Thursday, January 24, 2008

Babble Break! The Tale of the Snorkeling Television Host, Jessica's Etsy, and Whatever Else Comes to Mind

Oooh, look at all the little fishies!

Yep, Hawaiian fishies. Pretty, aren't they? I took that with a disposable underwater camera because my own camera objects to moisture, vehemently.

ADD moment (aka, Change of Topic): It's been about 5 days since I finished The Bleeding Dusk and it is such a fantastic, entertaining thrill-ride of a book that I've been letting my thoughts roll around (bashing against the interior of my skull - great word picture, eh?) before writing up my review. I want to do it justice and this one requires some pondering. Hope to get to that and a review of Monkey Star, soon. For now, I'm kind of bored with myself and haven't been in the mood to write. So, today's post is going to be just chatter.

Yeah, okay, so back to the fishies. The following is a tale from Hawaii. Of course, you all know I could mine Hawaii for stories indefinitely, right? Anyway . . . . Huzzybuns and I went snorkeling whilst in Hawaii. We stayed at a place where boats passed visibly and regularly (and close to author Patricia Wood's docked boat . . . gah, still kicking myself for not getting in touch with her before I left-- you should definitely read her book, Lottery, if you haven't; had to throw that in). The Huz noticed the passing boats were rather packed with giddy tourists. In my photos of those boats, I've counted up to 25 people, so his powers of observation haven't yet faded. Because he thought it would be a better option to pay slightly more to go out on a boat with fewer passengers, we ended up on this pretty little yacht-like gem for "a three-hour cruise, a three-hour cruise" (ask me if that thought freaked us out, O Gilligan fans . . . answer: just a little):

That's Bookfool, far to stern, pointing a 300mm lens at passing dolphins. In the cabin is one of the crew, whose name flitted out of my head before we even docked (she's a marine biologist), and next to me, in the red shirt, is a rather ebullient fellow named Jon.

Jon made an interesting comment that led me to believe he worked in movies or television, shortly after we pulled away from the dock; but, it wasn't until we were standing at the stern of the boat, discussing Honolulu traffic, that he dropped a second hint and I bit. Just at the moment I mentioned the large number of pedestrian deaths described in the newspaper, an ambulance drove past onshore with its lights blaring. Jon said, "And, cue," with a swoop of his arm and a pointing finger.

Bookfool could not let a hint like that pass, as she is nothing if not a curious chick. So, I asked the evil question, "What do you do?" I call this an evil question because, near as I can tell, I have no designation. Jon replied that he's the producer of a local Portland, Oregon show called PDXposed, and that he was in Hawaii to scout out locations for a future show (highlights are "music, arts, travel and entertainment"). The Portland airport is known as PDX, so the show's name is a, "little play on words, there." I didn't say so, but I thought Jon was host material; he's incredibly outgoing and talks to everyone on equal footing.

And, it turned out he was actually being slightly humble; Jon is the host of PDXposed, and a very good one. He's filmed 68 shows, most of which are archived at their website. And, he is definitely going back to Hawaii to film in May; they're even taking a tour group (see Jon's blog for details). I found that the clips I watched were family friendly . . . and then my speakers stopped working. And, my glasses broke. And, actually, the dryer is still acting hinky. I've been sucked into some kind of a metal fatigue vortex, I think, but anyway . . . I recommend the PDXposed site and I can tell you the host is a genuinely friendly, personable guy. Always nice to know, yes?

Here he is underwater and seemingly headless with the marine biologist and another passenger, Julie:

I need to find out what that guy eats; he's so nice and slim.

Other stuff . . . Jessica's Etsy, first:

One of my favorite green-with-envy blogs is Jessica's: In Search of Dessert. She is freaking amazing with a camera, a talented writer, and lucky enough to be surrounded by terrific subject matter to photograph and write about as an expatriate living in beautiful Switzerland. Oh, man, unfair. Anyway, Jessica has just opened an Etsy (craft) site with her mother and it's so uber cool that you must check out Jessica's Etsy. She makes and sells "bookmark books", themed books with bookmarks made from found objects and pretty papers. Here's one of her hoopty designs:

Verry cool, yes?

