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Posts from the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

*Coldplay v. Hot Chelle Rae

This afternoon it occurred to me that I have no idea what’s on the radio in the US right now, and that I was likely a bit out of the loop on the US music scene.  I decided to check out Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40’s website to see who was on the list.

After scanning the list for just a few seconds, I came to two conclusions:

  1. Five months outside of your own country is longer than I realized, and
  2. I might be a bit lost when I come home next month.  (I mean, “Why are there so many cars, what happened to the sidewalks, why does “hey” mean “hello” and not “yeah”, and who are Jesse J and Andy Grammer (and does Andy know his last name is spelled wrong”)?

I did not recognize a single song on the list until I came to number 29 (thank you Good Life by One Republic for being popular in Europe too), altogether I only knew 3 of the 40 songs, and there were 16 artists on the list who’s names I’d never seen nor heard before in my life.  (But seriously, not to judge a band by it’s name, with names like  “Cobra Starship,” “Bad Meets Evil,” “LMFAO”, and “Hot Chelle Rae,” I can’t be missing much).

It seems like these days my music tastes are a bit more UK-inspired… I’ve actually been listening to Coldplay (usually don’t), Mumford & Sons have still got it, and I’m really looking forward to Snow Patrol’s new album coming out on the 14th!

So, for a taste of Coldplay > Hot Chelle Rae (no offense), check out the video for Every Teardrop is a Waterfall:

(And if you really don’t believe me, YouTube “Tonight Tonight” … You’ll see.  Actually, on the other hand… Don’t; just take my word for it).

*PS: Thank you YouTube and Coldplay for the video/screenshot picture.



Yesterday I went hiking with a group from the Lutheran Church in Dolny Kubin that I’m a part of this fall.  Choč is a mountain close to DK that is 1611 meters high.  We had a beautiful day for the climb.  The hot weather that we had while my parents were here has finally cooled down, and we started around 8:30 in the morning.  We ate lunch– and the “American” chocolate chip cookies that Marta, Zuzi, and I had made the day before(!)– at the top of the mountain, and made it back down by 2:00.

Here are some pictures from the hike, taken by Mike Sullivan.  (Thanks Mike)!

*Silent Auction

In order to reduce the amount of stuff I have to ship across the country from Seattle to North Carolina, to raise a little bit more financial support for my trip, and just to have fun with my friends before I leave, last night I hosted a Silent Auction of some of my stuff.  (Mostly clothes and scarves that I’ve accumulated over time and don’t wear often anymore).  It was really fun to watch my friends trying on clothes and getting excited about things I own but never use.  I got rid of a lot of things, and by the end of the night I had raised over $600!

Jessica came over early to help me set up.

Half of my "boutique."

Beautiful "cheese and cracker presentation." - Thanks Jess!

My roommate Jessica going to try on some clothes.

Rachel, Julie, and Jess doing some shopping.

*best. snow day. ever.

It snowed today!

It was also snowing yesterday when I walked out of church service.  However, whereas yesterday I was less than happy about the snow, today I fell in love!

I was pretty excited when I saw the snow from my living room window this morning, but I didn’t really want to go out in it.  I kept checking the Internet hoping that classes were canceled, but when it was really time to leave and the school was still open, I finally ventured forth.  It turned out to be a great day.

Only 9 of my 27 students showed up for class #1 of 3.  We had a nice, laid-back class, and then I went to #2.  (Don’t think that I don’t enjoy all of my 27 students.  It can be a bit to manage though, so it was nice to have a smaller number for a day).  Only 4 of my 15 students were at my second class, although a few more straggled in throughout the first 15 minutes.  I made the decision not to follow my lesson plan for the day, but to instead look for examples of the grammar we’ve been studying in videos online.  We were watching a clip when the screen suddenly froze and an emergency alert appeared on the screen, announcing the close of the school in another hour.  With so few students attending already, I decided to let my students go ahead and go home.

On my way home, I swung by Fred Meyer to pick up a pair of gloves and a couple of picture frames for the living room.  (This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and finally have had the motivation to do since my roommate Jessica and I are hosting Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I also got new curtains last week).  When I got home, I needed to go to the post office, so I put on my new gloves, grabbed my camera, and decided to go for a walk.

