Midweek Tidbits

So... how is it nearly July? I feel like I said that in May.


What do you expect when the back of the iPhone 4 is made entirely of glass?

Check out this picture... kinda freaks me out! Imagine swimming with that kind of view.

"Those illegal immigrants are taking our American jobs!" The United Farm Workers and Stephen Colbert are calling the bluff and challenging Americans to accept the farmhand jobs that so often go to illegal immigrants.

I confess a certain affinity for John C. Reilly... he just seems like a big adorable teddy bear to me. He stars in "Cyrus", and talks about how most of the movie was improvised.

Yes, Steve Carell has confirmed he's leaving The Office after this season. Thursday nights will NOT be the same.

Summer is here!

Yes we are wearing sweatshirts and jeans in the evening, but this is Seattle.

Sayonara Nicole...

Last Friday I was forced to bid my friend Nicole goodbye as she departed for Africa. She's in Cape Town, South Africa, right now - probably soaking up the World Cup atmosphere and rooting for our Americans! After she leaves South Africa, she'll arrive in Zimbabwe where she'll be working with a non-profit organization called Christian World Outreach (CWO). You can find more information on Nicole's blog - Nicole, we'll miss you and hope to see you as soon as we can!

Nicole hosted a goodbye party Friday where she fed us delicious Ethiopian food and provided traditional African music courtesy of a friend of hers (I tried to upload a video below but apparently it's been rejected... maybe because it's 100MB?) We had a great time mingling and catching up with old friends!

Midweek Tidbits

As I write this, the USA-Algeria World Cup match is still scoreless... come on USA! Let's score a goal and advance!

Has anyone seen Toy Story 3 yet? I've heard it's cute...

Sangria for summer!

One of my first experiences with sangria was at an Italian wine bar in Fremont called Azzurri Vino Bar. We had originally gone to the George and the Dragon to watch a Seattle Sounders game but the pub was too full. We walked down the street and followed the green jerseys to a little hole-in-the-wall wine bar that was taking advantage of all the customers who couldn't get in to the G&D. The sangria looked like the bar's specialty as nearly everyone was sipping a glass of it - we followed suit and ordered it, and told ourselves that someday we'd make our own delicious sangria!

"Someday" was Saturday, about a year after our experience at Azzurri. We even bought a new glass pitcher to hold the drink.

The cast of characters:
  • red wine (we used cabernet sauvignon)
  • a cup of brandy
  • a splash of triple sec
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • one lemon
  • one orange
  • club soda
  • sugar

The sangria turned out beautifully! The next time we make it, we won't put in all the rinds of the citrus fruits - the taste of the rinds was too strong, especially since the sangria needs a full day to sit in the fridge and become infused with all the fruity goodness. Make it in a glass pitcher so you can stare at its gorgeous deep red color - a feast for the eyes as well as the palate!

My mouth is trying to eat itself

I woke up this morning feeling like the left side of my jaw had been hit by a baseball. My mind first landed on the most extreme possibility: cavity! Call the dentist! Then I remembered the LAST time this happened to me, and that my enamel wasn’t actually being eaten from the inside out but stress was causing me to grind my teeth while I slept, leaving me with one heck of a toothache and a flare-up of my old arch-nemesis, TMJ pain. I tried to open my mouth, which confirmed the problem: when the TMJ acts up, my mouth will only open to the width of about two fingers (making eating a difficult if not entertaining task).

Pre-wedding stress caused my teeth to go absolutely nuts the last time this happened so the dentist outfitted me with a super stylish mouth guard – just what a new bride wants on her honeymoon. Belize calmed the stress out of me so I haven’t used the mouth guard since a few days after we got married (and let’s face it – a hunk of plastic in your mouth is just not attractive… I’m willing to take one for the team). But I may need to fish the old mouth guard out for a few days and see what happens. I don’t think stress is the problem because I’ve been battling a nasty cold which seems to have taken residence in my sinuses, and I’ve read that sinus swelling and TMJ are definitely related. Regardless, hopefully it goes away as quickly as it came!

Hands off my stuff

About a year ago, I fashioned a paper crane out of a pink Post-It note, attached it to a straightened paper clip, and taped the paper clip to a pen of mine in an attempt to keep the pen on my desk and out of my co-worker’s hands. It worked – the pink crane pen stayed on my desk for nearly a year, while all other pens disappeared into the inner bowels of my office, never to be heard from again.

Last Friday, the tape holding the paper clip to the pen gave out and my crane fell off. I set the contraption aside on my desk, intending to tape it back together on Monday. Monday came and I started searching for my pen so I could tape my clip-crane back on. THE PEN WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Thus, I proved my theory that the taped-on crane thwarted would-be (and probably accidental) thieves.

