Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Friends We Make

I apologize if I've given anyone the wrong impression about Seattle: ok, so they're a little introverted as a population in general, but I actually kind of like that. I like that they're busy drinking their coffee and delving into a good book because really, if I'm being honest, and I'm being honest hence blog name, I'd much rather be doing that than being social myself most of the time. But I'd hate to think I'm misrepresenting the more outgoing crowd of Seattle. Therefore, in an effort to balance the quiet reputation, here are a few stories of the not so quiet.

A few friends I've made in Seattle (In the Seattle area).

I was visiting a friend for the weekend in the nearby city of Bremerton. My friend had to work that afternoon, so I decided to take a nice walk to the neighborhood starbucks, my lab mutt, Gamble, in tow. I walked down the main road strip lined with laundrymatts, cheap chicken restaraunts and dirty dive bars. There was an older man sitting outside who said hello as I walked by. I stopped and returned the greetings to which he replied, all in one breath: "That's a cute pup you got there, mind if I pet her?" Not waiting for an answer, he patted Gams on the head and continued "you know, I have a friend that I met when I was in jail a few months back and he used to work for the pound, putting animals to sleep. You know how they do it? He told me he'd put the animals in this box, shut the door, open it and the animal would be dead. But for the longest time he couldn't figure out how they died. So one day, he put the animal in and watched through the window to see how it actually killed the dog and you know what they do? They suck all the air outta that little room. The poor animal suffocates. Isn't that something?"

Ya. That's something.

And then another time, I was driving through a little suburb of Vancouver WA called Kelso -- apparently it's a city on the wrong side of the tracks or so I've been told. It's about 11:30pm and I make a pit stop at the grocery store for some finger food that will keep me busy and awake on the 2 hr drive home. A biker chick with jet black greasy hair in a wolf t-shirt and leather jacket is in front of me in the checkout line. Another gal with a ton of eyeliner on, a high ponytail and a bandana as a headband gets in line in back of me. She looked like the type of girl who'd have a strong Jersey accent, real tough. She smiles at me and smacks her gum: "You having a good night sweety?" She asks before she realizes she's buds with biker chick in front of me. "Hey Brit," says Biker Chick. "I saw Dave's car out there. You drivin' his truck tonight?" "Yeah, tonight I am," she says, "You know Dave's got his court thing in the morning." "Oh, yeah? So what does that mean?" "It means, we may not see him for 6 to 8 months."

I hurried out and consciously locked my car door the second I got in.

And then last night, I made a friend during a soccer game. She had been yanking on me the whole game and when I finally did something about it -- gave her a little shoulder nudge -- she complained LOUDLY "Wow, Really???" Yes bitch, really. Don't give it if you can't take it. And boy did she give it. Aimed, shot, and kicked that ball RIGHT into my face. And the ref didn't even call it. Hell no did I shake hands and "good game" it. I stormed straight out to my car. Thanks Seattle. I was so pissed, I needed a starbucks to brighten my morning.

See, I kinda like the Introverted Seattlites.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pesky little 1% Club

I came across this guy in an MSN article I read the other day and I think his message is one we all need to hear (read: a reminder I need every second of every day). He has this awesome theology on taking risks; he calls it Advanced Riskology. He basically encourages people to challenge themselves by taking risks and not being too worried about outcomes. His thoughts seem to mimic my own; but his words zip into my ears and get stuck and painfully rattle my brain. “I can’t! I can’t!” I answer, but I’m at a definite standstill.

