Thursday, November 30, 2006

hedging

From Photomaven http://www.flickr.com/photos/maven/

The US dollar is tanking overseas. Most of you could give a whack. For those of you heavily invested in foreign stocks, lucky you. For me, I think I have something like that and my portfolio is good, so I'm not complaining in the big sense.

I'm just glad we hedge currency at home. That is right. We take out extra currency when we're overseas (Euros and pounds and CAD) because we know that Bushie and his cohorts will continue a policy that will bring the US dollar to its knees.

We're not talking hundreds of thousands, but hundreds. Honestly, when we spend four nights in London next month at nearly 400 bucks a night (rethinking this as we speak) and meals that are 30 bucks for a plate of noodles that I could get in Seattle for 3.95, I'll be happy I did.

nm

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

fabulous things

Quick post before blogger goes bye bye for the night.

I am five freaking hours away from my certificate. Not five course credits, five hours, 300 minutes.

Whoo hooo.

Trader Joe's now takes Amex. I can now ditch that MC that I only use for Hyatt stays and only use my Amex.

I am soo happy.

Other than that, check out ernest's new pics.

Ernest in November.

What a handsome boy he is.

I was going to expound on food - chile stew for what ails, hot chocolate and what not, but it is going to have to wait.

nm

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

bridges freeze before the roadway

It is cold here in the Emerald City, so cold that we stayed home today because, well we could. Mind you, we worked, but those seven hour walks with Ernest were cold and he wanted to sniff every freaking thing.

However, tomorrow is another thing. We need to go in and in we will go. I hope my locks don't freeze and that the expected snow tomorrow night comes in after I get home. I'm thinking pumpkin soup and since tomorrow night I have to make a dessert for an AIA auction, I better figure it out before I get to work.

Our house is a small citrus holding pen. Not as elegant as a limonaia, but it will work until the weather warms up. The rest of the potted plants are covered with mexican blankets, down comforters and odds and bobs. I hate it, but it is an annual ritual chez nm.

I knew there was a reason we keep such things around.

I hope that you and yours are bundled up and warm.

nm

Monday, November 27, 2006

cyber monday

I have to admit, it hooked me. However, short of buying the kids very cute little flannel robes from Lands End (double miles!), everything else on the list was for moi!

Lucky me, I received a 20 buck gift cert from Lucy today (no strings attached), 15% a purchase of more than one book from the University Bookstore and found another gift card.

Good thing I procrastinated.

Did I say that it snowed? It did, Ernest is in heaven. He loves it.

His grandmere is skeptical. I believe she now wishes she had left with grandpere. However, she has cable, her art projects and food to keep her amused until we can shovel her out tomorrow.

Lucky duck.

nm

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

'tis the season


Sugar! December 2005.

Black Friday has come and gone. TH and I went to the Ace Hardware in Maple Leaf for some double point fun, Cost plus in Bellevue for stocking stuffers and to Exeter Avenue for more turkey. We were lucky enough to have Aunt Pat and Cousin Scruffy come visit for a while and Ernest was able to work it with Scruffy. It was not a pleasant sight.

Today it was cold, but moderately sunny. Much yard work, gutter cleaning, running around and sadly, finding our neighbors deceased cat in our yard. It was a hard phone call to make and though the outcome is awful, at least she has closure.

Other than that, we're at home, enjoying a reprieve from turkey (tomorrow -enchiladas!).

Ernest's christmas presents have been ordered or located. Its the rest of the planet that is going to have to wait.

nm

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ernest in the window, November 2006.

W
ho is that tiny doggie in the window?


Three Thanksgiving meals later, I'm done.


nm

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

four o'clock in the morning

This morning (4 am) TH and I discussed the new security regulations coming down the pike and how hard it would be to conduct research and development when most of your waking hours are spent keeping up with unfunded IT security mandates.

Basically, you can't do any work, so why bother even trying.

Then we discussed other uplifting things and at around 6 am I went back to sleep to only wake up even more groggy and cranky.

