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April 12, 1999
a year ago

Tanned in Seattle

It was very odd to get off the plane today, and get off knowing that I was tanned, that the air was thick with moisture and that the rain on the ground was something that I really, really liked. That I missed it, and that it wasn't just something I could take for granted anymore, that it wasn't just home. Driving up 405, it was really odd to realize that from now on I wasn't going to be there except for relatively short visits, no seeing the seasons roll by, that I had other seasons to study, now.

We had to get up really awful early, and John brought me to the Heritage Hotel, which was where the Frontier Airlines freeway flyer came to Boulder. It's the bus system that gets from here to there, and it is scheduled to take about and hour to get from Boulder to DIA, as there is traffic along the way. It was still dark when we got up and outside the stars were still burning from horizon to horizon but the sky in the east turned steadily pinker, slowly brighter as we made our way into town.

John dropped me off. I said that he didn't need to stay because I thought that the call I made yesterday had saved me a place, the bus was there, and evidently, the office was inside the hotel. I thought the only thing was that I had to find it. So, he drove off after a kiss and a wave.

I went in, found the tiny Frontier gate-like check-in desk, waited as the guy finished processing the couple ahead of me, and then handed over my itinerary and then found out that he didn't have me on his records or on his computer. At all. Oops. I had odd visions of being told that, hard luck, I couldn't get on the nearly empty bus that was going to DIA, as there were only eight folks that were signed up to go on a huge charter bus. Luckily, the ticket that I had was definitely from Frontier, so he let me on the bus after taking down my name and flight number.

I slept the whole way from Boulder to DIA. I only woke up for a little bit as the bus hit stop and go traffic, thanked the bus driver for dealing with something I really didn't want to, and went back to sleep until the bus pulled into DIA. I woke up as we slowed down and got off a little blearily.

The only disadvantage to not having been signed up was that I had to check in at the airport, and since I only had carry-on luggage, I just went to the gate and checked in there. The lady at the desk asked me if I wanted to delay my flight a bit and have a free round-trip ticket, and I thought about it really hard, but there were just too many things that I had to get done in Redmond, and I really did want to do *some* work while I was there. So, regretfully, I said no.

I spent the flight reading Sean Stewart's The Night Watch, which is set in much the same universe as Ressurection Man, just much, much later in the cycle of the world, and the time of dreams. I really enjoyed it, and after the nap on the bus, I wasn't as tired as I thought I was going to be.

But getting into Seatac was so wierd. It's a different world.

Budget Rental gave me a *real* car to drive, a first in my experience. Usually rental cars are just wimps or handle like a wobbly crane, or something. This time they actually gave me a Mazda 626 with a nice, peppy engine, good handling and a forest green finish. It was very, very nice.

The roads were wet! They were actually wet, and it was drizzling in that lovely, cool-mist kind of way. I loved it as I drove through it, but pretty immediately hit traffic, slow traffic, on the way to Redmond. Seattle, the worst traffic in the country, gotta love it. Or not. Anyway... I made it to work before lunch, and settled in, delivered the notes that I had for Ryan and then Bob, Ray, Peggy and I went to Taco Time to eat Northwest Mexican food. So it wasn't for the very last time, that I'd gone weeks ago, but it was familiar and fun. We had fun talking and they pumped me about the new house, all the settling in, and the moving stories. So that was good to catch up on. Bob also gave an account of the house for Ray and Peggy.

I worked for the afternoon, talked with Bob and Ryan about possibilities over the risk areas of the new product and alternate routes of design and development. So that was good, and I'm glad I made the trip.

At 3:20, I left for the dentist and showed up a good ten minutes early, so read some more of my book in the car until it was time that I went in. I was kinda disappointed to find out that the bridge both didn't fit after some movement of my teeth and that the color on it was wrong; but then felt better when Dr. Snyder said that he could have it ready tomorrow. So it was a very good thing that I decided to stay overnight. It was just a whim when I first decided to take this trip, but now it was the only thing that made the trip actually do what it was supposed to do. I spent an hour in the chair while Dr. Synder got the bridge to fit again, and then he told me that I should go to the dental lab at 8 the next morning to get the color changed and matched to my real teeth, and then they'd cement it in at 1 the next day.

So it looks like it's going to work, and that this trip will get that job done as well.

Afterwards, I went to Group Health Credit Union to get some cash, and then went to check in at the hotel so that I could dump all my stuff and not have it just sitting in my car while I met up with Regis. I finished the book in the hotel room, sacrificing dinner, in many ways, to do that. It is a really good book. I then went to the Redmond Town Center and found Regis just outside the theater with fifteen minutes until the movie! Hoorah! So I ran around the corner, got a new battery in my psychadelic Swatch pocketwatch, as it's been two years or so, and I love the watch enough that I want it to just keep working. The watch shop there was something that John and I have been going to for a bit, so it was easy, knowing it was there.

The guy popped out the battery, popped in a new one, as quick as that; and only charged me five dollars for the whole thing. That was very, very cool indeed. And I ran back, gathered Regis up from the video game shop and we went to the movie. Yay!! And I had the watch out while we were in line, so I knew it was still working.

The previews were the same as when John and I watched it, and this time, knowing the main plot line, I could watch for all the details. How all the details from the beginning also dovetailed into the end. And where it started was where it ended, and all the little things that make a story more complete. I never really understood authors that couldn't make a real ending when they have such wonderful details in the middle and all things have consequences that need to be played out for a satisfactory story. I loved this movie for how all the choices and their consequences play out in such a solid manner. For all that all the critics call it a very simplistic plot, I think it has something satisfying to it. Solid.

I guess the ticket sales are bearing me out.

I think that's why I liked Stewart's The Night Watch so much. It plays out all the consequences. Though even most of the choices were made before the beginning of the book, they are shown and their consequences are played out in the scope of the story that is told. It's as if there are a thousand loose threads of choices and life before the story begins and they're all tied into the consquences of the actions in the ending, not only of all the life stories, but of the era. That works out very nicely.

Regis hadn't eaten, either. So the two of us went to Cucina! Cucina! and had dinner there. I had absolutely no appetite. For all that I sometimes crave goodies when I'm just under pure stress, when I'm actually busy and burning and working through stuff, I loose my appetite. I can't eat what I don't want, and when I'm on a real working burn I seem to only want light stuff, salads, bread, and heavy, or greasy things seem distasteful. So, eventhough I only ordered a small salad, I could only eat half of it, and regretfully had to toss the rest.

Hugged Regis silly on the way out, but having been up, effectively, since 4 am, I pretty much just went back to the hotel, set the alarms and went deeply into sleep. All this hotel room staying has made it much, much easier for me to sleep in strange places. Sometimes I think it's all just practice

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