Thursday, November 11, 2010

Washington - November 11, 1889

My first trip to Washington was as a vendor at a library conference in Tacoma. I was working for Hispanic Books Distributors in Tucson and it was the first time they'd sent me to work a booth solo. I brought my two Mexican-embroidered dresses to wear during the two-day conference thinking that I would make myself part of the display. I remember nearby there was a booth hawking "clean books" - they had no profanity or sex - and noticing that the woman who ran it wore a conservative pin-striped suit, and had a very severe bun in her hair. The woman in the booth next to mine was selling children's books and she had on a fun, colorful apron. I realized that coming "in costume" was something others had thought of as well. In those days (early 1990s) round trip plane tickets were cheaper if you stayed over Saturday night and flew back on Sunday. My cheapskate boss made me stay over on Saturday even though the conference ended on Friday afternoon. Luckily, I had a friend in Seattle who picked me up on Saturday afternoon so we could have lunch together and see the city. My most recent trip to Washington was to the University of Washington in Seattle to attend a library conference, but this time I was simply an attendee. It was early August of 2008 and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The conference organizers demonstrated how they had checked the weather over the past 20 years to determine that the first week in August was the least likely to have rain.

In Washington, its all about the vampires.
The Brief Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer
I read the four Twilight series novels, each over 700 pages long in about a two week period of time. (Mind candy? You betcha!) This short work though, I really had to work at. It took me about a week to get through this under-200-page volume. I had read that this book had  no section breaks, or chapter breaks, so I assumed that it perhaps took place in "real time" - giving a blow-by-blow of Bree's vampire life - but indeed, I was wrong. it begins when Bree is already about 3 months old (as a vampire) and takes place over several weeks time. I also knew that it was based on a character who was briefly introduced in the third novel, but try as I might I could not remember her, in fact, as I thought about it, I realized I didn't remember the third novel at all. I do remember the basic plot lines of the first, second, and fourth books, but have been waiting for the DVD of the Eclipse movie to come out so I could refresh my memory of that one. Fans of the Twilight series will probably want to give this a read, but will not find it nearly as sexy as the others. For those who have not read the rest of the series and thought perhaps reading this short book would give them some idea what all the fuss was about, don't bother.

Watching Singles again after 18 years made me feel old. I didn't really remember the movie much, but I remember feeling that I was somehow "simpatico" with the characters, who live in grunge-era Seattle. The actors (Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, Bridget Fonda, Shelia Kelly, were of my generation - born in the early '60s. And even though I was a married graduate student in Tucson, Arizona at the time, I still felt some connection to them. After all, I did know people who had real jobs, and dated. Watching it this time around I felt no connection with the characters at all. Going out to clubs, dating drama, and working in cubicles just aren't things I even think about any more. I don't even have friends who put up with that crap any more. Ahh... I do enjoy being 46. This movie has a lot of sub plots, but ultimately it is a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back movie (x2).

I remember buying a bottle of Washington wine sometime in the past few weeks, but since I apparently did not put it in the "save for state day" department of our wine rack (yes, we really do have such a place) I guess we drank it. No matter Red Apple Martinis to the rescue. The recipe comes from a Washington bar. Tasty.

I had my doubts about Seattle Cream Cheese Dogs but decided to make them anyway. The recipe says the sauerkraut is optional, so we did opt out of that. Otherwise these were actually pretty good. I have always liked my hot dogs with mustard, the cooked onions gave it a bit of sweetness, and the cream cheese, was, well, creamy. James ate two.

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