Dancing On My Own

This morning, I did something really strange. I went to a club and danced before work. By myself.

It’s called Daybreaker and it’s an interesting concept: yoga followed by a DJ-led rave/dance party before work. You can buy admission to just yoga, just the dance party, or both. I’d heard about it from a friend and wanted to try it out, so we bought tickets for the February dance party (yoga sold out fast!) and planned to meet there.

Then the Seattle crud claimed my friend and she bailed at 6:45 this morning. I had a choice: forfeit my $15 admission or suck it up and roll solo. Trying to ignore that junior high-level insecurity in my belly, I got on the bus and headed to the club. To dance by myself. At 7am. There would be coffee, at least, so even if I just stood in the corner like Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles, at least I’d have something to clutch. Or maybe I’d find a friend! Even Joan found a friend.

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I got off the bus and walked to Sole Repair, a former cobbler shop-turned-event space. I could hear the DJ from a few blocks away; this part of Capitol Hill was surprisingly quiet in the morning and the bump-bump of techo music announced itself loud and proud.

I opened the door and WHOOSH the humidity of sweat and movement took me in, along with a very tall, beautiful woman who yelled “Welcome!” over the DJ and gave me a big hug. “We’re so glad you’re here!” She stamped the inside of my wrist and pointed me toward the back wall, where everyone had dropped their coats, purses, and extra clothing.


The room was packed with mostly women wearing their best and brightest Lulus and Athletas. There was one gentleman in a Ghostbusters jumpsuit. A few ladies had stripped down to their sports bras and were glistening with sweat; I dropped my bags and headed straight for the coffee, then to the back of the crowd to people watch and send sneaky SnapChats. (Except there was no need to be sneaky because almost everyone was snapping and selfie-ing with abandon.)


And before long, I was dancing. By myself, but also with everyone. It was too crowded for cliques and too loud for conversation, so a lone wolf didn’t look too out of place. My spot on the periphery eventually closed around me and soon, I was in the crowd. I started with some head nodding and hip swaying, but then a remix of Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came on. I slammed the rest of my coffee, put down my cup, and danced.

And then: Hall and Oates “Can’t Go for That” accompanied by brass and drums. What!!

The rest of my hour consisted of more dancing, more coffee, bubble machines, giveaways, happy birthday to the gorgeous woman who hugged me at the door, and free samples of all kinds of bars, juices, and even canned iced coffee. And a random woman just painting away in the corner.


As I was checking the time and feeling kind of sad that I had to leave for work soon, I heard a group of women next to me say, “This is [blergh blergh]. She came her by herself!! Isn’t she so brave and amazing?!” And the group embraced her into their dancing circle.

HEY! I wanted to say at first. I came alone, too! I also deserve your hugs and validation. Pick me, choose me, accept me, I am worthy of your attention even though I don’t know you and will never see you again!

I let that feeling pass and instead, smiled and did a sweet spin move* (being very careful not to spill my coffee or bump into the woman dancing next to me who wore elf ears) and realized: I am just fine dancing on my own.

*the spin move was probably not all that sweet

Franklin Falls / 8 Years

It was our eighth wedding anniversary yesterday and we had a choice: eat all day (our usual plan) or rent a car and go have an adventure. We chose adventure! 

In a trusty Subaru ZipCar, we drove about an hour east on 90 to visit Franklin Falls. The area got a lot of attention after a Seattle Times article and the parking situation was dire, so we took the advice of a kind British lady on snowshoes and parked about a mile and a half from the trailhead. Excellent decision. Also an excellent decision: wearing Yaktrax, a gift from my mom a few years ago. They were so handy on the packed icy trail!

The whole hike was magical. 


It ended up being about seven total miles of hiking, so we were good and hungry by the end. Twede’s Cafe, aka The Double R Diner from Twin Peaks, just happened to be on the way home. A few hot sammies and fries later, we were golden. 

After cleaning up (I wore my finest black turtleneck) and caffeinating, we continued the celebration with fireside drinks at Hotel Sorrento -we tried our first Boulevardiers, Negronis made with bourbon – and an insanely decadent dinner at L’Oursin. Oh my lord, the bacon terrine!! 

It was a pretty perfect day. It’s been a pretty perfect eight years. Cheers to that. 

It Wasn’t All Garbage, Was It?

 

What a dumpster fire of a year 2016 has been. So many amazing people gone except for the one person who should explode in a mass of Cheetos and straw hair (and pls take your shitty racist women-hating followers with you THANKS!). But in the spirit of positive vibes and glass-half-fullism, I will now try to remember the good things that happened this year. Because it wasn’t all garbage, right?

