reading

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friends

java sport
jen
corey & ye
mike
randy hayes
roger

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things i like

knitty
mcsweeney's
lomographic
cornell u. bird database
urban dictionary
wikipedia
cute overload
farm hustle

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archive

2005

December 29

The holiday madness is winding down, and even I am finally starting to tire of Christmas music. Jeff and I managed to spend much of our holiday time at home this year, which was fantastic. It was mostly low-key and not too stressful, a rarity in these hectic times.

Since Jeff and I try not to spend much money on Christmas presents for each other, I'm usually forced to get creative. This year, I made him this little pillow guy:

I especially like his little striped pantalones. I got the pattern from this book. It was so fun (and he's so damn cute!) that I started on a little spherical buddy for him today. I'm using different yarn than the pattern calls for so it's lookin' a little screwy, but hey, it's just for fun, right? We'll see how many little guys can get done in the nine glorious days still remaining of my vacation.

December 20

Glorious long holiday vacation has finally arrived, but not without some minor (major?) setbacks. It all started last Thursday at 4:30 pm with a brief detour through hell. After six hours of meetings in Issaquah, it took me two full hours to drive the 16 miles home. I was so thoroughly beat down by the time I got home that I just layed on the couch until it was time to go to bed. Friday morning started auspiciously enough. Jeff and I packed up all our things and headed out to Winthrop for five days of winter fun. In our rush to get out of town, we failed to fill the tank, figuring we would gas up down the road. As we left the city, it became increasingly evident that perhaps we should have listened to Jim Forman after all and been a bit more prepared. No power or gas in North Bend or at Snoqualmie Pass, and with rumors of blackouts all the way to Enumclaw, we decided to turn around rather than get stuck somewhere. Getting back into town was a complete bitch and caused two emotional breakdowns (one each), and after three hours, we finally found a working gas station. Location? Two blocks from our house.

OK! Back on the road. Our second attempt was relatively easy, and by the time we got to Winthrop, power had just been restored but phone lines were down so we couldn't get cash or use a credit card. We were getting concerned about how we were going to eat, but, life in a small town comes through and the grocery store manager gave us - two complete strangers - $100 in cash; "just pay us back when the phone lines are up." Yay! A half hour later and fully supplied, we were out in Mazama, but increasingly concerned about the lack of lights anywhere. We got the car stuck driving the last mile to the cabin, finally dug it out, loaded up our bags and walked down the road for 20 minutes. Cabin was literally freezing as the temps hovered around 5 degrees, but we loaded up the wood stove and piled on the blankets and hot drinks. Cold, but fun. The power finally came back on late Saturday night, and Jeff and I had two days of normal vacation (lights! hot water!) before we left. Even with all the troubles, we had a great time out there. We put in three solid days of skate skiing and did a surprisingly demanding snowshoe hike to Pipestone Canyon before heading home yesterday afternoon.

Mike put up a few photos here and also took this picture of me attempting to cook tofu sausages on a not-hot-enough wood stove:

December 13

I am thirty-one hours away from a whopping 24 day vacation - the final countdown. I don't remember the last time I had this much time away from work and it's still a bit incomprehensible. It seems like I've already filled up three weeks with projects, plans and activities, but I am hoping to have a few days where I'm at least a tiny bit bored. Of course, I brought home a huge bag of books to read while I'm gone, but we'll see how far I get.

December 11

Buddy had a visit to the vet last week. Apparently I'm blind, because while I thought he had lost a pound or two, he's actually gained five in the last year and now weighs 22.6 lbs.

December 8

Well, it's 7:00 am and I've already been up for 2.5 hours. this week has been really hectic and busy, and I think the overload has finally caught up with me. Why is it that when you are totally exhausted you can't sleep? Me no likee. It doesn't help that I either work or have plans for nine nights in a row, either. Luckily, Spanish is over soon and I'm less than a week away from a nice, long vacation.

December 7

Yesterday I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some lunch. I bought some mushroom barley soup, which sounded absolutely delicious. As usual, I read the ingredients list two or three times just to make extra sure there wasn't any meat lurking around in there. It all looked safe, so I bought it. About halfway through, I found myself chewing on something fiberous and unfamiliar. "What is this fiberous and unfamiliar thing I'm eating?" I thought to myself. Upon examination, it looked an awful lot like a piece of cow, something I haven't eaten since I don't know when. Ugh... heebie jeebies.

December 4

Remember when David Hasslehoff was sexy?

November 29

When I think about libraries, guns are generally the last thing that come to mind (well, except for that minor incident at Skyway), but at the Southern Prairie Library System in Oklahoma, they offer not one, but TWO different classes on firearms!

November 28

I love it when it snows in the city. It just makes everything so lovely and beautiful. I did think I was going to kill someone on Monday though, when everyone was driving 5 miles an hour and Madison was backed up from I-5 all the way to Capital Hill even though there was absolutely no snow on the road. I finally had to cut through side streets to get home (and maintain my sanity). Today hardly anyone was out, even though all the main streets are completely bare and dry, and I got to Spanish class in record time. I was about to go to work when my boss called and said the library was closing at 4:00, so I didn't need to come in. When does this ever happen? It was like a dream come true... a "free day" in every sense of the word. I spent a couple hours wandering around a very empty downtown, then Jeff joined me for a wee snack at Top Pot.

I've been spending a lot of time lately knitting a little sweater. I actually started it last year, ripped it out, started it again this fall, ripped it out again, and started it for the third time about a month ago. I'm almost done but I can't figure out how to finish it, and now I don't even really like it anymore, and all I can see are the mistakes that I've made, and I'm just about ready to throw in the towel. From now on, I'm only making really easy things with big yarn.

November 26



Jeff made me wait until after Thanksgiving, but I finally get to listen to the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas.

November 25

Stephen, Mary, Jeff and I headed to Crystal Mountain yesterday for the first ski day of the season. My skills were a little rusty and our legs gave out after a few hours, but the snow was awesome and we had a great day.

November 22

The holidays are upon us. So far, so good. If the holidays do one thing, they remind me of how little I have to complain about. I have a job, a home that I love, fantastic friends and family, the best husband ever, and a big stupid fluffy cat. We are lucky.

November 20

Yesterday we found a condom in the looby of the library. It appeared to be unused, but still...

November 13

OOOOOOOHHHHH! Man, I never saw this coming.

November 8

Yay, Dems!!! o change is a'comin'...

November 8

It's been a busy week! Still trying to get over my flu/cold thingy, I applied for a new job (fingers crossed), and I just got word that I was selected to be on a national committee! I'm very excited about that - it's the young adult division of the American Library Association, and I will be one of 15 librarians selecting the best books for young adults during 2007. Very cool. It also means I'll be reading a kagillion books next year and I get to go to Washington D.C. and Philidelphia for conferences.

