Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Greetings from Home

We are home after a weather delay that kept us in the air more than an hour extra and some bouncing around up there and four million percent humidity on the ground! It was a nice day earlier though -- we checked out early so we could go to the beach at Seahurst Park on Puget Sound, where we saw lots of seabirds and found the first intact sand dollars I've ever collected in the wild, then had bagels at the airport in view of Mount Rainier. We watched all three episodes of Arthur and George on the plane. Must sleep, more tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Greetings from Belltown

Daniel had to work on Monday, so Paul and I consoled ourselves by going all over the place around Seattle. We started at Golden Gardens Park, which does have pretty golden trees at this time of year but we chose it because it has a beach with tide pools on Puget Sound. After looking at anemones and the Olympic Peninsula mountains, we went to Chittenden Locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which has a fish ladder and a garden as well as the canal where we got to watch the water levels brought up to let boats through.

After Vietnamese food for lunch at Monkey Bridge, we then enjoyed views of Mount Rainier while driving to Washington Park Arboretum, which is jointly owned by the nearby University of Washington and the City of Seattle. Fall is much more in evidence here than at home so it was very colorful. We were a bit early to meet Daniel for dinner, so we went to City Center and had Starbucks while circling around the Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens, then went to The Lucky Diner and hung out with Daniel in the evening!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Greetings from Woodland Park

Another glorious day in Seattle, scarcely a cloud in the sky -- we even saw Mount Rainier in the morning when we left the hotel -- lots of energy for the Seahawks game as we drove into town. We picked up Daniel and went to the Woodland Park Zoo, which we had last visited more than a decade ago while younger son was in the midst of his penguin enthusiasm -- the penguins are still there and also lion cubs, meerkats, Asian and North American otters, many snakes and lizards, orangutans and gorillas, bears, warthogs, and a terrific raptor show at which the most exciting animal was a guest! We went back to Daniel's apartment in the evening, watched some football, ordered Chinese food from Chens Village to celebrate the Autumn Moon Festival, and watched the lunar eclipse as the moon rose over Belltown!

Being Penguins...

...And Visiting Penguins

I Know How He Feels

Suspicious Even With Food On Sticks

Visiting Monkeys

Not Actually a Zoo Resident But Nesting In the Trees

Seattle on Seahawks Game Day

Total Eclipse of the Supermoon

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Greetings from A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Glorious day in Seattle, partly cloudy, in the 60s, colorful fall leaves everywhere not dominated by evergreen. We spent most of it near the center of the city -- brief walk to the waterfront to see the Olympic Sculpture Park, up to the Armory for Mod Pizza for lunch (feta and parmesan with balsamic fig sauce mmmmm), Olympic Fountain, EMP Museum free for Smithsonian Museum Day to see sci-fi, horror, rock & roll and sports; we paid only for Star Wars costume exhibit, Ti22 for Thai for dinner, glorious almost-full moon over the Space Needle as we walked back to have birthday cake for Daniel's 22nd:

Me, Darth Vader, and a Minion

Olympic Sculpture Park

With David Bowie's Labyrinth Costume

Paul Being a Wookie

Daniel and Darth Vader

Look Out There's an Alien Behind You

With Rare Unsmashed Nirvana Guitar

Not Quite Big Enough To Be a Seattle Seahawk

Birthday Dinner

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Greetings from Seattle

I am in Seattle to visit Daniel and celebrate his birthday! We left home around noon after our cat-sitter had taken over and I had posted a review of Voyager's long-despised "Persistence of Vision" (a.k.a. the one where Janeway makes out with Mark, Chakotay makes out with Torres, and everyone goes crazy except the Doctor). Then we went to the airport and had a perfectly fine flight on which we watched This Is Spinal Tap, at least until the final half hour when the seat belt alarm went off continuously, which was a big headache.

The good news is that we landed half an hour early; the bad news is that it took us a long time to pick up our rental car, but that left Daniel more time to visit the Friday afternoon tiki bar at Amazon before we arrived and took him to the extremely delicious Petra Mediterranean Grill for dinner. He is liking work a lot, hanging out with three friends who went to the University of Maryland with him, and disgusted with all his favorite football teams. Tomorrow we are finally getting to the Star Wars exhibit at the EMP museum! A few travel and arrival photos:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Poem for Friday, Heroes Reborn, Annmarie Garden

By Alex Ben-Ari
Translated by Vivian Eden

I ask forgiveness of all the poems
Born misshapen because of my desire to write them
I ask forgiveness of all the people
Whose lives were disrupted by my desire to influence
And of the world
For the superfluous things added to it
And those unnecessarily severed
Because of my lust for symmetry
And happy endings.

I ask forgiveness of my mother
For not knowing how to love her in her misery
Of my children
For the moments when I don’t want them
Of my wife for every time I was too small
To contain her love.

