Friday, May 30, 2008

"You know what 'fine' stands for, right?" - Italian Job

I like to use fine to describe how I feel when:

1) I don't want to talk about how I feel
2) I don't want to talk about how I feel with the person who asked me how I feel
3) I don't want to talk to the person who asked me how I feel at all
4) I don't...well, you get the idea. It's a standard answer.

This idea about feeling fine is pretty cool. Made me happy on a Friday morning at my desk. I wonder if the creators would join my 08 campaign....that would make me feel more than fine...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"like when you leave your husband, you should be happy with him, so you can be happy with the guy you're cheating on him with." BeC

"....well, some analogies only hold up so far." BeC

"I don't have a husband." Gretzky

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"All this beauty / you might have to close your eyes / and slowly open wide.." - the weepies

please, please, please, if you haven't listened to the new weepies cd, would you go get it now? I think my favorites are lighting candles and all good things, but's just all good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"And the man became a pillar of salt." - A.J. Packman

Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to turn some people into pillars of salt?

Sometimes I like to imagine what Jesus might say to people if he were here today. I'm not too good at this though, because I tend to think he might go around asking WTF a lot. Seriously.

That said, Packman's First Drafts are hilarious. Kind of in the line of Jacobs' Year of Living Biblically, also hilarious.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Come, all you who are not satisfied/" - Aaron Kramer, Prothalamium

Every time I re-read a Barbara Kingsolver book, it becomes my favorite. I read Prodigal Summer on the plane to Dallas and exited the airport telling K8: "I just read Prodigal Summer. I really could use a man right about now, and also, I'd like to raise a goat on a patch of green somewhere."

The story spins out a web of folks, pairs of lovers in a southern Appalachian town and mountain, of loss, death, nature's intricate balancing acts, and how what we hold to be deeply true often is merely a perspective that would shift if we were looking at it from another's point of view.

One of my favorite passages:

...She could never explain to Eddie how it was, the undercurrent of tragedy that went with farming. And the hallelujahs of it, too: The straight, abundant rows, the corn tassels raised up like children who all knew the answer. The calves born slick and clean into their leggy black-and-white perfection. Life and death always right there in your line of sight. Most people lived so far from it, they thought you could just choose, carnivore or vegetarian, without knowing that the chemicals on grain and cotton killed far more butterflies and bees and bluebirds and whippoorwills than the mortal cost of a steak or a leather jacket. Just clearing the land to grow soybeans and corn had killed about everything on half the world. Every cup of coffee equaled one dead songbird in the jungle somewhere, she'd read.
He was watching her, waiting for whatever was inside to come out, and she did the best she could. "Even if you never touch meat, you're costing something its blood," she said. "Don't patronize me. I know that. Living takes life.
A fierce hiss came from inside the pot, inspiring her to listen for a minute to this turkey's last lament (322-323).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday at the Market

I have never in my life dressed up to go to the grocery store. Well, there've been a couple emergency trips pre-prom and pre-weddings, but those are major exceptions.

Dallas, however, is a different sort of place. People get dressed up to drop stuff off at the dump here. When in Rome...So this morning at the Farmer's Market, I had on a red cotton sundress and K8 a cute skirt, and we passed the farmers, smelling the sweet basil, which I wanted to take on the plane with me, it smelled so good. But I was afraid the Texas Basil would die from lack of heat in cool Washington air, and I didn't get any. As we walked past the cantelopes and watermelons:

Dallas Farmer: Are ya'll twins?

Gretzky: Yep.

Funny thing was, going back to the car, we passed two sets of twins, one around 4-ish, the other little guys of undeterminable age. (At least for me.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

"You're only paying for one." - Retail Guy

Sometimes even when things are hard, the world seems to be a good place, a place where people do nice things for each other. K8 and I were in line today at an ice cream place and when we got up to the register:

RG: Oh, you're only paying for one.

K8: Oh, I'm paying for both of them.

You're only paying for one. (Exagerated wink.)

K8: Oh, thanks!!

This was a nice moment. Restored some of my faith in humanity and all that jazz.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Thumbs down Johnny V" - Kaitlin, Jen, Raelynn, etc...

Thing done in Dallas today that get a thumbs up:

0) Waking up at 10:40 a.m. Sleeping in might be one of the best things ever about not having to go to work.

1) Cafe Brazil French Toast. Heavenly. Also, slipped K8's number to the waiter while she was in the bathroom.

2) Cucumber Masque Pedicure at Soho Pedispa, which makes my forlorn right big toe's missing toenail look SO MUCH BETTER I am wondering why I didn't do this sooner. It now looks so much less deformed that I was willing to wear flip-flops. The 94 degree weather also helped with the flip flop decision.

3) Flirted with a 20 year old university kid picking out chips to go with his quesadilla, right after flirting with a 70 year old German sommelier telling us chilled wine will numb your tongue and taste buds, at Central Market.

