Some things I recently bookmarked

Jonathan sent me this video to his new obsession Shovels & Rope. Sadly I read the email too late toto see them live in Seattle. If you watch this video, you will know I missed a lovely time. (P.S. After you watch this, you will probably want to see their Tiny Desk Concert on NPR Music)

I still read a lot of blogs, but not nearly as many as I used too. One that I still read every post of is Linda at Sundry Mourning. When I first started reading her blog, she lived in the Seattle area with her family, but they have since moved to Oregon. What keeps me coming back to her blog is her frankness, humor, and willingness to share insight about her own journey through alcoholism, motherhood, freelance writing and so much more.

“I’ve been thinking about coming to terms with those past moments and acknowledging that while they happened, they’re behind me now. I don’t have to carry them with me, every prickle and hurt, flying them in bitter winds like hurtful flags of shame that keep me from being the person I know I’m capable of being. They don’t have to box me in, they don’t need to reduce who I am now or who I am going forward. They don’t have to make me a less valuable, lovable person.”

Go read the full post: Golden repair.

My brother Tim posts lots of interesting things on Facebook, however this one felt particularly relevant to both Alex and I’s struggle to get to bed on time.

“Since most of us can’t sleep later in the morning than we currently do, the only option is to get to bed earlier. And yet we don’t. Why? The reason is twofold. First, we’re so busy during the day that the only time we have to ourselves is late in the evening – so we stay up late because it’s our only downtime. Second, we have less willpower when we’re tired, which makes it tougher to force ourselves into bed.”

How to Spend the Last 10 Minutes of Your Day

While I still haven’t watched Game of Thrones, I have read all of the books and so I loved this list by local nonprofit blogger – Vu Le (Nonprofit with Balls).

“I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.”—Tyrion to his sister Cersei.

Perfect for: A coworker who ate your food from the office fridge without asking you.

10 Game of Thrones quotes you can use at work

A post written to be skipped

When in doubt I like to go with the bullet-point list:

  • This Friday I will be spending the whole day in a Drupal training day. I always love a chance to pretend that I am true techie.
  • Tomorrow night I will get to see Anne Lamont talk about her new book Small Victories.
  • Today was another beautifully clear autumn day and actually quite brisk by Seattle standards.
  • Which reminds me now that we have had our first frost, I really need to get a scraper for my car.
  • This evening we watched Agents of Shield, which was fun. I watch so very little live TV, that adjusting to the concept of un-pausable commercial-laden programming always takes me a little.
  • Also, if you are looking for delicious popcorn, I recommend adding a few shakes of pre-grated parmesan cheese. It’s the best.

old timey link bonanza

50 pictures in perfect timing – I think Charletta shared this on Facebook, but trust me this is a list worth browsing. I think 23 might be my favorite

Pharrell Williams has a new 24-hour music video called 24 Hours of Happy and I spent quite a browsing through various segments. Definitely worth a look.

31 GIFs That Will Make You Laugh Every Time – Several of these made both Alex and I laugh out loud in the literal sense.

Neville Longbottom is the Most Important Person in Harry Potter—And Here’s Why – I don’t know if I buy this author’s idea that all of the younger characters in Harry Potter mimic the previous generation, but it does make for a fascinating argument about the power of followers and how you can do more than your destiny.

How to have a delightful Friday night

1. Get out of work a little early because of late nights earlier in the week.

2. Putz around the apartment, accomplishing very little.

3. Go and pick Alex up from the car mechanic, because the check engine light came on his car (the second time in a month!).

4. Discover that Alex owns a massage chair insert thing (it fits on top of a pre-existing chair) and spend the next 30 minutes blissed out on massage, while working on a secret project.

5. Go out to dinner and eat a delicious steak salad.

6. Talk about all sorts of things with Alex, including everything from elder care, children and alcohol.

7. Complete the dinner & a movie twofer with the new Thor movie.

8. Laugh a lot, mainly in the second half or when Loki was involved. And especially for the very brief Captain America cameo and the great Easter Eggs at the end (both of them!)

You get a link, and you get a link, everyone gets a link!

“You only have 17 favorite things*, and one of them is “doorbells”?” – A Complete Curmudgeon’s Guide to The Sound of Music

Sugar Doesn’t Make Kids Hyper: Healthcare Triage#3

This seems relevant to most people, but mainly Jonathan

Family, I think we may have found Dad’s Christmas present

Stunning photos of cities without light pollution

Basically Captain Picard and Gandalf are best friends and I couldn’t be happier about it

Night of the voting

This will be a short one, since the evening was spent in the following ways:

-Driving home from work-Picking up groceries-Making a salad-Walking over to David’s and Sarah’s-Eating a delicious dinner-Pumpkin pie for dessert-Playing a game of Monty Python Fluxx-Reading votor’s guides and filling in bubbles-Writing this list

Ballots are due tomorrow, so time to do some voting!

Soon to be followed with going to bed.

