Exit stage left

Well I’ve started my exit procedure for the Arab games… So far I’m a little freaked, not that I’m leaving, but that they’ve taken all forms of identification that I can use to be recognized as a US citizen… I have no ID card and no passport in hand; since rule #1 when traveling internationally is no never relinquish your passport for any reason I’m a little paranoid. Also given my luck with legal system in Qatar I’m freaked even more than usual.

How do I deal with this freak out? I go to the one pub that doesn’t require a form of ID to get in and have a few pints.

My bags are replaced and mostly packed, I have a weeks worth of clothes laid out and ready, I’m planning on getting rid of some more things before I do my final pack. Right now I’m looking at to checked bags and a single carry in. I’m hopefully going to learn from my last trip to Doha and pack my gifts into my carry on so they don’t get lost at sea like they did the last time I traveled from the sandbox.

March 1st I should be home enjoying the company of good friends and a special someone at I can’t wait to see!

Another year another event

I’ve been working on this event for the Zoo for the last 10 years.  I got involved when I was first starting out at PNTA.  Since then I’ve seen the event grow and evolve into one of the best events in Seattle, and arguably one of the best group of people I’ve ever worked with.

The first year I worked the event it was an odd theme from what I can remember, it was China / other.  I can’t really remember all that much about the event that year, but I remember the weather being alright, just a little on the cool side.  I also remember the scenic company didn’t measure the tent correctly and built the backdrop too tall to fit into the tent.

The second year was African Savannah, which I had done a false ceiling in the main tent that took all night to rig and wasn’t the greatest looking but it did the job.  Along with the tent ceiling we placed saw grass and other things all around the meadow to make it feel more like a Savannah village.  This was the first year we tried to place a fake cover on one of the tents to make it look less like a rental tent and more in theme.

The third year the theme was a little odd again, being Brazilian shanty town mixed with Dr Seuss.  Needless to say I was not all that thrilled about that year.  We managed to make some pretty fun elements, the main entrance to the live auction tent had a jungle feel, we even managed to make it rain in the entrance and have a great, but wrong, water feature in the center of the stage. 

The fourth year was one of the best I worked on, the theme being India.  We managed to recreate the feeling and the energy of an Indian market, the weather cooperated, almost like we ordered it special for the event.  It was hot and muggy, the perfect combination for the type of feel we were going for.  We had hand dyed awnings made, and bells were everywhere, including one tied to my radio that I didn’t find for hours after one of my crew put it there.  Since there were so many bells I didn’t notice that one was following me around until I took my radio off at the end of the day.  I ended up leaving it on as I liked the joke!

The fifth and final year I worked the Zoo as a contractor was Australia.  I thought it was a good theme and I think we executed an interesting and unique look for the event.  We designed the backdrop to be five animals, which were art done by the creative person who had done the rest of the art for the event.  We blew them up to 4’ x 6’ and sandwiched them between panels of plexi, we then hung them on in front of a section of lightweight white fabric, applied some color changing to the fabric and then applied some fans to the fabric to give it some movement.  The final effect looked liked the animals were alive.  The other effect we managed to pull off was a 6’ tall fire pit in the middle of the stage.  We had some leftover high velocity compact fans that we used to create a large silk fire which was very realistic in the end.  So much so that when we took it off the stage and placed it near the main entrance spectators thought the building we put it in front of was on fire!

I had so much fun working on the Zoo over those five years that I’ve been volunteering my time to them since.  I always went a little above and beyond when I was working on the event, but I felt I had to.  Besides feeling like I had to go above and beyond I liked it.  It was one of the few events that I was able to throw myself completely into and design some fun looks.  It wasn’t corporate theatre, it was actually an event that used my schooling.  I miss those days where I could sit and design for events.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get back into that, but for now I’m happy doing what I’m doing and looking forward to getting down to business in October!

What the hell?

From working long hours to injuries… I don’t know which way is up.  Of course there are other reasons I don’t know which way is up, but I think I’ll keep those to myself for a little while longer.

The latest injury happened last weekend, I was helping someone move some items down the hill and wouldn’t you know it, I planted my shoulder into the snow and slid a good distance down.  Oh well, it just proves that I’m still learning to snowboard.  I guess it’s all in how I get back up from the fall and I still got up, and it’s not going to stop me from going again!

I was working again yesterday afternoon, it was supposed to be a long shift, but the required tasks were completed by 6:00 PM and I made the call that we shouldn’t be there any longer.  It was good to have a regular night, just chilling out at a bar with some old friends and having a couple drinks before going home to relax on the couch and watch a few movies.

