March 25th, 2010


Now I finally know how to spell "dirigibles." Thanks, Boneshaker!

Was in Seattle. Was also reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (cmpriest). This was a good combination. Made me look at the Smith Tower each time I could see it in Seattle and want to see it ramshackle and only partly completed with dirigibles docking to the top.

The world needs more dirigibles. Thank goodness steampunk provides more.

Boneshaker, a fun novel that sets up more fun in future stories, is set in an alternate-reality, revved-up-history Seattle: a Seattle that got partly demolished and poisoned in the Civil War era, and come Priest's version of 1880 is ringed with a 20-story-high wall. Why? Read the book! Because something needs to be kept in... (...he said mysteriously. And unnecessarily, as it's on the back cover, but it's more fun to be mysterious!)

It's well-wrought, fast-moving adventure, allowed by the conventions of 19th century lit to be a little more melodramatic than maybe I was expecting. I keep wanting not to reveal too much about the plot, even more so than usual -- remember, I was proud of saying almost nothing about the plot of The Truman Show when I reviewed it -- because I'm a little worried I'd make it sound hokey, which is unfair to Priest. And c'mon, "Seattle with dirigibles" should be enough to sell you on it! It was for me.

(Crap, I have a ways to go to re-earn the title of "one of Portland's most thoughtful bloggers"...)

Would you like to know more? Cherie Priest has a website about her alt-history world called The Clockwork Century. Would you like to hear more? Boneshaker is an audio book available for download from Audible! Which is a semi-steampunk-ish name, come to think of it...
Me 2 (B&W)

Working backwards

[insert my usual reference to "Jaws viewed backwards is about a shark that throws people up 'til they open the beach"]

I'm home. I was, from most recently to a while ago:
* In my bed
* On the road
* In Cannon Beach, OR eating crab
* On the road
* In Long Beach, WA looking at a gray whale skeleton
* On the road
* In Seattle
* The recipient of perhaps the quickest-written and -delivered parking ticket ever
* In the home of my cousin Amy/Max/"Maximy" Walsh
* In a different bed, one of two beds Max's house has
* Watching a burlesque show
* Watching a burlesque documentary (talked about in the same link as above)
* In the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum

...and I will use these quick descriptors as prompts to write more later!
  • Current Music
    Wojciech Kilar's Dracula score
NCC-1701 Regula

The joy of "Ringer Off"

FYI: I have decided to have a quiet day. Napping may be involved. To facilitate said possible future napping, I have silenced my phone's ringer. Solicitors have one more obstacle to reaching me!
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Flavored Calories.


Yesterday morning my plan (so cunning one could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel (man that's a fun phrase)) was to get the heck to the Oregon Coast and splurge on a hotel room for the night. Around when I reached Long Beach, Washington and saw both the mass expanse of the Pacific and the exhumed gray whale skeleton near that beach, I started to think that maybe I was more in the mood to get home that night. This feeling got stronger as I headed farther south. I had the feeling I'd be getting a room just for the sake of doing so; did I really feel like spending the night near the beach?

Another splurge was in order. Said splurge was full crab, which I ate at the Ecola Restaurant and Market in Cannon Beach. Experienced crab eater theloriest would probably be amused by the mess I made, but it was worth it. It was a flavorful mess, and I'm all for those. It's food you earn, with elbow grease and cracking stuff, and I don't do that enough. I probably missed some crab meat somewhere (how much of the body meat is okay to eat?). I also better understood why imitation crab meat (which, honestly, I've probably eaten more than true crab) was invented, 'cause, again, WORK.

This being a big world with much to interest people, the TVs in the restaurant were showing soccer on Telemundo. And soccer remains a bigger endurance trial than eating crab. I mean playing it, not watching it. I'm not that active of a spectator. Also, I honestly wondered at first if one of the commentators on the game was Headline News's Chuck Roberts. No, but there was a resemblance. (I watched a lot of Headline News in high school.)

I also splurged on smoked scallops and smoked salmon, now in my fridge and awaiting my future eat-age. More reminders of the Coast. And I'm happy that I finally got back to the Oregon Coast for the first time since a long, good weekend in May 2007.
Blow My Mind

Ninja Ticketer!

Continuing to dip into my Seattle experiences this past week...

My leaving Seattle yesterday -- wow, feels longer ago than yesterday -- went less smoothly than I would've liked.

The good news is, I found a post office and dropped off a padded envelope with zarhooie's name on it, and not just her name, her address, so in a few days she'll get a gift. :-) The bad news is, in trying to find the post office, I pulled over into a parking lot next to a closed store off of Rainier Ave. S (south of Alaska St.), spent a few minutes doing an "area fam" trying to find either the post office or a store where I'd feel comfortable asking for directions, not succeeding at this, hitting the road again, starting to turn around, and seeing that there was an envelope on my windshield. "Where did that come from and what is it?" I thought, annoyed. Turns out that closed store's parking lot had been repurposed as a pay lot. This is new to me. Oh, well. At least it wasn't a speeding ticket. But whomever left the ticket, did it FAAAAAAAAAAAAST.
Me 1


Occasionally I see burlesque.

