Friday, August 31, 2007

Left Alone All Day, No Supervision

It was high-time for a day off and what better way to turn a 3-day "end-of-summer holiday weekend" into a 4-day "sugar-fueled insanity dance party"? So what did I do with my day? 1. Discovered Fruity Cheerios as I sauntered down the aisle @ Walgreen's and knew in a heartbeat that they were coming with me. I used to love Froot Loops--in the very rare times I would get to eat them--but they have hydrogenated oils and leave a wallpaper glue-like aftertaste so I had to give them up. But now Cheerios has answered the call and they are DELICIOUS. Behold.

2. Received a long-overdue massage from my masseuse, Melissa Samuels. I'm Type A and tightly wound. Definitely needed that.

3. Had a vision during my massage. But it was not the answer to why we exist. It was not the secret to inner peace. And it was not the winning numbers for Mega Millions ($330Mil Jackpot). It was: we need a stone pagoda for the garden. Immediately. And here it is.

4. Spent more time on Facebook than I'd like to admit. When I signed up (yesterday), I wasn't going to be all crazy about social networking. I just wanted to see what all the hubbub is about. But I find it bewitchingly addictive. Damn you, Facebook! 5. Disdained University of Washington. Evidently they feel that Ken is someone who would like UW Address Labels. I can only guess that his name landed on their list because he ran once in their Dawg Dash. We'll allow the shirt from the run but no address labels, they imply support and we can't have that. 6. Pondered the mess at KUOW. More about that later. 7. Decided to cook dinner, for once.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bon Voyage, Amy!

Tomorrow our dear friend Amy departs for what may be an opportunity of a lifetime: to live overseas and do a very cool job. She will be heading up a major recruiting initiative for an internationally recognized company in Amsterdam. She will be focused on this for four months, traveling and doing something that many of her contemporaries only dream of. I will miss her very much. But I think it will be an amazing thing. Good luck to her and much love from the Moore-Sakai house.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What I learned in college

Ten years ago I graduated from Washington State University and my father asked me then, "Now what exactly are you going to do with Communications Degree?" I'm sure all Comm grads get that question. You have to understand that I had flirted with the idea of actually being an Engineering Major when I left high school and I think I set him up for some initial disappointment.

"Just think, if you major in engineering, as a minority and a woman, they'd be lining up to give you scholarships and job opportunities," he said.

It was a decent plan which leveraged my interest in science and paralleled the aspirations of my inseparable high school twin/friend, Amy (Ramer) Florence. She actually graduated from University of Portland with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. As for me, I jumped the tracks not long into my freshman year and plunged heart and soul into the world of broadcast communications. A choice that mystified my father for years.

My fellow Comm grads are some of the hardest and longest working people I know today. It is a play now, pay later system. If you've ever talked to someone who works on a TV/Movie production and they can normally put in 16-hour days, 7 days a week or in News that can happen 24/7 and it doesn't matter if it's your kid's birthday or Christmas Day. And is the field competitive? You bet. There will be 5 people right behind you willing to stay longer, do more and get paid less.

But I couldn't have been more pleased when I saw two Murrowites who took it upon themselves to show the world what a Murrow (School of Communications) Grad can do and that a Comm Degree does not subjugate one to a life of waiting tables or operating carnival rides.

Kate Yeager & Steve Thorpe sojourned from Pullman to LA by way of Seattle (in a Prius!) to interview and get some perspective from Broadcasting Comm Cougs who made good. Their blog features on-camera interviews with some dear friends: Chris Hampel, Ian Kennedy, Pat Sheehan & Doug Cheney. Also Greg Copeland NWCN anchor, who I didn't know so well in school but admire his professionalism and poise for such a young anchor. They tackle the affirmation on their blog: With a Degree from the Murrow School you can go Anywhere. Check it out.

Jungbluth, party of 3

Congrats to Denise & Brett (Jo-jo) on the early arrival of Mr. Liam James!

The pictures are fantastic and it looks like I may even get to see him tomorrow.

Very excited to meet the newest Jungbluth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lottery Dreams

Here is an actual email exchange between my mother and I today:

Can you buy me (1) powerball ticket? The drawing for today is worth $245M. I'll give you $2M if it wins... ; ) Thank you!

Only $2M, when I buy the ticket? Let's negotiate.
I will stop on my way home and p/u the powerball ticket using the numbers you gave.

Now Mother.
Let's assume we are the only winner.
$245M if won, we'll take the cash pay out option so now only $122.5M then taxes, now only $61.25M. Most will go to charity.
What do you need more than $2M for anyway? : )

Thank you for buying the ticket.

Daughter, daughter,
Looks like you have this all figured out. A great discussion opener...
Have a great day.

One of the most fun things to think about is what I'd do if I won the lottery. You hear horror stories about people winning and thinking it's the answer to all their problems and then their lives/relationships fall apart and they wish they'd never won. Well I've thought about it a lot and I would make a good lottery winner. I am up for the challenge of handling that level of responsibility. I do acknowledge that people get weird when one person has way more than the others. I've seen that in my workplace.

