Best Laid Plans: August 2017

blp - 201708

August plans:

  • Total 8,750 words.
    • Write 350 words/day.
    • 5 days/week.
  • Project(s): Something/anything/whatever, I just need to be writing again.

Life:

  • Work: Seeking employment.
  • School: Applied Finite Mathematics.
  • On my playlist: Celldweller, Blue Stahli, Aesthetic Perfection, Combichrist, Razed In Black, Mesh.

June 24 – 30 | Seattle: the food post

First thing: I didn’t photograph everything we ate, despite the fact that I’m (technically) a millennial (but I’m an old millennial, which is another post). Sometimes I don’t want to be “that one” when we go out, especially considering the circumstances of this trip, and also because I have a cheap phone so it’s not like the picture quality is good or anything—and I definitely don’t want to be the one whipping out a full-sized camera to photograph everything in a definitely not posed at all way that’s just flawlessly composed and incidentally aesthetically pleasing somehow. (Okay, I do kind of want that, but it conflicts with the whole “aspiring shut-in” thing I have going on.)

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Samurai Noodle

Samurai foods

Bamboo, nori, spicy rice, tofu | Gyoza | Shōyu ramen with pork, egg, fishcake, sprouts, green onion

Samurai Noodle is a tiny little ramen shop in the International District, with maybe 5 tables in the place. It survives because the food is amazing and because the kitchen also serves at the Uwajimaya food court.

Finding out that you can eat tofu chilled and sliced was kind of a revelation for me, even though that probably should have been obvious. S/o said the ramen at this place is the best they’ve had outside of Japan (and that recommendation comes from a not-Japanese person who grew up in Japan and spent enough of their life there to consider it home).

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Banh Town: Vietnamese Street Food

Banh Town

Banh Town sign | Spring rolls | 5-spice chicken banh with slaw (not pictured: Vietnamese coffee)

I love Vietnamese food. I love Vietnamese coffee. This place was so good.

I’ve been trying to replicate the flavors without being true to the recipes at all, and the closest I’ve gotten is (this is weird) spicy Italian sausage sliced over an Asian salad kit with lots of cilantro in it. Note that I’m really fucking lazy about food on the day-to-day, and also pretty broke lately, so I stick to what’s fast and cheap—but no takeaway because that is a garbage situation to get into. However. If there was anything like this place near where I live, I would be even more broke because I love this shit and I wouldn’t even try to resist.

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Ivar’s Fish Bar

Ivars Clams Aquarium

Sign | Clams & chips | Seattle aquarium banner

Ivar’s is this weird retroactive nostalgia food for me. I don’t remember going there as a kid, and I haven’t been there frequently, so I have no idea where the feeling comes from.

The first time I remember going was when I was in Seattle for the summer when I was 15, and I’ve gone every time I’ve been back since—secretly waiting for the day when one of those fat fucking seagulls (they feed on the greasy handouts of well-meaning tourists, with obvious consequences) mistakes a child’s fingers for french fries (BIRDEMIC 2: WATERFRONT BOOGALOO*).

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Kevin’s

Homemade

Lavender lemonade | Salad, salmon, shrimp | Arabella (not food)

The best meal I had might have been the night I stayed over with my dad (but I admit my bias). I took a box of mochi because mochi is good, and we had dinner and lavender lemonade and went on a walk around the neighborhood. And I got to spend some quality time with his cat, trying not to get bitten (she is a bitey demoness).

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I love you, Seattle. See you again someday soon. <3

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*Someone with connections please pitch that to The Asylum for me, and let them know I can have the script written within 24 hours. ;P

June 24 – 30 | Seattle*

This trip was planned super last-minute, we booked tickets less than 2 weeks before leaving, and I kind of forgot to tell anyone I was going except for my dad.**

We took Amtrak, and the thing no one ever mentions in Amtrak reviews is that their seats are awful: they have the idea of a cushion on there somewhere, but it’s nowhere near as good as it needs to be for a 12 or 14 hour trip. We got the cheap seats, nothing fancy, so maybe that was the problem, but it would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t been sleeping most of the time. But. Sleeping on a moving train for 10 hours seriously wrecked up my back and neck, so it’s a lesser-of-2-evils kind of situation there.

Downtown Cafe Dragon

Downtown | Zeitgeist Cafe | Dragon in the International District

After getting to the King Street station, we went to Zeitgeist Cafe and got some necessary coffee, then we went to s/o’s sister’s house where we were staying.

The reason for the trip was a sort of get together for s/o’s family. I got to meet everyone, and spend most of the week with a lot more people than I’m normally comfortable around, but everyone was so kind and genuine—and they all hug like boa constrictors. ;D I don’t know why I was okay the whole time, but whatever it was, I need to find out how to replicate that not-fucked-up mental state for future crowded situations.

Bellevue x3

Intersection of Bellevue St, Bellevue Pl and Bellevue Ave E

I also got to spend some time with my dad, which I don’t do enough of. I took my current favorite movie of all time (The Last Days on Mars), and we watched that and had a nice chill evening, featuring delicious food my dad made.

S/o and I had a lot of time on our own to walk around the city. We went to the International District and got Asian snacks (Pocky and mochi for me: give me all the mochi please).

