Archive for the ‘Hearse’ Category


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I thought I’d do some of that here. The gig was fun while it lasted, but going back to being plain old PlatKat really isn’t so bad. Stay tuned for my next non-scandal!

Once most people reach my age, their personalities are pretty well defined. They know what they like and don’t like, what they can and can’t handle, where they can and can’t go. And yet, at 31, I am still constantly putting myself in situations where the likelihood of being put on-edge is through the roof.

Take right now, for instance. I am sitting at the Five Point in Belltown (a mediocre restaurant in a neighborhood I hate), waiting for my car to be serviced. The car place said they wouldn’t even call me until 11am, despite the fact that I showed up right at 9:30 when my appointment was. We went for a spin to troubleshoot the problem (good), and they were very kind and professional. Still, having made the decision that I was going to put my Friday at the mercy of these people, I could have taken a cab back to my house for the price of my breakfast.

When I arrived here about an hour ago, I sat down in the front booth on the bar side, next to the jukebox, facing the window. This is a 24-hour establishment that caters mostly to the drinking crowd, so the place was half-empty. It’s a little early for bar hijinx to take place, I thought, it will be quiet enough. Of course, music started playing almost immediately after I got comfortable. I was doing some work, but I figured I could tune it out.

Still, I noticed everything happening around me. The tourists behind me were arguing over where Denny Street is located. Someone was dropping off a delivery of several large boxes on a dolly and couldn’t get through. A man who looked like he had three dollars to his name inserted that amount into the jukebox and entered a playlist of Snoop Dog songs.

Then the whistling started. I fucking hate whistling. I looked behind me to see if I could find the offending client and determine from his plate how much longer he’d be in here. After a few of these little investigations, I found it was my waitress. Fuck me, I’m in this for the long haul. As I type this, she is attempting to whistle to the Beastie Boys song, “Fight for Your Right to Party.”

As I worked on an assignment, A boisterous white-haired man blew through the front door (which brings in a cold gust of air every time it is opened, btw) and played a series of Sinatra songs. If he wasn’t trying to chat up my waitress and a few of the tables behind me, he was pacing around, snapping his fingers. When his phone rang, he bellowed, “Call me back in a few hours. I’m listening to SINATRA!” Yes, dear. We all are.

I was served my bacon, pancakes, and two eggs sunny side up, praying I would get a call about my car before I finished eating them. Right after I finished my first strip of thick, fatty pig butt, the song “New York New York” came on and I almost lost it.

Almost six years ago, I made the transition from Austin to Manhattan. Rather, I attempted to, and this was the song that kept me hopeful and excited about starting my new life there. We were going to start over (yes, “we”), have new experiences, get new jobs, try new things, and all of that crap. While we certainly did some of that, much of it wasn’t for the better. It was a Devil’s Advocate-esque story that ended with me turning into a giant, hot, wet bag of crazy.

So I couldn’t make it there, but the song didn’t hit me where it hurt for trying. I’m still happy I had the experience, miserable as it often was. I was just shaken, since I wasn’t expecting to have memories about things like this today, especially not while attempting survival under a self-imposed public microscope.

Two songs about Chicago (my hometown) followed, and I snapped out of it. Sinatra may love it, but it’s really not my kind of place. The blocks are too big, the architecture too cold, the culture too dry. It’s a bland metropolis that threw up suburbs populated by bland people. I wanted to feel something, for instance, how much I miss my grandfather and would like to spend time with him. He must feel almost completely isolated now that my grandmother is dead. However, I feel more choked up about it now than when I was listening to those stupid Chicago songs. Grandpa happens to live in Chicago, but he has nothing to do with Chicago.

When I was in New York, my experience had nothing to do with people. Sure, people were rushing in and out of my life faster than the six train, but there was very little depth to most of those acquaintanceships. As a NYC newbie, my goal was to develop a relationship with the city, and it was love-hate, erring mostly on the side of hate. I wanted to believe I’d get used to it, and that it was right for me, but every activity was a project. It was like listening to this goddamn whistling and stuffing this mediocre food down my craw every single day. It meant constantly battling sights, sounds, and weather (like I will soon be doing on my 1.5 mile walk home since I recently learned my car won’t be done until this evening).

