The gist of this post two part post: The Panda was slightly pulled back into his college days and pondered two things: 1) How’d I survive the initial round of college? and 2) What have I really done since college?
Before I go any further into this blog I’m dropping a song early on for you to listen to while reading. Daniel Merriweather’s “Cigarettes” may or may not get you through this first post. But it does exemplify my weekend of sorts. I know my readers have the attention span of a 2-year-old boxer, so I’ve posted headlines to guide you through.
This blog was supposed to be posted Sunday, but apparently I’m a busy guy when I’m unemployed. And away we go…
A Standard “It’s Friday, I have nothing to do. I’m just gonna chill.”
I’m convinced that whenever I say, “I’m just gonna chill,” it more often than not becomes anything but. After a dose of laundry and resume firing off into the mythical reality called the Internet, I realized it was Friday and needed to get out of the house.
I jumped on the ferry on the sunny afternoon, stood on the observation deck at the bow of the vessel, popped in my headphones and contemplated what the Panda was going to do.
Basically, Friday was a day of recover from the Thursday UW v. Marquette game, and really supposed to be one of those filler episodes in your favorite TV series until Saturday’s game. To be honest, I was just trying to get by Friday in anticipation for the Huskies’ berth into the Sweet 16.
I decided to pop over to the hommie’s pad in West Seattle (the usual crash pad during the weekends). After watching a bit of non-inspired NCAA Tournament basketball (honestly, that first day was one of the most epic in history) I decided to bust on up to Snoqualmie Casino.
I’d never played up at The Snoqualmie Casino, but I heard the game is entertaining and that the new casino is actually worth checking out. So there I was driving solo styles to play poker at casino up in the Cascade Mountains, on a Friday evening while listening to the games on the radio, and feeling good about all my parlays (the Cal game was the sweet stroke to continue this good run of basketball betting during this epic Tournament). Translated, the Panda is a degenerate. But again I realized maybe there is something good about ditching the law firm.
Finally ended up at Snoqualmie and ran into some local poker acquaintances that I had not seen since college. Here is the obligatory recap of my life, verbatim: “After college I worked at two newspapers, went to law school in California, travelled a bunch, somehow passed a Bar exam, tried to live the dream in LA, travelled more, came back up to Washington, travelled again, worked at a law firm, and now I’m back to trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.” They tried to reminisce and I was somewhat interested, but really wasn’t. I just popped in my headphones and said I didn’t even really want to play and was just passing time, but that the Panda needed some bamboo money.
Passed time I did. And realized after a two hours that I was once again going to make more money from my sports bets and poker than I did working at the law firm. I started on a rush, but realized it was probably going to end soon and that listening to gangsta rap was only going to instigate the end of the rush. Plus the fact that the poker room was filled to the brim and dude next to me kept talking about watches and poker strategy. I could handle the watch talk, but was wondering why with my headphones on he insisted on chatter. The poker strategy, I mean look dude it’s not even close to being high stakes, you’re starting to get drunk, and really I don’t know how to play poker so I’m not all that interested.
So after one ridiculously awesome bluff I stacked up my chips, filled up my racks, and decided that really I just wanted to chill out. It was still only about 9:45, I saw another friend of mine with his pops and he almost convinced me to have drinks with him at the “club” up there. But like I said, I was in chill mode. So I rallied back to the Crash Pad.
Chill Night Apparently Means No Sleep
The hommie’s whose pad I was crashing at had to work in the morning, so a few other peeps came by for a couple of brews. After all it was a Friday night. While finishing a case of beer and random sips of who knows what alcohol, we found ourselves watching Gangland on the History Channel, Taboo on National Geographic (which was mostly about gangs), the old cartoon Rugrats (essentially gangsta babies), and Family Matters (not so gangsta, but hilarious, and I never realized how high pitched Urkel’s voice was).
I could talk endlessly about each one of those shows, but I won’t. And yes we were watching Rugrats at 3 a.m. and Family Matters at 4 a.m. This weird level of TV watching had my boy Sky and I starving. (To be honest I really don’t watch much TV, unless it’s sports related, then in actuality I watch a lot of TV).
