Seattle Pockets is back! Weekly round-up: Netflix Parties, Sarahs, Scribd, and a Seattleite I’m inspired by

Half-way through July! I’m finding ways to keep myself active, learning, and content during this stage of the pandemic. I had a bit of a pause on the blog but I’m back now!

Today, I share some ways I’ve been spending my down time, in case you want to join me:


Yoga: you gotta start somewhere

After decades of declaring I wanted to “get into yoga,” the time is finally here. Thanks to the “Yoga & Movement Encouragement Group” I started on Facebook, I can finally say I have a personal yoga practice. I’ve been enjoying Sarah Beth Yoga on Youtube (she’s got a nice list of Beginner yoga videos that are just 10-15 minutes, which is right for me at this time). 

I did 21 days in a row then thought I would go to 2-3 days a week and increase the time I spent on my mat on those days. Well, unfortunately that plan didn’t work out: I ended up doing ZERO yoga for nine days in a row. So, now I am back to the mat with a “daily yoga routine.” Even in just nine days without yoga after 21 days with yoga, I noticed my body was a bit more achy and tight, so I’m excited to be back to the mat. This time around, I’m using the mindset of “I do yoga every day” rather than counting days.

Arm Workout: 5 minutes a day

My pal Samantha Lamb, who is part of my movement encouragement group, shared the daily arm workout program she liked . . . now I’m hooked! I’m already noticing a difference. While I’m not a fan of the title of the course (and guessing the site named it, not the teacher, as Sarah Rector has zero body-shaming in her program), the DailyOm 14 day arm challenge offers arm workouts using small weights at just 5 minutes a day. I did the 14 days and the restarted the program and plan on continuing this for the days to come. Being just 5 minutes a day makes it easy to do it and get through it.

What I’ve been watching

Thank you to the creators of Netflix Party! I’ve enjoyed watching shows with friends while staying home and staying safe during the pandemic (connecting via the chat feature while we watch the show together). Some of the shows I’ve enjoyed watching via NP include

  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – travel to Italy, Japan, Mexico, and California with the charming and approachable chef and author Samin Nosrat.
  • Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker “The inspiring story of trailblazing African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker who built a haircare empire that made her America’s first female self-made millionaire.” – IMDB
  • Hollywood Not for the faint of heart. A wild ride with delightful casting.
  • Dead To Me (Season 2) Dark, twisty, funny.
  • When They See Us Intense and based on a true story. This mini-series was recommended to me by multiple antiracist mvoies/shows to watch lists.

Other shows I’m watching or recently have watched that I recommend include:

  • Dear White People (the series) “At a predominantly white Ivy League college, a group of black students navigate various forms of racial and other types of discrimination.” – IMBD
  • Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (if you haven’t seen Hannah Gadsby: Nanette yet, watch that first). One of the best solo performers of our time, maybe ever.
  • The Morning Show. Great casting. An inside look at a morning tv show, centering around #MeToo plot lines.
  • Upload Goofy sci-fi with a fun concept. “A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death by having his consciousness uploaded into a virtual world.” -IMBD
  • Palm Springs It’s not often I laugh out loud at movies and shows but this comedy is so good!
Um, who has a pool I can socially distance hang in soon? I’ll bring my own floaties!

Curling up with some good books

I discovered Scribd this year (basically the “netflix” of books/audiobooks/magazines/sheetmusic). I’m hooked! They normally just give 2 weeks for free but if you sign up with my link you get TWO MONTHS free (and if you’re on a budget you can cancel before your two months runs out and you won’t be charged). I love being able to read and listen to my hearts content, rather than subscription plans that allow just one audiobook a month or charge you if you want more. Sign up with my link here: https://www.scribd.com/g/8gjtsr (You get two months free of Scribd and I get one month free!)

I just finished The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (WOW so good!) on Scribd and am now enjoying Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. My mom (Seattle Pockets blogger Jeanne Deller) and dad recently listened to The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (narrated by national treasure Tom Hanks). They recommend both of these books.

Seattleite I’m inspired by

Journalist Omari Salisbury has been doing an incredible job covering the protests in Seattle, including the experiences at CHOP. His livestreams and replays are an excellent source of news of what is truly happening in Seattle. Check out his links, here.

