Saturday Sketches

It’s my last week of my 46th year on this earth. I know there will be a work happy hour, hope there will be karaoke in the evening.

Easy Gig

I would live with my sister indefinitely if I could. But I need a shorter commute. I need to have a commute short enough that it’s not an excuse not to go to the gym. Also I miss my own stuff, and I miss making soap.

My current gig might be the easiest I’ve ever had. All my classes for the entire year are planned down to the minute. Grading is a breeze, since it’s only levels one and two, and assessments are super simple. I’ve gone from four preps to two. I hardly ever take work home. What’s more, I dress in dressy jeans, and a flannel that’s not tucked in. I brought my slacks and dress shirts to the cleaners yesterday and I’m thinking about not picking them up.

By the way, this new job gave me a huge pay boost, so I’m doing things like paying off debts and putting money in my savings… the opposite of what I was doing in California.  I might go shopping later to buy more work clothes:  flannel shirts and dressy jeans.

Like I Never Left

This morning I got up and drove to the Group Health clinic on Capitol Hill, just like I used to before I moved to California. I heard there was a name change but I’m one of those people who calls things by their old names. Anyway, I parked in the same garage as five years ago, walked into the same lab through the same slow-ass automatic door. Sat in the same chair to do my blood draw, and made the same tired blood-draw joke, “I’m not scared (of the needle), I’m just going to look over there.”

Afterward I treated myself to breakfast at the 14 Carrot, just like I used to five years ago. I noticed the lady who used to serve me all the time wasn’t there, and I thought to myself, aha, time marches on, and people do as well. But then I asked the cashier, and he said that she was just away on vacation in Greece, and that the kids were there working (they had served me, actually) and that those Greeks are crazy! I was glad to hear that the lady was still around, that she had nice kids, and I agreed that the Greeks are crazy… in a good way.  So all of that was not that different after all.

I went down to Pioneer Square to grade papers at Zeitgeist, as I often did five years ago. When I went to park, a man blocked two open spots and just idled there, waiting for his lady friend to pick up some coffee. I think he noticed that I wanted a spot, and didn’t budge, so I pulled around and parked in another open spot. What a bag of dicks that guy was for blocking two spots. But, just as I would have done five years ago, I found a different solution, said nothing, and then let it bother me for the next ten minutes. Anyway, I graded all my papers (easy gig!) and put my work away for the weekend.

As I drove back to West Seattle there was a cool podcast about the Amsterdam fire chief who had to set straight a bunch of super sexist and racist firefighters; listening to it made me sneer at all the jackass northern Europeans I’ve had the displeasure of meeting in my travels who hated Americans for being sexist and racist. Of course at the same time I missed my non-sexist, non-racist northern European friends who I had the pleasure of meeting during my travels. And I did a quick mental review of the Dutch language that they taught me.

For lunch I went down to the beach, as I might have done five years ago, and got the cod combination at Sunfish Café.  Those crazy Greek uncles (crazy in a good way) gave me extra seafood, which they do now, and we gossiped a little about another crazy Greek restauranteur who we used to know who was crazy… in a different way (knowing glance).  Anyway now I am stuffed.

I am, of course, hoping to go on some new Seattle adventures now that I’m back, but it’s going to require some more effort. In most aspects of my life, it’s feeling more like I never left.

With Apologies to Scumbags

So it seems as if the current president tried to pressure the president of Ukraine into investigating the son of his rival, during a phone call back in July. Apparently White House officials were alarmed by this behavior, so they tried to bury the records of this phone call (along with other politically embarrassing, but not classified presidential gaffes) in a double secret system. A whistleblower reported this, and Congress demanded the transcripts, and now there is an official impeachment hearing.

The president’s twittorical defense is that whistleblowers and leaks are despicable, the press and congress are trying to make him look bad, and that Nadler, Schiff, and AOC+3 are some “Do Nothing Democrat Savages.”  It is honestly hard to imagine that he has any knowledge of the US Constitution, since it seems that the whistlelblower, the leaks, the press, and Congressional Democrats are actually looking out for the well-being of the American people by going after this despot, and doing their respective jobs. Every second of every minute he looks more like a tyrant, and when he defends himself he does so the way a tyrant would; with irrational arguments and ad-hominem attacks, in the face of real legal and ethical accusations regarding behavior he admits to.

He is a scumbag.

All The Teabags In China

So when I lived in China, I saw my Chinese friends and coworkers drinking whole leaf tea. They would put the whole leaves in the bottom of the cup, and top it with hot water, without any kind of infuser or tea bag or filter. The whole dry leaves would hydrate, and when they sank to the bottom of the cup waterlogged, the tea was ready to drink. At work, Chinese people enjoyed their tea in glass bottles, where they could view their plump, relaxed leaves all day long.

Nobody ever explicitly said that tea in teabags was beneath them, but they did tell me that teabags were the worst; they were filled with broken tea leaves, the stuff not good enough for their glass bottles. Low quality. In addition to that, there was also idea that a teabag was a pulp and paper product, what exactly is a pulp and paper product leaching into your beverage? Yuck.

I explained this concept to some friends of mine a couple months ago, self-proclaimed “tea people,” who appreciated my trips to Wing Hop Fung 永合豐 tea supermarket in Monterey Park, but were shocked to learn that whole leaf teas could be filtered by gravity alone.

Anyway, now it seems that those teabags are actually nylon, and they’re leaching microplastics into your drink. So maybe we should all go back to gravity-filtered, hand picked, whole leaf teas, and leave the teabagging to the Urban Dictionary.


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