Tonight is going to be a little more difficult for me as I’m on the overnight shift, nothing like a 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM shift to get your body going :).

The boat show…

_MG_0482The last day of the show and I can finally do a wrap up…

The numbers:

271 total vessels
225 – Power Boats
46 – Sail Boats
181,480 sq ft of vessels
$129,769,694 total reported value (some exhibitors don’t report the value of their vessels)
69 Shore side exhibitors
32 – East Dock
11 – Entrance
12 – West Dock
14 – Tenders
17 Complaints on the starting time
25 Compliments on the starting time
1 Crazy shouting person
1 Drunken crazy quiet person
1 Pissed off exhibitor
37 cups of coffee
8 donuts
3 bagels
9 beers
9 whaler rides to and from and exhibitors office

Hopefully I’ll have some more stats after today, after all there is one more day of the show to go, who knows I might be able to add to the crazy person total!

Twenty-five Signs You Have Grown Up

I’m in a list phase… Deal with it…

By: Salma Rumman

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.

6. You watch the Weather Channel.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “breakup.”

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”

10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

14. You feed your dog “Science Diet” instead of McDonald’s leftovers.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

16. You take naps.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at three in the morning would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

20. A four dollar bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good shit.”

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”

23. Ninety percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking “Oh shit what the hell happened?”

Bonus:26: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that it doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old ass.

The man code

Not my words, but something funny for y’all to read…

1. If you’ve known a guy for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits forever! Unless you actually marry her.

2. When questioned by a friend’s girlfriend, you need not and should not provide any information as to his whereabouts. You are even permitted to deny his very existence.

3. Unless he murdered someone in your immediate family, you must bail a friend out of jail within 24 hours.

4. A best man’s toast may not include any of the following phrases, "down in Tijuana", "one time when we were all piss drunk", or "and this girl had the biggest rack you ever saw".

5. You may exaggerate any anecdote told to your friends by 50% without recrimination, beyond that anyone within earshot is allowed to yell out "bullshit!". (exception: when trying to pick up a girl, the allowable exaggeration is 400%)

6. Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

7. The minimum amount of time you have to wait for another man is 5 minutes. The maximum is 6 minutes. For a girl, you are required to wait 10 minutes for every point of hotness she scores on the classic 1-10 scale.

8. Bitching about the brand of free beverages in your buddy’s refrigerator is forbidden. But gripe at will if the temperature is not suitable.

9. A friend must be permitted to borrow anything you own – grill, car, firstborn child – within 12 hr notice. Women or anything considered "lucky" are not applicable in this case.

10. Falling on a grenade for a buddy (agreeing to distract the skanky friend of the hot babe he’s trying to score) is your legal duty. But should you get carried away with your good deed and end up getting on the beast, your pal is forbidden to ever speak of it.

11. Do not torpedo single friends.

12. On a road trip, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the weakest.

13. Before dating a buddy’s ex you are required to ask his permission. If he grants it, he is however allowed to say, "man, your gonna love the way she licks your balls"

14. Women who claim they "love to watch sports" must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to pick a Buffalo wing clean.

15. If a mans zipper is down, that’s his problem, you didn’t see anything!

16. No man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another man. (in fact, even remembering your best friends birthday is optional)

17. You must offer heartfelt condolences over the death of a girlfriends cat, even if it was you who secretly set it on fire and threw it into a ceiling fan.

18. While your girlfriend must bond with your buddies girlfriends with in 30 minutes of meeting them, you are not required to make nice with her gal pal’s boyfriends- low level sports bonding is all the law requires.

19. Unless you have a lucrative endorsement contract, do not appear in public wearing more than one Nike swoosh.

20. When stumbling upon other guys watching a sporting event, you may always ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who’s playing.

21. If your girlfriend asks to set your friend up with her ugly, whiny, loser friend of hers, you must grant permission, but only if you have ample time to warn your friend to prepare his excuse about joining the priesthood.

22. Only in a situation of mortal danger or ass peril are you permitted to kick another member of the male species in the testicles.

23. Unless you’re in prison, never fight naked. This includes men who aren’t wearing shirts. If your buddy is outnumbered outmanned, or too drunk to defend himself, you must jump into the fight. Exception: if during the past 24 hours your friends actions have caused you to think "what this guy needs is a good ass wuppin", in which case you may refrain from getting involved and stand back and enjoy.

24. Friends don’t let friends wear speedos. Ever. Case closed.

25. Fives must be called at all times when getting out of your seat. If not, your seat is up for grabs. However, "house rules" may come into effect, in which case it is left up to the owner of the seat.

