Friday, July 31, 2009

Lake Union Trek, Pt 1

It came into my head to hike around urban Lake Union this summer. I figure it will be about 6-8 miles. I did the first stage today. This leg begins at Fremont neighborhood's drawbridge that goes over the cut between Lake Union and Salmon Bay. It continues past my physical therapist's and gastroenterologist's offices, each part of a huge campus-like waterside complex featuring high-end physical care, and software developers.

The first of two company picnics I ran across was in this complex--in a plaza at the top of broad steps going down to the canal, and then I passed the wrought iron, sculptured and locked gates leading into Adobe's cool and sunny gardens. I meandered under the towering gridwork of Aurora Bridge near where suicides land during the dreary months. Young men and woman sunned on docks and decks of houseboats and sailboats. Cyclists whipped by. A half dozen whippet-thin girls raised a racing scull onto its rack below their club's logwork spire. Yacht Sales, marinas and then the clanging Northlake Boatyard.

I passed the city cops' Zodiac and dive shop and came into the park as a Navy jet drill team loudly broke wind above the lake and then shot two thousand feet straight up over downtown.

I'm pretty familiar with this neighborhood. A quarter century ago I helped put together a large nighttime performance entitled "Dedication of Gasworks Park as a Spaceship Landing Site." It featured a bank of fog cut through by spinning lasers as a pitifully profane figure emerged and was greeted by two equally worshipful, but completely disparate and antagonistic groups, one comprised of grody female amazons and the other of entirely left-brained, goosestepping male clones.

One new thing I saw today was a statue of a local TV celebrity of the 60's--JP Patches, the dump-dwelling clown--in front of Adobe's (of Photoshop fame) campus.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

103.8 degrees

Yesterday we had the hottest recorded temperature in our city's history. Even the crows are panting, beaks open.

BFF cannot stand the heat. We drag the futon and TV down to the basement, watch 3 episodes of Due South. The fan keeps us cool and we sleep only half under a sheet.


This past weekend we celebrated the eighth year anniversary of our marriage. We didn't exchange cards until late in the day. I gave mine to her first and then she disappeared into her office and emerged with my card a minute later. When I asked, she said she hadn't wanted to embarrass me with her thoughtfulness in case I had forgotten.

The soft-colored card I gave to her had two children, a girl and a boy, holding hands on a beach and gazing out at the incoming waves. Hers to me: a small Airstream parked on a grassy overlook above the ocean. To its right are two swayback deck chairs under an umbrella; again, facing out to sea.

It's amazing to me the congruity of us picking different renderings of the same theme. The cards seem to represent our past and our future. The constant, abiding and timeless presence, like the ocean, is our love.

We first met in a love fever when we were both forty. She called in sick and we stayed in bed for a week. Our separation two years later was acrimonious. We had nothing to do with each other for almost 15 years until I, haunted my her memory, re-established contact (she had moved to an island a hundred miles away) and we have been virtually inseparable ever since.

When we get back home from revisiting that slow-paced island, it is hot, hotter than it's ever been in this town.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I just got back from visiting my mom, sis and bro in Virginia for a week. I spent a lot of time rubbing mom's head and holding her hand. She was in good spirits most of the time she was awake, though it's disconcerting to be mistaken for some combination of myself/my dad/her dad and Jesus--small price to pay for seeing her glow.

Bro got me high and I almost drank too much beer and tequila. He showed me Outdoor World which is Redneck Heaven and there's a little redneck in all of us. We went to Busch Gardens and rode roller coasters and saw the Commodore's ("Brick House")--fine entertainers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Artful Slacker

A very enjoyable day was spent yesterday walking, smoking and drinking with my good buddy John, who is the same age as me and is living the bohemian dream, even if it's sometimes a nightmare. John is a prince: a down-to-earth, friendly and fun-loving guy. It's great being able to share old guy sensibilities within the artful slacker context.

John, Wally (the epitome of that friendliest breed of dog--golden retriever), and I walked from John's houses on funky First Hill, across Capitol Hill and it's many stately homes along chestnutted streets, down Interurban's green canyons to Roanoke. Then back through the cruising fields of Volunteer Park which is bordered by some un-fucking-believable mansions. We alighted at Elysian Pub and Brewery where we sampled bitter brews as Wally was watered by our friendly and easy-on-the-eyes waitress.

It was a lovely day that made up for a lousy trip we had during early spring's cool and rainy spell when John bore the brunt of me acting out some hard feelings. I've really been missing his company, so it's good to have that particular rough patch behind us.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kleenex Tefillin

This past week has been a strange interlude. It began last Friday when I came down with a summer cold--a rare and unpleasant thing and so unfair only a week into vacation--and entered a fugue state from which I have been returning the past five days. Somewhere in there Farrah Fawcett died, within hours to be eclipsed by Michael Jackson (also unfair). I filled a shopping bag full of wet and twisted tissues. As evidence that necessity is the mother of invention, and inspired by a devotional practice of my wife's peeps, I came up with a Kleenex phylactery [see picture] which greatly facilitates the mucus from-nose-to-tissue movement. The weather turned cool and cloudy, but my health improved enough to allow me to attend a fantastic workshop on Bringing Theater Into the Classroom where I became more human while bonding with some 45 of my fellow teachers. A moth took up residence in our bathroom. The workshop ended joyously. Today the sun and heat are back. I captured and released the moth outdoors. Lord, let the funky interlude be over!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flags for the Fourth

Around here, at least, there's a laid back vibe on holidays. I took a walk through our beautiful, humble and liberal neighborhood this afternoon. I came down off the ridge heading east, meandered the streets almost to Green Lake. It was as relaxing and peaceful a stroll as I can remember. Here are pictures of the flags I saw.