It’s Monday, but it’s mellow.  When it rains like this; casually, lazily, with no purpose other than to renew the land, nourish the life and make the streets shiny, everything seems to slow down just a little in order to receive it.  My hometown has more of these days than not (which explains the coffee obsession) so when it rains like this in Orlando I think it makes me a bit nostalgic.  Orlando gets it’s share of rain, but it’s more of the soaking, torrential, relentless downpour for fifteen minutes.  That has it’s place, and can be fun in the right circumstances, but today is a lazy rain, the kind you can walk in without worry of ruining your hair or damaging your iPhone.

As of now I’m sitting at my normal lunch spot watching the drops hit the glazed marble walkways as people walk down the streets with grossly oversized umbrellas.  In Seattle you don’t usually bother with an umbrella, the rain is more like a dense mist, but here if you’re caught without an umbrella in a downpour, nothing can save you from being soaked.  Those that walk without an umbrella today are fine, but they aren’t being as a Seattle native, they are simply unprepared.  Ironically I meant to write a slightly ranty post today, but it rained and I am calm.  If I’m not feeling it, I can’t write it.  Instead I am here, just being a part of it, soaking it all in metaphorically and feeling peaceful.

It was so, so sexy though...

It was so, so sexy though…

In essence the rain made today.  I spent the first part of the day driving and hanging around exotic cars as a result of my boss’s convertible top being stuck down.  This morning the rain had not yet come, but we knew it would, so I had to arrange for service.  At the same time, we were filming a promo spot for the the local Mall at Millenia which required the use of a high-end vehicle.  The plan was to use my boss’s Audi S5, but with it in service, I took it upon myself to convince the dealership to loan us one of theirs (I tried for the R8, but they weren’t feeling that brave.)  So, I got to have some fun driving these and checking out some other exotics while coming through in a pinch for my boss.  I call that win.  So thanks to the rain, today is mellow, pleasant, relaxing and productive.  But the day is only half done and there is more rain to come, so I’ll continue this tonight…

As the day went on the rain gradually increased, but never to the point of downpour.  As I left my office this evening I was greeted by another nostalgic sight of the city buildings piercing the fog with a majestic glow.  The unfortunate truth is that Orlando’s skyline leaves much to be desired compared to other grand old cities like Boston, New York or even a younger, smaller city like Seattle.  Orlando is great, I like it here and I like a lot of things about it, but I feel like it’s more a very large, spread out town than a real city.  Still, the few skyscrapers we have are relatively impressive and to see them bathed in glow of fog similar to Seattle is a treat in itself.

The evening was filled with productivity, but nothing exciting, nothing worth writing about.  Except that I like the glow of puddles reflecting the lights of the city and the ripples on the surface as the raindrops penetrate them.  During the day it’s reflective and meditative, at night I find it dramatic and thought-provoking.  It feels like it’s foretelling things, like little whispers of what’s to come ride on each of those ripples in the darkness.  If only we could listen closely enough, perhaps they would give away their secrets.  But then, would we really want to know?

All the possible ripples...

All the possible ripples…

I will admit my disappointment as the day came to a close and the rain let up.  If there’s any time I love the storms here in Orlando, it’s later at night.  Thunder and Lightning can happen whenever, I love it regardless.  But especially late at night, lying bed (with or without somebody there…) the sound of a downpour outside is especially soothing.  “White noise” some people call it.  Maybe that’s a good term for positive noise.  It’s probably got some technicality I could google, and I may actually be misusing the term in regards to the sound a storm makes, but for now it makes sense.  Positive noise anyway, noise that soothes and distracts just enough to relax you and allow you to drift away to much-needed sleep.  But unfortunately for now the weather has passed and the all too familiar clear sky will return.  It’s gorgeous of course, I’m not complaining, the exact opposite consistency of that which I grew up with on the opposite side of the country.  You always want what you can’t have.

There won’t be any more rain tonight.

I Have to Write About Sports Today

This is not a blog about sports.  This is a post about football, and the Super Bowl, the Seahawks and even the Patriots.  But if you found this because it’s a sports post, there may not be much for you beyond this post.  You’ve been warned.

