Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seattle part 2: a fish in the percolator

So here's the problem with the driving all night plan. We get to Seattle at 730 in the AM, then sleep til mid-afternoon, then spend the rest of the weekend all sorts of groggy. Had we stopped for the night in Boise we would have arrived about the same time we were re-waking up, but instead been refreshed from a good night's sleep. Sometimes it pays to think things through, I guess.

There was really only one thing I wanted to accomplish on this trip, and that was to see where Pearl Jam went to high school.

All down hill from here.

Does this look appetizing or gross? Not the food itself, just the picture. I like taking close-up pictures of my food okay?

Well just so you know it was good. So good I had two plates worth.

This hotel is fireproof. These days we're so concerned about wi-fi and thread counts that we've forgotten that fireproof was once a luxury.

Nathaniel is a skilled tour guide and he took us down to North Bend/Schcenectity to see some of the sites that made up the fictional town of Twin Peaks.

I watched Twin Peaks when it was first on the air. I was 10 years old. I really liked it but maybe I didn't quite get it? I'd like to think I did. I was a smart little guy. I watched it again recently when the fancy gold box DVD came out, one episode per night for about two straight weeks. Heckuva show.

Here's the Great Northern Hotel. Pretty remarkable view regardless of any idiot-box connections.

Ronette Polaski's bridge. (right now people that have never seen Twin Peaks are tuning out)

The train tracks have been replaced with a bike path, and the tragic zombie-woman has been replaced with a fat blogger.

Very serene place, especially in that pre-sunset time.

This was not easy to find, but thanks to modern marvels we tracked down the Packard Saw Mill -

- and the sheriff's office.

The saw mill is long abandoned and would have made for some great adventuring but it was almost dark and there were too many no trespassing signs. Actually the no trespassing signs weren't as bothersome as the black mid-'80s Cadillac that stood sentry. I didn't want to run into the guy that belonged to that car. It might have been Bob.

The Double-R diner. We got there past closing but I guess it burned down a few years ago and didn't look the same inside anyway. Could have learned a thing or two from the fireproof hotel.

I don't think this was in Twin Peaks, but I like the way it looks nonethesame.

Back to Seattle!
We went to Beth's Cafe, which promotes my third favorite sin.

It was full of Zombies. Earlier in the night there was a zombie gathering that set the record for most idiots funlovers gathering together and acting like zombies.

Beth's walls are covered in cren drawings commemorating those that have passed before. This was mighty clever.

You see, it's play on the painting that says "ceci n'est pas une pipe," but instead of a Pipe it's R.E.M singer Michael Stipe! Jajajajajaja!

Beth's specialty is a 12 pound omelette or something. I didn't try it. I got the omelette burger instead.

After supping Nathaniel was nice enough to take me around to see some of his favorite neon! What a great day.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seattle 1: We Rode Across That Bridge All Night

It's a story of the road, of sound and light, angels and demons. A story of pavement under treads and dirt under fingernails. A story of empty hearts and full bellies. It begins here, and will end there.
Remember when me and some of my entourage went to the desert? So this fella Nathaniel was there, and he lives up in Seattle. Lee and Lisa had a plan to visit him over 4th of July weekend and in the week leading up to that the group of travelers went through several iterations, sometimes including me, sometimes not including me, whatever, this is boring. Anyway at the last possible minute I decided to go, so me and Leesaland packed into the scion and headed North.

We left at 4:00pm on a Thursday afternoon in what is now regarded as a tremendously flawed plan. From Salt Lake to Farmington we made great time, but then ran into the usual Davis county traffic.

The first stop came a couple hours later at a Flying J in... some... place. We spent too much time there on account of it was all weird. Like how they had this uplifting angelic display -

- next to the collection of skulls and dragons.

There was also a ballcap that declared the wearer to have a "License to Chill" and wore a built-in bottle opener, and some weird dolls that I'm pretty sure were racist. Or maybe I'm racist for thinking it's racist? In any event I'm not posting a picture because I don't want to support that sort of thing.

The very bottom part of Idaho was sunny and clear until things took a harsh turn.

We hit one of the hardest rainstorms I've ever been in outside of Twin Falls. Luckily I'm good at driving through storms on road trips.

Into Twin Falls for supper. It's about 9pm. Hoping to make Seattle by 4am but we're not even close to halfway there. Uh-oh.

The Twin Fall Arctic Circle is really peacocking. They invented fry sauce you know.

We didn't eat there though, preferring something more local.

This place was good. Probably the best place I've ever eaten in Twin Falls. Way better than the Thanksgiving meal I ate at the Quality Inn a few years ago.

Ah, pie. Pie is good right? All the standards are there.

Sour Cream Raisin??? That sounds awful.

Lisa: "Excuse me, is the Sour Cream Raisin pie any good?"

Waitress: "No, not really."

