Tag Archives: the best and worst times

Dive Bar Memories: why I’ll miss The Canterbury when it closes

Canterbury Pirate

DRINK MORE! YARRRR

There have been rumors for a while, but last month, the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog posted that The Canterbury would be closing at the end of the year for SURE. *sob*

After living for over 10 years in a horrifyingly depressing apartment just south of Everett (where my car got stolen not once, but twice), my roommate and I made a pact to save money and get ourselves the hell out of the ‘burbs and back into the city. Because OHMYGOD THE CITY. We lucked out and found a cheap’ish apartment on 19th & Roy, which just happened to be the perfect stumbling distance from The Canterbury on 15th.

It didn’t take long before The Canterbury was my home as much as my apartment was.  Sticky, dark, and (loosely) Medieval-themed with mismatched chairs and tables, it was the perfect place to drink yourself silly, soak up the booze with a greasy cheeseburger and a giant plate of fries—and then start all over again. For the five years that I lived in that apartment, it was where I planted myself at least 2-3 times a week. Continue reading

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Feeling all nostalgic about Christmas traditions

crying santa

I was really not feeling this Santa.

In addition to being super grateful that I am not spending this year recovering from major surgery (I can walk around! And go places! And do things!), I’m feeling super nostalgic for all the Christmas Eve rituals that mom and dad and I used to participate in.

Santa photos took place from the time I was a(n ugly—according to mom) baby until I was 12 at the Frederick & Nelson downtown (Nordstrom now occupies that building. It’s a really beautiful building!), sometimes in outfits my mom made herself. When I was 10, I wanted to wear jeans instead of the skirt that went with the satin blouse mom made. I remember her being really upset about this, but I wouldn’t budge.  My favorite thing about the Santa pics was that it meant we were going to the F&N café for lunch, which involved Frango CAKE afterwards. That, and the awesome windows that you could place your hands on to control the trains (Macy’s STILL has these!).

Christmas Eve always involved cookie making in the morning (sugar cookies cut into Christmas shapes; butter spritz, jam-filled thumbprints) and wrapping the last of the gifts to place under the tree. And this was ALWAYS done to the same three holiday albums: Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas and just his plain Christmas Album, and of course, Christmas with the Chipmunks—ALLLLVVVVINNNN!

We listened to them so much that whenever I hear a song from one of the Elvis albums, my brain immediately expects the next one on the album to come up and gets totally confused when it doesn’t.

 Christmas Eve also involved food, and lots of it. Traditionally baked ham, but without any of that pineapple slice bullshit; mashed potatoes; the ever-present 70s green bean casserole, white dinner rolls, and fruit salad (canned fruit salad mixed with COOL WHIP, fresh bananas added). Plus, pre-dinner snacks—lots and lots and lots of them. Continue reading


Why theme parks are wonderful and awful

My name is Amie. I am 41 years old, I don’t have kids, and I still LOVE to go to theme parks.

My grandparents used to live in Southern CA, and I visited them pretty much every other summer, so that meant I got a trip up to the magical happiest place on earth almost every time I went to see them. And also Universal Studios, SeaWorld (which makes me too sad now), and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Because of this, going to theme parks as an adult makes sense to me. They are wonderful! But they can be really awful too—depending on a variety of things, and the type of people who happen to be there when you are. I happened to be there recently, and loved-hated it, like usual.

 The awful
Sometimes, people are dicks. People are especially dicks when it’s 90+ degrees, because Disneyland doesn’t have much shade, and they don’t have those awesome misting cool down stations like Universal Studios has. And people are even bigger dicks when they want their kids to get on rides before adults, and complain loudly about it when they’re behind you in line.

I get it—you’re spending upwards of $80 per kid, per day, per park. That would make ANYONE crabby, not to mention the $200 you shelled out to dress your daughter up like a princess, $100 for food and drink, another couple $100 for toys, souvenirs, hats, etc. It costs a lot of fucking money to go to Disneyland, and I appreciate that you’re stressed about it, and then get pissed when your kid doesn’t want to wait in a 2-hour line to sail through the wondrous world of Peter Pan. But hey! I’m here to enjoy it too. I really am. I’m not here just to jam up your day, man. Continue reading


Being an only child is weird, sometimes

Lite-Brite, hell yeah!

The other day, my boyfriend was relating a story about how he and his sister would purposely flood the sidewalk in front of their house so they could create a puddle to drift their Big Wheel across, and I said, “Oh man. Sometimes I wish I had a brother or sister so I had stories like that.

I had cousins, sure (lots of them, actually), and because our families were close, I spent a lot of time with them. But it’s not quite the same. I love the memories I have with them, when you’re an only child, you’re the only non-adult living in your house, and as much as mom and dad love you, they don’t want to spend hours watching you construct complicated Lego cities or elaborate scenarios involving Mr. Potato head. They also don’t want to see you blow up your plastic Death Star (that they paid a LOT of money for), or watch Han Solo punch Ken in the face so he can take out not 1, but 3, different Barbies for the evening.

Was I spoiled? Sure. As an only kid, I definitely reaped the benefits of getting pretty much everything I wanted—within reason. My dad refused to buy me Guess jeans, Nike shoes, and other designer clothes because I didn’t need them. (He was right, I totally didn’t.) But as far as toys went, the only thing I remember being denied was the Millennium Falcon because it was just a little too much money for a hunk of plastic that I would probably destroy by slamming it over and over into the sliding glass door.  Continue reading


Men Who Hate Women

Too bad I didn’t have this WW crown when I was working there. I could have summoned my inner Amazonian and kicked his ASS!

{Apologies to Stieg Larsson for borrowing his original book title}

I’ve had my mind on comics and comic book stores a lot lately, and so I’ve been thinking about the BEST job I ever had, ever. But because of one guy, it was also one of the most horrible workplace environments, ever.

In the mid-90s, I took a second job at a comic book/collectibles store to make extra money, and to try to forget about how bad my once-awesome-but-now-terribly-corporate video store job had gotten. I used to buy my comics there, and had discussed my rampant Clive Barker obsession with the owner several times, as he always seemed to have several signed books, figurines, etc. (as I found out later, he was good friends with Clive! SCORE). So, when I mentioned that I was looking for something part-time, he thought it would be awesome to have a chick working there who knew her stuff. It was a quick hire. I don’t even remember an interview, really. I had become so chummy with most of the staff that they already knew and liked me.

All of them I guess, except one.

For the purposes of this story, I will just call him “Dick.” It seems appropriate.

Dick had relocated to the fair city of Lynnwood from some small town in the mid-West, and as I came to find out, hated women. Not just a little, a lot. Or maybe it was just me? I guess I never quite figured it out. In any case, Dick was polite and accommodating when other employees or the manager/owner was around, but as soon as we were the only two in the store, he would have me do the most insane things, backed up with the excuse that “the owner” wanted it done. Continue reading


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