coraa: (seattle)
Just about thirty seconds ago I posted a post to my local-Seattle filter. If you are local to Seattle (or otherwise want to hear about local-only stuff... which you're welcome to, they just may not be relevant to you), and did not see it, please let me know so I can add you. Or if you saw it and do not want to be on the local filter, also let me know and I will remove you.

If you want to be on it on both LJ and DW (and are not already, or are on one and not the other and want to be on both), make sure you let me know.

coraa: (seattle)
Woke up to this outside the window:

From Snowpocalypse 2010

(Pardon the image quality, it was taken with an iPhone through a window. I'll try to get some better pictures later.)

When I lived in Idaho I haaaaaaaaaaated snow, but somehow the rarity of it in Seattle (we can go years between snowfalls) makes it much more pleasant.


Nov. 11th, 2010 09:32 am
coraa: (seattle)
On a clear day, you can see Mt. Rainier from my office window, off in the distance, rising above First Hill across the lake.

Insert joke here about ha ha, clear day in Seattle. But there's the thing: it's not a binary, on/off, cloudy/clear. There are many days where the mist rolls in, and then the clouds break to shafts of sunlight and burn it off, and then the clouds shift again and turn gold to silver. Days like that, Rainier appears and disappears, a dark perfect mountain shape that's here, then gone to the mists, then here again. Like a fairy mountain, or a mythic land that can only be accessed on certain days or in certain moods.

Today is a fairy mountain day.
coraa: (more food love)
Farmer's market haul! We got a bunch of things: fennel, arugula, green beans, wax beans, carnival squash, acorn squash, blue potatoes, purple viking potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, black Arkansas apples, honeycrisp apples, flavor king pluots, bell peppers, Serrano peppers, gypsy peppers, walnut pain de levain, a whole pink salmon, fresh cranberry beans, and fresh cannellini beans. And a rosemary plant. And twenty pounds of homely heirloom tomatoes for a ridiculously good price (I'll be freezing a lot of them for the winter).

Next week we'll go back to pick up a duck (which I ordered today) and some honeycrisp cider (which ran out before we got to it this week).

For dinner tonight we'll have bread, cheese and apples, followed by an acorn-squash-and-apple soup perked up with a little bit of pepper. And a tasty white wine of some sort.

My trip was wonderful, but it's good to be home!
coraa: (seattle)
So when [ profile] rachelmanija was here, one of the things she said was that I ought to write an urban fantasy about Seattle. (There has been only one that I know of, Megan Lindholm's Wizard of the Pigeons, and that was published back in the 80s. Seattle has changed a lot since then, in a lot of ways.) I think that's a great idea, actually, especially since Seattle is Seattle: green and silver, full of mists and rain, surrounded by water, divided into dozens and dozens of little neighborhoods each with their own culture, navigated by tangled and winding streets, fringed by moss and lichen, and chock full of eccentricities. It's a city that looks westward over the water, but sees, not the distant haze of the sea-horizon, but the long green tongue of a peninsula that is so thick with growth that it merits the name "rainforest." If you look another way, you can see a beautifully arched and snowcapped mountain that just might, someday, blow its top. If you look a third way, you can see the weird alien-landing spire of the Space Needle. At Pike Place Market you can buy fruit and greens and fireweed honey and handmade quilts and grains of paradise and amethyst beads and fish that fly through the air. In the International District you can go to the summer nightmarket and eat food on sticks and shop for nori and long beans and small plastic figures of Edward Elric. At Gas Works Park you can fly a kite on a hill that stands beside a huge rusty steampunk-esque gaswork. On Alki Beach once a year you can stand on the shore of the Sound and see the pirates come in.

(I am rather fond of Seattle, can you tell?)

It's also a city with its share of gloom and black coffee; it's the home of grunge music for a reason. It's not so much a city that rains every day as one that could rain every day, the clouds low and soft for weeks at a time. And these days it's a tech city, Microsoft and Amazon and an ever-changing fuzz of startups. It's a city infamous for the Seattle Chill, which is not its cold damp climate but its tendency for inhabitants to keep themselves to themselves. It's a beautifully imperfect city, and it's a city full of soft-edged boundaries: between day and night, rain and sun, cloud and sky, mist and clear, land and water, sea and shore, Wallingford and Fremont, Belltown and Downtown and First Hill and Capitol Hill. It's a city where the street goes one way and then another and you get lost and suddenly come around a corner and see the broad silver expanse of a lake.

In other words, I think it's a perfect setting for urban fantasy.

I don't want to do vampires-and-werewolves urban fantasy, mostly because it doesn't interest me. And though Bordertown and War for the Oaks are of the kind of urban fantasy that I love, I don't think I want to do hidden faeries, either.

Instead, what I'm thinking of doing is urban fantasy like the Mabinogion. (No, that doesn't mean faerie fantasy.) What I mean by that is: in the Mabinogion, as with a lot of medieval fiction, strange things happen. There are people and beings with odd powers and odder restrictions; there are secret rules and hidden things, and a world that's a half-step away from ours. There are things you can see if you know how to look—or are taught how to look—or are cursed with being unable to look away.

