Monday, April 30, 2007

The Arborvitae Are Gone

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The backstory: here and here.

Morning Garden Photos

New, frail Japanese maple in my beautiful new planter.

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My new Hebe in one of my new Ikea planters.

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Alliums.

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Salvia about to flower.

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The smoke bush photos that I can't resist taking again and again.

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"On or Before April 30, 2007"

It's April 30, 2007. The arborvitae are still there. I wonder if they'll be gone by the end of the day. I'm guessing not. I would bet that I'll need to call the city tomorrow.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale

This morning we went to the Washington Park Arboretum's FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale. I realize just now that I didn't get all the plants that I set aside; I still have a claim tag in my pocket. A couple of the plants that got left behind were genuinely crazy, with orange spikes protruding from the green foliage. So much for my little attempt at creating a weirder garden. Anyway.

Here's a photo of my husband trying to piss me off. He's talking to the bamboo dude, trying to collect ammunition for his argument about why we should get bamboo. Personally, I am not willing to gamble on our ability to contain it. He talks of clumping varieties and rhizome barriers and stuff, but, honestly, I just don't want to get a plant that we would need to imprison. It seems like even if we could contain it, it wouldn't be very happy. I want happy, good-natured, non-aggressive plants.

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Arisaema nepenthoides.

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Here's what we eventually chose (minus the forgotten flat). (After we bought them, I noticed some mold on the sedum. Will neem oil help with that? Should we quarantine?)

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The drive home. Does anyone know if this Ceanothus is Point Reyes? I love the color, and that form would work well in our planting strip.

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I Used to Stalk Authors

The latest Whoreticulture post includes a photo of a signed copy of An Inconvenient Truth. Since my blog is a wholesale ripoff of Chuck's blog, I thought I'd show off some books that I had autographed when I was young and had nothing better to do than stalk famous authors and get their autographs (which is actually a pretty easy thing to do when you're a teenage girl).

I was a teen and had crappy taste in some things, OK?

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This one was much later, actually. I've always appreciated what a brilliant, incisive writer she is, but I met her with a friend this day, and I was struck by what a classy dame she is. She's now into a second stage of fame in which she's celebrated for her grief, but this was before all that, and at the moment that she signed my book, I was struck by her beautifully slender form and magnificent clothing.

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She's from Portland.

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Here's a cool one. I demanded that my boyfriend at the time get this one for me when I knew he wouuld have the chance.

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Hmm. Dave Eggers didn't sign the title page. This is A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which I still haven't read. The reading was sold out, but I saw some guy I recognized, and he was going to sneak in with the help of an employee friend, and he invited me to tag along. At the end of his reading, he asked for questions from the audience, and people were asking him these ridiculous questions, like "Where do you get your ideas from?" and "Do you write with a pen or a pencil?" so I decided I was going to ask him the most non-sequitur thing I could think of, which, at the time, was: "Have you ever eaten out of a dumpster?" (My second choice would have been "Have you ever had head lice?") He disappointed me by saying no, then asked the question back to me. I said yes, then he asked me to come to the podium and explain. It's really a boring story; I didn't realize at the time that the doughnut had been scavenged. But that's what the inscription's about.

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This one's my husband's book (I don't even want to know what the inscription's about), which he got signed after a long night of eating a bunch of weird regional chocolates at the house of this author, who also wrote Candy Freak.

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This was sweet. And this was years and years ago. She gave me a first-edition copy of this book, which was nominated for the National Book Award. We had a great talk that covered the Kennedy assassination, cults of magazine subscription solicitors, the similarities between Dublin and Portland, circus freaks, genetic manipulation, the creative genius of Stephen King, and her still-upcoming (?) book, Cut Man. As a nod to this novel's subject matter, some pranksters at Knopf put a fifth leg on the logo dog on the spine of this book jacket in the original edition. Apparently the marketing department freaked out when they found out, so subsequent editions don't have it.

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This is a favorite of mine. I remember I stopped by this bookstore to try to get his autograph on my way to see the opera The Pearl Fishers with my English teacher. God, I was a weird teenager. I wasn't popular and by this time I had largely decided that I didn't care. This was the time that I cared about big things, few of which had anything to do with my high school. I went to lectures by authors like Kurt Vonnegut and John Updike, I hung out at Powells all the time, I went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night, I became good friends with a gay guy, I worked at an ancient movie theater that was plagued with petty crime and large rodents, I took college courses during summer vacations, I assumed that every American city was as weird and wonderful as Portland, I only wanted to go to UC Berkeley, I volunteered for the Michael Dukakis campaign, and I sometimes snuck wine coolers into my AP physics class after lunch. The world held so much goddamn promise, it's bittersweet to think back on it today.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

An Afternoon Beer in Georgetown

Georgetown is the Seattle neighborhood that's currently experiencing the sharpest increase of recreational businesses like coffeehouses, restaurants, bars, art galleries, and gift shops. Mid Beacon Hill sits between Georgetown and Columbia City, which is probably experiencing the second sharpest upswing. As we've already established, there's nothing on Beacon Hill -- it's just a boring bedroom community with some nice views. The people here in MBH who like to go out nearby either go east to Columbia City or go west to Georgetown. We like both, and I can talk about Columbia City later, but for now let's just say we align ourselves with Georgetown.

