ironymaiden: POV image of kayak bow with paddle at rest on a lake (kayak)
C agreed to go paddling with me on Saturday morning. this time we tried the rental place that is closer to home and has a better pass program.* thumbs up.

paddling and pictures )
ironymaiden: (book)
Seattle Public Library buys Subterranean Press books. I checked out two signed and numbered limited editions tonight. They're in regular circulation.
ironymaiden: (emo kylo)
it is beautiful today. the air is misty and cool, the smoke has blown away, and the sky is pearlescent gray. i never know how much i miss these days until i get my first one.

as i write this, C is taking the same intro to kayak class that i took last month. i was worried that it was going to be rainy and windy today, but when i dropped him off the lake looked like a sheet of glass, just perfectly dreamy. at 9am on a gray Sunday everything was quiet on the water; it looks like they'll have the lake to themselves (with no wind for the sailing people and too early for the motorized people). i envy him today. i want to GO.

i walked him to the staging area and kissed him goodbye.* then i made the mistake of turning on the radio on the way home, and had to fight back tears in order to drive.**

i feel so sick and so ashamed and so disappointed. i have tea and food and the dog and this weather that i love, but no wonder i can't stop looking at little boats and planning imaginary trips.




*he gave me some shit about mom walking him to the bus, but he's been wound up about this ever since he agreed to do it. it's mostly my fault since i am trying to be neutral but i can't hide my enthusiasm and my hope that he will like it too. really, if he doesn't like it i want to know soonest so that i can stop imagining us going out together.
**for posterity, and anyone who isn't soaking in it, there's some filthy racist shit going down in the US this week, and the chief executive is being inexcusably soft about it because he's a garbage person and those Nazi and KKK fuckers are part of his base.
ironymaiden: (Seattle)
today, the smoke from the wildfires in BC has made the air quality here worse than Beijing. it's creepy and getting uncomfortable. the haze makes it cooler than was forecast, but the nights are warmer, and the air is starting to hurt my throat :/

Monday, it was sparking clear and hot but not too hot. it was the second Monday in a row that i went kayaking on Lake Union; hopefully that will get to be a really regular thing before it gets icky outside. we're busing in, renting, and busing out. perfect urban adventure.

last week was windy and there was a lot of chop; they gave [personal profile] philotera and i rec kayaks (i think they were Rip 12s) that were okaaay. we struggled to travel up the east side of the lake. it was nice to look at the houseboats but any time i stopped paddling the wind blew me all over the place.

this week, we went again (with the welcome addition of Sailor J) and both [personal profile] philotera and Sailor J brought their carbon fiber paddles along. i'm not saying that definitely changed things, but this time we got real sea kayaks with rudders. (now that i know there are choices, i will express a preference.) based on our prior experience, we nosed around the calm south end of the lake and up the west side past the float planes and up to the working boat moorage at the north end, then a long diagonal back to the the rental dock.

more about the trip, with pictures )

i think my favorite bit was on the way back to the dock, when we were directly below the flight path of a float plane that had just taken off. it was breathtaking.* i am sad that i don't have a picture, but glad that i didn't waste such a stunning moment fumbling with my phone.

I'm still trying to figure out my best transit path/timing (traffic in South Lake Union is hellish) but the lake hasn't been super-busy, so in general Monday night looks like a good time to go.

Monday Night Paddling. it might be a thing.


*the underside was painted with a local tv station's colors; for all i know we could have been b-roll on Evening Magazine.
ironymaiden: (yarncore)
I went to Weaving Works to roll the body* today. I was hoping it would be more picked over, for their sakes. I got a couple books and a skein of Arne and Carlos yarn.

anyhoo, one of them is Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings. It is so charmingly half-assed. Originally it was self-published in Scotland in 1978, and the author was about 78 at the time. It assumes that the reader is intimately familiar with kilt hose, and the concept of cuffs hiding a garter, and calf decreases.

she doesn't bother with a legend for her stitch abbreviations** until there's a section she lifted from antique pattern books. THEN there's a legend and the untranslated patterns for a couple pages.

the best part? The section on argyle where she admits that she was never able to finish an argyle sock!

I will be able to make good use of it, but a few years ago it would have been impossible for me to decipher.



