Live From I-5!

I am heading north to Seattle where Americans for the Arts is holding its annual convention, but I’m running into a spot of traffic just north of the Columbia River… which gives me an idea. How about liveblogging my trip to the Emerald City?!? I usually just speed through jamming on my ipod or visiting with my traveling companions, but this time I am alone, and I left my ipod in the trunk, so wouldn’t you love to hear my impressions of I-5 and Seattle as I make this magical journey with my eyes wide open for the first time in a long time? Don’t worry, I can TOTALLY type and drive at the same time.

2:25. Black Jack Fireworks! This always reminds me of the Deep Thought: What if you brought your kids here to purchase some crazy pyrotechnics for the 4th of July (just around the corner!) and it was burned down?

2:48. Hey, when did they take down the nuclear reactor?!?

3:07. Hard to find a radio station that works out here, but I can barely make out enough to sing along and wave my finger: “That’s not my name! That’s not my name!” I think I just frightened the poor lady driving next to me.

3:22. We’ve got some OK public art in Portland, but nothing like the bad-ass Jesus-like dude perched atop a giant rusty scepter with several orbs nearby -- right along the Interstate. Is this what Rio de Janeiro looks like?

3:28. Oops. Twelve miles in five minutes. Slowing down to 67MPH.

3:32. There’s that cute mega billboard featuring a cartoon picture of Uncle Sam. Small town pride. This time, the words are, “Where's the birth certificate?” I’m not sure what that means exactly -- perhaps someone from this nice little village can't register for the military until his mother finds the right papers -- but isn’t it wonderful how much renewed patriotism there seems to be now that Obama is in office?

3:45. I always liked Centralia. There’s a charming little hotel just off the freeway (I can see it from here) just at the edge of a huge lake – more than 100 feet across – where children are playing in paddleboats and inflatable rafts. Just over yonder is a retail outlet mall with 18 different merchants from Wrangler to Lee, and I see plenty of fast food joints. Who could ask for anything more?

4:11. How cooooool. It’s the Great Wolfe Lodge! I’m so goin’ to the lodge. I play a few rounds of craps before the kids convince me to take a ride on the Howlin’ Tornado waterslide. Wow that was fun, but sorry kids, I gotta run.

6:30. Olympia, baby!!! I pull over to ask where I can get an Olympia Beer to quench my thirst, but apparently they don’t make it here anymore. Man, that sucks.

6:46. They should totally make a beer called Old Nisqually.

6:55. Either there’s a military base nearby, or a gay beer bust, because there are all these cute guys wearing camouflage driving around in jeeps.

7:14. Holy cow, it’s another entertainment megaplex: Wild Waves. You would think that the farther north you go the cooler and wetter the climate, and the more folks would stay indoors, but apparently this is some kind of banana belt because Washington seriously loves their water sports.

7:19. What the hell is that?

7:31. More bitchin public art! It’s like an homage to alien visitors, as if a giant spacecraft has just landed and – oh wait. It’s just the Tacoma Dome and Styx is playing tonight.

7:32. Who farted?

9:30. Wow, this is one big city. I can tell because I’ve been stuck in a traffic jam between SeaTac and Boeing Field for the past two hours.

10:15. Finally, I land in Seattle. And boy are my arms tired, HA. You didn't think I could do it, did you?

Interestingly enough, the people here don’t really look any different. I don’t know, it’s not like I expected them to be literally green, but… I don’t know. I thought I’d have to teach them how to pronounce “Oregon” or something, but they seem pretty normal.

Oh well. I’m off to ride the Space Needle! More tomorrow.


MightyToyCannon said...

Keep the posts coming! Forget about the Americans for the Arts conference--just wander around Seattle while live-blogging.

Miss Laura said...

Oh, man! You type while you drive? When I drive from Portland to Seattle, I can usually only get in one movie and a pedicure.

cynseattle said...

you totally wrote this after you arrived!!! I know because after YEARS of skidding up and down this stretch of highway myself, I know for a fact that one NEVER notices Centralia...never.

Miss Laura said...

I always notice Centralia -- but that's a bladder for another blather. Seriously, though, one of my favorite life scenes played out there. I was in a crowded Starbucks waiting in line to order coffee and a bunch of people were mingling around. I inched closer and closer to the front of the line and just when I was about to order the barista started calling out coffee after coffee after coffee after coffee and this went on and on ... dozens of drinks. At first we started to snicker because it was so dang funny, but as the orders rolled on we got quiet because we realized we were lucky enough to catch something special and just plain bizarre. When she finished everyone clapped and hooted. You couldn't have scripted it any better.

MightyToyCannon said...

Oh, dude! You are so busted bro. There goes all claims to journalistic integrity this sorry ass blog might have ever had. And just 'cuz you had to go all Jayson Blair on us and start pretending that Styx playin' the Dome when any righteous fan KNOWS they are so in Alabama right frickin' NOW. Anymore, I don't know who to believe. Hey wake up people! Next thing you know, Culture Jock is going to claim he was backstage with White Snake!

Miss Laura said...

You mean to tell me that was a carload of you-know-what? Because I totally LOVE that bad-ass Jesus dude with all the orbs and I'm going to be so ticked off if I find out you were just making fun of it for your own devilish satiric wit. I'm so upset now I don't know what to think ... but if you really go backstage with White Snake, could you get me a shirt?

~Christopher said...

You know, my high school sports teams were named after Olympia beer.

MightyToyCannon said...

I remember taking a tour of the Olympia brewery back in the day. The tour ended in the tasting room, where they would pour a full, foamy glass. It was a watery, tasteless brew, but that's all we knew back then. There were a few people on the tour who looked like regulars stopping in to knock back a few samples before heading home.