Friday, July 31, 2009


Just about the nicest day you could imagine; everyone inspired to be energetic, including the cat. A neighbor up the street said that during the hottest days this week, she grabbed her cat and got him good and soaked, especially around his neck and head; he resisted, but later came back for more. She claims to have done this with all her cats; ours would rip and shred whatever was handy if we tried it on him. A vet friend told me one of her clients used a bag of frozen peas to cool his cat. I just let ours dash down into the basement, whic is normally off-limits.
Pleasant stroll in the evening.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Again with those damned jets

The stupid Blue Angels are back, practising for what someone called, appropriately, their monster truck show in the sky. As if all the heat wasn't enough to bake us and our pets' brains, now we have to listen to this waste of money screaming overhead. I've never liked them, and in addition, have never understood the use of what is called here, for a few weeks of summer, Seafair. Someone who grew up around here told me it was "a celebration of summer"; what with fighter jets booming and hydroplane boats churning, it's more like an extended redneck holiday. Fie upon it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Supposedly we as humans are built for these high temperatures; our lives aren't. The Pike Place Market was going through ice for its food stalls like a glacier gone to melt, something like six tons by mid-afternoon. Its ice machine was struggling. Our nearby farmers' market wasn't as populous as usual, with vendors or customers. The fish people did not show, throwing us into fresh and smoked salmon deficiency. All we could do to cope was head out for a little sushi.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

consolation prize

My young friend and I had to bail on our hiking/climbing plans; she and I headed over to climb indoors, which proved to be fun and pleasant. Later in the day, after walking around for errands, I felt suddenly defeated by the heat. Oddly, our nonegenarian seems to have acclimatized pretty well, probably due to not moving around so much.
Time to haul out the funhouse fan.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baked Seattle

Not a twist on the time-honored dessert, but our poor city's condition; all we can do is try to find ways of coaxing cooler air into the house, and drink lots of cold beverages. Have to punt on the hiking/climbing trip for tomorrow...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Last night's performance of "Othello" was good, particularly the fellow who played Iago. He gave the impression of relishing his evil, in a straight forward way. A woman sitting near us, with whom I chatted in the line for the women's restroom, observed that Katherine Hepburn described his style as "plain as a baked potato", no oily gimmickry, kind of feller people trust, yet rotten at the core. Having just seen this play last year at the OSF, I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it was well worth the time. We also had pleasant company, so the evening was fine. A bonus were the couple of dozen rain drops that fell on us as we waited by the fountain to go into the theater. Last we'll see for a while...

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Lovely day of walking and gardening; well, weeding and otherwise minding the veggie plants. We eat cool foods, and lay low. Last bit of the Tour de France appears, along with springboard diving and the end of a golf tournament; the box distracts our steamed up brains.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Inferno ahead?

We face an onslought of heat; there are reports of wildfires al over the world, as well as some on the other side of our Cascades mountain range. It's still July. As a comic strip character explained to his kid, who had asked him about global warming, "Remember when you were frying ants with a magnifying glass? Well, this time we're the ants."
Another little evening stroll, to catch and try to retain the coolness which still exists; half the city has the same idea.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breathing easy

Another perfectly wonderful day, made expressly for the big errand walkabout; some tasks were less pleasant than others, such as checking out accoutrements for the elderly at the medical equipment store, but it's important to be prepared. Passed by a dreamlike little confectionary, as it called itself, straight out of Alice in Wonderland, at the very sleepy end of University Way. Inside, an astoundingly optimistic young woman was making heavenly-looking French style macaroons, and chocolate marshmallows, and other such dreamstuffs. I wish her survival, the location is dreadful unless she has some good wholesale connections.
Happened upon a wonderful store full of rugs, exotic clothes and jewelry, and pillow covers, which were the exact things we have needed to spruce up the aging throw pillows around here. Finding out that the proprietor was Turkish, I asked him if he knew of the Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk. Yikes; his face literally darkened, and he growled that Pamuk was "a communist, no, worse, an atheist, he shouldn't be taking down god!" He did go on, more reasonably, to comment that "Well, he's a writer, they have to do dramatic things to sell books." Pamuk is someone I admire, for his outspokenness about human rights among other things. I did not press the topid further. He gave me a short history of Turkey whilst adding up my purchases. He said his religion was Islam, and cut me a deal on the pillow covers; maybe I was supposed to have haggled, but no matter. I gave him a rounded up amount, and he said,"As long as you don't approach me on the judgement day, asking me for the change." I told him that generally, I was not a judgemental person, which is mostly true...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Overnight cool down, making for a lovely day once the clouds burned off; another great friend with whom I climb met me at the gym for a nice albeit brief workout. Her middle elementary school-aged son came along, complete with a nice Lego kit he had earned via doing chores. His intense assembling drew several curious kids from a group being shepherded around the gym, which he enjoyed, being the expert. He was certainly obliging, and got to go out for a burrito afterwards with mom.
Sons are wonderful; ours came home and baked a lovely multi-berry pie. His culinary skills and enthusiasm have already surpassed mine; guess the special order plain hamburgers from days of yore didn't ruin his potential.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Felt pleasantly so all day, and it struck me as I walked back from a weights workout that it was a perfect summer day. Hot enough to require less clothing, and to suppress the appetite so it doesn't feel awkward to wear such clothes.
Well along in rereading the Angela Carter non-fiction collection, and feel my brain sharpening by the page.

