Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Kenyan Unrest

My friend Catherine is on her way to Kenya. I've written here before about her travels to Africa and the things she's doing there. Going back to 2003 she has been raising money, doing research, maintaining contacts, living with the Maasai people and just generally doing way more than your average working mom of four in the Western world would tackle.

Since her last trip in 2005, Catherine has been planning to go back to Africa, this time with her four kids. Everything is set, they've rented their house to a visiting family, they're packed and ready to go. Unfortunately, there is unrest in Kenya right now. The Australian government is advising people not to travel to Kenya. Catherine has been in touch with her contact there and she's still planning to go.

I've never had anything that I felt passionate enough about to upheave my life, to take real risks. I've never contributed to the kind of positive change Catherine has been a part of. I admire her conviction and her bravery. I hope they'll be alright.



A Good Party

Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
The cocktail party went well. The Laphroaig is long gone, as is the Bombay Sapphire. Somehow managed to end the night with surplus Tomolives.

I was modest in my spread (didn't even get around to making the tiropitas, as I was waiting to have them fresh and hot once people were here). Several kinds of cheese, some smoked salmon, salmon mousse, Stan!'s salmon deviled eggs, plain deviled eggs, Swedish meatballs, baked brie (brie with apricot jam and almonds spread over the top then wrapped in puff pastry), cheese straws (homemade from leftover puff pastry), cranberry salsa over cream cheese (Wolf and Shelly remembered this from my 2005 pre-Thanksgiving party), pheasant pate (store bought), numerous cookies, crackers and other snacks. Booze aplenty was available as well as Dry Soda (in lavender and lemon grass), O Organics pomegranate soda (wicked good, I'm currently hooked) and the usual assortment of beers, wine, and soda pops. Oh, and calcium water, which we didn't even crack.

Kate was allowed to stay up until after 1:am playing drums for Rock Band with the crew.

Smashing success!

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Motivation (or lack thereof)

Chris and I are having a cocktail party this weekend and I'm struggling to get properly motivated. Mostly, I'm feeling cramped. Kate is out of school, needing attention or just kind of bumping around in the background. Rosie, the world's sweetest attention sponge, is staying through the next week and is really a very sweet girl but she's desperate to be right on top of me if I so much as sneeze, plus there's a Christmas tree up and taking up space along with the usual assortment of boxes and random whatnot.

Usually I'd find the prospect of preparing for our cocktail party very energizing but I'm having trouble ramping up for it and I'm running out of time. Tomorrow is going to be insane. In addition to prepping for the party I'm meeting friends for lunch at Farestart (something we agreed to do in lieu of exchanging gifts, although a certain friend cheated and handed us "stocking stuffers" anyway) and Bruce is in town and joining us for dinner at Umi Sake House tomorrow night.

I was out running errands today so I got to start my morning at the Columbia City Bakery, which makes my favorite Americano in Seattle (not to mention the delicious pastries). I did not see any donut muffins as reported at Cakespy recently but I'll be keeping my eyes open from now on. At the tail end of my day of errands, I treated myself to lunch at the newly reopened Hangar Cafe. I heard about the reopening thanks to JvA over at Mid Beacon Hill and finally found myself out, about, and absolutely starving at the right time. Had a delicious ham-packed Hangar Crepe and a couple of steaming mugs of coffee on this cold and crappy day. I'll definitely find an excuse to go back soon. I haven't checked my camera to see if my stealth photos (when you're one of three guests in a place that has a total of seven tables, obsessive food photography can be a little obtrusive so I try to be as inconspicuous as possible) turned out but I'll post 'em up soon if they did.

Now to figure out why I'm not tired when I should be and hopefully get some decent sleep tonight. Busy day tomorrow.

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Pressure Cooker

I'm feeling very loved this holiday as my friends and family have been very attentive, we've had plenty of time to spend together, we've talked on the phone or gotten cards from many many people. It's been lovely.

I was also completely spoiled with gifts this year as well. In addition to the already-blogged presents Chris replaced my very old (like "bought it cheap when I was barely out of my teens" level old) and thoroughly trashed bakeware with a glorious new heavy-duty set, some thoroughly awesome books, and a new pressure cooker.

