Monday, December 26, 2011

I want 2012 to be BIG

I want to try my hand at boxing. Not kickboxing...BOXING! With a bag! I don't want to hit other people, but it'd be cool I think and some form of "self defense" training, which I have been wanting anyway.

I might take a new language. Portuguese? French?

I'm doing the STP, and a bunch of training rides for it. I might invest in a real road bike.

I'm thinking about my next move. It seems the company is moving very slow about potentially making a Portland office. So now, I'm thinking, since 2012 is going to be a BIG year for being HAPPY and adventurous, I want to move to Wallingford. Maybe back to Fremont, but Fremont proper. We'll see.

I would be excited to hear any suggestions you have for making 2012 BIG and HAPPY and ADVENTUROUS! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday 2012

I know it's months off, but I've decided this year's birthday party will be at the Lynnwood Skate and Bowl. They have a party package that includes dinner, two drink tix per guest, an hour and a half of bowling, followed by two hours of roller skating. $35 per guest. Awesome! I'm already thinking about the invitations will look like.

Plus my birthday is on a SATURDAY this year. Hooray!

It's also the first ride in the training series for the Seattle to Portland bicycle classic. I'll spend my morning/early afternoon riding the Seward Park loop (25 miles).


Friday, December 16, 2011

MTME: Allen Stone

I don't think it's any secret or surprise this most recent MTME post is in regards to the hugely talented Allen Stone. Since seeing him play at the Wild Buffalo in early October, I have probably listened to his second album 200 times. Seriously. It's a good thing I bought a digital copy, because I will listen to it 2, 3, sometimes 4 times a day. In fact, as a Christmas present to the fam, I am taking everyone to see him play with the Seattle Rock Orchestra at The Neptune in January.

He has some of the most soulful and catchy songs I've heard in a long time. My favorite on the album is "Satisfaction", but I do love "Sleep" and "Celebrate Tonight", "Say So", and a single (you can find on Spotify), "Another Break Up Song". He can slow it down, too. "Unaware"...I cannot keep myself from rocking back and forth in my chair whenever that one comes on. You can feel everything he's saying.

Live, he and the band are very entertaining. He's got a stellar group of guys, including a brass section. Can't wait for January!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Monday

Last one from Bumbershoot.

Electronic soul. Very different! The lead singer had a phenomenal voice, and the music was mostly upbeat. Great way to start off the last day.

Grand Hallway
The lead singer from Grand Hallway has performed with The Maldives before, and I knew he was a wonderful artist. He has a fairly high voice, kind of sounds like heaven. They were enjoyable, but unfortunately, a lot of the music is repetitive sounding.

Two young ladies, a drum set, keyboard and a guitar from Seattle. They are self-described dream pop. The EMP Level 3 stage was a good fit. I rather enjoyed their music. It was pretty dreamy, but then they'd break into these runs and just rock out with so much passion!

Greensky Bluegrass
A bluegrass band. I was a little disappointed. Or maybe just tired. They play around here often.

Girl-fronted rock band. Pretty good. Nothing spectacular, unfortunately.

My paper says I saw Sharon Van Etten, but I don't remember her. Maybe we went to the Starbucks lounge instead. I'm telling you, free drinks! Almost their whole menu!

Vendetta Red
AGGHH! VR is getting back together, agggghhh! Okay, it's not that big a deal to me, more just that one of the old rock bands is back together. Kind of a nostalgia thing. And although the audience for them was small (they've been broken up since 2006, none of the young kids know them), their fans are still rabid. Not many people, but enough for lead singer crowd surfing, apparently! So much energy, and I was surprised to remember a few of the old songs (they played at WWU a few times). Their bassist is the guy from Schoolyard Heroes (moment of silence for another AWESOME disbanded Seattle band). Glad to see they're back at it.

Two more Decibel Festival bands: SPLATINUM and Truckasaurus. Okay, we pretty much skipped the latter...The former were dressed in these wacky robes, and at one point brought their toddler on stage. Adorable. Also, pretty entertaining for electronic music.

Ended Bumbershoot with a beautiful (visually and audibly) show by Phantogram. They're actually electronic too, but this one was out under the stars by the fountain (perfect!) The key to electronic music: having a SINGER, instead of just DJ's. The lead singer gal for this band makes sweet sweet music. Check them out on Spotify. I love "Mouthful of Diamonds".

