2016 Year in Review

I think most of my year has been consumed with running, but here are some highlights:


According to Strava, I ran 790 miles (since May, when I started using Strava) – consuming 108 hours of my life. So if you figure I ran a similar amount Jan – April, I ran about… 1,580 miles in 2016! (For comparison, Seattle is 1,420 miles from Phoenix, by the fastest road route).

I ran (clearly, as evidenced above) some races:

Marathons: Carmel Marathon (PR, BQ) & San Antonio Rock n’ Roll Marathon (PR,BQ)
Half Marathons: None!
15K: Boise Race for the Steaks (PR- first time I’ve ever placed in the overall Female Top 3!)
10K: Fall City Days 10K
5K: Snoqualmie Turkey Trot, Run with the Fishes (PR, first sub-7 min/mile race; Issaquah)
Random Distance Runs: Roche Harbor Fun Run, where some guy beat me right at the end and I learned to never to let off the gas. Even in a fun run.

Most importantly, I got a good qualifier for the Boston Marathon at 3:31:43 – a good enough time to actually make it into the field! See you in Boston on Patriot’s Day, 2018!

Boise 15K
Between the two of us, we won EIGHT steaks at this run (2017 Resolution: Eat less beef).

Biggest social media moment: Getting re-tweeted by Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Silver Medalist in the Marathon (2004), winner of the NYC Marathon (2009) and winner of the Boston Marathon (2014)

Meb Quote.png

Biggest Fashion Moment: Discovering that Michelle Obama, one of my favorite people in the world, wore a similar dress in her White House Christmas Card / Canada State Dinner, that I had in my closet:



Bill and I continued our tradition of accruing airline miles (and a desire to stay at Alaska Airlines MVP level), with trips to:
Carmel, Indiana (Family + Marathon)
Florence, Italy (Wine and History)
Ravello, Italy (Wine and Views)
Venice, Italy (Wine and Canals)
Milan, Italy (Wine and Fashion)
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington (Boat Trip!)
Maui, Hawaii (Sun!)
Chicago, Illinois (Pearl Jam!)
Boise, Idaho (6th Wedding Anniversary + Unexpected Victory)
Austin & San Antonio, Texas (Marathon)


Other, Easy to Find Photos from Our Trips:



Favorite Live Show: Tie between Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field, and Bruce Springsteen in Seattle (so, the only live shows I went to in 2016)

Favorite New Thing that Makes My Life Easier: Blue Apron

Favorite New Thing that Ups My Style Game (Considerably): Rent the Runway

Songs that I Actually Downloaded from iTunes in 2016: Patience, Civil War, Don’t Cry, November Rain (Guns N’ Roses); We Belong (Pat Benatar); It’s All Coming Back to Me Now (Celine Dion); Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead); Hello, When We Were Young (Adele); Strange Tales – the full album (Lord Huron)

Favorite Podcast: Bill Simmons w/Cousin Sal – NFL Lines

Favorite New Shows:  The Night Of (well, mini-series) and Westworld

Best Sports Moment: Seattle Sounders FC winning the MLS Cup (FINALLY)

Worst Sports Moment:  Ohio State’s phantom first down and no PI call at the end of the Michigan game

Thing I am MOST Excited about for 2017: Going to Africa!!! (so. freaking. excited).

Thing I am LEAST Excited about for 2017: Donald Trump – a person so thin-skinned he can’t even ignore SNL making fun of him – being President of the United States of America (not surprising, if you know me).

2017 Resolutions:  Eat less beef (it’s just one of many things that is killing the earth); be more conscious of my environmental footprint, run 1,750 miles.


2015 Year in Review

Each one seems to get shorter than the last! While technically I have the same amount of time in the day (unless something really crazy has happened, that I’m unaware of…)… I feel like it’s work – workout – cook – sleep – begin again! So this 2015 Year in Review may be a bit shorter than in years’ past. Still – 2015 was a good one!

States and Provinces and Countries, Oh My!: Indiana, Texas, Chile, California – twice, British Columbia and Alberta – Canada, Maryland, Florida, & South Carolina. More or less in that order.

