Thursday, July 30, 2009

Navy Briefing of the Week: Carrier Safety

We're resurrecting the Navy knowledge of the week! Starting this week, we'll be focusing on aircraft carriers... because NavyGuy is headed out to the U.S.S. Truman for two weeks of training. He's tickled pink to get to fly and be out on the boat; I'm less than thrilled that he'll be gone, but such is the Navy life.

First up, we'll start with the worst case scenarios... how NavyGuy could perish on the boat. Yes, this was an actual briefing he got this week. The information is so ridiculous / horrifying that you just have to laugh (or you'd start crying and never stop). So without further ado...

(Just so you have a point of reference.)

1. Don't fall off the boat. That deck you see in the photo is approximately 60 feet above the water. If you walk off the edge, you will do a belly flop of epic proportions. It will hurt. Allegedly there's a small lip around the edge of the deck, but I highly doubt that would do much except create more chance you'd trip.

2. Don't fall down one of the holes. There are holes in the deck that are typically covered (like a sewer); if someone forgets to cover one though, you run the risk of falling down the hole.

3. Don't drive the airplane off the edge. If the pilot misses the wire that's supposed to catch the plane when they're landing on the flight deck, the pilot is trained to immediately take off again and come back around for another attempt. However, if the arresting gear "sorta" catches the plane, the pilot may not be able to speed up enough to take off again, and the plane will go off the end of the deck. Landing in the water. Bad.

4. Don't walk into turning propeller blades. (Apparently they're hard to see at night.) You'll become "fish bits." (It's just what you think it is.)

5. Don't eject underneath something. When you eject from the airplane, you go flying high up into the air. If you happen to accidentally eject while the plane is parked or taxiing underneath something (like the tower structure on the deck), you'll be squished.

6. Don't get sucked into a jet intake. Think of the scene from The Incredibles where the superhero with the cape gets sucked into the round hole where the air goes in. Bad.

7. Don't fall off the airplane. By the time you climb up into the plane, you're a good 20 feet up in the air; slip on the way up and you're gonna get a serious bruise (if not worse).

8. Don't fall off the airplane into the water. Many of the planes will be parked on the flight deck in such a way that the front portion of the plane is actually hanging off the edge... so again, one slip, and you could end up in the drink.

There are probably more, but apparently these were the most important ones stressed to NavyGuy at his meeting. What's obviously the most worrisome about this, is that 1) they have a full fledged meeting to warn the guys about all of these potential death traps because 2) you know each of these incidents have happened at least once before...

NavyGuy assures me he's going to be "super careful" while on the carrier, but this is a man I've seen fall off a bed, trip over his own feet, and occasionally lose his balance while sitting in a chair. I'm trying to figure out a way to stuff his flight suit with packing peanuts and require him to wear a life preserver at all times...


Things I Hate About Hot Weather

1. Humidity hair.
2. Butt sweat.
3. Having to reapply deodorant.
4. Sweating while you shower.
5. Getting into a car that feels like a convection oven set on 425.
6. Sweating while you sleep.
7. Eating only salads, or foods that don't require using the stove or oven.
8. Feeling sweat drip down your back, or swish between your thighs.
9. Burning your hand on the metal part of the seat belt.
10. Getting stuck to vinyl restaurant seats when wearing shorts.

What else can we add to the list?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Northwest Washington Weather Patterns,

Hi! I know we only met last October, so we haven't even known each other a full year. But I'm going to go on the record and say, what the hell! I Googled your background, like any good blind date would, and I know that you average temp
eratures in the mid 60s for the month of July. Typical humidity levels - less than 50%.

So what in god's name is going on around here?!?!?!?! Are you ticked off at us over something, or is this just some kind of elaborate prank to increase fan sales? It has been in the high 80s, with 200% humidity for almost a week. You've made your point, ok? My car thermometer read 115 degrees after sitting outside for twenty minutes while I was in the grocery store. Simply sitting in my bedroom elicits profuse sweating - forget about trying to actually get anything done in my sauna of a house. You, Mother Nature, are a fickle temptress. No residences in Northwest Washington have air-conditioning... which is normally fine for an area that boasts m
ild summers!!!! Target was sold out of fans yesterday (rumor has it most of Burlington was), but I have an ice maker in my fridge, and I'm not above filling the bathtub with ice and simply chillin' in there until this heat wave is over. I'll do it - you will not beat me.

