Seattle, City of Worms

I’m in Seattle. Scott’s been gone for an hour and a half—he went to Spokane tonight for a business meeting tomorrow—and already I have that morose, lonely feeling that I get when I travel alone. I had dinner alone (oh, if you are in Seattle, you must check out Palace Kitchen) and sat there nursing a Martini and wishing I wasn’t drinking it alone. It’s just funny how quickly I can start to feel sorry for myself when I’m left alone in a strange city.
But really, I love Seattle. I walked back to the hotel tonight and looked up at the skyscrapers all around me, lit up against the sky, and a full moon that kept appearing and disappearing from behind the clouds. There’s nothing like the thrill of a big city.

So…what have I been up to…we drove up to Eugene on Friday, spent the night with family, and on Saturday I got to meet the editor of Worm Digest, Zorba Frankel, and do a worm composting workshop alongside him. We held the workshop at Down To Earth Home & Garden—really, this is an incredibly hip place and if you are ever in Eugene, you must stop in. It’s a nursery and a garden supply center and they sell their own line of worm castings and compost, and all kinds of other stuff you can’t live without. Several people had attended a worm composting workshop hosted by the city earlier that day, and they stopped by my talk afterward. One guy even brought the worms he’d purchased at the morning workshop. “You understand that you don’t need to bring the worms everywhere with you?” I asked.

He assured me that he’d take them straight home.

We headed to Portland that night to stay with some friends, and on Sunday I did a talk at Portland Nursery. They had worm bins for sale and a worm farmer showed up at the talk and offered her card to anyone who wanted to buy worms. I also stopped at Powell’s to sign books and—can you believe this—they actually have a section just for worms. It’s right in between the sections for bees and chickens. Man, that’s such an incredible bookstore. I only had an hour to spend there, and I nearly wept when it was time to go.

Tonight I gave a talk at Third Place Books and handed out the business cards of a worm farmer I met at Pike’s Market this morning. He was selling worm tea in little juice bottles. “I have to explain to people that it’s not for them to drink,” he said. Only in Seattle would people assume that something marked “Worm Juice” would be a beverage for them.

Anyway, it was a good reading at Third Place Books—they’re a big, well-stocked independent bookstore just north of Seattle and they had a nice setup for me and the worms. Tonight the worms and I are on our own at the hotel, and tomorrow I’ve got a radio interview in the morning, a talk at the University bookstore in the evening, and time to kill until Scott gets back to Seattle. Sleep well.