Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Organized Activities

So last night I went to the second meeting of my book club, which I still find very entertaining. We are discussing Nuala O-Faolain’s My Dream of You, which is about a middle aged woman travel writer who has been estranged from her family and native Ireland since she was young. But the death of a close friend prompts her to return to her homeland to make peace with her family and research a 150-year-old mystery. I know – YAWN!

But surprisingly, our book club meetings are lively and fun! I think this is mostly because the main character in the book sleeps with almost every man she comes across throughout her life, and this has often become the dominating topic of conversation at our little meetings. I was shocked and appalled when an old woman from my department who I barely know blurted without shame: “Well, as a reformed slut myself, I can understand where she’s coming from.” Thanks, but TMI.

And speaking of this particular book clubber, I just have to say something about the only drawback of our meetings. She always chooses to sit next to me. Which is fine. But if you’re going to wear sandals in a closed-in space filled with lots of people, please wash your feet. I honestly tried not to gag like three times, and the visual image was not any better, with her long, gnarled, discolored toenails. And on top of that, the room had no open windows, so as the temperature rose it quickly became apparent that she did not believe in foot fungus medication or antiperspirant. I had to get up and “use the bathroom” just for a breath of fresh air!

Anyway, I feel a little bit smarter today, even though I didn’t finish the book, which I plan on reading this afternoon at work while I have nothing better to do.

In other news, if I don’t get some sleep soon I think it’s quite possible that I may kill myself. I have no idea what’s up with my brain, but it is refusing to cooperate and enter that lovely world of REM sleep. Every night I have nightmare after nightmare about my ex boyfriend, and I wake up almost every hour crying, sweating and gasping for air. It totally sucks, as you can imagine. Now I must admit that I have had a couple more “pleasurable” dreams, but these have been few and far between and in no way make up for the night terrors. I am a walking zombie (I actually bumped into the frame of my bathroom door this morning) and I think I’m getting sick, too – NOT good, considering the weekend of camping and drinking I have planned.

Maybe I’ll try to nap underneath my desk this afternoon. I really don’t think anyone would notice…

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Shake it like a Polaroid Picture

I'm one of those nerdy people who enjoy joining organized activities, from bowling leagues to book clubs, and last night I began yet another fabulous class – Belly Dancing! While learning the art of Middle Eastern Dance has never been high on my list of priorities, I just couldn’t say no when Jeanna invited me to join her, Vanessa and Larisa at the YMCA on Monday nights. And since Larisa works at the Y, the classes are conveniently free, so what the hell.

Belly dancing is all about the female body; from building confidence to helping maintain a level of fitness that even improves things like pregnancy and child birth. This became immediately obvious to us when the instruction walked (no, waddled) in, roughly seven months pregnant! Although I can’t imagine trying to belly dance while carrying around that much extra weight, we immediately forgot about her pregnancy as she began the class.

I was pretty nervous about looking like a complete idiot in a room full of people who have been dancing for months or even years, but the instructor started with the basics. She taught us the proper posture, and we did some light warm ups. Then the fun really began, as we walked – toe, heel, toe, heel – in a circle while raising and lowering our arms and presenting our energy to the sky. Seriously. Apparently belly dancing is all about energy, which must enter through your pelvis and then explode out of your chest. This allows your inner goddess to be free (or something).

The class was really fun, but about halfway through I was convinced I was doing something wrong. Although I tried to follow the instructor as closely as possible, I never really felt like I was getting any sort of a workout. The woman in front of me, however, was literally dripping with sweat. Maybe she just took the class more seriously. I mean, she did have a skirt lined with traditional bells, and the front two inches of it could not be seen, due to her belly sagging down. I’ll have to work on that. Perhaps beer will help.

The last 20 minutes of the class were the most fun. We got to listen to some lively Middle Eastern music while we learned the basic steps to a dance. Most importantly, the instructor taught us the importance of breathing, and sound. We were supposed to grunt and moan with the music while presenting our energy to the sun, collapsing back in on ourselves, and shaking our hips. I’m pretty sure any guy who walked in the room would have spontaneously combusted to see all those women wiggling around while grunting and moaning.

