Monday, August 30, 2010

The Bus Etiquette. Or Lack Thereof.

This probably ins't so much specific to Seattle, however I never rode the bus in L.A., so it is strange to me.

Now, like men have an unwritten code for urinals, there is an unwritten code for bus riding. Bus etiquette is actually quite similar to urinal etiquette coincidentally, so I find that men don't have quite as hard of a time with it. It's not a hard code to pick up on; or so you would think.

1. Don't sit right next to me if there are other open double seats. There really is no reason to do this. Everyone likes their personal space, so why voluntarily invade the bubble (which in turn, causes an invasion of your own bubble) if it's not necessary? I especially hate this violation of code a) in the morning and b) when it's hot. 
2. Don't sit on the aisle seat if no one is in the window seat. Let's not be greedy. I like personal space as much as everyone (except for violators of point 1 above), but there's no need to make people climb over you or uncomfortably ask you to move so they can use the vacant seat.
3. Don't sit so close you're touching me. There are some exceptions here, because obviously people don't have control over their size. However, some of you out there just sit too close. Like a Gilette Mach 20. I don't need that close of a shave, brosef. Scoot over.
4. Do wait for people to exit the bus before you get on. Calm down, eager beaver.
5. Do understand which seats lift up for wheelchairs. Not all of the seats in the front of the bus lift to make space for wheelchairs, so the whole front of the bus does not need to get up for one wheelchair. Conversely, if you are sitting in a wheelchair seat and you see the others on your bench get up, you should also get up. Don't make the bus driver ask you.
6. Do move to the back of the bus. If there are a lot of people getting on behind you, keep moving to the back. Don't stand right in the front with your backpack on, making everyone awkwardly squeeze by you to get to the open space in the back.
7. Don't take up a whole seat with your bags and whatnot. This one is closely related to number 2 above. You have a lap, you have under the seat; figure it out.
8. Don't clip your fingernails. It made the list for a reason, folks.

I feel like most of these rules should just come out of common courtesy, but I am blown away every day by the amount of people who don't know (or refuse to acknowledge) the code. Let's make the bus world a more pleasant place, everyone. For my sake.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Haters.

Psst--want to know a secret? I am from California. And I love California, and I love that I’m from California. Southern California even! With its smog, and its traffic, and its SUNSHINE, and its overall awesomeness.

Now I will share with you something I have come to learn of the Seattleite. It hates California. Something that I suppose I can understand, I mean, if you like to breathe clean air and whatnot, Los Angeles might not be the best place to respire (I say man up. The lungs get used to it). But not only do the Seattleites hate it, the won’t stop talking about their hatred for it. Every time I mention my former place of residence, I inadvertently start some rant and rave about how much California sucks. And if I mention I’m from L.A., forget it.

Well let me tell you a little something. Hang out in Seattle for 4 days of non-rain, and see what happens. Is that…wait…it can’t be…smog in the distance? Why yes, Seattle. Yes it is. In the wintertime, if we run into a dry spell, the newscasters will announce the “burn ban” that has been placed in King County. For those who don’t know, a burn ban is a temporary restriction on enjoying unnecessary fires, so as not to contribute to poor air quality (point one for SoCal - we don’t even need fires. Boosh.).

Another common complaint of those in the PNW is that Californians are fake and superficial. Well, first of all, I will agree. But, we’re not all like that. Second of all, Seattle natives are also fake and superficial, just in a different way. There is a fairly well known and established group called the Seattle Anti-Freeze to combat what is known as the “Seattle Chill.” A topic for another day.

 Now Seattle, you’re a pretty cool city, but you’ve got some issues too.  Which is why I even started this blog in the first place. I’m all for hometown pride, but let’s try a little cross-municipal tolerance, shall we? Show other cities, states, and city-states some love! Except for maybe Arkansas.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Happy Hour.

In an effort to redeem itself for its hard-to-come-by Hard A at prices that Bill Gates would grumble about, Seattle offers the awesomeness that is the happy hour.

I know, I know, plenty of other cities also offer the happy hour. But, due to everyone's seemingly incessant need to drink, which is caused by 60 days of sunshine a year, Seattle establishments often offer two happy hours. TWO! For example, a bar might offer a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with another happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Just in case you missed it the first time around.

It has become a favorite Friday night activity of mine to end the work day with a happy hour beverage. From there, the goal is to drink at happy hour prices for as long as possible. Start at bar A, which boasts an HH until 7 p.m. Bar B, 3 blocks up, continues its HH until 8 p.m. Another hour is bought. 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the hardest hour to cover, as usually the earliest late night happy hours don't begin until 9 p.m. This means skillfully coasting on the last HH beverage (purchased at 7:58 p.m.) for about 30 minutes, at which point the trek to the next destination commences. The perfect ETA for bar C is 9 p.m., though running ahead of schedule can lead to a few minutes of awkwardly drinking a glass of water while looking over the menu for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes until the magic hour appears once again. This scenario is where the fabulosity that is the Noc Noc comes in.

The Noc Noc, which is my favorite happy hour spot, provides its relief from full prices from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The lost hour is automatically covered! And that's just the start. I could devote a whole blog to this bar, so I'll stick with what's important: $1 beers, $2 wells, and $3 tater tots. Yes, that's right. Tots, bitches. If you're not sold this bar based on the tots alone, then you may not deserve to share the same planet with me. Regardless, it's a great place to transition into the late-night happy hours.

