Snow in Chinatown (in February)

March 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In February we got an impressive amount of snow in the span of about two hours. I went out with Nano and Pico for a little while to enjoy it, but unfortunately I couldn’t manage both of them and my camera. As a result, all my street photos were taken with my iPhone — and in low light, even — so they’re really not my best work. I think they’re neat, though, so I’ll include them anyway.

After I dropped the dogs back off at the apartment, I grabbed my real camera and went to the tea garden with my tripod to see if I could get some neat shots. I was pretty pleased with the results. =)

The city looks so surreal with the snow and the sodium lights

Our neighbor's apartment and the snow

The King Street gate in the snow (Is "gate" the right word? I don't know.)

Nano is camouflaged

A Chinatown dragon with King Street Station in the background

The tea garden in the snow

The tea garden with Blake's old building in the background

Our spiffy arch. It looks so cool in the snow! The girls in the distance are making a snowman.

Building a snowman (I don't know who this is.)

Lunar New Year in Chinatown

March 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A poster for the festivities

Lunar New Year was actually quite the celebration here. Aside from a big festival that occurred a couple blocks from here — albeit in some very cold rain — it was really a neat experience. Uwajimaya was packed, of course — mostly with Asian people buying (what I assume to be) various traditional new-year foods. There were lion dances and dragon dances and fireworks and people throwing cabbages up in the air. (I’m still not really clear on the reasoning behind the cabbage tossing.)

Aside from that, though, I was amazed at how many businesses got into it. The bookstore around the corner had rabbit t-shirts  (since it’s the year of the rabbit), all kinds of stores had rabbit tchotchkes (keychains, figurines, dangly things to attach to cell phones, pens, erasers, mirrors, etc.). And even the Wells Fargo here had a sign on its door offering a new-year-themed rabbit piggybank if you open a new account. Maybe that was a nationwide campaign, but I certainly have never seen anything like that any of the other places I’ve lived.

The dragon/lion dances were fun to watch. After seeing one up close one weekend, we were surprised to be awakened the next weekend by the bang-bang-banging on a gong/drum thing. When I looked out the window, I could see another lion/dragon dance occurring a block away, complete with flags and fireworks and banging. From our third-floor window, I was able to watch them walk up and down each block. They’d stop from time to time at one business or another and then the banging would change tempo and more fireworks would go off. Then, ten minutes later, they’d slowly march down another street, around another corner, to another business. And then more banging, more dancing, more fireworks. It was neat to see.

…for a while. I woke up from it around 11, and by 12:30 the magic had worn off. Then at 1:30 it had really worn off, and by 2:30 I was really ready for them to stop (which occurred around 3). As it turned out, somehow the lunar new year celebrations spanned three whole weekends. You can imagine my surprise when I was awakened the next weekend by still more banging and dancing and fireworks. Fortunately, that was the end of it. An experience I was glad to have, though really I would have been glad if it lasted 1/10th as long.

Anyway, please enjoy these lion/dragon dance photos!

(PS: A lion dance is two guys in a lion suit. A dragon dance is a bunch of guys holding sticks that form the dragon’s body like the legs of a caterpillar.)

Dragon dance in the rain

More dragon

A lion

The procession that occurred for the next two weekends. (This photo taken from our apartment.)

Old news: our dogs are cute

March 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yep, that’s about it. Please enjoy the photos.

As they've gotten older, the dogs have started getting much cozier

Nano enjoys sitting on laps

Somebody put some dog toys on Pico. (Those oven mitts are what we use to play-fight with Pico -- he knows he is allowed to bite the gloves but not our un-gloved hands.)

One night I left this blanket piled in my office chair before bed. By morning, Nano had put it to good use.

That didn't last long

The dogs like it when Blake naps

Olympic peninsula: part II

March 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When Dad and Sylvia visited, we took a day to check out the Olympic peninsula. Since we knew the rain forest was too far a drive for a single day trip — Mom and I learned that the hard way back in November — we decided to limit ourselves to the famed Hurricane Ridge and Dungeness Spit which are north of Olympic National Park. So we departed comfortably early — 10ish? — boarded the car ferry to Bainbridge Island (across Elliot Bay from Seattle), and drove about 90 minutes to the entrance to Hurricane Ridge.

