This is the yearly great trip to Norwescon, in Seattle. I started this week to by giving a talk at Cartoonists Northwest, and to put in a long-promised visit on a friend's farm.
First day out. The lovely forest scenery along Highway 112, designated a Washington State Scenic Byway:
That evening, me trying to make the multi-leveled world of publishing -- and the battle make modern technologies work with antique (medieval, literally) distribution systems -- clear to my colleagues at Cartoonists Northwest:
These are my people. I miss them. It was so relaxing being with people I don't scare, who aren't church-ridden and timid, and who don't associate war with a competition between sports teams.
After the talk, we went to the Hurricane Cafe (formerly The Dog House). This is where CNW always hangs out after the meetings. It brought back a whole hot-dog boiler of memories, including the time we were all in the dark back dining hall -- telling Halloween ghost stories, as I recall, because all writers have garbage brains -- and one of our members rattled at the dark window before climbing in and practically gave us all heart attacks.
The Hurricane has cleaned up the smoke-ambered walls, and if you throw a playing card at the ceiling, it won't stick any more, but they still serve the same delightfully nostalgic, greasy, old-time American diner food. You wouldn't want to eat it every day, unless you like hearing your arteries snap shut, but who can't survive the occasional plain fried chicken -- without the KFC baloney spices -- crispy BLT and chips, or old-fashioned vanilla milkshake? This is the real deal, with waitresses with names like "Ruby." This is the kind of place the other diners try to be -- and fail. If you're in downtown Seattle, and you gotta have a burger and a smoke, don't fake yourself out with a chain. Blow over to the Hurricane.