I think from now on, I'll just get up and get on with my day.

nm

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the heavens opened

Seriously, like three times today. I even went out to check on Ernest to see how he was doing when we had lightning and thunder.

He was asleep.

I love Seattle, I even love this weather, but today, I could use a little sun.

I passed 2,000,000 miles on American Airlines today. I guess my miles from my Tmobile account posted. I guess I'm relieved and as much as I know JK and others won't believe me when I say --I'm taking a break from this game.

I'm pooped.

I may even fly on miles this winter and give TH all my upgrades.

Lucky girl.

nm

Monday, November 20, 2006

nothing to report

of note. I feel crappy and this is a Week with a capital W. My hips are killing me and I'm behind today on my training. Yoikes.

Didn't go in for the blood draw today. Am working on liquids, thanks Z! and hopefully tomorrow am they can suck it out of me.

Other than that, E.dd's grandmere and grandpere are on their way up to Rainy Seattle to see their tiny puppy and admire all 44 lbs of him.

He's a bruiser.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner. None of us can stand to cook and whatever we eat, it is not going to be fowl.

later taters,

nm

Sunday, November 19, 2006

close but no cigar

Two weeks to the second of when we bought TH a new phone, we found the one.

Can't return it now, so we're just going to unlock it and have another UK phone.

Sigh.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

thanksgiving saturday again

Regeneration, Mesa Verde, September 2006.

Today is the Saturday before Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. One that has nothing to do with your nuclear family, the bad juju that some people associate with Thanksgiving and family holidays and travel and all that baggage that comes with "holiday rituals". It is a tradition borne of young 20 and 30 somethings who had family obligations on the traditional Thanksgiving, but felt that Thanksgiving is something that should also include friends. This is the 17th year. It continues to amaze me.

Ours is simple, mix friends, some wine, a goose, a turkey, foods that are important to you to have at the table and to sit for four hours and be thankful.

I haven't been in the best of moods the past few weeks and this is a good time to sit and reflect and realize that I am one of the luckiest people in the world.

L is the kitchen with TH making her famous corn pudding, E and L are at the condo watching the turkey and the Apple Cup. Scruffy and Aunt P are off for an adventure, but will be back for dinner and everyone else is due in at 6:30.

We miss those who are in Italy this year, we already talked to L in Maine, we miss B&P in Santa Barbara and we will raise our glasses to toast you.

We know that you will grace our table again, very soon.

smooches,

nm

Friday, November 17, 2006

denial part 3

Posh bangers, Borough Market, November 2006.

I failed my blood test today. The phlebotomist couldn't find a vein. She even tried for my hand. I blacked out and said I'd come back on Monday.

Eck.

We went shopping for Saturday before Thanksgiving Thanksgiving and discussed what to do about our suicidal homeless friend and whether or not he would be committing himself tonight.

This is not what Thanksgiving is about, unless, of course, you are thankful for your sanity and that you have a roof over your head.

It just puts a damper on the whole thing, doesn't it?

nm

Thursday, November 16, 2006

denial part 2

Oxo Tower, London- Remembrance Day 2006.

I am going in tomorrow for a fasting cholesterol test. My doctor tested my non-fasting and it was high. I am 41 years old and starting to fall apart. Something tells me next year will be about oatbran, saving more for retirement and pilates.

Maybe I shouldn't have had brussel sprouts with bacon and hazelnuts for dinner.

Sigh.

nm

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

denial

Three days before Saturday before Thanksgiving and a week before traditional Thanksgiving and I haven't done anything.

Yoikes.

Must order flowers tomorrow.

nm

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

nothing to declare


I have stopped buying things in London unless I really think it is necessary. Everything is so expensive and nowadays, so available anywhere. Most of the time, my bag has the Sunday Times, some cheese, Hello! and OK! and maybe a few things from Muji. I don't even declare 75 bucks and luckily, they never really ask.