See, I’ve always been sort of a restless soul: I don’t enjoy staying in one place for too long whether it’s physical, mental, relational ect. And recently, I’ve started to feel that contented itch. The one I get every time life gets routine. I need a change. I need to shake things up a bit. And so... I’ve been looking. I’ve looked into grad school. I’ve looked into just getting another degree: meteorology? I’ve always wanted to be a Tornado chaser, inspired by Twister, the best movie of all time; Agriculture? I have an affinity for country music and a fantasy of owning a farm. Maybe a degree in Ceramics? I took a few years in high school. I’ve looked into relocating to the South. I’ve looked into relocating internationally. I’ve looked into trying to earn a living through my blog, through writing (not happening at the moment, but I’m holding out!). I’ve looked into doing a stint in Teach for America. I’ve looked into starting a sheep farm. But the problem is – I’ve just looked. I’ve done a lot of researching, but absolutely no risk taking (and the more looking I do, the more desperate those options I find seem…)

The thing is, this boring thing called “comfortable” is also really… well, easy. I have a steady job that pays enough. I have a cute house and great roommates and an adorable dog. There’s really no need for a change, for a big risk. In fact, it seems downright irresponsible. I have to pay rent. I have student loans. I have a car payment and a little puppy mouth to feed. This Tyler fellow needs to back up slowly and stop giving me ideas. Leave my poor aching brain and searching soul alone. I was fine being somewhat bored but comfortable in this little life of mine, making lists of books I should read and coffee shops I should try to pass the time. I don’t need his encouragement to grab my life by its horns and turn it into some dream life. I don’t need this temptation to drop it all and do something exciting and worry about the consequences later! This is advice I do not need to hear right now…or this is exactly the advice I need to hear right now. I can't decide.

Friday, July 16, 2010

This is How My Mind Works: Fantasy Scenario 1

What goes in:

It’s casual Friday so I wore my hiking shoes to work because well it’s Friday and it’s Seattle so there’s absolutely nothing unusual with wearing hiking boots to work.

I stopped by the Whole Foods to do some grocery shopping on the way to work. You get a .10$ refund if you use your own bag and today they were donating that .10$, if you prefer, to one of three charities: I chose the Washington Trails Association. I like to hike. Thank you very much, WTA.

While walking out, I saw a tall and skinny Mr. walk in, wearing a flannel coat, unruly (unbrushed) brown curls and hiking boots.

And this is what comes out:

I imagine walking up to this man – thinking he’s obviously granola what with looking like he did and he’s shopping at Whole Foods and NOT drinking Starbucks, MUST be granola. I fantasize about walking up to him and asking “Do you work today?” and then when he replies “yes” I’d say: “What if we just skip it. Call in sick. And go hiking instead?” *Sidenote. I forgot to mention it’s FINALLY cloudy this morning again. I love hiking on cloudy days. The ambiance is so peaceful out in the woods on a cloudy day; the light isn’t so harsh as it would be if it were sunny, and sometimes you can see the misty clouds slowly weave through mountain ranges and wrap around evergreen trees. Anyways, He’d first grin at me, thinking either “This girl is clearly a little insane” or “Wow what a great idea. This girl is so spontaneous/friendly/cool” – probably thinking a little of both. He’d be hesitant, but would eventually accept and we’d race to the bus stop and have thumb wars in the back of the bus all the way back to my house where my car sits. We'd drive out to my favorite hike off highway 2 near Gold Bar. He'd undoubtedly be enthralled with the jutting Mt. Index, repeating over and over again how awesome it is and commenting on it's structure: how sharp the edges are and how mysteriously, beautifully, dauntingly those sharp edges disappear into the soft clouds above. We’d have a great time hiking. Talking about literature (he’d probably LOVE Walt Whitman) and music (he would most definitely LOVE Matt Pond PA) and just having an all and all fantastic day. On the way home, I’d drop him off in front of the Whole Foods where we first met. I’d insist on not swapping numbers or emails or facebook pages. I’d want to keep the day as sterile and pure and unique and isolated as I could: just two strangers who shared a perfectly impulsive day and who may or may not smile and wave to one another from across the street if ever their paths would cross again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Oh you DON'T have a boyfriend..."

