Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Feliz Navidad

I am in sort of a bah, humbug mood this month. I haven’t gotten into the Christmas spirit at all, and it’s starting to really bug me. When you live in an apartment by yourself there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to get a Christmas tree, or even put up lights. I went to the Nutcracker, but somehow even that didn’t do it for me. I also watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman on TV last week, but it still doesn’t seem like Christmas.

I think the main problem is that I haven’t done any Christmas shopping. Since I am going to spend Dec. 20 through Dec. 28 in Cabo San Lucas with my family, we decided to not buy gifts for each other this year. The only things I’ve had to purchase are gift exchange presents for work and Vanessa’s Christmas party. And since Christmas shopping is normally one of my main December attractions, no wonder I am feeling a bit lost.

I’ve also only gone to one Christmas party, which seems odd. Vanessa and Kendra hosted the third annual Penski Twins Christmas Bash on Sunday night, and I had a really great time. The abundance of food, liquor and friends was fantastic, and the gift exchange was completely entertaining, although I got stuck with candles while Jeanna and Larisa got decidedly more exciting gifts. The highlight of the night was definitely when Johnny Ho and Abe played rock-paper-scissors, and the loser had to drink a shot of soy sauce. Abe lost, poor guy!

Tonight I will attend my company Christmas party at Brasa before heading home to pack for my trip. I have to leave for the airport at 2 a.m. to make my flight, which leaves at some ridiculously early hour. By the time I arrive at my hotel, I will have been awake for almost 30 hours, unless I am fortunate enough to fall asleep on the plane, which for me is doubtful.

It’s going to be weird to spend Christmas in a foreign country, especially since my family has never participated in the “Destination Christmas” idea before. We’ll still go to church on Christmas eve, but it will be in Spanish! And I can only hope and pray that the satellite TV at our resort will include an English version of “It’s A Wonderful Life” because if there’s one thing that will ruin Christmas for me, it’s not seeing that movie. I’ve watched it every single year since I can remember, and if I don’t hear “Daddy, Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings!” You know you love it, too.

Regardless, I’m going to try and make this the best Christmas ever. And either way, at least I will get to go skiing for New Years with a tan. Merry Christmas everyone, I’ll miss you!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ignorance is Bliss

According to The Seattle Times' web site, some 225,000 people were still without power this morning due to Thursday night’s storm. I was completely unaware, which kind of worries me. Have I become so wrapped up in my own little world that I failed to notice nature’s recent fury, and the unfortunate aftermath? That can’t be good.

When I think back, I vaguely remember that it was very windy Thursday night. But this had virtually no impact on my life, besides the fact that it took me more than an hour to get home from work on the bus. Then that night I woke up several times thinking, “Huh, that wind is really loud,” but then snuggled back down into the covers and dreamed. The next morning a co-worker's call informed me that since the power was out in upper Queen Anne, the busses weren’t running, and she would be more than happy to give me a ride to work. I took the free ride and didn’t think much of it.

But throughout the day I began hearing of more and more people without power. Almost all of my friends did not have to work on Friday due to power outages and bridge closures, and by the end of the day I had an Eastside friend call and ask if she could come over to my apartment and shower that evening. Her power had been knocked out and was not expected to return any time soon. Ironically, my particular block was the only one in Queen Anne that was never without electricity, although it returned to all the other neighborhood areas within 24 hours or so.

I also heard from my friend Steve, who works on the Eastside but had been allowed to leave at 3 p.m. because of nasty storm aftermath. When I spoke with him, he had been on the road for two hours, had gone less than five miles, and was almost out of gas. Traffic was gridlocked and every gas station was either out of gas or had a line a mile long. Crazy! Steve decided to go see a movie and wait it out for a few hours…

In return for the hot shower, I allowed Tara and Winston to take me to the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game at Key Arena. Anyone who knows me well is aware that I grew up watching ice hockey with my dad, and it’s pretty much one of my very favorite sports to watch. We won the game 6-3, during which Tara and I gossiped and proceeded to drink more than just a little bit of vodka. We then headed down to Del Rey, at which point my memory gets a bit hazy. Poor Doug was forced to come and pick me up and pour me into bed around 1 a.m., and after we had breakfast on Saturday morning I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed.

Saturday night I went over to Lacey’s house to borrow some Mexican attire, and ended up spending the whole evening there watching movies and playing board games. Sobriety can be fun, sometimes! In return for my drunken Friday night ridiculousness, Doug drunk dialed me at 2 a.m. and I was forced (ok, not forced) to go pick him up. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep. Sunday I ran around like a crazy person in an attempt to organize my life before my trip to Mexico for Christmas. When I spoke to my mom that afternoon, I was shocked to find out that she still did not have power in Olympia! What?? People were still out of power? Interesting. I was not aware.

I was even more shocked to come into work this morning and discover that several of my Eastside-dwelling co-workers still have no electricity, and may remain that way until Thursday! Is this the world of modern technology or what?!? And it’s also completely unbelievable to me that there have been several deaths due to the storm and its aftermath. I really take nature (and my cozy little Queen Anne life) too much for granted. I feel bad that just because this event did not touch me I have been oblivious to the crap others have been going through since this past Thursday. Everyone knows how much it sucks to be without power.

I feel semi-guilty that I was obliviously burning candles by my bedside just for the fun of it this weekend, when other people had to for light. But I have to admit, I have been thoroughly enjoying my heat, hot water, and light. So if any of you Eastsiders would like to come over and shower or watch television, consider yourselves more than welcome. Good luck out there!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quarter Century

Well, I certainly have nothing to complain about – my 25th birthday weekend was a fantastic success! After a small letdown upon finding out that turning 25 effectively bans me from ever applying to be on MTV’s The Real World, I got over it and celebrated.

