Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All the Things She Said, She Said

Sometimes I get brilliant ideas for super obscure costume parties. And then I realize unless the entire guest list magically crawled out from some apartment complex in my brain, I would be the only one amused.

Tonight its a Simple Minds themed party where everyone has to come dressed as one of the many incarnations of the lead singer in the "All the Things She Said" video. Clearly, I want to be Owl Guy, with Falcon Guy coming in a close second. Neither to be confused with Cockatoo Guy, because who among you could resist seeing Zion in those striped pants?. MoneyPants Guy would be stellar, too. I would decorate with a space theme, hang a few tin foil stars and insist that everyone dance with snappy wrists, flailing arms and many, many spins.

Don't ask what got me started on this, because I could tell you in detail, and it really isn't all that interesting, just very typical.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shadow of the Wind

I just finished this and I have to say it was one of the best rides I've been taken on in a while. Now, some of you know that I'm, ahem, shall we say fond? of a certain Spaniard (whose head may or may not resemble that much loved potato with removable features.) That fondness coupled with the glowing reports of Barcelona I've received from friends and family alike may have colored my glasses a little extra rosy. But mostly I just loved the word-play. It reminded me of if Gabriel Garcia Marquez had written House of Leaves set in post civil war Spain. Certain phrases made me laugh out loud while others made me nearly gag with revulsion. I can't tell you how much I wish I could read it in its original Spanish.

Green with Envy

My mom has apple green zinnias in her garden this year. Green Zinnias! How cool is that?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zoo Zoo Zoo

Feeling like quite the quartet of VIPs, we were escorted (free of charge) through the gates of the Woodland Park Zoo today by their Event Coordinator Extraordinaire, also known as my sister, Lola. So fun. Made me itch to draw. I swear the brown bear and the peregrine were purposefully sitting for portraits. I was a pretty miserable photographer, though, forgetful and slow. So I snapped a few pics of certain adorable bipedal primate in a plaid sunhat and one of said adorable primate and his Nanna with a distant bear behind them. But Zion came through with the money shot. All B wanted to see was a giraffe, but we did him one better. He got to feed one instead. Made his day. Aside from that he loved the flamingos, the otters, the arctic fox and the lions the best. Actually above all he loved the waterfalls best. He could have spent all day watching the different habitat water features. Go figure.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Business of Sex and Death

"In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death." ~Sam Llewelyn

So, I wish that I had some grand venture to account for my bloggy absence. I don't. Truthfully, I've been spending every free minute reading borrowed trash and pondering the extent to which the powers that govern computer solitaire are out to get me. And, as always, I've been gardening. It looks so amazing out there, but the high temperatures are turning the blacktop roof into a giant teflon skillet. So, I figured I'd post a few pics of the lushness before it all sizzles away.
Thanks to Tia and her uncanny birthday gift super powers, I have an assortment of succulents that I've been playing with. I love them, and they love living in a giant teflon skillet. The beginning of a beautiful friendship, methinks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dust MOATS?!?

Pardon a brief rant. For the second time today I saw one of my favorite phrases misspelled in a published work. Seriously, authors and editors, it's mote. I can almost promise that you're not attempting to describe tactically defensive canals of dust floating in the air. Dust Motes. Okay?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jasper Cat

So, now we come to it. I felt compelled to write the preceding posts lest the happy memories of last week fall by the mourning wayside. But in truth, the only thing on my mind has been the death of our Jasper.

It was sudden, unexpected and horrible, as such things are. He was more like a dog than our dog, big and handsome, playful and nonviolent despite near constant tail pulling and general toddler roughness. He single-handedly (pawedly?) made me a cat person, and the emptiness around here without him is almost unbearable. Chilly and vacant. Reading alone on the couch today was a failed lesson in quelling a broken heart.

Open, racking sobs are hardly my style, but it can't be helped on this one. I've lost my warm blooded shadow, whose soft purr and polar bear sprawl crept with cat-like tread into my dog-loving heart, disarming me and converting me. And I just miss him.

