidays is baking everyone our dog's world famous biscotti. In a town notorious for coffee addicts, biscotti is one of the best gifts one can give to friends!

This was our original label; but of course, when Aspen died, and Mr. Na came into the picture, we modified it accordingly. The tasty flavors include: Double Chocolate; Chocolate Cherry; Biscotti Toscani (almond, orange and chocolate chip); Cinnamon Hazelnut; Italian (anise, almonds); and Lemon Poppyseed.

Want a recipe? Let me know and I'll ask Oatie to send one to you!

Moofie’s Own

Holiday Bisc-Oatie
(Tasty treats for humans)

These are good cookies so please eat them!
One day my good friend Aspen and I were enjoying our morning cookie and as my Dad left for work I thought to myself what a shame that my Mom and Dad don’t have a tasty cookie to start their day. Good cookies improve your overall outlook on life by giving you a good reason to, sit, shake hands and speak. In short, they just plain make you friendlier, and friendliness is a leading cause of world peace! So I went back to my ancestral home of Snohomish and retrieved my Great Grandma Sophia’s Biscotti recipe. And the rest, as they say, is history. May these Bisc-Oatie bring you peace this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

'Tis the Season

We have been on a party circuit since Friday night with no end in sight. Much as I enjoy parties, it'd be nice to take a little break. I never thought I'd be saying this, but thank goodness tomorrow's Monday!

On Friday night, we went to Pa's office party. There was a live Rockaroke band and of course, after three Cosmos each, Pa and I got up on stage to sing "Love Shack." Now we'll be forever known in his office as "The Love Shack" couple. I think Pa did an awesome Fred to my very busy Kate AND Cindy.

Yesterday was non-stop (or, rather, Na Stop). After Pa and Na came home from soccer, we went up to North Bend to hop on the Santa Train so that Na could present his Christmas list.
Cheeeeeeeeeese! Ma and Na aboard the Santa Train.

This year, Mr. Na fits into an outfit Pa and I had bought lonnnnnng before we adopted the cutie pie. Here he is---Mr. Johnny Bravo (he fits the suit) himself:

After the Santa Train, we headed over to a birthday party for one of Mr. Na's friends. Here he is with the birthday girl:

Now we have to duck out and get another birthday present for another friend so we can make it to another party this afternoon. Phew! I'm beat!

Next week, it's another party followed by The English Beat in concert and a 2.5 hour drive down to Olympia on Sunday morning to run in this race. Weeeeee!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Much as I've studied about World War II, I never spent a lot of time reading about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For me it was like learning about the Civil or Revolutionary Wars. They happened, of course, on U.S. soil; but so long ago...way before my time.

I suppose it is, in part, my ancestry that led me to focus more on the European Theater instead of the Pacific. To my knowledge, I'm not related to anyone who fought in the Pacific War so I wasn't personally affected. But, aside from that, the Pacific War was confusing. I didn't know why we cared about Japan's invasion of China, or why England fought over Burma, or the significance of the Battle of Midway. Little did I know that one of the main reasons we were dragged into the Pacific War had to do with oil. Hmmm...some things just never change.

Believe it or not, after I read Winds of War and War and Rememberance , I had a better understanding of the Pacific War's nuances than I learned from any history teacher in school; but it wasn't until I had the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor last week that I truly felt the loss of the 2,280 military personnel and the 68 civilians who perished 64 years ago today.

Visiting Pearl Harbor is a humbling experience. The National Park Service maintains the landmark meticulously, urging visitors to treat the U.S.S. Arizona with the utmost respect for the shrine it has become. Prior to visiting the memorial, we were led into a theatre to watch an overview of the events leading up to and on December 7, 1941. It was a Sunday morning, just before 8:00 a.m. when a fleet of Japanese pilots flew into Pearl Harbor from three different directions. A second wave ensued and by 9:45 a.m. nineteen naval vessels, including eight battleships were destroyed.

Silence blanketed the theatre after the film had finished and the crowd quietly filed through a corridor and onto a ferry that would bring us to the memorial.

Once aboard the memorial, I couldn't help but think that I was standing above a mass, watery grave of the 1,000 victims who perished on the Arizona. Their names engraved in the shrine room heightened this awareness and my sadness was compounded by reading clusters of the same last name which, according to our guide, was not a coincidence. The Arizona was home to families of servicemen--some brothers, some fathers and sons. But what had affected me most was seeing names of those who had died in 2005, 2001, 1998, and 1982. Those were the men who survived that fateful day but chose to return to the Arizona as their final resting place.

