Feeding A Crow On My Way To Work

On my walk up the hill this morning, I came upon a solitary crow.

Crows are common in my neighborhood, but seeing one alone is rare. I stopped to reach into my bag to retrieve my bag of peanuts, usually reserved for squirrels.

Crow stood in the middle of the street, looking at me. I stood on the sidewalk, looking at Crow.

Knowing that crows have excellent facial memory, I maintained eye contact with Solitary Crow while I retrieved a couple of peanuts. I dropped two peanuts on the grass between us. Then I continued walking.

I looked back, and Crow had a peanut in its beak.

I don’t expect any reward, but maybe Solitary Crow will spread the word to other crows that I’m a good human who shouldn’t be messed with. Either that, or I’ll be known as the human willing to share the food he carries around, and crows will seek me out.

On my way home this evening, I decided to take the buses home.

Metro has allowed all-door entry on 3rd Avenue during rush hour, as long as you tap your ORCA card with either a Metro employee with a portable ORCA reader, or at a RapidRide station. I’ve tried it a couple of times at the RapidRide station at 3rd & Columbia, tapping my card and then walking into the back door. It’s worked pretty good.

I tapped by card at the RapidRide station at 3rd & Columbia this evening. A RapidRide bus arrived, which I didn’t want, because it stops on the wrong side of Pike for me. But then a 70 bus arrived right behind it, with its front doors right it front of me. It seemed silly to walk to the back doors. I didn’t feel like convincing the driver that I’d already tapped my card, since it really didn’t matter, so I tapped it again when I walked into the front doors.

It doesn’t matter how many times I tap my ORCA card (except on Link), because my card allows unlimited rides. Still, I wondered what would happen if I had a wallet (a set amount of money) on my card. I suspect that it would count as a transfer, and I wouldn’t get charged for the second tap. But I don’t know for sure.


On Saturday, Phillip and I hopped on a 47 bus to Downtown, and saw Spiderman: Far From Home. We paid nearly $30 per ticket to see it in 3D+4DX. I think the experience was worth it.

Honestly though, I thought the post-credit scenes (both of them) were better than the movie. That’s saying a lot, since the movie was very good.

That second post credit scene… Wow! What the heck?

Today, Phillip and I took it easy. Then, this evening, we hopped on a 10 bus up to Volunteer Park and watched a free performance from Shakespeare Northwest.

We could have (should have) stopped along the way and picked up our camping chairs from the storage unit – we could have hopped off the 10 at 12th Avenue, picked up the chairs, and caught another 10 – but neither one of us thought of it. Neither one of us wanted to sit on the damp grass, so we watched the 90-minute performance standing up. (My back is sore right now.)

I’d seen this show before, a few years ago, but this was Phillip’s first time.

The troupe didn’t perform a specific Shakespeare play. It was called “Once Upon a Shakespearean Tale“. It was as if Shakespeare had rewritten classic fairy tales in his style, starring characters from his other plays. At no point did the troupe take itself seriously. (My favorite part was The Little Mermaid, narrated by the mad Ophelia, who kept losing track of the story. The cast kept wanting to break out in a song from the Disney movie, only to be stopped by William Shakespeare, who reminded them that they didn’t have the rights.)

Volunteer Park is under the flight path for SeaTac Airport, so the cast was frequently interrupted by jets flying overhead, but they were used to it. What, apparently, they didn’t expect was the very loud marching band practicing nearby. But Shakespeare Northwest did an amazing job of improvising the music into their performance. It was live theatre at it best.

Rebecca, from the in-limbo Writers’ Group, and who frequently shares a seat with me on Link light rail in the mornings, was in the audience, too. After the show, I introduced her to Phillip, forgetting that they’d already met. (I often lose track of who’s met who in the circle of people I know.)

I know a couple of actors in Shakespeare Northwest, and work with one of the actors. I wish they weren’t headquartered so far north, or I’d suggest we go see some of their full productions.

It’s been a fun weekend.

Why I Share Music

I love music. I’m constantly in search of music I’ve never heard before.

Sometimes, a YouTube video moves me enough to share it on Facebook. I’ll share it without comment. I don’t expect anyone else to share my interest in it. I know most of my friends won’t like it. I have plenty of experience recommending music to another person, only to have that person tell me they didn’t care for it. Even Phillip likes only a small percentage of the music I play for him. I know that several of my friends won’t even click on the video I’ve shared unless they’re already familiar with it.

