Saturday, May 31, 2008

happy street art in the guest room

Originally uploaded by

Robot Boy, Lucky, and Penguin waited patiently for me to find the laser level. I bought these three pieces from artist Dave Bloomfield last fall and finally hung them in the guest room today. I love the sweet goodness that permeates much of Dave's work and I'd like to think the positive and playful vibe will influence the dreams of all who sleep in this room.

Framing these was a little tricky due to the non-standard size. Fortunately, I found double-glass frames at Fred Meyer for not very much money. Result: perfection on a budget!

If you'd like to get your own Dave Bloomfield art, make your way to 619 Western building on the first Thursday of the month. 619 Western is an old warehouse space with 6 floors of artist studios. It is open to the public once a month and there is always something new to see. Dave typically has some stuff available for $5. He makes sure everyone can afford a little art in their life!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mountain loop, north cascades and peace

another peace sign
Originally uploaded by
I headed out of town on Memorial Monday to get a little fresh air and fresh perspective. This friendly fella was walking along Hwy 530, just outside of Rockport.
He was carrying a peace sign, which seemed fitting for a memorial day. We chatted for a minute: he was walking home from the Rockport Pub about 1/2 a mile up the road.

My outing took me to
Boulder River trail which winds along the river and has two waterfalls. It's an easy trail and good warm up for harder stuff. There aren't any signs leading you to the trailhead, so if you go, be sure to write down the directions.

Being one of few snow-free hikes in the area, it was pretty busy, altough I had plenty of quiet time, too. I've seen many more people on the much more difficult
Mt. Pilchuck hike.

Hwy 530 links up Arlington and Darrington to the scenic North Cascades Hwy (20) for a nice circle drive in spring with mountain vistas and river roads.

In summer, you can alternately take 530 to Darrington then turn south to join up Mountain Loop Hwy through Granite Falls. While Mountain Loop is always closed during the winter, it had been closed for 4 years straight due to storm damage. It re-opened last October before closing for the winter in December. The road will reopen when snow clears - probably sometime in June. Check the Mt Baker - Snoqualmie Forest
Road Conditions page for updates.

There's a couple of hikes off Mountain Loop Road that I'd like to do: a 1 mile trail to ice caves which form in the summer (easy-peasy), and a 4 mi hike (or mtn bike ride) to the ghost town of Monte Cristo. I'd also like to do the Mt Pilchuck hike to the fire lookout tower again, but I'd only do that on a weekday, now that I know how friggin busy it is on a clear weekend day. (The views were worth it though.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hillary Channels Tracy Flick

This is funny stuff! Here's a short vid comparing Hillary Clinton to Tracy Flick.
I loved Reese Witherspoon in the movie Election as the uber-focused Tracy Flick, who was running for student body president of her high school.

Can't say I love Hillary Clinton though.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Landing on Mars today: follow along via Twitter

Space fans, sci fi geeks, and tech heads can stay up-to-date on the scheduled landing on Mars today of the Phoenix scout mission to the red planet.

the Phoenix has a Twitter account and is posting messages and status updates frequently. What this means: you can get updates sent directly to your mobile device. And the engineers are answering questions from people, too.

How awesome is that?

Here's a sample of recent messages from MarsPhoenix:

A small dust storm blew over the landing site today, but now the weather looks clear for landing. 25 hours and 1 million miles til landing. (20 hrs ago)

I'm closing in on Mars! Who is going to sleep tonight? Not the team, too excited/scared/anxious seeing 5 years of work come to this last day. (16 hours ago)
I've entered the gravity well of Mars. My speed, relative to the planet, will go from 6,000 mph to 12,600 mph by time I hit the atmosphere. (4 hours ago)

The last 7 minutes are nail biters. See vid at Scariest moments: parachute opening, then radar lock on ground. (3 hours ago)

Of course there's also the mission website to find out how it's going. (Old school.)

