Monday, September 29, 2008

I found bread!

I know it's a funny title, but for all of the farmer's markets and fresh produce that can be foundin Seattle, for some reason I have the hardest time finding non-Wonder bread. I want some good bakery bread! Well, today, on my way home from work, I finally found some. Yay for me!

This weekend, I went out to the Goat House to meet with a contractor. Travis and I have decided to rescind our offer on that house - it just needs too much work and it would be a lot of time, stress and money. So it's off the table. Anyways, after I visited the house, I went over to Kent Station and got a manicure and then got some delicious dinner at a restaurant called Zao. They had these awesome chicken spring rolls...mmm. I want to go back!

This weekend I also cleaned up a bit, and wandered around Pike's Place market to get produce. I picked up some really good peaches, apples and something called a plumcot (which is a hybrid plum and apricot). I also got some vegetables and some chicken, and made myself a delicious dinner on Saturday night. I watched Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey as well this was decent, but nothing to write home about (interestingly, I am writing about it in this blog, which is essentially writing home. hmmm.)

On Sunday, I went with my new friend G. from work over to Target. I helped her pick out stuff for her new apartment - she moved here from NYC. We started on the same day, so us new Seattleites need to stick together! After shopping and unpacking her loot, we went out to a scrumptious dinner at the Pink Door. Oddly, I have been to this restaurant three times now. But I haven't really been to very many Seattle-area restaurants. I do recommend the Italian cuisine at the PD - it's really good. It's apparently "my" place.


Tonight, I'm watching Dancing with the Stars, doing laundry, and getting excited for Travis to be here! Tomorrow night, I have a work soiree to attend, so I won't be able to do anything at the apartment tomorrow night to get ready for Trav (he gets here Wednesday for a visit - yay!)

In financial news (no, not related to the bailout) - I get paid tomorrow!! It's weird to be paid monthly. I am also getting a portion of my signing bonus tomorrow...maybe I should go out and celebrate being flush for a little while! :)


Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm pretty sure I'm not bored

Well, I am pleased to report that I am not in any way bored with my job or with Seattle! It seems like there is always something going on - it's to the point where I am excited to be able to stay home and watch TV at night.

I have dived into work now, and will be doing some traveling for my job soon. I will be going to San Jose, CA and Charleston, SC during the first part of October. (Anyone know a person willing to be a cat sitter while I am gone??)

On Tuesday night, I went and saw another house that is a strong possibility for me and Travis. We put in an offer on that place. I actually think we have two great options, now we need to see which offer gets accepted first, and throw ourselves into closing that quickly. (I know, two offers? Crazy. But the Goat House bankers are simply not responding quickly at all, and so we have to have a plan B.)

Thursday I had choir practice. We sang a song my college choir had recorded, and that was really fun. The men also sang the same version of Ave Maria that the ND Glee Club does...awesome. Nostalgic.

I also got to watch a lot of Dancing with the Stars this week. I really like that show. I ended up buying the iTunes subscription for Grey's Anatomy...I won't be able to see it when it is on because of choir practice, but I like the show a lot. Plus, it's set in Seattle. I actually know some of the places they talk about.

I think it is bedtime for me. I am sleepy, and want to get some good sleeping in.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back in the Seattle

This time, I brought the kitty!

As mentioned on here before, I planned on bringing Ninja to Seattle with me when I came back from my vacation. I did it. I was very nervous about the kitty on the plane, particularly after she pretty much rejected the liquid Benadryl that was meant to make her calm. Seriously, she spit as much out as possible, sort of throwing up, and then foamed some of it at her mouth. Not cool! (Can you imagine trying to explain to the airport officials that she didn't have rabies? Right.)

I got to the airport about 75 minutes before my flight left, and to go through security, I had to take the kitty out of her carrier and carry her with me through the metal detector. She did fine in the airport really, just meowed some. She was very meowy and agitated at takeoff, but then I put the whole carrier on my lap and pet her the entire three hour trip, and that seemed to help. She freaked out at landing, but I get that. If I were a cat, I would, too.

I let her roam free in the car on the way back to my apartment, and I think that was the right choice. She was pretty meowy, but I think it would have been WAY worse if she stayed in the carrier.