Unlike Seattle, which is also full of minor inconveniences for prissy introverts like myself, New York will not love you back. Despite its rough exterior, Seattle is full of little pleasing nuances that can brighten your day, like humorous graffiti, free slices of pizza, a street performer playing the Tetris theme… New York had some of that, but it all seemed commissioned, not spontaneous. That said, sponteneity isn’t even that big of a deal. A cool thing is a cool thing. But if the coincidence is part of what makes the cool thing cool, someone else’s perceived foresight ruins the gift.

Anyway, it’s going to take these guys several hours to fix my shocks, so I’m going home. I have to admit, after been here a few hours, the music, the whistling, and the idle conversation have drifted further back into the corners of my consciousness, and I managed to write this whole thing with some semblance of concentration. (I said, some.) Maybe I just need to get out more.

If I said I woke up at 5:30 this morning, that would only be part of the truth. I also woke up at 12:15, 2, 2:30, 4, and 5:20. I was hot, I was cold, I was dreaming about a BDH customer I forgot I had and was scrambling to get a Scrabble bingo so I could properly meet their pre-arranged requests. (What?) I even went as far as continuing the dream after waking up once, still thinking I had the client, and tried to solve my Scrabble conundrum.

I could also blame my restlessness on the foul sustenance that is Chinese delivery, and the fact that I did nothing entertained company from my home all day yesterday.

At any rate, waking up wasn’t easy. I received an email from a potential client (absent of Scrabble requests, thankfully). I nicked my rear right tail light on a pole (the hearse is fine). And then I drove to Everett, listening to an NPR segment about obesity. A 50-year-old woman admitted to spending each one of her birthday wishes on being thin. She had recently lost 80 pounds in 8 months and ran a marathon. It reminded me first that I am lucky for being thin and doing nothing… then I remembered I ran a marathon once upon a time too.

I got to Paine Field, and the plane shook as I went through my pre-flight checklist. We were bombarded with gusts of wind reaching 30 mph as we ascended from the small runway. The plan was to make closed traffic and do a few touch-and-gos. “It will be a good learning experience,” my instructor said.

By our third take-off, I was feeling nauseous. I was tired, and frankly a little frightened by my lack of control of the plane. It was difficult to turn, and when I could, I was often thrust into turns steeper than I intended. The crosswind component was flirting with the plane’s limits, and we only stayed in the air for about 30 minutes.

However, all that really matters are the last 2 or 3. I executed a smooth, steady landing in that crosswind. Funny how the prospect of crashing a plane will wake you the fuck up and get your ass in gear. Left aileron into the wind, right rudder smashed into the floor, I fucking killed it.

My nervousness about flying solo is gradually fading. I definitely wouldn’t have flown in this by myself, but it’s good to know if conditions ever get that dicey while I’m in the air, I can handle it. Now it’s time for copious amounts of coffee and hopefully a nap later.

I wanted to share this, but I don’t know where to put it.

I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about such a seemingly insignificant holiday. Oh wait, yes I can. Flag Day 2010. I made flags for everyone, and it was awesome. But currently, I’m having a great time getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. I started by decking out the car yesterday:

(Close enough.)

And JLS hosted a cookie decorating party at the YWCA:

Who knew cookie parties could be so fun? Me, three years ago.

Alternate Title: My Year in Review

I’ve been back in Seattle for exactly one year today, and it has been glorious. After a myriad of employment, relationship, legal, and auto snafus (among other things), I was more than ready to ring in the new year. I knew there was a lot in store, but I never could have dreamed things could be so good. Here are the highlights:

I’m back in Seattle!
This is the single most important change upon which all awesome things hinge. The hills, the rain, the cold, GIVE IT ALL TO ME. I was more than ready to be anywhere outside of California, and Seattle was a great place to land. I immediately jumped back into going out with friends, strolling Pike Place Market and Puget Sound, and eating and drinking some of the best tastes on earth. Every sunset here is different from the ones before it and better. I sound like a total cheeseball and I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy this Seattlegasm for everything I can.