However, if you could find it in your heart to back off just a little bit, that'd be swell. I have to pack and finish some craft projects and generally be productive the next few days, so if you could see fit to give us a little respite from this oppressive weather, I'd love you forever.

Wishing you lots of clouds and cold fronts,


P.S. YellowBunnies... is there a rational explanation for this Northwest heat wave, or is this just karmic retribution for all the beautiful weather we got in May?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Late to the Party

I tend to come late to trends. Things are popular or common for months - or even years - before I am willing to try them out. Let's examine the evidence...

Exhibit A - Starbucks. Most people my age have been slurping down lattes and caramel macchiatos for years. They became addicted to coffee in college, and have been prancing around with their white cups and brown coffee sleeves ever since. I however, have only been a Starbucks drinker for the past three weeks. Until I had the opportunity to taste everything on the menu, I had never coughed up the four dollars for a cup of something I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy. Unfortunately, now that I've learned the wonder that is a vanilla latte or a iced mocha, I've become addicted. Throw in a piece of the classic coffee cake, and I'm a happy caffeinated lady. So, now I'm the cliched yuppie needing her 'Bucks fix every day.

Exhibit B - Family Guy. Again, a hugely popular show since I started college, but not until this year, when I live with two idiot Marine roommates who watch nothing but inane television, do I start catching up on reruns of this abrasive, obnoxious, offensive, hilarious sitcom. Those in the know find it weird that I'm just starting to quote the show, but I find myself giggling like a fool whenever I say "what the dooce?" in Stewie's crazy voice.

Exhibit C - Bangs. Well, as we saw last week, I finally took the plunge and chopped some bangs... probably just in time to see every celebrity and cool person getting rid of their bangs!

The list could go on and on (Facebook, skinny jeans, Uggs, etc.) - I am just a slow learner when it comes to what's cool. I think my overall unwillingness to try new things, and general dislike of change, account for it. The only good part to all of this is that I usually miss horrifying trends (see trucker hats and Crocs) by virtue of the fact that they've totally come and gone before I summon the chutzpah to even think about attempting them.

Anyone else usually grabbing the back bumper of the bandwagon as it's almost passed you by?


Monday, July 27, 2009

What's Caught My Eye...

I spent yesterday and today working, without any crazy customers or good stories, so all I have to offer today is some interesting things that I've been checking out on the interweb ;)

An Open Letter to Jon Stewart
Sartorial article about Stewart's influence and Jews in the media.

This is a neat website where you can buy art - now what's unique about it is that they sell all original works, but at really reasonable prices. You pick the amount you want to spend (as little as $20 for an 8x10), and then browse the collection. It's great if you're in need of some uncommon wall decor at a stomachable price. (The name stems from their original premise of prints either $20 or $200.)

Daily Blog Tips
For you fellow bloggers, this blog is a wealth of fabulous information on everything from how to attract more readers, to how to collect guest posts, to how to develop new ideas for content. Anybody who blogs could benefit from this.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

I {heart} Target

The college dorm items for Back to School 2009 are on the shelves at Target!!! Sooooo wishing I was going to college in a few weeks so I could deck out my dorm room with these fab finds...

Xtra-long Twin Bedding by DwellStudio in Bloom - So pretty.Brushed Nickel Banker Desk Lamp - Crucial if you want to study after your roommate has already gone to bed (plus it looks like you stole it from the library!)Pink Dish Chair - you can never have too much funky seating in a dorm room.

Dots Bath Towels - Must be stylish when returning from the communal floor bathroom.
Pop-Up Hamper - Doing your own laundry for the first time won't be nearly as fun without this.
What item will always remind you of your freshmen dorm room? (For me, it was actually a set of blue interlocking crates that my roommie and I assembled together... a couple fingers were nearly severed, but our friendship was sealed in the process.)


Friday, July 24, 2009


New last name.

New house.

New job.

New look...?

Old NavyGirl - standard issue hangy brownish hair.

New NavyGirl - a shorter length, and kicky bangs!

