Posts categorized “Round-up”

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

November Recap

Once again November has proven to be the busiest/stressiest month of the year, so no real surprises there (and hence only three posts on this website during the entire month). Carrie & I spend most of our energies getting ready for our craft shows. She additionally has a bead festival to put on. But let me now try to recall some goings-on:

One of the most fun things was the re-incorporation of Nathan the Orange Fool into Fools Play Improv after a six-year hiatus. He moved back to Olympia recently and so has re-joined our illustrious cast alongside official newcomer Jamie the Ginger Fool. And with Esa the Periwinkle Fool more-regularly attending as well, that means that Mike & I are going to be faced with two-person shows far less frequently. Good news all around. In fact I took advantage of this by taking off the weekend of my craft show.

Carrie stayed on-site in Bellevue during the weekend of the Bead Festival, leaving me home alone. Well, during the week leading up to the Festival she went shopping for various sundries, and came back with New Super Mario Bros. Wii for me as a surprise early Christmas present because she loves me, or at least that’s the reason she gave. Also so I would have something to occupy my breaks between making crafts for my craft show.

The Tuesday after the Bead Festival was Carrie’s birfday. I had already given her a main present (a new outfit that she wore to the Bead Festival), so on her actual birfday I just gave her a li’l something extra, the holiday album by Tori Amos, Midwinter Graces. We went over to her folks’ place, where we were joined by L&C, which was ve’y fun. We played a lot of bowling on the Wii. Carrie’s mum made “linguine with clam sauce,” which is just like a meal that my mum used to make called “clam sauce spaghetti.” As you can tell, the only real difference between the two meals is the width of the pasta used.

Then two days later we were right back over there for Thanksgiving. With a lot more bowling on the Wii. But less linguine. But more turkey.

But the day before Thanksgiving we went out to the new(ish) place on 6th Ave called “Sax.” It had a very strange atmosphere that I couldn’t put my finger on. Thankfully somebody else did: Sax feels like somebody remodeled their basement into a bar. There are no decorations on the walls, there is a green carpet, and the wood paneling isn’t quite of the highest quality. It is almost as if they set out to make a neighborhood dive bar but then changed their minds halfway through and tried to make it into a classy bar, and so it exists in this weird limbo in between them. But we did share the Slider Trio appetizer, and it was very delicious. They really season the meats well.

The day after Thanksgiving, Carrie had a craft show called Gritty City at a hole-in-the-wall gallery on the very southern edge of downtown T-Town. It was difficult to tell from the outside that the building was anything other than either (a) abandoned or (b) just some old-timey storage/warehouse building. But inside was actually a really awesome space. I would love to get into this show next year because it seems like it would really jibe with my aesthetic.

The next day was the craft show out in Purdy that we do together. I had a couple of new product lines this year: Kawaii necklaces and soldered pendants (which as you can see I am putting up on Thirsty Robots). I didn’t do quite as well as last year, though, and the booth fee was much to high to justify doing it again. So next year I’m going to be looking into doing other, more artsy shows that cater to a younger crowd that would “get” my stuff a little bit better than the upper-middle-aged women who are the primary demographic of the Purdy show.

So now I’m done with craft shows for the year, but Carrie has one more this coming weekend, so she’s still crazybusy. And I’m spending this entire week dealing with the fallout from the show; packing back up my inventory, putting all the new stuff up on Thirsty Robots, etc. Plus I got two special orders that I have to make this week.

