Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Books aren't Dead, they're paperless.

I will never, ever forget the feel of a book in my hands. The way the pages are soft beneath my fingers, the scent of ink and old libraries. I love the thickness, a tribute to the author's hard work. I love seeing how far I've gotten, reading the inscriptions on the back, seeing the author's picture. My love of books will stay with me for a lifetime, but for now, the Kindle is one of the most amazing presents of my life. It came from Santa-David.

I probably read on book per week, since I spend so much time on the ferry and bus. Add that to my very heavy backpack stuffed with a laptop, power cord, and radio equipment, and it was a recipe for sore shoulders. The Kindle is small, lightweight, and versatile. If I finish a book, I can download another within seconds. I have a subscription to the New York Times, Time Magazine, and Dr. Weil's column. Each of these things refreshes every morning, so I have so much diversity in what I read. I love that when I lay in bed to read on my side, I don't have to worry about clunky pages getting in the way. I also have a bad habit of folding books and breaking their spine, and it makes me feel guilty. The Kindle lasts for hours on one battery charge, and you don't have to pay for the Internet to get a new book. You can get Internet almost everywhere, since it relies on the Sprint network. It's an amazing little piece of technology.

However, books will always have a place in my life. I love looking at my bookshelf, loaning copies to friends. I love the abundance of bookstores and libraries. At some point, I would like to collect hardcover editions of my favorite books, and put them in a library.

For now, The Kindle is one of my favorite electronic devices. It's easy to use. I just have to be very, very careful not to break it or drop it. You know how I am.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Portland

I've have had so much going on this past week it's felt overwhelming to try to blog it all. David and I decided to take a train to Portland for Christmas, which was just beautiful. I felt like I was riding the polar express as we chugged through thick falling snow, which turned the trees white. I saw a bald eagle perched on the top of one of these trees; regal, the ruler of the land.

In Portland we gathered on Mom's living room floor and opened presents. I like this picture because everyone is acting weird, except for Mom and her boyfriend, who are clearly into each other.
Below is my sister and brother. We always laugh a lot when we're together.

Family foto op. And no, my brother really isn't that tall. He was standing on his tip-toes.

I saw four families while I was in Portland. I saw my Mom, her boyfriend, my brother and sister. I saw my Dad and his girlfriend, and we hung out in the hotel lobby and went to Portland City Grill. I saw my stepmom, and we went to breakfast, hung out at the hotel, watched a movie. I saw my stepdad, his wife, and my sister, and had dinner at their house in Hillsboro. I saw my good friend Annabelle (who's pregnant) and her husband and sister, we went to coffee and Hubers. I saw David's sister and her husband, who stayed with us in the Benson downtown. It was a whirlwind trip, but so wonderful to see my family. No matter how disjointed everyone becomes, I feel so happy and thankful to have so many people to love in this world, and so many people who love me back. Every single one of them made me the person I am today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I absolutely, positively can't wait.

It's cold outside, even my fingers are chilly sitting in this Bainbridge Island coffee shop. We came down to Winslow to spend the afternoon because power is out at our house. PSE's website says they're "working on it" so hopefully it comes back overnight. I'm not too worried about it because I'm going to head to bed at 730pm to get ready for the morning shift tomorrow. We have two propane heaters, so parts of our house are warm. We packed ice into our coolers and put our perishables in there, and I bought a can of propane to barbecue lunch on the deck tomorrow. Today I shopped in stores on Winslow Way, some of which had no power! I still bought stuff for Christmas, and feel good supporting these local retailers in this tough economy.

I've just about sealed the deal with a Vancouver, BC couple to rent their winter apartment in San Miguel de Allende for 6 nights in January. Lucky for me, that is the week they are spending on the Coast, so wanted to rent out their place. They spend every winter there escaping the dreary Pacific Northwest weather. They're charging us $350 for the 6 nights, which I think is a great deal. They are just several blocks from the main part of town.

This is the view from the condo's rooftop terrace:

The place is fully functional, with a kitchen and everything, so we can drink coffee at home, maybe cook and eat on the deck a couple nights. David and I are thinking of taking a cooking class.

