Quote of the Moment

"It's never wrong to hope, Byx," said my mother. "Unless the truth says otherwise."
- from Endling #1: The Last, by Katherine Applegate

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Too Lazy To Think Of A Witty Title Right Now

This being Memorial Day Weekend, the family wandered down to the annual Folklife Festival at Seattle Center. Usually, when we go, we have an idea of what we intend to see and do, or at least a rough plan. This year, though, we were universally underwhelmed by the schedule. So we figured we'd just go our separate ways and wander across whatever we might.

Actually, it was the least stressful Folklife I remember. Without having to be somewhere at a given time, or staking out one of the precious few seats at a popular stage three acts in advance, or otherwise feeling inclined to fight crowds, the day seemed to go better.

Every year, the venue seems to shrink a slight bit. First, it was EMP gnawing into the Seattle Center footprint. Then they dumped Fun Forest, the amusement center that had been the salvation of many a childhood journey to the Center, altogether. Now, they've taken a huge bite with the new Chihuly Garden and Glass, yet another part of Seattle's efforts to honor the "for the public" charter of Seattle Center by systematically slicing it up for high-priced tourist gimmicks to suck in the cruise ship crowd. (As if it wasn't enough for Chihuly to have a money-losing Museum of Glass just down the interstate in Tacoma... I swear the man won't rest until they actually dedicate a religion to him.) We're waiting for them to rope off the central fountain and start charging admission there.

They've been telling us that the potentially radioactive debris from the Japanese tsunami that's starting to wash up on our shores isn't dangerous, but I see these webs and I have to wonder...

(Evidently, it was part of someone's art project. Either that, or Granny's off her meds again.)

Whatever the explanation, it must've been a heck of a job to install.

Speaking of art projects, we watched a team of college kids drawing a mega-hopscotch course around the fountain. With today's children more likely to turn to their phones or Playstations than the sidewalks for amusement, we wondered if anyone under 21 would even recognize hopscotch.

I suppose, if you build it, they will come... (Maybe there is some hope for humanity, after all.  Or maybe they just saw it on YouTube.)

This being the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, the reason the grounds were built and dedicated in the first place, they had a special exhibit highlighting the fair. While I lacked direct memory of the event, years of attending Folklife have acquainted me with its legacy. (And I still remember the Bubbleator...) The above photo shows just how times have changed... or at least the common American vernacular.

Well, that's about all I can think to ramble about. Mostly, I wandered around, taking pictures and listening to random things, spending too much on a T-shirt and a wooden Indonesian dragon (which was a steal at the price I paid, but still more than I probably should've spent on anything, given my income.) Eventually, we headed home.

And thus ends The World's Least Interesting Trip Report. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have exactly one hour and 14 minutes to do something remotely productive with my Saturday.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Rhodies Are Red, Poppies Are Blue...

Today, in honor of the weather being suspiciously springlike, the family made a trek to the nearby Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden.  Aside from the rhodies and a bonsai collection, it apparently also featured the rare Blue Poppy from the Himalayas, a notoriously difficult species to successfully cultivate. Given the usual family luck, I was skeptical that we'd actually see them in bloom.

The above photo cuts a long and winding story mercifully short.

Not only were there blue poppies, but they were in bloom.  Several of them.  Enough that one could see how they actually emerge from the pods purple, then turn a bright sky-blue as they age.

Aside from Grandpa being less than alert (even for him), it was a fairly pleasant day. I could've spent longer just wandering around, pretending I knew what I was doing with my cameras... though by the time we left the crowds were getting thicker.  It seems we weren't the only ones searching for the legendary blue poppies.

It was a nice little break from the other projects I've been running in circles trying to finish (my latest written monstrosity, the annual run at Copyright Infringement Hell, online work training, etc.)

(As a PS, I offer two pictures:

How is this possible?

Further proof of Wizard's First Rule...)