If you’ve been reading / paying attention, you know I grew up in Seattle.  As a young boy I spent a lot of time bouncing between my mother and father depending on who was the “stable” one at the time.  They fluctuated and the degree of stability varied.  However, some of the best times I had with my dad was at the Kingdome (the ancient, now gone stadium in which both the Seahawks and Mariners used to play.)  My father was very into Seattle sports and I played football in high school, so being fans of the local teams was natural.  The thing about Seattle is that we always had a good attitude about our sports, except for the

That's old school Seattle.  My town.

That’s old school Seattle. My town.

most part, they sucked. For years my father and I would wait in the cold and rain after games for the chance at possible autographs (which I got more than a few of, I still have some from Edgar Martinez and a few others of that era on both teams.)  Then one year (1995) the Mariners did something amazing, and for the first time since the franchise was founded, they made the post-season.  It was magic and exciting and happy and the entire city celebrated.  After that, the Mariners would go on to set some records and win a couple more divisions, but never make the world series and (unfortunately, most recently) fall back into being a rather unimpressive team.  Meanwhile, the Seahawks had a great season in 2006, even making it to the Super Bowl but ultimately losing and then fading back to “normalcy”… until 2014.

Last year the Seahawks took a young team and made a serious name for itself.  It made heroes, (and perhaps anti-heroes) played exciting games and was (as Charlie would say:) winning.  The team dominated and played memorable games up to the Super Bowl… which was.. actually kinda boring.  I mean, at first it was amazing that the hawks were there to begin with, but as the score gap continued to grow it became very obvious we were not seeing the Broncos live up their potential that night and as a result, a team of Seahawks who were on their game dominated and won their first Super Bowl, ever.

To Seattle football fans this was the victory of a lifetime.  If sports in Seattle had ceased to exist at that point, all would probably be alright in their world.  But the next year came, the defending national champions returned, and with it the new hope of another Super Bowl.  However, the season started out inconsistent and some began to worry that the magic of the previous year had run out.  But the second half of the season marked the return of the team we had seen the previous year and the twelfth man road behind them all the way to the final playoff game where it appeared the Packers might block their road to their second consecutive Super Bowl.  But no, not these boys, they weren’t having it and though trailing late in the fourth quarter, in the last five minutes they made gutsy clutch plays that paid off, sending them from a 19-7 deficit to a tied game in overtime.  That was all it took to light their fire and allow them to score with a beautiful 35 yard pass to end the game and collectively rip out the hearts of every Packers fan paying attention.

This pretty much sums them up.

This pretty much sums them up.

So then the Seahawks rode high to their second Super Bowl to meet with the most recent team to pull off they “dynasty” that some whispered Seattle would claim next.  Marshawn Lynch didn’t talk enough (unless it was to Skittles) and Richard Sherman might’ve talked a little too much, but nobody cared, the fans loved them for who they were, which was exactly what they wanted.  These were Seattle’s warriors of hope rolling in on a combination of luck, skill and excitement to defend their National title at their second Super Bowl ever.  

But the Patriots were not off their game as the Broncos had been the previous year.  No, this was a real Super Bowl game.  The tension was high, the score went back and fourth, and you had no idea who was going to win it until the final minutes. At least… you thought you did.  At first it seemed like Seattle wasn’t going to be able to make it to the end zone before the time ran out… until Jermaine Kearse missed… but made a ridiculous catch for the Seahawks on the five yard line that fans on either side could only attribute to an act of god.  Yes, even god seemed to have the Seahawks back last night.  The next play the man known as beast mode powered the ball within eighteen inches of the Seahawk’s second (consecutive) Super Bowl ever.  So with less than a minute in the fourth quarter, second down and eighteen fucking inches to go… what is currently being referred to as the worst play call in Super Bowl history happens.  Instead of having the Beast Mode do exactly what earned him that nickname, the coach(es) decide they want to be complicated.  No, it’s not good enough to pull ahead in the last minute and trust your extremely pumped defense defend your lead, they decide they want to run the time down, so the call a passing play.. right. up. the. middle… what!?  Of all the places to throw it.. the one place where any number of things can happen…  and it did.  The play actually looked clean, but at the last moment, a relatively (until this moment) corner for the Patriots became a hero and intercepted the pass meant to be the game winning touchdown.  In that moment divine retribution for all the hearts Seattle had broken came flooding back to them.  And anyone watching a moment later saw Richard Sherman’s heart break on the sidelines.  Our heroes collectively broke, and the game was over.

