From the monthly archives: "August 2010"

Storytime
Photo by Alistair James

Six months ago yesterday, I got married in New Orleans. In all this weekend’s news regarding the fifth anniversary of Katrina, I had to take a moment today to consider this miracle on a personal level, and all the ones that led to being able to have a wedding in New Orleans.

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A few weeks ago, I found myself wanting to dig up the NOAA warning from 5 years ago today. I still recall how much it scared me & how unfortunately right those fears turned out to be. I remember being up late in the night of the 28th — maybe ’til 3 AM on this night five years ago, until I forced myself to leave the TV, watching CNN and waiting for Katrina to make landfall. I copied out the weather service warning, and apparently I wrote extra notes, remembering another time.

Thirteen years ago last week: we left Baton Rouge for New Orleans during Hurricane Andrew. Going 50 minutes southeast was supposed to help and Dad, having been recently diagnosed with his brain tumor, had the rights and coverage for us to stay in the hotel adjoining the hospital where he had his radiation treatments. I remember we came back once Andrew passed, but we came back to a beat up city, power lines down, roofs gone, electricity out, & school canceled. Forty trees lost in our backyard! Electricity out for at least a week. Miserable in August–my long hair wasn’t dry for days. It was that muggy. I remember losing it with the Entergy repairmen, yelling at them for taking so long, letting us go without relief. We seemed to be the last in the city to get power restored. I wonder what they must have thought of this crazed 16 year old girl on a rampage. (In my defense, my Dad was dying.) A part of me is mortified, a part of me laughs.

I remember that rage at feeling like we were forgotten.

What if this storm kills Louisiana?

I can’t fall asleep while I go relive this childhood anxiety I had that preceded all hurricanes that came into the gulf. Evacuating was never a thing we needed to do. Wouldn’t it feel silly if the storm turned? Wouldn’t it be a waste? I remember the waiting, the watching, and waiting some more for the power to go out, the power going out on its own schedule regardless of wind, the power coming back on either early or late into the wait. You never could tell. Passing time talking to neighbors. Getting the radios ready, flashlights placed all over. Candles. Watching the sky, watching those low, strong clouds roll in. The Prejeans next door drinking through the storm. Hurricane parties were a thing. Are they a thing right now?

I called my mom earlier though I haven’t seen anything ominous about East BR Parish.

What to do. What to do. I can’t get over the “WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.”

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…

.HURRICANE KATRINA…A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH…RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE KILLED.

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET…DO NOT VENTURE OUTSIDE!

Camille crushed the area 40 years ago. Will Katrina be the same?

Images in the editorial feed are not alleviating these fears.

Skate Night
Tonight, skating in ol’ Lynnwood, with motomotoyama, Ms. N, & friends!

If I hadn’t planned to skate for so long, I might’ve taken a fancier camera which could have better captured this man with the neon-lit spinner rollerskate wheels:
Skate Night

It's Hammock Week
The days are getting shorter. I advise time in a hammock to enjoy these last days (or weeks? I could go for at least 2 more) of sunshine & heat.

Emerald Downs Day
Today was a fine day for the races for Misty’s Bachelorette!

Set on Flickr, and here:

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Saturday Night Fever at the Rebar
Another hilarious evening with Ian Bell’s Brown Derby’s staged reading of Saturday Night Fever. Nick Garrison was in good form as the main love interest, but Scott Shoemaker aka The Kid/Prince from July’s Purple Rain stole the show tonight as The Soundtrack, showing up for every BeeGees tune to sing the background. One of those things where you had to be there. Make sure you don’t miss their 8-mile rendition in November.

Around the Sound
A good friend’s concert band had a free concert going in Shoreline tonight. We enjoyed the show from the lawn.

Eat, Pray, Lov
Today’s the 17th anniversary of my friend K@r3n’s 17th birthday. So we went to seat Eat, Pray, Love, at lunchtime and work our way through most of a giant tub of popcorn.

While we were inside, the sun came back out.

Who has no thumbs & loves rolling in a hot yard?
Everyday in Summer, The Baron insists on saluting sunshine by rolling in the grass.

Where Ya At Matt at Pac Med - Beacon Hill
I got out the house early (for me) to meet up with Rocky at the Where Ya At Matt? truck on Beacon Hill, for my second visit in under a week. Today’s poboy: Creole Pork. Not exactly photogenic, but the bread was still right on.

If you go hunting for the truck when it’s Tuesday on Beacon Hill, it’s in the very far back of the Amazon/Pac Med campus, behind some of the side buildings. It took me about 10 minutes of dawdling to find it, but considering it’s the most perfect day of the year so far weather-wise, it wasn’t exactly an issue.

Smith Tower
I was downtown near sunset and near the Smith Tower at just the right moment.

Bride & Groom, at Golden Gardens
In the Summertime, Golden Gardens is a popular wedding destination. The couple above came out to the waterfront for pictures, right at sunset.

For the 2nd year in a row, we had book club at Golden Gardens’ beach. Officially, the book was Ramona Quimby, Age 8, but it wasn’t exactly mandatory despite the short length. We ate fried chicken, hung out, & watched the spectacular sunset.

