the only earth?

working vignette

Sometimes people wonder what I do at work all day: Today's answer is that I will have spent probably 8 hours or more entering twenty people's names and addresses into an ancient website.

Part of this excessive timesuck is that until today (the due date) I didn't know that I'd need their street addresses (why?) so I have been hunting them down in the Google. The other part of this black hole of productivity is because the website is so very poorly made that rearranging the order of the names takes approximately one minute for each re-ordering and only allows one position change per page load. Oh, and sometimes the website just gets sleepy and crashes the whole browser with its frustrated narcolepsy.

But, hey! The reason for this nonsense is submitting an abstract for a meeting in Paris in July. So, maybe the violins I'm hearing are on the smaller side.
  • Current Music
    Bright Eyes - The People's Key
the only earth?

summertime happenings

Of all the conveniently imported holidays from foreign lands, I think that Bastille Day is my favorite. Or at least it is my favorite as celebrated by the Adventure School in Seattle. For the second year in a row we ventured to Georgetown where they had turned a small trackside property situated under a flight path in the shadow of an overpass into a tres charming village estate. We arrived in time for the chicken races to witness a bit of ego-stroking parental cheating and stayed long enough until the kids had abandoned the modern art bouncehouse and the racing fowl had gone to roost. I wore hastily acquired American Apparel stripes and a beret while sipping rose, eating falafel and crepes, and helping someone celebrate an end of the night birthday. Probably partially because it marked the long-delayed summer, it felt like fantastically materialized perfection. I want(ed) to pack up and move to the countryside. Preferably into something more Summer Hours than A Christmas Tale.

Oh, and after a lot of wine I was convinced to eat an oyster! It was weird and I chewed it too much. But kind of like the ocean!

This summer of which we speak has been fickle, though. On some of the days that it's made an appearance I've read in the park or walked around downtown. There have been outdoor drinks at the hilarious Hard Rock Cafe before the outstanding and kind of unbelievable Carissa's Wierd & Aveo reunions. Sidewalk beer from Black Bottle as preparation for sitting in the cozy bar/theater for Inception. A hasty sendoff picnic at Madison Beach, which is not really a beach, but it's not such a bad little tourist town. That sort of thing.

Last weekend was the Capitol Hill Block Party. I'm still undecided about whether the annoyances outweigh the benefits. I guess that they do since I keep going back, but my problem-solvy mind can't help but spin against all of the obvious inefficiencies, apparent oversights, planning problems, and stymying site design. Maybe if I were going simply to drink and hang out in a beer garden or rooftop while music played in the background it would be entirely lovely. But having to cross the urban grid to get from stage to stage (and back again) while toting heavy camera gear made all of the quirks into glaring thorns. Don't call the orchestra of tiny violins, though: for three songs at a time I was among the few people with the best (mostly) unobstructed views of a whole lot of bands that I really like. Hassles aside, it's not such a bad way to spend a weekend. A bunch of the kids crushed into the barricade would've probably very happily traded places without any convincing.

I thought that the block partying, photo editing, and sun exposure (lather/rinse/repeat) would have left me too exhausted for a Monday night show, but I'm very glad that Two Weeks Ago Me made a bet on the future and bought Last Night Me a ticket for Wolf Parade. Not having to "work" the show let me hang out in the bar with friends during the first half of their set until I couldn't resist the increasingly bouncy main floor. Jumping around under a speaker in a sea of broments through the exhilirating encore left me a sweaty satisfied mess.

the only earth?

oh, hello.

Most of the last month has been consumed with some combination of being away, obsessively spectating, or hiding out in my apartment in some post-travel decompression. Most recently I was in Michigan looking at beaches, fireworks, lakes, dogs, and family. Before that, in Scotland chatting with scientists, wandering around old cities, castles, a graveyard, museums, a pedestrian mall, a new dormy parliament building, and a big hill. In Glasgow I stayed in this adorable little hotel next to the Cathedral, which made me think of Belle & Sebastian songs. It was probably the only hotel on my trip staffed by ancestrally Scottish people. The room was not perfect and the location was a bit out of the way, but I would have been happy to have moved in for months.

Regardless of personal geography, I watched a lot/most of the World Cup due to my known fondness for short-attention span popular sporting tournaments. The timing was also near-perfect excuse for spending time in pubs in the later afternoons and early evenings (in GMT) and in cafes and bars for long lunches (in PDT). This culminated in watching the final in 3D at a chain bar in a fancy mall, which was neat, but didn't make me feel any better about that amazing octopus being right again.

And before that we went out to the middle of the state to walk up and down a big hill over and over again while watching a whole bunch of bands playing on a cliff. During that trip to the Gorge/Ellensburg I think that I got my annual quota of interesting snack chips and late night Taco Bell.

In between all of this was a lot of SIFF, both watching movies and attending "galas" and other mingley parties. At least this spring, there was little in the way of feeling guilty about spending time inside since spring/"summer" is arriving only reluctantly and in fits and starts. Upon my most recent return, though, the internet had warned me of the impending heat wave; so I pulled my ridiculous tiny air conditioner back into service for the three days of it.

the only earth?


