I stayed inside most of Sunday. Making mental lists of all the things I should be doing. Clean, do the dishes, organizing photo archives (if you work with a lot of digital files and hard drives, you know the terror of which I speak), laundry, write, call people, find that missing bottle of hand sanitizer. DISHES for the WIN! Anyone else tired of all this winning?

I declared victory and fled, late late late in the afternoon. I took my Canon FTb. It’s loaded with TriX 400 and hasn’t got a light meter. Experiments with Sunny 16. Fortunately, I think film is forgiving.

I walked north. But only because I didn’t walk in another direction. I zigged when I saw the first group of people walking slowly towards me like a COVID torpedo. When I see a group of 5 young people (old me saw 20s, reality, possible in their 30s…everyone looks young now) walking together, I reckon it’s a 25% chance they’re a germpod (it’s a COVID term) or they’re housemates. There’s a 75% chance that they’re tech workers who are bored with quarantine, and one of them has developed a startup company featuring an algorithm that predicts to the 1.3 percentile of molecular quarks whether they’ll get COVID and if so, how bad the symptoms will be. They all have great health insurance. They’re trying to get in touch with Peter Thiel, but his TMobile connection is on the fritz because he’s one mile below New Zealand limestone. I wonder if he stocked up on Marmite. I need to stock up on some Marmite. I really like Marmite.

Where was I? Ahh yes, I zigged. Headed east up to 15th. Seattle’s funny. I’m usually pretty good with maps and cardinal directions, but for some reason my brain feels like I’m walking west when I go from the Broadway area up the hill to 15th. If you ever see me near Broadway and ask me how to get to Liberty or Hopvine, if I say walk a few blocks west, do the opposite, and you’ll be good to go.

I don’t head this way often. A few reasons for that. The most important one is….damn…it is all up hill. The second one is damn, there’s more up hill. And then there’s the other reason. You get into the rich people homes area.

That’s a little unfair. It’s not Madison Valley. These are not McMansions. I’m sure a lot of the homes have been with the same families for generations. But these are gorgeous homes in an area where companies are trying to scoop up property for big apartments. These houses are worth a pretty penny, and they’re beautiful.

Walking by them, it’s one of the times I start wondering about the choices I’ve made in life. If I’d done the sensible, safe thing, I’d have stayed at my old job. I won’t lie to you and tell you I was a pull myself up by bootstraps person, but I was frugal and saved my pennies. I’d be a homeowner by now. Sometimes the thought of that really appeals, especially during quarantine. It’s also unrealistic. I romanticize the idea of a Gertrude Stein open door salon on Rue des Fleurus or having a weekly movie and spaghetti night for anyone who wants to show up, but those ideas and that reality belong to my doppleganger. i don’t host parties. Once a year I’ll go to a party and immediately scout out the exits. And while one person in a big house might be the stuff of dreams, it’s excessive, at least where housing is scarce.

Sometimes things get cosmic weird. As I was ogling the big houses, a friend of mine mentioned dealing with regrets. We had a nice chat. Regrets are tough, and most of us have them. A lot of times it’s our minds playing tricks on us. Life is short, and the further along the road you go, the forks in the road appear less frequently, and our rear view mirrors seem to grow exponentially. My friend is young and an amazing person. There are a lot of negative things hitching a ride on the COVID bullet train. Stare that shit down and get to the other side of this. Their best days are ahead of them. At least until Rainier blows its top, the Cascadian Subduction Zone quakes, and the world burns. But it’ll be a hell of a decade.

Headed north to the periphery of Volunteer Park. More anecdotal observations. The unmasked outnumbered the masked. I’m not a purist. I was off/on during my walk. Just an unscientific observation – I don’t think our mask wearing will increase dramatically. We’ve hit our equilibrium. I’ll take it, though. There doesn’t seem to be any political statements behind the decisions or flaunting of convention. I like my neighborhood, so I am obviously biased.

Walked by an awesome looking cafe that I’ve never heard of. Volunteer Park Café. They closed early today. Looking forward to walking that way again for a cup of coffee. And speaking of coffee, I got my 2nd store bought cup of coffee since the stay at home policy went into effect. Macrina (sp?) Bakery. That has been one of the stranger things for me during these past few months. I drink a lot of coffee. There probably aren’t that many days in the last 30 years where I haven’t bought a cup of coffee.

Continued south. Visited Miller Park for the first time. Beautiful park. I think I saw a group playing Dungeons and Dragons, socially distanced. I wanted to walk into their circle and tell them I was grateful for finally finding my people. Instead I sneaked a photo. (I can never remember if it’s sneaked or snuck, but man, snuck seems weird.)

Pressed on to Pike/Pine/Madison. People were queuing outside Trader Joe’s. I went to Bartells and Walgreens to check on hair clippers. Still not in. I’m dying to know if the shipments are arriving and selling out, or if Wahl isn’t able to provide the shipments. I’m ready to shave this mountain of hair off.

Home. I saw that Pony was asking for photos. I sent them a photo of Mal de Fleur’s farewell Seattle show. Incredible show. But it always reminds me how uncool I am. I’d seen Mal de Fleur and @onchristopherstreet play a few shows. Once or twice at Vito’s, I think, and then the farewell show. They were good. At the farewell show, Mal sang this song about someone telling another person that they needed to call their girlfriend and have an honest chat about it being over. Starts off sounding like a friend helping another friend do the right thing. And then there’s the catch – yea, it’s good advice, but it’s from the replacement. I told Mal her song was awesome. She must have thought I was an idiot. “It’s not mine. That’s Robyn.” It is an amazing song – the video is worth watching.


Mal de Fleur’s Seattle farewell, Pony, Seattle.

Mal de Fleur’s Seattle farewell, Pony, Seattle.

Then I got hungry. I’m not a planner. I walked into the kitchen and decided it was going to be something with pasta. Boil water, chuck in the penne. Mayhem ensued.

Always start with an onion. Check.

Add garlic. And then add more garlic. Check.

Use some spinach before it goes off. Check.

A tin of something needs to be opened. In goes the mackerel.

It was delicious. I should have used one of my jalapeños, and I should have added the mackerel before the spinach. I’m not a planner.

One more photo to post. One of my nieces celebrated a birthday recently. She also graduated from high school and gave a speech. The graduation was a parade of vehicles, and the speech was remote, tech-distanced. Difficult and fascinating times. If she starts college classes in the fall, she’ll forever be a part of history, the first COVID freshman.

Her generation faces remarkable challenges. A lifetime in the shadows of The Forever Wars, climate change on the horizon, the 2008 crash, COVID-19, and a president who is not interested in education or science. My niece will be voting in this presidential election. Two lousy candidates.

If time cooperates with them, I’m hopeful they’ll fix the messes we’ve created.


Happy Birthday and congratulations. France, a long time ago.

Happy Birthday and congratulations. France, a long time ago.