12.30.2009

last post of 2009?

I feel compelled to summarize the year so here it goes:
- Rang in the new year in London on our honeymoon. Had a frost bite scare but my toes recovered!
- Took a quick trip to FL for a friend's wedding.
- Started a new job.
- Moved from basement apartment to our top floor apartment.
- Bought house and moved again a few months later.
- Went to Austin for Christmas, visiting Perla, and meeting our new niece.
- Celebrated 1 year anniversary yesterday!

Next year we're hoping for a slower pace so we have more time to spend on the things that got overlooked last year. One of our goals in buying a house was having enough land to grow a vegetable garden. Starting in Feb we can begin planting! I also want to make more time for reading, trying new recipes, and exercising. I had to cancel my elliptical because the ship date moved to when we were on vacation, so now I'll have to reorder it. I would like to say I have a plan for improvements to the house, but I feel like the house has a plan for itself. I'm sure as soon as one thing breaks, it will lead to other projects so I don't want to get my heart set on anything cosmetic just yet.
Happy New Years, everyone!

12.29.2009

Texas Photos

Leighann posted all of these to her Facebook already, but I figured I’d post them here for anyone that isn’t on the Facebook wagon.

 

Salmon Bay Photos

I was walking around our neighborhood the other evening and came across this park on the edge of Salmon Bay. The Bay sits between Lake Union and Lake Washington on the East, and Elliot Bay (Puget Sound) on the West. The bodies of water are connected by the Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks. The park overlooks where the Bay reaches the Sound. The sun was setting behind the hill (Magnolia) and it was really pretty. I snapped these pictures with my cell phone, so they aren’t super detailed, but they stitched together nicely.

Photos are here

12.14.2009

London Photosynth

My laptop died the other day, so I’ve been going through the long process of recovering some of my stuff off of it, mainly photos.  I came across a bunch of panoramic type photos that I took on our Honeymoon that I had sort of forgotten about.  I’ve always wanted to give Photosynth a try, but didn’t really have any good photos for it.  So, here’s one.  I’ll post more if they are any good.

12.13.2009

left overs


Why do I hate leftovers so much? I was looking forward to them all day until it was time to heat them up, then I talked myself out of it. I turned to Nate and said " I wish we had more of the asparagus ravioli we ate last week." Then I opened the freezer and there it was. We can't figure out where it came from or remember buying another bag. I hope the freezer fairy brings me some Ben and Jerry's oatmeal cookie dough ice cream next...

12.10.2009

a niece


Congrats to Doug and Helen on the birth of Ophelia on Monday. She's got a blog here. We can't wait to meet her.

In other news, we haven't posted in awhile but my parents were here for Thanksgiving which was really nice. It's tough living so far away from family and I'm glad they are able to visit regularly. We got up Christmas lights, which I keep forgetting to take a picture of. It's been below freezing for days. I don't linger outside of the house much.

Also, I ordered an elliptical machine. It's the only thing I ever use at the gym anyway so it makes more sense just to have one. Mine isn't as fancy as the gym one (which had a TV built in), but I'll never have to wait for someone to finish using it. Apparently it weighs 150lbs and we have to assemble it. I'm a little concerned about building it wrong and it falling apart during use.

11.22.2009

super quick update

- Sewer fixed.. we hope
- Got a new, bigger christmas tree with some led lights for nerdy flair
- 1 week until doug and helen's baby arrives
- 2 days until my parents come for thanksgiving
- Sun came out today for the first time in awhile and instantly gave me a headache

11.17.2009

That Was Fast

We officially feel like homeowners, and it only took a month and a half!  We finally got over the fact that our plane tickets to Austin weren’t going to come down in price any more and just bought them.  We accepted it, and moved on.  Leighann went to cook dinner, and I went to take care of the cat litter and get the trash out ( side note, Seattle has ridiculous trash and recycling rules - http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Garbage/GarbageatYourHouse/WhatsAcceptedasGarbage/index.htm ), so I headed downstairs to find three inches of standing water in the basement.

