Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I am so impressed with how everything is run in Seattle. In the last few days the Seattle Times reported a garbage strike by the Teamsters. I was bracing myself for garbage not being picked up for weeks, maybe months. I have no knowledge of how everything was handled or what happened except for one article talking about fines but I haven't had any interruption in garbage service. Everything is proceeding without any problems. What is so amazing to me is that it isn't that problems don't come up or that it is easy to manage Seattle. What is amazing is how well the problems are handled and managed as they do come up. I think this says a great deal about Mayor McGinn of Seattle. He handles difficult problems as they come up quickly and with great success. Seattle is a great place to live and work and thrive. I am grateful to be living in Seattle and in King County. Everything is here that anyone could want and I feel safe here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Buy

At the first of the week, I decided to learn about making DVD's so I went across the street to Best Buy to ask questions. I bought some DVD's and cases. I asked about video editing software. My problem with the video on my camera is that it was shot [in Microsoft Word lingo--portrait instead of landscape] at a different angle and I needed to turn it. Everyone was so nice and I'm grateful for the help. I went back and there was a customer in the store who overheard my conversation about needing to turn the video. I had brought my camera into the store thinking it was an easy fix. He told me about Windows Live Movie Maker which is a free download and can do these kinds of edits. He was wonderful! I had the best experience at Best Buy. The girl waiting on me was obviously a techie and great at her job too. Best Buy is a great place. It is the go-to place for answers and technology. Nerds gather at Best Buy. I love it! I'm going to go there more for answers and to buy my stuff.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

zumbamarco on YouTube

Marco is my favorite Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate in Seattle. He's a gifted dancer and his classes are always crowded. I can hardly wait to buy a DVD. There are six videos posted so far. All are outstanding. Marco is the reason I love Zumba. He makes it fun so you want to keep coming back. I wish he taught classes every day.

Brooks Running Shoes

I went to Finish Line in the Northgate Mall in Seattle and purchased a pair of Brooks running shoes--red and black adrenaline GTS. I will never buy another brand of running or cross fit shoes. These shoes fit my foot as if they were made specially for my feet. I have a hard time finding shoes and I don't want my feet to hurt so I'm picky about my shoes. I want a well made shoe with support. I want my feet to be cushioned. These shoes are perfect. My ankles don't slip. It is a perfect fit for my feet. Everything about this shoe is perfect. I'm so glad I walked in the door and asked for Brooks. And the Brooks socks that I got are specially designed not to slip down in your shoe when you are walking. A perfect pair of shoes and a perfect pair of socks. I'm spoiled. In a perfect world I would be healthy and fit, live a long time, run a couple of marathons every year, and be sponsored by Brooks.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Biggest Loser

I submitted my application and videos to Biggest Loser Season 14 today. I'm really excited and hope I get picked. It is an amazing opportunity to learn how to get healthy and lose weight. I've been staying the same weight for years now, in spite of eating healthy and exercising. I need help. I want to live a healthy, long life. Kayleen, the manager of 24 Hour Fitness Northgate got permission from media to video 4 minutes of me doing a Body Pump weights class and 4 minutes of Zumba. It was so kind and nice of her to help me. I'm very grateful for her help. I hope that I get picked. A couple of years ago I waited for 11 hours in line to audition for Biggest Loser. I didn't get picked but it was fun to see what it was like to go through the process with everyone else standing in line who were hopeful. Since I am 64, I figured it was important to submit videos showing that I can move and that I will try hard, if selected. It would be a dream come true and it would save my life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Submission

The Seattle Public Library Northgate branch book club met last night to discuss THE SUBMISSION by Amy Waldman. It is an intelligent book that skillfully deals with timeless issues of prejudice, conforming to pressures of a group, and the right of an individual to take credit for the intellectual property or design he creates. From the first few pages, I saw that this book deals with the gifted and talented individual who is asked to conform, compromise, to blend in, rather than to be himself. It reminded me of THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand and I am now in the middle of rereading this book by Ayn Rand. Both are about architects who are asked to conform, blend in. They are both asked to modify their brilliant designs. Khan in Waldman's book was asked to let someone else take the credit for his design or to withdraw. Howard Roark in Rand's book was asked to add classical design ideas to his modernistic design so as not to threaten the architectural community. Only recently did the U.S. Supreme Court rule that the inventor has the right to profit from his invention. Before this time when an individual at a university or research facility invented something original, the intellectual property rights belonged to the institution for whom he worked. Khan in Amy Waldman's book felt he was being erased when he was asked to allow someone else to take credit for his submission or withdraw. This is a powerful book that should be read along side THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand.

