Date Night

Rach and I had date night tonight. Since we moved in together she has been asking me to take her on a "real" date and tonight I feel I have finally fulfilled her request. A couple weeks ago I asked her what counts as a "real" date. We go out to dinner all the time. Sometimes we catch a flick afterwards. Most of the time we are with friends. I still have little idea of what entails a "real" date, but I know I went on one tonight. I have been wanting to take her to dinner at a local joint called "La Rustica," since one of my barbers told me to check it out. I have yet to find a good barber in Seattle, but like I told Rach tonight, this guy knows the community, he grew up here, knows how to cut hair, and has a bevy of wonderfully off-color jokes to tell on those days when it's nothing but old salts in the shop. We have a winner!

So, I asked Rach to join me at La Rustica in West Seattle. We arrived at about a quarter to eight. The restaurant is very non-descript and easy to miss, a humble sign proclaims its place on Beach Drive among seemingly endless rows of condos and beach dwellings. Not another business is in sight and even if you were specifically looking for La Rustica you have to be pretty observant to find it. Like I told one of the other couples we were waiting for a table with, "I heard about the place a year ago, spent eight months trying to actually find it, then spent another four months trying to find the best night to visit."

We were greeted by the owner, Giulio, an Italian immigrant. He greeted us in the non-chalant manner of a man who knows he need not compete with other restaurants, his customers are loyal, his food is excellent and even on a Thursday night, there is a line to get into his tiny, efficiently laid out eatery. He took our name and sent us to the teeny-tiny waiting room, back outside and three doors to the right. We walked into the room and two other couples were waiting to be seated. The room was decorated warmly with hastily applied plaster and art from Giulio's homeland but was so cold that seniority ruled over which couple got to sit in front of the space heater he had provided. After a short wait Giulio knocked on the window and motioned for us to follow him to our table. Long story short, we ordered a delicious bottle of wine and bypassed the dinner plates for a couple of very rich, well prepared plates of La Rustica's finest pasta. I had a risotto and sausage dish flavored with Saffron and a TON of butter and Rach had Linguine with truffles and tomato sauce. Both were AWESOME!! We thanked Giulio for his hospitality and continued down the waterfront for after dinner drinks.

We have a little Irish pub called the Celtic Swell on the Alki beachfront. I thought this might be a nice place to wind down since they always seem to have great live acoustic music when visit. We stopped in and after splitting a bottle of red wine at La Rustica felt immediately comfortable getting to know the people sitting on the barstools next to us. Little did we know that we were being sized up for Thursday night Celtic Swell poker!! We threw down a few rounds of Texas Hold 'em and a few Irish whiskeys while we were at it and before we knew it, Rach had won back the few measly bets I had made (I got rocked), and we were on our way home. On the way home, Rach talked to a long time friend who will be leaving on a tour of duty with the army soon and it sounds like we plan to spend New Year's Eve in Portland with her, so all of you Portland types, we're gonna need a place to crash!

Finally, the reason I sat down to write this post at such an ungodly hour. After returning from the pub and tucking my sweetheart in, I walked outside to let Rocky do his thing. I was thinking to myself, 'man was it great to be out in the countryside at Rach's parents place for Christmas.' I thought about hearing that train roll through Tangent late at night while I was trying to sleep. It reminded me of sleeping at my family's cabin in North Bend, Nebraska, where we heard the trains rolling through all night long. At that moment, standing outside my house in West Seattle, I heard something I've never heard here before. I heard a train whistle blow, I heard the wheels clickety-clack across the tracks on Harbor Island and I even heard the bells of the crossings as the night train roared through our sleeping city. I know for a fact that those trains did not just start running tonight. I have just never stopped or slowed down enough to listen to them. The whole time I've been living here, the trains have been running. This happy sound that brought me back to those times at my family's cabin has been blaring outside of my own house this whole time without me ever noticing!

What I'm trying to say is, slow down, stop, take a breath and don't forget to take in all that is around you as you hurtle through these complicated times.....


