Trivia night winners

July 20th, 2007

A few times each year, I get together with friends for trivia night.  There are a bunch of bars around Seattle that hold a trivia night once a week, which consists of someone reading trivia questions over a microphone while teams of 4-6 people at each table attempt to answer the 40 questions.  Each city has bars with trivia nights, in Philly we called it quizo nights.  So last night, I met some friends at Norm’s, a chill Seattle bar in the Fremont district.  The previous quiz night at Norm’s was back in December, when Lee & Sachi came to play as well.  We didn’t do too well that night… I think we got 23 points out of 40, resulting in 7th place out of about 20 teams.  This time was a different story.  After round 1, we were a perfect 10 points out of 10.  Round 2 had a couple hiccups, but we still pulled 8 points…. resulting in a halftime score of 18 points, tied for 1st place.  The third and fourth rounds were a bit harder and we only squeezed out 12 out of the possible 20 points in the 2nd half.  Figuring we had enough for a top 5 place but probably not enough to win, we paid our bill and were ready to leave…. but wait….. we ended up winning by 1 point.  WOOHOO!  This is the first time I’ve won, and I’ve played about 20-30 times.  The cash prize was $165, split 5 ways.  A $33 payday ain’t bad for answering a few questions.

Just to see if you’re smart enough to play trivia, here are a few questions from last night:

  1. Measuring over 3100 square miles, what is the largest U.S. city in terms of area?
  2. What Tammy Wynette hit was sung by Jake & Elwood Blues in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers”?
  3. During the 1980’s, name the only two Chicago Cubs to receive the MVP award?
  4. In the 2004 movie “Dodgeball”, what are the five “D’s” of dodgeball?
  5. What songstress has a museum dedicated to her in Kentwood, Louisiana?

If you know the answers to these questions (without looking on the Internet), then you’re probably great at trivia since you’re filled with useless knowledge.  If you can’t answer these, then consider yourself among the normal, since most people shouldn’t know all these weird facts.

August highs, lows and in-between

August 17th, 2006

August is always a crazy month. Each weekend is filled with either weddings, trips, barbeques or SEAFAIR festivities. It’s only the 17th of the month and already I’m exhausted from all the excitement. Let’s see if I can provide a rundown of what’s been going on.

SEAFAIR weekend started the month off with a big bang and the loud roar of the Blue Angel overhead. For those of you not from Seattle, SEAFAIR is a annual weekend celebration where there are hydroplane boat races, aerial shows from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and a lot of general summer hoopla. Being close to Lake Washington, I had a couple friends over for the inaugural grill out with the aforementioned grill. It was a long day full of surf, turf and frosty beverages. Amos hid in the bathroom during the fireworks, but I made him walk out to the lookout to watch/listen to the Blue Angels fly overhead and he just stood between my knees as if to hide his ears from the noise.

A week after SEAFAIR was a wedding in Vegas for Rich and Shilpa. Rich was a roommate of mine back in Northern Virginia a few years back and he finally tied the knot. It was a great weekend at the Bellagio and the wedding was not a typical Vegas drive-thru wedding… but instead it was a elegant and classy ceremony with about 100 guests. I couldn’t believe the number of people that came. 100 guests at a local wedding is a lot, let alone 100 traveling family and friends. That just goes to show how much we all think of Rich/Shilpa… great friends they are! One low point of the weekend was me losing my cell phone. Somewhere between Ceasars and Bellagio late after the reception and party ended, I either dropped it, left it, or something, since I couldn’t find it and had to come back to Seattle. So I now have a new phone, a new carrier (T-Mobile now - Trying to help Bodmer’s company) and an insurance plan that covers my phone for lost. Thank goodness for insurance, since I’ll probably need it sooner than I think.

While I was away in Vegas, and for the next week or so, my mom has been visiting and taking care of Amos. The house has gotten cleaner, the yard has finally received some attention, and Amos is getting more pampering than he deserves. I can’t guarantee that all the yardwork will be kept up after she goes back home next week, but at least it has a shread of a chance to look halfway decent by the time Lee & Sachi get back home.

