Feb. 27th, 2009

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1. Chickens
When I was a kid we had a sort of hobby farm with pigs, horses and chickens and I have fond memories of them and of eating farm fresh eggs. A few years ago I found out you were allowed to keep up to three chickens within the city limits, providing you have a certain amount of outdoor space and a coop, or something and I became fixated on the idea of owning a city chicken. There is a community center in town that even offers an urban chicken class to teach you how to keep them. I still like to think that when I retire I will have chickens and maybe a goat. I love the idea of participating in the production of my own food too. It’s something that really clicks with me, although it is hard to do in an apartment, and I think this is a leftover effect from my farm upbringing.

If I had chickens I would give all my friends eggs and I would name one Henrietta after this book we had as kids. And yes I still eat chicken too.

2. Tacoma
I went to college in Tacoma and so spent some of my most formative years there. Tacoma gets a bad rap but I think it is super cool. It has a rad art scene (or it did when I lived there anyway); better thrift stores, two great waterfronts (Ruston and Thea Foss); a gigantic park with a big old growth forest, a logging museum and a zoo with polar bears and beluga whales, neither of which may be found in Seattle (Point Defiance); more of a preservationist attitude towards old buildings than Seattle; and is more affordable overall. You know the crazy-looking gorgeous hotel-turned high school in 10 Things I Hate About You? That’s Stadium High in Tacoma. I like that it is slightly dingier and less polished than Seattle. As Neko Case says, it is the dusty old jewel of the South Puget Sound! All-American City!

3. Pickling
I got into pickling this year as a good basic intro to canning. I like the idea of canning and stocking a pantry and being old-timey with my food (see chickens above). I made a lot fo jam when I was a kid so I thought this would be a good thing to try next. And who doesn’t like pickles, right? Well. I have a confession. The pickles we made did not turn out super awesome. They are all kind of mushy! I don’t know what I did wrong. I have to try again next year. Meh!

4. Poetry
I just saw Donald Hall read a couple weeks ago and he spoke of how at age 14 he chose to dedicate himself to poetry and never looked back. Well I wish I could share a similarly-romantic story but in truth I discovered poetry by accident. I always looked down on it as a forum for angsty teens, goddess-worshiping lady hippies in touch with the cycles of the moon and other overly-emotional overwrought writers. As a creative writing major I saw myself focusing on New Yorker-style creative fiction—you know, IMPORTANT writing. One semester I needed a writing credit and my friend was taking the poetry workshop. She assured me it would be easy—you only had to turn in a certain amount of work to get a good grade, the poems didn’t have to be GOOD. And it fit into my schedule. So I took the class. Turned out I loved it, it came fairly easily, and I was good at it. After college I took a class and got hooked into the scene, and did some readings. My favorite moment was reading my poetry at the opening of a city council meeting.

I am now in a poetry workshop group that has been meeting for about five years, and I am in a pretty frustrating writers-block phase where I am not producing much, and I’m not so involved anymore, but I still love poetry.

5. Fonts
I became interested in typography during college when I took a class called The Art of the Book, and learned all about type and letterpress printing. I am by no means an expert but I love learning about it and reading about it. I like how typography is almost a science in a way—it’s an art, but it’s so very exact and precise. I also like that it is the perfect combination of design and words, two of my favorite things. I had the opportunity to go to TypeCon a couple years ago and spent three days immersed in type talk. I also got to see the premiere of Helvetica the movie! Interestingly enough, one of the speakers was the man who owns the firm where I work. He has a special interest in typography, calligraphy and letters in general. I had no idea that my career would take me this close to typography but there you go.

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If you want to do this meme post a comment and I will tell you five things that make me think of you.

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