Urban Grind

Since I sort of have some free time on my hands and can job hunt just as easily crashed on a couch as I can at home, I took off for Portland yesterday, and am now hanging out with my brother. It’s been good: good company, good food, and good hangouts. We’re currently at a place called the Urban Grind, which is a rather expansive coffee house, with an interesting mix of industrial aesthetic (it’s in a reconditioned warehouse space), and “kid friendliness” (they have two rooms explicitly for the little tykes to go play, which I gotta say is pretty cool). It’s kind of empty at the moment (the evening on a Saturday), but the music is good (Radiohead’s new album at the moment), and they have a nice Rooibos-based chai that I’m on my second large cup of. The wireless is kinda corporate: two networks, one “free” but with the occasional web-redirect to an ad, or a “premium” (pay) network with a fatter pipe and no ads. I don’t mind clicking past an ad every once in a while, personally.

I promised to take Anna to the airport next week, otherwise I’d be sorely tempted to just keep couch surfing for a while. I really want to hit the road for a while, though I know I can’t really afford it, but the prospect of couch surfing in different towns, seeing if one appeals to me to move to or find a job in… well, it’s more than mildly appealing to me. A thought I’ve had (I don’t know how feasible it is), is to put in my month notice on my apartment, sell off as much as I can, put the rest in storage, and then go look for places to be. I’d need money for gas, and food, and I’d need to line up a few places to stay first before it starts to look realistic, but that’s not that much in the grand scheme of things. How long can I stretch that while I find work and the path I want to walk next?

Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to get a more permanent (and livable) job with the game industry. In particular, a role as an associate producer sounds really appealing right now. It’s the primary focus of the positions I’m applying for (though not all). Of course, there’s a part of me that wants to just go do random other stuff for a while. Take some other job that covers the basics, but is in Hawaii, or Guam, or Japan, or somewhere in Europe. Learn to surf. Learn some more languages. Spend a few months to a year in a place, and then pick up and do something else (or even a similar thing) somewhere else. Does that provide stability, or savings, or a home? No, not really. That’s sort of alright, though, if it brings a sense of wonder and exploration with it. It’s not boring. It’s not a cubicle, it’s not 2.5 kids and two mortgages, it’s not the rat race, even if only for a little while.

The most satisfying moments in my life have been the times where I veered off the path and did my own thing.

Seattlite Once More

I’m back in Seattle finally, sitting in Zoka, drinking an iced chai, and listening as they play Andrew Bird’s Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs, an excellent album if I say so myself. Before I get into the “backness” of things, let me fill in a bit since when I departed.

I flew out Friday the 20th in the evening after a full day of work, tried to nap on the plane (with “plane dozing” about the sum of it), got into Philadelphia in the morning, and then had a speedy flight up from Philly to Manchester, where Dad picked me up, and we proceeded directly to Squam, where Mom and Freya already were. We all caught up a fair bit, and I filled them in on what’s been happening in my life, some of which simply doesn’t translate to text, public or private: there is the strain and timbre of the voice that carries a weight that is hard to convey with the same ease in written form. I am an ardent supporter of using the myriad forms of written communication to talk and discuss and communicate, but I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes it takes a face to face and voice to voice to get the right message across.

Uri didn’t show up until late that night, having had a late start in the morning driving up from DC due to getting his car serviced (a prudent decision, as much as the delay sucked). Finally meandered to bed around 3am for my first real sleep in two days (and my first sleep in an actual bed, not a futon, in months). Sunday brought JJ into the fold for a few days, and Mike and Mariah showed up for the day (with a 3 month old min-pin named Jack in tow), along with more catching up and chatting and, of course, finishing the final Harry Potter, which I managed to convince Mom to let me read first since I was only in town for a week. No spoilers or anything, but I did want to say that I thought it was a nice wrap up of the series — I really feel like she brought the arc to a good close, without leaving lots of things dangling. So, kudos to you, Ms. Rowling.

