Sunday, July 24, 2005

Another one rides the bus

TJ and I went to do some "supplementary" grocery shopping tonight, to get some steaks to grill for dinner. We went to Larry's Market (your neighborhood snooty grocery store) and I had a total of 4 things on my list - Kraft 2% sliced cheese, steak, eggs, and dishwasher detergent. We walked out of the store $124 poorer. (And this is after TJ did the weekly shopping yesterday!) There was just so much random yumminess out and about at the store. Local frozen blackberries (so I can attempt protein shakes for breakfast), Rainier cherries, and cucumber sushi to name a few of those tempting items.

I guess I know where I'll be eating for the next week!

Today I made mashed potatoes with chives and sesame cucumber salad from the latest issue of Cooking Light. And I have leftovers, so YUM. The exciting thing is that I busted out the mandoline slicer for the julienne cucumbers. That thing rocks, though it is *so* dangerous. But given my even poorer knife skills, the mandoline may be safer. Boy is that blade scary and sharp! Thanks West and Mel for the very cool wedding present!

Maybe this eating at home thing isn't so bad after all - I just need to go to the right grocery store... No more crappy Safeway for me!

The sound of steelbelts on the blacktop

This has been a weekend o' good food.

Dim sum with Jasmine, Chris and Catie at Jeem Asian Restaurant. Their soft seafood egg rolls had an awesome flavor.

Dinner with Leslie at I Love Sushi - try their special 'tropical roll' with avocado, strawberry, mango and salmon, with blueberry soy and wasabi mayo. Yum!

Blueberry cake donut from Top Pot this morning on the way to the Downtown dog park. Spike and Peanut ate most of the plain old-fashioned as it was too dry for my taste.

The first delivery from Pioneer Organics worked out well. Every two weeks, on Friday, they bring me a cardboard box filled with local, organic produce. Last time I got cherries, apricots, blueberries, bananas, nectarines, corn, spinach, cucumber, and potatoes. I've eaten about half of it already, which means that the biweekly delivery is perfect for me. I know it sounds very snooty and yuppie, but after months (years, even) of promising myself I'd go to the Redmond saturday farmer's market and not actually getting there, at least this gets me to try some things I might not have if left to my own devices. Plus it's all fresh and it's amazing how good some of the stuff tastes compared to what you buy at the grocery store.

I'm off to enjoy this lovely day. TJ is off at the shooting range with our friends Dave and Bill. I want to try it (at least once) but I figured he could report back first and tell me what it was like. I'm very afraid of guns but it would be nice to be able to handle one in a controlled environment. Which reminds me of the movie Saved!- hilarious, and I totally recommend it.

Hope you're all having sunny days out there - it's lovely in Seattle today!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Trying to be who you want me to be

The following is a list of 50 useless facts about me. Thanks Lisa, for the idea which I stole from your blog!

