Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bests of 2007

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I did this. It feels weird to be making appointments for 2008 already, but the year is almost over. My list of categories changed a little from last time. Enjoy!

Best Albums
This list looks similar to last year, as Arcade Fire and Band of Horses made both lists. Because they RULE. There was massive amounts of good stuff out this year, but these were on repeat at Rancho Kaijsa.

Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
Feist, The Reminder
LCD Soundsystem, The Sound of Silver

Best Live Shows
A shorter list than last year, but that's probably because I only hit one day at Bumbershoot and kept missing out on fun shows in Denver because of weather, bad timing, or sheer laziness on my part. Why didn't I go to Monolith again?

Arcade Fire with LCD Soundsystem @ Red Rocks (September 17)
Silversun Pickups with Sea Wolf @ Ogden Theater (July 30)

Best Films
Between the film series, upping the netflix, and actually going to see a few new releases, I watched a bunch of movies this year. Very uncharacteristic, but more fun. These aren't necessesarily the best movies of the year, but rather those that came out in 07 that I most enjoyed.

Once
Knocked Up and its little brother, Superbad
My Best Friend
The Namesake

Best Television
Yeah, I'm going there.

30 Rock (technically came out in 2006, but so worth mentioning)
Gossip Girl (glossy teen soap perfection!)

Best Books
After I couldn't name any noteworthy books from 2006, I started a reading blog. Keeping track of this kind of thing is good for me, I find. This year I read a lot of good stuff, much of it new. I'm only listing books that came out in 2007.

Sherman Alexie, Flight
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Jonathan Franzen, The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History
E. Lockhart, Dramarama
Cathleen Schine, The New Yorkers
Aoibheann Sweeney, Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking
Tia Williams, The It Chicks

There were lots of other "bests" this year, too complicated to mention. It was my first full year in my new state. I visited Seattle six times in 2007, but this was also the year I really came to think of Laramie as my home. And for the first time, I'll be there to ring in the new year. I don't know what new things 2008 will bring, so I'm going into it feeling hopeful. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

snuggly

I don't usually like flannel sheets, but my parents' house is heated entirely by two gas stoves and the bedroom I'm in is the farthest away. So, yay, flannel sheets! I miss my down duvet, though.

Getting here took a little longer than it should have, but the folks at Alaska know how to deal with delays and keep passengers from getting the crazy. Our plane was around 90 minutes late to arrive, but being given hot coffee and cookies immediately upon boarding was a nice distraction.

I read an entire J.A. Jance mystery (I didn't even know she had a new series) while waiting to board and for the first hour of the flight, but slept the remaining two hours. It's weird how I never used to sleep on planes and now I have a hard time staying awake on them. Well, I guess I have a hard time staying awake whenever I'm sitting still, unless I have somebody with me. Forget watching DVDs at home alone. Instant snoozing.

As soon as I got off the plane in Seattle, I felt like I was in a sauna. The lovely humidity made it seem really warm. But that same humidity made me really cold when I got outside. It's like coming out of the shower and standing around all damp. Brr.

I'm super tired and have to get up kind of early to drop off Mom to babysit the nephew. This will give me her car all day. Then I meet up with Mel at U Village and we head down to a friend's place for dinner with girlfriends. The holiday revelry has begun!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday houseguest

Today I heard from Melanie that Ed arrived in Jackson Hole last night. He's on his big, cross-country expedition. I told her to let him know he could stay over with me if he decided to take I-80 to Nebraska and points beyond, and he did! He called when he hit Rawlins and arrived in Laramie at around 9:30 tonight.

We didn't have a lot of time, but I did take him to the Buckhorn Bar--he asked for the "most Laramie" bar--and drove around the campus a little bit. Of course, it's Monday night and it's after finals, so the place was pretty dead, but it was a nice time. It's fun to see the reaction my Seattle friends have when they get charged $3 for a pint of microbrew. They're expecting it to be $7.

It's a rare evening when I'm home, and it's even rarer for me to have company over here. So it's extra fun when I have an actual houseguest. I love that I've now had four Seattle friends come visit me in Wyoming. I love seeing them and catching up, but it's also nice to share the town with them. I think It helps them understand why it's becoming, if not home-home, a home of my own making. There's something to be said for coming to a new place alone and starting a whole new life. Not that it's been easy, but I've really become attached to the people here and the place itself. My mom was shocked over Thanksgiving when I said I was glad to be going home, meaning Laramie. I think it hit her that I'm not just staying here; I really do live here.

So anyway, Ed's taking off early in the morning. I need to actually get my lazy self up so I can make some coffee and breakfast to send him off well, then finish packing for my journey west. It's hard to believe I'll be in Seattle by 9pm PST tomorrow!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

thanksgiving part 2

No more family members got sick, though my throat is starting to get sore. I'm trying to believe it's just from lots of talking and I'm taking airborne now and before my flight in the morning in the hopes that it's not snake oil and will prevent a full-blown cold. Dad was still under the weather today, so Mom and I went to my brother's place for belated Thanksgiving. I had lots of time to hold my nephew and be amused by his antics. That child is pretty fun--very happy and social.

Westley and Aunt Kaijsa

I tried to send this photo in a text to Rick, but he said he got a "can't download" message. Oh, well. I get to share it with all of y'all. It looks like I'm holding a two year old, right? He's ten months old. Check out those hands! He'll be just like his dad, who could palm family sized cans of Campbell's soup at one year and ended up growing up to be 6'7".

Earlier in the day, Mom and I went to the mall and did a little shopping. I got a couple of things, but didn't really get too excited about much. Aren't malls weird? They sap my energy like nothing else. We didn't even make it off the ground floor of Nordstrom, so I wasn't tempted by overpriced outfits. Yesterday's brief outing to the Rack yielded half-priced Smartwool socks, which was pretty fabulous. I didn't do Christmas shopping, but did get some ideas and finalized most of my to-do list. All told, I think we spent about three hours shopping during this visit, including stops for groceries. Not bad, if you know anything about me.

Right now I'm plundering my parents' CD collection. They've been reproducing their vinyl collection with CDs for a while now, but there are still a lot of albums to go. I'm taking Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, Jim Croce, Boston, the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, and Simon and Garfunkel. More if I can stay awake long enough. I need to be at the airport around 5:30 in the morning, so I better get to bed soonish.

Friday, November 23, 2007

thanksgiving

My visit home to Seattle hasn't been what I expected. My mom called me before my flight early Thursday morning and let me know my dad took my brother to the emergency room the night before. Turns out he has pneumonia and was really sick, so he and my sister-in-law couldn't host Thanksgiving dinner. My mom and I ended up cooking the whole shebang over here for my parents, my grandma, and me. Then Dad and I took some food over to my brother's house and I got to see my nephew for a few minutes.

I got to meet up with SJ and her family, including Companion's father, for breakfast this morning. That was fun, though the server's stress level made me kind of stressed out, too. Then mom and I went out shopping at just a couple of places and didn't have any trouble parking even though this is crazy shopping day from hell. But we had to cut the fun short to take Dad to see the doctor, because he got really sick today. The doctor sent us straight to the ER because of Dad's high fever, so that makes two family members at the hospital in 48 hours. Not an awesome record. I came home to feed the dogs and wait for Mom to call and let me know when to pick them up again.

