Meet the flatmates

It's a myth, you know, that it rains all the time in Seattle. It rains more in Honolulu than in Seattle, but… it's drizzled just about every day since I got here.


April 21, 2022

It was a week after I'd moved in, arranged my chair and milk crates for the best view out the window, before I noticed that the sun rises right into my eyes and wakes me up. The six mornings before the seventh? They were all so cloudy and gray, I slept right through sunrise.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Eight people share the boarding house where I live, but the two floors are separate, so I only see and occasionally interact with the guys who live on my floor. Mostly they let me alone, which is my preference, but we share a kitchen and bathroom, so there are conversations, mostly while we're cooking our (separate) dinners, or just hanging around.

Dean is about 70 years old, and dresses dapper with old-style Bogart hats and plaid jackets and pleated pants. He's a retired chef, which he mentions far too often. In our first conversation, he told me he'd been the chef at a four-star hotel downtown, and described the basics of what that's like. (I hadn't asked.) In our second, third, and fourth conversations, he's told me again. (Again, I hadn't asked.)

Because he's into cooking, he spends a lot of his time in the kitchen. When I hear him start making his coffee and breakfast in the morning, the kitchen is off-limits to me for the next 45 minutes, not because he demands it or because there's a rule, but because I don't want to hear again about his glory days at the Grand Hyatt.

We've also talked briefly about politics (he's of the left, as am I), and local parks he jogs to, and part-time work he's looking for, despite being retired, because this is America, where retired people still have to work.

I've been here a week and a half and have had four feature-length conversations with Dean, so he's definitely a talker — one of those extroverted souls who'll simply speak and speak until you close the door.

It's hard to inch toward my door and then close it behind me without seeming rude, but when my dinner is done cooking I am going to go into my room and eat it — alone.

Can he cook? Yeah, he can cook. He made chili, and it smelled like an orgasm with beef. "My chili has won prizes," he's said, in three of our four conversations. He said he was selling the chili for $15 per smallish Tupperware serving, "but you're too late," he said, "this batch is sold out." (Again, I hadn't asked.)

Even if he offered a free sample, I won't be eating any of Dean's cooking. He may have been a chef (more likely just worked in a hotel kitchen) but he doesn't understand lids. He cooked the chili without a lid, which — OK, maybe he was letting the juices boil down? But then he stored the pot in the refrigerator, without a lid. For days, until all the leftovers were eaten.

Because Dean (says he) used to be a chef, he feels entitled to comment on my cooking technique, so as I put four corn dogs on the rack in the oven, he said, "You didn't let the oven pre-heat, and please, use my cookie tin and raised criss-cross rack, so your crumbs and grease don't drip into the oven."

OK, man, I'll use the rack, but I am not preheating the oven for corn dogs. Instead I just let the dogs cook a few minutes more than the box instructions, but Dean said, "I wouldn't — ah, sorry, you cook your way. Too many years on the line." 

From that one comment, I think he knows he can be annoying, and we gotta share a kitchen, so I'm not complaining. Well, I'm complaining here, but not to him. Besides, when he's not talk talk talking he seems like a decent guy.

Robert is the other flatmate. He's also older than me, pushing 70, and he's a gamer. He plays World of Warcraft in his spare time, which is all the time because he's retired, too. He often plays with his adult son, who's not there, but if you're passing near Robert's door you can hear their voices on the speakerphone or its 2022 electronic equivalent.

In our second conversation, Robert invited me into his room to see his WOW setup and show me how to play, but I tactfully declined. Unlike Dean, Robert seems to be a sensitive soul with functional ears, so when I said I'd never been into video games he understood, and dropped it.

Guess which of my two flatmates I like better?

Actually, there's a third flatmate on our floor, but I can't remember his name. Starts with an L, I think. Dean says L's room has its own toilet and shower, and L rarely cooks and has a microwave, so we never bump into each other in the kitchen or bathroom. I've seen L exactly twice in my first week here, for a few seconds each time, and we've exchanged nothing but hellos and one handshake.

Guess which of my three flatmates I like best?

♦ ♦ ♦

And now, my internet history from the past few days…

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Florida Gov DeSantis pushes to end Disney self-government 

In direct and unhidden retaliation for the Walt Disney Company exercising its Constitutional right to free speech–a provision supported by the conservative-pushed Citizens United Supreme Court decision–Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced legislation that would repeal Disney's status as a special taxing and governing body, the Miami Herald reports.

