Archive for the Weather Category

The saga of … rain boots

Posted in shoes, Weather on January 6, 2010 by poojaland

Though I’ve lived in Seattle basically my whole life, and own a couple pairs of waterproof shoes (of the hiking variety), I was surprised to realize a few months ago that I’ve never actually owned a pair of rain boots. So I made it a quest to find my first pair. As I began shopping around, I made some discoveries..

A lot of the fun/funky boots are waaay too big at the top for my non-existent calves. I knew that I’d only occasionally be wearing them with pants tucked in (which would still not fill up the calf areas completely), so I also needed to find a pair that wouldn’t bulge out awkwardly from underneath jeans. My quest got sent into high gear when I first received a $20 gift certificate to Nordstrom (a side bonus of having a Nordstrom Visa as my main credit card), and then a $40 certificate. For some reason, I got it in my head that I needed to look into buying a pair of boots by Hunter, a British company who I believe first designed the original wellington style of rain boot. Their tall boots are pretty high, so I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about the calf issue as much, and though they have a $115 price tag, I knew I’d be taking a $60-chunk out of my final price. A few days before Christmas, I was out to lunch with some friends from work, when Ben mentioned he wanted to make a quick stop at Nordstrom to buy a present for his wife. I happened to have my gift certificates with me, and knew that the Nordstrom by work has a bigger shoe section than the one by where I live (but it’s not convenient for me to go there in general), so I was like “I’m a-comin’ too!”

Once we got to Nordy’s, I made a beeline for the Hunter display in the women’s shoe area. While I was waiting for a sales person to come help me out, I heard two other Nordy’s workers discussing the special Jimmy Choo-branded Hunter boot that was on display. I overheard one of them say something about it being “so cute,” and “they’re $250.” When someone finally came over to me to help me out, I told him I usually wear an 8.5, but since Hunters only come in whole sizes — as do a lot of rain boots, it seems — he went off to get a 7 and an 8. I first tried on the 8, which was way too big. Then he pulled out the size 7, which was the Jimmy Choo-branded boot. He said, “We don’t have the boot in the original style in a 7, so I brought out this one.” I suavely said, “Oh, uh, those are the really expensive ones, right?” He said, “They’re $250.” I was feeling a bit stupid from my first remark, so I just mumbled, “Oh, well, they’re a bit out of my price range.” They turned out to be too small anyway, and neither pair was very comfortable, so I crossed Hunter off my list. As a side note.. turns out those Hunter by Jimmy Choo boots are actually $395!!

So…I then wandered around looking at the various other rain boots. My eye was caught by a pair by Kamik. I liked that they had a bit of shape to them in the foot area, and looked both functional and fashionable. I tried them on, and bonus: They were super comfortable, and fit just right. They even have a thin Polartec lining for some added warmth, and, interestingly, they’re made by a Canadian company, in Canada! http://kamik.com/.

I initially bought a shiny black boot with a bright red foldover thing at the top of the boot (made of a sweater material). After I got them home, I decided that I didn’t like the bright red color, as it was a little too attention-getting. I went online, and happily discovered that the boots also came in the same shiny-black shade without the red foldover. And then, bonus upon bonus, I read the fine print on Nordstrom’s Web site and found out that they do price matching, and then, I found the Kamik boots in my size, in stock, in Altrec.com, for $25 cheaper! I immediately went back to Nordstom, exchanged the boots (and made use of their price-match policy) and in the end, taking into account the $60 in rewards certificates, got the boots nearly for free! I never knew Nordstrom did price matching, and it turns out they do on all their products. Details here.

Anyway, I wore my new kicks over jeans for the first time earlier this week, on a day when it was raining pretty much non stop. As I walked to my bus stop, I stepped around puddles as usual, and then went, “Wait a minute!” and started walking through them instead, since I had no hems to worry about soaking (or leather/canvas to worry about dirtying). Puddle stomping is so much fun! Of course, only really skinny girls with no hips can carry off the whole jeans-into-boots look, but I’m going to force myself to tuck ’em in once in a while anyway, and try to feel less self-conscious about it. I also may invest in another, more fun pair of rain boots down the road. I live in Seattle, after all!