Favorite Songs from 2015 (well, they might not actually BE from 2015): Fool For Love, Lord Huron (one of whom went to school with Mr. Sesh. Which is weird/funny).
Shake, Head and the Heart [how has this not been on my list before?]
Chandelier, Sia [the video has a mere 1 billion views on YouTube]
Dearly Departed, Shakey Graves
Rollercoaster, Bleachers

Three Big Moments from 2015:

Chile Trip – In February, Mr. Sesh and I commenced our first trip to South America, heading first to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, and then north to the Atacama Desert (making packing a interesting feat). We both LOVED Chile, especially Patagonia. It probably didn’t hurt that we stayed at two amazing Awasi properties, either.  Special shout out to our amazing guide Kura and the best bartender in the Southern Hemisphere (or the world), Santiago at Awasi Patagonia. Cheers!

Kind of the Best Drink Ever
To be clear, there are… literally volcanic pumice stones in my drink. And it tastes amazing. Santiago, my hero.

Ran the Baltimore Marathon – I decided it was time to do a second marathon, as I’ve recently become a wee bit obsessed with “getting that Boston jacket.” (Mr. Sesh: “Technically you could probably just BUY one…”). It’s also been about four years since the first one, so the memory of the agony of training (and racing) had faded significantly. So on October 16th I ran in my second marathon, the Baltimore Marathon, and completed the race in 3:55:00 – shaving 36 minutes off my first marathon time. Good. BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Thus, I’m all signed up for the Carmel Marathon on April 16th an aiming for a sub 3:40:00 to qualify to apply for Boston (let’s not even address the fact that might not get me IN to the actual race).

Leslie Baltimore Marathon
I was…super not happy at this point.

Opened Chasing Rabbits Dog Bakery – Not sure why I buried this, it probably should have led the charge… but I am now officially a small business owner! Chasing Rabbits Dog Bakery was launched late in 2015 and it’s been off to a smashing (with friends and family) success! 😉 We’re appearing at local and regional craft fairs, and have a full e-commerce site (as well as an Etsy site). Our treats are made with natural, human food-grade ingredients, in small-batches. And, most importantly, dogs LOVE them! Probably because they’re filled with bacon and peanut butter and all sorts of other goodies…And yes, I’ve eaten them. They taste boring to me. But to a dog – delightful!

Motley Zoo Official Photos_2
Motley Zoo Animal Rescue Yappy Holidays Craft Bazaar – Our debut! (Photo courtesy: Motley Zoo)

Here’s to 2016! To Italy, and to making Chasing Rabbits Dog Bakery a success, and to QUALIFYING FOR THE BOSTON MARATHON! (all three of those best be on the 2016 Year in Review!)

2014 Year in Review

A quick recap of what was good about 2014:

Arthur and Team Peak Performance
This Could be the Meatball That Started it All. Or it could be just another meatball. (Image: Team Peak Performance)

Favorite feel-good story: Team Peak Performance Adopts Arthur, The Stray Dog (or perhaps it was vice versa…) I’m a sucker for a feel good dog story (Derby the Dog and his 3D printed prosthetic, Thai beach dog… you name it, I read it and cry at my desk [happy tears]). For some reason, this one stood out more than all the others. You’ve probably seen this by now, since it was widely reported on both social media and mainstream news media. Team Peak Performance, from Sweden, was participating in a grueling adventure race, The Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador, when the team captain shared a bite of food with a stray dog. This dog must have REALLY liked that meatball, because he proceeded to follow the team on their challenge. And nothing would stop him. Nothing. I can’t tell this story as good as the photos can, so take a look at a short format of the story on You Tube, and, if you don’t mind reading English subtitles, a longer format of the story via this Swedish production. And of course, you can keep up with Team Peak Performance and their new friend on their Facebook page.

Derby and his 3D Printed Legs
Because you can’t have too many feel-good dog photos. Here’s Derby and his 3D printed prosthetics, schooling his owner on a jog.

