Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More pictures

Not much to report. Christmas was uneventful and lonely, but we still had a nice day. We worked on the house all weekend. Now that Rob is off work this week he is working on the demp of the kitchen, the bathroom finishing touches and hopefully tiling the kitchen floor. I am working all week and then going to the house after work to supervise. :)

We took the evening off to watch the Michigan/Nebraska game. Go Blue. More pictures below.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The House!

I can’t even explain how slowly things are moving along. It just seems like we take 3 steps forward and 1 back. Nothing is getting done as fast as what I would like and we waited too long to order our appliances so they won’t be here for a while either. The kitchen is the main concern right now. We need to demo the existing kitchen tomorrow and possibly put in the tile. We orderedGE Profile appliances because Rob got a Boeing discount, we also got a deal on tile at Lowes, we also are getting a Hi-Macs countertop , which I guess is an affordable solid surface countertop. The deal included an integrated sink. We should ger it in 2 weeks.

A U shape kitchen is very hard to plan, it’s not like a galley which is really easy. We have fought and fought over what to do about the kitchen. The biggest problem is the lead time that the cabinet makers need to get the cabinets done… it’s too long and we don’t want to wait that long. In our condo we used Ikea because they were cheap and available. To our surprise they were nice too, sometimes Ikea is hit and miss, so you have to be careful. I think we will try Ikea again and here is a link to the style we are getting. So with the dark cabinets, we ordered light countertop, white sink, stainless appliances, light tile backsplash and light tile floors. I hope it works because it’s kind of nerve wracking!

Here a bunch of pictures of the cabinets we want, the house as it is right now with the paint and stuff and also the tile that we bought. The little square on top is the sample countertop.

Go Seahawks!

I really really wish I would have tried harder to get tickets for the game today. I mean, what else did we have going on Christmas Eve. This morning, I asked Rob to take me to my favorite coffee shop Zeitgeist Coffee on Second and Jackson. Best Latte ever! I totally didn’t even think about the fact that the coffee shop was 2 blocks from the stadium and of course, half the streets were blocked off, and Rob was NOT happy as driving was a MESS. Being 57 degrees out, everyone was outside on the patios at the bars and it was packed down there. Looked like a blast! While spending 2 hours at Lowe’s we got to the house and listened to the game. Seahawks win and the Super Bowl is possible! It’s pretty exciting.

The last week or so in a nutshell

Had and awesome time at Ang & Chris’s with mom and dad. We did a lot of nothing, but it was fun and it was so nice to see everyone, especially their new kitchen … which looks GREAT!

Although I don’t complain about the Seattle rain because it really doesn’t bother me. Walking around Pioneer Square shopping the day before Christmas Eve in the pouring rain was more then I could handle. My jacket was soaking wet, my shoes were wet, my feet were cold, wet and itchy. Bad news.

It is 57 degrees today. It’s a heat wave, it totally doesn’t feel like Christmas.

This is completely lame, but we are taking on Christmas Eve by going to Dick’s drive in and watching A Very Brady Christmas, (my favorite Christmas movie, ever) and building a fire. I know it could be so much better, but I guess this will do. Oh yeah, and laundry.

I am making a new scarf with the yarn that Ang got me for Christmas, it is super awesome. See picture below.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Work in progress

It’s nearly 3 weeks after we closed on our house and we still have not completed what I anticipated we would complete in the first weekend. Isn’t that the way it goes though? I started by thinking we could paint all the rooms, the vanity, get all the new light fixtures and even start weeding out the lawn in the front and back. Boy, what a joke. The first day after we closed I took the day off and went to Lowe’s. I ripped up the spare bedroom carpeting all by myself and took out all the staples and nails. The only problem was that we found out why they had carpeting over the floors. There are big black marks on the floors that I indicate some type of dampness, hopefully not to far into the wood. Rob has the idea that we will refinish the floors now before we move in. Great idea. Looks like we won’t be in till next year. 2006.

This weekend we are going to Ang and Chris’s so we won’t work the weekend, but after that we will have our nose to the grindstone and the kitchen demo on. We are in talks with a cabinet guy and we will see how that pans out. As soon as the kitchen is in we will be in too.

In the meantime below are some pictures that I took two weekends ago. We bought all of our paint at Benjamin Moore this time and we were very happy with the results. We bought Home dept paint before and we just didn’t like it, so I am glad that we tried out a paint store, I really do think you can tell a difference.

I will try, I promise, to keep this updated especially with pictures as we keep doing all the work to the house. I had second thoughts the day of the closing, but now I see potential there and am really happy with the house after all. Rob, on the other hand, never had a doubt in his mind. Seattle magazine also just called the Beacon Hill neighborhood one of the most up and coming in Seattle. Good news I hope?

Here are some pictures of the bedrooms, just the master and office (the 2 upstairs). You can't see the paint colors very well. The bedroom is a blueish grey and the office is an olive. living/Dining and hallways are all ivory. We chose from the "Historical" colors that are supposed to all have a grey undertone and fit into the arts & craft era homes. The bathroom is also a bright yellow. More pictures to come. I know these stink.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We are Home Owners!

We closed on the house today. Here are some pictures. We will be working on the house this week and this weekend and we probably won’t move in until almost Christmas, but here are a few new pictures that show more then they did before. I will update later with more information. It’s been pretty boring here otherwise.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

First thing, the house buying process is going along ok. We are still in contract and still hope to closeon the 29th, but anything could come up to push that back a little. I will send more pictures as soon as we are able to get in to take more pictures OR when we actually own the house.

Yesterday was the Michigan Ohio State game and we were abl to go over to West Seattle and watch the game at an alumni bar there. We thought we would be swift and leave around 8:20am to catch the bus outside of our apartment. The bus was actually going to go downtown and straight to where we needed to go in West Seattle so there was no reason to get a transfer, which was nice. By the time we got there. About 9am. It was packed. Probably about 200- 250 crazy Michigan Fans. 7 pitchers or beer later we lost (it was close though) and were drunk, which is why we took the bus in the first place. Then we went back home and took a nap. It has been so nice to move somewhere where you already have friends to do things with. We would have never been able to do that in Connecticut.

