Monday, December 10, 2007

Shouty Drunk Guy

Tonight there was a shouty drunk guy in the library. I was helping him and I was even doing all my Professional Librarian Reference Effectiveness Behaviors ("Is that your complete question?") when he confessed to me that he was drunk. I mean, I could smell it on him, but when you just up and confess? Come on! Only in Aberdeen would you confess your drunkenness to a public servant with the expectation that this knowledge will make them more patient and lenient and will explain away all your bad behavior. "Oh, you mean you're only shouting and repeating yourself because you're drunk? Well, that's alright then."

So as soon as he said this I turned my head to look at our cop, who was standing maybe 12 feet away. And Shouty Drunk Guy turned his head and noticed the cop too, for the first time. OOPS! I guess he didn't expect that he'd be a Shouty Drunk Guy in front of a COP! He started begging me not to do anything, but I mercilessly got the cop's attention anyway. And then the cop escorted him out. When our cop returned, he remarked, "At first I just thought he was loud and different." Indeed no.

And then about 10 or 15 minutes later Shouty Drunk Guy came back inside. This time V. kept him at bay while the rest of us went looking for the cop, who again escorted him outside and again 'supervised' him for a little while. Then by all reports, Shouty Drunk Guy got on his bicycle and rode away. And for a minute there I thought I was back in Tucson.

So. Some of you may heave heard about OUR BIG FUCKING STORM. Yes. It was a wind-storm. The weird weather started Sat. Dec. 1st, when there was SNOW. And snow by itself isn't all that weird this time of year in WA, and it had been pretty cold recently. Nico even bought us some ice scrapers. I haven't owned an ice scraper since I was 20.

And then on Sunday the wind storm started. At first it wasn't much different from any other windy-type storm that we get here, but then it escalated. We were having sustained winds of up to 70 mph, with gusts over 100 mph. The power went off on Sunday night.

On Monday morning I got a call that the library would be closed because the power was out. There was still hot water for showers, and Nico didn't have to work that day. The wind was still blowing; it was only the middle of the storm. Nico and I went driving around to see if anyone had power, but it didn't look like it. There were trees down (big ones) everywhere. We have a gas fireplace and gas stove top, so we were alright on heat and food. We took naps. In the afternoon I got another call saying that the library would be closed the next day too. And then I lost reception. We were effectively cut off, so we didn't know how bad it was.

The next day Nico went to work, where he heard about the flooding, the road closures, and the governor declaring a state of emergency. But I still didn't know how bad it was. The weather had calmed down and still no one had power, so I thought I'd just drive in to Olympia, buy some supplies, eat at a restaurant. But I couldn't get out of town, because the highway was closed. Would probably be closed, I was informed by a worker, for a couple of days. I was trapped! I couldn't leave. The stress began to get worse.

Well, we finally got our power back on Wednesday evening. The library was open on Wed. as well. We weathered the storm; the worst one this area's seen since the 60's. All in all we were pretty lucky. No trees fell on us. We had heat and food. Our power's back on. Our drinking water wasn't contaminated. Nico didn't have to miss any work, and I'm still paid for the days the library was closed.

Welcome to the Harbor, suckers!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Swap 2

I'm hosting another swap on Swap-Bot. This one is the "Cover Me mix CD" swap, and as you might have guessed it's a swap for mix CDs of covers. You can see it at

The last day to sign up is Nov. 24, so don't be shy! Go join my swap! Swap-Bot accounts are free, and if you're new to it all I ask is that you fill in your profile. Pretty easy.

If enough people sign up it should be pretty fun. Oh come on. Don't you want to have fun?

Monday, October 22, 2007

I finished it!

I finally finished the lace scarf that I've been working on for nearly a year! It's done! Pictures later.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Not Socks

Today we take a break from sock yarn. This is another yarn from Hand Spun and Dyed Too, and indeed it is handspun and hand-dyed. I bought this off eBay a couple of years ago shortly after my yarn mania truly set in. I fell in love with the colors and when it came I enjoyed the texture as I wound it into its little ball.... and that's as far as it ever went. There's less than 100 yards here, and I have no clue what I could make with it. It would felt beautifully if I wanted to felt it, but it would become even smaller then, and I don't know what I could make.

I've thought about just leaving it as a ball forever. I might do that. Every once in a while I'll just take it out, hold it and look at it for a while, and then pack it away again. Therapy yarn.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cloudy Yarn and the Toe Butcher

I am full of excuses for why there was no yarn yesterday.