After the class we went back to Vanessa’s house to make a healthy South Beach approved dinner, which was actually really good! It’s pretty easy to trick yourself into thinking that pureed cauliflower with imitation butter spray is real mashed potatoes! Overall, I was pretty happy with my first belly dancing experience, and will be coming back next week for sure. My only hope is that this activity will help reduce my belly, and not enhance it…

Monday, August 28, 2006

Take me out to the ball game

Well, I’ve officially been to three Mariner’s games so far this season, and although I’m generally the first to admit that baseball bores me, I’ve had a fantastic time at all three games.

Game 1, May 8: Seattle Mariners v. Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Apparently we won, 6-3. Jamie, Clint and I got super hammered at Pyramid Alehouse before the game started, and I don’t think we even made it to the seventh inning before getting bored and going home. Which is probably why I don’t remember who won the game, and I had to look it up. The Mariners apparently scored three runs in the seventh inning, and two in the eighth. Regardless, I had a fantastic time just sitting up in the nosebleed section along the third baseline. We drank cheap beer and reminisced about old times. Jamie and I were both freezing, and had to huddle in Clint’s giant sweatshirt (yes, together). Clint may have been on the lookout for fly balls, but I don’t think Jamie and I paid more than 10 minutes attention to the entire game. It was fantastic.

Game 2, August 23: Seattle Mariners v. New York Yankees. At this point I had heard enough “The Mariners suck this season” comments to not be surprised when we lost, 2-9. However, I still had a fabulous time at the game. This time, Jeanna and I met up with some of her high school girlfriends. There were about eight of us all together, and it’s no wonder the old, toothless, creepy man next to us attempted to make friends. Ick. Night games at Safeco Field in the summer are fabulous, since the weather is so perfect. So we had a great time gossiping and occasionally watching the game when the crowd noise signaled that something exciting was happening. Most importantly, we quickly learned that the center field bleachers are not only the best/cheapest seats in the house, but they have a great viewpoint for scoping out cute guys. Unfortunately, it’s also a great viewpoint for mullets galore, and obese people grubbing on garlic fries, paying no attention to the game. I honestly think some people just come to the ballpark to eat. I’m still trying to block out those images and concentrate on the gorgeous men.

Game 3, August 27: Seattle Mariners v. Boston Red Sox. This time I attended an afternoon game with my brother and sister. Since the center field bleacher seats were already sold out, we got some really great (more expensive) seats down fairly low on the third baseline. We were only sitting down for about half an inning before we realized our mistake. August Sunday afternoons in Seattle are HOT, and our seats were directly in the sun. My brother was sweating in seconds, and I have to admit, I was too. My fair-skinned sister realized we needed to take action immediately before we became lobsters, so she bought herself a hat, some sunscreen, and frozen lemonade drinks all around. Unfortunately, we still had to take breaks from the hot sun, and while she and my brother were wandering around in the shade, they missed the most exciting play of the game. With the bases loaded, Raul Ibanez belted a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning. Even I know that’s pretty exciting, and apparently it’s a pretty big deal that the Mariners completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox for the first time in 17 years. Eh, I just liked spending an afternoon in the sun with my siblings. We even ended up on the big screen up on the wall at the field, which has never happened to me before, and according to my dad, we were on TV for a second, too! Oh and PS, we won, 6-3.

So I suppose I am officially a fan now. Even though I’m not so big on baseball itself, I’ve learned that going to a game is a fabulous social event (possibly filled with cute boys and alcohol, what could be better?) So if anyone wants to invite me to another game, feel free. Go Mariners!

Friday, August 25, 2006

And then there were two...

Another one bites the dust. Yep, the time has finally come. After months of soul-searching, Tracy has finally decided to put in her two weeks notice at The Seattle Times. Needless to say, I’m torn in two – Devastated to be losing such a great work buddy, but so happy that my amazing friend has decided to take such positive steps forward in her life. So congratulations, Trizzle!

People at the Times have been quitting right and left since I first started here about a year and a half ago. That’s when Tracy and I first met; in Enterprise Training. And since both of us didn’t really know anyone our age at work, we decided to have lunch. We immediately invited Zoe to round out the trio, and the three of us have had lunch together practically every day since. Along with uncountable midday breaks/complaining sessions.