This was just after the ferry departed Seattle and was facing the Olympics to the west. Fun fact: the Olympic mountains are named for Mount Olympus, which is the highest peak in the range.

When Mom and I attempted to visit Hurricane Ridge, the road up the mountain was closed due to icy conditions. With the toasty 45-degree weather in February, however, we thought we would surely be fine. And, in fact, that very morning I checked the National Parks Service website and made certain that it was open that day. So you can imagine our surprise when the friendly park ranger told us that nobody is allowed up to the ridge unless their car has snow chains on! Apparently the weather up there is so volatile that snow storms can appear in the 45 minutes it takes to get to the top, so chains are required until well until the spring — no matter how dry the road is. As we considered our options, the ranger helpfully gave us a pre-made list of all the stores in town that sell snow chains as well as their phone numbers. Hilariously, it also included the stores’ return policies! I guess every auto-parts store in town does quite a booming snow-chain-rental business.

Lake Crescent looking calm and serene

Unfortunately, we didn’t really have time to mess with the chains. We were going to have exactly enough time to do Hurricane Ridge and the spit without any extra delays, and adding the whole chain procedure would have put at least another hour on our schedule. So instead we headed over to Lake Crescent — which I always want to call “Crescent Lake” — which is a stunning glacier-carved lake in the middle of the Olympics. The drive out was beautiful, and I guess we’ll just have to see Hurricane Ridge some other time.

The highway along Lake Crescent

Next we drove over to Dungeness Spit. A spit is a landform whose creation is sort of hard to describe — I tried and failed to find an animation that I could use to demonstrate it here — but it looks like a very long and thin peninsula of sand that sticks off the end of a beach. This spit is the longest natural spit in the US at 5.5 miles, and I don’t think it could be more than 100 feet wide. The town of Sequim (pronounced “squim,” the locals told us) is home to Dungeness spit, and it’s a pretty spectacular-looking place. (Uncoincidentally, Sequim is also home to an annual Dungeness crab festival.)

The coast near Dungeness Spit

After that we headed home since it was getting dark and the parks were closing. That drive back east from the Olympics is always a little tiring: it’s 90 minutes of uninteresting darkness followed by a sleepy 25-minute boat ride. Doing it again with Dad and Sylvia (after doing it with Mom) made me realize that I will probably become very knowledgeable about this area in not that much time. I learn new stuff whenever somebody comes to visit, and that’s certainly an impressive place to show people. I suspect it won’t be long before I know which gas stations have the cheapest gas and the nicest restrooms — as I did on the frequent drives between Austin and Houston. But it’s really quite beautiful, so I definitely don’t mind going out there over and over again. =)

The spit itself

A seagull near Dungeness Spit who's ignoring the fantastic view and instead looking at me. Stupid bird.

Not news: We’ve been busy

March 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I saw this neat compass/map thing on the sidewalk while walking in Belltown. (A Seattle neighborhood.) Neat, huh?

I’m back from my little blogging hiatus.  We’ve been busy with nothing in particular — we went on vacation in January, my mom visited, a while later Dad and Sylvia visited, I visited my aunt in southwest Washington, my aunt visited us… and then in the background the regular things in life that make everyone busy.

However, as a result I now have almost three months’ worth of interesting things to tell you about! Over the next few days I’ll try to make some updates with old news that’s new to you: all the fun stuff that’s happened. In the meantime, here are the things that are kind of news for us:

  • Blake turned 29 earlier this month and I turned an aged 31 in January. Pico turned a less-aged 6 on March 11. (Nano will be 1 in May.)
  • Seattle’s finally starting to warm up a bit. For whatever reason, it’s been unseasonably cold this winter and we’ve had lots of snow (“lots ” = six or seven days). The coldness has also lasted longer into the year than usual, so we’re just barely breaking the mid-50s finally even though we should have reached such balmy temperatures in early March. I am ready for summer. Happily, though, the hillsides are turning green and the daffodils are blooming with reckless abandon and little flowers are starting to appear on little trees. It’s nice.
  • For the last month or so Blake’s been working on a website that he hopes to launch in the next several weeks. He’s been working very dedicatedly — is that a word? — almost every night and every weekend since he began it, and it’s finally approaching the end. I’ve been helping him where I can by doing a lot of graphic design work, which has been fun. My contribution to the project is totally dwarfed by his, though, so it’s really his project and not mine. (Once we get closer to launching I’ll describe it in more detail.)
  • In the last few months I’ve come down with a pesky case of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Although it can be caused by lots of different things, in my case it’s apparently a result of unbalanced complementary muscles. Apparently two different muscles ought to pull on my kneecap equally in opposing directions, but one of mine is way stronger than the other. This results in my kneecap getting pulled in a direction it shouldn’t be, and that’s what’s causing the pain. For the last couple weeks I’ve been visiting a physical therapist regularly to strengthen the weaker muscle, and it sounds like I should be back to normal in a few more weeks.

