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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Holiday Season Ends... NOW 

While the Holiday Season™ always seems hectic, the 2008-2009 Holiday Season© seemed much more hectic than usual. That's because it was more hectic than usual.

Basically, every day that either Carrie or I "had off" for the span of about two months turned out not to be a day off at all, but a family holiday, trade/craft show, or wedding event.

That's right, this Holiday Season® had an extra holiday: The Duncan/Briggs wedding. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First was Krismuhs Eev. Because of the snow my family tried to cancel our traditional Crhistmas Eve Brunch, but my brother and I were all like, "Screw that!" and decided that even if the rest of the fambly didn't wanna do it, we (with Carrie & Cassie) would do it anyway. And because of our obstinance everybody except for Pa, Jason, and Alexis had brunch at The Village Inn on Christmas Eve. Take THAT!

There was still snow on the ground on Christmas Day, making it only the 2nd or 3rd White Christmas™ of my entire life. Carrie & I went in the morning to drop Suki off at her folks' house before continuing on to my folks' place for the traditional Li'l Smokies, scrambled eggs, and orange rolls for breakfast. We then opened stockings & prezzies before going over to G'ma's place (just up the slippery road) for more prezzy opening.

In the afternoon it was over to Carrie's folks' house where we mixed things up a li'l bit by opening prezzies before stockings! Gasp! I KNOW! This was because Christine came and joined us for the stocking opening portion of the day! Hooray! It was good to have her there. We got her cute stocking stuff (and a cute stocking).

Then there was a marvelous pork dinner, for which we were joined by the people who live across the street from Carrie's folks, and eventually Carrie & I went back to our house.

It was an interesting Christmas, the first one in who-knows-how-many years that I didn't get any video games! Instead I got a bunches of DVDs and a handfuls of books. Carrie got me the T-Mobile G1, which seriously kicks some major bottom. It came in the mail a week or so early, though, so I had it before Christmas. In addition to that she got us some Jonathan Coulton tickets for his show at the Moore Theater next Friday. Carrie also gotted mostly of DVDs and a few of books (one each from me), but I also gave her a pair of fantastic frog slippers.

New Year's eve was (as always) only 6 days after Krismush, but in the meantime this time there were a couple of wedding events, including girls-only drunk bowling at Chalet Bowl in the Proctor district:

There was also some sorta bridal/wedding shower that weekend. Not to mention the usual Fools Play funtimes!

New Year's Eve was another good time party, but New Year's Day was unusual in that it was the first time in years that Carrie & I didn't go out and see a movie. We just had been doing way too much and still had way too much to do for the upcoming wedding.

The very next day, in fact, was the rehearsal dinner. Carrie got a wedding-party gift: a walking cane with a concealed knife/sword. The head of the cane is a skull. A robot skull. It K's all kinds of A. There was hanging out with Lawrence and some of his New Orleans friends at The Parkway afterwards. Good times.

The next evening there was a girl group getting together to make all the programs for the wedding (which were much more complicated than the programs at my wedding, which were printed-out pieces of shiny gold paper folded in half). I was on errand duty and drove people and things around for a while.

Then that Saturday was the actual wedding. The wedding started around 6:30. I got to the location around 1:30 to help with setup and bringing in box after box of hooch and putting up decorations and locating things and supplies and all that kind of thing. Carrie was one of Lawrence's groomsmen, and while I wasn't a bridesmaid I did have a role in the wedding: I got to escort Christine's mum down the aisle. This meant I got to wear a nice suit. I clean up well:

Anyway, it was a very pretty wedding, which you would expect from Christine & Lawrence. Lotsa peacock feathers involved in the decorations and corsages and whatnot. Here's all the peoples standing up there:

And here's my favorite picture I took of Chrstine. She's purdy:

Anyhoo, I took about 40 photos and uploaded them all (full sized) to this page in case yer interested.

After the wedding we hung around and helped clean up, then I drove Travis's daughter back to her house. When we got off the freeway I heard sirens behind me and pulled over just as a cop car went flying past us. We continued on and went up a road to a T-intersection. I turned left and then when I looked in my rearview mirror I saw that if I had turned right I would have run into about 18 cop cars all arranged higgley-piggley all over the road, completely taking up about a one-block section. Whew! Didn't want to get mixed up in that!

The next day I took Lawrence's family to the airport so they could take their respective flights back home.

Oh! And mixed up in those past two weeks were also daily going and feeding a cat and lizard, and letting Boston Terriers out to pee in thier backyard. Almost forgot about those.

After that we were actually done. No more holidays. No more weddings. No more events. I had intended to get started on the new year that Monday (a week ago today), but honestly Carrie & I were just so exhausted that all we've been able to do for the past week was clean the house from the New Year's Party and sleep. And play Animal Crossing: City Folk. And sleep.

Then today we went out to Safeway and bought food fixin's, and cooked a wonderful, healthy meal of Mahi-Mahi salad with spinach, green beans, pecans, and parmesan cheese with a creamy lemon dressing that Carrie made from scratch. It tasted so very, very good. Carrie & I both agreed that today, Monday the 12th, was when the new year was finally able to start for both of us. So we drank a bottle of bubbly wine to celebrate with our om-nom-nummy dinner.

Now I'm just finishing up this post and then I'm going to start making many, many lists of all the things that I'd like to accomplish. Then I'll start moving around the list items to that I know when to accomplish what pieces of each list. I'm using the fantastic backpackit website to do all of this. I absolutely lorve that website. Too bad it doesn't have a good mobile version; if I wanna use it on my T-Mobile G1, then I have to navigate the browser to the full website (easier than it sounds; I just poke one icon and I"m there, but it does take longer to load than I'd like and isn't really formatted for the small screen).

What kinds of things am I listing? Oh, let's see. I'm in the process of teaching myself to use PHP with MySQL to create custom database-based shopping cart applications. I have a handful of movie reviews and articles that I'd like to write for THIS VERY WEBSITE (gasp). Carrie and I are working on a joint etsy site. I have a major writing project that I'm going to be diving into head-first in February, so I have to gear up for that. I'm transferring THIS VERY WEBSITE's server and looking to switch over to Wordpress. And there is one extremely major project that may seriously change a huge chunk of my life, but that for now will remain a secret. Except to those people who it involves, in which case you'll be getting an email from me later this week.

Oh, and also a very fun and awexomely good-for-me project: Starting tonight (in about a half-hour) I'm beginning this program. I'll be posting my progress here and on my twitter account, so that's probably gonna be pretty boring for you, but it's incredibly exciting for me, especially after the six weeks have passed (though for me it's likely gonna be closer to eight weeks).

Whew! That's about it for now I guess, but Happy New Year (finally) everyone!

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posted by Christopher at 4:54 PM

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Stormpocalypse Snowmageddon 2008 

(or "Snowpocalypse Stormageddon" if you prefer)

I feel I would be remiss if I didn't somehow write a blog entry on this rather unusual bout of snow that we've gotten here in the Pacific Northwest over the past week. Therefore this blog entry is what you might call "obligatory."

Yes: it snowed here much, much more than it usually snows, and it has stayed much, much longer than it usually stays. And therefore much of the Pacific Northwest has gone into a panic the likes of which must seem hilarious to the upper Midwest and Northeast parts of the country, where long-lasting snow is a common happening.

The fact is that Seattleites, Tacomans, and to a lesser extent Olympians have possibly the worst weather memory in the entire country. You see, it rains well over 100 days out of the year here, so you'd think we'd all be accustomed to driving whenever it rained, right? Well, just imagine that there are more than five consecutive days without rain. For some reason it seems like the entire population suddenly forgets how to drive in the rain when it starts pouring again! I've lived here my whole life and this phenomenon never ceases to amaze me.

So you can imagine what it must be like if it happens to snow, which it does very infrequently. Maybe two or three times a year, tops, and it generally sticks around less than two days if indeed it does last at all. Here's an example of the hilarity: one day last week many Tacoma schools were canceled because it was snowing… even though it was much too warm to stick to the ground. Yes, Tacoma schools were canceled because there was snow in the air. There wasn't even any ice on the roads!

So you can imagine how the whole area basically shut down when a couple of days later the snow really did begin to accumulate on the ground.

