Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seattle Day Two

Sunday in Seattle started out a little slow. I slept in and when I woke, we had a leisurely breakfast provided by the hotel. Sometime Saturday it occurred to me that the Archie McPhee store was in Seattle and I convinced Dad that we needed to go there. So that's where we headed after breakfast.

I'm not sure most of my readers will understand how freeking awesome this store is. Dave will, but I already geeked out about it to him (read: I gloated that I there). Spend some time on their website though. Now, imagine the store... it has all that stuff plus a bunch of bins of random.

Also, there is bacon:











After Archie McPhee we went to The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. It's actually two different museums... sort of. They're in the same building, and you just get one ticket for both of them, but they're very separate. The music doesn't really have anything to do with the science fiction. Anyway, that was kind of interesting. the music part had a lot of stuff about the music scene in Seattle, which was interesting. It also had a hall of guitars which showed the evolution of the guitar. The sci-fi museum just had tons of stuff - from books to props in movies to models and Ninja Turtles.


Finally after the museum we headed to Quest Field for the Major League Soccer Cup Game - the whole reason we went to Seattle in the first place. Our little local soccer team - Real Salt Lake - somehow managed rally and make it to this game. RSL was playing LA Galaxy (David Beckham's team). It was such a good game!

If you don't follow soccer, you wont really care if I tell you all about it. If you do follow soccer, you probably watched the game and you know how kick ass it was. All I will say is Real won in sudden death PKs. It was totally intense.

After the game we headed out. We drove all night and arrived back home around noon. It was a really fantastic trip, but I was completely exhausted yesterday and today. And I'm having a hard time keeping straight what day of the week it is.

Here are a couple more pictures for you:

Me at the stadium before the game
proof that we were there

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seattle Day One

Trip to Seattle = Super freeking awesome! Here's what happened:

We left Friday around 2:00 and, with one hour long delay to check out a weird warning light, drove for the next 12 hours. Dad and I alternated who was driving and who slept. We finally pulled into Seattle around 3 in the morning, pulled into a random parking lot, and we both slept for about 4 hours. The car was not the most comfortable place for sleeping, but we managed.

Around 7 we went to breakfast, and visited out hotel. We couldn't check in until 3, but we got a parking permit so we left the car in their lot and walked down to the water front.

We started at Pike's market- you know, the famous one where they throw the fish around. I kind of failed at taking a picture of the fish flying through the air... but here it's about to happen:

really, anticipation is half the fun, right? Anyway, we walked around the market for a while - there were all sorts o
f little shops and fun things to look at. Then we walked along the water front a little more. We spent a lot of time in odd little touristy shops. At one point we past a little food vendor and decidedthat we really should get some fried clams while we were there. I mean, come on, it's not going to get any fresher than that.
they were delicious!

After chowing down our clams, we wandered up to Pioneer Square to take The Underground Tour. Seattle's streets were originally 8-35 feet lower than they are now. The underground tour takes you down to the original side walks to take a look at historic Seattle streets while the tour guides tell funny stories - mostly about shit and prostitution.
See, when Seattle started out people didn't really understand how tides worked. And they, just like we do now, occasionally had to go to the bathroom. These two factors meant that every day at high tide, downtown Seattle was flooded with salt water and raw sewage. The invention of the Crapper (flush toilet) made things even more fun. When everyone got their crappers, they needed a sewer system to hook them up to. So they built one, out of wood, that worked with gravity. That was fine, except at high tide water would flow back up the sewage pipe, pressure would build up and you can guess what would happen when you tried to flush you crapper.

One day Seattle burned down. All of it. It was a great time to start over and solve problems. City guys said "let's raise everything so it wont get flooded every day." Business guys said "I'm not going to pay for it." So the businesses re-built their shops pretty much the way the were before. The City guys raised all the land they owned... city land... so basically the streets. The streets were now 8-35 feet above the sidewalks. Having customers fall down onto the sidewalk, and having to climb up and down ladders to patronize your shop is kind of bad for business. So business owners raised their sidewalks and all the first floors became basements.