Call it Clairie and the Dream of Horses

Me and Chiefie - my partner in wooded trail crime. We broke a few rules, and had a few spats, each underestimating the other's stubbornness. I felt at once like a kid, a lady, and a medieval heroine. Beckett said "Oh wow! Mama looks like a real cowboy-girl!" I felt like one too. It's just a remarkable way to move through nature. I think hoofbeats are regarded by birds and butterflies as nonthreatening, in a way that footsteps are not. Except maybe not hoofbeats at a run, either that or I just couldn't hear the birdsongs over the roaring thudding of my own heart.B also said, "Chief must be a boy horse, cuz he's big and I'm big, and I'm a boy!" His ride was very short, but way too long for my equinophobic parents, who stood quaking in their proverbial boots at the mere thought of their grandson subjected to the whims of a wild beast. Beckett and I were thrilled, though.My poor parents. I did my best to not freak them out too much, barely moving while Beckett was in the saddle, and alone in the saddle, keeping Chief at a slow walk as long as I was in view. If only they knew how recklessly I'd ridden under the cover of trees. A little late 20's rebellion is good for the soul, right? As long as it doesn't send your son's young and healthy grandparents to an early grave."Hey look! It's a couple of horses' asses!" - Mr. Andy Anderson a.k.a. 'Buddy'

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big Sky, Baby!

So, I left for Seattle last Monday to attend the aforementioned airport party, fully intending to be home by noon the next day. Instead, noon-the-next-day found me in Ryegrass, Wa, well East of the Cascades and well on my way to Heron, Montana. Don't ask me how, it was just one of those spontaneous Summer adventures. It needed to be done.

I love road trips, and this one boasted Christina's World hills and houses, sagebrush, a Jane Says father-daughter sing along, and a "Keepin' it Real Taxidermy" storefront. In short, jackpot. Our time in Montana was lovely. Old friends of my parents' live out there, without television, computer or cell reception, but with hot sun, thunderstorms and wilderness. Certain moments found me curled up with a plate of lemon pie and this or this. Others found me barefooted in the creek catching frogs. Not to mention flying through the woods in the rain on horseback. (Yes, I'm one of those horse girls who never grew out of it, and running in a warm downpour was the realization of something old and dear.)
My dad annually builds these river rock towers/sculptures. This year, in the 2 days we spent he erected at least 20. He goes into this Zen state and the stones just balance beautifully. Despite the ease and grace of both the art and the artist, these babies are strong. Our friends have sent pictures of them in the snow, and say they don't topple until the spring highwater rush. How cool is that? Our time out there was ultimately relaxing. Our nature walks revealed robin's eggs and strange orange mosses and birch trees with impossibly bright bark. Seriously, do we even have birch trees in Washington? or are those dingy lovelies actually conifers in disguise? Our nature walks also revealed my son's inhereted fart joke humor - "Oh, I thought it was a bear!" I started resisting this annual trip early this year. Like in February. I started putting my foot down to my parents, making it perfectly clear that my son and I would not be with them this time. So much for that, and I was wrong anyway. I'm already looking forward to next Summer.


You gotta love a crazy family that makes a SeaTac layover into Thanksgiving in July. Last Monday, we caught Baby Cousin Ella and her parents on their way home from visiting her paternal grandparents. What a party. No matter how miserable I was when we left the airport without them, I'm so happy to have stolen those moments out of their busy travel itinerary. I miss you guys!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Red (and black) Army

After having suffered a few unacceptable losses to a barbarian horde of aphids, and being left weary and disheartened by weeks of hand to hand combat with a spray bottle of insecticidal soap, I finally called in reinforcements.This highly skilled group of mercenaries, in their war-painted exoskeletal armor, have spread their vast numbers along the battlefield, eradicating the enemy one by one. Die, aphids, die! Ladybugs eat pieces of $#*! like you for breakfast! And lunch. And dinner. And hopefully for midnight snacks.

This is by far the most fun we've ever had with pest control, so even if they've all flown off to greener pastures by morning, it was totally worth it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

La Dolce Vita

Zion has the day off, B is napping. We're putzing around the house, and I just brought these in from the roof. How sweet it is.