Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Best. Holiday. Ever.

You, remember, El Dia del Escudo Nacional! I put out my Ecuadorian flag.

Well, I wish I were in Poland or Peru, where apparently everyone knows Halloween is just for show. Santa Cruz on the other hand does Halloween big. Pacific Ave is closed off and they've been warning for months that "there will be law enforcement agents from 9 municipalities" out. Apparently it turns into one big costume party out there. Already plenty of trick or treaters were toting peppers and avocados from the farmer's market alongside their candy. A live show of Rocky Horror is playing "in rock and roll concert style" at the Rio. And here I am, at the library, with the 3 other people who aren't causing mayhem. Apparently the crazies stay in on Halloween... the guy across from me is carrying on passionately to the space where his neighbor used to be before he got cranky and left.

Another big earthquake last night... nope, nope sure didn't notice. I was driving home and was pretty out of it after having a bit of a cold and working all day, is the only excuse I can offer. At 5.6. it was the biggest since the infamous 1989 quake apparently. My roommate says the walls shook.

Update on Mr Chatty... the poor librarian had no luck in ushering his one sided conversation outside, but then a guy behind me piped up with "would you shut up!" and without skipping a beat he goes "sure!" And he did.

OK, I'm off home. Thanks for your excellent suggestions. I did pick up some healthyish treats, I tried to get a big variety and I'll report on the results. Otherwise I think I'll kick back with a pumpkin beer and continue the OC marathon. Happy holidays.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Don't you love it when... wake up at 3am and can't get back to sleep? Perhaps it was this troubling late-night conversation that kept me tossing and turning:

R: If you could pick any kind of sandwich to represent you, would it be a hamburger?
K: What?
R: White on the outside... delicious on the inside... a ketchup center...
K: Hamburgers don't have ketchup centers.
R: [Silence]
K: What if YOU could pi--
R: Hamburger.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

sunday night at the store

My computer hiatus continues. I've read 6 books and I've been marathoning the OC. Oh yeah.

This book is keeping me entertained today.

Todays act of stupidity: I started to hardboil eggs this morning. About 1.5 hours later I remembered. I was at work in Capitola. No one was home. SOOO I took an early break and jetted home to find no flames or smoke. But the eggs... exploded. I'll be finding pieces in every corner of my kitchen for months.

I'm very eh about Halloween. I didn't mind missing the last two. I hate the holiday pressure to find a cool costume and make a big night of it. And if I stay home I have to a) hide from the children b) find something healthy but packaged to give out. Nuts? Stickers? I don't want to be that lame old lady who gives out pennies or apples either. Suggestions?

Friday, October 26, 2007

A taste of what's to come...

A sneak preview of our northwestern sojourn (well, the photos thereof):

Only a few of you will truly appreciate the amazingness that is David in his Sunday shirt, but I couldn't resist sharing...

R&R looking cute in their Sunday best.

We took our standard hey-we're-in-Seattle-let's-hike hike, complete with standard self-portrait-on-summit. Yes, folks, this was the summit. WHERE'S MY PANORAMIC VIEW?????

THE NEPHS! looking good enough to eat in their one-year outfits.

You haven't lived until you've been manhandled by a drooling baby in the middle of a corn maze.

Yes, that's hay dangling from G's mouth. Mmmm, harvest...

Sorry for the excessive bandwidth... I'll get the rest posted on a proper photo site soon. But that's all for now... happy weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

and shadows pass away

+ My computer is alive again!

- Still facing one more night of limited internet, as the repair place misplaced my power supply, effectively negating the replacement of the power port. And, I must gripe. Did they a) offer me a discount or b) apologize? No, they a) repeatedly suggested I hadn't really brought it in and b) offered to SELL me a new one.

+ The more competent boss did find it after the fact, so starting tomorrow I'll be fully hooked up. And honestly, Rebecca - unlimited internet = a much healthier more well-rounded person with an earlier bedtime.

+ My weekend getaway to portland was quite fabulous. Have YOU ever stayed at a haunted rock and roll brewpub / hotel?? That's what I thought. Also featuring... Lots of quality time with the Austin gang. A walk down scenic Insterstate Ave, across the bridge to downtown, dinner at a COMBINATION YOGA STUDIO / VEGAN RAW RESTAURANT CALLED LOTUS SOMETHING OR OTHER which luckily was quite tasty or I would have to make even more fun of it - I had the BBQ tempeh plate... mmmm, followed by a fancy chocolate from the fancy chocolate shop across the street (which also uses organic everything and agave, geez). Staying out of the rain on Saturday. Too many trips to the airpot. (Next time you're taking the damn freeway Richard!)

