Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Last day in Bell Plaza

 Ok, so it hasn’t been called Bell Plaza since Nordstrom’s bought the building a decade or so a go. But it still has the bell logo on top of building.   

I started in this building in 1999. I was on floor 21 I think, or maybe 23.  Most of our people were in the third basement    I worked upstairs with Larry Jacobsen and our US West sponsor, Brian Vallene.   There were a few others too.  Oh, Steve Douville. 

It wasn’t long before I moved to 3b   We eventually moved out of the upper floor completely.  I sat in the middle of the room   Only one wall, to the south   Jeff Reynolds sat behind me.  Rick Wangen sat in the front, facing us   He and Jeff often had games going on, shooting rubber bands or hurling objects at each other   I was in the crossfire a lot  

I eventually moved to the Northeast corner, taking Ruth Anne’s desk when she left. I had a big space with walls  there was a creepy service door behind me.   Whitney Frasier  sat in front of me .

Memories of 3b in random order

Day after thanksgiving. It wasn’t a Peak holiday, but it was a Lumen holiday.   I would bring the kids with me   We’d watch the Macys Santa Parade   Then go to Torrafozziane for hot cocoa.  I would bring the kids into the office for a few hours   They would spin in the desk chairs and run up and down the long hallway while I did some work   

Brad Colling coming into our room,visibly shaken.  He asked for everyone’s attention, then told us our boss, John Sloat, had suffered a heart attack. 

The Nisqually earthquake.   It felt very strong underground.  When it hit,most of us froze. Whitney climbed under her desk.  Kyle ran for the stairs.    Eventually when it ended, Larry and I went up the stairs and outside.   I expected to see destruction.   Everything looked normal.  The building closed.  I lived in Queeen Anne so Sherri and I walked to my house.  We stopped at Zeeks pizza on Denny to get lunch and I saw John Webster there. 

When I lived North, staying at Sherri’s or a co worker in north gate, I’d park in bell town for a few bucks a day.   Now it’s all Amazon towers .  I would often stop at McDonalds acrosss from Westin (now a Chase bank) for breakfast .   I remember they had a bagel sandwich I would get. 

Another breakfast spot and lunch spot was Tower Deli   This is in the building on 7the and Olive, kitty corner to our office.  When I was a kid, my mom worked in that building for Skoglund advertising.  I would take the ferry by myself and take a taxi from ferry to meet her after work once in a while .  El Gaucho was in this building originally.   We ate there a few times. 

Tower deli was a favorite lunch spot for our office. I remember they had gyozas that was popular. 

Vons restaurant and bar was a regular after hours place.  We had many after work parties there.  After Sherri moved back to Denver, I had a big party   I called it my “Sherri left me party”   Nearly everyone in the company attended.  I didn’t invite John Sloat.   As the party was winding down, he showed up and paid the entire check.  

We got out of hand there a few times.  We’d smoke inside.   I was finally told our business was no longer welcome there.  

We moved to the bar in the Vance hotel on olive.  We also went to Bernard’s on Seneca. Bernard’s became a regular hangout. 

Every Friday we got Bagels from Seattle Bagel (closed) .  At first they would be served for the manager meeting in the lower studio.  The studio was a tv studio originally used to make tv commercials for USWest . The rest of us would get the bagels after the manager meeting.  When I became a manager, they stopped the Friday manager meeting and we all got bagels at the same time .  I used to get their hummus spread.  Homemade and delicious.  It was the first hummus I tried.  Their veggie cream cheese spread was good too.

I discovered Falafel. Zainas was on Third and Pine below Macys garage.  It was really good .   They moved to Second ave.  The building eventually was turned into a hotel.  The pioneer square location closed too.  There was one in U district. 

Noodle zone was in food court in Westlake mall.  Daily specials. 

Bell plaza had a cafeteria.  I would occasionally get breakfast there.  Cheap and big portions.  It closed when Nordstrom’s bought building.  They eventually opened a cafe.  It was higher scale.   Not open for breakfast. I would get the salad bar sometimes.

World Fresh Asian Eatery.  Kevin Kim turned me on to this buffet in two Union Square.

Not long after I started, we got a big project to build the kiosk app for the new Pepsi Center arena in Denver.  We worked late every day.  John would buy us dinner.  Usually from Blowfish which became Dragonfish in Paramount hotel.  