There's one day left of my vacation, and I really hope it gets better from here on out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

for future reference

Rethinking reference is nothing new, and I'm unlikely to come up with any startling revelations. All I know is that I'm doing more and more instruction every term and it's my first priority. Balancing my time between direct service (reference and instruction) and my other duties is hard, and naturally I'm trying to figure out where best to expend my time and effort. My whole department, like just about every reference department at academic libraries, is trying to figure out what to do about this.

I work the late reference shift on Wednesday (attention stalkers!), and every week as I sit here answering mostly directional or factual questions, I think we might as well hire students to staff the desk at night and on weekends. But at least once every shift I end up with something more advanced, like teaching somebody how to use the ERIC thesaurus, finding the American Antiquities style guide online, or helping a student come up with alternative keywords for better searches in communications databases. I wonder what impact removing professional librarians from the desk would have on our patrons. I don't know our collection nearly as well as I'd like, but I can walk students right to specialized sources, and I don't think we could expect student workers to learn that level of complexity.

I don't have any answers, and I'm not raising any new questions. We keep adding services, and at some point, we're going to have to let some go. Some subject librarians are doing on-site reference in their departments and others do tons of consultations from faculty referrals. We've added IM reference, and it's being used a little. I'm trying to figure out how to integrate text messaging into this service, but that's just one item on a huge list of plans/ideas. I'm doing some consultations and a lot of instruction that's leading to students dropping by my office for help. I never thought I'd want to give up parts of my job, but if I could spend less time on reference, it might help with balance.

Just thinking out loud here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm in a food mood

crunchy sexy roll
crunchy sexy roll

There's a new sushi place in Laramie, and I finally checked it out today at lunch. The lack of sushi in town has been a fairly significant issue for me, so I'm really rooting for this place to last. I ordered four pieces of ebi and a "crunchy sexy roll," all of which was good. The description sounded like the amazing "country rolls" I had at Sushi Afloat several years back, which I've never seen duplicated. It wasn't the same, but it was good. This awesomely named roll has tempura shrimp and crab inside and is topped with spicy sauce and two colors of roe. Fancy and tasty, though I wasn't expecting eight pieces and only made it through five. I also got four pieces of ebi, a longtime favorite nigiri option. The shrimp was sweet and tender, but I would have preferred more wasabi between the shrimp and rice. The presentation was very nice, too. I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

another book meme

I ganked this from Doppelganger, as usual. 50 Books is my go-to book/reading blog, after all.

Total number of books I own
Too many. Actually, I have no idea. I've cataloged 353 on LibraryThing, but that's not close to accurate. Some of those are library books I've blogged about, so I don't actually own them. On the other hand, I haven't even gotten to all my bookcases at home, and I seem to keep accumulating books at work because of various discussion groups.

Last book I read
I fell off the book blogging bus when I read a dozen or so M.C. Beaton mysteries in a recent binge. I can't remember which one I read last, but I think it might have been Death of a Celebrity. I'm fixing to start The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie and I need to finish Discussion as a Way of Teaching for two different discussion groups on campus.

Last book I bought
I'm a heavy library user and have kind of stopped buying books. I think the last one I actually purchased was Flight, also by Sherman Alexie, back in the spring. (I've since forced it on several friends, who agree it's awesome.)

Five meaningful books
I guess I can choose to define meaningful any way I wish, but this is still hard. I'm going to go with books that are personally meaningful to me. This kind of feeling is really hard to describe, so I won't try to justify my choices, unless my readers comment and demand it (as if).
  1. Garden of Eden, by Earnest Hemingway
  2. Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger
  3. Polyverse, by Lee Ann Brown
  4. Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus, by Aaron Cometbus
  5. Desolation Angels, by Jack Kerouac
Wow, I even surprised myself a little there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Great Pumpkin, it's Halloween

on the porch
jack 'o lantern handiwork

The fall is slipping away so quickly I can hardly keep track of the days, let alone document them. The weather has been amazing, especially compared to last year. We've had snow twice this month, but it hasn't lasted and most days have been warm and mild. This has helped keep me walking, which seems to have improved my mood. Cold weather makes me kind of blue.

On Friday, Rick and I carved pumpkins, which I think turned out well. Mine's an alien ghost--witness the coolness. We also roasted the pumpkin seeds. Rick spiced them with cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, which was interesting (in a good way). I think I ate too many of them, though, because I had a stomach ache later that night. But it was worth it for a fun, mellow evening.

In other holiday-related news, it turns out I'm going back home for Thanksgiving. I stayed in Laramie last year because it seemed like a lot of hassle for a short trip, plus I go home for a couple of weeks over Christmas anyway. But Mom asked me to come and we found a pretty cheap ticket, so I'm going. My sister-in-law and brother are having T-Day dinner at their place, which should be fun. Have I told y'all what an awesome cook my s-i-l is? Truth. A couple of years ago, she made me a birthday dinner that rocked my socks. It was a pork loin with a blackberry reduction, a potato gratin with gruyere, and hericot verts. So you can imagine I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with. Also, it will be nice to see family and hold the nephew. Speaking of, nephew had his 9 month checkup and he's a whopping 25.5 lbs and 31.5" tall. I wonder if he'll be taller than his dad, who's 6'7".

Anyway, holiday plans are coming together, I guess. It's weird to be here, a day away from November, when it seems like I was in the middle of summer a couple of weeks ago. I kind of miss summer.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

how Kaijsa keeps busy

I've been scarce around these parts, despite my best intentions. What have I been up to? Well, lots of stuff, most of which would bore you to bits. My friend Miriam and I have been trying to take walks as close to daily as possible, which has been nice and seems to be improving my energy and general attitude toward life. I think we need to ramp it up a little because it's getting too easy, although I bailed early yesterday because my ankle's been bugging me (too much wearing of the high heels at work). Another good side effect is that most of my pants are too big. Unfortunately, my wardrobe is full of things I truly love and don't want to have to spend the money to replace. You take the bad with the good, I guess.

There have been other activities lately. I continue to go to the Sunday film series in town, and a couple of weeks ago saw Once, which I loved. I got the soundtrack from the library and it's wonderful. Some Frames albums are in my request queue. This past week, I saw La Vie En Rose, which was also good, although Edith Piaf's music isn't as much my thing as Glen Hansard's.
There were also various homecoming activities going on. I didn't attend much, but did catch the sing, which I didn't know about until this year even though it's been going on for 72 years. My favorite act had to be the LDS student group doing "Thriller," complete with some of the choreography from the video. The big event for me, though, was the homecoming parade on Saturday. The university libraries float won the grand prize, which is pretty cool. I can't take any credit for this, as I was a non-participant.

So, that's been happening.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Meme time

I've been really bad about posting for the past while. There's been stuff I've wanted to say, but either I didn't feel like saying it, I got too busy to say anything, or I just was feeling crummy. How about a meme to get me back into posting?

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Paperback. Specifically trade paperback because they usually have nice quality paper and are a good size. Also, paperbacks don't weigh down my giant bag too much and there's no dust jacket to mess up or lose.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

I'm terrible at naming things. I'll never own a bookstore, but I guess I could name it bokhandel, which is bookstore in Swedish. I'm so boring.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

I don't have any awesome quotes at hand, and I'm honestly a little too lazy to start rummaging around to find them. I have read some pretty insanely quotable books lately, the latest of which was Which Brings Me to You. I also love the following quote from Why Moms are Weird, by Pamela Ribon. I already quoted it on the book blog, but it bears repeating.

