23 March 2009

landing between blast-offs

The flight attendant on our YVR-ORD leg asked us to prepare for "blast off" which was both funny and a bit disturbing. but he did it in a Canadian accent (simultaneously clipped and rounded, with perfect enunciation) and so it was alright. I find I am able to grade papers on planes and nowhere else. something about the confined tube of the aircraft, the lack of space to move elbows, get up and have some more tea, walk the dog, watch Rachel Maddow on the TiVo, make yogurt, do a bit of rowing--yes. that must be it. Got to see friends and family and friends who are family and family who are friends while in the great northwest, and it is great. Big. Trees, mountains, sky, water. The materiality of the northwest is quite astounding.

Vancouver was both the glass city and the rainy city. did they source all of the glass for the high rises from the same manufacturer? in the same slightly-off shade of blue? Stanley park is as remembered in past visits. I went by my childhood home, if one has a single childhood home, this would be mine I suppose, where we lived from age 1.5 to age 8. The new owners (or one of the intervening occupants) has painted it a garish bright white with sea-blue trim. And I think the porch/steps are new. So it was not as disconcerting as it could have been. I walked to school again. Had trouble believing my mother let me do so at age 5. Oak trees. church where we met for Brownies. playground. newer than the one I remember (which was renewed when I was there and has since been re-renewed in the era of rubber mats everywhere and wood that doesn't splinter. they took out the cool but dangerous zip wire ride, sadly). reminisced about the violence of 2nd grade. much of it perpetrated, in my memory, by me. probably the source for my interest in Gandhi today. hm. I also was fairly arrogant, I recall, about my ability with the group-play dual jump-rope, in which one jumped into the moving ropes....

Dressed in yella
went upstairs to kiss a fella
made a mistake and kissed a snake
how many doctors did it take?
one, two, three....

perhaps it was: how many doctors would it take? that would make sense from a Canadian, clipped, rounded, enunciated perspective.

O Canada. Loonies and Twonies. Canucks. Hockey. totem poles. ferries. zip wire rides. what's not to like?

best coffee in Vancouver Wa: Peets
best coffee in Vancouver BC: Caffe Artigiano
best Chinese: Wong's King, Portland
best pork: Hapa Izakaya, Vancouver BC (mm. pork.)
best grilled cheese dessert: Rain City Grill, Vancouver BC
best chips & salsa on the trip: Provecho in Vancouver BC

14 March 2009

Unoriginal observation of the week

My latest cultural thesis....

The Killers: Duran Duran for the 00s?

I'm told this is the most unoriginal observation I've made in a long while. Probably true. But OMG is their Hot Fuss not completely Simon LeBon meets post-millennial cynicism? Plus, awesome workout album. How 80s is that?

05 March 2009

The Depression must have been depressing

because this isn't as bad as the depression and yet it totally sucks. Okay, so obviously they don't call it a depression for nothing, but it struck me this morning that the low-level stress of worrying about retirement funds, college funds, getting, having and keeping a job, the non-possibility of ever having that "vacation" you've been thinking about forever and never quite did, the expense of travel, lack of Christmas (which will, I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will agree, in fact usher in a whole new wave of actual religious celebration on the holiday....or not), the not going out to restaurants, the not buying new shoes but mending them instead, my pondering of learning how to sew because I don't want to shell out the money to hire someone to reline my wool coat....and so on in non-parallel fashion (apologies). all of these low-level, constant stresses mean that the world isn't all that fun right now. Thus my conclusion: The Depression must have been really depressing.

It makes me wonder when politicians begin thoughts with: Even if you haven't been directly affected by the economic downturn, you probably know someone who has...

What makes me stop for a moment is this: Of course we've all been affected. Of course we all know someone who has, probably really directly. Who are these people who don't? The answer, I fear, is the group of people who lead this country. Why do politicians still shape their rhetoric to account for the approximately .2 people who have not been effected? Perhaps they are trying to allow for the fact that our dog, Luke, does not truly feel the current economic downturn in any real way. They are trying to be inclusive of puppy-kind and their ilk within their economic policies. Or not. It indicates that there's still a desire to cling to a space outside of the downturn. Kind of like clinging to a "pre-9/11" mentality back in the day.

So a final thought: if the depression is depressing, is the recession recessing? And if so, to what age/time are we recessing? Or are we simply in a downturn, and so turning down (as in a hotel turndown service?) Thoughts?

03 March 2009

It's March

It was 13 degrees this morning, and despite #3's (probably proper) complaints about raised expectations, there is plenty of snow and ice on the ground here.

So much for spring.

But March means the end of RPM 2009. And I want my fix of Calculus Affair. Where is the new EP/LP??? Call it what you will, I need it now. I'm not saying this is the most anticipated album to come out today, because I hear there's some group of Irish lads who have also put something out today, but it's WAY up there.

Thus, and again, I ask, where's my Calculus Affair?

EDIT: for that other group, check out Letterman, where they are playing all this week. They played Breathe last night. If you haven't bought the album, this performance will give you a lot better sense of the album than the single does.