Archive for the 'Things to do' Category

The Tanaka home brew

Micah and I are taking our first stab at brewing our own beer.  Let me clarify by saying, we are taking our first stab at brewing beer via the Mr. Beer Home Brew Kit I bought him way back for his birthday in January.  It might not involve picking your own hops, and creating the perfect IPA recipe, but it still counts. Smile

The beer kit has a number of steps, but it’s pretty straightforward and easy.  And it doesn’t take much time to make (but about 3 weeks to sit and ferment before consuming).  The flavor mixes that come with the kit make it very very easy.  Boil some water, stir in some of this and some of that, add some water, some yeast.  Shake it around…and let your mini-keg chill out.

Stir, stir, stir.

Pour, pour, pour.

Add yeast. Shirt optional.

And then let your keg veg out for a bit.

Easy right?  After one week in the keg, we’ll pour it into bottles, and then let it wait a couple more weeks.

I’ll have to provide an update to let you know how it tastes.  Who wants a sample of our Tanaka brew?!

A visit to the Wing Luke Museum

On Saturday, Micah and I, along with our friends Vann and Naomi took a trip over to the International District in Seattle to go to the Wing Luke Museum.  None of us had gone before and we took advantage of the free admission (1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month).  This museum is dedicated to the Asian Pacific American Experience – and connecting people to the “rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences.”

The building itself is quite stunning with amazing architecture and beautiful décor.  It really is a gem in the heart of what you typically think of dirty, grungy Chinatown/International District. 

The main purpose for our visit was it was the last day of a special exhibit at the museum focused on the experience of Asian American adoptees.  It was a small gallery filled with artwork, video, poems, etc.  Interestingly, most of the submissions were from Korean adoptees.  Naomi and I, (both being adopted from Korea when we were little), found so many of the stories and illustrative quotes found in the exhibit to be so incredibly exacting to how we feel about our own experience.  There were a couple of quotes that I  thought, “That’s me. I’ve literally said that same thing before.” 

When you are adopted, it’s something that’s basically forced into your identity – for good or for other.  It’s something that is a part of you and shapes how others view you and how you view others and the world.  I honestly haven’t had much interest in the subject for most my life, but with having made friends who are adopted (from Korea nonetheless), I was intrigued to go visit the museum.  That’s one thing about being adopted…it’s something that’s hard to really get unless you’ve been through it.

For me, what I felt I related to most was less about the idea of actually being adopted, but more about relating to the experiences the adoptees went through because of it.  For example, when people learn I’m adopted, it’s quite normal and almost always expected that they’ll ask me if  I have found my birth parents.  That’s not a question most people get asked in their lifetime, but for adoptees it’s like a script.  And when I say “no” – that’s never sufficient enough of an answer.  I then have to go in and justify that response.  It’s such a basic question – but nonetheless, a question that reinforces ideas and beliefs about being adopted.

There were several other stories that told of adoptee experiences that I just laughed at because of how accurate it reflected my thoughts and feelings.  I often have faced issues on being Korean and not wanting to be, or adjusting to how Korean I wanted or should be.  It can be quite perplexing to find that balance – and even then, it’s constantly changing (at least for me it is).

It was also really nice to have Micah go through the gallery as well.  Although he knows already all about my adoptee experience, it’s nice to just have him hear that through someone else.  Without saying the words myself, it was as if I was telling Micah, “See…I’m not the only one who feels that way.”  And similarly, as I was going through the exhibit, I was saying that same thing to myself.  Smile

There were other really interesting exhibits going on in the museum.  All tackling different areas of Asian Pacific American culture and life. 

I’d highly recommend a visit – the space is cool, there’s lots to walk through, and a cute gift shop to boot.  Plus, once you’re done, there’s an endless number of amazing restaurants and shops to eat at!

Our staycation vacation

Gosh, Memorial Day weekend feels like forever ago!!!  Micah and I opted to stay put and not travel anywhere too far.  But we still wanted to make the most of our extended weekend.  So…we headed up north and spent one night at the Tulalip Casino and Resort. 

We’ve visited there a couple of times, but never really had a need to stay overnight at the quite fancy hotel.  But the long weekend (plus upcoming crazy work travel) was a perfect opportunity for some Micah and Lisa time – and only a short drive away.