But there is yarn today:

Yes, more sock yarn. This yarn was sent by lovely Jenny as part of a Twin Cities-themed birthday package. The yarn was hand-dyed in St. Paul. Jenny said it reminded her of clouds, and as such it is completely appropriate to my new home. It does have a nice, soft cloudy look to it. This yarn will make sweet feminine socks that will be a pleasure to behold and a relief to wear. This yarn will make socks that will renew my spirit and my faith in humanity. This yarn is like wooly tea and sympathy. The yarn tells me so.


Yesterday I went to the podiatrist to have a two (or three?) week old infected ingrown toenail removed. Oh man. What you need to understand is that I am one of the most stubborn people I know when it comes to medical care. Who else would allow themselves to languish under the shadow of the lung butter (nasty resperatory infection, for the uninitiated) for a full month before finally seeking medical attention? Who else would allow their infected toe to fester into messy, bright-red hamburger (that's the podiatrist's term, by the way. Hamburger. It's an established clinical term, I'm sure) under the delusion that it "might get better"? Yes, if it weren't for modern medicine I'd be dead from some stupid infection three times over by now.

So after much butting-in and insistence from my very nice and mothering coworkers (and that's the other thing: when I do seek medical attention it's usually the product of outside intervention) I went to the specialist to tell him my sad toe-tale. He injected my full of drugs (and due to a faulty needle I actually got some extra!) and on his way out I heard him tell the nurse that I had "the works." Truly, I am a bad-ass.

He removed the rogue sliver of toenail as well as the scar tissue (hamburger) that had formed. The whole thing took less than ten minutes. I didn't feel a thing. He cut off a chunk of my toe and I didn't feel a thing! He's sending the pus off to the lab and I'm going back next week for a follow-up.

Of course, as soon as the anaesthetic wore off I had to go home from work with a swollen throbbing foot. And this morning I had to soak the bandage off. That was pleasant. You know how sometimes in bad horror movies someone will get cut open and their blood will kind of spray out in regular spurts, as if in time with their heartbeat? Well, that actually happens.

Enough said.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's Pumpkininny!

Yarn I want to eat:

This is one skein of Pumpkin Pie sock yarn from Hand Spun and Dyed Too, which has a shop on eBay as well as etsy. I bought this yarn on etsy just last month in a fit of pumpkin-lust. I will have pumpkin pie socks! I will. This yarn looks like it should both smell and taste of pumpkin pie. But do not be fooled; it is just wool.

Library Adventurama~
My favorite reference question of the day came from a patron who had joined a Double Day book club and wanted me to tell her when her first batch of books would arrive in the mail. Did she want the email address I found as the only way of contacting this alleged book club? No, she did not. She simply wanted me to tell her when her books would arrive. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a computer, not a crystal ball.

I have begun to notice an unpleasant side effect of doing reference work, and it is that as soon as I leave the library I hate, just hate, being asked questions. While I am in the library I am paid to answer (or at least, try to answer) as many random-ass questions as the public can throw at me. I am paid to find things for them and to fetch books, various media, and sundry information. And because of this I now feel like I'm being taken advantage of whenever a stranger stops me on the sidewalk to ask me for the time, a cigarette, or directions to the post office. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this. In fact I'm willing to bet that this feeling is so widespread that if might qualify as a syndrome. Now. What shall we call our hating-work-like tasks-when-one-is-off-the-clock syndrome? Suggestions welcome.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Something Sunday

I've been a bad yarn blogger. What can I say? I had stuff to do this week.


Another yarn procured from the Yarn Garage in Rosemount, MN. I have no idea, anymore, who made this yarn or how many yards it is. I have no idea what I'm going to make with it, or when. And I don't much care. It's pink and it's handspun and it's a little crazy, and that's enough for me. I'm a sucker when it comes to handspun.

It does remind me, a little, of the Elephant Bugbite yarn that I used last year to make a nice soft scarf for Chiara. Now THAT was a good yarn! It was gray (the elephant), with similar pinks here and there (the bugbites), and it was spun really unevenly so it had a lot of mismatched texture when I knit it up. This yarn isn't quite as soft as that one was, but it has the same kind of chunky bumpy handspun aesthetic.

