creative craftiness . . . and not in the malicious way

I’ve decided to start making cards for my kid sister, who I may have mentioned is out missionary-ing for her church.  Anywho, I’m not much of a letter-writer-er (I know, funny, right?  I think it’s because I can’t correct my spelling and such when it’s handwriting.  Also, I hate my handwriting.), so I figured she’d be lucky to get maybe two pieces of correspondence from me while she was gone.
See, I also have a bias against writing letters in a Word program, printing them and mailing them.  If you’re going to send a letter, send a freaking letter!  Seriously, people.  A printed letter is so impersonal, you might as well just send an e-mail.  Sometimes my aunts will send me printed letters.  I think they do it to spare me their cramped, tiny slanted handwriting or something.  Possibly their motivation is the same as why I avoid writing letters, who knows?  All I know is that I would rather receive a letter in their cramped, tiny slanted handwriting that is so reminiscent of my late mother’s cramped, tiny slanted handwriting, written on the thin crispness of proper stationary and in the uneven stains of penned ink.  It’s so much more personal and human and thoughtful.
I’m actually something of a saver and a packrat, and I have a binder stuffed full of memorabilia.  Photographs and handwritten letters, birthday cards, thank you cards, Get Well and I’m Thinking of You and I’m Sorry and Happy Graduation cards.  Over the years, as I moved from place to place, I began trimming the Binder of Memories back, trying to keep it into one overstuffed binder rather than several.  So I threw out printed letters that didn’t mean much, or cards only repeated the pre-printed greeting followed by, “Love So-n-So,” or maybe a, “Good luck! Love, So-n-So.”
Instead, I saved the stuff that obviously had thought put into it.  Handwritten letters or hand-made cards, cards that were filled up with handwriting, well wishes and inside jokes and thoughts and communications.  I saved the memories, not the filler.
Anyway, the way all this relates to my missionary sister is that shortly after she went out into the field, I bought her a card and some Sesame Street stickers at Target.  Then a few days later, I saw another funny card, and I bought it.  This pattern continued for a week or so, until I had a whole pile of cards.  Then for about two months, once a week I’d sit down with a card and scrawl her a note that piled across the inside, around the pre-printed message and spilled onto the back.  I decorated the envelopes with drawings and stickers and sent them off, hoping they’d bring a smile to her day.  (Mormon missionaries have hard days.)
Then I ran out of cards, just as our funds hit a bit of a tight spot.  I didn’t want to go on another card-buying streak, but I didn’t want to stop writing kid sister.
Solution?  Make cards!  I went to a second-hand store and bought some old children’s picture books that were slightly damaged for a very low price.  Four of them total, for less $1.50.  Then I dug through my cabinets and such and found some other cool stuff that would look awesome when creatively applied as Artistic Card Stuff.  And here are my results!
p.s. I wish we had a scanner.
(All are blank on the inside.)
“We’d like our dessert first, if you don’t mind.”
The paper is from a scrapbook store in Olympia that went out of business years ago.  The picture of the man is from an ice-cream recipe book my mom had.  And the text is from a children’s picture book about synonyms and acronyms.
“You know,” said Synthia, “you’re really a very nice person.”
The paper was part of a large pack of special scrapbooking papers that were in at Costco a year or so ago.  There were foiled and stitched and handmade papers in it.  This particular piece is silver foiled with a vine print.  The brown paper was red-backed, so I flipped it for the the contrasting effect.  The figure was from the same ice-cream recipe manual, the text from the same children’s book.
“Back in the Saddle Again”
The paper is the same paper as used in the first card.  The text comes from a Boy Scout songbook, the bird comes from the synonyms and antonyms children’s book.
The paper is my son’s construction paper, which I didn’t realize was a special sort of magic-marker paper that responds to inks and glues and such by changing color.  The cards are (obviously) excess Candy Land cards (we had one and a quarter sets), and the sticker is a leftover from my scrapbooking days.  This one is unfinished, I think.  It looks all empty and underwhelming.  My little sister loved Candy Land when she was little, though, so I think this has nostalgic possibilities.

something about this time of year . . .

