Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"I'll Just Have the Cheese Plate"

"Stumptown" is affectionately considered the nickname for Portland, Oregon, my beloved "stumping grounds". Some of my most devoted readers may already know- but I am originally from Oregon and can often be found (average 1.2 weekends in a month) either savoring the rain or 8 weeks out of the year saturating the sunshine with my family.

Why the name "Stumptown"? I guess the city was growing so rapidly that the stumps of trees were cut down to make way for roads, leaving a big mess of stumps. Believe it or not some were painted to call attention to them. I love that thinking- even if it's slightly unsightly- let's give it some pazazz or flair by painting it and then consider it a landmark. Brilliant.

This last weekend I was able to make a trip south to see my family and friends. Friday night I met my sister and Sarah for a little wine (or as my sister calls it in her worst nightmares "rodney" (you'll have to ask her- and it's a REALLY good story- so please do ask)) and cheese. Actually I think that was exactly how I greeted my sister at Blue Hour - "can we immediately order wine and a cheese flight".

It had been one of those weeks that only wine and cheese could cure. If I was in a committed relationship I could probably think of other things besides cheese and wine that could relieve my stress- but alas I was left with the caloric alternative- cheese and wine.

I knew I was in good company when my sister has already ordered me a glass of syrah and then nonchalantly reviewed the menu and ordered a bottle of
Cote du Rhones. After a 3 week stint in France she couldn't help but know her french wines...........
Soon Sarah arrived and our dinner party seemed complete. We choose a variety of savories from the menu to perfectly compliment our bottle of wine. While discussing my recent love for the color purple (purple is THE color for fall) I found myself consistently and increasingly raising my voice to a new audible level. In the back of my head I wondered why I kept hearing this constant drum beating. I know it had been a long and tiring week.... but was it so bad that I was continually hearing a drum beating? For a slight moment I actually regretted breaking up with my therapist earlier this summer. Suddenly Christi admittedly exclaimed "We were NOT eating foie gras so why all the noise". Wait. What?

Ohhh..... that's right. I was in such a hurry to order my wine and cheese I almost forgot about the group of protestors at the entrance of Blue Hour with all the foie gras picket signs. Up until that point they had been peacefully picketing. Ever so often we could hear them yell something or we might of noticed their picket signs in the corner of your eye, but nothing offensive. For some reason towards the end of our dinner they got quite "ambitious" and almost intrusive.

They started picketing right in front of our table, loudly chanting and beating their drums. To be honest I was almost worried one of them might swipe a slice of margherita. Obviously this had elevated to a whole new level when my dinner savories and ability to relax were at stake.

So.... what did I do? What any loyal and considerate blog writer might do..... I took a bunch of pictures so I could document and share the experience with my readers.

What did Blue Hour do? They brought around complimentary shots for all their outside patrons. Although my affections can not be bought- that damn drum beating in the back of my head certainly did soften a little.

At that point it took us about .08 seconds to finish our drinks, close out our tab, stumble past the picketers and walk into Teardrop Lounge for a relaxing bottle of champagne.
In closing- there is something quite commendable about exercising your right to protest. At the same time there is something to be said for the right to enjoy your cheese and wine sans a beating drum (be it simply in your head or in front of your table).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last night Mapel hosted a long overdue event with local friends and family- "Take Time to Enjoy Summer". It was an evening full of amazing summer deals, vendor give aways and delicious drinks & bites from Dragonfly.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Summer, summer, summertime - Time to sit back and unwind - It is the groove slightly transformed - Just a bit of a break from the norm - Just a little somethin’ to break the monotony of all that hardcore dance that
has gotten to be.
As quoted by the very wise man- Will Smith
Summer in Seattle has sprung and I am in full bloom (that reads creepier than I mean it to be).

303 days of gray and rain are well worth 62 amazing Seattle Summer Days. If you live in Seattle you needn't read this blog further- you should grab your iced latte and get outside (right after you sort and break down your recycling) because you know what I am about to explain.

If you don't live in Seattle then let me take a quick moment to relay how absolutely amazing Seattle is in the summer. People come out of their holes and saturate the sunshine and good times. Conversations are lighter, drinks are overflowing and the amount of road rage slightly decreases in Seattle. I will use this last weekend as a reference point for how Amazing Seattle Summer's are.

Driving back from Leavenworth last Friday Cleary & Dave called to ask if I wanted to meet up with some co-workers for a casual Happy. (Don't EVEN get me started on the Happy- you know how much I heart a Happy). I quickly accelerated from 72 mph to 78.5 and made it back to Seattle in time for round 2. Upon arrival I got in on the last half of a riveting debate about childhood crushes on TV stars. There was the usual (and boring if you ask me) responses about Alyssa Milano, Jason Priestley, Scott Wolf & Jaret Leto.
What was my response you ask?
Well.... it was Neil Patrick Harris from Doogie Howser. Don't ask me what that means about my ability to pick men. It is what it is (and yes I'm very single at 29).