Take a good look... cuz it will likely never look like this again :) For a gal who doesn't like change, it sure has been an adventurous summer!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Oh, I'm Ross - I'm too Good for the Hut"

Wednesday night was my first shift training at the Pizza Hut/Food Avenue in Target. From those six hours, working Food Ave seemed to revolve around cleaning, shoving personal pan pizzas in the roller oven, and handing out Icee cups to nine year old boys, who like to mix the raspberry, blueberry, and Cherry Coke Icee to make a brown slushie they proclaim "awesome!". Totally doable.

Then came Thursday. The plan was for me to train all morning with Nicole, a team leader, and learn how to open the Food Avenue, watch a bunch of the required videos, and generally ease my way into food handling and pretzel salting. Ha! When I showed up at 7am, Nicole had called in from the emergency room with some sort of neck debacle, so Candace, who was supposed to be working Starbucks, would now be training me... which means there would be two of us to work the Food Ave and Starbucks... one of whom was not certified in Starbucks, and knew little to nothing about Food Ave... so now we have all the components for a day of chaos and half-assing.

The day was ridiculous. Candace taught me how to open Food Ave, while we simultaneously opened Starbucks for the day and dealt with a fruit fly invasion in the pastry case. Normally two separate (trained) people do these jobs. Then it was the two of us manning both areas until 9, when one more employee showed up to help. I stumbled my way through Food Ave most of the morning, learning how to prep sandwiches, salads, and pizzas, helping guests, filling in at Starbucks when I could, and generally trying to run around like a superhuman all the while remaining perfectly calm and in control. Never a hair out of place ;) (No thanks to my super-fly Target baseball hat and apron).

Candace and I actually managed fairly well - both of us were ready to drop by 3:30 when we were done with our shift, but she complimented me on the day and seemed pleased with my progress (gotta love being thrown into the open ocean to learn to swim... or drown really really quickly). Most important lesson of the day... when in doubt, use an oven mitt! I have another closing shift tomorrow night. I can only hope that everyone who's supposed to be there, is there, and of course, that our precious Icee machine keeps spitting out sugary goodness...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Sister's one year wedding anniversary is just a few days away... which means I'm at least a year behind in my scrapbooking... (I guess it could be worse!)

Here's a page I made at Scrapbook University last week. Every two weeks this summer, several crafty ladies are getting together with my stamp lady (Michelle) to scrapbook. We get to use all of Michelle's stamps, inks, die-cuts, and other fun craft supplies. I always love scrapping with others because you get so much feedback on your own work, and you get to see what cool layouts and designs others come up with.

This layout is one I've been using often; three photos, with room for a journaling spot and a large title. Lately I've been trying to jazz up my titles - make them a little less obvious (aka. "bachelorette party"). This page also has many die-cut flower shapes. I picked the green and pink colors to coordinate with the panties that Sister got at her soiree! Happy Memories Sis!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Love

I'm currently engaged in a deep and unexpected love affair with passion tea lemonade. We met at Starbucks, but today I took our relationship out of the office. There is now one pitcher of lemonade and one pitcher of Tazo passion tea in my fridge; mixed together, with one Splenda and some ice... ahhhhhh. Refreshing. Cool. Passionate. It may just be a summer fling, but it feels like true love.

Hey there good lookin'... what are you doing later?

*Do not mistake this for an advertisement. I refuse to pay $2.00 a cup for flavored water at an actual Starbucks, hence, my sneaky way of making my own version at home. I'm not a total company hack.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday - Starbucks Free Pastry Day!

Even if you aren't normally a Starbucks fan, today is the day to stop in. They're offering a FREE PASTRY with your drink purchase before 10:30am. You have to take in a coupon (which you can print here), buy a drink, and almost all of the pastries are available (muffins, scones, coffee cakes, etc.). Starbucks is trying to promote their new healthier items, such as one of my favorites - the reduced fat Very Berry Coffee Cake.

I'd suggest...

A) Go early, because if the store runs out of pastries, I don't think there are any substitutes.
B) If you don't like coffee, you can always try one of the Shaken Tea Lemonade drinks (passion tea lemonade... yummmm) or a Vivano Smoothie.
C) Don't forget to bring your coupon!


(Sister - I dare you not to stop on your way to work at your new office!)


