Counting down Lee & Sachi’s last days

November 30th, 2005

Next Sunday is when my sister and brother-in-law leave Seattle for a year…. so that leaves only a limited number of days left, and also a limited number of meals left. With only a week or so to go, they don’t want to eat boring spaghetti or whatever is in the freezer…. they want things they really like, similar to a feasting syndrome, where they want to partake in everything they won’t be able to get after they leave. Tonight it’s korean bbq cooked on the grill outside. mmmm, bulgogi!

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings in terms of their feasting plan…. last night was seafood at a restaurant overlooking Elliott Bay, (granted it was partially sponsored so it wouldn’t affect their monetorium) so if i just hang out with them until they leave, i’m SURE to get good food everynight :) I’m thinking one night will be at Flying Fish (since they supplied me with a $50 gift card after getting sick on their oysters). But $50 can’t buy 3 dinners, so maybe it’ll just be drinks…. that’s a few drinks each, but when it’s free, they seem to go down easier, hehehe. Bring on the grub!

Seattle Half-Marathon

November 27th, 2005

Today was the Seattle Marathon…. a long-ass run around Seattle and Lake Washington. They also have a half-marathon course, which is only 13.1 miles instead of the longer 26.2 mile course. Let’s go back about 7 weeks… one of my co-workers, Stefany, told me she was planning on running the half-marathon and I thought it sounded like a cool idea. I’ve run 5 or 6 miles before, so the entire 13 couldn’t be that bad…right? During weekends in Oct & Nov, I would attempt longer runs, 7 then 8 then finally a 10 mile ordeal while home in Hawaii in early Nov. Since then, i’ve been working a bunch and have not been able to run during the weekdays and only got in a 6 mile run in once. Fast forward to this morning. I met Stefany at the start line and we were about 50 yards behind the actual start line due to the thousands of people running with us. When the starting gun went off, we immediately went… nowhere. It took a little bit for the crowd to move and for us to get to the start line. Once there we got a medium jog going, since the pack was so thick. After a couple miles, it thinned out and Stef and I were having a nice run and conversations that got our minds off of the distance left. At mile 5, i realized Stef was keeping a slower pace than I wanted, so we wished each other well and i took off ahead. Even though this was my first organized run of any kind, I still wanted to make good time, and for me, that was under 2 hours. That’s just a round number that sounds good. The rest of the run wasn’t too bad, except my left knee started to feel like jello after mile 10….

The last mile seemed the easiest, since there was no pain after seeing the finish in sight. Lee and Sachi were there to cheer for me as I approached the finish line and they got a good picture of me passing by. I crossed the line at 2 hours, 2 min, 14 seconds…. Sooooo close to my sub-2-hour goal. Afterwards, when my legs started to rest, it hurt to bend my left knee…. and now (10 hours later) it just hurts to move in general…

And to follow a relaxing 13.1 mile morning run, I met some friends for a Seahawks tailgate and then went to today’s 4 1/2 hour game (which the Seahawks finally won in overtime!). Not the best way to recoup from a long run (especially walking up 8 flights of stairs to get to our upper-level seats), but I had a blast today. Maybe I’ll sign up for next years run…. maybe.

Last 50 yardsFinished

Christmas music is finally here

November 25th, 2005

Now that the turkey holiday is done, we can move into the best time of the year, Christmas. Bring out the music, the holiday lights, and let’s go get that tree. Nothing makes the Christmas season more apparent than a green tree in your living room. Can you think of anything better than sitting by the fireplace, watching the twinkling lights on the tree and listening to Bing Crosby singing White Christmas? Oh, add a little glass of eggnog and you’re set! I think Christmas music gets me thinking of past Christmas holidays of going skiing with the family at Lake Tahoe or sitting around the tree in the living room with the Time-Life Treasury of Christmas CD playing. Whatever the activity or lack of activity going on around the holiday, the best time is always when everyone sits around chatting with a little music in the background…. that’s what it’s all about. This year, it’ll probably be me and the black-dog sitting around the tree. If Santa doesn’t bring what i’m looking for, I might just get it myself. I definitely can get my own gift this year, but the question is should I? Can is very different than should and i’m trying to figure that out. I’ll be good for now and maybe a present will arrive…. if i give in and go out and get my own present before Christmas, i’m sure that’s frowned upon… and we can’t have that…. right? Maybe?

I think we’re going to get a tree today, since it’s Black Friday and none of us want to go near a mall. Last year we went out and cut a tree down at a tree farm, like our fore fathers used to do. But this year, i’m going just up the street. Hopefully we get it up and lit in the next few days, so Lee & Sachi can enjoy the tree a little before they leave.

