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Seattle Trip #2: Day Two

November 9, 2017 1 comment

Day two began by waking up early, so I could be ready and out of the way when it was time for Lish to get ready. Once she was, we headed out and she drove us to her work. The drive through town in the early morning was so cool to see; the city is still waking up, so the amount of activity is lower and it feels different somehow, but in a good way. I guess since I’m not used to busy cities, seeing it slowed down felt more familiar to the pace I’m used to? Not sure. We arrived and I went in briefly, saw some people in Halloween costumes along the way. Lish went as a jellyfish, complete with a cute side-shuffle to simulate a jellyfish swimming. She asked if I needed anything and I didn’t, so I was off on my own to explore, but with a goal in mind this time: visiting a union local office, and as many of my company’s locations as possible to ask about transfers, fully expecting to get zero good news. So I started walking. Photos incoming –

(above: it’s cold but not too cold. Let’s do this)

Hit the street, loving the weather. 40F is just about as cold as I feel okay being outside in for a long time, seeing my breath and feeling my ears sting a little. Walking through the city and watching folks through shop windows as they set up for the day, or construction workers getting large machines into place, etc.

(above: various things along the way)

As an outsider, the layout of this area is interesting because everything is dense, but still manages to feel open. A glance of a map says something is 11 blocks away, but that can be a walk of less than ten minutes depending on the blocks in question.

(above: Seattle icons)

Had no idea there was a statue for Ken Griffey Jr., but if I were to pick a Mariner to get one, it’s either him or Ichiro, so no argument here. The Starbucks building is massive, and this photo doesn’t even properly illustrate the scale. I wonder what it’s like inside? It has to either be insanely hectic, or far more relaxed than anyone might expect, with no middle ground.

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(above: autumn)

Seeing actual autumn is wonderful. The leaves fall and aren’t already brittle from being burned to death during the summer, and the city has crews that go around to handle such large amounts of cleanup. I saw multiple trucks over the course of this day, sucking up giant piles of leaves and leaving clean sidewalks behind. That’s great.

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(above: where did I start from? Am I even in Seattle any more?)

Crossed a bridge that felt like it went on forever, then turned around to see the city very small and way off in the distance. I had to be getting close, right? I was way out of downtown, and having walked through what was listed as “the industrial district,” I felt like I was in a city from a GTA game. Instead of small restaurants and cool old history, it was a lot of weed shops and places to get linoleum or windows. Also a ton of crossfit gyms. How do those make money?

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(above: your guess is as good as mine)

Made it to the union’s building, in dire need of a restroom. The scene above is what I was met with. What is the use case for a whole other chair in the restroom stall? With no time to really ponder it, I headed upstairs to the office and asked the guy at the desk for some information. He sadly didn’t have much, and the person who could help me, wasn’t in that day. From the sound of what he did say, the union has little to do with transfers, if anything; they just make sure your dues are paid up and if you get a straight transfer, there’s no initiation fee. Good to know, I guess.

Went outside and looked up store locations. Looked like there were three that could reasonably be walked to, so let’s get to the one farthest out, first. Calculate the map and start walking. Even if the industrial district is full of stuff I care zero percent about, it was still neat to walk around and see what was there. Eventually came to the street I needed, which twisted and turned as it went uphill, and looked like it would make a cool level in a Tony Hawk game. Then I came to what is possibly the steepest thing I’ve ever walked up:

These photos don’t make it look too rough, but trust me, this street was legitimately difficult to walk up. If you’re running or walking fast, being out of breath makes sense, but attempting to slowly walk up this sidewalk had the same result. The catch was that stopping meant potentially straightening up, and straightening up meant potentially falling backwards and rolling to your certain demise. The trees were handy leaning posts, and the phrase, “sweet mother of fuck, where is the top of this goddamn thing?” may or may not have been loudly uttered in this quiet neighborhood.