And that spins us right on out of November and into December. I’m certain I forgot some stuff that I would have wanted to mention, but such is the nature of the November beast. Ah, well. I leave with with some Baman Piderman:

Tomorrow, time permitting, I shall post my “Of the Month” selections for December ’09.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Cartoons, Fools Play, Holiday, Life, Links, Restaurants, Round-up, Thirsty Robots, Video Games, Videos.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Spring Vacation 2009 with an ANGRY Surprise

I’ve been on vacation for the past week! But I’m back now. It was a really busy vacation. Let’s see:

FRIDAY
Carrie went shopping with a birthday girl, and we met up with another birthday girl (and a bunch of other Bead Babes & Boys) at Chalet Bowl. I did very poorly! The Chalet Bowl people were acting strangely, like they didn’t really want anybody to actually be in there, just to bowl and get out! I guess they had some big event later on? Randomly ran into @danaismyname there, but she (and her family) were also rushed out of there by the staff.

So instead of hanging out and spending our money there, after bowling we went over to the North End Tavern and spent money there by having beer and playing darts. I did very well!

SATURDAY
We went to Northwest Trek! With two Mels, a Jen, and a Lila. I took photos with my phone, which I instantly tweeted!

The best part of the whole trip was the last hour when Lila decided she was both an explorer and our Teacher, and that we were her “group.” She would tell us what the signs said, and give us specific instructions. My favorite were, “Okay, now everybody has to stand on the other side of this tree. Okay, now hold hands in a circle. Now walk backwards this way…”

She got really into her teacher/explorer character, but started getting tired towards the end of it and got a little too much into character. At one point when Jen called her Lila she shouted, “I’m not Lila!”

Carrie turned to one of the Mels and said in a low, creepy voice, “Lila isn’t here anymore.”

FOOLS PLAY
That evening I went down and performed our new Fools Play Easter format: Fools Play Egg Hunt. I ate 19 marshmallow peeps during the annual Peep Show. This year it was a Kung-Fu Peep Show:

A Young Man and his Mother work hard in their small farm in ancient rural China. They work hard but they get to reap all the rewards. One day the Mother sends the Young Man into town to “buy a bucket,” but while he is away the farm is attacked by a group of six Bandits lead by the Bandit Leader, who kill the Mother and take the food, burning the farm. When the Young Man comes upon this scene he vows revenge against those vandals.

Meanwhile in a tavern in town, a Drunkard drunkenly decapitates the bartender. Just then the Young Man enters, scaring the Drunkard’s Coward friend into hiding under the table. The Young Man asks for help in defeating the Bandits. The Drunkard is so disgusted by the Cowards cowardice that he kicks the Coward out from under the table. The Coward goes flying across the bar and right up to the Young Man, who mistakes the Coward’s being thrown across the room with real Kung-Fu prowess and begs the Coward to train him. The Coward is too cowardly to refuse.

And so the Coward, in the span of two hours, “trains” the Young Man to be a Kung-Fu master, even though Coward knows absolutely no Kung-Fu. Emboldened by his training, the Young Man goes off and finds the Bandits and challenges them. They promptly and humiliatingly kick the Young Man’s sorry ass, and don’t even have the courtesy to kill him.

The Young Man goes sulking back to the bar to confront the Coward, who hides again under his table. After a wacky conversation, some wacky action, and some vomit, the Drunkard “trains” the Young Man by getting him piss-drunk. The Drunkard then promptly dies of psoriasis of the liver. The Young Man is despondent until the Drunkard’s ghost shows up to encourage him. The Drunkard’s ghost then promptly dies of ghost psoriasis. The ghost of the ghost appears and tells the Young Man he should just get going because this is likely going to go on for some time.

The Young Man rushes back to the Bandits, challenges them, gets pissed drunk and promptly beheads one of them. He then vomits on another one, who dies from being “allergic to vomit.” The remaining three Bandits pounce on him simultaneously, but the Young Man manages to leap high up into the air and dispatch the three of them all at once. Now all that are left are the Young Man and the Bandit Leader, who have a classic showdown wherein they face off and then run past each other. A couple of seconds later the Bandit Leader falls down dead. The Young Man walks off, saying something presumably inspirational (my mouth was so full of peeps at this point that I was incomprehensible).

