30 December 2007

Next Stop = Oz

New Year will be celebrated at 30,000 feet. Am I sad to be missing a great party?


Blog you all from the flipside!

24 December 2007

The Shortest Day of the Year

For most of you, 21 December comes and goes without much thought other than that you only have 3 more shopping days until Christmas. In Alaska, 21 December is one of the most anticipated days of December - almost more so than Christmas or New Year - because it's the shortest day of the year, the Winter Equinox. After 21 December instead of losing light we gain it - in huge leaps of 5-6 minutes at a time. We are on the way back to spring.

According to the Anchorage Daily News the sun doesn't officially rise in Anchorage until 10.15 am. It sets a mere 5 1/2 hours later at 3.43 pm.

This morning when I woke up at 10 am at the cabin it was grey and low light (a balmy 22 degrees). I lay in bed under my down comforter and stared out the big picture window at the snow covered trees and the mountain across the lake and thought, I could do with another 20 minutes, surely it can't be time to get up YET. But it was. Don't let the light fool ya.

Needless to say, I've been sleeping extraordinary amounts since I got here. I've been averaging 10 -12 hours for the last 3 nights in a row. Call it the combination of quiet, dark, and the fact that I am totally stress free these days and have no need to be anywhere before noon.

It's a nice way to start the sabbatical.

I hope this Christmas Eve finds you all well and happy and spending time with those you love and that tonight you get to sleep as long as like. That's my simple Christmas wish for all of you.

Now, I must dash - there is a glass of egg nog calling my name...

20 December 2007

ReckenRoll Hitting the Road

Today is my last official day of work until 4 Feb 2008.

Let me repeat that. It's kinda a big deal. TODAY IS MY LAST OFFICIAL DAY AT WORK FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS.

After almost 8 years at my company, I am taking 6 weeks of sabbatical and holiday time. SIX WEEKS of no work responsibility. No meetings, no commute, no need to be awake before 9 am (unless my tour is leaving without me that is...)! I counted, the last time I went six weeks without any type of serious responsibility was the summer of my sophomore year of high school.

That would be 15 years ago.

After all the planning, the stress, the money, the anticipation...it's hard to believe it's actually here! Tomorrow I am off to Anchorage for the holidays and then on New Years Eve at 11.30 pm PDT, my plane takes off for Australia and I will greet the new year in mid-flight.

Yes, you should be jealous. I am jealous and I get to do it!

It's gonna be, in a word awesome.

I'll keep you all posted!!

18 December 2007

OMG. OMG. OMG. Pink Martini in Oz!

Was just randomly checking the web and discovered that PINK MARTINI will be playing in Sydey when we are there!! Tickets = PURCHASED. As many of you may recall, I saw them in London in May when I was on a concert kick and it was a lovely lovely evening. They are such a fun band.

For those of you in Chicago, they will be there in March (link to tour dates is above). I HIGHLY SUGGEST you get your tickets now. They are not to be missed. So fun!!

17 December 2007

Christmas Cards = FAIL

So I actually did buy Christmas Cards this year. They're cute. Black and White photos of a little boy staring up the chimney waiting for Santa. You'd love it.

I take pride in choosing a cute card, one that is slightly whimsical and will stand out from the rest. My favourite one that I ever send had a bunch of little kids dressed up as reindeer pulling a sleigh in black and white. It was cute. I got positive comments. I like feedback.

This year, all my Christmas Cards are ready to go...and by 'ready to go' I mean, they are all sitting in their pretty little boxes on my dining room table waiting for warm wishes and addresses.

This makes me feel like a bit of a big loser.

I figure I have until Wednesday morning to get those bad boys in the post. After that, I might as well save them for next year.

Top Five Holiday Songs This Week
  • All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
  • Carol of the Bells - Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas - Michael Buble
  • The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Diane Krall

14 December 2007

Friday You Tube Clip of the Day

Instead of boring you with tales of my terrible morning (all before 9:30 am) I will instead share this awesome clip and sip on my double tall gingerbread latte and think good thoughts about humanity.

You make your own good times people.

Watch all the way through cause the first kid is good but the second kid...er third kid, is freaking amazing!

Happy Friday! Enjoy everyone!!

13 December 2007

Ride the S.L.U.T.

That headline is sure to drive some new traffic to my site...

Big day here in Seattle, the South Lake Union Trolley (S.L.U.T.) is officially open for business. Sadly, it's actually officially called the South Lake Union Streetcar, but who wants a t-shirt with that on it?

To celebrate the grand opening, you can ride the SLUT for free until the end of December and then it's gonna cost ya...a dollar. So come on everybody, let's go ride the S.L.U.T!!

11 December 2007

Stuff You Can Buy Me For Christmas

Inspired by Julie Gong and lacking anything better to write about...here's some stuff you can get me for Christmas:

1. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass -

I just read The Golden Compass and these are books 2 & 3 in the trilogy. If you liked Harry Potter, chances are high you'll like these books too...although I haven't seen the movie yet so can't comment there.

2. UGG SlippersI would never buy UGG boots but I can easily get myself vested in some Ugg Slippers. I rent the basement of a house in Seattle and while spacious and lovely, it's not exactly the warmest floor in the world. These babies would not leave the house but I see some serious warm tootsies in my future! Sign me up! I get cold feet.

3. Solitaire Diamond Pendant

Do I really need to explain why I want a diamond? I am girl. Tiffany's has some nice settings but I prefer the way this diamond can move around on the chain and is set off in it's own setting. (I will also take diamond earrings. Don't feel locked into the necklace!)

4. Samsung LN-S4096D Flat Screen TV

Highly rated by CNET Reviews. I also want an XBox 360 and Guitar Hero (seriously, I rock) but I'll take the TV first. Kthnksbye.

5. A 2008 Audi TT - RED. Convertible.

Let me know if you need my delivery address, ok?

07 December 2007

Friday You Tube Clip of the Week

As I recover from the holiday party, I bring you the fainting goat.
This one's for Jeffe.

06 December 2007

The Office Holiday Party

Tonight is the annual Holiday Party around here. We're all going to some nice place downtown to whoop it up like the party animals that we are....and by that I mean drink my 2 drink tickets worth of cocktails, eat some lukewarm buffet, schmooze with the execs and then cut out early.

After 3 years of holiday parties in London, I don't really see how the Seattle team can measure up. There's no shutting down the office early to have a Christmas lunch at a private club or having open bar up to a certain dollar spend (so much better than the ticket thing - almost like a competition with co-workers to see who can drink the most before it's not free anymore!). I can pretty much guarantee there won't be any karaoke, dance floor shenanigans, or any of my direct reports embarrassing me by hitting on senior execs (but hey, they could always surprise me).

I won't be falling down in the street and dirting my dress (still not been dry cleaned), watching the office Casanova have a melt down as all his conquests figure out they weren't the only one, or telling the dj to play "Getting Jiggy With It" because I know Jeffe can't listen to that song without singing it and when he's had too many beers it's real funny to watch.

Nope, when it comes to the holiday party, London definitely gets it right. Sadcakes.

London = 1
Seattle = 0

05 December 2007

It's Booked - Let the Countdown Begin!

I just dropped a crapload of cash on the Interweb today. No, it wasn't on Christmas presents, it was all on ME ME ME. (Really, is there anything better to spend money on? I think not. All of you feel free to spend money on ME too, ok?)

The money was spent booking and confirming details for the trip to Australia next month and it's all coming together nicely! However, I do have to say, nothing is scarier than hitting 'confirm' on something costing more than $1000 on the Internet. Eek.

Here is the itinerary so far:
  • Jan 2 - 5 Melbourne
  • Jan 6 - 7 Drive to Sydney
  • Jan 8 - 10 Explore north of Sydney
  • Jan 10 -15 Sydney
  • Jan 16 -27 Tour east coast up to Whitsundays
  • Jan 28 - Back to Melbourne
  • Jan 29 - Fly back to USA

I leave in 2 weeks to go home for Christmas and then straight on to Oz after that. Let the countdown begin!


03 December 2007

Welcome to America Suz!!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have a new star on our shores! The lovely Suz (of this blog's fame) has officially relocated to the NYC and will be making America a better place to live for at least the next 3 years. You can expect the ReckenRoll to pick up and head off to the East Coast a lot more often now.

If you're in NYC and happen to run into a fabulous blonde girl with a lovely Dutch accent, a wicked sense of style, and the left half of my brain, do say hello and give her some kushyas for me!!

30 November 2007

Friday You Tube Clip of the Week

I know the song I am dancing to at my wedding (someday!)