The hearse is complete and ready for business.
After almost a year of painstaking project management, which naturally came with its share of disappointments, I finally got the hearse up and running. For years, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The idea seemed so far-fetched and absurd, how the hell was I going to do this? Yoda was right, there is no try. Just get up and do something. Fortunately, I did lots of things and ended up driving awesome events including the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Crypticon, Decibel Festival, and ZomBcon, not to mention tons of weddings and parties. This is the most fun anyone could ever hope to have completely sober and with (moderate) clothes on.

I found a place to live.
After searching far and wide for months (seriously), I ended up back on First Hill, the same neighborhood as last time. But what a difference a short hike uphill makes! Back in Sacramento, some very wonderful people helped me write a list of everything I want in a new home, no matter how small, no matter how silly: an in-unit washer/dryer, a parking space big enough for Barbie, the ability to walk places, a gym, allowance to have my dog… It all came true! I even have a view of Mt. Rainier. I’ve always been a sucker for a nice view, but hadn’t even thought to ask for it.

I got my dog back.
At long last, I’ve settled down and found a home for Zoey and me. We spent the summer taking many nice walks through Capitol Hill, the Central District, and beyond. She has aclimated well to the drastic weather change and even enjoyed her first snow day this year.

I volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium.
When I first moved here back in 2007, I was nervous about finding a job and a permanent home, and basically having to redefine happiness as I understood it. So I went the Seattle Aquarium and encountered my favorite exhibit: the seahorses. Never has there been a more beautiful, tranquil animal to take a wound-up human’s mind off of what ails her. I wanted to go back again and again… and now I do! I’ve met many wonderful people and formed some nice friendships as a result.

I found a full-time job.
I now work as a technical writer at a water treatment company in Everett and I absolutely love it! My boss and coworkers are very flexible and nice, and I’m learning tons of new things. Right before I was hired, we took on a new client that has been bringing in lots of business for us. We had a great year, and we plan on having many more!

I write for SSG Music.
One of my favorite things about living in Austin (and something easily replicated here) was being involved in the music scene. I miss my busy nights working at the now-defunct electronic music magazine from my early years, so I applied to write album reviews for SSG Music. Now I can stay in touch with what’s happening out there AND keep my review-writing muscles toned.

I’m taking flying lessons.
I’m about seven hours into receiving my VFR pilot license at Northway Aviation. I fell in love with flying the moment I started, and it’s really no suprise considering the abundance of mountains, islands, and greenery here. This is one of the most difficult activities I’ve ever tried, but I am so happy to be giving it a shot!

I finally finished The Guide to Getting It On.
Reading a book about sex may not seem like that big of a deal, but when it’s 800 pages long and you have the attention span of a tse-tse fly, I say it’s a big deal. I’ve been reading it on and off since I lived in New York, sandwiching chapters between activities and other books, all of which I have reviewed on my Goodreads profile. My review of The Guide is all the way at the bottom. Told you it was a long time ago!

I turned 30!
Yes, it’s quite the accomplishment. I somehow managed to stay intact with fully functioning limbs and organs for three decades. I had a great party at the Comet with multiple cakes, great gifts, and friends from Queen Anne Poker Night, Capitol Hill Reddit Game Night, and beyond! I’m extremely thankful that so many of my friends rallied on a Tuesday night to celebrate this milestone golden birthday. (It’s golden because I was born November 30th, nameen?)

I joined the Junior League of Seattle.
I wanted to get more involved in the community in a charitable way (more so than going to shows and looking at seahorses), so I joined the Junior League. My provisional group’s project is called Kids in the Kitchen, a workshop for school-age children to learn how to make simple, healthy snacks at home. We’re having a fundraiser at Vermillion on January 27th at 6pm. Come out and enjoy Jesse Higman’s beautiful paintings, drink some fantastic wine selections, and donate to a great cause!

All in all, this has been a great year. I’m so excited to finish this year with a bang and celebrate 2011 all year long!