I’ve seen our little lunch group go through major changes during the past year. At one point a few months ago, our group contained about eight people, and a walk down to Moka’s Coffee Shop looked like a mini-parade. Sadly, most people from that group have chosen to seek employment elsewhere, and few of them have kept in touch. But Tracy, Zoe and I were always the solid core. But I was naïve to think it would last forever and sadly, the end of an era has finally come. Frankly, I feel a bit lost, sad and confused. We’ve already halfway lost Tracy due to her move to the Eastside, but this is the final blow. Ouch.

All that said, I’m really excited for Miss Tracy Sing! A gorgeous and talented rising star, she moved to Seattle to pursue her acting career, and that’s exactly what she’s going to do. Her new job will be as an independent sales consultant for a video production company, and the flexible schedule will allow her to go on countless auditions. I have a feeling once she lands a starring role in a big film she won’t need this new job anymore, either!

So now it’s down to just me and Zoe. I suppose this should be a sign to me that The Seattle Times Company isn’t exactly the best place to start your career, as most of the young, talented employees only stick around for a year or so, and then move on. Perhaps one of these days my time will come, too. But for now I am just sad my friend is leaving. Seeing her smiling face at lunch has made each day that much easier to bear. And her advice and constant supportive friendship have meant so much to me.

My only consolation is that we will now be forced to plan to get together more often, and not take for granted the time that we do spend together. And I think it’s safe to say that our future interactions are sure to include a lot more alcohol!

Good luck in taking this huge step forward in your life, Tracy-Poo! You will be wildly successful. And if you aren’t – well, I will cut you. *she gets it*

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Attention Whore

My cat is driving me completely bananas. And I hate bananas. Even as I write this, Jasmine and I are fighting about whether I can sit in peace on my couch and write this blog, or whether she gets to lie across the keyboard, where she is more likely to convince me to pet her. Or I could just pick her up and throw her across the room.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my cat. I’ve had her since college, and she’s always been strictly inside-only, which means when I’m home, we spend a lot of time together. A LOT. I’ve never seen a cat so desperate for human company before. At this point, I’m almost considering getting another one, just so Jasmine will have someone besides me to entertain her. I think the first mistake was bringing her to my parent’s house when I moved home for a few months after college. While I went to work every day, my dad (whose office is at home) spent the entire day with Jazzy. He let her sit on his lap, talked to her, pet her, and even taught her to fetch. (Seriously)

Anyway, I think Jasmine got way too used to all this attention. What ever happened to cats being lazy, selfish, bitches that were content to sit by themselves on a windowsill? Not my cat. I get no sleep anymore. I tried locking her out of my bedroom at night, but it was just no use. She cries and claws at the door the entire night trying to get in, and I still get no sleep. She’s only content when she gets to sleep on my bed. Which would be fine. However, Jasmine and I spend the entire night in constant battle. I don’t like her sleeping on the sheets. She is only totally content when she’s asleep ON my pillow, and basically on my face. It seems like every single time I roll over at night, I wake up and have to throw my cat back down to the foot of the bed. It’s exhausting.

And then I get up in the morning. She has somehow learned that showering means I’m getting ready to go somewhere. And this does not make little Jazzy happy. She spends each and every morning sitting on my bathmat until I get out of the shower. Then I spend the next half hour trying to dodge her claws as she bats at my ankles while I try to get dressed, put on makeup, dry my hair, etc. She meows pitifully the whole time. Then I get home from work. The second I sit down, Jasmine wants to be in my lap. And there she stays, for the entirety of the evening. Which would be really cute, except my cat is not small. She’s actually quite fat. And after about a half hour of cuddling, my legs start to fall asleep. So I push her off. 15 seconds later, she jumps back up. I push her off again. 20 seconds later, up again. Another shove. For the next 2 minutes, she sits staring at me, lashing her tail back and forth, tensed to jump up as soon as I’m not paying attention. Finally, I just give up the battle.

