Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 2012: Blogs, Dogs and Jobs

This is Gretel after training class.  It absolutely wipes her out.

This is me after training class.  It absolutely stresses me out.

Gretel is making progress, though.  She completed her first round of classes and we are now in the second phase.  This is where she learns a bunch of "tricks", like shake, sleep, and fetch a beer.  It's building on obedience training and a good filler class before she takes the advanced class.  Dog training is not the hobby that I would have chosen for myself, but Gretel is a city dog now, and she needs to learn how to live in the city; i.e., being on a leash, etc.  She's making some progress, but we still have a long way to go.  Because Gretel can times, we have good sessions and bad sessions.  Today's session, being the first of a new set of classes with all new classmates, was rough.  Whew.  I'd also like to thank the 3 dogs and squirrel that taunted us on the walk home from class as well.  Ugh.

On another note, I know I've been remiss the last 3 weeks about updating the blog.  Frankly, I didn't really have much to report.  We've been sort of heads down, going to work/school, and generally just getting by.  The weather has been ugly and our respective jobs/school have been keeping us crazy busy.  My job continues to get busier.  I have an intense trial schedule for the next three months.  It's great work and I love getting back into the nuts and bolts of litigation, but wow.  I forgot how exhausting it is.

Shawn is doing great in school, but he's getting busier.  He started working at a few weeks ago, part time while he's in school, and they've already upped his hours to full time.  It's great from an experience and paycheck standpoint, but it makes his life that much busier while he juggles school.  By the way, for anyone contemplating a move to Seattle, has 40-50 positions open.  Talk about a company with exponential growth.....

Lorelei is busy too - she's doing more and more complex math concepts in school and she's also busy with learning how to sew, drawing self-portraits, and making some pretty serious contraptions out of empty cracker boxes.

Speaking of jobs, Steve's job has brought him to the Emerald City two weeks in a row, so we were fortunate to be able to share several meals with Steve and his copilot (First Officer?), Alan.  It's wonderful to have this time with Steve.  After being so homesick for so long, to see one of my family here just as if it happens all the time was just what I needed.  Alan, as it turns out, was born and raised in Seattle, so he's showing us all the ropes a bit.  Alan is pretty cool - he decided the last time we had dinner that he needed a blast from his past:

Ha!  I think this might be Seattle's equivalent of Milwaukee's Best.  We are a classy bunch.

This is part of the UPS garden referenced above.  It's in an urban neighborhood downtown called Pioneer Square.  I love Pioneer Square.  It's kind of like....maybe German Village or the Brewery District:  a formerly sketchy neighborhood that the City has put some money into.  Probably still not a good idea to walk around alone late at night, but lots of good shops, restaurants, and neat little corners to check out.  This is one of them.  There is also a firefighter monument, a kilt shop (Utilikilts), and killer sandwiches at Collins Pub.  Oh, and a brewery or two.

In addition to Steve (and Alan) breezing into town once in awhile, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of two people.  First, Leigh Ann is coming to visit for a long weekend in March.  Just 3 weeks away!  It's terribly exciting - I can't wait to have a friend to show around!  We also are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Unicornia Castaneda!  Also, just 3 weeks away.  Getting close!  Ed and Amy have discovered the lovely crib assembly, stroller operation, and pack 'n play mysteries.  Very fun.  We cannot wait to meet the newest arrival to the Castaneda family!

And very close to Pioneer Square are the stadiums.  A while back I promised a picture of Century Link Field where the Seahawks play.  This is the best I can do from my car - it's only a partial, but you get the idea.

I can't wait to post pictures from the inside of the stadiums!  I love living in a pro sports town!

We've had some yucky weather.  Just very wet, gloomy, dark days.  Interestingly, just about the time you are ready to jump off the Fremont Bridge because the weather is killing you, we have a marvelously sunny and clear day that gives the Sound it's perfect blue color and mountains in every direction.  It certainly makes it all worth it and reminds us why we embarked on this adventure in the first place.  On such a day, I snapped this picture on my way home from work:

Sure, it's not going to win any awards, but it was snapped from my car with my phone.  Gotta love it.

Speaking of the weather, it was cold, windy and rainy this morning.  Just biting cold.  It's now late afternoon and the clouds have disappeared, revealing a fabulous blue sky and yes, my beloved Olympics.  I think it's time we get out and enjoy it.

Love to all, and Go Bucks!