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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com

older | 1 | .... | 352 | 353 | (Page 354)

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  • 12/14/18--09:25: Faded glory
  • Decided it was time to retire my swimsuit. Although it was faded a bit, that wasn't the reason. The pattern's busy enough that you don't really notice the fading. Compare the old one on the left to the identical new one on the right.

    20181214_050545

    I stopped wearing it because the grommet on one of the drawstring holes is about to come out, and the last thing I need is for some sort of catastrophic failure.

    20181214_050752

    I wasn't going to immediately switch to the identical replacement, but the square cut plain black one I wore for a couple of days wasn't working out so well. Lately I've spent a good amount of my time in the pool walking back and forth, and in the shallower ends, I do lunges. That's been making the bottom of the square cut one bunch and roll up. So, the same silhouette as a speedo, only sloppy. Sometimes it even flips enough that the white liner shows.

    I'm not ready to always wear a speedo everywhere, but for mornings at the Y, they're great. I also like jammers, but so far I only have one pair. It's actually a little long, but ends up fitting pretty well after it gets wet.

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  • 12/15/18--07:59: CATURDAY































































  • BONUS Saturdogs







    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 12/17/18--12:40: Victory is mine
  • I'm not super into Christmas, and that seems to magnify Christmas annoyances. One of those each year has always been Sam's never-ending quest to chew on the downstairs tree's branches and swat at the mixer cans I decorate it with. I got a cage to put around the tree a few years ago, but since it wasn't attached to the floor, he could push the walls toward the tree. I also didn't close it before, and he was able to push his way in from the back. Or jump down from the treadmill in the corner.

    So this year, I thought about it for a bit and tackled all the issues with the cage by securing it to the floor, closing it, and moving it away from the treadmill. So far, no issues!



    I don't get why after all this time, YouTube still can't display a vertical video properly. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and tumblr all do. But the original and largest video site? Not just yet.

    This week's Live in Everett TV is our trip to get a photo with Santa. It's a really nice setup! You can make an appointment and there's a huge set with tons of props. They also take walk-ins and there's a big comfy waiting area. Now that this is an option, I'm not sure why anyone would stand in line at the mall.


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  • 12/19/18--08:47: If I could walk on water
  • There are signs by the pool with long lists of different strokes people should do for their structured lap swimming. 50 of this, 100 of that, and so on. I don't do anything like that, but one thing I kept looking back at was at the top of one sign: One mile = 32 laps = 64 lengths. I've always measured my water experience by time and my land experience by distance, and now that I've been walking a little bit in the pool, I've wondered what it'd be like to walk a mile in the pool. The recreation side was a little crowded this morning (three whole swimmers) and only one of the four lanes was taken, so I decided to walk a mile in a lane today.



    It's definitely much more challenging to walk in the pool. On the one hand, you can jump through the water in a low-impact way, but the water also provides a lot of resistance. The hardest part is getting through the deepest part of the pool in the middle. And because I was going for distance, I didn't do as much lunging in the ends as I have been lately. A mile took about 45 minutes, which is more than twice the time it takes me on land.

    I found myself wishing I'd charged my old Pebble watch so I could use some sort of counter instead of keeping track in my head. It's surprisingly hard to count to 64 when you can only advance one number per pool length. It's hard not to accidentally advance early.

    From lengths 19-30, I found myself reflecting on my life during those ages. Strangely enough, the music mix I listened to happened to get a little sad and dark right around when my life did. Even weirder, it sped up and resumed at just the right time!

    Speaking of walking, I did one on Sunday at Langus, of course. It was pretty wet out, so since the gate was locked at the new parking area, I decided I wouldn't try to pass through there. The part on either side of the gate where they took down the fence is still quite overgrown, totally fine to walk through unless it's wet.

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    Since I knew it'd be wet, I parked by the river where there's a decent view and put the camera on the steering wheel for a time lapse. I didn't get my hopes up because winter is rarely good for time lapses, but was pleasantly surprised. I love the twinkly lights from the city and trains shining through the water droplets, plus the dramatic flow of clouds once it gets brighter.

    https://instagram.com/p/BrdOnifgQvj



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  • 12/21/18--07:00: SchadenFriday



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  • 12/21/18--14:33: Trying new things
  • The last time there was a batch of story ideas for Live in Everett up for grabs, I surprised myself by choosing a human interest piece for the first time. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter is working on a remodel, so I interviewed their quartermaster and toured the facility.

