This week, the crow learned that all things — good, bad, in between — must end. What did you learn?
What are you studying?
This is for a class in logic and philosophy. I’m getting my doctorate in healthcare administration.
That’s a good field to be in. Do you live on the Hill?
No, I live in Kent, but I work at Swedish, and I’m going to school in Seattle.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Tacoma, but I also lived in Puyallup for about ten years. And I’m about to move to Houston in a few months.
Warmer weather, plus it’s a big medical city. And my best friend lives there.
It’s pretty much the opposite climate—hot and dry, instead of cold and wet.
It sounds good, but I’ll miss the greenery. I might get homesick.
Does your family still live in this area?
My mom’s here, and of course she wants me to stay; I’m her baby girl. She says she’ll come visit, though. I’m also thinking about moving to Atlanta for a while. I have a girlfriend there who’s going to be in a reality show about real estate agents.
Like, “The Real Real Estate Agents of Atlanta”?
Something like that.
Would you have to pretend you’re a real estate agent to be on the show?
They want me to start doing real estate, which might be interesting, even though it’s not my field. Or, since I’m their friend, I just could be on the show from time to time.
You seem far too nice to be on a reality show. It seems like they usually pick much more contentious people for those things.
Yeah. I think it would be interesting to see how much reality is involved in a reality show.
I’m thinking, not much. The fights always seem really contrived.
They do! But in real estate, there’s a lot that people could end up fighting over.
Do you have any favorite hangouts on the Hill?
I’m still getting to know this part of town, but I like it a lot. It’s a melting pot. And pretty laid back. If I do stay here in Washington, I’ll probably move back to this area.
Any thoughts about life on the Hill, or life in general?
Just live life to the fullest!
What are you up to this evening?
I’m working here at the Hugo House.
Are you also a writer, then?
I’m a writer, and also in an MFA program.
What kind of writing?
I do lots of stuff, but I’m doing a novel for my thesis.
Can you give me a brief synopsis of your novel?
Stories I gathered when I was working at a butcher shop when I was 21.
Have you ever seen the movie Delicatessen?
I have not.
Upshot: it turns out that the meat is people.
It’s always people, isn’t it? If there’s a butcher in a movie, he’s always cutting up people…
Is it people in your stories?
Not the meat. There are people in the stories, though.
Stories about people? That’s an interesting angle. So, how did you get hooked up with Hugo House?
Writing, living in Seattle…
Where are you from originally?
You meet a lot of people from Boise in Seattle—like, tons. Why do you think that is?
It’s the closest real city to Boise.
Is there anything you really miss about Boise?
Diners. Like, truck stop diners. Hash browns. Seattle has too few diners.
I agree completely. Here, if you have a diner, they have to put arugula and organic fennel or what-not on your cheeseburger.
There’s a diner called Beth’s on Aurora, I just wish it wasn’t so far away from me.
Do you live on the Hill?
I used to, but not any more. I’m too poor.
Any favorite hangouts out on the Hill?
The Stumbling Monk is wonderful. Twice Sold Tales is wonderful…
If you had to give any advice to a young writer, what would it be?
Don’t stop writing, and even though your writing sucks right now, it won’t always suck.
What was the best writing advice anyone ever gave you?
Nobody gave me any writing advice.
I’m just lying to you.
If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
Melbourne, Australia. I have family there.
Have you been there before?
Yes, three times.
Any other thoughts on life on the Hill?
Less condos, cheaper rent.
Wow—you’re the second person I’ve interviewed tonight who is from Boise!
I’ve met a lot of people from Boise since moving here. But I’m originally from San Francisco.
What brought you to Seattle?
I moved here for work. In was between Seattle and Boston.
Both are cool towns. Why Seattle?
For one thing, I like that Seattle is such a walkable city. I live on the Hill, and I walk downtown to work. I don’t’ like having to drive everywhere. Also, you can easily get out of town and go to the mountains, or be in nature.
What line of work are you in?
I’m in instructional design and human performance technology.
You design instructions? Or do you design humans?
Neither, exactly. My master’s was in industrial/organizational psychology. If training needs to be done, I do training. But we’re kind of the anti-trainers. Basically, I try to discover the root cause of a problem in an organization.
How do you do that?
By talking to a lot of different people in various departments, and analyzing the data. For instance, a company might think their problem is on the sales side, but it turns out it’s in the supply-chain or distribution end. It’s like a puzzle— I’m a geek , so I love figuring that stuff out. My doctorate was in adult learning, so…
You mentioned you’re from San Francisco—another great food city. Are there any foods that you find in the Bay Area that you miss?
Well, I also lived in New York for 12 years before Boise, so I probably have more foods that I miss from New York. What I really miss is Basque food, which you find a lot of in Boise.
Basque? As in, the region of Spain?
Yeah, there’s a really large Basque population in Boise. And I’m Basque. Well, my mother is Basque and my father is French Basque, so from a Spanish perspective, I’m a half-Basque. I got the light skin and the height, so I kind of stand out in Spain.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I like to walk around and explore, whether in the city or in nature. Lately, I’ve been into snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing. That calls up images of Dr. Zhivago walking across Siberia. Is it hard?
Can you walk?
Then you can snowshoe! Just pick up one foot and put it in front of the other.
Is there anything you wish you’d known about Seattle before you moved here?
When I first moved here, I wished I’d known that nobody has air conditioning. It was in the middle of a heat wave.
Yeah, but you only need it once or twice a year.
But when you need it, you really need it! Also, it doesn’t rain nearly as much as people say it does.
More CHS Crow:
- Rina, Terry & Tania — ‘I just want to live a good life’
- Emily, Neil & Kory — ‘Why not? It’s the Sapphire by the Sea’
- Anna, Zach & Perry — “I’m a citizen of the planet”
Marguerite Kennedy is a freelance writer, semi-professional thumb wrestler, and recovering New Yorker who currently resides on Capitol Hill. She blogs at www.marguerite-aville.com, and does that other thing @tweetmarguerite.