Sunday, September 18, 2011

A few first ramblings about Seattle

Well, I've moved across the country and have started settling into my new life. This life involves a LOT of Ikea furniture. It also apparently involves me playing with my stamps a lot. So far, I've made a massive spreadsheet of all of my Yugoslavia and put them in chronological order - which is a really good idea, when the plan is to eventually accumulate enough to do a fairly decent rate study. I was shocked by how many of them I've managed to accumulate in a relatively short amount of time, given that they seem to trickle in a few at a time. Of course, this also encouraged me (as if I haven't spent enough this week already) to decide to start targeting some of the online auction sites a bit more aggressively.

So, if you're a stamp dealer who happens to have any Yugoslav covers mailed between 1988 and 1999ish, please give me a buzz!

I've also sat down and spent a bit of time thinking about how to revise a paper that I'm working on about the Thatcher Ferry Bridge stamp error litigation. What I mostly decided is that I want to go through the DOJ files at the National Archives as soon as I can - it's annoying that I LIVED in DC and never made it (granted, I was a bit busy this summer) out there and now need to plan a special trip across the country.

But, so far, Seattle is nice. I LOVE the weather, which is just as much like London as everyone always told me it would be: overcast, cool, sometimes a bit drizzly (I've been assured that soon, it will ALWAYS be drizzly), and so humid that you're sweating after five minutes. I love the house's location - living within a three-minute walk of a Trader Joe's AND a crunchy, granola co-op is just about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me after so many years of it being hard to get groceries. I've managed to see a bit of the city while running errands; so far, my favorite thing was the crumpet and tea shop at Pike's Place Market. And, yes, I did stop to watch them throw the fish around. I can't wait to see more of the Market & try a lot of the food options. Plus, new housemate has been super awesome about taking me out places and making suggestions.

I've been running several times now. The local running store is only a 10-minute walk away and has running groups twice a week. I went on Thursday, which is the night that involves a post-run trip to the bar. That was lovely. I also ended up being the only person other than the organizer who showed up for another, Saturday, run around one of the lakes. Both runs were great, but I'm definitely slow compared to these other runners. I'm not ashamed of that and I know running with them will make me stronger, but I do kind of wonder where the other Penguins are? Do they not join running groups? Do they run with other groups? Or, are there fewer "recreational" runners in Seattle?

The other thing that will make me stronger (if they don't kill me first) are the hills. Dear god, the hills. THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM. AND THEY ARE SO STEEP. I WILL NEVER MOAN ABOUT DC'S CAPITOL HILL EVER AGAIN. I had to walk a good number of them on this morning's run, but I was pleased to make it 8 miles without falling over. It puts me more or less on track for the half marathon in October, by which point I will hopefully know what my spring racing season looks like - some runners from here are doing the Hollywood Half, which sounds pretty amazing, but we'll see...