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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Awkward Conversation of the Day

Me: Standard Phone Greeting
Client: It's so and so...So great to hear your voice now, you have such a beautiful voice. (said in a devilishly handsome British accent)
Me: Insert gracious commnet but it just stumbles out awkwardly and I just move the conversation along

Proceed conversation related to business. Try to wrap up.

Client: One last thing, where did you get that voice?
Me: Ooh, uhhh, well, I get told a lot that i sound like my mother. (which i do)
Client:  You don't get a voice like that from your mother
Me: uhhh,  I be sure to pass that along.....trail off nonsensically

I don't even know what that means but I got super sweaty.


I have a short list of favorite couple friends.  One of those favorites is N&S R.  I knew SR before NR came to work at the same place I work.  NR likes to make super awkward jokes about me being his work mistress while I stand to his wife. He also mentions his IBS at any given time.  She loves living vicarious through what she calls my "WB" life. I love everything about them. The truly are wonderful people I am so blessed to know.

Anyhow, they moved up to Kingston for a few months and invited myself over numerous times and finally made it happen.  On a particularly grey misty day I walked on to the Kingston Ferry and blended into the landscape of regular ferry-goers. 

NR greeted me on the other side with a, "Wait just a second, I ordered you some crepes and if my wife asks it was your idea."  I will gladly be a culprit when crepes are involved.  Note maybe some of the best crepes of my life.

While we had our crepe appetizers we chatted about the Baby R on the way,  laughed about SR's degree of discomfort and disregard for wearing pants any more.  We went for a stroll on a sandy beach called Point No Point where we chatted with the light house docent and walked along the beach while SR hobbled anxiously patient to find a restroom. 

Baby bump!

Point No Point

It was time to throw some meat and veggies on the grill and chow into dinner.  Strawberry rhubarb pie polished of the night while we told stories that made us laugh until we cried.

I headed back to mainland, reality and the life of mine that is so blessed to know them. 
Tuck that day in to the memory book and hold on to it tight.

Lipstick. In 2 parts.

Part the First:

When the BFF came to visit last time her visit coincided with my semi-annual hair cut.  With my hair did and make up on I strutted my stuff for a night out on Capital Hill. We hit up Wild Rose (Seattle's only les bar) and Ilsa stakes claim to saving me from a close encounter of the female kind. 

A few weeks later we were chatting and she say, "You know what C, you're actually kind of hot when you take care of yourself." 

A questionable, "Thanks?" I think was my response.

But she was making a subtle point.  And I got her point. 

90% of the time I throw my wet hair up in a messy bun, may or may not put my contacts in, and pick up an outfit off my floor that passes the smell/wrinkle test. Scribble on some make up only if I'm in a meeting with people  or have to greet VIP guests.  I regularly felt like a first class shulb.

It was time for a change.

Part the Second:

The BFF also said to me: You know, I had an epiphany for you. You've been in abusive relationships for the last 6 years, and one in particular for ten years.  When are you going to stop? 

This was in the midst of a situation with a friend of mine who did something that I was really hurt by.  Instead of dismissing my feelings about how he hurt me and excusing him of his behavior (like would usually for anybody) I decided to cease talking to him until I was ready to commit to having a constructive conversation. This meant owning my feelings and processing those in my own time.  His friendship meant enough to me to take the steps to reconciliation.  For two weeks we didn't chat but he knew our friendship was not ok and he made it know that he was ready to talk when I was. 

We set a time to have the difficult conversation and in a space of clear thought and love and forgiveness, we reconciled.

What does this mean?

So in that last 3 weeks I've committed to myself to rock it.  Own it.  Let go. Look slammin'. 

Hair, big bold waves or sleek updo - check.

Invest in heart to hearts and people - check.

Bold lipstick, flawflessly finished face and defined long lashy eyes - check.

Own hard conversations and commit to having them if they matter - check.

Wear outfits that keep me confident and classy sassified - check.

Remove myself from relationship that make me feel inadequate - check.

Donate clothes to small and shoes too tall or old -check.

Walk tall and confident - check. 

Daily, people see me, stop, ask me what's different and conclude it's the lipstick. I say thanks, that must be it, and know deep down I know it's so much more than lipstick. But a little never hurt anyone.

MAC Diva - secret weapon of choice

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Old House

I love my childhood home.  I still consider it "home" even though I moved out 10 years ago (minus that one year I returned for a bit). 