Prior to the whole airport deal, I had a great time at lunch over at my parents' house. Travis and I picked up a whole ton of Famous Dave's BBQ, and then we met up with Lisa and Beth at Mom and Dad's. I ate too much, but it was delicious, and the company was great. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Well, I am's hard work being stressed about your pet when you fly!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Up north

I am in Minnesota this entire week (yay!!) because we rented a cabin on Lake Vermilion. We are staying at Pehrson's Lake Lodge, and we have the Wren cabin. It's beautiful...brand new, and the entire interior is done in knotty pine. We are up here with our friends Pete (aka Fetus) and his girlfriend Rosa. They came up from Phoenix on Friday night.

I took the red eye flight on Friday night into Saturday. I can't believe how they stuff you in like literal sardines on those flights...I was crammed into a corner, almost needed a shoehorn to get into the seat. I got a little sleep on there, though not as much as I wanted! I borrowed my mom's car for the week, so we had two vehicles to get up here. Pete and Travis drove up the Durango and the boat, and Rosa and I took the Buick. We listened to an audiobook on the way up (Judge and Jury by James Patterson) - we're not quite through it, but it is pretty good thus far. I feel like I may have read this at some point, but I really don't remember how it ends, so it's all good.

We are currently watching the Catch Me If You Can DVD, which is one of Trav's favorite movies. Pete and Rosa haven't ever seen it. It's a pretty good movie.

We also have a rip roaring fire going in our fireplace, and I just love them. I'm excited about it.

Anyways, it is nice to be in Minnesota now, and it's great to see Travis finally! :)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hamburger Helper...

...makes a great meal!

Well, at least I am telling myself that. The lasagna variety is cooking away on the stove right now. I'm sure it's no stovetop lasagna (one of my specialties) but it will I think be serviceable. You might wonder why I even have Hamburger Helper. No, it didn't come with the apartment, but I figured when I was at the store that it was a quick and easy meal that I really don't have to think too much about. It takes maybe 20 minutes to make, so it doesn't get much faster.

I have choir rehearsal tonight from 7:30-9:30, and I also need to pack for MN, so I don't have much time tonight to do much else. Tomorrow night I have dinner plans before I head out of town, so I don't want to rely on having a ton of time tomorrow to pack, so I want to do it tonight before choir.

All is well in Seattle. I am excited to come home for the upcoming week...the cabin on Vermilion looks great, and I even got a spa day planned for Rosa and me next Friday. Fun times.

I'm settling in well, starting to make friends and do stuff. I went up to Ballard last night to meet up with some people, and enjoyed several adult beverages at a bar called Hazlewood. Then today I met some folks for lunch, and had an absolute times!

Off to eat the Hamburger Helper!!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Samantha = smart

So on Sunday, I had my first Mass as part of the Cathedral Choir. It was awesome. Everything about it was pretty much perfect...I felt like I fit in, the music we made was literally divine, and it started off my second week in Seattle very well. The choir is going to be a time commitment each week, with a 2-3 hour rehearsal on Thursday nights, and 2-3 hours every Sunday for Mass, plus some additional rehearsals and Masses for special occasions, like Easter and Christmas. (Sorry to my favorite Jewish friend, for some reason we don't sing on Hannukah (sp?) or Pesach. I'm not sure why. We are singing a lot of Mendelssohn though, which sort of balances it out.)

After Mass, I decided to explore a little bit in the northern part of Seattle. The furthest north I had been in the city was downtown...that's not very far north! I drove up to Northgate (hit up Target, found a mall and Best Buy if I want them) and then around to the University Village (I went to Chipotle for odd thing about downtown - there don't seem to be any chain restaurants that I am used to at all down's weird.) While in UVillage, I also spotted a PetCo (prodigious!) and I picked up all the kitty stuff I will need for when Ninja is here next Sunday. Yay for the kitty coming to Seattle! I am a bit worried about her flying...I need to pick up the medicine to make her sleepy and less anxious on the trip.

Why does Samantha = smart? (Well, other than the obvious...) I explored on Sunday without much help from my navigation unit! And I did well!! (Woohoo for me.)

I made peanut butter cookies tonight, and will bring those into work tomorrow. I ate about a million cookies, and now my stomach feels yucky. Serves me right. Now I am watching 90210 - because clearly I need culture. :)


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Review: Shrek the Musical (Seattle)

Well, I had the opportunity to go to Shrek The Musical last night at the 5th Avenue Theater. It is making its world debut here in Seattle, ironing out its kinks prior to opening on Broadway later this fall. I should start by saying that I had really no expectations for this show, as I had never heard of it, and I bought the ticket on a whim approximately 3 hours before the show began.

