Mysteries of the 43

While bussing back from the U District a few nights ago, I discovered this bit of weirdness.

penny on a bus seatSo.


Someone gets on the bus, has a penny, heats it up with a… torch, and then presses it into the plastic of the bus seat to leave this shockingly clear impression.

While on various buses, I’ve had my lungs corrupted by some truly evil decay coming from someone’s feet. I’ve seen a woman kicked off a Bellevue-bound bus for yelling clearly but insanely about how god should DAMN the United States.* I had a 50-some-year-old Texan offer to impregnate me – in a way so jovial it almost wasn’t incredibly horrible. I had a Vietnam vet on his way to the reservation to buy cigarettes inform me that “the queers” were going to try to recruit me.** I’ve made friends and been asked out and knit and read and done all manner of things.

But someone with a portable and apparently covert heat source that could accomplish something like that… this is new.

Alright, King County Metro. There is a new bar to reach for bus weirdness. Good luck.

*She was off at the next stop. Do not dick around with suburban buses – they will not put up with your shenanigans.

**He was right. A disproportionate number of my friends do indeed identify as being part of the gays. Whoops!

Update: did you ever superglue coins to things? You know, to be a jerk? I did, but only on wood floors.

A friend did too, but on a greater variety of surfaces than I did, it seems. And she postulates that this is the remnants of someone doing exactly that wonderful, hilarious dick move on the bus.

How much more sense does that make than my hypothesis? Oh, all the sense. All of it.

Hither and Thither #9

As I mentioned last week, I listen to a lot of podcasts. It’s at the point that I’m pretty choosy about taking new ones on, because I hate a backlog. (The 47 unheard podcasts on my phone as of this writing would be surprised to learn that.) However, when I read Sarah Vowell’s post about 99% Invisible on Facebook, I got that big-pupilled Kate Beaton drawing look on my face that means “WE WANTS IT, GIVE IT TO US.” I’m looking forward to diving in this weekend.

In the meantime, they have a Kickstarter to support their next season. I am 99 percent sure I will be throwing them money once I listen to, oh, about 0.75 of one of the podcasts. Because it is a podcast about beauty, design, intention, and history. Are you kidding me.

division squigglebavarians with gunsAn overview of Washington’s own deeply unlikely Bavarian-style town, written by a British woman on her Paris-themed blog. Yes, internet, I like you just fine.

I like Leavenworth, although I’ve been once and don’t feel compelled to go again. I went around Christmas with friends several years ago. Lots of tourists in weird hats, due to an oddly successful weird hat store, placed prominently in the center of the town. My favorite part was a big, big tree, its canopying branches carefully wrapped in softly glowing blue-white lights. If it hadn’t been about 25 degrees, I might’ve laid down on the stone wall beneath it and stared up at it and the peeks of midnight-blue sky showing through for hours. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse that I didn’t have a camera up for capturing it. Continue reading

Hanauma Bay: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

Or: A Semi-Complete Record of the Warning Signs of a Mighty Fine Snorkeling Spot.

hanauma bay 1

One of my main goals* for Hawaii was snorkeling, something I’ve been longing to do for the last, oh, four or five years. We decided to go to Hanauma Bay on the basis that it is beautiful, and because of a lovely teenage memory of chasing a glorious rainbow fish through the coral for what felt like hours.** Continue reading



uw tank

Why is there a tank thing in front of Terry Hall?

Why is there a tank thing equipped with a fire extinguisher and surrounded by caution tape and telescoping cones?

Why is everyone walking around like it ain’t no thing to have a baby tank device hanging out in front of your dorms?

I would not have felt that way when I was properly in college. I think I can safely say none of my classmates would have either.

Apologies for the buscam photo. It’s just that I wasn’t at my stop yet… and some kind of DNA-deep self preservation says, “Do not get off the bus to investigate the large, weapony-looking thing. You stay on your bus. You just keep on going.”

Update: a friend who apparently knows these things has informed me that this is a core sampler, used to see what layers of minerals and rock exist at different depths of a piece of land. Relevant, because a scant couple lots down from this, a fair amount of construction is going on.