It’s kind of funny, in a not-ha-ha way, actually.  I see a lot of blog posts talking about how they “love autumn” and how this is a “beautiful time of year,” and it is, kind of.  I can see that.  I remember when I used to feel that way, and maybe my reasons for disliking the onset of colder weather is a little morbidly unique (thanks, mom).
But I think it’s more than my mom dying late August of 2003 (thereby ruining late summer and early fall for years after).  I think it also has to do with my house being flooded two years ago, with torrential rains threatening my home with another potential flood last year.  I think it has to do with the way the rain lashes the windows, whipping angry and wet with the wind, or when it’s calm out, everything drips monotonous and endless.  A water-torture augmented by a depressing horizon-to-horizon sky of slate-grey.
I suppose this is singularly depressing, and I hadn’t meant it to be.  I’m sorry for that.  I actually meant to comment on how I found it a little amusing that the blog writers who purport to love this time of year are updating less.  Perhaps it’s because they really do love this time of year — perhaps they’re out running about, frolicking in colorful piles of crisp autumnal leaves.  Somehow my dour mind imagines less enjoyable, more mundane pursuits.
Anywho, I’ve found a few fun sites to tide me over until Editorial Ass, Pub Rants, Editorial Anonymous, OkTrends, Query Shark and Voice of Reason begin updating properly again.  How likely is it that all my favorite blogs stop updating round about the same time?
The fun sites are, in no particular order, Letters of Note (from the site: Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.)  The originals are photocopied/ scanned onto the computer.  In some cases, they were found on another site (usually a historical one) and the blogger posted them up, as well as a link to the original site.  I’ve already spent several hours poring over communications ranging from a letter Beethovan wrote to his brothers to an irate memo penned by Hunter S. Thompson to a movie producer.  There’s a letter pre-“Origin of the Species,” by Darwin and a letter to a young pen-pal from Mark Twain.  There are copies of the Son of Sam letters, and letters regarding The Beatles and Elvis.
It’s an amazing blog, really.
Second fun site, the art of g c haymes: skymail.  This artist basically sent out a letter to a bunch of famous people — writers, photographers, musicians, etc — and asked them to describe the sky on the pre-paid postcard he enclosed.  He made an exhibit of their responses (28 total).  I found this site particularly intriguing because as a freshman (or sophomore?  I can’t really recall), I once went around my high school with a lined sheet of notebook paper, asking random people to describe what laughter would look like.  I actually still have that sheet somewhere — I should find it, scan it and post it up.  I recall that more than a few people said it would look like bubbles.
Third site, more interesting to me as a psychological study.  The Curious Life.  I didn’t explore the rest of this site, so I can’t speak for what’s on the rest of it.  But this particular link should lead to a page detailing how in the late ’90’s a Mr. Geerhart apparently (posing as a young child) wrote letters to notorious public figures of the day.  This included imprisoned murderers as well as respected politicians, so quite a variety.  In any case, I found these interesting because I almost felt that the criminals knew what was going on and were purposefully screwing with Mr. Geerhart.  Except for the Unabomber, who just came across as an okay guy.

fun and useful links

Lose your cellphone and don’t have a landline?  Check out this cool site.  Just type in your cell number (it doesn’t save it) and it’ll call your cell (for free!).  Yay!  Just hope you have your ringer on. =)
Do you like social networking sites but you’re worried about your privacy?  These handy tips on how to optimize your privacy are specifically geared toward Facebook, but with a little ingenuity and common sense can be applied to any online social networking format.
Do you feel guilty about not backing up your hard-drive information, but it’s kind of a pain in the butt and you do most everything online anyway, so you just keep putting it off?  You’re worried about those pictures, documents and music, sure — but you’ll figure it out when you get a new computer.  Somehow.  Maybe pay a guy to transfer the hard drive information or something, right?  Or you could just store everything online.  It’s easy, free, and wherever you have an internet connection, you have your stuff.
Finally, if you don’t like fish oils or vitamins or any of those other “brain growth” thingies, play Tetris!  You can pick up a hand-held copy of the game at your local Target or Wal-mart in the kids section for something like $7, and it’s the best game ever, in my humble opinion.  If you want to play with a larger, clearer screen, you can buy copies for console or computer at any electronics store.  Or you can just play Free Tetris online.  Because Tetris?  Is awesome.

