(Helium) Stairway to Heaven

Mark and I watched an actual zeppelin float around Seattle Saturday, giving tours to all who could pay the hefty $300+ ticket price (which was actually discounted down from $1,000). I wish I could look at something, say a 1940s airship, and think "I gotsta get me one of these!" and make a killing.

"Mark! It's like a whale in the sky!"

I tried to find the clip from Indiana Jones where he tosses the Nazi out of the zeppelin and I did track it down - but it's in Italian (at least... I think it's Italian). Enjoy.

The mystery of the five-pound barbells

Saturday marked the third time I couldn't find the five-pound weights at my new gym. Tossing aside my "lazy Saturday" tradition, I drove (note: the parking garage is closed on Saturdays, meaning I had to pay for street parking, meaning I had to drop $2 worth of quarters into a meter, meaning I didn't have enough quarters to wash a load of towels. NOTE TO SELF: ride the bike on weekends!) to the gym after reminding myself that one of the reasons I switched to this gym was the opportunity it afforded me to work out on weekends.

I go through a lot to enter the weights section of the gym: I pump an energizing mix on my iPod, mentally tell myself that I'm allowed in the weights section, and stride with purpose, dang it. The only thing that protects a girl in the weights section is her sense of purpose. If you show any sign of weakness (i.e. looking around helplessly, wandering the floor), the vultures will be on you in an instant. The best approach is to be purposeful with your actions and look like you just don't give a darn - SO I'M A WOMAN WITH WEIGHTS. DEAL. Now hand over your bench!

Never mind that they're five-pound weights. Again, who cares. NOT ME.

Speaking of those five-pounders, I have no idea who keeps spiriting them away. I've been around long enough to know (or at least spy from a distance) the clientele of this gym and I can see that I'm easily one of the weakest there. Is a fellow weakling keeping them for her (his?) own use? Is there a weakling room I don't know about?

All I do know is that this weakling had to graduate to 7.5-pound weights out of necessity. Too much hesitation = an invitation to come "help" me since I look like I don't know what I'm doing. And I don't really feel like dealing with that on my Saturday morning.

Heather's hobby #42

I'm one of the lucky ones - fortunate enough to have good-natured co-workers who enjoy a good jab every now and then. One of my all-time favorite things to do at work (besides actual work of course) is to make some kind of age-related joke with my co-workers. The majority of my co-workers are at least 20 years older than I am and I figure if they can razz me about my youth, I get to be snarky right back.

Co-worker, while motioning to a typewriter we keep on a shelf: "Would'ja look at that thing! Can you believe it?"
Me: "What is it?"

Co-worker: "I used to watch that music video on MTV all the time!"
Me: "MTV used to play music videos??"

Co-worker, while motioning to my lunch of lettuce, vegetables, and lean protein: "Um... that looks way too healthy."
Me: "Well, when you get to be my age, the old metabolism just doesn't work as it used to."
Co-worker: "HA, how dare you lecture me about age and metabolism!"

It's all in good fun and they're super nice about it. I really shouldn't joke about age though. Someday this is all going to come back to bite me.

Midweek Tidbits

The craziest tornado you've ever seen.

Because infomercials are awesome - TIME's list of the 25 worst (best) infomercials ever.

Is Elaine fashion on its way back in?

Would'ja check out this cinnamon bread... if you make this, I'm thinking french toast is a must.

Locals: help the Seattle Sounders clean up Occidental Park this Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

How much do you tip for cocktails? The standard 15%-20% or is tipping different for drinks?

An Update

I feel like I've been MIA lately... I'm around, just not in the blogosphere. Work has picked up lately as we've added two new employees, which has made my life a whole lot busier. Things will calm down eventually but not in the near future.

We'll be in Portland this weekend for a family reunion, so bring on I-5 traffic! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying a weekend away. Happy Friday!

Midweek Tidbits

My current favorite song: "The Cave" by Mumford and Sons

The AV Club's list of the 50 best films of the '00s. (I've seen 15, how about you?)

Some do's and don'ts for quitting your job.

You can get a T-shirt to forever commemorate the sonic booms Seattle felt/heard yesterday! All proceeds go to charity.

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Gym reflections

I'm not sure what it is about Seattle gyms but each one (so... a total of two) that I've been to seems to have a problem with cranking the air conditioning. I have a fleeting suspicion that this has to do with the fact that Seattle doesn’t need air conditioning 350 days out of the year, but those 15 days are brutal without it. Plus, I think gyms should be some sort of exception, don’t you? Nothing’s worse than spinning your legs off on a stationary bike and dripping buckets all over the floor because the air circulation is poorly lacking. I’ve thought about bringing in a mini battery-powered fan and clipping it onto the treadmill while I run, and I’m sure everyone else would start doing it if one person starts the trend (management will thank me after the "It's freaking hot in here!" complaints subside).