Second . . . That's not how it works, son.

My eldest called to tell me that he's been allergy-tested. Not sure why he did so, when he could have simply called to acquire his records from the time we had testing done . . . but, okay. This is the humorous part: he's allergic to cats and he's decided he wants to get allergy shots . . . and two kittens. I said, "Umm, the thing with allergies is that you try to avoid your triggers. You don't get shots and then bring home the thing you're allergic to." But, you see, there's a shelter down the road and the kittens are so cute and he's living in an apartment --alone-- for the first time ever and he's sociable and lonely and, and, and . . . he's just so darned funny. I'm working on my, "Let go; he's a grown-up" skills. Wow, is that hard. On the plus side, if he acquires kittens, you know there will be kitty photos coming. I'll have to visit.

Third: It's all Carrie's fault!

Carrie of My Middle Name is Patience posted a link and I'm now completely addicted to this Traveler's IQ Challenge. In fact, the kiddo and I have actually competed to see who can get to the highest level. We're tied at Level 10 (out of 12). Most of the time, I at least hit the correct continent, which is a good starting point. But, wowee. This American needs a new atlas and a block of time. I've guessed as far as 15,000 kilometers away from the correct geographical location of some cities. I probably shouldn't admit that, but I've also hit some cities within 25 kilometers, so I figure it all evens out.

Okay, enough prattle for one day. Next up will be book reviews of The Bleeding Dusk and Monkey Star. I knew you'd be thrilled. You can quit jumping up and down, now.

Bookfool, off to soak her head


  1. Anonymous11:04 PM

    You can't tell how hot he is! Cheat! You must return to Hawaii with John in tow to get a better picture.

    Isn't that Traveler's Quiz addictive? I've been cuddling up to an atlas boning up on geography. I thought I was better at it than I am.

  2. Anonymous2:34 AM

    What a fun post, Nancy! A joy to read (as always). I love the bookmark lady's website. :)

  3. I love the fishes!

    I wish my husband would be more like your son. All I want in life is a pet. Are allergy shots too much to ask?

  4. Carrie,

    I know. It was a small boat; I should have just asked everyone to pose, but when we were stopped we were usually *doing* something (snorkeling, taking photos of animals, watching for animals) and the rest of the time the camera was buried to stay dry. He's definitely a good-looking guy.

    Yes, it's addictive! I can't stop playing that thing! And, I definitely need a new atlas.

    Thanks, Donna!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It's a little long-winded, but I had fun. :)


    The fishes love you, too. Or, I'm certain they *would*, if they got to know you. :)

    Does your husband object to pets or is he allergic? Daniel's girlfriend actually has a cat, so he goes over to her place to sneeze. Now, he won't have to travel for all of his sneezing needs. He actually has the two kittens picked out. He's so funny.

  5. I'm taking note of Jessica's Etsy store. I'm addicted to Etsy - did most of my Christmas shopping on it!

  6. It really would have been awesome to meet up with Patricia Wood while you were there, huh? I'm sure she's just as funny and bright and personable as she seems on her blog (and in her brilliant writing).

    Your Hawaii photos are killing me. So cold cold. :D

  7. I am loving Jessica's bookmarks and the travel IQ site. I need to brush up on my Middle East and Asian Geog. I'm heading back there now!

  8. Iliana,

    Isn't Etsy great? One can easily get addicted to just paging around, looking at all the pretties. I don't have many people to buy for (and mostly men) or I'd probably do my Christmas shopping there, too. :)


    It certainly would have been awesome. Too bad I blew it! She was literally within walking distance and I walked that way almost every day. Oh, well. Maybe I'll get to go back. :)

    Don't the photos help you warm up? They help me. I had to scrape ice off the car windows, this morning and I've got little ice cube toes. Yeah, I'd rather be Hawaii than just look at it. I can't fathom the kind of temperatures you're having.


