Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm heading out of town to MN (cross your fingers as its snowing AGAIN) to be with my family for the holiday. I'm so excited! I get to spend Christmas Eve with my Grandma Peg and I have a brand new baby niece I'm just waiting to squeeze. Unfortunately, my sweet Tyson won't be accompanying me and therefore, we celebrated a little last night.

Chef Tyson grilled up some steaks on my snowy deck and then topped them with goat cheese and some seasonings to broil and make crispy. Potatoes. Grilled pear halves with mascarpone cheese in the centers. I did a great job making the Bailey's on the rocks. Delish. A little cribbage. Some wine picked up at the Gundlach Bundschu winery in Sonoma with Tyson's family. All things that are yummy and require immediate sweatpant wearing afterward.

The tree's a little sparse. But it gets the job done.

Tyson and I decided not to give each other gifts this year, and instead booked a cabin to get away and spend a weekend together. Late February we'll be heading to the Teanaway Guard Station in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

It is described as: A rustic 12x18 log cabin situated at 3200 feet elevation in the Teanaway River Drainage. Inside you will find a wood stove for heat, a Coleman propane cook stove and lantern which use Coleman 16.4 ounce propane cylinders. A vault toilet is located outside (key is located in the cabin) and is intended for cabin guests only. Recreation opportunities in the area include hiking, mountain climbing, bird watching, wildlife viewing, photography. With winter comes the opportunity for cross-country skiing, back country snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Mid December - early April parking is 2.2 miles from the cabin. It is an easy ski or snowshoe trip over a groomed snowmobile route from the plowed parking area. ...Yep we'll be hiking in!
Tyson, I will miss you whilst in MN. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you that I love!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Urban Sledding. On a different hill.

We caught wind that the hill over on Queen Anne was closed also. Comparatively, QA Avenue is not only significantly steeper, but also really long. Like a nice ski run long. And by the time I walked all the way over wearing my snow gear, probably ten snowboarders and 5 or 6 skiers were making turns down a "blue square" run on Queen Anne hill. A small group was enjoying a keg on the sidewalk about half way up and if you asked, they gave you a cup of ice cold beer.

At one point a snowmobile started giving rides to one of their snowboarding friends so they didn't have to hike up the hill each time. The crowd on QA was much more civilized in comparison to Capitol Hill. Similar, respectively, to the personalities of the neighborhoods.

Ski Jump and Tyson:

Josh, Lisa and I race:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Urban Sledding.

So Seattle is officially dumping snow. A typical winter in Seattle includes a snowish day and everyone goes crazy and cars can't drive and its nuts. Well, its now been snowing off and on now for five days and last night we received another five inches of snow. Keep in mind that nothing has been plowed since the first dumping because I'm not even sure if we HAVE plows. And for the protection of the salmon, the roads and sidewalks have not been salted or sanded. I live at the top of a giant hill that has three main roads carrying you over the adjacent interstate. One of those, Denny Way, was closed due to road conditions. What does a hill full of hipsters, EMO rockers, gays and everyone in between do when a giant hill covered in snow is closed to traffic? Throw a party and ride down it on anything that slides. Probably 250 people gathered at the top of Denny Way last night and when we showed up around midnight they had music blaring, pot smoke in the air, a guy in a Santa suit and people sledding on any and all of the following items:

cake pans
cookie sheets
storage bins
laundry baskets
a surf board - it fit almost ten people at once
skateboard decks
real estate signs
plastic bags
a car bumper
And of course, sleds

Here's me flying:

Tyson flying. Note the person he takes out at the end:

The crowd favorite, 6-7 people on a surf board:

Hilarious craziness:

And by the look of things, the weather isn't really going to get much better. I'm a little nervous about my Christmas flight!:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh my...

I love watching folks in Seattle deal with weather. Especially when it involves more than a dusting of snow. We received probably four inches of snow Thursday and the result was pandemonium. Press play, I have footage to prove it:

Though, not without beautiful streets covered in snow.

Last weekend was the start of all this white stuff, and Tyson and I in an attempt to get outside and enjoy it a little headed over to the Arboretum. We walked around, yanked at branches heaped in snow until they dumped on each other. And when it was nearly dark we happened upon two abandoned sleds. No one to be seen. Check it out:

And I have to throw in a plug for Tyson and his first knitted hat. Yep, all by himself:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where is the LOVE.

