"thinking inside the box" | tuesday | august 2, 2005 | 4:00 pm
IXTY-SEVEN BOOKS CULLED FROM THE HERD.
It doesn't seem like much when you compare it to the eleven boxes of books,
notebooks, and papers that I have so far packed from my office. However, for this
it is difficult for me to let go of the vast collection of stuff I have amassed
over the years. But cull I must. I know that. Most of these books are necessary
books. They are school related, theory books, great literature, and all that
stuffy stuff. My biggest challenge will be to cut down all of the sci-fi and fantasy
paperbacks I own. That will be sad day indeed.
Now that I have broken out the boxes and the packing tape and the bubble wrap, the
physical reality of the move coincides with the stressy, freaked out, melancholy
emotional reality of the move. It's crazy. Crazy, crazy. I cannot believe that
it's come down to this, to the wire, to the final warning.
I bought my one-way plane ticket yesterday. I had to do it. Like my move to
San Francisco, I just needed to give myself a date, a limit, an end goal. I also
decided to go ahead and get a shipping crate from
Door-to-Door. It'll cost
me extra, but I am willing to pay for the convenience. I will load up my crate
here in Maryland. It'll get shipped across the country. Then I will unload the crate
at my new place in Seattle. It saves me making multiple runs to the post office,
worrying about when boxes will be arriving, trying to pick up stuff in Seattle when I
don't have a car, and so on. The shipping crate also lets me pack up and move odds
and ends like my vaccuum cleaner or artwork or pots and pans. I figure it will
save me headaches in the long run (which is always worth it).
My last day on the East Coast is Tuesday, August 16. I'll be flying out early
Tuesday morning and checking into my new place that same day. I am still pretty much
in la-la-land about the whole move. Nothing seems quite solid. The next two weeks
are going to be very unsettling, exciting, and probably a little wacky. They will
probably also fly by.
I think people around here are starting to realize that I am headed out. People have
been saying how much they will miss me and how much they don't want me to go (even
though they know it is the right thing to do). It's a little sad. It's nice to hear
that I'll be missed. I know I will miss a lot of folks and a lot of things. But
this is a good change. As my friend
to me the other day, it's time for me to really get my life started. I had to return
to Maryland to finish up some loose ends, and now I'm ready to begin anew. I agree.
I just wish it didn't have to be so sucky and painful. But that's change, right?
read footnotes |
• • •
"one book at a time" | saturday | august 6, 2005 | 12:04 pm
INETY-TWO BOOKS DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT.
I keep trying to let go of as many books as I can. But it's hard to do. I
figure that if I manage to move to Seattle with less -- no matter how many
that actually turns out to be -- it will be a victory. I haven't gotten to my
paperbacks yet. That should push the number of books cut well over a hundred.
Alenda came up yesterday for a few hours. We went to campus so she could use
the library. I went into work and did the last of my grading and such. Then
we had a nice lunch at Noodles, Co. and very fattening ice cream from the UMD
Dairy. We dragged four big bags of books to the English Department to donate
to the Graduate English Organization's used book sale. The day wasn't super
productive, but it was nice to hang out with my sister. The process of packing
has been slow. I just don't have the heart to really dive in and tear up my
house. My last weekend of gaming is this weekend. People will be coming over
tonight and tomorrow night. I didn't want to be playing in the middle of
stacked boxes and piles of stuff. So, come Monday, I'll be in full swing.
read footnotes |
• • •
"another book bites the dust" | tuesday | august 9, 2005 | 10:36 am
NE HUNDRED AND NINETY BOOKS AND COUNTING.
Progress is slow. I have been trying to apply myself to the task, but the
seductive power of procrastination (and probably a good dollop of denial)
has kept me from getting much done. It's sad, really. I have now just a
week before I leave on a jet plane, and I have a ton to do. Suffice it to
say, I am excited, apprehensive, and just plain freaked out by the turn
my life is about to take. Seatbelts have been firmly secured.
The past week or so has really been about the tying up of loose ends, the
finishing of things. I am now done with my summer teaching; three weeks
flew by and the kids are off to finish the last of time off before the
fall semester starts. I am wrapping up my duties at work; I just sent
out my farewell email to my caseload students. My gaming groups just played
our last sessions (for this current campaign, for this current incarnation
of the groups) for both Call of Cthulhu, which was on Saturday, and
Tellings, which was
on Sunday. I think one of the biggest things that I will miss is gaming.
I missed my group (which I hold in high esteem) when I was in San Francisco,
and I will miss them in Seattle.
The past week was (and this week is) all about seeing people, hanging out,
being nostalgic, and saying goodbye. Every social occasion now invariably
becomes a farewell because everyone asks me things like, "How's the packing
going?" or "When do you leave?" or "Are you excited?" More and more, my
friends are also adding, "I'm really going to miss you" or "You should stay
here" or "What are we going to do without you?" It's touching and I'm
sappy and I get all sad and mushy. Two weekends ago, I went to a barbecue
at the Maynards, which was full of good food and good conversation and
a lot of the above questions and statements. This past Thursday, I went
to a street hockey game at the invite of my friend Shawn, who has been
trying to get me to go for some time; a bunch of my extended circle of
friends play in the league. I also did the usual Late Night at Franklin's
with Margaret (joined by Emily and Jody, two other friends from grad
school). This past Friday, Margaret, Emily, and I went down into the
city to our friend and fellow classmate Emily's going away party; she's
graduated too and is heading to Tennessee. Sunday morning, I went to my
second to last brunch at
I have too much going on. I get forgetful and flighty when my brain is
full and crowded. For example, yesterday morning, Monday, I walked out
of the house without my keys (again). I hate when I do that. I had to
call my father to come out and let me back into the house. But, it was
a happy accident. I got to talk to my father about the move, about what
to do with my car, and what his plans are for the townhouse. It was a
little sad, too. I know it's difficult for him to express stuff, and I
think he's feeling a little loss to see me go. It will be hard to be
so far away from my family, from my father and my sister. The hope is that
they will eventually move to the West Coast (which they seem to be planning
I suppose I should get back to work. In the meantime, go play with
Oh, I also launched my scholarly blog called
Queer View Mirror.
read footnotes |
• • •
"four days left" | friday | august 12, 2005 | 10:25 am
NE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN BOOKS NOT ON THE WALL.