Cheers and Jeers

Cheers... to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! Under threat of bodily harm from HistoryGirlie, I cannot discuss any specifics of the movie until I receive word that she's seen it, but I can say that, the film rocks. NavyGuy and I saw it Friday afternoon - at the EXACT SAME TIME as my mom was seeing it in Wisconsin - crazy coincidence. Since seeing it, I've been frantically rereading book 7.

Jeers... to Marine #2. First, he's taken to wandering around the house shirtless. Man is not good looking, and tends to wear low-rise board shorts (ew, butt-crack). I'm very bummed we never instituted a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule in this house. Also, Marine #2 had a "lady friend" visiting this weekend, and she was less than impressive. Think ditzy college girl, with a bit of moron thrown in for good measure. I never officially met her, but my opinion of her was sealed when she called one of Marine #2's deafening burps "cool." The two of them spent the weekend making huge messes in the kitchen, working out, and watching terrible shows on TV. Hope she thought the trip was worth the airfare from Southern California. I cannot wait to move.

Cheers... to starting to pack for the big move! We're picked up some more supplies this weekend, and I tackled our coat closet in the hall. I wouldn't normally be jazzed to pack, but since it means moving away from the fraternity house we're currently in... packing is great!

Cheers... to Brother-in-Law! He made Law Review for UC Berkeley, and we're all quite impressed with his brilliance. His acceptance makes up for the fact that he spent the majority of my wedding reception reading and preparing his application... congrats!

Jeers... to the family of spiders living somewhere under my bathtub. Each morning I go into the bathroom and find one lone spider just chillin' in my tub. I squish him (or her) with a Kleenex and go on with life. But, the next morning, shock of shocks, another one turns up! This has literally happened for over a week. You would think these little boogars would start to get the hint... hang in the drain, stay alive; venture onto the tile, risk Kleenex squishing. The battle rages on.

Other cheerfulness or jeerfulness anyone would like to add?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Updates, Info, and a Question for the Group

Update: Contact has been made with HistoryGirlie. She is alive. We covered the basics in my 24 minute drive to work this morning (sorry Washington state police - I flaunt your "no cell phone while driving" law because it's baloney sausage). On the Farm front, HG's daughter is currently obsessed with Elmo, HG is couch and carpet shopping (yea!), and Farmer is, well, still Farmer.

Update: My muscles are still sore from my excursion to the gym on Tuesday. This does not bode well for a) my fitness level and b) the likelihood I'll return to BodyPump class.

Update: MOH's baby is 1 month old tomorrow - I am determined to contact her and at least talk for five minutes. Even if I have to call while at work. Or while in the shower.


Okay, enough updating - I have a tidbit to share for any and all So You Think You Can Dance fans! (Or STTYCD as the true fanatics know it.) After a little internet sleuthing, I discovered the two songs they play while they recap the dancers who have been kicked off! Maybe this is only exciting to me, but I happen to like both of the tunes, and upon discovery, quickly added them to my iPod.

For the female dancer, they play Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone." The male dancer gets "On Your Own" by Green River Ordinance. Just thought I'd share a little info with you peeps. Take it or leave it.


Last but not least, I need your opinions. It's time for a haircut. Since the wedding, I've done little more than wash my hair, and promptly pull it up into a messy knot behind my head. Super hot. I've been putting off making a decision about my hair, because I'm vacillating between several decisions:

Option 1: Get it trimmed, and wait for inspiration to strike.

Option 2: Chop it to at least shoulder-length, but keep the same general style.

Option 3: Chop it, and add bangs! I know, I know - can I really pull this look off? Will NavyGuy harass me every single day calling them "koosh ball bangs" like he THINKS I had in the early 90s? (Point in fact - I never had koosh ball bangs... ugly bangs yes, but no whirl of hair and AquaNet.) Now, when I say bangs, I'm thinking these, a la Reese, Reese, or Alexis.

Option 4: Give some parameters to my hairstylist and let her make suggestions.

Option 5: Take in a fabulous inspiration pic that one of you dolls finds!

So? What do we think? Should I take this opportunity to be a little adventurous, considering I have no major events scheduled in the near future and can risk a scandalous cut? Or should I stick with what I know best? Let's do some voting in the comments, and seriously, feel free to email or comment with photos or links to styles.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


To HistoryGirlie and MOH and Sister -

Our simultaneous games of phone tag are losing their luster. The back and forth voicemails were delightful at first, but now they just seem to be mocking me. Between the stupid time zone shenanigans and my stupid work schedule and my stupid habit of showering and going to the bathroom, I keep missing all of your calls/missing all of you when I call.