Favorite Songs (Added to my Ipod in 2014…regardless of when they came out): 1. The Safety Dance – Sleeping At Last. You’ll hardly recognize it from the original version. 2. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men. It makes me think of both an enchanted forest and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. 3. Sorrow (Acoustic) – Bad ReligionEvery so often, I hear this song on 107.7 The End and this year, I finally downloaded it and was like “Why did I wait so long to download this???” 4. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon. My local alternative (is that still a thing?) radio station began playing this a few months ago on very, very light rotation (as in, barely played it). Now it’s everywhere, even Dancing with the Stars. 5. Riptide – Vance Joy. Ditto. [ps- this album was apparently recorded in Woodinville, WA – he’s Australian] 6. Can’t Go Back – Little Big Town. I don’t listen to country music so I’m not sure where I picked this song up (probably a TV show, probably Hart of Dixie) but I love it. 7. You+Me – Rose Ave. Starbucks generally does a good job with their free downloads, and this is by far my favorite of 2014 (and possibly, ever). PS- if the female lead sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Alecia Moore, aka Pink. 8. Flashdance…What  A Feeling – Irene Cara. How has this song been out of my life for so long? 9. A Life That’s Good – Lennon and Maisy Stella. These Nashville girls (real sisters AND fake sisters) are good. Really good. And they’re like, I don’t know… 16 and 10 years old? 10. If It’s The Beaches – Avett Brothers. The Avett Brothers are one of those groups that I SHOULD like, based on the sound I generally tend to be drawn towards. Yet this is one of the few songs I like (excluding the random breathy talking part in the middle…).

Cheese Car
If you go to coastal Oregon, you go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It’s just what you do. WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, JOEY.

Life Stuff! States I visited in 2014: Oregon, Alaska, Florida (twice!), California, New Mexico, Indiana, Michigan (just long enough to grab Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor) Crazy Mileage Runs to Achieve Alaska Airlines MVP Status: 1 (Spokane, the least likely of mileage run cities) Random Obsession: The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which had me tippe typee texting away with my friend Kim until the wee hours, with things like “OMG has CNN gone to the press conference yet? AM I GOING TO HAVE TO WATCH THIS ON FOX NEWS??????????”; and prompted me to read the definitive guide on the Air France Flight 447 crash (I’m now capable of sprinkling phrases like “the pitots were clogged with tiny ice crystals” into any air disaster conversation [conversations that were alarmingly frequent in 2014]).

Running Lady
This is the type of running form that delivers consistent PRs.

Races Ran: Cinco de Mayo 1/2 Marathon – 1:45:53 – 5th in my division Fall City Days 10K – 46:32 (PR) – 3rd in my division Snoqualmie Ridge Turkey Trot 5K – 22:10 (PR) – “1st” in my division (thanks to a gender dispute) Seattle 1/2 Marathon – 1:44:06 (PR)  – 27th in my division   Highlights From 2014: 1. Boat trip to Prince William Sound: Well, I guess I should say boat trip ‘IN’ Prince William Sound, since I did not have to do the hard part of getting the boat up there and back. We flew in to Cordova, and out of Seward and it was gorgeous for the entire trip (minus the first 4 days we were stuck in the incredibly tiny town of Cordova). One tiny paragraph doesn’t do it justice; I’m hoping to post an actual account, and if I do, I’ll link it back here! 2. “How Did This Get Made?” Live Taping: Mr. Sesh and I occasionally do “DINK” (double income no kids) activities and this definitely falls under that category. We both love a podcast called “How Did This Get Made?” – which is basically just three comedians reviewing terrible movies with the underlying tone of, “no, seriously, how the HELL did this get made?”. I’m not describing it well, just give it a whirl. Every few months they do a live taping of the podcast in Los Angeles, so Mr. Sesh and I jetted down to L.A. for the weekend to watch the taping (we got to meet Paul Scheer and brush past Adam Scott [ok fine, maybe HE brushed past US]. And the next morning we did brunch at The Ivy and got a table right next to the street, on the patio. Seriously, I don’t know how that happened. It was amazing. I paid 90% of my attention to spotting celebrities and eavesdropping on the ladies next to us and 10% attention to Mr.Sesh (don’t worry, he was doing the same). 3. Seeds planted for the beginning of my dog bakery business: Somehow this year I got the idea that I want to start a dog bakery business, so hopefully in 2015’s year in review, there will be an entry entitled “Started a dog bakery business!”. Woof!

