Monday, May 15, 2017

Felt "Bake Brookies" Bad

The Original Pancake House that used to be right next door to our office when we were in Kirkland, has now, after a year and half, has moved next to our new office.  Naturally, I went twice last week, and it was as delicious as I remember. 

Momela: I’m surprised you order Banana pancakes and waffles when you don’t like bananas. 
Me: What are you talking about?  Bananas are my favorite fruit.
Momela: I’ve never seen you eat a banana. 

This is disturbing because I have a lot of fond memories of my mom saying “BA-NA-NA” really funny like when I was growing up every time I ate a banana.  It’s like she doesn’t even know me. :P

One visit I was with Corrinne and she was telling me that her 5 year old son Jack was in a “Are you my mother?” Mother’s Day play in which he managed to create lines for himself until he was the star of the show. My kind of guy!  While there, Corrinne over heard a little girl say, “Charlotte loves Jack for real, but I love Jack more.” 

There was a bit of dog drama with the neighbor dogs (very large pit bull / mix pups) jumped the fence into my yard while the dog walker was there.  I could tell it was very traumatic for my dog walker, even though all the pups were fine and none of them touched each other.   I felt really bad, like bake brookies bad.  (It’s all good now though!)   

Frita turned 80!  And Maureen and Kyle also had birthday’s!  I ended up getting Frita extremely practical presents because well, I think we’re both at the point where getting re-usable containers/wrap is fun and cool, and I think I’m okay with that.  Sean picked up our nephew, Kyle, from practice and brought him shopping for his birthday present.

Mo: Is he driving you crazy yet?
Sean: Can Kyle have a hunting knife?
Mo: God NO!!!

So, I had this great idea to put some peel and stick wallpaper on a small wall in the living room, and then talked about it for a couple of weeks. I bought the peel and stick wallpaper and I got it all cut and ready and I'm standing on the ladder to apply and then realized its regular wallpaper.  Only I didn't realize it right away, I just thought I was really bad at peeling.  And now I don’t think it’ll ever be done because I don’t want anything permanent and none of the peel and stick wall paper is as pretty as the pattern on the dead-to-me paper that can now line the inside of my trash. (Though I did think about putting some thumb tacks at the top of each piece and seeing if anyone noticed my hella ghetto solution.)

On Friday, I went to happy hour with some co-workers and then went home and did a whole lot of nothing.  Saturday, we were 7 people and 7 dogs deep at the dog park.  Casper, once again, was the leader protecting, herding and giving all the other pups confidence boosts.  On Sunday, we were down to 4, and Ryan came up with the perfect nick name for Nala, Pig Pen, because she always looks like she has a cloud of dust following her.  I decided, since Dawne was getting back on Monday, that I would try to wash all three pups.  At the same time.  Yeah, there is a dog wash at Marymoor that is remarkably like a self-washing car wash but for pets.  I was hesitant to begin with, and then as soon as I paid, Percy backed himself out of his leash and ran.  Now, not like running into traffic, more like run far enough away that he made it clear that he had no intention of getting clean.  As 4 people tried to help me circle him, I verbalized that, “This is my worst nightmare: that a group of strangers are witness to my total lack of control over my dog.”  Eventually, after just staring him down for 2 minutes he came over and let me pick him up.   (I’ve learned to not chase or yell at him in these situations because he’ll get super stubborn but a good staring contest followed by a “Who’s a good boy!?” works wonders because he thinks it’s his idea.)   By the time I washed up all three and carried them each individually back to the car, I was soaking wet, exhausted and happy to temporarily remove the pig pen effect. 

Other than that, I had a pretty chill weekend!  Hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day and are enjoying your Monday!






Monday, May 8, 2017

Hey now, You're an All-Star!

Update 5/1 - 5/7

Hi Friend!

Have I mentioned that I have an obsessive compulsive dog?  I generally laugh it off as him living up to his name, Perseverance.  But then other times I watch him take a raw hide, that he would never chew on or consume, and carry it around or worse, place/hide and then just sit and stare at it like it is the most important thing in the world.  He'll do this instead of going outside to relieve himself or eat.   In order for me to get him to take care of his basic needs, I have to do a careful dance of reassurance and security and even then, he mostly keeps all his focus centered on this thing he doesn't want.  And before my mom says that this is because I'm a neurotic dog-mom, I JUST WANT HIM TO PEE IN THE MORNING!

Monday afternoon, Kelly and I spent our lunch our hanging out with Caitlyn Jenner.  She was at Microsoft giving a talk and promoting her new book (which we got signed copies of.)  Kelly was hella excited.  I thought it was a fun, interesting and different thing to do at lunch.  I was distracted trying to figure out where her accent was from so I did some research and not only was she born in the same hospital as I was, she went to the same high school that Mo and Stacey teach at!  But you know what?  That accent is not from Westchester. 

We had a couple of nice days this week, but the second day ended in a really big thunderstorm.  I used to think thunderstorms were pretty cool, but when you have three terrified pups in the house, it's not quite as fun.  No music or hugs were going to calm them down.  Casper and Nala were snuggled as close as they could be and Percy kept hiding under the bed and then running out to see if I was okay, then running back, all while shaking uncontrollably.  It was awful. 

