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re: Rainbow Harvest

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Every so often, I attempt to scour the internet in search of things I had in my youth. Sometimes it will be an action figure or game, but normally it will be an album or something I’d read. A few months back, I went in search of the October 1987 issue of Dynamite Magazine, issue 142, with Alyssa Milano on the cover. I know it existed as I owned it back then, but have checked periodically over the years and never found another copy. At this point, it has assumed white whale status with me. Sadly, it hasn’t seemed to have survived, whether in physical form or some sort of scans. But every few months, I’ll give it another shot.

During one of these fruitless quests, a link went to a link that went to a link and I found myself on YouTube, because somehow the search parameters decided I wanted to watch Old Enough, a 1984 movie that also happens to be Alyssa Milano’s first movie role. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I had some free time and watched the movie. I really liked the girl who played Karen, and upon viewing the credits, saw that this was a person named Rainbow Harvest (RH). Cool name, and so I checked her IMDb page to see if I had caught her in anything else over the years. I hadn’t, and upon seeing that the list of credits stops in 1991, I became curious: who is this person? Why did she stop performing? Had she passed away?

A brief google search brought up this article about Rainbow Harvest on grownasslady.com, and while the author there is also curious as to what happened, she also tipped me off to Mirror, Mirror. So I watched that as well, thought it was a decent horror movie of its era, and that she was good as the main character. This sent me down a new path with a goal in mind: see everything that RH acted in. If we assume the IMDb list is complete, it is a total of eleven credits, with one being a television series that has multiple appearances. Easy enough, right? We can knock this out in a day or two, right? Well, not entirely. I’ve managed ten of the eleven at this point, so I figured I’d comment on them in chronological order (except for one, read on). For some of these, I took screengrabs, for others I didn’t. Sometimes the quality made the idea questionable; see: the ones pulled from FM episodes.

~ Old Enough: RH plays Karen here, a girl from a religious family who likes to do things like skip class and shoplift makeup. If you ever met and hung around with a kid you liked despite having little in common, this one will remind you of that. It’s a nice slice of life film.

~ Miami Vice, (episode: Milk Run): she appears on the popular show for one episode and plays Angela, who Crockett pumps for information about some drug smugglers. Later on, they get to her boyfriend Zeke, who is involved in the operation and is clearly not good enough for her. Most screen grabs from this one are from a daytime encounter, so I grabbed this one that happens later on. Look at Zeke, that inattentive dope. She only gets a handful of lines here, but I assume the role didn’t call for much more than that?

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~ Streets of Gold: a film about a Soviet boxer who was exiled from the national team for being Jewish, training two young boxers to compete on the US team against his old coach and team. A young Wesley Snipes also appears and shows the star power that would later land him larger roles. As for RH, she is Brenda, the girlfriend of Timmy (the not-Wesley Snipes boxer also being trained); her role is, sadly, quite small but she’s got some a couple of cool suit jackets and a bit of sass in her expressions. Again, not much to work with as far as the role goes.

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~ 21 Jump Street (episode: Cory and Dean Got Married): in this one, the role is Cory, a young lady who has eloped with her boyfriend Dean. Only trouble is, Cory’s dad is dead and Dean is the main suspect. Cory is apprehended and is being escorted back home by Penhall and Hoffs, but Dean is in pursuit the entire time. The newlyweds are briefly reunited (Penhall lets them have a night to get busy in a cabin rather than arrest Dean, what a romantic!), and at some point we learn that Cory actually murdered her father, but is going to get a self-defense case or something. It’s about as happy an ending as you could make given the circumstances, but the bright spot here is that the role actually gave RH some screen time for once, and she wasn’t just a side character with a line or two. An interesting side note: Dean was played by Kevin Wixted, who had a recurring role on the show Growing Pains as Carol’s boyfriend Bobby. In real life, RH and Wixted would go on to marry, so if this is where they met, that means they went from an episode about marriage to actually getting married. That’s kinda sweet.

~ Father Dowling Mysteries (episode: The Solid Gold Headache Mystery): this episode is about an attempt at ransom in order to get at an inheritance left to a church lady. I will admit to scrubbing through most of this one because I go to David the Gnome when I want my Tom Bosley fix, and found the episodes of this show extremely long when my grandparents would watch it. But I think I caught all of the RH this episode had to offer, which was not much. She played Trudy, girlfriend of the bad kidnapper guy. At one point she attempts to free the hostage lady but gets caught. This is the fifth role and she’s been “kind girlfriend of dumb lunkhead bad guy” three times. Four if you count the boxer, though he wasn’t an antagonist. I’m not sure why this happened, because she’s definitely proven capable of far more than three lines and standing there, by this point.

