Up at 7:30 to catch a ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. I plan to meet D_____, a friend from high school who lives in Everett. But as we get in the car, snow starts falling. And continues falling the entire hour to the dock. As the ferry embarks, D_____ calls to say that she's not comfortable driving on the snowy roads. Oh well.
I decide to explore Seattle (or at least part of it) on my own. I spend the first few hours wandering downtown, tracing a random orbit around the singularity of Pike's Place Market. It begins to rain in earnest, so I hop on a bus to avoid being soaked. I am wearing a short sleeved shirt, two sweaters, a windbreaker, and a scarf. I am still cold.
After about 15 minutes on the bus, I suddenly realize that I am riding the same route that took me to and from work the summer I was a NOC tech at WolfeNet. I decide to play along with this unexpected turn of events.
I get off the bus at the bottom of University Ave, near 40th, and find that the rain has abated somewhat. Since I'm already so close to campus, I walk over to admire the Suzzallo library. While inside the library, I muse that I have never actually touched my two articles in print; I have only seen their online forms. I walk several blocks down to the Health Sciences library and finally see the articles in bound form. They look exactly the same as the online versions, but feel very different. In an attempt to see how UW treats its biologists, I attempt to gain access to the nearby research labs. They are, of course, locked. Several people suspiciously watch as I try door after door. I decide to leave quickly before the campus police show up. The rain has resumed, and I fear that tasering could be dangerous in such weather.
As I walk up University, my shoes begin to leak. I am suddenly aware of just how cold, wet, and hungry I am. However, as I mentioned on 11-24-06, this is Washington, and so I walk no more than 25 yards to a couch-filled coffee shop and enjoy the best latte I've had since moving to Berkeley. The chocolate chip banana bread is delicious.
While reading The Stranger, I come across a piece on Joanna Newsom. Bay Area woman makes good. Story at 11.
Mlle. P____ text messages me, and I spend a good half hour or so learning how to use the predictive text function of my phone. I tell her about a Seattle Balkan Brass Band that I just read about. She asks their name. Predictive text messaging does not do well with "Orkestar Zirkonium".
While sitting in the coffee shop, the steady rain becomes a steady snow. At least it's not sticking. Since the weather shows no sign of letting up and I've warmed considerably, I decide to strike out once again. I pass Flowers near 43rd and manage to restrain the urge to go inside and have a beer. I am unable to restrain my urge to go inside a cat-filled used bookstore. While inside, I can hear the upstairs neighbor playing Wolf Parade at high volume. This prompts me to visit Cellophane Square, where I almost buy several Echo and The Bunnymen CDs.
Having successfully curtailed all capitalist impulses, I exit back onto the street. A bus from the line I originally rode in on passes, reminding me that my old house is relatively nearby. It's *really* starting to snow now. I trudge up the hill and back down the other side, almost falling on my ass several times. Eventually, I stand in front of the house where I lived for a summer. It does not seem to have changed at all. Until I notice the "Proud to be Hawaiian" sticker in the window of the room that used to be Ali's. I turn and slip my way back up the hill.
My music box is playing Low's "Things we Lost in the Fire", which matches the weather perfectly, but not my mood. Somehow I expected to be morose upon seeing this old haunt once again, but I'm strangely neutral. I'm not sure if that's because I like Seattle, or because I really hate it and now I live somewhere else. This would be an excellent thing to decode. Ideally before I make a decision about a postdoc.
Posted on November 26, 2006 02:06 PM
As I composed this entry, I read through what I wrote yesterday about my brother. I felt ashamed for being too harsh on him. We haven't seen each other for several years, and I wondered if I extrapolated too much from a single day. As I thought this, my brother entered the room, announced that the bedroom we're sharing is too claustrophobic, and manhandled his mattress out of the room. He will spend the night on the small balcony overlooking the main floor.