Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where Seattle lacks...

Portland rules. By fall of 2009, Portland will have: (keep in mind most of these Max lines are about 15 miles or so)

1) A new Max line that serves downtown, Portland State University, and goes all the way out to Clackamas
2) A Max line from Beaverton, downtown Portland, to the airport
3) A Max line from Hillsboro, downtown Portland, to Gresham
4) A Max line from downtown to the Expo Center
4) A commuter rail line between Beaverton and Wilsonville (all West side)
5) A streetcar betweenthe South waterfront, Portland State University, the Pearl District, and the trendy 23rd Street
6) A aerial tram that takes passengers from the South waterfront to the OHSU campus
7) Full bus service
By fall of 2009, Seattle will have:
1) A 1.3 mile streetcar from Lake Union to downtown, lovingly called the SLUT
2) A 1.3 mile monorail to nowhere (just for kicks?)
3) Commuter rail between Everett and Tukwila
4) Light rail from downtown to airport
5) Full bus service
Now, who has the better public transportation? In Portland, the entire downtown is ripped up right now to accomodate a new bus mall and Max line. Shop owners are losing business, but one was quoted as saying, "If it gets more cars off the road, I'm all for it."
If the citizens of the Puget Sound area pass the mass transit measure in November, we should be seeing service that rivals Portland by 2025.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pet Peeves

I had a bad day today, in which all my pet peeves were exposed. I'm doing MUCH better now that I'm on the ferry heading home to Bainbridge Island, with my weekly ferry beer. Now, I'll go through my list of annoyances.

1. Lack of sleep
An extremely loud noise wakes me up from a deep sleep around 2am. It turns out it was the shower curtain, but I can't fall back asleep, thinking a boogey man punched a window screen in, and is tiptoing up the stairs with a knife. I almost lock the bedroom door, but instead, put in earplugs.

In the morning, my eyes are way too sore and tired to put in my contacts. I should have left them out. I have my second scare of the day when I see my dark under eye circles in vivid detail in the bathroom mirror.

2. Lack of space on ferry
Tired, clumsy, and seasick, I wander around the ferry looking for somewhere, ANYWHERE, to plunk my butt down so I can surf the Internet and distract myself from aforementioned frightening episodes. I proceed to notice on this extremely packed ferry, people think they are entitled to lie down and take up AN ENTIRE BENCH. As if 30 minutes of shut eye is more important than my butt. If you need an entire bench, BUY THREE TICKETS. To make matters, worse, some people took up an entire seat with a jacket, a pacifier, a backpack.

Anyway, I finally find a seat to find my computer is almost dead, sit in numbed silence for a few moments, then put on my 80 pound pack in search of a seat near a power outlet. After circling the "vessel", I finally find a godforsaken seat that is facing backward and making me very nauseus, and find my computer won't pick up Internet.

3. Public Information Officers that IGNORE reporters
I get to work and am dispatched to a story that I think will be very fun, full of interesting interviews and sound opportunities. I drive all the way down to SeaTac airport, and on the phone, the public information officer for the Port of Seattle tells me, "SURE...come on down....just page me when you get here and we'll send a shuttle."

I sit, I page him, I sit more, I page him FIVE TIMES TOTAL. I am sitting there in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere for 90 minutes with Internet that barely works, and I have to pee from that grande Americano I drank from being so tired. The public information officer either died, became part of the plane crash drill, or decided that I'm completely unimportant. I vote for the latter, and drove back to work feeling very peeved that I was stood up.

Ok, I think that might be all my pet peeves for the day, and its only three. All three of these things were very traumatic, and I finally calmed down once I ate a meatball sandwich David made for me.

Everything is fine now, and I'm very, very thankful that nobody at work chewed their gum near me today.

I might be in jail.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The adult life

The first time I visited Bainbridge Island, I came with my Dad in the summer of 2006, right after I moved to Seattle. My Dad and I have both always loved to ride boats, and I remember walking around downtown Winslow, thinking it was the most boring place on the planet. I saw a couple cute bistros, but not enough people walking the streets! Not enough action!

"I could never live here, " I told my Dad. He loves to bring that comment up now that I'm living so happily on the island.

I had a fun year living on lower Queen Anne in the hustle and bustle, but got sick of the fraternity/sorority people roaming the streets, bums on every corner, impatient drivers cutting me off at every crosswalk. I miss the Indian food, and the wine bar Bricco's, but that's about it.

