Trying Out: Psychologist Visit (Week 23)

Trying Out: Psychology/ Therapy (Week Twenty-Three)

I cannot visit parks and museums every week.  I have to do some things that scare me.

In my view of society, going to see a psychologist, psychiatrist, or just plain getting your head shrunk is met with a raised eyebrow.  “How screwed up are you that you need to talk to someone?  Don’t you have friends for that?  Can’t you handle your own problems?”

If you suffer a physical injury, it is expected that you go through several weeks of therapy afterwards.  But if you lose a loved one or go through a crisis?  I do not feel that the same level of help is allowed by those around us.  Why is the inside not given the TLC that the outside demands?

Sometimes that is the initial reaction that I have had.  Deal with your own problems.  Use the circle of friends.  Cowboy-up.  And yes, if I was I in a dire emergency, I would call upon my friends and they would rally to the cause.  However, nobody’s life is perfect.  Everyone can use a sounding board.  Hey, if the highly successful writer of Batman comics can come out as being depressed, surely there are more folks in need of help.

My friends, who have more on their plates than I do, have heard most of my venting before.  I know someone who works in the field.  She offered this test; suggesting that those that score a five or higher should seek help.  I did not score all that high, but I thought I would see what there was to see.

All I know of psychologists is second-hand.  I only know that psychologists go without prescribing drugs while psychiatrists can.  (Medical school is required for the latter.)  I know friends that have used it after losing a parent, being abused, or simply because they are in the field and find it helpful.

Then there is the third (Fourth? Fifth?)-hand knowledge.  You know, because everything portrayed on the television screen is filled with accuracy and nothing else.  I am from the northwest, so I have seen my fair share of Frasier episodes.  I had no illusions that my therapist would be cute and fall madly in love with me as in 50/50In Treatment seemed like it was more or less true to life; at least the setting and the process aspects.  I think sitting in a room and tapping your fingers for sixty-minutes would be a fun little power play, but unlike Good Will Hunting, I was the one footing the bill.

How does one find a therapist?  I suppose you could ask your friends.  Again, there is that social stigma.  So why not call upon the great and mighty internet?  I was a little skeptical about the discerning powers of a search engine.  However I soon came across a site call Psychology Today.  There, by entering my area, I was offered a list of psychologists, a photo of them, and a brief statement from them.

I chose the psychologist the way I choose an elected representative.  First I found one that served my area.  Then, I looked at their picture.  (I tend to spill my guts to females, so that part was easy.)  Anyone that looked serious or non-wacky moved to the top of my list.  (This is truer for the election method than the therapist method.  I eliminate half my voting options by crossing out crazy-eyed candidates.)  The one I chose was an older lady, seemed kind, and had a statement that focused on hope.  I made sure she was not solely devoted to a certain field (no life trauma here, and marriage counseling will not fit me), and sent her a little note.

Within the day, she had responded to me and asked when we could meet up. Within the week, I found myself inside her brick building.  It must be nice to only work two days…

The psychologist’s office was in a typical multi-use building.  I have passed it several times in the past and never really gave it much thought.  I let myself in the main door and took in the lobby.  Several minutes later, she walked down the hallway, called my name, and we walked back to her office.

I swear that the layout of the office is its own little brain-test.  Where does one sit?  Oh sure, if you are in couple’s therapy you should both sit on the couch that is a little inside and to the right.  It takes up most of the wall.  It is big enough that there is room for both participants and a little room in between.  However it was just me.  So I could sit in the little chair that was just around the corner, taking up the space between the door and the couch.  I could walk to the first chair I saw, a big red leather monstrosity that could hold someone twice my size.  Or I could try to make a joke and sit at the wood chair that was parked in the window-facing desk.  So many options; it had to be a test.

I’m not neurotic!  You’re neurotic!

😉

I took the “decisive” option.  I walked straight through the room and sat on the big red chair.  I was tempted to recline on the couch, but I am not that clichéd.  The room was pleasant, without being great.  There were fluorescent lights.  A bookshelf held a few tomes.  And, perhaps to ensure her down-to-earth nature, the ceiling tile above me had a water-stain.  No computer at the desk.  No human skulls labelling the different parts of the brain.  No tables where they strap you down and hammer nails into the “defective” areas of your skull.  So far, clear sailing.

She asked me what I wanted to get out of the session.  She offered me the option of having a meet and greet, or trying to have a first appointment.  We went more the meet and greet option and I listed off two areas of my life that I would like to change a bit.