And the singing! And the food. No more need be said on those counts.

And the fellowship, which featured more local beer, lots of bay area friends, and even more western mass transplants. Had forgotten they do an extra long singing school, David Ivey was great of course. Among other feats, in two hours he managed to cover pretty much everything I took out of my ill fated semester of music theory in college. (Not to mention he's a much snappier dresser than Prof Hoyt.)

- The curtains have finally closed on the Extra Special Marathon Fall Season of Travel and Quality Time. Probably won't see KT and R until MARCH! I'll just be over in the corner crying. (In a puddle of my own tears, having lost the will to go on, as it were.)

+ My traveling is over but I will have more visitors... starting with me mom, tomorrow! Lauren, MP, and Becky have all threatened fall visits so hopefully at least one will come through.

- Monday I cooked for the after-school gig again. This gets a minus because the hour I should have been at the school setting up I spent sitting on my car waiting for AAA to unlock it and rescue my keys, my phone, the contact info of my partners in crime, and all the food for the class. With NOTHING to do but ponder my stupidity. Everything went ok in the end, but I was so crazy stressed out and annoyed at myself.

- At work today I ate pizza and pumpkin pie for lunch. Funny how I don't feel so good right now... thank god the farmers market will rescue me with fresh produce tomorrow.

+ I'm actually working 5 full shifts in the next 7 days. Almost like a real full time job! Look at that!

+ Unexpected praise is always fun, so I just want to bask in the many emails in my inbox thanking me for my singing last week, and the many compliments I got on my dress this weekend!

+ It was sunny and 84 today. So long, Portland.

+ There are more pluses than minuses, so in conclusion, my life is not totally without meaning. Or something.

Coming soon: pictures! (Surely to be followed immediately by KT's shinier and more numerous pictures.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Onward and upward to Portland!

Okay, really, I SWEAR this is the last time I'll post back-to-back with Rebecca and knock her post out of first place. Really. But I seem to be pulling a classic Rebecca And Katie by staying up all night for absolutely no reason (I could easily have gotten all this mandatory packing and housecleaning out of the way before bedtime, but I just plain didn't) so I'll post a few things and then be on my merry way to bed. Or Oregon. Whichever comes first.

Regarding The Darjeeling Express: I was reading a post on Racialicious about Wes Anderson the other day, which linked to "Unbearable Whiteness: That queasy feeling you get when watching a Wes Anderson movie." Okay, I enjoyed The Royal Tenenbaums as much as anybody, but I thought this article was pretty spot-on.

Regarding Rebecca: I realized I never raved about how fabulous it was to have her here! I'll see her in a little over 12 hours, rendering this rave virtually obsolete, but I couldn't let that one slide. Don't you wish you had your own temporary live-in Natural Chef to teach you how to peel garlic with Mason jars and fill you with the (well-founded but still slightly irrational) fear that your walnuts were going to give you cancer unless you put them in the freezer RIGHT NOW? We managed to take her yet again to the only restaurant she's ever been to in Austin, taught her all about the Texas singer family trees, and feasted upon the amazing dinner she cooked us. What more could you ask for from a visit? (Well, excluding a run along the beach, lemons picked in your own backyard, and a 30-person sing in your own living room. Shut up, Rebecca.)

Regarding karate: I am now officially a blue belt! Meaning that, for the first time, I've earned a belt, not purchased it. I feel marginally more important already. The day of 1,000 kicks approaches and I think our dojo has almost reached our fundraising goal, which is tremendously exciting. If any of you who might not have donated yet want to go to to sponsor my kicks and help push us over our goal, I would be absolutely delighted. My ode offer is closed (I've got my work cut out for me in that department...) but you'll still get a handmade special thank-you gift from me for donating any amount. I can't promise it will arrive in anything resembling a timely manner, but I promise you'll get it. If you don't have the faintest idea what I'm talking about, go here.

Regarding people who are more dedicated than I: I also forgot to mention that, before going on vacation, Richard sewed his own down-filled sleeping bag. While I was thoroughly unable to appreciate the technical prowess of this accomplishment (R: "It weighs less than anything of equal warmth currently on the market!" K: "Oh my god, it has a DRAWSTRING!"), I was still pretty damn impressed.