Every Seattle fan felt this at this moment.

Every Seattle fan felt this at this moment.

Sadness.  But holy shit what a game! Last year by this time I was bored.  In the fourth quarter it was like “Yay! We win! Get on with it!”  But this year?  No this year if you were a fan you felt it on both sides. Excitement, joy and heartbreak.  That was a Super Bowl.  My team lost, but they were at the freakin’ Super Bowl… and as defending national champions.  It was easy to lose sight of that in a gut-wrenching loss, but though our heroes were eventually defeated by their own devices, everything they did up to that point was still pretty awesome.

Except that fight.  That was petty, and stupid and took the Seahawks down a notch for starting it.  Sure, tensions run high and some people enjoyed seeing a brawl, but heroes are better than that.  Knock that shit off.  Who gets ejected from the Super Bowl!? Win or lose, that’s just lame.  I get it, you’re a pumped up warrior and you care, but put it where it belongs on the field.

And let’s talk about the Patriots because you know what?  Tom Brady is a badass quarterback who has earned his stripes and continues to show us why.  On top of that, he’s a pretty good guy in general.  He’s the hero for the Patriots fans and he played a good, solid game against another very good team.  Even if the Seahawks threw it away for themselves in the end, the Patriots fought a damn hard game and put themselves in the position to be ahead with less than a minute to play.  They may have had a little luck from an insane call, but they otherwise earned that game and arguably out-played the Seahawks for more than half the game.  So, if we’re gonna lose, let’s lose to somebody worthy of losing to.  Congratulations Patriots, you fought hard and earned it.

In actuality, both teams earned it, but there can be only one, and yesterday only one bad call made the difference.  Here’s the thing about that call too… there’s been some back and fourth.  There’s been some rationale and logically it’s a stretch, but it would’ve been forgiven if it had worked.  The truth is the Seahawks had been making bizarre, gutsy, risky calls like that for a while now (especially against the Packers) which ended up winning them the game.  But this was the wrong risk to take at the wrong time.  This was the time to keep it simple, and overthinking was our undoing.

See you next year.

See you next year. 🙂

But you know what?  We paid for the hearts we broke along the way, and played every game of the season.  That’s something to recognize and be proud of.  I think next season we’ll all be pretty happy for the Seahawks to say they’ve gone to the Super Bowl three consecutive years.  Next year is Superbowl 50, it will be a special game and a special win.  That’s the start to a dynasty and now that Seattle knows what winning feels like, we’re going to come back hard with our lessons learned to get that feeling back.

Homecoming: A Long Epilogue

Coffee + Magical Sky Juice = Writing Fuel!

Coffee + Magical Sky Juice = Writing Fuel!

I’ve been in the air for a little over an hour now (likely somewhere over Idaho) heading toward a short stop in Texas before the second leg of the trip back to Orlando. I think the most important thing I took from the short trip in Seattle is that I like it there. I like the weather, I like culture, I like the city and I like the people (My friends, arguably more so than I used to.) My path and the place I belong now is Orlando, but if and when the opportunity to return to Seattle made itself know, I would follow it happily. Granted there are many places that I would be willing to go in order to take the next step, but Seattle previously carried a stigma to it that no longer exists. In fact, because of my familiarity and the people I have there (friends and family both) it carries a specific appeal for sure. I have a hometown.

Shortly after my last post I was picked up and spent the evening (after all too iconic Seattle traffic) in Bellevue catching up with three young ladies from my high school days (all three of whom I’ve had a crush of some sort on at some point or another.) We began at a Mexican restaurant, three of use with appetizers and shots of tequila while we waited for our fourth to arrive. We told many stories of our classmates, and ourselves, went through some 16 total margaritas (combined), took many selfies and laughed about our misadventures in high school and since.



What was fascinating about these discussions is that each of them knew me in a different way. One hadn’t really kept up with me over the years (in fairness neither had I kept up with her…) but was the fortunate enough one to be stuck in traffic with me, allowing us to get a head start on catching up. We’d covered some relatively deep subjects, so when I began telling stories to the group she had a contextual reference the others did not. Another is a regular follower of my blog, so she had a great deal of background information both recent and historical. The third has been keeping up with me on Facebook and through regular messages for some time and was probably the most knowledgeable on my current life status.