Upon reaching the top of this hill, my directions said to turn left. This meant “turn left and go up some more” because this street was also steep. After going to some distance and not seeing the street listed in the directions, recalculating showed that I had passed the street in question some time ago. Doubled back and went up in the same direction as the first street (I think east, not sure), and found myself in a neighborhood that looked remarkably similar to the starting point in Fallout 4. Kept walking and recalculated yet again, and was given a third entirely different set of directions. This is the first case I’ve had of the maps app not being correct on the first go. A little while later, a street is reached which was on all three versions of the directions, so I knew I was finally back on the right track.

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(above: the quietest outdoor place ever)

Continuing down the road, I’m looking at all the nature and feeling pretty good about how the air feels clean and the temperature is nice. Then all of a sudden, it’s dead quiet. No cars in either direction, no dull roar of buildings and plumbing or anything, just me and these trees. That’s when I took this photo. Then I took a step, twisted my ankle, and could only laugh at myself. About fifteen minutes later, the destination was finally reached.

Went inside and asked for a manager, who was busy. The hiring manager wound up speaking with me instead, which was probably better anyway; she took my information and noted that they’re currently hiring for the position I was looking for. When asked when I could start, I just said that once I knew there was a job in place, a search for housing could begin. Nothing I said seemed to draw a frown or bad reaction, so I took that as a good thing and started walking to the next location.

(above: “Posse Up!”, and this other thing is a high school?)

When sorting out a route to location two, I saw that 23rd was a potential way to get there, so that’s the way I headed. Did you know that 23rd doesn’t necessarily get steep, but stays consistently uphill forever? Me neither. Passed tons of actual houses, and I can only guess they’re super pricey. Saw fast food joints, so if I’m ever back and dying for that late-night Wendy’s or whatever, there’s a rough idea of where to go. A lady passed me barefoot and openly sobbing; I stopped and watched as she walked by, thinking she would ask for help, but she did not. I hope she went somewhere safe. A man pushing little dogs in a shopping cart asked me for directions and I think I sent him the right way? Passed by this impressive brick building, with zero idea what it was. It’s a high school. It would’ve been neat to go to high school in a place like that, instead of portable trailer classrooms like mine had.

Got to location two, and it’s a weird multi-story layout so I’m not sure how they do it, but it was open and operating, so there must be a method. Met the manager and told him the story. He goes, “you can start tonight.” I obviously couldn’t, so we exchange a little info and I leave with two positive responses. This is really weird to me. Encouraging, but weird. Why are these places all in need of my position? What happened to make the previous people leave, or want to leave?

Location three was only a few minutes away, and the result was similar. “They’re gonna hate to lose you, here’s the numbers you need.” So after a few hours of walking and a somewhat unhelpful trip to the union to kick it off, I have three places I could potentially find myself working. I expected to have zero, so this was quite nice.

(above: mystery machine, Ol Dirty Bastard real estate?)

From location three, I decided to find my way back home for a shower and maybe a nap. I passed the mystery machine and didn’t realize where I was; I thought it was a second mystery machine. It gave me a regular Coke, which is no real mystery. But then, maybe the chances of getting a regular Coke are exceptionally low? It is supposed to be a mystery, after all.

Got back, took a lovely hot shower, and then sat down and stretched out. Discussing dinner plans with Lish, I could either meet her at her work and take the bus over to the place we were eating at, or I could just walk to the place and meet her there. I still felt like exploring, so I hit the road and started walking again.

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(above: it’s like an open-world… world!)

Maybe it’s just because everything is so spread out from where I live now, or that I live far from anything interesting, but I look at a landscape like this and I want to just walk up and down the entire thing and see what’s there. Maybe it’s something cool, maybe it’s something boring, but the journey would be interesting either way.

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(above: I bet Silent Movie Mondays is really cool)

Walking through a city on a major holiday at the time most people get off work, you’re going to see some traffic, and I did. Probably the only time it seemed to get really bad, and mainly around the freeway entrances. I feel like, if I worked in the city anywhere near there, I’d just go eat or something to kill time, then drive home when things died down a little. Just sitting still in a car by yourself rarely feels like anything other than time wasted.

