All set for fall

August 30, 2006

My fantasy draft results are in! (I realize this will be a boring post for most, but everything else that's been going on is all secret knitting projects, reading about real estate and house inspections, and work -- unsatisfying blog fodder. For all the knitters, the upside is that I get a lot of knitting done during football season, so even if this post bores you, it portends interesting things to come...)

Without further ado, my fantasy team (draft pick number in parenthesis):

Daunte Culpepper, Mia (#70)
RB Shaun Alexander, Sea (#3)
RB/WR Laurence Maroney, NE (#46)
RB T.J. Duckett, Was (#94)
RB Marion Barber, Dal (#99)
RB Chris Perry, Cin (#166)
RB Brian Calhoun, Det (#190)
WR Terrell Owens, Dal (#22)
WR Santana Moss, Was (#27)
WR Deion Branch, NE (#51)
WR Reggie Brown, Phi (#123)
WR Keyshawn Johnson, Car (#142)
TE L.J. Smith, Phi (#75)
D/ST Seahawks (#118)
D/ST Patriots (#171)
K Jason Elam, Den (#147)

Obviously, getting Shaun Alexander was very exciting (and at #3! Amazing!). I made a mistake with Chris Perry, who's injured -- I should have picked an additional QB instead, especially where Culpepper's knee is questionable. Oops. (But if Daunte's well, he could be a great pick.) I also should have picked more running backs over wide receivers -- I didn't realize there was such a big RB/WR scoring discrepancy. TO is a mess, but I love watching him play, so as long as he keeps his drama and injuries to a minimum, I like him. Maroney I like, but may be injured, and Marion Barber is great -- hopefully he and TO will create a good, point-filled environment, though cheering for Dallas won't come easily. Santana Moss may be injured, and Deion Branch is trying to get traded (a bummer for both), but LJ Smith should be a good pick. It will be interesting to see if TJ Duckett gets playing time and how he clicks after his trade to Washington. And I know that it has almost no impact on fantasy scoring, but I really like my defenses, even if they're not the Bears. :-)

A lot of people in the league were out so set it to autopick, and so the whole thing went very quickly. Especially after the fifth round, there was only about a minute between turns. Hard to keep up! I think I did much better in the early rounds than I managed in the later ones.

Too lazy to walk up the street...

August 27, 2006

We've been having a string of gorgeous sunsets. I remember last August being the same way -- everything gets pink and orange and mountainous every night. The only shame is that every night, the sunset seems to arrive 15 minutes earlier. I get used to the long summer evenings here very quickly, and it's so sad when that 9:30 daylight disappears -- it feels like just a few days until everything will be cloudy and then pitch dark by four.

Still strawberries

August 25, 2006

Two weeks ago, I thought that we'd reached the end of the strawberries after a great run. But, they're back at the grocery store and I have new flowers on all of my plants!

I wonder if they're shipping in from somewhere else? In any case, it's great to see the resurgence.

The destructo-cats

August 18, 2006

Our friends Kevin and Jessie (last seen on the blog on the opening night of the knitting Olympics) were just married! It was the first wedding of my generation that I've been to, and it was lovely. Now they're honeymooning in Costa Rica, and we're in charge of hanging out with their cats and fish. :-)

The cats are a riot. They all run to the front door at the sound of the key, and are all stacked up and peering around the door as you open it. For an apartment that is essentially cat-proofed, they still find a lot to get into: taking all of the tupperware out of the cupboards, shredding full rolls of paper towels, worming their way behind the fish stand to get to the fish food...

I set my things down while cleaning up one of their misadventures and came back to find Leo and Babar purring away next to my keys.

Very, very cute. However, given that they were responsible for the end of my last keychain (a red lifeguard lanyard, gifted to me by my brother after I lost mine over Spring Weekend in college), I'm sure the purring and cuteness was just a facade. It's probably good that I came back into the room when I did, or I'm sure that ribbon would have seen the end of its days...

Back to the Bus

August 14, 2006

I am trying to get back in the habit of taking the bus.

After starting my new job in February, the convenience of public transportation diminished somewhat. The bus used to drop off a five minute walk from my office, but I'm now in a different part of the campus and so the walk is nearly twenty. At first, Kevin and I were carpooling, but then he switched jobs in March and is on a different campus altogether. Once that ended, the combination of the potential for late afternoon rain showers and the walking time led to lots of time in the car.

I realize that this is pathetic, especially since I frequently follow the bus to work. So, I'm trying this week to be a bus-taker for four of the five days. Day one was less than stellar: I missed the morning bus by about 50 feet (wrong side of a walk light), and the afternoon one by about four minutes... clearly I'm out of practice for interpolating a leaving time from the bus schedule. Both meant an extra half hour of added wait time.

At least I brought my knitting, so there's an upside. I made it through a solid two inches today of the never-ending tank top, and can now start the interesting detailing on the front! Sweet!

