Monday, April 30, 2007

Something, Anything and Some More Art

Coffee at Third Place Books in Ravenna with Katherine, who truly lives up to the name Katherine - think tall and statuesque with all the humor and boaty charm of a Hepburn

So. I'm having some internet issues. And I have to tell you, it's kind-of refreshing to be sans internet most of the day. It's too too easy to waste time on email and reading blogs when you've got working internet at home. You know I spend plenty of time in cafes with wi-fi, so no chance that we'll lose me on the internets entirely, though.

Amber was in town this weekend, and we had a divine time. Some people just get me talking, and Amber is one of them. Even a day of migraine couldn't keep me from enjoying her company, and she sweetly accomodated my need to lounge on the couch all day like an invalid. We picked sock yarn for her, and I realized that she was the first person to actually pick yarn with full access to The Stash. Momentous occasion, indeed! She also lounged on my chaise longue looking elegant and long-limbed, willowy and smart.

Tonight I'm back at Joe Bar to give Chris a check for Biter, and as I speak, they are hanging a show made up of these amazing handmade dolls, all characters from movies, like Amelie, Joan Crawford from Mommy Dearest, whats-his-name from Clockwork Orange. Remember the two-headed Rudolph doll/pin I gave you for Christmas one year? Same artist. When I bought that, I went to her house to pick it up and I have to confess I wanted to just look through everything. You know how some people's houses are like that? They just exude creativity, and you feel like looking at everything there will make YOU want to make something. The artist, Sara Lanzillotta, is 4'11" (I heard her say that tonight) and has a bright pink ponytail and she has overalls on to hang her show. The Liza Minelli/Cabaret doll is really fantastic and again, there is just this obsessive quality to it all that I adore. I love this little peek into the Seattle art scene.

Well, when I sat down, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do a blog entry on, but clearly I've got plenty to say. Just proves the old idea that you just need to plant your butt in the seat and get to it. Which is a good thing to have proven, because I have to tell you... the novel? Meh. Today is the first day that I have really CLAIMED the fact that it is not Going Well. I'm hoping this will help. We shall see.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Handiwork For Your Feet

Are those good socks are what? Legs courtesy of Candice.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Coffee Shop Tourism Part Deux

While you were out stalking Roosevelt High School's most fabulous Broadway star, I was continuing my coffee shop explorations here in Seattle. This time it was Joe Bar on Capitol Hill, just across from the Harvard Exit.

I love the Harvard Exit. Every time I look at that old brick building with it's green trim and the little ticket window on the side, I get a craving for real buttered popcorn and Market Spice tea. Do they still serve that in the lobby? I confess I haven't been there since Brokeback Mountain and I wasn't paying attention to tea at the time.

I'm not sure Joe Bar is the name I would have chosen for the cafe that sits across the street. It's sort-of a french little place, with a selection of crepes on the menu and bottles of Lillet and other beverages you might find in Paris tucked away on a low shelf. If it isn't the official coffee shop for Cornish College of the Arts, it sure seems to be, and there are lots of cute girls there who look like they would be played by Charlotte Gainsbourg in the movie version of their lives.

I was lured in by the fact that one of my favorite Seattle painters, Chris Crites, is now curating the little shows that get hung there.

Let me just confess that when I walked in the door I wasn't all that excited by the show. It looked a little naive and cartoony on first glance, and I was afraid of the collage element because that is such an easy thing for people to do badly. There was a short line for coffee, and I'm glad there was because it gave me a chance to stand with the pieces for a few minutes, just looking at them, and I quickly fell in love. The drawn elements of the pieces have a confidence to them that overcame that first impression, and the composition and colors of each piece gave them a satisfying balance, while the collage felt obsessively done, in that "I am possessed by my art" kind of way that I love. The best part was that each piece had a certain something that incorporated both a humor and vulnerability that I think is apparent in the piece above on the postcard for the show.

Okay, I'm no art critic, and I'm sure there are terms I've used here that would have some other meaning which I don't even begin to understand when used in the whole art critic world, but since that's not where this blog lives, and those of you who read this are not art critics, I hope what I've said gives you a little peek into what I liked about the show, and why, next time you're over here, you'll get a chance to see the piece called "Biter" for yourself.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Stalking Noah Racey Part Deux

Go Roughriders!

