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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ューュー 500 

This weekend I did something so awesome that it deserves an X. I performed some aweXome surgery on my MacBook.

Here's some background first: I tend to name all of my computers. Usually they have something to do with pop culture. My first laptop was named Raichu. My tandem PC towers that are in my office right now are named Totoro and Voltron. These names just kinda find their way into my lexicon; I never really sit down and think, "What would be a good name for this computer?"

Except that's exactly what I did when I got my white MacBook almost 2 years ago. I thought, "I need a better way to identify it rather than just 'laptop' or 'MacBook.'" I wondered (probably because I'd been hanging out with tangentbot) what the Japanese word for computer was. So I typed "computer" into Google Translate, and it came back as コンピュータ (sorry for anyone who doesn't have Japanese character fonts installed).

With my limited knowledge of katakana (and help from Wikipedia) I figured out that コンピュータ is pronounced "konpyuta." So the Japanese word for "computer" turned out to be "computer" pronounced with a Japanese accent. I began calling my MacBook "Konpyuta," saying it with the accent and everything.

Quickly, though, with my wife and I talking about it quite a bit (mostly asking where it was and if the other one of us had it or not), Konpyuta developed a nickname: コンピューュー, or "Konpyupyu," which was very quickly shortened to simply ューュー, or "PyuPyu" (pronounced like you're shooting a tiny, cute laser pistol—"Pew! Pew!").

PyuPyu came with an 80 gig harddrive, which seemed like a lot at the time. But Carrie & I like to have a wide variety of music on hand, and I've made quite a few videos and movies for Fools Play. As you might know, audio and video are two of the most expensive things to put on a computer from a memory-hogging perspective.

When I got under 8 gigs of free space I knew it was time to do something.

So I spent my Christmas money and did this:

500GB MacBook Harddrive Upgrade for Under $100

I simply followed all the steps and it was absurdly easy. Copying PyuPyu's harddrive to the external took about two hours. Actually swapping the harddrives took about 20 minutes.

So now instead of a dwindling 8GB of dwindling space, I have in the neighborhood of 400GB to luxuriate in. That's a lot of audio. That's a lot of video. And that's plenty of space to finally be able to dual-boot with Windows XP (on my to-do list for Saturday).

To commemorate this aweXomeness, PyuPyu has been renamed "PyuPyu 500." But we still just call it "PyuPyu" for short.

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posted by Christopher at 8:58 PM

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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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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Early Christmas 2008 

Saturday the 13th was our annual "Early Christmas" that we do with Carrie's bosses' family. This year was much lower-key than some previous years.

The logistics of it threatened to be a little wonky, though. Carrie's mum threw a home show that afternoon, where Carrie sold her jewelry and I sold my glassware. How would I go to Fools Play while Carrie simultaneously went in the opposite direction and picked up the kids? We only have one car. Her dad might have had to drive me to a rendezvous point in Federal Way where my brother could pick me up on his way down to Olympia or something like that.

Fortunately Laura also came to the home show, so she was able to drive me back to my house where I was able to leisurely prepare for Fools Play before my brother came and got me. Which he did.

We went down and performed the Fools Play Holiday Special at Mud Bay Coffee. Carrie & the kids came down and watched it. It was an interesting show — it was just me and Mike doing 2 improvised Rankin/Bass-style holiday specials. We'd never done it with only two of us before. It was a hoot! But, man, it was a lot of work, too. Fun work, though!

The first special was based on "Jingle Bells" and was about a music instructor trying to get Santa back on track, and we learned that jingle bells are made out of magic freckles or something. The second special was based on "O Come All Ye Faithful," and was supposed to be a religiously-based special. But I made it a Science Fiction special instead, my reasoning being, "The Bible is Science Fiction, right?". It took place way in the future in a distant galaxy (the "Angel Galaxy"). Turns out Jesus's mum was an alien queen who fled back in time from an evil warlord, and the 3 wise men and Joseph were actually assassins sent to kill them both.

During the show it started to snow. Like a Christmas magic had occurred.

After Fools Play I crammed my stuff into the car (which was still full of the stuff from the Home Show) and we all drove up (through the snow) to the Red Robin in Tacoma for a late din-dins. We were joined by other people I like, such as Christine, Lawrence, Melissa, Travis, and Laura again. After din-dins most of us took the kids on home and hung out there for a bit. We weren't s'posed to exchange gifts this year (taking the kids to Fools Play and buying them din-dins WAS the gift), but we still ended up with stuffs: Carrie got a bottle of wine and I was given a bottle of Diddy Vodka! By Diddy Vodka, I of course mean Cîroc, the vodka endorsed by Sean Diddy Combs. I wrote a song about it:
When you're drinking up the hooch
Just try not to screw the pooch:
If you drink the booze to quick
Diddy Vodka makes you sick.

It's actually really nice vodka! It's made from grapes. Very interesting.

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posted by Christopher at 9:37 PM

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sometimes It's Really Nice to Live in the Future 

Holy cow, yesterday I did a quick video chat with Jason of, and it was awesome! I have been wanting to do a video chat with someone since the 21st century rolled around, and now it’s easier than ever! I encourage you to get a Gmail account if you don’t have one, and set up Gmail Video Chat, and hit me up!

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posted by Christopher at 10:16 AM

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Aah... That's Better 

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posted by Christopher at 5:22 PM

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Ninjas Rocked the Hizzouse, Yo 

So, yeah, this happened last Wednesday and I'm only now getting around to writing a post about it. But last Wednesday I went with Carrie and Laura up to Studio 7 in SoDo to see my pal Three Ninjas (Website, MySpace) perform his very first-ever live show.

I'd heard a lot of bad things about the venue, but honestly it was a pretty typical, dive-y Seattle venue. Cosmetically not much worse than Neumos, just in a much, much worse location. There were many of our palz there, including (using their Twitter names) gendlec, tangentbot & HeartFeltRobots, toraton & whimsi, and jayseman. Also my brother, but he doesn't Tweet. Three Ninjas went on third of eight total act. We arrived at Studio 7 in time to miss the 1st performer (a woman, I'm told). Carrie, Laura, and I staked out a position on the front of the balcony (where the bar was located) in time for the 2nd band, which HeartFeltRobots joked should have been called "Midlife Crisis." Agreed.

Three Ninjas was up next, but he didn't perform alone. NOPE! rabbiddogg went up and played bass for him! Honsetly, I did not know what to expect from a live Three Ninjas show. His music, which I love dearly, is not necessarily what you'd call "accessible" at all times. But he had a good, simple musical setup, which included a MacBook and an MPD32. The show turned out to be an absolute hoot and/or laugh riot in a good way. I was surprised and delighted that he actually performed "Beluga Calf." Not only did he perform "Beluga Calf," but he performed several different versions of "Beluga Calf" in a row, including the hip-hop and holiday versions.

He also performed his brand-new, never-before-heard song "Going Gay for House" about House M.D. That song eventually evolved into the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of this)," except they sang, "Sweet Dreams Are House M.D."

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show AND ourselves. HeartFeltRobots recorded the whole thing on video, so I'm gonna hafta see what I can do about getting a copy of that from her. I drove Carrie & Laura back to Tacoma after hanging out for a few minutes after the show.

As a post-script, on Friday we were hanging out with Laura again and she was talking about how her job was very boring. As she was leaving our house she said, "Well, if my job gets too boring and starts to make me sad, I'll just think about Beluga Calf." Then she turned and walked away, into legend and into all of our hearts. Or she walked away into her car instead of those last two things.

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posted by Christopher at 8:29 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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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hell Week Begins... With Some Extra Cash! 

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, this week is my own personal Hell Week. Basically I have an absolute tonne of work to do before the week is out, so I'm not going to have much time to do much of anything.

I made the first of many Fashion Show Handouts yesterday evening. But before that there was some good stuff. I finally had someone tow away that junker car in my driveway. And he gave me $50 for it! Then I took a brown paper bag full of old books, CDs, and DVDs down to Half-Price Books and got $32 for it!

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posted by Christopher at 7:12 AM

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Monday, September 08, 2008

A Wedding Reception Two-Fer 

On Saturday Carrie & I did something unusual: we went to TWO wedding receptions but ZERO actual weddings! That's 'cause both of the weddings actually happened a while ago.

The first one was for that time that I like to call "Kedar Weds Leah." That wedding happened in Australia, so not many of their friends could actually go. So they had a par-tay on Saturday to make up for it. There were a lot of Fools Play people and associates at this party. There was also barbecue. Therefore it was fun, even though there weren't enough badminton rackets to successfully play Two-Sticks. It helped that Sandy was fidgety like a six-year-old who'd had too much sugar, so one couldn't help but laugh whenever one looked her way. We only got to stay a couple of hours at this party (just long enough to get Rickrolled and have cake).

The second reception was for Sarah & Travis, who got "secretly" married back in June. I only knew about five people at this party from Junior High & College, so I spent most of the time talking with Brooks and/or Sarah. Also, there was steak and wine and lots of other good foodstuffs. I hadn't seen some of these people in over a year, so that was goot. We stayed there for about three hours before we went home to make sure Suki hadn't done anything bad on the carpets. Carrie's kinda paranoid about leaving her home alone for any amount of time.

Anyhoo, it was good to see everybody that I saw! It was an especially nice thing to happen this last weekend, because today begins my "Hell Week." More on that later...

EDIT: 7:13 AM I forgot to mention: I was a little disappointed because neither party had any HBR.

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posted by Christopher at 7:13 AM

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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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Monday, August 25, 2008

Wotta Weekend! 

This last weekend was crazy/awesome! Let's see...

Thursday was Melissa's rehearsal/dinner thing. To my surprise Mr. Sanders was there for the rehearsal! I hadn't seen him in like four years.

Din-dins was at Gateway, which is always rather tasty. To my surprise, Brandy was at the dinner! I hadn't seen her in more than a year! Okay, so I'd heard she was coming into town, but I'd only learned like a day or two beforehand, and I didn't know she'd be going to the dinner, so it was kinda a surprise.

I was wearing my shyguy thermal, but it was much, much too hot for the crowds. Fortunately I live only a couple of minutes away from Gateway so I was able to book it home and change into a comfy TMBG t-shirt.

Friday was the ACTUAL wedding. Carrie got herself all prettified and headed on down to the Ballet school around 4:00. I went down to the end of the Link light-rail at 6:00 and met up with the other two Bead Boys named Chris (and Josh, who is NOT named Chris). Our job, other than to look good, was to drive guests from the light-rail station up to the Ballet school. See, the wedding was at the Ballet school, but the reception was gonna be at the Museum of Glass. So Melissa had people park at the museum and then take the light-rail to the end closest to the Ballet school. Then one of us guys named Chris (or Josh) drove them the rest of the way to the school. It worked pretty well.

The wedding was pretty and funny and nicely short, which is good because it was a li'l hot in there. My favorite moment was when a woman dropped her program and it slid out into the middle of the aisle as Cat was walking down it. Thinking quickly, the woman stuck out her cane and dragged the program out of Cat's way just in time! It was really funny.

After the wedding I jetted back to my car and drove people from the Ballet school back to the light-rail station so they could get to the reception. After the school was cleaned out I picked up Carrie and we drove down to the Museum of Glass ourselves, where the reception occurred.

Carrie & I helped put centerpieces on the table at the reception hall part of the reception, and then went upstairs (outside) to where the first part of the reception was happening.

Anyhoo, it was a nice evening, and it was cool to get everybody together in one place. Here's a picture of the newlyweds:

Saturday there was another wedding thing: the post-wedding barbecue. It was at 1:00, and it was closer to 1:30 by the time we finally found it at Point Defiance (we actually got there before anybody else, which is why we couldn't find it at first). I basically had enough time to drop Carrie & Suki off before Brandy drove me on home so I could meet up with my brother, who drove me down to Olympia for Fools Play.

Fools Play was at the Midnight Sun in downtown. Midnight Sun is a strange, black-box-like performance space. It's weirdly laid-out (for instance, the only bathroom is behind the performance area, so you'd better hope your audience doesn't have to potty during the performance). The show was, of course, FPRL. We got down there so early so we could set up the space and all the technical stuff (and so I could get some final footage for the FPRL Introduction) and then practice everybody's moves.

Then at 5:00 Mike, Josh, Esa, and I all went three doors down to the Thai place for some Phud Thai.

After dinner we went back to the Midnight Sun and got ready some more and then performed Fools Play Rasslin' League: Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight!. Here's what happened.

Afterwards it was off to Denny's.

Sunday you'd think the wedding stuff would be over, but you'd be wrong. Around 1:00-ish we went over to Melissa's folks' house for to help her open her myriad wedding gifts! Honestly, so much happened this weekend that I can't remember anything else right now.

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posted by Christopher at 10:25 PM

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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, June 30, 2008

Kind of a Gross Story... 

...about my body. And it's true!

Around last Friday my left eye started to feel sore, specifically my upper eyelid. It kinda felt bruised, like someone had punched it. Well, on Saturday my eyelid had started to swell quite a bit. It looked pretty bad to me, but Carrie said it was only noticeable if you knew what you were looking for (and I think all day long Mike was the only one who noticed it... at least he was the only one who mentioned anything). I bought some eyedrops with which I regularly flushed my eye, hoping that would help.

Sunday morning, though, the thing had swollen up to enormous size. I had a huge, puffy eyelid. The swelling had smoothed out all of the wrinkles so it kinda looked like I had one Asian eye and one Caucasian eye. Except for the Asian eyelid was enormous.

After breakfast I was poking at my puffy eyelid and examining it. I flipped it up and there was a rather large white bump on the inside of the eyelid, almost as if there were a big, whitehead pimple on the inside of my eyelid. My wife helpfully suggested that it might do good to pop it, so I went back into the bathroom and tried to figure out how to squeeze a pimple on the inside of my eyelid.

So I was prodding and squishing things around quite a bit, when all of a sudden it burst and a massive stream of white pus, water, and a tiny amount of blood cascaded all over my eyeball. The whole mess eventually pooled in the tear duct in the inside corner of my eye, where I had the dubious duty of using toilet paper to mop it up.

Fortunately that seemed to do the trick, because over the course of the rest of the day the swelling decreased dramatically, so that today (Monday) you'd never know anything had ever been amiss.


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posted by Christopher at 8:50 PM

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

That's a Good Time 

Yesterday (Friday) Carrie left straight from work to go down to Portland with Melissa, Cat, & Christine for Melissa's bachelorette party/trip thing. So as not to be all bored and lonely, I drove up to Leia & Kedar's house for a fun evening of games and pizza!

Kedar & I played some Alien Hominid, which is really a cool game (but very difficult). A couple of their other friends came over as well (one of whom is nicknamed "Chef"). We played Mario Kart Wii while the pizza cooked. I came in 2nd only to Kedar (though I did win one of the races). Kedar discovered the "options" tab in the multi-player mode that none of us had ever seen before! Now Mario Kart Wii is even more awexome!

While we were eating pizza we put on a DVD that they'd gotten with their Blockbuster subscription: the unfortunate Tin Man. Everyone realized pretty quickly that it was kinda, um, awful. The guys (except me) left and went and played some sorta video game in the back room while the girls and I kept watching. Actually, they weren't watching so much as repeatedly shouting out "Scorpioné!!" at the top of their lungs.

Anyway, after we stopped Tin Man and got the boys back, we all played a game of Last Word, which is a pretty fun word association game. After that, though, we played the really fun Apples to Apples. We played that for quite a long time. I came in third! Around 11:30 or so I headed back home to take care of my puppy and get some sleep.

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posted by Christopher at 10:26 AM

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not At All the Day I Was Expecting 

Yesterday (Monday) was chugging along as a pretty standard day. Carrie even got off work early (I know, OMGooses). Sometime after 5:00 she went to help Laura move into her new apartment.

A while after that she calls me and asks me if I can help as well; the moving was more physically intense than she'd expected and she didn't want to exacerbate a sore hip muscle. So I of course said, sure, I'd love to help. She said she'd call when she was almost back to our house.

She called sooner than I'd expected with the information that there was a dog in the backseat of the car. Not our dog; Suki was hanging out with me at the house. Here's the story:

Carrie was driving up N Proctor, and when she passed N 10th this black dog came running around the corner and started up Proctor. Carrie, being the wonderful person that she is, pulled over to make sure the dog didn't get hit by a car or anything. As she pulled over she noticed a group of people calling, "C'mere!" and motioning for the dog to come to them. So Carrie figured it must be their dog and that they'd take care of everything. So she pulled back out into traffic and continued on.

On the way back down Proctor she noticed the same dog running along the street several blocks up from where she last saw it. It proceeded to run across the street and almost got hit by a white car. So this time Carrie pulls over and gets that dog in the backseat of the car.

So she pulled up to the house with the dog in the front seat of the car (it upgraded its own ticket). It was already wearing a choke chain, so I just brought out a leash. The dog is medium-sized and looks like ¾ Black Lab and ¼ Pit Bull (mostly in the face and the sheer brick-like musculature). Very obviously a boy, probably between 1 and 2 years old.

The three of us drove over to Laura's new apartment, which, although it's in a crappy area of Tacoma (near the ghetto Safeway), it's on a surprisingly nice street in a gorgeous old house. And the apartment has an enormous kitchen! We left the dog in our car and helped Laura move stuff from her truck up to the apartment.

