Monday, August 30, 2010


Back to a gorgeous day, which we used wisely; shorter walks, but still pleasant. Topped off the evening with some sushi, and a sweet walk home.
New novel on the reading stand: The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm, another sent by a generous friend. It's also set circa WW II, in Germany, and is quite good, although I think I prefer Hrabal's work.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gray and skunked

Strange changeable skies, okay walking; couldn't get away for a climbing session, friends' time windows not copacetic with mine. Hopeful for next week.
Hrabal's novel is so wonderful, I hate to see it end.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A picnic

The day seemed to be one, from morning exercise to afternoon fun at a band get together; tried the game of bocci for the first time, and found it very entertaining. I particularly like its chaotic nature, no set number of players, no hard and fast route for the little white ball. We decided bowling experience was helpful, in propelling the ball. Good to see folks from the group. We took a long walk around Capitol Hill, stopping by our very first domicile in Seattle, a little brick aprtment building on the west side. It was a lovely afternoon.
Intriguing musical event in the evening, experimental and improvisational stuff by a trio of sax, upright bass and drums. So amazing to hear people utterly at home with their instruments, and able to do anything.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Breaking sun

Perfect afternoon, hair doing and walking and scenic driving; we're looking forward to having the beloved spouse back from a business trip, too.
Hrabal's little novel is bewitching, and is growing increasingly dark in tone. As you read it, you wind further into a dark tangled forest, frightening but there's no way to turn back.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back with the push

Another autumnal spell, with cooling and drizzling and the hint of the next season lining up. Crazy night last night, perhaps residual lunar affect; left with enough energy to get around and do stuff. Beloved offspring finished the painting, and it looks great. The espresso machine is fixed, and we're pulling our own again.
Hrabal's I Served the King of England is an irresistable blend of comedy and bits of horror, which he almost manages to comedify. A character has been introduced who is the headwaiter of a hotel the narrator is working in, and I can't get the image of Dan Donahue, the Oregon Shakespeare' Festival's consummate headwaiter in a musical,"She Loves Me!", from this past season out of my mind.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Maybe it was the filling moon's fault, but the block was noisy at all hours the other night, making our usually peaceful repose unsatisfactory. Someone just had to dump a load of beer bottles into his recycling cart after two ayem, and then again at past three thirty. Someone needs a stern request. Things were quieter last night, so maybe the perp has gone out of town.
Beautiful late day of summer yesterday, swell for walking errands. The coffee joint loaded up a cup of soft ice cream with all kinds of chocolate, and it energized me enought to get everything done.
Started another shortish novel titled I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal; he also wrote one called Closely Watched Trains which was made into a film back in the 1970's, I think it was. Thus far, it's funny and a bit outre.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hard start

Our nonegenarian had a rough time getting going in the morning; eventually things improved. There may be a sea change coming along.
Beloved offspring came over and did some good work for us; there is plenty more to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

but now we're tired of it

We wanted our summer back again, and lo, it returned by mid-afternoon. My dear sister and her youngest left for Idaho in the mid-morning, as we stood on the porch and waved through the drizzle. Hard on the nonegenarian, when she had two of her offspring so close for a few days. Stole away for a quick session at the climbing gym, which always restores a bit of balance in me.
Done with The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which I appreciated mostly. Starting Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa, a well-regarded Japanese author; I 've read a couple of her works. They are strange. This one is proving to be a bit bizarre as well, and I haven't decided if it's a good kind of bizarre or not.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Last good day for a bit

Yes, we have needed some free water from the skies, but seeing the banks of dark clouds roll in still piques a bit of disappointment. Got the hay mowed first, at least, and moved the camping family members inside, due to imminent rain.
Just about done with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Very mixed thoughts about the author's intent.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mile posts

