Sunny & Wintry
I just took this to remind myself later that it can be sunny here in Winter. I took time out today, to stare at the sun. Wonderful. This is what happens in Seattle. The sun comes out in Winter; people stop what they’re doing to marvel.

Tonight, we went to see Slumdog Millionaire in Ballard, after dinner with 9 friends at the Barking Dog Alehouse. Happy 9-year Seattle anniversary to me!

Tonight, Mr. T and I went with friends (sprizee and her Dude, wheelson and his artgirl) to dinner at the Malay Satay Hut in Redmond, before heading to the Skate King in Bellevue for the TBTL Anniversary Party. We rolled for several hours. Before I could grab a picture of this awesome Nacho Dispenser anniversary cake by Julia of Dozen Flours, I noticed plates & plates of it being passed around.
Sean - TBTL
His shirt declares: Serious Inquiries ONLY.
Sprizee took this:

And has more pictures here.

Mr. T and I headed over to West Seattle tonight, for games at Keaver’s. First up: Acquire. I WON. Later, motomotoyama arrived and we all played this other Mobster card game for hours.
Acquire: High Adventure in the World of High Finance

The Baron of January
It’s been a while since The Baron was featured on the daily photo. Here he is, this evening, after I so rudely interrupted his lounge-time.

Tonight, I went to this thing — a packed room of 100 women of varying degrees of techiness (and 1 man) — as I was so conveniently in the hood already. I came home to a Mr. T-created dinner of mock mai tais and nachos. It was reminiscent of a number of poolside lunches at our Hawaiian resort in November. Except without all the sunshine, heat, ocean, pools, tropics or lovely sunsets. Sigh.

Keeping Anxiety Monkey Company
Remember this guy? At Christmastime, the same friend sent this little birdie in her Christmas Card. She’s moved right in and made herself at home.

Today: a happily average Tuesday; the soup bender continues.
Yesterday: I had some of Maggie’s fabulous Thai Spiced Butternut Squash soup.

Soup Swap
I participated in a Soup Swap tonight. I made several trial passes this week, looking for something that would scale well, for 6 quarts. I decided on a rendition of the Hopvine’s Caramelized Shallot, White Bean, and Rum Soup. (With this technique, the alcohol seemed to instantly evaporate.)

Other participants brought: a classic Mushroom Barley from Joy of Cooking, Thai Butternut Squash and Cream of Carrot.

I am planning a total soup bender all week. The hostess, Maggie, also made fabulous cookies and served my favorite cheese: gouda. It was one of those laid-back, enjoyably conversational evenings.

Puppy in Lime
I spent the day in Burien with some friends, but tonight, Mr. T and I headed to C&I’s to meet up with friends. Most of them were playing Rock Band, but at one point there was an EPIC Twister game.

Escape Artists
I walked into the PCC tonight to pick up some goodies for Sunday’s Soup Swap. These two dogs were loosely bound to the railing. When I walked by, they detached themselves and followed me into the store. They started barking and their owner came out running from the middle aisles. I was in store for only a few minutes and could hear them escape again and cause a ruckus in the deli/bakery from several aisles away.

As I was leaving, I saw the owner abandoning her cart, giving up, and walking them away (home?).

Tom Yummm
I’ve been frequently very tired all week. Laying low & napping when not socializing. Wondering if I was coming down with something. But tonight, Mr. T brought up a neighborhood place we were reminded of Sunday night by a friend & his wife — formerly Big Bowl Noodle House, now known as Charm Thai Noodles & Bar. Close enough that I was still game to walk over there.

I ordered the Tom Yum Bowl (rice noodle option – 4 stars) and Mr. T ordered the Wonton Bowl (3 stars). Two notes: A. This place is not kidding around with its heat scale. I can’t tell you the Seattle places that’ve let me down lately in this regard. I may have gone one star too high, thus obstructing true judgment on the overall taste. B. Perfect pricing. We made it out of there with 2 bowls, 2 tea orders, 20% tip — for under $25. Budget-friendlier than any Thai place I know of north of Lake Union. I was very happy overall. Next time, I’ll trust their ratings. We’ll be back — I have a menu to work through.

At the Palace Ballroom
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled.


I started to write something very different about the morning I spent with friends at the Palace Ballroom downtown. I can sum that part up: excellent food, excellent company, followed by walking through downtown and the Pike Place Market. I reread Obama’s speech tonight, to capture a quote here and my thoughts moved in an alternate direction.