Monday, July 20, 2009

even keeling

Swell workout at the climbing gym with my great friend; she's still training for a triathalon, which got moved later, thus messing with her motivation. Even with just a scant couple of hours of climbing on fake rock, I feel more sane.
Evening walk, during which the cooling winds died abruptly. We are in trouble tomorrow, heatwise.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Cooling winds, lovely evening; we keep our place. Evening airing is incredibly gorgeous, cool breezes and crystal air down along the lakeshore. Downside: We are drying up badly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cooler heads

Hard to stay inside; the temperature has gone down, there's a lovely breeze, which probably translates into some wind out on the straits and sounds where the kayakers went today. Couple of social engagements this evening, which should be more pleasant in the cooler air.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Double date at our dentist's this morning, the nonegenarian and I; our dear dentist told me her 92 year old mother died earlier this week, and her 90 year old dad seems to be all right, other than wanting to sit with the body for several hours before cremation. She wondered if this was normal behavior. Since they had been married for 65 years, we concurred that he was probably having a hard time saying good bye; there isn't any old Chinese custom involved.
The multicultural day flew on, culminating in a wedding of one of our kid's old school and soccer chums from years gone by. He was also one of my Spanish students and soccer kids in elementary school. The bride is from South Africa, and last year they had a traditional tribal celebration, including the ritual slaughter of a goat by the father-in-law to be. He is an orthopedic surgeon, but told us it was horrible to have to slit the animal's throat with a rather dull knife. This ceremony was held on a big old boat moored down on Lake Union, and was very interesting, even to me, who usually dislikes these kinds of things. About forty of the bride's family and friends traveled from J-Burg, South Africa, to be billeted around town in various homes and hotels and feted for a week. Particulary nice, I thought, was the singing and ululation that broke out spontaneously during the ceremony. Lots of toasting, and the inevitable roastng of the groom, by his younger brother.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


While walking around town, shopping and schlepping a backpack full of goods; but when I remember doing the same chores back in the winter, I shall not complain of the summer heat.
Found a couple of Angela Carter's early novels, including her first published one, and look forward to diving into them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arrivals and departures

Arrived at the gym for a frustrating session; we could not seem to get any traction or inspiration.
Departure of family, in early afternoon; it was swell to see them again.
Fresh salmon, yellow and white mixed kernel corn, and a huge tomato that could have served for dessert, so sweet it was, for our dinner; the farmers' market was a bonanza as usual.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We hang out, just chatting and figuring out things. The young one likes pizza, so we oblige. It's been a while since I've observed a growing teenaged boy, and I don't think ours ever ate so much. Pleasant family evening.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rambling fambly

Some are returning from the wilds of Cleveland; it's a nice area for being so close to that city. We'll catch up on the branch still back there tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Rainy and cool here lately, a nice contrast to parching sun; less watering to be done, though it'll slow down the tomatoes. We ate the first and only one thus far in a salad, a fine treat.
Picked up a collection of Angela Carter's non-fiction to re-read; her voice is so strong, it shores me up.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nice highs

We hammered away at our climbing session for most of two hours, never getting up anything very hard but feeling sufficiently worked. This friend has scheduling issues, what with increases in her work week and a kid to juggle, so I am glad to see her at all these days.
Pleasant family home evening, over pizza, then we were off for an evening airing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On paradise

It's returned, that amazing warm air which makes it seem unnecessary to leave the city. The vegetables are thriving, the cat is content, we get out and about and watch the hummingbirds spar over the crocosmias. If our neighborhood isn't a posh address for some, at least it has tranquility going for it most of the time, except for a few thoughtless individuals.
Out to water the truck farm.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

early appointment

Earlier than usual beauty day, which worked out nicely for us; our nonegenarian melted with relaxation over the foot treatments, and we made it home without incident.
Great afternoon session at the climbing joint, and promise of more over the weekend; would that it were not merely rehearsal, but there's still a good bit of fair weather left ahead.
Little early evening meet up with friends and friends of friends; all seem to be doing well.
Nearly done, despite its grim aspects, with Atwood's Life Before Man. The woman knows how to spin quiet horrors out of the quotidian.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Renewed, somewhat

We acquired enough consecutive hours of sleep to feel almost normal. The farmers' market was in our area, and it is always some level of pleasurable to check it out; it yielded the most delicious fresh-caught King salmon for dinner this time. Now, if those eight tomato plants of ours in four varieties would get moving, we won't have to buy them for a while.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Must be the shift in the weather, hard to sleep for everyone; we'll remedy this later.
On to an old Margaret Atwood novel, Life Before Man, from around 1980; a bit glum, but all right for middle of the night sleepless times.