IMG_1377

IMG_1381

It turns out our lovely flat sewer line backed up, just like we thought it would.  We had really hoped to get more than 6 weeks out of it.  We got a plumber out to clear the line and the water all drained away.  A few hours of cleaning and a few hundred dollars later and it’s back to how it was.  Isn’t owning a house fun!?  We don’t really know what caused it, but I’m willing to wage dollars to donuts that it had something to do with the fact that this has been the 10-day forecast for over a month now:

image

11.10.2009

neighborhood gossip on the internet

It's an excellent concept. We've been following the My Ballard blog since we moved in and we're loving it. There isn't a local paper just for Ballard and not much media attention is given to it, so it's great to know what's going on around us. For example, tonight we heard a really low flying plane that gave us a scare. I spent years living within a mile of airports and had never heard anything like it before. Within minutes the forums were alive with activity of other people hearing the same thing. Without the blog we would have just shrugged it off. Same with when we saw all of the emergency vehicles in front of Matador. The blog was the first to report the stabbing and I'm not sure if the newspaper ever ran a story on it. Thanks to the internet we don't have to go out into the 40 degree rain to talk to our neighbors to stay up to date on the neighborhood news. =)
In other news, we're making progress on the house. We've painted the entry and the living/dining room. Did I mention we're horrible painters. Not good at staying in the lines... Anyway, we have a contractor coming tomorrow to see how much it will cost to get some trim work done and the wood floors refinished. We're not handy people.

10.26.2009

painting

We bought a bunch of little sample paint pints from Lowes to decide what color we want to have on the walls. Last night I commented that I'm not going to get to see them in daylight until next weekend. I'm afraid of picking colors that look great in artificial light but then look horrible in daylight. There WILL be daylight in our lives again eventually =)

10.18.2009

first day of yard work


The rain finally let up enough for us to do some yard work today. The grass needed to be cut and there was a gigantic vine that had wrapped itself all the way around the house. Luckily, the previous owner left us an awesome rotary lawn mower and hedge clippers so we had everything we needed. We completely filled the yard waste bin which I think means we were successful.
Our goal later on is to get rid of all of the crazy mismatched plants and make a cohesive design. I like the look of evergreen shrubs and not so much the weird tropical-looking plants we have now (which aren't pictured here.) Also, they're fairly easy to shape so they won't block the basement windows and we can get more light down there. Maybe I'll make topiary...

10.12.2009

starting to feel like home

It's been a couple weeks now and we're starting to get used to living here. Nate's dad and sister just visited us, and it was really nice to see them. Nate and his dad did a lot of work around the house. They ripped out all of the carpet (that smelled like cigarettes) in the basement. We're thinking about using concrete paint for that room since it'll be used for a rec room at some point. They also did some electrical and duct work for the washer and dryer to bring it up to code and got the furnace working. Upstairs, they got my closet fixed so I can actually hang clothes in it. And of course they found time to watch baseball.
Kim joined us on Saturday for The Pogues show. Beforehand, Kim tried out the flat iron and it was epic. It took about an hour and I'm pretty sure it made her hair about 5 inches longer. We had a good time at the show mostly thanks to the excellent parking spot Nate found. =)

9.29.2009

A Blast of Winter

Now that we've moved out of the west-facing oven of an apartment, summer has apparently left us. I don't know what normal weather is around here, but it sure feels like we skipped fall and went right to winter. Mornings are in the high 30s or low 40s, and it almost gets up to the mid-50s in the daytime. Oh, and anyone that tells you it doesn't snow much up here is a liar; there is already rumors of snow in the foothills, and it's not even October! We don't mind though, after the 110 degree days of July and August, we're quite happy with the cooler nights. In fact, we still refuse to turn the heater on, but that is mostly because the ducts and filters need to be cleaned. I should probably do that soon so my Dad and sister don't freeze when they're here next week.

9.28.2009

closing

We officially closed today! The locksmith is here right now changing our locks because there are so many copies of the key out there. I'm in the process of cooking our first meal (Zatarain's black beans and rice with turkey sausage in case anyone is curious.) We both successfully took our buses this morning. Unpacking is about half-way done. A lot of what is still packed is stuff we don't have the right storage for so it will have to wait until we can make a Target trip tomorrow. I took some "before" pictures during the unpacking yesterday. I'm hoping very soon to have some "afters".