What have I learned? I must immediately fix things when they break, and never leave out items I wish to see again. I’m off to start working on a flock of pink cranes.

Midweek Tidbits

I came home sick from work today because I've been battling some kind of flu bug - no fun! Luckily I compile these links through the week so I have something to share with you most Wednesdays. Don't catch what Mark and I have!


I need a weekend to relax from this weekend.

Friday night, we headed over to our church with some friends to help set up the sanctuary for the Sunday service. An hour's worth of work, two hour's worth of pizza, foosball and Rock Band in the youth room! It was epic. Mark and I almost bought a foosball table as a result. We even mentally re-organized the living room so we could decide where to put it. But sorry small groupers - no foosball table. Yet.

Saturday, we went over to a friend's house for a World Cup party to watch USA's first game against England! We settled for a draw, especially since our goal was due to a grievous error on England's keeper's part. The poor guy has probably been deported by now. Later that afternoon, we mounted our bikes and rode to Golden Gardens, a popular beach in Seattle, for a friend's graduation party where we lounged around and played kubb and beach volleyball.

Sunday included church and a cleaning of the apartment so we could host our friend April's graduation party! We barbecued on the deck and ate plenty of food. I "ended" the event around 10 p.m. so we could get to bed at a decent hour but this weekend really wore us both out. I'm ready for a vacation!

My life should be a musical

I was perusing the 2010-2011 season at the 5th Avenue Theatre here in Seattle and realized that for me, musical theater is the ultimate form of entertainment. It’s got it all – action, drama, comedy, singing and dancing. I was involved in two musicals in high school, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods”, both of which I’ve seen on the stage since moving to Seattle. I can’t really pick a favorite between the two experiences because they were so incredibly different, but “Into The Woods” tends to stand out to me because of the mishaps and injuries sustained during our run of it.

I played Rapunzel in the show, an emotionally vulnerable girl held hostage in a tower by the token witch. One of my scenes with the witch, played by my friend Whitney, required Whitney to shove me to the floor and I’d land on my knees and crumple. Our stage wasn’t ideal for falling – the surface was rough and bumpy. The night before our first performance was the dress rehearsal, so I was decked out in my princess dress while Whitney and I rehearsed this scene. We rehearsed it a few times and the last time turned out to be too much for my poor knees – I picked myself up and discovered blood rapidly staining the front of the dress – an ivory satin. We panicked, grabbed the costume designer and ran into the bathroom, and at the costume designer’s advice, started pouring hydrogen peroxide on the stains and rubbing them. Thankfully, it worked like a charm! We had less than 24 hours to go until the performance and I don’t know what we would’ve done without that dress! After that incident, I borrowed a volleyball friend’s knee pads so we wouldn’t risk any more bleeding knees. After the bloody costume, we thought the misfortune was over. Right?

Most of my scenes took place from the top of my tower. Our set crew built a ladder into my tower so I could climb the five or so steps and peek out from the top. At the end of my scenes, I’d step down two rungs and hunker down on the ladder because I didn’t have enough time to reach the bottom before the tower had to be wheeled off stage. On the night of our second performance, also the performance to be recorded, everything was going according to plan. We had finished one of the scenes with the tower and I stepped down my two steps and hung on to the ladder while they wheeled me out. Somehow, the crew hit the back corner of the tower on one of the set pieces while they were rolling out the tower. The force of the hit rocked the ladder backwards and the two front ladder legs came off the floor – I panicked and let go of the ladder, thinking it was better for just ME to fall off the ladder rather than bring the whole ladder down with me. I landed flat on my back with a WHUMP but thankfully the ladder stayed upright. I was instantly surrounded by the set crew (“We’re SO sorry!”) and a few of my cast mates, who helped me brush off my princess dress and pick out wood slivers from my arm. The best part is that this accident was saved for all of posterity… we watched the video of the performance a few months later just for kicks, and could audibly hear the tower hitting the set piece (THUMP) and my body consequently hitting the floor (WHUMP). But hey, no harm no foul!

The weird part of these accidents during this particular show is this: a college friend of mine, Nicole, was also part of an “Into The Woods” production at her high school, and they experienced some freak accidents, too. If I remember right, one of them involved a falling two-by-four that hit Nicole in the head. Coincidence? Are these woods haunted or something?

No Internet? Big problem.

This day has made me grateful to excellent customer service representatives. I like to think I have many skills but I do know that customer service isn’t one of them. I have a hard time taking flak for a problem I didn’t create, or taking responsibility for an issue that wasn’t my responsibility. I personally think that IT companies must have the hardest jobs – they have to deal with people who lose their Internet.

