Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yesterday I went and saw Mama Mia with Snotty. It is the type of movie that normally I would avoid, but I'd read such good things about Meryl Streep's performance and I felt like seeing something lighthearted and nonsensical so I went for it. I wasn't disappointed.
Afterwards, we ended up grabbing snacks and drinks at several places in Ballard. Sort of a mini bar crawl. And we ended up inadverdently discovering a cool store called "Gifted" that had lots of cool things, including really cool plush toys by Monster Factory.
Now today I've got ABBA songs stuck in my head! Ack!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Eyes Wide Shut star Leelee Sobieski has a recurring dream in which she's a Native American woman.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed New Yorker insists the dream is so vivid she's often startled when she wakes up and realises she's not hunting in a canoe.
She says, "When I close my eyes and imagine what I look like, I'm completely different.
"I imagine myself as a Native American in a canoe with a papoose around my neck and sitting alongside my warrior husband, my long black hair gliding through the water, my bow and arrow poised to shoot us some dinner.
"(Then) I see my light hair and light eyes and it freaks me out, like, 'Where's my inner Native American? Who took my canoe?'"
THIS SITE ROCKS!
Smugopedia - "Pretend you know better."
"Smugopedia is a collection of slightly controversial opinions about a variety of subjects. We offer you the chance to buy a fleeting sense of self-satisfaction at the small cost of alienating your friends and loved ones."
Also, Bryn (who told me about Smugopedia) suggested that I try out this bike for exercising since it would provide more motivation. As soon as I have a spare $2069, I will certainly buy one so that I can wheel around town while eating ice cream. Then I wouldn't have to do any searching for snacks!
I really need to do some cleaning today. Whether I actually do any cleaning or not has yet to be determined. I've only been awake for an hour and a half and already I have avoided doing anything useful.
Yesterday, I was thinking about this same issue. Why is it that when I was a kid and my parents made me clean stuff, I was resentful but still did it? Do I need a parent to tell me I have to clean to get anything done? When it comes to household tasks, my bursts of motivation are sporadic and unreliable at best.
Maybe someday I'll be able to afford a maid. Or to live in a hotel or something.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Yesterday was crazy-busy at work. Not a terrible day by any means, but it was nice when it ended. The weekend was filled with bridal showers and baby showers at work. And of course in the current economy, it takes a certain financial level to be able to gather six or more people to get their nails done in style (even if they pay for themselves). My morning yesterday was best summed up by the following text exchange:
ME: Yet another baby shower given by rich white women. Sigh. A boat seems like a really unnecessary purchase. But if you already have a dock...
SNOTTY: That's what convinced ME to get someone's baby a boat for their baby shower...
I don't begrudge the women who were talking about their boats at the baby shower their nice things at all. It just seemed to me that with gas prices the way they are that buying a boat right now may not be the smartest investment (financial or environmental). Although it sounded like they could afford it. And it was funny when they started talking about their homes up in the San Juans and how so-and-so has a dock and so-and-so is having to get permits for their new home they are building and they will have to get a buoy to keep their boat at, etc. And they were so very earnest about setting up a "pretty" table of goodies to eat during their services too, which of course was immediately messed up by everyone eating and drinking.
It seemed like the type of situation that would be fun if I was a part of it. But as a worker, from the outside, it all seemed rather frivolous. The conversation, "cute" snacks, and "adorable" outfits gifted to the mother (who had registered--for her second child). These are the types of women who generally only think they have problems. Or if they have real problems beyond their seasonal wardrobes and gossiping about their friends, they don't discuss them in public.
Of course, I say all of this from atop my pedestal when the truth is, they could probably have bought me off with some of their snacks. Or maybe a quick boat ride? I can be frivolous with the best of them.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
You know how you can smell or taste something and be transported in your head to another place or time? I don't know why, but I had a 7up tonight and the flavor of it triggered some sort of childhood memories. Nothing definite. But a wash of emotion (good? bad? not sure?) came over me. It may be a soda, but it has a gazillion empty calories so I'm counting it as a snack.
