Wednesday, December 03, 2008

November's music

Because my life is so unexciting right now (no more spills in the kayak), I have nothing interesting to write about except my albums I picked up last month.

Coldplay Prospekts March Since it's original release earlier this year, I've been listening a lot to Coldplay's Vivi La Vida. It gets better with every listen. This month, Coldplay released a bonus ep of songs that didn't make Viva La Vida . With Coldplay, it's hard to go wrong. Most of the songs here are as good or better than the main album songs such as "Glass of Water", which could have easily have been a single. What Prospekts March did was add to my appreciation of the work that Coldplay has done for the Viva La Vida sessions. Only a duet with rapper Jay'Z hits a low point. Still, I admire the effort to reach out to different genres of music.

Longwave Secrets are Sinister A band recommended to me from itunes was a good new find. Longwave has been on the indie scene for a while, but only now caught my attention. Longwave takes some of the elements of shoegaze (such as the waves of guitar)and mixes it with current indie rock melodies. More atmospheric than most indie bands out there, but it works well for me.

Travis Ode To J.Smith Another big release this month was from one of my favorite Scottish bands-- Travis. Once compared to Radiohead, Travis have remained dedicated to melodic brit pop that Radiohead left behind years ago. Travis has written some of the finest guitar driven songs over the last decade. On this one, Travis tries to be a little harder edge, but comes back often to their melodic sounds that have worked so well for them. Pretty good results.

Rosie Thomas A Very Rosie Christmas I have never cared for traditional Christmas albums. I have never liked Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, or Johnny Mathis. Their music doesn't bring to mind warm Christmas memories, or move me to roasting marshmellows. To me, it sounds out of time (I understand not everyone feels the same way). Worst of all, it's everywhere. When a song is played repeatedly over the loud speakers at Wal Mart, it just loses that personal feeling. There's a lot of contemporary albums played repeatedly over the holidays that I can't stand either. However, when one of my favorite indie artist makes a stab at a Christmas album, I'll take notice and play it over and over again through the Christmas season. This year, my favorite songbird, Rosie Thomas made a warm and heart felt Christmas album as only she can do. Some are traditional covers, others are new songs. Works for me and puts me in a holiday mood.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A cold swim

I guess I will write about a little incident that happened this weekend so years from now I can reflect and maybe laugh a little.
Since Wah-Wah's birthday in Aug, I have discovered the joys of kayaking. With all the rivers and lakes around here, Oregon has plenty of places to kayak. I have found kayaking to be a very relaxing hobby.
Recently, I bought a hard shell kayak that I really wanted to use before the rainy season sets in around here. Last Saturday seemed like everything was going to fall into place. I just got a roof rack for the car installed and the skies were clear. So I took my new kayak down to the Williamette River (this is the main river that runs through Portland). As I was out on the water, I noticed that the river changed drastically from earlier in the year. First, the water level was much higher and there was much more debris in the water (due to all the recent rain we've had).
I ended up paddling pass Ross Island and into downtown Portland before I decided it was time to head back. Little did I realize that going back was going to be against a tough current. By the time I passed Ross Island again, I was exhausted. Next thing I know, I hit a current that started to turn the kayak side ways and I was in the water. I didn't see that coming.
Once a kayak flips, you can't get back in without taking it to land. With all the water, in the boat, I was lucky my kayak didn't totally sink.
Anyway, I was in the water for about 10 mins. I have to say that the water was pretty chilly. It was at least in the 40's. Thank God a boat came by and tossed me a line and then pulled me and my kayak to shore. They gave me a towel and said I better take off my wet clothes before I catch hypothermia. I told them I'd rather catch hypothermia before I get undressed in front of everyone. They also led me use their cell phone to call Wah-Wah and bring me some dry clothes.
Amazingly, my cell phone still works after being in the water for so long. Unfortunately, my ipod wasn't as lucky (at least I had an excuse to go buy a newer one). I also noticed my body has been pretty sore for a few days. I guess it was from all the treading water.
I've learned a few things from this experience. First, never bring electric devices on a kayak. Second, stay off the water till the summer. Lastly, God was watching over me that day.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Oct. Music

Oct was a great month for music. 9 new albums! Kind of made up for all those months of nothing.

Snow Patrol A Hundred Million Suns My favorite new album this month comes from Snow Patrol. A couple of years ago, they released a great album Eyes Open which was my favorite of that year. I thought that would be a hard album for them to top, but turns out they did with this release. Recorded out in the remote Irish country side and in downtown Berlin, the album blends the two worlds together nicely, by offering both deep thought and chaos. Lots of "ready for radio" tunes that fans from their past couple of albums will love.

