The Pineapple Express

December 13, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A few days ago I was riding the tunnel bus back from downtown and I heard a middle-aged guy talking to the young daughter of one of the other passengers.

A rainy view from Pike Place Market

A rainy view from Pike Place Market

He seemed friendly enough, but he was asking questions that would make me a tad nervous if he were talking to my daughter: “I like your hat. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Where do you live?” The mother was right next to her and the seven-year old couldn’t really give a good description of where they lived, so it wasn’t a big deal, but I noted it. As the bus approached my stop a few minutes later, I began gathering my things and stood up. Then the middle-aged guy came over and stood next to me. “Gonna have a pineapple express this weekend!” he said, nodding emphatically with a knowing glint in his eye. I smiled politely and thought, “What the hell?” I didn’t know what a pineapple express was, but it just sounded like something that I didn’t want to ask some stranger about on a bus. However, my brush-off apparently wasn’t enough — he kept going on about it: “It’s gonna be a good one. Haven’t had a pineapple express in awhile!” Not really knowing how to respond (and not wanting to respond at all), I managed another smile. “Gosh!” I said, chuckling — and walking quickly and purposefully away.

Later in the day, safely home in our warm apartment, I looked up the weather for the weekend. There were articles and warnings everywhere about the upcoming rain and how every river everywhere was expected to flood like crazy. And then I saw it: the Pineapple Express is a climatological phenomenon whereby warm rain from Hawaii blows over the Pacific and ends up along the west coast somewhere. It results in warm temperatures (56 degrees) and torrential rain. I guess that guy was just a nice middle-aged fellow after all.

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An evening in the quiet city

November 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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A few nights ago Blake and I were sitting in the living room when the power went out. Everything blinked off except for our laptops, of course, and things were eerily quiet. It was already dark outside, so I went over to the window and looked at the surrounding buildings to discover that not only was our building out — it went for several blocks. At least a 3×3 block square, and maybe more. In the hallway the fire doors had fallen closed — they’re usually held open by electromagnets — so in the glow of the emergency lights the empty hallway looked almost spooky and closed off and silent. It was pretty neat.

I took some photos of the dark street below with the tripod — it is now a permanent fixture here in our living room — and then I left the camera untouched so I could take the same photo when the lights came back on. (Blake’s idea.) The camera must have shifted a bit during the intervening time, but the photos are pretty close:

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In retrospect I would have aimed the camera a little bit differently, but it was pretty hard to see what I was taking a photo of when the lights were out. (For the photography nerds out there, the dark shot was a 15-second exposure and the light one was 1/40 ish.)

After about an hour the lights came back on, which was fortunate since we were getting pretty hungry. So we took off down the street around 7:45 looking for food. After a few blocks it became apparent that most of the restaurateurs in Chinatown had decided to close up and go home once the power had been off for a while, and our hopes for a sit-down dinner dwindled. But then, up ahead, we saw some lights and a neon “open” sign. Just as we were approaching to take a look at the menu posted outside, the store’s proprietor came out to… I don’t know, stand around or something. (Why do restaurant owners in cities hang out in front of their restaurants? I’ve never understood it.) He was a diminutive Asian guy and seemed very friendly. He noticed that we were approaching and smiled broadly, but we sort of paused — if we went over to look at the menu and then didn’t want to eat there, I’d feel terrible walking away with this nice guy grinning at us! So we looked at each other and decided to go over anyway, and the menu looked fine. So we went in, much to this guy’s delight.

Most of the menu was in Chinese, but it had English translations. It took us a long time to decide what to order, though — me especially — because of my plan to order interesting ethnic food. I may be culinarily adventurous right now, but I’m doing it in baby steps — I’m not going to jump right into the prawn “hot pot” (whatever that is — it’s on lots of menus around here). Anyway, I ended up getting the “chicken ball” with rice noodles, which turned out to be…  rice noodles with normal-shaped pieces of chicken in it. (I’m not sure how the word “ball” got into that translation.)It was good, though, and there were photos on the wall of many more dishes that looked pretty appetizing and unusual. I hope to go back and try more of them.

The best part of the meal was what I had to drink. The beverage menu listed quite a few odd items, including milk with an egg in it, horlicks (?), and lemon Coke. Determined to broaden my horizons, I picked one of the more benign-sounding beverages on the list: “honey lemon.” Thinking it could be a soda or tea or something else entirely, I asked what was in it. “Honey and lemon in water,” she said, which didn’t sound quite unusual enough for me. So I moved on to the next most interesting item on the list: “almond.” When I asked what that was, I suppose I ought to have been able to predict the answer: “almond in water.”  Hm. Clearly there was something in this description that I was missing, because I was willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that I wasn’t going to get a nut sitting in the bottom of a water glass. So I ordered it and braced myself.

