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Archive for "Events"

Birthday 2020

Posted on November 5, 2020 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

No major birthday plans this year because we’re not really traveling but I did take the day off work on Friday for my birthday. Started the day with a pickleball lesson from my sensei Chris Heck who I haven’t seen in forever.

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It was the perfect opportunity to wear our matching shirts that I got made for us.

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Chris is such a good sport.

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After my lesson, Brian and I had a nice leisurely lunch at Genova in Newton. We were originally going to the Belmont but they aren’t open for lunch. Well, before that we were going to have lunch at the art museum but my friend Teresa wasn’t going to be there so we decided to go elsewhere so Genova was actually third on the list. Another idea we ended up scrapping was our trip to Botanica which I wasn’t really too bummed about because we’re going next month for Illuminations. We just had too much to do and not enough time to do everything and lunch took longer than expected, specially since it was a bit of a trek to Newton.

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We would have had more time but I didn’t want to give up my Friday night pickleball. On Fridays I try to hit the 5 PM open play at Nahola before our normal 7 PM mixed doubles games. I always look forward to Friday nights because it’s the one night a week these days that I can get four hours of uninterrupted play.

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I brought cupcakes and caramel apples for everyone. I would have brought cake because I love cake but I didn’t want to have to mess with bringing plates and plastic forks. Anyway, Donnie and Tiffany brought birthday shots — 99 Bananas — in tampon flasks. I thought the flask was clever but the shot was disgusting. It tasted like a shot of rubbing alcohol which should be no surprise given that the liquor is 99 proof.

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Tiffany and Donnie made me a really cool “Pickleball Addict” wood sign. Brian and I put it on the fireplace mantle under the TV in the hearth area.

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Debbie gave me a very eco-friendly stainless steel straw set and a fun slap watch. She is so thoughtful.

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On Saturday Karen and I had the Halloween Smash tournament at Chicken N Pickle. Brian dropped me off at her house so the two of us could get ready and ride to CNP together but before that she made Dutch baby pancakes for the three of us because (a) they are delicious and (b) Brian had never had it before.

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Karen surprised me with matching birthday shirts.

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She also made us these awesome Dorothy costumes. She even painted our shoes red! Our costumes turned out fabulous. Karen is so crafty!

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Here’s the finished product with Molly as Toto.

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Sammi came dressed as Patrick Smith.

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The cake was another surprise.

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Beside the cake, there were other treats there too.

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Here are a few more pictures from Saturday.

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The Jens gave me birthday flowers. How sweet is that?

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The tournament had a great turnout and some really awesome costumes.

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Here are the finalists.

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Karen and I didn’t win the costume contest or the pickleball tournament but we got pretty close. And, we had a ton of fun.

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After the tournament, Brian, Karen, and I had a late lunch at Carrabba’s — my favorite place to celebrate.

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And then all that sugar put Brian into a coma.

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Here’s a better pic.

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But before his nap he helped me hang my other present from Karen.

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The next day Karen and I wore our birthday shirts to Brunch & Bingo open play at CNP. I could really take or leave the open play part but I am absolutely hooked on Bingo. It is currently my favorite thing to do on Sundays.

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Here’s what I had for breakfast on Sunday.

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I couldn’t decide between the chicken and waffles and the biscuits and gravy and so as a compromise I got the biscuits and gravy and added chicken. Add a bunch of mimosas (only $5 during Brunch & Bingo) and I was in a coma.

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I didn’t nap with Brian on Saturday afternoon but I did join him for a nap on Sunday. He insisted that the two of us would fit together in the couch. I had my doubts but he proved me wrong.

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Anyway, I may not have gotten to travel but it was a wonderful weekend overall.

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World Pickleball Day 2020

Posted on October 10, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies, Things to Do.    

World Pickleball Day is an initiative that was conceived by the World Pickleball Federation for the purpose of introducing the sport to new players and spreading the love for pickleball on a global scale. October 10, 2020 is the first ever World Pickleball Day. I celebrated the day by spending my entire morning playing pickleball at Chicken N Pickle.

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We started the morning with our usual Queen of Courts. We have eight players on two courts play one game and then winners and losers play against each other the next game. Partners split each time, which gives everyone a chance to play with everyone else. We just repeat this over and over until we reach the end of our time. It’s super fun and always really competitive since winners and losers are always playing against each other.

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We made time for a few fun pics this morning. On this one, Brooke was pretending to feel left out because there were a couple of times that the four of us played together and she was the only one who was not playing with an Electrum paddle.