The purge is slowing, I know. But I still have a stack of books that I plan to
give away that aren't counted (because they aren't in bags ready to be delivered
to their respective donors). My house looks like a bomb went off in it. There
is stuff everywhere. I'm reaching the point where I want it to be all done. I want
to live in a sane world again. I know it's the midway point because it looks like
I could be moving in or moving out. You just can't tell. Plus, I keep looking around
and wondering where all the stuff keeps materializing from. Most of my shelves
are empty, and yet I still have more to pack. It's neverending. At least it
seems that way.
I'm daunted. But today the crate arrives. It shall be named "Lunk." I won't
actually start packing the crate -- like a big game of
on Sunday. I will have some people helping me schlep stuff from the house to
the crate. I'm also a little sad. Yesterday, my friend Ryan came over (whom
I haven't really hung out with in a really, really long time) and picked up
Puck, the foster cat. It was good to see Ryan, even for a couple of short
hours. And it was sad to see the cat go. I keep hearing things around the
house thinking it's the cat. The cat didn't wake me up this morning wanting
to be fed. I miss that extra presence in the house. Things seem a little
Yesterday began the "lasts" of my life here in Maryland. I had my last day
of work. I cleaned out my desk, took down my posters, got my name plate,
and bequeathed the desk to one of the new GAs. I plan on going into campus
on Monday to drop off my key, my parking permit, and to say goodbye. Last night,
I went to my last Late Night at Franklin's. It was very quiet, almost somber
in the joint. There weren't a lot of people out and the DJ played some
old school funk and soul, which made things bittersweet. Of course, I could
just be reading into things. My friend Scott picked me and we went to Franklin's.
My usual Franklin's buddies were not going to make it. But I did manage to
hang out with Joe and
Dan. What was cool
was when I got to the bar first thing the bartender tromped over to me with
a sample of their new pilsner. I like that kind of service and being treated
as a regular. The pilsner was pretty good, a little bitter. But, as I've said
already, things are a little bitter right now.
Today, I am packing up my main computer. So, there will not be any
I get settled in Seattle. I backed up a bunch of my files to CD (which, by the
way, I had never burned a CD before till recently). Very cool. I want
to ship my computer today via the mail or UPS, so it will get to Seattle
long before my crate arrives. In the meantime, I'll have the crappy laptop.
So I'll be able to check email and chat but very little else.
Tonight, I'm hanging out with Shawn (and maybe Jason). Tomorrow night is my
going away dinner at Franklin's. Sunday is my last brunch at
College Perk. Monday
is tying up the last loose ends and heading down to my sister's. Tuesday is
exit day. There probably won't be any more updates here till sometime after
I get to Seattle, but keep an eye on my
Cheers, for now.
read footnotes |
• • •
"seven days in seattle" | monday | august 22, 2005 | 10:13 am
Good, bad, okay, bright, ugly, fun, tiring, strange, cool, left, right, up, down, all
of the above. I am in Seattle. I have been here a week. Just a week. And sometimes
it feels like I've been here a lot longer. I have been noticing that there are certain
things that I have taken to (like the
proverbial fish to water)
immediately, without missing a step, and that is totally great and satisfying.
For example, I love riding the bus -- as weird as that sounds. I don't
know all the inns and outs of the seattle
bus routes, but I
like learning and exploring. For the most part, I like city living. I like
that I can walk to most of the things I need (except when I'm starting completely
over and the nearest
Ikea is miles and miles away).
What I am not adjusting to is the lack of an established, in-city network of
people. What I'm not adjusting to is the lack of stuff (though as I have always
noticed after a big move, I really don't need a whole lot). What I'm not adjusting
to is not having any kind of routine. But things will change, things will get
better, and things will become routine.
The last week or so before flying out to Seattle were hot, humid, messy, sad,
and a little bit frenzied. All I can really remember is packing, packing, and
more packing. I also remember just trying to do as much as possible with friends
and saying a lot of goodbyes. It was fun and sweet and somber all at the same time.
There was the end of gaming (another era completed, a new one to begin). I went out
on a Tuesday night for one last fling at
Cobalt with Margaret and Amy.
My friends Casper and Emily met us there, too. We had a little dinner, did a little
drinking, and did a whole lot of cheesy dancing. The night culminated in meeting another
mohawked boy (who was way to tweaked out and way to twelve years old), hanging out
on the steps of the
Scottish Rite Temple,
and chatting with a guy named Patrick (much saner and cute) walking home in
lederhosen. Later that
week, there was my last day at work. Then there was hanging out with Shawn and
drinking extravaganza on Friday night. We needed to get drunk together one last
time (till he visits at least). I made a pitcher of
Long Island Iced Teas
made with Captain Morgan's Tattoo. I am convinced that if you make an LIIT according
to recipe it is totally gross. The proportions have to be tweaked. Of course, after
one, you won't care about how it tastes. Shawn (and Jason came by, too) and I drank
a lot, talked a lot, and watched old
Archaea videos. The
following Saturday was slow to go. My moving crate arrived. I spent the better part
of the day packing. Alenda and Brian come up to hang out, help, and run errands.
