Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas and Chanukkah

I spent the holidays in Ohio celebrating Christmas and Chanukkah with family. I arrived in Columbus on December 23rd and came home today on the 31st. I had a wonderful time. There was about a foot of snow. I made 28 Christmas and Chanukkah stockings this year. The photo is me with my youngest son, Daniel. He is so kind to his mother. We had a great time. We saw the movie THE GUILT TRIP together, which had special meaning since Daniel asked me to ride with him cross country to move his stuff from Mountainview, California to Columbus, Ohio. We went to the Old Bag of Nails for great fish and chips. We went to an amazing Mexican Restaurant in Gahanna. We went to the Conservatory where there are indoor gardens and Chihuly glass sculptures. We celebrated with family in Columbus, Canton, and Ankron. Daniel is married to Jodee. She's very good to me and so is her family. They make me feel very welcome.

Seattle Metro and Sound Transit

I moved to Seattle a year ago and I can't get over how wonderful Seattle Metro is. I marvel at the great service.

Today I came home from a week's vacation in Ohio to visit my youngest son for the holidays. I left on the 23rd and came home today. I rode bus 41, which is an express bus that comes 4 times every hour! After going to the Northgate Transit Station, it goes right on I-5 and into the tunnel under Seattle. It's amazing service for everyone who uses this bus. So on the 23rd, I had my suitcase with me and I rode the bus. It cost me $2.50 to get downtown. Then I boarded Sound Transit at the University Station underground. I had called Seattle Metro days before to plan all this and so I would know what to do. Every time I call, I get courteous and helpful service. I boarded Sound Transit a few minutes after I arrived in the tunnel. I had never done this before. It was so easy. There were Transit Security people to ask questions who are always courteous, professional, and nice. I can't get over how great Seattle is! So I ride the train, which is wonderful to SeaTac. I get off, with no problems at all. I follow the rest of the people with suitcases and follow the signs to the airport. It is a short walk around the parking garage. It's easy to follow. It's under cover so no one gets wet in winter. It was less than $3 to ride the train. So for less than $5, I went to SeaTac from my apartment. I didn't have to ask anyone to help me. I didn't have to pay taxi fare. I did it on my own. It was easy. Seattle Metro and Sound Transit makes it easy. It is well planned and efficient.

I got up this morning very early and my son took me to the airport around 5 a.m. so I would be there early. I flew from Port Columbus to Las Vegas with enough time to get on the plane to Seattle. When I arrived, I got my baggage with the help of a courteous and helpful employee of SeaTac who also gave me directions to get to Sound Transit. Everyone is so nice in Seattle. I'm grateful to live here. I easily followed the covered walking path around the parking garage to the Sound Transit train. It was parked and waiting. I boarded the train and got off in the tunnel in downtown Seattle and caught bus 41. Easy as pie! The bus drivers were so nice and courteous. They are always nice and I always thank them.

I am so lucky to live in Seattle!

King County Sheriff Department in Seattle

I came home from Ohio today in the early afternoon. I did laundry, dishes, unpacked, and made a list of things to do tomorrow. After I did the laundry, I noticed that an Xfinity key pad was on the wall in my apartment for the home security system that I had installed on December 17th and taken out on December 21st. I made the decision that I didn't want to continue with the security system so had it removed. I didn't want to have to pay for three years when I didn't feel confident in the security system.

On December 21st, the installer came and removed all equipment. He removed the motion detector, sensors on all windows, sliding glass door and front door. He removed the key pad. He removed the wireless equipment. I have the receipt that he removed the equipment. I also called XFinity this evening too. I decided to call the police. I had proof that someone had been in my apartment when I was in Ohio. I wanted a record made of this since I have had problems with someone coming into my apartment when I am gone.

Officer A.Richards #7497 came. He was very courteous and respectful. He made a report 12-445614. Officer Richards said I should put on a new lock on my apartment door and that even the apartment manager doesn't get a key. He also suggested that I call ADT since I have had ADT for several years in the past.