~ FM (tv series): this show’s story is somewhat puzzling: it was originally given a five-week run in 1989, then returned for eight more episodes in 1990 before not being renewed by NBC. The cast was quite good, though the writing was fairly silly sitcom fare, so perhaps that was its downfall? Perhaps it competed in a time slot against some super popular show. At any rate, RH showed up during the 1990 episodes and she plays Daryl Tarses, a tough computer tech that seems oblivious to her own sexuality and charm. IMDb lists her as appearing in all eight episodes, but I could only find six of the the eight; of those, she’s in three. So is she in those other two episodes? I suppose only the cast and crew know for sure, until episodes 10 and 13 turn up someplace. The episodes I did find were on YouTube in fairly low quality, but I grabbed a couple of screens anyway:

~ Mirror, Mirror: perhaps the best known RH role, she plays Megan, a high school girl who moves to a new town and is far too super awesome goth for her classmates, who then all shun her aside from one girl. A mirror in Megan’s bedroom has some sort of powers, soon all of the people in her life begin to befall various tragedies, and it’s all wonderful late 80s/early 90s horror fun. The article on grownasslady has some good screenshots showing her cool style in this one. Apparently there is a part 2, and it might be a good movie, but no RH no sale.

~ Earth Angel: a large role in a TV movie, RH is Cindy, a high school girl who is being given life advice by the ghost of a girl named Angela, who died years earlier in the car Cindy comes to own after it is restored. This one starts out with a flashback, but it’s an insane flashback because it’s Luke Skywalker, Ponch, and Shirley Feeney all playing high school students despite all being ~40 at the time of filming. It later makes sense when they cut to present day and they all have prominent roles in the story, but seeing Ponch with a letterman’s jacket and grey temples is just odd. In present day, Angela has to help bring Luke Skywalker and Shirley Feeney together in order to be granted passage into heaven. Or was it that she has to help Cindy be with the right boy? In the end, both happen and she does go to heaven, but it takes awhile getting there. Angela helps Cindy get stylish, get with a hunky bro guy, then Cindy changes her mind and winds up with Ioki from 21 Jump Street and it’s all very cute. For a TV movie, it felt like there were some big names in here, but RH’s performance was good and she wasn’t overshadowed by anyone.

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~ Fever (tv movie): this is about a tough guy who gets out of jail and he goes to see his old girlfriend. She has hooked up with a lawyer or psychologist or something, so there’s this all this weird dialogue between the two guys about who she’s going to be with and they tease fighting over her. Then she is kidnapped by some other criminals, who make the tough guy go commit crimes like burning buildings and stealing trucks full of guns, but the lawyer guy comes with him because that’s his woman they kidnapped, by gum! It’s quite silly and self-serious and ends with the tough guy driving himself to the hospital after being shot and surrendering ownership of the woman to the straight man, because it’s like 1991 and you could somehow still get funding for something like this. I’ve had more fun sitting at the urgent care with people’s horrid children coughing all over me. Oh, and Rainbow Harvest? She plays Michelle, a recovering drug addict, and is in it for maybe 90 seconds? Two lines, if I remember correctly. I had to admit, this one annoyed me. Even if she’d had a more prominent role, the entire weirdo love triangle thing was tedious. Why not just cut her out and make out with each other, fellas?

~~ It was at this point that the trail had gone cold, with only two entries remaining on the IMDb list. I set out to a-huntin’, and this is what I found:

~ Pink Lightning (tv movie): from what I can find, this is a story about young women and their friendships as they start to marry and grow apart? Somehow there’s a car involved as well, perhaps it is the titular Pink Lightning? I’m not too sure. I found a couple of posts on a forum specifically dedicated to identifying cars used in television and movies, and a few critic reviews from around the time this initially aired, but it doesn’t appear to be available anywhere. No release on DVD, no VHS rips to YT or Dailymotion, nothing. The only thing I can currently find is a used rental-only Japanese VHS copy for sale on Rakuten, and while I still own a VCR and presume Japanese tapes will play fine since they’re NTSC standard, I haven’t jumped on it yet. I might soon, as it has become the final unwatched piece, and it is also the final/newest role listed on the RH IMDb. But here’s what the cover looks like:

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~ And Another Honkytonk Girl Says She Will: if I had to guess, this is the most obscure entry of the eleven. It’s an American Film Institute-produced piece, and I want to say it’s a student project? The specifics aren’t entirely clear. But I tried looking this one up for a good long while, and again, no uploaded versions exist. So, I put some money into this little journey and just bought a copy from The Cinema Guild for like $75 after shipping, because I had to know. I’m not sure about this business, but apparently you order things that did not receive a regular release and they basically sell you a burned disc? I’m not complaining, mind you, but this is what I received in the mail:

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(note: the actual disc label had “honkytonk” misspelled, tee hee)

This is a roughly 30-minute story about Adelaide, a farmer’s daughter who wants to go to Nashville and become a singer. The father is stern and stoic, and Adelaide becomes a mother after a literal roll in the hay with a farmhand out in the barn. She isn’t cut out for motherhood, so she leaves the baby with her father and sets out to hitchhiking, and eventually finds an uncle that she thought was an agent for singers. He gets her set up with a gig singing at a bar, so she is at least getting some experience and closer to her dream, but it looks like she’s sleeping with the uncle? Or perhaps he’s an “uncle” but not by blood; it isn’t fully clear. At any rate, RH is good here yet again, and despite the short run time, it was nice to see her get a main lead. Screens:

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So that’s where I stop: I’m missing one movie in Pink Lightning, and potentially missing two episodes of FM. I’d like to eventually see those, and I may bite the bullet on that Japanese VHS just to get that much closer to complete. But really, now I just find myself curious of the entire situation: it looked like 1990 and 1991 were fairly busy years for RH, so why did she just up and vanish? There are no interviews, no “where are they now” kind of pieces, nothing. The same is true for her husband, who is last listed as acting in 1996. Did they meet each other and just decide to settle down, or were they both tired of the hectic lifestyle that acting must surely be? Maybe it really isn’t anyone else’s business, which is fair. But hopefully the story can be told one day.