(thanks @leelefever for the tip!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

a tattoo, part two

Back in December I had my first tattoo done. I love the design and have received many random inquiries from strangers on both the design and who had done the work. (Levi at Super Genius on Pike St. in Seattle did the inking.)

A few days ago I went in for a touch up now that the design is settled. I wanted the outline of the top segment redone in a heavier line weight so it would show up more with the navy blue fill color.

I was a bit surprised at my experience: it was again a contemplative experience and not at all unpleasant. Does that mean I'm open to a little rough play? Perhaps.

I've been thinking about what design I'd like done next. I've wanting the
soaring bird silouette designed by No Touching Ground, but I think I may hold off on that a bit longer. In the meantime, I'll probably get the letter "J" on the inside of my forearm or wrist. I'm not sure how to orient it though. I just don't know the protocol on placement when orientation is important.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Man Man video: winky winky animation

Man Man's "Mister Jung Stuffed" might not be quite SFW, but watching this animation video is like looking for Waldo: be sure to look to the sides and the background to find all the jokes. You might want to watch it twice.

These punksters are fresh to me. (I know, I know...what rock...yadda, yadda.) I first heard Man Man a couple of weeks ago on the "Welcome to the Desert" compilation CD from Filter magazine.

If you're going to Sasquatch Festival Memorial Day weekend, look for this free CD to be handed out as you exit the grounds. I snagged mine at the Coachella festival last month.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a lazy music review roundup: Smoosh, Tokyo Police Club, Dizzee Rascal and El-P

I am a tired girl from a hot and sunny weekend and a bunch of shows. So you'll get short and lazy reviews of the four acts I saw on Sunday and Monday.

These girls are growing up. Now 16 and 14, sisters Aysa and Chloe are already seasoned performers having started out four years ago under tutelage of Jason McGerr, the drummer for Death Cab for Cutie. The two sisters have that young teen coltish look -- check the forelock on one and and the pony tail on the other -- although lead singer Aysa is showing she has what it takes to hold on to the stage a few more years now that the age novelty has worn off. Smoosh offers straight up pop rock with some legs, particularly for a certain market segment. (Look out, Miley Cyrus.)

Smoosh @ Neumos 5.18.08
Demographics: A novelty sighting at Neumos: uncomfortable-looking parent- pairs. I'm guessing they were probably parents of the girls' friends, and were accompanying their own daughters to the concert in the big bad city. (Smoosh is from Seattle.) There were not enough of these oldsters to increase the average age however, which appeared to be around 19 years old. Those skewing older (and not parent-types) were there for the headliner, Tokyo Police Club.

Tokyo Police Club
Fun band with tasty pop punk tunes. They are on the last half of a death march of a touring schedule that runs through mid-June, followed by a few festival dates thereafter. Despite their if-it-Sunday-this-must-be-Seattle schedule, they sounded fresh and put themselves out there for the set.

Demographics: average age 24, half boys, half girls. Wearing clothes appropriate for campus walking and grocery store shopping.

Tokyo Police Club @ Neumos 5.18.08

Hip Hop: Dizzee Rascal and El-P
I don't usually go to hip hop shows, but I wanted to catch the classic stylings of Dizzie Rascal. He didn't disappoint. He has kept his sound fresh but wasn't afraid to do a little "old school" shit about 2/3 of his way through the set. Good show. He knows how to engage with the audience and didn't rely on a the ubiquitous call-and-response thing that every other rapper brings out of their bag of performance tricks when they want to energize the crowd.

El-P was something of a disappointment after Dizzee Rascal. His DJ is great, but El-P's tracks all started to sound the same to me after the first four or so. I'm not an uber fan of hip hop, so maybe the problem is more with me than with him because I just don't know enough to hear differences that perhaps a more knowledgeable listener would pick up on. Oh well, I gave it a try.

