Untitled Post
2004-12-05 16:07:05 by Andrew Hitchcock G+
This has been a good Thanksgiving weekend. I did a lot more stuff than last year, where most of my weekend was spent creating my dreads (thanks mom!). Yep, I've had dreadlocks for a full year now. They are still a work in progress and not yet quite to where I would like them (in terms of how dreaded and locked they are). They'll get there eventually. I can't change my haircut now, as people will no longer recognize me.
On Wednesday afternoon, I got my stuff together and bicycled to the bus stop. It was kind of scary since the roads were wet and slick and there are a lot of cracks in the roads around here (not good when you have thin tires with almost no tread). I took the bus all the way to the Park and Ride (switching buses at the Convention Center bus tunnel stop). I didn't realize how fast it gets dark, so I had to call my dad to pick me up with the suburban. I picked up Starbucks on the way home and then called Jeff T to come over. He rented a theatre calibration disc and LA Confidential. While he was coming over, my dad and I made the pie crust for my vegan pumpkin pie. My mom cooked a tofu dish and I helped a little with that. Jeff arrived just before dinner, so he ate with us. I can't remember exactly when, but at some point I made the pie filling and cooked it right after my mom's non-vegan pumpkin pies were cooked. The calibration disc also had content, so we watched some of that and then calibrated some settings. About the only thing we accomplished in the three hours of calibration was getting all the sound levels equal. There was a noticeable difference (for the better) in the rear channels. We tried fixing the video, but some of the settings were hidden in hard to reach service menus. We eventually found the controls to get rid of overscan, but it screwed up the color alignment. We would have to go to every point and readjust the settings for alignment. We didn't know where this was at that point (I do now, though) and it would take a long time, so we settled with just adjusting the sound. We then watched LA Confidential. I showed Jeff a few songs from the Blue Man Complex DVD-Audio (surround sound music). Jeff and I talked and hung out until he left at 04:00.
I was hoping to cook on Thanksgiving, but that was kind of thrown out the window since I didn't get to sleep until really late. Apparently my mom tried to wake me up, but I was completely incoherent. I eventually did awake and was sent out for ice a few minutes before the party officially began (I saw Uncle Keith on the way to the store). The person in front of my had two bags of ice and the person behind me had one (I believe it was someone who was in my graduating class, although I didn't know her name). It turns out Starbucks was open, so I got a grande soy peppermint hot chocolate and headed home. A number of people were there and more quickly arrived. I ate the appetizers of smoke salmon, smoke salmon dip, and really good nacho-like dip. Dinner was soon ready and we ate. Afterwards everyone sat around the table digesting, I was really full. Eventually we all had dessert and a bunch of people tried my vegan pumpkin pie. Reviews were mixed. For the first year, Jeff tried normal pumpking pie and he liked it! After dinner, Hallie came over and the hole family watched an episode of Family Guy she brought. Then we headed to the basement and Jeff, Hallie, and I watched Not Another Teen Movie. We watched some more Family Guys and Hallie and I hung out. For the first time I wasn't the one who didn't have to drive home, since she brought her mom's car.
Not much happened Friday morning. Well, I think I slept in until noon or so, so not much could happen (the earliest I woke up this weekend was 10:30 and even then I took a nap in the afternoon). Mom and I went to Gregg's in Bellevue to get a bicycle light. All the bright ones were expensive and heavy. I picked one with five LEDs that was small and sleek. Just after 16:00, I headed out in the suburban (*shudder*) to the park and ride to take the bus downtown. I got all my gear on (since it was pretty cold) and borrowed my dads wind breaker. I put the light on my bike, which was difficult because the thing doesn't fit very big bars. I took the bus from MI to the Convention Center stop where I unloaded my bike. I thought the bus driver mentioned a mess downtown, but I didn't know what he was referring to (I should have guessed since nearly everyone got off at Westlake and I was the only one left). I put my gloves, helmet, and blinker on and started to ride. The first thing I noticed were the three helicopters just hovering in the sky (I rarely see them hover in Seattle, they are always moving). I hopped onto the road to Westlake and I witnessed a huge sea of people at Westlake Center. I rode the few blocks very quickly and fell in line behind a guy on bike with a Critical Mass sign. I walked my bike through the crowd some, but it was too dense. I also learned at this point that it was the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Great timing :). I make my way out of the crowd and ride around another block (there is a huge section of downtown that was shutdown for this). I see some bikers where I expected people to meet and I head toward them. I stand around for a while, overhear some things, and decide that this is where I want to be. Slowly people start to arrive. One guy didn't have a bike (he was from out of town), so he decided to run with us. At 17:30 I expect us to leave, so I ask someone, but it turns out we meet at 17:30 and leave at 18:00. Darn. I wait another half hour. A little after 18:00 (the crowds are slowly leaving after the tree was lit) people start circling around the large group of bicyclists that has formed. I am anxious to go, so I join in and eventually the hole group is riding in circles. Once we were mobilized, some people lead the way and we enter the street! Now, since our riding style wasn't the most legal, I won't go into details, but I'll just say I had fun! It was a fairly large group, considering how dark and cold it was. I'd guess maybe 30-40 people were there. I'm not good with those kind of numbers. Anyway, we rode around downtown a few times, in circles, and then headed to the U-district. Since the theme of the ride was Buy Nothing (since it was the day after Thanksgiving) we decide to ride around University Village. It is an open air mall, but with pedestrian walk ways in the middle, so it was an interesting ride. A few stores were on the corner and had a door on each side, so one guy quickly rode in and out of the stores :). We group up, congratulate each other, and split into groups based on our destination. I had to meet Hallie (I was already late), so I didn't go to the after-ride dinner and party. It was raining by the time we got to the U-Village, and it rained all the way back to Seattle. The group I was in eventually widdled down until it was just three of us and finally just this guy named Ryan and myself. We watched each others bikes as we took turn using the Starbucks bathroom, and then we split paths. I caught the 550 back to MI. That night Hallie and I watched some more Family Guys. She's addicted.