Carrie & I have a tradition of night-walking through the snow on the first evening that it accumulates. So late that evening after Carrie got home from work we decided to take Suki with us. We also live within easy walking distance of Alice and Rufus, two Boston Terrier friends of Suki's (and their owners, who are friends of our). We thought it'd be fun to all go for a walk, which it was. But it was also rather embarrassing, because Suki got so extremely excited by the snow and the presence of the Bostons that she kept on spontaneously barking for joy. Loudly. At 11:00 at night outside people's houses.

Another evening a bunch of us who live close by all trudged to the nearby Engine House 9 ("E-9" as it's called around here) for a nommy din-dins.

On Saturday Laura came over and she, Carrie, and I all went down to the Parkway Tavern to meet with Steph, Jamie, and law-school Katie for lunch, 'cause we were excited she was back in town. Well, right before we arrived a group of about 20 overly-well-dressed professionals had spontaneously shown up demanding food and drink. And only two people were working that afternoon: one bartender and one cook. So we had to wait quite a while for our foodstuffs, but it was okay because there was good company and copious amounts of pear cider. That night Fools Play was canceled due to a rather large burst of afternoon/evening snow (the owner of Mud Bay Coffee couldn't find anyone who was willing to keep the place open late enough for us). Instead we all played Animal Crossing and we baked cookies and stayed in. Laura even ended up crashing on our couch.

Carrie had to work all day Sunday. Laura & I walked down to Starbucks and had breakfast sammitches for breakfast. The snow was like crème brûlée: a thin, hard crust over a lot of soft stuff. It was crazy to walk through it. But for lunch we walked again, this time to Wild Orchid to meet with Carrie, Christine, & Lawrence. Here's a tip: if you eat at Wild Orchid, try the Rama Noodles. Very tasty.

We were so inspired by Wild Orchid that we decided to make our own Thai chicken soup for dinner, so Laura, Lawrence & I stopped by the Neighborhood Market on the way back to the house and bought coconut milk and an onion while everyone else went back to work. Lawrence continued on to his house, and Laura decided to drive back to hers before it got dark. Carrie made the soup when she got off of work, and Christine, Lawrence, and the Bostons all came over and ate it (well, the Bostons didn't eat it) while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version, not that live-action crap).

Let me just say: onion, chicken, garlic, curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, cilantro, basil, salt & pepper (in that order) FTW.

By Monday morning the snow had pretty much stopped falling, but it was still very much there. I managed to get my car out of it and got to work with little incident.

I think my car is under there somewhere

And that's about it. There are still about six to nine inches of snow around here. According to weather people the snow is supposed to stick around for the rest of the week, so there might be some form of white Christmas (which would be an absolute shock to the people of the Pacific Northwest; I only recall one white Christmas here in my entire 31 years of existence). I would also just like to say that it is very nice to live within easy walking distance of so many good restaurants and bars.

I hope you have a safe and festive holiday season. Until next time… adiós.

And to all a good night.

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posted by Christopher at 11:19 PM

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hween Hwrap-up, or "The Mii of Me on My Wii Looks an Awful Lot Like Me" 

I must admit, I was completely stumped as to what to do for my Hween costume this year. After the Hard Hat last year, Pac-Man the year before, and Sinistar a couple of years before that, I wanted to make a costume that was a little less... intensive.

But, as I said, I was stumped. Carrie & I batted some ideas around, and I thought Bomberman would be cool 'cause I could make a big plush bomb to throw around. But I couldn't figure out how to easily do that gigantic head of his. Then suddenly Carrie came up with the idea that I should be my own Mii, and just like that my problem was solved!

The Mii of me on my Wii looks an awful lot like me. But how to make a costume out of that as simply as possible? Thankfully, there is an online tool where you can make your own Miis: the Mii Creator. All I had to do was select all the right parts and then fudge them around until the Mii on the screen looked the same as the Mii on the Wii.

I took a screen capture and brought it into Photoshop so I could fix the hairline. The online Mii Creator is a little bit too literal about the thumbnails of the hairstyles looking exactly like the hairstyles; the one I use on the Wii looked different than the same style online. But I fixed it, then printed it out on an 8.5" × 11quot; piece of glossy photo paper, then carefully cut it out.

I cut out a piece of cardboard that was slightly smaller than the Mii, and poked two holes in it at about ear-level. I strung a comfortable organza ribbon through the holes, then mounted the piece of cardboard on the back of the photo paper, voila:

I didn't make any eyeholes (I didn't want to ruin the aesthetic), so I would have to rely on my peripheral vision to move around, but that was fine; many of my costumes have had no vision whatsoever.

I wasn't quite done yet, though. If you look at that image of the Mii Creator up there, you'll notice something about the Mii's hands. Miis don't really have hands. They just have spheres on the ends of their arms. I wanted my costume to be as authentic as possible, so I decided to make a couple of sphere fists for myself. But how? By sewing, of course!

I had no idea how to sew a ball, but thankfully we're well into the 21st century now and pretty much all how-to knowledge is somewhere on teh intarwebz. A quick search came up with this reasonable set of instructions on how to make a plush ball.

I went and bought a long-sleeved purple T-shirt (it was a UW shirt that I just turned inside-out) and some cheap fabric that was a close-enough color. I cut out 12 foot-ball-shaped pieces of the purple fabric.

I took 'em over to mum's house and used her sewing machine to sow them together in sets of three, so that I had six hemispheres. I then sewed the hemispheres together into two spheres, leaving about a three-inch gap in them so that I could insert my hand.

Then I turned the shirt's sleeves inside-out (well, right-side-out in this case because I wanted the shirt to end up being inside-out) and sewed the spheres to them like this:

Once both spheres were sewn on, I turned the shirt right-side-out (inside-out in this case) and then stuffed the spheres full of poly-fill so that they'd maintain their shape.

Then all I had to do was put on the shirt halfway, tie on the mask, and then slip my hands into the spheres and my costume was complete! I am my own Mii! And it was comparatively easier than the costumes I did the last couple of years.

Then if you're lucky you'll get to hang out with a hottie like Tia, whose costume was her own character from Rock Band:

Everyone seemed to love me being my Mii quite a lot. I liked it quite a lot as well, though there were two problems with the costume:
  1. I could only see via peripheral vision
  2. I had no usable hands

My "Batmen of Many Variations" jack-o-lanterns were also a hit, though not as popular as my Pac-Man punkins (though more popular than my Space Invaders punkins). Here are some photos of my 2008 punkins all lit up and purdy:

On Hween night we did our annual tradition where I make a metric tonne of Reuben sammitches and Carrie makes a delicious Russian potato soup with green beans, sauerkraut, and dill. Hope everyone else's Hween was equally as enjoyable as mine, if not moreso.

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posted by Christopher at 11:07 AM

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Where They Filmed Bits of The Goonies 


Last week was our 4-year wedding anniversarary! Hooray! To celebrate, we both took the whole week off and went on vacation.

The weekend before the vacation we had a big ol' yard sale. I followed the advice of my own article about Garage Sale Etiquette, and the whole thing went swimmingly. Carrie actually did most of the work during the actual hours of operation due to the fact that I was working on the big Bead Factory Fashion Show handouts, as I had been doing the entire week leading up to that weekend.

I should say that Saturday went very well; Sunday was pretty much dead. We made enough moneys to buy lunch. Carrie did get to hang out in the front yard with Laura & Lawrence and play backgammon while drinking margaritas, so the day wasn't a bust by any means (I once again spent much of the day working on handouts). After it was all over we loaded everything that was left into my car and I ran up to Goodwill and gave it all to them.

The next day we left for vacation. We rented a house in a tiny little town called Tierra Del Mar, Oregon. We found the house through We actually stayed at this house. Tierra Del Mar is sewiously small; it consists of about 12 streets branching off from the main thoroughfare. If you sneezed you would practically drive through it without noticing. It's about halfway between Tillamook and Pacific City.

Wait, did I say Tillamook? If you know me, then you know that I loves me the cheese, and Tillamook happens to have a great big ol' factory that just pumps out the stuff. So that was the second stop on our journey.

What was the first stop? A Burgerville in southern Washington. They (coincidentally?) have a fantastic bacon burger with Tillamook cheese all up on it. They also have sweet-potato fries and very delicious milkshakes. Y'know, I shouldn't say that Burgerville was our first stop because we didn't actually stop there; we just hit the drive-through. We stopped at a rest stop a ways down I-5 and ate our yummy foodstuffs at a picnic table OM NOM NOM. Burgervile is kind of a tradition whenever we drive to Oregon. There was also a dog area at the rest stop, so we let Suki run around in it for a bit.