Lost lake

On the drive home from our last urban family vacation at the coveside cabins of Orcas Island we began hatching a plan for another trek, this time to the snowy foreign land of Canada. Despite having only a striking minority in our group having an interest in sliding down mountains, we nevertheless set out for a condo in Whistler. It had beds and a kitchen and a hot tub, was near a little skiing village, and included the distinct possibility of snowy adventures.
Collapse )
  • Current Music
    Memory Games - Sleeping States
the only earth?

identity auteurs, etc.

And now, this weekend. I guess it started on Thursday when everyone converged upon Havana for some sort of party where there wasn't too large of a crowd. After a while, Scottie and I went over to Moe Bar because Michael Cera was supposed to show up for his movie's afterparty with the Cobrasnake. We at first assumed that we'd missed whatever was happening, since the distribution of sunglasses and fake mustaches seemed to have stopped and the overcrowdedness dissipated after a few minutes. However, some faulty intelligence, inspired us to stick around, crowded into a booth and on the lookout. Eventually, we gave up. I went back across the street only to find that our friends had migrated up the hill to Pony, where there was a whole lot of fog and lasers. We managed to get in a drink or two, some epic pictures, and a rousing game of air hockey before the lights came on and we were all sent out into the cold.

Somehow, I didn't do anything on Friday.

Last night we fortified ourselves with Thai dinner and walked down to Re-Bar to see a friend performing in a drag show / underwear product placement event called Bacon Strip. True to its name and tone, bacon was served throughout the evening by a guy in a dreidl costume who was also toting a bottle of Manichevitz (that he didn't seem as into sharing). Parts of it were funny and enteratianing, but the makeup and costumes are kind of a degree or three away from clowns, which everyone knows are horrifying. I also made the terrible mistake of going to get a beer at the bar during one of the acts. The lines for bartender attention were so long that I ended up unknowingly missing the act that we came to see. By the finale, we had kind of maxed out; so instead of staying for the danceparty we paid a quick visit to the photobooth and then raced (really) up the hill to the Living Room and its fake fireplace upstairs lounge.

Today during the long long wait for a brunch table, we made the incredibly overdue discovery that waiting is a lot more palatable if you just order a beverage from the bar to help pass the time. Honestly, I'm not sure why it took me this long to figure this out. When our leisurely meal was completed we walked downtown, looked around at a few stores (a new backup fur lined hat, half-price!), and took in a second (for most of us) viewing of the Fantastic Mr. Fox. I still died with laughter and tears at many many parts. It's just so meticulous and funny and whimsical and a little sad and generally burbling over with big emotion and, to me, pretty much perfect all around. It's strange that it's gotten near-universal acclaim, but nowhere near as much buzz as it seserves.
the only earth?

the long thanksgiving weekend

there will be leftovers

The long Thanksgiving weekend started with a traditional party in Fremont, with wine and cheese and desserts and kittens. It continued the next day with cooking at home, brief looks at the dog show, and an afternoon taxi ride over to Sedea's house where dance movies and cases of champagne were in full effect. Everyone took turns in the kitchen and there was far too much food and frequent demands that leftovers be taken home. There were epistemological discussions about the appropriate capitalization of the "s" in "Streets" w/r/t to where the dancers were taking it at the end of the movie. I missed most of Up due to some cooking responsibilities. Asa showed up just in time to carve the giant beast of a turkey that Joe had cooked and covered with bacon. There were tons of music videos OnDemand. We named the turkey by drawing names on napkins from a bowl. I was legitimately pleased with how my Tofurkey turned out; it may have transitioned from a one-time joke to an annual tradition. The pumpkin clove ice cream pie from Molly Moon's did not disappoint. After about six hours of festivities and bearing days worth of leftover food, I walked home on wet sidewalks and back alleys. A few hours later, there was a reconvening at a bar. I walked over mainly for the fresh air and the light exercise, returning home soon after when the party transitioned to dancing, an activity hardly advisable given the day's massive food consumption and incomplete digestion.

Rather than hunt for big box bargains, Carinna and I took a field trip to Ballard on Black Friday to look for boots and to hear a free show at Sonic Boom. The XX had caused a massive neighborhood shift, with much of Capitol Hill showing up in Ballard to crowd into a record store while a shy trio stood on a stage playing sexy music and either making a joke or a mistake about their location.

When the show was over, we hurried downtown to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Taking up half of a row, I think that we laughed harder than the rest of the theater combined. It was a pure delight, whimsical, weird, and hilarious in tiny and wonderful ways. I don't know that I've liked anything more all year. It was an early show, so we had plenty of time for adventuring. We started with pizzas at the Alibi room, walked downtown to the Polar Bar (ideal), and then returned to Capitol Hill for drinks around the big Tin Table with happy hour cocktails and ultra-salty fries. When my dream of making BOOM Noodle our new hangout fell through, we instead went to Oddfellows where some Fox-inspired hard apple cider induced some sort of allergic reaction on the order of sneezes and watery eyes. I went home and Benadrylled the night away.

I eventually left the house the next day to celebrate Carinna's birthday. It began with a cozy dinner at Cafe Presse, proceeded to a party at the Hideout, and ended at a talcum-covered Chop Suey with Emerald City Soul Club.

The weekend ended (relatively) quietly with the usual brunching, some drinks with bloggers at Bimbo's, dinner at the Sitting Room, and watching Bad Lieutenant, a pretty bizarre new Werner Herzog movie (which, I guess offset my usual Nicholas Cage aversion). I'm still not really sure what I think about it or the iguanas.