When I was a closeted, obese, acne-covered 15-year-old, my dad and my three brothers and I drove from Los Angeles to Seattle to visit my grandma, who lived in Bellevue. We did the drive in a black Thunderbird, five tall Frizzelles, all of us folded up into each other. Most of what I remember about that trip took place on the highway. I only remember three things about Seattle itself from that trip, and one of them was standing on the waterfront downtown watching the Blue Angels zip around in the sky. I had no idea that one day I would live in Seattle. I thought of Seattle as this cute little city my grandma lived near. My brothers and my dad had either been in the military or were about to join the military, so they loved watching the Blue Angels for military reasons. I was a theater kid who liked watching the Blue Angels for theater reasons. The Blue Angels are performance. They are choreography.
It must have been 1996. It must've been Seafair weekend, although we didn't go to Seafair then and none of us had any idea what Seafair was and still, to this day, I pretty much have no idea what Seafair is. Seafair is me standing in my apartment thinking Seattle is being attacked by al Qaeda, over and over again. I start texting editors and staff writers to plan our coverage of the terrorist attack we're surely experiencing, and then I remember. I think David Schmader is right ("I Hate the Blue Angels") and I think Bethany Clement is right ("I HATE YOU, BLUE ANGELS") and I thought that whole misogynistic/homophobic Blue Angels thing was nauseating (and I loved Trent's interview with the guy who answered the phone at Blue Angels HQ earlier this week) and obviously I think it's ridiculous and wasteful to sonically terrify Seattle and Bellevue once a year just to show off gas-guzzling American might—USA! USA!—buuuut... I also have to admit that choreography people are forced to watch is a funny concept (not enough people appreciate choreography).
And I also have to admit that, well, how do I put this? My family and I don't agree on some big-picture things. But we all agreed on that day in 1996 about the awesomeness (capable of inspiring awe) of the Blue Angels. And somewhere deep in my brain, I filed Seattle away as an okay place to be. It's probably an exaggeration to say I ended up moving here because of the Blue Angels, but it's not that much of an exaggeration.
Unrelated: Just a moment ago, there was yet another horrible roaring sound outside my window, and I could see a flying object in my periphery so I turned to the window, slightly irritated, to look at it, because how can you not, and it turned out it wasn't a jet far away but a black crow close up. Doing a fly-by of the window. Doing his best Blue Angels impression.