Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's finally summer in Seattle 2014

Last weekend I took full advantage of the long, sunny, Seattle days. Also, it has been really hot in my tiny, second story, brick apartment so I've been looking for every excuse to spend evenings out and about. Friday night I went to a Mariner's game with some coworkers, significant others and some a bunch of friends. We ended up running into a few more friends at the game and by the end of the night there was quite a big group of us hanging out in the beer garden. (side note: I took a lot of pictures but they're on a not-yet-developed disposable camera, so here are some photos I've stolen from other people who used their phones like normal people living in 2014).

^^Me, Brittan, Danielle & Natalie (Mexican Food Club does a Mariner's game^^
The Mariner's won at the last minute against the Oakland A's and it was a really fun game. Afterward a few of us attempted to go out in Ballard, but we were all tired and my flip flop blew out (even though I was walking normally) as I was going into the bar, so we didn't end up staying long.
Saturday was Seafood Fest in Ballard. Dustin, Katie, Josh and I ran into my coworker Dave and his girlfriend immediately upon arrival. It was Dave's birthday and we ended up hanging out with them and meeting up with Art and Amy for beers in the beer garden. Eventually we got hungry and wandered into the Ballard Annex Oyster House for some happy hour and a place to sit.
^^Selfie during HH^^
 ^^Katie and I at HH^^
After happy hour we met up with Justin, Brittan, Natalie and Boyd for some more beers, seafood and fun.
Eventually Art, Amy, Dustin and I got tired and decided that we wanted to head back to Dustin's for some Rock Band and a sleepover. Adult sleepovers with your friends who are kind of like your family are totally normal, right? :)
Sunday I ate Mexican food with Justin and Brittan, attempted a beach day (but it was overcast and Natalie was over the elements), and ended up on a patio drinking a glass of chilled Rose with Brittan and Natalie.
It was a very successful weekend before a very stressful week. After receiving an e-mail from Satya Nadella (Microsoft's CEO) talking about significant changes that would be made to the company in the coming weeks, then hearing numerous news reports that Microsoft was expecting to lay off as many as 6,000 people this week, reading last night that they layoffs would happen today, freaking out last night, not really sleeping all night, then waking up this morning to e-mails from Satya and Brad Smith (the head of legal at Microsoft) saying that not 6,000 but 18,000 people would be laid off today and in the coming months. Brad's e-mail said that 10%(!!!!) of the legal department was being laid off today. I cried when I read that, first thing this morning. I cried a few times today. It was nice to know that I would know today whether or not I would be laid off, but also very stressful going to work this morning. Part of me was like, "they're not going to lay me off, they JUST hired me!" and the other part of me was like "well, they went that long without me, maybe they don't really need me after all, and I know they're expected to make cuts, and like, I get it." I, luckily, still have a job. One of my favorite coworkers, however, was laid off. My heart hurts for her. It was a really emotional day for my whole group (and probably for everyone at Microsoft). Now I'm attempting to de-stress with a glass of Rose and some blogging :)
This weekend I will attempt to de-stress even more (with two other Microsoft employees who are also "safe") with some camping, round 2, in the Hood Canal! Yay! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

a little game called catch-up

Wow, well, it's been a minute hasn't it? Obviously a lot of things have happened between Easter and the end of June (wow, it's already the end of June, yikes!). I recently got a new job. Well, it was kind of the same job I was already doing, but I moved from a vendor role into an FTE role at Microsoft. I have more ownership over what I do, more pay, better benefits, and life is good. I feel like I've finally started my career (hooray for in-house legal, am I right?!) and I can finally feel settled here at Microsoft and in Seattle more generally. A few weeks before I got my FTE job, Dustin also moved from a vendor to an FTE role also at Microsoft. He's a security program manager now and life is good for him too. He's looking to buy a house these days. Meanwhile, I found a silverfish bug in my bathroom last night and freaked the F out. (side note: I learned that they either live in super dirty or super humid environments and feast on books and things. I promise you my house is not dirty, I'm way too uptight for that). I need to get a dehumidifier. Or an exterminator.

