Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Artist Point Vista

Artist Point Vista
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
This view was more or less our goal. We almost made it tot the Artist Point Vista which overlooks Mt. Shuksun and Mt. Baker. Unfortunately, the road that would've taken us a few hundred feet closer to the view points was covered in about twenty feet of snow.

Still, it's a breathtaking view.

I'm on edge

I'm on edge
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Yes, I am dangerous. More importantly, the Nooksack Falls are dangerous. Just outside of this point, there's a display that lists all the people who had fallen to their deaths. Most of the names belong to men between the ages of 18 - 28.

Jake, however, doesn't care.

Brown Bear Cub

Brown Bear Cub
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
This little guy was wandering along Mt. Baker Hwy on our way up to Artist Point. He was trotting back and forth in front of my car, not quite getting out of the way. He looked like he had just woken up. We teased him about his "bed head." Bed head bear . . .

Anyway, when we managed to get along side him, he glared at us. We glared back. There was much glaring and snorting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekend events

Crazy week, starting this past Wednesday. Brian Turner came to town to read. He was riveting, and the students loved him. At the same time, my sister-in-law and her partner came to town, so I was juggling many things.

Anyway, I took some fabulous photos that I don't have here at school. I'll post 'em when I get home. Among the photos . . . a brown bear cub who wandered into the road. He's okay, he just glared at us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I'm so tired today. Low low energy . . . possibly from my crazy day yesterday. I finished copy-editing the galleys for my manuscript (I think Paul and I are on the same calendar), mailed those out, went to the gym, ran a few miles, came home, planted two shrubs, mowed an acre and a half of lawn, graded papers . . . whew.


Did I mention that the quarter system sucked?


Brian Turner is coming to Western Washington Univ. for a reading on Thursday, May 24th at 7:30 PM in CF #115.

I'll be busily shuttling back and forth from the airport for the next two days. What's more . . . my sister-in-law and her partner are flying into town on Thursday. Should be quite the week, so if I'm scarce on the blogosphere, you'll know why.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Egg head

From this


Your word of the week is incubation. It refers to the act of a parent animal sitting on eggs to keep them warm as the fetuses inside mature to the point of hatching. In a more metaphorical sense, "incubation" means the process of protecting and nurturing an idea or possibility as it ripens. Dream workers also tout "dream incubation," in which you describe a problem that you'd like to have addressed by your dreams, and hold it in your mind as you fall asleep. If you do this with a strong intention, your dreams will eventually help you solve the problem. I invite you to apply this meditation on incubation to the work you have ahead of you, Pisces.

A Wee Interview

The wonderful Diana Park conducted an interview with me a few months back. That interview appears in the latest issue of Boxcar.

Also, the kind folks at Crab Creek Review took two new new new poems of mine. Thank you!


I'm currently enjoying Feist and Amy Winehouse.


I've been talking myself out of buying a new iPod. I teased Eric about owning an 80GB iPod exclaiming "Who could POSSIBLY have that much music?!" I now realize . . . I have that much music. My iPod's a Fourth Gen 60GB iPod. It just doesn't seem as cool as the 5th gen. But . . . I don't NEED a new iPod. No. No. No.


I stayed up playing this ridiculous game. It took me an hour to get to the end boss . . . and then I died fighting the durn thing. And THEN, I had to start the durn level over again! Goodnessgracioussakesalive.


I'm annoyed because of this. The Suns got cheated. Period.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bored at work?

Then check out the Geico Caveman Crib.

Yes, the metrosexual is alive and well, people . . .

(dial-up beware)

Spring n' all

With the warmer weather, I've been spending much more time outdoors. There's a saying up here: if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. So, I've been taking my "5 minutes."

This weekend, I managed to de-limb some downed trees with my chainsaw. It wasn't fun with all the heat and a tempermental machine, but I got it done.

I did, however, get some nice sun and a bit of a tan.


The chimney swifts are back. We've blocked their entry into the chimney with chicken wire and some chimney caps. It got a little old, finding swifts trapped in the walls of the house. We had hoped they'd find another place to nest, but alas. This time, they've found a place to nest inside the house through a heat vent. I sat on a lawn chair and watched them dive-bomb another group of swifts vying for the same spot.


The deadline for my corrected galleys is fast approaching. I better get a move on!


Rumor: Battlestar Galactica will only last for one more season and will end in 2008. "Eddie" Olmos and Katie Sackhoff have said that the show's too expensive for such a slim viewership (this is all according to G4TV). We'll see. I actually don't mind if they end the show in 2008. I mean, there's only so much you can do for a political space thriller, right?

Ah, that many-tongued rumor! There's also this: Rumor!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tagged by Mary B.

Mary's tagged me.

So . . . what five songs knock my socks off?

