Advent Merriment, And The White Elephant

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Photo Credit: Barbie Hull Photography http://christopherflowers.biz/tag/museum-of-history-and-industry/

One stormy night in early December M and I made our way down to South Lake Union to Museum of History and Industry for my company’s holiday party. The night started out with a storm that knocked out power in some area neighborhoods of Seattle and north. Getting there was a little bit of a challenge since we could not take I5 since it was all backed up. So down Aurora (SR99) we went, and it was smooth sailing from there.

The party was swinging by the time M and I walked through the door. There was signature drinks to be tasted and heavy hor d’oeurve to be sampled. I really like the lamb burger slider and the yummy lettuce wraps they had. I didn’t taste the signature drinks but I heard they were great. The three were Icicle Blue, Fireside and Holiday’rita. Around this time I realized how much of an introvert I really am. Large crowds of people bring this out not only in me, but in M as well. Having another introvert as a date becomes tricky since we both stand there like an island in the middle of the room unsure of ourselves.

After all the toasts were made, M and I made our way through the museum galleries to check out the history the building held. In the Klondike Exhibit M and I decided to see what our prospects were during the gold rush. Our results where night and day. Michael ended up with a person who mined $2,000 worth of gold, looses all of it in a night of gambling and then was jailed for jumping the man who won his gold. Not much of a luck strike! For me I got John Nordstrom and I went on to building a fortune off of the miners coming through and opening a shoes store that one day have a mark of fashion in the Pacific Northwest.

One gallery M really liked was the sports memorabilia on display. On display is the Seattle Super Sonics Basketball team’s NBA Champion trophy from 1979, along with the second base from the last Mariners game played in the Kingdome. The base on display has all the signatures from all the players on the team who played in the last game.  But it was the display with the Mariner game score book belong to Dave Niehaus that was the highlight of the evening. Niehaus would keep sore of every game the Mariners played in a spiral bound book while he was the announcer. Just seeing this made the night for the both of us.

Around 10:30pm we made our way to the door to go home and get ready for work the next day. As a small party favor, my company game each person a portable cellphone charger. The next day people who could not make it to the party the night before wanted one and the extra ones were gone by the end of the day.

A week later the research group I am a part of went out for our Holiday Group Lunch at Purple Cafe in downtown Seattle. All sixteen of us had a privet room reserved for our little late lunch around a long oak table surrounded by wine bottle from every wine region around the world.

We started off with three appetizers, the Baked Brie, Bruschetta, and Spicy Prawns with Shoestring frites. The Baked Brie and the Bruschetta where fabulous and there was more than enough of it for all sixteen of us. the Spicy Prawns had a kick of spiciness that after two I really couldn’t take the heat. Plus prawns have never been a favorite seafood of mine, so I rarely eat them. I will admit the prawns were meaty, and not those skimpy ones you sometimes find in the grocery store.

For an entrée I had the famous Classic Steak and Frites. Nine of us in the group all had this same dish and after thinking about it, I could have gotten away with having the Lamb Burger instead. Oh well. The steak was cooked medium-done, and the fries were nothing like a big fat greasy steak fries you get at some restaurants. To wash it down, a tall glass of squeezed lemonade.

For dessert, a Chocolate Truffle! I’m all for anything chocolate, and I don’t share my chocolate truffle with anyone. One of my co-works like to joke about bread pudding and why I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of the texture is all. On the menu under cheese section there was a cheese called Humboldt Fog. Either it was a wine or lemonade talking but I thought it said Humboldt “Frog” instead of Fog. I bet you get the picture why I needed a double take on that.

After waddling-yes I did waddle a bit out around 3.45pm to catch the bus back home, I felt like I had a food baby and in a food coma at the same time. The bus ride home was very uncomfortable and for the rest of the night I didn’t even what to look at food since I was still digesting all the goodness of lunch.

Advent started off with a breakfast high on the sugar scale mix with some caffeine Some church mornings need a little more boost then others. Our church decide instead of a Christmas Nativity play this year, why not have all of us come together as one big congregation (we have two Sunday services) and celebrate the coming of Jesus’s birth.  The service and the party was one of the best the church as put on in recent, and I will say even better than last year’s Advent party.

