Friday, May 25, 2007

Just leave me alone

Had to make my blogs private - sorry about that. Can't explain it here, but if you want to know why, send me email. I'll make them public again in a few months, but for now it's invitation only.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Find an old-fashioned girl

Today is such a nice day in Seattle. Except for the strange "snow" floating around, which Jenn informed me is cottonwood. Only I haven't seen any cottonwood trees with fluffy white stuff all over them, so I'm not sure where the stuff is coming from.

Spike and I went to Marymoor today and had a lovely time. We met a few puggles, a beagle mix who once stole a whole frozen chicken from a countertop, and some very floppy puppies.

After that, I took Peanut to Tully's at Redmond Town Center. I had an iced tea and he had a donut. He made friends with a couple of cute little kids who wanted to pet him, but only on the back (as far away from the teeth as possible, I guess.) And he made a little girl cry. He didn't *do* anything, but every time she looked at him she shrieked, to the point where her mom had to stand somewhere so she couldn't see Peanut anymore. He's really not that scary, is he? Her sister came over to pet him, but when he tried to lick her, she lost all courage and ran away. But she kept coming over to watch him from a few yards away - she was totally fascinated by him.

Peanut of course, was unperturbed by all this activity and waited patiently for bits of donut to fall from the sky. He did a pretty good "down-stay" for the entire 10 min it took me to get my order at Tully's. I did find him standing up when I came out, but it was a long time for him, so I figured that was pretty good.

Apparently Twitter is on the fritz so you can't see my updates anymore. Hopefully they'll fix that problem soon, because it makes my blog look stupid with that blank section on the right.

Well, time to go find a snack.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I wonder what you're doing

You may have noticed the new "twitter" column on the right side of the page. I'm trying this new web service that allows you to input the answer to the question "What are you doing", either from the Web or your phone. You can update it as many times as you want. So far my life has been fairly boring to outside observers, and heck, even to me.

I'm not sure what the point is, but it's oddly addictive. I guess if I had twitter "friends" then I'd get to see theirs too.

So, if you're using twitter, let me know and I'll add you to my friends list. (If I can figure out how to do that.)

Oh, and if you've figured out what the point of that site is, let me know too. The best I've come up with is that it's sort of a mini-blog in case you don't have time/don't want to write a whole entry. There's an article about the CEO in the latest issue of Wired magazine. His life is more interesting than mine, though.

Or is this one of those myspace-like things I'm too old to understand?

Friday, May 18, 2007

He wrote her name in the sand

Sometimes I wonder why I have so many CDs when I only listen to a few handfuls of them regularly. But today, I realized that having such a large CD collection (around 250, I think), leads to some magical happy moments.

A few weeks ago I was listening to our local radio station 103.7 The Mountain in my car. They occasionally get fixated on a couple of overrated artists (Los Lonely Boys, John Butler Trio, anyone?) but play a huge variety of music, from 70s classic rock to 80s classics to new folk and alternative stuff.

On this particular Saturday morning they played a song by Canadian superstars Blue Rodeo, called "5 Days in May". It was a gorgeous, haunting song. I filed it away in my brain as a song to look for later on iTunes, and of course promptly forgot about it.

Until yesterday, when I was filling my new iPod Shuffle with music. I came across a 1995 compilation CD from The Mountain in my collection, and found that song! That makes me so happy. I can't figure out why Blue Rodeo never got that popular in the US. I mean, for cryin' out loud, we have thoroughly embraced Bryan Adams, another Canadian, with far less talent. Of course, we are also the land of the Pussycat Dolls, so there you go.

Re: the season finale of Gray's Anatomy last week - how depressing. No one ended up happy, except the Chief and his wife. And it appears from the Internet, etc. that three of the characters won't be with us anymore: Burke, George and Addison. I guess Addison will still be on TV in her crappy new show, but I'm sure as heck not going to watch, even though it stars the yummy Taye Diggs. But I thought Sandra Oh did an *amazing* job in the last scene. I was riveted. My other favorite part? Burke practicing his wedding vows in the OR. And of course, like any other show, they had to have the mega-cliffhanger ending. So cliche. But since it's my current favorite show, I will forgive them.

In other TV news, Jordin and Blake are in the finale on American Idol, as I had predicted. I'm hoping Blake doesn't win at this point, since the AI machine will squelch any actual unique musical talent he has, if he's forced to take their recording contract. This year, they had a songwriting contest for the songs in the finale. I *really* hope someone wrote something that doesn't suck. They haven't managed to get it right in the first four seasons, so here's to hoping they do this time. In the meantime, go download Weird Al's "Do I Creep You Out?"

