WHS Class of ’99 Update!

I’m back in Seattle after a long weekend home in Weston.

(and back from a second trip to the airport this afternoon to retrieve my wayward luggage! my bag had my knit sweaters and the scarf Sharon gave me from Spain in it, I didn’t want to take chances with FedEx after my recent demonstrations of airport karma.)

Lots of news, which will probably get its own post after I go to the grocery store to restock the fridge, but before I go, I thought i’d quick post about my 5th-and-a-half year high school reunion.

Here’s the yearbook picture of the class of ’99 from 6 years ago when we were seniors:

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(I had to get my yearbook out to reminisce before heading home.)

We met in Boston at Felt (some club on Washington St, pretty good even if their DJ didn’t have Living on a Prayer). I have to say that I haven’t done a great job keeping in touch with people — I mean to, but I think it’s kind of hard to slip into my high school self sometimes, and hard to tell what’s changed and what hasn’t in other people. If I’d been there for the changes keeping up would be easier, but as is for most people all I have is semi-recent batches of single sentence updates that I got when my mom ran into someone else’s mom at the grocery store. So, that said, it was fun to see people and hear what they’re up to, and realize how long ago high school was. I don’t think that there will be any official record, so here’s my utterly unofficial record of the thing, filtered through the open bar (and still in single sentences, max):

In reasonably alphabetical order by last name:

Tara is in New Haven, at Yale, and hasn’t lost one bit of her smile. Mike Allain, I talked to too late in the night once we were both past the point of doing the resume bit — all i have is that he’s a friendly, cool kid. Lauren Balsbaugh was there but on the phone the only times I ran into her. Bill Barclay looks exactly like himself plus a goatee, is doing performance art sort of stuff and teaching. Selby is in Colorado? I think? David Bell didn’t come but I’ve heard a rumour that he’s married to “Rita” — don’t know if that one’s pure gossip or true. Shana looks amazing and is working w/ Austin for a tv channel in Boston. George the Sun God is working for a tiny software company in Cambridge but wishes he was still running a hut on Mt. Washington and getting to ski and ice climb all the time. Caroline Broderick was there, but I didn’t get to talk to her. Chad is in San Francisco and reads my blog at work! So double points to him. Lauren Carr, Kathryn Doherty, and Sarah Duggan, I barely saw, which was sad. Jared Chandler looks awesome, but was getting up to leave as I saw him so I don’t know what he’s up to. Dawn-Marie is working for 94.5 and ready to do something new. Jeff Coburn was there with his girlfriend. Patrick Doherty is in NY (I think?) and has some awesome financially-related job that he seems to like. Krissy Ewton accused herself of having a Barbie-look which wasn’t at all far off but in a good way. Bill Fagley has gotten even nicer and cooler than the last time I saw him, which is saying something, and getting his masters (I think?) in psych. Kate Ferguson was definitely there and then disappeared and I didn’t get to talk to her at all. Laura Fox is doing research on perception at MIT which just sounded cool. I talked to Shayna Garlisi (while she was talking to Mrs. Igoe) but didn’t get to hear at all what she was up to. Lauren Gibbons is in philly doing psych research and applying to grad schools. Evan Hoffman is nearly unrecognizable if you haven’t seen him since high school. I didn’t get to talk to Sarah JD except to thank her for friendstering me. 😛 I could have sworn that I saw Aya right at the beginning but then she was gone by the time I got to her, so that’s a mystery. Katie Kelly has a sleek haircut and no one recognized her at first. Liesel is living in a safer building than her first one outside DC, and looks great. Jess is doing some sort of Art/Architechture masters at Christie’s in NYC and her boyfriend is in DC. Amelia is in NYC still, and utterly looks it. Carrie Neill said hi to me with such a big smile, but then too much open bar for the two of us later we didn’t get caught up. Jeffries is in his second year of Harvard Law, and I personally think that he should choose intellectual property as his specialization. Kristine is working at MGH and might come to school in Seattle for her masters — I have my fingers so crossed. JP Parker, who grabbed my boyfriend’s crotch while getting kicked out of a bar the last time I ran into him, was there, but I didn’t find out what he’s up to other than hanging out w/ Chad. Sara Peterson had opened a restaurant in Amherst, MA, but her partners were bad news and so now she’s on to something else. Kerry Purcell is a journalist for the Boston Herald and living in Boston. Alexis Romanow was definitely there, but by the time we were in the same group, she was on the opposite side and I couldn’t hear her over the music. Caitlin Rothstein was getting everyone to try Budweiser’s new energy drink. Steven Sahlman was there early, but left before I talked to him. Jack Sallay is working for the publishers Simon & Schuster in NYC. Meg is producing a play off-Broadway but I can’t tell you the name of it because it would be bad luck. I spent an age talking to Danielle but it was about everyone else, so I hardly have anything to report on her. I think that Julie Shapiro was there, but she was another one that I didn’t get around to, along with Jill Simon and Wendy. Andy Starr’s living in Somerville (along with half the class, it seems) and dating Angela McMahon, and we talked about the Red Sox. I saw Mari and her eyes are still amazing. Dan Whittenberger was there at the very beginning and we said hi. Connor Wilson is working in Wesleyan’s fundraising office and assistant coaching lacrosse. Justin Woodside is still his smiley self, but I didn’t get to talk to him beyond a wave. Kevin Wright looks exactly like himself except older. And Trish did an awesome job being the organizer, especially after Fran’s Army training meant that he wouldn’t be there.

