Saturday, March 31, 2007

Still on vacation?

Wow, it's still a bit slow around here. I've been sleeping in until about eight each morning - I can't seem to convince myself that spring break is over and the quarter has actually started. I have finally finished the last of my beach books, and maybe since we're out of weekdays and into the weekend I'll be able to shift my attitude. I have a little bit of homework to do, but there are no papers to grade yet, so it's all under control anyway.

We wound up not going to the theatre last night. Otis has come down with sort of head cold type thing and was deep into a healing nap right up to curtain time, and I let her sleep. We had some soup for dinner and watched Bend It Like Beckham before heading to bed. (It was not as profound a movie as I had been led to believe, but it was a lot of fun.)

For Neds and Wheylona: Here are some driving directions home; check out step 40.

Mostly for Otis: This video is almost too cute:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tryin' to hit a stride

Man, re-entry has been a little wobbly. I took care of business yesterday, but today seems to have drifted back to slow and sleepy. The sunshine helped; our big endeavor was to walk down to the U District to meet Dingo for lunch. We visited Otis's six-day-new nephew in Wallingford, too; I guess that's two endeavors. In the evening, Otis had appointments and I went grocery shopping. Yahoo!

I did get some welcome news: I will interview in three weeks for a full-time English faculty position at Cascadia CC in Bothell. It's nice to be asked to the dance, especially after the response to my other application there.

We'll be heading out to West Seattle for some theatre tomorrow (Friday): Otis's friend Ann is having a one-act play produced as part of Seattle Playwrights Studio's Annual Showcase. The evening starts at 7:00 pm at the ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery on 4711 California Ave. SW. Admission is only five bucks; anyone want to come along? Give me a heads-up and we can carpool.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Aloha and aloha

Otis took one final look at the tropical Pacific on Monday morning before we packed up and had a last day of island relaxation before catching the redeye for home. The trip was just splendid, overall. The weather was great most of the time, we played and de-stressed to our hearts' content, we ate well, and it turned out to be everything a vacation ought to be.

The trip back was every bit as miserable as you might expect an overnight airline flight would be these days. The less said the better; at least we actually got in early.

Dingo picked us up at the airport in the cold, wet pre-dawn and we all (including Dingo) went home and back to bed. In the thirty hours since we woke up, I have gone to my office in Bothell, checked in with Stella, graded papers, lesson prepped, gone back to Bothell and taught a class, and done house stuff; Otis has had two massage clients and we both had lunch with Ms. Matcha to touch base after she housesat. There has also been a lot of cat-petting and some cat-napping, too.

It looks like we're being swept back into the main stream of life after having hidden in an eddy for a week or so, but we want to hold onto the Island Spirit as long as we can.

So, hang loose, man!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Winding down

Hard to believe we leave here tomorrow night - this has been a splendid vacation all the way around. We've been doing the beach thing most of the time, although we have spent some time in Lahaina Town and the Whaler's Village resort area as well. I missed out on seeing Uncle Rudi perform at the Ka'anipali Hotel for the second year in a row, but we did catch some cool Taiko drummers.

Mostly it's just been relaxing. Otis has done some art, and I've been doing a lot of fun reading. We both plan to come back refreshed and ready for action.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tryin' to beat the rush*

Wow, yesterday was like the best Hawaiian vacation day ever: sunny, clear, and warm, with no rain, just blue skies and blue water: absolutely perfect all day! After our morning webcam appearance, we went to the north side of the bay and snorkeled for a little bit (I play in the beach equivalent of the bunny slope), then came back to our side for some regular sun 'n' surf action. I got all my grading done (yay!) and found a Terry Pratchett book, great beach reading. After lunch, it was just more of the same. Otis was making like a porpoise, and I even did a little body surfing. After dinner, we went out to a little coffee shop and hung out. Almost a prescription for relaxation!

Here's some the webcam excitement you may have missed

Muscle beach Maui

Hang somewhat loose, I guess

To grade no more!

Besides Maui Tacos, we've found that the best restaurant around in our condo: this is tofu-carrot-onion concoction on rice that Otis made Tuesday; last night I made a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese that was just out of this world.

They call her Flipper, Flipper...

And some video goodness:

So, I would say it's all going fine, vacation-wise.


Thanks to the miracles of wireless telephony and the internets, since I have been here, I have not only managed to finish and submit my grading, but I have found out that I was not selected for an interview for the Developmental English job at Cascadia. A bit of a setback, that. I also can report that I have been offered an interview with Skagit Valley College on Whidbey Island, so yay.

