Friday, July 30, 2010

The Birthday Boy

First we had a breakfast at Dock Street Rock the Dock. ...stupid name. Same dive with rearranged furniture. Ask for the veggie burger since it isn't listed on the menu.
We sat on the deck and had the most vegetarian things on the menu. Me, poppers, and Mark had a cocktail! Lucky him, since I volunteered to drive for the day I was sober until dinner time.

We watched the boats float by....someday that will be us sheeting and rigging....We saw 2 Oompa Loompas on one large I figured it was the Willy Wonka cruise.

2 old folks sat on chairs at the stern, both wearing bright orange t-shirts while a dapper man pulled up the fenders and pointed out Thea Foss landmarks. I figured the dutiful son made Ma and Pa Midwestern wear the super-bright t-shirts in case they fell in they'd make good targets....I Jest!
The old folks were in life jackets. Bright Orange life jackets. Still.
Ooompa Loompa.
Just saying.....

Then we walked the docks and drooled on the boats. We walked to the tiny park and chatted up a guy with a canoe strapped to his 70s Volvo...and we thought "That Dude is Awesome!"
Canoe + old Volvo = Mark and Tressie ! therefore ...awesome! but that's Sunday.

Back home in the late afternoon to continue the party. We didn't have a party like in years past. Low volume right now. So, linen jacket and slacks, Brooks Brothers, as is the shirt. Vintage 50s bow tie....a real Bow tie. It's easy. Just tie a bow. Like in the movies!

Cocktails while dressing....and a tiny glimpse of the new living room...there will be some blogging about the new home and decor next week...

Plaid Sperry slip-ons...and a sweet shot of the most amazing mirror....

He decided to tuck the bow tie in his jacket pocket just before we took off for dinner at Harbor Lights...
We're often overdressed for Tacoma...we're ok with that...but it was a bit hot for the tie.

So off to Harbor Lights.....we love Harbor Lights....not just that they serve real alcohol in the drinks and that the food is good.....but we love it because it has a old-time warpiness there. It looks like time stopped in 1979. We like that.

The bar is "decorated" in Jim Beam bottles. Tacky boat and fish things. Lots of drunk lawyers and middle-aged ladies who still tease their hair in an updo and spray the crap outta it with AquaNet. They drive Cadillacs and wear high heels. They still smoke but not during dinner any more. 
The servers and bartenders are mostly professionals. There are some younger folks as wait staff and they still need to learn how to serve as a profession. We miss Joan who has retired, as has Rose, though Mary was still there to take our drink orders.
It does not escape my esteem that the wall in the foyer has framed and autographed pictures of the 2 greatest male actors of all time......
Bob Denver and Ray Walston!!

You may remember Ray Walston as this guy......

We arrived early and got a corner table right on the water! So beautiful...many sailboats gliding by and the parachute sail people were flying high!

We ordered clams and clams and drinks and clams and clams, and then some mussels.

Dinner done, I drove home and then we took off walking to 1022.  

 I love my multi-colored boat shoes!

One last pic before we head out the door.

Arrived, and waiting for the first cocktail of the evening. Mark drank copious amounts of brandy. It is wonderful to sit outside. I hope the fire pit comes back and we can sit outside come the rainy season.
We love it because we can bring our dog for a walk and have a drinkie and walk home. Isn't that what local is all about?

I had the basil vodka cocktail, the death cocktail, and finally, when Matt arrived it was dark and warm and the full moon was shining bright!
It was a glorious evening.......

Matt's sweet Volvo....and look!

He's got Double Rainbow decals on the back windows! All original OG 70s rainbows! He rules.

A few shots of the really big tree, the moon , the neighborhood.
Then we rode home with Matt in the Volvo since we only live about 7 blocks away from his house.
The next morn we loaded (the royal We) the canoe on top of the wagon and took off for its 2010 maiden voyage at Wapato park...

This park used to be so looked like a resort of the 1920s back in the 80s when my kids were young. We used to go all the time to swim or just walk around. The City of Tacoma has allowed the lake to putrify into a toxic algae stew. No one can swim there anymore it is so toxic. Thanks Assholes!
But we launched anyway and paddled around for a bit. The patches held real well..yeah!

Since the day was getting real hot we headed for home and crashed. 
It was a low-key birthday, this one.

I think the song of the day was Bali Hai...That's the movie South Pacific where Ray Walston and Mitzi Gaynor are pictured in above.....(if you have never seen it...please do!)......our day was beautiful...another world...on the water....melancholy...but treasured all the same........

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer in the Library...

books in the library baby!

it was hot in the summer in rose to 90 early in the summer morning and if I didn't go swimming at the Veterans Home pool, I'd likely head down the street to the dark cool library at the Post Office building.