On Friday, Chelsea, Ryan and I went over to main campus and checked out the (new to me) restaurant, The Boardwalk.  It felt like we were on the set of a teeny-bop movie.  Food was yummy, music was loud, company was a delight.  And we still had time to go over and help Chelsea choose glasses.  I'm sure she loved that when she put the first pair on, Ryan was all, "ugh No.  Take those off right now."

For Cinco de Mayo, the office had a little Margarita & Guacamole competition.  I don't like Guac, so I just went straight for the Margs.  After having 5 shots in a row, I headed back to work.  One was a delightful Marg, one was a sweet apple and spice combo, and then something that tasted like a side car or a Manhattan (which one of those has a cherry?).  There was also two that had food involved.  Like red hot spicy with a chicken nugget chaser and one that you poured the beverage over a hot pepper and piece of beef jerky and then drank it.  Suffice to say, my tummy hurt after all of that.

And because the day wasn't full enough, I met up with Becky and her friend Kristin for a pre-birthday dinner.  She was all of 2 minutes late so I started drinking without her.  As soon as Becky came in she told the waiter, "It's my birthday.  I brought my own cupcakes, but if you wanted to stick a candle in the pot pie I'm going to order and sing for me, that would be great.  Thanks."

Her friend has twins (it's actually a pretty incredible story because she was on a list for foster care / adoption and one day she got a call and she and her husband became parents of twins!) That was about a 2 years ago.  I think I was either complaining about my HOA and fences, or talking excitedly about Marymoor dog park but it was a good segue to her story. She was saying that it's hard to find a fully fenced in park area and even though she has found one or two she still gets stressed trying to keep track of two littles.  Sometimes she just throws her kids in a stroller and walks around with her dog at Marymoor.  One day, she was walking by the pet memorial area and noticed that it was completely fenced in so she put her dog a leash and then unleashed her children into the memorial area.  That's right, her favorite place to let her kids play is in the Pet Cemetery.   

Oatmeal came out with this article recently http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe and it was pretty insightful.  But in the beginning, in order to get through some of the haters, he was all "I don't care if you're a cat person, a dog person or a tarantula person.  Morning person or night owl, iPhone or Android, Coke or Pepsi." To which Becky commented, "I stopped reading when you didn't include windows phone." But no one responded to her.  Weird.

We headed to the only winery open after 8 after dinner and there was a guy with guitar singing.  Becky requested "Shiny" from Moana (which he had already played, and was shocked that he was getting a second request.)  And then Becky said, "Hey, it's my birthday.  If you won't play that, how about anything from the 90's.  A little Salt-N-Pepa? If you play Shoop, you don't even need to know the words, we'll sing.  Or how about Smash Mouth? All-Star?" And you know what?  He totally started singing, " Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me; I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed; She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb; In the shape of an "L" on her forehead." And so did we! Becky ended up writing him a check as a tip with, "Sorry for the chore" in the notes section. 

Saturday, I woke up and met Ryan at the park with all the pups.  It was really nice out. I really need to figure out where my cleaning person hid all of my sunglasses because it is about that time of the year (hopefully!)  Then I came home and finished writing 52 updates (all in one week!)  I felt like fireworks should have been going off the moment I hit send that's how accomplished I felt.  Thanks for everyone that believed in me, and "I told you I would/could do it!" to all those who thought I should just give up entirely or forget about the ones I missed and start over.  YAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Sunday morning I woke up to an email from Becky at 11:07 am saying that she had finished reading all of them and was she the first?  First?  Maybe the only!  Although, many of you have already told me you had started, or at the very least wrote to tell me how you were, which I appreciate greatly. 

Then I went to the park again, cleaned the house, did laundry, and generally did all the things I had neglected to do all week while I was writing.  Then I finished up the evening with Raymond playtesting a new game at the Bottle and Bull.  (Yes, it was fun. Yes, I won twice. Yes, I was obnoxious even when I was trying to be cool and kind.)


By the way, my dog walker helped me out twice this week and came to hang (literally I think she just chills and plays) with my pups so I didn't feel guilty about going out.  She is so awesome, and my social life might get better now that I know she'll help me out at night! Woot! 













Saturday, May 6, 2017

APRIL 2017

Update 4/3 - 4/9

Hi Friend!

I sent 15 anonymous potato grams for Easter, and basically everyone knew it was my immediately.  At least I have *a* reputation!  The potatoes all said, “Easter bunny, I am not. So here’s a potato.  Love you, Mean it.”

While Jackie O was at St. Barts with a friend, Sean & Stacey took Morgan down to Florida for a super fun concert and to see Bailey.  This was also Morgan’s first experience of “third-wheeling it” with her parents.  As a youngest myself, I can attest, it’s pretty cool gig. 

Birthday Week!  Months earlier, I had asked / demanded that my co-workers get me Floof, Sand and Dirt.  Naturally, the day before my birthday:

Me: I can’t wait to get my floof tomorrow!
Joey: oh, what if we didn’t get that for you but we got something better.
Me (genuinely shocked): What?!! No, wait, Ryan definitely got me what I wanted. 

My actual birthday was perfection.  My co-workers made it super special with lunch, a princess tort cake, playing Telestrations after lunch, getting me balloons and exactly what I asked for.  Oh and Corrinne got me the “Hot Dudes Reading” book to which James said, “My wife has that calendar.” This was a couple of hours before he decided it was good idea to eat some of the Floof. 