Now, I am content doing the exact same thing every day. I ride the ferry home and either blog or read, then David and I play tennis in Winslow for about 45 minutes, go to the grocery store, and go home and sit on the deck and talk while we grill our dinner amongst the trees. Then we eat and watch my now favorite BBC comedy, Chef, or Northern Exposure (we just snagged the ENTIRE series at a garage sale).

I love my life as "late 20-something." I don't care as much about the parties, the dancing, the crazy nights "out on the town." I do enjoy it sometimes, mind you, but my favorite thing to do is to be with the person I love, at our quaint home, on an island far out in the sea.

It's anything but boring.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


"Wow, look at how the cars get on the boat!" A man exclaimed, and I looked at the ramp to see if the ferry workers were doing something different. Then, I realized the people walking next to me were tourists.

"I remember growing up, they used to take cars on a ferry to cross the Ohio river."

"Yeah, and they'd even put tractor trailors on board."

Ok Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. Then, the tourists proceed to the deck, where they stop in awe and wonderment, staring at the city of Seattle, meanwhile hungry, tired commuters like me are struggling to get by.

"Wow, look at that skyline," the man says, clutching his camera.

"Ooooh, let's go up the stairs!"

Thank God, now I can go sit down and blog, or read my book, or otherwise relax. Everywhere on the ferry sit tourists, and they stick out like sore thumbs. They're carrying huge bouquets of flowers from Pike Place Market, while dragging super-sized suitcases. They try to carry beer beyond the galley-area, even though there are big signs. They talk loudly and point at the attractions of Seattle. They wear shorts and tank tops and flip flops, even though its COLD here during the summer.

Then, I hear the Consumerman giving the safety annoucement. Finally, a voice I recognize.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why I shouldn't be driving

I almost had a heart attack while driving from my work to the University District to interview someone for a story. I've been taking the ferry and bus as my modes of transportation for months now, and hardly ever drive.

Every moment I was behind the wheel today, I felt like I was going to hit someone. Too many distractions! Buses, cars, pedestrians, bikes, all zipping in and out of my line of sight. I felt like every turn was a blind corner, and that someone would sideswipe me through a stoplight.

When I do drive, I drive on Bainbridge Island, which is like maneuvering through an old folks home. People travel under the speed limit, and linger at 4-way stops as each person waves the other through. I feel perfectly at ease driving 35 miles per hour, and so today, on I-5, people were treating ME like the granny, and zipping by my 60 miles per hour.

Sometimes I wish there were no cars, and everything was public transportation. What if instead of building roads, we built rails? What would a city look like with train systems going up every major arterial? And instead of I-5, a high speed train between Seattle and Portland? Driving is just so dangerous, with thousands of people dying every year. I'll stick to Bainbridge Island, or my trusty old ferry.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Beauty is in Imperfection

Our yard is far from perfect. All types of plants invade the green blades of grass, moss creates bumps in the turf, and there are brown spots. In fact, the yard has gotten so bad that our neighbor actually called the property management company and complained. I thought it looked beautiful. I'd sit on my chaise in the morning and watch the breeze comb through the long stalks. We live in a FOREST, for God's sakes, why does my grass have to be SHORT?

The other day David and I noticed beauty in our gangly grass. Tiny purple and white flowers poke their heads through, searching for a ray of sun as black bumble bees find a place to land. In one corner of our yard, long stemmed dandilions blossom the brightest yellow. At night, David and I sat there in wonder as each flower closed its petals to the darkness.

Sunday, David said he should mow before our neighbors complained again. I knew he was sad to have to cut down all these beautiful flowers that call our yard home, most of which people typicall call "weeds." I went inside to escape the grumble of the motor, and when I came out, I was completely surprised.

The entire corner of our yard is still filled with bright yellow dandilions, bowing back and forth in the breeze, laughing at the short, mown grass. David refused to cut them down, even though to an outside eye, it looks ridiculous. Beauty is in the imperfections, and the eye of the beholder.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bah Humbug

Today is my coworker Colleen's last day. The past 8 months have been SO much fun with her on the afternoon desk....there are so many fond memories: sampling beer live on the radio, laughing over soundbites, just having FUN at work. It seems like the chemistry of work is changing with her and Dan gone, and it's bumming me out a little bit.

