in a perfect world of yancies: 2011

29 December 2011

Here's to An Amazing Year!

Tree: Fisheye
Let's be clear: 2011 was just about the coolest year ever. And I have high hopes for '12 too!

In the meantime, how about some fifth day of Christmas fun? The photo up above was taken with the cool fisheye iPhone lens that my mom got me.

Here's a photo taken from exactly the same spot with the normal lens:
Tree: Normal View
Wild, huh?

Got some great SmartWool stuff from the Iwanski's, but the package was just as cool as the gift:
To: Mr Yancy Pantsy

Meanwhile, Mimi is keeping warm in this handsome hat:
Nice Hat!

And I went for a run. Here's a map:

Okay, reader, we've got a few things to take care of, and then we're off for a mini vacation hiking and snowshoeing in one of my very favorite places: Olympic National Park!

Happy New Year!

23 December 2011

Home for the Holidays

Since we have one or two amazing reasons why we can't really travel right now, we were happy that my mom was able to come share some holiday cheer with us here in Seattle.
Yancy & Mom at Benaroya
Enjoyed the decorations at Benaroya Hall. And really enjoyed the Seattle Symphony's performance of Handel's Messiah.

Seattle Symphony Holiday Fun

Had a nice time around Capitol Hill too. Elliott Bay Book Company was wonderful, and wonderfully helpful—even helped my mom ship some gifts overseas! Glad to see that local independent bookstores like Elliott Bay are having a good year.

Emily and I loved the Volunteer Park Conservatory's Holiday Display:
Volunteer Park Conservatory Holiday Display

And the Olsen Farms stand at the Broadway Sunday Farmers Market was a big hit:
Brent of Olsen Farms: Xmas Spirit

Potato wreath, garland, snowman, and tree:
Olsen Farms Xmas Fun
Leg of lamb and potatoes from Olsen Farms for dinner, along with brussels sprouts from Willie Green's. Delicious!

And of course there were presents!

New Gloves!

Thanks for a great year reader, and Merry Christmas!

08 December 2011

Advent Is Upon Us

I just love this time of year!

Sure, there are people out there who really get the wrong idea about what this holiday means...

And sure, I'm firmly on Jon Stewart's side...

But trees, lights, songs? What's not to love?

Speaking of songs, here's a favorite:

And speaking of advent, how about one more beautiful photo?
28 Weeks

27 November 2011

Black Oak Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving
Great Thanksgiving with the Hughes family!

(And some Iwanski's; and some Campbells too, of course...)

Evan was in fine form:
Evan (2)

Dave and Fran tried out a great technique with the turkey: just popped all the meat off of the carcass and carved it afterward:
Carved and Ready to Serve
Sensible and delicious!

(Nice job cutting sage for the serving platter, Amelia!)

Good food, good wine; even some good sparkling grape juice for Emily and the kids:
Sparkling Grape Juice for Mimi

Hard to get everyone in one photo, but Fran got a good shot of most of us:
Happy Thanksgiving

We enjoyed the nice weather as we walked the property:
Seasonal Colors
I think Braxton has just about enough orange on to be visible to any hunters :)

Had some fun around a bonfire in the back yard:

This photo's a little dark, but I just love this shot of Dave, Fran, Evan, Magen, and Emily:
Family by the Fire

One last look around the area before we head home:
Scanning the Skies
Taken at the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, where they hold the hilariously named Marsh Madness.

Oh, and there are a few more photos in a set on Flickr if you're interested...

Hope you had a great holiday, reader!

16 November 2011

Moving Pictures

Saw a great movie last week. I'd definitely recommend it:

WE WERE HERE (trailer) from David Weissman on Vimeo.

Stephen Holden of the New York Times really liked it too.

And I really can't get enough of this picture of Emily:
26 Weeks

Anyway, I'd better run. Hopefully I'll have time for more blog posts once EJ actually gets here ;)

08 November 2011

25 Weeks!

Looking good!
25 weeks
Heard his heartbeat at the doctor's again yesterday—good strong 140 beats per minute. Amazing stuff.