My mom had a super heavy-duty pressure cooker when I was a kid but pressure cookers fell out of favor and weren't even really available when I was setting up my kitchen. In the last few years they've come back in style and there's a whole range of pressure cookers out there now, both stovetop and electric. R&C have one they've spoken highly of and I believe J&J have one as well. Chris got me a stovetop model, very similar to the version from my childhood. As I've never had the hardware, I also don't have too many pressure cooker recipes but R&C loaned me their pressure cooker recipe book.

I busted out the cooker for dinner tonight and put together a quick dinner of Spanish rice. It involved nothing more than chopping and cooking some onions and celery, then browning some Italian sausage, throwing the rest of the ingredients in and bringing it up to pressure. After about two minutes, when it was happily hissing away on the stove, the rest of the cooking time took a mere 6 minutes. Maybe 20 minutes from when I started chopping to when I started dishing up the finished meal. Additionally, Kate thought it was great and had two bowlfuls!

I definitely have to play around with it some more. I'm not sure if it's big enough to make portions for game night but it would certainly be perfect for whipping up some meaty main course for the guys if it is.

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Snow? On Christmas day? IN SEATTLE?!

Yes!! Woo, could this holiday get any better?

We're heading over to Ray and Christine's for dinner in a short while (and packing our overnight bags, just in case) but so far this Christmas break has been flat out awesome.

SNOW! Wheeeee!

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Grinchy Neighborhood News

As Chris and I were coming home from a holiday outing I was reminded of the plans one of our New Holly neighbors shared with the community e-mail list to start a wine bar in the newish retail storefronts that are currently sitting empty or under-used in the area where my car was wrecked during the renovation (and the city, the SHA, the construction company and the subcontractors all gave me the run around until I gave up on getting any compensation). The construction is now long over, the area is being "revitalized" and there are opportunities for business. Aaron wanted to open a wine bar but was meeting resistance from the SHA (owners of the building) who decided they didn't want "that kind" of business in their building...after Aaron had gotten an initial okay and pitched his proposal.

Members of the community complained and the SHA rethought their decision and Aaron moved forward. The project reached the stage of applying for a liquor license and again some of us joined in a campaign of letter writing for support. My letter of support is in the official record.

Apparently someone else had the same idea this season, as I came home to an e-mail from another member of our community asking the same question I'd been wondering, "How's the wine bar coming?"

Dead. Dead before it even began because the co-owner of the building, the medical clinic that is housed there, refused to even consider the proposal. Refused to even meet with our community member to talk about it. Flat no. The executive director did not want to "set a precedent" for (again) that kind of business. Among the expressions of regret and support was a message from another community member that I found very unfortunate, and that I hope is not a widespread feeling.

That member's message supported the SHA/Medical Office decision and if it had ended there I could have written it off to mere disinterest or difference of opinion. Unfortunately the message was peppered with phrases that were distressingly condescending. People need to be "culturally and socially sensitive" when starting businesses. There are other (read better) businesses that would "add positively to the community" and "not repeat mistakes from past generations". Basically, this wine bar (unlike the numerous run down skeevy bars and liquor-licensed restaurants along Martin Luther King already) would lead the members of our diverse (read includes the poor and brown) community down the road of the mistakes of the past (lives of drunkenness, sloth, and crime). Wow. That does sound really bad! We'd better do something to protect those poor people from such an eventuality... Our poster suggests his neighbor take this wine bar proposal over to Columbia City instead. (Because they're much less diverse a mile to the east? Less likely to become alcoholic bums? Because Columbia City's past is less tragic and full of mistakes?) Wow.

We already go to Columbia City or Georgetown for our fun. I guess that's going to continue, while those who know better protect us from ourselves and determine that our community "rejuvenation" be confined to adding another Quiznos or something equally "positive" to our community. Ug.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.



Christmas (Eve) Miracles

It's always nice to get a surprise gift in the mail.

It's especially nice to get a gift that Santa had told Mom he was going to bring but then he didn't shop in time his elves couldn't keep up with demand and so couldn't deliver.

Friends who drop ship surprised gifts of ROCK BAND to little (and big) girls who really, really wanted it are cool as hell. Or, hella cool, as "the kids" used to say.

Thanks Hal! Hope you have a really good Christmas out there on the other coast. We'll certainly be rockin' out in your honor.



A Girl and her (borrowed) Dog

A Girl and her (borrowed) Dog
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Rosie (the World's Sweetest Dog(tm) ) is once again our guest this Christmas. Kate loooooves it when Rosie comes to visit. This was the scene last night as we packed up and went to bed.

