Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another climbing party

Nice reunion yesterday of several women I haven't seen for a while; one lives in Southern California, one was very ill this winter, recovering only to have her partner break her femur in a freaky hiking accident. All seem to be fine now, only more time is definitely needed for that broken leg to be completely usable. A young couple we all know showed up to display their six week old baby boy, who had arrived on earth precipitously, really precipitously, as his mom got out of a bathtub at the hospital: he fell out on the floor. The OB/GYN in the crowd remarked,"That's why they come attached to bungee cords!" Astoundingly uncomplicated birth; his dad was speechless when he came in the room, they said.
The perfect days roll on.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Birds of a feather

Passing a house I heard a father and son talking to one another. "They're up on top of the roof," said the boy. "Dad - look at those pigeons! I think they're making love!"
"Yes, they could be," replied the father.
All around Green Lake more than pigeons were billing and cooing; squired around our nonegenarian sporting her freshly coifed hair. 83 degrees and clear skies, all appears well.
Nearly finished with Carole Maso's novel AVA. It's an intense read.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Perhaps peace

When the climate turns sweet, it's easy to forget just about anything. So lovely, and the creepy neighbors have gone off to perpetrate their European scams. No worries about the husband lurking around the yard, peering over the fence.
We who live around them hope they have taken their trashy twenty something daughter along, so we don't have to suffer through her alcohol and dope-laden "soirees" until the wee hours. The police are waiting to hear from us all...
The weekend should be perfect, time to reconnect with some folks and enjoy the atmosphere.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The whole day long; just a solid average span of time. The evening was more energized, as we attended an interesting fundraising event for a foundation which helps at-risk high school kids get their lives jumpstarted via musical training. There was one actual Motown icon performing, and a couple of next generation singers who've taken up the baton. The kids, mostly girls in this batch, were bedecked and begowned in sparkling attire, and their faces displayed a continuum of everything from mild fear to full-on confidence. They did well as they paid homage to The Supremes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another circle of paradise

With hints of change, but we manage all our necessary activities before anything happens. Some stick around the house, some work, some play; we watch some of the fabulous "Planet Earth" series narrated by Sigourney Weaver. There is a segment on jungles, in which she drily describes a fungal parasite which grows inside of various life forms, only to erupt from the bodies:" something out of a science fiction movie," says she, as we view all kinds of dead things with shrooms and stalks growing out of their heads and bodies.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More paradise

I like the city when lots of people are out of it, especially if the weather's fine. Lots of the left behinders were laying about on the grass down at Gasworks Park, and I heard tell that the Folklife Festival was packed, but somehow much of the place seems quieter. Kites were flying, in every style from jiggly to sinuous, and the kids were ecstatic.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


After a brief climbing gym session, we whiled away the day with walks and gardening. Fun evening over at a friend's for barbeque and good conversation; Cuban hamburgers and mojitos and diversity of folks. Our friend's housemate is gay, and his gay friend is from Venezuela; they have interesting perspectives about life. Sounds like it's a bit tougher to be gay down there than here in Seattle.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Usual sort of end of the weekdays, hairdos and scenic driving; it was a perfectly warm and sunny day, no need for winter gloves anymore. We hear the ferry lines are already hours long by midday, and traffic is backing up over the mountain passes. Memorial Day weekend never seems long enough to endure such time-wasting. Only helicopter or float planes could get you anywhere in a timely fashion.
Started on a book group pick, Ava, by Carol Maso; it's very different in structure than your usual novel form; more stream of consciousness. Not far enough along to have formed much of an opinion.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Riding high

Nothing like feeling energized; it fuels an afternoon of urban hiking in search of supplies. Am happy to be on foot, as traffic everywhere is backed up and slow, for various reasons. No worries about parking, either. Drivers seeth, but I can trip along cheerfully. Finding back ways to get home, it's quiet and cool, with patches of sunlight.
The garden seems to be showing signs of development; it makes the young ones happy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Such a day!