4) Listened to David Newman at Jazz Under the Stars in the DMA sculpture park, eating green peppers and hummus, drinking bad wine.

5) Gave K8's card to a local weatherman. He is not a meteorologist, which is a little cooler, but he was really funny, which gave him lots of points. More on how this came about later.

6) Had a drink at Vickery Park in the M streets with friends. Walked three blocks home and said it was a good day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I have David Cook's haircut. I'm just sayin." - K8

David Cook is thrilled with winning American Idol at this moment and I'm not trying to rain on his parade, but I have to be honest, he's okay, but really?

The news reporter (on FOX News, P.S.), says the "former bartender" just won, and I'm wondering if he really is a former bartender or if he's going to end up back serving beers and martinis in Missouri. I guess all the American Idols have gotten contracts or deals of some sort, eh? Clearly I'm not up on pop culture. at least this aspect. He won by 12 million votes. If only our presidential elections had such margins.

Cook's currently singing "This is the time of our lives." If this is the time of my life I think I'm missing a few things. Makeout sessions, for one.

K8 keeps getting compliments on her haircut, but isn't sure she likes it. It's short and spiky, I think it's fun and sassy. It also looks better than David Cook's. In other hair news, I think I'm growing mine out. That's the plan anyway. I might get really impatient, but I had so much fun putting it up the other day and I wanted it long immediately. It's going to take longer than immediately. this could be a good test of my patience, which we all know is extremely limited.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"I wasn't going to say anything, but what does 'show too much feet' mean?" - Cab

Working for an organization that is undergoing a lot of transition has its upsides and downsides. Upside: You get to influence office culture. Downside: You get to influence office culture.

The powers that be are determining a dress code since someone new asked for clarification about what's appropriate and what's not. I would like the new person to be taken out at dawn and shot by firing squad for the commotion this caused among longtime staff members. (I'm also a recent hire, but my personal dress code is to not wear jeans to work, and this was working just fine for me. But I have a lot of professional formal clothes after working on the East Coast, and I forget people here don't really do that. But I do it because it makes me feel like I'm actually going to work. It's a costume, really.)

Because we live in Seattle, where everything must be done by consensus, the proposed dress code draft was discussed at the end of a staff meeting, with opportunity for feedback. I asked if I could make mine written, permission was granted, and I wrote down my opinion: "No shorts. Ever. Please." And then I left the discussion since that's all I felt like contributing.

But among the first lines of what's not appropriate:

"Showing too much cleavage, chest, stomach, feet, underwear." Cab asked for clarification about the feet, which I found funny, but also, we should have asked for clarification about the underwear. I mean, is it okay to show a little bit of underwear?

I vote no on that. Keep it under wraps, folks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"this is so bad for my inner thighs" - overheard at the Cheese Festival

- from a woman tasting what might be the best cheese in the world, some goat Brie that has no words to describe how heavenly it tasted. All of the cheese was good, though. The sunshine and friendly Australian guy tasting Macrina bread next to me sure didn't hurt either.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life..." B. Auerbach

current favs:

"save a few fine lines for me" - suzanne brewer

"butterfly, baby I still have my doubts about you" - Mason (tied with rilo kiley for best use of the word "fuck" in a song)

"i am at ease in the arms of a woman" - amos lee

"the rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble" - ella fitzgerald

"this is the story of your red right ankle and how it came to meet your leg" - decemberists

"i'd ride on the back of the angels tonight" - over the rhine

"like the last days that remain say you will" - ben harper and the innocent criminals

"time will do the talking, years will do the walking, i'll just find a comfy spot and wait it out" - patty griffin

"green could anybody deny you?" -coldplay

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"is it fair to say.....?" princess consuela

princess consuela said tonight this is a technique she uses often, and I'm thinking about its potential applications.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

just in case you were worried that faith and belief in alien life forms isn't compatible....

the Vatican says it's okay.

I'm glad I never gave up on thinking how cool E.T. is.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"it's a bitch of a week for me...." someone who shall remain nameless

I do not enjoy it when people complain about how busy they are.

Mostly because I feel like

0) stop whining. gee, I sound like my mom, but there's a reason she used to say this. whining is not attractive. remotely. in any way.

1) this is something that is largely in your control if you are young, white, single, and only have to work one job. And when there are other factors, there are still things one can say no to.

2) if this is a request for sympathy, it is not a good one. everybody has stuff going on. everybody has shit to do. everybody has major life events that are traumatic and interfere. get over it. find a group therapy session.

3) our culture would like us to think that the busier we are, the more stuff we have to do, the better we are, the more we win, and all that crapola. As my grandfather says, "Blow it out your mustache." Whatever that means. but really, it's SO NOT TRUE. The busier you are just means the more things you have to do to sustain a life that you might or might not enjoy. (and it's more likely you don't enjoy it.) It has nothing to do with getting ahead of everyone else who's not as busy.