04 November 2011

Where We Are With Beauty

Been a great (but busy!) quarter, especially with my Freshman Seminar classes. We're again examining different accounts of the relationship between beauty and knowledge.

Spent a nice afternoon at the Seattle Japanese Garden last week.

And last night we saw a very, very odd shadow puppet and silhouette-based modern-day adaptation of Homer's Odyssey. The show (Shadow Odyssey) was pretty raunchy and definitely a loose translation of Homer, but how could anyone resist this description from their website:

Picture this: you walk into a dimly lit tent. You sit back in a chair or get comfortable on a pile of pillows. Then, the show begins: on all four walls surrounding you (plus the roof above) live actors in silhouette, shadow puppets and hand drawn projections interact to bring to life Shadow Odyssey.

I don't see the students until next week, but I can't wait to find out what they thought!

Finally, have you seen this video clip?

It's a version of Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, from the 2001 movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and I absolutely love it. Showed it in my classes just yesterday.

13 October 2011

Hey, it's October!

What a month!

Did a nice fall hike to Tolmie Peak at Mt. Rainier recently.
Tolmie Peak Lookout
See the lookout tower? Maybe it's easier in the large version?

Supposed to have great views of the top of Rainier, but as you can see it was a little cloudy that day...

Still some nice views, though:
Yancy at Eunice Lake
That's Eunice Lake behind me. Beautiful wildflowers, even in October!

But could you imagine spending a summer there?
Tolmie Peak Lookout

Back in the warmth of our new home, we made a delicious and colorful chili this past weekend.
Just love this time of year!

We also render some pig fat and made our own lard, but maybe that's a post for another day...

In the meantime (and I know you've probably seen this before), how about one of our recent pictures of the amazing and photogenic EJ!
EJ 3 Oct. 11 09:34:20

27 September 2011

A Week in Images

So, first of all, this amazing photo showed up on Facebook the other day (thanks for the pointer, Vince!):
Here's the caption from KING 5's Facebook page:
Check this out! Thatcher Kelley snapped this photo from his plane on approach to Sea-Tac Airport yesterday. “I popped up my camera with a 70mm lens attached, waited for the wing and blurry jet exhaust to clear the view. I quickly focused, jammed my face against the seat in front of me to get the best angle, and snapped the shot just before Rainier disappeared from view.”

Over the weekend, KEXP treated us like VIP's as a thanks for our support. Pretty fun free James Blake show at the Triple Door.
James Blake at the Triple Door
Not familiar with his music? Here's my favorite song:
Want to think more about that? Pitchfork gave it a nice little review last year.

And of course schools' going now. Friday found me using the camera on our laptop to check my outfit:
Ready for School, Fall 2011

Finally, I saw this article about personal QR codes and couldn't resist:
Well, now that you've got my info, I'd better run. Happy Tuesday!

20 September 2011

Almost Ready...

And not a minute too soon! Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of school? I really hope I am almost ready!

Just got back from the Northwest Ancient Philosophy Workshop at the University of Victoria. Good workshop. Long days, yes, but good workshop. Can't wait for next year!

I also served as the external member on an MA oral exam committee at UVic. Weird being on the other side of one of those, but I liked being part of the decisions. And I really liked feeling like I belonged on that side of things!

... and it was an interesting bit of Aristotle being discussed, so that was a nice bonus :)
Lantern & Maple
Meanwhile, school is starting... I'm hoping to do another trip to the Seattle Japanese Garden for my Freshman Seminar on knowledge and beauty. Maybe a guided tour of the garden itself this time?

I've also secured tickets to Stephen Greenblatt's talk at Town Hall. According to that link, Greenblatt "examines how... one manuscript, plucked from 1,000 years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it."

That manuscript? Lucretius' poem On the Nature of Things. Philosophy! Huzzah!

Curious? The New Yorker ran a nice article, but it's behind their pay wall (psst, hey you—let me know if you're interested & I can loan you our copy). And NPR aired a discussion just yesterday: why don't you give it a listen?

