Friday, June 24, 2005

Things appear to be looking up

Everybody's well again, and the weather's divine. Now if I can just remember every thing I'm supposed to do before we go out of town...
We got our mamas up to the rose garden by the Woodland Park Zoo. Unbelievably lush and tropical-feeling. They seemed to like it very much.
We leave manana.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Fun fellows!

Our son and one of his friends just took off to drive down to Ashland, Oregon, to meet up with the friend's family to hang out and see some plays. They'll be getting in around 7 and 1/2 hours from now, barring stops for speeding, so about 5:30-6:00, in time for dinner before their first play, "Dr. Faustus" by Marlowe. That will suit their psyches. These are guys who by their high school years despised romantic comedies that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival produced. They savored, instead, "Death of a Salesman" and "Coriolanus." Serious, smart and sweet young men, but funny as hell. We head down on Saturday morning to Ashland, and will meet up with them again.
My poor MIL wandered over late this morning, saying she'd been sick all night. Oh dear... well, I hope we can get her well again before we head down to Ashland this weekend.
GORGEOUS day! Nice run and workout.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What a summer's day...

So cold this morning and pouring rain, when we ventured out for my mother's daily walk, we could see our breath. This is a rip off of an opener for summer! My visiting MIL didn't want to join us, and she made the right call. It was an unpleasant morning's outing.
Zipped over to the indoor climbing joint for probably my last workout for the next week or so. Even if it is an artificial set up, it's the best I can do for now. Had a good session with a friend who's been trying to increase her courage in climbing. We're both making progress.
No earth-changing observations to be summonsed this evening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cool and lovely the morning, as I sit here zipping through email, checking on favorite sites and blogs, sipping the last of my homemade cappucino while waiting for my mom to make it downstairs for her breakfast. The guys are off at various pursuits, one to a client and the other sleeping off a late night's festivities spent with one of his buddies who just got out of college and back home. Just a few peaceful and stolen moments before we launch the rest of the day. The last of the coffee is tepid and lacks its crown of foam, but it tastes delightfully bitter, no sweetening to it.
Don Q. and Sancho have been "feted" by a duke and duchess they encountered; this swell pair is having the questers on for their own amusement. The intrepid errants are constantly and stupidly dazzled and overimpressed by the trappings of wealth. NOTHING changes.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Feelin' groovy

Such a day. Two walks for my mother, who felt very peppy today. Perfect, high 70's, cool breezes. Got in a bit of a boulder/climbing workout, then got out of there before the rush.
Last night's session with Don Quixote offered up the Knight Errant's astounding attack on the puppet show, operated by one of the prisoners sentenced to be galley slaves whom Don Q. had deludedly liberated in Part 1. It's an amazing and horrifyingly funny scenario, with this dried up old fellow leaping upon the puppet stage, sword in hand, snicker-snacking the puppets to shreds in defense of the beautiful lady puppet and her paramour trying to outrun a pack of Moorish puppets... Sounds like a demented send-up of a Muppet show by The Kids in the Hall. I say old Don Q., but in fact, Cervantes described him as being a "graybeard" of about 50 years of age.
Once again into the breach with the Knight and his Squire.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Even closer to the solstice...

Very bleary this morning.Not much sleep, on account of staying up a bit later than usual and there being a musica event in a backyard in the block behind us, with hand drummers going full blast. dear spouse yelled at tehm to pipe down. Ironically, this morning at a very quite breakfast our son said he'd taken a bamboo flute over there to join them, and had heard some guy yelling at them to shut up, between drumbeats...
Lovely day, despite my bleariness. Dragged my butt out for a run and workout.
Back to La Mancha.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Approaching the equinox

