Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh them big skies

So. Weekend in AZ. Family time. Good bonding with my mom and her sisters. Reconfirmation that my grandad is, in fact, a nutjob. Not a surprise. The highlights:

Taliesin West. My dad is not a fan because it was built on the cheap and they keep having to fix it. Me, I like the ideas it showcases. It was built by Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture students, and they still take students now. During their first year, they live in tents like the students always have. Their second year, they are given materials to make their own shelter. I think this is a brilliant idea. There are quite a few brilliant ideas on showcase there, my favorite being nothing running North/South or East/West but ALL turned on a 45 degree angle. This is a wonderful use of one of the desert's best resources - light. The roofs were all originally canvas and all of the buildings have great light inside, and are situated to take advantage of/frame the best views around. The consciousness of the land they were using is very present, I have to say, unusually so. And I love it. Not all of the execution, but so many of the ideas. So many of them are now common design practices that it was interesting to see where they were first tried out.

Also, I like FLW's taste in accessories. The dragon was a fountain until they decided it didn't seem right for a dragon to be spitting water. So they hooked it up to a gas line and now it spouts a 3 ft. flame during the night tours.

This fountain just made a wonderful sound. It is thin metal and most of it is above the water level so the falling water makes a distinctive sort of gong-like sound as it splashes. I want one.

Sedona is very pretty, we hiked around Red Rock State Park and it was beautiful (perfect weather for it, too). We then went downtown for a snack and in retrospect, I would have preferred staying out in the rocks. Downtown is super-built-up and crowded to the point that I really wanted out of there. We shopped briefly and that was still more than enough.

The botanical gardens were my one real disappointment. A. we only had an hour there, and B. my camera ran out of batteries. That said, the place is fucking awesome! I could have spent half a day there farting around taking pictures of plants, and that would have been without the Chiluly exhibit. I don't like the guy particularly, I think he is one of the best examples of Matt's snotty little saying "Trust the art, not the artist", but he has found an absolutely spectacular setting for his art. Desert plants can be a bit monochromatic, if structurally intriguing. He sticks his stuff out there and the structures fit in so well, and the colors stand out so starkly that I think it was the perfect combo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I believe this is the equivalent of counting the chickens before they are hatched...

The tuba equivalent, perhaps: I want to start a tuba quartet with Aaron now. However, he works nights, so first we have to figure out when we can rehearse, and get ourselves a pair of euphonium players who can fit in our schedules. However, I have already skipped ahead to the "shopping for new sheet music" portion of the program. This is very possibly jumping the gun when you only have half a band.

I promise a full Arizona post with pictures tonight. But right now I want tuba music, dammit!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wonder Nerd Powers, Activate!

I've got some friends from camp coming in to town today. Camp, as in, Brass Chamber Music Workshop that I go to every summer. We are getting together to jam tonight.

Tuba Quartets.

Yes folks, I am bringing the thunder. Tuba Thunder.

P.S. none of us look like these guys.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sweet Jebus

My dear friend who was my maid of honor is getting married. She planned my bachelorette party, and it was sushi, drinking, dancing and spa treatments the morning after. I love her to death and we had a blast, but one of her friends who is in the Bay Area is planning her bachelorette party.This girl planning hers just sent out the itinerary for this one, and among the activities listed was:

1.5 hour private pole dancing lesson

I am so out of my league. I may not be available to make it to this party, oddly enough. I just don't really know how to react to this. It is not going to be cheap, either. Even if I crash at my parents house since it is in my hometown. But I hate to not be there to celebrate with her, since the wedding will be huge so I won't really be hanging out with her on the big day.

This is just too surreal for me. I have no clue how to respond. She said she is open for other suggestions but I got nothin'.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Does this make me Hallmark's bitch?

Based on the fact that I am TRYING NOT TO OBSESS ABOUT THE JOB APPLICATION I JUST SENT IN, here is a completely irrelevant post for the weekend.

I have been suckered into it. V-day, that is. There is so much hype around this holiday that at one point, I actually asked Matt if we could go out somewhere nice for dinner Saturday night. He was polite enough to not laugh at me. How could I forget? V-day is when EVERYBODY jacks up their prices, the grocery store is suddenly selling a dozen roses for fifty bucks instead of fifteen and the new-ish restaurant I have been curious about has jacked up their prices so we can have the privilege of paying sixty bucks a pop for a set menu with no drinks. We'll see about that. Since we all know I love to cook, we will be having a romantic Saturday night at home (or at least attempting to) instead of being badgered into supporting the economy.

Saturday night's current menu:

Appetizer - to be determined (suggestions? so far it is baguettes with Trader Joe's olive tapenade and some nice cheese)

Main - Oven-roasted turkey breast with herby goodness

Veg - Oven-roasted asparagus and cauliflower (I love my double oven)

Salad - mixed green salad with diced peppers, cucumber and some kind of nuts, possibly candied walnuts since I have some leftover from all that holiday granola-making

Bev - a nice riesling that costs under ten bucks that we are both very fond of (something St. Michelle, I think)

Dessert - something chocolaty, maybe this with the last of the gingersnaps if they aren't gone by then and some strawberries if I can find any that look decent this early on.

