Path of Partiality

24 hours to go until the Great Eclipse, and I’m pretty excited!

I’ve read some people grumbling about the hype and how they’re sick and tired of hearing about it, but I figure this is essentially a once-in-a-lifetime experience and will be one of the coolest things I’ll ever witness. I am all in. We are just missing out on totality, but Portland will experience a 99% blackout, which should still be plenty exciting. I’d be tempted to drive an hour to the south in order to experience the path of totality if the local media hadn’t been hyping THE MOTHER OF ALL TRAFFIC JAMS for the past two months. There’s another total solar eclipse coming in 2024, but unless you’re situated in a line somewhere between Texas and Ohio, you’re SOL. And then in 2045 another one looks to pass right over (or near) Ely, Nevada. I’ve already told Tara we’ll have to trek out there for that one. We’ll be old and retired and probably living in an RV somewhere anyway.

Then again, Trump will probably get us all killed long before then, so it may be a moot point.


HR sent out an email last week telling us to bring our laptops home and use our best judgment in deciding whether to come into the office on Monday due to the anticipated epic traffic jams that might or might not clog the roads, since being stranded on a freeway wreaks havoc on productivity. So does watching an eclipse, I suppose, but it’ll be over in less than two hours. I am letting my team work from home and emailed my boss asking if I could do the same, or at least come in midday. I plan to get an early start on work, like 6:00 a.m. or thereabouts, then break for the eclipse.

Because photography is a big hobby of mine, I wanted to take some eclipse shots. Sadly, it is impossible to find solar filters anywhere online. That’s what you get for waiting until the last minute! I’d rather not damage my Nikon by pointing it directly at the sun, so I am fine with just taking photos of some of the eclipse-related phenomena, like crescent-shaped leaf shadows on the ground, and then when The Moment arrives simply experiencing it. I’m not expecting some life-altering spiritual awakening the moment the moon blots out the sun, but it’ll still be pretty bitchin’.

And it looks like our weather will cooperate. Thank god. That’s always a crapshoot around here. For once, I’m glad there are no clouds predicted.

Annie and Anthony drove down from Tacoma yesterday to hang out with us for the day. This is actually the first time they’ve ever done that, and we had a nice visit. Anthony is 5 y/o and will be starting kindergarten in just a few weeks, so this was sort of a last summer hurrah for him.

They arrived shortly after 9:00 and pounded on the wrong door for five minutes before realizing their mistake. I assume the residents were either heavy sleepers or not home. Eventually they figured out which apartment was ours and came on over. Annie had left Tacoma early because she really, really wanted one of Tara’s should-be-famous Bloody Marys. The wifey did not disappoint. We drank those and visited for awhile, then headed into downtown Vancouver to walk around the farmers market. I forgot how much a five-year old slows you down. It didn’t help that Anthony insisted on stopping and petting every single dog he passed, lol. Fortunately he has been taught to ask permission first. At one point we stopped while Anthony got his arm painted by a clown, who then spent five minutes intricately weaving together a balloon octopus. It took all of three seconds for one of the balloons to pop, leaving him with a seven-armed octopus. Two more bit the dust by the time we got back to the car, but he didn’t seem too frazzled by any of that.

After the market we grabbed lunch at McMenamin’s, then came back to the apartment, listened to records, played video games and chatted. Anthony is a budding metalhead (yay!) so Metallica was spinning on the turntable. By the time they left around 5:00, my arms and shoulder were aching, no surprise given how energetic and hyper Anthony was. At one point he climbed on my back and insisted on a “horsey-ride.” I obliged him, of course, but damn – I’m getting too old for that. I paid for it the rest of the evening and had to take an Advil PM before bed. I do feel much better this morning.

Tara and I had planned on heading into Portland afterwards to walk around and do a little exploring, but we decided to chill out at home instead. We watched AGT (I love the little girl ventriloquist/singer/comedienne) and followed that up with Moulin Rouge, a movie I hadn’t seen in over a decade. It was Tara’s first time, as a matter of fact. I know: what?! I was worried it might not hold up or be as good as I remembered, but my fears were unfounded. Tara really enjoyed it, too. We ended up eating leftovers at 9:00 p.m. and hit the hay around 11.

All in all, a pretty good day.

Hope you all get a chance to experience tomorrow’s eclipse! And remember to wear your ISO-approved eclipse glasses at all times or you’ll burn an eye out, kid.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

13 thoughts on “Path of Partiality

  1. The eclipse will only be at 94% here. My work is temporarily closing in the afternoon so we can go outside and view it, which is rather nice. Still, I don’t want any part of the traffic.


  2. We are only 65% they are saying but still will be there to see it, the wife picked up two pair of glasses for us today.

    On AGT the little girl ventriloquist is really good, I like her also.


  3. Never occurred to me that cloud cover could be an issue. Where I live, rain is rare, so I guess no wonder, but, yeah, for you, especially as psyched as you are, that would be a fat bummer. Hoping that cloud free weather report holds true for you!


  4. Mark like you, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the Great Eclips tomorrow! In fact, all last week I was reading up on it online. I wish this part of the US was more in direct route to the blackout, but I’m still excited. I read that the last one was in 1979! I’ll be at work tomorrow when it happens, but I’m hoping to see something.

    Sounds like you had a really nice weekend with Annie and Anthony.

    I love Moulin Rouge as well! I pretty much enjoy ANYTHING by Baz Luhrmann 🙂

    Have a super week, my friend!


    1. One of these days I need to get around to watching his version of “Romeo & Juliet.” I do like pretty much anything that Leo DiCaprio is involved in. Hope you got to enjoy the eclipse! Looks like you’ll have a better view in 2024.


  5. Gas here in the great white north rose 5 cents /£ (that’s about $0.20/gallon citing the reason that we are experiencing a shortage asoregon is hoarding all the gas for the predicted tourists! Sheesh!

    As for my previous question about the Oregon coast (it wouldn’t let me reply to you)…
    That’s awesome! Great advice!
    Thanks Mark for your $0.02… or $0.035 with exchange eh?


  6. I’m probably the only person on the planet who doesn’t care about the eclipse. However, there’s a first time for everything, because this season, I’ve followed AGT some what and also like that little girl, as well as the boy dancer. My spouse claimed to like Puddles, but I think it was just to tease our daughter so she could tell him how WACK he is.


    1. You’re not the only person…but you’re definitely in the minority. Funny thing is, the few people I know who were blase about it, ended up in awe. 🙂

      I didn’t dislike Puddles. He’s just not a million dollar act!


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