Also during this episode of Fools Play, and very excitingly for me, a new addition to the cast was revealed:

angry-beef-plush

That’s right! It’s ANGRY BEEF! We summoned him to fight off the Improv Spawn. But is this solution worse than the problem? We’ll find out in the weeks ahead!

I’m so very proud of this plush ANGRY BEEF, which I designed sewed all by myself. The bone actually runs all the way through a hole down the middle of the body, and if you pulled you could yank it right out! It might be nigh-impossible to put it back in if you did it, though. I would love to mass-produce and sell these, but this one took for-freakin’-ever to make, so unless I come up with a better system I’m not going to be able to make very many, and they’d have to be really expensive to make them worth it. We’ll see.

SUNDAY
Sunday was Easter, in case you forgot. In the early afternoon we took Suki over to Carrie’s folks’ house, where we hung out and played cards for a while. Then we headed over to my folks’ house for din-dins. After that we drove up to the Skylark Café in West Seattle to see Julia Massey and the Five-Finger Discount (including @rabbiddogg) play a set. It was fun! We really like that venue a lot.

MONDAY
We cleaned the house hard-core in the morning, and then in the afternoon we drove all the way up to the Semiahmoo Resort just a stone’s throw away from Canada (you can see Canada out the windows). I like taking long drives with Carrie ’cause she always packs really good snacks. But the weather was weird during the drive, including a bout of hail and a section of the freeway that had snow all up ons it.

We hung out in the bar up at Semiahmoo once we got there and I had frou-frou girly drinks. One of the reasons we went to Semiahmoo is because they had a “Ginger Snap Martini” that Carrie knew I would love. It basically has Goldschläger, Jägermeister, and Bailey’s Irish Cream all mixed together, and there might be some ginger vodka in it, too. Not entirely sure. It was good, though.

We took a dip in the hot tub and then headed back to the bar for din-dins, and I had another frou-frou girly drink that had a sugared rim. I’m such a girl.

Tuesday
Tuesday we had Crab Benedict for breakfast in bed, then headed back down south, stopping in my old stomping grounds of Old Fairhaven on the way. It’s changed quite a bit; it’s a lot nicer and has a lot more stuff in it than when I went to Western ten years ago. I liked it. For lunch we ate home-made chicken salad in the car before completing the return trip.

Wednesday
In my brain this is the only day of my vacation that I didn’t actually do anything except sit around and relax. This is of course ridiculous because I went to work in the morning, meaning my vacation ended. However, I got off at 1:00 in the afternoon, so it was almost like having an entire day to relax, so it still counts in my brain.

And as of… NOW I’m back and all done with vacation. I have much of work to get done.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Holiday, Life, Links, Music, Pictures, Restaurants, Round-up, Vacation, Weather.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Three Birthdays and a Concert

This post spans two Fridays and one Saturday. Let’s begin.

Friday, 23 January 2009

This was kind of my Christmas present from Carrie. She had the day off, so in the afternoon after I got off work and we had lunch and all that, we drove up to downtown Seattle and spent an hour or so wandering around the fancy shops near Pacific Place and Westlake Center. Carrie didn’t end up getting anything. I know! Not a durned thing. But I ended up getting a Super Mario Bros. 3 T-shirt at Hot Topic, and some musical birthday cards at Daiso. We heart Daiso.

After that we had dinner reservations at The Dahlia Lounge. It’s a nice place, with dark mood lighting. Every meal includes an amuse-bouche, whatever the cook happens to whip up. For us it was tiny li’l open-faced pastrami sandwiches. They were very tasty, and had lots of complex flavors that opened in sequence. For our meals I got potato/leek ravioli in a smoked onion & sage butter sauce, topped with frisée, which was in turn topped with crème fraîche. Carrie got the crab cakes with cracked green olives and a romesco sauce. Both dishes were excellent, and we switched plates when we were each half-finished. For dessert we got freshly-made doughnut holes that were brought out to the table, then placed in a brown paper bag full of cinnamon and sugar and shaken up right in front of us. Our server then cut the top half off the bag so we wouldn’t have to reach down through all that sugar to get to the holes. They came with a jam and a vanilla mascarpone dipping sauces. I also had a really good cocktail made with blueberry vodka and something else, with a float of sparkling wine. Carrie had a margarita on the rocks. It was good and fancy stuff.

