Thursday, February 28, 2008


Jeff's Best of 2007:
1. Take Your Medicine, Cloud Cult - the album has been on almost constant repeat all year. We saw them live (at the KEXP BBQ) in September: amazing. It's always fantastic when a band you've just discovered turns out to be even better in person.
2. Time to Get Away, LCD Soundsystem - fun dance music
3. Austrailia, The Shins - another best of, another Shins song. We also saw these guys this year at Bumbershoot. I think they're my favorite band to see live.
4. Lovesong of the Buzzard, Iron & Wine - Iron & Wine make me think of late 60's / early 70's folk rock (James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkle), but so much better
5. Keep the Car Running, Arcade Fire - it's a total driving song - like what my best friend I would listen to while driving-just-to-drive in her parents car in high school
6. Middleman, Bright Eyes - Jeff and I watched Firefly and Serenity this fall on DVD and this song sounds like that show, or at least a lot like the theme song. I'm a total sucker for strings in pop music.
7. Finer Feelings, Spoon - another fun, can't-sit-still-while-listening-to song
8. Young Folks, Peter Bjorn & John - I can't help but think about Fjords and Ikea ads when I hear these guys; we always sing along to this one
9. Lost to the Lonesome, Pela
10. Slow Show, The National - I think this album (Boxer) was on constant replay in the first half of the year before we got the Cloud Cult CD; I just love their sound and lyrics


The line-up has been announced for this year's Sasquatch Music Festival and it's pretty unbelievable. We went two years ago and had a nightmare experience camping at the site: hail, mud, drunken teenages, and overflowing porta-potties. But, great music. This year we're going to stay in a motel.

(Eileen, sorry it's taken so long for me to respond to your question about Jeff's Best Of.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

We're Back!

Last weekend, Jeff and I packed up the bikes and tents and headed down to sunny California to follow parts of the Tour of California bike race. Photos are from our first afternoon watching the prologue on the Stanford campus. We had fun revisiting some of Jeff's college haunts and stayed with a college friend and his wife. After watching stage 1 start in Sausalito, we went to Napa on Monday for some wine tasting and a bike ride. After a few beautiful and sunny days of driving, Tuesday found us on our bikes in the rain. We had a great view of stage 2, however, up close and not too fast of a blur, as they had just passed a food station. Wednesday, we watched an exciting stage 3 finish in San Jose before heading south to Big Sur where we camped under the redwoods (after lingering at the restaurant's wood fire for as long as possible). We got lucky with a dry night of camping, but the rains reappeared as soon as we got back on our bikes Thursday morning. We managed to get in about 20 hilly, wet, and windy miles before putting on dry clothes and driving up to the vantage point to watch the riders climb their first big hill of stage 4. We then left the race behind to stay with my cousin in San Francisco and enjoy the home-away-from home she and her family provided. On the way home, we saw more school friends of Jeff's, ate South Indian food, took a tango lesson, and learned about the history of Mendacino County. And drove through a lot of rain. We got home late last night to find a dry and spring-like Seattle.

Despite our very rainy rides (we're 3 for 4 on rainy CA bike rides), we had an amazing trip. This could be an annual adventure.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gt Fired Up - A Rally Tale

Yesterday, I met up with friends Julie and Krista and, lattes in hand, we walked down to the Key Arena for the Obama rally. Doors were supposed to open at 11, so we timed our arrival for 10, hopefully early enough to get a decent spot on line, but not so early as to wait hours in the cold and rain. The line that we could see stretched around at least a building, maybe a whole city block? There appeared to be a lot of students; I was placing the average age to be about 21. Other than the youthful skew, it appeared to be a diverse group.

A little after 10:30 the line started moving and we were actually seated by 11. Every now and then they'd show a campaign video on the big screen center court, but otherwise music was playing. We wondered a bit at the selection; is Obama a country music fan? Does someone think that we are? Who picks this music, anyway?

Around noon or so, people in suits came out and started passing out signs. The first ones were for Chris Gregoire (the Governor who is facing a tough re-election fight this year) who was rumored to have just given her endorsement to Obama. Then came a few "hand made" signs. Then the Obama signs, which is what everyone was waiting for. I actually saw people climbing over each other (practically tackling) to get these. We then saw people actually get on the stage. Finally! And the local campaign directors did a Q&A about what is a caucus and when is a caucus, and then the left to be replaced by the worst speaker ever who talked about how he wrote a song that was turned into a video. He spoke longer about the lyrics than the actual video which was finally shown. Then they left the stage and the same music loop returned. The crowd, which was incredibly keyed up, was ready to cheer or boo just about anyone. There were two teenage boys who were practicing dance moves on the floor who got the biggest cheers of the morning.

We were coming upon 1 pm and were wondering if we'd ever see our candidate when Mayor Greg Nickels came on the stage to boos from the crowd. Nickels is a pretty popular guy, so I was pretty appalled that folks would let their desire for Obama (and probable crankiness of having waited for many many hours, probably without food or water) be directed at our mayor. But he spoke, not too badly, introduced the state's campaign director (Rep. Adam Smith), who spoke, and then introduced the newest member of Washington's Obama Team. Governor Gregoire then came out to cheers from the crowd and gave a pretty inspiring speech about Washington and how Obama with remember us ("when he gets on the plane and realizes that this was made here, when he checks his email the system is from here, when he eats dinner and the potatoes and produce and fine wines are from here, when he gets up in the morning and has a cup of coffee,..."), you can figure out the rest.

Finally, Gregoire introduced The Man and he came on stage to speak. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the Key are horrible and I couldn't understand everything he had to say. What I did hear, however, I really liked, and, apparently, so did everyone else. It's funny how certain points didn't get much crowd support (outsourcing jobs overseas, stuff about working wages for manufacturing), while others (climate change) got huge support - Obama's Seattle supporters have different priorities than those in South Carolina.

Anyway (since it's been almost a week since I started this post), he was pretty amazing. More about the next day's caucus soon...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Electoral Excitement!

Washington State has a caucus this Saturday which is how all of the Democratic (excepting super-delegates) and a portion of the Republican delegates to the presidential primary will be selected. We also have a primary in two weeks, but it only selects another portion of the Republican delegates and none of the Democrats. In conversations last weekend, I heard several people write off the caucuses as meaningless since they fell after Super Tuesday. But Tuesday has come and gone and NOW WE MATTER! We matter so much, that Senators Clinton, McCain, and Obama ARE ALL IN TOWN! I must say, I'm a total sucker for the attention. I'm going to miss Clinton & McCain, but am headed to the Obama rally tomorrow.

This democracy stuff rocks!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

It's Here! And it's fantastic!