Thursday, January 31, 2008

So, where the heck did the week go...

Monday was a snow day, yay. But I worked anyway, remember?
Tuesday I bussed into campus early, worked, taught, came home for dinner, and went out to teach again.
Wednesday I bussed into campus early, worked, taught, taught, bussed in to Belltown, worked, and taught.
Today, even though I had no classes, I caught a ride into campus early with NatDog and worked for about ten hours or so and then came home for dinner.
Yeah, like that. You might want to print the above to clip and save, so you can just stick in on your computer next week.

Otis and I did go to Remedy Teas last night after my class, but their wi-fi was dicey so I didn't blog. I had Shaman and Otis had Silk and Citrus.

Johnbai called me today: once just before he went to Zanadu (so he could find it) and once just after he went to Zanadu (so he could tell me what he got and what I missed). Who says personal contact has been killed by the blog?

Dingo just called a few minutes ago from her lonely post in the Cell Phone Lot at SeaTac, where she was waiting for Neds to deplane. Who says personal favors have been killed by modern services?

Otis just finished another small art piece in her workspace at Dining Nook Studios. It is called Fourteen Years after her Death, Jackie O Emerges from The Enchanted Princess Cabinet. Here it is:

Here's a little quiz. I'd make Otis the favorite on this one, paying seven to five; put Yojimbo next at two to one, and the rest of y'all pulling up after.

A librarian pal at work turned me on to Spokeo. It's a friend-tracker site. You enter your own email address and password; Spokeo then searches a bunch of social networking sites for any public information associated with the email addresses in your address book, and displays any new content from those places. It's like going to all your friends' Flickr, MySpace, Pandora, Amazon Wish List type spaces at the same time. Except that you get to see those sites even if you didn't know your friend had them and your friend doesn't know you know they exist. Kinda cool, in a creepy-scary, Big Brother-1984 sort of way...

Have a nice night!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Irony never pays

So, there I was trying to be snarky with my snow comment in the last post. I get up at 5:43 to let the cats out and it is cold, but only wet. Then I get up at 6:30 for reals and there is a half-inch of white everywhere. Hunh? I check the intarweb and it tells me Cascadia is on late start, opening at 11:00; by the time Otis is up and about around 8:30, they have canceled the whole day. Neepers!

However, as Otis went off to her writing date, NatDog and I drove into campus together anyway. Rather than waste the day, we picked up the stuff we had planned to work on in our offices and brought it home to work on. It's pretty darn silly when you think about it, innit?

And who even knows about tomorrow? Weather Underground is predicting "definite light snow" for the next twelve hours, but then it should turn to rain, so who the heck knows? If I had to pick, I'd guess another late start, but my class isn't until eleven anyway, so no matter.

In the meanwhile, I did get a lot of work done today, sitting in my thermals with the fireplace going. Can't do that on campus.

I'm blogging from 3PB/LFP (and there's no real snow to be seen anywhere). We came up to meet Pater Putnam for dinner because Mater P. is at a working dinner. The picture would have included Otis except she wandered off to look at books.

Today is supposedly National Kilt Day, but I think this website just picks a random day every few weeks and calls it that. I've got the Workman on, of course. Check out the kilt movies.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bonus entry!

Since I worked hard today blah-blah and since I just finished a magnum opus of sorts - the three-hole-punching of the final draft of my first tenure review portfolio is still echoing in the house - and since tomorrow and the next day and the day after that will likely be jam-packed busy, I thought I'd drop another quick post onto the smoking bonfire of the blogosphere.

I probably shouldn't encourage him, but I just had to post this cannibalism quiz for Soapy. (I am only 35% likely to eat my buddies in a blizzard.)

This article about depression is really pertinent to a post-and-comment discussion on Stave It Off some time ago, but I can't find it to link to because Johnbai has a crappily-structured archive that doesn't allow quick perusal of titles.

Speaking of Johnbai, he posted his best movies of 2007. I'm not going to play that game (because, believe it or not, I did not keep a movie spreadsheet this year and don't care enough to go looking through my blog), but I can tell you without even thinking that the best movie of the year was Once.

(Oh yeah, and that Sunshine sucked. Definitely.)

