toys from my youth

I used to have dreams about going to yard sales and finding toys from my youth and being very excited about it.

There was this Starbird that made ascending and descending noises depending on the angle you held it. The main section of the ship could be removed, leaving the cockpit.

It came in black or putty.

I used to have dreams in German. I had dreams that I could hold a conversation and pronounce things right. I “blended in.”

Now I have dreams that I’m online and find toys from my youth on eBay.

These surfing dreams also allow me to stumble on the news that there is a cure for Cancer. Google unearths tasty family recipes long since lost. There’s a couple other ones, but I forget what they were.

My desk is a mess.

So another fine day. How wonderful.

I started by going around the city, taking more pictures, checking out the History Museum and had lunch in Covington.

I finally checked my voicemail on the mobile phone and I had six messages starting from about a week ago.

I’m not real good with voicemail.

The best news was that one of my dear friends Ray got a new job. He and Sheila will be moving to Chicago, and this notion thrills me.

Finally I am within driving distance.

Then I went off to the studio/office to tackle my next analog project: decoupage. I have collected crap and stuck it to the wall behind my desk over the past 6 years.

It’s finally driving me nuts. (Who am I kidding? I’ve been mad touched since birth)

Today I boxed up all the photos, postcards, and various trinkets for actual usage or digital incorporation into a 24″ x 30″ canvas.

Had a nice steak out at the bar later, on a patio with the last shards of sunlight, then made it home for Six Feet Under.

There were many priceless quotes.

That freak Arthur who Ruth keeps trying to molest, when asked about his music, replied in his odd deadpan way, “I used to play the violin. When i was in college, I had a very cruel roommate who threw it from the dormitory window. It was hand carved by my Uncle Günter who died of Polio.” I dunno why, but the delivery coupled with the insane circumstances made me actually laugh out loud, a term I try not to abuse.

Then when Billy asked Brenda if she needed help taking care of their mother’s cat, I think it was. Brenda remarks, “Who could ever see too much of mom’s pussy? it’s like a trip down memory lane.”

Brenda has the best lines.

As said to Nate, “I’m sick of being so fucking conscious all the time. It’s like i’ve become this watered down version of myself.”

Identity is the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time.

Wendy and Tom came down for lunch to give Dave a pre-mini-sabbatical present and let everyone get to meet their new daughter. They look so natural with a stroller.

Quite a handy thing in fact. There are storage pockets and racks all over that thing. I never have enough pockets. Maybe I should get a poor old dog and tote it around in one of these things.

We ate at a place called Bella, since Benihana said we couldn’t sit together, even if we waited. (This would’ve been good news when we first started waiting there 20 minutes prior.

Dave got a nice set of aviator goggles. I got to try em on and Tom took a pic with his new digital camera. It’s so much lighter and smaller than mine. There was a sliver of new-fangled drool coming from my mouth. The food was decent, albeit way overpriced. I wouldn’t make a point of going to Bella.

Sweaty man in goggles

Getting back to the office, work seemed kinda lame. Heather and I decided it was a good time to see a movie and beat rush hour.

House of 1000 Corpses or Identity.

I felt the latter would be better.

I was very wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Back in the chain gang

Coming back into work was easy. The studio is still having heating/cooling issues. It’s always the opposite of pleasant here. Sweatbox or icebox.

I’ll be happier when summer is here and we’ll have more control over it with the AC units.

Dave, being true to his word, is getting ready to take some time off. He was working on his Leisure Tree.

Leisure tree

Otherwise, I pretty much just tried to line up my ducks for the week, and patch any leaks on various fronts.

Seattle, Day 3

After a great night and plenty of rest, it was time to jump on the bus and down to the docks for the Brunch Cruise with the bears. Carving out a nice table near the bar and the somewhat sunny aft, I accustomed myself to the swaying motion of the boat.

It’s been a while.

Beer, yes, beer would be good for this.

Taking Dan’s lead, I found that Red Hook was just as good as Fat Tire. Damn expensive on this love boat though. I s’pose this is how the cruise industry makes their dough.

The weather was pretty dang good on the Puget Sound. The Olympic Range (I believe it was) hung past the horizon, faint.