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Chicken N Pickle celebrated World Pickleball Day by hosting an “Addict + Newbie” tournament. It immediately followed the King and Queen of Courts (the guys have King of Courts the same time as the ladies’ QOC and they usually even have more players/courts; except for today when both groups only had two courts because the Sons of Pitches took over all of CNP’s indoor courts for their cornhole tournament).

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I managed to talk Brian into playing in the tournament as my designated “newbie” partner by bribing him with a beer and a burrito. The burrito is so good. I’m actually looking forward to having it again for brunch tomorrow.

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We didn’t do great on the tournament. In fact, we didn’t win a single match today, but that didn’t keep us from having fun. I really appreciated Brian playing with me this morning. I also love that World Pickleball Day falls during my birthday month so, if all else fails, I can play the “birthday card” to force him to play pickleball with me. I didn’t have to twist his arm too much today. I think he was actually pretty “into” it. He even picked out our matching shirts.

I love my forever newbie partner. Until World Pickleball Day 2021! GNG.

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2020 Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament

Posted on October 2, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

I played in the 4th annual Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament a couple of weeks ago. I played in this tournament for the first time last year and did pretty decent but didn’t make the podium. This year I made the podium in both events that I played in. My mixed partner Tom Pham and I took gold in our pool and my women’s doubles partner Renae DeSantis and I took bronze in our pool. It would have been great to take first place in both events but I’m pretty happy with my performance over all considering I didn’t even place last year.

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Here are some fun podium pics from our pool.

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And a more serious picture below.

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Second place went to Robert Bell and Amy Jaramillo. Third place went to Chris Wilson and Kimberly Howe.

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Here’s the podium pic from our women’s doubles pool. First place went to Amy Jaramillo and Jody Vinson. Second place went to Krystal Fosnight and Huyen Nguyen. And then Renae and I took third.

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Here’s the podium pic from the other mixed pool. Doug Mitchell and Brooke Ayala took first place. Mark Smith and my women’s doubles partner Renae took second. Cameron and Mikayla Tucker took third.

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In the other women’s doubles pool, Fong Witte and Sarah Johnico took first. Mikayla Tucker and Amy Poynter took second. Vi Dang and Janelle Lindeman took third. This pool, though not quite as tough as our pool, also had some really amazing pickleball players in it.

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The guys had several pools. This were the winners of the medium pool. Mason McCanless and Cameron Tucker for first. Monty Ayala and Chris Wilson in second. Brandon Tran and Tommy Chau in third.

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In the more advanced (higher level) pool, the winners were: Chase Prewett and Evgeniy Kim in first, Steve Vetter and Kyle Starkel in second, and Dave Belew and Donnie Lesperance in third.

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There was also lower level men’s pool and, for the first time ever, a juniors pool.

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The event had a great turnout. There were even more people this year than last year, despite the whole COVID pandemic situation. I love that this tournament just keeps getting bigger and better each year.

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Here are some action shots that Brian got of me and Tom playing.

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The tournament was so much fun and the weather was perfect for it. I look forward to playing in this event again next year. Until next time. GNG.

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Autumn & Art 2020

Posted on October 1, 2020 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

The Autumn & Art Patron Party in a Box was cool but it was no substitute for the real deal. Also, our food was delivered around 4:30 pm so by the time I got off work and Brian got home and we were both ready to enjoy it, the food was cold and that was kind of a bummer. The goodies they sent were cool, though.

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They gave us a couple of the “beer and spirits” boxes with all sorts of goodies inside.

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Brian was excited about the Stella goblets because he broke his Stella pilsner glass a while ago and these were an even better replacement.

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We each got an Autumn & Art face covering, which we were both excited about even though we have dozens of face masks now (Brian just keeps buying them for some reason) because these were limited edition ones with the Autumn & Art print on them. Thanks, Evergy!

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We also got two sacks full of food from Bradley Fair restaurants.

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The fresh roses were a nice touch.

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YaYa’s sent caprese salad, a chicken salad taco kit, a small piece of carrot cake and a chocolate chip cookie.

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We also got some delicious hummus from Bella Luna.

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Delicious pasta dish from Bella Luna.

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Although cold by the time I got to it, this chicken and rice dish form Bella Luna was my favorite. Brian heated his in the microwave.

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I did not get a picture of the coq au vin from Newport Grill. It didn’t present or photograph well after being transported in a plastic to go container. The South Carolina she-crab soup they sent was delicious, though. Brian didn’t care for it so I ate his portion too.

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Homegrown sent a couple of bottles of their bloody mary mix. I didn’t get a photo of those either. I don’t really drink bloody marys so I gave the two bottles to my friend Brooke.