And that was it for Bumbershoot! A lot more local acts, fewer bands I was psyched to see, but discovered a lot of great music. Best shows of the festival: DEFINITELY Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Presidents of the United States of America, Astronautalis, STRFKR and Mad Rad. Hip hop definitely shined in 2011!

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Sunday

I know, I am WAY behind on these. But honestly, who finds the time to blog?

The Lonely Forest
Great local band, finally making it. These guys are from Anacortes, and I saw them play when they were still in high school (I think) least, I was still in college :) They had a single out on the radio this summer on 107.7. I really enjoy them!

Mad Rad
Holy fuck. I'd heard of these guys, but not their reputation. They're a rap group from Seattle. With names like P Smoov, Buffalo Madonna, and Radjaw, and DJ Darwin...their songs are titled things like "Party Mountain" and "I Want Your Blood"...whatever you do, SEE THEM LIVE! Because they bring it like almost no one else. Their music is nasty and crazy, almost exclusively sex, drugs, and craziness. And the crowd goes WILD. A couple of them work at Neumos, but not too long ago, they were all kicked out and the cops called on them there. They were banned for some time. This is how crazy these MC's are.

I have them marked down on my paper but I don't remember seeing them. Tells you a lot...

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Ah, yes, we went to see this amazing singer while downing free Starbucks at the lounge. The Starbucks Lounge is awesome...Probably drank like $20 worth of drinks for free, plus had a good view of their stage. Jessica Lea is only 22, but she sings like she's seen a life of heartache. She recorded her first EP at 15. Depressing, but beautiful and poignant music. And she play guitar, which is always nice in a female singer/songwriter.

This band is made up of four young ladies. The music a'ight. I probably bobbed my head. Not terribly memorable, though.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
We arrived an hour early, and STILL had to sit in the top bowl of Key Arena. Mack "sold" that place the fuck out! What a show to remember. These men are Seattle boys, bringing the local hip hop scene to an increasingly national stage. Macklemore, 3 years sober, sings often of his experiences with drugs and alcohol, growing up as a white kid who loves rap, fidelity (with his very long-time girlfriend), and had a hit single this summer about his obsession with Nike's and disgust for consumerism, called "Wings". It's rap with brains. And he brings the party just as hard as Mad Rad. Ryan Lewis makes the magic happen, laying down the beatz.

One more Decibel Stage guy. Probably liked him better than some of the others, but again, my heart's not in it with DJ sets.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oddest massage experience ever.

Okay, I know I'm over a month past my last update, but I just had to relay this story.

I bought two daily deals because it was such a steal. $30 for a 90 min massage. It's a block from Cafe Flora, so I thought "decent block, won't be a bad place to go" and the description of the salon didn't make it sound off or anything.

My appt was for 6pm. Got there on time. Had a hard time finding it because it was on the backside of the block-long building of various shops. Cute boutiques, a cupcake store, etc.

The salon is definitely one of those "I go there because I know it's there" places, not some place you drop by because it looks nice from the street. It was kind of run down and poorly lit. There were only 3 chairs, it was all in one smallish room. And it was a weave and braids salon. I was the only whitey there. Which, I know, is not a very sensitive thing to notice, but EVERYONE stared at me when I walked in.

The masseuse was the only male in the salon. Which also makes me kind of uncomfortable.

The massage area is partitioned off from the rest of the salon by a fake wall in the back of the room. The wall didn't go to the ceiling, there was about a foot and a half of clearance, so I could hear everything going on in the salon. Not very relaxing. The space was incredibly small and dim!

I got headphones for "soothing music" because he didn't have speakers.

There was a mini fridge and microwave in the massage room.

OH! And when I walked in, there was a little dog, I pet it and the masseuse says "Yes, that's Action Jackson. He'll be in there, too. He has a little bed under the massage table. He's my service dog."

The masseuse had several gold front teeth and long braids.

I swear I am bruised all over (you can't see them but my skin hurts to the touch all over) because, despite asking four times, he gave me the most painful deep tissue massage I've ever received. After I asked for a Swedish massage. I told him I was sore from a workout the day before, but nevermind that.

