Friday, May 30, 2008


Did you know...

On this day many a year ago Joan of a Ark or Arc or Arch or whoever was burned at the stake? Man, what a way to go. No, thank you.

One of the groovy things about living in the Seattle area is how far north we are. Though I grew up here, I didn't realize "the north effect" until after we moved here from NY/NJ. If the story is to be believed, we are the city farthest north of any Major League team. Think about that: Chicago, New York, Boston! Take that, Toronto!

What that means for our day to day lives... Its all about the light & the weather. In the winter it can get gray and oh so dreary. The days in winter are short, dark like a storm is coming, and cloudy. in short, they suck.

fun fact: it rains more in NYC than it does in Seattle, and has for years and years. people in NY always have something cute to say about the rain in seattle. it rains on more days of the year here, yes, but it still rains less here overall. it's all about how fast it comes down. in Seattle in May it rains an average of 2.1 inches. When we were in NJ a few weeks ago in rained more than two inches in one day. in NY in May it rains an average of 4.7 inches. it rains more there, bitches! end interlude.

Seattle days in summer... ah, the days in summer. we live for the days in summer. the days in summer are loooooong, often cloudy in the a.m. and sunny in the afternoon and early evening. if it's cold in the morning then it generally will be warm in the afternoon.

speaking of light: we will have 16 hours of daylight today, and we're not even to the solstice yet. 16 hours!

16 hour days mean more time for grilling. we got a new grill a week and a half ago and have already made burgers, sausage, steak, and fish tacos. thank goodness it's grilling season again!

happy friday, world!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

sorry so quiet.

Hi people. I regret that we haven't been blogging much at all over the last 2 weeks but it's just been majorly busy round the McG household and we have been enjoying the start of a beautiful Seattle summer.

Now regarding Fenix, he started solids last week. In the world of babies this is a monumental step. One day it's breast milk and formula exclusively and the next someone is shoveling tiny spoonfuls of lukewarm rice cereal in your mouth. What must that be like?! Well he seems to love it. As a matter of fact, he loves it so much that he starts whimpering in between spoonfuls if you don't move quickly enough. So far we have tried rice cereal, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Next up, oatmeal, peas, carrots, bananas, apples and pears. I am planning to make his food using a food mill but since we are in this trial period I bought small jars of organic baby food. I didn't want to commit to a big batch of any one thing until I knew that it agreed with him/he liked it.
Here he is after a belly full of brown rice cereal:

So back to the work thing, I am starting next Tuesday - it's actually my former place of work. They were so nice as to let me come back on a part time schedule. Fenix will be in day care for those 2 days. I think this is going to be a nice balance... I'll have every other day off, four day weekends and I will be with Fenix more often than not. The least amount of time that we can sign up for at the day care facility is 30 hours so that means that every week we'll have about 10 extra hours that I can use to go to doctor appointments or run errands where it would be nice to not have to schlep poor Fee along with me or better yet I can use it to get a leg up on my schoolwork.

Lastly our great friends Chad and Ty said their goodbyes and moved to Portland this past weekend. I didn't get emotional when they left but now that they are gone and day to day life is setting in I feel this yucky emptiness. I miss them so much already. I hope that some day soon we are all living near each other again like the good old days. It'll happen. Yeah. :-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How to get effed by United Airlines:

Fly with them.

My flight from Richmond to Chicago had its start time delayed by air traffic control. A short delay, only 20 minutes or so.

When we landed in Chicago I busted my tail to get to my new gate, which was hard because it was all the way across the airport and because we didn't even deplane at a gate. We deplaned on the tarmac and had to hoof it across the concrete, then up a series of ramps until we were actually indoors again. THEN I could run halfway across the airport.

As I was walk-jogging up to the gate of my connecting flight, I noticed with despair and growing fury that a) it said FLIGHT CLOSED and b) that the plane was actually right there, it hadn't even pulled away from the gate. The United Airlines person was like "um yeeah, the next flight to Seattle is tomorrow. Also, I've enjoyed ruining your day. Please have a nice day."

She said that the next flight out of Chicago to Seattle - on any airline - was the United flight that left at 8:30 am Saturday (today), and that I had no choice but to stay the night in Chicago. This option would have put me home at around dinnertime tonight.

I can't even describe how angry I was.

