It Gets Better, or at least, It Gets Different

10 10 2011

I’m extremely fortunate in my life to have made some amazing friends, one of them, I met just a couple of years ago.
A very talented individual, but a wise and caring one also by the name of Lily Armani.

Some of you may have heard of the "It Gets Better" program created by Dan Savage and his partner Terry.  This program was created in response to the suicides of teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or because their peers suspected that they were gay. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay adults convey the message that these teens’ lives will improve.

Lily had something to share for this program, and share she did.  Lily is no stranger to adversity and has a very positive approach to it.

Granted I’m biased, but truly the video she has made as her contribution for this program is a powerful and moving one, and I don’t believe it’d be overstating things to say this, but I’m sure if it’s seen by the right people, the people who need this message in their lives, it could save lives.

Watch it for yourself, and please share it with others.

Lily Armani–It Gets Different

To Lily Armani, you’re an absolute inspiration, and as always I wish you the best of everything. Keep bringing joy to the masses lady and may as much joy as you bring be bestowed back on you! xo

Red Cards and Red Faces

18 07 2010

Again, this posting is late, but only a day late.  The weekend was a whirlwind and I just couldn’t face logging on to the computer.  These days any updates have been on Facebook via Twitter from my phone while I’m out and about.  Much quicker, when I remember that is. 😉

After only a few hours sleep from the previous nights dance party, we were up relatively early to head into Seattle with my friends Brad and Jeff to see my first ever Seattle Sounders game.  Soccer.  I’ve seen many matches before but until today, never a professional one.  As has now become my habit I had to buy some merchandise at the ground, as did Mark.  We both got a team coloured scarf each, and I got myself a hooded windcheater, because sadly, I’d “accidently” not brought a jacket, and it was cooler than expected… 😉

Our tickets were courtesy of one of Mark’s co-workers who has season tickets to the Sounders games and couldn’t attend, so thanks to his generosity (Thanks Josh!) we got to sit right by the goals and enjoy the game.   A game that 29 minutes in, saw the Sounders goalkeeper sent from the ground with a red card for tripping.  Oopsy!

Sadly they lost, 1-2 the Glasgow Celtics.  I have to confess my loyalties were split between both teams anyway as I’ve been to Glasgow and have friends that live there, and Seattle, because I live there.  So I guess it was win-win.

After the game we drove to the other side of Seattle to attend Bite of Seattle, a food festival at the Seattle Centre.  Dozens apon dozens of food vans offering a taste of the many restaurants from around Seattle, all of it outdoors, in what was a beautiful weather day as it seems Summer has finally arrived.  There was enough sun that I managed to get quite burnt without even realising it.  Not happy about that, so my face is feeling quite warm and tight at the moment, and is very red across the nose and cheeks.  Positively glowing!!

All in all, the weekend was amazing good fun, spent with great friends, and non-stop.  I can’t wait to crawl into bed and catch up on some much yearned for sleep.

Hope you all had amazing weekends!

Seattle in a Split Second

13 06 2010

My friends Jamie and David are in town for their first ever visit to Seattle, but, they’re only here for one full day, and 2 nights.

So you can imagine that we’ve been pretty busy trying to give them the condensed, high speed tour of the area, while catching up.

I have to say, I think we’ve done a great job, but we’re all functioning on minimum sleep and are exhausted.

We’ve covered the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market, the first Starbucks, a scenic lookout of Seattle, a drive through tour of Microsoft, and the area we live.  A full tour of our gym (it’s huge enough to warrant a tour), the Pacific North West Pinball and Video Game Expo, a nightclub, and I’m pretty sure off the top of my head that I’ve left a whole lot out.

Old friends and new experiences are so much fun!! 🙂

Tuesday… again!

18 08 2009

I’m home after a very long day spent primarily on planes, I’m finally home, fully unpacked, the first load of washing is going through as I type, plants have been watered, dogs played with, and now it’s time for a nice hot shower and collapse into my own bed.

It’s totally surreal to think that a little over 24 hours ago I was in Fiji.  Time flies…  So do I!

But I’m back, Immigration went relatively smoothly, the flight from Fiji to Los Angeles was pretty horrendous.  The plane lights kept going out, the entertainment system kept stopping, there was a Medical Emergency (not sure what happened) that had the Flight staff paging the plane to see if there were any Doctors or Nurses on board…

We survived though.  Bleary eyed and tired, but we survived.  The treat at the end though was upgrading ourselves (for $50 each) to First Class for our final 2.5 hour trip from Los Angeles to Seattle.