29 November 2007

Thanksgiving in Alaska

So while you were all snuggled in your big cities, deep frying your turkeys and getting your cranberry sauce out of a can, ReckenRoll was in the big AK getting a turkey dinner together the old fashioned way:

Without electricity.

Oh yeah - that's right - in my family's grand tradition of something going wrong on a major holiday, this year we had a power outage on the big T-Day thanks to a nasty wind storm and a fallen tree. The power went out around 1 pm and stayed out until about 10.30 pm that night. In this case, it was probably a good thing we were at the cabin.

We had a fire going in the fireplace already, were cooking the bird on the bbq anyway, and there were enough candles and kerosene laterns to keep the place well lit. The stove was gas, so was the oven, and the creek behind the house provided water for the potatoes and the toilet. The boys got to pee outside. They were happy*.

In fact, it may be one of the best Thanksgiving meals we've ever had. The food was awesome (2 kinds of homemade cranberry sauce), the company was good, and not having power meant a nice little intimate atmosphere and plenty of time for conversation. We even caught the forgotten plastic wrap on the already baking veg dish before it was too late.

I may just eat in the dark every year.

The part that struck me as the funniest is that when the power went out, we had been joking about, "What if the power goes out?" and then it did, and when it did, no one even really blinked. It was like, "Oh the power's out. Guess I should get to chopping those onions. Anyone care for a drink?" In Seattle, it would have been the headline on that night's local news "TURKEY DAY TRAUMA 2007!!" Instead, I don't think it even made the paper. God bless Alaskans.

Electricity? We don't need no stinkin electricity!!

Oh and Kadonkadonk, AK says hello :-)

*Why do boys like to pee outside? Seriously? What's the big joy in that?

28 November 2007

Just a Mile

Yesterday I ran a mile at the gym. I didn't have time for a long workout but had been in a meeting eating cookies all afternoon and needed to do something to burn off all that damn sugar.

I used to run a 5k on a regular basis and since I am just getting back into this workout thing I was thinking let's warm up with just a little mile. If the mile feels good, maybe I'll do 2 or heck, maybe even all 3.1 miles. Admittedly, it's been a while since I ran so I was just going to take it easy and well, let me just say:




I had to PUSH MYSELF so hard to finish that one little baby mile. I wanted to stop at about .35 and give in. ONE THIRD OF A MILE. Instead, I cranked the iTunes to one of my most 'pump it up' work out songs, slowed my pace, and tried to think about being in a swimsuit on the beach in Australia in January.

It helped. I made it...at a pace of just above what I think a normal human walks. BUT I DID IT!!!

And today?

I am so tired. I am so so so so tired. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to get dressed. I want to take a nap right now. I've had a grande coffee and a diet coke and am now trying sugar. This is so so sadcakes...plus it means I need to keep doing it cause I can't let one mile get me down! I shall rise above!!!


27 November 2007

Happy Birthday Little ReckenRoll

On this day, 29 years ago, I had to relinquish my lead role in the title of, "Only and Most Beloved ReckenRoll Child." When my baby brother arrived on the scene, I got to keep the title of "First Grandchild" as well as "Mostest Smartest" but he got "First Grandson" and "Most Obnoxious."

(I joke)

So today, I wish the best looking brother that a girl could have,


He taught me that I HAVE to share; that even though I thoroughly and completley believe that MY WAY is best, someone else might have a point; and that somehow I can be fiercely protective of someone who can also drive me crazy.

Because of him, I've watched hours of He-Man, have a guilty love of video games, and am familiar with a bunch of dead Blues men and the music they brought to the world. Because of me, he can recite most of 16 Candles.
I've known him since the day he was born and it's been 29 years of a beautiful friendship.

Happy Birthday Baby Mike!!

26 November 2007

What I Learned This Weekend: Thanksgiving in Alaska Edition

It was a long learning weekend...

  1. It's possible to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal without electricity. In fact, it might be the preferred way to do things.
  2. No one likes the jello mold. Even if you use extra cranberry sauce to make it.
  3. Mom is stingy with the leftovers. Dad is not.
  4. The Nutcracker only plays for ONE WEEKEND in Anchorage. Just one. You miss it that weekend and you miss it. Oh, and even though the Nutcracker only plays one weekend it still won't sell out on the Friday night performance. (You can bring the culture to the people but you can't make them drink!)
  5. Guessing how many minutes until the snow is clear off the highway is only a fun game to play on a long car trip for about a minute. After that, you need new distractions.
  6. The Glacier Brewhouse still rates as one of my #1 all time favorite places to eat.
  7. The Avenue Bar is the place to be in Anchorage...they even have their own local version of a Backstreet Boy.
  8. The "Starbucks Cafe" at Barnes & Noble in Anchorage makes the HANDS DOWN WORST cup of coffee I have ever had. Even after it's been taken back to be remade. Terrible. Undrinkable. Disgusting.
  9. Alaska and Seattle are having the EXACT SAME weather right now (thank you Global Warming). It was actually warmer in Anchorage when I left then when I arrived in Seattle.
  10. Into the Wild is a good movie.
  11. I am a Guitar Hero.

23 November 2007

Happy Thanskgiving Everyone!!

The ReckenRoll has headed north to Alaska for the holiday weekend. Our regularly scheduled program will return on Monday as she's currently too fat to type from all that turkey...

20 November 2007

Who Watches VHS anymore?

Quick side note on yesterday's post: They call to harrass me from the pub and force me to yell things like "ARE YOU GUYS DRUNK?" really loud from my cube and yet, not ONE of them, not even Kate, can be bothered to leave a comment. I even turned off that annoying word verification thing and still...no love.


In other news, I am taking off to Anchorage tomorrow for the annual ReckenRoll family Thanksgiving feast. I called my mom last week to demand discuss the menu and make sure that everyone was catering to my will on the same page. I think we are in a good place now. I am in charge of the pies. I like making pies. I will be making the crust from scratch. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

The ReckenRoll Thanksgiving will be held at Kenai Lake this year. I am taking my entire VHS collection with me to donate to the VCR library. I have like 30 VHS tapes that I bought before DVD took off (yeah, I'm old) and were in storage when I got home from the UK. I can't watch them anymore because I would be the laughingstock of everyone I know if I had a VCR but I also can't sell (who buys VHS?) or throw them away either.

The cabin is the only option left. It's where all ReckenRoll family appliances and household goods go to die. It's fully furnished with grampa's old couch, grampa's old microwave, our old TV, my cousin's old VCR...old pillows and linens that look like they were very hip in the 60s, boardgames that are worn around the edges. You get the picture.

At the cabin, the VCR is a luxury and the movies I am bringing are going to make us the most popular cabin for miles around. Seriously. It's like our own little recycling plant for ancient technologies and household goods. If you're nice to me, maybe some day I'll let you come along and enjoy the tour. If you want to watch 16 Candles on repeat, you move to the top of the list.

Now, if I could just find my snow boots...

19 November 2007

A Shout Out to My London Peeps

Some things I learned today:
  • THIS BLOG is the #1 blog read in Tower House, Covent Garden.
  • I have a demanding and opinionated blog audience, if not a slightly silent one, on the other side of the pond.
  • El Jeffe and Kate like to compete for my affections. I enjoy the competition kids, keep it up!
  • Sir Ian McKellan frequents The Sun Tavern in Covent Garden. He is not recognizable with his current beard to everyone but Kate can spot a celeb a mile away.
  • My London peeps miss me. They really miss me!

Thanks for the drunk dials team!

16 November 2007

Friday You Tube Clip of the Week:

A little sumpin sumpin for the weekend.

ReckenRoll out.

15 November 2007

Tired of Bending Over for Ticketmaster

Has anyone else noticed that Ticketmaster has become completely ridiculous with their fees lately?

I am going to see Ben Harper tonight (yaay!) and the tickets were $46.50.

  • PLUS $9.00 Ticketmaster "Convenience" Charge (cause the Internet is so inconvenient they have to charge me almost $10 for it???)
  • PLUS $3.00 Building Fees Charge (correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the whole point of having an artist perform in a venue to help support the costs of the venue in the first place?)
  • PLUS $2.50 "Print NOW Convenience Charge" (Because using my own printer, ink and paper is such a huge cost for Ticketmaster? Aren't they SAVING MONEY on overhead when I print my own? And no, there is rarely, if ever, the option to pick them up at Will Call for no charge.)

For a grand total of $60.00.

Now, I like Ben Harper as much as the next guy but $60? Seriously?