Demographics: Another all ages show. 90% boys with an average age of about 20. Some girls and some people over 25, particularly for Dizzee Rascal's set.

dizzie rascal @ neumos 5.19.08

I had a heck of a time getting any pictures worth saving at Monday's hip hop show. Those dudes paced, raced, jumped, lunged, danced, and everything BUT stand still long enough for a picture without flash. Will someone please remind me of this experience the next time I am tempted to raise my hand when the call goes out to shoot at a hip hop show? I am not very pleased with this weeks results. Or maybe I should get right back on that horse and ride it again...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What everyone in Seattle was doing Saturday night

casual patio dinner
Originally uploaded by

Hanging out with friends somewhere - anywhere - outside.

Our fare:

Grilled salmon (caught on Wednesday), grilled steelhead trout, roasted brussel sprouts, spinach salad, roasted corn salad, saimin noodles with onion, grilled chicken, cake with strawberry cream frosting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Emerald City Comi-Con in pictures

I know nothing about comic books, so I'm not sure how I ended up going to this event on Saturday. Seemed like a good idea, and I ended up having a fun time!

I was hoping to find some old comics that my older sister and I ate up like candy when we were in the tween years: True Love, First Kiss, Love Story, etc. We would have DIED asking our southern-raised parents to buy these for us. Thank god for our neighborhood girl friend, who would pass along her well-read copies. How else would we have known that true love is all that matters? And that the first kiss is the only one that matters? (Uh, I can't even remember the name of person I first kissed.)

Unfortunately, these love comics must be popular items since the only ones I found were priced more than I was willing to pay for a short trip down nostalgia lane. Oh well.

50 cent
Since I can't comment intelligently on anything comic-book related, I'll just share some more photos. Very amusing that my most viewed pictures on Flickr from the event are (1) scantily-clad girls in costume, and (2) a picture of the word "poop." Sex and body functions. Of course.

emerald city comicon

poop stop? what?

silver surfer

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Seattle version of The Amazing Race: wanna play?

Here's your best chance to be on The Amazing Race tv show. Only, without the cameras. And you don't need your passport. And it only lasts 2 hours. And you stay in one neighborhood, in Seattle. And you won't be on tv. But it's probably as close as any of us will ever get. It's on Capitol Hill in Seattle and it happens May 31st. No auditions needed -- just an entrance fee, which goes to a good cause: the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings.

The Seattle Inner City Outings Search Party 2008 scavenger hunt will start off in Cal Anderson Park and threatens to cover the entire Capitol Hill neighborhood. Participants can expect a lot of running around while finding answers to clues and participating in wacky activities for points. The event is timed for a hard stop and late arrivals will have points deducted. Last year's scavenger hunt was held in Ballard and activities included finding the Latin name for a tree, stuffing a sleeping bag with one hand, playing croquet, and creating a haiku from sign rubbings. (Read more about 2007's event here and here.)

So who wants to race amazingly? Maybe even in costume, or at least coordinated accessories. (Think same-colored bandanas if costumes are too scary for you.) It is going to be too fun. I promise.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not so Innocent: Fuco Ueda artwork

Japanese artist Fuco Ueda produces beautiful images of Japanese girls that are innocent, sexy, and dangerous all at once. You can view several original works at the Roq La Rue Gallery this month.

Fuco paints using acrylic and powdered mineral pigments, and finishes her work with shell powder. The result is simultaneously soft and crisp, like her subjects.

"The heroines of Fuco Ueda’s paintings are often on the brink of danger. These beauties are at once victims and agents. But whether the threats are self-inflicted or not, they make for fierce and beautiful narratives." [#]

Fuco Ueda @ Roq La Rue

Is she smelling the chrystanthemum, or metaphorically tasting the flower?
Fierce indeed!

The Roq was lucky enough to get a show commitment from Fuco before she signed on with Tomoko Kogure, of Tokyo's Gallery Kogure. I chatted with Tomoko on Friday but she didn't reveal much of her plan for Fuco. Here's hoping Fuco doesn't end up in an artist stable and just one of many. Fuco's work is too good to be sidelined. All of the her pieces for the Roq show have been purchased.

