Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Club: Wait Till Next Year

I've been reading like crazy this summer, but for some reason I'm always behind on the book reviews. I used to love doing them, but I guess I'm suffering from a bit of burn out.
Of course these posts tend to get a little less traffic and comments than others, but I figure there are a few people who enjoy them, right? ... Bueller??
Seriously, do these reviews just make my blog super dry and boring?
Go ahead, tell me, I can take it.
In the meantime, I read Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin a while back for my office book club. When I first read the book description I'm sure I grimaced... it's a book about the 1950s and baseball, two topics that have never been at the top of my list of interesting subjects. But it actually turned out to be moderately entertaining!

In this memoir, Doris tells of growing up in the suburbs of New York. She loves her family and baseball most of all, she re-creates the postwar era when a corner store was a place to share stories and neighborhoods were equally divided between Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans. We share in formative years until the end of an era, which is marked by significant changes in baseball, the death of her mother and ultimately, Doris's childhood.

I definitely found myself a little bit bored during the baseball bits of this book, but I was fascinated by how different life was in the 1950s, especially the McCarthy era and the beginning of desegregation. And anyone who is a baseball fan would definitely enjoy it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh Friday, where have you been?

Gawd, I love federal holidays.
This year, to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers around the country, we are headed back over to the lake house in Idaho with some of our very favorite people for a long weekend of typical shenanigans. Seriously, give me some sunshine, a boat, and a beer and I'll pretty much be perma-smiling... or doing this. 
I took the day off today, and we're currently eastbound toward heaven, and as each mile passes I can literally feel a little bit more weight being lifted off my shoulders.
It's been a rough month, work-wise, I'll just say that.
But right about now I feel like dancing like no one is watching... or at least singing at the top of my lungs in the car, which I'm sure this car full of people appreciates. I may or may not be tone deaf.
The official dock dance party will have to wait until later (and maybe I'll bust out my one piece, gold chain, and pink visor for you at that time), but for now I'll #backthatazzup with Whitney!

We Can't Stop by Miley Cyrus on Grooveshark

I know our darling Miley didn't exactly thrill us with her recent VMA performance, but this is still one of my fave songs of the summer.

Seriously guys, I hope you're doing something amazing this weekend to send summer out with a bang... it's been pretty epic, after all.
Catch you on the flip side!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 Summer Old Man Games

Never trust a boy when it comes to blog photos.
This is a lesson I've learned again and again.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't able to attend the second annual Summer Old Man Games this year. But I didn't want Stew to miss out, so I wished him luck and sent him off to Sucia Island for the weekend with his buddies.

Of course I asked him to take pictures. And he made a good effort...

Those four photos represent their gorgeous boat ride out to the island.

As for what happened after that? The world may never know...

Stewart did report that the games were a great success, with brand new events like Slack Line, Head Dunk, and Running Beer Chug.

Dang, I would have rocked that shiz like Katniss Everdeen!

But it didn't matter, because like the all-around athlete and champion that he is, Stew pulled a Bruce Jenner took home the Gold Medal Homemade Trophy all on his own.

MY HERO, and two time champion!

Yes, that is the trophy for the Old Man Games. In case you can't tell, it's an old man's walker glued to a bit of wood. Don't get jealous now. With intense training and concentrated diligence, someday you, too, may have the opportunity to display this honor oh-so-proudly in your home.

May the odds be ever in your favor...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beach walking and bars... Family Reunion 2013

My family goes to Port Townsend a lot (remember when we went for my dad's birthday a while back?) but this past weekend was our official
2013 Family Reunion!
Everyone from my dad's side of the family came up to hang out for a few days, and to make it extra special we even camped out on our property at North Beach.
For a variety of reasons, my stress levels have been through the roof lately, so a getaway with the fam was a much needed chill pill for me. I took Friday off, which made looking up at my office from the ferry extremely satisfying... freedom!