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    I was pretty nervous to write it but am happy to report it's well-received so far. I'll be back after the remodel for the "after" photos and to publicize the party where they'll unveil it. Definitely looking forward to it! Just wish I could have visited before work started so I could see the true "before."

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  • 12/22/18--06:34: CATURDAY












































































  • BONUS Saturdogs









    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 12/25/18--11:19: Merry Christmas!
  • Here's our 2018 card, plus the setup and outtakes video.

    xmas2018

    https://instagram.com/p/Br0jlbAA7KP

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  • 12/27/18--12:08: Close encounter, oblivious
  • I'd never do the trails up either side of Japanese Gulch when it's really dark. I've entered the Eastern trails before sunrise, but not too long before. One thing I'm grateful for is the option to follow the railroad tracks up because there's plenty of gravel to walk on and it doesn't really matter how early it is as there's always at least a bit of moonlight and the glow from Boeing.

    Shortly after I got to the spot where the center trail and tracks meet about halfway up the gulch this morning, a flashlight turned on up ahead. As I got closer I said good morning, and a man's voice replied from a little hiding spot. He said he was there filing coyotes using a thermal night vision camera, and one was right in front of me that I didn't even see because it was so dark! So close, that he thought I was walking a dog at first, but the angles of our paths didn't make sense.

    I asked if he'd be posting video on YouTube or somewhere else where I could find it, but alas, he said no.

    I'd already been toying with the idea of doing a big loop back to the car via the residential neighborhoods, and since he was filming there, I went ahead and did it rather than walk through again on the way back. This was a good time of year to do that because I got to see some Christmas lights, and because school's out, there weren't any crowded bus stops to try to get around.

    It was garbage day, though, and I kept running into trucks. You can't win them all.

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  • 12/28/18--11:43: SchadenFriday




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  • 12/29/18--07:12: CATURDAY





















































  • BONUS Saturdogs









    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 12/30/18--10:10: Tattoo-eekend
  • A while back, I decided I really wanted a tattoo of Freckle from The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo. My favorite Freckle quote comes from this scene:



    The photo I wanted to base it on:



    And I had the perfect spot for it, my left calf. My left arm is done, I'm planning full Tron sleeve on my right leg, and I hope to figure out another sleeve for my right arm. My back's totally spoken for even though I don't know what all's going there. But my left leg's already a grab bag of stuff, so that's perfect.

    The only issue was that my artist Jimmy doesn't do color portraits. He does amazing black and white ones, and that will be perfect for the Tron sleeve.



    He really wanted to draw Freckle, but I wanted color, so that just wasn't going to work. I'm glad he's really honest about that and just wants what's good for the project. He even said he didn't think anyone who works for him was right for the project, but he had someone in mind who would not only be perfect, but would be coming up for a guest weekend in the shop soon! He showed me Stephanie Nuzzolilo's Instagram and I agreed, she was right for the job.

    I sent her the still photo of the gif above and the video, and she asked me to send screenshots of tattoos from her Instagram I liked most so she knew what direction to go in. I sent these because they're realistic but also have lots of graphic elements. Just lovely.




    That was November 10th. I sent her a deposit via PayPal and all that was left to do was wait until yesterday, December 29th. I was in the shop on the 28th, though, for another appointment with Jimmy for my back. We had a plan in place for a while but he was having a difficult time executing it and we realized even if we drew it perfectly, it probably wouldn't be as big as we'd like. This Patrick Nagel painting was the basis for that piece. It's been the lock screen on my laptop for years.



    The plan was to have her holding a finger to her mouth in a "shhhh" fashion, with her other hand on a plasma ball. Think 1980s fortune teller. But it just wasn't meant to be. Since we've always had a "go bigger" philosophy in our work together, we decided to choose two Patrick Nagel women to be on either side of my back, and because I'd have a long appointment the next day, we just did the outlines.

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    That solved another potential issue of my scars being too visible, now we can do something more ink-heavy in that center spot where that's an issue.

    You probably recognize the woman on the left, she's on the cover of the Rio album by Duran Duran, easily the most famous example of Nagel's work and likely the reason that style became so popular. You still see it in just about every salon window to this day. The one on the right is a flipped version of this one.



    If you were friends with me on here when we moved into the apartment in 2014, you might recognize her from some temporary decor I put up, which definitely looks like foreshadowing now.