Seething, I went to stand in United's customer service line to get my hotel and cab taken care of. The line had about 45 travelers in it, and only a couple people working the desk at the front of the line. It was a one-to-two hour line. The guy behind me had his connecting flight re-directed but his luggage wasn't, so he was stuck overnight in Chicago with no luggage. Go United.

For the two weeks before my travel I was worried in the back of my mind about exactly this thing happening - it's dangerous traveling through Chicago's O'Hare Airport, you know? So yesterday during all of this there was a little voice saying "I told you so, I told you so." I fucking HATE that voice.

While standing in line I called the awesome professionals at my company's travel agent, Carson Wagonlit, and was able to get booked on a US Air flight to Las Vegas with a connecting flight to Seattle. This was scheduled to put me in to Seattle at 2:30 this morning and give me a personal best - and never to be repeated - 6 plane rides in 3 days.I booked that flight but - of course - the plane was leaving in 20 minutes and was entirely on the other side of the airport. There was no jogging this time. Nope, this time I ran my white little ass off all the effing way across O'Hare. Let me tell you, that sucked. I got to the new gate and got my boarding pass. I told the gate agent what happened and she said "wow, we sure are getting a lot of pissed off United customers today."

So, got on the plane AND managed to get an aisle seat, my personal favorite. OK, we're ready to take off. Go ahead. Go ahead...

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain, uh... we seem to be having some trouble with the internal intercom system. I'm not really sure exactly that the issue is, but technicians are on the plane now and we'll let you know as soon as it's resolved."

Thirty minutes or so went by, dangerously eating into the time I would have to navigate the Las Vegas airport to get to my connecting flight to Seattle. So of course my nerves were on edge. Further contributing to my annoyance was the attitude on the plane (Vegas, baby! woo!!) and the dirtbag in the seat just across the aisle. He alternately appeared to be on the verge of throwing up due to being a nervous flyer ... and couldn't wait to party, chanting on a number of occasions Drink! Drink! Drink!


Eventually they resolve the intercom issue and we started flying. That's what you're supposed to do on a plane: fly. Due to it being a night flight they turned the lights off. I was really wired so tried to read my magazine, except my personal reading light was on the fritz. It would stay on for a few seconds or a few minutes, then turn off without warning. I could reach up and whack it with my knuckles to turn it back on for a moment, but there was nothing keeping it on unless it wanted to stay on. Eventually I borrowed a keychain flashlight from the flight attendant, but you had to squeeze the bejeesus out of it to get it to stay on. I did that off and on for an hour or whatever, long enough to calm down, then napped a bit until we landed in Vegas.

When I deplaned I asked the lady where my next flight was and she told me. You want to guess? ALL THE WAY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AIRPORT. Remember, flight 2 of 3 on the day was delayed taking off. I said "do I have enough time to make this next flight? Do I have to run to catch it?" She wouldn't say you HAVE to run, but suggested that running wouldn't be a bad idea, you know, if I liked running.


so I move briskly to the end of whatever the hell concourse I was at, down a few ramps and again I'm on the tarmac. I'm standing with a half dozen other travelers looking just as worn out as I am, like we slept in the dryer. After a couple minutes the bus driver shows up to drive us over to our correct concourse. we unloaded, across the tarmac, up some ramps, and it's time to hoof it over to the gate again. I walked briskly to my gate to find that my plane had already been boarding for some time now. I joined the end of the boarding line and within 2 minutes or so was on the plane (it was THE END of the boarding line).

We took off in short order. I struggled to nap on the two hour flight, mostly failing. Something happened to my right ear on the first flight of the day and I never was able to synch it up with the rest of me, with the pressure and whatnot. It's still hurting, as a matter of fact, though at least I can hear through it now.

We landed with a bump and three thuds that would have yanked tears from my wife's eyes, and thank the gods I was in Seattle.

After navigating to the car and exiting the garage I got home around 3:30 this morning. With the baby and all we've been up since around 7 , though I was able to nap for another or so with the baby when he crashed earlier.

I never want to fly again.


Friday, May 16, 2008

another great purchase

While we were in NJ, Fenix had the chance to play with some of the twins' toys. One of those toys was an activity gym. I had avoided buying one because as you know, I am weird and loathe the idea of garish plastic toys cluttering up my home. However, once again the happiness of my child overrides any desire that I have for a home that doesn't look like a nursery school. So today I bought one. I went with this one:
It's made by Boppy and it costs about 65 bux. I like it because the attached toys are mostly made of fabric (not nasty plastic) and the whole thing has a very small footprint. All of the little designs on the mat are really cute. It also has additional tabs so you can hang other toys on it. The little butterfly toy that hangs down in the middle has lights and plays music if you squeeze it's head. Very trippy.

