el royale, then and now


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I don't think Shobhit reads every single thing I post here, but I'm pretty sure he still reads most of them. He certainly reads it more consistently than anyone else. Hmm, maybe except Gabriel's mom. Hi Janine! Anyway, Shobhit didn't have a work shift yesterday, which pretty much guaranteed he would read my post yesterday about the weekend. I think it clearly made an impression on him when I noted that after multiple opportunities to do so, he bypassed every chance to get a Social Review point over the weekend. So he kind of went out of his way to get himself a Social Review point last night. He actually joined me for the movie I went to.

It honestly didn't even really occur to me that he would have that much interest in Bad Times at the El Royale, and under normal circumstances I still don't think it would have. I suspect that, last night in particular, it was a combination of two things: I have plans every evening this week from Monday through Thursday; and there's been a vague feeling of precariousness between us since that fight early Saturday evening. He was asking if I could see last night's movie another night, but I had no other good time to reschedule it. I think he just wanted to spend time with me.

Not only that, but after I told him his ticket would be full price at Pacific Place -- I have discount Costco tickets only for Regal Cinemas -- we realized that we may, for the first time ever, be able to take full advantage of my currently-active dual memberships with both MoviePass and AMC Stubbs A-List. I didn't have great faith in this at first, but it being a Monday evening and a movie that is far from a huge release both worked for us: I checked in using the AMC membership, and then, once we were close enough to Pacific Place and it was less than 30 minutes to showtime, finally a movie I wanted to see was available for checkin in MoviePass. And unlike AMC Stubbs A-List, which "requires" that I show the ticket taker my ID (there is no consistency of ticket takers actually checking, but it still happens maybe half the time -- I did not last night), with MoviePass I just check in and then pay with the MoviePass credit card. In any case, in effect, since my MoviePass was paying for itself by April, and within each monthly cycle my AMC pass is paying for itself after two movies, we both saw last night's movie for free.

As it happens, given that Bad Times at the El Royale has gotten mixed reviews (a MetaScore of 60 is moderately promising, but certainly low enough to be far from a guaranteed good time), my expectations were relatively low going in. I knew that a solid B was about the best I could hope for, and that's what I gave it, but that still qualified as it exceeding my expectations. This was the kind of movie that, although I'm not likely ever to watch it again, I had a rather good time during it.

The movie is two hours and 21 minutes long, which is at least 21 minutes longer than it needed to be, and the trailers beforehand seemed endless. We went to a 6:10 showing and it was about 9:00 when we got out. We caught a #11 bus back up the hill though, briefly went over to Trader Joe's, and then I still had just enough time before bed to write the review.

With these movie memberships at the big multiplexes, I see movies at those theatres a hell of a lot more often now than I had been for some time, and their greater variety of showtimes works well for me, especially when I leave work at 4:30. It means I can easily make showtimes at 4:50 or 5:30 whenever those happen (maybe a third of the time), and far more often they have showtimes closer to 6:00. Back when Landmark Theatres dominated the local independent and foreign film market, and ditto with movies I currently see at SIFF Cinemas theatres, my best option is usually a 7:00 show. If that happens at, say, Uptown Cinemas on Lower Queen Anne, I don't get home until close to 10:00, and it's much more of a pain in the ass to get my review written before bed. With these earlier showtimes, it's a hell of a lot easier -- and I now make a far greater effort to write my reviews at home rather than while I'm at the office. Probably 90% of my reviews get written at home now. I generally prefer getting them written the same evening I see the movie anyway.

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-- चार हजार चार सौ छः --

I had only one small snack between meals yesterday. Wait, okay, I just remembered a few cookie crackers I had at home so I guess that makes two. My weight was down this morning but only by 0.2 lbs. I wish I could learn to just let go instead of obsessing over my weight. The problem with that idea is the potential for just gaining another 20 lbs again. To say I've plateaued over the past two years in particular would be an understatement. I gained about 10 lbs in about a week after the 2016 election and have yet to shed them, and I know full well I would fairly easily if I were just more strict about both my per-meal portions and my between-meal snacking. The other thing is that, you know, I actually still look great. When I was down to 138 lbs it could have been argued I looked too thin. And still I want to get back to that. I can't say "desperately" though because that word obviously doesn't qualify.