I talked with Fuco Ueda for a few minutes through her friend who translated for us. Nice. Shy. Surprised that I knew of her work from a year ago and that I had been eagerly anticipating her show in Seattle.

Get yourself down to the Roq La Rue in the next couple of weeks to see this work in person. It is lovely, lively, and a bit sexy-dangerous -- in a metaphoric way.

p.s. It is safe for kids: the sexy-dangerous vibe will go right over their innocent little heads.

photo wish

Originally uploaded by
I like this picture a lot. It reflects her personality more than I think she intended.
I just wish my camera would do a decent depth of field. I have to put out some $$ to get it (which I'm trying to avoid atm).

Friday, May 9, 2008

Public Access Bike on 15th?

left unlocked
Originally uploaded by

So this unlocked bike has been leaning against a bus stop sign for 3 days now. It is on a busy road and the bus stop is heavily used. I am so surprised the bike has remained in place for DAYS.

I know some folks are wringing their hands and worrying about safety and crime on the hill. Here's a counter point.

If the bike is still there on Saturday, I think I'll decorate it up and make it a public access bicycle for 15th Ave. One way trips, leave it unlocked at your destination. It's a grab-and-go thing: if you see it and need it, you go for it. Southern boundary Pike, northern boundary the Canterbury.

Call me a dreamer. This men's 10-speed is too big for me, however. That bar could easily cause damage to anyone shorter than 5' 8".

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Does it Offend You, Yeah? Not me

They didn't offend me, nor anyone else at Neumos on Tuesday night. This brit group was on my "list" to see at Coachella but when I went to the tent midway through their published timeslot, the tent was quiet. Damn. Yay for DIOYY coming out to the upper left corner to play. Much better and intimate venue than the Gobi Tent. So it all worked out, yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah play vibrant rock electronica with strong vocals from both this dude, Morgan Quaintance, and bassist James Rushent.
Although the room was only moderately full (why so?), they put full energy into their performance and were tight. Comparisons have been made to Daft Punk, Justice, and Digitalism. They are definitely on the upswing this year: touring with Bloc Party and NIN.

My favorite song of the night was We Are Rockstars, with its in-your-face, don't-look-away blast of pulsing goodness.

Demographics: 50/50 girls and boys. A few fashionistas at play. Average age was 28. I didn't see many dates: mostly same-gender clusters of 2-3 people.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Have you seen my glasses?

a worktable
Originally uploaded by
This particular studio isn't usually open on first Thursdays at the 619 Western building. I was so struck by the worktable and wondering how the artist found anything that I can't recall what his work looked like.

There's a tendency in my family to let counter spaces clutter up just like this. I have to be diligent daily (ok, weekly. or semi-weekly) to make sure I don't accidentally get to this point due to inattention. I wonder if this tendency I fight is an inherited trait or the result of environmental patterning.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Artist SHAG to pay a visit to Fantagraphics

The uber-hip artist SHAG will be at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery in Georgetown Saturday, May 24th, 6pm - 9pm for exhibition opening and book signing. The gallery will feature original works created for the alphabet book SHAG: A to Z, published by Fantagraphics. [#]

SHAG's style is the epitome of Palm Springs circa 1960: "a world of mid 20th century modern architecture and design, populated by hedonists, supplicants, and indifferent women." [

I met SHAG (Josh Agle) a few months ago at the scooter-themed show Motorino at Roq La Rue gallery. He was the ultimate in cool: nattily dressed in coordinating browns with mixed textured wools. Nice fellow, and genuine, too.

scooters by Shag

hat tip to Seattle Twist.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Honeybee worries: A new Haagen-Dazs advert

The honeybee population in North America is diminishing at an alarming rate and Haagen-Dazs ice cream wants to do something about it. They're executing a multi-faceted plan: donating funds from sales of the Honey Bee-labelled ice cream flavors, operating an informative and friendly website (Help the Honeybees), and running adverts.

