I need a packing fairy

June 28th, 2005

My 600 square foot 1-bedroom apartment is a cluttered mess. I’m trying to pack things up and move out by Thursday… I’ve been trying to pack and move out for the past 2 weeks, but this is turning into a much bigger ordeal than I expected. I meant to do a lot earlier today (Monday), but I ended up golfing at Willows Run instead. A decent course, but I didn’t shoot too well. Procrastination seems to own me, and I’m getting quite good at it. How did I collect so much stuff over a short 22 month period? Tuesday is the final push to get everything out. After that, I’ll need a cleaning fairy to make my apartment respectable enough to get my security deposit back. Anyone want to volunteer? I don’t pay cash, I pay in beer and dinner.

Goodwill is going to get a bunch of clothes, some cheap furniture and if they’d take it, I’m willing to throw in my MBA textbooks. I figure the more stuff I donate, the less stuff I will need to unpack later… oh yeah, and needy people will also get to have some decent duds.

What’s your favorite color… is it RED?

June 26th, 2005

My red socks
Last night, we threw a RED party. Strangely, it was a lot more red than I expected. Between red foods, red drinks, red lights, and everything else we could make red, it was a grand ol’ time. People had to dress in red attire, which made it very interesting to see what people owned in their closet that was red. I went out and bought a shirt and socks, since I didn’t own much red. I didn’t go overboard with my costume… not like my bro-in-law Lee. His outfit had more ruffles than a bag of potato chips. I’ve put a bunch of pictures on my flckr site (on the right side of my blog). Lee has more pictures on his site if you’re interested.

We tried to make many different things, red. I even added red food coloring to spinach artichoke dip and made it turn a chunky neon pink. Needless to say, nobody could identify it as a dip and subsequently it didn’t move very well. Other things, such as Sachi’s red-velvet cake, was a great success. I guess only certain things look better with red food coloring. I debated adding red coloring to a gallon of milk, just to see what Lee and Sachi would say when they woke up this morning, but I chose not to….. aren’t I a good brother.

My life is in shreads

June 24th, 2005

I’m moving out of my apartment this week, where I’ve been during the past two years of school. In that time, you can imagine the amount of things I’ve accumulated. I’ve borrowed a paper shreader and I am taking anything I don’t want and I’m shreading it. Mostly bills and credit card statements, but I’m including any homework assignments or old tests that I find.

In a way, it’s soothing…. kinda like therapy for my academic soul. I recommend shreading things on a regular basis. Not for the security of keeping your bank statements from being stolen from your trash, but to ceremonially cleanse your life of the paper trail that is YOU. This is starting to become a game for me…. what can be shreaded without jamming the machine?

    Here are the top 5 things I’ve shreaded so far:

  • Old birthday cards from years past
  • My first quarter grades from the MBA Program
  • A flattened Hot Pockets box
  • Golf scorecard when I shot 88
  • Airline ticket stubs from my trip to China

Seattle needs a “night market”

June 23rd, 2005

A night market is something most people are not familiar with…. myself included. I’ve only heard about these open street markets, where they sell food, trinkets, and other random things you probably don’t need. They are typically in the asian part of town, but not every town has one. Vancouver, B.C. and nearby Richmond (just outside of Vancouver) supposedly has a good night market. What makes it good? I have no clue. Maybe it’s good since night markets are typically cheap and being in Canada, the currency valuation it makes it even cheaper.

Seattle doesn’t have anything like this. To occupy the evening hours, Seattle has pubs, clubs, restaurants and the Mariners…. but no night market. I don’t know how often I would walk around a street market looking for an outdoor food stand of grilled “mystery meat”, but I think it would be fun on occasion.

There’s a greater connection between night markets and the world economy. In case you’ve missed the Wall St. Journal this week, Chinese companies are starting to gobble up American firms. Most recently is news that CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company) is attempting to outbid Chevron in order to purchase Unocal Corporation for over $18 billion. The reason I point this out is to show that Chinese firms are expanding into firms you thought were wholly American. Earlier this week, Maytag (makers of your washing machine and dishwasher) was offered a bid by China’s Haier Corp.

Now I’m not saying that gas stations and refridgerators will soon only have Chinese instructions, but there is a trend that countries with money (i.e. China) will continue to increase their investment in U.S. firms going forward. Getting back to my original point, the increased presence of asian (spcifically Chinese) businesses and investment in the U.S. is a great reason to promote a cultural bridge. A night market (like this one in Taipei) would be a great avenue to sample cultural ideas from around the world. It would be great not only for the cheap food and novelty of having an open street fair each weekend, but also for greater exposure of asian culture on average Americans. Seattle should have one, since I don’t feel like driving 100 miles to Vancouver just to experience one.