After dinner we walked over to The Moore to see a Jonathan Coulton concert.

The opening act was a comedy/musical duo called Paul and Storm. They were very likable geeks, and I thought they did a good job of being funny. My favorite bits were the commercial jingles and the conditional impressions. By that I mean they did impressions of musicians who influenced them growing up, but then they added arbitrary conditions, like “Bob Dylan… in a well” or “James Taylor… on fire.” You could tell that they were honestly awed by the size and intensity of the crowd. It sure seemed like it was the largest audience they’d ever played in front of, and they were very excited. They completely underestimated the Seattle audience, though. Watch as they try to get through a very simple song:

Then it was time for Jonathan Coulton to perform. He did a bunch of songs solo and a bunch of songs with Paul & Storm as backup, as well as Molly, who is famous on teh intarwebs as SweetAfton23. I took all the videos I could find on YouTube of this show and made a handy playlist for you to enjoy. So enjoy:

Molly got to do a solo number, and she did a cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” on the ukulele, which I, as a fellow ukulele-player, appreciated a whole bunches.

At the show we ran into Jack, aka “John Hippogriff” from Under the Mailbox Theater. Hadn’t seen him in years, and he looks exactly the same. He came and saw Fools Play the very next day, so it was cool to hang out with him.

Friday, 30 January 2009

This was the day of the triple-birthday party for (using their internet names) HeartFeltRobots, TeezyWeezy, and Jeff the Fish. They were all born in the span of the same week, so they decided to make it easy on all of us and have their birthday parties at the same time and place.

Now, I couldn’t go to their party without bringing them presents, could I? COULD I? I… think… NOT. So I made HeartFeltRobots and TeezyWeezy necklaces. TeezyWeezy likes ghosts, so I made her a Ghostie pendant:

Ghostie is a happy ghost!

I dangled a teardrop black bead from the bottom of the pendant and strung it on black cording.

For HeartFeltRobots I made a double-sided pendant so she could wear it with any outfit.  On one side: TAKO!

tako

And on the other side: IKA!

ika

Tako being, of course, the Japanese word for “octopus,” and ika being the Japanese word for “squid.”  Anyhoo, I strung this double-sided pendant on black cord as well, but couldn’t find a bead I liked amongst Carrie’s copious collection.  So I went down to The Bead Factory to get one and, man, that place was hoppin’!  Being a nice guy, I let everyone checkout before I made my $2.10 purchase.  I found a small lampwork bead with dots all over it that looked kinda like a sliced-up tentacle with suckers on it.  Poifect!

For Jeff the Fish I made a plush narwhal.  I don’t have any pictures of it because I’m an IDIOT and forgot to take any.  I’m bugging Jeff the Fish to take a photo and upload it to his site or something.  When he does that I’ll add it to this post as kind of a retcon.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

This was TeezyWeezy’s ACTUAL, REAL-LIFE birthday, and at Fools Play we always do a special format whenever a Fool’s birthday lands on a performance date: “Fools Play Birthday Party!”

This format includes a part where the other Fools give the birthday person some funny presents that somehow lead to a funny bit or are introduced by a funny bit or something like that.  I’d already given TeezyWeezy that awesome pendant on Friday, so I decided to do something simple.  It, of course, didn’t end up being simple.