I appreciate that I was taken seriously. I appreciate that I was treated with respect. We need more police officers like Officer Richards. I support the King County Police Department. I am impressed with Officer Richards. I'm impressed that he came out to investigate. This wouldn't have been investigated in many cities across the country. Seattle is a great city and I am proud to live here. I appreciate that he came.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Walmart Gives Back

I enjoyed watching Walmart give a great gift to the LA Inner City Arts Program. I watched the stage full of gifts, and gift bags handed to an auditorium full of children who were thrilled. They also gave 20 new computers to the program. The arts should come first. Music, drama, writing, painting, sculpture fill your heart and your soul. They are essential and should never be taken away from any school. I'm happy to see that Walmart supports the arts. I will always support and shop at Walmart.

Handel's Messiah---Seattle Symphony Orchestra

On Sunday, December 16th at 2 p.m. I had the wonderful privilege of going to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra to hear Handel's Messiah. I've never heard it all the way through before and I learned things I didn't know. For example, Handel wrote the Messiah in 22 days. It is so complex so this is an amazing feat. I've never heard of Handel's Solomon, which is said to be larger and grander than the Messiah and he wrote Solomon in 20 days. The Messiah was composed in 1741. Handel was born in 1685 and died in 1759. When people think of Handel's Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus comes to mind which is at the end of the Part The Second. There are three parts called Part The First, Part The Second, and Part The Third. I didn't know this either. At the end of Part the Second, when the orchestra played and the chorus sang the Hallelujah Chorus, everyone stood. It was beautiful and glorious. I love it that the conductor, played the harpsichord. The harpsichord is one of my favorite instruments, if not my very favorite. I love Vivaldi and the baroque period of music when harpsichords were played. Part The First is about the Old Testament and prophecy of the coming of the messiah. Part The Second focuses on the personal suffering of Christ and Part The Third is the redemptive theme that finishes this symphony. It's lovely, complex, and I'm glad I went. I learned a lot.



If you want to buy a great book to read or give as a gift, order I WAS JERRY LEWIS' BODYGUARD FOR 10 MINUTES by Irv Korman. The photo above is of Irv Korman at a booksigning in Hudson, Ohio last spring. I bought his book and have enjoyed all the stories about Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, Eddie Fisher, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and dozens of others. It's a great read and brings you back to the golden era of television. I have always loved Jerry Lewis as I was growing up so this was fun for me to buy the book. Irv Korman is an award-winning writer, actor, theater critic, lecturer, and part-time magician. He does it all. This book is filled with interviews and his personal experience working with the legends of television, screen, and radio.

You can order the book with
ISBN: 978-0-9825653-4-6

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

XFinity Home Security

After watching all the great commercials about XFinity Home Security systems I decided to get one. I've had security systems in the past with Brinks and ADT for the last 12 plus years and see the value. It's only $29.95 a month and installation is free. It gives the impression that you get to monitor remotely on another computer or smart phone the inside of your home to see what is going on but I found out this costs extra. The installer came on December 17th wearing an XFinity Home Security system shirt and came with equipment. He handed me his XFinity Home Security business card and drove an XFinity van. The manager of my apartment building said that "he sure took a long time," and he did because it took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to put sensors on three windows, sliding door, and front door plus do all the set up and paperwork.

Two things made me concerned during the visit. My Norton Anti-Virus Protection was in the red warning area when it was time to enter my password on the Comcast website so I refused to do so. It was green and safe in the morning. He wanted me to enter my password on his laptop, which I refused to do. I know that he can access my secure information even though he goes through the process of supposedly wiping it clean. He also wanted me to hand over my keys, which I refused to do because he could take impressions and gain access when I am gone so I went with him walking back and forth to let him in and out.

If I weren't so careful, I wouldn't have found out this morning by making several phone calls that he didn't enter my cell phone to call if there were a problem, which means that I could be away and never notified of an alarm event!!! He also didn't enter information of other numbers to call. I wasn't told about a second code called a duress code which is supposed to be good to alert XFinity Home in the event that I was followed and needed help. He entered a code. He didn't tell me about it or explain anything about this.

