Manufactured Drama

Dangers abound, in the hallways at work. Couldn’t help manufacturing a little drama. Click for full size!



Seattle Center Triptych

Three from Seattle Center. It’s been so long since I took photos — it’s a gladdening thing.


#1: Stargate


#2: Curvatures


#3: Smoke Break


Not Going to Caption


This is probably the dirtiest thing I’ve ever posted here.


Fifty-six Sixty

It just continues.


#56: Accessory


#57: Scrying Pool


#58: Pipe Dream


#59: F | G


#60: Mood Wall


Fifty-one Fifty-five

Another fivesome, #51 - #55. I’m finally treading water at work, so maybe we’ll get some more words one of these days. I made someone cry with my old writing the other day, which I’m thinking was in a good way. I wish I could still do that. I think I’m going to try.


#51: P


#52: Adams Rite


#53: We Quit


#54: Bauhaus


#55: Cenotaph


Forty-six Fifty

I don’t think I drank my blogging juice last week. Honestly, wasn’t feeling it. I was taking pictures, though! So here are #46 - #50, with commentary.

First, a couple of technological mysteries. Vanlal thought I was doing terrible things to a Dalek, and Loli and Hope were far less delicate. I just… Well, no comment.



Since we’re going to be doing thematic clumps, two days of parking garage typography. I love parking garage typography, guys, seriously. I could probably just do 365 of these, if I only had enough parking garages to invade.



But seriously, back to teh noms:



Steve (45/365)



A day in Microblogging:

Ever since I’ve started thinking of the new Battlestar Galactica as a remake of Macross things have been … different.
I’m not sure it’s even possible for The Voice to jump the shark, but “Special guest judge The Lorax” has to count for something.
Suffering from an intense headache, chills, muscle aches and nausea right now. May be regretting having had expired yogurt for breakfast.
Last night was pretty terrible. Haven’t eaten in 24 hours and still not hungry.
I’m sorry, but how fucked up is it that my first thought the morning after food poisoning was disappointment that I hadn’t lost any weight?

Finally, from West Seattle Blog, an update on Tareq Saade, the diver who was killed near Alki on Sunday.


Crease (44/365)


Not a shower curtain.


Descent (43/365)


A firefighter descends his ladder after a failed search and rescue operation, east of Alki Beach.

Very surreal to have inadvertently stepped into a news story — especially such a sad one — in the middle of an otherwise crisp, beautiful day. We were there to celebrate a birthday.





Secret World (42/365)


Another only-photo-I-took-today day, a chance shot I snapped on the escalator down from seeing The Secret World of Arrietty. Deciding to take a picture on an escalator is a fun exercise in unpredictability — by the time I had my camera out and ready the shot was nothing like the one I’d started acting on.

Yes, I realize I could have just gone up and down again. Yes.


Arrietty was really good, I thought. It’s a placid, nostalgic film in the vein of Totoro and Whisper of the Heart, in which the conflict, such as it is, is on a decidedly personal scale (though of no less import to the characters involved). This is an ordinary world touched with magic, rather than in the other kind of Ghibli movie, in which epic adventure epic something somethings, sometimes with airships. I don’t have a problem with that kind of grandiosity, but it seems harder, somehow, to do it this way.

Miyazaki scripted this movie and didn’t direct, but like Whisper, you can very much feel his hand in it. I don’t want to take anything away from Yonebayashi, the director, because I don’t know which parts came from whom, but there’s a definite Miyazaki-ness about the movie that you don’t really get in, say, Ghibli’s Takahata films. This is a movie suffused with scenes of nature. It’s filled with ghosts of family history and past heartbreak. It’s set entirely in a place untouched by time in the middle of encroaching urban sprawl. In fact, if it weren’t for the bookend scenes of cars and travel, you might not even be able to place it in any specific where or when at all, which I love. As it is, I loved the weirdness of a film clearly set in Japan having mostly western-named characters, and not caring about that at all.

Also a Miyazaki hallmark: A great female protagonist. Though for once, she has awesome hair. I wonder if that was Yonebayashi’s influence?

(Yes, I’m ashamed for fixating on that. But seriously, her hair is awesome, although maybe second to the heroine in Disney/Pixar’s Brave trailer, which played beforehand.)

The score by Cecile Corbel was really nice. It actually was reminiscent of Joe Hisaishi’s early, charming scores for Totoro and Kiki, but with a little touch of Celtic flair. Lots of harp, which I liked. The sung music was stranger, especially at the end of the movie: “I am fourteen years old / I am pretty” — really? And the song about “Summer love with my best friend” that closed the credits was hilariously inappropriate, but I guess I understand why after discovering it was sung by Bridgit Mendler, who voiced Arrietty. She did a really superb job with the voice acting, and as someone who usually hates dubs, I figure that gives her license for at least one terrible song.

Speaking of voice acting, the biggest problem I had was continually hearing Carol Burnett’s voice coming out of the wrong face.

So! All in all, I really liked it. I’m not going to say it’s a contender for best Ghibli movie ever, but it’s worthy of the imprint. The most useful thing I can probably say is that I already want to see it again. But in Japanese this time.

Finally, a disclaimer: I admit I haven’t read The Borrowers, yet, but I hadn’t read Howl’s Moving Castle when I saw that movie either. I will get to it now, I promise.


Terminal (41/365)


I totally blew out the background in this photo, which makes me really unhappy. But it’s the only shot I took today, and something has to go up.

I’m feeling a little better today, even though I totally threw out my back IN THE MOST RIDICULOUS WAY POSSIBLE* last night and it hurts to sit down or stand up. Tomorrow I’m hoping to see The Secret World of Arrietty, because movie theatre seats are obviously going to be the most comfortable thing I can do for myself in this state. Afterwards, I’m thinking the rack.

Also. Mass. Effect. 3. Demo.

*which may or may not prominently feature PANTS.

Dom has a writeup of the Rilakkuma KitKats up at Skillet Doux! (My own is still here)


Monoliths (40/365)


I uploaded two more in addition today, but I’m too tired to put them here.

I’m this close to burning out, I think. It’s a scary feeling.


Marymoor Photowalk (39/365)


Holy photobomb, Batman!

Today I went on my first honest-to-goodness photowalk in what seems like forever, with two friends from work. It was so much fun! We caught some unexpected sunshine at Marymoor Park, where the Cavalia tents are set up and people were enjoying the rays on the sports fields.

I’m going to keep the commentary to a minimum, but feel free to ask below about anything if you want.

Can’t wait for the next one, whatever it is!








… I just can’t get enough of these “1” signs.


Valentine (38/365)


Yes, I am a cliché. No, I didn’t have any other ideas. Sorry.

I do hope you’re taking care, whomever you’re with, or without. That’s all that matters. If you need a heartbomb, let me know.


C (37/365)


It’s just a building label in a nondescript office park, but I drive by it every day and each time I swoon a little bit over the proportions and the lines of the “C,” the striking color, and… Okay, I gave myself away a little bit there. Deep breath.

At least Jill understands.


Lattices (36/365)


One tenth of the way there! Honestly can’t believe I’ve managed it every day so far.

These are from a brief photo stroll in the Central District today. I really need to do these when I have more time. Maybe when the weather’s nicer.





Overhead Door (35/365)


Just in under the wire. I don’t love it, but I didn’t actually take any other photos with my “good” camera today.

I had a totally romantic, really delicious meal at Poppy today. I can’t believe I’d never been, and I certainly will again. All I have is this terrible picture, but OMG, the duck. Maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten.