On the flip side, I'm SO excited for Colleen in her new career, and I think someday, we will see her on big time in Seattle, in New York City, who knows! It will be fun to stay connected through the blogosphere, and keep up with life in Spokane, and life on TV!

It's always hard to see a coworker and friend go, but I also know there are NO GOODBYES! So don't worry Colleen, I won't say goodbye today....just "See you Later"!!

Good luck! I'll miss you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


"Where's my wallet!" David yells from downstairs. I can hear him going from room to room.

"I don't know!" I call from upstairs as I put on makeup. I know what's coming next.

"Where's my keys!"

"I haven't seen them!"

This is our routine every morning, and it happens about 3 minutes before we have to leave. This results in us both frantically looking around, until I say something along these lines.

"Your shorts/brown pants/black pants are in the spare bedroom/living room/laundry room!"

"Found them!!!"

It's funny the habits that we get stuck in, and every morning seems like deja vu. At least this morning, I got to catch the 8:40 ferry instead of the 7:05 ferry, so we had a little extra time at home, and actually left the house on time.

We woke up at 6:40am, and David made "guiso", which is a Tex-Mex breakfast with a bacon, tomato, jalapeno and cheese sauce over eggs. I had time to make our lunch, which is sliced filet mignon, dijon mustard, red onion, asparagus, and Naan. It felt good to actually sip my coffee and relax and talk a little bit.

What are your morning routines? Do you feel like you get "stuck" in routines?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Restroom Key

There's something about a public restroom key that grosses me out, every single time I have to use it. Today I went to Tully's, and the cashier handed me that dreadful key, tied to a steel milk steaming bowl that still had remnants of foam. As soon as the key touched my hand, I thought of all the other, less sanitary people who have touched that key. Huge numbers of people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, then all that bacteria is trasferred to the key, then to the cashier, who then grabs my bagel or touches my debit card. Plus, after I was my hands in the restroom, I have to touch that bacteria-laden key AND touch the doorknob. The whole situation is just disgusting, but when you have to go, you have to go.

I think it's probably time to get some hand sanitizer for my purse.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Running for the Cattle Car

I was literally the last passenger to make it onboard the 7:05 ferry sailing today. David and I left the house at 6:52 instead of 6:50, and its amazing how two minutes is an eternity. We pulled up to the ferry terminal and I was off like cheetah, running in high heels, with my 20 pound backpack bumping around, my hair streaming out behind me. I sprinted down the tunnel, praying, hoping that I wouldn't fall, that I would make it. Finally, the ramp to the boat comes into view and DAMN, the gate has been lowered, they are ready to tuck the boardwalk away. But then one hand comes out, then another, then a smiling face, "Hurry up!" I run on the cattle car, then promptly drop my lunch on the deck. Everyone on board is staring at me, like I'm some sort of freak for running onto the boat. All those well-dressed people with their laptops already open, their books already cracked, they were EARLY to the boat. Feeling stupid, I went upstairs and sat outside, and caught my breath.

This is my drama almost every morning, but I'm usually NOT the last person on board. I'm 5th from last.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Exploring Kitsap

I've been a bad blogger lately, just haven't really thought of anything to write! Anyway, on Sunday David and I decided just to drive around the Kitsap Peninsula, and explore this beautiful place we live. We started by heading to the Suquamish Indian reservation, where there is a divine pizza place with the best view of Puget Sound. There's no line in such an obscure place, and we listened to a man play the cedar flute as we ate and drank a beer and watched sail boats on the sound.

After our delicious lunch we headed to Port Gamble, which I think is an entire historic district. Houses from the 1800's are surrounded by white picket fences and green lawns, and there is a huge waterfront with views of the Sound. I felt like I was transported back in time, we even saw a wedding party take a horse drawn carriage!

We then traveled north to Point no Point Park, and saw the lighthouse and found a sandy beach, where we'll plan to picnic and fly kites later this summer. You can see Whidbey Island, the Cascades, and Mount Baker in the background. How did I get so lucky to have this ALL right in my backyard? I feel so blessed.

