go to the movies day is coming

snow
open house on the 25th will happen (if you were wondering) i just haven't been organized enough to say something.

where it's at

rich zoe
i skipped writing about my birthday. i thought seriously for a while about doing something elaborate to celebrate, then realized that i didn't want any of the stress of organizing a thing. so i didn't, and i had a nice few days of smaller moments - saw Thanksgiving vs Christmas, knit night, got ridiculously awesome baby Groot cupcakes from gamer-wife G, breakfasted at Portage Bay, went to Yulefest, watched Mockingjay.

***

pie night came early, and was the sweeter for realizing that i had some success with networking some friends together.

Thanksgiving included a group watching of Pangs :D

i made the stuffing and the gravy; my kitchen mishaps included scratching up my fingers while breaking up oven-dried bread, and splashing my pants with gravy. otherwise the food and the fellowship were great - and i brought new people to the gospel of port and chocolate. the hosts invited Molly along, so we had no schedule constraints and very little for C to fret about.

i note that facebook hid all the Thanksgiving posts from me until days later. so frustrated with that mode of communication, especially when people are using it to communicate about major life events.

***
Friday i had a bunch of crafters over; they were the blending of 2.5 friends groups and it was pretty much like they had all known each other forever. win. other than some car drama, it was fuss-free and a real pleasure. (even the car trauma was blunted with a little time and some chocolate.) then the guard changed and game happened, as it does.

Saturday i sat quietly on the futon.

***

tonight i will brave lunar cold to cheer on the Sounders in the playoffs. please please win. it's so cold.

i got to wear my Doctor Who scarf today.

media matters

siff 2k7
taking a page from scarlettina, recent media stuff:

i remain skeptical about the new Star Wars movie.

my impressions of the teaser trailer:
looks like some editors' challenge to cut it as if it was a horror film. muzzle flash, shakycam, stupid gimmcky new lightsaber, MILLENIUM FALCON SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

effects look great. other than the editing style, the design was all the Star Wars of my childhood - grubby and angular, occasionally ludicrous. then they got me with the Falcon paired with Luke's theme. i short-circuited. no lie, there were tears of joy. then i settled enough to hear the trailer end with the whisper-whoosh of a lightsaber powering down. squee!

the sense-memory experience of Star Wars is so strong for me. (i was reminded of how i responded to the trailers for the 2005 Doctor Who.) after the trailer, i rushed off and pulled out the DVD, and enjoyed its thumb-sucking goodness. (the trailer made C want to turn on Clone Wars, so clearly we got different things from it.)

still, i doubt. i think it will be like Star Trek - we won't know if this movie thing is a success until there are two films (The Motion Picure/Wrath of Khan, Generations/First Contact, Star Trek/Into Darkness). the first one is a transition, the second one tells us if we're building something new or toiling in the nostalgia mines. the JJ Abrams Star Trek is why i am profoundly skeptical about this venture. (moving away from Lucasfilm isn't an issue for me. i can rant extensively on how George Lucas is a visionary and not a writer/director. his work shines when he hires more talented people to execute.) the Abrams Star Trek was a great transitional film, where the universe was skilfully reset and our hands were held through the transition. Star Trek Into Darkness was a brain parasite activating our memories of Wrath of Khan - instead using the reset to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, yaddayadda.

tl;dr i will probably watch two new Star Wars movies. i will be forgiving of the first and judge their success or failure with the second.

***
finally saw Interstellar.
loved it. probably because it evoked old Heinlein, Known Space, A Wrinkle In Time, and Queen. and they kept dog-whistling classic sf films without doing full-on references; it was a balancing act that i found quite satisfying. Interstellar didn't care if you could keep up or not, the heroes were scientists, it didn't force a romance, and the family relationships were truthy. bonus points for seamlessly incorporating clips from The Dust Bowl. our future is in the stars - it's not that i think we should stop trying to take care of the earth, it's that i think it will heal much faster if there are less of us here to mess it up. i need to see Interstellar in the theater again.

***
as a reader of the books, i found Mockingjay: Part 1 to be pretty satisfying. (not sure how it would feel without that background.) the films have made the Katniss vs President Snow storyline particularly great. and damn, Elizabeth Banks, damn. Effie Trinket is still Effie Trinket, even without her makeup. looking forward to a third Hunger Games birthday next year.

looks like the Empire knows we're here

snow
my first words this morning:
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

because i could see the peaked roof of the Sons of Norway hall out my bedroom window, and it was covered with snow. (insert Canadian eyeroll here) snow! not only is snow rare here, but when it does happen, it's usually in January.