(Yes, I’m probably exaggerating, and no, I don’t think that really makes a difference.)

My cocktail was also delicious. It was called a “Six Twenty-Two” and was basically a rhubarb-flavored Manhattan. Did I mention I’m totally into Manhattans lately? I blame Canon, and Gene.


Plume (34/365)


Was hoping to do a photo walk today with friends, but weather got in the way (as it has a habit of doing). Maybe next week!

Started playing Kingdoms of Amalur last night, and it seems very promising. It’s definitely beautiful, but only two hours in I’m hesitant to make any more judgments. I’ve been taking a break from video games lately (ever since I took an arrow to the knee, natch), but even if Amalur doesn’t take, I’m sure Mass Effect 3 next month will put an end to that.


Hopper in India (33/365)


Three things:

1. It is a disaster that Top Foods/Haggen was selling pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream today at $1.13 each.

2. Häagen-Dazs’ limited edition blueberry crumble ice cream is actually really, really good.

3. Omg, the nametag on the Transylvanian Ambassador’s desk on 30 Rock says C. Cjokula!

It’s totally disrespectful of me, but I can’t stop thinking the soda coolers in today’s photo look like grills. I put this all the way down here because I didn’t want to wreck the mood.

Worst. Entry. Ever.


909 (32/365)



I didn’t know you could use that much glass and still create brutalist architecture, but apparently it’s possible. On the sunny side, you can get a margarita made with Tang downstairs, as well as a pretty amazing burger.

Who would have thought? Bellevue is slowly becoming a burger mecca, between John Howie, two weekly stops for Skillet, and! A couple months ago I was talking with the woman working the counter at Katsu Burger, and she said maybe a year from then we might be having that conversation in Bellevue.

Katsu. Burger. OMG! I haven’t written here about Katsu Burger yet, have I? Something for the backlog.


Lander (31/365)


I really don’t know how to follow up that last entry. So I won’t try. Here’s a picture!

Did I mention I’m sick? Another way in which SCIENCE was probably not a great idea. I do hope I’m better tomorrow — my throat isn’t being very encouraging at the moment.


STAIR (30/365)


Lines and motion. But I do keep going back to those red shoes.

Sometime in the last week, I went over a million views of my photos on flickr. I’m having a hard time comprehending that.

Oh, and I updated my Adult Sweetness KitKat entry with a picture of what the inside of the bars looks like, because the people demanded it (I’m looking at you, Don and David).

Speaking of yesterday, it wasn’t about cupcakes at all. Rather, something something about BUTT MEETINGS.

That’s not to say I didn’t actually have a cupcake, because I did — specifically, this delicious thing from Trophy, which I do recommend:




Coral Blaze (29/365)


Oh, is something else happening today? I hope it has something to do with cupcakes.


The sunken city (28/365)


The best thing about John Hodgman’s audiobook for More Information Than You Require is when he silently shifts gears from random fake trivia to introspection, and these bits of beauty just emerge, almost in spite of his efforts. Sure, the funny stuff is amusing, but it’s when you suddenly realize he’s distilled some universal truth from a seemingly cheap anecdote that you become aware there’s something else going on entirely. And while you’re reeling from that punch in the gut, Jonathan Coulton starts singing “The Battle of Galactica.”

So, I just heard his “Slingshot” piece from This American Life (you can listen here), and if you want that entire earlier paragraph in concentrate form (minus Coulton), well, that’s that. You’re welcome.

In other news, I just logged onto my library’s web site, clicked a button and had 1Q84 beamed to my Kindle for 21 days, for free. How cool is that? And I should probably mention here that KCLS also has the More Information audiobook for digital download, too. Which, you know. Just do it already.



Workstation (27/365)



I totally ate this yesterday:


… which is to say, Marination Station (and Mobile) has a new macaroni & cheese, with panko and sesame and gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes). You can even ask them to add Spam, which — of course! — I did. It was super-tasty, and I even scooped a little bit onto my accompanying Spam slider.

This was before Canon (pictured yesterday), so overall it was lovely for a Thursday night.


Today, I’m slightly crushed. I made Meyer lemon bars tonight but Uwajimaya was plum out of Buddha’s hand citron. So no grand experiment this time.


Lucid (26/365)


I don’t know what was in the Shrouded Roulette, made this time with Hendrick’s gin, but it was alarmingly delicious. Someday I need to go when Murray is tending bar.


Moses and the burning bush (25/365)


So Marriage Equality just passed in the Washington State Senate!! It’s expected to have plenty of votes in the House and Governor Gregoire has already said she’ll sign the legislation. I’m so happy, I am literally squealing out loud. Very. Often. (Squeee!)


You guys. I love these earrings.


STRIPLED (24/365)


A couple semi-abstracts today. I see these things every day and it’s fun to try and look at them in another light.



Comma (23/365)



Oh, and thanks to Lia for reminding me that there even exists a movie called Raped By an Angel 4: The Raper’s Union. Eaaaugh.


Peace Arch (22/365)


Leaving Canada. It rained basically all the way down the highway until the Premium Outlets in Tulalip, which I gladly took to be a sign! But that’s a story for another time, or never, since it’s both predictable and boring. Instead, this picture, taken through a rainy car window at the Peace Arch.

I’ve been using Pacific Highway for so long that I hadn’t even realized that they’d removed the old “Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway” marker at the Peace Arch crossing. I’d always thought it was a bit strange that it even existed at all, so I did some reading up on it. Wikipedia’s article on the Highway is actually pretty interesting, with some real twists and turns, but doesn’t really contain the end of the story. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend a straight web search on the topic, as there are some rather, well, inflammatory pages out there (to be kind). Which is a shame, since it’s been hard to figure out exactly what happened to the marker since it was removed in 2002. Well, it’s a shame anyways, but.

At any rate, this is already way more space dedicated to Jefferson Davis than I ever intended for this blog, so! Let’s just leave it at that.

From the Chinese New Year festivities over the weekend:


Totoro cake (21/365)


Two days in Canada, lots of eating (as always), and also crazy Chinese New Year craziness. I am so full up on dim sum, KitKats, Tim Horton’s, and Frost Doughnuts for good measure (on the way back), you guys wouldn’t believe. And oh, look! A Totoro cake. The nice bakery lady told me afterwards that I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the pastry cooler.


I still had to post it, though. Hopefully I don’t get in trouble.

We’ll get back to art in the next entry. Meanwhile, I give you this without further comment:



Aorta (20/365)


Depending on how things go, I may not be able to post over the weekend, so please don’t worry if I disappear. (Ha ha, she says, after literally having not blogged for three years). I will have my camera with me, though!

Expect a KitKat report a little bit later tonight.


NaCl (19/365)


I had thought I didn’t have a picture at all from yesterday but it turns out I had this [of salt dishes at John Howie Steak in Bellevue].

So for now I’m still golden, as far as the streak goes. But I’m putting up this thoroughly mediocre picture as a testament: From now in, I’m going to adopt a sanity-keeping measure where I may (will!) reserve the right to days where I don’t share my photo. At least not here.

Will: stick with the project, put up as many as I can, but this pressure (from myself) to publish, publish, publish is killing me inside. I can’t bear putting something up without trying to say something interesting, and if the picture isn’t, it means I have to come up with words that are. And well. Words Are Not My Thing.

A very dear friend* told me:

The /365 projects aren’t about art, though. /365 can help perfectionists learn the ebb and flow of creativity.Self-kindness. etc.

If you can; keep up the process, f*ck the product. Choose “only me” option some days, but keep doing it.

