Monday, April 29, 2013

Mixed Plate: Sharing is Caring, But Keep the Best for Yourself

The most important announcement to make: Wish the Mister a Happy Birthday today! He's @BrockDiesel on Twitter and if you know him personally, you probably already Facebook-bombed his page with salutations. Having our birthdays so close together (mine was last week), we have our shared celebrations and it's probably the one notable food/drink extravaganza that slips by, completely under the blog-radar. Which is by design, because by golly, we're too busy enjoying ourselves. And that got me thinking that it's the way it should be -- the everyday stuff is great to share, but sometimes the most memorable experiences with food are the ones where we're not looking at it through a lens, you're just sitting at the table, being present. What a concept!

I've had some really beautiful meal experiences recently, but I purposely left the camera and blogger-brain at home. I had a gorgeous time at The Corson Building with a group of friends, a celebratory dinner at Coterie Room in honor of a couple's recent nuptials, and yes, a bit of birthday fun. These are some of the best places to eat in the Seattle area, and nary a post. Why? Because maybe after a while, you realize how nice it is to enjoy a meal for yourself, and the company of those around you who frankly (and quite thankfully) couldn't give a $%* about blogging or social media.

Random Sunday finds - the best discoveries are the surprises - Photos by Wasabi Prime
We naturally settle into what suits us -- maybe that's just laziness. I do find myself settling into old habits, but thankfully so. I'd stay at home like a recluse if I could, sometimes it's easier to just shut out the world and live in your own little comfort zone, but it's good to socialize before I start talking to a volleyball with a painted face on it. WILSON! I'm also trying to be better about balancing time at food/wine/blog events with socializing with the friends I've had for years. Some people are good at mixing their social circles together, but I prefer to compartmentalize things and when it comes to time with close friends, I Shut-It-Down-America, as Liz Lemon would say. Maybe it's a result of social media's ease of over-sharing. I'll take tons of photos of food, objects -- my dog -- to share with the world, but very few of friends. Some cultures believe a photo will steal your soul, and to a degree, I think that's become true. I'm willing to share what's around me, but not someone else's life. So maybe that's why food blogging remains a relatively safe form of expression, and while the camera is a near-constant companion, it gets left at home plenty of times.

That's not to say I don't take pictures of EVERYTHING ELSE. Everyday life is boring. We have boring jobs. We have boring chores/errands that we have to do on a weekly basis, because that's what grownups do in this madcap grownup life. So yes, in the absence of special occasion dining, I compulsively celebrate everyday moments of Not Boring, like a nice Sunday brunch with crepes at Willows Lodge and wine tasting at Chateau Ste Michelle afterwards, so that I could harass their peacocks.

Crazy sushi = Not Boring. It brings me an everyday kind of joy to see crazy afro sushi rolls at lunchtime. I never plan on busting out the iPhone, but come on, some of these rolls are pretty dope. And don't mind the ramen, sometimes you just need a big bowl of soup.

Sushi from TRACE, SushiMe and sushi/ramen from Kobe Wellbeing - Photos by Wasabi Prime

And I do love me some boozeahol, but only when it's pretty, overly-garnished, awarded with a blue ribbon, or has googly-eyes. How can you not snap a quick photo before everything gets hazy?

Drinks from TRACE, Volterra, Willows Lodge and The Station Pizzeria - Photos by Wasabi Prime

That's not to say I don't like a big ol' heap of Foodstuff on a Plate. Through the gates of Happy Hour, hellfire and chasing after a favorite food truck, I will always see that my hunger is calmed, and share the visual experience accordingly.

Heaps o' food from Metropolitan Grill, The Station Pizzeria, Chantanee and Los Chilangos - Photos by Wasabi Prime
And onion rings. Always onion rings. Plus some sweet potato fries. Fried, crispy goodness -- who's going to say no, and who doesn't want to see someone else take one for the team in terms of dangerously high caloric intake?

Fried goodness from Steelhead Diner, Willows Lodge, Station Pizzeria and Metropolitan Grill - Photos by Wasabi Prime
Going to events is fun, but wrangling a large camera can be tricky. Balancing an iPhone, canape and a glass of wine is a skilled art, believe me. As is wearing purple glitter glasses.

Catering showcase at Efeste Winery - Photos by Wasabi Prime
Does a long random stream of photos make up for not revealing the inner-workings of a Corson Building dinner? Probably not. But maybe it's enough to say, save your pennies and go with a bunch of people you like, and experience a grand meal together, much like any special meal. And turn the phone off/leave the camera at home.  I can't advocate shutting off completely, since I'm an Instagram-aholic with Compulsive Twitter Tendencies. I'm sure that one will show up in the medical journals soon enough. But there's something to be said for sharing the everyday finds and keeping the best stuff for yourself, and not feeling bad about it.

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