Regarding places where it's not summer all year long: Portland is supposed to be in the 50's. I've gotta say, I no longer have any idea what that feels like. I'm packing as best as I can, but I can't figure out for the life of me whether my clothes will be too warm or too cold. Alexa just had to go out and buy a pair of close-toed dress shoes specifically for this convention because she only owns open-toed ones. WHAT'S BECOME OF US?????

Regarding the previously-mentioned Lance Armstrong photo that we auctioned off: I was wrong, it didn't go for four hundred dollars, it went for SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY. Someone loves them some Lance. Good lord.

Regarding DVD's I check out of the library when Richard's not around: Our local branch has a pitiful, pitiful selection of DVD's, consisting of a few generic blockbusters insterspersed with a few generic 1950's classics interspersed with a few other strange things that I've never heard of. Such was how I ended up with the exceedingly random British miniseries "Bob and Rose." Six episodes about a gay man and a straight woman who fall in love. Okay, I'm listening. The potential for handling this subject matter badly is probably limitless, but the cover said it was by the creator of (the British) "Queer As Folk" so I decided to take my chances. Oh man, this show is DELIGHTFUL. Cute, smart, passably funny, no "conversion" bullshit, and starring actors who look refreshingly like REAL PEOPLE. The first three episodes were significantly better than the last three, but I was still completely enamored by the whole thing. Props to Rosie for another excellent export from her motherland!

Regarding the time: Somehow it became 4:19 in the morning and I still have yet to finish packing or wash all my dishes. So I'll bid you all adieu for now... back Wednesday!



Thursday, October 18, 2007

autumn in santa cruz

This morning I was admiring the beautiful colored fall foliage of the tree outside my house, which seems so unexpected here. It's been rainier but still lovely and not much cooler than the summer so far. And then... a hummingbird flew over to admire the foliage as well. The second I've seen in as many days. So... all is well in California paradise after all.

No blogging lately,because a) i've been busy busy! and b) my computer is sad again... just dropped it off for $150 repair to make it happy, and so this post is being written at the library / on my rommmate's bootleg chinese laptop.

Due to the computer woes and my trip to portland , I'll be (gasp!) parted from the internet until Monday morning. Any pressing matters, give me a call on my cell.

Things that kept me busy this week.

Richard! Twas a good time, he said. Besides the farmers' market, we managed to squeeze in all kinds of things.
- I went outside! We did a nice hike up at Big Basin state park where we saw banana slugs, giant redwoods, madronas, and other pretty things. And R got to run along the ocean on west cliff, with a view of the latest surf contest.
- Of course we visited BOTH breweries in town.
- I didn't have to work while he was here, but we did hang out at the bookstore and mooch some food and drink. That's the way to do it.
- We dared to drive up to Berkeley in the rainy fri pm commute. 2.5 hours later (instead of 1.5) we were rewarded with awesome vegan sushi at Cha-Ya, and then Rebecca's wine and cheese party. I just wanted to hog her since it was the first time I'd seen her in a year, but everyone else was lovely too. Had forgotten how nice her beau is, probably because they weren't dating when I knew him there... had never chatted with him in English before, but he has a cute accent and was patient with my excessive Ecuadorian nostalgia. And met a super nice Mexican woman who works for a global anti-hunger group, and was heading down to Bolivia in a few days! No fair! It's bad enough that my dad's already there. Otherwise there were a mix of R's law school friends/roommates/associates... good lord, I haven't been around so many young people with things in common with me since forever, quite disconcerting. Seriously it seemed like EVERYONE we talked to overlapped with our lives to a crazy degree... Richard even ran into someone who was on his high school x-country team.
- And, the big event, the Richard's in Town First Annual Singing at My House was hugely successful!! Everything I'd hoped for. It was a gorgeous sunny day, everyone brought good food, was gracious and thanked me copiously for hosting. We had 30 people - from Berkeley, South Bay, plenty of local singers, and even some new converts who had been looking for a local group to sing with. Almost everybody lead a song with or without assistance, and somehow it worked out that we had exactly enough time for everyone to lead before the break and again after the break. Most importantly, it sounded GREAT, and my 2 schemes totally panned out. 1) Bay area sacred harp mixer - people were meeting/reacquainting/generally fellowshipping and saying "yeah, why DON'T we sing together more?" 2) Local singing resurrection - everyone was pumped for more singing and we have a tentative plan for 1st/3rd sundays, swapping between my house and whoever else wants to host.
Was such a good time I even chose to be entertained by the guy who got up and said, i quote: "I'm not a good leader and I don't really know this song, but let's do Rose of Sharon!" sigh.

