101 things in 1001 days

10 Albums

As part of my 101 in 1001, I want to do some deep listening to 10 albums. I decided that a meaningful way to select these albums was to ask people around me which albums are especially meaningful/enjoyable to them. I asked people to go with their gut and select one album. Some people clearly have a better understanding of “one” than others, but I’m glad to get the suggestions. I’m not sure which 10 will be the official 10 for the purposes of my goal, but hopefully I’ll ultimately make my way through all of these albums (and more!). I’m also still soliciting suggestions, so feel free to comment with *your* favorite album! See the list after the jump…

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Parks, Part 1

After making my (terrifyingly long) list of Seattle parks the other day, I figured I should get going on actually visiting parks! My boyfriend, T, and I like to take morning walks on the weekends, especially while the weather permits it. So I noticed there was a park within walking distance that I had never heard of or seen. Strange! So we went. It’s called the Ballard Corners Park, and it’s the weirdest little park I’ve ever seen.

Ballard Corners Park

Ballard Corners Park!

Located at the intersection 17th and 62nd NW, the park is meant to commemorate the many corner stores that formed the corner stone (ha. pun totally intended.) of Ballard back in the early 1900s. So we walked over to the park yesterday morning with breakfast sandwiches in hand to find that, lo and behold, there were stools and counters set up like a little soda shop or something.

Perfect for breakfasting

Perfect for breakfasting

There was also this sculpture, I guess I would call it, that looked like a little living room. It was made out of concrete and consisted of a sofa, a chair, and a table with a (non-functioning) lamp.

Just like a living room!

Just like a living room! (I know my couch says SQUAD in giant letters. Doesn’t yours?)

There was also a jungle gym set-up that had the strangest features. A set of monkey bars that twisted so the bars ultimately were vertical (instead of their usual horizontal). Also, a spinny thing that you can climb into and the addition of the body weight allows it to spin seemingly endlessly without effort. I don’t advise the use of this device just after eating, but it’s really cool.

I also managed to stop by the 14th ave NW boat launch. I’m not sure that I’ll really go to more of these boat launch ‘parks,’ but it was kind of lovely (minus the fact that everything was covered in goose dung). I did happen upon a lady playing with her dog there, and walked up just as the dog bounded straight into the water after a ball. Wish I had gotten a little video of that… it was perfectly gleeful.

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Well, that’s it for parks for now! Two down… SO MANY to go!

Teensy Update, No. 70

I made my bed every day for one month! Aside from the instances of putting fresh sheets on the bed, it took only about 10-30 seconds each morning! I found that once I was doing it daily, I stopped my cycle of turning my bed into a whirlpool of blankets. Also, like everyone who started making their bed ever has said: yes, it really does make the room feel cleaner and less cluttered. It’s true. So, hooray for no. 70: make my bed every day for one month! I think this one’s a keeper.

No. 01: Make 10 things from pinterest

This entry could easily also be titled: No. 01: Be a Total Cliche. But I’ve been pinning things for awhile and it’s high time I started actually making them. I’ll plan on updating this entry as I attempt the various pins, because no one needs a whole post on one recipe or organizational method.

Anyway! Here goes.

Number 1/10: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole
This was a relatively easy recipe to make. I was totally craving something Mexican-inspired with black beans and sweet potatoes, and this just required chopping and baking. Easy. My thoughts for future recipe use: definitely dice the potatoes small (or plan on baking longer). Also: less cinnamon, and add some cayenne pepper and cumin. Perhaps tortilla chips, or a hard tortilla shell would be better than the soft tortillas. I love some good crunch. Tasty, though.

 

Number 2/10: Strawberry Drinking Vinegar
Relatively recently I went to an amazing meal via this cool new app called Dyne. During the meal we were served this super refreshing, absolutely delicious drink made from purple shiso leaves, vinegar, and some other tasty things. I couldn’t stop thinking about the drink and how a fruity vinegar drink is kind of the ideal beverage for me: refreshing and light, sweet but not cloying. Anyway, I found this recipe on pinterest and decided to give it a go. It’s maybe 30 minutes worth of effort: you have to use a food processor and make some simple syrup, but it’s easy. And it turned out super tasty! Even the boyfriend and my housemates were pleased with the result. Here’s some picture proof!

