What are they thinking?

Standard

I came across this sign as I was walking to work this morning and was so entertained by it I went back at lunch to take a picture. My favorite part of it is that as I approached I was reading it as “Herb & the Rapies” and when I got close enough to see that it is a day spa, it just got even funnier.

I know that I’m a snobby designer type and as such am more critical than your average passer-by, but I can’t be the only person that has problems with this. The fact that “herban” is not a word I’ve ever heard before and the size of the r in therapies makes it damn near impossible to read this sign as it’s intended. Even once I figured it out, I’m still left with “is herban really a word?”

So, if I really am just being a snobby designer and y’all think the sign is totally fine, then I hope you enjoyed the pleasant diversion of my boring you with my design rants as opposed to pictures of food I’ve eaten, stories about triathlon training and cute pictures of my pets. 😀

Hallowienie

Standard

I must admit, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. When I was younger, I loved thinking up cool costumes and dressing up. Now, I don’t tend to dress up unless we have a party to go to. But I still like to decorate the apartment and carve pumpkins and all that jazz. This year, Halloween sort of snuck up on me so we didn’t have a chance to do the jack o’lanterns, but I did manage to hang some of my lights up. With the balcony, we have the perfect apartment for future halloweens, as I can put my pumpkins outside without fear of reprisal…

(It’s hard to see in the picture, but these are little cartoon eyes, a la Scooby Doo)

Good old Sam…

Standard

I snapped these pics while waiting for my bus home. My stop is right outside the Seattle Art Museum (aka S.A.M.) which features a huge articulated statue named “Hammering Man.” When I lived in Seattle back in the mid-nineties I named the statue “Sam” as he’s one of the highlights of downtown Seattle for me. It was nice to see the old fellow again…

Please note the blue sky behind Sam, a bit of proof that it really isn’t always raining in Seattle. We’ve actually had a gorgeous fall this year.

A cyclone hits

Standard

This weekend we had a visit from the illustrious Ms. Cyclone, who was in town for a work function and extended her stay to spend Saturday with us. We had a really good time hanging out, kicking things off with dinner at Brouwers on Friday night. (Sorry the picture is blurry, it was too cute not to post… )

We scored the cute little private room and had a lovely dinner complete with mussels & frites. (Yum!)

I’m incredibly lame and didn’t get any more photos over the weekend, save for this silly one of T. (I think he’s reacting to hearing our plans while he’s working at his crappy temp job. Either that or it’s his Mr T impersonation… )

(I pity the fool that’s married to this guy – tee hee!)

Lack of photographic evidence aside, Ms. C & I spent a very relaxing Saturday. We did a little run/walk action on the Elliot Bay path down to the sculpture garden, had some coffee and made fun of the bad sculpture. The weather was gorgeous, so it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. After we picked T up from work, we went out to Jalisco for some mexican food and the speediest waiter on earth. (You literally had seconds to place your order before he just left… ) All in all, a very lovely weekend…

Caught in the act…

Standard

I don’t know about your pets, but mine do not like being photographed in the act of doing something adorable. Somehow, the second I get that little silver thingy, they know to immediately stop doing whatever it was they were just doing – even if sound asleep. But every now and then, I capture a scene like this:

All together now… “AWWWWWWW… “

The journey of self-awareness

Standard

In the classic cinematic masterpiece I,Robot, Will Smith has a line that I really like “You’re the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met.” I feel like I am sometimes the personification of that line. This evening’s run was an excellent example. I coerced T into joining me (by bribing him with dinner at a place of his choosing afterward.) T decided to bring Wally along, so we were quite the trio.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all of the Chi Running concepts that I learned in class and it’s been tough to train my body to forget all of it’s bad habits. I find myself trying to do too many corrections at once, so I’ve been focusing on doing multiple short runs so that I can practice one thing at at time. The hardest thing is to relax my lower legs and raise my cadence. It’s been tough because I’m so out of shape from not doing anything for like a month.

So, this evening was the first time I’d run with T in a long while and certainly the first time he’s seen me “chi run.” His first observation is that I was “much faster,” which explained why I was feeling so out of shape. I had him try to pace me at my ‘old pace’ and suddenly things felt a whole lot easier. Holy crap, it’s so much easier to relax your lower legs when you’re running at a comfortable pace. (Doi!) It’s still challenging to keep the cadence up with the easier pace, but I think I got enough of a sense of how the easier pace felt to practice it on my own. T also said that I looked a lot smoother and more fluid, which was huge.

It was really nice to run with T and even Wally behaved himself. The clicker training is working really well. He’s much less antagonistic to other dogs (mostly because we’re giving him treats) but he was just generally much better behaved. Afterwards, T chose Zayda Buddy’s – a totally unhealthy choice, but he kept up his end of the bargain so I kept up mine.

