Yesterday was one of those days that sits quietly on my mind, standing out from her dreary predecessors and successors. I woke with the sunrise reflecting violently off cars and windows on the street below. It was early. Too early. I pulled my drapes a little to dim the light.
I laid in bed as long as possible before that overwhelming feeling of laziness sets in. Striking the balance between intentional restfulness and a lack of productivity.
I read an article about walking. After catching up with some online content, including last week's episode of LOST. I felt conscious of my shoes and every step I took the rest of the day. But in an enlightened and not neurotic way. Just an awareness. I wore flat, cheap flip-flops on a walk to get coffee. I felt the ground through the thin piece of rubber with each step.
I rarely go out for coffee. I drink it - often the less expensive drip variety. But I decided that, on a warm Saturday where I had no set plans until the afternoon - I would splurge and treat myself.
Living on Queen Anne (or, really, any neighborhood in Seattle) I have options for my coffee. Do I go to Starbucks or Tully's or Ladro or Peet's? Do I venture further to one of the lesser known spots? Or do I go to a longtime favorite with murals of angels and devils painted on the walls. I opted for the latter. El Diablo it was.
I ordered a cafe con leche. I didn't order sugar. I don't think it had sugar in it. But the perfectly pulled shots of espresso added a uniquely sweet taste to my drink. The barista did his magic and poured the steamed, foamy milk to form a flower.
I ordered cuban toast. So simple - good bread, toasted, with butter. Not exactly a substantial breakfast - but so tasty. Unfortunately, it managed to tear up the roof of my mouth, the way toasted breads can do. But the flavor was still wonderful.
I sat and read. I am reading The Road right now for my book club and I'm loving it. I'm only about 100 pages in, but it is a very quick read. I think it will be a very interesting book to discuss.
I don't go to cafes often to read. Although I don't care for Mc Donald's, I laugh at their unsnobby coffee ad. I enjoyed myself, my coffee and my book - but I can't help but feel constantly distracted. I notice every person who walks into this shared space. I see them. I hear them. I see them enter, dressed to some stereotype. I hear them order their coffee. I see them decide where to sit. Where to plug in their laptop. Where to read. I see them wipe down their table, so the crumbs don't smash under their macbooks. I hear them typing and flipping pages and chatting with their friend. I know it's possible, with practice, to tune this all out. Not to mention the internal monologue I have a hard time shutting up in my own head. I can't seem to help people watching, but I also don't mind it. Sure it means I read more slowly than if I had stayed home. But it also meant having these images and experiences in my mind. And that's what feeds me.
Queen Anne avenue on a sunny Saturday morning is filled with people and dogs. Seriously. Puppies and full grown. A variety of breeds and sizes. Tied to chairs on the sidewalk. Every. Single. Chair. Was taken. You couldn't find an empty outdoor seat. And it wasn't even all that warm yet.
A newer children's store was holding a free concert on the lawn in front of their building. Families walking by would stop and sit and eat their lunch while listening to the Raffi-esque tunes.
Kids selling flowers to raise money for families in afghanistan.
I'm glad I'm listening to my ipod, the visual clue for them not to talk to me. I don't need their flowers. I'm sure it's a good cause. But I had to go bowl for charity later in the afternoon. I was doing my part.
I went home and put on my workout gear. I hauled a big cooler to a friend's house. I left it and went to the gym. My quiet Saturday afternoon at the gym.
There were probably 5 other people working out when I was. I grabbed a centrally located treadmill and alternated between walking and running for 45 minutes. Hoping to gain a little endurance and speed for soccer and kickball. And it feels good. It feels good to feel it the next day. That slight discomfort - that soreness from muscles trying to heal themselves. Knowing you worked them feels good.
The bowl-a-thon was fun. I didn't realize how crappy the lanes at West Seattle Bowl are though. It had been several years since I'd been there. The lanes were dented and when the ball hit them, it reminded me of dropping something heavy on an old back porch - one that could easily collapse. There was a prize patrol and most of us got some goodie or another. Silicone baking products were popular. I do like that West Seattle has benches - padded benches. Not those molded plastic chairs like Sunset. But Sunset had far superior lanes. Real lanes.
For dinner I went to a girlfriend's - she made a multiple-course dinner of various Asian foods. It was delicious. Good company. Afterwards, I joined up with some other friends for shuffleboard at the Viking. Lots of fun and good company as well. No need for elaboration, but I appreciated good times with friends.
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