Festivities began Friday night at Vessel with my co-worker, Heather. Since her birthday is one day before mine, she invited me to share drinks with her friends after work to celebrate. Located downtown next to the Fifth Avenue Theatre, Vessel defines itself as a “modern and elegant Seattle bar.” Unfortunately, Jeanna and I were not impressed by the tiny venue or the cold, rigid atmosphere. We were crammed into an upstairs room filled with people from a drunken Christmas party. This, combined with vodka and flat diet coke, immediately gave me a headache. We didn’t stay long, but I appreciated the invite.

Saturday morning I got up early to prepare for my Grandma’s birthday, which is also the day before mine. My grandparents, parents, cousin, brother and sister arrived at noon for lunch. Then the girls headed down to McCaw Hall, because we had purchased tickets to The Nutcracker for Grandma’s birthday. I love going to the ballet, and the show was fantastic. I think seeing the Nutcracker every year is a must-have holiday experience, it always puts me in the mood for Christmas. However, the second act was almost completely ruined as the child behind me began to incessantly kick my chair, and a few rows back two sisters started to screech and bicker, which started more of them off. It was hard to concentrate on the show and not all the royal brats who were ruining it for me. I will never understand parents who think a 5-year-old can sit through a two and a half hour ballet.

Cake and ice cream at my house with the family was fun, and I even got some nice gifts, although I didn’t expect any. Since it was my Grandma’s 70th birthday I really wanted it to be her special day, and I think she felt loved and appreciated. After their departure I decided it was absolutely necessary to wear something new on the eve of my birth, so I dragged my cousin Tara up to the Alderwood Mall for shopping. After a frantic trip through Forever 21, we headed back home, where I rushed to get ready for the evening.

The drinking commenced at 8 p.m. with white wine, followed by champagne with Jeanna, Shannon, Jenny and Tara. Shannon and Jenny were sweet enough to give me a very thoughful and fabulous birthday gift. Then we headed down to Twist, where we met up with Vanessa, Lacey, Jillian, Stacy, Mike and Steve. (Crap, did I forget anyone?) Several tall vodka diets and one strawberry champagne later, we proceeded to the bar for birthday shots. I can't remember how many. Eventually we decided to follow Shannon and Jenny down to Sonya’s, and it was apparently my brilliant idea to walk all the way there -- Pioneer Square from Belltown is apparently pretty far, but in hindsight was probably good -- the fresh air may have helped keep me upright.
At this point I have absolutely no sense of time. But the girls had apparently already given up and headed for home, so we decided to go next door to the Starlight Lounge. After running into Jesse Martinez Jr. outside, I attempted to order more drinks, and was immediately cut off by Jeanna. Doug conversed with the two of us, trying to figure out who the hell out of the drunken crazy group would be important enough to remember later on. Shortly thereafter, we decided to walk back nine blocks in the direction we had come from to meet more friends at Del Rey. The following is a little hazy, and was mostly pieced back together by Jeanna and I on Saturday afternoon…

As more and more friends gave up and went home, Jeanna and I eventually were left on our own. We left Del Rey and presumably entered a convenience store somewhere in Belltown. Jeanna bought one of those disgusting frosted individual 99 cent apple pies, and while standing in line to pay noticed that the guy in front of her had two cans of Sparks in his hands. She immediately snatched one, popped the top, and took a gulp. I think I did too. From there, we either walked or took a cab to the Five Point CafĂ© on Denny. You always know it’s been a good night when you’re in the mood for macaroni and cheese triangles. They’re pretty much the best drunken food ever.
Sitting at the bar, someone took the mood lighting candle out of its holder and Jeanna conveniently dug a hole in the middle of the apple pie and stuck the candle in. I think people sang “Happy Birthday.” After being thoroughly freaked out by a crazy woman in the bathroom, Jeanna called it a night and headed home. Damn, I don’t remember eating those mac n cheese triangles, but I bet they were fantastic. I think I ate the whole apple pie, too.

I opened my eyes Saturday morning, moaned and held my head as my cell phone began to ring. Happy birthday to me. Thanks Mom. In an attempt to kick the hangover, we headed down to Pesos for breakfast and the football game. After my first bloody Mary, I began to feel better. Someone conveniently told the bartender it was my birthday, which resulted in a yellow, fruity shot. And then another. So I ordered a vodka diet. HEY, the hangover seemed to be gone! The girl next to me ordered a shot. Mimosa. Another vodka diet. 4 p.m. Game over. Back to my apartment. More wine.

6 p.m. Late for my birthday dinner on Capitol Hill. Picked up Jillian before realizing I was too drunk to drive. Switch. Arrived at Mamounia Restaurant where the girls were already seated. Tried to pull it together. The restaurant was gorgeous and exactly what I had anticipated. I received a fantastic gift from Kelly, and was super excited about the authentic Moroccan cuisine we were going to consume.
Dinner was fantastic, although I can’t remember what I ordered. There was rice, meat, and I think some veggies. We sat on floor pillows and ate with our fingers while watching the belly dancer. When she discovered it was my birthday, she tied a silk scarf around my waist, pulled me up and I became part of the show. Good thing I had had all those drinks after all. After paying for my own dinner and the rest of the tab that is always inevitably left over when a group of people share one bill, I was incredibly disappointed that no one wanted to go for drinks. The food had sobered me up and since it was technically my real birthday, I wanted to celebrate. Luckily, I discovered that some friends were still on the hill.

I met them at Bleu Bistro on Broadway, which is by far the strangest bar I have ever been in. The interior was dark and elusive, with hanging colored cloths that provided private little nooks and corridors everywhere. I felt vaguely claustrophobic, kind of like being inside a honeycomb. However, the fact that the bar served Olympia Beer immediately distracted me – finding bars that serve my hometown brew is definitely one of my favorite things. Finally, we decided to head out… to a karaoke bar in Madison Park which I unfortunately cannot remember the name of.
However, once we got to the bar to order drinks my night got even better. The bartender found out it was my birthday, and immediately began mixing the “birthday drink.” The glass was as big as my head, and I can only assume its original purpose was as a fish bowl or something. He grabbed six bottles of god knows what and started dumping them together. The pink concoction was topped with olives, cherries and other garnishes, and then the kicker… PLOP! You guessed it: An Olympia Beer right in the center!