Finally, I will be going on vacation starting on Tuesday. I hope to have a day-by-day account of my vacation, which will be relaxing at a beach house in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Not that I wanted to be handcuffed to my laptop during my vacation, but I’ll have PLENTY of time to post in-between sitting at the beach, relaxing at the beach house, and all the other R&R activities I can find. One last thing before I go on vacation is another wedding this weekend… this one for Dave and Merrick. Great friends of mine and a ball of laughs, these two are sure to throw a tremendous wedding and a definite night to remember.

Weekend catch-up

July 13th, 2006

It’s been a long time since I’ve written and a lot has happened in that time. After the craziness of the fireworks and the 4th, Amos stopped hiding in the bathroom and went back to his regular sleeping in front of the tv for hours on end. Last Friday, the Mariners played the Tigers and I had great seats to the game. I’m not talking about my regular seats on the 3rd base line… my buddies and I had 2nd row behind home plate seats in the Diamond Club (thanks to excessive bidding during February’s C4C auction). These seats were so close, we were physically closer to home plate than the pitcher’s mound. I’ll get to the good stuff…. First there was a fancy buffet dinner served behind our seats in the Diamond Club Lounge, a swanky joint. Also, the whole point is that everything is included in the ticket price… all food, drinks, everything including in-your-seat service. Needless to say, we all partook and had a tremendous time. At the conclusion of the game, the umpire walked by and tossed the remaining baseballs into the stands. Given our proximity, my buddy Peter and I went up to try and catch it… here comes the good part…. the ump tosses it just out reach of Peter’s outstretched arms and I half-dive for it, luckily being able to snag it before it hits the ground. Granted, the ball wasn’t used, but it’s still a great trophy for a memorable evening up close at the ballpark.

Saturday night was a wedding for two friends of mine, Todd and Erin. I worked with Erin in the UW admissions office as a part-time gig during Business school. What a great wedding and reception. The dance floor was packed most of the night and they finally had to force us all to leave. That’s the sign of a great wedding, when nobody wants to leave until they push you out the door. I’ll post pictures later on, both of the ballpark and of the wedding. There’s been a few “amos-related” posts recently, and probably the next one will be about Amos again, since that dog seems to always have something going on. Stay tuned…..

Popchuk’s Wedding

June 13th, 2006

My buddy Mike Popchuk got married this weekend and it was a wonderful time. It was a week full of fun, including a Mariner’s game, a round of golf, dinner at Benihana (sushi and sake-bombs) and finally the wedding. I uploaded a few pics from the wedding on my flickr site. Popchuk and I both graduated from Penn in 2000, but didn’t meet until we were both at UW for our MBA. It was great to have a fellow Quaker to chat about the Palestra, Pat’s Steaks and Philly sports. UW is great and all, but it ain’t Penn. Congrats to Mike and Rachel…. all the best on a bright and happy marriage.

Seattle Mariners - Opening Day

April 5th, 2006

Monday was Opening Day for the Mariners… and in true form, they lost. I have half-season tickets this year along with one of my friends Peter, so I expect to see many games this year. Besides the baseball game, there will be other side-games that we’ll be playing during each trip to the ballpark. One of them is “Find the free parking without getting a ticket”. This involves finding a parking spot near Safeco Field where I don’t have to pay for it, AND where I don’t get a ticket. Most places around the field are 1-hour parking, if not private lots, so it’s a tough game and one that I intend to have a 20% loss rate. The other game we play is “mound ball”. This is a game I originally learned from my college roommate Adam McCabe, that I’ve shared with whoever goes to the ballpark with me. It’s a simple game… at the end of every half-inning, when the 3rd out is made, the ball is tossed toward the mound for the next team’s pitcher. If the ball is not returned to the mound by the players, the umpire usually then tosses a new ball onto the mound. The turn rotates to all the players and if the ball stays on the dirt mound during your turn, you win… if it doesn’t, the $$ carries over to the next turn. It allows you to cheer for something during a 10-1 blowout game. There’s always mound ball during even the boringest of games. And here’s to 39 more games and hopefully 39 wins as well!!!