January

My dad turned 60 and we surprised him with a phenomenal party! We played outside and Larry ended his hipster bartending career.

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February

Some cold-weather running featuring beautiful sunrises and a trip to Florida to visit Lar’s dad.

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March

Jay Blistan visited! We ran up hills and went to the Sounders home opener. Cherry blossoms came out, daylight lasted longer, and we celebrated Easter with friends. march1

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April

My grandparents visited!!! So did friends from back east, and it was the best birthday ever with my whole fam in Denver.

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May

More visitors: college bestie, our most famous friend David Crabb, and I met the U.S. Poet Laureate at our big work fundraiser. We camped with friends for Memorial Day.

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June

We ran the Bend Beer Chase for the second year in a row. I made boozy cherries with good friends, we celebrated Lar’s birthday at the Seattle Rock Orchestra’s Beach Boys show, and we took Tippy on her first camping trip – also our first unsupervised camping trip. We made fire!!

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July

I made beautiful American jello shots. Shenanigans at the Dixie Chicks concert and camp out involving biblical rain, Gentleman Jack, and pitchers of wine. We gained a new family member, Fippy. East Coast Wendy visited!!! I learned that I am really good at shucking oysters and we climbed a mountain with Tippy.july1 july2 july3 july4 july5 july6

August

Month of excessive vacations! We traveled to Mexico with old friends AND Croatia with new friends. Also: helmet nachos!

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September

Still Croatiaing. I did not run a sub-2 half but did PR at 2:05 and haven’t run more than a mile since. My parents visited!!! And I got to be a witch for Harry Potter trivia at work.

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October

I rowed in the rain and visited my sis in Charlotte with our mama. Football games, soccer games, and Tippy’s 12th birthday party. We sold our Prius and became car-less city folk.

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November

I was depressed. We escaped reality by binging The Crown and with a long weekend in Astoria. And we spent a week back in Philly with family and friends. That was like balm for the soul. ❤

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December 

I went home to Ohio for the annual girls weekend and met Josie! We celebrated the holidays by seeing The Nutcracker, a White Christmas sing-along (this was THE BEST!!!), and lots of movies. We’ll celebrate eight years of wedded bliss on Friday and are hosting another NYE party on Saturday.

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And then it will be 2017. We’re heading to Grand Cayman with my family in January (and will be very drunk there on inauguration day) and will come home to a new president. Not my president. And then impeachments shall begin, Russia will get involved, China will be pissed, the nukes will come out, and the world will end.

So here’s to 2016. And a very merry 2017 to us all!

Retired Rower

I’m just a big ol’ retiree these days.

I graduated from Learn to Row class at Lake Union Crew on Saturday after 12 sessions in the month of October. It was an awesome, really hard, and really humbling experience. It made me remember how much I hate to suck at things, and some nights, I sucked hard at rowing. I could probably stay in the Learn to Row level for the rest of my life and still not be great at it.

Most of my classmates are moving on to the next level – Sweep & Scull, doesn’t that sound bad ass? – but I can’t make the class times work with my schedule. Classes almost always run long and being late for anything ever makes me hyperventilate. I’m bummed, but it’s fine. I’m glad I did it, and if they change up the times by even 15 minutes in the mornings, I could maybe make it work. Maybe maybe maybe.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is some ESPN-caliber action of us rowing through the Montlake Cut – hallowed ground if you’ve read The Boys in the Boat or are any kind of a rowing nerd. I’m in the 7 seat, light blue jacket/white hat.

So much history there! My favorite painted sign was on the opposite wall: Bust a Nut in the Cut. #klassy

Here we are doing the traditional last-day-of-class Trust Exercise, for which we were reassured that NO ONE has EVER fallen in, in all of our coach’s years of experience. WELL GUESS WHAT. Our 1 seat? He fell in.

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Teamwork makes the dream work. Our bad, bro.

So what’s next in the land of fitness? I’m still on running hiatus until 2017, per my own stubborn Rx, and I have come to the conclusion that I need something in addition to yoga to regain strength, and the apartment gym isn’t doing it for me. So I’m trying out a CrossFit spot tomorrow. (eeeeek scared face emoji big time)

Someone hold me. It’s really going to hurt.

Retired Runner

Hi.

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It’s been a long time and I have no good excuses. Let’s blame it on Russia. Or my nearly dead laptop. Nah, Russia.