*they made some poor choices when they relocated a few years ago, and they exhausted all their resources. the storefront closes this month.
**w.o. stands for wool over, which folks in the US call a yarnover.

kayak

Jul. 12th, 2017 01:02 pm
ironymaiden: (Seattle)
i've been longing to be on/in/near water recently. i live within a few minutes' walk of a public launch and i see people out enjoying the water, coming and going, literally walking from their house towing their kayak on little wheels. waaaaant.

after chatting with [personal profile] philotera (who has been kayaking for a few years now), i signed up for a kayak class to not-so-metaphorically get my feet wet. i was looking to get some paddling technique training, and see how it all felt vs canoeing. would being so low in the water be scary? would my legs go to sleep? would the paddling exhaust me?

oh, i liked it. pretty much all of it.
about the class )
at the end of it all, i came home and realized that i had lived for years near a lazy river (and while growing up near fast-flowing but not-rough creeks) and could have been paddling nearly year-round. where i grew up, the word kayak meant whitewater and helmets and eskimo rolls.* oh well.

my legs did not go to sleep. nor was i crippled with pain the next day, although i definitely felt the work in my abs and i had a little sunburn on the backs of my shoulders.

i'm dreaming of boat-in camping now. but that means getting C on board. (and probably going without Leela, which makes me sad...okay, i was trying to figure out if she could sit between my legs as long as i skipped a spray skirt.)




*and perhaps if i had grown up here i would have thought of kayaking as waves and drysuits and hypothermia, rather than puttering about in a lake.
ironymaiden: (joe metro)
Today's bus driver is on the PA nonstop. He has a song or pop culture reference for every stop, and lists off key landmarks like the KFC/Taco Bell.*
Occasionally a wave of giggles rolls through the bus as he riffs on things like Gilligan's Island.



*people are *always* looking for that KFC. I can't figure out if it's the food or a drug dealer hangout. Probably both.
ironymaiden: (fall)
it's starting to really feel like fall. the sky is grey, and the rain is here. the tree in the courtyard is waving around and i think the drip cups for one of my planters blew away.* C and i both have colds, so i regretfully put our Sounders tickets up for sale this morning. i thought i could manage standing for a couple hours, but standing in the rain for a couple hours isn't very wise. i will take an extra-hot shower and put on my jersey and my lucky socks** and we can watch from the couch while wrapped in blankets and sipping throat coat tea.

***
earlier this week Seattle was splashing out with the last perfect days before the long nights arrive. last month one of my coworkers took a group of us out on his sailboat on Lake Union. we just lazed around in circles, but it felt amazing just to be on the water. so i started prodding C about going canoeing - it's something he loved as a Boy Scout that we would talk vaguely about and not actually do. it's not like it's hard to get to a body of water here, or even to rent a canoe.

the University of Washington main campus is bounded by Lake Washington and the ship canal (which connects to Lake Union and the Puget Sound). UW rents canoes by the hour. so it was kind of brilliant - i walked from work to the train station, got off at UW, and walked less than five minutes to the rental desk. the process felt way too easy: can you swim? give us your ID, here's your life jackets and your paddles, that dude will help you get in the boat, pay up when you get back. so that was it.



we puttered through the wildlife sanctuary past dozens of waterfowl who were completely unconcerned about our presence. C was reasonably good at giving novice me paddling lessons. it was peaceful and quiet and profoundly good. i was nervy about how high i was sitting and turning around to get stuff from the middle of the boat and not dropping my paddle. once i got over feeling like i was going to tip over, i started to feel connection with the paddle and the boat and manouvering it where we wanted to go.*** no mishaps, other than stumbling as we returned the boat. i'm sorry we tried it so late in the season; an hour of paddling is definitely $10 worth of fun but i don't know if we'll have a chance to go back together before they shut down for the heart of winter. next time i'll be willing to risk the good camera and take wildlife pictures. we've started some tentative talk about paddle-in camping :D

both of us left bubbling with happiness - endorphins from the exercise, peace from the water, the pleasure of working together. we got tacos on the way home, and sat at the bar where C made enthusiastic small talk with the bartender, which is how i know that he was pretty much giddy because he is not one to talk with strangers. it was a grand evening, i'm glad to have had it.

*sorry downstairs neighbors. or perhaps they welcome sky tupperware.
**they have not lost when i have been watching and wearing these socks. go go correlation.
***i went home and looked at buying canoes. we don't have a place to put a 12-16ft anything. but i looked. they make folding ones...
ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
i've largely avoided the internets today. i'm not interested in whatever political stupidity is going on.

***
today is my 14th Seattleversary.

i went dog walking, then silent writing and lunch with [livejournal.com profile] varina8, and then a largely spontaneous gathering of my knittas where i spread the gospel of The Great British Bake-off.

it was a beautiful day.

i needed that.
ironymaiden: (washington)
I had a Very Seattle dog walk yesterday.