So, is it just me, or is it a little weird to have Neds posting from Madrid again?

Speaking of Eurobloggers, Wheylona had been posting lots of pretty pictures before the nightmare of Mulletgate distracted her.

So, what's a better deal: $900 for a $1300 tadpole trike, or $100 for a $650 semi-recumbent? If I get the first one, this summer I will put my trailer on it and cruise the Burke-Gilman selling drinks, power bars, and flat repairs.

Watch out - it's gonna snow! Any time now! Really... no, c'mon, seriously. It will!

And for no reason at all, here's a picture of a cowgirl:

Hi-ho, hi-ho

Otis and I are both off to work today. She's prepping for her workshop this afternoon, and I have to head off to get a pile of responding done. That's okay for me, cuz I sorta took most of the day off yesterday anyway. Otis, on the other hand, had appointments and stuff to do yesterday, so she's got a full working weekend going.

So, I did a little schoolwork yesterday, but then bussed downtown after an early lunch and spent the afternoon at the grand Central Library for the Comixtravaganza. I wrote all about it on the comix blog, if you want to know how it went.

Otis met me at the end of the day and we had a sweet dinner at Ballet. I don't know if it's a new menu item, but I had their tofu in teriyaki sauce for the first time, and it was splendid. We made a quick stop at VV for some workshop supplies and that was about it for the day.

Soapy's political ruminations are far too deep for a simple fellow like myself to follow, but I think I can weigh in on his "plain" dilemma. I feel your pain, dude. But check out this national overview of pizza, particularly the third entry, New York Style. You're just living in the wrong city is all.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Early morning once again

It's been a very long time since I has a leisurely blog in the dawn's early and all that... and it's been a pretty long time since I've blogged, period.

I spent the past two days sequestered in my office in Bothell doin' work. No classes - just all the other stuff that comes with, and some special stuff, too. And that doesn't even include my responding, which I have to do this weekend. Eek! See what happens when you take a weekend off? But it's all good, and all under control. I'll see a slacking-off in about another two-three weeks.

On Thursday, I worked all the way until NatDog finished her evening class, so by the time I hitched a ride home with her, Otis and I only had time to watch Atomic Rulers of the World before we both fell asleep. This short Japanese film from 1964 has resonances of old movie serials and the first Superman TV show, and you can see the seeds of later Saturday-morning fare such as Power Rangers in it. It is incredibly cheesy, but has a goofy charm that totally captivated Otis. I think she's in lurve with Ken Utsui (more than George Reeves but less than David Janssen).

On Friday, after carpooling in the opposite direction with NatDog and another long day, I walked the hundred yards or so from my office to Stella's apartment to help prepare for the Rabbie Burns Night celebration. Stella outdid herself prepping for the night: she set up an elegant dining table with service for fourteen, prepared three different kinds of vegetarian haggis, and made a scrumptious dessert. Her only tactical error was scheduling dentist's appointment for Mel Jr. at about the same time as dinner! So, as well as being shanghaied into the role of Chairman, I got to to play sous-chef and doorman as the evening commenced.

Otis carpooled up with Dingo and Johnbai; Yito, Normy, and DP comprised the Cascadia contingent; old pal Della showed up; and Soapy came late but eager. Oh yeah - Stella and Mel Jr. came back in time for dinner, too.

We managed a passable job of following the protocol for a traditional Burns night, albeit with some abbreviations. A CD of bagpipe music provided the background, we had the Selkirk Grace and the ode To a Haggis, toasts were made and poetry read (much of it surprisingly bawdy - I'm looking at you, carpoolers), we closed with a chorus of Auld Lang Syne, and an unseen observer (had there been one) would have witnessed a night of companionable festivity.