- I shipped R off to the airport on Sunday, with minimal parting distress because I was going to be seeing him in another airport in 5 DAMN DAYS (man, I really just can never get sick of R and KT and am going to be saddddddd when our Special Marathon Fall Season of Travel and Quality Time ends).
- Monday it was back to the grindstone as I kicked off my first professional chefing gig! I haven't said much about it because it's really been a big hassle and lots of work for very little compensation, but I'm feeling more positive now that the first day was a lot of fun. One of my Bauman instructors had the idea to create a fitness/nutrition after-school program for kids in Santa Cruz, and so 3 of us have been putting that together from sratch. It's great experience and all but also a big pain. Anyway, we're pulling off a 4 class pilot program at a local elementary school with real grant funding, which means money for supplies and a small little paycheck for me. But a paycheck it is, and I got to show up and get called "Chef Rebecca"!! The kids were sooo excited about sampling foods and cooking with me, and think I'm all impressive in my white coat. Hee!!!! I'll share some pictures and recipes later on.
-Also put in a few shifts at the store. Count yourselves lucky that I can't remember any exciting periodical links this time. Ooooh wait, there was this gem in the economist:
Roberto Madrazo, the 55-year-old candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in last year's presidential election in Mexico, was disqualified from the Berlin marathon for cheating after recording an improbably fast time. The PRI has a notorious history of electoral fraud.

- Lack of internet has actually increased my productivity exponentially. In the last two days I've read three books, gone out to a movie (Darjeeling Limited... our unanimous review was: "pretty, but eh"), made applesauce, and accomplished all manner of household and professional tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Who knew.

Oooookay, speaking of timely and efficient, I'm off to do laundry and pack for my whirlwind trip to Portland. I'd better get some sleep, since apparently we're staying at some sort of rock and roll hotel? R swears it's a good deal, but mostly he just wants to be close to the local beer. I'm sure the singing will be great, but R and I most especially hope the food lives up to our memory from the 04 convention. Possibly the best singing food ever.

And... I'm out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In which our heroine helps entertain 400 people and lives to tell the tale

My work had our big fall fundraiser this evening, which I suspect went well, but since I tend to spend these events as a walking talking stressball (L, I think I was in dire need of a colored frog...) I'm not entirely sure what exactly took place between 5:30 and 10 this evening. I do seem to recall seeing a fair number of rich people drinking and laughing, and I only had to deal with one volunteer telling me how awful my check-in system was, so I count that as a good night. I guess the money will decide whether or not it was a good night - but since I'm in charge of figuring out exactly how much we grossed, and since I fully intend to put off this despicable task for as long as possible, it might be a while before we know for sure. (You can't see me but I'm shaking my fist right now at the eight giant cardboard boxes in various trunks of cars that are currently full of receipts, credit card slips to be processed, signup sheets in no particular order, miscellaneous wads of cash, and silent auction forms. I HATE YOU ALL, FINANCIAL RECORDS.)

Also, can we all take a moment to collectively let our mouths hang open at the amount rich people will pay for shit? Really I shouldn't complain, and I know people pay more at benefit auctions out of the goodness of their hearts, but SERIOUSLY. We had this goofy framed autographed photo of the man R has called our nation's greatest hero (though you'd be forgiven for taking his opinions with at least a small grain of salt... this is also the boy who once asked me, if I could commit a hate crime against any brand of dental floss, would it be this one?) that went for WELL OVER FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. I know Texans love Lance - but really????? My co-workers and I solemnly vowed never to mock the man or his rabid fan base again. Not a guarantee.

As you read in the previous post, R is currently in sunny California with Rebecca, picking oranges and running on the beach and generally living off the fat of the land, as best as I can tell. I was inclined to be much more bitter about this twenty minutes ago, when I'd consumed nothing for the past 10 hours except two cups of white wine, but now that I've eaten a bowl of granola and the remainder of a box of butter crackers (remember when you were a kid and you used to dream about the crap you'd eat for dinner if only your parents let you? I'm kind of having one of those moments), I'm feeling much more generous in spirit. Sadly, I don't get to visit Rebecca in Santa Cruz this time around, but I do get to see her next weekend when we all convene in Portland for the Pacific Northwest Convention! Then R and I are continuing up to Seattle where we get to see THE NEPHS! and I once again attempt to convince R's parents that really I'm so much more than the Jewish honky he's living in sin with, and if I had my way, Mr. and Mrs. Lee, he would cut his hair and pray before bedtime and get a law degree. Or at least an office job.