Right now, the forecast in San Miguel is in the lower 70s and sunny, and drops to the mid-40's at night. It's a mountain climate, I believe at 6,000 feet. I'm just looking forward to the sun on my face and warm daytime temperatures. Enough of this snow, Seattle, ENOUGH!! This will actually be the first warm weather winter vacation I've ever taken, and I'm SO looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland 2008

I bundled up this morning to take a walk in our snowy neighborhood. I love how the air is still and silent, the only sound is my red rubber boots crunching through a thin layer of ice. I shuffle through thick, powdery mounds. The snow blankets my yard, glazing my gingerbread house with vanilla frosting.
The cars are snow-c0vered hills in the driveway.

First for local news, traffic and weather. If I can dig the car out of the driveway tomorrow morning at 4am.When I was young, I loved snow days. I'd look outside and smile to see my street covered with snow, then I'd turn on the radio, anxious to hear about school closures. My siblings and I would throw on our snow gear, drag the sled onto our quiet street, and make snow cream, a tasty dessert with milk and sugar.

My footprints left gaping holes in the thick snow of my driveway as I trudged out to the street to check out the main road. It's the most effort I've undertaken in three days, and could feel my sick lungs wheezing a little bit.

Then back down to the house, where I don't think we'll be having an outdoor party anytime soon.

I see we did have a little company on our front porch. The only other footprints besides mine.

On these quiet snowy days, all I want to do is drink hot chocolate, or hot-buttered rum, and watch movies in my warm living room. I sometimes wish I had a job where I could call in a "snow day", and not worry about driving. However, this is David's 4th day straight inside, and I think he's getting a little cracked out with cabin fever. He's been upstairs whistling and singing strange harmonies to songs for hours. I guess I am glad I get to go out in the world on a snow day, and report the sights for all the drivers out there. I just wish it didn't have to be at the crack of dawn. Everybody stay safe out there!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I knew it...and.....YUCK

Covering the snow and ice in subzero temperatures at 5 in the morning took its toll on my body. My scratchy throat started on Monday, but I still felt reasonably good. Tuesday and Wednesday it started moving into my nose and lungs, and by Thursday afternoon, I felt I was ready to explode. No amount of DayQuil or NyQuil could ease my symptoms, hence the white mountain of tissue near the bed. I absolutely HATE calling in sick in the news business, but I know I'd be out in the ice again this afternoon, and I just can't do that to my body. Plus I don't want to expose all my coworkers to this junk. Poor David. He's stuck at home with me.

Seattle was a madhouse yesterday. The snow fell hard and steady for hours, turning downtown into a skating rink. I saw a little Mazda Miata struggling up a hill, fishtailing. I saw other cars slammed into fire hydrants and poles. I saw buses sliding at angles, almost breaking at the seams. People should just STAY HOME when it gets this bad. Some people were even driving the WRONG WAY on 520 so they could get off at the nearest ramp. The entire region is paralyzed in the snow, which is why everyone should work from home if they can.

I hope things get better soon, but we are expecting another snow storm this weekend, which could mean WIND. I really hope the power doens't go out. Snow is one thing, but shivering in subzero temperatures in my own home sounds like toruture. It will be another fun day of 5am reporting on Monday, so I hope I kick this cold by then.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top Ten Words

These are the words I am very tired of writing, reading, and hearing at the moment.

1. Snow
2. Storm
3. Hazardous
3. Economy
4. Fail
5. Bailout
6. The Big Three
7. Corruption
8. Layoffs
9. Senate Seat
10. Colonoscopy

Are there any words you're sick of right now?


Another reason I love Barack Obama is that he's a real person, and he was cute at 20 years old. Below are some photographs taken out of a vault of one of his fellow college students, who wanted to practice her black and white photography.

I can't wait until he's Mr. President. Go Obama!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life in the Dark Ages

I think I've traveled back 20 years in time, where computers were only good for playing The Oregon Trail. The screen started up in DOS mode, where I'd click the commands in yellow to start the game. Those were the days where I'd read and write for free time, and gobble up books as fast as Data reading text in Star Trek.