I’ll be back to blog again soon. Sending love to you, reader! Drop me a line or send me a message if you have suggestions of (safe) entertainment in the coming weeks and months. More about me: linktr.ee/keridwyn – Keridwyn

Award winning wines featured in “Red, White & Brew” event on July 22

A firecracker of a wine event returns July 22! Seattle Magazine’s Red, White & Brew offers great sips from local wineries, breweries, and restaurants!
This event, now in its fifth year, honors the winning wineries featured in Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards (selected by a panel of top local sommeliers and wine professionals).
You’ll enjoy sips from over 40 local wineries and breweries while enjoying bites from great local restaurants. Enjoy the sunshine and view of the Space Needle & International Fountain.
This event is likely to sell out, so buy your tickets in advance.

A portion of the proceeds from Red, White and Brew benefit Northwest Harvest.

Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Their mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity while fighting to eliminate hunger. Their vision is that ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington State. This is an awesome Seattle organization!

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Use hashtag #RWBSea on social media.
Hope to see you there!

Homo for the Holidays Giveaway

A bawdy, non-traditional tradition returns to Seattle December 10 – 27: “Homo for the Holidays!”

Burlesque, drag, and cabaret, this is a star studded feast of a holiday show. You probably remember the gorgeous and puntastic BenDeLaCreme from RuPaul’s Drag Race. This delicious creature hosts “Homo for the Holidays,” now in its 7th year. She’ll be joined by the Seattle favorites Kitten LaRue (vavavoom!), Lou Henry Hoover (adorbs!), Cherdonna Shinatra (what-the-heck-was-that-in-the-best-way), The One The Only Inga (enchanting), Faggedy Randy (yum!), The Luminous Pariah (intoxicating), Waxie Moon (comedy-swoon!), and more. Yes, I fangirl crush this cast BIG time.

This show sold out last year and is likely to again. There’s a reason The Stranger calls this the “premiere event of the true gay yuletided season.”

Get your tickets now. Show runs December 10 – 27.

Oh yeah, there’s a GIVEAWAY too! You can enter the giveaway to win a pair of ticket (OR get a Homo for the Holidays prize pack, if you already have tickets).

Black Cat Bash on October 24: Great DJs, Venue, and Cause!

It’s true, I attend costume parties throughout the year (the occasional themed house party and Burning Man camp fundraisers), so it’s no surprise that October is one of my favorite party months, with so many Halloween parties to attend. Why wait until October 31 to dress up and get down on the dance floor?

I’m excited to start my Halloween festivities early this year by attending the Black Cat Bash on Saturday, October 24th!

Join me!
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Facebook event page.

This second annual fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society is a dance party that is not to be missed. One of my favorite DJs, KEXP’s DJ Michele Myers (also a burner), will be spinning from 10pm – midnight, with the fab DJ Baby Van Beezly before and after. For those of us who enjoy a break from the electronic music scene, this is the party for you: music from the 80s to today, including pop hits, soul, and guilty pleasures. The dance music was awesome last year and I know we are in for the same again this year. You can even tweet your music requests to @blackcatbash before the party!

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KEXP DJ Michele Myers

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DJ Baby Van Beezly

The venue is Studio Seven in SODO, which offers seating and room to chat upstairs with a spacious dance floor downstairs. Food trucks “No Bones About It” (vegan and SO tasty!) and “Dante’s Inferno Dogs” will be outside for late night nosh needs

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100% of the net proceeds from the event will go to the Seattle Humane Society.

Tickets, here.

Click here to tweet about this.

Party hosted by Kitty Valentine (aka my pal Kate Jiggins), Shindig Events (so awesome), and Pioneer Pet Feed & Supply.

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Photo from last year’s Black Cat Bash

A 12 year old and her Oma review the musical “Wicked”

My 12 year old niece and my mom saw Wicked for the first time last week and loved it (of course)! Here are their delightful reviews. Wicked plays The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle now through August 2nd.

