Counting Squirrels On Our Way To The Show

I was playing around on the computer this morning when Phillip got up. I asked him if he wanted to walk over to Top Pot with me. (I needed coffee, and, besides, Top Pot is having a sale: All doughnuts just $2, all month.)

Sure, we could do that, he replied, or we could go see Free Guy.

Yeah, let’s do that instead, I said.

Phillip looked up showtimes, and saw that it was playing at AMC, Pacific Place, at 12:40. That’s sounds good, I replied, what time is it?

11:19, said Phillip, which means we should leave…

Now, I said.

Now, said Phillip.

Phillip bought tickets while we got dressed. We grabbed our jackets. (We’re finally able to wear jackets in Seattle again!)

It was misting slightly as we walked to the bus stop. We spotted a squirrel. Then we spotted a second one, and a third one, and a fourth one. I told Phillip that I hadn’t seen the bunny rabbit in a long time – I hoped it was OK. Phillip said he’d seen the rabbit this week. I was glad to hear that.

We had a 10-minute wait for the 10 bus. There was a man in the bus shelter who was eager to talk. I’m always willing to lend an ear. He was waiting for the 8 bus. He told me about seeing Bo Diddly perform on the Seattle waterfront in 1970.

The 8 bus arrived, and I said goodbye to the Bo Diddly fan. Our 10 bus arrived a couple of minutes later, on time.

Phillip showed our tickets to the AMC attendant at 12:15. The show started at 12:40. That worked out well.

After the movie, Phillip suggested lunch/dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We walked over there, and saw that there was long line waiting to get in. So we caught a 49 to Broadway and went to La Cocina.

It was raining lightly as we walked home. Phillip said that we won’t be seeing four squirrels anymore.

We saw a squirrel.

Alphabet Mystery: Wasted

“W” Is for Wasted, by Sue Grafton, was published in 2013.

I downloaded it from the King County Library System.

Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall.”

Pete Wolinsky was shot to death on the night of August 25, 1988.

Kinsey Millhone had met Pete Wolinsky years ago, when she was working her apprenticeship with private investigators Ben Byrd and Morley Shine, of Byrd-Shine Investigations. Kinsey had apprenticed with Ben and Morley for three years, at which point she’d amassed the six thousand hours needed for her own PI license. Pete Wolinsky was a private investigator, but he was not well-respected by either Ben or Morley.

Pete Wolinsky was killed near the parking lot of the Santa Teresa Bird Refuge. It was directly across the street from the Caliente Café, a place popular with off-duty cops, but because of the volume of the jukebox, no one heard the gun shots. Pete Wolinsky’s body was discovered by a passerby.

On October 7, 1988, Kinsey Millhone receives a phone call from the coroner’s office. An unidentified man, probably homeless, had been found dead inside his sleeping bag on the beach. It doesn’t appear to be a murder, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.

The only thing the coroner’s office found in the man’s pockets was a slip of paper with “Millhone Investigations” written on it, along with Kinsey Millhone’s office address and phone number. The coroner’s assistant had called Kinsey, hoping that she could identify the man.

Kinsey doesn’t recognize the man on the coroner’s table. She loves a good mystery, though, and offers to help the coroner find the man’s identity. The coroner’s assistant accepts the help, as long as Kinsey keeps him in the loop.

Kinsey Millhone is a licensed private investigator in Santa Teresa, California, population 85,810, “minus the two dead guys.” She’s the sole proprietor and lone employee of Millhone Investigations. She’s 38 years old. She used to be a police officer with the Santa Teresa Police Department.

Kinsey drives a 1970 Ford Mustang with a spoiler and high-performance tires, painted in a bright Grabber Blue. She bought it on impulse. She’s had the car for a year, and it’s served her well, but she’s realized that it’s too conspicuous for her line of work. She misses the VW Bugs she’d owned over the years. She loved the great gas mileage and the low repair costs. Her first VW was totaled while on a case, and was her second one. Those VWs suited her personality better than the Mustang.