I had yet to catcha glimpse of Mount Rainier, but I can look forward to that on future trips.

Food… More swaying… Patchy Sun… Disco music muffled by the grunt of the engine… Porn stars (apparently)… and good fellowship…

Once the ship docked, I headed with Dan and Brian to REI and fritter away some time. I got a ballcap that isn’t orange or brown or navy! How radical of me.

Later, went to Elsian Brewing Company and learned that Boursin cheese is actually pronounced boor-SAHN. Not they they had it on the burgers, but I’m a nutcase for trying to say words right.

Too many years book-read without conversation…

Then it was off to The Cuff. Man, there were some freaks there that needed to lay off the drugs.

Got to spend a tiny bit extra time with Chris, then he was off.

After a brief jaunt to Dick’s, sleep came easy.

It was a spirited ending to an excellent sip of Seattle. This may well be the first run badge I hold on to, if only for the fun bear/bunny mascot.

Original photo

Seattle, Day 2

It was a long night at the pizza party/cc’s/Eagle… sleeping in was paramount. And so it went.

Rolling outta bed, I realized that I pretty much would have to run down to the lobby to make it in time for the fun cruise. Getting on a boat at that point seemed real unappealing.

Chatting with Darrin, he was nice enough to suggest a tour of the city. We started out in West Seattle, driving through Alki Beach and some nice neighborhoods there. (In fact, I don’t think there are any “bad” Seattle neighborhoods)

Grabbed lunch at a Chinese place next to a Bowling alley. Took some vistas in of the city across the Sound, and headed back to the downtown area.

Hit the market. Boy was it crowded. Seemed like the whole city was here at once. We skirted the packed walkways as much as possible. Saw totem poles, the first Starbucks, street performers, and lots of flowers.

Seattle seems to be a gardeners’ paradise. It’s lush. There’s a diversity of foliage while driving around, viewing folks landscaping, in street shops and at the parks.

Finished with the crowd, we headed up to the Capitol Hill area and walked around Volunteer Park, hitting the Conservatory for a great orchid display, and skipping the asian art museum. My dogs were barking, it was time for coffee.

Hit the Fremont area for some non-starbucks independent brew, and saw the statue of Lenin, window shopped and that was that. We toured a few more neighborhoods and then it was time for the Spring Thaw dinner.

Darrin dropped me off and I got some spiffy saturday duds on and headed to the banquet room.

I really didn’t know anyone there, so I mingled some, made a little chitchat, pondered leaving and napping, then a few familiar faces started to appear.

Afterward, decided that, instead of a packed bar, it’d would be a good idea to hang out in a mellower place. Followed Dan over with Brian to hang out in Redmond.

Everyone had a comfortable chair, there was plenty of wine to choose from, and the web was at our disposal for answering any questions we may have had – like, “Where do real girls go build strong bodies and strong minds?” Why, of course! Very informative. Very beefy.

I’m a little disturbed that someone in our party knew of this site.

After a bottle of big wine, it was time to wrap up this fine, fine day number 2 of Spring Thaw.

Man with balloons

Original edit:

he spattered me with tomatoes, hummos, chickpeas and some strips of skin ... so I made a right on 44th and I washed my hands when I got in ... and it rained like a slow divorce and I wished I could buy a horse ... and balloon man blew up in my hand
The Balloon Man at the Pike Place Market, downtown Seattle

Seattle, Day 1

Whadda weekend.

Got into Seattle late Thursday night. As the cab approached the city from the airport, I was slightly taken aback by the skyline. This place was bigger than I thought. The skyline was all aglitter and I was slackjawed looking out the window at the lights and heights.

The hotel is a field-goal kick away from the space needle, likely the best icon i’ve seen for a city. It’s jetsons cool. The hotel, hmm… I think it hasn’t been renovated since the ’62 Worlds Fair. (Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration)

After pondering goin to the pre-mixer in West Seattle, I figured a good nights sleep would be best. I settled in, frustrated that my data port was a dud, and managed to get some work done offline.