Jesus and Mary Chain The Power of Negative Thinking I love that title. Jesus and Mary Chain were one of the coolest bands ever. They practically invented "noise rock"
and turned pure feedback into song. Best of all was their "I don't give a crap attitude." They eventually broke up about a decade ago and have slowly begun to reemerge. The 88 songs here are all B-sides and outtakes from their years together. Some of the songs are unnecessary and can be found on some of their imports, other songs are just crap and should remain unheard. The third disc here has most of the unreleased gems that I haven't heard before and are worth owning. Mary Chain fans would love it.

Starflyer 59 Dial M Another great album this month was from Jason "Can't fail" Martin. Jason has been on a roll lately putting out great album after great album. Dial M continues to blow away expectations. Most of the songs here have been on his "vinyl only" Ghost of the Future series, but more polished up. After listening, it's hard to believe that Starflyer isn't selling out stadiums.

Keane Perfect Symmetry Like Snow Patrol, Keane has often been called a "knock off" Coldplay band, but the two bands are moving in different directions lately. The songs here are a little retro 80's sounding. Keane really knows how to write some catchy tunes which they continue, just with a more retro sound. Still very grand sounding like most of Keane's albums, just a little different direction.

Mowgai The Hawk Is Howling Yes, that is a eagle on the cover, not a hawk. I have to admit, that after seeing them live a few years ago, I've kind of lost interest in this post rock band. Their latest album, peaked my interest in them again. This is a vast improvement from their last album, Mr. Beast. Like all Mogwai albums, this is filled with songs that spiral upwards, before exploding at the climax of the composition, before droning out with a guitar. Like always, cool names for songs: "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" and "I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School".

The New Frontiers Mending Bought this album on a whim, when I heard some of it on Facebook. Sort of an appealing middle America- post Coldplay band would best describe them. Unfortunately, there will be no follow up, since the band just quit.

The Cure 4:13 Dream It is always a big deal to me when the Cure put out a new album. The Cure were one of the first bands I ever got into, and are probably in my top 5 favorite bands of all time. After a long break, the Cure returned this year with a new marketing tactic- releasing a new song every month for half a year. I found this tactic kind of annoying by teasing the fan with samples of the album way before it's release. This is more up tempo than anything they have ever done. The songs are there, but over all it is not as focused as their best albums.

Oasis Dig Out Your Soul I really don't know why I still get their albums. Oasis is way past their heyday, and frankly, they are a bunch of jerks. I guess I'm still living in the past, when Oasis were a bunch of jerks, but they at least had really good music. Oasis doesn't do anything new on Dig Out Your Soul but they at least revisit some of their finest moments on a couple of the songs here. It is better than I expected.

The Radio Dept. Lesser Matters A few months ago, I really started to get into this band, and find their lo-fi, fuzzed out, brand of indie rock genius. Not very popular around the states, so I've had to resort to buying everything off itunes. This is their first album. Really relaxing to listen to.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Activities

I've never actually liked the holiday of Halloween that much. I think I cared too much what people thought of my costume and the fact that I really just never ate a lot of candy. I do look forward to the fall however. I love the cooler weather, the cider donuts, and the pumpkin patches. This year, we did our usual round of pumpkin patches with the kids.

Here is Woogy at Lee Farms, just outside Portland. Love their cider donuts.

Here is Nibbles doing her favorite thing in the whole world-- ride a horse (or a"moo" as she still says). Nibbles will absolutely throw a fit if she doesn't ride one when she sees it. Maybe we should just buy our own.

Saturday night, I took Woogy out to Fantasy Trails (about 45mins south of Portland). I found it pretty charming. Wasn't too scary and it was geared towards little kids. It also doubles as a X-mas village in Dec.

On Sunday we went to Leoipold Farms (half way to Mt.Hood). I spent my Saturday there with some foster kids, and decided that my own kids would like it too. Of course, they had horses that Nibbles had to ride. 5 bucks for less than a 5 min ride. Like I said, it might be cheaper to buy our own horse.