So between Easter and now I've been going and going between work and fun weekends. I went home to the Columbia River Gorge like, three times? Two of the times were back-to-back, the last weekend in May with Katie and Josh. We spent the weekend doing "yuppy" things like wine tasting and eating nice dinners. We also went to Spring Fest, which is White Salmon's little yearly festival thing, because Katie's mom was running the beer garden. The first weekend in June I went to celebrate Marissa's birthday (and Launa's birthday on Friday night, too) and dance to a prince cover band at the Purple Prince Party (that I forced the owner of the River City to throw). Then that Sunday I spent the afternoon laying by the river with Beth and friends, eating thai food from the most magical food cart ever and drinking a Rainier to ease my hangover.

^^the view from Aniche Cellars^^

 ^^Me, Beth and Brother Jim at Henni's before the purple party^^
The other time I went to the home-land I stayed for a long weekend. I had a dentist appointment, snuggled with my Fluffy cat, went on a walk around Hood River with beers and Gaby (you can do that in Hood River thanks to a lack of open container laws) and on Sunday Beth and I went to Portland for the Food Truck Round-Up and for drinks at a hip bar and for some shopping at Target.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Art, Amy, Dustin and I met Katie and Josh at Josh's family's property in Brinnon, WA, which is on the Hood Canal, in the Puget Sound. We spent three days camping and going to the tiny town's Shrimp Festival, and looking at waterfalls, and watching bald eagles. There was also an incident involving the fire that I don't want to get too into, but I came out alive, albeit missing some of my hair. Luckily Dustin still has his hand. RIP hair. Minus "the incident," the weekend was extra relaxing because I was able to take Friday off too due to the fact that I was transitioning between jobs. Tuesday after the long weekend I did my new employee orientation and I hit the ground running with the new job after that. Oh, and our team recently added another vendor to support my coworker and I. It's Justin, who I went to law school with and who dates my good friend Brittan, so that's been fun. We're office roomies for now. Party time (kind of, but not really, ha;).  
^^Dustin and I at a waterfall in Dosiewallaps State Park #selfie^^

^^Our weekend camping view^^
Last week I ate Mexican food (with the Mexican food club:) on the patio at Little Water Cantina, overlooking Lake Union. Their chips and guacamole and their margaritas are fantastic. Go, you'll love it. And then last weekend Art, Amy, Dustin and I had snacks and drinks on the patio at Westward (which I've been dying to try). The atmosphere was awesome and the view was super Seattle-esque. We spent the rest of the night playing darts and shuffleboard at Bravehorse in South Lake Union.
So yes, I think that kind of catches us up.
Work is busy for my team lately. It's the end of Microsoft's fiscal year which means that more contracts are expiring than usual and they all need to be renewed. I'm taking an extra day off for the 4th of July weekend, though, and I'm really excited to have a whole 4 days off. The 4th of July is hands down, my favorite holiday and I, as always, am really looking forward to it. Bring on summer! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Weekend 2014

This past weekend was spent with some of my favorites people Seattle. My friend Sarah came up Friday after work for the weekend and my friends Danielle and Steffen were in town for a wedding. Friday night I had nachos and ginger beer margaritas waiting at my apartment for Sarah and I to eat when she got into town. After our late dinner we grabbed an Uber downtown to meet up with Danielle and Steffen for a drink (at the weirdest bar I've ever been to in Seattle). We stayed for one $2.50 vodka soda, a few songs about marijuana and minimum wage and anal beads (WTF? Open Mic Night) before we headed back to my apartment to get some rest.

Saturday Sarah and I went to the always packed Portage Bay CafĂ© in South Lake Union for a reallllly delicious breakfast. Luckily we had a reservation so we didn't have to wait long for a table. That being said, it's totally worth the wait. Go there for breakfast if you're ever in Seattle. After breakfast I dropped Sarah off downtown for her Taxidermy class. She taxidermied (is that the right word?) a rat. It was weird and cool and totally random. I feel like she needs to forever use that fact in random icebreaker exercises.

After I dropped Sarah off at her class, I met Danielle and Steffen at Pike Place Market. It was pouring rain but it wasn't too cold so we walked around, they got some Beecher's Mac and Cheese, we looked at flowers (see above pictures) and eventually we found a covered, outside table where we got three coffees and sat catching up for a bit before they had to leave to get ready for the wedding they were attending that evening.

