Monday, March 23, 2009

the big trip

I've been through several states in the past couple of weeks. First up was Seattle, for the ACRL conference. The first thing I did when we checked into the Paramount was look out the window of our room and take in the lovely city view.
view from room down to Pike Place
Then, we skipped the opening keynote in favor of a little shopping (needed top and cute shoes for the presentation, of course) before heading to the College Inn for drinks with the ipeeps and some assorted non-librarian friends. After that, Mel took Rick and me to the Little Red Hen, where I two-stepped badly with some guy and drank some Rainier beer from a can. The place was packed and the music was good.
dancing at Little Red Hen
Friday was kind of a blur of poster session committee work, but I do remember Sherman Alexie's keynote. As always, I loved him.
ACRL on Friday
After that, we headed to the Space Needle for a reception. There was a DJ who gamely played "Jump on It" at my request. Sadly, my booty shaking did not inspire other librarians to follow suit. I drank too many glasses of wine from the open bar, then snapped this shaky picture from the observation deck.
ACRL on Friday
There was more to Friday night, but some of it involved me becoming belligerant at being charged $17.50 for a drink, and therefore does not bear repeating. Saturday was the big day of the presentation. I was supposed to meet up with family downtown for breakfast, but the St. Patrick's Day parade and I-5 construction scared them off. I think Rick and I handled the session well, though being assigned a huge ballroom that could hold at least 500 people made our crowd of about 100 seem kind of sparse. You can see the cute top here, but the rad shoes are sadly out of sight.
ACRL on Saturday
Other highlights of Saturday included dinner at Etta's, where I ate oysters, mussels, and a giant crab salad. Then we went to the all-conference reception at EMP. Once I walked in and saw the DJ, I danced and danced and didn't get around to any of the exhibits. After the party ended, my friend Patrick and his friend Ryan took me dancing at the Baltic Room. It was Indian dance night, and was so much fun. Alas, no photos of this evening were taken because I was living it up too much to get out the camera.

Sunday was the last day of conference, and we woke up to snow. I thought Rick was kidding when he said it was snowing, but here's the proof.
ACRL on Sunday
The final event was Ira Glass's keynote. He spoke sitting down at a mixing board and basically ran his talk like a radio show. It was really fascinating, especially when he talked about the process of putting shows together, choosing stories, and craftily tugging at heartstrings. Very cool.
ACRL on Sunday
After a quick Indian lunch at Westlake, we headed to the airport and flew back to Denver. From there, we drove as far as Pueblo, Colorado and stayed the night at a motel where we deemed it appropriate to sleep in our sleeping bags on top of the bed. Again, I regret the lack of photographic evidence. Monday was all-driving, all the time. We made it to Phoenix at about 10:00pm and managed to hang out with Peter for about an hour before we all crashed.

Tuesday was St. Patrick's Day. In case you can't remember a week ago, that was a handy reminder. Peter went off to work, and Rick and I went downtown to check out the Phoenix Public Library. I am a good librarian nerd tourist, after all. It was pretty snazzy.
St. Patrick's Day in Phoenix
Then we had lunch with Peter, followed by an A's vs. Diamondbacks game. Oakland demolished the D-backs, I got a sunburn, and we decided to bail after seven innings of sitting on what felt like the surface of the sun. It was a good time, though. I think this is Nomar coming up to bat, but it's hard to see.
St. Patrick's Day in Phoenix
We met up with Peter again for some St. Pat's Day drinks on Mill Avenue. After a while of that, we decided to grab some food and came upon an Ethiopian place. Here we are after feasting on delicious, delicious food. Note that the guys both have the red devil-eyes, while I am obviously demon-free.
St. Patrick's Day in Phoenix
Getting tired yet? On Wednesday, after kind of a late start and general clulessness about where to eat breakfast, Rick and I went to Taliesin West. It was really beautiful and I'd be into going back. Our tour guide was pretty interesting, and though 90 minutes is a long time to listen to somebody talk, we agreed that it's worth it to get to go into the residence, which you can't do on the hour long tour.
Taliesen West on Wednesday
After Taliesin, we had lunch with Rick's grandparents. He took off to hang out with them at their place, and I met back up with Peter and his family for a relaxing evening sitting outside in the yard. It felt amazing to be outside in a tank top well into the evening in March. I was acutely aware that I would not be able to to the same when I got home. After P and I drove out to collect R, we all grabbed some late dinner on our last evening together.

The three of us had breakfast together on Thursday, where Rick finally got his bagel sandwich and I finally got my Jamba Juice. This is why god invented strip malls, yo. Then R and I took off for Wyoming. We drove through Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and finally, finally, finally made it to Laramie at 3:00am. It was fifteen or so hours of driving, eating snacks we'd grabbed at Trader Joe's, bickering, singing along to music, and just wanting to get home already. But it was a wonderful trip, and I'm glad we did it. Besides, we got to drive though 1000 miles of our beautiful country on the return trip alone. This final picture is from Monument Valley.
driving through AZ, UT, and CO on Thursday

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"I've got a brand new pair of rollerskates..."

photo by Marshall Astor (used under Creative Commons license)

I don't actually have my own skates yet, but I did go to my very first roller derby practice on Wednesday night! It's something I've been interested in trying for a while, but with the nearest team about an hour away in Ft. Collins, I knew the likelihood of making practices was slim. But recently, the Naughty Pines started up here in Laramie and now that I'm over the flu, I'm ready!

It took me about five minutes into practice to realize I really like it. I'm sore from the holds in skating position, but look forward to more. It's a great workout, and I think it will be a nice counterbalance to the yoga (which I really need to start up again). Stay tuned, and send vibes for no broken bones or teeth!