January 10th, 2006

chair, apartment

a week, in review (monday - wednesday)

This Sunday, my mother called to make sure that I hadn't floated away in all of the rain that's been pouring on Seattle. And then today, day 23 if the news reports are to be believed, I realized that some of you may have been wondering the same thing. To let my internet fanbase know that I'm still alive, here's a rundown of the last week. And for the record, I'm kind of fond of all of this rain. We're past the halfway point to biblical proportions.

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Monday [2 January] was a day off, so I didn't go to my office because it would seem somehow embarrassing to go to work on a university holiday. Instead I had lunch with Peter, Marilyn, and Samantha at the sushi factory at the Pacific Place mall. Peter had the bright idea of going there before the lunch buffet rush. Although I was skeptical of a pre-noon meeting, it turned out to be a wise move when Todai was filled with diners by the time we left.

After lunch, I went in search of post-holiday sales and didn't really find anything compelling. Then I went home, Ellen came to my apartment, and we went to Victrola. The cafe was crowded with lots of dayoffers, including at least one woman who had removed her shoes. I get it that it's wet outside, but that's no excuse for propping your bare feet up on public chairs. The seating situation looked dire, but we eventually found a spot sort of sharing (the table was actually two tables) a table with a guy who may have been a news editor at the Stranger. (this recognition highlights the sad state of Seattle's celebrity scene). I'm sure our conversation was thrilling.

Later, it was pub quiz time. The big news was that they'd severely changed the menus at the Irish Emigrant. After years of near regular veggie burger eating, it disappeared as a dining option. Some of the teams named themselves in protest.

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I don't remember if anything happened on Tuesday. Probably not. [ed: is this an argument for or against daily postings? -- not sure.]

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On Wednesday Carolyn and I went to see Munich and eat fake meat products for dinner at Cyber Dogs. It was sort of a joke to go there, but it turns out that the eating options downtown aren't that great and the fake tuna salad sandwich at Cyber Dogs is really great. Plus the Russian owner was there and she tried to analyze our taste preferences to help us select the optimal meal choice. She also played a lot of her favorite tracks and occasionally yelled to tell everyone in the shop why she had selected them. Oh, and she was also showing Altered States [imdb] because it featured "a very attractive young William Hurt".

Most of the time, I think I liked Munich and that it was sort of preaching to the choir. The running time was a little bit long and the last flashback seemed like too much, but what do I know? Other times, I'm not really sure what the message was supposed to be. Which, maybe was the point: that who really knows what the right answer is, if it isn't senseless violence and soul-crushing retribution.
  • Current Mood
    I could give you all the olive trees And look at the trees and look at my face and look at a place
the only earth?

week in review continued (thursday)

After work on Thursday I walked down to Pioneer Square for the Art Walk. Of course, it was raining bucketsfull, which made decisions about galleries all the more urgent. Peter, Samantha, and I met at Elliott Bay. Because they were out of the cookies that I developed an addiction to during jury duty, I settled for a doughnut before we headed back outside and in the direction of the traditional galleries. The most notable thing was that the calix gallery appears to have closed. Other fun facts were a preoccupation of many of the artists with birds. At Foster/White, there was a lot of art reminiscent of the freak-folk variety presented (possibly for comedic value) in Junebug.

The Stranger suggested some galleries on Third Avenue, but when we walked in that direction, certain parts of the avenue weren't where I expected them to be and we got awfully wet in the process of geographical confusion. Eventually, we found an uncrowded gallery with several neat video installation pieces (including one of a flying bird displayed inside a plastic box) and a very crowded space where there was free wine, minimal large maplike paintings, and a few pictures of hair.

With this, we resigned from following newspaper suggestions and went to the Western building and wandered throughout the lofts. In one, fresh juice to order was for sale and a (maybe) cover band was setting up for a show. Peter and Samantha had plans to see the Helio Sequence; so we left that strange room and looked at others before trying to catch a bus in the general direction of Broadway.

When my phone revealed (via mybus.org) that the bus was running twenty minutes late, we took a cab to get dinner at Jai Thai. By the time we had finished eating, the rain had cleared and they walked to Chop Suey and I went home. On the way, I tried to find a video store that had Funny Ha Ha available for rental, but was unsuccessful.
  • Current Music
    Akron/Family - Italy
the only earth?

more of my life and times (friday)

Friday was our department's twice-monthly happy hour. Before I went there, I remembered that I needed to renew my locker at the IMA. By the time I'd taken care of this, I didn't have time to do any actual exercise to avoid being late to drinking. However, I missed the bus and decided to do an experiment to see whether walking from the U-District to Eastlake was faster. It turns out that they're exactly the same.