I left the memorial with a heavy sense of sadness and I wondered if, what I felt, had anything to do with experiencing 9/11--not firsthand, of course, but one who became paralyzed by the same fear and terror every other person alive experienced that day. Would I have felt the same emotion about Pearl Harbor had I not lived through an attack on U.S. soil? And will our son view 9/11 as I did Pearl Harbor? Because by the time he's my age, he'll have learned about a tragedy that took place long ago...way before his time.

An Open Letter to the Clerk at My Neighborhood Bartell's Drugstore

This got rejected by McSweeneys. A pox on you Ed Page!

Dear Sir,

Notice that I start off addressing you appropriately, for, unlike you, I have learned to respect others.

Now then, my reason for writing to you is as follows: At least once a week, for years, I've been coming to your pharmacy--whether it's been to fill a prescription for myself, my mother, my husband, my son, or my dog. My loyalty primarily lies in the fact that the store is a convenient 5 minute walk from my house--with the next closest pharmacy two miles away. I feel you know this piece of information and therefore, use it to your advantage as justification to be a collossal asshole to me every time I come to the store.

I have no idea what it is about me you despise. I know it can't be my three year-old son, since you've often initiated conversation with him and have indicated to me before how much you adore children; nor is it a reaction to the way in which I treat you since, despite the fact you've earned zero respect from me, I still manage to force a smile while I give you my order. No, if I were to take an educated guess--it would be that you're a crabby old fart who's just sitting out the rest of your working days behind a pharmacy counter, doing nothing more than the two things you absolutely must do to keep your job: take prescriptions and, once filled by the pharamcist, ring it up.

Case in point: Last Thursday when my son and I arrived to place an order, you asked me if we were going to stay and wait to have it filled. I asked how long it would take and you replied, "Approximately five to ten minutes."

"Great," I said, "we'll wait."

"Shall I page you when it's ready?" you asked.

"Please do," I said, smiling.

Waiting for five to ten minutes for a prescription is doable with a toddler. Waiting 30 minutes is not. My three year-old is a busy child, with a busy mind, and hands that are equally as busy. No one expects a toddler to sit still for more than five minutes. And so, spending five minutes following him around the store--watching him play with the blood pressure machine, the scale, the chair massager, and then making a beeline to the toy aisle--and arguing with him for the remaining few minutes because he will not get a toy--is manageable.

However, doing all of the above-mentioned activities AND THEN follwing him to the candy aisle--arguing over the fact that there will be NO CANDY; and realizing that it's past his lunch hour so the child is set to detonate in T-minus five minutes; then, diverting him to the toothbrush aisle so he could replace his electric fire engine toothbrush, but realizing he intentionally made a left instead of a right to head back down the toy aisle; and prying his little hand from the strategically-placed toddler-level Matchbox cars and protecting my ears from the high-pitched shriek followed by a temper tantrum fueled by desire. And perhaps, Mr. Pharmacy Clerk, I might have remained composed if I HADN'T seen you from behind the counter WATCHING US WITH A SMIRK ON YOUR FACE as I placed my child in a time out for being such a little shit.

After several deep breaths and watching my son transform from a gelatinous mass back to his solid form, I approached the pharmacy counter and I calmly asked,

"How's that order coming along?"

To which you calmly replied, "Oh, it's ready."

And I stood horrified as I watched you walk to the back of the room--to where you hang the COMPLETED prescription orders and when you returned, I asked,

"Why wasn't I paged?"

"I don't know," you said as you shrugged your shoulders. "If I tell you that you'll be paged when an order is ready, it means that the pharmacist will page you. Not me."

And so, dear sir, my only wish for you is that when you're wallowing in your own filth in a nursing home bed, and you've pressed your call button for a nurse to change your linens, that the nurse who actually does come in, merely shuts off the call button and says,

"I only come in to shut off the call button, not to clean up your shit."

Sincerely yours,

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Heatless in Seattle

We came home last night from O'ahu to a very, VERY cold house! The furnace is kaput and it's Sunday--which means the repair service is going to charge us double time and a half for having a look see. Never mind about the parts...if they can get 'em. I guess that's the price we pay for owning an old bungalow, eh? The only warm spot in the house last night was the heated bathroom floor and I seriously contemplated sleeping there.

The trip to Hawaii was awesome, of can you go wrong with 80 degree weather every day? But talk about extremes! We went from 80 to 30 degrees in a matter of five hours. On Friday night, I got up in the middle of the night to crank the AC in our room. Last night, I slept with two comforters, a blanket, sweats, long johns, a heating pad (cramps) and my dog pal Moofie, in addition to Pa. I'm so frickin cold in here that I'm about to sit in my car for a few hours, just to enjoy the heated seats.