I told them one thing I was quite jealous of was their children. As of now, two of them are married (one to her high school sweetheart) and the other is an amazing single mother (as evidenced by the stories of her children.) For the longest time I’ve wanted a child (preferably legitimately) but obviously I have to find the right person first and so far not a lot of headway has been made. In the car ride (traffic) over I had mentioned that we always want what we can’t have. So (especially in our thirties) some that have long established families and routines look at my lifestyle and see it as adventurous and free (I do my best anyway…) while I listen to the stories of their children, families and well-established careers and can’t help but wonder if I’m falling behind. Of course, as it stands, I don’t think any of us would trade, and though all three have two children (ideal in my mind), they are each in pretty different set of circumstances (perhaps I will elaborate on them a bit more in a future blog.)

As the night carried on we wandered the mall called Bellevue Square that we had spent a great deal of time at as high school kids. One had promised a friend she would pick up nifty scented bath soaps/oils of some sort and then we (predictably) found ourselves in Sephora (a makeup store) at which point one of the girls who hardly wears makeup and I slipped away to find more drinks. This was an education for me as I was introduced to Nordstrom’s having a full bar dead center in the middle of it’s store. Prices were surprisingly reasonable considering what the clothing usually runs. Eventually the other two caught up to us and after more discussion/selfies we made a quick stop to see my car (Tesla!!) and moved on to our final destination.

It was a Dark and Stormy night..

It was a Dark and Stormy night..

One of the girls had promised her friend she would take a photo of a huge blown glass chandelier that was crafted by a famous local Seattle artist (kicking myself at the moment for not having a photo to include in the blog.) When that mission was accomplished we moved upstairs to a pool hall I had talked to them about called “The Parlor”. Shortly before I left for Orlando I had spent a fair amount of time there. It had an upscale vibe (because Bellevue…) but was reasonable on prices and had pretty good happy hour specials. With fifteen minutes until happy hour we settled in for our last round.

Perhaps it was the drinks adding up or the hours getting later (in truth it was only 11:00 PM but people have families now and it was a Tuesday…) but the conversation turned to sex and was primarily based on me. As it happens I have a number of entertaining stories (don’t worry to some of you reading this… probably not THAT one… probably…) that had reactions ranging from laughter to a great deal of eye rolling (a not uncommon reaction.)  We finished off our drinks that accompanied some really great happy hour appetizers and decided to call it a night.   (I should point out that those who were driving had moderated their drinking responsibly as the night went on… and those that weren’t… probably felt it the next day.)

Addiction Manifested.

Addiction Manifested.

The following day I slept in and then took the Sounder (Seattle’s rail system) to go and visit my father. It was my first time on the train and I enjoyed the random local conversation along with my ability to plug in my electronics. The ride was quick and easy and before long my father picked my up in Lakeland where he now lives. After a quick stop to show off his new place, we headed out to Potlach (Hood Canal) to the house on the water to visit with his girlfriend and her son whom have become a part of his/our family throughout the years. Naturally as I lounged fireside I was fed and fed well. Meat, cheese and wine precluded my father’s amazing signature buffalo wings of which I ate entirely too many (as usual.) Feeling fat and comfortable I retired to my room for the evening, caught up on some shows and drifted off to sleep with an early morning and a day of flying ahead of me.

The morning went smoothly, I did my best to capture a few images of the water in the dim foggy morning light and we were off to the bus station. I arrived just in time to say goodbye and walk onto the airport bus. Upon arrival, I easily made my way through security with plenty of time to attend some business, pick up my new book (Prince Lestat!) and do a bit of shopping. The plane is completely full, and I’m in a middle seat, but I’m fortunate enough to have relatively small people on either side of me who seem to have good personal hygiene (the girl sitting next to me is also pretty cute. Bonus!)

The house on the coast.

The house on the coast.