What is the deal with this cat?!? Are all cats so starved for attention, or is it just mine? Should I get another one, or would that only make the problem twice as annoying? I mean, it’s nice to feel appreciated and loved, but this is getting a little out of control. Maybe I just need to be a little more understanding. I mean, Jasmine does spend 10-12 hours a day completely alone. Do animals require the same amount of interactions as humans do, or else they run the risk of becoming depressed? Who knows? The point is, I’m going freaking crazy, and if I don’t get a good night’s sleep sometime soon, there is going to be a new posting in the free pets section of Craigslist.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Woman's Right to Choose

“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” – Elbert Hubbard.

I have this yearly “Thoughts and Quotes on Friendship” calendar that I keep on my desk at work, and that’s the quote of the day. It reminded me of some things I thought about this weekend.

I have known a lot of people throughout the years who have very negative outlooks on life. Most have that horrible attitude of, “Woe is me, everything bad happens to me, nothing good, it’s just not fair.” Bullshit. I’ve always had the outlook of, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” It drives me crazy when people just sit there thinking that life happens to them. Life is what you make of it. Proactive choices and actions are what allow a person to move his or her life in any desired direction.

But the most frustrating problem I have seen with many of my friends is their inability to be alone. I know far too many women who are unable to define their lives, or who they are, without the direction of a relationship. I see women stay in bad relationships because the option of being alone is far too terrifying. This is not a phenomenon I can understand. Granted, being alone is a bit scary, especially after coming out of any substantial or long term relationship. But for me, I would much rather be single and emotionally available to meet the man of my dreams than stuck in a dead end relationship that is hindering any chances I might have of being happy. Anyone post breakup takes steps to not be alone… we make perpetual plans with our girlfriends, join different activities, and generally do anything possible to avoid sitting at home staring at the phone. But this is a healthy way to avoid “being alone.” It involves the support of friends, and the chance to emotionally heal and move on.

It’s frustrating to watch women think so poorly of themselves that a abusive relationships becomes appealing. I do want to be in a healthy, happy relationship some day. And in the meantime, I want to spend quality time with my friends, and figure out exactly who I am and what I want/need out of life. The only want to do that is by being alone. A person cannot define themselves by their relationship. Everyone needs to learn how to stand on their own two feet, and like doing it. Once this happens, I think it is far more likely that you will develop some standards, and not settle for an unhealthy, unhappy relationship.

I guess I just don’t understand what’s so scary. I have a plethora of amazing friends to surround myself with. I can pretty much keep myself occupied every night of the week. The point is I know that I will meet someone some day, the person that I’m supposed to be with. So instead of wasting my time on unhealthy, dead end relationships, I would rather spend these fabulous, single, 20-something years enjoying life to its absolute fullest. I choose to be happy. I wish others could see that this choice is available to them as well. At this point in our lives, you’d hope we would have learned something about ourselves, and what we deserve out of life. Happiness. It’s a choice.

"Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you are to become who you will be." -- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & the City.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Perfect Man...

In the wake of my most recent dating disaster, I’ve done a lot of thinking. First and foremost, I have decided to allow myself adequate healing time by putting myself on a strict dating diet. That is, absolutely no dating until after Halloween. I figured this was an appropriate time to choose, seeing as it will have been about three months since the break, and will allow me to remain single while I am in London & Paris – awesome. I really think that people need to take time to recover after ending a significant relationship, otherwise they run the risk of meeting and dating a really great person, but unintentionally sabotaging the relationship because they are not over the previous one. That’s just been my experience.

I’ve also been doing some thinking about the type of guy I would like to end up with. Because at this point, I really see no reason in having a relationship with a man that will inevitably lead nowhere. Instead of wasting my time and getting my heart broken, I would rather live these fabulous 20-something years with my friends. I have the rest of my life to spend in suburbia with a husband, mortgage, and 2.5 kids. However, this doesn’t mean that I’ve given up dating (or men) altogether. It just means that I have become somewhat jaded and picky. And with the help of some friends, I think I have developed a pretty solid list of qualities that any man I date will be required to have. Not that I’m completely irrational and looking for perfection… Anyone with a good majority of the following traits would do just fine.

