Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

138. Captain Wheezy of the S.S. Bathtub

My cat is not exactly the healthiest creature. He has allergies of some sort, so that his nose is almost always stuffy, and he sounds kind of wheezy. He also snores pretty loudly as a result.

Lately, he's taken to spending a lot of time in the bathtub. He's always liked it in there, but since my brother's dog can't seem to leave the cats alone, he's been even more infatuated than usual.

This has led to the following scenario:
You go into the bathroom and are quietly minding your business when you suddenly become aware that you are not alone. An ominous sort of sound is emanating from behind the shower curtain. Like there's a monster in there, waiting for the perfect moment to leap out and eat you whole. But then you pull back the curtain to investigate, and find that the monster is actually a very fat cat looking so pleased he actually seems to be smiling, as he sort of wallows around on the fiberglass at the same time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

137. Runaway

Recently life has gotten ridiculously complicated, and frustrating, and lots of other adjectives I won't bore you with. But my point in bringing it up at all is that I am escaping. Via airplane.

Initially, I was invited to New York with a friend who is already going to visit her brother. But from the moment I began scheming [drunkenly], I was trying to figure out a way to get the people I'm really missing to come with me. The next day, after I'd had a chance to sober up and think things through a little more rationally, I realized this idea wasn't really even kind of realistic. So I've decided New York will have to wait. I'm going to go to Chicago instead, where I hope to have many fabulous adventures with people I love more than I could ever explain.

Plane tickets are purchased. Now I just have to get the time off work, which is proving more difficult than anticipated. But I have my fingers crossed that everything will work out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

136. Mad Mad Love

I am so madly in love with this dress from ModCloth:

It feels very Peggy Olson. Who, I have to say, has developed into one of my very favorite characters on Mad Men.

We still haven't finished season 3, but the cold and rainy weather lately has been perfect for curling up in bed with a laptop. I'm going to be really sad once we've run out of episodes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

135. Discoveries!

In updating my Blogger subscriptions because my brother is a weenie who is systematically removing himself from The Matrix, I have stumbled across some new blogs which make me squeal with porcine glee.

The first, my favorite comic author/illustrator of all time - Jhonen Vasquez.
I'm feeling a bit disappointed in myself for not attending PAX this year, because as it turns out, I could have [potentially] met him. But I have never been the sort of girl who is much into the convention scene, and I ended up meeting Daniel Johnston that weekend instead. Maybe next time.
Regardless, his blog is comedy gold, just as I'd anticipated.

Second is an equally nerd-tastic discovery, belonging to Rufus Dayglo, the illustrator for the new series of Tank Girl comics.
Have Pencil, Will Scribble
Basically, post-apocalyptic punk-ass eye candy. Eee!

This site actually led to a serious Tank Girl craving, which resulted in my purchasing a copy of Armadillo! this morning.

I've been wanting it forever now, so it was really only a quasi-impulse buy. At least, that's how I'm justifying it to myself.

That's probably enough slacking for today though. Back to work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

134. Rock Star

Utterly enamored with this photo of Dave Grohl this morning. There's just something amazing about the energy it conveys. I want the same from my own work.

Friday, October 30, 2009

133. A Hiatus of Sorts

Monday is going to be my last riding lesson for at least a few months. I'm very upset about it. But I feel like I'm spending more than I make lately, and I need some time to catch up. And for some reason I've been feeling really overwhelmed, even though I don't have anything going on except work and two lessons a week. Maybe it's just because it's winter. I'm sad because I feel like taking time off is going to be a setback, but at least I won't be freezing to death while I tack up my horse in a cold, dark barn.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

132. Ode to Cupcakes

Because there are not nearly enough occasions for poofy and impractical dresses, and I think that's criminal. My recent favorites by Dior:

And I desperately want that last girl's hair. It's fantastic.

Friday, October 23, 2009

131. Mission Accomplished.

Halloween costumes have been procured...



This is going to be the most ambitious make up job I have attempted to date. Also, that flame cape is going to be tough to recreate, but the effects guy at Display and Costume recommended I try buckram. It becomes moldable when wet, and then mostly solidifies again once dry. If that doesn't work out, I'll have to try wiring something together.

He also had some creative suggestions for my makeup, since I have no access to an airbrush. I'm going to be using vivid green and electric blue eyeshadows, and then coating myself in a clear sealant. Unfortunately, I'm going to be quite a bit more shimmery than I'd prefer, but without an airbrush, the full body matte look just isn't going to happen.

Lucky for me Halloween is on a Saturday this year. This is going to take hours.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

130. Lurve

Last night I came home with a stack of books Kelsey insisted I borrow, and a brand new cigarette tin from Jesse. Which isn't so much for holding cigarettes at all, it's to replace my old Camel tin wallet that is now 7 years old and beat to pieces.

I love my friends. They're kind of amazing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

129. Mondays Aren't All Bad

My Monday nights have recently become very busy. I rearranged my schedule so that my viola and riding lessons are one after the other on one night in order to give me more time for my college classes the rest of the week. Only I ended up dropping both of my classes this quarter because I believe I have finally found a major I want to pursue. And since Ancient Civilizations and Japanese have nothing to do with Web or Graphic Design, I decided I should probably drop them and take a few months to make up my mind. Fortunately, my English Comp credits won't go to waste, because the Drawing and Astronomy classes I took won't fit.

It's exciting to finally have something in mind...though I'm a little nervous because the Web Design major is a 2 year stand alone degree. It doesn't involve much in the way of gen eds, and it doesn't exactly transfer anywhere. You get the degree and then you're done. I'm also considering adding in a Graphic Design certificate, which should be fairly quick and easy to get. Usually you would want to get a bachelor's in Graphic Design or Visual Communication, so I'm a little apprehensive. But I feel like this gives me basic experience and exposure to the field, so that I can graduate and start doing entry level work. From there, I can either go back to school for a full four year bachelor's, or just continue to build my experience and portfolio on my own. I'm still torn, but I have an appointment to discuss my plans with an advisor on Friday.