Here’s the only thing I will crack on about West Seattle, there are no 24-hour joints (that we’ve discovered yet) except for Jack in the Box. Not feeling the Box, we did an online search for 24-hour diners… Low and behold, back in college if I was starving at this point in the evening/morning where was the standard sit-down spot? Beth’s Café, yes Beth’s.
Beth’s Café: Sky’s 12 Egg Omelette Devirginization
Oh it’s been a while since I went to Beth’s. Sky had never been to Beth’s, but claimed he was ready to take on a 12-egg omelette. I myself had achieved the feat on three separate occasions; I even have shirts to prove it. Apparently these days (blame it on the economy or Adam Richman’s Man v. Food), they don’t give out shirts anymore. Nonetheless, Sky wanted to take on the 12-egger. I’m not even going to begin to describe what a 12-egg omelette is like, it’s just one of those things like the Great Wall of China, that you have to see in person.
We got to Beth’s after a heavy dosage of Fiend blaring out of my car, peeps were standing outside and when they saw us roll out were probably thinking, “These guys didn’t have a chill night.” There is an air of familiarity every time I come to Beth’s from the oft jamming tunes from the juke box, the lingering smell of who knows what kind of coffee, the patron crayon drawings on the wall, and the standard 2-4 people hanging out either writing, or doing something creative with their lives. It’s a piece of Seattle that brings up instant nostalgia, even if you aren’t from Seattle.
A few things have changed since the last time I made a 5 a.m. Beth’s visit. For the record, to really get the experience of Beth’s you need find yourself there between the hours of midnight and 9:30 a.m. and hopefully if it’s after 4 a.m. it’s because you’re still up. Just saying.
Anyway the main thing that changed is that the menus are all classied up and of course they don’t hand out the shirts anymore. Come to think about it, not sure if they ever really did per se, but I think the exuberating candor I possessed every time I finished one of those lead them to give me one.
But there was a new omelette on the menu, or maybe I never noticed it before. By now you’re probably catching on to the state of mind I often found myself in when going to Beth’s, but I love the place. The new omelette is called the Northwestern; jammed with smoked salmon, cream cheese and peppers. Sky decided he wanted that one as his first Beth’s experience. I myself was upset he didn’t go with the standard and official Southwestern omelette, the one I ventured to consume. The Southwestern is a chili omelette, but chili, I mean this thing is loaded with beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and meat. Not just ground beef, I’m talking CHUNKS of beef.
Sky and I ordered from the waitress (who I think may have remembered me from my frequent visits back in the day, damn it’s good to back in Washington) Beth’s… Sky asks for the Northwestern and the man I am ordered the Southwestern… The waitress goes, “Is there going to be gang related activities going on.” We just start crack up laughing and I go, “Funny that you should say that…” She gives me a quizzical look. I say, “Don’t worry we’re cool, yo.” I mean we just spent 4 hours watching gang related television and listened to Fiend way too loud on the drive over.
The omelettes (if you can even call these things omelettes) came. Sky and I both looked at mine. Beth’s got me. I wasn’t really in the proper mindset to actually finish mine, but I’m also a sucker for food challenges. But seriously, mine was flowing off of the pizza tray it came in on, not to mention my hash browns were double layered. Sky himself had about 8 pounds of food in front of him, but he even said mine looked unruly. I don’t need to get into the details of two grown men trying to consume 20 pounds of food at 5 in the morning after being up all night. But I’ll just leave this picture for you… Sky actually finished his, I got over three-quarters and when I picked up my to-go box realized I still had 4-5 pounds of food left.
Sky and his finished Northwestern
Fiend was a bit too much for our drive back. I don’t even remember what I was talking about but at one point Sky said this, “I’m like in a food coma man. I listened to everything you said but I couldn’t hear you.” We finally got back, I still couldn’t breathe. Had a couple sips of Scotch and passed out watching Crank. So much for a chill evening… Continue to The Dawgs Dancin’ Into the Sweet 16 UW-eekend That Was: Pt. 2