Monday, July 16, 2012


My first priority right now is my health, which means to exercise every day, eat healthy, and to study fitness and health. This is the most important thing since I don't have a safety net. I don't have health insurance. I've been encouraged to volunteer right now but I've done enough volunteer work to last a couple of lifetimes and it was never appreciated. I must think about myself right now. No one else is going to help. I lived for six months without plumbing in my house in Alsea. I tried so hard to get someone to help and no one cared. Every fix seemed to make it worse but people were sure there to take money. Enough of Alsea. I don't care if I ever see Oregon again. There were no opportunities for me there and I'm not seeking them now. I'm starting over and I'm happy in Seattle. I love it here. I love the weather. I love living where lots of people from all over the world live in peace. I love living close to everything. I love living across from shopping. I love being able to go to the zoo and the art museum and the science center. I love it that I got to go to the symphony on an afternoon. I am healing. I am figuring out what comes next. I don't have close friends but right now I am very busy. I'm grateful to live where it is safe. It is really odd that I live in a major city and I feel safer than when I lived in Alsea or Gates or Salem, Oregon. Seattle feels safer than Corvallis. Seattle does a great job of taking care of whatever happens. I'm grateful to be here. I applaud all that goes on to keep everyone safe behind the scenes. I'm happy and I have the freedom to make choices of how to spend my time. I have been reading a lot of books the last week. I can learn from Writers Digest Tutorials. When I have been here a year, I can go to the University of Washington and take two classes a quarter free! How amazing is that! I can play mah jongg, learn about bridge, or go have coffee at Starbucks. Seattle is a great city. I love it here and I'm grateful to be starting over here. My second priority is to work on my writing every day and to read every day. I need to get projects edited and submitted. I've published lots of articles. I completed National Novel Writing Month twice and Script Frenzy once. I have finished four novel length manuscripts and two screenplays but they need more work. Maybe I should just start new. I wish I had an editor to work with but it must be perfect before you submit. A manuscript must be perfect before you submit to an agent too. I've been writing mysteries and mainstream fiction. Maybe someday I will try my hand at romance and women's fiction. I haven't been always writing every day. Last night I wrote a poem. Anyway........I need to get myself organized and schedule writing every day. I know I want to participate in National Novel Writing Month again and Script Frenzy. It's inspiring to be part of the process and fun to see what develops in your writing. I'm grateful that I have the choices to be able to do this. [There are no paragraphs and line breaks because I can't figure out how to do it with this new format.] I guess short, one subject paragraphs are best.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I'm half Swedish. I would love to visit Sweden. I frequently write to four cousins in Sweden. One lives in Stockholm and teaches English at a university. I am proud of being Swedish. I love everything about Sweden. I think it is wonderful that Sweden gets along in the world. They have health care for everyone and they have a high standard of living. In the book, THRIVE: FINDING HAPPINESS THE BLUE ZONES WAY, by Dan Buettner, Sweden is listed as one of the top ten happiest places in the world to live. All Scandinavian countries are listed in the top ten along with Canada. I won't have health care until 2014 in the U.S., if I moved to Sweden or Canada, I'd immediately have health care because people are valued. The last three years of my husband's life, he started making plans to move to Germany since he was a duel citizen. He wanted to move because of health care. If he had lived, I might be living in Germany right now, which isn't that far from Sweden.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Olympic Athletic Club

I'm a member of Olympic Athletic Club in Ballard, the Scandinavian area of Seattle. I'm half Swedish and I love Ballard. I would like to live there but I can't afford it. I joined OAC at the end of December when I moved here. It's a Fit Life Gym, which means that when you travel throughout Oregon and Washington, you can go to the other Fit Life Gyms free. I haven't been to the OAC since January because I go to 24 Hour Fitness Northgate almost every day and it seems far to go to Ballard. I was told to park at the far parking lot near the water near an abandoned restaurant. OAC is crowded and they are building a new part. I got to thinking that if I were making the decisions, I would build a whole new four story two block long athletic club next to the water. The space is just sitting there doing nothing. My gym would have glass walls next to the water so you can see out on all four floors. On the first floor would be an Olympic size swimming pool. Four laps would be saved for hydrofit and deep water running classes at all times, 8 to 12 lanes for lap swimming. On the side saved for hydrofit and deep water running, I would put a giant flat screen television for those who get bored running in the water. There would be also music piped in at other times when classes aren't in session. There would be four to six large classrooms and there would be classes running every hour in each classroom with Zumba, Body Pump, standing abs, Tai Chi, and lots of other choices. There would be tennis and racketball. There would be a large basketball size court for indoor roller skating. I would go to skates.com and buy the quad skates I've been looking at with the purple wheels. It would be a gorgeous facility and people would come from all over to exercise there. The top floor would be the poof floor for spa treatments, hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas overlooking the water. There would also be a restaurant, juice bar, and a salad bar. It would be beautiful. I called and asked for a refund since I'm not using my membership. I think I paid $680 for a year. Next year I would only have to pay $40 a month. I was told there is a no refund policy, which I don't think is nice so I am giving my membership to my son, Ben.

