Insomnia and archival-grade photo paper

Last Monday night was somewhat weird and psychedelic for Mike and me.  I went to bed promptly at 10pm with thoughts of getting up early and going running.  And I couldn’t sleep.  I really couldn’t.  I tossed and turned until Mike came to bed close to midnight.

“I can’t sleep,” I informed him.

“Yeah, I’m not tired either,” he said.  We talked for awhile and then tried to fall asleep.  Neither of us had any luck and at 1:15am we were both still awake.  Since nothing was happening in the sleep department I threw off the covers, got my workout clothes on, and went downstairs to the workout room and ran on the treadmill for an hour.  Mike suggested I do Wii Zumba instead, but I figured the sure way to make sure Mike really got no sleep was to play African music loud enough to dance to.  So the treadmill it was.  It was a little weird being in the workout room all by myself in the middle of the night, but I learned a couple of really useful things.  1) The heat to the workout room turns off at night (at midnight maybe?) so the workout room gets nice and cool… perfect for when you’re running.  I think they have the heat set in that workout room too high… half the time when I go in there after work the heater is blowing from the ceiling right down on my head.  Hardly what you want when you’re already sweating like crazy.  So running after the heat had turned off was definitely a nice surprise.  2)  There are apparently no second shift workers who are fitness nuts living in the apartment building, because I literally didn’t see a soul from the time I left our apartment until the time I returned an hour later.  3)  Running at night when I can’t sleep helps reset my body.  When I got back to the apartment I took a quick shower, hopped back into bed next to an almost-asleep Mike and a very-asleep Piper, and fell asleep almost instantly.

Mondays are interesting.  I feel like they’re difficult at work for both Mike and me.  Somehow our entire brain capacity gets used up during the workday on Monday and we come home pretty tired.  Great example: yesterday was a Monday.  I came home from work and attempted to make hard-boiled eggs.  Making hard-boiled eggs is literally one of the easiest things possible to make in the kitchen.  It’s basically akin to boiling water.  Actually, it’s literally akin to boiling water.  I put the eggs in a big pot filled with water, bring it to a boil, remove it from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes, and then put the eggs in cold water.  Easy.  A couple nights ago when making eggs, however, once the water came to a boil, rather than letting the pot sit for 15 minutes with the hot water in it, I prompted dumped all the hot water out of the pot and proceeded to submerse the eggs in frigid water.  Then I returned to my computer with the vague feeling that something didn’t seem right.  Two minutes later, my brainpower apparently returned, and I realized I hadn’t actually let the eggs cook in the hot water for 15 minutes.  I tried to remedy my mistake, thinking that if I got them in hot water again maybe I could cook them in that.  In my efforts to avoid overcooking them (since they’d already been heated to boiling once), I ended up undercooking them and ended up with soft-boiled eggs in the shell.  Which are pretty disgusting, actually, since when you break the shell open, half-cooked egg yolk may splatter around you.  Fortunately I remedied the problem by carefully preparing new hard-boiled eggs tonight which turned out perfectly.  🙂

Another great example of absent-mindedness brought on by a combination of a tired brain and an over-reliance on modern technology: a couple nights ago I was lost in thought while using my electric toothbrush.  It stays on for two minutes, buzzing briefly every 30 seconds to prompt you to move to the next quadrant of your mouth.  I must not have been paying attention because I missed one of the buzzes and the toothbrush shut off with me having brushed only three quadrants of my mouth.  I was left staring stupidly at the toothbrush wondering what to do with the last quadrant of my mouth.  And trying unsuccessfully to remember which of the quadrants of my mouth got brushed twice.

