Mar 4, 2007

SEATTLE, Washington – The truck's ignition rasps like a grounded diver clearing her sore throat.

I've waited five weeks to finish the Post-Intelligencer scuba story. A flat battery will not stop proceedings.

Luckily, my Aunt Maura slept on the couch, after dinner at Pasta Bella and cocktails at Hazelwood. She lives in Mead, Washington – about seven hours away – so we don't hang out enough. She's here when I need her, though. Right on 57th street in her PJs, fingers sooty from the engine block.

"Positive, positive, negative, negative," we chant, cabling the two vehicles.

"I haven't jumped anything in 15 years," I muse.

She says: "I only just learned how and I haven't tried it yet. I'll be so proud if this works."

My uncle – struggling to wake – yells from the cellphone speaker, "did you clean the contacts?"

Nah. Who has the time? We crank the keys.

The truck purrs.

My neighbor Andy appears and stashes a self-jumper-gizmo in the passenger seat. "When are you home?" he shouts, as I pull away, mindful that assignments can take weeks, if not months.

"Tonight. I'm diving the Hood Canal."


  1. Good - you're feeling better! So tell me ... does your diving story appear in the P-I? I trust you'll be posting a link here ...

  2. Patience, grasshopper.

    Let me milk a few more entries, already!

    (The story's set to run March 22nd. You can bet your sweet homeslice I'll post the link here. Any assignment that requires 80 pounds of gear entitles me to crow...)

  3. I can't believe you just called me grasshopper, homeslice.


  4. Just wait until I teach the Karate Kid Crane Kick – week seven of class...

    As Miyagi says, "Now use head for something other than target."

  5. Amanda, haha! That is awesome.

    (Kinda) off-topic: is it just me, or is The Ralph Macchios a great name for a new rock band?

  6. I vote for the Ralph Macchiatos; Starbucks will HAVE to feature the CDs then...

  7. Macchiatos? Well, I guess that's ok, as long as we still get to have groupies and stuff.

  8. Why else would we suffer the rock and roll lifstyle? Gawd, all those late nights and exotic locations, limos n' drugs.

    Dirty job. But someone's gotta do it.

    Of course, Drew Barrymore wants to be a travel writer, which leads back to the "grass is greener" chestnut....

  9. See Amanda, you get it.

    Haha, "chestnut". That word is funny for so many reasons.