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Besides the food and the bloody mary mix, we also got some little bottles of Tito’s and four bottles of Stella but they weren’t cold so we couldn’t drink them that night. Or maybe they were cold when they were first delivered? They weren’t cold when we sat down though so we just drank our own stuff.

Brian and I tried to get on the website to participate in the virtual party but we couldn’t figure it out. We think there was something wrong with the sight. I was a little disappointed that I skipped pickleball, actually. I totally could have played and just ate the cold food when I got home later that night. LOL. I wanted to see what this virtual party thing was all about, though. It was definitely no substitute for the real deal. Stupid COVID ruins everything. Hopefully things will be somewhat back to normal next year. Until then, GNG.

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League Finals

Posted on September 21, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

I’ve been totally slacking on the blog because I’ve been consumed with pickleball. We had our league finals this week at Chicken N Pickle. While I didn’t make my goal of winning all three of my leagues this session, I actually didn’t do too shabby.

So I wrote about how Jimmy H and I won our Nahola league a few weeks ago. I wanted to also win my Wednesday night competitive women’s doubles and Thursday night competitive mixed doubles leagues at Chicken N Pickle. Unlike the Nahola league, you have a permanent partner for the CNP leagues so I actually got team shirts made for us. I found this lady who does amazing customizations through a mutual friend. Her business is called Simply Charming Designs and her work is awesome!

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I got matching “Asian Invasion” shirts for me and my mixed partner Tom. I picked this team name since we are both Asian. We’re actually going to continue playing together this next session. Since it’s a Halloween league, we had to modify our team name a bit. Our official team name for this session is “Asian Invasion of the Pickle Snatchers” — so we can get more mileage out of our existing team shirts.

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I don’t really like playing in t-shirts so I always turn my shirts into tank tops or muscle shirts. Here’s a pic of me and my partner Tom.

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Our team name for women’s doubles is “Backhanded Compliments” so I got matching shirts for Renae and me from the same lady. Both shirts turned out fabulous! Anyway, before our maroon team shirts, we were wearing our tie dye CNP shirts that I’d gotten for us at the beginning of league.

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I just love matching outfits! This is a group photo of us after the competitive women’s doubles league tournament championship match. Karen and Jenny (in the pink tanks) won our league. Renae and I came in second.

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Even though we didn’t win, I still had a ton of fun.

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Karen and Jenny lost their first match so they came out of the opportunity bracket (it was a double elimination tournament format). Since Renae and I were undefeated in the winner’s bracket, even though we lost the best 2 out of 3 championship match, we had to play again. Karen and Jenny had to beat us in a game to 15 to win it all.

The championship match was a bloodbath. Karen and Jenny played amazing and we couldn’t do anything. Here’s a video of that brutal championship match, in case you want to watch it.

The competitive men had their league finals that same night. Patrick Smith and Jamie Lynch won (again). This is their fifth consecutive time winning. The only thing that ever changes is who comes in second. Matt Conrad (aka Dr. Conrad) and Dave Belew took second this time.

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There were more men’s teams so their bracket is bigger and messier.

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The following night, Tom and I played in the competitive mixed league tournament final and won it. Huyen Nguyen and Michael Harris came in second, defeating lots of higher seeded teams including Undercover Secret Weapon (Jimmy and Fong) and Dropping L’s (Donnie and Tiffany).

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Here’s a picture of our bracket on Thursday night.

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We actually ended up playing only three matches total that night because we had a bye for being the top seeded team out of the seven teams. There were originally eight teams but Michael Cheung and Jen Reifschneider had to move to Tuesday evenings because of her work schedule.

Our first match was against C&K (Chris Wilson and Kim Knotts) after they won against Barbie & Ken (Amy Jaramillo with Robert Bell subbing for Amy’s husband Todd). After that, we played against Dropping L’s (Donnie and Tiffany) who won against Undercover Secret Weapon (Jimmy and Fong).

Then we had to wait for all of the opportunity bracket matches (one game to 15) to finish to play the championship match. It ended up being Dink, Dink, Goose (Michael Harris and Huyen Nguyen) with us in the finals. They did the hard work of eliminating our toughest competitors so they actually saved us a lot of effort.

In the end, I fell short of my goal of winning all three of my Fall leagues but first in two leagues and second in one is nothing to shake a stick at — I’m actually quite happy with how I did this time around.

The next session is only five weeks long and I’m playing in both mixed and women’s again. Tom and I are going to try to defend our league title in competitive mixed and then I’m playing with my friend Brooke Ayala this time for women’s because my previous partner Renae DeSantis can’t play.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to another fun, succession league session. I hope I have great results to share next month. Until next then. GNG.

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