I figure I should get this covered now or else I'm not likely ever to write about it -- too much other stuff going on over the next eight days to get in the way of it.
Last night was my June "Happy Hour" with Laney, although technically the Big Picture only does Happy Hour Monday through Thursday. So there were no discount prices last night, even though we were there by 5:30 or so for a 6:00 showing of Ocean's Eight. (It was . . . fine. Fun. You can read the review.)
Earlier in the week I tried to figure out if I had ever seen a movie there before. It looks like I have not. It was in my Google Calendar when I searched for it, on May 14, 2011 -- but when I checked my LiveJournal for a record of that evening, I discovered we never made it inside: plans to see Bridesmaids with Danielle and Susan there fell through because when we arrived they sold out; we found another showing at a different downtown theatre instead. Lesson learned! So when I saw on Tuesday this past week that the showing was already about 85% sold out, I instantly purchased two seats in the back row near the center -- honestly the only two decently located open seats left -- online. Now I knew we wouldn't be turned away once we got there.
I initially thought I might leave work a little early, so I could bike home just in time to leave my bike locked up, and then walk to Capitol Hill Light Rail Station to meet Laney at 5:00. But, it was the Friday before a vacation, and I worked right up until 4:30. Also, I did not ride my own bike to work, only took a LimeBike (after some real, time-wasting bullshit with Spin Cycle bikes), because it was to be raining in the afternoon. It wasn't raining too badly, actually, but it was wet, and here we are.
The King County Metro Trip Planner said if I caught a #8 up Denny from Denny and 1st Avenue at 4:32 then I should arrive right at Capitol Hill Light Rail Station at about 4:50. Yeah well, they need to adjust their esitmates. I got to the stop right on time, and was honestly surprised to see a #8 coming down First nearly on time. Except: it was behind three other buses, which were behind several other cars, all of them struggling to turn through each green light interval into the packed traffic on Denny.
I took out my phone and looked on the Maps app to see the drive estimate just in a car. 32 minutes. It was now 4:35. A bus would take way longer even than that, with its frequent stops. I gave up hope of making it on that bus, and texted Laney that we just meet at Westlake Station where she would be getting off Light Rail downtown.
This did make me think of the sorry state of traffic in Seattle right now, and how it's never going to get better, only worse, and holy shit am I grateful for Light Rail -- which largely, and especially in the tunnels, bypasses traffic. A surface street bus was going to take over half an hour to go roughly the same distance Laney would get through in just minutes.
I also thought about how basically Seattle is becoming the San Francisco of the Northwest. This is something that could have been argued for some time, but never more so than since 2010. The two cities are similarly constrained by water on many sides, contributing to the density -- San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides; Seattle on two sides, but with a rather large lake (Lake Union) also right in the middle of it. Seattle is also bisected completelin in half by the ship canals that run from Elliott Bay to Lake Union and then on to Lake Washington.
And although San Fransico's growth has been pretty impressive in its own right since 2010 -- 9.8%, its highest rate of growth since 1950 -- Seattle's growth in the same period has been comparatively explosive, 19.1%, our highest rate of growth since 1960 (when its ten-year growth had been the exact same rate). Also, the gap in city-proper populaton size of the two cities is narrowing: San Francisco now has 884,363 people; Seattle 724,745. Granted, San Francisco remains twice as crowded, being only about half the geographic land size.
In any case, Seattle is facing a lot of the growth challenges San Francisco began facing a long time ago. The two cities have a lot in common. Seattle has long had taller buildings, although San Francisco has a fair amount more tall buildings. Even there Seattle is catching up, two years in a row containing more construction cranes than any other city in the country -- including New York.
All right, enough of all that! Laney and I very much liked the experience of the Big Picture theatre, even though the chairs have no trays, and I wish they did. In the way of food they had only pizza, cheese or pepperoni; I had the former and it was so surprisingly good I will absolutely have it again the next time I see a movie there. (They don't take MoviePass, of course, but it's still worth the money, I thought.) You order at the bar before the show and they bring you your second cocktail and food in the middle of the movie. There's an aisle in the middle of the seating area to make delivery a tad easier.
They were showing old silent movies on the screen when we arrived, which I thought was cool and fun. They played only two trailers before the movie -- although one was for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and I am so sick of sitting through that fucking trailer I want the movie to open just so I don't have to see the trailer anymore. Then Ocean's Eight played, and we both enjoyed it, but we both felt it also could have been a lot better. I said I was giving it a solid B, and Laney even said she thought it was closer to B-minus. We discussed the movie as we walked back to Westlake Station, and I brought up many of the points I put into my review.
Ivan had just arrived a few minutes before I got back home after walking from Capitol Hill station. He had said he would be arriving around six but got there closer to 8:30. Shobhit even messaged him to ask where he was. Ivan told me after I asked him that he went to a coffee shop to read for a few hours, and he also got himself dinner at a new falafel place no Broadway. Why couldn't he just tell us he'd get to the condo after 8:00 then? Shobhit was at home largely just to let him in. That was slightly annoying.
But, it was still great to see him as always. He bounded out of the guest room when I came in the door, and I was a little struck by how excited he seemed to be to see me. He later confessed he'd had some marijuana, so maybe that was part of it.
Almost immediately I took him down to the storage unit, just to get that out of the way; there wasn't likely to be time for it this morning. He got his case with his suit in it, and a few other things he gathered into a tote bag, and also the small suitcase he had been unable to take on the shuttle bus to Vancouver last month. He took that bus down to Seattle yesterday, but is taking Amtrak back tomorrow evening, which will allow him a bit more luggage.
We came back upstairs, and Ivan hung out with us for a little while as Shobhit and I packed suitcases in the living room. Ivan laughed more than I think I've ever seen him laugh when he saw my Facebook post of the kind of shocking sign outside Poco Wine Bar downstairs -- I think maybe partly because he was stoned. He said he sent that to Evgeni, his friend in Sofia. (That guy has been sending photos of beaches he's visiting on the Black Sea for the past few days to both Ivan and me, in a group text on Facebook Messenger that Ivan started a while ago, sending us a link about something I forget now.)
Then Ivan wordlessly got up, went to take his evening shower, and went into his room. Oddly, he turned the light off. Did he go to bed? Shobhit was making mango shakes for all three of us, and when they were ready I still knocked on Ivan's door to let him know. "Oh," he said. "I went to bed." I repeated to Shobhit, "He went to bed." Ivan said, "I'm sorry." And that was that, I guess. Honestly I think the marijuana knocked him out. That's the only explanation because if he's sober, he's always up until around 2 a.m.
So, it was literally a couple of hours at most that I got to see Ivan last night, but whatever, it counts! It was great to see him. Now I need to email my neighbor Alexia about the cats -- Guru actually shit and peed on the carpet out by the guest bathroom door, something he literally never did before. Shobhit and I finally figured out it was because he was too scared to get into the litter box in our master bedroom entry closet with the vacuum cleaner leaning agsinst the wall only a few feet away, which I had left for Alexia to use should she need it. Guru wouldn't even come into the room when we were going to bed, and that was when we figured it out. So I put the vacuum cleaner back in the closet by the front door, and then Guru came in.
My worry now is that the precedent has happened, and he might smell the pee -- even after cleaning it with Resolve and Nature's Miracle -- and continue peeing there. Hopefully not, but I should give Alexia a heads up anyway. Then I need to shower and we can be on our way to Idaho.
[posted 7:39 am]