Archive for August, 2010

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted about a book.  Fact is, I took a bit of a ‘literary detour’ and spent the first part of this summer wrapped up in the Twilight series.  And I won’t apologize for it – I was in the mood for something quick, easy, and just a little bit trashy, and that vampire saga fit the bill perfectly.  But once I got my fill of teenage romance, I was ready to flex my reading muscles and so picked up Till We Have Faces, my book club’s August pick.  This is C.S. Lewis’ interpretation of the classical myth of Cupid and Psyche, set in the far-off pagan land of Glome.  I’m not going to lie – this wasn’t a ‘fun’ read, but it stretched me, and encouraged me further explore deeper themes of selfish love, self-awareness, and frustration over a seemingly distant God.  And I like when a book stumps me, keeps the wheels in my head turning after I’ve put it down, forces me flip back through it in hopes of catching something new.  After doing some Googling and reading a couple of book reviews sent to me by my fellow stumped book-clubbies, I’m just scratching the surface of what Lewis may (or may not) have been getting at.  I’ll leave you with this passage, that seems to grow more powerful each time I reread it:

” ‘Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.’  A glib saying.  When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words.  I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer.  Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean?  How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

Oh, this weekend was so perfectly ‘weekend-ish’, full of good food, good times with friends, and a good dose of relaxation.  I didn’t have my camera with me at all over the past couple of days, but my handy iPhone captured the highlights:

Shane and I celebrated the end of the work week Schnell-style, and met at a bar downtown for some Happy Hour action.  Penn Cove mussels, garlic fries, and frothy pints of beer – these are the reasons it’s called ‘Happy Hour’.

We spent the rest of the evening with our friends Jason and Nancy, feasting on Jason’s tasty home-baked pizzas.  This one was my favorite – olive oil, onions, avacado, arugula, mmm…

Saturday morning was my monthly book club meeting with the ladies – which means a latte and buttermilk biscuit.  I’m afraid the book is secondary, really.

We spent Saturday afternoon at my office’s summer picnic, eating burgers and putt-putting a round of mini-golf.  Turns out I am terrible at mini-golf, but Shane can putt like a pro.  Go figure.

After church this morning, Shane and I headed over the Ballard Farmer’s Market.  Seemingly endless rows of fresh produce, brightly colored flowers, and locally made specialty foods.  And mini-donuts.  Let’s not forget the mini-donuts.

And finally, an afternoon spent doing some shopping, followed by a quiet Sunday evening at home.  Did some housework, some reading, and a yoga session that I will pretend can counteract the french fries, the pizza, the buttermik biscuit, the burger, and the mini-donuts.  Right.

Since the opening of my art show last month, I’ve done almost no art-making.  And I suppose that’s ok – I’ve come to accept that sometimes my creative endeavors will take a backseat to things like work or home projects or time with friends, but still, I’ve missed the feeling of a paintbrush or a pen in my hands. So when a friend asked me if I wanted to join her for a 3-hour figure drawing session at a gallery in Pioneer Square, I cleared my schedule, grabbed my sketchpad, and settled in for an evening of art-ing.  This was my first-ever figure drawing session, and I will admit, I went into it with a little concern over the awkwardness that may come from drawing a nude model, but once that big, lovely woman dropped her robe and we all started sketching, any reservations were put to rest.  I immediately became absorbed in my drawing, studying the model the same way you would study a landscape or a bowl of fruit or any other artistic subject.  The structure of the session was really good for me, as the bulk of the poses were only two to five minutes, so I didn’t have time to get stuck in the details or try to make anything perfect.  The length of time that the model stayed in any one pose gradually increased, and we wrapped up the night with a couple of 15-minute poses.  I walked out of there with a fat stack of sketches and a smile on my face – a totally fabulous evening.

FYI, these sessions occur on the third Tuesday of every month at La Familia gallery in Pioneer Square.  Entry is only 10 bucks (and well worth it!).

As of late, I like…

Sunny evenings spent sitting in the backyard, drinking wine and eating slices of baguette topped with Brie.  It’s our little homage to our fondest memories of Paris.