And as for me, my story of looking for a magazine and falling down a movies-long rabbit hole of some entirely different person’s work? Both are incomplete. But I’ll keep looking every so often and maybe I’ll find the missing pieces one of these times.

Categories: Misc.

Seattle: Day Three/Four

October 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Woke up on day three a little earlier than I had hoped, but just laid there and listened to the sounds outside the window, soaking in some good old inactivity. It was nice to just not move, have a perfect position on my back, and relax while the world did its thing. Got up later to shower and get ready, and a bit after that Lish was up and ready to roll. She had taken the entire day off so we could go do stuff, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I didn’t even care what we were doing, just that we were going together. Far less photos today, because I was focused more on sharing time than snapping pictures.

We headed out to take a bus, and it was one of those buses with the accordion thing in the middle. I had asked about them previously, and she said there’s a disc in the middle, and when the bus turns, it turns. So of course, I was like, “no way” and had to stand on it to see for myself. It does indeed turn, and it’s neat. After one turn, we took seats and she pointed out places she’s been to. It was cool to go to all these places and the people knew her and were friendly. That isn’t how stuff is back where I live, so seeing it was kind of unreal. We exited the bus and walked a brief way to a place called Von’s.

(above: Von’s, an order similar to mine, both not my photos. A menu, my photo)

Von’s was big with lots of windows and the people were attentive and quite nice. I was going to get a burger, but Lish warned that they can be fairly greasy, which I took to mean messy. I had dripped some kind of sauce on myself at Poppy and felt dumb, so I went for a simpler fare at Von’s: fish and chips with the fish being northwest salmon. I have to be in a specific mood for breaded anything, but this was super tasty and I loved it. Also, they give you about an entire potato crop’s worth of fries, so if you’re ever nearby and in dire need of being full, this one can set you up nicely. While we were looking at the menus, she goes, “look, they have Castlevania olives” and all I could do was be like, “why are you SO CUTE?” She really is, alarmingly so.

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(above: a brick building in the middle of all this tallness, but it still doesn’t feel crowded)

The goal for the day was to go on the Seattle Underground tour. A coworker had said it was a must-see thing, and when I mentioned it to Lish, she said she hadn’t been since first moving to Seattle and would like to go see it again with me. But we had some time to kill between tour times, so we headed to this Starbucks that is randomly on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Why is it up there? Who knows, but it’s unusual enough to justify going, and we headed that way. The hills felt especially steep, probably because I’d done all that walking the day before, but we just took little breaks as needed, and finally made it.

It took a small bit of roaming to find the right elevator, but soon we were up high, looking over the city. It’s a nice view, even with this semi-penis-shaped building blocking part of it. We pointed out cars and buildings, then looked at the zig-zag building I’d seen from afar the day before. I forgot to take a photo of it, but we discussed how the zig-zag itself could make a nice laundry or trash chute. Maybe a water slide for babies. Then it was time to head back down and make the tour.

(above: Seattle Underground, both photos not mine)

I forgot to take any photos while we went on this tour, but that’s probably because the host was funny and engaging. The day before, I had passed by a group of people on a tour, while walking. The guide was telling them about a building and I wondered why you would go on a tour to look at a building? After all, I was doing it just fine on my own. As it turns out, the bit overheard was actually part of the tour, so then it made sense. The guide tells the story of how Seattle was founded, burned to the ground, then overhauled and rebuilt, which is why the underground even exists. Some stores today have a lower floor where you take stairs underground to get in, and these have been around since that rebuilding process. There are glass bits in the sidewalks above ground, but underground they serve as skylights. It’s pretty interesting, and was definitely worth getting to see. A funny side note is that when the group would move, I’d get separated and see Lish looking back to find me, and she was finally like, “just hold on to one of my dreads so you don’t get separated.” I managed to keep up, but I try not to cut off old ladies if it can be helped. If they’d just stay out of the way, it was pretty clear we were on the tour together, you know?

(above: interior shots of the library, including a hole you could fall down and die)

When the tour was over, we sat on a bench and debated where to go next. The pinball museum was confirmed as being open, but it was semi-far from where we were, and we were meeting Lish’s friend James in a bit. By the time we got to the museum and paid the fee to go in, there may not have been time to see too much. We decided on going to see the library. It’s a pretty cool angular building, and it has this diamond pattern of windows that’s really cool. As we walked in, there was a scanner of some type and Lish goes, “it’s a good thing I didn’t bring my gun!” This got me to giggling because it’s something I would say in jest, but she has a concealed carry permit and had actually taken her pistol out earlier that day and said, “I probably won’t need this today” before leaving it on a table at home. Anyway, the library was cool to look at, but the thing that says “spiral” has nothing to do with an actual spiral so I don’t know why they call it that.