i’m a bookish sort of girl, in a bookish sort of world

So I previously mentioned an event some of my favorite authors would be speaking at.  Well, that was this weekend.  Wordstock, an annual two-day literary festival, was held in the Portland Convention Center.  Cover charge, $5.  And me?  There.
Yeah, baby.
It was awesome.  We arrived a little later than I’d hoped, but about when I’d expected.  Does that make sense? I wasn’t driving, and I didn’t want to be a nag.  Anyway, we arrived at about 12:33, which was about 43 minutes after when I wanted to arrive — because noon was when Scott Westerfeld began speaking!!!  Still, arriving when we did allowed us to listen to the last 28 minutes of his speech, and something is always better than nothing!
He wasn’t actually talking about the Uglies trilogy, though.  He was actually promoting Leviathan, his new book, which sounds totally awesome.  It’s fully illustrated, even though it’s mid-to-upper grade, and it’s a mythical re-telling of WWI.
Yes, I totally bought it.  Well, I totally sent my sil Nels over to buy it while I waited in line with her friend Mandy to get Uglies signed.
Anyway, as he was signing Uglies and Leviathan, I mentioned that I’d heard about the event through Sarah Rees Brennan’s blog, and he said, “Oh, she’s right here.  You should talk to her.”
As in, right there.  Behind his table.  Right.  There.  So I actually did talk to her.  I don’t remember much of the conversation — I tried really hard to be coherent and sound intelligent, but I’m not certain how well I succeeded.  Anyway, she signed a copy of The Demon’s Lexicon and chatted with me for a bit about bad boys in fantasy, the vampire phenomenon, and the idiocy of Twilight.  (I said, “My mom always said, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Then we both kind of laughed and hmmm’d.  It was awesome.)
Then my friends and I wandered for a few hours.  Bought coffee, bumper stickers and a magazine.  Picked up a load of free books and colored bookmarks at coloring station.  Also typed from word prompts on very old-school typewriters.  And finally, at 3 p.m., it was time for Sarah Rees Brennan to speak.  Turns out she shared her hour with a Laini Taylor, who (turns out) is a brilliant writer and everyone needs to go out and buy her books now, buy them, buy them!
(What are you doing reading this when you can be reading Laini Taylor and Sarah Rees Brennan?  Go!  Buy their books!  Run!  Buy the books!)
Anyway, they were both very funny and clever.  They read excerpts from their books, gave writing advice and shared funny stories.  While I still admire Rees Brennan greatly, Taylor’s bright pink hair and rather more useful (for my personality) writing advice has me bookmarking her blog as well.
I think I have two girl-crushes now.  Except that Taylor’s husband has illustrated her books, and I love love love these illustrations, so it’s more like a girl crush and a couple-crush.  Is that possible?  I don’t know.  All I know is that these books?  Are love.
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld
Lips Touch: Three Times, Laini Taylor (illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo)
bitch no.44

cagers, summarized

In the last two posts, I illustrated how cagers don’t notice motorcyclists on the roads and how they often misunderstand motorcyclists riding habits as selfish and rude.I understand that not all motorcyclists are perfect, no more than all cagers are really jerks. It’s mix — there are some motorcyclists out there who ride selfishly and horribly and dangerously, giving the rest of us a bad name. And there are some cagers out there who have taken it on themselves to be freeway vigilantes, giving cagers a terrifying reputation among motorcyclists.

Incident the third.

My husband switches lanes in an interesting manner. It is designed to catch the eye of the surrounding drivers and make them aware of his presence. Many motorcyclists (myself included) switch lanes in the manner of a cager — we signal our turn by hand or turn signal (often both), shoulder and mirror check, then drift into the lane.

