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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two Words: De-Lish

I have been working quite diligently at the 28x28 program (that is to lose 28lbs by 28 years old).  The past 2 weeks I have been working my trash off eating right and exercising for a few hours a day, every day.  I've lost 6lbs thus far and feel great.

Saturday night I decided to reward myself with this beauty:

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Caramel and Ice Cream - Catcus on Alki. 

This was after the Butternut Squash Enchilada.  And after the Hot Apple Cider at Chaco Canyon.

Never met a molten chocolate cake I didn't like; this was no exception. Two words: de-lish. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010


1.) Slumber parties, pineapple, Paperweight, Hoosiers  > hiking in the rain.
2.) I love funemployment.  
3.) I still loathe crossword puzzles.  Ditto for Sudoku.

That's all. Carry on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week 1: Success

Well, Week 1 of my new found freedom has been nothing short of fantastical. You're gonna want to grab yourself a bowl of popcorn and snuggle up for this recap.

Monday:  Trivia Night

With the power of two, Team PCU made their debut appearance and landed themselves in 2nd place at the Duchess’ trivia night beating out Bong Hits for Jesus only to be beaten by Magical Mushrooms for Moses (I think?).  While most of the heavy lifting was done by PTS, I came through with a couple answers that I like to believe without, we wouldn’t have cracked the top 3 teams.  However, I would like to mention that when it comes to trivia, lesson learned: go with your gut.  If your gut tells you the answer is Predator, and you start to write P-r-e- and then cross it out, and put Commando, you’re going to be wrong.  I think it’s kind of a similar strategy when it comes to standardized testing, go with your first instinct, but PTS wouldn’t know anything about that. I can see how that strategy might be easily forgettable in a high stakes, high pressure situation, especially when you’re trying to impress a total hottie with useless knowledge. 

But useless Star Wars movie knowledge, that’ll get you everywhere with the hot chicks. Moral of the story.

Tuesday:  Turbo Kick Boxing and Step Aerobics

So on my new jobless/weighless program, I am at the gym for a few hours a day, looking like an uncoordinated crazy person, trying all the dance and aerobic classes.  When you’re a bit on the heavy side and 5’10” doing anything that involves any sort of coordination, grace tends to be elusive. I thought I’d brave the step aerobics class as I envisioned leg warmers and bustin’ some sweet moves to Olivia Newtown John.  But really it was a solid kick ass way to sweat and look totally uncoordinated, just in case I was absent for opportunities to do that.  I was pleasantly surprised how great the workout got my heart rate up and produced a solid sweaty glow.  At the points when I found myself facing the wrong direction, stepping the wrong way, off balance, shuffling out of rhythm, I just owned it and rocked out to my own steps. 

Seeing as the masochist in me has been feeling a bit caged, I decided to stay for Turbo kick boxing.  At that point, it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other let alone high kick, upper cut, booty shake and pound it out. But I did. 2 hours later, I hobbled to my car, feeling tired, sweaty and accomplished.   

Wednesday: Snooty Seattle

After an intellectually stimulating class on the Old Testament, we headed to Late Night Happy Hour was at Ballard’s Bastille which is how Seattle does French in a pretentious and snooty Ballard way.  I had the falafel and snuck some fries from PTS.  As far at the rest of the weekdays go, Wednesday was a valley in the week of peaks.

Thursday: Girl Talk

Had lunch with the beautiful ladies at Wild Ginger.  It’s always such a treat to spend time with HM and LL and share in great conversation, enjoy good food and always some good laughs.  Wild Ginger’s Vegetable Chiuiu Salad is absolutely scrumptious and highly recommended (although it will leave something to be desired for you carnivores.) After lunch LL has been so gracious to offer her home to me as a study haven. of which, she proceeded to come home and find me studying (ie. napping) on the couch. What?  A girl’s gotta get her beauty sleep in. 