The challenge for the week will be trying to remember to how to enjoy spending time without three consecutive activities at once. My forty minutes of walking that buffers each bus ride currently feels like very wasted time. It's been an incredibly busy summer, both professionally and personally, and I think I need to relearn downtime. This isn't a bad week for it -- my major deadline for the summer was last week, and all of the visitors and social events are now clear. I'm resisting loading my ipod full of educational materials/news/new music for the week -- just walking and knitting. I didn't even bring reading materials so that I could multitask.

Hopefully my timing is a bit more on the mark tomorrow. How much knitting progress can I really make in two days?

Summer Ferry Photos

August 13, 2006

We took the Ferry out to Bainbridge Island, because my grandparents were in town and we went to visit one of my mom's cousins for the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day and great company, but sadly I only got pictures of the former. I seem to have had a case of the tilts (or perhaps these were the photos that Kevin took, so I can hand off blame), but here's a clear but off-kilter Seattle:

And Rainier boiling up through the clouds:

(Click through to bigger and better versions.)
True to form, we'd had a work week's worth of cool & clouds while Sharon was here (she's still 0 for 3 for seeing the mountains), and it cleared up right after she flew out.

An awesome lead-in to the weekend

August 12, 2006

My sister was here overnight for a quick visit after coming to town for a work conference! The plan had been very on-again off-again, so I was so happy when it worked out. She arrived bearing flowers (one of her co-workers had an anniversary the day before, and her husband had ordered flowers to her room. Rather than jettison them when she flew out, she gave them to Sharon to gift to me! So pretty!) Instead of trying to cram activities in, we just stayed in and talked, with one quick visit to the ring store and the latte stand for engagement fun/Seattle flavour. Such a fun visit.

The only dim spot was that she flew out Friday evening, and so had to toss or gift all of her liquids. The loss of the Tide stain removing pen was a particularly harsh blow.


August 10, 2006

We went to go see Real Madrid (and David Beckham, the only soccer personality I know by name) play DC United in the Seahawks stadium. Soccer is definitely an interesting sport to watch. Nice large ball that you can see from the (relatively) cheap seats, pretty clear rules, and lots of athleticism on display. Culturally, though, it just seems a tad off from most American sports. Not strategically, nor in the crowds (all 66,000 of them -- worst traffic ever), nor the intensity of the competition, but, interestingly enough, in the way people are injured. In most of the big team sports here, it seems that a tough exterior is a virtue, and generally when someone goes down, the crowd is on edge waiting to see if they come back from it. A person rolling on the field gripping a knee immediately leads to the assumption that their ACL is torn and their season is shot. Soccer is full of those little moments of drama (lent credence by the fact that people are constantly flinging their bodies about the field), but after a few minutes of lying and pounding the ground, or sitting and moaning to the ref, the injured will see the ball come back to him and leap up for a new round of running and full-body layouts. Clearly the dramatics are part of the game (and the American team participated as wholeheartedly as anyone), but it kept striking me as profoundly out of place. So interesting.

In other football news, I'm going to be in a fantasy league. Kevin brought home this magazine to start prepping his draft list, and was deeply amused when I started dibsing running backs.

Ought to be an interesting fall...

On boys and planes

August 07, 2006

This weekend was Seafair, and while we still didn't make it into Seattle for any of the festivities, we still saw the Blue Angels both days. On Saturday, we just saw them from the top of the street:

and as they flew overhead as we went into Bellevue to go to the ring store.

On Sunday, we got slightly more in gear, and went to Meydenbauer Park (pdf) in Bellevue to watch. It's a great park, quite a bit below the road and with a pretty mix of shady grassy areas and beach. There were lots of families with little kids, and a swimming area with lifeguards. It seemed like a nice place to park for the summer.

The view wasn't perfect, but we could see the planes run low over Lake Washington in their approach to Mercer Island and the I-90 bridge, which was really neat. The sound is always in the wrong place, so it took some practice to get good at watching. Here's a sample loop way up over Mercer Island:

Keep in mind that the blur at the bottom isn't one plane, it's four:

At some points, they were flying five and six that close together. It's completely amazing, though clearly I did not miss my calling -- it's definitely something I would never want to do. The same cannot be said for Kevin. We'd been watching for about eight minutes when he started rhapsodizing about how cool it would be, and how amazing the planes were, and how he wished he could fly one to work every day. I was looking at him with a somewhat disbelieving "right, but not seriously" expression, when a group of four year old boys that had been digging up sand at the water's edge spontaneously started jumping up and down and chanting "Blue Angels! Blue Angels!" just must be a boy thing. Right up there with being able to make a full complement of motor sounds with your mouth. The planes buzzed the beach a few times, much to the delight of the boys in the water, but they flew so fast that I couldn't get the optimal shot...