I'm trying to expand my horizons this year by including some more recent (20th Century!) philosophical discussions of beauty. Found a promising piece on feminism and aesthetics my Mary Devereaux. Being the 20th Century, the discussion touches on film... And now I wonder: should I show a film? What would I show? And would I have to provide popcorn?

The second question is tough, but as to the first, well, Devereaux mentions one of my favorites, so here's a possibility:

Finally, speaking of beautiful things, I absolutely love this photo that Emily's uncle posted on Facebook the other day:

©1987 Scott Hughes - All Rights Reserved

Okay... Happy new school year, reader!

13 September 2011

Did the Puyallup!

Fun time at the Puyallup Fair last weekend thanks to our friends Bria and Michael who invited a big group of people, served as guides, and shared their photos, like the above.

Katrina and Bria enjoying some of the handsome produce displays:
And note Bria's stuffed animal, won at Whac-A-Mole. Emily got one too, thanks to my (slightly embarrassing) victory over a small child...

Nick and Ben:

We didn't actually try anything from this place, but we stood in front of it with Michael, so that's something, right?

Pig Palace was a definite hit:
Pig Palace!

But the most entertaining activity had to be the "Mutton Busting," a rodeo-ish event where little kids try to ride sheep. Here's the winning ride, featuring a three year-old who seemed to love every second of his 5.5 second ride:
Mutton Bustin'
And just for the record: I enjoyed the event, but I'm definitely uncomfortable with the relationship that we humans have with other animals...

What else can you find at the fair? How about the Hobby Hall, where folks share their interests and collections:
The Magical Land of the Fair

And of course the food!
Roasted Corn

Oh, and I you're wondering about the title of this post, it's a reference to the fair's jingle. Who doesn't like a good jingle?

... Okay, I should go—school starts next week, but in the meantime I have to get ready for the workshop in Victoria, BC, that I mentioned the other day.

Oh, but if you were wondering about the workshop poster, the image is from a Third Century papyrus that contains a bit of Plato's Republic (472e-473d, to be specific).

Some of it doesn't make sense out of context, but I absolutely love this sentence, found toward the bottom of the bit of papyrus:

ἆρ᾽ οἷόν τέ τι πραχθῆναι ὡς λέγεται, ἢ φύσιν ἔχει πρᾶξιν λέξεως ἧττον ἀληθείας ἐφάπτεσθαι, κἂν εἰ μή τῳ δοκεῖ;

Is it possible for anything to be realized in practice as it is spoken in word, or is it the nature of things that practice should grasp truth less well than speech, even if some deny it?

07 September 2011

And, Thank You!

An exciting few days, but we're safe and sound in the new apartment, and don't worry—all of our books made it safely too :)
Dining Room?
Dining room is somewhere underneath all of that...

Really could not have done it without the help we had from my dad and from our friends Vince (you might know him as Uncle Vinny), Jen, and Wendy.

I'll fill you in with more photos soon, but for now how about a few things unrelated to relocation?

Actually, the day of the move also happened to be the Seattle U Faculty & Staff Service Day, which I'd signed up for back when I thought we'd wait until October to move...

So, this next comment might be weird, and it's a bit more confessional than I like to blog, but when I was a kid I read Magnificent Obsession, which makes of lot of these lines from chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew:

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.*
I don't remember much of that book (either of them, for that matter), but that sentiment always seemed right to me.

The me I aspire to, in other words, would never tell you he did a service project...
But how can I not talk about how funny it is that volunteering around here always seems to come with a t-shirt?

Anyway, my group spent a couple of hours at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm, a new garden project (on the site of a former nursery) run by Seattle Tilth.

Rainier Beach Urban Farm

The other funny thing (aside from the free clothes) was that we spent a fair amount of time picking blackberries and bush beans... and then they gave it all to us!
Tomatoes and More
A weird volunteer experience, but who can argue with delicious hand-picked produce?

Fortunately the weekend wasn't all berry picking and book packing—also spent some time showing my dad some of the sites:
Sunny Day

Ray, Yancy, Troll

All right reader, I had better get back to unpacking and syllabus writing: school starts in just two weeks!

*Translation from the King James Bible—I always liked the way that version sounds...