The White Elephant part of the story happened on the same night as the Advent party. Started out with me picking up a fruit plate since the deli forgot to make my pin wheel sandwiches! Oh well, fruit is better for you. The “white elephant” for those who do not know is where you bring a gift that you already have (ex: box of cereal) and exchange it for another gift someone else brought. There are many variations to how it is played, but the version played was anyone can steal your gift from you at anytime. The gift I brought was a commercial pot holder that has been hanging around the apartment since I have a whole bunch already. The gift I ended up with was a Starbucks thermos that no one took from me! I’m happy.

After all, this is only the beginning of what merriment waits come by the end of this month and year! By the time I’m done, I will be needing to go on a detox diet for a while in January.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Play Ball Boys! First Seattle Mariner Game

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Hard to believe being a born and raised Seattlelite that I have never been to a Mariners game. I have always wanted to go and experience what all the hype was about, but there was never anyone wanting to go or ever asked me. This changed when I was asked by M if I wanted to go to a game with him and his friends. Of course I jumped on it. The game I went to was the Seattle Mariners vs. Baltimore Orioles. For some apparent reason I want to call Baltimore Orioles “Oreos’.” Yes I did receive dirty looks from a few Orioles fans when I accidentally called them Oreos’.

Our outing started with a trip to one of the many food trucks parked outside the ballpark. Between  M and his friends, this is what they both do when ever they go to a sports game. The food truck of choice was the El Camion for their huge burritos before the game dinner. The burritos were spicy and hot enough to make me not able to feel my lips after a few bites. Overall a great food truck to eat from. I unfortunately I did not sample the stadium food, especially the famous garlic fries that M’s friend told me is a right of passage for the first time you go to the game. After a while I think I could have lived without trying the fries since the smell after awhile started to become nauseating. I think I could pass on them, and go from something else next time.

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View from our seats
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Whats going on?
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View from our seats

Our seats were in the sunny outfield of the stadium in the lower half of the bottom deck. For the first three innings we were in the sunshine, which made it a little hard to see what was happening around the bases until it went behind the stadium. I will admit I have never been a huge baseball fan, and have found major league baseball to be boring (Little League has more excitement most of the time). Being between two baseball experts (both played baseball from little league through high school) made the game a little more exciting to hear with much crazy banter they both got into at times. Towards the later innings I started getting restless and may have started to drive M nuts with me asking when the 7th inning stretch was going to happen. Apparently in the middle of the seventh inning, stretching means to standup and sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame, than sit back down. Um that is not what I call a “stretch.” I think I will just chalk it up to me being a clueless baseball fan. M is slowly teaching me what I need to know about baseball, and other sports like golf (golf is even more boring than baseball!).

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Lemonade with a whole lemon!

Towards the eight inning I needed to have a lemonade. Lets say this was the only time I have ever witnessed how fast an exchange of goods can go. Within thirty seconds I had the lemonade guy give me my lemonade and my change in my hand. M and his friend commented on this, as they never seen anything like it before. This is the same lemonade sold at all the Sounders and Seahawks games and something I look forward to every time.

Unfortunately the Mariners lost the game when an umpire said one of the players did not have his foot on the base when the first base catcher caught the ball. This sent the whole Mainers fans in the stadium almost over the edge. At one point  a fly ball went into the stands in our section and a fan defiantly threw it back on to the field and that is when things started to be thrown on to the field. According to many fans, this rarely happens at the games because if you throw something on the field it is grounds of being kicked out or worse. At this time M and his friend wanted to leave before the fireworks started and to avoid a whole crowd of people leaving at the sometime. AS we were leaving it looked like people had the same idea as we did. There were crowds of people surging out of the stadium. From the backseat of the car I did see the fireworks as we left. Looked like any old fireworks display to seen at a fourth of July show. When Michael and I go home, we both were so tired from a very long and exciting day (or exciting for me mostly).