Stella's cockless-leeky soup was excellent, and Otis's rosemary salt (the culinary equivalent of plutonium) was enjoyed by the daring. The neep 'n' tatties were yummy and the mock-cranachan desert was heavenly, but the centerpiece of the night was the haggis. The canned vegetarian haggis was pronounced close to authentic in taste by Johnbai (who has apparently had the real deal) but was in many ways the least interesting of the three. The quorn-haggis was more like a casserole and had a multicultural quality that, while not unpleasant, seemed less suitable for the event. But the crown jewel of the meal was Stella's own improvised vegetarian haggis, bagged in cheesecloth, which made a great substitute for a sheep's stomach. This was the "great chieftain o' the pudding-race" which was Piped In; this haggis was Addressed; this haggis was cut "wi' ready slight"; and this was the dish to which all in attendance cried "Gie her' a haggis!"

Good times. I think Rabbie would have been pleased.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Teacher boy!

Yeah, that's a student rendition of yours truly from one of my Antiochians tonight; I left the room during small groups and it was there when I came back. My Utilikilt doesn't have a scalloped hem, but otherwise I think the likeness is uncanny.

I'm blogging to you tonight from Remedy Teas up on Cap Hill. Otis picked me up from school after my evening class, so we have made a night of it. That thing she's waving around is a knife with which to butter toast, toast to go with our teas, Blue Hawaiian for Otis and Iron Goddess of Mercy for me.

It has been a terribly busy forty-eight hours since we got back - nine of those actually in class, and the rest, it seems, getting to and from school or prepping. The interval (as I have come to think of the Thursday through Sunday period, since I must maintain an online presence although I don't have classes) promises to be extremely busy as well. I have carved out two sections of playtime: Stella's Rabbie Burns Dinner on Friday night, and the Comixtravaganza at SPL on Saturday afternoon. Aside from those oases of enjoyment, it looks like I will be trekking through the desert of grading, prep, and tenure work from now until I am back in the classroom on Monday afternoon.

Yojimbo called tonight - he was heading up to the Crest to catch some flicks; I couldn't join him or even hook up, since I was teaching.

I got an email tonight from one John Stremikis, who was doing some genealogical research and tripped over an old HKC blog posting about surname frequency. Perhaps we'll hear more of this... could it be the Bummerman of Earth-2?

Gotta go, my evil twin is calling.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aaaand we're back...

Just a note to let all and sundry know that we made it back technically still on Monday. Johnbai did yeoman work meeting us, the cats were fine thanks to NatDog, and I was up and at 'em this ay-em and have already jumped back into the swim, with renewed vim and vigah. I am in a little respite between Work That Was and Work That Is Yet To Be; this is going to be a busy week.

The best-laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft a-gley.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Still here

Okay, so the flight has been further delayed, from 6:30 to 7:40. But luckily (?!?) the SFX-SEA flight has also been delayed, so there's still a likelihood chance that we will make that connection and merely get home fifty minutes late, even though our apparent delay was three and a quarter hours. If we miss the connection, we're stuck in San Francisco until the morning. United doesn't have an early flight, so I'll likely miss class; I think even if we switch to the earliest Alaska flight, I wouldn't make it. Le Sigh. This is a pretty airport, but its charms have worn thin. Here are some pictures:

This was my breakfast today - a sliced banana and leftover tempeh sandwich on toast. Mmm-mmm, good!

Ooooh - dramatic lighting!

There were actually a few clouds in the sky today...

...but not so much as all that.

Touch the horizon!

It actually is a pretty airport.

Keep smilin'!

Got them stuck in the airport blues...

That there is the terminal at Palms Springs Airport - "America's ResortPort!" - where we have been sitting for, oh, the past three hours or so. We got here a little early for our flight home, planning to do grading and stuff. It wasn't until we should have started boarding that Otis saw a sign saying that our flight was delayed. We were now scheduled to leave two hours after the original time. No worries: still plenty of time to make our connection in San Francisco and be home at our original time. Unfortunately, it means dinner will not be a nice, relaxed meal in SFX, but rather crap bought from the snack bar here, since ResortPort or no, services are pretty limited.

Ah, well, at least it was still SUNNY AND WARM today. We took a drive up into the hills to look back down at the valley; it was pretty spectacular. This seems to be a nice stretch of country. And they have some pretty good Thai food, too.

See you soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

More fun in the sun

What can I say? It was once again CLEAR AND SUNNY AND WARM! It feels great.

