15 July 2014

the wild mountains then the sea
and the waves rushing

So glad I have this crew to help make the most of the warm weather and the new neighborhood!
Wildlife at Constellation Park marine reserve.

Back a few days to the 10th, when we toasted Emily down at the beach. No photos, alas, but when we got back home Franklin had some fun trying on his mom's new shoes:
Or "kayaks" as he calls them, inspired I assume by the color and material :)

Great sunsets and moons this week. Not quite the supermoon in this photo, and it's in the wrong direction for a sunset, but our new neighbor looked pretty good the other night:
Mountain Moon
Bigger version here.

So, mountains and water, yes. Sounds even better in the title for this post, though, no? It's a little bit of Molly's monologue at the end of Ulysses. We had the rare pleasure of reading and discussing some of the novel with some friends down on the beach last night.

Here's the rest of the stretch I quoted up top:

... God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing then the beautiful country with the fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours springing up even out of the ditches primroses and violets nature it is...

Just amazing.

And in case you're wondering about gathering on a beautiful summer evening to read Ulysses while the sun sets over the water, I'll just note that The Economist said it's "maybe the best book you take to the beach this summer"... So there you go.

All right, before I move on it's probably unfair given my recent comments about myself to leave out what Molly says immediately after what I just quoted:

as for them saying theres no God I wouldnt give a snap of my two fingers for all their learning why dont they go and create something I often asked him atheists or whatever they call themselves go and wash the cobbles off themselves first then they go howling for the priest and they dying and why why because theyre afraid of hell on account of their bad conscience ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow

Fair enough.

Now as for what comes after that, well, the last stretch of Ulysses is among the most beautiful things I've ever read, and I don't think it's quite fair to paste it into a blog post about Franklin getting a haircut and going to a street fair. But if you scroll to the bottom of this page and read picking up near the rhododendrons on Howth you won't be sorry.

But yeah, so Franklin got a haircut!
Took him a little while to warm up to it...


But he sure looks good now:
I Like Your Hairs

Then we stopped by Lincoln Park to cool our feet with Wendy:

More wading on Sunday, when I took that picture of the crab up above.

Video too!

All thanks to an awesome -3 foot low tide. And thanks to this cool program sponsored by the Seattle Aquarium we had great help finding sea stars, anemones, sea cucumbers, and more!

Sea Star!

After a little rest, we ended the day at the West Seattle Summer Fest:
Street Fair Candy

Street Fair!
Up next is California. Actually, what am I doing sitting here at the computer? I need to pack!

07 July 2014

Summer Days

Happy to be making the most of the long days with Franklin and Emily.

Grilling kebabs, with help from Franklin:
Kebab Assembly


Gratuitous Mt.-Rainier-in-the-background photo:
Kebabs with a View
I guess at some point I might get used to seeing that from our place? Not any time soon, though, I'd wager! Go ahead and click here if you want a bigger version.

Visiting with Matt:
Matt's Visit
aka Kiwi.

Skyline with Matt
Thanks for the awesome model of the Air New Zealand plane—Franklin loves it! And really wants to fly on one, so maybe we'll see you again soon? ;)

Train ride to Portland:

Just long enough for some fun and some rest:
Peaceful Train Ride

Then off to a fun barbecue with Samson (on the stump), his parents, and some of his parents' excellent friends:

Thanks all! Thanks especially for the popsicles!


Stayed up late for fireworks:
Waiting for Fireworks
The staying up and waiting seemed more rewarding and interesting to Franklin than the actual fireworks, but I'll take it.

Hiking in Forest Park with Willa and her parents:
Which House
Great to see everyone!

And we saw an owl!
Owl not pictured, but I swear this bench is just down the hill from the Audubon Society of Portland:
Audubon Snack

Just a little more fun in Portland before heading home:

Seems appropriate to end the Portland photos with a shot of a cool bike rack:
Fremont Bridge Bike Rack
Strong start to summer! What's next?
Actually, Franklin wants to have a party and go on an airplane, so I guess I'd better go start planning and packing!

30 June 2014

As the Sun, Air, Earth, and All the Rest

Someone's got World Cup Fever!

And who can blame him? So many great games in this Cup!