The only sure thing is that each trip requires a visit to a chemist to buy feminine protection. I have no idea why, but I am doomed to visit anywhere with the joy of bleeding to death.

It is a given that I will have approximately 2 tampons in my bag at the beginning of my trip and64 minus what I used by the end.

So, next time they hassle me at customs, I'll proudly display my lil-lets and see if they ever bug me again.

smooches,

nm

Monday, November 13, 2006

knackered

My flight is delayed out of ORD. I will arrive at home at 2:30.

I am not amused.

nm

Sunday, November 12, 2006

london kills me redux

Yeah, you know who you are. London, November 2006.

To tell you the truth, I hate large events. I avoid large crowds of flyertalkers, I hate to talk points and miles for very long. We’re all fascinating people who lived fascinating lives away from our airports/hotels and our obsession of miles (1,963,000 to date on AA and counting). I hate the drama that can happen at any event. I’m too old and detached to give a crap about what someone said about someone else. In the last few months, I have realized that life is too short to deal with psychic trauma- mine and yours.

Imagine that all yesterday, there was none.

Okay, I had a little bit when I needed to get John to pick a hotel so that I could go in search of cheese. He bucked up and we moved on.

Thanks John. J

All day yesterday, there was none around me that I could detect. I loved it.

I also enjoyed meeting people I had only heard of and in some cases, admired from afar. You know what, they are all normal people.

It was fun.

Dinner was great. I actually won something (2 nights anywhere in the Hilton chain, I’m thinking Japan) and had some really good conversations and really good food at CafĂ© Lazeez. JK, we’re going here and a panto.


Smooches,

Nm

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm tired and the idea of sitting on the plane for seven hours has no appeal.

Flight is chock a block full.

I think it's going to be a full on ambien, ear plugs and decaf dunkin donuts expereince. Pardon me if I ignore you for the next seven plus hours.

The doode on the FL desk is dork.

Nuff said.

smooches,

nm

idiots to the right please


Merle, the triceratops, at the BR, SEA-ORD-LHR. November 2006.

Can we talk?


If you don't know what to do at the airport, I recommend you spend 10 minutes at the TSA.gov site and learn.

Smooches,

nm



Thursday, November 09, 2006

chocolat chaud

Chocolat chaud, Marche Raspail Biologique, December 2005.

I love hot chocolate, not too sweet, but very hot and chocolatey. We recently sampled some of EATS hot chocolate at the West Seattle Farmer's Market. TH got some and I was supposed to hold it while she shopped and I chaperoned Ernest the puppy. Well, that hot chocolate didn't last too long around me.

It was yummy.

Today I went to Fran's to pick up some salted caramels and truffles to take to our hosts of the London Mega Do. I declined the caramel with macadamia nuts and she offered me a sample of their hot chocolate.

Yum is all I'm going to say.

TH and I will go to Fran's after perambulating E. the puppy in the Village. He usually is seen jumping into the fountains and woofing at things that squirt him. I get a latte and she gets a mocha. Things may have to change after this new discovery.

Okay, off we go to bed. To the airport in the am, no, my upgrade did not clear. I plan on a nice yogurt parfait from the dilletante, a latte and maybe I'll slice up some of that yummy mouse house cheddar that F&J brought in September.

Travel safe y'all.

nm

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

oh what a day....


Fabulous news on the political front. I felt great last night and this morning I felt even better and gosh darnit, after I came home from my board meeting, I felt like taking ernest for a walk, even if I would be drenched.

Welcome to the new world. I love this country and maybe today, I feel like my vote counted this time around.

Now, if we could get that continuing resolution dealt with and give us a budget...

Other than that, I'm leaving for London on Friday. It'll be fun, I'll see Jen and catch up with some others. I have a Sunday planned that includes Columbia Road followed by five hours of gardening at my aunts (Pray for good weather)....

Oh, I read with fascination about Britney and Kevin. It repulses me, why do I care?

later taters.

nm

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

PSA

Vote today as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.

nm

Monday, November 06, 2006

all good things come

Persimmon, chez NM, November 2006.


