Archive for July, 2005


Untitled – July 30, 2005

July 30, 2005

Today in the mail, I received a wedding invitation from my good friend Brian. I have known Brian since the fourth grade, when he moved to Richland from California. I remember one time during P.E. I accidentally took his jacket – we had the same one. Brian and I would then go on to the same middle school and high school together. Some say hours and hours of Goldeneye forged our friendship, but I would like to think we would have become friends anyway.

Through the years, we remained friends. We would double date on homecomings and proms and we spent countless hours driving in his green truck and my 1978 Ford Thunderbird. We saw a million movies together and ate excessive amounts of food and soda. During college, Brian went on his mission to Italy and he was gone for two years. However, he had the ability to email once a week for an hour and he would always send one – which is ironic because he had greater email communication when he was a world away, instead of a state away. Being back from his mission and especially being back from Italy, he was quite a catch – now he is getting married to a girl named Traci. See photo below.

Photo of Brian and Traci. The photo was taken on June 25, 2005, somewhere in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Brian Brown.

Photo of Brian and Traci. The photo was taken on June 25, 2005, somewhere in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Brian Brown.

I leave for Salt Lake City on August 17 and the wedding is on the twentieth. This wedding experience makes me wonder where time has gone. It seems like yesterday I was in elementary school wearing the wrong jacket or at a basketball game, playing in the band. Life moves so quickly and we forget how far we have come. Congratulations to Brian and Traci.


Untitled – July 28, 2005

July 28, 2005

The officers of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) had a happy hour at McCormick and Schmick’s in downtown. McCormick and Schmick’s is a great seafood place and has the best two dollar happy hour any where in Seattle. On Tuesdays they have a wonderful promotional activity – if you order the beer of the day, you enter in a raffle where you can win t-shirts or Mariners tickets to that nights game. We had been drinking for a while, ordering appetizers, and then it became time for the raffle.

Photo of McCormick and Schmick's in downtown. Photo courtesy of McCormick and Schmick's.

Photo of McCormick and Schmick's in downtown. Photo courtesy of McCormick and Schmick's.

The announcer called out saying the first drawing would be for a woman’s t-shirt. He shouted out, 8 – 1 – 3. Being slightly buzzed, from the beer, I did not realize at first that I had won. The waitress came over with three different t-shirts and said that I could exchange mine for a men’s shirt. The she asked if I wanted the Mariner’s tickets. I quickly said yes.

It was a beautiful Seattle night. The temperature was around 75 degrees and there was not a cloud in sight. Seattle went on to lose the game that night but I could not help but thinking about my lucky good fortune.


Untitled – July 26, 2005

July 26, 2005

Yesterday I left my apartment at 7:15 a.m. to head to the SeaTac Hilton to attend the first meeting of the Washington Learns Steering Committee. Governor Gregoire chairs the committee, which has an 18-month mission to review current education structures in the state of Washington and recommend new strategies afterward. This meeting is the first of many legislative meetings I will be attending with my new duties at the University of Washington.

Traffic was surprising light for a Monday morning and I arrived promptly at 8:00. I found a place to park in the parking garage and noticed all-day parking was going to be around $18. I found the stairs to the meeting, grabbed a cup of coffee, and went inside to hear some of the smartest people in Washington try to find answers to reform education.

About two hours into the meeting, I reached down to check to see if I had my wallet. In an average day, I may perform this check a 10 times, and every time I check, my wallet is safely nestled in my back pocket. I reached back to check and the only thing I felt was the smooth wool fabric of my striped suit pants. I had forgotten my wallet at home.

Normally, this would not be a problem. I have forgotten my wallet a couple of times during the school year – and the worse thing that happened, was I could not get a cup of coffee before class. Now, I had no credit cards, id, bankcard, money or anything. Moreover, I had to pay $18 just to get my car out of the garage. Furthermore, I am in SeaTac. SeaTac is barely a city and there were no cash lending places within a 10-mile walk. I called a couple of friends and floated the idea of them driving to SeaTac to drop off money so I could pay for parking. They were not thrilled, but they were willing, but they most of them could come until after five.

After thinking frantically for about 30 minutes, I remembered my friend and predecessor in my job, Carl, was coming to this meeting. I called him and asked if he would spot me some cash for parking, he said he would. I was saved. While Carl served in my position last year, he had a knack of locking himself out of his car, so much so, that he used up his AAA yearly allotment of lockouts. I hope that me forgetting my wallet does not become my version of Carl locking himself out. Maybe it is the curse of the job.


Untitled – July 24, 2005

July 24, 2005

I had one of the best dining experiences on Friday night. Paul, Kelli, Paul’s old friends from Harvard, Edie and Michael and I all attended the Sufjan Stevens concert at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle. I had heard of Sufjan’s music a couple of times, especially from his Michigan album. An interesting fact about him is that he wants to name an album from every state in the union; and on Friday, he mainly played from his Illinois album.

The Triple Door is a place where you go for the entire dinner/concert experience. It is a swanky place located in the bottom of the best Thai place in Seattle, Wild Ginger – and by no accident, they use a Wild Ginger inspired menu at the Triple Door. We arrived at the Triple Door around 5:30, waited in line to get our tickets and then headed to the bar for a couple of drinks and appetizers – we had time to kill because they don’t start seating until 6:30.