For some reason -- perhaps because I have been drinking this afternoon and evening -- I labeled Mid Beacon Hill as "MBC" on this cropped map of Seattle:

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The last two neighborhoods to experience this upswing were Fremont and Ballard, which are pretty much done changing from charming to gross. (The last time we went out in Fremont, my husband was propositioned by a chubby drunk girl in a shiny tank top who tempted him with the line "Let's go outside so I can give you a mind-blowing titty fuck.") Not that there's anything wrong with tank tops and titty fucks, and I certainly can't say that I don't enjoy a nice wine bar and fancy boutique as much as the next Seattle high-tech creative-corporate drone, so I'm not really complaining, mind you (because I have no illusion that I am not part of the solution but part of the problem), just observing.

So even though Georgetown is heading the way of Ballard and Fremont, largely due to people like me, I still love Georgetown. I've testified on their issues at Seattle City Council and Planning Commission meetings, and I will testify again in front of City Council on Monday (more on that in another post), because even though I am actually a shy introvert, I will not sit back and let those people continue to shit on the South End, not without a fight. OK.

Over a hundred years ago, Georgetown was its own city, and it was home to the Rainier Brewery. What's going on with these old brick buildings you ask? Why, they're being turned into condos, I reply. It's not the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing that could happen is they could let Southwest Airlines move into Boeing Field, they could turn Corgiat Avenue into a dump, and they could open up the city's only strip club zone at the north edge of the neighborhood. All of which has been proposed by government officials in the last couple years. I love the South End, and I think that the responsibility that comes with the privilege of living here is that you need to continually protest these things, even if you hate dealing with all that bureaucratic crap.

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Oh, man, I don't know about you, but after all that complaining, I need a beer. Let's go to Smarty Pants.

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This morning, when I was buying three huge planters at a going-out-of-business sale, a guy asked me if I was a landscaper. I assumed that he had been impressed with my quick assessment of the store and my choice of three gorgeous containers. So I said no and asked him why he thought that.

"Because your boots are really dirty," he said.

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Good Christ, this is going to hit the spot.

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This too.

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I've often admired the ceiling tiles here. I hate eating under cheap acoustic tiles, like the kind they use in office buildings. But here it's clear that they give a shit.

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I bet people who are into cars are into this car.

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I'm going to take photos of storefronts along Airport Way now.

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People sometimes fight over the semi-outdoor tables at Nine Pound Hammer. I know I have.

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I'm not into cars, but the El Camino is my favorite. I happen to drive a Buick LeSabre, my fourth car and my third hand-me-down gift car. My husband gets to drive the fuel-efficient Toyota Echo that I bought because his commute is longer.

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The Vespa dealership. Georgetown is into two-wheeled vehicles.

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The old Rainier Brewery.

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Seattle Magic Wheels is a black motorcycle club.

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Lucky's Choppers is a Harley club, I assume.

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People who are into cars are into the Galaxie 500.

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Calamity Jane's is a new restaurant. I haven't been there yet.

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George is a beautiful little gift shop with a couple of very cool owners, who I see around the neighborhood sometimes. They're always fighting for the neighborhood, bless their hearts. But their business hours are very limited -- 10 to 4 on weekdays and 11 to 3 on some Saturdays. I can never go gift-shopping midday on weekdays, and the last couple times I've gone there midday on a Saturday, they've been out, like today. Oh, well. I will have to buy a bunch of things there next time I notice they're open, because, as I recall, they have very cool stuff.

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A lot of motorcycle admiring takes place in Georgetown.

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I love the careful and correct use of the apostrophe here: "I laugh 'cause they funny."

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I have not seen the Rat City Rollergirls, though I've talked to Cherry Jubilee at parties a couple times. I have seen the Rose City Rollers down in Portland, though. Reportedly, the big, aggressive Seattle girls kick the Portland chicks' ass.

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Ford Falcon.

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I wonder what will go here.

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This building is said to be haunted. I love hearing shit like that.

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Motorcycle repair shop?

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And, finally, the old pharmacy. It's hard to believe this place is still there.

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Let's take a peek inside.

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