(above: Queen Sheba and the mystery soda machine, none of these photos are mine)

James picked us up and we all went back to Lish’s place. Nice guy, pretty funny too. We watched A Town Called Panic, which I’d brought and wasn’t sure how it would go over, but they both seemed to enjoy it and spoke positively of it later. That was a cool thing. Then we went to Queen Sheba for dinner. Ethiopian cuisine, which is varying levels of spicy and you eat it without utensils. You’re given a large piece of flat bread that feels like a pancake, which is torn and the piece is used to scoop up food from the community plate. I wasn’t particularly hungry at this point, because I realized I had roughly 24 hours left in Seattle and the realization that I was going to go back to CA soon was a gigantic bummer. But what I ordered was good, and I’d say if you were near there, it’s worth checking out. Then outside, there’s a mystery soda machine. I got a vanilla Coke, first one I’d had in years.

We went back home and watched Stay, Lish’s favorite movie. It’s a movie that if you put it on as background noise or some second-screen thing, you would definitely not get the most out of it. But if you pay attention, it goes places, and I doubt it’s possible to notice everything in a single viewing. Pretty cool, I hope we’ll watch it again at some point. At this point James went back home, and so Lish and I are just hanging out. She asks if I want to meet her snakes. I’d read about them previously and looked at photos, but so far during my visit they’d been hiding or sleeping or whatever it is snakes do, so I said yes.

(above: snakes get friendly with their fellow snake, Lish’s photos)

Apparently any time she’s introduced them to other friends, the snakes will come back to her almost immediately. In my case, they kinda coiled up around me and then just hung out. I’ve never really held snakes outside of a science class or something, so part of my brain still has that “don’t get bitten/don’t get strangled” thing that is probably very silly to think. She just said to not come up on their heads really fast and it would be fine. So I opted to sit and let them do their respective things, which were both similar in nature. The lighter snake (both boas) is Vasuki and the darker one is Xi, and I guess we’re buddies now? That was nice. She also has a crested gecko named Sobek, but that dude kinda hung out on the side of his glass tank a lot, so I guess he didn’t need to come out?

After that, it was pretty close to bedtime. We stayed up and talked a bit, and even though I had decided and discussed with her that I want to come back and up potentially live in this area, the idea of leaving for now was still getting to me. But we talked until it was past bedtime, then said goodnight and I got to sleep some time around 4 am. Woke up around 7 am, showered, tried to get all my luggage situated ahead of time, and hung out reading stuff on my phone. Lish got up and we agreed it was too late to go to breakfast, because people would be showing up around 11.

The plan for the day was a marathon of Stranger Things, which everyone had watched before except me. It’s a good show, the story is interesting and I’ll watch Winona Ryder in pretty much anything. But it was hard to stay focused because I knew we were leaving for the airport at 6 pm, and while that meant I’d miss the last two episodes of the show, that didn’t bother me. Missing Lish is what was going to bother me. We broke at 2 for lunch, then again at 6 for dinner. She kicked everyone out so we could drive to the airport.

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You know, I’ve been happy to leave a lot of places, but the places I was genuinely sad to leave are very few. This was one of them. It was such a fun experience and the town is nice and Lish is indescribably great (though I do try), so even if there’s the notion of being back soon, the leaving right now was really hard to take. It was hard to say much on the ride out because I knew I’d sound all shaky and upset. I finally let it out once we were at the actual airport, and as I watched the car pull away, I didn’t think like, “oh, I’ll be back soon.” I thought, “I need to figure out how to be back here and stay.” So once I made it through security and found my gate or whatever, I just thought about that. I’ve had this mindset of moving to Maui for years, but that’s because I liked the weather and the laid back way of life. The impression Seattle made on me was not one that I expected at all, and I know that Lish is someone I want in my life in some capacity, for as long as I’m still around. Her positivity is infectious and even when she’s got to set me straight on something, it’s done fairly and so I can understand. I think she is a great, great influence, and she has said she’s been more positive since I’ve been around, so it’s a two-way street and that’s just so awesome. So to have her not be a 3-hour plane ride away would be spectacular. But I don’t know much about relocating, as I’m sure I didn’t follow a bunch of proper steps when I did it last time, so where do you even start? I thought about all of this as I sat in the gate and waited for my late plane.

The plane got in, we boarded, and I fought sleep the entire flight. We landed early and I made my way out of the airport without issue. Found my luggage, found my shuttle, and got to my car.IMG_2974

(above: my car was filthy despite having washed it like two days before leaving)

Got in the car and even though everything went smoothly getting back, I didn’t want to BE back. The drive home was tough. I was super sleepy, took a wrong interchange and had to double back in the dark, and then my head was dipping the entire time. I made it, stopped off at a Del Taco for food (didn’t eat all day for fear of nerves making me vomit) and then got home and ate. Then I wasn’t sleepy any more, so I stayed up for a few hours before finally going to bed for a spell. I will say, before leaving for Seattle, I made sure everything was done so all I needed to do was walk in the house and lay down, and this was great planning on my part. Don’t remember how I slept. Probably longer than I did in Seattle, but not as soundly.