Today it is raining raining raining, and it has been for hours and hours. It's raining hard too, none of this "light misting" you hear about up here. Nico and I are wrapped in blankets, huddled in front of space heaters to keep warm. There's hot coffee and books to read. There's a chicken brining in the fridge, and tonight I will stuff and roast it. I have to admit that, aside from the current lack of nice furniture and the throbbing infection on my foot, this is pretty much how I imagined domestic life after school would be.

And the lack of nice furniture thing won't be an issue forever. Why, just this week I bought a nice couch from a place here in town. Of course, now they have to order the couch from LaZBoy, and it will take 2 months to get here, but it's on its way. And it's red.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ew, it's all sticky!

Yes, so I missed a day with the whole yarn-of-the-day idea. Oh well.

Today's yarn is three hanks of Sheep Shop Yarn in the G148 colorway. Pretty exciting, huh? I got this last weekend when Nico and I went and spent a day in Portland. We wandered up and down Alberta St. and of course I discovered Close Knit. I think Nico got a little bored waiting for me to finish drooling over all the yarn. Eventually, though, I did decide on these three skeins plus a fourth skein of the same stuff but in bright orange. The plan is to use this yarn to make myself a nice, big, warm scratchy wool scarf. With an autumn leaves theme. t first I thought the brown would be like branches and the orange I would knit and felt in leaves, which I would then stitch to the scarf. I'm not so sure now.

At the yarn shop I also bought three little plastic buttons that are shaped and painted like gophers in mid-dash. I've never seen dashing-gopher-buttons before. I love them. And I bought a little Lantern Moon sweater keychain as an extra for an upcoming yarn swap.

At this point I'm sure you're asking yourself, what's all sticky?

OK. Yesterday at the library a patron came up holding one of the plastic magazine binders (with a fresh copy of Redbook inside), and complained that it "had something on it." Not only did it have something on it, but it was also kind of wet. Why was it wet? It wasn't raining outside, and even if it was that magazine shouldn't have left the building. So why was it wet? It is a mystery.

Now, a quick note about the difference between being a librarian and working at a used book store, ahem, Bookman's. At Bookman's if a customer had come up to us with a sticky book or magazine, we would have shrugged, grimaced, and thrown it away. At the library, we actually have to clean the damn thing off. So I took it in the back and tried 409'ing it. That didn't work, becase yes, it was sticky. So I rubbed some Goo Gone on it, and then 409'ed it again for goot measure.

They don't tell you about this shit in library school. And why would they? "There's something sticky... @ the library!" doesn't sound too appealing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Today's yarn is a little less that one (large) skein of Fearless Fibers sock yarn in the Kildare colorway, available on I've used this yarn to make a pair of lacy knee-high socks, and it's very good. I still have enough to make another whole pair of socks.

I love this green. It's so bright. And it knits up with little flecks of yellow here and there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Grandma's Socks

A quick story about my grandma, and knitting. My grandma was a farm wife, and she was a young wife and mother during world war two. She knows how to do... everything. She's a master quilter, an accomplished home cook, she sews, crochets lace, has made dolls... she's one of those people who seems to know how to do everything, even if she doesn't do it regularly.

So when I wanted to learn how to knit, I naturally turned to her first. "Grandma, do you know how to knit?"
"Oh, ya, I know how."
"Will you teach me?"
"No, I don't think so. I know how to knit but I don't like it. You can learn that from a book."
And that is the story of how my grandma DIDN'T teach me how to knit.

So, of course now I'm knitting her this pair of socks. Today's yarn is two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Ravenwood colorway. I'm not sure why reddish-pink and blue together would be named Ravenwood, but it is. It's been about month since I've worked on these socks. This pair of socks will by my third, but they'll be the first I've made for someone else, and the first I've worked toe-up. I will be very proud to give my grandma a pair of hand-knit-for-her socks for christmas this year, even if she didn't teach me how to knit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Black Alpaca

Today's yarn:

4 skeins of black alpaca, purchased from the owners of the alpaca herself at the last Estrella. They told a sad tale of how this particular lady alpaca was unable to bear baby alpacas, and since alpacas are shorn for their wool only once a year this made her more expensive than she was worth. The couple said they donated her to Washington University and that this was some of the last of her wool. I had, and still have, the intention of making Nico a nice soft pair of fingerless mitts with this yarn. This is some of the yarn that will be lucky enough to be used this year. In fact, it's the next knitting project on my list.

