with up so floating many bells down: cool things on October 14

So today is Columbus Day in the US, but seriously, screw that guy. Let’s talk about some better things!

Like that fact that October 14 is the birthday of both E. E. Cummings and Ben Whishaw, brought heartbreakingly together in this clip from The Hour:


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Self-indulgent food post

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While I am normally not the kind of person who takes pictures of food, this is delicious and beautiful and I made it. Spinach, red onion, strawberries, and fake Chik’n, topped with raspberry vinaigrette and paired with Deschutes Brewerystout.

Most stuff I cook is about at this level of complexity — sautee, mix, put on plate, put in face — but I’m really proud of it because for a long time, the level of cooking I could do topped out at “boil water, put in instant soup.” And now, via a careful curated combination of being addicted to Chopped on the Food Network and drawing inspiration from restaurants (thanks for this salad, Bear Tooth!), plus a couple of inpspirational friends (like Jessica D-G and Rachel H), I cook meals for myself more days a week than I don’t, on average. Like an adult! Or something.

Next step: cooking for other people?…

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“This Year”

I did a thing with my face! And a piano! And my terrible, terrible computer mic!

I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t harbor dreams of being ~discovered~ via YouTube. Hopefully only for singing and not for playing piano, though, as I have never managed to record myself playing a song perfectly.

But y’know, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and all I care about at this point is that this song turned out good. It’s a good song, in basically every sense of the word. It got me through a very low patch in my life about two years ago.

And it also turns out to be super fun to play on the piano, although trying to pound out eighth notes with my left hand stretched over a whole octave is kind of awkward. (I have tiny T. Rex hands.) You can find chords here, although I futzed with them a little for this.

Pater noster, mater nostra

ImageI’m practically the definition of a lapsed Catholic. I don’t go to mass, but I feel vaguely guilty about it, especially at Easter; I can’t help doing a Sign of the Cross when I walk into a church, but I haven’t been to confession in years; I have Opinions on the new wording of the mass that are decidedly mixed because come on, “and with your spirit,” but maybe “consubstantial” is a little closer to the original Latin, I don’t know. I’ve thought about writing at greater length about why the Church and I have been “It’s Complicated” on Facebook for some years now — the Church’s attitudes towards women and the LGBTQ community, my skepticism towards any long-entrenched organization, the Church’s scandals — and maybe one day I will, but for now, it’s not necessary to do so. Though the Church and I may not always get along, I still consider myself a spiritual person and more Christian than anything.

So today we went to the Vatican.

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Buen viaje y buen camino

A fountain in Barcelona by night.

A fountain in Barcelona by night.

One year ago, I left Alaska for points east (Barcelona) and then began trekking back west (Seattle, via New York, via Santiago, via Pamplona).

August 23, 2012

LAFAYETTE, WE ARE HERE.

Here being Barcelona! With all the time zone changes, we got here . . . Approx. 36 hours after leaving the house. So since the Camino pilgrimage – and indeed, all pilgrimages – traditionally begins with the first step out your door, I have been on pilgrimage since yesterday.

It is, as Bilbo said, a dangerous business, stepping out your front door, but thus far the worst we’ve had to deal with was non-functioning wifi in Heathrow and the hostel mixing up our reservation such that we have a room with a shared bath rather than a private.

There are a lot of “One year ago I…” moments coming up, and I have hundreds of photos from the Camino that I never posted anywhere, so expect a lot of those, and a lot of nostalgia, in the next month and a half.

A brief break from banging my head against walls

Dean Winchester: Of course I'm fine! [internally screaming]Do you have any idea how much work it takes to get a project really fully integrated into the Internet?

I’m currently working as a producer’s assistant and Jack-of-all-trades for Burmer Music’s Dante’s Inferno: The Ballet. (Check out our website! Like us on Facebook!) A whole lot of what I’m doing is very similar to what I did working at Alaska Theatre of Youth (like them on Facebook too!): website maintenance, Facebook, mailing lists, merchandise management, a certain level of production management.

The difference here is that, because Burmer Music is a fairly new company, I’m building the digital infrastructure from scratch. That means signing up for MailChimp, creating a Facebook page for Dante’s Inferno (seriously go like us on Facebook!), signing up for eBay and PayPal, attempting to navigate eBay’s stupidly Byzantine interface (I just want to add a listing to my store not my main seller’s account, why is that so hard, eBay?! And what happened to my 150 free listings a month?!), and so on and so on and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting paid and I like the project! It’s just so much time-consuming fiddly work, and everything wants everything else to be integrated, and it’s just — Sisyphean.

Wait. Wait. Is this the tenth circle of Hell? The one reserved for Millennials who take pictures of their food and crosspost every thought that passes through their heads on all their social media networks? OH GOD.

This is the BEST MORNING.

While waiting for my (very late) bus I got a comment notification, a pingback to my TARDIS post, from oh my god I’m on Slacktivist.

I wish I could do a longer post to say hello to everyone coming over here, but I am at work pie-mongering.

But! I am very pleased you’re over here, and I encourage you to click around and follow if you like what you see; there’s a convenient box to do so on the sidebar!

Thanks for reading!

The 2013 Room Clean, pt. The Last

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And so, after a little more than two weeks, I’m packed up for Seattle again. The tumble of boxes looks worse than it is: the stuffed animals will go up above my closet, safe from the ravages of mice, and most of the other boxes are empty. You can see above my dresser a couple dozen empty hangers, the result of me going at my wardrobe with ruthless abandon.

It was a pretty successful room cleaning, all told, though it was very much an emotional rollercoaster. I had the opportunity to remove the last vestiges of some negative influences in my life (I should have burned some sage) and the chance to revisit happy times in my past.

It’s a strange feeling, being home like this, going through the accumulations of my life. Like taking hold of some kind of umbilical cord and finding it electrified.

I’m looking forward to getting back to Seattle.

I have at least one more Obscure Books video to edit together, and I’m bringing some back down the Lower 48 with me, so I may be able to do more. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading along and putting up with my spam the last two weeks!

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The Doctor lands in Alaska

The Doctor lands in Alaska

So I’m visiting my family in Alaska, right? And we go to Homer, which is a small tourist/fishing town, and after dinner we drive out to see if we can spot any moose on the outskirts of town.

Instead we found this.

It’s next to some industrial oil/gas building, tucked into a copse of trees and cow parsnips but still visible from the road. It had clearly been touched up recently, as there was blue paint on the plants next to it, and it showed no signs of having weathered an Alaska winter. Who the hell built it and maintains it? Why put it there? And is it really bigger on the inside? That I’ll never know; the doors wouldn’t open.

Shine on, Alaskan Whovian, shine on.

ETA: Two more pictures; all of these are courtesy my mother, who blogs over at roadtripteri.com.

Redwaaaaaall! [The 2013 Room Clean, pt. oh god I don’t know]

I found these tiny clay sculptures cleaning my room. I made them when I was young and obsessed with Redwall. They are: an otter, a weasel (or possibly a fox, but I think I’d have made it red or orange if it were a fox), a mole (complete with cute little claws on the ends of its pink claws) and a rather nice squirrel.

What the heck do I do with these? They’re cute, I guess, but they’re really busted up. There’s certainly no place to display them in my room right now.

I guess they go back in a box to be stored with the rest of my “Keep forever despite all logic” tchotkes, and someday when my descendants are going through all my accumulated crap, they can wonder at them.