Thursday, May 15, 2008

When bloggers collide-- Part 2

The DS/PP extravaganza has drawn to a close, and while she is off to the sunny beaches of Southeast Asia, I am alternating between an office with no windows and a lab with no windows-- even though I can just feel that sunshine waiting for me just beyond these walls.

While I slowly pine for the breeze outdoors and collapse under rickets, here are some smatterings of lessons learned and images from our bloggie collision:

There is an art to fish throwing, though I know it is not something I should ever try my hand at.

Americans apparently don't use the term "kitty corner"-- they just say diagonal to, which is nowhere near as cute.

No matter how frequently I may catch a glimpse of the ocean through a train window, it always brings me peace to be on the seashore.

You can make guitar trees! And apparently even play them... from afar! (courtesy of the Experimental Music Project)

My long standing notion that I have no rhythm was confirmed by my attempts at playing the guitar, keyboard and drums at the EMP. DS, however, has hella drum skillz.

The idea of skunks running about downtown Manhattan is ridiculous, despite the fact that they are a nightly summer hazard on my side of the world.

The Space Needle can bite me. Zzzzzz

The Seattle-ites of yore didn't have tremendous success in the human waste realm. Initially, the unlucky folks residing at the bottom of the steep hill that used to make up Seattle were the lucky recipients of the sewage of those above them. However, when the newfangled Crappers were all the rage (that is actually the technical term for them, from the creator, Thomas Crapper. I swear), the city dwellers rushed to the harbour to purchase some for their home. However, Seattle-ites were again the victims of poor planning, because the sewer pipes ran directly into the ocean, with no concern for the flow of the tides. As such, at a particular time of day, if someone was lucky enough to flush their crapper, the pressure of the waste coming down the tubes from the hills above and the tide coming in from below led to a veritable explosion of sewage the exact opposite direction as expected-- up!!

Another brilliant Seattle plan... after the entire downtown core burnt down because of a paste fire (yep, from someone who left their paste on the stove for too long), the city decided to try to flatten the giant slope on which the downtown core was situated (the whole human waste fiasco seemed reason enough). The merchants did not want to wait for this construction, and thus rebuilt their businesses at ground level immediately, while the city went about raising the roads, sometimes as much as 30 feet, meaning that customers would have to climb down tremendous ladders to access the front door of the general store or the saloon. The city tried to cover up the high tumbling-induced death rates by labeling them accidental suicides!
Eventually, the merchants caved in, and filled in the sidewalks in front of their buildings, and raised their front entrances up a level.

All this info was gathered from the Underground Tour.
That's one of the skylights below.

DS and I apparently both turn into squealing children when in the presence of nerdy science fun. A sample of our conversations: "Oh my God! That dinosaur moves! So awesome! I'm gonna pose with it and pretend that I'm a dinosaur!"
Even the 7-year olds were rolling their eyes at us.

Giant praying mantises are scary, especially when their pincers moved. DS actually ran away from this one.

Butterflies, on the other hand, are always spectacular. Even when they are divebombing you.

Yeah, so I went a little overboard. Whatever. They're pretty.

You know what else are pretty?? Naked mole rats!!!

I hope these look familiar. They are prestigious winners of my Ugly Animal Pageant.
They are also exceedingly entertaining. We spent around 10 minutes watching this wee little mole rats clamor his way up a slope, only to have another, big (mean!) one literally climb right over him and push him back down the slope. They also have the tendency to get stuck on their backs in the middle of tubes, which is sheer comedy.

DS does genuinely have the worst travel luck on the planet. Outside of Mr. Dirty Customs Worker, my bus trip down was relatively smooth. However, the moment we got through the doors of the Seattle bus depot for our return trip, chaos erupted. People were scattered about in every which direction, with the clusters showing more resemblance to dodecahedrons than straight lines. Apparently the computers and the printers were broken down, with only two workers to stem the disarray, and DS without her confirmation number for the ticket she was supposed to pick up. The line was literally moving at about 1 person every 5-10 minutes for sometime, leading me to wonder if, despite arriving 45 minutes early, we would be able to get on the bus. DS and I frantically mouthed things to each other across the room... or, rather, she read my lips, and I tried to read hers, and ended up mostly just shrugging my shoulders.

Thankfully, the transport curse let up, and, tickets in hand, we maneuvered our way through the pseudo-line, where we managed to get the last two seats together on the bus, and bothered the kilted man in front of us with our chatter before he eventually decided that conversating with us was infinitely more interesting than eavesdropping.

Back on my side of the border, my lesson was apparently that life always gets in the way, visitors or not, so I had to squeeze meetings and errands in with my hostess duties.