A few days ago Buddy ate a big piece of yarn. I've been terrified that he was going to get all blocked up and then we'd have to pay thousands of dollars for cat surgery, but it seems to have passed through without incident. Whew! Now he's desperately trying to get the spider just outside the kitchen window, which is quite entertaining.

October - no wait... November 1

goddamn those stupid kids and all their stupid germs. I've been flattened by some super-powered, fast acting flu bug, no doubt picked up from all them dirty kids at the library who wipe their nose on their hand before they give me their library card. ugh. misery.

Last sunday I rode the bus to work so that Jeff could go hiking. It was good to be reminded of why I stopped taking the bus. I sat down, pulled out my Spanish flash cards - all ready to make the best use of my time, when super creepy dude sits behind me. Great. I'm thinking to myself, "ok, super creepy crazy dude, no big deal, we've seen it all before, whatever." But then he starts talking. I hear "mumble mumble... and that's why I had to stab you in the face. murder. murder. murder. mumble mumble mumble... that's why I cut you in the face." Okay, then! Straight to the front of the bus for me.

October 26

The Google. o lord, wake me when it's over:

In a CNBC interview with Maria Bartiromo, Bush was asked if he uses Google: "Occasionally. One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see that. I forgot the name of the program, but you get the satellite and you can - like, I kind of like to look at the ranch on Google, reminds me of where I want to be sometimes. Yeah, I do it some." He added: "I tend not to email or - not only tend not to email, I don't email, because of the different record requests that can happen to a president. I don't want to receive emails because, you know, there's no telling what somebody's email may - it would show up as, you know, a part of some kind of a story, and I wouldn't be able to say, 'Well, I didn't read the email.' 'But I sent it to your address, how can you say you didn't?' So, in other words, I'm very cautious about emailing."

October 24

Unless you spend a lot of time working with African American communities or in the publishing industry, you might not be aware of this new genre of books that us literary whiteys like to call "urban fiction." Often called ghetto or hip-hop lit, the books are of varying degrees of quality (some are actually quite good) and tend to be packed full of sex, violence, drugs and profanity. We've had a few people complain about them being in the library ("this right here is trash!" "Yes, sir, but we have to buy books for everyone"), but what's happening is a literal publishing explosion in a genre that's been ignored for far too long. New urban fiction titles are snapped up the minute they come in the library, and plenty of non-readers have started to pick up fiction titles now that there's something they find interesting and relevant. There's been a serious trickle-down effect, too, and lately I'm seeing lots of young girls coming in asking for these books. And while I'm all for intellectual freedom, when a seventh-grade girl asks me for Candy Licker, I tend to get a little bummed out. I do my best to steer the younger teens towards more age-appropriate titles, but they usually aren't having it. Luckily, I've started seeing more urban lit for young adults, like the new Drama High series ("drama class ain't got nothin' on Drama High!), so hopefully there will be more for the younger set in the next couple of years.

Another fairly recent and very exciting trend in YA lit is the "gay teen novel." Although many of these books address coming out and/or homophobia, some of them are the same romance books we all read in our own teen years, they just happen to have a gay guy or girl as the main character. In a major coup, I was lucky enough to get two of the best, Brent Hartinger and David Levithan to come talk to students at Foster High School this week. It was a really great program and I was psyched to expose the students to the craft of writing and to gay lit for teens. Given the high Muslim population at Foster, I was a little concerned about some cultural clashing, but I needn't have worried! The kids were awesome - totally engrossed in the program and really excited to talk to the authors and hear what they had to say. Some even had books for the authors to sign. I also was able to get some seriously deprived kids from Black River alternative high school over for the lecture, and they LOVED it! Totally made my day.



Here's a picture of me, Levithan, Hartinger, and Kathy Kugler (kick-ass school librarian at Foster) from our visit. Good times!

October 22

A lovely day in the mountains today with Jeff, Stephen, Mary, and Marina hiking Iron Peak. The skies were amazingly clear and we could see Rainier and Adams in our 360 view from the top. Our crisp fall days are quickly running out, but I'm sooooo excited for ski season this year. I'm hearing rumors of el niño, but fingers crossed we get some good snow.

October 18

Bonus wildlife sighting yesterday: a winter wren, which isn't so unusual in itself, but it was flitting about in the ivy in the yard next door. It's so fantastic to see such a lovely little bird in the middle of the city.

October 18

Usually the change of seasons doesn't really affect me, but this year it's been harder and harder to get out of bed on these dark mornings.

October 18

I have been reading comics and graphic novels lately. Lots of them. And I'm not the only one! The "Best American..." collections (poems, essays, fiction, etc.) just added an annual graphic novel compliation to their arsenal. I'm so thankful that not only has this genre been accepted as a legitimate form of literature, it's flourishing like crazy. Recent favorites of mine include Yakitate! Japan, a new manga series in which a young baking apprentice apsires to make a national bread of Japan, American Born Chinese, a story that weaves together ancient Chinese myth, ugly stereotypes and the life of a contemporary Chinese-American teen, and the Hellboy series, which I've just started to read and is so thoroughly good I can't believe it took me this long to discover it.

October 13

I'm looking out the window over downtown and there is the nastiest haze of pollution over the city. As a single-person car commuter, I know I contribute to that brown cloud, and that makes me feel awful. I had to give up riding the shame train; it was too unreliable and just took too long. The last time I took the bus home it took about two hours to travel door to door, which is about the last thing I want to do after working all day. I try to offset my personal contributions to global warming by buying things with minimal packaging, drying clothes on the line instead of the dryer, and recycling like crazy, but I sometimes feel like it's a losing battle. Ok, depressing - sorry.

On a happier note, I came home from work on Wednesday night to a surprise birthday party, which was super fun. I've never had a surprise party before and I really was suprised! Muy bueno!

October 11

Damn... thirty six. This year I actually do feel a little bit older, kind of like time is starting to run out just a tiny little bit. It doesn't help that I've started to find some wiry grey hairs recently. I've been a lot more concious of time in general these last couple of years and I'm trying to make sure I use it as wisely as possible, yet I still don't have time to do everything I want. There's always some project that gets neglected, a great craft idea that never becomes more than that, never enough days in the mountains. A curse on the 40 hour work week! And happy birthday to me.

October 3

The library can be so entertaining sometimes. Today I was helping a little 7th grade kid look for movies to watch, and, because our video shelves were pretty much empty save for a few volumes of "Sense and Sensibility," I picked up some random blockbuster horror film and handed it to him. Here's how our conversation went:

me: do you like horror films?
him: porn?
me: no, not porn. horror.
him: whore?
me: no, not whore. Hor-ror. h - o - r - r - o - r. you know, scary movies?