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Woke up late this morning after some much needed sleep. I fell asleep on the couch trying to watch tv and relax last night then moved up to bed where I slept and slept some more. Today is the first day of several consecutive days with my family. No school, no work, just time off to do what we like.

When Chris was reduced to trying to watch Casualties of Love for the 'humor' value, I started to dread a full weekend of thumb-twiddling while we waited for the "fun" to start. I knew what presents I had for my family under the tree and was fairly sure that they'd result in a more fun weekend than watching horrific reruns.

So, I suggested that we open presents right away. Chris was game but Kate looked horrified. "But it's not Christmas yet!" I pressed my case. Wouldn't the weekend be more fun if we opened our presents and had them instead of sitting around waiting? Chris, knowing what he got for me, was convinced and remained in favor. We wore her down with a steady application of pressure. (Yes, the 12 year old was the one least interested in opening presents... can you believe it?)

Anyway, we opened up. Kate put her Santa hat on and delivered the goods.

Chris got me the holiday classic: DIE HARD! Woot! W00t! I love Die Hard and until we got together Chris had never seen the movie but he's become a fan as well. It's a holiday tradition and now it's finally mine, all mine, the first three movies in the series and the Yippee Kai Yay bonus disc.

My score of for Chris as the complete series of Homicide: Life on the Street. It's a massive 35-disc set that includes the cross-over episodes and more. It comes in a sweet miniature filing cabinet and both of us have coveted it for years. It's no longer regularly available at Amazon and it's become outrageously expensive on the secondary market but I found it at and unbelievably sweet deal and snapped it up. In fact, I couldn't believe that I'd gotten it for the price I paid... I double and quadruple checked that I wasn't buying the wrong thing but no, it was the right one. It went over as well as I'd hoped and now we have all vacation left to delve into it. Whee!

I still have stocking stuffers so Kate will have more things to open and enjoy on "real" Christmas but I have to say that I loved being the responsible adult and being able to just declare the today was Christmas. Kinda like being able to decide it's okay to eat dessert before dinner. I regret nothing.




Fatty tuna!
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
Seattlest (a part of the vast -ist empire) used this photo of fatty tuna from my Umi Sake House Flickr set to accompany an article about food handling permits, toilet paper failure, and no bare hand contact. Yay! (And ewwww.)

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Pretty cookies

Pretty cookie
Originally uploaded by Nikchick.
I've posted the photos of our cookie baking craziness. Kate took this one herself. She's getting to be pretty good with a camera! You can find the rest of the photos in this set at this link.

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Cookie Madness

Today was cookie making day at Ray and Christine's. We were joined by Family Frogtaco, Michelle, and Auntie Carol. Kate and Charlotte were on hand for cookie decorating and Zoey/Keegan occupying. While the ladies baked, our Sunday afternoon game group got together in the other room to play some old-stylee D&D. Some rock band was played, much food and drink was consumed.

We ended up making:
triple ginger biscotti
lemon-rosemary refrigerator cookies
earl grey shortbread
chocolate rads
Rona's wicked rocky road clusters
spritz cookies
Mexican wedding cakes
crescent cookies
cranberry-walnut bars
Israeli Spiced Egg Sticks

and this year's new-recipe winner, Michelle's Mexican Chocolate-Pepper Cookies from Cindy's Itty Bitty Baking Book. Wow! Those were fantastic and I'm hooked.

I took a bunch of photos but I'm completely exhausted and just need to veg out, maybe do some logic puzzles in bed with a nice heating pad or something. I'll try to get what recipes I have posted if they aren't already up and will put a photo set of the cookies online as soon as I have the gumption to tackle the project. For the moment we're swimming in cookies and I'm coming down hard from my big time sugar buzz.

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It's been a long time since I went almost a week without blogging, but it's been that kind of season. Busy, stressful, hectic, overwhelming. I can, however, take two minutes and post the results of a silly personality quiz.

Your Score: The Raven

You scored 48% domestic, 36% gregarious, 46% trickster, and 61% intellect!

Wild, Solitary, Serious and Intellectual: you are the Raven!

Raven is a strong symbol of both creation and destruction. Wisdom through intelligence, observation, and challenge. Raven is strongly tied to the spiritual world, living in a constant state of otherworldly awareness. Raven people tend to be very introspective and savor time spent ‘alone’.