Not much going on today. We decided last night that we will go snowboarding on Thanksgiving and we will cook a big dinner on Friday. Rob is going to have to work on Saturday and Sunday to try to make up for some time that we will be gone the week after at Ang and Chris'. I will have more information to follow with that as well.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A House to Call Home

I won’t even start off by saying that it has been too long since I wrote. It has and I apologize. I do have a good excuse though. We put in an offer on a house and should be closing on the 29th. For a house that I didn’t even want to go look at, we both walked in and fell in love with it. We are so excited to finally move in and have it our home. The house itself is on 15th avenue and in the section of the city called Beacon Hill. It is only 2 miles from downtown and the park a few blocks away have the best city views. It will be about 10 miles for Rob to drive to work and we anticipate the traffic to be much easier for him as well. This will be a good spot.

The house itself is on a semi busy street and that turned me off at first, but it turns out its really not that bad. The windows are all leaded glass and it has the original big wooden door. The walls are plaster with a picture railing across the entire room and the fireplace has the original tile work. All the rooms downstairs have the original hard wood floor and they don’t need any work. The only thing that needs to be done is the kitchen updated and the walls cleaned and painted. We have a full basement with 1 finished bedroom and a not finished bathroom that we can do ourselves. The basement needs to be retiled, but that is not a big deal either. We will have a garage that Rob wanted and the small backyard that we can grow plants, but won’t require a lot of work. Here are some more pictures from Shutterfly if you want to check it out. I will keep updating.

You can view some picture here.

Friday, October 28, 2005

There goes the time.

Another busy week has flown by and I can’t believe that next week is the first week in November already. We had a couple fun things to report this past week.

Last weekend we had a little road to through Washington and down to Oregon. We drove around Mount Rainer and then down to Oregon to the Columbia River area. Along the way, we stopped at Maryhill Winery. for a wine tasting. It was so beautiful there. We stayed at Bonneville Hot Springs in Bonneville, WA . The next day we got up and drove through and around Mt Hood. We wanted to check out for snowboarding season. Then on the way home we drove through Mount St. Helen’s, which was really something, the pictures will not do it justice. It was really amazing to see where the lava ran through in 1980 and the trees or grass just never grew back. One part almost looked like a giant stepped on the ground because the trees were just stuck to the ground. I would love to go back for hiking; the whole area was really interesting. The scenery in both Washington and Oregon really impressed me and I would love to go back. Oregon has some of the best wineries in the nation (especially for Pinot Noir) so I think a wine weekend is also calling our names.

Other then that, we picked a realtor and we are now actively looking for a house. Rob looked at 3 yesterday and we are looking at 1 tomorrow. Rob also started his job today so now it feels like we are really making a home here. This weekend holds nothing special and we will probably stay pretty low key. Except on Sunday Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers is in town, my Favorite band from Mass. I am really excited to see them, it’s been a while and this is their first time playing on the west coast.

I will update again this weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I feel like I haven’t been home on 5 days.

It has been such a crazy week here. With work and happy hour, we have managed to stay really busy. Just a quick wrap up to what we have been up to. Let’s see… Last Friday Rob finally got into town. Saturday morning we got up early and went to the U District’s farmers market. Moving over to the bar, we met up with two of Rob’s friends to watch the Michigan Game. After what was supposed to be my surprise for Rob. I was planning on taking him to the Rat City Roller Derby . We actually ended up not going because we couldn’t find our way to the location. Instead, we went to dinner at Jai Thai in Fremont. On Sunday, we drove around and went to some open houses.

This week has been a whirlwind and we have completely lost track of the days. During the day Rob has been taking care of odds and ends around here, meeting with realtors, unpacking. Then this week has been really busy for me also. We had a huge meeting with people from our New York, Chicago, and Philly offices. So every night either I went out with Rob or I went out with Rob and people from work. Here is a listing of some of the places we went and some more information.

Matador (Ballard area) – Yummy food and a great happy hour.
The Triple Door (Downtown) – I posted about this place before but this time I took Rob there. He liked it too.
Ivar’s (Downtown on the water) – This place is quintisential Seattle. Supposed to be the best seafood in Seattle. We went for work and we had a room facing the water where we watched the ferry come in. It was good food and very pretty views.
Belltown Billards (Belltown Area) – I don’t know why we took out of town guests here, this is a dive bar where someone got shot or something outside of it a few weeks ago. It was an ok place, but I am sure there are better bars in the area.
The Virgina Inn (Belltown Area) – we sat outside and had some beers. The also filmed part of the movie Singles there.
Kingfish CafĂ© (Capital Hill) – Comfort Soulfood. This is a great place in a very cute area.

The sun was shining today and it was beautiful. Rob saw Mount Rainer for the first time.

Tomorrow we are getting up and packing for a hiking/wine tasting/leaf peeping trip to Oregon. I will try to remember to take pictures and post them when we get back. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Rob's coming, it's time to clean!

I don't have much to say at all. This week is really slow. Rob will finally be here for good on Friday. He is finishing up all of his last minute details before he gets here. The movers came to get his stuff on Sunday/Monday and he has been living at the local Hotel for the week. He also has a rental car that he can zoom around in while his car is getting shipped here. He will work a half a day on Friaday and then get on the plane to Seattle! He have signed out life away to an attorney to do the condo closing for us and then pay off our mortgage and then desposit our money in the bank.

But, now that Rob is coming... I have to clean this place or else he will throw me out! I still am having a hard time getting motivated to clean, but I have no choice. I will do the best I can. I am also really happy to report that I got my new jacket yesterday and it's just great. It is exactly what I wanted. The color is chainti, which is not my favorite color. But, it will work. It is a Marmot jacket that has a black fleece jacket as a liner. It is great in the rain! And Breathable for Hiking. I couldn't ask for anything else. I got it from this website that seems to be great for good sale prices and no tax or shipping. Back Country Outlet . The snow clogs I bought are a little too big, those I will have to return.