Joey: I was going to put a gif on your wall saying Happy Birthday, Muggle but Nick  said, “Don’t be insulting.”  Then when we were getting balloons, we got the sorting hat and I told the lady she could put any color balloons with it but then Nick said, “Don’t be stupid.  She needs gold and burgundy, she’s a Gryffindor.”

After work, I met up with some friends and family at Bushnell’s before heading over to do an escape room in which we stole the mona lisa and then grabbed some dinner.  Oh and Jordan rode into Bushnell’s with a Unicorn (which later would drive Percy crazy.)  People didn’t think I could fit into my car, but I showed them with a shove, a push, and a quick door slam exclaiming, “Who wants to be on my escape room team now?”

The following day we went to the park for Dawne’s birthday rolling deep with friends and dogs followed by lunch at Norm’s (the dog bar) with more fun family and dogs.  Another perfectly awesome day! 

On Sunday, Kathi and Hendrik arrived from Germany!  They had been up for over 24 hours by the time they arrived so Kathi and I took a walk around Kirkland to stay awake.  I knew she was sleepy because she couldn’t remember words, and she knows all the words.  Eventually, we headed back because Jordan asked me to make Brookies for dinner the following evening.  I’m kind of sad I can’t remember anything specifically hilarious – but it was really lovely seeing Kathi and getting to spend so much time with her!!


Much love,

T O’B

Hi Friend!

Kathi and Hendrik were in town this week AND I went home to NY for Easter.  But before all that, we kicked off the week with Passover at Nater's.

Jordan asked me to make brookies and bring dessert so on Monday, I tried to go a Jewish bakery for some good traditional cookies.  And like a typical Catholic, was genuinely surprised that the Jewish bakery was closed on Passover.  It's cool, I went to another bakery and just got cookies that looked like Jewish cookies.   By the way, Nater's house is amazing, and it was so lovely to spend the holiday with the extended fam.  Jordan tried to test us all by having us tell the story of Passover and since I didn't have to start, by the time it got to me I totally picked up that we were telling the story of the Prince of Egypt. 

Kathi and Hendrik asked me what the purpose of the Unicorn in my living room was and I think my exact response was, "I know this is a foreign concept for Germans, but it's just for fun."

I got to use my Amazon Prime "Magic Trick" in that the German's went to sleep thinking that they didn't have milk for their morning cereal, and I had Amazon magically deliver milk within the hour while I was packing.  Pretty exciting!  Also, while we were out on Wednesday, the house was cleaned and Kathi got to see firsthand how someone else dictates how long I can have Birthday cards out, and where things should really go including re-packing their suitcases.

Far too soon, I was saying "Auf Wiedersehen" and taking my pup to NY.  I got a little bit of sleep with the aid of some NyQuil which left me pretty groggy when I landed.  We got home in an hour and then I went right to bed.  When I woke up, we all headed up to Maureen's cabin for some cards and drinking by the fire.  I brought two bottles of wine, to which my Momela said, "just open a second bottle of wine in case you don't like the first."  Which turned out to be quite accurate.  It was hard to finish it though without falling asleep and playing Canasta.

Saturday, Maureen threw an egg decorating party so that I could see all my friends and decorate like a boss.  It was really nice to see Briana and Eva - and their kids getting into the joy that is egg decorating.  We did the tie trick again!  Also, Sean and Stacey brought over a dozen eggs that we thought were cooked, but learned were not, but only after we had decorated half of them.  That was fun for Kevin to find on Easter!   That evening we had a little bonfire with Doreen and Jim too!

On Easter, after I found my basket from the Easter Bunny, we went to mass at 11 (unlike Maureen's fam who had some altar servers participating in the 8 am services.)  The whole day was pretty perfect, but I'll try to pull up some highlights. 

We facetimed with Bailey in Florida and I even found 4 eggs with her during the egg hunt.  We also told stories around the table outside because it was gorgeous out (and only rained for the 5 minutes that Sean had to grill the steak.)  Sean told the story again about Bailey going to the gym every Saturday night after the first time she saw naked guys on her way to the gym to which Bailey yelled, "STOP TELLING THAT STORY." So it was like she was really with us! 

During dinner, Sean eloquently attempted to prove that you could blow the shell off of a hardboiled egg.  BTW dinner was amazing.  And after dinner I wanted to take a nap, so I mentioned to Jackie I could go for an iced coffee, and then she totally made me one with a straw and everything making her, at least for those 15 minutes, my favorite. 

And then we finished up the night telling embarrassing drunk/vomit stories that involve planes.  I probably don't need to publically tell these stories, but I will say that Stacey said Sean was super sick and throwing up at every trash can on the way to the gate to which Frita commented (through our laughter), "You were so embarrassing."  Which was funnier because Sean doesn't do anything to be embarrassed about and Frita never gets embarrassed. 


Much love,

T O'B
Update 4/17 – 4/23

Hi Friend!

I’m watching Nala and Casper for a month, so expect a lot more diversity in my puppy photos.  Including a snap of Nala and Percy enjoying my birthday duck toy.  Ooooh! Speaking of which… My birthday present arrived!  Super awesome Disney purses from my brother and his fam.  #hegetsme  #hereallygetsme

A sample came into the office of a very large bust of a Viking like dude that my co-workers decided should set up camp right behind me in a very creepy, micro-management kind of way.  To be honest, I liked it a lot more when they put the Halo sunglasses on him. 