If your life is absolutely perfect, congratulations.  I find myself without any major crises and am pretty thankful for that.  Yet I do have a thing or two that I would like to see go differently.  What areas?  Heh.  No.  Sorry.

I like for others to do most of the talking.  I study and critique as conversations progress.  Happily, she understood that and described her approach, her methods, and how she tended to proceed in situations such as mine.  I answered a few questions.  Expanded where I thought would be helpful.  Over the course of the forty-five minutes, I fed her a little more and a little more.

I can see where people feel this is helpful.  There was a point towards the end where I felt things coming to the surface.  If I had let them, I could have seen a floodgate or two opening.  As we wrapped up, I could tell that I was getting a little emotionally raw.  She suggested a book and an activity that I could look in to.  (The book seemed like a stretch and nothing something I am in a hurry to add to my mammoth reading-list.  The activity was a pretty reasonable idea.)

therapy-clipart-di7rjr5i9.jpegIn the end, I did not feel a need to schedule a weekly visit.  From my initial interaction, I felt like she was encouraging me to dig deep inside myself and try to discover things about me.  Now, realizing that this may be hubris, I happen to think that I know me pretty dang well.  I feel, most days, that I know who I am and what I am capable of.  I have been in my head long enough.  If I were to continue to see this psychologist, I would want more direction.  Less, “What are your thoughts on this” and more, “Do this.”  Try to direct me, not coax questions out of me.  I know what I want different.  I know why I want it different.

If I were to decide that I wanted a sounding board, that psychology therapy was for me, then I think the woman I chose would do just fine.  I had no complaints, she was nice enough not to charge for our introductory visit, and I felt she was rather capable.  It was nice to get a few things out of my system.  In the end though, I would rather spend time out in life, making the changes, then sit down talking about what steps I should make to see changes.  More actions, less committee meetings.

If you have not tried it, it does not hurt.  I get the impression that it is a good way to transition from where you are to where you want to be next.  For myself, I think I will be content with my current state of being.  And I have made the initial contact.  No Kelsey Grammer call-in shows for me.  Should my life go horribly awry in the future, I know who to talk to.

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Trying Out: Burke Museum (Week 22)

IMG_20170531_123734_hdr (514x800)Burke Museum (Week Twenty-Two)

Not that long ago I visited the Henry Art Gallery because it was about two blocks closer than the Burke.  Well, time to pay the piper.

I had heard of the Burke Museum but was never entirely sure what it contained.  It was a single building on campus filled with dozens of buildings.  In a place where libraries span several stories and this museum was made up of two, I was not expecting too much.

The first floor met those expectations.  Again, there seems to be a second-person narrative to local exhibits.  “Pacific Voices” tried to tell the story of all the people that had made their way to the area.  They started with the Native Americans and tried to encompass everyone that had moved to the region, and their culture.  It was quite the potpourri of people.

We are Peloponnese.  We are Chinese.  We are Europeans.  I get it.  We come from all over.  If it is adjacent to water, odds are folks traveled across and ended up here.  Native American artifacts were allotted the most room, but they tried to cram a dozen different worlds into one floor.  It was like a sampler’s platter.  A little from here, a display from there, with a dash of this place too.

My personal opinion is that I come to a museum for history.  To me, history means old.  So when the vast majority of artifacts are created within my lifetime, I remain underwhelmed.  It felt like the display was created in the early two-thousands and that is why so many “relics” were from nineteen ninety-seven or later.  There was an item here from eighteen hundred and an object there from early nineteen hundreds.  I could see all the cultures, but I did not get a sense of history.

The entrance is on the second floor, so I made my way back up there.  When I had entered, I did not see anything that blew my mind.  “Life and Times of Washington State” was waiting for me.  That sounded an awful lot like “Pacific Voices”.  I thought I was in for a second serving of the “eh” display I had seen downstairs.

However, as I turned the corner, I was met with a display case full of fossils.  They actually dug deep (pun intended) and retrieved these sea creatures from millennium ago.  Finally, something with some history to it.  I heard kids chattering and running around in the next room.  I did not give it too much weight until I turned the corner.  Then, my history-buff was rewarded.

Dinosaurs.

YES.

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Do you think this sea creature chased its own tail for hours on end? ’cause I do.

Now we were firing on all cylinders.  Displays of sabre-tooth tigers.  Mastodons and woolly mammoths  towering above me.  Sea creatures.  Ancient crystals.  Stegosaurus and Compies close enough to touch.  Aaaah.  Bliss.

