Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Same Old Lang Syne

Appropriate for the day! Enjoy! I also Added as the retro song of the day! Happy New Year!


Update to - And the Oscar goes to.....

Happy New Years Eve! I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year celebration! Kent and I are going to bring in the New Year skiing at Stevens Pass! Enjoy the fireworks display to the left and be a part of of display here in Seattle!

Now.....on to the blog post and update to - And the Oscar goes to.....

Yesterday we saw our final movie of 2008. We went to see Frost/Nixon.

I really like this play turned movie. It was a fascinating behind the scenes look at David Frost's interviews of President Nixon.

There were excellent performances by Frank Langella as Richard Nixon and Michael Sheen as David Frost. It plays like a drama as the disgraced former president and the up-and-coming talk show host verbally battle for credibility in a series of interviews. One of the main focuses of this film is the byplay between Frost's advisor's as they argue about the best way to confront Nixon. I am not sure that it was intentional but the parallels between the way Nixon thought - and the way George. W. acts - are very close! When Nixon says in the final interview "I'm saying that when the President does it, it's not illegal - that's what I believe" - sent shivers down my spine.

In the last few days we also saw Valkyrie with Tom Cruise. It too was a good movie - I think Kent liked it more than I did - I'm not a huge fan of Tom Cruise but the storey was very interesting. I had no idea that there were so many attempts on Hitler's life. Basically its a very entertaining drama with historical element. Although the ending is no surprise, there is suspense and intrigue thinking about what could have happened at that time if the plot was successful. Left me thinking about how the world would have been different if Al Gore had not lost Florida - surely 9/11 would have occurred but the reaction of the United States would have been much different! If you have the time go see it, if not, its worth a rental.

Another favorite of ours in the last week was the movie Marley and Me. Kent and I read this book over the summer after getting a dog of our own and really enjoyed it! Laughed out loud and cried like a baby! I think I even let out a sob at one point - how embarassing!

I'm not a huge fan of Jennifer Anniston or Owen Wilson but I thought they both did an excellent job in this movie. I am going to read the book again!

Here is my favorite review that I read at Fandango on line - cracked me up.

"This movie is 20% or less Marley and Me and 80% or more sex with Jennifer Anniston. PG is the WRONG rating. I am so angry that I was sitting there with my children thinking this was a cute movie about a man and his dog and being horrified that it was sex sex sex." Hilarious!

We must have seen a different movie orI was not as "focused" on the sex as she was - they were afterall trying to have a family!

The final movie that I will spend some time on was the movie Milk with Sean Penn.

Harvey Milk changed history. His courage changed lives. In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978 at the hands of another very public figure of the time.

Everything about this film is excellent. Sean Penn should get an Oscar. The use of period footage, the portrayal of a time in history, the anatomy of struggle is all there. A great tribute. Although we still have a way to go - we really have made a lot of progress in achieving equal rights for gays and lesbians.

I loved - Burn After Reading which I blogged about after seeing. Click the link to see my review. In Sept. I blogged about the movies that we had seen to date in - And the Oscar goes to..... Up to that point we had seen 25 movies. We ended the year seeing 37 movies! So - in addition to the movies we saw that were posted in Sept. we saw the following in no particular order:
  • Frost/Nixon

  • Valkyrie

  • Marley and Me

  • Milk

  • Eagle Eye

  • Twilight

  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua

  • Bolt

  • Burn After Reading

  • W.

  • Body of Lies

  • Quantum of Solace

We are already looking forward to seeing the list of Oscar nominees for 2008 performances to be announced on Jan 22, 2009 and for the Oscars on Feb. 22, 2009.

Here's to another great year of movies!

Later -


Friday, December 26, 2008

Updated Final Version of Holiday Pictures 2008!

Okay - I'm done adding pictures to this so you only have to watch it one more time! This one pretty much coves the highlights of holiday season through Christmas evening. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday - if I did not get a chance to talk to you today Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I don't want to get sappy but I am so lucky to have such great family and friends in my life. I appreciate you all very much! It was a pretty magical day opening gifts with snow falling and again having snowfall while we ate Christmas dinner.

I made a prime rib that turned our delicious - I'll have to share the recipe in another post.

Later -


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Favorite Christmas Pictures 2008 - Blog

This is a posting of picture's in/around and about our 2008 Christmas holiday! I hope you have a great Christmas Eve and a wonderful Christmas day. The snow is melting a lot today but we are supposed to have more tonight! I hope we have a white Christmas!

We are headed off tonight to see "A Christmas Carol" at the Act Theatre followed by dinner at the Icon Grill in downtown Seattle. Last night we went to dinner at The Snappy Dragon - I've written about this place before on the blog- if you've never been, check it out. Best Chinese food in town and the nicest people own it and work there!