Then I had my going away dinner that night at Franklin's (which was very fun thanks to
everyone that came). The Sunday before I left started with my last brunch at
College Perk, which served
as part two of my going away. My friend Nancy came up from the city; Skinner stopped
by. Perk folks were there, too. Then the rest of Sunday was spent packing, packing,
packing, and putting all of my worldly belongings in Lunk the Crate. Scott, Tracy,
and Shawn came over to help. We got all of my boxes, a couple of folding tables,
a couple of shelves, a couple of coffee tables, my mattress, and a whole mess of junk
into Lunk. We also emptied my house of most everything that needed to go out on
the street or into the dumpster. After loading up the crate, I went to dinner with
Ranetta, Dina, and Tracy at
wanted to eat something I couldn't get easily in Seattle. The food was delicious.
Sunday night was the last night I spent in the townhouse (alone, on the floor, on
my old futon mattress, in the middle of a near empty living room). It was sad.
Last Monday, the last day before my flight, I cleaned up the house a bit, packed
the last bits into the crate, and Alenda came to pick me up. We ran some errands.
I stopped by
work to say goodbye and
drop off my key. I turned in my faculty parking permit. We then went to the
cemetery to visit our mother's grave (which will be very sad to be so far away
from). And then we headed down to my sister's apartment in Virginia. Alenda
made a seafood dinner -- complete with
The rest of night was just chill. Then there was sleep.
By the way, my total books culled and given away was 278. Crazy.
Day One: Tuesday
My flight to Seattle was at 7:50 AM. I wanted to get to the airport a little early
mainly because I hadn't been assigned a seat via
Orbitz and wanted to make sure
I got on the aisle. Alenda and I woke up at 5:00 AM. I got cleaned up, ate a
quick breakfast of cherry pie, and we headed to
dropped me off. I checked-in. Aisle seat secured. Bags checked. And I waited
for my father to show up. He drove down to see me off. He told me fatherly
things like to take care of myself, to be careful, to pay attention in school.
It was very sweet, the way he knows how to show love, and it was very sad for
the both of us (though being stoic Asian men, we didn't really show it); I
could see it in his eyes. I think the hardest thing, hands down, is being far
away from family (and friends who are for all intents and purposes family).
I boarded the plane on time. My seat was near the back of the plane. The
flight was pretty full (including a gaggle of Chinese men, women, and children
who were all over the place, chatting, getting up when the seatbelt sign was
on, pulling stuff out of the overhead bins). Unfortunately, we were all loaded
up, doors shut, and then we sat for an hour. It turns out that twenty-some
bags had not been double screened or something; so they had to pull them off,
screen them, and then put them back on. We finally got in the air. The
flight was fine. There was breakfast. I read a lot of
Harry Potter. I got
into SEA-TAC an hour later, called Deb (who was patiently waiting for me),
picked up my bags, and Deb drove me to my apartment. The delay made her
late for class, but she said it was totally okay. I must have looked a sight
sitting outside the Kahala with three suitcases reading Harry Potter and
the Half-Blood Prince. Eventually, the management people let me in.
We did paperwork. (They are a little quirky, earnest, borderline cantankerous
to say the least.) I got the rules run down, the fee schedule for breaking
any said rules, and got my keys.
The shambly apartment is all that it can be (which isn't a whole lot, but it
tries). I've got some space. It'll be far more comfortable once I fill it.
The building is relatively quiet. The neighborhood is great. And the mustiness
goes away if I leave the windows and sliding glass door open (thankfully there
aren't a lot of bugs in Seattle). The Kahala is a sprucer-upper. It will
be a challenge to try to decorate around wood paneling, dingy beige carpet, brown
and gold-flecked linoleum, honey-pine cabinets, and a teal stove. It will
definitely be interesting. The first thing I did was walk across the street
to the fancy Safeway and picked up some food. Of course, I didn't have any
thing to cook with. Then I just hung around and read. Eventually, Deb
got out of school, picked me up, and we hung out at her place. I made dinner,
we watched TV, I played on the internet a little, she did homework, and then
it was time for my jet-lagged body to crash. Dep schlepped me home.
She let me borrow her air mattress. I went to sleep.
Day Two: Wednesday
The air mattress, which was kind of leaky to begin with, did not last through the
whole night. I ended up just piling a couple of sleeping bags and sleeping
on the floor. It's okay. I still sleep pretty well (good for my back, hard
on the rest of my joints).
There's quite a bit of light in Seattle during the summer. Days are pretty long.
So, I woke up kind of early. I putzed around for a couple of hours. I tried to
take a quick shower in a bath with now shower curtain. Then I made it my first
order of business to get a shower curtain. It turns out that there is no
hardware store (at least that I could find) in Capitol Hill. And the regular
stores in the area don't carry such mundane necessities like a shower curtain.
So, an expedition was in order. I got on the 43 bus and headed downtown to
the magical land of
Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
It's probably the biggest BBB I've ever been to. I got a lovely
I also got a shower caddy, some dish towels, but failed to get a bathroom
mat. Strangely (or maybe not so strange), I have been pretty reluctant to
buy much. There is something about packing up your life and shipping it across
a continent that makes you rethink your attachment to material belongings.
There is a part of me right now that just doesn't want to collect any more
crap. I mean a shower curtain is one thing and an
is another. Anyway, I guess that's why it's taking me so long to get furnished.