Their latest ad, "Opera," is mesmerizing. This 30-second spot plays a snippet of opera music (natch) as we follow a CGA bee on its quest to pollinate.

Explore the Help the Honeybees site to learn more and create your own bee character to email or download.

F is for F*cking Fab Freeland Friday: Coachella Music Festival

Coachella Music and Art Festival is the perfect spring festival for a sullen northwesterner: sun, music, art, grass, heat, and shiny beautiful people. There's big names (Prince, Roger Waters) as well as "who-is-THAT?" discoveries. The grounds are small enough to float stage-to-stage to catch as many acts as possible.

at dusk
The festival kicked off on Friday with the to-be-expected stupid traffic jam to get into a parking lot. It's just part of the experience, yo. Note to self for 2009: remember to bring a cable to plug the IPod into the rental car stereo.
Due to the traffic I miss out on a shitload of groups I was hoping to see: Midnight Juggernauts, Rogue Wave, Dan Deacon, Les Savy Fav, Battles. Oh well. A housemate drives my rental car and we park next to another car full of our posse. Careful observation of where the car is parked pays off in the dark later since there are no row numbers or markers of any kind. Racing away from the cars, we are in a big rush to get to the meet up place inside for fun and games during peep Adam Freeland's set in the Sahara tent.

At the meet up spot, we don gold lame robes and are each handed a silver balloon of the letter "F." We are stunning. Truly. We congratulate ourselves on how fabulous we look, then the driver of my rental car says, "Do you have the keys?" WTF. No I don't have the keys. You drove. Shit. Where are the fucking keys? Bags emptied, pockets emptied, we come up empty. This puts a damper on our afternoon, but hey: let's just go with the flow and hope it all works out in the end. The fallback position is a cab ride back to Palm Springs (goodbye $175) and calling the rental company in the morning.

All in our shiniest, the 25 posse members walk across the grounds and enter the backstage of the Sahara tent. W00t! Backstage. Hey, there's DJ Mehdi. And Xavier deRosney! And Alicia Silverstone! And a bunch of other people I should probably recognize but don't! I'm the perfect person to bring to a party with celebrities: I won't recognize any and thus can converse without gushing. (Maybe one of them has our keys.)

We laugh and take lots of pictures of ourselves, the balloons, the backstage area: trying to capture what it feels like to live the fabulous life for a minute.

freeland fighters
Then it is onstage for Adam's first song. He starts slow, builds up, breaks it down. We dance our asses off, then a few brave posse members stage dive. Holy crap! Off the stage, into the audience, dance madly, cheer for Obama, then get right up front to catch Adam as he stage dives. Yow! One of the funnest times, evah! End of set, backstage again (free water!), more pics, then back out into the teeming masses in our gold robes and balloons.

going to get

We get lots of love from the other Coachella-goers. We can find each other all day with those F'ing balloons. People use us as markers to meet up with their friends. "I'm by the shiny people."

The rest of my musical adventures on Friday? Here's the run down as I moved from stage to stage:

Tegan and Sara: 2 songs. Ok, but I don't hear enough to decide if I like them or not.
Dan LeSac and Scroobius Pip: 1 song. I'm not in the mood.
The Raconteurs: 3 songs. Jack White is an awesome rocker. I'm sorry I missed the show at Neumos.
Goldfrapp: 2 songs. The singer is an angel and the band is tight. I could listen to more, but no time.

Goldfrapp @ Coachella
Santogold: 3 songs. Energetic, great voice, great funk-sounding band. Need to see her when she comes to town.
Aesop Rock: 1 song. I like this guy lots but too much schedule competition and I've seen him before. Next time.
Aphex Twin: 6 songs. He has panda bears dancing on stage. Grreat show; good mix of crunchy techno dance shit.

Aphex Twin @ Coachella

Datarock: 3 songs. Boys in red tracksuits whip the crowd into a roaring frenzy. Fun, fun, fun. Packed tent. They are a must-not-miss when in town.

