Approaching the Canal

Got the computer back up and running again; the feeling is sort of like that scene from Lawrence of Arabia when they reach the Suez Canal after crossing the Sinai. I feel ready to stumble into the officers' club and down a huge glass of lemonade. Come to think of it, moving is filled with Lawrence of Arabia moments. There are perhaps few experiences open to the average North American which approximate the ordeal of Gasim (the dude who nearly gets left behind during the desert crossing that lets them sneak up behind Aqaba), but moving is among them: there comes a point in the hot sun when you start thinking about all of the things you could chuck if by doing so you could bring the moving process to a close. What starts off as a jolly bucolic exercise in transferring yourself from one place to another ultimately turns into this hardened, bitter take-no-prisoners bloodbath.

I'm a packrat, and if anything could break me of that habit, it would have to be moving. While unpacking boxes a couple days ago, I developed a refrain, which went something like this: Here we have the the jar of sesame tahini that I carried up two flights of stairs. The eight-ounce jar of olive oil, one ounce remaining, that I carried up two flights of stairs. The 486-66 that I haven't powered on in eight months that I carried up two flights of stairs. The six-inch square piece of wood that came with my bookshelf, I think as packing material, that I carried up two flights of stairs. The gunk-encrusted towel that I used to scrub out the bathtub at my old apartment that I carried up two flights of stairs. The Eastside telephone book that I carried up two flights of stairs. The year-out-of-date Eastside telephone book that I also carried up two flights of stairs.

Lest I give off the impression that all is not sweetness and light here at the new digs, let me also note that the move fully justified itself within the first 24 hours. Sunday, I was up the street at Pagliacci's, getting a quick slice of pizza for lunch in the middle of unpacking, when Alex from work wandered in, also grabbing a quick lunch. In his case, though, rather than being an interlude in the middle of packing, the stopover was a prelude to an afternoon sailing on Elliott Bay, an afternoon I partook of, on the grounds that how often do you get to go out on Puget Sound on a perfectly sunny day and buzz an aircraft carrier? We were close enough for Alex to identify the plane on deck as an F-14, close enough for sailors to wave at us. Then we headed out a bit further from shore, unfurled the sails, and took it easy for a while, allowing me to enjoy the rays at the same time I cursed my fate being born the pasty-white albino that I am.

The other really noteworthy thing about my new Capitol Hill lifestyle is that parking is a real chore, or would be, if it weren't for these suspiciously good parking spaces I keep ion finding. There's this one space (I won't say where, in case there are any Seattleites reading this: that space is mine mine mine) that I've used three days this week. I've spent ten, fifteen minutes cruising other blocks with no luck, only to find the same damn space in the same damn spot. Today I just went directly there, and there it was, available, along with one of its brethren a couple spaces down. I don't get it. It's on a busy street, in a pretty prime location, and it's always free. I've checked and rechecked the street signs, and unless my understanding of space and/or time is really severly lacking at a truly fundamental level, it's a totally legit parking space. Well, luck is luck, I guess, although I have the strange feeling I'm being set up for a car bomb or something.