May 23, 2007

And we're off!

Dogs were dropped off this morning and their various boarding facilities, cats are fed and ready to see the pet sitter tomorrow, stuff is packed into way too many suitcases.

The house feels so empty without the dogs.

My father-in-law should be here in the next 15 minutes to drive us to the airport, where we'll be greeted by 80 degree temperatures and my family (in that order). All the wedding planning will come to a head on Sunday, and my sister and her new husband will be in Hawaii by Monday.

Blogging will be erratic for the next couple of weeks, as I leave for BEA just a day after returning from California.

Wish us luck!

Posted by Ensie at 04:01 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

May 21, 2007

The Tudors

Have you watched The Tudors yet? Because you should.

The Tudors

I happened across episode 7 of The Tudors on Saturday afternoon and found it amusing. Frinklin offered to sit down and watch the first episode (thanks to Comcast's On Demand feature) with me, and holy crap - we were hooked! We watched half the available episodes and didn't get to bed until almost 3 AM. Sunday afternoon saw us finishing off the nine On Demand shows and frantically searching for the 10th episode season finale (episode 8 just aired, and the 10th isn't yet scheduled).

It's not that the show is so overwhelmingly good, like some cable series; it's that the show is so awesomely trashy and sexy, it makes for excellent fun to watch. Take one-part history and one-part soap opera, throw in a dash of spicy sex and blend.

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is fantastic as a young, fiery King Henry VIII, demanding respect and obedience while bedding numerous women. Sam Neill is the slimy Cardinal Wolsey with his own ambitions. Jeremy Northam's Sir Thomas Moore as the picture of sanity and reasoning until the Lutherans start to piss him off (he's about to unleash some whup-ass in the form of burning people at the stake in the 10th episode). And I have to mention Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, played by super-molten-hot Henry Cavill, who rivals Henry for the number of women slept with.

There are also the excellent women in the cast; Natalie Dormer as (so far) terrible tease Anne Boleyn, Maria Doyle Kennedy as the sad and pious Queen Katherine, and Gabrielle Anwar as Princess Margaret (as a composite of Henry's two older sisters). There's a lot of heaving bosoms all around, and I like my bosoms to heave.

While The Tudors won't win any award for historical accuracy, it does provide an interesting look at young King Henry VIII's court. With several of the main characters already dead from various diseases and one beheading, I'm interested to see how long the story telling can be sustained without completely abandoning the historical time-line. The show has already been renewed, with the second season taking on Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn.

Posted by Ensie at 04:36 PM | Comments (63) | TrackBack

Lipizzaners at the Tacoma Dome

Frinklin and I attended the Lipizzaner performance at the Tacoma Dome on Friday night. I forgot the camera, so I have no photos, but can link to these great pix posted by ResQdog51 on flickr.

The performance was pretty good. I was disappointed that they didn't perform all of the Airs Above the Ground. The Courbette, which is my favorite, was not included. I'm sure it's an issue of what horses they have available to perform at certain shows, still, I was bummed.

I could have done without the cheesy announcer and his bad jokes, but overall I recommend the show to anyone who loves horses, and especially to those who are dressage enthusiasts.

Posted by Ensie at 11:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007


Found at so anyway...

What does this tell me? I watch a lot of TV. And not very good TV.

Bold all of the following TV shows which youíve ever seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime.
- Italicize a show if youíre positive youíve seen every episode of it.
- If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order).

7th Heaven
8 Simple Rules
Absolutely Fabulous
Aeon Flux
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
American Idol
Americaís Next Top Model
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Arrested Development
Babylon 5
Babylon 5: Crusade
Battlestar Galactica (old)
Battlestar Galactica (new)
Beavis & Butthead
Beauty and the Beast
Beverly Hills 90210
Bosom Buddies
Boston Public
Boy Meets World
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Caitlinís Way
Chappelleís Show
Charlieís Angels
Clarissa Explains It All
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
Crossing Jordan
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dancing with the Stars
Danny Phantom
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
Davinciís Inquest
Dawsonís Creek
Dead Like Me
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor Who (1963)
Doctor Who (2005)
Due South
Earth 2
Everybody Loves Raymond
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Facts of Life
Family Guy
Family Ties
Fantasy Island
Father Ted
Fawlty Towers
Felix the Cat
Flash Forward
Forever Knight
Freaks and Geeks
Get Smart
Gilliganís Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Green Wing
Greyís Anatomy
Growing Pains
Hannah Montana
Happy Days
Hart to Hart
Hoganís Heroes
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Instant Star
Invader Zim
Hellís Kitchen
John Doe
Just Shoot Me
Keen Eddie
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law & Order
Law & Order: SVU
Life With Derek
Little House on the Prairie
Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
Malcolm in the Middle
MarriedÖ With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
Monty Pythonís Flying Circus
Mork & Mindy
Murder, She Wrote
Murphy Brown
My Life as a Dog
My So-Called Life
My Super Sweet 16
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
Noah's Ark
North Shore
One Tree Hill
Perry Mason
Phil of the Future
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Project Runway
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (UK)
Red Dwarf
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
Salute Your Shorts
Saved by the Bell
Scarecrow and Mrs King
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
So Weird
South Park
Spongebob Squarepants
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek: Enterprise
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Teen Titans
That 70ís Show
Thatís So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Andy Griffith Show
The Apprentice
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Bionic Woman
The Brady Bunch
The Colbert Report
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Famous Jet Jackson
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls
The Honeymooners
The Invisible Man
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons
The L Word
The Love Boat
The Lucille Ball Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mighty Boosh
The Monkees
The Munsters
The Muppet Show
The Mythbusters
The O.C.
The Office (UK)
The Office (US)
The Pretender
The Real World
The Sentinel
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Tick (live action)
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Threeís Company
Top Chef
Top Gear
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Two and A Half Men
Ugly Betty
Veronica Mars
Welcome Back, Kotter
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace
Without a Trace
WKRP in Cincinnati
Work Out