I was easily persuaded to stay for a fabulous dinner with 6 other lovely young ladies as LL whipped up a vat of delicious Thai chicken soup, salad, fruits galore and strawberry shortcake.  Here’s the thing about getting a group of young women together:  the topic of conversations are 1.) guys; 2.) Ways we stay beautiful including but not limited to: the wide array of hair removal options, manicures, pedicures, fake eyelashes, and alike; 3.) what is wrong with guys and how do they not understand a variety of topics, or rather, most things.  This is all true, until guys are present.  Then we’re sweet, darling and utterly irresistible. 

Friday:  Who doesn’t love a day of Torture?

My friend AE was giving a guest lecture presentation at the UW Law School on a case he studied in law school that is currently on going and unfolds during an interesting time given the present day conversation around torture and the War on Terror.  I won’t go into the rather lengthy story but the gist is that Abu Zubaydah, when captured, was considered the #3 man in al Qaeda.  His capture came at a perfectly timed opportunity for the US to implement a new interrogation program and to the painful misfortune of Abu Zubaydah, he because the guinea pig for the Enhanced Interrogation Technique (EIT) that has ultimately left him permanently injured and brain damaged. It was later discovered that not only was he not al Qaeda’s #3 guy, he was not even a member of al Qaeda.  He now sits in Guantanamo waiting for a release date that will probably never come, caught up in the mixes of legal grey areas, bureaucracy and a heartbreaking story.    

After a quick hot cocoa on the Ave, I headed to Suzzalo to get some study time in before Torture Talk #2 began. Matthew Alexander was a Senior Armed Forces Interrogator who has recently published a book on non-violent methods that are used to solicit information from captors.  His perspective and insight on the whole process was interesting as he talked about the importance of understanding culture, practicing compassion and the role accountability plays in interrogation techniques.  His talk although insightful, he made a few broad comments that I took contention with on a higher sociological level but all around he provided strong arguments for why non-violent, anti-torture policy is instrumental in establishing the US as a leader in human rights on the global scale. 
In other news:

I signed up for my first sprint triathalon which means I need to buy wet suit. I also need a new MP3 player because by all accounts I’m assuming mine is somewhere in Japan, and I need a new laptop as my current one is either going to explode or give me the blue screen of death and never revive itself.  All of which, I need to compulsively research, make extensive pro/con comparative lists, read hundreds of reviews and then ultimately purchase.

Additionally, I had great conversations this week that involved a good friend of mine and I exchanging dating woes. She went and took the cake with a conversation when she told me a porn film director told her she needed to, “aim higher than bartenders” when it comes to dating.  I’ve been telling her that for years, but when it comes from a director in the “industry” it seems a little more urgent and valid.  She then followed up that gem with the ever-present pet-peeve of “HE USES DOUBLE NEGATIVES AND IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!"  No wonder we’re friends. Moral of the story: grammar matters when dating. 

Oh yeah, and I practiced self-respect, self-discipline and self-reverence this week.  That was not easy…at all. 

How did I ever go to work when I had a life to live?  I wonder what fantastical events are in store for next week....can't wait!

You Gave Me SIFF?!?

It’s that time of year – The SIFF is here.  I haven’t been to the SIFF in a number of years for the sole reason that I generally dislike most of the people who go to the SIFF.  B1 and I coined a term for these generally snobby film “aficionados” as Film F*cks.  You know the kind - the obnoxious, hyper-analytical, scene dissecting people who moon light as movie “reviewers” but really just get off at demonstrating their useless knowledge of movies to a room full of strangers.  These are also the people who applaud at the end of movies, which is my personal movie-going-experience pet-peeve (with the exception of the director/producer/actors being present, then it’s perfectly acceptable).  This is also why I generally avoid midnight showings of movies because it’s all the crazies who are for sure going to clap at the end AND carry their own commentary throughout the show, which is equally, if not more, annoying.  Plus, being the introvert that I am, I generally avoid crowded rooms of crazy people….but I digress.   

