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Archive for the ‘User's Guide’ Category

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to Part 1 of the Green Lake User’s Guide.  I would like to first introduce you to Green Lake’s outside loop. 

Ms. Outside Path

Ms. Outside Path

Ms. Outside Loop is a running and walking path.  She is a stunning path, even though made of dirt and gravel.  She is barely 4 feet wide, but she is 3.2 glorious miles long.  She is a beauty when the sun shines, but she’s an unbelievable mess when it rains.  Think Tammy Faye Baker/Messner (rest her sole).  She winds her way along the outer perimeter of Green Lake Park, through groves of trees, along A-roaring Ave. (also known as Aurora Ave. and Highway 99), past the bathhouse (no, not that kind of bath house mom), through Green Lake City Center (also known as malfunction junction), past grandma and grandpa, around the Par 3 golf course, and back to the rowing center.

In the introduction to this, the definitive guide to using Green Lake Park, I told you that I am a runner.  An old runner by Olympic Games standards.  Just ask my tendons and joints.  As a result, Ms. Outside Path is my mistress.  I love her.  She is gentle on me in a way that her sister, Ms. Inside Path (aka Ms. Pounding Pavement), is not.  Not to mention, she has a lot less riffraff.

And by riffraff, I probably mean you.  Let’s take you one by one, and call you out for your inconsiderate, crazy, spastic behavior.

Single walkers/runners:  Listen, Henry David Thoreau.  This isn’t Walden Pond, and YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON AT GREEN LAKE.  Welcome to city living, where we have to share.  For chrissakes, walk in a straight line.  That way, I can pass you without bracing for impact.  Stay to one side of the path.  In fact, let’s obey road rules.  And by road rules, I mean American road rules.  Keep to the right when you see anyone coming at you.  I don’t care if you are afraid that a car is going to leap over the curb and turn you into “path kill” (in which case, please up your Prozac and move you and your OCD to Ms. Inside Path).  And would someone please tell me I have nice legs or whistle at me when I pass?  Do you think I’m out here running for my health?  Uh, wait . . . .

Group runners/walkers:  God dammit.  Does this look like Hands Across America to you?  Listen to me hard: No group of twos, threes, fours or dozens has the right to stretch across the paths at Green Lake when someone is coming toward you or approaching from behind.  Especially on Ms. Outside Path, where two is a crowd and three is you picking yourself up off the ground after I run over your ass.  SINGLE FILE BITCHES!  I don’t care if you are a “team in training.”  And if you are, then someone oughta train you to stop being a douchebag.  Scoot the fuck over.  If you insist on Hands Across America and you are moving at a slower pace than I am (and you are, trust me), it is far safer for you to step into the grass at your pace than it is for me.  Uneven surfaces are the runner’s broken ankle.  And do not look at me like that, because I will shoulder-check you, Ms. Real Housewife of Seattle.

Walkers of Dogs:  I run with my dog.  I use a leash that is worn like a belt with a 3-foot lead.  He is a good boy, and he has a job to do:  to motivate me to get away from this computer, to keep me company on my run, and to keep me calm so I don’t go postal and taser you and your stupid mutt.  We are not running because we are prey.  (Oh no.  I am definitely predator.  Just ask any of my boyfriends. wink wink)  So, we don’t think it is cute when your dog growls at us, barks at us, or pretends to chase us.  Especially when you are “walking” your dog on a 100-yard lead. 

I love dogs.  My dogs.  Yours are footballs.  On the 5-yard line. After I’ve just scored a touchdown and tied the game with 3 seconds left in the 4th quarter.  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!

