March 2008 - Posts
this one, like item three, is super-easy to keep under $10.
read a book
for me, this often starts with a trip to the local public library. you can check out items including books, magazines, DVDs and CDs for free. if the library doesn't have an item you want, you can ask them to get it from another library (this is an inter-library loan, known in library parlance as an ill). what's that? you say you don't have library card? you can get one for free! it's quick, easy, and the staff at the circulation desk love issuing them!
the library sort of reminds me of a bookstore, because i can pick up titles i've been wanting to read or i can browse hundreds of titles i never knew existed. every public library i've ever visited also supplies patrons with printed recommendations grouped by topic, genre, best-seller status, and more. but unlike a bookstore, it's free!
i considered calling item three "using the library," but there are still other ways i obtain books for under $10.
my next-favorite way to pick up something to read--borrowing from friends. it helps if you hang out with people who collect books, of course. it turns out that people who like to read usually like to tell you about what they're reading, and on top of that, they like to encourage you to read what they're reading. the hardest part for me is convincing someone that i really do want to read it, but i don't want to borrow it just yet... i'd rather wait until there's an empty spot on my reading list.
sometimes i like to mix it up with a trip to a good bookstore, but mainly this is exactly as i said--to mix it up. basically i end up in bookstores because i've noticed that whether i live in a large, medium or small town, bookshop owners everywhere seems to know that providing coffee and couches is a selling point. i say i'm going for the books, but, well, it's more for the combination on coffee and books. be aware, of course, that bookstores are an easy way to take reading from free to expensive very quickly! still, most independent bookstores (as opposed to chains like barnes & noble or borders) have at least a small used section, and most used books are under $10.
recap: last week i posted about going to the rock gym as a super fun activity that can be done for under $10.
this time i'll mention something that is not only under $10, but free!
play with the dog!
need i say more? i could, believe me, i could. in fact, sometimes when i start talking about my dog i can't seem to stop... but i'll try to keep this to a short list of things that i lump in with "play".
chase: sometimes you can tell who's chasing whom, but other times we pretty much run around in big circles together. especially at home, because my backyard has a bunch of grass that forms a lovely ring around some trees and shrubs. we go round and round and round. the center creates a perfect place to "hide" from my dog's sight and switch directions!
fetch: i throw things. often one of dog-head's three kongs, sometimes his squeaky plush toy, occasionally a stick. he runs after it. he brings it to me and wags his tail. i like to make him think i'm going to throw it in one direction and then throw it in the other.
fetch variation: i throw one toy and right when he turns to bring it to me, i catch his eye with another toy. i throw the second toy in a different direction. he drops the first toy where he is and goes for the second. then i try to beat him back to the first toy! he's totally greedy and wants to control all the toys but usually fails.
lunge and wrestle games: uh, i lunge at him and then we wrestle.
ball: it's played with a ever so slightly deflated basketball, but it looks more like soccer. we kick the ball around. for hours. with one or more people. i'm pretty sure this is his favorite game.
less "game" like but related activities include: going jogging together! going for a walk on the leash! going for a walk off the leash! hi-fives (he jumps up in the air to smack his two front paws against your hands)! "wait! okay, free!" this consists of me making him wait at the front door while i go open the tailgate to the pickup, and then releasing him to run and jump into the back. i still don't get why this is so exciting to him. i make him maneuver upon demand while brushing him. like the "wait" game, i don't know why he loves this sooo much, but he does. and finally, one of my favorites. even though it doesn't make that much sense, i like to spy on him out the window while he "buries" his squeaky toy under the pine mulch. it cracks me up whenever i see it.
then there's all the other quality "activities" dog-head affords me. like the one where i sit on the couch and read, he sits on the floor and rests his head on my knee, and i absentmindedly stroke his ears. or the one where we sit on the floor and cuddle during movies. or the one where i let him jump up on my bed on top of the covers when the alarm goes off and i tell him he's the best dog ever.
in summary, hanging out with dog-head is free, and also one of the finer things in life.
this just in: krank it up (railroad square art park's bike co-op) will host bike-in movies at april's first friday event, featuring (what else?) film shorts related to cycling.
bike-in movies were first introduced to me in denver when my bff began hosting bike-in events in the alley/parking lot behind our favorite book store. since then i've had the pleasure of riding to a handful of bike-in movies around portland, but i think this one will be extra-special to me since it's my first in tallahassee--a town not exactly recognized for it's bike community (unlike the bike mecca that is portland, and also unlike denver where bikes, while not outright ruling the streets, are still recognized as a legitimate from of transport).
for those who've never encountered a bike-in movie before, think "drive-in movie minus the cars and substitute a pile of bikes and picnic blankets."
jet setting around the blogosphere, i've noticed this tag trend that asks the blogger what they do for fun for under $10. i don't partake in tagging, but this particular tag made me realize that the majority of things i enjoy can be done for under $10 easy.
my latest favorite cheap thrill: bouldering at the tallahassee rock gym. one thing climbing has over many other fitness activities is the dynamic quality of the work out. you keep moving into new poses that work different muscle group combinations, and never in the same order. each problem (as the routes are called) is unique unto itself. and even if it wasn't, you might solve it differently on each go. plus, what other sport makes the muscles in your fingers shiver with fatigue?! wow!
and, like i said--under $10! at $6 for an all-day pass, you can even buy a power bar or sports drink without going over $10. if, like me, you don't own climbing shoes and choose to rent them, it's still under $10! ($9, specifically.) if you want to save ducats, go with a friend on two-for-one wednesday (when you can top-rope for under $10, too).