9.26.2009

first night in the new house

We are finally in but only slightly unpacked. We were afraid it wasn't going to happen yesterday. Turns out the title company found a lien on the property about 3 weeks ago and neglected to tell all of us, including the seller. The seller had acceptable proof that the debt had been paid, but wasn't asked for it until it was too late to close yesterday. Now we are closing on Monday, but the seller was nice enough to give us possession of the house as scheduled. I'm sure he was as frustrated as we were, considering this all could have been avoided if the title company (that we both paid) had given him or his agent a call.
Moving was stress-free. We hired movers who were professional, friendly, and even showed up early. It cost exactly what they said it would- no surprises. Because of timing, Nate stayed in Bothell with the movers and I hung out here in Ballard waiting for the Comcast tech to come. While I was waiting I walked to downtown Ballard for some lunch and hung out at the locks watching the boats go out to The Sound.
The Comcast guy showed up 7 minutes into the 4 hour window which is amazing. Our signal was not strong enough so I watched in horror as he pulled out a ladder with giant hooks at the end, hooked it to the power line, and climbed up to run a new line our to our house. I did not know power line wires are strong enough to rest a ladder on.
After the cable was fixed and the movers had left, we drove back to Bothell to get the cats. They are adjusting pretty well, though this house is far bigger than any space they've ever lived in. They are also terrified of the basement stairs which is fair because they are weird, crooked stairs. I put the litter box down there, so hopefully they get over it fast.
I'm so glad we are finally here, but at the same time it doesn't feel real. I've been in apartments for so long, it's strange to listen and not hear anything. Our street is super quiet and I love that about it. Unfortunately, we completely forgot to take pictures today.. maybe tomorrow we can take some pictures of us unpacking.

9.24.2009

signing our lives away

We signed all of our closing papers yesterday. It wasn't nearly as long as I thought and a lot of the paperwork seemed redundant. We took one final walk-through of the house afterward. The bee keeper had removed the honey bees from the back yard which is nice. They're now living on a bee farm somewhere. With all the weird furniture and dark curtains gone, it looks so much more cheerful inside. I can't wait to see it with our stuff. Tomorrow is closing and we get the keys. Then we immediately change the locks.

9.15.2009

the digital transition has been going on for some time now

I got a letter from Comcast in the mail telling me I need a digital converter box to keep getting digital cable channels on any tvs without cable boxes. I logged in to see what I need to order, but apparently over 250 years ago I already ordered it. I can be forgetful sometimes. It's been over 3 days since my order so I wonder where it is...

9.13.2009

appraisal

The appraisal came back and was fine. So far we are ahead of schedule to close on the 25th. We picked an insurance company and we're working on finding movers. We learned our lesson trying to do the last move ourselves.

9.10.2009

things to consider at work

Not naming names or speaking about any place in particular but there are a couple things that I'd like to have stopped:
- grunting noises in the bathroom
- talking baby talk to your kids/wife on the phone outside of my cube
- pot luck
- heavy breathing when you walk- seriously you shouldn't get out of breath walking to the printer

Bringing me candy and/or diet coke is acceptable.

Things to not do on the bus:
- talk to me
- have any part of your body cross the cushion divide
- sleep next to me
- smell like lysol
- wait until I pull the chain, then come sit on the aisle seat so that I now have to walk over you to get out

Ok. I just wanted to clear these things up because clearly this week there's been some confusion.

