Archive for July, 2008

30
Jul
08

suck it Trebek.

I think I can pretty much speak for everyone when I say that know-it-alls are annoying. Nobody likes to be around them and nobody likes hearing their condescending answers to everything.

Perhaps the biggest know-it-all ever is Alex Trebek – that guy drives me crazy. And it’s really unfortunate because I enjoy Jeopardy. He is always saying arrogant things like “Ah, a common mistake…” or “Ooooh, so close, but no.”  or “Oh, you’re forgetting about…” Yeah Alex, it’s easy to pretend like you know the answer when you’ve got the cheat-sheet in front of you! Another irksome quality is the way he interviews the contestants at the beginning of the show. He should at least pretend to act interested in their responses – it’s so painful and embarrassing to watch. Stop patronizing contestants -they are smarter than you!

I think the SNL Jeopardy skit, sums up my feelings the best when Sean Connery says, “SUCK IT TREBEK!”

28
Jul
08

Isn’t she lovely?

Our good friends Stacy and Andre were married two weeks ago at Hamilton Viewpoint in West Seattle. Click here to see a few photos.

27
Jul
08

july 28th

What does July 28th mean to you? Perhaps you recall that on this day Peru declared its independence from Spain in 1821. Or that in 1540, this was the day that Thomas Cromwell was executed. Or that in 1929 this is the day that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was born. Maybe you remember that it was on this day in 2002 that Lance Armstrong won his fourth straight Tour de France.

July 28 is a very special day indeed. Because 26 years ago, my best friend was born. My companion. My perfect compliment. I am forever indebted to the stork that delivered him – her name is Anita. Some people spend their entire life searching for their Derek – but I found mine seven years ago. Together we have developed a bond that is unusually solid, incredibly special and fulfilling beyond words. I am so lucky and so grateful!

So, here’s to you on your 26th birthday Derek. I hope it’s a great one. I love you!

27
Jul
08

lake crescent

Every year we go on a camping trip with my family. In the past, we’ve gone to Lake Cushman, Mt. Rainier, Kalaloch and Elwha River; this year we went to the Fairholme campground on Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s always a great time!

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent

The Walentiny, Donoghue, Brownlee and Reeves clan!

The Walentiny, Donoghue, Brownlee and Reeves clan!

23
Jul
08

Top Banana

I’d like to share a little hole in the wall produce heaven that Derek and I just discovered. It’s called Top Banana and it’s located in Ballard right off of 15th and 65th. Now, I know many of you have probably been going to Top Banana for years but it is new to us. Top Banana has wonderful fresh and flavorful produce at great prices. Monday night, we bought the following: 5 ears of Corn on the cob, 3 large tomatoes, 1 giant jicama, 1 lime, 1 onion, 1 orange, 1 broccoli floret (is that the right term?), 2 avocados, 3 red bell peppers and ½ lbs of bing cherries . All of this for $18!!! Are you crazy?!? My only suggestion is to use your produce soon after purchasing it (as it’s pretty ripe when you buy it).

Here is what others are saying about Top Banana. My favorite comment is “I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Top Banana.I mean LOVE.  I would buy Top Banana a big ol’ diamond ring, take it out to Morton’s, and fly off to a romantic trip to Italy if it were possible.” Ha!

22
Jul
08

peaks and valleys

I’ll admit it – things are going really well for me lately. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I’m really enjoying my new job – it’s a new position to navigate through. There are new colleagues to figure out and it’s a new industry to explore. I’m totally loving the challenge. On the home front – I’m still madly in love with Derek and I’m ecstatic about our new living arrangement. I’ve been keeping busy soaking up the great weather, checking the progress of our garden and I’m getting my creative fix through reading incredible books and experimenting with new recipes.

While I’m basking in my newfound love for life, I think Derek is struggling. He seems a little “off” – he doesn’t have the usual bounce to his step. It’s probably not noticeable to anyone except me – and it tugs at my heart to see him down. I believe there are a few contributing factors, none of which I feel comfortable sharing on his behalf.

I feel a little guilty about being so happy right now, while I know he’s not. I know it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help it. Couples experience their peaks and valleys and so do individuals. I think as a couple we are in peak – but individually I am on Mt. McKinley and he is down in a valley. I’m going to give myself a piece of advice: Count your blessings and be grateful. Don’t forget to be extra supportive and understanding.

22
Jul
08

busy summer

Lately, it feels like every time I post, I’m apologizing for not posting often enough. Like I previously mentioned, our summers are jam packed with fun! It is a little disappointing to me that I haven’t made more time for blogging, because I really do enjoy it. I will try harder.

