There's so much I've been meaning to "blog" about that I've just felt too overwhelmed to even begin.
First of all work has been grand. I'm getting to know and like all my coworkers in our little department One of the girls that I've become closer to than the rest has even invited me to her wedding. Which is rad. Also she's decided to go back to school in the fall and has asked me if I'm interested in being her nanny (she has a 2 1/2 year old daughter). I'm not sure if I want to get back into the nannying field, but it's something worth thinking about. I have been working so much overtime and am in love with all the money I'm making. Plus the work is just so easy! Which is exactly the sort of employment I was looking for after feeling so drained everyday after work when I was employed as a nanny. Plus the coolest thing ever about my job is the fact that they actually encourage everyone to listen to their iPods while they work. I have gotten so much use out of mine that I'm actually thinking seriously about upgrading to a new one. I made the mistake of not buying a case for it so its looking a little scratched up. But the cool thing is that a friend at work keeps telling me he wants to buy it from me. He's offered to pay me $100 for it despite scratches. So I'll use that money to put towards another iPod. And this time I'll be sure to buy a little case for it.
Some big news I just found out about is that one of the families that I nannyed for in Berkeley just had a baby. So now they have THREE little girls under the age of five. I have yet to meet the new baby but I'm sure she'll be just as cute as her older sisters. I'm super happy for them and can't wait to meet the new addition to their family.
Also my friends from Santa Cruz that had a new baby in May (a little boy) are coming up to the island for a few weeks. I'm super excited to see them and spend time with them.
My grandfather is doing much better and will be leaving the hospital in a few days.
On the agenda for summer: Work and lots of it. At least one Mariners game. A day trip to Whidbey Island to visit a favorite vintage shop (the last time I was there I purchased a Louis Vuitton bag for $60 which I proceeded to see for sale a few years later in California going for $250!). Several trips to Seattle and Vancouver. A visit to Berkeley at the end of August to see Kate, Sarah and the families that I nannyed for. Then Europe in September.
The television shows that I will be watching this summer are: Blow Out (about the antics that occur in Jonathan Antin's Beverly Hills salon). The Real World: Austin (yay it's back!). Laguna Beach (yay it's back as well!). The Cut (Tommy Hilfiger's show which very much resembles Project Runway). And I'll been renting the complete first season of Dynasty on DVD. It was on in the 80's and is the story of a Denver oil tycoon and his family. Any show where the characters quote Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde is right up my alley.
Oh and I'm on the prowl for a new job. One that I am interested in now is a program assistant at a Deaf Center. It pays a significant deal more than my current job. The only conflict being that they would like to hire someone for July but I wont be available until the middle of August. So we shall see.
Last Sunday and Monday was spent in Seattle. Our first stop was Cupcake Royale in Ballard. Finally I've discovered a place that specializes in ONLY cupcakes and cupcake accessories. This was my first time at this establishment and I was not disappointed. Although I did feel a bit rushed to make my decision as to which flavor cupcakes I wanted. We decided to buy six so that we could try a variety of flavors. The two I liked best were "Peppermint Party" and "Dance Party with Holly Hobbie". Plus I just had to buy some of their pins with statements like "legalize frostitution". I also purchased a T-shirt AND about 10 cupcake toppers. Now if only I can find a place in Bellingham that makes cupcakes (and I'm not talking about the grocery store variety).
Next we hit Fremont. Since it was Mother's Day the shops were filled with a gaggle of children. Children are all well and good but they aren't enjoyed when they're crowding the shops I only get to visit a few times a month.
Next we went to the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. The exhibits were so so this time. In the gallery gift shop I spotted Loretta Lux'sbook of photographs which I just had to have.
After the gallery we went to University Village and had lunch at the newly opened Blue C Sushi. It's good to see that University Village is diversifying their previously limited dining options. Blue C Sushi is one of those restaurants where the sushi travels around on a conveyor belt and you simply take a plate of whatever looks appealing. This concept is apparently known as "kaiten sushi". We went there with the intention of having a "light lunch" since we had dinner reservations later that evening. But seeing the sushi meander past you it's so hard to restrain yourself from trying a variety of items. The quality of the food was excellent. After living in Berkeley, where even the cheap neighborhood sushi restaurants are sensational, I wasn't prepared to be too impressed. But the quality was outstanding. After shopping around University Village we headed downtown.
Unfortunately to my chagrin my favorite shop, Great Jones Home, was closed. I always seem to forget that Sunday is the one day a week they're not open.
Next we went to Pacific Place and looked around a bit.
I had the best hamburger ever that night. It was topped with blue cheese. Even the french fries were sensational. I'm reluctant to say this but I think it might have even been better than the hamburger I had a few summers ago with D. at Father's Office in Santa Monica.
After dinner we went to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at Cinerama. I love the name of that theater! Apparently the theater was set to close but was saved by Paul Allen in 1999. Doesn't Paul Allen seem to finance everything in Seattle? It's one of the few theaters that boast one large screen. It was opened in 1952. The movie was smashing. I'm always confident a movie will stay true to the original story when the author is selected to write the screen play. My favorite part of the movie was the singing dolphins in the beginning. That song was stuck in my head for the night.
Then we spent the night at a hotel on Lake Union.
On Monday morning for breakfast we went to a place I'd heard about called Top Pot Doughnuts. The donuts were beyond belief. I ordered a cake donut topped with pink frosting and coconut. Their donuts are enormous. Go see for yourself.
After breakfast we went to Great Jones Home, which was thankfully open. I adore the shop owner. She's one of those people who makes a point of getting to know her clientele by name. And she has the sweetest little dog that wanders around the store. I didn't find much of anything to buy on this visit though. Usually I have to restrain myself because there's so much I covet.
