… And what it’s like to move up here.
Imagine coming from a perfectly manicured area—where all trees are watered and trimmed, and all vegetation is so controlled, with that omnipresent-gardener feel—to a city set in a bloody forest. This forest that looks like it’s just waiting for its chance to take revenge on what our logging and concreting has done to it. The forest sprouts up, lush and green and gorgeous, everywhere. And it’s not the same plants either—there’s tons of variety. On a walk/mini-hike we did near our place, we walked near ferns that were tall and wide and gorgeous enough to feel like we were in Jurassic Park. There were hills of thornbushes just like the ones I’ve read about in rabbit and rat stories. We spotted a wild raspberry bush. Even the rabbits seem unreal; they are more like bunnies, actually, with their adorably short ears, fat stomachs, and bushy white bottoms. Wildflowers are everywhere! Seattle is a temperate rainforest, and yeah, I really feel like I’m in a rainforest when I’m hiking through it. It’s wild, free… alive.
You know, traffic kind of feels that way too. When we get on the teeny-tiny freeway, with its crowded entry- and exit-ways, “wild” is definitely the word that comes to mind. I honestly feel like I should be wearing a helmet whenever I get into the car.
So… our cats love it here. We have been having a hard time with our cats the last year or so. They just kept meowing. Over and over and over. Like, we were looking up recipes for cat stew. But here… they’re stopped. For a while we thought that they were still in moving-shock, but we realized it’s because we’re on the top floor now, and so they don’t hear mysterious thumping and noises to egg on their curiosity. Top floor = no meowing. We will ALWAYS live on the top floor now.
So, we have a 4 month lease, specifically because we planned on looking for and getting a house right away. Buuuuuut that has all changed. We just don’t feel that rush anymore—that house-hungry-ness. Thank God! I had it bad, but it feels good enough to just move here and buy our own furniture (not used!!) for once. So, our plans to get a house are indefinitely on the hold.
So let me tell you about the apartment. On the other side of the wall, is one of the miniature libraries of the King County Library System (KCLS). I love it! The KCLS is one of the best in the country with an ongoing interlibrary loan system between all libraries in the system. With all these smaller libraries dropped in (very close) intervals throughout the county, the libraries actually make up this big composite whole. It’s the library of synergy! They library databases are shared, and a whole half wall in the library is dedicated to the Holds that come in for patrons from the other libraries. It’s not the stand-alone experience of Provo or Orem libraries.
Uh, yes, duh, of course I’ve applied. They had a surge of job openings before we came, so there was only a couple of jobs left, but I’ll take what I can get. Even though I submitted an application weeks ago, all I’ve heard is that they’re still reviewing them (what the what?). I’ve also applied for a school library job (And here is where fear repeatedly trumps the thumping of my heart!) and at the University of Washington’s library. All–public, school, academic–have nice perks. And here in Washington, libraries are paid their graduate-degree-mettle. They have a good community basis here and good schools. This reminds me: I ran across a political sign planted in the ground: “Close Tax Loopholes. Consider our kids and schools!” Yeah, Washington, this is the attitude that makes it so you do not have the massive school closings and hundreds of fired teachers and crushing library budget cuts of Utah’s recent history. Can I just say, I love this attitude toward taxes: community first! It’s about synergy, the whole being greater than the parts—the community being built up instead of the individual coffers. It’s what fosters the interlibrary loan system across the cities, instead of the stand-alone Provo/Orem libraries.
So, yeah. Yeah, this is a place where I can sit back with hands behind the head and feel pretty blissful. Especially with the balcony door open to let in the cool breeze, with a white and grey blanket of clouds dropping down damp wetness so light that it can’t even be called a drizzle… It’s more an un-fog, really. In other words, bookies, it’s the perfect reading weather. The perfect sleep-in weather. The perfect get-up-early-and-jog weather. The perfect writing weather. The perfect thinking weather. Unfortunately, it is the not-so-perfect camping weather, which is what we had planned for tonight! Oh well, I guess.
Well, almost equidistant to the library in the opposite direction of my apartment is an open-walled local produce market. There’s also a little Safeway just across the street, too. And this is awesome. All in Utah, we shopped what I like to call “the Mormon way.” (There’s offense there at all, fyi.) It’s where when things are on sale, you buy tons of it and store it away for the future. Dan and I have always done this. Emergency food, and all that. Well, God, don’t hit us with a disaster anytime soon because we don’t do it that way anymore. With the shops being so close, I’ll find a recipe in the morning, and go shopping for ingredients in the evening. And that’s it. No long term groceries, hardly. And guys, I love it. We buy as close to the ground as we can get our food, and it just feels good. I love that we have more money now; we can afford to buy local, we don’t have to stock up on sales, and we don’t have to worry about getting the best deals at each store. We just … buy. Taking my cloth sack and walking to the library for a book and then to the market for a handful of items … this is the life.
So let’s talk about diversity. Yeah, like it’s exists! After living in Utah for so long, I was starting to think the world was made up of varying colors of peach. But now, Dan is the only white person on his team at work. There are just lots of different cultures here—it’s common to hear a variety of other languages and accents. There are also different lifestyles, like the openly and obviously gay people here. I was shopping for a purse/bag/thing, and the sales guy said, “Oh yeah, this bag is great! I actually have it at home. Oh, and [points] this one too!” It’s stupid really, and probably discriminatory in its own way, but I really want us to collect a hugely diverse group of friends.
Hey, my stomach is growling. I’ve got to go stuff my face. Yes, if you’ve read this thing through, I realize I’m a jerk for not posting pictures yet.