Golden Gardens

Earlier in the day, my friend Gennie invited a bunch of us over for an Ice Cream Social, where we were wowed by homemade butter pecan, gelato & an assortment of other ice creams, fudge sauce and … pickles. (Love them.)

I am always enchanted by her 2 children. This is her new daughter, DJ Plum.
I call this "DJ Plum at the Controls"

Mountain Meadows
Last week, Mr. T told me the theme of his company’s Summer party today would be Medieval Times.
Me: Oh! Is it too late to order a RenFaire costume!??
Him: Yes. Pantaloons can’t be rushed.

Mountain Meadows

So, Medieval Times translates into: archery, jousting, giant turkey legs, ice cream sandwiches & barrel rolling!
Barrel Rollin'

Hold the presses, I need to take a picture!
Karen & I went to check out the Where Ya At Matt? Creole Food Truck for lunch. Along the way, I found a letterpress booth & made my first sign.
More letterpress setup

By the by, the poboys at WYAM? are the real deal. Next time, I’m checking out the muffuletta. Matt, a NOLA native, says they have someone specifically making bread for those & the poboys, which explains why they’re so right & more like Leidenheimer. Leidenheimer’s the perfect bread for a poboy. I’ve missed it. Matt also had the right recipe down for the muffuletta, but they ran out. An hour or so later, I swung back to pick up more take out for Mr. T — chicken/andouille gumbo & Red Beans and Rice! Both were good, but I’m for the gumbo.
Time for Where Ya At!
Shrimp Poboy Time!

Sailing
Tonight I took a sailing excursion with a very old friend of mine, Karen. In fact, she’s the oldest friend I have in Seattle — we go way back to Mrs. Jones’ 6th grade English class. I love how we both ended up here, even if she did witness my late-80s hairdo.

More pictures, in the set:

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Can Tho Dinner Menu
Today, I had one of the best lunches of recent memory at Sitka & Spruce. What took me so long? Exquisite summer tomato salad with feta, the best lemon hummus (fresh!), and exotic lamb manti. A work of art.

The eating tour rolled on in the evening at Cần Thơ Dinner at Monsoon, billed as a culinary tour of Southern Viet Nam. I’d skipped pictures at lunch due to great dinner plans.

In the end, none of my Monsoon images turned out. Alas. Above is the menu.

This promises to be a glorious food week. So much is on the books!

For today’s lunch, I finally visited Facing East with Frank & Naomi, my two DimSumCouver pals. I couldn’t have had better dining companions. (In fact, we hope to make a habit out of exploring the Eastside’s ethnic options.)

Unfairly, I had too-high expectations for this place. I enjoyed it but wasn’t blown away. But I’d hit it again to double-check.

We ordered: five spice fried chicken, soy noodles with green onions, salt & pepper shrimp, sautéed sliced lamb, a sweet potato oyster pancake, and stir-fried king oyster mushrooms. My highlight was the fried chicken (surprise, surprise) but I was impressed by how much I liked the stir-fried mushrooms, something I don’t normally go for. My least favorite was the sweet potato-blobby looking dish. Too formless and slithery for me.

Facing East: Five Spiced Fried ChickenFacing East: there's Sauteed Sliced Lamb in there
Facing East: Noodles with Green OnionFacing East: Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Facing East: Stir Fried King Oyster MushroomsFacing East: Sweet Potato Pancake with Oysters & Egg
Facing East Taiwanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

But then there was dinner, with other friends – Maggi, Kate, & Megan. I visited Shanghai Garden on Saturday, not realizing it’s where I had dinner plans already the following Tuesday…when I put it together, I was THRILLED. I could get the Shanghai juicy dumplings again! So we did, plus shaved noodles & green beans.
Shanghai Garden, Take 2
I ♥ dumplings! Aren’t they beautiful?
I recommend Shanghai Garden wholeheartedly.

Cake v Pie
Remember Saturday’s visit to Spur for class? With such pleasant memories, when Mr. T suggested I meet him & his colleagues visiting from San Francisco for happy hour at Spur, I jumped on that. We tried the sliders, the pork rillettes, the burger, the oxtail, & the salmon tartare but the fries may be my current favorite in Seattle. Skinny, tossed in chives & smoked. Couldn’t stop eating them. And Marley was back behind the bar!

I recommend Spur to any visitor to Seattle & especially to those from places like en-why-see or ess-eff-oh, unreservedly. Their happy hour food might be the best in the city & will engender envy from people from fancy-pants locales.
Spur Gastropub on Urbanspoon

The fries were an excellent base for my next stop of the evening: Cake vs. Pie.
Cake vs. PieLeslie's Caramel Cake, plus Gourmet HoHos

As its title would suggest, Cake vs. Pie was a cake/pie battle ROYALE. It was hosted by the ever-cheerful & delightful Cakespy at her new gallery on Pine. After the 6th cake, I cried uncle & effectively spoiled my appetite for sweets for the week.

For the record, my allegiance was with cake. Sadly, pie won. In this corner of the country, pie never had a chance. At least I got to meet Porkchop, Pug Extraordinaire.
Meet Porkchop

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