Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Mom Has a Blog

My mother, of My Mom vs. Tom Carr fame, just started a blog. It's called Dickens 3 in the OC, a reference to where she lives now and the old style of telephone prefixes from her childhood in the San Fernando Valley*. Basically, she's going to write the kind of stuff she'd write in exasperated letters to the editor at the Orange County Register. If you saw the email fight between her and Tom Carr, you'd see she's a dab hand at this kind of thing. So if you think my mom is awesome, and you want another amusing blog to read when you're killing time at work, it's worth a look-see.

*The prefix used to be Dickens 3 or DI3, which translated over to 343 when they changed from letters and numbers to just numbers. That was also, by the way, before area codes. This led to a conversation about how she used to use a manual typewriter to write up papers in college. And now she's in the blogosphere. Kind of a weird thought that technology has changed so much in such a brief time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

William Gibson Book-Signing at U Village B&N

Before I arrived, I think I expected to see what I had seen at the last booksigning I attended. It was at the University Bookstore, where Jacqueline Carey was doing a signing for Naamah's Kiss. There was a small crowd of about 50 or so people.

For some reason, I forgot that William Gibson is just a wee bit more popular and well-known than Jacquline Carey. Just a bit. So it was a little surprising to see a more than a hundred people lined up outside the Barnes and Noble auditorium. Even though I didn't line up in time to get seated, I still had a good enough view in the back to see Mr. Gibson (his whole head!). The B&N soundsystem was good too, bless their little souls.

W.G. read more slowly than I read his books in my head, so the rhythm of the text was different than I was expecting. Then again, it would take a very bad reader to ruin the first chapter of a Gibson novel. I appreciated the most what he said before he started reading. It was that he only really got to read the first chapters of his novels when he first read them while on tour, to an audience. So during the first few stops on the book tour (like this one), he and the audience were both experiencing the book for the first time.

I liked the Q&A better. Even though I couldn't hear most of the questions, it was still lovely to hear him answer them. The quotes that I caught via Twitter are below.

"I'm not really writing about the future...I'm just trying to create mini fugue states that help us make sense of our alien present."

"I'm more interested in travelling to the same place repeatedly...I'm reluctant to add another city to the capitals of my imagination"

He is one of the most quotable people I have ever met in person. When I got "Zero History" signed (see left), I mentioned that I appreciated his tweetability. He said that he thought it was the technology training him to speak in soundbites. Perhaps, but it's also that he's quite clever and has a lovely way with words. He also has a nice measured cadence to his voice, so I have time to catch up with his thoughts while I'm twiddling away on my cell phone, talking to the Internet.

Though I know he's been writing for more than 30 years and I've seen his recent book jacket pictures, W.G. was unexpectedly old...especially his voice. It was clear, it was strong, and he's obviously as sharp as ever. It just had that timbre to it, of wearing thin. This must be the arrogance of youth, but it's strange, realizing that someone so bleedingly current is an old man.

9/10-9/12 Seattle Geekly Garage Sale

It's a two-bus trip to there from the Hill, but I think it's worth a look if you're into nerdy bargain finds (esp. if you have access to a car). Also, the Seattle Geekly folks are pretty cool, so you should give them some of your money and help them get rid of stuff they don't want to have to take with them on their move.

Come Friday night 9/10/10 from 6-9pm for a Garage Sale Preview! DVDs $2, CDs $1, come get the best stuff before the neighborhood does! Or...

9/11/10 Saturday 10a-4pm, 9/12/10 Sunday 10a-3pm. A couple of geeks are
...trying to move! Come buy CHEAP DVDs, CDs, books, yarn, fabric, beads,
and other miscellaneous stuff! Back yard of address: 5810 8th Ave NW,
Seattle 98107.

Call our 206-201-2352 number if you have questions!
Hope to see you here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blackberry Picking at Magnuson Park

One of the things I resolved to do before I start grad school at the end of September was to go berry-picking. My friend Anne agreed to be my berry buddy, so we set a date (yesterday) and figured we try out picking at Magnuson Park.

Despite general sogginess, Anne and I persevered and went a-berrying in spite of the weather. As far as large parks go, Magnuson isn't too far away from my usual haunts - 43 or 49 to the U District, and then take the 30 or the 75 to Sand Point Way and the park's entrance. From there we trekked in toward the lakeshore, having heard on the internets that that was the best place to find blackberry bushes.

The internets were right (hurray internets!). We found a bunch of brambles all along the paths near the lake, though not all of them had many ripe berries. I was worried it'd be too late to find many blackberries, but it looks like we're right in the middle of the season. The berries were in all stages of ripeness, including too-dried-up-to-be-edible. The dried up berries kind of weirded me out - aren't birds supposed to eat those before that happens?

Anne and I ended up off-roading and finding a couple of clearings in the middle of some really great blackberry thickets. We were drenched and tired, but we kept feeling compelled to stop and pick because there we just so damned many berries. When we finally left after about 2 or 3 hours of picking, I think we both made off with 2 or 3 pounds of blackberries (1lb/hr, woot). We're totally going back in a couple of days - even with that haul, we're going to need more berries if Anne's going to make wine or I'm going to make jam.