Most of Day Two was spent hanging out (which will become a
as the days progress), reading, sleeping (jet lag is evil), wandering Capitol Hill,
and just plain staring at my empty walls out my windows. By the afternoon, I was
ready for some human interaction. I took the bus up to Deb's place, hung out there,
had dinner, and Deb took me to the land of
Target. The one in the northern
part of Seattle is weird; it looks like a big warehouse, has a parking garage,
and it's two floors instead of the suburban sprawly one-levels I'm used to. I
bought some more basic housewares. I decided to go with brown and white in
the bathroom, which works out pretty well since its titled in mismatched pink
and tan. I got some stainless steel pots and pans, laundry basket, tea kettle,
and some odds and ends. At least my bathroom and kitchen are up and running.
After Target, Deb, her roommate Nat, and I went to see their friends play at
a bar in
We picked up a couple of Deb's classmates and made our way to an Irish pub called
I met Steven, who is totally cute and scruffy and blue-eyed and straight, and
Stacy, who is totally cute and not scruffy and sassy and I think also straight; both
are in Deb's cohort at
Antioch University, which
is sistered to the school out in Ohio. There were other people, too, but I don't
remember them. That's because Steven and I proceeded to drink mass
quantities of beer. I was introduced to the local piss beer
I learned that it's "ra-NEER" or even "ruh-NEER" but not "rain-NEER" or
any funny francophone pronunciation. We sat, chatted, talked about school,
listened to music, and hung out. It was a good, soused night. Then it was
time for sleep.
Day Three: Thursday
Insert hanging out, reading, sleeping, wandering, and staring here. The only difference
is that all of the above was done while very hungover. While groggy in the
morning, I was paid a surprise visit by a Comcast technician. Vicky, I think
her name was, showed up mid-morning. I thought my appointment wasn't going to
be till Saturday. But somehow the cable gods smiled and lo I was to have internet
access a whole two days early. We got everything set up. She gave me some
pointers about living in Seattle. She was very friendly, chatty, which seems
to be a trend among most Seattleans. Now, I had internet access and cable TV.
Of course, my desktop computer was still on its way and I hadn't bought a TV yet.
But I had my crappy laptop, which was enough to get my IMing and checking my
email. It was good to feel "connected" again. Now there was another reason to
layabout my empty apartment.
But I try to get out. Somewhere in the past few days, I have been going up to
Joe Bar, having my
usual decaf, whole milk latte, and writing in my journal or reading
a local weekly, indie rag. I try to go up to Joe Bar at least once very couple of
days. It's at the top end of Broadway, so it gets me to walk and it gets me
out of the apartment. Much of Thursday was pretty boring, sleepy, and slow. I
did very little. Fortunately, Steven called me up late in the afternoon (like
he said he would, which is a big plus in my book). He was dropping Deb off at
the airport; she was headed east for a week or so vacation in New York and
Maryland. It's like we flip-flopped. Alas, most of my furniture needs (which
requires using Deb's car) will have to wait till she gets back. Anyway, Steven
calls me and comes by. He's pretty new to the city, too, hailing all the way
from Kansas City, Missouri. I actually gave him directions from the airport
to my apartment. And I was right! Amazing. We went out to dinner for
(516 Broadway E @ Republican E). He was really hungover, too. We made quite
a pair. We talked, had really good (and cheap) food. He seems like a decent
guy, and he likes me even though I said jokingly that he reminded me of
Dr. Phil. Well, only
the accent actually. Steven now plans on going as Dr. Phil for Halloween.
After pho, we walked down Broadway, then down Olive, and hit up
the Crescent Tavern (1413 E. Olive Way @ Bellevue), a seedy, divey gay
bar. We had a couple of beers and then called it a night.
Day Four: Friday
Friday was another day. The usual fare was punctuated by two things. First, my
computer arrived safe and sound. I got it setup on some boxes in the living room.
Alas, I really need to get a desk at some point. Second, the telephone company
guy from Qwest showed up to hook up my phone only to discover that he couldn't
get into the utilities closet. Of course, my management folks were unavailable.
So, the phone had to be postponed. Most of Friday was spent indoors. I played
a lot of
WoW. It was nice
to be back online and to be able talk to people and "hang out" with folks back
That Friday night, I took myself down to
R Place (East Pine @ Boylston)
to get out of the house. Plus, it was a weekend night. I needed to go party it up
or something. It is really hard to go back to going out by myself, a practice that I
had to do back in the old days when I first came out. Hopefully, as I make friends, I'll
be able to count on company. It made me miss my drinking buddies back in Maryland.
It's always more fun to go with friends and mates. But I took the initiative.
I can't just sit around all the time. But like most gay bars, people are not wont
to interact without some sort of catalyst. So I mainly observed, did a little
dancing. Then Steven called and said that he and his girlfriend and some other
Antioch grad students were going out for drinks at nearby
(707 East Pine St @ Boylston). I left R Place and walked up the hill to Linda's.
I found Steven, his girlfriend Julia, who is really nice and really sweet to me,
and another couple (whose names escape me even though they were super cool to me
too) drinking Rainier. The back of Linda's is a little beer garden. It was
full of people with crazy hair, tattoos, piercings, and leather. It reminded me of
in SF. I really like Steven and his friends. I hope to see more of them.
We had a couple of beers at Linda's and then decided that it was time for pizza.
We walked across the street to a teeny late night pizza joint (there is always
one of these places near all the bars). They also introduced me to the weird wonder
of a cream cheese hotdog, which I had never heard of and was dubious to try. But
there is a little cart near the bars that sells these concoctions. It's a hot
dog with a layer of cream cheese and whatever toppings you want. I got sauerkraut
and mustard. I don't know if it's a purely Seattle thing, but it was delicious
at the time. Drunken food foraging is always so good and so bad at the same time.