We all headed back to Laura's old house, where I was left to help Laura load the truck with the remnants of her stuff (mattress, box springs, and orange loveseat) while Carrie went back to where she found the dog and started walking around with it to see if it belonged to anybody there (or even if anybody recognized it at all).

So Laura and I trucked her stuff back to her apartment and hauled it up the weirdly narrow stairs. It reminded me of a scene from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency where a piece of furniture gets stuck on a flight of stairs in such a way that it was actually physically impossible to maneuver it out. That didn't (quite) happen to us.

We finished there and Laura drove me back to my car. I drove and picked up Carrie and the dog. No one had recognized or claimed it. So we loaded it in the car, then picked up Laura at her old house (where she was dropping off the truck) and everyone came back to my house.

The new dog was introduced to Suki (who was scared but still her tail was wagging like crazy). Fantastico fled to my closet the instant the thing came in the house. It was only in the house for a short while before we discovered that the Humane Society closed at 6:00 (it was much later than that). I located the 20-foot tie-out and tied it to a tree in the backyard. Anything that could be moved or knocked over I pushed up against the fence because this dog, though it was really nice and sweet, was kinda like the bull in the China shop.

Once that was done and we were all washed up from moving, the three of us (sans tied-up dog) went to the Parkway for relaxing food and grink. We were joined a while later by Leilani and had a generally good time... until it was time to pay. I went up and paid the tab, and when I got back to the table I realized it seemed kinda high. Carrie noticed they'd charged us for four beers when we'd only had three. So I went back up to the bar to have them correct it and they did, but they were real dicks about it. Both of them were. So that pissed me the hell off.

We took Laura back to her old house so she could collect her truck, then we headed back to our house. For some reason Carrie, bless her sweet heart, wanted the new dog to sleep inside the house when it would have been perfectly fine sleeping under the back porch. Suki wasn't terribly happy about having it in the house, and neither was I. Bull-in-a-China-shop hijynx ensued until Carrie relented to locking it in the bathroom for the night.

Come the morning we had to let it run around while we got ready for work, and at one point while unsupervised it took an enormous, stinky dump on the dining room rug. Fun! We tied it back up in the backyard and headed to work.

When we got home it was still back there, but we noticed that it had almost pushed the back screen door in, apparently in an attempt to get inside (not that it could have gotten past the locked laundry room door). We brought the dog back inside and I fixed the screen, then realized that Fantastico hadn't greeted me when I'd come in the front door (as is her custom). The dog had pushed the screen open just enough to where Fantastico could have gotten out...

So Carrie went looking around the block while I scoured the house. I eventually found her: she'd buried herself under a pile of bedding in the back corner of my closet, and she was shivering with fear. Also, in the span of a few seconds between when I went outside to tell Carrie I'd found the cat and when we came back inside, the dog took another massive dump on the rug. Great!

After eating a delicious lunch of chicken pizzas, we loaded the new dog up in the car and drove it down to the Humane Society. We hoped it had had a microchip implanted in it; it hadn't. So they're going to keep him on reserve for three days and then if he isn't claimed by his owner he'll go into the regular adoption queue. So if anybody in the North End of Tacoma knows anybody who lost a black, male, short-haired dog with a tiny patch of white on its chest, head on down to the Humane Society and pick up your dog! Otherwise some other family will end up with him!

Also, put microchips in your damned pets in case something like this happens!

Carrie has a hard time going to the Humane Society because she's such a softie that she wants to rescue EVERY animal there and always ends up a teary-eyed mess afterwards. Part of why I love her.

So that was not at all the day I was expecting yesterday (or today). But it reminded me of a very Buddhist story I read a long time ago, which I'll paraphrase for you now:
A police officer in Moscow was living a very unhappy life. Every day he'd walk the same beat, and every day he'd see this one man going about his daily routine: at the same time every day this man would cheerfully walk to the store and buy groceries, then walk back home. Well, one day the cop was feeling particularly miserable about being stuck walking the same beat every day, and the man's cheerfulness only made the cop feel more sullen. So the cop, being an A-hole, decided to harass the man.

As the man was cheerfully walking to the grocery store, the cop approached and asked, "Hey, buddy, where are you going?"

The man cheerfully shrugged and said, "I don't know."

The cop was taken aback: "What do you mean you don't know?"

"I have no idea where I'm going," the man clarified.

This pissed the cop off. "Every day I see you at the same time walk to the grocery store, and now you're telling me you don't know where you're going!?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying."

So this cop, thinking that the man was purposefully lying to him, threatened to arrest him if he didn't tell him where he was going. The man just repeated that he had no idea where he was going. So the cop cussed him out, slapped him into handcuffs, and hauled him off to jail.

After locking him in the jail cell, the cop said, "What do you have to say for yourself now?"

The man cheerfully replied, "You see? When I headed out this morning I had no idea I would be going to go to jail."

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posted by Christopher at 9:02 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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Friday, May 09, 2008

Birfday Funtimes Continue 

Tuesday (my actual birfday) I got a bunch of cupcakes at work, and my boss gave me a gift certificate to NoiseBot. There were several other good ones, but in the end I selected this T-shirt:

Carrie had to work late (until like 6:00 or something), but then after she got off we went down to Gateway to India for my birfday dinner, where we were met by Christine & Lawrence. I had Gosht Korma! Very good!

Later on in the evening Carrie & I went out and saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Another "Blanking Blank" title movie!). It was very funny and incredibly intelligent. Now I have two movie reviews to write.

Wednesday we cleaned the house and then in the evening went downtown to The Harmon restaurant, where we met my whole family, which came to 9 entire people around one table. Carrie & I hadn't been to The Harmon in a few years, and we were pleased to find that it was still very tasty (and they still had their beer ski). I had a steak with a green peppercorn reduction on a bed of crispy onion straws.

Then everybody came back to our house, where we were joined by Neighbor Gary. I then opened presents. I got cool stuff!

Carrie made me some lemon cupcakes with chocolate frosting (my favorite cake combo), and after those I played some Smash Bros with my own Bro and Cassie.

Thursday in the afternoon Lawrence took me out to see Iron Man. I now have three movie reviews to write. When I got home I got a package from, which I thought was odd because I hadn't ordered anything from them. Turns out it was a birthday gift from Taisha, Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Epic Series (Limited Edition Cylon Head Packaging)

Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday in person, online, over the phone, and/or by giving me a gift!

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posted by Christopher at 8:06 AM

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's My Birfday Today 

But it felt like it started yesterday. I'll explain: Our friend from Guam stayed with us the last couple of nights (she's not originally from Guam. I believe she's originally from Alaska. She went to college with my wife. Then she lived in Togo for a couple of years. Then she moved to Tacoma for a couple of years. And now she's been living in Guam for a couple of years, but it looks like she might be moving back to the Seattle-Tacoma area soon). Yesterday afternoon after Carrie got off of work, the three of us all took Suki down to the dog park and walked around. She was very well behaved, although two other dogs snapped at her. She's been much more well-behaved these last couple of weeks. We stopped by Trader Joe's on the way home and picked up fixin's for dinner.

After we got home the two of them went out on "errands" (which meant getting me some birthday presents). I fired up the barbecue. While the coals were getting warm I unlocked "Mirror" mode in Mario Kart Wii.

When the girls got home I cooked up some teriyaki salmon while Carrie made a salad consisting of spinach, blueberries, pine nuts, cheese, steamed asparagus, and poppyseed dressing. We all (including Suki and Fantastico) sat out on the front porch and listened to music from the ’90s while we ate. It was very nice. For dessert I ate a cookie that my co-worker had made when she was drunk the night before. It was good.

Carrie gave me one present at midnight, a very cute little pouch that could hold something like an MP3 player or my digital camera. The pouch has drawings of weird animals/creatures and robots on it! Hippy Barthday to Me!


posted by Christopher at 8:15 AM

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Monday, May 05, 2008

My Favorite Verb 

"Would have had to have been being"

As in: "He would have had to have been being eaten."


posted by Christopher at 10:53 PM

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It is One Week Until My Birthday 

This post has nothing to do with the title. It's about mowing the lawn! Yesterday (Monday) I took the lawn mower out of the garage to tame the backyard lawn. I was having a heck of a time getting it to start (due to the fact that it's been sitting in my garage for half the year). At one point I wondered if any leftover grass in the blades had hardened to form some sort of preventative blockage against the blades spinning, so I tipped the mower on its side and took a (safe) look. It seemed to be okay down there. So I returned the mower to its upright position and tried it again. It worked this time. Apparently my lawn mower needs to be periodically tipped over onto its left side in order to work. Something about distributing the gasoline; I dunno.


posted by Christopher at 8:49 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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Friday, March 28, 2008

Hard To Drive a Bus in the Snow 

Yesterday (Thursday) we woke up to snow on the ground. This was no big surprise considering that it was snowing Wednesday evening. It was kind of a surprise that it was snowing at all this close to April, though. This never happens 'round these parts. I got Carrie off to work nonetheless, and from there she left for Portland for the weekend (boo).

After work I came home, had a sammitch, fed Suki, took care of a couple of sundries around the house, then I headed up to Seattle. It started to snow again while I was on my way up there!

I hung out with Sandy a bit and then we went and got Mathias and proceeded to have dinner at Taki's Mad Greek. This has got to be one of my favorite Greek restaurants evar. Especially the Oven Baked Feta appetizer. And their pork is cooked just right: not too much, but not too little. And everything just tastes really, really tasty.

I also took a photo of the decorations in the men's room:

On the left there we have a completely nude Poseidon, but on the right we have Theseus covering his privates with a leaf! I wonder why. Does he not measure up to Poseidon? I just thought it was funny.

After dinner we parked near their apartment and then walked through the bitter cold (though it wasn't snowing at that time) to Neumos, where we met up with Jason and his wife Jennifer, as well as Geoff and Lisa!

Why were we there? Why, to see Busdriver, of course! Look:

The man moves as fast as he raps; it's difficult to get a good picture of him. Just look at the blur lines on his left hand in those pictures!

When we got to Neumos we were basically the only people there. Everybody else was in the attached bar. When Busdriver took the stage we were still practically the only people there, but Busdriver plunged ahead anyway. A handful of other people trickled in after he started (30 to 40). Last time I saw him the place was packed so we all thought it was weird, until we figured out that this was a 21-up show, and he usually plays to all-ages at Neumos. I guess only the kids like the Busdriver.

Anyhoo, it was a great set, and he did that cover of Man, It's So Loud in Here by They Might Be Giants that I really like. He played for just under an hour. We all met him over at his merch table, where Sandy bought the last copy of his rarities CD. He told me he'd go to his car and see if he could find another, but I wasn't able to catch him again before we left. I talked to him a bit about that TMBG song he does, and he said it was pretty old and he was thinking of retiring it. He's very shy and awkward off the stage. Hopefully he'll have another copy next time he comes into town.

Sandy kinda creeped him out by showing him a picture of the Busdriver Bot magnet that she made.

An hour after he left the stage the "main attraction," the Gray Boy All-Stars took the stage, and suddenly the theater was swarmed with frat boys, bros, and similar early-to-mid 30s types (and the kind of women who hang out with them). They were a jazzy kind of quintet, with drums, bass, guitar, sax, and keyboards. They were all very skilled musicians, but it was just not what we were in the mood for, and also didn't really sound like what they offer on their MySpace page. They sounded like they were straight out of 1985. Seriously! They even looked it.

At one point Sandy turned to me and said something to the effect that she felt like they were a band that the Huxtables would go and watch on the Cosby show. Mathias summed it up best by saying they were "Sportscoat and Bluejeans" jazz. They didn't go with Busdriver at all, so it wasn't a big surprise that none of their fans came out to see Busdriver go crazy.

We left after four or so songs. Jason gave us a ride back to S&M's apartment, and from there I drove on home.

You can read Mathias's "version" of events over at his website. He's got some really crazy pictures up, too.

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posted by Christopher at 4:41 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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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oh Baby, You Got What I Need, But You Say He's... 

Almost every day that I work in downtown T-town, I park a few blocks away where there is free, all-day parallel parking. Near where I park is a building under construction (they only have 1½ more stories to go).

Yesterday (Friday) after work as I was walking back to my car I passed this construction site. Suddenly, from about five stories above my head I heard someone start belting out the chorus to Biz Markie's famous song Just A Friend entirely out-of-tune and at the top of his lungs.

Very amusing.

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posted by Christopher at 12:11 AM

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shameless Self-Promotion & Vacation Dreams 

I just discovered that if you type "Samus Aran" into Google, my site is the 2nd listed! holy crap! Just because I wrote a humorous article about the endings of the various Metroid games... like three years ago! Take a wook:

So, if anybody wants to know anything about Samus Aran, it's either Wikipedia or me!

Anyway, let me tell you about a dream I had a couple of nights ago. It involved Carrie, Me, and my whole family going on vacation together. First off we went to one of the San Juan Islands, which was historically famous for having the first-ever freeway onramp in America. It was also famous for having the first-ever comic strip written about a freeway onramp (my dream people actually showed me a closeup of the comic strip, and it was drawn in a glorious 60s-futurism style. Very cool).

After the excitement of the freeway onramp, which was strangely high-tech, we all headed to the area between Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, which (you might not be aware) is a large desert basin that stretches for miles and miles, ringed with rocky hills.

While we were wandering around the cartoon-style sand dunes in this desert, all of a sudden Mt. Rainier erupted. It wasn't an all-ash eruption like St. Helens in 1980. It was more of a single, quick, but very large explosion. Very fiery and red. It wasn't at all scary. It was just kind of like, hey, look: Rainier finally erupted. huh.

A few moments after rainier erupted we all saw the shockwave from the blast as it caused the desert floor to swell up like a big wave (which we all calmly and un-eventfully rode out). We all stood there and watched as the shockwave traveled south across the desert, until it disappeared in the distance. Then a couple of seconds later we saw Mt. St. Helens erupt in a big cloud of ash. We all kinda nodded knowingly, like, "Yep, the Rainier eruption caused a huge earthquake, and once it reached St. Helens of course it erupted."

Then the aftershocks started hitting, and the whole desert was going up and down in waves. Then one of the waves actually broke like an ocean wave—it broke right over Susan's head, burying her in the sand! She was easy to find, though, because when the wave settled down there was a susan-shaped mound in the sand. She was just a couple of feet down, and it took me only a second of non-worried digging to get her out.

The whole family then decided to head somewhere else, but I woke up before we actually got anywhere.

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posted by Christopher at 1:06 AM

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winterfest Approaches; I Go Away 

Officially now (well, after dinner) begins my week-long build up to my appearance selling my Thirsty Robots Stuff at Winterfest 2007.

So, other than working on that, working on stuff for my web design clients, and going to Fools Play on Saturday, I'll pretty much not exist until Thanksgiving. During which I will probably still be etching stuff.

So I hope to see some people at Winterfest, otherwise I'll re-emerge after.

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posted by Christopher at 6:04 PM

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sick Days 

So, this whole past week I've been sick. And it was a kind of sickness that got worse as it went along instead of better. So for the past few days my wife has basically prescribed bedrest. No work (I wasn't even able to go in to Ever After very much at all during the week), just lie around and get better.

Now I'm finally starting to feel better, and I have a stack of 30 unread emails in my inbox and a whole bunch of people I need to call tomorrow. So if you've been one of those people who has been trying to get a hold of me recently, my apologies. I've basically been non-existant for the past week.

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posted by Christopher at 2:54 PM

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy H'ween, Everybody! 

Today (Wednesday) is Halloween! Hooray!

On Friday Carrie got me a Wii because I'm an awexome husband. Take THAT, all you lousy husbands! Har har! Score! She also got me The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess. Boo-yah!

Gina came and stayed with us over Halloween weekend, because Halloween weekend was also the Bead Factory's 15th anniversary weekend. They needed extra help, so they paid for Gina to take the train up from Portland for the weekend. She slept on our couch. I cooked breakfast for us (scrambled eggs & sausage on Saturday, Li'l Smokies and orange rolls (Christmas breakfast) for us on Sunday). We like her. It was nice having her around, even though we really didn't see her that much because everybody was working so mucho.

Saturday evening was Fools Play Trick or Treat, our annual Halloween show. Not as many people came as usual, but here's what us Fools dressed up as:

As Cactus Jack - Jake Ynzunza the Pink Fool:

As the victim of a pillow fight - Taisha McFall the Jade Fool:

As James, ½ of Team Rocket (with the very lovely Tia as Jessie of Team Rocket) - Mike Harris the Blue Fool:

But I know what you're asking: What whas Chris Harris the Purple Fool's costume? And what awexome punkins did he carve this year?

Well, lucky for you all, I wrote a new Article all about that! What was my costume? What were my punkins? What new H'ween craft did I do this year? And what could possibly make The Ocean Shores Pirate cry a single, gigantic tear? You can only find out by reading...

A Halloween Surprise for The Ocean Shores Pirate

Well, my in-laws are coming over soon for our annual H'ween tradition of soup, Reuben sammitches, and handing out full-sized candy bars (not them crappy little dinky things) to everyone who comes to the door!

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posted by Christopher at 4:45 PM

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Wet Popcorn Windstorm 

Yesterday (Thursday) was an huge windstorm all the live-long day. Okay, well, it started just after noon and went until, um, very, very late. We didn't lose power, but apparently a lot of people in the Puget Sound area did.