This is a picture of a skylight at a corner of the underground sidewalk. Up on the street it just
looks like decorative mosaic tile in the sidewalk. The original skylights were thick, solid pieces of transparent glass. This caused two major problems. 1 - fat people (or people carrying big loads) would walk over the skylight and fall through. 2 - they were transparent. Crowds would gather beneath them to... um... enjoy the views. Local "seamstresses" found them to be a great way to advertise their wares though. The gentlemen below got a sneak preview of what they were offering. They just wrote their prices on the bottom of their shoes.

After the tour, we wandered back to the hotel to check in. As soon as we got to the room, we both kind of crashed - although Dad only napped for about 15 minutes. He believes in the power napping thing. I slept for a good solid 2 hours. Between driving all night and walking around all day, I was pretty damn tired.

We went to dinner at a local pub, and then I went dancing. Seattle has some great dancers, so I thought I should check them out. Funny enough, I actually knew two of the guys there. One was a kid I met at Lindy on the Rocks this summer. The other guy I met last year at the Utah Lindy Exchange. He was just in town for the game too. I guess Disney is right, it is a small world after all.

I have stuff I have to take care of. I'll finish writing about the trip later today, or possibly tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

This is Just To Say

I'm going to Seattle this weekend for the MLS Cup game. (w00t)

I don't know what the WiFi situation is going to be, but I probably wont be blogging until I get back.

Now I have to go finish packing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And Another Thing...

I was going to write about shoes today. I can see you rolling your eyes at me, but it was going to be pretty cool. But then I logged into blogger and it told me that Tim had blogged about the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book.

My first thought was: What? Douglas Adams is dead. There's a new Hitchhiker's book? WTF? Why did I not know about this?

My second thought was: I'm going to read Tim's blog.

My third thought (after reading the blog): Dude, I'm putting it on hold right now!

My fourth thought (after going to the library website and putting it on hold): Awww man, 24. That's not nearly as cool. Tim was number 42 in line. I want to be 42. Everyone should automatically be 42 in line for the book, no matter how many people have holds on it already. *sigh* Oh well, at least I'll get it faster this way.

My fifth thought: Hmmm I wonder if I have anything due soon... nope. Good.

My sixth thought: I'm so not going to blog about shoes anymore. Even though it was going to be an awesome post about shoes.

And that pretty much catches you up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Evolution and Books

Book people are really reticent to change. The books we read today are REALLY similar to the books that have been around hundreds of years. Ever since people switched from the papyrus scroll to the codex books have looked pretty much the same.

Sure, the shape change a little from square to more rectangular, and the material used to make pages has changed too. Printing technology influenced the look of the writing on the page (illuminated lettering is soooo 14th century). But since about the 4th century people have filled their libraries with these stacks of pages, bound on one side, with stuff written on them.

For a long time book pages were animal skins. The easiest shape to get out of an animal skin is a rectangle. That's why books are shaped the way they are. When paper became the popular material for the page it stayed rectangular because people still wanted their books to look like books. Book people are very reticent to change.

Now we have e-books and e-book readers like the Kindle. The high-tech, computerized, electronic way of doing pretty much everything is catching up to the book world. Book people are reacting pretty much the same way they always have: The Kindle is neat, but in my library, I want the real thing.

I have mixed feelings about this new evolution of the book. I haven't had a lot of experience with e-book readers (but I have tried a few). What I have seen has been pretty cool. I would love to be able to just download all my text books and not have to lug 3 tons of bookage to school every day. When I travel, I always pack at least 4 or 5 books. That can get heavy, and with airline baggage restrictions it can be a problem. With e-books, I could just pack one slim little reader and have my entire library at my fingertips. You never have to worry about setting your book down and loosing your page. You can take notes, and search for terms - navigation is much simpler than frantically flipping through pages.