Then we headed on down to the Tillamook Cheese Factory using this route. It wound up through the "mountains" between Portland and the coast. It was very pretty. But naught so pretty as the pretty cheese in that factory.

We, as is our custom, bought the packaged odds-and-ends. When they carve cheese into those brick shapes, what do you think happens to all the leftover bits? They shrink-wrap them and sell 'em at the factory for a reduced price! They only had one style that day, a garlic white cheddar. That was okay with us!

From there we got on 101 and headed on south to Tierra Del Mar. It was after 4:00 by the time we arrived, so we quickly hauled everything out of the car and then walked Suki down to the end of the road where there was a big, huge, northwest-coast-style beach. A few miles to the south was a big ol' Haystack Rock, though not the Haystack rock—that was up north many miles out of view near Cannon Beach, where they filmed bits of The Goonies. This Haystack Rock was not in the movie The Goonies. Don't know why they couldn't give both rocks different names.

We played fetch with Suki. She seemed to like the beach quite a bit, and didn't mind getting her entire mouth completely coated with sand. It woulda bothered me. Ah, well.

Suki at the Beach

I took a short video of the beach so you could see just how crowded it was there:

Yeah. After fun in the surf and sand we headed back to the house where I hosed Suki down (she didn't like that). For din-dins that evening we made clam chowder from scratch (it just seemed right to make clam chowder while you're staying at the beach).

Carrie made this really fascinating bread product. I'll see if I can describe it:
For this recipe you will need:
  • (2) cans of buttermilk biscuit dough
  • Bacon
  • Shredded cheese
  1. Cook the bacon until it's crispy, then crumble it to bits.
  2. remove all of the biscuits from the cans. Cut them up into little 1" - 2" triangles.
  3. Arrange half the biscuit bits in a single layer (as best you can) in the bottom of a greased baking pan (it's supposed to be a fluted bunt pan, but they didn't have one there so we just used 2 regular 9" square pans). The triangles don't have to be tightly interlocked; it works better if they're just loosely arranged.
  4. Sprinkle half the crumbled bacon and half the shredded cheese on top of the layer of biscuits.
  5. Make another layer of biscuit bits on top of the bacon/cheese layer.
  6. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon and cheese on top.
  7. Bake in an oven at an appropriate temperature (??) until the biscuits are cooked to a nice, golden brown.

The cheese seeps into all the cracks between the biscuit triangles as it melts, and then when it cools it creates this matrix-like glue holding the whole thing together. To it it, you just rip off a triangle or two and pop it in your mouth. You can dip it in your chowder first if you'd like!

After that first evening, the low clouds rolled in and stayed for the remainder of the vacation. When I say low, I mean like 50-100-feet-off-the-ground low. Fog unless you were at sea level. It was actually kinda nice because it kept the weather very, very moderate. It weren't too hot and it weren't too cold. It weren't too windy, neither.

The rest of the days of the trip were spent exploring all the little towns along the Oregon coast. We went as far south as Newport, where we had some beer inside the "Brewers on the Bay" pub at the Rogue Brewery. That place was really cool; you had to actually walk through the distillery (guided by arrows on the floor and taped-off areas) to get to the pub. It almost felt like you were trespassing. We went as far north as Seaside, which we did not like very much; it had a strange, aggressive, "angry carnie" energy about it.

Our favorite town was Cannon Beach, which was clean, well-maintained, and tourist friendly. Lots and lots and lots of cute shops full of cute stuff. I didn't buy anything.

An interesting thing to note about our trip: we didn't ever eat out at a restaurant. We had beer at the Rogue brewpub, but not food. We cooked our own breakfasts and dinners, and we packed picnic-style lunches that we took with us. It was really tasty and a much less-expensive way to have a vacation than to eat out for every meal. We made horribly delicious things from scratch, such as beef fajitas, chicken salad, burgers stuffed with bleu cheese and covered with garlic cheese, etc. We made way too much; we brought home leftovers from pretty much every single meal we made (except for the breakfasts, which we usually scarfed right down).

Another interesting thing to note was that there was neither TV nor internet tubes at our vacation house. We brought my MacBook, though, and it has a nice media player. So we watched a lot of My Boys and Veronica Mars and some Anthony Bourdain while we ate our breakfasts and dinners and relaxed in the evening. We also brought some books but didn't actually end up reading them!

Early on in our stay we were were heading south through the fog along a big, forested cliff over the ocean. I needed to find a restroom (a side effect of having no large intestines), so we pulled over at this one touristy landmark type place that had a gift shop. It didn't have any restrooms, but there was a lookout outside where you could stand at the top of a 500' cliff and look out over the ocean. It was so foggy that you could only see maybe halfway down the cliff. It was like Silent Hill. Still looking for the bathroom we continued up a ways to the Devil's Punch Bowl area of the Oregon coast, where we just happened to stumble upon a winery at the edge of another (smaller) cliff: Flying Dutchman Winery.

After quickly ascertaining they did not have a public restroom and backtracking to some port-a-potties we'd spotted, we came back and did a tasting. They had really, really tasty berry wines. We bought half a case of blackberry and raspberry wines. We'd never have known about this place if I hadn't had to go to the bathroom!

While driving through Pacific City we noticed something familiar about the place. We'd eaten at a restaurant there and stayed at a motel there many, many years ago on an overnight trip we'd taken with Geoff, Josh, and Melissa! It was the trip where Josh and Carrie both tried to learn how to drive stick with Melissa's car. Ah, nostalgia.

There was also a cute little town to the north called Nehalem. It had like two blocks of cute little shops, all linked up with covered walkways. It also had a bead shop (we stopped at at least two bead shops during this trip) that had a going-out-of-business sale happening. Hey, I just learned that there's a Google Street View of Nahalem, of all places! Go take a look.

Eventually it was time to head back home. But just because it was our last day didn't mean we were done with our vacation! Not by a long shot! It was time for wine. Wine time!

Instead of going back the way we came, we jutted south and then headed east on Highway 18 towards McMinnville, towards the heart of Willamette Valley wine country.

Traveling generally northeast on 99, we hit the following wineries:

Yamhill Valley
Had a cool koi pond out front. We bought a couple of whites.
Anne Amie
Very classy place. We bought three bottles, including a shockingly tasty Müller Thurgau and an easy red blend they called Amrita. We ate a picnic lunch at a table on their patio
Archery Summit
Least-expensive bottle there was $48. We didn't buy any but did the full tasting (generous amounts). Got to drink some $100 pinot noir. It was easily the best wine there, but honestly not $75 better than a good $25 bottle of pinot noir.
Our perennial favorite. We got a couple of interesting whites, including a dry Gewurztraminer (which was kinda fascinating). We tried to have a snack on their patio but were driven away by bees.
Interesting little place, had an unusual selection. We got a bottle of sparkling rose wine (the most expensive single bottle we got on our trip) and a very delicious ice wine.

Carrie did the driving so I did most of the drinking, and I was a little tipsy by the end, I tell you what. But still—still—we weren't quite done!

Late afternoon, following phone directions, we wound ourselves into that strange hilly area directly south of downtown Portland to the apartment of Heather & Chris. They took us all up curvy roads towards the top of the hill.

The roads skirted around huge, forested chasms, along the sides of which were many terribly expensive houses built on stilts hanging over these chasms. It was kinda crazy. One house was only connected to the hillside by its driveway; the rest of it was supported by stilts. The road was actually level with the TOP floors of these houses. Often they extended three or four stories down into the chasms. Is Portland a more geologically stable area than Seattle? 'Cause it'd be suicide to build like that up here, what with this being earthquake country 'n' all.

Anyway, we did not fall into any chasms on the way to Council Crest Park, which is basically at the summit of the hill. It's a pretty cool park with a big watertower in it. There's a steep hill on the southeast side of it that dogs can run around in, so Suki ran around in it with us all.

After that we got back on the freeway and headed north for home. About the only thing we missed on the whole trip was a jaunt to Voodoo Doughnut in downtown Portland, but we didn't feel like stopping either time we drove through the area.

It was plenty dark by the time we got home. But get home we did.

As a P.S. of sorts, this post wins the record of having the most labels of any of my posts!