We can keep playing tag if you'd like, but I'll just set my sights low and expect to maybe be able to talk to you guys in like, five or six years.

Best wishes to all of you,

Your friend in voicemail only,


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Tidbits

~ I tried a class at my new gym today.* Has anyone else ever survived BodyPump? You basically lift weights continuously for an hour, working not only the muscles, but your heart/cardiovascular system as well. I knew I was in trouble when already as I was showering after class, I couldn't lift my arms to wash my hair. I liked the class, but we'll see how life goes tomorrow - I'm babysitting for two young kids in the morning and have a shift at Starbucks tomorrow night. I fear lifting gallons of milk, let alone a three year old.

~ After having improved my body, I decided it was time to improve my mind. I read Part 1 of Dooce's Labor story (a drastically more famous and talented blogger who opted for a natural birth recently), and discovered a film that all the commenters were discussing. I watched The Business of Being Born on Netflix today, and my eyes have been opened. I'm planning a more lengthy post about the film later in the week, but if you aren't familiar with this movie (and have lady parts or know someone who does), I highly recommend watching it... notice I emphasized the word "watch" - not support, subscribe, or agree. More later.

*Yes, I joined a gym. Aside from the fact that it's, you know, like healthy and stuff to work out, the decision was mostly based on the fact that NavyGuy read a book saying if I exercise I'll have less of a chance of getting Alzheimer's later in life, and that's seriously one of his biggest fears. So, since I'm too lazy and unmotivated to drive forty minutes to the free gym on the base in Oak Harbor, I now shell out some money each month to drive eight minutes to the Anacortes gym and induce the same pain. Judge all you want, but at least I'm working out.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Creative Process

Too often, people think they lack creativity or have no "craft" ability. Many friends and family look at the cards I make and think that I've created them out of thin air using some magical powers. While I desperately wish that was the case, it's far from true. Many of my favorite cards are inspired by other sketches, designs, and sources of inspiration. And often my "creativity," is more a result of goofs and happy accidents, than any kind of intentional burst of artistic brilliance.

Here's a real-life example to show just how the card-making process doesn't always go so smoothly...Step 1: Fart nuggets. I screwed up the star stamps. I wanted them in a straight line, and those clearly are not. Time for Plan B.

Step 2: I decided to restamp the stars on a separate piece of beige paper. Success! They're actually in a straight line. I backed the beige paper with a slightly larger piece of white paper, to give it a border, and make it look less obvious that I was trying to simply cover up a goof.

Step 3: Attach the new "star piece" to the card. The goof has been fixed, but the card is still a little too simple for my taste. I don't want to risk adding another bold color, so I stick in the neutral family and add something black to compliment the greeting (which was printed from the computer in black ink).

Step 4: My small touch of black ended up being a simple line border around the whole design. I just used a sharpie and a ruler. Easy, but it sets off the design more. Except... whoops! Another goof in the top right corner - I messed up the line slightly.... so...

Step 5: I paw through my drawer of embellishments and try a brad. I'm not loving the clashing red color, and the fourth star makes the card feel off-balance. I've put extra work into trying to make the card symmetrical thus far; I'm not going to throw the whole thing off in the last step.

Step 6: Final touch. Two black eyelets on the top corners cover my line mistake and still fit in with the general design of the card.

There you have it - a series of mistakes coupled with some trial and error - and thirty minutes later, my card is finally finished. I wish I could say that this card is the exception to the rule, but it's not; most of my creations consist of some combination of goofs and luck. And that's half the fun.


The Librarian Tries to Party

Unexpectedly, NavyGuy and I spent Friday night at a house party. Those of you who know us in "real life" know that we're much more likely to be found in a movie theater (or in my case, a livingroom watching HGTV) on a Friday night. But we were invited to this party hosted by another guy in NavyGuy's squadron, and we decided to go. The host's wife is actually the Target employee who led my store orientation - I don't see her much at work now that I'm down in Starbucks, but she's very awesome, and we got a chance to chat a lot Friday night.