When it came, it was delightful! It almost looked like warm milk but more cream-colored. She pointed to the sugar in case I needed to add any, but when I took a sip it was quite sweet enough. It was kind of a strange, sweet, delicious almond-flavored… something. Not tea, really, though I don’t know what else to compare it to. Anyway, it was very good and I was very glad I ordered it. When you all come to visit us in Seattle we’ll have to take you there and then you, too, can have some almond.

 

Aki Matsuri (Japanese autumn festival)

October 5, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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A few weeks ago — while my laptop was filled with coffee — Blake and I went to the Aki Matsuri festival which was being given by the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association. It was held at a nearby college and I got tons of photos, but since my laptop was out of commission I couldn’t post them. Please enjoy them here now, though, better late than never.

It was a really neat festival. It was well attended and the people putting it together obviously knew what they were doing. There were a bunch of booths selling food, koi, interesting Japanese gifts and souvenirs, kimonos, frogs, more koi, sushi, tea, koi-pond equipment, and a number of other things. And all day long there were various cultural performances on several different stages: music, dancing, martial arts, tea ceremonies, whatever. About half the attendees were obviously Asian, and I was surprised at how many kids under eighteen were there seemingly without parents. There were oodles of girls walking around in kimonos who didn’t seem to have any real festival-related purpose — maybe they were attendees who owned kimonos and thought it would be fun to wear them. According to Wikipedia, Seattle is 13.2% Asian, so it probably isn’t surprising that there were as many visitors as there were.

Anyway, it was really fun. Our friends Hilton and Jocelyn met us there with their kids, and all in all it was a nice day. On to the photos!

Tiny kimono girl looking at koi

This little girl was checking out the koi.

Happy taiko drummers

This taiko drumming performance had primarily high-school-age (I think?) performers. Although they performed for about 35 minutes, they were the happiest drummers I'd ever seen! They just kept breaking into grins. It was pretty cute.

Young taiko drumming spectators

These kids lasted about fifteen minutes before they got bored and were led out by their teacher in an unquiet exodus. It was a good performance, though, and we stayed for the whole thing.

Old Japanese women writing something

You know as much as I do about this photo. I guess they were writing... something. In Japanese.

Japanese chalk or something

For some reason there was all kinds of chalking going on. Maybe that's part of the traditional festival or Japanese or something? I don't know. Amazingly, though this area was covered with teenagers all day, nobody chalked anything obscene or vulgar.

A little girl meeting Hello Kitty

A little girl meeting Hello Kitty.

Some less-little girls meeting Hello Kitty.

Some less-little girls meeting Hello Kitty.

Woman with weird finger puppets

This woman had on these weird animal finger-puppet gloves. Frankly, they were kind of creepy, but the kids seemed to like them and the woman was friendly.

Paper sign

Puget Area Paperfolding Enthusiasts Roundtable. It spells "paper." Get it?

The PAPER members showing people how to fold paper

The PAPER members showing people how to fold paper.

Hilton and Blake playing that ball-cup game.

Hilton and Blake playing that ball-cup game. You can see the much-expanded sea of chalk drawings behind them.

Some kimono girls.

Some kimono girls.

Kimono girls love Lillian!

When the kimono girls saw Lillian, they cooed over her and then stood next to her to pose for a photo. We thought they were posing so *we* could take a photo with *them*, but it soon became apparent that they wanted a photo with Lillian, the tiny celebrity! They spent about five minutes making sure each one of them got a picture with her. It was cute and hilarious.

Little girl kimono photo shoot

For a small fee you could get your photo taken all kimonoed up! It was pretty cute to see the little girls doing this.

Kimonos

Kimonos

All dolled up

This girl wasn't wearing a kimono, but I still felt exposed to Japanese culture. When I asked to take her photo she seemed kind of sheepish but was still happy to pose.

A cute kid

A cute kid.

Hilton drawing a Japanese character

Hilton paid $1 to be shown how to draw a character. (I think this one was "beauty.") After a few tries, we picked the best one and the woman mounted it on construction paper with pretty ribbon like the ones in the background.