In other words: I don't want to copy the mythological and folkloric figures of medieval tales, I want to copy the feel and create my own figures. No faeries, but numinous creatures and unusual mortals that are all Seattle, not transplants. And strange mist-elusive magic.

I'm not sure how doable that is. But I want to try. Perhaps I'll start with some flash fiction or short fiction and work my way up.
coraa: (rain)
Sumer may be icumen in, but it's Seattle, so rain is icumen in with even more gusto.

(Weather this year = extremely weird. We had the mildest January and February on record, I believe, with springlike temperatures and the fruit trees blooming well before schedule, but we're making up for it now with the coolest June on record: it hasn't even hit 75F yet this year, and usually we get that high by the first week of June at least. I believe it's an El Niño year, which, if past years are any indication, means that if it starts to rain multicolored frogs everyone will just nod sagely and say, "Ah, El Niño." Ah, well: fortunately, I do like rain. I wonder what an early bloom followed by a long, wet spring will do to the apple trees?)

Today I need to:

to-do list: )

And, just to keep things positive:

to-done list: )
coraa: (rain)
One thing about Seattle: you either love the grey weather or you don't, and I think that correlates well with whether you will love the climate or hate it. Because it rains a lot, as everyone knows, but even beyond that it's grey a lot -- days, weeks, months will pass where the rain comes and goes but the sky is always overcast, where there is always the promise of rain even if days go by without any actual rainfall.

Some people can't abide that; some people need sun. I am, absolutely, not going to judge that. I love sun and clear skies as much as I do grey (I was perfectly at home in Southern California for the seven years I lived there, and indeed anyone who tells me that Los Angeles doesn't have "real" weather or "real" seasons will get a fierce argument out of me), but I can't abide the cold, and cannot be happy in a place that has long frozen winters. I have tried; it does not suit me; it leaves me miserably depressed. So I know that happiness can have a great deal to do with whether a climate is good for you or not.

But I like the grey. I love the grey. I like how many different kinds of grey there are. Right now, outside the window, the sky is a high clear silver color, almost white, and shining. You can see bare black branches against it in the distance, and closer-to the yellow fading to brown of the chestnut tree, and even closer, the green and red of the holly tree. The sky is high and silver and no rain falls, and it gives an intense but quiet light almost like moonlight but much more potent, and it's beautiful.

Earlier the sky was low and darker grey, like cat's fur, and it was raining, fat steady drops. And yesterday there was fog, so that you couldn't tell near from far or air from sky, and the world was full of mist, not quite rain, not quite dry, so that you never felt a drop on you but you still came home wet if you walked in it. And a few days ago, thunderstorm, with the sky low and close and iron-colored, striated with dark and light, roiling, and the rain slashing downward in hard irregular torrents.

And that's only a few. Last year I did a few earrings based on Seattle weather -- one was called "A Net for Leaves and Rain," another, "Rain Drums" -- and I think it's time for more; I could do a whole series on that theme, and another series on Los Angeles weather.

Also perhaps time for a long walk, with a camera.

EDIT: Since a couple people have asked -- pictures of the earrings! A Net for Leaves and Rain, and Rain Drums.


Sep. 22nd, 2009 08:30 pm
coraa: (tasty science)
If one lives in Seattle and wants to purchase exotic meats -- by which I mean wild boar, venison, squab, partridge, quail, things like that; I don't need crocodile or anything -- where would one go to buy it? I can order online, and I will in absence of a local source, but I do like local where I can. (And if you know a good online merchant for this kind of thing, I'd take that recommendation too!)

(Yes, I could hunt most of those myself, if I were inclined. But I don't want to learn an entirely new hobby just because I want to cook with venison.)

EDIT: Oooooooh, this is the coolest suggestion I've heard for how to dispose of the large quantity of oil that results if you do your own frying. I'll have to see if Uwajimaya stocks it!
coraa: (greenwild)
Well, this morning (well, noonish), [ profile] jmpava and I went to the Ballard Farmer's Market. Market spoils: a bunch of green kale, a bunch of purple kale, a bunch of mustard greens (a variation I'm not familiar with -- the leaves are sort of feathery), a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes and a bag of mixed small potatoes of various kinds (some red, some purple, some white), a bag of carrots, a jar of blackberry-and-wildflower honey, a couple of heads of garlic, a bag of brussels sprouts, some German sausage, a take-n-bake intense dark chocolate cake in a jar (they were giving samples, and oh my goodness, so tasty), a bag of caramel corn, and -- the biggest splurge, but one we've been wanting ever since having tried the samples the first time we went -- a half-pound of wonderfully tender brown-sugar-and-garlic-smoked salmon. They had arugula and cilantro, also, but they looked pretty sad; I'm not sure whether that's because they're not really in season, or if all the good examples got snapped up before we made it to the market. Tonight: pasta tossed with smoked salmon and some kind of green vegetable, in a very light sauce of probably olive oil and garlic and finely-shredded cheese. Possibly with kale chips on the side. I should post my kale chip recipe one of these days.

Then we went to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, which are the locks between Ballard and Magnolia on the ship canal. We walked all around the locks and the gardens, watched a few boats pass through, looked at the fish ladder viewing room (which had basically no fish in it, as this isn't migratory season for any of the major fish types), and had a pretty good time. Smelled like ocean.


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