First time I've ever agreed with Ron DeSantis, though of course, his motivation is evil while mine is simply common sanity — giant corporations should be regulated by governments, not running them. 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Cohen: Indict Trump now or I’m out 

Michael Cohen, the New York lawyer Trump used for years as his family company’s trusted consigliere, told The Daily Beast he’s already wasted too much of his time on a case that slowly and then suddenly doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Prosecutors only have until the current grand jury’s term expires on April 30 to issue charges, at which point they must ask jurors who’ve already done this for six months to continue hearing evidence—or call the whole thing off and awkwardly make the entire presentation all over again in front of another 23 jurors.

If this grand jury is let go, Cohen won’t play ball. Asked if he’d be willing to sit down again with investigators or testify at a future trial against Trump, Cohen responded with utter exasperation.

“No. I spent countless hours, over 15 sessions—including three while incarcerated. I provided thousands of documents, which coupled with my testimony, would have been a valid basis for an indictment and charge,” he said.

“The fact that they have not done so despite all of this… I’m not interested in any further investment of my time,” he said.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

How chickens got so big and tasteless 

♦ ♦ ♦   

The (supposedly) true story of 420 as a pot reference 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Louisa May Alcott was Lou Alcott, and he was trans 

I'm skeptical, but the evidence as presented makes sense, and if it's true, how cool would that be?

♦ ♦ ♦  

The 14th Amendment requires Congress to punish states that restrict the right to vote. Will Democrats finally revive it? 


♦ ♦ ♦  

About 30% of COVID patients develop 'Long COVID,' study finds 

♦ ♦ ♦

We'll all be dead by the time it's built and running, but still… 

At long last, perhaps a subway on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Without clinic escorts, abortion would be even harder to access 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Four months have passed since the House of Representatives found former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt and asked the Department of Justice to bring his case before a grand jury. The department has yet to respond.

♦ ♦ ♦  

All 200+ books banned in Florida and what Miami booksellers have to say about it  

Florida refuses to reveal math problems that led to state cancellation of 54 books from school curricula 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
• copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops

♦ ♦ ♦

Twenty years ago, my wife did the shopping around and decided GEICO was the best deal, and we've stayed with GEICO insurance for our car, ever since.

When I decided to move to Seattle, I turned in a change of address card with the Post Office, and GEICO immediately started sending emails not quite demanding but firmly requesting that I change my address with them. The first email came on the second night of my drive to Washington, on a cold rainy morning in Wyoming.

"Click this link to change your address," it said, so I did, but it also required that I answer twenty more questions, basically re-applying for auto insurance, and told me I had to get a Washington driver's license and plates within thirty days. (Well, yeah, that's on my list, GEICO.) After ten minutes of inputting my new (very temporary) address at my sister's house, then answering the twenty questions, it gave me "Oops! Seems we've encountered an error."

I filled out the whole form again, and again it said, "Oops! Seems we've encountered an error."

A few days later they sent the same email, firmly requesting that I change my address with them, and I ignored it.

A few days after that, they sent it again, marked "urgent," so I clicked the link, changed my address, and answered all the questions a third time. "Oops! Seems we've encountered an error."

A few days after that, now the proud owner of a genuine address of my own in Seattle, I answered their next email by imputing and answering everything again, and of course, "Oops! Seems we've encountered an error."

Wanting this hassle over with, I started an on-line chat with GEICO, where the person (I thought she was a person) on the other side of the conversation assured me she'd solve everything. She asked and I answered the same questions — fifth time, now — but I thought she was handling other chats at the same time, because she'd disappear for 5-10 minutes at a time, so I amused myself by shopping for insurance on-line while waiting for her next response. When I'd answered her final question, she typed, "Oops! Seems we've encountered an error." She then explained that an agent would contact me soon and straighten all this out.

Two days later, nobody's reached out to me, so this morning I switched to one of the three lower rates I found on-line, and tomorrow I'll cancel GEICO.

♦ ♦ ♦

 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


♦ ♦ ♦

Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...


  1. Your living situation sounds awesome. Is it too tacky to ask the rent? Probably, but I just did.


    I have known of the Waldos story re "420," and simply do not believe it. I think it's made up from more-or-less whole cloth by High Times magazine.


    1. Yeah, the skepticism is shared.

      The rent? I'd rather not say publicly, but it's only slightly more than I was paying in Madison, and you know that number, I believe.

      The room is coming together nicely, too. Twelve more milk crates are on order, and when they get here it'll be (almost) home.

    2. I paid half of that for a couple of months, so yeah. Not bad for Seattle, from what I hear.

    3. This'll sound stupid, but I *like* that it's so much smaller, too. It'll force me to be a bit tidier.


🚨🚨 If you have problems posting a comment, please click here for help. 🚨🚨