Detox From All The Junk Media In My Life

Twenty-Fourteen was a year that was exhausting on many levels. I still cannot believe I made it through December with some energy to spare! It was not all excitement of all that happened in the year both good and bad, but mostly the fact by the end of the year I just need a break from all the hectic rush of modern life. Renew my spirit, my health and renew my mind after a taxing end to the year. By the end of the year I realized I needed to take a break from all the junk food content on Facebook, and the self loathing of Pinterest. A digital detox, and to start off my New Years goals the right way.

Why the detox? There has been a lot of bloggers out there talking about how Pinterest has made them feel like they are keeping up with “Pinterest Jones” of the world to be successful. To be honest I can see this in myself as well. I have gone almost too far when it comes to keeping up with all the trends floating around on Pinterest and a few times almost pin things I normally would not pin just for the sake of looking like I’m with the trends. The point when I started to see a problem was when I started “pin stalking” a Pinterest member’s board without following her for all her ideas and after a while it started to make me feel very inadequate just seeing her pins. An addiction was starting to form and a low point for someone like myself was beginning to take hold in the form of competing. Facebook just started becoming a mess of things when most of the posts on my news feed are advertisements from things friends liked, Buzzfeed stories, and other junk I really didn’t want to see at all cluttering up valuable space. Also the dreaded Facebook envy started to creep slowly into my life. The point when you look at all the statuses saying engagement, just married, we are pregnant, we just bought a house (something that is happening a lot here in Seattle lately) and realize how far behind you are in life. There has been tons of articles talking about this very thing and how most things posted are only 25% of the whole story. Still it made for a self-loathing all the same.

So why all this self-loathing and junk infiltrating my life? Because for some reason I got off course along the way in 2014, and didn’t realized until I was up to my shoulders in the month of December with all this “junk.” One day back in December I came across a blog post about a mother who enacted a Christmas Manifesto that had me stop and think.

I’m going to stop worrying if my tree/cards/kids look like anyone else’s in the world, and just let them be what they are: beautiful…….

……..When my mind starts drifting away from everything in front of me to what we haven’t got, I’m going to reel it back in. Because I am rich, rich, rich beyond my wildest dreams. Because there is so much sadness in the world. So much heartbreak. But there is so much good, too. So much joy. And I hold it in my hands, in my heart. When my children hug me, when they sing the wrong lyrics to Joy to the World in the backseat of the car. When my husband rests his hand on my hip as we fall asleep.

And I am rich, rich, rich – no matter what lies I have been told about subway tiles and Eames chairs and Winter’s Latest Trends.

Just stop. Step away from the internet (but not quite yet). First, raise your glass with me:

Here’s to a Christmas of peace and joy and rest. Here’s to a Christmas of really celebrating, maybe for the first time since we were small and oblivious to all the reasons not to; maybe for the first time ever.

~Great Smitten (My Christmas Manifesto)

I am truly blessed and rich in many ways! Truth is I’m not really that far behind in life in my late twenties. I’m in a relationship with a wonderful guy, I have an apartment all to myself, I have a career, I don’t have any student debt, financially stable, starting to work towards my goal of buying a house and I have traveled to places around the world. As for getting married, buying a house, and having kids, in time all those things will come to fruit and then off on another path to achieving the next round of goals I set.

For this January I will take a break from social media except my blog. I will still blog because there is nothing self-loathing or junk about a blog. I will use the ever so popular app Evernote and download all the recipes I want to try to my Kindle for the month. Start on the stack of books I been meaning to read,  start on the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge, go on a date with myself a few day this month, and just breath. No logging on to Pinterest, and Facebook for the whole month, just this blog is all I need.

Will it be hard? Yep. Is this a New Years goal? I believe it is.

