Monday, February 26, 2007

Ben Gibbard, why don't you love me?

So, Ben Gibbard is embarking on a solo tour in May, and not only are none of the dates in Denver, but I miss him in Seattle by five days. He obviously doesn't care about me at all. The Google map tells me that it's only a 13 hour drive to Minneapolis and 16-ish to Portland or Austin. I don't know if I'm up for a huge road trip, but it could be fun.

In other concert news, I'm trying to figure out if I should plan on the Decemberists on April 22. It's a Sunday and it's kind of expensive. I see the tickets are almost gone, though. I have to figure it out soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Vote for SJ

My awesome friend SJ, who has the funniest and most finely crafted blog ever, entered the BlogHer Academy Award Speech contest. SJ never asks for votes for blog awards, etc., but this time the prize is free conference registration at BlogHer 07, so the stakes are higher. If you're so inclined, see her entry here for all the details.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Art Appreciation

Vivace latte
Coffee Art

It figures that as soon as I post about my weather-related ennui, we have three days in the 40s. Maybe I should complain more often. Of course, the melting snow has turned my unpaved into a mess of slush and mud two feet deep, with huge ruts and leftover snowdrifts here and there--good thing I bought that SUV. It's odd how my mood has improved now that I've been able to go outside without bundling up and with no danger of my face freezing off. I've been oddly productive this week.

My two stays in the city lately have left me in withdrawls from things like films in limited release, delicious and beautiful coffees, and something cool to do every night. That added to my afforementioned ennui. On Friday night, I was reminded of the really unique things that happen here, though. I have season tickets to the cultural programs series here on campus and the spring series started on Friday. Violinist Benny Kim premiered a new piece commissioned by the university and four other Wyoming community arts associations. That's pretty cool. I've been constantly surprised and impressed with the variety and quality of the arts here and sometimes need to remind myself that the big cities don't have a monopoly on culture.

Another cool thing I did recently was attend the art museum's latest exhibits opening reception. The Kararina Kaikkonen installation is amazing and has to be seen to be believed. I'd love to see more of her work. Everything up right now is awesome, but I especially loved the American Modernists and Women's Work, a century of art by women. The reception was also included the awards ceremony for the Student Juried Exhibition. There is a lot of great work in the show and I was excited that one of my favorite paintings was selected for a UW Libraries purchase award. Our fine arts librarian selected our two purchase award winners, so we'll have two new paintings up here when the student show is over. Very cool. As an aside, you can see some of the great looks people were wearing at the museum over at Wyoming Style Report.

There are actually lots of cool things happening here. Right now I'm missing Second City for free on campus because I'm on the reference desk. I'm kicking myself for not subscribing to the theatre and dance series. Because I procrastinated, I'm missing Spinning into Butter because it sold out. I'm figuring out when to see ...the body through which the dream flows before that sells out, too.

I guess I'm pretty satisfied with all that. But not with the terrible coffee I just drank. What I wouldn't do for another latte from Vivace like the one above.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This past week or so has been really difficult. The unrelenting cold, the bleak landscape, and the vast whiteness all around me have made me question how I'm going to survive the next few months here. This isn't what I'm used to. I'm used to being surrounded by green all year long. To huge bodies of blue water. To grey skies, heavy with moisture. To 200 days of drizzle followed by a brief, but stunningly beautiful summer and the loveliest warm autumn.

People who aren't from the PNW get depressed by the dark, overcast days. I never understood that because the heavy, grey rain was always so comforting to me. The weather was mild and didn't ever deter me from going about my life. In fact, there's nothing I like better than sitting in the steamed-up window of a coffee shop, looking out at the rain in the street. It's cozy.

Now I think I understand what it feels like when the weather affects your mood. This winter is getting me down. I stay indoors as much as possible because the sub-zero temperatures are torture. I haven't worn contacts in three months because they either freeze or the wind blows them out of my eyes. Looking out at the huge snowdrifts and frozen streets makes me feel panicky and trapped. It's weird how all this land can make me feel so claustrophobic, but the city energizes me. I don't know how I'd be feeling if I hadn't spent three of the last seven weeks in Seattle, with less than two weeks to go before another long weekend visit. I know this can't last forever, but it's getting to me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


stabbing robot

Cass sent me this awesome label. When we were in Seattle getting our fab haircuts, we decided that we needed salon stage names for when we eventually go to beauty school. Cass decided on Muffin Top and I'm going to be Robot. Between my delight of the 30 Rock quote above and our robotic encounters, I think robots became the unofficial theme of the trip. Check it:

Robot love
Cass gets snuggly with Rad 2.0

robot love
Robot love at the ALA exhibit hall