Saturday evening I picked up Sarah and we took forever deciding what we wanted to do for the night. We eventually settled on Indian food for dinner. We went to Taste of India which is my favorite Indian place in Seattle. It's near my house, and it's so random and amazing. The restaurant is in an old house and the outside is covered in tacky decorations and lights, but they have the best service and the food is great. We enjoyed some complimentary appetizers and chai while we waited for a table (the place was packed) and then enjoyed a really tasty meal.

After dinner we decided to go to Cinnebarre and watch The Grand Budapest Hotel while we drank an adult beverage. We both really liked the movie. In addition to being visually interesting (like all of Wes Anderson's movies) this movie seemed to really keep my attention and had more action than some of his other movies.

Sunday morning we got coffee before Sarah headed back to Hood River. I then headed to Josh and Katie's for Easter brunch. I usually spend Easter with Dustin but he was vacationing in Vegas (whhhatever Dustin haha). We had frittata, mimosas and cake. We played games and watched Now and Then. It was a relaxing, delicious Easter. And weekend in general!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunny Seattle weekend highlights

We finally got some sunshine in Seattle this weekend and I spent as much time as possible soaking it up. Friday after work my coworker Kei and I, went to our other coworker, Tami's house. We ate Thai food, drank wine and watched Frozen with Tami's son and her nieces. It was nice to unwind with my coworkers after a long week of work. 
Saturday I went to the gym before heading to my cousin Maegin's (and Matt's) housewarming party. I had to leave early so I showed up early and helped them finish cooking the appetizers and slicing fruit for the mimosa bar. It was so great to get to chat with them before everyone else got there and to see their gorgeous new place. I'm a little jealous they're homeowners (and they're both younger than me). I'm also definitely jealous of their view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. So gorgeous!
I had to leave their housewarming party early to go pick up Dustin and head to our friend Dan's house for his birthday celebration. Dan booked a suite at the Mariner's game Saturday night and we all met at his house to ride down there together. Little did we know, Dan's wife Kristen booked a stretch Hummer limo to take us to the game. It was kind of awesome and kind of tacky, but it was a fun little surprise and we all had a good time on the way to the game.
^^The limo ride to the game^^
The limo dropped us off near the stadium a few hours before the game started, so we headed across the street to the Pyramid brewery to have a few beers in their outdoor beer garden before the game.

The suite Dan booked for the game came with a keg of beer and a bunch of snacks. It was awesome. Plus, it was on a private level with super nice bathrooms (which is important during sporting events).
^^the birthday boy pouring me a beer^^


^^Dustin and I during warm-ups^^

I wore a really sweet Mariner's sweatshirt my mom purchased circa 1996 when she went to a Mariner's game with my dad and which I promptly stole from her. I've wore that thing so many times during the past 18ish years. Dustin and I made a pit-stop at the team store during the game and he bought me the sweetest Mariner's windbreaker. I can't wait to wear it with jorts this summer. I need to go to a bunch of games so I can wear it (not that I only have to wear it at games, but you know). Hooray for awesome baseball apparel.

^^My jeans were a little too tight, I couldn't quite recreate the picture next to me^^ 
 ^^There is a really amazing sunset behind us you can't really see...^^
Sunday I woke up and went to yoga, then Dustin came over and we walked around Greenlake before heading to our favorite Mexican place for some late lunch and margaritas on their patio. Afterward Dustin needed a haircut but there was a wait, so we went across the street to the Park Pub for another beer in the sunshine. It was a fun, sunny Sunday. I can't wait for more sunny weekends. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Urban Gardening

Growing up, every year my parents planted an extremely large garden. They still do. There are rows and rows of tomatoes and peas and carrots and onions and corn and it seemed like the rows were never ending when I had to weed them in the summers when I still lived at home. Aren't summers supposed to be for swimming pools and camp outs in the yard and riding bikes and other fun kid things? Definitely not for weeding gardens. Weeding the garden is EW, and it was always one of my least favorite chores. My friend Beth is currently staying with my parents and she said my mom was recently talking about how much I hated the garden when I was younger, and then when I got a little older I wrote something for school that said that maybe, one day, I'd like to have a garden of my own. My mom told Beth felt like she won. Well, mom, I guess you did. Enter the urban garden! All the fresh produce goodness, without the wedding. So really, I win too!

