M.C.’s Top Picks for Caffeine-Free Kicks in Seattle

Caffeine is glorious. I used to gobble roasted coffee beans like candy and bask in the aroma of supermarket coffee aisles. But then last winter, I learned that caffeine was hurting me. It nudged me towards vertigo and migraines, leaving me so nauseous and unstable that I couldn’t work for two months. So, I had to cut back. WhichContinue reading “M.C.’s Top Picks for Caffeine-Free Kicks in Seattle”

The Gentleness of Contentment

It tiptoes in so lightly you hardly notice it. Not if you’re accustomed to gyrating mosh pits and rock stars screaming into sound systems that boom through stadiums. Not even if you’ve simply learned to read a paperback novel over friends shouting about Jane’s breakup across city streets or have learned to carry on conversationsContinue reading “The Gentleness of Contentment”

Halfway into the Unknown

Halfway through my Masters of Education program, I just started observing Level 1 ESL classes in the Seattle area. And wow. Boy is there loads I still don’t know. I tutored ESL students for 15 years while teaching occasional stand-alone workshops to them for five years. And I still know nothing about classroom management, curriculumContinue reading “Halfway into the Unknown”

When a City Reminds You of Those You’ve Lost

I had a best friend a few years back. A straight guy. Which maybe should have tipped me off. But I’d known him since middle school. We’d been chummy for many years, and he had gradually become a second brother to me. Year after year, we ambled down Third Avenue in chilly November rain andContinue reading “When a City Reminds You of Those You’ve Lost”

How Losing My Home Just Before Christmas Turned out to Be a Very Good Thing

No one wants to be told to leave their own home. No one wants three and a half years of tenancy to end in a matter of minutes. And no one wants to enter the holidays homeless and thrown upon the charity of loved ones. But this is exactly what happened to me this Friday.Continue reading “How Losing My Home Just Before Christmas Turned out to Be a Very Good Thing”

So a Random Guy Pulls up and Asks If I Want a Ride

So I’m walking down my street with a full grocery bag when a guy pulls up to me in his car. He pulls up with his window down and looks me over and asks, “Want a ride?” I’ve never seen this guy anywhere in my life. So I wait for him to realize his mistake—because he must haveContinue reading “So a Random Guy Pulls up and Asks If I Want a Ride”

Just Another Cupcake Mishap

I first discovered Seattle’s cupcake culture five years ago, on a display table in a Queen Anne grocery store. Cupcake Royale packages single and double cupcakes in boxes color-coded with childhood memories of Baskin Robbins’s circa 1986–those brown cartons crowned with polka dots of alternating pink and brown. It was love at first sight. Under the little cellophaneContinue reading “Just Another Cupcake Mishap”