So... other then all of that. Not much going on. Every morning Stewie and Brian wake me up by sitting on the dressers and just watching me. I know they are thinking, "you are lazy. stop pressing snooze and come and feed us." Poor things, I know they can't wait for their dad to get here. I have a surprise for Rob on Saturday night, I can't tell you what it is until Sunday because he made read this. You will laugh. I will take pictures.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Seattle Public Library Rocks

A few weeks ago I signed for my library card. I am a big fan of libraries. I had read this article about the Seattle Public Library Downtown and how it is an architectural marvel. It also has a bar code system so the books actually go on a conveyer belt and are re-shelved. It’s an amazing building, here is a pic . Also, You can check out the library here.

Anyway, the website for the library is also pretty cool. I can log in and look for a book. When I find a book I want, I put it on hold. Then I can see where I am in line. I can also choose which branch I want to pick up at. Naturally, I would like to pick it up at the Broadview Branch, which is across the street from my apt. So they send me an email notification when it gets to branch and I can pick it up anytime. Then, when I check out the book the process is all paperless and done via the computers. Maybe Seattle really is Silicon Forest

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cats to do the darndest things..

Please read the two posts below. I wanted to start off with some cute cat pictures. Click on the images to make them bigger.

This is what happens when you leave the bathroom door open.

Isn't it funny how Brian's cow and Stewie's mouse end up right next to each other on the floor?
Trying to crawl into the washer

Stewie is so happy she finally made it inside of the washer.

She also likes to play in the most inconvenient locations.

The basket is very versatile.

Brian also likes to lay on the TV. I can't get mad at him because it's too funny.

People who use their ipod only for music are lame

The possibilities with your ipod are endless. While I was waiting for my food at luch yesterday, I was playing brick on it. Similar to pong. What a wonderful game. But I also have a load of podcasts that I load up each morning for my listening enjoyment.

In other news from Today: . I am sitting here at the table with a latte. I have started going to the Starbucks drive through down the road on Saturdays and Sundays. Incredibly lazy, I know. More of a fan of indy coffee shops, but when it’s right down the street and there are in fact, 71 Starbucks in Seattle I’ll take whatever I can.

I am also sporting Rob’s “State Sucks” T-shirt for the game today. Although they are not showing it on TV the highlights are showing that today Michigan may have their heads out of the asses for once this season and might end up beating State today. I have to clean today. The Apartment is so dirty and messy I feel like am living in a mound of my own filth and mess. I am sure that Ang, Mom, and Rob are the only ones who truly appreciate the mess of Allison. And with no one here to nag at me, it just gets worse and worse. I hate myself.

The winter/fall jackets need to come out. You know, something that will withstand the wind, rain and otherwise known Seattle crap weather. It’s started. Last weekend was beautiful and now it’s time to break out a jacket. In CT and even in Houghton, I rarely wore a jacket. A turtleneck, fleece and sweater layered would always do the trick. No such luck here. I need to get a nice jacket. Yes, the word is NEED.

One good thing to come out of the bar was my conversation with a friend about our pending travel plans. I was telling him that we would like to go to Italy, New Zealand and back to the Sandcastle in the next 3 years before we consider having children. If children ever come to the Gifford household, our life and disposable income would be over. He said, “Have you considered Thailand?” Well, I guess I haven’t. Honestly, I figured it was expensive. Turns out he and his girlfriend went there for 16 days last year, right before the Tsunami and he said it was so wonderful, also very cheap. Most hotels were 30-60 dollars a night. This one is $71 . It got me thinking. The Euro is like 15-20% more then the dollar. When I look at a hotel room in Italy, it may say 150 Euro a night, but it is really about $200. Italy will always be there, right? Thailand needs the tourism commerce. Turns out a lot of people were put off after the Tsunami about going to Thailand. He showed me his pictures and I was sold. Yeah, that’s it.

So…that will be our next trip. After all, I like Thai food. For the first time ever, we may also consider working with a Travel consultant. This one guy in particular was named as the best for Thailand and Vietnam from Conde Nast. I do, after all have this book of “1,000 places to see before you die” and it would be great to knock of Thailand. (I really do have checks next to all the places I have been.. It’s minimal but should be full by the time I die). I am excited about this possibility. I am ready for a vacation and I am talking more then just going to Oregon on a leaf peeping weekend. Well time to clean. Here are some pictures of stewie getting into the washer. I promise I will write more often. I read somewhere that people write in their blogs as type of therapy. I think I believe that.

It's been a while

It’s been a while. I am sorry about that. A quick list of what I have been up to will hopefully give everyone a snapshot idea.

The Fremont Oktoberfest was awesome. I am so going again next year. There is really nothing like getting drunk by yourself. Not having anything to eat all day and then stumbling to a Thai restaurant to gorge yourself with food. Then, get on the bus to get a facial. Last Sunday was interesting, but a lot of fun. I got to pour beer and they have about 40 different types of microbrews from all over the area.

On Thursday, we had a happy hour after work. We went to The Triple Door , which is my new favorite bar in Seattle. It is so swanky and cool. I can’t wait to see a jazz show there. The happy hour choices were supreme. At $3 a pop, I loaded up on drinks and food. I had to get all the drinking the happy hour was promptly cut off at 6pm. Which leads me to the next point which is that I am a sloppy drunk and I often times have a case of diarrhea of the mouth. I had Excel training the next morning offsite, so at least I didn’t have to show my face when the team was reminiscing of things that were said during the night. I am sure I will be the butt of those jokes. After happy hour at the Triple Door though a handful of us went to the Alibi Room , which is another very cool bar. At that point I don’t remember what I was drinking or really even what the bar looked like. My friend put me in a cab (company sponsored) and I woke up with all my clothes on and the cats crawling on me.

