Daze of Our Lives

Am I Living in a Seinfeld Episode?

There Will Be Light

Two days last week, I worked at Alki Surf Shop while my husband, David, zipped over to Randle, WA, to do some work on our AirBNB house.

Shortly after I opened the store, a woman I didn’t know walked in and said, “I’m not stalking you, but you left your BMW lights on.” It turned out I’d parked in front of her house. She is also an aficionado of vintage BMWs, and didn’t want me to return to find my car with a dead battery. The woman’s name was Megan, and I discovered we both own businesses on Alki Beach.

I locked up the store and walked with Megan back to my car, opened the door and started the engine without a problem. She waved goodbye, I locked up my car and headed back to the shop.

Fast forward to the end of the day…

I walk back to my car and see the lights were still ON! OMG. Earlier, when I checked and saw my battery was in good shape, I forgot to turn off the lights!

But, to my delight, the engine started right up!

Sheesh. Old people. 

© terri-nakamura-BMW-2002

My classic 1976 BMW 2002 is now 40 years old!

Chewing the Digital Fat at Alki Surf Shop

Our visitors are both local and from around the world. Later that day, Jim and Suzanne Skerjanc from Bellingham dropped in, and somehow, we started talking about cell phone service.

Jim and Suzanne told me about their spotty AT&T service, and how they recently switched to Verizon. And yes, this was a spontaneous conversation!

Suzanne said, “We were with AT&T, and just didn’t get a signal anywhere. I mean, at my work there was like zero signal. I had to go outside and it was still sketchy. Jim’s a realtor, so he’s all over the place—and, I mean, he HAS to have a signal.”

© terri-nakamura-Jim-Suzanne-Skerjanc-bellingham

Jim and Suzanne Skerjanc, happy Verizon customers

Jim told me he would be driving down a main road, and bam—his calls would drop. He noticed the bars would go to zero, then a half mile down the road, they would come back. And it happened all over the county.

When they switched to Verizon, it was completely different. They now have cell phone service everywhere they go.

“We have full service now. It’s like being in the middle of Seattle,” Jim told me. “Since we switched to Verizon, we have great, reliable coverage all the time.”

Hearing about their experiences made me proud of my connection to Verizon as a brand influencer. Maybe #BetterMatters, but in their case, #BetterWins! 

AirBNB AirHEADS

By a huge percentage, the guests at our home on AirBNB are nice and responsible people. It’s interesting to see how different age groups behave almost stereotypically. “Grownups” treat our house as their own, and leave things in great shape. Millennials, on the other hand, generally seem to have a different idea of what it means to leave a place neat and tidy, or to treat our home with care.

When we first listed our house, my friend, Reg Saddler said, “Well, you know what people do with AirBNB houses, don’t you?” (And being a newbie, I said, “No!?”) He went on, “Terri, people make pornos in them!”—which kind of freaked me out!

Last year we hosted a boudoir photographer, whom we found to be a respected commercial photographer, and totally legit. Nothing too crazy has happened so far.

Generally, when we hand over the keys, we meet our guests face-to-face, and I believe the personal connection helps ensure a positive experience on both sides. That is, most of the time.

Recently we had a group of guys make a reservation for a bachelor’s weekend. The person who booked the house specifically said to me, “We will be clean and respectful.”

© terri-nakamura-airbnb-bachelor-party

Beside filling huge garbage bags with empty booze and beer bottles, and then ruining and tossing five of our plush, hotel-grade towels into the trash without a word, this group burned through all of our firewood. And they also burned a batch of stripped maple saplings that David was seasoning to make into furniture.

Long pieces of beautiful wood leaning against the wall opposite the wall of split firewood would appear different to sensible people, but they were clueless. I could only think: “Morons.”

doll-1265891_1920

Not the actual doll. The real one wasn’t this nice.

And to top it off, they also deposited a blow-up sex doll in with the rest of their trash. I mean, WHO DOES THAT? EWWWWW!

If we’d known the fiancee, I would’ve been tempted to tell her, “RUN, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!” 

