Today was a good day, yesterday was pretty lousy. Let's start with the lousy.
It started off ok. The building manager and the gas meter inspector folks were coming round. You know what that meant - stuffing everything into a closet. I'm exaggerating, a little. (TB - I always imagine you run a tight ship, wisely tidying a little here and there. That sure sounds swell.)
Caught up with some friends later, and that was nice. Just some pleasant chit chat. There were a few dogs. I said farewell to them and had a hankering for sushi, so I picked some up at QFC. This is where things started to go wrong. It wasn't the sushi.
I stopped off for a beer on the way home, with my soon-to-be-eaten average sushi. There were people standing around on Broadway, just north of John. You live somewhere long enough, and your Spidey Sense is able to quickly register that something is off. There was what I initially thought was a stalled car in an active driving lane. But it wasn't stalled. The driver had either fallen asleep or was otherwise incapacitated. A man on the sidewalk was calling the police for assistance (well-intentioned assistance). A police car happened by, and he was able to flag it down.
I figured the situation would sort itself out pretty quickly. As I sipped my beer, things very obviously kept ramping up. The few people who were in the bar were glued to the windows...or the open air raised windows. People were stopping on the street. More police kept showing up.
The man who initially called the police came back to his drink at the seat next to me. He was a little wound up. He'd been worried that the driver was having some sort of seizure. He said the police roused the driver, who then fled and took a swing at the police. I don't know the order of events, and I didn't see it, but I had no reason to doubt him.
(Paraphrased) "This is crazy. This should have been a quick rendering of assistance or an arrest. But now it involves bystanders and more police. I've got to get out of Seattle."
I guess my photojournalism days are behind me. I didn't rush out to get photos. It also started reminding me too much of the summer of 2020. So many police. So many incorrect narratives from people arriving on the scene. I ordered another drink.
I should have gone home. It just got more and more tense. A group of people came into the bar, and their version of how it started was wildly off the mark. I told them that their version of events was incorrect. I don't know what I was thinking. I thought somehow it was important, or would be helpful background, but I could see that they were looking at me like I was a Trumpist or Proud Boy defending a clearly excessive police response. (I can't remember seeing that many police in one area since the protests.) Oh no, I'm going to be on someone's IG story.
I walked out. Absolute madness. Flashing lights everywhere, police squaring off with passersby. And I did it again. I was standing next to two people who said, "They're targeting some guy over a fender bender." There wasn't a fender bender. Or if there'd been one, the driver then fell asleep in an active lane. I told them that wasn't correct, and I could immediately see that they didn't care. I'm an idiot. I went home. (I don't know why I got so fixated on the details in that moment. I think it's been building...everyone is playing a really terrible version of Telephone. Nice young people at Nacho, I apologize if I came across as oddly intense. It all just seemed so avoidable.)
I took some quick video, but I don't want to go through the edit/upload process. Here's a view from Rich Smith as seen in a CHS tweet:
Still here? Today was much better. It started with a Post Pike breakfast sandwich, which makes any day better. Sure, it was nasty and smoky out, but hey, 2021.
Early in the evening I hung out with my friend Alex. I love talking to him about food, hearing his thoughts on food and policies related to food. I'm not exaggerating here - I'm guessing he's in his early 30s. He's cooked at high end restaurants, he grew up on a farm, he's run a Wendy's, and he's managed corner taverns. He could easily hold his own in a food discussion with someone like Mark Bittman. We talked tinned fish, food deserts (yes, deserts), grocery stores, haggis, scrapple, spatchcocking, and maintaining cast iron skillets.
I sent him a video that I loved and that made me think of him. It's a life I dream about but also one that I might not be able to stick with. Some context - it's an Outside Magazine video in partnership with Traeger, ostensibly about a grocery store in Norway that fuels adventure. I think the title is way off, and it's good to go into it knowing that it's a commercial video, but it still seems wonderful. (It's short and worth watching. But if you rush out and buy a $3,000 Traeger smoker, that's on you. And invite me over.)
I left, and all I could think about was food. I stopped off at QFC and bought some frozen cooked shrimp, a medley of those cute tiny potatoes, asparagus, garlic, olive oil, and a hatch pepper. Time to make some shit up.
I boiled the potatoes to lessen the skillet time. Prepped the garlic, pepper, and asparagus, and then went online in search of an article telling me I could take the shrimp straight from frozen to cooking without dying. Found it.
Ok, back to Breathless. I started watching it because I read about Jean-Paul Belmondo's passing. But I was immediately captivated by Jean Seberg's character. I paused 1/3 the way in to read about her. Incredible life, and the Wikipedia article has some of her fantastic observations. I've never been one for reading biographies, but I would like to read more about Seberg. Hope you're all doing well. Oh, and Chuck has sent his 3rd zine to the printers. If you like zines, photography, and poetry, you might think about seeing if the zine shop will sell copies online. A nice note to Chuck might accomplish the same thing, but I make no promises!