Link: The Animal Archetype Test written by crumpetsfortea on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test



Scarring my child

Kate was supposed to be in bed already. She's been dawdling and trying to draw bedtime out longer and longer... and it heading into that stereotypical teenager biorhythm (which accentuates her natural-born night-owl tendencies).

I chided her (again) about going to bed and getting enough rest and secretly counted myself lucky that I was able to browbeat her into finally taking a shower. (The spontaneous desire to take a shower just for the love of being clean thing hasn't kicked in yet.)

Reading my e-mail I see I've received an update from Patty Murray about Washington flood relief. "Oh, those poor flood victims," I say to Chris, "Did you hear about the farmers who couldn't save their cattle because the waters came up so fast? They had to listen to the cows bellowing and crying and they couldn't do anything."

A moan from the other room, where Kate was lingering instead of heading to bed as requested. "MOM! Stop telling these sad stories!"

I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on ghoulish news stories, I really don't! But through circumstance, over the last couple of weeks Kate has managed to hear a series of horrific stories from me. The sick child whose miniature horse (through Make A Wish) was killed by pit bulls, a missing girl (former piano student of a friend) first missing, then found but unable to move her legs and still in hospital, then topped off by the drowning cows. Poor Kate couldn't take it.

"Well, you should be in bed anyway," I offered.

Seriously, though, I'm the sap who gets teary-eyed over the Mr. Whipple Tribute Commercial or those coffee commercials where the son comes home for Christmas and makes coffee. I'm a HUGE sap and generally disinclined to dwell on horrible stories. Hell, I flat out cried watching the footage of the fall of Saigon during some history channel show Chris and Kate were watching, thirty-two years after the fact. It's unusual for me to even be aware of a string of horrible stories, let alone be reciting them. Kate has just had unfortunate luck in being around at all the wrong times recently!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm sure it will be cold comfort when it comes time for the therapy bills...

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Spent all day working on holiday treats. Most of the recipes are out of books or magazines but I'll put them up on my recipe pages as warranted.

One that IS online is Kitchen Wench's Walnut, Honey & Espresso Caramels, photos of which she posted on Friday and I haven't been able to think about anything else since. They are every bit as good as the photos promise (and I even got them to come out alright despite discovering mid-boil that my candy thermometer was broken and useless). Highly recommended!

I also came away with:
Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans
Orange-spice Mixed Nuts (I used equal parts pecans, walnuts, whole almonds and hazelnuts)
Chocolate dipped pretzel rods
Lemon-Rosemary Cookies
Midnight Brownies (so called because they have pieces of Milky Way Midnight bars baked in)
Molasses refrigerator cookies

I didn't get around to the sharp cheddar and black pepper crackers I wanted to bake because I decided that I wanted roasted chicken for dinner. I butterflied it Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen style and roasted it to crisp, golden perfection over chunks of parsnip, carrot, potato, butternut squash and onion. I meant to treat myself to a glass of wine but I didn't get around to it and it's too late to enjoy one now.

Here's hoping for a good night's sleep like I had on Friday night. I feel like I could use it.

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Wikipedia Band Meme

I was resisting this one but Patrick wore me down. When my band name was Found a Peanut I had to see it through.

Go to the Wikipedia home page and click random article. That is your band's name.
Click random article again; that is your album name.
Click random article 15 more times; those are the tracks on your album.

Found a Peanut have released a new album of original material and cover songs. For the first time anywhere, we're proud to present the track listing for National Salvation Junta:

1. Socratici viri
2. Higashimatsuura District, Saga
3. Tokaj-Hegyalja
4. If This World Were Mine
5. Taqueria
6. Château de Choisy
7. Blake Woodruff
8. Push Switch
9. Rainmaker
10. Earl Marriott Secondary School
11. Thank U
12. Nevus of Ota
13. Bose-Hubbard Model
14. Dukes of Swedish Provinces
15. RIFE

Found a Peanut
brings the world-aware folk stylings of Billy Bragg through the funk-elctro-world beats of Velalla Velalla and wraps it all in a crunchy peace-punk shell, with sprinklings of Crass and Propaghandi. Dig it.