That’s OK. I’m not offended. There’s more music out there than we can ever listen to. There’s plenty to suit everyone’s taste. To me, music is a personal thing, and that’s why I share it.

Maybe someone will like what I share, maybe some will dislike it, and maybe some will ignore it completely. It’s fine.

I share music on Facebook because it’s a snapshot of where I am. It’s what’s obsessing me. It’s where my head is at the moment. I share a music video, not because it’s about the music, but because it’s about me.

It’s the music that usually moves me, but it’s also the video presentation. The proportion of music and video likability varies, depending on the situation.

Here, on this blog, where I have more room and time to ramble on about what I like about a video, I’ll sometimes say more about a video than I will on Facebook. Facebook is fine for sharing links or updates, but this blog is more about writing.

I shared this video of “Dreams Tonite”, by Alvvays, on Facebook without comment, but I’ll share it here and say that I love this song, but I love the video even more. It took me a couple of viewing to understand that the camera is focusing on the instruments being played (for the most part) and showing the performers’ faces only when they’re singing (mostly). I think that video style is fascinating.

The Klein Siblings

The Klein siblings were happy as they aged into their elder years.

Thistle Klein met April Chisolm-Behr at a vet clinic after Father Winter gave Thistle a sick dog and money to pay for the treatment. (Did Father Winter set it all up just so that Thistle could meet April? Thistle wonders about that.)

Thistle and April hit it off instantly. Their Friendship and Romance bars maxed out quickly. Thistle wants April to move in. April told Thistle that the archipelago is a nice place, but she wouldn’t want to live there. They’re making their relationship work.

Banana Klein was smitten with Pepperjack Murphy from the first time she saw Pepperjack at Thistle’s house in Sulani. After Thistle assured Banana that he and Pepperjack were good friends, and nothing more, Banana began making romantic moves toward Pepperjack. Pepperjack Murphy returned the affection.

Banana and Pepperjack have been on a few dates. Things are looking good for the two of them, but there’s been no talk of a commitment.

Lemon Klein had been casually dating Ayaka Murakami for a long time, but things never seem to be progressing in their relationship. Suddenly, Mary Rose appeared out of nowhere. Lemon had never mentioned Mary to Banana. One day, Mary moved into Thistle’s old bedroom, and Lemon and Mary were all over each other. (It was exactly how their mother, Alice Klein, had appeared in Mateo Behr-Downing’s life, but neither Banana nor Lemon knew that story.)

Banana was furious that her brother had brought a roommate into their apartment without consulting her. It took a week for Banana to mellow out and accept that Mary was there to stay.

The Klein siblings were happy with the recent developments in their lives.

Two weeks after Mary Rose moved in, she and Lemon had a stay-at-home date night, and Lemon Klein died of overexertion.

Elder Jeong

It’s difficult to talk about Venessa Jeong’s birthday party without comparing it to Cheryl McCray’s party, four days earlier. The two celebrations were opposites in many ways, and illustrated that although the two wives are compatible, they each have their own, unique personalities.

Cheryl’s party had been all about her friends. Venessa’s party would be all about Vanessa Jeong, Global Superstar.

Venessa instructed her publisist to leak stories to the tabloids. She held sessions with the paparazzi, promising a star-filled blowout with a few surprises mixed in.

On the morning of the party, Venessa had her hair styled back to the bob that made her famous when she was a struggling 1-star celebrity. It would be a celebration how far of her career had come, and the paparazzi would love it.

Venessa rented a piano. She hired the best musician, the best mixologist, and the best caterer. It would be the best party The Pinnacles had ever seen.

An hour before the party began, a phone call woke Venessa from a nap. The caterer was lost in the Del Sol hills, and would be a little late.

Venessa cooked up some quick vegetable dumplings, so at least the guests wouldn’t go hungry, and got herself ready for the party.

Venessa’s party started off well enough. The guest list consisted mostly of 3-, 4-, and 5-star celebrities, with a few neighbors from San Myshuno mixed in.

Venessa’s retro hairdo had the opposite effect from what she had intended. Tabloids accused the paparazzi of trying to sell off old photographs. The paparazzi were not happy with Venessa Jeong.