If you do the math, that's roughly 1/3 (30%) of the cost of the ticket in additional fees...for Ticketmaster to run my order through an existing software program and for me to print the ticket myself. Do they really have SO MUCH overhead on selling me a ticket to Ben Harper that they can justify $14.50 in additional costs?


According to Ticketmaster: "If you don't want to use the Ticketmaster convenience, you could get in your car, take time off from work, drive out to the box office, buy the tickets, drive back to work," he says. "What Ticketmaster affords you is the opportunity to buy tickets off-site via phones, online and ticket outlets -- and there is a cost associated with that."

Um, actually it IS cheaper and easier for me to drive to the Paramount and buy tickets at the box office then pay $14 in "convenience charges"

Eddie Vedder? I'd very much like to sign that petition now.

14 November 2007

THIS is why I am single...

It has nothing to do with my commitment issues, it's my oversized brains + ambition. Guess I should start dumbing it down a bit, eh?

According to a study done at Columbia University:

“We found that men did put significantly more weight on their assessment of a partner’s beauty, when choosing, than women did. We also found that women got more dates when they won high marks for looks.”

He continued: “By contrast, intelligence ratings were more than twice as important in predicting women’s choices as men’s. It isn’t exactly that smarts were a complete turnoff for men: They preferred women whom they rated as smarter — but only up to a point ... It turns out that men avoided women whom they perceived to be smarter than themselves. The same held true for measures of career ambition — a woman could be ambitious, just not more ambitious than the man considering her for a date.

“When women were the ones choosing, the more intelligence and ambition the men had, the better. So, yes, the stereotypes appear to be true: We males are a gender of fragile egos in search of a pretty face and are threatened by brains or success that exceeds our own.”

Although my oversized booty is apparently working for me as well but my brilliant daughters will have to go through the same thing...

"Perhaps smart women can take hope — as long as they’re built like Marilyn Monroe. Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Pittsburgh have released a zany study on the zaftig, positing that men are drawn to hourglass figures not only because they look alluring, but because hips plumped up by omega-3 fatty acids could mean smarter women bearing smarter kids."

13 November 2007

Jon & Kate plus 8

Has anyone else been watching this show on TLC and/or Discovery Health? I just discovered it this weekend as part of my weekend regimen of solid 6 hours of TV watching. In between the ANTM marathon on MTV and various classics on Oxygen and TBS, I managed to discover this little jewel of a show, "Jon & Kate plus 8".

For those unfamiliar, Jon and Kate have eight children (hence the title John and Kate + 8) but the trick is that they have a set of twins and a SEXTUPLETS. That's right. They have two girls aged 6 and six kids aged 3 and Oh My God I can't stop watching.

The entire 30 minute show is spent with me on a swinging pendulum: "Wow. I'd love to have a big family. It looks like fun!" to "Wow. I am NEVER EVER having children" (crosses legs).

It's not that the show is revolutionary TV but it's just the sheer fascination of managing 8 kids on a daily basis. It takes them 90 minutes just to get everyone out the door (video here). You should see when they try to have a family outing for the 4th of July. The kids are surprisingly well behaved and it makes me wonder how families with just 1 or 2 kids end up needing SuperNanny... although I guess with 8 kids you kind of have no choice but to let it become your full time job. No chance for the parents to let TV do the parenting and then wonder why their kid doesn't listen.

What say you readers? How many kids is too many kids?

09 November 2007

Friday's You Tube Clip of the Week

Ladies and Gentleman, I'd like to announce my retirement from the world of PR flacking. I've found my new passion:

Seriously, I've watched it like 3 times already. Now, if only my apartment didn't have a no pets rule...

08 November 2007

Australia Countdown has Begun!

Six weeks from today I will head home to Alaska for Christmas and after that, on 31 December, I will hop on a plane to Melbourne, Australia to spend a month communing with the dingos and the wallabees.

Goonder bought a ticket too and will spend 2 weeks with me. (Yaay!)

The count down to Oz has begun people. All free time will now be spent planning, researching and anticipating.

Please include any and all travel tips and must sees in the comment section.

06 November 2007

Ladies of Seattle, we need to have a talk.

It's a serious issue. I've witnessed no less than 4 cases in the last 3 days. It's practically epidemic.
Most of you are doing a serious dis-service to your footwear.

I really don't have a problem with the sloppy jeans and fleece look. I really don't. I am guilty of it myself. Somedays, you just can't be bothered to do more than put on your fave jeans and wrap up in a fleecy warm goodness and sip your latte at your desk.
I get it.
I also fully embrace and support the need to wear cute shoes. I have the credit card debt to prove it. BELIEVE ME, I get the cute shoe thing. I ENCOURAGE the cute shoe thing. A shoe is all powerful. It can make or break your day and definitely make or break the outfit. There is power in the heel.

But the next step is where we part ways because we really need to talk about what happens from the ankles down on the days we fleece it up. There is a rule I'd like to instate moving forward. Ladies, please place your right hand over your heart and repeat after me:


Just so we are all clear on the "why" - this does not, in fact, 'class' up the jeans and fleece. You really aren't fooling anyone. We all see what's happening from the ankles up. We get that it's casual Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday (or in some ladies case, Everyday) but just because you happened to throw on a black wedge or peep toe red heel does not make us suddenly think you are all made up and ready for the meeting.

And no, I am not talking about when you've got the good outfit on underneath the fleece and are just wearing the fleece at your desk to be warm. I am talking about when you got up in the morning and made the conscious desicion that you were going to be dialing in the outfit today. All you're doing by throwing on that cute shoe is making it look like you don't know how to match and making a potentially very cute shoe look very BAD. The heel has power, but it can't conquer a lazy outfit!

And that's just cruelty to footwear.

So please, go invest in some cute Diesel trainers and put the heels to rest. For all of our sake's...

02 November 2007

Friday You Tube Clip of the Week

I'm thinking of adding a new feature to the ReckenRoll. Along with Friday's Top 5, we'll do a You Tube clip of the week.

Given that Halloween was on Wednesday and I am still in a Halloween candy coma (seriously, when did the office become the dumping ground for excess Halloween candy?) I give you the pickle girl...and her paralyzing fear of (drum roll!) pickles.


You'd swear she was faking but if she is, she's a really good faker. The chick in the middle is afraid of mustard. Seriously. Mustard. The tastiest of all the condiments (next to ketchup) puts her into a mind numbing state of FEAR.

I say, "MORE FOR ME!!"

Friday's Top Five: The Seattle Weekend Edition

It's funny, this is the first weekend in over a month when I am not travelling or having someone travel to see me. I plan to do the usual weekend things:
  1. Attend a friend's birthday party
  2. Attend another friend's birthday party
  3. Get my hair did
  4. Go to brunch with the girls
  5. Sleep in, go to the grocery store, laundry

I am looking forward to #5 almost as much as #1. Go figure.

31 October 2007


Now give me some candy or I'll send the ghost dogs after you!!

30 October 2007

Belt Direction

More about American Airlines and their soul sucking 'service' later but Julie Gong reminded me that I knew something that I wanted to share with the group. It's one of those weird trivial facts that you don't actually realize is weird that you know it until you say it out loud and realize, "It's weird that I know that."

I had to Google it to make sure I got it right but here goes:
"In western civilizations, males insert the belt through the pant loops in a counter-clockwise manner (as if looking upon from above) and females tend to insert the belt through the pant loops in a clockwise direction."

But the funny thing is, I am anti-clockwise. I always go to the left. Clearly this is a bit of dated information.

I think this also explains why the flies on men's pants face the right and on women's they face the left...at least I think they do. I am wearing a skirt today so can't check. I am doing a mime of zipping my pants and it's definitely the right hand that is used to zipping so women's jeans/trousers face clockwise.

What say you readers? Do you dress left or right?


That's really all I can say about that right now.

But if you have any love for yourself at all you will pay the extra money (or less money in many cases) to not EVER EVER EVER fly American.

More Later.

25 October 2007

They Named It Twice

Off to the Big Apple this weekend to visit the Brother ReckenRoll and the lovely new Sis-in-Law ReckenRoll. It's a quick trip - just a few days - which means I need to really squeeze in the NYC QT. I have had to seriously edit my MUST DO list is:
  • Visit with my peeps
  • Soak up the NYC fabulousity
  • Shop a little
  • Eat a lot
  • Figure out where I left my heart. (I suspect it's at the MOMA)

(yes, I know this is the Library and not the MOMA but I didn't have any photos at the MOMA, OK?!? Geez!)

23 October 2007

No, actually, I don't need to create an account

There is a danger out there on the Internet. It's putting our very sanity at stake. Maybe it's just me who has noticed but I'd like to call all of your attention to a silent threat to all of our online time: "Uneccesary Account Creation" (UAC).