9.06.2009

a house in ballard

OMG we're under contract on a house. We were out with our real estate agent and getting disappointed because anything that wasn't a fixer had something wrong with the location. This was the very last house we looked at and we loved it. It's just a few minutes walk from the shops and restaurants in downtown Ballard. Nate can walk to the connector and I can walk to my bus stop. It's the smallest house on an expensive street which is smart from an investment standpoint.
The inside definitely needs work. The floors REALLY need to be refinished. Several windows need to be replaced. Many of the appliances could go at any moment. The electrical and plumbing are in need of updating. The sewer needs to be fixed. It's a shame that it wasn't well taken care of because the house itself is great. It has really high ceilings and a really nice floor plan that fits our needs perfectly. We're really excited to work on it over the next few years.
So I've watched a lot of these home buying shows on HGTV and still didn't really understand how stressful the process is. They often end the show with the offer getting accepted and you assume after that it's smooth sailing. It's been over a week since our offer got accepted and I still feel like everything could fall apart at any second. The negotiations for repairs were stressful because this is an estate sale. I felt the seller took us asking for repairs as an insult to his late parents, which was something I didn't expect. For us it's a business transaction and an exciting time, but it must be difficult selling your family's home for less than you think it's worth.
Now we're worried that something will go wrong with the appraisal. There are so few sales in that neighborhood (I think it's a good thing that people don't want to move?), coming up with fair market value was difficult. Our lender assured us that it would be fine and we wouldn't knowingly have overbid on a house so hopefully all goes well.
We went to Home Depot yesterday to start adding up the costs of all of the things we need or will need in the first year. Turns out things that we need aren't that expensive if we do them ourselves, but if we hire someone labor costs won't be cheap. With that being said, Nate's dad is visiting a week after we move in and my parents are visiting for Thanksgiving. We're hoping they can teach us how to do some of the easier projects because we are clueless about this stuff. We actually tried to buy some tools yesterday and gave up. What is the difference between a $100 drill and a $400 drill? LOL we have a lot to learn. If all goes well, closing is on Sep 25th. I'll keep you posted.

8.22.2009

oh yeah.. i have a blog

Needless to say, I've been a little distracted lately. The job has been keeping me busy and feeling pretty drained during the week. My coworkers love potlucks which is a practice I have trouble understanding. We sit at desks all day so forcing junk food on one another doesn't seem like the best idea. Also, I've noticed a disturbing number of women not washing their hands in the bathroom. That doesn't make me want to dig into the bag of chips after them.
In other news, we've started up the house hunt again. Apparently we want the same thing everyone else wants because anything we like has multiple offers on it. Some are sold before we have a chance to look at them. Others have been bought in cash which we can't compete with. It feels ridiculous to be considering offering over asking price on a home considering the market conditions. It also pains me to think we could have waterfront property back in Melbourne for less money than we're considering spending on a tiny cottage in need of updating. I'm trying my best to enjoy the process however long it may take.

7.11.2009

baseball and pigs on wheels




Last night I went to my first Mariner's game! Safeco Field is conveniently located just a few blocks from work so Nate bussed in to meet me and some friends and walk over.
Deciding on what baseball food to eat for dinner was challenging. Besides all of the classics, Safeco has a lot of good local restaurants like Garlic Jims and Ivars. Not only that, but the road you have to walk up to reach the stadium is lined with vendors in tents selling food that can be brought into the game.
This brings me to the highlight of the night: MAXIMUS MINIMUS! This pig had been eluding us for many weeks now and then.. there it was parked right outside of the stadium. The wonderful tangy aroma of BBQ sauce could not be denied. We got the maximus pork sandwich and omg yes it was most excellent. Pig, if you can hear me can you please come park in pioneer square for lunch and stop feeding the tourists on 2nd and pike??

7.05.2009

fireworks! cont'd

Here are 2 more fireworks videos. The second one is the grand finale.



fireworks!

We went to the fireworks at Gasworks again this year and they were even better than last year. My little pink camera took some decent videos, so here are some highlights:





Nate is still uploading them, so I'll post a couple more (including the grand finale) tomorrow.

6.21.2009

Fremont Solstice Parade

Yesterday we experienced our first Fremont Solstice. What can I even say about it? There were a bunch of naked hippies on bikes. We walked by hundreds of vendor tents- only the obese nudest tent was memorable. We bar hopped a little. Things started to make more sense after a couple drinks so I've arrange the photos in the order I wish they had happened.



At the street fair

The Taming of the Shrew performed in front of the famous bridge troll

Gasworks Park

A blur of naked bike riders

A few more

Today's plan is to drive back into the city to look at a few open houses. Then we'll try the world-famous Red Mill burgers! I've been hearing about this place for awhile and I'm excited to finally try one.

6.10.2009

im still here

I've been neglecting the blog lately! Work is keeping me very busy. While it's fun being in the city everyday, the hour bus ride gets old. (Let's reopen the convention center express lane exit, ok?) I get home around 7, eat, get mad that nothing good is on tv, and go to bed by 10. I'd love to live about 30 mins closer, but at least it's narrowed down the areas we're looking for houses in.
Off to work!