Today I had a yummy breakfast with our friend Dave at the Brown Bag Cafe in Redmond. They serve pancakes the size of dinner plates. I got strawberry cream cheese French toast, which I wouldn't get again, but it wasn't bad. I can't wait to go back and try the pancakes, the blueberry pancakes and the banana pecan ones.

And as a counterpoint to that breakfast, I went to the gym this morning and did another Week3 of the C25K workout. It was easy (yay) so I think I'm ready to move on to Week 4. Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Leaving me here on my own

Today is the Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Finale. What am I going to do on Thursday nights for the rest of the summer?? I've seen every episode this season, and from the past two seasons. I guess I can still watch the reruns on Lifetime Television for Women. I can't just call it Lifetime, you see, it's always Lifetime Television for Women.

If you liked the old-school Nintendo Super Mario Brothers game, you have to check out this site. It allows you to play it in your browser. It is *exactly* like the original, except it's hard to play on a regular PC keyboard. I bet if you play enough, you'll get used to it. Try it, at least once.

I'm so glad this week is almost over. Work is getting to be quite busy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

When I see you smile

Two things I find absolutely hilarious - you must see these:

#1: Alanis Morrisette's cover of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps"

#2:A poignant tale of a dog, his owner, and some root vegetables

Thanks to Jenna for sending me the second one. If you have a dog, you will definitely appreciate it.

You walked into my house last night

Ugh. This week has not been off to a good start. *Both* of our cars were broken into last night while they were parked in the driveway. Fortunately (unfortunately?) they were both unlocked. So the alarms didn't go off, but on the other hand, there was no damage to the cars themselves.

The bastards stole:

  • TJ's cell phone (fairly new Motorola SLVR)
  • Cell phone car charger (sold separately, of course)
  • My iPod Shuffle (which I had *just* set up with workout music)
  • Griffin FM Radio Transmitter for iPod
  • My cheap sunglasses (?)
  • TJ's Subaru manual (??)
  • TJ's car logbook (double ??)

A very strange assortment of stuff to steal, considering they left behind his leather motorcycle jacket, and a wallet of 20 CDs in my car and didn't mess with either stereo. Maybe they think my taste in music sucks.

We filed a police report and the Redmond cop who came over said he responds to about 20 of these calls per week! He thinks it's kids from Kent, Renton, etc. who need money for drugs. They used up all the prepaid minutes on TJs cell phone to buy ringtones, and call the Phillippines. I bet they were sad when his phone ran out of minutes.

I know this is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things but I'm so distracted and uneasy today, that I decided to burn a vacation day to stay home and mope/regroup/whatever. Our insurance won't cover this stuff since it's under the deductible so we'll just have to replace them, which is just another annoying errand.

The reason I wasn't parked in the garage is because TJ was cleaning it out this weekend, and we have the cabinets from our living room still in there. So I finally posted them to Craigslist and Expo today. If you know anyone who wants 18 feet of glass-fronted, solid wood cabinets suitable for CDs or other knickknacks, let me know. They're in great shape, and are in 2 pieces.

So our plan of action is to get rid of the stuff in the garage and park both cars inside. And to install a motion detector light in front. And maybe post signs saying "The Peanut is Watching You" around the front yard. Though Peanut isn't much of a watchdog, really.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tonight I think I see what it's all about

I must be getting old because I am exhausted today after coming home around 1am after the two Vienna Teng shows at the Triple Door last night. It also doesn't help that it's miserable gray cloudy outside.

The concert was good - my seats for both shows were pretty amazing. For the second show they were 3 rows from the front. For the first show, I "only" got there at 5:30 (doors opened at 5) so I was seated in the middle of the theater. I brought a book to read since Dre wasn't going to show up until just before Vienna came on, and felt really weird being there by myself amidst all the couples. But as always, the food, wine and service were fantastic at the Triple Door so it felt like quite a treat to be there and just have time to chill.

Here's the setlist (I actually remembered to bring a notebook this time!).

7pm show - seemed very short:
Enough to Go By
Whatever You Want
Gravity (newer version)
Unwritten Letter #1
Nothing Without You
Pontchartrain (wow)
Blue Caravan
Hope on Fire
1Br/1Ba + Workin 9 to 5
Soon Love Soon
Arizona - Ellery cover

10pm show:
Whatever You Want
Gravity (Utah Rock Formation version)
Unwritten Letter #1
Nothing Without You
That's Where I'll Be - Brian Webb cover
Homecoming (Walter's Song)
Hope on Fire
1Br/1Ba w/ interlude of whatever song Kanye West samples on "Golddigger"
Transcontinental 1:30am
I Don't Feel So Well
City Hall
Soon Love Soon

The show was great, and the drummer, Alex Wong, was incredible. He played about 6 different percussion instruments, including the wooden box he was sitting on (!). The sound was a bit wonky, even to my amateur ears - some microphone feedback at times, and that weird fuzzy sound you get sometimes with really loud bass.

