Monday, July 23, 2007

What I Did This Weekend, by Michael5000, age 38.

I've had several questions -- some of them unnecessarily skeptical, I might add -- about how the mechanics of the whole county-collecting thing works. Well, it's not rocket science. You take a road atlas with reasonably visible county lines, and highlight every road you've ever been on. [Tip: it helps to have grown up in a family that never travelled, and to start before you have a car of your own.] From that, you can see what counties you've been in. Easy as that.

This Saturday, for instance, I drove on Washington State Highway 142 from Goldendale to Lyle. Not that I needed Klickitat County, of course. Please. I finished Washington seven years ago. But it was a road I'd never been on before, and really that's the point of the whole exercise: to encourage yourself to poke around in places that you would never go otherwise. And in this case, we were rewarded by a lovely, quirky road that twists through bucolic wheatlands before diving down into a series of narrow, twisting canyons. Nice.

We were in that part of the world to visit the Maryhill Museum, which was opening a show of regional book artists. Frequent L&TM5K commenter fingerstothebone had four typically fabulous pieces prominently displayed, and was on hand to hold forth.

Shu-Ju Wang, 'Fatherland', 2003.

We ran into her again on Sunday at the big shindig to open the Museum of Contemporary Craft. This was quite a happening scene but maybe a little Pearl-y for my taste, know what I'm sayin'? I got to see some work by Sally Finch, though, which always makes me very happy.

Sally Finch, 'Four-Place Logarithm Study 1', 2007
As far as we could tell, fingerstothebone was not at the open-air Decemberists concert at Edgefield Sunday night. We pitched our blanket next to an area reserved for "Decemberists Parents," and it was fun to check out the moms and dads and brothers and sisters and watch how they reacted to the show. Bitchin' keyboardist Jenny Conlee came out during the opening act to hang with her fam, but I was very cool and did not gawk, solicit an autograph, or shout "I love you Jenny!" I'm a fanboy, but I'm a grown-up fanboy.


fingerstothebone said...

I did wonder about your county collecting thing...thanks for clearing that up. It is a cool idea, as are the boring postcards. I have quite the stack of postcards from when we drove across the country (should've started my county collection) in 1976 -- yes, the bicentennial -- I must go through and see if I have any bicentennial ones...

Anyhow, though Mike (my Mike) is a big fan of the Decemberists, we were not there. Hope you were able to have some fun without me.

Thanks for the plug about the Maryhill show!

Jenny! said...

I seriously want to start county counting!

chuckdaddy2000 said...

I have always greatly admired the countying you guys do. It's such a great overcomplicated take on counting the states you've been to.

Michael5000 said...

@fingers: The Decemberists -- official rock band of the bookarts husbands.

@Jenny!: Considering your recent adventures, I'm thinking you should do your county collecting by car and not by train.

@Chuck: States? I've got 48 and Mrs. 500 has 49. What's to count?