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posted by Christopher at 4:13 PM

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Friday, September 05, 2008

My Wife is a Kick-Ass Cook 

Carrie makes the yummies happen, fo' sho'. On Tuesday we went to the 6th Ave Farmers Market and bought some fruit and meat and were looking at vergertarblers, when Carrie suddenly remembered: because Melissa & Travis are on their Honeymoon, they wanted us to go pick up their weekly share of their farmers co-op thing (since it was already paid for). So instead of paying money (ugh) for vegetables, we walked a couple of blocks up the street and picked up huge bags of tomatoes, potatoes, kale, carrots, beets, basil, green onions, salad fixin's, and a couple other things I don't recall right now. For free.

It wasn't all for us, mind you. When I got home I split it into four equal parts (mostly equal—I didn't include eggplant (that's what I forgot) in ours, and I omitted things that other people were allergic to from their sacks), three for the other people Melissa had told about this.

The next day (Wednesday) Carrie put some of those gergables to good use by making a frikkin' wonderful pasta. She sauteéd up garlic and green onions and Italian sausage, made a home-made sauce with the tomatoes and green onion, mixed it all up with ricotta cheese and fuselli pasta. Then I helped by putting it all in Corningware dishes and coating the top with grated Mozarella and baking them in the oven until they were all bubbly and delicious.

Cat came over and watched Project Runway with us and enjoyed the bounty of our labours. She also brought garlic bread! Plus I made a salad with home-made balsamic dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper) and the salad fixin's!

I had leftover pasta for breakfast and dinner yesterday (Thursday), and Carrie took the rest of it with her for lunch today.

I just thought y'all would want to hear about it.

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posted by Christopher at 6:53 AM

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One Hot Weekend 

Friday evening Carrie & I went with Jen, Pete, and Lila to see Kung-Fu Panda. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Saturday was miserably hot and Carrie had to work (she taught two classes). Geoff & Lisa (and a bit later Gary) hung out with me for a bit. For some reason they all met up at my house without telling me they were going to do so, which is fine. Just strange.

I picked up Josh and we drove down to Oly in my wonderful, air-conditioned car. We performed Fools Play Conversation Starter, which is a fantastic format that is just a blast to do. We had a great audience; although on the small side, they were all highly receptive to all of the crazy, crazy stuff we were doing (example: a scene in which two lawyers or businessmen (I can't remember which, but it doesn't matter) have a serious discussion about urine, intercut with one of their co-workers watching a trailer for the new Batman movie). It was a big hit.

Sunday was a really great day. Carrie & I got up kinda early so we could take Suki for a walk before it got too hot. Well, it was pretty much already too hot even before we got up, but we went for the walk anyway. Then despite my swollen eye (see this post) we decided to go down to the Parkway for breakfast, and Christine joined us there.

They dropped me off at the house and continued on to Costco. I picked some of the strawberries that were growing in our backyard and relaxed until Carrie got back.

She took me to Josh's for Fools Play practice. About halfway through practice we discovered that the basement of the house was about 30 degrees cooler than the upstairs, so we shifted down there. I played quite a bit with my MacBook's voice synthesizer, which is very funny. It was one of the more fun practices we've had recently.

Carrie & Suki picked me up and took me home, where I started some coals in the barbecue. We closed the gate on the driveway and around 7:30 Christine & Lawrence came over. They brought their dogs to play with Suki! We all sat outside and ate grilled scallops wrapped in bacon (and basted with Yoshida's sauce) with a caprice salad and drank some wine. When the inside of the house finally started to cool down there were even some games of Mario Kart going on!

Eventually the evening wound down and Christine & Lawrence left with their dogs. Only moments after they left, though, Laura came walking up to the house, much to my surprise. She and Carrie informed me that they were taking me to see WALL•E! See, movie theaters tend to be air-conditioned, and it was still a rather hot night. Also, we all really wanted to see WALL•E. So two lovely ladies escorted me to the theater. WALL•E is much better than Kung-Fu Panda.

When the movie let out the night had cooled down considerably. It was also rather late, so we went basically straight to bed when we got home.

It was a very fun weekend despite the ungodly heat. I am now, however, five movie reviews behind (and The Dark Knight comes out soon):

  1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  2. The Incredible Hulk
  3. The Fall
  4. Kung-Fu Panda
  5. WALL•E
So this week I'm going to try to crank out as many of these as possible. Look for them soon!

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posted by Christopher at 1:03 PM

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh, Okay, There's Spring 

So last week was much more comfortably Spring-like than the weekend that led up to it. Unfortunately I got horribly sick on Wednesday and spent it and the next two days at home trying to recover. But since I wasn't able to really do much more than sit on the couch and hold stuff in my hands, I was able to practically complete Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

My dad also came over Wednesday morning and worked more on the patio outside. It could be actually finished as soon as this Wednesday! Wholly crap!

I was feeling better on Saturday, but still not well enough to go to Fools Play. I did go to practice on Sunday, though. While I was gone Carrie made delicious potato/leek soup, which we ate for dinner.

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posted by Christopher at 9:43 PM

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Happened to Spring? 

Wow! It seems like just a month and a half ago that the ground was coated in snow. After that it was just plain-old cold weather up until Friday, when all of a sudden out of nowhere it was 90° outside!

Friday was a fun day nonetheless, as a bunch of people came over to our house to enjoy barbecued food and Mario Kart Wii racing. Leia & Kedar even stayed until almost everybody else had gone home!

Saturday, unfortunately, continued the heat wave to such a degree that I couldn't do any durned thing. All I could do was sit around and be miserably hot until Fools Play, which was a fun new format called "The Naked Brain."

Sunday was a bit more manageable. In the evening Carrie & I went over to Laura's for a graduation barbecue. We got there much later than we wanted to, though, because we had to wait for a bunch of Bead Babes to get done with work so they could come to our house to get a ride and/or follow us to Laura's house.

In sync with the heat was a sudden attack of severe allergies! It's really bad this year. Maybe if, y'know, we'd had time to adjust over the course of, I dunno, a Spring season, we'd be a little bit innoculated to the pollen count. Silly me; I like my seasons to be three months long each, not six months of Winter and then straight into Summer.

Anyway, I unfortunately also took up playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption over the weekend. I don't know what I was thinking; I'm going to have to put all of my creative endeavors on hold now until I finish the durned game!

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posted by Christopher at 5:34 PM

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Footprints Leading to Good Food 

Yesterday (Friday) when I got home from work this is what my front yard looked like:

Yes, it looked like some kinda crappy inspirational footprints poster. It snowed basically from the time I got to work until the time I got home. This was continuing the last two days of snowstuffs. This freakishly weird winter weather at the end of March came as quite a surprise to my small cluster of tulips! Look at them:

They're so surprised! They're all like, "What the!?" They totally thought it was spring. Whoops!

For lunch I had leftover chicken soup that Neighbor Gary had made the night before whilst I was in Seattle. Have I mentioned that Gary is staying on our couch for his Spring Break? No? Well, now I have, suckers!

Then for dinner I pulled out all the stops and made a full-on gourmet meal. It looked soooo tasty that I had to take a picture of it. Here is that picture, in all its splendiferous glory:

From the top of the plate going clockwise we have:
  • Greek-style potatoes (leftover from Taki's Mad Greek).
  • Carrots sauteéd in butter and seasoned with pepper. Then at the very end of the cooking process I poured in a couple of dashes of soy sauce and let it get all caramelized on the carrots.
  • Pan-seared, salt-and-pepper steak smothered in sauteéd & caramelized onions.

Whoo-eee! Them's good times! It tasted oh-so-very good.

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posted by Christopher at 2:08 PM

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hope Y'all Had a Happy Irish Day! 

Yesterday (Monday) Carrie, Laura, & I went over to Carrie's folks' house for din-dins. I had corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, 3 pints of Guinness, and green pistachio pudding!

Then while walking to work this morning, I passed this on the street:

Seems likely that a transient is gonna have a happy day today!

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posted by Christopher at 6:13 PM

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Katsu Kraziness 

This story kinda starts a while back, quite a ways before Christmas.

I was up in Seattle hanging out with Tangetnbot's wife, waiting for him to get off work. She was prepping a dinner of pork katsu with panko bread crumbs and tonkatsu sauce. It ended up being delicious.

Then in her Christmas stocking(s), Carrie received both a bottle of tonkatsu sauce and a package of panko.

So a while after Christmas Carrie & I made chicken katsu for dinner with equally delicious results. The sauce and the crumbs were both from the inimitable Uwajimaya up in Seattle. I love Uwajimaya, but Seattle is just a bit too far away for a casual jaunt out to get some Japanese foodstuffs. So I started wondering if there were any Asian markets closer by.

