You know you live in Seattle when …

My mom forwarded me the following list. It was originally intended for people living in California, but many of them apply to Seattle as well. As a result I’ve modified the list and created my own You know you living Seattle when …

  1. Your coworker has 8 body piercing’s and none are visible.
  2. You make over $300,000 and still can’t afford a house.
  3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.
  4. Your child’s 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.
  5. You can’t remember … is pot illegal?
  6. You’ve been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
  7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
  8. You can’t remember, is pot illegal?
  9. You need a compass and a tape measure to park.
  10. It’s barely snowing and there’s a report on every news station: “SEVERE WINTER STORM WATCH.”
  11. It’s barely snowing outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
  12. HEY! Is pot illegal?
  13. Both you AND your dog have therapists.
  14. You drive 60MPH in the fast lane, 55MPH in the middle lane and 45MPH in the right lane.

There you have it. My updated list for Seattle. Enjoy.

Things I've learned about Seattle

I’ve learned a few things about my new hometown since moving here. Some of them are apparent as soon as you step off the plane, while others are more subtle.

  1. Seattle is so liberal that one of the sections, Ballard, sent not one but two Kucinich delegates to the DNC.
  2. In Capitol Hill, the area I live in, if you’re not pierced, tattooed or gay you’re generally considered an outsider. You get bonus points for looking like The Ramones.
  3. You need a tape measure and a compass to park.
  4. All the rumors about people in Seattle taking their coffee seriously is the understatement of the century. I hear oders like “grande non-fat latte with extra foam” every day in any of the 3 (yes 3) Starbucks in my building.
  5. Don’t walk on the metal parts of the sidewalk when it’s raining.
  6. The rain is actually more like mist and nothing like the rain back in the midwest.

Overall, I rank Seattle behind only a few of the cities I’ve visited in my few years on this planet. San Francisco is still tops and San Diego is either tied with Seattle or slightly ahead.

Moving in

Let me start this entry by first saying that the last few weeks have been one of the most trying times of my life. The week has included, in chronological order:

  1. Consolidating my entire life into two small cars.
  2. A cross country trip crossing over multiple mountain ranges in heavy rain.
  3. Learning the day before closing that the mortgage company wouldn’t fund our loan because the condo didn’t meet their square footage requirment.
  4. Filing an exception and, eventually, having it approved and missing our closing date.
  5. Signing everything at escrow and wiring our down payment, only to have the seller go missing in action.
  6. Contacting a lawyer in case we had to force the sale. With the seller missing (and not returning phone calls) we might have had to take her to court.
  7. Waiting and worrying for hours until the seller finally came back on the radar. All the time worrying about the furniture, TV and bank cards/checks that were en route to the new address.
  8. Learning that the seller had, conveniently, signed too late for us to get into the condo the same day. Meaning we would have to wait another day to get into our new place.

Needless to say it’s been a nightmare. The good news is that all is finally well. All of our furniture will be coming tomorrow. This means we’ll finally have a couch and chair, TV, dresser, etc. I’d really like to thank Brad for letting us and Crash stay with him for twice as long as we originally thought.

I’ll be posting pics of the place when we get things more in order.

All hail Ikea

Lauren and I have been spending lots of time at Ikea. We’ve picked out end tables and a TV stand. We’ve also picked out some bedroom stuff. It’s nothing compared to the hand made hickory bedroom set my dad made for us (which, unfortunately, couldn’t fit into either the Focus or the Escort for the move), but it will have to do for now.

We had originally thought we would purchase a couch and chair from Ikea as well, but what they had was crap for the most part. After spending 10 minutes in JC Penny’s furniture department and looking at the prices I knew we wouldn’t be buying our main furniture from Ikea. We ended up getting a really nice couch and chair from JC Penny complete with a 5 year warranty that, get this, covers spills, burns and cuts. You can bet at 4.5 years we’ll be “celebrating” and “accidentally” spill a whole bottle of wine over the whole damn set.

Thanks to the many gift cards we received at the showers we’ll be getting a nice TV from Sears and window dressings from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

We close Monday. I’ll post pics as the place comes together. First thing that goes? The bathroom counter top. Guess who’s going to be on speed dial? My dad, who makes Bob Vila look like a hack.