John does the signal and shoulder/mirror check, but rather than drifting into his intended lane, he aggressively throws his bike into the lane. There’s really no other way to describe it. The first time I saw him do it almost two years ago, my heart leapt into my throat — I thought he was about to wreck. It’s a full lean, almost parallel to the ground, followed by an abrupt straightening up. It’s very eye-catching, let me assure you. The thing is, he’s in complete control the entire time.

Last week on his way up to work, he got off our exit onto the freeway, doing this maneuver. He proceeded to quickly move over to the far left lane (our freeway is a two lane road, so including the exit lane, three lanes) and just sort of slab it (freeway riding) to work.

Except some 20-something kids who had gotten off at the same exit saw his lane-changing style and decided that his “crazy swerving all over the road” was “dangerous,” so they pulled up next to him in their SUV. The female driver began squirting her windshield wiper fluid and running her wipers so it squirted at John, laughing and pointing at him as she did.

Remember how I mentioned the freeway was a two-lane freeway? It’s like that for quite a while, so John was stuck, blocked by the cars in front of and behind him and the SUV to the side of him that was now squirting windshield washer fluid all over his helmet visor and motorcycle. Unless he wanted to pull a seriously illegal (and, incidentally, impossible, due to all the road work and lack of a shoulder) move and speed away along the shoulder, he was stuck next to that SUV for about 23 miles.

He followed them when they pulled off at their exit to find out why they’d endangered him like that — slicking up his tires with wet, soapy fluid and obscuring his view. Obviously, he wasn’t in the best temper. The explanation they gave was that he was riding dangerously, “Swerving all over the road,” and, “Speeding in and out of traffic.”

Apparently they felt so passionately about his actions, they informed him that they’d even called in his plates to the police, which had John laughing pretty hard a few hours later (after he calmed down from their possibly unintentional attempt to kill him).

Side note here — if you call the police to tell them a motorcyclist is riding like an insane person, swerving in and out of traffic and speeding dangerously, but you’re able to easily and coherently read that little teeny tiny license plate, the police might guess you’re a retarded liar. Just sayin’.

Look, if you don’t like how a motorcyclist riding, don’t take it on yourself to be a road vigilante, okay? Maybe you’re shaking your head saying, “He’s going to get himself killed,” or, “He’s going to get somebody killed.”

Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. You don’t know. But do you want to be the road vigilante who, in an attempt to “teach that guy a lesson,” ended up accidentally killing that guy?

a dissertation on cagers, continued

So in my last post I talked about how one of my friends, while an otherwise nice guy, could end up being an agent of death for a motorcyclist. Well, there are others who do see motorcyclists but actually have it out for us. They may think we’re rude, or unsafe, or just selfish road-hoggers. They don’t understand many of the perceived “rude” motorcyclist behaviors are for safety.

You know how we swerve back and forth within a lane? We’re taught to do that. It’s because we can. It’s to avoid the slick oily spots that cars leave behind, constantly put ourselves in the best line of vision, and avoid blind spots of other vehicles. It’s safe riding.

You know how in some states (CA) it’s not illegal (or legal) to lane-split, and how in other states, it’s not even legal, but motorcyclists do it sometimes anyway? They usually don’t do it to be jerks. There are jerks in every case, I admit, but lane-splitting is actually an extremely safe way for the experienced rider to handle stop-and-go traffic. If a rider is lane-splitting, they are less likely to be made into motorcycle pancake because someone got distracted for a second and didn’t slam on their brakes in time.

Well, here’s a safety issue that happened to John and I this week that may have been mis-read as dickishness by the drivers around us.

Incident the Second

John and I were riding 2-up on his TL1000R (also know as the Tiller, or as I call it, The Sand Thumper, because it makes the same sound the sand thumpers make in Dune.) We came up on some construction. Traffic is at a standstill, and John turns off his bike as we wait for the flaggers to wave us through. I sit up and look around.

