Friday, June 27, 2008

How tall would you like your condos?

Seattle Metblogs reports the first sighting of "impeach greg nickels" bumper stickers. (Or I guess you could put them on your briefcase if you're riding the bus.)

Don't blame me, I voted for Sidran.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fremont Parade picture

There's a funny story along with this photo Jeff Carlson got of me.

Two sides of the Fremont Solstice Parade

I danced in the Fremont Solstice Parade today for the first time; last year I was a crowd monitor, and Zorg has been a crowd monitor for several years.

Being in the parade was amazing. The crowd along the route is only about five rows deep; you see every face, and I saw dozens of friends and was able to wave to them as we danced by. I was in Delilah's Visionary Dance Studio belly dance troup. Here's a picture from the Seattle PI of Dahlia Moon, one of the teachers, leading her Gawazi (Egyptian) troup. Dahlia's group wore striped jackets; we wore more traditional "cabaret-style" costumes, all in hot pink.

While the parade (performers and audience) is very much Fremont artists, hippies and yuppies, the crowd that turns out to party at the growing number of bars and nightclubs in Fremont, and listen to bands on the Fremont Fair stages, is something else -- younger, more commercially oriented, and louder. The parties along N 34th as I walked back to the car at 4 p.m. looked more like grad school spring break than the Fremont Solstice Festival; the insiders had gathered down at Gas Works Park, where there was a strong scent of ganja and naked people were taking pictures of costumed ones.

Both crowds seemed to be having great fun.

Parade pictures were already flooding onto at 5 p.m. Here are some of my group:

Peace bra.

Lineup of belly dancers.

Following Delilah.

Henna tattoos.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dress rehearsal

My bellydance costume is ready for tonight's dress rehearsal for the Fremont Solstice Parade, but I'm not.

I'm frazzled, freaked, and my hands (and other parts of me) looked like I was attacked by a porcupine with St. Vitus Dance.

There are whole books written on making the tops for bellydance costumes. I bought one of them, read it, and concluded its detailed content would be useful if you had a spare month or two to devote to sewing.

I didn't.

I was completely ready to buy a bellydance top (which can run up to a cool $500) except our teacher decided all the costumes should be hot pink, and there aren't many well-structured hot pink costumes available. One woman in my class bought a cheap one and brought it to class, shrieking "It doesn't even fit half way around me!"

So I bought a nice pink skirt, and went to work upholstering a black molded bra with a hot pink sequined paisley fabric.

What a mess.

I think I've employed every form of technology known to attach one thing to another — short of duct tape. In addition to thread, I have used elastic, stitch witchery, velcro, fabric glue, and ribbon. It didn't help that the cats kept lunging at the thread and needle every time I took a stitch. The top should have a label that says "No animals were harmed in the creation of this costume, but three were severely disciplined."

Initially I had been very concerned about making sure I had a top that would look attractive. Well, the sewing ordeal took care of that silly worry. At the moment, I don't care if I look like a hippopotamus in this get-up. I'm just praying I didn't leave a pin in it somewhere that will emerge as we prance down the parade route on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Long days, busy week on the way to the parade

Three evenings in a row of two-hour belly dance practices (for Saturday's Fremont Solstice Parade) are making for very long days. Particularly because, for some reason, I also scheduled an 8 a.m. business appointment every morning this week and another away-from-home meeting around mid-day every day.

The result is that I put on a business costume, dash out, come home and put on practical clothes for a few hours, get back into a business costume for the next meeting, then come home and put on a belly dance costume.

I think I'd be bitching less if the weather were about 10 degrees warmer. And I'm looking forward to testing that hypothesis.

By the way, the inside word on the upcoming Fremont Parade is: best floats ever!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blogging less, writing more

I've been writing fiction for the past few weeks, which likely accounts for my blogging less. Yes, I know -- I've been writing fiction for the past 20 years! But previously I've worked on one project at a time. Currently, I'm working on several, from short stories and ultra-short "flash fiction" to novels. And I'm working in multiple genres and multiple styles. I know it sounds weird, but if I don't want to work on one piece, I generally find that I do want to work on another one. At other times, I find myself thinking about a particular story or character, and head for the computer specifically to work on that piece.

Weird as it is, this system is apparently working because I'm completing projects that had been percolating for months. And I'm sending finished pieces off to various magazines and contests.

Be patient. Many of the magazines take months to respond (usually, with a rejection!), and contests take months to announce winners.

The one tight deadline I'm facing is getting three book chapters in the mail before the end of June to be considered for a fall writers workshop. Part of me wants to write the whole book before committing to the first three chapters, but there simply isn't time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Mysterious Traveler turns 5

Thursday, June 12, is our 5th anniversary here at the The Mysterious Traveler. Ironically, we'll be celebrating it by blogging for clients' blogs — evidence, perhaps, of too much success!

The blog has had 995 posts in five years, and will hit the 1000th post sometime in June.

The blog's most popular page continues to be the Waring Ice Cream Parlor machine instructions. Check out the comments!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

At the market and at the movies

I started the day by dashing down to the farmers market. Got fresh cow's milk mozzarella that tasted like very large-curd cottage cheese (expensive large-curd cottage cheese), a nice bouquet of rainbow chard, two very esoteric tomato plants, and a dish of fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream.

After the market, Zorg and I went to the Jewelbox (a tiny theater inside a bar on Second Avenue) to see the film "Ordinary Angels" by Todd Downing. If you like "Heroes," chances are you'd enjoy this well-cast indie film; it's presented as a documentary about the final days of contemporary angels on earth.

Unfortunately, it was the middle film of a group of three, and the first film was simply ghastly — a bit of black humor that would have been amusing for 30 seconds but was pure torture for the several minutes it persisted.

When we returned from our artistic interlude, I planted the five tomato plants purchased from various sources over the past week, along with two tomato plants that grew from last year's seeds. The back yard beds are full of heads of lettuce and strawberry plants. I think I'm almost done for the season, except for some basil.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Chaos level back to normal

My mother's plane landed late Tuesday night. Her luggage failed to appear, but we spotted it in the unclaimed luggage area — it had arrived several hours earlier. That was fortunate, as quite a few of her fellow travelers on the delayed flight from Dallas discovered their luggage had languished on the tarmac in the rain for many hours before being loaded onto a plane for Seattle. One woman pulled her bag off the carousel, unzipped it, and what looked like the contents of a washing machine in mid cycle poured out. Murmuring sympathetic phrases, we grabbed our (dry) luggage and dashed for the car.

I dropped my mom at her condo in Edmonds, where we'd already delivered her freshly detailed car, and she appears to be settling in quite well.

Wednesday night my cousins from Baltimore were in town and we had them over for dinner, along with my mom.

Thursday and Friday I refocused on client projects, of which there are many, but still room for a couple more for June. One possibility is a very exciting business-to-consumer site with a focus one of my favorite lifestyle topics. (No, not belly dancing, but just as colorful). Stay tuned.

The cool, gray weather this weekend has really got me down. I walked to many of the Sunset Hill yard sales yesterday while Zorg was out cycling (a car + bike operation). My friend Tom came over to watch Heroes (nominated for a Hugo this year), and last night Zorg and I continued our watching of the Harry Potter films.

Today I did trailer park yoga and the spent the rest of the day writing while Zorg went out and did two more bike rides. He just got back and now I'm headed out to grocery shop before making a run up to my mom's to deliver a package that arrived here for her.

June in Seattle: Turn up the heat, please.