Monday, October 10, 2011


Yesterday was a good day. A not-so-entirely lazy Sunday.

I motherfucking love my girlfriend. That describes the morning.

Afternoon, I came home. Here's what made me smile – not only were my hungover brother, and hungover good friends, simply watching an episode of Regular Show about playing arcade games (while drinking quality beer* to curb said hangover, mind you), they immediately followed it up by playing arcade games on the very same hand-built arcade machine they were watching said episode on.

I like using the word 'said' as a callback.

After leaving home, but before my regularly scheduled shift at Amtrak, I decided to make a stop at the gym where I had just a couple days prior canceled my membership. My membership was still valid through the end of the month, you see. So why wouldn't I aid my aching muscles with a stay in the ol' steam room, eh? Well I did just this, and overheard a man in...wait for it...said steam room talk about his desire to “like start [his] own business or some shit”. I followed up the steam room with an uneventful dip in the hot tub, then showered and dressed for the looming shift at Amtrak.

On the way, a tone was set for the rest of my night. Travelling south on I-5, I noticed a rather large sign looming over the 50th St. overpass. It was quite wordy, but the gist of it concerned the appropriation of tax dollars, and where those tax dollars were coming from. What's funny is that from a distance, I assumed it to be an anti-abortion protest sign, which is something I had encountered on the same overpass just days prior. I had already begun forming jokes in my cynical mind about how this presumed anti-abortion sign would suddenly change my entire worldview in a single instant, which is why when I got close enough to interpret the sign's actual intent, I was somewhat struck by it's actual effect on me, despite the fact that it was already something I had a basic empathy with. It was, honestly, this sign that made me want to be on the ground instead of on the internet. How intriguing!

So I get to work, not terribly interesting. The highlight: One of the taxi drivers who lurks outside the station, completely oblivious to rules, manners, good sense, decided that since the men's restroom was closed due to regularly scheduled cleaning, that the women's restroom would be a perfectly acceptable alternative for him to expel waste from his (read: not female) penis. Needless to say, he was promptly escorted out of the station with a rough grab of the collar/shoulder by my vigilant coworker. Thanks Paul.

After work is where shit gets cool. My phone (my lifeline to the world, fuck!) is dead. I don't have any way to recharge unless I head immediately home. So I make the obvious decision. Which is, duh, drive to Shorty's and play pinball for hours. I pull up with a crisp twenty and own the place. I am a boss, the boss, your boss, your mother's boss, after all. I order a shot of well whiskey and a pint of the Maritime Dark Ale. Whiskey down and ale in hand, I dive into my first challenge: defeat the invading fucking Martians with steel-ass pinballs. I fail. But guess what happens! Do you think it might be something interesting? Text IDONT to GIVEAFUCK if you think the answer is yes!

You win. So this woman, half-shaved head, half-medium length hair, zero-boner-inducing overall, is interested in why I (read: men) am interested in pinball. It's a bunch of flashing lights to her. I'm flabbergasted by the questions: Why is this game good? Why is it better than that game? Why? My social uncomfortableness with strangers manifests, and I walk away.

Two games of Champion Pub, a flirt with Family Guy, a quick and disappointing run with Indiana Jones, and it's on to four games, three paid (one matched!) of Arabian Nights. Can you guess who suddenly showed up to ogle my performance?

Hahahhaha, you guessed Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wrong!!! It was Halfy-face.

You have such an intense look when you play these games.”

Here's what I like about pinball – there's an overarching challenge which you will never achieve – as laid out by these rules,” I point at and circle with my finger the strategies posted next to the start button on this particular machine. “but so much of it is luck, you flap these flappers to make the ball hit stuff. Either way you're aiming for a high score. You've got skill on a certain level of your brain, trying to aim for specific targets and ramps at specific times. On another level of your brain, you have the base instinct to flap maniacally in order to postpone your inevitable fall into the bottom pit. You're trying to notdie.”

One thing I like about writing as a profession – this is the part wherein I pretend that I am a professional writer - is that you can take situations that were way more awkward in verbal real life and make them somewhat more ideal in your later transcript. It's not that other autobiographers are liars, except that they are liars. I'm a liar.

I left when I ran out of quarters. This parallels my move from Bank of America to Boeing Employees' Credit Union. I walked to Westlake Center. It was one in the morning, but I felt a compulsion to be a part of my city.

I visited the occupying camp, and was moved. I was moved. Granted, most everyone was asleep, but my mostly reasonable mayor allowed them to sleep there. The signs were inspiring, and the medical/informational tent clearly spelled out what any wanderer ought to know. I'm too tired to link to it all now, but anyone who's read this far knows where to find information on Occupy Seattle and Occupy Wall Street. And if you don't live in Seattle or New York, you know how to find information relevant to your city. I'm just encouraging you to do so if you haven't already. I'd link pictures, but my precious, my phone, was dead long earlier, so none were taken. Again, if you've ever surfed the series of tubes, you can find them on your own.

Afterwards, I made a stop at Rendezvous, the one convenient alcoholic-beverage-serving place on the way to my vehicle. I ordered an Odin Ruby Ale and scooped up a copy of Reverb, the musical companion to my second-favorite of two prominent local weeklies, the Seattle Weekly. Is there some sort of weird synergy between the fact that I'm listening to Nirvana B-sides as I type this and the fact that if you've read this far, you're likely doing the same? Tell me now.

Let's drill right down to the issues, here's what matters: the following is a transcript of an overheard, two-sentence conversation in, uhh, said bar:

Lincoln was a gay Republican who freed the blacks. So why can't Obama, as a black Democrat, free the gays?”

Man has a point.

The day is done, and I'm having fun. Maybe just happy. Yes I AM still listening to Nirvana B-sides.

*Dare I allow free advertising in this sanctimonious blog post of mine? The answer: Double Yes. Juggernaut Red Ale from Pyramid Brewing is pretty unarguably delicious.

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