This weekend Dustin and I went to Home Depot and picked up some baby garden plants along with some potting soil and a few pots (we already had a few empties between us). On Sunday afternoon we set to work planting our little urban garden. Most of it will stay at Dustin's because he has a big patio area, but I took one small planter with herbs in it to keep by my front door. Fingers crossed we don't kill everything. I love the idea of having fresh produce to eat this summer.

The rest of the weekend I spent doing healthy things like going to the gym and to yoga, cooking healthy meals instead of eating out, reading (and loving) the Goldfinch, not checking instagram a million times (not at all since Thursday, guys!), and drinking water instead of a beer (which was especially tempting in the Sunday afternoon sun). It felt good. And I'm having a pretty happy Monday too, so maybe the goodness of the weekend is wearing off into my week.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ocean Shores trip

Last weekend Dustin and I decided to take an impromptu over night trip to Ocean Shores, Wa. THE BEACH! Neither of us had ever been before, but Friday afternoon after seeing the weather forecast for the weekend we decided to make it happen. There is just something about the ocean that makes my heart happy. We always went to the beach on vacation as a kid, so the nostalgia of it all might be part of it. I think another part of it is the calming consistency and sound of the big, crashing waves, and feeling the sand beneath your feet, it's all just so good. I love the ocean.
We left Saturday morning and made the 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, stopping in Aberdeen along the way at the Star Wars store #notmyidea! Ha. When we got to Ocean Shores our first stop was at the beach, where we ate the lunch I packed, picnic style, before heading out to adventure. While enjoying our lunch, we saw that you could ride horses on the beach which sounded fun in theory, but after looking at the horses and seeing how sad they were, I just couldn't do it. So we settled on mopeds instead. Best decision ever!

Riding mopeds on the beach is so fun. I would highly recommend it. While I was initially disappointed when I saw cars all over the beach, being able to ride mopeds on it may have made up for the disappointment.

After riding mopeds it was time to check into our hotel. While checking in I ran into a coworker I sometimes share office space with at Microsoft. Small world!

After we got settled into our hotel it was time to find a snack. We headed to Sharkey's for some seafood and drinks. We ended up getting a little crazy and taking Patron shots at dinner. When on vacation, I suppose. So fun!

^^The biggest fried clams ever^^

After dinner we headed down to the beach for the (kind of nonexistent with all the clouds) sunset where I found the most perfect sand dollar. It totally made my night.

We ended up playing bananagrams (I won) and taking advantage of our vouchers for two free beers at the hotel bar when it got dark. Afterward we went swimming since I do that now!! (well I swam, Dustin hot tubbed). And then called it a night.

The next morning we got coffee and breakfast and took it down to the beach for one last picnic before leaving. We also took a walk along the water and I found so many more perfect sand dollars. I was the richest girl at the sea and it made me overwhelmingly happy. I can't quite explain it.
When we got back to Seattle it was still beautiful outside. We decided to take advantage of the extra sunny daylight (I heart daylight savings time) and take our cars to the car wash (it's such a hassle keeping your cars clean when you live in the city and rent apartments and drive a million hours a week in traffic to work, isn't it?). The corolla got so much love on Sunday! It was sparkling inside and out. Afterward we stopped by Chuck's 85th St. Hop Shop so we could sit outside and enjoy a Double Mountain beer and some po' boys from Jemil's Big Easy food truck.
It was an unhealthy, but totally amazing end to a fabulous weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Double Mountain's 7th anniversary party and other weekend goodness

 ^^the view from my parents' patio this weekend^^

This weekend was a good one. After getting caught in a snow storm last time I went "home," it was crazy to have warm(ish), sunny(ish) weather this weekend in the Gorge.

I got to town Thursday night and immediately headed to Double Mountain to meet Sarah and Gaby for some pizza and a cider. My friend Crazy Pete's band was playing there so it was fun to be able to watch friends play live music while the three of us chatted. After dinner we called it an early night and headed home.

Friday I worked from home while I snuggled Fluffy and then Friday afternoon I headed to AniChe Cellars with Beth for a little post-work-wine-tasting. It is located in Underwood, WA, and the views of the Gorge from their tasting room are phenomenal.

