Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shopping With The Boys

We've had a long day here visiting with our friends Mark and Dario. Mark and Dario, have a fabulous home near the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. They have a lovely collection of objects de art and pictures that they've tastefully arranged. I am slightly envious and I'll have to take pictures of what they've done to see if I can apply it to our home. I really like the way that they've decorated their second story bathroom; it's very rustic, and it features cute little crow paintings Dario has done.

We've managed to wear out the kid shopping. Luckily, Arthur loves shopping.

We visited an antique store that had a lovely Welsh armoire and lots of old stain glass church windows (the sort that you would hang behind your entry windows). The Armoire was fun, it had a lot of grotesques on it, and clawed feet. I would have used it for jewelry and fun clothes.

Next it was an Asian shop called Distant Lands. They had a lot of fun stuff from China; I really liked a little hare hare stone mastaba they had... I'm not sure where they got it from. The proprietor thought it might have been carved from basalt.

We also visited the Stonington Art Gallery. I'm currently working on a story set in a glass art gallery and I wanted to see how many details I'd gotten right (and which ones I'd missed). The art was fun; I particularly like the works of Susan A. Point. I also like the works of Thomas Stream and thought that his work might be the sort of thing we could hang in the nursery (in a kind of idealized, if we had money to afford a house with a nursery with nice art in it kind of house), but Mark thought his work was like a kind of bland greeting card.

We had lunch in Mark H. and Dario's favorite noodle restaurant. I had a nice chicken noodle soup. I forget what Mark had. Arthur was relatively well behaved. He had rice and avocado. We listened to this one really loud white guy and spoke amongst ourselves about loud Americans. He was probably my age; very opinionated, and slightly racist.

There was one odd moment when a shop keeper managed to scoop Arthur out of Mark's arms. It was probably a good thin that Mark had Arthur and not me because I would have tried to Judo-chop the shop keeper and there's a chance that the shop keeper would have known real live Judo (as opposed to my movie-inspired John-Judo). After a minute Mark mentioned that Arthur had just eaten and so there were no guarantees about Arthur urping up on the shopkeeper.

We also visited a cute little store filled with benches, cafe tables, and sinks. Everything was made out of plate glass or plastic. It was lots of fun; my favorite chair was fashioned like a giant leopard print stiletto-heel shoe. Lots of the glass tables were priced under $150, so we wondered if there was something wrong with them and if they would crack down the middle in a month or three after purchase.

Arthur had his first boat ride today. We took a harbor taxi from the Seattle riverfront (hmmm, OK. Most of Seattle is riverfront) to a bunch of beaches that start with B. I will admit that I was the classic fearful parent and checked out where all the child life jackets were. I also wondered briefly about which exits I would take in the event that the boat flipped over in the water. Is it something about being a parent that makes you imagine a ferry flipping over in perfectly calm and sunny weather and imagining what it would be like to unstrap an infant out of a pram under water?

We saw a little Statue of Liberty that was pretty awful. The Statue had lost the little barbs on her crown, and she looked like she had been modeled off of someone's blonde niece instead of the actual Statue in New York Harbor. And the beaches -- well, I suppose the strips of gravel could be called beaches at a stretch. On the ride back we saw sea lions.

I've made a discovery. It's much easier to read The Quangle Wangle's Hat by Edward Lear with great abandon (and rolling R's) after drinking a Cosmopolitan. I'd never really gotten into the story or the syntax of the poem until after a Cosmo. I think part of the problem is the way that the poem is broken up in the edition of the book we have. Edward Lear (the guy who wrote The Owl and the Pussycat) has a structure that gets hidden in the book illustrated by Louise Voce. I think part of the problem with The Quangle Wangle is that the format of a children's' book breaks the poem down on too fine a level; the structure of the poem is lost in a line-by-line illustration.

If you have a children's book that you'd like to appreciate, here's the recipe for a Cosmopolitan

1 2/3 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz cranberry juice
1/2/ oz fresh lime juice

Of course, now that I've typed this in, I see that I've somehow managed to confuse the instructions in the book (they also list measurements in centiletres) and I've mixed a very strong drink. Ooops. I thought I was a cheap date, but I see it's more a case of I shouldn't be my own bartender.
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