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Posts from the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

*The Great Debate

As I sit here writing this, a debate is occuring in my kitchen.  The cause of the debate: Jiedson.  The debaters: Andrea* and Steven.  The subject of the debate: Who should clean up the poop that Jied left in the U-Haul!

Okay, to be fair to Jied (and so he doesn’t kill me upon reading this… although he probably won’t read it anyway)  it’s not actually his poop.  Steven and Jied were helping Andrea move her things into her new studio apartment.  While moving, Jied unfortunately stepped in a pile of doggie doo and tracked it in to the U-Haul.  How Jied managed to get out of cleaning the truck himself, I don’t know, but I’m going to have to ask him for his technique.

I also don’t know exactly how or why Steven and Andrea’s debate ended up in our kitchen, as Jessica and I were innocently eating lunch when Andrea and Steven pulled up in our driveway in the sullied U-Haul.

Andrea asserted that she wouldn’t mind cleaning it herself, if it hadn’t been so ‘soft!’

Steven didn’t want to clean it either, and you can’t really blame him, as he neither stepped in the poop and was only around the incident because he had agreed to help Andrea move.

So, who ended up actually cleaning the mess?

Andrea?  Steven?

Perhaps Jied himself?

No!  Hiro!

Just as Steven and Andrea stepped outside to clean the poop, who should arrive but Jied and Hiro!

When Hiro saw what was happening, he said to Steven and Andrea, “This is just so easy, why are you guys struggling to pick it up?” and then he quickly and completely cleaned the truck.

Once again, Hiro saved the day!

*Andrea’s  name was changed per her request.  All other names were kept the same.


*Ballard, Adventures at Goodwill, and Thoughts on Thankfulness, part I.

Part I: Ballard.

Disclaimer: Long but  no real point, just thoughts on Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

Yesterday was cold but sunny, and I had a few hours on my hands between the morning service at church and a meeting there in the evening.  Planning to take a Sunday nap, I ended up back at my apartment in Seattle.  However, before I had a chance to climb into bed, I noticed a missed call from one of my best friends, Caitlin.

Caitlin and I hadn’t chatted for a few weeks, but on Friday night while at ToST in Fremont with some friends, she had received a few random texts from my phone, written by my friend Brian, pretending to be our friend Jared (also at ToST).  Jared, Caitlin, and I had all gone to high school together, so the texts weren’t completely random, but Jared and Caitlin haven’t actually talked in years!  Some clarification for the texts was needed, as well as a good talk with a great friend, so the nap was quickly forgotten.  Instead, I decided to walk down to Market Street to buy some gloves and a cup of coffee, and then take a stroll around Ballard and catch up with Caitlin.

Although I was thoroughly expecting to enjoy conversing with Caitlin, I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed just being out in Ballard.

My apartment is only a few blocks off of Market Street and the walk there, as usual, was uneventful.  The day before it had actually been more interesting, as the small lawn of St. Luke’s had been full of church members caroling and offering hot apple cider and BBQ to passersby.  I had stopped for the cider and to chat for a few minutes that day, but yesterday I continued on, the church quiet and peaceful as it often is.

I headed straight to Market Street Shoes, planning to stop in only long enough to get a pair of gloves so my hands wouldn’t freeze while holding the phone.  I had noticed their hats and scarves before, so I was suprised to find they didn’t sell gloves at all!  They sent me across the street to Market Street Athlete, assuring me I could get gloves there.

I headed that way, but instead of crossing the street at the crosswalk as I should have, I decided to turn down Ballard Avenue and head the other way instead.  I was so glad I did, because it turns out that Ballard Ave. is quite the street!

The Ballard Sunday Farmers Market was just winding down and there were lots of people milling about.  I walked down the street slowly, peering into store windows and checking out the numerous coffeehouses, bakeries, restaurants, pubs, and boutiques.  I wasn’t quite sure how I had lived in Ballard for over three months (and Seattle for over two years) and not discovered this wonderful area yet!

