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18 entries from August 2007

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On Vox: QotD: [this is home]

Home is where I live at any given moment, so right now it’s Seattle.

But when I say “I’m going home,” where I mean depends on context.

My hometown is Salt Lake City. I was born there and lived there all but one year until I turned 30, when I moved to the Seattle area. The one year was for school in Los Angeles in 1990–91.

So if I say “I’m going home to see family and friends,” I mean Salt Lake City.


Where do you consider home? Is it the place you grew up; the place you’re currently living? Why is it home?
Submitted by uncagedbird.

Originally posted on

On Vox: Vintage QotD: Here Comes the Bride

That would be about five weeks ago in Astoria, OR, for Julie Anne’s friend Nikki and her (then) fiancé Matt. Julie Anne was a bridesmaid.

I wasn’t officially in the wedding but I did take some photos, sort of an unofficial photographer who could capture more of the candid moments since I wouldn’t necessarily look like a photographer.


What was the last wedding you went to? Were you in the wedding?
Originally posted on

Recently, randomly

Spent the weekend in Victoria with Julie Anne. She had never been there and was worried about being let back into the country, especially since her passport is stuck in State Department Radical Underestimation of Passport-Application Volume Hell, so she made a point of plucking the appropriate proof-of-citizenship documentation out of her personal files before we started the drive north to Anacortes and the ferry ride across the water to Sidney, BC.

We were in line for the ferry in Anacortes when Julie Anne looked at her documentation and realized she had pulled not her birth certificate, but her voter-registration documents.

I spent the remainder of the weekend trying to convince her that she’d be stuck in limbo forever when both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canadian Border Services disavowed her without proof of citizenship, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We sailed through customs and immigration at both ends, not even a twitch.

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Spent about 10 hours (over two days) at CANOE, my favourite Canadian brewpub. (Note classy British spelling, to fit in with the old-world style of the city.) Spectacular waterfront patio, just north of the Johnson Street Bridge, which never went up while we were in its sight, dammit. Last year and the year before, when I was in Victoria for Labor Day each year, we saw the bridge rise at least a half-dozen times each trip.

CANOE Beaver Brown Ale labelThis time, zero bridge action. So we drank instead, and Julie Anne was made almost orgasmically happy by CANOE’s signature beer: Beaver Brown Ale. Julie Anne is herself a beaver, and not in the low-class slang way, you freaking perverts—I won’t actually link link to this, but I will slap the text link into the page so you can’t errantly click and go to some page that might make your ears burn and your ancestors’ cheeks redden with embarrassment should you happen to open that page just as your grandmother looks over your shoulder—but rather in the higher-class manner of an Oregon State University alumna. She was also a sorority sister, which I mention for no other reason than that it occurred to me at the moment I was typing this, when the memory came crashing back to me of the time she sang all the sorority songs in a 10-minute span, and we weren’t even drunk yet.

And despite Julie Anne’s fondness for the beaver-as-mascot-of-alma-mater, she only had one pint of the beaver-as-delicious-ale. Then we both switched to CANOE’s summer seasonal, a wheat in the American Hefeweizen style, which is easier to drink too much when the weather’s at all warm.

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Julie Anne made a point of asking about Canadian money, the one-dollar (“loonie”) and two-dollar (“toonie”) coins and the paper denominations, so when we dealt with currency and change we wouldn’t look like complete fools. Also she didn’t want to pull a Don and tip someone $100 when she really meant to give him 50¢ or something, the way I gave the valet a hundred-dollar tip a couple years ago because I had big bills just wadded up in my pocket like an idiot.

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We played penny-ante poker on the ferry crossings. Five-card stud and draw, with a limited supply of pennies so we ended up lending to each other a lot. Turns out Julie Anne, who has a hideously bad poker face in every other way, actually has a pretty good poker face when she’s playing, well, poker.

She actually counted that I was down 21¢ (American) on the ride back from Sidney to Anacortes. But I’m pretty sure I was up by probably $30 or so on the way there. Bwahahaha.