So we did it! We went to the show, we waited afterwards and successfully accomplished our stalking objective to get a picture with Noah.

The show, Curtains, was very entertaining. It's really an old-fashioned sort of musical - which is really the kind I like best. I am not loving musicals with synthesizers (Le Miz, Rent... I'm talking about you! Avenue Q gets a pass because it's just so retardedly funny).

Any hoo, It stars David Hyde Pierce - whose signature we got on our Playbills as we waited for Monsieur Racey - as a Boston Homicide Detective. He's investigating the murder of Noah's leading lady on opening night. The whole theatrical troupe has to stay in the theater to re-stage the show with a new leading lady and madcap hilarity and singing and dancing ensue.

As in Never Gonna Dance, Noah was just fantastic. The dance style of the show wasn't as much to my taste as Never Gonna Dance - it was more Oklahoma-ish with some Astaire-style dancing thrown in. Noah was born for a top hat and tails, so that was sorely missed. Happily, he got to wear some Gene Kelly-esque sweaters and loafers - so that worked for me.

Afterwards, we waited outside the stage door, like the total dorks that we are. Owning our dorkiness, I would like to think. Despite the cold and the fact that both of us were hungry enough to consume one of our own body parts.

Finally, he came out and Dana announced herself - in that very wonderfully bold way that she has about her. "Noah! Noah Racey! It's Dana! Go Roughriders!"

He seemed pretty entertained by our being there, though perhaps some of the stalkerishness of us being the only people left at the stage door at that point gave him pause. He was with one of his co-stars in the show, who kindly took the above photo.

Then we wandered off in our separate directions for libations and food.

And no, I did not bring his Tolot picture for him to sign. That would have been creepy. Don't you think?

Photobooth Friday!

Regular readers know that I love Photobooth Friday, hosted by Hula Seventy. Some of you have been subjected to the photobooth experience recently in the last few months - it was one of my 35 things to do before I turn 36, after all. I think Amber's the last on my list of targets and she's all mine this weekend. Sweet.

This strip of me and Susan came from one of the new-fangled machines, digital, I think, and, well, I have to admit, we had a little bit of trouble trying to work the thing. As you can see from the photos. Yeah. We kinda got it together for the last one, though. Just for the record, we've been taking photobooth pics together since approximately 1983. That's... yeah. A long time. A lifetime. A fun, but not always pretty lifetime. I've got a great one where I have a huge chiffon bow on my head, from the same year I bought Madonna's first album on tape. I listened to it a kajillion times on my walkman on the car ride home from our annual trip up to Vancouver to shop for school clothes.

But you didn't need to know all that. The day we took this strip, we were on a long walk, from my apartment on Queen Anne, down to Pike Place Market where I bought one of those huge bouquets you only pay, like, $7 for. I tried to get some of those mini-donuts, another thing I've been into since about 1983, but it was too late in the day. I've been craving them ever since.

Then we went to Sephora and looked at lip glosses that cost $20 before deciding that since boys don't really like gooey lips anyway, we (I) might as well just wait and get the $5 version at the drugstore.

Then we took the monorail!

Look, here we are.

Tourists in our own town, and you know how I love that. I'm still mad that I couldn't talk her into air hockey at the Fun Forest though. And why do I always leave my annual pass to the Space Needle at home? I gotta get that thing tattooed on or something. If only there were such a thing as a Lifetime Pass. I'd do it. You know I would! In any case, Amber's not leaving town without a trip up to the top of the needle, that's for sure.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Art In LaConner

Charlotte Meyer

Charlotte Meyer

Bernadette Y. Vielbig

Just a quick post with photos from the show we saw last weekend at the Museum of Northwest Art. It was called "Raiment" and contained some pieces that I really enjoyed for their evocative nature and the craft that went into making them. I'm not one of those people who would ever argue that craft is not art, I think that's a fine line, but by using the word craft here, I am just trying to say that the part of me that loves knitting socks loved seeing the really detailed handiwork that went into some of these pieces. I love art that shows that artist's touch, that makes you imagine making something yourself, and today I am left wondering if part of the reason I've been waking up writing isn't all the art I've looked at and all the reading I've done over the past few days.