Monday, July 06, 2009

So rain already!

A total of about two dozen raindrops fell on our heads, but that's hardly enough to count as a refreshing shower. We can only dance some more and hope it works tomorrow.
Sweet and pleasant sushi repast with beloved spouse, and a nice walk home in the coolish evening.
Finished Percy's The Second Coming, which I mostly liked, except for all the damned religious-themed blathering. I would say the title, humorously enough, had less to do with some kind of Christer theme than with the middle-aged male ultimate fantasy of getting him some young flesh the second time around. Meh.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Vertical again at last!

Way too long of a hiatus on any kind of climbing; I should have visited that gym down in Medford, although it was pretty hot to be inside if there is no air conditioning. But at last today a great friend and I had a fine moderate workout, on several new lead routes; that's one advantage of missing some time, there are usually fresh problems to try.
Gardening, walking, and a cooling end of the day wind wound up the week.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Blow up stuff day

As often happens, the blowing up started in the wee hours of the 4th, huge things that sounded like sticks of dynamite going off in rapid succession. Makes for a lousy night's sleep, and the not sensible urge to hunt down the perpetrators and dress them down. So effective.
Pleasant day, pleasant session watching the lead up to the Washington, DC fireworks on the Mall,
and an outdoor dinner with friends; I bowed out of joining the fifty thousand folks expected down the hill from us to see Seattle' last remaining public fireworks display. The cat stayed under the bed while the red rockets flared and boomed, and I fell asleep reading Walker Percy's The Second Coming, which I am liking more than his novel The Moviegoer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Braving the sun

We extended a walk to our workout joint to include a nearby farmers' market. In full afternoon heat, we wandered around, tasting berries, caramel sauce, goat cheeses and hazelnuts; several unlooked for items found their way into our market backpack. The thin crust pizza from the traveling woodfire oven looked delicious, but it was too hot out to indulge. Hot days make me lose my appetite; I always wonder how people even want to eat in tropical places. Somehow we made it past the handmade ice cream stall and back towards home.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cruising around in paradise

Yesterday was our sweet kid's 28th birthday, which he celebrated with a bunch of friends at a pub called The Naked City Brewery. Sounds like many tasty brews were had by all; we toasted his birth at our nearby tiki restaurant. Around about the time I was hoisting the Wednesday margarita special last night, early evening, lo those many years ago, I was declared officially "in labor", a nebulous designation with no guaranteed end in sight. A mere three and a half hours later, our dear one arrived on this planet, in the middle of a heat wave. As years go by, I have even fewer reasons to regret reproducing. He's a keeper, like his wonderful dad.
The garden is springing upward, the corn may actually be knee-high to me, at least, by July 4th,
and I got another tomato plant, a cherry tomato, which, if nothing else produces, will give us some little salad garnishes.
Felt like a fish in warm coral seas all day as I walked around doing my errands; 83 degrees in the sun, cooling breezes in the shade. It could not have been more pleasant anywhere.
Am just about finished with John Updike's The Widows of Eastwick, a wonderful revisitation of the fictional Rhode Island town which his witches possessed many years ago. It's a very poignant work on aging, and not limited to the female point of view.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Traditional interruption

Seems like eons since I was here; we have been off to Ashland, Oregon, gorging on excellent theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We managed to get one mom to be in good health to go with us, and she was thrilled, at one point beyond words. She got selected randomly by a member of the cast doing a hilarious commedia dell'arte Italian play, "The Servant of Two Masters", to be involved as an innocent bystander, or rather bysitter. That's the risk when you are fortunate enough to get front row seats... My favorite production was a brand-new work, "Equivocation", by Bill Cain. The same cast is bringing it up here to Seattle at the end of its run, and I hope to be able to see it again. The OSF's version of "Don Quixote" received mixed reactions from our group, but I liked it. The production of MacBeth was a killer.
The weather down there was astoundingly gorgeous, even allowing us to sit outside in the evening at dinner, a rare treat for us folks from the great soggy northwest woods. We got in a couple of our favorite hikes, which were full of wildflowers and bluebirds, views of Mount Shasta, and lovely piney odors.
Everybody got to do enough of what they wanted so that all were quite content by the end of the trip.