Wicked review by Nara Deller, age 12: 

Before Dorothy, before Toto, when the tin man and the scarecrow were still human…

Wicked is the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good came to be. It’s about the witches of Oz, an unlikely friendship, and different paths you choose in life. The curtain draws you in with an amazing map of Oz. The amazing sets, brilliant costumes, and powerful music (songs like Popular, Defying Gravity, and For Good) set the stage for all the talented performers! Glinda (Alyssa Fox) was very funny, she got everyone laughing, and Elphaba (Carrie St. Louis) was outstanding in her emerald role.

Great cast. Powerful music. Loud. Amazing sets. Hilarious Dialogue.

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Wicked review by Jeanne Deller, Nara’s Oma:

Venturing about town on our way to Wicked at the Paramount Theatre, my granddaughter and I discovered multitudes of like-minded musical theatre aficionados thrilled to be welcoming this rollicking show back to Seattle.

This avant-garde, heart-warming portrayal of hard-won, most-unlikely friendships takes us to the Land of Oz, pre-Dorothy, with familiar characters peppered throughout. Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics bring wickedly funny and daring escapades to light in introducing villains and heroes alike.

Elphaba (Alyssa Fox) and Glinda (Carrie St.Louis) are outstanding in their respective roles as bad witch and good witch. Glinda’s over-the-top self-absorption keeps the crowd laughing – her character even more lively and animated than when the show began its blockbuster Broadway run 12 years ago.

Brilliant casting, superb staging, incredible costuming – all intermingled with high-flying monkeys and more. Wicked continues to impact audiences around the world in the most positive way – forever changing lives “For Good!” Grab your friends, significant other, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews (recommended for ages 8 and up) and join all those Seattleites out there who are basking in Wicked’s glow.  Choral numbers “Popular” and “For Good” are alone worth the price of admission. You have through August 2nd to catch this dynamite show and join in the rousing, standing ovation with the drop of the curtain on the final act.

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Buy your tickets to Wicked now (or learn about their day-of $25 ticket lottery).

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Photos by Joan Marcus.

Looking back at 2014

Expressing gratitude on a daily basis has been a big theme for me this year. Looking back on all that’s happened, it’s clear I have a lot to be grateful for. I am most thankful for my incredibly supportive family and friends and the wonderful man I get to spend my life and everyday with. Many thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life this year!

Brandon and I rang in the new year at a unique apartment party (three friends who live in the same building each opened up their homes) surrounded by many close friends, including Molly & Ryan S who were in town visiting from New York! A few days later, we celebrated my oldest niece’s 11th birthday with a trip to the ice skating rink with the family.

Silly pose with silly friends

Silly pose with silly friends

In February, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a low key pajama party with a few friends. This year I definitely became more in touch with my introverted side and enjoying smaller group settings than in previous years.

In March, Brandon, Paul and Erin and I went to Napa to visit Morgan and Brian (who live in SF) for a relaxing weekend of wine tasting. It was so great to catch up with friends, eat delicious food and taste some remarkable wines in such a beautiful part of our country. We had the most fun in wineries in Sonoma – definitely want to go back.

With Brandon, Morgan, Brian, Erin and Paul in Napa

With Brandon, Morgan, Brian, Erin and Paul in Napa

Later that month, I took the bus to Portland to visit my sweetheart of a friend Billie P who was finishing up her Masters program. We got to visit some of my favorite used clothing shops and eat at some awesome Andy Ricker restaurants with Heather and Andrew.

Two muppets in Portland

Two muppets in Portland

In April, Brandon and I took our first overseas vacation together to visit Molly F in Spain! We had an incredible two weeks with Molly and Julio. First stop was Madrid, then we had a perfect beach vacation in Nerja and a few days at the end of the trip in Granada. So much food and wine!

The coast in Nerja, Spain

The coast in Nerja, Spain

In Granada, Spain with the Alhambra behind us

In Granada, Spain with the Alhambra behind us

In June, I headed to Eastern Washington to meet up with Molly S (visiting from NY) and her sister Meg. More wine tasting and a little horseback riding!

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In July we went to “Summer Camp” with a gaggle of friends and made many new ones. Go Team Red!

Summer Camp!

Summer Camp!