As Venessa mingled with her guests, she missed the old apartment in the Spice Market, where guests would be crammed into one tiny room. Mingling was easier back then. Guests couldn’t scatter to the far corners of their present mansion, as they were doing now.

An hour into the party, the caterer found her way to the mansion. She did a good job of creating a fast menu on the fly.

The guests seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Then, as the final hour of the party was announced, Venessa realized that there was no birthday cake. Venessa fired the caterer and took on the baking task herself. The party was over, most of the guests had left, as had all of the paparazzi, when Venessa removed her birthday cake from the oven.

Only Cheryl and two minor celebrities Venessa barely knew were there to witness Venessa Jeong blow out her candles and age into an elder.

Unlike Cheryl, Venessa is choosing to continue dying her hair.

Venessa Jeong’s birthday party was disappointing.

Elder McCray

Cheryl McCray has aged into an Elder. Venessa Jeong’s birthday is four days away. Venessa suggested that they have separate parties, so they won’t have to share the celebrity spotlight. Cheryl approved of that plan.

Cheryl invited mostly close friends and former neighbors, although a few celebrities, and a famous vampire philanthropist named Daryl Robards, were also on the guest list. (The paparazzi were told to wait outside in the driveway.)

Cheryl’s party was a casual affair, just the way Cheryl prefers. After Cheryl blew out the candles and aged up, the guests were welcomed to roam the grounds on their own. It was a pleasantly warm evening, and several guests went out to the pools. Venessa escorted a few guests to the secret, underground game room. Some remained in the main room and socialized with the birthday Sim.

But wait, wondered Cheryl, who is that Sim in the pirate costume that Banana brought with her? She introduced herself as Pepperjack Murphy, but who is she? Does Banana Klein have a girlfriend? Cheryl would ask Banana at the next opportunity.

There was no need to ask. It was obvious that Banana Klein has a girlfriend. Cheryl was happy to see it happen to one of her best friends.

Cheryl McCray had a fantastic birthday.

The next day, Cheryl removed the purple streaks from her hair. She’s going with a natural gray.

I Like YouTube

I’m obsessed with Kyde and Eric’s YouTube channel. Their travel videos and their “life in Japan” videos have an unrehearsed, yet professional, quality to them. I get the feeling that, once I start a video, I never know what I’m getting into.

I haven’t watched many of their videos yet. They tend to be from 45 minutes to an hour and a half in length. That length makes them perfect for listening to at work while I’m entering numbers into a spreadsheet, however.

Their travel style seems to be as spontaneous as their video presentation. I get the impression that they do some research before a trip, but once they arrive, it’s like they simply head out the door of their Airbnb and start walking in search of something interesting. I enjoy that.

There’s an honesty to their videos. If they’re impressed by something, they’ll point it out. If they’re not so impressed by something, they’ll point that out too. They’re not afraid to show the negative aspects of their journey. I appreciate that.

They seem to have fun. Kyde and Eric seem like a fun couple.

Here’s a video I listened to today, about their stay in Glasgow. It’s one of their longer videos, but I’d love to play the first twenty minutes then next time someone complains that Seattle freaks out when a few inches of snow falls.

I Learned A Couple Of Things At Work Today

This afternoon at work, I was listening to the latest episode of Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe’s vlog “I Don’t Even Know What We’re Doing.” They talked about an upcoming “All The Stations” project on the Isle of Man. Vicki gave Geoff a Manx trivia quiz.

I realized I knew next to nothing about the Isle of Man. So I did a YouTube search and discovered a globe-trotting couple named Kyde and Eric. They did two almost-50-minute videos on their trip to the 220 square mile Crown Dependency. I learned a lot about the Isle of Man.

I’ve subscribed to Kyde and Eric’s channel. And, wouldn’t you know it, they have a lot of videos about living in Japan. There’s one more channel on my YouTube subscriptions about foreigners living in Japan.

Also this afternoon at work, a coworker asked me if I wanted some Hi-Chews. I told her I didn’t know what that was.

She showed me one of the candies, and I instantly recognized them.

If I were to name my favorite candies, Hi-Chew wouldn’t be on the Top Ten, but I do like them a lot. I realized that I didn’t recognize the name because I’d never heard it spoken out loud until then, even though my coworker pronounced the name exactly like I would have. I had a visual memory, but not a verbal one.