Eventually I realized I had been here before, if only once.  One of my first friends in Seattle was a guy named Stephen who I had met through the “New to Seattle” group on facebook.  Sharing an interest in traveling, we had gotten together a few times to swap stories and explore the city a bit.

Shortly after meeting, he had two couch surfers from Sweden, Mirja and Anna-Maria, crash on his couch for a few days.  The four of us, as well as his friend Anthony, had gone to a pub in some place called “Ballard.”  At that point, I was still perpetually lost in the city and had no idea that this “Ballard” neighborhood bordered “Fremont,” the neighborhood that Stephen lived in.  (I was still living in Beaux Arts/Bellevue then).  I had really liked the pub that we went to, and have been searching Seattle for it ever since, but to no avail.  I could vividly remember the inside of the pub, but not the name or location.  Yesterday, as I peered in window after window, I found myself staring in at the very table we had sat at, more than two years ago!  The pub’s name is King’s Hardware (only slightly misleading), and it is on Ballard Avenue.

After re-discovering King’s, I wandered in and out of a few stores, still searching for the gloves before calling Caitlin.  I never did find a pair of gloves, but I did discover a few interesting stores, and have a growing list of places to eat and drink.  Eventually I sat in Marvin’s Garden Park (which makes me think of Marvin Jarman, for those of you from Greenville) and called Caitlin and then my Granddad.

As I walked home, I thought about the things that I like about Ballard, and Seattle.  I love being able to walk around, without a car, meandering in and out of stores, people-watching, and finding new, fun hangouts to try with friends.  In fact, this ability to walk in and out of shop and restaurant with no need for a car is one of the things that I love about Europe.  Here, in the US, I feel like it’s the exception rather than the rule, whereas in Europe, driving from shop to restaurant to home is almost unheard of.

Even more that that, however, is the ability to do this in a place that is surrounded by the beauty of water and mountains.  Ballard is super-close to Fishermen’s Terminal, which is full of picture-perfect boats.  And, on a clear day, all you have to do is glance up and to the west to see snow-capped mountains glistening in the sun.  It really is a wonderful place to be.

This morning I went for a run through Ballard, and down Ballard Avenue, again perusing the shops and restaurants.  Now, I sit in Ballard’s Caffè Fiorè, enjoying the atmosphere of one of Seattle’s best coffeehouses and an espresso doppio while reading, writing, and surfing the Internet.  As the quarter has come to an end, I have a little extra time to enjoy Seattle before flying South for Christmas.  I’m looking forward to being home, but I’m also excited to continue exploring Seattle and Ballard before I leave.

*My own lists.

Well, after seeing Seattle on so many lists, I was reminded of a couple of my own lists that I made a few years ago while I was studying abroad in Italy.  I was 21 at the time and made two lists of things I hoped to have done by age 25.  I have about 10 months left to finish this list, so I guess now is a great time to review them.

The first list, dated “Martedi, 30 Maggio 2006 alle sei di sera” (Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 at 6 in the evening):

  1. Visit 25 different countries.
  2. Speak 3 languages: English, Italian, and Slovak.
  3. Complete an Ironman Triathlon
  4. Publish a book/or be published in a magazine.
  5. Read the entire Bible
  6. Get a Master’s degree or live in a foreign country for at least 1 year.

The second list, written only a couple of weeks later (14 Giugno 2006, Mercoledi, alle 17:45 while on a train somewhere between Bologna and Ancona, Italy, headed towards an over-night ferry to Split, Croatia) was entitled 25 x 25 and was supposed to be 25 things to do before turning 25.  (I only ended up with 12, many echoing things in the first list):

  1. Read the entire Bible
  2. Publish something
  3. Olympic distance triathlon
  4. 1/2 Ironman
  5. Ironman triathlon
  6. Visit 25 countries
  7. Get MA or live in a foreign country for at least a year
  8. Speak 3 languages
  9. Graduate from college
  10. Go whitewater kayaking
  11. Visit the Rockies
  12. Visit a developing country

So, now, three years later, how have I done?