This weekend has been like throwing in a crappy set of Scrabble tiles and drawing a whole new rack: even though it's a missed step, you're in a much better place because of it. Even though this was a really bad time to have a weekend away, this quarter felt like it wasn't really getting traction anyway, so maybe this re-charge will give me the edge I need to get it under control.

Click the palm trees for a slide show! (And click the "i" symbol on the slideshow for captions.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blogging from blogville...

Hi! We're at Peabody's, home of free wi-fi, really crappy lattes, and (we think) karaoke later on.

Here's the bullets:

Woke up this morning to BRILLIANT SUNSHINE! It was glorious - literally, not a cloud in the sky ... took a drive out to College of the Desert to check out the cc situation down here. It was nice, and there happened to be Street Fair going on on campus, so we hung out there for a while ... continued out into Coachella Valley, and I think we passed through five of the nine "Desert Cities" that have sprung up since the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra paved the way for development of the area. I think I liked Rancho Mirage (former home of Gerald Ford) the best ... that observation might mean something since CoD has a tenure-track opening for an English Instructor ... picked up some Trader Joe's salads for lunch and spent the WARM AND SUNNY afternoon lounging by the pool ... haven't done much of the schoolwork that I brought, but manged to read a few pages of Aristotle between naps ... NatDog the catsitter called, letting Momma Otis know her boys are fine ... had a nice dinner at an all-vegan restaurant, Native Foods ... and here we are.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Image-heavy post

Well, we're here in Palm Spring, decompressing/relaxing in the room. The day started out nice enough: the cats were only a little weird, and Johnbai delivered us to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We had a nice breakfast at the Anthony's in the airport - to include mimosas! - which turned out to be a good thing as well as fun.

We boarded the plane at about 11:00 for an 11:25 departure to Phoenix. As we pulled away from the jetway, some lights told the captain that his #2 engine wasn't working, so after a round trip of about forty feet, we sat at the gate for about two hours while they fixed the computer that was supposed to watch the engines.

Thanks to the Miracle of Wireless Telephony, I got us seats on the next flight to Palm Springs from Phoenix after the connection we were guaranteed not to make. We actually made up some of the time we had lost on the ground, but it was still a long time between food services.

In Palm Springs we got our rental (a red Dodge, a mini-version of Soapy's rig) and drove around bit, partially because we had a hard time finding the turnoff for the hotel (it's hard to find) and partially to see the town (verdict so far: tony).

We had a good Italian dinner down the street and now we're just crashing. The room is okay, the pool is open, and the forecast is for sun. It looks to be good weekend.

Here are some visuals:

A bit tired, but raising a glass anyway.

We played some impromptu pictionary on the plane. Try your hand at guessing these! A-F are things, 1-12 are actions. (Click for biggification.)

Click for Otis's re-enactment of Terror at 20,000 feet! on our little puddle-jumper.

Click for another short film, Otis Kisses a Cup.

A couple of weeks ago, we met Stella up at LFP to do some work. Some local group that had recently used the meeting room we snuck into had left their resolutions on the blackboard. We thought some of them were pretty funny.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Okay, so I'm, like, rilly busy?

But I told y'all there wouldn't be early-week posts. It's actually going to be crunch-time for another two weeks or so before it settles down; I'll be bringing work to Palm Springs, as much as I was trying to avoid that. Being sick hasn't helped either - it's a terrible season for colds, and Dingo and NatDog and many others are similarly afflicted (although I deny being the causal agent). So, on we go!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Still sortin'

So, I still have a cold, the kind that's not bad enough to really complain about or go to bed over but just bad enough to be pretty annoying. I made it through the day, which ended with class, which I just barely made it through before I passed out from oxygen deprivation (too much hot air out, not enough in through my clogged head). This cold rain didn't help, either.

Speaking of the cold rain, Otis and I made a run up to the Lake City Freddy's tonight, and there was snow all through Wedgwood and in Lake City! Stella reported snow in Belltown, and Dingo called it accumulating sleet up on Cap Hill. The outdoor surfaces like fence rails, garbage cans, and cars here in the RD are white, too. Hey - it's winter! Weatherman says it might be icy in the morning, but then it'll be all over.