I've been romanced, dumped, caressed, fondled, and destroyed in the confines of my car. It's the shell that protects me when the rest of the world can seem so infinite. When everything in love becomes too chaotic, I can take a man to the smallest place that can contain us, force him to look at me and tell me the truth.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…
I don't like meeting famous people in general, and authors would be a particularly strange bunch. There's really nothing I can think of to say to them, and I suspect I'd have little fun with some of my all-time favorite authors. Like, would Hemingway get drunk and ignore me while hitting on the waitress? And would Emily Dickinson make me eat in the next room? I know some authors who are pretty rad people and fun to have meals with, but if I had to pick somebody I don't know I'd go contemporary and choose
Steve Almond. He seems like a cool guy and would have lots of interesting stuff to talk about.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…

This scenario sounds so terrible I can't even contemplate it. Denial is encoded into my DNA. After the presentation portion of my interview for my current position, I was asked to name my favorite novel of all time. I gave a five minute answer about why I can't choose, named my favorite genres, and talked about my commitment to reading all the Pulitzer winners for fiction. The other library folk in the room seemed to understand and enjoy that answer. Nerds find their own, I guess. Similarly, I'm finding it impossible to answer this question. How about the compact OED (with magnifying glass)? That would take some time to finish.


6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
Magically makes all my books fit into one box that I can lift so I don't have to hire people to ship 30+ boxes next time I move.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…
Used bookstores. I'm not very imaginative, I guess. Also, that smell doesn't get me excited.


8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…

So, I suck at this meme. I also tend to like books with really fucked-up characters, and I wouldn't really want to be any of them. I think Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series was pretty kick-ass, but I don't know if I'd want to live in olden times. I'll go with that answer, though.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is…

Oh, who knows? I haven't read a lot of the canon because of my weird and awesome undergraduate education, so a lot of the biggies are off my radar. In the past decade I've been underwhelmed by critical and popular favorites like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (insufferable).


10. I hate it when a book…
Is really awesome and I fall madly in love with it only for it to either fall apart in the end (Middlesex) or be the only thing the author ever writes that's any good (Como Agua Para Chocolate).

I found this book meme at 50 Books. Doppelganger and I have similar meme tagging policies. If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Arcade Fire

Early and empty
We got there early!

On Monday, I went to Red Rocks with ten other music lovers for the Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem concert. I almost couldn't believe I was actually going because I bought the tickets so long ago. The show was really great and despite a storm warning, the weather was perfect. Seriously, it was one of the best live shows I've seen in a long time. Both bands sounded great, but my heart belongs to the Arcade Fire. They were so fun! I can't believe I've never seen them live before.

Actually, what I can't believe is how long it took me to become a fan. Way back when Funeral was new in late 2004, so many people recommended it to me and said it was something I'd love. I think I bought it on one of my CD buying binges at Sonic Boom because it was on sale. It sat unopened and unloved for a few months before I tried it out. It's hard to believe now, but when I finally put it on, I didn't think it was anything special and would only occasionally put it on as background music. What was I thinking?

It wasn't until I was driving my new car from Seattle to Laramie in August 2006 that I finally really listened to the album. As you might know, radio between Eastern Washington and Southeastern Wyoming is pretty scarce, so I relied on the few CDs I'd grabbed at the last minute to get me through two days of driving alone through the west. This is how I burned out on Death Cab's Plans album. Anyway, as I was driving east out of Spokane and the sun was setting, I can remember turning up the volume on the car stereo and really listening to Funeral for the first time and being absolutely blown away. I've been in love with the Arcade Fire ever since and can't believe I wasted two years I could have been listening to them. Neon Bible is amazing, of course, but Funeral is my first love and you don't get over that.

It's hard to describe a concert. I took lots of pictures, but not many turned out well. I have a really hard time holding still enough when not using the flash, so lots of them came out blurry. The best of them are on my flickr. Cass's turned out a lot better, and she put some good ones up on Wyoming Beat.

I only recorded one clip, but it's from one of my favorite songs:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sort of homesick, sort of not

Tonight I will be missing the Dinosaur Jr./Band of Horses show at Neumos. I'm mostly happy to be back to my regular life, but I read the Seattle papers online and listen to KEXP, which continues to make me wistful and a bit sad to be missing fall in the northwest. The PNW spring means gray whales and the fall means grey, drizzly days that are cool but not cold, perfect for holing up with a coffee and a book. It's the opposite of here, with a long, mild fall and a short winter. The past two chilly mornings have been reminding me that I get to look forward to a short fall and long, drawn-out winter. In preparation, I busted out my cold-weather clothes this weekend and took stock. I'm going to have to start wearing socks here pretty soon, and that makes me sad.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The most boring post ever. You've been warned.

I'm in the coffee shop that won't let me access the Googles, but I cleverly fixed that problem by remote desktopping into my work computer so I can use their non-blocking network. Weird network issues aside, this place has a much nicer atmosphere than the other coffee shop. Kaijsa FTW! It was nice to triumph after a day of technology besting me. My DSL went out again at home because the phone company turned off the wrong account. Hmfh. Mysteriously, my phone still works, so I don't know if I buy that explanation. Also, the local Direct TV subcontractor postponed my install indefinitely at the last minute because of some alleged new regulation in this state that's limiting their ability to hook up more people. I'm betting it's because they suck. So I'm going with Dish Network. Maybe this time I won't take half a day off for no good reason.

Anyway, I'm back home and at work after my non-restful vacation. It was hard to sleep while I was there because it was so warm and muggy. I grew up in the PNW and like some moisture in the air, but it was ridiculous this past week. My hair was so curly that it tangled like mad and all the little short pieces near my face were always rumpled up and making me look bed-headed. Between the humidity and the excesses of time I spent in the car, I was tired out. I left my parent's place way too early yesterday morning to fly out at 6:00am. I got to Denver around 10:00 (because of the time change) and drove into Laramie just before 1:00pm. That gave me just enough time to drag my stuff into the house, shower and change, and get to the reference desk by 2:00. By the time I got off the late desk shift at 10:00, I was exhausted but so wound up I couldn't sleep. I ended up watching three episodes of Big Love. I was up for about 22 hours straight and still didn't sleep well. I get this way sometimes.

My insomnia is nothing new, but traveling makes it worse. When I get to this level of sleep deprivation, it screws with my appetite, too. I forget to eat, which probably adds to my fatigue, but I just don't feel hungry. As soon as I get a good solid chunk of sleep in I'll probably want a pizza or something terrible for me. I'm not drinking anything with caffeine in it after noon, but need my coffee in the mornings.

In other news, I only looked at my work email a couple of times while I was gone and it exploded. That's one of the reasons I'm here and online. I can power through emails in the evenings and sometimes that's easier than trying to catch up at work.

Ugh, they're closing. I told you this would be boring.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

End of vacation

I spent Sunday and Monday mostly just hanging out with family. On Sunday, Dad and I visited Grandma and then went to see Pirates 3 at the Crest, the second-run theater in our old neighborhood. I don't always get to spend time alone with Dad, so that was nice. My mom and I did a little shopping, but I was pretty good and didn't go crazy this time. Today, SJ and I had breakfast in my hometown and hit the outlets on the reservation. I didn't buy anything, but spent time fondling lots of purses and fancy cookware. Then Mom and I ran a few errands and returned half of the stuff I bought yesterday (buyer's remorse). I'm only coming home with four tops and some shoes. Last time I was here, I had to borrow a suitcase from my parents to get everything home with me

So nothing major happened in the latter part of vacation. Dad and I rode bicycles around the neighborhood on Sunday, and I played with the dogs. Although we ate out several times, I didn't manage to have Indian, Vietnamese, sushi, or Dick's. I did have that Thai at the Seattle Center, but it hardly counts. I also had zero lattes while I was here, which is extra unusual. I complain all the time about not having a coffee shop I like in Laramie, then I get to Seattle and only drink diner coffee a couple of times. Never thankful for what I have.