So Mondays are hectic, with a 4:30 viola lesson followed by riding at 6. I didn't get time to eat much before I left today. I ended up getting thrown over my horse's head while doing what should have been pretty simple flat work (Ziggy wasn't in a good mood). I was left with a mouthful of dirt and an evil little charlie horse in my left calf. I landed flat on my back, so no real injuries. But as I was lying there, staring at the ceiling and mentally assessing my damage, Ziggy very delicately picked up his hoof and rested it on my head.
I get the feeling he may actually be Napoleon reincarnated...

Afterward, I came home to discover my condo has been commandeered as an Alaskan halfway house. When I left this afternoon I had two house guests. When I returned, I had four, three of whom I had never met before they arrived. I don't mind at all, but I feel bad because my house looks post-apocalyptic and I'm almost entirely out of groceries. But everyone's leaving tomorrow (except Bill), so oh well.

Besides, Matt made me dinner - an amazing omelet, a wedge of brie, and a crimson pear. And when someone makes you a dinner this perfect, you can't possibly feel stressed about anything. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

128. And It's All Mine!

My first Anthropologie purchase ever!
I'm so in love with this coat, I just couldn't walk away.

Friday, September 18, 2009

127. When Advertising Goes Horribly Wrong

I love American Apparel. I do. They make great quality clothing that comes in billions of lovely colors, without brand names plastered all over them, in a factory which is in fact, not a sweat-shop.

But what, WHAT were they thinking when they made this ad?

Oooooh nooooo...
Nevermind that I can see her granny underwear lines, or that the styling of the top and scarf make me suspect this outfit escaped from some Avant-garde theater production that is just too "artsy" for anyone to get.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

126. Meeting Daniel Johnston

Friday night began with dinner at Boom Noodle, where we indulged in all sorts of tasty Japanese snacks. DELICIOUS! Afterward, we decided to wander over to Moe Bar for a drink while waiting for the Daniel Johnston show to start.

We were standing on the corner outside of Neumos while Jesse and Kelsey had a cigarette, when all of a sudden Jesse's eyes got really big, and he whispered, "That's him. That's Daniel Johnston". I turned around to find Daniel standing about 5 feet behind me, also smoking a cigarette and staring down at the sidewalk. Jesse collected the nerves to go introduce himself, and told him how much he was looking forward to the show. Daniel replied with, "Oh, good luck to you".

At that point he seemed to become aware of Kelsey and I watching from our original position, so Jesse waved us over to introduce us. Daniel shook both of our hands and for an instant, snapped out of his distracted sort of fog just long enough to make eye contact with me, smile, and say, "Oh wow, you look like Barbie!".

We talked about his robot necklace and he asked us where he could find something decent to eat. Jesse managed to get an autograph on his ticket, after which there was a lot of really adorable fan-boy dancing to celebrate. I snagged him one of the posters with Daniel's artwork from the girl's bathroom to go with it. I didn't get an autograph for myself because I've always felt weird about them. I'm much more excited just to meet the person I think. But I'm really not that into collecting "stuff" either.

My pals and I ended up snagging a spot on the railing of the upper balcony right over the stage, putting us about as close as you could get. It was really hot and muggy, but totally worth it. Daniel's performance was brilliant, but in this sort of savant kind of way. He was visibly struggling, yet every song was sweet and honest, and completely heart-shattering to watch. I wasn't expecting such openness from someone who seems so disconnected and lost in his own head. At the end he took requests from the audience and sang Walking the Cow at Jesse's suggestion (thanks to our super sweet spot putting us close enough for him to hear).

I'm really happy I got to go. It was perfect.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

125. Three Days

My Labor Day plans are finalized, and I cannot wait for it to begin.

Tomorrow night is the Daniel Johnston show at Neumos. It should be interesting. He's been known to lose track of time entirely and wander off stage after only 15 minutes, or become fixated on the idea that some item or other is possessed by the devil. Hopefully he'll feel like playing music, but even if he gets off track, I'll be in good company and we'll have fun regardless.

Saturday morning we leave for Ocean Shores. Matt and I decided it was probably about time that we visited the coast, so we booked 2 nights at a bed and breakfast instead of going to Bumbershoot. We get complimentary breakfast delivered to our room, and it's right on the beach. Our room is on the second story facing the ocean, and comes with a fireplace, jacuzzi, fuzzy bathrobes and slippers. We're going to spend the weekend wandering the beach, riding our bikes, photoing. And the best part, horseback riding on the beach! Eee!

I. Cannot. Wait.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

124. Magic Husband

Part I:

The following is a letter that my department recently received from a customer (which has nothing to do with us). We get stuff like this pretty frequently, but I haven't worked comment cards or letters in a long time so I usually don't get to read them. My supervisor gave me this one as a gift, and it is now framed at my desk.

The return address is from Western Medical Center, and is addressed to:
Magic Husband

It is written in pencil on wide rule notebook paper, with the handwriting of a second grader.
Dear Magic Husband,

Alot has happened since I wrote you last. If you read the papers, then you will know that Orange County placed me on conservatorship a long time ago and then put me in a brothel that they couldn't get me out of. They were holding me hostage there for about 4 million years. I just got taken to a board and care about 2 weeks ago. The doctor changed my meds. to a lethal substance. She refused to change them back and sent me to another place in Orange County (Anaheim Western Medical) that I may be a hostage at. Renee M. was at the board and care. She said that she wanted to marry Billy Idol and become my mother. I don't want that at all. She won't let anyone come for me until Xmas. Alot of people being killed so be careful. Renee M. has been tampering with the mail and she had people stealing my packages from my people.
I am going to write you some more tommorrow.

Your "Baby",
Grace R.

Part II:

I am the sort of girl who enjoys googling random things just to see what I find. As it turns out, there is also a poem called "The Magic Husband". I find I rather love it, so here it is. Consider this blog a sort of textual diptych and just go with it.

"The Magic Husband" by Kathleen Ossip

Oh, we cavort. A little less poise, please.
The shower-crud, the plangent peonies!
He chisels at the oaken escritoire
his paperwork-his toy, his dream, his art
and hums as if to all America
a dope impromptu on the sound of schwa.

The shower-crud, the plangent peonies
translate to a grace note, key of E,
which definitely won't be what it should
have been; in fact, will pass away unheard,
but every night at ten my hardy wretch
plays air-piano at the oaken desk.