These are my current spins and re-spins In no particular order:

1. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" by Nina Simone from "Black Gold"

2. "American Flag" by Cat Power from "Moon Pix"

3. "Love and Some Verses" by Iron & Wine from "Our Endless Numbered Days"

4. "The Well & The Lighthouse" by The Arcade Fire from "Neon Bible"

5. "Sleeping Lessons" by The Shins from "Wincing the Night Away"

And I hereby tag Barbara Jane, Paul, Lee, Chicky, and Jenni.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Confessions of a Jewelbox Lover

A conversation I had with Adrian Matejka a couple of weeks ago has me going back through my stacks of CDs. He talked about how he was putting all his music into a digital format and boxing up his compact disks for his family's move to the midwest. I'm now converting all my disks to digital files, and somehow, I'm feeling nostalgic. A little sad.

You see, I love jewelboxes for CDs. I love the packaging. I love looking at the notes bands leave for their loved ones. I love reading the lyrics and finding out who's a new member of what band, etc. Somehow, the crafting of music . . . the actual activity of creating a series of songs for an album isn't captured when you see a single AIFF or MP3 file in your iTunes. The songs themselves become bits and bytes of digitized information.

I used to spend hours and ($$) in Tower Records, going through the aisles and browsing for compact disks. There was a Tower Records just north of my college campus. Weekends, I'd cruise through the clutter of jewelboxes as goth employees rubbed elbows with heavy metal long-haired employees alphabetizing recent releases. The occasional nerdy jazz afficionado would check the inventory. Alas, Tower Records is now no more, and now music can simply be downloaded to your computer with a quick click of a button. You don't have to get your purchases checked out by the crunchy girl with the nose ring. You won't be judged by other customers for your musical tastes. It's quicker, cheaper, and in some ways less communal.

However, that's not to say I'm not also persuaded by the convenience of iPods, MP3 players, and cleaning up all the clutter jewelboxes, CDs, and the bulky physical presence these things leave behind. Since 1999 I have moved four times. In those four times, I cursed the amount of crap I somehow accumulated. The worst of my accumulations, of course, are my books. My father helped me move from Arizona to Pennsylvania. He was carrying a heavy file box stuffed with books up the ramp of the rental truck. "Did you read all these books?" he asked. I said, "Of course." At least, in spirit I had read all the books . . . or at least wanted to. But I can honestly say that I had listened to all my CD's, the other bulky possession I needed to move across the country. After the second move from PA to NY, I started to downsize my jewelbox collection. I started putting my disks in binders, keeping the cover inserts for quick identification of tracks. Then, with the accumulation of more disks, I shifted to the file boxes with plastic sheaths. Now . . . I'm going all digitial, putting years collecting in boxes into the basement. I'm responsible for the demise of the jewelbox, I'm afraid. I'm responsible for the demise of Tower Records and the small town record store. Alas, I also love my iPod.

A few years ago I made my first iTunes purchase (that was when I had a high-speed internet connection). It was quick, neat, and easy . . . and cheaper. An iTunes purchase was $9.99 for a CD that would've cost me $15.00. I suppose that extra five bucks went into the production of the paper and the plastic in the jewelbox. And still, I made a back up hard copy of the CD I had downloaded, not trusting whether the thing would stay in my hard drive or go away forever.

I know this is a rambling/conflicted account of my guilt. I suppose when it comes down to it, I'll miss the weight of a CD jewelbox . . . its physical manifestation. A digital music file still feels ephemeral to me. But here I am. It's Saturday morning and I've just gone through the "R's." in my collection. Roxy Music is done. Next will be Saint Etienne. Then Hope Sandoval. I've been pretty quick about the transition from analog to digital. The little green checkmarks in iTunes shows my progress and I'm almost through the CD.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cover #5

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
This one's more or less the "photo negative" of cover 3 from a previous post.

Cover Dilemma Redux

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Choice #4

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spidey Senses are Tingling . . .

Guess what opens in theaters at midnight tonight?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How I'm Feeling

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
The mystery cold is still in my chest. I tried to describe to my students how I felt. I think this picture accurately summarizes my state. I feel like I'm floating.

I'm feeling restless, though. I normally go to the gym five days a week, but I'm subscribing to the "neck-up/ neck-down" theory of exercising if you have a cold. The deal is, if the cold's just sniffles and that sort of thing, you can exercise. If, however, you feel a deep chesty cold, you need to take a few days off.

As for the picture, apparently balloon-cluster flying is a sport now. That's a real dude . . . with real balloons.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
This came yesterday . . .

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1st

Nothing important to say.
It's the first day of May . . . and it looks like I've started . . . penning a couplet. Eek.


Confession: I went to a White Snake concert when I was younger. (It would've been an even bigger confession if it was "I went to a White Snake concert yesterday).