Yikes. I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. Actually, I can. In the back of my head, I knew returning to Microsoft would definitely increase my working hours (though I hoped I'd only be spending the time I used to commute to my downtown job in addition to a standard 8-9 hour workday.)
Hmm, so after about 3 weeks on the job, it seems like my average work day is about 10 hours, and I might need to get my email surgically removed from my body. The good news is that I really love my new job, and my new manager is pretty awesome as well.
So you'd think with all this working, I wouldn't have had time to do anything fun. Not so, thanks to concert tickets purchased months ago, and a husband who forces me away from the computer every now and then. Here is a list of pretty awesome things that I did in between a lot of work.
Rush Concert, The Gorge, Saturday May 31
Last Saturday, Dave and I went to see Rush at the Gorge. The Gorge is a concert amphitheater built right on the Columbia River, about 3 hours east of Seattle. Words cannot adequately describe the beauty of this place. I was in shock. The concert stage is set up in front of this amazing backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge. If you ever get the chance to go there, even for a totally crappy band, you must see it. It is unreal.
The concert itself was pretty good - Rush did a lot of their old stuff, though it was disconcerting to see how old the band members looked, even compared to when I saw them in college about 15 years ago. (OMG, college was 15 years ago?!) They didn't play either of my favorite songs, but they are such amazing musicians that it was a treat to watch. They did a lot of songs from their new album, which were just ok. Not good, not bad. The venue totally made this a worthwhile trip. And Neil Peart's drum solo was crazy amazing.
Word to the wise: if you are going to the Gorge, remove all contraband from your vehicle. We saw two arrests which seemed clearly due to the presence of the Happy Weed in vehicles of young dudes on their way to a show. The cops were in full force on their way to and from the show. I guess it's like shooting fish in a barrel.
Oh, and the thing I learned at the show - the classic Rush hit "A Passage to Bangkok" is all about weed. I guess I'm just totally naive - I must have heard it a thousand times, and never quite caught on. But many of our neighboring concertgoers clearly came prepared.
Sex and The City Movie, Sunday June 1
The Good Thing that happened on Sunday was that I convinced TJ to go see the SaTC movie with me. (I would have gone by myself otherwise.) It was so fun! I forgot how much I enjoy a totally substance-free movie. (And by substance, I am not referring to weed.) It was funny, the outfits and jewelry were gorgeous (and some strange), and of course everything turns out ok at the end.
Tomato-Shrimp Risotto, Sunday June 1 and Thursday June 5
I dug out an old Weight Watchers cookbook and found a dubious-sounding recipe for risotto you can make in less than 20 min in the microwave. I figured it was worth trying once. OMG it was AMAZING. I am totally sold on using the microwave to actually cook things. I liked it so much, I made it twice this week. And ate it for four meals. Woot.
Iron Maiden Concert, Monday June 2
So several months ago, I heard on the radio that Iron Maiden was coming to town. I was never a huge fan of them - somehow they just seemed more like a "guy's band", like Judas Priest. I'm not sure why I never got into them, considering their singer Bruce Dickinson is pretty amazing and they have some really cool melodic tunes.
Since I had never seen them before, and since these guys have been around since the early 80s and may never tour again, I figured I should go. A horizon-broadening experience - a cultural outing. So I wasn't really actively excited about it, but I love metal, and the energy at a concert.
I am a HUGE fan now. Their concert was basically just a Greatest Hits show. No new crappy music to deal with. I had heard of every single song except one and they played my favorite song of theirs (The Clairvoyant, if you must know.) They had the typical 80s metal band elaborate sets, smoke machines, FIRE, fireworks, and awesome lighting. They had an Egyptian set for the Powerslave stuff and a pirate ship set for "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
They had a 20 foot tall mummy version of Eddie, their scary mascot. They had another Transformers-looking version of a 12 foot tall Eddie come out on stage.
Simply put, these guys *still* know how to put on a great show. Bruce can still sing, and their four guitarists (weird, I know) are awesome too. Everyone, band and crowd, was having a great time. It surprised me how many people under 25 were there, too. And they were totally into all the old songs, singing along like they had been there in 1985 when those songs came out. Heck, most of them weren't even ALIVE. But the energy of that show was just fantastic. I think it was one of the best I've seen, all time.
Amazing Bead Delivery, Wednesday June 4
Amma sent me the beads she bought for me in India. Sadly I don't have pictures yet so I can't post any, but WOW. I will have a lot of fun with these. She bought a LOT of unique handmade silver beads, some really pretty gemstone beads and a giant stash of sterling wire for me. The not-so-fun part was locking my keys in the car at the FedEx office. Thank God for nice husbands, or I'd be making jewelry in the FedEx parking lot in Issaquah right now.
Hopefully I can post some pics and make some pretty things this weekend. My etsy shop has been sadly neglected for a little while - I haven't posted anything new since last month!
Whew! So that's a lot of catching up I just did. What have you all been doing??