I remember when I had to push Woogy on these tricycles. Use to hurt my back. Now he can peddle himself.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sept.'s Music

It would appear as if the economy has effected my music shopping habits. Only 4 new albums this month. Unlike the economy however, I'm optimistic that Oct will be pretty good with new albums from the Cure and Keane on the way. As if anyone cared, here is my albums of Sept:

Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Yes, the band that opened for Coldplay all those years ago put out this album last year, and I finally got around to listening to it. It's not too bad. Surprisingly, it has a real 70's disco vibe to it that works surprisingly well. Many of the band's core following didn't really care for this last effort, but I enjoyed it more than watching them play before Coldplay.

Camera Obscura Let's Get Out of This Country My big discovery this month was this band from Scotland often associated with Belle and Sebastian. The songs are amazingly tender ballads that can break your heart with the slightest twist or vocal harmony. Has a nice old "girl group" harmony going on here that brings you back to the 60's. Simply enchanting.

Bell X-1 Flock Having been out several years in Ireland, it took this album another three years to hit the states. That's the problem with liking music from other parts of the world. Pretty good debut, but nothing earth shattering. I would draw comparisons to Snow Patrol (which isn't bad, it's just no Radiohead or Coldplay ) Supposedly they are one of the biggest bands to come out of Ireland in a while.

Radio Dept. Pulling Our Weight EP My favorite new band lately is Radio Dept. coming also from Scotland. Not a true "shoegazer" band, but definitely influenced by the sound. Mixing light and airy vocals to shoegazer distortion turned down a few notches. The result is not as hard on the ears as a real shoegazer album. Radio Dept. only has released a couple of albums over a decade, but have put out a handful of EPs . Pulling Our Weight is a good mix of their pop sensibilities and their creativeness.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Challenging job

Sometimes we have to live with the decisions we make, and right now I'm beginning to question if it was wise to leave my job at Trillium for my new job at Kerr. Let me clarify that I don't hate my new job, but it is more difficult than I could have imagined. My job at Trillium was pretty cushy compared to my new one.
I can't possibly count how much time I'm spending doing paper work. In fact, that is a majority of my job. Every time I feel like I'm beginning to get it, more papers comes my way that I have to learn.
One of the things I need to work on is some organization. My office is a mess. And it seems like when I start to get a head, more paper work comes down.
On top of the endless paperwork, there is documenting the endless paper work. Basically, one document seems to produce another. On top of being a desk jockey, I also have to write treatment plans and lead treatment meetings which consist of lawyers (I hate lawyers), as well as other professionals. Then there is the reports and the psychological testing. Some reports I don't mind, but I've never written a comprehensive assessment before (those are usually done by people above my pay grade).
With all this paper work, I don't actually see much of the children that I'm there to help. My home visits are basically interviewing and going over paper work with the foster parent. Most of my clients don't have a clue who I am.
I guess I'm just venting because this week has been pretty rough. I've put in well over 40 hrs. and even missed Woogy's first open house. But I'm hanging in there. I don't like to back down from a challenge.
Things sure have changed around here. Between getting the kids to where they need to go and having to get to work a lot earlier, I've given up shaving (since I don't have the time).
My coworkers say that it will get easier as I learn and go along, but they could just be saying that so I don't run out of the office screaming. I don't mind keeping busy, but this is a little of an over kill. I think the days of blogging during half the work day are over.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My new job and other things

Things have been kind of hectic around here with Woogy starting kindergarten, Nibbles returning to preschool and me starting a new job as a Case Manager at Albertina Kerr.
I've tried to "hit the ground running" at my new job only to find a lot of barriers that are a little frustrating. One of the problems I have is that I have no space yet. The employees that were suppose to move out, still haven't, so I've got no place to sit yet. Also, I have no computer or phone access yet, making it difficult for me to do my job. Perhaps the biggest frustration is that I haven't been cleared to start seeing kids yet because my finger prints haven't come back yet. HR says that this can take several weeks to months to be cleared Of course, I've been working with kids for 10 years now, and this is the first time I've been told that I haven't cleared to work. I guess there is nothing worse than starting a new job only to find out that they aren't ready for you yet.
From what I can tell, my new job seems more challenging. I guess this is a good thing since my job at Trillium wasn't very challenging. After a while, it seemed pointless to have a degree. Hopefully this will be a nice balance. Ironically, I already know a lot of staff over at Kerr. Most of them were former co workers or are in some way are related to someone I've worked with. Seems to be a small world.
In other news, Woogy seems to be enjoying his new school. All the schools around here have an all day kindergarten and a relatively cheap after school program. Woogy attends the after school program just a couple days a week when Wah-Wah gets home from work a little later.
My own kindergarten experience was rather traumatic since my kindergarten teacher was rather abusive (she was later fired after I left) so I think I was more anxious about Woogy starting school than he was. So far so good. He seems to be enjoying it. I guess that is all I can ask for.
I'm also a little anxious about Nibbles's starting school. Her preschool is a little far, and with my new job, it is a little difficult for me to get her there. The other option is that she takes the bus. Somehow, I just don't see Nibbles getting on a bus without me, nor do I want to traumatize her by making her. Since everyone at my job knows me, they are understanding and say that I can flex my time. Hopefully Wah-Wah and I can work something out.