Needless to say I was SO hung over. I had Excel Training (Expert Level) and it was actually really useful. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day then in front of a computer just learning new tricks. The only problem is that Excel class started at 8am. And that is really early for someone who shows up to work at 9:00-9:15. I made it through the day and went home at 4pm and crashed. I caught up on my Tivo'd television programs and moved on.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Is it possible to be addicted to coffee?

I know the logical answer is yes, but this is a little strange. Every weekend, I get a really bad headache. For those of you know me, me and headaches usually go hand in hand… but, for the past 3 years, I only get headaches when I don’t drink enough water. Now, every weekend I have a headache. I figured my laziness and tv watching was to blame. Today, I figured that I think it is because I don’t start my day off with coffee.

Rob and I have this joke, in Seattle Mother Nature needs her coffee before it starts to get nice out. It’s always cloudy and grey in the morning and then the sun comes out and it’s nice around noon or 1pm. Is it the same for me too? At work, we have a really nice coffee machine, so I usually have 1 rarely 2 cups a day. Sometimes I have a latte. On the weekend, I don’t have coffee till much later if at all. I left the coffee maker in CT with Rob. I bet that is what it is.

This weekend was slow and I was nursing my headaches and a really bad cold that I think I finally shook. We accepted an offer on our house in CT. It’s nice to have that out of the way. Of course, we have to go through all the red tape, but everything should be fine. Rob will be out here in about 3 weeks. I canned 7 jars of homemade applesauce and am making Chicken Noodle Soup right now.

This week/end I am actually going to be really busy. Monday I have to get my hair cut at a place I found Vain. Then, I have to quickly run to Fremont because I have volunteer training for the Fremont Oktoberfest. The training is going to be at the Adobe Building, which is the headquarters for.. you guessed it… Adobe. On Tuesday night, I will be hitting happy hour after work for one of my co-worker's Bday. Then on Saturday I am going to hit the beer tent at the Oktoberfest as well as the Chainsaw Pumkin Carving Contest (don’t worry I will include pics). Then on Sunday I am working the race, so it would be a pretty action packed week I hope.

As for TV. Apprentice Martha Stewart is on this week, The Biggest Loser (my fav), 7th Heaven premire, So you think you can dance, Super Sweet 16, and my new favorite, My fair Brady. Gosh, I love the fall.

Oh, one more thing. My last paper for my masters was turned in and graded and I am now done with school woohoo! Have a great week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Something is burning in my dishwasher

I need a man in my life that can take care of my household appliances and me. I have a wood-burning fireplace that I can’t start a fire because I am afraid the pIace will burn down. When I start my dishwasher I smell something burning, but when I inspect it.... I don’t see anything. I couldn’t even hook up my own Tivo. To top it all off, I am sick and I had to go get myself some food and meds. Oh yeah ... and there is a light out in my bedroom that I can’t seem to fix. It’s a good thing that I got married when I did and never had to live alone. It's obvious that I wouldn't have made it. I am finally getting over the lonesome part of being here, but now it’s the “I don’t know how to do anything myself because I never had to” part of it.

As I said earlier, Rob came in this weekend and last night he left around 10pm or so. He got home just in time to drive to work. It was great to have him here. Now it is just the cats and me. Stewie walked and we could tell she was thinking, “This is great… where is the rest of the house?” They have like 1 carpeted room to play in as opposed to 3 with hard wood floors. They seem to be ok, but they keep taking turns sleeping in a tiny basket that is on the floor. Then I saw Brian cuddled up by the front door as if he thinks there is a secret room there that he doesn’t have access too.

The only other notable item is: On my way home from the airport yesterday I got passed by a SMART car. I was so excited. Seeing the car next to mine just shows me that it is like 2/3s the size of my car. It had a Canadian license plate. British Columbia. The only license plate I have ever seen that the state name is preceded by an adjective. “Beautiful British Columbia” it says. LAME. As if it is any more beautiful then any other Canadian state or whatever they are called.

That’s my weekend. The picture is from the Seattle Mariners game on Saturday Night. I was so excited when my friend, Torie's, husband bought me a foam finger. I LOVE those.

..and here comes the product placement

We saw it last year, but as I am watching “The Biggest Loser” it is even clearer. Moving into the age of Tivo and on demand Television, product placement may be the only way to get your brand across to viewers. Within the first 10 minutes for “The Biggest Loser” someone from 24-hour fitness comes on the show to speak. The gym is called 24-hour fitness gym and all the contestants are now wearing 24-hour fitness t-shirts. We will see this in every reality show this season and most likely a handful of other shows. Oh yeah, now the first challenge is called "Diet Rite" challenge. Is Diet Rite even in buiness anymore?

I don’t really mind it because I know that commercials will be obsolete soon, so they have to do something. It remind me of that episode of Saved By the Bell where Zack makes subliminal messages on a tape and then plays them over the PA that say “Zack Morris is the bayside Tom Cruise”. Then all the girls liked him.

I just opened a gym membership today, if I would have waited a day, I bet it would have been 24 Hour Fitness and not Pure Fitness.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

PST ain’t so bad afterall

We were so excited to get up and watch the Michigan v. Notre Dame game this morning. Imagine being able to wake up and watch it while eating breakfast! I am happy to report that the noon games are not tape delayed, but instead are on at 9am. This makes for more efficient football watching. We get to sit in our jimmies and watch the game. At half time, I may venture to the shower. I am looking forward to EVERY Saturday in the fall.

Rob missed his flight on Thursday night, but I promptly picked him up from the airport on Friday morning with my attitude in check. The traffic sucks sometimes from CT to NYC, so we knew this could happen. Stewie was a real trooper the whole way. In no time at all, did she get all cuddled in and friendly. In fact, when we came home later that afternoon she was on top of the kitchen cabinets in the area between the ceiling and the top of the cabinet. What a little Brat! Now that the two a re back together they are looking for trouble.