I think I still have drink tickets tucked in my bra. It might be time for bed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

we lay our garments by / upon our beds to rest

Richard's here and we have big plans tomorrow (and we're going to bed early katie!), so just a few things:

- Since everyone seemed quite excited by the derby shoutout, here's the full scoop... N was in town last weekend with C for a big job interview in oakland, and had practiced with one of the bay area derby teams, so we met up in san jose to see the league's opening bout. It was sort of a blowout, and the venue was not the best for derby (too big to fill up the audience, and a slippery track) but it was a good time, especially with natalia's expert commentary. And the day before, I had some extra quality time with n and c... i knew she had added an interview in santa cruz and when I called her to find out when she would be down here, she said "well, i'm at cathcart and center street right now." !!! so she got to stop over and use my restroom and pick her own oranges.

- While she raved about my toast, N was not nearly as appreciative of my oranges as Richard. He's sufficiently impressed with my fruit trees, my house, the weather, and most importantly, the farmer's market. Damn straight. Well, that pretty much covers his first afternoon here. Then we ate our way through some local produce and bonded over our mutual love of Matt's sacred harp cd which segued nicely into some 2 part singing. We're pretty psyched for the First Annual Richard's in Town Sacred Harp Singing at My House, this saturday. (With potluck!) We should have a big turnout from Berkeley, South Bay, and local singers. Other non-singing plans involve hiking, apple picking, wine tasting, and wine and cheese party with Rebecca and visiting Ecuadorian beau. Somewhere in there I have to fit in a PPD and R has to buy an ice axe.

- I never even watch his show, but I've sort of vicariously picked up a Stephen Colbert fixation from several friends. (Which I'm sure he would approve of.) His book came out yesterday, and I just had to take a picture of my view from behind the counter after the display went up.

So. Much. Stephen. Again, I think he would approve. Perhaps as much he approved of the book itself, which won the "Stephen T. Colbert Award For The Literary Excellence", and prominently displays this quote on the back: "A powerhouse. I laughed. I cried. I lost 15 pounds." -Stephen Colbert

- And, the obligatory "what I read in Wired at work" link:
The New Weapon in the Border Guard Arsenal: the Dreaded Google Search
It turns out that border officers are allowed to use what they call "open source information" — meaning any and all traces of you online, from Facebook and Flickr to flame wars.

Clearly border guard work productivity has reached the high standard set by me and KT.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"So you DO have a real job!"

Said a friend from the HGP when she saw me at the bookstore today. I was sort of just as surprised. It's been 3 weeks since my last shift, and it's been the last thing on my mind. But I was reminded why I really do so ENJOY my job in a warm squishy way. This is good since I'd pretty much set on not stressing out over the black hole that is the Santa Cruz job market, and decided to stick it out selling books through the busy retail season til Christmas or so. After which, unless something terribly enticing comes my way, I'll hightail it out of town. But back to today... it was a whole new store when I showed up this morning. All kinds of crazy new books have come out that I didn't know about, I didn't recognize any of the displays, we're selling Anthony Bourdain and Tom Brokaw tickets right and left, and they FINALLY put together a real kids section. On top of which, there was a fabulous author event I didn't even know about!

I even got to grab a cup of tea and watch the event like a real person, to bulk up the audience. (There's a reason we rarely have sat events, not a great turnout, sadly.) On hand were two Chinese American authors who write mostly for kids but have recently done highly acclaimed memoirs. Belle Yang read from her latest picture book, which was sweet... the really cool part of her talk was that she passed around the manuscript for her forthcoming graphic novel as well as the large canvas with an illustration she's painting for another story. She's the featured subject of a documentary film called My Name is Belle, which is all over PBS as well as showing at the local Pacific Rim film festival.

The second author, Ying Chang Compestine, totally knocked my socks off! Just a ridiculously accomplished and lovely person. Sigh, I just spent a while trying to write a suitably glowing description, and then I read the San Francisco Chronicle feature on her from last week, and I won't even try to compete. (Yes, it sounds a bit over the top but it's right on the money, I swear):
Spontaneous and bright-eyed, she seems to have a wellspring of inner joy that bubbles up into an infectious laugh. She ticks off her accomplishments, popping up to pull down her many books from the shelf or call up her Web site ( and click on a video of her cooking show or an item about her winning a badminton championship three years ago in Colorado. "I beat all the 20-year-olds!" She lays out her feats unabashedly yet without arrogance, as one might present tasty dishes one had made for a banquet.