I saw this theater and Lish said we could go see Morrissey if I wanted, but everything since he came out of his brief retirement doesn’t have the same feel to it, to me. So a show that would likely be heavy with that, that’s a pass. Made my way to the restaurant and they weren’t yet open, so I hung out in front and talked to a couple of people who passed by. I taught one guy how address numbering works on streets, with one side being even numbers and the other being odd. Lish sent a text that said, “I’m around the corner” and I leaned around to see her about twenty feet away, walking up all cute. Cute bastard.

(above: Marrakesh, not my photos)

Marrakesh is Moroccan cuisine, another flavor that was new to me. The owner knew Lish right away and was incredibly friendly, coming to sit down and chat with us for a little bit as we ate. It’s a cool place, and the inside looks like a tent. The meal went like so: Lentil soup, which was warm and tasty. This was followed by a salad with eggplant, which you scooped up with the bread from these biscuits that were fairly dense and delicious. Then there was a thing I kept calling a messy pancake, but the name is “b’stilla royale” and it’s phyllo dough with meat in the middle, covered in powdered sugar. You pull parts off with your hand and eat it. The bit I did get was good, but I found it incredibly messy and dumped powdered sugar on myself multiple times. I eventually gave up, and I’m not sure if I was tired from walking all day or what, but I feel like I came across as far crankier about the mess I made than I actually was. Eaten at home, I could devour something like that, but at home I could also go change my clothes right after. Then our main courses came, and I got a dish of meat (chicken?) and rice, which was delightful and filling. Lish got lamb as that’s her favorite meat, and she looked quite happy as she got at that. There was also mint tea that tasted nice, but I’m not super high on hot drinks. Bet it’s great cold, though. I think if I went again, I’d tuck my napkin into my shirt for the b’stilla royale, because aside from my inability to stay clean, this place was also very good.

We left and Lish was going to take the bus back to her work, so she could get the car. During discussion of the traffic, I said I could probably outwalk the bus and beat her back to the car. So we walked to the bus stop, it looked like she could take everyone that was also waiting, and with the notion in mind that she was safe, I started walking. I got about a block before I realized I wasn’t exactly sure where I was. After a little “what’s down here?” kind of zigzagging, I found a place that looked familiar, then got to the car as quickly as I could. I sit down next to it, pull out my phone, and see a text that says, “are you here yet?” She had beaten me by a few minutes and gone inside to handle some work stuff.

We rode back home, and I guess I was expecting utter mayhem because of the holiday and being in a big city, but it seemed fairly quiet and traffic wasn’t bad at all. Got back and watched some YT clips of old TV shows and talked, then I think we were both out of gas, so it was bed time. I think the only low spot of the day was my reaction to the b’stilla royale, which I’d do differently if I had do-overs. But aside from that, it was a productive day where I saw a bunch of different things, got multiple potential bits of good news, had great things to eat, and shared all of that with a really awesome person. Went to sleep tired and happy.

Day three recap can be found here.

Categories: Misc.

Seattle Trip #2: Day One

November 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Seattle was too good to only go once. Recap of a second trip I took goes here:

In late September, I took a trip to visit my friend Lish up in Seattle. It was a great time, and upon returning, I was looking forward to getting back up there sometime soon. There was an upcoming vacation week during the week of Halloween, but the original plan fell through, which was to take my father to Maui as an early birthday present. The idea of going to Maui alone was entertained for a few minutes, but having been back from Seattle for less than twelve hours, it was still fresh in my mind, and a new thought materialized: what if I just went up there again? I asked Lish if she’d be okay having me crash with her again, and she said yes. Went back to work the following night, confirmed that the vacation week wouldn’t be bumped, and bought my plane tickets the following morning. The following 5 weeks or so were spent counting down the days, and being excited at having such a cool trip to look forward to.

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(above: we meet again, Gate 206)

The day of the trip comes, and my father gave me a ride to the airport. It was a fairly smooth ride out, and not having to worry about leaving the car somewhere meant one less hassle upon returning. The trip through TSA took a bit longer this time due to more travelers, but the machine didn’t detect metal in my leg, so if a longer wait means no rubdown from a stranger, that’s a fair trade. Camped an outlet until it was time to board, found the seat, then shared a row of seats with a lady who never spoke and casually tore pages from an issue of National Geographic. No idea what that was all about.