Next time we explore we'll take the Hood Canal Bridge, and check out Port Ludlow, Port Townsed, and hopefully find some places to camp, hike and fish in the Olympic National Forest. Do you know anywhere beautiful in the mountains we should visit?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Portland Rose Garden

After the wedding in Portland, David and I walked around the rose garden, which in this time of year, is blooming. Some of the buds are dying, but there is still vivid and amazing color. It was so beautiful that as I was walking among the roses, it brought a tear to my eye.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two more wedding pictures

I also wanted to post a couple more pictures from Deborah's camera. I just love the lighting in these photos.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I feel so much better

I am so glad to be on the ferry right now, indulging in a hefeweizen. I felt like I couldn't breathe all day today, and now I can. When I'm home relaxing, playing tennis, or on the ferry, I can breathe fine. But the minute I get on the bus in Seattle, then get to work, I feel my chest tighten, my airways constrict, and I can't get a good breath in. Today I spent the entire day feeling wheezy and light-headed. I think I might have asthma, but I don't know what triggers it. Sometimes I think it might be stress, or the chemicals and dust at work, or the odors on the bus. I know its not induced by exercise, because I can play tennis for 45 minutes without feeling short of breath.

I sometimes think work is what makes it hard for me to breathe. From the minute I get there, I'm expected to write all new content for the noon hour, cut up the 11am television, conduct interviews for Lifebeat and produce it, and produce some sort of package for the afternoon or morning. I do most of this sitting straight up in my chair, forgetting to breathe, or I overbreathe, which is caused when someone tries to hard to take deep breaths, gets too much oxygen in their system, then feels woozy.

I just need to chill out, take breaks, walk around, and enjoy the sunshine.

I'm so glad I finally feel relaxed, headed to my wooded sanctuary on Bainbridge Island. I wish I could stay there all day long.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The beautiful wedding

I will post the pictures I have for now, and I am waiting on my friend Deborah to supply some pictures of the wedding party, for it was truly a magnificent sight. The bridesmaids were wearing traditional Filipino outfits called barongs, and the men were wearing traditional Muslim/Indian outifts. The wedding was at the Crown Ballroom and Garden Court in Portland. Annabelle's sister, Nikaya, made the wedding dress BY HAND and is a fashion designer.

Below is a picture of me in my traditional barong. It was custom made with all kinds of sequins and embroidary. I matched lots of Annabelle's relatives at the wedding, minus the blond hair.

It was SO DARK in the venue that it was hard to take pictures during the ceremony. It was an Islamic ceremony, and very beautiful. It spoke of honoring your spouse, being honest, the joining of families. I was very touched by the Iman's words. Below is a picture of Annabelle and Seemab in their first dance.

Below is a picture of my family, David, Me, my sister, and my Mom.

The bride and the groom came out, and we all had sparklers lit outside the venue.

All in all, it was an amazing wedding and I'm so honored to have been part of it. Right now, the newlyweds are honeymooning in the Virgin Islands. I love you guys!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

Oh my gosh my friend is getting married TODAY. I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it, and I don't even know how she is feeling. She is staying out in Battle Ground with her family and we will meet her at the venue at 230 to change into our dresses and take photos. Until then, I will share some photos of our fabulous time so far.

Thursday night, was a "bachelorette" party, an extremely tame bachelorette party since the bride doesn't drink. We started out at Hubers with my favorite drink, a Spanish coffee lit on fire.

Below is the bride Annabelle with her crown, "Bachelorette's Last Blast." We made her drink out of a very embarrassing straw.

Friday night was the BBQ at Annabelle's parents house in Battle Ground. I'm serious, these Filipino people KNOW how to eat. It was BBQ'd chicken, fish, lamb, beef...then accompanied by spring rolls and skewers. There were WHOLE FISH and even crawfish.

Below is a picture of Annabelle's entire family carrying out the big screen TV in order to do karaoke in the patio. This was HILARIOUS. They had the reverb on so high, and you probably know why. heeh.

More Photos to come of the Big Day,....I better go get ready!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where am I?

Sometimes my coworkers like to make fun of me because I live on an island, and have to commute on a boat every day.

"Kristin, what time are you taking the ferry to Japan tonight?"

"Hows life in French Polynesia?"

or my favorite...

"I'm Kristin Hanes, reporting live from the middle of the Pacific Ocean."