I had the opportunity at the beginning of the summer to explain to one of my nieces what an alpaca is. She knew what a llama was, and so I told her that an alpaca is like a llama, only smaller and with softer fur. She seemed pretty impressed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's Yarn

Two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Icehouse colorway. I got these while visiting MN over Christmas last year, from the Yarn Garage (!) in Rosemount. At the time I had only completed a single sock but I was beginning to appreciate the beauty of sock yarn, and I had big plans. I was also beguiled by the name of the colorway and the general magic of being in a colder climate. Bev offered to buy them for me and I tried to imagine the finished socks on my feet, in a drawer, or posing on top of a pile of huge iceblocks while a pleasantly muscled man, an icehouse worker, labors and sweats nearby.

Today the Icehouse yarn waits patiently in the center of the stash. It's not the oldest sock yarn I have, and certainly not the youngest. Someday I will sit down and make a bunch of socks just for me, and I imagine that this yarn will be first on the list.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Meet the Stash

The ugly truth is that I have been neglecting my knitting. In the hustle and hurry of moving, starting a new job and getting settled in I have all but forgotten the knitting I planned to get done this summer. And then, I had the nerve to go and pick up a new hobby: swapping. Truly, my knitting has suffered.

Now the summer is over. Where are those sweaters I planned to knit? They're still just ideas and vague intentions. Where are the projects that should have been finished and safely in the hands of their intended recipients? Still on the needles. Still on the needles or, worse, frogged and rewound. Mercy killings, you might say. But the stash knows. Oh, it knows.

So in the interest of shock-starting my knitting once again, I've decided to post pictures of all the lovely yarns I have waiting for me in my stash. One a day, that's the plan. I will sort of reacquaint myself with each of them, remember why I fell in love with them in the first place. And then I will introduce them each to you.

Today's yarn:

Dusty Handspun. 125 yards of wool, soysilk and bamboo dyed and spun in beautiful deep-sea shades of blue, black and green, with just a little bit of purple thrown in. Just a little, mind you, nothing obscene. This is an Insubordiknit yarn, made by the lovely Jacey Boggs, and purchased roughly a year ago, give or take. I honestly don't know yet what will become of it, although it's inkled to me that it might like to become a pair of wristies... or a hat. I'm not quite convinced it's got the yardage to make a hat, but we shall see. It might make a nice gift for just the right person. Hmm.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Something Pleasant, For a Change

I thought this time I'd just share some nice pictures with you.

Last weekend my sister Missy was here from Phoenix. I had a great time while she was here, but one of the cool things we got to do was walk around and shop in Portland one afternoon with Chiara.

We got lattes and whole beans at Stumptown. That was probably the best latte I've ever had. And look how pretty:

And here was this great mural we saw. It reminded the three of us of many things. It reminded me of Brian Andreas, for one.

Sometimes when I take my walks around Aberdeen I see blackberries growing in people's yards. I know I shouldn't eat berries out of a stranger's yard, but sometimes I do anyway.

Here's this nice old elementary school that's kitty-corner from our place:

And here's some nice lush tree moss:

Nico and I have also gone to the Spar Cafe in Olympia a couple of times. We likes it.

So there you are. Things aren't all bad.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Jerk Points

I think that there should be a stricter limit to the assholery that the average citizen is lawfully permitted to commit. I think that everyone should get a set number of "jerk points" to spend on various activities or items. And then, when your jerk points are gone, they're gone. The only way to get em back is to give up one of your jerky contrivances and until then, you are not permitted any jerk behavior.

Let's say, for example, that everyone gets 500 jerk points. Let's say that owning a cell phone will cost you 75 of those jerk points. Hey, I own a cell phone, and I'd admit that it's worth about 75 jerk points. But if you use Bluetooth then that'll cost you an extra 50 JP. OK. Certain things will cost more JP than others... sporting a fauxhawk is worth maybe 10 JP, but forgetting to say please and thank you to service workers is worth 80.

And let's say... let's say that owning a Hummer costs you all 500 of your jerk points. So if you are the individual who made a left turn and cut me off while I was walking in the ped xing today while you were driving your stupid black Hummer and talking on your cell phone, then you have committed a serious jerk point infraction, and your ass should be in jail. In jail while they pipe in Anne Coulter's steady stream of consciousness. If you can call it that.