That's Why He's Rocky....

"I wanted to show I had balls at age 60. Just because society says I'm old, doesn't mean I am. I'm pursuing happiness, even if it makes the people around me unhappy."

I'm excited to see the new Rocky movie. I was a little surprised at first to learn that Rocky was going to actually be fighting in it. I figured it would be one of those movies where the old surly boxer trains the new champ to win. Nope, not Sly's style. Good luck Rocky!!

Here's a little Rocky trivia for you....I love trivia......almost as much as Rocky movies.....

Did you know.....

  • That Sylvester Stallone was offered $150,000 to back off his demand to star in his own screenplay for the original Rocky. They wanted Ryan O'Neal.
  • Stallone wrote the screenplay in three days after he saw a boxing match between the unknown Chuck Wepner and Muhammad Ali in which Wepner went the distance.
  • Stallone insisted that the scene where he admits his fears and doubts to Adrian the night before the fight be filmed, even though production was running far behind and producers wanted to skip it. He had one take for that scene, and was so nervous about screwing up the only scene he thought was important that he got himself drunk to do it.
  • Sylvester Stallone really did punch the frozen meat in the training scene in the movie. In fact he did it so many times in many different takes that after filming was finished, he noticed the shape of his hands was different. His knuckles were left completely flattened and they remain that way to this day.
There you go, that should help you during those Pre-movie trivia slide shows, you can impress your friends and win the affection of the opposite sex....hooray.


I Miss Snow....

Even though this picture is from a storm a couple weeks ago, I have to post it! I am just now pulling the photos off my camera, running a little behind. It is so rare for us to see snow like this in Seattle. Those of you who deal with snow all winter may not be impressed, but I LOVE this picture of our little front yard covered in the white stuff! Rach and I bundled up this night and took Rocky out and just romped around in the snow, it was eleven o' clock at night, but there were kids out sledding and everybody was coming out of their houses to see it because they knew that it would certainly be gone in the morning!
And here's a pic I took today looking over the sound from our deck, some really wicked cloud formations as this storm blew in! The wind has really been coming in off the water recently, gusting up to 30 mph or so. I was even treated to a double rainbow over our house, though it disappeared before I has a chance to grab my camera.


For the record...

The same month I chose to break ground on my pond project in the backyard also happened to end up being the RAINIEST MONTH IN RECORDED HISTORY in Seattle. Though it does rain here all the time in the winter, it never rains like it did for us in November. Usually we are simply submerged in an eight month long drizzle that keeps everything damp all the time but never fills the streets. The month of November gave us torrential downpours for days on end, flooding so bad that some landlocked rural towns were suddenly turned to waterfront island property, hailstorms, wind and lightning the likes of which I have not seen since living in Tornado Alley and even a four day snow and ice storm. I never have understood why an inch or two of snow shuts everything down out here until Rach pointed out that we have many many streets sitting on damn near forty-five degree slopes, pretty scary wet, deadly when iced over. Some guy slid all the way down a hill in downtown Seattle in his car, crashed through a guard rail and then fell three stories into an alley dumpster, he was fine though, got out and brushed himself off.

So, the grand total, super duper, record breaking wettest-month-in-Seattle's-history rainfall total is a soggy 15.63"

And now, your daily moment of zen....


Symptoms may include.....

I'm sick......getting better, but sick. I caught some kind of flu bug and have been out for the count for almost five full days now just walking around the house muttering to myself and shaking and sweating in my pajamas. Remember Doc Holliday in Tombstone? He was all pale and shaky and it made you nauseous just to look at him? That's how I looked this weekend:

Particularly annoying because it is the last week of school and I've got a ton to do. My temperature was so high this weekend that I think I even had a hallucination that the Cornhuskers lost the Big 12 championship, it was TERRIBLE! Good thing it was only a fever induced nightmare, right?!?! RIGHT?!?! Anyways, Rach has taken such great care of me and should have me nursed back to full health tomorrow.