Whew. And it’s entirely possible that I missed people, since I really just stood in one place and talked to people as they walked by. I wished that Peter and PGW had been there, along with Stush, Sarah Doherty, Alyssa, Sarah McNeer, John Kushner, Sam, and the others that I haven’t seen from our class in years and have been curious how they are doing. :-/

Whew, long post, but this gang’s worth a mention. 🙂

Just like Santa’s elves…

So I haven’t had any interesting knitting pictures recently, due to the impending holidays and my reluctance to post anything that might ruin any surprises…

So, to make up for it, here’s the code to post progress bars if you use Blogger or one of the other free guys that don’t include web hosting for flash files:

Step 1: Go into MS Paint (or your drawing program of choice) and make a rectangle that’s 17 pixels high by 88 long. You can decorate it or just choose a plain color. Save this to wherever you keep your blog photos.

Step 2: Add the following to the style sheet part of your blog’s template:

#percent {

    align: left;

    width: 88px;


    margin: 0 0 0 20px;


    border:1px solid black;


#knitDesc {

    align: left;

    margin: 0 10px 0 20px;



    color: #300;


If you want to change colors, fonts, sizes, etc, this is the place to do it.

Step 3: Wherever you want to put the % bar, add the following:

<div id=”percent”>

    <img src=’
RectangleAddress‘ width=’W‘ height=’17’ align=’left’>


<div id=”knitDesc”>

    <b>Project Name:</b> Percent%

    Yarn: Name of Yarn

    Colors: Yarn Color


You should fill in your own details:

RectangleAddress is where you’re storing the picture you made. It’s the full address, starting with http.

W is the percent complete * 0.88 (the width of the bar, divided by 100)

Percent should be the number you used to determine W

Project Name, Name of Yarn, and Yarn Color are self-explanatory.

Have fun!

Back to just us

My parents flew out from Boston on Tuesday, and just left this morning after a great four day visit. It was so fun to be able to show them around and give them some context for my life now. I’m glad that they’ll have pictures in their heads when I talk about my apartment, or what the lake looked like, or the traffic lights getting back on 405 in Seattle. It just makes the story more complete.

We had a great visit. We played tourist at Pike Place Market, the Underground Tours (great fun, see the picture below), the aquarium and on a harbour tour. I love the aquarium. They’ve added a ton since I was last there two years ago, and with my new marine aquarium knowledge the older exhibits were even more interesting than before. Plus, they have great crowd pleasers: They fed the octopus and it turned red! All the little kids were looking at the clown fishes swimming in their anenomes and saying “nemo!” (Pixar, way to go. You’ve successfully brainwashed an entire generation.) We got to see the otters and seals! 🙂 It was a fun trip.

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We went to the Yarrow Bay grill (immediately after the picture below was snapped) for their $25 menu — utterly satisfying, as always. It’s a great special event restaurant. We’d gone there originally when Sharon and Mom came out to visit two summers ago, and I’ve been back a few times since, mostly on Microsoft’s dime.

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On Friday, we went to the Chittenden Locks, the Essential Bakery, and then over to the Chateau St. Michelle and the Columbia wineries in Woodinville.

The only sad part of the week was that Kevin was at work during the day. I missed him! On the whole, though, a great visit. It’s also great that I don’t even have to be sad that it’s over, since I’ll be flying home for Thanksgiving soon!

Worm infestation?

In a rather shocking discovery last night we found that our live rock was full of little white worms that came out once the lights went off. I immediately went into spider mode (goosebumps everywhere) after finding the first three. Early results in a google search made us think that these were parasites, so we did a freshwater dip for the live rock to kill them off. Post-dip search results made them seem benign, if not beneficial (and revealed that a highly concentrated salt dip would have been more effective than the freshwater dip). When we were putting the rock back in the tank, we noticed that there were already little worm corpses everywhere in the tank, so it seems like if anything we just speeded the process along. With any luck, they’ll help ammonia levels build, since we’re still looking at a rather resolute 0 reading.