6.03.2009

why seattle real estate is absurd part 4

Yes, I know I skipped 3, but let's just count yesterday's post as 3. Anyway:
MLS#: 29078424
Possibly the worst listing photos ever.

6.02.2009

Seattle Real Estate Update

WTF is this?
MLS#: 29078582
Who wants to live in a studio out in the suburbs for that price?

5.09.2009

white water rafting

My parents are in town and today the four of us went white water rafting on the Skykomish River. It's supposed to be the best rafting in WA and it's only 45 mins away. The water temperature was around 38 degrees so we had to wear wetsuits and booties. The air temp was almost 70 so it felt really nice in the sun. My parents and I have been rafting many times, but it was Nate's first go at it. Nate stitched together this video from the 83 pics the photographer took of us going down Boulder Drop.
We'd be happy to go again if anyone visiting wants to go! =)

4.30.2009

city officials acknowledge snow reponse

A new report in the Seattle Times questions the city's response to December's snow.
An excerpt:

Because of poor record-keeping, the report said, "how many miles of residential streets (were plowed) and why they were plowed during the snowstorm cannot be confirmed or explained."

During the storms, according to the report, Seattle transportation officials kept snowplowing records on dry-erase boards and in handwritten notes, and let road crews decide which streets to plow first.

Also, the city did not follow its own procedures. A team of people was supposed to be ready to respond to road emergencies, but that team was not activated for the storm's first week and a half because it "did not formally exist," the report said.



They also touch on their no-salt policy, stating there was no scientific basis for banning salt. I'm prepared to watch in amazement as not a single responsible party is fired or resigns.

4.26.2009

a quicky

First day of work tomorrow! I'm more nervous about taking the bus than anything else. The ipod is charged to minimize the risk of small talk.
Celebrity Apprentice was absurd tonight. I don't think anyone believes a single one of the contestants is in it for the charity. The producers did a good job of picking people that represent all the stereotypes about fame.

I'm bringing my pink lunch box tomorrow and I don't care who knows it!
Good night!

4.21.2009

why seattle real estate is absurd part 2

This is the next installment of "people attempting to sell their garage"...
MLS#: 28139698

At first, this seems like a steal. After all- getting into the Seattle market under $200k is quite an accomplishment. But check out the price/sq ft. If you apply the $250 neighborhood average it should cost about $81k. Also they claim to have a walk-in closet! I'm calling BS on this one unless they are counting the house itself.

4.19.2009

why seattle real estate is absurd

Nate and I have had some frustrations with trying to find a house in Seattle. I would like to provide the following examples to demonstrate why:

MLS#: 29050711
A look at the google map satellite shows that this is someone's garage or shed that's been converted into a house. One-of-a-kind indeed!

MLS#: 29047766
Or is it?! This "charming bungalow" is also a garage. Bed must be entered through the bottom right corner. Excellent.

MLS#: 29048902
This is by far my favorite piece of crap of all time. If you map it, you'll see it's not in the city like the other 2. Also, King County records lists the square footage at 680, making this a whopping $551/sq ft in a $250/sq ft neighborhood. Throw in the $190/month HOA dues and you have yourself a winner!

4.17.2009

go meat!

I'm still bothered by what happened at the deli yesterday. You tell the deli person the amount of meat or cheese you want and they put it on the scale in front of you. It's almost always more than what you ask for, so you pay more and end up throwing some away. I don't think that's fair so when they ask you "is that too much?" I will say yes. Apparently they don't like this. Once the meat has been sliced, it can't be sold again and they have to throw it away. The girl looked at me like I was being ridiculous.
Why should it be my problem that she can't estimate the weight of meat and cheese? Isn't that one of the most important aspects of her job? If I'm working in a bank and a customer wants to withdrawal $400 and I give them $415 they would think I'm crazy. I have a one-slice overweight limit. If I paid the extra $2 for that extra meat and cheese each week that I wasn't going to eat anyway, I'd be wasting over $100/year. Think about that next time they ask you "is this too much"!

EDIT: I want to note that I do not ask for strange amounts. I ask for 1/4, 1/2, or 1 lbs. It's not like I ask for 3/17 lbs of meat though that might be fun to try sometime.