Dear boy in the black due rag and green and yellow stripped two sizes too big for you polo,
Why, instead of just asking if I was single, did you come up to me and ask "So where's your boyfriend at on this fine afternoon?" You aren't being clever by asking my status in this round about way. And when you say "Well, if I had a girlfriend as fine as you, I'd never be able to let you walk home alone. I'd never be able to let you outta my sight," you're not being thoughtful and compassionate. I'm actually glad my boyfriend has better things to do -- like earn an income -- rather than accompany me on my less than a mile walk home in the middle of the day. I actually find you rather mysoginistic by assuming I cannot possibly make this God awful trek all by my lonesome.

And to you, old bearded man that kind of resembles a gray Hulk Hogan in stunner shades and a ripped sleeveless flannel, you go even a step further and ask if my boyfriend is stealing money from me in order to pay for his drugs. Again, way to be clever and avoid asking me directly if I even have said boyfriend. And thanks for glancing at me and assuming I'm the type of girl who would date a drug addicted Mr.

And no homeless kid. I've never made out with a homeless kid. And I don't plan to. But thanks for just coming out and asking.

Honesty, is ALWAYS the best policy. Your "Blahblahblah your boyfriend blahblahblah" isn't fooling anyone. We know what you're really asking. Besides, I'll just lie to you and say I have one just to get you to leave me alone.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bus Chronicles 5: The Surgical Mask Nightmare

I like most people. I’m optimistic, friendly; it really takes a lot to get on my bad side. That being said…

She’s on my bus every morning in the same seat – an aisle seat – so the seat next to the window is empty, in an attempt to deter anyone from sitting next to her. And if someone dares glance at the empty seat and give an awkward “excuse me” she’ll mutter something rude in Chinese before scooting over. But that’s only if said seat is the last available. If it’s not, she’ll yell loudly in her whinny accent: “Noo! You sit dere! Noh here, noh here!”

She always wears a face mask. She never touches the bar when she struggles to get out of her seat, always wrapping the rail with a napkin first. (The same napkin every time, too, so any germs that were on that railing now just stew on her napkin. Stupid)

It takes her minutes to shuffle to the door when exiting the bus, and if there’s ANYTHING in the aisle – the tinniest thing – she’ll make a dramatic “oOoOoOh!” as she attempts to maneuver around shoes and umbrellas.

She can barely walk, this woman, I have no idea why she tries to take public transportation, and yet she makes it everyone else’s problem. They should stand rather than occupy the empty seat next to her. They should keep their germs to themselves! And how dare they bring umbrellas and have feet that she must somehow manage to get around!

She hates children. One morning, a little girl and her grandmother were riding on the bus. The little girl was obviously SO excited to pull the cord that makes the ‘ding’ that notifies the bus driver someone wants the next stop: jumping up and down – “Now? Now? Now? This stop, Grandma? This one?” And as soon as Grandma smiles and nods her head, Germaphobe pulls the cord. I looked at the chubby child, lip quivering as she tried to pull the cord and make it ding again. “It’s not working, Grandma. It’s not working.” Poor thing was borderline frantic and China just replies: “Oh, sowy. Nest time, nest time,” and shrugs her shoulders with a “too bad, so sad” frown. Luckily, the bus driver caught on and reset it so the child could have her turn.

She hates dogs. She must live nearby because I saw her one day when I was walking my dog to the grocery store. I kid you not I was at least 10ft away from her and this frail woman who can barely exit a bus somehow lifts her leg in front of her in a kicking motion yelling at me that my dog is going to attack her. Gamble is smelling some bush, completely oblivious to Crazy’s existence.

Ever heard of Edgar Allen Poe’s the Tale Tell Heart? Poe has an old man living next door. An old man with a glass eye. The narrator eventually becomes fixated on the eye and develops an irrational fear of it. He has nightmares every night, until the glass eye sits so heavily on his heart and mind it eventually leads him to murder his neighbor.

Sometimes, I have nightmares of an old Chinese lady in a surgical mask…

Getting Back on the Bandwagon...

So I've been missing for a while now... It all started with a vacation in June to the OC. I took a break from blogging to enjoy some time with the fam bam and I guess that break just never really ended. Plus, I have a few other things up my sleeves. Well, no more! I'm back and hopefully will continue to be... so start visiting daily once again!