How to make the perfect Sangria

June 21st, 2005

I’m not one for fruity drinks…. nope, that’s not me. A good amber ale or even a 18-yr old single malt scotch and I’m set. So today, my sister asked me to help create a sangria recipe for an upcoming party and all I could think of was…”isn’t sangria that drink girls have at spanish restaurants?” Well thank goodness for the trusty Internet. There are about as many sangria recipes as there are people who like to drink it. We ended up throwing together a bunch of ingredients, figuring we would look at a bunch of different recipes and meld them all together. So you’re probably thinking… Sangria taste-testing on a Tuesday afternoon? Why not, I’m on my break between school and work, so EVERYDAY is a weekend. HAHAHA

I enjoyed reading the following recipe website, where it says, “And finally: if you do experiment and find the result irresistable, make sure you have a bed handy”. I didn’t taste-test too much, partly because I have no idea what good sangria should taste like, and partly because I didn’t have a bed handy.

If you want to make your own sangria, get a pitcher, fill it 1/3 with cheap wine (cheaper the better, since the flavor is masked by everything else), add some OJ, a handful of sugar, a few globs of your favorite alcohol and then add a bunch of fruit. Shake with ice and serve. I know that’s not a very exact recipe, but as long as it’s a little sweet and a little fruity, it’ll work.

Happy Father’s Day

June 19th, 2005

To dads everywhere, especially to my own, Happy Father’s Day. The one who teaches right from wrong, how to treat others with respect, and how to restore a ‘65 mustang; what else could I ask for. One day a year to say thanks is kinda like driving all year and filling up the gas tank only once. You know you need to add gas or “give thanks to Dad” on a weekly basis (if not more often), but we only seem to do it when an occasion pops up. So let me fill up the tank…. by giving my Dad a hearty thank you for showing me the way and giving me the room to grow. Have a great day Dad - you deserve it!

Dad and me after graduation

Summer solstice = Nude bicyclists?

June 18th, 2005

Solstice comes from the latin words, “sol” meaning sun and “sistere” meaning to stand still. Many religions celebrate it through serious intraspection and many believe it has pagen origins…. So where in the does it state in the solstice handbook that people celebrate the longest day of the year by riding around naked on bicycles? Well here in Seattle, the annual Fremont Summer Solstice Parade has that plus more “traditional” parade-type attractions (i.e. floats, bands, a 100-person belly dancing troupe, etc). Going to the parade was mostly for the novelty of the event and seeing the reactions from my friends who haven’t gone before. Saying some of them were shocked is putting it lightly. The rest of the parade was great. I even saw someone I knew walking around “clothed” on stilts. I think people can wear any weird costume and be included in this parade. Thank goodness this parade is only once per year. I only took a few pictures… all of non-naked parade people.
Fremont Parade

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

My Phillies suck

June 16th, 2005

Going to school at UPenn in West Philly gave me an appreciation for the Phillies. Not having a team to support growing up in Hawaii, I quickly grew to appreciate baseball and the Philly Phanatic. Have you seen the Mariner’s mascot? That damn moose (Mariner’s mascot) has nothing on the phanatic, not even close. Here’s picture of him running around in front of us last night.

Mariner Moose at Phillies gameNow living in Seattle, I jumped at the chance to see my Phillies in action, playing the “nothing special” Mariners. Don’t get me wrong, I cheer for the Mariners when they play other teams, since I do have a sense of city pride, but not when they’re playing Philly.

I went to the game last night and my team got crushed 5-1…. heartbreaking. But I’m going again tonight, so hopefully they can get one back. A foul ball landed about 5 seats away from us, which was pretty cool. When I got home, I went to that spot in the game (using my trusty Tivo) and you can see me standing there with my red Phillies hat. Next time, I’m pushing over that kid to snag the ball.

Mmmm, molten chocolate

June 15th, 2005

Folks were in town this weekend… We hung out, went to great dinners, and just chilled in-between. Nothing like a good visit from mom & dad (and grandma). My sister, Sachi, graduated from SeattleU with her MBA on Sunday, so it’s been a crazy week of pomp and circumstance. If you’ve ever been to a graduation of any-type, they play that song over and over and over again until all the graduates enter and sit down. Talk about nausea.

Looking for a really nice dinner in Seattle? I highly recommend Palisade Restaurant for a great night out. I went out with my family the other night and it was oishi-katta (japanese for delicious). If you go, you MUST get the warm molten chocolate dessert, since it truly cannot be described in mere words….. all I can say is, “Damn, that was good!”

Molten Chocolate Dessert