Tuesday, October 31, 2006

happy halloween!

yesterday my birthday was spent painting two coats of blue onto the entertainment room (really the master bedroom, but we've decided to make it a common room) walls, and writing letters. it feels good to write again, even if it's just chatty stuff. i love letters.

today was spent applying to a gis job, and will soon be followed by pumpkin carving. hurray! i've been wanting to carve pumpkins and roast the seeds for weeks. we'll make a fire and hopefully bribe all the neighborhood kids into liking us with candy.

this past weekend was a good one. since we finally have a dining room table, we decided to have a dinner party to celebrate. we invited all of paul's sociology cohort and about 17 people showed up for dinner on friday. it was slightly stressful because i am not the best cook in the world, but everything turned out great. i made 3-bean vegan chili in the crockpot with bulgar, and paul made homemade vegan wheat bread, we made two batches of the onion/apple/potato bake which we adore, and a big salad. it turned out to be enough, plus extras that people brought. it was nice to have a fire and see our house filled with friendly people hanging out. the only downside is the cleanup. ;o)

saturday was a huge day in Madison. Halloween is one of the biggest events of the year, i'm told. and the saturday closest to halloween is when there is a huge party on state street with 100,000+ people or so. craziness. we did not partake in the state street party, but we did have some halloween fun at an apartment party. paul, i and two others dressed up in a karate kid them. the shower/skeleton scene. where the cobra kai are dressed up as skeletons and the karate kid is a giant shower with a red shower curtain with white polka dots. it was a pretty funny costume. i'll have to post pix sometime to share. it was all homemade, and very fun to make.

kate, feel better. be healthy. i hope that you are well very very soon!

two more days until i am back in portland. yes!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

we had our first fire a couple of nights ago. after an afternoon of soccer games, jason & his father came over and sang campfire/folk songs while playing the guitar....some of them are pretty hilarious. then we all had smores...mmm chocolate. i am so excited about having a fireplace to use all winter...but not excited about the price of firewood. i can't find anyone to deliver 1/2 cord for less than $100. that seems so steep to me.

i got an awesome care package from the bookclub ladies. so wonderful, with lots of goodies! julie, you are wonderful. and now i have my own copy of a tree grows in brooklyn. i started reading it last night in bed and love it so far.

i just wrote out our first mortgage check tonight. it still hasn't fully sunk in that we're homeowners now. but i'm sure that after a couple more of those, it'll hit in full force. ;o)

so, i tentatively said yes to participating in an 190 mile relay race next june. the great midwest relay goes from madison, wi to chicago, il. if i do get on a team it will definitely be motivation to start working out and running again!

anyone have a clue as to where to obtain a tumi wallet circa season 2003 (or so)? specifically i am looking for the tumi mini-zip glove leather wallet in yellow with green inside accents and i can't find it anywhere. i emailed tumi, no luck. i've been scouring ebay, nothing. i really want to replace my wallet that got stolen and i'm still in love with my old wallet. i hate the four new colors tumi sells now, but i might just break down and get it in black....not sure. i need to find it in the next couple of months to replace it with insurance reimbursement money before my 6 months are up.

OH! the biggest news of all: i'm heading back to portland nov 2-7th. coming in late thursday night and leaving wednesday morning. i'm coming for kate's bday (the 8th!), to see nicole in her third trimester, and because i love coming home. i love portland. i've already made a super long and probably unattainable checklist in my head on stuff i want to do and see and EAT (burgerville, nicolas', depot deli, tin shed...).

anyone want to come over and carve some pumpkins with me? i wanted to have an evening pumpkin party with a fire and cider and desserts and roasted pumpkin seeds but i have zero people to invite over that i know within 100 miles. sad.

sorry mets.
Sweetest Day?

What is up? I've never heard of "Sweetest Day" before, but for some reason it's advertised all over radio and print mailings this week. My initial suspiscion was some kind of fake holiday that retailers, candymakers, and general profit-makers made up. And indeed this seems to be the case. Sweetest Day, a midwest/great lakes holiday, was started by a candy company employee in 1921*.

I'm not so sure how sweet of a day Sweetest Day is going to be for me this Saturday. It marks my first day of unemployment. Yesterday I found out that TriMet's payroll department has issues with me working remotely from another state, so my work contract cannot be renewed/extended. Tomorrow is my last day. So, this Saturday will be a day of Hmong backpack weaving and job applications for me!