Body Pump

I went to body pump this morning at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. Shannon was the instructor. She's great! She's been off for awhile having a baby. I haven't had her before so she's new to me. She's nice, high energy, enthusiastic, fun, and great at getting everyone in the room to reach higher. I'm going to enjoy taking her classes. She should teach more classes. As I look at the schedule, I see there is only 1 body pump class on Saturday, none on Friday and Sunday, and only 1 on Wednesday so there is lots of room for more classes in the schedule and more instructors. If I could decide, I would take over the floor above and build large classrooms. I would run at least three classrooms with classes from morning to night, one right after another. There would be several body pump classes every day, every two hours, and several zumba classes a day, every two hours. There should be Zumba Gold classes, aqua Zumba, and Zumba Sculpt. Zumba and Body Pump classes are bringing people in to 24 Hour Fitness. There should be more and the rooms should be much bigger. It is so crowded in body pump that people have to set up in every corner of the room, even next to the equipment. While we are at it, let's build a large olympic size pool with a large deep end. 24 Hour Fitness is a proud sponsor of the Olympics so we need a huge pool too for hydrofit and deep water running. As we dream on, let's add racketball, tennis, handball. Let's also add another basketball court, only use it for indoor roller skating. Then I will go to skates.com and buy my quad skates with purple wheels! Oh, the fun we could have..............There should also be Tai Chi and an hour long standing abs class. Years ago, I think 1999 or 1998 when I was a member of 24 Hour Fitness in Salem, Oregon, there was a great standing abs class. It was great and everyone loved it. I think there should be a standing abs class in every gym. Not everyone likes to get on the floor and twist all up and not everything thinks it's fun to do sit ups. There would a lot of people that would vote for standing abs for an hour class, at least 30 minutes.

The Planetary Report

I received the Planetary Report yesterday from the Planetary Society. One of the best parts about the Planetary Society is that Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is the CEO. He's the best science educator around. On page 5, he talks about the Mars landing coming up soon and Planetfest 2012 in Pasadena. He mentions the death of Ray Bradbury, one of the best SF writers and members. In the center of this issue is a great section for kids with instructions on building a MarsDial. The Atlantic Crossing Total Eclipse 2013 voyage sounds fabulous which follows the historic path of Columbus across the Atlantic. On pages 12 Deimos and Phobos, moons of Mars are discussed with a "did you know that..." series of facts like "deimos seems to be covered in dust," and "Phobos is slowly moving towards Mars and probably will crash into it in about 10 million years." For reports on the expedition to the end of the earth to observe the aurora borealis and more, subscribe today and become a member of the Planetary Society founded by Carl Sagan. The Planetary Society, 85 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105-1602. USA. 626-793-5100. www.planetary.org. e-mail: tps@planetary.org

Friday, July 13, 2012

Phos in Northgate Seattle

I love eating at Phos and when I eat out in my neighborhood, I usually go to Phos. Phos is healthy Vietnamese cuisine. It is located right in back of 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. The food is fresh, healthy, and makes me feel like I have made a great choice when I eat there. I usually order #16 or #19. I need to branch out and try other items on the menu. The price is reasonable for all the healthy food. I enjoy the green tea at my meal. I could eat there every day. I usually eat there at least twice a month.

