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November 7, 1999
two years ago

Seattle -- Day Two

Even with all the strange things, I managed to sleep until about 10 a.m. Mountain time, which is what my watch was still on when I finally woke up and put myself together. Just in time for a bit of church at Eastgate Congregational. It was very good seeing what good spirits folks were in when we did get there and greet everyone. John's brother Dave showed up a little early and sat with us while everyone came to greet us.

So now I see why folks get sentimental about Homecoming. I guess, really, Seattle was really home.

Anyway... church for a bit, then we left a little after 11 to get to East Ocean in Overlake as they were likely to be full at the regular lunch time. We got our table, the carts descended up on us and I started piling the table with food. The cart ladies were pretty pushy, even when we had so much food on the table, they were pushing to put more down. But we said no fairly effectively and so were able to keep the food coming hot and the stuff on the table didn't get cold by just sitting there. If you have the chance and are on the Eastside of the Seattle area, go check out East Ocean for dim sum. It has more variety and more specialty things than I've seen many places. They even have the small soupy steamer buns, with soup steamed in along with the meat in the inside, something I've always loved, but rarely ever got. They had a lot of the garlic chive delicacies as well as soupy rice with 1000 year egg in it and the fried bread sticks that are so marvelous dipped into soups and things.

The five of us ate quite a lot. And it wasn't that expensive, but the best thing about the format is just being able to sit and eat and talk and not worry about food. Pick what you want to eat when you want to eat it. So we could do a long, leisurely lunch, with lots of conversation and still get plenty to eat. Yum. That was fun.

Afterwards, they were having people waiting for tables, so we went outside and talked out there just to get out of people's way. While we were standing there, a car pulled up and then honked. We looked over and it was Mike!! A long time Internet friend of mine that I hadn't seen for a good year! He came up and said, "Did you guys, like, move?!"

That was really funny, but it was really nice to just hug him solidly and talk a while with him and his wife, who is from Malaysia and really loved the food at East Ocean, too. So it was good that they came, too, and the food was really good for her to like it as well as she'd had access to Hong Kong and the dim sum there is incredible. Yay! Much dancing. Then about ten minutes later, someone that knew Isabel drew up and honked as well! That was really funny.

Eventually we left and went back to the house and David went home. John and I went downtown in the two hours we had left, and thought about seeing J. Peterman's and the waterfront. So we parked in Pacific Place and on the way up to the store we saw yet another person we knew! He was working for AT&T now and sitting outside the bookstore just drinking a latte and talking and watching the people go by. It was funny to see him, too.

Up to the store and it was sad. The only things that are really classy are the things that I remember from the old catalogs. The stuff that they've brought in to fill the store on top of that is very frumpy 20's lookalikes with sad seams, bad hemming, cheap buttons, steeply expensive pricing, and awful construction. It's very, very sad. Even what they called 'The Peterman's Coat' is just a cheap, light imitation of the original, without it's heft or it's weight or even the size. The t-shirts, solidly made, gently aged, were being sold for $35, when they were originally only $23, it seemed they were trying to make the most of the last of the old inventory. They definitely only had retail offerings, no such thing as the catalogs. Even the help was different than before. Before the staff was dressed as nicely as the clothing in the store and they were patient, suggestion filled, and knew the style of what they were selling. The new folks are just the rushed floor folks of any other department store.

It was very sad.

I walked out and was sure that I'd never shop there or at their web site again.

Right next to there was the Colorado Pen Company, which I haven't seen, yet, in Colorado, but since I'm mostly focussing on vintage pens, now, I didn't stop there. Next door to that, though, was an incarnation of Illuminations. I liked their catalog, liked their style, and liked their web site. There were a few things I wanted to get my hands on to see if they were worth getting, and, sure enough, they were. The bronze shima bowl, it turned out, was not only in the shallow version they had on the site, but also a beautiful, deep cupped one that was rough on the outside, polished smooth on the inside to a near-mirror finish. I had to get it and I got one of their meditation candles as well. Just to try that out. I really do need still time.

So I bought them and some stuff that takes wax off of surfaces that it gets on. So it'll make it easier to clean up after some of the candle accidents I'm more likely to have happen when I play with more candles.

By the time we came out there really wasn't any time for the waterfront, not really. So we just ducked into a Starbuck's got ourselves drinks and then drove by the waterfront, watched the water, and then went on back to his parents' house. Got there with a little time to spare to pack and read a bit of newspaper and about Microsoft being declared a monopoly, which amused me some. We then piled into the car, got to the airport with no problem and said our solid "see you later"'s.

We need to do this more often.

The sun almost struggled out all day, but was never so bright we really needed shades, and after so long in the dryness, it was now easy to feel the humidity in the air, the water in the air that made eyes and skin relax in relief. That I miss.

In the airport we discovered our plane was being delayed by about half an hour and that the weather all up and down the West Coast was just awful. There was no one at our gate when we got there, nor at the gate of a flight that originally was supposed to leave only ten minutes after our flight was originally supposed to go anywhere. The plane, however, was at the latter gate. So we went to the customer service desk, heard about the woes up and down the coast, got to the front and the lady was so relieved that we wanted something as simple as just swapping flights. She did the swap, our plane was delayed to the airport because of the storm, so we were going out on the plane that already existed. That was good.

On the way back to that gate, we found out that we'd beaten out about 40 people in the line before the check-in gate of our new, adopted flight. That was good. So we sat and watched football for a bit while waiting and eventually got on and had the whole of a middle row of five seats to ourselves. Lots and lots of room. Very nice. So we napped and read and ate and arrived back in DIA not too late, got home and there was no Fezzik in the yard, so we went to pick him up at Ray's.

Ray was watching TV when we pulled up and he said that Fezzik was doing pretty well, though there were moments when he'd looked kinda lost, in a 'What am I doing here, still?' kind of way. Molly did well with him for the first day, but having him around for that long made her kinda confused. But they did well for the weekend, altogether, and Fezzik looked very happy to be back home and settled on his bed in the livingroom as John and I got ready to sleep.

I think, for now, this is home. For all that it's drier and sunnier and flatter and less-treed, it's now home, with less traffic, more varieties of beef and work that we both believe in. That's a good thing, I think. I'm still not completely convinced that we'll stay in Boulder forever, but then what is forever? There are a lot of other places out there to be discovered; but, for now, this is home enough.

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