Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Hey Chris, how do I get the camera to quit overexposing muscle cars when the sun is so bright?

I think I get it now. Deciding that I should probably start looking for a job is what has me writing like a woman possessed, isn't it? Sigh. Ah well, whatever works.

I didn't even intend to go to my studio today. I did a little Hugo House volunteer work in the morning and then I meant to go home and work on this hurricane that hit when I decided to move my writing life elsewhere. Then as I drove home it occurred to me that maybe the next paragraph needed to be about how Lindsay Lohan probably has enough shame in her life already, what with the dad who keeps getting thrown in jail and wearing black mesh tank tops on TV. So instead of doing dishes or putting away the clean laundry that's sitting on my bed, I grabbed my laptop and drove off to my writing space (which needs a name, by the way, Katherine!!). I wrote for about an hour and a half and then wandered over to the Ballard Fiorre for an iced latte, where I wrote more, and then I walked back and then I wrote more and now I'm at home and I just want to pull that story out again, I'm so in love with it.

Oh, and can anyone tell me whose car is this? My god, I love it so much. A turquoise Camaro with the license plate Bad Co? Damn, you gotta be kidding.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'd Like to Introduce... The Cardinals!!!

No, it's not a good photo. It was taken at a concert with a cell phone, people! But you get the idea.

... because last night, Ryan didn't bother. And while I tend to avoid complaining about things on this blog, I'm gonna' make an exception on this one. I'm a little pissed that the Cardinals never got the applause they deserved.

Elvis and I went to see Ryan Adams at the Moore on Friday. Right off the bat, I need to tell you that this was a gorgeous show. I don't want there to be any mistake about that. Maybe I'm a little crabby at R.A. for not giving his boys their due, but still. Gorgeous.

Near as I can tell, the Cardinals are: Neal Casal, Jon Graboff, Brad Pemberton, Chris Feinstein and... one other guy who I don't see listed anywhere. There were six, weren't there? Including Ryan, of course.

The truth is, first time I listened to the new album, Easy Tiger, I didn't love it. There were some lyrics that I was, uh, less than super excited about, since I fear I will need an epi pen if I have to hear any guy tell me how fucked up he is ever again in life, ever. I really got enough of that in college. And listening to Ryan's delivery on the CD made it all sound a little whiny, "Halloweenhead, it's all the same old shit again", right. Okay, dude. The vocals on the CD sound like, I don't know, Ryan Adams is doing his "little girl voice" almost, or, what is it, nasal? I don't know. I lack the vocabulary with all this musical stuff. Still, after a few listens, it was starting to grow on me.

Then the show happened. The show was another story, it didn't have to grow on me at all. It was good right from the outset. You could hear Neal Casal's beautiful vocals so much better in person, and the Cardinals live just seem to bring out the best in Mr. Adams, the deepest tones of his voice, and his ability to make you feel that he is really doing some kind of heartfelt, earnest, important questioning. It was tender rather than glib, lacking the irritating irony or snide flavor you might expect out of a man who has a song titled "Oh My God, Whatever, Etc." When he sang that song in the concert, it was simply beautiful - I thought he miraculously managed to put all the meaning back into Oh My God - you heard "My God", you heard "Oh", you heard those words as they might have sounded before we all started using them in a rush of breath, like a three-word exclamation point.

The other song that blew me away was "The Sun Also Sets". Again, sounded a little whiny to me on the CD, but on stage, brave, gorgeous. I believed that our friend Ryan was up there singing from the very bottom to the very top of his soul, and it brought tears to my eyes, much like Dana did in her recent post about poetry, life, death and everything else worth talking about.

Elvis said it was one of his two favorite shows of the year, the other being My Morning Jacket. I suspect it might have won first place from him if the poster had not been a big take-off on a Charbucks cup, or if Ryan hadn't come out 52 minutes late, or if he had played a little longer than an hour and 34 minutes, or if the lighting had been a little stronger, so that we could see the musicians playing.*

I actually thought the lighting was gorgeous, big paper lanterns hanging over the stage, and this loungey, atmospheric haze of light flooding the stage. I loved that all six musicians were lined up next to each other on stage - was that why the all the instruments blended together so beautifully? Was that why I sat there in the hot, sickly sweet of the fog machined air in my uncomfortable seat, and thought "this is another one of those moments in my life where I am completely content to be just exactly where I am"? Maybe. And that's why I felt I had to introduce you to the Cardinals.

* Elvis says "No way. Still would have paled in comparison to My Morning Jacket."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm Spending Too Much Time on the Internet and You Should Too

I keep finding things on the internet. Like Kozy Shack, and this web site with "Things We Like To Say" (how do we add that in the sidebar, Allison? Can we start with "I know, right??") and the web site for Miranda July's book of short stories (go, quick, look at it, it cracks me up) and the Flickr group I took the photo above for.

Hey, you know, it beats watching TV. Though now that the second season of Weeds is out on DVD, you could probably catch me doing that too. I'm totally in love with Nancy.

In more productive news, today I spent a little time writing at the pretty Ballard Fiorre and then I delivered a lamp and little rug to my writing studio. It was so appealing in there that I couldn't resist sitting down on the floor with my computer and writing a little more.

Then, tonight, something occurred to me for the novel. I sat down and wrote 500 words of it, which doesn't seem like a lot, unless you consider the fact that I thought the novel was "resting", and worried a little that it might be resting the way your pet goldfish rests just before your dad flushes it down the toilet.

Brave New World

That's what we're hoping for behind this red door. Maybe you've read about my love of Virginia Woolf? If you have, you won't be too surprised to hear that "A Room of One's Own" made an impression on me. I have several rooms of my own already, in my nice little apartment, but I've never had a room that was just for writing. Until now.

Wanna' see inside?

There it is, our "before" photo. Right now it's really just a glorified 8'x8' storage space, but I've got grand things in mind for this little place. On Friday I delivered a big bin of writing supplies there, along with all my files from my writing group. Back at my apartment, there are little pieces of art set aside, fresh notebooks, my favorite floor lamp, my pretty blue electric typewriter, and my big desk, all ready to go as soon as I manage to get a sucker to hold up the other end for me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

One Thing That Made Me Happy This Evening

Finding this. Hee! How cute is summer baby Allison?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ten things that made me happy this week...

Someone in here cared about me.

1) I lost my wallet.