On the other hand, you lose most of the tactile experience of reading when you use e-books. There's something special about actually turning the page (or being able to flip a head and see how much you have left in a chapter). The feel of paper under your fingers, the book smell, the smudges and wrinkles on the paper from various reading adventures are all part of the reading experience. Plus it's nice to have a bookshelf with a display of stuff you read. It's a great thing to peruse at someone's house. It's an insight into their personality.

I could go back and forth about the benefits of both formats, but I wont. I think change is probably inevitable. Like any change, it will take a while for e-books to be really wide-spread. As for me, I'll embrace the codex, but my library is still going to be full of scrolls.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Naked Music

I had this song stuck in my head today:I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked by Ida Maria.

A few minutes ago, it occurred to me that it would be awesome if I made a CD (or a playlist, 'cause who really listens to CDs anymore?) of awesome songs that are about Naked.

I could think of three (including the one above) right off the top of my head. These are the other two:

Take Off Your Clothes by Morningwood
Buck Nekkid by ZZ Top

After asking Google and thinking about it a little more I came up with a few more:

Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira
You Can Leave Your Hat On by Joe Cocker... or Tom Jones because Tom Jones = class
Naked by the Spice Girls

And that's pretty much all I could come up with. If you can think of anything that should be added to the list, you should probably share.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This and That

I think we can safely say that blogging on weekends isn't working out so well for me. Maybe. I guess I did post last weekend, didn't I? Whatever. I don't really have anything to say right now, but I figured... you know... NaBloPoMo and all. I'm not sure I should have tried to do that.

Something kind of fun: our local soccer team is playing in the MLS cup. Next weekend I'm going to drive up to Seattle with my dad to see the game. Should be kind of fun.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Magical Me

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Fort of One's Own

I was listening to NPR on my way home from class today. The author Julia Keller was on talking about her book Back Home. The book may be interesting; I will probably never read it. I honestly wasn't paying very close attention except for one point when Keller read part of the book:

"Everybody needs a fort."

She went on to explicate; a fort is someplace we can go when we need to feel safe. When we're little, it is usual literal. It could be a fort or tree-house built in the backyard, or a tent set up in the living room. As we grow up we have tools that create a sort of metaphorical fort. We have our knowledge, our books, our experience, and these things make us feel safe in times of crisis.

This excerpt made me think of A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. It's been a long time since I read that. If I recall correctly, she is basically saying that in order for a woman to write, she has to have her own space in which to do it. A room of her own - a place that is only hers where she can create under only her own influence. (I could be totally off. It's been years, and I may not have been completely paying attention when I read it)

I think these two concepts are very closely related, and I think everybody needs both. Or I do at least. For me, they're kind of the same thing. I always need to have someplace that is just mine; a place that is my sanctuary. In my old apartment and in my parent's house now (and when I was growing up), that place is my bedroom. It's my sacred ground. Here is where I am when I need to escape the world.

When I was living in the dorms and had a roommate, I didn't really have my own space. There were several places around campus, though, where I would go to write or to simply be alone. In that case my fort or my room was more metaphorical, but the feeling I got when I visited those places is the same one I get when I retreat to my room now.

I wonder if this will change when I fall in love and get married. If I'm cohabitating, can I still have a room of my own? It can't be the bedroom. Do I have the right to insist on my own room? Actually, my dream house has a little cottage or shed in the backyard that I will make my "studio." That may be taking it a bit far.

I imagine that when I find myself settled, my room will be the library (yes, any house I live in long term will absolutely have a library. It will have lots of bookshelves, a very comfy chair, possibly a desk, and at least one grand window). This room probably won't really be sacred ground - I would never be able to deny my partner the joy of books. But it would be a place for me to go and escape when I need to. It would be my fort.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grumble.

People keep calling me "Ma'm."

That never used to happen.

I guess most gals my age (especially here in UT) are already married and have kids. Thus they qualify for ma'm status.

I don't like being called "Ma'm"

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Zed Word

If zombies attack, I'm pretty much screwed. Seriously, the three places where I spend the most time (school, work, home) are pretty much terrible places to be in a zombie apocalypse.