I'd noticed UAC increasing over the last few months and years. It started in obvious places. Buying something online and using my credit card. Online bill pay and banking. Joining some type of social networking something. Creating an online email account. Places where I want my information to be password protected. Places where I don't want someone to have access to my content, or posting content on my behalf. Where it makes sense for the online resource to have some information about me in exchange for better and more personalized service and some security.

Ok, fair.

Then it began to creep to other places...like travel websites that you frequently use, online publications, local ticket information sources and email newsletters. But I get that too. I need to sign up to read your publication. You want marketing data or I have to pay for a subscription. I give you my info, you let me read yours.

Good trade.

But it's slowly become completely out of control...nowdays it seems every website I visit wants me to create an account. Do I really need to create a password protected account on Hallmark.com to send a FREE e-CARD? Really? Cause if someone out there is sending unauthorized birthday wishes to people in my name I am actually ok with that. Do I really need to create a password protected account to view the traffic on the local news website? Really? Cause FYI - you can get that information from a FREE broadcast on TV and the RADIO.

While UAC is an increasing problem, it's the side effects that are actually more dangerous. Millions of American face the password dilemma EVERYDAY: Do you create a new and unique password for every website or do you just keep using an old favorite over and over?

And if you DO use an old favorite, don't you worry about the fact that so many potentially dodgy websites have your password that you may or may not use (or a version of) for your online banking and other actually important information?

Shoot, I have so many passwords to remember that I am screwed on those websites that lock you out after the 3rd failed attempt.

Just send me a new one. It's easier.

So this is a call to action people! Refuse to register! Refuse to give them a user name and password! Together, we can STOP UAC TODAY!!!

Maybe I can get Colbert to take this up as part of his campaign. Whaddya think?

Update: I actually found a pretty cool website with fake logins for websites that make you register and coupon codes for retail stores that make you register. Apparently, I'm late to the game.

22 October 2007

What I Learned This Weekend

  • Seattle weather will never fail to surprise me. From hail to sunshine to torrential downpour in less than 30 minutes.
  • A Husky can keep up for a while but eventually a running Duck will beat it. Go figure.
  • Never ever ever ever ever put one of those "W" decals on your face...unless you want to look like you were involved in a skateboarding accident for several days following.
  • Josh Ritter is awesome. You should all be listening. Seriously. Do it. Now.
  • The Showbox is a really good venue. Perfect size. Good acoustics.
  • Pike Brewery is a good place to go before the Showbox because it's across the street with good beers, food and you just might run into Josh Ritter and shake his hand.
  • A scarily disportionate amount of MK's conversation revolves around Seth Rogan, Superbad, and Freaks & Geeks.
  • Being sick on a long weekend is no fun but MK is a champ.

17 October 2007

Leotard Schmeotard

As all three of my faithful readers may recall, a while back I was complaining about being in America and being fat.

Yeah, I know, basically the same thing.

But after taking the first step to admit I had a problem I decided that instead of eating another handful of Peanut M&Ms to numb the pain maybe this time I should do something about it. So I did.

Being in a zealous state of mind, I signed up for a Yoga class and also a Ballet/Pilates class. I've done yoga off and on for the last few years and I really enjoy it. I always take the beginner classes because I am neither consistent enough nor zen enough to get serious about the yoga. I do it to relax and I highly recommend it.

A good "Om" can do wonders for your state of mind.

However, the Ballet/Pilates was a new one for me. I've heard amazing things about pilates from friends that have seen results and it seems a bit like yoga on speed so why not kick it up a notch? At the same time, like Julie Gong, I've always loved to dance and have taken a ballet class or two in my time. So I thought ballet + pilates. Right on.

So this morning I called the studio to find out where I needed to go tonight and if there were any special shoes or mats or anything I needed to bring. I was a bit shocked when they told me on the voicemail that "All females should wear a leotard and tights."

Are you kidding me? A leotard and tights? Sure, it's a ballet studio but this is a fitness class, not a BALLET class per se. It's for part time exercisers to mix it up.

And by "part time exercisers" I mean fat Americans.

Not only do I not want to be seen in a leotard in public, I don't really want to see others in a leotard. It's OCTOBER. In the PACIFIC NORTHWEST. People have been adding their 'extra layer' for a good month now and none of us were that great to begin with.

Besides, I don't think I need to be investing my hard earned drinking money in a leotard. That just seems counterintuitive.

Needless to say, I will be wearing my standard work out outfit of yoga pants and an old t-shirt from my brief stint on my office flag football team. I can only hope that others choose to do the same because really, no one wants to see this:

15 October 2007

To Stubble or Not to Stubble, That is the Question...

There is a a shadow spreading over the office today. Seems the under 30 set of dudes (the few that we have) have decided over the weekend that facial hair is the way to go. When asked for their reasons for the subtle stubble two answers were supplied:
  1. It's 'cutting edge'
  2. For the ladies.

Of course, the 'cutting edge' response required that we immediately share the below photo and question if everything old is now new again?

Dudes, what say you? Is the Don back?

11 October 2007

Guilting it Forward

NPR is doing their annual pledge drive here in Seattle.

On Monday, when I tuned in for my news and traffic, instead of my usual soothing voice telling me about the back up on 520, I heard a soothing voice asking for my support.

Of course I immediately did what I always do when NPR starts their pledge drive. I got annoyed, felt a slight twinge of guilt, and then I changed the station resolving not to listen to NPR again until the damn pledge drive was over.

They've got corporate sponsorship people.

That was until Margaret came into the office this morning telling the tale of listening to NPR on her morning commute. Apparently, they featured a young boy today whose parents make him donate 1/5 of his $5 allowance to a charity every year. This year he chose NPR and when the interviewer thanked him for his generosity he was apparently very cute and modest in a little boy way that just makes you grin a little as you listen to the radio in your car.

Then he threw in the kicker: he said that anyone who doesn't do what he's doing and donate at least what he donates (I am guessing $52) is STEALING RADIO.

It's a good point made in a very cute little boy way that of course guilted Margart right into dialing in and making her pledge.

After telling me the story when she got to the office, I was also immediately guilted into making a pledge and just a few minutes ago made my online donation. Now I am pushing my guilt to all of you.

Way to go kid.

09 October 2007

A Quotable Weekend

"You're not dying. You just can't think of anything good to do."

Besides virtually running through the entire script of 16 Candles with 9er (along with some Ferris thrown in for good measure) there was a lot of random quotes from the weekened that need to be captured for posterity. If I forgot any kids, please do add them in the comments section. In no paticular order:
  • "Is it easier to pop and lock with a collar?"
  • "You don't know goat cheese."
  • "I think I need two." "Oh yeah, at least two"
  • "So we tipped him a nickle?"
  • "Dance for me Monkey Boy!"
  • "F*ck Cilantro"
  • "These are the best pants you've ever seen"
  • "Let's consumate this beeyotch!"
  • "I am not wearing my own clothes!"
  • "Do you want some wall flavored vodka?"
  • "I'm not licking it. She can lick it."
  • "Hey Cherry, do you know where this guy can get laid?"

08 October 2007

What I Learned This Weekend (Chicago Style)

  • Chicago is my kind of town!
  • Deep dish pizza should not be consumed more than once a year but damn it's GOOD.
  • Everyone seems to agree that the John Hancock building has better views than the Sears Tower. I agree with everyone.
  • The bean is pretty freakin cool. So is the fountain with the faces. (Didn't really focus on names of things)
  • 9er and I may have been separated at birth.
  • Cherry and I were definitely separated at birth.
  • Four hours is not a long flight for a fantastic weekend.

Photos on Flikr. Recap later but some notes are in Twitter or you can go here for the highlights.

04 October 2007

Thursday's Top Five: The Windy City

Tomorrow I am off for a long weekend of high culture and philosophical discussions about life, love, and Helen Mirren's boobs with CherryRide and The Liar's Club in Chicago. It's my first to Chicago that will include more than just O'hare and I am SO looking forward to it! On the list of must see/do in no particular order:
  1. Sears Tower
  2. Navy Pier
  3. Art Institute
  4. Millennium Park
  5. Field Museum

Not included in the list are the evening activities plannned and coordinated by Mr. Ride, Cherry as they are assumed to be top priority.

What I Learned This Weekend should be interesting on Monday.

Photos (and more) next week!

02 October 2007

America is Making Me Fat

You know, I thought I would be able to handle it. The cutting back of walking everywhere would be replaced by regular runs and long walks to get a healthy lunch far away. The cutting back on trips to the pub would help balance out the lack of movement as I sat in my car in traffic.