I thought I was over dinosaurs.  I liked them as a kid.  I never got the encyclopedia or memorized all the names, but I did okay.  I had a few of those skeleton kits that you built after you sanded down each piece.

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Giant beaver mates with giant squirrel?

Apparently I still like seeing things bigger than me.  I like being surrounded by a world that was wiped out before my ancestors came about.  History, animals, and worlds that I cannot visit; this was what I wanted a museum to be.  I may have even come to this exhibit with my elementary.  I do not know.  (Both floors are permanent exhibits.  A new Burke Museum is being constructed on campus.  I assume they will change/ add a few exhibits for that.  Hopefully they will not change the dinosaurs.  Unless “change” means, “feature lots more”.)

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This guy scared the -crap- out of me. I turn the corner, and there he was, ready to smash down on me. Lurking above, towering, I almost jumped. Effective placement, or a potential lawsuit? And that’s just a pile of dead bones.

The kids ran around.  I stood and smiled.  That is my kind of museum experience.  Well played, dinosaurs.

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Let’s all just accept that there is supposed to be a display here. No signs, but a bare open space? And every other pile of bones had a picture of an animal behind it? I see you, missing fossils! I see right through your non-existence!

Sometimes it is best to visit a place with no idea what is in store.  Then the things that do not speak to you can be a precursor to something that puts a smile on your face and makes the kid and you do a little dance.  Plus, an unexpected display might just scare the crap out of you.

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Trying Out: Trails and Taco Trucks (Week 21)

Blyth Park and a Taco Truck (Week Twenty-One)

I live right next door to a rather major trail.  There is what looks like a tiny park off to the side, but I always pass it as I am walking home from the comic shop.  Well, I finally popped in.

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Blyth Park is not meant to be big and fancy.  That field there?  The playground?  That is the heart of it.  However, it is rather close to the water.  There is a string of power lines towering through a valley.  So you can get yourself a pleasant little twenty minute stroll.  Maybe let the kids run crazy while you sit and rest for a bit.  But exciting?  Momentous?  Not hardly.  A nice enough corner park, and bigger than I expected.

My only real complaint for this humble setting was that the trail was a joke.  It was not maintained at all.  You feel like it is leading you somewhere, and you end up in a pile of bushes.  I do not know if there is an extensive trail network hiding out there, or only meager strips of dirt that dead-end with no reason.  Hiking is not happening here.  Meager strolls only.

 

The next day, I found myself at the opposite end of the same park.  I was dropped off about two miles from my place and I felt like a walk.  Low and behold, I walked past a taco truck.

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Now, I had this fear of food trucks.  I was convinced that they were going to give me food poisoning.  This was in no way based on any occurrences in my life or any statistics.  It was just what I thought would happen.

Eat from a food truck, throw up.  Simple, elegant, but without any truth.

I can say this because my coffee shop is under construction.  We are not allowed to operate from our store.  So where are we?  That’s right.  In a food truck.  (Technically, it is a trailer, but it has wheels, darnit.  Close enough.)

This food truck I visited by the trail was perfectly clean.  The guy inside seemed friendly enough for a person I only saw briefly.  He sold me two tacos for $4.  I can handle that kind of pricing.

The tacos were rather tasty.  Granted, they were both rather petit.  They easily fit in the palm of my hand.  They were, to put it gently, “precious” in size.  They never got me sick.  They went down easy.  I even sucked a little extra juice out of the limes.

Turns out, Jon Favreau was not leading me astray with his charming movie.  Phew.

A quaint park and a quality snack.  Not too shabby for one trail.  I won’t be rushing back to either of the two places, but I still enjoyed it.

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Filled with Wonderment

I like female characters in comics.  Probably because I like female characters in life.  There are plenty of males trotting, flying, and strutting around to keep the reader happy.  Bring on the ladies.

I think Invisible Woman is the strongest member of the Fantastic Four.  She keeps the kids grounded, her distant husband focused on what is really important, and her two teammates from killing each other.  I think the ability to keep a team from getting at each other’s throats for over fifty years is pretty remarkable.

I think some of the most interesting parts of Superman are the ones that he spends with Lois Lane.  Even back in the forties, this gal was no shrinking yes-woman.  She was raised on military bases, has been to warzones, and yet still manages to have a kind side to her.  Some fans have complained that the recent Superwoman comic suggested it would give Lois her own book again (she had one before, but even then she had Superman’s name over hers).  Personally, I like her as she is.  Would I support a book that was just her?  Sure.  But over in Action Comics you can see her be the strong reporter that she has always been.  In Superman you can see her as Clark’s anchor, the domestic champion, and the great mother to her son.  This is a woman who gets herself into trouble, not expecting Superman to save her.  They had a bump in their relationship when she thought he was hovering too much.  She can take care of herself.  More than many supporting females, Lois is not simply some foil to be rescued.