26. Shotgun can be called on anything where a shotgun applies., as long as you are in eyesight of the object, or it is at a reasonable time.

27. When picking players for sports teams it is permissible to skip over your buddy in favor of better athletes- as long as you don’t let him be the last sorry son of a bitch standing on the sideline.

28. If you ever compliment a guy’s six pack, you better be talking about his choice of beverage.

29. Never join your girlfriend in ragging on a buddy of yours, unless she is withholding sex, pending your response.

30. Phrases that may never be uttered to another man while lifting weights:

"Yeah, baby, push it!"

"Come on, give me one more, harder!"

"Another set and we can hit the showers"

"Nice ass! Are you a Sagittarius?"

31. Never hesitate to reach for the last beverage or pizza, but not both. That’s just mean.

32. Never talk to another man in the bathroom unless you are on equal footing: both urinating, both waiting in line for all other situations an "I recognize you" nod will do just fine.

33. Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch nearby, hang up if necessary.

34. You can not rat out a friend who show’s up to work or class with a massive hangover, however you may: hide the aspirin, smear his chair with limburger cheese, turn the brightness on his computer way up so he thinks its broken, or have him paged every seven minutes.

35. If you catch your girl messing around with your best friend, let your states crime of passion laws be your guide.

36. If your buddy is trying to hook up with a girl, you may sabotage him only in a manor that gives you no chances of getting any either.

37. Before allowing a drunken friend to cheat on his girl, you must attempt one intervention. If he can get up on his feet, look you in the eye, and deliver a "fuck off" then you are absolved from all responsibility. Later on it is ok that you have no idea what his girlfriend is talking about.

38. The morning after you and a babe, who was formerly "just a friend", go at it, the fact that you’re feeling weird and guilty is no reason not to jump on her again before there is a discussion about what a big mistake it was.

39. If a buddy has lint, an eyelash, or any other foreign object on his hair or face, under no circumstances are you permitted to remove it. However an appropriate hand gesture may be made to make him aware of it.

40. An anniversary is recognized on a yearly basis, under no circumstances will anything be celebrated in an interval other than a year

41. When using a urinal in a public restroom, a buffer zone of at least one urinal will exist at all times. If the only empty urinal is directly next to an occupied on, then you are still required to wait. (Exception: at a sporting event where a line has formed to use the pisser)

42. When coming to a room which you know is occupied by your friend and possibly another girl, you must knock and wait for an adequate response. If no response occurs, and the door is locked, a 10 minute period is required before knocking again.

43. The only time dicking over a buddy for a girl is legal, is when the girl ranks a 8 or above on the 1-10 scale. (exception: a girl may rank from 5-7, as long as there is oral sex involved).

44. A mans gotta scratch what a mans gotta scratch. This applies to picking as well. Let the man be.

45. No man shall ever watch any of the following programs on TV:

Figure skating

Men’s gymnastics

Any sport involving women (unless viewed for sexual purposes)

46. If you accidentally touch or brush against any part of another man below the waist, it is an understood accident, and NO apologies or any reference to the occurrence is necessary.

47. No man shall spend more than 2 minutes in front of a mirror. If more time is required, a three minute waiting period must be allowed before returning to the mirror.

48. Any dispute lasting any longer than 3 minutes will and must be settled by rock, paper, scissors. There is no argument too important for this determining method.

49. No man will ever willingly watch a movie in which the main theme is dancing, and if a man shall happen to view such a movie it is only acceptable if its with a girlfriend.

50. Only acceptable time when a man is allowed to cry:

when a heroic dog dies to save his master.

after being struck in the testicles with anything moving fast than 7 mph.

When your date is using her teeth.

The day Anna Kornikova chooses a husband.

51. If a bet is made, and the challenge is completed, then the bettor may recoup his money by immediately completing a more daring challenge. If he refuses the challenge or chooses not to propose one, then and only then, must the money be paid.

52. Masturbate often. (exception: if your roommate is due back within the hour)

53. If a hot girl shall happen to pass by while you are in an arms reach of your buddy, you must, and will, tap him on the shoulder to make him aware of the babe.

54. A man’s shoes may not intentionally match any other article of clothing on his body.

55. No comment shall ever be made to a man about how much he is sweating. In fact, there is no need bring notice to any body part which he may be sweating from.

56. No man shall ever allow anyone to speak ill of The Simpsons or any Rocky movie. (Exception: Rocky V)

57. You have not made any mistake if you find that there are extra pieces after reassembling or assembling an object. In fact, you have just found a way to make that object more efficient.