It was kind of nice after a long day of doin' nailz.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Bryn and I were out for a walk today and ran across this small garden a block north of the stoplight at 12th and John on Capitol Hill. I think it won the award for "Tackiest Garden Display" hands-down. There's just so much theme going on! I mean really, a water feature, solar-powered plastic lilypads, park bench, crushed white rocks, concrete stepping stones, bird bath, statue of seated Indian, wagon, and much more?
This person has obviously never heard of the saying, "less is more." If it is a woman, I'm sure she wears ALL of her jewelry all at once.
I kind of like watching how the construction is progressing across the street. I may not be able to take any good super secret spy photos of people crossing the old QFC parking lot anymore, but at least I can document the digging of the foundation and subsequent building activities. (Did I really just type the phrase: "subsequent building activities?" Does that even mean anything?)
In cleaning out my overstuffed email inbox (over 3000 messages) from the old address I used to use I ran across some emails from a former best friend with whom I had a falling out over a year ago. I hadn't given him much thought for some time. Although the end of our friendship was a lot like a big breakup emotionally (at least for me), time and space made it clear that the only things that brought us together in the first place and had allowed us to hang out together for so long was the fact that we both shared a common background involving deep emotional scarring and a penchant for using alcohol as an escape vehicle.
It wasn't all bad. I've got lots of good memories from times we hung out together too. But with him, I was usually a victim. There was a strange competitiveness between us that at times meant that we acknowledged each other's strengths and at other times meant that we were deeply jealous of each other for what we perceived as our own failings.
I was surprised how reading the angry and accusatory emails he'd written (that were actually from a year or two before our final showdown) still had the power to make me question myself. Had I really been that terrible of a friend to him? Were the things I told him so hurtful that they were completely out of line? The fact that I was reading these at 3 in the morning probably made me significantly more vulnerable to these feelings. Late nights are like that.
The next morning I thought about it some more and remembered what led me to stop chasing a friendship with this person... it was his complete inability to accept responsibility for his words and actions. I'm the first to admit that I probably acted like a bastard towards him sometimes. I may not have been "nice" when I told him things that I felt he needed to hear. But the underlying message was something I believed and something that I told him because I felt it was information he needed to hear. I was starting to emerge from out the other side of a self-destructive tunnel I had been in and all I could see was that he was still caught up in that self-destructiveness. A pattern had developed between us where he dominated our friendship and I allowed him to act that way. Of course he wouldn't like it when I started to assert myself, and it makes sense that I probably asserted myself in negative ways as I was learning how to do so. When it came down to it, I believe we liked our ideas of who each other was better than who we actually were. Constant drinking only exacerbated the situation.
This digital organization of my email ended up extending into the real world the next day when I started going through the piles of things accumulating around my desk. I tend to hoard anything that is written down, worried that someday I might "need" that information/knowledge and then where will it be?
Well, I was more ruthless with my discards than usual. I threw away a lot of things that I was holding onto for the wrong reasons and it felt great! I might be late in getting around to doing my spring cleaning, but at least I'm finally doing it. And on several levels too.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I heard about this new thing called FaceStat that seems to the be new HotorNot. Plugged in the photo above and came up with these results after 24 hours:
I'm more "maybe gay" than "maybe straight."
75% think I'm "Caucasian/White" and 25% think I'm "Middle Eastern." (There is no American Indian category.)
Most people think I look "bright" with some "dull" and "genius" selections and a smidgen of "doofus."
Luckily nobody thinks I look "repulsive." Most say, "not bad," with less going for "good lookin" or "hot stuff."
Everybody seems to think I am in the "18-21" category with a few choosing "22-24" or "under 18." (The picture was taken when I was 28.)
One-word descriptions from people included: girly, feminine, marry-able, cute, thoughtful, ewwwwwwww, pretentious, laid-back, student, 70sguy, ENORMOUSJAW, familiar, smug;), and KindaFeminine.