As I was walking home from work down Broadway, I passed a gigantic tree. The wind had blown a tonne of crab apples down out of the tree and they were coating the nearby street. As cars drove down the street I could hear the crab apples pop as they were run over. Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop. Like wet popcorn.


posted by Christopher at 9:20 PM

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Cutest Graffiti Ever 

I work downtown T-town at 9th and Pacific, but I usually park near 4th and Broadway (5 blocks up and two blocks over).

There is a lot of construction happening on Broadway (they're building this). I've recently noticed while walking to and from the car that there are some really cool instances of graffiti popping up on some of the storage units for the construction. This one of an adorable jellyfish is by far my favorite:

I've seen this jellyfish elsewhere around Tacoma, like on a picnic table in Jefferson Park.

Another pretty cool graffiti piece just popped up of a whole, repeated line of monsters holding up a clawed hand in front of their faces. Very cute. I'll try to get a photo of it as well. There are a couple of graffiti signatures that pop up in these areas: Düm and Rubr, so it might be one of them.

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posted by Christopher at 5:46 PM

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

It Went "Whoomp" And my Whole House Shook 

Around 3:00 yesterday (Saturday) I was watching John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (horrible movie, but it stars Ice Cube) when there was a big noise like a gigantically close sonic boom. It went "Whoomp!" and my whole house shook. I could see the big bay window actually flex a little bit. It startled Suki quite a bit.

I went outside and looked to make sure a tree didn't fall on my house or something, and noticed that the sky was full of birds—they'd all fled the trees and were screeching around overhead. Then I heard dozens and dozens of sirens way off to the south.

Read this news story.

Watch this movie:

That was almost two full miles away from my house. The explosion created enough of a shock wave that it was felt at least as far away as UPS, which is another half mile further away.

Thankfully Carrie came home via Stadium Way and not Highway 16, because a piece of tanker truck actually flew up in the air and landed on the highway, hundreds of feet away.

And somehow nobody was killed.

Update: 10-16-07

Here are a couple of views of the explosion:

And here's a remarkable video where you can see cars driving on the freeway (highway 16) as they're silhouetted by the explosion behind them.

Unfortunately the driver of the propane truck died Sunday morning:

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posted by Christopher at 12:05 PM

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Calendar System Courtesy Jerry Seinfeld. Used Without Permission. 

Yesterday (Thursday) evening I implemented my new calendar-based chore system. I think it's really going to work well, because it makes us both visually accountable for what goes on. This system is for the kitchen/laundry room, and also has watering the outdoor plants on it. Take a wook:

You can see that yesterday I washed a load of laundry, dried a load of laundry, put a way a load of laundry, scooped the kitty litter, watered the plants, hand-washed some dishes, filled up and ran the dishwasher. All I didn't do was put the dishes in the dishwasher away. Not bad, eh? I think this will work much better for us than Chore Wars would.

We're having trouble getting Suki to go bathroom outside. When we woke up yesterday morning there was poo on the dining room rug. We tried to walk her in the evening to get her to go potty, but at one point she got spooked at some random little noise and bucked really hard, ripping the leash right out of my hand. She started whining and running around, but fortunately after a couple of blocks she ran right up to us and let us walk her back to the house.

Hopefully we'll be able to convince her that when she goes outside, that that's when she's supposed to potty. Hmmm... I wonder. Oh, well.

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posted by Christopher at 3:20 PM

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Must Have Been Some Impact 

Aight! It's late. I need to go sweeps. Peeps! Let's see what happened yesterday (Wednesday (it's after midnight after all—double afters)). Carrie went in to work a little late (on purpose), so I didn't have to drive her there before heading to work myself.

Work itself was relatively uneventful, but it was the walk back to the car that was startling. I'd parked on Stadium Way, so as I was walking back up there I was eating some blackberries here and there. When I got to the section of the road where 4th I noticed something odd. See, 4th is a rather steep hill that points directly down to and ends at Stadium Way. Opposite 4th is just a super-steep hill covered in blackberries, with a fence and a guard rail. I noticed as I was walking up the sidewalk that the blackberry bushes seemed a lot farther away from the sidewalk than they were the day before. They used to be right up against the sidewalk, but now they were like eight feet away.

It was at that point that I actually started paying attention to my surroundings and noticed that the guardrail, the fence, and in fact the entire area at the end of 4th had been pushed away from the sidewalk. It looked as if something horribly heavy had come roaring down the hill and gone straight across Stadium Way, over the sidwalk, and into guardrail, pushing it, the fence, the blackberries, and a tree about eight feet from their usual position. It'd uprooted the guardrail's posts completely out of the ground and also completely flattened a road sign.

Isn't that amazing? It must have been one hell of an impact. Look at how crazily the tree is leaning in that first picture, and notice the completely-flattened sign and broken guardrail posts in the second picture. That guardrail should be right up against the sidewalk, maybe 2 feet away at its greatest distance.

The strangest thing of all, though? There was a toy guitar at the scene, just leaning up against the railing:

I didn't notice any broken glass anywhere at the scene, though, so I'm really curious as to what could have possibly happened.

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posted by Christopher at 1:16 AM

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Walk from Work 

On the way walking back to the car parked on Stadium Way there was a wonderful aroma wafting up from the hillside beneath me. Here's what made it:

Sooo good! I ate a handful and picked another handful that I brought to Carrie when I picked her up from work.

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posted by Christopher at 3:43 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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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

From Shelton by way of France, Italy, Croatia, England, and New York City 

I came home where Carrie had already started cooking some Mandarin chicken for lunch. Then she got a call from Laura Kinney, aka X-23, the clone of Wolverine! She was home from her 8-month journey around Europe and her post-Europe, one-week stay with Brandy & Friends in NYC! And she wanted to hang out with us!

So Carrie put on some rice and added some chicken potstickers to the pan so there wouldst be enough lunch for the all of us, and Laura came over and indeed did hang out! She regaled us with stories of cell phones and Mormons, a hostel with no bathroom light switches, and dates who were lates. We all three walked down to Mandolin and hung out there for a bit as well. I got all sorts of sleepy, unfortunately, so we walked home and I rested a bit before doing a handout for Liana.

Laura left whilst I was making the handout. Boo! But she's back basically for good (though we're exchanging her for Gina in a few days). Hooray!

In the evening I went out and bought Hot Fuzz. They were all sold out at Target, so I had to go to the Fred Meyer's to get it.

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posted by Christopher at 5:26 PM

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Nostalgia Digging 

On Thursday evening I went over to my folks' place and went through several boxes in their garage. I did really well; I only came home with one box of stuff. A lot of it was old coloring books that I vividly remember from when I was a kid. Also the Color, Cut-Out, and Fly series of books. I think tomorrow (Saturday) I'm going to look around and see if those books still exist in any way, shape, or form. If not, I might just write an article about them.

I also found an entire screenplay that I wrote: Relentless. I think it actually has a good (in a crappy way) story in it. I just need to make it take place in an ACTUAL location. Either that or in the future (which is how I originally envisioned it).

It was pretty cool finding all those old things from my childhood. I vividly remember the coloring books. I'll update this post with pictures as soon as I get 'em scanned in.

UPDATE: Here are the first couple of scans!

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posted by Christopher at 11:44 PM

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No, You Can't Have a Beagle. Not Yours. 

Fantastico is very lucky. Yesterday (Monday) we almost brought home a puppy.

Well, it would have been 2 years old. Lemmie essplain:

One of the Bead Babes has a friend whose mum has a bunch of pets, and for some reason (medical, probably) she had to get rid of all of them. Carrie has been itching to get a dog since the Bead Festival ended, and one of the pets was a Beagle. Seemed like a perfect match.

But because Carrie went away to Canada for the weekend, the Beagle was already given away to someone else yesterday. Which I think is actually for the best, because I read several articles that cautioned about having a Beagle if you have a cat ('cause Beagles are bread to hunt small game like rabbits and hares and bunnies). And I've always made it perfectly clear that even when we do get a dog, Fantastico has to be the #1 pet. She's going to hate it for a while no matter what, though.


posted by Christopher at 2:43 PM

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Impromptu Canadian 

On Wednesday Carrie had the day off, and in the afternoon she had a dentist's appointment. After I picked her up from that she got a call from Melissa saying that Viki wanted Carrie to take the rest of the week off 'cause she was over on hours.

That would be okay. Carrie & Melissa joked that now that Carrie had the rest of the week off, she should go to Canada with Melissa and her family. Then suddenly it clicked and we all realized there was no reason that that should be a joke. Carrie totally SHOULD go to Canada!

We both went last year, and I didn't particularly enjoy it—it just really wasn't my cup of tea (and I had many commitments for the weekend already), so we decided that Carrie would go. So she spent the evening packing, and Thursday at some ungodly hour like 5:15 AM she was picked up by Melissa and left for Canada for the weekend.



posted by Christopher at 8:11 AM

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's Going On!! 

The Puget Sound Bead Festival continued for the duration of the weekend. I actually went and walked around the show on Saturday for a bit, and saw the out-of-town girls (in order I saw them) Nicole, Brandy, and Gretchen.

That evening Fools Play did an ambitious new format called "Learnin' the Ropes" in which we try to get our apprentices ready to perform in the span of five (5) days. It had a really large audience, due mostly to friends of the apprentices wanting to see them perform.

Sunday I left Fools Play practice early so I could help tear down the classrooms at the PSBF. Then I drove up to Issaquah for Mike's birthday diner at XXX Root Beer. Man, that place is so good. I had a bacon burger the size of my plate. Then afterwards I went and ordered onion rings.

Carrie & I both took Monday off so we could recover from the PSBF, but also for another reason: we needed to buy a car. A couple of our bead colleagues had bought a car just last week from Toyota of Puyallup and highly recommended the salesman, so we went down there as well and talked with him. And ended up buying the exact same car that they'd bought. They didn't have our 1st choice color available at all, and our 2nd choice color was down in Portland, so it would have to be driven up and so wouldn't be ready until Tuesday. But we were also satisfied with the salesman (though the paperwork department for some reason took for-freakin'-ever). So if you ever want to get a Toyota, go to Toyota of Puyallup and ask for John Martinez, and tell him that Chris Harris & Carrie Hamm sent you (we'll get some sorta kickback if you do).

Monday evening Carrie & I went out on a date and saw Ratatouille.

That brings us to Today, when, after an afternoon nap, Carrie & I went and picked up our new car from the dealership. And here it is:

It's a brand-spankin'-new Toyota Yaris 4-door sedan. Only 400 miles on it. And it's so freakin' cute! I made Carrie drive the rental home from the dealership just so I could drive the Yaris home [evil laugh].

I bought a new car! In the past 8 months I've bought a house, a MacBook, a new mattress set, and a new car. I'm a grown-up! All I need to do now is get a dog.

Then after I dropped Carrie off at the store to teach her evening class (I dropped her off with my NEW CAR) I headed back home and noticed a car in front of mine had the same Toyota of Puyallup dealer plates that I had. "Hmm," I thought, "they got their car at the same place I got my car. That looks like the same type of... hey, wait a minute!" Indeed, it was Robbie, the friend who bought the same kind of car last week! He pulled over at our house and we talked about how cool the Yaris cars are. What's plural for Yaris? Yarisses? Or Yari? Anyhoo, I also gave him back the couple of Gamecube controllers that we'd borrowed, oh, quite a while ago.

I leave you with a pretty picture of the clouds reflected in my new car's hood:

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posted by Christopher at 7:39 PM

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy Birthday (Party) to Mike 

Yesterday (Friday) Lisa actually drove me in to work in the morning and then picked me up immediately afterwards. I drove her to the Convention Center where I dropped her off, then I came home.

Carrie came home a while later, and I went out into the backyard to do some gardening, trimming and pulling weeds and the like. While I was out there Derek came by and saw me back there. He had a paper for me to sign (life insurance stuff).

Carrie went back to the show later on, and then a while after that I drove up to Kent for my brother's birthday party! I brought refreshment for the party—a can of root beer for everybody to share. I know, I'm so generous!

When I got there only Josiah & Cambry were there. I played a lot of Sky Kid for the NES for Josiah, but soon other people started trickling in until it was a rompin' stompin' full blown party. There were several people there I hadn't seen in quite a while, including Mike's "college friends" (Jen, Suzi, & Bryan of Frankenseuss Labs, who does a lot of the artwork for Buckethead's albums) and Chelsea, and I met キ, who is actually legitimately really good at drawing animé-style things. Also, Susan & Jason were there. Jason made a couple pizzas but didn't get to eat very much (at all), so Mike actually left his own party(!) and got some more pizzas. I ate a lot of pizza. Kevin brought a Wii, but we could only get one of the controllers to turn on, so a few of us played some Excite Truck. Interesting game.

I left around 11:30, which was unfortunately very shortly after Tia & Tim showed up, so I didn't get to hang out with them very long.

I went straight home and straight to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 3:14 PM

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Friday, July 13, 2007

What Split-Shift? 

Yesterday (Thursday) I went straight from work to Katie Downs to join Carrie & Lisa there for lunch. Carrie was supposed to then have a split-shift for the day, but she ended up going on a search for flowers and never ended up actually coming back home.

Around 3:30 I went down to the Country Insurance offices and picked up the cheque for my totaled car. I then immediately went to the Fred Meyer bonk and deposited it. I also bought some Gatorade and a book of stamps whilst I was there.

I dropped Lisa off at the Convention Center in the evening to teach her class, then I came home and blissfully rested. This is a stressful time of the year, so it's nice to have an evening to myself!


posted by Christopher at 5:00 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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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

That's Not Very Queenly 

The in-house thermometer says that it's 88 degrees inside right now. It's close to 95 outside. So forgive me if my memory ain't what it should be, but it's too durned hot to think right now.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Carrie got off work before I did and went straight home. I got off work and swung by the Bartell's to pick up a couple of things and then met Carrie at the house. I arrived only moments before the lady from Dana's Housekeeping showed up. Yes, that's right, Carrie & I had our house professionally cleaned yesterday thanks to the gift certificate we got from Viki at Christmastime.

While she was there cleaning, Carrie & I swung over to University Place. She dropped me off at the DMV (more on that in tomorrow's entry) while she went to Trader Joe's. The DMV was packed, so I was nowhere near being called up by the time she got back. It looked like it would be hours more, so we decided to call it quits and that I would go in the next morning to try again. We drove on home where I unloaded the groceries.

Carrie left to go get a super-cute haircut and get more groceries from Safeway. The cleaning lady finished and left and then Carrie got home. Arount 6:30 a big pickup truck pulled into our driveway. It was filled with our new mattresses. Neighbor Gary showed up shortly thereafter and helped to bring in the new mattresses and bag up & remove the old ones.

The funny thing—Carrie & I have been sleeping on a Queen-sized mattress for since we've been sleeping together. Turns out, though, that we didn't have a Queen-sized bed or box spring. Those were full-sized. So the new Queen-sized mattress set didn't fit on the full-sized bed. Whoops! The guy from Mattress Mania was very helpful, and ran up to the store and came back with a queen-sized bed frame. In the meanwhile we disassembled the old bed frame with some well-placed karate kicks! Hyaa! Gary & I took it out to the Garage. Soon the new bed was all set up.

It's crazy—it's so cushy that it's actually about eight inches taller than our old mattress. So now our bedside tables are way below the level of the bed, so we have to reach down to get stuff. But it is oh-so cushy.

Umm... Gary & I hung out for a while longer and watched some TV. Then he left and Carrie & I watched The World Series of Pop Culture before going to bed on top of the covers and eating ice cream and putting a bowl of ice in front of the fan and all sorts of other things to try to keep cool.

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posted by Christopher at 6:59 PM

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I hate the heat. And yesterday (Monday) it was hot.

Heat makes me cranky. And tired. And vegetative. It is difficult for me to do much of anything other than sit around and be vaguely aware that I'm hot. So that is what I did for most of the day yesterday, though I did get some work done in the later evening (when it started to cool down).

We ordered in a pizza from Pizza Hut (extra cheese, sausage, & mushroom—a classic combination that is up there with pepperoni & black olives) for dinner. There really wasn't anything good at all on TV, so we watched some on-demand stuff and then Carrie watched her three hours of Friends and cleaned during commercials while I tried my best not to let the heat zombify me. Not terribly successful.

It's only going to get hotter over the next couple of days, too. Joy.


posted by Christopher at 3:36 PM

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Home Cookin' 

Gaahhh... my memory is horrible right now. I can't even remember the first half of Saturday. I know I did some cleaning, but I can't remember specifics. Ah, well.

Michael came and picked me up about 45-60 minutes early for Fools Play so we could practice the new format that I'd failed to practice on Sunday due to being in that whole car accident. The whole way down we talked about Transformers and just what a conundrum of a movie it really is.

Then we ran/talked through the format a few times before people started trickling in and we had to set up the show.

The new format was called Home Cookin' it went pretty well considering how damnably complicated it is and how little time we'd actually had to go over it.

After the show we went to Rib Eye where I sat with Sandy, Mathias, and Amber and ate bean-less chili. Mike took me home around midnight (so I got home around midnight:30).

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posted by Christopher at 11:53 PM

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Jam Packed 

Yesterday (Thursday) when I got home from work my dad was already there, working on the backyard patio. Carrie & I took him out to lunch at El Toro up on 26th. A short while after we came back he left, and then I did as well. I headed out across the hills to Auburn's frightful Auto Row to get all of my personal belongings out of my totaled car. Amusingly, on the way there I actually drove right by the place where I pulled over after failing to catch up to the white pickup that hit me.