With uninvited earnestness he laughs.
He only asked for summer nights sans gnats,
a nap, and freedom from all social roles.
At summer's end he walks the yard and trolls
for squirrel-gnawed pears beneath the fraser fir,
and when he finds them, look, the guy's on fire.

He came in with the envelope in paw.
He had me read the letter then. I saw
the magic pager on his magic pants,
the wallet fill of chits, the triceps tensed,
the pen and pencil set I had a cry.
Stoop labor, baby. That Ill never try.

The venture on the Island's fallen through.
Surely the sky shouldn't be that blue.
Has never faded, my true ding an sich,
holdover, throwback, tetchy nihilist
a-muzz with love and narcotherapy.
The tenor wavered contrapuntally,

the tune bespoke a swan upon a pond.
Even his nerve endings aren't his own.
Sure, I like money. I like lots and lots.
He pitted through his business shirt. He stopped
lightly, lightly, lightly on the steps.
No boy knows just when he goes to sleep.

The kidskin briefcase trembles at his touch.
We're on a kick with Cherry 7-Up.
How flaky, toxic, wondrous, marginal,
those dulcet suds! He whistles, Hell was full,
so I came back. Next afternoon in bed,
he ordered me to spill it so I did.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

123. To Do List

Play the viola
Buy a high end digital camera
Have lots more late nights with friends
See more live bands/photograph bands
Pay off my credit card and my car loan
Compete in show jumping and dressage
Take yoga
Get my associate's degree
Move to the city
Travel to unusual places
Go to art school
Take voice lessons
Learn Japanese
Learn HTML/web page design
Have my own photography darkroom & studio
Learn to refinish old furniture/make lamps
Play viola/sing in a band
Own my own horse
Design/build our own house
Own/drive a classic car
Pay off my student loans
Have a cushy retirement fund
This was sort of meant to be an exercise in self-evaluation. I'm beginning to have serious doubts about committing myself something so all-consuming as business ownership. I'm afraid it will take precedence over everything else I'd like to do, especially in regards to my social life. I also think I may be too fast-paced, impulsive and transient to put myself in a position to be so tied down.

Sighee. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

122. Happy Little Trees

Today was the happiest of weather. We went to Greenlake and walked the dogs.

121. Sunday. The Day of Rest.

It's been a supremely busy weekend of fun times, so today is going to be kind of mellow.

My dinner meet up went great. Rachel was the only one who came, and it was determined that she and I will be the only ones on the loan should this actually come to fruition. We talked a whole bunch about a whole bunch of ideas, and I think we're very much on the same page. So that's a good start. We're hopefully going to hit Redwood this week, which was one of Rachel's picks, and I think Matt is going to come with.

While waiting for Rachel to arrive, I realized I had parked my car right in front of 2nd Time Around. So of course, I had to snag some more records for the collection:

I also picked up a Dvorak cello concerto and a Brahms record which the clerk ended up giving me. It was only a dollar anyway, but I guess not many people want classical records. Which is sad, considering how amazing they sound. I play my copy of Rachmaninoff half to death.

So after dinner with Rachel, I had about an hour and a half to kill before I met up with Kelsey and friends. I ended up driving myself to Alki and sitting by the water watching the sunset. I tried to take some pictures, but I only had my wimpy little point and shoot with me, so the zoomed in shots came out kind of fuzzy. Here's a couple of my favorites though:

We spent the night divided between a couple bars in Ballard (I can't seem to get enough of The People's Pub). Kelsey succeeded in talking me into Bumbershoot. In typical fashion, we got super rowdy and lots of mayhem ensued. There was a lot of shoe throwing and sidewalk fighting. The evening ended with a group of us fending off crazy coat-salesman guy who was trying to pawn off his ex-wife's leather jacket for a mere $10. Jake told him he thought he was creepy, which led to a lengthy debate about creepiness vs. passion. It was fairly hilarious, and I totally regret not taking pictures.

Yesterday Jen and Gerritt came over and we biked 25.5 miles after having Performance adjust the gears on my new bike. It's the longest I've ever ridden. Ever. And it wasn't flat trail either. Matt said he was very proud of me.
I am a machine.
Only today I am a kind of broken machine. So. Very. Sore.

Afterward we ate our weight in bbq. Actually, I ate my weight in fruit salad, because it was really the only thing that sounded good to me. I had other stuff too, but I'm pretty sure if I were to become sweaty, pineapple juice would ooze out my pores.

This is one of those times where I don't quite know how to wrap things up. So I will just say, THE END!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

120. To Bumbershoot Or Not To Bumbershoot...

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are playing Sunday September 6th, which is pretty enticing on it's own. But I found out this week that Hey Marseilles and The Dusty 45's are also playing that afternoon, which would more than justify the $35 ticket price even if the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hadn't already. Plus I've never been to Bumbershoot, and I know Jesse and Kelsey are going. So I believe I'm leaning toward yes.

In other news, and not to jinx this entirely (because I have reservations anyway), myself and three of my co-workers are having our first dinner meeting tomorrow night to discuss business plans for opening a bar. I'm not sure that anything will actually come of it. Small business is risky business, and I'm definitely nervous.

I may just gracefully back out tomorrow. Especially if it turns out we're not on the same page for the overall concept. I can be pretty flexible, but I couldn't live with neon beer signs and 15 different channels of ESPN. I was imagining something much more conceptual and unique.

Rachel and I have been emailing constantly for over a week now, tossing around ideas and researching what it would take. I think I'd be more comfortable if I knew it were just going to be the two of us. I feel like four owners is two too many, and I'm not even sure that all of them actually want that much involvement. That's kind of what the meeting is for though. We'll sit down, seriously discuss what we each want out of this, and then see what happens. But I'm pretty skeptical.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

119. Want to smash...

I swear I'm getting worse.
I am not a quitter, and I intend to keep trying. But I am so frustrated I just want to cry.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

118. Emo.

I hate crashing after being in a really good place for quite some time. I've been super happy lately, and energetic, and really feeling good about myself. And then tiny little things happen, and I immediately start second-guessing myself again. Like messaging my friend who happens to be online at the same time as me, and asking them to hang out next week, only to see them drop offline shortly thereafter with no reply.