My take on it? I guess I'm not a scary-looking hunchback. And I've always known I usually look younger (last week I had someone think I was 19, which happens less and less nowadays). Not sure if the girlishness is the longer hair or because of my mouth. I'll play like Ashton Kutcher and say I'm "man-pretty." Unfortunately, I think he pulls it off better than I do.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Can I be a snob for a minute? Okay, good. Here goes:
Bryn picked me up after work on Saturday and we went out to Redmond to meet his friend Jesse and Suzanne (Jesse's ladyfriend who is visiting from Oxford). We all went out to dinner, Jesse and Suzanne looking somewhat dressy, Bryn in cargo shorts and a bright orange t-shirt, and myself in my sweaty black and grey work clothes. Obviously, Bryn and I weren't really prepared for a fancy night on the town. We didn't really have to worry. It didn't happen.
All I knew was that Jesse had made reservations for dinner at a steak place at 8:45. Once we pulled into the parking lot and I saw that it was a restaurant in a tiny little strip-mall setting, I realized I wouldn't have to worry about being underdressed. I can't complain about the food, my steak was GREAT and so were all the accompanying tidbits. (Speaking of tidbits, you should go to Tidbit on Capitol Hill for appetizers immediately.) What was funny was the little things that let you know the difference between a $30 steak served with sides and a salad included and a $60 steak served a la carte.
When Bryn asked if they could cook his steak au poivre and the waitress replied, "I don't know if our kitchen girl knows what that means, she's Hispanic," I knew that, Redmond or no, we were definitely in the suburbs. The bartender was passing by and confirmed that Marcella (said kitchen girl) wouldn't know what that meant. For that matter, the waitress didn't know what it mean either. There were other things, little things, nothing terrible. I felt jaded and snobby for noticing these things, but glad that I wasn't pissed off about them. If anything, it made me laugh, which is a good thing.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I wasn't at all sad when I heard that the City of Seattle would be closing their public toilets and perhaps selling them on Ebay. If anything, it was cause for celebration! But I ran across a Human Nature blog entry by Will Saletan (I adore him) that had the following quote... of a quote:
The toilets ended up so gross and scary that even homeless people wouldn't
use them. One woman supplies this fantastic quote to the New York Times: "I used to smoke crack in there. But I won't even go inside that thing now. It's disgusting."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Seems like this is an indigenous themed week for me. Last night, for an assignment for my online IAIA course I rented and watched Apocalypto, Mel Gibson's bloody movie depicting the Mayan culture and filmed in Yucatec Maya dialect with subtitles. I'd avoided it when it first came out because I heard it was really gory, and it was during the height Gibson's anti-semitic remarks. Plus, I was busy with my freshman year of school. Having seen it now, I would say it is both better and worse than I expected.
Since I did a lot of readings about the movie for my class (I did the readings after watching the movie since I didn't want to influence my viewpoint while watching it), I am aware of the blatant historical misrepresentations. There are inconsistencies that can be read about by anthropologist Traci Arden here, or Maya art historian Andrea Stone here, or National Geographic here. But since I don't have any experience with Maya culture, I wasn't aware of these until after I'd seen the movie. No, my problems with the movie were that it took contemporary blockbuster themes and plunked them down in an "exotic" locale. My suspicions were put into words by New York Times film columnist A. O. Scott in his review. As he says, the movie is, "less interested in historical or cultural authenticity than in imposing an accessible scheme on a faraway time and place."
Of course there were also many positive reviews of the film. As a work of entertainment, it is pretty good. It wasn't as explicitly gory as I had been led to believe. There is a great deal of suspense if that is your thing. The cinematography is beautiful. And the Wikipedia article I just read had lots of quotes from people involved in the making of the film who make it clear that they were approaching it with an intent to create visual impact, not a documentary.
It seems like the movie can be approached from various perspectives with varying results. The bottom line however, is that it does contribute to the furthering of stereotypes for indigenous peoples. Some of these stereotypes may be positive and some may be negative, but the inaccuracies do nothing to enlighten the general public's misperceptions about the ancient Maya or to assist modern indigenous Americans as being seen as anything but ancient relics from another era.
Yeah, so I went to the two-day National Urban Indian Health Conference. It was at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was pretty nice. Lots of textures going on in their meeting rooms as you can see from the above photos. The servers with embroidered satin vests on the first day were rather amusing too...