C says it was melting as it hit the ground when he was out with the dog, but i can still see it out the window. so pretty when you don't have to go anywhere.

i have coffee and an almond croissant, Molly is curled up beside me on the couch, and Empire Strikes Back* is on the tv.



*the original theatrical version, not that special edition shit
lemon, have it all
i have tried and failed at the "you guys would like each other" thing.

right now i'm pretty sure that i mishandled said introduction by being perfectly honest about my intentions. i believe that i could have done the same thing (have a couple single friends come over for dinner and board games) and then followed up with "...and s/he's single" with better results. (female friend was nervous and not-herself. and then felt uncomfortable with having to say "not interested" to me afterwards. tonight i will get to have mirror conversation with male friend and be doubly sad.)

however, i am not a very good liar and it would have been kind of transparent anyway and i don't like manipulating people i care about. and the lying version puts every person i introduce to another friend into the eligible bucket, and that's weird too. i want friend stream-crossing to remain drama-free. yet statistically, being introduced by a mutual friend is still how most people meet their partners. so blech.

Poll #1989779 Now kiss!

Is trying to fix up your single friends

wishing they would snap together like Legos
3(37.5%)
forming them into a giant Voltron friend
3(37.5%)
another nerdy simile or metaphor i will share in comments
1(12.5%)
worst. idea. ever.
1(12.5%)

Ballard things

red
Yesterday morning, while we were walking Molly, one of our neighbors hailed us and offered us his stash of canned dog food. His dog had passed overnight. Simple old age.
They shared a pickup truck by the park. His dog was big and mellow and we used to chat about our pets when the dog was tied out to the tree in the planting strip. Taking the food seemed like the right thing to do. C says the dog was still in the bed of the truck.
I worry about the man, but I know he has friends. I hope he'll be blasting the Beatles on the radio this Sunday like always.

* * *
I love that our fancy coffee shop has fishermen in its meeting room almost every morning. And a regular group of Russian-speaking construction workers.
Yesterday, barista S said that there were tons of people from the knitting conference in over the weekend. And he asked about C's recent interview. I love being a regular. I love it very much.

Oct. 5th, 2014

knitting, yarncore
oh, i am exhausted today. but in a good way.

this weekend was the Nordic Knitting Conference, happening about 10 short blocks from my house. Klamath K (who i met through shadawyn's fiber weekends) came up to take a class and enjoy some city time. her C went off and had boy time while she crashed at my place. it was seriously a good time. my class schedule ran in a way that meant she had to entertain herself a bit more than i wanted, but she seemed well-pleased with the experience, so i won't complain. like, "honey, can we move to Ballard?" pleased.

classes were had, there was social time at Card Kingdom, a Portage Bay breakfast, lockage, late-running salmon in the fish ladder, her successful solo trip up to see Deco Japan, some of Benjamin Bagby's Beowulf, and a few episodes of Call the Midwife. plus great discussions of D&D 5e vs Pathfinder, and the role of the coach in professional sports.

the conference itself was nice. i took one class and followed my plan of spending marketplace money on raw material for gifts.

the class was a step up for me. the instructor, Judith MacKenzie, is worshipped as a god. (kind of like people used to talk about Elizabeth Zimmermann.) this was my first beyond basics spinning class, where it was assumed that i knew my wheel well and had a solid vocabulary and skillset. at first i was a bit frustrated that it wasn't quite as described in the program book, that she was a bit of a disorganized magpie, and that hand cards were on the materials list and we never used them.* but i'm definitely going to be using the techniques i learned to make holiday gifts, she was very generous with high-quality supplies, and she was a fount of tips, tricks, and factoids. i think i've got her seamless join down, and practice will shore up my semi-woolen method. it was amusing to me that as i started telling C about the class i was kind of lukewarm about the experience, but then i just kept going on and on about how cool this was and that was and things that i learned. so i'll be unpacking the class for a long time, and would pay to work with her again.