After pizza and dogs, we decided to head to another bar. We stopped in at the
which is a small but shi-shi gay bar with futuristic white walls, circular white bar,
molded plastic chairs and tables, and more fashionistas and hipsters than you can
shake a swizzle stick at. We didn't stay long. Our last venture was down the
street to the
Cha Cha Lounge,
which was totally different, totally like someone's basement with wood paneling,
and was filled with hipsters of a different sort.
There was more beer poured.
I danced to
After it was all said and done, it was fun. I like long adventuresome nights like that.
I hope to see these people again and again. It was better than
Steven and Julia went home leaving me and the other couple (damn I wish I could remember
their names to do them justice) walked back to our respective apartments. They live in
Capitol Hill, too, just down the way from me. Friday night, good. Sleep, better.
Day Five: Saturday
See Day Three minus the visit from the cable woman and pho. I spent most of Saturday
home alone. I just didn't feel like going out. The cream cheese hot dog
did not make my stomach very happy the next day. I just wanted to be indoors.
The weather's been totally nice, too. The funny thing is that Seattle rarely gets
above 85 degrees even in the summer. And when it gets in the 80s, everyone's talking
about how hot it is. I always tell them that 80s is nothing. There isn't even any
humidity here. But I'm sure, in a year, I'll be acclimated to it and complain about
how hot it is. I really do like the weather out here (at least thus far when it's
still sunny most of the time).
So, Saturday was spent in. I think I was just tired and overloaded. I stayed in and
played on the computer all day. I have begun chatting once again on
gay.com. I've updated my
online social network profiles to Seattle. All of it is in an effort to meet
people, meet men. It usually doesn't work for me. But I figure I'd try.
I really dislike chatting on gay.com. It's so contrived, so superficial, and
most of the chatters are just looking to hook-up. But I always hold out
a little hope that I'll meet one person who will become a friend (like my
Rob from SF).
Saturday night, I stayed in and went to bed at a relatively decent hour. My
neighbors were all having little gatherings and BBQing on their balconies
(which I think is verboten according to the building rules). So far, they aren't
loud per se -- not like my apartments in SF or Silver Spring or Hyattsville.
But, with windows open, I can hear them loud and clear on their balconies.
I have upstairs neighbors that go bump in the night, but it isn't too bad.
I am learning to not be super sensitive. They do play music, which dully
thuds through the ceiling and walls, but I can live with it. My biggest
fear for any new abode is that my neighbors will be so annoying, so loud, so
inconsiderate that I will not be able to sleep, work, or find peace. So
far so good. The guys upstairs did wake me up around 4 AM with some
drunken shenaningans -- I think there was an argument of some sort. But
I think everyone here has a day job, so the weeknights are usually
chill at least.
Day Six: Sunday
Sunday, I got up after a long night's sleep. There was computering. There
was breakfast consisting of two cereal bars. Then there was the requisite
hanging out, hanging out, and more hanging out. In the early afternoon,
contacted me. We decided together. She bussed down to my place and
we went to lunch at The Broadway Grill (314 Broadway E @ Thomas). Laura
and I then went downtown so I could return to the land of Bed, Bath, & Beyond
to get a little fan and a pillow and whatever else tickled my fancy.
She's a great person -- very smart and creative and vivacious and friendly.
I can see why Jess and her are friends. At the BBB, one of the sales
people, some tall, dark haired, shavy headed guy, kept asking me if I
was finding everything okay. He asked me once. Then later again. And
as we were leaving the store, a third time. I am not sure if he was
flirting, but damn. He was cute, though a little cat that ate the canary-ish.
Laura and I then walked down to
Pike Place Market
for some refreshment and to sit looking out over the water. We chatted
about school, about living in Seattle, about writing, and I think I got her
NaNoWriMo with me
this year. After walking around some more, dodging tourists and panhandlers,
and finding the right bus stop, we headed home. It was good to hang out
with a like mind. I hope to see Laura more often.
Sunday night, I decided I wanted to go to R Place for their "Rock N' Roll Fag Bar"
night, which is dedicated to indie/brit pop/garage/punk music. I knew that
it would probably be pretty cheesy since it's at a relatively mainstream
venue. But, it's close. It's not pretentious. And there was no cover.
I actually talked a guy I chatted with on gay.com to meet up with me. So,
around 9 PM, I met up with said guy, named Lonnie, we had a few $4
Long Island Iced Teas (which didn't taste too bad), talked, and danced.
The club was not particularly crowded; it was a Sunday night afterall.
I had fun though. I made friends with a dyke barback named Liz, who was
crazy hot and fun and sweet and had my back. I ran into a guy right
at the end of the night who turns out is from Silver Spring, MD and went
to my high school. I don't recall his name, though. I am sure I will run
into him again. After R Place, we stopped at the famous
(115 Broadway E @ Denny), which is a cheap, greasy burger joint that everyone
goes to. While eating my "special", Lonnie and I started talking to a man
and a woman. Damn, I'm bad with names. She was from Chester, England.
He was an uppity gay man. I heard her accent and started talking to her
in my bad British accent. They joined us. We talked about random things,
all of us drunk. The guy turns out speaks Mandarin Chinese. She is visiting
from Hong Kong. He and I start talking about people in Chinese. It was
hysterical, surreal, and fun. Another night of adventure.
Lonnie is a cool guy. He's a PhD student at
UW, too. I think
in French. He is outgoing and talkative and seems genuinely interested
in being friends. He wants to introduce me to his UW friends as well.
