The niece had her first birthday yesterday! Cake FACE! Edie did her part for science by confirming the ability to still breathe despite housing copious amounts of frosting up her (wittle) nose. ♦
Got my snow! The kind that sticks around a while. Though not the kind that sticks to the road long enough to freeze over and crunch in the night as cars attempt to drive along- that’s my favorite. No, this kind slushed in the night. In recent weeks, weird smatterings of snow have occurred where in one city, an accumulation of several inches happens while just down the road nuttin’. My snow affinity has people feeling it’s their duty to report any in the general area so that I can dream on in expectation.
Met up for Italian tonight, a belated birthday dinner pour moi avec friends. Denise grabs a menu and apologizes for forgetting her reading glasses as she moves the menu further out in front of her towards me. Moments later she says, “You’re so beautiful.” I promptly lean aways back in my chair and ask her, “Are you sure? Better look again.”
I was out and about the weekend before last with Bean and Shane in Seattle to see Billy Crystal at the Paramount. It happened to be Emerald City Comicon weekend, so the streets were filled with costumes of all kinds and lots of extra energy, kinda like a bonus show.
Once settled in at the theatre, the lights soon went down and out walked Bonnie Hunt. Turns out she and Billy are touring together, brought together in friendship while each serving on a committee having to do with Robin Williams, the actual details of which are fuzzy in memory. What’s not fuzzy is the collective “aw” that filled the place at the mention of Robin’s name. The evening was filled with stand up and sit down- two comfy chairs on stage where the pair sat while Bonnie asked questions of Billy- how’s he doing, what’s he think of such ’n’ such, does he remember this or that, what about so ’n’ so, etc. Each night, things might be a bit different with room for spontaneity. I learned all sorts of stuff! He was most certainly more than marvelous.
Shane chose the outing as the last gift I opened on my birthday. It was between Billy Crystal and Patton Oswalt, which Bean thought was hilarious since I’ve been scheming to take Shane to Oswalt for the past three years, each time encountering schedule conflicts. Shane aspired to be a firefighter and/or a comedian growing up, so I keep an eye out for experiences involving comics. He absolutely made the right choice given all the amazing history and talk of movies involved spanning decades. On the way out, Bean snagged a lobby card as a little memento. And on the flip side? ♦
I found out why my Uncle was called “Lefty.” He played baseball for the Tacoma Ice Cream Company where he received the name “Lefty” as a pitcher. Then, in a turn of irony, he ended up losing sight in his left eye due to a gun misfiring at the age of 22. I remember his eyes always being obscured by the glasses he wore, and he’d peer over them at you when he was searching for eye contact.
I was all set to tell about Bean’s birthday doing when I realized that this particular birthday doing above managed to evade the cake crappery I encounter when placing orders over the years as shared previously. This cake was made/molded/sculpted by a lovely friend who counts decorating among her skills and talents. It was for my Mom’s birthday because she adores Eeyore. She removed his tail as a keepsake and presumably for safekeeping as he’s been known to lose it over the years.
As for Bean’s birthday, she grew up absolutely obsessed with The Secret Garden– the book most especially, followed closely by the Broadway musical. In that Broadway musical was Mandy Patinkin in the role of key character, Archibald Craven. So when Mandy came to town this past June so soon after Bean’s birthday, we were there, front row and center. For weeks before, we tried to convince our Dad that he wanted to go, to which he always gave a lackluster response. Then one day, he discovered that Patinkin had been in Evita, for which our Dad knows the songs, but hadn’t known the singers. “Why didn’t ya say so?” he asked us. Why didn’t we?
That night, Mandy was marvelous. His passion for singing was clear and contagious and much to my delight, he dispersed many a story between each new song. Tchaikovsky and Other Russians was among the songs covered, a fun piece listing the full-bodied names of mostly Russian composers at an ever increasing speed. One of Mandy’s albums, Mamaloshen, features many popular tunes all sung in Yiddish (always love an ish), and from this he shared a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Nem Mikh mit tsu der Bol Geym! He and his accompanying pianist were touching, illuminating, amusing, and moving, easily eliciting a standing ovation from all. And just when we thought it was all over, he concluded the night with a nod to his past role containing an iconic line of retribution by taking on the physical stance of a man armed and dangerous, about to duel. I had a compulsive desire to reach out and boop his shoe. I remain so glad I didn’t. ♦
The Committee Hoping for Extra-Terrestrial Encounters to Save the Earth (yep, that spells “CHEESE”) claims they have 1962 World’s Fair plans stating that the Space Needle was built to talk to aliens in other solar systems.