4.15.2009

happy tax day

Nate posted a video on soapbox of the gasworks park fireworks last year that got a really good rating. Someone else took a video of the grand finale though that I thought I'd share with you all. We just recently learned that Chase is stepping up to do them this year in place of Wamu so we're pretty excited.

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=03039e13-1686-45c7-9db1-58ee8c7059c9" target="_new" title="Gasworks Park Fireworks Finale">Video: Gasworks Park Fireworks Finale</a>

4.13.2009

that's not my name




We saw The Ting Tings last night at the Crocodile Cafe downtown. It was a smallish show (maybe 150 people) and we were some of the youngest people there. The opening band, Hot Tub, was possibly the most horrifying thing I've ever seen. Three girls- two of them overweight- wearing too little clothing and dancing a little too provocatively. Lot's of bass and screeching. It ended with one of them putting a microphone down her pants and announcing that she's on her period. The Ting Tings were great though and actually sound better live than on the album.

In other news, we moved our house hunt outside of the Seattle city limits. We don't want to over-extend ourselves and we can get a lot more house for the money. We put in offer in on a new construction in Renton and we'll see what happens. The nice thing is now that I'll be working downtown, coming home to the suburbs at nice will be a lot more appealing.

ALSO! I'm going to be an aunt! Doug and Helen are having a baby and I regret to inform her siblings that Nate and I will be the favorite aunt and uncle. I already called dibs. Sorry! =)
Congrats guys!!

3.27.2009

Serving Suggestion


Nate was making my cupcakes today when I started to think about the "serving suggestion" recommendation in the bottom right corner. What exactly are they suggesting? I should find a fictional character to serve me the cake on a spoon that's twice as tall as he is? I'll pass.

3.25.2009

New Cell Phone Case










This is my new handmade cell phone case! I bought it from Helen's brother's Etsy store. He doesn't sell them, but he'll make one if you ask. Check it out here: Underground Grace
I asked for a mating of two of the cubby buddies and this design was born.

3.23.2009

Home Buying and the Internet

As most of you probably know, Nate and I are looking to buy a house when our lease is up. I'm am so fascinated by how much information you can find to research home purchases. I knew you could pull up sales data in the public records, but I had no idea about how much detail is there. You can even pull up the scanned documents.
This got us wondering about this odd little wooden house that keeps turning up on our searches on real estate sites. It looks like the exterior is completely made of wooden shingles and the interior is gutted down to the wood frame. Of course, this is what shows up for single family homes in our price range! Still, this property is sold pending inspection. Who would purchase such a strange little house? We had to know.
Cue King County public records website. We find the sales history of the property and see that a lady flipped it in 2 months and made $90k on it. Holy crap. The guy who she sold it to is the current seller and taking a huge loss on it. So we became intrigued about this woman and her house flipping. Was it a one-time occurrence or her business? So we looked that up! An hour later we learn that she started a business of buying up homes at a steal before they went into foreclosure and flipping them for profit. Even ran a blog on how to avoid foreclosure. Last month two of her properties were foreclosed on and one of them is still on the market for way less than she owes on it. Nice upgrades to if anyone is looking for something in South Seattle. It's been foreclosed on twice now. We think viewing it would cross a weird line.
Still, we had a fun time with our public records soap opera. And we did gather a lot of useful information too about which properties we've seen were overpriced and which were priced about right. And I'm glad to finally know the history of the little wooden house.

3.21.2009

New Domain

I've settled on keeping my Blogger, so I've moved over the couple posts I made on my iWeb page. Also, work is moving along on the Novielli.org page so I switched over to my new address. Make sure to update your feed reader!

3.19.2009

deciphering the cats

I found this really interesting article today about the body language of cats. (here) There are some really good charts with what the different ear and tail positions mean. Most of Stella's usual body language is considered aggressive by this article (go figure). The section on eye contact really applies to The Baby.
In case you're bored, I supplied a few pictures to test your knowledge. It's nearly impossible to catch The Baby acting naturally on camera, so they are Stella pics. See if you can figure out what her body language is saying. I even supplied clues about what sections to look in. What fun!