We sat at a table in the middle of the bar with before someone decided they were drunk enough to sing. I can’t remember for the life of me what song it was, but I knew the words and sang along… loudly. I think we might have danced. At one point I realized my entire drink was gone. We stumbled out of the bar and somehow made our way to Jack in the Box, where I conveniently forgot that I am supposed to be on Phase 2 of SBD. I think I had a Jumbo Jack. It was probably fantastic.
I woke up on Monday morning with the worst hangover of my life, and immediately called in sick to work. I had drank for 14 hours straight, which I think rivals the Sand Dunes. I spent the rest of the day napping and getting sick. It had been a fantastic birthday weekend.
THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who came and celebrated with me, at whatever point. I appreciate and love all of you, and it means so much to me that you came out to party and observe my quarter century of life. I’ll see you all soon! Ahh... what a fabulous way to turn 25 years old...!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Beach

After hearing numerous encouragements and rave reviews from various friends about The South Beach Diet, I decided that the day after gorging myself for Thanksgiving would be a good time for me to start. Not only did I want to get my body into tip-top shape for my Mexican Christmas Extravaganza, but I also wanted to start eating healthier and to shake those winter lethargic feelings of laziness and depression. Now I am in the home stretch of Phase 1, and I have to admit, I feel great!

According to the official Web site, The South Beach Diet is not a traditional low-carb plan. Instead, people are encouraged to choose the right carbs, the right fats, and lean sources of protein. “It’s not just a diet, it’s a way to eat for life.”

Following Phase 1 for two weeks kick-started the diet for me. I’ve been eating normal-sized portions of lean meat, fish, eggs, reduced-fat cheese, nonfat yogurt, nuts and plenty of vegetables. I can even have snacks and desserts. And I have to admit, it really hasn’t been that hard at all. I just have to plan my days out a little better as far as food is concerned. The only thing that has been a drag is the no alcohol rule. That’s right, off-limits; not even a drop. And I don’t want to sound like an alcoholic, but it is far less entertaining to go out on the weekends sober.

Although my goal wasn’t necessarily to lose a lot of weight, but generally feel better about my health, I have managed to drop 6 pounds! And I definitely notice it in my middle area, which shows that the diet does in fact “target stubborn belly fat” as it claims. This while eating as much as I want of the things I am allowed. Interesting concept… when you eat healthy things you can eat a lot more of them and lose weight as a result!

So, as Phase 1 comes to a close I have to admit that I am already feeling better. The carb cravings passed after the first few days, and I’ve never been huge on excessive amounts of sugar anyway. I only had one slip-up with some baby carrots, which I later found out are strictly forbidden. But as Larisa pointed out, at least I didn’t accidentally eat a Big Mac.

Moral of the story: I’m loving SBD, but can’t wait until Saturday when I plan on drinking my body weight in wine for my birthday. Thanks to all those who have been so supportive these past few weeks!

Phase 2, here I come…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Dating Game

Yep, you heard it here first. After uncountable months, I’ve finally started dating, and so far it’s turned out really well! I’ve never been one to juggle multiple guys at one time, so the dating game has never been incredibly appealing. However, it turns out that seeing just one person can be quite entertaining. I will give you a quick synopsis of the past two weeks.

I met him while trying to hail a cab in Belltown late one Saturday night. Always the gentleman, he asked if I needed any help… and wondered if there was the possibility of seeing me again. In an uncharacteristic move based purely off his award-winning smile, I gave out my unlisted phone number. Then on Sunday, I took him up on his offer to meet a group of his friends at a bar to watch the game. I brought along Jeanna and Tara and impartial witnesses. Then on a whim I joined the group to see a band at Chop Suey. We had a fantastic time, I got the thumbs up from the girls, and since then, it’s been a complete whirlwind.

After I got into town on Thursday, I braved going it alone and met him and his friends at the W Hotel downtown for drinks. We then migrated to King’s Hardware for what turned into a lively and competitive game of Skiball, in which I managed to get the overall top score. He must have been impressed, because Friday night we went to the O Lounge for drinks, and then El Gaucho's Pampas Room for more drinks, a live band and… swing dancing! I’ve haven’t had that much fun in a long time. Not that I’m the best swing dancer, but he new enough to teach me a little, and we were (sort of) able to keep up with the apparent professional dancers on the floor.

Gosh, the list goes on, I don’t know if I will even be able to remember all the fantastic things we have managed to cram into just a couple weeks… dinner at Daniel’s Broiler, walks in the snow, “The Great Gatsby” at the Bagley Wright Theatre, breakfasts, movies, watching TV together on my couch, bingo at Jabu’s Pub, drinks and appetizers with his friends at The Waterfront, dessert and drinks at El Gaucho, watching football at Amber... it goes on and on. This besides countless phone calls and text messages – are you thoroughly freaked out for me yet?? He brings me flowers, opens doors, won't let me pay for anything, kisses me in public, holds my hand, calls when he says he will... is this guy for real?

We’ve tried on multiple occasions to spend a couple days apart, but it always seems we somehow always end up together again. And this is completely odd, seeing as he works in the restaurant industry and I expected to rarely see him due to his work schedule. But more often than not I receive a call or text in the afternoon (when I expect him to be working that night) saying, “Do you want to do this or that…” and I’m powerless to decline! The offers (and most importantly, the company) are just irresistible!