Anyway, so the party. Again, for those of you who know me in real life, and frankly, those who've only "met" me in blogland... it's no surprise that I'm a dork. Big 'ole nerd. I did not have a traditional college experience; I was on a first name basis with the librarians, got up by eight or nine most mornings, and never once played beer pong. Not once. Until this past Friday.

Turns out, I would be a heck of a lot better at drinking games, if I'd attempted to play them before I was 27 years old (old dog, no new tricks). NavyGuy and I sucked it up at beer pong - it was downright embarassing. Along with not having any skill or experience at drinking games, I also can't play cards. We played some game called "A**hole," and I lost right off the bat. The other party guests were totally amused at my sheltered past; the host has already nicknamed me "Librarian" and offered to give me his mom's cell phone number, cuz she's a librarian and apparently she and I would have a lot to talk about :)

The only game I didn't completely fail was speed quarters (I still don't totally understand the rules but it seems to revolve around bouncing quarters into shot glasses and, of course, drinking). Because I was actually able to get the quarters in the glass, I was spared many slugs of beer. Even with all my terrible game playing, we had a really fun night (and only a slight hangover the following morning!).


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Too!!! Much!!! Coffee!!! [Crash]


Made every* hot Starbucks beverage today.

Was then force-fed instructed to taste each drink.

4 1/2 hours of work + 15 espresso drinks = OVERDOSE.

Could actually feel my heart pumping as I drove home.

Should I be blinking this much?

Tapped my foot, bounced, twitched, jumped, wiggled, thrashed, had full body spasms, and generally fidgeted throughout the two hours of TiVo'ed So You Think You Can Dance I watched.

Crashed hard core.

Woke up at 7:30pm craving Chinese food like a crazy person. (No explanation.)

Lesson learned.

*Yeah, maybe I didn't make every single drink, but for you Starbucks freaks, here's my new "completed" drinks list: Americanno, latte, mocha, white chocolate mocha, caramel macchiato, skinny vanilla latte, vanilla steamer, hot chocolate, caramel apple spice, chai tea latte, earl gray latte, green tea latte, awake tea latte, vanilla rooibus latte, and other combinations of syrups and espresso (ex. hazelnut latte).


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers... to surviving another Starbucks shift! Tonight I learned how to close the store, make an Americano, pour the perfect espresso shot, steam milk, pour foam, wash a million dishes, whip up the frappuccino base, mix mocha sauce, and wash more dishes!

Jeers... to having to work tonight and tomorrow morning, thereby not getting to watch So You Think You Can Dance until tomorrow afternoon!!! Agh!!!

Jeers... to Sister allowing her company to change their name. I liked "Sports4Kids." "Playworks" makes me think they build swingsets or something. Did they consult you on this?

Cheers... to getting my butt to the gym this morning and doing some serious sweating.

Jeers... to being so sore from said sweating that now all I can do is lie in bed and whine at NavyGuy to bring me stuff.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tastings and More

I'm easing my way into tasting all of the Starbucks drinks. Today was another morning shift (this time with a different trainer), and she went easy on me... for the most part. I can now speak to the following beverages:

* Pike Place Regular Brew - "earthy"
(This is what we brew everyday as the plain drip coffee, and basically, it takes like coffee to me - gross. Apparently, it's a "medium" coffee, as opposed to the bold or extra bold varieties which would really put hair on my chest.)

* Espresso Shots - caramelly, nutty aftertaste
(Still pretty much tastes like coffee to me. The espresso shots come out of the Verisimo machine and are added to many of the beverages. You have to use the shots almost immediately, otherwise they "burn" and taste even more horrible. I tried a good and bad version today. Sweet Jesus they were both foul.)

* Strawberry Banana Vivano Smoothie - refreshing, fruity, and yummy
(One of the featured smoothies for the summer. It has a whole banana and protein powder, and was pretty good. We're supposed to recommend the "Very Berry Coffee Cake" as a suitable food pairing... which I also tasted just so I can truthfully tell people that it rocks!)

