Cross-Town Pizza Run

Colin and Sam invited Phillip and me for another dinner & game get-together yesterday evening. Yesterday morning, Sam learned that he would have to work late. Colin asked us to come over anyway.

We offered to provide dinner. Colin asked for pre-made pizza that we could pop in the oven.

Our first thought was to stop into our neighborhood QFC’s deli section and see what they had for pre-made pizzas. Then Phillip thought of Papa Murphy’s. In all of our lives, neither he nor I had ever been to a Papa Murphy’s. We knew they existed in Seattle, but we didn’t know where. We didn’t know how a Papa Murphy’s worked – their pizzas are uncooked and you take them home and bake them, we knew that much, but do they make the pizzas to order, or do they have them waiting on the shelves? We didn’t know.

Phillip turned to Google Maps. He found the closest Papa Murphy’s in Holman Road Square, in Crown Hill. Since navigation is usually my task, I also turned to Google Maps. Holman Road Square was out of our way, but not too far out of our way. Afterwards, it would be an easy drive up 3rd, and a turn on 130th, which merges into 125th, and right into the heart of Lake City, where Sam and Colin live.

We agreed on the Papa Murphy’s in Crown Hill. We had no idea how long the whole journey would take, however. The biggest unknown was how long Papa Murphy’s would take. We took a guess and left our apartment about 50 minutes before Colin was expecting us.

Because most of our journey would be east and west, the freeway wouldn’t have saved us much time, so I drove us from Capitol Hill to Crown Hill via surface streets.

Phillip and I walked into Papa Murphy’s together. There were four people in line at the cash registers. We decided on what we wanted to order, then Phillip walked over to QFC to buy drinks.

Three of the four people in line had pre-ordered their pizzas, so the wait in line wasn’t long. I placed our order: a large All-Meat Signature and a Chicken, Bacon, and Artichoke Specialty. That fourth person had picked up her order just as I walked over to wait for our order.

Our Signature pizza was off-the-self. Our Specialty was made-to-order. That answered that question. I didn’t notice how long it all took. It was quick. I’m guessing 10 to 15 minutes. (Maybe even not that long.)

I got to the car. I put our pizzas in the trunk. I snapped a quick “Randomness” photo. I was in the middle of sending Phillip a text message, saying that I was at the car, when Phillip walked out of QFC and spotted me.

We crossed over I-5 at the time we’d said we’d be at Colin’s place. We were a little late, but not too late.

Colin informed us that there’s a Papa Murphy’s in Lake City, about a half-mile from their place. (In hindsight, maybe we should have asked Google Maps for the closest one to them, not to us, but oh well.)

We had a great visit. The pizza was pretty good, and we saved some for Sam.

Colin and Phillip and I played a game of “Would You Rather?” and a game of Pandemic. Pandemic is a cooperative game, but, even with the three of us working together, we could not save the world.

Phillip drove us home. I cropped my “Randomness” photo, and uploaded it to this blog, as we passed through Maple Leaf. (Smart phones are cool.)

When we got home, Phillip had some work to do on the computer for NorWesCon, so I read a little, then went to bed, and saved this post for the next day.

A Book About Feminism

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, was published in 2017.

The first line of the Combahee River Collective statement is: “We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974.

How We Get FreeHow We Get Free is a collection of interviews with the founders of The Combahee River Collective (CRC).

How We Get Free was published on the 40th anniversary of the 1977 publication of the Combahee River Collective statement.

The CRC was founded by a group of Black women who felt excluded by the feminist movement, The Black Panthers, the male-dominated American political system, and by capitalism. It was formed from “the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable.”

The first interview is with Barbara Smith. In it, she explains how she came up with the name for the group: She’d read a short biography of Harriett Tubman which included the story of the raid Tubman led on the Combahee River, in South Carolina, which freed 750 slaves. It was the only military campaign in American history planned and carried out by a woman.

She tells of participating in the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. She tells of her introduction to activism on college campuses, and her career path in becoming a teacher and a writer.

She tells of how the Boston chapter of the National Black Feminist Organization became the Combaheee River Collective.

The next interview is with Beverly Smith. She tells of her sister and her growing up in a politically active all-female household, and how that influenced her. She tells of joining CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality) and about being involved in school boycotts and protests. She was too young to be allowed to join the March on Washington, so she watched it on television. “You know, ‘The revolution won’t be televised’… Well, part of the revolution was televised!

She tells of her and her sister going to different colleges – Barbara to Mount Holyoke and Beverly to the University of Chicago – and compares their different experiences with activism.