That will be cool. (Alas, he's not my type romantically, but he will be
another person to add to my currently short list of Seattle peeps.)
Day Seven: Monday
I woke up this morning. Late. My little fan that I bought the day
before with Laura works like a charm at making happy, white noise. I am
a little hungover. My tummy is not happy. I think I need to slow down on
the boozing for a while. I have just been hanging out writing this massive
update to my site. The phone guy came by this morning and connected
my phone line finally. Scarily enough, only a few hours after getting my
phone, I got a telemarketing call. Evil. Totally evil. I did talk to
my friend Margaret, who is the first real person to call me. I also
chatted with my friend Jeff in New York. It's good to get calls, which I
have been getting periodically over the past week, from people checking
in on me. It's nice. I don't think I'm going anywhere tonight. I need
to find a good book to read. I'll just play on the computer, read, and
have a quiet evening. Maybe later, I'll walk up the street to a cafe
or something for a coffee or tea.
That's my first week in Seattle. I still have a lot of things to do.
Furniture is the next big thing. But I have to wait till I have some help
and a vehicle of some sort. I also need to get a bank account set up and
maybe get my driver's license changed over. My crate should be here
in about a week. Then I can busy myself with unpacking and decorating
and setting up house.
I am doing all right. My mood has been mostly positive. I am still
nervous about all of this big change. I am sad that I have left my family
and friends 3,000 miles behind. I want my apartment to be a home. But
it will come in time. I want lots of people to visit me. I want to
stay in touch in the meantime. I hope that my life does get better
and better here. Soon school will start. That will be another set of
adjustments. I am ready for the good. It's about time.
read footnotes |
• • •
"today's lesson" | saturday | august 27, 2005 | 8:09 pm
NOTICED IT A LITTLE LATE, but my horoscope via
Friendster today seems
right on the money and the moment: "Focus on the moment and put aside complicated
five-year plans right now. There are so many wonderful things going on right under
your nose, and you should set out to explore as many of them as you can. You've got
a ton of stamina, and you love the rewards that your work ethos brings, but it's time
to remember that there are plenty of things to enjoy that don't involve big payoffs.
Otherwise what are you working so hard for?"
read footnotes |
• • •
"another week in review (updated)" | monday | august 29, 2005 | 11:34 am
EEK TWO: NEWS FROM THE HILL.
I kind of like that idea for my little updates: "News from Capitol Hill." It's
a funny pun (considering I used to live near THE Capitol Hill and now live
IN Capitol Hill). Well, the past week has been filled with the usual trials
and tribulations. Lots of hanging out. Lots of walking around the neighboorhood.
And a little more foraying into unknown spaces. Since
last week's news
was so long, I figure I'd lay down only this past week's highlights. Then I
might get more response than just "My god, Ed, it's
full of stars!"
or some such.
In the spirit of (sort of) brevity:
I've done some basic administrative junk like make sure all of my mail is going to
the right place, my accounts are all updated (mostly), and waiting for forwarded stuff
to get here. I also set up a local bank account with
Wells Fargo since they
have a full-service branch right inside the Safeway across the street from my
apartment. It's getting on about the end of the month and I get to send off another
rent check. I am a little worried about finances since I'm currently living off of
savings. It will be good to start teaching and getting money coming in. I am
thinking about finding something easy and part-time to do to supplement my income,
to keep me in the lifestyle to which I am accustomed. Hah. My phone has been
turned on, as has my cable and internet access (obviously). I still have to go
get my driver's license at some point. I also did my laundry for the first time
in the shambly apartment's very dark and very basementy laundry room; for the first
time since SF I have to start collecting quarters again. Fortunately, it seems I
can do most of my laundry for about three bucks.
My crate, Lunk, arrives this weekend. It's actually in Seattle already, but
Door-to-Door does not
have a delivery date anytime before Sunday. Ah, I can live another week without
stuff. And without furniture, all the stuff would just be sitting in boxes in
the middle of my living room anyway. (Hell, even with furniture, it will probably
be sitting there.) But I will be glad to have my things, access to useful items
like a vaccuum or a can opener. I will also be glad to have my mattress. The
floor and I are no longer fond bedfellows. I haven't decided whether I'm going to
get a new bed or try to find a platform frame for my mattress.
I did break down and buy a little folding table and a couple of simple folding chairs
to use as a temporary desk. My computer barely fits on the card table, but it is
serviceable, and I'm glad to be off the floor. I got the table shortly after I
QFC (Quality Food Centers)
on Broadway (@ Harrison), which is a handful of blocks from my building. I thought
it was just another giant grocery store. But wait there's more! It turns out the
QFC on Broadway boasts three levels of consumer goodness -- a full wine section,
a pharmacy and drugstore level, and a home decor and hardware level -- all on top
of being a big grocery store. It is at QFC that I got my folding table, folding
chairs, and a couple of cushions. I also bought a couple of dishes, too.
As far as socializing, this week has been an interesting one. My friend Deb was
away back East. My new friend Steven was also away. So I had to depend on the
kindness of strangers. For example, last Wednesday, I met my upstairs neighbors --
three twenty-something guys named Mike, Bryan, and Eric -- who seem like "cool cats,"
a bit alternative, punk rock, and hippie all swirled together. I actually met
Mike and Eric initially because I went upstairs to tell them to turn their music down.