I did wonder: How would it be possible to turn this animated movie into a stage show? I know it's been done, and done successfully with shows like The Lion King and other Disney movies, but...this was different.

The adaptation was interesting, to say the least. The story really didn't differ from the movie at all; many of the the lines and jokes were verbatim. My seat in the theater was directly in the center, but it was the very last row, so I didn't see too many of the detailed facial features. The entire stage was set in shades of lime green, and the lighting was also very green. The marketing campaign of this show has been "Go Green", focusing on how to get to the theater in an eco-friendly manner, selling green ear pieces, etc.

The show opened, and through the first few songs I thought, "Uh oh. This is bad." The songs weren't catchy, the dances weren't very interesting and overall, I was not really enthused. Once the adult Shrek came on stage, it got better. The actor who played him (Brian D'arcy James) had a strong voice. The Scottish accent sometimes annoyed me, but even Mike Myers in the movie did that, and I really like the movies still. The actresses who played Fiona (there was a song with young Fiona, teen Fiona and adult Fiona) were all good - the adult Fiona (played by Sutton Foster) was awesome. The character Farquaad was played very well by Christopher Sieber, who is coincidentally from St Paul), but I really didn't like that he played the show on his knees. It was distracting to me, though I get why they did it. He did an impressive job of acting, singing and yes, dancing (!) on his knees, and for the most part, his costumes hid his legs. The guy who played Donkey (Chester Gregory) was fine, but his costume was fairly lame.

The ensemble cast for the creatures of Far Far Away varied from enchanting to annoying. I liked a few of the full company numbers, but for the most part, I felt like their sections fell flat. Too much focus on Pinocchio and some small elf (I have no idea who she was).

I forgot to mention the dragon! Extremely weird, didn't like those sections at all. Reminded me of the random spot in Grease where they sing "Beauty School Dropout" (I think that is what they sing then).

Overall, I give the show a grade of wasn't the worst show I've ever seen (that would be the Fargo-Moorhead production of Big), but it was by no means the best (that would be The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theater in London). For a major market large scale show, I guess I expect more. I know this run is meant to be their "dry run" before going to Broadway, but then so was the world premiere of The Lion King in Minneapolis, and that was phenomenal. So all in all, a bit disappointing.

Oh well, I really liked the theater, and will likely be making return visits there. The season this year has a few shows I'd like to see, and they have a special deal for subscribers under 30, so maybe I will see if Travis wants to subscribe.

So now I can say I have been to two global premieres, and Shrek the Musical is not the better of the two.


Friday, September 5, 2008

I made it through the wilderness

First week of work is on the record books! I won't be writing too many specifics about work on here (do you guys remember those cases when bloggers wrote about their companies and then got fired? that won't be me!) but the first week went well. I spent my first few days planning what the heck they are paying me for, and think I have a solid plan. Execution will be the key for me, my friends, and I will be working lots of hours to get this stuff done.

But it's fun!

I have a fabulous view of Mt Rainier, Safeco Field and Qwest Field from my desk - yep, I got myself a window. :)

I am going to go see the world premiere of Shrek the Musical tonight (well, it's not opening night or anything, but it is the world premiere run, so go with it) - I know nothing about it, but the theater is about 5 blocks from home, and on the way home from the office today, I stopped and picked up a ticket. More to come on how that is...not sure that the green ogre will transfer well (think Lord of the Rings: The Musical?) but we will see!

I get my car back (finally!) tomorrow morning, so that's good news. I may drive around the northern suburbs to see how life is up there. I am also thinking of going to go to the Notre Dame game watch with the ND Club of Greater Seattle tomorrow, and then Sunday, I have my first Mass as a member of the world-famous St James Cathedral Choir. (The first rehearsal and welcome dinner last night were awesome...this is going to be good for me.)

Anyone who wants to come out and see me...let me know! I would love company...I'm very excited for the kitty to come out here on the 21st after our Lake Vermilion vacation. Someone to come home to! :)

Oh, and I got a BlackBerry. In case I wasn't reachable enough or connected enough before. Now I have an additional cell phone number (this one with a 206 area code). I don't quite have the number memorized yet, but I am close. I do have my office phone memorized now. Woohoo!


Monday, September 1, 2008

I like Labor Day

What a holiday. I am not exactly sure why we get the day off, but hey, I'll take it. I spent my last day before starting my new job being a cultured Seattle resident. I went to the SAM, the EMP and the SFM. What are all of those acronyms, you wonder?

