Sunday, June 30, 2024

Greetings from Evans Creek Preserve

Saturday was a gorgeous, not-too-hot day in the Seattle area! We had a quiet morning reading and doing boring stuff, then we ate lunch and went to Evans Creek Preserve to hike in the trees and along the meadow trail in view of the Cascades. There was almost nobody around and it smelled great in the woods. 

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Before we came home, we stopped at Kohl's to return both Kohl's stuff and Amazon packages, since Kohl's ships them back. The wait times were ridiculous, but I had a bunch of coupons and Kohl's cash expiring on the 30th, so I wound up getting a $90 jacket for about $15, which always feels like an accomplishment. 

We watched most of the Orioles win over the Rangers, which was very enjoyable, and a bit of the Mariners game (ultimately a loss) before we started watching the insane historical Tudor fantasy My Lady Jane, which is crazy and hilarious and has Anna Chancellor scheming all over the place so I am enjoying it enormously!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Greetings from Green Lake

I had a very nice, social Friday, starting after morning chores with Adam, who had an eye doctor appointment in Redmond and met us afterward at Kitanda, where he bought us lunch and we caught up on his plans for moving to Ohio by the middle of August, when he and Haley will both be starting new jobs. I stopped at the Bath and Body Works sale for wallflower scents before we headed home. 

In the afternoon, we drove to Green Lake to meet our friends Kris and Josh, with whom we walked by the lake to Chocolati, then went to dinner at Mykonos. We hadn't seen them for a year, so we were excited they were in town from Oregon. We had thought we might stop by to see Daniel while we were in the neighborhood, but he had an insane work day and didn't get back till we were done with dinner. 

We walked by the lake some more after sharing mezze including hummus, tyrokafteri, melitzanasalata, saganaki, skordalia, feta and Greek potatoes, horiatiki salata, and fried zucchini with tzatziki, all of which was delicious. Then we said goodnight and came home, where we're watching the rest of the third season of The Bear, which I think has been a bit less intense than the third season but still great. 

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Friday, June 28, 2024

Poem for Thursday and Forever Twilight

By William Matthews 

Baudelaire: "The dead, the poor dead, have their bad hours."
But the dead have no watches, no grief and no hours.

At first not smoking took all my time: I did it
a little by little and hour by hour.

   Per diem. Pro bono. Cui bono? Pro rata.
But the poor use English. Off and on. By the hour.

   "I'm sorry but we'll have to stop now." There tick but
fifty minutes in the psychoanalytic hour.

Vengeance is mine, yours, his or hers, ours, yours again
(you-all's this time), and then (yikes!) theirs. I prefer ours.

Twenty minutes fleeing phantoms at full tilt and then
the cat coils herself like a quoit and sleeps for hours. 


Thursday was cooler than Wednesday and rainy on and off. We went out in the late morning to get bagels, did a bunch of chores -- mine included laundry and packing up clothes for Goodwill -- then we walked in the drizzle to the beach, which we had pretty much to ourselves because of the weather except for people who were making a wood fire that smelled amazing. 

The Os won, and my Thursday night chat group ran long -- we were all avoiding watching the debate -- so I ate dinner late (one of the bagels we got earlier with tofu). Afterward we watched this week's The Boys, a massive horror shitfest, followed by a season three episode of The Bear, which feels a little out of focus midway through. Speaking of horror shitfests, Forever Twilight in Forks:

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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Poem for Wednesday and Lake Crescent

Lake of the Isles 
By Anni Liu 

January 2021 

After my grandfather died
I waited for him to arrive
In Minneapolis. Daily
I walked across the water
Wearing my black armband
Sewn from scraps, ears trained for his voice.
Migration teaches death, deprives us
Of the language of the body,
Prepares us for other kinds of crossings,
The endless innovations of grief.
Forty-nine days, forty-nine nights—
I carried his name and a stick
Of incense to the island in the lake
And with fellow mourners watched
As it burned a hole in the ice.
He did not give a sign, but I imagined him
Traveling against the grain
Of the earth, declining time.
Spirit like wind, roughening
Whatever of ourselves we leave bare.
When he was alive, he and I
Rarely spoke. But his was a great
And courageous tenderness.
Now we are beyond the barriers
Of embodied speech, of nationhood.
Someday, I will join him there in the country
Of our collective future, knowing
That loneliness is just an ongoing
Relationship with time.
It is such a strange thing, to be
Continuous. In the weeks without snow,
What do the small creatures drink?


We had a lovely cool Wednesday in the Seattle area with rain late in the evening that will keep tomorrow's temperatures nice too. I chatted with Hildy who was my one high school friend around in the morning, along with her daughter Haley and Adam, who just found a house to share in Ohio in the fall. Hildy is coming to visit for a few days in July! After lunch, I watched the first half of Wakanda Forever with Kristen, which was great both socially and cinematically. 

