Monday, December 31, 2007

Greetings New Salem, North Dakota



Denise's Aunt Chris made this girl's dream come true by representing the last remaining state in the nation to check in here at the Evidently... blog.
Chris says that the town she's from (New Salem) is famous for Salem Sue, the world's largest cow. Words cannot describe my excitement when I discovered that not only did we complete national domination by 2007 but that we now know where the largest cow in the world is located. How fun!



Thank you Jungbluths and thank you Chris!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best Gift for a Cat (ever)

I heard about an irresistable must-have for cat owners on This American Life (Episode #154 which re-aired in late October). Video Catnip is "the world's best selling home video for cats" showing various shots of birds and squirrels with outdoor, ambient sound. I immediately thought our little fuzz ball must have his very own DVD copy for Christmas. At first, I thought I struck out because he wouldn't even look at the TV. I even stood up by the TV screen thinking maybe he'd look in my general direction and notice the nice juicy birds and squirrels, but no dice. I eventually gave up and trudged upstairs and left the DVD running. But after leaving him alone for 30 minutes, something changed. He seemed mesmerized by the images flickering across the screen. This is how we found him: Does this mean we now have to share the remote? Or just expect fierce competition for our evening TV programming?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pics of Christmas Eve

Update on National Domination

Where you at North Dakota? Even though this screenshot was taken on December 19th, the story remains the same: every state in our great nation has checked in here at "Evidently..." except North Dakota. (Sigh) We've got 2 more days left in 2007. Come on ND, make this girl's dream come true.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Belated Christmas Y'all!

We've been down in Van/Port visiting family and friends since Saturday. Lovely Eve and Xmas dinners with mom's side of the family. Santa was good to me this year and more importantly, he made a surprise visit to Mom's Christmas Eve gathering. He brought presents specifically for Mom's friends' 6-year-old daughter who eyed Santa (my uncle Randy incognito) very suspiciously. But I think the art set and ornament softened her a bit. It's surprising how fun that is to propagate the myth of Santa. I've ruminated on if that is a cruel thing to do to a child but it sure is magical right up to the point when you figure it out or are told by some asshole kid on the playground.

I will remain here until Saturday but Ken needed to get back to Seattle to return to work. So I dropped him off at the Vancouver Amtrak Depot at 6pm this evening. I just got off the phone with him around 11pm to find out that he was still in-fact in Vancouver. Due to mechanical issues and other problems, they did not have a viable train until just moments ago. So instead of getting into Seattle at around 9:45pm as predicted, he'll get in sometime closer to 3am. I believe Mr. Ken will be writing a letter...

Sorry no pics, I neglected to pack a USB cable.
Thanks to Mother for letting me use her computer for this entry.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Coug BB Romp

Last night we enjoyed a non-conference ("exhibition") game showcasing the green and flat-footed Citadel team against our favorite, undefeated, #6-in-the-nation Cougs. Annihilation ensued. It was a GREAT night full of laughter and stories with old friends. I learned where Brett "Jo-Jo" Jungbluth got his nickname (from a pencil eraser) and that Hampel thus dubbed himself "Hasselhoffigon" over 10 years ago in a mythology class. (Even now, I am still learning something about these crazy guys.) And Jenny was the first person to introduce me to Phad Thai and here we were eating it together 13 years later. Ah the memories. Sam's brother, sister-in-law & baby nephew, Kavi, were able to join us from Balimore and Kavi seemed to enjoy himself after he got settled. A fabulous night all around. I think this will become one of our yearly traditions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dave was here.

So this is Dave. He's an old friend of Ken's who paid us a visit for the last week here in cold, rainy Seattle. It was extra cold and extra rainy. Or so Dave thought. Over the course of the week, we had occasion to eat at Cedar's the best Indian restaurant in Seattle, sing karaoke in the basement, become "Pho Buddies," witness a pants-less Santa strolling down Market Street, eat at La Isla the best Puerto Rican restaurant in Seattle, derive "more hit-o" from mojito and rock out on X-Box's Rock Band at Ken's co-worker's house. And Ken and I managed to work too.
Oliver and Dave co-habitated our basement that whole time and grew quite fond of each other. So much so that Oliver has been despondently wandering the house as if to say, "Oh great, I have to deal with you people again? Bring back the funny guy."

Le sigh.

Bird Convention

Ken captured this bizarre phenomenon today: all the birds in the Seattle Metro area congregated on our front lawn. Why? Because it's Sunday and even birds need a day of rest.

