January 30th, 2006

the only earth?

friday night. mount eerie, floater fans.

The voyage to Ballard for Mount Eerie was surprisingly easier than I'd anticipated. A transfer in Queen Anne with a quick run for espresso and I met Samantha on the 15. A few minutes later, we were at the doorstop of the young and the earnest, a.k.a. the Paradox in the lobby which is also Mars Hill Church. Not quite sure how that relationship works.

Anyway, when we walked through the door Calvin Johnson was finishing up his indie cowboy set. As predicted, the floor was filled with cross-legged spectators. When the set ended and they all ran outside to smoke (less than 25 feet from the door, for the record), we scored a better spot. We also learned the protocol: sit during the songs, stand up between sets to stretch. Kimya Dawson was next, and was kind of cute and simply rhyme-schemish. The major highlight was people-watching: there was one koala hat, one monster hat, one girl with feathers in her hair, as well as many impressive hairstyles and costumes.

Per usual, Phil Elverum was overwhelmingly charismatic. Barefoot in dirty karate pants, occasionally standing in a crane position, he had a little band along for the ride, and played a couple older songs and some newer abruptly ending ones, too. Upon request, he played "Let's get out of the romance", on the condition that the audience sing along. They did.

After the show, we bussed back downtown and got drinks in the Green Room. Floater was playing in the Showbox and neither of us had any idea who Floater were. We looked them up on the wikipedia and found a glowing profile of their monumental career. Outside, we spectated as a rowdy fan got into a fight, which summoned at least six police cars. After the show, there were tons of fans spilling out, but pausing under the overhang to relive the moments of the show. One of the fans was shirtless and I speculated that he threw his shirt onto the stage for the band.
the only earth?

saturday

On Saturday, I went to get a haircut and looked at some sales downtown. Later, Carolyn and I had dinner at Via Tribunali, which I'd been meaning to go to forever. It was crowded; so we sat at the bar and ate pizzas, drank wine, and watched the bartender make fancy drinks. The food was really good, and it's nice inside -- a narrow (onetime garage) space with brick walls and wooden ceilings, the fire oven in view, and fake illuminated stained glass panels. During the summer, I think they open the garage door windows.

We went to a sort of Chinese New Year party on Capitol Hill. There are people who look at their fortunes before eating the cookie.
the only earth?

left coast, so far

Once we checked into the hotel, I went downstairs to eat a salad at the "yacht club" on the marina. The sun was low in the sky, but there were heaters surrounding the patio to simulate warmth from the sky to fight off the cool night air.

Later, we went to a reception for the conference, which involved eating dinner.

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Today I rode the trolley and the bus to Pacific Beach and went out on the pier to watch the surfers floating in the waves. Then I made the walk down the concrete boardwalk and looked at the sun and the water. For a while, I took off my shoes and got my feet sandy and wet. The beach was pretty empty, but it was warmer than I'd expected.

Now I'm at the conference. I was part of an afternoon talk (which went pretty well); so I stuck around to hear the closing presentation by Andy Lark. He's talking about the participatory age and social networking and that sort of thing. The funny thing is that whenever he mentions something like myspace or friendster or flickr; I'm reminded to check them to see what's up (not much, it seems) since I didn't get the internet to work in my hotel room.

I don't know if that was his intent or not. He also showed a video that speculated on the future of all of the tech consolidation that included a service called MSN Newsbotster, which I found more than hilarious. The resterization of the internet, people.