We were able to check-in early and get a head start on our little staycation.  The rooms at the resort are pretty amazing.  Soft, comfy beds and linens, modern décor, flat screen TV, and a full-body shower….so awesome.


Super large rooms with a super large bed.


The bathroom is seriously a show-stopper. 

We settled in, and actually went straight to the fitness center for a little pre-gambling workout.  And then spent some time swimming in their indoor pool and soaking in the bubbly hot tub.  Very relaxing.

The rest of the day we did a little bit of shopping at the nearby outlet mall, relaxed, read my book, and of course…did a bit of gambling.  Unfortunately, the gambling part was a quite short-lived as the blackjack tables just had it out for us.  No love there.  So we cut short our losses and got outta there.

Even though we stayed for only one night, and there isn’t too much to do there beside shop, eat, and gamble – we had a fantastic time.  It was a fun change of scenery and we took full advantage of our relax time. 

We plan to do this sort of “getaway” at least once every few months.  It doesn’t have to be far – but just do something a little bit new and spend some QT with each other (ahem, quality time).

First of May = sunny Seattle day

Wow…finally some sunny, warm-ish weather in Seattle.  With April being the second coldest month in Seattle history, I dare say we freakin’ deserve some good weather – at least give us something in the mid-50s!

Finally, Mother Nature delivered.  Sunday, the first day in May, brought out hoards of pasty-white Seattleites in desperate need of some vitamin D.  Micah and I include ourselves in this distinguished group, as our Hawaii tans are all bit a distant memory.

And what do you do on a sunny non-work day? 

  • Wash cars:  Ooh…yikes.  It’s been at least a good five+ months since we last did this.  Our cars were filth.
  • BBQ: One of Micah’s loves in live.  So we walked to the store, picked up some steaks, and fired up our little mini-Weber charcoal grill.
  • Walk around the neighborhood: We did some exploring around our hood and actually stumbled upon a very small but cute picnic area that’s a part of Haller Lake.

We hope to add many activities to this list and repeat over and over again in the coming months!

What a difference a couple weeks makes

Yes, I’m here….just barely.  I have been big time neglecting my blog and I’m sorry!  I honestly haven’t had the time! 

Compared to the ‘Lisa’ of a couple weeks ago, the current ‘Lisa’ has been flipped on her head and kicked around a little bit.  Needless to say, I’m one busy, exhausted puppy.

But it’s good…weird, right?  For one, I’m really enjoying my new job at T-Mobile.  About…hmm…70% of it is totally new stuff to me – so it’s been a major workout for my brain, but it’s been nice to feel that sense of busy-ness again (and chaos at times too).  Although I’m just starting my 3rd week there – there’s no time to dilly dally.  I’m owning projects left and right and meeting with new people daily.  The wireless industry is fast-paced, and this company slows down for nobody.

A definite cool perk of the job is our new cell phones and plan.  The employee plan is dirt cheap and Micah and I are now proud owners of these bad boys:


The T-Mobile myTouch 4G phone.  It’s a kickass smartphone (possibly too smart as I’m still figuring out how to best utilize it).

In addition to general work stuff, well…yeah…18 days to go til the white wedding bells ding and dong.  Hard to believe. 

So Micah and I are whittling down our list of “to-do’s” and just hoping to have a wonderful time with our friends and family. 

Part of the wedding planning timeline has included some definite fun stuff too.  Two Saturday’s ago – Micah and I had our joint but individual bachelor/bachelorette parties.  It was SO much fun!!!!!


I won’t go into all the details – but just know that there was massive editing of photos I had to do before I could post them on Facebook! Smile A measure of true success and fun if I say so myself. Haha!


And just last Sunday I had a bridal shower with my WaMu ladies.  Nearly all of my co-workers from my WaMu days were able to join and we had a great time.  And the added bonus, my sister flew down from Alaska to join in on the fun.  I won’t be seeing her again until after there’s a new baby in town!

So there you go – a small update on my end.  After the wedding, I’ll  have more time…right?  Smile

Off to Hawaii we go…

…and then it’s straight to TMo!

This is my last week of relative “freedom” before I re-enter the full-time working world again (as opposed to the quite flexible and nice working-from-home schedule I’ve been doing).

