Tuesday, August 19, 2014

normal Seattle weekend things

I’ve been wanting to post on this space more often. I regularly find myself thinking about substantive things I’d like to write about, usually at inopportune times like while I’m driving or in the shower, but then when I sit down at my computer to write all I ever think to write about is what I did this weekend. So, that’s what you’re going to get today too. Hopefully I’ll have something different soon. Or maybe I’ll just stick with my usual Dear Diary, I did these things and it was so fun approach. Who knows?

This weekend: Friday night I got home from work and I sat on my couch watching New Girl on Netflix which has been so funny and amazing and it has made me weirdly nostalgic for all the regular network TV shows to return in the fall despite the fact that I’m not a huge TV watcher. Anyway, I sat there for a good long time thinking about how delicious a drink sounded (ok maybe how delicious some friendship sounded more than anything) before I finally decided that I needed to get out of my apartment and do something about it. I text my friend Caroline and ended up meeting her and our friend Ashley for a drink on Queen Anne. Well, technically I met Caroline at her house where we found the HUGEST SPIDER EVER on her floor and trapped it under a jar and I took a picture of it but I don’t want to share it here because it was too gross and huge and I hated it. When we finally we out and met Ashley, we didn’t stay out long, but at least I got out of my apartment for a bit. Win!

Saturday I ran my errands on foot to kill two birds with one stone (exercise + get shit done). When I got back to my apartment a little later, iced coffee in hand, I cleaned for a bit before picking up Dustin and heading into to Ballard (which is currently one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods). Side note: weekend morning cleaning is so sooo satisfying to me, anyone else? In Ballard we got pedicures (his first ever), then grabbed Happy Hour at the Ballard Annex. After that we met my friends Natalie and Kate at the Ballard Beer Co. for a beer. Saturday night was spent in, with me falling asleep early after all my plans fell through and I was too tired to make new ones.

Sunday morning I had brunch at Bastille with Natalie and Brittan before we headed outside to the farmer’s market. Brunch + farmer’s market is one of my favorite things. I bought peaches and blackberries, cheese and bread, and flowers. After the farmer’s market Dustin and I went to an open house. Guys, buying a house in Seattle is SO. EXPENSIVE. (median price = $543,500 WFT?!) and SO. STRESSFUL. I had stress dreams about it that night and it’s not even really my house to buy. Yikes!

We de-stressed by watching WWE Summer Slam since I’m very into wrestling now ;) and eating the snacks I got at the farmer’s market. After wrestling, we went across the street to grab a beer on the patio and talk about the house we looked at earlier. Dustin’s friends Ben and Greg ended up joining us at the end and it was a good end to a successful weekend.

Also I failed at taking pictures all weekend, minus the spider, so this poorly lit, straight-faced, cell phone selfie is all I have for you:

straightfaced

Friday, August 15, 2014

Smackdown!

This week I got a chance to go to an event I never thought I’d go to. On Tuesday night I attended WWE Smackdown! Ok, maybe “I never thought I’d go” is a little bit of an exaggeration considering Dustin was a #totesprofesh wrestler before we started dating him (no lies) and he still loves to watch it, but aside from with him, I never envisioned going to a live wrestling event. I went in with relatively low expectations as someone who watched wrestling growing up but isn’t a huge fan in general, but you guys, this thing blew my mind. This was probably the most entertaining live show I’ve ever seen.

photo 1

We had really great seats. There were 6 rows of floor/ringside seats and we were the first row of raised seats. We were also directly across the ring from the camera so if you are watching Smackdown on the the Syfy channel at 8pm pacific time tonight, you’ll see me pretty much the whole show.

photo 4^^Hey, there I am on WWE live Instagramming (thanks to Dustin for the photo of his TV) ^^

The show was at the Key Arena in Seattle, and it was pretty full of people, however, since it was being filmed for live TV they pulled people from the non-filmed side of the arena and filled up the side that would be on camera. They even went so far as to put people in our seats when we got up to go to the restroom mid way through the show so there wouldn’t be empty seats ever. Pretty clever.

photo 2

Some of the wrestlers were better at making it look really legit than others, but overall, all the matches were entertaining. I found myself rooting for the “bad guys” for most of the show which kind of surprised me. And at one point (SPOILER ALERT) there was an interview between two wrestlers and the “good guy” punched the “bad guy” in the face and even though I liked the bad guy more, it was awesome. And it was definitely a real punch (which they replayed about a million times), which was a little crazy.

photo 3

After wrestling, Dustin and I went to Pesos and I ate shrimp tostadas and drank a margarita and life was good. I would totally recommend going to a WWE show if you ever get the chance, it was so much fun.    