Or, I should say, I lost my wallet at the Dunkin' Donuts in Brattleboro VT, where some kind soul found it and then gave it to the Bratteboro Police, who then called me at work to let me know that they had it and then offered to mail it back to me.

So the fact that there are nice people in Vermont is what made me happy, I guess.

2) The New Yorker. What a great issue! That piece on antique shopping cracked me up! And the piece on prosthetics is so interesting!

3) The Transformers movie. What. Great. Cheese. I love me some Optimus Prime. You can't possibly be surprised by this, can you?

4) That this is our third week in a row making it to the gym TWICE! That's right, two mornings. Six times in two weeks! We are on a roll people! Just in time for bikini season to be over!

5) Dana. Visiting from Canada at the last minute. Always a nice surprise. That she is happy and in luuuuuuv. Yay!

6) That Dakota loves The Time Traveler's Wife as much as I did. Of course, Dakota always makes me happy, but even more so when there is more proof that we are so very simpatico.

7) French Organic Mint Tea

8) Decaf iced coffee

9) The gold bangles Eugene brought me from India. I know that I've had them a couple of weeks, but still they make me happy.

10) Sour cherry juice is back in the stores. Woohoo! I'm stocking up!

Okay, ten totally inane things but, nonetheless, they made me happy.

This is How We Deal With Migraines Around Here. Well, Sometimes...

You know those ads, where the woman has the migraine or whatever ailment, and is all "Oh NO! Not TODAY!" and then the Excedrin Extra Strength or whatever comes along to cure her? That was totally me today. I missed the last day of my writing workshop this morning because of a migraine.

Lunch was a different story. My former boss and I had lunch scheduled with the CEO from the company where we worked together, and that just isn't one of those things that's easy to reschedule, so instead, I got my sorry self out of bed and put on some pretty shoes. I'm sure that's why I'm feeling so so much better now (couldn't be the many many milligrams of modern medicine that I ingested).

For a while now, I've been wanting to write something about migraines. That's not going to happen today, because that's a piece that will take quite a bit of work, but I know it's in me somewhere. Just like the piece about why I love Willie Nelson the way I do. But let's add it to the list, shall we? Along with the piece about stories that happen over text message and... I better stop now or I'll never write these things.

All of this is just to say that for some reason (maybe because this week I started sending out resumes finally) I am really happy with the way the writing is going. There are tons of things I want to work on, and when I sit down at the computer or with my notebook (I'm writing longhand a lot these days) they are still there and willing to materialize on paper. I might end up neglecting the blog a little more, or I might end up posting those almost-short-stories, like my most recent post. You'll have to let me know how you feel about that.

In other news, I'm still chipping away at Steinbeck's "Travels With Charley". It's a great bedtime read, mostly because his chapters feel like entries in a journal, the kind you make at the end of the day, reflecting on everything. Plus it's funny, and not sinister like "Positively Fifth Street", the book by James McManus (non-fiction) about the whole crazy world of poker. Because, um, HELLO! We are GOING TO play poker, ladies. If I have to come over there and drag your sorry asses out of your houses, WE WILL PLAY!

Don't worry about the hat thing, I can provide the hats. You'll look good in them, I swear. My hats are sweet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Different Kind of Crazy Dream OR Let's Call It a Short Story Because It's Not Quite A True Story

Ode to Kozy Shack, bathroom self-portrait, Copper Gate, 7-20-2007

You don’t have to be at all sure what you’re looking for in order to find it on the Flickr pages. I don’t really know what I am looking for when I find Pete, Carrie and Rabbit. It’s late, and I’m home, sitting in my bed with my computer on my lap. I want to go somewhere but it’s too late for that, so I am searching. I do this sometimes, after I’ve fussed with my own photos on my Flickr page, arranged them in sets and labeled them with the kinds of tags that someone else might find in a search of their own. Tonight I have photos of Susan in her new summer dress with baskets of fried food, in the new bar in the old neighborhood where I used to live when I was still cool. Well, still young at least.

I wander off into search terms and thumbnails. Seattle, Ballard, coffee shops, favorite bars… bored, bored, boring boring, photos of people I don’t know, cafes I wouldn’t go to… until I get to the skee ball shots, from the new bar where they have a wall full of old photos tacked up in fluttering layers, like peeling paint covering one whole side of the bar. They serve retro beers and baskets of sliders even though none of us who grew up here ate sliders as teenagers, or even knew what they were. The jukebox is filled with albums I don’t expect Pabst-drinkers in hoodies and dice tattoos to sing along to, Peggy Lee, Heart.

Not that you can see all that stuff in the photo that catches my eye. This photo is simple, just the skee balls lined up in their narrow chute, ready to be pitched at the target, the rough brick wall next to the game, and off in the upper left hand corner, the round circles labeled 10, 20, 30, like a paint-by-numbers sun. The other photos that come up when you search for that bar are mostly bad-flash snapshots, someone’s buddy all pasty with a face-full of booze, sticking out a tongue or hands all over the chick with her eyes half-closed. But the photos that turn out to be Pete’s aren’t like that. What Pete has posted are the skee ball close-ups, the chalk board with the score, titled “Ass Whupping”, and a photo called “Lunch Date,” - Pete and Carrie lit by the yellow of a little barrel-shaped table lamp behind them, Carrie in braids, Pete in beard, looking right into each other’s eyes and smiling the closed-lipped smile of the deeply satisfied.