We managed to escape for a day, from gray chill, over the pass into full -on Eastern Washington spring. We went to a place called Frenchmen's Coulee, near the Columbia River, and climbed up big basalt pillars. The skies were the color of bluebirds, the sage was tangily fragrant, the crickets were chirping, the rattlesnakes weren't out yet, and a nice breeze came up just as it got a bit warm. At the top of our last route, an about ninety foot tall pillar, you could stand at the anchors, look back towards the Columbia, and savor the sagebrush-covered mesas and valleys while catching your breath. We did have a close encounter with a huge swarm of bees, which came swooshing through a gap in the pillars like the bees in the cartoons used to do, only they didn't form a big arrow and go after us. The noise was alarming, and I just yelled,"BEES!" and shot back the other way; my friend heard me, and scooted behind me. Afterwards we laughed, because they must have been honeybees on the move, which usually aren't aggressive, but it was instinctive to flee. We tramped back to our car through clumps of wildflowers and sage bushes, grabbed a cheeseburger and a small chocolate malt on the way home, and slept like rocks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wishin and hopin

Tomorrow's the day for our climbing escape; at least we still have our fingers crossed. Nobody can get sick or balk at going to camp...

Monday, May 18, 2009


Plugging away at the climbing gym, per usual; some folks think it's a pallid substitute for being outside on actual rocks, but some of us don't have the freedom to fly off and do that whenever we have the urge. A friend who is in the midst of a marriage break up and has a young child has been plotting to get away soon for just a day. We may pull it off, if no one falters or gets sick.
Splurged and got a hunk of Copper River King salmon; definitely worth the indulgence.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Just hung out, enjoyed the summery weather, working in the vegetable garden with the kids, and getting in our walks; this won't last.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Surprising pleasure

Very enjoyable afternoon and evening spent with a friend from high schools days whom we haven't seen for almost thirty years. Her husband was in town giving a seminar so she came out to join him. You never know if there will be enough or anything to talk about, but we fared nicely. She almost tempted me to go back for our fortieth high school reunion, but I haven't been in touch with anyone from that time for so long, I don't think it's worth the resources to go. No temptation left in the early light of day.
Puget Sound, incredibly, cooperated with the loveliest weather we've seen for months. It's like a golf game, one sweet experience and people think the place is paradisical; plenty of folks know the truth. But the mountains all stood out beautifully in the distance, and we watched huge limos pull up to a restaurant in the Pike Place Market and disgorge scores of prom kids in the foreground.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shall we gather

To go forth and beautify ourselves; to enjoy gingerly what appears to be warmth and sunshine. Why the hell not.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A thumping Thursday

Started cold and wet, wound up sunny and promising a better tomorrow; lots of errands done, and it was hard to have to come back inside out of the zephyrous air.
Decided I couldn't stand any more of Pynchon's contortions and cartwheels, so I switched to Paul Theroux's The Happy Isles of Oceana, an account of his travels, often by folding kayak, in and around many Pacific islands after his marriage was foundering. I have always appreciated his rather cranky voice, and it's loud and clear and painfully humorous thus far.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

slow down

Our dear nonegenarian seems to be easing into another slower mode. Not sure what it's about.
Getting my hair trimmed the other day at a drop-in barber shop, I received a segment of life story from the stylist. He has gone into working mostly on little old ladies in a retirement place, and had some gently humorus tales of these people's travails. One woman, whilst he was massaging her head during a shampoo, began moaning rather loudly, and finally blurted out,"Oh, I could just take you back to my room! Kitchen!" This guy is no young dude, but to the white-haired elderly, he's hot, evidently.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

come back, spring

The consensus among the climbing women who have planted gardens is that everything seems to have stopped sprouting upwards, expcet for flowers like lupin which like the stimulus of cold weather. One woman in particular who has been putting out her first vegetable garden seemed shocked by the lack of development we've been reporting; except for weeds, of course.
Finished Percy's The Moviegoer, which was very good. Am ready to abandon the airship with the Pynchon, Against the Day. I should have known I wouldn't like it overall, since The Wall Street Journal reviewer did.