Ukulele band

I was really eager to see this group which was listed as "ukulele band" on the program. Although they were good, I was hoping for energetic upbeat strumming and this was more... sedate. Slow repetitive Don Ho stuff with simple chord progressions. There were about fifteen people on stage, and they all seemed really happy to be there. After a few songs we sneaked out and tried not to look like jerks.

Authentic Japanese flea market

This room was billed as an "authentic Japanese flea market," though it looked pretty much like a regular flea market to me. I did pick up a spiffy blanket for $6 and duck-shaped hygrometer/thermometer for $2. The duck is cute, but he only tells the temp in celsius. =(

Seattle Japanese princesses

These girls' sashes all said "Seattle Japanese Princess" on the front. I'm not sure what lineage that implies, but they certainly had a crowd of young men around them.

Japanese princess #1

One of the princesses. She certainly looks regal!

AmazonTote: a spiffy free service for Seattleites

October 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday as I was making a purchase on Amazon, I noticed this little box for the first time:

AmazonTote boxI’m not sure how long it has been there, but I certainly hadn’t seen it before. I asked Blake about it — since he’s usually pretty up-to-date on Amazon’s many, many services — but he’d never heard of it. So I clicked the Learn More link and here’s what I found:

Amazon Tote explanationApparently this nifty service is available in only twenty-one Seattle zip codes (and nowhere else in the world), and we’re among them! Upon further reading, I learned that AmazonTote operates via the same infrastructure as AmazonFresh. Here’s how it works: rather than me paying for shipping, our zip code has a weekly delivery day when there will be an AmazonFresh truck in our area already. As long as I’m willing to wait until that day to receive my items, I can add items to my tote bag and they’ll all be delivered to my doorstep. (Though at the moment we have a lobby and door where we buzz people in instead of a doorstep.) Not only that, then I get a cute AmazonTote tote bag for free. =)

Since we would like a tote bag and this service isn’t offered in our new house’s zip code, we decided that this was the time to try out AmazonTote. So I ordered a paperback I’ve been wanting and it will be delivered for free on Saturday. Neat.

Death and taxes

October 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A pretty manhole cover

A pretty manhole cover I saw on the way to dinner one night.

Well, things have been pretty busy around here lately — as you may have inferred from my little hiatus from posting. Blake’s mostly been busy with a work project, and I’ve mostly been busy with house related stuff. Uncharacteristically, he worked from home for all of last weekend as well as most of today (Sunday), but not to worry: there’s absolutely no reason to suspect that this is developing into a norm.

I, on the other hand, have been slogging through a mire of paperwork and red tape and bureaucracy related to getting a home loan. There’s no reason to worry about that, either — it’s just that underwriters demand an inordinate amount of paperwork — W-2s, tax returns, a multitude of information about former employers, residences, bank statements, etc. — and all our paperwork is effectively inaccessible in our file cabinet because it’s being stored, with the rest of our belongings, until we get the house. It doesn’t sound like it would be that difficult to gather all that stuff anew, but we’re fraught with special cases. For example, Blake’s former employer never gave him a W-2 for 2009. And the company (since it was a startup) was run out of some guy’s apartment and we don’t know his address or if he’s still there. And the company is out of business (maybe?) so there are no HR reps to verify Blake’s old salary or to confirm that he worked there or anything. Also, his old laptop with his tax returns had a hard drive crash, so we have no way to get them. You can order a copy from the IRS — for $57 — and in just 60 short days you’ll have your certified copy! (We hope to close by October 27 and the tax return is necessary to start the process of getting a home loan.)

Oh, Seattle, you live up to the stereotype.

Oh, Seattle, you live up to the stereotype. (In case the text isn't large enough, that one in the middle says "Hemp milk.")

But, the underwriters themselves order a copy and then compare your return to that copy (to make sure you’re telling the truth), so us providing a certified copy won’t work. (Since they’d be comparing two duplicate documents.) One might ask oneself why we have to bother providing a copy if they’re going to get the real info from the government anyway. It’s a mystery… But we have to get it. I’ve basically been tracking down these documents for 40 hours this past week, and boy is it a headache. A happy fun headache, because looming in the distance is our beautiful new home, but a headache nonetheless.

Amidst all the phone trees and being on hold and developing an intense hatred of Bank of America, I got some surprising news last week: a guy I knew from NI, Scott Savage, died suddenly in his sleep. He was younger than Blake is, played soccer and tennis regularly, and wasn’t overweight. He was also a really nice guy, and it’s terribly sad. I met him when I did my internship with NI in 2004, and then he went on to work there after he graduated (as I did). He was one of those guys who always had boundless energy and worked hard and always seemed on top of the world. I’ve gotten my news on his death through the grapevine, but so far as I know the cause of death isn’t known. He was on a business trip in Germany, I’m told, and so information hasn’t been as accessible as it would have been if he’d died in the  states. Whatever happened, it’s really tragic.