And most of all, Fenix likes it. He has been laying underneath it for the last hour and a half, quietly swatting and babbling at the toys, occasionally pausing to suck on his hands. I folded laundry... I washed dishes. This thing has already paid for itself.

If you want one too.....

Richmond to chicago, 4th flight (of 5) in 3 days

another day, another flight. Once again i am on a robustly sized EMB145, three seats per row (2-aisle-1). At first glance it is in roughly the same condition as the last.

The first seat I grabbed, my proper seat, had no tray table. I was annoyed about this mostly because I wanted the aisle seat but had the window one. Anyway, a nice couple who booked seats B & C approached, assuming that they would not be seperated by an aisle. Ha! I switched with them and now have both a window and an aisle seat. the little textured knob on my fan does not work, but I do have a tray table.

I wonder if there will be water in the bathroom! I cant wait!


As you may know I'm traveling for work currently. Writing this on Friday while tooling around Richmond, Virginia. Currently I'm chilling in the airport pub waiting for my flight back to the 206 (via Chicago for ****s sake, cross your fingers for me). the music in applebees sucks, thanks for asking. now I'm freeeeeeee, freee-fall-iinnnnggggg.....

After the turbulence-a-licious flight T described below we navigated home, unpacked, and stayed a night in our own bed, then I got up and flew back to the east coast so I could do some work today. I already posted about the awesome spill that happened on my flight from Seattle to Saint of the Louis. the flight from STL to Richmond was interesting. I had the ONE CARRY ON AND ONE PERSONAL ITEM like they said I could have, but my carry on was too big to fit in the overhead bin because it was a small plane. Not "how much do you weigh" small (it had a bathroom!), but small.

that plane had some problems. when we were taking off one of the doodads covering the light on one of the seats near me just... fell to the ground. the plane was old, and being old made the plane sad. I went into the bathroom and there were a few things about that made me laugh. one, there wasn't the regular bi-fold/accordion door to enter, it was a sliding pocket door. the accordion door would have smacked one of the people in the last row on the elbow. oh, the seat configuration was window seat, aisle seat, aisle, window seat/aisle seat. 3 seats per row, like 35 rows to the plane or something.

so I walk to the back of the plane and slide the pocket door open. the first thing that I see - as it's right in front of me - is the sink. I know immediately that I will not be washing my hands after this trip to the bathroom when I see a cylindrical blue and white container in the sink with four words clearly visible:
antibacterial wipes

kills germs

ok, so the water doesn't work. I can work with that. I mean, it's lame and everything, but whatever. also, they charged for snacks ("just four bucks for chips!") but didn't take credit cards, which was a bummer since I ran out of cash on the turbulence-a-licious flight the day before.

anyhoo, fly from NJ to SEA, then fly from SEA to VA the next day, an overpriced cab ride to the hotel, six hours of tossing and turning, and it's time for breakfast. I always *try* to eat well when I travel, and ... whatever. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. mostly depends on where I go and what's available locally.

In particular I try and have a good breakfast. Today I hit a home run: check out the omlette, bacon, home fries, grits, juice, coffee (and yogurt, not pictured because I ate it while the dude was cooking my omlette) that I nabbed at my hotel:

lets everyone raise their glasses for a safe trip home! be good!


The jerz

OMG jersey was the most fun I have had in effing forever. we spent a lot - a far majority - of our time at Wife's sisters house with her sister and husband and their newborn twins and Wife's other sister and her mom and her cousin who drove up from Virginia and her other cousins and aunts that live in town and visited her grandparents and my uncle and cousin and my best friend mike and my cousin's pub in NYC and T's best friend and her best friend's little son and oh. my. god. our little man got so much love it was just awesome.

