Monthly Archives: May 2008

Check Out the Rack on Her!

rack

I got a new front rack for Aphrodite. She wears it well, the bling. I said with finality, “Okay — I’m done putting stuff on this scooter. I’m serious.” And my friends laughed and reminded me that there are no further accessories available.

The rack is utilitarian – not simply for chrome effect. Though I can’t say I mind the sparkle. I installed it myself – do I get a gold star? Last night I went to pick up some flats of flowers to plant on the veranda of the Aloha Cabana, and strapped them to the rack. I should have taken a photo because it was quite picturesque. Daisies in the basket of my scooter like an old Italian postcard.

I finally got a Corazzo riding jacket, after much ado. I’ve been trying them on for a year now. Obviously, female scooterists are all miniature, so none of the jackets made it past my elbows or covered my navel. I tried them on over and over, growling each time. I contacted Corazzo and asked if they could make me custom jacket, and they couldn’t. So I went down to Vespa Seattle every other week, hoping my arms shrank and my waist got shorter during the winter months. I tried on all the boy’s jackets, too. The only boy’s jacket that fit was the The Max, which is super-insulated and would be overkill in the summer – even in the Pacific Northwest.

The problem is that men’s jackets are not proportioned for a girl’s figure – imagine that! – and riding jackets have to fit snugly, with the armor lined up appropriately at shoulders and elbows. They also need to be comfortable when you’re stretched out in riding position. So if the men’s jacket fit in the waist, it was too tight across the chest, and if the arms were long enough, the shoulders made me look like a football player. It was just all kinds of wrong.

I even tried on a few different jackets up at Vespa Eastside, thinking they might fit better in Woodinville. (The altitude is different.) No go. When I was back at Vespa Seattle last week whining about my predicament, Tina offered to contact Corazzo and see if she could pull some strings. She’s good like that.

Well, Corazzo still couldn’t custom sew me any new attire, but they sent Tina a men’s Speedway jacket that is two inches longer in the waist and arms, and slimmer fitting in the shoulders. She called to tell me about it and 15 minutes later I was down there trying it on. It fit! It’s a miracle!

On a semi-unrelated note, one of the requirements for employment at Vespa Seattle must be stunning good looks. Everyone who works there is hot. Like, hello I-forgot-what-I-was-going-to-say hot. It blows my mind every time I’m there. What a fabulous marketing tactic.

My new jacket is electric blue, to match my scooter, with white stripes. It makes me look like Speed Racer. And get this – it makes my bike faster! At the Westenders ride on Monday I was talking to Nate, who got a new black GTS, and he’d put racing stripes on it. I told him it looked really sharp – and faster. He smiled and told me earnestly, “The racing stripes actually do make it faster!” His conviction was the cutest thing ever. I nodded wholeheartedly in agreement. When I put my new Speed Racer gear on and took a spin, I realized this magical law of physics also applies to jackets.

Now I’m super reflective and fully armored. A girl’s got to protect her rack. It’s not just for bling, you know.

Lefties Take Over the World

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I gotta tell you, by the bottom of the ninth, I was siding with the M’s. Those Red Sox played a dirty game. I thought poor Manny was going to get a faceful of rotten tomatoes the final time he was up to bat. The whole stadium was thundering with boos.

There is an inordinate ratio of left-handed to right-handed players in major league baseball. It seemed 50/50 split last night, batters and pitchers alike. I’m sure there is a theory on this one, perhaps even a scientific one. And I’m sure now I’ll receive a slew of emails telling me.

Something else I realized last night: I need a theme song. When J.J. Putz came out to pitch, all the video screens shorted out cinematically and then burst into a frenzy, flashing “J.J.” and “THUNDERSTRUCK” with lightning bolts and the whole nine. The music blasted and people jumped to their feet. It was dramatic even from the 759th row where we were sitting, J.J. just a white speck on the sea of green below.

I got to thinking — what if I had a theme song like that, cued to back me up as I strutted into a daunting play? I would be invincible.

I’ve begun auditioning tunes for the job. I have a feeling there’s not many contenders in my music collection. All my sad Seattle indie rockers may be good company for a heartbreak Friday night, but we’re shooting for lightning bolts, drum rolls and crashing cymbals here. Think Rocky’s Theme. (Me and L.L. go waaaay back, and it’s invigorating to burst through the doors of Gold’s Gym with “Mama Said Knock You Out!” setting the stage. Don’t call it a comeback! I been here for years!)

Let me know if you think of any good songs for consideration. Superhero-grade songs. I’ve already got the boots.

My scooter did not get stolen at this Red Sox game, tucked inconspicuously beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. And I am never eating garlic fries again.