Monday, September 01, 2008

August Music

In case nobody checks out my music on Facebook, here's a closer look at what I got this month.

The Verve Fourth This month's big new release came from The Verve. Over a decade ago, they released their last album Urban Hymns containing the song "Bittersweet Symphony" which got them a lot of attention. Urban Hymns is often regarded as one of the best albums of the 90's. But the band members have never got along very well, and following their commercial success, they broke up. Now they released Fourth which is a fair effort, but doesn't come close to achieving what the Verve did on Urban Hymns. Without a doubt, it does have some good tunes, but a lot of the songs drag out to over 8 mins. Too long for a brit pop band. Still, it is good to have The Verve back.

Hem Home Again, Home Again EP I've been interested in Hem for a while now, but haven't been able to get into any of their albums. The lead singer has a beautiful voice and borders on the same gentle sounds of the Innocence Mission, but a little too folksy sometimes. This EP is a pretty good introduction to the band. The lead song "The Part Where You Let Go" is beautifully delivered. The rest of the EP is pretty manageable being only 6 songs.

The High Violets To Where You Are My only shoegazer album this month comes from this local Portland band. They are the biggest shoegazer band in the area. Of course, they might be the only shoegazer band in the area. Best of all, they prove that Portland has got some serious talent outside of the Shins. Very ambient and pop sounding.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Erglova The Swell Season I recently saw the movie "Once" after several people highly recommended it to me. It's a low budget indie flick, staring Glen Hansard (former lead singer of the Frames ) as a vacuum repair man who also is a street performer who meets Marketa Erglova and discover that they musically are a kindred spirit. The movie goes on to show them start to develop a more personal relationship (which ultimately doesn't work) and the struggles of putting a record together. Personally, I liked the movie and the way it showed how artist pour their soul into their music. After watching the movie, I immediately went out and got the soundtrack. It's gorgeous and heart aching all at the same time. Marketa has a beautiful and sweet voice that enhances Glen's arching emotional lyrics.

Elbow Leaders of the Free World After hearing Elbow's latest album The Seldom Seen Kid I decided to go out and check out more from this band. Leaders of the Free World came out a few years ago, and isn't as good as the one before (Cast Of Thousands) or their latest. Elbow tries to get out their political views, but it just doesn't work as well for them as other bands.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Camping and other updates

Like Dust, I've jumped off the bridge. As most of everyone knows by now, I'm on Facebook. Please bare with me while I try and figure out all that Facebook offers. I must say that I was pretty surprised to see nearly everyone I know on it. Friends in Iowa, Kansas, and Oregon are all on it. Everyone I know seems to have "jumped off the bridge."
I guess I like "user friendliness" of blogger, but Facebook offers a lot more. I particularly like the music section "social tunes." What a great way to talk to others about music and rate your albums.

In other news, I turned in my two weeks at Trillium today. It was a tough decision. I usually haven't been given much of a choice on leaving a job. Either I'm told to leave or I have to relocate. I really can't understand why some people job hop so much. So in two weeks, I'll start at Albetina Kerr as a Foster Care Case Manager----wow.

Last weekend was our big camping trip with our home group from church. I guess everyone knows by now, that I'm not a big camper. In fact, my camping trip with Dash, Dust, Dar, and A Forest was my first camping trip. This last camping trip had it's ups and downs however.
First off, the camp site was a 1/4 of a mile away from the cars. I arrived late when it was dark and wandered through the woods for a while until I found it. Anyway, being far from the car made dragging the gear a real pain.
My second problem was that the site had a no camp fire sign. How can you camp without a camp fire?
For Wah-Wah's early birthday present, I brought her a inflatable kayak. Unfortunately, we didn't have a pump that would work on it (one minor mistake). Luckily, Wah-Wah found a guy with the kind of pump we needed and we were able to inflate the kayak.
Here's some pictures of our camping weekend:

This was our camp site at Oxbow Park, just 15 minutes outside of Portland. The bigger tent on the right is ours. It was suppose to be a 4 person tent, but it was awfully tight. I guess it could hold 4 really small people or 4 regular people if they slept on top of each other.
Here is a picture of the Sandy River where we camped at. I think Wah-Wah took this picture since no one else was up this early. I spent Saturday afternoon just laying and relaxing in the river. Sure it was cold, but very refreshing.
Here are some of our fellow campers playing in the river.