As I near my landing in Texas I just keep thinking about the combination of familiarity and newness that Seattle has now that I carry a fresh perspective on it. It’s easy to see why people who travel there fall in love and never leave. Additionally, with the disappointing recent results of the Florida elections, it’s also easy to see why living in such a liberal state would be appealing. Seattle has culture, food and a specific vibe that is hard to find anywhere else. My father tells me every time I return that I need to move back and go back to school, he will be going for his Master’s soon and thinks I should follow suit. I might. But as much as I would like to say that my goal is to move back and live there indefinitely, I cannot. The truth is I will go wherever it takes to take the next step, to “make it”. When I do, I can visit, and catch up as I did this time whenever I like. It may or may not be home again someday, but it will always be my hometown.

Homecoming: In the City of Seattle

I always told myself that when I returned here I would return triumphant.  As if I had gone off on some journey to find a great treasure (The Alchemist?) and would storm the city, riches in hand to show everyone that I had “made it.”  Granted that I have not really returned, I’m just visiting, and on some levels I HAVE “made it” compared to many who struggle on a regular basis. Regardless, maybe it’s a good place to check-in and gauge my development.

No seriously, It's pretty cool.

No seriously, It’s pretty cool.

I’ve spent the last two days putting in nearly thirty-five hours of work.  My current employer specializes in live productions from concept to the show itself and every element in between.  It’s very cool, hip, artistic work and it takes a lot of skilled individuals to bring it all together.  Any of you that have ever worked any sort of production already know that the last few days coming up to the show have to potential to eat your sleep time.  Thankfully a good final result, happy clients and cool people on your team (Along with a LOT of coffee) really help you pull through when you’re on hour 17 after three hours of sleep the night before.

It’s both cool and ironic where our event was this round.  When I lived in Seattle I often thought of how cool it would be to stay in the twin towers of the Westin Hotel.  I used to come here (I’m at the Westin as I write this) with my parents every year to eat at the Japanese restaurant that served my all-time favorite food: Shabu-shabu.   It’s no longer here, but the burger bar that they added is seriously fantastic (I JUST finished it)!  This time I was on the 35th floor out of 40.  It afforded a great view and a comfortable bed.  It’s not the penthouse suite yet, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

3rd and Bell.

3rd and Bell.

The logistics also proved as a reminder for me.  The first night we alked a ways for a team dinner at a restaurant on 2nd and Bell in downtown Seattle.  The relevance in this is that we walked, and it took is right by a building I used to live in (3rd and Bell.)  While it wasn’t the ultimate end to that version of me, I was in one of my much darker phases while I lived there.  My ex and I were estranged, and I made a lot of very questionable choices that would be unthinkable now.  That place is another gauge for me to measure my growth since then, and it makes me grateful.

Now that my work is done I have the opportunity to spend a couple of days catching up.  Tonight is drinks with some lovely ladies I went to high school with, and tomorrow evening I will see my father (I spoke to him earlier, he’s quite excited.)  I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I like this city a lot more this time than the last time I visited.  Granted I was in Hood Canal, and not in the city except briefly, to visit.  But the city itself appeals to me more (even the solid grey sky that has re-appeared since the unusually good weather that heralded my arrival.)  I could live here again I think, the way it feels now.  That’s not to say I’m going to just yet, I will go where my path takes me and right now my place is still firmly in Orlando.  But when I’ve “made it” perhaps I will return triumphant and survey the city from my penthouse.  If I like it as much as I do right now, that’s all I would need.

Homecoming: A Historical Prologue

This post isn’t about Halloween (I did a “fear” post a little over a week and a half ago, that’s all you get.)

For those of you that are still with me, as I write this (I’ll likely post it after we land…) I’m now 38,000 feet above middle-America (Nebraska at the moment I believe) on my way to Seattle for work and then a little play.



The extent of my Halloween celebrations this year involved dressing like a pirate (which I do a few times a year anyway…) and going to work.  This is partially because I always wait until last min and fail to get super excited about my costume, but this year I also had to be at my office by 6:30 AM in order to catch my flight.

Some of you already know,  but I spent a little under the first quarter-century of my life in the Seattle/Washington area.  Though I left when I was around 27, I also moved around a lot when I was young, so stints in Montana, South Dakota (when I was very young,) California, and even Japan are included in that time period.  Regardless, Washington state was my base, where I was born and the closest thing I have to a hometown.