(This may be a mild spoiler, but by the end of the book, Kinsey is driving a 1983 Honda Accord. It’s certainly less conspicuous than either a Mustang or a VW Bug.)

Kinsey Millhone has no open cases at the moment. Her bank balance is at a good level, so she decides to take some time off. She dislikes spending money on vacations, so she sticks close to home and spends some time trying to identify the John Doe the coroner’s office had called her about.

Kinsey befriends three homeless people – Dandy, Pearl, and Felix – who knew the dead man. Kinsey learns the man’s name, and some surprising details of his life. Kinsey realizes that this is not the first time she’d heard the name R. T. Dace.

Kinsey has been friends with her landlord, Henry Pitts, for six years. Henry’s brother William, and William’s wife, Rosie, have flown to Flint, Michigan, to visit the eldest Pitts sibling, Nell, who is recovering from hip surgery, after she fell tripping over a cat. Rosie’s Tavern will be closed for two weeks, and Rosie has taken the opportunity to have the place fumigated.

William returns early, because of a back injury (which seems to go away when he doesn’t think anyone is looking at him). He’s brought the cat home with him. Since Rosie won’t let the cat stay in their apartment above the tavern, William is going to let the cat stay with Henry. (William hasn’t told Henry this.)

The point of view switches to Pete Wolinsky. It’s five months earlier, May, 1988. Pete is the owner of Able and Wolinsky Investigations. There is no Able. Pete added the name in order to be listed first in the yellow pages. He’s three months behind in his office rent. His trash can is filled with overdue notices, a summons, and the threat of a lawsuit. Pete Wolinsky is broke, and is living off credit cards. He wants to treat himself and his wife to a river cruise in Europe.

Pete is contacted by a potential client, named Willard Bryce. Pete drives over to Colgate to meet with him.

Pete Wolinsky has gotten used to cutting corners. He works without written contracts, and insists that his clients pay him in cash. He adds fake expenses to his invoices. He doesn’t fear losing his license, because he’s worked without a valid private investigator’s license for years.

Willard Bryce is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. His wife, Mary Lee, is an associate professor at UCST. She does pharmaceutical research. They’ve been married for four and a half years.

The reason that Willard Bryce has contacted Pete Wolinsky is that his wife accepted her current assignment without realizing that the man in charge of the project is someone she used to work with, and had dated in college. Pete questions why the man wasn’t at the interview, and it seems that Willard hadn’t thought of that. Now, Willard’s wife and her boss, Dr. Linton Reed, are going to a conference in Reno together. Willard wants to make sure that his wife isn’t having an affair.

Pete Wolinsky accepts the assignment, and insists on payment in advance, in cash. Willard Bryce agrees to that.

Before Pete leaves, Willard asks him if he carries a gun. He does. Willard is working on a graphic novel that he hopes to launch someday, and three panels involve a gangster with a gun. He wants to make sure he gets the details right. Pete hands him his Smith & Wesson Escort. Willard makes some sketches and returns the gun.

Pete Wolinsky begins the case by forging travel documents, and adds copies to Willard Bryce’s bill. Then he hires a PI in Reno to follow Mary Lee Bryce and Dr. Linton Reed. Later, he’ll rewrite the Reno PI’s report as his own. And then he’ll decide if he’s going to pay the Reno PI.

This is a character-driven story. It’s slow-moving without a lot of action. It’s a long book – 680+ ePages on my phone. But the characters are all so interesting and varied that it didn’t feel slow.

There are Pearl, Felix, and Dandy. Pearl has been unemployed her entire life, and knows no other way of living. She’s distrustful and quick to anger. She’s suspicious of Kinsey and all her questions about their friend. She believes Kinsey is either an undercover cop or a social worker. Felix is a “dreadlocked white boy” who suffered a brain injury after his mother hit him. He loves Pearl, and is quick to take up a fight to defend her. Otherwise, he’s a sweet kid. Dandy loves Pearl, too, and will defend her outbursts by saying that that’s just the way she is. He’s an older gentleman who received his nickname from his formal manners and his habit of wearing freshly ironed clothes. Plus, “Dandy” is a play on his birth name.

Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator who believes that rules are important, and must be followed (except when they need to be broken). She believes in working for her clients openly and honestly. So it was interesting to meet Pete Wolinsky, a private investigator who runs his business in the opposite way. Here’s the more interesting part, though: Kinsey doesn’t see Pete as her opposite, but rather as an embodiment of her own bad traits taken to the extreme, and that’s why she disliked him.

I immediately suspected that Willard Bryce was not being entirely honest with Pete Wolinsky. This book did an excellent job of feeding those suspicions. (I won’t spoil it by saying whether my suspicions were warranted or not.)

Burke Benjamin is a curious character. Kinsey is in need of legal advice, so she calls her attorney, Lonnie Kingman. The receptionist informs her that Mr. Kingman is out of the state, on business. Kinsey asks to speak to Lonnie’s partner, John Ives, and is informed that Mr. Ives has left the firm. Kinsey explains her situation, and the receptionist recommends an attorney in the firm, named Burke Benjamin. Kinsey asks for an appointment with him. Her, corrects the receptionist, and makes an appointment. While Kinsey is waiting in the reception room for her appointment, a sweaty adolescent boy walks into the office, wearing bicycle shorts, jogging shoes, and a t-shirt. This person extends their hand to Kinsey, and introduces herself as Burke Benjamin. Burke escorts Kinsey to her office, pulls a towel out of her desk drawer, and, while conducting the initial consultation, strips down to nothing but thong underpants, towels herself off, and gets dressed. (Well, okay, Sue Grafton.)

This book starts off with two mysteries: Who is the homeless man found on the beach? and Who killed Pete Wolinsky? Kinsey Millhone is trying to solve one, but isn’t involved in the other. As she works toward solving John Doe’s identity, more mysteries appear. Mysteries pile up on top of mysteries until I began to wonder if these were multiple mysteries, or if they were clues to a larger mystery yet to be uncovered.

This book is awesome.

“W” Is for Wasted is one of the best books in the series, so far, and there are only two more left unread.

I loved this book a lot.

So I’m famous, I Guess

One day, back in July, I was walking home from work. The Google Street View car drove past me. It was pretty exciting, not only seeing the car in action, but also imagining that I could end up on Google Maps someday.

But, as a friend pointed out, the car might not have been recording.

Recently, I thought about the day, and I checked on Google Maps.

I don’t usually post photos of myself on this blog, but here I am:

I Read: Ink And Bone

Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine, was first published in 2015.

It is the first of five books in The Great Library series.

I downloaded it from the Seattle Public Library, after Phillip recommended the series.

The book begins with two ephemera and a prologue.

In the first ephemera, Pharaoh Ptolemeny II decrees that copies of the most important works of the Great Library of Alexandria be housed in daughter libraries, named Serapeums, for safekeeping. Pharaoh further decrees that access to these sacred libraries be open only to the more developed minds of males, and therefore unaccompanied females should be barred access. (The scribe of this decree added a rude rebuttal that last decree.)

The prologue begins six years ago. Ten-year-old Jess Brightwell begins work as a runner for his father’s illegal book business. It’s his job to get one-of-a-kind handwritten books to the sellers. With the help of an army of cutters, he’ll have to run the books through the vast city of London. He’ll have to keep the books away from the London Guarda. The penalty for book running is indefinite imprisonment, or worse.

Jess will have to keep the books away from the Burners, whose motto is: “Vita hominis plus libro valet!” (“A life is worth more than a book!”)

When Jess discovers what type of people are buying these beautiful, one-of-a-kind works, it breaks his heart.

Jess lives in a world graced with miraculous clockwork automata and advanced steam-powered transportation constructed of ornate iron and brass. The year is 2025.

The second ephemera is a work submitted by Scholar Johannes Gutenberg in the year 1453. He has developed a method to produce books by an efficient mechanical means. (The Archivist Magister added his thoughts on the dangers that Scholar Gutenberg has obviously failed to realize. Without guidance from the Library, anyone, anywhere could produce all manner of books, no matter how ignorant or flawed they may be.)

