Words

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  I love words, whether they are in books or in letters.

I've gotten a lot of exciting things from the library lately.


Get in Trouble by Kelly Link: I have not read this one yet, but I loved Kelly Links other short story collections. She writes short stories that are eerie, mysterious and fantastical. She takes her readers to strange worlds unlike any others.

The Carrier by Sophie Hannah: I love Sophie Hannah's Zailer and Waterhouse series. Her two detectives ongoing life story is just as interesting as the well crafted mysteries she creates. Out of the Zailer/Waterhouse books, this is not my favorite mainly because it was more put-downable then some of her others. When I read Hannah's books, I consistently find myself having much difficultly setting the book aside so I can do other things a person should do in a day. This book, while still interesting, did not suck me into the same degree. But I liked the characters and the plot was very interesting and unpredictable. It is a story about a woman who finds out a man she use to love is in jail for killing his wife. The main character, Gaby, does not believe that Tim, the accused killer, could do such a thing and sets out to prove Tim's innocence.

Authority by Jeff Vandermeer: This is the second in a series by Jeff Vandermeer called 'The Southern Reach'. I loved the first book in the series, 'Acceptance' and talked about it in an earlier post. I haven't yet started this one but I am excited to start reading.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami: I love Haruki Murakami. He not only creates fascinating story plots and intriguing worlds, but his characters are some of the most realistic I have come across. After I am done reading a Murakami book, I really feel like the characters are real people existing in the world somewhere. The Strange Library is a Murakami novella from 2008 in a new paperback accompanied with designs by Chip Kidd. Murakami has such interesting visual imagery that the story worked well accompanied by literal visuals.

I've gotten a lot of exciting things in the mail lately.


   All of these postcards are from postcrossing. Some of these cards are from places really far away like Germany, Russia, New Zealand and even one from the United Arab Emirates. But I also got a postcard from Friday Harbor which is only about 3 hours away from where I live in Seattle. With postcrossing, you never know where in the world your card will come from. It is exciting! 

Windows and Fences

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  Windows and fences are quite similar... they both serve as dividers. Diving the inside world and the outside world, dividing public space from private space.

Windows:


   I don't know what the story is behind this Poseidon, but I like it. He looks like he is protecting the building with the help of his fish and dolphin friend.  Poor Poseidon must miss the sea though. He is staring out at telephone wires and flat roads instead of sea creatures and seaweed rippling in the moving water.



There are lots of broken windows in this neighborhood. There are many ways a window can break, hooligans, confused birds or hailstorms. Who knows how these ones broke. Sometimes it's not worth repairing things though.



Fences:


  I've been seeing stickers with this smiling face all around Seattle for years now. I tried to do an internet investigation about it, to see if the face meant anything. I found no concrete information but I did discover what NBD means. It stands for No Big Deal and it is a Seattle graffiti crew.


A chain link fence with barbed wire protecting a mass of something covered by a tarp. How mysterious! What could be under there? A time machine? A slumbering monster? A submarine? An entrance leading to a magical land? Curiouser and curiouser!



Train Songs

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     A long time ago, I went to a birthday party at a mysterious place. It was a karaoke joint and Asian restaurant, but instead of being in a normal building, it was in a bunch of old train cars that were somehow connected. From the outside, the place was cheerfully colorful and dingy at the same time. On the inside, the place was like a fun house maze full of weird turns, dim lighting and interesting trinkets. Normally, I remember to take my camera with me everywhere, but on this fateful day, I forgot. This was before I had a camera on my phone too, so I could not even take blurry cell phone pictures of the place. This strange place was in a part of Seattle I was never in, somewhere South of downtown. So after that night, I never went there again or even happened upon it. I also never heard anyone talk about it. It was almost as if I had imagined the entire place.
     But recently, I took a different bus than I usually do to work. I got off at a different stop and walked the rest of the way to work on a different path. I was walking down the cracked pavement next to a bland road full of car exhaust. I passed a car wash and an abandoned building and then, there it was! The mysterious karaoke restaurant! I wasn't working where I am now when I went to this place, but it is still funny that the mysterious train car restaurant that I sometimes wondered about was so close to my work.