Monday, August 11, 2014

a concert, friendship and hood river summer goodness

This weekend I headed back down to the Columbia River Gorge for the second weekend in a row. I got to Hood River right around dinner time. I met Gaby for a margarita and some chips and salsa before heading to Sarah’s house. I got there a little before her so I took some selfies with my favorite dog, Kiva:

photo 1

When Sarah, Tonya and Gaby finally got to Sarah’s, we all walked down to the waterfront to have dinner at Sarah and my favorite restaurant, Solstice.  There was a bit of a wait for a table so we headed next door to the new distillery, Camp 1805. They are in their soft opening phase so we tried some their mini-cocktails (that only have about a 1/2 shot of alcohol in them and are served in mini-glasses) before dinner. They were fantastic. So was dinner!

photo 2

After dinner Sarah and I were walking back to her house when we ran into our friend Abbey. Sarah decided to go home and I hung out with Abbey for a bit before Beth text me to let me know she was off work and headed to my favorite dive bar, The Red Carpet! I met her and some of her work friends for a beer, some girl talk, and some jukebox jams/dancing. It was a fun time.

The next day I met Beth at Lampoei’s food truck for some Thai food before Christa joined us and we headed down to the Hood River for some sunshine.

photo 3^^Christa and Beth taking a selfie on the tiny beach^^

photo 4

After the beach, Beth and I headed to her house to change before she went to work and I went to a concert at Edgefield. Edgefield is a McMenamins property in Troutdale, OR (which is just outside Portland). It was originally built as a poor farm in the early 1900s and then was transformed into a resort of sorts. On the grounds there is a hotel, a golf course, multiple restaurants, even more bars (some tiny, some bigger), a winery, a distillery, a brewery, a soaking pool, a glass blowing studio, a movie theater, etc. It’s very charming. They also have outdoor concerts there. This was my first one at the venue, NONONO and Foster the People were playing. They were really great, high energy and entertaining live. Sarah, Gaby and I had a blast! It was so nice out (despite being REALLY hot until the sun went down) and we had a really great time listening to live music and people watching in the grass.

concert ^^left to right: me, Sarah, Gaby^^

photo 5

After the concert we ran back to our car and got out of the parking lot just in time to escape the horrible traffic. We headed back to Hood River and got into town right about when Beth was getting off work. Beth and I went to the Pub for a drink where we ran into our friends Tonya and Christa. We ended up taking shots and going to Jack’s to dance them off. I’m not going to lie, my legs are still a little sore from dropping it low with the girls. Dance parties are my favorite!

The only down side to the night was when I ended up waiting over an HOUR for a cab back to White Salmon. It was so ridiculous and the cab driver didn’t have enough room in his cab when he finally arrived so I ended up in the “trunk” of his Subaru because I refused to wait alone for another cab back to White Salmon. Ha! Whatever, spooning with my favorite Fluffy cat that night was worth cab-waiting, trunk riding and not sleeping on a friend’s couch.

Sunday I woke up to my dad making me huckleberry pancakes (with freshly picked huckleberries), ham and eggs. It was awesome. I then had the most uncomfortable run-in with an old friend on the street in downtown Hood River who looked physically uncomfortable/upset that he had to talk to me for like 1 minute (WTF?) which in turn made me really upset and so I immediately got in my car while saying “what the F*CK” out loud, and drove straight to Portland to meet my cousin Tad and his girlfriend for lunch. We ate at Beaches on the Columbia River and it was so great to catch up with them. Hooray for positive encounters that make me feel a million times better. Overall, my heart is full from a really wonderful weekend.

Today at work I was telling my coworker, Justin, about my awkward encounter and he had some really great insight on the whole thing. He basically told me that I’m like an excited puppy who just loves everyone so much and I’m so excited to see everyone and that’s overwhelming for some people (introverts), especially if they are having a bad day or were unprepared to run into someone and have a conversation. He also said that while I enjoy maintaining relationships with everyone near and far, for most people maintaining friendships with people who are far away and who they rarely see/talk to is hard and disappointing because when you’d like them to be there, they aren’t and it’s hard to deal with that. He said he mentally puts people like that in a box and just puts them off to the side because he can’t cope. I’m just going to assume he and my other friend are the same way and not let it make me feel bad anymore. Because, if I’m being totally honest, that encounter kind of ruined my day. And then it made me feel upset that it affected me so much and I didn’t understand why I felt so bad after an awkward run in with that person. It’s not like I’m super close with that person. I was just excited to see them and it wasn’t reciprocated and it sucked. On my way back to Seattle, though, I was thinking about it and I think that the thing that fulfills me most in the world is meaningful relationships with other people. All the other things I do come second to my interactions and connections to others. I think the people I love the most understand and reciprocate that and it makes me love them even more. I’m a total lover! And apparently (duh) a total extrovert.

Anyway, most of the weekend was so good and was filled with so many good people. It really was a wonderful time. I just wish my favorite weekends lasted more than 2 days!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Millstock 2014

millstock day

This weekend I was able to attend Millstock for the second time and it was just as good as I remember.