At noon today the annual Fremont Solstice Parade will go forth. It is a very chilly morning for the nude bicyclists to be out and about, but of course they will prevail, having overcome banning in previous years. Not escaping the banning this year was a group who participated in last year's parade: P.U.R.E. This stands for People Enduring Real Experiences; I think that's right.
Last year they had a float drawn by guys with hooks pierced through their chests, some in very sensitive-looking areas, i.e., nipples. Evidently outraged parents had to shield their children's eyes, which, I guess, I could comprehend, but some people wailed that it brought up unwanted memories of childhood abuse! Geeze - I personally am a socially tolerant person, but I could understand conservative and/or right wingnuts shaking their heads over that bit. Typical Seattle overreaction. At any rate, P.U.R.E.'s float has been shunned this year, which seems absurd. Of course, I do think their MO is absurd: They say there are no more outlets for men to pursue rites of passage, or ones they don't want to partake in, such as blowing up animals with assault rifles or wasting fuel by watching NASCAR races. One female participant claimed that, since she had a chronic illness, these sorts of excruciating piercings made her feel she could endure her existence. That actually makes more sense to me than the manhood-proving bullshit. Ah well. We seem to have the luxury to suffer.
We went out into our yard; we mowed, we whacked, we yanked weeds, we did all but cut swathes with machetes. Good grief. How can so much vegetation emerge from such a small area?!
Dinner, with champagne.

Friday, June 17, 2005

My life indoors

Gee, it's so pretty today, and we're going'-side. Ah, well.
It was still fun. A new route to flash, another to finally solve, yet another to keep working on. A couple of good friends to hang around with, how can I complain?
Made a Spanish tapas dish, omeletta, for dinner. Since it's been so sort of wintry lately, it was excellent comfort food. Garlic, potatoes, fresh eggs from my neighbor's chickens, and minimal seasonings. No extra cream or fat to glop it up. Served with a nice salad containing plenty of arugula, and we et like kings.
More Don Q, as he forges along, perhaps actually contributing something to others' lives rather than confounding and obstructing.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

MY hairdo day!

And it turned out just fine. The afternoon, though turning to shit weatherwise, improved immeasurably when our son returned from a climbing trip in California. After helping him and his friend get the gear out of the car and into our house, dear son and I walked over to the supermarket to pick up dinner stuff and an important climbers' essential, cold beer. It sounds as if he had the most satisfying and challenging routes in the Needles' climbing area, southeast of Sequoia National Park. The photos he had looked fabulous, in particular long "splitter" cracks about 1/2-3/4 inch wide, which are known as "finger cracks," since that's all you can use to get up them, as well as jamming your toes in and smearing on the rock face. One route was called the Don Juan Wall. Combined with an enthusiastic "second," a partner who is willing and able to follow and clean the gear out of the crack, and gorgeous 70-ish degree weather, the trip sounded wonderful.
And it's as close to getting out as I've come all year... a friend and I wanted to get out htis morning, but last night it was pouring, and though it's clear right now, we bailed last night, thinking it would be crummy today. Ah, well...later?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wild and wonderful Wednesday

Hey, we're out of coffee beans! That's just a taste of how out of control it could get...
Hairdo day was upon us, so off we went. I get mine tomorrow, but it only comes every two or three months for my mop. My mom always went every week back in our old home town, so I have endeavored to maintain that tradition for her. She loves going to Hair with Flair, and being pampered a bit. There was a woman getting he hair set today who was in far worse shape than my mother. We have seen her there before; she smiles vacantly, and can barely get in and out of chairs. My mother was so sweet to her, though, and waved and spoke to her, despite the stylist's observation that "She knows nothing." Later, when we went to QFC to pick up some items, my mother sat at the snack counter, near another elderly lady. Lo and behold, true to our common - shall I call it an ability? - my mom was on the receiving end of this other lady's life story, which Mother couldn't remember to tell me, but did say this woman talked the whole time I was shopping.
Home again, for a walk, lunch, and a trip to the climbing gym for me. A few of us are hoping the rains will stop on Friday so we can go out on a little climbing jaunt on... gasp....real rock. It's not looking too promising, however, so guess where we'll be on Friday, unless of course it rains again.
More zaniness with that wild Don Q.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hello it's me...

