Archive for February, 2007

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I Didn’t Have a Steak Knife

February 25, 2007

During a fundraising trip to Spokane last week, I scheduled to see some old friends for business and pleasure. I met Stephanie while in college and she now works for a credit union. And as a benefit, she is dating someone who works for Smith Barney. I suggested that we meet for dinner, catch up and I would pitch them about Business Week – they agreed.

I picked this greek restaurant I always wanted to try but never went to in the four years I lived in Spokane. And it was fantastic. It was great food and great wine. The conversation was good and it was great seeing Stephanie again. Stephanie lived in the same dorm as me and we became friends through a mutual friend I knew in high school. We played on the same intramural basketball team. Through college, Stephanie became good friends with Justin and I and we hung out a lot. But after graduation, Justin and I moved away and Stephanie stayed in Spokane.

Stephanie picked the beef kabobs and when dinner arrived, she asked me if I wanted one of her beef nuggets for a piece of my chicken. A very fair trade. Anyway, the nugget of beef she gave me was bigger than bite sized and I didn’t have a steak knife. So I stupidly put the entire thing in my mouth – no problem right. I can power through most food items with out any hassle.

Well there was a major problem. The problem was that over half of this oversized bite of beef was gristle and I didn’t realize it until it was too late. So here I am chewing this nugget of beef and nothing is happening. I keep on chewing and chewing and chewing and I am thinking to myself what the hell I am going to do. It was too big of a bite to spit it out into my cloth napkin and what if they see me spit it out. And I am trying to impress them so that they will give me money. Also, with this huge hunk of beef in my mouth, Shannon my co-worker, if forced to carry the conversation. I come to the conclusion that I will have to swallow the entire beef nugget and pray that I don’t choke to death. So I swallowed the partially masticated beef gristle and hoped for the best and it worked. Nobody noticed my situation and the evening marched on without incident.

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New Tully’s Girl?

February 14, 2007

The fun of moving to a new place is exploring the new neighborhood. Finding new restaurants, stores and most importantly, coffee shops. The closest coffee shop to my apartment is called Insomniax and despite its misleading name, it is only open until 6:30 p.m. I walked into Insomniax for the first time today – Valentine’s Day. The girl behind the counter wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I told her that it was pretty funny seeing all the people carrying flowers around. She then asked me my Valentine’s Day Plans.

Last week I went on a date. It went well. Two days later, I ask her if she had plans for the following week. I asked her if she wanted to go out to dinner on Wednesday. She said yes. It took me four days until I realized that Wednesday was Valentine’s Day but by the time I realized it, it was too late to cancel. A second date on Valentine’s Day – there could be worse things but Valentine’s Day in Seattle is brutal. All the local restaurants have special menus and they want reservations. It would have been a little awkward having a second date on the most romantic day of the year. But luckily for me, her co-worker got the flu. And she had to cover her shift on Valentine’s Day night. We are scheduled for this Monday now.

Anyway, I told the barista at Insomniax my Valentine’s Day predicament and she thought it was funny. After getting my coffee, she reached out her hand to me and said, “Hi my name is Anna what’s yours?” That was the best way to start in a new neighborhood. Anyway, today I had some meetings in Seattle and I took a couple Valentine’s Day photos with my cell phone camera.

I saw this man walking out of a flower shop in downtown Seattle. I thought it was a good image for the day. Photo taken on February 14, 2007.

I saw this man walking out of a flower shop in downtown Seattle. I thought it was a good image for the day. Photo taken on February 14, 2007.

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Ruffled Feathers, Stonington Beige, Yucatan, and Casual Blue

February 6, 2007

Those are the colors Kelli and I picked for my new apartment. Kelli subscribes to a lot of design magazines and she showed me some samples. After a trip to the Home Depot to match up some colors and to buy some supplies, we were ready to paint. I took Friday off to get it all started.

My new apartment was light pink everywhere. So a new paint job was in order. My new manager is pretty laisser-faire. And my new apartment had not been painted in years. Some fresh paint was needed. I painted the living room Stonington Beige, my bedroom and entryway Casual Blue, and the den Ruffled Feathers with a Yucatan accent wall. It looks great. It is truly night and day in my place. I cannot wait to move in.

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Sarah from Seattle

February 2, 2007

I have been meaning to write this entry for a while, but I have been procrastinating. But since I woke up this morning with a little insomnia, I thought I would take this time and write about a girl I met in November.

It was during the conference when I met this girl named Sarah. She was quite pretty and smart and I found her striking in a group of random graduate students. As I worked the room during the happy hour, I ended up talking to her and her friend Amber until the event ended. They told me that they were going to Karaoke and they wanted me to go.

An hour later, I found myself walking down the Ave to the Karaoke bar. At the bar, I talked to Sarah and Amber and laughed at the bad singers – this would be the first event of many in which we spent time together.

Over the next couple of days, we chatted about everything. She said she is a self-admitted “square,” a little bit of an introvert and is currently studying classics. And in a random conversation with another person, which I overheard, she uttered the most deflating words a single guy can ever hear, “my boyfriend.” I had suspected as much. How can a girl this pretty and smart be single – especially in graduate school? I knew that I must not have been the first person to have a crush on her.

By the time I realized she had a boyfriend, I was already vested in our three-day friendship. National conferences are strange like that. You meet people that have the same interests, backgrounds and face the same problems. But most often, you will never see each other again. It’s like having a great conversation with someone on a plane. By chance you end up sitting next to them and you hit it off, but you realize you live in different regions of the country.

But with Sarah, it was a little different, she grew up in Seattle and her parents still live here.

The last night of the conference, I told her that we would have to hangout when she was in town for Christmas break and she agreed. And between the conference and Christmas, we emailed a couple of times and chatted online. She told me when she was going to be home and said that she would call me.

After Christmas and before New Years, I get a random phone call at 11:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Half of asleep, I race over to my phone and in the darkness of my apartment I struggle to find it. I look at my phone and I see “1 Missed Call,” and I wait for the message to be left. I listen and I get the following message, “[Loud music and voices in the background] Hi Nick, it’s Sarah! Amber and I, with some of our other friends are here at a bar in Capitol Hill, I don’t know what you are doing right now, but you should come out.” I considered this for a moment, but then realized that I had work the next day.

The next day I call Sarah’s phone and I leave a message. I also sent her a quick text message too. A couple of days go by and I hear nothing from her. I call her phone again – nothing. Weeks pass and by this time, I know she is back at school over on the East Coast. And since that phone call, I have never received any communication from her again.

I halfway expected to never hear from Sarah again after the conference. That’s how conferences are. That would make sense. What does she owe some random guy she met two months ago? But it was Sarah that called me. She extended the communication branch. Often I try to figure out people’s motives. And I cannot figure out why she would call, if she didn’t really want to see me. Maybe it is the classic case of a drinking and dialing. Maybe life happened to her on her winter break. Maybe she simply forgot. Oh well. Soon Sarah from Seattle will fade from memory but until then, I will always wonder what happened and always wonder why she called me in that random night in December.