This is for me. This is for me. This is for me.


*will update with attribution if she gives permission.


Catamaran (18/365)


Walking around campus during twilight: happy accidents, finding the tropics in this everyday architecture. I think I have seafaring on the brain, from listening to Unfamiliar Fishes during my commute. So many audiobooks lately! (I blame John Hodgman.)

I did finish up Assassination Vacation earlier this week, which I loved, but so much Sarah Vowell at once leaves her oh-so-distinctive voice running through my head at all hours. Fortunately, today, it was filling my head with images of warm seas and sunshine.

And! Later this year, I hope to have literal catamaran pictures to match up with this one. More details later.




Object of Anger (17/365)


I’m tired, and I left my laptop in the car, so just the photos today.


Oh, but Oscar nominations are out! Is this the first year of the Animated Feature category that Pixar has been shut out? Not that they didn’t deserve it. Cars 2 was terrible.

I know it shouldn’t (and I love him), but it makes me feel better that Jeph Jacques draws a shitty spaceship.


Impressionist A (16/365)


A series today, playing with decorative grates. Also, for once, people. I call these “Impressionist A” through “C.” Not a whole lot more to say, which probably says I’m actually happy about them more than anything, for once.



You guys! News today that the Washington State Senate has enough votes to pass marriage equality! I… just don’t have any words. Wonderful news.

Also, I totally wanted to link you to a Brahms / Liszt Hark, A Vagrant, wondering how I missed it before, & then realizing it must be exclusive to the book. You know, in case you were looking for a reason to buy it. Brahms! Comics!


Happy New Year (15/365)


These guys are sitting there, waiting for tomorrow to happen. Happy New Year, everyone!

You know, I’m finding I have a lot less to write now that I’m trying to do the photo thing. I guess I shouldn’t complain — at least I’m doing something creative — but the thing that pulls at me is that I really always wanted to write, and the photo thing just happened by accident. In real life, this echoes my career path as well. I just wish my natural talents ran with my dreams.

Okay, enough moping!

So, I was trying to figure out why this image has so many more views on flickr (approaching 25,000) than any of my other stuff, and I finally figured it out: apparently, it was used in this video by Creative Commons. It’s only visible for a fraction of a second, but it’s kind of neat they wanted to use it — makes me glad I used a CC license for my photos. Also, it’s a nice video.

The BBC reports on the worst idea ever: “Sherlock series gets US television pilot, confirms CBS”

Finally, I watched the pilot of NBC’s Smash last night, which is free on iTunes and Zune until the official network premiere on February 6. All I can say is it must be nice to be able to audition for a show with an effects machine in tow. Also, if they end up copping out by having Ivy play Marilyn and Karen play Norma Jean in the show I’m going to throw up in my mouth a little. A lot.


Nations of the world (14/365)


I’ve noticed recently that there’s a distinct lack of bright green in my photos. Trying to see it in my life the last few days. Winter isn’t a help, and neither are today’s pictures.

Went to a swimming pool this morning, two stories underneath an apartment building in the city. It was kind of primordial, listening to the lapping of waves underground, feeling the moist, cool air. There was a small window in the high ceiling, at ground level, through which the windows of the residents above were visible. I wonder what it must be like, to peer down and see the water dwellers through a crack in the earth.

Afterwards I took these pictures, which came out much more colorful than my memory of the place. But I think you can still feel the sheer… interiorness in them?


And, oh, a mystery!


savory ramen


Seen at Renton Uwajimaya:

“Crunchy ramen noodle, onion, garlic and soy sauce flavors blended into premium 53% dark chocolate.”

Oh look, they’re online.

… my one regret is not having bought one. For science.

Update (2012/03/14): They actually taste better than they have any right to! You can tell there’s a current of umami, savory flavor throughout, but it’s not overtly garlicky (which would be terrible) and has a similar effect to sea salt without the crunch — but the crunch is provided by the noodles. It helps that the chocolate itself is obviously high quality.


Faceted (13/365)


Images from work. Today, the mundane things of daily life fell like little miracles: driving a car, eating out for lunch, going to work. Heavenly.

Snowfall and plows left my abandoned car covered and surrounded when I went to get it this morning. Really, I should have brought a shovel with me, but instead I dug at the ice with my feet and hands for an hour or so, and still needed a friendly push to get going (thank you, stranger). I’ve got bloodied knuckles but at least I’m home and warm, and with leftover pie to boot. So all told, life is good.

Today I lost confidence for the first time and put the selection of which image to officially use for the day up to a vote. The one up top won, and I feel a little ashamed that I let other people choose for me. It’s even worse because I was initially planning to use this one:


… but then again, I’ve always been a bad judge of which of my photos would appeal to people. I’m actually usually amazed that people enjoy them at all!

Still, I don’t like this feeling, so I’m going to try and trust my instincts in the future. We’ll see.


Dozens (12/365)


Today I am thankful for: friends with snow tires, friends who offer to drive you to the grocery store because even though the forecasts were all wrong and OMG IT’S STILL SNOWING, the one thing you want in the entire world is a fresh-baked apple pie right now and there are no apples in the house anywhere.

These are the kinds of friends I have, you guys. Love!

And also hey look a picture without any snow in it. So at least that happened.

While I’m here, I’d like to leave a special message to you, the woman who walked all the way to Starbucks in the snow only to find it had closed a moment earlier, people with lattes and salted caramel mochas still clearly visible through the locked front doors.

I know! First world problems. But your face — that was the look of a broken heart. I’m sure, for at least that instant, you were the saddest person in the whole world. So a million hugs to you, Starbucks lady. I hope you found something warm nearby.

Maybe even five minutes later at the grocery store across the parking lot.


Flash frozen (11/365)


SOPA blackout day; SOPA whiteout day. Not quite the one hoped for, but it was snowy nonetheless. Three days of this has left all of the vegetation around here unhappy, but as is often the case, there’s a profound beauty that can be found in unhappiness. I’m not sure I captured it very well.

At this point, I am absolutely stir-crazy. This follows my memory of the 2008 snow-in, which lasted a lot longer than this promises to be — which is good, because the next stage is murderous rage. If the roads are clear tomorrow I’m going to rescue my car and drive and drive and drive, and take pictures of everything but snow.

One of my favorite movies, Next Stop Wonderland, is now on Netflix Instant Watch. It’s a quirky little rom-com, not to everyone’s taste, but I absolutely love it. There was a time when I was watching it once a week to keep me happy! It may entirely be the soundtrack, which introduced me to bossa nova music.

Astrud Gilberto. Elis Regina. Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Also! Philip Seymour Hoffman as the douchey ex-boyfriend!

It’s a Starz Play title, so you’ve only got until the end of February before Netflix loses streaming rights.

Also, while you’re there, you can catch my other once-a-week movie of years past, Shall We Dance? — the Japanese one. So good!

I had some other links to share, but they’re all blacked out right now. Good for them! I never figured out how to both (1) be lazy, and (2) learn how to do it on my site. So I called my congresspeople instead. Did you?


Complexity (10/365)


Tried to go into work.
Tried to work.
Tried to leave work.
Got stuck.
Abandoned car.

(…the rest of the story…)

Got home.

I’m too tired to get into any detail right now, but somewhere along the line I did manage to snap a picture. Which I guess is how it’s going to go, sometimes.

So I know Cliff Mass has downgraded his forecast to two to five inches, but I’m staying home as long as there is white on the ground, thank you very much.

…I hope my car’s okay.

