For some reason, I’ve found a lot of cool stuff recently, probably because I’m browsing more (since most of the restaurants around are closing, it’s easier for me to bring my lunch and eat at my desk… not a bad thing from a nutritional and financial point of view, though I probably should get more fresh air).

Hearing that a casual mention of a funny site helped someone during a funk made me feel good. If I can’t have coffee with all y’all every week, at least I can point you to things that I liked or that reminded me of you. Yes, you.*

Build Your Own Poi – for all my dance buddies.

99 Wolves Crash Into Glass - for all my werewolf buddies (an extraordinarily visually compelling work of art with no wolves harmed, don’t worry).

What the World Eats - I think Cenobyte will like this especially.

Smitten Kitchen - My new favourite food blog – have you seen this, Steve?

Geeky Yarn - For all my knitting buddies, especially Marcia and I hope she feels better soon. I'm putting the crochet Dalek near the top of my "to do" list.

The Joys of Home Fries and Wine - (you have to watch an ad to get to the site… totally worth it) The Achewood guys wrote a cookbook. If you don’t know who this reminds me of, you haven’t met him.

The Comics Curmudgeon - Why was I not told of this earlier? Sweet fancy Moses, this is funny, and I can almost hear Rilla laughing until she becomes inaudible.

PVP Online - for Carl, Mickey, and the other Apple slaves.

Another PVP Online
- for Ferlak, especially. Eerie, eh?

Sinfest - The whole thing reminds me of Bne, but that was the one in particular that made me fire up Yahoo and send him the link.

Partially Clips - This one’s for Alamalan despite the lack of octopuses.

Best Office Ever - This is so nice. And it reminded me of Suz because she’s so unnaturally happy with her job even without office furniture like this. Imagine!

Ninjas - For Quinn, of course.

Japan - For Paul, of course

Natureza Viva - To all my cross-stitching buddies… OK, I think I’m the only one crazy enough to have done cross stitch**, but if you’re at all interested in UI design or animation this is worth checking out. It’s strangely compelling and very well executed. Note the subtle use of fisheye distortion!

AT-AT stroller - For Seamus and Jen, and congratulations.

Narcissistic Blog Disorder
- For Terry. It seems to bother him when I don't tell him why I think a thing is appropriate for him, so I won't. Heh.

* And if you don’t see your name explicitly here, it’s because of my poor memory. I promise that I was thinking of you at some point but probably forgot to bookmark. Leave a comment and I'll try to re-find whatever it was that reminded me of you.

** I think I’m on record as saying it’s like paint-by-numbers, but without the creativity.

I often feel guilty that we don’t do all the stuff that we can here. There’s so much going on, but most nights and weekends we have a far more boring schedule than we did in Saskatoon (a combination of a smaller social circle and the formidable travel logistics; man, I miss living a block away from Broadway). So sometimes we make an effort to actually get off our butts and do things. And then I’m reminded why we mostly don’t… I’m tired!

Saturday was my regular dance class, and then we ran some errands and went up to have a lovely but expensive supper with friends in San Francisco, and go to a Jazz Age Swing Party. Our friends are big into the swing dancing, and they persuaded us to give it a try… there were lessons included.* It was actually pretty fun; there were all skill levels represented so we were not obvious in our ignorance, but ‘20’s dancing is tiring! Here I always thought that those old movies were speeded up (à la the Keystone Kops) when they showed all the jazz babies doing the Charleston but nope, you actually are supposed to look like that. The really embarrassing part was the old folks, some of whom looked like they might have been around to learn the original dances, who were still going strong after I had to be led to a bench and fanned. My ankles still are a bit achey.

And then Sunday was pirates! Yarrr! I guess the “pirate weekend” of the Renaissance Festival was popular enough that someone said “Hey, we could probably just do that bit!” and the First NorCal Pirate Festival was born. And it was free, at which I am amazed. It was a bit of a drive, and it was very hot, but still a good time. There was actors from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies signing autographs (which we missed, unfortunately; one of the suggestions I would have for next year’s planners would be to have a posted schedule of events, also more shade-providing structures), constant entertainment (this guy sang a very good song titled “You Can’t be a Pirate With All of Your Parts”),

a guy with amazingly tolerant parrots (there's one on my shoulder as well as the one I'm holding... yes, they're live birds),

and some really cute costumes.

We left sort of early-ish because the heat and the sun took their toll, but after some time reviving in an air-conditioned car** we realized we were pretty hungry, and we happened to be driving past the only Fuddruckers we’ve seen here***. Cheeseboat! Sweet, sweet cheeseboat!**** But the best part was because the Fuddruckers was in a strip mall with a movie theater, people would stop us and say “Nice costumes! You were just at the pirate movie?” to which we would smile, say “Nope!” and move on. Let ‘em wonder.

