in a perfect world of yancies: May 2008

31 May 2008

More Fun From Alaska

So matching the NW Archivists' blog with the photos I've been grabbing remotely off of Emily's hard drive, I'm thinking that these pictures could be paired with the following brief caption:

Portage Glacier and the Alyeska Tram

Visual Resources Archivist: Peter F. Schmid, CA

(Thanks for the spelling help, Providence Archives Services page)
(And thanks Peter, for sharing the pictures from your camera!)

Associate Archivist: Emily Hughes Dominick, MA, CA

30 May 2008

Some People Have All the Fun

In particular, Emily. (At least lately.)

Right now she's up in Alaska for a conference . . . Looks great, no?

Not exactly sure where these are taken, but I think they're great.

Especially this one.

Interested in the conference itself (starts today)? Follow along on the conference blog. I know I will!

27 May 2008


Last weekend was the Sasquatch! Music Festival, at the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington. Great music. Incredible venue.

Enjoying the view, and Fleet Foxes, at the Gorge

And then it got cloudy

Still some good views behind us, though, no?

As you may recall, MIA likes to bring the kids up on stage . . . good times

Like me new shirt? What about the charming expression on my face?

We also saw a fun set by Dengue Fever, including this song which of course made us both think of Merrica:
Tiger Phone Card - Dengue Fever
If you have trouble understanding & want lyrics, check here.

New Pornographers--and they were all there, too!

Sun peeking through the clouds

Despite the rain, the cold, and the late hour, REM was the highlight of the day for me. Too bad our camera is no good at low-light stuff . . .

Hopefully there will soon be pictures and such on the REM website.

For no real reason, during the early part of the REM set I kept mock-shouting "play Harborcoat," a song from their 1984 release Reckoning; a song that they almost never play: twice in twenty-five years, according to one source--okay, according to the band. Right after they played it Saturday night!!!

In case you want to hear it:
Harborcoat - R.E.M.

22 May 2008

A Few Pictures

Okay, I've decided to stop waiting until I have time and instead just put up some photos. Thanks for your patience.

Well, a couple of weeks ago we rode our bikes down to Seward Park. Now, our rides have gotten fewer and farther between lately (and I still haven't tried out my fenders in the rain--too busy? too lazy? somewhere in between, most likely), but hopefully that'll be rectified soon.

Overlooking I-90 from Lake Washington Boulevard, a road that gets shut down every couple of weeks so that bicyclists can have it all to themselves (though not actually at the part pictured. whatever). Good stuff.

And we saw the impressive exhibition of Roman art from the Louvre at the Seattle Art Museum.

Took enough trouble to sneak this photo of Emily and a handsome moose, so I have no photos of the Roman art . . . but you get the idea, right?

And the insanely bright flowers continue to bloom.

And we tried another taco truck, Taqueria La Fondita #2.

Delicious. I recommend the adobada.

Lastly, we attended a couple of screenings at the Northwest Film Forum, which was offering a series called Duel of the Cool: "In the cinematic bout of the century, [Jean-Paul] Belmondo and [Marcello] Mastroianni duke it out in three rounds of classic European cinema! We'll be running a month-long audience survey to determine which actor wins the title of 'King Of Cool.'"

Great poster, no?
Due to scheduling issues and such, we ended up seeing only two films, both of which we'd seen before, but seeing and Pierrot Le Fou on the big screen was pure cool.

And the winner? See for yourself. Who would you vote for, reader? Our candidate won this one, if you're wondering (hope that sentence stays true for some other elections . . .).

16 May 2008

Any Time, Any Place

This video of Obama is too good to ignore.

Best quote?

"If George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America, that is a debate I am happy to have any time, any place.”

My life? More on that shortly, if all goes as planned.

Have a great weekend, reader. It's sunny and in the 70's here (or the 20's, in case Merrica still reads this blog), so I'm on my way out the door . . .

10 May 2008

What-topia? And am I Being too Concrete?

First off, I promised a few posts back that I'd get you that tv-spot featuring Braxton. Please enjoy.

Next, some thought-provoking findings
The Times recently reported on a study published in the 25 April issue of Science that suggests that using concrete, real-world-ish examples in math classes may actually distract from learning.

The students who learned the math abstractly did well with figuring out the rules of the game. Those who had learned through examples using measuring cups or tennis balls performed little better than might be expected if they were simply guessing.