PS: I started this post early this morning but am finishing it just before lunch in Pa'ia, the hippie-surfer town on the n0rth shore. Whatcom College called with what I think is an offer but I haven't called back yet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


We were performing for the webcam shortly before 11:00 am PDT - was anyone on line?

Here' are some snaps:

Otis in the room with our first late-night dinner

Otis looking back toward the condo from a little trail on the north side of Napili Bay

Sunset last night

What I've been doing and plan to do lots more of

Today isn't as sunny as yesterday, but it's still warm and pleasant. Maui Tacos were just as good as we remembered - and bigger! We had the same ones for both lunch and dinner. Well into relaxing mode now, although I was doing some grading early this morning.

More later.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Hey! We're here in Hawaii!

No pix yet, although we have already taken some. This is a bit of a dicey wi-fi here at Napili Sunset, and I haven't quite figured out all the angles yet.

Innyway, Saturday turned out be a good day, in terms of getting stuff done. We got all squared away for the trip and I got an even bigger bulk of my grading done that I had planned. All I took with me was the stack of final comic book papers, and those are almost even fun. In between all my working, I got to hear from JustJon and Stella, and had a visit from Dingo, too! Too bad we missed connecting with J-Force before we left.

We got off fine on Sunday. Ms. Matcha and Surfer-T came over and the transition went smoothly (even the installation of T's turbo-charged rice-cooker). Dingo made the airport run with us before heading off to help Johnbai and O move (sorry we missed that, too). The flight left a little late and seemed to take a looong time, but that might have been just the standard squinchiness in the sardine seats.

All systems were go once we landed on Maui - the car rental was smooth, traffic was light, the condo was fine (quaint and low-key but very pleasant), and the only hitch was that we got here ten minutes too late to go to Maui Tacos for dinner. We did take a little sunset walk on the beach before calling it a day.

It has apparently been stormy here the past few days, but today is bright and sunny and perfect. We walked down the beach to have breakfast and reccied the area. Otis is now in the middle of her morning sun 'n' swim session. I was working on the lanai, but have moved out here to the lawn now.

We'll check in again soon, but remember to check the webcam for Napili Sunset at about 11:00 am your time - we'll try to wave!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wrapping it up

So, yesterday went as expected: final classes in the morning and plenty of busy-ness all day. In anticipation of housesitters, Otis and I have been doing all the stuff we should have done already: cleaning things, organizing the shed, re-arranging the pantry, putting things away, and so on. It felt like Spring Cleaning with the weather all sunny and warm; the cats were lounging around the yard (when they weren't scrapping) and we took off the faucet protectors and hooked up the hose. I have this mad idea that when we get back from Hawaii it will be summer in Seattle. Hmm.

Otis had an appointment in the evening and plans to have tea with Kris-10, so I was out and about myself. I went to REI and got a swell day pack; it was just the right size to carry student papers (or comic books), and i got it with a 20% discount and my meager dividend. After this score, I trundled up to cap Hill and met Dingo and Jonbai. We went to the Value Village, where we all made minor scores, and then to Ballet for nummies. It was a swell night.

I will be heading out again today to focus on the big stack of grading I need to do before we leave; I'll still be taking some with (hence the need for the new bag) but it will be easy stuff. And in a little more than twenty-four hours, we're off -- I guess we oughtta pack!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

T minus one

It's almost over: I have two "classes" tomorrow morning, and the regular Winter quarter is over. Of course, there's still all the responding and assessing to do, but I am right on track, all caught up and ready to rock, so we can be off to Aupu'ni Ali'i o Hawai'i.

I am in such good shape because I did get a ton of stuff done yesterday. I headed out to a Tully's (free Wi-Fi!) while Otis was busy, and I majorly plowed through my Antioch stuff. Today I went up to Bothell early and got all the rest of my stuff taken care of before my afternoon class. Of course, the sack will all be refilled by tomorrow, with this afternoon's portfolios and tomorrow's final papers, but I think I will get most of it done before takeoff.

Tonight was filled with preparation of a different sort: Ms. Matcha and Surfer-T came over with Baby Koa for a briefing before they begin their house- and cat-sitting stint while we're gone. We had scrumptious Indian take-away and a delightful evening. Matcha and T bring a kind of yin and yang energy with them, one is peaceful and calm and the other effusive and voluble, something like what I imagine people can feel with Otis and me, only gender-reversed.