Right now, I am on the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, but I could be on my way to an island off the coast of Japan. The entire starboard side of the ferry is filled with Asians. I haven't heard a word of English this entire trip. They are carrying cameras, smiling, talking rapid-fire in a tongue I have no dream of understanding. Sometimes they churn out choppy English, "Take a Pick-chuh."

One man barked something loudly in my hear and made me jump, another woman looked at me and went, "Oooooohhhhhhh". They are taking pictures of the coast of Southworth like it's an exotic island in the Carribean. I keep seeing flashes out of the corner of my eye, and think its lighting, like I saw in the storm last night.

I could be in Asia, or I could be in a meth rehab clinic. Among the chattering Asians roam men with mullets. One creepy man with hollow eyes sat in the bench seats in front of me and stared at me, his crooked teeth leering into a grin. Then he pulled a hood over his head a la grim reaper, and laid flat down on the bench. Others walk by in beat-up tank tops and jeans.

I usually take the Bainbridge ferry, which is TAME compared to this. It's all business types in suits and designer shoes drinking lattes and microbrews, rushing downstairs to shut off the car alarms on their Mercedes and Audis.

On the Bremerton boat, I could be anywhere. I'm actually finding it to be quite entertaining.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

There's a Starbucks on Every Corner

I always thought the phrase, "There's a Starbucks on every corner," was an exaggeration until my bus ride to the ferry today.

"Look Mom, another one!" A boy with pasty legs squealed and pointed emphathetically at the Starbucks on the corner.

"There really is a Starbucks on every corner, just like the tour guide said, " said the boys mother, "how many are we at now?"

"I think at last count we'd hit 100."

"But we missed a few blocks, so we must be at 700 now."

I couldn't believe my ears. Tourists in our grand city are actually counting Starbucks as they roam the streets. I always thought the sheer numer of coffee shops in this city was normal, but then I remembered that people don't live like this in other parts of the country. They aren't seen every day with an Americano, or a Vanilla Latte as they talk about the latest trends in technology or the airline business. People in other parts of the country drink Folgers and Instant coffee, maybe even try out the new lattes at McDonalds.

I noticed this when I visited Austin, Texas. Sure, there were a few coffee shops, but Starbucks stores were actually a mile apart rather than a block apart. I noticed in that part of the country, life is slower. People wander around, smiling and laughing. They seem relaxed when they talk, not frantically trying to run the next errand, or the next red light.

Sometimes I think the coffee culture will be our demise. Why do we constantly have to be super caffeinated? Why are we so tired and worn out that we need to buy a $4 cup of coffee? Let's just all take a deep breath, chill, speak slowly, and grab a cup of raspberry green tea.

I know, its easier said than done.

Wedding this weekend

Tomorrow I leave for Portland, Oregon for my good friend Annabelle's wedding. She is marrying her fiance, Seemab, after five years of dating. They met in Portland and moved to California a few years ago. I'm so happy they decided to come back to the Rose City to celebrate their big day.

The wedding will be held in Portland's beautiful Crown Ballroom and Garden Court on Saturday at 5pm.

I am a bridesmaid, along with one of my good friends from college, Deborah. We are wearing traditional Filipino dresses in dark blue, and Seemab's groomsmen are wearing traditional Indian clothing. It will be a multi-ethnic wedding, and I'm excited! We have all sorts of fun activities planned, including the Portland Blues Festival, drinks at our favorite bar, Hubers - built in 1890, a BBQ at Annabelle's house, and of course, the wedding. Most of my best friends will be there, plus my Mom and my sister. I'll be sure to post pictures! I'm so excited!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


We are packed like sardines into the 7:05 ferry, hundreds of us heading into Seattle with our steaming cups of coffee and laptop computers, drones in an economic beehive. Everyone has a tiny space on board this huge ferry, and will take up yet another tiny space in some faceless building. Some people scribble in books, others read email or the newspaper, everyone dressed to impress. It seems so boring, this corporate life, where we spend most of the hours of our days commuting and working. And for what? To put food on the table, to enjoy comfortable lives, to enjoy status in the community.

Sometimes I wish people could just all work together to sustain life in a group-like setting. Everyone has their role, everyone is friends, and there is a beautiful sense of community.

There are people sitting across from me, next to me, and kitty corner from me. I don't know any of their names or what makes them happy. We all sit in in our own worlds, ready to push the corporate machine, each of us a tiny gear that moves our economy forward.