Meanwhile, I should get to bed, since tomorrow is day six of the intensive 8-day faculty study group I'm participating in, "Economy, Violence and Justice: Catholic Social Thought and Contemporary Issues." Sponsored by the Seattle University Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. Pretty good discussions so far, and some great readings. (And on a personal note, I am quite grateful for the welcome they've given this atheist.)

Anyway, our first reading was about some historic background in early Catholic views on poverty and justice, and there were some awesome ideas and excellent quotes. From many, here's my very favorite:

“Do not say ‘I am using what belongs to me.’ You are using what belongs to others. All the wealth of the world belongs to you and to the others in common, as the sun, air, earth, and all the rest.”

Now that's John Chrysostom, in his tenth Homily on First Corinthians. First of all, why have I never read him before? And second of all, what does the rest of the book say? I haven't read it all, and I've had trouble tracking down the exact translation, etc., but here's a stretch from the original and a (slightly altered) standard translation:

Μὴ τοίνυν λέγε, ὅτι Τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ ἀναλίσκω, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἐμαυτοῦ τρυφῶ. Οὐκ ἀπὸ τῶν σεαυτοῦ, ἀλλ' ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων· ἀλλοτρίων δὲ λέγω, ἐπειδὴ σὺ βούλει· ἐπεὶ σὰ βούλεται εἶναι ὁ Θεὸς τὰ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἐγχειρισθέντα σοι. Γίνεται δὲ σὰ τὰ ἀλλότρια, ἂν εἰς ἑτέρους ἀναλώσῃς· ἂν δὲ εἰς σαυτὸν ἀναλώσῃς ἀφειδῶς, ἀλλότρια γέγονε τὰ σά. Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ὠμῶς αὐτοῖς κέχρησαι, καὶ λέγεις, ὅτι Τὰ ἐμὰ εἰς ἐμὴν ἀπόλαυσιν μόνον ἀναλωθῆναι δίκαιον, διὰ τοῦτο ἀλλότρια αὐτὰ λέγω. Κοινὰ γάρ ἐστι σὰ καὶ τοῦ συνδούλου, ὥσπερ ἥλιος κοινὸς καὶ ἀὴρ καὶ γῆ καὶ τὰ ἄλλα πάντα

Say not then, I am but spending my own, and of my own I live luxuriously. It is not of your own, but of other men's. Other men's, I say, because such is your own choice: for God’s will is that those things should be yours, which have been entrusted unto you on behalf of your brothers. Now the things which are not your own become yours, if you spend them upon others: but if you spend on yourself unsparingly, your own things become no longer yours. For since you use them cruelly, and sayest, That my own things should be altogether spent on my own enjoyment is fair: therefore I call them not your own. For they are common to you and your fellow-servants; just as the sun is common, the air, the earth, and all the rest.

I mean, as far as I'm concerned that is just a profoundly wonderful way to think.

Not bad for the top of the blog, in fact, don't you think?

Where that leaves me and my wealth, well... Actually, it's pretty amusing to note that tomorrow's reading, on the day of the next US match in the World Cup, uses excessive salaries for soccer players and excessive distraction caused by worldwide soccer championships as examples of the problems we face today...

But oh man, did you see the James Rodríguez goal from the other day??


And how do you say his name? Let's ask Franklin:

This is maybe too much for one post, but in an attempt to bridge the gap between social justice and spectator sports, we took Franklin to the United Way of King County's softball game recently. Let's just say he loved it, and especially his new ball and glove that we (consumers until the bitter end) bought at the gift shop :)
All-Star Classic

Leadership Donor

Getting good use on Alki Beach:

Yes, I admit, there are some perks that come with the move to West Seattle:

Also not bad is that Water Taxi:
Water Taxi!

And just a quick bus ride to downtown for Pride:
Happy Pride!

(Thanks for the picture and the invite, Bria, Michael, and Emmett!)

Until next time, fellow-servants!

20 June 2014

I'm a Keeper

Been a while I know, but the good news is, I'm done with the 2013-14 school year! Woo!

Crazy finish, including Emily spending a week in Montreal while Franklin and I held up the fort at home. Luckily we had video calls to stay in touch:
Some Perspective
And luckily we had Pete to help me pick Franklin up in time after school, get us dinner, and take that great photo :)

Meanwhile Emily spent some time with the foundress of the Sisters of Providence:
Mere Emilie

Chez Émilie!