Let me back up a minute. On one of my first days of law school I was at a “welcome to law school event” and I was chatting with this girl, Brittan, who I’d just met. We were doing the normal small talk you do when you first meet someone and she asked me where I am from. I told her a small town about 4 hours from Seattle. She prodded further. I gave my usual answer I give to people I meet in Seattle (because almost no one knows where White Salmon is) and said “oh about an hour east of Portland, OR, on the Washington side of the Columbia River.” Brittan started getting excited and asked again “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?!” And so I told her White Salmon to which she responded that she is from The Dalles, which is about 20 minutes east of Hood River. We were instantly bonded and have been friends ever since.

So, to get back to my story, Millstock is this multi-band concert/fundraise/magical time on Brittan’s family’s property outside of The Dalles. I went three years ago (and had the BEST time) and was devastated they didn’t host Millstock the following summer, and then last summer I had a wedding the same day. This year though, I was there. And like I said, it was just as good as I remember.

The location of Millstock is amazing. They host weddings there and after visiting twice I’m convinced the weddings there are probably the most magical, beautiful things ever. It’s not just the venue that’s great though, the people, the music, the food, and the wine are also terrific. I loved sitting outside with friends on Saturday night, listening to music, eating cheese and crackers, drinking wine, hoola-hooping and dancing. It was so relaxing and amazing.

millstock 2hoola hooping millstock at night

After it got dark and the music ended, we laid outside and looked at the stars for a while before heading back up the hill to Brittan’s parents’ house where we hot-tubbed until bed. The next morning we woke up to coffee and pastries thanks to Brittan’s mom and we chatted for a few hours around the table before everyone headed out.

I left Brittan’s parents’ house and headed my parents’ house – where I stayed on Friday night after it took me SEVEN hours to get from Bellevue to White Salmon (OMG worst traffic ever). While I was at home I was able to surprise my parents’ by telling them that I had booked a trip to Las Vegas for them! And my brother and I are coming too! And some of our family friends! And it’s the first time my mom will ever ride on an airplane (and the second time for my dad). They were ecstatic and we all can’t wait for the trip!

After leaving my parents’ house I met up with Brittan, Justin, Natalie and Melissa in Hood River (law school friends who also live in Seattle and who were also at Millstock) and we walked down to the Hood River to go swimming for a bit. We grabbed a chilled bottle of white wine from Springhouse Cellars along the way and drank it straight from the bottle while standing in the icy river water. The water was cold and perfect and we were having a really nice time until we saw two small water snakes some man convinced us were leeches (after further research I’m convinced they weren’t leeches, but still… WATER SNAKES?!). We jumped out of the water and decided we were over the river and were now in the mood to go back into town for lunch.

river 2 river We headed to the Full Sail Brewery where we enjoyed a beer while waiting for our table and then had lunch on their patio (despite the 100 degree heat outside). It was really lovely. We stopped in Silverado to browse for a minute before grabbing coffee at Ground and heading out of town.

full sail lunch

In other news, I bought a new car this week (all on my own)! I drove it back to the Gorge this weekend and it was so nice not to have to worry that I might break down two hours from anyone I know. I may or may not post more on that later :)

car

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

Friday kicked off the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale so after a stressful week at work, I met Brittan at the flagship store downtown Seattle and we shopped. I felt like it was necessary since, 1. I still have a job (and therefore I will have more paychecks to replenish my bank account), and 2. I worked hard and endured a lot of stress for that money, so I figured why not blow a little on some things I needed anyway? I don't normally feel guilty for spending money (within my means on things I need or experiences that make me happy) but this felt extra justified.
 
 
After shopping we met Natalie, Justin and Boyd at El Borracho in Ballard for some Mexican food and margaritas. Mexican food and margaritas with good friends is one of my very favorite things. It satisfies my soul. I could do that for dinner every day and be the happiest.
 
 
After dinner I texted with an old friend for a while from the comfort of my couch while watching Friends reruns and drinking a Sofia (because having a drink while talking to someone isn't the same as drinking alone! and even if it was, it was also warranted after this week ha). Have you guys tried Sofias? They're tasty, individual serving size cans of champagne and they're sort of genius!  
 
^^Fuzzy Sofia selfie^^
 
Saturday Dustin and I headed to Brinnon (on the Hood Canal) for a night of camping, round 2 with Josh, Katie, Art and Amy. We grilled fresh seafood (oysters, crab, and clams), made Bop-It into a drinking game, managed not to burn off any of our hair in the camp fire and planned a trip to Vegas! It rained during the night (of course it did! isn't that the way it always works?) but we all managed to stay pretty dry. Overall it was a really successful night of camping.
 
 ^^The view from Josh's (and Katie's) family's property in Brinnon^^
 
I'm already looking forward to next weekend. Isn't that the way it always works?

P.S. my weekend jam (because it's summer and this song is catchy, even if the video isn't):

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! 
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