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New Sports Fan Is Born In 2014

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I use to be one of those people like the guy above. Regarding every sport with a form of being clueless. This year however, I had to learn fast because Michael is an immense sports fan. Ask him about any sports (except the absurd ones like Shinty) and he will tell you all about it. I have been a fan of the Seattle Sounders, and have been to a few games before Michael came on the scene. Yet this year, the world of professional sports was thrown open wide for me to experience.

Seahawks Superbowl Championship

In February the Seattle Seahawks won the Superbowl Championship against the Denver Broncos. Our city’s first Superbowl victory and our second time as a team playing. The nail-biting, the Skittles flying, and the celebration after made for one crazy Sunday night and one epic ending to the 2013-2014 Seahawks season. My work’s tailgating party brought us all together for on huge party like we have never had in a very long time. I got a “12 Man Manicure” for the games, and I even bought me two Seahawks t-shirts to wear on Blue Friday. You can say I’m not a hard-core fan as my boyfriend is, and I will admit I probably the “bandwagon” fan more than pretending to be a super fan all along. Either way I had a chance to celebrate like everyone in Seattle did and I am very proud of the Seahawks for bring home the trophy and uniting the city again.

First Mariner’s Game:

I haven’t experienced a professional baseball game before until this past summer. I have drove past Safeco Field, and even grumble about the cost of it until Michael took me to a game. Now I can check this off my bucket list of things to see in Seattle. This would not come as a huge surprise for most, but this game, they didn’t even win. Bummer since it would have been nice for them to win on my first game experience. I will say this, I’m not a huge baseball fan like my boyfriend, and am still learning all the rules, lingo and yes, even how to play it properly. Would I go again? Maybe. I think I would like to have better seats next time so I could see what is really happening on the field since they were so far way from where our seats were located.

Seattle Sounders:

I’m a fan, but this is the first time in a very long time I have been to multiple matches. This year I went to two Sounders matches with Michael, one for our birthdays, and one unexpected tickets from a friend. Both times Michael made it worth it with all his knowledge about what happening on the field at any given moment and how entertaining he was to watch throughout the game when cheering (same dance as when the Seahawks score or win on TV).

Did Someone say Olympics?

I watched maybe two other sporting events besides the ice skating event (who doesn’t watch that event?).  All I have to say is how interesting some of the events get. For the first time I was rooting for team USA to win not only in figure skating, but some of the other events not normal for the USA to win. Did we get a lot of medals? Yes. Did USA come out at least in the top five countries? Yes. Olympics this year were boring in comparison, but what made it worth watching, was seeing the USA take a top spot overall.

Watching Two Sounders Play In The World Cup:

A proud moment to watch two of the best Seattle Sounders players play at the World Cup in Brazil. The company I work for had one big tailgating party for the opening game, and throughout the whole event, had people rooting for different teams. The best part, seeing Team USA make it through the Group of Death to the second round of play off. Even after being beaten out, it was fantastic to see the world take notice of how far USA soccer team has come since the last time played. Plus seeing two of our best players from Seattle play against some of the best players from around the world was a proud moment.

Now I can say I’m nothing like the guy in the above picture. I can regard every sport with out clueless and be able to know what is going on without boring me to tears. Maybe in the 2015 there will be more time to go to games and cheer on Seattle sports teams.

Advent Merriment, And The White Elephant

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Photo Credit: Barbie Hull Photography http://christopherflowers.biz/tag/museum-of-history-and-industry/

One stormy night in early December Michael and I made our way down to South Lake Union to Museum of History and Industry for my company’s holiday party. The night started out with a storm that knocked out power in some area neighborhoods of Seattle and north. Getting there was a little bit of a challenge since we could not take I5 since it was all backed up. So down Aurora (SR99) we went, and it was smooth sailing from there.

The party was swinging by the time Michael and I walked through the door. There was signature drinks to be tasted and heavy hor d’oeurve to be sampled. I really like the lamb burger slider and the yummy lettuce wraps they had. I didn’t taste the signature drinks but I heard they were great. The three were Icicle Blue, Fireside and Holiday’rita. Around this time I realized how much of an introvert I really am. Large crowds of people bring this out not only in me, but in Michael as well. Having another introvert as a date becomes tricky since we both stand there like an island in the middle of the room unsure of ourselves.