Anyway, all systems look green for a successful departure. It's good to have friends.

Surfer-T even brought pix he took at Baby Koa's coming-out party. I thought this image was somehow unreal and yet accurate:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's Billy de Wolfe time again

I am working my way through my list in anticipation of the end of the quarter and the upcoming trip to the Sandwich Isles Kingdom of Hawaii. Between school and house stuff, it looks like posting got squeezed out!

Sunday was sweet: shortly after my remote post, a wet and sweaty Stella showed up and we shared a coffee and some catch-up. Then we swung back to the RD to hook up with Otis and swing down to Thai-Ger to meet Dingo for lunch. There was a bit of a dicey moment when it seemed I might not get my corn fritters, but the incident passed without crisis and lunch was letter-perfect.

The great lunch was just a prelude to a great movie: Jean Renoir's 1939 The Rules of the Game, which managed to be both entertaining and funny as well as intellectually rich. The trailers quoted Robert Altman as saying this film was one of his influences; seeing it, you can discern Renoir's fingerprints all over Altman's Gosford Park.

We had a chance to ponder this (and many other things) at Cafe Trabant over tea and cider.

Monday was work all day, morning class and afternoon assessing, until Stella came for an appointment with Otis and stayed for dinner.

Tuesday was a long day again: morning class, then a meeting at Antioch, then afternoon class in Bothell, and then replacing the usual evening class with staying late in Bothell and prepping. I only made it home in time for a late dinner and later run to Target for some trip-related stuff. Good news: I got to have lunch with the Dollwoman, and it had been too long. Bad news: I managed to miss a conference call with Liam and my old HS gang.

Today holds morning classes and work-until-it's-done on my Antioch stuff - no split shift today! I hope to be done by dinner so I can have the evening for more house stuff.

I love getting ready for vacation!

Bonus link for all my linguistically-inclined buddies: A comprehensive look at the great U.S. pop-soda divide. (Check out the county-by-county map.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I hate it when that happens

So, Otis had some early morning clients, and I hied myself over here to the Dirty Bird in Wallingford, where I am dialing in by remote (to quote Mary-Chapin). Y'see, I planned to get bunch of stuff done, responding papers and whatnot, and packed up my gear and Otis's laptop and went out for a working breakfast. Well, I had some potato pancakes and finished all the papers, but then I discovered I had left the whatnot at home. It was all on my little thumb drive, and I left that in my computer after I plugged it in to add some last-minute files. So I couldn't record my grades or update my syllabus draft or write a cover letter for some jobs or do anything else in the whatnot category.

Luckily, I just got a phone call from Stella, who has just finished her St. Paddy's Day Dash and is going to come over an meet me so we can kill some time until Otis is free for lunch and we can go to the matinee.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Working on the weekend

Otis had clients today so I went to my office at Antioch to do some work. I did some work, just not the work that I had intended to do. That happens sometimes.

Our only other achievement today has been to put the house back together after the art show, and we're heading out in a little while for dinner with the Putnams, so it's unlikely we'll get anything else accomplished.

So, here are some links:

Mostly for Wheylona: Cat and Girl webcomic!

Mostly for Soapy: Theater Hopper webcomic!

Mostly for Dingo: John Waters's new series! (with self-starting audio/video)

Mostly for Johnbai: Obscure fact about obscure "celebrities"!

Mostly for JustJon: Cognitive science! (but a fun little game, too)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Actually, not so much more

So, I didn't post yesterday because I walked into the middle of the Art Show straight from work on a semi-long day. The day itself was pretty straightforward and not too high wattage - this quarter is slipping into oblivion quite nicely, thank you - but when I got home it was in media res. Soapy had been kind enough to come early to keep Otis company while the event kicked off, and he and I staffed the upstairs while Otis mixed and mingled with associates, clients, friends, and a few actual art-walkers this time. I also had cashier duty, and I was pretty busy with that once the night got going, especially since we had a reunion of sorts with both BK and Jimmy the K showing up. Dinnerless Soapy and I barely had time to gobble down some Danish mozzarella pizza!

I suppose I could have posted after the show ended at 9:00 or so, but we had another background event going on. Selkie had left the house at 5:30 am and apparently decided at some point to go on walkabout, because he didn't come home for dinner or even at his usual in-for-the-night time. Otis was full of maternal concern, especially since I had had another close encounter of the raccoon kind that morning, so we made a walk around the neighborhood, just to check. I got her to go to bed, but she couldn't sleep, so neither could I, and at 2:30 am, I got up, went downstairs, opened the door, and there he was, as I had known he would be eventually. Once again, god was in her heaven and all was right with the world and we could slip happily into morning. (BTW, all day Mountie maintained his recently adopted blasè attitude toward everything that isn't Otis.)