* Chocolate Banana Vivano Smoothie - refreshing and chocolate-y
(Best taste of the day! Not normally a banana person, but this was great. These smoothies aren't exactly diet food at 280 calories, but they would make a great breakfast shake or meal replacement item. Don't I sound like a great saleswoman?!?!? ;)
However, I still have very few useful skills behind the counter. If someone is logged into the cash register, I can usually stumble through ringing up someone's order. The saran wrap still has a leg up on me, but at least I didn't knock a muffin on the floor trying to cover it this morning. I also know how to grind and brew drip coffee, replace the cups and lids in the condiment bar, and rinse the blender cups. Woot! Progress. I also practiced my customer service by giving out samples in the lobby. I had my little tray with tiny cups of strawberry banana smoothie, and small slices of berry coffee cake, and the people loved me them! True, there were only five samples, but they flew off the plate :) Aside from dropping a petite scone under the pastry case (oops), I had a pretty successful day!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Updates and Blogkeeping

* Happy Belated Fourth of July! NavyGuy and I celebrated by going to the Anacortes parade (there was an Uncle Sam on stilts!), and watching the fireworks downtown. For a small town, Anacortes puts on an impressive display of pyrotechnics.

* Everything went well with the house inspection - better than well in fact. The "brickkicker" found almost no problems in the entire place. Essentially, there's one screw missing from a downspout on the side of the deck, and the blinds on the sliding door upstairs need to be re-positioned farther away from the door (currently, they catch when you slide the door open). The appraiser comes tomorrow, and then we just have to wait patiently for the financing to be complete... though patiently might be asking a little much.

* Sunday morning was my first shift at Target. I've been assigned to the Starbucks in the Target, so while I'm technically a Target employee, I will be trained on Starbucks first. Confusing, yes. After my first shift, where I was trained by a 24 year old, I learned that a) I'm going to have to taste all of the drinks (ew, I hate coffe), b) the saran wrap box is smarter than me, and c) I have a LOT to learn before I can be left alone in the Starbucks. I have another shift tomorrow; we'll see if I make any progress.

* NavyGuy has been on "holiday" since last Thursday, and it's high time he go back to work.

On a separate note, I realized I missed my 1 year "blog"-aversary on June 25th!!! I meant to celebrate somehow, but the date just slipped by. That's okay. It's really just shocking that I've actually stuck with this for so long! I tend to grab new hobbies and obsessions for a while and then let them drift... Nonetheless, since we missed the date, I'm going to celebrate a different milestone - 500 posts! This post marks #475, so I have a few more posts to come up with a way to party with all of you. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments - I'm thinking maybe some giveaways? Or a countdown of favorite posts? Posts from some of the frequent guest stars like Mom, Sister, TWP, NavyGuy, or HistoryGirlie? Let me know what you'd like.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Guest Post - Zip Line

So, I had an idea tonight. There's a new park a few blocks from our house that the city recently finished building. I thought that NavyGirl and I should go for a walk, and on this walk, happen by this park, and then happen to try out this new children's toy. I think I'll just let the videos speak for themselves. We're so proud to start the week out on this highly sophisticated note.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Another step closer...

We had our inspection today for the new house - everything was great! The house was just built in 2006, and was lived in for a very short time, so we sort of expected that things should be in order, but we were still worried. You never know what hidden surprises could be waiting for you once you send an inspector into the house. Luckily, Dan our "BrickKicker" inspector, rocked, and found not one major problem.

While NavyGuy followed the BrickKicker around, I took more photos of the place, and made some measurements so I can do a little furniture planning :) If you'd like to check out our new digs, here are the collection of photos that I took, and that were provided by the real estate website:

You can also view the photos individually here. We're so excited!!!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

When It Rains...

More good news folks! After an arduous search (and acceptance of the fact that no school district within fifty miles is hiring), I have acquired gainful employment at Target. The mothership has called me home and made me one of their own; I spent my first day in red and khaki on Thursday, going through three hours of boring orientation.

Truth be told, I'm a bit embarrassed. As a college graduate who had a respectable full-time job for four years, it took a bit of "pride-swallowing" to seek out a retail position. I'll be making more than minimum wage - but not by much - mixing tasty drinks at the in-store Starbucks (and maybe filling in at the Food Avenue from time to time). Essentially, spending four years studying Russian history and theories of education was supposed to spare me from this, but whadda ya gonna do? Life is life, and we just bought a house. Every extra dollar will help pay the mortgage (and fill said house with new furnishings), so I will cheerfully join the bullseye chain gang and learn how to be a "fast, fun, and friendly" team member.