We’re at an intersection normally regulated by a light, and the road is being repaved. Since it’s a busy intersection, flaggers are waving the cars through in shifts. The portion of road we’ll be riding on is the portion currently being worked on. The road is scraped and grooved, ready for repaving. It’s the sort of surface that if you’re on two wheels, it’s better to be going 35 miles or a little faster on, the better to keep your balance. There’s a large orange “Motorcycles Caution” sign to the side of the road.

Just in front of us is a little beat-up black VW something or other. Jetta, I think. Anyway, the flaggers finally wave our line through, John starts up the bike (he’d turned it off while we waited), and we start moving forward.

The minute we hit the grooved pavement, the VW slows down. A lot. The truck in front of them was going at a normal pace. The car in front of that truck continued at a normal pace. The beater VW? Slowed down to something like 10 mph. I kid you not. John revved the throttle and the car sped up ever so slightly, then slowed right back down. John was right on his tail, and he revved the throttle again.

I know how this looked to everyone else. To everyone else, it looked like the meanie motorcyclist was threatening the poor teenage kid driving through a construction area. To everyone else it looked like the Big Bad Biker had an attitude. He was revving his engine, and noise equals bad. Do you know what John’s motorcycle horn sounds like? An anemic goat. Seriously. You wouldn’t even be able to hear it. That’s why he revs his throttle — you can hear it. (I do honk my bike’s horn — it’s loud.)

I was riding passenger, though, and I knew what was going on. I could feel in my thighs the way that John was struggling to keep the heavy bike upright at those low speeds on that grooved pavement; the way the road was grabbing the tires and trying to flip us down. I could feel the tremble in his chest muscles from stabilizing the wiggle in his handlebars. I’ve ridden on grooved pavement in the past, and I know the heart-hammer feeling in your chest at the strangeness of how the road feels.

I also knew that much of the issue was the speed we were going. I knew that if we could add just a few mph — 15, 10, even 5 — everything would be a lot easier, a lot less of a struggle. I was angry at the kid in the beater VW for driving so slow on the grooved pavement — he has four wheels! What’s he worried about? It’s not like a four-wheeled beater VW is going to flip on grooved pavement! I was also scared we were going to wreck. Sure, at those slow speeds, it probably would’ve just hurt, but I didn’t want to have to buy new helmets.

Once the kid pulled to the side of the road and waved us by (everyone else glaring at us like we were death-bringer-baby-killer-orphan-dolphin-thingies), we rode home. But not before an old lady shook her finger warningly at me and her husband frowned at me in disappointment from the cab of his truck.

Yes, what is this world coming to?

cagers are a$$wipes

My husband and I ride motorcycle. He’s been riding since October of 2007 and has put a lot of miles on his bike. He rides to work (64 miles round trip) on an almost daily basis, and goes on a day long (8-14 hour) ride every week to two weeks. He loves riding.

I don’t get to ride quite as often. First, I don’t have a job to ride to, second, we don’t have gear for our son, and third, I’m scared of being around cagers. Let me tell you, cagers are jerks.

Cagers are what riders (in our area) call car drivers. In the past week, three separate events have happened that have reinforced my strong belief that cagers need to learn to drive.

I’d like to point out something really quick here — motorcyclists need to have a license to get their motorcycle endorsement. That means they know how to drive a car. Then they take a class and/or riding test to get their endorsement. So they’ve taking two driving classes learning how to operate a vehicle and deal with traffic. In addition, motorcyclists belong to a culture that strongly encourages taking follow-up classes. Everywhere we go that’s motorcycle-related — to buy gear, motorcycle parts, fix or tune our bikes, or even just hang out in a group or online — riding classes are promoted, from beginning to advanced to defensive. And we’re encouraged to take them every few years to keep our skills fresh.

In contrast, how often does the average car driver take a driving class or test? Take a moment to think about it . . . That’s right. Once. When they’re 16 or 17. And that’s it.

Now for the first of the three incidents.

Incident the First.