Monday involved swimming and relaxing and chatting, with the addition of Dave and Margot and their daughter Leah, who came out for the day. It was great to see them, and Leah was adorable and precocious (it occurs to me that some day a dozen years from now, Leah will be googling for her name and may come across this, and not even remember it, but it’s true: you were adorable when you were three years old, already counting and spelling and asking questions and learning how things worked. We rarely think about longevity in what we put out on the internet… maybe we should more often.)

JJ headed out Tuesday, and the rest of the week was basically just the family. I got to spend some quality time with my dog Freya, who lives with my parents (and is fiercely devoted to my mother, though she likes the rest of us well enough). She’s definitely my dog, though: dogs really do seem to imprint something from their owners, and a number of her tendencies definitely mimic those of Mickey, myself, and my parents. In particular, she seems to have my habit in liking to play and socialize, and then after go hang out somewhere quiet and private and safe to refresh. (There were several dogs throughout the week… the folks in the houses on either side of us had dogs, there was Jack the min-pin, and Dave and Margot’s dog India, whom she played with non-stop ALL DAY.) It was great to go swimming every day, get a little sun (light burn that is already faded, leaving just a slightest hint of more color than usual), reading, writing (not the kind of writing you’re thinking: I finished a new area that I’d been puttering on for Avatar for the past 5 years… I’d started it at the same time as the last area I wrote and put in, which took a few years and was put in two years ago… yeah), and just in general chillax. Didn’t worry about food or work or money for at least a little bit, and that was a nice break, above and beyond the fact that I got to see friends and family.

Friday night, we packed up and headed back to the Upper Valley, where I managed to catch up with Eli and even ran into Annah from high school, who was apparently part of a bachelorette party that night. It was great to catch up with her a bit — she’s looking great, and her husband sounds like an interesting fellow (a photographer, currently off in China for a few months). Hopefully we’ll keep in touch a bit. The next day was sort of a dud… Uri and I went out, but no one was around… and I mean no one. Called everyone we could and no responses. Did, however, get ahold of Chris, and arranged to do coffee with him and Gloria the next day, which was excellent.

After doing coffee with Chris and Gloria (which involved next to no actual coffee, it was mostly just a gab session, but that’s sort of why I call it “doing coffee” rather than getting a cup of coffee — the coffee is irrelevant other than as a mechanism to bring people together, like “doing lunch”), Uri and I were chased by a crazy guy who kept on trying to convince us to give him a ride and who knows what else (his voice kept on undulating between semi-coherence and mumbling). We managed to get away, went and did dinner with Mom and Dad, and then headed south to Eli’s house, where we caught up with a slew of people. I managed to get ahold of Bethany and convinced her to come down as well. It was great to see her and talk a bit — I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I used to have a crush on her (and I am of the opinion that crushes do not go away, they simply go dormant), so I suppose it goes without saying that I enjoy her company greatly.

Uri took off Monday morning, and plans to get picked up fell through, so I ended up spending the evening at home, which was fine. Tuesday involved lunch at the Orient with Mom and Dad and Eli, and then departing for the airport. Mom and Dad saw me to the airport, fond farewells and all that… and then the fun began.

It seems that the flight coming from Cincinnati that was to take me down to Atlanta to catch my plane to Seattle had not yet arrived. In fact, it hadn’t even lifted off. Mechanical trouble. The expected departure time kept on creeping forward in increments of 15, until they finally confirmed “yes, it has lifted off, we WILL be taking off at 8:45”. (It was supposed to take off at 5:36). Needless to say, I missed my connecting flight by just under 3 hours, getting into the airport around midnight. Delta set us up with hotels and rescheduled our flights, and about half the plane trudged off grumpily to various hotels around Atlanta to catch what sleep they could.

