A letter from Batman to Dick Grayson

This letter from Batman to Dick Grayson, truly makes me feel all the feels!

Lady Batman

Dick Grayson has died in Forever Evil. It was a strange kind of death because it didn’t seem real. Not because of the way it was delivered, but rather because of our understanding of comics. Everyone knows he’ll be back, probably in the next issue, regenerated as a good Talon or something like that.

So when the Lady and I read those panels – his heartbeat fading away and his face growing greyer – it didn’t seem such a ‘thing’. But then, when we put the comic book down a realisation struck us: a man we loved had died. It doesn’t matter that in four weeks time we shall probably see him again because right now, at this moment, Richard’s life is no more.

Then an unexpected thing happened: Batman appeared in our office. Could he post a few words on Robin? – he asked. To which we replied yes…

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12 Things You Are Doing To Sabotage Your Future

I just read through this article on Thought Catalog and found it motivating and thought provoking. I wanted to share it with you guys!

Thought Catalog

I have mentored, counseled, encouraged, discouraged, hired and fired hundreds of people over the past 25 years. Oftentimes failure is less about a lack of talent or ability, and more about self sabotage. These are frequent road blocks I see in people, myself included.

Thomas LeuthardThomas Leuthard

1. You are lazy.

Most of us default to indolence. We take the easy way. We get comfortable. We like a routine. This may be fine for 90%. If you are reading this, I suspect it’s not fine for you. So get off your ass and get started.

2. You lack focus.

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You start out great. You spend thirty minutes of uninterrupted time putting together a plan, making a list, and polishing your resume, so you decide to take a break. You check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your friend’s blog, Game of Thrones, iTunes, etc. and two hours later you’re back…

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PO Dog – Ballard [A review]

Please go to Po Dog in Ballard if you get a chance, why? Well there are plenty of reasons, so let me name a few. Po Dog in Ballard has a stellar staff. They are fun and casual, they treat you like a family friend and are willing to chat. They are willing to change around toppings to make your perfect dog! The dogs are great too, so many fantastic options and they cook dogs like you should, a quick boil for a plump oversized beef dog that will make your mouth water. Steamed buns that are sort of brioche like hold up to their oversized dogs well.

Po Dog – Dub T Dog

Remember those options I stated? My favorite is the Texas dog with potato chips instead of onion straws. This dog is covered in crushed Ruffles, Tilamook cheddar and a smoky barbecue sauce. If you like onion straws then totally keep those on there. My other favorites are the Dub-T dog, the Chicago Dog and the Mac & Cheese dog. Their dog of the month option is also a favorite, they incorporate fun and fresh toppings with interesting themes.

The sides and drinks at Po Dog are also good. Sometimes I head over purely to get some of their shoestring french fries. Greasy but not too greasy. crispy yet slightly soggy, covered in a great seasoning, they give you a heaping amount in an order too. I just wish they did cheese fries and chili cheese fries. Then I would be there once a week… So maybe its good that chili cheese fries are not on the menu.

The decor is also fun, sort of gothic yet light hearted, black and white patterned wall paper and chair railed walls. Its little tables are cozy but the bar is my favorite place to sit when I am alone. A tiny little hole in the wall with a great staff, wonderful dogs and a endearing interior. Why wouldn’t you go?

Image Credits [ Yelp Seattle for the image of the Dub T, Image of the store: http://seattle.eater.com/archives/2012/03/16/laura-olson-says-ballard-po-dog-will-open-march-23.php ]

The Best Burgers in Seattle – Part Two [Red Mill Burgers]

Okay, firstly my Dicks Drive In article in this run did bring some controversy. I find that to be pretty common when talking food in Seattle. People form pretty solid opinions on food and I don’t blame them! Food is a comfort, a necessity, a keeper of memories; its a lot of things. People in Seattle take this pretty seriously, which I like. I like the opinionated food lover, foodie if you will (though I kind of hate that word), that speaks their mind. If you don’t agree thats fine!

Just remember that this is my quest to find the best burgers in Seattle, with the distinction being that it is my quest. Fully influenced by my tastes, which believe me I know are not everyones! So without further ado…

Red Mill Burgers – That Place GQ Mentioned

red_mill_menu
that there is a menu

You have probably seen our next place on the travel channel or in a magazine. I knew about Red Mill way before I moved out here… way before. GQ even says this place has one of the 20 burgers you must try before you die. I am not sure I really agree with that statement, maybe I have yet to experienced that burger with them. But I will keep trying until I have that angels singing in the choir experience.