I woke up Friday and ate the uninspired hotel restaurant breakfast, used the wireless network uncomfortably nested by the elevators in the lobby, and fired off some emails.

Met up with Mr. Pratt and a buddy of his from San Jose and quickly felt at ease. Bumbling around the city, I found the scale of the place wasn’t as daunting as originally thought. Broken up into neighborhoods and ample greenspace, Seattle is a trick to navigate with steep hills and the strangest street grid I’ve ever seen. Of course, with all that water surrounding the place, I can understand the challenge.

Bearded man smiles for Microsoft campus thing

A trip to Redmond, peeked at the future Chalet, drank coffee, trip to the Microsoft company store (dang, they can’t seem to give away them xbox games)… then back to the temp apartment to meet up with Marmot and hit the evenings festivities.

Honda Elements are cool.

Not sure where the evening went, but it was pleasant enough. I decided I wasn’t wearing appropriate undergarments to maintain proper dress-code at the Eagle’s Under-Bear party, but I had a good time.

Lots of new and familiar faces. After being accosted by the most handsome daddy bear as the bar closed, i gravitated to a kind furry faced fella, and we wandered away from the crowd filing into the bus headin back to the hotel. We walked around the city and checked out views of the needle and whatnot, strolled thru a few parks, and gushed in general at our happenstance meeting. Exhausted, it was time to go back to the Best Western.

Day 1 of Spring Thaw was good.

Green Beans

Sunny day.

Taxes, done.

Two proposals out the door.

Ate ribs on the river for lunch.

Bought maid gift certificate for Heather’s birthday.

Boxes removed from common storage area (about 20 tower, laptop and CRT display boxes) and put on the street.

Warm evening.

Dinner with my mom and bro. Green beans and ham, cornbread, coleslaw, sweet corn on the cob, and yellow cake with chocolate icing, all homemade and delicious. Oh yeh, and sweet tea.


Yellow cake with chocolate icing
Cake for dessert

Hangin’ with Dave

Driving back from Columbus it was a gorgeous day. I got my in-truck country-karaoke on and made the decision that I need to work outdoors, in the fields, lifting heavy bales of hay (or something to that effect). Computer work alone is not good for me. I also made the decision that I’m going to bite the bullet and buy the introductory silk screening system to start making t-shirts, prints and whatever I can swipe the ink upon (so i can spend more time inside, of course).

I stopped at the house knowing full well, I would not be making the remainder of the trip down to the studio. I called Dave and he said the steam heat was still on and it was unbearable.

Sitting on the back porch, i found the wireless signal improved with the laptop I got in December and I tried to position myself in the sun to lose some of the shocking pasty glow I’ve worked up over the winter.

Dave popped online, told me to cover up the pasty skin, he was leavin the office and pickin up beer.

Ah well. It was hot and boring just soaking the rays without a reclining chair and good book.

So Dave comes over and we chat about work and whatnot. He thinks a sabbatical of sorts would be most valuable for him, and i agreed wholeheartedly. Pondering options evolved into a good discussion about how Flight School is going.

Apparently his teacher isn’t the best at pre-flight expectation setting, or post-flight debriefing. Dave’s mind works best with a plan, so I can imagine how unsettling it was when the instructor said that they would practice pulling out of an emergency fall and then jumping right into the maneuver.

More intense than any roller coaster, the plane drops abruptly about 3000 feet until it reaches a red-line speed (crossing that line means the wings will rip off). Pull out before the threshold and regain control.

This is something I’d like to know beforehand too, although in hindsight, for an emergency situation, sometimes we just can’t expect these blind punches. Maybe on some level, its a good way to teach. *shrug*

Dave pointed a few good things he’s learned. While circling a point he found he wasnt banking hard enough and conversely, gaining altitude. With his eye on the center of the turn, he would fail to look at the altimeter. The instructor told him to listen to the engine, and how it grabbed the air. In essence, use other senses besides the instrumentation.

Also, when dealing with turbulence, there’s no reason to fight the controls. It simply exacerbates the situation, making the plane jerk more violently as it tries to correct itself while the pilot freaks out. A firm touch, but just two fingers, should be all that is necessary to allow the plane to settle into a pocket of air. I tried to imagine how this could apply to other instances, where things get all funky and I overcompensate.