R
ainy Day here. We watched the radar all day. Looks like the worst is over.

Not much else to say, we have two persimmons this year. It took 15 years, so I am happy.


nm

Sunday, November 05, 2006

insurmountable

I have 3000 plus pictures in flickr. They all need captions and new tags.
I say 50 a day. What do you think? 75 if I'm procrastinating.

nm
Today we went out and bought TH a new phone. The same freaking one we had. We also upped our plan as we somehow (damned conference call) managed to go over our minutes to the tune of 60 bucks.

For some reason, I didn't have a text message plan. WTF?

Okay, so now we're 100 bucks poorer.

Its been a day.

The dog also has gas. How fun is that.

nm

Saturday, November 04, 2006

motivate me

Hat house, October 2006, South Park.

I have to write a measly 1400 word paper for my preservation planning seminar. I have the topic, I have materials, I have ideas, I just don't give a whack.

I have to be done by tomorrow to finish my AMS extended abstract.

Very interesting topic. I'm looking at a house that a bunch of community members nominated for landmark status and received it, which basically made it impossible for the new owner to short plat the land around it enough to make it economically viable. He felt that the house was not worth saving, the land was valuable, thus the house should be destroyed.

In the process I have learned that this house - very lovely and architecturally significant, was a meth production facility in a old Seattle neighborhood. The house has a happy ending, someone offered to move it to a lot close to its original location and fixed it up very nicely. The house is now being rented for a song if it was say, in my neighborhood, but very expensive for where it is.

The old lot is now a sea of hideous new tract houses.

The landmark is lovely, if not totally out of context in a sea of newly developed market rate townhomes, even with a 10' buffer, it looks strange.

Makes me wonder if things like this are worth preserving when taken away from their original landscape. It also makes me wonder about what motivates people to save things in a neighborhood that is going to change, no matter what.

nm

Friday, November 03, 2006

needle in a proverbial haystack

How hard is it to find a cell phone in a moderately well organized and clean house?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

nablopomo away




Its National Blog Post a Day for Month according to Z, who heard it from fussy. I'm up for the challenge I think even if it means posting from a skanky internet cafe next weekend. NM is not taking a laptop to London unless necessary. Too much overhead these days....


Anyhoo, not much to say, TH is sick, Ernest has pano, I feel like crud, so we spent most of the evening feeling sorry for ourselves. Me, snoring on the couch, TH and E. dd on the futon in my office. I think E. dd now thinks that all beds should be this big.

Now, we're all awake and its close to midnight.

If you blog, join us, link to Fussy and wow us with your witty thoughts and prose.

nm

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Roma, Roma, Moleskine City Guide, October 2006.

It is very rare that I take advantage of the concierge service of any hotel I stay in. This past weekend, I did use the concierge to book a table for me at Lutetia Brasserie for lunch, find me a restaurant and to track down the elusive Moleskine city guides for the cities I am most likely to visit and annotate any guidebook or map I may have.


They were located at the WH Smith on Rue de Rivoli, which is an expat hangout. I did try the Bon Marche book and paper department, called Brentanos and checked a few places that were independent with little luck.


Turns out WH Smith had most of them and at least the Paris guide was waiting for me at the cash desk.


What can I say?

I am a bit dissapointed. They are small, which I guess is good if you are going to carry it everywhere, but the maps are not so great. The London maps have very little detail on them, so unless you stay on main drags you'll get very little use. The Paris guide is much better on maps and the metro map is useful, but why not put in a RER map? I'm used to journalling in a bigger moleskine, so it was hard to adjust to this size.

I didn't start filling out our Paris one, I may do it this week.

I'll take my London one next week. I don't suppose I'll be seeing anything new or exciting, so I'm not sure how much I can fill it out, but it is a step in the right direction.

I'll post the maps and details on my flickr asap.

nm
Colissmo, XL. October 2006.

What I did last weekend.

5.5 kilos of chocolate sent.

Mon dieu.