Sunday, September 30, 2007


People are actually reading this. I suppose I should try to be coherent when I rage against the Seattle Public Library.

This is the problem with the Seattle Public Library.

I mean, aside from the fact that it looks like something Picasso barfed up and then flushed. Aside from the whole blight-on-the-landscape thing. I mean, look at it. It's not all bad. After some soul-searching, I've come to appreciate the inside of it. It's bright and airy, with great views of downtown blocks and lots of interesting internal vistas.

But it's also cold. It's as gray as the wettest, coldest kind of January sky. And the internal furnishings don't help. Rem Koolhaas, the joker who designed the whole thing, is Scandinavian, and being from a cold clime himself, he should understand that the last thing you want when you dodge in out of the rain is to feel like you're still out in it. Which is exactly what the SPL does.

I mean, come on. Does this look inviting to you? Or does it look like Stalag 13?
I get a totalitarian vibe just looking at it, which is not the kind of rep I think our fantastic SPL librarians deserve.

And it's all like this. Sure, it's great to have a new public space; I just wish it had actually been designed with the public in mind. That greyish section? It's the stacks, and it's designed like a parking garage. Of course, most parking garages are cramped and not someplace you really want to stay in. They're for parking and leaving.

But then, I'm forgetting the floor that makes you feel like a platelet.

Oh, and while there's an escalator up into the stacks, there's no escalator back down. It's hell finding the stairs, and there are only 3 elevators. Tell me again that this guy designed the building with the people in mind. What people? People with springs in their legs? It's a suicide's dream, the stacks.

This is why, over the last 10 or 12 years, new construction in the Puget Sound, at least of public buildings, has been all about updating the Modern look: clean lines, big windows, earthy textures, yes, and exposed wooden beams and floors that have been stained a warm hue.

Know why? So that when you're inside, you feel warmer, surrounded by all that warm wood. Rather than the cold dark cement, dampish grey metal, and plastic lime-green accents of the Seattle Public Library.

Look at this little collection of shots. Doesn't it just say "I Am A Number" to you? That gridwork over the front - it's so binary. And reading is not about 1s and 0s; being part of the public debate isn't like that either. We're not Danish and we're not so goddamn modern that we have lost our souls along the way. So why does our library - arguably the most important public edifice we have - make it look as if we have?

If nothing else, you've got to admit that the thing bears a striking resemblance to an Ikea. I keep looking for housewares and Swedish fish.

Just look at that door. What does it say to you? Because I'm hearing Soylent Green is people.

I thought after the thing had been standing for a few years, I would have gotten used to it - and in fact I really do like it on a sunny day. Then, it's a welcome respite from the heat, a great place to people-watch, and - as long as you don't try to make it up to the stacks, because God knows you're not getting back down without a fight - an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon.

But let's face it: when it's sunny, I'm gardening, or walking around the lake, or kayaking. Winters are when I find myself wanting to go to the library, and since the balance of our winters are rainy and gray, that Danish jackass who designed it didn't do thic city's readers any favors. It was designed to get press for Rem Koolhaas. It wasn't designed to serve the citizens of Seattle.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha,,2-2007410746,00.html
Stolen from Mimi Smartypants.

I promise I will write a real post one of these days. I feel strangely under water. I woke up last night seeing a white light coming from the back of my head, and the light made me think unreasonable things, like maybe the second glass of wine last night was a glass too many. WTF? Talk about night terrors.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Write that! Or, don't

This link courtesy of the lovely and talented Ellen:

It's like watching me when I'm trying to revise. A shark! A pebble! The mailman! Yeah, that's it! Except not.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I think my stomach is fermenting.

Yesterday I made Martha Stewart's chocolate babka -- mmmm, babka -- recipe, which Deb vetted over on her site. Being a fiend for any kind of dough, I of course had some before baking it, and the rest of the day I kept having these little yeasty burps. The finished product was amazing, well worth the 5 hours it took to make the damn thing.

In other news, this morning when my alarm went off, I was dreaming that I was gardening in France. When I first reached up to turn the alarm off, I could swear my hand was still wearing gardening gloves - but by the time my hand touched the clock, I wasn't wearing it, and I was back in bed.

I could have killed my alarm clock. In fact that may be part of my plan for the day: destroy France-stealing clock.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Via Heidi's and Inkgrrl's blogs, I give you this tarot-card test:

As it turns out, I am the moon. I am also a complete nutjob when you get a couple gimlets in me. More on that after the moon thing:

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery -
when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions,
madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods.

But it should also be remembered that this is
a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and
insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

So, huh, madness and abusing alcohol. Yeah, um, sounds familiar.