SAM = Seattle Art Museum
As I mentioned in my last post, the SAM is literally outside my door, and they had an Impressionism exhibit that only goes until mid-September, so I decided to head over there. They normally aren't open on Mondays, but they were open today to catch all of the Labor Day traffic. The exhibit was neat, it compared the works of several well-known Impressionist artists (including Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Cassatt, Renoir, etc) to the works of previous masters that inspired them. I used the audio guide, and was very intrigued by the paintings. Well worth my time. I'm glad I decided to do this.

EMP = Experience Music Project
SFM = Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

I took the Monorail from the Westlake shopping center here in downtown over to the Seattle Center, which is where the Space Needle, the EMP/SFM and the Bumbershoot Music festival are located. I thought about hitting up the music festival (it's last day was today) as my favorite band (the Old 97's) was playing, as was Mike Doughty, but I wasn't willing to part with $40 to see a few bands today. Instead, I went to the EMP/SFM, and spent a few enjoyable hours in geek heaven. The complex was founded by Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft (surprise surprise, he's one of the richest people in the world...) and it is filled with lot of cool music exhibits and "do-it-yourself" performance booths where you can learn how to play guitar or mix a track. Pretty interesting.

The SFM was funny. Lots of memorabilia around sci-fi, with a special focus on Star Trek and Star Wars. A lot of the exhibits were donated from Paul Allen's Family collection. I think it is funny that he owned so much of that stuff already, but I am not really surprised. I thought the SFM was sort of lame (how many times can you hear the Star Wars Death Star theme?) but I am glad I went to see it. It's good to explore my new city!

I drafted my fantasy football team tonight - sorry I was late, league! I had found a used DVD store close to my house, and I picked up a few movies to watch for when I am bored. My team might not be very good, so I guess I will have to work on my creative smack talk instead.

I am going to get ready for bed and hit the hay early tonight - my first day at the new job is tomorrow. I spent some time tonight researching my bus route over to the orientation building (my company has several locations in Seattle), as well as my route options to and from the Columbia Center, which is where my office is. I *think* I know what I am doing! We'll see tomorrow morning.

Have a great day, everyone!


I really liked the church! - Seattle Day 2

I know, I didn't post last night and I should have, but today's post will have to do. I did tell several people about this already, so this might be old news to you anyways.

As I mentioned, I went to the 10am Mass at St. James Cathedral yesterday morning. The walk took me about 20 minutes, and it was mostly uphill (I will apparently be getting into better shape by living here!) The walk was very easy, just up Seneca and right on 9th. When I got to the church, I was handed a bulletin, which contained their music as well as all of the parish happenings. The way the altar is set up means that people can sit on all four sides (Mass in the round sort of). I chose to sit in the front. After I sat down, the priest came up to introduce himself to me - he was very personable. The music for the Mass was gorgeous. All of the responses were sung, and the majority of the songs were familiar to me. Even though it is a Cathedral, and the seat of the Archdiocese, I loved the community feel of the church. It reminded me of the Basilica at Notre Dame.

After Mass, I decided I would go to the coffee hour and see if I could meet anyone. I did! I met an usher, who introduced me to a choir member, who wanted my information for the choir director. Both the priest and the choir guy told the director that I should be in the choir, so later on Sunday afternoon, the director called me. The St. James Cathedral Choir is one of the best choirs in the country, and normally you need to try out, but apparently because I sang at Notre Dame and my parish in Chaska, I don't need to. (Sweet.) I am going to check out the choir on Thursday evening as they have their first rehearsal of the year, and then sing with them on Sunday morning. I'll keep you posted.

After I left the cathedral, I walked over to my office building, and then headed towards home. It will only take me 10 minutes or so to walk to work; I will have to see how I am feeling in the mornings and how the weather is, but it's good that it is possible. I will be getting my workouts from that walk!

Yesterday afternoon, I wandered around the retail core of downtown Seattle, browsing shops and taking in the layout of the land. I found a hair salon/spa called Gene Juarez where I got my haircut. It looks good, and this business has mulitple locations in the Puget Sound area, so I will be able to go to one without having to come downtown even after we move to Kent (if we get the house, no word yet).

That pretty much wraps up my day yesterday. I just chilled in the evening. I think I might head over to the Seattle Art Museum (aka the SAM) today. It's just across the street, and they are having an Impressionism exhibit right now.