I headed to the post office and then wandered around the neighborhood, trying to capture the snow.  I don’t think I succeeded very well in that, but I did enjoy taking pictures.  (I used to spend a lot of time taking pictures, but it seems like teaching has taken over that lately).  I’ll post some of the pictures later on.

I spent a good deal of the late afternoon/early evening on the couch, reading books and doing a little bit of lesson planning/school work.  Later, my Jess and I decided to go out in the snow to one of the pubs nearby, hoping to meet some more people who live around us.  (We both have lots of friends in Seattle, but it’s always nice to know the people who live around you, and frequent the same places you frequent).

We saw that Conor Byrne, an Irish pub down the street, has all-day happy hour on Mondays, and decided to go there.

I don’t really know why, but I really, really, really love being able to walk down the street to a pub (or restaurant, or coffeehouse, or bus stop, or bank…) instead of driving my car to a parking lot.  Believe it or not, it was really fun to walk in the  22 weather, wind blowing snow in my face, to go to a local pub and make friends with people there.  Our bartender, Ryan, was really cool and we had some good conversation with him.  We also met Matt and Nat, and I discovered that Matt grew up in Fuquay-Varina, a small town in NC just south of Raleigh.  (Not too far from my hometown).

We stayed there for quite a while before heading back to the apartment, since one of Jessica’s friends (Mica) was on her way over to crash on the couch.  (She was hanging out with some of her friends in Ballard, and couldn’t figure out how to get back to her apartment in Greenwood because of the snow).  Now, I’m back on the couch, cozy in my Cozy (like a Snuggie, but comes with a remote control pocket on the front), relaxing with Jess and Mica, listening to good music, and typing while they knit.  Will there be another snow day tomorrow?  I don’t know, but I won’t complain if that cold, wet, white stuff is still around tomorrow!

*A really nice day

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’m back!  Between teaching at the community college and teaching at Kaplan again for the summer, the past seven weeks have been incredibly busy and exhausting.  The busyness, however, ended yesterday evening, and today was so nice that I decided to start blogging again just to tell you about it.

(Disclaimer: probably in more detail than you really need or want.  Okay, I’ve warned you).

Yesterday was the last day of the quarter at the community college.  Today was the graduation ceremony and end of quarter party.  I had a really fantastic class this quarter and  I’ve  definitely enjoyed being back at Kaplan and spending time with co-workers there, but I was overwhelmed working both jobs, so I’m happy to be back to only one for now.  (I’ll be at Kaplan for a few more weeks before I head South for a short vacation).  Expecting the quarter to be tiring, I had already planned to have a sub at Kaplan today and tomorrow, so thankfully I was able to move at a slower pace today and have a long weekend to rest and relax.

Some of my students during our field trip to Pike Place Market. *Thanks Nguyen for the picture!

The graduation ceremony and party didn’t start until 10:30, but I’ve been getting up so early all summer that I woke up before 6 today.  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went ahead and got up.  I made a cup (or four) of coffee, and spent some time reading my Bible and a Beth Moore devotional journal that came in the mail yesterday.  Although I’ve been a Christian for a while, I’ve actually never read the entire Bible.  I read about 80% of it once, and then lost the checklist where I was keeping track, and ended up starting over.  I’m back at the 80% mark, and this time the checklist is actually attached to the Bible, so hopefully I won’t lose it this time!

Anyway, after reading I got ready for work and went to catch my bus.  I had thought about driving today, but yesterday I realized that I pay the same price for a quarter of a tank of gas as I do for unlimited bus rides each month, which has further motivated me to bus instead of drive.  I personally really enjoy riding the bus, and for the price, you can’t beat it!

Graduation and the party were nice.  Several students who I taught in Level 5 during spring quarter graduated from the program, so it was fun to see them and their first experience with caps, gowns, and tassel-turning.  It was also nice to chat with co-workers and students.  Afterwards I spent a few hours grading finals (that’s what I get for giving such a long exam), and then went to happy hour with a couple of colleagues.  We went to an Indian/Mediterranean restaurant near the school that they go to often and had wonderful garlic nan and chicken tikka something.  After they left, I stayed a little longer, sipping chai and working on the exams.