This involves me giving NO MONEY to any greeting card companies, snotty restaurants or sleazy clothiers (no matter how cute this looks). So I am going to go with it.

Oh, and Matt's job for V-Day? Find a copy of the ORIGINAL Star Wars (none of this "Greedo shot first" revisionist nonsense) so we can snug on the couch and be nerds with our white wine and chocolate pudding after dinner.

Any more interesting stay home and eat nice things-based holiday suggestions are totally welcome, this is a completely theoretical plan at this point. Well, other than the turkey that is already in the fridge. That part's not theoretical any more.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cross Your Fingers For Me.

I just sent in a job application. For what looks like an awesome job. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Personal Style and the Bossy People who think I need it (belated post)

There have been a few posts recently on fashionable blogs I am fond of that have gotten a bit accusatory and judgmental in my eyes: on how we dress ourselves to be perceived by others and not making an effort is some sort of a. failure or b. a sign that we are not interested in how people perceive us, because people ARE judgmental and we HAVE to dress our best at all times.

What really boiled it down for me was this quote and the (brilliant) response in the comments:

"But for my money (gimme your money!), personal style isn’t frivolous; it’s a right we all deserve, whether we choose to exercise it or not."

Nonsense. Contrary to popular myth, women are under no obligation to be decorative, or good consumers. Health care is a right. Education is a right. Privacy is a right. Personal style is something one may or may not be interested in, like gardening or Egyptology.

Now, I've already hit on this a time or two. I like reading these blogs, and I enjoy dressing up. But I am not a failure if I don't do it every day. I don't really want to get soil or acid or basically anything on my good clothes (other than maybe red wine if it was a really good party, I can deal with that). I have replaced my Glamour subscription with what I thought were well-written, fun blogs but when they get bossy like that I get very cranky and want to go put on a Slanket. I am not going to wear a skirt and high heels in the greenhouse, I'm sorry. I like the idea of personal style as more of a hobby. I wouldn't do any of my other hobbies at work either.

So I have cut down my blog list a bit now. The stuff I've got over there is either people whose writing I am fond of, which may or may not have anything to do with fashion, or the occasional shopping blog. I am over the how-to blogs, which seem to tell me how I can dress like the blogger, and what a slob I am if I don't, or what a triumph they had out shopping at x store. And I kind of love the lifestyle-y ones that do occasional outfits mixed in with everything else. Can anyone recommend some fun fashionable blogs that are a bit less preachy? The one I always go back to for some reason is Bunnyshop (or Forever Chic if she isn't too busy to post ;) they are honest about just showing me pictures of pretty things so I don't have to go buy a Lucky or some other junky magazine and waste paper.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm still here

I went out of town suddenly for the weekend but I'm back! Hopefully I will be able to post some After pictures of my chair soon, as I am supposed to pick it up in the near future. I am in between projects right now but am contemplating an attempt at refinishing my dresser. It was free and it is decent wood as far as I can tell, it just has some stains and is a bit beat up. Pictures will probably be impending in the near future...

If they do this movie well it looks like it could very well be quite fantastic. I have never gotten into the graphic novel as a genre, but I am always curious about the good ones (ex: I LOVE Neil Gaiman but I still have never managed to read the Sandman). This is supposed to be one of the greats and the premise for the movie looks like they tried to be true to the original story. AND they keep releasing supplementary videos like this one that are very well done so I have high hopes.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The New York Times has discovered memes. And seems to think that there is only one of them spreading around that crazy interweb like wildfire. The chain letter comparison is apt, but now I remember why newspapers are going broke. This is not a story, I swear to God it isn't.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not much to say.

I have been sick. It has been very boring. I have been making brief outings to the library to pick up the junky Mercedes Lackey books that I owned in junior high but can't bear to pay for twice. Lots of sleep and junk reading and generally being comatose and drippy.

My next couple of days should be quiet, I am going to be able to work from home so that will be nice, I hate taking sick leave when I'm not having major surgery or something. I consider it a major win that I am currently drinking just tea instead of p.m. Theraflu. I have gotten zero things done other than a semi-miserable trip to Costco (when you don't have the card, you take the trips when you can get them).

If I feel ok by this weekend, my sister and I are going to go down to the Bay Area Friday night to see my grandmother again. She is, shall we say, less than perky. But for nearly 102 I can't blame her.

And conveniently enough, tomorrow night Matt has invited a friend over for dinner. He is trying to entice her into starting a band (his fourth?) and I am helping them find music. Funnily enough, it's all music I feel like everyone should know - what I consider to be Standards, and he keep saying, "That's great! I never would have thought of that!" every time I play him a song. And all I can think is, "Sheesh. Girl's got the voice to do torch songs and you don't know what she should be singing? Thank God I'm here." He has a habit of ending up in groups with shitty singers so I am SO encouraging this one.