Then there are the self-portraits. Bathrooms and elevators. A washed-out shot of Pete, wide-eyed, his flannel shirt matching the faded flower wallpaper of the bathroom in a lake house where a friend is house-sitting, Carrie straight-faced with a single braid, in front of a poster of puppies playing piano. There are sets of graffiti and found “faces”, in food, on hardware, made by rust and knots in wood and the way two windows flank a door. A set of the dog, Rabbit, labeled “dogsimus maxsimus. best. dog. ever.”, photos with flying ears, white belly, pink tongue on Pete’s soft-serve ice cream cone. Another set titled “Music”, subtitled “Music is the only redeemer.” There’s a blue-lit Chan Marshall dancing in a fringed dress, Joan Jett sweating and raw at the Marin County Fair, tracer-laden, flaming orange Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson is where I stop at 1:13 AM. It's July 4th now, 2007 and I am giddy with the sight of the Jing Fong dim sum extravaganaza, Rabbit, “The Rabbit”, as they call her, in an elevator in Portland, brisket at Memphis Minnie’s in San Francisco, the set called “Pete is My Bitch” - Pete in a bib, in a monkey hat, in a hairnet, in latex gloves. I am giddy from the way Pete labels all the photos of Carrie and her braids with the tag “love”. So I stop at the Willie Fillmore, SF, 1.25.06 photo and click on the “Add Your Comment” box. Here’s what I write, the first time I stalk someone on the internet:
“Okay, see, here's the thing about Flickr. You put your little tags on things, and then people somehow find your photos, maybe by searching on skeeball or something, and sometimes these people are even in your own city, so then they want to look around at your photos and see where else you've been. And then turns out you've been to the Greenwood Space Supply place, and then you have all these photos in bathrooms, and at someone's lake house with crazy wallpaper, and you're looking for nutria, and then the person who has found all these photos starts to wonder "God, are there any three creatures on earth who have more fun than Pete, Carrie and Rabbit?" because surely that cannot be, and you start to wonder, do I know someone who knows these people? and you think about your own field trips, like you need to go see those eyes at the sculpture park, and maybe have some pancakes with lingonberries, but then you really really need to stop looking at these photos no matter how good and funny they are, because you are supposed to be packing to go see Willie at the Gorge tomorrow, and that's a pretty good field trip in itself. Thanks for all the entertainment. Love your photos.”

Then I read it again and maybe I feel a little embarrassed but still I add a second comment which says:
“Okay, I realize I have all the you's messed up, but that's what happens. That's what happens when you spend too much time looking at someone else's flickr photos.”

And I like it. I like what I wrote, and I like liking Pete and Carrie and Rabbit and secretly I think it’s kind of clever even though I’m considering never ever telling anyone that I’ve done this. Until Pete writes back seventeen minutes later and says:
“Wow. this is pretty much the best comment we've ever received on Flickr. Certainly from a stranger. Such lovely words...thanks. It's really so good to hear that all the great times that we're having come through in our pictures. Definitely jealous that you're going to spend the fourth with Willie, too. That guy's my hero. Should make for a wonderful celebration of independence, whatever that might mean to you. Thanks for the lovely words. Maybe Rabbit can meet the wolfhounds one of these days. Those dogs are beautiful, and have fantastic names. ~p + c + r”
And when I read this, it’s like someone has suddenly discovered that I have a beautiful singing voice, or the most lovely toes in the world, or the highest number of taste buds found on the tongue of a human anywhere ever in the history of the world. Mostly that last thing, though, because while that comment from Pete seems strangely spectacular to me, after I read it, I sit there at the computer and don’t really know what it was all about. What was I doing, with this search for the new bar in my old neighborhood, and what does it mean, what I found - people who it seems like I should know but don’t?

But then I just think "Pete is nice. Like I thought."

I leave my email inbox and go back to the main page for Kozy Shack AKA Pete, Carrie and Rabbit, and go to the album titled 3.4.6. There they are at their wedding, with Carrie wearing a red dress and deeper dimples than I’ve ever seen and there are hula hoops and the limbo and a tuba and cupcakes and musical chairs and Pete’s shirt comes untucked from dancing, and it seems like the only thing that’s missing for a lifetime of happiness is Rabbit the dog.

After the limbo, and Carrie tying Pete’s tie, and their wedding dance, and dances with relatives, I go back to my own page, where Pete has written a comment admiring Tintin the French bulldog puppy. I look at my photos of the wolfhounds, Rosebeast and Fenton and MaryEllen and baby Liam, and wonder what Rabbit’s life was like before she met Pete and Carrie. On my Flickr page, none of the dogs Pete has admired are mine. The wolfhounds are a two-day drive away, and will probably never ever meet Rabbit and suddenly I feel defeated and weird.

I turn off the computer and lie in bed wondering which of the wolfhounds’ names Pete liked. Rosebeast, MaryEllen the Supermodel, Fenton Johnson. The only one I named was Lovable Irresistable Adorable Me, the puppy we call “Liam”, for short.

I also wonder if I will ever meet Pete and Carrie, and I sort-of wonder if I want to, the same way I’m not always sure I want to bite into a piece of really good-looking cake because it might turn out to taste like food coloring or dye your tongue blue. I wonder if Carrie has already started to hate me, or if she’s wondering what I’m up to. But in my head I’m already writing them an email challenging them to skee ball, even though Carrie might hate me, because as long as I’ve gone this far, I might as well keep stalking, and anyway, they can always ignore the email. I fall asleep telling myself that might be better anyway, because I can’t even really play skee ball, and I don’t have a date to bring, and because even if I was the kind of girl who had a dog of her own, I would have no idea what to name him.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dang, Another Crazy Dream

So, this dream starts out innocently enough.

Eugene and I are at the christening of the child of one of Eugene's cousins.

It's one of the cousins-by-marriage who happens to look quite a lot like Heath Ledger.

Yes, he really does. And so does his brother. It's uncanny.

Anyhoo, in this dream, we're enjoying this very elaborate event when he pulls me aside and reveals that he is, in fact, a high-end grifter and he's wondering if I would like to be in on his next caper.

I am, of course, intrigued. I sign on immediately. Ahh, my larcenous heart.

As part of the training for the con, I have to go to this fabulous resort town in Europe. It seemed quite Swiss, though I have never been to Switzerland - so I couldn't say for sure. There were lots of beautiful old european-looking buildings, cobblestone streets, and it was quite hilly.

He had a team of beauteous females working with him so, naturally, there was lots of great shopping and I got a whole new wardrobe. Funny how fashion figures so prominently in my dreams, no?

So after the shopping, we go back to the lair and get down to business... and this is where things get kind of weird.

For my part of the con, I need to befriend a giant sea turtle.

They have this very high-tech pool where the sea turtle is in captivity. I am given a device that disguises me as a sea turtle. I dive in and start communing with the other sea turtle. When he/she seems to trust me, I turn the device off and reveal myself as a human.

And then I woke up.

You Know More Earth Wind and Fire Songs Than You Think

This is pretty much what we were looking at all weekend here. Grey skies. The nice thing about that was that I didn't have to feel at all bad about staying in bed writing all day, or about going to see the Edith Piaf biopic before the sun went down.

In the end, I had some questions about "La Vie En Rose". I found myself wondering, if you didn't already love Edith Piaf, would you get what the big deal was after seeing the movie? Steven and I went to see it together, and he couldn't tell me, since she reminds him of Paris, and Paris reminds him of cheese and he loves cheese. And Paris. And Edith Piaf.