Younger sister has been visiting, and today was her 55th birthday. We celebrated with fresh king salmon, organic spuds, salad, and a nice bottle of champagne. Swell day, swell night. We played a few duets for her, too, which she tactfully applauded.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Perfectly lovely day, with cool morning and sunny afternoon; good lesson, and a zany trip to the tuxedo shop, which was serendipitous. Concert season is approaching, and I decided I wasn' t the long black dress type. Long dresses really only work on long bodies.
Sweet speedy walk to cap off the afternoon, and then see if our family members make it, which they did, ahead of schedule, safely.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Easy on the eyes

Pleasant grayness and cool air this morning, making sunglasses unnecessary for once; nice walk with our nonegenarian after breakfast, she's recovering from the weird effects of high heat.
Not long but good climbing session with another friend; we went for endurance.
Trying out a short novel sent by a friend, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid. Thus far, it's good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Higher and higher

Short but good session yesterday evening at the gym, to beat the heat; one of the employees told us we hit it just right, that it started easing off a bit before we arrived. This particular climbing companion has had a renewed passion for bicycling lately, so I have to grab her when she's not off on a big road ride.
Tuesday, another friend bailed on me, so I spent a lot of time walking and gathering. It did soar to pretty high temps, which made me feel kind of light-headed; I found that trying out the new softserve ice cream our favorite coffee place in Fremont just acquired, with plenty of chocolate stuff mushed into the mix, was the perfect rejuvinator. Tomorrow there's a blessed marine push predicted, which will relieve us all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some relief

The heat wave is gradually easing off; mornings are pleasant, and I've been seeing more of them than I usually do. Two espresso machines bit the dust, so I've been rolling out into the not quite dawn's early light, more like a couple hours after, to stroll down to the nearby cafe for a blast of caffeine. One morning the young barista dude told me he had dreamed about his espresso machine the previous night; instantly curious, I asked if it was a good dream. "Oh, yes, " he responded, energetically. "See, I'm building my own machine, and I dreamed it was done!"
I've never heard of anyone building his own espresso machine, but I can see if you are a barista, you would want a good one. Coming from a childhood where my dad built everything from our bedside clock radios to the house stereo and even color televisions from Heathkits, I understand the lure of DIY. I don't really participate myself, but I do see its benefits.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

baking bacon

Sizzling sassafras; we sure did cook yesterday. Somehow we got in walks and exercising, but really had to aim for the shade. Brain fried; only just got in some duets in the cool basement, although I'm not sure how I got my fingers to move on the clarinet.
Parcel of interesting-looking novels arrived from our book pal; just in time, as I was re-reading a book for the group's discussion and wondering what I'd do next.
Heat advisory through Monday; hope we hold up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not superstitious

Somehow skipped a day; it grew hot, and our nonegenarian was already iffy after breakfast. The clarinet lesson was aborted, owing to my teacher's late-breaking allergy attack.
The toll for my climbing fun came due; felt as if I'd been hit in a few places with a bag of oranges.
Gonna use up the arnica gel.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Foggy start

Atmosphere misty, brain foggy, but the day turned into fabulous events. Beloved offspring took me up to Index for a day of climbing, and we hit several really good routes, easier ones for me, and a couple of toughies for him. It was an absolutely stellar day, sunshine and cooling breezes to offset the emanations of stored heat from the dark granite. One route took us up almost two hundred feet, and we could see the mountains across the way, crisp against the bluebird sky. At the end of the day, several rock climbing guys gathered and observed progress in our area of the Town Walls. Made me wish I could exist for a bit in a young male body capable of getting up those daunting cliffs.
Wonderful late dinner with beloved spouse, and eventually a set of fine live music at a place within walking distance of our home; to bed quite late. I will be feeling my inefficiencies on the wall tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Hornets' nest in the side pocket; hired a gun to kill them. He had to get into a full bee suit, climb up a ladder and spray the daylights out of the infestation. Yellowjackets do have their place in the chain of things, but not within a straight shot of our deck door and the neighbor's windows. The bee guy said he'd had to deal with a huge yellow jacket nest earlier in the week, and had gotten stung several times despite having a suit on, so advised us to act while this nest was relatively small. Not four feet high and almost as big around, like the last one he'd destroyed. Also, the roof repair folks wouldn't go near the deck with the nest intact; fair enough.
Swell little family dinner, with fresh-caught salmon as the main course.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Straightening out