She talks about the career path and social connections that led to the CRC and the creation of  the Combahee River Collective statement.

The next interview is with Demita Frazier. She tells of growing up in segregated Chicago, leaving home at an early age, and of getting into activism.

She describes herself as a Zelig. “The stupid Woody Allen movie… Where the character appears in the background of all these very important political events…” She tells of being involved in the Black Panther breakfast program right before Fred Hampton was murdered. She was involved in the Jane Collective. And she was there for forming of the CRC.

She discusses her views of the past, present, and future of Black feminism.

The final interview is with Alicia Garza, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.

She speaks about the difficulty of joining the feminist movement as a queer Black feminist.

She tells of joining the CRC, how it led to Black Lives Matter. She discusses the backlash BLM receives on social media.

How We Get Free closes with a commentary from Barbara Ransby, an historian and activist, who was not part of the CRC. She writes about the importance of the Combahee River Collective, in terms of socialism, lesbian identity, Black identity, and feminism.

How We Get Free is an amazing book. I enjoyed reading it very much. It is a personal, oral accounting of a fascinating era in the history of the USA. The one-on-one interview format of this book made this a quick read. The many insights and ideas made me turn back and re-read certain passages, make it also a not-so-quick-read.

I highly recommend it.

Why I chose this book:

The Seattle Public Library published a reading list for International Women’s Day. How We Get Free caught my interest because, I admit, I hadn’t heard of the Combahee River Collective. Secondly, I felt that an interview format would make a heavy subject easier to handle. (And it did.)

So Now I’m Buying Comics

Eternity GirlDuring lunch today, I read a glowing review, on Comics Grinder, of a new comic book.

I rode Link light rail home this evening, stopped into Phoenix Comics & Games, and bought Eternity Girl #1, based entirely on Comics Grinder’s review.

Eternity Girl #1 came out two days ago. There are six issues planned.

I’m looking forward to reading it.

I don’t even have the 2018 Reading Challenge planned for this. I’ll just be reading it.


The E Line

This year’s Combined Fund Drive ceremony was held in the Shoreline Convention Center. I wasn’t pleased with the choice of venue.

I started thinking back on all the places the CFD ceremonies have been held since I’ve been going there with Phillip. There was the Horticultural Center at least twice. There was the UW Tower, and the Burke Museum (maybe twice). There was the Washington State Convention Center, the Swedish Club, a Lake Union yacht club, some place in the Mount Baker neighborhood, Golden Gardens Park, and a brewery near Safeco Field. There were probably other places I’ve forgotten.

(He’s been doing this for a while.)

I get that the CFD’s choice of venue is limited by availability and by their budget, and that they cover all of King County, and not just Seattle. I won’t rant on about why I didn’t like this choice, though. This is a blog post about me getting there.

Phillip left early, as he always does, with the car, to help set things up. And it was up to me to get myself there. On the plus side, it was a challenge – a puzzle to figure out.

Metro’s Trip Planner gave me this: Take a 41 bus from Pioneer Square Station to the Northgate Transit Center, then transfer to route 348, then walk about a third of a mile to the Shoreline Convention Center.

The thing that concerned me about Metro’s plan was that the 348 runs only twice per hour. I could have a long wait at Northgate.

I thought about renting a car2go or a ReachNow and driving myself there. (That thought gave me a memory of renting a Zipcar to meet Phillip at that brewery near Safeco.) The problem with that plan was the Shoreline Convention Center is well outside of both car share companies’ home area. I’d have to continue renting the car during the meeting, and then drive it home afterwards. (Which is what I did with the Zipcar, back in the pre-car2go days.) It wasn’t impossible, but I would prefer not driving out of Seattle during rush hour.

Google Maps gave me a plan even better than the previous two: Catch a RapidRide E from Downtown to 185th Street, then transfer to the 348. The transfer point is only a mile or so from the Shoreline Convention Center. If the wait for the 348 is too long, walking is possible.

Then, a question came to me: From Downtown to 185th is a two-zone trip. How do you pay for the extra fare on RapidRide’s off-bus ORCA readers? I don’t think you can – judging by what information I found. (The zone system is going away in a few months, so I gather that this isn’t a major issue for Metro.) It seemed that you have to pay inside the bus, telling the driver you’re paying for two zones.

I boarded the RapidRide E at 4:37. I told the driver that I wanted to pay for two zones. “What’s that?” “I want to pay two zones.” “Just pay one zone. I don’t have time for that.”