Prince William Sound
Just a nice little Prince William Sound photo…for the road. Here’s to 2015!

2013 Year in Review. Music, TV, Life. All in One Handy Post!

A few of my favorite things, from 2013:

Favorite Songs (not all actually FROM 2013…):
The Head and the Heart – Shake. This album seemed a little uneven compared to their stellar self-titled debut, and it’s a pretty weak from a “music cred” stand if my favorite song from the album is the first single, but… but it is.
Shovels & Rope – Birmingham.
I got this as a free iTunes download (quite possibly in 2012, but who cares) and I immediately became a huge fan. I also spent about 100 listens thinking they were dropping the N-word (which seemed weird, for a folk-duo) until Mr. Sesh google’d the lyrics and set me straight. Ahem… “Nickajack” is…apparently an “ill-defined area” in the rugged Appalachian foothills (I knew that $3 donation to Wikipedia was worth it!)
Wolf Gang – Suego Faults. This has probably been on my iPod for quite some time, and I can’t believe it hasn’t ended up on a previous year’s list… I think I got it off of Gossip Girl (or, for some reason I thought Friday Night Lights, but that does not make sense given that the album was released in 2011 and the show ended in February of 2011…). One of those songs that doesn’t really fit in a category, and not my typical “sound,” but there is something I find irresistible about it.
Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen. This is the song I like to blast really loudly when I need a boost (traffic, shitty work situation, general ‘bad day’, etc).

Songs I like that are embarrassing to admit: Blurred Lines (laughable), Wrecking Ball (better than her previous songs at least), Wake Me Up (country-dance-pop?)

Song I think I would have really liked if I had remembered to ever download it from iTunes: The Killers – Shot at the Night (maybe next year…maybe next year)

Googling "Claire Danes Crying Face" really delivered, but I didn't want to scroll too far for fear of revealing anything in Season 3.
Googling “Claire Danes Crying Face” really delivered, but I didn’t want to scroll too far for fear of revealing anything in Season 3.

Favorite New Show:
Yes, I know it came out a few years ago. Not all of us have the luxury of Showtime (just HBO). Sister Sesh bought the Season One DVD and we devoured it in weeks, and then finally (thank god) Season Two came out on DVD in September and it was EVEN BETTER. I mean, it’s TOTALLY ENTHRALLING TO WATCH A CRAZY CHICK AND A TERRORIST OUTSMART EACH OTHER AND THEMSELVES WHILE LIVING COMPLETELY EFFED UP LIVES.

I have nothing else to add on the television front, because everything else that came out in the fall of 2013 (that I had time to watch) sucked. In fact – I think Sleepy Hollow is the only new show I still watch and I feel my interest fading. Quickly. On a positive note, Community begins tomorrow! Yay!

I liked to think this guy was bicycling down the boardwalk with ice cream, but...he may have been an exterminator.
I liked to think this guy was bicycling down the boardwalk with ice cream, but…he may have been an exterminator.

Big 2013 Amazing Life Moments and Fun Things I Did (a regularly-formed sentence simply would not do it justice).

These are in no specific order, lest people Get Offended or Think I Am Shallow and Callous (hahaha. ha. ha).

1. Going to the Maldives. So far and away the best vacation I have ever been on, it can’t really even be touched by anything else. I mean, we were living in a luxury hut, over the ocean, with a private pool, in the Maldives…for…like… seven nights. Sharky and Ray, turtles, eating, dragging Mr. Sesh to the gym every day, private wine cellar dinner, suntanning (well, sort of, since it was 90+ degrees), swimming, snorkeling, jumping in our pool and taking endless photos to try and get the perfect “we love life and life loves us!” shot… every day was perfect. PERFECT.

2. Going to Dubai. And then we went to Dubai, which is literally the most surreal place I have ever been. It was like being on a movie set. Completely fascinating, but impossible to tell if it was fascinating in a good way or a bad way. Like a bad car wreck (well, no, I guess car wrecks would only be fascinating in a bad way…). But go. Go if you ever have the chance. It’s like a really gigantic Las Vegas, but with all the “sin” parts hidden behind closed doors.