We did some store checks, so I took that same opportunity to stop and get a Unicorn Frap (a day late, but since the internet told me to, I had to.)  It tasted like a skittle milk shake that turned into a sour patch milk shake and it definitely made me want to spew after 20%.  I think if they had skipped the milk part though, it would have been delightful.  Maybe next time they decide to drive their employees crazy, they’ll ask me first.

My pathetic qualities win again!  After almost a year (almost 2 if we were going to be honest) of looking at a partially dry walled wall, Becky and Jared came to my rescue!  They even let me help on the second day!   Such a relief because I couldn’t get anyone to come mud because it was already partially done – and now it’s all the way done! Yayayayayay!



Much Love,

T O’B
Update 4/24 – 4/30

Hi Friend!

I watched three seasons of The Royals in three days, so basically, I can’t be expected to have accomplished much other than that. 

I finished sanding and painting the wall (okay “finished” should probably be in quotations because I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to beg Dawne to help me fix the edging when she’s back in town.) 

Back in elementary school we all had that “double dog dare” moment where we accepted the challenge when we really should have calmly ignored the provocation.  I know how that’s how I ended up jumping in a pool fully clothed like a dumdum.  As an adult, these dares still exist but now we call them, “Hold My Beer” moments.  Well, that happened to me at work and I ended up cutting myself and feeling sad.  I didn’t have any fun Band-Aids, I hurt myself opening a beer that was on my desk that didn’t even taste good, and then I had to go to Bunko with an injured rolling hand.  On the bright side I won $7.50 for the lowest score!

I organized a big pack to go to the park on Saturday, 5 people, 5 dogs (okay, so I brought three of them.)  This was a little more even than the 2 people, 4 dogs on Sunday with Ryan.

I also went to the Sounders game with Dr. Rach!  It was raining and we were losing by 3 up until like the last 5 minutes when they scored 3! Exhilarating! And also, really fun to spend time with Dr. Rach.  I also tricked her into taking a picture while pregnant!

Ended the weekend with a dinner and grocery shopping with Zacharoni! 



Much Love,


T O’B 

MARCH 2017


Hi Friend!

It Snowed!  It's always exciting when it snows because you know I drive a Fiat and I was finally able to call in Fiat and work from home.  Percy thought it was pretty rad too. 

Random quote from Chelsea: My parents used to shove the seat belts into the seat because they were not aesthetically pleasing.

Pretty sure the rest of the week was snoozeville, but then we had another Oreo Tasting Party at Kelly's.  I thought more flavors had come out (but that wasn't until the summer so now we're going to have to have another... *sigh*) 

Dr. Rach to mini-Future-Dr. Anderson:  You need to play cooperatively.

I didn't eat anything before the party and then felt crazy ill from all the sugar so Kelly and I both had to have 2cc's of string cheese to feel better.  I also made homemade Bailey's and put it in a ziplock container which didn't completely seal on my way over.  You win some, you lose some!

On Sunday, because Becky's husband Jared had Shingles (and yes, she did call him Shingle Face the whole time), I accompanied to Emerald City Comic Con.  I saw an old co-worker but didn't want to bother him so I just took a picture and posted it on social media like he was being rude and ignoring me. 


Oh I remember what I was doing a lot of, re-watching Parks and Rec.  Can I just tell you that every episode of parks and rec ends with me giggling aloud through the credits?  True story. 


Much love,

T O'B

Update 3/6 - 3/12

Hi Friend!

A carry over from ECC, I got Tom Felton to sign an invitation to the Yule Ball as if he had invited me.  I didn’t have anything on hand that was Slytherin, but I happen to have a Yule Ball invite handy. 

Sean and I were discussing our Lenten promises - his to give up alcohol and mine to be more thoughtful. 

Sean: Yeah, but mom and dad said you don't have to observe on St Patrick's Day.
Me: I guess I can be super rude then, you know slam some doors in faces.

My co-worker lives above a Top Pot Donut and bought himself a donut on day before work.
Chelsea: Joe where did you get that donut!
Joe: I saved a half of a donut to share!

We went to this restaurant for lunch that has a menu that rivals the cheesecake factory.  We were under some time constraints and really wanted grilled chesses.  I told Ryan I was going to say to the waiter, "Let me just tell you want and you tell me if you have it you prob do." And you know what?  They did.

BDug was facebooking about his kid having a mini-meltdown when Bdug wouldn't share his choking hazard Warthog and then basically felt like all of his other toys were garbage.  So I sent him a slightly safer Warthog and I got this super adorable picture of him in wonder in return.

Kelly and I books a flight to Cuba for January and then we tried to figure out how we would better Cuba with our trip.  I said we could fill a suitcase full of school supplies, which I thought was a perfect plan... I'll keep you posted. 

On Friday, Becky came over and we did our own wine and paint night, and it was so perfect as was our awesome artwork!  Plus we got to drink a lot more wine.  Then on Saturday we had breakfast at Sitka and Spruce for Kelly's birthday where we had the table basically in the kitchen where they were making all the yummy food.   Company and food were a delight, but also there was a fake pregnant lady who was being photographed by the flowers.  She was super distracting because why? And I never got a chance to ask because my brunch mates wouldn't let me.




Much love.

T O'B

Update 3/13 - 3/19

Hi Friend!

Monday morning I woke up to a living room that looked a little like a murder scene.  So much so that I had to pick Nala up because she couldn't find a path to the door.  Casper had been throwing up blood so I took him to the vet to find that he had swallowed some rocks that had torn up him insides.  For the rest of the week he had 3 different meds to be taken at 6 different times during the day.  The good news is, he's doing just fine now!