Rainy afternoons (’cause in Seattle, those sunshiny days don’t last for long) spent holed up inside, playing board games with friends. Yesterday, I discovered my love/hate relationship with Settlers of Catan (loved playing the game, hated that I lost…).

This project in Berlin – a building with a completely blank exterior, which is constantly transformed with artistic installations.  I love the idea of using a building as a canvas.  Carsten Nicolai’s installation is exceptionally cool, with its opportunities for public interaction and chance.

My ‘Hipstamatic Prints’ iPhone app, which applies different lighting and coloring effects to iPhone photos.  Shane is not with me on this one, as he seems to be a bit of a ‘purist’ when it comes to photography, but I think it’s fun, and perfect for spur-of-the-moment shots.

I am also loving my Mint Melange tea, paired with a chapter of Till We Have Faces, so I will be wrapping up the weekend accordingly.  ‘Night.

Our p-patch plot, planted 10 weeks ago with tiny little plants in neat little rows, has recently turned into something of a jungle.  We’ve had boatloads of lettuce, summer squash that seems to double in size overnight, and crisp, sweet snap peas that are usually munched on as we make the walk from the garden back to our house.  Just call me Farmer Kelly…

The tomatoes and strawberries aren’t yet ripe for the pickin’, but they show definite promise.

All in all, we feel like we’ve done pretty well in our rookie year of veggie-gardening.  But there are definitely things we’ll do differently next year – a couple of words to the wise:

– Don’t assume that one of those dinky little 2-foot stakes is all you need for your peas – our vines outgrew those things in a matter of minutes, and everything would have been much simpler if we’d built a trellis from the get-go.

– 12 lettuce plants is far too many for a two-person household.  I’m sick of salad.  I was actually relieved when some of our plants started to bolt and needed to be removed.

– Squash and zucchini plants grow freakishly fast and get freakishly big.  Just sayin’.

– Gardening is rewarding and fun, but watch out – it can cause marital tensions; I got very defensive last week when Shane accused my squash plant of crowding his strawberries.  How dare he.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be seeing more signs of red next time we go out there!  I’m ready for a good, juicy tomato.

This weekend was indeed full of bliss, with just the right balance of relaxation and productivity, a smattering of self-indulgence, and lots of time spent hanging out with Shane, who I’ve missed in the midst of our busy schedules.  After a morning run down by Lake Washington yesterday, I decided I had earned the right to a big ol’ breakfast and convinced Shane to head over to Both Ways cafe with me (easiest sell I’ve ever made).  This is one of our breakfast faves in South Seattle – a cute little spot tucked away on a quiet corner near Seward Park, offering solid breakfast fare, complete with perfect buttermilk biscuits and extra creamy lattes.

We caught up with each other over eggs, bacon, biscuits, and coffee, then headed down to Southcenter to catch the early showing of Inception.  It felt a little strange to be heading into a movie theater at 11 am, but when we discovered that shows before noon are offered at ‘pre’-matinee extra-discounted prices, I got over it (you all know I love a good deal).  Shane I spent the rest of the afternoon doing some shopping, napping, and then capping off our lovely day with pizza at Tutta Bella and ice cream at Full Tilt (insert happy sigh of satisfaction here).

I spent the evening with some girlfriends, taking part in what has quickly become a fun tradition for all of us.  Every few months, we each dig through our closets, pull out those items we love but just don’t wear anymore, and gather at La Verne’s house to swap clothes, accessories, and lots of laughs.  It was a fabulous evening, and I think we all walked away happy with what we had scored at our ‘free boutique’.

(photo courtesy of La Verne)

Today was heavier on the ‘productive’ side of things, with a couple of hours at the office and a couple of hours out working in the yard, but the evening couldn’t have been more relaxing, with a Rum and Coke in hand (Shane is trying his hand as bartender these days) and the Giants vs. Dodgers game on TV.  I’m not sure where my recent affinity for baseball came from (maybe out of need for a reason to veg?), but stretching out on the couch with Shane and cheering on the Giants has become one of my most favorite evening pastimes.  And as an added bonus, I think Shane falls a little deeper in love with me each time I spontaneously jump off the couch and let out a “woot!” in favor of his team.

All in all, an utterly fantastic weekend (unless you’re a Dodgers fan – hehe…).