Red Mill is a little flat top burger joint thats name to fame is a mountain of precooked bacon that lies beyond the counter waiting for the next bacon burger to happen. The have as you can see many additional signs tacked on to their menu, as do most good burger joints. The only time in which this place doesn’t really give me that good old burger joint vibe is when I notice their memorabilia  area and when they were trying to win some silly hottness contest. I don’t need hot chicks to serve me burgers, I just need a good burger!

I digress, lets talk burger, since that is what we are here for. I often get a cheeseburger with bacon and pickles when I visit Red Mill. There cheeseburger is usually just cheese, mill sauce, and lettuce. Here is my problem with red mill, they seem to have a tasty patty but they tend to over cook it. When you have a patty as thick as theirs it could stand to have a little pink to improve flavor. This is something I have found others often complain about. I mean its good, the mill sauce is a great smoky addition to the flavor of the bacon and the meat. The bacon is often cooked perfectly, crispy and chewy all at the same time. But… something is missing, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something is not quite there for me.

burger and onion rings at the Mill
burger and onion rings at the Mill

I will eat Red Mill, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I crave their mill sauce getting mixed up with that cheese. I hate there is something missing there for me, I really do. I want to have that awe inspiring experience that even Oprah has seem to have had with Red Mill. I really do, maybe my problem is my choice of burger here. They do have other options. Maybe thats my problem. Maybe I will update this article once I find the perfect burger at Red Mill. Maybe being told that it is supposed to be so freaking good by so many people has jaded me though. Maybe its good how it is; well done 1/4 patty, covered in cheese and mill sauce, topped with lettuce, pickles and bacon. It sounds good, when I am eating it, it tastes good. It is entirely possible that GQ has put too much pressure on this girl… I wish I had more to say about it. Just go read their article.

Image Credits: Burger and Onion Rings (Urbanspoon), Menu (http://www.dream-burger.com/)

Morning Coffee – The Best Brew

Living in Seattle if you don’t like coffe you are a tad alienated from the population. There is coffee EVERYWHERE and I don’t just mean on street corner cafes. I don’t just mean the battle of the Tully’s, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best (which I guess is owned by Starbucks now), etc. I mean that I pass by a video rental place going to University District the serves coffee. I used to work at a desert shop during the evening that had a espresso machine, which I guess isn’t too odd. People sometimes came there just for my lattes Sunday mornings. I had a tendency to put almost an inch of caramel in the caramel lattes, what… your watching your waist? Whoops…

So while I am not a Barista in the truer sense of the term. I have met a lot of Seattle Barista’s that are cut throat, this is their career and they compete to be the best. I do have my favorite places to go get coffee and my favorite coffee suppliers and drinks. I also have perfected my favorite way to brew my own cup! Without further ado, let’s jump in:

1. Best Overall Coffe – Cafe Vita in Fremont, Seattle

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This a location of this coffee empire is really close to my newest apartment, so it is made all the better by the fact that I can walk there. They roast their own, in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. They only thing I don’t like about they, which really isn’t their fault at all, is that on weekends my neighborhood is packed with cars and people trying to get a cup. I guess that means other people like it just as much.

2. Best Place to get more with your Coffee – B&O Espresso  in Ballard, Seattle

Just go and get a Milky Way (Coffe, Ghiradelli cocoa, house made caramel & whipped cream) and a Ham & Gruyere crepe. Tell them Alicia sent you, tell them extra homemade whip = happiness. You’ll thank me.

3. Best Coffee Drink – The Latte @ Anchored Ship Coffee Bar in Ballard, Seattle

This one was hard, there are alot of places I love but I thought long and hard. What really sets this latte apart is that it doesn’t feel like it needs any sugar at all. Yes I add sugar to coffee but only if the brew is really harsh and overly bitter. They really know how to pull a shot here!

4. Best Coffee at Home – French Press using Cafe Vita’s BRAZIL RANCHO SAO BENEDITO blend

Alright, like I said, I am not an expert but here is how I brew my coffee at home… I am not an expert but this works really well for me! I use a tiny little Bodum press and it works really well for me, I need to buy a bigger one, I  am starting to need more coffee in the morning. I use the word “need” loosely of course.