And Barbara Gordon?  Please.  She has the background of a police officer.  She has the research skills of a librarian.  No two ways about it, she is one of the smartest people in the DC Universe.  Why else would Nightwing, the most desirable bachelor in all of DC, keep coming back to her?  Sure she makes a quality crime-fighter in her Batgirl glory.  Yet I like her better as Oracle.  Her research skills were so legendary that heroes would go around looking for her information.  One of my favorite short stories is Showcase ’94 #12.  In it, we see how capable a woman in a wheelchair can be.  Babs may have been inspired by Batman.  Yet she certainly does not linger under his shadow as much as some think.

So yeah.  I like the heroines.  Especially on screen.  A scene I delighted in from the penultimate episode of Supergirl this season had Teri Hatcher (formerly Lois Lane), Melissa Benoist (currently Supergirl, and Linda Carter (formerly Wonder Woman), all in one scene together.  And then they had to muck it up by having Calista Flockhart save the day.  Sigh.  Really?  All those famous women and we depend on Ally McBeal?  Oh well, at least an amusing little television blurb came from it.

Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange; they are all, more or less, the same movie.  Come on folks, a little variety please.

Enter Wonder Woman.  Now, I am not a strong fan of Wonder Woman.  I have one t-shirt with her one it, and that is a group shot of the Justice League.  I do not understand her methodology.  She fights for peace?  She is a warrior who bring about love by killing people?  Much more so than Superman or Batman, Wonder Woman is a warrior.  A killer.  She has a sharp sword and she uses it.  She is no blood-thirsty Punisher.  She has more in common with Captain America.  Both had movies and origins based around world wars.  Both are soldiers, willing to sacrifice a bit of themselves if it means the conflict will end sooner.

Oddly enough, it is the DC movie set during World War I that is the most light-hearted.  The last two Superman flicks?  Bleh.  Filled me with dread.  Grey tones, brooding heroes, all is dark.  Even with the grey setting of a country ravaged by war, Wonder Woman offered more hope.  It showcased what a beacon of hope she was.  Mock the costume if you like.  She and her bright colors really stood out against the dismal setting.

Wonder Woman was not our typical superhero fanfare.  I maintain that it is a war story that happens to feature a super-fight towards the end.  It owes more to Saving Private Ryan than it does to The Avengers.  It takes a person from an outside setting, who happens to be female, and shows them trying to make sense of the things we do to each other during war.  I do not know if she ever really comes to terms with all the madness we inflict upon each other.  For a blockbuster film, that is a pretty admirable storyline to chase after.

As to the female-only screenings of Wonder Woman?  Guys getting upset that such gender-exclusion is biased?  Y’know what?  It probably was sexist.  In this instance, maybe that was okay.  A group of females want to celebrate a female standing strong in the world of men.  And they want to take a break from men while doing that.  If they started a whole civilization, moved to an island, called it Themyscira, then I might get my feelings a little hurt.  Going to a movie that some of these women have waited all their lives for?  I can live with that.  Comic shops and movie crowds have been male-dominated for long enough.  Let the ladies have their fun.  If it means the women can feel empowered while watching a quality movie (as opposed to, say, Catwoman), I can wait for the next screening.

I mean, the worst case scenario is that a well-made movie will stay in theaters longer, make more money, and encourage folks to make more movies that are high-quality and not male-centered.  What a tragedy that would be.

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Trying Out: More Local Parks (Week 20)

Trying Out:  Big Finn Hill Park and Juanita Beach (Week Twenty)

My family was in town.  And spending time with family uses up my energy.  So once again, I let myself get a little lazy.

There are two parks that are scant miles from my apartment.  Maybe a twenty minute drive.  But there is a really great park that is halfway between those “other” parks and my home.  Why drive further when you have perfection?

Because you might find other great parks, that is why.

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Big Finn Hill Park is located right next to a school.  Possibly two schools?  (The park was big enough that I got turned around.  For me, that is not saying much.)  It fills the role of a school park quite well.