Interlude, it's Thursday, the day after we returned home to Seattle and I've departed again to fly to the east coast for work. Due to editing this probably won't be posted until Friday. I am on a plane when writing this, and I'm writing to tell you that peeing in turbulence sucks. The bloody mary was all right, though. donut worry, tho, I was not actually peeing when I wrote that. I wrote it back at my seat. also, I always wash my hands. always. and I spilled club soda all over the little tray attached to the seat back in front of me. yes, I am "that guy" that spills stuff all the time, and trips over stuff, and whatever else. I had no napkins so had to wipe it up with my hat. good thing it was club soda! now all I need to do to make sure it doesn't leave a stain is to blot it... with club soda! get it? yuk yuk...

sigh, if Wife were here she would be rolling her eyes and she would say get on with it already except it would be "under her breath", haha, as if there is such a thing. end interlude.

My family/community growing up in the 206 (* & **) was my sister and my parents. Period. When Wife was growing up she went to school she with a whole giant group of cousins. Though they were not literally her brothers and sisters they may as well have been. Wife always had someone to look out for, someone that would look out for her, someone to eat lunch with, someone to could call that would beat someone up so nobody messed with her, someone to walk home with, to play with, to eat dinner at their house or vice versa, to go to the mall with, to take vacations with, and the list goes on and on. and on.

The biggest thing missing from my childhood (in retrospect, of course - yuk yuk), was family. Or better yet, community. Wife and I have talked for a long time about the differences between our childhoods, and while we each had our own personalized b.s. to deal with, we both turned out okay. Anyhoo, the biggest difference - and by difference I mean *my opinion* of the most important factor that was different from her upbringing to mine - was family or community or whatever you want to call it.

Wife and I have talked on and off about the number of kids we want, 1-2 or 2-3. Given the propensity for twinning in her family, that's 1-2 pregnancies. The joke is that what I want our boy to have is more siblings and cousins than you can shake a stick at - like Wife had - and it doesn't really matter if we have 2 or 3 pregnancies, we simply are not getting there on or own.

being in NJ was bittersweet. we got so much love that it made it really hard to leave.

* referring to the greater seattle area
** yes, that refers to area code 206. yes, I currently live in the same area where I grew up. yes, the area I currently live in now is area code 425. HOWEVER!, during my childhood it - and everything else in Washington State west of the Cascade Mountain Range - was area code 206. So it fits, all right?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

tiny wine and whiskey

These are the two things that got me thru the flight to and from NJ. Oh and let us not forget the tears. They were flowing so I guess that helped me too? And the best part is that Fenix slept blissfully through the whole thing. Never cried or fussed. But his mom? Not so much.

I HATE turbulence. Yes, I know that it's just like a driving on a bumpy road but I really don't care. I don't like the way it feels and I can't help thinking about the plane doing a nose dive every time that it happens during a flight. I used to take Xanax to help with the anxiety before a flight but my prescription is expired so I didn't have a pill to take this time. Thankfully J had the bright idea that I should order one of those cheap bottles of wine that they sell on the plane. Well that took the edge off and then I chased it with a tiny bottle of Glenlivet and I actually felt good.

What do you do when you hate to fly but you love to travel?!

Anyway I forgot to post the link to the full set of NJ/NYC trip pics in my earlier post so here they are: NJ/NYC trip

and we're back....

Well that was a really great trip. Our only regret is not having the time to see more people and do more things.

So let me recap the highlights for ya. We stayed with my sister and her husband in their very adorable (and much larger then ours) house in Englewood. My sister lives next door to the house where I grew up. We spent alot of time sitting around telling stories, taking care of the babies, playing with the Wii and making each other laugh. Most of the time my mom, and other sister were around too.
Here is a pic of me and my sister and one of her twin babies:

Another one with my mom, Feeny McG, the twins (Sebastian and Sienna) and my other sister:

When we weren't chillin' in the cut with my family we were out and about. We made a trip to the Ikea of clothing and accessories, H&M, and both got a few cute things. We made our way through 50 and 45 Rock where we both used to work and that was intense since we were rolling around down there with Fenix. It was crazy to think about the time when J invited me to the Rock center Christmas tree lighting party that his company held. That was when I met some of his friends for the first time. It was also the first time when we held hands in public and we really were starting to look like a couple. Then suddenly there we are... married and pushing our son in a stroller through those same halls. My how things have changed.

On another day we went out to Queens to see Jason's uncle and cousin. We had a nice lunch at a diner (I miss diners!) and just spent time talking and catching up. It was cool to see the place where Jason first lived when he moved back to the east coast.