A nice big seat, nice food, great service, and drinks to go with it all.  I finally even managed to get a nap in.

The normal routine starts again tomorrow, commencing with collecting the kitties from the “Resort”.

Good night all! 🙂

Too. Hot. To. Type.

29 07 2009

Seattle broke it’s temperature record today.  With a recorded high of 105.F (40.5C), the highest temperature since temperatures began being recorded.

All I can say is that I’m BLOODY happy I covered the skylights today as the house while still exceptionally hot, took a lot longer to get to it’s highest temperature than it has on previous days.  Now all we need is an air conditioner, that is if we can find one.  Every air conditioner within a 50 mile radius has been purchased.

It’s sheer insanity.  Although admittedly I’ve experienced hotter temperatures in Australia, but that’s a country that’s equipped for this sort of weather.  Not so here.

Fortunately the sun is lower in the sky now, there’s a breeze and the temperature is dropping, so all the windows are open now, fans on, plants watered, dogs pool emptied and refilled and said dogs hosed down.  I’ve even contemplated soaking the cats, but I’m not so sure that’ll lower their stress levels any, nor mine if I think about it. 😉


Slight update…

We’ve spent the last 20 minutes throwing treats into the dog pool and watching the dogs “bob for treats” and in doing so cooling themselves off, and once they were done, I put the cats in the pool too.  They resisted a little, but not as much as I expected.  You could almost hear their minds calculating “Eek, this is water, panic…  But it’s so cool…  Hmmm, dilemma.”


Hades, A practice run

27 07 2009

I was born and bred in Australia, spent my first 33 years there, survived the Summers, drought, and often while wearing a suit (for work), and sweltering it out for nearly a decade driving a car where the only air conditioning were the windows, and yet here I am in Seattle, Washington, melting.

Today was one of the hottest days I’ve experienced since I’ve been here, 42 degrees Celsius at one point, not too bad when there’s a light breeze, and with the knowledge that when the sun goes down, the temperature goes down with it.  That is the outdoor temperature.

For the first time in my life, I’m living in a house where the internal temperature has peaked (today) at 40 degrees Celsius.  I’m melting, and so are the cats.  They’ve spent the entire day sucking up as much water as I can pour into their bowls, and lying spread out flat like road kill on the floor boards in the coolest part of the house, the hallway.

I’ve spent the day in front of the fan, misting myself with a spray bottle.  I’d kill for an air conditioner about now.

On the upside though…  My orchids have never looked so good.  Whereas I usually water them every 10 days, now I’m watering them every 2, and they’re flourishing.

So at least some good has come from it all.

For the rest of us non-orchid organisms…  I’m going to be on the phone tomorrow organising for companies to come to the house to quote on installing blinds in the skylights, in an effort to block the sunshine that’s heating the house up so quickly.  Sourcing prices on air conditioners and doing everything I can to stay cool, which at this point means skipping gym in the morning in favour of sleeping in while it’s cool, then going to the gym in the afternoon at the peak of the heat and working out in relative air conditioned comfort.

First steps first, covering the skylights.  This is just the third day in what is about to be a spate of the hottest days this state has experienced in a while.

To give you a clue…  Mark has just received an email from Microsoft advising that the office buildings have all reached their cooling output maximums, and staff are required to close blinds on windows, and switch off all non essential items in an effort to minimise extra heat.

The highlight of today was grocery shopping.  Mark and I both stood in front of the ice-cream freezer with the doors open while reading all the labels and bathing in the frosty coolness.  😉

Hooroo I’m off to spritz and perch in front of the fan again.

More snow!

21 12 2008

… but wait…  There’s even more snow, and it’s still falling!

It’s been a very white weekend, and strangely enough, I’ve been out and about more in weather that’s not the safest, than what I would normally on a weekend.  Some weekends we never leave the house.  This weekend we’ve barely been home at all.Car on the front lawn 291208

Certainly tiring driving in this weather, primarily from concentrating on the road, and avoiding all the other speeding maniacs, but we’ve certainly not been kept prisoner by the elements.  We’ve been very careful, and remained well prepared as we’ve travelled.

