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!