*Although I seems it was originally started out of philanthropy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ok, so I have been diligently following the wootoff like no tomorrow. Checking the stats, making sure I'm there to f5-it when a product is sold out, even living through the frusterating server failures. I've been a good girl. I haven't bought anything...yet. But I have contempated a coupla items, and have been thinking long and hard about the upcoming Bag of Crap/BOG/Blinged-out cabbage. It came, it went, it sold out while I watched. I could have bought it. But I didn't. I resisted. And now Paul comes home and asks "why didn't you buy it?!". Ahhh. I thought I was being so good.
Ok, most of you will laugh at this, but I am so excited that I am attending!:

Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21
Traditional Hmong Backpack Weaving
Friday, 6-9pm
Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm (please plan to attend both sessions)

Artists Tong Va Lor and Chue Vang (Lor) will teach traditional Hmong backpack weaving. With the help of translators, Tong Va and Chue will share their culture and artistic talents with community members. In Laos, people weave backpacks out of natural materials, often incorporating traditional patterns. The sturdy yet lightweight backpacks will be perfect fit for carrying your garden produce and supplies! No experience necessary -- weavers of all levels are encouraged!

The workshop will be held indoors at Lakeview Lutheran Church in Madison. Fees are $15 for FTG members, $25 for non-members, and participation is limited to 15 particpants.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's currently 32/butfeelslike17, windy, and SNOWING. yikes, it's cold. we decided to turn on our heat this morning. it's hard to be productive when you just want to jump under the down comforter. it's already hat, scarf & mittens weather.

i'm missing the portland nursery apple tasting this weekend. sad! my favorite time of year in the northwest. i grew up a block from this annual big red apple balloon, and it was always a joy when apple tasting came around. especially going with friends: jenny, laura, kate & nathan.

feel better soon kate!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's currently 48 degrees, hailing, and tonight's low is 28 with the next 36 hours predicted to be snowshowers, cold, and windy. yikes!
i guess it's the beginning of winter in madison. for a temperate-temperature girl this is hard to get used to.

so far we have't turned on the heat to the house yet. but working from home on the computer all day makes me cold. i have on a sweater, a down vest, and fur boots. now if i can only find my fingerless gloves to type with!

time to head downstairs to make some hot chocolate.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Two-Spirit. A Spirit of Belonging, Inside and Out (nytimes, fashion section).

A new concept for me. Very interesting.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Still tons of unpacking to do, and cleaning. But this house just feels so good. I love it. It's 80 years old, so it has some quirks and stuff to fix, but overall it's sturdy and wonderful craftsmenship and wood floors.

Last night we spent the late evening painting our bedroom. I think we may need a second coat today. We have to get the room done by tomorrow afternoon because Paul's parents are spending the weekend in Chicago and here with us in Madison, so we need to move stuff in and actually have a bed for them to sleep on! (For the past few nights we've been sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags using the new rei prolite 4 thermarest which we recently bought at their returns/seconds sale).

Picking paint colors is much harder than it seems. Especially when there are two people involved. We decided on a basic simple (beige/light brown) color for our bedroom but still need to pick the master bedroom color. There's too many things to try to coordinate--will it match the hall color? the other bedrooms? the stairway rug? the dark red dining room? I'm thinking a green or a blue would be great. It's a big room (12 x 18 plus a walk in closet) with two windows, so we're thinking that a dark color might be good. Right now the walls are a light green (but not a very pretty one) so it's a little hard to invision what the room will be like darker.

I wish I had some friends here to help decide on colors and how to decorate, or an interior designer to come and consult for free. :o)

The setting here is almost ideal. A big 30 acre park across the street with a restored prairie, on the bus line (and a bike route too!), only a few blocks to shopping and groceries, a couple of minutes to campus, and a little over a mile to the capitol/downtown. Plus, our street is fairly quiet, but still a through-way. Lots of people walking/biking/jogging by. We haven't met any neighbors yet, but the neighborhood has a very friendly feel to it.

The only downsides so far: the library is not exactly a walk away, instead it's about a mile (an easy bike ride only slightly uphill), no close thrift stores, and many fascinating things are on the east side, which is a trek for us without a car (we live in "near west" madison).

I hope that after we move in people will come and stay with us. I generally love having company. Also, when we actually have a dining room table and chairs we'll be able to have dinner parties.

Good and bad news on the job front. I haven't had much luck finding environmental consulting jobs to apply to, but am now certified to work longer for trimet doing GIS remotely. Overall it's good, because I have a very flexible job that I can work at while I apply for local positions. Plus I get to continue feeling special for having a super secret password that changes every 60 seconds to log in with. ;o)

Monday, October 02, 2006

fast update:
moved in. cleaning. organizing. soon to be painting! (at the moment we're sleeping on the floor). can't really move into the entire upstairs until we paint. cable internet installed. i have no returned phone calls in weeks. i am sorry.

it's 80 degrees today! sunny and beautiful and leaves swirling around. now i just need a rake.