Last night I was able to get my hands on a ticket to the SIFF/Seattle premier of Cyrus (Thanks, MR!).  Sitting in the theatre I was catapulted back to the time when all I did was sit in packed theatres with the aroma of popcorn that always smells so much better than it tastes, while the hum of the crowd chattered as we eagerly awaited for a show to start.  I felt 18 again. 

Our seats were upfront which makes for the always comfortable 2 hour backwards neck tilt. I was already a bit woozy after not quite recovering my from my spin class sweat-fest and lack of any sort of real sustenance through out the day, needless to say, I’d felt better.  The show was already 30 minutes late I was getting pretty restless. But that’s what a Seattleite does at the SIFF.   

I won’t rate the movie or go over any of the plot but I will say that  I loved John C. Riley, I thought Marisa Tormei was stunningly beautiful and Jonah Hill was played a more subtle whack job than usual which was oddly refreshing. When it comes out in wide release, you might want to check it out.  Is that vague and non-committal enough?   

Post-movie festivities led us to Late Night Happy Hour at Palomino Downtown.  Palomino serves up a fine paper thin crust, lightly cheesed with basil and roma tomato pizza that will titillate the taste buds and not overstuff. As usual, I opted for the always classy Shirley Temple to round off the meal. 

Over food and drinks, the conversation of five grown ups obviously moved towards a ranking and discussion of our favorite animated Disney movies which covered the whole Disney animated repertoire. My top 3 I proudly declared as 1.) Beauty and the Beast; 2.) Aladdin; 3.) Little Mermaid.  (With an honorable mention to Sleeping Beauty if Maleficent wasn’t the most petrifying animated villainess ever created.)  Then at some point NR tried to provide a synopsis of the last 3 seasons of LOST and just ended up sounding like a crazy person.

It was a classic urban Seattle evening with great film, food and friends.   

Sidenote – Movie/Movie Going Thoughts:

+Waiting, I hate waiting, in general. Let alone for something I have no control over, like when a movie starts.  After I’ve seen all the commercials and fun-fact trivia screens, I am ready for the show to begin. I can go from 0 to cranky in record time if I have to wait too long for a movie to start.

+Movie theater popcorn:  Why can’t movie theatre popcorn taste as good as it smells?  We’ve made jam without seeds, cereal crunchier, peanut butter smoother, cured polio, put men on the moon, can we not make movie theater popcorn less stale and synthetic and thus more delicious?   

+Movie reviews:  The same thing I feel about book reviews; they do a disservice to the movie and the movie-going experience.  I prefer to go in completely blind with no knowledge of what’s going to happen, how the critics like it or what it’s rated on Rotten Tomatoes.  (With the exception of Robin Hood I would have loved to known what the eff was going on before I walked into that one so that I didn’t spend the whole movie trying to figure out when he was going to start stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.)

There was a time in my life when I would watch 275+ movies a year.  These days I’m lucky to get 50 a year. I love movies, I really do.  There isn’t anything more wonderful than falling asleep to a movie on a stormy wintry Saturday afternoon (much to B1’s dismay).  I love music in movies, I love well written movies, I love fictional characters that in no way resemble real life yet we hold and fantasize to some real-life standard.   

Sure it’s all very American, there is something inherently lazy and escapist about movies, but as the SIFF begins, it’s all very exciting. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Morning

"GOOD MORNING! WELCOME TO THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!" Shouts BFF from the streets of NYC into her phone.
"It's 7:24 am," I groggily reply from the comfort of my bed.
"Just calling to make sure you're up and doing something"

I was doing something.  I was SLEEPING!

But now that I'm up I say, "Good Morning, Rest of my Life. Let's do this."

Today's theme song: - It's a New Day

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Real Good


Went for a real good 6 mile run
Went for a real good 20 mile bike ride
Took a real good spill (don't worry, the bike is fine)
Got sunburnt real good
Currently readin' a real good book, listenin' to real good music and eatin' some real good food

I could get used to this...real quick.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe I'll miss....