Day 6

Start: Spokane, WA
End: Seattle, WA
Miles: 279

We made it! It’s been a long trip and I’m glad it’s over. It looks like we’ll be able to close on our place tomorrow or Friday. A trip to Ikea is definitely in order after that. Thanks to everyone for all of the help along.

p.s. The Cascades are easily just as big as the Rockies and suck just as much when trying to pass over the top of them when it’s raining.

Day 5

Start: Bozeman, MT
End: Spokane, WA
Miles: 398.9

The drive started out with waffles for breakfest and warnings of rain on the weather channel. The skies in Bozeman looked great so we weren’t too worried. We had hoped for an easy day through the Rockies. As you can see from the picture, that wasn’t the case.

We hit the upward climb without any issues. On the way up we hit some rain and by the time we had reached the summit it was coming down really hard. The result was a white knuckled trip down the west side of the Rockies that I was more than happy to have over.

I wish it had been nice because we passed some amazing country in Norther Idaho, but it was not to be. Tomorrow our goal is Seattle, which we should make in only a few hours.

Day 4

Start: Rapid City, SD
End: Bozeman, MT
Miles: 513.9

All I have to say is, “Thank GOD for iPod and audio books!” I’ve managed to listen to unabridged versions of both David Sedaris’ “Dress Your Family in Denim an Corduroy” and Carl Hiaasen’s “Skinny Dip”. I’m currently listening to the unabridged version of “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan. All of which have been great books.

Today started out early and we needed all the time we could get. We spent time in South Dakota, Wyoming (a state I’ve actually lived in) and ended up in Montana. It was quite the trip considering we hit the foothills and a crapload of wind. There were times when my car simply wouldn’t go any faster, even with the pedal floored (didn’t help I had a huge air brak on the top of my car in the form of a car top carrier).

The landscape is the type of terrain that commands respect. Vast stretches of nothing broken up with large hills, plateaus, etc. I can appreciate the draw of this type of land, but the severe lack of what I consider necessities will forever keep me at bay. Don’t ask how I snapped these pictures either.

Day 3

Start: Sioux City, IA
End: Rapid City, SD
Miles: 428

After waking up refreshed from my recent bout of ensypaltoidus, or whatever the hell was ailing me, we were reading to hit the road again. The trip was boring for the most part, but did end on a high note with a quick trip to Mt. Rushmore, which I find more amazing each time I visit it.

Lauren wasn’t too enthused about visiting the monument, but I like to think she at least appreciated the monument once there (it beats the pants off any of the puny monuments in D.C. she is used to visiting).

After that we spent the night at an extremely expensive Comfort Inn. This was mildly offset by the fact that they had free Internet in the room and a deluxe breakfast in the morning. Of course Crash had to spend the night in the car through a rain storm because of a $100 pet surcharge that both Lauren and I were unwilling to pay.

Day 2

Start: Des Moines, IA
End: Sioux City, IA
Miles: 198

I woke up that morning with a mild stomach ache. I didn’t really think anything of it until about 40 miles outside of Des Moines, IA. The rumblings started and it wasn’t long before I pulled off and started losing my proverbial lunch.

After driving and stopping every few rest stops I finally gave up just outside of Sioux City after only a few hours of driving. I could tell Lauren was disappointed, but she knew I couldn’t go on alternating between puking and driving.

Needless to say I spent the entire day and night in bed fighting what I can only figure was a mild bout of food poisoning. The picture of me was that morning in Des Moines looking extremely fat next my extremely packed Focus.

Day 1

Start: Ypsilanti, MI
End: Des Moins, IA
Miles: 566.4

The day started out with a few last minute errands. Cleaning up the old apartment, filling out mail forward cards and turning in our keys. Just before we started off for I-94 my iPod came on playing “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson, almost as if it knew what lay ahead. Not much to report on this leg of the trip. We rounded Chicago and hit I-80 on our way to Des Moines. We stopped at some family run motel that advertised free WiFi.