Got checked in to the hotel a little before 1, and was asleep not long after, sleeping fitfully for the 3-4 hours I had before I needed to be up and hopping BACK onto the shuttle to the airport. Got to my gate, checked in, got my seat, and tried to doze in the seats by the gate waiting for the flight. Of course, there was a small problem: so many people had been shunted around due to not one but TWO overly delayed flights the previous night that the morning flight was overbooked, heavily. They started offering $400 and an upgrade to first class to those willing to wait until 6:30pm, when room really opened up.

I really wish I could have afforded to take that, since that’s $400 towards any flight, anywhere, anytime in the next year (it’s not frequent flier points, it’s more like a gift certificate). That’s a trip back east, say, next year, when we’re having a family reunion. I couldn’t justify it, however: I had already missed one extra day of work due to this snafu, and it being the first, my rent was due, which meant I needed to get home in time to actually a) pay it, and b) deposit the paychecks that had arrived while I was gone so I COULD pay it — i.e. during business hours. However, they did also offer $200 dollars and confirmed seating for the next flight out (about an hour and a half later, which would put me in at noon instead of 11… don’t ask me how they shave a half hour off these things). THAT, I took, which means I now have $200 towards any flight Delta will fly for the next year… domestic, international, whenever, whatever. Given that I have a court date for that ridiculous speeding ticket the Monday following the Morison trustee meeting, I STILL can’t make it to that (nor would it cover it all… a good rate for a round trip ticket from Seattle to New England is ranging in the $350-450 range, assuming you have time to wait for a deal, which I don’t). That said, it almost exactly covers the cost of flying round trip to Los Angeles or the Bay Area, and given I have friends in both areas I would like to visit, as well as potential job prospects in both areas, having this little nest egg dedicated to air travel is NICE. It means I can afford to fly down if an opportunity presents itself, and see people to boot (or vice versa, but the miser in me says I really should try and make it do double duty if I can).

Got in, paid for my car parking (11 days is painful! But it would have been worse parking at the airport… hopefully next time I’ll be able to impose on a friend for the inconvenience of dropping me off and picking me up), and made it home by 2, not only in one piece, but with my luggage to boot! It managed to make it onto the morning flight that I passed up, which meant it was waiting for me when I got in, with no real issues other than some fretting while still on the plane. Showered, deposited pay checks, paid rent, and was asleep by 8. Good to be home.

Learning to Wait

So, I’m currently sitting in the Manchester, NH Airport, awaiting the first leg of my flight home (more on my excellent vacation later), which should have left over two hours ago (the currently scheduled departure time is 8:45pm, putting me in to Atlanta around 11pm, an hour and a half after my second leg is supposed to have left. Needless to say, I won’t be making it home tonight as I’d planned, and instead will be put up in a hotel courtesy of Delta Airlines, and instead put on a flight bright and early tomorrow morning. I’ve already let work know that I won’t be in until Thursday, and there’s not much else I can do, so I’m just taking it all in stride: given the morning flight and late arrival, I won’t be able to do much enjoying of Atlanta, but still, I’m not paying for the hotel, so why stress about it?

It’s been a good break, a time to re-collect myself, relax, go swimming, get some sun, and assess what I should do next. I’d hardly call it a battle plan, but I do at least have a sense of what I should be doing or trying next, and that’s a good start. To everyone I managed to catch up with: it was great to see you! To everyone I missed: next time, or come visit me!