Almost turkey day…

November 23rd, 2005

With all those people traveling around trying to get somewhere to see friends and family, it sure does leave a lot of empty chairs at work. I heard that 100,000 people will go through Sea-Tac airport today, which is a frickin’ lot. I’m not a big traveler on turkey weekend. In fact, except for a short hour drive to see relatives, i’ve hardly done any traveling in my thanksgivings past. I prefer a nice relaxing weekend of football, leftovers, and splaying (which i was taught a few years ago is the act of lying down on the floor after a big dinner and closing your eyes and allowing your body to digest for a good hour). By this time Friday, most people will be up to their eyeballs in turkey and stuffing, and giving thanks to Eugene Beals - the inventor of the pop-up turkey timer. So many people owe their holiday happiness to this guy, who invented the little device that tells you when your turkey reaches the right temperature (175 degrees for tom-turkeys). Without it, turkeys would be either super-dry or raw in the middle, since people are generally bad guessers when it comes to cooking something between 3-5 hours. I personally like the pop-up timer, but that’s because i like that double-check to let me know i won’t be poisoning my guests. Of the 45 million turkeys being gobbled up this weekend, roughly 30 million have pop-up timers. Of the 30 million turkeys with timers, a good 20% will still be overcooked, since the timer should have a bell, whistle or something to tell the person to remove the turkey from the oven. Otherwise, it may pop-up on-time, but continue to cook another 20 minutes before being checked and taken out.

Sleep is for the weak

November 21st, 2005

Sleep typically takes a back-seat to anything else that goes on during a weekend…. if a bunch of friends get together and hang out late at night, sleep is postponed… and if there are early football games or events during the day, sleep is cut short to do everything that goes on during the weekend. This weekend was different. I was supposed to go for a run on Saturday morning, followed by the last UW Husky tailgate of the year (against arch-rivals Washington State)….. but after missing out on sleep for much of the week, my body was not about to let me wake up in the morning. Didn’t leave the house for most of the day… quite lazy i’m sure you’re thinking, but i think i was trying to store up sleep for future use. Somehow giving into sleep seems like i’m missing out on either a night out or a morning out…. and with weekends only being 2 days, can’t be wasteful, right? Looking ahead, a nice short 3-day week followed by the 4-day weekend. Can’t WAIT! Not that anything is planned, but knowing work is only 3 days long, can’t be that tough.

    A few things on my mind:

  • My Philly Eagles lost again, so i’m close to writing off their season
  • One of our friends, Mohammed, made “Moroccan Wedding Chicken” Saturday night, which was SOOOO good. He’s a professional chef, so he only knows how to make good food. If you have the opportunity, find someplace that makes it and try it!
  • Today was Nascar’s last race of the year and i am last place in my fantasy-nascar pool… which I guess makes me the furthest thing from a redneck… which maybe isn’t a bad thing.
  • Have you seen Slingbox? It allows you to watch your TV (and your Tivo box) anywhere that you have access to the Internet. I think that will be my next technology purchase…. maybe an early Christmas present to myself.
  • Finally… if I don’t feel like making a turkey for Thanksgiving this year… what takes it’s place? I’m open to suggestions. No ham or goose or rib roast, since that’s too trite in the traditional holiday repertoire. I’m looking for new things… things that you wouldn’t have regularly, so it’s still special but not overly traditional… maybe Peking Duck Pot Pie? Or Pulled-Pork Wellington? Any ideas?

29 hours in sin city

November 16th, 2005

I’m on hour 24 of my 29 hours in Vegas….. taking a breather right now to check-in with my blog. My folks are inVegas all week, so my sister and I decided to drop in and say hello (my sister is staying a few days longer than I am). I got in last night after a 3/4 day of work, but worked on the plane to get emails ready to be sent, so it ended up being a full day of work. After getting in, we all grabbed a relaxing Japanese dinner and then split up to play different games around the casino. After a few hours of winning and losing, everyone ended up crashing around 1am. Today was filled with casino-hopping and lots of walking around…. did i mention the lots of walking? Vegas casinos are so far apart, even when they’re next to each other.

I have about 5 hours left in this jaunt to Sin City, with a nice italian dinner and last-minute casino fun before jumping back on a plane to Seattle at midnight. We’ll see how tomorrow ends up…. at work that is. Lack of sleep + cold medicine + coming down from the Vegas high = rough day at work. 29 hours in any other city would be much less entertaining. Only in Vegas can it be done in so much style in so little time….