i sat beside a pair of women who had flown up from California for the weekend. they were talking casually about the other fiber events they had traveled to this year, their collections of wheels and spindles, having an upstairs e-spinner and a downstairs e-spinner, ordering custom-made spindles, and shutting back and forth between the house and the boat. (for context, they were talking about thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment and travel. they also seemed to not have jobs.) both knitting/spinning and quilting occupy this strange space where they are the hobbies of the frugal and of the leisure class. i know that working artists need the leisure class hobbyists to survive. i thought about the fiber i bought in the marketplace and realized that the vendor was also leisure class - she appears to be independently wealthy, and is selling at least part of her wares at cost. i love her work, and her pricing, but is she screwing things up for people who actually need the money?**


*i borrowed a pair, which required a bit of effort on the part of their owner. i'll make some rolags before i return them, and enjoy the social opportunity it offers. darn glad i didn't buy them for the class.
**this is similar to the unpaid or even pay-to-play intern model that is nearly required in professional theater. everyone who participates reinforces the barriers to people without those resources.

tags:

reader boys
i just keep coming back to this post, which is mostly a link to another post about reading for structure.
it has me thinking about perception a great deal, especially since i think of myself as enjoying structure, but consider the idea of a series of novels built around color references to be pretentious bullshit.

tags:

immune response

red
It seems that these days I rarely get cold symptoms in the way I used to. I get exhausted and confused, and if I can spend a day mostly sleeping, I will skip the full-on lost voice/running nose/cough whatever. I'd say that it's something else entirely, but it routinely coincides with something going around the office.
Yesterday was one of those days. Which is annoying for multiple reasons, including disqualifying me for the flu shot clinic today.

Yesterday's achievements included winding singles (proto-yarn) to free up bobbins for a spinning class this weekend, and falling asleep to the new Cosmos.

No rest after this; sprint is ending at work, company arriving Thursday evening.

Sep. 30th, 2014

red

It's raining, and I am conveniently on the bus that stops in front of my building.
I had an exhausting week, but the weekend has topped me up enough to make today work.
Saturday I gave away my soccer tickets (to a thrilled Mexican coworker) in order to do nothing. We watched the game on TV and ate amazing leftovers.
Sunday we journeyed to the wilds of the Snoqualmie valley and spent a sweet afternoon at Camlann. It was kind of the anti-renfaire, ruthlessly uncommercial and historically accurate. My inner D&D nerd (learning about arrow point design) and fiber nerd (Cotswold sheep! Weaving! Lucet! Dyeing!) were both well-pleased. We didn't stay for the Michaelmas feast, but we did get pottage on a trencher for lunch. They aren't very good at making clear that you *can* buy things there, but I did manage to walk away with their cookbook, which included the recipe for the plum dessert C had.
I still had a wee bit of energy left afterward to go have dinner and knitting in front of the TV with my Thursday knittas. I don't like fresh tomatoes, but knitta D grows delicious tiny ones in a container garden on her patio and they make her salads amazing. (I brought home a little bag of them for C, who has been eating them like candy.)

Getting the whining out of the way

red
The new lj app for iOS is shitty. The stupid thing defaults to posts from strangers AND it truncates posts without any indication that there is more to read. And no journals-only filter. I see that I can probably customize it, but the defaults are useless to me.


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Aug. 3rd, 2014

Seattle
the article about land use in Silicon Valley and San Francisco that i was talking about last night:
burrowing owls, vomiting anarchists

Seattle has different issues, but shares the problem of rising housing costs and an increasingly large well-paid workforce segment choking out the less affluent population, plus a vocal group of existing land owners. my neighborhood is a hot one. our rent will be increasing next month; right now the math says sit tight (can't find a rent that is low enough to make up for the costs of moving) while figuring out a new plan. that's the thing that really gets me - i feel like our rent is ridiculous, but newer buildings are charging more. other desirable neighborhoods and older buildings aren't cheaper. (desirable for us means frequent bus service and a grocery store, not necessarily hip. even "unsafe" neighborhoods are surprisingly close to our current costs.) from there we get into being forced back into car ownership and then the savings has been chewed up in car...and there's a loss of quality of life that can't be calculated. frex, getting rid of the dog is not on the table. don't get me wrong, i'm still glad to be able to call maintenance when the disposal acts up, i hate yard work with a passion, and the thought of dealing with a HOA makes me ill. trade offs.