So much for quiet neighbors, right? Why me? Am I cursed? It turns out they had
hooked up a major sub-woofer and had it cranked up. They were really cool about it
though and glad that I came to them face-to-face. They said to let them know anytime
if I was being bothered and that I was welcome to hang out upstairs. The very
next night, feeling a little guilty about being "that guy" and wanting to establish
more neighborly relations, I visited to see if they wanted to get a couple of
beers. Turned out, Mike was out, Eric was out, and Bryan (the one I hadn't met
yet) was the only one home. I introduced myself to Bryan, who said that Mike was
probably up the street at a local pub called the Canterbury. I decided to walk up
15th Avenue, which is supposed to be pretty hip without hipsterness, to check it out.
I never made it to the Canterbury. I ran into Mike and his Norwegian friend
Gunnstein on the street; we agreed to pick up a few "ales" at Safeway and head
back to the Kahala.
It seems this group of bachelors and their extended friends have known each other
for a long time, some of them since high school. They seem to have a lot of different
interests, but they like their music, their personal freedoms, and their ales. We
hung out, drank some beers, and talked about everything under the sun. They asked
me about my move, what I was doing in school, and how I was liking Seattle. They
told me a little dish about the building, and confided in me that they were a little
worried about who was moving in beneath them. They said that I was the first neighbor
to ever come up and talk to them. Ahh, apartment living. They live on the "penthouse"
floor, which just means it's the top floor and the units have three bedrooms. But
their apartment is huge and very 1960s (including the working circular, gas fireplace that
occupies the middle of the living room like a giant hookah or djinni bottle). It was
very cool to hang out with the guys and I am glad to be on good terms with them. I
hope to maintian the open lines of communication and friendship.
Last Thursday night, the guy Lonnie invited me out and introduced me to the bar and
Neighbours. It seems
that Thursday night is 80s night, incidentally called "Rock Lobster." He and his friends
have made it a tradition to go out on Thursdays and hang out and dance (though
Lonnie is not much of a drinker). We didn't head out till after 10:30 PM.
Queer Standard Time
requires everything to be fashionably late. We met up with Lonnie's friend Mark
and proceeded to Neighbors. It's a pretty big club with a single wide open dance floor,
a couple of stage areas, and a lot of room to stand or sit around. The music was
very fun, though the drinks could have been a little cheaper. I had a pretty good
time. I didn't really meet anyone. Everyone was very much into their groove and their
clique. But I did chat up a few lesbians, who always talk to me. I got to ogle a
couple of really hot men -- particularly the punky, nerdy, lanky ones. I did dance
with one guy who was very cute and rugged and had a beard. So unlike me. There was
quite a mix of people there. I saw mainstream gay men, people of color, drag queens,
trannies, a couple of punks, a couple of goths, hipsters, and so on. Not cutting
edge or supertrendy, but definitely a good scene. We'll see what happens this coming
week. Lonnie has guaranteed more of his friends will be there.
Side note: perhaps the funniest thing that happened at Neighbours was when I started
dancing with this very blond, very pretty, very intoxicated woman. She rated high on the
Barbie scale. She
was very nice and very friendly. She was with this tall, big, beefy frat boy, possibly
military-looking guy. I didn't get to meet him. He did not look to happy to be
there (I can only surmise that it was probably because they were very hetero in a
very non-hetero place.) Anyway, Barbie and I were dancing and he comes all territorial-like
up behind her, takes her by the waist with one arm, and shoves me away with the other.
She turns around and I guess starts admonishing him, which I believe degraded into making
out. I just walked away laughing. Imagine me a threat to her honor or to his masculinity?
Funny thing is that I turn around a couple hours later and he's gone and she's there
dancing with another woman. Ah, club life.
Friday was a day of recovery. Friday night, I went upstairs again and hung out with
the guys. Actually, it's mainly Mike who has taken to me and we spend the most time
talking about a little of this and that. He's quite the philosopher. I still feel a
bit weird just going upstairs. They are near strangers, after all. But they seem
welcoming or at least so nonplussed that it doesn't matter that I'm suddenly intruding
on their pad. Mike invited me to go out with them and their extended friends to a
new Seattle tradition called
"I Sunk Your Battleship,"
which is loosely called "the booze cruise" and features bands, DJs, dancing, drinking, and
sailing around Elliot Bay. It was something I had never done. So, why not? Sixteen
bucks later, I had a ticket. I would be sailing and drinking (which is after all a
tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, right?) the very next night.
Saturday morning, I did seek out a place to get my hair cut, to get the sides of my
head shaved and my mohawked freshened up a bit. My hair had gotten pretty long in the
two and half weeks since Shawn cut it in Maryland. It's a little sad. I've always
had my friend Shawn cut my mohawk. But, I don't even have my clippers here yet. So
I had to find someone to do it for me. I walked up to Broadway because I knew there
was a place close to home. I popped into Ace Barber Shop (130 1/2 Broadway E @ John).
It was funky, a little 1950s-ish, full of cool hairdos. I figure any place that is
a) a barber shop and b) offers a back-to-school special and c) specializes in coloring
must be reasonable. My stylist was Shayna, who kind of looked like
Kelly Osbourne, was
very sweet, very meticulous, and did a great job on the cut. Happily, the buzz
only cost me $10. I had also forgotten what getting a haircut at a place feels like;
it was very relaxing to be pampered (plus I have a thing for people touching my
freshly shaved head). I may have to go back.
This past weekend's major event was "I Sunk Your Battleship." I hung out most of the day
WoWed or read. Around
7:30 PM, a guy from upstairs, Chris, one of the neighbors' friends, came down to get me.
There were a few pre-party beers. And then a bunch of us went up to the nearby bustop
and took the #10 down to the piers. Again, this group of friends is pretty fascinating.