Today also marked the first day of my Spanish class, which I can already tell will be an exercise in humiliation. Apparently you actually have to study really hard to remember a language you studied three years ago. Today, when introducing my classmate, instead of telling everyone that he loves to travel, I said "he loves old women." No wonder I still have those dreams about having to go back to high school, even though I'm THIRTY-FIVE.

October 2

We had a really great weekend over in the Methow. I know it was good because I didn't even start getting stressed out until 9:30 on Sunday night. Mike put up a few pictures of beautiful hikes here. The best part was sleeping out under the open sky on Friday night. I was desperate to get one more night of "outside" before it gets too cold, so Jeff and I threw the sleeping bags on the porch and fell asleep under a fat blanket of stars.

September 21

So, it turns out they talk about Jesus a lot in inspriational fiction. I know, crazy, huh? My love affair with christian lit appears to be short lived. No matter! On to bigger and better things. I can't wait to get the new book by Brian K. Vaughan, who I love, love, love. I kept hearing about this series called Runaways, so I finally picked up the first one and quickly blew through them all. I just started reading Y the Last Man and it kicks some serious ass. I love dystopia books, especially when they are really funny. Anyway, I seriously suggest you check out Vaughan's work, as it's totally awesome.

September 20

I don't know if it's a reflection of me or the latest trends teen inspirational fiction, but I simply cannot stop reading this book. Never thought I'd find myself identifying with characters in (gasp!) Christian lit. Who knew?!

September 9

Cold, dark and rainy... a great excuse to spend Saturday morning holed up in our cozy apt., drinking tea, knitting, reading, and playing with Buddy.

My teen book club girls were talking about classics the other day - how long and boring they are, and how they force themselves to read them. I'm not sure why they feel so compelled to read classics... I'm guessing they view classics much like steamed vegetables: something dull and immensely boring, but sure to be good for you. Anyway, the discussion prompted two responses from me. First, I'm bound and determined to find some classics that are relevant and interesting to the modern, educated and mature girls. Second, I've picked up "Great Expectations." It took me a while to get used to the language, but now that I've settled in, I'm really enjoying it.

September 4

Wrapping up a loooong holiday weekend. Spent much time reading, relaxing, and wandering around with no agenda. I did get in two good runs, including a real ass-kicker at Cougar Mountain, and one very brutal hike up Granite Mountain that will keep me sore for days. We also spent much of today taking care of some long overdue cleaning and other house chores. Not the most exciting way to spend Labor Day, but at least things are clean and put in their place.

On our hike yesterday we saw undeniable signs that the seasons are starting to change... cooler winds and changing colors on the hillsides mean that autumn is just around the corner. It's always sad to see the summer wrapping up, but we've got a few more weekends of biking and hiking ahead, and we're already planning ski trips and other winter fun.

August 26

Appalled by the blatantly wasteful conspicuous consumption of the Hummer but not sure how to express your rage and frustration? www.ihumpedyourhummer.com

August 22

We've gotten hooked on Lost. Since we're only six episodes into season one, it's been hard not to read ahead to find out what's happening next, but I'm not sure I have the willpower. It's got that creepy Twin Peaks vibe... hey, maybe the Log Lady will resurface on the mysterious island!

August 20

Even more pictures of our kayak trip are here.

When we were sitting around the campfire one night, we saw this little guy crawling around - cute!





August 15

We had a great trip kayaking to Sucia Island. Weather was great, and we spent a lot of time paddling around the island, reading and relaxing. Mike put up a few pictures here.

August 10

Our friends Corey & Ye were in town last weekend, so we headed up to Bellingham for an overnighter to see them and Alan's new house. Much fun was had, 'specially when the hula hoops came into the picture.

We're off to the San Juan Islands this weekend for a mini-vacation. I've had some great weekends and trips this summer... it seems like I've hardly been home at all since June. I'm actually looking forward to a nice quiet weekend at home.

(And for you PR fans - yay Michael! He is quickly becoming my favorite. Bradley was so bizarre that I'm kind of sorry to see him go, but he had no chance of winning with that weird disco-spaceman outfit.)

August 7

Chris was nice enough to take us on a super-exclusive tour of the SAM Olympic Sculpture Park last week. The Richard Serra piece had just gone in, and it was very cool to be able to see the park in progress. A few pictures are here.

I've been meaning to do a little write-up of our trip to Yosemite, but I've been super busy since we got home and just haven't had time until now. Sooo, here goes. We left at 8:00 pm on Thursday, July 20 and made it just south of Portland before looking for a place to camp. We had a quick breakfast in Salem and headed south, south, south. By the time we hit Modesto, CA, the temperature was a blazing 107 degrees and getting out of the car was like stepping into a giant hair dryer. We made few stops and were finally in Yosemite that evening after a solid 13 hours in the car. Late Friday night in July is not the best time to find camping in Yosemite. We ended up in a soggy campsite adjecent to a brightly lit and highly fragrant bathroom. No matter! We were up early the next morning to secure the necessary permits for our hike. After scoring said permit, we finally were able to relax, get a few necessary items and spend some time driving through the park seeing the sights.

Sunday morning found us packing our things before the rain started, and we were on our way! Despite being in CA during a heat wave and enduring a bumper crop of mosquitos, we had a fantastic time. Highlights included: walking up the Merced River valley, seeing three bears (including very cute wee baby), a terrifying 360 degree view from Cloud's Rest (my fear of exposed heights keep me from going to the top), countless amazing views, the best swimming holes I've ever seen and having tons of fun with Mary and Stephen. (Low points included carrying six days worth of food, 90 degree temperatures even at 10,000 feet, and death swarms of mosquitos that tried to drain us of every drop of blood.) We arrived back at Tuolomne Meadows on Friday, where we quickly scarfed down tons of chips and salsa, all manner of cold drinks and a few popsicles before heading out of the park.

We took the slow route driving home, cruising past Tahoe and up through Eastern CA and Oregon, up through Bend and Yakima to finally make our way home on Sunday, July 30. We made a couple quick stops at some wildlife refuges on the way, where we were lucky enough to see lots of egrets, sandhill cranes, a white-faced ibis, and one lone white pelican.

As if one great vacation wasn't enough, we are headed out this weekend for a nice kayak trip in the San Juan Islands! We'll be shoving off of Orcas sometime on Friday, then we'll paddle for Sucia and/or other islands. Hope to see some good sea and shorebirds while we're there.

August 4

So many congratulations are in order! Yay, Val, who just secured her dream job at Seattle Public Library, and yay to Becky and Joe, who are newly engaged!

In more entertaining news, my "favorite soccer-playing, expensive dinner-loving and Dorothy Parker-quoting(?) attorney" Eric was named one of the city's most eligible singles in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Please see page 99 of the August issue for details.