The Long Road Home

This weekend, I wandered down to Portland for a barbecue my friend Dan and his lovely fiance Moonrise were holding down there. This was a remarkably good idea on several levels, not the least of which that I’d completely forgotten that my friend Jen was in Portland for the week, and that I’d promised to head down and hang out, so a quick IM later, she swung by and we chatted for many hours. The actual trip down was notable primarily for the fact that I was pulled over. It’s complete bullshit, and I will be fighting it tooth and nail if I have to.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, getting pulled over happens, and I don’t begrudge a ticket if they catch me dead to rights. I’ve literally had a check in the mail within the hour before. But this… this is worthy of my rage. First of all, I was going 65 in a 60 — whups, yep, I was speeding, a whole 5 miles over. He claims I was going 75 in a 60, which I am completely positive in saying I was NOT doing (mostly because I was frustrated at the traffic not going faster, so I was abundantly aware of my speed). I’ve had cops try to over-charge me before, and generally I’ll even begrudge that, though I’ll certainly bitch about it. BUT, he decided to also slap a $1000 fine on top of it, for “failing to pull to the right for an emergency vehicle.” It was markedly unsafe to pull over to the right, and since there was a 15 foot wide breakdown lane on my immediate left (and I’ve been pulled over on the left side in Washington before without issue), I pulled over immediately, but to the left. I feel fairly confident that the only reason he gave me this extra fine was because I a) was with out-of-state plates, and b) disagreed with him regarding my speed. I WILL be contesting this.

But, that’s not why I’m writing. I’m writing about the trip home. Given that it was Memorial Day, I sort of assumed that it was going to take me many hours to get home, regardless of the route I took, so I opted to take a scenic route (long duration due to going out of my way, not because of traffic). I split off eastward at exit 21, and took 503 out towards Cougar, heading through the national forest on the east side of Mt St Helens (I’d post pics, but I’m at Zoka, and left my card reader at the apartment). 503 at some point became 25, and passed through Packwood, and still I kept on going. The roads out there are long and winding, with unbelievable views and no traffic, but you need to be careful that you don’t slip off the road: there are often no guardrails and no shoulder, just a steep drop down a thousand plus foot embankment to water or trees below. There were some lovely lots for sale out near Yale Lake, in 5 acre and 20 acre allotments that would probably do well as a spot for a hermit’s cabin or camp.

Continuing onward and up through one of the passes, I saw a man walking up the road, with no backpack or anything, just a machete strapped to his leg. I hadn’t passed a camp or even a pullout for a few miles, so I found this odd… a quarter mile later, I saw another solitary man, without equipment other than a machete. It was another 5 miles before I saw a logging trail leading off into the hills, with a crudely drawn chalk arrow pointing that direction… I don’t know what was going on, probably nothing, but it sorta weirded me out. It was interesting to see snow in the pass, as well, and kind of reassuring, as well: I was glad to see snowbanks available rather than a straight shot down the precipice, considering I had already been passing several spots where the embankment under the road had eroded away, the pavement sinking into oblivion and an orange cone warning off drivers.

By then it was rolling up on 9pm, and finally starting to be truly dark. The moon was a welcome addition. Unfortunately, 9pm means a lot of the gas stations out in that area are already closed for the night, and I noted that it was highly unlikely I’d have enough gas to finish the trip. I started putting the car in neutral and riding the brake down the passes, just to save gas (I was seeing a car perhaps once every 30 minutes). Eeked it out until I found a gas station that was actually open around 11. I tried cutting through Mt Rainier National Park, but the passes there are still closed due to snow, so I had to cut back a bit and take 410 instead. Heading up over Chinook Pass was impressive, with WALLS of snow, 8 feet high, on either side of the road, though the road itself was clear and in good shape. Coasting down that switchback was completely crazy, but immensely fun and refreshing (considering the night was stretching on, having something to refresh and excite you in your drive to keep you alert is a godsend… you will NOT fall asleep on these roads, there’s too much to pay attention to, all the time). Finally made it back into town a little before 2am, and then trundled off to bed.

Hell of a trip, great roads. It’d be nice to do it again with more of it in the daylight. Maybe once the passes in Rainier are actually open. (That reminds me, I need to renew my National Parks pass… hmm, it can wait a few paychecks, methinks.)