A quick search told me that there was a place called East Asia Super Market (note "Super Market," not "Supermarket") just a stone's throw across I-5 from us. Tacoma Mama gives it a sterling review (Tacoma Mama is, by the way, a great resource for things in Tacoma), so I'm curious to go check it out sometime soon. I doubt it can be anywhere near as cool as Uwajimaya, but at least it's something, eh?

By the way, Tangentbot is posting some tasty recipes on his site if you wanna make some good food. He hasn't posted a katsu recipe yet, though, so here's what Carrie & I did!
Chicken Katsu
Chicken cutlets (or chicken breast halves, pounded until they're as thin as cutlets)
All-purpouse flour
1 egg, beaten
Panko bread crumbs
Salt & Pepa to taste
Tonkatsu sauce
  1. Set up three shallow dishes: 1 with flour in it, 1 with a beaten egg in it, and 1 with the panko in it.
  2. Season the chicken to taste.
  3. Dredge the chicken through the flower to coat, then through the egg, and then through the panko until it is thoroughly coated with bread crumbs
  4. Heat about ¼" of oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the chicken in the oil 3-4 minutes per side (until golden brown and cooked through)
  5. Let the chicken rest for several minutes, then slice on a diagonal (like you're julienning a carrot).
  6. Serve on a bed of steamed white rice and drizzle with tonkatsu sauce (you can add purple cabbage to the rice for even more authenticity)

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posted by Christopher at 9:28 PM

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What The!? 

So the last couple of days have been pretty un-eventful. Yesterday (Monday) Carrie & I went over to her folks' house and barbecued a whole bunch of good food. There was, let's see, Yoshida salmon, zucchini, potatoes with onion & garlic, and green beans with bacon. Carrie went and picked up Grandma K. from her place; I went straight to the Hamm house; and Carrie's folks met us all there, straight from the airport. They'd been in Kansas visiting Jim's mother, and their plane only arrived that...Whoa, wait a minute, what was that? Was that a picture of a dog? In my yard? What the!?

Let me take another look:

Hey, waitaminute, what's that dog doing in my car now? That must be how it got to my yard. But why would a dog go in my car?

Well, the answer is probably pretty obvious. On Saturday, Carrie & I got a dog. We went in the morning to Ikea and bought dog supplies, then in the early afternoon we went to the Tacoma Humane Society and when we left an hour later, a dog came with us.

We named her サツキ (Satsuki), but we just call her スキ ("Suki"). She's a four-year-old, 43 lb Spaniel mix (probably mostly German Spaniel). She'd been living in the wild for upwards of five months, so she's still VERY skittish and shy, but she's getting steadily better as the days go on. She has a mild case of "kennel cough," but that's hardly surprising considering she was at the Humane Society for four days before we got her.

Carrie is very excited. She's been wanting a dog for YEARS. Fantastico, however, is not so excited. She's mostly just confused as to why that thing is still here. Dogs have been over to our house before, but they've always left after a while. Suki's been here three nights running!

So anyway, yes, we have a dog. Yes, you can come visit her. But, no, she can't hang out with your dog(s) until she's over her kennel cough and no longer contagious (two weeks from now).

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posted by Christopher at 11:42 PM

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

It Begins... 

Yesterday (Wednesday) was mercilessly hot. It was also the first work day for the Puget Sound Bead Festival. Carrie left for work much earlier than I did. I went to work as usual, but afterwards I walked to the south three blocks (three double blocks) down Broadway until I got to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center on 15th Street.

Christine let me in, and I joined many other Bead Boys (and Gary) in putting together the classrooms: gaffing power strips and extension cords, plugging in and testing lights, and the like. I also did a stint ferrying materials from the U-Haul truck in the back of the building. In order to do that, though, I had to go outside the air-conditioned building and spend several moments in the 95-plus-degrees sunshine. I didn't enjoy that so much.

I was there for a couple of hours (the other Boys had been there since about 9:00 AM) before Travis showed up with foodstuffs from MSMII! I got a Mike's Deluxe, a very tasty sammitch. I hadn't quite finished half of it when Carrie informed me that she and Cat were leaving and were willing to give me a ride back to my car way up on 4th Ave.—saving me a 30-minute walk in the sun! I was very grateful.

On the way back to the house I stopped by the Bead Factory and picked up a couple of Lisa's boxes that she'd had shipped there. I came home and shared the rest of my Sammitch with Carrie when she arrived.

Then I went and got my hair cut at Julie's Hair Care place. I look awexome now!

I came home and then Carrie & I pretty much immediately left for her folks' place. They weren't home; they were out seeing Harry Potter. But they'd said that we could borrow their Nissan for the duration of the Festival, so Carrie snagged that car. I drove the rental back home while Carrie continued on north to the airport to pick up the arriving Lisa.

I cleaned up a little more until they got back to the house, then I started up the barbecue. People then began trickling in—Christine, Travis, Steph, Gary, Melissa, and even Erin Miner from NYC! And Jeff Pines! And even more people than that! We went through two six-packs and two bottles of wine, and I grilled up a whole bunch of sausages of all varieties, including some with cheese in 'em.

The reason everybody came over to enjoy my cooking was our weekly gathering to watch So You Think You Can Dance. I didn't actually see very much of it due to my cooking and hosting duties, but that's okay; I enjoyed the evening thoroughly.

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posted by Christopher at 9:34 PM

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July 2007 

Yesterday (Wednesday) was, of course, the 4th of July. We got up at a reasonable time so Carrie could go meet her friend Erin and give her all of the jewelry she'd designed for her wedding. I worked in the meanwhile on gathering supplies for our day-long cookout. I also baked brownie bites (brownies baked in miniature muffin pans) which were very, very tasty fish.

Carrie brought Erin back to the house to give her some CDs for wedding music, so I got to see her. I had seen her before, but many, many years ago. She left, then Carrie & I continued gathering things and supplies (and a lot of food). Christine & Lawrence went down to Point Defiance Park and after a false start found an absolutely fantastic place where we could all set up. So as soon as Melissa was dropped off at our house we loaded everything into the rental car and headed down to the park to join them.

It was a great spot, the first barbecue area after you pass the area that has all of the playground equipment in it. It was really nicely shaded, and there was a big enough open area that I could actually set up a badminton net for some Two-Sticks action later on.

So by the time 1:00 rolled around we had the coals a-burnin' and everything all set up. That was also, unfortunatley, the time when Christine had to take Lawrence away because he had to work on the 4th. Honestly, why is Starbucks open until 9:00 on the 4th of July? Lame.

Soon other people started trickling in, and Travis brought Christine back, and there was much cook-outing and frivolity. The whole Lareau clan even stopped by with their two pugs and three kids and hung out for quite a while. Lila really liked Gabby, the puppy. She learned how to say "Gabby" (and apparently she's been asking Jen, "Where Gabby?" pretty much nonstop since the 4th).

There were several games of Two-Sticks throughout the day. Julian & I actually had a pretty successful team ("Team Broken Backs") that won three games in a row. It was fun explaining all the rules to everybody.

Oh! And Chris Fantz showed me the iPhone his folks had gotten for him. It is pretty spiffy, but there's no way I would every pay that much for it (especially right now), nor would I really want to switch to AT&T. T•Mobile is so very cheap!

Anyways, after almost eight hours of cooking out things started to wind down. So we packed up our group, got a grip, came equipped, pack our proton packs on our back, and we split! We took Christine with us, and after we got home we drove down to Starbucks to wait for Lawrence to get off of work. It took a while due to somebody messing up a till or something. I dunno. But then we picked him up and drove through the northern Stadium district looking for a parking spot within easy walking distance of the intersection of Yakima & Carr (here), which is a primo place to watch Tacoma's annual 4th of July Fireworks Display. We met up with the entire Lovejoy clan there and all watched the fireworks together. I discovered a while back that my camera actually has a "fireworks" setting. I think it might work better if the camera is on a tripod, but here are a couple of good shots:

Anyway after the big show the four of us (Carrie, Christine, Lawrence, & I) all walked back up to the Rental car and took everybody home.

Here is a photo album I made of the day's festivities in case anybody is in the least bit interested.

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posted by Christopher at 3:50 PM

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Good News, Suggestion Card: The President Signed You, and Now You're a Scene 

So yesterday (Saturday) was another exciting day in my life. Carrie got up a little early and actually went in to work for an hour or so. She came back and got me and we went to Trader Joe's for grocery supplies.

When we came home I made an humongous pasta dish for lunch. It had a ricotta & marinara sauce and turkey meatballs. So tasty.

