Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And Fall Begins

Markers for the beginning of fall include the school bus roaring by my house at 8:30 AM, the new shows on TV, and of course, the first sightings of snow in the mountains. So far, my mountains have been too cloud-covered to see if they sport their new white clothes. But, my son beat me to it by sending pictures taken from his apartment in Missoula revealing the frosty coverings on the Rocky Mountains in Western Montana. Immediately, when I saw his pictures I was taken back to my childhood---they just look so darn familiar.

My daughter told me that she is experiencing fall in a way unfamiliar to her but again familiar to me. From her description of the light, the crispness, and the fall precipitation in Walla Walla, she, too, transported me back to my college campus in Bozeman. The huge forest fire near Walla Walla is finally under control now with the cooler damp weather.

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Nice college housing!

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Leaves haven't changed yet.

And now for the TV shows. On Sunday night we watched "The Amazing Race 10" because they started off in Seattle. The first twenty minutes of the episode involved 12 teams trying to get from Gas Works Park to Sea-Tac airport. I have written before on this blog about the difficulties of maneuvering around Seattle if you have not lived here for 25 years. My husband and I were laughing hysterically.

First of all, Gas Works Park is about 2 minutes from the freeway and the airport is about another 15 minutes after that---IF and only if you know what you are doing. You see, we have curved narrow streets that go every which way around water, and Gas Works Park is on Lake Union. Naturally next, once some of the teams found their way to I-5, it was backed up because of an accident. The hillbilly Kentucky couple were the only team to find the alternate route. They must have heard Dave yelling at the TV, "Take 99!" Wow! An actual obstacle on the Amazing Race is driving to the airport in Seattle.

Last night we watched the hyped show, "Studio 60." Dave was falling asleep so he wasn't tracking except on Amanda Peet. I think I'd watch it again. My favorite line was Bradford Whitley saying "Vancouver? Why does anyone film in Vancouver? It doesn't look like anything--like Boston, California??!!" I loved that because Seattleites don't like it when a movie is filmed in Vancouver only to have it passed off as Seattle. In fact, a new film is in the works starring Charleze Theron about the Battle of Seattle WTO riots from a few years back and yes---they are filming it in VANCOUVER! Maybe it is because the Hollywood types can't find their way from Sea-Tac airport.

Next up for the fall TV line up that we will watch this week---"Boston Legal" and "Grey's Anatomy." "Grey's" actually has part of it filmed in Seattle and this is because one of the Executive Producer/Writer/Directors (Peter Horton) is from here so, clearly, he knows his way around.

Update: I wrote this before I had read all of my Seattle Times this morning. Pamela Sitt wrote her piece about TV in today's paper, "You Want Diversity? Skip Past 'Survivor' to 'Amazing Race'". She likes the "Amazing Race"!


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The cast of "The Amazing Race" awaits host Phil Keoghan's sign to start their race around the world.

And a quote from Pamela Sitt's article:

The 10th edition of the Emmy-winning "Race" premiered in its cushy new time-slot of 8 p.m. Sunday (KIRO). The race itself started on a cold, rainy Memorial Day weekend at Gas Works Park in Seattle. I was there for what was probably the least glamorous television show taping ever. It was 7 a.m., I forgot to wear gloves, and I wasn't allowed to talk to any of the teams. And so I stood at the bottom of the slippery hill, near all the backpacks, and made bets with the production staff on who would fall and how many teams would trip over them. (No one fell, not even the woman with the prosthetic leg.)

"I like Seattle so much, maybe because I'm from Holland," said executive producer and co-creator Bertram Van Munster, who seemed utterly unperturbed by the weather as he stood in a plastic poncho atop Gas Works Park. "I miss the rain."

I'm pleased to report that not only did the teams enjoy a very wet welcome to our fair city, but they also got stuck in really bad I-5 traffic. Team Kentucky impressively managed to detour to Highway 99, while the Muslim team started praying to Allah. Nothing against your religion, but when it comes to Seattle traffic, I honestly don't think that's going to help. [emphasis mine--I know from personal experience that praying in Seattle traffic does not always work.]

Meantime, the Korean brothers quickly established themselves as the most annoying team ever by greeting the others with squirt guns at the airport. The toy guns were quickly confiscated by airport security. Umm, yeah ... those guys went to Harvard.

As always, there is a Team Pink and a Team Frat Boy, only this time we shall call them Team Miss America and Team Zoolander. As a special bonus, we get a Team Cheerleader this season as well. Cartwheels! Three cheers for Phil, his raised eyebrow and his collection of turtlenecks.

Yep, I agree with Pamela. My favorite teams are the Kentucky couple and the single Moms from Alabama. When I saw these folks climb the Great Wall of China with a rope, I was amazed. If they could do it, so could I......I think. I do know that I can drive from Gas Works Park to the airport in Seattle, however--that I can do.