Some good friends of mine had a midcentury-themed party Saturday night. The party was a blast and some of my favorite people were there.

But I made a tactical error beforehand that sealed my fate as a drunken fool. I spent lunch in a beauty salon, having crap sprayed into my hair so that it would stay in a bun. So lunch was a small salad, and then I didn't eat anything else before the party. And then, of course, as happens at the best parties, we walked in and a gimlet was thrust into my willing hand.

The gimlet, she was strong, my friends. She was very, very strong, and my adorable husband kept swinging by to refresh her.

Which means, of course, that I became outrageously flirty with almost every man in the room, the two exceptions being a neighbor/ex (we dated back in the Pleistocene era, so I'm not sure the ex-iness actually counts any more), and a guy who I used to work for.

The last time I saw this guy (the ex-boss), C and I were walking out of a restaurant downtown, on a Saturday night in December. He and his wife walked right by us, and at first I just thought they looked familiar.

Then I realized who it was, and I thought, Great! We haven't seen them in forever, maybe we can renew our friendship. There had been some bad stuff between them and a mutual friend, and it ripped us all up for a while. I was ready to be past that. These two and I, once upon a time, had been good friends. Or at least it seemed that way to me.

I thought all of that in a flash. Then I realized that they were avoiding us, because they weren't just walking up the street. They were walking into the deserted, locked, darkened courtyard of an empty office building, a place they had no reason to be.

They would have gotten away with it, too, if he hadn't turned around to see whether or not we'd noticed. Smirking, as if there was something funny about what they were doing.

That hurt more than it had any right to; it felt like instant rejection. All I could think was, guess we're not good enough for them any more.

Now I wonder if we were ever really friends, or if (as I now suspect) they were just using me to cover up their relationship, which was new at the time, and which ended up hurting other people.

So yeah, no flirting with that guy, and no nice catch-up chat with his wife.

But back to the party, and my charming drunken shenanigans. I'm pretty sure I told the guest of honor I had to go press my breasts up against the DJ (a very sweet guy who used to work for me, and who I think of as a little brother). And I know I told my fave ex-coworker - drunkenly, and in front of his wife, who I also really like - that if I were allotted two husbands, he'd be one of them for sure.

He was touched, but I'm pretty sure I need to make amends to his lovely wife (who? hey, if I was allotted a wife as well as two husbands, she'd be a contender).

C poured me into our car and got me home, giggling at me the entire way. Then he took several shots of me doing a strip-tease in front of the open refrigerator. I must say, I am one in a million. One in a million whats, it remains to be seen.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Oh, blah blah blah

For someone who loves her voice, I'm certainly not using it a whole lot these days, am I? I blame the end of summer. Seattle's pulling out all the stops this time around: gorgeous bright blue 70-degree days, every garden center in town is having a sale, and there's nothing better than sitting out on the front porch watching the world go by. Gimlet in hand.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Getting wood

I used to sculpt a lot, mostly in clay, but I also did some metal sculpture, which was a kick in the ass, let me tell you. You want to have fun with $5 or less, hit up a junk store and assemble yerself a may-un in the form of gears and pulleys and nice hard rods. The superglue even gives you a nice little high.

But I digress.

While we were in SF, we went to the Museum of Modern Art, mostly to see the Matisse exhibit. Matisse was a sculptor as well as a painter, and I haven't been able to get his busts out of my mind. We spent a lot of time in Mendocino, too, on a beach that was literally covered with driftwood. All this has me wanting to get back into sculpting, particularly now that I'm into encaustic. Because what goes better with wood than wax?

This artist is fueling that, and now I'm looking for beginning woodworker classes. The trick is finding one that focuses on sculpture rather than furniture.

Mom will be so proud; she's been carving for seven years now, turning out these birds that look like they're about to fly away. My style isn't representational, and I'm sure she'll tell me to learn how to be representational first so that I can break away later, but I want to skip to the good stuff now. Of course.

I'll bridge the gap by trying my hand at the Old Sea Captain.


I was briefly there, and less briefly here:
Which is near where I took this shot, of which I am quite proud:

And now I am back, doing this:

Oh hell. I have no photo of my desk, and C has hidden the camera. Possibly because I take photos like this:

Speaking of C: On our vacation, I left my purse in a Hawaiian barbecue joint and didn't discover it until we were 68 miles down the road and checked into our hotel. At 9 o'clock at night. Who drove all the way back up north, cracking wise the whole time? C. A good thing, too; I was so tense I was curled up into a C on the passenger seat of the car.
Also great: the good people of the Bay Area. After a logistical snafu that landed us in Pacifica for a night, we holed up at the Drake and had a fabulous time.