Also I adore these two pieces of equipment, I find them necessary to get the right cuppa. My Black and Decker Smart Grind and Programable Electric Kettle. The B&D Smart Grind take 3-4 presses to get the right coarse grind for me! Its pretty sweet. Two heaping tablespoons of beans is right per cup. The blend from Cafe Vita is floral and sweet, its great for that morning cup.

The B&D Programable Electric Kettle is also super awesome. Its programmed for things like coffee, a general herbal tea setting, boiling, etc. You can also pick the exact temperature  you want the water for super tea lovers that want that right brew on their leaves (like my husband!).

Coffee can be intimidating in Seattle, but don’t let it be! Stay away from the chains, welcome the tiny coffee houses and you will get some of the best coffee of your life in this town.

Why I Still Make Lists & Keep Notebooks

It seems like everyday there is a new productivity app, and that I have tried a lot of them, a lot. I really like some of them like Weave, Donna, and ToDoist, and I try to use them, I really do. Something is missing though, something tangible maybe? Something… I am starting to think its because they are not on paper, they aren’t flexible and tangible.

I know that is a weird thing to say but hear me out. When I make lists, jot down notes, brainstorm on paper I feel like there is a lot more going on there. Paper is a blank slate, I doesn’t prompt me to update my profile, it doesn’t make me go through multiple steps to add all the information I deem necessary, it doesn’t require me to delete things I didn’t get done on time. Paper is easy, paper is simple and it can do whatever you want it to do.

I think this goes back to the studying and time management practices I learned in high school and middle school. I can’t remember who taught me all of these things specifically but plenty were learned through creative practices. One of the first things that I remember about the importance of physically writing things down is that it helps you remember things. I do find that lists that I have physically wrote down, ideas or notes; I remember them for significantly longer. I had a teacher in college for my History of Material Culture course that was very old fashioned. He used slides, I am not talking powerpoint, I am talking kodak carousel physical slides. You know what else? He didn’t let us use laptops in class, he required us to keep physical notes in a notebook that was to be turned in at the end of the course. I remember the most about this course out of all of my classes and I attribute a lot of this to putting real pen to real paper.

I did this in school when I was having trouble in a course, I would write down the same passage in a book at least five times. My recall improved exponentially, not only did I absorb the information better, but I feel like I also understood it more. This didn’t just work for developing better recall it also worked for ideas I was developing too. Sketching, writing and brainstorming for projects created a greater understanding of the idea and its development. This is taught in art school as a necessity; if you don’t sketch there is something wrong with you. Its how you work through problems, its how you remind yourself of moments, it is the best way to get to a solution.

Not only would I use my notebooks to brainstorm and sketch, but I would use them to formulate to do lists and manage my time. There was a better understanding of splitting up a day when I was just thinking about that day. A notebook aloud me to do that, it gave me flexibility. It didn’t have the rigidity of dates, it didn’t tell me I had to set an exact deadline unless I wanted to.

There is something pure and beautiful about a notebook too, something you can’t get from your iPhone. If I make a physical to do list for something I am far more likely to complete things on it. While my moleskin doesn’t make me conform to details I don’t find important it also is there, on my desk, open to my current to dos. I have to physically check things off, I feel even worse when at the end of the day I haven’t completed enough. I feel like I can ignore my phone’s apps as much as I can ignore a phone call from someone. There is something about writing something down with pen that makes it concrete, you can change your mind for sure, but you know you wrote it. You know you set that goal. Better yet I do my to-do lists in pen, it doesn’t allow for many changes. Any changes, if at all, require a big black mark on my otherwise perfect list. Who wants that?

You know what is also great about notebooks. You can go back, it doesn’t require three extra steps or remembering where you wrote it down. I just keep three notebooks at any given time: marketing work/blog, work-work, creative. I know what is kept where and I can keep all my lists and ideas separate, I can better organize things. This is another problem I have had with apps, I can’t find one that does everything I need it to do, I have to keep several different ones just to get some sibilance of how I organize with my notebooks.

That is why I keep notebooks, that it is why I make physical to do lists and until technology catches up with paper… I will still do it. Call me old fashioned but I don’t have the lag time of having to open and use my app, I just put pen to paper.