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16 Sep 2013

On hold

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Hello friends!

I apologize for the lack of posts…and lack of dating. It’s been a tough summer with my mom’s passing. I’m out of the foggy phase, which I learned is a normal part of the grieving process. During this time, I slammed my finger in my trunk (new nail just started growing back), forgot a couple of work meetings, lost a sweater and a shoe, hit my car into my parking garage column (don’t worry, the column is fine) and was very forgetful in every way.

I’m feeling much, much better — almost back to normal. Last weekend I helped my dad move back to his house. He’s getting weaker, but the move has lifted his spirits, which has helped. I’m worried about him and his final days, but take comfort knowing my dad is happier at home and that I’ve helped him a lot over the years.

For these reasons + a very busy time at work, new manager and building a new team, I’m on a dating hiatus. But I will be back! — when I feel more settled…and relaxed.

So I failed my mission to meet forty dates in my fortieth year. I hope you’ll give me a reprieve as I promise to start again next year.

In the meantime, I look forward to spending time with you, my family — including my absolutely adorable nephew, who is now an infant (no more of that newborn stuff)!

Hope to see you soon!

Julie in Seattle

06 Aug 2013

Pissed on

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Warning: this isn’t a dating update — it’s a cat story. Did I ever mention that I’ve often thought of posting a photo of Stella and Phinney on my dating profile and adding the caption “two of my 12 cats?” But I digress.

Yesterday morning I was running late. Usually, I leave the patio door open until I’m ready to leave, make sure the cats are inside and close up the apartment. However, I couldn’t find Stella and decided to leave the door open so she could come back in later. I wasn’t too worried because they sometimes visit my neighbors.

Being the great cat owner that I am, I totally forgot about Stella and only remembered when I returned home and was greeted by one cat. Then it all came back to me. I searched extensively (all 5 minutes) and then started to knock on my neighbors’ doors, one by one. Stuck a post-it note on the door if no one answered. You know the kind of note that said “Hi, I’m the irresponsible cat owner who lost her cat in an apartment building.” I ran into a guy who lives on the other side of the building and asked if he had seen Stella, but he hadn’t. I continued knocking when the guy opened his door and said “Your cat is on my balcony!”

And there she was. One story below the patio — whether she fell or jumped — I won’t ever know. But she was definitely in a scuffle and had been peed on. I know, gross. I filled the sink with soapy water and submerged her in it (probably her first bath). Dried her and then assessed the damage. She was definitely limping and her paws were torn up — but she seemed okay. She moved, walked upstairs and slept on my bed for half of the night.

This morning, I found her under the bed and not moving. I wasn’t sure if she couldn’t or didn’t want to move. It was scary. I called the vet and got her in the first available appointment. Thanksfully, Stella had no broken bones and was going to live! I was so relieved. She has severe tissue damage and muscle soreness. Now I get to feed her pain meds and antibiotics. But she should be better in a week.

I’m starting to wonder if I’ve become a drama magnet. I hope not. I hate drama. But it’s been quite the week — and it’s only Tuesday!

My manager announced she’s leaving, which has caused a flurry of activity at work. I’m happy for her, but going to miss her in a big way. Hopefully, the dust will settle soon.

Julie in Seattle

02 Jul 2013

It’s a small world

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I went to dinner with my friend Jin tonight. We met at crossfit a year ago and soon became friends. She’s an attractive single woman with a lot going for her: successful career as a designer, fashionable, fun — and an all around nice person.

We met at Tanaka-san, one of Tom Douglas’s new projects — very cool space shared with an upscale market and home decor shop. The food was so-so.

We always swap dating stories. I have less to share these days, but she had a couple for me this time — including a whopper.

Jin was complaining about a seemingly nice guy she met on eHarmony. They had exchanged a few emails and he eventually sent his cell phone number. She texted him and then nothing…not a peep. She complained because it’s hard to understand why this sometimes happens: engagement and then radio silence. She went on to say that he sounded pretty cool — owned a houseboat on Lake Union. My ears perked up. Of course, I had to ask…”is his name Jay?” And she responded quizzically, “yes?!?” “Oh my god, he’s my ex-husband.” Disbelief all around!!! Jin showed me his profile because she wanted to make sure it was him — and true to my suspicion, I was able to identify the perp. It was weird to see his photo, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

And you know how funny he is — SO funny, that he listed his age as 43. Never mind that he’s turning 49 in two weeks!