Well, as soon as we're up and running again (read: fingers not stiff from the cold), I'll write more about the trip. Honolulu was nice, though not as nice as Maui. It was way more crowded and a little on the cheesy side, but for the most part, very relaxing and WARM!

I really could do this every day.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Today's writing session helped me break through my clogged little chapter nine.

I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Only five more chapters to go before I start from the beginning edit it alllllll over again! But I'm getting way too ahead of myself.

As an aside, I'm currently reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and if you've ever read it before, you'll probably remember that it's a frigging HUGE book -- 1150+ pages in the hardcover edition. So far, I'm on page 230 and it's fantastic; but it's due back at the library by next Friday--so, uh, no pressure there, huh?

It's funny because I was at the Greenlake Community Center playroom today with Mr. Na and I pulled the book out of my knapsack and began to read when this woman came up to me and said,

"Oh, that's such a great book. How do you manage to get through something like that in here?"

I laughed because I hardly noticed the high-pitched shrieks and annoying sounds coming from the assorted, woebegone toys until she said something.

"Well," I said, "if I can make it through a whole page without having to find my child or break up a fight over a toy, I consider that a success!"

She warned me about the three hour long speech in the middle of the book that takes, like three hours to get through--so I guess I won't be reading that at the playroom.

Maybe I'll try and get an extension and read that passage on the beach!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Morrissey's new release, March '06

This was such a great article--so enjoy:
Morrissey Unveils Ringleader Tracklisting, Release Date

Matthew Solarski reports:
Suaver than the Fonz, more loveable than the Coz, the Moz (aka Morrissey, aka Stephen Patrick Morrissey, aka the reigning godfather of eloquent mopery) has a new record just for you. Scouring the moors of England far and wide, Pitchfork has retrieved all three quintessential components of a satisfyingly Mozzy news blurb: title, tracklisting, and release date. Actually, we just waylaid the NME after class and copped the stuff from them. It was a good waylay, a good waylay.

Ringleader of the Tormentors arrives March 20, 2006 in the UK courtesy of Sanctuary Records, and presumably March 21 in the U.S. If these titles are any indication, Morrissey's playing all his standard cards: king of ostentatious romanticism, queen of woebegone sulkery, jack of neo-chivalry, ace of bile, and level-three Charamander. Or he just used the Internet Morrissey Song Title Generator.

The royal flush:

01 I Will See You in Far-Off Places
02 Dear God Please Help Me
03 You Have Killed Me
04 The Youngest Was the Most Loved
05 In The Future When All's Well
06 The Father Who Must Be Killed
07 Life Is a Pigsty
08 I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now
09 On The Streets I Ran
10 To Me You Are a Work of Art
11 I Just Want to See the Boy Happy
12 At Last I Am Born

Portraying the wizard of Moz on his bloggy website, been-there-done-that producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy) exclaims that he is "two thirds of the way through one of the best albums I've ever worked on, with...Morrissey at his best." Said site also features a photograph of Moz at the mixing boards sporting what appears to be a "Mozalini" English football jersey. Controversial!

Visconti also alludes to album-recording escapades with an Italian children's choir and legendary film-scorer Ennio Morricone. We already scooped you on how Moz and Vis are recording in Morricone's former studio, located in the catacombs of a seventeen-century church. Could there be more? For the answers to this, and the mystery of how Morrissey's new record can be both "balls-to-the-wall" and "perhaps the most gentle so far", keep your mice perennially stationed at the ‘fork.

* Pitchfork Review: Morrissey: Live at Earls Court
* Pitchfork News: Morrissey Titles New Album
* Morrissey:
* Tony Visconti

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Me, Myself and Na

Hi-dee-ho friends! No, I haven't fallen off the planet (yet), just hangin' out with the Naster while Pa makes a trek to Paris, London and Bordeaux these next few weeks. You'd think I'd be freakin' jealous--and part of me is, since I'd love to spend the weekend in Oxford too--but we're off to Oahu the day after Thanksgiving, so that's keeping my spirits high.

I've been a reading fiend lately. I guess since I know it's the end of the year, I want to get as much reading in as I possibly can. A friend once told me she'd read something like 75 novels last year and, um, I haven't even come close. I'm up to 33--but in my defense, I've read quite a few 800+-page epics. Right now, I'm reading Stephen King's book On Writing and it's grand.

Speaking of cool things to read, be sure and check out this week's Seattle Weekly featuring "24 Hours in Music" in Seattle--which includes John Richard's morning program on KEXP. All I need is a caffeine drip and John in the Morning and I'm usually good to go for the day.

