For the past two days I have been in scenic Wenatchee Washington to attend the Washington State Labor Council convention.
Being new to all this I chose my wardrobe with the intent that I’d be an inexperienced outside but I would be the face of my union and best to look well why doing that. Because of these choices I may have overdressed.
Thing is the attire here runs the gambit from shorts, sandles, and t-shirts to suits and formal dresses. True I am wearing a tie, blazer, collared shirt, and burgundy corduroy pants. True I maybe on the more over dressed end of the spectrum but there was no call when a worker from my local, but attending as a delegate from another trade, to say, “You’re overdressed.”
And perhaps I shouldn’t have replied, “Better than underdressed.”
In the end who knows.
How many others have stood on this spot and taken this picture?
Afterwards I had a tour consisting of explanation of many other details.
Realistically to travel by rail isn’t about speed.
But those views.
Unless you are in a town in which case there is nothing quite like the back alley industrial sections that the train must traverse before reaching either the single room deport or the grand stations that exist in Seattle or Portland along the Cascade line.
Still there is something about traveling by train. Perhaps the nostalgia and pace is what appeals to me or the lack of interest in what food or drink I want to bring on the train and once I’m done there a bistro car can help fill in the gaps.
As a fan of aging institutions that refuse to die, after all I work in theatre, traveling by rail has a greater appeal than any sub sonic cattle car air liner could provide. After all TSA seems to enjoy performing actions fit of only for an awkward first date before a glorious wait in a soulless purgatory followed by the cramped conditions flying across the country in an aluminum tube only to emerge in another purgatory and then finally the real destination which could be heaven or hell depending on if it’s business or pleasure.
I recall the first time I flew.
Early in the 90s or the late 80s a post Christmas trip to San Francisco with my siblings and grand parents. An early morning Alaska Air flight where we were served a breakfast first for a comedy routine but in that moment it was all amazing. Fantastic, new and interesting. Moving so quickly to my destination before leaving the plane and emerging in a new city to experience a new sort of life. And far too many pictures of Alcatraz.
For a couple of years there was trip to Colorado and wilderness camp, a stream of Airlines now gone and of them I only recall flying Morris Air with it’s seats upholstered in fabric reminiscent of a neighbors couch, a general admission attitude toward loading the plane, and fact the plane felt like it might fall from the air. Even at that early age this budget flying didn’t seem the best idea for 3 kids on their way to camp but it’s what my folks could afford.
But now I sit on the train somewhere around Vancouver Washington heading north after a brief trip Eugene. Eugene where the weather was nearly 100 degrees and far outside the normal summer weather for the Pacific northwest… and as I return from getting a Kokanee (Kokanee: Glacier Fresh Beer ) what do I discover but a little Sinatra accessed via the head phone jack next to my seat. Truly a glorious day. But Eugene.
Now this trip was partially spur of the moment as my Mother and Grandmother were visiting as a possible last hurrah for my Grandmother and I happened to have some time off. Instead of wasting away in the heat of Seattle I boarded a southbound train at 2pm on Monday after working from 9am Sunday until 6am Monday to for a very brief visit.
Having no goals for this but a chance to visit with my family and a close friend of my Nana it worked out. Driving along a two lane road. Visiting the Ninkasi Brewery, find a Chuck’s like establishment and buying a fancy new squealer, and taking my mom to a bar that had open mic blue grass, good beer, which allowed her to smoke on their back deck. Right there will be something she remembers and tells people about.
So It was a good trip with my Nana even if she has changed from this powerful woman to a bent over shuffling old lady. It’s a change quite difficult for the whole family to deal with but when I am called on to speak with her about changing her living situation, her weakness, or convincing my family that as difficult as this is for us it must be hell for her to be betrayed by her body and mind. This isn’t a situation I ever expected to find myself in nor one I believe my family thought I’d be placed in but here I am.
And there’s no cure like travel
To help you unravel
The worries of living today.
When the poor brain is cracking
There’s nothing like packing
A suitcase and sailing away.
Bon Voyage from “Anything Goes”
For most of my life the fact that summer meant 90 degree weather hardly factored into my life.
Sure in ’99 I recall the first time I wander around Las Cruces only to arrive back at 310 Regents where I collapsed a sweaty mass on my dorm bed under refrigerated air.