I know I should be completely panicking, but so far things have been so great that I haven’t really had time to analyze the situation. I suppose it’s best that I just enjoy what I have while it lasts, because it’s so rare for me to find someone I connect with so well – at least someone who feels the same way about me. I have yet to find a flaw in him; if you’d like a list of his fabulous credentials, I would be more than happy to fill you in. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone on and on about him to most of you already.

What is a girl to do in this type of situation? Normally I would be completely concerned with the games we play, i.e. don’t answer this call because you might seem too needy, don’t say that because he might read into it wrong, etc. But this time I’m going to experiment. I’m just going to let things take their natural course without playing games. If he calls I’ll answer. If he wants to hang out and I’m not busy, I’m all for it. If he asks me what I think about something, I’ll tell the truth, instead of saying what I think he wants to hear. Because if this is going to be real I guess I have to make it real, by being real. And hey, I have some people in my life who have told me that I happen to be pretty fabulous, just the way I am. Thanks guys!

Anyhow, back to this dating game. Does anyone have advice they would like to share? I’m ready and willing to listen, because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in this sort of situation – not only dating, but more importantly someone I really like and who actually treats me amazingly, and so far seems to like me too. (Yes, he's told me...) I’m completely overwhelmed, and more than a little bit twitterpated. Sigh.

Both fingers crossed…

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog and learn about my life. You all mean so much to me!!

God, I love Thanksgiving! I think I gained 5 pounds, but it was totally worth it! This year my family went to my aunt and uncle’s huge, beautiful house in Woodinville for Turkey Day. Since my grandma had 15 children, you can imagine what a packed house it was. But so much fun! You just can’t go wrong with a bunch of crazy Irish Catholics during the holidays… they pretty much see it as a drinking free-for-all. So just to fit in, I began sucking down the Pinot Grigio.
Trying to ignore the football game, my female cousins and I sat by the fire and gossiped about life until dinner was ready. And let me tell you, the meal that came out of this giant kitchen was absolutely amazing. All the required dishes were represented: Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I heaped up a plate full of goodies and sat down to stuff my belly.

After dinner everyone proceeded to get drunker and sillier. While a lively poker game went on in the family room, my aunt Susi proceeded to give everyone in the living room a new and improved hairstyle while a giant puzzle contest began in dining room. Upstairs, I have no idea what all my male younger cousins were doing in the rec room, but I’m sure it had something to do with video games and the absolute largest television set I have ever seen in my life.
Downstairs, the fun continued as I joined one end of the table in puzzle mania. The goal was to finish our puzzle before the other team finished theirs, and of course my team won – I’m great at puzzles! Since that game had gone by so fast, and because I was still far too tipsy to consider driving home yet, we decided to start another puzzle, this time a much harder one. Let me tell you… doing a complicated puzzle with a wine buzz is quite the challenge, but it sure makes for entertaining conversation in the meantime!

The highlight of the evening? When all of my aunts, my sister and a few of my cousins decided to host Dance Party USA in the family room. If you've never seen a bunch of middle aged women dance on tables to the Black Eyed Peas, you haven't lived.

Finally I headed back to the city, full and happy. Only to look forward to another Thanksgiving dinner the next day! Jeanna, Larisa, Kelly and I thought it would be fun to celebrate a “Friends Thanksgiving” this year, so we all headed over to Kelly’s Friday night for another feast. However, this time we decided to mix it up – South Beach Thanksgiving! Yep, that’s right… every single thing we ate was South Beach Diet approved… except for the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes, which Je insisted on having.

Luckily, Kelly had some other friends over as well, who helped us consume what turned out to be WAY too much food for four girls who had stuffed themselves silly just 24 hours earlier. And really, I don’t think these outsiders would have even guessed they were eating diet Thanksgiving food, except for those cauliflower mashed potatoes. And my green bean casserole went over very well, even though no one wanted to have it when we first discussed the menu. My rock hard whole wheat rolls were another story.

Man my life is great, filled with warm houses, good food and great friends. I am really lucky. And so thankful to all of you who enhance my life in different ways. I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Ex Factor

OK seriously, what the hell is wrong with me? I always allow myself to get sucked into bad situations – specifically having to do with men.

It’s no secret that I have been incredibly lonely lately. To the point that I am considering getting a roommate just so I have someone to talk to besides my cat when I get home from work every night. I’ve had absolutely no luck meeting anyone worth dating, and it’s getting to the point that I’m afraid I’m going to be single forever… Yes, I idolize Sex & the City, but I don’t want to actually still be single in my *gasp* mid-thirties!
So, two weekends ago when my ex-boyfriend called me and said he would be in town visiting from Reno, and asked if he could stay at my apartment, I thought “what the hell?” Even though we’ve been broken up for almost two years and I know with absolute certainty that I don’t want to be with him, I figured it couldn’t hurt anything. We had had such a great time during his last visit; we’ve finally gotten to a point where friendship is feasible. (It took me a while to get over the fact that he broke up with me over the telephone after more than two years together… just so he could “sleep with more women” before he “settled down”).

Anyway, we ended up having a really great time. Went out with friends on Friday night in Fremont and went out to dinner on Saturday. On Sunday we even cooked dinner together at my apartment and watched a movie. Super couple-y I know, but it was sort of the itch I had been needing to scratch. I really liked how non-romantic everything was… just like two old friends spending the weekend together. We laughed, joked and reminisced. Funny how you fall so quickly back into old patterns.

Anyway, after he left for Reno on Monday morning, I was feeling really good about the situation. I finally felt like I was the one in control, I was the one calling the shots. I always hated the fact that he had broken up with me for no reason, with no excuses, and with no notice whatsoever that things hadn’t been going just fine. I’ve been a little bitter about that, understandably. So I’m not going to lie that it felt somewhat satisfying that on Friday night he told Jeanna that he wants to get back together with me, and had been thinking about it for quite some time. Come on you guys, you know that when a person gets dumped, it is pretty much their fantasy that someday the dumper will come back around begging forgiveness, and by that time the dumpee will be long gone and over it, preferably happy with someone else.

