Miss Black took me around downtown Melbourne yesterday. It’s a great place, clean but a little disorderly, approachable, and very pedestrian. It’s full of sidewalk cafés, arcades built on twisty little passages not the least bit alike, odd little alleys, overhanging awnings. I felt like we could have wandered for days, in, around, over, through, at every corner some new fashion boutique or chocolaterie or art shop.
I took no pictures, despite the bounty of opportunities, because my camera’s charger and spare battery are packed away in my still-absent suitcase. The friendly Qantas agent assures me that it will arrive later this morning – we shall see.
Despite a series of minor mishaps involving delayed flights, extra-special security screenings, and a trip through customs in a country not on my original itinerary, I have arrived safely in Melbourne. My luggage, I have been assured, will follow shortly.
It’s three o’clock, and my plane leaves in four hours. This is probably a good time to start packing.
This will be fun.
I think this was Xisix. Weird glitchy loopy semi-improvised electronica at the Jewelbox.
I feel as though an international trip lasting a little over two weeks ought to require substantial preparation, but I can’t think of anything I need to do beyond packing my suitcase. I usually travel with a small carry-on, and packing involves careful selection of wardrobe, but this time I’m just going to throw everything I might conceivably need into my keyboard flight case and check the whole thing.
Oh, I will need to pack my shiny new iPod with appropriate airplane music, too.
From Make (of course), a clearly written, comprehensive starting guide to building projects with AVR microcontrollers.
There are two web projects I want to undertake after I come back from Australia. First, I want to make more use of my Flickr account, so that the photos I post here go up there, too. Most likely you’d be able to click on the photos here to see larger versions there. I also imagine flickr as a good place to put all the pictures that I like but which don’t necessarily need to show up on my blog.
Second, I want to create a catalog of my creative projects. Making stuff is an important part of my life, and it would be nice to have a more organized record.
This project reimagines the traditional shirt collar as an independent accessory. Fleece lining, silk brocade details, brass closure.
I am back home. Seattle has grown brighter and more springlike in my absence. A bluejay hopped along the balcony railing this morning, as if to inspect my ferns.
A sleek new iPod Nano arrived on Friday – thanks, Nathan, for hooking me up, and Lesley, for being here to receive it. I hopped onto the MP3 bandwagon a good ten years ago, but this is my first portable music player. Packed just so, in its tiny clear case, it feels like a gift from the future.
MJ, Cat, and I watched an episode of “Project Runway” the other night. The competition-show format is a bit overdramatic, but the design work was a lot of fun to watch. The show was so inspiring, in fact, that I bounced off to a bar down the street afterward and spent a couple of hours sketching. This sparked a conversation with the waitress, who asked if I had seen a show called “Project Runway”…
I leave for Australia on Friday. I made up a partial to-do list this morning, and it will be a busy week.
I am holed up in my sister’s friend Cat’s basement, in Brooklyn: a spacious underground lair where time is precise, artificial, and indistinct, weather nonexistent, and the outside world remote. The windows would show me snow, falling steadily and silently, were I positioned to look out of them. MJ is in bed with her leg propped up, recuperating, watching videos. I’m writing code and occasionally running errands.
Later today I have an appointment at the Apple store in Soho; MJ’s laptop has some problem with its speakers. I intend to buy an iPod while I’m there – my first digital music device, in fact – which should keep me sane on the flight to Australia, and serve as a replacement for the Rover’s CD player when I get back.
I had a nice week and a half at home, and now I’m in New York for a week, visiting my sister MJ.
Airtrain from JFK to Jamaica Station, LIRR from Jamaica to Flatbush, subway from Flatbush to Grand Army Plaza, then I walk… makes me feel good to be in a city with a solid transit system. Every time I go through Seatac the new light rail system looks a little closer to completion. The terminal station was all lit up last night, lights blazing up and out, looking swoopy and futuristic and hopeful.
I went to the caucuses yesterday with my housemates. We had a big pre-caucus party, with bagels and coffee, precinct maps, and campaign literature. A dozen of our friends came over and discussed their opinions, and then we all headed over to the caucus location. It was a huge, boisterous, excited, standing-room-only crowd – great to see so many people out putting their energy into a democratic process.
My latest sewing project is a birthday gift for Mez: a kimono-style silk robe, cornflower blue, trimmed with black brocade and lined with eggplant-purple silk. I didn’t have a pattern to work from, so I snuck into his closet and stole some measurements from one of his jackets and improvised from there. The result is a little outside my usual range, but it’s very Mez, and yet somehow very me, too. I didn’t quite get it done in time – the hems are unfinished, and it needs a belt – but I made the formal presentation anyway, and he seemed very pleased.
It’s nice to be home. I took four out-of-town trips last month, ending with back-to-back Austin visits, and now I am ready for some rest. I get to spend a week and a half settled before I fly to New York for a week with MJ.
Once I’m home from that, I’ll have another week to unpack and repack before jetting off to Australia for a two week vacation. Southern hemisphere, late summer: beaches, highways, big coastal city, maybe even some desert. I’ll be landing in Melbourne, meeting up with Stefanie, and taking trips out from there. I plan to drive the Great Ocean Road, go surfing, maybe go explore some of the southern islands.
The Rover is unwell; its engine oozes thin white smoke after it’s been warmed up – some kind of coolant leak. I dropped it off at the shop this afternoon, so I’m back in a rental car for the weekend. This time, I opted for the damage waiver.
As has become usual lately, I stepped off the plane with a batch of new clothing sketches in my notebook. There’s nothing to do on a plane but read or think, and I guess airport people-watching followed by enforced thinking time gets my brain in the right mode for fashion design. I’m spending the evening on a new project: an experiment, with silk and flowing lines.