Holiday Party Friday

Us'uns in fancy dress for the Google Holiday Party last Friday. Excellent party with great food, a roving magician (who impressed Ken--a hobbyist illusionist himself) and an ice sculpture (which are always impressive.) They had faux gambling too and I was up over a cool million on the craps table. Then I bet $750,000 on 11 in roulette. Lost it all and didn't bat an eye. To think some people do that for real...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wicked Whirlwind Weekend

Over the weekend, Ken and I battled various forms of sickness. I recovered from a head cold which slowly released its firm grip on my poor sinuses, while Ken jousted with feeling "on the verge" of being sick. But despite this, we kept our full social schedule and interacted with lots of children--because we're reckless like that. First up, Friday night...tired of looking at our sad, naked Christmas Tree, we pulled all the decorations out of the boxes and gave it a proper dressing. Here we are fussing with lighting options because the nuclear flash was much too harsh. Saturday, Dad came up on the train for a mere 5 hours to attend a demonstration/talk by our family friend and master wood worker Joel Shepard. We then showed him what heaven looks like and took him to Whole Foods in Bellevue. Then to kill more time we went to Uwajimaya over by the train station. It was Grocery Store Tour '07. (Why the hell not?) Then we got to meet Princess Hannah Vaslow (age 7 weeks). What a lovely little bean she is. And her parents are so happy and knowledgeable, despite being a little sleep deprived. Sunday, we celebrated Brendan Rich's 2nd birthday and oddly enough, I didn't digitally capture any of the hilarious tissue paper throwing, old-man dancing or other crazy hijinks that a room full of 2-year-olds can muster. By the time we left, I needed a nap but I did better than that and got a Mayan abdominal massage. It was much needed and much awesome. When I returned home, I made (gasp!) organic meatless chili from scratch since we are looking to put more bean protein in our diets. The whole house smelled like chili powder, fried onions and cooked tomatoes. Not a bad thing unless you're trying to fast for a cholesterol blood draw and can't eat anything starting at 8 pm until after 9 am the next day...but I survived. If you're wondering, the chili turned out well--so said Ken and his friend Dave of Salisbury, Maryland who is visiting us for a week during (the US leg of) his "Self-Introspection" tour. No rest for the wicked.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dane Cook, a week later



(Photos by Juliana S.)

Back on Thursday November 29th, Ken and I went to see Dane Cook. The couple sitting next to us took some amazing pictures and forwarded them to me yesterday. Being so close (7th row)was just a thrill--we could see the whites of his eyes and his spittle as he enunciated or made sound effects. In concert, he is a constantly moving ball of frenetic energy. He did new material and some classics. I was so hoping for the "BK Lounge/Drive Thru" bit but no dice. He was great and I swore he looked right at us a few times.

I admit before the show started, I was a little nervous for 5 reasons:
1. The crowd was almost all early-20-somethings & college kids
2. I realized I am 10 years older than most college kids
3. I realized I cannot hang with college kids. I find them ridiculous.
4. Someone didn't plan their buzz very well and vomited in the next row before the show started. Smelled great.
5. The whole thing started an hour late because only half the arena showed up at time on the ticket (but at least there was no lame opener to sit through.)

But once Dane took the stage, everything was fine. The magic of Dane Cook brings people together. Oh, except for the psycho guy who jumped on stage during the performance and wanted to "trade shirts" with Dane. I'm like, 'where the hell is security?' Most of them just stood around not doing anything. Dane finally got this guy to the edge of the stage and then they realized they should do their job and hauled him out. What a night.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wishes of Snow in Seattle

For those of you who wished for snow, stop your madness right now. I mean it.

Nobody in this town can drive or remain calm while there's snow on the ground. People tend to think of snow so idyllically and get all romantic, "...it's just not Christmas without snow..." but let's break it down here for a second: During the month of December, more than any other time, you gotta be places. The Mall, parties, relative's house(s), Christmas tree lot, Starbucks, the therapist...wherever. Snow makes traffic 20x worse even if you can drive in it. And let's be honest, the novelty of snow lasts about 1 hour and then it's just annoying.

But there's nothing we can do about it, right? You may think it just falls randomly from the sky, but I think you wishers have something to do with it. This cold front mysteriously came out of nowhere. So if you have to wish for something cold & wet, why not think "ice cream." With a Lactaid or two, even I can get on board with that.