Later that month, Brandon flew his Mom, Gerry, out from Philly to visit us. We were happy to have such a remarkably warm summer and I took advantage of hitting Madison Park beach with a few friends quite a bit. Tom and Jill took us tubing down Cedar river and we went back again with our moms while Gerry was in town.
In August, Erin  and I hosted Alida’s bachelorette party, which was filled with laughs. Molly F came to stay with us for a bit while she was in town for a few weeks before she went back to Spain for another year of teaching english. At the end of the month, Brandon and I went to Burning Man for my 6th, his 7th, year and camped with fabulous friends.

Watching the Man burn

Watching the Man burn

In September, Brandon and I were in Alida and Will’s wedding party – one of the most fun days of the year! It was a wonderful ceremony – a perfect blend of sincerity and hilarity.

Alida and Will and their wedding party

Alida and Will and their wedding party

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A day full of laughter and smiles

Later that month, Erin and Justin came to visit from the midwest and I got to introduce them to some of my favorite restaurants! We celebrated Brandon’s 37th birthday with a rooftop party on the last nice day of the summer, complete with a screening of Never Ending Story and sleepover on the roof. Brandon and I hopped on a plane to Florida at the end of the month, to spend a week of DisneyWorld and Universal Studios fun to celebrate his mom’s birthday with her and some of her gal friends and cousins.

Disneyworld!

Disneyworld!

Brandon and his wonderful mom

Brandon and his wonderful mom

In October, I achieved a dream of going to Disneyland with my nieces. My brother and sister in law and my parents also joined me and Brandon on this truly magical trip. Memories from those days are such a treasure!

The niece's first trip to Disneyland

The niece’s first trip to Disneyland

My youngest niece celebrated her 8th birthday in October (delightfully choosing a “EAT COBB – Cobb Salad party” as her friend party theme).
Brandon and I ended our very-Disney-fall by dressing up as Disney characters with many friends for Halloween. Brandon and I celebrated out 7th year together as Princess Jasmine and Abu from Disney’s Aladdin.
In November, Kathryn and I were judges for the Seattle International Comedy Competition and had a hilarious evening, as always. For thanksgiving, Brandon and my mom and dad reconnected with some of my cousins who I haven’t seen in years. It was great to visit with them after so long.
In December, Brian flew up to visit for a co-ed bachelor party weekend. We celebrated with good food, Santarchy, and putting down some tracks in a recording studio.

"He sees you when you're sleeping..."

“He sees you when you’re sleeping…”

Laying down a few songs at  a recording studio

Laying down a few songs at a recording studio

For Christmas, Brandon and I flew back east to visit his family in Philly and Jersey and got to meet his 8 month old twin cousins for the first time.
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Business is great. I love running my own company and working with my fantastic clients and account managers. I celebrated 5 years (4 years full time) this year – time flies!
 —
Other highlights from the year include: reading more (28 books this year!) burner costume parties, celebrating friends’ birthdays, girls nights, pj parties, dinner parties with planned topics, staycations at great Seattle area hotels, attending fun shows including The Atomic Bombshells, Teatro Zinzanni, Unexpected Productions and Beauty and the Beast (with the nieces just before our Disney trip), game nights, discovering the joy that is a sherpa blanket, bootie mashups, and house parties.
What I want to do more of in 2015: Take more photos (and learn how to take better photos on my iphone). Take more alone time to reflect, relax and grow. Spend more time with close friends in smaller groups or one on one. Continue to travel. Eat less, workout more (so cliche). Find new passions. Volunteer. Write more. Enjoy more game nights. Start working on a (for-secret-for-now) personal project. Continue to discover great books, travel and express gratitude every day.

5th Avenue’s dynamic production of “A Chorus Line” closes September 28th

Review from guest blogger, Jeanne Deller:

For those of you who have yet to experience “Chorus Line”  live, up close, and very personal , be sure to catch The 5th Avenue Theatre’s dynamic, often poignant, performance.

This cleverly cast and brilliantly directed production is a must see. This is your chance to catch an inside, in-depth sneak-peak into the highly-charged world of actors’ minds, hearts, and auditions – well beyond the glitz and glamour of actual performances. So true-to-life for those who dedicate their lives to the art of theatre and entertainment.

The company of A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.     Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The company of A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The 5th Avenue Theatre’s gifted orchestra complements this fabulous chorus line in every beloved musical number throughout.  Fabulous orchestration, song, and dance! Don’t miss it – you only have until September 28th to see the show.

