Sunday, July 6, 2008

day 4 when jess learns that pole-vaulting is one of the most exciting sports in the world

on day 4 my intention was to stay in portland. but after a day of being in the city, i wasn't too interested in being in a city anymore. but i went out for breakfast anyway, trying to figure out what i would go see and where i would go. turns out that i would go to eugene since i was reading the paper and found an ad for a public festival at the us track and field olympic trials in eugene that was happening that very day.

two hours later, i was parked at antzen stadium at the university of oregon waiting for the free shuttle and 20 minutes after that, i was at historic hayward field in the land of steve prefontaine (and yes, he certainly does live), track town USA and the land of nike.

i saw the pole-vaulting, javelin and 1500 meter run for the decathlon, the women's 800 meter, men's 800 meter, women's high jump, javelin, and women's steeplechase. i have to say that of all of my sports-watching, that this was one of the most exciting, riveting and engaging events i have ever been to. and when 3 oregon boys won the men's 800 meters, it was one of the loudest. i have NEVER heard a crowd cheer for any sport as loudly as they cheered when they won.

eugene is a place where people watch track. they know all of the stats, they know all of the techniques that enhance all of the disciplines of track and field (i.e. watching the pole-vaulting, "well, his elbow was just too low on that one.... lift it up and he should be fine"), and they are serious about ritual. having never been to a "real" track meet where the sport lies on the cusp of professional / amateur, i had never experienced the etiquette of track-watching.

there is A LOT of clapping. in fact, much of the "cheering" is expressed through clapping. athletes will ask the crowd to clap before performing sometimes (pole-vaulting) or most of the time, the clapping is this crowd-together, rhythmic clapping that follows the runners around the track. and on the last lap of any race, as the runners approach, you rhythmically clap, stand up and then stay standing until the race is done. it is exhilirating.

so here are the pics. as you can tell by my long rant here, i liked this day, and it will make watching the olympics that much more special. watch out for my main man, tom pappas. he is the shit.

day 3, or the day in which jess got tired

on day 3 i woke up, hopped in my car and was off to portland. i got a wee bit lost driving around once in the city, but found a free parking spot next to powell's book store on a sunday morning which felt like i was going to church. an hour later, refreshed with the literary spirit and 2 books in hand, i started to wander around. made my way to pioneer square, pioneer place mall, the riverfront (of the willamette since i am so intent on listing rivers), whole foods for lunch and then found a hostel where i could lay my head for the night.

went back downtown later where i went to the public market (and bought a cool mug) and then went and saw a movie since i was so tired and needed to stop moving. came out of the movie theatre and walked back to the hostel in one of those delicious summer thunderstorms that broke the heat. then hung out with folks at the hostel and had an early night.

just to prove how tired i was that day, i only took 3 pics. one is of the riverfront and the other is of my bro and niece's alter-egos at the portland market. my bro would be the one playing the accordion, while my niece would be the one playing the kazoo. a match made in heaven that is guaranteed to start bringin' in the cash.

oh and since when does a city plan for skate routes? or have a gazillion cyclists around with bike routes to ensure they don't get completely schmucked? or have free transit downtown?

one mo mountain

alllllll riiiiiiighhhht. blogger has been giving me some more attitude about photos and i've been giving some good 'tude back.

all i wanted to do was post one more photo of mt. st. helens. and it only took me 24 hours to do so. yeesh.

(but ain't it gorge?)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

day 2

day 2 where i went to mt. st. helens, which was akin to travelling to the moon. it was hot hot hot (almost 100 degrees farenheit) and this alabaster princess was trying not to burn.

it was incredible. a HUGE lesson in the unbelievable smackdown power of Mother Earth and how life can crumble and be devastated in the space of 180 seconds. and yet there is the lesson too of the possibilities and wisdom that arise from 1400 ft. being blown off the top of a mountain and the resilience of nature and humankind. the river which was encrusted with 300 - 400 ft. of lava found a way to continue to flow, the lava dome grows and flowers grow.

when i got to the top, i parked the car and was face to face with a whole posse of corvette drivers that had climbed to the top together. nothing like cars and america, which is why i took this photo:

ya - here's the mountain with some arty flowers:

and here is proof that it's pretty barren there and looks like the moon. and yes i stole some rocks. (just 3 little ones...)

flowers.... which seem all the more beautiful there, for good reason:

and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to prevent her skin from shattering in the harsh warm light from that giant thing called the sun:

that night

i went and stayed at dash point state park just near federal way, in between seattle and tacoma. it was pretty and sunny and i had big hair in the big wind.

mo for my bro

i thought this sign was sooooooo fitting..... i love how at the end of the "book spiral" is a copy of Muscle & Fitness. that seems just about right...

this is a photo of the intersection of the study carel light with a support beam with the glass. yum.

this is the intersection of multiple edges of the exoskeleton of the building:

and this finally is the floor through the stacks of the spl letting you know where you are in the dewey decimal system:

day one, for my bro

here's a treat for col since he "suggested" that i go to the seattle public library and take pics. when he ruined his own surprise by asking a week later if i was going to go to the library for him (which i've heard is something that i also do) i chastised him for ruining the surprise of me taking pics as a treat for him.

all that to say that here are the pics because he doesn't like the library. no, he does not.

p.s. i'm now completely obsessed with rem koolhaas's work and want to travel to beijing to see his new building which is affectionately called by some locals as "big shorts" since the building is composed of 2 leaning towers. love it already.

spl from the outside:

the main floor of the spl:

map of the spl, which shows how you can go up to the top of the library and then weave your way back down. on most levels you can see at least 3 or 4 levels at a time. it is amazing: