life

The Future is Female

The photo above is from the Women's March on Washington in the nation's capital, which took place on January 21st on the other side of the country at the same time that I was marching in Seattle. Taken by Kevin Mazur, it's one of those "right time, right place" photos that leaves you in awe. It's amazing. I noticed several powerful Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia signs during our march, but the composition of the two separate signs makes this one of the best photos I've seen from the marches.

Seattle's version of the march started at Judkins Park and finished 3.5 miles away at the Seattle Center. Since Judkins is relatively close to my office in the International District, I drove to our parking garage with my mom and her friends, discussing Trump on the way. I planned to meet some of my friends (Lydia, Eric, Lynn and Tim) on the way to the park at a nearby p-patch. That plan worked out well, because cellphones really didn't work due to the sheer number of people converging, and it would have been next to impossible to find each other otherwise. (Somehow, some way, Anna still managed to find us more than two hours later!) I didn't have time to make a sign beforehand, but my mom handed me an extra one when she walked on ahead. I had never been to Judkins Park, and thank goodness it's large, because the turnout exceeded everyone's expectations. The organizers had estimated about 50,000 people would attend, but the total came out closer to 175,000. Incredible.

Directions and guest speakers began around 10:30am, and the march officially got underway just after 11am. But, because of the huge concentration of people, for most of us that didn't mean much. I think it took over an hour to move about 75 yards. Around that time, they got on the speakers and said that the front of the march was three blocks from the Seattle Center, and yet there were still people in the park. That meant the crowd filled the entire route from start to finish! Amazing! Our pace picked up around 1pm once we were farther along on 20th Avenue, but not much. It really wasn't until we got to 4th Avenue that the crowd got less congested, and I finally had the arm space to hold my sign out. We made a small detour to Pioneer Square to grab a snack and headed back into the crowd soon after. It was 3:30pm by the time we finally made it to the Space Needle and took some victory photos. Since so many people had already come and gone by that point, it didn't seem like there was really an end event anymore and we split ways. My mom and her group were at Nordstrom Cafe eating pizza (they got too hungry to finish the march), so I met them there and then we all walked back to the International District. According to a map I made on Strava, I walked 7.2 miles in total. Needless to say, I was exhausted afterwards, and I think I went to bed at 9:30pm.

Since the unexpected outcome of the election, many have criticized Seattle and other areas with a high concentration of liberals as being influenced by their Blue Bubbles. They say that the people within them are sheltered from the "real" America, the working class America. Maybe there is some validity to that, but based on yesterday, the opposite certainly felt true. I couldn't believe the differences between all of the people who came together! Sure, most of those in attendance were women, and that was the whole point, but probably a third of the crowd was supportive men. I saw Americans of all colors and shapes. I saw Christians, Muslims, Jews and atheists. I saw straight people walking side-by-side with their LGBTQ neighbors. I saw families with children who didn't cry or complain. I saw people in wheelchairs and on crutches. What I didn't see was a a single act of violence. In fact, I didn't even hear so much as an angry voice. I don't think you could say half of those things about Trump rallies during the election season, but that Seattleites came together so completely made me proud of my city.

This was an incredible experience, and one that I'm so glad I decided to participate in. Though I only marched with a half dozen friends, I know several more who also attended, along with others in marches across the country: Mariana in St. Petersburg and Capri in Los Angeles. For many people, myself included, this was their first march or protest. I can only hope this sense of solidarity continues for these next four years, because it's going to be necessary. But if the size and scope of this movement is any indication, there are a whole lot of nasty women out there who will not be silenced.

So yes, she's watching you, Donald. And she is all of us.

The Best of 2016

I started and abandoned a few posts during the year detailing some of the major things I did this year, but I still want to show them here.

January:

New Year's Eve was spent with Christina, Capri, Carmen, Ben and Martin at Artist Home's party at Conor Byrne. We pre-func'd at Capri's with some prosecco cocktails before heading over. I had an extremely bad headache, though, so I left shortly after midnight. Yay for it being walking distance from home!

I have been a Friends fan since the show started and know virtually everything about it. So, when I saw that Central Cinema was hosting a Friends trivia night, I knew I had to go and dominate. Luckily, Carly, Annie, and Kim are huge fans, too, and we even got together beforehand to prepare. Brianna joined us on the day of, and though we made some dumb mistakes, we took home the second-place prize out of 40 teams!

