Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's an Edmonds Kind of Day

Last night was the first night of three that I will be staying at the Harbor Inn here in Edmonds. Yesterday I spent most of my time in the Seattle area. I stopped off at the Seven Gables Theatre to pick up a DVD copy of The Kiss of the Spider Woman that I had won by answering a couple of questions online. It's the second DVD I have won through that method. I also went to Bulldog News to pick up the latest issues of my favorite skeptic magazines and then I had lunch at Samir's Mediterranean Grill. Then I killed about an hour at the University Half-Price Books, which was fairly easy to do. I walked out with a stack of six books, but three of those were from the dollar shelves. I then headed up to the Ravenna district for an appointment, but I had fifteen minutes to kill, so I stopped in at Ravenna Third Place. My old boss was behind the counter, so he was kind enough to give me 40% off the three remainders I decided to buy there. After my 2 p.m. appointment I headed north to the port town of Edmonds to check into my hotel. I walked uptown to have dinner at la Puerta Mexican Restaurant. The food was good and there was plenty of it, but I found myself sweating by the end of the meal. I remember when a spicy meal causing me to sweat was a good thing. Now I feel like I picked the wrong meal as I dab the sweat from my brow.

After returning to my hotel room I took a hot bath and then read a few more essays by Bertrand Russell. I then finished watching an episode of Columbo that I had started watching last month during my stay in Chicago. It was an episode from the first season with Robert Culp as the murderer. Then as I was trying to pick something else from Netflix to watch on the laptop, I fell asleep. I awoke at four in the morning to shut the laptop and lights off.

I was hoping today was going to be sunny like yesterday, but so far there is a bank of clouds hanging over the harbor. I'm currently trying to decide where I want to have lunch. The seafood joints are in the opposite direction of the Edmonds Bookshop. I think I would enjoy a walk down by the docks though, as I make my way towards Anthony's for some oysters, or mahi mahi tacos.

There is a great little toy store in town that I want to make sure I visit before returning home. If I don't do it today then it will be a must-do for tomorrow. I'm on a quest for some stocking stuffers for Justin.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Subwoofer Oblivion

I've been such a slacker lately when it comes to blogging. There is probably a variety of reasons for that. I have been getting quite a bit of reading done now that the election is over. It is over isn't it? Anyway, I'm heading up to Edmonds (a whole two exits north on I-5) for three nights starting Monday. Jen and I do this periodically to give each other some space. Edmonds is not far, but it feels farther. I think that's because it has it's own port and the downtown Main street area is quaint and lined with shops. They have a nice little independent bookstore that I am sure I'll patronize while in town. I'll have plenty of reading time, which is always welcome. I've just started Why I am not a Christian by Bertrand Russell. It's a collection of essays the British philosopher wrote regarding his views on religion. I think it will be a fairly quick and enjoyable read once I can sit down to it. After reading three heady nonfiction books in a row, I plan on immersing myself in fiction through the holidays.

My son Justin and I have had some good days lately, although he skipped his naps twice this week, including today. The result today was one fairly intense "night terror" episode. Night terrors resemble Linda Blair's performance in The Exorcist. The child is still asleep, but thrashing around like he's possessed. It's a little unnerving. Justin has recently been enjoying the pastime of puzzles. He now has a half dozen 24-piece puzzles that he assembles and disassembles many, many times a day. He gets giddy when he has found the spot for a particular piece, and prolongs the pleasure of attaching it until he's about to burst. Today while he was working on a puzzle I got the urge to open the panel on the subwoofer speaker that sits on the living room. I knew that Justin had stuck something in the port tube. That's the hole in front of the unit, where the sound comes out and a two-year-old's arm goes in. The photo below shows what I pulled out of the unit this afternoon.

There are four toy cars, a plastic strawberry, a orange game peg, two new cat collars, and a baby in a basket. Justin thanked me profusely for finding his cars. My wife and I had just been talking about how quickly his car collection had dwindled to a precious few. I had a nice father and son moment when Justin helped me reattach the electronic panel by turning the screwdriver. He really enjoyed helping to reinsert all twelve screws. He kept saying "another one!" After the toy retrieval mission was accomplished I covered the port hole with packing tape. Justin seemed impressed that his car couldn't penetrate the heavy clear tape. I'm sure right now he's dreaming of ways to get past the temporary barrier and drop more items into subwoofer oblivion.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Ocean is Blue and so am I

It’s been over a week since I’ve posted anything on either of my blogs. Maybe it’s the post-election doldrums. Maybe it’s just my overall feeling of blueness brought about by personal issues that are seemingly out of my control. Maybe I just miss being in the wacky world of retail at this time of the year. Last weekend we drove out to a favorite spot of ours on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. We had reserved a cabin within a short walk of the beach and a forest of very large green trees. The only drawback was that we ended up with a cabin without a separate sleeping space for our two-year-old son. Needless to say, it was very difficult to get our son to sleep when he was so excited about being at the ocean. One highlight was spotting two bald eagles roosting in a large wind battered tree onshore. We couldn’t resist using the wood stove in the cabin, even though when we used it we had to open all the windows due to the heat. I believe that next week I’ll be going away for three nights on my own. The purpose is to give my wife some time at home on her own. She has been experiencing a dearth of quiet time to herself. I’ll also enjoy having a few days away to read and rest, but my emotions about the situation are a little dodgy at the moment.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Musical Interlude

Sometimes late at night when I'm lying in bed, and trying to get to sleep, I have the uncontrollable urge to hear this song. I reach for my iPod on the nightstand and plug in. I find the dark and brutal song quite soothing. Maybe that's not a good thing.

Cute Justin Photos

It has been a busy last couple of months. Things are starting to cool down a bit. I don't feel compelled to keep up with the latest political news (as in checking certain blogs every fifteen minutes and watching Olbermann and Maddow religiously.) I had jury duty this past Monday and Tuesday, which allowed me to get two books read. Free reading time is a plus in my book. I read both The Road by Cormac McCarthy and A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan. Both books fall into the anti-feel good category. Dark and somber. Those kind of books always appeal to me; and they helped balance the feeling of euphoria that Barack Obama's win gave me.

Speaking of President-elect Obama: Election night was quite the historic event. When Barack Obama gave his speech that night I got Justin out of bed to bear witness. He will be turning three in January, so I doubt if he'll remember much, if anything, about the night. When my wife arrived home from a co-op parents' meeting we all went into the backyard with some sparklers left over from July 4th and whooped it up. Tonight Justin remembered me getting him up, because he tried to use that excuse to get out of bed again. "Watch Barack Obama" he said to me. This was in addition to requesting water, crackers, different music, no night light, and a big hug. He took a big long nap this afternoon, so I'm not complaining.

Speaking of Justin . . . My main reason for posting tonight is to put up some recent pictures of Justin. These include his first haircut, Halloween, his Super Obama T-shirt and a couple others for good measure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tears of Joy

The networks announced at 8 p.m. PST that Barack Obama would be the 44th President of the United States. It took a minute to sink in and then I couldn't hold back the tears. I got my two-and-a-half year old son out of bed to share the moment. To see the seas of joyous faces across this country, who have helped to change the face of America. Most pundits are at a loss for words. Let's just savor the moment.

h/t bob cesca