Friday, June 27, 2008

Chasing Away the Junuary Blues

As I've stated before, June is really the worst month in Seattle. Sure, November has very short, dark, and rainy days with little to no sun, but it's November. November is supposed to have miserable weather. June is supposed to be summer. Growing up in Virginia, by June we'd already had a few beach or pool trips (and sunburns) under our belts and could put shorts on first thing in the morning without even checking the thermometer or weather forecast. Here, we've been having grey, drizzly days, with temperatures in the 40's and 50's. I am a big fan of rainy days (come on, I chose to live here), but this year, things had gotten a bit ridiculous. Amanda wrote a charming post about things to celebrate this summer, and I found myself getting bitter about the fact that everyone else was getting summer, and we were deep in early spring. What's contributing to the gloom is the fact that I haven't been taking good care of myself, eating and drinking too much, sleeping too little, and exercising less than I should be considering my summer race calendar. Feeling puffy is not good for my mood.


The weather started turning towards summer this week. We're supposed to get temperatures in the 80's this weekend! So, here is my list of things that are helping me to pull myself out of the Junuary doledrums:

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama: Not only a book about a great man in his early years, it's really well written.

Local Farmers' Market: nothing beats super fresh local, organic produce, especially when it's available within an easy walk from home.

First Tri of the Season: We did the Lake Padden Tri again this year and once again it ranks up with one of my favorite races ever. Great organization, small but competitive field, and the perfect distance to be challenging but still fun.

A little vacation with my family this week won't hurt, either!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Official

I'm now officially registered, paid, and totally freaked out. Stay tuned over the next year to read tales of how a normal person prepares for a crazy-person event.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can Something Done Alone in Your P.J.'s Really Be Called Social?

... not to mention "networking."

I joined Facebook a few months ago halfheartedly after an old friend sent me an invitation to join. I didn't add a picture or a real profile or anything, not really wanting to commit to joining something I thought was for 20-somethings, hipsters, and/or singles looking for dates. Since I've joined, however, I've been contacted by a half dozen or so old friends who fit none of the above categories. (Correction: my friends are all very hip.)

I went to a conference for work a couple of weeks ago on the use of technology in the public sector and was wowed by a session called "Steal this Idea," demonstrating some of the innovative ways governments and non-profits are using the internet and other cutting edge technology to better serve their citizens. Our citizens, especially the younger, fast-growing demographic, have entirely new expectations of service that government bureaucracies full of middle-aged-middle-managers don't even understand, and certainly aren't prepared to provide. I realized that, as someone who analyzes technology investment of a large local government, I should be up on what is going on in technology today. So, I decided to embrace Facebook, and added a photo and some bio info.

Since then, I've gained glimpses into the lives, travels, and families of old high school, college, Navy, and corporate-cubicle friends. I never imagined that this was so big. Obviously, I've got some learning to do.

So, bring on the suggestions for the Next New Thing I should be investigating!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Catch Up

Busy days at work, a few weekends out of town, and internet connection issues at home have made for a very long posting gap. Since I've last posted, I've:
- Gone to Sasquatch music festival
- Flown to VA/D.C. for a reception for my sister's marriage
- Gotten a new responsibility at work
- Whined about "Junuary"
- Signed up with Facebook

There are a few stories to share. More to come soon.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Memorial Day weekend we drove to the Gorge for the Sasquatch Music Festival. Saturday, we caught Beirut, MIA, Kathleen Edwards, Okkervil River, the National, the Breeders, one Modest Mouse song, and REM. Seeing the National was far and away the highlight of the day; they were supposed to play the main stage in the afternoon, but bus trouble kept them from playing in their original time frame, so they played later on a smaller stage (which is why we missed most of Modest Mouse). The smaller stage without the usual time limit made for a longer and more intimate set; I felt like the entire crowd was totally into the band and the band seemed to really respond to the energy of the crowd. We did leave about half-way through the REM set. They were terrific and the new stuff is all that everyone is saying, but since it was raining, cold, and late, we got to a point where it just wasn't fun anymore.

After the horror of camping in a muddy cowfield with drunken teenagers and overflowing port-a-potties after a hail storm that was Sasquatch 2006, we decided to ditch camping and get a motel room. It was a good call; a good night sleep, short run, hot shower, and amazing brunch helped set me up for a second long day of festival crowds and craziness.

Sunday, we saw the Blue Scholars, Presidents of the United States of America, Sera Cahoone, Michael Franti (just the last few songs), Death Cab for Cutie, and the Cure. I'd never heard Sera Cahoone or Michael Franti before, and both were terrific. Death Cab had a great set; very polished. The Cure was incredible. My best friend in high school was a hugh Cure / Robert Smith fan, so I've been listening for almost 20 years, but I never really realized what a great guitar / arena rock band they are. We were pretty blown away.

We stayed for over 90 minutes of the Cure set before heading out. We got home a little before 3 am. To think that I used to be able to do this and then catch a 5 am ferry to the ship for work the next day... Anyway, it was an amazing experience and worth the lighter wallet and sleep debt.