1. Your name spelled backwards: idnana
2. Where were your parents born? India
3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? IrfanView
4. What's your favorite restaurant? Canlis
5. Last time you swam in a pool? At least 3 years ago
6. Have you ever been in a school play? Yes – The Littlest Pumpkin
7. How many kids do you want? 0<=x<=1
8. Type of music you dislike most? Christian pop
9. Are you registered to vote? yes
10. Do you have cable? no, DirecTV
11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? No
12. Ever prank call anybody? Yes
13. Ever get a parking ticket? yes
14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? NO!!
15. Furthest place you ever traveled? India
16. Do you have a garden? No, I have a black thumb
17. What's your favorite comic strip? Peanuts
18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yes
19. Bath or Shower, morning or night? Morning shower
20. Best movie you've seen in the past month? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
21. Favorite pizza topping? Cheeeeese
22. Chips or popcorn? chips
23. What color lipstick do you usually wear? Retro by MAC
24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? No
25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? No
26. Orange Juice or apple? Apple
27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? TJ, at Matt's Rotisserie in Redmond Town Center tonight
28. Favorite type chocolate bar? Reeses PB Cups
29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? 2004
30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Can't remember
31. Have you ever won a trophy? Yes, for dorky academic things
32. Are you a good cook? Yes, but with poor presentation skills
33. Do you know how to pump your own gas? Duh, who doesn't?
34. Ever order an article from an infomercial? No, but dying to get the Buttoneer
35. Sprite or 7-up? Neither - diet Coke all the way
36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? Yes, ugly gray polyester @ Arby's
37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? Scrubbing Bubbles
39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? Millionaire now that I've already got the true love thing covered.
40. Do you believe in love at first sight? No, I think that's LUST.
41. Ever call a 1-900 number? No
42. Can ex's be friends? No
43. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? TJ's mom
44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? Yes
45. What message is on your answering machine? Probably a telemarketer telling me it's a very important message, and not a sales or marketing phone call.
46. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character? Eddie Murphy as James Brown - too hot in the hot tub!
47. What was the name of your first pet? Peanut!!
48. What is in your purse? wallet, cell phone, pen, keys, my work geek badge, lip balm, and shades
49. Favorite thing to do before bedtime? Blog
50. What is one thing you are grateful for today? Summer in Seattle

An encore - do you want more?

I'm such a dork. All that worrying for next to no reason. I got my midterm back today and got 145/150, thanks to the 5 bonus points on the exam for the last question - "Tell us a funny story or a joke, or draw a picture of your TA". I was going to tell the e^x joke but just ran out of time so I drew a poor stick figure of Gary, my TA. So really I missed 10 points which is more than I would have liked, but half of those are due to me being really rushed at the end, and the dumb mistakes that come from that (like forgetting to return the value at the end of the function, forgetting to compare the data fields in a linked list instead of the pointer to the node, etc.).

So all in all, I'm pleased. 5 points were actual items I didn't know - like that you can't just cast a primitive to a wrapper class object directly - you have to create a new Object. Also, that the compiler is able to tell when you cast incorrectly in the inheritance tree (across branches for example).

Back to regularly scheduled programming (pun intended).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stupid girl

You should be impressed that I'm keeping up w/ the song titles even at three posts today!

The solutions to my CSE 143 midterm have been posted. I'm almost embarassed to post it here since I should have aced it, and now know I didn't. Boo, or should I say Boo++ in honor of Java.

TJ has been very tolerant and supportive (as usual) about my random whinings and moping around the house. He even let me watch Rock Star: INXS even though he had been watching TV first. What a guy.

Tomorrow, I think I'll walk around saying ", you're just not right for our band, INXS" so I can be as cool as Tim Farris.

A train wreck waiting to happen

Yikes. They've graded our midterms already. I guess that means I won't have to fret about this for much longer, since I have Quiz Section in the morning tomorrow. I filled out the midterm course survey and put in my $0.02 about the test being too long. It made me feel better, anyway, and now I can stop being a whiner.

If you believe they put a man on the moon

In commemoration of our first landing on the moon, Google has put up a page called Google Moon. Zoom in on the NASA images of the moon to learn something really cool.

My midterm didn't go as well as I had hoped. It was supposed to be a 1 hour exam for which they gave us 2 hours, but I needed the full 2 hours and then some. I definitely could have budgeted my time better, but I really did feel the exam was longer than an hour's worth of material. I knew how to do all the questions, but had to rush on a couple of big-ticket ones at the end and didn't get to check them over. I know I won't get a perfect score, but I think I did ok. And I'll just have to be satisfied with that and stop obsessing.

I submitted this blog to the San Jose Mercury News AEI site to be considered for Blog of the Week. Lord knows it's not cool enough to make it, but I thought I'd try. A comment I made on that blog about Rock Star: INXS may make it into Friday's newspaper! How cool is that?