Another chilly day has flown by. It warmed up briefly when I went out for a run and workout, then frosted up again when I drove over to my tutoring student's house. She needed help writing a persuasive letter as part of a math project, from which she will extract material for a persuasive speech as well. This is her last week of school in the sixth grade at a K-8 public school which does a pretty good job of delivering education to its students. Class sizes are of course too large to do so ideally, but they have resources that high-priced private schools don't. Or at least, they have in the past, before the present round of tight-assed legislators yet again fucks up the responsilbility of funding public schools, from pre-K through university levels. Don't get me started.
More adventures with the Knight of the Sorrowful Face.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Incredible shrinking typeface!

Part of yesterday's post was diminished to nearly nothing. It concerned running into parents of one of my former second grade students, who greeted me warmly, caught me up with their kids' doings, and concurred with me that the private elementary school where our kids went and where I taught for seven years seemed to attract a spirited group of children, with lovely parents, really, for the most part. The mom told me they still had a popover recipe I'd given her daughter, one we'd used when we were studying chickens. She still loves those popovers.
Pretty good session at the climbing gym, catching up with my friends being the best part. One is single, late 40's, and leaving for summer in Europe in a couple of weeks. The other one that was there is in her mid-40's, has two kids, and is leaving for Boston at the end of the month for her daughter's national climbing competition and to visit in-laws. We use our gym time to push agianst time constraints and pretend we're kids, I suppose, but it's such a pleasure.
Am enjoying the weirdness of Part 2 of Don Quixote, in which the characters find out that "someone" has written about their adventures in Part 1, and Sancho Panza is astounded that this writer knew about things they'd done by themselves, and wonders how the writer could have known these things.... it's as trippy as any postmodernist experiment!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


So cold, so cold....we got a bit warmed by a late morning walk. Whilst running hills, I found I should have worn shorts. As I approached the weight gym, I ran into parents of a former second grade student, who warmly greeted me. We talked for a bit about our kids, free spirits all, and concurred that it must have been that first elementary school we shared that made the difference in their approach to life.
Another longer walk with my beloved spouse, down to Gasworks Park and over to the Fremont neighborhood. Gorgeous changeable skies.
Picked up a lovely hunk of wild king salmon and grilled it for dinner.
Adventuring with Don Q.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

...and today I am RUINED!

But it certainly was fun last night, being out, drenched in music and dancing till 1:30 this morning; though I confess I took a breather for a few numbers, while my dear hyperactive spouse shook his booty. (I kept a sharp eye out for predatory younger females, which vigilence I am certain he appreciated.) My very favorite DJ from KEXP-FM here in Seattle, Derik Mazzone, spun beautifully from 9:30 to past 10:30 as we waited for the band to start its performance. He has a show on Tuesday evenings from 6-9, called WoPop, which has introduced us to all kinds of wonderful music from all over the world. He's fabulous, although I cringe, I admit, at the Chinese opera segments if and when they appear. Also I'm not so thrilled with Tuvan throat singers, but one must be catholic in one's acceptance of his offerings.
Managed a little quality time with Don Q. I've made in into part 2.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Foggy Friday

Stuff, stuff, stuff, then off to the climbing gym to set a route. Stripped an old one, put up a gymnastic sort of new one. Fun working out with my friend Candi, until I wore out and her "boyfriend" appeared.
We are off to hear Antibalas tonight, which should be fun.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Nothing really vivid

Oil change, fill up, walk with my mom. Hairdo, groceries, home for lunch. Absolutely gorgeous day for a run along the lake, workout at the Nautilus joint. Fly in the ointment: Why are my knees so sore?
Yanked a bunch of weeds, half of the giant yard waste container's worth. Laundry, laundry, laundry.
Forged ahead a tad in DQ.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dampish again

This has been a fairly dismal spring. the few attempts I've made at getting out to climb have been rained out. Everything is growing at an obscene rate in the yard, particularly morning glory vines, which seem to materialize out of nowhere. Lovely shades of green abound, but I do wish it would dryout for a bit.
Got Mother out for a good walk, got myself over to the climbing gym, where I used up the wonderful energy gleaned from a pretty good night's sleep. Big danged fun!
In bed again with Don Q....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Happy 31st, baby