Now we're rolling, more or less. Stuff still falls apart, but the day became beautiful, got another gym session in with a different friend, and good exercise for all. Fabulous sushi repast with beloved spouse, and we mellow on into the rest of the evening.
Not finding anything I am drawn to in my reading pile; may need to foray later this week.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Lost time

A miasma of computer weirdness and lack of contact; somehow a day or so has been misplaced.
Nice Sunday gym session with one friend, and on into the new week.
Nearing the end of Harry Mathews' novel titled Cigarettes, alhtough I'm not sure why it was called that. Strange and engaging mix of what seems like straightforward narrative and wigginess. I'll be looking for more of his work.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Suddenly Saturday

And an infested one it was; computer probs, seem to be solved now. Rain of a strange misty nature, soaking nonetheless, all the afternoon and evening; got a walk in early for our nonegenarian, fortunately. Hope the kids had some good hours up north before this socked in.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday transformation

From chilly, almost raining morning to gorgeous evening sun and cool breezes; we could have used the precipitation, but it never appeared, was bound up in the gray flannel skies. Just one of those end of the week days, with our nonegenarian zonked out late in the morning but raring to go out for her hairdoing. We admire the giant magnolias blooming next to the Taco Time near the salon; the dinner plate-sized blossoms are astounding. When we tip one down to see if it has a fragrance, baffled honeybees are seen crawling around in the flower's saucer, trying to find a source of pollen. The kids have lucked out in their choice of days to go up to Index for climbing, the cool air must be a delight on those dark granite expanses.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Deep south climate

This day got hotter and muggier, until by late afternoon, you could swear you were in Georgia in the springtime. The skies were hazy and choky-looking, we had a hot town summer in the city kind of thing going on. Cool food for dinner.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Yesterday today and tomorrow

Fabulous hunting and gathering weather, lots of moderate exercise on Tuesday; also a terrific bunch of musical practice time, solo and en duet. We sound good together.
Wednesday, a rare stretch of afternoon time for a climbing gym session; caught up with another friend, who's been quite busy for weeks. We chuckled over the chutzpah of another friend, who brazenly decided she would change a foothold on a climb which had been impeded by a different route, in the face of the head route setter. It's akin to correcting a work of art in a museum, sort of. Moustache on the Mona Lisa? Not quite, but nervy anyway.
Again, nice farmers' market, with red king salmon the main prize, along with some incomparable tomatoes from Eastern Washington. And smoked salmon, and bagels, and butter and peaches and an organic cuke.
Manana, we shall see. Traffic was so horrendous in the middle of the afternoon, I'd rather not have to drive anywhere.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Late sun

Strange to have to put on jackets to walk in the morning; we seem to be stuck in a pattern here, but the cool nights, while hard on the vegetable garden, are good for sleeping. A few more cherry tomatoes made the ripeness grade, and we'll dine on them tomorrow. Beloved offspring had a good climb over in Leavenworth, and beloved spouse a good kayak in the South Sound region. We fortholders held on, with diversions here and there.
Finished another odd little novel, titled Embers. It was first published in 1942, by a Hungarian writer named Marai. Very florid language, perhaps from a combination of being dated and a translation; main protagonist is a long-winded old fart, but he did have a few home truths in his philosophical meanderings.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A fix

Been deprived of climbing for over a week; finally one of my friends managed to squeeze in a session. It felt wonderful to work muscles until too tired to fire much more.
The day stayed cool, and we thought the skies were hazy with smoke; so they were, from a big plume that got carried down here from the interior of British Columbia. Made for good sunsets.