Day of ups and downs

Solved a nagging distribution error. Yay!
Still no progress on several other fronts. Boo hoo!
Made a batch of really good sweet/spicy pecans (2 minutes to mix while I nuked something for lunch, 25 minutes to bake) Yay!
Took Kate to Queen Anne for "holiday Magic" but it was a bust (aimed at small kids and way crowded) Boo.
Picked Chris up, since I was on Queen Anne anyway. Yay.
Couldn't get seated without reservations at several places. Boo
Found a sweet, free parking spot. Yay!
Walked all over creation looking for anywhere to eat. Boo.
Was able to get a seat at Jalisco. (Yay for Tortilla soup!)
Walked all over looking for Vera Project because of bad directions. Brrrr.
Took the family to the Speaker Speaker show. Yay!!
I was, without a doubt, the oldest person there. Boo, hiss.
Speaker Speaker rocked out. Double yay!
I got to meet Danny in person after corresponding with him online for ages. Yay!
We walked straight back to the car, which was mere blocks away and hadn't been towed. YAY!
Sleep in my warm bed and no getting up early tomorrow. Hooray!

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Jolly goodness

Job related stress levels are still pretty high and Kate missed the bus this morning (though she was out at the stop at the normal time) and we had to cancel game night so you might think I'd be Miss Crankypants today but I'm actually feeling pretty good. Two small things happened today that made me downright jolly.

On the way back from taking Kate to school (and dropping off a bunch of kids movies on VHS which I'm donating to the school for their Parents' Night Out program) I stopped at the Columbia City Bakery. I'd just been in yesterday and I don't usually get down there two weeks in a row let alone two days in a row but I decided to treat myself since I had to be out and about anyway. I walked in, glasses fogged up, and checked out the pastry counter. I was fully intending to order a tall Americano (their espresso is so good!) and one of their "snowballs" (currently filled with spiced pears and maple mascarpone). My favorite barista chick saw me peering over my glasses and gave me a smile and I joined the line at the counter. When I got to the front, a tall Americano was waiting for me, just like I was some sort of honest to goodness regular, without me having to say anything. She read my mind and that small kindness had me grinning happily all morning.

One Americano is not enough, though, so I brewed up a pot of coffee this afternoon. As I was sitting down to my first cup, I opened my e-mail to see a note telling me to check my front porch... where COOKIES had appeared like magic. Chocolate chip mint cookies.

See? It's not so hard to make me happy. A little good coffee, a little chocolate... mmm, happiness. Downright frickin' jolly, I tell you.

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Kate is home!

Very glad to have things back to normal.

Pramas is out at Wargame Wednesday with Rick so it was a girl's night out tonight. After making the usual rush-hour "enhanced" drive I'm rarely in any shape to cook when I get home. I convinced Kate to get wacky and go out to dinner with me at somewhere unusual. We finally tried Kallaloo instead of resorting to pizza or some other off-the-bat Kate-friendly location. WOW! Loved it. Kate was not so keen on it, mostly because it was all unfamiliar stuff (she sniffed suspiciously at the fried plantains but liked the macaroni pie because it was essentially a block of baked macaroni and cheese) but I found it all quite excellent. I had the Barbados oven fried chicken which came with a side of macaroni pie and callaloo (think creamed spinach with a stronger, almost artichoke-like note to the greens). Pramas would have liked the chicken. Next time, I'm definitely in to try some goat and I hope they have the stuffed plantains (which they were out of tonight) because those sounded excellent. Topped off with a nice strong ginger beer and I was full and happy.

We're a week away from Kate's birthday and the Festival of Children (on the same night). Kate is performing in the Festival of Children with her dance and cheer squad (who I'm told "don't have any idea what they're doing") and singing with her friend Gloria (they only found out last week that they made it and haven't had a chance to practice together at all since). Somewhere in there we have to have an actual birthday celebration for the girl. I haven't even started to think about how we're pulling that off yet.

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Kate is still in BC. I drive to pick her up tomorrow. Weather should no longer be an impediment.

My mom called my cell phone tonight and scared the crap out of me because she never calls unless there's some horrible news (or it's my birthday... whether that's horrible news or not varies from year to year). She was just calling to check on us because of all the news reports about the weather. Weather where she is has been bad but she's personally safe and sound.

Chris and I ate out tonight at the "Steelhead Diner. The beet tartare (yes, BEET not BEEF) was outstanding and the porcini linguine was a great match to the Jigsaw Pinot Noir the waiter recommended. Chris said his chicken sandwich was also quite good. Even though it's the Market (and therefore touristy and rather expensive) I would go back. In fact, I look forward to it.