We stopped off at a few more places then headed home. Spending a few days in Seattle is so much better than just going down for the day. And I can't get enough of three day weekends.
I'm taking Monday off from work. Yay for three day weekends!
So I got my first pay check today and went on a bit of spending spree. I bought two pairs of sandals and a pink tunic. I'm hesitant to reveal where the tunic came from but lets just say it's a perfect Kate Spade knockoff and until a few more pay checks come in the knock off will have to do. I also purchased a few books. I bought Ruth Reichl's (editor of Gourmet magazine) newest book Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, which I cannot wait to start reading. I also bought Budget Living magazine's book Party Central. It's a month to month guide to "entertaining" (I can't get enough of the ironic quotes).
I just discovered my new favorite candy, Starburst suckers. I'm so glad I'm back in Washington where I don't have to feel like a fool for calling them "suckers" and not "lollipops". The kids in Berkeley that I nannyed for would give me an odd look whenever I referred to them as suckers. But back to the candy. At work we have a candy drawer and one of my coworkers filled the drawer with them. Go try them! You'll be smitten.
So I'm sure everyone knows about how you can send in your photos to Jones Soda (Get your photo on a label of Jones Soda beverage drink ) and if they like the photo enough they'll make a label out of it for one of their sodas. My friend Alina has a friend who has had several of her photos used. But the thing is they wont actually send you a bottle with the photo on it if they decide to use your picture. They will at best send you a few labels. Then it's up to you to find the bottle of soda (or pop as we call it here in the Pacific NW). But of course you have no idea what flavor of soda your label will be placed on. It's all very random. But ANYWAY my point is that my friend Alina was actually in one of the pictures that was selected to appear on a bottle of Jones soda and the probability of actually finding a bottle with her picture is really slim. Now I'm obsessed with searching through all the bottles of Jones soda everywhere I go in hopes of finding a bottle with her picture on it.
So here’s a picture of my Easter Basket. It’s filled with a “Lost In Translation” DVD and "The Life Aquatic” CD along with various Easter candy (my favorite being Cadbury mini eggs). It's a Bill Murray themed Easter. This afternoon my family went out for Easter brunch. I’ll spare you the details. But only the Mimosas made the whole experience tolerable (I adore champagne before noon). Oh and I tried Peeps for the first time ever today. They’re so vile! I apologize to all of you Peeps fans out there, but I just can’t get past their artificial flavor. But maybe that’s the whole point. They’re so vile that people just can’t help but start a fan club for them.
At one time I thought of myself as a fairly crafty person. Then I discovered websites like craftster.org and getcrafty and various crafty blogs like oh happy day! and One Good BumblebeeandLoobyluand it was then that I realized that I’m only a novice crafter. Since moving back to Bellingham I haven’t been in much of a crafty mood. In Berkeley I was in a knitting phase. Then I got into a crepe paper flowers. Then transitioned into beaded flowers. I even took up calligraphy. Then discovered the new hipster craft - embroidery. I managed to complete a lot of projects while working 50 hours AND taking a Spanish class. But since being in Bellingham I haven’t found any new projects that warranted my excitement. Until now. I’ve discovered felt cakes! Yes I said felt. a_o_i came up with the idea for them and posted instructions. So yesterday I completed my first one. Take a look. Isn’t it divine? Next I’m going to make a chocolate cake with white icing.
"Ashby to Eighty Eighty to the Bridge Bridge down to One Route One carry on"
I'm missing the Bay Area (Berkeley specifically). The neighborhood I used to live in is called "The Elmwood". Don't you love it? I think it's just asking to be made into a neighborhoodies sweatshirt.
These were the important parts:
Movie nights with Kate (and the hilarity of the fact that she didn't own a TV or DVD player and although I did she could not enter my apartment due to being allergic to my cat. So for our weekly movie nights I would have to carry the TV and DVD player from my apartment to hers. We lived across from each other in the same building so it's not as big a deal as it sounds).
Cocktails at Cesars (and the night we had to walk all the way back to your apartment while trying to keep each other from falling over).
Willard Park (where I first encountered the homeless man with the seat cover he'd constructed for his bike out of a Louis Vuitton bag, so Berkeley!).
Looking at art books at Cody's Books (while waiting for you to get out of class).
Trying to figure out what house Michael Chabon lived in (he shops at the Star Grocery!)
The Star Grocery (where they still let people put their groceries on a "tab").
Tuesday evenings (cheap movie night at the Elmwood Theater).
Seeing Belle and Sebastian for the second time (when Alina came to visit).
Cheap sushi (at Man Puku, where they remember my order!).
Expensive sushi (at Kirala - the best in the east bay).
The day Anna FINALLY said my name (well she said "Nessa" but she was 2 and 1/2 and I'd been her nanny for two whole years before she could say it).
Seeing Margaret Cho with Sarah (but first drinks at Cesars).
The view of SF (from the Paragon Bar at the Claremont Hotel).
My first dinner at Chez Panisse ( Welcome to ChezPanisse.com ) (upstairs - but we had too many drinks next door to enjoy it - you paid!).
My second dinner at Chez Panisse (downstairs - with my mom - I paid!).
Alice's funeral (where everyone kept asking Kate and I if we were sisters - FYI if you see two redheads together it doesn't mean they are related). I just used the term "FYI", how embarassing.
The Alameda Point Antiques Fair (the first Sunday of every month).
Videots (where I won 50 free movie rentals for guessing last years Academy award winners, go me).
Launderland (people would come from as far away as South Oakland to do their laundry here, and their Terminator pinball game was swell).
Ozzie's Soda Fountain (it was all about their grilled cheese sandwiches and their view of the hills).
Kisses from Jules (the most stylish boy in The Elmwood - he wore a tux to his Birthday party! so posh).