3. New Babies for Family and Friends. 2013 was apparently the Year of the Baby because suddenly all my sisters and some of my friends suddenly had babies. Like, babies, that just…came out of the woodwork. Babies! Warm, tiny little babies that occasionally drooled and spit on me but redeemed themselves with their general cuteness.

Just me, hanging out with my camel.
Just me, hanging out with my camel.

4. Another Good Year for Running. Mr. Sesh told me runners reach their prime in like, their 30s so…good news… this aging thing is finally working in my favor! This year I recorded personal bests in both my half marathon (Fall City Half Marathon 1:44:34) and 5K (Snoqualmie Turkey Trot 5K 23:17). 2014 goal is to run my second full marathon, which… is probably causing Mr. Sesh some grief (you know, because he must always stay one ahead of me).

5. Buying our First House Together. In July, Mr. Sesh and I bought our first house together. We learned a few things about our new house and we’re still learning (ask him about setting up the Nest). But we both love it and so far haven’t found any reason to pack our bags and run screaming out of it (ghost, demon, insect infestation, etc).

States and Countries Visited in 2013: Maldives, UAE, Indiana, Canada, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Florida, California

Sports Teams that Better do Better in 2014: Michigan football and the Seattle Sounders. I mean, HOW CAN YOU BOTH BE SO BAD IN THE SAME YEAR? Michigan basketball was my only sports highlight in 2013 and even they lost in the NCAA finals. I mean, even one of my fantasy football teams went 4-7. GUH.

Here’s to 2014 – Treat us well.

10 Things I’ve Learned About Our New House in the 72 Hours I’ve Lived There

1. There is no towel rack in the master bath and we’re the 5th owner. WHERE HAVE THESE PEOPLE BEEN HANGING THEIR TOWELS?

2. I am too short to reach the following: 1/2 of my kitchen cabinets, the top rack of our closet, latch to the backyard gate, and the shower head in the master bath. I am curious to see the gigantors that lived in our house (even the hand towel ring in the guest bathroom is floating up in space).

I can reach this. With a stepstool. And a prayer.
I can reach this. With a stepstool. And a prayer.

3. Never buy appliances on the night you move into your house. “$10,000 for a fridge? Ok! I’ll take it! I’ll give you another $1,000 just to deliver it to my house in the next 10 days. I’M SO TIRED.”*

4. Our new appliances are more complicated than my previous car. And will probably break down more often.

5. Houses smell weird. You never notice this when you’re rushing through in the 15-20 minutes you have deigned enough to make a decision (before making an offer that is 4x your household’s annual income). Occasionally I have a nagging worry that our new house smells like pee and cardboard.

6. “Open and light-filled, with hardwood floors” is real-estate speak for “super fucking loud** and echo-y and painfully bright at 6am

It was all going so well until THIS showed up.
It was all going so well until THIS showed up.

7. There are gigantic spiders in our home. Gigantic. Man-eating. Spiders. A carefully crafted, two-person team (read: Mr. Sesh on point, with Mrs. Sesh as ‘the sweeper’) with multiple bug-killing devices (read: vacuum, shoe, paper towel) had to remove (read: kill) a monster spider (read: monster spider) on Saturday morning. WELCOME HOME!

I mean, it's not like this stuff would get cold in any reasonably priced refrigerator. Obviously.
I mean, it’s not like this stuff would get cold in any reasonably priced refrigerator. Obviously.

8. We are the proud owners of 7 dental floss containers. These are thing things you learn when you buy drawer organizers.

9. I’m pretty sure the sole point of storm doors are to hit me in the knee, shin, hip, face, etc.

10. We love our house! Even the spiders. Well, OK…not the spiders. I am starting an aggressive campaign to find the spiders a new home.

* We did not buy a $10K fridge, just to be clear. We did, however, spend enough that I’m calling us “appliance poor” rather than “house poor”

** Have you heard a dog bark? Have you heard a dog bark in a cavernous empty home? Highly recommended for those who enjoy loud, grating noises!