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Home plate entrance

My first Mariner game was an experience to check off my list of things I have done. I still am not sure if I want to go again. I think I would like to go to another game if the Mariners won a few more games. Will see what next year will bring.

….And She Keeps Moving Onward

Life moves onward at lightning fast pace. She keeps moving onward with many new adventures and many new discoveries along the way. My Nana this month turned eighty and to be honest, she doesn’t even look eighty! Also this month had me moving to a whole new apartment in the Edmonds area instead of Seattle.

Mom and I started our little road trip at 6:15am to beat the Seattle weekday traffic. It ended up being for nothing since there was a lot of traffic by that time. Even when we hit Portland, we were stuck in Portland’s traffic trying to get into to the city and getting out. I think Portland has just as crazy traffic as Seattle, but a very confusing road system with bridges, exits and splits in the middle of freeway. It took a whole lot of contraction to get into the correct lane for south bound I5. After Portland it was nothing but farms, fields, little towns, and a whole lot of mountain driving with trees.

Before going to Nana’s house, Mom and I took a detour to Eagle Point to get some pancake mix at the old Butte Creek Mill. I have grown up on their stone ground pancake mix and have compared all pancake mix to it. I decided to pick up some mix since Michael has heard me rave about this mix and wanted to try for himself why I love it so much (keep you posted on this).  The mill is one of five working water powered grist mills still operating in the US. I remember as a kid going to the general store they have in the mill and buying candy and other treats from the nice old ladies who run the shop. To this day I still make a pilgrim to this place for the all the goodies. After the mill stop, Mom and I drove up to the VA Cemetery to visit Grandad and Grandpa. Oh boy, what a disappointment. As the one of the grounds keepers said, the contractor who was doing major construction work on the grounds walked off the job and left half of the cemetery in a shamble. Poor Grandad’s resting place was a complete mess with all of the grass gone and chips in the stone marker. The grounds keeper did say they hired a new contractor to finish up the work and should have all of it done by the end of July. I just hope so.

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Butte Creek Mill

Next day was Nana’s eightieth birthday.

For Nana’s birthday dinner we all went up to Mount Ashland to Callahan’s Mountain Lodge. The view and the place was gorgeous as can be. These places hold dear memories for the family because this is where my parents got engaged. The sad part is, the Callahan’s my parents knew sadly burned to the ground in 1996 and was rebuilt to what it looks like today. We had our dinner of the outdoor deck in the cool mountain breeze and the wonderful sunshine with a view of Cascade Mountain range in the background. I ended up going with the Prime Rib Stroganoff for dinner. A very rich dish with having all the extra butter dollop on the top of the mount of noodles. I don’t think I made a real dent into the mount of noodles and rib, as I would have liked (guilty with the bread basket!). This is the only place I have ever been that I can see me affording duck or veal menu item. In Seattle just an ounce of meat would start you at $50.00. Going back to Ashland later that night, we took the old route 99 road. This road goes from Northern California to BC Canada. There was lots of hairpin turns with straight drops over sides of the road without any guard rails. Just imagine driving this road before the interstate was built.

Then the big day came and it was full of surprises. First the cake that was ordered was huge, bigger than the Costco cakes you can order. The whole cake took up the backseat of Nana’s car and the icing was starting to slide off the cake in some areas from how heavy the cake was. The look on both my Aunts’ faces were priceless when they realized that the cake was the size of four sheet cakes put together and two sheet cakes thick! By the time we served all the guests at the party there was still sixty percent of the cake left, and after cleaning up the room we rented at the Holiday Inn, we gave a whole bunch of cake slices to the hotel staff to enjoy. Later Mom and I saved a piece of cake each for Dad and Michael. Fifty near and dear to Nana showed up to celebrate her special day, and I captured every one of them with Nana. Overall the day turned out to be a great day, and we all sigh of relief when it was all done. Next day it was back into the car for another eight hours of driving back to Seattle.