My parents had 2 kids in 2 months which means they needed a new home for the growing family.  In the spring of 1983 they uprooted themselves from a cozy 800 square ft house in Seattle and headed north for the burbs to a split level, double the size, 4 bedroom, 3 bath home tucked away down a long driveway.  This was back in the day when you could actually buy property (this space is half an acre) and as fortune would have it, the house bordered Lively Property, a now state owned forest and wildlife reserve used primarily for education.  I love this house and land.

My room was down the end of the hall between my parent's and sister's rooms.  To this day I know exactly the steps to walk to make it to the bathroom, into the kitchen, down the stairs and out the garage.  I can trace my hands along familiar textured walls and know when to turn to enter another room.  I know exactly how far out to put my hand in the dark and instinctively know where any light switch in the house is. The house has soft water which is impossible to find and my dad's irrational need for excessive hot water at all times means we have a giant hot water tank that makes showering at home an almost spa like experience. 

I know exactly where the magenta pink nail polish line can be found on the drawer from my sister's "retaliation".  I know exactly how to curl up perfectly on the couch and fall asleep to the sound of my dad watching Star Trek (yes, I've seen them all...several times).  I know exactly the place where I would sit and eat my lemon glaze cookie after dinner every night and watch Jeopardy!  I know exactly which dresser drawer only opens 8 inches due to a rusty wheel, and has all my life. I know exactly how large of steps you have to take to jump from rug to rug in each bathroom so as to not touch the icy tiles. I know that house and I love it.

The house is now 35+ years old and general wear and tear on the place is starting to show.  Mom and dad have recently had a lot of work done to the property including a new huge fence, new huge deck, taken down trees, dug up roots.  Probably single handedly leveled rainforests but whatcha gonna do? Finally it was time to paint the house.  So they did.

On a semi-unrelated note: my dad is color blind. Like comically so. I often like to play the game, "what color is this dad?" wherein he will inevitably get it wrong and we have a good chuckle. So how my mother allowed my father to pick the color of the house is BEYOND me.  She didn't even see it before it went on the house, she just trusted him to match the existing colors.  Not hard.

Well imagine my surprise when on fb today my mother posted this picture of my beloved childhood home. 

Holy hell.

I about fell out of my chair. The horror. The shock.  The canary yellow that puked all over the house. Before it was a lovely shade of cream with the same dark brown which gave it a dignified and classy look.   Now it looks like something out of 1970 that went horribly array, even for 1970.

Now, I was really grateful my mom posted this picture to prepare me for when I go home next.  Had that not happened I'm sure the first words out of my mouth when I got home would have been something along the lines of, "What the eff happened to the outside of the house?!?!" Said in horror obviously.  Now the first words will be, "Well that's an interesting color choice, Dad," said with underlying befuddlement.

This is all to say, that house is still my home.  When I walk in, it will feel all the same and before it was this baffling shade of yellow.  I'll still know it inside and out. 

I'll just have to remember to arrive and leave in the dark.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tater Tots

Look, one day I'll stop blogging about tater tots.  Today is not that day.

The BFF was in town to see her GF and I was desperate for a reason to go to Knee High Stocking Co. And not just because their drinks are interesting but because their tater tots are works of delicious art. 

Just so you don't think I solely survive on tater tots (although I could....hello, Taco Time) I also got a chicken pot pie.  BFF's drink was describe as tasting like a "man's tool box" but in a good way, I guess. Ruth's caramel corn was described to be laced with crack.  So...good things all around.

At my aestatician's office and we had this long conversation about tater tots and the paradox that they are so socially acceptable in restaurants yet rank up there with redneck gourmet when served at home.  We determined it was because in the restaurant they are deep fried (unlike baked at home) thus making them exponentially more delicious. Secondly they are usually served in a cone.  And we all know things served in a cone taste better (i.e. fries, ice cream). 

Ok, I'll stop talking about tater tots.  For now.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day came and went and in true fashion it only further proved that weekends really should be 3 days: one to recover, two to relax, three to enjoy.

So that's what I did. 

I kept up with CA on the bike for 34 miles at decent click.  This is significant because he's a real cyclist and I'm a pretend one. Needless to say I was a bit tired at the end, but invigorated.  We headed home, cleaned up, packed a picnic and headed for Kerry Park. The sun was out in full glory and so were the people.  On the walk home we stopped by Molly Moon's and I enjoyed 100% guilt free scoop of strawberry balsamic ice cream.  Cap of the night with Captain America and that's how we do a day in Seattle. 