I really like seeing Vienna play with the whole band (violin, cello, percussion) - it makes for a much more rockin' show. When TJ and I saw her at Chop Suey last year opening for Duncan Sheik, it was just her and her keyboard, and I think that's why TJ came away with the impression that her songs all sound the same and are too mellow for his liking. I think he would have liked this show a lot better.

Special props to the opener Jenny Owen Youngs, who made some hilarious in-between-song comments, and had a kickass folk rendition of "Hot in Herre" by Nelly. I guess you had to be there :). I bought it on iTunes today. Her voice sounds a lot like Beth Orton (less ethereal) and maybe a bit like Shawn Colvin and KT Tunstall? It's got that sort of bluesy, "thick" quality I can't quite put my finger on. Not exactly to my taste, but still enjoyable.

Have I already professed my love for the Triple Door? Jenna pointed out that she felt like she was getting old because she liked that sort of concert venue the best, vs. the smoky bar where you stand up and get beer spilled on you. Me too. And if that's what it means to get old, I'm ok with that :)

Reflecting on the concert today, I didn't like it as much as past VT shows at the Triple Door - she didn't talk as much between songs, and that's honestly one of my favorite things about seeing artists live - the little tidbits you find out from them about their songs. Then again, she's been touring with these songs for a while and it must be difficult to play the same stuff night after night and keep the audience conversation fresh.

Well, Happy Mother's Day to Amma, Paati, Mom, Granny and Grandma Creath. Wow, getting married has certainly increased the number of people to celebrate on Mother's Day! Hope you all have a fantastic day.

Everyone else: call your mom!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I cannot forget the way I feel right now

So it got to that point on my iPod Shuffle, where I was really sick of the songs on there. It was time to wipe it out and start over so that I would be pushed during my upcoming workouts. That was only one of the small things I had planned to do yesterday. But it inexplicably took all day to get this done.

Our Vista Media Center PC in the living room was totally acting up. Maybe it felt ignored since we hadn't watched any movies on it, or maybe it was cranky because it was missing some critical updates. But this is the machine that holds all of our MP3s from our ripped CDs so it needs to be running properly and working on the network.

Unfortunately, iTunes doesn't yet work with Vista, so in order to get my iPod set up, I need to do it on our office computer, which is all the way upstairs. Anyone who's been to my house knows that there are about 5 mini-flights of stairs between these two computers. So troubleshooting home network issues is not quick, though it does burn calories.

I finally figured out that the stupid Norton firewall, plus some settings in Vista were preventing our XP computer from connecting to the Vista one. At 11pm. Mind you, I started this whole process around noon. Just to be clear, I didn't work on this all day. Which was good, otherwise we'd probably have a very sad Media Center PC with a hammer in it and all of its plastic parts scattered in the living room.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I downloaded about 10 new songs from iTunes in the past couple of weeks. I've been writing down what songs I'd like to download when I hear them so that I remember what I want when I'm on iTunes at home. Here are some of my new favorites:
  • "Little Wonders" - Rob Thomas
  • "Too Little, Too Late" - JoJo
  • "In da Club" - OutKast
  • "Not Ready to Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks
  • "Would You Go With Me" - random country guy

So when I got to the gym today, I fired up the ol' iPod, and had one of the best workouts I've had in ages. I went back to week 3 of the Couch to 5K program, since I haven't run consistently since March. And it was a breeze. I was actually having fun, which is something I rarely experience during exercise. So I'm hoping that by next weekend, I'll be able to start Week 4 again and pick up where I left off.

That was a great way to start the weekend. And tonight, I'm going to see Vienna Teng at the Triple Door. Twice. Woo hoo!

Ooh, and thanks Leslie for pointing out the Grey's Anatomy character quiz! It tells me I am most like Addison: "strong and independent but occasionally need a shoulder to cry on." Interesting. Hopefully that doesn't mean I would also want to be part of a crappy spinoff show. Wow, that show was bad. So if you watch GA, take the quiz and let me know who you are!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Soon we will all find our lives swept away

I finally posted to my work blog after 3 months - yikes. I really should post there more often, at least weekly.