Also, today at the library a dude got arrested by two cops right in front of me! Ooo!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Library Adventure Bonanza

Today I actually witnessed a man blow his nose on his t-shirt. Just lifted it up off his belly and honked on it. Yep.

Also today I noticed that one of the people waiting for a computer smelled like soap! Soap! Instead of something else! I thought, 'Whoa! Things are looking up!' But it was a false alarm, because when I told one of my colleagues about it, she laughed and said, "Yeah, they're visiting from Australia."

And finally, I am forced to point out that not every miniscule little topic has an entire section of books, muchless one whole book, about it. Looking for the section on the pronounciation of the names of angels? Sorry. There isn't one.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I joined Swap-Bot a few weeks ago and have been happily swapping away. It's great. So great that I decided to host my own swap!

The swap I'm hosting is a Short-Short Story swap. We will be swapping an original short-short story of 60 words or fewer plus title. Go check the swap out at:

The last day to sign up will be Sept. 10th. Come join my swap!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Adventures at the Reference Desk

Today one of our regular patrons told me that I sure have nice teeth. How kind of him to notice on this, the one morning I couldn't brush due to cohabitation and overlapping bathroom schedules.

Someone was looking for books on chickens. Books on keep and raising chickens? No. Books on minimum requirements for showing chickens. Did we have a book on showing chickens? To my eternal surprise, we did.

Another person was looking for books on cats, domestic and wild. Turns out his elderly neighbor believed a recently-appearing stray cat to be from Africa.

A young girl asked if she might sing for us. The answer was yes, if the song was not too loud.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Have I mentioned how picturesque our little town is? It is. Quite. Picturesque. And quaint. There are moments when I think the quaintness might tumble us into a Norman Rockwell illustration. But it's the pituresqueness that strikes me more often than the quaintness. It's almost like the place is auditioning to be part of a David Lynch movie, if you get my drift.

On Thursday night Nico and I were invited to a dinner party our landlord was having. I thought it was a little odd because I've never had dinner or done anything socially with a landlord before, but this landlord is relatively young so we thought why not. There were a couple of women who were probably about my age and who were both from "the Harbor," (as folks call it around here) although one of them works in the South during the schoolyear. The other one has a photography studio here in town. Then there was another couple from CA who've been here three months and bought the huge old house behind us. They're here because of the cheapness of the houses and the proximity to Portland and Seattle. They're trying to get his art out there.

It was really sort of a relief to be able to sit and talk with people - other outsiders, in a way - in a casual environment. There were some weird and awkward moments to the conversation, as I think there often are when you're with new people, but overall it was nice. I don't feel quite as isolated as I did, because now I've at least talked to some people here who are more 'like us.' Not too similar, though. I only hope we made a good enough impression to be included again in the future.

To be honest, we'd quite like to host some dinner parties, but we've still got unpacked boxes and no furniture. Though at least we're a little closer to knowing who we could invite.

Oh, and if you're a foodie like I am, the dinner was quite nice. There was:
green salad with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, oil and lemon juice dressing
corn on the cob
some kind of crusty bread
skin-on pan seared salmon
a cheese course, two soft (probably a blue) and one hard, but I don't know what they were
And one of the other guests brought a fresh fruit tort she had made. Let me tell you, we are not used to our fruit being that good in AZ. It was fantastic.

Time to start brushing up on my cooking repertoire.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Week 1 and Beyond

Alrighty. I've been meaning to post for about a week now, to avoid the giant mega-post that seems to take all day to write, but here I am now: 2 weeks gone from Tucson and still no update. I will strive to be light on words and heavy on pictures. Really.

Thank you again to James for throwing me the most kick-ass going-away party I could have hoped for. Eegees and rum is a taste explosion I will very much miss. And thanks to everyone who made it out to give me a big send-off. I'm blessed to have such friends and I miss you all.

So, on Sunday the 24th we had the awsome help of Dom, Gallant and Aziza while we loaded up the truck from both our apartments. There's not much else to say about that other than it was hot and miserable and we surely couldn't have done it alone. We stayed the night at my sister's in Phoenix and headed out bright and early the next morning, making it to Modesto CA by sundown. On Tuesday morning we left Modesto and, despite some minor setbacks (traffic, blowing a tire on the truck) made it to Portland that night. Wow. What can I say? I wish we'd had more time to spend in Portland because it looked like an urban heaven. I'm sure we'll be making a few trips down there in the coming months. On Wednesday morning we allowed ourselves a bit of a lay-in (we didn't get up until 8!) and had a real breakfast before hitting the road one final time.