Shiner Bock in Washington

At a gas station the other day I saw this Shiner Bock truck. At first it seemed normal, until I realized that Shiner, which is a beer made around Austin, is probably pretty uncommon here.

So as I was wading through the amorphous bureaucratic mess last week and feeling frustrated at, well, most of the involved organizations, the news of Scott’s death really helped me to put things in perspective. Everything’s going our way, we’re happy, we’re healthy, and we’re just taking our first steps down the path to the traditional American dream: house, family, dogs, kids, etc. (But there are NO KIDS now or in the next nine months! Don’t infer anything from that American-dream statement, folks!) We’ve really got nothing to complain about.

And while we’re talking about happy things, here’s something else to make you smile: as I’m typing this, Blake’s playing fetch with Nano and Pico. Whenever Nano comes prancing back with the squeaky bone, we always have to pull it out of her mouth quickly so she won’t get the idea that a tug-of-war with us is acceptable. (This is important in case she ever picks up something we don’t want her to — either because it’s ours or because it’s dangerous for her.) Well, Blake just discovered that if you pick Nano up in the air, she drops the bone immediately! It’s pretty cute, and I took a video:

(Her dropping the bone under normal conditions really isn’t a problem. This is just a way cuter solution!)

A cruise around Elliot Bay

September 19, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The Argosy Cruises neon signYesterday Blake and I went on an Argosy cruise around Elliot Bay. (Argosy is the company.) It was around $17 per person after tax, which seemed pretty steep for an hour-long guided tour, but I’m glad we went. (Though at that price I won’t be accompanying out-of-town guests on it when they visit.) The cruise went counter-clockwise around the harbor, which had the interesting and unfortunate consequence of rendering the port (left) view pretty useless. While the people on the right ogled the Space Needle and boats and notable points of interest on the skyline, the people on the left could look off at the Olympic mountain range and the featureless expanse of water. For about half an hour. Or, if they looked to their right, they could see the big wall in the middle of the ship instead of Seattle.

A pretty red building down by the docks

We were among the unfortunate few who were seated on the port side, but just after we sat down I foresaw the consequences and asked one of the crewmembers if we would indeed be simply circling the bay counter-clockwise. He said, “Well, most of the good views are on the right, but there are some good ones on the left as well.” So we decided to stay where we were and give it a try. Then, three minutes later after he named the fifth or sixth item that we absolutely couldn’t see at all, we pulled our chairs towards the rear of the boat so we could see both sides. Shortly thereafter several other port-facing folks followed suit.

About the coolest thing we saw was a few sea lions playing on a buoy out in the middle of the harbor. At the end of the cruise we also went by the industrial section of the harbor, which would have been way more interesting if we hadn’t seen similar things on our honeymoon (and the other cruises I’ve taken).

A sea lion basking in the cloudiness

Afterwards we had been planning to walk a few blocks to Pike Place Market and eat at some interesting ethnic place for dinner, but the light sprinkling rain had picked up a little and it discouraged us. I had my camera and no bag for it, and Blake was wearing only a T-shirt with no jacket. (My purse always contains a tiny umbrella, but I had left it at home so as to have my hands free for photos.) Rookie mistakes for new Seattleites, I’m sure. (Yes, “Seattleite” is the demonym specified by Wikipedia.) So we took the bus back and then walked to the nearby McDonald’s for burgers and McFlurries. Not as ethnic, but still pretty good.

The Seattle skyline

When this ship goes over waves, why don't all the containers fall off? Surely they don't have *that* much structural integrity, do they?

There were two or three other sea lions swimming around the buoy (not shown)

They accepted our offer!

September 13, 2010 at 11:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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They accepted our offer on the house! I guess we’ll have a lot of stuff to do now, but I’m not sure exactly what all that will be. Yay! I guess we’re moving to Everett! (Better and more photos coming later.)

Yay!

Yay!

House negotiations: final offer

September 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Yesterday we went back and forth with the bank (who is selling the house) with some offers and counteroffers. There were four volleys yesterday, and this afternoon we got their response. It’s getting exciting, because the difference between our offer and their counter is less than 5K. So our realtor suggested we counter and say, “This is our final offer.” Eep! I know it’s a small difference in amounts now and if they decided to be jerks then we’d walk away, but it still makes me nervous to say that it’s final. But I’m sure everything will be fine. And if not, then walking away is okay too. It just makes me nervous!

