Recently (earlier today, actually!) a friend of mine who lives out of state encouraged me to start writing about places in and around Seattle that I like. He and his wife are planning a trip here later this year, and they wanted better recommendations of what to see and visit than generic guides had to offer. I thought his suggestion was a really great idea, not just to give good feedback about places I like but also to share them with my friends. So upon request, I introduce Places I Love, a new series of posts in which I will share some of my local favorites and hopefully convince others to try them out!
One of my favorite places to eat in Seattle is Dragonfish Asian Cafe. It’s a Pan Asian restaurant with a fun, relaxed atmosphere and some of the best Asian food I’ve ever had. I discovered it in 2008, the first time I came to Seattle on vacation. The restaurant serves dinner until 1am, perfect for a late dinner after taking in a show. What I’ve always done when I go there is order several different dishes to share around the table with the people I’m out with. That way, we all get a taste of lots of different dishes, and I’ve never had anything that I didn’t love. I always like to start with an order of edamame, and my favorite dish on the menu is the Dragonfire Chicken.
In addition to a great food menu, Dragonfish also does an awesome happy hour and they have a very fun and diverse drink menu. My two favorite cocktails are the Lychee Drop, which is simple but fantastic and made with lychee infused vodka and lemon, and the Confucius, a yummy tropical drink served up with a flaming sugar cube floating in it.
Even though I definitely get my fill of food at Dragonfish, I never leave there feeling uncomfortably full – the food is satisfying but not heavy. In fact, I’m always up for a dessert sampler after dinner. Really, who wouldn’t want a few bites of the restaurant’s decadent Lemongrass Creme Brulee or some Mango Upside Down Cake?
Not only is Dragonfish a great place to go for a delicious dinner, but the prices are reasonable so there’s no breaking the bank just for a night out, and the staff has always been incredibly friendly and attentive. I’ve never had a bad experience there, and I always look forward to going.
It’s really kind of overwhelming to me that we’ve already reached the last week in February. My life has been so busy since the start of the year that I’ve barely had time to squeeze everything in, let alone stop and take a breath. Things have changed a LOT for me in the past few months, so this seems like a good time for one of those general life-update type posts.
Professionally, I’ve had a lot going on after two of my coworkers and friends decided to leave the company in January. I’m happy for them for pursuing new things, but I miss them both terribly. We try to get together and catch up, but it’s really not the same as seeing someone five days a week. For awhile I was scrambling to keep up with their workloads as well as my own, and I’m proud to say that I never once lost my mind or went running through the building whilst shrieking. On the bright side, we have two amazing new team members that were hired a few weeks ago, and I’ve been busy helping out with their training.
Before I knew that things were about to get crazy at work, I signed up for two classes this semester instead of my usual one. I know that two classes doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you work full-time, it really is! I’m studying math and sociology, and am actually really enjoying both courses. Things are up in the air as far as how much my company will be contributing for tuition assistance in the coming months, so I’m not sure what will happen for me education-wise after this semester. I really can’t afford classes without the assistance, and I’m very hesitant to take out student loans. For now I’m just hoping that the tuition program will remain relatively unchanged and I’ll be able to finish my degree.
My personal life has had some major changes too. Last November, after a lot of very difficult soul-searching, I decided to end my nine-year relationship and move out on my own. I got an apartment in December and am slowly making it feel like home. Since deciding to make this life change, I’ve definitely learned a lot about the different people in my life and the role they play. Sadly, a few people I considered to be my closest friends were anything but, and I learned some valuable lessons with that experience. But I was also amazed at the extent to which most of my friends were there for me, and I wouldn’t have made it through this experience without them. I also made some great new friends along the way that I’m very grateful to have!
Although things were pretty crazy and overwhelming for awhile, I’m happy to say that my life is returning to a quiet routine. For the most part, things are going well and I am content.
Today is Valentine’s Day, but that’s not what this post is about. V-Day is a movement fighting to end violence against women and girls all over the world. One of the things that I like to do on February 14th, when we are celebrating love, is to donate to this great cause and do my part to end the terrible crimes that are committed against women.
I’m all too familiar with a staggering statistic: that one in three women will be a victim of some form of violence in her lifetime. In other words, over one billion women currently on this planet will be assaulted in her lifetime. With those statistics in mind, activist Eve Ensler (best known for creation of the play The Vagina Monologues) established V-Day on Valentine’s Day in 1998. The purpose is simple: to unite and fight back against the epidemic in the world of violence against women.
I myself have been a victim of domestic violence, and sadly I know too many other women who have shared a similar experience. I also know women who have been raped and assaulted. It truly is everywhere, it happens far too often, and it needs to stop.
Today is the 16th anniversary of the launch of V-Day, and to celebrate I am writing this post and sharing it with people I love in hopes of helping to shatter the silence and erase the taboo that goes along with being a victim of battery, rape, incest, female genital mutilation, and sex slavery. These things are happening, and they will only end when we as a global society are aware of them and refuse to stay silent about how unacceptable they are. We must demand change.
Please celebrate V-Day with me by visiting vday.org and getting involved. You can donate, find an event to participate in, or even organize your own event. Let’s stand together and celebrate a different kind of V-Day this February 14th.