I hoped that any Fare Inspectors believed my story. As we made our way up 3rd Avenue, it became clear that the bus was too crowded for anyone to check fares. The bus was jam-packed all the way to Green Lake. Then it cleared out a bit.

At 5:36, I exited at Aurora and 185th. I walked around the corner, on 185th. OneBusAway told me I had a 7 minute wait for a 348. I decided to wait. The 348 arrived 7 minutes later. Including myself, and the three people who boarded with me, there were five people on the bus when it left the stop.

I accidentally exited one stop early.

I got to the event at 5:58. It started at 6:00, but everyone was running late, due to traffic and getting lost trying to find the place, so it didn’t start until 6:15.

It was a fun event, although shorter than in past years. I was the first raffle winner. I won a selection of candies.

Phillip drove us home. I-5 was moving swiftly all the way to Capitol Hill.

Poles, The Next Day

It’s actually very rare that I see a trolley bus in Seattle lose its poles. So, to be inside a bus while it loses its poles is remarkable. To be inside two buses, losing their poles, in one day, as I was yesterday – that it was blog-worthy.

Today, I experienced the opposite effect.

I caught a 1 bus up 3rd Avenue this evening. At 3rd & Union, we were stopped by a crew doing something on the overhead wires. As our driver waited for a signal to proceed, I saw a 47 bus passing through the intersection, moving up Pike. I was going to miss it.

While we waited, our driver lowered the poles from inside the bus. (That is so cool!) Just as he switched the motor over to battery power, a wire worker signaled for us to proceed.

I exited the bus and walked around the corner.

There was a 10 (a trolley bus) in the middle of the stop, with nothing ahead of it. I don’t know what was going on.

That 47 (another trolley bus) I’d seen earlier was in the center lane. It lowered its poles, and pulled around the 10. The driver got out as passengers were boarding, returned the poles to the wire, returned to his seat, the light turned green, and we proceeded.

The 10 was right behind us. Whatever it experienced didn’t last long.

A New Bus Schedule

There was a Spin bike in the rack inside the Link train this morning. I wondered if someone had picked it up a station to have transportation from their destination (not a bad idea), or if someone had dropped it off there (a bad idea).

I caught a 7 bus up 3rd Avenue this evening. The driver had an odd pattern of speeding up and slowing down – in places where trolley bus drivers don’t typically speed up or slow down. Then I remembered that Metro started a new service schedule last Saturday, and I realized that there were a lot of new drivers out there.

(There wasn’t any change to my morning 47, so I’d forgotten about the service change.)

Just as she pulled into the stop at 3rd & Pike (the last stop for the northbound 7), our driver lost the poles (pulled them off the wires) and she coasted into the stop.

I got to the stop at 4th & Pike. Just as I started to check OneBusAway, I saw a 47 bus approaching.

The 47 loaded its passengers. The traffic light turned green, the lane ahead was empty, so the driver floored it. I thought to myself: “He’s going to lose his poles speeding through the switch ahead like this.”

And he lost his poles.


I came home from Writers’ Group yesterday to an empty apartment. Phillip hadn’t got home from his NorWesCon meeting yet.

I hung my coat up, took off my shoes, and sorted through the mail I’d picked up on my way in. I checked my phone for any new messages from Phillip.

I walked into the bedroom to change clothes. Oh, Phillip did get home before me. He was taking a nap.

I wrote a quick blog post. Then I went in for a nap.

I woke up. Phillip was still sleeping. I went into the living room. That’s when I first noticed the Post-It note on the bedroom door. “Get me up at 6:00 please,” it said in Phillip’s handwriting. It was 4:30, or so. I looked up the address for The Dane.

I got Phillip up at six. I was remembering that the show was at 7:30, so I was still lounging on the couch when Phillip, with his coat on, placed the car key on the table. No, he corrected me, the show’s at 7:00.

I got ready, we left the apartment, and we drove to The Dane, in Crown Hill.

We were supposed to see Cowbell’s final show last month, but, because February’s dates and March’s dates looked identical on a calendar, we got mixed up and missed it. But then, Cowbell did another final show last night.


It was a good show. I think Cowbell’s gray-haired hippie sound is better suited to a venue like Blue Moon Tavern or Bud’s backyard, but the band sounded good in The Dane. They did a couple of songs that neither Phillip nor I had heard them perform before.

Right before I sat down to write this blog post, I noticed a Post-It note on the hallway wall. “7:00 15th & 80th The Dane,” it said in Phillip’s handwriting.