I was on my way up to Seattle from Tumwater with a friend of mine (“Ted”). He noticed a motorcyclist speeding by in the right lane, and made a derogatory comment about how fast the guy was going in the right lane. I pointed out that the motorcyclist was going about 70 mph (10 mph faster than the speed limit), while my friend, who was in the far left lane (technically the passing or “fast” lane) was going 55 mph. I could kind of see why, with people block the left and middle lanes, any vehicle would blow by in the right lane.

Anyway, I made some comment about how his lane positioning was better than other bikes I’d seen that day or something, and Ted said he hadn’t seen any other bikes. I kind of laughed in disbelief, because seriously, no.

I mean, it was 80 degrees and cloudless out. We’d passed something like 80 motorcycles just between Olympia and Tacoma. Sure, they weren’t in a huge pack or anything, but it’s not like you can miss a moving vehicle, right? I mean, seriously! So I was poking fun at him for this completely ridiculous statement, and a couple of motorcyclists ride by us. Of course, I say, “There go three right now!”

He says, “Where? Oh! I see them! Cool.”

And he wasn’t messing! That’s when I realized that my instructor in the MSF course wasn’t lying to me when he said that cagers don’t see us. Let me tell you — shock. I just stared at Ted. I mean, he’s one of my closest friends. He’s a good guy. He’s smart and funny and nice. Sometimes he runs stop signs and sometimes he forgets to signal a turn before he does it. He doesn’t always pay attention when he’s driving, but I wouldn’t call him the absolute worst driver in the world (that’s my dad).

But he could totally hit and kill or severely injure a motorcyclist. I did this paper for my English 102 class on motorcycle safety. As part of it, I pulled up all these news articles on motorcycle accidents where the car driver was at fault — quoted as so by the officer on the scene. Inevitably, the cager’s excuse was, “I just didn’t see them!”

That excuse just blows me away. It’s a moving vehicle. With flashing lights that signal our turns. And a headlight that we’re allowed to leave on during the day. HOW CAN YOU MISS US?!?

sunday, date day!

Sunday we arranged for a sitter and went to Oysterfest in Mason County.  I was really excited to get some time alone with John, and yay for seafood, beer and wine!
Unfortunately, we didn’t actually get any seafood.  This would be due to traffic, trouble finding an ATM and various other issues that ended up with us getting into the fair around 2:30 or 3 pm.  The wine tasting and microbrews were to be shut down by 4:30, so we made a beeline for the microbrew first where John bought a cup of Blue Moon.  He really likes it, but to be honest, I’m not much of a beer drinker.  I like hard ciders, but beers are just too bitter for me.  I get flack about that from my friends — they tease me for drinking the “girly” beers.
Anyway, then we headed over to the wine tasting.  Again, I’ve got to be honest.  I didn’t like wine for quite a while — it was too strong and flavorful for me.  John still doesn’t like it; he always gets this surprised and purse-mouthed look on his face.  It’s cute.  Anyway, it’s all thanks to my sil that I’m trying more wines.  She had me try a dessert wine once, and I liked it enough that I started branching out.
We wandered over to the Horizons Edge Winery, who had cool names like Brittany’s Butterfly Ice Wine or Wishful Thinking Chocolate Port.  I have to admit that the ice wine made me think of elves and cool faeries and stuff.  I am also guilty of buying honey mead because it’s mead.
Anyway, I tried the ice wine and John tried the chocolate port.  Let me just say:  Incredible.  Incredible.  Seriously, I was almost jumping with excitement.  Who am I kidding?  I was jumping with excitement.  Well, hopping.  Lightly.  On the balls of my feet.
It was really yummy wine!
The ice wine had this incredibly beautiful scent, all tantalizing and summery-sweet to start out with.  Then you took a sip, and it was amazingly sweet, but not like mouth-puckering, tooth-decaying sweet.  It was just refreshing and bright.  It finished softly, not leaving a strong aftertaste or noticeable presence.  I loved it.
The chocolate port was equally awesome in a completely different way.  It smelled like chocolate, first off.  Then you took a sip, and it tasted like chocolate, but not overwhelmingly so — not like chocolate milk or chocolate syrup.  It was just a hint of chocolate laced with what tasted like black licorice?  I’m not really sure.  Anyway, it finished like sparklers.  Seriously, I swear it was like little mini firecrackers going off in my mouth.  I didn’t know wine could be spicy!  It was awesome.
I bought a bottle of each, and let me tell you, the wine from that place was selling like hotcakes.
Unfortunately, by that point it was 4 pm and we had to pick up the kiddo by 5 pm, which meant we had to leave right away if we wanted to make it anywhere close to on time.  So off we headed, unfortunately having missed out on the actual oyster part of Oysterfest.
Apparently next Sunday there’s a Crab Festival.  Hmmmm.