My  first thought, glancing at these lists for the first time in three years is, wow, those are some ambitious goals.  Also, it’s interesting to see how dreams and goals change over time; if I made a list right now of things I hope to do before I turned 25, it would be a little different.  However, it’s also interesting to see that I’ve already reached some of those goals.

Since everything on the first list is repeated in the second, I’ll just look at that one:

  1. Read the entire Bible: I spent over two years working on the entire Bible, had read about 80% of it, and then lost my checklist where I was keeping track of what I had and hadn’t read sometime this year in the pipe freezing/apartment moving fiasco.  Since then, I’ve started over completely.  I still hope to finish it by next May!
  2. Publish something: ✓ Even though three-sixty-five was self-published, I think that counts for this one!
  3. Olympic distance triathlon: I had forgotten about this goal, but I’m actually contemplating doing a sprint thriathlon at the end of this month.  I think completing an Olympic distance before May is possible…
  4. 1/2 Ironman: Probably not gonna happen...
  5. Ironman triathlon: Definitely not gonna happen… and that is okay with me!
  6. Visit 25 countries: If you consider Vatican City a country (and officially, it is), then I’ve been to 24!  I’ve got 10 months to travel to one more country… any suggestions?  (And any monetary donations you want to contribute?  … Just kidding)!
  7. Get MA or live in a foreign country for at least a year:  ✓ Finished my MA about three weeks ago!
  8. Speak 3 languages: Hmm, I should have defined “speak.”  I can speak bits and pieces of lots of languages now, thanks to my students.  As for speaking three languages well, I still need to work on that.
  9. Graduate from college: ✓ Enough said.
  10. Go whitewater kayaking: Haven’t done this, probably won’t.  I’d still like to some day, and Washington would be a great place to go, but right now I have a lot of other things I’d rather do…
  11. Visit the Rockies: ✓ Drove through them on the way from NC to WA.
  12. Visit a developing country: Haven’t done this yet… maybe this could go along with #6?

After looking at those lists, I’m somewhat tempted to make a new, up-to-date list.  If I do, I’ll be sure to post it here.  Also, if any of you reading this has a similar list, or wants to make a list of things you hope to do before some point in time, post it as a comment… I’d love to read them!

*Clever Advertising.

Tomorrow I’m teaching the beginning of a unit called “English Communication” for my teaching practicum class.  The focus of this unit is persuasion and the students will be listening to part of a lecture about the various techniques advertisers use to sell products.  While preparing for this unit I found quite a few clever ads so I thought I would share them with you:

Mr. Clean
Mr. Clean

FedEx Kinko’s

FedEx Kinko’s


Bic Razor

Dove Volumizing Mousse

Dove Anti-Frizz Cream

Mini Cooper

A Karate School

Don’t Drink and Drive

(You can see the damage that happens to the car)

*Old School Frozen Custard

This sounds sooo good (I frozen custard!):

From Daily Candy Seattle,

Old School

“Stop, collaborate, and listen: Ice is back with a cold, smooth tradition.

These licks’ll grab hold of you tightly. Have you running up to Capitol Hill daily and nightly.

Old School Frozen Custard is claiming a corner on the expanding sweet consumption taking hold of Pike and Pine.

Ice cream’s softer, silkier cousin, custard is made with eggs and served at a slightly warmer temperature.

The store’s white wainscoting and exposed beams — along with chairs, tables, and blackboards reclaimed from local classrooms — create an appropriately vintage setting in which to indulge in classic flavors like chocolate or, on alternating days, mint, lemon, and strawberry.

The vanilla’s nice, nice baby.”

Anyone in Seattle up for it?

*Image from website.

*English pronunciation might not be as easy as you think…

*Don’t Judge Too Quickly, #1

…Just for fun, just in case you haven’t seen this already: