March 19, 2005
You’d think, from the relative lack of postings this week, that I’m quite busy in Seattle. Actually, that’s not totally true. Of course there have been activities every day but Thursday — my day off — but my schedule is generally completely open as of about 2pm. (Yesterday, for example, I visited Newport High School music classes for about three hours, followed by a Youth Symphony board meeting, followed by a great lunch with a board member and another guest. As of 2:30, though, I was done.)
So what on earth have I been doing?!
No idea. I spend a lot of time with the laptop at that coffee bar, partially because traveling is terribly lonely for me, and just being around people — even if they’re strangers and I’m not talking to them — is better than sitting alone in my hotel. (And perhaps the fact that I’m sitting in my hotel right now is reflected in the decidedly non-uplifting tone of this entry.)
Last night, I treated myself to some fantastic sushi at a restaurant called Yamashiro Sushi Bistro. (Don’t worry — there will be a photo blog entry when I get back to NYC.) The west coast has great sushi, especially — and this isn’t surprising — the salmon. I somehow ate 10 pieces of sushi and two rolls. It was delicious, and I think I spent 90 minutes sitting at the sushi bar. (It was so good that I went back for lunch today.)
This afternoon was spent at the mall. I don’t know what I expected, but aside from a store with Seattle-themed gifts (like salmon and coffee beans), it was a fairly standard mall. The Gap, Express, Sears, Radio Shack, etc. I did see something that I don’t remember from my youth — a “Get Your Picture Taken with the Easter Bunny” island. I’m used to the Santa thing at Christmas, and have sat on Santa’s lap in the past (there’s no joke there, I assure you), but I don’t recall the opportunity to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap and tell him what kind of jelly beans I wanted. (What does one ask for? A case of Cadbury Cream Eggs? Or maybe these for AEJ?) This particular Easter Bunny was kind of terrifying, and the bawling child — reaching futilely for his mommy in a desperate attempt to free himself from the clutches of the bunny — seemed to indicate that he shared my fear.
There are countless great restaurants here in Seattle, but aside from the sushi place, I’ve avoided them, as it’s not much fun to go to a nice dinner alone. I did go to the local IHOP a few nights ago, hoping the bustling energy and the bright lights of a big chain restaurant would give me comfort, but it was an unusually dimly-lit and depressed IHOP, where I was greeted with the most pitying “oh, just one in your party tonight?” I’ve ever heard. She may as well have added, “you poor, lonely traveler. What did you do in life to deserve so much time alone? Poor, poor little man.”
I did, by chance, find two girls and their mother selling Girl Scout Cookies this afternoon. This was a happy thing, and I immediately called AEJ to ask her what kind of cookies she wanted. She requested a box of Tagalongs and a box of Thin Mints (who doesn’t love Thin Mints?), and I also bought a box of Do-si-dos. Three boxes of Girl Scout Cookies: $12. Where does that money go? What are the Girl Scouts doing with this seemingly massive amount of income? And is the income declared? I mean, I was explicitly told that receipts were not available. No paper trail? Isn’t this fishy? To hell with the Congressional hearings about steroid use. Let’s investigate those Girl Scouts.
(in an effort to discourage hate mail about my Girl Scout comments, here’s a link to their site, where you can read about what they actually do. And here’s their financial report. And here’s a FAQ of how the cookie sales work, how much money goes where, how much is tax deductible, blah, blah, blah.)