PS, does everyone else like traveling by ferry as much as I do? Every time I drive on, I feel like a little kid again, and even when I'm by myself I always go up to the deck to hang over the rail and watch the waves with a big smile plastered on my face by the salty wind.
Stew and I have realized lately that my parents' motor home has kind of spoiled us. We weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves when we had to tent camp at Mayfield Lake recently. (Snobs, I know). It's just a baby little motor home that sleeps six people, but honestly, that little bit of extra comfort makes all the difference.

Friday night was big, with the Hawks playing their third pre-game of the season in Green Bay, so we found a random bar to cheer them on. I seriously love dive bars so much. They always have a ton of character, and there's something about the dark, dingy atmosphere that I really dig. The food is always so terrible that it's actually kind of delicious, the beers are cheap, and the company never fails to be entertaining.

I'm so mad that this photo didn't turn out, it would have been so good if it wasn't blurry!
Please, just take a moment to stare into my brother's eyes here. Feel creeped out much?

Of course the Seahawks kicked some Packer butt, and it was a great start to the weekend.

On Saturdays in Port Townsend we always go to the Jefferson County Farmer's Market. It's a fantastic place for breakfast, lunch, people watching, and the procurement of a plethora of genuine hippie-made goods.

This time I was determined to track down the Big Bob Sandwich, because my co-worker claims it's so good that she travels up to PT just for this. It didn't take long to locate, and I forked over $9 for my lunchtime treat: freshly barbecued Wild Alaskan Salmon with pesto, tomato and a fried egg.

Food. Porn.

It was absolutely freakin' amazing!

However, boy did I pay for that rich piece of heaven later. It was like putting diesel into an unleaded tank, my friends. Not good, but it was worth it. Calories in, calories out, right?

I love hanging out at camp and bumming around town, but my most favorite thing about these trips is beach walking. Everyone got involved in a super intense beach glass finding competition, and my back still hurts from stooping over for hours on end. Totally worth it though, as I am determined to someday collect more beach glass than my mother...


 One of our favorite evening haunts is the Pour House (mostly because they have outdoor ping pong tables). Going there with my siblings and cousins is always a blast.
This time, my sister generously offered to buy me a cider, which sounded kind of yummy. However, I had just eaten a huge bag of black licorice candy (I kind of act like a fat kid when I'm on vacay), and I soon found out this was a big mistake when I took a sip of the cider and made this face...
Thanks, sis!!
You've probably noticed that Stewart's handsome face isn't in any of these photos. That's because he was otherwise occupied with the Second Annual Summer Old Man Games out on Sucia Island. Hang tight and I'll tell you about that shortly...
I was bummed that he missed out on our family trip, but realistically we've got so much on our calendar that sometimes the only feasible solution is to split up. It's hard being so popular...
I felt a little bit sad this weekend, knowing that it's our last trip to PT this year... the summer really is winding down. But I'll still have lots of opportunities to see my family, especially considering my aunt Diane's wedding in just a few weeks! So no need to panic.
Hopefully you all had a lovely weekend!
I've missed you, but real life has simply gotten in the way lately. I hope to be back here more frequently in the near future. Hugs!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Book Club: Brave New World

As you might remember, I've been slowly but surely making my way through a list of books that I feel I should have read (because everyone else did) in school. You know the ones: The Catcher in the Rye, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Nineteen Eighty-Four, all that kind of stuff. And most recently it was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
This novel outlines the Utopia/Dystopia of future London (AD 2540). In the "brave new world" there is no room for love or compassion, but residents live a comfortable and easy life that satisfies societal norms. Citizens are grouped before birth into different classes, each of whom are bred with different levels of intelligence and ability. However, the "perfect" world is shaken up when a savage from the undeveloped lands arrives.

Despite being published back in 1932, Brave New World has an extremely engaging plot that is mainly based on character development. I was definitely creeped out by the "normal" things of this future society, like the assembly line production of babies, psychological conditioning, and the daily consumption of a drug called "soma" to combat negative feelings (actually, that part sounded all right!)