Here's Wah-Wah bringing in her kayak after it's maiden voyage down the river. She took Nibbles down the river about a 1/4 of a mile. Apparently Nibbles hated it and screamed the whole time. I guess the kids will sit out on our next kayak adventure. We had to carry that kayak all the way back to the campsite so others could use it. Without a pump, we couldn't deflate it to carry it. I got to go down the river finally at the end of the day.

After getting back from camping, I went to go see Neil Halstead at the Doug Fir. Neil is a great singer song writer whose warm (yet often humorous lyrics) sounded nicely in the "log cabin" atmosphere of the Doug Fir. Neil's sound was pretty stripped down to just the basics. He even played a few tunes from his band- Mojave 3.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Big decisions

I'm not good at making decisions. I've never liked making big decisions and I never will. I'd like to think of myself as a "risk taker", but I'm fooling myself. Being indecisive is something that runs in my family as well. I remember growing up, we would argue for hours on where to eat that we always ended up at McDonald's. It took my brother years to decide to get into the medical field. It even took me a long time to decide to have another child and even longer to decide if I wanted to move to Oregon. Tonight, I'm agonizing over another fork in the road.
A few weeks ago at work, my old supervisor called me and suggested I interview for a case manager position at a agency known as Albertina Kerr (where she now works). After secretly going through the interview, I received an offer this morning. However, the offer wasn't for substantially more money. It was for a little better than what I'm doing now, but not enough to make it an easy choice.
I called Wah-Wah about the offer, and she said that if I'm really unhappy at my current job at Trillium, I should take it, otherwise it may not be worth the extra drive (it is approximately 7 miles away vs Trillium at a nice 3). I called back my supervisor and said that I would pass.
As the day went on, I began to question myself if I had made a mistake. I don't hate my job at Trillium but I know there are big changes coming down the pike (such as smaller office space). I then remember saying in the interview that I wanted to get back into case work and to have more control over a child's case. Currently, I'm in the dark about where my cases are going while others above me steer the direction of the case.
I called back my old supervisor and said that I was reconsidering and asked for a little more time to decide. She assured me that she wasn't in a hurry- but the sooner the better. I guess part of me is torn with where my loyalties are. Kerr has stolen a big portion of Trillium's business and many former staff. I also hate to have to tell the kids that I work with that I would be leaving. A lot of them, I've grown attached to and I don't want to just be another adult who says "good bye" to them.
I ask myself repeatedly if I would regret turning down a chance to get back to doing what I've always done, or would I leave a relatively stable situation for a bad situation?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

July's Music

I guess you could say it was slow month for music, with not as many good releases as in the last few months. I took the opportunity to get some stuff I put off for a while.

Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid This month I rediscovered the critically acclaimed band: Elbow. I say "rediscovered" because I bought their album Cast Of Thousands a few years ago and had a hard time taking it in. It was one of those "hard to listen" albums that isn't immediately accessible. The Seldom Seen Kid (their latest) is a little more "listener friendly" and pulled me right in. With strange musical textures and with some immediate pop song chorus, this is a pretty big sounding album and deserves a listen. Great art mope rock. I also reconnected with Cast Of Thousands and began to appreciate it more. I guess some music, you just can't give up on.

Neil Halstead Oh! Mighty Engine The only new release this month that I found was the second solo album from the lead singer of Mojave 3. Neil Halstead is a excellent song writer and the last Mojave 3 album Puzzles Like You, was a excellent (and surprisingly upbeat) album. Here, he works pretty much by himself and strips the sound down even farther. Even though he's not backed by much of a band, his songs still have the great hooks that makes Neil's music so great. He will be in Portland in a few weeks.

The Charlatans UK Wonderland I have always kind of liked the The Charlatans since I bought their first album back in 1990. The problem with these britpop survivors are their albums are pretty inconsistent. Sometimes they are OK, other times they stink. Wonderland was probably their best effort since the early days. They just released a new album and ended up giving it away on their website. I didn't find it worth my time.