So… fast forward to this weekend. Jeanna, Kristen and I, for lack of a better option, headed down to Belltown. Talking to Kristen, I was shocked to find out that my ex was in town again. I found it funny that he hadn’t even bothered to call at all, since he had been so insistent on spending the entire weekend with me the last time he visited Seattle. Furthermore, another friend informed me that he had also been trying to get back together with another ex girlfriend, whom he was with after we broke up. Interesting. Not only that, but since he had been in town he had already taken another girl home to screw. Classy. I felt strangely devastated.

Why? I can’t honestly explain it to you. I felt like a jealous girlfriend. No matter that I know for certain that I never want to be with this guy again. But for some reason I feel some sort of claim over him or something. I know it’s selfish, but I wanted him to want me, even if the feelings weren’t reciprocated on my part. What is my problem?!? I guess I just once again feel used. I guess in the back of my head I thought I was the one using him for the companionship I have been missing. I guess I was wrong, and once again I let myself get screwed over by a guy. And now I feel far more lonely than I did in the first place. I can’t believe I put myself in this position.
It will never happen again.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Best of Seattle

Thanks to my company's plethora of free tickets to fabulous Seattle events, Jeanna and I attended Seattle Magazine's BEST of 2006 party last night, and had an absolutely fantastic time. They didn’t call it “The Party of the Year” for nothing – we got to celebrate this year’s winners as voted by the readers and editors of Seattle Magazine while enjoying music, food, beverages and entertainment.

Sponsored by Vulcan Real Estate, the party was held at Jonas/Jensen Fremont Studios. When our cab pulled up we could immediately see we were in for a great night. We followed the red carpet into the giant hall, which was filled with more beautiful people than I have ever seen in once place. We were excited to find out just who had been voted the BEST of 2006.
The night included specialty Seattle SKYY cocktails, which Jeanna and I sipped while sampling some of the best culinary delights in Seattle. I think every single restaurant I have always wanted to dine in but could never afford was represented. After stuffing ourselves silly with the rich goodies, we wandered through the silent auction and then into the wine and beer salon for some tasting.

The room was filled with people sampling dozens of different wines, and we definitely had our fill while socializing with some of my co-workers and a couple of Jeanna’s friends from college we managed to bump into. Then we headed into the theatre for some typical girlie gossip before heading downstairs for some beer to top off the night.

In the main ballroom we got to listen to musical performances by LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends, Dudley Manlove Quartet and Cheryl Serio. After the amount of liquor we had consumed, we had absolutely no problem shaking our groove thangs on the dance floor.

The best part of the evening was all the free goodies we got to take home. In addition to all the little branded trinkets we picked up from various tables, on our way out we were given a cloth bag boasting the South Lake Union development project. Inside we found a martini glass, coffee and chocolate among other various little surprises – all advertising something of course.

It really was a fantastic night, although I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled when my alarm went off this morning. Sometimes I can’t even get over how fabulous my life is! I am very lucky.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sex & the City: The Movie!

In the words of the most fabulous girl I know, regarding the most fabulous television show ever to grace my living room: "God, this is the best news since Jiffy Pop created marshmallow popcorn."

Yes, the news appears to be true -- The last one of the fab four is finally on board with the rest of the quartet to produce a full length film of Sex & the City. The movie option has been on-again off-again since the series finale in 2004. But now, according to Life & Style, the movie might be an actually possibility because "Kim Cattrall has taken a genuine interest in the project!"

Thank God! I know I, along with every other self-respecting woman in America, have been going through major withdrawls since the series ended, and have been barely getting through it by re-watching over and over again seasons one through six, which I own on DVD. But now I have something much more exciting to look forward to... because let's face it, there's nothing better than living vicariously thorough a television show when you feel like you have no hope of falling in love during your own boring existance. Hopefully the release of this film will give me the energy to turn my fabulousness up a notch.

So finally, it seems our favorite fab four are back together for a much-anticipated reunion on the big screen, and it's pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, to be incredibly cliche. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted on the release date, and when it finally arrives, you're welcome to join Jeanna and I at the theatre -- just bring a Cosmopolitan

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Breathing Room

My job has turned into absolute insanity lately. Not only was I here late every night last week, but I also had to come in on both Saturday AND Sunday! Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? I received a substantial raise when I took this job and quit working for The Seattle Times. But now that I am being paid salary and working a significantly higher number of hours each week, I’m getting paid less than before! I’m pretty annoyed.

Not that I don’t consider myself a hard worker. I’m extremely excited about what I am doing with my career right now, and I am always more than happy to come in and help, if needed. However, there is someone at my work who is making my job just a little bit miserable, and substantially more difficult than it should be. I swear if I have to work with this woman for one more day I am going to have a stress-induced nervous breakdown.

I am working with the most incompetent bitch you could ever imagine. She treats me like a child and talks to me like I’m her dog. The condescending, nasty tone she uses to speak to me makes me want to spit in her face. The worst part is, this woman has absolutely no justification in treating me so horribly. I am generally a very cheerful person. I rarely have a bad attitude about anything. But when interacting with this woman, I automatically turn into a complete defensive bitch! I hear myself talk back to her and wonder “Who is this person I have become?”

This stupid See You Next Tuesday is a complete moron. She asks me to send her the same document at least five times a day. And when I point out that I have already sent it to her several times, she looks at me like I’m the idiot and asks if I am being snotty. Um, no. Sorry sweetie, I’m just trying to point out that I should not be punished for your incompetence. If you can’t find the freaking document in your computer, that’s not my problem. I shouldn’t have to send it to you over and over again.