Missed You!

Guess where I went to lunch today?


It's sunny but chilly and I have been tormenting my co-worker for weeks with talk of Momofuku. So we decided to take a little extra time at lunch and run down there.

It was gooooooood.

And I think its fun to say MOMOFUKU!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Suppose I Was Just Looking For An Excuse, Really

Does this look familiar? Blue Pearl Royal Granite counter from Norway? View of the park out the window? I didn't think so.

The weather has turned here in Seattle. The sunshine that had all the Fiore customers camped out on Adirondack chairs lined up on West Galer drove them all back inside today and the result was that there was literally not a single seat free this morning. So, I took my little book bag and zipped off to the coffee shop I shall now refer to as Espresso Versace. An homage to our friend at 9th Street Espresso, you know.

It's a good coffee shop. Not walking distance, true (though there is one closer than the Cap Hi location where I went today) and parking is, well, just what you would expect in that neighborhood. Customers - a little grungier in an interesting kind of way. I wanted to take a photo of the girl in the dirty orange flats and grey cords, with the Kiki Dunst hairdo, or the one with the pixie cut who was nuzzling her cockatiel, but my boldness with the camera so far only extends to objects and landscapes, not strangers. Some day.

Anyway, I sat looking out the window, which is what I like to do in Fiore too, did some writing and enjoyed knowing no one. I love being places where I don't know anyone. Strangers generate this curiousity in me, I write little stories about them in my head and find myself wanting to see what it'll take to get them talking. I have to confess that this is one of the things that I love about Sambar these days. When I sit at the bar, Jay introduces me to the people who come in to see him and that delights me. As E.M. Forster says - "Only connect."

Twilight LaConner and One Happy Year

Holy blog-o-rama! Hey reader, did you catch all those posts? Wow! There is so much more waiting in the wings, too. The phase I went through where I felt like there was nothing to say on the blog is clearly over, and I'm pretty pleased that you've found that camera, Ali. I want to see some photos of your outfits. Right?

We've been at this for a year now, you know. I meant to commemorate our blogiversary back on April 10th, but, well... I didn't. It's been an amazing year. In the beginning I didn't even have a camera, and of course I had no idea that I would be going to the ranch, quitting my job, or that I would knit more than twenty pairs of socks in a year. Really, that's just crazy.

Over the course of the year, I've become a slave to the camera. I always have one with me, even if it's just my phone, and I often take over a hundred photos in just a few days. As you can see from the photo above, I've gotten pretty comfortable taking random photos, and am always snapping things that appeal to me, even if I am not quite sure why they appeal - like the spooky old house with the light in the window that looks like fire.

I'm also a slave to adventure now. Seriously! I think I've said this before, but having a blog really makes you think about what you are doing with your days. Almost every day for the past year, I've written a little something about my life. And not the journal-y kind of stuff I wrote as a teenager, full of self-doubt, or worry about money or talk about boys. The writing on the blog has all been an attempt to find something I wanted to tell you about, something fun or pretty or true.

That definitely helped me entertain myself more thoroughly over the last 300-something days, I hope sometimes it did the same for you.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Spring is sprung

So, it was a beautiful warm and sunny day out. And I was stuck in my office.

This is the view from my office - of all the people out by that fountain, that you can kind of see in the distance, enjoying themselves. While I was in my office.

Tomorrow promises to be another nice day and I may sport a pair of my nice new open-toed shoes. I'll take pictures.

All of this seems rather strange, considering we were skiing last weekend.

Anyways, now you know what I see out of my office window every day. If I get really close to the window. Like practically in the window sill. Those years of rock climbing come in handy to offset the height-induced nausea.

I try to remind myself that it's the building from The Devil Wears Prada, it adds a little glamour to the day.
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Behold danger

Eugene and his spud gun. And beer. It has a tazer for an igniter.