Yeah, right.

This office is a virtual mine field of calories. I can name at least 2 candy drawers overflowing with the sweet stuff, 3 known bowls of gummi bears, peanut M&Ms, and a bag of misc crackers, cookies and other snackables. Not to mention the receptionist candy dish, the bag of Ruffles out for sharing and the fact that there seems to be leftover pizza and/or cookies in the kitchen EVERYDAY. I knew I wasn't making the best decision every time I got up to wander over for a visit and a snack until...

I stepped on the scale yesterday (after finally finding the scale in all my boxes that are still being unpacked - I have a LOT of crap) and since 1 August I've gained FIVE POUNDS. FIVE POUNDS IN TWO MONTHS!! Not even pregnant ladies gain weight this quickly. I admit, I had noticed my jeans were a bit tighter lately but like any normal female, I was blaming that on the dryer. I told this to Goonder and she immediately dismissed it. "What are you talking about? It doesn't show. You look great."

This helped a little.
The fact that it's officially bulky sweater season in the northwest also helps a little.
Ugh. I can't type about this any more. I have to go investigate gym memberships now.

01 October 2007

What I Learned This Weekend

  • Having someone else pair the wine to the food works well for me. I don't know how to do it, I just know what I like.
  • Moving is mentally and physically exhausting.
  • It is possible to make 2 trips to Ikea in a weekend and keep your sanity.
  • Ikea will accept the return of a picture frame even if you broke the glass yourself.
  • A wedding in the middle of the day is fun and efficient but not if you want to have a dance party.
  • It can rain for over 24 hours in Seattle no problem.
  • There is ALWAYS traffic in Seattle regardless of weather, day, or time of day.
  • Breastfeeding twins looks like a lot of work.
  • I don't love Clive Owen enough to keep watching Derailed.
  • I prefer the tall double to the grande.

28 September 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday...nananananana

Never one to miss a chance for shameless self-promotion....


And it's Friday. It's a Friday Birthday. As you all know, this is a rare occurence and can only be topped by the also elusive Saturday Birthday (see you all next year). After that it's just a slow slide to 40 and a decade of early to mid-week birthdays.


But not today, and not yet! Today is Friday Birthday. I'm cutting out early and going to get my party on. I leave you all with one of my favourite You Tube clips that will make you happy too.

Cause it's my birthday.

26 September 2007

We're All Doing It Wrong.

We only think we live in Seattle. According to the Seattle PI, it's not SEE-AT-TULL at all. It's See-ahlsh (kinda sounds like yacht but more in the throat).

"In 1852, Chief Seattle, the leader of Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, reputedly persuaded David S. "Doc" Maynard to move his general store from Olympia, to which Seattle often canoed for supplies, to the village of Duwumps (now Seattle). Maynard named his store the Seattle Exchange and persuaded settlers to rename their town after the chief when they filed the first plats May 23, 1853."

The city is named after the chief and the right way to say the chief's name is not how we are all saying it so say it right people! I mean, what's a little guttural noise between neighbors in the name of historical accuracy?

25 September 2007


I'm going. Several of you have been. What's on my must see/do list? Here is what you need to know:
  • Arriving in Melbourne on 2 January, departing Melbourne on 29 January. I have just over 3.5 weeks.
  • I am probably going to stick to the East Coast but MAY fly out to Perth for a day or two to see the fabulous Hendersons.
  • Kjersti may join for part but am probably going to be traveling most of it alone - so anything that hooks me up with fellow travellers to hang out with and go to the pub with is good.
  • I am reading Trip Advisor like crazy. I have a copy of Lonely Planet. I got that covered.
  • I am not opposed to doing group tours. Active tours.
  • What are your thoughts on the big rock? I've read good things.

Please Advise.

24 September 2007

I am Not a Morning Person

You can ask my mom. Or my dad. Or my brother. You can ask any former roomies, boyfriends, or friends that I have gone on holiday with. You can ask any one that has attempted to make early weekend plans. It was a running joke with the Dobbersteins when we would travel together in Europe - they would get up and go eat the hotel free breakfast and I would keep sleeping. ADobbs always wanted to get going by 7.30. I would happily compromise by refusing to get out of bed until at least 9.00.

Who needs bad coffee and muesli when I could get 30 more minutes of shut eye? Hey, I'm not afraid to say it: Breakfast is over rated.

That is not to say I don't enjoy eggs, toast, pancakes, etc (although I don't really do the breakfast meats) it's just that I prefer brunch.

You want to know the fastest way to ruin my day? Pull a Dad. Walk into my room at 7.30 in the morning, flip on the light switch across the room and say in a loud voice, "IT'S TIME TO GET UP KID." Don't add enthusiasm or any type of gentle waking noises or human decency. Shut door to repeat process on younger brother down the hall. Make sure to leave light on.


Why am I ranting about this today? Because I am still not moved to my permanent location (yaay Thursday!) and the flat I am living in is noisy, the bed I am sleeping on not comfortable, and the fact that I had a 8 am TELECONFERENCE on a Monday morning after not falling asleep until 1 am is just about the most unacceptable thing I can think of.

The single greatest thing about London? The time zone. Shoot, I could come in at noon and still be 4 hours ahead of anyone in our West Coast offices turning on a computer. Those were the days.

I need a nap...and more coffee.

20 September 2007

Talk Like a Pirate Day is Now Over


You may now carry on with plain old corporate office speak.

19 September 2007

Avast me hearties!

It Be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

You can find your pirate name HERE (I'm Blackheart Ethel) and a quick cheat sheet on how to talk HERE and for those looking for more advanced manuevers...

Top Ten Pickup lines for International Talk Like a Pirate Day
10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?

And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is …
1. Prepare to be boarded.

18 September 2007

Ways to Entertain Yourself in Seattle

  • Work (check)
  • Catch up on last year's TV before this year's TV starts next week: Heroes, 30 Rock, etc. (check)
  • Think about buying a bike...but don't...yet. (check)
  • Decide the flat you have already signed a year lease on is too small and ultimately unlivable and spend the weekend getting a new one (check)
  • Be assigned a cube at work and then get a new one (check)
  • Tailgate at Husky games. Actual game attendance optional. (check)
  • Plan trips out of Seattle: Chicago, Alaska, Walla Walla (wine), Australia, Netherlands, Hawaii (check)
  • Try yummy new restaurants (well, new to me): Purple (shiny, corporate, decent), Tavolata (poorly lit, good food, very Belltown vibe), Bricco (great wine, good snacks and CHEESE), Betty (summed up by saying Crow's little sister), Ototo (yum - sushi), Nishino (slightly overpriced but yummiest sushi in Seattle). (check)
  • Consider starting a restaurant review blog. (check)
  • Live vicariously through other's dating adventures (check)
  • Make blogging friends take inane quizzes (check)
  • Spend too much time on the Internet blogging, Facebooking and Twittering (check)

14 September 2007

Rumor Has It

That people are taking the quiz and not posting their results. There is no judgement here at ReckenRoll. We are all a big family united in our brutal love. So what if you are the town bicycle? I say, you should have a blog to tell us all about it!!

It's all love people. It's all love.

Now share your damn results!

13 September 2007

It's Quiz Time People!

Found a fun one. Aapparently, there are 16 relationship personas and we all are one of them. Take the quiz here to find out. Share results in the comments section. Oh, and skip all that stuff at the end where it asks you to fill in information about yourself to join their website. They don't require you fill it in...unless you want to fill it in. Who am I to stop you from finding love online?

Although, if you do join and find the love of your life online at least let me know. I'd like to get some credit for playing cupid.

So anyway, I am The Wild Rose (see below). Random Brutal Love Dreamer. The first time I took it I was The Sonnet. Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer. I got a Love Dreamer thing going on but apparently can't decide if I am deliberate/random or brutal/gentle.

Typical female.

When it came up as Sonnet it said I would, "absolutely refuse to date someone dumber than me." This is true but it made me laugh to read it.

The Wild Rose - Random Brutal Love Dreamer (RBLD)
Colorful, but unpicked.

Prone to bouts of cynicism, sarcasm, and thorns, you excite a certain kind of man. Hoping to gather you up, he flirts and winks and asks you out, ultimately professing his love. Then you make him bleed. (Ed Note: Really? I make them BLEED? Wow. I thought I just left them scarred for life at the idea of not having me. Oh, I guess that is kinda brutal.) Why? Because you're the rare, independent, self-sufficient kind of woman who does want love, but not from a weakling. (WWF members apply only please.)