Clearly, it was to talk to aliens in this system as well, because that’s where we went for my dad’s official birthday, the revolving SkyCity rest(a)urant atop the Need(l)e, suspect s(i)st(e)r i(n)cluded.
The folks across from us cleared out soon after we got settled in, momentarily leaving a clean and pristine spot from which to capture the view beyond. I raised the camera, pushed the button and upon review of the shot, found that my dad had im(perfectly) timed a sip. That’s lemons for ya.
“Overpriced and far from good,” to quote a write up of their fare, was spot on. The meal arrived looking like this, but ultimately, tasted like that- a pile of poorly marbled too tough tenderloin with dry and forgettable sides so bad they refused to be pictured a second time.
Turns out the Lunar Orbiter saved the day! Uh, night! The iconic dessert arrived billowing bountiful puffs of smoke, as if floating in on a cloud from just outside the window. An ice cream sundae, it is, an item still featured from the original 1960’s menu. The dessert and bustling atmosphere accompanied by undeniably magnificent visuals makes this one needle not to drop, despite them lacking luster in their main meals.
We stepped outside soon after, as the sun set in the distance. I located the Northwest (it’s the place to be). And then I spotted ginormagantuan daddy long legs atop the Seattle Center far below. See?
Turns out Seattle artist and science illustrator Marlin Peterson was commissioned to paint a mural in the city somewhere. He started searching for a large roof after not finding a large available wall, and tada!- trompe l’oeiled. ♦
Painting by Victor Figol
A few party details from the dad’s 75th birthday celebration.
Finally got to see (!) and own (yay!) photos from my dad’s childhood in the last decade or so. Long time coming. And perfect for copying and making a number of banners to be strewn about the place.
Silver and gold was the theme- kept it simple as opposed to honing in on a beloved book, show or movie. He loves to find coins on the ground and picks them up regularly to add to the various sets he’s ordered and collected over the years. Thought I’d toss a heap’s worth here and there around his home (the party destination) for him to pick up at his leisure, after running the pros and cons of the idea. Among the bunch (coins- not pros and cons), many a foreign one, knowing he’d have fun investigating what was what and from where. In addition, silver coins- we both love ‘em! Me, from having sold movie tickets galore, dealing in bills and quarters mostly- got used to distinguishing the sound of a silver coin plunked down on the glass versus a mixed metal. I’d immediately pull it from the bunch and swap it out later on, happy for the find.
Got all the decorations up and in place, though someone put the fence stars on sideways- tallwise instead of widewise. The only one to notice that was likely me.
Frank and …
Everything was nearly ready, when this happened! Bean spilled the beans.
Pickles and monkeys: requirement met.
Had all the classics our dad likes at a bbq, kept it simple.
The memory jar was a joy for my dad to read (again and again) as hoped. Some of the kindest words shared- admiration of his wit and acknowledgement for his softness of heart- any joke ever made is never at the expense of another, and if there’s the slightest hint that he may’ve hurt another’s feelings, he apologizes with the deepest sincerity. No facade there.
And this little monkey, Carl’s sweet baby boy, Julian. Best tempered little guy ever, and Carl, perhaps the best dad I’ve had the honor of witnessing. Their bond is a thing to behold, love made palpable.
The only hiccup was this sad excuse for a balloon garland, as one popped every twenty minutes or so till they all made like little shriveled raisins of there formerly plump selves. ♦
Birthdays, but once a year. Conjured up a mix of some of Bean’s favorites- breakfast, brownies, butter, and bacon.
She didn’t waste any time plating them and sharing an image of her handy work. Rightfully, these should be pancakes in keeping with her favorites, but sometimes waffles gotta waffle.
Of course, I made a test case beforehand and was sure to dispose of the resulting evidence quite well. ♦
Addition: on being known.
When dropping the package off at her place on the way to work, I knew she was likely in bed reading. Getting her attention might’ve proven difficult, as she wouldn’t have taken her phone off silent just yet, so texting and calling would be of no use. I rang the bell as I always do. She opened the door shortly, and after birthday greetings and chitly chat, she said she only bothered checking the door because of the specific ring that always means “Deborah.”
May Day flowers from my ever thoughtful dad. Wondered off and on all day if I’d find any upon returning home, only to forget just before arriving. So glad I did, for it made them all the sweeter.
A dinner of salmon and asparagus in mustard sauce with the likes of Black Mirror episodes and The Room for company this eve. Will it be as bad as it’s professed to be? The trailer says an assured “yes.”
Lots of planning ahead- the dad’s 75th (!) birthday party and Bean’s as well, though not her 75th (!), and not in that order either. ♦
May Day Song by Earl Robinson