Alan Rhodes

Sleepless in Bellingham

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Being a sensitive, tormented, deep-thinking artistic type who reads too much French existentialism, I’m prone to insomnia. On sleepless nights I fill my journal with angst-ridden observations. I’m usually too tired to write a column the next day, so I just publish excerpts from my journal. Like now.

12:31am: It looks like it’s going to be another night of tossing and turning. I keep thinking about how unfair it was getting kicked out of the Procession of the Species parade last month. They said my attire was inappropriate. I was wearing a Donald Trump costume. I explained that I was following the guidelines and was dressed as a non-human species. They admitted that I had them on a technicality, but threw me out anyway. They said my costume was scaring small children and making women uncomfortable.

1:03am: I should have gone into architecture. Being an architect in Bellingham these days looks easy. You just design an apartment building that takes up most of a city block and looks like a gigantic packing crate with windows. Then you plop it right at the edge of the sidewalk so you don’t have to worry about landscaping. Then you get money for this. Why did I waste my college years studying English literature? Chaucer and Milton haven’t exactly paid off.

1:46am: Now that human composting is coming to Washington state, I think I’ll have myself composted when I kick the bucket. I’ll arrange to be packaged in little bags that say “Mr. Cranky’s Compost—Grow plants with attitude.” Before long cranky flowers will be popping up all over town. This can be my little shot at immortality.
2:07am: I have another great composting idea. State Senator Doug Ericksen has hit his latest new low by going to work as a PR man for Cambodia’s corrupt, murderous dictator, so maybe Doug could now be legally composted. He’s not actually dead yet, but he is thoroughly rotten.

3:01am: I must have drifted off to sleep for a couple of minutes. I had a dream that started rather nicely, until it went bad. I was selected Best Local Celebrity in the Cascadia Weekly’s Best of Bellingham contest. But then I looked at some of the other winners. Applebee’s won as best restaurant, the best hike winner was Bellis Fair mall walking, and the best place for a first date was Hobby Lobby.

3:13am: Oh no, this always happens when I get really tired. I start hallucinating and seeing words in the patch of moonlight on the wall, and then the words start anagramming. Right now the word Cordata has appeared. And now it’s starting to anagram itself. Toad Car. When I was a kid I used to love Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. Gone are the carefree days of childhood. Now I’m sad. Rad taco. I could really go for a rad taco right now, even a mediocre taco would do, but I’m too tired to get up and make one. Taco Lobo probably isn’t open at this hour. And even if they were they probably wouldn’t deliver one taco. I’m so depressed. Road cat. I’ve never gotten over the time my cat Maxwell dashed out of the house into the road and was run over. Now I’m even more depressed. Ah, relief—the moon just went behind a cloud and the depressing thoughts are fading. But I still want a taco.

4:19am: I fell asleep again for a couple of minutes. I had a good news/bad news dream. The good news: the Bellingham Herald has been sold. Great, I thought, someone is going to rescue this withering enterprise. The bad news: the new owner is Rupert Murdoch.

4:51am: I wish the outside world would leave us alone. Cities and locales in Washington have been winning various Best Places awards for years. The real kiss of death came last month when U.S. News & World Report announced that Washington is the very best state in the nation in which to live. Great. Dandy. Thanks, U.S. News, tell the world, shout it from the rooftops, “Everybody, come on up here, the more the merrier, stack ‘em up, stuff ‘em in. Better yet, everyone head straight to Bellingham. We’ll have a packing crate apartment waiting just for you.”

5:33am: It’s getting so light outside that I’ll never get any sleep now. I guess I’ll get up and make an early breakfast. Tacos sound good.

Past Columns
The Lilliputian Gazette

November 20, 2019

Election Elucidations

October 15, 2019

Buying Sedro-Woolley

September 4, 2019

Rescued by Rachmaninoff

July 17, 2019

Hurrahs and Harangues

May 8, 2019

Ranting and Raving

March 6, 2019

Bellingham 2050

February 13, 2019

Looking Backward

January 2, 2019

Joy to the World

December 19, 2018

A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Dog Days Deliberations

September 12, 2018

Mr. Cranky’s Files

July 11, 2018

Can We Talk?

June 20, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Rollo and Me

March 7, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Sunday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

see our complete calendar »