We then caught a show at the Showbox SODO (formerly the "new" location of the Phoenix Underground which itself was formerly of Pioneer Square) and saw Flogging Molly, who put on an excellent show. We missed hearing who the other opening Celtic-punk band was (they of the wild-haired accordion player). In between Celtic-punk bands we heard Murder by Death whose Wikipedia entry claims they play "an eclectic range of music, from eight minute ethereal instrumentals, to driving punk rock, to alt-country" but at this show they played everything in one dirge-like down-tempo "Morphine with all the goodness stripped away" manner. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for a couple of songs but by the end I was answering e-mail on my cell phone and begging for it to end. I wanted to like them, to be charitable, but I just couldn't. What downers Murder by Death were! They claimed they were going to "shred" for one of their songs but it could only be considered shredding if by "shred" you mean "beat to death in slow motion under water". As Chris quipped, "I've seen cheese 'shred' faster." Well, anyway, the Mollies put on a good show to an enthusiastic and packed house. I'd never been to Showbox SODO before... it seems a little too classy for punk shows but I enjoyed the venue (and 2/3 of the bands) just fine.

I was going to stay up late upon returning home to sort out some nagging issues for the company that aren't related to the ongoing utter hell I've been living with regard to Miva, Quickbooks, 6000 individual customer entries, several hundred SKUs and 8000 individual orders that need my personal attention in two separate virtual locations in order to be at peace with the world. I've tried very hard to maintain the separation between the "work day" and my private life, which is so, so hard to do when I'm "at work" virtually every waking hour (and doing stupid things like checking my e-mail on my cell phone when I'm supposedly "off" work). No exaggeration, I could work for Green Ronin every waking hour, every single waking hour, and still not get everything done that I "need" to get done... especially when dealing with things like this stupid web store break down or delinquent distributor accounts or products being listed as "unavailable" with Amazon when they're in print and in stock (and have been for months or years in some cases or...or...or...

I'd better stop now before I do or say something I'm going to regret. Tomorrow will come soon enough and I can always work myself to death then. Tonight, for what's left of it, I will try to sleep and maybe not wake up ridiculously early in the morning with fucking stress dreams. It hasn't worked terribly well so far but hey, one can hope.

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Well, the sensible advice of my friends (and my husband) has sealed it.

I can't make the drive to get Kate tomorrow so it will be Wednesday at the earliest. I've written to Kate's teachers to get her homework sent so I can forward it to Mark. Luckily, he's able to work at home part of the time so Kate won't be just sitting around alone at his house for days on end.

It's just two weeks shy of the anniversary of Windpocalypse '06 so I still feel like I don't have anything to complain about compared to that. Here's hoping the weather calms down and behaves (and doesn't ruin Kate's birthday again this year).



Floods and Uncertainty


I didn't pick Kate up yesterday because Mark was concerned about the snowy-icy weather where he's at. We're scheduled to exchange tonight up at the usual spot, which is in Skagit county just across the Skagit river... which is currently under flood warning. (It's predicted to peak tomorrow night.) There is also a wind advisory *and* a landslide warning for the same area.

Amtrak has already ceased running trains between Vancouver and Eugene because of mudslides and people on the peninsula have been killed by falling trees.

I can't decide if I'm being a ridiculous wuss for considering not making the drive and waiting until Wednesday when everything calms down. Aside from our gutters overflowing things have been just fine up here on Beacon Hill but I haven't ventured outside at all today and it could be that things are different out at the bottom of the hill or up north of Everett.

Ever since getting caught in the snowstorm on the freeway last year (where things were fine down here and a complete mess up there) I've been more wary about traveling during adverse weather conditions.

Do I stay or do I go? I can't decide. Gah.



Unexpected Kate-free time

Mark called to let me know that the weather was bad enough that he didn't want to be out on the roads tonight (and listening to the pelting sleety icy-cold rain hitting the side of the house I couldn't blame him) so we agreed to leave Kate with him in Vancouver until tomorrow night when the weather is supposed to better.

That meant that instead of leaving for an unpleasant drive this afternoon Pramas and I were able to squeeze in a margarita and appetizers and a showing of No Country for Old Men. What fantastic performances in that movie! I was in Tommy Lee Jones heaven but really, I thought every character was just fantastic but one. The Coen brothers are so good at bringing delicious humor even in the midst of bleakness and violence. Doesn't quite make up for missing The Thermals last night but still pretty good.