What we agreed on for sure, though, was that Marion Cotillard's performance was astonishingly good. After the movie, we spent about an hour googling stuff about the Little Sparrow and when we saw the photos of what Marion looks like ordinarily, and how completely she was transformed in the movie, we were astounded. Definitely worth seeing for her performance, and the knitwear. Oh, the knitwear. Sigh!

Are you wondering what all this had to do with Earth, Wind and Fire? Nothing. Except the rain, that was the thing every event had in common this weekend. Rain, or the threat of. Tonight I went to immerse myself in the Boogie Wonderland of EWF in spite of that, with Kirsten and her best girlfriends from college. Someone we used to work with recently said of Kirsten, "yeah, she was like a sorority girl, but a sorority girl who could kick your ass".

These ladies are blackbelts. Consider yourself warned.

Which makes sense, because my girlfriends do kick ass. Are you getting tired of hearing about this yet? I'm getting famous for the high quality of my girlfriends. After Friday night at Sambar, Jay sent me a text message that said simply "Some trio." No doubt.

We look nice, but we are naughty. Regan, me and Kirstin.

In fact, last week, this endless raving I do about my girlfriends even resulted in a bullet point on the Capitol Hill Seattle blog. Girl crushes, indeed.

Anyway, all the girl time this weekend got me thinking... after my little poker adventure a few weeks ago, I've been wanting to play again. See, I have this cute little pinstripe vest, and... no, really, anyway,the point is, my latest fantasy project is now.... Ladies Poker Night! How good would that be?

I think it's going to involve hats and fake mustaches. And polaroids.

What do you think, ladies, who's in?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nobody here but us chickens


So, this weekend, my friend Tamara and her just-turned-four-years-old daughter, Sophie, are staying with us in Vermont.

Sophie is a fancy four year old. She likes pink things and sparkley things and books like Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy, which Eugene was pressed into reading to her last night. You can imagine how very comical that was. She likes puzzles and drawing and fish sticks and curly pasta, And Gogurts. And yogurt covered raisins. And talking. And Charlottes Web.

But mostly this weekend she has fallen in love with this horse.

Just a simple girl and her pony

It came from the antique (of junqtique, if you prefer) store across the street from the auction we went to. It has a long white flowing mane and tail and has proved to be a very wise investment on Tamara's part.... she was a bit dubious as to how long the love affair could last, but we're at 28 hours now and they are still going strong.

Sophie Kissy-face and her horse, Sharalee

We are about to leave to go to the swimming hole, but before we do, I wanted to share with you my biggest accomplishment of the weekend.

I finally made beer can chicken!

Dude, I got a can up my butt! Dude... so do I! It's getting kinda hot in here...

I know that you can hardly believe that, what with all the beer around here, but I had never made it before! Now I can say, without a doubt, that it is a superior way to roast a chicken. They came out moist and delicious.

And they are so very comical looking, no?

I would have posted all of this earlier, but our satellite internet decided to go all funky yesterday and only just now righted itself. Apologies.

Darn technology!

So now I say tooddle-dee-dee!

Before we leave, though, Sophie would like to leave you with a final thought:

Did you ever see a pig with a polka-dotted wig?

Deep, yo.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just A Little Pretty For You

It's back to rain here in Seattle right now, kind-of a nice change in a way. I pass this rose on my way to the coffee shop every morning, and I always always stop to smell it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

From the "Who DOES That??!" File

If you grew up in Seattle, and spent part of the mid-eighties sitting on the pavement on Broadway, looking up through your teased and starched bangs, sullenly muttering "Spare change?", then moved away for college and never looked back, you might not recognize this as the park near the reservoir right off Broadway. You might look at it and think "Wow, things have really changed around there!"

And in some ways, they have. There are people with strollers and readers and even parks department maintenance people in this park now. There's a swingset and play area and the field where you used to pick gravel out of your knee after soccer games, back when you played soccer, before you refused all sports on principle, well, that field is a lot nicer now.

Some things haven't changed though. The dirty kids on the lawn still have a kitten that looks too small to have been taken away from it's mother, and no doubt keeping this kitten alive is one of their dramas for the week. And if you stood in the long line outside of Cafe Versace today at about 10:20, you would have seen a guy across the street do a full clothing change while sitting on the sidewalk next to the Jack in the Box. When he's done, he will be wearing a black Metallica t-shirt, a belt with grommets and tight tight jeans and no underpants. If you had been there, you would have been made aware of things you maybe didn't want to know about, like what the balls of a guy with an obvious drug habit look like. And even though you didn't want to know these things, you wouldn't be able to help feeling slightly guilty for knowing them, as though simply glancing across the street while standing in line could be a knowing violation of someone's privacy. All of which reminds you of what it was like being a teenager on Broadway in the mid-80's. Being that kid sitting on the pavement was all about knowing that you were bringing this rough knowledge on yourself by looking at the things you were looking at, things you you wanted to be tough enough to know, but weren't.

If that had been you, in line at Cafe Versace at 10:20 on a Thursday in July, your reason for standing in line in the first place would have also been a reminder of how things may look a lot prettier now in certain places on Capitol Hill, but how there's still some bad shit happening. Like the ultimately minor, but still crappy vandalism that went down last night at the non-profit where you've been volunteering lately. The non-profit that you have developed tender warm feelings towards, and where one day, a couple years ago, the day before your birthday, you stood in the lobby and were told that there was room for you in the writing group that would change your life.

Okay, fine, we aren't talking about you. We aren't talking about a fictional person who moved away and never looked back either. We're talking about me. Me. The me who lives here in Seattle again, who has come back to Capitol Hill and loves the ways it has changed and some of the ways it has stayed the same. Except the crappy vandalism. That just made me tear up, and want to bring Kate and Brian presents and food and all kinds of things to tell them how nice they are, how nice it is that most of the time that house on Capitol Hill where they work is inhabited by people who are funny and kind and love words and want to put them together in a way that will entertain you or make the world more beautiful or just tell you what it's like here, among people who have something to say to each other, and who work hard to find the right way to say that something.

That's why I was standing in the ten-deep line at Versace, waiting to bring Kate what I hoped would be the best cappuccino in Seattle, and why Monday after the writing workshop lets out, I will take Brian's order for something tasty from Baguette Box. I'll still feel like that's really the least I can do, and just hope there isn't some saggy-balled guy changing his clothes across from 1203 Pine Street anywhere close to noon. I can really live without that.

