. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


2 January 2002

the experience seattle project, part four

Tuesday morning arrived at a quite nice, languid pace. Mainly because, after 3 days of quite intentional tweaks and juggles, I found a combination of extra-blanket, sleeping-bag, air-pad and pillow which suited my sleep-comfort patterns. And don't write to me complaining about the number of hyphenated words in that last sentence, or Ima gonna pop ya one.

It's lucky for you (and, I guess, for me as well) that I have a peculiarly good memory, being that I'm writing this entry quite a full 2 weeks after it happened, or this would end up being a long entry crammed with so much filler and so many side-bars that it would make your head spin and your very internal organs ache in the anticipation of me actually getting to some real content. Am I stalling?

Tuesday morning, as I'd been alluding to... The morning was spent in more repose and relaxation in the spartan home of Mr and Mrs Jones, as the Joneses were off toiling madly for the richest man in the world. By about noon, though, Mr Jones returned and I was off to partake in the standard touristy-stuff.

bad CCD. lucky shot!

Upon Mr Jones' return, we departed in the rain toward Downtown Seattle. As we passed under the expensive real estate of Mercer Island, I drew out the camera and promptly took a couple rather poor, blurry shots in the tunnel. Unceremoniously, the battery chose just those few minutes to give out. We dropped off the I-5 right near downtown, and proceeded to wait in traffic. It was like being back in LA, going a half-mile through downtown in 15 minutes past the Nordstroms where the valet parking looked like white-bread uppermiddleclass suburbanites going to the posh district in their monstrosities of SUVs to Christmas shop. After long minutes of waiting behind slow traffic, we parked and strode out into downtown Seattle. And what were we greeted by, but lovely light rain.

A quick drop by a neighborhood drug store for a 2CR5 battery for the old digital camera, and we were off to the monorail. As soon as I boarded, I was most pleased. The very thought of a monorail system feeding all of downtown! I was ecstatic over the notion. Until Raven burst that bubble with the fact that it only has 2 stations: central downtown and Space Needle. Ah well. Upon arriving at the Space Needle, it became immediately apparent that I could see only the most desolate, inappropriate sight: carnival rides. Gaudy lights on the carnival rides, right next to world-famous architectual sights. There was the tilt-a-whirl, a cheesy water slide. I half expected to see half-drunk carnies running the rides and leering at the patrons. Fortunately for my sanity, none of the carnival rides were running on the day of my visit.

not freudian, just cool.

Raven sprung for the tickets up to the top of the Space Needle, and the observation level greeted us with a little coffee installation: why not? It is Seattle, after all. Once out on the actual Observation deck, Raven and I were pelted with 40-mph winds and driving rain. On one lap around the outside of the Space Needle. I didn't get to enjoy the view much at all, as my mind was sincerely and brutally focused on not losing the hat from my head to a 550-foot drop into the unspeakable carny underworld below.

And this is all not to mention the Santa Claus at the top of the Space Needle who gave us the look of the nearly-criminally insane as we made our lap out in the gale-force winds. Nor is it to mention the piss-poor design of the "timeline" in the O-Level lounge, where the curve upon which the entries were laid out implied a reading path quite opposite to how you are supposed to read it. It took Raven and I (two reasonably intelligent young men) more than a couple minutes to figure out why the entries didn't seem to make sense or flow into one another coherently. It wasn't our fault.

After the Space Needle, we stopped outside the Experience Music Project, the apparently drug-addled brainchild of architect Frank Gehry. Finally abandoning the solid visual foundations of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Experience Music Project looks rather overdone and gaudy. More than anything, it was the large expanse of curvy-blue which distracted so horribly from the structure. I figure a solid 10, 15 ounces of very expensive (or, perhaps very cheap) pot went into that structure.

After riding the monorail back into downtown, we walked around for a few minutes and decided to hoof it over to the Pike Street Market. After a solid 2 minutes of watching, not a single fish flew at the famous fish stand, so we walked along the corridors. In a small knick-knack shop, however, Raven found the one thing that made his trip that day worth it: A Northwest Territories license plate. In case you've never seen one (I never had, up to that point), the Northwest Territories license plates are shaped like a polar bear. After some more walking around, and a brief phone call to our dinner date, walked back to the car, paid for the parking, and got onto the freeway to return to Issaquah, again over the famous Floating bridge.

am i blue.

This image is wonderfully unretouched. I was blue-shrouded, indeed throughout much of my Seattle trip, and what better visual moment than this to wallow in in my memory when I'm feeling blue? Just lovely.

After a while, we returned to Issaquah in the evening, and awaited the arrival of the Snow Queen, Lumivalkoinen herself. Lumi did arrive, anon, and we ate a lovely dinner at the Issaquah Mongolian BBQ house, which, I am pleased to say has no MSG, and they mean it. It just so turns out that our call to Lumi while we were at the Pike Street Market found her at the Space Needle (though we didn't know it at the time), and she followed to the Pike Street Market just 20 minutes after we'd left... As for the Mongolian BBQ house, they make all their own sauces, and the BBQ was quite good. But, of course, the company was better.... after the Mongolian BBQ, we walked across the shopping center lot to the local Starbucks. For photos of Mr Jones, Lumi, and myself (as well as some of Lumi's other shots of Seattle), visit one of Freakybaby's galleries. (Sorry for the frameset-bypass, Lumi! :)

Before long, unfortunately, Lumi had to depart back to the Hotel Sorrento, and Mr and Mrs Jones and I stuck around for a rather interesting conversation on numerology (but not before I went online and secured tickets for the three of us to see The Fellowship of the Ring), and why I don't see that there's anything wrong with a man changing his last name to his wife's when they marry. Or, for that matter, seeing anything wrong with the couple choosing a new name altogether. After a while, more Joe Frank listening on the web-stream, and back to sleep...

Next (and Final) Update: Wednesday! Lord of the Rings, headache-city, and flying back to LA.

musings of señor prod.

Welcome back from vacation, Tim. Here's 200 pages of documentation for a pitch to read. In the next 90 minutes.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-