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Number 3/10: Coleslaw
Recently some friends and I had a great October dinner of pulled pork sandwiches and dunkel beer. I was in charge of sides, and promptly decided that coleslaw would be a perfect mate for the meal. This straightforward and tasty recipe totally did the job. It maybe took me a little longer to prep than the recipe said (prepping veggies always takes longer than I expect!), but was still rather quick. Next time maybe I’ll slightly cut back on the mayo, or possibly up the amount of cabbage. (It’s also possible I did not use enough cabbage as I didn’t measure; I just used what was on hand.) Also, selecting a pepper with a hint of heat would probably be awesome, but even the bell pepper gives it a nice, crisp freshness.
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Number 4/10: Berry Rosemary Cocktail
I loved this one! A friend decided to have a cocktail party for her birthday where some basic liquors were provided (gin and whiskey), and everyone invited was asked to bring some kind of ingredient with which to make a cocktail. There were some excellent cocktails made throughout the night, I can vouch! A highlight for me was suddenly declaring that I wish someone would make a cocktail with egg whites (a favorite of mine), and immediately being given the leftovers for a delicious whiskey sour that had just been made! Perfection. Anyway, this recipe was simple and I liked it. Sweet, but not cloying. Herbal. Some tasters would have preferred it be strained, but I liked the berry chunks. I almost forgot that the recipe called for simple syrup (which I had to make), but otherwise it was incredibly quick & easy. Two thumbs up!
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Number 5/10: Sweet Dreams Baby Afghan
This was a true labor of love. Two of my first-cousins-once-removed (what a mouthful) each had a baby recently! They are adorable and I wanted to make them a little something to welcome them into the world. As I’ve been on a bit of an afghan kick and have been wanting to learn to make granny squares, I chose this pattern that little Harrison seems to enjoy 🙂 Things I learned in the process of making this: however much you want to be done with the project, do NOT cut your ends super short to avoid weaving them in (even though granny squares leave you with approximately 50 billion ends). They will come undone and the whole thing will start to unravel just creating MORE WORK. Ughhh. I was so mad, and the only person I could be mad at was myself. Bah. Here’s a baby to cheer us all up:

Baby Harrison and his mama

Baby Harrison and his mama

 

Number 6/10: Da Bomb Deviled Eggs
I was invited to a super fun Friendsgiving, and as the hostess expressly requested deviled eggs (and no one had yet taken on that job), I nominated myself. I had never made them before and was concerned that I wouldn’t do them justice. (I am an accomplished deviled egg eater, but that doesn’t mean I could recreate the magic.) Anyhow, this recipe was fairly easy. It came out a bit sweet to my taste, which I mitigated by adding a bit more vinegar and going with a dijon mustard (instead of honey mustard). After making these I vowed I would never eat eggs again (a total lie), and my house smelled like so many farts, but the deviled eggs got gobbled up pretty quickly so it was definitely a success! No pics because I was too slow, and mad at them for being so eggy, and then they were gone.

 

Number 7/10: 10-minute spinach lasagna
The name of this recipe is a bold-faced lie, but it was totes delicious and that’s what counts. There’s not much to share about this other than it was super tasty, straightforward, and made me significantly less hungry after I ate it. Boom.

 

Number 8/10: DIY Pillowcase Tote
Not that long ago I acquired a sewing machine. I think when I was in middle school I technically learned to use one in Home Ec and made a horrific apple pillow with a felt worm coming out of it. It looked something like this, but bigger and horribler. Anyhow. I have not touched a sewing machine since, and I wanted and easy project to start. This one seemed easy, but as I was not at a point where sewing in a straight line was in my skill-set, it was a bit harder than I anticipated. Also, the instructions seemed to leave out some steps… or perhaps I’m just a big dummy (equal likelihood, frankly). My favorite part of this project was that when I first finished it looked SO UGGO and ill-proportioned, and I was able to troubleshoot and make it significantly less awful. Yay for me! Plus, it holds things! That’s basically the whole purpose of a bag anyway. Check it out, below:

 

 

Number 9/10: Chunky Feather and Fan Crochet Afghan
This was a fun one to make! Once I got the hang of the pattern, it came together really quickly. I totally enjoyed working with a huge hook (it made me feel like an little kid using a giant crayon), and as I was making this for my grandmother who first taught me how to knit, it was also meaningful. For some reason I had some difficulty keeping the number of stitches the same on each row, but ultimately I kind of gave up and just made sure it looked right. Details – pah!