Here's Fee with Jason's uncle:
We also made 2 trips to Staten Island. My Italian twin, Chris lives out there with her husband and their freaking adorable son Jake. Jake was born 3 weeks after Fenix. I am so jazzed that they finally got to meet each other and they hit it off famously. I mean like for real, they were holding hands and babbling at each other for a really long time. I even have video proof of this but certain technical difficulties prevent me from posting said video today. So you'll have to settle for this still photo as proof thereof:

and a cute one of John and Fenix:

When we were with Chris and her husband we did plenty of eating. We also spent alot of time comparing various baby notes... "does he do this?", "oh yeah he does that", etc.. etc... It was cute.

We also went to see my grandparents. It was awesome to see their faces light up... finally got to see their first great grandchild.

At one point we tried to get a pic of all three babies together. This was not exactly a success but it was funny. Fenix was hamming it up and the twins were soooo not interested. Check it out:

J ended up going into NYC one night to hang out with his friend Mike. They went to J's cousin's bar, The Emerald. They also had brunch, shot pool and swung at the batting cages at Chelsea Piers. I am sad that I didn't get to see The Emerald but it was cool that J got to spend some time with his good friend, unencumbered by wife and baby. On his way to NYC he met a guy at the bus stop that carved this amazing bass:
Here's Mike swingin for the stands:

And J being an uberdork (but we love him):

My cousin came up from Virginia to see Fenix and the twins. She brought her dog with her. His name is Shoney and he is very cute but I think all our loudness made him nervous.

Regrettably I did not take pictures of any of the food that I ate because I am too greedy to pause and take a picture when a delicious meal is placed in front of me. We ate lots of bagels and pizza. I have the belly to prove it. We ate lots of yummy italian food too. I had a delightful pint of matzo ball soup, piping hot from Sol & Sol Kosher Deli in Englewood. We did not make it to Baumgart's and we spent almost no time in Hoboken - again, not enough time. For Mother's Day we went to Dos Caminos on Park Ave where Jason proposed (it was packed and they happened to sit us at the SAME TABLE and no we did not ask for that!). Jason gave me a really cool pair of titanium hoop earrings. I love them. We rented a Prius for the trip and now I desperately want one. Everyone showered Fenix with so much love and nice material things, I am blown away by their generosity and kindness.

So we are glad to be home but it's bittersweet because we definitely had a good time in New York and New Jersey. I can't wait to go back and see everyone again next year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hello from dirty jerz!

It's not really dirty but that's what we call it anyway. So far we've seen lots and lots of family and friends and eaten some great food (pizza! bagels!. It's been a blast and save for one day when it rained like crazy the weather has been glorious. When I get some time I've got some awesome pictures to post and even a really sweet video! I am gonna be sad when it's time to go home on Wednesday. My niece and nephew are perfect little munchkins and it's been great to spend so much time with them.
So that's the deal. See you when we get back....

Sunday, May 4, 2008


after a hiatus existing for much of my life, I've been eating oranges recently. sometimes orange juice gives me heartburn so I avoided oranges. recently I started eating them and I'm really glad I did. I tend to snack a lot, and at least if I'm snacking, an orange isn't that bad.

only problem, I have no idea how to pick an orange. an apple? that's easy because you can see the bruise and I know the texture of a "good" apple. a potato? no problem, just look through the dirt to see if the skin is green. I was in the grocery store the other day and there's the guy stocking fruit so I asked him how to pick an orange. in a nutshell, he said

lets pause here for a minute and talk about people. grocery store people. I respect people that work in grocery stores. it's ... a public service. I know it's easy to joke about people who work at grocery stores or pet stores or any "service" industry... but there's just something about grocery stores. it takes a complicated persona to take people's BS and still politely carry groceries to their car. some of these people, those at the register anyway, interact with a wide variety of people - much wider than many of us do as part of our daily journey. they see families arguing and alcoholics and ring up groceries for people on food stamps. do they silently critique what they see others eating? I would.

There's a complicated something, a good thing, that it takes to do that job, and a certain undesirable thing as well - a level of comfort with people being rude to you, to your face. I don't really participate in the rude thing, and try to express appreciation at the register when I see someone who "gets it". obviously I'm only talking about the GOOD people that work at the store. jerks, religious zealots, close talkers, dummies, chews-with-their-mouth-open or has-stuff-in-their-teeth, corporate propaganda machines (may I have your phone number? what about your email address?) or message force multipliers (link, link, link), and others of their ilk are not included in my positivity and well wishes. they can go scratch.