Yesterday I left for work and armed the system. I saw the history on the touch screen of everything that had happened prior to leaving for work since the time the system was activated. When I returned from work, I checked the history and the history was completely eliminated. Why??? I suspected someone was in my apartment and eliminated the history. I also discovered the duress code. I hadn't been told about this second code and it had been set up for me. Why??? This morning when I called I saw on the history on the website that at 9:35 a.m., WHILE I WAS AT WORK, that my system was armed by the user, ME, using the master code, KNOWN ONLY BY ME, on the touchscreen IN MY APARTMENT! This tells me that someone was in my apartment. I talked to someone in technical support and someone called me back. They said that it was some kind of remote update from the monitoring station. If this were true, it would say that it was from a monitoring station and that it was an update. It wouldn't say that the user entered the master code on the touchscreen in my apartment to arm the system at the time when I wasn't even in the apartment.

Red flag after red flag after red flag so I cancelled my XFinity Home Security system. I am very disappointed and concerned about this unprofessional service and I do not have confidence in the security of this security system.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aqua Zumba with Niel

If you want to have fun and go to a pool party, mark your calendar for Fridays at 11 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. Aqua Zumba is pure fun. The resistance of the water as you move gives you a great workout as you are having a great time in the pool.

Here's what is said about Aqua Zumba.............
"Jump into the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, dance fitness party that makes working out a splash."
"Known as the Zumba pool party, the Aqua Zumba program gives new meaning to the idea of an invigorating workout. Splashing, stretching, twisting, even shouting, laughing, hooting and hollering are often heard during an Aqua Zumba class. Integrating the Zumba formula and philosophy with traditional aqua fitness disciplines, the Aqua Zumba class blends it all together into a safe, challenging, water-based workout that's cardio-conditioning, body-toning, and most of all, exhilarating beyond belief."

All this fun goes on every Friday at 11 a.m. at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate.

Any time Niel's name is on the schedule of classes, you know it's going to be fantastic and pure fun.

Lunch at Saffron Grill

I had lunch at Saffron Grill yesterday. I had a Greek salad and it was delicious, fresh, and healthy. It was everything I could want in a salad. I went to lunch with my daughter-in-law's mother. She called me and picked me up. It was nice to catch up and talk to her. She had the lamb kabob. I've had it before and I know it is delicious too.

For a great lunch or dinner out with atmosphere and a menu that has everything you could want and more, go to Saffron Grill. When you walk in the door, be sure to sample the saffron.

Saffron Grill
2132 N. Northgate Way
Northgate in Seattle just off I-5

Monday, December 10, 2012

Niel Smith -- Zumba Instructor

I went to Niel's Zumba class tonight at 24 Hour Fitness and had a great time. It's magical in his class because it is so much fun. Everyone is having a great time moving to the music. Everyone's eyes are on Niel. I guess someone complained about him because he's too provocative. That's ridiculous! He can't help it that he's cute and sexy and knows how to move. Zumba is Latin inspired dance which is sexy anyway. Add Niel to Zumba and you have magic! During the hour of class you live in the moment. There were smiles all around. Everyone was having a good time. It is the only time during the week when I feel truly happy inside.

I asked Niel if I could take a photo with him since I had my phone with me. He graciously said yes. He's very kind and such a nice person. So here he is........

Yes, I'm the fat one but I am really trying to get thinner. It helps to get to go to Niel's class because Zumba is so much fun that it doesn't feel like exercise. So I'm silly but I don't care. I'm grateful that I get to learn from him and have fun. Pretty soon, he'll be off doing amazing things like be in the movies. He already jets all over the world to exotic places. He's really a celebrity and for the time being, I'm lucky to get to take his class.

National Novel Writing Month

I'm working on the first revision for my novel that I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month. It's all about Zumba and was inspired by Niel, my Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate. I plan on participating in Script Frenzy in April and write a screenplay based on this novel. I want this project to work because in my wildest dreams, it is a successful screenplay and it will star Hanniniel Smith, Niel, and other Zumba instructors will be in it.

The main cast of characters are over 50 and live in a senior apartment building. They are all addicted to Zumba. There is a fun Zumba event in the building. The suspense builds around missing people in the building. Amidst all the Zumba fun, the main characters figure out the mystery of the missing Zoomers.