Posted by Ensie at 03:59 PM | Comments (56) | TrackBack

May 17, 2007

Afrin Addiction

I'm still sick, just so you all know. This is the worst sinus infection I've ever had. I am taking a 2-in-one combination antibiotic and a prescription decongestant, but still feel bleh. My doctor even told me to use Afrin for more than the 3 recommended days if needed.

I hate using Afrin, having gone through an Afrin addiction that lasted several years. If you've ever used the stuff for too long, you can end up with a "rebound effect," where your nasal passages freak out and thwart all attempts to breathe when you stop the spray. Stopping cold turkey will give you worst sinus headache in the history of the world in addition to sealing your nasal passages shut anywhere from 12 hours to a week! This is an actual medical condition known as Rhinitis Medicamentosa.

It's pretty amazing the number of people who are, or who have been, addicted to Afrin. Some people have been addicted for more than 25 years!

The best way I found to get over the addiction is to mix saline spray with the Afrin, gradually increasing the amount of saline in the mixture until the mixture is essentially pure saline. You can continue to use the spray as often as needed, and you don't get the absolute misery that goes with quitting quickly. I believe I used Nostrate's kit to wean myself, leaving me free from my spray bottle after 30 days. They even offer a second kit free if you aren't free and clear with one. UPDATE 1/19/09: Nostrate is no longer available. Please see the bottom of this entry for Rhinostat information, which uses the same system to break the Afrin addiction.

I haven't used Afrin for 3 years, and currently I've been diluting it with saline spray in order to keep the concentration down. It seems to be working - my nasal passages aren't swollen and I only have to use a little bit of the stuff in the evenings. The rest of the day I'm blowing my nose constantly due to the infection (so pretty), but don't feel the need to use anything else.

I am prone to sinus problems, and the best thing I've found for daily use is the Neti Pot (hilarious demonstration video here). This was recommended by a pregnant friend who had a terrible cold but couldn't take any decongestants.

I had to send Frinklin into another room for the first few times I used the Neti Pot, as the process would make us laugh hysterically. But I became a believer after a couple of uses. It does take a few tries to find the right angle, but is quick and painless. Frinklin eventually started using the pot, and my 16 year-old brother is also a convert (if you thought Frinklin and I laughed, just try showing it to a teenage boy!). I've tried to get my Mom to try it, but she is completely freaked out by the whole idea. Your loss, Mom.

This is such a weird thing to be addicted to, and it might sound stupid if you've never been through it, but trust me - it's intense.

UPDATE 1/19/09: It appears that the nostrate website is no longer available. There is another website which offers the same general treatment system, and it's even something you can get free if your doctor orders it. If you want to order it yourself the kit is $35 plus shipping. It sounds expensive, but if you add up what you are paying for Afrin each month, it's really quite a deal! Good luck!

Posted by Ensie at 02:18 PM | Comments (985) | TrackBack

Thursday Thirteen #6


Thirteen Things about ENSIE

THIRTEEN THINGS BEFORE MY SISTER'S WEDDING (which is coming up far sooner than I expected)

1. Find pet sitter to feed five cats and one old, angry cockatiel (Check!)
2. Copy keys for above pet sitter
3. Find a kennel and reserve three spaces (Check!)
4. Take three of the four dogs (all at the same time) to the vet to update shots (Check!)
5. Find someplace to board The Jeffrey, since I don't trust him with strangers (Check!)
6. Buy plane tickets (Whoops - slipped my mind!)
7. Get (ugh) Matron of Honor dress altered (Check!)
8. Find shoes that go with (ugh) Matron of Honor dress (Check! Just kidding. It's actually these, in silver)
9. Write up instructions for kennel and pet sitter for menagerie
10. Pedicure
11. Find someone to fill in for me at work (since I don't have a team Bueller?)
12. Buy 10 tons of pet food to supply various animals through our absence
13. Fall down from exhaustion (Check!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. Itís easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Posted by Ensie at 01:22 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

May 14, 2007


I currently have a bad cold, or a terrible sinus infection (yum!). I've been in bed for several days, but hope to be alive again soon.