Those who know me may be surprised to see my excitement over $1 beers, for I have not always been a fan of the beer. For years, I was a strict Captain and Coke woman. So strict, in fact, that I used to carry around an "emergency" fifth in the trunk of my car (what if the party I was gracing the presence of was not down with the CapMo?). The happy hour has changed my drinking habits, for two main reasons:
  1. Seattle seems to be a Pepsi city. I am constantly getting asked the question "is Pepsi OK?", and in the case of one particular place, "is RC OK?" (Royal Crown cola? Out of a fountain? Really?). Normally, Pepsi is OK in place of Coke--except when mixing it with alcohol. Though I love it, Pepsi is far to sweet for mixin'.
  2. Captain is not a well rum. It's not top shelf, I realize, but it's also not ever at happy hour pricing. So, while all of my friends were enjoying their lower-priced beers and vodka-tonics, I was paying full price to get a little Captain in me. Happy hours just weren't as happy.
So Seattle, I tip my (rain-soaked) cap to you for your low priced social drinking options, and also for encouraging me to join the beer drinking community. Arriba, abajo, al centro, y adentro!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Liquor Trek.

I was in Fred Meyer one day (which I adore, and is a topic for a whole other day) picking up my weekly groceries (and some jeans, and mascara, and condoms. See why I adore it?). I was pushing my shopping cart up and down the aisles, selecting various necessities to fill my wheeled basket: apples, pasta, chicken, milk, snap peas (snack-tastic), bread, etc. Personally, no grocery shopping trip is complete without certain thirst quenching items, particularly of the fermented kind. After perusing the wine selection for a nice sauvignon blanc, closely followed by the beer section for some cider and microbrew, it donned on me that I had some margarita mix taking up much-coveted space in the refrigerator. Taco night!

Still standing in the beer’s chill, I was trying to think of where the alcohol was stashed in my beloved Freddy’s. I started wandering around, hoping the location of my desired Reposado would come to me, perhaps in a vision. After about 5 minutes (but what seemed like an eternity), my cart came to a slow halt and I came to a slow realization: I could not find the alcohol because it didn’t exist. Not at Freddy’s, anyway. For in this lovely state, one must travel to a store devoted to hard alcohol in order to purchase it. As if the sin tax wasn’t enough, you have to go out of your way to pay it.

To top it all off, I had conjured up my amazing taco night idea on none other than a Sunday. Not only was I not going to get tequila at Fred Meyer, I was going to have a hard time getting it at most liquor stores. Because the state-run purveyors of heaven that offer their wares on Sundays are few and far between.

Now, I know Washington isn’t alone in the state-run liquor stores (I’m not trying to leave you out, Montana). It’s just not something that some other states (California comes to mind) have to deal with. I suppose I should be happy that I can at least buy beer and wine on Sundays, and in every county (cut your residents a break, Texas), but I sure do miss the ability to buy replacement rum at 1:15 am.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Man Skirt.

I was lazily staring out the window on the bus the other day, and I caught sight of something that instantly generated a smile across my getting-paler-by-the-day face.

Now, I am no stranger to men in skirts. I have spent enough time in West Hollywood to familiarize myself with that concept. I am a stranger to straight men in skirts (sorry, Scots). Not just straight men, manly men. Men who could pass as lumberjacks given the right attire. But thanks to my recent move to the Pacific Northwest, I have been introduced to this fabulous phenomenon known as the Utilikilt.

Let me further define the term “straight men”. Picture a man in his 40s. He covers his slightly balding head with a baseball cap (usually proudly displaying the logo of either the Seahwaks or Mariners) and covers his impressive beer belly with a t-shirt of overall inconsequence. For cold weather wear, throw on a leather bomber-style jacket. Now one would typically picture the aforementioned, waist-up outfit to be paired with a nice pair of Levis. But no, there appears to be another option: the Utilikilt. Throw on some nice thick wool socks and a pair of Tevas, and you’ve got yourself an outfit my friend (the socks and sandals combo is a whole other topic).

Now let me describe the ever sexy Utilikilt. This fine piece of woven leg covering offers the modesty of a short with added breathability for the “goods”. It combines the airy features of a kilt (pleats included) with the unprecedented storage of a cargo pant (excessive pockets for the win). It comes in colors such as khaki, olive green, or the ever-popular camouflage (for hunting, of course). There is even a tuxedo version of the Utilikilt for your most formal occasions: weddings, communions, company holiday parties, etc.

So men of the PNW rejoice! If you want to flaunt your Scotish heritage but hate your clan's tartan, the Utilikilt is for you. If you have always wanted to wear a skirt, but are afraid you will lose some of your man cred, the Utilikilt is for you. If you want to show off your gams, but hate your legs to be separated by any sort of material, the Utilikilt is for you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just to be cliche...

You saw it coming. Don't lie. You saw it coming 9 months ago, in March 08 when I decided to move on up to the PNW. So, in an effort to bring the suspense to a halt: Let's talk about the weather of Seattle.

Since I moved here in May, I have experienced:
  • one 95 degree weekend (the weekend I moved up here, actually. I thought to myself, 'this may not be so bad!)
  • 18.35-ish inches of rain (probably would be lots more if it weren't for that durn Olympic shadow)
  • a crapload* of snow
  • 2 weeks of sub-freezing temperatures
  • falling on my ass on various occasions while walking to the bus stop (thank you, crapload of snow and 2 weeks of sub-freezing temperatures)
  • finding out that Uggs are not very waterproof
*crapload = way more than Seattle usually gets, and enough to make me realize that snow is not such an enchanted occurrence

Also, I have learned that preparing for the weather is a challenge. Today, for instance, there was sun, rain, wind, all at a pleasant 49 degrees. Ridiculous? Slightly.

Now, I know that I have been spoiled by living in the land of palm trees and sunshine (and I'm not talking about anywhere in Florida; that's more the land of retirees and Nascar). However, one would have to understand that shock of moving to the constant state of drizzle that is the Emerald City. Wearing glasses in the rain gets old, that's all I'm sayin.