I kind of feel like I didn't make the most of this trip in more important ways, too. I didn't make a lot of plans before coming to town because my family always thinks I spend too much time with friends and too little with them, but if I'd lined things up I might have been able to see more people. I didn't even call two of my close childhood friends because I knew I wouldn't have time for a visit. I always feel like a jerk when people find out I've been in town and didn't call them, but there's no way I can visit everybody in a week and still spend time with the family. Now that my parents live in a more suburban area, I pretty much have to borrow a car to get around because the buses take so long and stop running pretty early in the evening. I'd hoped to see my grandma one more time, but kind of ran out of energy and time today.

What a complainer! As I told a friend a while ago, it's actually a good problem to have. I shouldn't complain that I have lots of people in my life who care about me and want to spend time with me. It just feels crappy to disappoint them.

I'm leaving for the airport in just under four hours, so I might need to get a little sleep. I'm crossing my fingers to bump again because I'd really like to nap in a more comfy chair on the way home. I have get to be on the reference desk at 2:00pm and for the late evening shift.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bumbershoot

Mel and Me
The happy Bumbershooters

With some regret, I decided to go to Bumbershoot for just one day this year. I chose Saturday because the lineup looked most appealing to me, but there are a few things I'm sad I'm missing today and Monday. And like most years, the schedulers created really annoying conflicts for me, so I missed Carrie Akre, The Cops, The Lashes, and Menomena. I didn't even try to see any of the comedy after watching people stand in line all day last year.

I started off the day at the mainstage at Memorial Stadium for back-to-back Crowded House and Shins action. I met up with Melanie and Shannon in the stands and we sat back to enjoy the show. Crowded House sounded wonderful and almost everything they played was a hit. Stupid VH1 called them one-hit-wonders in one of those lame specials a couple of years ago, which still makes me go ballistic. They were hit machines! Anyway, it was a lovely show. Three Imaginary Girls reports that Eddie Vedder joined them for "Something So Strong," but I completely missed that. It was hard to understand the stage patter, and I was a ways from the stage, but it's funny that I was oblivious to the guest star. I did make a little video.


Don't Dream It's Over

Shannon took off for the comedy stages and Mel and I joined her friend Erin on the other side of the stadium for The Shins. We'd seen them once before, also at Bumbershoot and before they were big, and they were really great. They played the Key and were talking about how it was the biggest venue they'd been in and asked the crowd to to the wave. We did. This year's show was good, but I kind of think their music got lost a little outdoors. It's all certainly pretty, but they're not that interesting to watch and I kind of spaced out while listening.

The Shins
The Shins

After that, we wandered into the Center House to say hello to Michael, who was working an arts and crafts booth for Art With Heart, an organization with which he volunteers. After catching up and crafting our wish hearts, we grabbed mediocre Thai food and found our friends Elizabeth and Jasper, who I hadn't seen in too long. The four of us went out to Mural Amp and caught the last half of the The Avett Brothers, a quirky bluegrass/country/rock band. They were very good, and I'm interested in hearing more from them. Evidently, I'm the last to hear about them because the biggest crowd I can remember at that stage was there.


Mural Amp is crowded
Packed Mural Amphitheatre for Avett Brothers

After a quick spin through Flatstock and a free sample of pumpkin Frappacinos, we went back to the Mural Amphitheatre for the Gourds. As expected, they were super fun. Mel and I agreed that we 2/3 love them and that certain people we know would love them for exactly the 1/3 reason we don't (jam-bandyness). The crowd was definitely lacking in hipsters, which is kind of refreshing. Maybe I've been in Wyoming too long, because I kept wanting to move the emo bangs out of the kids' eyes all day. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, the Gourds were entertaining for sure. I wish my video of "Gin and Juice" had turned out better, cuz I'd link it. Instead, I'll tell you that in the picture below they're singing about fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and titties. As you do.

The Gourds
The Gourds

After the Gourds, Mel and I hoofed it up Mercer to where I'd left my car. I had wanted to see Devotchka, but I was both tired and satisfied and it was kind of nice to get out of there before dark. I had a good, if too-brief Bumbershoot experience this year. We totally went the non-indie rock route this year, so it's no wonder I never ran into King Jumpsuit. If only I'd gone to see Menomena! Next time...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Two and three

I kind of slacked off on picture taking yesterday and today. It got kind of grey and sprinkly today, so I wasn't outside looking around as much. But on with my boring saga.

I slept in a little on Thursday, which felt nice, then lazed in bed reading for a while. I'm reading JPod and loving it, but I only get to read little bits at a time because of vacation busyness. Mom and I went to the salon for pedicures and brow arches. This time my manicurist (who's also a reflexologist and gives awesome massages) put a heated pillow under my neck, which was just fabulous. Between that and the lavendar eye pillow, I pretty much dozed during the whole treatment. I picked a great color, too.

Afterward, we went to lunch and did a little shopping. I tried on approximately 73 tops at Nordstrom, most of which were on sale. I ended up buying two that were not on sale. Hmph. I did manage to resist the scads of cute dresses on amazing half-off sale and will likely regret this. Most of them were sundresses or sleeveless, but it's not like I wouldn't wear them again next year. But we'd been at the mall for over an hour and that's about the point where I always start getting a headache and the extreme urge to run away. I think it might be a combination of the fluorescent lights and the lack of air in there. My mall allergy also saved me from caving in and getting the most awesome clutch in the world. I can't get it out of my mind, seriously.

After lunch, we swung by Grandma's and visited with her and her caregiver. For those of you not in the know, after Grandpa died, Grandma built a new house next to the original house and my parents bought the family home and lived there for several years. Almost two years ago, they sold it and moved to a smaller place. The new owners tore down the garage and shortplatted the lot again (it was originally a triple) and are building a GIANT house next to the old one. It looks ridiculous. North City is full of little post-war two and three bedroom homes built by working class families. The new construction just sticks out like a sore thumb. I guess that's what happens when Seattle Magazine proclaims a once-modest neighborhood "hot." It's gross.

It was nice to see Grandma and Barb, but Mom and I had to run back down to Northgate to meet my brother and his family and Dad for dinner. There's been a lot of running around and eating in restaurants already.

Friday (today) was fun. I started my day by going out to breakfast. SJ and her kids picked me up and took me to the Pancake Haus in Edmonds. I had Swedish pancakes, bacon, and awesome company. I can't believe how much the girls have grown up, especially Franny. She wasn't even two when SJ and I met and now she's a second-grader with wicked style and the ability to make great conversation. Of course SJ and I can't get together without shopping for something completely ridiculous, so we hit Fred and between the two of us, bought gold sandals, plastic jewelry, and socks with skulls on them. I always have fun with her.

Immediately after I got home, Mom and I left for West Seattle. Courtney had invited us over for lunch. Yes, it does seem like all I'm doing is eating, but with the time it takes to get from the suburbs to the city and all over the place, my meals really are spaced out okay. Traffic was the pits on the way home, but I actually find it comforting to see so many people in one place.