By the time I headed home my dashboard clock read 10.30.
Now that was a successful Happy!!!!

After a few days in Leavenworth I try to spend some time re-connecting with Seattle. I woke up early on Saturday and headed into Fremont for a cup of coffee and a few groceries. Upon crossing the bridge I peeped out 3 joggers (obviously not from Fremont- just running through) crossing the 4 lane road heading towards Greenlake. I cruised into PCC to pick up a few of my favorite "staples":

Theo Chocolate bars - Heirloom Tomatoes - Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
(can't wait until Seattle Metropolitan writes about that amazing boutique Mapel- hint hint hint)

That evening Allison was hosting a 40th Birthday Party for her boyfriend Will. (Yes- 40). What might one expect at a 40th Birthday Party you ask? I wondered the same thing- until I arrived and it became very apparent it was going to be another amazing summer night. Great company, amazing view of Seattle, tons of delicious Korean BBQ food and hours of Karaoke. Yes- Karaoke. I loved it!!!

On Sunday I had every intention of catching up on some emails- until Brice called and invited me to a pool party. I really had no good reason to NOT go. It was beautiful weather out and I work all the time. Plus- it was Sunday- the day of rest. I needed to rest with a Corona in one hand while floating on a Tazmanian Devil Tube. Are you convinced that I had no choice but to go to this pool party?

By the time I got home late Sunday night I felt ready for another week at the office (for me that means working from home and traveling to Leavenworth). I am also super excited for my upcoming weekend in Leavenworth. This weekend you can find me tubing down the river- details on that excursion to follow next week.
There’s an air of love and of happiness - And this is the fresh prince’s
new definition of summer madness

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"It's In The Bag"

One might refer to it as a "carry all" or possibly more directly call it an "emergency kit". My friend Tracy breaks it down into it's simplest form - "Shack Pack". It's the sort of hand bag that carries enough "stuff" to get you through an unexpected overnight'er. Without taking a show of hands I know we have all been there before.

Fortunately it's now easier than ever to assemble a "Shack Pack" with class and style. Today handbags are ginormous. I love the extensive variety of huge handbags because I have always preferred hand bags that are slightly wider than my shoulder width. At present Mapel has a handful of handbags that are chic and "Shack Pack" worthy. Here follows shameless promotion.
Check out Mapel's Shack Pack Worthy Hand Bag Assortment at

With the above being said let's get into the nitty gritty of the subject at hand. It is not just the hand bag that is important- it's the interior contents. In order to truly be prepared for an unexpected overnight'er you must carry an arsenal that ensures fabulous'ness.
During mid Blog writing I sent a quick email to a few Lobster friends to get their input on "necessities". I loved their individual responses so much I decided to "quote" them exactly.

Brooke Prince
(a.k.a. Interior Designer Extraordinaire
& Shoe Connoisseur)

Floss - Toothpaste - Toothbrush - Hand sanitizer
Multiple Lip glosses - Phone & Charger
Band-aids – for those pesky to dance in but beautiful 4” heels
Tissue (can be used as TP, for sniffles, and to blot face oil)
Spare unds (you never know when/how you might lose yours)
Face powder - Eyeliner - Small stick of deodorant - Sewing kit
Body tape - Mints
Minis of flavored vodka - Camera - Luna Bars - Chocolate - Lotion
Business cards - Tylenol - Sunscreen
Jazzy Jewelry (takes you from office to cocktail hour)

Cleary O'Farrell
(Interchangeable Paparazzi
& Seattle's Best Photographer)

Sample Sizes of Face Cleanser - Lotion - Hairspray - Lipstick -
Mascara - Powder - Emergen-C - Deodorant - Condoms
"You have to pack a bag hoping for the best, but not being
to presumptuous... or slutty."

Jillian Derpack
(Seattle's Top Socialite
&Beautiful Bride To Be)

*A cute head band or hair accessory, sleeping in a twin size bed with another person
will do awful things to your hair and you never know who you might run into on your
walk of shame home.
*Band aids, who knows how many times I have slipped on the ice in my heals at 3am.
*Mouth Wash, you may not have time to brush your teeth but you always have time
to take a swig of mouth wash, plus you don't want your "date" to know if that vodka
decided it didn't want to stay down.
*A pair of Underwear, more often then not you are trying to leave pretty quickly and
may not have time to find everything.
Did we miss anything? Mapel wants to hear from you. Is there anything we should add/ subtract or modify from this list? What's in your "Shack Pack"? Leave us a post and let us know.