Or writing another friend who I adore, and probably gushing a bit too much about how grateful I am that they are my friend and how amazing I think they are, and then receive no reply at all. Because I know the silence isn't due to the fact that the message wasn't read, or that they didn't have a chance to reply. It just screams, "That was a bit too much. And now I feel awkward."

I get too wrapped up in certain people. And then I feel horribly crushed when they get uncomfortable and distance themselves. Like an idiot.

Friday, July 31, 2009

117. Mullings

Choosing a major is very very difficult. I've given it hours of thought already, and I'm going to give it many more over the next couple of years. But one thing keeps gnawing in the back of my mind, and I'm not so sure I should continue to ignore it.

I love photography...

And not just in the hobby/for grins sense. People keep telling me that it's idiotic to major in the fine arts, and that it won't ever pay for the student loans I'd have take out to pursue a degree in it. Then again, much wiser people tell me who cares? Do what makes you happy.

And I think I just might.

UW School of Photography

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

116. Some Do Not Like It Hot

Blogger is the lamplight and I am the moth.
Or something equally poetic.
I just can't stop. Why so much writing about nothing lately? Really? I'm not bored...

I promised that Andrew Bird blog was the last "check out this sweet video" post, and I meant it.
In other news, here's the current stats:

Today was THE HOTTEST DAY EVER IN SEATTLE. Or at least, the hottest day on record since they started keeping track of that sort of thing in 1891.
I couldn't help but notice that every thermometer disagrees with the others, but the general consensus is that we most definitely broke 100, and it may have been 104 or higher in my neighborhood. And that's just counting outside. I promise you, were I to take the temperature of the interior of my house right now, we are still somewhere over 100, at 10:15pm. Last night I feared my blood was actually beginning to boil.

(The sun's chromosphere. Also very hot.)

I think I've been handling it decently well, considering I have no air conditioning. But I'm really trigger-happy-cranky and dying to get some exercise. Also, I'm curious how many extra calories I'm burning by just existing in this heat. I sweat without even moving, so I imagine it has to count for something. But getting back to this blood boiling issue...I've concluded that this may be how I die. Maybe taking astronomy over the summer was a bad idea, but all I can think about the past couple of days is, "what would happen if it were just a little hotter?" Global warming and the reasons for a lack of atmosphere on Mars are not things a person in my position should be thinking about. It creates the terror.

I know I'm being a pansy. We're not really going to fry like eggs on searing pavement. My car is not actually an easy bake oven hell bent on baking crispy cakelettes from my flesh. And yet...I can only think of news coverage from summers in St. Louis, when they would count the death toll of the elderly during heat waves. And I wonder, is that going to be me someday?

The answer is, yeah. I think so.

115. So Amazing

Alright, I know. I've been really heavy on the music postings lately, and I never intended this to be a strictly music driven blog. It was really supposed to be more of a container in which to put all my fragmented pieces as a way to try and make sense of them. But I have to share just one more. It's too incredible not to, and you're going to love it.

I realize I may soon be reaching Ayako-levels of music obsession...

I stopped by Pitchfork.Tv today, hoping that it still existed, because I always find good things to listen to there. I read some time ago that the site was shutting down in May or something, and I assumed it was gone. But there it was, and even better, Andrew Bird was spotlighting the home page.

This video is the first of five tracks posted, and you can watch the entire compilation by clicking here. I highly recommend watching the whole thing if you have the time. "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations" is a deeply resonating bluegrass track that does full justice to the cathedral in which he's performing, and you couldn't ask for better acoustics than this. But I think the song "Why" is definitely my favorite of the moment.

He just makes me smile. Especially in those stripey socks.

*Sorry about the pre-video ad, but it couldn't be helped. At least it's for a movie I'd kinda like to see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

114. Loch Lomond

Still dwelling in the string-happy vein of Hey Marseilles, I remembered a Portland band I've been meaning to check out ever since I came across a split lp featuring them on one side and the Builders and the Butchers on the other. I'm pleased to say they haven't disappointed me, and I think I'm going to have to snag it as soon as I can.

I love this video too. It's like home movie footage of a 1970's religious cult. But in a really good way?

"My internal inspiration comes out of me in strange ways," says Young.
"I lock myself in a room until I scream, knock stuff over, whatever I'm compelled to do to make a song emerge. Once a song does come out of me, I leave it alone. Changing the structure or the lyrics would feel like I was second-guessing my art."

Amazing. I do something pretty close to that. Maybe less breaking of stuff, but only because I don't have a lot of expendable things to break.

*If you liked the song, you can download it for free by clicking here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

113. Capitol Hill Block Party!

So so so excited to see The Gossip today!

I actually have difficulty listening to their albums at work because I feel compelled to belt out the lyrics along with them. I try to listen quietly anyway, but it's nearly impossible to sit still in my chair. Beth Ditto is this incredible force of energy that I find awe inspiring. There isn't a single track that doesn't beg you to jump on your bed, kick all the sheets and pillows onto the floor, and swing your hair in every direction at once. Plus, she gets extra brownie points for having the same name as me.

I'm also very excited to see the opening band this afternoon, Hey Marseilles.

I'm a sucker for indie bands who make proper use of stringed instruments. But there's something so optimistic about Hey Marseilles. They're the perfect soundtrack for a summer road trip. Or an afternoon with friends in Cap Hill. :)

Yay for summer!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

112. In which I am reminded of Tennessee Williams


It's hot. Not so hot as it was earlier, but geez. Also, the Frank-dog tore one of his dew claws this weekend while staying at Pie's house, and won't stop licking it. INCESSANTLY.

And speaking of incessant, the drunk neighbor's terrier was standing out on her porch barking for at least an hour straight this evening. I finally got sick of it and went to her house to ask her why the dog was barking. She took a really long time to open the door, and when she did, she only cracked it open just enough that I could see her face and the dog's nose.

Our conversation went like this...

Me: Hi. Why are you letting your dog stand on your porch and bark incessantly?
Her: I don't know what you're talking about. I don't have a dog.
Me: Ma'am...I can see the dog. He's right there.
Her: Well it wasn't him barking.
Me: Bullshit. I could see him.

