Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Duncan Thaw.

Because I'm a bit of a dork, I can't hear the words Spring Thaw without thinking of Duncan Thaw, the main character in Alasdair Gray's Lanark, which is one of my favorite books. Not because it's the best thing I've ever read, mind you, but because of the physical book itself. It was printed in four volumes, numbered 3, 1, 2, and 4, and as with all Gray books, the overall design is also Gray's, from the end-papers right through to tiny drawings and other marginalia. It's a beautiful thing.

Anyhow, about the nearby Thaw. The host hotel cannot possibly be worth what they're charging participants, especially as the "special discount price" was more expensive than what it cost if you booked through Expedia as part of your airline ticket package, but I digress. It's a bland 1970s kind of building right down to the flimsy aluminium frame windows. Wait a second, this isn't supposed to be a hotel review.

Uh, OK. So, I went to Ikea this morning and bought a monster of a king size bed at Ikea, one that is so Danish modern circa 1962 that it is damn near spectacularly ugly. It should however go great with the new house, and, more importantly, will be better than that awful fucking bed that's in this shabby apartment. [I'm not up at 4 in the morning just because I'm jetlagged, but also because the bed sucks so hard.] That took about twenty minutes - they're so much better at customer service up here in Seattle it's not even funny. When I think about the Emeryville store, I get hives. Anyhow, finished up with that and took off for the Best Western to hook up with chrisglass. BTW, that means "hang out with", not "engage in hot sweaty man-sex" or whatever you think it did. And on the way over, Brian called me, which was an extra added bonus. So, I spent the day in the company of two handsome, intelligent, friendly Bears touring some of Seattle's lesser known sights. That is, I mostly got lost because I have no fucking clue where I am in this city at this point in time. I've only lived here for about a week total, and I'd be hard pressed to show anyone from out of town the sights. As a result, I first headed over to Magnolia thinking that I might find this café I vaguely remember from going over to Steve May's old house about six years back. I found Magnolia, but not the café. I also saw a v. amusing sign that mordo obviously came across as well - thankfully, Matt got a picture of it, because we couldn't get a camera out in time. Thanks Matt!

Once in Magnolia, we went to some Thai place. I had the single worst Thai red curry I've ever had - it was nothing like a Thai red curry except that it was obviously not chicken fried steak. Too much sugar, not very spicy, bad non-jasmine rice. Great company though!

From there I kind of angled eastward, managing somehow to totally screw up getting on the freeway east to Redmond - I was so thrilled by the prospect of using the express lanes, I didn't know that if you did that, you couldn't get on the 520 east to Redmond. Whoops. So... we had a quick, horribly misguided tour of the University of Washington campus. I couldn't even find their museum with the Pacific Northwest indigenous art. Still, the conversation was going so well that I don't think anyone really noticed the lack of actual sights to see.

Eventually, I dragged them up to see the new house [still fabulous, still impossible to see the view without actually being in the house, can't wait to move in!!!]. Then, it was over to the Microsoft Museum where this lurvely picture was taken:



That's Brian trying to give me rabbit ears. Chris was elsewhere at the time, trying I believe to take a good picture of the IE scripting error I managed to invoke as if by magic on the "Test your Microsoft IQ" console. Whoops! Oh, and there was a stupid typo on the Microsoft corporate art collection information board: they referred to their Silicon Valley campus as being in "Mt. View", not "Mountain View". Eeeeediots! That stuff pisses me off. Nothing like slipping up on the details. Anyhow. Went upstairs to the store where Mr. Glass bought some T-shirts or something. I resisted the urge to stock up on software, which was easy because I'm not yet an employee, and as a result have no purchasing authority in that store.

From there, I drove by Building 119, my future home away from home, and through campus to pass by Dan's office and give them a general sense of the place. ***YAWN*** Then, we just hung out at our crap apartment for a few hours shooting the breeze. Oh, and we stopped by the espresso bar at the Albertson's by the new house. Good coffee, surprisingly, and I'm 20% of the way done to a free cup!!! ***YAWN***

Long story short, eventually we dragged our sorry asses to an Official Spring Thaw Event, which was cold bad pizza with congealed grease in a crowded, stuffy room with a bunch of other fat hairy guys. This was actually OK. I also had the pleasure of finally meeting funkybearmartin, whose voice sounded entirely different than what I was led to expect. I think he may have been surprised by the surprising disconnect between my online persona and my actual person, which I found v. amusing. After pizza-ing for a bit, we walked up the street to C. C. Attle's, a place I have now decided I do not care for, at least not when overcrowded with drunk Bears who have no sense of personal space. Then again, any sense of personal space is automatically voided by the sheer fact that the fire marshal would have a seizure if s/he had seen how many people were jammed in there. Yeowch! So I left fairly quickly, went home, and fell asleep. Dan stayed out until much later, though: he surprised me by turning up in a taxi just as I was waking up around 4 AM. Yeowch!

So, now I'm up sorting my finances, completing an order for some Clonakilla wines, and wondering when I'm going to fall asleep again. I'm guessing it won't happen, but I'm surprisingly tired for someone still stuck on GMT+1.
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