You don't seem to take yourself too seriously, and that's refreshing. You aren't uptight; you don't over-plan. Romance-wise, sex isn't a top priority--a true relationship would be preferable. For your age, you haven't had a lot of bonafide LOVE experience, though, and this kind of gets to core of the issue. You're very selective.

The problem is them, not you, right? You have lofty standards that few measure up to. You're out there all right, but not to be picked up by just anyone.

Your exact female opposite: The Dirty Little Secret (Deliberate Gentle Sex Master)
Always avoid: The Bachelor (DGSM)
Consider: The Vapor Trail (RBLM)*

*this Vapor Trail guy doesn't actually sound that great. "Here today. Gone today?" What? And check out the drawing of what he's supposed to look like. Apparently I should consider a man with a porn star mustache and a bad suit? Then again, I'm very selective...so I guess my opposition to the 'stache makes sense.

**I am not convinced this Vapor Trail is as smart as me.

12 September 2007

Biking from London to Paris

Not me of course, but my friend Jeffe and his girlfriend Penny. You can follow their progress on his mobile blog. Kinda cool stuff.


If you'd like to make a donation to support them you can do so here: https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/PWCTeam. They are raising money to support a charity for kids with leukemia.

Do the right thing.

11 September 2007

Attack of the Monster Spider

For those that have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I don't do well with spiders.
And by "don't do well" I mean "tend to freak out"

I don't know why it happens. My rational brain knows there are very few dangerous spiders in the PNW and most are harmless to humans. My rational brain knows that I am 1000x bigger than a spider and can easily smoosh one. I can't recall any particularly bad experience with a spider nor have I even ever had that many spider bites. I actually like to look at spiderwebs when they are OUTSIDE - I think they are fascinating.

But a spider in my house...or actually touching me?
All bets are off.

So rewind to last night. Picture it. There I am, sitting on the floor, settling in for a night of Netflix, and enjoying my dinner when BIG F*CKING SPIDER (BFS) comes crawling at a rapid speed down my leg out of NOWHERE. No, I am not exaggerating when I name said spider BFS. He was 2 inches in leg span. I took a photo, see below. Jamey calls him a wolf spider. I call him WHALE spider.

Naturally, given his size and my surprise at his appearance, I did exactly what you would expect.

I completely freaked out and flipped my food and the spider off my lap.

Unlike this weekend's incident (see post below), this time I was actually consciously thinking, "flip spider to somewhere known so you can kill it." However, after doing my icky icky ew dance in the next room for the required 2 minutes, I returned to the scene of the crime to find BFS was MIA. I searched everywhere.

And by "searched everywhere" I mean I "tentatively picked up each item on the floor and shook it out at full arms length away from me while prepared to leap into the other room at any second should BFS actually appear."

After searching for BFS for a good 5 minutes (including lots of breaks to icky icky ew dance and to psych myself up to keep looking) and coming up empty, I ran back to the other room and did exactly what you would expect I would:

I proceeded to have a complete nervous breakdown.

Seriously, it was the biggest spider I have seen in a very long time and it crawled right on me and all I could do was think about how it was hiding somewhere in my flat and if I didn't find it, it was going to crawl on me when I was sleeping and it was so fast and creepy and crawly and ACK!

In a fit of desperation, I ran through a list of people that I could make come over to help me. Unfortunately, I was sane enough to realize how crazy that sounded and double unfortunately, the few people who wouldn't think I was that crazy for calling don't really live that close to me. So instead, I had to go with option #2. I called my mom. COMPLETELY CRYING.

Word to the wise, do not call your mom completely crying unless it is an actual emergency...which this absolutely was...because it makes them very worried. However, being the amazing mother that she is, we tackled the problem together. After a few minutes of crisis hotline intervention and calming me down, I had mom in my ear and was ready to search for BFS again. This time I spotted him hiding between the bed and the wall in the back of the bedroom.

Mom stayed on the line while I attacked and chased with a flip flop. She told me later she could hear this in the background, "DIE YOU LITTLE BASTARD! DIE!" (apparently, that is my war cry).

After a few minutes of good chase and furniture movement (seriously, he was big and FAST) the final score was:

ReckenRoll: 1
BFS: 0

I include a photo of my victory below.

Following the photo taking, I realized that maybe I had just stunned BFS and not actually killed him. So I put a newspaper on top of him and smashed hard with my flip flop to make sure he was really really really dead.

I'd like to thank my mom for being the rock that she is in my time of crisis. Mom, I couldn't have done it without you.

10 September 2007

What I Learned This Weekend

  • My bank doesn't open until 10 am on the weekends.
  • Some chicks in Seattle don't realize those popular cute shirt/dresses require leggings...
  • Mark thinks first base is going all the way.
  • Hicks might be a little bit gay. Seriously, Clay Aiken?
  • When a spider drops down from the ceiling on to my bed I should calmly attempt to knock it to the floor to kill it. Not flip it off the duvet in a fit of freak out and then lose it in my flat, never to find it, and keep waking up in the middle of the night worried about where it is all weekend.*
  • Britney Spears is out of shape, lazy and can't even lip synch the words to her own song correctly.
  • Chris Brown is an amazing dancer.

And in Husky news:

  • Even though I only know a handful of actual Huskies, EVERYONE I know goes to Husky games.
  • I should not ever ever ever ever ever ever attempt to drive near Husky Stadium on game day. Not EVER.
  • Even though Madison Park APPEARS to be near Husky Stadium there is no public transportation that gets you there directly
  • Husky football + sunny Saturday = Good Time

* Spider location still unknown and last night I woke up with a shot and sat straight up in bed out of a dead sleep because I dreamed a bigger hairier spider had just done the same thing

07 September 2007

Friday's Top Five:

Well, if we're really getting back into the groove of things, it's best to do a top 5 list. Today I'm going to make it really easy on everyone. Top 5 words/phrases that I am just not going to let go of...no matter how much the 'Mericans tease me.
  1. Flat - Meaning Apartment
  2. Loo - Meaning Bathroom
  3. Dodgy - Meaning Dodgy
  4. Refurbishment - Meaning Remodeling.
  5. Lift - Meaning Elevator

Deal with it peeps. The vocab is sticking!
Happy Friday!

05 September 2007

American Sushi Dilemma

In the UK, you only tip for table service. Hence, when you go to a sushi train place you don't need to tip. You are doing all the work yourself and even if they bring you a hot sake or something it's not like they did anything special. So no tip.

In the US, if you don't tip 15-20% they chase you down in the parking lot and ask what was wrong with your meal. So at the sushi train restaurant what do you tip? Say you eat $20 worth of sushi (easily done) does the waitress who brought you a hot sake really deserve $3 on top of that when the sake itself is only $4.50? You did all the work getting the food yourself.


Do You Miss It?

That's seems to be the #1 question on everyone's mind these days.

The answer is yes and no.

Yes: The Shaun and The Rob and Isabel were all in London this last week and I got happy emails in my inbox about everyone going down to the pub and all I had planned that night was a trip to the grocery store. That kind of sucked. I am really sick of living out of my suitcases until the rest of my stuff arrives. I miss Suz and all my peeps...you know who you are.

No: When I got in the taxi that was ultimately driving me to Heathrow to fly back to Seattle I had this warm settled feeling come over me. I caught myself thinking, "That was great, now I'm going home." It surprised me but didn't completely shock me.

London was always going to be a temporary thing. As much as I loved it and entertained ideas of staying forever, in the back of my mind I always knew I ultimately wanted to end up in the Pacific Northwest near my family. Because of that, part of my life was always on hold. Granted, it was the big scary decisions part (buying a house, etc) but in that taxi I caught myself exhaling at the idea of going home and getting on with it.

On the flip side, I can also honestly say that I got everything out of that experience that I wanted to and left nothing sitting on the table. I travelled, I saw shows, I met interesting people - I lived my life exactly how I wanted to and while there was some definite sacrifices made up front - in the end I wouldn't change anything. Being selfish for 3 years has it's benefits. If you ask me right at this moment, I can honestly tell you I don't have anything on that ever popular list of, "You know, I really wish I would have XYZ." Not a lot of people can say that.

So now it's time to find the next big adventure. The way things are going it's likely going to be adventures in real estate. Wish me luck...

03 September 2007

Hey Hi Where Ya Been?

Who ya been with and what ya been doing?

Well, I have been living in the USA for almost 20 days now.