Let’s get started. In no particular order, the man I end up with should:

  • Be incredibly attractive... at least to me!
  • Have graduated from college.
  • Have a job. More specifically, have a day job. I find it completely unrealistic for someone who works 9-5 to have a relationship with someone who works nights. Sorry all you bartenders and restaurant workers, that means you’re out.
  • Be my age, or older than me. Preferably older. I’ve found that younger guys have absolutely no idea what they want.
  • Not be too old for me. I have a set in stone 10-year rule… if he’s within the window, he’s still good.
  • Know who he is, and what he wants out of life.
  • Be financially stable, and have a plan for the future.
  • Have a passport, and have traveled somewhere outside the United States.
  • Have excellent hygiene. This is a big one for me. He doesn’t have to smell like cologne, but I do love that just-showered boy smell.
  • Have a great smile, and great teeth. This goes along with the hygiene rule… and a good, honest smile just melts me.
  • Not have a large dog. I may be able to compromise on this one, but it’s not likely. The large dog scares me, and it won’t get along with my cat. Plus, it smells.
  • Never have been married before, and have no children from any previous relationship.
  • Like TV enough to watch it with me when I choose an appropriately addictive reality television show, but not enough to sit like a couch potato all day.
  • Not be addicted to video games. An occasional drunken round of 1980s-style Super Mario Bros is fine, but he cannot own every single video gaming system known to man. This makes me think he’s lazy. Get outside and entertain yourself!
  • Know how to cook, at least for himself. And even if he can’t cook well, he should have at least one fabulous signature dish to make when he’s trying to impress me.
  • Have a good relationship with his family.
  • Read for pleasure, as well as information. This means the newspaper, novels, etc. Maxim Magazine does not count. Reading that in the bathroom is fine though.
  • Be up to date on current events, and be willing to discuss them with me.
  • Have a reasonably low, but realistic number of previous sexual partners.
  • Love alternative and classic rock music, and think Pearl Jam is one of the top five bands of all time.
  • Be willing to accept the fact that I hold fairly conservative views and will not change my mind about them. This does not mean he has to share my views.
  • Have a sense of humor, but still remain grounded about the realities of the world.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Preferably while doing fun things with me, like going for walks, bike rides, playing tennis, going to the gym, etc.
  • Be generous.
  • Open restaurant and car doors for me. Sorry, I’m an old fashioned girl, and I live for this type of behavior. It’s just good manners.
  • Own great jeans, and know how to wear them.
  • Be a romantic. Surprise me. Believe in fate.
  • Know the difference between confidence and cockiness.
  • Have no tattoos or piercings.
  • Be a non-smoker (no chewing either) and non-drug user.
  • Think Seattle is one of the best places on earth, hands down.
  • Play a sport. I don’t care what.
  • Enjoy a night partying out on the town with friends (his or mine) just as much as a Saturday night at home, watching a movie and cuddling on the couch.
  • Love food and wine.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Not make fun of me for my occasional bad eating habits. I love mac ‘n’ cheese, and I love Big Macs. Deal with it.
  • Be completely honest in all words and actions.
  • Never have dated, slept with, or hit on any of my close friends.
  • Play a musical instrument.
  • Have been in at least one serious, life-altering relationship. However, he needs to have been out of it for at least one year (dating since then is quite all right) and the insane ex must be totally out of the picture.
  • Must not be an only child. Way too many issues there.
  • Be willing to get to know my friends, and bring me around his friends.
  • Be responsible. Gets the bills paid each month.
  • Have several significant, long-standing friendships (with both males and females).
  • Make me feel like I am the only woman on earth… absolutely NO wandering eyes while you are with me. What you do on your own time is your own business, as long as it’s just looking, which reminds me…
  • Not have a history of cheating.
  • Know the difference between when I am just complaining, and when I actually want him to do something about it.
  • Like to give kisses on the forehead.
  • Be willing to introduce me to his family, after an appropriate amount of time has passed.
  • Want to get married, someday.
  • Understand that if I let you touch my feet, it’s a big deal.
  • Keep promises.
  • Love children, and want to have at least two.
  • Be able to do his own laundry, and lives in a decent place.
  • Understand how important my friends and family are to me, and make an effort to get to know them.
  • Be ambitious, and have dreams.
  • Be an absolutely amazing kisser.