OMG, Sherlock series 2 finale. You guys, watch these episodes now so I can gush about them in detail, okay?

I’ve added some social media button thingies on my entries. I’m feeling a little dirty about it, and I don’t make many lolcats, so I’m not sure why I’m bothering. We’ll see how it goes?


New earth (9/15)


Made it down to Bellevue in spite of the snow, mostly because of an appointment that I wasn’t allowed to cancel. That was upsetting, because I don’t like risking my life for the sake of appearances, but I guess it’s easy to see why: from what I can tell, downtown Bellevue only got the lightest of a dusting. I guess Kemper Freeman paid somebody off! Money talks.

The intended illusion in today’s shot is of the inexorable spread of a city, like the new earth where lava off KÄ«lauea meets the Pacific. Also, World Trade Center construction footage from the ’70s. In reality, this is the ice skating pavilion in Bellevue Downtown Park in a state of mid-deconstruction. The metaphor seems really overwrought, so I probably missed the mark.

But! I still like the overall feel of the piece, so I’m keeping it.

As a bonus, a contrast of old an new, across the street from Bellevue Square:


Also stocked up on groceries while I was out. Cliff Mass is predicting a possible 8-15” of snow on Wednesday, which is insane. Stay warm, everyone!


The raising of Valinor


This is what it feels like to have committed too early. There’s something mythical in the air; the title just came to me without thinking, but it seems to fit — if you stare at it long enough.

The light is still changing, so there may be more to come.

Falling on… (8/365)


Today’s image is admittedly cliché, but it is undeniably a marker of the day. Outside the flakes are falling in ever-changing variations of size and rate in a way that seems like nature trying to backfill the last two years’ worth of undelivered snow into a one-day makeup.

The best thing about days like this are the high pitched squeals of delight coming from the street. And snowsuits! Kids in snowsuits are the cutest. And also, Ezra Jack Keats.


… I wish so hard that this look happened in real life!

My original plan was to go into downtown Kirkland today and try to get some shots in, but that probably won’t happen. So my tentative plan includes seeing Ricky Gervais rip into people, hope to get a hookup on the Sherlock series 2 finale, and make friends with loneliness (thank you, pastilla).

If anyone wants to (spiritually) share a glass of Scotch, I’d be up for that too.

Oh, and holy crap, you guys! If you’re like me and thought the one thing that might make the world a better place is a Jane Austen-themed RPG slash dating sim, it totally exists.



Sweets and tea (7/365)


Chinese New Year is less than two weeks away, and things seem to be getting into gear. I went to Uwajimaya Bellevue today, which was a madhouse, but managed to pick up a box of these Hsin Tung Yang brand mung bean cakes — a favorite, hard to find during the rest of the year, but today present in plenty and on sale to boot!

More cookie than cake, and more compressed powder than even cookie, they’re sweet and mellow and earthy. You really need to take them with hot green or oolong tea, because they’re very dry, but oh, when you do! Perfect on an otherwise miserable, damp, this-is-not-the-snow-I-was-promised kind of day.


This may also be relevant to your interests: Tako kyuubin was at Uwajimaya today (and for the rest of this weekend and that of the 28th), making fresh takoyaki and taiyaki in-store. I’d already eaten lunch, so I only went for taiyaki today. Truthfully, I usually prefer it crispier, but since I’m used to bungeoppang, I may be missing a cultural difference? Not sure.

Still, just being able to get some fresh-made was very nostalgic. Ever since the Lynnwood Paldo World closed down, I haven’t been able to find fresh-made bungeoppang anywhere! Pointers would be appreciated.

Next time, octopus.


Casualty (6/365)

Happy Friday the 13th!

I took a lot of photos today that could have been interesting, if not for the fact that there was no memory card in my camera. One thing I’ll say for Canon is their cameras scream at you if you end up in this situation! Nikon flashes a little red “demo” label in the corner of the LCD and otherwise happily chugs along.

Oh, and this happened:


I treat my cameras badly. Mostly I’m just a klutz, but I’m careless, too. I just really, really wanted to take care of this one. On the bright side, if anything was going to break first, I’d have chosen this. Everything else seems fine, so the hood served its secondary purpose of protecting the lens from casual impact.

And also? Right now I’m really glad that Nikon included a lens hood with both the lenses I bought. In case you were looking and needed a tiebreaker.

I really don’t know how I feel about this “Sh*t XXXX say” meme, but this one — well, it hits the mark in so many ways.

I did not make this! Though I’ve pretty much lived it, and also, I’m bisectional.


Eye Examinations (5/365)


A defunct optometrist’s office, inexplicably filled with martial arts paraphernalia.

Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland is a place I used to go fairly often — in the late ’90s, I spent far too much time at the old CompUSA, shopping for colored jewel boxes and mouse pads and graphics tablets. I even bought my first laptop there, which was a top-of-the-line Compaq that was almost immediately stolen in Vancouver, shortly after having an entire can of Coke spilled on it.

This was not the best computer ownership experience I ever had.

There was also a movie theater that later became a Bollywood movie theater, and an Old Country Buffet — to which I never went willingly, but still too often.

Now, most of the stores sit empty, including the anchor space, which still bears the scars of being a Gottschalks but most recently housed a swap meet:


Some more:



Factoria and Northgate Malls seem to have risen somewhat from the ashes in recent years, so maybe there’s hope for Totem Lake too? I’d like that.


Neurons (4/365)


Walking through a corporate park on a chilly day, on the way to give blood. I would have preferred something reflecting my destination, but found it uncomfortable shooting in such a clinical environment.

I think this is my first “filler” shot, but something about the way these chairs were stacked tickled my cortex. It just didn’t translate into the picture so much.

I’ve somehow managed so far to find at least two photos to post on flickr every day, which feels really nice after not shooting so much at all in recent years. And my resolve not to cheat means I’m not stockpiling them for future filler. Here’s my B-side from yesterday, which I kind of like better than the one I did post (but really, Kermit does demand priority!).


Also, buy Girl Scout Cookies, people. As if you needed another reason! But this is a good one.


Peace Train (3/365)


This bicycle was chained up outside the Redmond Regional Library this morning. I don’t know who owns it, but she or he is probably the coolest person ever.

A Good Thing On The Internet:
Dear Customer who stuck up for his little brother

I’m of mixed emotions about all these compound posts. I don’t really like to cover multiple topics in a single post, but having multiple separate entries per day bothers me too. This Project 365 thing seems to make reaching both these goals unreachable. That is, unless I wanted to have this only be a photo blog for a year — which I really don’t. So I guess we’ll all just have to live with this for a bit, or until I totally flake out.

Which I have good money on, by the way.

Incidentally, and because you never wanted to know this, a “Sexy Ballmer” Google image search has the same results regardless of whether you have SafeSearch on or off.


Refrigerant (2/365)


Well, day two. Which is already more than I expected — and with a real camera, even. There’s a café at work which is just fascinating, decor-wise, and I’d bet that thousands of people could pass through each day without noticing any of the little details & quirks at play.

I really don’t relish the idea of fixating on my workplace, but I do spend so much of my time there — making it, I suppose, somewhat inevitable. I hope not to be too tedious about it.

This will be about name-dropping.

I’ve been reconnecting with people lately, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. Just this last week: my dear Rosemary; the always-fabulous Meredith; Jill, who is ever just an absolute joy. In the past few months: meeting others for the first time (Alice, Isis, Selene), and yet others for the first time again (to be cryptic).

(I do kind of miss the days when that paragraph would have been filled with links to blogs, don’t you?)