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Hot lady in the city

Posted in rafting, Weather on August 3, 2009 by poojaland

So summer is in full swing here in Seattle. Life has been quite exhausting lately as I’ve been unusually busy (plans nearly every night) and it’s been hot, hot, HOT! Seattle is all about mild weather, but we’ve had several days in a row of 90+ temps, with a couple days even going over 100 and setting all kinds of records (see my phone’s weather forecast from last Wed.). My condo’s windows all face north, so I don’t get a ton of direct sunlight, but after a couple days of consistent and constant sun, it starts heating up. My poor kitty was pretty miserable during the height of the heat last week.. I kept the windows closed and the blinds drawn, and had a fan blasting in my bedroom (where he always seems to prefer to hang out), but he was pretty lethargic. Luckily, he ate/drank as usual, and made it through the heat OK. The weekend had temps only in the upper 80s, and I think we’ll be cooling down from there the next few days, even maybe getting some rain towards the end of the week. If we stick to the 70s for the rest of the summer, that’ll really be OK!!

Due to the heat, I’ve been trying to stay indoors as much as possible, but I did get out two weekends ago to join some friends for a rafting trip on the Wenatchee in eastern Washington. My friend Nicole was going to take her two boys (who are nearly two) on their first rafting trip. I decided to go the “cover-up” route with my clothing in light of the sun and heat and my preference to avoid tanning, so I looked a bit Michael Jackson-esque (only the backs of my hands and bits of the tops of my feet were really in direct sunlight), but it was a really fun three-hour/10-mile outing. Everyone on my boat — except Nicole and the boys, thankfully — got ejected at some point, even though we’d been told the trip would be “easy.” Luckily, just before I got popped out, I saw the rapid (which had a big rock right under the surface of the water) and grabbed onto the rope. I was popped out onto the rock, but held on to the rope, and since the raft simultaneously got stuck on said rock, I was quickly able to stand up on the rock and step back into the raft. My “spill” was definitely the mildest of our raft’s ejections! But thankfully, no one was too seriously hurt or traumatized by their respective falls. The nice thing about going rafting with Nicole is that she and her husband have good friends who own all the rafting gear we need — rafts, paddles, life jackets. So we don’t have to bother with making reservations with a commercial outfit and/or shelling out a lot of money. Nicole’s husband, plus the guy who owns the gear, are both river-rafting guides, so we’re in good hands whenever we get onto the water. This outing, for the first time, I took my digital camera with me. I had it in this cheap ($7?) but useful clear waterproof bag thing, so I was able to hang it around my neck and safely take pictures at well. The only hitches were that I had to periodically wipe the bag to remove water droplets that splashed onto it, and I had to sort of distort the bag before I turned the camera on, so the lens wouldn’t hit the side of it when it extended (thus freaking the camera out and causing it to turn back off). Some of the pictures were distorted due to the bag, but because the camera was digital, I was able to take so many pictures that most of them were postable. Here’s a shot of me, Nicole, and her boy T after the ride:

The problem with sunshine in Seattle

Posted in random, Weather on May 11, 2009 by poojaland

Being the native Seattleite that I am, I, along with my fellow Seattleites, really treasure seeing the sun out and about here in the city. Though we are wrongly accused of being the rainiest city — Mobile, Alabama, gets this honor, and no Pacific Northwest city shows up until Olympia at No. 24; click here for proof — it definitely is gray and gloomy for a lot of the year. This means that whenever the sun pops out on a non-summer day, the entire mood of the city lifts, and there’s a collective “Ahhhh!” However, the downside is that one then feels a huge amount of pressure to take advantage of the weather, by getting out of the city for a hike, going on a walk, playing tennis, what have you. Sometimes, though, I just want to sit on my living room couch and catch up on “The Wire” or something!

Anyway, this feeling is thankfully alleviated once summer comes around and we have stretches of days of nice weather, but from Sept. to June, after any nice weekend, one can expect questions like “What did you do during the nice weather this weekend” on Mondays..

By the way, on a random aside, I’m watching “The Amazing Race” finale as I type this, and for at least the third time this season, the contestants are in swim suits or something similar (they’ve also been in leotards and their skivvies). Do they have a waxer on hand for the ladies to use or something?? Certainly, if they ever had a female Indian contestant in the Race, a waxer/threader would get a lot of work..

Windy city for a day

Posted in Weather on October 6, 2008 by poojaland

Late Saturday morning, I peered out the window to see trees bending back and forth, and leaves blowing all over. I’d thought it was going to be a relatively mild (well, rain-free) weekend, and though it wasn’t raining, the wind looked pretty intense. I could even hear the whir of it from a couple feet from the window.

Anyhow, my day was pretty open, so I pulled my hair into a ponytail, topped it with a baseball cap, and put on one of my two awesome North Face Windwall jackets and some comfy tennis shoes, and hopped the bus to the U District.