August 4

Congratulations to Hannah and Jon! Wee baby Dylan Phillips was born on July 29 and he's pretty cute!

August 4

Jeff posted some pictures from our trip - there's a lot of them, so grab some coffee and take a little break.

July 30

Back from a long and really wonderful vacation in Yosemite. Despite having been there twice before, I never really spent enough time to really get to know the area. We spent six days walking through the most amazing landscapes - huge granite peaks, domes and valleys, miles and miles of rivers, and beautiful meadows. It was crazy hot and the mosquitos were out in full force, but we had a really great trip and I was blown away by everything we saw. Pictures and details to come soon!





July 20

daaaaang! I've been super busy lately. Last weekend Becky and I drove to Mt. Hood for a super kick-ass weekend. We spent two very full days at an all-ladies mountain bike clinic , where we learned mad skills and had lots o' fun. My new bike is crazygood fun... it fits and rides like a dream (and it's totally worth every dollar of debt). The only downside to learning new bike skills is getting my ass kicked all over the place... I've never had so many bruises in my life. Only one major crash though, when I didn't quite make it across a little bridge... damn those skinnies! Anyway, I'm healing nicely, just in time for our backpacking trip to Yosemite. Mary, Stephen, Jeff and I are loading up the car this very evening to start the long haul down to CA. Should be a great trip and I'm really looking foward to leaving town for 10 days.

July 14

Becky and I are headed down to Mt. Hood this weekend for an all ladies mountain bike clinic. It should be really fun, and I'm excited to learn some mad skills, yo! Plus, I did exactly what I said I wasn't going to do, which was use my credit card to buy something expensive and unnecessary.... something like, say, a new mountain bike. Despite racking up the debt, I'm pretty psyched about my new ride.

July 11

Yesterday on the bus home I saw possibly the craziest person I've ever seen in my life. Now, I spent many years working downtown and riding public transportation so I feel like my tolerance of psychotic individuals is pretty high, but I've actually never seen anything quite like this. The dude looked totally normal, of course, but once he started talking about the antichrist, I knew there was going to be trouble. His diatribe was punctuated by astoundingly loud outbursts (without exception including multiple variation of the word "fuck"), and then he would dissolve into a heartwrenching, sobbing plea, telling himself, "if you could just make it downtown, you can get to Harborview." Unsurprisingly, it wasn't long before he was kicked off the bus. I really hope the dude got his meds...

July 10






When we were in New York a couple years ago, we were lucky enough to see Tara Donovan's show at the Ace Gallery. It was made up of absolutely beautiful landscapes made from everyday materials. The show really made an impression and has stuck with me, so I was really happy to see an article about her work in the latest issue of Orion Magazine

On a side note, I had never read Orion before, and I have to say that I'm now a big fan. It's nice to read a thoughtful, well-edited magazine about society and culture that's positive rather than defeatist and depressing.

July 7

Busy, busy! Still trying to catch up from being out of town for four glorious days. Jeff and I left town last Thursday for a long holiday weekend over in Winthrop. Lots of hiking, biking, and swimming, plus much entertainment around the campfire in the form of krump-off competitions, which mostly were just a sad display of our white, upper-middle class sensibilities. Hope to have some pictures up soon.

July 7

I really wish I needed a new flash drive, because then I could get one of these.

June 25

Last night I was doing a little stretching after a quick run when I accidentally kicked Buddy in the head. It was a pretty good kick, too... there was solid connection between shoe and tiny cat skull. He gave me the saddedst confused look ("why? why you hurt me?") and ran under the bed. Feeling very guilty, I tried to bribe his love with some delicious wet food. The sound of the can was enough to bring him back out into the light, but when he saw me he ran back under the bed. Luckily, his little pea brain doesn't hold on to much, and all seems to be forgiven this morning. Poor little guy...

June 24

I was riding home from work on Thursday, feeling a little tired and apparently not really paying attention, when I clipped the curb with my pedal and found myself lying in the middle of the street under my bike. An unpleasant experience all around - I have a nasty bruise and chain ring bite on my leg and took a good chunk of skin off my elbow. eesh! Put a nice wobble in my back wheel as well, but luckily Jeff is going to let me borrow one of his until I can get a new one.

June 19

A few pictures from our trip this weekend... pretty sure the nest belongs to a white-tailed ptarmigan:







June 18

Just rolled in from a short but fabulous mini-vacation over near Leavenworth. We did an overnight backpack trip to Lake Stuart, with a side trip to Colchuck Lake on the way back down. Super tired, but it was nice to get out of town and into the mountains for a couple of days. Bird sightings were pretty slim, but there were tons of Swainson's thrushs and winter wrens singing in the woods, and we got a good look spotted sandpiper at Lake Stuart. We also found a nest on a little hummock in a boggy meadow, so I'm doing a little research to fingure out who they belong to. I'm guessing ptarmigan or something in the sandpiper family, but I'm not sure yet.

June 15

Usually when I'm at work I try to avoid working at the circulation desk because the minute I'm there, I get sucked into an endless cycle of checking books in and out, which is not really part of my job. But sometimes, like on Tuesday, I have to provide circ backup, and it was then that I had the serious gross-out experience. A little girl handed me a bag of books, and when I dumped them out on the counter, with it came a handful of hair clippings. I felt kind of bad about telling the little girl that "this is completely disgusting and I don't really want to touch these now," but, damn! Who wants a cascading shower of someone else's loose hair to hit their desk? Certainly not me. Ugh.

June 15

Interested in saving some money? The first thing to do is quit those little luxuries like buying lunch or coffee (do you know Starbucks made over 6 billion dollars last year?). NYtimes has this article with some tips for your debt diet. (speaking of which, our debt diet is going well this month! we're right on target, even after a trip to patagonia!)

June 11

Our kitchen window is turning out to be a treasure trove of birdwatching. Between all the trees in the backyard and the power lines, there's a million places for our avian friends to perch in good view. Beyond all the robins and other standard springtime sightings, this week I've seen bushtits, chickadees, Anna's hummingbirds, and tons of house finches with colors ranging from neon orange to peachy yellow. I've also seen what might be a Pacific-slope flycatcher a couple of times, but he hasn't stuck around long enough for me to make a positive id. Between the pointy little head and the white eye ring, though, he's definitely in the flycatcher family. Muy bueno!

June 9

A long-ass week at work is finally over. Between the end of the school year and surging adolescent hormones, the kids in the library are like a pack of wild animals - loud, super-squirmy and completely uncontrollable. I'm looking forward to a little peace and quiet, which isn't coming soon enough...

This week also marks attendance at my first Seattle Storm game, which I can only describe as TOTALLY AWESOME. I love watching women kick ass all over anything sporty. Plus, there's some seriously entertaining people watching at a Storm game. Who knew there were so many lesbians in this town?!