I have pictures below of the cats from this morning and from the Seattle Duck Touron Friday afternoon. I also took Rob to one of my favorite burger joints so far Red Mill Burger Last night we went to see Oasis It was my first time seeing them and I loved it, I found that it is one of those rare cases where musicians play their own instruments, sing their own songs and still sound better then on the CD. That just doesn’t happen anymore. Later today we are going to drive around and then go to the Mariners game tonight with a friend from work. Rob is enjoying it here, even though the weather isn’t holding up that great.

Our place is also officially on the market and we have some interest. You can check it out here

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Genius Bar redeems itself

I know I have given the Genius Bar a bad wrap in the past. I had horrible luck with them in West Hartford. I had a problem with my ibook so I brought it in and after waiting for 4 hours, the guy told me that I was hosed and that I would have to pay $250 to send it in to get fixed. I am pretty knowledgeable about computers, but this apple business is new ground for me. Luckily my aunt is a Mac expert and told me to just send it to her and she had it all fixed up in about a day. Turns out the problem was one that I probably could have fixed myself if I had been smarter. Anyway, I was disappointed with the quality of genius at the Genius bar.

This time I was pleasantly surprised. My ipod this time, it hasn't been sensing up with my iTunes. Public transportation makes an ipod a necessity. Rob and I are able to record anything that is streamed online and then save it as an mp3 and then transfer it to the ipod. Most people use ipods for music, but using it for talk radio is really wonderful. Anyway, I forgot that I only bought my ipod in December and it was still under warranty. They gave me a new one on the spot. The only problem is I don't have my name engraved on the back. :( And no Ang, I still wouldn't want the U2 Band members autographed on the back of mine either.

I also hit up the REI flagship store today. Nice store and great sales. Now I know where to go if I need.... well ... anything outdoor related. I ran some other errands and now I am back home. Listening to back episodes of Drew and Mike. I am working on my paper and planning my menu for the week so I can go grocery shopping this weekend.

Here is a picture of Brian getting comfortable in the window of the spare bedroom/office/storage room for boxes. Have a great weekend everyone! I will update again later.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Brian Arrives

Well, we have one down and 1 to go. Brian made the flight out here on Monday night with Rob. He sat in the passenger cabin in Rob's seat. When I spoke with Rob on his way to the airport, meows were screaming from the back seat. I was afraid that the people from the plane would tackle Rob for making them sit through the meow music on the way to Clevland and then on to Seattle. Rob finally arrived at 10:30pm on Monday night. We got Brian to my (our) apartment and cleaned him up. A little urine never heard nobody. His nose was all raw from rubbing on the bag the whole way to WA. It has been 3 days and finally I think he is adjusting. I don't think he likes not have hard wood floors (he likes to slide across the floor) and I think he is still uneasy about the whole new place and the time change. He is acting a little more normal every day and I know he will be even better when Stewie arrives next week.

Rob, on the other hand is doing well. His interviews were great and he has a lot of options coming his way. He likes Seattle and is excited about having no humidity. I feel so bad, it was the first rainy day since I moved here and of course, that is the day he comes. But we were still able to sit outside for a great sushi dinner and bottle of wine. The next day was beautiful, but he was only in town for 25 hours. He also thought I was crazy for saying that Seattle was dirty and he said it is one of the cleaner cities he has been to. Ok, fine.

Work has been awesome this week, I am finally starting to work on real projects so it makes the day go so much quicker. Today I looked up and it was 4:30pm and I swore I just had my morning coffee. This weekend I am going to Bumbershoot on Sunday and Monday. I am hitting up a big sale at REI and there is also a big tent sale for snowboarding and ski stuff. snowboarding pants that have suspenders would really work well this year and what with snowboarding hills only an hour away, there is no reason not to go. I also have to finish this paper, now that I know that I graduated from the Quinnipiac Masters program with Distinct Honor, I guess I should finish this paper to make sure it happens.

Our place is also officially on the market and we have already had 3 visits to see it. Rob is working with the realtor this weekend on a marketing plan and hopefully getting the virtual tour information up. I will send out a link when it's up. I hope offers are in before that even happens too.

I will finish off this post with some pictures of my baby and get back to my paper.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New and Notable

Not much new and notable here for the past few days. I can easuily bullet point anything of interest.

- Rob went up to Worcester, Ma this weekend to meet his parents and help his grandpa clean out his house. We were able to obtain their sterling silver flatware that they received 60 years ago as a wedding gift. The silverware has an engraved G on it. I have always LOVED that silverware and thought it would be so cool if we could have it some day. So, Rob was able to get that this weekend and I think when we get it here, I will look into having it professionally cleaned and polished. I know his grandma used to just put it in the dishwasher so I bet it could use some TLC.

- I am now about 25% done with my paper. I am not sure of this figure, but it seems right to me. I would really like to have it done in about a week, so I guess I will get working again tonight too.

- Everything is all set for my Brian to get here on Monday. A new litter box, wet food, dry food, and treats. I can't wait! He will keep me company. Stewie is to follow on the 9th.

- I went down to Pike Place market today to get some flowers. There is a picture along with a cool picture from Ang and Chris for our anniversery. The flowers were $5.00. Can you please tell me what was done to my wedding flowers to make them $120.00 more then these? I know I had some different flowers, but really. I don't get it? Weddings.... what a scam. I will never regret having a big wedding, I just think vendors take advantage when it's a wedding.

Well, that is all for now. Let's hope this hurricane comes down a few categories, those poor people in New Orleans.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Seattle: Food City?

I would move to Seattle for the food alone. Not even in New York, do you have such good fresh food available and to choose from. New York is difficult because, like Paris, if you don’t have the “in” or you don’t know somebody who knows somebody, it’s hard to find out about the good restaurants, shops, markets, etc.

For lunch today, I had some Thai food takeout. I have been bringing my lunch in, but I was in a rush this morning. I stopped and got some Pad Thai. It was great until I bit into something that resembled a rock or shell. But, it was good sans the shell.