I had the feeling something wasn't quite right with him socially. At one point I said my mid-back was really tight, and so he needs to go easy on it, and he responded (I got this a few times) "Oh yeah, I'm really good at disarming the nerves." and went on digging into the muscle. I've never had my kidneys massaged, but I'm pretty sure that's what hurt so much.

At the end of the massage, he said that the massage is designed to remove [long list of "toxins"] from your muscles, so be sure to drink lots of water to flush the system. I don't remember the list of toxins, except "herbs and spices" were the last two he said. I know you're supposed to try and flush your system after a professional masage, I just thought herbs and spices were funny. They weren't meant to be funny

I felt sorry for the guy, he just seemed so odd, I gave him a normal tip. He saw what I wrote on my check and said "Well, for customers who give me a tip over $10 (which I was giving), I like to give them one of my Auntie's homemade soaps" which were for sale in the front display case, along with cheap rhinestone jewelry. So, although that was weird, it was pretty nice. The soap smells really good.

And then he walked me to my car.
Oddest massage experience ever. Not relaxing whatsoever.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MTME: Bumbershoot 2011, Saturday

I spent more time at this year's Bumbershoot than I have at any of my past ones, and I was less excited about the line up than ever before. However, it really does help to have someone to go with who is psyched to hear music, whether they know the artist or not.

Presidents of the United State of America: We kicked our festival off right with PUSA at Key Arena at 2:30pm. I have put off seeing them, because I know that they play around here plenty and I'd eventually get to see them, maybe for free. I wish I hadn't put it off so long, they put on a hell of a show! So much fun :)

Astronautalis: Raced over to the Fountain Lawn Stage, sponsored by KEXP, to see this guy. He's indie hip-hop, a former battle-rapper white guy who looks like an accountant with a bad boy (note: tattoos) past. He raps about Dmitri Mendeleev and Ben Franklin. I bought two of his albums at Bumbershoot- I didn't buy any other cds the whole weekend, so that's saying something. The guy is incredibly talented! A regular part of every show is to rap about any subjects the audience throws out. Our audience gave him "famine in africa, tarot cards, sea anemones" and a bunch of other things, like 10 things, all of which he incorporated in a fairly understandable rap that he made up on the spot! Definitely listen to him. Also, he just put out a new video for his song, Contrails, with Tegan Quinn of Tegan and Sara.

Emancipator: The first of many electronic artists at EMP Sky Church, as part of a new Decibel Festival feature during Bumbershoot. I was disappointed that only electronic artists were featured at the Sky Church, because it's such a great venue, but I can't think of a better venue for them at the Seattle Center, what with the 2-story digital background and awesome speakers. We only caught the end of the set, but he was pretty good.

Nice Nice: We stuck around in the Sky Church for this set. They were just a little too out there for us, so we moved on.

MarchFourth Marching Band: From Portland, they always put on a great show. Think mini-marching band, with brass and drums, AND crazy stilt walked and other acrobatic performers. A true spectacle :)

Beat Connection: Back to the Sky Church for two more electronic acts. We only caught the end of Beat Connection, but they were good! Ray Dalton, whom I will mention later, made an appearance on a cover song (I think it was Arcade Fire?) that was really great. The BC kids look just Like, 17. Maybe they are!

Free the Robots: This DJ probably had the best energy of any electronic artists we saw this weekend. Just really was into it the whole time, and spun a lot of hip-hop beats, and even grabbed the mic a few times. It is SO lame to watch a DJ set when they just stare into their macbookpro and do nothing to connect with the audience.

STRFKR: This was a PARTY. By now it was dark out, and STRFKR (yep, pronounced Starfucker) got everyone jumping around and dancing. It was fantastic!

Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs:
We split up for a bit and I went to Ray LaMontagne for about 20 minutes. He was the featured artist for the evening on the mainstage. I'd heard he can be boring to watch, doesn't engage the audience much. This is true, but it doesn't matter so much when your vocals are mesmerizing and you tour with a great band (slide guitar!) I don't think I'd pay to go see him again unless he was magically playing The Triple Door or some other dinner theater venue. He might also be good at Marymoor on a warm summer night, when you can just sprawl out on a blanket.

Minus the Bear: Haven't seen MtB since WWU, and I remember them being a lot more entertaining. I missed some of their better known songs while at Ray LaMontagne. Then the lead singer revealed that he and his wife had a baby 10 days prior, and he was so tired and it was a miracle he made the show, so I guess I forgive them for the low-key performance. It was just too bad, because I know Robin was really looking forward to seeing them for the first time.