Later -


Christmas Eve Snow!

I really should be getting more sleep but I keep getting up to see if it's snowing.

This picture was taken from our office up stairs and yes, it's snowing again! Could it be a white Christmas?

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Toby waiting for Santa!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Kent and I are both done with work until January 5, 2009 and looking forward to some down time. Kent may have to put in a few hours over the holiday but for the most part we will relax and enjoy the holiday! I've got several "special" blog posts in the works but have some technical issues to work out. In the mean time I thought I would share this picture of Toby waiting for Santa to arrive!

We have family in town who arrived today - so the holiday season is in full swing. It looks like we will have a white Christmas this year - we already have snow on the ground and more is predicted for to night and on Christmas day! Be safe and enjoy yourself!

Later -

Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 22, 2008

Decorate the Christmas Tree!

Now that I have most of the Christmas "chores" done, I find that I have a lot more time to blog than I thought I would in the days leading up to the actual day. I am scheduled to work today and Tuesday and then will be off work until the January 5, 2009! I am really looking forward to some time off! Work has been hectic and both state and county budgets are a mess. King County balanced it's 2009 budget in part by making all employees take 10 days off without pay next year. The days are spread throughout the year and are mostly attached to holiday's. January 2nd is my first furlough day of 2009.

Anyway.....i hope you enjoy the tree decorating and the many posts I seem to have time for during the holidays!

Later -


Heading to work!

It's Monday morning and it's still snowing! It should clear up later today just in time for more snow tomorrow! We ended up with 11 inches of snow at our house so far.

This is a picture that I took in my iPhone showing the depth of snow on our back deck!

Later -


-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reports of being snowed in!

I've heard from my sister Rose in Portland and they are snowed in - my friend Jennifer tells me they are snowed in in Olympia! It's pretty amazing!

Rose sent me pictures of her dog Hector playing in the snow - what a sweetheart! It looks like he really likes the snow!

Thanks for sharing the pictures! It looks like Portland may have gotten more snow! Right now we have 6 inches of snow on the ground and it is still coming down. There is a chance of snow in the forecast for the next week!

Have a great and safe Monday!

Later -


More snow!

Headed out for lunch and more snow is coming down! This is down the street from our house. Keep warm and safe!

-- Post From My iPhone

Snow Pictures!

The snow has finally stopped and when all was said and done we actually only got about 5 inches of snow at our house. It's still cold out about 28 degrees - looks like snow in the forecast for the next week or so. White Christmas?

I've been playing with black and white pictures so thought I would share a few. All of the following pictures were taken this morning.

Have a great relaxing Sunday and stay warm and drive safely if you venture out!

Later -


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lot's and lot's of snow!

We are headed home from the game. It snowed the entire time we were in the game with no end in sight!

This picture was taken from my iPhone as we traveled south on I-5.

- Post From My iPhone

Later -


Made it to the game!

There is a lot of snow but we made it to the game with no problem! This is a picture of our truck decked out for the holidays! Not sure if you can see it or not but we have a wreath on the front and lights on top!

It does not look like a lot of people are going to venture out in the weather to see the game. Our friend Bill bagged it tonight.

Have a good one -


-- Post From My iPhone

Winter Blast 2009!

Well the snow that was predicted has finally arrived! We are driving on I-5 headed to a Husky Basketball game. What an adventure!

Thank God for 4 wheel drive!

-- Post From My iPhone



"There's one on every corner!"

I remember it like it was yesterday, the day my suspicion was confirmed - Santa Clause did not exist. It was all made up! To make matters worse - I knew instantly that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were made up as well. I guess that's why I remember it so well.

I did not get the luxury of finding out about Santa in a place where I could wonder about it or talk about it. I simply had to sit there, bite my lip and try not to cry because I was on the bus. Yes - I discovered there was no Santa Clause on the school bus!

Growing up, we went to a Catholic school - there was no bus service so to ride the bus home we had to walk to a nearby middle school and catch the bus. My older sister's were already on the bus since it started at the high school before heading to the middle school to pick up more students. So the bus was full of high school and middle school students and me - I think I was in 1st grade! You would think eventually I'd get comfortable with this - I never did. I hated riding that bus!

Everyday I dreaded getting on the bus and having to find a seat. No middle school or high school student wanted to have a 6 year old sit with them - including my sisters! I was sitting a few seats away from an "unnamed sister" - who I overheard say to the boy (I'm sure she had a crush on him) that she was sitting next to "he still be lives in Santa Clause (laughing), and he says - yes you guessed it - how could he believe in Santa Clause - "There's one on every corner!"

I have told this story many times over the year and laugh each time I tell the story. Do you remember when you found out?