In other news, I joined a Bunko group with a co-worker, and my first time I got to wear the crown!  I also sent Julie an anonymous potato gram and then I got a text asking, "Did you send me a potato?" I asked if I was getting predictable (because she knew right away), and I was assured that I was not.   She also sent me an emoji representation of the Unicorn song. So awesome. 

On St. Patrick's Day I brought in bright green coffee cake and then later got a text from Becky that said, "I've been waiting all day for your annual last minute "come do something Irish with me" invite. Taking a year off? ;)"

But actually, I was meeting D&J&Z to see Beauty and the Beast, which Becky was available to join. 

Becky: Customer is always funny.  That's rule number one.

I finally cleaned out my car which equated to about 5 garbage bags of things including 4 sets of colored pencils, two pairs of shoes, 5 jackets, 5 towels, 2 blankets, 7 leashes, and about 3 dozen rolls of doggy bags.  *Note it's been two months since this time and my car is still clean!

Lucas called me on Sunday asking me where his parents were (in Mexico.) He was disappointed because he was hoping that they would feed him.  He had been eating Soylent because he spent his allowance on a BB gun.  I told him he could come over and I would feed him (and obviously mock him as well.)



Much Love,

T O'B

Update 3/20 - 3/26

Hi Friend!

In a horrendous déjà vu moment, I woke up at 2:30am to Percy vomiting, like 10 times until he was dry heaving.  I thought about just cleaning him up and going back to sleep, but Nala and Casper told me that was a terrible idea.  And then when I called the vet, they also told me that was a terrible idea.  So I headed to the Vet, and they hooked him up to fluids, gave him meds and sent me home with a batch more of meds.  What a way to start the week!

Briana: Introducing the new members of our family.
Me: Two puppies!?
Briana: Double Cuteness...
Me: One for each kid!
Briana: One for rob and I when we get divorced. Lol!
Me: I'm coming home this weekend for a day, maybe I can come visit?
Briana: Oh were you not going to tell me!? But not that I have puppies...
Me: um... so I'll be there in the morning?

Lucas came over Monday night, and I had dinner and groceries waiting for him. 
Me: Oh, a suitcase huh? Staying long?
Lucas: Yea...well. It's my spring break. 

Insert many many dvd watching here for the rest of the week. 

On Saturday, I packed to go to NY and when I picked up my travel purse it was FILLED with tiny ants who were going crazy over some candy canes.  I tried to salvage electronics and important documents before throwing everything out and the purse in the wash.  I bought a bunch of traps, but weirdly they were confined to the purse.  Then I brought the pups to the park and dropped them off at D&J's who were getting back from their trip that evening.   Bonus excitement, I was bumped to first class where I got wine and a couple hours of sleep!

I went to Costco with Maureen where I got to pick out my own birthday cake (and she said I could pick anyone I wanted even if no one else was going to like it.)  Then the whole fam came over, and my mom made dinner and we celebrated ME! 

Me: It's red velvet cake
Sean: That reminds me: I want to redo the bedroom.

After making Morgan get up to get her own ice cream sandwich
Sean: Doesn't it taste better now that you earned it?

Me: What are you doing for your sweet 16?
Jackie: My friends and I are going to the city to Black Tap Beer and Burgers for milkshakes.
Me: You're going to a brewery for your birthday.
Jackie: We're going for the milkshakes.
Maureen: You should invite Pat to pay for the train tickets. 
Stacey: Well I'm only allowed to drive them to the station.
Momela: You guys should go to a movie at Radio City.
Me: Um, I think you just hella dated yourself Momela.
Momela: No, they definitely used to show movies there.
(Stacey and I furiously googling)
Me: Well what do you know, you can go see the Godfather there this month. 


Momela: Alexa play Johnny Mathias
Me: Did it just say "Shuffling one song?"

Momela: Can you go in the bedroom and grab the gifts.
Stacey: The birthday gifts, not the Christmas gifts.
Momela: There are Christmas gifts in there, but you won't confuse them. 

Me (to my mom): Frita said I'd be a great leader of ISIS.
Frita: You have to give her context!
Me: No context makes that better.
Frita: She doesn't like people who lose to win.  That's why she doesn't like 101.

And on that note... !



Much Love,

T O'B

Update 3/27 - 4/2

Hi Friend!

I started the week by heading down to NYC where I saw my boss and co-worker immediately in the bar and ended up sitting down for a drink instead of checking in.   Chelsea chose the hotel for the breakfast, and oddly enough Marisa and I had had lunch there back when I was working in NY.  It was a delicious way to kick off a week of really awesome meetings.  Oh! And we went to this place for dinner that was supposed to be like a speak easy that served adult beverages in tea pots like they did back in the day.  I almost went with a mixed drink just for that reason, but ended up drinking this beer that dangerously tasted exactly like grapefruit juice.   Before we knew it, it was time to head up to Montreal to see where the Magic of Mega happens. 

I found out that we needed flat shoes for the factory tour, and when I communicated that to my uber boss, she hadn't packed properly.  That’s about the moment that I splurged for the international data plan which I thought was worth spending to keep my job.  I eventually ended up using the powerful women's network to get a pair of shoes that would work.  We also had dinner at a place where they ordered all sea food with the exception of steak tare tare which I was forced to try to be polite.  And then did shots. Not my best dinner experience!