So strange, this newly social me, thriving in spite of my natural tendencies. I can’t help but feel the hammer about to drop, but… I’m enjoying things, in the meantime. And feeling strangely young.

Oh, and one more from tonight:



Day One


If I were doing Project 365 this year, this would be day #1. Shall we pretend?

There are more from today, if you’re interested.

I’ve been realizing lately how talented I am at dividing my life into small, discrete boxes. The scary part is, I’m finding that each time I split off a part of myself, it becomes nearly impossible to re-integrate that splinter later. The part of me that used to write things like this is off living her own life elsewhere and I don’t know how to get her back. You can find her if you know where to look, but she has her own name now, and her own little living space, and — well, after tasting that kind of freedom, I don’t think she’d be the same person anymore, anyway. There are other bits of myself out there, too, like the one who’s taken many tens of thousands of photos in the last four years, FOR REAL. I know, right? You would never know.

I like to avoid thinking about the implications, which are frightening — would much rather slip away, all KitKats and snark, oblivious to my slow disintegration.

However! 2011 was kind of a strange, wondrous year, all told. I haven’t spoken much about it here — remember, boxes! — but I might just be ready to believe in the possibility of rebirth. Maybe.

Shall we pretend?




Conference room fail.


La belle


Jill at the Sorrento. Seeing old friends is always reviving! Seven years is much, much too long.


Also, the sandals


Saw this Three Wolf Moon shirt in the wild, worn (seemingly) without irony, at the Museum of Natural History. Keep on rocking, German tourists!




After the party.



Nine years save a day

I ran out of words long ago, so here are three you haven’t seen:





Blood orange


Who knew??


The Fatty Crab

Back in New York, with a seriously flaky internet connection (but yay for a phone that doubles as a bluetooth modem, despite the constant drops), and — a now-slightly-less-flaky stomach!

Had dinner at the Fatty Crab, a Malaysian-inspired eatery in the West Village. Small and uncrowded on a Tuesday night, both the dining room and the dishes were colorful, quirky, and beautiful. Everything was really tasty, but I found myself seduced by the salty-sweet-sour fireworks of the watermelon pickle & crispy pork salad. The fatty duck was nicely seasoned and sat on a bed of surprisingly spicy white rice (only later did I notice thinly-sliced red peppers mixed in). The chili crab was… big, and v. messy. But also good!

Ahem. I’m not really feeling eloquent tonight, so I will just pepper your imaginations with photos:

[Watermelon pickle and crispy pork salad]
[Fatty duck]
[Chili crab]

(…can’t say I’m an expert, but I strongly suspect these dishes sit firmly on the “new wave” end of the authenticity scale!)

Hsiao-Ching Chou’s “You gotta try this” piece in the P-I is mostly old hat, but good lord, does this sound good. And frites! Is there any reason to ever leave Capitol Hill again?



As promised, photos from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival:

[Tulip Festival]
Tulip Festival, a flickr photoset

This weekend was a bit early for tulip-watching. The show displays at Roozengaarde were pretty and full of color, but the growing fields were sparse at best. In the distance were still-brilliant yellow swaths of daffodils, which might have made for a more typical set of flower-festival photos. Still, I’ve never been one to seek out “typical,” and there were plenty of neat things to photograph after a little searching.

More to come, but for now, I hope you enjoy the photoset!


As it turns out, Myla was there at exactly the same time, and has some great photos up herself.


Media vita

[Media vita in morte sumus]

Media vita in morte sumus
Quem quærimus adjutorem nisi te, Domine?
Qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris


Wining down the year

More snackblogging, because you know you love it. Seriously.

Found at Candyland in Richmond, which once upon a time had the goodness that is green tea KitKats:


These seem to be one in a series of flavors designed by famous confectioners — at least that’s what little I can guess from the packaging. This one’s by Takagi Yasumasa of Le Patissier Takagi, a man I saw on television once, creating amazing-looking desserts en route to getting schooled by Iron Chef Kobe in “Battle Strawberry.”

Inside the box, fifteen or so individually-wrapped packages, each holding a miniature pink bar. The coating is a white chocolate base imbued with wine, a muscat-like flavor that’s subtler but juicier than my previous favorite, strawberry. We’ve gone through half the box already and I wish I’d bought more than the one. *sigh*

They also had white chocolate KitKats, but no sign of green tea or other flavors, a shame since I’d wanted to stock up.

And since I’m all about the green tea, I picked up these McVitie’s miniature green tea digestive biscuits:


They’re good, but very leafy in taste — would go beautifully with a hot cup of genmaicha or barley tea, I think, but not so much for dry snacking.

Also, I meant to mention that in Chicago we found those Lay’s dill pickle potato chips which I’d previously only seen in Canada. No word on nationwide availability, but that’s hope, keep trying!



Happy new year!

More KitKats


Hungary Sweet

Oh! I forgot to mention the bottle of sweet Hungarian paprika I also got during last week’s trip to Penzeys, which I used in goulash today:


Just beef, onions, potatoes, bay leaves, paprika and salt in this. Oh, and egg dumplings, which were sorry & misshapen, but looks aside everything turned out pretty yummy. Am determined to use the whole cumin next — maybe chili…

In other news, New Mexico red chile (or at least whatever’s used at the Santa Fe Café in Phinney Ridge) seems to taste almost exactly like 고추가루. Who knew?


happy unspecified, part two

Whatever you may celebrate during this holiday season, have a happy that… again!

Chicago’s nothing if not a meat town, and lia insists I meatblog while I’m here. Not sure if I have the constitution for it, but here’s a taste:

[Portillo's Italian Beef Sandwich]

Portillo’s Italian Beef — so bad for you, but so good! Yummm.

Also, walking into a Penzeys Spices store is simply heavenly. I had thought LUSH was the best shop-by-nose experience ever, but this has it beaten many times over (plus you don’t get sick of being alive after fifteen minutes inside). Escaped with only some whole cumin & coriander, tellicherry black peppercorns, double-strength vanilla extract and Italian sausage seasoning. Heaven help me if I have time to go back again before flying back to Seattle!

Whenever I come home, I have an overriding urge to try and photograph my mother’s lovely old canvases which hang around the house, but lighting problems and the near-impossibility of shooting glass frames without getting reflections and glare all over everything have always gotten in my way. This year, with a few acrobatic maneuvers (namely, balancing on a chair while trying to shoot from a tripod on top of a table) and a little Photoshop magic, I managed to snap a few acceptable images of some of my favorites, which I’ve assembled into a flickr photoset:

There are a few more I’d like to tackle before I go, and some beautiful pieces which I think are simply too big to capture without a ladder, so this is hardly a complete collection. But I do hope you enjoy them — I’ve never thought there was anything more beautiful I’d want to have hanging on my walls.



Well, if you’ve been paying attention to my flickr photostream at all, you’ve probably sussed out my big secret. I finally have a real camera!

[EF 50mm/f1.4]

I know some of you lovely folk just want naked facts, so:

I’ve forgotten how nice it was to hold an SLR and feel the perfect fit of grip-in-hand*, the soft whirr of focus lock & satisfying click-clack of the mirror swinging out of shutter’s way. This whole USM thing is new to me, and wow is it fast — now if I could only get anything to come out correctly focused, I’d be as pumped up as Violet Beauregarde. You’d think that would be the least of my problems.

Oh, and I love this macro lens. I could shoot with it forever, even though it’s just enormous. Thank goodness for neoprene straps.

