Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Friday Things

Some of you have been asking about life in Seattle since we moved.  In short, so far so good. It's been an adjustment, full of all kinds of quirky things that have made us laugh.  Here's a small, random list of said quirky things:

1) Shopping carts  

Our building rests directly above a Safeway grocery store, which is surprisingly inconvenient.   Of course it's fantastic to have food so close to us (it's one quick elevator ride away), but I can no longer use the "I'm too tired to go to the grocery store" excuse.   Instead, I have to use the "I'm too tired to ride the elevator" excuse, and that just sounds plain lazy. 

So grocery store trips for us tend to work a lot like Target trips.  We go into the store with good intentions, wanting to simply grab a few items and make a hasty exit. Of course this NEVER happens.  Why?  Because we simply must have that 400-pack of Pantene Pro-V shampoo since it's such a good buy. Oh, and we also absolutely need a gigantic tin bucket of caramel popcorn complete with a bonus pack of Nestle Rasinets.  Won't movie watching be much more fun with it?!  Speaking of movies, we really should own the entire Alfred Hitchcock collection on DVD.  Oh look, it's on sale! 

...several hours and two shopping carts later, we finally make our exit. But there's a problem. We can't take the shopping cart with us back to our apartment so how do we transfer all of our loot? 

Enter our very own, super cool, collapsible shopping cart!  Look ma, no shopping bags!  

Our sweet ride for the grocery store

2)  Toe shoes

Everyone and their grandmother seems to be wearing these unique shoes around Seattle.  Is it just a passing fad or are they here to stay?  Who knows.  Never the types to be easily swayed by peer pressure or passing fads, we of course leapt on to the toe shoe bandwagon, lickity split!

And when everyone isn't busy gallivanting around in toe shoes, they're keeping it classy in "Workinstocks," which are of course Birkenstocks made work-friendly when paired with a collared shirt. 

Like toe socks.  But not.

Mike models the "Workinstocks" look

3)  Jenga

Jenga is an intense wood block game that appears to be enjoying a resurgence up here.  After playing a few high stakes rounds with family on Saturday night (loser goes to bed... and my five-year old nephew lost), I can see why so many people love it.  Though nothing is likely quite as intense as the new and improved Girl Talk Jenga game.  It claims to get all participants, "stackin', askin' and laughin'" - I can't think of anything more embarrassingly convincing.  I'm in! 

The intensity was too much for me.  Here I am,
bursting with excitement, while my sister
packs on the pressure by removing a block.

So that's everything in a nutshell.  Seattle so far is shopping carts, toe shoes and Jenga - a lovely mishmash of randomness that we're really starting to enjoy.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Heart Zombies

I've been meaning to share this post with you readers for a while so I'm ecstatic that I'm FINALLY doing it.  Procrastination guilt, be gone!

So anyone who knows me knows that I have a bizarre attraction to all things zombie-related. I love zombie movies, posters, costumes, books, games, etc.  In fact, there's an old adage that comes to mind when I think about how much I love zombies.  It says that to make something more interesting, you simply need to "put a bird on it."  Well, I find that "putting a zombie on it" works even better.  How much better, you ask?

Consider this collection of things that are at least 1,000 times cooler because they've been zombie-fied:
Are you completely disgusted, yet oddly intrigued?  Then my work here is done.... almost.    

You see, I've saved the best for last.  It's quite possibly one of the coolest zombie objects of all time and the raison d'etre for this post.  It's a "fold your own" Zombie calendar!   It's full of sheets of paper with tear-out zombie body parts that you glue together.  I've constructed a few so far this year and it's a lot of fun. 

Here's how it works:

Step 1:  Flip to the current calendar month and start tearing out all the itty bitty paper pieces you're going to glue together to create a zombie.

Step 2:  Double-check that you're on the correct month and realize you've started working on the month ahead (in this case, September).  Start over with the correct month, placing the following month's paper bits in an impenetrable ziplock bag for use when the right time comes.