School is probably the worst. On a college campus there are lots of students, in other words, lots of potential zombies. Plus in any classroom there's pretty much one entrance/exit and nothing that would make a suitable weapon. If I could get out of the classroom and then out of the building, then what? I'd most likely be in the middle of campus. I don't drive to school, so I would be pretty much stuck there, unless I could find someone with a car who wasn't zombified.

My house is not very fortified. The doors would probably hold for a little while, but we have a huge window that would be a perfect entry point for a shit-ton of undead. I could probably barricade myself in the basement, but zombies could still get through the back door pretty easily. And if I'm stuck downstairs I'm pretty limited on my weapon choices and food (assuming they can't get through the back door and I have to wait them out) - we have a pantry downstairs, but there's not really a lot of food in it.

Work is probably the best of the three. No matter what library I'm at, I'm still at a library. That means there are lots of people around. There are usually several ways to get out (and in, unfortunately) so I could possibly escape out the staff door and maybe make it to my car. I would have a hard time finding weapons, but there are plenty of book-carts and other obstacles that could slow the pursuit.

Yes, I have gotten in the habit of scoping out any setting I find myself in and thinking to myself "What would I do if zombie burst in right now and started chewing on people." It's silly, I know. But it never hurts to be prepared. Not that it will really do me much good - if I survive zombies it will be due to sheer luck.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lonesome Whipperwill

Ok. I know yesterday's post was a bit of a cop out. And I didn't post on Thursday. NaBloPoMo may be kicking my ass a little bit.

Today I don't really have anything particular in mind that I would like to talk about, but I promise not to just post a comic. Even if it's a really funny comic. But what, then, shall I write about? Life? The Universe? Everything? It would be pretty hard to write about Everything... it's a rather big topic. What about some other abstraction? Love? Hate? Happiness? Loneliness?

In my poetry writing class (the one I don't like much) we just read a book called Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine. In this particular piece of literature the loneliness (because Lonely was in the title, so loneliness must come into it somewhere) stemmed from a sort of detatchment from life. The speaker of the poems was often unable to really connect, to fully experience the life she was living. Whether it was from media overload or life-hazing anti-depressant medications.

I've heard from a few friends (ironically all the one's who've told me this were male) that they are tired of being lonely. These guys have been single for a while. They have plenty of friends, but they want a romantic relationship with someone. They will be lonely until that happens.

Is it a social construct, or is it a biological imperative, that we need to be with someone in a committed, romantic, relationship sort of way? When does our quality of life start to be defined by our being (or not) in a relationship?

I think it's silly. I like being single. Plus, I think it's important to be happy with yourself, by yourself before you try being with someone else.

Those are just my rambling thoughts of the day.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Silliness


Ever wondered why your mom always told not to run with scissors?

The world of webcomics has the answer!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Criminal Trespass

This is pretty much why I often get frustrated with my dear home state of Utah. The church politics are so often completely absurd. The hypocrisy an intolerance that comes out of my state's dominant religion is incredible. It's so ridiculous that you just have to laugh about it.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nailed 'Em - Mormon Church Trespassing
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating


I am in no way saying that all mormons are hypocritical idiots. Most of them, actually, are absolutely not. It's just "The Church" - the masses of people who run this state with a strong bias toward their personal faith. Individually I'm sure most of these people are fine. I bet most of them are actually able to think logically occasionally too. But the shenanigans that The Curch gets up to in this town are nuts!

And then people here complain about Utah Mormons have a bad reputation for being back-woods, idiot, ultra-conservative, morons. There is a reason for that.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

T-Mobile Fail

I logged on to twitter today for the first time in at least a month. Why? To see all the complaints people were tweeting about T-Mobile, and to add my two cents. It was the same two cents everyone else was adding; T-Mobile sucks.

If you haven't heard already T-Mobile users are suffering from a global outage today. People aren't able to get phone calls and/or use text messaging. Most of the day today I have been able to call people, but apparently no one was able to call me. Text messaging hasn't worked for me at all.

I can get phone calls now, but that's just been in the last 30 min or so.