We also ended up in a hotel that was not the one we were supposed to be in, but was way fancier.  So fancy that I accidentally didn't set my alarm and got woken up by my co-worker saying, "Are you ready?"  I literally got ready in 5 minutes, including remembering to bring my charger for my phone (which I think saved me when my uber boss needed said charger, erasing the fact that we were 5 minutes late for the meeting.)   We can file this under "worst work nightmare" meets "close calls."  Oh! And then I also decided I should totally become a notary to expand on my super powers.  Check back in to remind me later that I need to do this kthxbye!

When I got back, I picked up Percy and then grabbed dinner with Zach and Lucas at Chipotle before I barely made it home so I could pass out.  Then I watched a bunch of Lethal Weapon (the TV show) and had a 7 hour conversation with a guy from Coffee Meets Bagel - which has to be a record of some sort.  Then finished up the weekend with breakfast with D&J and Zach followed by a nice walk at the dog park. 

A couple of weeks ago I lost my badge, but I just assumed that I had thrown it out in the big clean.  And, not really related, when I got back from a trip there was a note from a co-worker telling me I should clean up my desk which I crumpled and threw at him.  Then another co-worker picked the note up and saved it.  Well, I ended up straightening up my desk and lo and behold, there was my badge under a pile of books.  And there, also, was my co-worker holding up the "clean up this mess" note.  *sigh* some things never change!



Much Love,

T O'B

FEBRUARY 2017


Hi friend!

Back in December, I saw this sign in a restaurant in Leavenworth that I thought looked like the one in my grandparents' house, but Raymond didn't think theirs was in German.  So I had fly to Illinois (2 months later) to prove I was right and text him.  I'm a delight, I know.

Actually, what happened was I had to take a trip down to LA for a quick meeting, and then that same day, Jeremy and I flew to Chicago for another fun meeting.  Actually, it was pretty fun but I can't talk about it yet.   I also got to spend some quality time with one of my favorite co-workers.  We talked in depth about religion, politics, and other touchy topics with no problems. And then I found out he didn't like the Harry Potter books and I'm not sure if I can forgive or forget that.


After the meeting, I drove to meet up with my cousins for dinner and ice cream which was lovely.  Pam even answered my phone call even though she didn't recognize the number which I though was seriously incredible.  The following day, I had some time before I had to fly back, so I went to Aunt Audrye's hung out and then we went to pick up Aunt Maureen for lunch.  After lunch we stopped by the Marina to see Uncle Bill and Billy along with all their awesome party boats!

Aunt Audrye told me she once visited her grandson, Sean.  He was living with a bunch of people in college at the time and it was bit of a mess.  She took a candy from the table, ate the candy and threw the wrapper on floor.  When everyone looked at her she said, "What?  I thought that's what you guys did here." 

She also recently passed her driver's test, "And now I don't trust anyone on the road."  She told me she never turns left - she just keeps turning right until there is a light or she gets there.  And then she told me all of the places she needs to go to are close by. I asked, "Close and to the right?" Aunt Audrye, "Exactly."

When Aunt Audrye goes on vacation with her daughter Colleen, Colleen often mentions that her mom is elderly so that they can get a room on the ground floor near the pool.  So, Aunt Audrye has to walk in with an exaggerated "Old Lady Walk" so that she doesn't look like a liar.  Apparently, one time they were on vacation and they had to leave fairly quickly because there was a fire... because someone left there meth pot on the stove.    Aunt Audrye walked more quickly for that one. 

Anyway, I had a really lovely visit and was grateful for the time! 

Here are some photos!



Much Love,


T O'B
Update 2/6 - 2/12

In Seattle we got a snow day, and my coworkers made the most of it by making a Chief snow man while I worked from home.   Percy got a much needed haircut.  I tried to avoid it so he wouldn’t freeze, but I had already waited far too long.  I spent a lot of time playing with Percy, going to the park with Dawne when it wasn’t snowing and generally enjoying not having to fly anywhere this week. 

Here are some pictures!


Much love,

T O’B

Update 2/13-2/19

Hi Friend!

Let's see Halo Wars 2 released with a bunch of amusing commercials that I can share:


I flew to NY to celebrate Momela's birthday (we went to the early bird special at 3:30 and I got chicken in waffles in our own private dining room.)  Oh yeah, on our way home, there was a bit of traffic, to the point that we were able to have a conversation with a guy while driving.  He was telling us that he was a cop and that, "No one cares that you rear ended them  - pull over!!" 

Momela tried to explain to me that Ridiculous 6 was totally kid appropriate and then we watched it because it was her birthday.  Really, only because it was her birthday.  And I don't think it's kid friendly.

I also got to record Frita as I interviewed him and it was really awesome.  I got a good 2 1/2 hours of material including a story about WWII.  I asked if he had any memories of wars or historical events and told me that when he was younger he went to camp for a week in NJ.  When he got back, everyone was celebrating D day and he could see all the fireworks and party from the GW bridge and he said to his parents, "Wow!  People really are excited about me getting home from camp" and his parents never corrected his assumption. 

Maureen was telling me a story about her students that ended with:
You guys we should be a little quieter bc there is an American in here.
Or because we're inside in a classroom.

 Maureen and I took the train down to NY to meet up with Chelsea and Ryan for dinner.  She packed some beers in a paper bag.  When we stopped at her school's stop she put the beer back in the bag until a string of teenagers came on and passed us.  Then she grabbed the beer and said, "Okay, only one of my students."