Even though I gave my blessing for her to date him if he reached out to her again, she emphatically declined the offer. Did I mention she’s smart?

Julie in Seattle

25 Jun 2013

My cup of tea

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First, I have been overwhelmed by all of your wonderful calls, cards, texts, emails, etc. I am one lucky gal. Even Kristin (my counselor) is impressed by my support system. My mom has been in a few of my dreams lately — happy and talkative, which I’m incredibly grateful for.

This experience highlighted my singleness. I missed having a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to at the end of the night. It cemented my decision to renew my dating efforts. So I built a profile on OK Cupid and have been talking to a few guys since. Don’t worry, I discussed this with Kristin. I was concerned I’m too messy to date, but she wasn’t worried and said it’s just the type of distraction I need.

One of the guys, let’s call him Xerxes (yes, I’m on “X”), asked me to coffee after work. Coffee? Well, tea for me. This seemed strange and raised questions: is he an alcoholic? Is coffee a safer investment than a drink (less time and money)?

Xerxes lives and works in Redmond. I selected Cafe Cesura, a cool cafe in downtown Bellevue. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised — he was cuter than his photos. Charming blue eyes and nice smile. I was nervous. This was my first first date since the beginning of January! Overall, it went fine. Initially, we discussed our jobs. It was more interesting because a) I actually have a job and b) he’s in marketing too — more product marketing and development, but a related field.

Xerxes is a world traveler and has a very cute dog, who I got to meet at the end (he was patiently waiting in the car). So we had plenty of topics to discuss. However, it was awkward at times. He’s so soft spoken that I had to ask him to repeat himself. Also, he interrupted me a couple of times, which was annoying. But he was more conversational than many of my past dates.

Would I go out with him again? Absolutely. Will it happen? Probably not. It may be what I projected, but I don’t feel very attractive at the moment. I’ve gained weight since the new year. Partially because of the holidays, but also lack of working out. I ran just a couple of times a week for the race, but stopped going to the gym — mostly because I was focused on my new job. When unemployed, I was going 4 times a week — I went 6 times total during the first 3 months of my new job! When I don’t work out, I don’t eat well and don’t have a good outlet for stress, etc. So I’m feeling average, big even. And I kept thinking, he doesn’t think I’m cute, why would he?

The good news is I’ve been going to the gym consistently this month and am already starting to feel better. With my determination, I should be in a more attractive state by mid-summer. So I’m dating reactively for now — it’s good practice and a fun diversion.

In the meantime, let me know if you’re up for a walk around GreenLake, a hike, a bike ride to Redhook, etc.

Julie in Seattle

14 Jun 2013

Circle of Life

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It’s with a bittersweet heart that I share the news of my mom’s death on June 13 and the birth of my nephew on June 14.

My mom’s six year struggle with vascular dementia has come to an end. Dementia is a cruel, ugly disease–robbing her of memories, words, mobility and the ability to take care of herself. However, we were fortunate because she continuously recognized her family and oldest friends.

I have many fond memories, but a few of my favorite include sharing a bottle (yes, I’m dating myself) of coke on a hot day; receiving care packages that included red vines, junior mints and VHS tapes of Friends and Seinfeld when I lived in Japan; and laughing so hard that she’d pee her pants–a little. She was far from perfect, but she loved us kids unconditionally and had the best intentions. I love and miss her terribly.

Our loss was followed by a gain. Baby Boy Chase (BBC) was born at 1:53 am on June 14. As you can imagine, we thought it was going to be on the same day, which could be viewed as beautifully poetic. But I’m glad he gets the day to himself.

I met BBC tonight and in my unbiased opinion, he’s perfect. Truly. Incredibly cute with perfect skin and a mix of dark and blond hair. He’s also very healthy at 8 lbs, 12 oz (and 22 inches long). My sis-in-law had a tough labor, but she looked amazing. And my brother already looks like an experienced dad. BBC has brought my family a tremendous amount of joy.

Maybe tomorrow he’ll even have a name?!?

Thank you for all of your notes and kind words. You mean the world to me and I love you!

Julie

PS: I long for a boring summer.

