I’ve been carrying this around with me for a couple of months, maybe closer to six. I’m thinking it was about the time I started to let my beard grow. Just now being able to scribble them down and make some sense out of them. It’s a snapshot of my life and times as a resident of the Northwest.
I live in Bellingham, Washington about an hour and a half north of Seattle. It’s quite a drive to Safeco Field to see the Mariners, but I’m lucky enough to be in a city that has a ballpark. Joe Martin stadium was built in 1964 and has been home to three different minor league teams. The Bellingham Dodgers from [1973-1976], the Bellingham Mariners [1977-1994] and gave big league Mariners fans a glimpse of the future as Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. started their careers there. After 18 seasons and two Northwest championships the team moved closer to Seattle. The San Francisco Giants brought their affiliate to town in [1995-1996.] Beginning in 1999 the park became the home of the Bellingham Bells of the Pacific International League [PIL]. In 2005 the Bells moved to the West Coast League and feature some of the finest college players around. I spend my summers there, keeping score.
It rains a lot here and one may not see the sun for weeks at a time. Now I knew this before I moved out here, so it’s not very surprising, but still, it merits a complaint, just like the brutal Texas heat does. Every summer in Texas it doesn’t rain for 100 straight days and during that stretch the temperature tops 135 degrees on a regular basis. All the wretched while, beers sweat like they’re in a Turkish prison and the Texas resident is in a constant lather, the local swimming pool is just a giant hot tub full of urinating children and sunscreen residue-truly not an adequate escape from the boiling caldron of the streets, and as accustomed to it as we are, we complain about it, like we didn’t expect it.
In Texas we have the annual heat wave, in the Northwest there is rain, more rain and the periodic fog that rolls in some mornings. Such conditions make for lazy weekend days when there’s no baseball for television watching, reading, napping and boozing. So what the hell am I bitching for? It’s not a bad life. I am settled in here now after taking several months. My bus is not as crowded as most, but makes frequent stops, making it difficult for me to read during my commute. Like my friend Cooper, I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat or the shift of a gear or the swerve of a wheel or the pounce of a brake…
Burrito stands on every corner. Well not really burrito stands, but taquerias. The burritos here are good- possibly the best food I’ve had the pleasure of eating, well, scratch that. I cooked some pretty tasty tofu green curry the other night. But I digress. I haven’t really journeyed beyond the burrito scene as far as Mexican food goes. I am still very partial to tex-mex and the prospect of wash-mex frightens me a little bit, I will now take time out to issue the following PSA [as it relates to the subject of Mexican food]: if you’re ever in San Antonio, and you probably will be before me since I now reside in the city of Bellingham, go to the basement of the Alamo and then go stuff yourself at Mi Tiaras near the River Walk-the very best Mexican food in the entire world. No holds barred. Also the coldest draft beer you can put into your oral cavity.
On that note, I bid you adieu. Wish you were here. I now have a baseball game to catch, score to keep, a beer to drink, some tacos to eat, some nose hairs to clip and a semi fresh relationship to contemplate.
I am an aging hipster with a penchant for indie films, fiction literature, and music. I worship at the church of baseball. I now see the backside of 6AM rather than the front. I drink oceans of coffee to come up and tons of hoppy beers to come down.