Hey, in the linkage last night I forgot to add in Independence Days. Jon of Monmouth is back in the saddle, and he has switched to a new format - check it out.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Out of sorts, sort of

This has been a heckuva weekend, mixing, as it has, work and play with a distressing alternaity. Saturday seemed to slip by almost formlessly in this manner.

The Big Play was heading to Neds's for the gamefest; she's already sung about that, so I will only add that by the time we made a carpool pass through Cap Hill and got home, we went to bed about 3:00 am. Neds is trying to inflict Spanish hours upon us, I think.

The Big Work was nonetheless heading into campus for several hours of prepping and copying, trying to get ducks in rows to be ready for our weekend away coming up. Otis came along and worked on some grading of her own.

On the way home from Bothell, we stopped for a bite of Vietnamese tofu, and all of a sudden I had a blazing headache on top of my cold-ickiness - just as Otis detected the optical signs of the onset of a migraine. So we both spent the afternoon pretty punk, and are just coming out of it now, just in time for the busy week ahead.
So, here are some links:

I am seriously tempted to get one of these to find out where Selkie actually goes when he disappears.

I am also tempted to get one of these for me, but much less seriously.

Here's some homework reading for Johnbai, ScottyTuxedo, and Yojimbo in their current search for truth, justice, and fair use.

This linguistic development is promising - although I can't say I have heard this usage, and I doubt it will catch on, I applaud the very notion.

Finally, in response to Jon of Monmouth's political malaise, I offer this from Will Shetterly, who so often says it better than I.

Oh - and here's a picture Wheylona took way back when, when she was last visiting, and just sent now. It's blogtastic!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pick yer poison

WQAD, the news source for Davenport-Bettendorf-Rock Island-Moline, has a little quiz to help you see which candidate most closely matches your positions on the major issues. It might be a little old, since some of these guys have already dropped out.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my results show a pack of Democrats followed by a pack of the other fellows. (And the lead Republican is their wingnut.) In order, with milestone scores, they were:

Kuchinch (65)
Richardson (62)
Clinton (61)
Edwards (48)
Paul (32)
Giuliani (27)
McCain (15)
Romney (10)
Huckabee (5)

It may not be scientific, but it's short. Try it.
Hat tip to mark evanier!

Friday, January 11, 2008

What I had for lunch

Oh, what makes a Friday? A little bit of work, a little bit of play. Checking in with my online classes in the morning. A totally fruitless search of office supply stores for reinforced file folders, which can apparently be purchased only on line. A more fruitful stop at the LCS, where I saw a poster for Comixtravaganza at SPL- mark your calendars now! A quick pizza lunch with Otis and her brother. An afternoon at World Cup with NatDog, each of us doing a pile of school work. Chili for dinner! And double-duty blogging at 3PB/R. Not too shabby.

So, here's a little algorithm that helps you create an album cover from random elements. Unfortunately, the site doesn't actually generate the images - you have to build yourself. But it's still cool. Here's a couple I made:

Go check out the gallery. Cool beans.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Everybody's working for the Thursday...

So, I think I have a sense of the rhythm of my week: one class on Monday, with a lot of prep; two classes on Tuesday at two campuses, but an easy schedule and time to commute and prep; three classes Wednesday at two campuses, a long day with some prep squeezed in; and then it all breaks out on Thursday: no more classes, just meetings, grading, and on-line work over the next four days.

Only ten weeks left!

I went into campus this morning to get caught up, and took care of errands (like getting my eyeglasses tightened - ?!) on the way home. I worked a little in the afternoon, and then Otis and I went to dinner with neighbor pals Lon & Jules. We headed over to Krittika, a Thai place just down the street - part of the fun of the evening (and it was great fun) was being able to hang out in our own back yard.

When we came home, Otis and I watched Last Life in the Universe, a Japanese-Thai movie about an anal-retentive suicidal expatriate Japanese librarian in Bangkok whose world becomes intertwined with the messy life of a grieving young Thai woman and complicated by a fatal accident, Yakuza conflicts, a jealous boyfriend, and dirty dishes. By turns lyrical, meditative, and frustrating, the film was often enigmatic but always engaging.

Now, let's get this weekend going!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yah, the beginning of the weeks gets a little busy...