We were in a part of the neighborhood where most yards are behind a retaining wall a few feet above street level. Leela had sighted a squirrel on the wall, and i was letting her run back and forth at the end of the leash (it's very efficient exercise - i act as a fulcrum, the dog rapidly multiplies distance traveled). Somewhere in there i put a foot wrong and went sprawling, took the skin off of the heel of my left hand, and terrified the dog.


  1. squirrel on retaining wall

  2. heaved and broken sidewalk with secret patch of slick mud hidden by drifted leaves

  3. capable team of passerby who lifted me up, produced water to wash my wounds, took control of the dog and soothed her, then busted out their large first aid kit and disinfected and bandaged my hand.



Seattle!

The rest of the walk passed without incident and when i got home to do a thorough clean and trim off dangly skin, i was sad that i had to take off bandages that were way nicer than the ones i had at home.
ironymaiden: (Seattle)
the article about land use in Silicon Valley and San Francisco that i was talking about last night:
burrowing owls, vomiting anarchists

Seattle has different issues, but shares the problem of rising housing costs and an increasingly large well-paid workforce segment choking out the less affluent population, plus a vocal group of existing land owners. my neighborhood is a hot one. our rent will be increasing next month; right now the math says sit tight (can't find a rent that is low enough to make up for the costs of moving) while figuring out a new plan. that's the thing that really gets me - i feel like our rent is ridiculous, but newer buildings are charging more. other desirable neighborhoods and older buildings aren't cheaper. (desirable for us means frequent bus service and a grocery store, not necessarily hip. even "unsafe" neighborhoods are surprisingly close to our current costs.) from there we get into being forced back into car ownership and then the savings has been chewed up in car...and there's a loss of quality of life that can't be calculated. frex, getting rid of the dog is not on the table. don't get me wrong, i'm still glad to be able to call maintenance when the disposal acts up, i hate yard work with a passion, and the thought of dealing with a HOA makes me ill. trade offs.

Seattle remains beautiful and charming and the home of my heart. right now there is a project putting pianos in the parks. the one by our house is decorated with a dragon's head and a stripy sail. it's seen steady use and has been accreting a free library of music books and even some hand percussion.

last night we went to see Mirror, Mirror. it was a charming production, in a little amphitheater that is invisible from the street. there was a whole picnic plan that was slightly scuttled by the (unknown to us) preshow lecture by Mark Okrand and being on a concrete bench instead of the lawn we imagined. but we improvised successfully and even shared our snacks with the people around us. beet sandwiches! generic blood orange soda! clementines! mutant pretzels! cheese! i'm sorry that there wasn't much opportunity to chat with [livejournal.com profile] ethnomuse due to the lecture, but there were bonus [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and [livejournal.com profile] samildanach so i count the whole thing as a win.

i enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy quite a bit. i don't know how i would rank it against the other Marvel movies...it's from a different place. it belongs in the Big Trouble in Little China and Hot Fuzz part of the Venn diagram. (i consider Hot Fuzz a masterpiece of its form. GotG isn't that good. i have now caused myself to wish for the alt-universe Edgar Wright version of the film.) anyway, there were several points that were so very close to moments from the history of my Friday gaming group. (most of the time i play Gamora, but there are definitely times when i am Groot.)
ironymaiden: (socket)
i did a scary thing today. twice.

and i'm okay.

so here are two things that make me deliriously happy in celebration:

yes, i hate watching longish videos online, and i almost never watch them when people post them.

but! this is Patton Oswalt describing a Star Wars/Marvel Universe crossover. it's all improv. worth the eight minutes.



and this! even though it has the weakest lyrics, this is my favorite song on the Heist. (and everyone in Seattle knows what he means when he says "my posse's on Broadway".) it is full of Seattle and Lady Washington and sled dogs from Leavenworth. Ryan Lewis calls it his soccer stadium anthem, and i desperately want the Sounders to use it. long, yes, but it ends ON TOP OF THE SPACE NEEDLE.

ironymaiden: (chinstrap)
we went to Beowulf tonight at Town Hall. (somehow, this was my first visit to the venue even though they often host literary events.) it was just lovely. the Early Music Guild always starts you with a preshow lecture for context, the room is remarkably live and has lovely barrel ceilings and stained glass, and Bagby himself is charming and expressive. he holds the room in thrall from the first "Hwaet!". thank goodness for supertitles. some lines are remarkably close to modern english and other parts...well, that's where the bard makes a difference. we bought a DVD and look forward to digging into the extras and being able to pause and repeat. (frex, i've never actually done Beowulf in a class, i've just read it on my own. i have no idea how you say "Geat". i was trying all night to pick it out and failed.)

