Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday night's alright for fightin'

I can barely keep my eyes open - today was a tiring day for both people and dogs. TJ's parents are here so we went to Aunt Susie's (aka Spike's vacation resort) for a lunchtime BBQ. After a few hours there, and some very hard work keeping Spike and Peanut away from the food, we took them over to the new Olympic Sculpture Park in downtown Seattle.

The park is pretty cool - a very neat open space with a path and some odd sculptures here and there. Very well-kept. It was a beautiful day out, too, so it should have been the perfect outing. Except that Spike and Peanut were already tired from having to behave at Aunt Susie's house, and so they were just not paying any attention to us at all. Both of them were pulling on the leash like crazy which in turn made me tired and cranky. So sad.

But we'll go back to the Sculpture Park again this summer. I'll definitely try to find an excuse to walk over there once I start my new job - it's just a few blocks away from it.

I made some more jewelry - one asymmetric necklace that I'm quite proud of, and I re-did the bracelet I made for Rinki. Will post pics tomorrow if I can get any good ones - I may have to take Lisa up on her suggestions for getting better ones. I just need to figure out what she meant by a "garage light" from Home Depot!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

You are so beautiful to me

Did anyone else think that the woman Kenny Rogers was singing to might have been pretty ugly? I mean, if she's only beautiful to him...

I am posting this from my brand-new shiny birthday MacBook that my lovely husband bought for me. Woo hoo! It's a gorgeous laptop. I have a lot to do to figure out how to use the Mac OS, since it's so different from Windows, but I already love it. It's just so pretty.

Thank you TJ!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My friends from high school married their high school boyfriends

Today was another mellow day at Creath House. I didn't wake up until noon (not sure what's up with that, I did go to bed after 1am, but still...)

We saw "Ocean's Thirteen" today. Very amusing, a good mindless fun movie. Clooney and Pitt don't do anything for me, but they're not annoying either (like Nicolas Cage or Kevin Spacey are). It's worth the $8 ticket.

I also spent some time (finally!) unpacking the boxes my parents sent me, of stuff from my childhood they were storing until I had my own house. It was fun, and I'm not quite through it yet. I found a bunch of high school report cards and academic awards. Seems like my high school gave out awards for everything. "Yay, you showed up for school - here's an award".

I threw most of that stuff away - high school was way too easy for me to really be proud of any of that stuff. If I had gotten even a crappy award certificate from Caltech, I would have framed that sucker in a minute. Speaking of which, I know exactly where my Caltech diploma and my 3rd term sophomore year grade reports are right now. That's the stuff I'm proud of.

In one of the boxes, I found Alphie, a real live "computer programmed" toy robot from the 1980s. I remember playing with him, but I'm not sure if he was mine or my brother's. One of my parents will have to confirm. I'll have to dig up a 9-volt battery and see if he still works. See, I was always destined to be a geek. Other girls had Barbie, and I had Alphie.

Ooh, one last thing. Happy Anniversary to Jasmine and Chris! 12 years, can you believe it?? Yowza!

Can't keep my eyes off of you

OK, I dug up Anya and Danny's performance from "So You Think You Can Dance". Won't be quite as good as watching it on TV, but you can at least sort of see what I mean. Unless of course, you loathe the song, in which case you will totally hate it.

I don't know what it was, but it had me totally riveted.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Keep your drink, just give me the money

We did a lot of weeding today in preparation for TJ's parents' visit. (Hi Mom & Dad!) It was pretty satisfying, even though it still looks bad in our front yard. At least, it looks better. With our wacky weather here, and the fact that we pulled out all the evil ivy groundcover last summer, the weeds have pretty much taken over the front yard. Except where we paved over the lawn. Maybe we should just pour concrete over the whole thing and call it done.

I made some more jewelry this weekend. I redid the silver bracelet I bought in St. Barth's, since it was just on a thread with these sort-of adjustable knots. I strung the centerpiece on wire and added some Caribbean colored glass beads. I'm pretty pleased with it:

So I'm glad I can wear that bracelet again since it reminds me of that fabulous vacation. In fact, I'm wearing it right now. yippee!