I found the place no problem, and was led by a young man who called me "Amigo" through a series of back rooms, a repair floor, a paint shop, and finally into the back lot where there were rows and rows of defunct vehicles. Funny thing, though, I had parked basically right next to this lot, so I didn't have far to walk with all of my belongings.

So here it is, the last any of you will ever see of my car.

You can easily see where the impact took place.

But the reason it was totaled was because the impact was so severe that it actually caused damage to the opposite side of the car:

So the whole entire front of the car would have had to have been replaced, including most of the engine, the entire frame, the front axle, and both front wheels.

I made a thorough search through the entire car and grabbed everything of any possible interest, including the old, ratty Jack in the Box antenna ball. I had a Sealab 2021 air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror, and it was a b*tch to get that thing untied. We also had a small pair of bells from Cat's wedding. I figured that was a sentimental item, so we should probably save it. It proved to be impossible for me to untie, though, especially since it was approaching 100 degrees inside that car sitting in the hot sun.

After several struggling minutes I got a flash of genius. I grabbed onto the rear-view mirror and applied torque until it popped right off of the windshield. Then I simply pulled the bells right off. It's not like the car's gonna need a rear-view mirror anymore!

So I loaded everything into the rental and paused to use the restroom inside the place before heading back to T-town. It took me just about two-and-a-half hours round trip to do all of that.

So I needed something fun to do. So when I dropped off Carrie at the store to teach her evening class I went directly to Lawrence's place and picked him up and we went and saw Transformers. I'm going to write a movie review of it on Monday, ya hear me?

After the flick I noticed that I had a cryptic phone message from Gina, something about not going galavanting after the movie because I was needed to take her home. The message was a little bit garbled and cut out a bit. So Lawrence & I headed to the BF and caught Carrie's eye for some clarification. She just wanted to make sure I didn't go out of town or become unavailable like that time that Mike & I went and saw Grindhouse on a whim and she'd tried to call me to get a ride home but couldn't reach me because I'd turned off my phone like a responsible movie patron.

So I took Lawrence over to Christine's and then came home. Carrie called after a while and I picked her and Gina up with a hearty, "Hi, cute girls!" and drove Gina to her folks' house. Then I drove us on back home. Whew! Quite the day!

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posted by Christopher at 3:34 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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Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Yesterday (Tuesday) I left work a little early because Carrie had a dentist appointment, so I picked her up and took her to that. I played a lot of Kirby Squeak Squad while I waited for her in the waiting room. I think I'm almost done with that game, which is very impressive considering I only really play it when I'm in a waiting room or something like that.

Anyhoo. In the afternoon I stopped by the Bartell's. It was a rare Tuesday that Carrie didn't have to teach in the evening, so that was cool. She did end up working rather late, though (It's the week before the Bead Festival; that's par for the course this time of year).

I got a call in the late afternoon from the insurance company saying they'd decided to total the car. Now I have to go down there on Thursday and get all my personal belongings out of it, and then at some point in the near future shop for another car!

In the evening we walked down to E-9 to join Christine & Lawrence for a couple o' rounds. That was nice. Leia called while we were there to inform us that she & Kedar were going to be moving into a house in Renton! Renton is a LOT closer than Redmond, so we're very excited for them (plus the house sounds absolutely awexome). In fact, they'll actually live closer than Sandy & Mathias! Hoorays!

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posted by Christopher at 3:41 PM

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bit More of a Boat 

Yesterday (Monday) I walked with Carrie to work in the morning, where she was given Christine's car keys so she could drive me to work. After work I walked up to the Enterprise place on St. Helens and picked up our temporary rental car: a white Nissan Altima. It's not bad. A little bit more of a boat than a Corolla, though.

The rest of the day I basically spent working. We had pizzas for dinner, and much later in the evening Carrie sent me out to buy some iced cream. I kept on having antsy feelings, mostly because I would have preferred not to have to deal with all this insurance stuff almost immediately after spending huge gobs of money on a new mattress set.

We put on Buffy Season 5 to fall asleep to. Awkward sentence.


posted by Christopher at 5:48 PM

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Did Anybody Get the License Plate Number of the Truck That Hit Me? 

So yesterday (Sunday) there was some excitement in my life, though not really of the good kind.

I woke up at a regular time and got ready and all that, then got in my car and drove down towards the Supermall, where I was meeting Mike so we could go see Ratatouille. I got off Highway 18, went down West Valley Highway to 15th St, and from there took the little one-way side street to the left that winds around until it dead-ends at Supermall Drive.

As I was pulling up to the light at Supermall Drive, I noticed that my brother was in the middle of the three lanes (the left two lanes are left-turn only lanes, and the one right lane is right-turn only). So I pulled over to the left-most lane and pretended I was shocked to see him there. He laughed, then we waited at the light for a little bit until it changed so that we both had green left-turn arrows. I let Mike go a couple seconds before me because after you turn left there the two lanes on Supermall Drive merge into one, and I thought I'd let him merge in front of me there.

Then as I pulled out on my green arrow a white pickup truck came from the left, ran the red light, and hit my car right at its driver's side front wheel.

It spun my car sideways a little bit so I could see that the truck continued through the intersection. I quickly straightened my car and pulled up behind the truck so that I could pull over near it when it pulled off the road.

It was at about that time that I realized that the truck not only wasn't slowing down, but was rapidly accelerating.

I hadn't gotten a make, model, or license number on it yet, so I slammed on my own accelerator and gave chase all the way down Supermall Drive. When the truck turned right onto 15th St I pulled out my cell phone and quickly dailed 911 and continued the chase while talking to the emergency operator, turning onto 15th right behind the truck.

I couldn't get close enough to ready anything on the truck because my front driver's side tire was rubbing up against the mangled side of my car. I just couldn't accelerate fast enough to catch him.

He obviously knew I was chasing him because he took the next right onto the freeway. I chased him up the on-ramp and then decided that I really shouldn't drive freeway speed with a tire rubbing up against the side of the car (I could smell burning rubber), so I pulled over and informed the operator where the truck was heading. She said she let the Highway Patrol know where it was going, so I pulled over on the side of the freeway.

Here's a map of exactly where the impact took place.

After I got off the phone with the 911 operator I called Carrie to tell her that I wasn't hurt or anything. While I was talking to her Mike called me to ask where the Hell I was. He hadn't seen me chase the guy off, and just assumed we'd pulled over into the Wal-Mart parking lot just south of where the impact took place. But when he couldn't find me or the truck anywhere he called me. So I told him where I was and he said he was on the way.

I got off the phone with Carrie, and Mike & I hung out on the side of the freeway for a while until a fire truck showed up. They looked over the car and made sure I didn't want an ambulance or anything. I was a little worried about my shoulder because that's where I felt the impact when it happened, but I didn't need to go to the hospital or nothin'. They said if I was sore the next day that I should just go to my regular doctor.

So they left. Then a while later the Highway Patrol showed up and took all my information and everything. Then the tow-truck driver showed up and hooked up my car. After the cop gave me the report he'd filled out I went inside Mike's car and called my insurance and told them what was going on. The tow-truck drive told us where he was taking the car (we didn't know any Toyota body shops in Auburn, so we let him choose) and I passed that info on to the insurance people. They also told me that there'd be a rental car waiting for me at the Enterprise on St. Helens in Tacoma. I knew exactly where that was.

Then the tow-truck took my car away and Mike drove me back to my house. Needless to say I did not go to Fools Play Practice that afternoon.

I was very disappointed. I really wanted to see Ratatouille.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and doing stuff on Konpyupyu here and watching BSG and stuff like that. My back felt like it was stiffening up a little bit, which I expected, but I took a couple of muscle relaxers and it seemed like it was helping. Carrie left at one point in the evening for a store meeting.

Thankfully when I woke up this morning my back wasn't sore, my neck wasn't sore, and my shoulders weren't sore. Well, not any more sore than usual at least. It was like nothing had happened. Except of course that my car wasn't in the driveway and I hadn't seen Ratatouille.

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posted by Christopher at 5:01 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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Friday, June 29, 2007

Weird Weather 

Yesterday (Thursday) the weather was all weird all day. It couldn't really decide whether or not it wanted to rain, pour, hail, or be sunny. Sometimes it would be almost all of them simultaneously.

In the afternoon Carrie & I made a major life purchase. We went down to Mattress Mania and bought a very nice, rather expensive mattress set with a 20-year warranty. The mattresses we've been using are really old (probably more than 25 years old) and are basically worth s**t. Especially to Carrie; she's much more sensitive to sleeping conditions than I am (I can sleep pretty much anywhere in any position at any time—it's kind of my superhero ability).

These last six months have been very strange for me. Just look what I've bought... a lawn mower, a mattress, a backyard deck, fixings to make a patio, and, oh yeah, a HOUSE. It still hits me as strange sometimes that I'm a full-fledged domestic homeowner.

We're very excited, but it means that we will NOT be going to Disneyland for our anniversary this year, because we spent all of our Disneyland money on the mattresses.

Anyhoo, after Carrie went back to teach her class I headed down to Olympia to meet with Kevin to talk about making a logo and business cards for his company, Dibble Technologies. As you can see, he doesn't have one right now. He also let me borrow Runaways, Vol. 3, which I took home and immediately read from cover to cover.

It was quite an adventure getting home, though, because it decided to do a massive torrential downpour while I was on the freeway. But it all worked out and I'm safe and sound.

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posted by Christopher at 12:12 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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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Don't Do It a Stupid Way 

Yesterday (Tuesday) Carrie had a split-shift, but she also had a meeting that started and therefore ended late, so she wasn't home until a couple hours later than she usually would have been.

I watched a whole heap of BSG 2.5 during the course of the day. Curses to Carrie for giving me one of the best TV shows evar when I should be more productive!

In the evening I worked on some work stuff, and realized when I was halfway done that I was doing it a stupid way. So I started over and did it an intelligent way instead. Carrie came back home during this time and made us some macaroni to eat, and then scooped up some ice cream for dessert. It was pretty late by the time I finally went to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 6:01 PM

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yesterday (Monday) I finally posted my danged review of Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End (PotCAWE). You should so totally go read it now!

Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End

Anyhoo, yesterday was a weird day. In the afternoon I successfully did my new regimen of afternoon Konpyūtā work, shot of a blog, and did my daily grind.

Then I picked up Carrie from work and watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica 2.5. A while later I noticed a handful of news reports online (starting with a blog post on Michael Tanner's MySpace page) saying that Chris Benoit and his family had been found dead in their home. Wait a minute, I thought, wasn't he supposed to have fought for the ECW championship on Sunday? Sure enough, he'd dropped out of the match at the last minute. Needless to say, this put a damper on the rest of the evening.

At one point I went to Fred Meyer to drop off Carrie's paycheck at the bonk (and to buy some laundry detergent). Rachel at the bank declared that she wasn't looking forward to going to the midwest with Linnea & the girls this week, because apparently it was 90 to 95 degrees over there. Yikes! Don't blame her for not looking forward to that. They're all gonna be out of town for ten days.

As I was walking back to the car my brother called to see if I had heard the news about Benoit. We all agreed that it certainly seemed like it should end the whole "Mr. McMahon is Dead" angle that they had going on in WWE.

When I got home I mowed the lawn, but I had a devil of a time getting the mower to start at all. I had to prime it an awful lot before it would finally catch. A little unnerving, considering this is only the third time I've used it. Well, it ended up working, so I guess nothing to worry about yet.

Don't recall too much what happened in the evening. I did turn on Raw for a few minutes. They had quickly whipped up a tribute to Benoit (their archive crew is phenomenally good at doing super-high-quality work at a moment's notice), but I couldn't watch very much of it because people like Tazz and C.M. Punk getting teary while trying to talk was too much for me. I watched some more Battlestar Galactica instead.

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posted by Christopher at 7:38 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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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Round 1: Dirty Heel, Fight 

Yesterday (Friday) I brought Carrie home for lunch and then we had lunch. Hmm... that was a good sentence I just wrote, eh? Anyhoo... I took her back to work after lunch, then came home and went to enjoy my pretty backyard. While I was back there I heard what sounded like a car pulling into my driveway. I poked my head around the corner and saw none other than Neighbor Gary getting out of his car!

He has moved back to Tacoma for the summer, living just a ten-minute drive away with a couple of his friends. Kickass. So we hung out for a while, then I sent him on his way so I could clean the kitty litter and then drive on down to Olympia to hang out with Tia!

I met Tia and her friend Alanna (sp?) at the Barnes & Nobles down there. While there I picked up the CUTEST BOOK EVAR:

Sea Creatures

It's so cute that Tia bought one too! After that the whole crew went back to Tia & Siobhan's apartment and hung out for a bit before deciding to go out to dinner.

Deciding where to go to dinner was a little torturous only because everyone except for me and Siobhan were incredibly indecisive—and Siobhan wasn't even going with us! So I eventually decided that we were going to Mekong (the one in Oly, not in T-town). I, as usual, had the Phud Thai, and it, as usual, was excellent.

We then went back to Tia's place, where Alanna & I both created characters for Soul Caliber III. Alanna created some girl based on a MUD that she and Tia do. I, on the other hand, made Dirty Heel. Yes, that Dirty Heel. Came out looking pretty good, too! With the beard and the dark glasses and everything. It was pretty funny fighting with him.

Anyway, after that I drove on home. Or, rather, I drove on towards home. I made a detour on the way to Christine's house, where Carrie was hanging out. I hung out there as well. We watched some Veronica Mars Season 2 and had some wine and a good time. Steph and Jamie showed up at some point as well. After exposing Christine to some Season 2 goodness (she hasn't seen the 2nd season yet), Carrie & I went on home.

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posted by Christopher at 4:37 PM

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Patio it Up 

Yesterday (Thursday) when I picked Carrie up from work and brought her home my dad was already there, working in the backyard, prepping the area for our new patio! He wanted to go to The Rosewood for dinner, but Carrie oddly did not have a split-shift on a Thursday, so she didn't have enough time to join us.

So my dad & I both went to Rosewood and had tuna sammitches. I also had the French onion soup, though that took a while to appear. We also both had dessert! I had a big ol' cookie and dad had the chocolate torte-like thing. He also insisted on paying, which I think is crazy because of all the free labour he's doing for us in the backyard. But he was insistent.

We left there and went straight to Lowe's, where we wandered around and looked for patio pavers. We eventually did locate them and bought five of 'em for a test. He lugged them back in the trunk of dad's car and installed one in the backyard before he left.

I was up late working in the evening. Surprisingly, Brandy was up even later than I was. She saw that I was on Google and had me give her a call and we had a good conversation. After that it was very late, so I took out the trash (literally) and went to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 12:34 AM

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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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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

<sarcasm>Exciting Times</sarcasm> 

Yesterday (Monday) does not stick out in my mind as a particularly memorable day. One unusual thing was that Carrie had to teach in the evening, and she almost NEVER has to teach on Mondays. So she was home all afternoon, which is unusual for a Monday. I went to Fred Meyer to deposit some moneys at the bonk there—they've completely moved and remodeled the bank at Fred Meyer. It's much different now. I also bought some cheese and some salami and some milk and some kitty litter. Exciting times!

I caught the ST:TNG 2nd season episode "Time Squared," where Picard finds a version of himself from six hours in the future. I want to hear Wil's take on the episode (even though he's not really even in it).

I watched the last hour of RAW, Carrie came home, and we went to bed. Exciting times indeed.


posted by Christopher at 3:26 PM

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Der Tag der Väter 

Yesterday (Sunday) was of course Father's Day. For lunch Carrie & I met her folks at Doyle's just down the hill. I had a very good French-dip-style sammitch. The Au Jus was made with Guinness, so it was also very good.

For dinner we went to Anthony's Home Port in Des Moines and met up with my family. A lot of my family, in fact. There were I think 13 people seated at that table, five of whom were Minnesota relatives. I don't know that I'd ever met them before. Cousins of some kind. One of them was very funny. When asked what method they used to get to Washington, he replied, "Balloons."

After that we went back to my folks' place so Dad could open his gifts. Mike and I both got him Gene Autry CDs. He was very excited about that.

What I was very excited about, though, was the drawing that Alexis made for me:

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posted by Christopher at 3:39 PM

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Sunday, June 17, 2007


Yesterday (Saturday) Carrie woke me up in the morning and informed me that she was taking me to breakfast. But first we were picking up Lawrence and taking him to get his learner's permit at the DMV.

I wisely grabbed my DS before we left, because the whole DMV process took two-and-½ hours. At one point when we were wondering just why it was taking so long, Lawrence joked out loud, "It's because I'm black, right?" It took the ladies sitting next to us a few seconds to figure out he was joking. But soon they were on our side and rooting that Lawrence's number would be called next. When he did finally get called up they all applauded for him. Very funny.

By the time that was all done with it was time for lunch, not dinner. We went to the Pine Cone Café again. I had a Monte Christo sammitch! My favorite sammitch! With raspberry jam and everything. Lawrence had pancaces, and said they were some of the best pancakes he'd had in years and years.

We stopped by the dollar store on the way home so I could get some supplies for the evening's episode of Fools Play. While I was in there Carrie let Lawrence drive the car around a mostly-empty parking lot for a bit, then we all met in the bakery section of Safeway so I could pick up a cake, also for Fools Play.

