Friday, January 9, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

The title of this post was either going to be "Stranded in Seattle" or "Sleepless in Seattle", but I have opted for the latter, partly because of the cheese factor, and partly because it's 4am, I'm in a hotel room in Seattle, and I can't f*ing sleep!! I'm hardly an insomniac, so I have no idea what's going on. Anyway, we're here because we picked the wrong few days to go visit my folks (who live up in Bellingham, WA). During these days, it did pretty much nothing but rain, rain, rain here in the lovely Pacific NW, so much so that many rivers have flooded, many towns are underwater, and a certain major interstate that happens to be the main direct route from Seattle to Portland (and points beyond) is also, you guessed it, underwater in several areas. If you are a resident of the Pacific NW (or just keep up with local news in the region) you might remember that around this time last year, the EXACT SAME THING happened. I pity the residents of Centralia, who are just getting back on their feet after last year's devastating flood...only to have the same exact thing happen all over again, only WORSE this time. Global warming, anyone???

At any rate, these happenings have left us stranded north of Portland for who knows how long, and we're currently holed up in a hotel room in the U-District (Hotel Deca, if you must know). Kelly found a "last minute special" online to get a good deal on a room here. Although at first the room seemed pretty nice (12th floor, nice view, seemingly decent amenities), we quickly discovered several details that were overlooked, such as the heater and the cold water tap, i.e., neither of them are working. There's also exactly ONE free outlet that a lamp isn't already plugged into, and in the bathroom there's a shelf blocking the outlet so you can't plug in a hair dryer. I will reserve judgment for tomorrow morning when I go downstairs and complain about these issues...but let's just say they'd better be offering us a room upgrade or a steep discount.

Yesterday I did some buying and picked up a few very interesting pieces that I will write about in further detail once we get back home and I can take pictures of them, etc. I also was able to visit with my good friend Kirk Albert at his wonderful shop Great Stuff. When in Seattle, GO SEE HIS SHOP. He probably has the best curated collection of interesting things, found objects and pieces of furniture in the whole Pacific NW. On the way back to drop off the truck at our rental house in Greenwood, I got stuck in one of the more hellacious traffic jams I've ever seen on Aurora Ave. N. It WAS rush hour, but still, it was ridiculous. Turns out there was a stalled car in the left hand lane (the lane I was in the whole time, of course, wondering WHY all the OTHER lanes seemed to be going so much FASTER) about 1/4 mile south of the tunnel. At least there was a good reason for it!

Tomorrow I will make the rounds again and try to scare up some more goodies. I have a 12' Penske truck to fill up, so I hope there's some stuff out there that wants to come home with me! I saw an ad on Craigslist for an estate sale in Magnolia that sounded kind of promising, and while I usually hate estate sales, I know the people running this one, and they do good work, so perhaps I'll be lucky enough to turn up a nugget or two there. The sale actually started Thursday evening, so all the obvious stuff will be sold, but I always say if it's a good enough estate, you can waltz in on the last day and buy great stuff that other people have overlooked.

So...wish us luck, both in finding great things and in getting back home to Portland in a halfway reasonable amount of time.

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