Beth and I were the only people at the tasting room so we got to chat with one of the owners (Anais, or Ani - the winery is named after her and her brother, Che) who lives on the property. She even took us up and showed us the Tiny Home her and her husband are building. I was obsessed. I love tiny homes and I think I would really like to live in one someday, so it was so cool talking to her about it.

After wine tasting we met our friend Sarah for dinner at Solstice where we sipped on "Solstice Margaritas" (tequila, lime, and huckleberry simple syrup) shared some gluten free pizzas and gluten free mac and cheese. Solsitce has the Gluten Free thing down! As we were finishing dinner Josh joined us and we all split a wood fire s'more. Yum!

Saturday was packed full of fun. Beth and I met her sister, Emily, at Doug's Sports to help her pick out something for her birthday (Doug's gives you a 40% discount on one item on your birthday and it seems like everyone in town takes advantage of the discount). Afterward Beth and I met Josh and Sarah for breakfast sandwiches on homemade English muffins at River Daze and then we walked Kiva down to the Columbia River.

^^the water levels are really low right now so the sandbar goes over half way across the river, it was fun to walk so far out^^
^^Oregon on the left side of the river, Washington on the right^^
 ^^Sarah and Beth glued to their phones, Josh judging us^^

^^Kiva the circus dog^^
We walked back to town after sufficiently exhausting Kiva and headed to the Double Mountain 7th Anniversary Party. My friend Abby and I decided to get VIP tasting room tickets and it was so fun to sneak away from the crowd and taste a bunch of beers that weren't released to the general public. There were also pork sliders for us to snack on that were really delicious.
 ^^VIP tasting area^^
^^Matt pouring some beers. The IRB was a blend of three different aged IRAs and it might have been my favorite beer of the day^^
After a few hours of beer tasting, listening to music and mingling with friends it was time to head to Dufur for a roller derby match for Emily's birthday. We all loaded into Beth's car and made the trek. This was my first roller derby experience and it was a total blast. We had such a fun time cheering on our friends on the Gorge Roller Girls team and watching them win against Portland! Whoohoo!
 ^^from left, clockwise: Kelly (Emily's boyfriend), Emily, Me, Sean Stuart, Beth and Hillary^^
After the match was over we headed back to Hood River, not before stopping to get Filet O Fishes for dinner and eating them in Beth's car in the parking lot of the Pub. The guiltiest of pleasures. I'm very firmly pro-Filet O Fish. I feel like people either fall on one side or the other, you love them or you're wrong. Ha! I digress...
After our very fancy dinner we joined back up with our friends for the end of the Double Mountain party. When that was over we headed to the Trillium where we sat outside with a bunch of our friends, crowded around a tiny table.
^^Me, Sarah and Beth. Plus, Ryan's rude hand outside the Trillium #worstpicture^^
This, however, was not before we attempted to get into the River City but failed to get there until it was over capacity. So our friend Al had the smart idea to go ask the owner, Joe, if we could just sneak in since we're all friends with him. While he was walking over to talk to Joe, he fell trying to climb the stairs to the door, right in front of Joe, and I think that just sealed the big NO. It was really entertaining regardless.
^^Al and Sarah^^
After the Trillium a few of us decided to go to Jack's to get our dance party on. Gaby and I had an epic dance party to one of our road trip jams after locking eyes and running to the dance floor when we heard it come on. After our dance party we went to the restroom where we found Beth consoling my brother's sobbing ex-girlfriend. They had broken up on Friday and it was drama-city. After trying to find her a ride home, listening to her be upset at ME about their breakup (whhhat?), and in the middle of all of this me having to call 911 on a HUGE fight that broke out in the street, Beth and I decided to go get one last stress-free-beer. All the bars were closing down and we weren't having any luck when we remembered an after party we'd been invited to the night before. We walked to the after party which didn't turn out to be much of a party, said "hi" to a few people then walked back to Sarah and Josh's house to crash.
The next morning the 4 of us got breakfast and recapped the night day before then lounged around and watched Ghost Busters before Beth had to go to work and I had to drive back to Seattle. Such an action-packed, super fun weekend. I can't wait to do it again. And that glimpse of springy-sunny-goodness was just what I needed to get my through the end of this winter. Bring on the summer!

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