I ended my day by getting together with four of my girlfriends for dinner and chat over at on of their places. We ordered a goat cheese and sundried tomato pizza and drank limoncello, followed by lavender ice cream. So girly and awesome. I've been ordered to move back here. Believe me, it's tempting sometimes. We also vowed to resurrect the beauty blog and start a group movie blog. That group of women always comes up with the best book and film recommendations and it was fun to throw out suggestions to one another. It's also really cool that they always arrange for all of us to get together when I come to town, and all of them are busy, busy people. My friends are so smart and awesome and fun.

Tomorrow is Bumbershoot time!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day zero-point-five

I'm not sure "what I'm doing on my vacation" is very exciting to anybody but me, but I'm reporting it nevertheless.

So, I flew to Seattle yesterday. My drive down to Denver was uneventful and I made pretty good time. It only took 20 minutes from the time I parked to my arrival at my gate in C concourse. So I had a lot of time to sit around and notice how everybody in that airport was wearing the same three shades of brown and blue. So boring. But hey, the flight was oversold and I got to bump to first class. So I spent the flight eating hot nuts and drinking coffee from a real mug in a seat that my ass didn't even completely fill. Win.

The day was really pretty, as I previously mentioned, so I took several photos out the window of the plane. It was exciting to see this as we descended.

We're landing
Water!

The first thing I saw when I got to Sea-Tac was that even though roughly half the people there were wearing black, the other half were dressed in much brighter, prettier colors than the people in Denver. The first thing I smelled was coffee. Yum. Also, everybody walks and talks noticeably faster here. Mom met me at baggage claim and I ended up spending $3 for water because I was so thirsty. I took over the driving to give her a break and also because I don't mind the traffic. Because I was behind the wheel, I made her take lots of pictures as we approached downtown. I-5 had just reopened, but I took my favorite route, 509/99, so I could come through downtown on the (condemned and falling down) viaduct.

Yay!
Lovely

It was lunch time, so we headed to Fishermen's Terminal so we could eat at Chinook's. I needed to taste the sea, so I ate a huge pile of crab. Then I took pictures of the boats. It was a gorgeous day and I'm finding that 80F here is a much sweatier affair than in Laramie, what with all the humidity. It's kind of off-setting the breathing benefits of being at sea level.

Dungeoness Crab Caesar
Dungeoness crab caesar salad

Fishermen's Terminal
Boats at Fishermen's Terminal

When we got home, I totally crashed. A couple of hours later, I was jolted awake by my phone going off (text message) in my pocket. It was good timing, because dinner was ready and my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew were driving up. We had a nice family dinner and I did lots of baby holding. Then I crashed again.

I'm here

The mountain is out!
Mt. Rainier

I've been in the Seattle Metro for twelve hours and already have posted 40 or so pictures. The mountain was out today, so I got some pretty good shots from the plane. I've been up since just after 4am Mountain Time and am utterly shattered, but will post more detail tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Idiot box

Regular readers (hee!) may remember the much crying and gnashing of teeth resulting from my ill-fated dalliance with local cable company (no link love). Anyway, for the past six months I've been convincing myself that I don't need television and that in fact, my life is much better without it. This was surely true during my travel-busy spring and over summer, when there are many things to do and opportunities for socializing. Maybe it's because I've been talking about cable and maybe it's because fall is coming, but I'm starting to realize that several cold months are ahead of me and I already squirm between shipments from Netflix.

So last night I took the plunge and ordered me up some Direct TV. It will be installed the morning after I come back from vacation, giving me two weeks or so before the big fall television premiers. Unfortunately--or maybe fortunately--lots of the shows I used to watch are off the air and what remains are one million CSIs and Law & Orders. That's okay, for I shall soon be reunited with a few gems. I am looking forward to my old friends The Office, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights (Tim Riggins!) and sickly excited for Gossip Girl. Don't judge me. I require one trashy option each season. At least.

Also, I can tell myself I will take advantage of the 185 channels and find a good workout show or two. The DVR should be good for that.

Terminal weekend

For the last weekend before fall semester, I had planned to do tons of laundry and pack for my impending trip to Seattle. By Friday afternoon, I had already made plans for that night and Saturday afternoon. My quiet weekend was off to a busy start.

I saw Superbad at the late show on Friday. It was pretty funny. That's high praise from me, as most comedies don't make me laugh. I sometimes forget that I don't often laugh out loud or even smile at jokes. One of the people I went with asked if I liked the movie because she didn't hear me laugh at all. When friends and I are goofing around, I laugh a lot, and I'm a pretty happy person, but I just don't think the majority of "comedy" is that funny. I was reasonably sure the people behind Freaks and Geeks and Knocked Up would bring the goods, but then again, I though The 40 Year Old Virgin was just okay. But Superbad left me satisfied and smiling, to paraphrase The Office.

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the vertical dance performance up at Vedauwoo. It was pretty cool. I took about 50 pictures, and some of them turned out well. Here are a couple of shots of the pieces I especially liked. You can see more on my flickr site, if you want.

vertical dance 012
Cool pas de deux

I think this piece was called "Dragonflies," but my program's in another room and I'm too lazy to go get it right now. These two dancers did a lot of mirroring movements, which I thought was pretty awesome. The other piece I liked a lot was performed by the same dancers. At least I think so.


vertical dance 027
Very pretty

You can't tell from this shot, but there's another dancer on the rock, holding on to the other end of the red sash. It was probably windier than they'd planned for, but the effect was really cool.

I did a couple of other things this weekend, but I won't bore you with the details. In other news, it's the first day of classes! I'm here today and tomorrow, and then I fly back to Seattle for a week. Prepare yourselves for too many pictures of Bumbershoot, random buildings, and everything I eat while I'm there. It should be fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

bad shopper

Every once in a while (read: daily), when I'm trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack, I realize what a terrible shopper I am. Clothing-wise, I'm a bad shopper because I can hardly resist buying stuff, especially dresses, shoes, and bags. Food and household goods-wise, I just can't do it properly to save my life. What's weird is I used to love grocery shopping, especially late at night. Now that I live in the land of two choices, both of which close at 11pm and neither of which has anything very interesting, I can't manage.

Usually, I try to just make my way around the periphery of the grocery store so I can at least get dairy, meat, and produce before bailing with half my poorly-crafted list left undone. This means I often don't get around to picking up necessary things like toilet paper or you know, cooking oil, until I'm almost out. When I do wander into the center isles, it's like a switch flips and I become impulsive and unable to concentrate. Which might explain this cupboard.

Strange cupboard

None of these things go together. Also, every time I'm getting ready to go out of town, I decide I'm just going to eat what I have and not shop until I get back. Good theory, if in fact I had anything to eat and/or I didn't go on shopping strike two weeks before my trip. Think I can make a meal out of an apple, some salsa verde, and two shriveled limes?

Sad fridge

Did you notice I have a jar of fig paste in the fridge and another unopened one in the cupboard? Also, you can see two kinds of cheese here, but there are five more varieties in the door. Who does this? It's a good thing I don't have kids because I'd end up feeding them nothing but hors d’œuvres.