There is no parenthood, marriage, war, art, or religion. Promiscuity is the norm, solitude is considered unnatural, and aging is abolished through hormonal treatments that keep people youthful until an abrupt death. Obviously this book was well ahead of its time in the realm of science fiction, which made comparing Huxley's imagined future to our current one that much more interesting.

In Brave New World, society does seem to function quite smoothly, but we are forced to ask... at what cost? It was definitely thought provoking to me, plus it's a pretty quick, short read, so I think I'd recommend it if this subject is something you're interested in.

Are there any books YOU read in school that you think I should add to my list?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Weddings, One Epic Night

Apparently last weekend was pop-u-lar for weddings, because we were invited to two on Saturday evening.
But as luck would have it, they were only about 15 minutes away from each other, starting about an hour and a half apart. Totally do-able.
Because obviously we weren't going to miss out on either one of the parties.
First up was Adam and Sarah's wedding at Adam's lovely family home in Woodinville. The wedding was in their gorgeous backyard garden under a lovely gazebo. Adam was my very best guy friend in college, so I was so happy we could be there for such an important moment in his life.
We had just enough time to throw back some cocktails and watch him put a ring on it before heading out for round two. I didn't get any photos with the happy couple, but these should give you an idea what a gorgeous wedding and reception it was...  

Back at the hotel, we re-joined our friends for some fireball (hey, this was a celebration and the venue was within walking distance) before heading to the main event...
Jessica & Paul getting hitched!
The wedding was at an awesome place called Russell's in Bothell. The ceremony and reception were in an amazing wood loft that was almost like being on the inside of a giant wooden ship. The ceremony was gorgeous, and Jess and Paul looked ridiculously in love. And talk about a beautiful bride... that girl took my breath away! But of course I didn't get any photos with her... epic fail.
The night was pretty typical... appetizers, cocktails, and dancing... but it was with some of our very best friends which made it that much more fantastic.
Let's just say we ate and drank our fair share.

Oh and did I mention they had a photo booth?! Whoever came up with this idea deserves a medal. We literally could not get enough. I don't know if this is a sign of narcissism or drunkenness. Probably both. But in any case it was a blast.

I honestly can't even explain to you how much I love my friends, or how happy it makes me when they find their fairy tale endings.
What an epic weekend.

Was this sign written for me and Stew or what? :-)
Needless to say, Sunday was pretty low key for us, and most of it was spent on the couch with the Seahawks and the cast of Downton Abbey.
How was your weekend?

Friday, August 16, 2013

I am an American Girl

I feel like I owe everyone a big fat apology for my general patheticness as a blogger this month. But does anyone else feel like blogging in the summer is just so much harder? And it's not even because I don't have the time... just a general lack of creativeness and motivation.
I blame too much sun and too many silver bullets for zapping my brain cells.

Stew and I have quite the challenge tomorrow: attending two weddings in one evening... please wish us luck in this extremely difficult (and hopefully super fun) endeavor!
Tonight we will stay in, open a bottle of wine, and practice the chicken dance so that we're fresh for the dance floor tomorrow.
And hey friends, it's #backthatazzup Friday with Whitney, so for your listening pleasure here is my favorite song of the summer:
Now tell me that silly bubblegum pop ridiculousness doesn't just make your day.
(I may have forced everyone on the boat last weekend to listen to it on repeat until their ears were bleeding)
Come on, sing it with me as you head into the weekend...
"I'll just keep movin' my body... I'm always ready to party!"


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Get your towels ready, it's about to go down...

This time I really was on a boat.
And I'm pretty sure I might have been a mermaid in my previous life.

There's not much we like more than sun, friends, beers, boats and wakesurfing.

And our weekend camping trip to Mayfield Lake had them all, plus much much more.
I'll spare you the awkward beer bong photos, but let's just say that thing got some exercise.

Technical difficulties have postponed this blog for a few days, and I'm not feeling very creative or witty at the moment, so I think I'll just leave you with the photos (you get the general idea, right?) and call it a day.
My apologies.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week though, Happy Hump Day!