June 2

I am a savior! I was coming home from the gym today (impressive, but not exactly savior-worthy) when I spied a wee baby robin on the ground. Poor thing was obviously not ready to be out of the nest and was being tormented by flies. After a quick call to PAWS wildlife hotline, I got myself a ladder and put that little guy right back in the nest. Although I desperately wanted to bring it inside and call it Buddy 2 (especially after it begged for food and then fell asleep in my hand), my day is complete knowing the little dude is safe in his own home.

May 23

One of the best things about working in a library is you always run across something interesting you might never have seen otherwise. I was flipping through a book on modern art and found Gabriel Orozco's "My Hands Are My Heart":



I also really like "Cats and Watermelons," for obvious reasons:


Lucky for me the library has one of his books, so I checked it out immediately and spent some time with it this afternoon. I really like his work - just the right mix of whimsy and contemplation.

May 23

Been stuck home for days with a nasty cold, and between the Nyquil hangover and the boredom I'm really ready for it to be done. I think I've watched more TV in the past three days than I have in the last month, but who can pass up "History of Heavy Metal"? Sabbath or Zeppelin, Zeppelin or Sabbath? Three decades later and the debate still rages on...

May 19

We had high hopes of heading over to Washington Pass this weekend for some backcountry skiing, but the weather has been far too good. Lack of freezing temperatures mean a gloppy sloppy mess for skiing, and combined with a good chance of rain and Jeff's week long cold, we decided to wait for better conditions. Jeff helped my get my skins all set up, though, so I'm ready to go whenever conditions improve!

May 19

A couple of weeks ago our friend Chris, project director for the upcoming SAM sculpture garden, asked if I wanted to help with a special task. Sadly, I had to work and missed out on the fun, but here are some pictures of Duck Rescue 2006, courtesy of brucemoore.com. Note Chris's strong directing skills and fancy footwork - he would make a great crossing guard!

May 18

I've been doing much better on my alternative transportation efforts. This week I rode my bike to work twice(!), and took the bus once, which means I only drove two days... a net savings of three gallons of gas at an estimated cost of my first born child. I feel like such a good environmentalist!

May 9

I've been neglecting my blogging duties lately, but only because I've been doing lots of fun stuff instead: Friday night we had very fun celebration for our April and May birthday people (see below). Jeff and I spent Saturday wandering around the city taking care of errands, eating donuts and making a brief stop in the comic book store, an event Jeff inexplicably dismissed as "dork-o-rama." Sunday brought an ass-kicking ride around the north end of Lake Washington... so ass-kicking, in fact, that when I finally dragged myself home I had to crash on the couch for a while. I thought riding my bike to work once a week would have prepared me for a 40 mile ride, but I was sadly mistaken.

Sunday's NYTimes magazine had this terrifying piece on the efforts of the conservative religious right to restrict access to birth control. Their stance, that everyone, even married couples, should abstain from sex unless it is for procreation purposes nicely illustrates the conflicting messages Americans are exposed to when it comes to sex. From the article: "We see contraception and abortion as part of a mind-set that's worrisome in terms of respecting life. If you're trying to build a culture of life, then you have to start from the very beginning of life, from conception, and you have to include how we think and act with regard to sexuality and contraception." Dr. Joseph B. Stanford, who was appointed by President Bush in 2002 to the F.D.A.'s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee despite (or perhaps because of) his opposition to contraception... wrote: "Sexual union in marriage ought to be a complete giving of each spouse to the other, and when fertility (or potential fertility) is deliberately excluded from that giving I am convinced that something valuable is lost. A husband will sometimes begin to see his wife as an object of sexual pleasure who should always be available for gratification." Sure, I can see that... I guess. But getting sex-crazed Americans to subscribe to an abstinence- or procreation-only mindset is so unrealistic it baffles my poor lefty-liberal brain that someone could even think it possible, much less try to actually make it happen.

In more optimistic news, here's an interesting little piece about one soldier's efforts to stay sane in Iraq by birdwatching.

May 8



Happy Birthday to (left to right) Valerie, Eric, Chris, Laura, Shanti, and Sean (not pictured).

April 30

We had a great time at the Yakima Canyon. It was absolutely beautiful - huge hillsides covered with wildflowers and great views of the canyon and valley. We even saw a couple of bighorn sheep, which would sound way more impressive if it wasn't from the car. TONS of birds everywhere, and I added a few species to my life list! Highlights included American kestrels, Townsend's solitares, horned larks and meadowlarks. Good stuff!





April 28

Well, it's been a pretty slow week with nothing too exciting to report. Tommorow we are heading over to eastern WA for a quick overnight backpack trip on the Yakima Skyline trail. I can't wait to sleep outside! I really miss camping and I'm so glad it's finally nice enough to start pitching the tent.

April 28

I try not to pilfer from other people's web sites, but I can't stop looking at this picture from cuteoverload.com.

April 22

Jen always sends me the the best stuff.

April 21

I got my first grant! I'm very excited about it. Oprah's Angel Network gave a bunch of money to the American Library Association to bring books to at-risk teens. I'll be working with the alternative high school in Skyway, and we'll read and discuss a series of books that hopefully these kids will find relevant. The kids at the alternative high school are a tough crowd... this particular school is basically the last stop for those who can't make it anywhere else. Few of these kids come from a stable home environment or have much parental involvement in their lives, which can make working with them a huge challenge, but I'm hoping the books that come with this grant will help them get outside their lives for a few hours.

April 19

I love this this book. I love it. I think it's groundbreaking and beautiful and provocative and incredibly imaginative. I can't say enough about it, and now I want to read eveything Grant Morrison has ever written. If you think comics are a waste of time, read this.

April 19

I guess it's my latent Tetris addiction shining through, but I can't stop playing Farm Hustle.

April 16

Today marked what I can only hope will become an annual event: Easter Styles brunch and Extreme Croquet tournament. Guests wore a fine range of pastel colors, seersucker both dignified and obscene, lovely Easter millinery, and, last but not least, one crown of thorns. Brunch was delicious, bloody marys were nice 'n spicy, croquet was challenging and cutthroat. Plus, we got to sit outside all day under a (mostly) sunny sky - a delightful day. Photos are here.

April 15

Had a great day at Crystal Mountain today. The weather was pretty dismal (blustery winds up to 50 mph at the top), but the winds just blew in fresh snow all day. I got some good practice skiing in tough conditions. Hopefully I can get in another day or two on the lifts this season... I'd really like to do some backcountry skiing this spring and I want to be ready!

April 12

We're going on the Debt Diet. Besides the condo, we're not massively in debt, but we aren't really saving anything either. I've been trying to figure out where all our money goes, and "out the window" seems to be the answer to that. So... I'm trying to budget a little, but we've already blown through 60% of our money in the first 10 days of the month, so I'd say we aren't doing very well.