It's go time.

It's go time.

Update: Phones and houses and ill health and coffee

September 6, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m typing this post on my new iPhone. My old G1 Android phone had long been having problems, but I was really having trouble deciding what to get to replace it. The new Android phones were unsatisfactory to me for a number of reasons not worth enumerating here, and most of my old complaints about the iPhone still applied. However, with the addition of multitasking in iOS4, the bulk of my iPhone complaints now have to do with “artificial” limitations imposed by Apple for marketing or other reasons. So when Blake suggested getting an iPhone and jailbreaking it, the idea was much more palatable. (Jailbreaking basically means using free software to bypass Apple’s restrictions on the phone. Apple hates it when people do this and is trying to prevent it like crazy.) So as soon as jailbreaking software is released for the newest version of the operating system, that’s what I’m doing. Hopefully this will only take a few weeks.

The other reason I’m typing this on my phone is because I dumped a whole travel cup full of coffee right on top of my laptop. I couldn’t have covered it more thoroughly if I’d tried. After hours of cleaning out the insides with Q-tips and a toothbrush, it was able to boot back up into Windows. There are a variety of problems, though — sticky keys (despite cleaning), coffee damage inside the screen, and some problems with internal components that cause it to run extremely slowly and sometimes crash the OS spontaneously. We suspect some of the memory was damaged, but I’ll call Lenovo tomorrow and hopefully figure out what needs to be replaced and for how much. It’s sad and I miss my laptop. =(

For some more bad news, two weeks ago Blake tripped over a weirdly uneven curb, rolled his ankle, and has been having some problems with it since then. It’s nothing too serious — he saw a doctor on Friday who said it was a bad sprain but should fully recover with rest. If it bothers him he elevates it with ice, but most of the time it’s just annoying for him and otherwise not too bad.

So here’s some happy news: we picked a house! We’re in the midst of the paperwork and headaches involved with making the actual offer, but it seems likely that we’ll end up getting the house. It’s surprising that it worked out this way — on Thursday the realtor told us that someone else was making an offer on it and did we want to make a competing offer? We were waiting to hear back from Amazon on getting an extension for our stuff in storage so that we’d be able to keep it there while we built a house, so we sadly told him that no, we wouldn’t make an offer. Only I had seen the house at his point, but we’d had plans for Blake to see it on Sunday. Plans that wouldn’t happen now since someone else would be buying it. So a day passed and our realtor mentioned that the offer hadn’t come in but was expected at any time. We again chose not to take action and another day went by. Then on Saturday he said again that the offer hadn’t come in and did we still want Blake to see it on Sunday?

So we said sure. We were both concerned about the distance from Seattle — the house is in Everett almost 30 minutes away — but Blake knew I thought it looked promising and we decided it was worthwhile for him to see it anyway. And… he thought it was great! In fact, he liked it as much as our first-choice house which would have to be built — but this one was already done and we could move into it in a month or so (instead of the six months it would take to have our first choice built). So… we still had a hard decision. We loved the house and the neighborhood and the area. But we were concerned about the distance (even though Blake could take the train to and from work and count travel time as work time). On the other hand, there haven’t been too many houses we like this much, and with the end of the summer there are fewer and fewer new houses appearing on the market.

So we agonized about it yesterday. There are other people interested in the house, so we couldn’t wait and see if we like other houses better. (I’ve looked at probably 70 houses and haven’t found much.) Finally we decided that it was unlikely that we’d find something else that we liked as much until many months had gone by — maybe even til next May when school is out and people start selling houses again. And if we rented for a year in anticipation of that, we’d almost certainly lose the great interest rates available now.

So we decided to make an offer. Once things are more certain I’ll post a gazillion photos of the house. Hopefully we won’t get into a bidding war with anybody. Cross your fingers!

Car accident (not me or my car!)

September 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Yesterday afternoon I was driving home from Kent on the way to pick up Blake from work. The roads were wet since it had been raining lightly all day, but it was nothing treacherous or unusual. Traffic was dense but moving at the speed limit. All of a sudden, a semi truck about 50 feet in front of me started changing lanes and I thought, “Gee, he’s moving over really quickly!” An instant later it became apparent that he was out of control! The truck slipped sideways (perpendicular to the direction of traffic) and slammed into a Camry, pushing it over a couple lanes and eventually into a Jetta which was then smushed into the concrete median separating the north and southbound lanes of traffic. As the truck slid, it jack-knifed and spun, and when it stopped it was jutting across almost all of the northbound lanes.