The Snowy Day

This was one of my favorite books when I was very little and just learning to read. I remember reading it with my grandmother and, being far north in Minnesota (and very little) snowbanks seemed ten-feet tall, snowy fields were vast expanses too bit for me to make my way across. I still feel a combination of excitement and regret when I make the first footsteps across a blank and snowy slate.

I had my own little Snowy Day today and put up some photos of my travels.


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Snow, boo!

Damn. It's snowing enough to stick all over Seattle. That's going to screw up our plans for going out tonight. Buses will be screwed and there's no way I'm driving... the PIF isn't decked out for this kind of weather (I had a skidding incident on plain old wet pavement on Rainier Ave the other night). BOO. BOO, I say.



I want to rock and roll all night...

...and part of every day. (A funny childhood mis-hearing of "party every day" that was passed on to me and has now become stuck in my lexicon.)

It's been quite the go-go-go few days. Of course there's the usual end of the year/Christmas season craziness at work. Two products that were supposed to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving still haven't shown up, while another arrived ahead of schedule and without warning at the warehouse. Time spent fine tuning issues with our various webstore conversions and figuring out who to talk to at Payquake about strange transaction errors. Meanwhile distributors are tight with money/late on invoices/going out of business and need some personal attention as well. One distributor informed us he's closing up shop come 2008 (and since I've sold games to this guy going back to my earliest days in the industry, that was sad news indeed). Another called me to give me a heads up that they'd been bought and were under new ownership. Eeeya.

On the home front we had a crazy "game night" idea of trying to podcast our game group engaging in a round table discussion (as we game with a bunch of game industry pros) but I suspect we're not actually going to be able to use most of the material we recorded because of background noise, uneven voice pick-up and so on. It was a fine idea... maybe in a more controlled atmosphere. We'll see what we can do with it, I guess. This turns out to be the only "Kate-free" weekend we're going to have in December because Kate's dad is going to be traveling and can't take her again until January. As it happens, we're making the most of it.

Pramas and I had tickets to see Naked Raygun last night so I met him downtown before the show and we snuck into the last half hour of Wann's happy hour. Things were incredibly busy and it took almost twenty minutes for me to get my sake and we'd seen nothing from our order after half an hour but the waitress made sure everything came out asap once she finally she noticed the problem. Some chamame (like edamame but a different slightly stronger flavor), fried aonori potatoes (potatoes seasoned with dried seaweed), soft tofu (tofu with grated ginger & bonito flakes), an eel roll, a spicy tuna roll, and of course a Mecha Godzilla roll and we were happy. We topped it off with this fabulous dessert:
Satsumaimo Clafoutis

We rolled out of Wann and over to El Corozon where we saw four of the five bands on the lineup for the Naked Raygun show. We missed the very first band who, we gathered from the comments of other bands, were some young kids who were pretty good. We arrived just as local Ballard-punks Dreadful Children were setting up. The kids (and I mean kids... are they even old enough to drive?!) loved the Dreadful Children. They were followed by Chicago's Shot Baker. Their list of influences reads like a best of Pramas' record collection (if you leave out CCR and Cat Stevens, which you could more likely find in mine) and I wasn't surprised Chris considered picking up their CDs. They have the "Chicago sound" down pat. I was more excited about the Swingin' Utters who I've listened to for a long time but never seen live. Apparently they came prepared for a half hour set only to find out they were expected to do an hour, so there was a lot of stage banter and long breaks between songs. They played Tied Down, Spit On, which I love, but not Twenty-three which is one of my favorites but I guess it's too emo for their macho mosh-pitting testosterone crowd. There was one poor guy yelling for them to play it all night but they didn't. Naked Raygun came on and did a lovely long set with three encores. They were playing a lot of their "newer" (and by "newer" we're talking older than Kate) stuff that I didn't know at all but then they dipped into some of their older old material and everyone (including the band) seemed to perk up. By the end Pramas was pogoing like a young punk, singing along, shoulder to shoulder with the other old punks brave enough to push to the front of the stage. I sat up in the old punks' lounge and left the moshing to the kids and the fellas. Naked Raygun sounded great, though. If you're a fan, do try to see them on this tour! They're playing Tacoma tonight and heading down to Eugene and points south.

Tonight Pramas is heading out to see The Cops at the Vera Project but I'm going to see The Thermals. I've been waiting to see them since I missed them playing with Speaker Speaker at Chop Suey back in February. Busy busy Kate-free weekend for us!

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