*gulp*

Low Moon Rising

File Under: More Cool Stuff to Do In Seattle

In a tribute to my ardent attraction to all things Abandoned or Burned Down, Seattle’s record low tide predicted for June 4 should be an occasion to mill about the former site of Luna Park and ponder its disappearance. I was in Spud’s Fish & Chips on Alki last week and marveling at the photos of Luna Park, grainy black and whites that gave me chills down my spine. I don’t know what it is that fascinates me so.

But NOAA’s tide table says -4.4 for noon on June 4th, so I’ve taken a vacation day from work, and I will put on my crabbing trousers and head down to search for purple starfish and exposed pilings of abandoned amusement parks.
In other news, how was your weekend? Mine felt like a month, after having Monday off and sleeping about 3 hours Sunday night, so the scooter ride out to Perrinville felt underwater (and perhaps low tide) and in the end was quite wet as it began to rain on the way home. I knew we’d have to pay for Sunday’s decadent lolling in the sunshine, basking in the rays like lazy lizards.

What else? Oh… there was fruit in the morning on my veranda with sun on my toes, reading old journals, and dinner at the misty bricked Pike Place Market with Jett, and Volunteer Park to an endless Golden Gardens sunset with a cute Boy I kidnapped on my Vespa, and Cocobunny cupcakes, and Broadway News magazine trolling, and highlights in my hair by a miniature Vietnamese woman who wanted to make me to look like Claudia Schiffer (so close!). There was also an evening wandering the Ballard Locks and the roseless Rose Garden, and me abysmally cranky at Lockspot Trivia Night, deep philosophical conversations with Jasper, and staying up way too late blissfully listening to the new Devotchka album. Devotchka has been eavesdropping on my daydreams. ♥
Tonight I’m off to a Red Sox game (!!!) and hopefully my scooter won’t get stolen this time. I keep thinking about garlic fries and home runs. Gotta catch one or the other.

Mmmm. Garlic fries.

Power and Control

Why do I always get Memorial Day and Labor Day confused? Is it because I’m so clueless about when it’s okay to wear white pants or open-toed shoes?

I’ve got to tell you — I’m pretty disappointed with the weather lately. I know I took that oath when I moved here not to complain about the Pacific Northwest climate, but c’mon people. This is just getting ridiculous. Nearly June, and it’s still 40 degrees and rain every morning. Was somebody slacking and forgot to submit the work order for spring? I’m particularly miffed that it rained on my Parade Picnic this week.
Okay, I’m done.

Hey Ma — look what I made! The first Seattle All City Scooter Community Day (that’s a mouthful, I know) is coming up and I built the website. It’s very basic because I had to get it live and running in less than a week, but I made the logo my own self which I’m pleased with. I get embarrassingly excited about fonts.

I finished two other sites this week. You can’t see them yet because one has no content and the other is not running perfectly in $%&*ing Internet Explorer yet… just every other standards-compliant browser in existence. There are errant spaces between my divs and it’s maddening. Learning CSS is difficult enough without also having to learn how to hack it for IE. But by the end of the (three day) weekend I should be able to share my two stunning achievements with you. I’m like a fourth grader hanging her assignments on the refrigerator. Gold stars, please!

I’m sure I posted about the remote-controlled dragonfly at some point. If I didn’t, well, I went to Radio Shack to get some electrical doodads and they had a remote-controlled dragonfly which is easily the coolest squandering of technology I have ever seen. They let me fly it in the store, and I kept crashing it, but was so giddy they had to pry the controller out of my hands to get me to leave.

So then I found a gadget that totally tops the dragonfly: a robotic koi. Two of my favorite things, in a beautiful marriage of giant fish and remote control capabilities. (Equally fabulous is the site name “Pink Tentacle”.) This particular borg is not just for dive-bombing the postal carrier, either; it has a video camera in its head and can analyze water quality. Must. Have. Koi-bot.

koi_robot

How fun would it be to tool around Lake Union with that thing? I could take it out with me in my kayak on lunch break. Maybe get it to retrieve all those keys of mine lying on the bottom of the lake from sloppy houseboat exits.

I have custody of Jasper former this weekend, it being a holiday, and I get to spend some quality time with the handsome devil. I miss him terribly, but Princess Nevadelia Lotus Blossom does not, and she calls the shots. I am a mere servant.

I have noticed my at-home stress level has declined exponentially, and I think it’s because Jasper is not following me room to room, yowling like the needy Siamese with separation anxiety we all know and love. I adore him to bits, but I savor the luxury of using the bathroom in peace, without urgent scratching and caterwauling on the other side of the door because I’ve abandoned him for all eternity and he’ll swiftly perish from loneliness and/or starvation.