Weekend Recap

While it is already Monday evening and therefore 1/5th the way to the next weekend, I wanted to tell you about my weekend. Although nothing inherently a bunch of little things added up to a really good two days. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I alphabetized the spice rack, which was both eminently satisfying and quite fun. I think it may be too long since I got to shelve any books….
  • David came over for supper on Saturday night and I made groundnut stew and served some gjetost cheese that Alex’s Mom gave us to try. It is slightly sweet, smooth, nutty and vaguely similar to velvetta cheese, if velvetta was made out of goat’s milk and not assorted squeezed oils.I tried some Gjetost, the Norweigian cheese.
  • I enjoyed attending the first Sunday of Advent at Alex’s church where they believe in very large, very real Christmas trees, which are both a delight for the eyes and a delight for the nose. Additionally church contained not one, but two precociously adorable toddlers in fancy dress who sporadically wandered the pews.
  • Saturday I enjoyed doing several loads of laundry for which I neither had to haul anywhere, pay anything or generally do more than transfer to washer, dryer and then  closet. I wisely used this freed up time to play a rousing couple rounds of Civilization 5.
  • Alex and I’s project of consequence was the organization of the oddly shaped (and up until this weekend, completely unaccessible storage closet. During this process I learned several things including the fact that in this area of the country, one must never store china on shelves, but it should be rested on the floor. Apparently earthquakes don’t look too fondly on breakable things being too far away from the ground, so one must take precautions.* We then of course applied extra cushions by carefully stacking empty boxes over the (now boxed) china. So here are the completely unimpressive looking, but oh so much better storage closet photos.After Closet OrganizationSame "After" Closet picture, different angle

* I refuse to consider what this rule of thumb implies about the fact that my apartment rests 6 floors away from the ground….

Best* of the Web

*And by “Best” I mean things I have enjoyed in some way over the past week or so

One day of activity for New York transit (MTA)

The Truth About Seattle Sunshine – So it turns out Seattle may not actually get that much less sun than places like New York or Chicago and for a fun surprise, check out the list of international cities that Seattle beats out in terms of sunny days.

Freaky realistic optical illusions – Prepare to be a bit weirded out.

Gratitude Journal

Recently in unpacking I un-earthed a small wire-bound notebook that my parents gave me for Christmas back in 2004. This was the note they used to inscribe it:

Gratitude Journal Parental Inscription

To summarize, they suggested I get in the habit of writing down 5 things every evening that I was grateful for. An excellent idea and one that you will see I definitely tried to do (for a while that is….).

Here is an early entry in that journal:

Gratitude Journal Entry 1/16/05

I love how I combine the big picture things like my family with comments about the weather and an appreciation for my ability to gobble down books. The nice thing is that these are all things I remain very grateful for, despite the noted decrease of snow in my life here in the Pacific Northwest 🙂

Another few early entries.

Gratitude Journal Entry 1/21/05

Both of these entries make me smile a bit in the way that I combine whimsy and also a deep appreciation for some of the bigger blessings in my life. However I think I have completely forgotten what visa problems I refer to in my first entry and what Becca’s wonderful email was all about in the second entry. Alas, the passage of time…

Then I skipped a few months and apparently gained an appreciation for the more poetic forms of gratitude.

Gratitude Journal Entry 4/12/05

I think it is #2 that really leaves me a bit puzzled about this one, #4 definitely remains true today and I think #5 is actually a coded way for me to say that I must not have actually had that good a day on April 12, 2005.

This last one jumps almost a year into the future and also marks my final entry in my attempt at a gratitude journal.

Gratitude Journal 5/17/06

#1 is obviously a pretty big one and while #4 is a similiar one to previous entries, you can see I don’t really elaborate very much on that one. Also in trying to remember what I meant by #5, I am reminded just how very much I continue to loath packing AND unpacking, so moving out of the dorms must have been quite the chore.

So with that history in mind, here are my 5 things I am grateful tonight:

  • A strong and varied support system – Be they family or friends, there are several people I know I can call/text/email and get immediate support, guidance or just plain support. I am so blessed by this and I remain hugely grateful for this network that makes so many life decisions that much easier to make.
  • Random positive interactions with strangers – Today I had a random interaction with someone on the bus about knitting (he noticed my mittens and asked if I had knit them – I hadn’t). Previously I have been randomly complimented on a sweater (in a none-smarmy way and also spent an enjoyable 5 minutes discussing rain boot requirements with another public transit user. City life means bumping into random characters on a frequent basis and therefore the positive moments are excellent reminders that the world isn’t as crazy as 3% of the population would have you belief.
  • Mountains – See here, here and here.
  • Not being unemployed – While I may not be actually using my master’s degree in a very direct way, I am lucky to be employed in a job that gives me time off, benefits and the luxury of not having to worry about paying my next bill or making rent each month.
  • Cheese – I mean who doesn’t appreciate the chance to have such deliciousness in one’s life. How much sadder would I be if I had somehow been born in a world without cheese….

5 reasons I love my neighborhood

  1. Not only is there another coffeeshop opening only a few block away from my apartment, but they are going to combine with a used book store! Now I will never meet my lofty saving goals!
  2. While there are lots of young hipsters (which depending on your definition, may include myself) there are still plenty of old Norwegian folks, which you can find by visiting the local Nordic Heritage Museum or grabbing breakfast at the local Smoke Shop diner which decorated in the 70s and has never believed in renovations.
  3. In addition to being easy biking distance from this parkPicnic at Gasworks       it is also easy walking distance to the locks where you can watch the shipsBallard Locks, on a nice day
  4. You can easily find the following kinds of food: BBQ, Mexican, Taco truck, Southern, Thai, Vietnamese, Pan-Asian, Sushi, Teriyaki, Burgers, French, Gelato, Cupcakes, Coffee, Irish, Diner food, Japanese, Tavern food and probably a few I am missing.
  5. In one morning I can easily stop by the grocery store, pharmacy, library, post office and hardware store all without needing a car.