And while I did get a complimentary travel mug (with the Seattle Indian Health Board logo stamped on it) I also got something more. There were two tracks for attendees to decide between which workshops they wanted to attend: Public Health Strategies or Planning and Management. I went to all of the workshops in the second category and found myself gaining knowledge that had relevance far beyond the realm of Public Health. And I got to do it surrounded mainly by other Native people, which was really interesting. It didn't have a huge turnout, but the people that were there were passionate about providing health services to the American Indian community.
I did come away with statistics:
- For instance, 2% of the population in Washington State is American Indian, while 4.5% of the prison population is recorded as American Indian. The real figure for the prison population is probably higher based on how prisons record racial statistics.
- Over 60% of the Native American population in the U.S. lives in urban areas.
- Between 1954 and 1961, there were 109 tribes that had their federal recognition status legally terminated.
There's more, but I won't go into all the details. I also found out that technically I am a member of Generation X (born 1964-1980) instead of Generation Y (born 1980-1995), although there is some crossover of course.
What am I taking away from all of this? Well, for one thing, it was a good example of how by taking initiative, I am able to do more things. If I hadn't emailed the Associate Director about the possibility of volunteering, I wouldn't have been able to attend the conference. It also further cemented my belief that the American Indian community is in need of new leaders to further the work that is being done by our elders and better ways of communicating amongst separate Tribes and organizations.
Since I had the day off last Saturday, Bryn and I wandered around downtown. He really likes Freeway Park and we took a path up to First Hill that I hadn't been on before. It was a beautiful day and the waterfalls were pretty cool.
Monday, July 14, 2008
My last post was about being nerdy and this one will only further damn me. On Saturday morning I attended a breakfast and "hard hat" tour of the construction site at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue. Yes, I was brave and ventured over to the eastside, and it wasn't just the free breakfast that got me there. What I was most interested in was getting a tour from the lead architect on the project, Mark Johnson from Jones & Jones in Seattle. They had also done the Cedar River Watershed Education Center which I visited last week, so I thought it would be a good chance to compare the two similar projects.
Not much to say about it other than it was pretty cool. I could rattle off some statistics or talk about the LEED certification it is getting, but that would be boring. Basically, if it was a home, I would totally live there. Unfortunately, it is going to house (in the future) 40,000 children annually who will be learning about wetlands, so I think I'll probably be staying far, far away.
This is how much of a nerd I am:
I ran across a thing online about the National Urban Indian Health Conference being held in Seattle this week and sponsored by the Seattle Indian Health Board. It sounded interesting to me and since I had the two days off, I figured I would see if they needed some volunteer help. That way, I could sit in on some of the lectures perhaps, and also help out. Well, it turned out that there were a few extra spaces available and the lady in charge told me that she would put my name on the list and I was welcome to attend on "scholarship" if I wanted.
So yeah. Instead of taking the next two days that I have off and going somewhere fun or hanging out in the sun, I'll be in a conference room at the Pan Pacific Hotel (at least it's at a nice hotel) listening to people talk about urban health issues for Native Americans. And I'm not unhappy about it in the least.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Forced myself to get out of the apartment today after a morning spent reading and playing on the computer. I might not be reading PerezHilton.com anymore, but I'm still managing to hole myself up with the interwebs more than I should. I had plans to go to a lecture at the Frye Art Museum this morning, but scrapped them when I realized that I would have to battle other people to pay $6 for a last-minute seat if any were available. I'm nothing if not a strong practitioner of avoidance.
Instead, in a bid to make myself feel better about doing something productive, I worked on an assignment for my online class. This involved reading a short story in a collection of stories by Sherman Alexie that I had tracked down online at the Montlake Library yesterday and picked up on my way to work. Having not been in a fiction-reading mode for the last couple of years I find myself easily affected by what I read. This isn't a new phenomenon, but with really good, well-written fiction, I feel like I'm not just reading it, I'm absorbing the experience. Maybe this is a common feeling? If so, people don't seem to talk about it. I'll walk around in a daze for a couple days while I process the events of what I've just read. It takes some time before I can return to my own mind, body, and life.