Need I say more?

This is belated, but worth it I think.

I found the camera! Woohoo!
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Jessica Simpson on her way to being arrested by the fashion police.

Let this be a lesson to you! Highwaisted pants are bad enough, but high-waisted pants that give you camel-toe are criminal! You've made the little baby buddha's eyes bleed with these ensembles! Stop! Stop now!

I don't know if Mischa Barton is friends with Jessica Simpson, but I am thinking that she must be. It's noble of her to try and help her friend start a 'trend' but really she just looks godawful.
How can a person be so skinny, have so much money and free clothing available to them, and still end up in an outfit that makes them look like they have a fupa?

Hee, I just wanted to use fupa in a post. These girls made it easy. Horribly easy.

Foodie Delight

The baker's dozen at Oyster Creek Inn

Only a few more days left in the oyster months! At least until September. I went to LaConner this weekend to see mom (more on that later) and we had oysters and champagne with every meal other than breakfast. Must keep up on my resolutions!

I never did post the final items on that list. I figured I would spread them out over the course of the year. You know, always have something to work on. So, here are a few of the goals that were heretofore unpublished, though not necessarily unaccomplished.

- visit the Tate Modern (I've wanted to since it opened!)
- visit the new MoMA in NYC (hmm... I posted so few of my NYC visit photos, clearly I must remedy that soon)
- fly a kite
- finish a draft of my novel
- cook more ( no need to say how much when ANY cooking would count as "more")

The first three, no problem, The last two? I'm not sure which is more unlikely. The other day Elvis told me "I don't think I've ever seen you cook a meal." He meant that lovingly, of course, just one of my charming quirks. I did have a rebuttal, some quite nice meals to remind him of, the pork with apricot glaze, an excellent lasagna with sauce made from scratch, some Asian-inspired something I made while I was living at Waji... but, well, you see where this is leading, don't you? When you can remember every meal you've made in the past three years, it means you don't cook very much.

Here I am trying to remedy that. Sort-of. Technically, Bruce Naftaly did the cooking. I helped by doing the wine drinking, listening intently and eating every morsel that was passed my way. So this is cooking class! I like! So much that I signed up for next month, and am optimistic that the asparagus/celery root soup may some day be recreated in my own kitchen. He prepared three other dishes in the three hours we were there, but that was the one that really spoke to me and my cooking skills.

But wait! The day's cooking did not stop there! After class we went to Ballard Market and bought ingredients for a cucumber mignonette to go with the oysters I brought home from my weekend adventure (a dozen Kumamoto, two dozen little Olympias). Both the mignonette and the oysters were delicious, and the recipe for mignonette made a ton, so if any of you Seattleites find yourself needing any in the next few days, you know who to call.

Impressed yet? Don't be, I haven't done a thing on the novel since Thursday!

Hope you had a great weekend too.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Open Toed Shoes At Last!

Let's talk about the weather, shall we? One thing I am loving about my life these days is how important the weather is to me. When I worked in an office every day, I didn't care too much what the weather was like. In fact, I often said that it was sort-of nice that it rains so much here, since it kept me from feeling like I was missing anything. Now, so much depends on the weather. Whether I'm in Portland, New York, London, Seattle, wherever. Weather, and shoes.

That's because I've been taking walks almost every day. For the most part, Seattle has been cooperating, though I rarely leave the house without some kind of rain jacket with me. I can't wait until I can forego the rain gear and go out in a summer dress. I'm obsessed with summer dresses - I've bought five in as many weeks.

All of which will be perfect for evenings at Sambar this summer. Ah, Sambar. I hate to even put the link here, because there are only four seats at the bar, and I want one of them to be mine at all times. I'll take the risk here though, since there are more than a few of you readers who I would be happy to have beside me on any given night. Tonight I was there for five hours. Five! I have to admit, I was exhausted by the end of it. That's a long time to be charming, even for me. It's a long time to be drinking too, but don't anyone freak out about my habits quite yet. Susan and I had dinner there, and there were fruity non-alcoholic drinks, and frites and sturgeon with Peter, and then dessert and hot tea at the end. And of course, a few of Jay's magical concoctions spread out over the course of the evening. Peter the chemist took one look at Jay and said "You look like a mad scientist!" And he's not wrong, exactly. As long as you allow that mad scientist might be another term for "magician"

Speaking of magicians... yesterday morning I went in to Seven to see Shelli. For the past few weeks I've been itching to chop all my hair off, so that's exactly what we did. Sneak preview above, more to come soon. Right now the longest layers hit my shoulders, but I'm thinking next time, we're going even shorter...