No, I did not sanction this break.
No, I did not sanction this break.
Penny's new sunpatch. Where she keeps the neighborhood watch. Whether you like it or not.
Penny’s new sun patch. Where she keeps the neighborhood watch. Whether you like it or not.

Neiman Marcus Meets Target Meets A Lot of Buildup Over Nothing.

Sister Sesh and I have been plotting our attack plan for the Neiman Marcus +Target Present Holiday24 (yeah, I’m not typing that out again) for a week. We have had strategy sessions that have lasted longer than an Obama-Romney debate. We settled on going to the local Target, meeting at 6:30am. We picked Target over the local Neiman Marcus because we are both VERY familiar with the Target store layout, they have carts (take that, NM!), and there were no free coffee/cookies/donuts, like some of the Neimans were doing. Plus, we figured all the Bellevue Betties would be at NM and they have way more money than either one of us and would be more likely to clean out the shelves.

After agonizing (were we going to the right store?!), I set my alarm for 5:48am (I insisted on getting one more minute of sleep over a normal work day), put on my running shoes (visions of things getting ugly) and ended up zipping into the Target parking lot at about 6:20am. There were a bunch of cars in the lot, but no one was standing next to the giant “FRONT OF LINE STARTS HERE” sign, so I drove over to Starbucks to meet Sister Sesh. Fortified, we headed back to Target. Keep in mind, while I have done the Jason Wu for Target thing, Sister Sesh is a designer collaboration sale virgin.

For the line that wasn't there.
This would imply there was a line.

As we pull back into the Target parking lot, I tell her to park so that we are facing the entrance, so we can wait in the car until people start lining up. She proceeds to park facing away from the front and next to a white Hummer. My sister has literally managed to park in the worst possible spot in the entire lot, less than 10 seconds after I told her where to park. The Hummer is completely obscuring our view of where people are supposed to queue up. If I turn around and crane my neck, I can watch the front doors of the store.

So we’re now sitting in The Wagon in front of Target at 6:30am, in the pitch dark. I keep telling her people will show up (“there will be people in line by 7:00am, I guarantee it.”). 7:00am arrives. Again, there are no people. We entertain ourselves by guessing which cars the night staff will go to, who are trickling out of the store. The night staff at Target are an interesting bunch. Let’s just say they don’t have to wear red polos and khakis. A few look like mountain men. And meth addicts (hey, I said “look,” not “are”). One guy emerges and I say to Sister Sesh, who can’t see the entrance, “Man, that guy lit up a cigarette the minute he stepped out of the door.” I’ve barely finished my sentence when she firmly states, “Datsun.” I’m like “He’s walking towards us…ok…he’s approaching… ok… shit… shit… I think you’re right…he’s going to… he’s going to….THE DATSUN WITH THE SLOW WHEEL!” This game continued, sprinkled in with me announcing the arrival of every vehicle into the Target parking lot, which is a surprising amount considering it’s not even 7:30am. There are workers arriving (they all park in the choice spots, by the way). There are an INSANE amount of people arriving who think the store is open (I mean, this Target was definitely missing out on some business). There are no Holiday24 crazies arriving.

We tell ourselves everyone went to Neiman. We cover all matter of topics, from Covert Affairs, to shopping strategies but steadfastly avoid talking about all the sleep we could have gotten without sacrificing a good spot in line. Finally, at about 7:35am, a carload arrives with two women and some kids (who brings their toddlers to something like this??? Clearly someone who did not experience Missoni Madness). Five minutes later, a Mini Cooper drives up and a man and woman get out, who I am positive think the store is open and desperately need something like…cold medicine (I mean, she is wearing plaid flannel sleep pants), but instead we have Our First Shoppers (to not hide in their car, like us).

Now that there is someone officially in line, and I don’t have to be That Person at the Front of the Line (loser!), I jump out of the car screaming “I’m going! I’m going!” and speed walk to the front of the store, so I can be That Second Person in Line. Needless to say, this starts a trend, and anyone who has been hiding in their cars, roll out and form the (pretty sad actually) line of about ten people. By the time the doors open there is, at most, twenty people in line, including some woman who is dressed to the nines who asks why we’re standing in line and claims she “didn’t know the sale was today” even though I SWEAR I saw her at Wu.