Seattle remains beautiful and charming and the home of my heart. right now there is a project putting pianos in the parks. the one by our house is decorated with a dragon's head and a stripy sail. it's seen steady use and has been accreting a free library of music books and even some hand percussion.

last night we went to see Mirror, Mirror. it was a charming production, in a little amphitheater that is invisible from the street. there was a whole picnic plan that was slightly scuttled by the (unknown to us) preshow lecture by Mark Okrand and being on a concrete bench instead of the lawn we imagined. but we improvised successfully and even shared our snacks with the people around us. beet sandwiches! generic blood orange soda! clementines! mutant pretzels! cheese! i'm sorry that there wasn't much opportunity to chat with ethnomuse due to the lecture, but there were bonus joyful_storm and samildanach so i count the whole thing as a win.

i enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy quite a bit. i don't know how i would rank it against the other Marvel movies...it's from a different place. it belongs in the Big Trouble in Little China and Hot Fuzz part of the Venn diagram. (i consider Hot Fuzz a masterpiece of its form. GotG isn't that good. i have now caused myself to wish for the alt-universe Edgar Wright version of the film.) anyway, there were several points that were so very close to moments from the history of my Friday gaming group. (most of the time i play Gamora, but there are definitely times when i am Groot.)

Jul. 26th, 2014

tardis
quote from a friend who is re-entering the dating pool:
every woman in Seattle is either on Machu Picchu, rock climbing, or coming out of a TARDIS. and they all knit. i guess i need to watch Doctor Who.*

* * *

on a somewhat related note, C and i recently watched Mike Magee's Day Off, which is incredibly well-done and the best thing since The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. it amuses me to no end that my sportsball fandom is the one i can't fully share with my RL friends or coworkers.

* * *

our July camping trip this year included emergency relocation due to the creek rising and creating a brand new waterfall through our usual campsite. fortunately this happened during the day, and with the help of the rest of the party we managed to go from "i think this might flood" to full relocation and reset of three tents in about 20 minutes, all before any damage was done.

no, there was damage: we typically stock a weir in the creek with drinks (glacier runoff makes a great cooler) and the canned beverages were carried away. pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and a normal water level for comparison.

and pirate E's parents managed to escape their truck before it exploded.

ultimately a good time was had by all, and i have taught another person that properly prepared beets don't taste like dirt.

* * *
the flowerboxes are thriving.

* * *
work is very busy for me. work is slow for C, so he's on a new clients/new contracts campaign. on one hand, it's excellent to see all the cool things he's done lined up on his resume, on the other hand resumes are hard and horrible and i feel like writing/editing professionals have an extra burden when it comes to polishing the damn things. *shudder*

* * *
i finally finished spinning some fiber i bought at Madrona, and knit it into a hat that was just the thing for camping. (i seriously considered taking my wheel, because busting it out by the campfire would have been badass, but we agreed that puffy fiber and the occasional bit of flying ash and leaf litter and bugs really don't mix.) camping did allow me to finish the stupid socks that are too narrow for my feet, so those are heading varina8's way soon. (i did try them on at regular intervals and everything seemed fine. but after i turned the heel i realized that they were not going to be for me. if i frogged them at that point i was going to be less happy than if i gave them to someone with different feet. i AM the boss of you, stupid skinny socks.)



*someone on OKCupid lost interest in him, based on his Doctor Who deficiency. I LOVE THIS TOWN. don't worry, he went home with DVDs.

linkety-boom

internet!
some days, i feel like doing an embroidery project:


but for those days when i don't (most days) there is totally a meme generator based on the Bayeux tapestry.

* * *
this world cup season brought me r/footballhotties.* there's a lot of the Secretary of Defense on the front page right now.

* * *
in honor of the release of more Girls und Panzer, i give you the full-length anglerfish dance:


*still not as awesome as beardsgonecuddly.

Jun. 22nd, 2014

red
in the wake of recent revelations about the Disney adaptation of Into the Woods, i sat down to rewatch the 1990 recording with mimerki. conclusion: someone at Disney must have optioned the rights in order to keep it from ever being made into a film, then years later someone who didn't know the show said, "hey! a fairytale musical? why haven't we made this yet?"

meanwhile, they drove a dumptruck of money up to Stephen Sondheim's house. what could he do?

i think it's a really interesting show to watch with kids. but you have to be ready to talk about the issues raised. well, we don't dare screw with our ability to pop something in the DVD player and leave.

it could turn out to have many fine qualities while being a terrible adaptation (ask me sometime about my love of Hans Christian Andersen stories). i won't be giving them any money for this one.

sidenote: i thought i would introduce M to Meryl Streep's "singing", only to discover that Mamma Mia is not available for streaming or rental.

forgettable

siff
in my excitement about Bound yesterday, i forgot that i also saw Big in Japan. (to be fair, i ran home in between films, walked the dog, visited C at Market Arms and downed a Crabbie's while catching a bit of the second half of the USA v Nigeria pre-World Cup friendly.)