Few weeks later I moved into a new apartment in Edmonds. For a while now I have been very unhappy with the place I was at. When I first moved in it seem a decent place to live, but by the end of October of last year, things started going down hill in a way that would make the most sane person feel like they are going insane. I know apartment life can be stressful at times, but there was a constant stress about living there that was not normal situation. By the time I moved out of the apartment complex there as a whole new management company starting to set things right. Too bad, I already gave my notice. The move when smoother then I expected with getting all my stuff packed into U- Haul and unpacked into the new placed with in three hours. I will chalk it up to packing all my stuff in boxes long before the day of the move. The new place is a little bit older than the apartment I came from. The appliances in the kitchen are older (the stove does not even have a timer!), and the place is smaller but more cozy and well laid out. Also it is much more quiet then the other place in Seattle. I am hoping to stay more than just a year if possible. I’m done moving for now.

 

 

12th Man x 4 = Super Bowl 48!

Blue and Green! Go hawks!

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All started right after the win. The boys looked at each other and said now on to the Super Bowl for the win of a lifetime while dumping Skittles over themselves. Next morning, a co-worker of mine started planning the whole building’s Super Bowl Tailgating party. Within two weeks all of Seattle and the country was a buzzed with speculation on the two teams (from the only two states with legalized marijuana use) in winning the Super Bowl. It has been a very exciting two weeks, and the whole of Seattle with a non stop party for the team who has taken the NFL by storm this season. Also this is the season I have become a Seahawks fan all over again. And I cannot complain!

Tuesday before the Super Bowl our work had a tailgating party in support of our Seahawks. The tailgating party ended up being over sixty plus people showing up and precipitating in what we like to call “team building” activities together. Took a lot of planning in a short period of time to grill fifteen pounds of hamburger and hot dogs for all of us. Even after all that we had lots of left overs! But we did get the Costco sized boxes of Skittles before the “great” shortage of Skittles happened on Sunday.

At most tailgating parties we had beer and soda, but the one thing we did decided to do was the Skittle Jell-O Vodka shots in the Seahawks colors. I will admit, we used cheap vodka for this, and so the blue had a taste of cough syrup and the green had a very strong lime vodka flavored that I almost choked on with the Jell-O.

Taking a shot for the team
Taking a shot for the team

One very fun thing we did was have a pinata that was made into a Denver Bronco (ok it was a My Little Pony Unicorn one….we had to improvise!). The day before the party the My Little Brony was ok, but some how between the afternoon of hanging him up, someone as a practical joke on the Hawks fan put a yellow rubber chicken with the 12th Man logo on the chest and put it in the mouth of the Bronco. The Bronco had turned into a vampire bronco with fangs and blood all over its mouth for added effect.

Too bad My Little Bronco did not survive the destruction we all took out on it. Poor thing did not have a chance at all!

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Has no legs now!
Super Bowl Sunday came and I was ready for the intense game starting at three West Coast time. My boyfriend and I were invited to a small friend’s Super Bowl Party at his house. As a team, we both made Buffalo Potato Wedges ( recommended dunking them in Buffalo sauce before baking them-it taste really good!) and Jalapeno Popper Dip. Both had rave reviews from the party.

Game time came and boy were we all surprised at how the score turned out! Most of us thought the game was going to be a close one with the Broncos putting up a fight at least. The first 12 seconds of the game was a big surprise! The ball went whizzing past Payton Manning’s helmet! And the look on his face through the whole game was just complete shock. The whole game the guys were down in the Man cave watching on huge flat screen while all of us girls were upstairs watching it in the living room. You can say it was male bonding moment down stairs and girl time upstairs. Through the whole game, the downstairs TV had a thirty-second delay, so when there was a touch down, they would see it thirty seconds after us. At times there were funny moments because you would hear them downstairs laughing at an ad right after us. I guess you had to been there to know. My excited boyfriend had to run up the stairs every time we scored a touch down with the Skittles. Towards the end of the game we had to be rushed out one Skittle because we started running out of them.

Then it was the moment of truth…….

Photo credit: New Pittsburgh Courier

The Seahawks won the Super Bowl! The whole party erupted into cheers and you could hear the firework exploding off the Space Needle from where we were. A victory for Seattle! The score was unbelievable, and the whole city of Seattle parties well into the night.