I was telling her about how we were meeting Ryan.
Mo: Who?
Me: Ryan, you know the guy I have lunch with every day.
Mo: Okay, just call him Lunch Buddy.
Then later, after two beers
Me: And then me and Lunchbox...
Mo: Whoa! He isn't an inanimate object!
Only now that's totally his nickname. 

At New York Comic Con, I was running to a meeting and had to stop abruptly to put my hands into this stuff call floof.  And then later I took my co-workers back to the booth to show them the floof, sand and dirt and asked them to each by me one for my birthday and then I proceeded to tell everyone else we saw for the rest of the show how my co-workers were going to get me awesome birthday presents. 

I was telling this guy from Mattel that we were going to Vegas for Magic right after the show.
Nick: Ping ping ping
Me: Is that supposed to be an impression of me?
Nick: No, it's supposed to be Vegas slots.
Then I told him excitedly all about Floof.
Nick: Oh I do see how that could have been an impression.

I also got to see Jim, my favorite from DC Comics at a party!  And we did Karaoke with Dark Horse (Chelsea was A-Mazing!), and I dragged some people down to a party that Zach and Ray were at, and we had a super yummy dinner at Tao. And I'm sure super fun things happened but I totally can't remember!  The crazy amount of meetings definitely balanced out with all the fun after con fun, for sure. 

And here are pictures:


Much Love,

T O'B


Update 2/20 - 2/26

Hi Friend!

This week blurred with last week, but for organizations sake I'll separate them.   Monday we had a quick meeting downtown.  Before the meeting we stopped at a little bakery for breakfast.  Chelsea was walking in, but suddenly just froze so I picked up her suitcase, and mine, and opened the door bringing all of our stuff in as she followed in a daze.  Apparently what I missed was Alec Baldwin walking out of the bakery as we were walking in and Chelsea losing all brain power. 

Meanwhile Zach and Raymond went to my parents' house.  I had mocked Zach pretty hard core because he made a macaroni frame for his mom for Christmas and then he spotted a similar frame at my parents.

Zach: How dare you.
Me: I was 3, not 27.

After the meeting, we headed to Las Vegas for Magic!  We were staying in the Four Seasons so naturally I took a bath and put all the fancy soaps in my suitcase.  It was seriously swanky, they even wrapped my power cords with a little Velcro thing and put my glasses on a glass cleaner cloth.  Fancy. Pants. 

Chelsea had scheduled a lot of dinners and meetings - of note, she scheduled like 7 "drink" meetings in a row.  I met a couple of Chelsea's friends on Monday night who I would see again the following day and I asked if they could smuggle some bread to me when we met so I would survive the marathon of meetings.  Chelsea got pretty sick so eventually we got her a hot toddy (because she kept refusing my offers of "Two beers and Shot" that I kept reading throughout the hotel/casino.)

When I got home, I guess I missed going to conventions so I asked Dr. Rach, Kelly, and Becky if they wanted to go to the Train Show (Becky couldn't come but you can check out her radical starbucks spelling of her name in the pics.)   We went to Maltby Café beforehand which was way way too much food and also delicious.  Plus I picked up some fun gifts for Jordan's birthday, and Tom's kid walked out looking like a train conductor!



Much Love,


T O'B

JANUARY 2017


Hi Friend!

Started the week off with my Co-Worker (for the first time) showing off his school pride for USC... and me grrrring.

We also celebrated Lucas turning 21 by going to a vegan restaurant where he strong encouraged me to try the fake cheese burger and then conveniently didn't notice that I only took one bite of it. 

Then we headed to the pin-ball museum where he's a regular but it was my first time.  This is also where I fell in love with the Cue Ball Wizard and it's catch phrase, "Chalk up partner!!"

Zach: My friends say it's lame when I zip up my coat.
Followed by everyone zipping up their coats: "Whoa whoa look how lame I'm being!"

And then I tried bubble tea for the first time! Didn't care for it! And also felt hella old at 2 am up with how hip and cool all the youngins were hanging out at the bubble tea place.  It was crazy crowded and we were the oldest people there by a lot.  And that's why a straight edge celebrates his 21st birthday!

Photographic proof:


T O'B

Update 1/9 - 1/15

Hi Friend,

This was a low key week.  I remember my co-worker James saying, "Indiana jones and the crystal monkey and it's not so bad.  It just needed some time and alcohol."  I also must have watched Casper and Nala because I thought Casper was so cute I took a picture of him.. and other than that...

I FLEW TO NEW ZEALAND! But I'm going lump that whole trip into a longer update... k?




T O'B

Update 1/16 - 1/29

Hi Friend!

Dawne, Jordan, Kelly, Tom and I all went to New Zealand.  Tom is from NZ, and his grandmother had just died, so he'd be there just in time for the funeral.  I mention this because as we were sitting at the airport in LA I realized that we were landing at 12 noon not 12 midnight and I had to contact the hotel I had booked to cancel last minute while working in "grandmother's funeral" without lying.   As soon as we landed D&J and I got the car and headed to Tom's home town, Whangamata which I soon found out is pronounced FANGamata.