Totally bummed that I missed this:

Taking pictures without looking, with interesting results.

I like this one a lot. Well, I like the idea of it.

A good way to stay awake is to realize you are out of gas and have no idea where you are with nothing but a black horizon ahead of you. Luckily we found a weirdo truck stop outside Boise. Great wardrobe options there.

From Boise to Seattle nothing really happened. Except that about eight hours passed. Finally in Seattle at 7:30am! Total miles:

Nathaniel lives in an idyllic house on an idyllic street. It seems really nice but I guess it's across the street from a meth park.

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, July 10, 2009

where have i been?

Alright, Summer of 2009 has not been kind to the ol' blog. My lack of updates has been some combination of being too busy, not having enough energy, and just being too splenetic to care about this anymore. But I'm still very much in the game and hoping to get back in business. So! We need to play catch up. Last weekend this happened:

Instead of writing about that, I will write about other stuff. Like here's a crane I made. I'm really good at making cranes. Around the local crane scene they call me The Natural.

Somewhere along the line my brother turned into this. I don't know what happened. One day as a prank I switched his 1998 NBA Finals DVD with a Cure CD and next thing I knew...

This is Cash making a "Bryton Face." So... that's what I look like to Cash.

I went to a soccer game for a work outing. Nice stadium we have ourselves here.

My favorite part was the churros. That's usually my favorite part of anything.

After the match American Idol finalist and Murray resident David Archuletta sang and the teenyboppers clapped their hands with delight.

He seems like a nice kid. When he was in the running for America's Idol he was the talk of the town around Murray.

But things took a harsh turn as soon as he lost.

June 6 was the 45th Anniversary of D-Day, so I watched Band of Brothers again.

Found some haunted cereal over at Mattsby's house.

And a rather rude and assumptive message on the bathroom wall at Dee's.

Hey look! Some leaves!

On a rare sunny Saturday I visited a Temple of the Lord an an exploratory journey. No one ever told me about the oxen.

Then I visited this Temple of County Government. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that this picture is almost identical to one I posted last year round this time.

Alright. Next time Seattle maybe. Unless I don't feel like it.

Monday, July 6, 2009


If Yakima is the Palm Springs of Washington, then I'm the Bob Hope of I-90 East. The air looked hot, as if everything was filtered through a brown lens speckled with sand. A flashing LED billboard boasted 97 degrees. The off-ramp 7-11 was a hub of activity on that Sunday afternoon, and every vagabond face bore the hard scowl of a scarred soul.

A girl in a tartan bikini held open the door for me. She was looking good but it was her companion that caught my eye, a humongoid in bib overalls with a cotton-white poof of hair. Mere blips on my life's radar, nothing more than a throw away sentence on a joke blog, and yet they were coming from somewhere, and going somewhere, and are indeed somewhere right now. They have existed and continue to exist with little regard for what I may think or say of them or any notion that our respective lifelong journeys intersected at that point of time and space.

The inside of a 7-11 is a security blanket. The breeze of an overzealous swamp cooler, the smell of hot coffee and spilt Slurpee. I'm eight years old again, hoping for an ice cold bottle of Squirt, a pack of Cheetos, and a GI Joe comic to sustain me through a family road trip.

I stray at the newspaper rack and the beer cooler, the only two areas of a 7-11 that offer any variance from state to state. No ice cold bottle of Squirt for me today. I have leagues of pavement yet ahead of me and coffee is the only thing on the menu today. The Sev has a new offering, an iced coffee, one of my much-publicized vices. 99 cents for a limited time. I like coffee flavored coffee but vanilla cream will have to do. It tastes exactly as good as 99 cent 7-11 iced coffee should taste.

The wine rack offers a Sonoma vintage exclusive to 7-11 stores. It's called Pink Truck. I didn't buy any but I bet it tastes exactly as good as 7-11 zinfandel should taste.

Scratch-off lottery tickets encased in glass underneath the counter. "Oh, and five dollars worth of those," I say as a diminutive man with prison tattoos and revenge on his mind muscles his way through the door.

I look back to the clerk. She's too young and pretty to be working at a 7-11 in the Palm Springs of Washington. She's looking at me shyly but expectantly, lips pursed and eyebrows raised. "Uh... doesn't matter, just whatever." I guess some people have preferred brands of scratch off lottery tickets. She rips five different cardboard tickets off the rolls and rings them up. As I gather them she looks footward and mumbles "I hope I picked you some winners." She looks back to me with almost half of a smile. "I'm sure you did," I say and in my head my teeth sparkle.

I haven't scratched them yet, maybe I never will. Maybe I'll dirty my thumbnail while stuck in a traffic jam. Maybe they'll sit forgotten in the glove box for the next year and a half. Maybe the waxy scratch-off will melt in the July heat. Or maybe it's just better to hope you've picked winners than know that you haven't.