We lost our Internet at work today for six hours. No external e-mails were getting in, none of our e-mails to outside addresses were getting out, and the worst part: THE INTERWEB WAS DOWN. As the point person at my company for IT, the problem falls on my shoulders. This means I get to answer this question all day: “Um… did you know our Internet is gone?” YES. YES I DO.

In my work experience, nothing aggravates people more than the loss of what we now consider to be a human right – the right to information. Take away our lifeline to knowledge and the outside world and we are lost. And increasingly disagreeable.

And so I waited, and tried not to be a burden on our local communications provider – I don’t want to be that crazy client that IT customer service reps complain about at the bar on Friday night.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Meet my friend Sarah.

I came to know Sarah when I was in sixth grade and attending a school I had been in since third grade (a private K-12 school). I had never met this Sarah girl, but somehow everyone else seemed to know who she was. I learned that her parents were missionaries in the Philippines, that this was their furlough year, and that Sarah had also attended my school in second grade – hence her fitting right in. Sarah and I had some mutual friends that year but didn’t hang out too much, although I do have a vivid memory of watching “Flipper” with her at her grandparents’ house.

It wasn’t until her family came back again for furlough three years later, our ninth grade year, that we really started to become great friends. We passed notes we’d written in the code Megan and I had invented in sixth grade, played our flutes together in band, and even did a dramatic reading of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” together in an AP Literature class two years later. I was Rosencrantz and Sarah was Guildenstern. Or was Sarah Rosencrantz and maybe I was Guildenstern?

Regardless, Sarah and I have remained great friends through the years – she attended the same college as my brother, so I could visit TWO people with one trip to southern California. Now she lives in Spokane, and she came out to Seattle this weekend for a brief visit and to see her grandparents off on their cruise to Alaska. I so appreciated being able to see her grandparents again – I don’t think I’ve seen them since I last lived in my hometown of Greeley, Colorado, which was five years ago. We took them around Pike Place Market for a bit, and then roamed the Fremont Sunday Market with Sarah. Visiting with an old friend (going on 15 years now) is one of life’s greatest pick-me-ups – Sarah, I appreciate you!

Midweek Tidbits

I've already started this day on the wrong foot - I got to work this morning and made the customary first pot of coffee. At least, I thought I did. I forgot to put the coffee grounds in the filter so I ended up with a pot of hot water instead. I saw the full pot out of the corner of my eye and thought, that coffee doesn't look dark enough... Thank goodness it's Wednesday.

Garden Update: 6 weeks in

We've gotten so much rain in the last two weeks that I haven't had to go down to the garden at all! After giving one of the cucumbers as much time to sprout as I could handle, we finally decided that he wasn't going to sprout after all and needed to be replanted. I've heard it's common for cucumbers to rot early, so hopefully the re-planting will take this time - even though the seed package advised to plant in full sunlight. (Full sunlight? What's that?)

The Great Urban Race: We need your help!

My friend Maile and I need your help! We are participating in The Great Urban Race here in Seattle at the end of July and we are trying to think up an excellent team name (see their Web site for more examples and an explanation of the event - basically The Amazing Race, but a one-day event in Seattle). We've been trying all sorts of plays on words with our names (Heather Seymour and Maile Bliss), or where we live (Eastlake or Lake Union), or really anything at all. We've posted some options below and we need you to VOTE or SUBMIT YOUR OWN!

Look on the right side of this blog to see the poll - you can vote for multiple options, but please don't vote for all of them, as that is not helpful! If you have additional ideas (please have additional ideas), then submit a comment and let us know! If we pick your name you submitted, you might win a prize!

Note: there WILL be costumes involved. So if you are submitting a name, please include a costume idea!

Here are some of our ideas to get you going but please feel free to come up with new ones:
  • SeeMoreBliss
  • Wifey and the Third Wheel
  • She-Cops
  • Blissed Off
  • MLA Enforcement
  • Blogger Stalkers
  • Sound-itas FC
  • Heart and Soul
  • Beauty and the Bliss
  • Guns of Steel
  • Steel Guns
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Iron Women
  • Top Guns
Again, the poll itself is on the right side of this blog, above the About Me section - go vote!

Morning music

It never fails - I always wake up with a song in my head.

I have no idea where some of these songs come from - this morning, I awoke to Blink 182's "What's My Age Again", a song I haven't heard in years.

Does this happen to anyone else? What song have you woken up to recently?

Midweek Tidbits

Ahh Wednesday... made even better because we only had to get through one work day to reach the middle of the week. It's pouring here in Seattle - I hope the weather is better where you are.