I saw my brother get married and have been invited to 2 more weddings in the next year. A friend's baby joined the world and I learned that 5 more babies are on the way from other married friends. I've got a car, a phone, a flat. I've visited my cat and seen the ReckenRoll family dog. I helped tear down a deck and briefly considered throwing it all away to become a carpenter. I've planned a wine tasting weekend in WallaWalla, my birthday weekend in Seattle, and bought my ticket home to Alaska for Thanksgiving. I cajoled MKinMotion into coming to visit, complained to CherryRide about Chicago hotels for my pending visit, and commiserated with Goonder about the price of her ticket to Australia with me. I hung out with my oldest and dearest friends and made some new friends at the bar on Saturday night after Bumbershoot. I've been hit on at least twice. Which is nice. Considering in London I never got hit on at all.

So yeah, it's been a busy 3 weeks.

Do I miss London? A little bit...but I am feeling pretty good about Seattle right now. Just don't tell me that there is no return ticket. My denial is pretty deep seated.

19 August 2007

The Next Chapter

Thanks for all the welcome home comments everyone! It's been a good couple of days getting settled. Ate lots of Mexican and sushi (not together), caught up with old friends, got myself a new phone, signed a lease, and this time tomorrow will likely have a car too. It's really real.

There is no return ticket.

However, I've had several questions over the last few days about what happens to ReckenRoll Lifestyle now that my weekly activities are limited to watching Must See TV and drinking Starbucks.

Let me assure you that the ReckenRoll continues.

However, she's going to take a little blogging break until she gets settled. Anyone feel like guest blogging?

15 August 2007

Welcome To America!

I live here now.

Yeah, they let me back in...apparently that crazy night in Amsterdam hasn't caught up with my record yet.

It's weird. I haven't been sad at all, mostly I've been kind of content and there's a definite sense of "finally being home." I wasn't expecting that but I like it!

10 August 2007

Friday's Top Five: On Last Thing

I have one more night in London but before that I have a weekend in Rome! I am off tonight to do all five of the following things in the next 3 days:
  1. Wonder at the Colloseum, the Pantheon, and maybe even the Vatican
  2. Drink cappuccino, espresso and lattes that don't come from Starbucks
  3. Eat pizza, pasta, and gelatto til I burst
  4. Dodge crazy drivers and Vespas and inhale second hand smoke
  5. Relax, unwind, and not think about moving for a full 48 hours!

Thanks to all for the lovely send off yesterday. I will post more photos soon and photos of Rome when I get back.

Fine settimana felice tutto and ciao bellos!

09 August 2007

Yo Check it Out

I am guest blogging. It's like when Jay Leno auditioned for the Tonight Show all those many years ago.

Except I have a much smaller chin.

08 August 2007

Happy Birthday Jeffe!!

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
- Deep Thoughts, Jack Handy

Here's to the most unselfish guy I know.
Happy Birthday Jeff!

06 August 2007

My Favorite Text Messages

A spin on the usual "what I learned this weekend," instead, I offer up my favorite text messages starting from Friday night. It was a greeeat weekend and included a pub crawl, dancing, and sitting on the floor of my flat (because I have no furniture) at midnight passing around a bottle of cava (because I have no glasses) before trying to go dancing in central London.

No, these are not all from the same people and only one person got 2 texts on the list. Names have been removed to protect the not-so-innocent and times are the local time of the SENDER.
  • "Missing you. Plus, I am high." - Friday 3.32 pm
  • "I am listening to Silverchair wearing an awesome green super hero cape. Not even kidding." - Saturday 4.20 pm.
  • "Guess what. There is an article in the ft weekend about...? Snip snip!" - Saturday 5.01 pm
  • "Apparently you have to actually be GAY to get into GAY" - Sunday 12.30 am
  • "I is home. nice." - Sunday 4.16 am
  • "Hating life right now, also never touching booze again. I guess that's mission accomplished!" - Sunday 4.30 pm

Adding photos to Flickr as well because they can run but they can't hide...

03 August 2007

Friday's Top Five: Things I am Looking Forward To in 'Merica

Lest you all think I am doom and gloom about my pending move the PNW, I give you Friday's Top 5 Things I am looking forward to in Seattle:

  1. Whistler - "Go to Heaven, Ski like Hell" - I actually used to have that bumper sticker on my car (Heaven is a section of Blackcomb mountain). Whistler is just over a 4 hour drive from Seattle. It's the perfect distance to take off on a Friday and come back on a Sunday for a weekend of skiing/boarding. I plan to do this a lot. A LOT. Plus, I can get my fill of Aussie and Kiwi accents when I am feeling a bit homesick.
  2. Baseball - Yeah yeah, the Mariners are not the most exciting team out there, and rugby and football are a good day at the stadium...but honestly, is there anything better than sitting at the ballpark on a sunny afternoon after work, sipping a microbrew and watching the boys of summer for less than a tenner? I would argue not.
  3. Driving - I can go to the grocery store, the gym, and Target all in one trip...on my own timeline...without train delays, worrying about if I'll get rainded on, trying to figure out how much I can actually physically carry or being shoved into a train car next to Mr. Smelly and Mr. Stinky. All with my own music playing at full volume. God bless America.
  4. My Health - Yes, the car will cut down on the walking but no more black bogies and possible asthma from breathing in the traffic and train pollution. No more pub nights followed by a dirty curry that leave me pushing that belt loop up one more size. I have Green Lake to run around, the Burke Gillman trail to bike on, and Lake Washington to rent a kayak and paddle around. Fresh air. Novel concept.
  5. Alaska, California, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis - What does this list represent? My itinerary to visit friends and family. I've seen Europe - now I intend to see more of America. I'll see my faves and add to the list (San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Miami, Austin, Savannah). Speaking of faves, anybody want to go to Vegas?!

Sidenote: Just for you my pretties, I added Twitter to the side list so you all can follow my every move now...you know you like to watch.

02 August 2007

Back in the Saddle: London Loves

The ReckenRoll is now 90% more free of stuff. All that remain are the UK appliances (including TV and hair dryer) and the wine opener.

You know, the essentials.

So after wallowing in my beautiful melancholy for the last 48 hours I decided to take all 4 of your advice (and one phone call - thank you Jess) and pull my head out of it and enjoy myself.

So today, in honour of my telly and the remaining days on my TV license, I give you London love #3: the London "Celebrity. "

In the US we only have Paris Hilton who is famous for no real reason. In the UK, there are HUNDREDS of people that are famous for no clear reason. From the Big Brother bozos like Jade Goody and Chantelle (still famous and notorious), to Peaches Geldoff (daughter of Bob, founder of Live Aid), to Lisa Snowden (she dated George Clooney I think?) to god only knows who...

When they announced the participants in Celebrity Big Brother I knew ONE GUY. The dude who played Face on the A Team. As far as I was concerned the rest could have been any old bloke off the street.

This is a London Love because London is the centre of these characters fame universe. Much like LA, you can often encounter famous people in real life and it has happened on more than one occasion that a friend will get all excited about some random person nearby and I have no idea why. The conversation always goes like this:

UK friend: (pointing and smiling) "Oh my god it's XXXYYYYXX!"
Me: (looking around puzzled) "Who?"
Them: "What do you mean who? It's XXXYYYYXX!!!"
Me: (still trying to figure out who they are pointing at) "Who?"
Them: "Seriously? They were (insert some random Brit music group I don't listen to or some tv show that I've never seen)"
Me: "What's that?" (50% of the time) OR "Oh, yeah, we didn't have that in America" (the other 50% of the time)
Them: (eye roll) "Seriously? It was the best show/group/movie! I can't believe you never had that in America! Ask anyone. It's REALLY FAMOUS."

To which I always secretly draw on my American superiority complex and internally think, "well, clearly not THAT famous."

I shall miss the random Friday afternoon office discussions of XXXYYYYXX that I can't follow or contribute to yet am always fascinated by. I shall miss the London Paper, the London Lite and the Metro (all free newspapers) that kept me up to speed on what club/outfit/boyfriend XXXYYYYXX is making famous. I shall miss the trashing of XXXYYYYXX that is bound to occur because we are all annoyed they are famous and we are not.

At least I'll always have Paris.

31 July 2007

Facebook is having an effect on me

It's funny. Ever since I started playing on Facebook I've noticed that I keep thinking of myself in terms of that status update thingy in the corner. I'll be walking down the street and think, "Reckenroll is hungry and would like a cookie" or "ReckenRoll is annoyed there is a 7 minute wait for her tube" or even "ReckenRoll is thinking you must be joking."

Today's status update: "ReckenRoll is sad"

So I know I am supposed to be blogging about the things I love and loathe in London but for today thinking about London that much is just too much. As of tomorrow, I will only have about a week left full time living in London. I thought I was ready. I really thought I was...but I find if I really think about leaving and not ever coming back I get this panicky feeling that I don't really know what to do with. I can't possibly start wrapping my brain around what I love and loathe right now.