    I'm glad you're enjoying Jessica's site and the geography quiz. I need to just study geography, period. I think the reason I kept advancing (I started at Level 5, the first day) was because I paid attention when I missed something. There were a few, though, that I just could not get into my head. I kept trying to stick one little South Pacific nation in the Atlantic. LOL

  9. Your son and I sound quite alike. I'm allergic to cat and dog hair, and I'd have either or both ANY day of the week. A little allergy (did I mention the red whelps?) isn't going to stop me!

    Wonderful post. I love your stories...and your gorgeous pics!

  10. Andi,

    Thank you! :)

    I'm allergic to cats, myself, but my allergy is mild by comparison with Daniel's. We actually brought home a Siamese kitty when Daniel was small and we were still living in an apartment. Poor Daniel puffed right up. He looked like a little sad allergy tomato. We had to take little Anatole back to the shelter. :(

    Honestly, thought, I won't fault him for adopting a companion. He's really missing his college friends.

  11. You are an evil lady. That game is the type of thing I get addicted to! Thanks a bunch.

    Hey, my niece, the one with the horse, has tested positive for allergies to dust, alfalfa, and hay. As you may know, there's just a little bit of hay and dust around a barn. She got the shots for awhile (a year?) but does without them now and wouldn't give up the horse for anything. If your son's allergies aren't that severe, there are things he can do to co-exist with some kitties. And I know exactly what he's talking about with the coming home to an empty house. It sucks.


  12. CJ,

    I know; it's awful, isn't it? I had trouble stopping.

    Eldest isn't so severely allergic that we felt compelled to send our pets to another home, although either he's more allergic to a Siamese than a typical short-hair or it was just the small space but he puffed up and turned all red when we brought a cat home to our apartment, many years ago, and we had to take the cat right back (fortunately, he was quickly adopted -- I felt just horrid for returning him).

    I think he'd probably do okay. It's just kind of backwards logic, you know? But, I understand not wanting to come home to an empty house. When I stayed alone at my mother's house, I really, really hated not having a pet around. It just seemed wrong and weird and yucky. I turned on the TV, just to keep me company.

  13. Wow. Again with the great pictures. Of course, at this point in January, I'm jealous of anyone that is warm!! Today, at least the weather is in the 30's. We spent most of last week in the negative digits!!

    Your son cracks me up!! No offense, but I hate shots. So, it would be bye-bye kitties for me!!

    Love the bookmarks!! I'm so going to check them out...right now!!

  14. Stephanie,

    Thank you. I could stand to warm up a little, myself. We're never as cold as you are, but temps are in the 30's, right now. We have a weird weather week ahead of us. On Tuesday, it's supposed to climb to the 70's, but we have an 80% chance of thunderstorms so nobody will get to enjoy the weather. Then, it's going to drop to the 50's but the sun will come out Wednesday. And, Thursday it's going to warm back up and storm, again. I hope all that is wrong. Sunshine and 60's would be fine with me. ;)

    My son hates shots, too! He actually turned down my offer to pay for shots in high school/early college. But, he's lonely, poor thing. Needs a furball to keep him company, I guess. :)

  15. Jeez, thanks for that link to the travel IQ thing. There's 2 hours (and more!) of my life I'll never get back, and I can't even get past level 10! Which, sadly, is pretty good for an American. ;-)

  16. Megan,

    It's ridiculous how addictive that travel IQ game is, don't you think? Same here -- hours lost. But, maybe I learned something (Americans don't just need maps; we need to look at them).

    I can't get past Level 10, either. And, believe me, I've wasted loads of time trying!!!

  17. haha! as somebody who has allergies - 1) I have to get tested every x amount of years because allergies change (such as becoming allergic to neosporin after using it for 25 years) and 2) I'm allergic to dogs and yet...I have a dog. I've learned, for me anyway, if I get the dog when it's a puppy - I become used to it's dander and it won't bother my allergies, same with cats. So...maybe he won't have a problem.

  18. Kris,

    I'm allergic to cats. Funny how we'll overlook the itchy nose for a little bit of furbaby lovin'. Or, in your case, a LOT of furbaby.


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