TJ pulled an all-nighter for some unexplained reason last night. He couldn't sleep so he went into work at 2am with Peanut. Apparently Peanut didn't like being at work that late (early?) so he slept nearly all day today. Poor puppy. I think he likes his routine to be predictable.

We took the pups to the dog park today - it was gorgeous out. I look forward to going often this summer, though i really wish Peanut's allergies would clear up. His fur looks awful - all dandruffy and chewed up in parts. Makes me feel like a bad dog parent.

I had lunch with Jenn and she motivated me to get off my butt and sign up for those project management course hours that I need to get the PMP certification. It's something I've vaguely considered for a while, but this week I felt like getting stuff done. My manager agreed that our team's budget could pay for my classes, so I signed up for them this evening. Thanks be to the Internet, so you can get things done without waiting for someone to be in the office.

And now that I can barely keep my eyes open, I'm going to bed. But not before giving Suz a shout out congratulating her on getting her PhD *and* having a kickass job lined up. YAY SUZ!

Oh, and I just finished watching tonight's "Grey's Anatomy". I am *so* not liking this George-Izzy storyline. Callie is totally getting the shaft here, and I completely love her character. Boo. Hopefully she's not leaving the show. Season 3 Finale is next week - what will I watch this summer? Oh wait, nothing. And then maybe I'll get to the gym more often, right?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fast forward to a few years later

This was a pretty good, relaxing weekend. Here's the (unexciting) list of what I got done:

1. Balanced my accounts and paid off my credit card
2. Did 2+ weeks worth of laundry and put it all away
3. Ate at home all weekend (yay!)
4. Loaded/unloaded/loaded dishwasher (eating at home uses lots of dishes)
5. Gave Spike a bath (clean beagle!)
6. Did 120 minutes (2 whole hours!) of cardio
7. Grocery shopping (yay Trader Joe's)

Not bad. I can make an equally long list of things I wanted to do and didn't.

I went to a talk about productivity at one of the Women's Conferences at Microsoft a few years ago, and the first thing they said was that people have to get used to the idea that they're never going to finish everything on their to-do list. I have a hard time with that. But I try to remember it as often as I can.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Well I guess you scared me too

Yay! The credit card thing has finally been sorted out. I have paid off my balance. But now I owe "us" some money, which I'll pay back each month. For a long time. Kinda makes me want to think about working full time again.

This is the first weekend I've been home, with no other plans. I am catching up on laundry. I think I just put in the 6th load for the week. Crazy. We watched an awesome movie tonight, called "Love Actually", a British romantic comedy from a few years ago. It was cute and funny and different. Not the usual crap Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks stuff.

On Thursday night we went back to Canlis to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, which is coming up on Monday. We reserved the "Cache", which is a tiny room upstairs for 2-3 people. It's the same little room we hung out in before and immediately after the wedding. We had a gorgeous view, and of course, the food was great as usual. (drooling thinking about the truffle fries!).

At first it was weird to be in our own room at a restaurant, but as the night wore on, and around the 3rd glass of wine, I realized it was pretty fun - we could be loud and silly and wouldn't be disturbing anyone else or getting disapproving looks.

We always ask the sommelier (Nelson, if he's around) to help us pick a wine (i.e. pick a wine for us), but on Thursday, we let him go crazy and pick a wine for each course. In total we had 6 different wines, from all over the world. It was so cool. The best was the dessert wine, a Cabernet Franc icewine from Canada that smelled and tasted like strawberry jelly. As you might imagine, this was right up TJ's alley, so we're going to try to find some more of it. YUM!

Last night (a busy week for the Creaths, huh?) we went to see Johnette Napolitano (former lead singer of Concrete Blonde) at the Triple Door Cafe, my absolute favorite concert venue in Seattle. We had dinner there while we watched the show. She's an interesting woman. *Great* voice.

I can't wait to go back to the Triple Door next week for Vienna Teng's shows on Saturday!

Peanut is really itchy again, and has been for the past month. I hope this isn't going to last all summer. I'm having my doubts about the dog dermatologist. I can't believe my puppies are 5 (Peanut) and 7 (Spike). And I can't imagine how we lived before we had them! Now that it's getting close to summer, with those glorious long days, we look forward to more trips to Marymoor.

Oh, and this morning I dragged TJ to the gym, which was the first time in a while for both of us. I (literally) worked my butt off on the treadmill and the elliptical today. I couldn't find a magazine to read so I decided to just concentrate on my heart rate monitor and listen to music. Wow, that's a much harder workout than flipping through a magazine while on the cardio machines! I guess I should do that more often. It felt really good, especially when it was over.

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