I'm a happy-go-lucky simian since I'm going to see the Dandys on Monday at the Showbox. My friends who are about to embark on their own Ukrainian adoption are doing a new-parents-to-a-toddler dress rehearsal with Mr. Na while I go see the show. They're so totally awesome for sitting for me!

And while I'm on the subject of awesome friends, a dear pal o'mine has decided to go into the cake decorating business. Cake sculpting is more like it, since her creations are quite extravagant. She's looking for a clever name, so if anyone has any good suggestions...

And finally, from my writing desk...I'm trudging through a really shitty chapter in my manuscript right now and it's killing me, so don't ask. I spent a fair amount of time on it yesterday and I think instead of caving in and watching The Apprentice tonight, I'll work on it instead. least that's what I'm telling you!

Time for Mr. Na's bath. Ni'Night.

Weather Forecast Tonight For France

This one's for you, honey!

Friday, November 04, 2005

!@$!!%& !!

After weeks of nothing but great days, I have to admit, yesterday just flat out sucked. Just moments before I was going to head up east to see Alyssa's new digs and to spend the afternoon writing and writing and writing, Mr. Na and I got into a messy car accident that, as he so eloquently told Pa, "Gave Mama's car door a big boo boo."

What can I say...we were driving during the "tons of rain" downpour and as I was about to enter a small roundabout in my neighborhood...SMASH! A woman coming from the left plowed into my car door.

Oddly enough, Mr. Na barely felt a thing (gotta love that German engineering) and wondered why I was turning off the car in the middle of the road muttering "shit (I said 'shoot,' honey...'shoot')". The woman was kind enough--admitted her fault and after we exchanged information, I drove my poor battered car home.

Yes, I'm thankful no one was hurt. Better still, thankful I wasn't
this poor man. I just hope the rain lets up enough for me to run not one but TWO laps around Lake Union tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Follow up: Despite the rain, I ran 13.5 miles on Saturday. Kinda wish I had run today instead of yesterday since the sun's out! Aw well!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Today's weather forecast according to Bloglines:

Weather Forecast for Seattle, WA
Tons of Rain.
Temp. (°F) 48° | 52°

TONS of rain! That's a first!

Today, my short runs have officially moved indoors.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Mr. Na as Thomas the Tank after Trick or Treating at KEXP. You can hear him on today's Cheryl Waters show during the 12:45 p.m. streaming archive at:

Gimmie a U!

Mr. Na on the UW football field while he waits for his Ma to finish the Dawg Dash

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Well, Bring On the Dancing Horses!

From Pitchfork News:

Echo and the Bunnymen Plan New Single, Tour

Zach Vowell reports:
Echo and the Bunnymen, the oft-underrated granddaddies of this whole new wave revival thing, will continue their lengthy post-reunion stretch with a new single, "In the Margins", from their latest album, Siberia. In stores October 31 in the UK courtesy of Cooking Vinyl, the single is backed with an acoustic take on "Nothing Lasts Forever" and an instrumental version of "In the Margins".

The band's classic "Lips Like Sugar" will be remixed by Way Out West for Future Retro, a Rhino Records compilation of remixes of several 80s favorites. Rhino's favorites, that is. The comp will be released in January 2006.

By that time, we predict Echo and the Bunnymen will be basking in the glow of having completed their current tour, which takes them through Europe and America, from now until mid-December. (Southern California atmosphere-mongers Innaway open the American dates). Heaven up here:

10-27 Manchester, England - Academy
10-28 Leeds, England - Blank Canvas
10-30 Birmingham, England - Academy
10-31 Portsmouth, England - Pyramid Rooms
11-01 London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
11-03 Cologne, Germany - Prime Club
11-04 Hamburg, Germany - Grunspan
11-06 Berlin, Germany - Columbia Club
11-07 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega Jr.
11-08 Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
11-10 Antwerp, Belgium - Hof Der Lo
11-12 Barcelona, Spain - Bikini
11-13 Madrid, Spain - Arena
11-15 Paris, France - Trabendo
11-18 Washington, DC - Black Cat *
11-19 Boston, MA - Axis *
11-20 New York, NY - Irving Plaza *
11-22 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts *
11-23 Toronto, Ontario - The Carlu *
11-25 Chicago, IL - Metro *
11-26 Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe *
11-28 Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre *
11-30 Boise, ID - The Big Easy *
12-01 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom *
12-02 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richard *
12-03 Seattle, WA - Showbox *
12-05 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore *
12-06 Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues *
12-07 Anaheim, CA - House of Blues *
12-09 San Diego, CA - House of Blues *

12-16 Liverpool, England - Carling Academy
12-17 Liverpool, England - Carling Academy

* with Innaway

* Pitchfork Review: Echo and the Bunnymen: Siberia
* Pitchfork News: Echo and the Bunnymen Schedule North American Tour
* Echo and the Bunnymen:
* Cooking Vinyl:

Shucks! I'll been in Hawaii when they play the Showbox.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hard to Hold (a 56 year-old)

His return to General Hospital may give me a reason to start watching daytime television.