The reason we have been so completely slammed lately is because of two big events my company hosted this week. I have been working like crazy for the past couple weeks trying to handle these projects on my own, because you-know-who hasn’t been able to get a single thing accomplished. And she is the project manager, not I. I should ask for a raise. Anyway, after busting my ass last week and this weekend, we were finally able to pull together what we needed to in order to host an event. No thanks to Miss Tuesday.

Thankfully, I had a very interesting conversation with two other co-workers on Friday. Come to find out, everyone feels the same way as me – that this particular person is completely useless and making things harder for everyone else. Ah… it was a compete sigh of relief to find that I have some camaraderie.

Well, after being entirely stressed out and getting minimal amounts of sleep for far too many days in a row, the events we have been frantically planning for have finally arrived. And since Miss Tuesday is technically the “project manager,” she is the person expected to attend these all-day events. Which leaves me blissfully alone in the office – finally! It’s been such a fantastic break to surf the net, catch up on emails and of course write blogs from my desk again, something I’ve really been missing. And as far as I can tell, things are really going to slow down at work until the new year, which will be a much-needed break from all this insanity. Unfortunately Miss Tuesday will be back in the office tomorrow.

I’m enjoying the blissful escape while I still can…

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Badass Chick From Iowa

This morning I woke up to a most unexpected predicament when I went down to my garage – a flat tire! Now, anyone acquainted with me knows that I know absolutely nothing about cars. They happen to be my dad’s own personal hobby, so there has never been a need for me to wash or even vacuum out my car, let alone change a flat tire.

Kelly, Jeanna and I had gone down to the Pyramid Snowcap party on Saturday night. Apparently this particular kind of beer is fairly potent, because Jeanna and Kelly only had about four each and were completely hammered. I had decided not to drink and had graciously offered to drive the girls down to SoDo. Apparently all the construction and crappy roads down there were not the best thing for my car.

Too drunk to drive home, Kelly crashed on my couch. The next morning I offered to give her a ride down the hill. I stopped dead in my tracks as we approached my car. One of the rear tires was completely flat. My heart sank and I began to panic, because even though it was Sunday, I was due at work in less than 30 minutes. Great. I don’t even know how to check my freaking oil, how the hell was I going to deal with this?

Not to worry. Sometimes it just pays off to be friends with a badass chick from Iowa. Kelly is pretty much one of the more fabulous people I have ever met. She drinks Bud Light out of a wine glass while chain smoking Marlboro Lights. She has a trunk absolutely stuffed to the brim with fabulous camping gear, and can light a campfire in less than five minutes. A water bong takes her less than 10. She sings karaoke like a rock star and wears roller skates to parties. She loves hot pink anything. She curses like a sailor and thinks cheesy brats are one of the best foods ever invented. She’s broken a guy’s nose. And if you ever get a chance to meet her, she will tell you some of the most hysterical stories you have ever heard in your entire life. You’ll either cry or pee your pants, I promise.

Anyway, moral of the story is before I could even get upset about my flat tire, Kelly already had the trunk open, the spare tire out and was banging around in an attempt to find the jack. Yes. This was way better than having a boyfriend. She jacked the car up in no time flat and proceeded to change the tire, with only a minor setback when we weren’t quite strong enough to get the lug nuts off. That took some effort and quick thinking. Turns out I picked up a nail, and now have to drive around with the stupid doughnut tire on my car until I can take it in and get it repaired. It doesn’t really surprise me that this happened, considering how much construction is perpetually happening on the streets of Seattle.

But thank God my friend Kelly happened to be with me this morning, because otherwise I probably would have just stood there and cried. Yep, sometimes it just pays off to befriend a badass chick from Iowa.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Landmark Birthday

Every time my mom visits me in Seattle, I hear the same sob story… “I can’t believe I have lived my whole life without having gone up the Space Needle even one time!” OK, OK Mom, we get it. So this year I planned a fantastic birthday party for Mommy at the historic Seattle Center landmark – Sky City.

First, my dad, mom, brother and I spend the afternoon at another city hotspot: the Pacific Science Center. I know this sounds nerdy, but we had a really great time! First, we journeyed back through time to the Mesozoic Era dinosaur exhibit, which boasts seven moving, roaring, robotic dinosaurs in a lifelike environment. We also visited the Insect Village, with interactive exhibits and live animal displays – being careful to help Mom avoid the spider cages. Next, we visited the Tropical Butterfly House, which is my favorite part of the Science Center. We saw hundreds of beautiful, free-flying butterflies fly, sun themselves, and feed among tropical flowers.

Even though we are adults, my brother and I had a great time in Kids Works, and my mom even got to see herself on TV as the Guest Meteorologist in the K5 First Alert Weather Center. The animal exhibits were also fun, and we played games in the Body Works exhibit that tested reaction time, energy production and nutrition. I sort of felt like I was on a school field trip, but seeing as my mom is a teacher it was kind of fitting. We spent some time at the Science Playground and the Technology Exhibits before heading back outside into the pouring rain.

A short trek led us over to the Space Needle’s base, where we met up with my sister and climbed into the elevator for our trip to Sky City. The anticipation began immediately: within 10 seconds we could see the sparkling waters of Puget Sound… 20 seconds and we could see Mount Rainier… 30 seconds and skyscrapers began to appear like giant legos… 41 seconds and we were at the top of the world, 520 feet above the metropolis.

The menu was full of award-winning exclusive and signature dishes. We started with some birthday martinis and bread before moving onto the main course, which was completely scrumptious. I had roasted garlic chicken stuffed with roasted garlic. It was served with pan jus, garlic mashed potatoes, red chard and wild boar bacon – yum! After dinner we climbed up to the observation deck. The cold gusty wind and rain made the experience on the outside deck less than ideal, but my brother, mom and I still managed to walk around the entire Needle. Now she can stop complaining!

