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how long are V.I.P lines in gothenburg?

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
TRICK QUESTION! according to the charming Jens Lekman, there are no V.I.P lines in Gothenburg. I like this whole tiny desk concert, but if you want to cut right to his introduction (starts around 8:15) of Waiting For Kirsten, you'll jump right into the setup for his Kirsten Dunst shaggy dog story.

Jens Lekman songs themselves are shaggy dog  NINJAS, jumping out of the bushes with lush proclamations of love or a broken heart or comic asides or astute observation or deadpan self-deprication -  one following the other until you end up somewhere you never would have predicted at the beginning of the song.

Here's a list from the beginning of the year with the "10 best" Jens Lekman songs if you want to hear more or some with full instrumentation.

purple light and tv

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I love the bark on this tree - it looked especially pretty tonight as the sun was going down and the sky was turning purple.

Purple sky. 

And now, some random television! 

Did anyone watch Ringer tonight? This show is B A N A N A S. When you begin with an evil twin/ swapped life/ faked death premise, it's not going to start making sense any time soon. They burn through more plot in one episode than some shows do in a season. Oh, evil Siobhan, what villainy will you commit next? Bonus: Amber Benson was in this episode - it was like Buffy old home week! 

COMMUNITY: I love it. I was somewhat late to the show - started by watching Modern Warfare (the season 1 paintball episode) after the internet blew up about it. (I urge you to find it - it's a good standalone episode that demonstrates the lengths they're willing to go. It's also hilarious.)  I then caught up one disc at a time via netflix. They're on an unexpected hiatus right now, but I urge you to seek it out if you aren't watching it already -  it might not be your cup of tea (fair enough, I guess) but if it is, you don't want to wait any longer. 

The Sing-Off: This show and So You Think You Can Dance are the only competition style shows I watch. Oh, wait. I watched The Voice last year too, but I really prefer how they do The Sing Off. (Less gimmick, more singing.)  The contestants are all talented and the judges (Shawn Stockman, Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds) generally give considered, constructive criticisms.  The finale was on last night and Pentatonix - one of my favorites - won.  Nerves caused some strained performances in the live finale, but here's a song of theirs from a couple weeks ago that shows some of what they can do. (note: 3 of these kids are only 19! The rest of them aren't much older.) 

Bonus: Ben Folds kept a blog, and this post in particular is very interesting about Reality TV vs. Reality.

hello, color

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Sunday, November 27, 2011
pendleton wool
It's raining and the sky is grey, not that it matters since it will be dark in ONE HOUR ANYWAY. Not that I'm counting down the days to the winter solstice and the return of the sun or anything...

Enough about the weather - isn't this fabric amazing? It's Pendleton wool, which they have on huge rolls like this at the Pendleton Woolen Mill store here in Portland. We (me, mom, sister) went yesterday just to look around. AMAZING, as always. The color and patterns never fail to cheer me up. I love that they've been weaving some of these patterns for over a hundred years, yet they look so modern.

pendleton wool

I prefer the traditional pattern jacquard wool, which is a reversible, tight, flat, woven wool excellent for blankets or jackets or pillows or whatever. It just occurred to me that a few rolls of this stuff would make the most superior blanket fort in the history of blanket forts. 

pendleton wool
I love the bold geometrics. The teal on the bottom is even better (greener, richer) in person. They have lots of other Pendleton fabrics at this store in addition to weirdo ends and scraps from the mill. The weirdo ends and scraps are my favorite! I didn't get any yesterday because it was holiday-weekend picked over, but I still have a huge bag from last time...

being sad

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
mr. dash
The wind is whipping and the rain is dumping down which is gross and terrible, but it suits my mood today which is gross and terrible. Our sweet orange boy Dash was hit by a car late Sunday/early Monday. Such a good cat! He was sweet and feisty, funny and weird, but most of all a beloved part of the family. He and Busby (other cat) got along so well - Busby's already figured out something is wrong and it breaks my heart to see him looking all over the house for Dash - it's exactly what I did before I went looking around the neighborhood and found him the way nobody wants to find a lost pet. He had a good life, but it wasn't long enough. He loved to sleep in the sun in the middle of the garden, he loved climbing trees and catching bugs, he loved sleeping on his back in front of the fireplace, he loved hanging out with Busby, he loved making biscuits and napping in cupboards.