I squeezed by in the single remaining northbound lane and could see that the two hit cars were damaged, so I pulled over onto the shoulder to see if anybody needed help. When the two cars collected themselves, they were both able to drive over to the shoulder as well along with a fourth car who had been behind me. When I got out of my car, the truck looked like this:

Thr truck right after the accident

How the truck looked immediately after the accident (though I took this photo several minutes later). My car in the foreground.

I walked up to the two cars, and both of the drivers said they were unhurt. The other car who stopped but wasn’t hit was a 60-ish year old woman whose sister was driving the Camry (which sustained the most damage) and they were driving up from Oregon in two cars. They were pretty shaken up but otherwise calm. The driver of the Jetta was in her early twenties and didn’t seem particularly flustered. As it started sprinkling again, we stood in a little huddle recounting what had happened and being incredulous and happy that nobody was hurt. We had all stopped a hundred or so feet in front of the truck, and since it seemed unlikely that its driver was harmed, none of us had gone over to see it.

The truck up close

The truck up close

A minute or so later, while we were in our (now pretty calm) circle, the truck driver came over in a frenzy of yelling and defensiveness and blame-placing. He had a thick African accent (I think it was African — he sounded like someone I knew from Nigeria). “Did you see the guy? That guy just came over into my lane and I had to swerve! He just came right over! There was nothing I could do! Did you see him? It wasn’t my fault! I was driving and he just came over! Did you see him?” We all said we hadn’t seen the guy, and we were more than a little daunted by his yelling and anger and the wild arm-waving when he spoke. After a short time he went back to his truck and we didn’t really see him again. After he was gone we all agreed that he was probably telling the truth — none of us had been in a position to see somebody coming into his lane from the right.

The cars on the shoulder

After a few minutes, the other three cars backed up so we were all pretty near the truck in a neat line. The Camry's side mirrors were gone, so the backing up actually took her a few minutes.

About that time I said, “We should probably call the police.” The other three women had all thought that someone else had called them, and eventually it came out that immediately following the accident a random driver had pulled over near one of them and said, “the police are on their way” before zooming off. So we waited, and a little bit later we heard sirens and then a few cop cars and an ambulance rolled up.

Emergency vehicles

At this point you may be wondering why I was still around since I hadn’t been hit and nobody was hurt. Well, the only other non-hit car was the sister of the Camry driver, and she would clearly not be the most objective witness. Since I had actually seen the action up close, I hung around in case anybody wanted to hear my account of the events.

The cops talked to the truck driver first while the EMTs made sure everybody was okay. Here the Jetta driver announced that “[her] back kind of hurts” despite telling us that she was fine a few minutes earlier, which led me to wonder if she had just realized the sort of opportunity that had presented itself. The EMTs sat her down on the driver’s seat of her Jetta and then they and a bunch of cops stood around her in a big circle and, as far as I could tell, talked. This went on for 10-15 minutes and I started wondering if that might have had something to do with her notable youth and attractiveness. (Gosh, I’m a cynic!)

Empty highway

The view northbound. You can see the EMTs' stuff sitting on the ground next to the Jetta on the right.

(The Jetta driver seemed perfectly nice, and I didn’t really see much of what happened to her car in the accident. So perhaps she really was injured. I have no idea.) It was beginning to rain harder and I was going to be late to pick up Blake (and I had to go to the bathroom!), so I approached a cop and said I was a witness. He got my name and contact info and sent me happily on my way. I also gave my info to the Jetta and Camry drivers, so maybe I’ll be able to help if there are any facts in dispute. The truck driver was kind of scary and so I didn’t go tell him my info, but I’m sure the cops can contact me if necessary.

Conveniently, having four lanes blocked during rush hour for twenty minutes resulted in a full clearing-out of the interstate heading into Seattle (north of the accident). So I got on the highway and zoomed into town at full speed. Amazingly, I was actually only five minutes late to pick up Blake despite waiting at the side of the road for almost a half hour. Interstates are so fast when there are no other cars on them!

So all in all everything turned out mostly fine. It was pretty scary seeing that semi just slide around like that, though — I’ve been thanking my lucky stars since then that I wasn’t going a teeny bit faster, or I might have been the one next to that truck. I probably wouldn’t have been hurt either, but dealing with it certainly would have been a giant headache. Phew!

PS – Here’s another puppy video! Pico butts Nano (Youtube)

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