Sherri wasn’t part of this project.  We had bought tickets to see Chibo Mato which was part of bumbershoot festival. We had to work again.   I went to the bathroom, then snuck out and went to the show.  John wasn’t happy. I had hoped he wouldn’t notice. 

As we grew, newer people were not fond of our basement dwelling.   Moving wasn’t an option at that time   .   John gave us all a couple hundred bucks to spend to upgrade our cubicle.   I bought an old window frame and a picture of the beach and ocean and mounted it on my wall. 

Birthday shakes or smoothies.

Pizza from Romeos i think   Or pagliacci

When I was stressed or upset, I would go to the convention center and look at the art on display.   They updated it a few times a year .   When my long time client and friend, Carrie Bell, left, I was very upset.  I spent a few hours looking at the art. 

One morning, I got an early phone call before work    It was Sherri in Denver    She told me to turn on the news   It was 9/11     The office did not open that day  

After Nordstrom’s bought the building, they told us we had to move out   They planned on expanding the garage   We moved to Rainier tower.   I still came back to Bell plaza occasionally to meet with clients Wendy Ayres and Paulette Hauck  

Friday, August 23, 2019

SE Alaska. August 9-14

Keksey and I took the ferry to Alaska!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Christmas 2019

On Christmas Eve, I went and visited cousin Mike at her house.   She was having a late dinner.  I didn’t stay since I had to be up early the next day.

We brought Macrina pastries.  Bronwen and I drove through Tacoma and we met Jessica and Kelsey there.  

Kelsey and Jessica put together a cool collage of our Jingle Bell teams over the years.

Vancouver BC December 7-9

we returned to Vancouver again in the late fall.

We stayed at the Shangri la just like last time but we didn’t get a suite this time.  The regular room was just fine.  Very nice rooms.

We arrived late afternoon on Friday.  Bronwen picked me up at work and we headed north.  We went bsck to the Chinese region Robson, but this time it wasn’t as good.

On Saturday, we went for breakfast at a White Spot.   I had a Bloody Caesar.   It was fabulous.   We then headed. North to Lynn Canyon.  First we stopped at a mall for Christmas shopping.  It was an odd mall, most of the stores were discount stores.   The food court looked great, but we weren’t hungry.

We then went to Lynn Canyon park and walked over the suspension bridge and then did the lloop   It was light rain.  Beautiful area though.

That night we ate dinner at an Italian restaurant right on Robson.  It was packed.  We got in at the bar.  It was good.  We have not been out for Italian in a long while and usually we eat mostly Chinese when inVancouver because they have so many great Chinese places.

We stopped for a beer after dinner and then walked around to see the lights.

Sunday a:I got up and headedit to see the Olympic  Cauldron. they once again set up a Christmas markey in the park that the cauldron lives I.  The market costs ten bucks cash to enter and its mostly German fare

Monday, December 3, 2018

New apartment as of August

I finally snapped.     One day, the apartment filled with paint fumes from the neighborhood auto body shop, I said enough is enough.   I looked at Craigslist and found a place right next to Lincoln Park!  We looked at it.  It seemed good, except it faces East.   Behind us, is an older two story apartment in between two brand new 4stort units. I told B that I bet they will tear down that place behind us.  That would make this place unlivable for us.   We drove around the block to the old place.  No sign of construction or planning.    A guy walked by with a dog.  I asked him about it.  He told us everything we wanted to know.  The place was just sold.  New owner is remodeling.  

We called and told the owner we will take the apartment!

I won’t miss much about the old place on the corner of 38th and Oregon. But so much happened in the short 16 months we lived there.  My car was stolen. Recovered.  I got cancer.  I beat cancer.  We went to Vegas to get married.  We went to China.   I quit my job.  I got a new job. 

I’m sooooo happy in the new place.  We love the park!

Jingle bell Run. #8

our eight straight appearance!  Baby Mavrik joined us on his first Jingle bell walk.

Mathew ran.  The rest of us walked.   Weather was decent.  A few sprinkles but mostly dry.

Before the walk, mom, Jess, Kelsey and I had breakfast at the Garage.

Thanksgiving 2018

I drove to Cristas for Thanksgiving dinner.  Two hours driving around.    Everyone was there.  We had a nice dinner then l drove home and had dinner with Bronwen, King, Gabbi and Ben.