The Verve: 2 songs. They feel and play like a schedule-filler band. I won't be seeking them out.
Spank Rock: 1 song. I like his mixes but I'm not in the mood.
Fatboy Slim: 7 songs. Good, reliable, energetic, with an excellent light show. The tent is packed and crowds are overflowing outside. We hang out in the back with elbow room to move around (and dance!).

And the keys? Turns out they were left in the unlocked car. Unfortunately a purse was stolen out of the trunk -- but at least the douchebag didn't throw the keys into the bushes.

At 1:15 am we start the long, painful exodus from the parking lot. An hour later we are out of the walled-in rectangle of a parking lot and we finally roll into our Palm Springs house at 2:45. We are too bummed about the stolen purse to hit the after-party at the other posse house. There's always tomorrow. It's only day one, after all.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Santogold is not an M.I.A. clone

One of the fresh acts I caught at Coachella this year was Santogold. I didn't see her full set at Coachella: but what I did hear I liked very much. She's got a strong stage presence and knows how to interact with the audience. Her singing was on-key (which can't always be said for M.I.A.).

Admittedly, the track Creator has an M.I.A. vibe to it, however it is more at the genre level. The songs I heard at Coachella had a fun yet complex sound which makes me want to seek out the Santogold LP. In a March NME interview, Santogold (Santi White) describes her self-titled debut album as eclectic, with dub, hip hop, indie, punk, and electronica influences.

Santogold will be playing European festivals all summer, so if you have chance to see her give her a try.
The official video for her single L.E.S. Artistes:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pike Street Fish Fry: Hot Fish Now

Pike Street Fish Fry has cravable, deep-fried goodness: little chunks of fresh fish served in cups lined with paper (so old school!). You can’t go wrong here. With one bench for seating and the rest SRO, Pike Street Fish Fry is the epitome of street food, Seattle style: stand in a dry spot and eat with your hands. Drunk or sober, it hits your craving.

hot fish now

Pike Street Fish Fry in the old Frites location Neumos. The old Frites fryers are put to delicious use, and in an homage to the previous establishment Fish Fry offers a selection of house-made dipping sauces plus bottled Coca-Cola from Mexico.

The menu is short and tightly-focused. Offerings include ling cod, red snapper, halibut, spearfish, salmon, octopus, and a few others I can’t remember. The uber- fresh fish from Mutual Seafood is available fried, grilled, or as a sandwich made with a schmear of slaw. Average price runs $7.00. Everything is a la carte so if “you want fries with that?” is the way you roll with your fish, add another four bucks. Upscale beer and wine are available to keep with the upscale street-food vibe. The seasonal menu currently lists fried asparagus. Word is that the asparagus is amazing. I want. Perhaps today. Or tomorrow. Or both.

Although I had trouble initially distinguishing the halibut from the ling cod, both were deliciously moist, not overly battered, and not greasy. The fish and fries are served in cups lined with printed paper. The best surprise? What I thought might be an onion ring turned out to be a sliver of a lemon circle deep fried and served on top the fish. OMG. A flavor explosion and perfect accompaniment. Really, truly, perfect.

pike street fish fry

The joint is run by Michael Hebberoy of One Pot fame and Portland restaurant infamy. Love him or hate him, the night I was there he was a gracious host buzzing between the register, the beer tap, the kitchen, the door, and checking in with patrons. He had just returned from setting up donated nosh for a Vera Project fundraiser at the McLeod Residence. Good heart, good cause, good peeps. Right on.

Auspicious re-start, Hebberoy, in this cubbyhole of a spot on Capitol Hill. Peeps, expect lines out the door summer evenings.

Pike Street Fish Fry
10th and Pike Seattle

Friday, May 2, 2008

What Twitter is good for

Don't use Twitter yet? Try putting it on your mobile.

Check out my chatter on "What Twitter is good for" over at Three Imaginary Girls.