Posted by: soupysays | July 27, 2009

Ballard Seafood Fest

I attended my first Ballard Seafood Fest on Sunday. Being able to stroll over was the way to go since I had to make trips back to my apartment with all of my bounty.

Although Seafood Fest does have elements that tie it to Seafood and Vikings, it’s essentially just a street fair – live music, street food, stuff for sale, and people on the road instead of cars. I also purchased a 7 pound salmon for $14.

A few pics of Seafood Fest.

Posted by: soupysays | July 23, 2009

Ballard Sidewalk Sale

A 35 year old sidewalk sale, oh my.

After work, I avoided chores for a few hours by wandering up Ballard Ave and Market St past all of the lovely sale tables and racks.

My “if you can only go to one store, then go here” is Velouria on Market St – $10 t-shirt bin outside and 20% off ALL non-sale items inside.

Also, I went inside the new KAVU location; there is some elbow room in there now!

Sale goes through Sunday.

Posted by: soupysays | July 15, 2009

high density living

Dear violinist,

I don’t know which apartment is yours, but please keep playing.

Posted by: soupysays | June 24, 2009

moving to better

A few weeks ago, I moved from a house with a WalkScore of 49 to an apartment with a WalkScore of 97. The transition is everything I wanted to be and more.

For a carless individual, having three real grocery stores less than .35 miles away from my home is amazing. A library less than .5 miles away  is simply beautiful.

I walked to everything in town in Mongolia. Well, I didn’t have much of a choice, and there wasn’t much. Now, I live in live, breathing neighborhood in a big city.

What a great way to start summer.

Posted by: soupysays | January 11, 2009

City Slows Your Brain

How the City Hurts Your Brain

This paragraph struck a cord with me.

The reason such seemingly trivial mental tasks leave us depleted is that they exploit one of the crucial weak spots of the brain. A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to constantly redirect our attention so that we aren’t distracted by irrelevant things, like a flashing neon sign or the cellphone conversation of a nearby passenger on the bus. This sort of controlled perception — we are telling the mind what to pay attention to — takes energy and effort. The mind is like a powerful supercomputer, but the act of paying attention consumes much of its processing power.

I have felt my brain getting overwhelmed like this a few times in the last few years. I knew that a lot was happening but everything seemed to wash over me a bit slower than it should.

  • When I first started my Peace Corps service, after living in my 35,000 person town for a few months, I took a trip to the capital, a city of a million people for official business. On the cab ride from the airport, as the city slowly became bigger and more complex, I felt my brain picking up weird bits of pieces of my surroundings – a person waiting for a bus or a car turning. However, I couldn’t process the whole picture until the end of my ride. I never felt that again when I came into the big city.
  • Every time I went to a grocery store during my Peace Corps vacations to China and US. I couldn’t simply take it all in. I would focus on pieces that would jump out at me. OMG SYRUP!
  • Times Square – September. Lights. Noise. People. What?
  • Las Vegas Airport – September. Lights. Noise. People. What?

Now, the article says that the sensation happens to your brain whenever you are in a city. However, after the quiet vastness of Mongolia, my brain couldn’t handle these intense city situations until some extra resources were called to handle the extra strain.

Posted by: soupysays | November 5, 2008


I am so happy that I was in America tonight.

Thank you for sharing the glory with me, Seattle.

Posted by: soupysays | November 4, 2008

an election story

January 2008 – As I sat in an airport going back to Mongolia after my America visit, I overheard political pundits discussing Clinton’s cry before the New Hampshire primaries. After arriving in Mongolia, I took a trip up north to visit a fellow Peace Corps volunteer. Sitting in a car in -40F, waiting for the driver, the Mongolian man sitting next to me listed the major Presidential candidates, “McCain, Obama, Clin-ton.”

Spring 2008 – During the Obama and Clinton showdown, I had to explain to more than a few friends that the Presidential Election wasn’t until November. Of course, there was some confusion. “What’s happening now?”

August 2008 – In a bar in St. Petersburg, I explained my support of Obama over Clinton to two students – one Dutch and one Polish.

Mongolians, Polish, and many others know more about our primaries than Americans know about foreign countries. Yes, our election is a big deal.

Tomorrow, kids, tomorrow.

Posted by: soupysays | November 4, 2008

Coming soon: E-day

I love I also am enjoying their 2008 Election Roundup of the best and bizaree ads of the season.

A couple of my favorite moments from Colorado ads:

Posted by: soupysays | October 31, 2008


The first trick or treaters of the night were two greedy middle school (or maybe high school) aged girls that were barely dressed up. One of them was texting the whole time at the door.

You better do better than that, Ballard.

However, I did get a, “You have the best candy ” comment.

Edit: A giant PACK of children just came to the door.

Posted by: soupysays | October 28, 2008

There are only the United States of America

Today, I completed my mail-in ballot from Colorado. I voted for Barack Obama.

I also voted for Mark Udall, against folk from defining a person, and for and against other stuff on the LONGEST BALLOT EVER (since 1912).

Edit: Oh yes, because I couldn’t vote against it, I donated a very small bit of cash to No on Prop 8. If conservative church groups are throwing a bunch of money at trying to pass this horrible measure, then people that believe in equal rights should try help the good guys.

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