Those days are now back. I still don't have a laptop to take with me on the ferry, or to use at home. My work is ordering me a new one, and I still need to drive to a Dell store to get my personal laptop fixed. So, my ferry has been filled with books, my mind full of words. I started the Jodi Picoult book, "Salem Falls" a few days ago, and have already read half of the 400 page book. I read for an hour per day on the ferry, 20 minutes per day on the bus, and before bed. It's liberating; my web surfing addiction can't be fed without my computer.

I even took some time lately to write using a PEN and PAPER. I took my journal on the boat, and felt like I was living in the 18th century, writing with a quill by the light of an oil lamp. I felt people looking at me out of the corners of their eyes, thinking how very ODD it looks to see a person scribbling in ink.

I've also noticed myself thinking in "fiction." Whenever my mind is free, it roams to invented plotlines, to descriptions, to how my character would respond to certain situations. My favorite is to create lines of poetry about my daily life. This is why I constantly get distrcted, the typed words on my computer swimming in front of my eyes. They only come alive in my mind.

It's been an interesting experience living without a computer on my time off. I miss reading my daily blogs, and I miss writing blogs the most. Hopefully I'll be back from the blogging void soon enough. Until then, I'm going to sink into my latest book.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ferry Peace

There's a moment every day where the brain has time to breath, before the hectic day pushes all creative thoughts away. My time happened this morning on the ferry, when I turned my face to the sun. Seagulls punctuated the blue sky, and a lone orange kayak nestled within the rolling waves. The Olympic Mountains are still naked; just a glittering of snow on their highest peaks. Below is my version of "breathing space", which is regularly featured in "O" Magazine. I thank my lucky stars that I have the most beautiful morning commute, which is so soothing, it eases tension from my shoulders, and allows me to settle deep within myself, with my camera along for the ride.

I leave my island in my wake, until its only a distant shore, onto Seattle's hustling and bustling city streets. Where would you rather be?

I love my ferry, my daily dose of solace, relaxation, as I ride the waves.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Newsroom Smells Like Sushi Land

I feel a little embarrassed chowing down on sushi in the newsroom, chopsticks and all. I don't want people to get grossed out by raw fish, or fish eggs, or whatever else is stuffed into these neat pinwheel California rolls. But they are oh so good, with a little bit of ginger and wasabi. A perfect light lunch.

My fear of being embarrassed over food began when I was a young child. My Dad packed me a sandwich I thought was absolutely divine, but other children used as a laughingstock. Peanut butter, pickle, and mayonnaise. Yes, I know you are probably grimacing as you read this, but trust me, it's delicous. Nowadays when I mention the concoction, adults wrinkle their nose and say "yuck". But children were brutal. Pointing. Laughing. Whispering. "Look what she's eating. She must be a freak." Eventually I couldn't take it and told my Dad not to make peanut butter, pickle, mayonnaise anymore.

I used to think sushi was disgusting. I'd go with my family to Sushi Land and feel nauseated watching those dishes of raw fish go around and around. I thought it smelled like I was in the middle of an aquarium that hadn't been washed in days. I refused to eat sushi for YEARS, and now, am finally aquiring a pretty big taste for it. At the moment, my mouth is so stuffed with California roll that I both feel and look like a chipmunk. I hope none of my coworkers come to talk to me while I have this wad in my cheek.

So tell me, is there a food you hated, and now like? Or is there a food you eat that embarrases you?

Monday, December 1, 2008


This is probably the ugliest picture I have ever taken. Which is beyond me why I'd post it on my blog. I do think it's pretty darn funny though, and is typically how I feel on the inside. It also reflects my thoughts about STILL not having Internet at home or on the ferry, which makes me feel incredibly far behind with both work and blogging.

Hopefully this image will appease "Ferry Diaries" fans for awhile.

I took it on my Mom's Mac computer, while celebrating her birthday at her home in Portland. I cooked butternut squash soup, my sister made green beans and tomato, Mom made twice baked potatoes, and her boyfriend made roasted chicken and cole slaw. It was a really fun birthday, and so wonderful as always seeing my family, and hanging out in my hometown. We always end up acting "weird" and taking a billion crazy photos, then laughing about them.

Too bad I don't have more decent photos of the trip. This is what you got. Be glad I didn't post more.