in a perfect world of yancies: July 2008

29 July 2008

Rainier Than Thou

On Friday we're setting out to tackle Mt Rainier.

Okay, not tackle, exactly. "Spend a couple of nights near" would be more accurate . . .

Last Saturday, we dropped Emily's parents of at the start of the Wonderland Trail, which takes you around the mountain in about 93 miles. If all goes as planned (and why wouldn't it? It's just a giant mountain and an unusually cold and wet year, right?) we'll meet up with them for their last couple of days.

In preparation, we did a little shopping--got ourselves some freeze dried huevos rancheros; and I may even wear convertible pants!

Mimi walked Fran and Dave to the trailhead

what are the campsites like this cold, wet summer?

Huh. Um, yeah, we'll just join you for a night or two . . .

Here they are, just as they set out

view of the mountain

looks like it's not quite picnic season--can you spot the table on the right?

26 July 2008

Summer Fun

Yes, the line for those of us who bought our tickets early to the Capitol Hill Block Party was longer than for day-of sales. But whatever--a lovely day, a closed off street, $2 PBR, four stages with all sorts of good music . . .

Girl Talk was a lot of fun.

Guess I'm just drawn to musicians who like to bring the crowd up on stage . . . us? no, no . . .

[Updated, 22:05: want to watch the whole set? Go ahead.]

Highlight for us, though, was definitely Vampire Weekend. Their set was great (played their whole album, plus a couple of new ones ("every song we know")). Almost as exciting was their entrance: they were introduced by Christine Gregoire, the governor of Washington! (If you're wondering, yes, she was "fired up," even at 10:45pm.)

We also recently enjoyed over four hours of beautiful, bruising roller derby action featuring the Rat City Rollergirls. Super cool.

What else? Oh, Fran and Dave are in the area--we hung out for a couple of days, and then dropped them off on Mt Rainier . . .

How cool is it that my phone knew where we were, even out on the water?

View Larger Map

Probably can't see it, but Rainier is there, just above and to the right of Emily.

See Emily Play Run!

Running? Yes, running! Now featuring an interactive website and (beta release) training program, which--combined with the fancy pedometer on Emily's shoe--is, I admit, pretty cool.

You can also track her progress in a bit more detail over on her page on the Nike+ site.

Finally, a taco truck follow-up: my favorite place, Tacos El Asadero, recently got some good press in Seattle's Only Newspaper. Mmm. I'm hungry.

21 July 2008

Happy Blog-iversary!

(Thanks, Mimi, for the title)

Just three short years since I started this fun little blog . . .

I thought we might spend the holiday (?) with some of my favorite photos, highlights, and most popular posts. Please (please!) enjoy.

These photos, from my first and second posts, are still worth a look, no?

Funny to think that I'm still working on that paper on eikasia in Plato's Republic that I mentioned back in August '05, and presented in New York later that year, no? Fortunately now I'm revising in response to some helpful comments from some reviewers at a journal. I may just finish this paper yet!

Great shot of Emily and her grandparents:

And who could forget the ten-year reunion (two different posts!)?

Thanks again, Marisa, for helping make our trip out there possible!

Remember when Emily worked for Unity? Remember when she guest blogged about it?
(That's Job 1, in Missouri, if you want to keep track. Then it was Augie, of course. For her most recent digs, try this post.)

In the winter of our first blog year, I knit myself a scarf, as you may recall.

And then we rang in 2006, complete with cheesy graphics and Aaron Dopf's middle finger . . .

Month by month seems like a drag, no?
How about some facts and figures?

Most comments on a single post: 14, on Speaking of Tacos.

A lot (most?) of those were my own, so I'll also mention the runners up, all tied at 7 apiece:

Speed, Song, and a Writing Sample
Big in Japan
How Walkable Are You, Reader?

Not exactly comments, but one of the liveliest threads was an email discussion that I pasted into the blog, which was also the source of my title--thanks again, Deron.

Speaking of politics, ever wonder how many times the name "Obama" has been said?

All right! Double digits!
[Updated 7:43AM Tuesday: and I forgot to include the post with this great speech, since I didn't actually use his name in it . . .]

Most popular month ever
Not the taco post, not the time that a Japanese blogger thought my mom was pretty.

No, the single most popular month was the month when I had up an mp3 of a certain song (I fear that if I name it, I'll just get people's hopes up again. And no, I don't think it was just a passing craze.)

561 hits that month, a small number, but a record around here.

How about places visited?
Montana, as mentioned above; other times too . . .
NYC, also mentioned above
central Indiana (Mimi on a tractor!)
our nation's capital
San Diego
Kansas and environs (I don't have to say that state's name twice in one post, do I?)
And we drove from Chicago all the way to Seattle
Texas, of course
Illinois counts now that we live out here, right?
Some of us even went to Alaska . . .

[Updated 8:03AM Tuesday: you want a map? Oh fine:]

View Larger Map

We had our share of visitors, too, like when my mom visited us in Rock Island.

I'm still waiting
That universal library discussion still thrills me. Every book to every person.

Weddings are fun
Emily and I were fortunate to be invited to a few over the past three years:
Christa and Jed Baughman
Trace and Julie
Chris and Carrie
Rodrigo and Nora
Todd and Brandy

Oh, and in case you forgot
The Jayhawks won the National Championship!

18 July 2008

Coffee, Phone, Blog

A list of all a guy like me really needs? Or just a lazy catalogue-style post title? We may never know.

First off, take a look at this:

One of the prettiest cups of coffee I've ever been served. Even the barista seemed slightly surprised at how nice it looked. From Vivace, my favorite, favorite place here (and trust me, there are a lot of options).