MISSION: Litter-ally Accomplished

Some of you might remember my last new year’s eve and day were crazy. A small part of it had to do with a postcard offering a trial box of OKO cat litter from the Mud Bay Pet Store.

We regularly receive OKO postcards and I usually recycle them. But recently, one arrived, and I decided to give it another shot. So I tossed it into my briefcase in the event I was near Mud Bay in the Capitol Hill neighborhood

© terri-nakamura-rianbow-crosswalk-Capitol-Hill-Seattle

A typical cross walk on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Last Sunday I was near Mud Bay AND I had the postcard with me! So in a deja vu moment, I pulled into the gas station next door to the pet store, walked in, and bought something, then asked if I could leave my car in their lot while I shopped at Mud Bay.

And once again, Mud Bay didn’t have the trial size of OKO cat litter available.

I asked, “Do you guys EVER have the trial size of this product?”

They said, “No.”

Apparently the manufacturer makes no effort to ensure their retail outlets carry the items they’re promoting.

To put an end to my quest, I bought a large size of litter because we were running low. And to my surprise, Mud Bay offered to subtract the value of the trial size. So the box ended up costing only a few dollars

© terri-nakamura-ice-hamster-canary-home-security-1284

Ice, the teddy-bear hamster, captured on a Canary home security camera.

I felt guilty spending only three dollars on a large box of litter, so I also bought an interactive cat toy and some hamster treats for our son’s and daughter-in-law’s pet teddy bear hamster.

OKO cat litter is odd. It’s made from paper and sort of tubular in shape. I liked the concept, but it’s difficult to sift. Our Maine Coon, Hunter, is going along with it, but our silver tabby, Grey, is avoiding it. It was good to be able to try it. Now I know. 

Grownup Kids are FUN!

Last week, our oldest son Andrew, and daughter-in-law Diana drove to Seattle from Monterey, CA. Since they were supposed to arrive Sunday night, our family decided to delay celebrating Father’s Day until Monday, so everyone could be here.

But on Sunday afternoon I received a phone call from Andrew saying he and Diana would arrive in Seattle in time for Father’s Day dinner!

I love our oldest son, Andrew. He’s such an amazing kid! He also has a knack for creating minor chaos 🙂

© terri-nakamura-Andrew-and-Diana-June-2016

Andrew and Diana — weary travelers

Hearing his updated ETA, I needed to make sure our youngest son, Charley and his girlfriend, Sheela, were going to be available in a few hours, then cleared it all with David. When it looked like we were all on the same page, I switched into high gear, trying to figure out how we could get a dinner reservation on such short notice. So I called Marée Bistro, a neighboring business on Alki Beach.

Remember Megan, the woman who told me I left my lights on? Well, Marée belongs to Megan and her husband, Andy. They said they’d be happy to save us a table, which was great!

After we closed Alki Surf Shop, our group walked a few blocks to Marée and enjoyed some amazing dinners.

© frisee-salad-maree-bistro-alki-seattle

Frisée salad with house-cured lardon, garlic croutons and soft-cooked egg

We ordered lots of different entrees, including a Galantine de poulet (like a free range chicken roulade), wild boar (tender and delicious!), hangar steak, a savory tart, steak frites; plus some yummy sides including a frisée salad and a tasty assortment of charcuterie.

It was a fun and festive meal and wonderful on every level. After dinner, we walked out, and were greeted by an incredible crimson sunset. It was the perfect end to a great weekend.

All of which started with Megan telling me I’d left my lights on. 

© terri-nakamura-alki-sunset-fathers-day-2016

The sunset as we exited Marée Bistro, Father’s Day 2016

The hamster photo was captured by Diana Horsfall, using the Canary home security system, courtesy of Verizon. The doll photo was sourced on Pixabay. Other photos in this post were shot by me, using the fabulous camera on the Samsung Galaxy 7, courtesy of Verizon Wireless.

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12 thoughts on “Daze of Our Lives

  1. Fun mix of stories and photos! I love the full circle — starting and ending with Megan and Maree Bistro. Alki is the best!