Funny thing is, matter how old I get, I just can't seem to bring myself to lusting over a 56 year-old. Egads, I can't believe how old he is now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Collector

Long ago, before it became highly unfashionable to admit patronizing Starbucks, my husband used to collect the store's city mugs. Not wanting to cheat by making purchases on e-Bay, he took care to buy mugs in every city he traveled, or would accept mugs as gifts from people who visited a city and remembered his rapidly-growing collection. Now the city mugs (roughly 25 in all) sit crowded in one of our cupboards in the kitchen, not really being utilized to their fullest extent since they each hold 20 fluid ounces and that would be one hell of a huge cup of coffee.

It wasn't so much the mug as it was the thrill of the hunt. Part of going to a place like, say, Maui (I know, not a city, but we do have the mug) warranted a stop in Starbucks and the purchase of a mug (and a double tall, nonfat dry cappuccino with three Equal on the bottom for him and a double tall, split-shot, non-fat latte for me). Even today, when we visit different cities, he wanders through a Starbucks in the hopes of finding a long-retired city mug; however, there are certain rules to his quest: #1-(which I've already covered) they have to be from a city in which he (or someone else) has visited; and #2-they must be the old city mugs (circa 1994) not the newer ones, which are ugly. There are exceptions when people send the "wrong" city mugs as gifts. We forgive them and love them just the same.

This collection-thing is nothing new. As a young boy, my husband used to collect old beer cans--which, even back then he applied certain rules. He then progressed to certain sports paraphenalia (only cool stuff, though, like Cal Ripken's ball or Ken Griffey Jr.'s bat), in addition to baseball cards.

Being a collector is in his blood since his parents are avid collectors and once owned a Hallmark store/hobby shop which fueled their passion. They are SERIOUS collectors, as in they collect EVERYTHING from gas station signs to old Fisher Price toys. Casually mention that you like cerulean blue Fiestaware pitchers and BAM! one is in a box shipped to Seattle the next day. Comment on the cool Streamline Moderne salt and pepper shakers circa 1933 that are in their kitchen and BOOM! they're mine to keep since they already have two sets. It's crazy, I'll tell ya.

Now that he has a son, my husband's latest hobby is very similar to the city mug collection. Since he travels to Europe frequently, he now collects soccer jerseys for Mr. Na--though he's promised not to overdo it. Of course, the silly-heads we are, we never bought a soccer jersey for him when we were in Donetsk (his birthplace)--which happens to be a huge soccer town. And while the Shakhtar Soccer Club has a totally swank website, there's absolutely no way for foreigners to purchase goods online. So we're hoping that when we go back next year, we might find a way to either make it to Donetsk, or purchase a DCC jersey. For now, Mr. Na is sportive in his new Roma jersey and his new Deutsche jersey, compliments of Cousin Jens.

I can't complain though. It could be far worse. My husband could be into collecting Harley Davidsons or hatchets or guns.

But then, he wouldn't be my husband, would he?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Great Pumpkin Patch

Mr. Na visited his first real pumpkin patch (as in, not the one in front of Albertsons) today. The farm did not disappoint as it violated every copyright law to include wooden Peanuts characters throughout the patch--including Snoopy, who sat perched on the Great Pumpkin.

After picking out three of the most suitable pumpkins, we entered the giant 5-acre corn maze and about halfway through it, I heard the worst words a mother could ever hear when she's stuck inside a 5-acre corn maze:

"Momma, I have to go poop."

We made it, though, thankfully--despite having to backtrack and then run clear across the field, and uphill to the nearest porta potty. I must say, potty training has paid off tremendously! I highly recommend it. :-)

Anyway, between today's events and his soccer class yesterday, where he actually scored three goals**, and taking him to see the new Wallace and Gromit movie on Friday night, we sufficiently wore the little guy out this weekend.

**we're talking toddler soccer here, not, like, the real game for big people. Actual scoring may vary.

What Papa Does When He's Got Too Much Time On His Hands...

...He creates a New World Order (with ants and Legos).