Woodland Park Zoo

I am a member of the Woodland Park Zoo. I paid for my membership on Easter Sunday when I went to the Easter Egg hunt with my family to see my granddaughters have fun. I love visiting the zoo and need to visit more often. When my husband I have traveled to different parts of the country and the world, we always visited the zoo. I visited the zoos in London, Beijing, and Chicago. Zoos protect animals where habitats are threatened and are the front line in helping protect them. It is a great gift to be able to see exotic and rare animals in a zoo up close to observe and marvel. A yearly membership is important to me and is one way I have of helping animals around the world who are threatened. It's important to support the zoo. A couple of months ago, I visited the zoo in Columbus, Ohio when I went to visit my youngest son, Daniel. My favorite animals in the zoo are the large cats, especially the Siberian tigers. All these gorgeous animals need to be protected around the world.

Ban on plastic bags in Seattle

I hear constant grumbling about the plastic bag ban here in Seattle and that it is too much to expect customers to bring bags or pay the 5 cents to pay for a paper bag that can be recycled. It isn't too much to pay 5 cents. Businesses could easily pad prices and not say a thing about this cost. I appreciate and admire the leadership in Seattle of leading the way to stop the use of plastic bags and hope it extends to the rest of the world. The plastics industry pollute our water, air, and environment and all you have to do is watch a video of a bird choking on a plastic bag to understand why this is needed.

Seattle Art Museum

I have a membership to the Seattle Art Museum and I visit often, about twice a month. The art inspires me, fills my soul, makes me happy. I visited yesterday. Right now there is the Australian Aboriginal Art collection on exhibit. I find it fascinating and inspiring. It makes me want to paint using these techniques of the dots, lines, and curves to paint the solar system, star systems, and galaxies. I can hardly wait for the Rembrandt and Van Dyck exhibit coming in February of 2013.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I really like eating at Phos. The last two times I have had lunch with my son, Ben, we went to Phos. The Vietnamese cuisine is inexpensive, healthy and fresh food that I enjoy. The address is 1414 2nd AVenue in downtown Seattle, close to the Seattle Art Museum building. It's a great place to eat.


I love Starbucks. I used to love riding on the train coming into Seattle to visit my son and see the Starbucks building. I believe in the mission statement of Starbucks and I admire the CEO. I recently bought another Starbucks card. Since I was going downtown today to have lunch with my son, I decided to register it. I met my son in the Starbucks in the lobby of Russell Investments. It's a beautiful building and a nice Starbucks. I sat outside. I ordered a brewed coffee and a small cup of ice. I was offered a sample of one of the new natural energy drinks made with green coffee extract and real fruit. I picked a lime refresher and it was delicious and refreshing. I know that I will enjoy this great low calorie choice this summer. Thank you, Starbucks. You're great!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zumba with Neil

I just came back from taking a second Zumba class today at 24 Hour Fitness. I couldn't stay for the whole hour but sweat was pouring off my face and dropping on the floor so I had a great workout in 40 minutes. I am glad Neil is back. I've been told he is an international flight attendant. Wow, what fun! I bet he has Zumba gigs all over the world where he stops at large resorts. That's the way to live. He's very charismatic and great at Zumba. I hope he teaches often.

Zumba with Marco

I just came back from an hour of Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. Marco Antonio Contreras is the instructor on Wednesday. I admire Marco. I admire him as a gifted dancer and as a person. He brings people together and shares his love of dance. I'm grateful to be in his class to learn from him. Zumba is pure fun. Marco is the BEST Zumba instructor I have ever seen. His dance and choreography is flawless and fluid. He blends Zumba moves with his own original choreography and it's great. A couple of months ago, I purchased the new set of Zumba DVD's and I watched a couple. Marco's choreography is better. I will be first in line to buy one of his.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Les Mills Body Pump

I went to Body Pump at 5:30 p.m. at 24 Hour Fitness. I really enjoy this class. I know it is making a difference. This is a class using a barbell with different weights doing squats, lunges, and lifts. Usually I go to the classes in the morning but today, I tried this one and I'm glad I did. The instructor was someone I hadn't had before and he was great. His name is Elbert. I don't see him on the schedule anymore this week for Body Pump. I hope he teaches more classes. If I were to bet, I would say he's a fraternity guy and has been in the Greek system at a university from the way he was talking. He obviously has lots of friends and is great around people. My youngest son was President of Sigma Pi and he's also great around people. I made it through 55 minutes of class. We started 5 minutes late and worked out until the next class came through the door. In looking at the schedule, I don't see any Body Pump classes at all on Fridays and Sundays or Wednesday mornings so there is plenty of room on the schedule for more instructors and more classes. I hope to take more classes by Elbert because he's great! High energy, enthusiastic, and fun.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Seattle Bridge Club

