Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hello, Seattle

Greetings from the University District of Seattle, Washington!

I got in to my home around 4 PM Pacific Standard Time (7 PM real time) yesterday and have since been getting settled in and enjoying the company of my new housemates. I live with (I think) seven other guys, six of whom are University of Washington students. Everyone seems really cool.

The house is probably not the cleanest place I've ever been, but I think that's to be expected of a place housing eight college-aged guys. What it lacks in cleanliness, I think it more than makes up in charm (it is sort of like Wrigley Field in this respect). Below is a picture of the common room's large and beautiful television from behind a pair of super-comfy couch recliners. On the right is my housemate Jake returning from a day at the chemical engineering building. Almost everyone in the house is a science major of some sort. Hopefully they will like me enough to let me mooch off them when they are successful and I am a starving journalist working the Division II baseball beat for the St. Cloud Times.

The living room is also equipped with two beer pong tables, one of which can be seen here a day after several intense games of battle pong. For the uninitiated, battle pong is a really fun way to get really drunk, really fast.

There are beer cans pretty much all over the house, which is awesome. Here are some of the special issue U of Washington-themed Bud Lights used for decorative purposes above the entrance to the kitchen.

This example of decorative creativity, however, pales in comparison to my housemates' pièce de résistance. This painting was originally of Jesus guiding some guy as he steered a boat. However, the guy's face has instead been replaced by a picture of University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. Perhaps if I hang a similar picture of TJ Yates in my apartment, UNC might beat NC State this season.

The drive to Washington was somewhat exhausting, but a ton of fun. After hitting Chicago, I drove through Wisconsin which was surprisingly really cool. The weather was pretty gross as I drove through, but there was a lot of nice scenery with a lot of little lakes and rivers to look at. I stopped at a place called Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire to get some caffeine in me. Little did I know the Coffee Grounds is not only an internet café, but a local beer emporium, as well. Jackpot. I picked up a trio of six-packs for my future housemates, two of which I found to be pretty good. If you ever get a chance to try Oso beer, you should definitely do that. I unfortunately did not pick up a six-pack of "He'Brew".

After Eau Claire, I crossed the Mississippi and lit out for the territories. There's not a whole lot in the state of Minnesota after you get past the Twin Cities. I ended up spending the night in Bismarck, North Dakota, which was similarly not much to see. However, western North Dakota is all sorts of awesome. On a whim, I decided to make a detour to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the ND badlands. Despite the lack of vegetation, the Badlands are really pretty to look at. I went for a mile hike, but it was really hard for me to leave. I'm definitely planning to budget some more time there on my way back and look forward to future photo opportunities like the one seen below. Note my road trip scruff and spring break t-shirt.

The eastern half of Montana, however is probably the most boring place I've ever been in my life. When you drive through, you have four choices on your radio dial: Christian talk, contemporary Christian, classic country and contemporary country. Choosing a station is like picking a favorite son if you hate all of your children. You can imagine my elation then when I stumbled upon a station playing "Should I Stay or Should I Go," the greatest driving song of all time. Rolling through the high plains blasting the Clash at 90 mph was easily the single most perfect moment of my road trip. The second most perfect moment was my visit to the unfortunately named "Kum & Go" of eastern Montana. They serve a frozen drink a called a "Koolie". I don't think I really need to write a joke here.

Western Montana is pretty cool because of all the mountains and stuff. Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap any really good pictures of the landscape, but take my word for it—it's a gorgeous mix of open green spaces and imposing snow-capped mountains. I'm dying to make a trip across the Wyoming border to Yellowstone on my way home. Washington is a pretty sweet state to drive through as well. I didn't get to snap any pictures of my trip across the bridge to Seattle which offers a nice view of the city, but here's a cool picture I took above the Columbia River in the eastern part of the state.

I'm currently living in the U-District of Seattle which is a neat blend of city life with a neighborhood feel because of all the college students. It's right next to the University of Washington, which has a really nice campus despite being located in a major city. There's a trail to Mt. Rainier that I really need to see. I also live about a block and a half from the fifth Starbucks ever built. As you might imagine, Starbucks is a pretty huge deal here in the Emerald City, as evidenced by the fact that three of my housemates rolled in with frappuccinos about a half hour after I moved in. The Starbucks on University Way (or "The Av," as everyone seems to call it) was pretty cool to see, since the original five Starbucks all have this creepy old logo in them that the newer ones do not.

I'm starting my internship at 710 ESPN Radio Seattle tomorrow, which is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. I just hope I'm able to do a good job and that my employers like me. I think I'm going to go hang out with some of my housemates a bit now that they're all done studying for the night (UW is still in session). Before I do that, though, I leave you with the most Seattle picture ever. It is of me wearing a Mariners cap and updating my blog while drinking a mocha from the fifth-ever Starbucks. The picture is taken by my housemate Sean, who has a sick beard and likes photography and indie rock.

Thanks for reading. I love you all.


  1. I really enjoy your writing

  2. Great post! Good luck today. They're going to love you!

  3. So much so The Best. It's the Summer of Aaron!

  4. "What it lacks in cleanliness, I think it more than makes up in charm (it is sort of like Wrigley Field in this respect). " OUCH!?!?

    PS you're cute. PPS your last photo is hilarious.