September 13, 2010

There are two seasons in Seattle: glory & gray.

When I had first arrived, it was March, in a phase of perpetual March gloom. A college dean had reassured me it wasn’t all so dismal. “Yeah, we go through this,” he admitted hopefully. After a wistful beat: “But in the summertime, oh, it’s just god’s country out here.” I pocketed this visionary heralding of “green as far as the eyes can see,” only to see it truly fulfilled months later. Coming from northeastern America, we had always reveled in the changing of the seasons–sunshine into browning leaves into snow into the blooming of the flowers again. Here, there is merely the year-to-year variant months of glorious sunshine transposed by endless dull gray.

I won’t mourn the glory we never really had this year, nor wholeheartedly welcome the gray that commenced far too soon. Seattle does with its skies what it will. Here on the top of our hill, we can merely just prepare. There is a reason this week of impending half-light had me scouring around the city investing in the finest of creature comforts my little wallet could afford. The transitional period shouldn’t be a suffering, but rather an excuse to cozy up, settle down.

So here is my knick-knacks wish-list intended to abate the gray. I haven’t included a sun lamp, Paxil, or rubber boots, because really now.

(essentials for the nesting instinct:) 

1. Gigantic wool sweater

2. Decent jackets of several different persuasions — waterproof / wool / hooded / durable /adorable

3. Cozy hoodies & pullovers

oh seattle, back to what we know so well

(Honestly, no one’s going to see the shirt you’re wearing underneath anyway; invest in warmth)

4. Beanies

(beloved: coal headwear)

5. The best bed cloud in the world

(This here is undoubtedly the most essential. Nothing, really nothing, provides the solace, comfort, simple joy & wonder that a good bed does. Think of it: a bed happens to be where most of your living occurs. In many Capitol Hill apartments, it engulfs a good portion of your habitat itself. It is a social & a solitary place & it better be damn good. This notion had me wandering downtown just yesterday dreaming wildly of my ideal pocket of space. There are luxuries to succumb to, & there are indulgences to avoid. I stumbled in a haze trying to count the particulars of thread count & weighing the necessities of padding out my dream cloud with a virtuous featherbed. But last night (& well into this morning) was a brilliant victory; it was otherworldly. I crawled out of my landscape of new white into our world of new gray to see sunshine sifting through the thicket of clouds. There is hope yet! This is my buoy in the dreary, dreary wintertime. I may always be in this bed. I am surrounded by like eleven silken pillows & a puppy. When everything else in this world falls to shambles, I’ll be in this bed.)

[here is a heap of photos to convince you:]

6. Bourbon

7. Several cardigans, some of which you don’t mind misplacing in bars

(see: a farewell to the cha cha)

8. One really lovely candle

(beloved: Anthropologie’s Capri Blue Volcano candle. Allegedly, this is even on the Stones’ tour rider. But it’s a deranged $25 per candle, so wait for it to go on sale, or get someone who works at Urban to buy it for you with their discount.)

9. Weekly visits to Half-Price Books (belmont & olive)

(If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to book by book, go for their insanely cheap back-copies of literary journals, magazines, & essay collections. Stories are easier to portion out, especially on bus trips.)

10. Winter sport hobby

(Note: this can be absurdly expensive if you don’t already have the equipment or the means to borrow some. If you want to get into it, you have to go all in. But given time, if the addiction grows, you will find yourself mercilessly refreshing snow reports until the snow accumulates adequately. Thus, you’ve turned a fear into a lust. Also note: last season was pretty bleak. But lastly, note: you will never look forward to the wintertime more, & we are surrounded by some absolutely incredible mountains.)

11. Food you can cook at home / corresponding recipes

12. Thick socks

13. Bike lights

(This daylight doesn’t last forever anymore!)

14. Scarves. Also gloves

15. Bulk cocoa

(Well, had to throw that one in there.)

16. Kitten

(I’m more stoked on dogs myself, but it’s undeniable that it would be nice to come home to a warm little furball on winter evenings, regardless of species. They certainly are more low maintenance, & don’t mind being cooped up in the Hill’s array of studios & cramped apartments. Their constant stream of entertainment is also testament to how badly you desire simple warming of the heart.)

17. Knitting hobby

18. Decent bar close to home, for when braving the winter seems undesirable. Preferably with good, cheap food.

(beloved: Captain Black’s)


19. A good pair of denim that you will abuse during the gray period, then sacrifice to the Summer of 011 the first day it peaks above 65–you will savagely cut them off above the knees & head out towards Cal Anderson when the glory captivates us all again


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