We walked to the lake in the afternoon, enjoying the gorgeous cool weather and the relatively empty beach, though the geese were mostly hiding and the frogs were quieter. I had a better baseball day -- the Orioles and Mariners both won! -- and after dinner we started watching the new third season of The Bear, which continues to be excellent though so far not quite the heights of the second season. In honor of the cool weather, here is Lake Crescent in the Olympic Peninsula:

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Poem for Tuesday and Swans Trail Farm Animals

Dark Matter and Dark Energy 
By Alicia Ostriker 

My husband says dark matter is a reality
not just some theory invented by adolescent computers
he can prove it exists and is everywhere

forming invisible haloes around everything
and somehow because of gravity
holding everything loosely together

the way a child wants to escape its parents
and doesn’t want to—what’s that—
we don’t know what it is but we know it is real

the way our mothers and fathers fondly
angrily followed fixed orbits around
each other like mice on a track

the way every human and every atom
rushes through space wrapped in its invisible
halo, this big shadow—that’s dark dark matter

sweetheart, while the galaxies
in the wealth of their ferocious protective bubbles
stare at each other

unable to cease


Tuesday was nearly 80 degrees, a gorgeous day, the highlight of which for me was a walk to the beach where people were swimming, barbecuing, and blowing giant bubbles, though it was also a good day for seeing eagles and squirrels and, eventually, ducklings. I did some boring stuff around that, and again had a terrible baseball day though I saw very little of the Orioles, Mariners, and Nationals losses. 

It has, however, been a good TV night: first I watched Voyager's frankly terrible "Repression" with my Tuesday group, then Star Wars: The Acolyte with Cheryl which is creating more questions than answers but definitely holding my interest, and now we're watching the season finale of Dark Matter, which has been exceptional in every way. From Swans Trail Farms' Baby Animals & Berries Festival: 

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Poem for Monday and Edmonds Arts

Magnifying Glass 
By Tim Seibles 

No one
would burn
your name
for not seeing
the ant’s
careful antennae
testing the air
next to your
shoe, six legs
almost rowing
it along. Who

would be upset
if you brushed one
off-handedly off
your arm, undone
by the tiny
steps: what do
they want,
you ask — unaware
that they breathe
through their
sides. Do they
sleep? Do they
anything? No
one should

mark your soul
short     if you
mash one: when
two ants meet
there’s no tongue
for hello — it’s a
bug, a nearly
less than
little thing: at most,
made to chisel
under the fridge
with eyes that,
even in brightest
day, see not reds
or greens but gray
and gray again.
Who would

curse your life
if you bring out
the Raid?
How many
books have they
read? — that
brain    a virtual
speck. Is all
they carry
really work

or just some
dumb old daily
ado? — the heart
what blood, what
prehistoric nudge
on that
brittle head.


I have nothing exciting to report from my Monday (work, chores, a couple of phone calls, three half-watched baseball games that ended badly for the Orioles, Mariners, and Nationals respectively) except for spectacular weather that we enjoyed on the beach and the dock. There were eagles and geese and frogs who are still singing late into the night. 

I did a silly file reorganization project this evening while watching most of season two of The Bear that made me run late, so I shall be brief and share these photos from the Edmonds Arts Festival of some of the crafts we saw, where particularly the glass and pottery delighted me though I loved seeing everything from the lavender pillows to the resin jewelry:

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Monday, June 24, 2024

Greetings from Seahurst

Puget Sound had a forecast for this weekend for very low tides, exposing the intertidal zone where moon snails are currently making egg collars and sea stars are clinging to the undersides of rocks. So in the morning, we packed sandwiches and went to Seahurst Park in Burien, which we used to visit on the way to SeaTac when we were about to leave Seattle and only learned after several years had great tidepools. We saw many snails, crabs of all sizes, sea stars, sea cucumbers, chitons, and assorted fish. Then we ate our sandwiches while sitting on driftwood, watching the herons, gulls, and crows fish and eat too. 

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We came home in the afternoon and took showers because we had lots of sand in lots of places, then watched some baseball (the important games of the day for us, the Mariners vs. Marlins and Orioles vs. Astros, had both ended badly earlier). Then we ate ravioli and watched the start of the second season of The Bear (excellent), followed by the penultimate episode this season of Interview with the Vampire (sad, very well done, though I miss one of the most poignant moments from the novel), and the first episode of Orphan Black: Echoes (too soon to tell whether it will in any way be a good follow-up to the original).

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Greetings from Snohomish

Another quickie after a great day in Snohomish, where we drove late in the morning and met Chris. We went to First and Union Kitchen for brunch (they have exceptional eggs benedict and rosemary skillet potatoes) and walked through town for a bit. Then we drove to Swans Trail Farms, which was having a Baby Animals and Berries Festival, meaning that we got to see (and in several cases hold and pet) lambs, kids, foals, piglets, bunnies, kittens, puppies, chicks, and ducklings. We also got to drink strawberry lemonade and strawberry cold brew and eat strawberry shortcake before heading out to the fields to pick strawberries to take home.

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I followed baseball mostly long-distance -- the Mariners' 9-0 victory over the Marlins, the Orioles' 5-1 loss to the Astros, the Nationals' heartbreaking 8-7 collapse against the Rockies in a game that ended on a pitch clock violation resulting in a bases-loaded walk. When we got home, Cheryl and I watched the Doctor Who season finale together, which was about as anticlimactic as this entire season has felt to me; I like Ncuti Gatwa but I feel like I know nothing about this Doctor except that he cries more than the previous five Doctors combined, and as much as I appreciate having so many older women front and center, their storylines felt unfocused.