After being seated, we sat at the dimly lit table overlooking the main stage waiting for the show to start – but the magic of the evening is the food and drinks. Here is what I had:

Vodka Tonic
Once in a Blue Moon (Rum, Vodka, Pineapple Juice, and Blue Curacao)

Shared Appetizers:
Salt and Pepper Squid
Chicken Potstickers

Main Course:
Mongolian Lamb Chops, marinated in Hennessy XO cognac and Sichuan peppercorns

Molten Chocolate Lava cake lightly infused with Wasabi and ginger

The music is always great and the food is always better. The shows are pretty chill and the staff at the Triple Door make the evening wonderful. If you ever have a chance and a few dollars to spend, go to the Triple Door.


Untitled – July 22, 2005

July 22, 2005

Last night I attended the Evans School Summer Downtown Happy Hour. I took the bus that was supposed to take me there around 5:20… I didn’t want to be there first and be in charge of saving spots/tables – not my favorite activity in life but every bus I took was early and instead of wandering around lost (like I always do), I found the place without much trouble – So I got there right at 5:00, when it started.

I peered through the decorative windows of the small Caribbean bar and I see Jason – the most socially awkward person I have ever met. Jason is signed up to go to the Peace Corps, and by doing that program, he would be gone for three years. Some people at the Evans School are counting down the days until he is gone. Jason has a host of medical problems wrong with him, but the most disturbing one he has shared is his irritable bowel syndrome. Every gathering I have attended, where Jason has been there, his IBS has come up. There are some topics in life, you never share with others – IBS is one of them.

When I saw Jason sitting there, I thought about keeping on walking – acting as if I did not see the place. I had heard the previous gathering had a small crew, and the last thing I wanted to do at “happy” hour was to listen to the IBS story again – but I decided to stomach it (no pun intended) and I walked in. Jason was talking to Margaret, a girl that won a beauty competition in Oklahoma; I greeted them both and ordered a Red Stripe. After a couple minutes of strained conversation between us, I began praying to the Lord above that someone else walk in and end my misery.

And just like that, Odette walked in with her 2-carat diamond ring from her venture capitalist husband. Odette’s diamond so large that it could help guide ships into the pier on foggy nights. More people began to trickle in, and before I knew it, the place was hopping. I was sitting a couple of tables away from Jason, and I could hear Odette scolding Jason for telling his IBS story again. I could only shake my head and order another beer.


Untitled – July 21, 2005

July 21, 2005

My friend Katie (nicknamed Kate Beckinsale) is the treasurer of the Evans School Student Association. Part of this “distinguished” honor is paying the water bill for the cooler we have in our student lounge. During the summer, we had two things happen: an administration shift – placing Katie in power, and all the students left for the summer. With those two things happening, no one paid the water bill. During a gathering the other night, Katie asked if I would be on campus and if I could pay the bill – I agreed. Armed with a blank check and a stamp I started my quest.

First, I decided I would call the company and see if I could just send them a check. I called Mountain Mist Bottling Company. They needed one of three pieces of information – A name that the account was in, the exact billing address, or the serial number from the unit. I gave them any name I could possibly think the account would be in, and every version of the billing address – no luck. My next step was to talk to Anna, the secretary at the Evans School. Anna had no idea where the water bill was. She told me to talk to Linda Lake – the second most terrifying person at the Evans School. I went up to the second floor to talk to her. Linda in a surprisingly good mood, told me to talk to Maria Tebbs on the third floor.

I arrived at the third floor, extremely winded, to find the elusive Maria. I get to her office and ask for her, and the secretary there says she is on jury duty for three days to a week and that I should just email her. My great water cooler bill quest had ended without much resolution. Deflated and depressed, I begin to walk down the stairs to the first floor. I was about to leave, when I had a thought to myself, “I wonder if the water cooler is still there?” There was a good chance if no one had paid the bill, it might have been taken away. I enter the code to the lounge and walk in. I look over at the cooler and see the name of Crystal Springs, not Mountain Mist Bottling Company. I could not help but to laugh aloud.


Untitled – July 16, 2005

July 16, 2005

I was in the Tri-Cities this morning visiting my good friend Justin. And we went to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and breakfast. It was about 7:45 in the morning because I wanted to get a early start before heading back to Seattle. We had been sitting outside, enjoying the cool morning before the afternoon heat settled in – and out of nowhere, a girl who haunted my past walked by me to get into her car.

I met Jorgie in the fifth grade when she transferred to my elementary school. I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen – and I did everything in fifth-grade toolkit to get her to like me. I chased her around the playground, I would try throwing rocks in her general direction, I would talk to her friends, but she was always a step out of reach. Through the years, she became a myth, a story I would tell my friends, a person you seek but never find – this had made her a legend.

Jorgie always wanted to become an actor. During the summer after fifth-grade, she auditioned to become an extra in the movie “Sleepless and Seattle” and she got it. The local paper wrote about her and she had her fifteen minutes. After elementary school, we went to different high schools and then different colleges, and I never saw much more of her.

A photo of Erin (left) and Jorgie (right). Photo courtesy of Screen Actors Guild.

A photo of Erin (left) and Jorgie (right). Photo courtesy of Screen Actors Guild.

However, right before my high school graduation, our elementary school organized a reunion. I talked to her at the reunion – for the briefest of moments. She was going to attend Loyola Marymount to study acting. Her fifth-grade dream becoming an actor still held true. One curious day a few months ago, I googled her. Loyola Marymount listed her as graduating their film and television program.

I looked up from my mocha and coffee cake to see her walking away. It had been five years since I saw her last, but I knew it was Jorgie. I called out her name and she did not turn around. I called it out again even louder and she turned back at me and looked. I wanted to wave or run over there and strike up a conversation – but I didn’t. Instead of making any acknowledgment, I watched as she turned back around and left in her early 90’s Volvo and drove away. Even after all my successes in life, I still feel like that fifth-grader throwing rocks at her, trying to get her attention.