Later -


Book Recomendation - The Flavor Bible

I am taking a break from reporting on the winter weather and throwing out a last minute gift idea. As for myself - I am all done shopping and yesterday, I actually finished wrapping all the gifts. For the rest of you........

It's not to late to add this to the Christmas shopping list for the foodie in your life! I heard the authors interviewed on NPR recently and added it to my list of things I wanted for my birthday. Kent picked me up a copy - I LOVE this book!

It’s no secret to most of you that I love to play around in the kitchen. If there’s one way I’m challenged, it’s probably knowing which flavors blend best with each other. That’s why I love - THE FLAVOR BIBLE.

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a must-have in every creative cook's household. No, it's not a recipe book; it's a reference book that gives you lists of which foods harmonize well together. How does it work? You look up the ingredient that you want to use and then read down the list of foods that pair well with this ingredient. For example: Pineapple has many ingredients on the list such as bananas, brandy, avocado (surprising), black pepper and so many more. There is also a list of flavor affinities...pineapple + avocado + watercress, pineapple + coconut + honey + ginger and other combinations that just give you an oomph of motivation.

The possibilities are endless! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do! If you just follow the suggested pairings you can easily create your own unique recipes! Invite me over to eat when you are done!

Later -


Friday, December 19, 2008

View of my office at night!

I am waiting for Kent to pick me up and have been taking pictures. Very cold out this evening! We are supposed to get a more snow tomorrow and high winds. I love winter storms - as long as we do not lose power!

This Abercrombie & Fitch billboard cracks me up! It's prominently displayed as you drive up 4th Ave and changes about every 2-3 months. It's been an Abercrombie billboard for years. Funny thing about it - the building that it's connected to is a big old slum building - the only thing nice about it is the billboard! That's my office to the right in the picture and the Columbia Tower in the background. There's a Starbucks on the 42nd story of the tower that I like to take people to when they are in town.

-- Post From My iPhone

Later that same evening......

-- Post From My iPhone

Stranded in downtown Seattle!

What a day! First my morning bus never shows up and now that it's time to go home I find out the bus has been canceled! It's a good thing I made it into work there was nobody there - I am surprised how slick the roads and sidewalks are downtown.

I did my good deed for the day by being witness to a hit and run and taking a picture of the car driving away to share with the police. Got to love having a camera in the iPhone!

I took this picture of the Smith Tower while waiting for the bus that never showed up! Downtown Seattle is so nice!

I am sure that this new feature will get old fast but right now I am enjoying it! Part of the challenge of keeping a blog up is finding the time - with this new application I can do much of my posting on the bus!

Later -


-- Post From My iPhone


This picture is in my office. I've always like it and thought I would share it.

Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common....celebrate it every day!

Later -


Adventure going to work!

Well as I was afraid my bus never arrived so I had to walk up to I-5 to catch the bus. Better that than driving. I really like this
new blog on the run feature!

Later -


-- Post From My iPhone

New feature!

I've got a new application on my iPhone that let's me post pictures from anywhere so this morning I am trying it out while waiting for the bus. It's 26 degrees out with snow on the ground so it's possible that the bus just might not show up this morning!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Annual Family Christmas Party's still cold and more snow is on the way! It's 27 degrees out right now and by morning we are supposed to have snow. I'm having dental surgery in Olympia tomorrow - weather permitting! I'll fill you in on that tomorrow.

Now on to the Christmas Party! When we get together as siblings and significant others it's a big group. There are seven children in the family and this year all but one of us made it to the annual siblings party. This year we also had nephews, nieces and their kids at the party. It was a great time! It's funny to see the nieces and nephews all grown up with children of their own - God - I feel old!
This is my nephew Isaiah, niece April and younger brother David. David is April's Father and my oldest sister Rose is the Mother of Isaiah.

This is my sister-in-law Teresa (brother David's Wife) with my sister Vickie.

I love this picture of Teresa peaking her head around the corner in a picture of the next generation! My niece Bette is pictures in the middle - and you have met everyone else!

Another picture of my niece Bette - this one is with her son Gage. He was the life of the party! At the end of the evening when it was time for Kent and I to leave with our dog Toby, Gage threw himself in front of the door so we could not take Toby home! Hilarious!

Kent, my brother David and Jess, April's boyfriend hanging out in the kitchen. Jess and April have been dating for a couple of years - both live in Olympia.

Isaiah and his Mom - my oldest sister Rose. Rose and Isaiah live in Portland.

Isaiah and I in front of the tree in my sister Midge's room. Love your new addition Midge!

April and her cousin Isaiah. Both really great people who have turned into the type of people that I would hang out with! I'm proud of you both!

