19 April 2009

From the Fir Tree State

"The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle
Like a beautiful child, growing up, free an' wild
Full of hopes an' full of fears, full of laughter, full of tears
Full of dreams to last the years, in Seattle"

Any guess where I might be writing this from?

When I was a kid I vaguely remember a dude named Bobby Sherman and a show he was on called "Here Come the Brides." I don't recall ever watching it, but the guy seemed like a big deal.

Years later, I became a huge fan of "The Critic." If you've never watched it, you can see an entire episode here. I'm a sucker for animated shows with self-loathing main characters, and this is the Mt. Everest of such shows.

I can't find a clip of the scene that I really want here: the critic's name is Jay Sherman. In one show he finds himself trying to use his public persona to get a date, and a woman squeals with delight at meeting him. I don't remember what she does, but his teenage son immediately says "Dad, she thinks you're Bobby Sherman." Not to miss out on his chance, Jay grabs a microphone and starts singing "Seattle" (where the above lyrics are from), which apparently was the theme song to "Here Come the Brides."

Welcome to my world, where obscure references are ready to pop out without warning. My brother-in-law lives in Seattle (in the quite lovely Magnolia district) so we are in the midst of a four day weekend trip here. I've been to Seattle once before, in the summer of 2003, but Kristen has not.

And yes, this means that we put Desmond on a plane. For four and a half hours. For the first forty-five minutes he earned a solid D-, not wanting to sit still, shrieking and thinking he could throw whatever he got his hands on. Once we got into the air he mellowed considerably, and though he barely slept he improved to a B+. Thank God for flirtatious flight attendants and the couple sitting behind us who miss the heck out of their own grandchildren. Hopefully our return flight tomorrow is as smooth.

I like it here. They are actually having a spring here, and there are flowers blooming all over the place. I'm wondering if Seattle translates to "place of giant tulips" in some other language. We've explored a lot of the neighborhoods along with the downtown pier (I find the market to be a bit underwhelming). I was hoping to get to a Mariners game but it looks as if driving by Safeco Field is the closest I'll get to Ichiro and Junior on this trip.

I don't want to go back to Chicago unless it is perpetually 75, and it isn't. By the time we land tomorrow it will be 40. I went to last Thursday's Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley (bite me, St. Louis) and froze my extremities off. I expect to see glaciers coming in off Lake Michigan any day now, and the experience at the game was an adventure in pure obnoxiousness (which is another entry all its own) and made me feel like I was sixty years old.

I've been typing this with one hand while Desmond sleeps in my other (actually on it, since he is atop my entire left arm, which I can feel nothing of) and it makes me appreciate the slower pace of life here. As soon as he wakes we will head down to the Space Needle and the area around there. Lots of hills in Seattle.

It was clear enough here yesterday to see Mt. Rainier off in the distance. I want that view in my backyard, or on the expressway, somewhere, anywhere in Chicago. All I've got now are billboards.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Sounds like a great trip, and a beautiful area. The closest I've been is Oregon, which is also gorgeous.

I love obscure references, and I loved "Here Come the Brides" when I was a kid--I think my first big crush was Bobby Sherman!

Enjoy the rest of your stay, and I hope your flight tomorrow is incident-free!