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August 31, 2005

Ten years in the Emerald City

I guess the official anniversary passed a few days ago (I can't remember exactly which day it was now), but I arrived in Seattle in late August 1995, so I have now been a Seattle resident for ten years. I've seen the Mariners' success and recent flops, two earthquakes, WTO, transsexuals on power poles, the suicidal woman on the Ship Canal bridge, five jobs, and about 400 inches of rain.

The city has changed a great deal. Cool, funky buildings have been torn down and replaced with butt-ugly condos. Traffic got worse, though now it's a little better. Seattleites are still aloof, slightly xenophobic creatures, however.

I guess the thing that's amazed me is how I am, with the exception of the born-and-raised-here people I know, one of the longest-tenured people among my circles of friends and acquaintances.

So, another milestone by. I guess I could be considered a native now.

Posted by dylan at 12:12 AM | Comments (2)

August 25, 2005

Silly Season Flotsam

Back from Bama. I am now addicted to sweet tea. Took me seven years, but now I'm wondering why you can't buy it by the gallon here in Seattle.

Until this unscheduled trip I'd read two books in 2005, both of which were non-fiction and web-related, and another three books or so I've started and not finished (including the revised On Food And Cooking).

On this unscheduled trip, I read two books. The first, The Time Traveller's Wife, was interesting and tragically romantic, but it seemed unfulfilling, in a way. And the pretentiousness annoyed me -- I'm not spewing Rilke at the drop of a hat -- though Niffenegger really has a good ear for dialogue. And there was a deeper theological question buried in there of pre-destination vs. free will that she never really unpacks; free will appeared to be causing pre-destination and creating all sorts of causality problems in my head. But, it was an OK book nonetheless, and an interesting cross of the 19th century romance and the 20th century sci-fi novel.

The other book was Blue Like Jazz, which, unfortunately, I can't discuss here. Theology, even in a post-modern milieu, always seems to set my readership off. So, you'll have to ask me privately.

The current high-rotation song on the iPod is "Cold Wind" by the Arcade Fire, a band I once famously called "twee chamber pop" at a meetup. This song, though, isn't twee but spare and foreboding -- the singer knows he's never going be seen alive again. Oddly, I kept thinking that this song would fit really well with the doomedness of Time Traveller's Wife, not even considering that this song was used in the final season of Six Feet Under.

I'll be upgrading to Movable Type 3.2 at some point today. I like the beta so far, though the lack of spam protection in the betas is annoying.

Posted by dylan at 11:12 AM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2005

Kelly Stone, 1929-2005

With Grandfather Stone
Originally uploaded by Dylan W..
My father-in-law passed away today, and oddly, the weather in Seattle was almost exactly as it was the day I first met him in Reading in 1997. Muggy, battleship-grey sky, and somewhat surreal. Surreal on that day because I was meeting my future (and jetlagged) in-laws from Alabama in, of all places, England. Surreal today because, well, he's gone.

That first day, I swore he had this look in his eye of "Son, don't ask me how, but I got a shotgun through customs, and I know how to use it." He had the air about him of someone monumental, of a man from the time when men were made of iron and ate coffee and drank eggs. And yet, as I came to know him later, he wasn't the least bit self-important. His purpose in life was to do, not be. He married his high school sweetheart, built his own house, raised three sons and a surprise late edition daughter, rose to foreman at the steam plant, then became a first-response medic after he retired -- something he finally gave up earlier this year as his third bout with cancer loomed.

And yet, he was always just happy to have another day on earth. He played well with others, at once being as easy going as you can be and still correcting you if you were an idiot (in Christian love). And he was as stubborn and as rockheaded as anyone with a surname of "Stone" could be.

He had a high school education, yet he was as well-versed in world politics as any Harvard fellow, mainly because he had a quick mind and he read. He was a voracious reader without a bit of pretension -- I once caught him reading a romance novel, simply because it was there to be read. Tolle, lege indeed.

Like his siblings, he stayed down home, living on the family land. Unlike many of them, though, he didn't stay down home, making it to Europe and seeing almost every state, finally notching Alaska with a 50th anniversary cruise in 2003. He never did make it to Australia (his last great travel wish) or Rhode Island (but I don't think he missed much).

And, I think he liked me, respected me, maybe even loved me, despite all the silly, stupid lessons I've had to learn in the seven years I've been his daughter's husband and his granddaughter's father.

Of course, he'll live on. Every time Annabel gives the tantrum-throwing baby in the church nursery the look of "What is your problem, kid?" he'll live on.

You were a good man, Kelly Stone.

Posted by dylan at 10:42 PM | Comments (13)

August 07, 2005

Dayment, Breaded, Eyeless

Bread the Baby
Originally uploaded by Dylan W..

On Friday night we dropped by the Dayment August Everything Party, which this year was a melancholy farewell to Stace and Sean, who are fleeing the Emerald City for more affordable, um, more Canadian Vancouver. It's sad to see them go. Stace is amazingly good at collecting friends, something I envy.

I kinda wish I could throw a 10th anniversary of being in Seattle party, but right now I don't want to deal with the invite 100 people, get 1 positive response Seattle party scene. Maybe if someone else threw me the party....

On Saturday night Annabel had a little incident preciptiated by me leaving the baby cornstarch too close to her grasp, right after she got out of the bath. The picture at the right shows the resulting carnage. Hey, halfway to baby tempura!

And per Kat's request, the "creepy" eyes are gone from the family links on the right. Annabel's link goes to her blog, Susan's to her LiveJournal. My link will go to an "About Dylan" page, eventually.

Off to bed. Annabel's cutting her canines now, so I have a 3am wake-up call.

Posted by dylan at 11:35 PM

August 06, 2005

Wedding Pics -> Flickr

I ported all the wedding pictures (September 4, 1999) from this site into a photo set on Flickr today.

I should comment on all the pictures, but I'll let the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, in-laws, and friends take a first crack. I barely remember that day, anyway. But notice, if you will:

I don't understand why people are so quick to say that wedding days anf birth days are the "best days of your life." Weddings and births are insanely stressful all around. The reason they're called miracles is because it's a miracle anyone can organize a wedding or orchestrate a birth at all.

I'm not saying I wasn't happy when I finally had Susan for my own or held and rocked a 45 minute old Annabel. I'm also not saying the chaos leading up to the wedding or the four days of labor weren't worth it. But to characterize the stress as "happy" is deluded and silly.

Posted by dylan at 02:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

Web, T-Shirt

I've been slowly tweaking the template. Most of the broken and misdirected links are now fixed. (The "Contact" link in the top bar is an exception.) Once the Beta 3 of Movable Type appears, I'll start the conversion of the site over to PHP, which will mean the home page will be getting a little more dynamic. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to flip entirely over to a dynamic web site with PHP, but a number of pages will be PHP, including the index.

If anyone spots a bug with the site design, just leave a comment in this post.

Oh, and t-shirt... I really want this one.

Posted by dylan at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)