I really can’t believe it has been over three months and it has only rained twice. This is starting to irritate me incessantly. I swear it’s like every morning someone flips on a light switch and the sun just sits there, until sundown when someone flips it back off. A nice, repetitious glare that makes me wonder if I actually am in the correct town I remember. Did we take the wrong turn off the highway?

Give me my crummy weather soon. Thanks.





I know it is a Seattle cliche, but after being back for two months, I am still bowled over at the manners everyone has around here. Of course you never know these things until you get away from them, but it is pretty stunning.

Even riding the bus. Now that I am privy of bus stories everyday I am fastinated. Everyone has a small relationship with the bus driver, everyone says hi.






It’s Seafair time around here which means the Blue Angels have been making there presence known every day flying over head in the sky.

I hate them.

This week, sitting in an unfamiliar office I suddenly heard the sound of planes flying right into our office. At least I was there only one there that thought that was what was going on. Everyone else was thrilled with the deafening sound of airplanes flying faster than the speed of noise. The excitement of those near aerodynamic misses as they practically kiss each other in the air.

I was suprised this even bothered me, but I did let out a little gasp. Every time they flew back over I let out a little shudder. I guess the fear of airplanes potentially flying into buildings, nearly clipping the low skyline doesn’t even cross anyone’s mind here.




Treasure Hunt

In getting reacquainted with my fair city I have been bewildered by how many things seemed to have disappeared since I last thought about them. Some places,such as Bud’s Jazz Records and the Catholic Seaman’s Club were just misplaced in the memory bank. I found myself walking down the wrong street looking for them.

Others though are hard to understand. I found some things are really old news but strange to me. For instance my first visit to the University District had me searching for the Last Exit on Brooklyn and strangely feeling lost, most certainly I must have gone down the wrong street? But it is really gone. A Seattle institution (albeit a gross one) and place of past employ for me,I couldn’t believe it. Research found it was moved years ago, you can see how little I’ve kept up.

But here also may I momentarily dab a kleenex to one millimeter of my eye to ponder the demise of this strange mix: Cafe Counter Intelligence, The Western Coffee Shop, The Ditto, The real Cyclops, The Twin TeePees,The Frontier Room (I can’t even comment on the remodel), The OK, The Gibson, Ernie Steele’s, The Doghouse…and so on.





A visit to the Ballard Locks.

We ended up in Ballard yesterday and in a spontaneous moment decided to go to the Locks.

Well here is another thing as a kid growing up here you take for granted. It is just down right beautiful. Lucky time of the year to be there too, because the Fish Ladder is choked with travelling salmon. It was amazing watching them literally jump out of the water.

People here are complaining about the heat, as it reached into the low 90’s yesterday. Yes, my kind of people, get the weather out of the 70 degree range and no one can take it.



Of course the millisecond we got to town we had to rent the video Singles, being the 10 year anniversary and everything (of the movie and us).

How could we have forgotten its intense Afterschool Special factor? The bad, bad, boring plot? All I remember is the music, but there is so little of that. Matt Dillon is funny and it sure is a crack up to realize the main character works to solve “traffic problems” (sorry about that Supertrain buddy).

Ben blurted out half way through the movie,”Everyone looks like Nancy Wilson of Heart!”. I responded,”You know Cameron Crowe is married to Nancy, I swear I’ve told you before!”

It was true though,through a miracle of somewhat modern science- Kyra Sedgwick did resemble Nancy Wilson,circa “Roger Fisher/Dreamboat Annie” era.

Priceless moments abound in this film,many featuring a mixed pack of yuppies-in-waiting sporting various Sub-Pop tee shirts (including the ever popular “Loser” one). Where was Mudhoney in all of this?

I sadly missed this potent fact during viewing: Eric Stolz (in his Bridget Fonda days) playing the role of a lifetime as an unrecognizable mime in one of the movie’s more anti-climatic scenes.





Okay, so there seems to be some sibling discrepancy as to whether I actually have been housing black widow spiders inside my living space- or not. Being as I didn’t actually get down on my hands and knees to spend quality time with and examine said specimen, I was starting to question my own sanity.

Q: Do black widow spiders exist in this fine part of the country?

A: Great. Ask and you shall receive. According to this rather too exhaustive website about spiders (as far as I am concerned) not only do black widows exist**, but we also get an extra special bonus strain of arachnid up here in the Pacific Northwest called Tegenaria agrestis!

Tegenaria agrestis: the aggressive house spider, is one of the most common spiders found in houses in the Pacific Northwest. Although this spider was first reported from Seattle in 1930, it did not become common in the Pacific Northwest until the 1960s. In the Pullman-Moscow, Idaho area, it is clearly a prevalent spider in basements and in window wells of houses. It rarely climbs vertical surfaces and is usually found only on the ground or lower floors. We have called it the “aggressive house spider” because it bites with little provocation when cornered or threatened.

That’s just fantastic.

** Damn it, I swear this is what I saw! Five species of widow spiders occur in North America. However, the single species occurring in Washington is the western black widow Latrodoctus hesperus. The adult female is a velvety jet black. I don’t like it.




The last dregs of unemployment hooky were played out this week up on San Juan Island. I’ve been telling Ben for 10 years I want to take him up there, so finally I can be quiet.

I think we have had more nature in our lives than is legally allowed in the past month. It could possibly be my favorite place on earth and I am glad my memory served me well.

As a bonus factor there was a fantastic knitting store on the island! Island Wools (135 B Spring St/360-370-5648 if you are ever headed that way).



The weather here has been strangely consistent. Every day, sunny, 70 degrees and cloud free.

How come nobody told me Tacoma was cute? It has such a reputation as a stink bomb of a town, but it has a nice little waterfront, cute stores. Shows what I know.

It’s pretty much sacrilegious to dislike seafood in this town. Thank god I can’t get enough.



Ben can’t seem to get over how corny it is here. I had kind of forgotten it is pretty ingrained in the culture starting with people selling clam chowder who tell you to “keep clam” to the fleet of pink tow trucks that run all over the city.

B: “What the hell is that?”

D: “What does it look like, it is a pink toe truck.”

B: “You mean a stupid car in the shape of a toe painted pink is going around towing cars? And there is more than one of them?”

D: “Yeah, what did you expect?”

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What I can’t get over is all the signage hanging around town left over from the sixties and early 70’s. I mean take Aurora Avenue for instance, that is a kitsch dream come true. All those scuzzy motels (The Marco Polo, The Black Angus, etc)smooched in next to the pawn and gun shops. It is strange while Seattle isn’t really steeped in ancient history, it has nicely preserved the stuff that is really appealing to me after all this time away. I noticed a similar thing about San Francisco last fall during that visit. There is some mighty fine 70’s landscape architecture here too, like bad Frank Lloyd Wright knockoffs. Sure plenty of the bad stuff (I call it Current Generic)too since this city is rolling right out of a building boom, but that bland stuff doesn’t even register in this bean. I was thinking of that book Venturi and Scott put out maybe in the late 70’s about the architecture of Las Vegas, which is kind of sad because a lot of that stuff (built in the same era as Aurora Avenue undoubtedly)is gone now. Someone should document the late century crap here before they decide to rip it all down.