February:

Christina loves 80s music, and Nite Wave happened to be playing in Ballard on her actual birthday!

March:

I did a lot of running and swimming, but then got tendonitis in my ankle...

April:

After several weeks of physical therapy, I was able to finally run the Seahawks 12k! I register for the race every year, but for one reason or another have never been able to attend. I didn't really have time to train due to my injury, but at least I finished!

For Capri's bachelorette party, we went to dinner, a speakeasy and then dancing. I think it's safe to say that fulfilled my Capitol Hill quota for the year. Raj also met up with us at the very end of the night, since it wouldn't be the same without him!

May:

Obviously, the biggest thing that happened in May was heading to Spain for Capri and Sergi's wedding. I stayed with Bea in Barcelona on the first night, and then Capri reserved an apartment for the rest of the time we were in the city.

On the 30th, we left Barcelona for the vineyard house in Tordera and went to Calalla de Palafrugell for a stormy lunch on the beach.

On the 31st, we drove to France to tour some castle ruins in the Pyrenees and eat crêpes.

On the way back to Tordera, we stopped in the tiny medieval village of Besalú.

June:

At the start of June, we were still in Spain. On the 1st, Christina, Raj and I walked and drove around Costa Brava before meeting up with everyone else for dinner in Begur.

We went to a couple old villages (Peratallada and Pals) on the 2nd and perfected our selfie art.

On the 3rd, Capri and the rest of the wedding party had photos to take, so the rest of us (me, Raj, Martin and Capri's mom) went to Girona at Sergi's suggestion. I really wish we had been able to spend more time there, because it was amazing! We saw a few of the locations where they shot Game of Thrones and walked along the entire wall that runs around the city.

Capri and Sergi's wedding was on the 4th, and it was hands down the best wedding I'll ever go to. The location was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the dancing lasted until after 3am.

Missing this Tordera house!

July:

With a trip to the Enchantments coming up soon, I went on a soggy hike with Capri, Raj and Amy to Mount Defiance.

For the second year in a row, I participated in Ragnar Northwest Passage. This year I was on a different team, with Carly, Annie, Kim, Carly's stepbrother David, and his friend Katie. We had more than our fair share of issues, including a flat tire before 5am and an injured runner, but we finished!

August:

I took a day off from work so that my mom and I could watch a Seahawks practice.

And right afterwards, I went hiking to Rachel Lake with Raj and Capri!

September:

Raj won the lottery for an Enchantments permit in the Stuart Lake Zone! This meant we had to hike up Aasgard Pass to get into the core zone, and...I ended up having a panic attack as we made our way over there. I still had a good time, even though I did have to spend 6+ hours by myself waiting for the rest of the group to come back. I think I made the right decision about not going up, especially since I hadn't been training and hadn't even been running because of a stress fracture. At least I got to try out my new ultralight one-person tent!

October:

Not a very exciting month, as most of it was spent cleaning and organizing my condo. I didn't even do anything for Halloween! But I did go to the Seahawks game against the Falcons with Mariana while she was in town for less than 24 hours!

November:

When the Seahawks schedule was announced earlier this year and I saw that they were playing in Tampa after Thanksgiving, I pretty much immediately booked my trip down there. Luther's parents overlapped with me by a few days, but we all had a great time, as always! If only the Seahawks we know and love had shown up for that game, too... I didn't see any dolphins or manateezes during the trip this time, but I did see Mariana and Luther's new house! Hopefully I can visit again soon!

December:

This month flew by, and I didn't really take very many pictures, honestly. We went to see A Christmas Carol at the ACT Theatre on Mom's birthday, with dinner at Sullivan's beforehand. A few days later, we did my birthday present for her, which was to see the Theater Anonymous production of It's a Wonderful Life.

The Seahawks played on Christmas Eve, and since Mariana and Luther were in town for it and the holidays, we did a big tailgate, arriving before 9:30am. I was under-dressed and freezing for most of the day, so I don't think I'll make that mistake again. I couldn't find anyone else to go with me to the game, but luckily Mariana offered to sit with me for the second half!