Yuppy Assualt Vehicles (“Y.A.V.”):  Great.  You bred.  And now you, your spawn, and your Y.A.V. have found your way to Green Lake.  Your Y.A.V. is special because it is named BOB and  has big wheels and “outdoor tread.”  You’ve been stuck in the house as pregnant as an elephant or as mammorific as a dairy cow for the past year and today, by god, the world owes you.  If the world gets in your way, well then the world is going to have Y.A.V. tread marks on its face.  And you are not alone, because you have joined a parenting group.  And you and your fellow post-partums are going to storm Green Lake, and you don’t give any more of a shit than is in that brat’s diaper about anyone else at Green Lake.  You have montessoris to discuss.  You have husbands to blame.  YOU HAVE BABY WEIGHT TO LOSE!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love my mother and I love babies.  But baby-mama, move the fuck over.  Or strap that brat to your back (Baby Bjorn, anyone?) and walk.  Single file (see above).  Better yet, get thee to the Bravern.  Take your husband’s credit card.  After all, that sonovabitch did this to you.

Cyclists:  You know who I am talking about.  You’ve seen them on Ms. Outside Path, and you have made fun of them.  These are the people who are WAY TOO RUGGED to ride on Ms. Inside Path.  These people are “mountain bikers,” and they need terrain.  They are riding a 15-speed Huffy from Wal-Mart in a pair of board shorts, Teva’s, and a T-shirt that says, “It’s not a bald spot.  It’s a solar panel for my sex machine.”   They need to get in a workout before the tailgate party at U-DUB, dude, and you are nothing more than a speed bump with eyes, so get off the path for the fat man whose seat is too low.

Look, “cyclist.”  Give us a fuckin’ break.  In 15 minutes, some hot EMT is going pull up in an ambulance, cut that stupid t-shirt off of you, put a pair of paddles on your manboobs, and yell, “CLEAR!”  Green Lake isn’t a mountain.  Quit putting our lives and yours at risk.  

And on that happy note, we close this chapter of the Green Lake User’s Guide.  The moral of the story?  Share and share alike, or, as I like to say, “Quit hogging the path, jackass.”

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Who doesn’t love Green Lake? 

An oasis.  Except for the people.

An oasis. Except for the people.

Green Lake Park has it all.  It has a gorgeous lake, ball fields, an indoor pool, two swimming beaches, basketball courts, tennis courts, a paved walking/running/skating/cycling path of 2.8 miles, a dirt walking/running/cycling path of 3.2 miles, a par 3 golf course, a theater, and a rowing center and club, all in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars.  In fact, I live in the neighborhood and have for years.  I love it because of its vibrancy, its energy, and all it has to offer.  Some of my pals live here.  I shop here.  I eat here.  I drink here (usually with complete abandon). 

Now, before you get the impression that I’m gonna get all sappy and sentimental about Green Lake, let me also add that I’m a runner.  So, you can find me trotting my ass around the Lake several times each week.  Dodging the oblivious throngs like an obstacle course.  Tripping over errant children.  High jumping over dogs on leashes so long that one has to wonder why they are leashed at all.  Stepping in dog shit.  Being forced off the path by speeding cyclists and rampaging roller bladers.  And don’t even get me started about what I like to call the “land mine” of Green Lake recreation: the Yuppy Assault Stroller (particularly the double-wide).  Of course, all of that assumes that I actually reach the running path without being mowed down in the crosswalk by a wanna-be NASCAR driver or a high school girl sexting her friends with one hand, smoking a cigarette with the other, and driving with NO HANDS AT ALL. 

As a frequent user, I understand and appreciate that Green Lake Park is a multi-use recreational facility, providing something for everyone.  But I’m warning you people:  some of you are on my last fucking nerve.  Before I bring the taser and nun-chuks back from the days of the “fugger muggers,” I’ve decided to give you bitches one more chance.  Just like in human resources, this is your official notice.  You’ve been warned and you are on probation.  During your probationary period, you must read this series of informative and interesting blog posts on how not to be a Green Lake douchebag (collectively called the Green Lake User’s Guide).   Assuming you pay attention and take immediate corrective action to change your annoying, asshole-ish behavior, we’ll all be BFF.

Until then, I look forward to sharing Green Lake Park with you in the future.  Or, in the alternative, electro-chukking the sweet bejesus out of you on one of my jaunts around the Lake.

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