If anyone knows this guy, please give him my phone number. I’m available to go out November 1st.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Confessions of a Broken Heart

Fair Warning: If you’re sick of hearing about my breakup, DON’T read this blog. I warned you guys that I would use this site to vent, and since I recognize the fact that my friends are sick and tired of me moping and complaining about the situation, I am going to do it here. One more time.

It’s been one year. 365 days. Forever. It seemed to go by in a second. It’s funny how vividly I can remember that first kiss. And I can literally still feel his last kiss on my cheek… the last time that I saw him. His little lie to me that everything would be different now, that everything would be better. God I was naive.

I’m sick of trying to figure him out. Analyzing what happened over and over again. Guessing what I could have done differently, what I did wrong. Why can’t I just accept the fact that I did nothing wrong, and that maybe I just wasn’t it for him? Because it hurts too much to be rejected, I guess.

I hate that everything still reminds me of him. I hate that I can’t force myself to remove him from my life. I feel like I never got the closure I deserved, and so I can’t move on. I can’t put away the magnets that he made, the pen he gave me. I can’t take his razor out of my medicine cabinet, can’t throw away his toothbrush. I stare at the bracelet he lent me, still sitting on my nightstand, even though I can’t bear to wear it. The photos are the hardest. I don’t know why I torture myself by looking at them, why I can’t take them down off the fridge. I should really try to follow Carrie Bradshaw’s advice: “Destroy all pictures taken of you together where he looks sexy, and you look happy.”

It’s been exactly two weeks since I last heard from him, exactly one year since all of this started. And at this point it’s time to admit it’s totally over. I’m going to force myself to move on if it kills me. Because I can’t sit around anymore waiting for something that I never even had in the first place. It’s time to admit that if he wanted to call me, he would have. It hurts, but it’s the truth.

I guess I will do the most logical thing I can think of: Listen carefully to the last message he sent me. “Just chill and have fun. Be safe.”

OK. Here I go…

Monday, August 07, 2006

CliffsNotes (The Long Version)

I’ve been covering for my sales rep at work for more than a week now, hence why I haven’t written a blog since the month of August started. Before things get too crazy this morning, I will try to provide a "brief" update of my weekend.

Thursday: Fashion First Revealed
I attended Seattle’s third annual boutique fashion show at the Premier, which was completely awesome. I’ve never been to a real fashion show before (unless you count all the slutty freaks parading their shit up and down First Avenue in Belltown every Friday night), and I was pretty excited. Although my first instinct told me to take Jeanna, who I think worships fashion even more than men (although it’s a close call), I decided to take my mom, who had been staying with me for the past week.

As we walked in the door and down the red carpet to pickup my free (thanks to the STC) tickets from will call, the first thing I noticed was all of the beautiful people. And since the event was specifically 21 and over, no snotty little brats were around to ruin the ambiance. We got some $8 well drinks and wandered around the booths picking up free stuff, including a nifty light up pen from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and a free cocktail courtesy of

After socializing with a few of my co-workers for a while, we grabbed a table in the VIP lounge and people-watched. My mother was in complete shock. “Everyone is so skinny, trendy and put together,” she said in awe. “You would never see people like this in the suburbs. When I go out in Olympia, I’m the hottest one there!” And these were only the people who had come to watch the show, which started a while later. The models were another story all together.

Before I get to that, let me tell you a little bit about the extravagance of the event. Since we did not have ultra VIP tickets, we had to join the masses in standing room only, but managed to snag a spot right at the beginning of the runway, behind the last row of seats. That’s what a $40 ticket got you. (Oh, we did get a $50 gift certificate to Calidora Skin Clinic). However, the people in front of us had paid $150 for a VIP ticket featuring seating in the first six rows on either side of the NY style runway. They also had access to the catered VIP area and received a Sephora goody bag, which I was almost tempted to snag and hope no one noticed, but I chickened out. In front of these people sat the $500 VIP ticket holders, who were treated like complete royalty and received the best seats in the house. There were only 10 available which provided center front-row seating, and an over-flowing deluxe goody bag from Sephora valued at $850 and filled with fabulous items from the retailers and sponsors involved in the event (including a diamond watch!) I was drooling.