I am lighter than a falling leaf
I am softer than grass
Now a small bird could
Build its nest in me.


I had a lot of work and chores to get done on Thursday, the most fun part of which was running over to Best Buy because I realized my $10 reward certificate was going to expire and I wanted to get Branagh's Cinderella for half price. I finished my Voyager review a day early (because wow is it easy to write a review of an absolutely terrible episode) and finished various other projects -- just about everything but taking Liz's t-shirts to the post office got done. I even managed to watch the Pope address Congress. We took a walk later than usual and saw five bunnies for the first time in weeks, including two young ones -- they must be coming out later for the fall.

We watched the revamped Heroes Reborn, which I enjoyed nostalgically in parts -- Noah was always my favorite character, I always knew he was on Claire's side and would do anything for her -- and Katana Girl is pretty awesome. But I must confess that I've forgotten a lot of the fourth season of Heroes, so I really wish they'd done some quick exposition summarizing where we left Mohinder, Matt, Hiro, the Petrellis, et al -- a couple of characters discussing it Game of Thrones-style in the middle of a sex scene would have been entirely welcome in this instance (that is how the scene with the Haitian should have gone!). Some more photos from Annmarie Gardens, the sculpture rather than the festival:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poem for Thursday, ArtsFest, Nashville

Came Yom Kippur
By Edgar Guest

Came Yom Kippur — holy fast day world wide over to the Jew,
And Hank Greenberg to his teaching and the old tradition true
Spent the day among his people and he didn't come to play.
Said Murphy to Mulrooney, 'We shall lose the game today!
We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat
But he's true to his religion — and I honor him for that!'


I listened to a sermon for Yom Kippur, though it was delivered by the Pope rather than a rabbi. Paul worked from home and we were on our computers and doing chores in the vicinity of the TV for much of the afternoon, watching coverage since we were too paranoid about traffic to try to go anywhere for the Jewish holiday or anything else! I found the Pope very impressive particularly speaking to the cardinals, reminding them that the tent has to be big enough for anyone who wants to come in regardless of ideology, though I love seeing a global religious leader passionately arguing for the environment, too. And I loved seeing him at churches I've been inside.

Although I haven't fasted in two decades, we "broke the fast" with the family friends with whom we have for the past many years -- my parents' friends, their kids and grandkids. It was weird being there with none of our kids, but always nice to see everyone there. When we came home, we watched "Arctic Ghost Ship" about the Franklin expedition on NOVA (the patron Koch Brothers must have liked the evidence of non-global warming when the sea ice didn't melt), then Nashville, which would be fine except that it remains, well, Nashville, meaning everyone has the same contrived problems they did last season! Some more photos from ArtsFest at Annmarie Gardens:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Poem for Wednesday and ArtsFest

Rat Song
By Margaret Atwood

When you hear me singing
you get the rifle down
and the flashlight, aiming for my brain,  
but you always miss
and when you set out the poison  
I piss on it
to warn the others.

You think: That one’s too clever,  
she’s dangerous, because
I don’t stick around to be slaughtered  
and you think I’m ugly too
despite my fur and pretty teeth  
and my six nipples and snake tail.  
All I want is love, you stupid  
humanist. See if you can.

Right, I’m a parasite, I live off your  
leavings, gristle and rancid fat,  
I take without asking
and make nests in your cupboards  
out of your suits and underwear.  
You’d do the same if you could,

if you could afford to share  
my crystal hatreds.
It’s your throat I want, my mate  
trapped in your throat.
Though you try to drown him  
with your greasy person voice,
he is hiding / between your syllables  
I can hear him singing.


I got to see younger son briefly on Tuesday, which was nice -- we needed to drop off his fall clothes and take his bike to be repaired (yes, we did just do that, but the chain broke again), so we took him out to lunch at Rasoi, whose lunch buffet is as excellent as its dinner choices if not better because there's more variety for everyone. He had a good time at the hackathon (he got to eat poutine) and he's thinking about minoring in astronomy, something that has always interested him. The weather was gorgeous, we saw several deer in the neighborhood and lots of zippy chipmunks trying to GRAB ALL THE ACORNS before the squirrels get them. We had a haphazard dinner of leftovers because we were still pretty full from lunch.

For our Tuesday night premiere week TV watching, we started with The Muppets, but it was so terrible that we didn't make it through the first half hour. It was sexist, mean-spirited, more like Ted than past Muppets, and I actually liked Scream Queens better for a few minutes when we switched channels before that too went way over the top. Then we tried Limitless, which was okay -- nothing offensive or ruinous to its previous incarnation, but somewhat cliched in all the character interactions and not grabbing me the way Minority Report did...not even the way Blindspot did, since I'm looking forward to the second episode of that more than the next Limitless. Some more photos of art from ArtsFest at Annmarie Gardens:

Have a good fast if you're observing Yom Kippur!