He was also a cat of many names - here are the ones I can think of:

itty bits
hobo joe
egyptian red
orange busby
orange cooney
dr. lady baby
the neck nurse
ned nickerson
foxy bananas
poncho maccardle
nuu-nuu (but only in the summer when he'd shed his coat)
chester cheeto
sunbeam pete (any cat chasing the sun to nap in gets called this)

He was the most CAT cat I've ever lived with- full of adventure and affection and a particular cat-like joie de vivre. (I'm not saying I loved it when he brought bird after bird into the house, but he did it with such pride and enthusiasm.) I will miss his oven-like warmth, his sweet face, his insistent meow, his soft thick fur, the clatter of his kibble on the plastic tray underneath his bowl (he was a messy eater), but most of all the simple pleasure of his company. I miss him so much and wish that he was spending this wretched day stretched out in front of the fire or curled up in his favorite cardboard box.

trouble brothers

uniforms, caps, fezzes, regalia

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Thursday, November 17, 2011
nudelman brothers

REGALIA???? I am perhaps most intrigued by this aspect of the Nudelman Bros. insignia. It's probably for the Queen of the Elks or the Regal Rotarian or King B.P.O.E. or H.R.H, Empress of the Masons or whatever. BUT STILL. Maybe they were turning out capes for the minor royalty of Europe, maybe "regalia" means the gold tassel on a fez. I don't know, but I sure like wondering about it.

These patches are in a nursing cape that belonged to my grandfather's third wife. I didn't know her very well, but she was funny, tart, tall and strapping and I can totally imagine her striding around in her blue wool nurses cape fixing things with bandages or a pointed look.

nursing school cape

three incompatible things I have to do today

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1) APPLY FOR JOB - the job closes tomorrow, there will be thousands of applicants and I don't have any expectation that my application will go anywhere, but I have to do it or I will be plagued with guilt and shame for not even trying. What kind of weirdo doesn't even try, Jen? I would really like this job - I think I could be very good at it, but I'm sure the other 4000 people applying feel the same. Particular challenge: summing up my specific rad-ness and constitutional suitability for the position in 150 words or less without using the word RAD.

2) PAINTING THE ROOM - the room where the fabric and other craft supplies have been stacked in squalor for far too long. This is way overdue and already halfway done, but it requires paint clothes and getting dirty and wah wah wah. I can knock most of this out today (all but the floor), but it will take a lot of advanced do this then that planning - which is FINE as long as the paint dries as fast as I think it should. (note: it almost never does.) 

3) CATCHING UP ON NANO - I am participating in Nanowrimo this year! (I like writing it without all the in the middle Capital Letters because then it reminds me of Nanaimo, which is a very nice place.) This has been a very good thing so far and I have more to say about it, but right now I'm behind. I'm right on the precipice between being able to catch up with a little extra effort, and being too far behind to do anything but type for 2 weeks straight. I don't have time to do that second thing!  I need to do some work today if I'm going to stay on the right side of this, but it's incompatible with being painty! I will figure it out.

The photo above was taken out of the window by my desk yesterday - it looks almost exactly like this today, except there is a lot more fog and leaves on the ground. I am so jealous of this slide! In the summer the neighbor kids put an inflatable pool at the bottom and fix a hose at the top for a pretty sweet slip and slide situation. 


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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This is what it looked like when I was walking into work this morning. The figure up ahead is the youth librarian, returning from her lunch. [EDIT: it was 2PM! where is my head?]

What are you reading? I have a bunch of things lined up, and have read a bunch of really fun things just recently (more on those in future), but right this very moment I am reading two things:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: I'm almost half way through and have to read the rest of this tomorrow or, you know, pay late fees (which I will do). This was a slow start for me, but it's probably because I didn't sit down and read 50 pages at once to get right into it.  The book is like a YA picture book with creepy photos, which is FUN, but I'm having some trouble with the voice of the narrator  -  it's supposed to be 1st person 16 y.o. boy, but there's a lot of description and that description is very evocative, but...writerly. Although I think I may have just figured out a way to read further without going "I doubt very much he would have described the light as 'gauzy'!" Maybe this story is being told in retrospect by a former 16 year old who is now a writer and therefore prone to describing things as gauzy or "leaving a trail of parenthetical scars on the floor." I'll let you know!

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table: This is for my non-fiction book group  - it's a series of essays about food and family followed by a recipe. Every single recipe has made me hungry and the writing is really lovely.

directional indicators

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

I finally uploaded my photos from the fancy car exhibit I went to this summer. It was so cool! I think this might have been on the Bentley - I love the texture of the light on the left, and of course the ALT on the right. I will be posting more pictures from the exhibit - I'm not a capital CAR car person, but there's no denying the graceful and beautiful design in some of these Automobiles of Yore. They're so far removed from the mass produced cars of today they might as well be cars from another planet.

UNRELATED LINKS: Stratford on Hellmouth: fun! Spoilery if you haven't seen the end of certain Joss Whedon shows like Buffy. (this warning is mostly for Leslie!)

Kickstarter for Portland's Dill Pickle Club - this looks so cool! It's to build a social history/take your own downtown tour app. What I especially love about it: they want to make the app free to users AND it's an open source project so other cities could build something similar. One of the things I love best about this country is how uniquely weird each part of it is - what a great way to share that knowledge.