Glimpsing the Miraclous Sea Goat

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     The miraculous sea goat is a sight to see! He bleats like a goat and splashes around like a merry seal. One is quite lucky to glimpse the sea goat. He is rare. Many people don't even think he exists. But that is exactly what people use to think of the giant squid. The ocean is a vast place, full of mystery and wonder. The sea goat is just one of many of the mysterious creatures that live below the ocean's surface.
    Sea goat's usually have calm, even-mannered temperaments. They are omnivores, feasting on kelp mostly but also on an occasional sardine or other fishy delight. But when threatened, the sea goat is not afraid to strike! He uses his sharp head horns to fend of predators.
   Sea goat enthusiasts are conflicted on weather or not they want real proof of the sea goats existence. On one hand, their devotion to the rare animal will no longer seem like the ravings of madmen, as the creature they are championing will be considered real rather than a mythical beast. On the other hand, as soon as it's existence is proven, it's existence will immediately be in jeopardy. Human's from around the world will try to hunt down the creature for various nefarious reasons ranging from fear of strangeness to a greed driven by a desire to behold that which is wondrous to curiosity for scientific study. Hopefully, the sea goats of the world can live long peaceful lives without human disruption.


Neighborhood Art and The Construction Pit

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I took a walk to the fruit stand today and on my way I found all sorts of interesting things to look at. Some of the interesting things were bursts of creative expression, such as the rock tree, the whale and the stickers on the mail box.







Another interesting thing I saw was the construction pit. A light rail station is being built nearby. This is super convenient, although it won't be up and running for another three years (at least!). There are windows that passer-byers can look through to see what is going on with the construction. The first time I looked through the window, it was night time. It was eerie looking through the window at the empty construction pit. The sight gave me the heebie-jeebies. It is an incredibly deep pit and it looks really lonely down there. It is not so sad looking during the day when the sky is blue and construction workers wearing bright orange or yellow are working away.





Secret Parades and Pretend Mice

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  When I first moved to Seattle, I would get quite a kick out of the strange and interesting things that would surprise me while wandering the city. Once I saw a person in complete Storm Trooper gear marching down the sidewalk. Another time I saw a man dressed up as Super Man, belligerently yelling at everyone who passed him by.
   I think the favorite random surprise I saw while wandering the city was when I was walking with a coworker. It was early in the morning and there were no other people on the street, when we saw about ten to fifteen cops all huddled together. I wondered if perhaps something sinister had just happened and the cops had been called in. But it was quite the opposite! My coworker and I looked further down the street when we saw a parade coming our way! There were about twenty different floats chugging along down the street, with zero audience except us! The floats were amazing and beautiful. A lot of them were set up like little scenes. I remember seeing a tropical island float and a Wild West cowboy float. It was really exciting to be witness to a secret parade. It turns out a real parade was happening further downtown later that day and the parades were moving from where they were built to the parade headquarters. It was pretty cool though!
 Of course, these were all very memorable, but the are always small surprises while wandering the city... like a cute dog or a giant mouse mannequin.












Small Mammal Watching: The New Hit Pastime

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  Bird watching is a popular pastime, but what about small mammal watching? In a city such as Seattle, small mammal watching could be a fruitful endeavor. We have playful rats hiding in bushes or behind trash cans. We have raccoons rummaging through discarded city-person waste. On my blog I already raved about the exciting day I saw a beaver crossing the road. And we have squirrels galore! Squirrels scampering across telephone lines, squirrels leaping from tree branches, squirrels mocking my curious cats as they watch from their windowsill perch.
  There is a small forested area near my home that I recently took a walk in. The highlight of the walk was the adorable squirrel. One guy sat on a branch and ate some delicious morsel while looking toward the sky. That squirrel had character! You could tell he had a sense of humor just by the comical tilt of his head.
  The forest I walked through was lovely though. I saw neat fungal growths and a strange birdcage. It was all very mysterious and fairy-tale like. I walked under two bridges, but I did not see any trolls. I did not see any big-bad-wolves either, although I saw two frisky dogs climbing up a cliff that looked far to steep for them.















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