Anyway, that’s all the big news. (“Big” is a relative term.) Stay tuned over the next several days for anecdotes and photos. =)

My pasta must be made of gold

December 31, 2010 at 12:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today at Pike Place Market I bought the most expensive pasta ever. At least, the most expensive pasta I’ve ever purchased. And although I haven’t eaten the pasta yet, I regret it already.

Pasta price tag


It was really just an unfortunate series of circumstances. I had to take Nano to the vet at noon, and so at 11 a.m. I headed towards King Street Station to catch the free tunnel bus to Pike. It was going to be tight, but I can typically get to the market and back in about 40 minutes if I hurry, so it should have been no problem. When I arrived, the market seemed about normal, but once I got inside it became clear that everybody in Seattle was also at Pike — no doubt to stock up on food for New Year’s events and the long weekend. Adding to the crowds, it was our first perfectly clear sunny day in a little while — bright sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. The sidewalks were full of tourists and shoppers and people taking photos and families who’d carelessly stop and block entire thoroughfares while they discussed some knick knack in a store window. In fact, the crowds were so unpleasant that I caught myself hypocritically saying “I hate tourists!” to myself as a dodged between the multitudes of slow walkers.

In addition to several items for Blake, I was searching for ingredients for this pesto shrimp pasta recipe. I haven’t had pasta in a long time since Blake doesn’t like it, but when I saw this recipe I decided to just make a batch up for me alone. (I was getting authentic Mexican tamales for Blake, so he was taken care of.)

Pasta in the bagIn case you haven’t been to Pike, it’s an old-fashioned market that takes up several city blocks and is full of little storefronts that specialize in one thing or another. On a typical trip I usually stop at the butcher or fishmarket, the spice shop, one of the many produce shops, the sausage counter, the Mexican grocery, and maybe one of the bakeries or cheese shops. When I first started shopping there and didn’t know my way around, I’d just ask each proprietor where I should go for the next item on my shopping list. Now, however, I know where to find most of what I need.  Consequently, this trip should have been very easy and quick — I could just pop in and out at each place and be back home by 11:55 to put the groceries away and get Nano to the vet.

On this trip, however, everything took forever. The innumerable crowds slowed down every mini-trek between two points, and they created lines at every store. And as I was searching for the ingredients not already in my cabinet, things just kept taking longer and longer and longer. I hadn’t purchased pesto at the market before, so I had to hunt down a new store and then hunt down the pesto within that store. Then the first fish market I passed was prohibitively crowded — surrounded by people on all sides. I walked several painstakingly slow steps to the next fish market, but they only had super-expensive shrimp that was the wrong kind anyway. The third fish market had exactly what I needed, but the extremely slow fish guy took about seven minutes to process my simple one-product transaction. While I was waiting for him, I kept pulling off my glove-mittens to check the time on my phone, and it just kept getting later and later.

It was at this point that I passed the pasta place.

I’d been past it a million times. They have all sorts of exotic and interesting kinds of pasta, and 100% of the many, many times that I’ve walked by them I’ve been offered a bite of their famous chocolate pasta. (Yes, really. It tastes weird.) So, in a hurry, I decided that this was the time to try their pasta since it was right close to me and I needed to get a move on. So over I went and spent a luxurious thirty seconds choosing from their many options. (Each flavor was in a bin requiring scooping and pricing by one of the employees.) I chose the Italian Pesto Pasta Blend, decided to get enough for several meals, and asked one of the guys to get it for me. Here’s how it went:

Me: Hello, could I please have three cups of this one? (pointing)

Him: How many people will be eating this?