The last thing we did before leaving, and the only thing that had been planned in advance, was a walk from my dad’s place down to the waterfront for some delicious greasy salty goodness from Ivar’s**** and a trip to the Seattle Aquarium.***** We were going to take a bus down, but decided to cross the bridge to where it would be easier to catch a bus going the right way, then we realized we were already halfway to the waterfront anyway so might as well walk the rest of the way.

Ivars Clams Aquarium

Ivar’s Fish Bar | Clams and chips | Seattle Aquarium Banner

My favorite parts of the aquarium are the deep water/coral parts (obviously). The undersea dome is cool, but I can take or leave it. Same with the otters and seals and almost everything else. We spent an absolutely embarrassing amount of time crouched on our knees at the dwarf cuttlefish tank (it’s a tank near the floor, probably for children). I also love the acrylic ring full of moon jellies, and probably took about 70 pictures of them (oops).

Blue Jellies Cuttlefish White Jellies

Moon Jellies | Dwarf Cuttlefish | Some Kind of White Jellies

The train back was another overnight train, and the seats were as terrible as before (why, Amtrak? Seriously fucking why?), but the view of the Cascades before the sun went down was almost enough to make up for it. Almost.******

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*Apologies for the photo quality in this post (and all my posts?). I didn’t think to take a camera (because quickly-planned), and my phone is cheap garbage because I don’t care about owning an expensive phone.
**He lives in Seattle, so he got a heads up a couple days in advance.***
***I wish I was as spontaneous as this makes me sound.
****OhmygodIvar’s *drool*
*****I realize there’s a joke in there somewhere about going to an aquarium with a belly full of fish, but I’m too lazy to go looking for it, and nothing clever is immediately obvious to me.
******To clarify: I don’t hate Amtrak. I can almost guarantee I’ll take Amtrak again in the near future, I’m just really disappointed with their seats and it’s something worth knowing about/planning for in advance.

SCENE: LIVING ROOM, 3:33 AM

You know how I said earlier that I go to bed at a reasonable time now, and sleep through the night like a regular adult human-thing, instead of being kept awake by demons insomnia/anxiety?

Yeah, that was apparently bullshit tonight.

33: Never Enough*

My perception of time is definitely damaged, unless that’s just a natural consequences of doing nothing except work, internet, repeat, without any sort of creative outlet to punctuate the cycle. (I’m hoping it’s the second thing.)

!!! WARNING: YEARLY BIRTHDAY ANGST POST AHEAD !!!

The list of things I wanted to have accomplished by this year (written last year):

  • Be elsewhere. <— moving into a different living space later today, still living in Montana which is not exactly what I want but the new living space is a definite improvement.
  • Get a different job. <— I quit my job.
    • Or make significant progress towards a certificate/degree that will qualify me for a different job. <— I enrolled in online school.
  • Figure out this writing thing. <— not. even. close.
  • Get moar tattoos. <— nope, but I pierced my other eyebrow (because symmetry).
  • Develop a sense of personal style. <— working on it.
  • Stop being so fucked-up all the time and accept that sometimes good things can happen to me and that’s okay, it’s not some kind of cosmic mistake that will have to balance itself out later a thousandfold. <— working on that also.

This past year I:

  • Nearly obliterated my hair. Blue, black, blue again, blue/purple/green with black underneath, mostly purple and blue, bleached to orange-yellow and gave up and put dark blue over it again, more bleach, sorta blondish, pale pink/coral and finally platinum. Lots of breakage, lots of deep conditioning, lots of protein treatments, lots of time on hair dye forums. (#girling #vanity)
  • Quit my toxic, stress-inducing job at the beginning of July, haven’t gotten a new one yet. I’m only starting to get anxious/desperate and worst case scenario, I know it’s easy to pick up a new job once you’re resigned to working in call center hell until you have a degree that you hope to god will result in a real job.
  • Enrolled in online school to pursue my associates degree in accounting. It was that or IT because those are the 2 career paths that seem to be the right combination of safe and interesting, accounting won out in a coin-flip I can justify in a number ways, but it was basically a coin-flip.
  • Writing. Very, very little writing, which I attribute—and I acknowledge this could be more stupid excuse than fact—to my toxic, stress-inducing job which was eating the majority of my braincycles on and off the clock. Since I’ve left, I at least feel more creative and more inclined to write, and this is a vast improvement over probably all of the previous year.
  • Discovered the following music: Blue Stahli, Celldweller, White Town.
    • Low volume of new artists but I am still buying new albums from artists I’m forever in love with (Aesthetic Perfection, Assemblage 23, Faderhead, Julien-K, Marilyn Manson (shut up), Orgy (also shut up), Solar Fake).
  • I am in a loving, mutually-supportive relationship with an amazing person who makes me want to be better than I am.

By this time next year, I want to:

  • Be elsewhere, more settled. Specifically, a more permanent living space with my significant other that we can turn into a home featuring our strange aesthetic preferences. Also kitties.
  • Learn to keep a reasonable boundary between my braincycles and my job because my braincycles are precious and jobs are just for money.
  • Still be working towards an accounting degree and not dropped out of online school again at all.
  • Write write write write write. :D
  • Moar tattoos.
  • Continue to cultivate personal style (because vanity).

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*Title is an Aesthetic Perfection reference no one is going to get; I have been listening to that song on repeat for days.