Since the election, I’ve studiously avoided naysayers and their negativity that would sap joy and my happiness out of this Inaugural occasion. I wouldn’t pretend I’m without any cynicism as I have years of habits to undo. But it’s remarkable how stark and ugly and, frankly, confining it seems now. I’ve noticed that this shift in avoiding negativity in one aspect of my life was just ever so slight, but it’s becoming enough to change the ground beneath, beyond politics.

The inaugural address in full on NYTimes and CNN.

My Own Nametag!
Today, sprizee and her Dude joined me at NW Harvest’s Cherry Street Kitchen to Make it a Day On in light of the holiday. (Note: You can also find more opportunities here, if interested — Obama’s service site.)

Over the last 9 years*, I have volunteered with many local organizations, looking for the right fit, and Northwest Harvest remains the most rewarding for my time. Today, the Sandwich Brigade shift was from 8-10 and we prepped groceries and lunch bags for another 1-2 hours.

Feel free to donate money, food, or your time; it won’t go to waste. They feed thousands throughout Washington state at many food banks. For their clients, Northwest Harvest doesn’t require IDs or paperwork. They turn no one away.

*Nine years ago MLK Weekend, I visited Seattle for a job interview. On MLK afternoon, I got an offer and moved the next week. Nine years!

Ahoy, Alki
Today, a friend hosted a brunch (No BOYZ ALOWD!) that lasted into early evening. I think most of us were in no rush to leave the company or the view — she’s lived on West Seattle’s Alki Beach for the last year or so. The sunset was magnificent. Seattle had a rare, beautiful, clear Winter day.

I caught this pirate on my way back to my car as I was rushing to South Lake Union to catch up with visiting San Franciscans and friends.

The Gladwell
Well before Christmas, I heard Gladwell would be coming to town. During my marathon training, my favorite books were his Blink and The Tipping Point. He’s on tour right now promoting Outliers.

Tonight, Mr. T and I went to see him at Seattle Town Hall. Afterward, we went with another friend to Sazerac downtown for discussion and good food.

This Obscures Nicely
Tonight was the annual holiday gathering for the people I spend time with all day. There was a talented 80s cover band and many, many, many danced for hours in the Sky Church at the EMP. As you might guess, they’re just beyond this conveniently-obscuring centerpiece.

Johnson Hall, UW
Once upon a time, I was very involved with this one women’s tech group here in Seattle. Some of us met for monthly lunches on the Eastside. The woman who organized our lunches is now a Senior Lecturer at UW in Digital Media.

I learned last week she’d be speaking at UW on The Digital President as part of a presentation on social media and the election, so I made a point to attend tonight. She was even better than the last time I saw her speaking professionally about UI, seven years ago. A snippet of the topic: “Facebook. Twitter. Text messaging. The President-elect used all of these digital tools to devastating effect in the 2008 election. How did he do it? What strategic lessons can we learn from Barack Obama’s high-tech campaign? How might he deploy this online army of millions to govern?”

The auditorium was packed! Someday, I’ll have to take one of Kathy Gill’s classes.

Memories of Montalban
Trivia again! Tonight’s bonus round was Lost, and one member’s an expert, so this was gonna be the night we won back our first place crown.

Didn’t happen, but we got second. They have a weird weighting system for answers — I may have to explain someday — and if we’d estimated that portion better, I’m sure we would have won.

Would you like to hold the baby?
I didn’t take any pictures today — I supposed I could’ve gone for something to represent my semi-annual dentist visit. Nah.

Instead, I added a few more pictures tonight from our trip to Louisiana. I added entries for December 26, the day we actually visited Alligator Bayou, and December 25, the day before. While I’m on that set, I’ll use one for today’s date of a lady holding a baby gator in southern Louisiana. This one’s more interesting than copies of x-rays!

Must get back in the routine.

Also, no real pictures today. Tonight was relaxing over yesterday’s events.

Here, I give you one of the sunset over Bayou Manchac from the most recent Boxing Day.

Turtles on the Bayou
I nearly posted a picture of the car accident I was involved in today, but thought it might not be the most prudent idea. (Was not my fault; other driver was cited with an infraction.)

Tonight, we had bookclub and discussed Blink by Malcolm Gladwell at sprizee‘s house. Discussion was marvelous and we packed the house with 15.

This is a picture from the recent archives — turtles hangin on Bayou Manchac.

Tonight, Mr. T and I stopped for dinner at the new Vios location in Ravenna at Third Place Books. I loved the feta/roasted red pepper dip. We met up with C&I in Ballard to see Frost Nixon. Two thumbs up!
Vios Ravenna

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