Me: Well, just me, but over several meals.

Him: Um.. okay. So how much do you want?

Me: About three cups.

Him: Well, usually recipes have like a number of ounces of pasta that they need.

Me: Well, I don’t have a recipe, I just wanted to get some to have on hand. So I’d like about three cups.

Him: Well, so… how much do you need?

Me: Three cups.

It just kept going. I just wanted to get my pasta and the rest of my shopping list and get the heck out of there! So while he (eventually) scooped and packed up my pasta, I juggled my gloves and moved my various shopping bags from one hand to the other and dug in my purse for my wallet and then balanced everything while I handed him my card. And then, as if from far away, I heard him say, “That’ll be $9.10.” I only barely noticed it because it was crowded and loud and I was in a hurry and we’d just had this long discussion about three cups of pasta, and it wasn’t until later that I thought… “$9.10? Wait, is that what he said? I must have heard that wrong.” But I didn’t have time to dwell on it and off I went to the Mexican grocery to get Blake’s tamales.

Pasta closeup

When I poured some of the pasta out to take this photo, I dropped one little piece on the ground. That was like $0.50!

As it turned out, I was several minutes late to the vet. I ran in from the market, dropped the groceries on the counter, stuffed the shrimp and tamales in the fridge,  scooped Nano up, and raced down to the car. (Vet report: she’s fine.) It wasn’t until much later in the afternoon when I put the groceries away that I picked up the bag and saw “$9.10” printed clearly on the sticker. Can you imagine paying $3.03 for one cup of pasta?! Good grief.

But I haven’t had it yet. Maybe it’s spectacular. (It’d better be!) This evening we were kind of tired and so I just heated up tamales for both of us and will save the pasta for later in the weekend.

So, dear readers, I will keep you posted on what must be the most stupendous pasta in all of Seattle. Or the Pacific Northwest, even. I mean, what else could possibly justify a cost like that?

…Perhaps the answer is women like me who buy expensive pasta and don’t notice the price before or after they sign the receipt. That could be it. =(

New food: Tonkotsu ramen

December 18, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Now that we live above Uwajimaya, we’re constantly trying new Asian foods with varying degrees of success and deliciousness. (Even though Uwajimaya was founded by a Japanese family, it has lots of foods from China and other places.) We recently tried kumquat cakes (so-so), smoked plum “soup” (tea?) (not very good), boiled salted duck eggs (so-so), crystal-sugar almond tea (great!) and some assorted mochi ice cream desserts (which I will cover in a future post).

One interesting aisle at Uwajimaya is almost entirely dedicated to noodles and ramen. Both sides are filled to the top with stacks and stacks of single-serving ramen in every color of the rainbow. There are so many, in fact, that it’s impossible to choose just one to try — especially when most of them don’t have any English on the package.

A grocery-store aisle full of ramen

Ramen, ramen everywhere! This photo only shows about 20% of their supply.

Over time I found a few with English translations, and after trying several I’ve finally settled on the most delicious: tonkotsu flavored!

A package of tonkotsu ramen


You might be wondering what tonkotsu is, and as far as I can tell it’s “pork bone broth.” I’m not really sure what that means, exactly, but it is SO delicious. Interestingly, unlike the Maruchan ramen sold commonly in the US, all the different bowls I’ve tried from Uwajimaya come with two or sometimes three separate packages of flavor add-ins. Usually some dry powder, dried vegetables, a little pouch of oil, and occasionally some sort of concentrated flavorful paste. This is true across brands and across flavors, so I’m assuming it’s standard with Japanese self-serving ramen.

Ramen instructions

Happily, this particular brand has instructions in English as well.

The instructions are about what you’d expect, and this particular kind has a dry flavor packet and some oil that, as far as I can tell, is totally tasteless. I’m not really sure why it’s there or what it adds, but I put it in every time anyway.

Dry on the left, oil on the right

But even the flavor packets are different than the paltry homogeneous powder that comes with the Maruchan (though it should be noted that I really love Maruchan ramen also). They’re filled with freeze-dried bits of garlic and green onions and sesame seeds and other things that I haven’t been able to identify.