C4C Auction

February 28th, 2006

Last Friday was the UW Business School’s annual Challenge 4 Charity auction, raising $$ for the Boys and Girls Clubs and Special Olympics… It was a great night of seeing old classmates and bidding on things that I wouldn’t normally shop for. The bidding was fierce, the bidding was fast…. and in the end, I ended up with a few prizes to take home and a much lighter wallet as well.

    Here’s a list of the things I was able to snag with my bid number:

  • A bottle of Royal Balkan Muskat wine - Apparently, only a few bottles are made every year and this supposedly something only the royal family drinks…. it may all be a bunch of hoo-ha, but it makes the wine seem very impressive, plus it’s in a cool-shaped bottle. My folks like muscat wine, so the bottle now resides in Hawaii, waiting for an “occasion” to drink it.
  • Gift certificate to Duke’s Chowder House. I’ve never been there, so it’s a good excuse to try something different
  • An eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings at the Union Restaurant. Haven’t been there either, but it looks like an expensive place, given the price of it…..
  • A golf - dinner - lodging package for a resort out in the middle of Washington State. I always like going somewhere new to lose golf balls.
  • A 60 minute and a 90 minute massage. They are at two different places, since it was a silent auction and I assumed I would win at most one of them, not both…. guess I’ll be getting the spa-treatment one of these days….
  • Diamond Club seats (including food/drinks) for the Seattle Mariners. This is a wedding present to our friends, Dave and Merrick, so yippee for them, and yippee for us getting to sit in the Diamond Club area!
  • 4-night lodging and ski package to Mt. Baker. It looks to be right on the mountain, so come next season, it should be a nice ski vacation
  • And finally, the table centerpiece, which included a bottle of wine, wine glasses, a bunch of chocolates that somehow ended up in my mom’s suitcase when she returned home to Hawaii, and a bunch of gourmet products (smoked salmon, cheese, crackers, etc)… PLUS a stainless steel bucket (which I think is the coolest part)

Looks like I have a bunch of places to visit and things to do this year…. can’t wait! The total amount raised in the auction was approx $150,000!!! Yay to the kids that will receive the aid and to all the hard work put in to making that night possible.

Laughing out loud

August 20th, 2005

Seattle is full of great things to do…. and after living here for a couple years, I enjoy doing new things. Last night, I went with a couple of my friends to a comedy club, The Comedy Underground, and it was quite funny. Maybe it’s the atmosphere of everyone laughing around you that makes it more “haha” funny rather than “hmm, interesting” funny. We didn’t know the performer, but he made us laugh for almost an hour. Good stuff.

On an unrelated note, tomorrow, the 21st, is Hawaii Admissions Day. It’s a day where Hawaii admits an unlimited amount of new immigrants who aren’t allowed to enter during the rest of the year. Just kidding. It’s the day Hawaii was granted statehood back in… anyone?… anyone?….. 1959. There’s no big ceremony or celebration on Admissions Day; the day is just an excuse to have a state holiday in August. Go eat a coconut or buy a can of spam to honor Hawaii’s statehood birthday. Mahalo!

Tina… eat the food

July 7th, 2005

The job hunt is one of the toughest aspects of finishing school. I personally view it as a dentist appointment, where you know you need to go, but you still like to put it off till the very last possible date. Coming from the UW MBA Program, job searching is a double-edged sword. One one hand, an MBA graduate qualifies for a bunch of new opportunities that requires this newly acquired degree. On the other hand, entering a new field/industry always has a learning curve and some companies don’t like taking chances on candidates with less experience.