In the afternoon I did some konpyupyu work and then did a huge stack of bills while Carrie took a nap. Excitement!

I took a shower and had more of the pasta for din-dins before heading down to Fools Play. It was just me and Mike, and we did Fools Play Revolution, our 4th of July format. It was a really funny show, and a couple of times I made Mike just absolutely crack up on stage, which I love doing because it makes the entire audience bust up watching Mike try not to bust up.

There were a lot more people in the audience than last week, including Tiare, Leia & Kedar, and Tia, though only Leia & Kedar came to hang out with us afterwards (Tia due to being exhausted and probably sick).

We went to Rib Eye and I sat with Sandy, Leia, & Kedar. Sandy was really loopy for some reason, and it was really funny. We both ended up getting the hot roast beef sammitch, which is really tasty. I even got a side salad and ate half of it! Wow for me! I really miss salads, and it looks like I can start slowly working them back in.

The show ran a little long, and I tarried at the restaurant a little long, so I was a little later getting home than usual, but I made it home just fine and dandy.

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posted by Christopher at 12:51 PM

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

I've Been In Your House a Million Times! 

Yesterday (Friday) was another weird weather day where every few minutes it was doing something new—bright sunlight, mist, torrential downpour, almost-hail, etc.

Here's something that pissed me off a little bit. Y'know on Wednesday I made a bunch of hamburgers on the grill. Well, on Thursday Carrie & I both had a couple more burgers during the course of the day. And then at the end of the day she discovered that I had a full, un-opened jar of Trader Joe's pickles in the fridge! You don't understand; those are the best pickles EVAR. They would've been so good on all those burgers! So for lunch yesterday I made more burgers and put some Trader Joe's pickles on one of them (the other one was a Gorgonzola burger, so I didn't want pickles on that one). And I also just ate three pickles straight from the jar. So good!

Anyway, after lunch I took Carrie back to the store, then I came home and watched some BSG. Neighbor Gary showed up! We hung out for a while before I had to go pick Carrie up from work.

At 6:00 Carrie went and got Lawrence and taught him to drive in the rain. At 7:00 everyone was supposed to meet up at the Parkway for some fun Friday evening friends time. Since Carrie was out teaching Lawrence to drive, Christine said she'd come pick me up shortly before 7:00. Well, she finished her errands early, so she picked me up early and we hung out the two of us at the Parkway for a good half hour before anyone else showed up. We talked about all of the vagaries of being homeowners and got a head start on a big pitcher of hard cider.

Carrie & Lawrence showed up and we all ordered food (Carrie & I split a quesadilla). Then one of the new Bead Babes, Marika, came and joined us! Very cool. While we were talking with her we asked her where she was living, and she said she lived on such street between such-and-such streets. Wow, we realized, that's really close to where Laura lived before she went to Europe. After quizzing Marika on what her house looked like inside and out, we quickly realized that she didn't actually live close to Laura's old house. She lived IN Laura's old house!

Coincidence? You decide! But we thought it was absolutely awesome/hilarious. As Carrie said, "I've been in your house a million times!"

Eventually we were joined by Melissa and Travis. We'd invited both Viki and Gary (separately), but neither of them ended up showing up, which was too bad. But it was still a very, very fun evening. Eventually Carrie drove the two of us back home, and I was allowed to put on an episode of BSG in the bedroom (though we switched to Home Movies when it was time for us to actually fall asleep).

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posted by Christopher at 1:06 PM

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

So You Think You Can BBQ 

Yesterday (Wednesday) Carrie did not come home for lunch due to some work meeting stuff. Left to my own devices I... y'know, I can't even remember what I had for lunch. Sigh. My memory has really been pretty crappy lately.

Anyhoo, I went to Safeway in the afternoon. We were gonna have people over in the evening to BBQ and watch So You Think You Can Dance. Carrie left me a grocery list of things to buy. She helpfully labeled the list, "So You Think You Can BBQ."

I got everything no problem, though it was surprisingly difficult to find the charcoal. It was all hidden in an aisle that was not appropriately labeled, i.e., it was under the fresh meat.

I came home and cleaned and cleaned, the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen and everything. I even let Roomba run around until he ran outta batteries and yelled at me.

Carrie was home much later than usual because her old friend Erin stopped by the store to pick out stuff for her wedding jewelry, wedding jewelry that Carrie is going to make for her! So Carrie was there helping Erin for quite a while.

Carrie came home for a bit, then went and got Lawrence and taught him some more driving stuff out at Point Defiance. Whilst she did that I got the coals all a-blazin' in preparation for barbecue funtimes. Lawrence & Carrie came back and soon thereafter Christine showed up. There was a chance that Jen might have come too, but her enfant was too fussy and grumpy to enjoy hanging out, so she decided not to come after all. But Melissa and Travis did show up.

I qrilled up some burgers and bratwursts. Melissa brought a salad. Christine brought a bottle of wine and a Key Lime Pie for dessert. And there were a couple of bags of chips. And another bottle of wine. I like Wednesdays a lot.

And even though there were a tonne of people over here with a tonne of food, there is very little cleanup because we used paper plates and plastic forks. The only things that need washing are some tongs, a spatula, a platter, a knife for the mustard, and several wine glasses.

I forgot to water my flowers before I went to bed, but that's okay because it rained pretty much all morning today.

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posted by Christopher at 3:20 PM

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Monday, June 25, 2007


Yesterday (Sunday) Carrie & I did not sleep in quite as much, and actually got some cleaning done in the morning. I only made some scrambled eggs for breakfast, not no fancy French toast this time.

I left for Fools Play practice around 12:30, but right before I left Brandy stopped by to pick up her laptop and a stack of CDs. It was good to see her.

Practice was fun. We talked a lot about FPRL and practiced a new format we're gonna call "Home Cooking." We also worked on Nostalgia Podcast. Jake had to keep going into the other room to keep from laughing too loudly at that. It's funny!

After practice I went straight to my folks' house, where my dad was barbecueing despite the fact that it suddenly began pouring! It was weird weather all weekend; I don't think it even cracked 60 degrees yesterday.

Anyhoo, what was my dad cooking? Steaks! And potatoes! And corn! Well, I didn't care about the corn so much (I haven't eaten corn in over two years). But the steaks and the potatoes were quite excellent, and I even had a li'l bit of salad.

When I was leaving Alexis gave me a couple of Hello Kitty coloring pages to give to Carrie and asked if I would tell Carrie that she missed her. I assured her I would.

So then I went home and gave Carrie the pictures and relayed the message. In the evening we watched some BSG 2.5 before switching over to Home Movies for sleep.

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posted by Christopher at 3:01 PM

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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Yesterday (Saturday) Carrie & I slept in a little bit. Not a lot, really. But then we languished for quite a while before actually getting up. In fact, she languished while I made some breakfast. What did I make? French toast. From scratch. That's right! You heard me. I made French toast from scratch. Well, okay, I didn't make the bread, but I did take the sourdough bread, dredge it through some egg/cream/nutmeg funtimes, and fry it up in some butter. And to go with it I made some scrambled eggs. It was all really, really tasty.

After that the plan was to spend the afternoon cleaning, but I unfortunately had to spend the afternoon doing an emergency save of my MacBook here. I somehow managed to actually screw it up so that when it started up it gave me a "panic" message and said I had to restart my computer. And then it would give me the same message every time I restarted it. So I went online and discovered that there are about a dozen effects you can do if you hold down different keys while starting up a Mac. One of them came in especially handy, because i discovered the fix for my problem involved inserting the OS X Install disc into the disc drive... the disc drive that had a disc already in it... a disc I couldn't eject because the computer would never fully start-up. So holding down the "C" key at startup forced the disc to eject! Neat!

I was then able to run the stuff from the install disc that I needed to, and a couple of hours later the computer was up and running with no loss of data (a couple of my third-party-installed programs aren't working anymore, like GiMP, but I can just re-install them and they'll be fine). So, a very distressing problem with a very effective fix. Honestly, right now it's like nothing ever happened to my MacBook.

But by the time that was all fixed and whatnot it was almost time for me to leave for Fools Play! I was able to wash some dishes before I left, so that was good at least. Oh, and also Carrie gave me BattleStar Galactica Season 2.5 just because she likes me! She totally roxorz!