Panda Riot She Dares All Things Another "indie shoegazer" band recommended to me from itunes. Sounds like a lot of the other shoegazer bands that sound like My Bloody Valentine. A fairly young band that uses the "fuzzed out" guitars with the breathy female and a drum machine. We'll see what the future holds for them.

The Daysleepers Drowned In a Sea Of Sound You guess it, another "indie shoegazer" band from itunes. I think at this point, I'll take a little break from the shoegazer sound-- perhaps a couple of weeks. Anyway, these guys have the endorsement of "shoegazer founder"- Robin Guthie (Cocteau Twins), as well as Neil Halstead (Slowdive) and that has got to count for something. This NY band knows their influences and have a pretty impressive debut.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pictures from Kickball

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we had the annual Imago Dei Kickball. Here are the pictures:

We were the Super Mario team. As you can see, we had lots of props and even a ghost from Super Mario 3.

Here is me and Woogy holding a mushroom. They always have a snow cone machine on hand that is very refreshing after playing kickball all day.

Here we are playing against the Scots (or the Bravehearts). This was the team that sent us home finally after 6 games of kickball.

Woogy made a friend during the final game and started playing with my mustache. Can't wait till next year.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend in Seattle

This weekend, we celebrated our 8th anniversary/ my birthday-- by spending the weekend in Seattle. My parents came up and watched the kids for the weekend (although I don't think they will do again. Our kids are pretty hard to manage if you don't have the energy) so Wah-Wah and I could visit a city we've been wanting to see since we moved to the northwest. So Wah-Wah and I left early Saturday morning and drove three north to the Emerald City.

This is Seattle's skyline as scene from a boat. I didn't realize that Seattle is actually about 80 miles from the ocean. According to Google, Seattle also gets more rain fall than Portland (only by a couple of inches). I didn't think that any place got more rain than Portland. We lucked out this weekend with not a cloud in the sky.

Our first stop was the Seattle Aquarium. Since my parents volunteer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, we get in that one for free, but this one we had to actually pay for. It was nice for the diver to pose with Wah-Wah.
The highlight of the aquarium was this real life "Marlin and Dory" from Finding Nemo. It was just like watching the movie-- but in real life. I guess I just don't get that excited in aquariums anymore.

After spending a couple hours in the aquarium, we went on a harbor cruise on this delightful ship.

We got a pretty good view of the city from the boat. Here is of course, the Space Needle. Just to the left of the Space Needle, up on the hill side, Frasier Crane lives. Actually, I learned that only one episode of "Frasier" was filmed in Seattle.

After getting off the boat, Wah-Wah and I rushed over to the monorail and rode it to the Space Needle where we had a dinner reservations at 5:15. Eating in the Space Needle is an experience. The restaurant rotates once every 45 minutes. I took the picture above on our second time around. It's pretty cool that you can get up and go to the bathroom then come back and your table is gone to the other side of the restuarant.

Here we are at dinner. Unfortunately, due to a late lunch, I wasn't very hungry. However, they have very little on the menu for under $30, so I ended up eating an Alaskan Grilled Halibut. It was delicious. In 8 years of marriage, we have never had such an expensive meal. I think we ended up spending over $120. Can't afford to do that but once a decade.

On Sunday, we took the bus to Pike's Place Market. It is a pretty famous area in Seattle with about everything. Lots of fresh produce, ethnic food, arts and crafts, music, and Starbucks. Yes, this is hollowed ground. This is the first Starbucks--ever. Sadly, I already had my coffee at the motel, so I didn't need another.

Another great discovery down the corner was this bakery that sold gluten free muffins. We had to stop here twice for some treats for Wah-Wah.

Our last stop in Seattle was at the Science Fiction Museum/Experience Music museum. This was a pretty cool building next to the Space Needle where visitors paid one price and got into both museums. We went to the Sci Fi Museum first. We saw lots of replicas of from Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, etc. I enjoyed this since it was a history of Science Fiction- from Jules Verne to George Lucas. Unfortunately, cameras were not permitted, but I still took the picture of Yoda with my flash turned off. I can be such a rebel sometimes.
You would think that a music buff like myself, would dig the Experience Music museum, but I didn't really find it that interesting. The first half was devoted all to Jimi Hendrix. I'm well aware of Jimi's status in music, but I never had to patience's for his 20 minute jams. Upstairs, was jam area where you got music instruction on being in a band. Finally, towards the end, they had a area devoted to the Seattle scene of the 1990's. I did enjoy this area with such displays from Nirvana and Pearl Jam. I would have preferred a U2 section.