No Werewolves, but…

To quickly sum up the past few days, the fruits of my apartment hunting turned out to be rotten (they decided they wanted a cosigner, which isn’t acceptable to me on a number of levels… I’m sorry, but I have issues with arbitrarily attaching someone else’s livelihood to my own to get an apartment. You’re not renting to them, you’re renting to me, so either yay or nay based on MY qualifications, or I don’t want to do business with you). I’m getting my deposit mailed back to me, and I spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning doing more apartment hunting. I found a place in northern Ravenna that looks very promising, and checked it out yesterday, liked it, and have put down a deposit (again). The tentative move-in date is March 1st, but they’re going to talk to the current tenant (who is already moved out barring his bed frame, and needs to still clean) about getting me in sooner than later. I like the fact that they’re trying to accommodate my needs, and the fact that as long as I can pay the rent and my rental references and credit check are good, they don’t mind that I’m not currently employed. I should hear back from them sometime soonish with a concrete on when I can actually move in. The bright side is that this is actually a better laid out, larger space than the previous place, with better light and hardwood floors. Smaller kitchen, but it’s still workable. The theory discussed when I toured the apartment was that I could potentially move in as soon as next week, which would be good — I like traveling more than most, but this hotel-hopping holding pattern is starting to wear on me.

I’m back in Portland while I wait, because it really is significantly cheaper (if the current apartment hunting had fallen through, I may have ended up moving to Portland instead… comparing via Craigslist, what gets you a small studio in Seattle will get you a 2br flat or townhouse in Portland). I’m currently down at The Fresh Pot again, again drinking delightful Pixie chai, after eating a fantastic lunch at The Cup and Saucer just down the street. (Start with good coffee, then a side salad with buttermilk ranch, then a cup of zucchini and rice soup, followed by a spiral pasta with creamy pesto sauce, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms… did I mention that pretty much everywhere I’ve eaten in Portland has a ton of vegetarian and vegan options, but without forcing it down your throat?) All in all, life is pretty damned good, I’d say.

Last night back in Seattle, I found a theater that was playing Pan’s Labyrinth, and made a point to go see it. What a remarkable film. I really enjoyed it, on all levels. I found myself thoroughly engaged from the beginning, and felt that the story was strong, the acting was excellent, and the visuals stunning. I would happily go see it again, and look forward to owning it on DVD. I can’t encourage others enough to go see it while they can. (It is unfortunately a limited release, so some of you might have trouble finding it near you.) Fair warning: it’s dark, both visually and in nature. It’s also subtitled from Spanish. On a personal note, the actress who plays Ofelia (the main character) reminds me very much of Jamie Staudt from the last time I saw her, which was when I was 12 (crikey…). I’ve got something of a quirky memory like that.

Returning again to the topic of The Fresh Pot… the guy behind the bar is apparently one of the co-owners… and is selling his half of the coffeeshop to go traveling with his daughter. I just wanted to say kudos and congrats to them, I hope they have a really fantastic good time. We chatted a bit about travel and how invaluable it is. I think it’s really wonderful that he’s taking this opportunity to instill a love of travel in his daughter while she’s still young.

This is no longer a placeholder

[Original Post:I’m in Missoula, Montana, and it’s 3:30am. Will turn this into a real post when I wake up! 02/04/2007]

Hah, sorry it took so long for me to get back to this. The past week has been a little scattered, and other than apartment hunting, I’ve been pretty useless. Plenty of things to talk about, too. To briefly catch up on the last legs of my trip, wandering through South Dakota and Wyoming and into Montana proved to be an interesting journey because of the snow I hit in Wyoming: there were so few cars that there was more than one occasion in that 200 mile stretch of I-90 that I wondered if the road had been closed I’d somehow missed the gates. The roads themselves weren’t too bad, but rivers of snow flowed across the road like floodwaters, egged on by high winds from across the plains. The sun was setting during the snowstorm, an orange orb illuminating the snow as it fell, and I thought about stopping to take a photograph as it created a silhouette of a tree on a hilltop. I thought about it, and then let the urge pass. Not only was it unsafe to stop, but I decided that the moment was for me to experience, not to capture… sometimes knowing when not to pick up the camera is as important as knowing when you should.