*though I know some of you think the XT is too small, for my hands, well: mmmm

Seattle’s been in a weeks-long dry freeze, and for the first time since I’ve lived here I’ve been feeling as colorless and cold as the weather. Goodness knows I’ve my share of depression triggers, but I’ve never really thought myself susceptible to seasonal affective disorder. Still, frosted-over grass day after day is uncharacteristic for wintertime here, and maybe there are shadows of my past at play. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but all told, I’ve been very happy in my years in Seattle, while before that… maybe not so much.

But? Now that all is wet and mild and gray again, I’m finding myself really missing the frost.

Life’s funny that way.

Also, tip: rain and brand new camera don’t mix so well!


Outside Martins Ferry

[High-contrast Cake Cutting]




All right, so I’m easily dragged into these things.


Digging it out


Spent twenty painful minutes today digging a subcutaneous splinter out of my index finger — ow ow ow. I’ve a hole in my hand to match the one in my arm, now.

Still hurts to do anything, including type* or draw, which is bad, because this is the third night in a row I’ll be at work past two in the morning. In a way, getting that splinter out is like my entire life right now, which means I haven’t had any spare time to spend writing here or posting photos — nothing in the way of creative thinking at all — but I think that things have finally turned a corner for the better.

I mean, I did manage to dig it out, in the end.

I’m just waiting to heal.

* so please forgive this short and rather unpoetic entry…


Making frites

[Making frites]

Dug this one out of the archives, where that expanse of white shirt-back kept getting in the way of any appreciation I could muster. I’m still not sure it works, but there’s just something — in her glance, or the dance reflected in hazy shadow on the spatter shield…

This was taken at Pommes Frites in Manhattan, the best place ever.

I said this in comments, but I watched the rest of the BBC Jane Eyre last night. Still so good, but St. John Rivers? Total freak!

Piling up for an Austen marathon: should I rent the BBC Northanger Abbey? Anyone seen it?

Currently in the pile:

Finally, I just discovered AustenBlog today and have spent far too much time reading it — and through it found the trailer for Focus Features’ new Pride & Prejudice. Matthew McFadyen? Keira Knightley? Sign me up, please!

And, back to Brontë: SB says I must see the 1944 Jane Eyre with Orson Welles, but it doesn’t seem to be available on disc. Sigh…


Adagio amoroso

Surprised and delighted to discover in my mailbox more lovely freebies from Adagio Teas:

[Adagio amoroso]

Inside, another box of four 1 oz. samplers to match the first, with infusions of lime, cream, chocolate and “valentines” (mmm, chocolate-dipped strawberries, heaven!).

The gift that keeps on giving!

Am sipping a freshly-brewed cup of the lime as I type — subtle, refreshing, would probably make an excellent iced too. Will likely have to order a real-sized tin v. soon.

In other news, I’ve begun to foster an intense hatred for this new bathroom scale. Just what everyone needs, a new daily source of despair.

You must check out Utata.org right now for all sorts of fabulous goodness, not least of which is: trains!

(But this is Catherine Jamieson’s brainchild, so this should be no surprise at all)


Solitary madwoman


Oh, this night air!

There is familiarity here, at this uneasy border between today and tomorrow, like a lost love returned from abroad — in how it transforms sound, enhancing the unfamiliar but muffling everything else, or the way it hangs heavy but high, as if unable to decide whether to descend and become morning.

There is power here — or is it fear? This lonely emptiness breeds one or the other, and there’s no telling them apart. Not here. We are all mad in our solitude.

There is temptation here, too, hours to spend in this moment, if only it had any to give. But daylight is held by the thinnest of threads, and is late, too late now. I know I should not be out, and remember: there are sirens in these waters.

Once, this was my element, but no more. I am worn, weak, too easily steered off-course. But still—

Can you hear? They are calling.


Alone time

[Alone time]
Alone time | New Haven, CT

Have taken a turn for the better, somehow — health crisis averted for now. Still, no sense taking chances, so I spent today mostly sedentary, reading about cherries and felting wool and echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters, the only surviving relatives of the platypus (warning: hatching baby echidna photo). Also started The Diary of Lady Murasaki.

I know it’s a horribly romanticized notion with little connection to reality, but I’ve always thought that if I’d had the chance to choose what era I could live in, that the life of a lady-in-waiting at the Heian court would be very appealing. But then, I’ve always felt (and have mentioned here before) a special affinity with Sei Shōnagon, planted at an early age. Oh, to have lived in an age of aesthetics! That’s the kind of decadence I can get behind. Being able to dress like Queen Amidala would be pure frosting.

I think the charm of tooth-black would wear thin very quickly, though.



There’s a certain perversity (or is it defeatism?) to walking up to a checkout counter holding a fancy new electronic bathroom scale — complete with body fat monitor — in one hand, and a large bag of Almond Roca candies in the other.

So, a dilemma: which do I open first? Because, so help me, only one is going to see action tonight. This is still irony, not tragedy, after all.

By the way, I’ve had trains on my mind lately:

[Fire car valve]
Making Tracks, a flickr photoset

Secret project — for now!


Fretwork and synaesthesia

[Nails on bones]

I just realized that for about three months now, I’ve stuck to a pretty good average of one post every two days. Not being a very inspired writer — or rather, being the kind of person who frets nervously for hours at the keyboard for every single sentence produced — that comes as a total surprise to me. I never realized how much work that kind of output requires! I have no idea how all of you superstars do it!

At any rate, I’m in a full-on fret right now, so please, please let me know if you think the quality’s gone down over that time. Because, you know, I still want to be interesting.

But I guess I’m in self-evaluation mode anyway, since it’s annual review time at work — the absolutely worst time of year for the insecure.

On the bright side, I shook Hélène Grimaud’s hand yesterday. I wonder if she saw colors? Because I know I did!


A death by inches


She is planning for me a death by inches, this shadow-me, and each day I flit between engineering her own, and entertaining the idea of just letting it happen. We are all too aware that there is no road on which the two of us, in traveling together, can join and become whole. Our roots will either choke for lack of space, or one will wither and the other flourish.

So we sit and plot, and smile stiffly at each other, frozen by fear of motion.

But on the other hand, Miranda, my skin is smooth and smells faintly of citrus and bergamot and white tea leaves — after all, if nothing else, we can live for these small pleasures.




She is here, my doppelgänger, and already more of a person than I am. And I? I am fading, fraying, graying, not yet gone but leaving quickly. To where? I can’t tell. That would require definition.

“You shouldn’t be afraid,” she says, pulling a cigarette from a gold case in her purse. She offers me the smoke and waits for the briefest of moments before placing it between her own lips.

“Your loss,” she shrugs, before taking a deep, long drag. Unfiltered. I turn away, feeling a phantom twinge of nostalgia in my undefined lungs, and I sense her eyes on me. She’s playing — she knows I’ve no taste for it anymore.

We exhale simultaneously, and the smoke hangs between us. Did some of that come from me?

“I was saying, you shouldn’t be afraid. Letting go is not the end. It’s becoming.”

You don’t understand, I want to say. I don’t want to be you again, or never, or before. You’re what I wanted to be, once, but now I want to be me. But it’s too late. I haven’t the strength, nor have I been able to speak for a very long time, now. I can only stare at this, my past, my future.

She looks back through golden coils, like the signets scattered before Carthage — a harbinger of doom.

I think, would it really be so bad?

And I know: one snip, one slip, and I unravel. The end.

I turn away once more, trying to ignore the weight of years of want. The sky is dark through the glass, deep and wet. A lost day, a day between days.

What do you do when you want to stop wanting?