Now, Texas knows how to use air conditioning. When I worked in Amarillo, TX for a summer, I signed up at the local YMCA and would physically shiver when I walked in their doors. Of course, 15 minutes into a workout and I'd be completely comfortable. I don't say this often, but let's learn a lesson from Texas!

Midweek Tidbits

If this doesn't make you want to travel, not much will. When Mark and I watched this, I said, "Mark... we've got to get out of here!"

There's a Pop-Tarts cafe! On the menu: Pop-Tarts sushi. You heard right.

The real lion king.

Garden Update: 15 Weeks In

Sad news from the garden front: the snow peas have succumbed to sickness. At first I thought a few vines were dying off because their weight had caused them to bend over too much and snap ("bend... and snap!"), but a powdery white mist has covered most of the leaves and the vines are turning yellow and brittle. Tears.

But there are lots of little cucumbers on the way.


Wow, it seems like all I talk about is zucchinis.

Anywho, Mark and I biked to the I-90 bridge today to see the air show put on by Seattle's annual summer festival, Seafair. The show featured the Blue Angels, as well as some other planes that broke the sound barrier and performed tricks ("Illusions, Michael!!") and dives over Lake Washington. The last time I went to an air show was somewhere around 1993, so this time I wasn't actually afraid the planes would get so close to each other that they'd crash. The scenery on the ride to the bridge was lovely but the hills were not so lovely. Dang you Lake Washington Boulevard! You tempt with your natural beauty and lead us into switchbacks!

The high-flying (and alternately low-flying) Blue Angels.
Mark and I over Lake Washington after the ride.

Do you know the muffin man?

The muffin man? THE MUFFIN MAN!! I got this recipe from Esther and I will be making more of them to use my garden zucchinis. Feel free to come over and help yourself.


My friend Claire and I visited the Wallingford farmer's market yesterday and picked up some different kinds of zucchinis to try. The farmer totally sold us on the flavor of these... I'm sure he laughed at what easy targets we were. I always thought zucchini was a vegetable but according to Wikipedia (of course the last source on everything), "the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower." Too graphic for 10 a.m.?

Verde Chiaro d'Italia - a fancy schmancy name for a sweeter variety than the typical zucchini
Pattypan squash, or what I shall now refer to as UFO squash

Midweek Tidbits

Chances are you've never been this excited when you've seen a rainbow. Or have you?

You don't want THESE on your paintball course. Rawr.

Silly Bandz are apparently all the rage on the East Coast. How is it possible that a fad can be so huge over there yet over here no one has heard of it?

UW released a study showing how the gap between the price of healthy food and unhealthy food is growing larger. One way to combat this: grow your own food!

Zucchini No. 1

Yeah it's huge. That just happened. This is the first zucchini out of the garden this year and the way the plants are flowering, I'm sure there will be plenty more. They are supposed to be picked when they are 6-8 inches long and this guy made 9", so I guess I'll have to pay more attention in the future. Either that or we'll have some monster zucchinis running around Eastlake.

Great Urban Race

My friend Maile and I participated in the Great Urban Race in Seattle on Saturday! We certainly didn't win but we had tons of fun with hundreds of other racers participating in the event. The GUR is kind of like the show "The Amazing Race" - you get clues at the beginning that you have to solve, which take you all over downtown Seattle and the surrounding areas, and sometimes require you to complete challenges. Our map became our best friend - it's pretty inked up! We started at the Seattle Center, made our way down 1st Avenue to the stadiums in SoDo, and up and over Capitol Hill to Madrona.

The clues were all a little different, but went something like this:

1. Find this week's The Stranger. Find the Seattle News Bulletin. Find the post related to two Seattle musicians and bring back the favorite item to which they are referring (this happened to be a guitar pick).

2. Solve this pictogram - a baseball cap, a peapod, and those boxing robots - go to the place described, and complete the challenge (Cappy's Boxing Gym - jab, jab, left hook!)

And so on. I stacked cups blindfolded, Maile handled cockroaches and tied a bowline knot, and we got some pictures of us "diving" into a fountain, shaking a dog's paw, and honking a stranger's car horn, among other tasks. We could use public transportation which proved to be necessary for the trip to Madrona. We both made it back in one piece, minus our balloon sword that Maile so expertly made (it popped in my hand on the packed bus ride back to downtown... I guess I don't know my own strength).

Count us in for next year - we'll see you there.