The last time I checked in, I was cranky and not running due to heel pain. Well, I stopped resting, resumed running, started weekly acupuncture, and yet the pain continued. But I stubbornly refused to give up on running the Woodinville Half in September. This was my year and I was going to break two hours if it killed me.

Spoiler alert: I did not break two hours, it did not kill me, but I did PR by 5 minutes, finishing in 2:05:47. I was upset at the finish line for a minute, but I did my best and have to be happy with that. It wasn’t my favorite half – IT POURED from the moment the gun went off to like 20 minutes after I crossed the finish line, adding at least 90 pounds to my clothing, and the course was lackluster, especially compared to last year’s Oregon Wine Country Half. Here are some scenes from the rainy race:


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Once I was done feeling sorry for myself and had a nice, hot breakfast in me (omg that cinnamon roll), I decided to cry uncle and really, truly retire from running half marathons. This was my eighth half and the only one where I’ve ever really tried to push myself; my old ass couldn’t hang and fought back. The writing is on the wall and I will happily retire from that distance.

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I’m also firmly committed to giving my feet a rest until at least 2017. No short runs with friends (this part sucks, I miss my friends!), no long runs on the weekends, not even a quick jog with Tippy. Instead, I’m on to a different sport: rowing.

I started Learn to Row class at Lake Union Crew this month and we had our first night on the water this week. It’s hard, it’s awkward, there’s a whole new language to learn and I’m probably going to end up in a lady-overboard situation one day soon, but otherwise, it’s awesome. I’m meeting lots of new people and can’t wait for the day when it clicks. I got to row stroke seat on Tuesday, meaning everyone had to follow MY stroke and do what I did. I was the boss! Me! I am so sore.

I owe you a bunch of other catch-up things, like the Bend Beer Chase, Larry’s birthday, Tippy’s first camping trip, a slew of visitors, so many good book and podcast recommendations, my new secret talent, and a two-week trip to Croatia. Also, that time we sold our Prius and became car-less city folk. More coming soon from the Lost Summer…thanks for sticking around.

Adventures in Maybysitting

Did you know the Disney Channel remade Adventures in Babysitting? This is ridiculous and completely unnecessary, as the original is perfect. Elizabeth Shue! Thor! And the valuable lesson that your chocolate-smudged fingers will leave clues in the elevator, so just lick them for Pete’s sake!


Once, I wore Tom’s after a rainstorm back in Philly and slid on wet pavement, shin-first, into a sewage grate in the curb. I had to get one stitch. I was thrilled with the coincience and kept quoting the doctor who stitched up Brad after the subway knife fight. “One steetch.” But my doc didn’t get it. I feel bad for you, sir.

ANYWAY, this is a very long way of explaining the title of this blog post. I love that movie. The end!

Now, onto what we were up to in May…

The month started with a visit from my college roomie Alicia and her husband Russ. They’re expecting a little one in the fall, and it was so, so wonderful to see them both…and her belly!


It just so happens that two of her other good friends live out this way, so we spent Saturday with a crew of eight doing brunch, breweries, and a cookout on our roof.


Sunday was more tourism with our visitors, plus a fair amount of relaxing and gabbing. It was a pretty perfect visit, with Seattle doing its “awesome weather” thing it seems to do when we have visitors, and it means the world that our preggo pal and her baby daddy made the cross-country trip to see us. Can’t wait to meet baby Shawarma! What, you don’t name your friend’s kid for them in honor of some really delicious food you had once?


After they left, my life was consumed by our big work event, featuring keynote Juan Felipe Herrera, the U.S. Poet Laureate.


And the next day, instead of sleeping in, Lar and I ran up and over the Queen Anne Hill. Tippy was exhausted just hearing about it.


The next week, we were hashtag blessed with another visitor: famous author and storyteller David Crabb! We saw him do a reading at a great indy bookstore (where Larry found the greatest comic book of all time) and the next night saw him host The Moth on stage at a sold-out Benayoya Hall. Amazing!

We had a quiet weekend after that, spent running up another GD hill and introducing Tippy to the Puget Sound. She was not impressed, as usual. We also hit up the REI sale in preparation for our first car camping trip! We now own sleeping bags and headlamps, so we’re ready for all the wilderness.