A wall of rain and fire to the west means I’m still stuck in New York for now — well, not stuck in New York, exactly, which would be just fine, but in the limbo that is the airport. Airports are places you’re either going-to or coming-from. There’s no such thing as being at an airport. The air is muggy and oppressive.

Sitting in a wet-hot plane for three hours on the runway, or in the wet-hot terminal, neither much of a choice — nor is spending the night at La Guardia or O’Hare. At this point I just want to feel Seattle’s cool embrace and the warmth of home. Leftovers and reruns and chores and sleep. I’d even like to be at work again.

I. Want. Destination.

In the meantime I’ve plenty of reading to chew through. Just finished A. S. Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories, some of which left me cold but “A Stone Woman” and “The Pink Ribbon” were both affecting. The weaker stories suffer from truncation, or too much cleverness; all beautifully-written, of course. I’d forgotten how she dances in description, her joy in lists and catalogues. Also, have started A Wild Sheep Chase, which will hopefully last me until I’ve no more need of words.

I might have read three books in the whole of 2004, and twice that just in the past month. It’s like slipping into a favorite pair of shoes, familiar and well-worn.

Update, Tuesday a.m. — in Chicago. They say we can leave within the hour. Fingers crossed.

So tired.

Update, Tuesday p.m. — home!!


Dreaming of being a bride


dreaming of being a bride | New Haven, CT

Much, much too hot here to write. Not heat, specifically, but awful humidity, thick, wet, like childhood summers back home, thankfully forgotten (though I dearly miss: thunderstorms, fireflies).

Back home tomorrow night, anyone in NYC up for an early lunch in Chinatown? But — who am I kidding? Still jet-lagged and will probably sleep until it’s time to leave…

Good-bye, high shoulders, metal earth dwellers, palaces of glass. heart.


Central Park West

[Found mirror project 1]

Whirlwind day in Manhattan, browsing the sample sale at Triple Five Soul, shopping at Lush, H&M, and tons of cute little kitsch shops, ooh-ing at Origins’ fab new Modern Friction dermabrasion rub but backing away a little at the price. Also: nibbles at Jaya Malaysian, Woorijip and Le Pain Quotidien with Miranda and Lia (rockstar!), and finally meeting Jarvis and Samson, adorable fuzzballs — all while fighting off jet-lag.

Lots of fun, but tired tired tired.

Okay, breathe, Yuki, get some sleep. You’ve a train to catch in the morning.


The illusion of clarity


Losing one’s rationality is a terrifying feeling. There have been moments, recently — walking through the sunny city streets, or gazing at dew-spotted flowers fighting the breeze — where I can feel reality beginning to slip. The world changes, and it becomes easy to believe that with one lapse of concentration, just the tiniest of nudges, that the waking dream would take over, with no past, no future, no consequences…

And sometimes, there are moments of clarity, where things burst into brilliant focus and I know exactly who I am and I am who I want to be, and the sun is brilliant against the glass and metal of Seattle without blinding, and the wind blows coolly through my hair, bringing flying petals which paint the world in color: streets, cars, trees, people, buildings, life — everything! — beautiful, beautiful, and beautiful.

But these are just two faces of the same coin, and for just an instant before the beauty fades, the old fears return: is this the biggest lie of all? And it’s gone, gone, a thousand years gone, leaving just a memory of one barely remembered, perfect moment of… sanity? madness?

But see? I’m back again.


La luna


There were times, late at night, when she knew in the depths of her soul that she was a broken person. Sometimes she would emerge from the shower, throw herself onto the mattress, and as the air cooled the water on her skin and in her hair, the chill would seem to numb her sense of self. In these moments of disconnectedness, her thoughts took on a cold, computer-like pattern, and she would feel trapped, as if she were just a prisoner of her body and of her life. Surely she was meant to have been someone else; anyone, anything except herself, or maybe even nobody at all. These feelings of wrongness and illogic were so strong that it was impossible to believe otherwise, but then, slowly, the warmth would return to her body and she would be back, anchored firmly in the reality of her own existence once more. That was possibly the worst feeling of all.
She had lived with this all her life. As a young girl, she’d prayed often to the full moon to take her somewhere else: someplace where she belonged, where she could feel correct. She’d studied meditation and other techniques designed to free her from her shell, and into a more perfect form; all without success, leaving only growing disaffection with her existence…


Kitto katsu

Found at Candyland in Richmond:


Emily, of course, was first to let me know they existed, but I never expected to see them in the flesh. Should have known that Canada would be just the place to go — another example of how snack-deprived we are in the States!

My flickr friend hexion said this, in comments:

Children in Japan do not like green tea taste. However, the adult like green tea taste. I think that it is a thing like the bitter chocolate.
By the way, There is a custom of presenting “Kit kat” to the examinee in Japan. Because the pronunciation of “Kit kat” is near Japanese “Kitto katsu” that means “Win without fail”.

Kitto katsu!

They’re good; maybe a little too sweet, but not overwhelmingly so — about what you’d expect from a good green tea ice cream, but swirled with crispy KitKatty goodness. Since they’re imported from Japan, a little pricey, and then there’s that commute…

I know it seems tea’s been on my mind a lot lately, and you’d be right! Shaula over at tsuredzuregusa 徒然草 has a lovely entry on tea, for whose inspiration I can take some little, indirect credit (via Watermark & my Adagio Teas entry), which spurred a small tea shopping expedition: genmaicha is an old friend (this from Republic of Tea), wonderful and mellow, while lapsang souchong is a new acquaintance, smoky and nostalgic. I know a few of you vehemently dislike it — I wonder if it comes from not having often experienced warm winter fires on frozen nights, crackling & aromatic of charcoal, memories of which come flooding back to me as I sip. How could you not love?

And from janjan, word of her own Adagio reward, which sounds amazing — but I need to watch myself. Finish the tea you’ve got first, yukino.

More KitKats


Beata Vergine

More photos in each of the St. James Cathedral and Egypt photosets. I’ve been uploading images more frequently than blog entries lately (boxes, you know), so if you’ve been wondering if I ever update anything, you can take a peek.

I should find out how to integrate my photostream into my site feed. Someday! First, I need to get some writing in there…


Chiming in


Valerie and matter eater lad, being sweet, wonderful people, sent me a tin of Chimes Peanut Butter Ginger Chews. The note attached said:

She doesn’t like ginger & I don’t like peanut butter, so we thought of you. (p.s. Ginger Altoids are now widely available in NYC!)

Well, I certainly love ginger (no surprise to anyone), and enjoy peanut butter for the most part, but I’m afraid to say that these are pretty awful. Don’t know if it’s the natural outcome of the pairing or just my mutant sense of taste*, but my mouth got confused and everything ended up tasting like sickly sweet cucumber. The texture is nice (nice amount of chewiness, and not as sticky as chews from The Ginger People, which still make my favorite ginger candy), but the flavor — scary! And it lingers, too.

Which is not meant as a slam on Chimes as a brand — their other two flavors (ooh, peppermint!) look like they’d be plenty yummy and their tins are really, really pretty — but anyone who sees me in Seattle over the next week can probably get a free peanut butter ginger chew, no questions asked.

And thanks for the lovely thought, you two! I still enjoyed them — just not for the taste!

*want more evidence? diet vanilla coke tastes exactly the same way to me!


St. James Cathedral

Photoset: St. James Cathedral
Seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.
[Completed 1907, Architects: Heins & LaFarge]

I’ll probably add more over the next few days — a beautiful building with lots worth capturing!