UPDATE: It is a nasty sinus infection, confirmed by the doctor this morning. Hello antibiotics!

Posted by Ensie at 06:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 11, 2007

The Hollywood Librarian

After spending time in the company of librarians at the American Library Association Mid-Winter Meeting in January, I've developed a bit of a crush on librarians. I wish I had thought more about this profession when I was in school. In the meantime, if you share a love for librarians and libraries, The Hollywood Librarian is scheduled for release this summer (debuting at the ALA Convention in Washington D.C. this June).

Check out the trailer:

Found at Dykes to Watch Out For.

Posted by Ensie at 07:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Wedding Planning

I am going to kill my sister. Or someone closer if I canít hold out until the end of May.

Sheís the one having the big wedding on Memorial Day weekend and causing me to lose my mind because of all the stress. Do you think she cares? No, she does not.*

I was nice and eloped for my wedding. I didnít even ask her to watch our dogs while we were in Vegas, because we didnít go to Vegas. We went to the JOP.

But now there is the dress** (and all the accoutrements), the plane tickets (which have not yet been purchased), the finding of a pet sitter to care for the cats (and one long-suffering Cockatiel), and the boarding of the four dogs at two different locations. Add to this one mortgage refinance to finance all this stuff that is taking for-fucking-ever to complete.

In the meantime, our water heater started making a weird, high-pitched noise that my dad thought was a potential pin-hole leak and Frinklinís dad thought might be caused by having the water temperature set too high. We wracked our brains for two days trying to find the source of the sound, all the while trying not to claw each otherís eyes out because a constant high-pitched beeping/whining/whistling noise is EXACTLY THE RIGHT SOUND TO DRIVE ONE INTO TOTAL INSANITY. Thank God I was out of the house yesterday for work and Frinklin was upstairs, otherwise the carnage could have been terrible.

We finally broke down and called a professional in (Stop freakiní - call Beacon! Ė thatís a little something for the Washington crowd). The expert diagnosis rendered us sane within a matter of moments:

(click to enlarge)

Water Heather Problem Small.jpg

Best. Homeowners. Ever. And it only cost $50! The nice plumber was kind enough to leave us custody of the house, even though we obviously donít possess the mental capacity to care for it properly.

Now I have to go buy some cat food, because thatís what I do every week Ė buy lots of expensive, organic, homeopathic pet food. And then I have to clean my house like a fiend to try to make it presentable for the appraiser. And call the pet sitters again. And try to find a descent kennel that still has opening for Memorial Day weekend. And take all the dogs to the vet to update their shots and get fecal exams at least 7 days in advance. And pick up my dress at Nordstroms. And fax new documents to the mortgage broker (because the original ones I sent are too old, because itís taking a really, really, really f-ing long time for the refi to close. Have I mentioned that?).

Oh, and I should really get on those $400 plane tickets. And I was silly enough to think that my parents would be the only ones going broke paying for this!

*Iím totally kidding and I love my sister with all my shrivled heart.

**Although she knows Iím hating the whole Matron of Honor dress wearing thing.

Posted by Ensie at 09:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 08, 2007

Words Fail Me

"He doesn't actually talk on the phone...."

Posted by Ensie at 09:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 06, 2007

Busy Saturday

Normal Saturday errands involve a trip to Comic Book Ink, Target, and Mud Bay.

Yesterday was not a normal Saturday.

Started off the morning with a trip to Comic Book Ink and Atomic Comics for Free Comic Book Day. Then headed to the Tacoma Mall with my Matron (ugh) of Honor dress for my sister's wedding. I've been putting off getting it altered because I didn't have the right shoes or (ahem) undergarments, and you've got to have it all together before measuring for any changes.

Thanks to Lane Bryant (and the BRA6) and Macy's for shoes - I was able to get to Nordstrom today to drop off the dress. It should be ready in a week and only cost $16. Granted, I only need to have the shoulder straps shortened, but it's still a great deal! The bridal shop in Southern California where the dress was purchased estimated $135 for alterations. Yay Nordstrom!

I'll have to post a picture of the dress when I get it back. I was terrified it wouldn't fit or be horrendously ugly in the cranberry color, but it looks great!