Body Combat with Jennifer

I took a great class tonight at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate called Body Combat with Jennifer H. I came early for Zumba with Niel and I saw how much fun Body Combat looked so I decided to try it. I was only in there for 10 minutes but it's a great workout and Jennifer is a fantastic instructor. It makes you feel strong and like you can tackle the world. I'm going to take her class again. She's great!


I definitely want to buy a copy of THE THINGS THAT MATTER by Nate Berkus. I saw him on the Dr. OZ show and now I'm a big fan. Not only is it a book about interior design, making your life easier and clutter-free, but it is a book about life and everything that matters to make your home a sanctuary. I need to buy a copy and read it in January.

Same Sex Marriage

I voted to support same sex marriage in the last election and it passed. We are talking about only 5% of the population and they have been unfairly discriminated against for years. It's about time that people are allowed to be who they are, love who they want to love, and live free without harassment or bigotry. They aren't hurting anyone. If you look at this group, they have a higher standard of living for the most part than those who are pointing fingers.

I live in Seattle where people are safe, all people. I don't ever want to live anywhere else. It's a wonderful thing that people from all over the world, all different shades of skin color, backgrounds, and choices can live together and get along. That's my idea of what heaven is like. Seattle is heaven to me.

Two of my favorite shows on television are THE NEW NORMAL and MODERN FAMILY. I enjoy watching  them every week. And one of my favorite movies of all time is THE BIRDCAGE.

Legalized Marijuana

I've never tried marijuana, and I don't intend to now, but I did vote to legalize marijuana.  One of my sons had a friend in high school who was a brilliant straight A student and very popular. In his first year of college, he tried marijuana that was laced with something really bad that changed his life forever. He's not the same person anymore. A future of a brilliant young person was lost. So I voted to legalize marijuana. It is better that Washington get the tax benefits to use for something good.

I've never really been in favor of marijuana because I've seen statistics that say that kids who use and are part of the culture that use tend to go on to use other drugs. I am against using drugs. I guess I am still on the fence because of this but I did vote for it. Life is a journey trying to figure out what is best at the time.

Enat Ethiopian Restaurant

I visited Enat Ethiopian Restaurant last week on 15th Avenue in Northgate in Seattle. The owner has always been nice to me at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate. I see Tsige in Zumba class and Body Pump class and usually I stand next to her. I wanted to see her restaurant and support her business that is in my neighborhood.

I know that I will enjoy going back to Enat. The atmosphere is very nice with beautiful Ethiopian art on the walls, plenty of tables, and great service. Going into the restaurant is getting a peek at Ethiopia and the food without the expensive travel. I asked my son in Ohio what the food was like since he has visited an Ethiopian restaurant. He said that the food is very healthy with lots of vegetables on a spongy tortilla and that you eat with your hands. I said that sounds great to me so I went. I had a nice time. Tsige came up to me and welcomed me. She's a gracious hostess and will be very successful in her restaurant. She said that if I come from 6 to 8 p.m., there is belly dancing. Next time I want to try the chicken dish which I think is #14 on the menu Doro Wot for $13.00. You can pick up an Ethiopian magazine too by the front door.

Visit and enjoy the delicious authentic Ethiopian food for carry-out or dine in at
Enat Ethiopian Restaurant
11546 15th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98125 in Northgate

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hannaniel Smith -- Zumba Fitness

Niel is my favorite Zumba instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Northgate in Seattle. I love going to his classes because they are always fun. His classes are popular and crowded. His class is the one time during the week that I can count on being truly happy and having fun. I love the music and moving to the music. During that hour, I live in the moment. I'm truly grateful for the fun and joy in his class. I love Niel. He brings pure joy and fun into my life during his class. They need to clone him! I wish he taught more often at Northgate. Niel is a gifted choreographer and dancer. I don't think he even realizes how special he is and how he makes so many people happy.

I went to his class this morning at 9 a.m. for an hour. Then I stayed for the weight lifting class, Body Pump that comes after for 40 minutes.

To see his schedule of classes go to

Friday, December 07, 2012


I drove up to Lynnwood to Walmart on 164th a couple of days ago. The parking lot was crowded. When I walked in the door, I saw bargain after bargain. There were knitted stockings to be used for slippers that were only $1 and they were really nice for a gift.