But if he is there, at least it'll make a good story, about a slightly-veiled version of me, which is pretty much what all my stories are these days. You don't mind, do you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some Things (okay, one thing) I'm Getting Better At

Chicken sausages aren't pretty. But they are tasty, at least the maple ones from Trader Joe's. And they are virtuous. I know you wouldn't think this at first, but please consider for a moment.

We're at the five month mark here with all this time off nonsense. Can you believe that? It feels like five times as long, and half that at the same time. You all know that most of that time has been spent traveling. To the Oregon Coast, Portland, the Bay Area, NYC, London, Edinburgh. NYC, NYC. Colorado. It's nice to be home now, though. Being home for these two weeks has been better because of all that traveling. I seem to be making progress in little increments. Getting boxes of books over to my storage space, getting rid of clothes I never wear. Shredding. Lots of shredding.

Anyway, I thought you would be happy to hear that I've been eating at home more. That was one of my goals from the very beginning. Here's what I eat:

- breakfast

That's pretty much it. Breakfast. For lunch. Sometimes dinner. Breakfast too. It's good. I like it. That's what I've accomplished in five months. Now I eat breakfast. For lunch. Sometimes dinner. Hee.

Happy Noodle Boy

Thank you, Allison, for that very informative post. It almost made me want to read the book just to see how it could be that bad, but you saved me by citing specific details such as the sandal/sneaker thing, or whatever it was. Anyway, I think Rhone is happy in this photo because he can't read yet and is therefore in no danger of being subjected to such a poor read.

Instead of reading that bad book, he suggests you do this:
Find some time to play with your food. Noodles work well, but if you want to eat raspberries off your fingers, that's okay too. Or just smear yogurt all over your face.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Book Review: Sammy's Hill

First let me say that I do love Al. And because of that I was prepared to love this book.

I thought 'his daughter has to be well-educated - she went to Harvard' and 'she has to be a good writer - she edited The Harvard Lampoon! and wrote for Saturday Night Live and Futurama!'

For goodness' sake, they profiled her on Fresh Air. And this book has gotten all sorts of reviews that cite it as 'quick, funny and absorbing'.

Oh lord, how misleading those credentials are. I have lost all respect for Harvard, the comic institutions who hired her to write, and I will never trust a New York Magazine book review again!

Now, you know that I love drivel. I can waste an entire weekend reading best-sellers and bodice-rippers. I am not precious when it comes to the literature I am willing to pollute my mind with - but this just goes beyond.

It is total nonsense.

Poorly-written total nonsense that attempts to take Helen Fielding-esque approach to Capitol Hill and its intrigues (health care policy!) and dramas (a zit developing on the nose of our heroine, right before she is about to see the man she is gagging for!)

It is sad. So very very sad.

Maybe it's because I am trying to listen to it while I drive that the impossible syntax and utterly false scenarios are so grating, but I haven't even been able to make it past disk 2. Everything that happens to the heroine just reeks of an attempt at Lucille Ball zany-ness, and doesn't seem at all plausible.

Example: she leaves for work (at the Senate!) one morning with shoes that don't match - a sneaker and a sandal.

Unless she is pregnant or mentally ill, this seems just incredibly unlikely. Supposedly she isn't either of the above, but that could be the plot twist in the third act that makes this whole pile o' mess work. Crap, I guess I have to keep listening to it.

I guess this is more of a warning than a review, but I thought you should know.

Luckily, I only checked it out from the library.

p.s. Anna Quindlen's Rise and Shine was pretty good and I am currently reading The Emperor's Children which is starting off slow, but seems to have potential.

p.p.s. I am feeling a bit salty today - especially regarding books. I just snapped at some Barnes & Nobles employees (I know that I shouldn't shop there - but it is the only book store by my office!) because they had closed down the art and design section for a signing by Taylor Hicks! Like I care about that washed-up American Idol hasbeen and his army of great unwashed tourist fans. Ahem.

so perhaps my... umm.. review may seem unduly harsh.

p.p.p.s. I saw Simon Doonan (author of Confessions of a Window Dresser - HILARIOUS!) and Kelly Ripa (author of nothing sofar as I know - thank goodness) whil I was out at lunch. This is apropos of nothing, just thought you should know.

Guest Blogger Nurse Susan Tells You Why It's All Fun and Games Until You Turn 45

Scott Baio doesn't look as puffy here as I expected him to...

Ed. Note: Today's blog post, a review of the hit TV show "Scott Baio is 45 and Single" is brought to you by Susan. Enjoy!

Working title: Scott Baio plays John Cusack. OR Why this show is like Porn for women

This show is GREAT. I've watched something like 24 minutes of "Scott Baio is 45 and Single" on VH1 and I am hooked! This show is genius and Scott (24 minutes into it) could definitely use a hug. And really, you want to beat this guy down for being such a putz, for sure, but yay for editing, I still feel like giving the poor guy a hug.

In a nutshell: older, puffier Scott Baio wakes up one day and decides he needs professional help with regards to his fear of commitment. He has a hot, blonde girlfriend (and has dated an endless string of hot blondes: Pam Anderson, Nicolette Sheridan, Denise Richards - you get the picture) , but instead chooses a life coach and her rules. The first of which is to remain celibate. And the best part is: she makes him go see all his ex's and they get to say whatever they want and he sits and takes it!

Ladies? Do we DREAM about doing this very thing? I'm just sayin' I could line up the boys and have enough to say to fill up an obscene amount of time. I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about it. Don't we all just want a minute to say our piece?

And the best part of episode #1: Joanie DID love Chachi!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Something Different, But Not Really

Sambar again, outside the front door this time

In other bar news, I managed to make my traditional Thursday evening pilgrimage to Sambar this week. We changed things up by sitting outside, which is also quite lovely, even if the rose bushes are not the clever conversationalists that Jay is. Have I already told you that one of the reasons I love Jay is that he always has something to talk about? He recommended that book of James Galvin poetry that is pictured in the photo with the coffee from a week or so ago, and he knows things about pretty much any city I am likely to travel to - NYC, SF, Portland, Vancouver, and we haven't even started in on the movie thing. Plus I suspect that he knows everyone in Seattle by one degree of separation or less and he certainly always has interesting observations on the human animal. Anyway, we missed those when we sat outside and had to come up with our own conversation (horrors! what a chore that was!), but the drinks were still outstanding, and I love sitting at the little cafe tables with the gravel underneath, like the Tuileries in Paris. Any time any of you want to join me at Sambar on Thursday, you just let me know. But you gotta leave me a seat at the bar.