Red red rooibos

[Dragon rooibos]

Decided that today was high time to visit Teavana, the new tea store I’ve had my eye on at the local mall. Why aren’t there more places to shop for loose teas? Still, this one turned out to be just what the doctor ordered! Sampled several sips of aromatic goodness, before getting what has to be the most divine tea blend I’ve ever had — a 50-50 blend of Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl (a green tea variety for when one mythical creature just isn’t enough) and vanilla-infused rooibos. Have constantly had a hot mug of it in hand ever since I got home, the sipping of which has left me v. calm and contented.

Have been on a rooibos kick lately, ever since Rav turned me on to a lovely strawberry infusion at a dinner party. Sadly it seems this variety isn’t readily available anymore (the closest thing at Teavana was a blend of strawberry-kiwi juice and vanilla rooibos, which was nothing like), but the plain South African red rooibos is a treat in and of itself when it’s available (and naturally caffeine-free and loaded with antioxidants!).

Also sampled: macadamia and “tropical” infusions, as well as “monkey-picked” oolong, an unfamiliar but wonderful flavor…

I love finding new and wonderful places to shop! So today is officially a success.

[But when, oh when will we finally see a LUSH in the Seattle area?]

On the health front, am feeling better but getting little sleep of late, as certain creative pursuits are occupying my time. Massive productivity is always satisfying, but at what cost..?


A look askance

[A look askance]
New York, NY | August 2004


Bride and Mother

[Bride and Mother]
New York, NY | August 2004


Negative sunset

[Negative sunset]
Sanibel Island, FL | October 2000


In vino veritas

[In vino veritas]
In vino veritas.
San Francisco, CA | June 2004


Denying allegations

Is ne(one)piphany turning into a photolog? No, I’ve just been busy. Also killed my poor router during firmware update shenanigans and no internet access for awhile. I promise to get back on track soon, but in the meantime, enjoy the cute bunny, or seek drama elsewhere.

In other news: Ronald Reagan died, which made me feel a little sad as his election in 1980 was pretty much my first political memory. But Peter, of course, says it better. Ray Charles died, which made me feel a lot sad. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was fabby — little Danny Radcliffe is turning into Tobey Maguire (and yes, K. D. Lang). Jet brought a suitcase of Italian Beef from Chicago. Genie immigrated from St. Louis, while Kurt is moving back. Six Apart made things all better. This game is unexpected goodness, and I seem, after all, to have no natural talent for poker.

Finally, I’ve spent entirely too much time paper shopping, and not enough crafting. This will change soon enough, oh yes.





Generations have trod, have trod, have trod


Via academia

Oxford | June 1995


Lion’s Share

Chicago, IL | December 2003


Arterial heartbeat

Seattle, WA | August 2003


Double Header


Seattle, WA | July 2003


Fat Kreme a la mode


As threatened.

Jet calls it the “Fat Kreme a la Stone Cold.” I don’t know what to call it. I’m not sure I want to be held responsible for giving this any name at all.

One Fatburger, two Krispy Kreme glazed original doughnuts, and one small cup of Cold Stone strawberry ice cream with white chocolate chips. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that they’ve since opened a Jamba Juice next door.

On the other hand, perhaps that’s best for everyone involved.


The raw ingredients.


Our old friend, the Fat Kreme.


I was imagining a spoonful or two, but apparently Jet has other ideas.


Clearly a fork-and-knife affair. Personally I don’t think he wants to touch it.


Nothing complements the taste of a Fat Kreme a la mode like the smooth taste of the Macallan.


Clearly delirious from the aftereffects, Jet gives the thumbs-up.


Proof of a kind and loving god at last! It’s over.


Lost in Light


New York, NY | June 2003


Golden Currents

Tsawassen, BC | August 1997


Snowed over

Mount Rainier National Park | June 2003


Yer Blues

Mount Rainier National Park | June 2003


Harvard Exit

Woman's Century Club Little Theatre
Harvard Exit | June 2003


Door buster

Door buster | May 2003


Still life with dam

[The Tyranny of Shape and Form]
Still life with dam | August 1997


Culture clash

Toshi's Grilled Teriyaki/Indian Curries
Culture clash | April 2003


The Fat Kreme photo essay

Flashback: for no reason other than to fan the flames of infamy, the Fat Kreme photo essay, starring Jet:








Bon appétit!


Ruby sunset

Ruby sunset | July 2000

Patti’s beach pictures reminded me! As far as I’m concerned, it really is the most beautiful place on earth.


Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance | April 2003


Fat Kreme Combo

Jet came up with the idea of the Fat Kreme Combo back when Fatburger opened its doors in the strip mall down the hill, across from Krispy Kreme. It was a lot more gentle then, and only involved hitting donuts directly after burgers. We should have just done it, because that might have squelched the whole concept before it was allowed to morph into what it did.

e: “Wait, what?
j: “Take the buns off of a Fatburger and replace them with Krispy Kreme glazed originals.”
e: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

That was a year ago. I was convinced it was a joke (seriously, yuck!), but others apparently thought the concept was “great,” and came up with variations on the theme. Freesia invented Krispy Shots, which were surprisingly okay. Jen reported an outing involving Krispy Kremes and In-n-Out burgers. Okay, gross!

Through all this, the Fat Kreme remained blissfully unexplored. Jet, the instigator, kept finding excuses not to do it, still insisting that it would be “awesome” when it did happen. I, of course, knew that it never would.

…until tonight, that is. Behold the creation in all its terrible glory:


You couldn’t have paid me enough to go near the thing, but I have to hand it to him: it wasn’t a joke. He ate the whole thing and, apparently, loved it.

Yes! I want to see ALL the photos!


Theban flight

Theban flight | November 2000


Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished! Ten yuppie markets, three drug stores, one bookstore and one Safeway later…


When all else fails, thank heaven… for 7-11, of all places — and just across from work, too! The inventory was untouched, and the clerk looked at me as if I had grown three heads (“Ginger,” she said, shaking her head. “I think I like that in teriyaki.”). So I rescued the entire stock from the philistines, display box included; some for myself, and some as “thank you” gifts for my diligent operatives. Let those who appreciate the joy of ginger be the ones to hoard it!

Anyway, I feel like I just snapped a picture of Bigfoot. Yay!

And to continue the joyfest a bit: if it wasn’t obvious above, apparently my camera has decided to work for me, for this once at least.

(Ah, see? now it’s dead again!)


Viagra, viagra, viagra

In chilly Chicago, visiting the parents, just as an autumnal weather renaissance seems to be occurring in Seattle. Yesterday was brilliant, blue, sunny, warm — no jackets required. I hear similar things about today, but only from a distance; here, it’s cold and miserable.

Dad’s a doctor, so each new trip home carries with it a treasure hunt in the pile of new promotional product from various pharmaceutical companies. Pfizer seems to have been very generous so far this year, so without further ado, I present to you an abridged tour of the weird, wonderful world of Viagra merchandise:

  1. A Viagra watch. Okay, next.
  2. Stylish Viagra neckties. Note the little blue pills, subtle but obvious. I’m going to take these and create a decorative wall ornaments, or maybe stylish belts.
  3. Yes, Virginia, that is a Viagra racing car mouse. It comes with a snazzy matching mouse pad, too.
  4. Viagra. Pump. Viagra. Pump. Is this hand soap, or something… else?

Probably most distressing of all, and not from Pfizer, is this:

That’s right, a squeezy stress toy in the shape of… a cutaway prostate gland. Talk about your conversation starters.


Frozen moments

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