Thursday, July 08, 2004

I still haven't managed to send out the link to this log--ack! I have, however, been busy, and not only working and attending class: I am battling an ant invasion in my kitchen. So far, I have great hope that the organic homebrew anti-ant potion I found on the web (Dr. Bronner's soap and oil of cloves) will be effective, but I'm reserving judgment, and the right to run out and buy ant traps, for a while yet.

I hope you are are well, and pest-free. If you have any ant warfare tips, let me know.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

I've posted pictures of the household (including a rather silly one of me) as a quick-and-dirty webpage. Don't worry, I'm not really planning to take over the world.
Hmmm. It appears to have been a good thing that I never managed to send out the link for this log back in April.

Many things have happened since April. Perhaps the most surprising is that I've managed to make a decision about my future: I'm going to apply to the UW Master's in Urban Planning program next February. This has kept me very, very busy, especially as I somehow managed to skate through my entire undergraduate career without taking a single one of the six prerequisites for the program. This Summer, I'm taking an economics class from a 22-year-old and revisiting the algebra I haven't studied in nearly as long as my econ instructor has been alive. In the Autumn, it will be introductory statistics and an American government class; in the Winter, a math class; and in the Spring and Summer, some sort of coursework in environmental systems and cultural diversity. So far, I'm enjoying it all--even the math.

I'm also starting to get involved with the Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, a local Public Development Authority. I'm not sure whether housing issues will be a particular focus of mine yet, but I walked by one of their new project development sites (on Harvard and Denny) and was shocked to find that they weren't just planning to bulldoze the existing buildings and put up vinyl-clad monstrosities instead. I'm looking forward to finding out more about how they do what they do.

In other news: I have a new cat. Feffo is still going strong at 13, but my dear friend Carissa talked me into bringing home a second from the Seattle Humane Society in late May. I'd planned to come home with a four-year-old female tabby, but through circumstances beyond my control I ended up with a six-month-old long-haired Balinese mix, who is an adorable little puff of fur and teeth and claws. I've named her Annushka, which means she gets called "Nush" or "Nou." She runs around scattering fur everywhere, attacking Feffo's tail, ambushing me, and scratching the furniture. It's a good thing she's cute.

I'm still holding up at work, but it's been a rough Spring--just too much work all the time. I have a couple of applications in for new jobs on campus; I'm particularly hoping to hear back from my old haunt, the Department of Philosophy, where I've applied for a job that's similar to mine but less intense. I'll keep you posted.

I do plan to post on a more-or-less regular basis--perhaps once a week. Please do check back to find out what's going on--and if you write me I'll make a concerted effort to write back. I miss you all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

It's taken me a while to succumb to the world of web logs--I'm still far too much of a purist to use "blog," although that may be the next standard to go--but I've been thinking of late that keeping a web log might be a nice way to atone for my sins as a correspondent. When I accidentally clicked on the blogger tool on my google toolbar, it seemed fated to be.

I wouldn't dream of opening this with a whine, but things are messy right now. I'm in the horribly busy season at work, and I'm also sick. To balance out that misery, I should note that I've also just finished reading the best book ever, Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. She comes out swinging--the first sentence reads "This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding"--and proceeds to demolish quite a few of the tenets of planning that were taken for granted in 1958 and are still with us now. It's amazing. I'm reading Christopher Alexander's A Timeless Way of Building now.

And why am I on this urban planning jag? I was inspired by a talk I attended last month about redeveloping Seattle's waterfront, which was sponsored by Allied Arts of Seattle ( It was wonderful to hear planning professionals talking about alternatives to the kinds of big-city development we've seen over the past few decades.

I hope you all are doing well--updates are always welcome!