The most visible parts of it are fields.  Fields for sports.  Fields for running.  Fields for playing.  Fields a plenty.  However, nestled in the nooks and crannies is a rather decent stroll throw a meadow-y, algae-filled world.  A nice, nature-filled distraction from studies.  I think a kid could get rather lost on their recess.  Sometimes, though, that is the whole point.  😉  A fine park?  Sure.  A perfect park?  Well, that depends on how much you like biking.

On every portion of the trail you will find bike-tracks.  Muddy portions become one big tire-world.  I think I entered right after a group had set off, so I never ran into them.  I kept my ears open all the same.

Need to get away from a corner of the world while still being in audible contact with it?  Then you are all set here.  Want to forget the world exists?  …find somewhere else.  It is civilized and populated; just barely.

Juanita Beach on the other hand, is there just for show.

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Go to the edge of Puget Sound.  Build a long bridge that you can walk around and through.  Never really go past a section of beachfront.  The end.

That is Juanita Beach.  Yeah, there is a playground and a volleyball pit.  Sure, there is a little walkway that informs you about the area and its habitat.

Really though?  It is a spot to stare out at the water.  A casual strolling area.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

And, just so you feel like you’re really there?  A rather large image of the whole waterfront.  Makes you feel outdoorsy already, doesn’t it?

 

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Click and it gets more life-sized

 

So I have seen better parks.  However these would help me unwind long enough until I had time to do a full-on exploration adventure.  Sometimes a little is all you need to set you right.

 

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Trying Out: Free Car (Week 19)

Trying Out: Square Dancing Giving Away a Car (Week Nineteen)

I had it all planned out.  I was going to have my new thing for Saturday be square dancing.  A church that is affiliated with mine was hosting a potluck/ square dance gathering.  I knew where the church was.  I did not find anybody to tag along, but eh.  Half of the point is to awkwardly meet other people out of desperation for a dance partner, right?  “Hey, I don’t know you, but both of us need a partner.  Let’s dosey-doe!”

However, sometimes things go horribly awry.  Sometimes you get a reminder that you volunteered to usher a show Saturday night.  A sold out show.  And you are the only usher.  Thus endeth any plans to go dance.

Happily, I did something earlier in the week that counts as something new.  I gave away a car.

Now, do not go thinking that I am some great philanthropist.  It was a ’97 Dodge Neon.  No Tesslas, no BMWs, no Hummers.  (That last part should be a global creed.  “No Hummers.  Ever.”)

Due to circumstances outside of my control, I no longer need that car.  This is the first time I have ever parted ways with a car while it still worked.  My ’86 Chevy Nova?  Why, I wrecked that when I was 18 and feel asleep behind the wheel.  Oops.  So yeah, that one got totaled.  My ’95 Prizm?  I was driving down the left most-lane of a four-lane one-way road.  A car two lanes over decided to make a left turn, in front of me, downhill, in the rain.  Here, I’ll draw you a picture.

crash

You don’t have to tell me, I know.  I really captured the essence of the moment.  Regardless, car totaled.

But my car didn’t get totaled in the last 12 years.  It survived!  It ran well!  Victory!

I was all set to donate it to some car donation thing.  There are places that will take your car, fix it up, and give the benefits to the charity of your choice.  Reminder though:  ’97.  Dodge Neon.  Last millennia.  Clinton was in office when this car was made.  When AOL was king of the internet.  You can’t use this car for Uber.  There is no in-seat Blu-Ray player.  It is just a car.  Whatever financial gain received would be rather pithy as car sales go.

So, just to be on the safe side, I offered it up to friends online.

Man.  If you ever want attention online, offer a free car.  Sheesh.

Car for me!   Car for my nanny!  Car for college!  Car for non-profit!  Car for my sister!

I offered, they took me up on it.  Certainly counted as a new experience, I tell ya that much.

I took the first four people that asked, wrote their names on a big piece of paper, and tore it up into four equally sized pieces.  Turned the papers upside down, shuffled them around on a counter top, did not look, and picked a name.  That person gets the car.  Simple.

Tragically, I will never know what it feels like to drive my Neon with cowboy boots on.  Of course, I do not actually own any cowboy boots.  Maybe I should have used the car profit to buy some.  Ah well.  Live and learn.

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Trying Out: Escape Room (Week 18)

Week Eighteen: Time Escape

I had no personal experience with escape rooms.  I had heard of them.  A feature on a Castle DVD was the cast trying to go through one.  I thought to myself, Look at those guys.  Running around and acting all confused.  I can do that.