Since I've been going on about the cats, here are some recent pictures (although bogging about cats is almost as big a sin as blogging about blogging):

Today is my day off from doing school work (other than my two morning classes), but this weekend I have a bit to do, since I want to get ahead of the curve: the countdown to Maui begins soon! Nevertheless, I think we may be looking to take in matinee on Sunday; Jean Renoir, anyone?

Day late but not a dollar short

Wow, yesterday was a big day! Most of all, Otis's Art Show was a rousing success: lots of folks over, lots of art on its way into the world - and no citywide power outage this time! The artiste is exhausted but happy for all the support from friends - and special props go out to Soapy for providing Crowd Control.

A real post will follow later today - have a great morning!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Totally Tuesday

Tuesday was just, like, totally warm, wasn't it? A record-breaker, in fact. Yay, Spring!

Tuesday was a great day for a ride to Bellingham in the sun! Vroom!

Tuesday was a good day for a job interview. I believe the magic eight-ball would say "Signs Point to Yes" but I've been wrong before.

This Tuesday was the last Looong Tuesday. I get a break for a bit, and then next quarter it will switch to Looong Wednesdays. Sheesh.

Muchos Gracia to Stella for the coverage yesterday.
Sympathies to Johnbai for his fluishness.
Good luck to JustJon with automobile woes.

And don't forget Otis's Art Show on Thursday night.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What's the opposite of "under the gun"?

How can I feel anything but great on such a wonderful sunny afternoon?

Yesterday was the beginning of the good times. I got a slug of work done and even got a phone call to JustJon in, all before Otis was finished with her morning appointment.

The matinee on Friday was so much fun, we decided to do it again. We did the call-email-and-text thing, and wound up meeting Dingo at the Varsity for a screening of Tears of the Black Tiger. This film-festival-favorite was described as a Thai Western, and turned out to be an over-the-top crime story/romantic comedy/adventure/tragedy/epic/musical. If you took a little Sergio Leone, some Don Siegel, a bit of Peckinpaugh, a dash of Lynch, and just a pinch of Sirk, threw it in a blender with some psilocybin mushrooms, and then filmed it in technicolor, and you'd come pretty close to this movie. Cowboys in Bangkok: yee-ha!

After the film, we shared some coffee and cookies, feeling rather out of place among all the students in the coffee shop; we may have been the only ones not doing homework. That was waiting for me when we came home: I got the last of my grading and prep out of the way in plenty of time to have a relaxing evening.

Today, I taught morning classes, which went straightforwardly, and then came home to find I was pretty much caught up! I have a little prep to do, but really I'm pretty light in the do-list department. That will all change tomorrow, when final portfolios for Antioch start coming in, but overall this is a less burdensome week for me.

We took advantage of the lull and walked to the Wallingford post office to take care of some business. On the way, we got a positively chirpy phone call from Dingo, who was in her new position at the U and reveling in her private office and view; that added to the sunniness of the day. Later, we went the long way to the grocery store, via Golden Gardens Park, to rush the season with the first sunny beach walk. And photos:

The day made me so happy...

Don't be afraid to sweep the leg!

Bollywood on the beach


Ahrt: tracks

Some rusted metal for Johnbai

Now it's time for a little falafel, a little bit of work, and the evening can slide into night.

Wish me luck on my interview!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Calling all cars

So, I was out and about yesterday, roaming around while Otis was busy with the mother and clients. As I was driving around, doing my thing, I called J-Force, Dingo, Johnbai, and Soapy, looking for something to do.

J-Force called back but was waiting for tech support and couldn't come out to play (although we talked for a while). I had to leave messages for Dingo and Johnbai, but Soapy answered and we met for a semi-geeky lunch at Northgate. After lunch, I checked my phone: Johnbai had left a return phone message while he was walking and Dingo had called back, too. I returned her call to find her laying low, considering plans that Johnbai had for movie-going that night.

I went to the new(ish) Northgate library to do some grading, only to find that the boss there is my old SPL pal Debi, so I caught up with her instead.

Returning home, Otis and I thought about our evening plans. I called Johnbai back, but got his message. I called Dingo back, but she wasn't in the mood for doing much. Later, Johnbai called back from Dingo's living room, saying that he had some sort of pho poisoning, but still sort of felt like doing something, even though Dingo really still didn't.

