Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last Night

So far, other than the opening ceremonies of Seattle Beer Week I haven't been able to get out to any of the other events. But last night, we checked out Hill Top Ale House in Queen Anne. As part of the Seattle Beer Week celebration they were serving a couple of special beers from Boundary Bay Brewing in Bellingham. So we ordered up a round of their cask conditioned Oatmeal Stout.

I'm a big fan of stouts, but I have to admit I think an imperial pint of this Oatmeal Stout is a bit much to get through. The beer has a good malty rich flavor, but leans towards the sweeter side of things. And the sweetness is definitely amplified when it is served at the warmer temperatures of a cask conditioned beer. Not a bad beer, but something I'd rather enjoy in small amounts on a cold winter night.

We followed the stout up with the always good Bob's Brown Ale, which is a spring seasonal from Georgetown Brewery. It's a tasty brown, with a solid amount of hops. It seemed down right refreshing after drinking the stout. In addition to being a darn good beer, the nice thing about Bob's Brown Ale is that 100 percent of the profits made from this beer, Georgetown brewery will donate to the Ronald McDonald house.

And since it's Wednesday here's a video of some mean tether ball action. Why you ask? I ask, why not?

Impressive I know.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Your 2010 National Lacrosse League Champion...

Photo courtesy of

...Washington Stealth.

As I mentioned last week, I had the fortune to work as a stage manager for last Saturday's Washington Stealth indoor lacrosse game. The Stealth defeated the Toronto Rock to win the 2010 Champions Cup in front of a crowd of 8,600+ at the Comcast Arena in Everett.

It was a fantastic and loud night filled with suspense. The Stealth came out hot to take an early 3-0 lead, only to see that lead disappear as the Rock went on to lead by as many as five goals during the third quarter of the game. But, the Stealth turned it on strong when it counted and
ended up winning by a final score of 15-11. The building went crazy and the celebration began. It was a unique vantage point to be able to be on the field during the celebration.

Although, I wasn't involved with the day to day operations or marketing of the team, it was fun to see the momentum and enthusiasm for the team grow over the last six months. While they averaged a respectable 4,000 fans a game during the regular season, it was a huge boost for the team and the sport of lacrosse in this area that 8,600+ fans showed up for Saturday's game. Granted, winning is the best way to ensure a franchise's success, but in my opinion there is a strong opportunity for this franchise and the sport of lacrosse to gain great popularity in the Puget Sound region based purely on the fact that the sport is so fast paced and spectator friendly. But, only time will tell. It will be interesting to see how the sport does in a competitive (and sometimes saturated) sports environment.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The wonderful strangeness that is getting older.

I originally started this some months ago but never finished it. But, as I turn 31 today, it seemed an appropriate post to edit and post.

I'm shooting from the hip here. I hope this doesn't sound like a self absorbed diatribe. It's not a complete thought. Just some odd thoughts, that cross my mind every now and then. An observation based on my experiences and perceptions (however flawed) at 31.

I'm 31 years of age today. Which is strange, considering that on some days I still feel (and act) like I'm 12 or 18. (Tonja might argue a 4 year old on some mornings). And then on other days, I feel like I'm old and worried that I've squandered my youth.

I know anyone over the age of 40 is cursing me for implying that 31 is old. And lets be clear, 31 is not old (for that matter neither is 40....). But, 31 is the oldest I've ever been and it is a different feeling for sure.

It's a different feeling and perspective. This may sound inconsequential (or stupid), but for the first time in my life I'm part of an age group (People in their 30's) that have an entire age group (People in their 20's) below me that is out in the real world/work world. And depending who you talk to, I'm either in competition with, being looked up to, or made fun of, by those people in their 20's. (or drinking a beer with them). As a result I'm looking at myself and the world differently.

In other words, I'm not a rookie anymore. I know some stuff now. Not a lot, but some stuff, the basics at least. I still have a whole lot to learn (and some things I will never learn). And I guess that is what this is really about, your 30's is really the beginning of a mid point (and no, not a midlife crisis). A midpoint of early adult life. And this midpoint, that is your 30's, is a giant reminder that life is happening right now (like it or not). There is no more hiding behind youth. There is no more preparing for life, the preparation is done, it's happening now and if you don't look out you'll miss it.

As a midpoint, there are constant reminders of the past and the future.

The reminders of the future are coming more and more frequently as we see our friends and family having and raising their own children. And reminders of the past are slipping away. (A grim reality that older family and friends that you've known your whole life are beginning to leave).

