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

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.


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 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.

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.


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


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.