Saturday, April 29, 2006

Arr, matey

My pirate name is:

Dirty Grace Cash

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

We're going to a pirate birthday party tonight, so I had to get the right name for the occasion. This sounds about right, although I didn't realize I was this dirty...

Thanks to Anne for pointing out the website!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dining Out for Life

Last night was Dining Out for Life, an annual fundraiser for Lifelong AIDS Alliance and a great excuse to go out for dinner. We went to Cafe Campagne, my favorite Seattle restaurant for many reasons, but mostly because of their calamari. It's one of the only places that doesn't serve breaded, fried calamari; theirs is sauteed with olive oil, garlic, parsley, capers and lemon. YUM! I could just have 2 plates of it for dinner and be happy...but sadly that was not to be last night. I had a late meeting so our reservation was for 9, and by the time we got there they had sold out. I seriously thought I was going to cry--so pathetic, but if you've had their calamari you will understand. Luckily, the waitress steered us toward another fabulous dish and the crisis was averted. But more about the menu later. First, the couple next to us...

Imagine you are on vacation in a foreign country. You don't speak much of the language, but your guidebook mentions a great little cafe and you decide to try it for dinner. You get there and the place is jam-packed; you're greeted by both the hostess and a man in a red apron talking about donations and a trip to Puerto Vallarta. You finally sit down and the red apron man comes over, talks to you some more but you're not sure what about, and hands you an envelope to put money in. You might be a little weirded out, right? I think that's how this couple was feeling...they clearly didn't know it was Dining Out for Life night, which I imagine is why most of us were there. They were speaking in what sounded like a cross between German and French (Dutch?) and looked pretty confused for most of their meal. I felt a little bad for them, but they looked like they had a decent time by the end. Good wine has a way of doing that!

So...the meal! Last night I was saying how great it would be if we were rich enough to be regulars at Cafe Campagne, and Larry made the point that we could be regulars if we didn't have four courses everytime we eat there. That wouldn't be nearly as fun, however, so I guess it will always be our "splurge" restaurant. Here are the four (amazingly delicious) courses...

Haricots verts marinated with lemon vinaigrette and shallots, topped with grilled bacon
The bacon definitely made up for the lack of calamari.

Salade verte
Mixed spring greens with a sherry vinaigrette

Steak frites with Roquefort butter and sauteed greens
I had this with a 2001Côtes du Rhône Domaine Vieille Julienne;
Larry had a glass of 2002 Cahors Prieuré de Cenac. Both were excellent, and the staff is super knowledgeable about their wine. (Which is good, because Larry is a total wine aficionado (wino?) and I know next to nothing...)

Gateau foret noir with cherry sorbet
BY FAR the best Black Forest cake I've ever had--the cherry sorbet was to die for!

Hazelnut creme brulee
We shared desserts so I still got to have some of this too. No matter how stuffed we get, there's always room for creme brulee...

I have to mention one last perk...if you go on Thursday nights, they have live music (usually French accordion or cabaret). Truly, the best restaurant ever!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006




So tonight I wanted to mop the kitchen floor, but to do that the boys have to be put away until the floor dries. Needless to say, they grew wise to this plan long ago and usually give me the runaround trying to avoid confinement. But the beauty of living together is that now there is one human for each cat. I enlisted Larry's help and we made a plan: he would pick up Zach, I would pick up Nigel, and we'd deposit them in the office before they knew what had happened.

Larry had already picked up Zach, and I was about to pick up Nigel when he freaked out and ran away. Then Zach freaked out too, but Larry was still holding him. I can't even remember the last time little Zachary scratched anyone, but he really did a number on Larry. Two on his chest and one under his chin. It looks SO painful. I feel really bad for him, and a little guilty because I was on the phone and trying to pick up Nigel with only one hand. I think this is a lesson for me to stop trying to clean the least while I'm on the phone!

Larry keeps saying, "Zach has a taste for blood now..." I guess if we see him forgoing the kitty condo for the kitty coffin we'll know for sure.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Fever Pitch

Work craziness and Mariners games have kept me away from the blog for a while, but I'm getting back on track now. Opening day was last Monday, and I've already been to 2 games. Now that it's my third baseball season, I'm finally starting to understand the subtle details of the game--the strategy, what the different calls mean, and what all those abbreviations like RBI and ERA stand for. For someone who's never really been a sports fan, I'm pretty into it now--but the highlight of the season is still when I get to see the grounds crew dance. Some things never change.

The only downside this year is what to eat... in the off-season I've come to terms with my wheat allergy, which means I can't have any of the good stuff. No cheeseburgers, no pulled pork sandwich, no major league dog. And worst of all, no 2 for $5 sausages after the game.
Nevertheless, here's my Mariners top 10 for the first 2 weeks of the season:

1. Yuniesky Betancourt--great shortstop, even greater name, my favorite player
2. Kenji Johjima--new catcher, awesome hitter
3. The old man who sells peanuts and kettle corn outside the stadium
4. Souvenir size Sierra Mist
5. Heat lamps in the ladies room--baseball in April is COLD
6. The Hat Trick game--I'm 2 for 2 so far...
7. Meeting up with our friend Dan and his 4 year old Noah--the cutest fan ever!
8. Mariners win at my first game of the season (game 2 against Anaheim)
9. Finding free parking downtown
10. The awesome organ music