1. Stella in the snow (tail, posture)
2. Stella with giant reflective pupils (eyes, ears)

3. Stella with airplane ears (ears, eyes)

4. Stella playing with a kitten (this one is a freebie)
If you get all of the answers right you won't win anything except a victory blog post. Good luck.

3.06.2009

Yes, I'm Cheating on iWeb

I miss you, Blogger. I have one more month to decide if I want to keep my Mobile Me account and I'm not sure what I want to do. Doesn't Apple have enough of my money?
In other news, the internet got a whole lot smaller this week. Almost my entire inbox is filled with Facebook alerts. I've found myself forgetting that I live on the other side of the country from everyone I know because I have a constant connection to people. Do people need to have high school reunions anymore? You don't need to wait 10 years to compare your progress because you can learn it all on Facebook minus the painful small talk. I'm only thinking about this now because it wasn't until the past few months that my Facebook circle expanded beyond people I see with some regularity. The fix is similar to what we get from reality tv, only somehow because it's people we know it seems more real.
That being said, I plan to continue using Facebook because I'm as curious as the people seeking me out. I also plan to keep blogging (though the venue remains undecided) because I like that people have to decide to read it. It's not an unsolicited blurb on their newsfeed. And I also plan to do something useful with my novielli.org domain as soon as I figure out what useful thing I can contribute to the internet.
I'm interested in what everyone's thoughts are on our growing addiction to online social networking. All four of you. =)

2.20.2009

This is Only A Test


Something strange happens with the Emergency Broadcast System on my TV. Every so often, like most places, there is a test of the system with annoying beeping that never occurs during a commercial. It always appears to be a successful test.
Then one day I was watching TV and the emergency signal sounds and the incoming message screen appears. But instead of telling me the message, it switched my channel over to CSPAN. This would be great if something vital was happening on CSPAN, but it wasn’t! There was no breaking news, no national crisis. Just senators shuffling around plotting new ways to waste our money. No problem, I figured, I’ll just change back to the show I was watching. NAY. I even thought the remote batteries had died so I tried to use the cable box to change the channel. It was stuck there for almost an hour.
I’m happy to report, the system has been improved! Last night, I heard the emergency signal and a message on the screen said that they were interrupting the program to tell give WA’s equivalent of an Amber Alert. No problem, this is important news considering how close we are to the border. So I wait... and wait.. nothing. No audio. No scrolling text to tell you anything about who was kidnapped or where. No info on the person they’re with or the vehicle. Nothing. And then it switched to CSPAN.
Good job, Washington! We’re getting there one step at a time. First we let people know there is an emergency, the we improve the system to let people know what type of emergency. Before we know it, we’ll actually be able to receive real time emergency info on our TVs (like hey, that volcano is erupting RUN FOR YOUR LIVES.) We’re so progressive. Sigh.

2.17.2009

My New Favorite Commercial

It’s Stella’s dinner time, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I see this commercial every morning and I love it.

2.16.2009

Adventures In Downtown Seattle

We’ve had our first visitors! Last Wednesday my parents flew in to see us before going on to Lake Tahoe for some skiing. They had been to Seattle once before. Back when I was 16-ish we came here on vacation, and I decided I had to live here. Now I do. It’s funny how things work out.
Anyway, we went downtown one day while Nate was at work to walk around a bit. We started with a delicious lunch at Ivars. They were smart enough to install heaters in the glass dining room so you now can dine next to the water year-round. After that, we walked through Pike’s. The fish guys weren’t throwing fish, but I did make two excellent discoveries. First, we found a booth selling flavored pastas that were excellent. I can’t wait to go back and try the flavored orzo. After we bought dinner supplies, we went to the outdoor vendors and behold- the hippie artist who sold me my seattle drawing when I was 16 had come back! I’d checked for him previously and he wasn’t there! He is still making the drawing I have, plus a ton of other awesome ones. I asked him what days he is open and he hesitated and mumbled for some time before telling me that Mondays are good. I think it depends on if he can find drugs or not.
We went back downtown again on Valentine’s Day with Nate and started at the Sci-Fi Museum. Yes, it’s still awesome. We walked around downtown a little and had a nice dinner at Ivar’s Acres of Clams (the sit-down restaurant part). Believe it or not, I had a salad and enjoyed it. Afterwards, we stopped at Albertsons to get whatever we all wanted for desert. Nate made me oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!
In between all of that, we mostly just hung out. Nate got my dad addicted to NHL on the Xbox, and my mom is addicted to a game on my DS. There was also an agonizingly long Trivial Pursuit game in which Nate and I won dinner. All in all, it was a fun time and most of all we liked sharing our city with visitors! My parents are coming back at the beginning of May and Perla and her friend are coming at the end of May. If anyone else would like to visit, we have a very nice futon! =)