Stephanie and Ryan couldn't come up for Christmas, so we Skyped with them in the morning and took a (blurry) family picture (with the dogs, too, of course).

Stephanie and Ryan actually arrived on the 29th, and we had a family dinner in Renton on the 30th with Pat, Mike and Donita.

And, I guess that's 2016! Of course, there were many more moments where photos weren't taken, as well. The year had its ups and downs, but I'm glad for the time I spent with everyone!

Goodbye, Summer

And just like that, summer in Seattle ended. That's how it felt, at least. After months of above-normal temperatures and more 80+-degree days than ever before, something in the air changed. One day it was warm (dare I say even hot), and the next it was foggy, a bit drizzly, and easily 20 degrees colder. Afterwards, there were a couple more glimmers of the summer-that-was, but I immediately felt the shift in the seasons, and there was no going back. Out came the sweaters and sweatshirts, worn even on forecasted warm days. I started wearing socks with my shoes again, and shook the dust off my favorite fall jackets.

But even as I pack up my tees to make room for more reasonable and increasingly necessary layers, I'm remembering that this summer was one for the books, for sure. Maybe because it seemed to start so early, avoiding the typical "June gloom," but it seems like I did more this summer than I have in a long time. I already wrote long posts about a few of the most significant parts of the summer (turning 30, backpacking in the Enchantments, and Ragnar), but there were a number of other adventures, too.

The summer started with Sasquatch over Memorial Day weekend, my first time back to the Gorge in five years. There were so many good bands playing, that I couldn't pass it up. Jenny Lewis, St. Vincent, The New Pornographers, MØ, Courtney Barnett, Sylvan Esso, Modest Mouse... It only could have been better if Neko Case had been there, too. Thankfully we stayed in a big condo in a newer part of Crescent Bar rather than the campground, so we were spoiled with a pool, actual beds, fancy breakfasts, and playing cards on the back deck. We did miss quite a few bands since we were never in much of a hurry to get to the amphitheater, but I saw that ones I really liked, was a foot away from Annie Clark crowdsurfing, and met Courtney Barnett.

This summer I found that I actually really like the 10k distance for races. My first ever was the Brooks 10k at the end of May, and I exceeded my expectations, despite not getting much training in beforehand. I didn't stop at all, and finished in under an hour (barely). I had never done a race with finisher medals before, so that was an added bonus. My second race, the Snoqualmie Valley 10k, was both good and bad. The good was that I hauled on that course, finishing second in my age group and 10th overall for women. The bad was that they didn't mark the course correctly, so it was 0.2 miles short. And I felt so good, too! Oh well. The age group medal is still valid.

This was also the first summer in 15 years that I got to go boating on Lake Washington! Our family friends have a boat, and normally they take it out when I'm either busy at work or without giving much notice. While both of those were true for this day, as well, I was still able to make it! The lake water was super warm, especially for June, so we jumped off the back of the boat in between beers and glasses of wine.

The Fourth of July was spent in Capitol Hill, beginning on Christina's rooftop and ending with karaoke at Rock Box. The fare was your typical Americana: tacos, tortilla chips and margaritas. The songs were mostly those from the 80s that I had never heard before.

I think I went to four Mariners games this year, and two were back-to-back in July. The first came with a tirade by Eric about how much the Mariners suck, complete with booing the home team and cheering for the Tigers. The second came with free seats, free food, and free beer. (And I think the Mariners won that one.)

2015 was finally (FINALLY!) the year I traded in my stylin' red PT Cruiser for something that suited me a little better. The PT was actually a better car than people give it credit for, so I was very particular about what I replaced it with. I wanted a similar amount of space without it being too big, and the Subaru Crosstrek was the perfect match. I got the Limited model loaded up on features, so hopefully it will last as long as the PT did. Once I got it back from the dealership after they fixed a scratch (big drama, not going there), I decided to take it for a mini road trip up to Bellingham. I had never been on Chuckanut Drive (except one small piece in May), and this seemed like a good occasion. My car also found its name on this trip: Monica. After my huge freak out from a bit of chai latte splatter, and due to the fact that I listened to the Best of Friends podcast during the whole trip, there was no other option.