Step 3:  As you lay out all the pieces in front of you, set the instructions aside and remind yourself not to lose them.  

Step 4:  Glue all of the pieces together as best you can after losing the instructions that you told yourself you wouldn't lose. 

Step 5:   Laugh like a giddy school girl  after noticing that the zombie you're constructing is using a phallic jack hammer.

Step 6:  As you're laughing, glue the zombie's feet on backwards, but don't attempt to fix them.  Lazily defend yourself by claiming the mistake "adds character" to your construction.  

Step 7:  Find the missing instructions and the ziplock baggy with September's paper bits in a state of ruins next to your innocent-looking cat, who just so happens to love paper.

Step 8:  The end.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Art At High Altitude

Artist Stan Herd has spent the last 30 years of his life perfecting representational earthwork design.  His art has been featured in Rolling Stone and Esquire magazines as well as television and radio programs like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and NPR's All Things Considered.  It's easy to see why so many are eager to spread the word about his work -- it's grand in scale, yet intricately textured and detailed.  I am simply in awe.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Relaxing, Mid-Air Style

A friend of mine tipped me off to LeisureDive, whose mission it is to capture the ultimate leisurely dives via user-submitted content.  You can view their extensive gallery here.  They've captured so many funny photos; I dare you not to laugh.   Needless to say, I think I'm hooked.  What a great way to celebrate summer!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "Borrow a Grandmother" Restaurant Model

Has anyone ever been to Enoteca Maria Italian Restaurant on Staten Island?  It's been around for a while, but I just found out about it and had to share.  The restaurant has found a way to flourish without the use of all-star chefs by ingeniously replacing them with grandmothers!

Joe Scaravella, the restaurant's owner, puts it nicely when he says, "If you have the choice between a three-star Michelin chef and Grandma's, where are you going?"  Personally, I'd pick my grandmother's house - she's by far the best chef I know.  More to the point, everyone thinks their grandmother's are the best chefs they know.  That's exactly why Scaravella has been so successful with his venture. CNN contributor Sarah Lent also surmises that with fewer families dining together these days, Enoteca offers the kind of homestyle cooking and bonding experience that people long for.

Since every grandmother's cooking is different, every dish at Enoteca has it's own flair as well.  In fact, the menu changes daily so you never know what you're going to get.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oreo Cameos

Artist Judith Klausner is a self-proclaimed lover of all things intricate and although she's outgrown an acceptable age for the practice, she still very much enjoys playing with her food.  (I admit that I still play with my food, though I've never used the "it's art" excuse.  Genius.)

While Judith's medium ranges from toe nails to toast, it's her Oreo creations that have captured my attention.  Inspired by questions about discarded beauty and everyday mundaneness,  she came up with a clever response in the form of miniature cameos.  

They look so tasty and so wonderfully crafty!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blogging Begins Again!

Readers, it's been WAY too long!  I apologize for the extended absence.  We are finally settled into our new place and loving life in Seattle.  The summers up here truly are spectacular - you can't beat 'em!

Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit rusty as I get back into the swing of blogging so I'm going to begin with something easy. To get things started, here's a summary of our life over the last four weeks via photos and miscellaneous links.  Enjoy!

One of our first stops after we moved was Old School Frozen Custard in the Capitol Hill district.  Delicious!  For a
look at other places we've tried, see map.
Hubby Mike also celebrated a birthday.  He could hardly contain his
excitement when he received this bag. ;)
Taking a stroll through Portland, OR.  That's our nephew, Jack, in the background
and our brother-in-law, Rory.  
The Waterfromt Blues Festival over 4th of July weekend and the beautiful Willamette River.
The Mac Potts Band gave us a set of amazing, funky blues.   These guys can really jam!
View from Lake Union on the 4th of July.  We spent the day on a boat with family.
View of the Fremont Bridge on Lake Union before we docked the boat.  The fireworks over the lake were incredible.