    More decor

    I got to the shop yesterday and unfortunately had to come right back home. Stephanie was running behind due to traffic on her way up to the shop. She'd messaged me on Instagram but unfortunately I didn't have push notifications set up on my phone. Now I do. My appointment was at 3:00 and she had me come back at 4:30. We did a final design review, she got to work on her stencil, and I was on the table from about 5:30-10:00. A very late night for me, and a lot of pain. Thank goodness she had some lidocaine she used for the last half hour or so, I was miserable. It was worth it, though. Pardon the huge scratch on my leg.

    Freckle tattoo by Stephanie Nuzzolilo

    A closer look.

    Freckle tattoo by Stephanie Nuzzolilo

    I tagged Jason Greene who plays Freckle in the photo on Instagram. He reposted it and it got 4,000 likes overnight. I wish he would have tagged Stephanie, but it's highly likely he hasn't figured out how. I made sure to tag her in the comments.

    It's been a long and expensive couple of days but I'm very happy with what we've accomplished.

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  • 01/04/19--05:06: SchadenFriday




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    Garrett's new employer gave him some PTO sooner than he thought they would, so we arranged for 12/31 and 1/2 off, making the New Year holiday a five-day weekend for us. I suggested we might get a cabin or something, and not long after, Garrett confirmed we had no plans and said not to make any. The last present he had me open on Christmas morning was a photo of a cabin he got us for two nights! It's on the water in Coupeville, so he also made NYE dinner reservations for us at Oystercatcher, which we'd only been to once but it immediately became our favorite restaurant.

    We drove over so we wouldn't have to worry about a long ferry wait. Lunch options were pretty limited, so we popped into a saloon in Stanwood. He had chicken strips, I had clam strips. I liked the light above us.

    Stanwood Hotel and Saloon

    The view from the cabin is great.

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    I didn't take a lot of cabin photos, but couldn't resist getting a record of these touches.

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    I discovered a little bad news when unpacking, though. I'd forgotten to pack my CPAP tube and headgear. This happened because I need to put it away every day because Sam chewed through one, and I forgot to get it out while packing. Oops. I tried to call Island Drug in Oak Harbor but worried that I'd be on hold forever only to lose my connection, so I just jumped in the car and went over. They don't sell CPAP supplies, though, they only fill prescriptions for them. I had my prescription in my CPAP carry case back at the cabin, but there was no time to go get it before dinner. More on that later.

    This is the NYE menu we had at Oystercatcher. We did the wine pairings and everything was great. There was also an oyster amuse bouche and a salted grapefruit sorbet intermezzo. Perfection.

    NYE prix fixe

    The sign out front is a huge understatement.

    Understatement

    We caught our cab back to the cabin, had a little more wine, and went to bed. It wasn't long before I was choking myself awake, then coughing up and aspirating stomach acid. Very unpleasant. I hoped if I could keep mouth closed, I'd be a little better off, but nothing worked. Not the underwear I tried to wear on my head as a chin strap, nor the pillow I hugged for dear life and jammed up under my chin. At 4:30, I almost jumped in the car to drive back to Everett, but decided I'd better make sure I was awake enough. At 5:30, I drove to the ferry terminal in Clinton for the 6:30 ferry, and it was the emptiest one I'd ever been on. One row of cars on each side, plus maybe six more. Wild.

    I had plenty of time to get back for the 8:00 ferry in Mukilteo, so I stopped at Safeway for a bottle of Fresca. They were out, but thankfully had the little cans. We usually drink bloody marys (for him) and bloody marias (for me) on January 1st, but I always want to switch to fresquilas after a few.

    I took four time lapses while we were there. The first three are morning, afternoon, and evening on the first day, and the last is our final morning there. If you want to see those, click the last photo above and navigate to the left. Be aware there's also a photo of a long-dead bird you'll click past. I think it's a really beautiful photo and I'm now kicking myself for not taking photos of a frozen seagull I found a few weeks ago which looked like it was about to take flight.

    We loved NYE at Oystercatcher and that could definitely become our new tradition. I'll start bringing it up this fall.

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  • 01/05/19--04:32: CATURDAY











































































  • BONUS Saturdogs










    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 01/11/19--16:55: SchadenFriday
  • Only had one gif in my file today so I figured I'd find a timely video. Just a warning, I haven't watched it.