Door swings open so that I can now see all of her enormity, and her adorable scamp of a terrier, who is looking especially pleased to have company.

Her: He hasn't been barking.
Me: Yes he has. I could see him from my house, poking his nose under the wall of the porch.
Her: Well it wasn't incessant.
Me: He's been barking for an hour.
Her: Only when people walk by...
Me: People have not been walking by for an hour. Could you not hear him? Were you asleep?
Her: Nooooo...

We stare at each other for some time. She looks confused and that fuzzy sort of stupid drunk. She is also wearing a red moo-moo and has frizzy blonde 80's hair that makes me giggle inside. Unfortunately from the outside I am much less imposing and kind of shaky, because that is what happens when I get agitated or nervous.

Her: Who are you?
Me: I live across from you.
Her: What do you mean you live across from me? Where do you live? What building?
Me: I live in the B building. And I can hear your dog inside my house.
Her: Did Mona send you?
Me: No. I am tired of your dog barking and I would like him to stop.
Her: OOOookaaaaaay. Thaaaaaaaank yooooooouuuu.

And then she slammed her door in my face.

I was probably more rude than I should have been. But I stopped feeling guilty about it after I went by Harvey and Mona's to let them know I said something to her in case she complains. Harvey said the other night her four year old grandson was swimming in the koi pond with the dog while she was passed out drunk on her porch.

Oh, neighbor gossip...

The dog is awfully cute though.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

111. 9:23pm exactly.

I have perfect teeth, yet I still have yet another cavity.
I've fallen head over heels for Mad Men.
Whiskey is better as a warm shot with friends than sipped over ice.

I wish I had time to write more. Fictionally speaking.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

110. Mmm Weekend...

It's thunderstorming, which is a rare occurrence in Seattle, but totally beautiful when it does happen. Plus, it makes it really easy to shut yourself in for a Sunday of studiousness. I managed to get a short jog in earlier, but otherwise, I've spent my day working on astronomy homework, practicing my viola, and watching Mad Men with Matt. Oh, and I baked coconut cookies. Sooo bad for you!

Mad Men is kind of amazing, but I still can't help wanting to throw a pair of t-straps at my television screen over just about every other line. The chauvinism is a bit much. Still, I think I intend to keep watching. It's about as addictive as a pack of Lucky Strikes.

I'm still full body sore today from going dancing Friday night. I went out with my co-workers (and quite a few recently laid off co-workers), several of whom were performing with their bands. I think I'm in love with them all. Which I'm sort of ashamed to say...I mean, who wants to admit that they love the people they work with? But I do. The more time I spend with them, the more I adore them. They make me laugh, and vice-versa. Samantha and I danced through 3 full band sets, which I think worked out to being about 2 hours. I actually danced so hard and so long that the nail beds of my big toes are bruised from my heels.

Yesterday morning Matt and I grabbed breakfast with Soren. I ate too many hashbrowns and came home for an after breakfast nap. Around 3, Matt and I took a picnic lunch to one of the parks a block from our house, and ate on the playground. As we were eating, a lady mallard slowly crept over to us hoping we'd toss her a snack. There were at least 20 ducks in the pond, but she was the only one brave enough to come up. At first she would only come within a few feet, but after we'd tossed her some chunks of bread, she decided we were pretty ok. She finally worked up the nerve to eat right out of our hands. And if we held the bread too high for her to reach, she would actually jump up to get it.

We named her Barbara. I don't know why...she just seemed like a Barbara.
She was pretty adorable with the beggings. If you went too long without feeding her something she'd start to make this squeaky sort of begging sound and bobbing her head at you. I'm hoping we see her again sometime.

Later on in the evening, we went downtown to see the Seattle Symphony perform music from Final Fantasy. My viola teacher reminded me about it on Wednesday, so I told him I'd definitely come if tickets were still available. All that was left were the $60 third tier seats, but I feel like we still had a really good view.

We stopped next door at the Brooklyn for a couple glasses of champagne and a raw oyster snack beforehand. The bartender was a total foodie, and his girlfriend is a professional chef, so we had a pretty great conversation with him while we hung out. I can't wait to have dinner there. We'd already eaten, so we just had 1 oyster a piece, but it was by far, the best oyster I've ever had. Local fare, go figure. I just can't wait to have dinner there. The place is swank-ee.

Final Fantasy was amazing. It was a little weird, because it attracted this really strange mix of symphony fans and Final Fantasy fan boys. A lot of people were dressed like they were going to an anime convention. And the 2 guys we were stuck sitting next to were probably the biggest fan boys I've ever seen. There were screenshots from Final Fantasy gameplay and scenes from the movies showing on a screen over the orchestra throughout the show, and the fanboys would not stop talking to it, like they were hanging out with their friends at home actually playing the game. By the end of the show they were actually humming along and beating out the rhythms on their legs.

Still, I couldn't say anything. They were obviously way bigger fans than me.
I've never really played any of the games, and I haven't seen the movies. I made it halfway through FF VII before I got too bored to go on. I'm just not a turn-based RPG fan. But it was pretty awesome to see a group of people who normally wouldn't think twice about classical music so intensely wrapped up in it like that. Nobuo Uematsu is an absolutely incredible composer. And he's adorable. A lot of the music had this really epic sort of Carmina Burana feel. It was intense. Several pieces even included opera soloists. But my favorite was getting to see the violas. I really liked getting to watch Wes perform.

Flipping through the program, we found out they're performing Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for Halloween. The film will be played on the floating screen while the orchestra performs the soundtrack. I can't wait. If tickets were available now, I'd buy them, but I think we have to wait until the new season starts.

After the show let out, we were awake and delighted, and not quite ready to go home, so we wandered over to the Musicquarium. Not a place I hang out often, but I love it every time I go. It's got the best ambience, between the fish tank, and the lights, and the rad little jazz trio of guitar/bass/drum set that was playing. The wine didn't disappoint either. It was pretty much a perfect end to a perfect day.

Holy crap I love this town.
Next weekend: My birthday in Vancouver BC!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

109. Goija & Serova

Viola is not a supremely popular instrument (admittedly one of the bits that attracts me to it), so there aren't a ton of videos out there I can study. But of those that I've found, two soloists have emerged as muses/inspirations/etc for me - Anna Serova and Olga Goiya.