Jaspie is moving to a new house in Green Lake at the end of the month where he will be able to once again roll with kitten glee in the warm grass. I’m sure he misses the mountain view cottage in Queen Anne and the abundance of wild greens for munching. I know I do. (Well, not the greens part.)

Speaking of living in the ghetto and having a slumlord, get this. I came home Wednesday to find a yellow envelope from Seattle City Light addressed to some Jacob dude taped to my door. I’m like, “that’s weird. My name’s not Jacob and I don’t pay for electricity.” I open it to discover that I probably should have been paying for electricity — for 10 months now — and Jacob or not, they were shutting my power off at 5:00.

Turns out Jacob owed a huge chunk of change when he moved out of my apartment and neglected to close his account, during which time the building manager neglected to inform me that I needed to open an account, so I’d been using Jacob’s bootleg electric since I moved in last fall. Our friend Jacob had put in an address forwarding, however, so all those City Light bills in envelopes of increasingly urgent colors had been delivered directly to him, unbeknownst to me.

The electric company wanted the bill paid in full in order to stop the power from being shut off. And because the bill had gone to collections, they would only accept cash. Six hundred dollars worth. This included the $100 they tacked on for the field worker who had been dispatched to my apartment building to yank the plug, since I called them minutes after he was en route.

I briefly entertained the idea of going powerless (12 step approved!) because really — what do I need electricity for in the summer? I’d certainly enjoy an excuse to be away from my computer while at home. But then I remembered that my private in-apartment hot water heater is electric, and while I’ll happily deny myself television or a refrigerator for 4 months, the thought of going a single day without my deluxe shower head and Bath & Bodyworks Sugar Scrub was too much to bear. So I had to go down to Seattle City Light and fork over $600 in cash. Awesome.

I’m sure I’ll get it straightened out in the end and I’ll (hopefully) only end up owing the part of my electricity after September and minus the late fees, but it was a case of “pay now, ask questions later” if I wanted to stay exfoliated, fragrant and well-lit.

Well I supposed I should get on with my day. I am headed down to the University Bookstore to pick up Adobe Creative Suite 3 – Master Collection (PhotoShop, Illustrator, Flash, DreamWeaver, InDesign, Fireworks, Contribute, AfterEffects, Premiere, Encore, Soundbooth, OnLocation and Ultra !!!) after which point I will not leave my apartment for a week. That acquisition alone is worth keeping the electricity on.
Have a great day of Laboring — or Remembering — whichever it is. Either way, I’ll be wearing white.

One Down, 129 To Go

The first Picnic in the Park was a smashing success. Sitting on a blanket in the sun, eating crostini and goat cheese with good friends, all was right with the world.

I suck at Frisbee, by the way. Despite a lesson from Kevin, who took Frisbee as an actual class in college, I was forced to sit out the last round after nearly beheading a civilian.
I blew bubbles.

bubbles

Next stop: Seward Park. Please don’t feed the wildlife.

Inaugural Picnic in the Park

I am so dang excited about this Picnic in the Park extravaganza. I am still in need of a quilt but that shouldn’t prove to be too much of a challenge.

The first Picnic in the Park will be taking place this Thursday, May 15th at 6:30 PM in Volunteer Park.

(I thought I’d start close to home, branch out gently.) Everyone is invited, just BYOPB. Or whatever it is you eat. Oh, and guess what? Thursday’s weather: CLEAR! That’s right. Actual sun. 80 degrees.

I created a fun and exciting Google Map for the upcoming picnics. Yes, I know — I am easily amused. It’s a virtual version of the ones you hang on the wall and then stick a colored pin in to show where you’ve been. As I noted in the GMap, on Thursday we will be meeting just North of the resevoir on the big grassy hill.

The koi await. Hope you can join us!

Basket Case

picnic

I cannot believe the perfect picnic basket I found at Goodwill.

I mean — look at it! It’s flawless. Straight out of Little Red Riding Hood. I went in to the Ballard Goodwill to get a picnic blanket, and discovered this vintage gem instead. And at five bucks, it hardly broke the bank. It needs a touch of TLC and a new gingham liner, but I absolutely love it.

I got quite a response to my picnic posting, so I’ve decided to extend an invite to any curious or hungry parties. It would be fun to have a revolving group of picnickers to join me in the grass. I will post the whens and wheres of upcoming excursions here. If only the weather would cooperate…

Poetry in Motion

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Seattle poets were busy over the weekend. At the Sustainable West Seattle Festival on Sunday, I had to tone down a few of the highly colorful stanzas that appeared on my scooter as it was a family-friendly affair and tacos don’t belong where they appeared via magnetic poetry.

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The canvas has proven irresistable in Big Gay Capitol Hill.