That ended the night at 10:30pm!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Upcoming posts

I know, I've been really lame about posting. But I've been so busy! I will tell you about Bumbershoot, my trip to Portland, and my trip to Bend. Probably this weekend, even. I also have enough music to post another MTME :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vacation 2012

National Parks Road Trip!!!

I won't do this by myself, so I am really hoping someone steps up and is like "yeah, that sounds fun! I'll go with you!"

I want to see Arches and Yellowstone mainly, but throw in a few other locations. I think this road trip route, developed by the U.S. Parks website, is a really good start:

I would probably shoot for late May, or June. I'll have to look into airfare, camping/lodging, and car rental prices, and compare with good temperature and tourist flow. But I'm thinking 12-15 days. :) Probably fly in and out of Salt Lake City, like the website suggests.

Would you be interested in this trip?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beach Camping

A couple weekends ago, Robin and I went out to the peninsula to go backpacking. It was my first adult trip overnight backpacking...I've family camped at State Parks with bathrooms plenty, and I've day hiked some. I went to sleepaway camp when I was younger and we did a one-night to a lake once, but that was with a big group and I don't remember much of it at all, except the backpack was heavy.

We stayed Friday night with the Sheriff's, and I got to catch up on all the goings-on at the "hostel". The yurt is just about finished (it is gorgeous!), and got to see some of Kevin's improvements to the half-pipe garage (e.g., a hand-painted Deadmau5 sign in glow-in-the-dark paint). Met Grandpa Joe, who was really quite funny, and a couple friends of their's from CA. It was a great group :) Luna and Willard made their appearances, too. We left in the morning after some more chats (Robin's next plan: mini golf course on the property, involving a gold elephant that's on the roof of an interior design store in P.A. that's going out of business) and went to the Wilderness Information Center to pick up a bear container and get our backpacking passes. Talked to a friend of the Sheriff's, who really worried me about putting everything in the container than had a scent, because of how aggressive the animals are out there.

Note: We did not see any animals on our trip, besides birds on the Cape and seastars. He freaked me out for nothing!

After the WIC was sorted out and we got food at Albertson's for the weekend, we drove out to Neah Bay to get our Makah Reservation Pass. The weekend weather was just absolutely beautiful, couldn't have gotten anything better. I've never been to Neah Bay, kinda neat. We parked at a private yard near the trailhead (the actual trailhead has no overnight parking, so it costs 10-20$/weekend to park at a private yard- good, cheap money for them!) The hike through the woods to the beach was pleasant. It is muddy, but this time of year it wasn't all that bad. Much of the first half of the hike is on boardwalks, and I enjoyed pointing out all of the plants I knew to Robin. We ate some wild red huckleberries (my favorite finds in the woods!) and later ate some Thimbleberries, which I'd never had the opportunity to taste before (like a less-sweet raspberry). The last part of the hike to Shi Shi Beach is very VERY steep, down a cliffside with switchbacks. There is no railing, and the trail is kind of crazy because so many people have made detours. I hate going down steep things, it takes me forever because I get scared and then I become paralyzed. It's even harder with a big backpack on and carrying Robin's very nice DSLR camera! But harder still I imagine trying to carry that big bear container in your hands (thanks, Robin...!) I forgot my camera on the charger at home, so here are some of Robin's shots. I think he's pretty great at this whole photography thing :)

Shi Shi Beach

We made our way a bit down the beach, happy to have reached our destination. Set up camp near a fire pit, and decided to walk to the Point of Arches. The hike in the woods is about 2.5 miles, my guess, and the hike down the beach was another 2.2 or so. It's harder on the beach, though! We got there during high tide, unfortunately, but it was still really pretty.

At Point of Arches

We got back to the tent with plenty of light and took a nap before setting about building a fire. Very exciting stuff, building a fire on the beach. I am really glad we had a pre-made pit, because supplies of wood and rock were limited in our area (picked over, no doubt). Chris's borrowed saw came in handy with some drift wood. Hey, quick shout-out to Chris for letting us borrow a ton of gear, including his tent! Thanks so much! Anyway, after many matches, trying to get lint and moss to catch fire and get hot enough to get the wood burning, I scolded myself out loud for not bringing the denatured alcohol we thought about using with the stove. We left it behind because of weight, and we were just going to cook over the fire instead of the stove. Then it dawned on me: alcohol...hand sanitizer has lots of alcohol...turns out, our brand had 65%. And it caught VERY well. I got a bit pyro with it, actually :) We cooked brats and a bread bun on the fire, and made delicious s'mores! Neither of us play beachy instruments, so I pulled out the portable iPod speakers and we played some Jack Johnson while drinking rum, etc. Good night, indeed.

