Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Four days to go/Guerrilla Art

T-4 and counting. I'm really looking forward to the wedding, and trying not to obsess about details as I usually do when I'm eventing. The only important things are Ray, me, Terry the officiant, the paperwork and enough food and drink for everyone. Everything else after that is icing (on 5 different cakes).

What I thought about this weekend, aside from the obvious, is Jason Sprinkle. He was the artist also known as "Subculture Joe" that brought us some thought-provoking public art like the ball and chain on Hammering Man, and "The Bomb" that brought downtown to a screeching halt several years ago. I learned a few days ago that he died suddenly, and it's just so sad. I had really appreciated his contributions (the ones I knew of anyway) to Seattle public spaces, thanks to/regardless of the controversy surrounding them. It's tough to lose a creative and bold thinker like Sprinkle, especially because he was only 35.

For me, the smaller guerrilla art projects that sneakily and creatively make life better (and make a statement too) are even better than the big, bold, thought-provoking statements. A few years ago, I read about this great contribution to a struggling coffee house in a less than affluent part of town. And then there's the monolith at Magnuson Park, that was removed, and then I think reinstalled by popular demand.

Anyway, even though Sprinkle gave up public art statements in the last few years of his life, I think it would be great to go out and covertly create something in his honor, something to make people think or improve life. If I wasn't all distracted with my own personal/public statement this weekend, this would be my project for the week. I think I'll add it to my 43 things list, once I get around to creating one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Travel list

I just had lunch with Jane, who was talking about a possible trip to Prague. I told her "Oh yeah! Prague is on my list of places to go!" Usually, I tell people that wherever is on my top 5 list of travel destinations, but I'm pretty sure the top 5 is really a top 17 list. But let's be clear...

1. Vietnam
2. Prague
3. Egypt
4. English countryside (& London again)
5. The Cinque Terra and Milan's Lake District
6. Japan
7. Hong Kong
8. New Orleans to Savannah via Deep South backroads
9. Samoa
10. Scandinavia
11. Small cruise to Alaska
12. Nicaragua
13. Spain
14. New England in the autumn
15. Ranch in Montana
16. New York City
17. Turkey

I know there are a few more even.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Ray co-produced a literary inquiry this weekend about speculative fiction. I'm not much into science fiction, but this day-long event was very engaging and educational. I wish I could've fully appreciated some of the writers and others who presented during the inquiry. (I ate lunch with a group of them, and I felt like they needed to move me to the kids' table. I didn't dare say anything so as not to out myself as a complete speculative fiction nimwit...which I don't generally mind being, but in this context, well...you get the idea.)

Anyway, much of the inquiry focused on the current and future (duh) state of our real world and its impact on literature and society in general. There were many scary and depressing ideas exchanged and agreed upon, some of which included information presented by a notable biologist and environmental scientist (James Karr). No real surprises here, but some of the most memorable moments (unsophistically paraphrased here):

- We, the global community, "jumped the shark" in 1977, when our consumption of natural resources began to outweigh the natural resources available. And we're (most especially us Americans) racking up resource debt big time.
- Ugly examples of how public education is in the toilet, and going no where fast.
- Our leaders emphasize the growth of the GNP as a positive indicator of our national health, when it's really an indicator of money changing hands and not much more...certainly not the welfare of society. Related to that...
- Many countries have adopted comprehensive indicators of their own social, moral and ecological health (or "ill-th"). Guess who hasn't. And if we did, guess what we would find. It ain't pretty.
- Nobody reads anymore, but we've become much more sophisticated about how we watch TV. (Okay, the latter part wasn't from the inquiry, but I was reminded of an article in the New York Times magazine a few weeks ago... "Watching TV Makes You Smarter" by Steven Johnson, 4/24/05).

There were a lot of other depressing ideas about poor people getting poorer and more exploited, running out of oil, running out of usable water, the erotion of privacy, and our country's inattention to the impact of the growing global strength of China (well, this didn't really come up specifically yesterday at the inquiry, but is something Ray and I talk about with some frequency.) Anyway, you get the idea.

There were a few glimmers of hope offered during the day. One person fueled discussion of how the power of storytelling (in all its forms) can change people's minds about their place in the world and how to behave in it. Also, we learned that you can do some really cool things with PowerPoint and a rinky-dink electronic piano keyboard.

I need some tequila and a good night's rest.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Review of That Movie experience

We saw the new Star Wars movie last night at midnight. The experience was nearly as overstimulating as the movie's opening sequences. A rough breakdown:

Percentage of audience consisting of completely amped up teenage boys running (literally) around with light sabers: 7%

Ratio of boy to girl costume wearers: 20 to 1

Best quote overheard: "Oh my god. What am I going to do when this is all over?"