That's the news from here. Trivial, maybe, but at least it's all sunny!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Extra Special Post That You, Allison, Were Waiting For!

There you go, Ali. The man of your dreams, Josey Ladd Marsh! Also known, for obvious reasons, as Scrumptious. He really is a sweetie pie. Dakota brought him to see me at the cofee shop today and he was so good while we chatted. He was definitely making little grabby moves towards Dakota's latte, proving himself a true Seattle native. He looks so much like Clay around the eyes, but Ali! He looks like someone else we know! You know, funny brow fat and bald bowling ball head! Dear Reader, one of your bloggers MAY have looked like this as an infant. Possibly well into her first year. Hint: I looked like this.

Isn't Dakota cute too? It was so good to see her. As far as the mom thing goes, she's a natural. She looked all... beatific. I thought one of the nicest moments was when her whole face lit up at the mention of Clay and how much he is enjoying Joseph. Needless to say, we missed you. I gave him lots of smooches for you, though.

There were more cute boys later in the evening - Kevin and Pete. Don't they look enthralled? Of course they do, they're looking at Regan!

Look at that dimple! It was the day of dimples. Josey has just one. Anyway, Regan's so cute, it makes me all talkative. After the boys left, the talk of global warming ceased and we moved on to all the other important topics in the world, like how tight your jeans should really be the first day out of the dryer. Hey, look, sometimes it's really best to focus on the things you can control. We all have our own ways of making the planet more beautiful, you know?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stalking Noah Racey

So, at most high schools there is one person who is the STAR of all of the plays and musicals. Typically, that person goes on to live a normal respectable life like my friend Mark, who is the mayor of Bothell. He’s a Republican, but I still think he’s pretty swell. I’m not sure he’s respectable, being a Republican politician, but he’s swell nonetheless.

He starred in most of the productions from my sophomore year until my senior year (Brigadoon, anyone?) and then went off to become a lawyer and future baby-kisser and glad-handler.

But my freshman year we had the other kind of theater star. The kind who really believes that it is in his or her bones and wants to stick with it. Wants to star in a big Broadway show and see their name in lights three feet tall.

Noah Racey was such a person and, guess what! He did it!

A couple of years ago, he starred on Broadway in a show called Never Gonna Dance. It was based on a Fred Astaire movie (Swing Time, I think) and as soon as I found out, I bought tickets for myself and my friend Dana (who also went to Roosevelt, at the same time) to go see it.

He was marvelous, I mean just a wonderfully athletic and smooth dancer and a consummate leading man. Like Fred Astaire, if he’d been better looking.

We stood at the stage door after the show, with my old yearbook in hand and got his signature. Frankly, I am exactly that kind of nerd.

I think that he was actually quite touched. That winter was a terribly cold one which killed a lot of Broadway shows prematurely, including his, and we were at one of the final performances. He seemed to have a lot of fun showing his co-stars the photos of him starring in our high school musical – 42nd Street, I think.

Any hoo, he’s back on the big white way now. He’s in a show called Curtains, which is starring David Hyde Pierce, of Frasier fame. It's gotten some buzz, and the weather (constant rain notwithstanding) is okay, so hopefully it will stay open for a good long while.

Dana and I have our tickets! We’re going next Thursday! I dug out this old picture of him – do you think I should bring it for him to sign?

Woohoo! Tolot 1997!! Ah, the good old days...

ps. I am not really stalking him, it’s a joke… I am just really happy for him and proud that someone I once knew is really making his dreams come true.

