Sketchin' and a shakin'

It begins......I started design school at the University of Washington this week. My classes are Ancient Art History, History of Design and Design Drawing. The design drawing class is my favorite so far. It is taught by an excitable German dude named Axel who sounds like the guy from Ikea and thinks everything is 'crap.' (that drawing is crap, that brand of pencils is crap, your face is crap, etc) He says we have joined drawing boot camp. He fully expects us to go through an entire 500 sheet package of 11x17 printer paper with our sketches this quarter. Ancient Art History is fun, particularly since the professor specializes in and has great passion for Roman art history. I got to visit many of the great works of art she is discussing on my trip to italy this last spring. In the design history class yesterday we watched an incredible film about the Shakers, you know, the people with the boring furniture. Well, after watching this video, I get it, it's beautiful because it's boring. They showed the interior of many of the shaker homes and they were absolutely stunning in their simplicity. I've instantly become a huge fan of the shakers, oh, and they're called shakers because of the way they dance, cool.

Two other notes real quick, I am typing up this post on my brand new Macbook Pro (by far the most expensive required school supply I have ever purchased). She's fun, she's stylish, and much to rachel's concern, I have named her Nadia and she tells me the time in a sexy synthesized voice. Also, I have joined the ranks of the hardcore Seattle bike commuters. After years of griping about these rabid hyenas on wheels, I have become one, and am proud of it. My first week of weaving in and out of downtown traffic with my head constantly twitching back and forth watching for obstacles made me understand the mind of the bike commuter and what gives them that nervous tick. It's scary..........fun, but scary, its like being on a roller coaster you can steer, with cars, dog leashes, trucks, pedestrians and pigeons constantly making every effort to veer directly into your path. It is a pretty darn efficient way to get around though, it takes me 45-60 minutes to get to campus, about 7 miles away, which is actually pretty competitive with taking my car in rush hour when you consider the time it takes to park and then walk to the campus.



This happened a while ago but it definitely needs to be posted before I forget. On the way to camping, my Jeep roared past its 150,000th mile! Now for many of you, your car is just a way to get around. My Jeep is a member of the family, much like my dog. I bought her at 88,000 and she has reliably transported me all over this great country for six years now. So, we celebrated this milestone by pulling off the interstate into a less than desirable part of Tacoma and creeping around the neighborhood until we hit 150,000. At that point Rachel pulled out the champagne she had brought(thanks babe, I forgot) and we took a couple swigs and poured the rest on the tires of my other girlfriend. Sound crazy? You wouldn't understand.....It's a Jeep thing!

All is Well in the Heartland....

Clearly.......because the senator of my home state has enough spare time on his hands to sue God. Literally. It is not often that news from WOWT pops up on my morning skim over the Google news headlines but this morning it did, with this tasty little tidbit......

Ernie Sues God

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has filed a lawsuit against God. He says he just wants to make the point that the constitution allows a lawsuit to be filed for any reason.

The action seeks a "permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats."

The Plaintiff (Chambers) is identified as "the duly elected and serving State Senator from the 11th Legislative District in Omaha, Nebraska." Full story---->

Particularly interesting is this little rhyme session he threw into the document.....
"Defendant directly and proximately has caused, inter alia (among other things), fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornados, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like."

At the time I read the article, it had drawn 138 comments. Many insulted Ernie Chambers but a surprising amount stood up in his defense and truly understood the point he was trying to make. I have not been involved in Nebraska politics since my second year in the Navy when I sent in my last absentee ballot. At first I wrote this guy off as a looney-toon, but reading through some of the comments shows he has great support and may actually be quite a visionary. Most importantly, he got people talking with this action, sometimes it takes extreme measures to get attention drawn to wrongs that normally drift by unnoticed. For stirring the pot Ernie, I commend you.......


I May Have Just Lost My Appetite

I am at work right now, finishing my chores early so I can head to the monthly Brewmaster's Dinner at Mccormick and Schmick's downtown. The dinner features a different brewery every month and is a five course meal with each course utilizing a different beer in some manner, whether its in the sauce, part of the marinade, or baked straight in as in the chocolate stout cake or 'beeramisu' desserts. Between each course the brewmaster and the chef come out to discuss their respective creations. This month is our local Pike Brewery and features one of my favoritest microbrews, the Kilt-Lifter IPA. Its hard to go wrong with any IPA but this one is particularly exciting. Just throw on a traditional celtic man-skirt, toss one back and you'll see why, it is HOPPY!!! Anyway, the brewmaster's dinner instantly became a favorite tradition with the inner circle of our urban family. As I said, it's a five-course meal, but also includes all-you-can-drink beer and costs only $49.95, tax and gratuity included. A smokin' deal!

So, I haven't looked at the menu for tonight but I did come across something in my usual hyper-productive manner of probing the deepest realms of the world wide web that made my stomach turn and will surely haunt my dreams forever. I came across it while researching Chupacabra for some unknown reason. It's Sam, the three-time champion of the world's ugliest dog competition. Unfortunately Sam passed away in late 2005 but his blog is still available online. Man is this one ugly dog!!


Why People Pee in their Wetsuits......

Cuz its so F'n cold in the North Pacific! (Peeing in your suit is referred to as a "wettie warmer" in surf lingo by the way) Our surfing trip was SO much fun! The weather was ideal on Saturday but MAN was that water cold! Every wave that breaks over your head results in a pounding ice-cream headache like you just snorted an entire 7-11 slurpee! It really gets the adrenaline going though and the suit actually does a very good job of keeping you warm. I asked for a beginner's board at the surf shop and the guy brought me out a monstrous longboard. Trying to impress the surfer dudes that I realized this was a ridiculously large board I said "is that a board or a boat!?!" he replied, "Yah, sometimes we rent it out for parties..."

On the first day, I spent much of my time in the water fighting the current and getting a feel for the waves at Westport. I got up on the board to my knees and then tried to stand up only to be repeatedly launched from my board with arms flailing wildly. It was very much fun though. We had a cooler full of beer and food and an umbrella over some lounge chairs, a very sweet beach setup. The second day our typical "liquid sunshine" was back and it was cold, windy and rainy so we skipped the beach setup and headed straight to the waves with only our boards. I must say though, I was very impressed at the crowd on the beach. People in the PNW just don't let the weather interfere with their plans. There were kids building sandcastles, kites flying, people picnicking and about a hundred surfers. I managed to actually get up and stand on the board this day many times. I wasn't maneuvering at all, but definitely was up and riding the wave. It was a great feeling!