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Lovely breakfast Sunday morning at Blackfish Café on the Inner Harbour waterfront. Our server, whose name neither of us caught because she spoke at the level of a whisper uttered from 300 yards away and never responded when we asked her to please speak the füq up so we could hear her over the seaplanes landing and taking off 20 yards away, had a charming lip piercing that completely distracted us from our valiant attempts to answer her questions about Italian and Thai restaurants in Seattle which she wanted to know about because she’s visiting here next week with her mother, on something of a whim and she really meant it as a joke when she suggested to her mom that they spend a weekend in Seattle but now here they’re going to do it.

She got a notebook and pencil and wrote madly as we talked up the downtown area, where we both live, though neither of us knows good Thai here. Oh, and the hotel recommendations rocked, apparently.

I never realize how much I know about this city until I’m talking to someone who doesn’t live here. But then it’s not necessarily that I know a lot about it, it’s more that I’m talking to someone who knows nothing, and thus won’t know that I’m making up restaurant names until she arrives in four days and asks someone to direct her to Seafood R Us.

(Julie Anne kicked me under the table several times during that conversation.)

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Things in no particular order to which I am still unaccustomed despite working a midnight-to-08:00 shift Monday through Friday for, oh, it must be about 78 years now:

  • Shaving after 22:00
  • Having to think about waiting to call people until well after my work shift ends so I don’t wake any of my normal-schedule-working friends
  • Not having to check traffic religiously as I get ready to leave for work
  • Having to check traffic religiously when I’m ready to go home
  • Firing up the grill at 09:30 as I’ve done a couple times this summer, though this part’s easy if you think of your cheddar brats as “just big sausage links”
  • Weekends where I attempt to approximate a normal day/night schedule, silly mistake I keep repeating

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Speaking of 78, I’ll be 36 in December. But I still think of myself as being in my late teens or something because it’s only around birthdays, my own or friends’ and family members’, when I’m reminded of the passage of years. I still think in terms of what do I want to do when I grow up? and I’ve yet no idea.

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The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are less than 1,000 days away now. Sounds so far away but I remember when the Salt Lake 2002 Games crossed the thousand-day mark, those remaining triple-digit days just flashed past. I imagine we’ll all blink and the 2010 games will be over, and soon enough we’ll be standing around saying, “Damn, that was five years ago!” the way I do with the Salt Lake 2002 games.

I remember the 2002 games so clearly, the festivities and the people and the cosmopolitanism the city achieved in those two weeks. The 2010 games aren’t even in Seattle, but they’re close enough that we’ll be dragged into things wanted or not.

I’m looking forward to experiencing it all again, even if I don’t make it into Vancouver proper during the events. I think it’ll still be one Big Northwest Event, not Vancouver’s games so much as “our” games. And they’re friendly enough that “our” could include Chile if they wanted to claim it.

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The 19 Days of Traffic Hell, also known as I-5 Spokane Street to I-90 Bridge Repair, will have northbound traffic hosed six ways from Sunday. So glad I don’t have to commute on that stretch of highway at all. As usual for this area, we’re up to our eyeballs in Traffic Reports of Doom, with theme music and splashy graphics and countdowns that have been ongoing for weeks: Five Days to the Worst Traffic in the History of History. Three Weeks! Ten Days! (cue gong of doom)

Now we’re at the 3-day mark, give or take, and the news rhetoric is heating up. KOMO has been trumpeting their Driver-to-Driver coverage for a week or so now, the same dipshit coverage that resulted in hour after hour of lame-ass “gee, I’ve been sitting in traffic about 50 feet from my house for the last 10 hours!” soundbites we had during the Winter Storms of 2006–07, when we got about three inches of snow over five weeks and the city ground to a halt.

I love living here but it pisses me right the fuck off sometimes too.

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Written enough for now, I should jump back into a couple of work-related things what with being on the clock and all.

Happy Tuesday. :-)

Links for 2007-08-03