This woman needs ruffles.
I think we can all agree this woman needs ruffles.

We head in, grab a cart and go straight for the Lela Rose top. My immediate impression: it looks much different in person (more of a coffee-toned liner). I grab a Robert Rodriguez georgette chiffon blouse (which looked better in person). In true “designer collab” fashion, I take two sizes just in case. I grab the Tracy Reese dessert plates and a Marc Jacobs gunmetal gray pouch. My arms are overflowing so I dump stuff in my cart and consider the Thom Browne blazer. I throw in a Rodarte ornament. Sister Sesh and I look around and realize there are maybe all of 25 people (maybe) leisurely looking at stuff and picking up a few items. There is no grabbing (except for yours truly). There is no elbowing. There is no breathless hovering. In fact, I’m comfortable enough to leave my cart full of goods left unattended (this would NEVER have happened during Wu, when girls were accusing other girls of stealing shit).

We try stuff on. The Lela Rose top, which was my number one priority item, makes me look as flat as a 14 year old boy. The Thom Browne blazer is way too nautical (this, coming from a girl who WORKS IN THE YACHTING INDUSTRY). The Robert Rodriguez top is good, though. It feels well constructed, the material feels high end (ok, maybe mid-end) and it’s very on trend. Some would say it is a bit clown-ish, but ruffles are popular right now, and the shirt is pretty flattering (although the buttons at the neckline are really annoying; I think I bruised my trachea trying to unbutton them).

We review our cart. There are three sets of Tracy Reese dessert plates, that we agonize over for ourselves and for gifts. We decide the Marc Jacobs pouch is way too awkwardly sized… too big to really carry as an evening purse… and too small to carry as an every day purse. Back to the shelves they go. We each grab the Marc Jacobs scarf, an item I had absolutely not wanted going into this event (I have a lot of scarves). Into the cart they go. The Rodarte ornament…$20 for an ornament seems ridiculous. So back to the shelf IT goes. We ooh and ahh and covet the Tracy Reese plates but in the end we decide we don’t eat enough dessert (hahahahaha. kidding. as if) to justify them and back to the shelf THEY go. Defying any sort of logic, we both decide to buy matching Marc Jacobs scarves. They’re super soft, a wool-cashmere blend, and something you can wear with almost anything since they’re black.

 Living on the very edge of fashion, she chose a black scarf.
Living on the very edge of fashion, she chose a black scarf.

So it all started with a whimper and well…ended with one, too. To summarize:

Time Spent in Car: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Time Spent in Line: Less than 15 minutes

Items Bought: Two. The Marc Jacobs scarf and the Robert Rodriguez top.

Sleep Lost: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Money Spent: Less than $170

The Good: My scarf and blouse, the plates, the Brian Atwood gloves, the Caroline Herrera travel pouches, the Tory Burch coffee thermos, the Rag and Bone men’s sweater (which I saw a girl wearing online…looked really cute),  and the best item in the ENTIRE collection… the white Marchesa kid’s dress, which would be perfect for a flower girl (also, the only item that looked picked through, by the time we left).

The Bad: The suitcase (small, weird fabric), the Brian Atwood sunglasses (hello clearance section), the Oscar de La Renta tote (I have no idea why people liked this bag…it looked chintzy and just…completely out of season)

The Inexplicably Ugly: The Prabal Gurang evening bag, that LITERALLY looked like something you would buy at Wet Seal, and the Skaist Taylor furry hat (however, it is apparently for kids, whereas I thought it was for adults. Which explains things. A bit).

Things that Seemed Stupidly Overpriced: The Judith Leiber compacts, the Eddie Borgo accent box (which was TINY)

What I Hope to Buy Once it Goes on Sale: The Proenza Schouler sweatshirt, the Oscar de La Renta pet bowl

My Tivo, My Friend: A Eulogy

With a face like this, who could resist?
With a face like this, who could resist?

This past week I lost a dear friend: My TiVo. Through thick and thin, my TiVo supported my long running television addiction, adding hitherto unknown depths by allowing me to record up to 40 hours a week of pure, unadulterated TV.

