I gotta get me a bug vacuum – or a spider vacuum, if I have to get something pest-specific. It’s spider season here in Seattle, and Ponzi and I are crawling out of our respective skins. She’s already gone through 14 magazines today (with the victims getting anything but more literate). If there’s a can within reach, our uninvited pest guests are treated to a complementary insecticide bath. We used to deploy the handheld vacuum to suck up spiders, but nobody ever wanted to clean the trap afterwards. A bug vacuum may be the only way to go… zip zap!
It’s wonderful in Seattle today – wonderful. Not too hot, not too cool – perfect weather. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, there’s a slight breeze blowing through the window. Yeah, I should probably be sitting outside… but then I’d have to put on sunscreen, and I don’t really wanna get all mookie. Maybe a walk down by the lake? No, I never do that – ever. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Man, I’m going to turn around and ask Ponzi if she wants to do that… the look on her face will be priceless. Better get my digital camera ready for this one.
I don’t think there’s a honeymoon destination on Earth that Ponzi and I could agree on – she’d want to go where it’s hot, and I’d rather stay where it’s cool. I’d want to go where there’s an Internet connection, and she could stay disconnected for months on end. We do agree on one thing: a hotel. Neither one of us find the great outdoors anything to enjoy outside a climate-controled environemnt. We’re not going to Maui. In fact, we’re not going anywhere near Hawaii for our honeymoon (which, contrary to popular belief, is not over yet).
I don’t know how she found it, but the Canyon Ranch destination appealed to both of us instantaneously:
At award-winning Canyon Ranch in the fascinating Sonoran Desert, you’ll see the famed roadrunner, hear a distant coyote and discover the most amazing creature of all – the authentic, revitalized you. Give yourself the ultimate healthy living experience in this focused, week-long program in Tucson. A Canyon Ranch vacation can be as relaxing, exhilarating or transformative as you wish. Meet with experts who will help you take control of your health care and achieve optimal wellness. Canyon Ranch sits on stunning grounds where a rich tradition of healing and active living thrives to this day.
What I hate most about vacations is the feeling like I could be doing something much more constructive with my time. I hate knowing there’s still work to be done! Still, Canyon Ranch offered a compromise to my neurosis: the ability to take classes and learn more about myself. I get to do Handwriting Analysis, have a Clairvoyant Reading, and do some Memory Assessment and Enhancement. Sounds like a bunch of self-help hoopla, but it’s just enough to keep me from feeling like I’m doing nothing. Ponzi gets to sit around in a hot tub all day long if she wants. I’ll sit in the hot tub, too – but I’ll make my own bubbles.
Ponzi picked the Orchard Hotel at 665 Bush Street for our trip to San Francisco this weekend; we’ll be staying here for a couple of nights before flying back late on Saturday. But I may never want to leave.
First, we found that it was conveniently located downtown – close to restaurants, shopping, and BloggerCon. Second, the doorman stopped what he was doing to smile and open the door for us on our way in. Third, the hotel offered free wired broadband without hesitation or limitation (yes, the information is clearly visible at the front desk).
Fourth, the clerk informed us that daily breakfast was included in our room charge. Fifth, the doorman walked up to us after we checked in to offer brochures which could help us get around the city. Sixth, they have a full DVD library of new movies which they let guests borrow for free (two at a time, unlimited). Seventh, the room comes with over 50 popular cable television stations. Eighth, the TV has a DVD player hooked up to it.
Ninth… do I really need to list a ninth point as to why this is has been the “worst” hotel experience I’ve ever had?! Of course, I use that term loosely – as other hotels pale by comparison. Doesn’t matter what happens from here on in, the Orchard Hotel already can’t score less than four and half (out of five) stars in my book.
I recommend this place, wholeheartedly.
OMG. I totally spaced on writing something here yesterday. I’m so incredibly sorry, and intend on making it up to everyone right now. See, I’m writing something here – this is the sentence in the paragraph I’m writing because I forgot to write something before the clock struck Midnight. Where did the time go? Oh, you name it – running errands, getting ready for our trip to SF for BloggerCon, troubleshooting WordPress, troubleshooting Lockergnome, troubleshooting Gada.be, conversing with friends, chatting with Shayne, kissing Ponzi (at least once, I remember), etc. I really wanted to write something more substantial, but I guess you’ll have to settle for a fluff piece instead. Look at all the fluff! This is all fluff, I tell ya! Fluffy, fluffy, fluffy. Must go to bed now.
I love dogs – I really do. When Ponzi finally gave me the go-ahead to start looking for a furry companion, I was overjoyed. We both kinda lost our “best friends” before meeting one another (Sprocket from my divorce, and Georgia Belle due to circumstances after her divorce). She saw a billboard with a frumpy-lookin’ bulldog on it, and that was enough to get her thinking about adopting a puppy again. We started doing our research, and narrowed it down to a “poo” mix. Little did we know that Wicket and Pixie were waiting for us to find them. Lotsa-shits-a-poos is a breed, didn’t you know? They were born on April 1st, 2004.
I intended on bringing home a single dog – a little puppy who would love us as much as we would love him (or her). I picked up Pixie, placed her in my arm, and watched her fall asleep while I stroked her puppy belly – a sign that she would have a wonderful temperament. I put her down and picked up Wicket, kicking and screaming and fussing and fiddling and whining and complaining and barking and whining and… there is no way I’m bringing this one home. As I started to walk away with Pixie in hand, Ponzi asked… “But what about him?”