gathered from around the web

Evey now and again I see cool stuff I want to share.  So here, I’m sharing.  From an MSN slide show that took the pictures from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio.

What we eat, from around the world:

Bainton Family, UK
Revis Family, US
Casales Family, Mexico
Patkar Family, India
Ayme Family, Ecuador
Natomo Family, Mali
Some observations:
  • I find it really interesting, in a sad sort of way, how our pantry size seems to grow even as our family size shrinks.
  • I find it interesting in a pleasing and happy sort of way that countries less under American influence (re: France, UK, India) had much less soda pop.  I especially found the lack of soda pop in France and the UK intriguing, because I thought soda pop was one of the harbingers of all that is modern culture.  Nice to know I’m wrong.
  • The pictures of fresh fruit and vegetables make me super hungry, while the pre-packaged foods make me kind of go, “meh.” The grains in bags make my mouth feel dry, especially when I realize that that’s likely their most regular food.  I wish I could help them.

do the puyallup

This last Sunday we went to the Puyallup Fair.  You may not have heard of it, but it’s pretty much the biggest fair in Western Washington, complete with it’s own catchy theme song.  We spent eight hours there, which is about six more hours than I think is ideal, four more hours than I hope for and two more hours than I actually counted on.

The first four hours were spent looking at the Pavilion displays (various contest entry stuff like photographs, arts, textiles, dollhouses, Lego buildings, personal collections, etc.), the 4-H animals and general fair stuff.  Then we took a lunch break, returned and spent the final four hours on rides.  Turns out Little A is not at all scared of roller-coasters.  Go figure.

So.  Pictures!

This is Little A and I, re-creating a photograph that was entered in the 2009 Photography competition.  I believe it was under the “Composition” category, though I could be mis-remembering.
The actual photograph had about 3-4 kids, positioned like Little A and I are.  Except the first one was sitting cross-legged.  The actual photograph was also in a wooded area, with huge trees arcing all about and the dramatic swoopy moss we have around here weeping down.  The light was diffused and golden between their arms, too.  It was a really cool photograph.  

Little A and I don’t really do it justice, but Little A was taken by my admiration of the photograph and wanted to do one like it.  So here is our humble tribute.

Now.  Doll houses!  I love the doll house display at the Fair.  As a kid, I would beg my dad to let us stay at this display, but he always dragged us off to the model trains.

Curse you, model trains.

Anyway, it was especially cool because the Lego stuff and the doll house displays were in the same room, so it would have been nearly impossible to get Little A and I out of there before we wanted to leave.  At least not without a crowbar or some serious bribes.  So I was able to linger and enjoy the magic of miniature doll houses all I liked.

The Lego displays were pretty cool, too.  Buildings, towns, etc.  I was pretty impressed by an artistic entry in the Pavilion (once again, no photo, sorry), of a dragon built out of various Lego Bionicle parts.  That was cool. 

Anyway, this is what I’d consider a pretty standard Lego city, but Little A loved it.  He had me lift him up so he could see the upper levels of the display.

As we wandered on out of the displays, we came through the collections hall.  This is where people display their collections, like baseball cards, dolls, metal lunchbox pails, etc.  Among these was an interesting collection of dolls.  I don’t know what their actual marketing name was, I’m going to call them “Demon Dolls.”  They caught my eye because they looked like they wanted to eat my soul.

“I will have your soul, yum!”