3 Great Things About Being Married to an Entrepreneur

As the child of an entrepreneur, I may just be pre-programmed to love with all my heart small business and the power that comes with the toil and autonomy of self-employment. My dad is a lone wolf, an eccentric in the eyes of those who thrive on (or put up with) suits and commutes, a creator by nature, not content to wait to live life until after retirement. (Enough descriptors there? I'm apparently overdue for an I Heart Dad Blog Post, but that will have to wait for another day, this post is about something else.) It was great being raised in the home of an entrepreneur and it's awesome being married to one. Why?

1. Flexible schedule 
Almost three full months in SudAmerica last year, a trip made possible by the fact that people hate running in the rain and winter so Porter had no races ( and my employer's  very generous vacation policy based on the fact that November through January nobody wants to talk to me. Nobody.) Also comes in handy for errands, chores, and mid-week mid-day lunches (we don't do those enough).

2. It's a Ride
I don't know what Porter's going to be doing 5 years from now. In a good way. He can flex around his interests (and mine) and we can plan our lives around what we want, not what boss wants.

3. Joint stress, joint success
 The Mustache Dache was this weekend, a screaming success, not just in Seattle where the sun was actually shining, but in the 10 other expando cities basically franchised out from the idea. That's right, MY idea. My hubby's hard work. My encouragement. Porter's tweaks. My help. His direction. There's nothing that makes me more proud than seeing all the crises along the way worked out and all the crazy ideas come to fruition. The things I wouldn't have seen if his office weren't across from the kitchen and I didn't hear conversations and fleshed out details from pre-dawn til post-dusk. Porter is an exceptionally hard worker, to a degree I honestly have a hard time wrapping my head around. And I get to be part of the fun (in a level of involvement more comfortable to my work ethic). 
Entrepreneurs win at life and races!


3 Ways to Identify a Great Steak House

The other night, my good friend and colleague Reg treated me to a fancy steak dinner at the Metropolitan Grill, one of Seattle's oldest and most masculine restaurants I had never heard about before last week. Steak houses aren't really on my radar, so I accepted the invite not realizing what I had coming. I ended up with a delicious meal and a crash course in the trimmings of steak house greatness.

Basically, I'm an expert now. So I can tell you a steak house is great if:

Do you even need menu?
1. There's a display case of cuts in the entry.   You know how bakeries display pies and cakes? A good steak house will show you what their meat looks like. In case you had any question about what you're here for or what it looks like. The display ought to be sparse- no frills, no garnish, unevenly distributed cuts even. Because frills are for Outback and just like good steak doesn't need steak sauce, a good raw meat display needs only a slab of beef and a golden sign describing it. "Filet" says it all, doesn't it?

Aged and clean
2. High booths and a color palette that won't clash with the whiskey.
Doesn't this look just lush? It just screams "expense account" or "high end crime" (not to be confused with the fancy Chinese and Italian restaurant mafia crime vibe). Mahogany (or whatever nice deep reddish brown wood that is), class, and deep, moss green upholstery. Green curtains go great with whiskey.

Here, Vaughn dresses my full loaded baked potato right at our table
3. Waiters dress in butchers coats (or tuxedos).
At first I thought they were chef's coats and thought that was a clever way to show you they meant business. Because a restaurant with no waiters, just chefs bussing tables and recommending meals must be full of only amazing food. When I realized the coats were classic Butcher's coats, it clicked again. It's not about the cooking - the chefery - it's about the meat. And who knows meat better than the butcher himself. But in a world where butchers don't live in restaurants, we have to settle for men dressed as butchers, who, presumably know just as much about Filets and have less blood on them. And they are named things like Colton or Clayton - names that are somehow both a rugged cowboy in from the range and a high class Englishman, the kind you call by their last name in the way that makes you think it's their first name (what was that all about anyway. Did Darcy even have a first name?)

Back ups (bussers, I assume, or those who have not earned their whites) dress in tuxedos. They were almost swarming our restaurant, doing what looked like nothing important, but making me feel like I should tip better in the presence of such fine attire.

Who are we kidding, I didn't pay for the tip. I cringed at the $11 I paid for parking. Which is why fine establishments like these are such fodder for my curiosity.

3 Dates, one weekend

I always kind of laugh when people recommend date night as the key to a strong marriage not because I don't think it's important, but because at this point in my marriage, almost every day is date night. I'm sure it will change as bebis come along, and it's for sure not always that way (not in race week, especially), but Porter and I spend a lot of time together. A lot. So planning dates is an afterthought. It wasn't until last night I realized we had three dates this weekend.

1. Olive Oil and Vinegar Tasting
At a schmancy shop under the Magnolia Bridge. They suck you in with a free history lesson and taste test of a half dozen each of fancy olive oils and vinegars (any more than 6 of either is a bad idea for your taste buds. The other man in the session maxed out at I thinke 3 or 4 olive oils and 2 vinegars. Weak sauce). The ulterior motive, no surprise, is that you drop a small fortune on something you could get in change at a regular grocery store (maybe not change, but scrounged loose bills at least). We caved, of course, and bought the cheapest expensive vinegar they had, plus another fancy ingredient that will likely be part of Christmas.

Fun fact: the French historically didn't have many olives, so they 'buttered down' their olive oil to stretch it out. The result today is that French olive oil is processed to have a more buttery taste, now preferred by many.

Fun fact number two: Vinegar lasts forever. Doesn't go bad at all. Eat your heart out food storage.

2. NMN
Movie night counts as a date night, right? We don't watch many movies in theaters or at home, so it's always a special occasion when we do. This time it wasn't Redbox or library check-outs, but the other usual, illegally downloaded torrents. Because Redbox doesn't usually have it (they do have an inordinate amount of horror movies and action flicks I've never heard of every time I check) and the library takes too long. Saturday night's movie was Drinking Buddies, with the guy from New Girl and one of my celebrity girl crushes: Olivia Wilde. AND Anna Kendrick, who I'm pretty sure all girls think they could be best friends with if she was in their neighborhood (I do). And the guy from Office Space.

The movie was pretty good, done in the style I found out they're calling Mumblecore, which means it sounds less scripted. In this case, it's because they didn't have scripts, they just had scene ideas, and surprisingly enough, it totally worked. Way more alcohol than I ever anticipate seeing in my entire life, but an interesting and enjoyable look at that blurry line that is friends with people of the opposite sex. Roger Ebert HATED IT. Go figure.

3. Couples Massage class
The great benefit of there being a bazillion online deal sites, is that they all seem to offer credits to sign up. This one gave me $50 bucks to start so the 2 hour class was only 10 bucks. Win!

There were some 12 couples and 12 massage tables in a trendy-looking yoga studio in Georgetown. The first hour I practiced massage on Porter, then second, he on me. The teacher's shtick was pretty routine, but we volunteered to be the demonstration couple, so we each got double the massage, one from someone who was actually good at massage, one just us practicing. Double win.

deeply relaxed
teacher's pet
And between it all we squeezed in a walk around Lake Union!

Dates are fun!