21 May 2013

My friend’s date

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As I mentioned, Deborah drove me up to Seattle from Portland and lucky for me she decided to stay a couple of days. Deborah and I met 20 years ago — working at the Paper Station at the mall. I visited her at college in Ohio and she visited me in Japan. In other words, we go way back.

I love Deborah for many reasons — like how she fills a calendar. Today, while I was at work, she had a set of networking meetings. And yesterday, she had a date! She met Mike (who lives in the Seattle area) at a conference last month. Deborah said there was an immediate attraction. They’ve stayed in touch, discussing his new venture and flirting, lots of flirting. So it made sense for them to get together when she came to town.

They made plans to meet at my favorite bar for a drink. Deborah got there just in time to get the last two seats. And then she waited…and waited. He called to let her know that the workday went longer than expected. Mike arrived 30 minutes late. When she recapped it for me, it went something like this: teasing about being late, role playing and then a lot of discussion about him.

Yes, you heard right. There was role playing. You see, Mike is a former actor. And he had some exercises to share their feelings. You gotta love Deborah because she’s open to these sorts of things. I would have been a smartass about it. Mike sounds handsome, smart, ambitious…and cocky. He also moves fast. He was quite open, direct and pushy about sex.

I’m protective of my friends, as you are me. There were too many yellow flags that make me not like this guy. And believe me, I’d love for Deborah to fall in love with someone from Seattle! But not this guy.

We discussed the date over dinner and continued it on the elevator ride up to my place — reiterating how lame it was that he showed up so late. One of my fellow residents, a very nice looking gay guy who was riding up with us, summed it up best, “If the date was good, you wouldn’t care about him being late.” SO true! We laughed all the way to my loft.

On a side note, Deborah went on a blind date (friend of a friend) in Seattle during a visit a couple of years ago. The guy turned out to be a jackass — picked her up at our house, but asked her to meet him on the corner; asked her where she wanted to eat, but went where he wanted to go; and was a clown (literally — part of some clown club). As I told her, the third time’s a charm. I’m definitely going to set her up with someone fabulous the next time she visits!

Props to Deborah for going out with a strange man in a strange town!

Julie in Seattle

**Deborah reviewed and approved this blog post.**

20 May 2013

Retirement

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Forgot to mention that when I picked up my race packet at the Expo — there were a couple of, well let’s say, rough looking characters standing in front of the entrance. I wasn’t too worried until one of them shouted “Gun and knife show next door!” — which kind of frightened me. I turned around and there was a guy with a rifle behind me. That was quite unnerving. It was safe to assume that he was not talking to me : )

Hello cheerleaders! Thank you all for your emails and texts of encouragement. They worked.

My primary goal was to finish the Portland Rock ‘n Roll marathon and I did. My secondary goal was to finish by 2:30 — but alas, didn’t make it with a 2:37 final time.

It’s been 11 years since I ran a half marathon and let me tell you, it felt like an 11 year older body! I’m glad I completed another — might be my last. I think 10Ks are more my thing.

But I must confess, I’m glad to have it behind me. It was a lot of training and I was achy along the way. I’m looking forward to returning to Crossfit, running short distances and not having to plan around a 2 hour run on the weekend.

Special thanks to my friend Deborah who drove me home yesterday!

Julie in Seattle

30 Apr 2013

LinkedOut

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Long time no write! I’ve missed you! This work thing is getting in the way of the important stuff, like dating, working out and reorganizing my junk drawer.

Something funny happened this week and thought it was the perfect opportunity to restart my blog.

While in Paris (in October), I corresponded with several guys via Match. One of them looked so similar to Jay, I thought it’d be interesting to go out with him. He asked for photos while in Paris and responded with “Oooooh, pretty…send more.” Yep, creepy. I didn’t send anymore, but said I’d be open to meet when I returned. Radio silence. Never heard from him again. I know, never say never.

I received a LinkedIn invitation from him yesterday. I recognized him immediately. However, I couldn’t believe he reached out to me. He knows my name, so it’s easy enough to find me. But six months without any contact and then a LI invitation — with the canned “I’d like to add you to my network” note.

Either he’s trying to do business with my company and recognized me or he went through his Match account and searched for his prospects in LinkedIn. I want to be LinkedOut — when it comes to my “Matches.” Long story, long, I accepted and we agreed to meet for coffee tomorrow. Ha! I ignored the invitation.