May ended with the Memorial Day weekend camping trip to Sequim, which is on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s also where Joe, the main character from “Boys in the Boat,” is from, if you’re into that sort of thing. We went with four other couples and had a blast. Most of our time was spent at the campsite, though on Sunday we took a field trip and hiked all 11 miles of the Dungeness Spit to the historic lighthouse.

So May was awesome. And spoiler alert, June has ALSO been awesome! Tippy, calm down. We’ll get there.

Grandparents Do Seattle

So. April. That was a thing that happened. A combination of birthday month activities, visitors, family weekend in Denvahhh, 18 stitches (more on that later), and playing outside in the gorgeous weather kept us busy and made for a pretty amazing month.

But the highlight of my April (and possibly my forever) was when my grandparents came to visit.img_5674

I had texted Granny Janny in December to ask if she wanted to fly out to see The Nutcracker in Seattle, because 1) it’s pretty much in my backyard, and 2) we have a running “thing” with The Nutcracker in that she’s been promising to take me since I was about 6 but we’ve never managed to see it together. I had found relatively cheap direct flights from Detroit to Seattle, and while she chose to avoid the risk of inclement weather (smart), it did start the conversation about a springtime visit. And voila! A trip was scheduled.

They landed on a very sunny Thursday, so I took the light rail all the way from work to the airport (a new thing!!) because traffic was its typical horrendous self, and we light railed all the way back into downtown before catching a Lyft to our place. After a few Tippy belly rubs, we headed for the roof to show off our favorite views. Grandma enjoyed sniffing the rosemary, and we all enjoyed a gorgeous sunset before housing some pizza.

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On Friday, we were back on the roof for coffee hour, a quick morning power nap on the couch, and then it was tourist time! We rode the monorail down to Pike Place and walked the shops, including Beecher’s, the fish mongers, and Rachel’s Ginger Beer. Then it was on to a delicious lunch at Matt’s in the Market, where we got to watch a pig being butchered – great fun!

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Next was a harbor cruise, then a cookout on our roof. Bedtime was early, since our guests were still on east coast time, but first we played a few rounds of Tippy Memory to keep our brains sharp (Lar and Gpa were very good; Gma and I were terrible but we’ll blame the wine)! Grandpa and Tippy were also becoming fast couch buddies.

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On Saturday, Tippy was so despondent at the thought of being separated from Grandpa that she couldn’t even bear for him to use the bathroom.

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Despite her dramatics, we ventured outside of the city to Whidbey Island, a 40-minute drive and 30-minute ferry ride away. There was drizzle, but we thoroughly enjoyed the Langley Whale Center, Useless Bay Coffee, and the lovely gardens in town. Lunch was at Prima Bistro, where we had a great view of the water, and then there may have been some car napping on the way back home.

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Back at home, the boys decided to stay in and watch some Final Four basketball while Grandma and I ventured over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum – another spot in our own backyard that we’d never visited. It was stunning! And the glass-blowing demonstration made us both want to enroll in glass school immediately (random side note: the glass blower is from Findlay, OH, and went to BGSU). I can’t remember what we did for dinner but I am guessing it was eat leftovers and pass out early…after a few rounds of Tippy Memory, of course!

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Sunday morning, we did our usual Sunday-with-visitors thing: breakfast at Portage Bay Café, followed by the Ice Cream Cruise around Lake Union. I’m not sure what was going on with Captain Larry (not to be confused with my Larry) but he wasn’t his usual fact-filled self this time around. Since this was my fifth or sixth time on the cruise, I was supplementing facts for him. Hope he’s back to his usual self the next time we board! Regardless, it was a lovely day on the water and the houseboats looked fab.

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Next, it was Take Your Grandparents To Work Day! Except I didn’t have to do any work since it was a Sunday. We got to UW a bit before the Library opened, so I snuck us in and got to give a private tour of the Reading Room and other parts of Suzzallo.

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Next up was another standard stop on LarKar’s Seattle Tour: Kerry Park! We drove up instead of forcing them to walk up Queen Anne Hill like all our other visitors, but Grandpa did get a chuckle out of calling my mom to tell her I made them walk up anyway (this was after Jude had threatened me to “take it easy!!” on Gma and Gpa…pssh, they could have done it!).

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After some downtime at home, we then ventured back out to the Ballard Locks and shopped for our next yacht, followed by another incredible dinner at Bitterroot, where we killed our traditional Cowboy Killer.

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We returned them to the airport bright and early Monday morning and I was terribly sad to see them go. I can’t say how much it means to us that they flew across the country to come visit. We love you, Grandma and Grandpa! Come visit again soon!! xo