After all the toasts were made, Michael and I made our way through the museum galleries to check out the history the building held. In the Klondike Exhibit Michael and I decided to see what our prospects were during the gold rush. Our results where night and day. Michael ended up with a person who mined $2,000 worth of gold, looses all of it in a night of gambling and then was jailed for jumping the man who won his gold. Not much of a luck strike! For me I got John Nordstrom and I went on to building a fortune off of the miners coming through and opening a shoes store that one day have a mark of fashion in the Pacific Northwest.

One gallery Michael really liked was the sports memorabilia on display. On display is the Seattle Super Sonics Basketball team’s NBA Champion trophy from 1979, along with the second base from the last Mariners game played in the Kingdome. The base on display has all the signatures from all the players on the team who played in the last game.  But it was the display with the Mariner game score book belong to Dave Niehaus that was the highlight of the evening. Niehaus would keep sore of every game the Mariners played in a spiral bound book while he was the announcer. Just seeing this made the night for the both of us.

Around 10:30pm we made our way to the door to go home and get ready for work the next day. As a small party favor, my company game each person a portable cellphone charger. The next day people who could not make it to the party the night before wanted one and the extra ones were gone by the end of the day.

A week later the research group I am a part of went out for our Holiday Group Lunch at Purple Cafe in downtown Seattle. All sixteen of us had a privet room reserved for our little late lunch around a long oak table surrounded by wine bottle from every wine region around the world.

We started off with three appetizers, the Baked Brie, Bruschetta, and Spicy Prawns with Shoestring frites. The Baked Brie and the Bruschetta where fabulous and there was more than enough of it for all sixteen of us. the Spicy Prawns had a kick of spiciness that after two I really couldn’t take the heat. Plus prawns have never been a favorite seafood of mine, so I rarely eat them. I will admit the prawns were meaty, and not those skimpy ones you sometimes find in the grocery store.

For an entrée I had the famous Classic Steak and Frites. Nine of us in the group all had this same dish and after thinking about it, I could have gotten away with having the Lamb Burger instead. Oh well. The steak was cooked medium-done, and the fries were nothing like a big fat greasy steak fries you get at some restaurants. To wash it down, a tall glass of squeezed lemonade.

For dessert, a Chocolate Truffle! I’m all for anything chocolate, and I don’t share my chocolate truffle with anyone. One of my co-works like to joke about bread pudding and why I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of the texture is all. On the menu under cheese section there was a cheese called Humboldt Fog. Either it was a wine or lemonade talking but I thought it said Humboldt “Frog” instead of Fog. I bet you get the picture why I needed a double take on that.

After waddling-yes I did waddle a bit out around 3.45pm to catch the bus back home, I felt like I had a food baby and in a food coma at the same time. The bus ride home was very uncomfortable and for the rest of the night I didn’t even what to look at food since I was still digesting all the goodness of lunch.

Advent started off with a breakfast high on the sugar scale mix with some caffeine Some church mornings need a little more boost then others. Our church decide instead of a Christmas Nativity play this year, why not have all of us come together as one big congregation (we have two Sunday services) and celebrate the coming of Jesus’s birth.  The service and the party was one of the best the church as put on in recent, and I will say even better than last year’s Advent party.

The White Elephant part of the story happened on the same night as the Advent party. Started out with me picking up a fruit plate since the deli forgot to make my pin wheel sandwiches! Oh well, fruit is better for you. The “white elephant” for those who do not know is where you bring a gift that you already have (ex: box of cereal) and exchange it for another gift someone else brought. There are many variations to how it is played, but the version played was anyone can steal your gift from you at anytime. The gift I brought was a commercial pot holder that has been hanging around the apartment since I have a whole bunch already. The gift I ended up with was a Starbucks thermos that no one took from me! I’m happy.