I was buying dog food recently and they asked if I needed help carrying it to my car. I said no since I didn't, but was curious - so, asked how many customers take the offered help. "about one in four of five customers" was the response, which was a bit astonishing. twenty to twenty five percent of people are having the workers carry their 50 pound bag of dog food to their car? the dude and chick behind the counter were like "whatever, it's part of the job, no big deal". that's really cool! I'd be so annoyed by carrying around bags of dog food for strangers I think I'd kill myself.

I remember working at a fast food place as my first real job. we'd have to bring cases of burger meat and chicken and french fries from the walk-in freezer to the kitchen. unfortunately, the walk-in freezer was in the basement, and all that stuff was really really heavy to carry. the fries were about 35 pounds for a healthy sized box, and you'd carry them stacked two or three high, stacked just so and clutched to your chest. and they were freezing, of course, and you walked into the freezer in thin pants and a polo shirt and when you exited under the load of seventy to one-hundred-five pounds of frozen french fries then of course your glasses would fog up because of the temperature change and then you're left with the choice to walk while not being able to see or wait for your glasses to clear up. so you stand there with a hundred pounds of french fries clutched to your chest, then walk as carefully and briskly as you can all the way to the other side of the floor where you'll have the privilege of climbing a 32-step staircase with no breaks (hey, don't slip!) and maneuvering around whatever spilled between the top step and the reach-in freezer on the main level, and all this because your manager told you to bring up six cases of fries and two trips are better then three, or six. then of course it's back down for the burger "meat" and all of this JUST AS FAST AS YOU FUCKING CAN THERE'S TEN CARS IN DRIVE THRU and when is clint back from his break anyway?

why is it called a "service industry" in the first place? to me - in the parlance of our times - it means "YOU service ME" and comes with raised eyebrows and that's the best you could do, sugar? on the side. I think we got it wrong, the whole thing. I think "service industry" is supposed to be about "CUSTOMER service". I don't, however, expect this revelation that I've just let you in on to change the industry much. oh well, we do what we can with what we've got, right? sigh.

so, how to pick an orange. remember that? here we go.

according to the guy in the grocery store last week, is to focus first on the WEIGHT of the fruit. more weight = more juice. also pay attention to the skin, as smooth skin = thin skin and thin skin = more fruit & less peel. when asked about color his attitude was "meh" = not particularly important.

I'm now purchasing my oranges with these principles in mind. if you have any orange picking tips & tricks please leave them in the comments. cheers!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cool black chicks

I stumbled upon the Material Gurl blog when I was browsing around on another blog. It's a cute site written by two young African American women attending college at Howard University which is a HBCU (Historically Black College or University).

Well they have this feature called Outrageously Chic which is just candids of stylish AA* women spotted on the Howard campus. I am loving the unique look that some of these women are sporting. I can't really pull off alot of these looks anymore without feeling ridiculous because I am not a 20 year old but I can certainly admire them and I am definitely inspired. I love how these ladies are breaking the mold, not opting for the cookie cutter Forever 21 style that everyone else is rocking these days.

I have a few favorites but they don't allow hotlinking so this is a picture free post :-(. If you do decide to browse the photo pool, see if you can find my jr. doppelgänger in the set (though *I* am probably the evil twin). There is a pretty crazy resemblance in style and physical appearance to the younger (thinner) me.

*AA is an abbreviation for African American and shall now and forever serve as such for this here blog.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I am the master of my domain

Did you notice? Or are you one of those totally nonobservant types that doesn't pick up on every ridiculous miniscule detail like I do?

Ok well if you didn't notice then I'll tell you. Metagestation now has it's on domain - freed from the blogspot chains that bound us! Anyway now all you need to do is type:


But even if you don't, blogger will still redirect you from the old url to the new one so it's no big deal. I am also hoping to redesign this here landscape in the relative near future to something slightly less cookie cutter but don't expect to see that for a little while.

6 more days til NJ

I am getting kinda giddy over here in anticipation of our trip back home to see my family and my other peops. So in the spirit of that giddiness I thought I would school you on the area that I am from and hopefully change whatever negative perceptions you might have about NJ.