We made it to Aberdeen just after noon and, long story short, began moving into our new place that afternoon. So, our place: 2 bedroom, 1 bath nichigh ceilings, e bath, coin-op shared laundry, mostly carpet, new kitchen appliances, gas fireplace, huge windows, big walk-in closet, 1700 square feet (give or take) and "up the hill," which is apparently a plus when you live in a Tsunami hazard zone. I kid you not. Oh, the apartment is part of a large house which was originally built in 1900 and then added on to over the years. It's now been split up into 4 apartments, only ours being currently occupied. And it's 4 blocks from the library, so I walk to work and come home at lunch. Ideal, right?

Here is a picture of our creepy-looking old house:

And here are some pictures of our lush-looking yard areas:

And that's not all, check this shit out:

Uh-huh, that's moss. It just grows out here... on the ground, on the sidwalks, on the trees, sometimes even on people's roofs.

And take a look at this ferny goodness...

It's like a jungle, no? In fact, we are just a couple of hours south of the rainforests. We plan to go up there are some point, hopefully spot ourselves some banana slugs. Yup. I wanna see a banana slug. Oh! and here, look at this:

A soft, downy fiddlehead fern thingy. Cool! It's a little like being in Jurassic Park.

So, about our town... Ah, Aberdeen. Not much to do in Aberdeen. People are nice, though we haven't seen many our age. Small town, you know? We figure that most of the folks our age either settled down here and had babies, or they left. So.

But work at the library is nice. I think I'll like it there. It's nice to be doing something that I went to school for, and it's nice to be able to leave my work at work.

So far we've made three trips into Olympia (small but nice and urban. I wouldn't mind living there), seen the big 4th of July deal that they have down at the river, and drove out to the coast. The coast was only about 30 minutes away, and they let people drive their cars right out onto the beach. The sand there is packed hard enough. And we also got to see and tour two replica tall ships, the Lady Washington (which calls Aberdeen her home and appeared prominently in the first two Pirates movies) and the Hawaiian Chieftain. So, here are some pictures of the 4th of July thing, the ships and the beach. Enjoy:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Interview part 2, moving

So yes, I did my second interview with the Aberdeen library by phone, and they asked far fewer questions that time around. I again didn't feel like I did too spectacularly, but later in the day I began to get notice that my references were being checked. A good sign. Still, I didn't think the job was 100% in the bag and I began to prepare myself to continue the job search.

Then a week ago I got the job.

Nico and I are moving to Aberdeen. We leave Tucson on the 24th and will spend the night with my sister up in Chandler, and then we will leave the state on the 25th. Right now we're busy with packing and worrying and trying to find an apartment. So. I won't have much time to update in the next 2-3 weeks, but after that I can begin to talk about life in WA. It'll be great!

Right now in Tucson it is 102 degrees.

In Aberdeen it is 61 degrees.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Seattle and Interview, Part 1

So, last week I flew to Seattle to hang out with my friend Darren and to interview for a library position in the town of Aberdeen. You remember Aberdeen. It's where Kurt Cobain grew up, apparently. It was fantastic.

I flew in on Wed. afternoon and picked up a rental car. They gave me a red one. With a spoiler. Here is me looking happy next to my rental car:
Then I drove into Kirkland, where Darren lives and works, to pick up a key from him and get directions to his place. Darren lives in a cute but expensive apartment. Although he has been there for, what, a year now, he has still not unpacked everything from his last move. His apartment is a study in what I would call unintentional minimalism. Darren is a bachelor:
When Darren got off work we went to a very good Thai restaurant in nearby Bothel. Apparently one of the recent contestants of American Idol is from Bothel. It was in all the papers there. Here is a street in Bothel:
Afterwards we went to a park and looked at Lake Washington, across which we could barely make out Seattle. I was amazed - shocked! - by the absence of mosquitos, and was charmed by the serenity of the lake. Ver' nice.
On Thursday morning I got ready for my interview in Aberdeen. There was a small fiasco involving pantyhose, but I got the situation under control and drove down there. I used the drive to psyche myself into a weird state of nervous calm, and then at the appointed hour I took the plunge and did my interview. OK. I left the library feeling very disappointed in myself. I didn't feel like I did very well, although they did like the 3 booktalks I gave. I drove around Aberdeen a bit to take pictures and try to get a feeling for the town, which didn't work too well because I was feeling pretty dejected and was sure I would not be seeing this place again. So. Here are a couple of pictures of residential Aberdeen, looking south over the town:
Then I thought I should probably get something to eat, so I stopped at a place called Duffy's. A sign outside the restaurant advised me to get the fish n chips, which I did. They weren't so good. But the waitress was friendly. I drove around a little bit more and then began heading out of town. On the highway out of town I noticed signs reading "Tsunami Evacuation Route," which I thought was pretty exciting. I stopped on the road overlooking the spot where the river begins to turn into the harbor and took these shots of Aberdeen and the lumber yard. Yeah. Lumber. Or is it timber?