The snow cleared up by Billings, which made for pretty clear sailing through most of Montana, before finally stopping in Missoula, where it promptly started snowing again. I was grateful for the snow-reprieve, and the full moon I was driving under made the Montana leg something special. I’ll admit it, I howled at the moon, but under the circumstances, it seemed the appropriate thing to do.

Missoula to Seattle was largely uneventful, but by the end of it I was starting to feel a little road-weary, exacerbated by going from the empty roads of the midwest to the traffic of Seattle in such a short time. I ended up grabbing a hotel for probably more than I should have spent (but decidedly not as bad as I could have), simply because it was there and had a gated parking garage (please bear in mind that my car is FULL of stuff I brought with me, so this IS a consideration). I got myself situated, and spent the next few days apartment hunting, using a combination of Craigslist and driving around and stopping anywhere that had a “for rent” or “apartments for lease” sign in front of it. Two things I gleaned from this experience: 1) just because a place has office hours, doesn’t mean anyone is actually there during that time, let alone answering phones or emails; 2) I really missed KEXP (the local radio station I listen to) — where else can you find commercial free radio that plays bands like Vetiver, Of Montreal, and The Bastard Fairies (to name only a very very few). KEXP definitely made the driving around the city a lot more enjoyable.

The trip was roughly 3400 miles and 690 songs, White River Junction to Seattle, by way of Washington DC. I can dig out specific mileage if people are really curious, but yeah, that’s the gist. None too shabby, I’d say!

Now then, Seattle: it’s good to be back. The traffic still sucks, it’s doing that grey and misting thing it does during the winter, and I don’t really know anyone, but it’s still good to be back. I can deal with grey, especially when it’s 50-55 degrees vs the 10 degrees it is back in Vermont. I can deal with the traffic, because at least they’re generally polite (it’s just a lot of them). And as for getting to know new people… well, we’ll see what I do about that. I’m a bit of an introvert (as has been discussed before, strongly typed INFP, with the I being the weakest typing), so it’s going to take a little concerted effort to step up to the plate with this, but I have some good ideas about that, and the apartment complex I’m theoretically moving into is apparently full of people my age, so hopefully that’ll help with making inroads.

Speaking of theoretical apartments: I’m saying theoretical because I’m waiting for the background/credit check to clear, but considering my credit and background are both good, it should be fine. Since I’m not currently employed, I’ll probably need to pay first AND last month’s rent AND the security deposit, rather than just security and first month, but that’s fine. I’ve put down the security deposit, and theoretically should be able to move in as soon as Wednesday. While I’m waiting, I opted to head south to Portland, where hotels are MARKEDLY cheaper. I spent most of today holed up in my room doing very little that could be considered useful, but it was nice to just chill for a bit. Finally left the room around 7pm local and wandered downtown… ate at The Roxy, and then swung through Powell’s… which as ever was a mistake. Shelves that go up and up and up… piles and piles of books, one of the best sci-fi selections I’ve ever seen… I was good though, and only picked up a few things… the complete scripts for Monty Python’s Flying Circus (it was $6!), On Bullshit and On Truth, and a photo-theory book by Berger that looked appealing. I opted NOT to buy several volumes of collected Heinlein short stories, nor the illuminated Notebooks of Lazarus Long, nor a copy of Watership Down, nor Four Screenplays by William Goldman (Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Princess Bride, and Misery collected in one volume), nor the David Lynch book on creation and meditation. I saw several books that I know several people would have loved to own that I thought about buying as gifts (like, say, the screenplay for Wilde including an introduction by Stephen Fry, or the Art of Walt Disney compendium), but given current circumstances, I opted not to get those, either. That basically brings us up to date.

Continuing Westward

I’m currently safely stashed in a hotel in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but I did want to share a few things:
1) Keeping a car warm in -7 F weather with strong winds hurts gas mileage painfully.
2) Driving through white-out conditions and then realizing that it’s actually all just snow picked up off the ground, and the stars and moon are out above you is hi-larious. Maybe you just have to be there.