And there's hardly any logic in my worrying much about it anyway. Practically speaking, a difference of 10 lbs has had zero effect on how many people are attracted to me -- I get the same amount of action now as I did two years ago. I think the variation of my hair length has more of an effect on that, to be honest. Anyone who is into me, at my current age, really isn't going to give a shit if I weigh 150 lbs as opposed to 140 lbs. Maybe one or two people will. Not enough to make any really discernible difference.

I weighed in at 152.8 lbs this morning, actually. Just to be clear. I've basically been bouncing up and down between 150 and 153 for weeks now. I even joined MyFitnessPal and added the app just so I could see my weight progress graphed, and as of today I am less than a single pound lighter than when I first started it, on August 1.

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So I had a sort of refresher conversation with Marie from IT this morning, which I want to share here so that I have a record of it that I can reference later if need be -- so I don't have to keep having the same conversation with you. It has to do with the history of 3131 Elliott Avenue, the building PCC currently occupies with our central office -- and, by extension, 3101 Western across Elliott Avenue, to which our office building is connected by a skywalk. The two buildings were constructed at the same time, finished in 1986.

3101 Western (1986, 122 ft, 11 floors) was once the headquarters for Airborne Express, a company founded in 1946 and which ceased to exist in the early 2000s. Marie worked for them in the eighties, when they occupied that entire building -- and also three floors of this building, 3131 Elliott (1986, 85 ft, 7 floors). Floor #5, the entirety of which PCC now occupies, was one of those three floors. Marie tells me her desk was across the street, but she used to come over here, even on this floor, for meetings frequently. She told me their IT department alone was something like 300 people.

She worked for them for fourteen years, only leaving when someone else who worked there had moved on, told her about an open position at the new company they worked for which they declared perfect for her, and although Marie wasn't even looking for a new job, they made her an offer she couldn't refuse. I suppose in retrospect it was for the best, given that Airborne Express ultimately went out of business. She told me this morning that every once in a while she'll run into someone else who used to work there, and they'll all be amazed that she's now working in the same building again -- although there no longer remains any company at all with offices in both buildings.

The skywalk just happens to remain. We did not discuss it this morning, but I do remember from the first conversation Marie and I had about it that it was at Airborne Express's bidding that the skywalk was constructed. I remember her telling me too many people crossing Elliott Avenue for meetings in the opposite building were jaywalking and it created issues (did people get hit by cars? I can't remember), so the skywalk was installed. Now people like me just use it to get here from, say, Western Avenue without having to go down the hill from there to Elliott Avenue first. Or the opposite: often when I walk home from work, I go down to the third floor of my building and to that skywalk, which attaches on the other side to the top floor of 3101 Western's parking garage. You can either take elevators there up to the ground floor that opens to their front doors on Western, or just go out the side door next to the garage door to the side of the building, and then walk half a block from there up to Western.

Both buildings are now owned by Martin Selig Real Estate. I have no idea how long that has been the case. Their page for 3131 Elliott, the building with PCC in it, has a slideshow of pretty great exterior photos of the building. A couple of them have fantastic "birds-eye" views of the decks we have in staircase formation up the north side of the building, clearly taken from 3101 Western. Ours is third from the top, clearly taken before we moved in back in 2016.

Back in late 2015, when we were first learning of the new location, I took a photo showing this pretty great angle that offers a view of both buildings side by side, looking at them to the north from the Olympic Sculpture Park, or more specifically Myrtle Edwards Park -- kind of where the two parks intersect.

I'm just fascinated by this minor, random connection to the history of these two buildings, this one person who worked in IT for both companies and worked on this exact floor both way back then (granted, back then, just for meetings) and now.

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[posted 12:15 pm]