Big in Japan
Seattle band Tennis Pro attempts to create some interest by touring in Japan. (it's fictionalish.) i went because i liked the affable Outsourced from a few years ago, so i keep an eye out for director John Jeffcoat. other than the "woo! they're playing Chop Suey! woo! they're heading west on Northgate!" aspect of films made in Seattle, i wasn't getting much joy from this one. OTOH, Lost in Translation also did nothing for me, so i'd be interested in hearing an opinion from someone else who saw both films but dug Lost in Translation because i suspect they were trying for similar things and failed with me for similar reasons. the highlight of the film for me was finding out what the heck the lyrics were to this song that is on the SIFF pre-film playlist (and i like the animation):

the cookies are poisoned

siff
Bound: Africans vs African Americans

i feel like i'm going to be talking about this movie for days and weeks. there's so much to think about and chew over. while the aim is to foster understanding between Africans and the African diaspora, it is truly enlightening to watch as a white American. highly recommended.
siff
it was beautiful outside yesterday (and game was canceled). i left work early enough to eat a leisurely sandwich in the sun on the lawn of SCCC. i'd ordered a half; the guy at the counter apologized for giving me an extra-large sandwich since the loaf had been miscut. quelle horreur! but it really was more food than i wanted, and as i stalled out and was holding the end in my hand, a woman came by and asked if she could have a bite of my sandwich. i gave it to her. she continued on, content.

i saw a line starting to pile up for my film, so i moseyed over to get a queue card, and rapidly made a friend in line who invited me to go with her to Rancho Bravo once we had our cards. i agreed to go keep her company, and ended up having a great chat about films and being treated to a piping hot order of sweet plantains. why the hell have i never gone to Rancho Bravo before? we exchanged names *after* we were inside the theater and had split up to take our favorite seats. like you do.*

i had several other friends in the house, but i decided to keep my legroom seat and hang out after.

To Be Takei (feature) and The Missing Scarf (short)
the showing was plagued by technical issues. since we were in the Egyptian, during one of the glitches a wag called out "501501".**
the feature was a pleasant and funny portrait of Takei and his husband. i was surprised that while i knew about his childhood in the internment camps, i had no idea that he had been involved in Los Angeles city government for over a decade. or that he's been involved in a musical. even if you're not a Trekker or a fan of his Facebook page, he's an interesting American. recommended, but no need to rush to the theater. it will be a nice thing to watch on Netflix.
the short was an animated film narrated by Takei. i had seen it previously at the members' preview - Carl Spence was thoroughly enamored with it. it starts out as a comforting children's story about a squirrel looking for his scarf, dispensing advice to his neighbors along the way...highly recommended. (it was online for a while but seems to have been pulled while it's on the festival circuit.)

there was visiting with coffee afterwards, and a ride home with more chatting, and then i found C and Molly in the hallway. puppy kisses, husband kisses, followed by family walking time and reading and sleeping. a good day.

*i had to work to get her head out of her book in order to do so. MY PEOPLE.
**there's a campaign to raise money for refurbishing the Egyptian. text SIFF to 501501.

Black face in a white place

siff
Dear White People
Billed as a satire, the film was more complex and less over-the-top than expected. It follows an ensemble cast of black students at a fictional Ivy League school - they were all well-rounded, with flaws and complex motivations, and even the villains weren't so much villainous as ignorant. It's an impressive balancing act that grants insight without alienation. And yes, it is funny, but in a wry vein. Dear white people: let's have more characters of color who aren't maids, slaves, or wise men. Recommended.


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Let's not screw this one up

siff
The Breach
Work-in-progress screening.
Doc about salmon, the majority of which is about the fight over the Pebble Mine project near Bristol Bay Alaska. The EPA exists in order to shut down those kind of fucktards, may they prevail.
The first part of the film covers the salmon life cycle, and a lot of other issues, including pollution, dams, and salmon farming. Reading about why you shouldn't eat farmed salmon is one thing, seeing sweet little smolts covered in bloated sea lice is another thing.
Right now it's too long, and they know it. I see a great deal of potential in it and I hope that they can get picked up by a big showcase for docs like HBO. Recommended.


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red
ironymaiden
Queen of the Surface Streets
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