As we were leaving my boyfriend’s friend’s house up along Queen Ann, there was lots of people in the streets celebrating like crazy. Just seeing how joyful of a celebration of a super bowl win on the city was apparent on the local news.

Two hours later my boyfriend was super excited over the win that he went out to the local Sports Authority and bought himself some of the Super Bowl champions gear they were starting to put out. Too bad the shirt he got me did not fit, so he will be taking it back to exchange it for a size that will fit me. How thoughtful of him!

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and all the 12th Man fans for winning the 48th Super Bowl! You all worked very hard for this. For the Denver Broncos, you had an amazing season as well. Congratulations on making it to the Super Bowl again and winning the AFC championship title!

12th Man! Seattle Is Earthquake Loud!

I was never really a hardcore Seahawks fan until I met my current boyfriend. You can say he is a huge fan with his a lot of Hawks gear ( he bought himself a 12th man fan Seahawks jersey recently). I have always supported our hometown team as a fair weather fan. But this season, oh my! When Friday rolls around before a game, the whole city of Seattle is washed in blue and lime green with the 12th Man flags proudly displayed. At work all of us would find our navy blue lab coats, and proudly wear them in support of the Hawks. I even broke down and bought lime green nail polish to show support! I look at it as an investment since the Seattle Sounders soccer team has the same colors scheme as the Seahawks.

In the past two months it has been Hawks fever and even the NFL are starting to take notice too of how crazy and awesome the fans really are. If you haven’t seen, the Hawks fans are the loudest fans in the NFL with a record-breaking sound of 137.6 dB. Enough for one team in NFL to file a complaint about how obnoxiously loud the fan are. It did not stop us one bit. Another crazy moment is the earthquakes at Century Link Field after Lynch makes a touchdown. The University of Washington registered a magnitude of 1-2 on the seismic monitors. Crazy! Oh and we throw Skittles every time there is a touch down made by the team. So raining Skittles is a Seattle thing apparently. But I don’t need to tell anyone this for if you looked at the Championship game between the SF 49ers and the Seahawks, it is apparent on how the 12th man does it.

I have never been to a Seahawks game ever. I grew up here, but never had the chance to go to one. I came almost close to scoring tickets the Championship game, until a co-worker passed off my answer to a question our company’s CEO asked as his own. Apparently I was drowned out by his loud voice. Yep it sucked to have to have that happen but as I was told a few times, the best seats to the game are at home on a huge flat screen TV. So it was not all that bad I guess. He later in the week he sold the tickets for $4,000 for the two. Ugh! In the end I ended up watching the game with a group of my boyfriend’s friends and their girlfriends or family. I believe it was much better this way instead. Though I really wanted to see the look on my boyfriend’s face when I told him I scored tickets to a sold out game!

So Sunday I went over and watched this amazing game with a bunch of diehard Seahawks fans and found out I am not really bad luck as long as I have a Seahawks shirt on and the Seahawks hard hat on while watching the game. The back story of this superstition is the fact that every time I have watched the Hawks play at home; they always lose to the team they are playing. This has been true for my Dad who was a Oakland Raiders fan for a very long time, until a few years ago when the Seahawks started becoming a team with some staying power. I never knew why this happened, and when my boyfriend invited me over as his plus one, I was hesitant-really hesitant. In the first half of the game I though yep see I told you I am bad luck, look there is no score for the Hawks. By the end of the game things changed, and I believe it was at that point I started notice that maybe I just needed to be around diehard fans so the mojo is better. One thing I learned, I need to wear a Seahawks fan shirt and my boyfriend’s hardhat for the Super Bowl. At least then Seattle will have a fighting chance.

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Yes we all ate (not throw) Skittles every time a “Beast Mode” went into action and scored a touchdown for the team or when Sherman made the game changing interception to win the game for Seattle. And now off to the Super Bowl! Feels amazing to see the Seahawks go again for second time, and hopefully win this time.