Christopher Robinson
Mailbox restored!

Amanda's View: Back-breaking, heavy-lifting

By Amanda Knox

I’ve never liked being in a rush. I forget things: my coat, my wallet, my keys. I bump into doors and doorways and stumble over cracked pavement. Or, as was recently the case, I back out of my mom’s driveway and accidentally knock over her mailbox.

Oh, don’t worry—the thing’s a tank. It’s a security box made of seamless steel, including a post sheath. When the back of my Subaru Forrester drove into the mailbox, what gave way was the twelve-inch stretch of exposed 4X4 between the bottom of the sheath and the ground, where the post was secure inside an 80lbs lump of concrete. Chris and I cut the engine, rushed out of the car, and found the mailbox lying in the grass, impermeable, scratch-less even. Meanwhile, there was now a hole in the back of my car, just below the rearview window. A quick Google search on Chris’s phone revealed that the punctured part was called the “garnish,” and replacing it would cost about $500. Ugh.

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Amanda's View: Fandom and fan fiction

By Amanda Knox
We did it! This week, Chris and I finally finished all seven books of the Harry Potter series. For the last six months or so we’ve been immersed, listening to the audiobooks during car rides and at the breakfast table, and watching the films. Now that it’s over, I feel the same confluence of emotions that I felt after closing the cover of last book for the first time. On the one hand, deflation. What in the world do I read after Harry Potter? On the other hand, reverberation. A good story sticks with you, but a great story is a world you want to continue exploring—in all directions, at all depths—long after the last word was read. In other words, a great story inspires fandom, and in that regard, Harry Potter is one of the greatest.

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We Live in Gridlock City

By Jean Godden

"The greatest publicity stunt of all time" (or so they said) took place on Seattle's waterfront in the midst of a gridlock. The traffic jam occurred in 1947 after a tanker car filled with sweetened corn syrup broke its coupling and spilled gallons and gallons onto Alaskan Way at Columbia Street.

Ever the salesman, restaurateur Ivar Haglund donned hip boots and waded into the sticky mess. He was carrying a stack of pancakes and, while chowing down, he proclaimed, "Eat at Ivar's. We never spare the syrup."

It was a silver-lining moment in the midst of an ugly traffic backup, a moment like one in Seattle on February 28. That recent incident starred El Tajin, a Mexican food truck, that, when stuck in a massive I-5 backup, fired up its grill and began selling tacos.

The taco episode, reported nationally, was the sole silver lining in that epic backup. The February roadblock had occurred when a semitruck carrying propane gas plowed into four vehicles, rolled over and sprawled across the Southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

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