There were two parts to my present.  First, since I know she gets lonely way out there in Wenatchee, and I know she likes ghosts, I made her a ghost finger puppet to keep her company.  But wouldn’t it be better if you couldn’t not only see the ghost, but also TALK WITH the ghost?  So I recorded myself saying a whole bunch of random things in a ghostly voice, with enough space in between so that one could have a “conversation” with the ghostly voice.  I then chopped up each phrase into its own MP3 file, which I burned onto an audio CD so that she could put it on shuffle and it’d be like having a new conversation EVERY TIME!  There ended up being over seven minutes total of ghostly phrases.  Here are a couple of examples:

  1. taishas-ghost-08
  2. taishas-ghost-18
  3. taishas-ghost-28

leiapico came to Fools Play, which was awexome.  I hadn’t seen her in months because now she’s a big-wig science teacher and is too important to hang out with lowly improvisers like me.  *sniff*

Anyway, that’s my story of three birthdays and a concert.  I enjoyed it much more than Four Weddings and a Funeral, mainly because I didn’t have to sit through an Andie MacDowell performance.  Yech.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Life, Links, Music, Restaurants, Round-up, Shopping, Videos.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Holiday Season Ends… NOW

While the Holiday Season™ always seems hectic, the 2008-2009 Holiday Season© seemed much more hectic than usual. That’s because it was more hectic than usual.

Basically, every day that either Carrie or I “had off” for the span of about two months turned out not to be a day off at all, but a family holiday, trade/craft show, or wedding event.

That’s right, this Holiday Season® had an extra holiday: The Duncan/Briggs wedding. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First was Krismuhs Eev. Because of the snow my family tried to cancel our traditional Crhistmas Eve Brunch, but my brother and I were all like, “Screw that!” and decided that even if the rest of the fambly didn’t wanna do it, we (with Carrie & Cassie) would do it anyway. And because of our obstinance everybody except for Pa, Jason, and Alexis had brunch at The Village Inn on Christmas Eve. Take THAT!

There was still snow on the ground on Christmas Day, making it only the 2nd or 3rd White Christmas™ of my entire life. Carrie & I went in the morning to drop Suki off at her folks’ house before continuing on to my folks’ place for the traditional Li’l Smokies, scrambled eggs, and orange rolls for breakfast. We then opened stockings & prezzies before going over to G’ma’s place (just up the slippery road) for more prezzy opening.

In the afternoon it was over to Carrie’s folks’ house where we mixed things up a li’l bit by opening prezzies before stockings! Gasp! I KNOW! This was because Christine came and joined us for the stocking opening portion of the day! Hooray! It was good to have her there. We got her cute stocking stuff (and a cute stocking).

Then there was a marvelous pork dinner, for which we were joined by the people who live across the street from Carrie’s folks, and eventually Carrie & I went back to our house.

It was an interesting Christmas, the first one in who-knows-how-many years that I didn’t get any video games! Instead I got a bunches of DVDs and a handfuls of books. Carrie got me the T-Mobile G1, which seriously kicks some major bottom. It came in the mail a week or so early, though, so I had it before Christmas. In addition to that she got us some Jonathan Coulton tickets for his show at the Moore Theater next Friday. Carrie also gotted mostly of DVDs and a few of books (one each from me), but I also gave her a pair of fantastic frog slippers.

New Year’s eve was (as always) only 6 days after Krismush, but in the meantime this time there were a couple of wedding events, including girls-only drunk bowling at Chalet Bowl in the Proctor district:

There was also some sorta bridal/wedding shower that weekend. Not to mention the usual Fools Play funtimes!

New Year’s Eve was another good time party, but New Year’s Day was unusual in that it was the first time in years that Carrie & I didn’t go out and see a movie. We just had been doing way too much and still had way too much to do for the upcoming wedding.

The very next day, in fact, was the rehearsal dinner. Carrie got a wedding-party gift: a walking cane with a concealed knife/sword. The head of the cane is a skull. A robot skull. It K’s all kinds of A. There was hanging out with Lawrence and some of his New Orleans friends at The Parkway afterwards. Good times.

The next evening there was a girl group getting together to make all the programs for the wedding (which were much more complicated than the programs at my wedding, which were printed-out pieces of shiny gold paper folded in half). I was on errand duty and drove people and things around for a while.