I’ve been back for a little more than a week now, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I felt fully caught up with everything at work, but now I’m back “on track.” So going forward from here, the questions in my brain are all about how to relocate and actually make it work up there. I have much to do in the way of research, but it’s something I feel like I want to do and need to do, so I want to do my best to make it happen. Worst case, I just up and go, live off savings for a little while. Best case, I can transfer and make a move smoothly. Either way, it’s where I want to be. I know that much.

I go back up in four weeks from today, for another vacation. I’m looking forward to soaking up more Lish goodness, but also doing some solid scouting on potential neighborhoods and places I might be able to work if I can’t transfer, etc. There’s a lot to consider. But it’ll be worth it once I’m there. Anyway, as far as this trip goes, I would say it was the best thing I ever did. I really didn’t expect to like a big city and I knew Lish would rule but didn’t know she would RULE, so it being as wonderful as it was but also being caught somewhat off-guard by it all, definitely added to it. But I’m rambling now, so I will go. Seattle A+ Lish SSS

Categories: Misc.

Seattle: Day Two

October 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Day two opened with a brief moment of confusion, until I remembered where I was, then a nice good stretch. Caught a shower and got ready to go, and accompanied Lish on her way to work. I’d never taken a light rail before, but it was nice and quick, and soon we were close to her office. There are many steps due to the hilly nature of the city, but she knows secret elevator shortcuts to avoid them. Got to her work and she introduced me to a bunch of people, and everyone was nice and/or still waking up. After meeting one guy, he sent Lish a message with something in regard to a “long-haired beefcake.” Aw shucks, fella. She showed me the view from one of the office windows:

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Super cool. I’d love to have that kind of view. There are barely even windows at my current job, and nothing to see outside of them anyway. Anyway, Lish had a little time before work officially started, so we sat down and made a brief list of places I could go today, as it was my day to go exploring while she worked. I could go here or there, and these are the rail stops that put me the closest to this place or that place, and so on. Knowing there was no way to see everything in one day anyway, I figured that I would just start walking and see where I wound up. She took me to the elevator and we said goodbye, then I headed out to start my wandering. This entry is probably going to be mostly photos –

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Started down by the water. Seemed like a good jumping off point.

The arrangement of buildings reminded me of the game Crackdown, and I wished I could climb buildings like one of the game’s agents. I also like seeing art in unusual places, so today was good for that.

You could go on this big wheel for like $12 or something, but it seemed like the kind of thing you ride with someone else and Lish was working, so I just took a photo. Then I found some spiral staircase that led to a view over some of the buildings. Again, Crackdown daydreams. I went through a part of Pike Market, but I had a raging headache at this point and went in search of Excedrin. Off in the distance… is that a Target in the middle of all this?

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It was indeed a Target, so I got some drugs and some caffeine. While there, I scoped out their section of wrassle figures because in my area, some individual likes to swap out old figures in a newer figure’s packaging and return them. I was curious if this was a local thing, or a nationwide problem. It has yet to reach the northwest, apparently. Not really a vacation stop most people would make, but I had to know.

The very first Starbucks, which I felt I should see despite never having Starbucks outside of their ice cream. Then I was told that when I saw the pig, I was near the place where the gentlemen throw the fish. I saw a couple of throws, but didn’t get a good shot of any of it, sadly. Next time.

I saw something way off in the distance and decided to walk and see what it was. On the way, skyscrapers. Some people go on vacation to partake in local traditions or see tourist spots. I look at buildings and wish I’d gone into architecture, apparently.

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The ceiling of the Nike store. I asked the girl about the possibility of green leather Cortez with a white swoosh. No dice. I don’t think you can even do the custom jobs any more on their site. Bummer!

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This was the thing I initially set out to walk to. I had no idea this was the convention center, but I looked at this archway for a little bit. Probably a good thing I was flying solo, what with all the gazing I did at stationary objects.

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Guys were working up there. Everywhere you looked, there was some sort of construction taking place up high. I’m okay with heights, but I don’t know that I’d want to spend an entire day up there for my job.

More art I noticed. I thought the second one was Kreayshawn when I first noticed it. Maybe she has a mural in Oakland?

Everywhere I looked, I saw some mass of buildings I wanted to climb, or single buildings I wanted to go inside but didn’t. The tall buildings were nice because any time I got turned around and couldn’t sense direction, I looked for a building I’d been past already. It worked.

Next time I’ll try and hit the museums instead of just walking by. James St might be the steepest street I’ve walked down. Glad it wasn’t the other way around.

A tall church, and a much taller skyscraper.

I passed this and thought it was a really cool thing to have. People donate their time and energy into maintaining these little gardens. I feel like if this happened where I live, bros would run it all over with quads or somehow ruin it. That it can exist and actually yield something nice, says a lot about the surrounding neighborhood, I think.

Made my way into the international district. The secondary street signs were in Japanese and I could actually read a couple of them, which was cool. By this point, I was attempting to track down the pinball museum, and had to be close, but wasn’t sure exactly where it was.

I saw the neon sign first, then the door. I was momentarily bummed, but then figured that I can kinda go play pinball in my area without too much trouble, so did I really want to spend a ton of time playing pinball by myself here anyway? Shrugged it off and continued on.