When we were walking back to the car I realized that I needed disposable plastic forks for the cake. So while I went back to get those, Carrie and Lawrence went across the street to the pawn shop to see if they had a part Lawrence needs for his guitar. They didn't. So instead he got a PlayStation 2, a couple controllers, and a Grand Turismo game. For "driving practice."

We took him home and came home ourselves. I had to rest for an hour or so, then gather together all of the various sundries for Fools Play in the evening. It was a lot more stuff than usual.

That's because it was a special show — Fools Play Surprise! The surprises included:
  • The Red Fool is here—but he's not going to perform!
  • Chris is hiding somewhere in the theater, and whoever finds him wins a prize! (I was dressed like a Tamagotchi
  • We've been training our apprentices at the Fools Play Compound! Let's take a look at that footage...
  • It's YOUR birthday! Here's a cake and a birthday present!
  • Easter egg hunt!
  • One of the Fools has a suggestion card hidden on their person. You get to find it!
  • Shave-off!
  • Roomba Fight!
  • And, finally, at the end of the show Mike gets a limo!

After the show there was a lot of tear-down, but Mike thankfully came back from the limo and helped out a bit. I was the last person to arrive at Rib Eye, and there were no more spaces at any of the occupied tables! Thankfully Sandy (and later Jason) helped me start a NEW table.

I also gave Jason my digital camera to take photos during the show, so here's a slideshow of those photos!

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posted by Christopher at 9:52 PM

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Leia 

Yesterday (Friday) Carrie was forced to stay late at work because of meetings running long and all that. So I only got to hang out with her for like half an hour before I left. Why did I leave? Because that evening was Leia's 21st birthday party! Hooray!

It was a lots of funn. It basically consisted of eating food, playing video games, and watching people play video games. I played some Wii and I played some Guitar Hero 2, and I ate some pizza and I hung out with a bunch of my friends, so all-in-all it was an A+ night in my book! Here are some pictures I took:

Here's the gang all playing Wii

Leia taking a picture of me taking a picture of her

Leia's sister Hannah

The best present that Leia got! Sandy made her a Unicorn Robot during the course of the party!!! (Leia made the robot on the right)

Another photo of the robo-buddies

And Hildegard, enjoying the party as much as anyone else.

And here are Leia and Kedar playing Guitar Hero 2. Leia is really good at it! And watch Kedar keep on looking up at me while I film them.

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posted by Christopher at 3:41 PM

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Last Hurrah (For Now) 

Yesterday (Thursday) my dad came over to work in the yard while Carrie & I were still at work. Carrie walked home at one point and was rather startled to see his car in the driveway. She forgot that he has a blue car now, so she didn't know who could possibly be parked in our driveway!

Anyhoo, after work I picked up Carrie and we quickly swung by the drugstore and then headed home. I took my dad out to lunch at E-9, where he had an onion/Swiss burger and I had a good ol' club sammitch. I took some of it home for Carrie, then worked in the backyard a bit with my dad, digging up grass in preparation for paving.

Geoff showed up while we were out back. He leaves for China today! So this was our last chance to hang out. We set up our laptops on the dining room table and spent many hours making each other listen to our music collections. "Hey, have you heard this?" "Wow! I really like that! But have you heard this?" That kind of thing. It was really a lot of fun, and a very fitting way to hang out with Geoff before he goes away for six months.

He left around 7:15 to go do capoeira, and I settled down with konpyuta and did what I promised to do: I wrote my review of Spider-Man 3. Take that, procrastination! Pow!

So I really didn't get any work-work done, which is unfortunate because there's quite a bit I need to still do. But hanging out with my best friend since kindergarten seemed more important. Weird, I know. But fear not! Geoff has set himself up with a blog so he can chronicle his adventures in the exotic Orient! It's called More Qi! There's nothing on it right now, but that's okay, he plans to post photos and maybe even other things once we figure out how he can.

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posted by Christopher at 2:42 PM

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You Should Have PHP'd Before We Left 

Yesterday (Tuesday) Carrie thankfully did not have to go in to work until the evening. She only had to teach her class. So she spent much of the day resting. I, on the other hand, taught myself how to program in PHP. Woot!

See, a couple of my clients have started using WordPress, which is PHP-based. One of them wanted it to do stuff that it isn't inherently able to do, so I had to teach myself PHP in order to get it done. It was a lot of fun! PHP syntax is very similar to Javascript stuff, the tags are just formatted a little differently, and there are some different inherent functions.

Anyway. That's basically what I did all day. And y'know what? It was fun.


posted by Christopher at 11:36 PM

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

If Only I Could Surveil 

Yesterday (Monday) Carrie had to work, even though she just got back from a big ol' business trip the day before. Boo to that bear! When she got offa work she snagged Lawrence and took him down to the DMV to take his driving test, only to discover that the DMV was closed. While she was in the area, though, she went ahead and went to the Trader Joe's and bought some groceries.

I, in the meantime, mowed a good more chunk of the yard, all the way to the back fence and a little bit between the deck and the trees. It's coming along. Unfortunately there is a whole bunch of poop being uncovered back there. Some animal has routinely been using my backyard as a toilet, and I don't like it none! It's times like this I wish I could just set up a camera and catch the thing in the act. But I ain't Veronica Mars. I ain't even Keith Mars.

In the evening I finally got around to seeing Casino Royale. My biggest complaint with the movie is not that James Bond doesn't behave like "James Bond" (since this is essentially his origin story, his character has logically not gelled yet. If he continues to be like this in the next few movies, though, then I might have some issues. But probably not many, because this James Bond wasn't really all that different from "James Bond."), but with the way the movie is structured. TWICE during the movie James Bond is in pursuit of someone and we don't know at all why. There is no context to the scenes. They don't even explain what the villainous scheme is until very late in the movie, and then it's just simply "funding terrorism." It made it very difficult to get drawn into anything because we never really knew what the stakes were (except for the personal stakes of the characters, and even then that often wasn't explained until AFTER the action scenes).

That's all that I can remember of Monday.

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posted by Christopher at 10:41 PM

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Monday, June 11, 2007


Yesterday (Sunday) I got up early-ish in the morning and successfully did some good bit of cleaning. I went to Fools Play practice in the afternoon, but only stayed a couple of hours because I had to leave to pick Carrie & Christine up from the airport! Hooray! I like them.

I dropped Christine off first, then took Carrie home so she could gather all her things inside and relax for a tiny bit. I then actually dropped Carrie off at the Babe Factory to see if Carrie could help out, because apparently they were severely short-staffed while Carrie & Christine were gone. But they were apparently doing all right, because they sent Carrie home only a few minutes after I left. She walked back to the house and met me there.

At 6:00 we went back up north to my folks' house where my dad was barbecuing some hot dogs and brats. Yums. We hung out there for a little while. Susan & Jason were out of town, but Alexis was staying with me mum and da, so Carrie colored some Hello Kitty stuff with her, and I briefly played hide-and-seek with her.

After we came back home I shut the house down and we got into bed and watched Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which, by the way, was given to me as a birthday present by Jeremiah. Jeremiah does this really cool thing where instead of giving birthday presents to his friends on their birthdays, he sends out all the presents at basically the same time, regardless of when your birthday actually is. The note that came with the package said something about happy either late or early birthday.

He also gave me Esquivel's Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music. Thanks, Jeremiah. Theremiah.

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posted by Christopher at 3:31 PM

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hosted by a Puppet of Quetzalcoatl 

Yesterday (Saturday) I had planned on spending the vast majority of the day cleaning and cleaning and mowing the lawn. Well, it rained all day, so mowing the lawn was pretty much out. And when I was hanging out with Geoff on Friday he mentioned that he kinda wanted to host Fools Play as Quetzalcoatl, but he didn't want to have to spend so much time on the ground. He'd do it if he had a puppet, though.

So I spent much of Saturday making a Quetzalcoatl out of felt. I watched the special features of PotC:DMC while I cut and sewed. The puppet came out looking pretty good, but I stupidly forgot to take a picture of it! (Geoff, if you're reading this, is there any way you can take a picture and send it to me?)

I did spend the rest of the day doing dishes and laundry, and I got a substantial amount of cleaning done before I left for Fools Play.

It was Geoff's final Fools Play before leaving for China, so all five of the Fools showed up. We did the Fools Play Tribute format, which consists of doing one scene and one recurring character that showcases each of the Fools (for example, my character scene was The Odd Cuppo, and Taisha's was Cororan & Son). We did a Nanamo in which we used only characters that we'd never gotten to perform before. I played Nanamo's penpal, with whom Nanamo refuses to converse in person.

At the end of the night we did a clip segment wherein we re-created actual things that had happened on stage that prominently featured the Yellow Fool.

The night was a huge success with a very large audience, including Steph & Jamie from the Babe Factory, and Erik Melver—even though his wife is extremely pregnant and due next week!

After the show I went and picked Tia up from her place and took her to Rib Eye with me. It was cool to see her! So many people came out to Rib Eye that we took over every single table in the big half of the place. That's 10 tables! There was a lot of funny that evening, including Geoff wearing Tiare's coat and a pair of Red Robin glasses (see the videos in the previous post). Mike sang Geoff a song in which he apologized for eating his sandwich several years ago. Jason had a four-minute conversation with me, which is going to be used as background noise in a song he's gonna make. I wore Lacey's extremely metrosexual hoodie, which made me look like a complete tool.

I ended up staying until 1:00-ish, which is about an hour-and-a-half later than I usually stay. Then I headed on home.

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posted by Christopher at 11:10 PM

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Let Me Handle Your Food, Won't You? 

Yesterday (Friday) morning before I went to work I drove down to the Tacoma Health Department and took my Food Handler's Test. It is so very boring and so very easy. But now I have the card, so I'm actually allowed to work out in the store and not just in the back (if I'm needed).

After work I made some Mandarin Chicken for lunch, I did some work, and then I went out and planted a whole new flower bed in the front yard. Well, actually it's not in the front yard. It's in that little strip of grass on the other side of the sidewalk. It's cute, though!

After that I wrote an entry for this here website, and then Geoffs came over and we hung out. He figured out how to connect to my MacBook here and so he dumped a whole bunch of his music onto it. Cool! We called Lawrence and he walked up from Starbucks to hang out with us.

We all went to for din-dins, then came back and hung out for a little bit more. Geoff showed Lawrence some cool pushing-hands stuff that was fun to watch.

Then at 9:30 we headed on down to Lakewood and went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End. I still have to write my Spider-Man 3 review before I write my PotCaWE (what an awkward acronym) review, but I'll just say that I did enjoy it.

It was almost 1:00 in the AM by the time the movie was out. So I drove Lawrence home to his place, and took Geoff back to my place where his vehicle was waiting to take him home. Then I went to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 3:04 PM

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Friday, June 08, 2007

In the Driver We Trust 

Yesterday (Thursday) after work I came home and wrote an entry in this here blog. Then I headed up to Seattle and met up with Sandy. I got supremely sleepy on the way up, so when I got there I took a ten minute nap whilst Sandy got herself readied.

Then we got in her rental car and started the long, strange journey to go pick her car up from the dealership where it had been repaired.

First off, it was almost impossible to get to the freeway. For some reason the downtown entrances are all blocked off (like I discovered when I tried to use them on Tuesday). So Sandy planned to go through the international district and onto the onramp by SafeCo Field (like I ended up doing on Tuesday). This proved to be extraordinarily difficult, though, due to the fact that for some reason there was a fire truck parked at almost every intersection in the International District, lights flashing and spinning and all that. We didn't see any smoke anywhere, so who knows what that was about, eh?

Well, finally we got on the freeway, and that wasn't actually too all that bad until we got around Tukwila. But that's always bad. We went over on 405 to 167 and took that down to Auburn. That was wide, wide open all the way through Kent, and then came to a grinding almost-halt. We slogged our way down through to Auburn's Auto Mall, the horrifying string of car dealerships that stretches for miles and miles in the north half of Auburn. There we finally made it to the car dealership after well over an hour of travel.

After Sandy paid for the new radiator, the manager came out and looked over the paperwork and said that he'd go through everything, but he might be able to as much as half the price that Sandy was charged, and if so then he'd cut her a check the next day. I don't know if that was every actually done or not, though.

Anyway, we went and ate at a tiny little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place for an early dinner 'cause we were both starving (this was around 4:30 or so). We were given our place settings by a six-year-old girl! It was kinda adorable. The restaurant was just a mom, a dad, and their daughter running the whole place. The daughter brought out silverware and napkins and stuff like that while the parents waited and cooked and all that stuff.

I had two cheese enchiladas with onion, and they were very tasty. We also each had that drink that's like rice milk with cinnamon. It's called horchata. Get it if you're ever in a restaurant that offers it. Ve'y tasty.

After that Sandy & I had to slog through much traffic to get to Highway 18 so she could go to Mathias's mom's house and pick up two packages that Mathias had had delivered there. Then we went up Weyerheuser to avoid getting back on 18, and finally we got back onto I-5 and took that all the way up to SoDo, where we retrieved Mathias from Cobalt much later than had originally been planned. But we got a meal to go from the Mexican place for him, so it was all good.

We headed back to their apartment, and as we parked and were walking up to the door, long came Jason, with whom Mathias & I were gonna hang out that evening. We dallied in the apartment for a little bit so Mathias could open his packages (he got an animé DVD, some new fancy headphones and a signal scrubber thing so that his audio monitors would stop picking up radio signals).

Then all four of us walked to Neumos, where Sandy split off and continued walking on to the garage bowling alley to have a bowling night with her co-workers at Starbucks. Jason, Mathias, & I stopped at Neumos, because we all had tickets to see Busdriver live on stage there!

While we were waiting in line a redhead girl asked if she could buy a ticket off of us for $40. We declined, and then proceeded to waste her time by talking about exotic fish and animals with her. Later on her boyfriend or somebody arrived and they were offering $100 for a ticket. A little tempting, but I really wanted to see Busdriver and hang out with M&J. So no go.

We got in and staked out a position towards the right of the stage, close up but out of the way of anyone who wanted to get rowdy. This being Seattle, though, of course nobody got too rowdy.

Busdriver was actually opening for a band called CSS, which I learned did not stand for the internet term "Cascading Style Sheets." It stands for "Cansei de Ser Sexy," which is Portuguese for "tired of being sexy." Before the show started I bought Busdriver's new CD, RoadKillOverCoat. I bought it by handing a $10 bill to Busdriver himself, then he handed me the CD! Yes, Busdriver works his own gimmick table. He was on the phone, though, so unfortunately I didn't get to talk to him. Jason did later, though, and Busdriver actually remembered him from an earlier show! Jason made an off-hand mention of Master P, which will be important soon...

Anyhoo, there was a band before Busdriver played. It was called Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, which I assume is a reference to V for Vendetta. They sounded like early 80s energetic electro-pop stuff. Nothing terribly original, but very well done, and I really appreciated the fact that they wore matching costumes and had two backup dancers! They were very much a kitschy nerd band who were kinda parodying the music they were making. Like an electro-pop version of The Darkness.

Busdriver came on after NPSH, and he had a super mixing board thing, a digital turntable, and two mics (one for regular voice and one with a variety of effects). That was it. It was a really, really good set, and he really tried to work the crowd, which is always hard in Seattle. He made some subtle fun of Seattleites, saying how we made depression look so very stylish and stuff like that. Funny stuff.

Between several songs Busdriver would go off on a tangentical freestyle. During one of these freestyles he did a bit about Master P! Jason was proud for having planted that seed in his head.

My favorite moment, though, was when Busdriver performed a brand-new song based on the They Might Be Giants song "Man it's So Loud in Here" !!!!! It was spectacular! One of my favorite musicians doing a song by my all-time-favorite musicians! I turned to Mathias after he finished that song and said, "Well, I liked that a whole lot!"

We didn't stick around to hear CSS because we were all kinda tired and weren't terribly interested. So Jason was picked up by Jennifer, and Mathias & I walked back to his apartment so I could pick up my murse, which I had intelligently left there. I said goodnight to Sandy, who had also a very fun evening of bowling, and then I got in my car and drove back home.

It was after midnight when I got back, but I was hungro so I mixed some sour cream with salt, pepper, onion & garlic powder, bacon bits, and bleu cheese. I used this concoction as a dip for a bunch of carrots, which I ate in bed whilst watching Teen Titans. Then I fell asleep.

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posted by Christopher at 5:08 PM

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kind of a Boys' Night 

Yesterday (Wednesday) after work my dad came over, and I took him to The Spar down on the waterfront because the last time Carrie & I were there a few trains went by. My dad likes trains. I thought he'd enjoy looking at trains.

So we went there and I had fish & chips and he had a patty melt. No trains came. Until finally, right as we were about to finish our meal a train came from the southeast. But only one. So it wasn't a complete bust.

After that we came back to my place and I showed my dad what we want from our backyard, and he got to calculating and planning. It's going to be quite an undertaking, actually, but it will make the backyard much more usable in the long run.

Shortly after my dad left I got a call from Geoff, who was at the Starbucks on the corner. I walked down to meet him and he bought me a hot chocolate (hot because the weather was all gray and chilly). Then we walked back to my place and went through my music collection and hung out for a bit.

I then went to the Mandolin Café for a client meeting at 5:00. It didn't last very long, so I came home and ate my leftover Greek food for dinner.