The story begins in present day. Jess Brightwell is sixteen years old. His father has decided that Jess would better serve the company as a smuggler hidden within the Great Library of Alexandria.

Jess’ twin brother, Brenden, is devastated. He knows that once Jess sees the books of Alexandria, he will never return.

On the final leg of the voyage, the train from Morocco to Alexandria, Jess Brightwell befriends a fellow postulant, Thomas Schreiber, from Berlin. He also meets Glain Wathen, from Merthyr Tydfil (which sets up some tension, since Wales is currently at war with England). Jess becomes infatuated with Khalila Seif, from Riyadh, the only person to ever earn a perfect score on the entrance exam.

When the train arrives at Alexandria, there are approximately 30 postulants on board. They are told that only six, at the most, will pass the training and become servants of the Library.

Jess is assigned a room with Dario Santiago, from Barcelona. Dario immediately tells Jess to find somewhere else to sleep, since he deserves a private room. Jess fights back. Dario and Jess agree that they will not be friends.

Weeks into the training, a dozen or so postulants have been sent home. A new postulant suddenly arrives. This is highly unusual, and her chances of success are slim. Her name is Morgan Hault. She’s late because she was in Oxford, her hometown, fighting in the war against the Welsh.

In the war between Wales and England, as with all wars before it, the Library is neutral. But it is not passive. There’s a history lesson: When the Austrian army was attacking Milan, Scholar Padma Dahwan was sent to close the Serapeum there. Scholar Dahwan and her entire crew were captured by the Austrian army and executed. The Milan Serapeum was destroyed. “And the Library’s response?” “Austria no longer exists.”

The motto of the Library is: “Tota es scientia.” (“Knowledge is all.”) The Library believes that absolutely. Its staff will sacrifice their lives to defend the Library. They will kill anyone who threatens the Library.

Khalila Seif makes it clear that she is not interested in Jess Brightwell as anything more than a friend, but she encourages Jess’ obvious interest in Morgan Hault. At the same time, Khalila warns him to not trust Morgan too much. Jess does sense that Morgan is not exactly what she appears to be.

The Great Library of Alexandria believes that it is a librarian’s duty to guide the world in its path of knowledge. Therefore, private ownership of books, other than personal journals, is considered dangerous. This is why the Brightwell black market company thrives.

There are secrets everywhere. Jess Brightwell was sent to the Library with a secret mission. And it seems that Morgan Hault may have secrets of her own. And there is talk that leads to the suspicion that one of the current postulants is an agent for the Burners. And, of course, the Library itself holds secrets.

This is a fascinating alternate-history adventure, with elements of steampunk, alchemy, and magic mixed in.

This is a war story and a YA romance.

The characters are well written. The story is full of twists that I didn’t see coming.

I liked this book a lot, and I want to read the rest of the series.

Brunch With Juan

Juan Pollo and Juliana Bowers are actively dating. They’re not officially boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but they’re getting there. Juliana is at the Burkes’ house all the time. Juan visits the Daisy Hovel commune often.

Juan enjoys going out for meals. He and Juliana go out together a lot.

Juan has become friends with all of Juliana’s housemates. The Daisy Hovel commune frequently invites Juan to join their weekend getaways.

Juan has become especially good friends with Daisy Hovel member Wendy Zimmer. (Juan and Juliana are a monogamous couple. Juan and Wendy are just friends.)

Juan invited Wendy out to brunch at The Silver Spoon, in Newcrest. They had a wonderful conversation while they waited for their food order to arrive.

They talked on and on while they waited for their food to arrive. They were running out of things to talk about. They’d been there for over an hour. Where was their food?

Juan and Wendy gave up on The Silver Spoon and walked next door to the Eggs On Diner. The service turned out to be much faster there.

Tanner Glass met Juan Pollo at the Finchwick Fair. The next day, Tanner invited Juan out for a friendly dinner at The Silver Spoon.

Tanner had no way of knowing that she and Juan were seated at the same table that Juan and Wendy shared a week ago, or that they were being waited on by the same Servo server that had failed to bring Juan and Wendy their food.