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  • 01/12/19--07:17: CATURDAY































































  • BONUS Saturdogs






    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    FAT CATS
    FUCKYEAHFELINES!
    CHEEZburger
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

    0 0
  • 01/12/19--09:14: Catchemups
  • I had a busy week, which included cranking out a couple of Live in Everett pieces I'd been meaning to get to for a while. I'll share those when the time comes, though. Where LIEv is concerned, I'm excited about a few things. This week I'm finally going to record an episode of the podcast, which I've been wanting to do forever. A story I started work on over a year ago finally came together and is coming out this week. And last but definitely not least, Live in Everett surpassed 1,000,000 page views!

    Much of my plan this week revolved around my tattoos. I hadn't been to the pool in a while because of the Freckle tattoo on my calf. That's now mostly healed except for a couple of spots, but it was good enough to finally go swimming Wednesday. I had another tattoo appointment yesterday, so I got three days of swims in before it. Jimmy filled in the hair on the Nagels yesterday, and heavy blackwork is about as much damage as you can do in a session, so it may be even longer before I'm in the pool again. We'll see.



    My favorite views of this rainbow were in the car, but the view from the Safeway was pretty good. I get a lot of my best sky pictures there.

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    We may not have driveway lions, but at least we have a thriving indoor garden and window kitties.

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    I don't believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, my ex must shake his head at the thousands of photos I've taken with this comforter in the background. He hated it.

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    A week ago I had a rare Saturday walk because Garrett had a Fly-in meeting and needed to get a bunch of work done before heading to it. I went to Edgewater and enjoyed all the stuff laying around the construction site for the new ferry terminal. It was still pitch black out, and this pile looked really cool lit up by the nearby train station.

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    Stuff like that is very fun in Instagram Layout.

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    .
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    I normally don't make slut-shaming jokes and things like that, but! I have exactly one friend I make "your mom" jokes with. He's in the navy and they're very good at that. When my mom died, I made sure to tell him it was still ok to do it. I saw this and had to send it to him with the caption, "Rules for sex with your mom."

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    He's underway and hasn't seen it yet, and likely won't for a while.

    Sometimes they really seem like they're posing.

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    When I got back to where I started, I found all this metal laying around looking like Georgia O'Keeffe painted it.

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    I've always loved what happens with the old tank farm walls when the puddles around them grow large.

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    On Monday I had a good walk at the marina, but it was so dark I didn't take a single photo. My 6:30am weekly calls with Europe have resumed, and there's not really enough time to go out and get back in time for that and enjoy myself, so I decided to go out after. I chose Lowell because I don't like walking it in the dark much and haven't been in a while. I think I'll make it my Tuesday destination for a while.

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    I had quite a few culinary accomplishments this week. On Tuesday, I made perfect steaks sous vide and a really great baked potato in the slow cooker that I split between us. The green beans were steamed in a bag and also great tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

    Dinner

    Melissa (Mellzah for those who know her) told me about some frozen ramen at Costco and I bought it a while ago and finally tried it Thursday. The guy who checked my receipt at the door when I bought them said I should add a little sesame oil and I suggested he should add soft boiled eggs. His "ooohhh" face was perfect. I did both of those, plus some sugar snap peas and nori.

    Lunch

    Several people have commented that the eggs look perfect, and they are! If you want perfect soft boiled eggs, they're quite easy. Get some water boiling, lower in cold eggs directly from the refrigerator, cook for 6 1/2 minutes, then move them immediately to an ice water bath. I suggest saving dishes by using the bowl you'll eventually eat the ramen out of as the ice water bath bowl.

    Mellzah saw that and also suggested a black garlic oil recipe. I happened to have just enough garlic to make it, so I did that as a side project while making dinner that night.

    IMG_20190110_171720_105

    She was correct, it adds an amazing depth of flavor to ramen. She and several recipe writers warn that it tastes like death warmed over on its own, though. So now I'm curious what else can be done with it. Would it taste good mixed in cream cheese? I'm sure I'll try it soon.

    That night's dinner was salmon which I cooked to a perfect medium texture sous vide, but it was wildly underseasoned even though I had it in the bag with green sriracha all day and salted it a little before torching it. I prefer baking salmon anyway. It's too wet in the sous vide bag and too delicate to do much about it afterward.

    Dinner

    I guess if you like poached salmon, sous vide would be the very precise version of that. I'm more of a fan of crispy skin and seared-on sauces.

    Although honestly one of the best ways to make salmon is to do a light coating of olive oil, a little salt and pepper, and then a nice layer of lemon zest. Bake it and squeeze some lemon juice on. Simple and perfect.


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  • 01/13/19--15:29: Scenes from Langus today
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older | 1 | .... | 352 | 353 | (Page 354)