Taisha came to this episode of Fools Play, but unfortunately not very many audience people showed up. But I still had a blast performing "Fools Play: A Life," especially for me a scene where I was doing an infomercial for my new line of cookware. I kept making Mike bust up. We also debuted the new recurring character bit "Nostalgia Podcast."

After the show we all went to Rib Eye as per usual. I talked to Jake about my idea for a Professional Wrestling video game that isn't kayfabe. I just think it would be really cool.

When I was paying I brought out my NES Controller Wallet in which I keep all my methods of payment. Josh saw the wallet and exclaimed how cool he thought it was.

"My wife gave me that for Christmas!" I said proudly. "She also today gave me BattleStar Galactica Season 2.5!"

"Can I marry your wife?" Josh asked.

The answer was, of course, no.

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posted by Christopher at 11:24 PM

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Easier if You Sing 

Nothing really interesting happened on Tuesday. To me, at any rate. I'm sure other people had wonderful Tuesdays. Mine just kinda happened. Nothing bad, y'know. Other than work stuff it was just kinda there then gone. There wasn't anything appetizing in the house for dinner, so I was bad and swung by Jack in the Box to try their new sirloin burger (not bad). I watched a li'l bit of ECW. Y'know.

One thing I did get done was that I updated the right-hand bar on my links page. I divided the blogs list into people I actually know in RL versus people I've never actually met. So if I know you in person and you have a blog (a non-livejournal, non-myspace, non-loowa, etc) but your site isn't on the list there, let me know and I'll put it up for everyone to see!

Yeserday (Wednesday) Carrie went straight to the Trader Joe's after work. We both just had a li'l bowl of cereal at 6:00 because we were hungry but didn't want to ruin our appetite for later.

Around 7:15 Carrie picked up Lawrence and began teaching him how to drive at UPS. Apparently (I wasn't there to verify) Lawrence drives a whole lot better if he sings about what he's doing as he's doing it. "Oooh, yeah, I'm puttin' on my turn signal / Now I'm turning left!"

They drove straight to Christine's, and I walked to join them there at 8:00 so we all (Me, Carrie, Lawrence, Christine, Steph, and soon Melissa and later Travis) could watch So You Think You Can Dance and eat some Lasagna that Christine made and salad that Melissa made, and drink a bunch of wine that Carrie brought and eat a bunch of ice cream bon-bons that I brought. And have a really good time. Which we all did.

After that Carrie & I went on home.

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posted by Christopher at 11:28 PM

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Good Company 

Yesterday (Friday) Carrie had the day off, although she was still extraordinarily busy. She ran a tonne of errands and what-not. In the afternoon she even had a massage (more on that can of worms later).

I got a call from Leia, who said she was on the way to the Friday Harbor ferry on her way back home for good! Hooray! She's all done with school out there!

In the evening Lawrence came over and we all listened to music and started up the barbecue. Christine came over a while later as well.

At some point Carrie & Lawrence somehow got to talking about choir stuff, and it inspired Carrie to dig around and find a tape of her high school choir performance. Yes, an old-fashioned cassette tape. That's how long ago we were in high school. Sigh.

Anyhoo, we barbecued salmon patties with which we made salmon burgers. I made my special lemon/garlic fish sauce to go with it. Man, that stuff is goodtimes. Christine made a salad with mangoes & strawberries in it. There was some wine. It was a good time.

Then we all sat down and watched The Holiday, which Christine had rented. Carrie & I had already seen it of course, but it was enjoyable to sit and watch it with good company.

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posted by Christopher at 5:30 PM

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cookout and Taverns 

Yesterday (Friday) Carrie had lunch with work stuff, so I ate by myself. Then I went to the Fred Meyer and bought some sundries and variousities.

Carrie was brought home by someone (not me) and she had me go back out to Safeway and the liquor store for some others and varietals. Then we packed up a whole grip of stuff and headed out to Point Defiance park to barbeque! Or barbecue. Or Bar-B-Que. Or Bar-B-Q. Or BBQ. Howsoever you'd like to spell it, we did it.

We were joined by Cat, Heather, Christine, Melissa, and Leilani, and later on Heather's Chris. There were burgers, bratwursts, hot dogs, chips, carrots, cookies, and all that kind of thing.

After finishing the barbecue we all (except Leilani) headed over to The Goldfish Tavern, which is right next to Point Defiance. It's a tiny little dive, but kinda cute. The speakers were way too loud, though. Everyone (except me) had a drink there.

Carrie, Christine, Melissa, and I all went to The Parkway after that. We were joined some time later by Lawrence and Travis.

It was a really, really fun relaxing evening, especially for Carrie and the other Bead Babes, who'd had a most hectic day at work.

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posted by Christopher at 11:32 AM

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wir gingen zum Flughafen 

Yesterday (Wednesday) around about the time I got off work I started getting a serious grump on. My blood sugar decided to tank for some reason. So when I picked Carrie up from work we swung by Jack in the Box and loaded up on calories. I felt much better afterwards, although I also felt much less healthy.

Yesterday was odd in that Carrie had a split-shift instead of her normal 8:00 - 4:00 shift. So after lunch I didn't have to take her back to the store until later on. After I did take her back I made myself a stir fry of tofu and green beans. Very tasty! I made it with tarragon vinegar and lots of black pepper (and of course soy sauce). That made me feel much healthier than lunch!

Around 7:15 I swung by Stadium and picked up Lawrence, and the twain of us drove up to the SeaTac airport whilst listening to The Wastelanders' BlackHearted American Water. On the way we stopped at Carrie's folks' house so I could drop off our contributions to the Broadway Center auction thingy. Carrie donated ten pairs of earrings, and I donated these etched martini glasses:

It's way difficult to take good photos of etched glassware, so I'm very proud of this one! Some color/contrast adjustment in Photoshop didn't hurt none, either.

There was crazy construction at the airport (as there always seems to be), but after circling around (in a much more complicated circle than usual—it involved going down into the street, through a stop sign, and practically back to the Burien freeway) a couple of times we pulled over and picked up Christine, back from California! Hooray!

I drove them back to her place before coming home, watching Mythbusters, doing laundry, and playing some of Final Fantasy I. Carrie came home after her class late (after 11:00) and we went to bed shortly thereafter.

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posted by Christopher at 6:54 PM

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Fish & Photos 

Yesterday (Sunday) Carrie & I got up at a relatively reasonable time so we could make a tour of tech. We started at Office Depot, then Chét Targét (where Carrie also picked up various other sundries she needed for her trip), and ended at Fred Meyer's (where Carrie picked up various groceries).

The point of this Tech Tour was to price and compare various digital cameras. I'd gone onto Digital Camera HQ and found all of the highest-rated, ultra-compact cameras under $250. Fred Meyer's had all the same ones that were at the other two places, and at the same prices, so I decided to get one there. I settled on the Casio Exilim EX-Z75. It's very cute, very intuitive, has an "easy mode" for Carrie and has enough options to suit all of my needs. It's also more than 3 times as powerful as my old camera, and doesn't take 30 seconds to turn on or a full second to take a photo when you push the trigger (it actually takes only about 0.01 seconds). I like it so far.

We then ate some Mandarin chicken, and I went to Fools Play practice. We worked on recurring character stuff, re-tooling a couple of character bits and coming up with a couple of new ones. A really good idea and a really, really bad idea. 'Twas a lots of fun.

When I came home Carrie & Lawrence & Christine already had the coals going on the barbeque, and Carrie & Lawrence had prepped 3 types of salmon: Lemon/garlic salmon, Teriyaki salmon, and Plumb BBQ sauce salmon. They were also making brownies and a big veggie tray, and Carrie even made guacamolé. I put the salmon on and it cooked away.

As the even went on, more and more people started coming over, including the likes of Carly, Liana y Robbie, Melissa y Travis, and Jen w/Lila. Liana & Robbie even brought their two dogs over, which delighted Carrie (but made Fantastico none too happy).

It was a very fun evening of barbeque, beer, and video games (Robbie brought over two more GameCube controllers and we mostly played Bomberman Jetters and Mario Kart Double Dash, although at one point Travis actually brought out a working 3DO system). And since we'd used paper plates and disposable cups, cleanup was a snap!

Here's a pic of a whole bunch of peoples playing video games (taken with the new camera, of course):

After everyone was gone, Carrie then watched the season finale of The Apprentice while I finished up some computer stuff, and then we went to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 8:57 AM

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Expert Meal #2 

Robert Rodriguez advises that every person should know how to cook at least three meals really, really well, and should have all the ingredients for those "expert" meals on hand as much as possible so that one can always cook them at the drop of a hat (in case company comes or your dinner plans fall through).