After all, this is only the beginning of what merriment waits come by the end of this month and year! By the time I’m done, I will be needing to go on a detox diet for a while in January.

Happy Holidays everyone!

It’s All About That Feast Boss!

 Tonight starts the turkey gorging. Round one of four Thanksgivings starts right now. By the end of Thursday night I will be waddling like a turkey! Bring on the food!

feeling hungry (Facebook 11/23/14)
I’m stuffed! I cannot look at another turkey for a long time, and thanks to me having multiple eating feasts, I’m starting the holiday season off with a bang – oh I mean a full stomach. Four Thanksgivings all in a space of few days can make a girl think she does need those New Years resolutions at the beginning of next year. So feast your eyes on the text and pictures while I sit over here and digest all this food. 
Where It All Started!

Started out with a Thanksgiving theme Young Adults group potluck at a member’s house on the Sunday night before Thanksgiving. Each of us brought something for the potluck, and me being not so much into Thanksgiving,  brought the rolls. They were not even good ones (feel guilty). The turkey on the other hand was called the “miracle turkey” because the turkey was forgotten to  defrost overnight by a member. Prayers went up in church for the turkey to be thawed out and ready by 6:30pm that night. As you can tell, the turkey did thaw out and was cooked to perfection by 6:30pm.  After dinner there were games to be played to help digest for the dessert, pumpkin pie cake.

Tuesday was non Thanksgiving theme Thanksgiving. Is that a thing now? At work we all walked down to the “jungle” (what is known as the area where Amazon located, across Mercer street “the Amazon River.”) to get to Cactus a southwestern, Tex-Mex restaurant. I had one of their specials called the Brazed Tostada and it was good, but I recommend having a side salad since there is only three small tostada. Thank goodness the lunch was not overly filling since I had to walk a block to get back on the street car back to work.

12th Man Turkey Day!
Yep Feast Mode! Photo Credit Michael Carlin via Facebook

 Michael’s text to me about the turkey he was getting for our Thanksgiving feast:

Michael: “I have a 25.6 lbs. bird for delivery this afternoon/evening.

Me: OMGOODNESS!!!!! Did I read that right? That is one bada$$ bird!

Apparently I have never seen a 25.6 lbs turkey in my life and to me this is one turkey on steroids. Just getting into the fridge was an adventure in its self, with it being a big as our Maine Coon cat (Maddie is 10 pounds lighter than the bird!). This bird could feed the whole Seattle Seahawks team at the size it was! Somehow Mom and I had the turkey ready by 1pm without any problems. By the end of the lunch, the turkey still looked like we didn’t make a dent in it and will probably be eating turkey for the next three weeks!

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Card game Pit.
After dinner we all gathered around the table to play a few games of Pit. Michael for a newbie played pretty well and won three game compared to my two wins. The game originally gets competitive among family was not competitive when Michael was playing. Thank goodness.

Around 5pm Michael and I headed over for our second turkey dinner with his side of the family (my fourth Thanksgiving). The beginning of the get together started out with the TV turned to the Seahawks vs. 49ers game. Everyone in the whole family was watching it or listening to it as the preparations for the dinner were being made. Half way through the dinner we all got the news that the Seahawks had one the game and put a whole new level of excitement to the festivities.  After dinner we all just hung out digesting enough to have pies for dessert.

So what happened after fourth Thanksgiving?…..

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Passed out from all the L-Tryptophan surging through our bodies from the turkey. Now on to figuring out how to make the turkey leftovers taste better.

I hoped everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’m thankful for all who have been reading this blog over the past year or more.