If someone out there can explain how Trackback URLs work, I'd be deeply grateful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

All over this land

More studying for my midterm, which is tomorrow. I had to run a really important meeting at work today, where I got all the leads together to help me select the customers to participate in the technology adoption program I'm running for our next release of Speech Server. Check out my work blog at the right if you want to know more about it (I'll update that one tomorrow, I swear!).

Anyway, the really important meeting meant that I was at work until 11:30pm last night preparing and didn't get to study at all yesterday. So I'm playing catch up now, and will do that tomorrow morning as well. I think I know my stuff, but I keep getting tripped up by dumb mistakes like not checking for null or the stupid inheritance/casting thing that I just don't quite get (stupid runtime errors). The good news is that the TAs completed the exam in 35 minutes, which Benson (our instructor) deemed to be too long, and made the questions shorter/easier. We have 2 hours for the exam, so there's no way I should run out of time, which means I can go through all the questions slowly and carefully and double-check everything. Making careless mistakes has been the bane of my existence through my entire school career. The good news is that I got another 20/20 on Assignment 4.

Rock Star:Inxs was awesome as usual, though Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke are especially grating on my nerves. And someone needs to give INXS some kind of spine -they had only nice comments for everyone, including Neil, who absolutely sucked. Bryan Adams must be appalled at Neil's version of "Summer of '69".

Well, off to vote for my favorite rock star and hit the books again. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I don't want to grow up, Mom, at least not tonight

Studying for my CSE 143 midterm this weekend - boo. My mind is just not in that focused place. I think being out in the working world has made me multitask to the point of ADD. I rarely spend a whole hour on one task.

Went to Pilates this morning with Jasmine. This is our 2nd class, and it runs through the end of the month. I'm not sure I like it, but will finish out the month to make sure. Some of the stuff is too hard for it to be effective for me. Plus my abs are in bad shape already and I hate working them, so... But at least it gets me into the gym once a week for sure.

I've gained 6 pounds since the wedding (BOO!). Before it gets out of control and I ruin all my hard work from the 6 months pre-wedding, I've decided to get back into the groove. I started my food diary again on Weight Watchers Online, and have promised myself to go to the gym or walk for at least 30 minutes 6x a week. I'm in one of those "I hate exercise" ruts, so 30 minutes is about all I can stand. Plus I figure 30 minutes is better than the 0 I have been doing...

We are going to Baby Stan's 2nd birthday party in a few hours. For those of you who don't know him, his dad (regular Stan) went to college with TJ and me and we had many great adventures at school, at the beach, sometimes fueled by alcohol (brandy - it's a gentleman's drink) and sometimes broken glass :). So sometimes it's weird for me to adjust to the fact that many of our friends are moving into that next stage of life that involves babies and significantly less drinking/carousing...

No more wasting time for me. Back to Arrays.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Try not to hate

This song had the best video ever...

So it's official. I am absolutely and totally addicted to Rock Star: INXS. It's like American Idol, only the music doesn't suck as much. The only unfortunate thing is the "judges", e.g. Dave Navarro and the remaining members of INXS are *way* too nice. What we need here is Simon Cowell, and it would be complete. Oh, and get rid of "I'm just eye candy" Brooke Burke. I admit she is much more pleasant to look at than Ryan Seacrest; however, she is far more insipid.

I can feed my addiction 3x a week for the next 12 weeks. Boo-yah! And you can vote using MSN Messenger, or the website, which is a glorious use of technology to make the world a better place. So you know where to find me Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. Of course, you always did know where to find me since my life is just not that exciting.

Sadly, on my last CSE143 assignment, I only got 17/20. 1 point was for a stupid mistake - must check for null before checking for a zero-length array or you'll get a "null pointer exception". 2 points are in dispute (at least in my head) for something that was supposedly in the "spec", i.e. the assignment handout, but I argue wasn't made clear. My TA hasn't responded to my allegation, which means he's either ignoring me because he doesn't want to deal with me grubbing for additional points, or he's genuinely checking with the instructor on this one. If I don't get those points back, that means I can only miss 17 more points total between the remaining 5 homework sets, the midterm and final, and still get a 4.0. Midterm is a week from today, so wish me luck!