Found my pharmacy, then headed into Uwajimaya and looked around for a good while. They had a lot of little themed snacks, including this one with the tiger that learns to poop in a toilet. (someone made an Ultimate Warrior edit years ago, don’t ask) Then it was time to sit down and eat lunch. Probably not the healthiest thing, but it was nice to sit outside and people-watch for a little while. There was also a giant Kinokuniya inside of the Uwajimaya, and I took a bunch of photos of books and stuff, but just trust me when I say it was giant and if I lived here I’d probably visit often.

Made my way through Pioneer Square, which was lovely and bustling with people. Made a note to go see this building with the zig-zag on it, and also took note of another museum. The man’s arm is animated, next time I should get a video.

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This head was made of styrofoam. It was easy to see even from far off, but people would get close with a puzzled look, lean in even closer, then touch it to confirm. Weird.

Went back to the pier for a potty break, then played the world’s largest Pac-Man. From there, wandered back to the marketplace to get Piroshky Piroshky. Imagine a really fancy Hot Pocket that actually tastes good and you don’t feel like dying after you eat it. Basically, imagine a Hot Pocket, but 100% different and superior in every way. Mine was beef and cheese, it was delightful.

The sign at Piroshky Piroshky, which is the international symbol for “neither of us want this damn thing, can you take it so we can go rest?” Then, what I think is an accurate route of where I walked between 9 am and 3:30 pm or so? Blue indicates the second leg of the trip, which was just to PP and then back to the styrofoam head to sit and eat. It was a really peaceful place. Maybe in the evening it’s super busy and loud, but sitting at a table on those steps for awhile, there was nowhere else I’d have rather been. That was the first moment that I thought, “you know, I could live here” and took myself seriously.

Met up with Lish after work, and she was in a good mood because she’d taken care of a ton of work that day. We went back to her place for a little bit to rest up, then headed to Poppy. [note: neither of the photos above are mine] Poppy is Indian fusion, and while it wasn’t bad, it was definitely a lot to take in for a person who lives out of a microwave most times. There was chicken and other assorted side pieces in the little bowls, but I think it’s definitely something that I’d have to go have a few times before I really felt used to it. The only thing I legitimately didn’t like was the salad, but again, layman’s palate talking.

We got back home and it was time to throw down on TGIF for the Atari 8-bit computer. I had looked at it on YT after Lish mentioned it, then she said we should play when I visit, so we did. We played to $50,000, which is the highest you can do (I think?) and you can see the results. I got spanked pretty hard. There’s an in-game lotto and I’d said if she got all three numbers, I would streak around the block. If she had managed it, this story would take a dark turn into public indecency, but luckily for me, it didn’t happen.

After that, we watched Dr. Horrible, which I hadn’t watched before. It was good, and another case of the ending being totally unexpected. Then she noticed an ingrown hair or a blackhead or something on my neck and asked if she could “get it.” I said yes and she was pleased, so I offered to let her have a go at my back if she wanted. She wanted. It was funny, but pretty cute at the same time, and a way for me to show that I trust her all the way. Which, I do.

So it was a really nice night after a pretty solid day of exploring and walking. Got to bed late again, but went to bed feeling even better than the day before. It was around this time that I started getting legitimately sad at the notion of leaving this place and not being around where Lish is. But it was time to sleep, and again, a few hours of good solid sleep were had.

Continued in Day Three/Four here

 

Categories: Misc.

Seattle: Day One

October 2, 2017 Leave a comment

A recent vacation week found me in Seattle for a few days, so I wanted to recap the experience here and show some photos taken along the way. Probably too much detail, probably overuse of the word “I,” but away we go.

Over the past two and half years or so, I’ve become friends with a lady named Lish, via the comments section of YT. She would turn up every once in awhile, then started popping up more often, and is a cool and interesting person. She left a couple of comments in regard to traveling with her or coming up to visit her, and initially I shrugged the idea off; I don’t get out very often in general, and have only left my state a handful of times in my life – the notion of leaving to visit a stranger from the internet seemed even more outlandish. But we exchanged info and started interacting outside of YT and things went from “this could be a serial killer pretending to be a neat person” to “well, but maybe I could go up there and see?” to “okay, I want this to happen and will be welcome to visit her, let’s do this.”

Once the idea was solidified as something that should happen, it was just a matter of scheduling a visit. A vacation week was drawing near, but would it conflict with anything Lish has going on? As it turned out, there was only an overlap on one day with a gathering she’d planned previously, but I was welcome to attend too. We got everything situated, I bought my plane ticket about a week shy of actual flight time, and all that was left was to wait and speculate how things would go. Most of my life has been spent working overnight and not socializing as much as most folks, so there are many things about being around people that feel foreign to me. In the past, this kind of uneasiness in my thought process has frustrated people I’ve been around, either because they didn’t get it or because they did and didn’t want to be a teacher, but Lish did her best to let me know everything would be just fine. She was right, of course, but prior to leaving, I was still filled with a ton of “what if” thinking that had me all wound up. Maybe just a fear of the unknown? I feel like this is all stuff I should’ve been past many years ago, but still, now was as good a time as any to catch up with where I feel like I should be, and I legitimately wanted to.