After grading for a while, I realized I needed to leave to catch a bus over to Tutta Bella Pizzeria in Wallingford for an early dinner with one of my best friends, Jessica.  I went to the bar to pay for my tea, and the server said, “Oh, don’t even worry about it.  You guys come in here all the time.”  It was actually my first time there, so I thought it was really nice of them to give me the tea just because they know my co-workers.  (Thanks Amy and Amilee)!

The bus stop was nearby and I only had to wait a few minutes before the bus came.  While I was waiting, I noticed that yellow leaves were already falling off the trees.  The weather was warm but not hot, and there was a light, cool breeze.  It seems like fall is already on its way!  (If you’re not in the Seattle area, you might not realize that summer this year lasted all of about two weeks.  However, autumn is really nice out here, and I’m looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, leaves, and actually wearing scarves to stay warm instead of just for the look.

I wasn’t exactly sure how close the bus would take me to Tutta Bella, but it ended up dropping me off just across the street.  Tutta Bella recently won 2010 Independent Pizzeria of the Year by Pizza Today magazine.  To celebrate, they’re giving one free pizza per table if you dine in.  (Ends on Sunday; if you’re in Seattle, I definitely recommend it.  Their pizza is fantastic)!

Jess and I sat at one of the outdoor tables, enjoying the weather (and the pizza) and catching up.  I have spent far less time with my friends than usual as a result of my summer schedule, so it was really nice to hang out and relax without thinking about what I was going to teach for six hours the next day, or what I needed to grade when I got home.  (Haha, although I do need to finish grading those exams now that I am home…).

After dinner I had planned to catch the 44 home, but the weather was so nice that I walked instead.  The walk to my apartment from Tutta Bella took me from the edge of Wallingford through upper Fremont, and then down the hill into Ballard.  Tonight was actually the third time I’ve walked that way in the past couple of weeks, and it’s a gorgeous walk.  Since you’re headed west, you can watch the sun set over the Olympic Mountains as you go.  Also, at the top of the hill, before going down into Ballard, you can see Puget Sound in between you and the mountains.  When I walk down the hill, I cut through the neighborhood north of Market, which is full of cute craftsman homes with nicely landscaped yards.

The walk took about 45 minutes, which brings us to an hour and 20 minutes ago.  Since then, I’ve just been relaxing and telling you every. single.  thing. I. did. today. (Haha, if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading)!  Now that we’re caught up though, I think I’m going to go finish those exams I was telling you about.

Check back again soon, I’m going to try to blog more regularly now that I have a little more time.  Good night!

*Books, beer, and baba ganoush

This describes one of my favorite places in Seattle; if you’ve been there, you probably know exactly where I’m talking about.

Hidden away in Ravenna, the upstairs is a new/used bookstore and a Greek restaurant.  Downstairs is a well-lit pub, slightly reminiscent of a mountain ski lodge.  There are giant wood tables perfect for a game of Settlers or spades while having one of the NW’s great microbrews (I believe there are about 12 on tap).

I’d tell you the name, but it’s become overcrowded already and I want to make sure that I can still find a place to sit the next time I’m there.  If you’re curious, I guess we’ll just have to go together!

*Happy Presidents’ Day!

Saturday night my roommate and I hosted a Presidents’ Day party.  Everyone was supposed to come dressed as a president and we made teams for pub-style presidential trivia.

Here’s the trivia movie; see how much you know! (I’ll post the answers later).

I made the movie in iMovie, finally putting my VisCom skills to use. Sadly, the DVD I tried to make so we could play it in our DVD player didn’t work… Next time!

Here are some pictures from the party:

Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Theodore Roosevelt & Grover Cleveland

Trivia winners: Team Air Force One. *If you look in the left corner, you can kind of see FDR. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of ‘him’ and ‘his’ wheelchair.

“Barack Clinton” (Pravin was representing both).

Some of the guys (too cool to dress up)

Grover Cleveland & Theodore Roosevelt