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July 16, 2003
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Dinner and a Movie

10:44 pm: I started out finding that the blinds in our room were slanted down, so that the morning light was right on my head. Oops. I woke up one time last night, when I heard Jet waking up and crying. He and whomever got up with him were up for a while, but I kept falling back asleep, so I didn't know how long.

Turned out that they were up for a whole hour, from midnight on. But after that he slept nearly until 7, which was a good thing. John and I didn't get up until nearly 9, and had some breakfast.

Jet had more breakfast while we watched. He was eating cereal, drinking a raspberry smoothie, and had a bit of John's banana. So he was pretty happy. He played for a while, but then got kind of grumpy. So I nursed him and he got his nap.

When he woke up, John and I packed him up in his REI backpack and took him down the hill towards the park. George caught up with us, no problem. He actually jogged up to us. Then we got to a play area behind the school, and it was huge. There was a new system all setup with three sets of slides, dozens of climbing areas including a big plastic mountain up one side, and walking stones between some of the platforms. He fell a few times, one of them knocked the breath out of him, but he really enjoyed playing on them once he got the hang of it.

Eventually he was telling George, "Come on!" and George and John had fun trying to keep up with Jet while still not bonking their heads on the gates between areas.

There were interesting single-person merry-go-rounds, with a post in the center, a seat, and they whirled around very easily. It was very easy to get very dizzy on them. I sat on one and spun very easily. Wow. The new toys they come up with...

George was cool and packed Jet back to the house. He led us a good walk through the neighborhood, over an old bridge that went over a creek, and then up the hill. Jet stayed awake for the whole thing, pointing out bushes, water, and other people He really enjoyed being in the pack, and said so.

When we got back, he dug into the cookie jar, and found a cookie, which he ate the raisins out of while John and I packed up for our evening out. We were going to try and have an evening out while they put Jet to sleep, as practice for when John and I would be in Vancouver. We said, "Bye." and Jet actually started crying a little. But Isabel reassured him, and he looked like he was pretty happy when we actually left.

John and I had a little plan. First, dinner at Cucina! Cucina!, a visit to PCC (the local co-op natural food store), and then the movie. We bought the tickets first, and the guy said that the movie wasn't really selling that well, so we should be just fine finding good seats at any time. That was reassuring.

We had a great dinner at Cucina! Cucina! It was such a contrast to Colorado restaurants, in that the prices were relatively inexpensive and the quality was superb. The lentil, sausage soup was creamy, the lentils firm cooked, and the texture was excellent with a fresh garnish of lettuce and fresh grated Parmesan. It was prefect. Then my extremely simple dinner of angel hair pasta with tomato and basil was perfectly cooked, with juicy, firm-cooked tomatoes, a purely green (i.e. not mangled but cut with a really sharp knife) chiffonade of fresh basil, and just enough red pepper flake to pick up the flavor. The fruity richness of good olive oil made a difference to the simplicity of the dish as well. For 8 bucks, it was a perfect dish of pasta, which I cannot, for the life of me, get in Colorado.

It was one of the things I miss about this place. Great food for a decent price, and quality that is all in the attention to specific details. The owner of three restaurants that went out of business in Colorado said that people there have no discriminating palate, and I totally agree with him. But saying it didn't do his businesses any good, and I just had to realize that it was a Truth. One that means that there will be no great restaurants there, ever, because no one cares enough to be able to tell and patronize the places that deserve it and diss the places that don't.

Here, they do. It makes a very clear difference.

John and I talked over what it was we were looking for this trip around. The month is, ostensibly, to look for a place on the West Coast that we want to live in. We had no parameters, no set questions, and no real criterion by which to measure. We know that we'd like a community that cares about education, so that Jet's future education won't be a complete bust. But we don't know how good it has to be. So we talked about it.

It's an interesting problem, all in all, as to what we want to do and what we really want out of a new location when there really isn't anything specific that's driving us.

From there we walked to PCC, and shopped. It's like Whole Foods but without the polish or the flash. Also none of the ready-made gourmet food. Just lots of organic stuff, bulk foods, and naturally made foods. I found an enormous brownie made with stuff like Florida crystals, egg substitute, and non-hydrogenated canola oil. Hee. It was fun to get.

We also bought lots of small, random stuff, like my Thai curry noodle soup and Tom Kai soup that can have chicken or shrimp added to it Yum. I'm glad it was all there. I loved the movie, even with all its flaws. There were a few things that cut a few lines that suspended my beliefs. But it was cool. I loved the action. I enjoyed the plot and the known twists, and I really, truly loved Sean Connery as Quartermain. It was like the role was made for him. I loved the lady that played Mina and her FX and outfits were perfect to my concept of the character from the books. John, who had never seen the comicbooks, really enjoyed it as well. I was very glad of that.

I think that one of the better things this movie was able to do, though not in the same depth or sense that the comicbooks were able to do, was capture some of the depth of the characters. There were also good hints of the possible interlinkings between the characters that most movies weren't able to get. I enjoyed how they got some things to mix and how they were able to show people's 'abilities' or traits rather than just talk about them. I also really loved how they emphasized the addiction side of the Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde relationship when they couldn't show all the addictions of the characters.

An extra cool preview was the Lara Croft movie. I wanna see that, too.

After the movie, we stopped by a QFC and got a few things for lunches, breakfast, and Jet. One of the things was a huge carton of colored goldfish. I'd seen the ads for the purple and pink ones and thought they'd be fun.

We got home to a quiet house. Jet had gone to sleep, no problem, only took five minutes to just crash and snore when it was time. At 8:30 he had his milk, at 9 he brushed his teeth and got changed, and after a couple of books, he just lay still and went to sleep. So they had no problems with them at all. Yay! This bodes well for when John and I are away.

We have a plan for tomorrow, including going into Seattle on a bus. I managed to do all the laundry today, so I'm free of that obligation. Yay! It'll be cool to wander about the market tomorrow, and see what we can find for dinner. Isabel's going to be busy all morning, so we thought it would be fun to do that, too. Give her a day off from everything but playing with Jet. A fine goal for the day.

I can't believe that so many days have gone by. All of them motivated by so little as where to get to or finding a place and way for Jet to play. An adventure for us as well as for him. It should be good. John's said that he's really enjoyed having a whole month to just be with Jet and play with him and discover the world we've known so well with him. Seeing it all through Jet's eyes is different and it's pretty cool, too.

It's been a lot of fun, so far. I don't quite feel rested, yet, but the stress of the camping and always "Getting Somewhere" has gone away, so I think it should wear off soon enough. We were able to get Jet a box of popscicles tonight, and that felt very settling, somehow. An indicator that we'll be here for a while, and we can plan a little and enjoy things for a while.

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