    • Dear Melissa,

      Thanks for reading this meandering tale, or should I say “tail?”

      Megan and Maree were sooo kind to us, and we were happy to discover such a great restaurant so near our store!

      Love, Tink

  2. Great read, interesting how people are connected. Sorry to hear about your bad bnb experience some people are just in considerate. We have had Verizon forever and we love it. Wishing you all the best

    • Dear Rose,
      So nice to see you here. Many thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
      The idiots who rented our home were billed for the towels, and paid for them without a peep. I guess they knew they screwed up.
      I’m really happy to read you also love Verizon! Thanks for telling me! I will pass along your comment!
      ((HUGS)) Terri

    • Dear Kahuna,

      Things could be much worse—instead of Daze of our Lives, we could be dazed and confused. Oh, wait. I guess I’m already there!

      It would’ve been great if the AirBNB guys had been more like George Costanza! I should’ve responded to their request like the Soup Nazi, and said, “No rental for YOU!”

      Mahalo nui loa,

      me

  3. Hey Terri,
    It was so nice to chat with you a couple weeks ago. Jim and I will definitely drop by for a visit again next time we are in the Alki Beach area. I had no idea you are also a Seinfeld fan. We could’ve traded lines for another 30 minutes! 🙂

    Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

    (oh, and still lovin’ Verizon..)

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Thanks for taking a peek here. I had the best time talking with you and Jim. You’re both terrific! It seemed like the three of us chatted for a while, but if Kahuna Dave is there the next time you visit to Alki, watch out! He makes me look shy and reserved!

      So happy to know Verizon is doing a good job for you guys! Thanks for sharing your experiences with me!

      Cheers/thanks again, Terri

  4. Terri, maybe that’s what life is—-a series of Seinfeld moments. First of all, fun to see your trusty car looking so good and AMAZING that it started up at the end of the day. When you bought it, did you have any idea that you were going to keep it for 40 years? It’s too bad about the bachelor party. Obviously, they weren’t using the best judgement after consuming all of that alcohol….but the towels???? And the blowup doll…ugh. I’ve been pondering the wood. I think that’s a one shot deal, don’t you agree? Seems meant to be that you should meet Megan, have a new “Alki friend” and be able to pull off a lovely last minute Father’s Day celebration at Maree Bistro.

    I could read your Seinfeld stories all day long. XO

    • Dear Jennifer,

      Thanks for being such a great sounding board. I realized nearly all of the stories here were shared with you when they happened!

      I thought about giving the BMW to Andrew when he graduated from high school. Hmmm. The car is a “2002,” and he graduated in 2002! But it meant more to me than it could ever mean to anyone else, so I kept it. And a few years ago, he actually bought a brand new Z4.

      The goofballs were the worst, but you’re right—it was unusual on a couple of levels. Some guests can be messy, but they were gross and rude.

      Maybe one day we can wander down to Maree. We’re due for some face time!

      Love, and thanks, Terri

  5. Terri…I am so so happy that the car still started after a long day at the shop…I also would like to note the kindness of Megan for taking the time out to come over to your shop and inform you of the lights being on in the car. It’s kind of funny when you think of some of things we do when we grow older & associate it with getting old…I can remember doing so things when i was young that would make you shake your head. I still laugh at somethings. By the way, your car is fabulous and my son John would love it!!! Have a wonderful day & talk to you soon. Sincerely, Susan

    • Dear Susan,

      How silly, I know, but YES, it was great to come back and find my car started after sitting all day with the lights on. Megan is good people!

      Last week I walked into the front office and stopped. One of the office managers said, “You forgot why you came in here, didn’t you?!” And I had! But a split second later I remembered. Whew.

      Lots of young kids like the car. I guess it would be similar to how, when I was a kid, I’d see a Model T and think it was cool, too!

      Missing you on Twitter, Susan, but glad we still occasionally cross paths on Instagram. How marvelous to see John’s success, and he’s so lucky to have your love and support!

      ((HUGS)) Terri

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