Monday, May 11, 2009

swell times

Managed to snag one of my very good buddies for a bit of a climbing workout; we don't get together as much as we used to owing to schedule differences, but it's always wonderful to see her again. We reminesced a bit about our ascent of the Grand Teton, which seems so long ago, and agreed we need to recapture that euphoria somehow. It's undoubtedly why some dreams lead out of the climbing gym, right onto a mountain. She's been training for a sprint triathalon for cancer survivors, and crewing for friends who are racing a big sailboat, but one of these days we'll get outside...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mum's the word

Usual routine for the oldest mother among us, but at least it was a pretty day. We just hung out for most of the day, and I went over to some friends for dinner, as a pleasant treat from rummaging through leftovers. Everyone seems to be enthusiastic about growing their own fruits and vegetables, and we had a good discussion of what thrives over a delectable strawberry rhubarb tart.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

For art

Last night we went to a BFA graduate show at a local art school; deja vu all over again for this old BFA grad, as the kids seemed to be wearing the same kind of clothes we did lo these thirty six years ago. Lots of energy and coolness, probably much more so of the latter than we ever had, but the vibes were so familiar. We viewed the design students final thesis projects, and often their imagery struck a familiar chord as well. But there was a lot of emphasis on green processes in building and graphic production, relfecting a much different world than we faced. In this disastrous global economy, these new grads will have to hustle like mad to make their ways.
Pleasant seafood repast on a holiday gift card, and a swell sunset.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Anything growing out there?

The little patch of garden that's been planted seems to be frozen in time; it keeps raining cold water, and we hesitate to put out the tomatoes just yet.
A successful Hairdo Day, and another motor journey around the 'hoods and lake to observe the progress of the flowering trees; our nonegenarian marvels at the scanty outfits the exercisers wear, as she dons her gloves and raincoat.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My eyes, my eyes...

Following my brother's urgings, I got my eyeballs checked, and they were fine. The dilating drops were most unpleasant for hours afterwards, but it was comforting to find that there were no signs of any disease or weirdness anywhere. Fortunately it grew dark, dim and poured as I drove home by the back roads, since it wasn't easy to keep the world in focus. The pupils looked like Homer's on his "medical marijuana."
Well along in a friend's favorite book, The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. He's a quirky writer, but aren't most of them? Southern, wrote out of New Orleans, and the novel drips with humidity and moss, in an enjoyable way.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's a warmish rain

Back in the swing, to the climbing gym for a "cameo" workout, and getting our nonegenarian back into shape after her root retrieval. It's kind of like being in a bar brawl, only we've maanged to keep the swelling down. The menu antidote to Low Country fried foods continues.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Nice hiatus

An extra long weekend on a beach in South Carolina worked out nicely. We left cold pouring rain for sun, wind and delightful temperatures. We managed several forms of exercise, but mostly walked up and down the not very crowded beach, admiring the squadrons of pelicans over head, the osprey fishing, and searched in vain for dolphins. A five year old member of the family was enthusiastic over shells and other treasures, and played hard every time she went out. Fine time had by all, it would seem. We also paid a visit to Sassy the bar bird, the big red parrot, in the raw bar in Georgetown; she was still there, in all her glory.
On the day we returned to cold pouring rain, we drove out onto Hilton Head to see what we could see, which was pretty much high rent strip malls and not much public access to the water that we could find. We did find an Audubon preserve, a little bitty patch of woods with some ponds and a dried up bog area. Standing by the pond looking out, we noticed several turtles swimming over towards us; soon we had quite a crowd, all craning their little faces up to us, expectantly, we thought. Giving up the notion that we had drawn them to us on acount of our vibes, we decided they were probably used to being fed. Swirls of fish joined them, making for a wonderful sight.