My beloved spouse remembered this morning, as I did not, to salute our wedding anniversary. My excuse - lousy night's sleep, foggy brain. We are going to walk down to Mona's for a celebratory repast and toast, at his suggestion.
And so we did go out for a wonderful anniversary repast: Wonderful salads, including an arugula/chevre/sweet red pepper/ pistachio with truffle honey - amazing flavor combination - and a beets and blood orange mix, garnished with pistachios and manchego cheese. Handmade pasta in tarragon morel mushroom sauce, a salmon on a potato/mushroom cake with fennel sauce - accompanied by a very nice sparkling wine. And they comped us a very good tiramisu in honor of the evening.
Muchas gracias, mi esposo. Te amo, Felipe.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dental day

My turn in the dental barrel today. And dang, if I didn't have some marginal teeth that need crowns. Stresses me.
Drifted through the Uwajimaya's, starving. Had to have some humbow...nothing else looked tempting.
Returned home to find that I'd missed a call from our son. He's okay, still in Needles, CA, where the weather report looks hideously hot - 108 later this week?! - but he's at 7,000 feet, where it is evidently cooler than at the BLM office. His climbing buds will be rejoining him soon, so he won't be shut out.
And I persist at the indoor gym, laboring like Sisyphus.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Strange day

Up too late last night, then awakened too early by the stupid dog next door. As I write this, it's yapping mindlessly. Evidently good neighborly relations with me mean little to these people, which is why, over the years they've been our neighbors, it's been frustrating to communicate with them. I do hope this whole dog business improves, since it seems to have been deteriorating lately.
The sky after noon became complicated, half lovely blue and half bruised with thundery-looking banks of clouds. Stimulating to run with just enough clothes on to almost feel chilled by the stormy side of the atmosphere.
It never rained much, just spatters.
Making progress with DQ.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

My boyfriend's back

Got my beloved spouse back safely from the wilds of Milwaukee! Wee hours of the morning.
Most grateful.
We went out this afternoon, hit the University District Farmers' Market on our way to the U Bookstore; many delectables for sale, from garlic tops to pickled onions and garlic cloves, to flats of local strawberries and baked items. Vegetable plant starts, organic meats, chickens, eggs and cheeses, flowers, honey and peppers.
Actually made it through a tour of the bookstore without purchasing any books. I need to finish Don Quixote before I get anything more.
Upon returning home, there was a short message from our son: He was in Needles, California by himself, and the road to Needles was closed. There's a beautiful climbing area there, but his two climbing buddies were back in Yosemite, on a big wall. He said he had to get away from the park. No mention of how he got down to Needles, or what the hell he was going to do, by himself. My "mother's hackles" are standing on end, and I am very upset to have missed his call. I hope he calls back soon.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Spring where is thy sting?

Good frickin' grief, it's cold here. June 3rd? Naw, we must have slipped back to March. Guess all that slush up at the North Pole from global warming must be ruining our weather down here.
Went to the climbing gym and set a new lead route on an arete. It turned out fairly well. Climbed a little bit then headed home.
Looked into Mark Helprin's background: Wall Street Journal contributor, member of Claremont Institute, conservative operation. To blazes with the book. I'm not wasting another word on it.
Onward into Part One of Don Quixote!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Weird-looking sky to the east...

Appears that some weather-related spirits are unsettled, by the looks of the sky over the Cascade Mountains. It has that silvery gray syrup boiling over look. Now I must venture out for a run.
Onward into the evening.
Now I'm going to bed with Don Quixote...on the heels of tearing up Helprin. I'm such a dominatrix.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Wednesday

Not very exciting revelations today about the identity of "Deep Throat." When I went to my climbing gym today, a man I know was there, who is 86 years old, and was on Nixon's enemy list. I asked him if he had already known about the true identity of Deep Throat, and he said, no, but he wasn't exactly enthralled by the revelation that it was Felt. We agreed that no one these days is bold or brave enough to be either the informant or the reporter; all is cowardice and venality. Had a good session, then back home to serve my mom her evening beverage.
casting about for my next book to read, it occurred to me that I had begun to re-read Don Quixote, and put it aside. Since the New York Times group is discussing it this month, I picked it up and resumed. I found myself in the wild sierra, listening to tales of star-crossed love.