Hours passed while Tanner and Juan waited for their food.

Tanner Glass went to investigate.

Tanner found their server immobile. Tanner is in the Science career, and was able to correctly diagnose that the Servo was broken. Tanner did not have enough Robotics skill to fix him, however.

Tanner asked the restaurant hostess to call a repair service.

Juan Pollo and Tanner Glass gave up on dinner.

Juan likes The Silver Spoon, and hopes that the restaurant upgrades that Servo soon.

Alphabet Mystery: Vengeance

“V” Is for Vengeance, by Sue Grafton, was published in 2011.

I downloaded it from the Seattle Public Library.

It’s August, 1986. Phillip Lanahan is in Las Vegas for the third time. The first time he was there, he played poker at Caesars Palace and came out ahead. The second time, he returned to Caesars Palace and lost money playing poker. Now, he’s back in Las Vegas to repay the $10,000 (plus $25 per hundred borrowed, per week, interest) he borrowed from a loan shark named Lorenzo Dante.

Phillip Lanahan missed his appointment with Dante because he was playing No-Limit Texas Hold’em. When Dante, Dante’s brother, and an assistant, show up at Phillip’s hotel room, he’s down to $400 in chips.

Phillip manages to convince Dante to take his 1985 Porsche as payment. Dante asks his brother and his assistant to take care of it. Dante’s brother and the assistant accept his car keys and immediately throw Phillip Lanahan off the top of the six-story garage, killing him.

It’s May 5, 1988. Kinsey Millhone turns 38. A punch in the face has left her with two black eyes and a broken nose. It’s the third time her nose has been broken.

It’s Friday, April 22, 1988. Kinsey had closed a case the day before, so she celebrates by going to the mall to buy some underwear at Nordstom. Kinsey rarely buys underwear, and when she does, it’s rarely at a place as high-end as Nordstrom.

For those of you just making my acquaintance, my name is Kinsey Millhone. I’m a licensed private detective in Santa Teresa, California, doing business as Millhone Investigations. In the main, I deal with bread-and-butter jobs – background checks, skip tracing, insurance fraud, process serving, and witness location, with the occasional rancorous divorce thrown in for laughs. Not coincidentally, I’m female, which is why I was shopping for ladies’ underwear instead of men’s.”

While shopping at Nordstrom, Kinsey sees two women, one older than the other, having a conversation. A young girl runs away from her mother and tries to hide in a display rack. Kinsey looks over and sees that, during the commotion, the older woman has shoplifted some expensive pajamas. The younger woman has left.

Kinsey Millhone used to be a police officer. Her training kicks in. She makes a mental note of the time, the shoplifter’s description, and her general direction of travel. She reports this to the nearest Sales Associate, who calls Loss Prevention. An officer immediately arrives, and follows the shoplifter.

(By the way, Kinsey recognizes the Sales Associate, Claudia, as a regular at Rosie’s Tavern, a half-block from Kinsey’s apartment. Kinsey and Claudia meet later at Rosie’s to discuss the shoplifting.)

Kinsey sees the younger woman from the earlier conversation. Acting on a hunch that the two women were working together, Kinsey follows her into the restrooms. The woman emerges from the stall wearing different clothes. Kinsey finds the price tags she’d removed.

Kinsey follows the woman to the parking garage, where the woman hits Kinsey with her Mercedes as she flees the garage. When Kinsey picks herself up off the ground, she realizes that she’d neglected to note the license number.

Kinsey limps back to her Mustang, and drives home. She finds Henry Pitts, her landlord and friend, on the phone, making travel arrangements.

Henry’s sister, Nell, had fallen and has broken her hip. Nell is the oldest of the five Pitts siblings. She’s 99 years old. Henry is the youngest. He’s 89. Henry’s brother William is married to Rosie. Henry has suggested that William stay home, because of his hypochondria. Their brothers Charlie and Lewis are on their way to the hospital.

The next morning, Saturday, Kinsey drives Henry to the airport. She holds back her emotions as she waves goodbye. “For a hard-assed private eye, I’m a wienie when it comes to saying goodbye.”