But I think you have to be prepared to be altruistic if you come into that much money. And I mean give away 90% of it. And what to do with family & friends? It's like a reverse inheritance, somewhat an obligation, somewhat a legacy. Amy said that money makes people become more of who they really are. I think that's true. So as a lottery winner, you have set the tone and remove all ambiguity about your intentions. The most wildly logical approach I could think of was creating a grant system for friends and family to apply to. Just like non-profits and other organizations have to do. So they have to have a reason and create a proposal for asking/receiving the money. Or I guess if that is too bizarre, the most straight-forward approach I thought of was to make a list, take 7% of the winnings, divide equally & cut one-time checks to everyone. Then set 3% aside for ourselves and the other 90% goes into the Sakai-Moore Foundation.

Ken thinks gambling and especially this kind, it sheer lunacy. The odds are terrible and that sliver of hope you buy in the form of a little square of paper is at best stoking the misplaced conception that "all my problems will be fixed if I win." I think it's like buying an experience or rather a feeling. That little bit of excitement when you don't know if you won or lost--that's what I like. I don't often play the lottery for the very reason it is contrary to attaining our goals and making plans. But sometimes, like now, I like to buy a dream for a dollar.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Eddie Izzard: Lord of the Flies

This photo was taken by Tara Omnes.

This picture was taken on Saturday at the Seattle Rep but that's pretty much what he looked like on Sunday too.

Eddie is one of my all-time favorite comedians and getting two hours and fifteen minutes of his non-stop observational musings last Sunday was a delight and privilege. But being in such an intimate venue at such close proximity to him is a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Evidently, some hard core fans live around here and when they finally got to see Eddie Izzard at close range, the normally polite, restrained & well-mannered Seattle audience lost their f--king minds. Folks, you are not being helpful when you yell stuff out, just annoying and I certainly didn't pay to hear you talk behind me to your friend and laugh like a possessed tropical bird in heat. I found another blogger who said some things about the audience that sum it up, so I'm just going to quote him:

Fans...thrilled to see Eddie in the flesh...were prone to let loose a "Woooo!"--but Eddie demanded that they stop...that they interrupted "the flow" as Eddie called it. The audience, properly chastised (in a way that I've never seen a Seattle comedy audience controlled) participated in the rest of the show with concentrated laughter and applause...but no more "Wooo"-ing.

(Actually, there was one woman in the center--she couldn't seem to stop herself from affirming what Eddie was saying... It was like she kept saying "Yep!" Eddie didn't shut that down the way that he shut down the Woo-ers--but he mentioned it as an incredibly strange sound constantly coming from the middle of the room...a sound that the woman making it seemed impossible to control.)

Aside from that the show was excellent. He has plenty of material to tighten up into a fun & respectable touring program --because make no mistake, this was paid practice for him. I felt getting to sit that close and to see the show in a more raw form was refreshing. He covered new topics like Wikipedia, 300 the Movie, Hinduism and fly hunting. Whilst staying true to some familiar topics like Jam, Bees, Sharks, the Romans, Cows, Banjos, Monkeys, Noah's Ark, the Bible (pronounced BIB-lee), God & Jesus, speaking in a foreign language (in fact it was Latin-ish), guys named "Jeff" and the Queen.

But let's get one thing straight: during his encore while talking about "Fly-heaven" and a maniac fly from the audience appears to land on his suit jacket--that's a bit. Not just because it happened both nights but because it's conveniently ridiculous. Not only did the fly land perfectly on his breast pocket but when he flicked it off, it just sat there on the floor. He played the rest of the show to the fly which got big laughs. I'm not trying to be negative. Bravo, for getting everyone to sit up in their seat and re-engage at the final part of the show but for all the folks in the Blogosphere who think that was a miraculously random coincidence--just take some time to think that through.

Back in 2003, Amy & I went to his Sexie show @ The Moore. I even got to meet him and chat with him for a moment. I apologized for the abnormally warm Seattle evening that made being inside the non-AC endowed Moore theater less than ideal. (It just seemed like the right thing to say.) He had better legs than most women I know as he balanced on insanely high heels. He smiled, agreed then he signed my ticket.

One Ringlet to Rule Them All

My hair stylist said my new haircut creates "movement" to suit my natural wave. Agreed, but when I looked in the mirror Sunday, I also thought I looked a little like Frodo the Hobbit. Ken decided to take that a step further.

Monday, August 13, 2007

65, windy & overcast = Sakai/Moore BBQ

Photo by Brett Jungbluth

(Sigh.) This year we moved the BBQ from the usual late September date to Saturday, August 11th hoping it would afford more pleasant evening grilling weather. Well in it's third year, there's at least one thing we can count on at this event: the sound of teeth chattering as the hamburgers are served.