April 7

A long work week has finally ended. I slept for 11 hours last night, something I rarely do anymore, so I guess I was seriously exhausted. Monday arrived with a surprise visit from channel 13 news. They wanted some footage for a feature on the video game program we've been doing at one of my libraries. I had no idea they were coming, so the whole experience was stressful beyond belief. Seeing yourself on TV (even if it's only for five seconds) is pretty horrifying. This is also the week before spring break, so the kids are squirrely beyond control... waaay too much energy to be harnessed in a small library. The week's highlight came on wednesday, when a woman asked to use the phone because she had "really bad diarrhea." We had to call the haz-mat team to clean up the bathroom AND the lobby. But now I have three days of recovery, and I plan to use it to the fullest.

April 3

I got out on my bike twice last week, and it made me really happy. I've been a little antsy for the past two months since I haven't been able to run, so I took a spin down to Seward Park on Friday to test out my knee. Luckily, I didn't have any problems, so I rode to work on Sunday. Yay, springtime!

March 31

One thing about getting up really early is that you sure get a lot done. So far today I've taken Buddy on his morning hallway walk, finished a book, read the morning paper, reviewed my bank account and checked all my email, and it's only 8:36 (fingers drumming on table, getting a little restless). Gym? Yoga? New project? So many options...

March 29

Had a nice walk through the neighborhood this morning, and saw a Cooper's Hawk while heading up Interlaken. Also saw a winter wren up close. Urban nature!

March 26

A fine morning was had at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge this morning. Sus, Becky, Caroline and I headed down there early for some birding. Sightings were a bit more slim that I had hoped, but we got a very good look at a Rufous Hummingbird and watched a Northern Harrier hover and skim across the fields for a while.

March 25

Skiing is fun! We headed up to Sno-crummy this morning for another session of ski practice, and it was a beautiful sunny day with soft slushy spring snow. I made turns until my quads started to burn (don't be impressed... that only took a few hours). Besides a few spills and one ill-fated venture onto a steep slope, I had a great day. Can't wait until I have enough skills to get out of the resorts and into the backcountry.

March 24

Work has really been dragging me down lately. Part of it is my fault - I've definitely been overextending myself and taking on too many things, but there are some things I am forced to deal with that I simply cannot control or change. One of those things is working with the public - man, some people are just assholes and there's nothing you can do about it. We've also seen a new batch of kids coming into one of my libraries that are Serious Trouble. Every day it's the same thing... the minute they walk in the door the whole library turns into a chaotic mass of kids who push every limit they can, we warn them, then kick them out, only to start again tomorrow. Most of that I can deal with, but when a 12 year old boy tells me to go f*** myself AND suck his d***, something's gotta change. That one I kicked out until the end of the school year, so hopefully that will calm things down a bit. Extra troubling are the mini-gansters we had yesterday. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see 8 year old boys in drop-crotch pants swaggering around trying to intimidate women in the library parking lot.

I'm not sure where all this leaves me... I've been considering looking for another job, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up yet, especially since a lot of what I do is really rewarding. I really love visiting classes and exposing kids to new books, and it absolutely makes my day when a kid comes in and tells me that something I recommended is the best book they've ever read. A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a 7th grade girl who said she hates reading and doesn't ever finish a book, so I picked out a couple of things for her to try. She came back two days later asking for more books... that's the kind of thing that makes me want to stick around for a while longer. It's not all in vain!

March 21

It's officially spring! You wouldn't know it by looking outside this morning, but it's all about the flowers and increasing daylight from here on out. I can't wait to go camping.

We had a great weekend in Mazama (it's definitely spring there). Lots of skiing under warm sunny blue skies... what could be better? Jeff took a couple short movies of my new alpine skills, and it's hilarious. I look like someone's granny hobbling down the slopes. Hopefully I can get some more practice in before the snow melts.

March 15

Jeff and I are headed off to Winthrop this weekend for one last ski hurrah before the x-country trails melt away. We're going downhill one day, so I finally get to try out my new boards! Very excited for a mini-vacation of skiiing and hot-tubbing.

March 15

I should start carrying a digital camera with me at all times... the phone cam just doesn't cut it. Saw this bit of guerilla knitting art on my way home last week.

March 15

I've become obsessed. I started working on a little sweater that looks something like this, only I'm using different yarn and I don't have a pattern, so it's taking longer than I had hoped. I finished it on Tuesday, but it was a little wonky in the neck and shoulders, so I had to re-do the top 1/3. I think I've got it right this time... just have to do the collar again. Hopefully it'll fit better!

I spend a fair amount of time in my car driving to work. I've always hated single-person commuters, but due to my schedule and weird hours (who wants to wait for the bus on Pacific Highway South at 9:00 pm?), I tend to drive pretty much every day. To clear my environmental conscious, I've been trying to leave the car at home at least once a week. I've been taking the bus, which definitely has its highs and lows. High = I get to read the paper, relax, and fit in some exercise by walking to and from downtown. Low = there are a lot of people who ride the bus are unpleasant, dangerous, and/or crazy. The Seattle Times had this article about Seattle drivers and why they won't give up their cars (I'll give you a hint - people are lazy).

March 10

Well, the final Project Runway ended up being a little anti-climactic. I thought (was hoping) there would be more drama ala "everyone hates wendy" from last year, but everyone seemed to be on good behavior. I did like Santino's collection best, but Chloe's puffy sleeves won the contest. Can't wait until next year.

March 9

We've discovered the source of Buddy's poopy trick; it seems that, while he prefers to face the hallway for peeing, he's recently developed a preference for facing the opposite direction for doing #2, and sometimes overshoots. Fun!

Maybe it's because we don't have kids, but we get a lot of entertainment out of Buddy. Actually, it's more like he's our muse... Jeff is often inspired to replace choice words in songs, etc. with "buddy." A long-standing favorite is "The Rose" (some say Buddy....), but his newest one is "Are you There Buddy? It's Me, Margaret." It's funny every time.

March 8

Buddy has this new trick where he poops right in front of his litter box. Sigh. I'm hoping a change of litter will do the trick.

Sooo.... tonight is the final episode of Project Runway. Who will it be? It's hard to tell after last week... looks like Daniel's got some weird stuff, Santino has done some beautiful work, and Chloe's things look all haute couture. Can't wait to see who wins it (but what will I do on wednesday nights now?).

March 2

Johnny Weir is born to shop. (thanks, Mike!)

February 28

Dismal and rainy - must be spring! There's a cherry tree right outside our window, and it's starting to bloom like crazy. I'm sad that ski season is nearing its end, but I'm really looking forward to spring and summer this year. Can't wait to get back out in the tent, smelling the sage and juniper, listening to the owls all night.