Then around 8:00 I drove down to Olympia to hang out with Scott, Kevin, and a couple of other people I'd never really met (one of them was named Matt... I can't remember the other one's name). Kevin had an Xbox 360 on a gigantic hi-def screen, and we played a bunch of different games. Kind of a boys' night. Let's see, there was a Splinter Cell game, Gears of War (which I did not like), another 1st Person Shooter, and Smackdown vs Raw 2007. The rasslin' one was fun, but I did not like that it was setup so that once someone started a move on you, someone else couldn't come up and interrupt it. So you'd have (for example) Kane putting Rey Mysterio in a submission hold, and then Mick Foley would run up behind Kane and start punching at the back of his head, but Mick's fists would just pass harmlessly through Kane's head without making any impact whatsoever. Very frustrating during tag matches when you're trying to save your teammate and you can't. I much prefer the hit detection stuff on, say, Wrestlemania X-8, where you could always hit anybody within striking distance no matter WHAT they were doing.

Carrie called while I was down there, and thankfully she was feeling better than the day before!

I eventually headed home and got back here around midnight. I was planning on writing my review of Spider-Man 3, but instead I went down to Olympia and was social and had a fun time. Oh, well.

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posted by Christopher at 1:39 PM

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Playing catch-up here...

Carrie unfortunately had to work all freakin' day, despite having bad body ache problems. I went in with her in the morning to help her set up her classes. Then I went to the Fred Meyer and bought a gift bag and some mini eclairs.

Can't remember what I ate for lunch, but shortly thereafter I left for Fools Play Practice, which consisted of Me, Mike, and Jake. We actually worked on the performance mechanics of an awesome new recurring character bit we're calling "Wayward Wave 5." It's working out really well, especially considering it has an enormous character who is completely mimed—none of the Fools actually plays him, we just hear his voice and react to him as if he were really there. Very cool stuff.

I helped Carrie out some more in the afternoon by Wrapping up Gina's Babe Factory Birthday Present: a mini fridge for her college dorm room. It took an entire roll of paper to wrap it! I drove it down to the store and carried it inside and everything (along with the gift bag that had some fridge magnets in it), but I forgot to bring along the mini eclairs! Oh, well, they're in our freezer now.

After I dropped off the gifts I headed immediately up north again, to eat some of my dad's yummy barbecued chicken. Carrie did not accompany me because he had a mandatory store meeting (like I said, she worked all freakin' day). Susan, Jason, and Alexis were all there, though. Jason said that Alexis had been asking all day, "Is Carrie gonna be there? Is Carrie gonna be there?" Very cute. The barbecue food was all very tasty.

When I was walking back to my car to drive home it started raining! But it was almost completely incompetent rain. The raindrops were HUGE and coming down hard, but they were so spread out that I only got hit once ever few seconds. It was bizarre.

Monday after work I picked up Carrie for lunch and made some gnocchi. I took her back to the store and decided to unwind a bit by playing some Final Fantasy I. I was actually really close to the end, and I got up to fighting the final boss of the game when the stupid thing actually froze up! It also dumped all of the saves that I had made that afternoon, so I was basically back to where I was the day before.

I picked Carrie up from work at 3:45 and drove her to her doctor's appointment. I played some Kirby Squeak Squad while I waited for her. She got a prescription, but their prescription printer was out of order so they said they'd call it in to the Bartell's for us.

So I dropped Carrie off at work so she could quickly finish up a couple of things, then I went to the Bartell's to get her prescription. Only they hadn't called it in yet. And I'd left my cell phone at home to charge, so I couldn't call them and tell them to call the Bartell's. So I drove back to the Babe Factory and picked Carrie up. We decided to go later in the evening. Which we did.

But first I made us some pizzas for dinner.

Then Carrie called the Bartell's to make sure that the prescription was there before we headed on down. While I waited for the prescription to fill Carrie got various sundries for her trip. Everything with off sans hitch, and we came back home, where Carrie basically went to bed (she had to get up by like 4:00 in the AM in order to get ready for her flight).

I stayed up and watched a fascinating film: Brian DePalma's Femme Fatale starring Rebecca Romijn and Antonio Banderas. I enjoyed it thoroughly, even through the fantastically surreal last 20 minutes. I did much laundry in the evening while Carrie slept due to the influence of her prescription.

I got up briefly around 4:00 to help Carrie get ready for her trip to Milwaukee. Then I went back to sleep and slept until 7:30.

After work I noticed that my car was low on gas, so I thought, "I'll fill up on the way home." Next thing I know I've habitually pulled right up into my driveway like usual. I sighed, back up, and drove to my usual gas station.

When I got back to the house I called Sandy to see what the Purtlebaughs were up to on Thursday. She said that there were actually a couple of things going on: it was bowling night for her Starbucks, and Busdriver was playing a show at Nuemos in Seattle! Awexome! I've never seen Busdriver live, so that's very exciting news for me.

Anyway, I asked what Sandy was doing right then, and she said she was taking her car in to get the radiator looked at, but I could come hang out with her if I wanted. I wanted, so I drove up and met her at the apartment. We walked over to the car place and picked up her car, and on the way home we stopped at the Elysian Brewery for a couple of burgers. Really good burgers! They have sauteéd onions and your choice of cheeses. I chose bleu, Sandy chose feta!

Then we went back and hung out at the apartment and ate pickles and push-pops.

I drove Sandy down to Cobalt to pick up Mathias. We went back to the apartment and tried to figure out where we wanted to have dinner. The problem with living in Capitol Hill is that you have an incredible amount and variety of choices. We eventually settled on Greek, and we all walked over to Byzantion on Broadway. I liked it very much! I got a combination plate that had souvlaki and meatballs and that yummy stuffed grape leaf thing, really excellent potatoes and a couple of other things. We all also got an appetizer, which was a whole bunch of other really good stuff. I even really enjoyed their hummous, which I usually don't like very much. Goot!

I got a phone call from Carrie while I was at the restaurant, so I did the polite thing and walked outside to talk to her.

After dinner we walked back to the apartment. It was actually starting to get cold, and I'd left my jacket in the car. Whoops! We hung out in the apartment for a while longer before Sandy went to bed and I packed up my stuff and went home.

Or at least I tried to go home. For some reason all of the downtown entrances to I-5 were inaccessible! I had to go all the way down to SafeCo Field to find an entrance to the freeway. Crazy!

Now I'm home typing all this out, and it's late and I'm going to try to get six hours of sleep tonight.

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posted by Christopher at 12:30 AM

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Nostalgia Detour 

There's something in the air tonight.

I'm in bed now. Teen Titans is playing on the TV. Carrie is soundly asleep beside me. She's been in bed for several hours now; she has to get up by 4:00 in the morning in order to get to the airport to catch her flight.

Most all of the windows in the house are open, and I can hear the window fans drawing the cool air inside. It's air from a day that saw some sporadic rain, and there's something about the cool temperature and a slight whiff of some smell combined with the whirring of the fans that takes me straight back to a time ten or eleven years ago.

I was a college boy, though I was staying at my folks' place during summer break. I didn't have a job. I didn't do anything that required any amount of money, really. So I would stay up late at night. Very late. Everybody else in the house would be in bed by 1:35 at the latest (when Late Night with Conan O'Brien got over), but I would continue on for several more hours.

I liked having the run of the downstairs all to myself in the middle of the summer nights. The sliding glass door to the back would be open, the sliding screen door would be shut, and one of those big, white, square fans would be set up so that it would draw in the air, the air that was cooled by the lake just a few feet from the backdoor. And off to the left I would be able to hear the distinctive sound of the fountain in that lake.

I actually had an excuse for staying up so late, though it was sketchy at best. At 5:00 or 5:30 Transformers would air on the fledgling Sci-Fi Channel, and I would stay up to make sure the VCR recorded it correctly onto a video tape, many long years before it would become easily available on DVD.

These were the days when the Cartoon Network and Sci-Fi Channel were still getting their toes wet in the cable waters, waters which were themselves still a little unsure and sketchy. These were the days when TNT showed The Rudy & Go-Go World Famous Cartoon Show, and the Sci-Fi Channel would show a random assortment of cartoons in the wee hours of the morning. Shows like Bionic 6, Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone, Captain Scarlet, Snorks, and Transformers.

I would stay up all those hours through all those cartoons, enjoying my nocturnality. Often I would make a Monterey Jack cheese quesadilla in a frying pan with butter, and eat it with barbecue sauce. I would play on the brand-newish computer in the corner of the dining room. I would sit on the couch and marvel at the quality of cartoons from the 80s, and wonder why anyone would ever find Gerry Anderson's supermarionation shows to be anything other than interminably dull.

Then, when Transformers came on and I hit record on the VCR, I would climb upstairs and crawl into the top bunk in the room I shared with my brother (yes, we had bunk beds, but only after I started going to college, curl up in my Batman: The Animated Series sheets, and sleep until around 1:00 in the afternoon.

There was nothing to do that summer but hang out, play video games, watch TV, and do Fools Play. And think that that new girl who tried out for Fools Play was awfully cute...

This was also the summer that Susan and I would play Mario Kart 64 for at least one hour every day. But that, as Mako would say, is another story...

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posted by Christopher at 11:35 PM

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Year of the Cone 

Yesterday (Saturday) Carrie & I got up relatively early in the morning. We drove out to have breakfast at the Pine Cone Cafe in University Place. The readerboard there proudly proclaimed 2007 as the "Year of the Cone." I had CBH with pancakes. Carrie had French waffles, which are waffles that have been French-toasted with cinnamon and sugar. And then you put syrup on them. Mmm... syrup.

On the way to and leaving the Pine Cone we passed the staging area for some sorta parade or something that was going to go up Bridgeport. We didn't know what was going on, but there were a lot of old cars and a couple of high school marching bands.

Umm... let's see... after that there was some of my family stuff, after which Carrie was not feeling at all well. The massage she got on Friday really screwed up her musculature. So she laid down for quite a while in the afternoon, until about 4:00.

In the meantime I brought out all of my soldering stuff and got cooking. We'll see why in a moment.

Around 4:00 Carrie & I went down and joined some other Bead people (and some non Bead people) at Gina's house for her graduation party! Her house has a deceptively big backyard. You go out there and you think you know how big it's gonna be, but then you look at a corner and realize it keeps going. And also that it has chickens in it.

We sat outside on a swing seat couch thingy, which shielded us somewhat from the rather hot weather. I gave Gina a graduation/birthday present: I soldered her a pendant with Robot & Bird #3 inside of it:

She was very happy. She was so excited that she ran inside and immediately strung it on some chain and wore it. Very, very cute. She couldn't have actually been surprised, though, because she'd hinted to me a few times in very un-subtle ways that she wanted me to make her a pendant.

Anyway, we stayed there for maybe an hour. I ate a whole bunch of deviled eggs, potato salad, and a hamburger. I was on vacuum-cleaner mode for sho'. Then I dropped Carrie off at home and continued on south to Fools Play.

We performed Exhibition, and there was a surprisingly large audience for that format. It was most likely because it was Geoff's next-to-last show. We did a very excellent episode of The Espionager. I'll paraphrase my favorite story that I told:
I was hired as a bodyguard for a London mob boss. We got wind that the Espionager was gonna try to assassinate him, so we set up a trap. We took the mob boss to an abandoned warehouse. The Espionager, being as bold as he was, walked right through the front door as we knew he would, and stepped right into our trap: We'd rigged a solid steel box to drop and trap him inside. The inside of the box was lined with explosives, which went off destroying everything inside. I heard a sound behind me and when I turned around I saw the Espionager stabbing the mob boss through the heart. When we opened the steel box, we discovered that the Espionager had survived the explosion by shielding himself with the body of the mob boss, which was now a charred corpse.

It was a really funny show and a lot of fun to do. Afterwards we all went to Rib Eye, where Jason Brunee for some reason had brought a Fireman puppet. Geoff got his hands on it for quite a while, which was quite hilarious. My phone just happens to have (crappy) video capabilities, so I recorded some of it. I uploaded it to YouTube this morning. Unfortunately they're kinda hard to hear:

There are actually a couple of more. I might upload them later. Or not. Whatevs. Anyway, I sat with Devlin and Becky and ate a Cheesburger Dipper. Very tasty. Before I left a whole bunch of people gave me their tots, and I might have gotten a lead on a new client. It was a very fun evening.

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posted by Christopher at 11:09 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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Friday, June 01, 2007

Can't Think of a Good Title 

Yesterday (Thursday) as soon as I got home Carrie left for Sonja's. In the interim I baked and ate an pizza. On her way home she called and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch. I'd just eaten an entire pizza. I wasn't particularly hungry.

I took a nap in the late afternoon and had weird dreams about the Fantastic Four and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. One of my long-ago friends was somehow in them both. She was a replacement for Sue Richards and a love interest for Odo, respectively.

Neither of us ate dinner before Carrie went and taught her evening class. During the evening I worked more on client stuff and confirmed to myself just how very cool Google is with Google Bookmarks.

I also went looking for free fonts, and found several sites. My favorite of them all, though, was one called Fonts for Kids. That's probably not a big surprise. But it has some really, really good ones, and tonnes of fake re-creations of movie/TV title fonts and things like that. Take a gander!

Carrie got home really late from her class—well after 11:00. We made spaghetti and went to bed.

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posted by Christopher at 7:58 AM

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mnowing the Lawn 

Yesterday (Wednesday) in the evening Carrie had to go up to Fife to watch the Lareau kids. I did not accompany her. Instead, I stayed home and mnowed the lawn with the lawn mnower that I now own! See, earlier in the day (after I took Carrie to work after lunch) I went and filled up a gas canister with some gas. I then put that gas into the lawn mnower so as it would actually work.

In the early evening I mnowed the entire front lawn, the strip of land on the other side of the sidewalk, and about ten square feet in the backyard. That was about all I could do; the grass was so tall that the mnower's bag filled up after just a few feet, and I finally had to stop when the "yard waste" trash can filled up. I took a photo of it all with my phone, but my phone doesn't seem to be Mac compatible or something; I can't get photos off of it and onto my 'puter here. You'll just have to trust me.

Umm... after that I was sniffly like crazy due to my allergy of freshly-cut grass. It's actually a very mild allergy, but I was exposed to a LOT of freshly-cut grass, so I was real sniffly.

I watched the Ghost Hunters marathon. Jason and Grant chose their favorite episodes, so it was only ones with really good stuff in 'em. That was cool. I also finished cleaning all the dishes in the kitchen. See, I'm trying this new thing where I wash dishes as they get dirty instead of letting them pile up. We'll see how long I can keep it up, but it's working pretty well so far.

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posted by Christopher at 11:31 PM

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Yesterday (Tuesday) for most of the day I felt... just off. I'm fairly confident that all the horribly unhealthy food I ate over Memorial Weekend caught up with me, 'cause my body felt like crap and it didn't help my brain any.

I find it really frustrating when my body gets in such a state that it affects my thought processes.

Anyhoo, there were some good things about yesterday. In the afternoon Carrie & I went to Mandolin Café, where to our delighted surprise we discovered our friend Mandi had just started to work—it was, in fact, her first day! She dyed her hair dark and it looks really cute on her.

The reason we were there was because I was meeting a charming pair of ladies (one of whom is an unabashed Trekkie) who need a logo and a website for a business they're starting up. Hey, those are the services that I provide! Coincidence? I think not. We had a very good meeting and I'm looking forward to coming up with some cool stuff for them.

While I did that Carrie took Lawrence to the DMV so he could get his learner's permit. Unfortunately none of them knew that you needed THREE pieces of ID if you're an out-of-stater. Whoops! All that time waiting at the DMV for nothing. I ended up walking home from Mandolin because they were still down there. But it was a very nice day (just on the verge of being too hot but not quite there) and Mandolin is just under a mile from my house (about .8 miles), so it was a nice walk.

After I took Carrie to the Bead Factory to teach her evening class I watched V for Vendetta (Two-Disc Special Edition) (which I'm borrowing from my co-worker). Quick review: I did like it quite a bit. I didn't mind the change of focus at all. There were only two things that bothered me, and one of them was just because I've read the comic, and they didn't even have my favorite scene from the comic in the movie! 3 or 3½ stars.

After the movie (and partly inspired by it) I made a dedicated effort to get cracking and get over my off-ness. I cleaned a tonne of dishes. I did some WordPress research for another client of mine (though nothing terribly fruitful came of it). After Carrie came home I made dinner (I hadn't eaten any yet) of shrimp gyoza and mixed vegetables with a splash of soy sauce. Much healthier than my other recent meals!

We went to bed and I typed up my movie review of Hot Fuzz. It is now available for y'all to read! You should read it now. NOW!

Hot Fuzz (2007)

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posted by Christopher at 11:56 PM

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Wonderful Weekendly of Deliciously Horrible Food 

It all started on Sunday. Carrie & I had originally planned to go lawn mower shopping in the morning, but we slept in some instead. I don't remember what exactly happened for lunch, though I feel that something did. Hmm... I'll have to ask Carrie when she gets home.

Anyhoo, then it was off to Fools Play practice. After that I stopped at Fred Meyer and continued on to the Tarbet house where there was a barbecue going. I took this absolutely adorable picture:

You may be able to tell by the photo that it was plenty windy out. It was a might bit cold as well! Fortunately Jay had the outdoor fireplace thing going pretty well. So well, in fact, that we made s'mores in it. Soon we will have one of those things for ourselves... plans, plans...