In honor of my instructor ditching jury duty and calling me up for a slightly longer lesson than usual this afternoon, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorites:

Olga Goiya performing the finale from Alan Shulman's Theme & Variations for Viola & Orchestra:

And Anna Serova performing Vieuxtemp's Capriccio per Viola Sola (she doesn't allow video embedding, so you'll have to click the link).

I love that Goija looks like she's about to fight someone when she plays.
Both videos sound best if your eardrums are wrapped up in monstrous headphones, but a decent set of speakers will work almost as well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

108. Stargazing

Thus far, astronomy is not fun. I'm hoping it'll improve, because it's really killing my back to college buzz. Which is disappointing because I imagined it was going to be supremely fascinating. This textbook has managed to sap all of the beauty and wonder out of the skies like a giant black hole.
HA! Really bad astronomy joke...sorry.

Class just started yesterday and I'm already buried in more reading than my mind can focus on. I find myself wandering off after a paragraph, obsessing over facebook or practicing my viola. WHICH I LOVE.
Even now, I should be reading and I'm not. Stupid blogger.

Back I go.
Focus. Focus focus focus.

Monday, June 22, 2009

107. Not So Invincible

I must run on solar power, because the instant the sun disappeared, all my energy went with it. All I want to do is crawl inside the sub woofer and hibernate where the bass goes oom oom oom oom ...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

106. The World is My Gym

In spite of the fact that I am not even a little fan of Nike and their insistence on sweatshop labor, "Just do it" is quite possibly the greatest motivational mantra ever. I ran 2 miles again today, outside, for the second time in a week (and ever). This time I did it alone, and I probably could have kept going, honestly. But I decided to stop at 2 and give my muscles time to acclimate. The more I run, the more I need to run. Not only do I feel better about myself physically, but it keeps my mind balanced. I can finally see things for what they are instead of coloring every situation with only my emotions.

Afterward we hit Greenlake for a 3 mile walk with the dogs. I was sore by the time we finished, but a gourmet dinner at home of lobster tail, papaya, and brie spread over rosemary bread seems to have revived me.

I feel intense - definitely more alive than I have in a very very long time. I am so *on* all the time that I find I can stay awake for 24 hours without any trouble. My energy stores have no bottom. The only thing I can't seem to find time to do is clean my house.

Summer is good. All over.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

105. Hrrnunguh

My first viola lesson was tonight. Fascinating, that.
Frankly, the instrument is so drop dead gorgeous I have trouble focusing on actually playing it. I learned very little in my allotted 30 minutes, except that I need to pay in cash and I could probably use a second job to cover my pursuits of personal enrichment. Also, we discovered that I am sort of double jointed in the thumb region and have a tendency toward locking my pinky rather than curving it.

I'm bored without homework. It's gnawing at me. I wish I was in a writing class just so I'd have something to focus my attentions on. Furthermore, instructors should not charge $1 a minute for their time. It's rude.

Monday, June 15, 2009

104. Ham

Is the color of my face.
I just ran a full two miles, outside, for the first time ever.

It was a celebratory jog. Today was my last day of drawing class. I think I squeaked by with an A-. But even better news! My English professor not only accepted my late essay, she gave me an A. She said I'd been on point the entire quarter and forgave me for my boo-boo.

So hoo-ray! Hoo-ray for school! Hoo-ray for me!

Stop looking at me swan.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

103. .................................

I have returned to being a disjointed and neurotic mess. I suppose that's why I'm finally writing something, because I cannot think straight.

I have heaped my schedule as full as possible with things to enrich and distract me, but whenever I finally have a moment to myself, I slide back into my puddle of woe. It's exhausting to be so completely on and then slam to such a screeching halt over and over again.

My first quarter of school is over in a few days. I have one drawing class left, and I'm fairly certain the English class is wrapping up this weekend. I don't know if I got the A's I wanted so badly, due to a mishap at the very end with my final English paper. I misread the calendar and thought it was due on Tuesday, when really it was due Thursday. I emailed it to my professor, but she specifically said she wasn't accepting late work because it was the last assignment. I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best. I have gotten an A on every single assignment in the class up to this point, so I hope that will carry me through. It was extremely upsetting to work so hard only to have it slip through my fingers at the very end.

For the summer I'm taking Astronomy online, but I have also just signed up for private viola lessons at Kennelly Keys, and of course, still have my weekly riding lesson too. My viola instructor plays with the Seattle symphony. Very exciting. I have a three month rental to try it out and see if it's for me. If it isn't, I plan to move on to something else. Probably piano, since it's a high priority on my list of things to do before I die.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

102. Liar.

Here's a little musical interlude on for this sunny Saturday morning.

St. Vincent's second album, Actor, was released about a month ago, and it's every bit as good as her first. Her siren-like voice perfectly offsets the album's rugged, electronic-infused backdrop.

The video for "Actor Out of Work", the album's first single, was directed by Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey, who collectively refer to themselves as "Terri Timely". They've done quite a few videos for indie artists, my favorite of which is Joanna Newsom's "The Sprout and the Bean". I'm especially fond of their film style - it has this very clean and uncomplicated quality that I find appealing.

If you get a chance, wander over to Terri Timely's website to check out some of their short films, like "Cecil" and "Children are a Gift". They're pretty hysterical.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

101. Record High

A new record for me!
Sailing over triple jumps on my fantastic Idaho!

I wish I could ride everyday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

100. So Is This My 80's Phase?

Yeah. Might be.

Catchy, no? Plus, she kinda of reminds me of someone. Hmm...

Oh, right. Molly.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

99. That about sums it up I think.

I was catching up on my favorite French fashionista this morning, when I came across this post: Comme sur une balançoire.

I think perhaps every girl in the world could agree. I couldn't have explained it better.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

98. Thursday

School has done a funny thing to my brains. I spent so long feeling bored out of my mind that nothing ever sounded good. Suddenly, I have all these new things to focus on. I can actually feel all sorts of areas that have been dormant forever are suddenly becoming active. It's neat.