Since I brought up cooking (although hard-boiled eggs barely qualify), I have made a couple dishes for Mike recently.  The most recent one was a simple baked chicken recipe with a soy/garlic/lime marinade.  I doubled all of the sauce ingredients (except for the soy sauce) and I served it over rice.  Mike said it was good but it needed vegetables, so the following night I sautéed up some diced onions and red peppers and mixed those in with the already-cooked chicken and sauce.  The original may not have had vegetables, but the leftovers did!  🙂

Lately I have re-discovered raw veggies and hummus.  I hadn’t had that in a long time, but to crave veggies and hummus you have to have really good hummus.  And I just found one!  If you like greek olives, this is definitely the hummus to try… it’s delicious!  Speaking of delicious, Mike

Mike has been busy the past week or so with a home project consisting of getting our TV wired up to the internet.  We were already connected to the internet, but it was via wireless and we were seeing latency and connection drops because of that.  Mike checked out the patch panel in our front closet, used a network analyzer to determine which connection in the patch panel was hooked up to the ethernet jack by the television, found appropriate cable… and the next thing I knew our TV was wired into the router without a big ugly cord stretching all the way from the TV to the router.  Awesome!  🙂  I don’t all of the steps that went into making that happen but there were multiple times where I had to step over/around black cables strewn around the apartment which were ultimately connected to some digital measuring instrument or another and multiple times during which Mike was completely unavailable because of his focus on googling various electrical and network protocol things.

Piper took the chair which is why Mike is standing...

Piper took the chair which is why Mike is standing…

Piper has been loving her new laser pointer lately.  Almost every night she wants either Mike or me to play laser pointer with her.  She gets so excited that her head twitches madly when we get it out.  She’s also discovered that she likes the bookcase.

Interestingly, she's right next to a cat figurine...

Interestingly, she’s right next to a cat figurine.  And sitting on top of the mate of the candle on the left.

Usually on Fridays Mike and I are ready to just relax, but last Friday we decided to go out to a Moroccan-themed restaurant which served food prepared in a French tradition.  The restaurant was named Hunger, and the food was amazing!  Both Mike and I went for seafood entrees since apparently Morocco, being surrounded by the sea, has a history of a lot of seafood dishes.  I went with a salad with unique olives, sundried tomatoes, and very lightly smoked salmon.  Mike went all out and got seafood paella which included mussels, shrimp, and tuna in a risotto-like rice mixture.  It was all very good.  For dessert we got a scoop of homemade mint ice cream and shared it.  It totally tasted just like a fresh sprig of mint!  Very good.  Our waiter was excellent… very knowledgeable about all of the cuisine and very helpful without coming across as overbearing.  The atmosphere was amazing as well… light music playing in the background, high dark wooden ceilings, and a saying by George Eliot painted in quaint script spanning three of the ceiling beams: There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.  Presumably the restaurant was named for the quote?  It was a very pleasant and relaxing experience… I’m sure we’ll be back!

I know this picture is fuzzy... I keep thinking about a new phone with a better camera!

I know this picture is fuzzy… I keep thinking about a new phone with a better camera!

This weekend, after a months-long concentrated effort on Mike’s part, we finally got a framed picture from our wedding hung on the wall.  Mike started by going through the digitized version of the film negative, carefully removing any impurities he found due to the film.  Then he took it to Moon Photo, a hard-core picture-printing shop in the Greenwood area of Seattle.  The guy there printed out the photo on archival grade photo paper (which basically means that the picture will last longer than either Mike or me).  Then Mike and I went to a framing store near our house and picked out a frame and black matting for the picture.  Then we had the store frame it.  Then when it was ready to be picked up, we chose a spot on the wall for it, and Mike hung it up.  Crazy how much work went into that!  But it looks nice, which was what we were after, and it’s only a 5″x7″ and hung in the entry hall so it doesn’t look too prominent in our apartment.  The last thing you want people seeing when they enter your house is a giant framed photograph of yourselves.  I’m not entirely sure what kind of impression that conveys, but I’m pretty confident it’s not an impression I want to convey.

In other news, Mike and I are buying a limited membership to the Seattle symphony this year… I’m excited to hear some concerts… the couple of times we’ve gone the music has been just beautiful!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week so far!  🙂

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2 Comments

Filed under Apartments, Cats, Cooking, Food

2 responses to “Insomnia and archival-grade photo paper

  1. Nate Danenberg

    I have found Mondays good for only two things at work: reviewing what went wrong over the weekend, and planning the repairs for Tuesday.

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