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October 29, 1998
a year ago

Playin' Hookie

The day started just brilliant. Though the forecast was for morning rain and afternoon sunshine. It started out beautiful and sunny and lovely and we went to work for the morning.

The morning went well. We both got done what it was that we wanted to get done. I got happily sucked into a bit of gaming with the Nutshell people. Genevieve was running some of the Sliders stuff, and the chasers, Sephar and Torquaret got to have a chance to catch up a little. But we got caught by odd circumstances and Sephar got shot, though not badly, and then patched up after a funny drunk.

The scene ran a bit over the time that I had, but John was patient. And we left around 1 p.m. and were good and hungry by the time we got to Philadelphia Fevre, which is a local shop that does Philly cheesesteaks and does them really, really well. They took a little while to serve us, but the sandwiches were well worth the wait. Yum. Tender, lovely, hot, and mildly spicy. John got the hot pepper sandwich and it actually made him sweat. Not something that most food can do. It's nearly never hot enough.

When lunch was done, we drove over to Pacific Place in the heart of downtown, and parked in the underground parking lot. We then trooped upstairs to the J. Peterman's Co. Store. All day, I'd been having anxiety attacks about seeing the real J. Peterman, and I'd worn the suit and had all kinds of feeling, strange fears and total panics about how he'd see me or if he'd notice or anything like that. I have these weird feelings about meeting anyone I think of as 'famous'. Feelings are weird. Can't argue with 'em, can't ignore 'em, can either ride 'em or let 'em ride you.

So I walked into the store and it was complete chaos in there. Lots of people running around, looking at things, the place wasn't even really set up all that well, yet. Clothing hung on rolling metal racks, still, boxes and crates still out. We looked all over, and finally saw a line of ladies all giggling and waiting for J. Peterman's signature on the brand new catalogs stacked on the table in front of him. Most of the ladies in the line were talking about his TV appearances on Seinfeld. Not the store, not the clothing, not the class and style that they represent... and John Peterman was looking pretty tired and worn and eyeing the chaos worriedly as well as the line that was growing.

So, instead of adding to his worry, when I got to the front of the line I said, half laughing, "I have to thank you." as I handed him a copy of the first Holiday catalog, which has that stunning blue ballgown in it, as I felt it was very much an example of the fine Peterman style.

He said back, "For what?"

"For adding a bit more style to a lot of lives." I said simply.

He smiled, said, as simply back, "That means a lot to me."

I smiled back, nodded and wandered away with my signed catalog.

Of course, being who and what I am, I agonized later about the thought that I should also have thanked him for the suit, as he didn't recognize it at all, or that I should have brought the catalog with The Suit in it. John thought I was silly. But... well... feelings are feelings.

John and I did, however, wander about the store a little bit, and I had the ulterior motive of watching to see if J. Peterman got any slack at all in the line of people. He didn't. But, the coolest thing happened. As I was just standing there, for a bit, a sales lady came up and said, "Is that one of ours?" in very evident delight. I answered to the affirmative, and she asked how I liked it and I told her, in happy detail how much I loved it, how it fit, how it felt, and how it looked and how much the long-tailed coat enhances my height and movement and and and...

That was marvelous.

Made me feel much better about not having The Suit recognized by a harried, tired, and overwhelmed man.

Pacific Place is pretty cool for a mall, but still nothing much more than a posh mall with expensive shops and, during the day, is filled with overdressed executives meandering about shopping. I fit right in with The Suit. John was completely spooked by people who were dressed up shopping in a Mall. There's a pretty extensive writeup of the place on Seattle's page. The movie theater was kinda fun to run around inside and look at all the theaters and how they were laid out. They are half regular theater seating and half stadium seating, so the back seats get better views of the screen.

The Colorado Pen Company wasn't open, yet, though, so the other half of what I wanted to do couldn't be done, yet.

So we took off to the Seattle Center to get to the IMAX theater and see Everest. The movie was tremendous. Especially after reading Into Thin Air and knowing most of the background of that particular season on the mountain it was completely and totally eerie to hear the voice of the lost leader of the group that had so many people die on it coming over the radio being held by the leader of the IMAX group. I'd read about that radio call, about that conversation, but to hear it...

Talk about ghosts. The recorded, distant voice of a dead man, knowing he was going to die, but talking anyway. Could teach a lot of people something. I'm not quite sure what, but something...

There was such beauty in that movie, such heartstopping beauty and effort and pain and grief and effort. Amazing what human beings actually do, not just can do, but actually go out and do. A lot of history on that mountain, a lot of sacrifice and heros and crazy people and wise, strong, tough people. I cried like crazy at the movie, as much as at the book. The harrowing of the heart.

Afterwards, the crazy, crowded streets of downtown Seattle didn't appeal all that much, so we swung up to Broadway, snuck in the back way, found parking on a hill and then swung down go to the Broadway Cafe, as the Gravity Bar didn't have anything to eat particularly displayed or a menu out. While I was sure Anita had eaten there, John wasn't particularly impressed, so we wandered over to the Cafe, instead, as we'd eaten there before and were pretty pleased.

I was very pleased with the crisp edged, sweet and tender salmon with peach chutney that I got, as well as with the corn mashed potatos, the broccoli were a bit undercooked and cut huge. Yummy all together, though. I enjoyed the meal and John enjoyed his gorgonzola fettuccine, with chicken, walnuts and good stuff. Afterwards, we went to the Dilettante for desserts. The apricot Lintzer Torte was sweet, chewy and lovely with some cocoa.

Fezzik was bouncy when we got home, and I changed into my long underwear, the red and green strips, put on a coat and socks and shoes and we took him for his walk. It was cold out, the sky as clear as clear could be, still. I felt a lot like I'd just had a weekend, all in one afternoon. Adventures and thoughts and fun and new places and new things to see.

A very nice bit of hookie after the long weeks, before.

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