My next post is my 400th… I’m hoping to make it a bit more substantial than the past few posts. We’ll see how worn out I am when I stop tomorrow (aiming to be somewhere in western Montana by then, weather permitting).

Going to “Ohio”

I did indeed take off as expected and planned, and only a mere few hours later than anticipated (hunting for my tire chains, which I woefully could not find, but finding a bunch of random sundry stuff that I’d forgotten to pack in the process), heading first south down to DC, where I stayed with my brother, Shane, Brian, and Scott (in absentia), and even got a chance to spend some time with my friend Elizabeth (we weren’t sure if timing was going to work out, since she was coming back from England right around when I was planning to leave). All in all a good day and a half spent in DC, though I must say it’ll be nice to have an actual bed tonight instead of a couch.

Which gets me to tonight: I finally got out of DC around 5, and took off west on 70 through Pennsylvania and into Ohio… I was making good time and wasn’t all that tired, but I opted to get a hotel room while there would still be enough of a night to make use of it, so I’ve stopped just west of Columbus… roughly another 90 miles of Ohio, then in Indianapolis, I need to make a decision about what route I want to take. I’m generally a fan of the northern route (I-94), but those other trips also weren’t in the dead of winter. I may end up just taking I-90 and calling it good enough.

Off We Go

I’m sorry for the lack of posting of late. I’ve been meaning to get back to some things (like wrapping up my thoughts on the tech talk), but some stuff came up, followed by packing most of my belongings into boxes for my move to Seattle. I have a few sundry things to finish packing, doing one last lunch with the ‘rents, and then off I go into the wild blue yonder! Should be an interesting drive across the country (it being an exceptionally snowy winter in parts that I’m going to have to drive through), but I’m feeling pretty good about it. Nervous about the move, as it’s a real leap of faith, and I haven’t really put myself together for it, but it’s time to do it regardless.

I don’t have much time at the moment to write more than this, but I did want to let people know that I’m off and running, and may be highly sporadic in where I pop up for the next week or two while I drive out and get an apartment. (Honestly, I’ll probably have great connectivity on the drive, given the prevalence of wireless networks in hotels nowadays!)

Spreading the Love

I’ve got a few things I want to talk about today. First and foremost, I’d like to point out my friend Beth’s blog, Wandering in the Midwest, which has been an excellent and rewarding read so far. She’s in the process of doing a semester doing art of and about the wildlife and surroundings around where she grew up in Minnesota. She a damned talented artist, so it’s a real treat to get access to a workblog like this. (Fair warning: it’s not as bad as some, but it IS an image-heavy blog, so 56k-ers beware!)

Switching to an entirely different topic, I finally managed to see A Scanner Darkly this evening (I missed it by one day in the theaters… there was much gnashing of teeth, I assure you). Let me just say that while I wouldn’t use it for every movie, I am damn impressed with the rotoscoping techniques they used to animate the movie. Visually, it was a real treat, and narratively, it was an enjoyable rendering of a somewhat bittersweet Philip K. Dick novel (who, while more than a little crazy, was a brilliant writer), even choosing to show the dedication Dick had at the end of the book. The story deals with drugs but isn’t about drugs… the drug itself is imaginary (so far), and serves more as a catalyst for the real story: the progressive deterioration of the mind of the protagonist. Well worth watching, and I highly recommend watching it at your earliest convenience. (For those who are wondering what the hell I’m talking about, the trailer can be found here.)

I’m in the process of gathering budget and information for my move back to Seattle at the end of the month. I won’t be leaving the area until probably the 30th, but given how I drive, that should put me back on the west coast no later than the 4th or 5th. So, sometime between now and then, I need to finish a number of things, pack, and other prepwork. If we’ve been meaning to hang out but have been slackers about making it happen, ping me ASAP and I’ll make time, damnit.

My wireless perch is closing up for the night, so I’m going to have to wrap things up, but I would like to say that I’m really excited about the Apple Tech Talk next week, and both excited and nervous as hell about the move back to Seattle.