Before adding water

After adding the water it looks about how you’d expect, but it’s a million times more delicious.

After adding the water, covering, and waiting for four minutes, this is how it looks.

As an aside, I have finally found a food that is easier to eat with chopsticks than with a fork! Up til now in life I have always used a spoon to cut up my noodles so they can be easily spooned into my mouth. Recently, however, I got some noodles at a restaurant with no forks on the table and no waitress convenient, so I persevered and felt pretty uncoordinated. In fact, I was sure the two Asian guys at the next table were discussing my technique derogatorily and laughing at the silly white girl pretending she knows how to use chopsticks. Later, though, I ran my process past our Chinese friends Terry and Eva and they said it was perfectly typical! So, armed with new confidence, I began eating my ramen that way every time. (Admittedly, in the photo below it was pretty tricky holding them in my left hand while I took the picture with my right.)

Ramen in a bowl held up by chopsticks

Double yum.

Photos from Victoria, B.C.

December 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The front of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC

Our hotel. Fancy, huh? Amazingly, this was what we got when I asked for the cheapest hotel. (There was a special where we got the roundtrip ferry and overnight stay at just over $100 per person.)

That's our ferry at dock on the left. This was taken from the balcony of our hotel room.


Queen Victoria in front of the parliament building

Some cold ducks

A cold palm tree

Some cold Mexican food. Just seeing this truck makes me long for Zocalo.

This lone guitarist just stood down there in the 35-degree weather playing to nobody. I was almost afraid to walk by for fear of raising his hopes (by walking towards him) and then dashing them (by walking past him and away).

Nano recovering

December 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In her Easter bonnet

In her Easter bonnet

As mentioned previously, we had Nano fixed yesterday. She came home from the vet the sleepiest and saddest dog in three counties, and her unhappiness continued throughout most of yesterday. The saddest and cutest part of it was her little cone and how she was (and still is) totally unable to understand how it works.

Yesterday was quite a traumatic evening for her, actually. As soon as I carried her in from the car, Pico was the most interested in her that he’s ever been and he proceeded to life up his little paw and drag it around her face/cone region. She was too sleepy to even stand up without wobbling, so she didn’t have a chance to defend against his paw onslaught. But I shoved him out of the way and tried to calm her down from the drive. Then she slept for a while, and after an hour or so she actually started walking around. Here was where the hilarity started, though, because she just kept bumping her little cone into things! Table legs, couches, the wall, Pico, our legs, everything. And as if that weren’t sad enough, when she hit her obstacle she would usually just conclude “Guess I’m stuck. Oh, well,” and then stand there, unmoving (except a lot of wobbling back and forth) until she got sleepy and sort of collapsed into a sitting position. The best (worst) one was when she walked her face up to the wall so that the cone was nearly flat against it — when she tried to turn left or right, the wall was in the way. So she just stood there with her face at the wall until one of us realized what was going on and rescued her.

On the way home from the vet

On the way home from the vet

The vet also gave us instructions to keep her from running or jumping for 10-14 days, which seems like an impossibly tall order. This morning she was hopping all over the place with her usual exuberance, and by this afternoon she was back to an occasional bark when I come inside and jumping up on my office chair while I’m gone (to pull desk items down on the floor where they can be happily chomped by Pico).

But for the most part she seems to be recovering nicely. I brought out my big poofy down comforter and she spent the day reclining on it in an explosion of cuteness. On the occasions that she follows me into another room, usually Pico makes a grab and then he cozes for a while, but he’s so active all the time that she always gets another chance to reclaim it.

In other news, I’ve sort of belatedly realized that by finding this house we like so much (mentioned in yesterday’s post), I’ve actually been freed from an awful lot of work for a while. I don’t have to go visit houses aggressively or scour for any and all homes if there’s the tiniest chance that they’ll be good. Instead I can get other things done, which is really great. =) Go us! I hope we get this house.


Some udpates

December 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and things have been unsurprisingly busy. I thought I’d write a quick little post to update you on the latest goings-on:

These aren't in the running anymore, but aren't they pretty? We were considering them in September but we ultimately decided against.