The last stop of the week was tonight - Dakota and I went for a twirl at the Hen. Many twirls, actually. If you had seen me, you might be impressed to hear that there was only one time when I felt like I might fall down from dizziness. Once those guys who like to twirl you find out that you can follow that stuff, forget it, you're done sitting down for the night. Which is, of course, just the way we like it.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of being back in Seattle now. Here's my illustration of what I'll be up to tomorrow:

These are totally not my feet. Maybe the Birkenstocks were your first clue...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Smith with a Smith

So, if we were doing that "seven weird things about me" post again, I would have two new ones. One, I love all kinds of pickled things, and two, I love deviled eggs. I just think deviled eggs are a funny funny food, a food with a sense of humor, created by pill-popping housewives who couldn't be troubled to change out of their fluffy mules and peignoirs in order to go to the store when they had a perfectly good half-bottle of gin, some eggs, mayo and paprika all ready to be served to their girlfriends at 3PM. I actually really like the taste of them, and they seem to be pretty darn hard to do wrong, if you keep them simple. Having said all that, I pretty much expect everyone else in the world to think they are disgusting.

Lucky for me, the people at Smith, one of the new Capitol Hill bars on 15th (brought to you by Linda of Linda's fame), if they do think deviled eggs are disgusting, are still willing to serve them to their customers. Also lucky for me, my former partner in crime from SGEN, Kirsten, was willing to overlook the fact that I was eating deviled eggs and pickled vegetables as though that was a normal thing to have for dinner. How I love her! She showed up all sunny and blonde and summery. I knew when we worked together that seeing her every day was going to be one of those things that I looked back on and saw as an extreme privilege, and I feel the same way still. Whenever I see her, my little soul rejoices and you can hardly shut me up.

Since she is a much more reasonable person than I, she ate a much more reasonable snack - sweet potato fries that came wrapped in a paper cone set inside a ball jar. You know I go for that kind of thing. Ooh, and they had Devils on Horseback too! I thought that would be a bit much though, so I restrained myself. Next time.

The only sad bit about Smith was that all the taxidermy on the walls and the whole hunting lodge thing it's got going on reminded me of Freeman's. And Smith is certainly a good Seattle bar, but... well, you know where I'm going with this, don't you? I miss Freeman's. But not as much as I miss seeing Kirsten every day, and not as much as I miss you, Ali!

Cute Ali at cute Freeman's, NYC

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Spoiled By Other People's Houses

This is an actual real corner of Dana's home, not a magazine photo

Maybe some of you know a little something about my home. It's a nice home, I think. Actually I've never lived anywhere I liked better. I've got all sorts of things I love here, oodles of books, both good settle-down-and-read books, and big glossy look-at-the-pretty-photos books. If you came over, I could find you a poem, or a short story, or the perfect song or make you a fine cup of tea. Or we could pick up some needles and yarn and I could teach you how to knit!

As long as the "nasty neat" comment has come up again, I might as well once again confess that one thing my apartment is NOT, is tidy. Actually, I've been avoiding my apartment a little because of it. This week I went to Dana's house, Jenn's house, Kirstin's house, and of course Susan's house. All of these people are tidier than I am. All of their homes are worthy of photo shoots and their own blog entries. But they are not nasty neat! Just tidy. I suspect that if I were to display superior tidiness it would be a sign of my superior mental health, and so the whole time I was walking through Dana's house (which I had never seen before), I was whimpering "What's WRONG with me!?" and mentally collapsing on the floor in a puddle of lament. I WANTED Dana's house. I love the other ladies' homes too, but Dana has a writer's home. She had an OFFICE! With a Poetry Emergency Kit! Big bookshelves! Fancy paper goods! Hamster stamps! And a pet chinchilla!

My new room!

Naturally, I was very pleased to see that she has a guest room all ready for me. See? Above? Isn't it lovely? I can't wait to move in. So soothing, with such good books on the nightstand. Books meant for me! I'm pretty sure. For a little vacation, maybe?

Dana, I promise I would make my bed in the morning. Honest! If I ever got out of it, that is...
Dana's Patented P.E.K.
It even has a magical glow!

Friday, July 13, 2007

On Loving the Library

Mmmmm.... books.

This may sound completely narcissistic and twee and self-absorbed but one of my very favorite qualities about myself is my love of reading and my voracious appetite for books.

Now, admittedly, I am more of a gourmand than a gourmet but - as I say to Eugene when he gripes because I snowboard instead of ski - at least I am doing it!

Because of my democratic taste, the apartment is quite packed with books that I own - and this is a bit of a problem given the relative preciousness of square footage in Manhattan. So for the past couple of years I have been frequenting the New York Public Library System and it has been awesome.

They have a wonderful variety of books, both recent best-sellers and the classics. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, graphic novels, audio books, DVDs - whatever you want! And because I don't have to plonk down $30 and more of my precious square footage every time I want to take a chance on something new - I get to be more frivolous or adventurous in my selections. reading without the commitment!

I love it love it love it.

Recently, I started thinking about this love of reading and recognizing that some people just don''t have it... poor people - let's feel sorry for them, shall we?

And even for those people who have it, not everyone does the marathon, up-all-night, reading-til-your-eyes-hurt reading that I am frequently capable of doing.

Where does this come from I wonder? I mean - I know that you do the same thing.

It's Mom and Dad, I think.

In the best, most positive way... I blame our parents. Despite the fact that they were always taking my flashlight away.

Of course, there was their own reading providing an example, and the reading before bed, and the Sunday funnies, and the lesson that if you always have a book with you, you'll never be bored.

(Or was that 'only bored people are boring'? It can be hard to keep the truly valuable nuggets of advice straight - there are so very many)

But there were also all those trips to the downtown public library - with the little dancer sculpture and the giant children's reading room... or the Capitol Hill library - with it's funny ramp and big windows... or the University bookstore - with it's giant shelves of Tintin and Asterix.

They were like Willie Wonka factories... with books! A new universe waiting for you between the folds of every cover!

Mmmm... paradise.

Sometimes, at lunchtime, I will find myself at the library randomly walking the stacks just waiting for that right book to jump out at me, and it's like a stroll through a lovely garden.

Of course, besides my love of the library and reading, I have another bad habit left over from childhood.

I am incapable of returning a book on time.

Now I consider the fines my little way of supporting the system. But if I ever move back to Seattle and want a library card, I'll have to hope that they don't do a background check.