It's a good thing I take after Jerry Seinfeld and keep far more boxes of cereal around than one person living alone really needs. I had raisin bran for dinner.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Before the storm

windmill
Windmill and angry sky

I went to a barbecue at a colleague's farm last night. We had just finished eating when the storm finally started up. We cleaned up and scurried inside, but I stayed out to take some pictures until the wind and rain really started up in earnest.

sky
Facing the opposite direction from the windmill shot

The sunset started out pretty, but the clouds brought dark too quickly. We've been having really pretty sunsets lately, and I'm sad I keep neglecting to take pictures. One night this weekend (I'm pretty sure it was Saturday), the sunset was really pink and spectacular. I was driving home, so I was facing west, but I was right in a commercial area and had no decent vantage point. By the time I got home, I'd missed the best of it.

So anyway, we all went inside. The kids had to stop jumping on the trampoline, so they played video games and all the adults were chatting over the howling winds. Then the power went out. After we determined the lightning wasn't going to stop, everybody took off. The drive home was freaky. I'm not the most confident when driving alone in the country at night, and the extreme darkness, standing water on the roads, and massive lightning was kind of scary. I'm glad my phone rang so I had somebody to talk to while I drove back to town. That was nice.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring

From my vantage point at the reference desk, I can see the rain dumping down and it's making me itchy. Sometimes when it storms here, I can barely restrain myself from running out and dancing in it. Not so practical during the work day, I'm afraid. I'm off duty in a half hour or so, though.

Crap, it stopped.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In which I explode, then ramble

The DSL is still out, and Qwest has made me hate them ten times more than I already did by making me wait around from 10-2 for a technician who never showed up, and when I called to complain, they told me he would come back after 4:30. I thought that was fishy, but they promised. So I was dying to get out of the house and ended up hanging out and talking to a friend for a couple of hours. When I got home at 4:27, I found a message on my machine from 4:03 from the tech saying he was sorry he missed me. I called him and gave him an earful, but he claimed it was too late and he'd maybe get to me tomorrow, but would probably call Monday. HATE!

To calm myself and pass some time at home, with no internet, no cable, no unwatched Netflix, no other people, no unwashed dishes, no chores I felt like doing, I decided to read the rest of my current book, which is excellent. Then I went to the evil empire of Marts and bought a bike pump and a lock so I can finally maybe start riding the bike. It's so clever of me to finally get around to this after the bulk of the summer has already slipped away, but it's also quite typical of me. To be perfectly honest. So that's what I plan to try tomorrow.

Now I'm at a coffee shop with wireless, but not the one I was at the other night. I didn't like this one when I first moved here, but it's working for me tonight. Plus I can get to Google/Blogger here. So win-win-win. Oh, ha! A fellow laptopper in here just answered his phone and his ringtone is "Uptown Girl." For some reason that cracks me right up. This reminds me of a half-baked theory I have about being able to tell a lot about a person by their choice of ringtones.

I used to have a similar theory about music collections and pretentiously would judge people, especially guys, based on their musical taste. I'm sure I was insufferable. During my first year of college, I remember a boy coming to pick me up for a date. We'll call him A. I had met him at church camp when I was 15 and we had one of those famously dramatic camp romances and then exchanged a couple of letters (remember life before email) before forgetting about one another. The 30 miles between us might as well have been 1000 when we were too young to drive. So anyway, I worked at the ice cream store a couple of years later with girl who went to the same private school as A. She invited me to a party at her house and this boy came, but I didn't show up because I got nervous at the last-minute. So he suavely called me from her house and we made a date for the next weekend.

So I was all ready for him to pick me up and was quietly freaking out. Then, in the distance I heard the distinctive sound of a boom car and my heart filled with dread. He rolled up to my parents' house in a VW Rabbit that was totally pimped out and lowered. I was horrified, standing there in all black (down to the fingernails and excess of eyeliner). A was super cute in that rich white b-boy way you might remember from the early 90s, but I was firmly into skater boys and surly punks. When I got in the car, I realized the booming bass was coming from a Depeche Mode CD, which was pretty cute because he had dedicated DM's "Somebody" to me at the end-of-camp dance and we had danced romantically to it. He handed me a CD case full of stuff I really, really liked and said I could pick all the music.

A., who lived in Ballard, had driven all the way up to my hometown to get me and then turned around and took me back to Seattle to hang out. At one point early in the drive, he braked hard, and a huge stream of CDs came sliding out from under the passenger seat--all rap and hip-hop. He had obviously hidden all the stuff he thought I wouldn't like because he intuitively knew I was a snob. He was embarrassed and I was totally charmed. We only went out for a few months before drifting apart for good. I should have known it wouldn't work out when he was skeeved out by Beth's and didn't like Capitol Hill because of all the "weirdos."

For years, I still thought musical taste was the way to determine my compatibility with other people. So much of my social life has revolved around music. There's a soundtrack to my life and I've formed and strengthened most of my friendships while listening to an album in somebody's room, or at a show, or while talking about bands. I admit I once thought I could never be with somebody who doesn't share this with me, but I'm letting that go. I'm still totally obsessed with music, but there are so many other ways of connecting. Maybe I'm only just figuring this out now because I'm living here where there's really no music scene like I'm used to and I meet people in new ways now. I'll still listen to the Posies, but I'll listen to your stuff, too. Even if I don't like it.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Your Score: Lion Warning Cat

62% Affectionate, 59% Excitable, 33% Hungry


You are the good Samaritan of the lolcat world. Protecting others from danger by shouting observations and guidance in cases of imminent threat, you believe in the well-being of everyone.To see all possible results, checka dis.
Link: The Which Lolcat Are You? Test written by GumOtaku on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wednesday night thoughts

Rick and I are sitting in the coffee shop, only I'm drinking wine. Coffee shop with wine doesn't really compute to this Sea-town lady, but I'm not going to argue. I told him that I was going to post about how cool he is, and I don't think he believes me. So, I guess I should say he's pretty much awesome. Of course, I'm completely awesome. Right?

It really annoys me that I can open Gmail, but can't get to Google or log into Blogger using the wireless here. Why are they effing with me? You can't just cut me off from the Death Star of the intertubes like that, especially when I'm already feeling crabby. Maybe the wine is my consolation prize. It just irks me that I'm going to have to wait to post this until morning.

Not too much is shakin' around these parts right now. I'm trying to motivate myself to power through all the work I need to get done in the remaining 20 days or so before school starts. I'm making a little progress, but it would be so much more appealing to have some time off and just chill out for a while. I think one of my goals in life is to chill. If only I could turn my brain off for a while.

trees

I took that yesterday afternoon in the park. I wasn't lying down, looking up, but I wish I was. The grass was really long and wet, though. All the rain lately has made everything green and pretty, which I like. I'm still getting used to the way it rains here. The storms are cool, but are over too quickly for my taste. One of these afternoons, I'm gonna get in my car and go somewhere cool to watch the lightning.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pro/Con

I'm struggling with a decision. Well, not exactly--struggling implies that I'm spending a lot of time going back and forth. It's more of a waffle than a struggle. Anyway, I'm trying to decide between getting Monolith tickets or to go to my state library association conference. I already have the vacation day approved in case the concert wins out and it's really only an issue for Friday, which happens to be the day I most want to go to the festival. I'm working on a pro/con list for each.

Monolith pros: the Decemberists live (finally), Ghostland Observatory (again), pretty reasonably priced festival, great venue. Cons: interested but not obsessed with most of lineup, potential for major concert fatigue (Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem the following Monday).

Conference pros: professional engagement, seems like more responsible choice, paid for by my library, excellent keynote speakers. Cons: already feeling conferenced out (3 so far in 2007) and facing both ALAs in 08, not as much fun as a concert.