Chryssie Whitehead, in her long time connection with "A Chorus Line," continues to shine. Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Chryssie Whitehead, in her long time connection with “A Chorus Line,” continues to shine.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Richard Peacock plays Richie in A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.   Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Richard Peacock plays Richie in A Chorus Line at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

Spa Staycation – My favorite day spas in Seattle

My second post as a Contributing Staycation Writer for Seattle Refined is up!

Read on to discover some of my favorite day spas in the area (3 for women only and 1 that is co-ed).

Full article, “Spa Staycation: The Best Day Spas in Seattle,” here.

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I’ll be writing another post here on Seattle Pockets featuring Ladywell Spa soon! Stay tuned.

SkyCity offers exclusive 6 course meal that will be part of the James Beard House dinner in NYC

If you haven’t been to the Space Needle for dinner in a while, it’s time to go back.

Via Seattle Weekly: “SkyCity Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield is offering diners a chance to taste the six course menu he’ll serve at a James Beard House dinner later this month in New York City. Available only tomorrow through October 11, the $99 meal at the top of the Space Needle includes Cedar Paper Roasted Anderson Lamb Loin and Mocha Braised Short Ribs. Call 206-905-2100 for reservations.”

I’m going to take a friend to this next week for a belated birthday gift. She’s an incredibly giving person – someone who really is there for her friends whenever she can help, so I’m excited to take her as my guest for a blog review of the dinner. I’ve never been more excited to try a corn soup (ahem, bacon and crab!) in my life. Also, salmon with absinthe? So excited. This whole menu has my stomach growling. Can’t wait to share with you what dishes stand out from the night!

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Update: just spotted this photo on their Facebook page – had to share:

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Review: Balagan Theatre’s Les Miserables is Dynamic and Soulful

For this review, Seattle Pockets is thrilled to welcome guest blogger, Chanel Ryssel.

Full disclosure: Les Miserables is my second favorite musical of all time, and after their production last season of my first favorite musical (Avenue Q), Balagan is quickly eclipsing all local theaters as the nearest and dearest to my heart. This summer, Balagan has found a new artistic director in Louis Hobson who also plays Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.  If his acting is any indication of talent at artistic direction, I would expect an excellent year for Balagan.

Without giving too much away, Les Miserables tells the humanistic story of the social injustice the working class faced in 19th Century France. Playwright Victor Hugo’s central themes are that love and compassion can be found even against the backdrop of destitute living, starvation and revolution. Balagan did an excellent job performing a show in their smaller sized venue that feels like it needs a lot of space. They utilized an intricate set vertically and with an interesting 3D aspect that didn’t need much set breakdown between scenes, thus lending a sense of escapism and cohesiveness between songs. Interestingly, the battle scenes were constructed to give an unexpected angular view to audiences who might feel like they have seen most possible renditions of blocking for Les Mis.

While the cast’s performance as a whole was tight for an opening weekend, a few star characters really make the show. Balagan’s Eponine (Danielle Barnum) steals the show with her gripping, emotional testament through song and amazing stage presence. Similarly, Madame Thenardier (Rebecca M. Davis) and Monsieur Thenardier (Robert Scherzer) are often cast as comedic relief, but in this production also serve to reinforce the motif of “the plight of the orphan” and contrast with their daughter Eponine to really display the compassion that  camaraderie can build in people despite their parentage and early station. .

Balagan, with its intimate venue and excellent stage blocking, does Les Miserables as much justice as big-house theaters!  I would recommend that both people new to Les Miserables and veterans see this production, all the original elements are well done with a few refreshing changes. All in all, Balagan’s approach is dynamic and soulful, exactly what one would want from an excellent production of such a classic show. No spoilers here but bring some tissues with you! Les Miserables closes September 28th.

Visit Balagan’s website for tickets and showtimes.

Balagan Theatre's production of Les Miserables - Photo by Jeff Carpenter

Balagan Theatre’s production of Les Miserables – Photo by Jeff Carpenter

Disclaimer: Balagan Theatre provided SeattlePockets.com with two complimentary tickets to see this production. As always, free doesn’t change our opinions!