er. wow. I haven't catalogued daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal happenings since:
August: returning to the (seemingly) sweltering (actually) less hot than usual midwest to take pictures at Lollapalooza and hang out with my sister and her friends in Chicago. Getting lost looking for the press entrance and nearly winding up at the Natural History Museum. Sprinting across Grant Park to catch both daily headliners (Gaga vs. the Strokes / Green Day vs. Phoenix / Soundgarden vs. Arcade Fire). Spending considerable time in queues for said headliners. A goofy party at the Hard Rock Hotel. A hilarious Vitamin Water powered luxury bus ride. A street person trying to sell us a gold chain late at night while were were in a restaurant.
The back in Seattle. Hercules and Love Affair, Scott Pilgrim, the shrieks of teen disbelief when Vampire Weekend abruptly cancelled on Marymoor Park. Floating around Lake Union on a remodeled fishing trawler while little bands played, other small boats joined, and the crowd mingled, drank wine, picnicked, and climbed the boat. The rain forcing the last performance below deck for an impossibly cozy concert.
A road trip to the hood canal to camp in a parking lot with tall trees. Inventing new s'mores (handpies) around a campfire. Photographic experiments under a nearly full moon. A new tent from REI for the occasion. A couple of sunny afternoons on the tiny grassy cliff overlooking the water. Cat buskers in Olympia.
Bumbershoot and all of the usual attention-deficit scrambling around Seattle Center. Bob Dylan for a few songs from far away. Watching an amazing interview with Courtney Love and ditching Weezer to see Pavement at the Paramount. A Jaime Lidell double feature. Sticking through the rain for the Thermals' encore.
Musicfest Northwest and the funniest tiny dorm room in all of Portland at the Ace Hotel. The springy floor at the Wonder Ballroom, Okkervil River, Menomena, more Thermals. The Tallest Man on Earth downstairs at the Doug Fir, and the guy who couldn't maintain his drink shouting about the next Dylan. A day at the Woods for those great short KEXP sets. A magical foursquare-enabled hangover-induction. A funny search for mexican Coke when it was at our home all along. An evening at Courthouse Square for the National, the Walkmen, a crazy dancing kid in the audience. A whole lot of brunch.
And later, Genius Awards, Vampire Weekend (for real), the Flaming Lips (for confetti and lasers), and Dirty Projectors (for awesomeness).
First a return to the magical island of deer: Orcas Island. Missing the ferry and making the best of it with gas station dining, roadside romance novel readings, and giant cups of tea enhanced with wax cup eroding whiskey. More luxurious cabins, another drive to the top of Mount Constitution, a walk full of waterfalls, deer called Ghandi and Venny. Poker & Wizard. Smoky scotch. Hot chili. Golden hour on the dock with a visit from a martini pusher. It's pretty much one of the ten best islands in the country, for sure.
Short work trips for meetings in Washington, DC and then Houston. The DC flyby at least included enough time for dinner at Oyamel, drinks at the Science Club, and a quick visit to the Smithsonian to see Madeline Albright's symbolic brooches.
Another (new) music festival in Seattle that had us seeing Belle & Sebastian in Benaroya Hall; Cat Power (not breaking down) at the Fifth Avenue. Foals being enjoyable despite some offensive oblivious superfans and the Vaselines telling the same old funny jokes.
Starting a week with of Montreal, and ending it with Sufjan Stevens (convincing me of the merits of his goofy new album) to a near empty bar on Halloween Eve and winding up at a northern soul dance party.
Seemingly all-travel all the time. Watching three seasons of the Wire on airplanes.
Back to DC for ASHG, the always-intriguing Illumina party, a whole lot of meeting-going, various dining opportunities with far-flung colleagues, a couple of returns to Adams-Morgan. First in the afternoon for quiet cafe times at Tryst and later for dinner, drinks at various 18th Street dives including a squeeze to the top of Madam's Organ, a lifesaving Jumbo Slice, and then trying to fit too many people into a cab and being immediately stopped by the police and told to disperse.
Then catching the train for a weekend in NYC in Ellen's new apartment. Dinner with Al/Malinda/Chris and drinks at a shark bar (can't wait until that theme takes over for mammalian taxidermy here, too). Standing in the cold to watch the fast runners in Brooklyn, finally going to the Met, pizza, an accidental walk to Shake Shack, some mostly unproductive shopping in the rain, and then back home by way of Newark.
A few days in Seattle and then another meeting in Chicago, mainly occupied by dad birthday festivities including an odd bus ride/dinner extravaganza, cocktails at the Hancock building, enormous brunching.
Another day in Seattle and then to a consortium thing at the Balard edge of Paris. Visiting the Orangerie, walking through Tuileries, eating macaroons, and drinking delicious (Angelina) hot chocolate to fend off jet lag. Meeting dinner at Editeurs and then finding a bar nearby that was later swarmed by singing gay rugby players. Trying to take a hot air balloon ride at Parc Andre Citroën but being thwarted by "the wind" / lazy attendants. Seeing a guy running around the park in a hamster ball for a commercial instead. Relocating to the Latin Quarter to the tiniest hotel room of all time and re-finding the super delicious cafe that makes "Brick" and finding that since it was "winter" they were also making wine brule. Walking around the Marais for the awesome falafel. Looking at art at the Palais de Tokyo mainly because it was the only thing open late.
Returning to Seattle to find it covered in snow and ice and generally its usual state of incapacitation without the typical snowy splendor.
And then ending the month for Thanksgiving in New Orleans with Samantha, Carinna, and Carinna's parents. Midnight bar foods. So much Who Dat, Saints, and other sequined clothing opportunities passed by. A lot of walking around the French Quarter. Multiple visits to Cafe du Monde. A birthday walk on Bourbon Street (less repulsive than expected), drinks at a pirate/piano bar and speculation about its claims to historical endurance. No mule ride. Two meals at Commander-related Palaces. Streetcar rides. Scrambling around Whole Foods for Thanksgiving supplies. A cemetery stroll and a voodoo museum. Finding a lot of places that turned out to be closed for Acadian Thanksgiving. A bar with a carousel in the middle and slow service all around. The home of the Sazerac in the midst of a crazy football crowd. Being picked up by a taxi and sympathetic strangers. Sunny afternoon snacks on a balcony above Winding up at the airport a few hours too early. No mule drawn buggy rides or fortunes told.
Squeezing through a crowd of teens to take photos of Passion Pit and snapping some shots of Michael Cera playing bass with a new Sub Pop supergroup and finding out just how interested kids (and the internet) are about seemingly minor celebrities turning musicians.
A weird amount of jetlag and adjustment to the dramatic daylight shortage. Seeing James Franco cut off his arm with a dull knife. Still haunted and jittery from that one.