Ugh, I don't know.

On to something completely unrelated. For the past few weeks I've noticed a lot of people are finding this blog by searching for "why don't you love me." There are so many reasons people might use those search terms, but I still find it sad and sweet. I'm sorry I don't have any answers. It's not a subject for which I claim any expertise.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Silversun Pickups w/ Sea Wolf at the Ogden Theatre

Silversun Pickups

It's been several long months since my last live music outing, and I was especially excited to see sspu again. The opening band was sspu's Dangerbird labelmate Sea Wolf, which I know I've heard of before but was probably confusing with another band. As I asked my friends last night, can we please call a halt to bands using wolf in their names? Anyway, Sea Wolf didn't grab me right away, but about three songs in, they started rocking harder. I wasn't really paying too close of attention to the lyrics, but some of them were a little awkward. I'll have to listen to them some more before I can tell whether I like them or not.

Silversun Pickups were awesome, though. They played almost everything from Carnavas, but I was a bit disappointed there was no "Melatonin." I LOVE that song. But the show was great, especially when they went from "Lazy Eye" right into "Common Reactor." So crazy good. The encore was mostly stuff from their EP, which is pretty awesome, too. But they began with a cover that surprised and delighted.



Enjoy!

Edit: Cass's pictures and video turned out much better than mine. Check out her post on Wyoming Beat.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What book am I

Hey, I got one of my favorite books!




You're Mrs. Dalloway!
by Virginia Woolf
Your life seems utterly bland and normal to the casual observer, but
inside you are churning with a million tensions and worries. The company you surround
yourself with may be shallow, but their effects upon your reality are tremendously deep.
To stay above water, you must try to act like nothing's wrong, but you know that the
truth is catching up with you. You're not crazy, you're just a little unwell. But no
doctor can help you now.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend culture

On Friday, I went to see Alonzo King's Lines Ballet. I didn't know much about the company, and I was really pleasantly surprised with their work. The company they brought had four men and four women, and both ballets used interesting groupings and a really innovative movement vocabulary. The first piece, Migration: The hierarchical migration of birds and mammals was very cool, though the music was really hard to listen to. The choreography was interesting and I was impressed with the dancers. I really, really liked the second ballet, The Moroccan Project.

The Lines Ballet was here for the summer dance festival on campus. As a dance junkie, I was sad to miss the student showcase on Wednesday because of my evening desk shift, but I did have tickets to both Friday's ballet and the final gala show on Saturday. But I ended up chucking the second performance to spend time with friends at a completely different kind of cultural event.

Me at the derby
Here I am enjoying the action

Last night I experienced my first demolition derby. Last week's heavy rain muddied up the fairgrounds, slowing the action quite a bit. I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more action-packed crashing about. The photo ops were a bit limited, so I only snapped a few. Still, it was a fun enough evening and a real change of pace for me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blue Monday

It's another Monday, but thanks to music blogs like lamestain, I've been listening to old favorites like Love Battery and Flop all morning. I was pretty happy to read their entry on Flop and to get Drugs/Action in mp3; I have it on vinyl, but am living sans record player right now. Other music blogs I'm currently loving include Detailed Twang, Merry Swankster, Seattle Powerpop Blog, and of course Wyoming Beat and KEXP.

Yeah, this post has nothing to do with New Order.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

smooch

While looking at restaurant info on Citysearch, I came across their "Best Spots to Kiss in Seattle" list, which I found underwhelming. I agree that the Bainbridge Island ferry is a good choice, but the rest of the list was mostly full of restaurants. Boring. So, this bored librarian spent her lunch putting together her own list. I widened my radius a bit, moving north from Seattle to include some Snohomish County favorites from my teen years. After all, those were prime make-out years, right?

1. Howarth Park (Everett): Water, sand beach, railroad, pedestrian bridge with viewpoint, beautiful view of Mount Baker, wetlands trail. Lovely.
2. Granite Falls (Granite Falls): Not the biggest falls around, but points for proximity to my hometown. Easy to get to and pretty.
3. Rucker's Tomb at Evergreen Cemetary (Everett): A classic. I found a flickr user with a set of awesome photos of the place.
4. Bridal Veils Falls (Index): Who doesn't love waterfalls? And these are stunning.
5. Legion Park (Everett): On a bluff overlooking the bay, super pretty and right in town.
6. Fremont Canal Park: Sure, it's overrun with joggers, but the it's a nice place to walk and feels a little secluded even though it's right next to the busy part of Fremont.
7. Gasworks Park: Specifically the sundial, specifically at night. The old gas works are creepy cool, too.
8. Kerry Park: It's a cliche for a reason. Probably the prettiest view in all of Seattle, with sculptures. Within walking distance of ice cream and good coffee.
9. University of Washington quad: Pretty year-round, but especially so during spring and summer, when the grass is dry enough to sit on.
10. The once and only Cafe Paradiso (R.I.P.): Now a Cafe Vita, and still pretty cool, this was the only coffee house that ever rivaled my affection for Bauhaus. It was a better kissing spot, though.

Moral of the story: I think I like parks.
EDIT: I realize now that Kerry Park is on both lists. Like I said, I know it's a cliche, but it's pretty.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

vacation catch-up

Sunset
More of the sunset at Jackson Lake

My trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone last week was really nice. The purpose of the trip was to visit Mary Ann, a friend from work, at the university's research station up at Jackson Lake. I hadn't ever been to NW Wyoming, but I've long heard it's gorgeous. I arrived on Thursday a couple of hours before the weekly barbecue and seminar. The speaker, Bob Smith, and his topic, the Yellowstone Caldera, are insanely popular, so tons of people showed up. It was fun to pitch in and help keep the food replenished and direct people to bathrooms and recycling bins. If there's one thing I know, it's hostessing.

The talk was really interesting, and I learned some cocktail party-worthy information about Yellowstone and the Tetons. After the guests were gone and everything was cleaned up, my hosts, Bob and his wife, and assorted friends gathered on the dock for wine. Some of the grad students and kids who work at the station came down soon after. The sunset was gorgeous. I couldn't stop taking pictures because the sky kept changing and getting prettier and prettier. Unreal. Sitting there at the water's edge made me homesick and happy at the same time.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

On Friday, I went to Yellowstone with Mary Ann. It was pretty, and we saw lots of animals. Because it's summer, and it was the weekend following July 4, it was pretty crowded. When we were at Artists' Point, which is so amazingly beautiful, I noticed a woman talking on her cell phone and bitching about something. How can you go to Yellowstone and ignore the view in favor of your phone? The crush of people was annoying, but I had a really fun time chatting with Mary Ann and looking at everything. She took me to her favorite sights, which was really cool. I was surprised how much I liked the geysers and mineral pools, and by how many there were just at the couple of places we stopped.

River and Mountains
View of Grand Teton from our raft on the Snake

On Saturday, Mary Ann and Hank took me on a rafting trip down the Snake River. It was a scenic stretch and it was fun to see animals and have Hank talk about them. We stopped on a bank for lunch and I waded around a bit. The only thing that kind of sucked is that in addition to adding to my bug bite collection, I was dumb and only reapplied sunscreen to my (already burned) upper half, so my lower legs and feet got toasted. As somebody who grew up on the water and rowed in high school, I should know better. I think I burned a different part of myself every day for the past two weeks. Still, I really had fun going out on the water. Hank showed me how to row the raft, too, which is completely opposite everything I'm used to from crew. I just had to get used to going against my instincts and just think of it as rowing backward.