NJ is like every other place, there are good parts and bad parts. Most people think of this small stretch of turnpike when they think of NJ:

Well this is not really what all of NJ looks like... just that small part of it. I was born and raised in Englewood, NJ. Englewood is not all that different from one of the more residential neighborhoods of Seattle like Wallingford or Ballard but with a bit more socioeconomic diversity. It has tree lined streets with sidewalks. The houses are colonial style as opposed to the craftsman style homes that are in abundance here in Seattle. There is a downtown area with a main street that has lots of cute shops and restaurants.
Bonus: It is also very close to NYC. Here is Englewood on the map:

Famous people that either previously or still do live in Englewood:
  • Eddie Murphy (his estate was known as Bubble Hill)
  • Karen O (from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's)
  • Lil Kim
  • George Benson
  • Dizzy Gillespie (my grandpa got into a fender bender with him several years ago!)
  • John Travolta
  • Tony Bennett
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • me (just kidding)
  • Brooke Shields (well she went to school there, my grandpa worked at her private school)
So as for NJ as a whole, it's actually a cool place to live. If you live in northern nj you can drive to any of the following places in 4 hours or less:
  • Southern Vermont (I loved to snowboard at Mt Snow & Killington)
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington D.C.
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
NJ has nice sandy beaches and there is actually a significant surf culture at the Jersey shore (yeah we call it the shore). I have spent many summer weekends hanging on the beaches of Belmar, Avon, Bradley Beach, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, and Long Beach Island (LBI). The water isn't blue and warm like the Caribbean but it's nice and not disgusting or dirty.

Let's talk about Hoboken for a sec. It is the town where J and I were living when we met and it's even closer to NYC than Englewood:

Cool things about Hoboken:
  • The PATH train to NYC
  • Oddfellows serves Abita Purple Haze
  • So many cool bars (though there are plenty of cheezy ones *cough* Bahama Mamas *cough*)
  • More delicious Italian food then any reasonable person could ever want to eat
  • Birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra
  • Beautiful brownstones and railroad apartments
  • Fun, young residents
  • Very pedestrian friendly. You don't need a car if you live in Hoboken and work in NYC. And it's a mile square town.
I could say alot more about NJ but I'm gonna let all this soak in. We'll take lots of pics while we are away and post some fun stuff when we get back. In closing I leave you with a photo of the place where Jason and I both worked before we even knew each other (Rockefeller center). We probably took the same train to work everyday and ate at the same food court on our lunch breaks. Life is crazy.

another goodwill find

happy May Day, world! only four days to Cinco de Mayo, where we "honor our Mexican brothers" by drinking tequila and dos equis while learning or remembering nothing of Mexican culture or history. isn't it AWESOME how all holidays are really just fodder for the big corporations to sell us products? after all, we're not "customers" we're "consumers", right? consumers of, say... margarita mix and tortilla chips.

on the radio this morning they were discussing whether or not we're in a recession, which is just such a ridiculous premise. recent stats indicate that consumer spend increased last month by four-tenths of a percent (00.4%). all these jackasses are pointing to that to say "hey look everyone we're GROWing! yeah!" which is .... I mean, PR for a turd is just stupid. I don't care how much you tell me that a certain turd is awesome - my nose still works and it still smells like a turd, you know?

as it turns out, most of the increased spend last month ("growth") was due to inflation, which is caused by to the falling value of the dollar, which is hurt by the fed's continued cutting of interest rates. the actual true "growth" was only one-tenth of one percent (00.1%). the economy - I believe the technical term for it - is "in the shitter". I don't know if that translates to the dictionary definition of "recession" or not, and I don't care. it costs me "too much" for a tank of gas and it costs "more than it's supposed to" for food because it takes gas to transport food and if you need to fly somewhere then you're "screwed" because jet fuel costs have gone up faster than regular gas.

if you're responsible for the lousy state of our economy then I say "screw you".

anyhow, forget all that. this past weekend we visited the almighty Goodwill once again. it was a fairly routine visit, plenty of searching but not much buying. one thing we DID pick up, though, was this little guy:

it's as it appears, a sturdy & rustic little trunk. all the hardware on it works perfectly and it only cost us $12. it's probably due for a paint job, but will be great to store Fenix's books or toys or whatever, and since it's wood it's right up our alley for things we like.

sorry about all that rambling 'bout the economy. happy May Day!


We're up to 6 hours and 15 minutes before eating, then another 90 minutes or so in the crib after eating. Both are improvements, though we're definitely in the "baby steps" phase at this point.

we're getting there!