We’re house hunting again! Originally we had been planning to wait until after the new year to start looking again in earnest, but about ten days ago our realtor pointed out that we didn’t have to wait quite that long: if we found a house last week we could still ask for a 45-day closing which would put us past the FHA-mandated milestone that Blake work at Amazon for six months. I still feel kind of sad about the last house, and in fact I couldn’t even bring myself to check and see if it’s still available. Whether it is or not is moot, though — our house preferences have changed while we’ve lived down here in the heart of downtown. It’s been such a neat experience, and it’s made us both want to be far closer to the city than we would have been with the house we almost got. So instead of looking at the suburbs, now we’re only considering houses that are actually in the city of Seattle (or very close to its borders).

What’s even more exciting, though, is that just recently we found a house that we both love. It’s a small amount more than we wanted to pay, but we’re in a unique position to wait until the price drops and/or the owner (which is a bank) is more open to price negotiation. (It seems unwise to give more detail on our strategy in such a public place, so I won’t.) We’re still looking at other homes, though, because it’s not exactly prudent to get your heart set on one house  — it makes negotiations a lot harder.  But this house has definitely raised the bar on what we’re willing to drive out and look at. It’ll probably be a while before we make an offer on anything, but I’ll definitely keep you posted when/if we start exchanging signed papers.

Nano cozed in the corner

Nano cozed in the corner

In other news, we’re getting Nano fixed today. Though we had originally been advised that it’s best to wait a year before spaying, our vet gave us a compelling reason to do it ASAP: if girl dogs are prevented from having their first heat, there’s some huge correlation with the prevention of mammary cancer. (Like, a correlation over 50%.) That was enough for me and so Nano’s becoming a little bit less girly. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s much change in her personality afterwards. When she comes home this afternoon she will have a big cone around her head and I’m sure she will look very sad and pathetic. Consequently, I’ll be sure to take loads of pictures and put them on the internet.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video of her playing an excellent round of fetch on the stairs. She’s the best fetcher I’ve ever owned!

We’ve had an interesting development with our noisy neighbors saga. Since Thanksgiving the music has been back — sometimes at night, sometimes late, and always loud. Sometimes really loud. Even though we are perfectly within our rights to complain to the management again, I really didn’t want to be that person who’s just complaining all the time, so I waited a couple days. But after a few nights of lying awake to the bass percussion at 3 a.m., I vowed to complain again. And so I did: I marched down to the leasing office and very nicely told them the times and dates that these inconsiderate and rude people had continued to disturb us at unreasonable hours despite the management warning them once already. The nice office manager said she’d speak with them again and off I went.

Pico in coat and booties

During the Thanksgiving snow we had, the tea garden (where we walk the dogs) was covered with ice and snow and salt. Both Pico and Nano would occasionally step on sharp salt and then cry for a minute or so, so we bought them adorably ridiculous booties. (The booties lasted about twenty feet before they came off.) It makes a great photo, though.

Later in the afternoon I had a package, so I stopped by the office to pick it up. And guess what happened? The office manager said that she’d spoken to the offending neighbors but that they were most definitely not playing music — in fact, the resident’s elderly mother was visiting and had made them go to bed at 8 p.m. for the last several days! However, they directed her to their next-door neighbors who, according to them, play loud music all the time. Well, as you may recall, we had quite a bit of difficulty initially determining who was playing the music. (Though we were pretty confident by the time I wrote the last post about it.) The apartment they had reported was one of the ones we initially suspected, so we found the story entirely believable. Once I told the office manager she arranged to speak with the noisy folks and we haven’t had a single problem since. (This was about ten days ago.) On rare occasions I’ve heard it loud during the day, but mostly they’ve been quiet as a mouse down there. And happy as I am to have a nice ending to this story, I do still wish the noisy people had actually seen my note! But alas, it was on the door of someone who was already being quiet. Ah, the injustice of it all.

In other other news, our Christmas plans are very peaceful this year. We considered trying to visit Blake’s family in Houston or Dad and Sylvia in Georgia, but flights to both were inordinately expensive. ($600+ per person!) So we decided instead to just stay here in our tiny apartment and have a cozy first married Christmas here in Seattle. We even have reservations for dinner at the Melting Pot! I’ve also gotten all my Christmas gifts in the mail way early this year, and it’s nice to be ahead of the game.

I think those are all the major updates for now. I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens. =)

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