So I ate a hamburger, a hot dog, and some chips and a couple of brownie bites.

Linnea's brother brought over his Wii (he's an even bigger geek than I am), so after the food settled a little bit I played some Wii Tennis and Wii Golf vs Jay. Then I played some Wii Bowling with Lena.

It's sideways but I'm too unconcerned to fix it. Just tilt your head. Lena's pretty good at bowling! But then after that we played Wii Boxing, and that little 4-year-old girl whooped me but good. She's frighteningly good at Boxing. I finally managed to beat her once, but I had to really, really work at it. Whew!

When we got home it was before 9:00, but as soon as we got out of the car I felt something inside of me go away and I became instantly, unabashedly sleepy. I went to bed and fell asleep and didn't get up until the next morning.

Carrie had to work on Monday, but I did not. In the morning I drove to a few places and found the best price/quality ratio on a new lawn mower. I guess I should say a first new lawn mower, because it's the first one I've ever actually owned. Pretty exciting. I got it at Home Depot. I had the sense to ask for help getting it off the shelf but not getting it into my car, but I manned up and stuffed it in there all by myself. I a big boy now!

It was much easier getting it out of the car and dragging it up the stairs than it was putting it into the car.

At noon I went up north to Grandma K's place for a big barbecue they were having for Memorial Day. I had a hamburger and a hot dog and a bag of chips. And an ice cream bar for dessert. They had a live band, the Cow Chips. They did old cowboy/ragtime type of songs. Stuff that Gene Autrey would sing (and did).

I came home and assembled the lawn mower and filled it up with oil, though not gas.

Then after Carrie got off of work we were picked up by Christine and Lawrence and we all went to Jefferson park just to hang out in the nice weather. We played some frisbee and no-net badminton (with extremely short racquets).

They're so cute!

A while into that we were joined by Melissa. Then a while after that we all started getting hungry, so we went down to The Spar and had fish and chips. Well, I had fish and chips. And so did Carrie. Other people had other things, like burgers and chicken fingers. But they missed out, 'cuase Spar fish & chips are some of the best in T-town. Anyway, Travis joined us there as well.

By the time we got home it was pretty late, but I still did an hour's worth of work on stuff that I needed to work on. Then I went to bed.

So over the course of the weekend I ate several hot dogs and several hamburgers, and some fried fish. It was all rather tasty, but I am not feeling at all healthy right now.

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posted by Christopher at 8:39 PM

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Maim-more-ial Day Bleak-end 

Yesterday (Saturday) Carrie & I did not sleep in. Well, we slept in about ten minutes longer than we were s'posed to, but we were still up and going before 9:00 in the AM. We drove over to Cat's house where we met up with her, Melissa, and Heather. Then all of us went over to the Gig Harbor Farmer's Market.

It's a nice little market, with about 80% of the vendors providing potted growing pretty/tasty things. Carrie & I ended up getting three tomato plants. Cat got a whole bunch of stuff, including a gigantic bag of horse manure. I also got an Onion Dog, which is a polish sausage wrapped in fried bread and covered with sauteéd onions. I got the same thing last year when we went to the Gig Harbor Farmer's Market. It's still very tasty.

On our way home we stopped at a Big K to look over lawn mowers. They only had two models, one with a bag and one without. We didn't buy anything, because we want to do some more comparison shopping first.

I made some Mandarin chicken for lunch, and then a short while later it was time for me to head down to the final Fools Play workshop of the season. Then Mike & I went and got some phud Thai at Mekong in downtown O-town. Then it was back to the theater for setup and performance of Fools Play Rasslin' League presents May Meleé: Maim-more-ial Day Bleak-end.

We tried to keep this one tighter and more focused than the last one, and it worked really well; it was about 40 minutes shorter. The only characters who didn't show up were Incredible Bastard, Huggernaut, and Beekeeper (which is a shame because it was the last time he had a chance to show up). Once again Shooting Star won the championship, only to have to give it up due to having a severely broken neck.

Afterwards I went out to Rib Eye. Becky took this frightening photo of me and Lacey:

That is not appealing! I look like a crazyman.

An audience member I hadn't seen in a while was there, and off-handedly mentioned a Fools Play T-shirt they'd gotten in 7th grade. I'm old!

In somewhat-related news, I learned yesterday that two people I know had benign canker things instead of the life-threatening kind. Good news!

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posted by Christopher at 9:20 AM

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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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Friday, May 25, 2007

Let's Watch Noovies and Eat Stones! 

Yesterday (Thursday) I picked Carrie up for lunch and once again I made some shrimp gyoza. This time I added some vegetables to it. It took longer to cook because of it, but it tasted gooder and was more gooder for us.

We took a walk a while later. We need to get ourselves a lawnmower, and there's a lawnmower sales/repair place within easy walking distance, so we decided to head over there. When we got there, though, it looked really skeezy, and a guy walked out who looked exactly like... y'know in that movie Ghost World, the guy who hangs out in the convenience store? With the nunchucks? Yeah, looked like him. And then another scary guy (a larger man) walked out. I got all scared and decided not to go in and poke around. It just had a really sleazy feel to it.

So instead we walked over and hung out with Linnea and the girls for a little bit. She was baking blueberry scones just by coincidence. She makes some kickass blueberry scones, I tell you what. Lena, in her never-ending quest to be entertained, wanted me to make up various movies, or as she pronounced it, "noovies." So I became a prop comedian for a little bit, making up 10-15 second skits with whatever was lying around. A couple of my favorites: I picked up a pair of baby shoes and had them walk across the ottoman as an "invisible baby." The shoes then tumbled off the ottoman. "Don't worry," I said, "invisible baby just took its sheos off." I also grabbed an unclothed Barbie doll and wrapped a baby sweater around it. I then grabbed a baby bottle, said, "Have some hooch!" and upended it over Barbie's mouth. She then shouted, "Whee!" and removed the sweater. Inappropriate for a four-year-old? Well, it made Carrie laugh. There was also an extended one where a girl doll tried to teach me to surf.

Anyway, we ate scones (or "stones" as Lena pronounces them) and hung out in the backyard. It was a very nice day, perhaps just a tiny tad on the hot side. Eventually Carrie & I walked back home, where Carrie went and took a nap. I, on the other hand, ate a piece of pizza. So there!

After I took her back to the store so she could teach her evening class I went to Chéz Targét to pick up PotC:DMC. I also tried on some clothes, but I wasn't really feeling it. I'll have to go back there with Carrie soon, because I still have some birthday moneys left, and I usually have great luck with Target clothes.

I came home, did laundry, washed dishes, played Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn on Souls, and chilled until Carrie came home. When she did we cleaned up the laundry and whatnot a little bit, and then put on PotC:DMC and watched it in bed. We both of us had some trouble falling asleep, but Carrie had more trouble than I.

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posted by Christopher at 7:11 AM

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Monday was almost a complete wash. When I got home I was really, really lethargic, and one of my knees was really hurting (as well as a nagging ingrown toenail). I broke out my toolkit and took apart the taillight of my car—one of the brake lights had burned out. I walked down to the car parts store on the corner and dropped less than six bucks on a pair of replacement bulbs, which I then walked home and successfully installed. It made me feel kinda manly, using tools and fixing car parts.

After that I didn't get anything done, really. I did watch the season finalé of Heroes, though. I thought the final fight was anti-climactic.

<spoiler>You've got these two guys who've each absorbed dozens of other people's powers, and the fight consisted of a couple of punches and a couple of telekinetic stunts. About two minutes worth of stuff, when it could have gone on for 15 minutes and been fascinating watching them select opposing powers to use against each other.</spoiler>

I thought the Nathan thing at the very end, while cool and unexpected, was completely unnecessary. What was wrong with Peter's plan involving Claire? It probably would have worked, and if not, then Nathan could do what he did.

Anyhoo. Yesterday (Tuesday) about all I got done was a load of dishes. I also finished up my report on Friday Harbor. Then in the evening I watched the very last two episodes of Veronica Mars (they tried to play it off like it was one two-hour season finale, but it was very obviously just two episodes that they played back-to-back). The first one was great. It was nice seeing Weevil in the spotlight again. The second episode was difficult to watch. It was really good, but it was so tense and such badness that for several hours afterwards my heart was still tied up in knots. I was very glad when Carrie came home because that last episode made me feel very lonely.

I fell asleep very quickly.

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posted by Christopher at 1:33 PM

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Where Carrie? Where is Her? 

Yesterday (Sunday) Carrie & I had originally not planned on sleeping in too terribly much so we could clean the house and whatnot, but we were so tired from our journey to Friday Harbor that it was close to 11:00 by the time we finally were up and going.

And go we did, up to Carrie's Grandma's place, where we joined Carrie's folks (and Carrie's Grandma, obviously) for a pizza lunch. Pizza from It's Greek to Me. That's good pizza! It was some of my favorites: mushroom, sausage, pepperoni.

I left from there and went straight to practice at my brother's. The two of us were joined by Jake "Last Name Unpronounceable" Ynzunza for his first-ever practice! Later on we were joined by an Ed "80 Hour Work-Week" Gibbs V after a three-month absence, and then even later we were joined by Geoff "Huh? Whazzat?" Gibbs. We worked mostly on getting ideas for a post-Geoff Fools Play. We came up with a really cool format that involves a restaurant/café on the bottom floor of an apartment building. All the restaurant people and all the apartment people get along really well and like the situation... everyone, that is, except the owner of the restaurant and the owner of the apartments, who both want the other out of business, and threaten firing/expulsion to anyone they discover is associating with someone from the "other side."

After practice my dad was going to be cooking for the fambly. I didn't know whether Carrie was going to be up to it or not due to her hurty neck/shoulder area. I knew she was going to work a little while I was at practice, and there was a good chance that she would be hurting quite a bit after that.

So I called her to see if I should pick her up or not. She didn't answer. At all. I tried four times. I called her folks to make sure that they'd taken her home safe and all. They had. I called the Babe Factory to see if she was still there. She wasn't. So I drove on home. She wasn't there, but her phone was. Carrie, it seemed, wasn't anywhere. I called around until someone remembered overhearing a conversation between Christine and Carrie wherein it sounded like Christine said something to the effect of, "Are you ready to go?" So I called Christine's phone and Carrie answered! There was her! They'd gone to JoAnne so Christine could buy something or other, and were on their way back. And, yes, Carrie did want to go eat with my fambly.

So we drove back up the I-5 corridor to my folks' house. Everybody was already there, including Jason & Alexis, and they'd mostly all eaten already. Original pa was gonna barbecue, but it was raining pretty crazy yesterday, so he cooked inside instead. There were burgers, corn on the cob, asparagus, potato salad, regular salad, and potato chips. It was all rather tasty (I can't vouch for the corn, of course, as I haven't eaten corn in well over two years).

Afterwards we hung out for a while and then all of a sudden I just absolutely crashed. I was completely out. It was crazy! Fortunately Carrie was feeling steadily better, and she was able to drive on home.

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posted by Christopher at 4:07 PM

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

TGI Friday Harbor - Day 2 

On Saturday we got up around 8:00. Carrie's shoulder was really hurting her from her fall the day before. We showered, but there was a problem with the hot water. The problem was that it would only stay hot for 30 - 60 seconds. Then you had to turn the water off and wait for a minute before you could have any more hot water. Strange that the "water" section of Elements would have problems with its water...

Anyway, after that inconvenience Leah picked us up and drove us to the other side of the island. We saw an actual, real-life fox on the side of the road! It was a nicer day than Friday, with more sun and slightly warmer temperatures. We ended up at another cute little beach alcove at the foot of a gentle slope and book-ended by cliffs. Here are Carrie and Leah and Leah's much-too-large sunglasses on the beach:

We were at this beach to go looking at some super tidepools. These weren't no wussy tidepools. These were the real deal:

This is what much of the weekend consisted of, looking down into water while Leah pointed out all the cool things in it:

Around the corner of a big ol' rock we stumbled upon this chiton that was way too far away from the water. Look at that crazy thing:

That's its foot! You couldn't see the plates on its back because they were covered with skin, but you could feel them underneath there. The skin had an interesting texture, kind of like Floam. After we were done looking it over, Leah put it back in the water. Well, it would be more accurate to say that Leah flung it about 50 feet into the water.

We kept on poking around the tidepools, seeing cool things like entire colonies of anemones all curled up on themselves:

And this really bright orange sea star, which Leah tells me is called Henrecia leviuscula, or "blood star:"
Whose blood is that orange, though? At any rate it was a really pretty morning by this time, so here are some pretty pictures. Enjoy:

After we were done poking around the tidepools, Leah took us back into town and we had breakfast at the Front Street Café. Carrie had the Eggs Benedict, and she said that it was some of the best Benedict she'd ever had in a restaurant. I had the chicken fried steak, which was really, really excellent. The breading was really thick and crunchy and tasty. Leah had French toast.

We walked around town after that, poking into all the touristy shops along the way. We found a wine shop that sold an exclusive line of wines that you can't get in any other store, so we picked up four bottles (actually we just bought them and had the guy hold them). We also went into a bookstore up on the 2nd floor of the pier area so Leah and Carrie could buy Father's Day presents. There was a universal air of exceptional service all over the island. Everyone was friendly and jovial and jolly. Probably because tourist season hasn't ground them down yet. Cynical? Not at all!

Eventually Leah left us because she had to go back to the laboratories and do some stuff for the open house they were having on Saturday. Carrie & I poked into a couple of other stores and then walked to our hotel and picked up all our baggage. We walked the three blocks back to the waterfront and passed on the way an ice cream shop that Leah had recommended. I got a cone of Butterfingers ice cream and Carrie got a cherry limeade. Really good! We walked down to a bench on the waterfront and ate/drank our stuff there. Then we picked up our wine and walked onto the ferry.

This ferry had come from Canada, so when we got back to Anacortes we had to go through customs. Here was the extent of customs: We showed our IDs to the guy, he asked us each where we were born (Carrie said, "Cleveland, Ohio." I said, "Rentuhn!").

We used the restroom in the ferry terminal. Carrie went first, and then I went, and when I came out I was surprised to find Carrie standing with Kedar. He had missed his ferry over to Friday Harbor and now had to wait over two hours for the next one! Whoops! We wished him luck and hauled our stuff to the parking lot where our car awaited us.

I drove because Carrie's shoulder/neck injury prevented her from turning her head very far. She decided she still wanted to go to Fools Play, and called Trevor to see if he wanted to go as well. He was over at his friend Andrew's house, and they both wanted to go. So on our way down south we stopped in Fife (after a stop at a Starbucks in Federal way to go to the bathroom) and picked the two of them up. They had just seen Robin Hood: Men in Tights and were talking about how hilarious it was. *Sigh* It's nice to expose them to Fools Play so they can see stuff that is actually funny. Hopefully soon they'll become comedic snobs like me!

We didn't stop at our house on the way to Oly because I'd thought ahead and packed all of my Fools Play stuff. At least, I thought I'd packed all of my Fools Play stuff...

We got to Studio 321 shortly before 7:00, and Carrie took the boys off to buy something to drink. It was then that I realized I didn't have the box office with me. I tried calling Carrie, but she'd left her phone in the car (a recurring theme of the entire weekend, as it would turn out). When she got back she agreed to go out again and get some change with the $50 bill I had in my wallet. So it all worked out after all.

The show was Fools Play Character night, and highlighted all of Geoff's recurring characters to the fullest. It ended with an extra-length episode of Nanamo.

I did not hang out with people after the show because I was tired from having such a long weekend, and we had to get the boys back to Fife at a semi-reasonable hour. We went through a Jack-in-the-Box drivethru on the way back. We dropped Trevor & Andrew off and then went on home ourselves.

Wotta weekend!

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posted by Christopher at 11:59 PM

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TGI Friday Harbor - Day 1! 

On Friday morning I went in to work a whole two hours early, as I mentioned in my last post. While I was at work Carrie stayed home and packed a couple of overnight bags. Then she swung by the store and picked me up and we drove (she doing the actual driving) up to Anacortes to catch the Anacortes ferry to Friday Harbor!

We got to the ferry terminal plenty early. It had a stand-up of Raiden Fighters that unfortunately was out of order, so I played the other shmup stand-up they had there. We watched an episode of Teen Titans on my MacBook's DVD player, and then we boarded the ferry. It was kind of a gray day, but it was still nice enough. Here's the view out of the ferry window:

We passed a ferry going the opposite direction.

The ferry ride lasts over and hour, and weaves through the San Juan Islands to San Juan Island itself, the site of the hilarious British/American Pig War. We sat in the upper floor for most of the time, but towards the end we grabbed all our bags (since you can't leave them unattended) and wandered around the upper floor deck.

Finally we arrived at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. After disembarking the ferry we turned right as instructed and were picked up by Leah, super-cute haircut and all! Hooray! She drove us to our hotel so we could check in, and then drove us around the island, past the lighthouse to a secluded little beach.

As we were walking across a grassy field towards the beach (actually towards the cliff you have to climb down to get to the beach), Carrie's foot entered a hole in the ground and down she went!

But we made it down the cliff without incident. Then Leah showed us around the beach.

She told us about her school project where she turns over rocks and catches all of the crabs underneath them, then measures them. Needless to say, there were a tonne of crabs at this beach.