Last week I took my first business trip at my new job – we went to Alaska. It was very beautiful and I’m so grateful for a job that allows me the opportunity to travel to such spectacular places. My weekend included: picking up Derek’s new truck (she’s a beaut!); rehearsal dinner for Stacy and Andre’s wedding; Stacy and Andre’s wedding; and a Sunday spent in Magnolia Park BBQing and playing Bocce Ball.

While in Alaska, I flew in a tiny little plane into the deepest part of Denali National Park…Kantishna. It was breathtaking – below are a few photos.

Kantishna Air Taxi

Kantishna Air Taxi

There I am!

There I am!

Denali National Park from the air!

Denali National Park from the air!

More of Denali!

More of Denali!

10
Jul
08

book review: the last days of dogtown

I read The Rent Tent by Anita Diamant about six years ago, and while I don’t remember very much about it, I do remember LOVING it. When someone at bookclub lent me The Last Days of Dogtown, I was anxious to read more of Dianant and see if she is a “one hit wonder”. Good news – it turns out she’s not!

Both novels were loosely based on historical research – but that’s about the extent of their similarities. I remember The Red Tent as an in-depth and colorful story that centers around the characters. The Last Days of Dogtown is a dreary, yet hopeful story. It’s a tribute to a dying town and attests to neighborly compassion and responsibility. The focal point of the story is on the town and only allows a glimpse into its handful of residents. I think this was intentional on Diamont’s part to center the reader’s attention on Dogtown and less on individual characters. It was an interesting approach. The characters that she did present were endearing and I found myself sympathizing with them – especially the women. Their lives were hard and unfair and it made me grateful to not live in Dogtown in 1814.

Overall, a good read – I’m looking forward to more Anita Diamant in the future!

Book Stats

Title: The Last Days of Dogtown

Author: Anita Diamant

Notable: Author of The Red Tent

Pages: 261

Reading Level: Easy and Quick – I read it last weekend while at Lake Las Vegas

Do I feel like I need to re-read it? No, but I do want to re-read The Rent Tent now

Would I recommend it? Yes

My overall rating: A

09
Jul
08

lake las vegas

I apologize for not posting more regularly – I’m blaming it on summer. The weather is great and we are booked EVERY single weekend through mid-August.

Derek and I celebrated the 4th of July at Lake Las Vegas for a wedding. We had so much fun – even though I’m NOT a fan of holiday weekend weddings. Lake Las Vegas is fantastic – it’s a nice departure from the vegas strip scene. It’s about 30 minutes off of the strip so we rented a car which was nice. We stayed at the Montelago Village Resort in a condo Derek found on VRBO (a great site for condo deals). The resort offers everything I hope for in a weekend getaway – lively bars, great restaurants, live music on the lake, pools, casino, and everything is within walking distance. The resort reminded me of Whistler village – a little smaller.

We danced, laid by the pool, gambled, went to the Hoover Dam, attended a lovely wedding and enjoyed each other’s company. I would go back there in a heartbeat (although maybe not in July – it was so hot) and I would highly recommend it for a long weekend trip.

Derek at Hoover Dam

Derek at Hoover Dam

Lake Mead

Lake Mead

Montelago Village Resort

Montelago Village Resort

Our Pool

Our Pool

Brad and Andrea

Brad and Andrea

Me dancing with the groom's cousin

Me dancing with the groom's cousin at an Irish pub

4th of July Celebration

4th of July Celebration

02
Jul
08

charlie, that really hurt!

Most of you (who I know) have already seen this video – because I made you. But for those of you who haven’t seen it – watch it twice. I love the facial expressions and the accent! So funny!

01
Jul
08

book review: three junes

I’ve decided I’m going to start writing short book reviews on the books I read. Two weekends ago, while we were camping at Silver Falls, I read Three Junes by Julia Glass. It was recommended by my mom.

Overall, I really enjoyed Three Junes. It’s a warm story that weaves together realistic and compelling characters. The story is told over “three Junes” by three different characters: a newspaperman, a bookstore owner and a book designer. I think what I liked best about the novel is that it presented complex and intimate family dynamics – full of imperfection and miscommunication. Even though it’s nothing like my own immediate family relationships, I felt like I could relate to each character and I appreciated their perspective. My only complaint is that the ending left me wanting more!

Books Stats

Title: Three Junes

Author: Julia Glass

Notable: National Book Award Winner

Pages: 353

Reading Level: Easy and Quick

Do I feel like I need to re-read it? No

Would I recommend it? Yes

My overall rating: A




a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.