The other necklace I made today was from some 99-cent beads I bought at Goodwill, bits of a $5 necklace from a thrift store, and other random beads I bought over the past few weeks from eBay and

Oddly enough, the inspiration for this one was the bottom of our bathmat - it's got these cool stripes in peach, hot pink, dark brown and off-white. Or maybe I should come up with a better story, like it reminds me of the sunset in Morocco. That sounds better.

I'm thinking of turning our second guest bedroom into my beading area. It's getting to be too messy to leave the stuff out on the kitchen table, and I'm always afraid one of the dogs is going to eat any beads that I drop because usually things that fall from the kitchen table are Yummy Treats.

Oh, and I walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes while watching last week's "So You Think You Can Dance". I love that show. Except for the weirdo "contemporary" dancing and all of the writhing around on the floor. And the bare feet and tight outfits. Ugh.

There was an amazing, amazing performance by Anya & ? of the Viennese waltz, to "You and Me" by Lifehouse (a guilty pleasure song for me, totally indistinguishable from any other gravelly voiced Nickelback, etc. band). It was gorgeous and graceful, and seriously *moving*. Weird. I had no idea watching a dance performance could do that for me.

Hope you all are having a nice weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm not angry anymore

Yesterday was one of the most frustrating days I've had at work in a long time.

It's a good thing for me when I'm wrapped up in work - makes me feel engaged, like I enjoy what I'm doing. If I could leave it there at 5pm and not care about it, that probably means I'm not in the right job.

But yesterday's frustration wouldn't stay at work. It came home with me, ate dinner with me, went to the Goodwill store with me to look for cheap jewelry to disassemble and recycle, made a necklace with me, and went to bed with me. It's still lingering in the morning.

Given that I only have 2 weeks left at this job, I shouldn't be so tied up in these problems. So I'm making a conscious decision to let it go. I'll drop in at work for a little while and attend our team lunch, and then go meet Lisa for coffee.

And on that note of leaving things behind, here's what I made yesterday:

At Goodwill, I found this luxuriously cheesy, giant "pearl" choker. (I wish I had taken a picture of it before I took it apart). The beads are unusually heavy, so I think they're glass and not plastic. The string they were on was also carefully knotted between each pearl, a nice touch, except when you're trying to take it apart.

I had these green glass beads from India that reminded me of leaves, so I thought I'd make a sort of abstract floral pattern (leaf, flower, leaf). I tried a bunch of different beads in between the "flowers" and ended up with the small jade ones I bought on EBay a few weeks ago. I made the necklace as a 16" relaxed choker first, and then realized that those huge beads looked ridiculous as a choker. (On me, anyway). So I took it all apart and restrung it as a longer necklace (the official term is matinee-length, I believe).

The new tripod works pretty well - definitely worth the $6 I paid for it. I'm still struggling with the lighting though. I think the necklace still looks better in person. Got any tips for me on still photography?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I talk but you don't listen

TJ and I find this extremely hilarious, and I'm not sure why.

It's been two long years now

We just got back from Las Vegas yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning. Peanut was anxiously waiting for us, since Ryan (our current dogsitter until he gets a dog and can't dogsit anymore) fed him in the evening and then had to go home to take care of some stuff.

We hadn't been there in two years, and boy have a lot of things changed. The Aladdin has turned into Planet Hollywood, which is sad, because the Moroccan-ish decor was one of my favorites in Vegas. The good shopping is still there, but they're redoing the entire building.

Our favorite, the Golden Nugget, has been sort of remodeled as well - the casino looks a bit different, with a really cool light fixture thingy, and the pool area now has sharks. Fortunately they're enclosed in their own tank, but they have a cool tube running through it that you can swim through and pretend like you're swimming with the sharks.

We stayed at Paris, which was nice. The food was pretty crappy, except in their Italian restaurant. I keep wanting to like Las Vegas buffets, but really, food is just not that good when it's been sitting out like that. But they do get special points for making crepes on demand.

The good news is that both of us came out ahead in our gambling. Pretty amazing! I won about $50 playing Pai Gow Poker. Actually, I won more than that but lost a bunch at Video Poker. But all in all, it was a fun weekend. A great vacation, and very stress-free.

I only got a few pictures and will post those soon. My fancy new $6 mini-tripod has arrived from, so I'm looking forward to trying it out on some of the bracelets I just made. I'll post those too.