We have a team picnic tomorrow and I decided to make Guacamole, it is one of the only foods that I can claim that I make well and I am never ashamed to bring it to a party. I went to Central Market and picked up all the ingredients. In CT I never have avocados that smoosh so easily. The produce here is seriously second to none and fresh-farmed tomato too. So when I was done, it’s the best Guacamole I have ever made. They also have a sushi bar at CM so I picked up some shrimp tempura rolls. I am usually not big on fruits and veggies, but since I have moved here. It is non-stop fruit and wine.

Why is it that the foods that you love so much give you heartburn? I never knew what people meant when they said “heart burn” but in the last year I get it anytime I eat any of my favorite foods and it sucks.

On other notes I will drive to work tomorrow and then to the park where the picnic is. There is something wrong with my tire and it was flat when I got in tonight. It’s a good thing I have these run flat tires that allow me to drive far enough to the local gas station to air them back up again. Wish me luck for tomorrow on I-5. Someone is bringing one of the ice cream balls that you put the ingredients in the ball and then kick it around and the eat the ice cream. I will let you guys know how it works out and post some pictures.

I love reality tv…. I have to toggle between 3 shows tonight.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The circus is in town

The bus just keeps getting better and better. Just when I think that someone looks “normal” they turn and I see that they don’t have a hand or they smile and have no teeth. Or they start talking and are the biggest computer nerds ever! Or they start talking about the new version of Finale Fantasy or other rpg games. Nobody appears to be normal on the bus. I realize that saying normal makes me somewhat of a snob. Just see. When you come here and we take the bus together, it’s just a circus. You have one person screaming on their cell phone about their personal life. Another person has their dog sitting on their lap. Another guy will not stop using the F word and talking about his wonderful trip to Japan where he was embarrassed to say he was from America. Yeah, because I am sure they couldn’t tell. Dip wad. Then two guys walk on who are trying to get to the closest bank to cash a check. They smell a scent of booze dribbled over ashtray and I was lucky enough to have 1 sit right next to me. The man was angry because a woman got on the bus that uses a walker. As if anyone with a walker or wheelchair should not be allowed to take the bus. Just when the women seems like a sweet old lady, she starts talking to herself and waving her hands in the air. When the two ashtray scented men get off at their bank a girl looks over and says. “Oh my god, did those guys smell”. Maybe I am not the only sane one on the bus after all.

I promise, I won’t always write about the bus. $50/month is better then spending $3.00/gal and $100/month for parking. I guess it's worth a circus experience every day.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

My husband... my hero

I know I complain about having to be here alone and all of the things that I have been doing in Seattle. But, I can't forget to mention my wonderful husband, who, without his support.... I wouldn't have taken this job in Seattle. He is in CT working is butt off getting our place in order and ready to sell. Next week he is hoping to have it ready so the realtor can do the virtual tour pictures. The realtor seems to be really excited and suggested a starting list price that was over what we orginally thought for our place. Great news. He also suspects that it will sell quickly. Not bad for our first house. But, Rob is working so hard to get everything done. He is putting in hardwood upstairs in the library, installing white trim everywhere, and installing the door frames and trim around the doors. That work is so tedious and time consuming, I wish I could be there to help him. But, it sounds like he is getting a lot done and probably more so without me there to bother him all the time, like I usually do.

Here are some pictures to show his progress upstairs.

And when Stewie wants to sleep. She doesn'r care where she is.

How many days should I Bumbershoot?

Not to be a total downer, but yesterday was a real low for me. I didn’t do anything. I actually had oh… 6 hours to spare and watched 3 lifers. Alabi Co-ed Call Girls (one of my all time favorites) and Silencing Mary. I then had a headache, probably from watching TV all day. I went to bed at 9:30 and work up at 9:00. Not bad for 11.5 hours of sleep.

This morning, I got up. Called Rob, called mom and dad and went down to a coffee shop for a latte and to read the paper. My day is already better. I cleaned up and have some pictures to show.

So, Seattle has a music festival called Bumbershoot. It’s a huge 4 days festival and seems like a lot of fun. This year, they will have some hot acts. I think. Including, Elvis Costello, Dashboard Confessionals, Garbage, Trey Anastasio and The Donnas. Now, the only problem. Like any marketing savvy person would suspect. All the big named acts are on different days. So, if you want to see all these acts you would have to go every day. It’s $30 for a two day pass and I don’t think that I can physically go there without hating people more then I already do. So what do I do? Any suggestions are welcome and I need to make up my mind and buy tickets this week otherwise the price goes up a ton. If anyone has seen these acts live and have suggestions. That may help me make up my mind.

I am on my way to a wine class this afternoon. How to explain the taste of wine and how to match food with wine. Seems interesting and a nice way to fill the void on my Sunday afternoon. I will post with pictures later.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Allison 0, Laziness 1

I am having such a hard time getting up in the morning. I really need to make some changes. Nothing notable happened yesterday or today other then I got to come home much earlier then normal because I have training and they start at 9:30am and leave at 4pm. Sounds good to me.

This morning I made the bus. It was such a clear morning, I was so excited to see that Mount Rainier was out and I got to look at it the whole ride to work. I never thought that I would actually enjoy looking at that as much as I do. The thing is huge and I can’t wait to see it closer when Rob gets here.

My training was in the International District / Pioneer Square and it’s a pretty cool area. It’s pretty diverse and a little quieter then the financial district, but cool just the same. On Thursday I ate at a sushi place and had some super fresh salmon rolls. Then today I ate at a place called McCoy’s Firehouse and had some Chili WITH texas toast. I have been brown bagging it, but it’s a little different when I have training an no place to eat.

This weekend will be a lot of nothing. Getting my bank account in order. I got a surprise check from Arts & Ideas today. My last paycheck. Not very much money but at least a little something. I also have to finish this paper in order to complete my program for school.