* Personal fave, the Collegiate Shag. Easily 90% of the joy was hearing R:tAG muttering “HOP hop HOP hop HOP HOP!” under his breath in a Sesame Street monster voice to try and get the footwork.

** Our friends drove. I still don’t have AC in my car. My resistance is crumbling, though.

*** The website makes it look like Northern California is littered with them, but I think they lie.

**** Somewhere in the back of my mind is a shanty-type song about pirates and cheeseboats. I don’t know what will become of it.

… and she swam the seven seas,
And some folks called her Susie-Q or Susan if you please,
And some called her Susannah like the Steven Foster song,
But those who called her Sushi weren’t her friends for very long.

The sushi-boat camera link from the last post gave me a craving, so I went twice to my sushi-boat place this week. Madness! But its last day is June 24, so I have a deadline to finally try all the scary little things I’ve been too chicken to.*

One of the reasons I like it is how quick it is (no waiting, at least for a single seat by the boats), the fact that I can be making decisions about my lunch right up until it’s time to pay**, and just how pretty all the little plates are going ‘round. Salmon roe in particular is just beautiful.

I’m pretty sure this “How to Eat at a Sushi Bar” is not completely serious.

Because of the massive construction, there aren’t many shops left in my immediate area. As their leases expire, they’re all moving out. I am pessimistic about what will replace them in the new downtown incarnation; the old area was one of those sort of past-its-prime strip malls*** with a great collection of really eclectic shops. Coins and stamps, fish and aquarium supplies, watch repair, a pawn shop, a couple of shoe repair places, a drycleaner, an optometrist, a furniture store, clothing, a bunch of non-chain restaurants…

Oh well. Change happens, especially around here.

* Except for maybe the baby octopuses. They just look so sad. I don’t think they’re very popular to eat, so they just keep going ‘round and ‘round, looking more and more disconsolate. Sometimes their little tentacles drag in the water, like a languishing Victorian lady in a canoe.

** It's like dim-sum; you take as many plates as you have a mind to, and the server just tallies them up at the end. The plates are colour-coded by price.

*** Well, not really a strip mall. A downtown area, designed for pedestrians, where each block is one big building full of little shops, but each has a separate entrance and the sidewalks are all sheltered by the eaves of the building… OK, maybe it is a strip mall. But I sort of like it. Oh, hey, here’s a picture.

A little bit louder and a little bit worse.

Tricksy intestinal bugs. I thought I was over it, but I really, really wasn’t. Ooog.

I’m better now, though slightly floaty from eating nothing solid for four days. Bless Jamba Juice (the local equivalent of Booster Juice) and VitaminWater.

I have the energy for nothing but mucking out the link stables. Enjoy.

If we Taught English the Way We Teach Mathematics
Don’t Let Body-Mod Envy Ruin Your Entire Day - Now I wanna play Shadowrun…
American Food Manifesto
Birth of One Parrot
- Awwwww!
Snowglobe Art - Sooooo pretty
Chinese Ballet Circus - OK, this is possibly the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
Sushi Boat Camera
Fuzzy Thinking Bingo - A list of common “arguments” (and the quotes are definitely needed) that you can use to play bingo during discussions about woo.
VisiGoth - Heh.

This was the second weekend in a row that I was sick. Blargh.

Last weekend, it was the Western Canadian Lingering Lung Crud, which at least left me ambulatory. This weekend, it was some food poisoning/stomach flu thing that R:tAG might have given to me… he’d been under the weather all week and finally felt close to normal on Saturday, then Sunday I woke up knowing that I was going to be spending all day horizontal, sucking on ice cubes, with a bucket beside me. At least for me it was over after one day.* I guess between us we had the extremes of feeling kinda-sorta-bad for a long time, or really wretched for a short time. On the whole I prefer the “really wretched for a short time,” except when it is on a weekend day that I’d planned to use for other purposes.

What other purposes, you ask? Well, there’s this event coming up that I’d really like to attend, but it requires a costume. It’s the French Revolution Picnic and since I’ve been thinking about making a general purpose working-class Elizabethan outfit for a while,** and since I think that could easily be turned into working-class Revolutionary (it’s all about the accessories), and since I tend to need a concrete purpose before I can motivate myself to do anything, why not?

Getting R:tAG kitted up in time might be more of a challenge. At least time and budget pretty much dictate peasant revolutionaries instead of aristos.

* I was better enough this morning to come to work, but I’m still feeling the effects of not being able to eat or drink anything for all of yesterday. Well, more accurately, having nothing stay eaten or drunk yesterday. You really needed to know that, didn’t you? You’re welcome.

** I’ve got most of the material already, it’s just been patiently waiting…


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