My eating habits are slightly better since I made an effort to stock the house with healthy, easy to prepare food (much of it frozen stuff from Trader Joe's - yay fake corn dogs!) My gym habit hasn't been faring as well, but I did manage a 2 day in a row streak this weekend, which gives me hope. Tomorrow is another day, and I will go to the gym first thing in the morning before my quiz section. (And now since it's public for the world to see, it has to happen, right?)

We had an "All Hands" meeting today for the Server and Tools division of Microsoft. It was a "rah rah" sort of thing, kind of like the company meeting, with different execs presenting, financial reports, and cool product demos. It got me kind of fired up about work again (I've been in sort of a lazy slump for a while) and it was a neat event, with lots of free stadium food and drinks. Plus we got to see Steve Ballmer do his thing on stage - I'm always afraid the man is going to explode, he's so intense and full of energy. He makes me tired just watching him. Then again, maybe that's why I'll never be CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Track 9 of Tori Amos's CD "The Beekeeper" is amazing. That's been the soundtrack in my head all day. Peace out.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Four hungry children and a crop in the field

Thanks to TJ for pointing out it's not "four hundred children"...

TJ, Dave (no blog), and I went to see Kenny Rogers last night at the Emerald Queen Casino, which is in Tacoma. It didn't take too long to drive there - maybe 45 minutes without any traffic. Parking is free, which was a bonus. The venue itself isn't that great - it looks like a big warehouse and the seats are just chairs lined up in rows (no stadium style seating) so if you're short and sitting behind someone with a big head, that's too bad. They did have two huge screens on either side of the stage and a camera so you could see what was going on.

Kenny Rogers is awesome. He's *so* old but still rockin'. He sang many of his classics and kept his new stuff to a minimum (which actually isn't bad, but not that exciting). He's also pretty good at working the crowd, though I thought he talked too much and didn't sing enough. It was a fun show (or maybe that was the double rum & diet Pepsi I had). I was impressed at the huge age range of the crowd - we were nowhere near the youngest. I guess everyone loves "The Gambler". He left out a verse of "Coward of the County", which was a little weird (vital plot twist methinks) but he might have done it to make it more family-friendly. The set was short - less than 90 minutes, but he sang everything I wanted to hear so I was happy.

Earlier in the day, I hosted a baby shower for Dre. It turned out to be a nice sunny day, despite the predictions of rain, so we stayed outside most of the time. Peanut and Spike behaved beautifully amidst Norm (Dre and Dave's dog), the people, food and toddler running around.

And speaking of toddlers - here's my pet peeve for the week. A woman brought her son to my CSE 143 lecture on Friday. He couldn't have been more than 5 years old. It was so distracting - he was talking, dropping things, wandering around in the back of his class, and loudly playing with his toy cars and a handful of quarters (who gives their kid change to play with when they want him to be quiet?!). Obviously it's too much to ask such a young kid to be quiet and still for an hour in a boring lecture. Why does this woman feel it's ok to inflict her child on the rest of us?? I understand that sometimes child care plans fall through, but she should have skipped class today and stayed home with her kid given that our instructor posts lecture notes, and let the rest of us concentrate on learning something. I hate being confrontational with strangers, but I really feel that's unacceptable. If she does it again, I'm going to say something to her (nicely, of course).

There just seems to be an abundance of parents who are oblivious to their kids' behavior when they are out in public (restaurants are another example - if your kid can't sit still and mostly quiet, and it's not a "family" restaurant, don't bring him!). I'm all for raising kids using positive reinforcement and letting them be kids, but I just wish that parents would realize that some situations are not appropriate for their child, and that other people in the restaurant/theater/etc don't want to be made aware of your "charming" child who is making loud noises/throwing things/poking the person in the next booth.