Ang wanted to see a pic of my new shoes, so here they are. Please don’t make fun of them. I think they’re cool. I can’t stop shopping. There is something wrong with me.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It’s not bad, if you want to stay in first gear.

I had to drive today. I know, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I really had no choice. I have training today at another facility and after pushing snooze for the 20th time, I woke up and realized that I didn’t think I would make what turned out to be the last express bus. I missed it, so I had to drive and pay for parking.

The drive really isn’t bad. Everyone says that the traffic is SO bad in Seattle. It could have been too late for rush hour. I left my place at quarter to 9. I ran into some stop and go traffic on I-5, which is what made me stay in 1st gear for a few miles. All told, it took about 11 miles and 15-20 minutes, including the time it takes to get to the parking lot.

Not as bad as Chicago. Chicago always has the worst traffic. Even New York can be better then Chicago sometimes. I still would rather take the bus, but if I have to drive at least it’s not THAT bad. Parking was $9.00, which is still cheaper then New Haven. Can you believe that? I would still rather pay the $3.00 a day to take the bus and encounter the golden opportunities of seeing something I would never be able to see in my car driving alone.

I am in the International District today, down by where the Mariners and Seahawks play. I had 3 people ask me for money on my way from the parking lot to the office. I must have “money bags” written on my forehead. Too bad, I put on a good act. I have the credit card bill to prove it that it’s not true.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Who knew heaven was a grocery store?

It's true. I found heaven this weekend at a little place called Central Market. It seems strange. This grocery store is the best thing to ever happen to me. My manager told me about it and it turns out it was actually mentioned in a Seattle guide book that I have.

On Friday nights they have live music. On Saturday mornings they have free samples from local food people. What grocery stores do free samples anymore? They even have cooking classes right in the store. The BEST produce I have ever had not at a farmers market. Tonight I found that you can even grind your own whole wheat flour. It's the only thing that I LOVE about this neighborhood that I live in. This Central Market place is heaven on earth. I can't stop going. I needed more fresh peaches. They have a nice wine selection too.

Speaking of wine, I ran out of wine glasses (I only unpacked 4) and I had to have my wine in a *gasp* martini glass. I felt so dirty, it is so wrong. In case anyone is wondering how the wine is. Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver now have the best wine regions. Oregon is the new Napa Valley, only undiscovered and not as costly. The wine prices here is awesome and so is the wine selections. If you ever come across this Erath Pinot Noir buy it at once. It is one of the best I have ever had. Pinot Noir has always been a favorite and I swear I am not following the 'sideways" bandwagon. That was a good movie, but an even better book. I have signed up to take a wine class next Sunday. It's how to match food and wine, how to describe the taste of wine and all sorts of tid bits of information. I think it will be a nice class and I hope I am not the only normal person there. Hmmmm... describe normal..... ok, I hope I am not the only person there. Anyone I meet will be fine.

Kind of off topic but something I would like to still touch on. Although Seattle is one of the most wired cities it also seems to be about 20 years behind the times. I saw a guy today using a tape player walkman. I thought the CD player ones were out dated. Who has tapes anymore? Also at the grocery store 2 women were at the service desk asking to use the phone? Doesn't everyone have a cell phone? Weird. I also had to break out my birkenstocks after not wearing them for 3 years. Seems that Birkenstocks or Reef flip flops are normal office attire.

I am meeting some friends from Umich (Rob 's friends from college I should say) Katie and Marissa for a drink. 9:00pm is past my bedtime, but I am trying to turn over a new leaf and start being more social.

And I call myself a web person

Dear Angela Raspor,

Not only have I worked in web development for 3 years and am about to hold a Master degree in Interactive Communications, it is apparent that through all of this formal training I still cannot figure out how to add links within my blog. Can you please help me some day?
P.S. Do you want a job?

Your sister and friend,

You want how much for that house?

On Sunday I decided to take some time to drive around and look at houses. Open houses on Sundays seem to be pretty popular. I wrote down a few that I wanted to look at and then drove to find them. As I was driving around, I also stumbled on a bunch of other homes too. It’s not like I didn’t know what to expect with the home prices here. I knew it would be expensive. If we ere to end up in San Diego it would have been even more. At least in Seattle we have a hope of owning property. It will all depend on where Rob ends up working. Traffic can be pretty bad here, so we need to plan accordingly. Barring any murders on the bus, I can easily take the bus into the Downtown for work, so it doesn’t really matter where we live for me. It is important to me to stay within the Seattle city limits though. Afterall, for me, it’one of the major reasons why we decided to move here. City living, taking advantage of all it has to offer. Blah Blah.

I have been able to look through the different neighborhood descriptions through Seattle PI neighborhoods . So we already know about where we want to live and where we can afford to live. So, I specifically went to look at one small house in Beacon Hill . It was at the very top of the price range, but I just wanted to get a feel for what it would look like in the inside. Gosh and look at that, sold already. I bet someone put an offer in right after the open house. Well, that is what we have to look forward to, bidding wars and a fast real estate market. Even though the price was high, you couln’t beat that view out of the back deck. That sold me right away. The nice thing about doing all this open house looking is that it gives me an excuse to check out different neighborhoods and also not spend money for a day. Which has been pretty hard to do. My poor little car can barley make it around the hills. My miles per gallon is falling by the second, which is another way in which I am spending more money then I need to.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Nothing beats When Harry Met Sally on a Friday night

Well, I am dead dog tired after my first 3 days of work. Someone gave me the advice one day to always start a new job on a Wednesday, that way you won't have a full week of work and noone wants to go to work for a whole week on their first week. I t ried to clean out some boxes, I ate my left over burrito, and now I am sitting on the couch watching one of my favorite movies and typing this. Oh wait. Let me get a glass of wine to make this a little better. AHHH. This is great.