Adopted on Christmas morning, 2003, my TiVo was immediately welcomed into the family. With “life of the box” service, she promised to be a workhorse, dutifully recording hours of shows for only $299. In the early years, her memory was filled with Daily Shows and anything with the keyword “Bon Jovi.” As my tastes matured and progressed, she would  blithely record and save episode upon episode of Grey’s Anatomy (oh TiVo, how many times did we watch Denny die together?!). She never laughed at my taste in television, or criticized me for watching “teen” shows long after I had shed that identifier. Nor did she scoff when asked to record General Hospital every day, growing fatter each passing week with episodes that we both knew I would never watch.

My TiVo and I went through many challenges together; let me not pretend it was all wine and roses. There came a time when a new DVR would move into our household (along with Mr. Sessionista). And while that Comcast DVR lacked the beauty, tempermant and whimsy of my TiVo, it far surpassed her in technology with a dual tuner, HD recording capabilities…and far more than 40 hours of capacity. With her antennas held high, my TiVo took her place at the upstairs bedroom television, relegated to being the recorder of “The Sessionista’s crappy shows that Mr. Sesh didn’t want to watch.” As dust collected, she dutifully recorded episodes of 90210 and Gossip Girl, becoming fast friends with the CW.

It was here, on the cluttered bureau top, that my TiVo faced her greatest challenge to date (not, as one might think, her steadfast refusal to delete a 2004 Michigan basketball game, try as I might to convince her to let it go). Nay, her greatest challenge came just over a year ago, when the world turned HD on us. Hours were spent reading countless forums on Comcast, ordering special receivers, rigging wires and infrared eyes and all sorts of crap to my TiVo just to get her to change channels successfully. And while she was never quite the same after that day, she did her best, only occasionally changing to the wrong channel, thereby delivering two hours of Northwest Cable News instead of Dancing With the Stars.

These are the types of things you can't unsee in life.
These are the types of things you can't unsee in life.

In her Last Days, I knew that something was wrong, but tried to deny myself the reality: that my friend, my TiVo, was dying. It came first in the form of freezing and fades (always at the most important moments of course). And while I wittily tried to fill in the dialogue blanks, and pray it was somehow Comcast’s fault, I knew it simply didn’t make sense that all my shows had crap feeds. On her last day of life, my TiVo suffered a terrifying dementia, telling me she was unable to record my show because we didn’t get the channel, only to freakishly start playing it if I hit enough buttons on the remote.

And then, on a day already filled with sadness, she went into a GSOD coma. Coming home on Wednesday night, freezing cold from seeing the Seattle Sounders lose their playoff game, I dejectedly walked up to my bedroom. As I approached, I was drawn by a bright light emanating from the front of my TiVo (the cute TiVo sticker having long ago fallen off). This was a brighter light than ever seen before on my TiVo. I turned the television on and was horrified to see a bright green screen- no happy TiVo man, no jaunty banging drumset- just a bright green screen with stark white lettering, warning me that my TiVo, my friend, had suffered a potentially life threatening malady…and that within  three hours I would know whether she would pull through.

Maybe if I didn't pile all this shit on her, she'd still be alive.
Maybe if I didn't pile all this shit on her, she'd still be alive.

All through the night, her bright white light shown- only once going out- to which I yelled to Mr Sesh “The light is out!! Maybe it’s fixed!” (I’m sure he appreciated that at 1:00am). But the morning greeted me with the same Green Screen of Death. She was not fixed. There would be no fixing her. My TiVo had gone. And with her, my shows. Including 5 episodes of 90210, one episode of Gossip Girl and one episode of Hart of Dixie (I wasn’t kidding when I said she was close personal friends with the CW). Most importantly, she took with her my one moment of television fame: My Taco Time commercial. No more will I be able to watch myself enthusiastically sharing with the world the reason I love the chicken soft taco (the cheese and sour cream). Hopefully my mother, who saves everything, saved this as well.

I will miss you, my Tivo. Let us now gently unplug you and lay you softly in your bright orange original box which I have dutifully saved, and send you on your way to the great, big Best Buy in the sky.

Your Friend,

The Sessionista