After finishing up at the mall we did hit Target for our usual - needing three things and coming out with 20. Then after a brief stop at Lowes (they don't carry the brand of paint we needed), went across the street to Home Depot, where we found the much needed paint to touch up the spots where Perdi has chewed! the !! baseboards!!! (as well as one of the windowsills and the bottom of the built-in dresser!).

Chewed.gif Chewed 5.gif Chewed 4.gif

Seeing all the flowers at Home Depot inspired me to plant something in the window boxes on our house that have remained empty for almost two years. I wanted to try out the city's Tagro potting soil and buy local if possible, so we dove over to Gardensphere (under construction website here) in Proctor to pick up the supplies.

I highly recommend Gardensphere if you haven't been - the employee who assisted us was extremely helpful, and showed us exactly what we wanted when described. The Tagro was cheap ($4.95 for a good sized bag) and we even found a gorgeous hanging basket in addition to the window box marigolds.

Hanging Basket.gif

Finally heading for home about 5:30, we found some crazy dogs waiting for us. Frinklin took Perdi to the French Lake Dog Park to blow off some crazy, and a little over an hour later returned home to find:

Marigolds Window Box.gif

Topped off the evening with the movie Spider-Man 3, which is getting terrible reviews, but I liked (finally get to see Peter be a little bad, in a goofy, Sam Raimi kind of way, and there is the ever-present Bruce Campbell cameo).

Fell into bed about 1 A.M. - feeling exhausted, but good.

Lots of plans for Sunday as well, but so far haven't managed to get out of pajamas.

UPDATE: Shane, the owner of Atomic Comics, just called to tell me that I won one of their drawings. Two free trade paperbacks! Sweet! One for Frinklin and one for me. Now I just have to narrow it down...

Posted by Ensie at 01:02 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

Sheldon is Awesome

If you don't know about this great comic, especially if you're a comic book reader, you need to check it out:


Posted by Ensie at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Free Comic Book Day

In addition to visiting our friends at Comic Book Ink, today is a good day to check out some other South Sound comic book shops:

Atomic Comics in Tacoma
4020 S. Steele St.
Tacoma, WA 98409
(between Borders and Wendy's)

Spy Comics and Books in Federal Way
1500 South 336th Street
Suite 12-A
Federal Way, Washington 98003

Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey
4129 Pacific Ave
Lacey, WA 98503
(360) 459-7721

Posted by Ensie at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2007

Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I loved this book! It was great from beginning to end. The author's search for meaning and God in her life is admirable, and a true example of money not equaling happiness.

I've noticed a lot of people knocking Gilbert for "whining" about her publisher's book advance that paid for her travel. I think those people are missing the point, or at least skipped the moment where she loses everything in a messy divorce before regaining her independence through hard work (and she does work very hard) and discipline.

While the pace of Eat, Pray, Love does slow toward the end of the second part (India), you can almost feel Gilbert's own mind, body, and spirit finding a more comfortable home. Instead of being panicky and worried all the time, things start to fall into place, and life takes on a less frantic velocity.

Funny and touching - a very enjoyable read that I didn't want to end.

Posted by Ensie at 08:41 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

Let me Second the Announcement

The Gin Blossoms are coming!

I freakin' LOVED this band when I was 17. I was working as a camp counselor that summer and would listen to them constantly on my drives home. My first concert I went to sans parents was the Spin Doctors (I know), opening acts Cracker and the Gin Blossoms.

So many good concerts (hello, Indigo Girls!) and events (What is this, cake? I've never had cake before...) coming little time (and money!).

Posted by Ensie at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5


Thirteen Things about ENSIE

THIRTEEN THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO AT BEA (in honor of the previous post)

1. Being in New York - I've never been!
2. Alison Bechdel author signing
3. Jennifer Weiner author signing
4. Graphic Novel Buzz
5. Being in New York.
6. Saturday Book and Author breakfast featuring Ken Burns, Stephen Colbert master of ceremonies.
7. The five bazillion free books and galleys I'll come home with.
8. The New Title Showcase
9. The Cookbook Expo. Seriously. I need some new cookbooks.
10. Being in New York (have I mentioned this?)
11. The ginormous exhibit hall
12. Seeing Nancy Pearl speak
13. Oh, and, uh, working (since Bob's Hogs is sending me and all...)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Marcia

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. Itís easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Posted by Ensie at 08:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I'm going!!

The Boss Lady called today to tell me.

Which is cool, because as of last week, I wasn't going. The idea had been floated six or eight months ago, but in the end my position wasn't budgeted in. That's still true, but the Boss Lady made special arrangements for me.

Not to brag (OK - totally to brag) she said, "I think you deserved it with your performance over the last year, and I know you will put it to good use."

Now I just have to schedule it all in, as my sister Katie's wedding is the Sunday before - all happening in less than a month!

And I'm going to have to find a place for all my galleys and free books! Woohoo!

Posted by Ensie at 04:11 PM | Comments (112) | TrackBack