No. No way in hell. “That one’s full of piss and vinegar,” I said. I knew he’d be nothing but trouble, nothing but frustration, nothing but aggravation. Ponzi stuck out her bottom lip. “He just needs to be loved up.” No, no he doesn’t – he was put on this Earth to make someone’s life a living hell. “But we can’t break them up; they’re brother and sister.” She started screwing with my brain’s logic lobe. “They can keep each other company.” And that’s when we decided to adopt Wicket.
All the way home, Wicket screamed his head off. He needed to go “potty” (that’s their word). Of course, I just thought he wanted to get our attention. I’ve never known a needier dog in my life, and I had a bad feeling that this one would try my patience at every given opportunity. I’ve never wanted to be more wrong in my entire life. Sadly, with time, I was proven right.
Let me give you Wicket’s new modus operandi:
- Hear noise.
- Bark at it.
- If it comes closer, run away.
- If it closes the distance to mere inches, pee.
I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Pixie, on the other hand, doesn’t mind going up to strange creatures – which is weird, because of the two, she’s the more reserved! Pixie will roll over and let you be the master every single time. Wicket, on the other hand, thinks he’s in charge until given the opportunity (at which point he’ll turn, flee, and sometimes pee). ARGH! Wicket is trying to beat me at a battle of wits, but I’m never going to admit defeat. Unfortunately, neither is that dog.
So, another new game that Wicket’s decided to play: Bathroom Trash Treasure Hunt. At first, we weren’t sure if Pixie was playing, too – but she was exonerated after circumstantial “evidence” kept appearing around Wicket’s mouth. He would do this, we’d sometimes catch him, and he’d get punished appropriately. This happened, day after day; every time we’d let him out and on his own, he’d wander off into the downstairs bathroom and hunt for goodies in the trashcan. It got to the point where we couldn’t trust him to be out at all. And it’s not like we don’t pay attention to our pooches, either – we work at home, so everybody’s around each other all the time (and Wicket and Pixie often get to sit in our laps, like Pixie is doing right now – without denting my typing speed).
We were in a seemingly-endless cycle, and neither of us were getting through to Wicket. No matter what we did, he just wouldn’t leave the trash alone (and I refused to shut the bathroom door, because that would only serve to solve the problem temporariliy). Finally, Ponzi came up with the idea of sprinkling cayenne pepper around the liner. We knew we had “licked” the problem when we saw him wander into the living room, sniffling and licking his nose. Hasn’t been a problem since then.
It doesn’t take much to impress my palate. I’m usually content with eating leftovers, especially when Ponzi prepares ’em all mixed-up and lookin’ like a new meal. She must be hungry, because she’s been looking at food sites all afternoon (which, I suppose is better than looking at purse sites). Ponzi then announces that we’re going to Andaluca for dinner tonight. I’m thinking: “Since when did the village from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ get a restaurant?”
Seattle Magazine readers voted Andaluca Ã¢â¬ÅSeattleÃ¢â¬â¢s Best Mediterranean RestaurantÃ¢â¬Â? for 1998 & 1999; Esquire Magazine ranked Andaluca as one of the 20 best restaurants in America for a solo meal; Voted Best Main Course and Best Service by Ã¢â¬ÅThe Secret DinerÃ¢â¬Â?, NWsource.com’s independent correspondent charged with giving you the real scoop before you make dinner reservations.
We’re headed to eat there in about an hour. I hope there’s no dress code for this restaurant, because I don’t have anything to wear but jeans [which is a total lie, but they don’t know that]. I’m looking over the dinner menu and I think… Lamb Dolmas for an appetizer and Grilled Chicken Nicoise for the main course (although I could totally do without the grilled asparagus, as it really makes my pee smell funny). What are you having for dinner tonight?
I did it; My weight loss goal has officially been met as of this morning. After a swift 40-minute workout, I stepped on the Tanita scale and weighed in at 145 pounds. Three months ago, I was sitting at a hefty 175lbs. Today, I’m 145lbs – a full 30lbs lighter. I’m so incredibly satisifed with the results, knowing that I’ll likely stabilize in the 140 – 145 range. It certainly took tremendous dedication on my part – but now that I’m in this state, I intend on staying here. My healthier weight will be maintained largely by watching caloric intake, so that even when I’m not able to exercise, I can stay within my body’s daily intake requirements. In some ways, I’m done – my weight loss goal has been achieved. But in many ways, my journey has only begun. It will take a conscious effort not to let myself slip back to where I’m not happy. Thank you, Fatblasters – thank you.
Ponzi’s selling some purses on eBay (though not as many purses as she originally promised she’d be selling). They’re made by some hobo named Isabella Fiore. Can’t be too much of a hobo at these prices! Well, she’s actually starting each auction at much lower than any retail outlet:
- Designer: Isabella Fiore’s Garden of Weavin’ black hobo
- Designer: Isabella Fiore’s Summer of Love Angelina Hobo
- Designer: Isabella Fiore’s Stripe a Pose – Kelsey Bag
- Designer: Isabella Fiore’s Stud Muffin
Who knows if they’ll sell. I just can’t imagine anybody wanting to buy purses anywhere, let alone eBay. I’m sure there are purse addicts just champing at the bit to get to her Isabella Fiore Handbag auctions. She’s only selling four of them right now, and I’ll do what I can to convince her to sell the other 8,192 purses she’s decided to keep for herself.
Hail coffee, full of taste – my tongue is with thee. Yummy art thou among libations, and blessed is the pulp of thy bean, roasted! Holy beverage, fresh above all, brew for us drinkers now and at the hour of our morning. Amen.