As the show started, I felt totally glamorous, like I had walked straight out of an episode of Sex & the City. (However, after watching size-zero models for more than an hour, I have officially decided to never eat again.) Fashion First provides Seattle-area boutiques the opportunity to showcase their apparel and accessories on the runway to their loyal consumers and to members of the media. The show featured Seattle's hottest boutiques and designers including Mario’s, Sway and Cake, Riveted, Cintli Jewelry, Ottica Seattle, Encanto Barcelona, Karan Dannenberg, Canopy Blue, Promesse, Nuvo Moda and more. It was completely unreal. I would say I’d feel comfortable wearing about 50% of the apparel showcased on the runway, although I can probably only afford about 0.01% of it. Here’s a list of what’s hot this fall:

Top 10 must-haves for Fall 2006

  • Dark or gray skinny jeans (and pants)
  • Big, billowy tops or voluminous sweaters
  • One blazer or jacket with distinctive details
  • A short, textured or patterned cocktail dress
  • Jewel-toned short or tall boots
  • Necessity! One jumbo sized leather handbag
  • One short and/or one long vest
  • Cheetah-print lingerie
  • Several long, layered gold necklaces
  • Menswear: Skinny jeans (try plaid) with a trendy sport coat

Check out photos from the show here.

The whole event was completely amazing, but I have to admit something: I normally consider myself a fairly small person, but the models in the show made me feel positively GIANT! Every single one of these girls has to either have an eating disorder, or a severe cocaine addiction. However, I did have one small consolation -- even skinny girls' asses jiggle when they strut down the runway in teeny tiny spandex shorts. Just goes to show that just because someone is skinny doesn't mean they are physically fit.

Friday: Recruit Class 92 Graduation Party
Jeanna was kind enough to invite me to join her at Fado’s Irish Pub in Pioneer Square to celebrate the graduation of the Seattle Fire Department’s Class 92. Her friend Andres had just finished 13 weeks of training, and he and his fellow firemen were more than ready for a night on the town. Seeing as firefighters are just plain HOT, I was pretty excited to flaunt my new “single and ready to mingle” status. Jeanna, Larisa, Vanessa, Angela, Jessica and I started the night off with cocktails at Jeanna’s apartment and then headed downtown. (I wasn’t really sure I belonged, because my name does not end with the letter A, but I figured I could consider myself “Sara” for the night and call it good).

The bar was already hopping by the time we arrived. I have to admit I was kind of expecting to see dozens of firefighters dressed up in their life-saving gear with axes slung over their shoulders, but no such luck. As a group of six hot women, we were immediately accosted by several interested men, and the girls began to split off and head to the bar, fueled with the desire for free alcohol. Surrounded by hot firefighers, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a vast sense of lonliness, which I proceeded to fill with intense amounts of alcohol. Thoroughly intoxicated, I proceeded to dance the night away. Andres managed to kiss about every single woman in the bar, and then puke in the doorway on his way out. Glad I missed it.

As closing time approached, we argued about what to do next. I was a big fan of going in search of a hot dog vender, but Jeanna quickly convinced me that mac ‘n’ cheese triangles at the 5-Point Café would be a much better choice. (If you’ve never had them, you’re totally missing out. Mac ‘n’ cheese, deep-fried to perfection, magically shaped into bite-sized triangles… it’s a little piece of heaven). The 5-Point was massively crowded at 2:30 in the morning, as usual, but we managed to snag a table with some random guy Angela befriended and proceeded to eat his entire plate of nachos before the waitress arrived to take our order. He didn’t seem to mind. Feeling incredibly sick to my stomach, we finally began the walk home. I made the decision not to throw up my precious fried cheesy goodness before crawling into bed at around 4 a.m. I managed to sleep for three hours before Jeanna called to remind me that we were headed out in about an hour for our camping trip.