Take a moment to stop being surprised.

I've seen burlesque thanks to the good offices of my cousin Max (Amy and Goose to family, Maximy and a few other nicknames to me) and her circle of friends. Nowadays Max works for a woman named Paula in a landscaping business -- twice I've accompanied them to Bainbridge Island (where a man was arrested Tuesday for wielding a sword and saying he was "hunting werewolves and chuds"; sadly, I missed that) -- and Paula's other work includes putting on burlesque shows. Paula hosted a show Tuesday night at The Triple Door in downtown Seattle*, beginning with a cheeky documentary called Burlesque Undressed and continuing with live performances.

You know I like The Pretty. Much of The Pretty was displayed Tuesday night, both on the stage and in the audience, and of course I appreciated that. But what especially struck me, and happily so, was the nice reminder of how it's possible to convey so many different moods from the seemingly simple act of taking your clothes off. One feather-dancing routine in the movie was almost wistful; I practically wanted to hug the dancer afterward. (Don't worry, I was well-behaved and didn't hug any performers in person!) And a lot of it is funny, which is a HUGE needed thing. Sexuality should be fun. Failing that, it should at least look fun (plenty of those burlesque outfits are definitely uncomfortable, but hey! incentive for getting most of them off!). There was plenty of laughter and winking-ness in the theater, and much applause. Good times. And it was warm enough for everybody. (I worry about whether people getting naked or semi-naked for their work. More evidence I was a Jewish mother in a past life?) It's a job, I know from people who've done it, and I should know that just in general, but the point is to make people (from the dancers to the audiences) feel good. Burlesque can do that. Dancing in general can do that. Good, because I should dance more. I should not do burlesque. At all. Unless any future significant others enjoy me doing so. In private.

And that was one more look into my several days in Seattle recently. Cool things occur to me there.

"Burlesque" is a word that seems to demand having an exclamation point. Okay. Burlesque!

* Here is the Triple Door's page that advertised the event.
Me 2 (B&W)

I achieved napping.

Recharging from my Seattle trip + having some trouble getting to sleep last night = a nap today being a good idea. And nap I did.

It's blustery and rainy outside. That's good napping weather. I know from experience. At least I know now.

Nap well when it's your time!
NCC-1701 Nebula 2

Just keep truckin' on, B.J. (The Bear not included.)

Road trips can be better with someone to talk to.

This blindingly obvious observation came from yesterday's driving and driving and driving. All by myself. My tired self. My tired, stocked-with-caffeine self, and I managed to get to my destinations. Still.

Trivia! In the mid-90s when they were very early in their Hollywood careers, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon lived East and didn't like flying to California, so they'd drive. Or Affleck could drive, since Damon couldn't really drive yet. To keep Affleck awake, they'd improvise dialogue back and forth. Those rap sessions were the seeds of Good Will Hunting. In which Matt Damon drives, briefly, and you can tell that he still couldn't really drive yet.

Thank you for being a car companion, Max/Amy/Maximy Walsh, during my Seattle visit. *hugs you again* Said driving included back-and-forth on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry on Monday, with Paula taking us out to the house where they landscaped and I stayed out of the way, either reading some books or appreciating the scenery. (Again, we missed by a day -- A DAY -- the guy with the sword.) Plus you can parallel-park with abandon. I guess that's precise abandon. You fit it THERE? went through my mind once when we were downtown.

Driving: one of many many things that can be more fun with others. Aren't you glad you know that?
Flavored Calories.

In other Seattle news,

I ate well. My taste buds, my stomach and my bowels all agreed.

One time it was a fancy Vietnamese dinner that Max's parents, Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy Walsh, sprang for on Sunday night; another time it was Mexican food from a converted bus. (Now I want to get food from a converted plane. Ooo! How 'bout a converted sub?) And one lunch was a nice butternut squash and a decent Southwestern salad from Specialty's Café and Bakery in downtown (cute barista was a bonus, as I'm sure you're not surprised I noticed). Before that, while in Olympia, my first night there was homemade spaghetti (thank you, Mike and Nancy!), next day's lunch was a homemade ham sandwich, and that night's meal was at Old School Pizzeria, which has character, plus 70s and 80s posters up the wazoo. Let's see: the place's posters include the Superbowl Shuffle, Neil Diamond, the original TRON, the Farrah Fawcett (is further describing necessary?), many many many baseball and football pennants, and a Manhattan skyline that still had the World Trade Center. Sometimes surroundings enhance food. This can also happen with greasy food. (I actually had a small salad, but it was greasy, too. The principle applies.)

P.S. I am slightly amused that, as far as I can remember, I have yet to get Starbucks in Seattle. I have no objection to Starbucks, mind you (and my friend Matthew Kaplan manages one on Hawaii's big island), but going to Seattle to get Starbucks seems besides the point. MAYBE going to the original Starbucks would have some cachet, but still, it seems like a reach to me.