Here's a cute picture of Carrie and Leah:

And here's another crab:

Here's a view across the water towards some other islands. I'm not exactly sure which direction this is looking; the overcast sky really wreaked havoc with my direction sense. I think that might be Canada over there, though:

Leah said that this gigantic stump hadn't been on the beach the day before. Tides sure are sumpin', ain't they:

I like this photo. If it were 30 degrees warmer and the beach were a little less gravelly and a little more sandy, then this would look just like some location from Lost:

Leah was getting hungry, and I was on vacuum cleaner mode (meaning I could eat any amount of food at any time), so we scaled back up the cliff

And Leah drove us back into town where we had dinner at Vic's Driftwood Drive Inn, a really cool little place with an enormous menu. The menu in fact took up the entire back wall of the restaurant. Leah eats there quite a bit, so she knows them. She ordered a breakfast sammitch even though they technically weren't supposed to serve them anymore. Carrie hitched herself to Leah's star power and ordered a breakfast sammitch, too. I ordered a club sammitch. The guy behind the counter (Vic himself?) was really funny and cool. And my sammitch was ENORMOUS! I couldn't even pick up the frikkin' thing! Just ask Mathias if you don't believe me (he got the same sammitch when he went to Vic's while visiting Leah).

After dinner Leah took us to the Laboratories where she lives and works. The University of Washington runs a world-renowned marine research lab and campus just outside of Friday harbor. And that's where she took us. First she showed us the electron microscope, which was super cool. It was like something out of an old Sci-Fi movie. Then she showed us some lab rooms, which universally had big tanks of water and hoses and grates and water.

She took us to the lab room that she uses, where there were several cool creatures in tanks, such as shrimp, anemones, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. Here's Carrie not enjoying holding a sea cucumber:

When they get agitated, sea cucumbers swell up something fierce. This one got to the size of a football before we put it back. Some sea cucumbers spit up their guts as a defense mechanism (so predators will eat their guts and not them), but this one thankfully never got THAT agitated. Its skin felt like a rubber wetsuit.

Leah also poked an anemone with a sea star and set it lurching around the tank. It was pretty funny. Some of the most fun over the weekend was watching Leah poke and prod and toss around various sea creatures. She's actually posted videos of herself doing this (including one of the swimming anemone, called "swimming anemone").

The laboratories had a cool Japanese-esque architecture to them. I only took one photo of one building, and didn't really successfully capture the Japanese feel of the place. But I like this picture because you can actually see the Friday Harbor docks across the bay in the background:

Leah showed us her dorm room and everything. Then she took us back to our hotel. We were staying at Elements, which up until just a few weeks ago was the Friday Harbor Inn. We got a "water" room, but unfortunately they didn't have any water rooms with jetted tubs left. Fortunately, though, the facilities included a pool and a jacuzzi. Very fortunately, Leah had her swimsuit with her at the labs (it makes sense for a marine biologist to have a swimsuit with her), so we all put on our swimsuits and spent time in both the jacuzzi and the pool. Going back and forth and all that. It was a tonne of fun. Carrie & I like hanging out with Leah! It was a good way to close out the day.

Day 2 coming soon...

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posted by Christopher at 11:26 PM

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Friday, May 18, 2007

It's Early 

Why am I up so early?
• So I can get to work early.

Why do I need to get to work early?
• So I can get off work early.

Why do I need to get off work early?
• So Carrie can pick me up and we can go to Anacortes, get on a ferry, and go visit Leia in Friday Harbor! We're very excited!

But that's today. Yesterday (Thursday) was another weirdly-scheduled day for Carrie. She was still in bed when I left for work. I called her when I got to work to make sure she would actually wake up. She did, but she had migraine-type symptoms all day.

When I got home she was still at werk, so I went and dropped off a check at our insurance guy's office, then swung by and picked her up. She made a list for me and I went to Trader Joe's and grabbed most of what was on the list. I also grabbed a tri-tip wrap for me to eat in the car on the way home.

At 6:00 I went to the Babe Factory with Carrie and helped her to quickly set up her class. Then I came home and did a load of dishes and a load of laundry. I only got one load of laundry done because the dishwasher seemed to take forevah! I swear it ran for almost two full hours.

All I had for din-dins was a yogurt, so I was plenny hungry by the time Carrie called to pick me up after her class. She was feeling a little better than she had been all day, so to celebrate we ate some horribly unhealthy drive-through food from Taco Bell. That's the danger of having a Taco Bell on the way home.

I didn't get to sleep until almost 1:30, which is kinda bad because I woke up at 5:45 today. That ain't much sleep to go on. But I'll sleep in the car on the way up to Anacortes using my superhero ability, Fall Asleep in Any Moving Vehicle.


posted by Christopher at 6:21 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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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

We Are Going to the Beach 

Yesterday (Tuesday) after work Carrie called me to say that she was going to Starbucks with Linnea. I drove by on my way home and looked, but didn't see them even though they were there. I went home and ate a hot pocket (the sub sammitch style one), and Carrie came home shortly thereafter with a gigantro chocolaty drink for me, and the news that we were going to go to the beach with the Tarbet women.

So we drove over to their house and had them follow us to Owen Beach in Point Defiance. Yes, Tacoma does have a beautiful, sandy beach. And since it was in the 80s yesterday, there were plenty of people out sunbathing away the Washington winter paleness.

We forgot to bring some stuff with us, like towels, sunscreen, and our digital camera (and Linnea forgot the same things), but that didn't stop us from having a good time, or stop me from taking pictures; I have a camera phone!

It was a lot of fun, and I managed not to get sandy at all.

I came home and worked for a short while. Then I downloaded They Might Be Giants' new album "The Else" from iTunes. The physical CD doesn't come out until next month, though!

I took Carrie back to work so she could teach her class, and I myself went to the Fred Meyer for to go to the bonk, get sammitch baggies, and buy some newer, more expensive stamps. I came home, made some turkey dogs for din-dins (which I ate with some macaroni salad), caught the last ten minutes of the last-ever episode of Gilmore Girls, and then watched a new episode of Veronica Mars. It was very good! It had a couple of twists that I did not see coming at all. And one that I kinda did, but it was still good.

While I was watching all of this TeleVision I was still very busy etching a high-heeled shoe martini glass for some sorta auction that Carrie's mum is doing for the Broadway Center (she wanted a matching set, and I already had one etched, so I only had to etch one more). And after the TeleVision programmes were over I did some more work until Carrie came home, and which point we went to bed.

Having been a rather hot day, the bedroom still retained much of that temperature. So I cracked the window for the first time in 2007 and we slept with the overhead fan on. Carrie had some pretty bad allergy stuff going on, too, and didn't get nearly as much sleep as I did.

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posted by Christopher at 2:57 PM

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

He Sweeps With His "Z"s, Not With a Bwoom 

Yesterday (Monday) I picked Carrie up from work and we had some lunch together. I was on vacuum-cleaner mode, so I just kept eating and eating whatever I could get my hands on. After I took her back she only had two hours until she was done with work, and for some reason those two hours just flew by for me! I dropped her off, came home, and did some work, and when I turned around it was time to go pick her up again! I have no idea where the time went, but it didn't seem like I got very much done in those two hours—there were several more things I'd planned on doing with my afternoon time.

Anyway, I picked her up and we went straight to the gym for a little bit, then came home and walked to the Neighborhood Market to grab some barbeque fixin's. Carrie went and picked up Lawrence and I grilled us up some turkey dogs (and some hot links for Carrie), and we ate on the front porch with both potato and macaroni salad. After dinner there were some video games played, but then I just started getting more and more sleepy, to the point where I almost fell completely asleep while playing Mario Kart (I still came in 1st place).

So Carrie took over for me and I moved over to the chair and konked out. Carrie took Lawrence home and I did manage to be awake enough to actually watch the episode of Heroes that was on at 9:00. But then I went basically straight to bed and fell asleep rather quickly.

I don't feel like I got very much accomplished yesterday; there were things I were supposed to do and people I was supposed to call that I just ran out of time and energy before being able to do so. The only thing that really got accomplished was that Carrie & I finalized our weekend plans. We're very excited about them. More on those later...


posted by Christopher at 8:18 AM

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Special Delivery! 

Yesterday (Saturday) I got up in the morning and went and uploaded my latest movie review! You should go read it now. NOW!

Grindhouse (2007)

Carrie & I were originally planning on going out to breakfast, but we ended up getting up and getting ready so late that it was more like going out for lunch.

We went to The Spar down near the waterfront. As we were walking up to the building Carrie noticed somebody in the kitchen who looked familiar. Turns out it was Chris, our downstairs neighbor from back when we used to live in the apartment (the one with stained-glass windows). We also ran into Katie, which we kinda expected.

We had deep fried seafood and Spar chips, and it was a very good lunch.

We came back home and I got ready for and left for the Fools Play workshop. After the workshop Mike & I got a pizza at Brewery City Pizza. They do make some tasty pizzas there. We ate it back at Studio 321 before setting everything up and working out the kinks in the new format.

That's right, Mike & I were the only two Fools who could make it to this show, so we invented a brand-new format: Fools Play Special Delivery! In it, Bill the Mailman goes around delivering mail to people, but not before he opens the letters and reads them! In the end he discovers a vast conspiracy and sets off to stop it Hot Fuzz style.

It was a frikkin' hilarious show. There were several scenes where both Mike and I could not stop busting up while we were performing them. And thankfully the audience was busting up right along with us.

After the show we went to Rib Eye, where I sat with Mathias, Sandy, & Amber. I had a French dip and two Pepsis, on account of I needed the caffeine so that I wouldn't fall asleep on the way home.

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posted by Christopher at 9:19 AM

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Schedule Change! 

Yesterday (Friday) Carrie again had a different shift, though not as completely opposite as Thursday. She was home when I left for work, and she was at work when I came home. She called me shortly thereafter for lunch.

Then in the afternoon I went over to a client's house to finish up some stuff. Carrie was scheduled to go on her dinner break at 5:30, plenny of time for me to have my meeting and everything. Unfortunately they changed her break with no warning to something like 4:15. I was still out at that time, so I couldn't pick her up for dinner. Plus, she'd just had lunch like two hours earlier.

So she walked to Starbucks and hung out there for her dinner. I stopped by Safeway on the way home and bought some yummies. When finally Carrie was done with work I picked her up and fired up the grill. Christine came over and joined us for some tasty burgers, then she and Carrie went shopping at Targét. Carrie came back with a couple of cute zippy hoodies. We watched a new episode of Numb3rs together and then went to bed.


posted by Christopher at 1:46 PM

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Opposites Attract 

Yesterday I went in to work as per my usual. Carrie, however, did not. I finished with work, went home, and had lunch with Carrie, who immediately thereafter proceeded to go to work herself. We had opposite schedules! Almost as soon as I got off work, she went to work!

After I dropped her off at work I came home and watered my flowers by spraying the hose in a gentle-rain type of way. As I was spraying around, out of the corner of my eye I caught what I thought was an ENORMOUS bug hovering near the stream of water. When my eyes focused on it I realized that it wasn't a bug at all, but a hideous robot a hummingbird! I tried to get a picture of it with my camera phone, as it seemed to like to hover near the stream of water shooting out of the hose. Here's what I got:

As you can see, you can't see anything. See? Oh, well. It was a good experience even if it didn't get captured digitially.

For much of the rest of the day I rested, on account of not having gotten very much sleep the night before. I also played a bunch of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. It's a pretty good one!

I also went out shopping for me mum's Mother's Day prezzie. I went first to Urban Kitchen, but to my surprise they had not that for which I searched! So I was forced to go to the mall of shopping and poke around there. Thankfully, I found that for which I searched.

Shortly before Carrie got off of work she called me and asked if I'd go pick up Lawrence and stake out a table at The Parkway. So I did and so we did. We were joined a while later by Rachel and her significant figure Jake, and then a while after that Carrie, Christine, and Melissa joined us as well.

Our waitress was acting really weirdly, and not at all appealing. She said that the kitchen didn't close until 11:00, but then she kept on making weird pressuring statements about getting our orders in and wanting to get off to go drink and stuff like that. Do not want.

But the rest of the time at the Parkway was rollicking good funtimes. We drove melissa home afterwards. I just played a little C:AOS before falling to sleepy.

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posted by Christopher at 7:26 PM

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hunt Them Ghosts. Do It. 

Yesterday (Wednesday) when I went to work I found a birthday present on my desk: a robotic bank and some candy! After work I picked up Carrie for lunch and made Mandarin chicken. I took Carrie back to work and headed straight to SafeWay to buy some burgers and buns.

It was an exceptionally nice day, so the two of us sat out on the front porch for much of the late afternoon. I played Kirby Squeak Squad (birthday gift from Kevin) on my DS and Carrie played some backgammon on the MacBook.

Originally we were gonna barbeque with the Tarbet clan, but they all got the sick, so Carrie & I just barbequed out on the front porch. Well, Carrie barbequed on the front porch; I got really sleepy and took a nap. The burgers were very tasty.

In the evening was an hours-long Ghost Hunters marathon. So we watched that and did some rudimentary cleaning during the commercials, like laundry and going through the mail that had piled up on the chair.

At 11:00 I made Carrie a root beer float and for myself made a bowl of ice cream into which I crumbled a lemon cupcake (with chocolate frosting). In bed I worked on a movie review—look for it soon! I had a heck of a time falling asleep, though! I was up 'til all hours. ALL.

When I finally did fall asleep, my dreams were basically a combination of Ghost Hunters and Castlevania. Like as if the Ghost Hunters team were investigating Castlevania.


posted by Christopher at 8:19 AM

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Insert Coin to Continue 

Where was I? Ah, yes, I'd gotten sleepy while writing the previous post, so now I'll continue from where I left off.

I seem to remember us eating breakfast out at the Parkway on Saturday morning, but I can't be 100% for sure.

At any rate, my brudda picked me up for Fools Play at 2:30 so we could do the whole workshop thing, then we went to Mekong for some Phud Thai, then back to Studio 321 to do a Fools Play Co-Show with the group known as "Quiet Monkey Fight." There were a grand total of eight of them, and only three Fools!

Carrie came down and saw the show, and brought Trevor (because it was his 15th birthday) and his friend Andrew. It was overall a thoroughly enjoyable show. Everyone thought that the first scene of the night was one of the best, but for some reason it's almost impossible to remember what it was. I've forgotten once again.

We all (including Carrie and the boys, but excluding anyone from QMF) went out to Rib Eye afterwards, before I drove Trevor and Andrew back up to Fife and then Carrie & myself back home.

Sunday was my birfday! The plan was to get some people together in the early afternoon and go see Spider-Man 3. Unfortunately the show sold out so early that only four people (other than me and Carrie) got into the show. Fortunately one of them was Geoff, my co-birthday buddy, because I'd gone to the theater early and bought tickets for me, Carrie, and Geoff. Unfortunately I'd managed to lock my keys in the car when I did that. Fortunately Carrie was able to get the Tarbets to drive her to the theater.

Anyhoo, after the movie people started coming over to my house, and I started up the coals in the barbeque. Carrie and the rest of the Bead Babes had a store meeting at 6:30, and it didn't get over until after 9:00. But in the interim a whole bunch of people did show up, and I made 20 hamburgers on that grill. I ran out of both buns and bread before the last one was made, so Jamie had to have his low-carb style.

We all had a pretty durned good time, and some of my friends who had never been to my house before were able to come! I like people to see my house.

Everyone started trickling out between 11:00 and 12:00 (because the next day was a Monday, and most peoples work on a Monday). Somebody left a DS at my house (see this post). Neighbor Gary spent the night on the couch 'cause he was meeting a friend at 8:00 in the AM at Metropolitan Market, and it made no sense for him to drive all the way down to Oly just to have to drive all the way back up in the morning.

That brings us to Monday, which was thoroughly uneventful. I can't remember a thing about it right now, but my brain is a little fuzzy this early in the AM.

Then yesterday (Tuesday) after work my dad came over and we took him to Katie Downs from lunch. Then he and I worked in the backyard, creating a new flower bed next to the lilac tree. We went to the Fred Meyer and bought a whole bunch of flowers which we then planted. Take a look!

Doesn't look like much now, but that's 'cause everything was just planted! Give it a few weeks to grow and you'll be amazed at the riot of colour in my backyard!

Carrie went to teach class in the evening and I went to Trader Joe's for food supplies (other than cheese, which we still have a tonne of thanks to Amsterdam). Then I watched the episode of Numb3rs that I'd missed on Friday, and then a new episode of Veronica Mars guest-starring Paul Rudd! Very funny episode.

Carrie called me to pick her up shortly after that, and we at the leftover pizza slices from Katie Downs.

When I came to bed (after ECW) I started my new tradition: writing before I go to sleep. Now that I am 30 years old I am entering a new phase in my life. I am going to start writing up a storm, for reals. In the past I've dabbled with writing, but (aside from in college) never really put aside any time to write consistently. Well, from now on I'm going to be writing almost every night before I go to sleep. I'm going to start with stuff for this website: Movie Reviews and Articles that I've been long neglecting. Then I'm going to be moving on to other writing endeavors. I'll keep you posted.

Two of my favorite writers, Robert A. Heinlein and Haruki Murakami, started writing for reals when they were 30. I think I'm in good company.

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posted by Christopher at 7:46 AM

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