Second best quote overheard: "It's a good thing I'm feeling so fat today since I decided to dress up as Jabba the Hut."

Most refreshing moment: Collective groaning/laughing during love scenes and other you're-kidding-me moments. My god but Sammy could write better stuff than this, and she's a dog.

Most disappointing: Keisha Castle-Hughes was only on screen for 2 seconds. What a waste of great young talent. (Wait a minute...that sums up most of the performances.)

Most entertaining: the cityscapes and other architectural shtuff

Monday, May 16, 2005

So far, a perfect day

My first day of freedom/unemployment has been pretty much perfection.

9:30 am - sat at Le Panier in the Market for several hours reading the paper and drinking coffee. Had one of my favorite Palmiers too, despite the wheat-ness of it.

Noon - ate lunch with Ray and then picked out some ties for him, plus he bought me some sunglasses, plus the new Marjane Satrapi book. Ran into an old friend, who asked about work...her: "So, who are you with now?" me: "No One!"

2:00 pm - rode home on the bus, and read the book (good).

3:00 pm - swam 1900 in a lane all to myself...400 free, 200 breast, 200 kick, 800 free, 100 kick, 200 breast.

4:00 pm - picked up house, stopped Sammy from rolling in poop, and played on internet.

Friday, May 13, 2005


So strange. Today was my last day of work, and I couldn't be more thrilled. It will take awhile for this to sink in fully, but meanwhile I'm enjoying the surreal feeling.

No more Tuesday meetings, where I sat wondering how I'm gonna get through the end of the meeting, the day, the week, the job.

No more psyching myself up to do the primary components (75%) of my job description.

No more pouring over strategies feeling both personally compromised and utterly bored.

No more looking for reasons to sneak out to shop, run errands.

No more endless day-old pastries, tempting me in my boredom.

No more charming but loud clanking heaters and irritating 1920s plumbing.

No more schmoozing with people we want something from.

No more schmoozing, period.

No more discussions about figuring out how much money someone has.


No more beautiful office, with the garden courtyard out the window and squirrels playing on my window sill.

No more helping the people who want to accomplish some pretty profound things in medicine WITHOUT having to talk them into it.

No more hanging out with my fantastic friends and coworkers. Well, on work time anyway.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Something's up at B of A

A few Saturday mornings ago, Ray and I walked past this bank branch by our favorite breakfast place. In front of the branch were two guys dressed in sharp black suits and wearing little ear phone thingies. Parked next to them was this brand new black Escalade. They were clearly guarding the front entrance of the bank...but why? And why on a Saturday morning.

This morning we walked past the same branch, and there was one guy waiting out front in a suit, but no ear phone and the car was like a beat up '93 Mitsubishi minivan. I figured he was waiting for his wife to make her deposit or something before they headed to his mom's birthday brunch at Salty's. But then an hour later, we drove by and there he was again, loitering in front of the bank entrance. What does it all mean???...so exciting.

Thursday, May 5, 2005


Here are all the things I've been meaning to write in the last few days (I at this moment I am not motivated to dive into any one or the other):

1. The Cambodian Party House -- good topic for a month or two, when the parties start and the beret and fatigues wearing guards are out front.

2. This one therapy client that I've wondered about after all these years...so much potential, such a tough lot in life...wonder where she is now.

3. Lady at mall with the 3" long green fingernails. (No need to elaborate.)

4. The person who lives next to the Cambodian Party House.

5. My "new" neighborhood is really active in a family kind of way. The park nearby always has a lot of families hanging out in it. We walked by this evening and there was a multi-generational, co-ed basketball game underway...1 basket, 13 people. The rest of the courts were occupied, as was the tennis court and the play equipment.

6. "Yearbook" entries for all the donors I am (and am not) going to miss once I leave work.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

6 Raves, 1 Rant

Great weekend, this.

I met up with Mel and Susie on Friday night, as they are helping with wedding shtuff and day-of logistics. Not only are they excited about this, but they are exceptionally skilled. I am lucky!

Bought the Miss Saigon cast recording. It is guuud.

Jana hosted my shower, and while I'm not generally a shower person, it was a lovely affair, complete with brunch foods and very very nice friends.

Ray installed a superfast wireless network at home.

I pulled out a whole bunch of weeds with the fun weed-puller-outer.

Pretty good swim: 200 free, 200 kick, 200 breast, 200 free, 200 free/breast. 100 kick, 100 breast kick, 50 back, 200 free, 100 breast.

I was swimming with 2 yahoos who would not stop at the wall and let me pass, even though I was literally on one or the other's heels for a length or two. Thankfully, they both hung out at the wall more than swam, and got out of the pool for the last 20 minutes of my workout. Manners, people, please!