So the short story I read was great. And then after writing my brief response and deciding that I needed to not be a hermit, I walked down to Top Pot and got a mocha and apple fritter (snacks!). I read a few more stories, this time starting at the beginning of the book until I came to the story I had read already (which was the third one, and on a suggested list provided by the teacher). I re-read it again. Still great. Observed how everyone in the place was busy isolating behind books or computer screens. I suppose there were a few people who were with other folks. Wondered if there was really any point to leaving my apartment when all I would end up doing was being isolated somewhere else. Wondered why all of my thoughts were sounding like some angsty teenage diary. Decided to go back home.
On the way back I wandered by the Vertigo condominiums a block away from my apartment. I find the compulsion to 'name' everything so ridiculous. Every single apartment, condominium, housing development, and such has to be given some terrible moniker by its developers nowadays. My own building is just called '400 Harvard' which at least relates to the address. Other places I've lived range from the romanitcally idealistic (Falcon Ridge), to contrived (The Sydney), to shabbily pretentious (Manchester Arms).
Vertigo as a name for a home, seems to be a terrible choice. Why would I want to live in a place that is named after a false sense of movement? Or maybe, in my angsty teenage way, it the exact perfect name for where I should be living. I think back to a couple hours ago when I was reading a Top Pot and decided I wanted to leave. Somehow, I felt glued to the table and chair I was sitting at. And when I finally rose to go, my movements seemed jerky and disoriented to me, as if I were having my own private vertigo.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I've been watching Azumanga Daioh today since a friend lent it to me recently. I have no idea what is going on, but it is fascinating to watch. One of my favorite things about it is the opening credits song, which has a line saying (according to the subtitles) something about "fancy hearing cake" and talking about the temptations of fluffy wheat.
I knew that the Japanese had a thing about schoolgirls, but from an American perspective it seems really weird to have a cartoon about high school girls that also has an obvious male pedophile working at the school. And the voiceovers are kind of funny since there is a girl from Osaka who in English has a southern twang to let viewers know that she is from the countryside. Plus there is this whole thing with the mysterious Miss Sakaki who is absolutely perfect, but keeps trying to pet cats and then gets bitten.
Like I said, I really don't know what is going on. But it's fun to watch!
I'm sure that my "cute" blog title isn't unique, but I just discovered gribbles today. Somehow, I must have missed any mention of them back in the day when they were actually newsworthy. Their time will probably come again. You know, like if the Alaskan Way Viaduct actually collapses or something.
I ran across them mentioned on the Washington State Department of Transportation's site where they were discussing the seawall on Elliott Bay. And I'm rather disheartened by all of the "increased cracks, exposed rebar, and weakening concrete" that was clearly visible when I was down on the waterfront the other day.
You might want to check out this article on NakedLoon.com that got me onto this whole gribble trip in the first place. (It is similar to The Onion, except that it is all Seattle-related. Not the most original idea, but still really funny!)
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I went on a last-minute field trip with some other Cornish design students today to the Cedar River Watershed Education Center up in North Bend. It was blissful and idyllic, as expected. The weather was perfect, the drive was scenic, and the Center didn't disappoint either. I loved the cool green roofs on parts of the structures and the awesome public art installation which involves water droplets beating drums in a courtyard and some crazy neon in tree roots (above) on the inside.
And then after we had exhausted the possibilities of the site, we headed back to the city and enjoyed a three-hour lunch at Tutta Bella where I got a really good juicy story from one of the girls about how her summer had gone so far. It is too involved to recount but does contain such highlights as: a boat trip from El Salvador to Hawaii; Captain Underpants; a big storm; a leaking fuel tank; an aborted journey; a breakup with a poorly timed comment the next day; drunken diving off of a yacht with Australian girls; a sprained wrist put in a cast in Acalpulco; removal of said cast with a dremel tool in a basement; surgery to correct misdiagnosis that was actually a double fracture and a new cast; and lots of Oxycontin. I think she won the "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" award. But I did wear my mustache necklace, which was much-admired. Perhaps I won the "Best Accessory" award?
Beyond that, I think I might be sick. I thought it was just allergies, but it is feeling less hay feverish and more like a cold/flu/curse. Or perhaps I'm just getting old. When I was taking Kate home late on the 4th of July I realized that I was thinking to myself, "I'm so tired! It's after midnight!" and "It is so hard to see when driving at night." These are thoughts that I wasn't expecting to have for another twenty years or so. Is 30 the new 50? WTF?