Overall I think my mom had a fantastic birthday, I’m really glad I took the time to plan something. The Science Center provided for a fun-filled afternoon (I still want to go back there to see the Dead Sea Scrolls sometime soon) and the Space Needle was a fabulous place for dinner. Although price-wise, I would really recommend the lunch menu.

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


The Lucky Strikes really rocked it this week! Bowling is my new all time favorite activity. At least for Wednesday nights, that is.

With RT and David replacing two of our male players from last season, this league has turned out to be pretty fantastic! I’ve actually gotten pretty good, and last night I bowled a 135, which I think is my top score ever! The guys are all really good bowlers as well, and our games last night actually managed to bump us up in the ranking, and we are tied for second place in the league – this means next week = Bowling Finals!

I can’t really explain to you why I find bowling so entertaining. Perhaps it’s the fact that we can place Dance, Dance Revolution every night while waiting for league play to begin. And the cheap, warm beers. And the awesome t-shirts Jeanna designed. And the non-strenuous athletic activity. And of course gossiping with Je and Vanessa. All while cheering on our teammates in unnecessarily loud screaming voices.

Since our bowling league starts so late this season (9 p.m.) I often get home from work, eat dinner and am almost asleep on the couch before I drag myself up and out the door to Ballard. I’ve been tempted to bail out a number of times, but have never done it. And good thing, too, because I always manage to have an absolutely great time at Sunset Bowl every Wednesday. I never end up pouring myself into bed until at least 1:30, but it’s all worth it.

Go Lucky Strikes!

11/9/06 Update: The finals didn't go as well as we'd hoped, but we still did ok. Second place, which in reality is first loser, but I'm trying to stay optimistic. Jeanna was out due to a spastic back problem, so Vaness and I had to carry the girls side of the team on our own. The first game went really well, which bumped us from the semi-finals into the finals. But as the last game began and we tried to compete for the win, we knew it was pretty much over from the start. I don't know if it was the pressure of the competition or what, but every single person on our team played his or her worst game ever! It was completely ironic, and we all finished up a little frustrated and annoyed. Overall though, it was a great season, and we collectively agreed that the Lucky Strikes will join the winter league when it starts. And this time, we're going to win!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I really need to get over my McDonalds addiction. It’s bad enough when I go into the restaurant in lower Queen Anne and am surrounded by juvenile thugs and obese tourists from the Midwest. But I’ve found that the downtown McDonald on Third and Pine is a freak show of it’s own.

Desperate for a few minutes out of the office, I went down to street level today looking for something to eat. The golden arches beckoned. Ignoring vulgar comments tossed in my general direction as I walked in the door by couple of jerks, I joined the line behind the register, trying not to make eye contact with a homeless man who leaned against the wall waiting for his order. Someone must have given him enough change for a cheeseburger.

McDonalds customers never cease to amaze me, and as I waited I began my typical people watching. In front of me I noticed an extremely short (I’m talking under 5 feet tall here) guy in his early 20s. I don’t know why I took notice of him… perhaps because he was so short and wearing pretty much the baggiest clothing I have seen in a long time. He moved up in line and reached in his back pocket for his wallet. Unfortunately, this caused his shirt to become hiked up and lodged on his belt.

I could not believe my eyes. I looked again to make sure. No! The guy was wearing a diaper. That’s right, an adult diaper! I didn’t mean to stare, but as he paid for his double quarter pounder with cheese meal it was all I could concentrate on. Tell me this isn’t bizarre and random.

I finally got my food and picked a corner table to sit down and digest. Unfortunately, two large women with two small children chose to sit right next to me. So much for my nice quiet break from work. Fortunately, the children – a boy of about 2 and a girl probably around 3 – were very well behaved. Which is why I cringe when re-telling this experience.

I have never seen children treated so horribly before. As they ate their chicken nuggets and fries, the children chattered and sipped juice boxes. Apparently, this behavior was unacceptable.
“Shut the fuck up before I smack your face off!” One of the women shouted at the little girl. “Drink your juice box right!” she snapped at the boy.

A few moments later, the little girl whined and extended her hands from her high chair toward the table, reaching for more fries. “Stop it!” the woman hissed, and smacked the girl in the face. She cringed but did not cry. Then the woman noticed the little boy, who was sucking on his crumpled juice box. “I told you to drink that right!” she snapped at him, and yanked the juice box from his hands, tossing it on the table. The adorable little boy’s face fell, and his eyes welled up with tears. He reached in vain toward the table. “Oh, now you want it? Stop fucking crying,” the evil woman laughed. And in one swoop she reached out and shoved the high chair backward. It flew across the room and I tensed, ready to jump up should it topple over backward. The two women cackled at the child’s misfortune.

I felt like I was going to vomit. If I was another person, I would have said something. But under the circumstances, I was pretty sure that these two evil bitches would have “smacked my fucking face off” had I confronted them about their child-raising skills, so for my own safety I kept silent.

I tried to avert my eyes and concentrate on my lunch, but the scene was like a train wreck… I didn’t want to see what would happen next, but I couldn’t look away. The little girl dropped her stuffed toy. Strapped into her chair, she could not reach it and gestured for help. One of the women snorted, and then kicked the toy under the table. Both children wiggled and whined, trying to escape their confinements. The women talked, laughed and cursed loudly for a few minutes, then got ready to leave. This basically consisted of yanking the children by one arm out of the chair and tossing them onto the floor before stalking toward the door. “Hurry the fuck up!” they screamed.

What exactly did these children do that was horrible enough to deserve such treatment? These adorable little angels were perfect examples of 3-year-old behavior… they were polite and well mannered in public, but the mere fact that they were there and breathing seemed cause for punishment.

I’ve seen some freak shows at McDonalds before, but today by far takes the grand prize. And not in a good way. Today’s lunch experience will haunt me for a long time. As will those two poor, angelic little faces.