We did, however, manage to go traipsing about through the tree tops!

It turns out that I apparently have better balance when dangling 230 feet off the ground than I do when my feet are firmly on solid earth.

I miss my tree house.

Apparently you don't see leaping trout every day in the Big Apple.

It was all rounded off by a display of chopstick and table barbecuing skills.


(Because I can think of no wittier way to end than that)

PS. The mysterious Indie Bloggers post will indeed be appearing tomorrow!


Essentially Me said...

Omigosh! You went on Capilano bridge?!?! I tried to go across it but couldn't get past the point where the trees stop and the drop is all you see. Not to mention that it was raining slightly and there's a sign "slippery when wet" as you go on. Umm .. no thanks!

Glad you had fun!

Jack said...

Glad you enjoyed Seattle so much. :) Those butterflies look awesome, I'm going to have to take my girlfriend down there to check them out.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it looks like you two had a lovely time :) Oh, and my mom has always said "catty cornered," which is probably just a southern way to say "kitty". Southerners just like to change words sometimes.

Hope said...

Aw, what fun you two had! Can't wait to read your Indie Bloggers piece..

Melissa said...

Oh those are some nice pictures. I love those butterflies.. Glad you two had so much fun..

Anonymous said...

I think I basically nodded my way through this entire post and laughed and giggled at certain descriptions.

Spot on, woman. And skunks and leaping trout are just not native to Manhattan!

Ant said...

Yay for bloggie fun!

However, am I detecting a certain scoffing tone about the great city of Seattle here? :-)

Nilsa S. said...

What a lovely visit! DS/PP and the Pacific Northwest sounds like a really wonderful combination.

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous of your trip! And I feel the need to now take a history tour of Seattle b/c that sounds like so much fun! And also very educational :)

Jack said...

P.S. Saw your post on Indie Bloggers today and it was brilliantly written.

NamesAreHardToPick said...

Kitty-corner does sound better. Those are some beautiful butterflies, yet they dive-bomb you? I thought only bluejays did that. Wow, brave insects.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked my post. I enjoyed reading your IB post too.

I wanna go to Seattle! *pouts*

Deutlich said...


I want to come visit SO BADLY!

Yoda said...

Hahaha! Kitty corner. I had never heard of it before, kinda difficult for my geometrically inclined brain to parse :-p

Seems you two had a lot of fun! I caught up on the other pics on FB ;-)

Surfergrrl said...

we actually do say kitty corner. you know i lived in seattle 8 years and i never once did the underground tour!

Heart Of Darkness said...

I LOVE those photos!

...envious, envious, envious...

Alexa said...

this is awesome!

i say katty-corner, close?

i would have run like hell away from that praying mantis.

benjibopper said...

no kitty corner? weird. next you'll tell me they don't use u's in colour. ha, that'd be crazy.

love those canopy bridges.

EF said...

I'm thrilled you loved my home town! You did a great expose of it!

Anonymous said...

that bridge looks amazing! also - i get excited at the science center all. the. time. there's something about it!

the frog princess said...

OMG I am even more jealous now than I was after I read DS's post... both the Science Museum and EMP sound freaking AWESOME. I totally need to go to Seattle.

Also, I don't say "kitty corner," but I do occasionally say "catty corner"... probably just depends on where in the states you are from. I definitely picked that up from one of my more rural neighbors growing up :)

And that bridge terrifies me. But I'll be going on one in Peru so I'd best get used to the idea...

S'Mat said...

yes... yes... but how was the romantic tryst?

i am very jealous of the treetop amble. serene!

Larissa said...

I love Seattle! The EMP in particular is amazing.

Crushed said...

Never seen a skunk in real life...

It does all look almost like another planet, like the one where the Ewoks live.

Interesting history of seattle you have here, not one I was aware of, but must read up on.

One thing I do remember is that they had to put adverts in papers back East to get women to move to Seattle (the first mail order brides, I suppose), because the population was almost entirely male at first.

And what IS a Kitty corner?

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Hey there...long time no comment! Thought I'd check in to say hi, and I see you have been BUSY!

1) I do say Kitty Corner. However, when I lived in Illinois, I sometimes heard "Catty Corner." Weird.

2) I took the Underground Tour when I visited Seattle; very, very interesting!

3) I'm dying to know where the suspension bridge is!!

Beth said...

The entire experience sounds wonderful and your pictures are gorgeous but trust you to come into contact with naked mole rats!

Sheila said...

What an awesome trip! I am so jealous, except of course for the transport curse.

Valerie said...

I'm so jealous! :)