And then this afternoon there was a big sign posted in our lobby on the wall above the mailboxes and in the window announcing to UPS/FedEx/DHL/Post Office delivery people that they should not leave packages as they have been disappearing from the lobby lately. That really gives me a big warm, fuzzy feeling about our apartment building right now. Especially after our recent storage locker break-in. So much for living in a secure building.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I completely forgot to mention this before, but when we were at Whole Foods, Bryn bought a bunch of little teeny tiny Vosges chocolate bars for us to sample and one of them was "Mo's Bacon Bar" featuring chocolate and applewood smoked bacon. Neither he or Kate would try it so I gobbled it down. It tasted like... bacon. Like a chocolate bar with bacon bits in it. It wasn't terrible, in fact it was kind of tasty. But not tasty enough that I would pay $8 for a full-size bar on a regular basis.
In looking for an image for this post I also ran across a lot of talk about a recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies with maple cinnamon glaze. They sounded and looked so very intriguing that I had to throw a pic up of those too.
And lastly, there was also an article I found about Pig Candy, which sounds creepy and disturbing by name, but quite possibly would be really delicious.
There, I've been remiss in blogging about snacks lately. I think this makes up for it.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
As you can see, one of our cats has taken over my backpack. I don't mind, because the zipper completely broke and it is no longer usable as a backpack without some serious repair. And I figure I can claim that I've recycled it into a cat bed or something.
Hung out with Bryn and my friend Kate who I've known since elementary school yesterday. She lives in Auburn so we made a loooooong trek out there and then checked out the earthworks in Kent (Mill Creek Canyon Park by Herbert Bayer, 1982 and Johnson Pit #30 by Robert Morris, 1979).
Then we drug Kate into the city and forced her to go to Whole Foods and the Pacific Science Center where we saw Kung Fu Panda. It was her first time seeing it, my third time, and Bryn's ninth time. I still think he enjoyed it more than anyone else.
Back to our place where we went up on the public deck and watched fireworks. We had a great view of the Elliot Bay show and then we could see most of the Lake Union display over the top of a nearby building too. It was pretty cool! I wasn't really expecting to do much of anything, but it turned out to be a really fun July 4th after all!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Woke up this morning to find that our power was out. LAME!!! It may be back on, I wouldn't know. Had to run some errands and one of those included stopping by school to drop off some financial aid paperwork, so here I sit in the library, getting my internet fix for the day. Our cable modem seems to be having issues so even if the power was on, chances are that I wouldn't be online anyhow. Which is very, very bad (for me).
On a bad news recap though, I went to return my suitcase to our storage locker yesterday and discovered that somebody broke in and rifled through all of our stuff. Another suitcase is missing, so who knows what they took. Again, the word "lame" seems fitting. There wasn't anything of extremely high value in there, but still. It feels like I've been violated!
Anyhow, the rest of my day looks like it consists of going to the post office, taking a shower (if the power is on), and going to work tonight. Super exciting, I know. I'll try to do better next time.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Also, while I'm at it, I figured I would throw up a photo of the former QFC/Bartell's/Taco Bell location on Broadway. This is the view from our apartment window, and as you can see, it is looking fairly bleak. I'd put up some pics before of them tearing everything down. I'll try to keep people updated on how construction is progressing. And I'll be sure to tell you ALL about how annoying it is to wake up to the sounds of heavy machinery and shouting construction workers.
The post right after this one includes more amazing mustache pictures. I don't know what to say about this thing except that it is the coolest thing I brought home from Pilchuck with me. (Well, maybe it is tied with the sandblasted glass muffin I traded a print for.)
All it is, is a black glass mustache with a loop on one end that has a ribbon necklace threaded through it. It was made by Jessica Landau and was only (only?!?) $30 during our walk-through night. She made one for the student auction and it was so popular that she made more. I'm hoping that she comes out with a whole line of facial hair necklaces.
Perhaps it is silly. But I can't help loving this thing! It's like a monocle except better. Someday I'll wear a three-piece suit and have this mustache on a gold chain like a pocket watch!