Monday, January 26, 2009


This weekend was the most fun in Denver I've ever had. My schedule was pretty tight, and it got cold, cold, cold, but I managed to wedge in lots of friend time. Strangely for me, I didn't really take photos--just a few with my phone on a tour of Denver Open Media, and a couple of my friend Mark and me when we were sippin' on some whiskey here last night. We had a half-baked plan to see Meat Puppets at the Bluebird on Saturday, but that didn't pan out. It was probably a better use of my time to spend it at the LSW meet up and the Facebook librarians meet up. The latter was really two different groups at the same bar, but that was cool. It would have been hard to talk to a bigger group. I got to catch up with Linda and talk to Joe again, so that was fun. I only had a total of twelve hours of sleep in three nights, but it was worth it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blue Scholars' Sabzi spins

This has been kind of a crazy short week. Between Monday off for MLK Day and leaving in the morning for Midwinter, I only had three days to get stuff done at work. In the best of situations, there's always more work to do than time to do it, but I managed to be fairly productive.

There was also some fun mixed in here and there. On Tuesday, we had the inauguration, of course. I watched the swearing-in ceremony on one of the tvs in the student union. That evening, I saw Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at the Cultural Programs series on campus. It was great--they played for two hours straight with no intermission. I almost always like the artists this series brings to town, but jazz was a nice change from the mostly-classical lineup. Next month, it's modern dance!

Then on Wednesday, Blue Scholars played on campus. How could I miss a free show--in Laramie, no less--from a Seattle band who I know is good. There were at least 100 kids there, and they were all way into the music. I was pleased BS played my favorite of their songs, "North by Northwest." I did my share of dancing, too.

Tonight was more mellow, but still great. Dinner was at the Thai place, where we had summer rolls, a spicy beef and veggie dish, and a special, softshell crab in green curry. Tasty. After that loveliness, I got to watch The Office and 30 Rock before coming home to procrastinate packing by playing around online. So, I've had a pretty good week, even though I am a bit worn out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So, my eyeballs hurt today. After a while, my whole head ached, down to my teeth. It made me very unhappy to look at a computer screen. Slight nausea also accompanied the headache. Still, I went about my business and managed to work, come home and cook dinner for me and T, and then go back to campus for the hip-hop show. But after I got back home and in my jammies, I got a bloody nose. For a few minutes, I was convinced I had a brain tumor. I'm sure it's just a stress headache and the bloody nose is from the 29% humidity we're currently enjoying. But still, it's disconcerting.

Monday, January 19, 2009


on the road
Heading out on I-80 eastbound

Even though it's one of my six (!) bordering states, I'd never been to Nebraska before today. I've seen Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, but South Dakota and Nebraska were unknown. Actually, I'm sort of clueless about most of the middle of this country, sad to say. But Rick was heading to Sidney, and I took the opportunity to tag along and experience NE for the first time. Peter came, too.

Our shadows on the playground

We stopped a few times along the way, first at a rest stop near Pine Bluffs, WY. We wasted a few minutes on the playground. It was very windy, like crazy. I thought we might fly off the top of this dome.

high winds at the edge of WY

See, it's very windy.

pump numbers

Just at the state line, we stopped at a weird little junk store (closed) that had dozens of gas pumps outside. There were also old vacuum cleaners, farm equipment, and a million other things.

I finally get to the good life
Kaijsa and Peter find the good life

Just up the road, Rick was nice enough to stop and take my picture at the Nebraska sign. I wish I could have done that for him this summer in Washington and Oregon, but we were on I-90 heading into WA and then(obviously) crossed into OR in the middle of the Columbia, which means we couldn't stop on a bridge. Sad. Back to Nebraska, I never would have guessed it was the home of Arbor Day, because there are like twelve whole trees there.

Nebraska was very dusty
The next dust bowl

Remember how I said it was windy? Well, that kicked up an amazing amount of dust. It was mid-morning here, but it looks like dusk. We also saw a million tumbleweeds as they crashed into us. I felt bad for Rick having to drive with such a strong crosswind, but I was happy to be the passenger, even though I was riding on the hump--we sat three across in the pick-up.