And not to worry, I found a fleuriste there who spoke English so was able to get some anniversary flowers delivered:
Self-serving to post this, perhaps, but I was pretty proud of myself...

Much as we missed Emily, Franklin and I continued to make the most of our week, no small thanks to the Seattle Fish Company:
Grilled Salmon
They even gave Franklin a free t-shirt when we left! (Sized for a 6-year-old, but hey, he'll grow into it...)

You may have seen this video already, but I love how rather than show off his surprisingly solid batting skills Franklin instead took time to reprimand me for looking at my phone while we were playing:

Speaking of sports (sorry, is this too much to pack in? like I said, it's been a busy couple of weeks), hope you're enjoying the fun of the World Cup. Franklin's definitely getting into it, and he's decided that his daily ten minutes of screen time (give or take) will be spent viewing soccer highlights.

By far his favorite is this, by the Netherlands' Robin Van Persie:

I really liked Tim Cahill's kick:

Maybe my favorite entire game, though, was the amazing Brazil vs. Mexico:

0-0 draw, but probably the most exciting soccer I've seen in years. And how about that keeper?!

Keeper, by the way, is the position Franklin was most excited to play today. Wish I had video of his slow motion diving saves. Not sure if he was in slow-mo because of the replay highlights or to save his knees, but it was awesome either way. And the clear highlight of the day was when he turned to me on our walk home after lunch and said "I'm a keeper"... So true.

Anyway, we spent our day on an old-school Friday with Franklin: took the bus over to Capitol Hill, played soccer at Miller Playfield, had lunch with Pete at Coastal Kitchen. Super fun. And Franklin was even a good sport about taking two buses home on the way to nap time:
C Line

C Line
All right, well as I said, it's nap time now, so I think I'd better lie down. More soon, reader!

03 June 2014

Exploring with Franklin

Emily went to Spokane last weekend for the annual Northwest Archivists Conference, so Franklin and I did our best to get into just the right amount of trouble exploring our new neighborhood.

Went down to Seacrest Park with Grandma to throw some rocks into Elliott Bay:
Throwing Rocks into the Water

Video too (with apologies for the shoddy camera work):

Followed of course by a super delicious dinner at Marination Ma Kai.

And although Franklin woke up asking for Mommy, we are fortunate to live in a time where we could at least check in on the phone and see Emily's smiling face first thing in the morning:
FaceTime Call with Mom

On Saturday we hopped onto a bus and went to check out Alki Playground (aka Whale Tail Park) with Elliott:
Pretty cool park—definitely be going back again soon!

Great opportunities to climb up:

And back down again:

Well, almost... Probably would've made it if I hadn't been standing there staring and filming :)

Nice "parallel play" with Elliott in the sandbox:
Sandbox with Elliott

With Elliott

Little map of our travels:

And with Emily back home on a beautiful, sunny Sunday, what could be better than to get some deck chairs and a new watering can and spend some time on the balcony:
Spraying the Water

I especially love the matching Franklin-sized chair:
Patio Chairs!
I hope you'll come hang out sometime soon too, reader!

29 May 2014

How the West Was Won

Franklin Smile
Well, we're all moved in here at the new place. Or at least, all of our stuff is here. Funny how just moving to a different neighborhood in the same city can feel so different!

Glad we had the chance to play and see friends before we left. I know I posted photos from that last time, now thanks to Pete there's video too!

A Farewell to Capitol Hill from Pedro V2 on Vimeo.

Meanwhile we've enjoyed our first apartment with views since we've been in Seattle:
And yes, just to be clear, West Seattle is a neighborhood in Seattle :)

Anyway, one nice bonus of the new neighborhood that I didn't know about ahead of time is the Seattle Fish Company. Perfect timing, to move here right when the famous Copper River salmon are in season!
Fresh Copper River Sockeye

Great first meal cooked in the new place!
Copper River Dinner

And by a great bit of luck, our friend Elliott (and his dad, mom, and new baby sister) are spending the summer in the neighborhood:
Franklin and Elliott

Looking forward to a super fun summer!
Smiling with Elliott

Here we go!