Today's orientation consisted mostly of boring videos about Target's philosophies, sexual harassment, time clock compliance, and safety tips, like not using the step ladders that are for sale in aisle C17 as means to reach heavy boxes (which definitely means someone did this as some point). I haven't gotten any Starbucks specific knowledge yet, but all in good time.

So, even though I'm now in the ranks with unreliable high school students, at least it's a job. I will suffer through it, and focus on the good stuff - 10% merchandise discount! (No - I will not buy you all stuff. Maybe as birthday gifts. That's it. Don't try sucking up to me to get you stuff... that's not being a good team member :) Plus I can only use the discount when I pay with cash or check, so it's actually somewhat limiting considering I use plastic for everything.)

Practice saying it with me: "Can I help you find something?"


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crazy for Chicken Salad

I'm nuts for chicken salad. There are a thousand different varieties with countless combinations of fruits, veggies, nuts, and flavors. I'm a fan of any version, but this was the first time I attempted to create my own. NavyGuy (who claims he hates chicken salad) gobbled his up. I used my "Busy Family Cookbook" as inspiration and altered two different recipes to come up with tonight's dinner.

Chicken Salad Croissants
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 3/4 cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- croissants
- lettuce leaf (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, and onions. In a separate smaller bowl, mix the mayo, lemon juice, and salt. Drizzle the mayo mixture over the chicken, etc.; stir well. Pile on a cut croissant and devour.

Just fabulous! Of course, adding a croissant pretty much makes everything wonderful, but this would even be good without it. I'm excited to try another version in the future - I've seen recipes that include green apples, pecans, and all kinds of other tasty things. What do you go crazy for in your chicken salad?


Bits from Beantown...

It seems like so much has happened since we were in Boston this past weekend, but it was only three days ago! With all of this house stuff popping up unexpectedly, I don't want to leave the second half of our trip unaccounted for... Boston is too great of a city and we had too good of a time not to share with you all.

~ After a post-nuptial brunch with the newlyweds, we set off in our rental car for Boston. After receiving many suggestions as to how to deal with transportation in and around Boston, we opted to park in a commuter lot and take the train into the city (best idea ever). It cost us $9 each to get an all-day pass, which we could use for all of the subway trains and buses in the city, saving us outrageous parking costs and traffic headaches. I would highly recommend not driving in Boston if at all possible - it really is as expensive and annoying as all the locals claim it is.

(NavyGuy in front of the statue of Robert Gould Shaw... civil war soldier who led the first African American regiment... aka: Matthew Broderick's character in "Glory")

~ We had hoped to make it in time for a historical walking tour, but we were having too much fun chatting with everyone at brunch, so we missed that. NavyGuy and I took the train into Boston Common (basically a large park/green space), near the Massachusetts State House. After wandering the common for a bit, we took a chance on a bus tour. Best. Decision. Ever. The tour allowed us to see the whole city in a couple hours, we could get on and off the bus wherever we wanted, and our tour guide (Billy O'Brien) was fabulous. He told us tons of great stories about all the buildings and history of Boston - all in his hilarious Baaahhhston accent - and we even heard clips from Good Will Hunting! The bus tour was a great introduction to Boston; the Old State House, Fenway Park, the original Cheers bar, Faneuil Hall, Harvard, MIT, and tons of other sites. I am now a huge fan of bus tours - you get the geeky history lesson all the while sitting down - hooray.

(where everybody knows your name...)

~ The only downside to the day was the weather turning cold and windy while we were busing around town. We missed seeing Paul Revere's house and the Old North Church because I needed to stop for an over-priced sweatshirt. Sadly then, we pretty much only had time to walk through Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market before all of the historical sites closed for the day (which just means I now must go back some day... possibly with HistoryGirlie and TWP...?). We took the train back down to a big shopping area, wandered around, and then had dinner at Cheesecake Factory!! NavyGuy had never been there, (and Mom had sent a gift card for us to use on our mini-mini-moon in Seattle), so we had a great dinner, and took yummy dessert back to the hotel (I had chocolate mousse cheesecake, while NavyGuy opted for the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough version).

(In front of Faneuil Hall, in my new Boston sweatshirt.)

Boston rocks. We will definitely be going back, because there are way too many historical things that I have to check out yet!

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