Greeley meets Seattle

It isn't very often that friends from my hometown (Greeley, CO) make an appearance in the northwest, so when Ashlie told me she and Dan would be in Seattle for a few days we knew we had to see them! We all got together at Alki for a cookout and a gorgeous sunset. Tiffanie and Kyle provided the delicious elk meat!

Here are Dan and Ashlie. Ashlie and I go way back; we've known each other since middle school. In high school, we were both altos in honor choir along with two other girls. We all got along really well and when we hung out together, we called our hangouts "AA" meetings, for Amazing Altos! I miss those girls.

Pretty sunset at the beach.

Fresh crab, courtesy of Pike Place Market. Can't beat the fresh seafood here.


The Hicks family! Jed, Kyle and Tiffanie (and baby!)

Mark is teaching Jed how to toss a frisbee. Jed was kind of getting the hang of it when he wasn't stuffing sand in his mouth!

Jed liked using the frisbee as a shovel.

Seattle summer sunset. Shh, don't tell anyone or they'll all move here.

New record

Seattle did end up beating the city record for the hottest day ever at 103 degrees. My car wanted to tell a different story so I took a picture of it.
We ended up at Pies and Pints on 65th later that night to top off the hot day with a cold drink and some excellent bluegrassy music by Seattle locals Slim Pickins.

Break that record... do it...

Getting hot over here... I hope we break the record!

A little friend is making his home on my car... see him?

Hot hot hot!

What the heck. One of the reasons I’m in love with the northwest is its moderate weather, and this is just not cutting it. The thermometer in my car read 100 degrees yesterday and I hear it’s supposed to get worse. I can hear you southerners yapping now, hey, try 100% humidity on top of the heat! Well southerners, at least you have AIR CONDITIONERS. You probably don’t have to move from your comfortable bedroom onto the living room futon just to catch a whisper of a breeze that may or may not be floating in from the deck just to catch some sleep.

I know I can’t handle the heat very well, it’s not exactly a well-kept secret. So if you need me, I’ll either be up at Voxx Coffee on Eastlake sipping an iced Americano and sweating, or hiding in our apartment bathtub in an inch of cold water. Visitors beware.

Some pictures of the Vanderpol wedding

Gorgeous day out... here are Cody and the guys waiting for the bride.

Vows vows vows. I do. I do.

Take this ring.

Excited! Yay!

Very typical Cody and Jessica moment. I don't think anyone was surprised.

Lovely ladies out in the sun.

Dance party under the tent. Mingle/dance music courtesy of Mark and Heather.

Funny story noting the difference between guys and girls. See the dress I was wearing? Black, white and yellow, a modern kind of paisley pattern, scoop neck.

During the wedding reception, Mark comes up to me and says, "Heather, some girl here is wearing the same dress as you!"

Heather: "Oh no, really? Where is she?"

Mark gestures toward her and I do a once-over.

Heather: "Um... Mark, that's not my dress."

Mark: "Really?"

Heather: "That dress is BROWN, white and yellow, has large flowers on it, and has a V-neck."

Mark: "Hmm... well it kind of looks the same."

Next time a guy tells me that I'm wearing the same outfit as someone else, I won't be so quick to worry.

A sad day

It wasn’t too long ago that we introduced little Theodore to our household and took on the responsibilities of two chinchillas. Sadly, Tuesday cut their little lives short and left a chinchilla sized hole in our hearts. We’re sad to report that both our chinchillas died Tuesday, presumably in the heat wave that has hit Seattle lately. We appreciate your support and your understanding that these chinchillas weren’t just random rodents acquired on a whim, but they were our pets and members of our little family.

No new pets on the horizon… we’re a little paranoid. We’ll miss you Frederick and Theodore!

Beginning of a wedding weekend

One of Mark's best friends is getting married on Sunday, so this weekend has been almost completely set aside for wedding festivities. Mark is in the wedding, and our involvement has been a great opportunity to pay back our friends for the incredible amount of time and effort they put into our wedding nine months ago.

Mark and I braved Friday afternoon rush hour to drive up to Arlington for the rehearsal, which meant an hour and a half of NPR and cat naps for me. Once we arrived at the location, a darling outdoorsy spot with an adorable arbor complete with lake and bald eagle, I settled myself into the porch swing and prepared to take on the role as wedding party add-in. I'm just along for the ride, people! Luckily, another girl was just along for the ride too with her husband of two months, and we conversed about our state as newlyweds. I couldn't have planned a better evening.