So then I got back on the road and began the drive back to Kirkland. Aberdeen is 40-some miles outside Olympia, which is a drive you can do in under an hour. Then it's another hour and a half or so, depending on traffic, to the Seattle area. The drive between Olympia and Aberdeen is very nice, going through some pine forests and some more open meadow or farmland. This is what it looked like:
That day was also technically Darren's birthday, so that evening he drove us into Seattle, to the Capital Hill area where we walked around, ate sushi, bought soap from Bliss (they were so nice! I love this shop!), etc. It was very fun, and very cool. Darren assured me that it was also very expensive if you were looking to live there, which I can believe. Still. It'd be an interesting neighborhood. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the Capital Hill area, because I didn't want to look so obviously like the tourist I was. You can do a Google Images search if you really wanna know.

The next morning I got a call from the Aberdeen library - they wanted to include me in a second round of interviews! Unfortunately I couldn't change my plans to stay, so we decided on a phone interview. What a pleasant surprise. It brightened my mood for the rest of the trip.

Darren took the day off work. We took my rental car back and then drove out to Mount Rainier. Holy cow, that's a big mountain. Here in AZ our mountains are relatively small, plentiful and nearby. Mount Rainier was at least a 2-hour drive away. It's also huge and covered in glaciers. Yes. While it was hot and nasty here in Tucson, I got to drive part-way up a mountain and see snow. I loved it.
I learned that despite the glaciers and several feet of snow still present in late May, Rainier is actually an active volcano. If it were to erupt, there's a good chance Seattle would be wiped out. Fun.
Pretty-pretty. Oh, and on the way back we saw some deer:

That night we had dinner with one of Darren's friends and his entourage. Then we went out to a bar to play pool. I did even worse at it than I used to. Oh well. They were very entertaining folks, but I was exhausted and had to go home and sleep.

The next day we went into Seattle again, this time to go to the Pike Place market! Fantastic!
I love the Pike Place market. I want to live near it. Maybe someday, huh? I got a tasty apple-pastry thing, ate some strawberries, saw the fishmongers tossing the fish around, visited the comic shop, and generally enjoyed myself. Here is a picture of me feeling elated at the market:
After the market we had lunch at a bagel shop, where I was very adventurous and tried lox for the first time. Yum. Then we went to the Space Needle.
Uh-huh. The Space Needle.
It costs $16 per adult for a ride up to the top, which I think is a bit much. But we went up, anyway. I took some pictures from the elevator. Here's one:
And then of course I took a bunch of pictures from the top. I was feeling pretty nervous being up that high. They had the observation deck all netted-in with wires to keep anyone from falling off. I still felt pretty nervous. I kept imagining what my camera and glasses would look like falling off the Space Needle. But that didn't happen, and yes, I took pictures. Here's one of Lake Washington:
And here's one of this hippy-folk-festival that was taking place:
And here are a couple of Puget Sound:

After that I made Darren take me to a yarn shop (Hilltop Yarn) where I wandered around in a yarn-haze before buying 5 balls of soft Cashsoft DK in the Thunder colorway. So nice and gray.

That night we went out for a huge sushi dinner (again) and then I had some time to pack and relax.

The next morning it was raining. Finally! My entire trip had been gorgeous; the days were sunny or only partly cloudy and temps were in the 70's during the day. Lovely and a nice break from the Tucson heat, but I didn't feel like I was getting a very accurate WA experience. But that final morning it rained. Here is the rain on the way to the Seattle airport, early Sunday morning:
I made my flight, and when we touched down in Tucson around 10:40 am it was in the 90's. Yeek.

But I had a great time in Seattle. I loved it. I want to go back.