tallahassee rock gym is located in railroad square and is open seven afternoons and seven evenings per week. for hours, directions, faqs and more, visit their website at tallyrockgym.
bonus: it's good for you!
what does meghan mccain (senator mccain's 23 year old scorpio daughter with a degree in art history) listen to? so glad you asked! according to her blog, she listens to elliot smith, sleater-kinney and the decemberists. she must adore portland as much as i do!
check out playlists made by mccain and the contributers to her blog at mccainblogette.
why do we call it the dollar theater and then pay a dollar and three quarters to get in? and why does the fella at the box office harass people who pay with a jackson? i believe he referred to it as a "big bill" while trying his hardest to shame the lady in line ahead of me. perhaps he forgot that twenties are standard fare at the atm and it all spends the same anyway? but enough of that, maybe you'd like to know what we watched? why, we watched no country for old men, of course! although two of our entourage had already seen it, the other two of us had been anticipating the day it made it to the dollar theater for, oh i don't know, at least a month. needless to say (but here i go), the mood was one of much excitement. besides the movie, the other part that was really awesome was the part where tickets and popcorn for all four of us cost less than if i'd gone to see it by myself the week before. i know this makes me sound "cheap," but c'mon, isn't that a great deal?! i love a good deal!
anyway, no country for old men! it's a masterpiece! based on cormac mccarthy's novel of the same title (named, ironically it seems, for a yeats poem) the movie comes through with full literary cred. first, the basics for those of you who don't keep up with this sort of thing: it's 1980 in the middle of the desert in texas and a hunter/welder happens upon a bunch of money and drugs from a drug deal gone awry. he takes the money which is in a satchel. also in the satchel: a transponder, used by "the bad guys" (who fall into two camps) to track him. his wife is dragged into it. local law enforcement is involved. much blood is spilled.
standard themes of good and evil, pride, and chance wrap around classic coen-esque dialog. (though i think my posse were the only ones laughing out loud in the theater--what does that mean tallahassee? don't you know a good line when you hear one?!) the movie generally keeps the hero and the anti-hero in different frames throughout the movie, but uses the type of character development that we count on the coens for to point out that there is more than one kind of virtue and more than one kind of transgression in this world. as a parallel to these archetypes there are various law enforcers--a young one and one who is about to retire, the retired uncle of the about-to-retire, and the big-wig from a different jurisdiction. these four do double duty as they stand in for the path from young to old while still faithfully representing separate archetypes to contrast against "the good guy" and "the bad guy." in case the movie-goer still misses the allusion to cosmic roles, near the end the scene with the youth-on-bikes functions as a heads up: "the characters in this movie," the scene seems to say "are not unique to the particulars of this story." and if that still missed the mark, the movie ends with a description of a dream sequence. without saying more about the dream, it takes the viewer back out of the story itself and asks them to take with them the type of story that's just been told.
if you are a young man, see this movie with your father. if you are a man with a son with whom you enjoy r-rated movies, take him to this movie. if you like broad and sweeping thematic content in a tight narrative package with lots of action, treat yourself.
special props to joel and ethan coen for hitting paydirt with the absence of a sound track.
finally, it's probably worth mentioning, the r rating is for the violence. the movie is quite violent. don't say i didn't warn you.
if first friday feels a little to hectic for you, slow it down with the league of graduate students' lecture series at the brogan! the monthly series features artists presenting slideshow talks on their works. on the schedule tonight: sculptors jeff crawford and phil gleason, photographer and videographer erin elizabeth garey, and the multi-talented maureen sullivan. visit the league's own website for more info.
it seems like i was just down at railroad square checking out first friday, but apparently that was already a month ago! time sure flies when it's the short month of february!
among the festivities, tonight offers an opening reception at big bend contemporary for tina sue larkin of "music and art beyond boundaries," an educational program for children and adults. larkin's two-dimensional mixed media wall art will be on display along side the photography of wendy riley, as well as works by lisa conn and clint shaw. the four person show, titled "perception" will be on display all month.
over at gallery 621, look for "put together," an exhibit featuring ceramics by charles birnbaum (ny), multi-media fiber works by jeana eve klein (nc), and subversive needlework+beadwork by chicago's marcy sperry. running through the works is a common theme of how one assembles elements to construct identity and meaning.
more multi-media work will be featured at humidity gallery, where vicki niolet will display work combining clay and found-objects culled from katrina debris.
finally, my personal reasons for going tonight instead of visiting the above shows at less crowded times: the live music of ha-ha-hospital at krank it up bike co-op, and the simply divine overflowing plateful vegetarian indian fare (i recommend the half order at $3 as opposed to the $5 full order version).
(the railroad square art park is located on railroad avenue in tallahassee, just
south of the amtrak station. for driving directions (including a map) and studio listings,
click here. or, for more details you can contact the art park at 224-1308 or email@example.com.)
i almost never get sucked into this sort of thing, but i just know a certain someone i work with was dying to know what kind of coffee drink i am, so i gave in. kinda creepy how accurate these things can be, eh? (i should add though, just so you know, that i never drink lattes, soy or otherwise. similarly, i never taint a good cup of coffee with the blaspheme that is soy beverage.)
You Are a Soy Latte
At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed
At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky
You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it
Your caffeine addiction level: medium