In the morning, we packed up while the marine layer was still hanging heavy.

Me, looking camp-y.

It was low tide, so we went down to the exposed rocks and looked at the seastars, mussels and anemones. Purples, oranges and greens. So pretty! Maybe not as cool as the ones at Ecola State Park in Oregon, though.

We packed out of there around noon and hiked back to the car. Zoom zoomed up to Cape Flattery, the most northwest point of the State. It's another mile hike or so, but a nice one for sure. The fog was just rolling out, and we got to see Tatoosh Island and the Tatoosh Lighthouse. Very pretty. Saw lots of birds, including many juvenile bald eagles. There was a little sparrow-type bird who was not afraid of humans at all. And didn't take human food, which I thought was very good of him. He was just chillin'.

Tatoosh Island and Lighthouse

Cape Flattery birdie

On the hike back to the car, we passed this tree with a lot of fungus on it. Upon further research at home, I think I have identified it as Chicken of the Woods, aka Sulphur Shelf. I like this shot (hey, I took this one! :)

We dropped off the borrowed bear canister in P.A. and grabbed dinner at a restaurant on the waterfront. Finally got home about 11:30pm, after a long ferry wait. What an epic weekend :) Who wants to go again?!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

MTME: Macklemore and Bon Iver

I've been hearing the name "Macklemore, with Ryan Lewis" regularly this past year, but have not made a point of listening to him (them; Lewis is a producer and collaborator). Yesterday, Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore) was on KEXP discussing the premier of his most recent (and epic) music video for the song "Wings". The song's amazing, the video is just as good. This guy has Seattle in his veins, and regularly references "the Town". He's making quite a name for himself on the national stage, too, having been invited to play at Rock the Bells in New York (from which he will directly leave to come back to Seattle to play a gig at Bumbershoot). He is probably best known around here as the guy who sings "My Oh My", a song which he wrote in dedication to Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus. What's more Seattle than Dave's famous catchphrases "My Oh My!" and "It is grand salami time!"...brings a smile to my face just thinking about it, and tears to my eyes watching Haggerty's beautiful tribute. He sang it on opening day this year, to pay homage to the recently deceased Niehaus. He's playing Bumbershoot, and I'll be damned if I won't be right there during that set.

Both songs have really excellent videos.


My Oh My:

Bon Iver: new album, self titled

I first got turned on to Bon Iver on the Twilight series' New Moon movie soundtrack. Say what you will about that whole phenomenon, but they have an AWESOME group of people pulling together those soundtracks. Bon Iver and St. Vincent teamed to produce the song "Roslyn", which is airy and soary and makes me feel like I could be out in the mountains just by closing my eyes. I don't think anyone else sounds like Justin Vernon, the voice behind the band (and major creative contributor, although he does have other contributors). He has this incredible, soothing falsetto. I especially like "Michicant" and "Holocene" off this record. Pitchfork gave them a 9.5 out of 10 and a "Best New Music" nod. This album is good for quite Sunday mornings, for solo walks around a quiet park, and for getting work done at work! You can't really understand what he's saying most the time, so it won't distract you from the task at hand.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post-Triathlon: WOOHOO!

Me, about 30 minutes pre-race.

I woke up at 4:50 AM, threw my brand-new race jersey on, and my bike shorts, then the warmer clothes I planned on wearing post-race. Shoes- check. Bike gear- check. Fuel during and post-race- check. Loaded my bike up, and was on the road as daylight was kicking into gear at 5:20 AM, thinking to myself "My god, I haven't been up this early in...uhm..."