At first, I felt overwhelmed, but now, the more I do, the more I crave information. My homework alone isn't enough. My brain has become a hungry Pac Man munching up anything it can find lying around. Currently I'm reading two delightful books on the side.

The first is Siddhartha; a book I've intended to read for some time, and stumbled across for only $6 in hardback at Barnes and Noble:

The second is Persepolis, which is also an animated film that I've been wanting to see for probably a year or more. I didn't realize it was a book first. It came up randomly in conversation with the girl in the cube across from me, and she loaned me her copy to read.

I'm about halfway through each, and would highly recommend either. They're actually interesting to read together, as they have very similar themes. Persepolis is much more politically driven, while Siddhartha is so internalized it feels almost meditative...but I think they compliment each other nicely.

If only there were more hours in the day...
There is so much to try and cram into a mere 24.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

97. Vacation

Greetings from Missouri.

It's hot, holy cow. Which is saying a lot, because I am nearly almost always cold. I'm hoping for thunderstormage soon, because it's sweltering in here.

Last night we caught a completely amazing burlesque show for J's bachelorette party. I've never seen a group pay such perfect homage to the form, and my friend Laura was by far the best of them all. We had a fabulous time, indeed.

Today my dad took us to a gun range. I have only gone shooting once before, but both times I favored the revolver. I tried some rifles and a .45 as well, but they were a bit much for me. Not that I'd own a gun, because I sincerely don't see much purpose in it...but for grins, the revolver is my choice. I am like Miss Peacock, in the lounge. Drinking martinis and shooting people for undisclosed reasons.

I found out Obama is going to be in town on Wednesday for a town hall meeting. I requested tickets, but I doubt I'll get a pair. They're free, but there was only a limited number. I won't know for a couple of days if I got them.

It's still hot.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

96. Easter, Mexi-style

This year we celebrated Easter Sunday (and also Matt and I's 6th wedding anniversary) with chicken, white bean and spinach enchiladas.
Because they're tasty.
Of course, if you're going to have a Mexican Easter celebration, you have to have the Mexican Catholic devotional candle of Jesus. Luckily for us, I found this one for $2 in the same aisle as the enchilada sauce.

Now, if only we had some margaritas.
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

95. My brain could use a break

I've been hacking away at my English essay all morning, and after a week of struggling over the subject matter, I think it's finally starting to evolve into something that at least has a point. So I'm feeling good about that.

It's been kind of tough to teach myself good school habits. I have to learn to manage my time better and not put things off. I've always been comfortable with writing, but not writing for an assignment in such a structured sense. I have to just make myself sit and write, rather than writing when I feel compelled to do so, and it's hard.

I suppose this is what college is like though. I should just get used to it.

Onto happier things. Here's a band I find myself obsessed with these days. They're pretty much fantastic. Just maybe minimize the video itself if you find that you're easily disturbed by gold women. Because it's filled with lots of them.

Portugal the Man:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

94. The Dinner Party

We began with sushi. Sort of. It was the lazy version, where everyone compiles their own hand-rolls made to suit their own specific specifications at the table. It's delicious, unless you ask Bill. He's not really a seafood fan. Also, he seems to have had the misconception that wasabi is just another version of hot sauce. Because he loaded his sushi down with it, and when we warned him of the dangers he was about to consume, waved us off with, "No, no. It's solid".
Moments later he was gagging over my kitchen sink. He dropped out of the dinner marathon shortly thereafter.

As Matt, Gerritt and I continued to stuff our guts with raw salmon and mahi, Ein determined it would be appropriate to barf at our feet. She was quickly stuffed into a crate to do her business over a towel, and dinner continued.

Bill settled on the couch and began perusing Thisiswhyyourefat.com for the first time. His less than appetizing descriptions of burgers topped with burgers, spam cakes filled with bacon and pizzas topped with mayonnaise and cholesterol were quickly interrupted by the scent of poo wafting through the dining room. Matt assessed the situation and determined that it was Ein's spew that had begun to stink. Like poo. I was left struggling to support a wine refrigerator while the crate was removed from under it and exiled to another room.

It was then that Matt discovered the true source of poo smell...actual poo.
In the hallway.

Yesterday or the day before, I can't remember which, Bill switched his dog back to an Iams (read trashcan) diet after over a year of feeding strictly raw meat. Because, in Alaska, you apparently can't find raw meat at reasonable prices, and no one sells high quality commercial dog food either. So Sammers is much like a junkie coming down off the smack, and chose to let loose his bowels all over my carpet. It was sort of like that horrifying scene in Trainspotting, where Spud ruins his girlfriend's sheets and then coats her entire family in his mess as they're sitting together at the breakfast table. Only no one got splashed in this instance.

Dinner came to a close accompanied by the sounds and smells of a steam cleaner sucking brown mooshies out of my rug, and received a final rating of "Socialite Fail".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

93. Argh.

The entirety of my Tuesday was spent enrolling in college. Ok, actually, I applied over a week ago, but yesterday I did my placement tests for English and Math, registered for my first quarter of classes, and finished up with applying for financial aid. The beginning of the quarter is still three weeks away and already I'm feeling completely overwhelmed.

It's my fault. I'm trying to make this time perfect, and that means choosing a reasonable major. You know, something that will actually pan out into an actual career after graduation. Only every time I go over the course catalogs, I feel myself being drawn to the flakiest of shiny happy subjects instead of anything that resembles my one day bringing home the bacon.

My first quarter is to be English 101 and Drawing 1. I'm especially excited about the drawing, and it wasn't even my suggestion. When my advisor saw that Math 080 wasn't offered this quarter, he decided I should do something more fun while I become re-accustomed to the higher education lifestyle.

The thing is that now I can't put down the course catalog. I'm 27 years old and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. It's sort of ridiculous, but I'm indecisive and attracted to too many possibilities. After picking through the catalog for the past half hour, I'm finding that a degree in Biology or Anthropology are the most intriguing.


Archaeology is immensely fascinating. I spent a fair portion of my elementary school years checking out every book on ancient Egypt that I could find at the library. And as for the biology portion, I heart science. But I'm horrible at math. And then there's this piece of me that wants to take about a billion art and science courses and combine the two realms into insane interpretations of evolution on canvas or in sculpture.