Eventually, Otis and I decided to eat Mexican food and spend the night with Little Audrey, Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman, Felix, Dodo, and Tobor, the 8th Man.

What did we do before mobile phones, anyway?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The devil is in the details

Yesterday was a many-splendored thing, full of lots of little bits. I started with two classes, of course: one was doing an in-class essay and the other a pre-writing workshop, so I didn't have to be too high-wattage. Upon my return, I had a massage appointment; how con-veen-yent! I don't know why I don't get more massages...

Afterwards, I took Otis out to lunch up at Chef Liao's near our old apartment (and I still say you can't beat their lunch special with a stick). I made a half-hearted attempt to find reading sunglasses at Walgreen's, and then we made a successful foray to Value Village in Ballard to score me some interviewing trousers. I should look suitable academic for the folks in Whatcom County on Tuesday.

From Ballard, we made the long trek over to Wallingford to the Mac Store. When we left, Otis had a shiny new iPod Shuffle to wear as she runs around the lake.

Since we were in the area and hand a hankering for some popcorn, we hung around at Half-Price Books for a while and then caught the last matinee at the Metro. We saw Children of Men and it was every bit as good as everybody said it was. (I read a long review afterwards that said it wasn't as good or as complex as the book, but that never seems like a fair criticism to me.)

By the way, Otis was wondering about the title, so I Googled it, and it comes from the King James Version of Psalm 90:

Lord, thou hast been our refuge:
from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever the earth and the world were made:
thou art God from everlasting,
and world without end.
Thou turnest man to destruction:
again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday:
Seeing that is past as a watch in the night.

We got home and had dinner just in time to miss the showing of The Departed that Soapy was going to. We passed a busy-ish but quiet even at home, taking care of cat and house stuff. We went to bed early and man, I had the best sleep I've had in a while.

I actually have a lighter responding load this weekend than is usual, so of course Otis is busy with appointments and family stuff. Ah, well.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


So, I worked and stuff. But here's this:

The Fifty Worst Songs of All Time

50 Sunglasses at Night Corey Hart

49 I'll Be Missing You Various Artists

48 Can I Touch You...There? [Album Version] Michael Bolton

47 Something in Common Bobby Brown

46 Two Princes Spin Doctors

45 Sorry 2004 Ruben Studdard

44 We Didn't Start the Fire Billy Joel

43 Make Em Say Ugh, Pt. 2 Master P

42 Cotton Eye Joe Various Artists

41 Some Girls (Dance With Women) JC Chasez

40 What's Up? 4 Non Blondes

39 Informer Snow

38 Mesmerize Ja Rule

37 From a Distance Bette Midler

36 I Wanna Sex You Up Color Me Badd

35 Heartbeat Don Johnson

34 Butterfly Crazy Town

33 Jenny from the Block Jennifer Lopez

32 Broken Wings Mr. Mister

31 You Remind Me of Something R. Kelly

30 Pimp Juice Nelly

29 I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) Meat Loaf

28 Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley

27 Rump Shaker Wreckx n Effect

26 The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You Bryan Adams

25 You Rock My World Michael Jackson

24 Sussudio Phil Collins

23 Thong Song Sisqó

22 Dancing on the Ceiling Lionel Richie

21 I'll Be There for You [Theme from Friends] Various Artists

20 Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) Toby Keith

19 You're the Inspiration Chicago

18 Pumps and a Bump Hammer

17 I'm Too Sexy Right Said Fred

16 The Final Countdown Europe

15 MMM, MMM, MMM, MMM Crash Test Dummies

14 Will 2k [Featuring K-Ci] Will Smith

13 Barbie Girl Aqua

12 Hangin' Tough New Kids on the Block

11 Rico Suave Gerardo

10 The Heart of Rock & Roll Huey Lewis

9 Don't Worry, Be Happy Various Artists

8 She Bangs Ricky Martin

7 Party All the Time Eddie Murphy

6 Breakfast At Tiffany's Deep Blue Something

5 Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice

4 Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle) Limp Bizkit

3 Everybody Have Fun Tonight Wang Chung

2 Achy Breaky Heart Billy Ray Cyrus

1 We Built This City Starship

I don't know where I cribbed this list from a year or so ago. I have to admit, there are three or four tunes on this list that I enjoy, but being the musical ignoramus that I am, I don't recognize most of the entries.