Well, #1 on my list is macaroni & cheese from scratch.

#2 on my list is what we had for din-dins last night: Salmon sammitch with sharp cheddar cheese and lemon-garlic sauce on grilled sourdough. It's a monstrously delicious sammitch. I grilled the salmon patties on the barbeque whilst Carrie went to the library to get books on Amsterdam (for her upcoming Amsterdam-related activities).

Just when I was about to grill up my sammitch, though, Carrie got suddenly called into the Bead Factory, so I accompanied her down there. We only stayed for 15 minutes or so, then when we came back I finished grilling up my sourdough and ate up my sammitch (with a side of fire-roasted vegetables in some sorta seasoned butter sauce).

In the evening I tried to integrate a design for a website into a WordPress account. I've done it before with no problems, but this was really frustrating me because for some reason when I copied the code into the wordpress templates it completely broke the height attributes I'd set for certain elements. I ended up staying up until a frustrated 1:00 in the AM trying to fix it to no avail.

In good news, though, Season 3 of Teen Titans came in the mail a couple of days ago, so I got to watch that when I went to the bed.

P.S. - #3 on my list would probably be omelettes. I'm pretty durned good at making those nowadays.

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posted by Christopher at 8:37 PM

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Whotta Week! 

Last week was car-azy. I worked worked worked. Last week included such notable events as working until 6:00 in the morning. Also, a bunch of pretty flower things started happening to my house!

Things calmed down quite a bit on the weekend. On Saturday morning Carrie & I went to Macy's and put some stuff on hold for Melissa to try on (during the annual event where some Bead Babes take her out shopping for her birthday). Then Carrie was out-and-about for most of the rest of the day until my brother came and picked me up for Fools Play.

Between workshop and show we drove around Olympia for a while until we finally ate at McMinneman's Spar, or however it's spelled.

Then we performed Fools Play Audience Party, which is always, always a lots of fun. And Leia was there from Friday Harbor! Hooray! It was nice to see her again. And also her sister, who was also in town. Probably not a coincidence.

Leia & Kedar drove me home after Rib Eye.

Then yesterday (Sunday) Carrie & I went out for breakfast at Knapp's with Steph & Jamie. I had a Monte Christo omelette, which was rather tasty. Then I went up to Fools Play practice, and by the time I got home Carrie had already left for the Bead Factory Fashion Show. So I didn't see her again until I went and picked her up after 10:00.

In the meantime I watched the premiere of Drive starring Nathan Fillion. Y'know, I really wasn't at all impressed. It was just kinda... meh. It wasn't a total waste, though, because I worked on Baby Eva's birthday present while I watched it. It's almost done now, and it's so frikkin' cute.

I'm 100% positive that I'm forgetting something, but that's what I get for not writing down what happened within a day or two of it happening...

Edit: Now I remember what else happened! Carrie & I cranked up the barbeque and started grilling our dinners! Yes, the weather has (finally) cleared up enough this spring so that barbequeing does not seem like an idiotic thing to do. There were pork chops and steaks, and green beans cooked with bacon (also zucchini cooked with bacon). And then just tonight there was barbequed chicken breast, thin-sliced potatoes, and grilled broccoli florettes. Good stuff, and you don't have to dirty multiple dishes cooking it all up!

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posted by Christopher at 2:40 PM

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Accidentally Cake 

Yesterday (Wednesday) Neighbor Gary came over around dinnertime and hung out all evening. Carrie made a quite-quite fabulous dinner of pasta with a ricotta-tomato-bacon(!!) sauce topped with mozzarella cheese and baked. And to top it off she made mozzarella-stuffed meatballs and garlic bread!

After dinner there was much playing of Bomberman Jetters and Mario Kart Double Dash. I was put in charge of making brownies for dessert, so I grabbed a box off the shelf and mixed it all together and put it in a pan in the oven.

When I got it out it looked kinda funny; it had risen. Brownies don't rise, I thought. Carrie discovered what had happened: I had accidentally grabbed the box of devil's food cake instead of the box of brownie mix. Whups! Tha's okay, though, 'cause Carrie dug out a can of cream cheese frosting and we all ate some cake instead of some brownies. Just as good!

After much video games we watched some Ghost Hunters (they were having a marathon). Then Gary crashed on the couch for the night whilst Carrie & I went and crashed in our bed for the night.

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posted by Christopher at 9:16 AM

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My Voice Is My Passport. Please Verify 

On Monday afternoon Carrie & I went over to the Tacoma Mall area so that she could get her photo taken for the new passport she's gonna get, and so that I could go to Sears and get a new battery for my watch (which I've been without for about a month now).

That evening for din-dins Carrie made the most absolutely kickass meal: Sausage-and-onion meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tossed with penné pasta in a vodka/tomato/cream sauce. Wowza! And she just basically made the recipe up from several different ideas she'd seen on Food Network and the like. She didn't have a recipe book in front of her or anything. Sometimes I really wish I could improvise with food as well as she does. For some reason it seems like the more I improvise, the blander the food starts to taste.

Anyhoo, later that evening I watched most of the new episode of Heroes, but then Devon called. He was back in town (from Chicago where he currently lives) for a couple of days, and wanted to hang out with us down at The Spar.

So Carrie & I went down there and met him, and also his friend Nikki (don't know how she spells it). We had some beers (I only had one so as I could drive) and a good time. Nikki is very nice; she's also one of them creative types. She lives in Olympia, so she said she'd come out and see Fools Play over the weekend! That'd kick ass.

Then on Tuesday Carrie called me just as I was about done with work. She said she and Devon were going down to the post office so she could fill out the whole passport application stuff, and wanted to know if I would meet her there. So as soon as I got off of work I walked down to the downtown post office (my car was an equally distant distance in the opposite direction, so it was easy enough just to walk) and met her them there. Carrie & I went through much paperwork and paid much money, but she should easily have her passport before her trip at the end of next month.

Then we all collected Nikki from Watermark and went to this little hole-in-the-wall phở place right smack in the middle of Hilltop. It was so good! Apparently Carrie & Devon used to eat there back when they worked together, but she completely didn't even think about taking me when he moved outta town. Huh.

Carrie taught class in the evening, and I remember being particularly busy, but I can't for the life of me remember what I was doing now. Probably some important web design stuff. Oh, well. I ate more of them meatballs with pasta & vodka sauce for dinner. I definitely remember that.

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posted by Christopher at 2:50 PM

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Come On Over for Lunch 

Yesterday (Monday) Carrie did not go in to work in the morning; she took it off because she had to go in to work on Saturday. She stayed home and cleaned the kitchen whilst simultaneously cooking a bunch of stuff. But she still got up around the same time I did so that she could do all of that stuff. So I made us both some eggs for breakfast before heading out to Ever After.

Why? Because about an hour after I got home all of the Bead Factory managers came over for a managers' meeting and lunch. There were:
  • Viki
  • Carrie
  • Melissa
  • Heather
  • Christine
  • Leilani

I worked in the office while they ate in the dining room (I got a plate and loaded itup several times during the course of the meeting). For lunch Carrie made:

  1. Crostini with artichoke spread
  2. Crostini with smoked salmon roulade
  3. Breaded & fried cheese ravioli with marinara dipping sauce
  4. Marinated, heated olives
  5. Smoked gouda muffins
  6. B.L.T. salad with spinach for the "L" and homemade dressing
  7. And créme brulée for dessert

Have I ever mentioned that I married a fantastic chef? 'Cause I really did. I'm creating a new "Cooking" label so I can talk about whenever one of us cooks something really fantastic (It'll be her nine times outta ten, I guarantee).

Anyway, Carrie went straight from the meeting back to work, so I put away all of the food and ate a bunch of it while doing so. Carrie went straight from work to Ikea with Viki, so I was left to my own devices all evening, which consisted of watching a couple episodes of Brisco, a new episode of Heroes, and working a bunch on the final illustrations for the Bead Factory's how-to book.

Viki took Carrie straight from Ikea to Southcenter Mall (or whatever the Hell they call it now), where Carrie spent all of her gift cards and the rest of her Christmas money on new pants and a super-cute kimono-style top with a brown and turquoise Japanese pattern print on it. Super-cute.

At almost 11:00 Carrie called me to come pick her up from the Lareau homestead, so I drove up there and collected her and her new acquisitions.

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posted by Christopher at 9:23 AM

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