With interest accruing on my childhood fines I could probably have underwritten the new downtown library.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Please, control yourself

Meee-roooooww - hotcha baby!

I thought that you might find this article in the NY Times interesting.

personally, I find the outfit above horrific, and if I find it hanging in your closet... I'm taking away your needles.

Pinky swear.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Well That's Funny, Because...

... this is what I was doing on Monday night. Poker night! I did not, however, do "quite well". In fact, I won only a single small hand. As I said to our lovely hostess - "I'm not used to being stupid." Don't laugh! I'm not.

It really was a fun night though. We sat outside on a nice deck under the stars and I played poorly because everyone was too interesting. Jeth was funny, he folded frequently on principal and pretended not to know a lot about poker, so that I would feel more comfortable. That's right, isn't it Jeth? The gentleman to my left, who didn't pretend at all not to know poker, called me "honey bunny" all night and I drank my first gin and tonic of the summer while admiring Snax, the silkiest long-haired dachsund in the world. Afterwards I thought "I should have taken a photo of the dog..." because surely you are missing dog photos on the blog, right? I am. Dogs just add a certain sweetness and steadiness to things. At least the kind of dogs I know.

Our host made a nice comment which I agreed with completely, though I don't think I can restate it here as elegantly as he did at the time. He said that the best times with friends are the times when you are doing something together that still allows you to talk. Isn't that so true? I love games and cooking together is good, and so is swimming or flying a kite or taking the dogs for a walk or anything along those lines.

Anyway, in case any of you want to invite me over for poker some night, I highly recommend it. I'm guaranteed to show up with a bottle of wine and some chocolate and to lose every last cent of Jethro's money.

Las Vegas Here We Come!

No, not really... I'm just here to tell you about another crazy dream I had.

In my dream, You and I are meeting up in Las Vegas with Mom, Joyce and - of course - Dakota. We are staying at a fabulously luxurious hotel with gorgeous, giant rooms and a casino (natch - I mean it is LV) downstairs.

For some reason I am wearing a sparkly jacket with a funky nehru collar and black trousers. V. Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, no? I am gambling at the roulette wheel and doing quite well.

Soon, though, the real reason for our visit to Las Vegas becomes apparent. We are there to help restore a giant Scientology monument that overlooks the city. It looks not unlike Machu Pichu. Go figure.

As we are up on the hillside we are replacing stones and cleaning up weeds and debris. (I have changed from the Nehru jacket to a chambray shirt, khakis and a straw hat - an equally unlikely outfit I think.) I happen to look out over the city and notice the Stratosphere tower.

As I watch, the tower begins to sway back and forth and eventually cracks and collapses onto the surrounding area. My immediate thought is 'I bet hotel prices will finally get cheaper.'

The end.

Cah-ray-zeee! No?

I should mention that I have been eating a lot of lamb gyros from the street vendors outside my building, and lamb always gives me crazy dreams. Mmmmmmm laaaammmmmb...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This Is Definitely Not the Best Photo I Could Have Used

Oh damn, I've abandoned the blog. I didn't mean to. In fact, I currently travel with 2.5 cameras on my person at all times, have been collecting entertaining anecdotes and quotes (like Regan saying "This is like the fake boobs of grass" on the suspiciously green and lush lawn at the Wildhorse campgrounds at the Gorge on 4th of July, or really, nearly everything she said last night at her bachelorette party) and and have been buying books about ten times as fast as I can read and report on them for you.

Here, when I was sitting at the coffee shop this evening, I made a list for you, of a bunch of stuff I've done since I got back from the ranch. It's Sunday, I got back late at night on Monday, so we're at the one week mark, which is an appropriate place for inventory, right? Here it is, in no particular order at all:

  • Willie Nelson 4th of July picnic at the Gorge (love love love, deserves its own blog post for sure)
  • field trip to Roslyn, where we sat in a cafe drinking iced coffee, eating a BLT and panini, and reading Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley", which I adore, and the paper
  • outing to Columbia City with Jenn, fantastic pastries at the Columbia City bakery (pretzel dog! profiteroles!)
  • haircut at the fancy salon where... no, I'm not going to tell that story
  • Sambar with Susan, where Jay surprised me with a drink that included habanero vodka
  • drinks with Darren, Stacey, Jay & Jason
  • after-drink drinks with Jason and Jay, who said "well, it's not like I'm a professional go-outer, like you" when we discussed his command of the parking situation in Ballard
  • saw "Ratatouille" with Elvis, who made me a tasty pork chop dinner afterwards - liked the movie but rats are still not cute. Sorry.
  • Ballard Farmers Market and coffee at the new Old Ballard Fiore, with Jay of Sambar fame. Apparently when you are with Jay, food and tasty things gravitate to you of their own free will. People never bring raspberries and sweat peas to my table when I'm there alone. If any of you want to start, that would be okay.
  • very delightful trip to Elliott Bay Books where I bought the James Galvin book, and the new Annie Dillard novel and had a nice bite to eat
  • pedicures with Susan
  • went to Regan and Pete's wedding shower, at Joy Rogers house. Remember how when we were in middle school, mom used to take us to the Rogers' house, and thought that we would play with the Rogers boys, just because we were roughly the same age, and then we would go to Wedgewood pool and they would totally ignore us because we were not cool?
  • Regan's bachelorette party, which I really need to save for another post.

... and I know there's more but I have to run off again, because I have more to add to the list! I'm meeting Dakota at the Hen for some two-stepping. Bring on the Cowboy Cha-Cha and Jimmy Buffett! Yeah!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Generate Antonio, li pensate potreste organizzare un exorcism sui punti del Vatican? I suoi capelli stanno parlando in linguette e quelli sono i guanti del diavolo!*

Whilst I have been trying to figure out how to download photos, I have had some time to surf the internets (as dear GWB calls them) and I chanced upon something truly horrifying. The image above...

Now, I know that visiting the Vatican is a stressful experience and could force any fashion-forward girl to make a sartorial blunder, but truly - this is just wrong.

The shitzu hair with the sharpei outfit? Horrifying. Plus, she looks wildly bloated - like the gloves have cut off her circulation and forced all the liquid in her body to her head and neck area.

Guess who this girl is! Just guess!

Sienna Miller! What happened to you!?

I know you are done with Jude Law and that the Hayden Christensen thing was just a brief (and ill-advised) interlude. I know that Factory Girl was a flop. But really, what goes on? These are not excuses for dressing like Cruella DeVille sans wig.