People keep asking me what I'll miss most about the firm.  I look at them befuddled and then scramble for a sincere answer before laughing in their face.  Am I suppose to miss something?  Can't you only really know what you'll miss only after it's gone?   Isn't that a fairly large assumption that there is something to miss?   Maybe, just maybe, I'll miss the following:

  • This guy's honesty with me and keeping me honest with myself:

  • Lunches in the Market, in order of preference if someone else is buying: 1.) Matt's in the Market, 2.) Place Pigalle, 3.) Steelhead Diner.  4.) The Pink Door 5.) The Crumpet Shop.  Oh, and Daily Dozen Donuts. 
  • Early morning Tall Non-fat Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolates at Dilettante
  • Sunbathing on the Roof Deck

...Yep.  That's about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Thank you NPR for validating my adolescent crush on Usher and making OMG your Song of the Day. PS. might be the best thing to happen to hip hop despite the unnecessarily punctuated name.

To SH, queue this up for the next spontaneous dance party that may or may not happen Friday night.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


On Friday I sent this All Firm email that I have dreamed of sending. Literally, dreamed.  Maybe even drafted a few times.

I am excited to announce that Friday, May 14th, will be my last day.  Words are insufficient to express the gratitude I feel towards the firm and the people here who have been so instrumental in my professional growth. I can only provide my sincerest thank you to each of you.  You have all taught me so much that will forever influence my future.

Thank you all so much.


I mean every word of it.  Four years ago I started at the firm thick-skinned, headstrong, beat up, battered, tough and bitter (like NYC can do to the sheltered and inexperienced 22 year old). During my time at the firm I have been privileged to watch brilliant people do amazing things.  I have learned more about business than any book or school could have taught me.  I learned more about people, had my heart tenderized and toughened, spent hours thinking, planning, organizing, analyzing, writing, negotiating, serving, etc. It is exactly the path I was suppose to walk.  

I'm not really sure what the future holds.  I'm even more unclear of the next steps or what I will be doing. If I were to be completely honest, I'm sorta freaking out on the inside.  In 9 years, I've never not worked so my indentity crisis will probably hit at about 5:00 pm on Friday. But, I have received an outpouring of support from my family and friends that I am truly at a loss for words to express how much you all mean to me.  Your words of support allow me to find the faith in myself and in the future.

I have had one of the best weekends in recent memory spent with friends, biking, cooking, eating, reading, laughing.  I honestly can't remember the last time I've laughed and smiled so much. I think I've even etched a few smile lines.  Being blessed beyond measure is something that I too often take for granted.   But not tonight, tonight I offer my prayers in gratitude for all the has been given to me, the people, the experiences, the life that I am so blessed to live.

I have so much I want to do and accomplish that the door to the world has literally opened the the potential for success is truly limitless.

Get excited.  I am.

Cake or Death (by chocolate)

toasted pecans

flourless chocolate cake with 1.2 lbs of chocolate

creme fraiche cream topping

Oaxacan Chocolate Cake

Monday, May 3, 2010


Well, I’m back.

I’m in a dress, high heels, make up on, hair did, nails did for the first time in 2 weeks…which means only one thing: I’m back at work….And it’s weird.

I can backpack across Japan without a single twinge in my finicky sprained fragile back, but put me in totally slammin' red Steve Madden pumps for 6 hours, I’m toast. That’s weird.

I’ve had 3 American food meals since getting home and my stomach is pissed. P-I-S-S-E-D. That’s weird. Well, really more painful than weird. 

I’ve been up for 21 hours now trying to kick this jet-lag. So far, Jet Lag: 3, Cara: 0. I feel a come back with the caffeine-laced beverage I’m downing. In other news, I’ve also grown unsightly biceps from this backpacking escapade.

One of the partners who I'm pretty sure didn't learn my name until maybe six months ago, gave me a hug today.  That was way weird. 

Didn’t really follow much news while I was away, but apparently we’re still destroying our environment (Thanks BP), what the hell Arizona, and here in Seattle we’re still arguing about light rail and public transportation (Guys, trust me, this train business is brilliant). Weird.