2.06.2009

Happy early birthday to me

April 6th at the Showbox- Lily Allen! I had to click about a hundred times at 10am when the tickets went on sale. Then it informed me I needed a promo code for the presale but thanks to the Live Journal emo kids, it was easy to find. I successful got the capcha on the first try, but with only 2.5 mins remaining realized I already had an account that I didn't know the password to. A couple of tries using some common passwords got me in, but then I had to change out all of my old credit card and billing information. There was a typo in my zip code at the one minute mark that almost ruined the whole thing. I didn't even read over all of the shipping options- I just picked the free one. I also didn't have time to contemplate the extra $23.50 of fees included with $50 worth of tickets. WHY IS IT TIMED?! It was so stressful! I am a fast reader and typer and it takes me almost the full 5 minutes. Would the Ticketmaster universe be thrown into chaos if they had a 10 minute limit instead of 5?
ANYWAY
Thank you Nate for tolerating my love of British pop and sorry to my newish keyboard for the rough treatment you endured this morning.

2.03.2009

wedding pictures are coming!

Yesterday the photographer posted the online gallery with all the wedding pictures. They look really nice and it was fun seeing all of the stuff you miss being behind the scenes.
They also reminded me of the things that annoyed me, like not getting the ceremony music I wanted. Everyone looks depressed coming down the aisle, so there aren't any pictures worth printing from that part. Also, even the photographer's retouching couldn't make the bouquet look alive in the closeup. We're getting a partial refund from the florist in case anyone is curious. On the flip side, there are a lot of pictures of people having fun that we didn't get to see!
Anyway, you can go to the online gallery now to see all of the photos.
1. Go to http://www.poeticrealityproductions.com/
2. Click on "order prints"
3. Select our wedding from the drop down menu
4. The password is "Wedding" (case sensitive) and the email is your own email

You can order prints from them or, since we own the rights, you can get them printed anywhere. I don't know why theirs are so expensive- maybe the paper is nicer or something. Let me know if you want a copy of the whole CD, or if there are just a couple you want I can email them to you. She caught some really nice guest pictures!

1.29.2009

1.21.2009

velveeta


I hope someone can help me with this problem. Where do they keep Velveeta in the grocery store?! I checked the cheese case and the pasta aisle. Nothing but a pack of Velveeta singles in the cheese case. Nothing but Velveeta mac and cheese boxes on the pasta aisle. Do they still sell it like in the picture where you have to slice it like butter? Maybe it's with the butter? HELP!

[See followup: What aisle IS Velveeta on?]

1.19.2009

fleas

We took the cats to the vet today and Stella has fleas. I should note that The Baby got fleas while at the pet hotel and they put treatment on her. She was not supposed to be able to bring fleas back with her but maybe we got them from just being at Pet Smart. The vet didn't find any live fleas on Stella, but she had tons of flea dung in her fur. Awesome! She's so dirty, the fleas don't even want to live on her! We have to wait until this weekend to bathe her because of the flea medicine.
In the mean time, we can ponder how gross our house must be. We have to buy sprays and plug ins to kill the fleas that are probably now living in our house. I have a couple of bites, so I know they are in the bed. Cleaning the sheets doesn't really help because they can just jump right back in. Fun!
Also, The Baby lost 2 lbs and Stella needs to lose weight. It's going to be tricky to have Stella on a diet when The Baby needs to be eating more. Stella is going to be pretty upset about losing the autofeeder.
In other news, Nate is playing a very violent xbox game. We hit up the Circuit City liquidation sale and got some good deals on games. I'm still loving my DS and I'm going to play some Big Brain Academy.

1.15.2009

this banana's for you

Can this please become the new rick roll?