we found time to chatter with friends before and after the performance, and logistically it was ultimately just so: we got a ride to Capitol Hill, we had a restaurant where we could order asynchronously and C could have a GF roll, there was time for Vivace coffee, the rain tailed off before we walked to Town Hall, and then there was a car2go nearby and we zoomed home to take care of the dog. i'm really happy with car2go as a complement to zipcar and the bus.

i think i might have the confidence now to attempt Hwaet. Benjamin Bagby has a pair, after all.

sidenote: what if The Wheedle on the Needle is a bowdlerized Grendel? they're both annoyed by noise, after all.
ironymaiden: (washington)
the nice weekend continues in spite of the weather.

Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] mimerki came over and helped me to shop victoriously for balcony furniture. (a "5 pc conversation set" which translates to two chairs with footrests and a little table to hold drinks.) then patio dinner at Madame K's and the first run of the courtyard hot tub. it's lovely. part of me still does not understand how i get to have such nice things.

i think July 4th dim sum is now a tradition. i was surrounded by a wealth of friends and a wealth of things filled with delicious, delicious egg custard. pretty much everything that has carbs on the outside and creamy yellow stuff on the inside is my favorite. i was so full that i couldn't finish my serving of soft tofu. the lions outside the crazy furniture store were wearing festive traffic cone hats.

later C and i joined Pirate B (and his K, and later we cajoled out Pirate A) at Gas Works for the fireworks. they were there around 3:30 to secure a spot and had a wealth of gear. our job was to bring wine. (surreptitously. thanks Platypus.) the location was astonishingly good - directly in line with the barge, near the top of the kite hill. B texted us that they were just south of the head. we didn't understand until we arrived. it was like a happy Planet of the Apes.

we did sit through some gentle rain, but it passed and we were properly attired. this is the first time we've watched from the park proper, and it was particularly sweet considering that there might not have been any fireworks in Seattle this year. (backstory: Washington Mutual sponsored the Lake Union fireworks. Washington Mutual also rented office space from the art museum that paid a good chunk of their budget and employed thousands of people downtown. Chase killed the fireworks, left SAM high and dry, and cut something like 5000 jobs. yes they were crooks, but they were our crooks. between that and a lot of policy changes, we've moved our bank accounts.) the crowd was entirely friendly and cheerful, the announcers were all "we looooove you because you all made this happen", and hey, the Presidents of the United States of America played before and after the fireworks, and they are always fun. (highlights included the pause during Kitty before the one verse - "we know this is the Family Fourth, so it's important that you explain to your children that profanity is acceptable in the context of rock and roll" and the cover of Video Killed the Radio Star.) someone on the Capitol Hill side of the lake had a green laser and harassed ducks and highlighted a balloon. the fireworks themselves were gorgeous. later we had rootbeer floats.

this morning the breakfast special at the High Life was crabcakes.

soon we will go to the zoo. meerkats!
ironymaiden: (Default)
the nice weekend continues in spite of the weather.

Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] mimerki came over and helped me to shop victoriously for balcony furniture. (a "5 pc conversation set" which translates to two chairs with footrests and a little table to hold drinks.) then patio dinner at Madame K's and the first run of the courtyard hot tub. it's lovely. part of me still does not understand how i get to have such nice things.

i think July 4th dim sum is now a tradition. i was surrounded by a wealth of friends and a wealth of things filled with delicious, delicious egg custard. pretty much everything that has carbs on the outside and creamy yellow stuff on the inside is my favorite. i was so full that i couldn't finish my serving of soft tofu. the lions outside the crazy furniture store were wearing festive traffic cone hats.

later C and i joined Pirate B (and his K, and later we cajoled out Pirate A) at Gas Works for the fireworks. they were there around 3:30 to secure a spot and had a wealth of gear. our job was to bring wine. (surreptitously. thanks Platypus.) the location was astonishingly good - directly in line with the barge, near the top of the kite hill. B texted us that they were just south of the head. we didn't understand until we arrived. it was like a happy Planet of the Apes.