There was a moment of pure bliss.
As I pulled a grey jersey sheet over my because it was a bit too cold.
Until I jet off for Dallas Texas finds Seattle in the grip of a heat wave. 90 degree days and people unaccustomed to that feeling.
And this time I can’t sit by the side lines and give odd glances at the complaints and whining over heat because I feel it too. Not enough to really vary the way I live but enough to recognize I’m not used to this weather. Sure I’m not wearing any outer layer, no cotton blazer, or light jacket, or anything. Bare arms to the world for the first time in quite a while. Still not hot enough for me to buy shorts like I did in ’09 during the last bit of weather like this. Hell I hardly wore them but I had them… and I may have lost a pair at the streamline, not in a manner worthy of story but they were in my bag, I was drunk, and spilled my bag thereby losing my shorts.
Great story, huh?
Thing is I don’t mind being warm.
Sure living in Phoenix is not on the top of my list but these increased temperatures aren’t the end of the world for me. I don’t enjoy them far preferring to be cold and wearing wool then sweating in the few layers I still feel comfortable wearing but I can handle it. Some how I can find the resolve to endure the feeling, find the shade, and make do.
In fact today I set off wearing some black heavy cotton pants, a t shirt, and lighter pair of boots.
I had thought about my heavy boots but opted for my lighter pair. Sure each is leather but the different between mid calf and ankle is a lot.
yes I arrived warm, sweaty, but not feeling like death.
Had some water, bit of food, and some shade.
That was it.
In fact as I parked I put on my work shirt because I didn’t want to wander town in my Rhianna local crew shirt.
Also wearing just a t-shirt has become increasingly odd.
Days starting at 8am and ending at 11 have made me hesitate in my commute a few times.
More so when my Monday call was a grueling 3 hour ordeal followed by a 5 hour frenzy. Quite fun I’d love to say but when I decided that biking out were good plans I couldn’t be sure of the next day.
True a neighbor offered me a ride home and I turned it down because I wanted to know.
Answer: I can do it.
Let me back up.
This show is a musical rock show extravaganza presented in the nearly 100 year old 5th Avenue Theatre.
Not our usual fare but frankly it’s an interesting show if a bit lacking but the audience enjoyed it and frankly if it draws people in that’s what it has to be. Still 5 trucks loaded with gear dumped on our doorstep and then put in in about 13 hours is quite a feat. Yes it may not be completely loaded in and the crew a bit toasty but we did it.
And at 11:30 Monday night I turned down a ride home in order to bike.
Then I woke up Tuesday and biked in.
Also I hadn’t slept well but that is a side note about summer messing with my sleep schedule more than a blame of the load in but I was a heading home last night it felt good.
I’d been warm all day and to ride in the cool night air around Lake Union felt just right. The relaxing come down after a frenzied day and then home to eat something, show, and to bed.
But getting home had an interesting element to it too. See I’ve been having problems with my bike seat since my old seat post was stolen. My current one works fairly well but having the seat set to the right angle and position will occasionally come undone. See I’m not the lightest person around and the metal sometimes has enough and loses, the angle changes, and I end up with a pain in my ass.
So this happened during my ride in and I thought I had reset the angle well enough. By Ship Canal I knew that familiar pain in my ass and stopped to make an adjustment.
As I’m changing the angle I hear a boom, like a fire work going off, and look to the sky for the explosion.
One didn’t come, so I assumed it may have been a transformer going but there hadn’t been a flash of light first.
I keep going until I start seeing flashing lights near the Fred Meyer.
Seems there was a crash into the Albert Lee.
Police, reporters, the like.
So I snap a picture, move to Leary and head home.
That’s the first time I have seen something like that on the trail.
Sure I’ve almost been hit but in many cases I wasn’t paying the kind of attention I should have or moved into someone’s blind spot. Only a few months ago when a woman tried to run me off the road while I biked along 5th was the first time I couldn’t look back on a near miss and see that I had some fault.
In that case it was a driver not wanting to share the road.
So to see a car trying to make Albert Lee a drive through furniture store made me think of near misses and how things could have been especially if I rode faster than I do.
When I went to wind down at home my roommate left me a surprise in my cabinet.
And that is why my roommate knows when to be awesome. Even if she isn’t sure what it means to me that popcorn made for a good evening watching some TV after a long day.