February 27

I love Portland! we had such a great weekend. Drove down Saturday morning and rolled into town around 11:00. We took a brief walk down 23rd, then headed straight up into the west hills towards Forest Park. Beautiful views and lovely houses the whole way. We started getting hungry, so we headed down for some snacks, including the most delicious pastry I've ever eaten, and that is no lie. The heavenly morsel of perfection, one coffee profiterole, came from Ken's Bakery on 23rd, and I highly recommend that you get one the next time you stray south. We wandered around the Pearl district for some window shopping, then had some dinner and (finally) went to see Brokeback Mountain that night. Stayed in the delightful hotel lucia, which contained the nicest hotel bed I've ever slept in. Sunday morning we had a very delicious breakfast at a tiny neighborhood cafe in Sunnyside that we stumbled upon: organic everything in a low-key but modern setting, just my style. We wandered around the neighborhood, picked up the sunday NYTimes, and parked ourselves at Stumptown roasters for a while. We spent the rest of the day wandering east towards Multnomah Falls, with a very windy stop at the Vista House overlook. Beautiful, but I thought I was going to get blown off the edge. We wrapped up our mini-vacation with a stop at Jeff's sister's house for a delicious dinner before driving home in the rain.

February 24

We're headed off to Portland tomorrow morning for an overnighter to celebrate our first anniversary. I can't believe it's been a year already! We're staying at hip little hotel downtown, and plan on walking around the Pearl District, making a visit to Powell's, and cruising "trendy-third" street for a little window shopping. Looking forward to a mini-vacation with my man.

February 20

Buddy's new favorite spot to sleep is on top of the stove. It's disconcerting at best. I've been trying to discourage him by putting our biggest pans on the stove so he can't fit, but it doesn't seem to be helping. This morning we got a big whiff of burnt hair - seems he hopped up there while the tea kettle was on. Now he's got a big burnt patch on his tail (very near critical parts!). Fingers crossed that he's learned his lesson.

February 19

It's no secret that figure skaters have the most appalling taste in fashion. Do they really pay thousands of dollars for some of this stuff? I've been having some pretty lively discussions about this designer wasteland with people lately... consensus seems to be that skating is such an introverted niche sport that it probably all looks completely normal to them. I was delighted to come across this article in the NYTimes, which seeks to explain the overarching theme of 80's euro trash design when it comes to winter sports. Take, for example, this picture at left. What's the deal? you may ask yourself. What's with the orange glove? Are those leaves falling down his leg, or what? Oh no, my friend. Those aren't leaves, they're feathers. And the orange glove? It's a bill... see, that's no mere costume, it's a swan flying through the sky.

I've also become totally obsessed with one Johnny Weir, not only for having the guts to wear the costume at left (and skating as if he were a swan), but because he's so unapologetically himself. If there's one thing American athletes do well, it's maintaining their quirky/offensive identities and resisting the pressure to conform and be all vanilla polite. Weir got plenty of comments from this descriptions of a rival's performance: "His was like a vodka shot and a snort of coke kind of thing. Uh, sorry for all those drug references." Love it!

February 15

I've been riding the never-ending wave of 80's revival lately, getting lots of 80's compilation CDs from the library for some serious reminiscing. It's been pretty fun (Valley Girl soundtrack, anyone?), but also kind of a trip. As an objective listener, it's been funny to hear how some of my favorite bands have held up over the past two decades.... some of them still sound great, many sound dated, unremarkable and/or annoying, but others are just terrible. Even songs I used to LOVE are nearly unlistenable now (case in point: "Ghosts" by Japan - eesh!). What really surprised me most is how being 20 years older sort of ruins some of those old punk rock favorites.... what used to be so badass anti-establishment when I was 15 just sounds kind of naive in 2005. Is it just me, or is Black Flag simply unable to stand the test of time? Maybe I should stop revisiting these old bands to keep myself from further disappointment.

February 14

Fun work story: after a patron complained about vulgar drawings (specifically, penises) in some of the comic books, I did a survey of all the comics and graphic novels on the shelf. I had found a few of them already in the past couple of months, but this time I found about 40(!) books with little weiners drawn all throughout the comics. Some only have one or two offending scrawls, but others received very thorough treatment with most pages having receiving attention. They aren't even very imaginative - just a crudely drawn miniature phallus pointed at anything female. Luckily, we track the last person who checks out an item, and no less than 25 of these were borrowed by one teenage boy. Guess who gets to make the phone call? I'll let you know how it goes.

February 13

Knee update: it's sprained and I'm out for about two weeks. I'm already sick of sitting on the couch, even with the Olympics. Luckily I work this weekend, so I won't be tempted to get out there and mess it up again. Fingers crossed that it will be healed by the time I get my new skis mounted up.

February 13

I bought skis!!! Jeff spotted some K2 Chogoris on sale, so I snapped 'em up. I had rented the K2 Sahale before, and I really liked the way they skiied. These are a little wider and a little heavier, so they should be a bit more versatile than the Sahale. Despite my little setback this weekend, I'm very excited to do lots of backcountry skiing this spring. I'll just have to limit myself to wide open slopes until I improve my skills.

February 12

Last Friday I did some booktalking in a 10th grade honor's class, which was pretty fun. I bring Blankets by Craig Thompson to classes whenever I can, because it's such a great book. Soooo, there I was, standing in front of 25 sophomores, talking to them about graphic novels, when I hear all this whispering and chatter. Finally, I hear someone say "porn," and then I realize... they think I'm talking about sex books, not comics. whoops!

On Saturday, I rented some AT skis again so that I could try some backcountry skiing. I'm not sure what I was thinking, seeing as I don't really know how to ski. Anyway, we skinned up through the trees for about an hour up at Snoqualmie Pass, trying to get to Kendall Knob. Skinning is fun! I had a great time getting up the mountain. We made it to the bottom of the clear-cut, where it became painfully obvious that there was no way I was going to be able to ski down. I tried anyway, and now have a very sore knee for my efforts. Luckily, I was able to walk down, and we did some practice beacon searches before heading home. Since then, I've been spending most of my time on the couch with an ice pack on my knee, which has been a bit of a pain, but it's been a great excuse to watch the Olympics all day.

February 8

Finally have time to recap last weekend. We packed up the car early Friday morning and headed out to Mazama for a long weekend of food, drink and ski. We took Becky out for her inaugural skate ski on Friday, and she kicked ass - a natural! More skiing on Saturday, although the sloppy sticky snow made it a bit of a challenge. Saturday night was spent eating lots of delicious food, playing games and doing some clever interpretive ski dances. And on Sunday, I got my ass kicked. I did my longest ski ever, from Mazama to Winthrop. Three hours and 20 minutes! I was totally exhausted, but it was such a beautiful day... bright blue skies and more sunshine than I've seen in what seems like months. I'm happy to finally check that one off my list.