Made the drive down to Federal Way. Did you know no one is on the roads before 6am on Sunday morning? Parked in the transit lot and rode my bike to the race site at Steel Lake. Met up with the Hett ladies, racked our bikes on the same rack. Set up my transition zone (towel to dry my feet off in front of my bike, fuel/sunglasses/socks ready to go in my shoes, helmet and bandana positioned on the bike. Struggled to get the wetsuit on (those things are tight!). Chatted excitedly with the Hetts. With 20 minutes till race time, made it down to the lake to get the suit wet and "make peace with the lake", as I've heard it called. One pre-recorded National Anthem later, we were walking out to the end of a very long dock with a group of oh...30 other ladies? We all jumped into the water, and about 30 seconds later "3! 2! 1! GO!" And we're off...

I couldn't get my face to stay in the water, it was a self-preservationist thing. I'd get a bit panicked, and then I'd feel the wetsuit squeezing me, and I'd flip to my back. I did a majority of the race on my back, or a modified front crawl (with my face out of the water the whole time). Did that in 27 minutes, which I thought for sure would take me 40 or more. Yay!

Next was the bike leg, which I was most excited for. I love riding my bicycle, especially since buying this Kona hybrid off my coworker last summer (my other bike is a Novara mountain bike; it's heavy...I call it The Beast). The route was down a long hill, then two laps around the Weyerhauser headquarters (which is really quite lovely; the building is all concrete and glass, with great swaths of green vegetation growing all over it, set beyond a decent sized lake...and there's a big garden, too, but couldn't see it from the route), then back up that big long hill, and one very steep hill, then into the transition area. I held my own in the bike leg! Somewhere around 53 minutes, if I recall correctly. 12.4 miles down.

The running leg is my least favorite. I don't know where last year's passion for running went, but "the thrill is gone". The route was two laps around Steel Lake. A total of 4.1 miles. It was very hilly; the only flat stretch was in the shoulder of Pacific Highway (which was not great anyway because it was the shoulder of a highway!!). I mostly just speed walked, and then ran the downhills. I came out with about an average 13 minute mile. At the end, as I was re-entering the park for the last time to make a dash through some woods and finally pop out across the finish line, I saw Miranda. She had finished probably 10 minutes earlier, but was waiting for her mom and sister, who were not far behind me, to cross together. Almost there, almost there! I ran the whole way from her to the finish line; had to finish strong. I could hear the music (Doobie Brothers was on, which is ironic because I had just seen them two days prior with my parents..."Listen to the Music" was playing) and the announcer say my name. I was just so happy and giddy, I skipped the last 20 feet over the finish line. Jane was not but a minute or so behind me, and said she didn't see me but could hear the announcer shouting "Oh, she's skipping!" Haha.

It was a really great experience, and one which I'm sure I'll do again. More practice swimming in the lake, more hours to log in with running (blech), and more focus in the transition zones, and I know I can drop down to 2hrs 15 minutes. Maybe even 2 hours with better training.

Next year I am captaining my first Ski to Sea team, and plan to do the Seattle to Portland bike ride :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Restaurants: Golden Beetle

Sandy and I met for dinner this week. It had been a while since we had some one-on-one time!

Golden Beetle is the second restaurant of Chef Maria Hines (also of Tilth, which earned her the James Beard Award of Best Chef Northwest in 2009). It is an organic "homage to Eastern Mediterranean and north African foods". You can find the restaurant in Ballard, just a short walk for us from Sandy's house :)

We split a serving of hummus and flat bread. The bread was scrumptious and was seasoned (not your typical plain pita), and the hummus was homemade and had shavings of serano pepper. Tasty!

We each had two small plates, but shared tastes of each other's food. I had the white fish falafel (with aioli and a very green sauce called Charmoula), which was DELICIOUS, and the roasted asparagus (with shaved onion, a spicy/salty sauce called harissa, and fried hatoumi cheese flakes). Sandy had the spanakopita (delicious; were shaped like cigars) and Kibbeh (lamb meat balls in date sauce and plum relish)

Everything was delicious. The price was more than we usually pay for mediterranean food (about 25$ for the meal for each of us, and we were both kind of hungry still afterwards). The wine menu looked good, but the most affordable glasses of wine were only $7. They're new, and open to suggestions, so I suggested offering cheaper glasses. I would've gotten a glass if there was a $5 or $6 offering.

They have a Happy Hour menu that I'd like to try. This restaurant is worth the visit! In addition to the good food, it's a really pleasant atmosphere. Classy, but we didn't feel lame for showing up in jeans and tees.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Triathlon 2011: Pre-race Post

It's tomorrow! Today I went down to the course site and picked up my race package and got marked up.