And before you label me as anti-child, I'll leave you with a quick story about my lunch with Jasmine and Baby Catie last week. We went to Zao, a very yummy Asian noodle place for lunch. Catie was eating some noodles, and about half the time, the noodles didn't make it to her mouth, but ended up on the floor. Before we left the restaurant, Jasmine picked up all the noodles that fell on the floor and wiped off the stray noodles from the table. I was really impressed with this, as I've seen other parents leave a restaurant table looking like a war zone, assuming the staff would clean it up. So I do think there are responsible parents out there, and I'd like to give a special shout out to Jasmine, and Catie, who was really fun to hang out with. Anytime Catie wants a shrimp from my plate, she can have it!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

She's all I'll ever need

OK, cheesy lyric.

But Oh, MY GOD. I went to get a haircut today from Lindsay. She is THE BEST. She knows what I want for my hair even when *I* don't know what I want. She just gave it a scrunchy faced look for a couple of minutes and told me what she was going to do in that hair cutting language I don't really understand, and I was like "OK" and she worked her magic and I have the most amazing haircut I've had in possibly all of my life. (I know, some of you will see me and think, that's not so cool, but I swear it's because I am a dolt when it comes to doing my own hair.) Today it is truly perfect. And seems *easy* to do. No precision blow-drying trying to balance round brush, paddle brush and hair dryer. No curling iron or straightening iron required. Just some goo, and a diffuser on the end of my blow dryer and voila - the coolest short wavy summer hair.

My hair is the shortest it's been in the last 7 years but I am so happy with it. I hadn't had a good hair day of my own creation in a long time. As much as I *like* long hair in principle, it just doesn't work with my lifestyle and my hair styling-challenged self. I need wash and go, or at least wash, goo, random hairdrying and go.

Well, back to admiring my new hair in the mirror. Just kidding!

I believe in peace, bitch

Hint - I was listening to Tori today in the car. I don't love her new album. In fact, I thought it was bad, until approx track 9 which sounds like a song she wrote for her daughter. After that, there were several good songs in a row. So I guess this is one of those "Don't listen to any of the tracks before track x" CDs, like Cowboy Junkies' Open.

Another 20/20 on CSE 143 Assignment 2. Yay! I turned in Assignment 3 today. Assignment 4 is pretty cool - it uses something called Erasthothene's (sp?) Sieve to pull out prime numbers from a list from 2 to n where n can be very large. It looks fairly easy to write so hopefully I can get it out of the way this weekend. Plus I just dig the idea of stacks and queues. It appeals to my "I want to be a mailman" side.

And today Dave (no blog) alerted me to something very cool. Kenny Rogers is coming to the Emerald Queen Casino on Saturday. So I had to get us some tickets. Boo-yah! I've never seen him live and I've liked his music since I was about 3 years old. I'm *so* excited!

Oh, and today I'm going to get a haircut from the awesome Lindsay at Paule Attar Salon. She did my hair for the wedding, and did the red highlights as well. She totally rocks. I'm hoping she can suggest a cute summer haircut. It'll grow back, right?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I thought you were special

Maybe I'm not that special. But I got 20 out of 20 points on my first CSE143 programming assignment! Boo Yah! That makes me happy. I'll get Assignment 2 back on Thursday and I think I did ok on that one, too. Plus, I'm mostly done with the 3rd assignment - just need to do some final testing on it. I love this class, even though it's still a royal pain to get over to Seattle every day.

Spike and I went for a 30 minute walk this morning, and both of us badly needed the exercise. I think even that short walk gave me more energy today, which is cool. And Spike seemed to enjoy himself even though he didn't find any stinky stuff to roll around in. I plan to enter one of the pictures Aunt Susie took of him for the Seattle Beagle Rescue's 2006 calendar.

Do you think Spike is cute enough to be the cover beagle??