February 5

Happy Birthday, Mike!

February 2

All sorts of surprises on Project Runway last night! Sweet little Daniel has clearly become the judge's favorite, though I can't say I disagree. I really thought Kara would win last night's challenge, given all the 'ooh-ing and aah-ing' over how perfect her dress was, and I definitely didn't expect Andrae to get auf wiedersehen-ed, even if he was a big bawl-baby in the beginning. Santino seems to have toned down the ego a bit, and his Tim impressions are HI-larious. Who will be next?! Who will break down and cry in a fit of exhausted frustration?! Can anyone make Santino wash his greasy mane?! I'll be obsessing over it until next week!

January 31

Persepolis has been chosen for the 2006 Seattle Reads program. It's such an incredible book, so spare and beautiful. Satrapi has a rare ability to convey complex events and emotions with just a few simple lines and shapes. I love this book (and its follow-up, Persepolis 2), and I'm so glad so many people will discover it through this program. Especially recommended for those who think graphic novels are just for stoners and introverted, greasy-haired adolescent boys.

January 31

Daaaaamn! Bush must have gotten himself a new team of advisors. Can you believe all that "America is addicted to oil" rhetoric actually came out of his mouth? Has he been taken over by alien life forms? Paradigm shift, indeed...

January 30

Reading. Last year I read 158 books (hey, lots of them were short), and there were still things on my list I didn't get to. I even listen to books on CD in the car every day and I still fall behind. I'm doomed!

On the bright side, my goal of reading the NY Times' 10 best books of 2005 is off to a good start. I finished Prep last week during my 48 hours of riding the couch. A meticulous character exploration of a working class girl coming of age at an elite prep school. I'd write my own review, but why bother when you can read this instead?

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore is next.

January 27

Yesterday at work I showed some anime shorts during my after-school program. I didn't have time to preview them beforehand, and, oh my, was I kicking myself afterwards. I was showing promo DVDs that come from ADV films (DVDs that are specifically for young adults in library-sponsored anime clubs, mind you), but one episode was just a little too sexy for the 6th and 7th graders I have in my programs. I actually had one kid say "Uh, Summer? What's the rating on this?" Whoops.

January 25

Still trying to shake stupid bird flu. I took a mini-shot of Nyquil before bed last night, and woke up at 4:30 am feeling like utter hell... I thought that stuff was supposed to make you feel better. Trying to settle in for day two on the couch, but I'm crazy bored already. If only Project Runway was on.

While we're on the topic, I've been even more obsessed with Project Runway this season, if that's possible. Who could have known that Season 2 would bring a bigger train-wreck spectacle than Wendy Pepper, but SANTINO! Such a little bitch. We'll see if he makes it though tonight's challenge.

January 24

O the injustice of it all... stuck at home, feeling really crappy on the first beautiful sunny day in months. To top it all off, the cable went out just before the final moments of Star Trek: Next Generation. I sure hope Captain Picard escaped his mysterious captors!

January 24

Germs and disease. I got the nasty flu thing that's going around, so I'm home today and tomorrow to try and kick it. Man, I hate being sick. Take your vitamin C, drink your juice, and stay well!

January 20

TGIF. For some reason, I've been totally exhausted this week, and I'm very much looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Since I can't be bothered to write much, I give you bunny tongue (courtesy of cuteoverload.com) instead.

January 17

Jeff sent me this funny article about how the dumbing down of America is manifesting itself in the retail industry:

"Another clerk at a clothing store tried to convince me that they didn't skin the rabbits for the fur on the jacket she was trying to sell me. "We just shave them," she said. Wow. Wonder how she thought they'd turn a bag of shaved rabbit hair into that tidy little trim on a jacket?"

January 16

Wrapping up a fantastic four-day weekend. Jeff and I headed up to Hyak on Friday night for a rainy skate ski session, we had a lazy Saturday around the house, and Sunday was spent learning to randonee at Stevens Pass. Skiing is fun! After eight years of snowboarding, I've just gotten really bored with it, and I've been feeling ready for something new. Besides, I always get left behind in the backcountry, so it's about time I made the switch. I'm feeling pretty stiff and a little sore today (mostly on my knee, where it hit the edge of my ski during one of many falls).

We finally managed to take down the Christmas tree today... poor thing was dry as a desert looked ready to spontaneously combust. Time to start looking forward to spring!

January 15

As a northwest born and bred girl, the rain generally doesn't bug me too much, but even I have had enough. Just one day of sunshine would make me so very happy.

January 11

Sometimes reading is just plain fun. I finally got my hands on the third book of the Bartimaeus Trilogy yesterday, and can't put it down. A great story with complex, well-rounded characters, suspenseful twists and turns, snarky characters and a very healthy dose of sarcasm and sardonic wit. These books are also a shining example of how great books written for younger audiences can be. Much like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, these books assume young readers can handle very serious themes usually reserved for adults. These are books I recommend constantly... you should read them, too.

January 9

People keep sending me this link to a couple of guerilla knitters - go ladies!

January 9

Back in Seattle after a long, intense weekend. Left Friday morning at the crack of dawn and finally arrived in Holly Springs by 4:00 pm, where we had a serious culinary experience; who knew you could get pizza made by Koreans in rural Mississippi? Saturday morning we got dressed and headed down to Tupelo for the service. Loads of people turned out to pay their last respects to Grandad, and the service was really nice. The reception afterwards was quite a family reunion, and I saw tons of relatives that I haven't seen since I was a wee lass. Sunday we did a quick trip to Oxford and then headed back to the airport to fly home, but not before experiencing the most blatant display of poor manners (and disregard for public health) I've seen in a long time. We were getting dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and just as our food arrived, the woman seated next to us took the opportunity to change her baby's diaper right there in the booth. Who wants to see poopy diapers right as their steamy refried beans arrive? Ugh. Two very long plane rides later, I was back home and in bed just before 1:00 am. Whew!

January 5

I'm off to Mississippi in a mere 7.5 hours. I'm not a fan of the super early bird flight, but I'm looking forward to seeing some family and paying my respects to Grandad. I think it will be a good trip, despite the circumstances.

January 2

2006?! How did that happen? Last year was so chock-full of good stuff, it's hard to pick out the best things of 2005, but I'd have to say getting married was definitely the highlight. I have many, many good memories from last year, but there's always a little sadness as well. I still miss my beloved Penny... no matter how big Buddy gets, he just can't fill up that kitty-shaped hole she left.

My grandfather passed away December 30. It seems like no matter how much you prepare, you're never really prepared to lose someone. He's been waiting for ages to rejoin my grandmother, and that's how I'd like to think about him... letting her do all the talking while he sits in the his chair with a nice highball - maybe play a few holes of golf. Rest in peace, Grandad.