Kaijsa meets the V.M.
One of these things is not like the other

Another fun roadside attraction was this shrine. Seriously. There was a sign that said "Shrine" with an arrow. Sweet. In addition to the giant virgin, there were fourteen statues for the stations of the cross, plus bonus postscripts. And there were several madonna and child statues in front of Mary, but I didn't look to closely. Maybe some of them were various saints.

the three travelers
The weary travelers and a moose

Of course, the reason we went to Sidney was to go to Cabela's. I'd also never been to one, and this is the mothership. I asked a nice man to take our picture in front of the moose, because it's Rick's favorite and he seems to have bad luck finding them in the wild. I personally enjoyed the big horn sheep, posed in mid-frolic, as well as the wolverine. We also ate lunch; I had a tasty buffalo burger.

P & R pretend to be conjoined
The big pants

None of us bought anything, but we had some fun poking around. Finally, we headed back home. On the way, we stopped in Cheyenne and I experienced another first--bought 50 cent ice cream cones at Little America, home of the fanciest restrooms in Wyoming.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

couch potato

In an effort to avoid working on an article that's close to deadline, I pretended to tidy up my tv stand area. I have a heap of old videotapes and popped one into the machine. It was a few episodes of Gilmore Girls from during winter of 2000-2001. Richard just had his heart attack during Christmas dinner, FYI. I used to record them on my Tivo (remind me to one day tell the story of how I won my first Tivo in a writing contest) and then for some reason, archive them on video. Weird.

The show is great and stands the test of time pretty well. But what I can't believe are the ads. The WB showed teasers for shows I had completely forgot about or didn't even know existed in the first place. And there were ads for products and services for things that don't exist anymore. Jamie Lee Curtis was in a spot for VoiceStream, which I understand to be a wireless phone service. And do they make Herbal Essences shampoo anymore? Those commercials were terrible. But GG is amazing. The music alone is crazy: XTC, Claudine Longet, Wilco, The Cure, Big Star, Beck, Grant Lee Phillips, Granddaddy, Elvis Costello, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Brian Jonestown Massacre...clearly the show was made for me.

Oh, I almost forgot: Rory has a pager in season one.

Unrelated randomness, in linky format:
I hate Dora's new hairdo.
Karl Rove claims Bush is a big old bookworm.
Celebrities continue giving their kids stupid names.
Seattle might lose its best newspaper, and that sucks.


So, you know how I said I didn't make any New Year's resolutions? I guess I lied. I also lied about starting cross-country ski lessons, too. I meant to, but when I realized how many of the classes I'd have to miss due to work/conference/visitors plus the lack of full-season ski rentals available in town, I bagged it. I'll snowshoe this year and maybe try snowboarding once or twice with Tawnya. She doesn't know what she's in for.

Anyway, where was I? Oh! I did make a couple of small resolutions, and I think I can keep them. First, I'm determined to stop paying for disposable coffee cups. I go through spurts of bringing mugs to work, but one-by-one, they pile up festering in my office until I run out and can't face taking them all home to wash them. Then I fall into the disposable cup habit again. These days, I force myself to rinse out the cup and remember to take it home at night. Today I even forced myself to go back to my office to retrieve said cup when I was halfway to the union already and realized I'd forgot it. Aren't I virtuous?

The other resolution is also a cost-saving, waste-reducing measure. I need to pack my lunch and snacks every day and not buy food at work more than a couple of times a month. Again, falling into the habit of eating out is too easy. I work late, come home tired, either grab something on the way home, go out with friends, or eat something quick (grilled cheese, soup) for dinner. Then I don't have any leftovers for lunch. My morning routine only recently bent to include breakfast, so I don't know that I can force myself to design lunches in the mornings, too.

Wow, wasn't that interesting? I've found that it takes me a long time to make changes in my habits. First, I cut down from a latte a day to mostly drip coffees. Then I cut down to just a couple of coffees a week. Maybe one of these days, I'll make bigger steps, but I'm not counting on it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

boxing up

I finally put away my Christmas stuff, what little I have. This year, I actually put up a tree and bought some multicolored balls and lights to put on it. The only things I already had were some lights I didn't realize I had before going shopping, literally three (3) random ornaments (an icicle, a glittery ball, and a tiny Bert from Sesame Street), and a beautiful tree skirt my mother made--it's strip quilted in a spiral pattern. I also have the ornaments pictured above.

