Wild Sunny Days

We have returned from Thanksgiving in Tucson, the legendary family get-together consisting of Cosgrays, Lopez’s and various honorary guests. It is always guaranteed to be a fun time. Sharing the holiday with my relatives in the Southwest has been tradition for around fifteen years, and I wouldn’t give it up for a thousand flying pigs.

In many ways, this year was no different from any other, featuring drunken elders, drunkenly-prepared (but very tasty) food, and drunken conversation including some drunken bean-spilling that resulted in new revelations about past occurrences. I only had about five drinks, myself, during the entire visit, so I filled my traditional role of the amused observer and was thus able to capture this awesome photo of some of the aforementioned elders:

What was different this year? The absence of my dear sister was most unfortunate and she left a wee void in “The Old Pueblo”. Still, Thanksgiving 2005 was great fun. It was nice to see the kids growing up and the older people staying miraculously youthful. I hope the tradition continues for many years to come.

Benign Means Good

About a month ago I noticed a strange red bump on the end of my nose that felt sensitive to the touch. For some weeks I didn’t worry about it, because it was in almost the same place where I sometimes get an inflamed cyst that’s caused by allergies. But the odd thing about this particular blemish was that it didn’t go away after a few days as usual; instead, it persisted for weeks. I started to wonder what was going on, so I visited a dermotologist for a professional opinion. She squinted and poked and prodded, and finally decided to slice it off and send in a sample for a biopsy. She said she was nearly certain that the sore was in fact a cancerous growth, and that I’d probably need to have surgery to remove it. Needless to say that freaked me out, especially after finding out that in an odd spot like on a nose, removal typically involves reconstructive surgery. This upsetting news ruined an otherwise good weekend as I waited for the biopsy results.

Happily, however, I subsequently learned that the sore was benign. I do have a small scar where my “skin cancer” was, which will now serve as a constant reminder that a palefaced boy like me needs to be extra careful in the sun.

Teatime on the Upper Ave

There’s a great little Asian-style teahouse in the University District, a mere block from my home, that I often forget exists. We stopped by Shinka Tea Company for a visit on the way home from an exciting shopping expedition tonight. It was a random idea whose timing was perfect. In we walked, and found it quite busy even at 11:15pm. As we examined their menu an abnormally drunk girl (yes, abnormally drunk even for a Friday night on the Ave) stumbled in and slurred, “Are you a coffee place or a sushi place?” But I guess she wanted sushi because on hearing the answer to her query, she stumbled back out into the night without another word.

We ordered:

  • a 16-oz. iced rooibos soymilk tea with tapioca
  • a 24-oz. matcha latte

Both were tasty and unique, but I was especially pleased with the rooibos, which was a flawlessly-executed take on bubble tea and a joy to drink. Here’s hoping that writing this blurb fixes whatever short circuit in my brain is preventing me from remembering Shinka Tea.

Grey’s Abode

Somehow I’ve become a fan of the glorified hospital soap opera that is ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which takes place in a fictional Seattle where it rains heavily all the time, where none of the trees are native to the Pacific Northwest, and where a driver must take I-90 to commute from her home in Queen Anne to a workplace just blocks away from Pike Place Market.

Needless to say, when the most recent episode featured a zoom-in to the supposed location of Meredith’s house, we spent an extraordinary amount of time searching for that location. To our surprise, we found that it actually exists! With the help of Google Maps and Google Earth, we were able to pinpoint the location shown in the opening sequence of the show to a corner one block from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill. To be precise, Dr Grey and her pals live in the large house on the northwest corner of 3rd Avenue West and West Comstock Street.

The next step, I suppose, is a drive-by at street level; look for the results of Phase II of Operation: Grey’s Abode in a future post.

(Click for larger images.)