Funny, this sounds like such a gross post. It really wasn’t supposed to be! 😛

Fish tank update

In a great find on Thursday, I came across Blue Sierra Exotics in Issaquah and their awesome Anniversary Sale. We headed over before Kevin’s football game yesterday morning, and came away with 70-some lbs of live rock (about 80% Fiji, the rest Marshall Islands), 80 lbs of substrate, 2 maxijet 600s, a power filter, a return pump for our sump, 2 heaters to replace the faltering one that came with the tank, an overflow box, and tons of tubing and sponges for about $650. We were both extremely pleased. This will bring our pre-fish total on expenses to about $1080, which is about half of what we were told to expect for a 55 gallon tank. Not bad!!

I have to personally commend the Blue Sierra folks. The store was packed, and even so we never waited more than two minutes to talk to someone. Everyone we talked to was knowledgeable, helpful, and took their time answering our questions. (Best of all, they talked to *both* of us, instead of doing that obnoxious “converse with the male in charge” thing that’s happened at other fish stores, car dealers, etc. Their eye contact was split 50-50% — way to overcome one of my biggest peeves!!) They had a good selection of brands, the prices were reasonable, and their fish all looked happy. I’m definitely going back. If any Seattle area fish people are reading this, I recommend them highly.

When we got back, I spent about 3 hours washing the substrate. You can see the milky water in the bucket along with my 3 handfuls of substrate. It continued to look like this for about 7 rinses, and then the water would gradually get clearer.

I gave up after about 30 lbs worth due to rubbed-raw hands. Kevin did the last 10 lbs or so when he got back from the game. Thank goodness substrate is one of those one-time things in setting up the tank. We still have another 40 pound bag, unopened. I think another 10 pounds or so of the stuff would probably look good, but between having to wash it out and the prospect of getting $45 dollars back for returning it, I think that bag may stay unused.

Kevin spent a bunch of time this afternoon buying more tubing and setting up the protein skimmer, sump, overflow box, and return pump. Everything’s flowing well now, although we have a lot of tiny bubbles. Hopefully those will settle down as the water gets a chance to run. Here he is with the tank as of last night (the water looks so cloudy due to the substrate. It’s settled down a lot since, and now our only cloudiness is coming from the bubbles.):

We’re both so excited about this.

Rogue Photos!

Woohoo, here they are! These were all taken as a break from washing substrate, so the light’s a little orange, but you’ll get the idea. 🙂

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Many thanks to Jessica for organizing the mini-Rogue-along!!

I leave you with a parting shot of the hem:

For all of my worrying over the biasing and curling, it came out beautifully and was so so easy to sew flat.

I miss working on this — I’m sorely tempted to start a second Rogue as a zippered cardigan

Thank God for Tom Cochran

When I was in ninth grade, I put this song* on every mix I made and would leave the tape in my radio so that I could rewind and listen to it first thing in the morning every day. Knowing me, I probably rewound and listened twice. 🙂 And now there’s Itunes and the “Repeat this song ad infinitum” button, and everyone’s happy.

In other news, I finished Rogue (pictures will follow when I’m less sleepy), worked on the bookshelf for a while (I’m becoming a woodworker!), actually sent out my resume to a company, and went to knitting at the Essential Bakery. A very satisfying day.

Also, I’ve discovered the wonkette, who is basically a mirror that bounces back every tidbit of liberal news. She posts about twice a minute. Procrastination hell. But, nonetheless, fun links and a more worthwhile waste of time than some of the other options.

* Note that I can say “this song” and you’ll know what I mean (if you listened to music in the early to mid nineties) because he only really had one. For the soul-less few, “this song” = “Life is a Highway”

Post-election depression

Wow. I am not a fan of Bush’s re-election. It isn’t often that I completely disagree with everything that a person does and stands for, but in Bush’s case, I do utterly. I think that his educational plan is misguided and purposely underfunded. I think that his views on science, technology, and incorporating lots of international influence into higher education are extremely flawed and that he purposely ignores evidence to the contrary. I think his environmental record is scary. I disagree with his international posturing, the secrecy of his government, the blatant lies that he tells, and the way that he pushes states to fund federal measures. I disagree with his views on gay marriage, on abortion, and on the civil rights of Americans. He is to blame for the people held indefinitely at Guantanamo. He is to blame for the increased polarization of the country. He is to blame for the deficit (built from surplus), for the state of social security, and for cutting funding to popular programs that provide essential safety-net services. He has a McCarthy-istic view of terrorism, and all evidence shows that his policies and war have increased its source, rather than rubbed it out. I think that Bush is dangerous for our country, and I am horrified at the prospect of four more years. The senate and house gains are also disturbing.

So, there really isn’t much to be happy about today. For those of you who also feel this way, the only thing that I have to offer is this. It at least offers some perspective.