And that diaper.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Part 2

Well, it got so crazy this year that I managed to pull off two completely different costumes! This stemmed from the fact that our foursome had originally been planning on a Wizard of Oz theme, but that got nixed. Unfortunately this was after I had already purchased a non-returnable Dorothy costume, complete with ruby slippers.

Since several members of our Peter Pan crew were unable to join in the Halloween night festivities, we all donned individual costumes – Jeanna as a geisha, Vanessa sporting my NYPD cop costume from last year, and me as Dorothy. We had decided after much deliberation to attend a party at the Last Supper Club in Pioneer Square, a place I would normally avoid like the plague. However, this year the Underdog Sports League rented out the lower-level bar, and entrance was free for all league members.

Decked out in our costumes, the three of us headed downtown with Tre and Damon. The club was packed, and it took a while to get up to the bar for our $3 drink specials. We took to double-fisting them just to avoid standing in line again. Jeanna’s costume was a huge hit, and I am convinced she should cut her hair into a bob and dye it black immediately.
We hit the dance floor and had a fabulous time. I even managed to find myself a Scarecrow! All three of our costumes eventually became covered in spilt beer, and I’m pretty sure we collectively smelled like a drunk dirty homeless person. Luckily, everyone else was too intoxicated and covered with beer themselves to notice.

After the extremely lame costume contest in which no one could see the stage, we topped off the night with our own version of Dance Party USA as the deejay began playing 1980s pop songs like Hey Mickey. A fabulous way to end the night, and the Halloween festivities in general. My only disappointment was that a random stranger didn't come up to me and declare, "There's no place like home!" but I suppose that would have been a little much to ask.
I’m not going to deny I’m already thinking about what my costume will be next year. I can’t wait!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

Well, I really managed to outdo myself this year with probably one of my most memorable Halloween weekends on record. Here’s the breakdown…
Friday night began with a group costume, starring yours truly as Peter Pan, Larisa as Captain Hook, Jeanna as Mr. Smee and Vanessa as Tinkerbell. We made quite a cast of characters! I don’t know how I got roped into playing the boy who wouldn’t grow up for Halloween, but the costume actually ended up being cute; and I still got to rock fishnets and sparkly green eye makeup! Our group was supplemented by Tre, dressed as some sort of little boy from Holland, and Abe as Sayid from the ABC series Lost. After a significant amount of pre-funking at Vanessa’s house, we headed to a house party in Greenlake. I freaking love Halloween. There is nothing more entertaining than going to parties and checking out the strange/fabulous costumes people have thought up. At the party we also met up with Mike, who came as Clark Kent/Superman.

My favorite part of the party by far was when a perfect stranger approached me, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Oh there you are, Peter!” If you’ve ever seen the movie Hook, you get it.
After a broken window mishap, several beers, and some karaoke, we decided to bail to another party in the neighborhood. This one proved to be far more entertaining. That is, after I managed to get in the door, which proved difficult due to the overwhelming stench. This party was far larger than the first, two stories of Halloween fun! The cool old house was like a maze, with random hallways and doors everywhere, very spooky. There was also an upper deck and backyard perfect for getting away from the hot, noisy interior.
After hitting the keg, Jeanna and I decided to get our groove on in the sunken living room, which had been converted into a dance floor complete with deejay and multicolored lights. However, notice that I said sunken living room… this means that we had to go down two or three steps before hitting the hardwood floor below. This would have been good info to have beforehand. Somehow in the dark I assumed there was only one step, and in a movement obviously lacking all grace, I pitched forward into the crowd of people and slammed into the floor, only avoiding knocking out a tooth by getting my knee underneath me at the last second.

I spent the rest of the party trying not to bleed on people. And arguing that I was, in fact, Peter Pan, not Robin Hood as many suggested. As the night wound down, we decided to head out. Totally disregarding my little spill inside the house, Jeanna thought it would be a great idea to slide down a railing next to three flights of concrete steps. She got about six steps down before crashing to the ground and narrowly escaping a rough tumble to the bottom. We were up to three scraped knees at this point… super classy.
The next morning wasn’t pretty as Jeanna and I woke up bruised, scraped and battered. Ah well, it’s the price you pay, I supposed. We geared up for another Halloween night out. Saturday night we had plans to attend a few parties in Queen Anne before heading out to the bars. We retained the same “Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Til Morning” theme, but this evening also included Kelly as Tigerlilly, and we were sadly sans Tinkerbell. After hanging at Je’s house for a while, we trucked ourselves up the hill in the frigid weather.
Since it was still early, the party was pretty low-key. We took advantage of the keg and spent most of the next couple hours inside socializing with each other inside… skanky costumes really aren’t made for icy October nights in Seattle, and we were reluctant to join the other party-goes on the deck. Eventually, Larisa’s friend called and informed us of a fabulous party happening in Beacon Hill. Normally I would never consider taking a cab that far into the south end for a house party, but since it was Halloween I decided to make an exception.

It was the longest, most expensive cab ride of my life. After pit stopping at a gas station for more beer, we became virtually stuck in SoDo – completely blocked from our destination by an endless line of trains, of all things. After waiting for them to pass for nearly 10 minutes, Jeanna couldn’t take it anymore and hopped out of the cab to find a convenient bathroom. Finally, we made it to the party.
Unfortunately, the house was filled with snobs the other girls had gone to high school with. Every guys and girl I met pretty much sucked. I managed to entertain myself for a while by singing karaoke with Kelly, but was overall disappointed in our choice of destination. Jeanna, Kelly and I headed out, in search of a main road that might yield a taxi back to the city. However, we took a wrong turn and were soon wandering, shivering cold, around a residential Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Once we finally found a main street there were no cabs in sight. Fortunately a mutual friend who had been at the party happened to drive by and offered us a ride. The journey home was the one thing that salvaged the night as we danced, laughed hysterically and sang at the top of our lungs the whole way home. It was awesome.
Happy Halloween!