I didn't really do much Saturday morning, either. In the afternoon, I went with Jeff and picked up Hallie and we all went to Hillside Quickies. Hallie didn't really like the spaghetti she had there last time, but I encouraged her to go again and try a sandwich (which are made fresh and amazingly good). She loved it. I don't think Jeff minded his either. Hallie also drank an Honest Tea and we split a large chocolate cookie. Actually, we were running a little late since I got pulled over by the po-leece back on the island for having a burnt out tail light. I drove us to Wallingford and it was being cut close. We had a little bit of trouble finding the neighborhood center (partially because I copied the directions wrong (didn't help that I was being bugged by two little higher schoolers while copying it down)), but eventually arrived. It was probably past the time they save your tickets for, but there was still a steady stream of people entering and at that time there were plenty of seats for... Dana Lyons! Yay! As we were sitting around waiting, I noticed my chemistry professor. Crazy. I later said hi to him during the intermission and he said, "See, I do do other things." Dana Lyons put on a great show and I think Hallie enjoyed it. I got to hear some songs I had never heard before and was very happy to hear WTO Disco (parody of YMCA). It was awesome, some of the songs required audience interaction, and the audience was very receptive. For The Tree, a little girl from a school somewhere around here did the song in sign language while Dana performed. Jeff and I each bought a t-shirt (as did Hallie) as well as the Turn of the Wrench CD. Afterwards we had him sign it and we talked to him a little. Hallie was surprised at how nice and friendly he was. I told him we first saw him at the show with Dr. Demento a few years back. He noticed our t-shirts and commented, "For a peace-nik, I sure do have a lot of shirts with guns on them. I try to hide them when I'm around Jane Goodall." After the show we headed to my house, dropped off Jeff, watched the Arrested Development she missed (while eating semi-fresh salsa my dad made), and then went to her house to hang out for a while.
Sunday was kind of lazy in the morning. For lunch, I experimented with recipe creation by sort of imitating the sandwiches from Hillside Quickies. First I put some Canola oil in a pan and heated it up. I quickly grilled two pieces of wheat bread and put them aside. I added a little more oil in a clump and plopped a whole slice of onion on it (I didn't pull it apart, I just cut it up and placed it in there). While the onion was cooking, I poured some Caribbean Spice Sauce (actually made there) on the onion (in hindsight, I could have added a little more). While that was cooking, I spread fake mayonnaise on the bread and some kind of whole grain mustard. I then added some fake ham slices and put cooked them with the onions (mixing it all around now). Once those were thoroughly cooked, I put all of it on one slice of bread, added lettuce, and put the other bread slice on. The ham was a little plain, so next time I'll look into using smoked or cooked tofu. It was pretty good, though, considering. That night I watched an episode or two of season seven of Stargate. It had been a while since I watched Stargate. My brother and I ordered pizza with dessert sticks, which were so unhealthy :(. Oh well, I can splurge occasionally. That night, I believe around 19:00, I began riding to the Park and Ride. I was in a t-shirt (short sleeve) and jeans (and biking gloves), and I knew as soon as I reached Lakeridge that it was going to be a cold ride. My ears were really cold. I managed to make it to the Park and Ride just fine (about 6.5 kilometers away), but since the bus was going to come in 15 minutes, I didn't want to get Starbucks and risk missing my bus (can you take drinks on the bus? probably not, and even if it was, it would be hard to load my bike while holding a drink). I relaxed as it took me downtown. I got off on one of the downtown exits where other people were getting off. I didn't know what street I was on before I got off, but I soon recognized my location. I was a few blocks away from Westlake. I rode down to Westlake and headed one block west to where I would be able to catch the busses to the University District (which have tons of capacity and are always in use). As soon as I arrived at the corner, a bus was already there. I went around front, put my bike on, and got on board. At the UW, I got off and rode through campus. Even though it wasn't a long ride, I still got really cold. I checked the weather a few hours later and it was like 2 °C.
Well, that was my Thanksgiving weekend. It took so long to write that (and I delayed a bunch during the week), that it is now a full week later! Yikes. Not as much happened this weekend, so I probably won't say anything. Andrew out.
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