we did sit through some gentle rain, but it passed and we were properly attired. this is the first time we've watched from the park proper, and it was particularly sweet considering that there might not have been any fireworks in Seattle this year. (backstory: Washington Mutual sponsored the Lake Union fireworks. Washington Mutual also rented office space from the art museum that paid a good chunk of their budget and employed thousands of people downtown. Chase killed the fireworks, left SAM high and dry, and cut something like 5000 jobs. yes they were crooks, but they were our crooks. between that and a lot of policy changes, we've moved our bank accounts.) the crowd was entirely friendly and cheerful, the announcers were all "we looooove you because you all made this happen", and hey, the Presidents of the United States of America played before and after the fireworks, and they are always fun. (highlights included the pause during Kitty before the one verse - "we know this is the Family Fourth, so it's important that you explain to your children that profanity is acceptable in the context of rock and roll" and the cover of Video Killed the Radio Star.) someone on the Capitol Hill side of the lake had a green laser and harassed ducks and highlighted a balloon. the fireworks themselves were gorgeous. later we had rootbeer floats.

this morning the breakfast special at the High Life was crabcakes.

soon we will go to the zoo. meerkats!
ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
regular Friday game night was cancelled due to the holiday weekend (the group is majority local, so they have family stuff going on) so C and i went to see the Atomic Bombshells at the Triple Door. it's been some time since we've gone on a date of the dinner and a show variety, just the two of us. the venue was brilliant as always, plus there were "mostly naked" ladies. i've seen better dancing (the Can-Can folks are all about the dancing) but the overall quality of movement + great MC + actual singing + quality costumes makes for a great experience. recommended.

on the way to meet C, i passed The Lusty Lady. the neon in the window is gone, most of the marquee is off to MOHAI, and there is a sort of shrine out front: notes, flowers, stripper shoes.

i'm on the balcony beside C, looking at sparkly Queen Anne and the flower boxes i planted this week. looks like most everything has taken, and what isn't flowering already is setting buds. i'll take pictures once they fill in. (i expect after next week, when we'll have had some sunny days.) now if i manage to not overwater them (or piss off the folks with the second floor patio where the overflow falls) they should be nice. alyssum, lobelia, nasturtium (salad!), torenia (these are new to me, they're related to snapdragons) and calibrachoa (also new to me, like wee trailing petunias).

we came home to a sign stating that the hot tub is officially open. i'm saving that for tomorrow.
ironymaiden: (Default)
regular Friday game night was cancelled due to the holiday weekend (the group is majority local, so they have family stuff going on) so C and i went to see the Atomic Bombshells at the Triple Door. it's been some time since we've gone on a date of the dinner and a show variety, just the two of us. the venue was brilliant as always, plus there were "mostly naked" ladies. i've seen better dancing (the Can-Can folks are all about the dancing) but the overall quality of movement + great MC + actual singing + quality costumes makes for a great experience. recommended.

on the way to meet C, i passed The Lusty Lady. the neon in the window is gone, most of the marquee is off to MOHAI, and there is a sort of shrine out front: notes, flowers, stripper shoes.

i'm on the balcony beside C, looking at sparkly Queen Anne and the flower boxes i planted this week. looks like most everything has taken, and what isn't flowering already is setting buds. i'll take pictures once they fill in. (i expect after next week, when we'll have had some sunny days.) now if i manage to not overwater them (or piss off the folks with the second floor patio where the overflow falls) they should be nice. alyssum, lobelia, nasturtium (salad!), torenia (these are new to me, they're related to snapdragons) and calibrachoa (also new to me, like wee trailing petunias).

we came home to a sign stating that the hot tub is officially open. i'm saving that for tomorrow.
ironymaiden: (penguin)
five questions from [livejournal.com profile] buhrger. if you didn't ask these of me, ask and you shall receive five from me, whereupon you post your answers with these instructions and perpetuate ad infinitem.

these are mostly off the top of my head:
  • if you were to pick one pro sports team to cheer for other than the obvious one, which would it be, and why?
  • what was the best thing about living in west seattle?
  • what was the best thing about not having the 360?
  • how many linuces have you played with now? what are the niftiest things about them?
  • have you gotten around to reading the city and the city yet? if so, what did you think of it? if not, why not?

answers )
ironymaiden: (Default)
five questions from [livejournal.com profile] buhrger. if you didn't ask these of me, ask and you shall receive five from me, whereupon you post your answers with these instructions and perpetuate ad infinitem.

these are mostly off the top of my head:
  • if you were to pick one pro sports team to cheer for other than the obvious one, which would it be, and why?
  • what was the best thing about living in west seattle?
  • what was the best thing about not having the 360?
  • how many linuces have you played with now? what are the niftiest things about them?
  • have you gotten around to reading the city and the city yet? if so, what did you think of it? if not, why not?

answers )
ironymaiden: (Seattle)
my solstice parade pictures are up. (i flagged the nekkid people, so you have to actively choose to see genitals at work.)

my favorite group was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch.

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