I've struggled a little lately. I don't know if its the fact that this is the week before nature will bless me with my monthly woman gift, or that its winter and I've been cooped up a bit lately or that Tyson hasn't found a job and its stressful on us making him question where he should be living, or that work is a little intense and I get anxiety thinking about all of the things I need to do. Or maybe its all of it. Wrapped up in a little Xmas gift of stress?

Last week Claude invited me to a little girls' gathering hosted by one of her friends. Sure! I love meeting new girlfriends. I was really excited until I walked in the door and like a wave in the ocean total insecurity washed over me. The apartment was absolute perfection. The women were in skirts, sweater dresses and fairly dressed up compared to my JCrew cords and cardigan ensemble. I didn't know a single person and I guess I was just a little intimidated. What's funny is how easy it can be once you just jump in with both feet. For the first five minutes I listened, nodded and didn't really say much. But I started talking with one woman, and then another joined the conversation and, I dunno, things took off. And of course a wine lubricant never hurts but after a good hour or so we were all sitting huddled in the (fabulously decorated) living room just chatting away! So many strong women in one room: a photographer, a gal who is starting her own business/website/service, a personal chef, a real estate agent. I really had a great time. Corduroys and all. Why is it that sometimes we can feel so insecure? Its odd and the funny thing is, I know I'm not alone. We all feel that way from time to time.

Tonight I left the gym - Yes I went, and I'm damn proud of myself considering the 21 or possibly lower temperatures - And I was feeling an overall sense of readjustment. I felt more at ease. More trusting in the fact that I can't control everything around me and the way things will turn out, so I just need to let go and see what happens. And then Black Eyed Peas' song, "Where Is The Love" came on the radio and I was all crazy jamming and shit and realized that man, there are larger things to care and worry about in this world. Life is pretty great if you just sit back, enjoy it and spread the love.

"Where Is The Love"

What's wrong with the world, mama
People living like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here living
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all

People killing, people dying
Children hurt and you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questioning
Where is the love (Love)

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations dropping bombs
Chemical gasses filling lungs of little ones
With ongoing suffering as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the loving really gone
So I could ask myself really what is going wrong
In this world that we living in people keep on giving in
Making wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respecting each other, deny thy brother
A war is going on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm getting older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money making
Selfishness got us following our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feeling under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feeling down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feeling under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the One.

We stopped at the Ranger Station near North Bend. We were shown two types of needles indicating which trees were good Christmas trees and which were not. (Tyson already knew the answer). We were given a map and were off to Exit 47 to find our tree. The day was crisp and sunny. The Christmas station blared holiday classics on the radio. The cheese factor was turned WAY up but I was more than pleased to be the cheesiest person of all time. We were going to cut down a tree!

After reaching the forest, the dirt road was bumpy and eventually Tyson pulled over. Off we went looking for The Tree. The trees in the forest aren't anything like those purchased at a grocery store or even a tree farm. They are sparse and closely resemble a Charlie Brown tree. Awesome.

Eventually we found a tree and both agreed it was the One.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So I realize there are hours upon hours of great TV out there, much of which I never seem to see. So many South Park episodes I miss and try to catch online. John Stewart and the Daily Show...yep, miss it all the time. However, one show seems to be on my internal radar. Six days before its supposed to air I'm thinking about it. Wondering, what WILL they be wearing and how will Blair do her hair? Does anyone else watch Gossip Girl and marvel at the hair on that womanchild? I swear, I did my hair today ONLY because I watched last night and felt I needed to somehow step up my game. And actually, it turned out quite cute.

In other hair news. As I was curling away I noticed a shimmering, shininess in the mirror. Could it be? Another one? Its like the scalp has an alarm clock that goes off blasting as soon as you turn 30 and tells hair its okay to stop producing pigment. Sure I've pulled the occasional silver hair out of my head before, like one or two a year. I've pulled 5 in the last two weeks. Its pressure enough that as women most of us tend to pluck our eyebrows, put on a little make-up in the morning, hit the gym, shave our legs, and maybe even pluck the few rampant black hairs that pop up in places I'll keep to myself. I'm sure there are people out there who will read this and say that I'm putting that pressure on myself. Go natural! Maybe when I'm 40 or 50. But for now, let the maintenance begin. Or rather, continue.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

C&W Holiday Party.

My company holiday party was last Thursday. Considering past holiday parties of mine here in Seattle include: The Showbox and Ghostland Observatory at Chop Suey, I was excited to get really dressed up and put on my party shoes. The venue was the PACCAR pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park. 80's Band. Great food. All the drinks your heart desired. And a photobooth to capture the progression of the party. It was elegant and really great.