I've got my hands full on campus, fighting fifth columnists and whatnot, so no posts on Tuesday and Wednesday anymore, and maybe not even Monday. Please contain your despair.

And yes, as a matter of fact, that is what I wear to teach these days...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Who's on third?

We're at third, anyway - 3PB/R. I had a long day at the academic salt mine: I had only one class, from 1:15 to 3:20, but I was on campus from 8:30 am until about 6:00 pm, doing my prep. NatDog was kind enough to give me a ride home, so I had her drop me here. Otis joined me after her late appointment, we grabbed some Pad Thai from Bai Pai Thai down the street (okay, but a little pricey overall), and then settled in for some more work. Five different preps sure add up to a lot of work. It's going to be a long quarter.

After our eastside adventure yesterday, we came home for work 'n' play. We watched Stephen Fry's biopic Wilde - it was very good, if a but reverential at times, and seemed to get most of the important details about Wilde's life correct. Fry was a surprisingly warm Oscar, and Jude Law made a glorious golden boy as his lover and downfall, Bosie. Gweekers called just as the movie ended and I got a long report from the dry side.

I have a feeling the blog will be neglected in the future. Instead of boring diary posts, I may revert to the links-and-epigrams format from some time ago, at least for a while.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Is a quah?

We are coming to you live from the Issaquah Brewhouse, where we stopped for lunch on the way back from our snow trek. But more of that later...

Yesterday was another low key day. Instead of working a lot, I made lists of things to accomplish and then worked a little - that was much more fun. I also engaged in the miracle of VVOIP: Voice and Video Over Internet Protocol. Otis and I had a nice long three-way conversation with Jon of Monmouth using iChat, and then I Skyped Sachet in the afternoon. I have to say that I really like video chatting, and that it's feeling much more natural and casual all the time. Maybe the Picturephone's time has finally come.

In the evening, we had Neds, Stella, Dingo, Johnbai, Eryk, and Sylvio over to watch the ABC News Republican and Democratic Presidential Debates (One Night - Two Parties!).
Otis made delicious chili, Neds brought a tortilla, Dingo made a yummy pumpkin bread, Eryk baked some spicy angel food cake, Sylvio contributed ice cream, and Johnbai consumed it all. It was a great, good-spirited night, punctuated by another Skype with Sachet, and well worth the collateral discomfiting of cats that ensued.

As far as the politics went: the Repubs were typically unrealistic, illogical, pandering, and jingoistic; only Ron Paul (who appears to be a wingnut on most other topics) spoke straight about the geopolitical scene, while the rest invoked the boogie-man of Islamofascism right and left. The domestic policy discussion presented various degrees of insensitivity and disconnect from the general population. The Dems spoke less stentorially but generally more rationally; if they could get past the squabbling, they might be able to actually have a substantive conversation about the issues. In any case, I think the best we all came out with was a little more comfort in our resignation about the future.

We got to bed necessarily late, but still tried to make it an early start this morning. It is something of a tradition (habit?) for us to try to find some snow on January 6. This time out, we headed east on I-90 and only had to go as far as Olallie State Park to get our fill:

It wasn't quite as cold as Otis is making it out to be.

Into the wild...

Even though we were looking for snow, we seem shocked to have found it!

Click pic for jumpy goodness!

All of which explains why we are in Issaquah on our way back. Speaking of which, almost time to go - I still have a few final details to orgabamize for class tomorrow, when It All Begins Again.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back to the post template?

After yesterday, I felt like pulling out boilerplate for those "taught, graded, prepped" days that I know are coming. But with two hybrid classes, those may only be three days of seven; the others will be much more of a mix. So even though a big chunk of yesterday fell into that great gray "prep" abyss, maybe that mood won't be so ubiquitous this quarter.

Not all of yesterday was in the fog, however; Yojimbo paid us a visit in the evening and we had a splendid meal at India Bistro down the street.

The night also held its own surprise: Selkie made another escape from the balcony just at bedtime and was out in the windstorm overnight, causing his momma no end of consternation. He came back early this morning for breakfast, safe and sound (of course), and has been fast asleep under the bed ever since.