What have y'all been up to?

Friday, June 15, 2007

I've been all around the world

Woo hoo! Only a few hours until it's time for us to go to Vegas! We're meeting our friends Dave and Kim there. We haven't seen them since the last of our wedding festivities in June 2005. Well, I guess Dave was here for a day to watch the NFC championship game with TJ in 2006 (I think).

So this is just a quick post before it's time to pack up Spike and take him over to Aunt Susie's. Peanut is staying at home with Ryan, a friend of ours from Caltech/Microsoft. Let's hope this time Ryan can get some sleep. Last time he had both Peanut and Spike, and Spike kept waking him up in the middle of the night to play. Poor Ryan.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

She brings me white golden pearls

A few weeks ago, I took an "Introduction to Beaded Jewelry" class at the local bead store. I had expected it to be just ok, and a rehash of what I had already read in a book I had bought. I also wondered how it could possibly be a 6-hour class.

So I went with skepticism and came back amazed. The instructor, Kathy, is the owner of Beads and Beyond in Bellevue. She had loads of interesting facts about beads, a great handout with actual literature references (apparently she was a librarian in a past life) and some amazing tips for how to make the fiddly work with beads easier for those of us who have some issues with hand-eye coordination. I ended up staying nearly two hours past the end of class, working on my first projects, and spending $70 on supplies at the store.

I've never really had any kind of artistic hobby, or one that involves working with my hands more than my brain. I love it. And while I'm not really a creative person, I'm slowly discovering what my aesthetic sense is and being able to classify *why* I like a particular design. As you might expect from a logical, analytical person, I like perfectly symmetric designs. I also prefer beads and stones with regular shapes, rather than more random "natural" looking ones.

You can see the pieces I've created on my Smugmug photo site.

I'm also trying to figure out how best to photograph these, so I've ordered a cheap tripod for my camera to experiment with the Macro setting, which is great for close-ups but doesn't use the flash, and thus requires no motion in the camera to compensate for the slower shutter speed. And my tiny camera is really, really hard to hold perfectly still.

I'll leave you with a picture of my current favorite:

I have been "recycling" a bunch of the jewelry I don't wear into new items I like better. This one is more of an "enhancement" since I left the original bracelet intact. When I went to India in 2004, my aunt Meena bought me this very cute silver bracelet. In college my friend Jennifer bought me a charm bracelet for my birthday, and over the next couple of years, I added charms from Mexico and San Francisco when I went on vacation. The silver bracelet from India is much more interesting than the bracelet my charms were on, so I moved all the charms over to it. I also taught myself how to use a simple wire headpin to make tiny crystal charms using a technique called "wirewrapping". It's much harder than books let on, to make the charms look uniform and professional. So my first few crystal charms look a little, um, homemade. When I get better at it, I may replace them.

So, dear readers, if you have any cheap-ish beaded jewelry that you're planning to get rid of, please send it to me. I'll even pay for your postage. If it's not so cheapish, I can reconfigure it and give it back to you in a new form. I love just making the stuff, and am happy to give it away, because at some point, I'll have more jewelry than I can wear. Oh wait, that might have already happened.

So send me your tired, your tattered, your crappy jewelry that you don't love anymore! I will make it new and interesting again. Yippee!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

She could change everything about her

OK, so I can finally tell you all why I made my blog private for a while. (And wow, I had no idea so many people read it until I got several emails asking why they couldn't get to it anymore!)

My last day at Microsoft will be July 6. That's right folks, after nearly 5 years, I am going to take a bit of a risk and work at a small startup in downtown Seattle. Part of the reason is that I want to focus on project management, which isn't really recognized as a separate position at Microsoft. Part of it is that after 6 months of working part-time, I'm ready to work full time again, and I want to put those hours into a job where I can see that I'm really making a difference. Microsoft is so huge that it's really hard to feel like my work is all that important.

So my new job starts July 9. If any of you have experience working at a startup, or any company with less than 30 people, I'd love to hear any advice you have!

I'll miss some things at Microsoft, like the free gym membership and my nonexistent commute. But luckily for me TJ still works there so I can get a lot of the benefits through him.

Here's to a new adventure!

sharing is nice

Related Posts with Thumbnails