ReckenRoll is employing denial.

I've been planning leaving dos and planning for my arrival in Seattle and packing up my flat full time for what feels like forever. Thinking about London is all I do lately and putting words to the page on that topic just now is just too overwhelming. As all my stuff comes off the walls and books get sorted and my dvd collection dwindles from selling off the UK format dvds, it feels less and less like I live here and more and more like a place I am going to leave and that sucks.

ReckenRoll is sighing.

The movers come tomorrow at 9.30 am and tonight I am going home to force myself to keep sorting so that when they show up they can do their job. I am not the type to hand over control to someone else but right now it sounds like a great idea. As I told brother Reckenroll yesterday, I keep having moments of thinking, "I just want my mom to come do it all for me." How lame is that?

ReckenRoll is wallowing in it kids.

30 July 2007

What I Learned This Weekend

  • The Scissor Sisters put on an AMAZING show. We SO felt like dancing...and we did, knee injury and all.
  • Suz has a much higher threshold for pain than previously understood.
  • The A&E (Accident & Emergency or ER to the Yanks) is seriously a LAST resort. Do not go if you don't have to.
  • Apparently in the UK, it's completely acceptable to ask a patient to wait for 4 hours just to SEE the doctor...even when there is only a few other people waiting.
  • Meaning of Loaf will always return your calls, even if you didn't mean to make them (whoops!)
  • It always takes longer to sort and clean for packing than you think it will and I own way more crap than I thought I did. Seriously, where does it all come from?
  • There is more dust in London than anywhere else in the world and most of it is/was residing in my flat.
  • Secretary is a weird twisted dark and brilliant movie. James Spader...wow. What a interesting career.
  • Garden State is probably in my Top 5 movies of all time.

27 July 2007

Friday's Top Five: A list within a list? London Loves

“London audiences seem to be more stand back with your arms folded”
– Barry Fratelli

Following my very enjoyable (and dry!) Gershwin evening in Regent's Park last night, #2 on the list of London Loves should shock no one: The West End theatre scene or "Theatreland" as the tourists like to call it. I LOVE the shows. I love the drama, the comedy, the music, the dancing. I love seeing famous actors doing what they do best and having young unknowns surprise me. I love the magic of it. I love a night out being pushed to think about the world in a way I haven't before.

Within the few square miles around where I work in Covent Garden there are over 40 commercial theatres and several more non-commercial theatres including the Old Vic, Trafalgar Studios and the National Theatre. Any night of the week (except Sunday) you can see Mary Poppins, Les Miserables, Wicked, or Billy Elliott. You can see Orlando Bloom in "In Celebration" (not recommended), Patrick Swayze in "Guys & Dolls" (recommended), or the Royal Ballet performing Swan Lake. I know all the discount websites. I'm on the mailing lists. Suz and I divide and conquer. Sitting next to her at work helps:

"What are you doing Thursday night?"
"Dunno. Nothing I think."
"Ok, then I am booking tickets."
"Sounds good...wait, to what?"
"Do you really care?"

With a little bit of planning and a bit of spontaneity, you can take in several shows a month...or in Suz and my case, several shows a week. We don't pay each other back for tickets. We just take turns booking them. As a result, in the three years I've been here, I've seen over 50 theatre productions and more music than I can count. On average, I'm out at a performance every other week (but actually probably more when you consider how much I am out of town).

This will be, by far, the most directly felt impact on my social life in Seattle. The Seattle theatre scene, well, I don't even think that's an actual phrase..."Seattle theatre scene"


So, as a fond look back at my time warming the seats in the West End. My Top Five (of the last 3 years) London Shows:
  1. Wicked with Idina Menzel at the Victoria Apollo Theatre
  2. Sweeney Todd at the Trafalgar Studios
  3. Guys & Dolls with Ewan McGregor at Piccadilly Theatre
  4. The Man of Mode at the National Theatre
  5. The Producers with Nathan Lane at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
And lest you think I should slack off in my few remaining days, tomorrow I am off to the O2 again to catch the Scissor Sisters do their thang. I will think of Cherry during Filthy Gorgeous. I mean really, how could I not?

26 July 2007

London Whine #1: The Weather

"It was a Sunday afternoon, wet and cheerless; and a duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a rainy Sunday in London."
- Thomas De Quincey

I have tickets to the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park tonight (a London love) to see Gershwin's "Lady Be Good." This will be our second outing to Regent's Park following "A Midsummer Night's Dream" back in June. On that occasion of 13 June, Suz and I huddled under the umbrella and wished we had a blanket. JUNE!

I remember thinking then that we would be better off next time. The next show was late July/early August, and we could hope for dry but it nothing else, we would have WARM weather. Who needs a blanket when it's almost August?

Wrong again.

The weather page on BBC today actually says only one small phrase, "More Rain" and the Met Office confirmed today that our early summer has been the wettest since records began more than 240 years ago. TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS PEOPLE!!! Lucky me. No actually, lucky people of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire who have experienced some of the worst flooding the areas have seen.

This is in stark contrast to last summer when it was record breaking hot day after record breaking hot day. When London is hot, it's miserably hot. It's not "nice go lay in the park hot", it's muggy, grimy, wishing you were anywhere but here hot. I have to say, there is nothing quite as dreary as London on a grey cold rainy day, and nothing quite as tiresome as London on a hot one.

Bring on the Pacific Northwest with it's mountains, perfectly temperate sunny days and cold winter snow. I don't even care that snow shuts Seattle down. I prefer to work from home, wrapped in a blanket, drinking my coffee and snow means skiing and skiing means happy and that is preferable to walking to the Tube in the rain day after day after day.

So farewell you miserable London weather.
I won't miss you a drop.

25 July 2007

London Favourite #1: Borough Market and the Southbank

I know I have covered off on this London favourite of mine before, but when I first started thinking of the list and the things I would miss, #1 with a bullet was wasting a Saturday at Borough Market and then wandering up the Southbank (as in the south bank of the Thames). Here's a perfect London day, ready made for locals and tourists.

You start out by taking the tube to London Bridge station and pop out right at the end of London Bridge. Wander up on to the Bridge, which is nothing much to look at, but the view of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Monument is worth taking in. Wander back down and then under the bridge to find the hustle and bustle of the wonderous Borough Market.

Borough Market is London’s oldest food market. It was established on the south bank of the Thames when the Romans built the first London Bridge. It has occupied its present site for 250 years...today you can think of it as a farmer's market with a European and gourmet spin. If you're with me, I'll drag you to all my favourite vendors to fill out my shopping list: artisan bread from local bakers, mushroom pate (gotta get this first - before the sell out), English cheese (taste a few to find your favourite), almond stuffed green olives and iberico ham (serrano). Taste along the way. I especially recommend the brownies.

Your trip MUST INCLUDE drip coffee from Monmouth Coffee (heaven) and plan on eating lunch from one of the many vendors. I prefer the free range chicken wrap stuffed with greens and herb mayonnaise. It's the juiciest most mouth-watering chicken I've ever tasted. I know several folks who prefer the venison burgers, or the roasted potatoes with raclette cheese, or the lamb gyros. There's also fresh shucked oysters for those who swing that way and in the winter there is always mulled wine. Selections made, make your way over to the courtyard of the Southwark cathedral and sit with the many other happy market eaters to enjoy your choices.

God. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

When you've had your fill and you arms are laden with packages for later, begin wandering up Southbank towards Waterloo. Along the way you'll pass a model of the Golden Hind, the Globe Theater, the Millennium bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, the Tate Modern, Oxo Tower and eventually make your way to the National Theater and the BFI Southbank. You'll pass the used book sales stands, street performers, kids in the skate park, (legal) graffiti artists working, and on a sunny day, people sitting out along the Thames having a beer (join them!). I once caught a string quartet in one of the oversized foot traffic tunnels. The acoustics were amazing. If you can deal with the crowds around the London Eye, you can get a magnificent view of Big Ben and Parliament across the river.

Cut in to Waterloo station, hop on the Tube and make your way home. When Erin was living with me we would head to Borough in the late morning, have our coffee and lunch and load up with supplies. Dinner that night would be a carpet picnic from Borough, wine, and cheesy movies. That was pretty much the best thing ever.

I'm a cheap date.

So now, that I am loved up and glowing thinking about the things I love most I don't know that I can bring myself to whinge on about the things I don't like in London. I can't leave this on a sour note. I'll complain tomorrow instead...