After we stuffed ourselves with barbecue, courtesy of the parents of the soon-to-be-newlyweds, the guys headed off to commence the bachelor party while the girls took off for the Matador in Ballard for some after-dinner drinks. It took some finagling but we finally got all 10 girls parked and inside the restaurant. And what's a bachelorette party without a little bit of excitement? Around midnight, a man walked up to our table (apparently tipped off by our waitress) and introduced himself as a professional lap dancer, and he would be pleased to do the honors. Half the girls were horrified and the other half were dying laughing, but we told him that we were so sorry, but the groom would be extremely unhappy if he found out about this. Our lap dancer friend appeared disappointed but came back later with a shot of tequila for the bachelorette, which she downed to humor him. She's such a good sport.

Well, it's 2 a.m. and I should probably head to bed. But the weekend isn't over and hopefully by Sunday I'll have photos of the nuptials! It's sure to be a gorgeous day!

A paradox

I work in the world of corporate real estate. For the uninitiated, these agents tend to work all kinds of hours to make sure their deals get done (they are paid on commission only). This includes vacations, as it’s typically considered unprofessional to render yourself completely out of touch with the corporate world. It isn’t unusual for an agent to call in and conduct all sorts of business from Palm Springs or Sun River. In fact, I think it’s expected. I don’t think I could ever spend a vacation like that. Not only would my family not appreciate it, but I go on vacation to get AWAY from everything, not bring it with me. This is why it’s nice not to have a smart phone. I have an excellent excuse NOT to check my e-mail. But I digress.

I’ve become so accustomed to hearing from co-workers when they’re “getting away from it all” that I get frustrated if I DON’T receive a response to an e-mail I send them. It’s a ruthless double standard. I know you’re sitting on the beach but I also know you have an iPhone. And I flagged my e-mail as high priority. And I don’t throw “high priority” around like it’s nothing. But if you try to call ME when I’m on the beach… you’ll probably get my voicemail. Over and over. Maybe that’s the good part about being relatively unimportant at work. The world won’t stop if you take a break.

The homecoming of Shirt

You remember Shirt? If you don't, click here. Shirt finally came home today after being forgotten for about a month at Evo in Fremont. Hopefully he won't develop an attachment disorder.

Oh yeah, check out that model!

A love lost

Picture this:

Boy meets girl. Boy pursues girl for months before she’ll even give him the time of day. Girl finally comes around. Boy and girl start dating officially. Months later, boy starts acting weird and tries to dump girl. Girl knows there’s a deeper issue here, and presses boy to tell her what’s really going on. Boy breaks down and tells girl the truth: eight years ago, boy was engaged to the love of his life but she went missing in action in Iraq and he was told she was dead. Boy freaked out and moved away from the memories, breaking off all contact with the past. Eight years later (two weeks ago), boy runs into former fiancee at a party. Turns out former fiancée did not die in Iraq, is unquestionably alive and now stationed at Fort Lewis.

Boy is torn.

Girl would question boy’s story, had boy not told girl months ago about his former fiancée who went missing. Girl is heartbroken, but releases boy to decide for himself.

Sounds like a movie, right? Unfortunately, this is real life for a friend of mine. I can’t imagine how conflicted her heart must be right now, but she has dealt with the situation with maturity and class and my heart definitely goes out to her. I hope they both find happiness.

Race number two?

It has come to my attention that my family-in-law will be participating in another half-marathon Labor Day weekend. My recent half-marathon has become just another distant memory and I’ve romanticized it to the point where I’m actually considering running another. I’ve laid out the pros and cons to help me decide.

- I can say I ran two half-marathons this summer
- Everyone else is doing it
- Stay in shape
- This time, my training won’t start from scratch since the last half-marathon was only a couple of weeks ago
- It starts and ends at Red Hook Brewery. What’s not to like?

- My body will hate me (but pain is temporary)
- My Monday and Thursday nights will be designated for training (no different from before)
- I have to give up my Monday night spinning class (which I’ve only attended once)

I seem to be shooting down all my cons. We’ll see where this goes. Stay tuned.

Hey peaches!

I was cutting up a peach at work for a morning snack and my co-worker approached and started this conversation:

Him: "Hey... peaches and herb!"
Me: "What?"
Him: "Peaches... and herb!"
Me: "Peaches and what?"
Him: "Gah! I keep forgetting we have such an age difference between us. They were a singing duet circa 1980..."