The day of the flight comes, and I’m up early. Double/triple/quadruple check all my luggage to make sure nothing is forgotten, and then it was time to head out.

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(above: view from my dash, about a block from my house)

Flight went at 11:50 am, so I figured 9 am was a good time to get to the airport. I’d reserved an off-site parking space in advance, with a 9 am arrival time. This is all roughly forty miles from the house, so account for morning traffic, 7:15ish am sounded like a good time to depart; plenty of time to account for traffic, and if parking happened early, that left plenty of time to walk to the airport. As it turned out, it was a particularly rough traffic morning with multiple collisions and bottlenecks, but living here forever also means knowing all the side streets, so avoiding most of the bad areas was a snap. Arrived around 8:45 to the parking place, and after they pointed out a parking space, a shuttle was waiting to take me to the airport. Riding in the shuttle illustrated just how long the walk to the airport would’ve been, so the fact that it was provided at all was greatly appreciated.

Having not been in an airport for a decade means not being hip to the process, but a lady from the airline was quite helpful in getting a boarding pass printed and luggage tags together; she also waived the luggage charge due to the size of my bag. Cool lady. Rolled through the security check and upon passing through the x-ray/scanner thing, the man on the other end asked if I had any medical devices in my leg. I don’t, so he said he needed to pat my leg down. Arguing with TSA staff sounds like a bad idea, so he did his overly friendly stroking of my leg and came up with nothing. What was the machine reading, then? Who knows. Aside from that, it went smoothly and it was time to find the gate.

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(above: gate 206, about two hours early)

Getting to the airport early in order to allow for any potential mishaps is wise, but when it goes off without a hitch, you’re left with oodles of time to wait. The seating area was mostly empty until about an hour shy of flight time, and trips through the gift shop and newsstand provided nothing of any real interest. I wound up finding an outlet directly in front of this window and camped out as the phone recharged.

Eventually, the time came to board the plane. Found my seat, stashed my carry-on into the overhead, and it appeared that the entire row was empty except for me; I was toying with the idea of stretching out across the seats for a few moments, then another passenger was moved into my row, he got the window seat while I had chosen the aisle. Quiet guy, which suited me just fine, and aside from having food and credit cards passed over me, zero disturbance during the entire flight. The flight itself was also decent aside from a landing that felt particularly rough, but again, it’s not as though I’ve been on that many planes, so it could just be me.

During the flight, the pilot came on and spoke of flight and weather details, then mentioned the wi-fi access on the plane. Attempted to tie in, but it wanted you to download an app or something and I wasn’t willing to jump through that extra hoop, so I just took the phone out of airplane mode and forgot about it. A little while later, I get a text from Lish asking if I’d landed yet. I replied and wondered how there could be service at 28,000 feet, to which she pointed out that I was in violation of FAA regulations, as you’re supposed to be in airplane mode the entire time the plane is moving. Oops.

Landed a few minutes early, but the plane took an extra lap or two due to the tunnel thing that connects to the plane malfunctioning. They got it going, we got off the plane, and I found myself in a completely different part of the country. The plane and airports were necessary parts of getting to Seattle, but in my mind, this trip had not actually started until I found Lish. Going through a new place, it’s easy to make mistakes, and I did: misreading a sign sent me down an escalator to the wrong place and required doubling back to the starting point in order to get back on track. My initial understanding was that the plane would land, I’d go get my luggage, and then wait for Lish, as she was working that day. As it turns out, she’d taken a short day and arrived to the airport ahead of my flight, so she was waiting for me. Walking through to where I think I’m supposed to be, getting texts saying, “I’m at security,” and “I’m not far away.” This had me looking around while walking through, since the layout of this place is new to me: where is security? Did I walk past her at some point and she’s waiting for me to notice? Finally decided that, while it would be rude to make her wait any longer, I should just go get my bag first, then find her. But, while turning to follow the signs to baggage claim, I see this person standing there smiling and sure enough, that was Lish. After a big hug and the sort-of once-over you give someone when you see them for the first time, and we were off to find my bag. Lish has tons of travel time logged, so she knew right where to go, and a couple of minutes later, we were off to the car. Now, the actual visit was underway.

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(above: the Lishmobile is pretty slick)

Months prior, Lish had left a comment saying that she’d bought a Porsche and I should come up and take a ride. At the time, I thought this would never happen, but now it actually was. It’s a nice car, a convertible 911, and under normal circumstances would just be a neat thing to ride in. But to be there and in this new place with this new person and trying to take it all in at once, was almost overwhelming. In a good way, mind you. We drove and I looked around at the landscape, the signs and things on the freeway, her, and it was all very intoxicating. There was some nervousness on my part during the initial few minutes of conversation, but we had discussed my lack of life experience prior to this trip even happening, so she was quite accommodating and I felt comfortable not long after. She seemed relaxed the entire time, so if she felt any of these things I did, it was not visibly apparent. We headed to the first destination, which, when asked if there was anything specific in Seattle that I wanted to see, I had only come up with one aside from her –

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(above: picked up the posse/on 23rd and Jackson/headin’ for the strip/yes, we’re lookin’ for some action)

The corner mentioned in the 1988 Sir Mix-a-Lot classic, “Posse on Broadway.” Tourist-trap places have their appeal, but going to see something like this is always interesting to me; how many people know that song and pass by this intersection every day without any idea that it is one and the same? She took a phone call while I took this photo and then listened to her handle business, and something about that reaffirmed in my mind that this trip was a good idea. At some point in these trip entries it will probably seem like I’m positively gushing about this person, but everyone has a different vibe and it’s rare to find one I want to stay around; she has that. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I know it’s a good thing and that is all I need to know. She asked if I wanted to do anything else there, and I didn’t as the goal was just a photo. Perhaps if Mr. Mix-a-Lot had come out of that Starbucks or something, but he did not, so we she wanted to take me to another place, and away we went.