This time happy hour was at the Zoo on Eastlake.1 For a long time, the planning commission had maintained an interest in using this as a venue, but its reputation for wall to wall smoke had always knocked it off the short list.

I'm happy to report that even in the post-901 setting, the bar seemed to be doing an O.K. business and remained a fun place to be. Highlights included playing bar shuffleboard and engaging in gunplay. They have a really stupid videogame that simulates the experience of bear hunting. Everyone found it very amusing when I shot a bear cub (forbidden animal!). Even with my violation of hunting ethics, I still was the winner. As stupid as you might think fake hunting is, they also had video game bowling, which is one of the more confusing concepts out there. It was only on our way out that I remembered that they had pinball machines. Including a Bram Stoker's Dracula pinball machine.

The reason that I had all of these quarters for videogames and was late for the bus is because I stopped at the library to photocopy "Brokeback Mountain" and put a Hamilton in the change machine expecting not to get forty quarters. It was an unwanted little jackpot moment, I guess.

After suitable quality time at the bar, we left to eat pizza. The place next door was closed; so I got my second chance to walk almost all the way back to the U-district to eat at Romio's.

Later, when the group had thinned, we walked back to the bar to get Betsy's car. Since I didn't have any other plans, I tagged along to crash a party in Wallingford hosted by some biostatistics students. The party mostly involved standing around in the kitchen alternating between margaritas and beer and telling stories about the horrors of Mexican food in Forks, Washington.

There is also a picture of a spectacularly decorated house that I need to put on flickr tomorrow. Stay tuned.


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1. I feel I need to quantify this because my primary association with "the Zoo" is the apparently creepy gay bar in Kalamazoo.a
a. which, I only just realized may have been named to play on the city's name.
  • Current Music
    Cat Power
the only earth?

saturday and sunday

Although Saturday had strong potential for being a day for not leaving the house, a series of afternoon e-mail exchanges resulted in meeting up with Betsy at the Crocodile to see the Divorce. Against all odds, I seem to find myself a fan. And by "against all odds" I guess that I mean that the first time I saw them was at Bumbershoot in the room with the shitty sound and bad lighting, which caused me to incorrectly believe that the band was not good and also kind of scary. In fact, their new stuff is rather catchy.

Also on the bill were StabmasterArson (whom I found entertaining, although they really seemed to have only three basic songtypes1) and and White Gold (who were sort of in the Rapture style dance rock tradition, except that no one was dancing).

The other interesting part of the night was that since it wasn't raining, I wanted to do an experiment to test the non-walkability assumption about Seattle and just walked the 1.8 miles from my apartment to the Crocodile and found it kind of nice and not all that much slower than taking the bus. Or maybe than taking a car and trying to park. The uphill walk home, particularly after a few drinks, was a little more ambitious but still do-able.

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On Sunday, I felt that I needed to take Carole's car for a drive to fulfill my duties as a carsitter. So I went to Northgate to buy things and then drove over to visit Samantha for her soft-foods and board games post-tooth removal spectacular. We played Monopoly. For a while I was doing rather well, but I started to feel like I was being too much of a jerk by refusing to engage in potentially harmful trading activities. [Ed: more of the not knowing how to care about winning? -- I think so, but maybe it's illustrative of not knowing how to win.] Once I caved, it was a pretty direct road to bankruptcy for me. Still, actually running out of money in Monopoly is a more prolonged ordeal than you might imagine.

After crushing my real estate corporation, the remaining players quickly formed a cooperative enterprise to end the game.

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1. Betsy disagreed, saying that they had only one song type.
  • Current Mood
    sometimes we rock and roll, sometimes we stay at home
the only earth?

this week (monday - tuesday)

On Monday I went to work, swam, and went over to Joe's to eat meatless tacos in honor of Kailin being in Seattle. Although I was a half hour late, I was really early. Eventually other people arrived, taco assembly protocol was followed, and the question of whether Sufjan Stevens is in the Christian Rock genre were considered. There was also substantial discussion of the re-sterization of the internet, with a particularly inspired concept for "dumpster.com" and a series of photographs with assorted posing motivations.

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Today I had to go to campus to do some techfee advocacy. I thought about going to they gym, but it was already crowded with the new year's resolutioners so I went home, cooked, dinner, got a cappuccino, and typed all of this stuff about the last nine days.