A Busy Week

Week 6 of 52

Well, it was an interesting and busy week, on the international front as well as Week 6 of our year-long adventure.

We were concerned about our former partner, Steve (we call him Suma), and his wife Iku, who live in Japan, so as soon as we heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (about 4:30 am PST) we sent them off an email. Suma wrote back that stuff was crashing  all around them; things flew off the walls and dressers, etc. Thankfully they live in a new building (not far from Tokyo) and the earthquake building codes are really strong there, but being on the 20th floor is a little disconcerting for them. Even though they are used to earthquakes he said this one just grew and grew, didn’t stop for a long, long time, and there have been constant aftershocks. Now here’s where it gets interesting. A few weeks ago he had been planning a trip to Mexico to see some friends. He went to book it online, the system froze up, and he couldn’t get it booked right then. When he went back later to book it, something told him to hold off and not go. Turns out, he would have left today had he booked it! He doubts he could have gotten out today, but he certainly wouldn’t have wanted to leave his wife with all that’s going on. Something somewhere in the cosmos was working with him.

In 1989, I was working in downtown San Francisco on the 25th floor of a 25-story building for Bank of America, which had a very strict dress code. (Pantsuits for women??? Forget it! We wore business suits and heels, every day.) One day in October, I woke up and boldly decided to wear flats that day, even though it was a fashion disaster for someone who is 5’3″ to wear flats with a suit. I was sorry the moment I walked into the office, and I decided not to commit this faux pas again. But, you guessed it, it was October 17, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake. I ended running down 25 flights of stairs (no way was I staying in the building… I figured it was MUCH safer out on the street with the bricks, glass and other stuff flying around)! So I walked the four miles to the Haight and my flat in my flats. Karma (shoe karma?) was with me that day too… makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

So, two little earthquake stories from two very lucky people, unlike the thousands who are dealing with this terrible natural disaster. I know how scared I was that night in 1989; I remember feeling all of the aftershocks and feeling so small against such power. Our heart goes out to the good people of Japan (who were most likely more prepared than anyone) in the coming months. We were also surprised to see the damage in Kona; it isn’t covered in the mainstream news much, but if you weren’t aware of the significant damage that happened in Kona, check out this:

There was even a large home that was swept into the sea.

For us this past week, we decided to go out, enjoy Seattle, and see friends whom we had not seen because we were laying so low after we arrived, so we have been social butterflies all of a sudden.

With Rick and MaggieWe had a delightful day with our dearest friends, Rick and Maggie, who came up from Gig Harbor and spent the day with us here in West Seattle. We took a long walk along the promenade and then they treated us to a very special dinner at Salty’s, complete with a drop dead view of the Seattle Skyline. So good to catch up with them; we talked all day and into the night.

Harrison and BJOn Tuesday, we had lunch with BJ; a woman who was a true institution at King Broadcasting—and still is for that matter. (For my WR friends… think Arica.) She started in 1972, and at a very young 82 years she still gives tours of the studios to groups! Check out her photo… we should all be so lucky to look so great at 82. She was a lot of fun to visit.

Dave in BellevueWe also went to Bellevue, spent some time at BAM (the Bellevue Art Museum), and saw a fascinating exhibit of a woman who somehow makes three layers of glass into an amazing resemblance of a photographic piece of art. We then had a wonderful Thai dinner with Dave, a friend from Portland who is now working in Washington; I think he was happy to have company and we were so happy to see him.

Dog Tag RobeWe had so much fun the next day; we went to an opening at SAM (the Seattle Art Museum). They had a very whimsical artist named Nick Cage who did some very colorful costumes. Really over the top. For our Big Island friends, think Ira Ono and his trash show on steroids! My favorite piece, though, was not one by Cage, it was a HUGE cape that literally took up an entire room. The metal cape is made entirely from military dog tags… pretty powerful.

After the museum, we walked down to Pike Place Market to get some dinner. Harrison had found a place but I knew nothing about it, so I just followed him as we made our way through all the interesting shops and stalls of this historic area. We ended up in charming Post Alley with lots of restaurants, shops, flower boxes, a cobblestone walkway… until we came to a nondescript door… we actually walked right past it… then backed up… HK decided this was the place… Well, don’t let the door fool you!!!! You open the pink door to The Pink Door and you are transported to an elegant basement restaurant that makes you feel you are in Paris in the 1930s! Great food, live music… fun night; leave it to Harrison to continually surprise me. Too dark to get a good photo, though.

Steve RWe continued eating with former colleagues and friends of HK’s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday we went to a New Orleans-style restaurant for lunch with Steve, who has a great voice and an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music and independent films… interesting guy and I had my first (but not last!) beignets (OMG-delicious). Ben and Mary Lou in SeattleBen and his wife Mary Lou fixed us a wonderful dinner at their home on Phinney Ridge Saturday night; we talked and drank wine late into the night. Steve and DebbieOf course it was the night we switched to daylight savings time, so we lost an hour, just in time to get up early Sunday morning to have breakfast with Steve (a different Steve!) and Debbie. Not that we needed another reminder that we weren’t in Hilo anymore, but we had to laugh when we read the description of one of the daily specials:

Early Spring Forager’s Scramble: Foraged and found wild, locally foraged stinging nettles and organic caramelized sweet onions scrambled into three Stiebr Farms free range eggs, and topped with a piece of Pt. Townsend Creamer’s red alder toma style cheese…

Ken’s Pancake House this was not!!!

A busy news week all around. We realize our little outings are not all that exciting, dramatic or even important, but so many friends have asked us to chronicle this year-long journey that I’ll continue doing it each week and in a time of political craziness, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, and lots and lots of negative crap, maybe we can send some positive energy out there. Our friends and family are important to us, and when large natural disasters do happen, the first thing you think about is the people you know in the affected area, because friends become more and more precious all the time. We just want you all to know we care, even during the quiet times.

We’re off to Portland and Ashland this next week; wishing everyone a safe and disaster-free week.