So not a bad evening, all in all…

Oh, Wally…

Standard

Have you ever had that moment where you wish you could just speak “animal” for a little while? Just long enough to explain to your animal how much easier life would be if they would just stop doing x or y? Or at least understand why they are doing x or y? In my world, if that wish were to come true, the animal in question would be Wally. Look at him:

So handsome, but so, so stupid. I love him to death, he’s a very sweet boy, but I would love to figure out why he turns into Cujo when a yorkie walks by the house. And occasionally tries to jump on random passers by. And if in fact anything is upstairs in the beautiful head of his. As of next week, we’re going to find out. I’m taking Wally to doggie school. He’s enrolled in a class called “Growly Dog” where we’ll try to figure out what it is that makes him bark at other dogs (and the occasional passerby.) I have high hopes for the class, they advocate positive reinforcement and using clickers to divert the dogs attention from the things that scare/agitate them and we’ve started using some of the techniques with amazing results.

Fingers crossed. And now, a random cute dog picture. Enjoy!

Chi running

Standard


I’m not a runner. Those that have known me a long time have probably heard me utter the phrase “I would NEVER do that unless someone/thing is chasing me” or at the very least “This sucks!” depending on how long you’ve known me. Even now after years of training, running isn’t easy or natural. (Or as my loving husband puts it “just doesn’t look comfortable.”) Thanks Stupid Speedy T, love you!

This year with Ironman looming and all, I am committing to working on my run form and developing a love for the run in place of the passive-aggressive relationship we currently have. Years ago I read Danny Dreyer’s book Chi Running and was very interested in his take on the whole thing. (In a nutshell, he’s an endurance runner who also practices Tai Chi and applies it’s principles to running form) A lot of it is a little touchy feely for my taste, but for the most part it really made sense to me.

So, I roped my friend M into doing a session with a Chi Running instructor, so that I’d have an accountability partner. Unfortunately, we picked the first really crappy weather day of the Fall – windy and freezing for our outdoor session at Gasworks park. Oh well. Here’s M all geared up in her brand new running shirt (courtesy of Target) Doesn’t she look fab?

We found a great indoor spot out of the wind and had a really great class. It’s going to take a while to get all of  the new principles down, but I think that once I do, it’s going to improve my running a great deal.

In any case, I’m excited about running again (sort of) and that’s certainly something! Stay tuned for more exciting developments…

Dinner with Susan – a photo essay

Standard

For the last month, Susan has been down in South America hiking and whatnot so we’ve been watching her horrible dog Lola for her. Yesterday she came up to Seattle to retrieve the wee beasty and to thank us and celebrate T’s birthday offered to take us out to dinner. T had his championship Kickball game, so we decided to try Tilth – a very pretty veggie/local food place in Wallingford, fairly close to his game.

Susan & I did a nice run around the lake while T played his game, catching the last few heartbreaking innings where they were neck in neck, finally losing by one point. It was a surprisingly lovely evening weather-wise, so it was nice to be outside. We had to kill a little time before our reservation, so we did a quick Trader Joes run and made it to the restaurant with five minutes to spare.

We’d only walked by the restaurant before, so I was unprepared for how nice it was inside and felt bad to be wearing my yoga pants, but hey it’s Seattle, you can get away with that kind of thing here. Their menu featured a nice mix of vegetarian and fish/meat dishes and uses the same farm that we get our veggie box from, so that was fun. They also have two sizes of each dish – a small and a large, so you can either get a couple of small things or larger things and share. We opted for multiple small dishes that we still offered tastes of so we could try more things from the menu.

The menu featured some terms we were all unfamiliar with, so the server had to do some translating for us, but the food is very elegantly presented. Here is the first course (I didn’t photograph the really delicious smoked date, blue cheese something-something hors d’oeuvre that we started with, but it was also quite lovely as well as yummy!) I’m not the best food photographer in the world, so the food looks even better in real life…

My Dungeness crab salad with Armenian cucumber:

Susan’s corn soup with breakfast radishes and truffle oil (very tasty!):

And T’s lovely Heirloom Lettuce salad with Goat Cheese and Fresh Figs:

The main courses were fancier. I ordered a Ricotta Gnudi, which are basically peirogies made from cheese as opposed to potatoes. The green foamy stuff is a basil “emulsion” and it also had black walnuts and nasturtium flowers:

Susan ordered the Artichoke Plin, which is fancy food talk for skinny ravioli. 🙂

And T got the more conventional salmon, which had a very delicious red pepper,  corn  and quinoa salad. It’s not as pretty to look at, but the corn milk (the yellow stuff on the top of the plate) needed to be documented…

All in all, it was a very lovely dinner but there were times where the overy “foodie” language bordered on the pretentious. Maybe it was just because I wasn’t expecting it, but I would have preferred to have everything come down a notch in terms of how crazy complicated all of the recipes were. It’s hard not to make fun of “Basil emulsion” We ended up foregoing desserts there to have Molly Moo’s ice cream from down the street. Not very fancy, but delicious and yoga pants appropriate…