Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ellensburg - Issaquah - Seattle

 Michael, Sean, Lindsey and I left Ellensburg around 6 in the evening on Friday evening, and got to Sean's parents' in Issaquah around 7:30. Sean's stepdad works for Microsoft, and their house is the biggest, nicest house I've ever seen, located in a neighborhood of similarly enormous, nice houses. To tell you the kind of person Sean is, though (and the kind of friends I have), we spent the night in this House of All Houses in Sean's room after watching the most recent Christmas Special of Top Gear (in which the trio drive convertibles [Jeremy had a Mazda, James had a BMW and Richard had a Fiat] to Bethlehem via Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan to bring gifts to the Baby Jezuz, who was actually a tiny infant Stig, and during which James May was quite hideously injured when the tow rope he was holding clotheslined him into the rocky desert on the border of Jordan - he split his head and had to be driven to the hospital) - all four of us splitting the bunkbeds. It was awesome.

I felt/feel a bit like I was/am on another planet, as it has been a very long time since I was in a proper suburb. There are things to do and places to go, and eat, and see. We have a huge room in a massive duplex - five bedrooms per residence. Our room, second bedroom on the second floor, is furnished with a ginormous flatscreen tv, a desk, a small book case, an ottoman, two massive windows, and a very comfortable queen-sized mattress set (thanks to my friend Andrew, from whose sister we are subletting). In the walk-in closet are two large shelves, a big window, and a mini fridge, into which I intend to put six packs of be-...soda. Unfortunately we are on Fraternity Row, so the streets are littered and noisy, and our housemates are typical alcoholic partiers (it smells so strongly of booze and leftover booze containers  - can you call it "rotting" alcohol if it's already a fermented beverage?? - downstairs that I hold my breath whenever we leave/enter the house). Currently they are having a party, so they're blasting their garbage music (from the feel of the vibrations coming through the floor - it's too loud to actually hear what it is - it's hip hop). Michael's a lucky s.o.b. who sleeps through everything, so, naturally, he's asleep. I'm watching Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and writing this.

UW campus is fantastic. Literally, as in a fantasy. There are little bridges everywhere, and some of the entrances to the buildings are balcony-like. Campus  is MASSIVE, the buildings are MASSIVE and ornate and old, the trees are MASSIVE and old. Each department has mailboxes decorated bizarrely. I took pictures of three, and will try to get a shot of each. The trees are so so so big and some of them are strange, one of them looked like an ent, it totally had a face on it. And of course, due to the arborous nature of campus, visibility is minimal, and it is easy to become disoriented. I felt a bit like I was navigating a game map: there are multiple paths, roads, sidewalks, trails, and driveways which wind themselves into and around the buildings on campus, but since all manner of vegetation obscurs the view, it's literally a crap shoot trying to find your way around. You can only see about ten yards in front of you at any given time. Some areas are spread out, literally just carved into the forest. Other sections of campus feel like movie sets because the buildings are HUGE but the roads are so small and currently depopulated. Plus the campus is so hilly, it's just fantastically bizarre. I am really looking forward to class on Monday, and to exploring the campus more. And it IS a beautiful campus, so even being dilerious with hunger, we enjoyed getting lost while trying to find our buildings. 

After managing to locate all three, we headed toward the University District. It was almost eerily quiet. It wasn't desolate with tumbling tumbleweeds tumbling along or anything, but there were fewer people out and about than there would have been in Ellensburg. Since it's summertime, a weekend, and summer term hasn't yet started, it makes sense that there would be fewer people here. Still, it was strange to be walking around an urban area without transients bumbling around or crazies laughing shoutingly at park benches, or overdressed business people striding down the sidewalks on cell phones or hipster college kids slouching around plugged into their iStarbucks. Michael and I walked around a bit before having dinner at Wing Central. I was slightly annoyed (I moved two hundred miles away to a huge city so that I'd have access to great restaurants, and we ended up eating at a chain restaurant that has a franchise across the street from my apartment in Ellensburg//Michael had been going ON AND ON about this place called Chipotle - a crappy, overpriced "Mexican Grill" which is like the bastard lovechild of Subway and Taco Bell - and we made sure to eat there last night, yet we didn't eat at any of the Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, etc. restaurants that I've been dying to go to) but after two strawberry lemonades, some waffle fries dipped in honey mustard, and a massive pulled bbq pork sandwich, I didn't care. 

Tomorrow we'll have to get up and get ourselves to Safeway, the bookstore, and possibly a non-chain restaurant, preferably one which serves unidentifiable pieces of meat nestled on a bed of noodles, vegetables, and drowned in a slightly spicy garlic sauce. I've developed a taste for foods with a mild piqaunt aftertaste. I'm also desperate to find buttery, salty soft pretzels and hot, chewy churros. Hopefully our U-Pass transit-and-discount UW student ID cards will help bring this dream to fruition. 

For now I'm going to go drink some water out of the sink (I didn't bring any dishes, assuming that I wouldn't need them), then try to fall asleep with Star Wars on in the hope that it will mask the incredible (not good) noise coming from downstairs. 

This is V, signing off. 

Posttt Scripttt I left the cable for my camera at Mom's, so I won't be putting photos onto Facebook/into the dropbox until I get that mailed to me. But use your imagination, it's awesome. :)

My cousin Danny took a picture of this when he was out shopping in Provo. Ha.