Now, certainly she is known for some kooky outfits and, when she's not showing off her underwear, I usually appreciate the risks she is willing to take - though I am thinking that fastening your sandals over your pants will never catch on.

It's just too twee, dear. I only expect to see it on the newly minted art students next fall.

In the meantime, girl need a fashion intervention. Or a lifestyle intervention. Here - another very recent photo - she looks like 40-year-old Brigitee Bardot - if Brigitte had been ridden hard and put away wet.

Of course, if she's pregnant and that's the reason for the bloat and strange outfits, then I feel bad for mocking her.

But until that news breaks, all I can say is daaaaaaaang girl - what happened?

* Translated from the Italian: "Father Antonio, do you think we could stage an exorcism on the steps of the Vatican? Her hair is speaking in tongues, and those are the gloves of the devil!"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth from Vermont!

Well, we're here in Vermont and we spent the morning at the local parade (Vermont's longest-running!) and festival. But that will have to wait until I can figure out how to download photos from my dead camera.

In the meantime, here's a little entertainment for you.

It's not Willie, but it's pretty funny.

Independent Means

Deep fried food, very patriotic, I think. So is wearing your bathing suit under your clothes, and getting your feet dirty in the dust of a campsite. I'm on top of all those things this 4th of July. Yesterday I bought Ron Carlson's new novel, which I am sooo excited to read, and one of the blurbs said that in 2006 GQ Magazine named Ron Carlson "One of the Great Things About America". Surely Willie Nelson was on that list too?

I promise to say hi to him for you. Have a great Fourth!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Got home last night and check out the mail bounty! The postcard swap resulted in a mailbox full of gorgeous summery postcards. Susan is jealous, can you see in her eyes that she wants to steal them from me?

More later, today is for sitting in coffee shops and laughing about internet dating.

Monday, July 02, 2007

But I Thought About You All Day

It was sad to say goodbye to Pam and the dogs. Can you see the little one peeking his head under the railing, right next to MaryEllen? Rose is also peeking under the railing. Fenton seems to be looking for a horse to chase.

It was a long day on the road, and it's midnight now, so I'm really relating to your post about all the good intentions you had for documenting your Vermont weekend, Allison. There are a lot of things that occur to me on a 10-hour solo drive, so you can bet I had a lot to write on the blog at about... 5:00. Here are a few of them, just so you get a taste:

cattleguards and cottonwood, falling rocks, evergreens, open range,
crumbling two-lane highway with blacktop patches, triple-digit temperatures,
string cheese and wasabi peas,
mesa, magpie, moose

There was more, of course. I was thinking about mix CDs and guerilla art, and how if I died tomorrow I would have to say that was a damn fine life I had. I was thinking about traveling alone and being a herd animal, and I was thinking about writing, I'm always thinking about writing.

Especially when I should be sleeping.

Bed at the SLC Marriott

But before I go, I do want to say one thing. I really did think about You all day today. Not just you, Allison, but all our blog readers. "Lurkers" is a term that bloggers use for people who read but don't comment. I don't really like the word, actually, because I appreciate the fact that people read the blog, and don't want you all to feel like you are eavesdropping or doing anything else you shouldn't be. I'd rather you feel welcome here.

On my drive today, I was thinking that I wanted to tell you how much I loved writing for you all while I was at the ranch. I love that Tonya wrote in and said how much she loves the ranch, and I think Stephanie discovered me during my first ranch stay.

There's something about the blog and the ranch that goes well, isn't there? Really, I think it's that writing and the ranch go together well. My writing group will attest to that fact. So much of the writing/ranch marriage is Pam, and the energy she puts into it. It's her home base and therefore infused with all the ways that she encourages people to engage in that struggle to put the world into language, language that we can share with each other, and which may be beautiful in itself, but above all else creates a connection with the other. It might also be that Pam just found a place on the planet that already had in it whatever energy it takes to inspire people to work on the writing thing... maybe it's the hills and the way they take the late afternoon light, or the way you can't really see the house until you are right on it, because of the way the land undulates a little just there. Maybe it's the old barn or the thunderstorms or the elk, both living and dead. Maybe it's the voles. I don't know, but I know it's there, and I hope this week it results in words on the page from Pam, because now that I finally have that Hayden's Ferry Review with from her new, uh, book-length piece(novel?), I'm definitely hungry for more. I'd take another serving of that salmon if she was cooking, too. Pam is a person who knows dozens of ways to nourish a soul.

I guess there's something about the Salt Lake City Marriott and writing too, because that's a lot more than I meant to say just now. Okay, maybe it's not the Marriott, it's the road and writing, really. Back to that.

Abandoned place on Highway 139

What I wanted to say was a little thank you to our readers. I used to be someone who never showed anyone my writing. I wrote letters, but that wasn't the same as letting people read the little things I had worked on just for myself. I'm still shy about that, even with the writing group. I can't stand to read any of my pieces out loud and there are only a few people outside of the writing group who have seen bits of the novel. I'd like to get a little braver with it all, and I appreciate the blog as a step towards that. I don't know how much my writing here has in common with the novel or the short stories I've been working on. I know there are big differences, but the blog has definitely been a few more steps into bravery for me.

Pam and I were talking about thriving yesterday, and what it means to thrive. I think it's safe to say that the audience we have here has helped me thrive in certain ways. Whether you comment or not, I have this funny feeling that it matters whether I post here or not, and I feel a little itchy when I don't. Whenever I'm stuck with the other writing, it helps to know that I have a practice piece waiting for me here. The blog does not know what writer's block is.

I guess this is going to get a little like liner notes here, or the closing credits or something, because I really do want to mention how much I love imagining Kristin in England (my Original Reader!) Ross and Marjie in Portland, Mom in LaConner with all her Windermere pals. Barb in Minnesota, Susan in the OR, Glenn in New Zealand (Hi Glenn!) not to mention all the Seattle peeps, Kathleen and Katherine (you two really should meet, by the way), Peggy, Dakota, Dana, Caitlin, Regan, Kirsten - all of you help me imagine a benevolent audience out there in the world, and we all need to think that at least part of the world is a benevolent audience for us.

... and then there are all those people who haven't piped up to say hello yet (maybe you should!)... I wonder about you all... like who is reading from AMF Bowling Worldwide? I'm dying to know... I love bowling! You know I do, Ali.

Drove in to Salt Lake just as the sun was setting. It almost made it seem pretty.

Night night.