I also got to christen my new snow/bad weather boots.  They’re pretty cool.  It’s nice to have toasty warm, and dry feet while I’m getting about in snow that’s been deep enough to sink me half way to my knees.  On my own front lawn!


I’ve taken a few photos today, and some video footage of the snow falling while we were driving to give you an idea.  I even drove the car up onto the front lawn to showcase the depth of the snow.  It probably would have worked better if the car hadn’t managed to stay up on top of some of it, but it did sink to the running boards.Mattress Man 211208

The across the road neighbours thought I’d lost control and ended up on the lawn by accident.  Not likely!  But it was funny that they assumed so incorrectly.

Otherwise, it’s been a pretty exciting, and certainly not normal Sunday for us, it’s certainly nice to be home now though.  Unlike the poor soul we saw on a corner earlier today wearing a sign out in the elements.  I hope he’s well paid!

Here’s a couple of videos of my snowy drive earlier this afternoon…

Snowy Drive Part 1

Snowy Drive Part 2

All other photos will be uploaded to Flickr soon enough.


Feeling the love!

14 07 2008

The “Shelly Love”.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having Physical Therapy, and I get it from the bestest ever person; Shelly, and it hurts like the “bejeezus”, but it works.

Well when I started it was for my shins, they’re getting better, and then it was for my knee, now that’s getting better.  Now, it’s for my wrist, so effective today, I’m on three sessions a week.

Good thing I don’t work!  I’d never have the time!

The shins were due to a weakness in my lower back and glutes, the knee was also partially due to that weakness.  As for the wrist, well that’s an old injury, one from my early teens when I fell and apparently broke both wrists.  Only at the time I didn’t notice as I also smashed in my front teeth and broke my nose, so the majority of the pain was elsewhere so I never noticed my wrists.

Until now.  I have restricted movement in my left wrist, I’ve always been aware of it, but since I’m predominantly right handed it’s never been a problem.  But now it is.

Wow!  I knew the leg bone was connected to the knee bone, the knee bones was connected to the shin bone etc.  But it’s true, everything really is connected, if one thing doesn’t do it’s job properly, or your form/movement isn’t optimal it really does create further problems.

It’s all under control though, my glutes are coming along nicely, and apparently I’ll soon have “Buns of Steel”.  Haha!  With my luck, they’ll rust!

That’s about it really, tomorrow will be an early start as I’m taking the car in for a service, then I think I’ll go for a ride, workout, come home and try Wii Fit.  Mark bought it on the weekend.

I certainly have enough to keep me busy.

Meanwhile, if you’re the giving type, and want to support a worthy cause, a cause based in America, therefore it’s probably best that unless you’re SUPER generous, you not donate unless you live here.

A friend of mine is raising money for a 3 day bike ride of 172 miles, through the Cascade Mountains and in doing so is raising money for the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

If you’re up for some donation catalysed karma…  Go to Mary Bridge Foundation – Courage Classic, follow the prompts and help me help my friend raise some money.  You’ll feel all warm, fuzzy and generous afterwards.  I promise! 🙂

If you’re a Microsoft employee, you should definitely donate, as Microsoft will match your donation!

Cheers, and thanks if you’re generous. 🙂

Scary thought…

24 06 2008

It occurred to me this afternoon that I quite possibly now know more trivia and facts about Seattle than I do about my own home town Melbourne back in Australia, and all because I’ve been a good host and taken all of our visitors on all the tourist activities around town. 

Since we’ve had plenty of visitors, I’ve been on most of these activities multiple times.  For example, The Underground Tour, today was my 6th or 7th visit.  I’m not sure which, I can’t remember, but the guide did tell me that I was welcome to continue the tour presentation as he was losing his voice. *laugh*

Shame I can’t get a job as a tour guide…

All in all though, it was a definite fun day.  It looks like Summer is finally here too.  Three whole consecutive days of blue skies and sun, it’s definitely shorts weather again.

Ok, best get back to playing “Host with the Most”.


… and we’re walking

23 06 2008

My role as tour guide continued today, and fortunately the Seattle weather has maintained it’s current spate of sun and blue skies.  A very nice and welcome change.

Today’s trip included;  Ballard Locks, Salmon Ladder, Fremont Troll, Microsoft Campus and Cafeteria and then a spot of discount shopping.

Thai for dinner, and now games.

Fun for everyone.  Speaking of, I’ve got to return to hosting.