In other news, I’m settling into my job. I love it there — great people and opportunities! However, it’s taking awhile to ramp up and I need to build a foundation before I commit to dating again. So I’m targeting early June (also gives me time to lose the holiday and job search weight gain).

I’d like to try another site or service — so let me know if you have suggestions! One of my girlfriends met a nice guy on “HowAboutWe.”

I’ll be back in full force soon!

Julie in Seattle

17 Mar 2013

A.A.

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Hello my name is Julie and I’m adopted. Yes, I can hear your response, “Hello, Julie!”

Forty years ago yesterday, I started my world travels from Seoul to Seattle–on a plane with a couple of dozen other babies (along with chaperones). That’s when I met Bill and Vi Chase, my parents! My mom was dealing with some serious morning sickness (thanks to John), so my dad was the one who took care of me the first few days.

I’m absolutely lucky to have become a Chase, along with my two younger brothers: John and Darin. Over the years, I’ve had a wide range of responses when sharing that I’m adopted: from “that’s cool” to “I’m sorry.” I can’t say it has been the best experience, because I have no other point of reference. But that’s how I feel. My family always made me feel special instead of different and loved me unconditionally. Not to mention the normal dysfunctions that most families create.

I’m going to start a search for my biological mom and dad soon, and if I find them, the first thing I’m going to do is to thank them for making the hardest sacrifice and most selfless act imaginable.

And finally, I’d like to give a shout out to my friend Jen, “Bonne anniversaire!”

Julie in Seattle

First photo shown to my parents; the day they “picked me up” at SeaTac; my first photo shoot; and proof of my “daddy’s girl” status (also a photo my dad’s kept in his wallet since taken and shows to everyone he meets).

08 Mar 2013

One year

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Today marks one year from the worst day of my life: the day Jay left.

I wish I was being overdramatic, but it’s true. And truthfully, it was part of a series of worst days: the day he told me he was leaving, the day I realized he lied about wanting to stay married, the day I found out he was cheating and lying about it, the day I got meds for insomnia and anxiety, and the day I fully grasped that relationship was over.

Let me be clear…I own my actions and behavior that contributed to Jay’s unhappiness. I’ve genuinely apologized to him and have struggled to forgive myself. I was not aware of his angst and certainly did not understand that our relationship was in peril. I only wish I had the opportunity to work on things once I knew, but as my wise counselor taught me, it takes two people to be in a relationship and only one to leave.

I’m sharing this because you’ve been a part of my journey, but I started blogging when I felt good. Not that people would want to hear my sob story, but it’s important to know that I’m human (surprise, surprise) and have days that fall below the horizon. However, those days are few and far between. I’m in a great place and extremely optimistic about the future.

I’m grateful for my personal growth, my extraordinary and kickass friends, my loving family and fantastic job.

Now on a lighter note, I’m going to share “MyJourney” playlist. Some songs are meaningful, but others are just ones I liked listening to again and again and again.

1. Maybe | Ingrid Michaelson — perfect song when I was hopeful that Jay would return

2. Jar of Hearts | Christina Perri — this song most reflects my feelings at the time: “you lost the love I loved the most” and “I learned to live half a life”

3. Someone Like You | Adele — doesn’t she write the best heartbroken songs? I’d play the Adele station on Pandora at work and Jen M would come in and tell me to stop listening to “that depressing crap” — which always made me smile. But it helped me during the grieving process and once i turned the station (probably early July), it was truly a turning point

4. Already Gone | Kelly Clarkson — solid breakup song

5. Breathe Me | Sia — sad, soulful sound

6. Soul Sister | Train — turning point, liked the upbeat tune

6. Payphone | Maroon 5 — good “in your face” song

7. Lights | Ellie Goulding — feeling better

8. Breathing Underwater | Metric — calming effect

9. Everybody’s Changing | Keane — feeling optimistic, change is good

10. Titanium | David Guetta & Sia — time to dance!

11. We Are Young | fun. — time to sing at the top of my lungs!!

12. I Will Wait | Mumford & Sons — when I met “Chad” and had my first crush

13. Girl on Fire | Alicia Keys — my theme song for the new year

I rarely listen to any of these songs now. In my happier state, I’m listening to The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Atlas Genius, Arcade Fire, Bad Books, fun. and my favorite group of the moment: Imagine Dragons.

Thanks for your ear and unflagging support. I heart you!

Julie in Seattle