I hear Neds invited some folks over here tonight, so maybe I'll see some of you soon.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


This is a good time for a touch-up, don't you think?

Back to school today: at least for strategerizing and all that sort of stuff. Tomorrow is prep, and then classes begin on Monday. It's working out to be an interesting quarter-start, some good qualities, some not so good. But as our guest speaker at the union lunch said today, we're not coal miners - we really can't complain about horrendous working conditions, eh?

Otis and I are at 3PB/R after a nice "dry soup" dinner. We walked in the rain, and the new "Blogger" bag came through with flying colors.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Whither this blog?

It seems like the cool kids are starting to privatate their blogs. It seems to make sense, at least for diary bogs such as this one. The intended (as well as actual) readership is generally confined to a circle of friends, so why not have everyone sign in and dispense with code names and veiled references and all that nonsense? On the other hand, I like knowing that there is a possibility, a non-zero chance, that this blog might connect with someone last encountered far away in time or space, but whom I would like to contact again. Seeing that the Big Plans for Big Changes around these parts are on hold pending developments in the bigger scheme (see, there's one of those veiled references), I'll probably let inertia rule and keep things just the way they are. For a while, anyway.

The year started off yesterday with a Search for Breakfast. We headed down to Fremont and Silence Heart Nest but they were closed - because they are closed on Tuesdays! Sheesh! So we headed up to Greenwood to the Library Cafe, but they, too, were closed. Dunno why. So we wandered to Ballard and went to Miro Tea. Okay, but a little pricey.

Other New Year's events included a walk around Green Lake and watching Pi at home on the Big Wall. I loved this little, low-budget, indie flick. I wasn't completely sure of all the details of the narrative - and the ending is deliberately ambiguous - but the filmmaking was some of the most innovative, creative work I have seen in a long while, very reminiscent of French New Wave stuff. I haven't felt this way about a film since I saw Alphaville in high school. It is disturbing, but very well crafted and engaging, intellectually and emotionally.

Today was filled with a lot of work: school work up at 3PB/LFP with Stella (while Otis did work-work with us) and then housework back here, de-holidazing the house and do some needed-done-yesterday deep cleaning. I did make a run to University Books to get a new laptop bag. I was torn between a couple of models, and eventually chose one because of its vertical orientation - and its model name.

I got a Blogger.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


The year ended in a pretty good mood. Otis was fighting some kind of headache for much of the day, but that did not deter us from an expedition to Ballard for a last visit to the water:

After the day's activities (see below), we rested before the festivities at Johnbai's place. Otis and I arrived to find Dingo and Sylvio already there; Neds showed up shortly thereafter. Conviviality ruled the night as we talked and gamed our way into the new year. Highlights:

Apparently, veggie pigs-in-blankets, however cheap, trump hummus, however delicious and lovingly prepared.

Johnbai's now-legendary card-word game actually has great gameplay; there is still, however, no consensus on the pronunciation of "quixostotistic." Big winner: Sylvio!

That "mimer-timer" from Guesstures makes the most annoying sound in the world, but there's nothing funnier than a one-woman stampede (thanks, Ned!).

Dick Clark is still frakking amazing; borderline creepy to some, but amazing nonetheless. The cred of the "stars" on his show has shrunk, however, to an alarming degree.

Fifteen permutations of kisses is a great way to ring in the new year.

You can't do the eat-a-grape-at-each-stroke-of-midnight Spanish tradition with grapes the size of golf balls, no matter how good they taste.

Otis discovered the joys of the Philips Screwdriver (peach as well as orange) and didn't even crack her lambic; others preferred to sample the single-malt scotches and develop their skills:

Sylvio left a little after midnight to join up with another locus of merriment and Otis and I lasted a few hours into the new year before I drove us home. Dingo and Neds made it a slumber party, and as far as I know are likely still there.

This is my third New Year's Day Blog post, and my themes (I hesitate to call them resolutions) for the year remain the same, with some growth (a description that I hope applies to me as well):

Try to make fewer statements and ask more questions.
In each situation, consider what a little kindness might do.

Thanks for all the friendship, my most valued asset; here's to a great year for all of us!