They're Margaret Furlongs. Back in high school and for a few years afterwords, I really loved these. My mom would buy them for me for birthdays, Christmas, and other occasions, and my best friend and I gave them to each other, too. I still really like them, even though I've never really been into angels. It's the shell theme and the all-white porcelain, I think. They're pretty, and though the themes are religious, I never really think of them that way. The last two I remember getting are both from 2000: the Millennium Angel and the National Celebration Angel. I think the latter was to commemorate the G.W. Bush inauguration, but I chose to ignore that fact. So, it's been a while since I bought or received any of these. Maybe I'll pick up a couple more if I see them around and do an all-white tree next year. Who knows?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

home for the holidays

forest kelpie, originally uploaded by Kaijsa.

I got back to Laramie yesterday just before noon, and I'm still so tired. The trip to Seattle was hectic and filled with hassles, but turned out well in the end.

Highlights include spending time with my nephew and the rest of the family, pinochle, Vietnamese lunch with SJ, day of fun with Melanie and Ed, drinks on Capitol Hill, finally getting my luggage, walking to breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe, pouring rain replacing snow, and sleeping in late.

By the way, the photo above is my favorite of Ed's kelpies. It's creepy awesome.

year end

Found this end of the year meme at the Pop Culture Librarian. Here's my take.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

I feel like most of what I did this year was different. I guess I'd never gone ice skating, done a headstand, gone snowshoeing, presented solo at a conference, or watched The Wire until this year.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Did I make any resolutions last year? I don't think so, but I did manage to continue being more active and spending more time outdoors. Resolutions seem like a lot of pressure, but I have plenty of plans. I'm going to start cross-country skiing in next week!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Holly had twin girls! We aren't in close touch these days, but I'm so happy for her.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, and I feel grateful for that.

5. What countries did you visit?
I'm such a globetrotter that I visited Canada and saw some more of the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
There are all kinds of things to want, but I have most of what I need. There are two things I would really like, but I'm keeping them to myself.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
January 20th was Rick's 30th birthday party and the day I met Peter. I can't believe it's only been a year and he's one of my best friends. Craig and Shannon got married on June 14th. August 2nd was the day of Rick's and my amazing road trip vacation. I spent a magical day at Aspen Alley with friends on September 27th. On November 4th, we elected our next president, one with promise. December 19th was special.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I made some amazing friends.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Maybe I'm lucky, but I don't think I had one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was only sick once in 2008, and it wasn't too bad.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
For myself, a new showerhead. I also managed to buy some pretty kick-ass gifts, too.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Behavior? I think there was plenty of good behavior, but I don't know what merits celebrating. I guess all my people were pretty awesome this year and deserve a party.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
So many people, but luckily for me, nobody among my friends or family.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Ugh, what a terrible question. Obviously most of my money went to bills, but I most of my discretionary income went to eating out too often.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The presidential election.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Wagon Wheel.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Mostly the same. Maybe a tiny bit happier, tempered by the realization three of my friends are moving away.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? The same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Everything great in my life.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Blaming myself for things.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my family, back home in the 206.

21 is missing. Time to take a breather...

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I fell down and broke myself in 2007 and keep doing it over and over.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
All my tv comes from the internet and DVDs. I enjoyed Gossip Girl, The Wire, and How I met Your Mother.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
As Librarian Girl said, this question is too hard for a librarian. I read several books, but really loved Bridge of Sighs and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
These were in short supply this year because I kept listening to old stuff. I got into Cloud Cult and Les Savy Fav.

28. What did you want and get?
An enameled cast-iron dutch oven.

29. What did you want and not get?
Ugh, let's not go into it.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Films! I need to write a whole post just on films. So, I can't pick one. Some goodies: Mongol, Tell No One, and Juno (yes, I liked it). I'm forgetting good stuff.

31. What did you do on your birthday?
I had a dinner party at Rick's. We cooked Thai food and he made me a tasty chocolate zucchini cake. Everybody drank wine and Peter hilariously demonstrated yoga poses. It was also pouring down snow! Photos!

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It's always about people. It would have been great to spend more time with the friends and family I love.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I basically just bought the cheapest stuff that fit, then did the same thing the next month when I was a different size.

34. What kept you sane?
Not a what, a who. Or plural who. Peter, specifically, but friends in general.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
You know, I really don't care that much about celebrities. I adore certain musicians, but for their music, not as people.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
It's hard to top Prop 8.

37. Who did you miss?
My friends. My family.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I can't call one person the best. I met several lovely people this year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
I'm still learning it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

It comes apart
The way it does in bad films
Except in parts
When the moral kicks in

If you do this, let me know because I'd love to hear what you have to say.