Just guessing? That has some potentially wild ramifications, and not just for math, but also for my own classes. In fact, I was recently discussing how helpful examples seem to be in the classroom . . . perhaps I and my colleagues have been misled by our own preconceptions? Yow.

(And if you're suspicious of my claim that math and philosophy stand quite close to one another, then I recommend more of both!)

In other news, Emily has been wearing this lovely coat lately:

And I put fenders on my bike! Hope it rains soon! (Seriously--I hope it rains soon; I want to see how well they work.)

Finally, I recently discovered McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey. Pretty peat-y, but with a smooth finish. How could you not like it when they say on the website that it "would be a single malt Scotch if Oregon were Scotland"?

Does that even make sense? Maybe it will after one more taste?

Cheers, reader.

03 May 2008

Speaking of Tacos

(Thanks, Los Taco Trucks, for the photo.)

So the other morning NPR ran this story about a website that lists addresses and reviews of taco trucks on the west coast. Now as you may have noticed in my last post, I'm a fan of the taco. As much as I love Seattle, however, there is a severe--and severely disappointing--lack of worthwhile Mexican food here. Having spent so much time around Chicago, where there's lots of great Mexican, it's been an unpleasant adjustment. So when I heard that story, I got pretty excited: Mexican! West coast!

Alas, when I took a look at the website ( I discovered that Portland was the closest place they list . . .

Now, it was some comfort that we were able to use our new tortilla press and some of Mark Bittman's recipes from last week to make some tasty tacos at home, but, well, it's just not the same.

Just as I'd resigned myself to this bland fate, however, Emily stumbled across a piece on some local taco trucks in the Seattle Weekly.

At this point, two main things became clear: all hope was not lost; and people really seem to be talking about tacos a lot lately. Indeed, there was a front page story in today's Times about recent legal issues confronting taco trucks in LA, which included this charming passage:

This a where you can pave over a freeway’s carpool lanes with toll roads, and few will complain. You can propose a 40-story skyrise in the center of Hollywood, and hardly anyone two miles to the west will take notice. You can squander public money, close down the ports and flatten landmarks, and many residents of this sprawling metropolis will simply yawn and move on.

But this is also a food-obsessed city with rich Hispanic cultural traditions, and tacos have crossed the miles of road and class divides.

Ah, tacos . . .

Anyhow, this evening we booked ourselves a Zipcar (Flexcar was bought out, but whatever), drove down to the Columbia City neighborhood, and had some terrific carnitas at Tacos El Asadero. Delicious, affordable, and served in a bus that's been converted into a a tiny kitchen and ten-stool seating area. What could be better?

Emily, in fact, said that it was the best carnitas she had ever had. Oh how I love a happy ending.

Now why is it that good food like that is served in a converted bus miles from the supposedly cool part of the city where we live? I don't know, but there's something wrong somewhere. The writer of this '04 review in the Stranger agrees, though, that's it's worth the trouble getting there.

Overwhelmingly positive reviews on yelp seem to share the sentiment as well.

Also, note that the link I put for the taco place is not to their own website (they sell tacos for $1.20 in a converted bus!); it's to a site that seems to do a decent (if not particularly up to date) job of tracking local taco trucks, called Los Taco Trucks.
Why did I use their photo above? Well, here's the one I took with my phone:

Oh, and what are carnitas? Try the Wikipedia entry.

02 May 2008

Sweet Corn and Cast Iron

So I was craving tortillas the other day. And not flour tortillas (as if); not that hard-shell nonsense you eat as a kid; definitely not the months-old "fresh corn tortillas" they sell at the grocery store here. . . . But it's such a pain to make them yourself, all that rolling and whatnot.

We looked around, though, and found a great looking, simple, cast iron tortilla press online. Wow. And so cute!

And for sale just a couple miles away, near Pike Place. Within 90 minutes (we jogged down there, thinking it was a good excuse to get some exercise) we were making our own delicious tortillas. Mmmm.

What's the recipe, you ask? Pretty straight-forward:

1 cup water (or slightly more if things seem too dry)
2 cups masa harina (corn flour)

Mix. Press.

Cook in a skillet for a couple minutes. (Preferably in the cute new miniature cast iron skillet you just got.)

Fill with something tasty like homemade black beans.

Add your favorite toppings. Me, I like it simple--cilantro y cebolla, as they say.

Eat. Be amazed.

Best purchase ever? Definitely in the running.