When my logistical situation stabilized a bit as a kid, I was finally able to stick with the same class from 6th grade through high school graduation.  However, I didn’t have the elementary history a lot of those kids did, so it left me feeling awkward and outcast.  Most of middle-school was trying to find the individuals with whom I had common ground but by high school I started to get my social footing.  I was never a part of the popular crowd, but especially by sophomore/junior year, I had a solid group of people that I spent my time with.


I mean… I had my reasons… (I’m in the middle…)

Early in my high school career, when my family went through a particular low point, my father and I found ourselves homeless.  To his credit, despite our difficulties, my father made it his top priority to get me to school every day as he tried to earn enough money to get us back on our feet.  Eventually some family friends in the Mill Creek area (roughly and hour away from my High School) took us in, but I refused to change schools.  Again my father was gracious enough to make the commute every morning and evening so that I could have some level of regularity.  When we finally got back into an apartment, it was still a distance away in a town called Juanita.  Again I refused to change schools, but memorized the bus routes and spent over an hour on the bus before and after school in order to remain with the group of people I had spent years attempting to connect with

Ironically, I graduated in 1997 and lost touch with a large majority of those people.  Over the years (as often happens) I grew apart from most of my high school friends and went on to develop my life that eventually landed me in Florida.  But then, even more years later (getting into our thirties!) through the wonder of social media, we began to reconnect.  It’s very interesting to see how people change and grow over the years.  Some have changed to the point very little is left of who they were back then (that probably applies to me…) and others very much remind me of the kids I knew in High School.


Homecoming 1997

This trip, I’ll have the pleasure of meeting up with three of the ladies from my past (including my Senior Homecoming date AND my Senior Prom date.)  It’s literally been over fifteen years since I’ve seen these people in the flesh (I had little interest in my ten year reunion.)  I’m looking forward to both reminiscing and stories of the years in-between.  It really is mind-blowing to think about how your life grows into something completely different than you could’ve imagined back then. Perhaps it is not like that for everyone (I’ve known some to do exactly as they said they would do… and others that are still trying) but I believe for the majority, people develop in ways and directions they never could’ve imagined.  Perhaps they’ll allow me to share a small bit of their stories here after we catch up.

I also plan to visit my father while I’m in the area.  As you have probably gathered, my childhood was (all too typically these days) rocky and difficult.  We were always relatively poor and my parents did the best they could while battling their demons, but those demons and a number of factors contributed to my growing up too quickly and learning to be independent at an early age.  Years later, I am estranged from most of my family and I am more or less friends with my mother and father.  I (obviously) owe them my life and will do what I can to support them as they age, but I don’t remember the last time I felt a close family bond with any member of my biological family.


Dad – This man knows how to feed me.

That said, especially the last decade or so my father has made great progress.  He went back to school, graduated from the University of Washington with a Computer Science degree, and has a very zen-like low stress philosophy (very much the opposite of his younger days.)  This particular philosophy might’ve been some of the best “advice” he ever gave me (other then my sex talk: “Use a condom.”) he said something along the lines of: “I remember when I was younger I would stress about everything I had to do. I held on to all this stress… it would just ball up inside me and every time the smallest thing would go wrong, I would instantly get angry and explode, causing more problems and making me feel physically sick.  But one day I just realized how pointless it was.  Stress never fixes anything or makes anything better, so I decided I’m just not going to stress anymore.”  Such a simple concept, but it made a huge difference in his approach to life and also impacted me early in my adulthood.  It wasn’t the first or last time I would hear such an outlook, but I saw the transformation in my father for the better and it convinced me.

On a random, semi-related side note, my father is the reason I’m such a hardcore carnivore.  When we could afford it, the man grilled/broiled up a mean steak (he can even prepare a cheap chuck steak to be tender and tasty!)  But the one thing I will always crave from him are his Franks’s hot sauce buffalo wings.  He has a mixture of Franks, butter, and some random spices that make a high calorie, highly addictive and ridiculously delicious buffalo sauce.  I eat way too much and pay for it later.  It’s totally worth it, every time.

Before I get to all those festivities though, there is work to be done.  I’m fortunate to be flying out on the company’s money, but the flip side to that is that we have a major show to put on that will involve over 32 hours of work for our team in just two days. Today is the calm before the storm, I’ll write again when I survive it.