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(above: “Have you guys and gals ever seen… A TREE? No, no, no… not those shriveled black things. Brown bark, green leaves, photosynthesis, all that good stuff!”)

After a little confusion on my part concerning where arrivals go, Lish pulled up and off we went. It was great to see her again so soon, since initial figuring was that it would be next year at the earliest. We headed back to her place and talked for awhile, and it was just so nice. In this comfortable place with this interesting person, just sharing stories, I can just lean back and just feel good and glad to be there. There aren’t many places or people that have this… effect? This power. Superpower, even.

(above: the software of choice for our epic RNG-based battles)

Prior to coming up, I’d ordered a birthday gift for her, but initial details looked like it wouldn’t make it through the post until this trip was over. However, it turned up a few days early, and so I was able to bring it along. She asked if she should open it now, and did: it was this exceptionally clean, sealed copy of T.G.I.F. for the Atari, which she had as a youngster. After seeing it, the debate became whether she should unseal it, which is totally her choice. It would be neat to crack it open and have that new game smell and flawless inserts to look at, but once it is open, it’s opened. Up to her, though.

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(above: Lionhead, not my photo)

For dinner, the destination was Lionhead, which is listed as a Sichuan-inspired restaurant. We split two dishes: fried rice with maitake/yam/bacon, and La Zi Ji, which is chicken with peppers, said to make your mouth and lips tingle. I didn’t get much of a tingle sensation, but my brain equated ‘tingle’ with the sensation of eating Pop Rocks candy, so nobody’s fault there but my own. Everything was quite good and tasty. Lish tried to teach me different ways to properly hold/use chopsticks, but aside from a couple of decent grabs, it wasn’t clicking and is something I should probably practice later at home. After surrendering and requesting a fork, the utensil usage was like so: a fork in my left hand to pick up, and a chopstick in my right hand to serve as a little barricade, to keep things from scooting around the plate. When Lish questioned it, I said that I was ‘fusion eating.’ She playfully said, “I’m so mad at you right now” and made sure to tell the waiter guy, who also disapproved of my slick terminology. Overall, good restaurant, would go again.

(above: the long-awaited T.G.I.F. rematch)

We got back home, and it was time to have a rematch in T.G.I.F. Last time, Lish won by a fairly wide margin. The game is RNG-based, which means skill isn’t the key factor, but it’s still fun to talk trash about how GOOD you are at this game when you’re winning. The result is as shown, I won this time. But it is worth noting: due to the random map generation of the treasure hunts, Lish got completely blocked from the squares that would’ve given her a treasure, and possibly enough money to have won the game. So while it is my victory by the numbers shown, it’s probably better to call that one a draw.

From here, she showed me some shows I hadn’t seen, Archer and Coupling. They both seem pretty solid, and I should go through them at some point. But by this point it was fairly late and she had work the next day, so it was time to get ready for bed. This is the moment in history at which my body and subconscious decided to illustrate just how truly comfortable, safe, and ‘at home’ I feel at Lish’s place. She goes to get ready for bed, and I’m setting up my sheet and pillow on the couch. As she disappears into the bathroom, I lay on my stomach in just a t-shirt and underwear. The dark room, relative silence, and the comfort of being fully horizontal apparently all took over, and I fell asleep. I wake up, open one eye, see her standing across the room in a robe, and my groggy thought process asks me, “am I farting?” I sure was. For a long time, too. I ask if I broke all the wind, and she comes over, which is the last thing I wanted, because I like her a lot better alive. She says that it doesn’t smell (I don’t actually remember, but she doesn’t lie so I’ll take her word for it) and then says good night and I fall back asleep.

The next morning, I asked if all that had indeed happened. Lish told the story from her side, which was that she saw me zonked out and was going to turn the light off, but wondered if it would wake me, which she didn’t want to do. So she continued getting ready for bed and thought she heard snoring, but it wasn’t snoring. It was my body doing its thing down there. I later equated it to being 45-seconds long and she laughed at that multiple times, so maybe it was that long? Tough to say. Only thing I know for sure is that the first day was a whirlwind, as travel days tend to be, but it was quite a good one.

Day two recap can be found here.

Categories: Misc.