Several times, I felt like I was in a wind tunnel; I even had to slam a hand on my head to keep my hat from taking flight. Loose pages of the Stranger (a local alternative newspaper) were blowing around by the traffic lights at one intersection I waited at. At one point, I walked past a guy who was approaching his parked car with two 10-12″ pizza boxes and some other assorted stuff in his hands. He set the boxes on his trunk so he could pull out his keys. I’d nearly walked past his car when I heard a thud, followed by “F*CK!” I casually looked back, and only saw one pizza box sitting on his trunk. I couldn’t see to the far side of his car to see if one of the pizzas had been ejected from its box, but gauging by the strength of that “F*CK!” I’m guessing it did. Sorry, dude!

What every Seattleite needs

Posted in shopping, Weather on August 27, 2008 by poojaland

How cool is this umbrella?? It’s pricey ($48 for this one, $35 for a folding one), but I’m sure it’d be quite the pick-me-up on a gray, soggy day.

Dealing with a smelly man and wild weather

Posted in Bus, Weather on August 25, 2008 by poojaland

A couple days ago, I hopped a bus downtown to hit up the REI sale that just started. About two stops after I got in, this guy sat down next to me. Hoo lordy, he had AWFUL body odor coming off him in waves. I tried breathing through my mouth, but then I started getting a head ache. Then I turned to my left until my nose was nearly pressed against the window, but that wasn’t too comfortable either. Finally, I rested my elbow on the window ledge and had two fingers right under my nose in sort of a “thinking woman” pose. That seemed to work the best. Anyhow, every time the bus came to a stop, I mentally crossed my fingers that the guy would get up, but he sat next to me for the next 20 minutes, and got off when I did at REI. Ick! Funny bit — a guy two seats in front of me was sitting next to a lady. A seat opened up behind him (and directly in front of me), so the guy moved back a row to have his own seat. But a few stops later, the lady got off, and he moved back up a row to that now-empty seat. I’m convinced it was because he was trying to get away from the rank odor …

This morning — thankfully during the handful of hours it was warm and sunny out — I met up with my good friend S for some breakfast in Wedgwood at the Sunflower Bakery. The food was great, but our eyes were WAY bigger than our stomaches, so even though we split two small dishes (1: two buttermilk pancakes, along with a side of bacon for me; 2: a smallish cheddar-cheese omelet with potatoes and toast), we only made it through one pancake each and about half of the so-so omelet. Cool place, though. Anyway, around 1:30, it suddenly started pouring down rain. I was twitchy to get in a walk after the heavy breakfast, so when the sun peeked out again about an hour later, I threw on a hat and a light raincoat and headed out to walk to WaMu to deposit some checks. I was just heading back from the bank when the heavy rain came back. I had to deal with the lovely feeling of rain sliding down my collar, and by the time I was halfway home, the thighs area of my jeans was so soaked that the fabric was sticking to my skin. Normally I’d take an umbrella in heavy rain like that, but I was thinking I’d be dealing with light showers at the worst, and I hadn’t wanted to hold anything in my hands (or over my shoulder). Ah well, no harm done! The pic is a shot of the damage after I walked in my condo. Just another lovely Seattle summer day!

Icky, Sticky, Uncomfortable

Posted in olympics, Weather on August 16, 2008 by poojaland

So we’re in the middle of a mini-heat wave here in Seattle right now — it’s been in the upper 80s and low 90s. Call me a wuss, but I’m a true Seattleite in that 80/90-degree temps are just too much; I like milder weather. I generally am always on the cold side, but when I’m outside in direct sunlight, I heat up pretty quickly (the brown skin and black hair are sun magnets). On top of that, I’m not comfortable jetting around town in skimpy clothes, so the end result is that being outdoors in this type of weather is really, really uncomfortable. I did get in some fresh air today, though; Anuja and I met up for some tennis, but although it was somewhat early — 9:30 a.m.-ish — it was nearly 80, so we only lasted maybe 40 minutes. Then I made a quick run down to the U District to drop something off at the dry cleaner. My condo’s windows all face north, so I don’t get a ton of direct sunlight in the summer, but after a couple days of 80-plus temps, it definitely starts warming up in here. So I’ve got a fan going on low as I’m watching the Olympics.

Speaking of the Olympics.. right now this event called the steeplechase is on. Who comes up with these things?? My understanding is that the athletes do seven laps of a track. En route, they jump over like five hurdles per lap, including one where they step onto the hurdle and jump into a big puddle of water. Huh? I’d like to submit my own Olympic track and field event… you do one lap of the track.. then you stop at a booth and have to knock down three tiers of bottles with up to three beanbags.. then you run another lap.. then you come to a puddle of water, but have to get through it by walking on your hands.. then you do another lap with seven hurdles.. then you have to throw a football through a tire.. then you do one more lap and you’re done!

As John Stossel would say: “Gimme a break!”