Kinsey goes into her office later that morning to do some cleaning. There’s a man waiting for her. She immediately recognizes him as Pinky Ford. He’s the convict who gave Kinsey her lock-picking kit, and taught her how to use it.

(It’s been mentioned several times in previous books that a convict gave her the lock-picking kit. This is the first time that the convict has been named, and the first time the story behind it is explained. Pinky was in prison for non-residential burglary when he hired Kinsey to find out if his wife was cheating on him. She wasn’t, as far as Kinsey could tell. Since he didn’t have any money in prison, the lock-picking kit and the training were payment for services rendered.)

Kinsey and Pinky have a friendly chat in her office. Then he gets to reason for his visit.

His wife has been losing weight, and has been afraid to wear her engagement ring until she can afford to have it re-sized. Pinky needed money, so he hocked the ring. Then he gave into an urge and lost the money gambling on horse races.

Kinsey likes Pinky. She’s gotten good use out of the tools and training he gave her. So, she offers to go with him to the pawnshop and pay to get the ring out of hock. She suggests that he follow her in his car. Pinky tells her that his car has been in the shop, but it’s ready to be picked up. Kinsey offers to pay for the car, too.

Kinsey drives Pinky to the pawnshop and pays for the ring. Then she drives him to the auto shop, but there’s no one there. So, Kinsey drives Pinky home.

This is the twenty-second book in the “Alphabet Mystery” series, and the fourth book in a row to switch the story away from Kinsey Millhone.

We follow Phillip Lanahan for a chapter, until he lands on the pavement.

Nora is the wife of Channing Vogelsang, a wealthy entertainment attorney. Nora finds evidence that Channing is cheating on her again.

Nora Vogelsang has stashed away a significant amount of her own money. She’s planning to leave her husband. First, though, she needs to get revenge on his mistress.

Lorenzo Dante Junior goes by Dante, to differentiate him from his father, Lorenzo Dante Senior. Dante calls himself a private banker of sorts.

A woman walks into Dante’s office. Her name is Nora Vogelsang. She has a diamond ring she wants to sell for $75,000.

Dante has the ring appraised. He’s told that it’s not worth seventy-five grand. Dante gives Nora $75,000 in cash and tells her keep the money hidden and to not spend too much at any one time.

After Nora Vogelsang leaves, Dante is told that Audrey is dead. She’d been arrested for shoplifting at Nordstrom. She was ready to cut a deal with the authorities, so Dante’s brother had her thrown off the Cold Spring Bridge. Dante liked Audrey, and she was an important part of the organization.

Kinsey Millhone is missing Henry, so she reads the newspaper for distraction. She sees an obituary for a woman named Audrey Vance, who, at age 63, had passed away suddenly. She recognizes the woman, from her photograph, as the shoplifter she’d spotted at Nordstrom.

Kinsey receives a phone call from Claudia, the Nordstrom Sales Associate. Claudia directs Kinsey to an article in the same newspaper about a woman, whose identity is being withheld, who’d committed suicide by jumping from the Cold Spring Bridge. Claudia has inside information the woman was Audrey Vance, the shoplifter.

Kinsey Millhone is a private detective, and this is a Kinsey Millhone mystery, but it’s not until chapter 11, a third of the way into the book, that she finally has a case. Marvin Striker, Audrey Vance’s fiancé at the time of her death, hires Kinsey to do a background check on Audrey. He’s convinced that the shoplifting was an isolated incident, and that Audrey wasn’t the type to commit suicide, but he can’t imagine why anyone would kill her. Kinsey thinks Marvin is being naïve, and that he’d been duped by a career criminal.

The events of this book take place immediately after “U” Is for Undertow. That may be the case closure Kinsey was celebrating at Nordstrom. A character from Undertow appears in this book. Many other cases from previous books are also mentioned. Still, as with other books in the series, this is a stand-alone story.