 

Blue Lab Coat Stories: Two Kegs + Halloween = Work Halloween Party

It all started off with a visit from the Seattle Fire department. The Monday before Halloween the social committee at work decided to tryout the fog machine for the company Halloween party with the dry ice method to keep the fog low to the ground. This test resulted in a massive thick smoke like fog , and the building fire alarms going off. The fire Marshall was not happy about this and resulted in a fine with another surprise fire inspection (not so much as surprise thanks to Zymogentics across the street telling us they were showing up for their inspection). The flog machine was scraped, and so on to decorating the space without it.

The space took us all of the week to complete and only three hours to tear down at the end. Our bio engineered spider somehow escaped from the lab and took up residents in the elevator for majority of the week. He scared quite a few unexpected people in the lift.

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There were lots of black lights all around and a whole black wall devoted to all those who a departed from the company as a joke and as a company political statement. The point is to have fun no matter what!

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When there is two kegs of beer, large amounts of Jello shots, and people dressed up in costumes, there bound to be crazy things happening. When there scientists involved, the party become unexpectedly wild.  A brewer ( a former colleague)  at the Tacoma Brew Co. hooked us up with two kegs of beer for the party. One a IPA for casual drinking, and the other Lager for beer pong. Now you can see where I’m going with this right? One of my coworkers started “testing” out the beer pong tables at noon. By the time the costume contest rolled around he was buzzed! The beer pong for the last couple of work events has been a huge hit, and so we decided to up the stakes for Halloween. The room was tricked out with black lights and cups the glow in the dark to make it look underground. After a two rounds of jello shots from a food syringe, I somehow managed to get myself on the bus for home. I must have not been too buzzed at this point since I remembered the smell on the packed bus of pot, mildew, body odor and of course alcohol. I think I made the person next to me feel uneasy for most of the ride.

This year I decided to dress up as a 1920s flapper girl. The morning of the party I was wearing part of my costume on the bus to work when I was receiving strange looks by people. At one point a rider asked if I just got of from work at the local gentleman’s club! This came from someone who has seen me everyday on the bus in normal cloths. Apparently a flapper outfit looks like a high-end prostitute to some people wearing a black dress with tassel fringes, cut out lace pantyhose, black flat ballet shoes, curled hair, Cupids brow makeup and a feathered headband. Some people are completely clueless and one coworker said he didn’t get how someone would think it not a flapper costume. The flapper costume received a lot of praise for how it looked and even thou I didn’t receive the best individual costume award, people still loved it. For the group costume, my co workers and I wore costumes representing a time period. We did not win the award for creative, but I say we at least tried. As for the HR inappropriate one, this went to two coworkers who dressed up as an inappropriate banana, and Twister game. At one point I caught on camera their very inappropriate dance with their costumes. I think the picture will be disposed of after reviewing them  at work. Another costume that was borderline insensitive and genius was the Ebola Nurse. She being pregnant made the costume even more hilarious  and ketchup in blood collection tubes.

Next day at work I had a huge mess to clean up. This party must have been something wild since there were half eaten/drunk Jello shots everywhere. streamers and plates of food in all sorts of places, and disgusting green punch no one wanted. I wished I had taken a picture of the beer pong room after the party because it looked like a frat party happened in there. There were beer, Jello shots spilled on the floor, pong balls all over the floor, and black lights still on.

Halloween night was not as eventful as it should have been. The whole week I tried not to eat all the trick or treat candy before Halloween. Even buying the week of the event was not enough to curb my craving for Kit Kat Bars and Twixs. Shame on me! Even raided the  candy bowl at work. I have no shame! After spending the whole week avoiding the candy in the apartment, I only had one trick or treater. One! A three-year old in a purple dinosaur costume. I was so bummed from have the expectation of having all theses kids from the apartment complex coming and begging for candy. Even the guy downstairs went all out with music and a table of candy. We both were sadly mistaken. Halloween night did not live up to expectations. Oh well I guess I will be eating candy for a while and passed off some to Michael to take to work to get rid of.  I was very bummed out by not having any one. The night was spent curled up on the couch with Michael and watching a movie together. As Michael has said a few times “I’m old.”