As I walked around introducing Tyson to people he hadn't yet met through other random events, it made me see my company through a new set of eyes. I work for a fantastic agency and I work with great, great people. Not just OK people, but really great people. Amazing how that can make such a difference. I'm not saving the world or anything, but I'm enjoying what I do and who I do it with. And for now, I'm pretty pleased with that*.

*Until my next hair-brained idea to change my entire career. Stay tuned, I'm sure it will be next week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

One's trash, another's treasure.

We put together a little garage sale of other peoples' things and set up shop on Aylin's lawn last weekend. Tyson's bike was stolen recently, and I wanted to find a way to help contribute to him getting back on wheels. Overall the sale was a total success, but it was also a ton of work. We made signs and posted them around the neighborhood where the sale took place. We drove around and picked up items from peoples' homes who so graciously donated to the sale. And at the end of the day, we made $220, and $35 will go to Bikeworks, which I'm pretty pumped about.

Aylin popped her head out around 8:30am last Saturday and told us to get off her lawn. She then proceeded to help us set up, entertain me and bring me water intermittently. Oh Aylin.

After also selling a donated bike frame on Craigslist the total "fund" is up to $325. Amazing what you can get without actually spending any money.

Photos from the Columbia City bakery where we stopped for coffee, Pear Cardamom coffee cake and donut before the big sale event. Yum. That's all there is to it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two Turkey Dinners:

Rob and Claude hosted a Thanksgiving feast at their house the Saturday before the actual holiday. It was a chance to let the games begin in terms of loosening your belt a notch with holiday eating. Fried turkey in the form of wingies first, then the real bird + potatoes + green bean casserole + Claude's grandpa's stuffing + wine and cranberries. I was far from home, but able to relax in the company of great friends. Orphan holidays aren't so bad. It will never compare with Thanksgiving Eve at Grandma Peg's eating lasagna and Thanksgiving day with my family and football blasting from the television but its definitely relaxing. And the Pictionary that followed was top-notch. At one point the men were tasked with the word "Rag". Without going into detail, the drawings were very "Health Class-ish". Oh boy.

Then on the actual day of Thanksgiving we were grateful to spend time with Tyson's sister Tracy and her husband Scott who live here in Washington. The food was great and their friends are always fun, but somehow, more than a week after tasting the wonder, I am still dreaming about the deliciousness that was their pumpkin cheesecake dessert. OMG. The best cheesecake I've ever consumed.

So many things to be thankful for:
coffee, the election of Barack Obama, my new baby neice, Eleanor, my family, my Gma, having a job that pays the billz, Love Actually, dreaming, happiness, peanut butter on top of english muffins, the internet, texting, hugs, Dwell magazine, hiking, cooking, baking, knitting, my bike, cribbage, my macbook laptop, laughing, taking a risk, butterflies in my stomach, youtube videos that can truly teach you anything you want to learn, good books, our soldiers, our farmers, friends, memories, dark chocolate, spinning class, yoga class, hilarious blogs, cheesy holiday music, sewing, walking to work, walking just about everywhere I go, the Joe Bar, a good year, a good outlook, lessons learned, tennis, tennis, tennis, good smelling candles, Tracy's pumpkin cheesecake, speaking my mind, inspiration, a sense of Peace.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Bowl.

Our resident party planner and bookie from work, Rob, planned a little friendly touch football game. Our building is divided down the middle creating an East side and a West side. Rob's West side vs. ours. There were very few rules: One could only rush the QB after counting from one one-thousand to ten one-thousand, a girl had to be catching or throwing at least every third play, and the ball had to be passed or ran within five seconds after hiking. Pretty simple. Pretty awesome. Our East side had lower expectations as we all knew Rob had been a QB in college. And our fears were confirmed when we arrived Saturday morning to see a velcro strapped play book attached to his forearm. We were screwed.

But we were scrappy. And after two twenty-minute halves we were one touchdown behind. It was our ball. There were 20 seconds remaining in the game. The play started. Everyone ran to the endzone. The ball was thrown. People left into the air. And alas, there was no catch. We lost.

But we were so happy our huddles of standing around and chatting and not actually making a plan for each down really did compete with Rob and his full defense and offensive lines and his playbook. We lost the trophy but we toasted on beers afterward just the same. Until Turkey Bowl 2009, we will be practicing.

*photo credit to Steve