(Bah, I know my MOM thinks I'm a good writer, and I suppose my rambling has its charms if you already know and appreciate me, but I'd give a lot to be able to convey to you my experiences vividly and concisely. Perhaps a writing course is in order?)

If you click over to the article, you can see the picture of her dancing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. She was raving about that photoshoot as the happiest day of her life, and she meant it!

I'm sure you're unsurprised that I appreciated her food fixation. Among other things she writes healthy Chinese cookbooks (her mother practiced traditional Chinese medicine) and really clever picture books like The Real Story of Stone Soup (based on a meal she ate at the Chinese/Burmese border, where they really cooked the soup with stones!) And her recently published young adult fictionalized memoir takes its title from Mao's quote, "Revolution is Not A Dinner Party." She draws on her childhood growing up in China during the cultural revolution. I promptly bought a copy and I'm really excited to read it, it's just the kind of book I loved growing up. And, I think, poised to win some awards and find its place as standard reading in a lot of schools.

You heard it here first.

That being said, I think I've earned the right to praise something you probably heard first on OPRAH. Yes, I read Eat, Pray, Love over vacation and loved it to pieces. And against all expectations... was actually inspired by it! Imagine my shame when suddenly the phone is ringing off the hook for "that food love book from Oprah". I think I mentioned before that I had written it off into several categories of book that send me running for the hills... you know, "hip chick lit", "trendy travelogue" "inspirational memoir". And well, it IS those things. But, it's also, you know, GOOD.

In conclusion, go forth and read! When my head isn't swimming with the printed word, I'll post more on rocks, roller derby, and future schemes.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I am going home today / in the narrow gospel way

Somehow 10 days have gone by, and I'm a few hours away from a flight back to California. My parting from KT/R would be the cause for much lamentation, except that this is HARDLY the end to our quality time this fall. Just 8 days after I leave, I'll be picking up Richard for his long weekend in Santa Cruz, and then the next weekend I'm meeting them both in Portland for another convention. Whew! A balanced travel plan we came up with, clearly...

Before I get ahead of myself, perhaps I should turn back to THIS trip. Well, it's not so hard to fill you in... just picture a lot of singing. And grocery shopping. And cooking. And eating. I also managed to fit in a hike, a canoe trip, and a visit to the capitol building (rather impressive if you can look past the portrait of george w). No live music of the non-sacred harp persuasion, unless you count our night out at the local honkytonk hotspot (i was convinced to take exactly one two-stepping spin around the dancefloor with R. Better than salsa, but a dancer I am not.) or the spontaneous johnny paycheck duet we were treated to at the social.

Back to the singing. I don't have the words. Jenna also made this claim, but then delivered better words than I can find. (Hope you don't mind my linking.)
I just offer a hearty amen.

Hmm, can you add a postscript to an Amen? Here goes. Since in the end, these posts are really for me. And my sense of posterity. (And, err, for anyone who may be googling sacred harp. Yes, you.)
- My very first cooper convention! The good old red book, I will never find it tedious. As someone said this weekend, every year the book grows heavier with memories. But musically, it was so much fun to stretch myself with songs that are fresh to me, amidst people who have been singing them for generations. And they sound GOOD. Especially in that room. Goll-LEE.
- Specifically. The gospel numbers are fun, in moderation. REALLY cool to hear those few songs that I know from the Harp of Ages at full-blast (Eden of Love). Dig the "slower in 4" style down here. Don't mind the 2387465 differing alto parts, but got caught out on so many where it's just a note here or there. (Or just a missing accidental! So jarring to sing cowper that way.) Similarly, all those songs where the oral tradition changed up a few of the words.
- As Jenna mentioned, what a ridiculously amazing blessing to be able to walk into any singing across the country and be among family. I've been so thankful to the California singers I've met this year. It gets even better down here where everyone shakes your hand "good morning."
- "My country tis of thee" in 4 part harmony? Surprisingly powerful.
- And most importantly. Cowboy boots with sunday best. Love it.

Ok. Can you tell I'm on a post-convention high? I'll stop now. Oh, except that the local public radio station did a story on sunday... you can listen to a nice clip online with interviews and music in the background.

Off to pack. When I hit home I'll be sure to post all those pictures of rocks. I might even provide commentary on the rocks.

Actually, this trip has been a great source of inspiration/perspective putting, which perhaps you couldn't tell from all the talk about rocks and singing. More on that too.