T-Mobile's official statement is this:

T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions impacting voice and data. Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible. We will provide updates as more information is available

Nice and ambiguous. Thanks, T-Mobile. I feel like you're really on the ball.

I have been kind of frustrated with T-Mobile lately anyway. I don't think they have very good customer service and their website is the opposite of user-friendly. I think it's time to get someone else. I still have another year left on my contract. I'll have to look into how much it will cost me to get out of it early. Right now I'm thinking that whatever the cost, it might be worth it.

Oh wait! I just got a text message. Good. I still am done with T-mobile.

Monday, November 02, 2009

What To Read

If you were going to be exiled to a deserted island and you were allowed to bring 10 books with you, what would they be?

I say deserted and not desert because I like you and I want you to live. But the scenario I'm presenting necessitates solitariness. What books would you want to keep you company? What books could you stand reading over and over again? you're going to be stuck on this island for a while.

For the sake of making it a little harder, I'm going to say that "Complete Works of..." don't count. That's cheating. Ditto anthologies and multi-book volumes (i.e. The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which is actually several books). If you want a whole series that might be available as one volume, you may count each book separately. Short story or play collections are ok... but still no "complete works" of any playwright.

This is my list (in no particular order):

Photobucket Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Photobucket Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins (my favorite volume of poetry ever)

Photobucket War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (I haven't actually read it, but if I were stranded, I'd certainly find the time. Plus someone once told me it was good beach reading)

Photobucket Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

Photobucket Collected Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett (this is ok under my parameters because it's a collection of short, one-act (for the most part) plays; it's like a collection of short stories)

Photobucket 95 Poems by e e cummings

Photobucket Existentialism and Human Emotions by Jean-Paul Sartre (I'm apparently trying to have an existential crisis on my island. But it's so interesting)

Photobucket Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Photobucket The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (This is my "light reading" choice... it's a WWII story narrated by Death. I may have issues)

Photobucket The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu

Well, now that I've made that list I'm a little surprised by how not uplifting it is. I'm not going to change any of my choices though. They may be kind of bleak and ponderous, but there are very good reasons I chose each of those books. The writing in each and every one of them is stunningly beautiful. Most of them also really present something worth thinking about. Plus, they're not all entirely humorless. Collins and cummings both can be quite funny, and Beckett's plays are full of (albeit dark) humor.

Now it's your turn, dear readers. What would your 10 desert island books be? Post them in the comments, or on your own blog thingy.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

wo bo slo mo no do sho so wo o*

Well, kids, it's officially November. Halloween, or as I like to call it Super-Awesome-Best-Freeking-Holiday-Ever, is over and we're falling headlong into Christmas season. What happened to Thanksgiving? you ask. I'm afraid I can't say. You'll have to ask the retail universe- they've had Christmas stuff out for weeks already.

I think it's rather absurd myself, but there's not much I can do about it.

Besides the whole holiday thing, something else very special happens in November. This month, people sitting at computers everywhere feed excessive amounts of nonsense to the interwebs. That's right, November is a time for bloggers everywhere to blog. Not just regular, boring, popping into the blogger ballroom for a quick reel once every week or so, oh no, now is the time to post every single day! The internet will be overflowing with useless information and inanities (it's not already? Shhh, don't tell. November is special, dammit!). Since I don't really care to be part of the solution, I am going to be part of the problem!

That's right, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm going to try to do NaBloPoMo (NAtional BLOg POsting MOnth) again. So I am going to post every day in November. Aren't you excited? The strange and mundane things in my life are going to make their way into my computer and then out again, through your eyeballs, and into your head. Tune in daily for exciting new installments!

I will say right now that Dad and I are planning on our annual camping trip Thanksgiving weekend, so I wont post those days. It's hard to do internets when you're in the middle of the desert with no electricity/cell reception/wifi. Besides those 2-3 days though I intend to blog every single day. It's going to be challenging, especially since I've really gotten out of the habit of blogging.


* Translation according to Tim: These rhinos are all well and good but I want me some metal dogs.