On the positive side, this is a thrilling mystery, full of surprises, made even more interesting by the fact that Kinsey Millhone is at odds with her client as to how the case should be handled. At one point, Marvin Striker wants to fire Kinsey, and Kinsey would be glad to be fired, but then Marvin wants Kinsey to work off the remainder of the retainer he’d paid.

On the negative side, Kinsey Millhone’s distaste for “hefty” woman re-appears.

On the positive side, Dante is a fascinating character. He knows he’s an evil man who’s done evil things. He knows his brother is doing worse things than him. He’d taken over his father’s business, and now he wants out, but he’s been at it for so long that he doesn’t know what else he can do. He falls for Nora, and shows that he has a soft side. He is genuinely stressed out by the thought that she could stand him up for a drink date. Dante wants to be happy, he wants Nora to be happy, and he believes they can make each other happy.

On the negative side, Nora Vogelsang is a dull character. She doesn’t do much more than think about how rich she is. I dreaded her chapters.

On the positive side, when Dante and Kinsey meet for the first time, it’s in Dante’s chapter. I think this is the first time that Kinsey Millhone has been described from someone else’s viewpoint.

On the negative side, Rosie and William are both comic relief. They have their quirks, but I prefer to see more of their personality.

On the positive side, I loved the way this story ended.

I liked this book very much.

A Theater Mystery

Phillip and I rode a 10 bus Downtown this morning and saw Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at the AMC Pacific Place 11.

We bought our tickets separately, yesterday. Phillip bought his ticket first, using the app on his phone. Once he’d reserved seat F1, I reserved seat F2, using the app on my phone.

When I received confirmation of my ticket, I asked Phillip this question: How was I able to purchase a ticket for a seat next to his? The theater is practicing social distancing (the app says so) and is limiting the capacity for its showings. How did they know I didn’t just reserve a seat next to a stranger?

Phillip replied that that was a good question, and that we should ask someone at the theater.

On our way to the bus this morning, I told Phillip that I’d rather not ask about the seating. It might come off sounding accusatory, and, also, they might listen to us and fix it so we could no longer buy seats together. Phillip agreed to that, but his response sounded like he wasn’t happy to let it go.

We saw the movie in 3D. We both loved the movie. The story was fascinating, and it was beautiful to watch. The 3D added a lot.

PrideFest is going on this weekend, on Broadway, so our usual route home, the 49 bus, is rerouted. So, we rode Link light rail to Capitol Hill Station.

Sound Transit has returned to running 4-car Link trains (instead of 3-car trains) this week, but I hadn’t seen any of the next-generation trains at all during my commutes.

Sound Transit has also renamed Central Link to the 1 Line. We’d just missed a train when we arrived at Westlake Station today. I checked OneBusAway for the next arrival, and noticed that the app no longer lists the line as “Link.” It now says simply “1.”

A next-generation train arrived to take us to Capitol Hill. It was four cars long.

We walked the length of PrideFest, from Capitol Hill Station (at the south end) to The Deluxe (at the north end).

We had brunch at The Deluxe. Then we walked home and took a nap.

Among the previews at the movie theater was one for a live-action remake of Y: The Last Man. I loved that graphic novel series, and I’d love to see what they make of it. Unfortunately, it will be showing on a home subscription service that we don’t subscribe to. Still, I’m hoping that the remake will nudge Brian K. Vaughn into starting up Saga again.

Goodbye Amanda, Goodbye Chris

Early one Spring morning, Amanda Cornwall arrived at Ms. Francine’s Home for Young Sims in Need. Amanda had been given a key, so she let herself in.

Carolyn Holcomb had left for her barista shift. Kori Brunson was getting ready to leave for high school. Francine Cha was getting ready for work as the Chief of Police.

Amanda found Francine in the kitchen. Francine could see that Amanda was upset about something. Francine tried to calm her down.

Before Amanda could explain what was wrong, she died. The cause of death was old age. Amanda Cornwall had lived a very long, almost ageless, life.

Carolyn came home shortly after Grim Reaper had arrived.

Carolyn traveled to Sulani to check on Chris Lake. Chris had passed on. There is little doubt that that was what Amanda had been so upset about.

Continue reading →