A quick Wikipedia search confirmed that Peaches and Herb were indeed a duo and famous for the hit single "Shake Your Groove Thing". And now you're singing along in your head. Don't deny it.

Free ice cream!

Here’s a shameless plug supporting the coffee magnate that has taken over America: Facebook users can send one friend a coupon for a free pint of Starbucks ice cream. Simply visit Starbucks’ apps page on Facebook, enter said friend’s information and voila! A coupon appears in their mailbox! You can even send the ice cream to yourself, which I totally did NOT do. I sent it to Mark instead. Everyone wins!

You know you love ice cream so silence your “down with the man” speech and just go do it. Unless of course you’re diabetic, in which case I will accept a coupon on your behalf. I’m here for you!

Also, if this turns out to NOT work as advertised, I will post a retraction. But so far so good.

My Great (Clips) Experience

Sounders games always feature freebies for attendees if the Sounders hit a certain benchmark. For example, if the Sounders shut out the opposing team, you can show your game ticket at Jack In The Box and get churros or cinnamon sticks or something. The Sounders also have a connection with Great Clips, and if the Sounders score three goals then everyone gets a free haircut at Great Clips. The Sounders ended up scoring their three goals, and since I’m all about free things I took my ticket to Great Clips for a trim on Friday.

Just parking at the salon was a bit of an adventure as I saw three signs for the SAME parking garage, all advertising different amounts of free parking time. One sign advertised 30 minutes, another advertised 60 minutes, and yet another showed 90! I never did find out how much free parking time I got. The pay station on the floor where I was parked was out of order and the sign said to go to the pay station by Bartell’s to get your ticket to place on your windshield. I never found Bartell’s so I skipped the ticket altogether (luckily I didn’t end up with another kind of ticket!)

I did find the Great Clips, and was seated in the swivel chair after a brief discussion of whether my ticket was valid (it was printed out from Ticketmaster instead of a standard ticket). The lady asked me if I wanted a shampoo too and I asked, “Oh, is that not included?” After being informed that it was not included but would only cost $5, I said “Oh… OK then!” I waited for the go-ahead to proceed to the sink for the shampoo (my favorite part) but it never came. Instead, she whipped out her scissors and started right in. The stylist left me three times during the trim and finally came back with a latex glove on her left hand. I asked her if she was OK, and she said there was no problem but she had cut herself. I looked at her gloved hand and sure enough, there was a ring of blood around one of her fingers (apparently she was trying to find a bandage but had to settle for the glove instead). I started to get nervous. She is in charge of a sharp instrument, you know. And now I had to worry about her getting blood in my hair.

Her: “Don’t worry, I promise I know how to cut hair!”
Me: “Oh, I believe you…”

The rest of the trim passed without incident. I never did get my shampoo but the trim turned out decently enough, even for Great Clips. And after all, you can’t beat free!

The Great Escape

Saturday morning (pre-race) started out like this.

Richard: “Where are the chinchillas?”
Heather: “They’re probably sleeping in their blue thing.”
Richard: “…I don’t see them… and the door is open.”

Maybe I should mention that we had recently been putting the chinchillas on the deck, which meant they could have run onto our neighbors’ decks, or even into our neighbors’ apartments. I ran to wake up Mark, and we put some food out in the hopes they would come back. Mark then drove us to the race and when he got back, Frederick had returned and was sitting in his cage like a good pet. Frederick and Theodore never really “clicked” and we surmised that Frederick may have lured him out of the cage and then left him. But that’s kind of manipulative for a small rodent…

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday we kept putting food out and trying to catch a glimpse of Theodore on someone else’s deck (creepy, I know). The food kept disappearing so we knew he was somewhere close (our decks aren’t on the ground floor, so the only place Theodore could roam was the connected balcony of our apartment building).

Sunday evening rolled around and still no Theodore. We had been gone most of the day and as we approached our apartment, our neighbor came out and said, “Hey, do you guys by any chance have a pet chinchilla?” Theodore had apparently been hiding out in her apartment on and off for the last two days, and our poor neighbor didn’t even know what he was when she first saw him. We helped her catch him and took him home after profusely thanking her for her help.

We feel pretty lucky that we got both of them back! We wondered if Frederick was disappointed when we brought Theodore back. We were pretty sure Theodore at least had been homesick: our neighbor said Theodore cried at night! Poor little guy. That should teach him not to follow Frederick anymore.