Bicycles for the Doolies

Monday, June 30, 2008

We didn’t take photographs this weekend. This made Doolies sad after she realized we wouldn’t have anything to post to document the weekend. To make up for that sadness I decided to write a short musing about our activities.

I don’t know when it happened but I’ve come to realize that photographs and musings make activities better. I used to be against photographing when we traveled; afraid that people would mistake me for a tourist if I carried a camera, even in situations where I clearly was a tourist. This always reminded me of the “Dune” prophecy (which I remember more from the movie than the book, as usual), “he shall know your ways as if born to them” (paraphrased). I enjoyed thinking of myself as that devout insider, someone who with little effort blended into a busy city or a rural countryside as if they belonged. This is quite strange when you consider how anti-social I am. I used to laugh at the Asian tourists who focused on obtaining the perfect photograph instead of enjoying what was around them. Now I find myself co-opting their approach by snapping a photograph or jotting down a well-turned phrase to remember the occasion. I turn what is enjoyable for a few moments into something that is enjoyable for a lifetime.

Enough throat clearing. We had dinner with two couples this weekend. On Friday night, we had Shabbos dinner with a couple that was introduced to us by the Rabbi at the local Shul. It was a blind couples date. They married about nine months ago and recently moved into a house in Kirkland. They cooked an excellent dinner of couscous and barbequed salmon and asparagus. I drank more than my share of the wine, and we had a good time getting to know each other. Dinosaur is from South Africa, and Karen is from Boston. They convinced us that Friday night services at the Shul are worth attending. They’re much shorter than Saturday morning, and are a good way to end the week and meet new people. We’re going to try to go this week.

On Saturday night, we hosted Jeff and Mary. We visited them in their weekend home on Whidbey island (with the iggies!) a few months ago, and we finally got a chance to return the favor. I cooked a whole chicken, truffle oiled mashed potatoes, and baby bok choy. It was still a bit warm in the house from the day’s heat, but we had fun. I was feeling a bit less social after Friday’s activities. I’m not used to entertaining that many people in one weekend.

Speaking of the weather, it was hot this weekend. The days were unbearable, and we spent much of the time indoors and shopping. On Sunday we went to see a matinee movie, Wanted with Angelia Jolie. The action was good but the story was strained. They had a few good ideas in the mix, but lost them when they stirred too hard and fast. Watching as much anime as we do, I am learning how a good story comes together. When writing a science fiction or fantasy story, the world is the most interesting character. By giving away how the world works early in the movie, the story misses the opportunity to create mystery. The slow discovery followed by the ah hah! moment, such as found in the early twist of the “The Matrix,” makes for a more enjoyable experience. Probably the first time I saw this approach was in my reading of David Eddings's The Belgariad. Learning how the magic worked in the fantasy story (the thought and the word), was so exciting and long in coming that I read the series and its follow-up series many times over.

Yesterday afternoon we purchased a bicycle for Doolies, and went for our first ride together to Noah’s Bagels on the island. After we returned home and showered, I remembered the camera. It was too late to change back into our biking outfits for the picture, which was why Doolies was sad. I’ll let you picture the cute Doolies, on her fancy new bicycle, with straight handlebars and a sparkling green frame, riding down our street and onto the bike path that would bring us to the center of the island.

We ended the day by taking the iggies to the dog park. With the weather so hot, that was the first time we took the iggies out during the weekend. They mostly stood around in the dog park, Ziggy not finding many dogs to play with in the heat. We settled down to an anime at night, cuddling with the dogs for fifteen minutes, before Button decided that she didn't like the couch. She's not used to being held, and always looks awkward. Hopefully she'll outgrow that.