Seattle Sunday

The Nectar boys crush Victoria

We had some crazy weather in Seattle this weekend. Rain, then sun, then rain. Luckily, on Sunday it stayed clear enough for a day of Lacrosse watching. Lacrosse is such a great spectator sport, fast and elegant, but yes, brutal. After I left the field, I was wishing I had gotten some good injury photos. An injury from a lacrosse stick is a pretty distinctive thing - it's this welt/bruise that turns all kinds of impressive colors.

This guy used to come home covered in them, but on Sunday he was spared due to a hamstring injury from the game the day before. This meant that watching the game was even more fun for me, since I got to hear his color commentary and cheers such as "Whack Whack Whack!!" We went to Red Mill and got burgers, onion rings and sparkling lemonade to get us through the second game. Not too bad for an almost-summer day.

After the lacrosse fest, we made a field trip to Swanson's for some plants for my window boxes. I even got my hands in the dirt. I swear!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh, And PS Allison...

You need to find your camera!!!

Grown-Up Portland

Is this the official color scheme for Portland hipster hotels?

One of the nights I was in Portland, Mark watched the kids (that's Scarlet in the photo below) so that Candice and I could have girl's night out. We had a great meal at Savoy in Portland - Chicken Kiev with mac and cheese plus greens for me, and we shared the fried cheese curds, which we dipped in tomato soup. Wish I had some now. There may have been some Clinton cocktails consumed, and yes we did talk about all the things you think we talked about. I love Candice for that. I think it had been a year since we saw each other last, but within 24 hours we were talking about manscaping (okay, that was me) and, well, that's all I'm gonna tell you. It's more than enough anyway, isn't it?

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Smidgeon of Portland Love

I made a quick trip to Portland this weekend to see the Gourds and managed to finally see Candice, Mark, Eden and Scarlet. I love going to Portland and never have enough time there to see all the people I want to. I think most of my friends have heard me say "I should just move there..." at some point or another. My girlfriends Amber and Candice are a big draw (not that I don't have fantastic girlfriends in Seattle, you all know I do!) and then there are all the yarn stores, and the cute little neighborhoods, like Alberta street, where I bought the cute dress that looks like a tablecloth for a picnic. Only without ants. Or crumbs. Yet.

So much more to write about! I feel terribly behind, but there are other things that need my attention at the moment, so I'll have to save more about NY (Stephanie! Lunch at Freemans! Passover at the Jasens! MoMA with Darren!) and London and Edinburgh (so many cute Ella and Kristin photos!) for later.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Are The Malcolm Sisters Out of Control?

It's taken us weeks to accumulate the evidence that these two sisters were obviously out for more than just a 'good time' during a recent weekend together in New York. Are they just fun loving party girls? Or was there something more to their time out on the town?

March 24th

Allison flees down an East Village street, attempting to evade the paparazzi with a clever disguise and some fast footwork.

She was caught later in the evening with a friend, who bundled her away from the flashbulbs as quickly as possible.

March 24th

Heather was also caught heading for a night out and tried to duck into the deli to avoid our lenses. She was looking particularly vixenish in her off-white vest from Trash and Vaudeville , which we believe was fitted on her by no other than the notorious Jimmy Web of New Yorker fame.

The two met up and partied for hours at the notorious Pyramid Club and the Tiki Room at Niagara. Party-goers supplied us with the photos above of what can only be described as a disheveled looking Allison.

March 25th

Later in the evening we were able to catch up to Heather as she let the Tiki Room, after heading North towards her sister's Manhattan apartment. Home so early? We think not.

We were intrigued, so we followed her. She cooperated with our photographer at first, and we managed to catch her shopping for food - just like normal people! But is she at the store for more than just some yogurt?

We do love her down-to-earth nature. She's a star but so humble.

She tried to wave the photogs off, but they followed. Where are you off to Heather? And where is your sister?

Allison was being held by the police! A police horse that is. But is it really as innocent as it looks, or did big sis have to bail her out? Again, enquiring minds want to know!

The laughing sisters mugged for the camera one last time, before heading in at what can only be described as an early morning hour.

What ladies, no breakfast at Tiffanys?