What I love about Walmart is buying White Stag clothing for bargain prices that I used to buy in the most expensive stores back when I was in high school. You can count on quality with the name White Stag and you still can. I bought five pairs of White Stag black pants for around $10 each that if I were to duplicate, I would have to pay 5 times the amount. Walmart also sells Carter baby clothes, which I always give as gifts because I am proud to give Carters as a baby gift. It is always nice. It is always quality. Walmart also sells Disney clothing for children, which is another great quality brand.

I can buy almost anything for less at Walmart. The store was packed with great bargains for shoppers so no one is going to have any trouble for Christmas on a budget going to Walmart.

I will always love Walmart because one of my sons is a supervisor of supervisors at Walmart in Florida plus I enjoy buying at Walmart.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


I wish. I wish. I wish that those people who make out class schedules for gyms would understand that it is important to have consistent classes at the same times every day, lots of variety, and time in between classes. I want to be able to go to the gym in the morning at the same time and either take a Zumba class or a Body Pump class every day. I don't want to have to think about it. I want this behavior to be automatic. I leave at 9 a.m. to go to class every single day. It is important to be consistent. It is important to exercise. Those people who own gyms certainly understand that it is in their best interest to instill a habit in their members to exercise. I love going to the gym. I love exercising but I want to be able to count on taking a great class like Zumba or Body Pump every single day at the same time. My life would be perfect if this could happen or at least it would help.

Even better would be if I could take a Zumba class every day followed by a Body Pump class to build endurance and strength. I did this last Sunday and it worked out great. I don't stay for the entire Body Pump class. I usually stay for 40 to 45 minutes of the class and then leave because I don't do floor work.

Then it would be great if I could come back in a couple of hours for something else in the afternoon like a Zumba class or line dancing class or Tai Chi or something else that would be fun, like roller skating.

Body Pump with Kristen

I just got back from Body Pump at 24 Hour Fitness in Northgate Seattle. Kristen was the instructor. She's great! She has so much personality and makes it fun. I wish she taught more often. She's also an an amazing Zumba instructor. I like her for both.

Body Pump is a strength training class which is essential for me to do since I want to lose weight and get toned.

I read an online article this morning about the importance of strength training. It said that strength training will

  • make your metabolism soar
  • burn fat
  • your body will get tighter
  • you will fit into skinny jeans
  • reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes
  • blood pressure could drop
  • blast loads of calories
  • you can do it anytime, anywhere
  • good for your bones
Okay, so the part about doing it anytime, anywhere....I just want to say that it is much more fun to do it in a Body Pump class at 24 Hour Fitness with Kristen with loud music in a room crowded with strong women and men who believe in health and fitness.

Snoqualmie Casino

In the second section of the Seattle Times this morning is an article about the Snoqualmie Casino wanting to build a 20 story hotel at the Casino. Why not? The casino is on a ledge over looking the valley. It isn't going to obstruct anyone's view. It will blend into the landscape. You go down to the casino. To build up makes sense. The Snoqualmie Casino needs a hotel very badly because they have events bringing in name stars and bands, and there is no place for people to stay. You must drive back home.

I was surprised that the Snoqualmie Falls and Lodge isn't owned by the Snoqualmie Casino. One of the first things that I asked when I visited the Snoqualmie Casino was if they were linked and if there was a shuttle back and forth to the Lodge because how in the world can you see some of the big name people who come to the Casino in the lounge unless you spend the night? The answer is that you have to drive home or you have to drive to one of the places nearby to spend the night or you have to drive to the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge. The point is that you have to drive. You can't come in on one of the Snoqualmie Express buses and spend the night because you don't have a car.

I think and believe very strongly that the Snoqualmie Casino urgently needs to build a hotel. Yes, a 20 story hotel is needed on site. It will be used by people who come in on the Express buses and by people driving to the casino.

So why doesn't the Mayor of Snoqualmie understand and see this need? It isn't going to obstruct any views. With the right architect, it will blend right in to the land, just like the casino does. What is the problem?