Speaking of pronunciations, I went over to Tom's parent's house that first night (I had already met his sister and parents, but Jenny's husband and kids were brand new!)  Apparently, their dad is one of those people who just knows and incredible amount of information and is never wrong.  Not in a "can't admit that he's wrong" like some people in my family, but genuinely doesn't say something unless he knows it to be true.  I was telling them that I had a mini-education on the whole Wh = F thing.

Tom's dad: Yeah but there are some things that there really is only way you could even want to pronounce it like Waitomo. (WHY-TAMO)
Me (without hesitation): Really? I've been saying "WAIT-TOW-MO"

Apparently, this was monumental because not only was he speechless, but no one has ever proved him wrong - and I wasn't even trying! I just talk funny.

That same night, I saw a little girl earn 2 dollars to eat a slice of cucumber.  I still wouldn't have done it.

The following day, D&J and I drove to Hobbiton which was way more fun than even I was expecting.  Super fun pics, and the tour was lovely.  I will say the gift shop left something to be desired.  It's weird walking out of a store thinking, "ugh, they should hire me."

Dawne introduced me to the term "Dip em and ship em." When she was younger she used to take people scuba diving during the summer and when cruises come into port and you take them into the water for a tour, that's called "Dip 'em and Ship 'em" in the biz and I think that's hilarious.

We kept asking Jordan to stop so we could take pictures of cows and sheep (but mostly cows b/c the sheep kept running away.)

We also drove to Waitomo to see the cool glow worms.  We didn't do the crazy intense tour that D&J went on the last time they were there that included close encounters with eels, icy waters, and other "fun" but terrifying adventures.  I opted for the fun for young and old tour, which was just perfect for me.  And then we drove back.

On the subject of roads, I offer this commentary:
Jordan on those curve signs. "They should have a Squiggle line for the whole fucking island."

Jordan: Straight as a kiwi road.

Dawne: I put the window down so I can jump out if we go over the cliff.

Tom's nieces we super cute, and incredibly fascinated by Kelly.  In fact one of them gave Kelly a piece of her hair to remember her by. 

The next day we we're going to go boating but delayed it by a day to go for another little road trip up the coast.  It was a little scary in that the roads were terrifying.  We stopped for lunch and a little walk.  Then Dawne and Jordan separated from us so that they could go on a train tour.  The rest of us went for a swim. Technically, I swam for 20 min in the pacific near the Antarctic Ocean but when asked I'm definitely saying that it was 2 hours in the Antarctic Ocean.

Tom: This beach used to not be so crowded, I'm sorry.
Me: There are only two other people here. Apology accepted.

We followed that frigid experience up with some ice cream, naturally.  Kelly and Tom had a disagreement about what was younger, geologically, Iceland or New Zealand, which I'm pretty sure Kelly won, but I'm not telling Tom.   We headed back to Tom's parent's house to help with dinner.  Meanwhile, Dawne and Jordan took this crazy back road and ended up cuddling with a baby pig and hanging out with other pet pigs.  Then they stopped at the hot springs before dinner.

We also talked about interracial marriages (specifically marrying a mermaid) as the only reason why one might want to invite 250 guests to an underwater even that would require waterproof suits.

Dinner was amazing - Tom's dad cooked us a recently hunted wild lamb, and it was super yum. 

Jenny: Did you just release a sigh of relieve bc my children were sleeping?
Tom: Don't tell me you don't every night.
Jenny: It's always internal!

The following day we went out on Tom's dad's boat - it was like a really big fishing boat, and their house was like half a block from the Marina. I thought this was very advantageous, but apparently, Tom's dad was on the board who decided where the Marina was going to be build. 

Tom's Dad: Being without a boat is traumatic.

We (they) went fishing and caught snappers, tuna, and guartner (?) and totally cooked and ate them right away.  Before we knew it, it was our last day, and I was on a mission to take a picture with a Kiki (person), Kiwi (fruit) and a Kiki (bird.)  We went to the zoo carrying fruit and got it done, even if it was pretty dark.  On our way to the airport, I got a friend request from Tom's sister Jenny, to be completely embarrassed because I had been pronouncing it Jennie with a Y!  

Sadly, our flight was delayed quite a bit in Auckland so we didn't get into Tahiti until way late.  And even more unfortunate, it poured the entire time we were there.  It was a total aberration in weather and we were there to experience it!  Even the other tourists who spend every January there were like, "You are very unlucky." And I was all, "Dude, I'm trying get my water aerobics on here!"   To be fair, Dawne, Jordan and I tried to be extremely positive and didn't once complain about the situation.   We rented a car and explored every little nook and cranny of this island to the point that "Ooh yay! That looks like a legit road!" became a mantra.  Weirdly, everything was always closed between 4:30 and 7, but we did go into a book store that had all three of "Cathy's Book" on display like it wasn't a ten year old book series.  Despite Dawne being allergic to cats, she totally adopted a kitty who she fed and provided for on her balcony.  And apparently, D&J had the added company of cockroaches in their room.   I didn't have that same company, so I was actually able to get some extra sleep in - which is unheard of on vacations.  We checked out all of the other hotels too, so we know that Kelly and Tom's hotel was lovely, and I can imagine what it looked like a week later when it was bathed in sunshine.   I did attempt to put my feet on the sand for ten seconds, but didn't do more than that because even if I hadn't had a stranger say to me, "You're not going in are you? Very dangerous." I could see for myself the tides breaking against the cliffs with a vengeance. 

Either way, I can check that box off, Tahiti, done.  :)


And here are copious amounts of pictures too!





T O'B