58. There are is never an occasion in which any shirt without buttons may be tucked in. (Exception: when you are participating in a organized sporting event)

59. Unless you are under the age of 11 or wearing a bathing suit,, DON’T wear whitey tighty’s. It still escapes all reasoning as to why they even make them in adult sizes.

60. Any object thrown with reasonable speed and accuracy, MUST be caught.

61. No man shall ever keep track of, or count, the amount of beers he has had in a night.

62. Under no circumstances may two non-related men share a bed or anything which can be perceived as a mattress.

63. In an empty room, car, ect., a man can not ask another man if he is mad because he isn’t talking.

64. If you jiggle more than twice, your playing with it.

65. A man shall never help another man apply sun tan oil.

66. The guy who wants something the most is responsible for getting it.

67. If your friend says "Lick my nuts" as a way to put you down, don’t try to be funny by saying "OK" and moving your head towards his crotch, two homosexual references in a row are just plain scary…

68. If you say ouch, you are a pussy!

69. It is the God given duty of every man to assist any other man that may be in need of assistance in obtaining every guys dream (threesome with two girls)

* with every set of laws, there are appropriate punishments. If any man shall happen to break any one of these codes, he will be found guilty, and will, for 24 hours from the time of the violation, be considered NOT A MAN. During this time he will not be referred to in any masculine way, and he shall bear the name Princess.

Shoulder torture… But it was worth it…

Kayaking Lake Union-8160005

In an effort to torture myself and my injured shoulder I met up with C this Saturday for a little bike ride and some kayaking.  The ride didn’t hurt, the kayaking did.  Not only that but I was up way to late last night, and it turns out so was C, to be out on a Saturday morning doing foolish things like riding a bike and paddling a kayak around lake union.

We started out at Moss Bay, which is just a few doors down from my office so parking the bikes was made much easier then trying to find a bike rack.  Then we paddled our way out into the lake, first heading north along the East side and into Portage Bay and then on to the arboretum.Kayaking Lake Union-8160017

The protected waters in the arboretum are easy to navigate and a pleasant area to spend a few hours.  We managed to see some great looking birds of both the feathered and the non-feathered varieties.  After all the arboretum is close to the UW and it’s freaking hot out today.

There are more pictures up on Flickr, so go there to see the rest, and if you need a cheap way to spend some time on a weekend, go check out the folks at Moss Bay and rent something human or wind powered and enjoy yourself!

Oh yeah and the shoulder is now on ice, drugs and some wine in an attempt to help the injury heal, even though I seem determined to not let it.

Email and then…

An email arrived asking if I was still interested in working for this event.  I hadn’t heard from them from the time I put my CV into the system in 2006 and then updated it with my Seattle address when I got home, so I naturally assumed I wouldn’t be hearing from them.  So when I did hear from them I was really quite excited.  It’s an event I was really looking forward to working on, and  a group of people I had worked with in the past and had a blast working with.  Given the opportunity to work with them again is really exciting and working with the team that they’ve assembled sounds like it will be a great working environment.

Now it’s just down to finding a place to live and finding my way around the new town I’ll be moving to in a few weeks.

Weddings… why can’t I ever just attend one?

A long time friend got married this weekend and it was a great ceremony.  The location was nice, the food was alright, the random attendees were friendly and the photographers seemed nice.

In the build up to the event we got there early enough to help put some decorations, programs and flip flops together, yes we had to assemble flip flops for the bridal party to wear after the ceremony.  Then out of left field came the shopping list: 8 bottles of the cheapest champagne we can find, a bag of burgers to snack on (since most of the people setting up hadn’t eaten anything) and something lingerie like for the bride to wear last night…  My friend who was the driver and I was the slightly buzzed passenger (as I had drank a couple of beers while tying ribbons on programs).  After being the two nicely dressed guy in an outlet shop sifting through discount women’s underwear we decided to use our combined intellect to find a naughty shop, which given the area the wedding was, is not an easy or close shop to find.  We ended up driving down the freeway 15 miles and walking into the naughty shop, the clerk was very forgiving given two guys, who are both friends of the bride in question and have both said to one an other at some point in our lives “can’t help you following the ass” as a descriptive of said bride. 

We asked the clerk for some help and I think we made it work in the end by simply asking ourselves, “what would we want to see on her?”  Of course we had to get past the strange look of why are two guys who are not part of the wedding, and are certainly not either of the people getting married asking for lingerie for the bride to be?

J and D, congratulations on the wedding and thanks again for including us all.

I think the next wedding I get invited to I’ll just arrive 5 minutes before curtain…