It seems wild to think we’re at the halfway point of APRIL already, but here we are!
Yesterday I took a stroll in the rain to Ada’s Technical Books. It’s a beautifully designed store and the selection is fascinating. Most of the books there have a tie to science - programming, psychology, engineering, science fiction, physics, architecture - the list goes on. Also: cookbooks! I love when people view cooking as a science. Also: an art! Science and art: two sides of the same coin, right?
In addition to books, they also have tons of gadget kits and science-y materials. You can buy sets to make your own very basic Simon Game and build models. Bins mounted on the walls hold resistors and optical fibers and tons of other little doohickies I didn’t know what to do with. I grabbed lunch for myself there as well - warm lentil salad with arugula and toasted coconut and yogurt, and a bowl of sunchoke bisque: all delicious.
In Seattle, even on the gloomy days, there is such a wild variety of green all over the place. What are these little gems?
I also like that every apartment building has a prominently displayed name - Abonita, The Swansonia, The Constantine. Chicago really doesn’t go to the trouble.
The big experiment of the afternoon was calling Winterlife Cooperative to set up a delivery, which turned out not to seem that adventurous at all. My pot-smoking days are far behind me, but I have a slight obsession with learning how alternative forms of transaction like this work.
You are probably thinking, “What are you talking about?” I will give you an example! When in New York last fall, I spent an afternoon trying to figure out how to purchase a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag. I had no actual desire to own a LV purse, but I wanted to figure out all the hoops you needed to jump through. I wandered around asking if store owners had back rooms, was asked to leave for offending some of those store owners, was let into back rooms by others, haggled on price and left without purchasing said handbag, started a conversation with a nice lady on the street, ogled her laminated visual guide to fake bags, pointed to one, followed her down the street, was transferred to another lady’s care, waited on a street corner with several other women who already had counterfeit bags they’d previously purchased, talked to them about their desire for fake, fancy bags, was passed the purse I’d requested in a black trash bag, threatened to walk away until the price was next to nothing, and then sat in my hotel room staring at the bag wondering who I could give it to who would enjoy owning it. All of it was absolutely worth the $30 I paid for the bag.
In my mind, arranging a pot delivery would be similarly fascinating, but, all told, it was pretty straightforward, and everything felt like it was on the up-and-up. I called the company, and a very nice gentleman identified himself as “The Wolverine.” The Wolverine asked if I wanted to set up a delivery. I confirmed. The Wolverine said he’d have a driver call me, which she did, letting me know she’d arrive within an hour. When she got to the apartment about two hours later, I had to go sit in her car with her and tell her what I’d like to purchase. She handed me the chocolate bar and truffles and I handed her my cash, and then, like I did with the purse, I sat in my room staring at what I’d bought and wondering who I could pass it to. There are many people to thank this week so it should not be difficult to find worthy recipients.
I spent the free time in my afternoon revising the novel I’m working on and then met an old friend, Caroline Clough, from grad school at Montana for Moscow Mules. I feel hyper-aware of how popular Moscow Mules are in Seattle. Back home, they’ll appear on the cocktail list occasionally, but it seems like it’s the drink of choice here, especially when it’s on tap.
Caroline writes a terrific blog called Meals I Have Eaten. Don’t be fooled, it’s about so much more than that. Most recently she moved to Whidbey Island to work at the Glendale Shepherd farm, making sheep’s milk cheese and generally doing what she wants with her life. I’m so impressed by huge life changes like this. I don’t think I have the guts for something like this.
The Happy Hour reading at Blindfold Gallery was surrounded by Justin Duffus’ show, “Sleeping Arrangements.” The paintings are gorgeous depictions of the night, often with the glare of a spotlight or headlights pulling figures out of the darkness.
Shin Yu Pai read first, and the relation of her work to visual art was really spot-on in the space. She read poems considering Stieglitz, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the new Renzo Piano modern wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
I wasn’t familiar with the work of the second reader, Zubair Ahmed, but I’m a convert. There’s a placid longing pulled through all the poems, with bright spots of humor and joy. I’m excited to read more of this work!
I grabbed a drink at Grim’s and then dinner at Bimbo’s with a friend from high school. Yana Kesala is a force of a performer, and it was great to hear what she’s been working on lately and meet her partner.
Vignettes was packed for the main event of the evening. The space was a bit crushed, but what better to bring us together, literally, right? Mark Leidner smashed us all to pieces with his reading. So funny, such gorgeous language, so much gossip. His poem “Romantic Comedies” is just a masterpiece, and how lovely that it’s approachable enough that a crowded room of overheated people could immediately recognize it as such.
Vignettes’ walls were covered with art inspired by Mark’s book, Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me. I loved the variety of form and scale and tone the works took. The collection felt like a true match for Mark’s work.
I rounded out the evening with beer at The Pine Box and turned in on the early side. Self preservation, ya know?
Tonight we’ve got Happy Hour at Bush Garden with readings by Darren Davis and Lauren Ireland, and then the All Made Up Fiction Showcase with readings by Richard Chiem, Matt Briggs and myself, and performances by the Satori Group, and the opportunity to win a drag makeover! How could you not? See you there!