When I first moved to Seattle, I created a notebook. I searched for things that I wanted to find here. One of the things I wanted to find was bridge. I've never played bridge or been around it but I knew it would be fun. One day when I was shopping at the Dollar Tree on 15th, north of Northgate by QFC, I saw the Seattle Bridge Club with plenty of small tables and chairs. It looked like a great place to me and I wanted to find out all about it so I called up and asked. On Monday nights, Nick Tipton teaches beginning bridge lessons starting at 7 p.m. He's a great teacher, brilliant, and a nice person. I'm finding out that bridge has so many layers and takes effort to learn. In order to "get it" I need to read about it, spend time playing, and take lessons. Those who are great at bridge participate in tournaments around the country and the world. Sounds great to me and a lot of intellectual, challenging fun. I don't have a beginning group to play with. I haven't been diligent about reading about bridge. I find that in order to start playing, you have to have a certain level of knowledge and need to be accountable to everyone at the table, especially your partner. The people in the class all seem very nice, potential friends. I'm not giving up. I must try harder to learn and spend more time reading about it. I hope that I find a group to play with every week. I wanted my son, Ben, to be my partner because he's a card counter and so smart but he turned me down. He doesn't have time. Maybe eventually, I'll be playing and confident in my skills to play.


I've discovered a new show on television--Suits on the USA Network. It's my new favorite show. It's an amazing new series set in Manhattan in a large law firm starring Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams. My favorite character is a young attorney named Mike. He's brilliant with a conscience.

Writers Digest Tutorials

I've been having fun watching Writers Digest Tutorials. It's one of the best investments I have made. Since June 23rd, I've watched 14 of them. Most of them last over an hour. I've been able to spend 1 hour and 24 minutes with Cheryl Klein, the executive editor of Arthur Levine Books who worked with J.K. Rowling and edited the Harry Potter series. How amazing is that! Her tutorial is HOW TO PLOT AND STRUCTURE YOUR NOVEL. I've watched it twice. Last night I watched Scott Eagan an agent that represents Greyhaus Literary Agency here in Washington. He sounds like a great agent to have. His tutorial is HOW TO TARGET AGENTS AND EDITORS--MARKET YOUR NOVEL TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE. I love watching writing craft tutorials and am grateful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Marco Antonio Contreras Zumba Instructor

I just got back from the 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport Club in Northgate Seattle. I walked a whole block to get home. I took a Zumba class by Marco Antonio Contreras, the Zumba instructor. He's a gifted dancer with star quality. He is so good. No other instructor even comes close. I can see him having his own CD's, being on television, and in the movies. I can see him being a permanent choreographer on So You Think He Can Dance. He's absolutely amazing. His talent is rare. He's also kind and good inside. He's the total package. I've only taken his classes three times but it only took one class to see who he was. He's great at cueing to let everyone know what comes next and his dance is flawless. He lives dance. Marco is Zumba. I keep requesting more classes by Marco to the manager of 24 Hour Fitness. I am requesting that he teach every single day, two or three classes a day, seven days a week. A 24 Hour Super Sport Club needs the best instructors and Marco is the BEST! There are days when there isn't a Zumba class during the day. There should be at least two Zumba classes during the day and one in the evening, seven days a week. Zumba is popular and every class is packed with people having fun.

Health Care

I am one of the millions without health care. I'm working on prevention. I'm trying to eat healthy and exercise every day. I look for the good in every day and if things don't turn out as I had hoped, I turn it into something good. I'm great at finding fun at a bargain. Reading a great book is one of the best ways. We're taught in this country to not complain or whine about what we don't have. Keep smiling no matter what.........

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Heaven is Seattle. Heaven is Zumba. Heaven is a membership to the Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Science Center and Woodland Park Zoo. Heaven is walking around Green Lake and going to Dukes or Spud for fish and chips. Heaven is looking at the art of Dale Chahuly. Heaven is playing mah jongg. Heaven is ballroom dancing. Heaven is going to the Seattle Symphony. Heaven is living one block from 24 Hour Fitness and close to the Northgate Mall. Heaven is going to the Seattle Public Library and reading stacks of books. Heaven is talking to my children. They're the best people I know. Heaven is spending time with my grandchildren. I hope there are friends in this new heaven. I hope there is extra money in this heaven to be a member of the Aquarium and to buy season tickets to Seattle Symphony, Northwest Ballet, Broadway plays and live theater. I hope there is a cruise once a year in this heaven and what I write turns into big checks in the mail. I LOVE Seattle and I'm grateful to be here. I look forward to my future.