Alas, that location is now closed. But don't worry, it closed for a good cause--there will soon (just eight years!) be an underground train line here. And Vivace will reopen, in the unfortunately-named Brix condo building, expected to open in September.

In any case, a lovely (and delicious) cup of coffee.

Now about that phone
Here's a photograph of a handsome couple, taken with my phone a couple of weeks ago:

So anyway my _new_ phone (okay, my old phone with it's new software--whatever) does many, many wonderful things that that old phone couldn't, and it even has a shake-to-operate restaurant finder, but what I like the best right now is what the upgrade's done for my photography.

(Too many Times links? Sorry. If it makes you feel any better, their iPhone app is pretty lame (maybe my saying so in this widely-read forum will encourage them to work on an update?))

Notice anything different in that photo of the Apple store the from the other day? Take another look:

The super cool thing going on there, but not when I took the photo of Fran and Dave (invisible to the naked eye) is that my phone now knows where it is when it takes pictures. Click on that photo and be amazed by the map that should show up alongside it, showing you almost exactly where the Seattle Apple store is. Awesome.

Lastly, look: I'm top ten!
Now, I've only done a handful of posts there (compared to 100+ by that jseattle), but top ten at anything isn't the sort of thing I'm inclined to ignore. Huzzah.

16 July 2008

Get It?

Still no MacBook (though I hear it's on the way home at last), but I thought I'd go political with this brief post while we wait.

So on the one hand, there's this New Yorker cover:

Now, I guess I see why Obama and his campaign are a little upset, but don't worry, please--most of us (even in Montana!) do get it. (Thanks for the heads-up on that Op-Ed piece, Mom.)

On the other hand, alas, it looks like most white US residents just don't get it:

I suppose it's nice to know there's room to improve . . .

Thoughts, reader?

12 July 2008

You want an iPhone, you say?

Little did we realize what we were getting into when we scheduled an
in-store consult today. The good news is that we only had to wait 30
minutes, and the laptop should be home by next week.

I probably won't post much until then; thanks, dear readers, for
reading, and thanks for your patience.

10 July 2008

Todd & Brandy (And other fun in St Louis)

Congratulations to Todd & Brandy Hughes, married this past 5th of July.

Brandon Hughes, who is on his way to seminary, officiated, and did a very nice job.

Nice visit to St Louis. (Not to sound clichéd, but I did want to mention that if you, reader, are considering a trip to the Gateway City, I'd advise spring or fall--summer in Missouri is a bit on the sticky side.)

At the rehearsal dinner (or was it lunch?)

Before the wedding, we played a few holes (?) of disc golf at Creve Coeur Park:

(Not the best course, so no link; but Emily's form looks good, no?)

Back at the Hughes' place, they were ready for the wedding--and the reception!

I am a huge fan of this photo. Emily looks lovely, Grandpa Hughes is a super cool guy, and he's wearing a button with (high school age) Todd in a hockey uniform . . .

When the ceremony was completed, they released butterflies. Very cool.

Now, before those butterflies were let go, I offered a brief reading during the ceremony. Was quite an honor to be asked. And what did I read? Plato, of course!

Want to take a look? I put the text online, so that I could read it from my iPhone . . . (I figured oldest text and newest medium would be a nice pair).

Congrats, kids!

And then the reception:

That's Larry there cutting some cake

There he is

Todd, Magen, and Braxton

Next day, I started craving tacos with things like onions and cilantro; luckily yelp led me to Taqueria Los Tarascos.

Later that day, we had a nice dinner with the Bolsers.

Janet and Diana

And then on Sunday we all got together at Emily's grandparents to watch (and help? a little?) Dave cut some branches off of a tree.

The day ended with Emily and Fran making a Caesar salad, complete with table-side presentation:

Where did that salad come from? And why is it called that? And can anyone eat it without eventually confronting those questions? That evening, we appealed to Wikipedia, so I'll invite you, dear reader, to do the same.


03 July 2008

Oh, Nation

Well, there's plenty one could complain about this Independence Day--from the Supreme Court's reckless stupidity to inspiring candidates' unfortunate ideological collapses--but I thought I'd stay away from that sort of thing (wink).

Instead, let me offer a couple of patriotic videos from the past. A few weeks ago, during the Seattle International Film Festival, Emily and I were able to view Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky. The coolest part of the whole thing was that the it was shown at Benaroya Hall while the Seattle Symphony Orchestra played the Prokofiev soundtrack live during the film. Very cool. (Alas, our affordable seats left us leaning around the violins to see the subtitles, but, you know, whatever.)

A bit from the film:

As you can see, Eisenstein does some lovely things with framing; as you can imagine, that all looks much better on the big screen. Thank goodness things like SIFF exist.

Perhaps one of the most fun aspects for me was getting ready for the show by reading contemporary reviews. Here's a bit from Frank S. Nugent's 1939 Times review:
''Eisenstein's work can no more withstand the ordinary critical scrutiny, a judgment based on the refinement and subtlety of its execution, than, say, the hydraulic sculpture and rock blasting that Gutzon Borglum is dashing off on Mount Rushmore.''
He concludes:
"It is impossible not to admire Eisenstein's colossal unconcern with [some] refinements of film-making, not to marvel at his stylistic insistence that all people walk along a sky-line, and not to wish, in the same breath, that more directors had his talent for doing great things so well and little things so badly."

The music, of course, was also incredible.
Here's a performance (St Petersburg Philharmonic?) of Emily's favorite song from the soundtrack, "Arise People of Russia":

Speaking of Emily and YouTube, you're also welcome, over the holiday weekend, to enjoy videos from her trip to Alaska.

Cheers, reader. Happy Fourth. See you next week.