There are constant reminders that today is tomorrow's history. I'll one day be telling my grandkids about the great recession and how it unexpectedly effected my career and life and just generally knocked me on my ass. (Hopefully it has a happy ending.)

There are reminders of where you've come from and where you're going. I remember how it feels to be a kid and why you do things that don't make sense (I know, adults still do things that don't make sense, but you know what I mean). Yet, I'm conscious of the fact that I'm growing older and that I need to start taking better care of myself and establish healthy habits now and I need to plan for the future.

Who knows where all this will take us. But, it should be an interesting trip.

I write about these things with no real certainty or declaration that I really understand it all, but simply as an observation on this day from this milestone along the trail.

In addition, I do not take for granted how much I've been given in the first 30+ years of life. I am truly humbled by the trials and tribulations that so many have had to endure, so that I can comfortably sit where I am today and reflect and ruminate on such trivial subjects.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Washington Stealth

Another shameless plug...

As most know, I've been working part time as a contract Game Operations stage manager for the National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Washington Stealth indoor lacrosse games this year. It has turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. The Stealth who relocated to Everett from (ironically) San Jose last summer, have enjoyed a very successful season. And it will all culminate this Saturday, May 15 at the Comcast Arena in Everett as they play for the NLL Championship against the Toronto Rock. It should be a very fun and energetic game. If you've never seen an indoor lacrosse game, I highly recommend it.

It's been fun to see the number of fans of the team and the sport grow throughout the season. In addition, I've had the opportunity to work with some former coworkers from the past and get to know some new cool coworkers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seattle Beer Week!

If you live in Seattle, beginning this week and lasting for ten days, you might notice people moving a little slower than normal in the mornings and leaving work a little earlier in afternoons. Why? Because it's Seattle Beer Week!

Seattle "Beer Week" actually lasts for 10 days, beginning this Thursday, May 13. Coincidentally, the kick off begins on my birthday. So, we'll be taking in the opening ceremonies at Hales Brewery. And then I plan on checking out some of the other events throughout the 10 days.

Seattle Beer Week was put together to celebrate Seattle Beer Culture and everything related to Seattle Beer. It's going to be a week of beer tastings, beer and food pairings, beer drink specials and just a general good time to try some new beer with people that really enjoy beer. I also plan to do some networking and maybe learn a few things about brewing and the beer industry in the process.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Collected Wedding Thoughts (sort of)

Okay, it's been almost 3 weeks, and life has calmed down considerably since the wedding. We're finishing up thank you cards and reorganizing our house. As the weather continues to warm up, life feels good. I feel very lucky.

So I could probably write a million thoughts about the wedding, some interesting, some funny, some emotional and some just random. I prefer here you go.

*As previously mentioned, The wedding was everything we could have asked for. It was simply an over powering experience to have so many of our friends and family in one room with us to celebrate such a special day. Just being able to get all those people together made all the planning and stress worth it. It's not easy to travel for weddings, so it was wonderful that so many of our out of town friends and family could make it.

*The hard part about having all those family and friends together in one room was the fact it was impossible to spend enough time with any of them, especially those who we don't see on a regular basis. But, we did enjoy the time that we had with everyone.

*I've put on enough events to know that there really is no such thing as a perfect event. Things happen, you just hope they are small and most people don't notice. But, on the plus side they usually make a great story afterward. And our day definitely had it's share of quirks. From our cake topper making a nose dive from the top of the cheesecake to the cement floor to some music issues...things happened. But, as most people will tell you, none of it really mattered. Because, it was really about celebrating what Tonja and I have together and the people who helped us get here. And all those little things just become part of the story of our day.

*The Toasts. I have to say I was very moved by the toasts. Funny, insightful and reflective. Thanks to the bridal party.

*I've heard this from other couples. It's funny how we barely noticed some parts of the event that we stressed over so much. I'm still not really sure what our food presentation looked like, as I was light headed the one time I went through the food line. And I never had a chance to go outside and check out the woodfire pizza oven. The food that I had was good, but definitely would have liked to have eaten some more. As a result, I now know why it's so important to have a good photographer to capture all the things that we missed while we were being nervous, excited and relieved. So, we're very much looking forward to getting the professional photos back.

* In the end, the stress and resources that it took to put the wedding together were totally worth it. I'll be honest, there were definitely times in the planning process when I thought it sure would be a lot easier to run away for a weekend and just get married. But, as everything came together and we stood in front of our friends and family, it was totally worth it. In my entire life, I have never had such a day where I experienced such a wide range of amazingly powerful emotions. It ran the entire spectrum. And I really wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

* Life is good. Lets see what's next.

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