Then there were all the other things I didn't have pictures from: girls' beach day, Lynn and Tim's anniversary party, Raj's birthday, Mariana's visit, Adrian's visit, #Blessed softball games... Lots of good times with fun people, for sure. Hopefully this fall will feature more of the same! (And maybe I'll get better at documenting, seeing as how all of the photos above with friends in them were taken from others' phones.)

Thirty

It's been a while since my last update here, and I thought it would be good to check in after reaching a new milestone: turning the big 3-0. Despite the fact that I've felt this age for a while (I often had to remember that I was, in fact, 29), actually getting to that age caused me a bit of stress over the last few months. It seems like kind of a big deal! However, at the same time, I'm in a much better place than I was a year ago:

  • I have a few circles of friends that I see regularly, whether at weekly trivia nights, softball games, or some other activity. I met some really awesome people in the last year, and am so glad for that.
  • As a result, I felt confident inviting people to my birthday party for the first time in a long time. And they actually came! (More on that later.)
  • I deleted both Tinder and OK Cupid from my phone after some successful dates, so we'll see what happens there.
  • I officially started school and have a plan toward progressing in my career.
  • Work seems better, and I have a great team (though, it is going through some transition at the moment). Plus, I'm doing better at that whole work/life (and school) balance thing, though I feel too busy 90% of the time.

I spent my actual birthday by taking the day off work and heading to the mountains with my parents. I had brought up the idea of a hike a few weeks before, and my dad remembered that Snow Lake (the one near Alpental) is supposed to be a great hike, and it's not too far away. 

What better place to turn 30? 

What better place to turn 30? 

The day was absolutely gorgeous—much better than it was supposed to be. Perfect hiking weather, for sure. My dad loaded up his pack with all of his backpacking gear to see if he could do it (he could, with a lot of perspiration), and while I could have used this as preparation for the Enchantments, I didn't want to unnecessarily kill myself. It wasn't a hard hike, but the reward was beautiful nonetheless. There's a point where you reach the top of the ridge, and are greeted by a view of the green-blue lake from above, and it was awesome. Reaching that point made the rest of the trek down to the water go so quickly. We made our way down the rest of the trail, pulled out the lunch snacks, and took dozens of pictures before heading back up.

Once we got back from the hike, we were short on time to make dinner reservations at Palisade. I drove home, got ready and met them there. Dinner was...slow. And my dad complained, which made things a bit awkward, though well-intentioned. At least the booze and food were good, and coincidentally they sat us at the same table where we spent my 21st birthday, as well.

Mom and I heart champagne

Mom and I heart champagne

So, turning 30, I figured I might as well do something with friends, as well. At first I had no idea what, but I knew I didn't want to travel too far from home and I liked the idea of karaoke. There aren't many places to do that, so I settled on Waterwheel, one of the divey-est of awesome dive bars. There are also a ton of breweries in the area that I hadn't been to yet, so I also took this as an opportunity to try Reuben's Brews and their new outdoor patio. I'm so glad so many people came! Kickball/softball/trivia friends and Getty-related friends, all in one place! There was plenty of beer, ping pong, corn hole and, of course, karaoke. I was having such a good time that I really didn't take any pictures, but I gathered a few from other people.

And now...it's time to do 30!

So, this is January

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

#blessed

#blessed

Outside of CenturyLink

Outside of CenturyLink

NFC Champs!!

NFC Champs!!

Well, it’s January, that time of the year when Seattleites are buried under a never-ending grey blanket of clouds, walking streets that are perpetually wet. However, it hasn’t been quite that bad this year, weather-wise. Sure, there have been days like that, but we’ve also had some crystal clear days, and today it was sunny and over 60 degrees! That’s closer to the average temperature for April! Normally at this time, I start itching to escape the state to somewhere warm, but that feeling hasn’t been too strong (yet). That said, I do feel a bit like I’m in hibernation mode, preferring to do things that are low-key and casual, rather than going dancing, to shows, skiing, etc. Often I don’t even want to have conversations, though. I simply don’t have a lot of energy or patience these days, which has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve been working more than normal. So, I’ve been reading a lot. A LOT. So much that I’ve finished six books in 23 days!

I have managed to have some fun times with people this month, though, including being at the Seahawks’ incredible come-from-behind victory against the Packers to advance to the Super Bowl! And, with any luck, ticket prices to the big game will start going down soon, and I’ll be there for that game, too!