Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jet City

I just returned from my 3-day trip to Seattle for my birthday, and it was a blast! Jeramy Gee also turned 30 on the same day, so I went to his house and we had a giant bacon-themed birthday party courtesy of Elizabeth and their friends, who really did it up. If you consult the picture below, you'll find:

Candied bacon (to die for!)
Bacon bowls (amazing!)
Bacon grease popcorn (innovative!)
Chocolate covered bacon (delicious!)
Bacon nacho cheese (fantastic!)
BLT sandwiches (classic and crispy!)
Bacon pastries (decadent!)
Bacon skewers with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozz (magnificent!)
Bacon dip with crackers (refined, with a fun twist)
and last but not least, bacon-spiked trail mix (just when you thought trail mix was perfect as-is).

It's hard to put into words the sheer awesomeness of an all-bacon party spread complimented by Jeramy's favorite beer from the Snoqualmie micro-brewery. You'd think after a couple of hours of devouring bacon and beer that you'd eventually reach your limit. And you'd be wrong.

Later on, the tequila came out and we did it up with Nalgene bottles the old SLU way. We played guitar and hung out with Jeramy and Elizabeth's excellent friends, and I played the slideshow that I cooked up as a birthday present for him.

I thanked them both profusely for the party, but I will again:


The rest of the weekend was absorbed in visiting downtown Seattle and seeing what there was to see. Our first stop was the University of Washington at Seattle, where Jeramy works and attends classes for his PhD. This is unquestionably the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. The scale alone is impressive, but it takes advantage of its elevation and position to show off majestic views of both Mt. Raineer and the Olympic mountain range (visible behind the statue of George Washington). Raineer itself takes up a huge chunk of the horizon even though it's something like 50+ miles away. The campus quad has a gorgeous orchard of Japanese cherry trees that carpet the campus with lavendar/pink petals in the autumn. Someone was getting married as we passed by. By far the most impressive part, though, was the reading room in the libray that looked like something straight out of a movie about going to college. It was massive, impressive, and still managed to feel incredibly comfortable and welcoming. A must-see place if you visit Seattle.

Next up was the Public Market, which is a 4 block (approximately) farmer's market that's open every day. It's more than one story tall, though it sits about at street level, and contains every manner of farmer's market goods that you can imagine, including the famous fish sellers that hurl the fish from the ice beds to the scales. We stopped to enjoy a Taxi Dog and sit with all walks of life on the knolls that overlook the docks unloading huge freighters in Puget Sound. A variety of street musicians both haltingly good and embarrassingly bad could be heard. Seattle's used book and movie stores that sell cheap versions of the Barnes and Nobles version of America gave the city a very youth-friendly and budget-friendly feel. Even in the middle of the city parking didn't get much above $8 or so, which I thought very reasonable.

Finally, we hit the Space Needle. Or rather, the base of the Space Needle, at which can be found a Frank Gehry-designed band-shell-esque building that houses the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in the SAME SPACE for the SAME PRICE. I thought I had died and gone to Mark's Heaven. We were greeted by some interesting things here as well, such as a 50 foot tall sculpture made of retired guitars, and Klaatu from the original version of "The Day the Earth Stood Still".

All in all, I absolutely loved Seattle and I had a terrific time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More pics from Halloween

John did well with his Halloween costume this year, considering he's not yet two years old and it consisted of shirt, pants, boots, vest, kerchief, hat, a horse, and a little pumpkin to carry his loot in that Daddy for the most part held onto. He was a little hesitant at the first couple of houses, but then after watching all of the little witches and ghosts and zombie hockey players (strange, I know, but there were several) trick-or-treat, he was charging up the stairs fearlessly with the rest. Fun times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apparently this is an unreleased track. Which only serves to further prove the point that the band Live is one of the best things to come out of the 90's alt rock movement.

Saw "Zak and Miri make a Porno" this weekend. Closer to the golden era of Kevin Smith films than anything since Chasing Amy has been, but not as tightly scripted. Good music, though.

Also saw Kung Fu Panda, which was terrific.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

John's as a cowboy for Halloween!

Also the 500th entry in this blog!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote John McClane for President!

Yippe-ki-yay, America!