Then that Saturday was the actual wedding. The wedding started around 6:30. I got to the location around 1:30 to help with setup and bringing in box after box of hooch and putting up decorations and locating things and supplies and all that kind of thing. Carrie was one of Lawrence’s groomsmen, and while I wasn’t a bridesmaid I did have a role in the wedding: I got to escort Christine’s mum down the aisle. This meant I got to wear a nice suit. I clean up well:


Anyway, it was a very pretty wedding, which you would expect from Christine & Lawrence. Lotsa peacock feathers involved in the decorations and corsages and whatnot. Here’s all the peoples standing up there:


And here’s my favorite picture I took of Chrstine. She’s purdy:


Anyhoo, I took about 40 photos and uploaded them all (full sized) to this page in case yer interested.

After the wedding we hung around and helped clean up, then I drove Travis’s daughter back to her house. When we got off the freeway I heard sirens behind me and pulled over just as a cop car went flying past us. We continued on and went up a road to a T-intersection. I turned left and then when I looked in my rearview mirror I saw that if I had turned right I would have run into about 18 cop cars all arranged higgley-piggley all over the road, completely taking up about a one-block section. Whew! Didn’t want to get mixed up in that!

The next day I took Lawrence’s family to the airport so they could take their respective flights back home.

Oh! And mixed up in those past two weeks were also daily going and feeding a cat and lizard, and letting Boston Terriers out to pee in thier backyard. Almost forgot about those.

After that we were actually done. No more holidays. No more weddings. No more events. I had intended to get started on the new year that Monday (a week ago today), but honestly Carrie & I were just so exhausted that all we’ve been able to do for the past week was clean the house from the New Year’s Party and sleep. And play Animal Crossing: City Folk. And sleep.

Then today we went out to Safeway and bought food fixin’s, and cooked a wonderful, healthy meal of Mahi-Mahi salad with spinach, green beans, pecans, and parmesan cheese with a creamy lemon dressing that Carrie made from scratch. It tasted so very, very good. Carrie & I both agreed that today, Monday the 12th, was when the new year was finally able to start for both of us. So we drank a bottle of bubbly wine to celebrate with our om-nom-nummy dinner.

Now I’m just finishing up this post and then I’m going to start making many, many lists of all the things that I’d like to accomplish. Then I’ll start moving around the list items to that I know when to accomplish what pieces of each list. I’m using the fantastic backpackit website to do all of this. I absolutely lorve that website. Too bad it doesn’t have a good mobile version; if I wanna use it on my T-Mobile G1, then I have to navigate the browser to the full website (easier than it sounds; I just poke one icon and I”m there, but it does take longer to load than I’d like and isn’t really formatted for the small screen).

What kinds of things am I listing? Oh, let’s see. I’m in the process of teaching myself to use PHP with MySQL to create custom database-based shopping cart applications. I have a handful of movie reviews and articles that I’d like to write for THIS VERY WEBSITE (gasp). Carrie and I are working on a joint etsy site. I have a major writing project that I’m going to be diving into head-first in February, so I have to gear up for that. I’m transferring THIS VERY WEBSITE’s server and looking to switch over to WordPress. And there is one extremely major project that may seriously change a huge chunk of my life, but that for now will remain a secret. Except to those people who it involves, in which case you’ll be getting an email from me later this week.

Oh, and also a very fun and awexomely good-for-me project: Starting tonight (in about a half-hour) I’m beginning this program. I’ll be posting my progress here and on my twitter account, so that’s probably gonna be pretty boring for you, but it’s incredibly exciting for me, especially after the six weeks have passed (though for me it’s likely gonna be closer to eight weeks).

Whew! That’s about it for now I guess, but Happy New Year (finally) everyone!

Categories: Christmas, Cooking, Holiday, Life, Round-up, Updates, Weddings.