Blown tire on the 520 bridge

November 13th, 2005

Yesterday I was driving from Bellevue to Seattle over the 520 bridge when my tire blew. Just as I was entering the bridge i heard a small pop, but figured it was a bump in the road or something…. about about a 1/3 of the way across, the car felt sluggish, and by 1/2 way across, the whole car was shaking and making the “dut-dut-dut-dut” sound…. very bad. I’ve always seen drivers get stuck on the bridge (2 lanes in each direction) and I always thought… “why do they always get stuck ON the bridge versus before or after?” Well here was my chance to be that guy, not good. I dropped my speed down to 20 mph and flipped on my hazzards. That’s when i started mumbling to myself, “please get across…. please just make it across”. The tire was already flapping and i was hoping it wouldn’t totally come apart and leave me riding on my rims. That would create sparks, a potential fire hazard and ruin my rims at the same time. I finally get to the other side, pull off on the wide shoulder-grassy area and assess the damage. Just as I thought….. tire shreaded, but luckily still attached to the rim. Like a Nascar pit-crew, I rolled out the full-size spare, took off the sheaded tire and popped the new one on. In and out in about 12 minutes…. not the typical 14 seconds of Nascar, but pretty good nonetheless.

The interesting note is that this is the 4th tire I’ve changed on my car since I moved to Seattle in Sept ‘03. That’s 4 tires over 27 months!!!! Da’hell? I think BMW should get stronger tires or maybe I should get better low-profile tires, since these are too susceptible to getting blown. I’m just glad I didn’t have to stop on the bridge…. phew.

Paradise lost

November 10th, 2005

Left the islands yesterday and will probably not go back for at least a year. Don’t worry, i got my plate lunch fix in, as well as seeing all the aunties and uncles in one big swoop at my cousin Matt’s wedding. One thing I always like returning to Seattle for, is the cooler weather. While on Oahu, my folks had the air-conditioner in their car fixed, since it was over 80 degrees and nobody wanted to drive a car without A/C. It’s November and still the A/C is the most vital part of living comfortably. My parents even installed a new A/C in their bedroom and all of a sudden everyone began to gravitate there during the day…. just to leave the perspiring heat for a few hours. In Seattle, i’m trying to convince my roommates to leave the heat off and wear more sweatshirts if they’re cold (to save $$ on heat). They won’t mind wearing a few extra layers…. and the dog already has his winter fur, so i’m not worried about him either.

In just a few days being back in Hawaii, I find myself speaking the local slang, pidgin, since you revert back to old habits when speaking to locals there. Here’s an example…… So, if I go speak anykine stuff la’dat, no go start beef if no can talk good kine. eh, haoles get always chance for speak good, but betta listen too oddawise get bus’up. Me no act barney when i stay local braddah. I one local boy and when get chance for get stuffed, whoa goin’ suck um up cause no more stay manini when get ono kine grinds. No joke cause i’m hapa, I goin’ sick ‘em you stay make da’kine lolo eyes and got nerve.

If anyone can understand that completely (other than Hawaii locals or immediate family), you mo’betta den i when expect. Just a little sample of local dialect that you can expect if you step foot outside the tourist boundaries of Waikiki. Next time you hit the islands, venture out and explore…. they don’t all speak such backass english, but if want to try, my bro-in-law attempted to decipher some of the pigdin language. You should try it…. If can, can. If no can, no can.

Hawaii wedding

November 7th, 2005

My cousin Matt got married on Saturday and being home in Hawaii for the wedding has been a wonderful time. Between the beautiful ceremony and celebrating such a great occasion, it could not have gone any better. Matt and Theresa have been together for the past 15 years, which seems like a long time. That’s longer than many marriages…. so you know they wll have the ability to go the distance and enjoy a long and loving life together.

Just a few highlights from this weekend…. Hawaii is a hot place no matter what month it is. As a member of the bridal party, a tuxedo was the norm. We looked sharp, definitely. I guess fashion trumps everything else. Another highlight was the wedding garter. It is now in my possession and you’ll have to fight me if you want it. I have no plans in mind to use it, but it’s cool that consensus was that I needed it most…. i didn’t know my socks were falling down that much.

I’ll post pictures once i can steal some from Lee or my folks. Hawaii weddings are filled with leis, super-good food (a.k.a. ono-kine-grinds) and a surrounding warmth of family that makes you feel a part of something greater than yourself. Congratulations to Matt and Theresa!!!

23 reported sick from oysters

November 2nd, 2005

As a follow-up to my last post “Oyster Frenzy”, we contacted the restaurant on Monday they didn’t have any other reports of being sick due to eating oysters from Saturday. But today we received a call from the owner of the Flying Fish saying there were 23 other reports of people getting sick. The Seattle health dept is investigating where the possible bacteria came from, since all the oysters had origination tags. It may just be some weird naturally occuring bacteria, so i’m not jumping to conclusions on the quality or freshness of the oysters. This makes me feel better that it wasn’t my overeating of oysters, but some food bacteria that made me sick.