There are far to many pictures to post them all - and frankly some were just not the best pictures! I just wanted to share a few and give you an idea of what our gathering's like. There was a big spread of food and a great time having a gift exchange! We had a great time and it was great to see everyone. Thanks too to Midge for hosting us all - no small task! I hope all of you have a great holiday season - I'm looking forward to next year already! Does anyone know where it will be?

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Blast!

Depending on where you are reading this from, 27 degrees may not sound all that cold. That's the temperature as I write this post. It's supposed to get as low as 23 degrees which is very cold for around here. I hope that everyone brought in or protected any tender plants! I know my garage is full of plants that do fine as long as the temperature is 30 and above - getting into the 20's is a whole different story.

I really like the cold and snow - I also like that it usually only lasts for a short period of time. We may get more snow later in the week but by Christmas, things are supposed to be back to normal.

The nice thing about the cold weather is that is makes for some great pictures. I wanted to share a few that I took in the last few days.

This picture of our front porch was taken on Saturday night as we returned from Ocean Shores from my siblings annual holiday gathering. We had a lot of snow on the drive back but the roads were pretty clear.

This is a picture of our house on that same evening while it was still snowing!

The picture below is the next morning - it was a beautiful clear cold morning with a full moon. This shot was taken from our driveway looking west.

Finally another picture of the house the following morning. As you can see we did not get a ton of snow, just enough to make things look pretty!

I am hoping for more snow later in the week as predicted! If we get more snow, I'll post more pictures. Until then - stay warm and safe!

Later -


Belated Blog-a-Birthday!

It's a belated blog-a-birthday wish to my nephew Clarence! Happy, Happy Birthday! With so many nieces and nephew's it's hard to keep up with every one's birthday but at our recent sibling's holiday party I learned that Clarence turned 30 on 12/12! Yes - 30! How did that happen! This picture was taken at our holiday party this last weekend! Clarence is pictured here with his daughter "Little Vickie".

Clarence has an incredible life story to tell for a man of 30. He is currently attending classes at Grays Harbor Community College and when he gets his AA degree he plans to transfer to Evergreen!

Clarence - I am so proud of you and the hard work that you have put into your recovery - I am amazed by your story and am inspired by you! I look forward to seeing you continue on your journey.

Please join me in wishing Clarence a Happy, Happy Birthday!
Later -

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where to begin......

Once you get behind on posting to the blog it's hard to get caught up! The challenge with the holiday season is that there is so much going that you get too busy to post and at the same time all the things you are doing are worth posting about!

I'm going to do what my friend Jennifer and I do when we are on the phone and we have a lot to talk about - the conversation goes something like this - (Simultaneously) "OMG! - where do we even begin - I've (we've) got so much to talk about"!
It's about that time that we stop and make a list of all the topics we need to cover in the conversation so we don't forget and then go back and cover everything! So here goes -

OMG! - there has been so much going on, I don't even know where to begin! I'll start with a list so I don't forget!

1. Annual Morning Holiday Party with Friends (and Shopping Extravaganza!)
2. Winter Blast and Snow Pictures
3. Annual Christmas Party with my Siblings
4. Holiday Concerts
5. Holiday Decorating
6. Movies
7. Update on Pus and a Smile Line
8. Holiday Vacation
9. State Budget
10. Furlough
11. My Walk Down the Pink Carpet

There's no way to post about all these things to day so I've decided that between now and Christmas, I will have to do a post a day!

I'll start at the top today but no telling in what order you'll hear about the above topics!

Friday was a big day! Planning for this actually began over a year ago. I'm not sure how this all started and exactly many years we have been doing this but it all started at my annual morning Christmas Party with friends. Each Christmas a group of us that at one point all worked together have a morning Christmas Party. We move around with Jennifer and Peggy hosting us the most often. This year it was at my house and we took the entire day off and then went shopping all day! We had a blast! Our friend Chris did not make it this year - she's still in "the club", but if she misses two years in a row.........

Peggy started a trend first thing in the morning! She is pictured below at Restoration Hardware all decked out for the holidays!

Not being one to be outdone, following Peggy's new trend, here I am. The store clerk did not seen to think we were as funny as we thought we were!
Okay - you decide, should Tracy buy a pair of these welder's goggles to wear while she is riding her Harley! I think she passed them up! Hilarious!

We found the biggest bean bag chair I've ever seen and convinced the sales clerk to take our picture!

We had lunch at the
Icon Grill - our waiter Micheal took this picture.

Tracy and I across the table at lunch!

Finally we ended the day on Capitol Hill at Under U 4 Men. We had a great time sipping champagne while perusing through the underwear! Needless to say there were a few purchases made here! The clerk had a great time with us in the store and offered to take our picture!

It was a full day - we started at my house about 7 a.m. and did not get back home until after 6 p.m. I am so lucky to have such great friends! It was a great day full of fun and laughter! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Later -