One of my MBA classmates has been in this predictiment for awhile now…. Tina has been on many interviews, getting to final rounds on many of them, but not quite closing the deal. With time closing like a winter’s setting sun, Tina had to find a job in Seattle or head home. She was down to 48 hours left before her flight when the call finally came. Like a coach calling into the bullpen for the 9th inning closer, she has a great opportunity at MSFT to excel (get it… Excel = a MSFT spreadsheet program). Borrowing a quote from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, we used to say to her, “Tina, eat the food”…. so now, appropriately, we say, “Tina, sign the job offer”. If you haven’t seen it, in the movie, Tina is a llama that does not want to eat the ham given to her. Okay, I’m off on a tangent now.

Tina at the ballgame

Just wanted to give a big shout out and congrats to Tina on her new job!!! WOOHOO!

Goodbye lunch

June 17th, 2005

For the past year, I’ve had the position of UW MBA Recruiting Coordinator. It’s been a fun position, interacting with incoming MBA students and prospectives hoping to someday apply to the program. One of the many perks of working with admissions is the fabulous admissions team or “A-team” for short. They’re not just co-workers; they have grown to be close friends. I sometimes visit their office just to shoot the shit and chat. Here’s a little synopsis on each of the “admissions girls”

  • Sunni Bannon - As director of UW MBA admissions, Sunni is the boss and whatever she says, goes. She has a fabulous sense of humor and great stories of growing up in Idaho… weird “country-folk” stories. Sunni was supposed to give birth to her first child, a baby boy, on June 6th, but as of today (June 17th) she still hasn’t delivered. We’re all waiting for the good news, so stay tuned.
  • Erin E. Ernst - Erin, or “triple-E” as we call her, is the asst. admissions director and quite a ball-o-fun. She does this jig thing where she pretends she’s an irish cowgirl… or something like that. I’d post videos of her dancing, but I’ve been explicitly told not to. As the youngest of the A-team, Erin is definitely the craziest of the bunch.
  • Carrie Schneider - “C-schneid” is one of the program coordinators and the “sunshine care bear” of the A-team. She always has a bright smile on her face and is willing to put her work down (or pause her emailing) whenever I stop by for a visit. Did I mention, she and her husband Ted are a blast to hang out with, whether it’s at their oscar night party or at Vegas baby!
  • Jennifer Nearn - “J-Nizzle” is the other program coordinator and the good and proper member of the A-team. Jenn and I would work at the front desk for hours chatting about good restaurants and having long discussions about what consitutued “single” versus “taken”. We’re still at odds about that one. She and her husband Gary are two “english peas” in a pod. Having lived in England, she uses weird words that make me sometimes do a double-take. A jolly sweet lass she is.

The A-team (sans Sunni, due to pregnancy) took me out today for a goodbye lunch at Chinoise in Madison Park. I should have taken them out for all the great times they’ve given me over the past year, but they are just too kind. Here’s a pic of the entire A-team. We missed you today Sunni! We’ll grab lunch together after little baby Bannon is born.

From left: Carrie, Erin, Jenn and SunniLeft to right: Carrie, Erin, Jenn and Sunni

Graduation Day

June 12th, 2005

Tonight was the finale of my MBA career. Graduation night. It was a great night of pomp and circumstance, with a little humor and inside jokes mixed into the speeches. I was absolutely blown away when I was awarded the “Student Service Award” by the faculty. Much of the night is a blur, since I was having so much fun with all of my friends. Following graduation, the reception turned into a slew of pictures and memory-creating craziness, with many photos taken of many great friends. I hope to put a few on flickr soon.

I think tonight was the last time I’ll see a bunch of my classmates, due to distance and situations. There are quite a few that I intend to keep in touch with…. quite a few. But it looks difficult, if not seemingly impossible to have close contact with those leaving town or leaving the country. Let this be the first of many attempts to keep in contact with those from my past. A tunnel of communication that extends through time and distance to keep friendships in the “now”.

But I digress…. I just wanted to say that I had a fun time with great friends and my parents and family were there to see it all. What a great finish to a wonderful two years of schooling.