How we picnic in the park:  turkey, fontina, spinach, hummus roll ups with grapes and sparking water.

Someone wore someone else out. I'm not saying its me, but maybe it was.

One for the History Books

HV+JS are the marvelous hosts of dinner parties that are reaching epic proportions.  The last dinner party was bursting at the taste buds and seams as it was the largest and maybe most delicious. 

Vietnamese was the player, stuffing ourselves full was the game.  And we totally won.

On the menu:

We started with shrimp and beef skewers and fresh rolls with spicy peanut sauce to get warmed up.

Main course: Vietnamese inspired sausage to put over cool rice noodles with herbs (bún chả  style), plus real Vietnamese rolls to fix up all bánh mì sandwich like if that suited your fancy more.

Photo innocently stolen from fb by fab photog Sam Cook

Now would be the time you insert a Joe/Sam/Arthur sausage innuendo, but I won't since we heard them all night.

Condiments included fresh mint and basil, shredded/pickled carrot, hoisen sauce, chopped nuts, and fois gras from a farmers market in Paris (for real).

A variety of Asian flare salads including papaya salad and my own (stolen from Sista M) broccoli Asian salad.

The bar was so over flowing they literally cleared the mantle and filled it to the brim with everything from cardamom bitters to pomegranate blended goodness and all sorts of mixers. Restaurants couldn't stock bars like we did.

Heather, queen of impossibly delicious desserts, made chocolate marquis with five spice candied almonds and caramel sauce. It looked something like this.  You can get the details about how she worked her magic here. I wish you could taste this photo.

CA and I making the fresh rolls:

After recently attending Sista M's cooking class I put my new knowledge to work and made these fresh rolls that will now enter onto the "food so easy to make why don't I do it more often" list.

Here we all are.  If this picture could talk it would be telling you the best story about a girl, an intertube, a white bikini and a serious bowel movement.  Hence the captivated audience.

 Photo innocently stolen from fb by fab photog Sam Cook

Great food, great people, so much love in such a cozy space.  One for the history books.

You are a Tourist

Death Cab for Cutie sings a song with the lyrics:

And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then it's time to go
I couldn't disagree more.

I played tourist at home this weekend.  Seattle has so many treasures there is never a shortage of things to do or see.

  • 26 miles bike ride on the Interurban trail from Tukwila to Kent
  • Recovery/reward meal at Jule Maes Saloon in Georgetown.  One bacon gorgonzola burger with tater tots later, I was beyond satisfied. Unbeknownst to us, it happened to be Georgetown's Carnival day so all the crazies were out.  Aerial acrobats, stilt walkers, tatted out bikers, dancing scarf guy (he is EVERYWHERE!), characters of Seattle's gruffier side were out in full force. It was brilliant. 


Lincoln Park exploring:

What a gem of the best of everything: sun, water, trails, woods.  Also ran into a bestie while sitting on a bench taking in the view.  An unexpected treat. We chatted for an hour and then continued on our walks.

"Beach Trail" should really be more apropos-ly be named "4 million stairs to Beach Trail".  My flip flops were woefully insufficient but didn't stop me.  Great views, quiet places to contemplate, lots of people + dog watching.  It quickly became clear the Seattlites go to Alki, West Seattlites go to Lincoln Park.  Well played, West Seattle.

California Ave Lunching and Window Shopping:

If I lived in West Seattle (like I do for two weeks) I would eat a Bakery Nouveau every day. Every. day.  Bakery Nouveau is home to the best baked good I've ever had.  And if you know me at all this is the boldest of statements to make.  But its true. 

Pear Torte
Turkey Havarti Croissant Sandwich
darn tooting good

I'm salivating just thinking of it. 

I strolled California Avenue, peppered with cute boutique stores, Easy Street Records, Antique Stores, book stores (where I may or may not have acquired new material), cafes, all a lazy hustle and bustle on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  The farmers market was a buzz with neighbors, kids and do-gooders.

Hope your weekend was equally as exploratory and delicious. 

Friday, June 1, 2012


Working from home (WFH) is really the greatest to do every couple weeks.  Different distractions, different wardrobe, different snacks, different view.  Same work.

Today was especially great because I got to skype with the little mister. 

However, something went a bit konkywampus with the camera on my end and looked something like the Hulk's girlfriend.

He misses me, I know it.
I miss him, too.