In retrospect, well…

Time Escape opened in Seattle a few months ago.  The company has two locations in Canada, but this is their first foray into the United States.  There were three offerings.  I, being a stubborn snob that can (sometimes) complete a Tuesday edition of The New York Times crossword puzzle, opted for the time travel option.  It was rated six out of ten for difficulty.  Surely I can handle that.

Ahem.

My buddy and I booked our reservation that morning, though walk-ins were welcomed.  We showed up, the two gals greeted us eagerly, and the rules were explained.  No phones, do not break anything, and push the hint button if you get stuck.  Blacked out glasses (“blindfolds”, they called them; yet far less scary than the real thing) were given to us and we were ushered inside.

I am torn as to how much to give away.  Someone obviously spent a lot of time designing the adventure.  I fully expected a fairly dinky display, but these folks were rather high tech.  Magnet locks were disabled by combinations.  LASER messages were used.  There were at least three different physical keys for the locks around the room.  Metal chests opened up and revealed layers of puzzles underneath.  I thought there would be three or five puzzles to figure out. I want to say we had closer to ten or twelve.

As far as I could tell, two people were required, up to six were allowed.  (Castle used four.  That seemed about right.)   My cohort did pretty well at deciphering clues which I did not.  My specialty was in hacking lockboxes that we did not have the full combination two.  Twice I took the want information we had and futzed around until the unsolved answer was found.  If you are patient enough, you do not need every single combination.

It was delightfully fun to watch all the hatches pop open.  Just as you solve the mystery of the puzzle, you hear a click and you are surprised at the next part that reveals itself.  It could be a key box that pops open, it could be a door that is now usable, or the large neon clock could start counting down.  The challenge was part brain teaser, part suspense-thriller, and part frustration inducer.

Which is a long way of saying, we used the hint button.  More than we should have.  The entire time participants are in the room, video cameras are monitoring their progress.  Not in a creepy way; just enough so the staff can see how you are doing.  The first two times they must have noticed we were stalled.  They came in without being prompted, knocking because they are that polite.

“Okay, you got that far.  What if you look at it, this way?”  They never gave us the answers outright.  Typically, they just focused our searches.  They narrowed things down and gave us nudges on what to concentrate on.  “Have you tried checking out this area again?”

For some reason they gave us special treatment.  We were not clever enough to solve the puzzle in the allotted forty-five minutes.  It took us an hour and five minutes.  Since it was early in the day, they let us tough it out a little bit longer.  They did not have to do that, we all knew how much time our admission covered.  The staff was simply gracious enough to offer it.  That little gesture went a long way with us.

The only puzzle that I maintain I solved properly, but still had problems with, involved a LASER.  I had it set up in a way that “should” have worked.  It was doing what it was supposed to do.  But I had it set on the floor, which weakened the beam.  Once they instructed me to lift it up a few more feet, everything worked fine.  I, being stubborn, maintain I was doing it “right”.  A meager inconvenience, to be sure.

I can imagine it would have been frustrating if anything in the room had been broken, but other than the minor adjustment that they recommended, all the machines and devices worked great.  The staff certainly has their work cut out for them; putting the rooms back together after each team disables everything and moves things around.  Can you imagine if one little key was forgotten?  Again, highest praise for the staff that work there.

I do not know if we would have eventually solved it without their hints.  I probably would have kept typing random numbers into the combinations until I got what I want.  However, that could take hours.  😉  And trying to attempt the room by myself would have been suicidal.  I think the six out of ten rating was probably a good skill level.  I was never bored.  At the same time, I never thought it was hopeless.

I can see why phones and cameras are not allowed inside.  It would be too easy to spoil it for others or copy it elsewhere.  I thought when they offered to take our pictures at the exit, a catch would be involved.  Chihuly, Seattle Underground, and Space Needle all offer photo packages when you leave.  For a significant upcharge, you can have a physical photo.  Time Escape pulled no such shenanigans.  They took our picture (with my cohort’s phone and with their camera), simply asking that we mention them on Facebook or whatnot.  A perfectly reasonable request, given that they are new to the spot and they still need to draw in a crowd.

Honestly, of all the places I have visited so far, this is the one I would recommend the most.  Want to do something different on a blind date?  Try it out.  Got a small group of coworkers you want to hang out with?  Tackle this as a team.  (Then celebrate with drinks after.  If you try to have drinks and then solve these puzzles?  You are doomed.)  Just make sure that you are up for a brain teaser.  Like an episode of Castle, it is supposed to be fun.

Now I want to go back in time, erase my brain, and attack this puzzle all over again.  I guess I will have to tackle the two other rooms that Time Escape has waiting for me.

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