On Wednesday we head to Honolulu for one day.  Then Thursday, it’s off to the Big Island.  Saturday it’s wedding time for our friend (Micah’s a groomsman).  Sunday is the Seahawks vs the Bears (early morning for us)!!!  And we head back to Honolulu in the afternoon.  Monday we fly back to Seattle and arrive late at night.  And finally, Tuesday morning – day 1 at TMobile!  It’s quite the whirlwind. 

During our very little time in Honolulu, we’ll be doing wedding-related tasks, including meeting with vendors and my wedding hair and makeup trial! 

I’m excited to start my new job, but it’s bittersweet too.  I’m back to early mornings, driving in terrible Seattle traffic, and well…working full-time.  That’s in addition to continuing my independent consulting (I promised my clients I’d stay on to completion for a long-term project), and wedding stuff.  I’m wondering how I’m going to balance it all. 

At least in the last couple of weeks, Micah and I have kicked it into high gear and have completed a number of wedding projects!  5 weeks to go!

I caught the Black Friday bug

Black Friday.  The day after Thanksgiving (and now starting as early as the night of Thanksgiving).  Shopping-mania overloadedness. 

I’d never done the whole Black Friday thing before.  Sure, I’ve shopped on Black Friday – during the daytime when normal, natural shopping activity occurs.  But I’ve never participated in the “wait in line hours before the store opens in order to get one of five crazy cheap (insert item).”  In years past, I thought I would try to do it and even planned to do it…but always chose sleep and normalcy over a crazy good deal on (insert item). 

So, I’m not sure what came over me this year.  Simply put, I caught the Black Friday bug.  I call it a “bug” because it is a sickness.  I was certainly given the “are you crazy?” look after telling people I was going to do it this year.  And after standing for hours in the cold and rain, you are bound to come down with something nasty. 

But I was not alone.  Micah’s mom was up from Hawaii visiting us for a few days.  She’s a shopper (although she’ll deny it if you ever tell her that).  Stand in line for hours?  No problem.  Get up before dawn after only a couple hours of sleep?  Sure.  Go to a store you probably don’t shop at normally?  Ok.  She was in!  And shockingly – so was Micah!  A first for us all.

Our Black Friday actually started on err…Maroon Thursday.  (If you know why they call it Black Friday…then you should get my reference. :-))  After our very filling Thanksgiving dinner, Sharon, Micah and I waited for an hour in line at Toys R Us.  It’s right near our house.  We each picked up a few toys – and spent only 30 minutes in the somewhat chaotic store. 

Waiting in line at Toys R Us.  It was cold.  We made the nightly news (or at least a brief flash of us shivering in line).

After shopping and back at the house, we looked over the ads and had to decide at what store were we willing to wait in line. Best Buy?  Nope – to get the best deals, you are looking at a 4 to 5 hour wait time (we aren’t that crazy).  Target or WalMart?  Sorry – those places are meant only for the hardcore (i.e. not us)So what did we decide?  A place near our house and where we had a chance to win $500.  Sports Authority!  Yeah, I know…very random.  Only the first 85 customers in line would receive a gift card (valued from $10 to $500) and we decided we would be part of that select few.

Sharon and I were in line at 3am.  Micah met us at 4am.  We scored free hats.

The funny thing – we got to Sports Authority two hours before its 5am opening time.  While nearby Best Buy and Target had lines circling the block…little ol’ Sports Authority had about nine people in line.  We were a little overzealous in our planning.  We easily could have slept another hour and still made the 85 person cut.  But it’s for the experience!  My mantra for that whole morning.

We ended up each getting only a $10 gift card – but easily found a way to spend it.  Micah purchased some new dumbbells, Sharon bought some yoga mats, and I got a nice, warm winter jacket.  By this time, I could feel a full-on cold coming through, so I headed home while Micah and his mom headed back (yes, back) to Toys R Us to scoop up some Friday-only early bird deals.

simpsons monopoly

Micah’s big score: Simpsons Monopoly – the electronic debit card version – for only $10.  We already busted it out and played – and it’s a lot of fun!

Would I do it again?  Probably not.  The deals are only good if you are even in the market for those items.  A lot of it is just impulse buying, trying to take advantage of the sales, and buying things to justify the crazy hours of waiting in line.  There’s no way a person will wait in line for three hours and just be "window shopping.”  And many of the items you might really really want – well, you probably aren’t going to get it because there will always be someone more hardcore than you.

Where in the world…

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