Saturday: Camping at Lake Entiat, Part 1
A couple weeks ago, Jeanna and Kelly took the initiative to plan a camping trip in Eastern Washington, our first of the summer (excluding the Gorge, which doesn’t really count). It wasn’t until Friday afternoon that we realized everyone invited had bailed in favor of Seafair. Unphased, we packed up the car and headed to Lincoln Rock State Park, an 80-acre camping park on the east side of Lake Entiat, created by Rocky Reach Dam blocking the flow of the Columbia River north of Wenatchee.

After about four hours and two minor detours, (one of which that included Kelly driving the wrong way down a one-day street), we arrived at the campground. The park, a popular place for swimming, water-skiing and respite from the hot sun, was named for a basalt outcropping said to resemble the profile of Abraham Lincoln. It was absolutely gorgeous. Set down in a valley, the hills completely surrounded us, and we could see the crystal-clear lake from our campsite, which was grassy, had moderate shade, and was fully equipped with a picnic table, fire pit complete with grill, and even a water faucet. This was my kind of camping. We set up the tent as quickly as possible, changed into our bathing suits and headed down to the lake. Kelly, the genius camper that she is, had brought a giant air mattress complete with air pump.

We dragged the air mattress and a floating cooler filled with beer down to the lake and tied ourselves to a buoy in the middle of the lake. The weather was glorious, about 90 degrees, and we proceeded to drink beer and bake ourselves in the sun for the rest of the afternoon. An adorable small boy took a liking to us and chatted for a while, insisting that we were far too young to be drinking alcohol. “You’re only seventeen,” he announced. Great, like I don’t get that enough, now an 8-year-old is telling me I look like a child. Kelly offered him a Bud Light, but he declined. Smart kid.

We headed back to the campsite as it neared dinnertime. We managed to start a fire all on our own (yay for independent women!) and cooked up some cheesy bratwursts for dinner. My hangover was finally starting to wear off, so we kicked it up a notch and opened a bottle of champagne. Several rounds of cards later, we were all thoroughly toasted. Since it was pretty much dark by then, and all the families camping at the adjoining sites appeared to have gone to bed, we headed back down to the lake to sit on the dock, where we were less likely to bother people. Sitting on the dock chatting and listening to Kelly’s outrageous stories from when she lived in Iowa was probably my favorite part of the night. Also when we got lost walking back to our camp and managed to thoroughly freak ourselves out thinking both cops and Wolf Creek killers were stalking us. However, we managed to survive.

Sunday: Camping at Lake Entiat, Part 2
In classic camping style, we woke up the next morning at the butt crack of dawn. Kelly drove to a nearby convenience store in search of bacon and eggs, only to return with some weird deep-friend sticks containing eggs and sausage. It tasted pretty good dipped in ketchup. We packed up the campsite and headed back down to the lake. We anchored onto the dock and fell asleep for most of the morning, waking up every now and then to roll over. By noon I was completely baked and felt brave enough to dive into the icy water. We alternated between swimming and sunbathing for the rest of the afternoon. I think I spent about ten hours in the sun this weekend, which I can prove with the righteous sunglass marks burned into my face. Awesome.

We finally dragged ourselves out of the water and headed home via the scenic route – Highway 2. Jeanna knew of an awesome 50s diner on the way, and by the time we got there I was so hungry I could have eaten a whole cow. I didn’t even care about how trashy I looked as we entered the restaurant, with my greasy hair, yesterday’s makeup, and wife beater with no bra. I’m really learning to appreciate girl’s only trips. No one to impress.

I restrained myself from ordering everything on the menu and settled on pasta and the most giant rootbeer float I have ever seen. I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach, because I only managed to finish about half it. Oh well, the restaurant, besides being adorably cute with 50s décor and music, was also incredibly cheap. I highly recommend it. I’m going to go back there at least once this summer.

Monday: The Aftermath
I woke up this morning realizing it’s day 10 – he hasn’t called. At this point I’m going to admid that he isn’t going to. I feel completely devastated and humiliated. I can’t belive I spent an entire year convincing myself that he felt the same way about me as I did about him. It’s definitely going to be a long time before I re-enter the dating scene, it’s just far too painful. It is getting better, one day at a time, but the bottom line is that I miss him. I can’t even explain how greatful I am for my friends at this point in my life. Without them to distract me, I would never get through this.

Thanks for a great weekend, Ladies!