Many of them seem to be self-educated, voracious readers, and have a lot ot say about
things, politics, globalization, life. I wonder if I will ever be that worldly in that
way? The night began with a conversation about languages, about language acquisition,
Crazy. We got to Pier 55, got our badges-cum-tickets, and boarded the rocking (in
more ways than one) Spirit of Seattle. I can't recall the last time I was
on a boat. I think it might have been the
very first time I visited
Seattle when my friend
Dustin and I took a ferry
to Bainbridge Island. It was interesting to be on something that is always moving,
always swaying. The crowd was pretty fierce, but not too packed. Again, perhaps
a usual trend for Seattle, the crowd was pretty mixed. We got aboard the boat and
the first order of business (after finding the head) was drinks. The lines were
huge -- clearly a logistical problem to be solved next year -- and therefore required
double-, even triple-fisting.
The first hour and a half was swimmingly good fun. I really liked cruising around
the bay at night. The skyline of Seattle was gorgeous. People aboard seemed pretty
cool, and some of them even talked to me. There was a lot of hanging out, watching
the scenery pass by, listening to music (I didn't know any of the bands), and dancing.
Then, there was scandal. There was drama that rocked the boat. Somewhere halfway
through the three-hour tour, the boat was turning back to head back to dock. It seems
a girl aboard was really sick. As more details filtered through the three hundred-some
odd passengers, it seems the girl (who allegedly is named "Rachel") had gotten on
board really drunk and proceeded to get sick all over the place. The captain (named
Randy) said they were going to drop her off ashore and then head back out into the
bay. I think Rachel or whatever her name is will probably lead a rather infamous
life for her next "fifteen minutes." She was the first one off the boat, walking
mind you, and was literally booed off. It was not pretty. Alas, after the
Spirit of Seattle docked and the party pooper of all poopers was shown
to safety, Captain Randy made the executive decision that the partygoers were
"too drunk" and "too crazy" to go back out. There was near mutiny. Well, there
was a lot of bitching and grousing and grumbling. People were not happy. I am
sure there will be some legal and counterpublic action taken. I can't wait to
see if it's written up in this coming week's
Even with the fiasco, the night was fun. I did something that was very Seattle.
This was only the third year of "I Sunk Your Battleship." I got to hang out with
some neat people. I got to meet some neat people, too. Alas, my addled brain cannot
remember very many names. The drama of the evening seemed to have subsumed a
lot of the night's earlier data. I do recall that a bunch of pictures were
taken, email addresses were exchanged, and promises were made to be in contact.
Alas, I did not actually get any emails, just gave them. Everyone entered them
succinctly into their fancy phones. (I guess I should look into getting a bit
more fangled phone one of these days.) I remember hanging out with and kind of
hanging on to a really cute, tall, scruffy, smiley guy. Alas, he escaped into
the night shortly after Ms. Party Pooper got off the boat. We hung around on
the ship for a while hoping to turn the booze cruise into the booze-on-the-docks,
but people bailed like rats off a sinking ship. The Kahala crew and I took cabs
back up to Capitol Hill. While they headed up to the penthouse for nightcaps, I
bid my adieu and went home to go to sleep. Sailing the high seas is hard work.
For the most part, as these highlights prove, things are well in the Emerald City.
The weather seems to be dipping toward fall. I might just be imagining things. But
there has steadily been more clouds particularly in the evenings or in the mornings.
The next couple of weeks will be devoted to unpacking my crate when it arrives and
really, really setting up house. Hopefully, I will have some punctuated adventures
in the meantime. I miss my friends back East. I miss my job. I miss my family.
But, lucky for me, people have been taking the time to call or write. I plan to
do the same in return (these online updates notwithstanding).
The end. That wasn't so bad, was it?
read footnotes |
• • •
"thump, thump, thump" | tuesday | august 30, 2005 | 1:24 am
WO UPDATES IN ONE TWENTY-FOUR HOUR PERIOD, YOU ASK?
If my astute reader will notice, it is nearly one-thirty in the morning. I went
to bed at around 10 PM or so after failing to entertain myself any longer into
the evening. I was awoken around 1 AM by a curious thump, thump, thumping. I
heard it, mind you, over the thrum and whirr of my fan and out of a solid
slumber. At first, I thought it was the new tenant, a young woman, that moved
in below my unit just hours before my bedtime. But, after some careful observation
(OCD-like even) and some simple deduction, I realized that it was my upstairs
neighbor Eric, whose room is right above mine, playing on his electric guitar
(albeitly not plugged in) keeping time with his foot. The thump, thump,
thumping was the meter as he played. Well, this was a best guess, of course.
I went upstairs, rang the bell, and was cordially (and with surprise) met by
Mike. "Oh, it's Ed!" he said. "Come in. We're watching
The Dukes of Hazzard.
You're welcome to join us." Alas, I had to tell him that I was visiting for
far more mundane and far less happy reasons. Upon hearing my surmise (oddly
enough, it's both noun and verb), he checked and my hypothesis was proven
correct and accurate. Eric and friend were playing guitars tapping out time.
Eric apologized and moved to a location of less affront. I stayed (being talked
into a beer) for a brief period. Now, I'm winding back down to go back to sleep.
Confrontations like these, though they are not full of venom and fang, still
bring up a curious fight-or-flight response. My adrenaline goes up because I
have to be "that guy." Well, that guy is going back to bed. Sweet dreams.
read footnotes |
• • •
"katrina" | wednesday | august 31, 2005 | 11:00 am
Y BEST AND PRAYERS to those in the South
in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I hope to hear good news from those I know
in New Orleans.
• • •
last month |