Everything sounds really exciting until I stop and remind myself that by the time I'm finished, I'm going to have amassed more than $20,000 in student loans, and I'm going to need a career that pays well enough to cover the bill. So what to choose? Accountant?

Shoot me.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

92. Panda Panda Panda

He's just something I was playing with in paint.

Friday, February 27, 2009

91. A Fine Institution

Today I had advisory meetings with the two community colleges I am attempting to choose between. After careful consideration, I believe I'm leaning towards Bellevue (click image to enlarge):

Unfortunately, I am probably not going to be able to attend full time due to the need to work full time as well. I am not certain how this will affect my eligibility for student loans, but if I have to pay for much out of pocket, I won't be able to go. I am also somewhat discouraged by the fact that attending part time means it will probably take me about 12 years to earn my bachelors. While I am excited to go to school, it is disappointing to think that by the time I am able to graduate, I could be almost 40.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

90. The Purpose of Hibernating

This week my heart belongs to Bon Iver, the achingly beautiful creation of Justin Vernon. On the surface, his debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago" is whisper soft, almost fragile; but underneath lies such honesty and depth and sadness your soul nearly bursts at the sound.

Pitchfork Media has a really excellent article regarding the album's coming into existence, which I found both fascinating and inspiring. Most of the tracks were written and recorded when Vernon sequestered himself for several months at his father's cabin in northern Wisconsin. I often wish for the same sort of isolation in order to explore my creative bits. There never seems to be quite enough time to wander around in my own head and actually find whatever it is I'm looking for amongst all the muck...

Anyway, here's my very favorite track of the moment. I'd post the entire album from my playlist, but I'm afraid I'd be violating all sorts of file sharing laws or something.

Skinny Love - Bon Iver

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

89. Oh, I love her

Ladyhawke is my new candy. I can't get enough. She's so perfectly 80's synth done exactly right. She's obviously heavily influenced by Berlin and Pat Benatar, but she does it so well that I can't help but love her for it. It just makes you want to dance.

For your listening pleasure, here's the first track from her self titled album.

And her video for My Delirium:

You can hear the rest of the album on Soundcloud, and also pick up a couple of tracks for freeeee at Spin.com.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

88. A Date With Myself

It is Saturday, 9:17am to be exact, and I have the whole day to spend however I like. Matt and Chris are off to Stevens Pass for a day of snowboarding, and Soren has most unfortunately contracted my horrible cold, thus forcing us to cancel our breakfast plans. While I am disappointed that I won't be devouring waffles with my favorite polar bear, I am excited to have so much free time with only myself.

Best of all, my house is already as clean as I would like to make it, the grocery shopping is pretty much done, and I have no real errands besides. My only required stop is to pick up greek yogurt for tzatziki, as I'm making falafel for dinner, and the ingredients for tiramisu, which Chris plans on making for dessert tomorrow night. Chris' cousin is currently living in Paris, where she's attending culinary school, and the tiramisu recipe came from her.

So I think Frank and I will spend an hour or two walking around Greenlake, and I may have to do a little thrifting as well. And then when I've worn myself out sufficiently, I think I'll curl up in bed with the most appetizing book I found at the thrift store last weekend:

And my soundtrack for this chilly February day? Lots and lots of Joy Division.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 16, 2009

86. Gnarly

This video has probably been out for a while, but I hadn't seen it until now when a friend sent it to me. I love Gnarls Barkley, and this is just awesome, so I thought I'd share. The heart sort of reminds me of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

85. The Mysterious Disappearance of the Coconut Macaroons

Around 6pm last evening, an empty cookie package was found lying on the floor of the Dining Room district, several feet from its lid. The package was last seen in the center of the dinner table only an hour before, containing approximately 8 remaining macaroons. The victim, who received the cookies as a birthday gift on Tuesday, was understandably distraught when he discovered they'd been taken.

The primary suspect is a lanky Smooth Fox Terrier associated with previous food disappearance cases, only one of which resulted in his actual conviction. The suspect was apprehended just over two years ago when he was caught standing on the dinner table with his face buried in a bowl of leftover cous-cous. Shortly afterward he was brought in for questioning when an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies went missing. As the cookies were never found, the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence. The investigator claims that during the interview she heard Frank belch smugly in gastric satisfaction, but the defendent countered this accusation, stating he was simply clearing his throat.

Other suspects in last night's caper include a Corgi/Chihuahua cross with deceiving Precious Moment eyes, and her acrobatic accomplice, a small black feline with a ninja-like ability to fade into the shadows. All three suspects have been brought in for questioning, but each were able to provide what appear to be solid alibis. Frank was allegedly with his best friend all evening, taking in a movie across town in the Bedroom neighborhood, while Ein and Fuu were seen with a friend, hanging around an arcade in the Lounge neighborhood. As detectives have been unable to pinpoint the exact time of the crime, and the macaroons have not been found, police fear the case may never be solved.

The usually talkative terrier has kept noticeably quiet since he was brought in for questioning, however. But the investigator swears she heard him belch...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

84. I forgot something.

I have an additional resolution to add to my list. I feel that provided the resolution is made prior to the end of January, it should technically still qualify as a New Year's resolution.

I am going to find a new job.

My current job makes me feel stressed out, depressed, under-appreciated, restless, cranky, and most importantly, under-paid. I am long overdue for a change.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

83. Hello 2009

We spent New Year's eve in the company of one of my very favorite bands in the universe...


They were incredible. This was Matt and I's second time seeing them this year, and again, they left me breathless. If Nick Urata's Casanova voice doesn't bring you to your knees, Tom Hagerman's violin certainly will.

As a sort of memento of the evening, I just ordered "How It Ends" on vinyl. I can't wait for it to show up, it's going to be amazing.

And since it's 2009, I suppose it's also time for some resolutions. So here's what I've got:

1. Start doing yoga again, maybe even with some professional instruction.
2. Take a sewing class and get my machine repaired.
3. Learn to take a crossrail at a decent pace without landing on my head.
4. Start saving up some cash so I can renovate my bathrooms.
5. Hike to the top of Wallace Falls.
6. Stop making excuses for myself and actually go photo in my own city.

Happy 2009!