4) I'm finding that the people who are legitimately busy are people who do not complain as much about it. they simply go about their business and get things done that need to get done. I'm not saying that people who are complaining aren't legitimately busy..well, yes, I guess I am.

And I'd like to point out that the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary notes that the 3rd definition of "busy" is "foolishly or intrusively active." So true. All these people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. What for, folks? You can't take it with you, you know.

By the way, when you google "busy," about 198,000,000 responses come up. this is intriguing. I'd like to sort out those hits. If only I had more time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Postage went up today. Did you hear what gas said to postage?

Gas: "That's cute, postage."

The one redeeming factor of my staff meeting is the sense of humor injected by the half of those in the room who want to get it over with but provide comic relief in the form of silly jokes.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"you will have a life rich in avocadoes or another fruit of your choice"

This was a fortune from Coffeehouse last night, which is becoming maybe my favorite tradition of all time. I realize that's extreme, but I am not retracting. Okay, it might not be my all time favorite tradition, but it's definitely in the top 10. (Coffeehouse is a gathering every second Saturday of the month at my house, where friends perform poetry, song, monologues, or whatever. It is cool. Also, more singers would be excellent, so feel free to join next time.)

The thing I love about Coffeehouse is that people are so talented, and it's so fun to see another side of friends that I don't usually see. And an honor, really, to have folks share their gifts so generously. Including fortune-telling. I didn't get this fortune. Mine was that I would make a big purchase I might regret but I would recover from it eventually....

And Mari's was that she would fall in love today. I think this was the best fortune, and I hope it happened.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"shirts are different. not as sad for the earth." - Cab

Yesterday I was finishing a salad with avocado and orange bell pepper. It was crunchy and pleasing, and I was enjoying it while waiting for our meeting to start. At which point I dropped a bite of avocado and bell pepper on my pants leg.

Gretzky: "Shit. I was trying to wear these pants twice."

this resulted in much laughter from my colleagues. Cab said this was a great idea, that the earth is sad when we wash pants after only one wearing. Apparently shirts have different rules though.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"this might explain some things." - k8

for non-northwesterners needing some translation about how pnw people work, pemco's copywriters* have created an excellent cheat sheet. I hope these writers are getting paid well. They're funny.

I was walking around Queen Anne the other day. In honor of a cinco de mayo celebration I was heading to, I had on a bright blue skirt with orange flowers and greeny leaves patterned on it, and a blue shirt and light green sweater. And green flip flops. I was passing all these people in boring blacks, browns, and grays, and thinking to myself, geez, what's wrong with these people? They need some color!! Then I got self-conscious about my colorful clothes, and wondered where my people were, the ones who like to wear bright colors.

*Speaking of copywriters, who knew that Dorothy Sayers wrote for Guinness, and is the person behind "my goodness, my guinness"? She gets cooler and cooler all the time...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"blunt trauma. it'll take a couple years to grow back. "

Sadly, this was not overheard on a CSI episode, but in relation to my right toe, when dr. b was looking at the half of my toenail that remained - last week, half of it mysteriously fell off while I was gardening. No joke. One minute I was transplanting basil and snapdragons, and the next, I was wondering why in the world half my toenail was on the ground.

No mysterious fungus, no crazy insect bites, no weird gardening contagions. Just blunt trauma to the nail bed, and the damaged nail just has to keep growing, and it'll take a while.

My first thought was shit, I'm wearing flip-flops to the weddings this summer, and this looks disgusting. then i thought that was an awfully shallow thought to have, when I could have something wretched like cancer and be dying. Instead, it's just half a missing toenail. looks odd but in the scheme of things will be okay.

It still looks pretty weird though.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"And here's the movie theater, where you can see the Wrath of Reggie.." - Route 14 Bus Driver

I love Seattle bus drivers. They are most often extraordinarily kind and helpful, and also funny.

I was going home from a birthday party and got on the same bus as Reggie and his mom. Reggie was already crying at this point, and he cried the whole bus ride. He wasn't interested in food, water, books, or toys. Nor was he interested in the people across from him trying to make funny faces or sing to him. This was the point at which we passed the movie theater.

The man across the aisle suggested beer as a way to quiet the kid, and then said the ride would be enriched by everyone getting two beers. He was entirely serious, and entirely in his own world.

I think every politician should have to ride a bus route that goes to hospitals serving rehab patients, or to sections of town that don't have great tax bases. I think they would learn some things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

"Just what I need, all these people in my park." - James

James is one of the homeless men living in the park by my office. A couple weeks ago he went to rehab, and on Monday he talked to Arthur about how he's taking one day at a time.

Yesterday was the May Day March, which started at Judkins, and James left the park to come sit on the steps outside my office door and provide commentary on the marchers.