0.5 mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, 4.1 mile run. It's all centered at and around Steel Lake in Federal Way.

The photo above is the starting line. It's a deep-water start, which means we all get in (in our own waves- I'm a yellow-capped Buddy Wave person), tread water for about a minute, then start swimming when they blown the horn.

I have never run 4.1 miles. That's the part I'm dreading. The swim will be's hoping I don't feel nauseous again like I did during my first (and only) wetsuit open water swim practice! The bike leg will be where I can catch up. 12 miles? Psh.

Wish us luck! I will be out there with my friends Miranda Hett, her sister Jillian, their mama Betsy, and my friend Jane!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From Jill's Blog...

A while back, a group of friends and I took a bike trip to Vancouver Island and stayed in Victoria. I thought it would be fun to get my friend Jill, who is living and teaching in Abu Dhabi, UAE, some fun Canadian novelty snacks (she has a thing for foreign snack foods...) These were all chocolate in some form or another (smaller to pack than chip bags).

Abu Dhabi is a hot place in May.

The chocolate melted. My package was quarantined...Darn it!

Check out her blog post about it:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Music To My Ears (MTME): Volume 1, Number 1

I think I will start blogging about new music I love.

(Image source: via Google Image Search)

Grace Potter and the Nocturals: Self Titled

I bought this on a whim because this band pops up ocassionally on my Pandora, and they have a song on one of the Grey's Anatomy soundtracks. Grace has a raspy, rocky, edgy voice, that can sometimes get stretched to its breaking point. But overall, she just kicks ass with feisty songs like "Paris (Ooh la la)" and "Hot Summer Night". There are threads of classic American rock, rhythm and blues, and country. It's a good album for those rare sunny spring days with the windows rolled down.

(Image source: via Google Image Search)

Adele: 21

For someone so young, she sure does have a lot of soul. I love love love this album, just as much as her debut, "19". Favorite tracks include "Rumour Has It", "Turning Tables" (which was covered by Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of Glee) - both of which have enjoyed some extra success as singles - and "Someone Like You", which speaks to me on a personal level. A must-have album.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How was Ireland?

AWESOME! Naturally, I have fallen back into my crazy busy life at home and haven't had a chance to go through my photos or to write a proper day-by-day blogathon of the trip. But oh, we'll get there. Just you wait.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maria's Birthday Cake

I would have written up about this if my trip to Ireland hadn't been coming up...but I made a rather tasty cake for my roommate Maria's birthday in May. Sandy was gracious enough to let me borrow her kitchen for some ninja baking. She also cooked me dinner and took pictures of the cake creation process! Follow the link here and you can read all about the cake baking process on Sandy's blog, Restaurants on the Lam(b)!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Your Information

In my life thus far, I have authored four other blogs. I started my first blog on LiveJournal back in 2003 or 2004 as a way of journaling my thoughts and silly ramblings. I slowly stopped using it as others stopped using theirs.

I started my restricted blog in 2010, for the eyes of only a few close people.

I had a blog with a long distance flame in 2010, too, which stopped being used after we stopped putting the effort into the long distance thing. I think it is a really great way to keep in touch with your other if they live far away. That blog has since been deleted (did you know it takes 6 months for Google to completely delete your blog? The next boyfriend wasn't too happy about seeing an ex-flame blog...)

In January 2011 I committed to training for my first sprint triathlon with a few of my lady friends. We created a blog, titled "Fit-to-be-Tri", which is authored by all of us and documents our trainings, gives us a place to share ideas about exercise and health, and helps us organize training events. The triathlon, organized by SheROX, is an all-women's tri and is in Federal Way on July 10, 2011. It's coming up! I expect I will still maintain that blog in the future with other exercise info.

So why this blog? This blog is public. It is a place where I can document my travels and doings. A place where my family can check up on me while I'm in Dublin (or Sao Paulo? Sydney? Istanbul?) The super girly private stuff will get relegated to the private blog. Consider this blog a constant open letter to people who are curious about what I'm up to.


P.S. "Nikkio" is an affectionate nickname given to me by the lovely Kim Shelly.
PPS. "What Nikkio Said" is a play off of "What Sarah Said", by Death Cab For Cutie.