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(above: Game Gurus, not my photo)

We arrived at Game Gurus, which is a fairly packed video game shop. The guys who worked there were all cool and didn’t mind chatting, which is a nice change from some of the shops I’ve visited in the past. As we went through the store looking at different titles and talking about things, she noted that it was taking her a minute to get used to seeing my voice come out of me, as I don’t put my face on YT at all and so you just hear commentary over gameplay. Seemed like she got used to it soon enough though, and I was glad because as good as she was being about making sure I was comfortable, I wanted to do the same. This was a good stop because it gave us a little more time to get used to each other, and I think by the time we were doing not buying any games, we both felt settled in, which was nice.

From here, she put the top down on the car and we headed to her place. Let me say at this point that, while I didn’t encounter any of the fabled Seattle rain during this trip, the weather there might be absolutely perfect. The weather where I live is one of my least favorite things about existing, because it’s dry desert heat and you’re far from the coast. There is no relief when you need it, outside of central air and repeated cold showers. Anywhere you are in Seattle, it’s cool out and you’re never too far from water. Something about being near the ocean always makes me feel better physically, which could just be a thing all humans have? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But with the top down in the afternoon, the air felt nice and it was just a pleasure to breathe. There was a slight bit of traffic, but nothing too bad, and it just made for more time to chat in the car, so zero complaints there.

Got to Lish’s apartment and it’s nice; I’d seen some of it in photos, so I was like, “hey, I saw this place on the internet!” She showed me her pets and laid out house rules, then we just talked for awhile. I told stories for a bit, until it was time to go eat. I had said I wanted to see how she lived, because to me, the trip was mainly to see her and anything Seattle was purely secondary, so she picked a few places she thought I should see while I was there. First night, new place, nerves still kind of a thing, I picked the burger place since that was least likely to impact my insides. So we walked, and it was nice to take a stroll with my friend in this place as she told me about the neighborhood. Where I live is fairly spread out, but I don’t usually mind because it isn’t claustrophobic that way; Seattle is more dense due to being a big city, but it avoids the feeling of being trapped that Los Angeles gives me. Not sure exactly how, maybe it’s all the hills? At any rate, I was instantly liking what I saw as we walked. Oh, we also saw this –

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(above: Dick’s is the place where the cool hang out/the swass like to play and the rich flaunt clout)

Dick’s may have, at some point in time, indeed been the place where rich rappers hung out. But on this night, it was a handful of people in line for a burger, and some gentlemen near the curb mumbling or singing or something. Looking it up later, apparently Dick’s is a great place to work as far as fast food places go, so considering that and Mix-a-Lot’s praise, I can’t bag on it too hard. But this wasn’t the destination in mind, as our place was a bit further down:

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(above: 8 oz. Burger, not my photo)

This place had a cool atmosphere and was loud, but not too loud. For my “this place is too loud” scale, see the Lucille’s in Rancho Cucamonga; I have no idea how anyone communicates in that place. Anyway, 8 oz was nice. We had our own little table in the window, and the food was quite tasty. I was fuzzy on what the order was, but got the same thing Lish did and she later confirmed it was a wild boar burger. It came out and it was a tall construction of food, but that was mostly meat. In other places, it’ll be a thin patty with a ton of lettuce or onions, but 8 oz is not other places. Eating in front of people is something I’ve always been self-conscious about, at least until I feel comfortable around them. But it’s either that I was already comfortable, or that I purposely hadn’t eaten pre-travel, or both, that allowed me to positively destroy my meal in short order in front of her. Long enough for me to recognize that it was definitely worth coming here again, not long enough for it to even think about cooling off. She didn’t make any faces or go, “slow down, hog,” so maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

After eating, we stopped off at a local comic shop, then a soda shop before going back home. We chatted a bit more, then watched “Safety not Guaranteed,” which I hadn’t seen before. It was a cool movie with an ending I didn’t expect, I’d watch it again sometime. Then we watched some YT stuff and just sat together and laughed, and it was cozy and nice. Finally, it was time to sleep, so I got situated on the couch and we said goodnight. Spent a bit of time thinking how neat this entire trip was, from her having the idea months prior to me being there now, and how I kinda couldn’t believe it despite it unfolding before my eyes, and then passed out for a few hours of very solid sleep. An awesome first day.

(note: I don’t know how many photos you can put in one entry or if there’s a text limit, so I’m just going to do one day per entry, so it should be four total? We’ll see.)

Day two recap here

Categories: Misc.