After brunch and some window shopping in Jackson with Mary Ann, I left for home on Sunday afternoon. The drive home was just as gorgeous as the drive up there, even though it got stormy. In fact, I was kind of glad for the drop in temperature. If you're really interested, you can see the whole set of pictures from my trip. No road photos this time; holiday traffic and mountain passes kept me from recklessly driving while snapping.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Drive

I wish I had a steaming cup of coffee as big as my head I would smell it savor it before sipping from the warm china rim white saucer to catch the drips and the melted chocolate stick they give me but I never eat even though it’s dark not too chalky like the Kinderegg German toy surprise waiting for me in the mailbox from a friend in Toronto for American children aren’t smart enough not to choke on the bubble-gum machine prize hidden inside so I must get my fix from our northern neighbor who spells things with extra letters and says grade 8 instead of 8th grade seeming so exotic and so familiar all at once with her funny handle and nobody sees the face of the other anymore but I talk across the wire across the continent to an ear that only hears letters and punctuation marks as I type but write on a piece of real paper with a stamped envelope giving evidence that I really lived by a packet of saved letters tied up with green ribbon on his shelf somewhere east of Broadway in a basement apartment I will never visit again at least not in the daylight but maybe after an evening of shared pleasantries over another giant cup of coffee we’ll come to an unspoken agreement that I should come back if only to collect my Burroughs and Cohen so long ago borrowed so that our separation will be final with no lingering reminders of me to tempt him to call and expect to meet me at a diner in the middle of the nowhere night only to find that my line is busy I am talking to somebody else who meets my words with more words not silence and knots of charged particles and atonal sounds and riots of similes no it is more civilized now I am years older and I have almost forgotten how to drive fast with no headlights because I am wishing for my big cup of coffee to drink all by myself.

Monday, July 02, 2007

weekend

I jam-packed my weekend, and it was fun. Maybe I should do more of that. Two things on my agenda were firsts for me since moving here. On Saturday, a friend took me on a hike. It was nice to get outside and get a little exercise. I don't spend enough time appreciating how pretty it really is here. Instead of focusing on what I miss about home, I could be taking advantage of what I have here.

The second new thing was having people over to my place. A few friends and family have come to stay with me, but until Saturday, only one person I met here has been over. The people I socialize with all live right in town, so it's always been easier to just hang out at their places. It's only an extra five or ten minutes to get out here, though.

As spontaneous as I'd like to believe I am, it's way too easy to get stuck in a routine. When that routine is me staying in my house all weekend, maybe that's not so healthy. After this weekend, I almost feel like myself again--the self I thought I left behind on the coast.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I love a rainy night

The storm I've been waiting for finally broke. I couldn't resist going out in the rain to feel it and smell it. Everything feels so clean and so good. Now that the thunder and lightning have come, I just want to get in the car and go somewhere pretty to watch. I love the sound of rain beating down on the car and the way the air feels heavy and soft. I like walking barefoot in wet grass. I love the way my hair gets curly again. I've missed the feeling of damp t-shirts and wet hems of jeans. I hope it doesn't stop before I leave work.

wet pavement

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fifteen years

I still have a few boxes around from my move last year and today I went through a couple of them. Why do I keep this stuff? I have a huge box of nothing but old notebooks and day planners from college. It appears that I once took very neat notes in tiny, tiny printing on chemistry and biology, complete with meticulous diagrams.

Also included in one of the boxes were the old journals I was thinking about a while ago. I've always been a list maker, though I tend to not be a list completer. One of the more interesting ones I found was an inventory of the shows I saw the summer of 1992 and may be incomplete. It's definitely not chronological. Here it is:
  1. Lollapalooza: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Pearl Jam, Lush (Kitsap County Fairground, July 22)
  2. Endfest: Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, L-7, Sara Maclachlan, Charlatans UK, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Mudhoney, the Posies (Kitsap County Fairground, August 8)
  3. the Posies with Flop and Sky Cries Mary (Moore Theatre, June 26)
  4. Nirvana with Helmet (Seattle Center Coliseum, August 23)
  5. Morrissey with Gallon Drunk (Paramount Theatre)
  6. the Posies with Flop and Gnome (Moore Theatre)
  7. Drop in the Park: Pearl Jam with Cypress Hill and Seaweed (Magnuson Park, September 20)
  8. Sun 60 (OK Hotel)
  9. Hammerbox
  10. Treepeople
  11. Bumbershoot: They Might Be Giants, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Queen Latifah, many more (Seattle Center, Labor Day Weekend)
  12. Jr. Cadillac
  13. Violent Femmes (Paramount Theatre, April 8)
  14. Popllama Picnic: the Posies, the Fastbacks, Stumpy Joe, the Squirrels, the Picketts, Conrad Uno (Volunteer Park)
  15. the Cure with the Cranes (Seattle Center Coliseum, July 1)
Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish when you work part-time at an ice cream store and live at home? It was fun, but I wouldn't really want to be 18 again.

Friday, June 22, 2007

How I roll


Oh, hey, dirty red Pumas. I forgot I had you. The red shoes are just busting right out of my closet lately.

This week has flown by in a big, messy blur. How about some highlights and lowlights? Okay. (Aside: Dudes, I just had to add "okay" to my spell check dictionary. WTF? Are we not spelling things out in the age of lolspeak and l33tspeak?) Anyway, I'll let you decide for yourselves which of these are the highs and which are the lows.

I saw a movie in an actual theater. It was pretty good. I'm still mulling over how I feel about it.

Two days ago, I was walking to my car after work and in a v. good mood. I was wearing a dress and heels, and of course I was texting while rooting around in my bag for a lip gloss with the other hand. Not surprisingly, I caught my heel in a crack in the sidewalk and fell completely down. Now I have a scraped up knee and assorted bruises. Classic Kaijsa.

I made a mix CD this morning. It's pretty fabulous, in my expert opinion.

One workshop I led went really well, and I totally sucked in another.

I drank vast quantities of coffee this morning and could barely write legibly due to the shakes.

I've talked to/emailed with/texted with SJ several times this week, which is fabulous. I'm so happy we're in touch as much as we were when we were both in Sea-town.

A student totally busted me dancing in my office to "Standing in the Way of Control." I defy you to listen to the Gossip without doing same. Viva la PNW disco-punk!

Yesterday morning, some teenagers in a hydraulics-enhanced Chevelle hollered at me in my neighborhood, "hey mama, want a ride?" And while catcalling normally makes me cross, they were so friendly about it AND they were bouncing the car at the same time that it cracked me up. And it was a pretty rad car.

I have determined that the climate here is aging me. In defense, my water consumption is up to an all-time high. I've resorted to tap water at work. That's how serious I am.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

blather

One of my more obnoxious qualities is my tendency to run off at the mouth, especially when I'm a little nervous. My brain goes into overdrive, I can't keep to a single conversational thread, and I tend to interrupt the other person with stupid asides. It's embarrassing, especially in retrospect. I'd like to believe I'm a relatively intelligent and mannerly person, but you wouldn't think so if you've had a conversation with me lately.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I have a problem



Why are red shoes so irresistible? I'm powerless to resist them. The picture on the far right is today's outfit. Those Biviels were on sale and I had to have them. There are at least two more pairs of red shoes in my closet that aren't represented above, but no sling-backs with a round toe. So you can see why I needed these.