Photo by Brett Jungbluth (Brett's pictures are really good and I prefer them to mine which is why I keep intermingling them here.)

Despite the weather, it was a damn good party. What lucky people we are to have such cool friends, co-workers and neighbors who can inter-mingle and bring such fun times to our home and garden. Children also add an extra energy that is vital to our BBQs. Since we have a number of toddler-guests now, I've realized how "adult-ized" our backyard is. Cement steps, uneven flagstone slabs, sloped paths, delicate grasses & low, step-on-able plants... Actually the challenge it poses could be tons more fun than a lawned yard with a fence and patio slab. But the younger kids enjoyed doing laps up the steps over the flagstones down the steps across the bricks, over and over again.

(Owen dashing past)

While the older ones seems to like the fire pit and the roasting of marshmallows for smores. But once fire was lit, all the running of laps by the toddlers had to stop. Kids and fire. They go together like a bottle of Bourbon and a fully charged cell phone...

Ken and I learn things every year in an effort to improve and refine our BBQ hosting skills. Just last week we carefully watched Suzanne and Sam (Sumeer) as they hosted a 20-25 person BBQ and grilled multiple meats. Unfortunately, a last minute illness kept them from receiving some BBQ reciprocation from us on Saturday but Ken and I kept referring to them by saying things like, "Sam, had a plate and served the cooked food from here." "Suzanne staged the condiments like this." It's not hard to BBQ--what's all the fuss right? Well, the good ones make it look easy. This year we also added the fire pit (big hit) and some 6' fold-up plastic tables from Home Depot that made a world of difference from last year's feeble attempt at using a card table and TV trays as a staging table. But this year I realized we don't have enough plastic servingware. Bowls for chips and such. So that will be among next year's improvements.

We also tried to blend two types of parties that maybe shouldn't go together: BBQ + Karaoke. In retrospect I think we'll stick to one or the other because it can really break up a party. But we had some stellar performances from Dan, Christina, Ken, Allen & Norma. But the highlight for me was witnessing Denise at 8 months pregnant belt out Def Leppard's Love Bites. I had also forgotten what a consumate hit that song was (check out Def Leppard's hair-iffic music video).

Brett's photo album of the event HERE. My photo album (but not as good as Brett's) HERE.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chocolate Rain to Eyebrow waxing in 15 seconds

Thoughts I've had in the last 15 seconds in order:

1. Why is this Chocolate Rain Video so damn popular?
2. I hope it doesn't rain during our BBQ on Saturday.
3. That bread we made last Saturday totally needed the fast-acting yeast because it didn't rise.
4. Why did the stock for (company I work for that shall remain nameless) go down so much?
5. I need to go downtown and get my eyebrows waxed.

6. This is stupid, time for bed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, people!
How I do love Shark Week. If you couldn't tell from my header, I'm a big fan of the finned ones. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated by them. When I was 6 or 7, I innocently sat down one night with my parents while they were watching Jaws on TV and it changed my life forever. Not only was I terrified to sit on the toilet for several days in fear that a shark would come up through the 4 inches of water in the bowl but I had learned of an animal that in its very image ignited a primal fear in people. It was amazing to think that there was such beast.

A year later I asked for a birthday cake with Jaws on it and whenever an ocean documentary was on TV, I would hope to see some shark footage. I learned more about these misunderstood creatures as I grew older and realized (as they say in all the documentaries now) that sharks really aren't out to get humans. Great Whites, Bull & Tiger Sharks are the top 3 types of sharks prone to attacking humans. But they tend to attack because they mistake humans for something delicious and nutritious like seals. The Great Whites are just unbelievably cool in their shape and features: streamlined, graceful, menacing and regal--worthy of great respect. I like all sharks but the Great Whites are my favorite.
When I was 21 and down visiting friends in California that summer, I decided to indulge a crazy notion that I should get a tattoo. I had been thinking about it for a good two years (as one should when considering getting a tattoo--it's a big commitment, just like marriage or a mortgage). And immediately I knew what it should be of. The one symbol that I have constantly gravitated toward. But not some stupid caricature, something classy. I looked through all the books and decided on this design because it looked almost tribal . And sometimes I feel that if I had a spirit animal or an Aumakua (benevolent guardian spirit in the Hawaiian tradition) the shark would definitely be it.

This is a somewhat stylized rendering of a hammerhead shark. Here is a picture of my tat about 2 days after it was done. I worked very hard to conceal it from my father for the 3 days before going back to college. When I returned for Christmas and he saw it...oh the disappointment. He stormed out of the room and upon returning 10 minutes later he said,"I hope it hurt." Let me assure you, it did.
I have never dived with sharks--only watched them on TV or in aquariums. My dream is to one day go to South Africa where the Great Whites leap out of the water and into the air as they hunt for seals. It is an amazing phenomenon.

I am not interested in cage diving however. I'm a bit claustrophobic so that would not work on many levels.