Sitting there in the late afternoon was great. My porch is relatively secluded as the surrounding trees somehow just leafed overnight it seems. We surfed a bit at funny sites, drawn to tears from The Diary of a Cat.

A tranquil scene with relatively no frets and some grins.

Trees in spring


The first time I met Tom, we ate at a Deli with big hunks of bread and chatted about music. A mutual friend said we’d get along, and he was right. Years later, we still talk about music.

Getting into the work-mode today was tough. It was likely one of the nicest days of the year, yet. I was not really in the mood to focus. Tom popped online and asked if I wanted to grab a bite for lunch. Then he mentioned something about visiting Shake It records, the best independent record store in Cincinnati (they say thank you, and mean it).

Closing my laptop was easy. Ate lunch downtown around lots of suits then headed off to spend way too much on music. (Swatting my knuckles, though it’s therapeutic, so I allow it)

I’m now the proud owner of:

The New Folk Implosion CDI dig this band, we’ll see if platter this continues those feelings.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks “Pig Lib”Previously stolen via iPod, now I legally own it…
Liam Lynch “Fake Songs”Hilarious and genius, simultaneously.
White Stripes “Elephant”Nice dirty sound from what I’ve heard…
Kristen Hersh “The Grotto”I suppose this will sound good at a mass suicide.
Toby Keith “Unleashed”Worst CD cover of 2002, “Who’s Your Daddy” makes up for it
The Polyphonic Spree “The Beginning Stages of…”Nutty. Still trying to figure this one out. Beatles+Chorale Music?

Spent the remainder of the afternoon shopping for digital cameras, eating ice cream and then back to the house to hold a baby that didn’t scream once in my arms.

Rest Area

I spent most of the night fretting over a meeting I had today with a real estate company about their website. IT said they could handle the “graphics” in a previous meeting and were questioning our involvement. It got me flustered. I had every intention, if there were any hard feelings at the meeting, to go off on a rant:

I didn’t go to school for “graphics.” I have a bachelor of science degree, not an art degree. We learned a process oriented approach to design, yes, but we also consider human factors, semantics and usability…

I don’t like the idea of sitting in meeting and being berated about value, almost as much as I hate puttin’ a label on what I do. I do this work for a reason… I inherently believe in the concept of a global community. It can be good or bad. We have to make a choice.

If information is ubiquitous, if we communicate, share, and organize, then we can change our world. Our communities. We can solve problems. We can accomplish lots of things. Maybe one day if we collect data properly, we can cure cancer. The only way to do that is if we play nice.

The first step to getting there is to make it easier. To make it easier we have to bring the scientists and the artists and heck, even the marketers together. Magic happens when diverse groups work as a team.

I don’t need this job. I can walk out and down the street and find some nice lady in antique store, work on a site for her hometown to unite businesses and get a homemade meal and a place to sleep.

Life’s too short.

Fast forward to today. I had concepts to share with the team and was tired from the long night and long drive. For some odd reason, with all the various heads of departments in attendance, along with the president of the company – everyone was agreeable. In fact, jovial.

One particularly fantastic lady, who I’d never met before, was there representing her company. She said, “This can be fun.” and I said Amen.

She eventually warmed up further and gave me the moniker Farmer Glass, I suppose my flannel and suspenders surrounded by suits made it appropriate.

With a common vision to plow forward as a team, my qualms were unnecessary. I spent all the time furrowing my brow, working on the presentation til the wee hours for no reason. Wasted a good two hours in fact, wondering about the whole job/career.

The ride home was like a sigh of relief, and I note this because I need to not worry about things out of my control. I need to not fret about things that haven’t happened yet.

It was a nice drive home from Columbus. I pulled off at a rest area to get a candy bar to reward myself and went to the overlook to soak in the budding trees and breathe. Of course, there were two minivans and a truck there, with suspicious characters looking longingly for a wink or nod i guess. But I had my camera, and cameras scare folks that are up to somethin. I took my picture in lieu of finding some interesting fauna, and headed home.