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Number 10/10: Crochet Grocery Bag
This turned out to be a one-day project, which I looooved. The pattern was easy to follow, and it came together quickly. And it’s actually making me want to go grocery shopping so I can see how much I can fit into this absurdly stretchy bag! If the bag ends up working out well, I might make others for myself/friends because I have a ton of this orange yarn left over from another project.
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No. 23: Officiate a Wedding!

This past weekend I officiated a wedding! When I added this to my 101 things in 1001 days post I knew it was going to happen, so I’m not sure if that’s cheating, but it is such a momentous thing that I thought it merited being on the list. I kind of still can’t believe it’s over, and my mind is sort of a jumble of thoughts and feelings that I haven’t fully sorted out. Thus, I will apologize ahead of time for the discombobulated nature of this post, but here are some assorted thoughts, feelings, and pictures from the wedding weekend!

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Taking my oath to legally pronounce the marriage in Yolo county, Californa! Seriously. YOLO. You can call me Commissioner Bakst. (Picture from SS)

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The bride making love to the camera. Also utilizing the genius post-it trick to collect fallout (?). Is that what it’s called?

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DAS HOUSE GETS MARRIED! (Picture from SA)

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The gorgeous bride, F, and her lovely and wonderful best friend. (Picture from AM)

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Me and my main man, T! We’re all fancified.

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Oh, just for fun here’s me being a creeper with my housemate at the airport.

 

Those are the few pictures I collected of the weekend (and some of those weren’t even mine)! I haven’t been involved in (or even invited to) all that many weddings, but one thing that struck me about this one is that in all the prep the few days before, in all the speeches that were made, in all the things I heard wedding guests saying, everyone was just so full of love for the couple, and so invested in their happiness. Each person did so much to make the wedding go smoothly. And B and F (groom and bride, respectively) were champions. They managed their stress like bosses and did an amazing job of being present with their guests while still enjoying themselves (or at least I’d like to think they enjoyed themselves!).

I have to say that being an officiant was both amazing and amazingly difficult. I was the only one who knew the whole ceremony beforehand. I wrote my own introduction to the ceremony, and helped write and edit most other parts of the ceremony from the marriage pledge and pronouncement to the community vow. I helped make sure that readers prepped their speeches and gave the bride and groom feedback on their vows. It was an amazing thing to be part of. I also sang two songs (and played guitar) for the processional!

Standing up at the front watching F come down the aisle toward B was a beautiful sight. And being able to sing to them as it happened, and stand up there with them as they read their vows to each other was incredibly meaningful. Frankly, I’m getting teary just thinking about it. But doing all of this stuff was also unbelievably challenging. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety issues (in life in general), and this definitely intensified everything. Adding to that was the ridiculous heat — it was 100 degrees out when we did the ceremony (outside), and being all done up in formal wear, playing guitar, and singing… well, it was daunting. I was also sick. Of course. I had been running a bit of a fever the previous 4 or 5 days, and had also gotten my period. The bottom line is that all of those things conspired to make me incredibly anxious.

I have been seeing a therapist for the last few weeks and I thankfully had an appointment right before I left for the wedding. One of the things we talked about was how my anxiety may be to a point where it is interfering with my happiness and mental health, but it also tells me about what is important to me. Being so anxious about the ceremony makes sense: I value my relationships with F and B, I take marriage and the responsibilities of an officiant seriously, I value my health and my mental well-being… so ideally I can turn the gain down on all this anxiety, but it’s not irrational. It’s just intense.

And ultimately, I did it! And I would like to think that I did it well. I will always be the person that married them, and I am still completely awestruck at that fact. In these days after the wedding I am at once so relieved, happy, and exhausted, and I still cannot believe it’s all over! I wish F + B many years of happiness and health and I cannot wait to see what comes next for them. (Well, literally what comes next is a bomb honeymoon in Hawaii. JEALOUS.)

And with that, Commissioner Bakst out.