Dale Chihuly

I love the glass art of Dale Chihuly. He's a genius and goes out of all boundaries of what had been done before with glass. His sea and garden scapes are extraordinary and full of wonder. I get lost in looking at them. I saw his exhibit when it was in Columbus, Ohio. I've seen him on television. I need to visit his new 45,000 square foot museum at the foot of the Space Needle here in Seattle. I know it is glorious.

I took the photo above of his chandelier in Benaroya Hall. I wonder what a photo would look like if I was on the floor looking up. I didn't have the courage to lay down on the floor and take a photo at the time but I was thinking about and wondering what the photo would look like if I did.

I see that at his Tacoma Museum of Glass that there are lessons that you can take. I'd like to take a class on making glass beads and I would like to learn to string them like you string pearls with knots in between each bead. I wonder if you can take classes at his new museum in Seattle.


There is a series of feature articles being written in the Seattle Times about zoos. I have great deal of respect for the Seattle Times and I know as a writer that they are printing fact. I have no doubt that this is going to win another Pulitzer Prize for the paper.

However, I love and support zoos. I will always support zoos despite some imperfections. Children and adults who visit wouldn't be able to see the diversity of animals from all over the world without zoos. So many species are being threatened in their native habitat. National Geographic recently published that 25,000 elephants are being slaughtered every year for their ivory. The elephants in zoos are safe from being slaughtered. Zoos take care of them. I know that zoos are working together around the world to protect animals. I applaud their efforts. I know it isn't easy. Zoos help people appreciate and value animals by bringing them up close to those who visit. The wonder of seeing animals up close forces visitors not to forget them. The animals are a reminder that they are valuable and important in the world and we should value them, respect them, protect them, and take care of them in the world. Zoos do so much to educate the public. It is wonderful to be able to learn about raptors while watching them fly.

I need to visit the Woodland Park Zoo more often. I am a member. Everyone should be a member of the zoo in their area and visit often. If more people supported their zoos around the world, they would not have to struggle financially. All animals are precious. To look at a Siberian tiger and not appreciate it's glorious beauty is unconscionable. We must all want to protect animals around the world who are being threatened. We live in this world together. Our lives are woven together.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


New research has come out by Harvard University and on Dr. Oz that there is no reason to ever get alzheimers. With nourishing food, exercise, and by learning new things, scientists have discovered that the brain can grow new brain cells into old age. I believe strongly that it is important to eat healthy and exercise. It's also important to think about yourself in the way you want to be or become. Your brain has such a powerful and direct effect on the body and it's cellular makeup. You can think yourself young and well and amazing.

Seattle Symphony Orchestra

I went on the bus downtown to go to the symphony this afternoon and I had a wonderful time. It is the first of a 3 part series called Beyond the Score. It went beyond the symphony orchestra as they played Mahler's Fourth Symphony because a large viewing screen showed art, the musical score of Mahler's symphony, and photos. The history of Mahler's life and times in Vienna, Austria was told by narrators, and there was an amazing soprano who sang.  Her name was Donatienne Michel-Dansac. She was Golden. It was so much more today--more beyond the symphony and everything was better because of it. I had a great time.

I'm really impressed with the conductor, Ludovic Morlot who has such passion with every note and every beat. He's amazing and gifted. He feels every note by every instrument and he brings it all together with such perfection.

All those who are part of the symphony are so gifted. Mahler said that "heaven is filled with violins." I think heaven is listening to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra!

Candy Cane Dash in Shoreline

I signed up to walk in the Candy Cane Dash in Shoreline yesterday or 12-1-12. It was a 5k. I tried to run a little bit but most of the time I walked. I came in last but you have to start somewhere. I came in with a time of 1 hour and 2 minutes and something. My number was 233.

The results are supposed to be up on the website soon at

I had a great time. I wasn't sure about the weather when I started. It was windy and there was pouring rain. It cleared up when the race started and started raining again when the race ended. The course was beautiful and most of it on paved trails. It was very nice and fun.

The Candy Cane Dash was set up as a senior project for Shorecrest HIgh School. They did a lot of work to make it really nice for all participants.