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mexican kids are shooting fireworks below

Hey, baby, it's the fourth of July! (Ok, I know, that's an easy one.) Points to you if you can name the band.

I'm so happy to have the extra day off this weekend. Today will be a "wifely" sort of day, with cooking, ironing and Java programming on the agenda. I spent $107 at the grocery store yesterday so I finally have stuff to eat at home.

I made enchiladas yesterday, for the first time ever, with a recipe supposedly from Jessica Alba, in Self magazine. The recipe was somewhat light on details. How do you shred boiled chicken? I just settled for tearing it up into small bits. They also didn't mention you should bake the enchiladas with foil over the pan, and mine got sort of overbaked and dried out on top. But they still taste great. That's why I love Mexican and Indian food - stuff is all mixed together, and for the most part, you don't have to worry about presentation. And even if it's ugly, it still tastes yummy. It was pretty easy, since I bought the canned enchilada sauce and used the Tillamook Mexican blend shredded cheese. The hard part was rolling up the corn tortillas without breaking them - the trick is to put them in the microwave between 2 paper towels for 30 sec. In small stacks or flat, not one big stack of 12, as I found out.

We were going to watch fireworks tonight at our friend Dave's place, but I realized we'd have to leave the dogs at home, and they'd hear our crazy neighbors shooting off fireworks in their yard. Both Spike and Peanut get pretty agitated about loud noises like that so we thought it might be better to stay home with them. Plus, Spike made them lose their "inside-while-we're-not-home" privileges by having an accident on the carpet a couple of months ago. (We don't have a dog door, and he couldn't wait till we got home).

So we'll probably grill the steaks I bought yesterday, roast some corn on the cob and hang out on our deck since it looks like today will be gorgeous. Happy Independence Day everyone!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

We've got these chains hanging around necks

Bonus points if you can guess that one - it just popped into my head from a long time ago - I haven't listened to it in ages.

My strange internal barometer is acting up again. I've noticed when the weather changes from sunny and clear to cloudy, I get a killer sinus headache. Which is unfortunate because the past several weeks have been alternating between lovely and crappy weather.

I had plans with Nikki today to have brunch and see "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" which neither TJ nor Mike would go anywhere near. So I downed an Advil and a Claritin before leaving the house. I think it's ok to take those together, but then again, maybe not. I was fine for most of the day and added a 32oz diet Coke to the mix during the movie.

Then, while I was shopping in Nordstrom after the movie (can't go to downtown Seattle without making a trip to the Great Nordstrom in the sky), I started feeling *really* bad - dizzy, nauseous and kind of fuzzy-headed. (more so than usual, anyway). I knew I should just leave then as I had a 10 minute walk to the car and a 25 minute drive home, but the irrational shopper in me won out and I wandered around some more. I did find the pair of black sandals I needed, 2 pairs of cute capri pants and a couple of tank tops to match some skirts I own.

By then I was feeling really, really bad and called TJ to come and pick me up. But there was no answer so rather than lying down and napping in the "Women's Lounge" (what do they expect us to do in there, anyway??) I decided to brave the trip home, where my awesome bed with the nice cool white sheets was waiting. After a very annoying 30 minutes, where I hoped I wouldn't throw up and/or fall asleep in the car, I got home safely (thanks to Whoever was looking out for me today) and crashed for a couple of hours in the aforementioned amazing bed.

I feel much better now. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe Advil, Claritin, and large amounts of caffeine don't mix? Weird. I'm still kind of tired and woozy so I don't plan to start any major organizing projects this evening.

The movie was good, by the way. I absolutely loved the book, even though I'm about 15 years older than the target audience. The movie took some liberties to make it a little more Hollywood, but still did a fairly good job with the emotional parts without being too cheesy. There was a lot of cheese-potential there. Plus, I got to see a preview for the 4th Harry Potter movie. YAY.

Back to bed to see if the sinus goo will go away.

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