We have a company picnic tomorrow, but after only knowing people for 3 days, I think it is too early to start mingling with the compaies and spouses at this picnic. I can handle only so many social activities and I think last night was it for the week. The weekend hold nothing more then just unpacking and another run to Kmart (my new favorite store) to buy another shower curtain and some other items.

Some of Rob's friends from college will be in town tomorrow night and Sunday. I think I will get together with them, maybe dinner and drinks. Turns out they work for seperate companies and somehow will be in town for business next week. How weird. I should get back to my wine and movie. I wish I had something more exciting to write.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How Many People Does it Take to Move a King Size Mattress?

Fly into Seattle at 3am Seattle time, means 6am Eastern Time. No worried though, since I hadn’t been to bed earlier than 4:30am any night during the marathon mentioned earlier. On Sunday I got to walk around a bit to all of the touristy things once I work up. It was awesome. Too many tourists though, but a beautiful day to see the Pike Place Market and the waterfront. After walking all over the place, I was able to find my bus that would bring me to the apartment. All day passes for $2.50 on Saturday and Sunday is a really great deal and a great way to see the city. I got one of those and came up to my apartment. The apartment is nice, I am not crazy about the neighborhood, but it will do for now. I know that when we start looking for a house, we will want some place where we can walk to the shops and stuff. Here, although this is a library across the street, I can’t do that.

The movers came at 9am, in fact they were here before me and 2 hours later they were gone. Nice and fast. The only thing that seems to be broken is 2 of my favorite pasta plates. But, I think I can live.

My landlord knocked on my door after the movers left and asked if she could treat me to a latte and bring me to the grocery store because she knows that I don’t have my car yet. How nice! So I went and loaded up, I think she was surprised when she came to pick me up and the cart was really full. Well, she offered! So at least I have some food to keep me through the next few days. … Now, if only I could get my car here.

Marathon Wedding

I can’t handle these marathon weddings anymore. It’s not just Saturday (or in this case Friday). It’s Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday, and in some cases a brunch in the morning that also involves drinking. This weekend was Chris, Rob’s best friend from college, and Bridget’s wedding. Through the years we have become really close with them and this wedding in particular was really important to us. I love getting into town and hanging with Rob’s college friends, they are so much fun. This was the first time that I was able to meet one of Chris’s high school friends that he speaks of, Jan. Rob assured me that I would like him and I really did.

I am pretty sure that I made a fool of myself more times then just one. There were 40s, an open bar at the rehearsal dinner, and an open bar at the reception. Then an interesting trio to the bar and Coney Island after the reception.

The ceremony itself was great. It was a catholic ceremony by a priest who was from Notre Dame. At first it seemed strange to ship in a priest for the wedding, but after we found that he was actually a friend of Bridget’s and has been doing her masses for 4 years or so and also knew Chris really well. It all made sense. The ceremony would not have been the same without him and he is one of the nicest people. The ceremony was fantastic and it was totally a tribute to him. Bridget was a beautiful bride and I loved the way that Chris would look at her during the ceremony and she didn’t know he was watching her and he just had a smile on his face. I know that, because it’s the same way that Rob looked at me. It’s weird, now after being through a wedding ceremony myself, I am so much more emotional at other weddings.

The reception was at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe and was awesome. It was so beautiful in there. You look out of the windows and it feels like you are sitting on the water. After the reception we went to the bar in Detroit. We drank heavily and it totally capped off the celebration. We had such a good time and I think everyone did. Good job for those two for planning the wedding from so far away while being in a different time zone as well. I will get some pictures up as soon as I get more batteries for my camera.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Last night at Chez Gifford

Last night was my last night at our place in Deep River. I could have been sad, but I have been counting down the nights until I didn't have to sleep here anymore because the beds are so uncomfortable. When I try to sleep downstairs, the baby usually wakes me up. Last night, he shut up till 3am. A nice accomplishment.

I am just working on packing and making sure that I have everything organized and ready to go. We are flying out of LaGuardia in NY, so we will have to leave pretty early this afternoon. We all know how Rob is, and he will be home about 45 minutes after he says he will.

I am going to my friend Eric's tonight for dinner and drinks in Royal Oak. I get to meet his girlfriend/wife to be. Then tomorrow we have the rehersal and rehersal dinner and Chris's mom and dads. Then the wedding on Friday. We have a bruch at the local pool park on Saturday morning, but after that we have no plans. I called the hotel in Seattle to make sure I could check in later and they said it was fine. I plan on getting there at like 2:30am on Sunday morning.

I bought Chris and Bridget a gift cerificate to a great Steak House in Denver. I am sure the gift cert will barely cover the dinner. But, I think it would be nice to go out for a nice steak dinner, when you otherwise wouldn't. I also tried to get them a few other things off their registry. I think I am all set with that.

I found this awesome house in West Seattle yesterday. Here is the link.

I want to see if they do an open house this weekend and maybe I can go. It's totally too soon to buy anything, but I would like to see the inside.

Well, I think that is all fro now. Pretty boring,busy day today. I may not be able to write until I move in, but I will try. Until then.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What is in a name?

Not that I never thought blogging would be neat. I have. Now, is the only time in my life that people may want to read what I have to say. With the move to Seattle, I thought that it would be a great way to post at one location and not have to call/email people individually. I will try to update daily, perhaps more? Let's feel it out first.

First, off topic, but something I wanted to address. I have been realizing in the last year or so that I have grown and adapted to changing my name. It is much cooler to be "The Giff" or "giff's wife". I love the fact that Rob's name is trunkated to be something cool. While, I was just as happy having the last name Raspor. You really couldn't make anything out of it. "Hey, The Rasp!" not cool. Hell, Rob even has a drink named after him. Can you imagine anyone kicking back with a glass of "The Rasp?" again, not cool!

I will also have the ability to update pictures to this thing. This will come in incredibly handy when sending photos of Seattle, once I get there. So please check back so you can see what I am doing.

Also, I have allowed people to post comments to each post that I make. Please feel free. Don't ask me to post about my new job, I would hate to get fired!