Friday, October 30, 2009

Adventure - Part I

On Monday I drove up to Seattle to see Mika! I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for Mika to do another tour, and was excited to get tickets to two shows this time around. (Harder to find multiple shows close enough to go to on the west coast than the east coast.) So the first show was in Seattle, and I decided to cross another one off my Life List and stay at the Ace Hotel for this visit.

I arrived a few hours before the show and checked in and fell in love with my room. Ace Hotels are such a cool concept, and I figured they would be well-executed. I stayed at the W in Seattle this summer, and I have to say, I prefer the Ace. I know. To keep things cheap, I opted for a room with a community bathroom/shower. Having issues of the OCD variety, this was a big step for me - I've done this a couple times in Europe, but not for years. It turned out to be a great option and made it very affordable. I hung out in my awesome room for a while getting ready for the show and just taking in the coolness. Later I went out in search of food and ended up at the Virginia Inn where I had awesome pumpkin ravioli and a great martini. Heaven. I walked around cool downtown Seattle, visited Patagonia, and pretty soon it was 8:00 and time to make my way to the theater.

One weird side note: Last week I was screwing around on the Internets following different links and found myself at a website that sold some cool, arty stuff. I looked for retailers of this stuff and found that a shop in Seattle called Schmancy (cute, huh?) sold their products. I made a mental note to visit the store while on my trip, but forgot to look up directions or anything. Well. While looking around for the concert venue after dinner on Monday, I found Schmancy exactly next door to the Moore Theater where Mika was playing. It's weird, no? That happened to me once before in Fukuoka, Japan. I'd written down the name of a shop I'd found online (Juliet's Letters - love, love, love), forgot to map it before getting to Fukuoka, and ended up stepping out of my hotel and seeing it across the street. I mean, those are big cities. (Ok, now we know why it's called Long Story Longer.)

An English dude named Gary Go opened the show, and he was really quite good. He's very funny and had some great songs. I had a "The future is now" moment during the show when he was singing a song that I liked, but I couldn't quite understand the lyrics. I took out my iPhone, googled what I could make out of the song, came up with the title, went online with iTunes, and purchased it before he even finished the song. I love progress.

Mika's show was fantastic. I just don't know what makes me happier than his music. The show had a space theme, and everyone and everything on stage glowed white. He sang all of the older songs and most of the new ones, and finished with an encore consisting of Grace Kelly, We Are Golden, and Lollipop - some of my very favorites. There were balloons, glitter, and confetti, and it was just incredibly fun. Also, this tour is apparently over 21 only, which made a big difference to the vibe. When I listen to Mika's music, I feel completely carefree. My mind usually races 24/7 - it's just how my brain works - so it's a rare gift to be free of all thoughts. And the crowd he draws is the coolest. All I can compare it to is when I attended my first David Sedaris reading, well over ten years ago. He wasn't well-known and it was a small venue in Portland, and when I sat down in the crowd and started chatting with folks I thought: These are my people. That's what I feel at a Mika concert. So I sang and danced and bounced with everyone else until late on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning I got up at an ungodly hour after a lousy, lousy night of sleep to meet the one and only Sizzle for breakfast. I checked out of the hotel at 7:00 AM, planning to drive up to Canada after breakfast, and went to my car to unfortunately discover that someone had broken into it. Such a bummer. They broke a window, trashed the inside, stole a bunch of stuff (including most of my clothes for the trip and a present I had for a blogger meet up), and got into the steering column in an attempt, I guess, to steal it.

I cried like a baby when I discovered my car - I wish I didn't, but it was some kind of perfect storm of no sleep, immediate worries about the cost of fixing it, and feeling alarmed/creeped out by the thought of someone sitting in my car going through my things. They left huge, greasy hand and finger prints all over everything, and it made it extra-creepy to see exactly where they had put their icky mitts. I called my BFF in Washington, DC, and explained the situation through hiccup-cries and a lot of cursing, and then tried to pull myself together. (I have to say, the guy at the Ace Hotel was incredibly kind and helpful - refunding part of my room cost and helping me make phone calls. I owe him a thank you note, at least.) Sizzle was nice enough to still meet me for breakfast, and I have to admit, I had a good time despite the circumstances. I adore Sizzle and love that she shares my "no such thing as TMI" policy. We had a nice time before I headed back to the hotel to deal with my car, which took 9 hours and really, truly sucked.

This story is too long and I'm only one day in. More later.


  1. Oh, how horrid about your car! I'm so sorry, but glad that you had such a super time otherwise with 'your people'.

    Why did you get a bad night's sleep at the Ace?

    Can't wait for your take on meeting Sorata :D

  2. Thanks, Greg.

    I think I slept poorly just because it was a new bed, even though it was comfortable. I'm not a great sleeper in general.


  3. This is so horrible ... I'm sorry that you had to deal with this. Hopefully it wasn't so bad that you'll refuse to come back to Seattle ... :)

  4. Next time you stay in Seattle you'll be staying with me. I'm thinking of hiring an armed guard for your car. Just in cases.

  5. Seattle scared me. I was only there a few hours, but I would never wanna park my car there.

  6. If you get Midomi App from the iPhone App store the getting the song process might have been even slicker, no need to Google, use the Midomi App to identify the song and there's a link to iTunes to purchase.