It was a cold shock to open the heavy door and walk in. Dark stacks of books, flat carpet and a small window......and all those words on paper.

This is where I discovered Robert Louis Stevenson, Jessamyn West and books about death. All of us kids read RLS and Miss West since they lived in the Napa Valley and were therefore, "our own". Whatever was on the "grown-ups" recommended shelf, was what I wanted to read.

I'd lay on the floor on my back, roll over on my tummy, or lean against a corner out of the way. Hours would pass. I traveled to worlds far away from my tiny farm town.

When I tired of that, or bored, or ready to check out and take a book to read,  it actually hurt a bit to step into the hot bright California sunshine after being entombed in the cave of the library. Then I'd find a shady oak to climb up and sit with the birds and bugs.

I just listed collections of trashy fun reads....these books were never in the library...these were the kind of books I found in my parents bedroom, though.

Classic trash like Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road, Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl....lots of sex! A bit of murder, some double crossing...perfect for reading in a hammock or late at night when it cools.....

Best movie with a Library theme.....
It's Party Girl of course! 
Books, food carts, love, parties, great clothes, vintage clothes, hard-hearted vintage clothes dealers, the Gays, and safe sex and sweet love!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A real 70s cami dress...

We all know modern designers are copying vintage clothes for their sweetness, details and because what else are they gonna do?
Madewell is the little sister of J Crew : ) and this dress caught my eye while checking out what's going on in Retail Land......
It's made of silk and it must be dry-cleaned...price: $198.00

Here's my dress listed on etsy! 
Hey, that looks pretty close...but funkomavintage's is way cuter because mine has fabric roses and perma-pleats...and it can be gently machine washed saving you tons of $$$$ on cleaning bills.

Yeah! for Vintage!

and while we're talking 'bout a 70s  cami dress....

maybe pair it with these.....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Am I blue....

when the long hot days of summer are upon us......
blue....and white are the colors I turn to for some psychological coooollling off....
Blue, being the color of the sky, reflecting on the big water...well, we humans know that water is Life.

I always long to go for a swim in a lake, a pond or a crispy river. On Yountville Cross Road is a stone bridge ....and running under is it is a small trickling part of the Napa River. This is one of the cold lanquid swimmin' holes I jumped in and splashed around in my young days.
Across the street, just before the bridge, as you are leaving Yountville and heading towards Silverado Trail, is an Ecological Reserve. It wasn't there then, but it's there now and when I go for my next visit home, I will surely make the drive out there.

I remember one blistering hot August day so clearly......I was living on Monroe St, my 16th summer....a group of my friends dropped by and picked me up in an old truck and crammed about 6 of us in the open back.
The pretty girl, Adrian, I think her name to sit in the front cab with the driver....She was so busty and so tan and so pretty with her dark curly hair and pearly white teeth. She smelled clean and fresh and seemed so much more mature than us. I knew somewhere there was another world...cold, clear and stunning.

That day at the River, I swam in my Levis cut offs (I still have them) and a tshirt...I layed on my back on the rocky beach and smelled the dark moss, the water and looked up at the wide blue sky through black branches of a tall oak. Soon, the cheap wine was passed around and the breeze was cooler. When it was time to go, Adrian sat in the back with us and different girl sat up front.
Fame is fleeting, but memories last a long long time.

Some beachy things from etsy sellers.......
I want to smell like this! Salty Mariner Perfume from solsticescents.

Sea glass necklace from lalucita.

Octopus t-shirt from Caustic Tee.

In my etsy shop, if you search 'blue''ll come up with quite a few blue things...
A psychedelic waterfull vintage Hawaiian dress...

If you're gonna get pushed in the pool, be wearing this!

Cool cotton and fresh soft florals in an easy fitting dress....

Now, of course the Napa Valley is packed full of pretentious douchebags...and real people like me are in short supply. The native trout runs have been reduced because of "diversions" are sucking the water out of the Napa River,& its creeks and streams. I suppose wine is more important than the natives.

From a report in 2005, titled Historical distribution and current status of steelhead/rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in streams of the San Francisco Estuary, California---
"Assessment: In 1962, DFG called the Napa River “the most important steelhead stream in the counties bordering San Francisco Bay” (CDFG 1962, p. 1).
Steelhead historically reproduced in most of the tributary and headwater drainages of the Napa River,although they now are reduced substantially in abundance. We are not aware of recent estimates of the size of the Napa River steelhead run. However, previous estimates place the historical run in the range of 6,000 to 8,000 individuals (Anderson 1972;
USFWS and CDFG 1968)......

Water diversions from the basin that affect over-summering habitat in quality or extent, therefore, would be expected to directly impact the Napa River system O. mykiss population. In 1963, DFG noted, “With the increasing water development in the
drainage, nursery areas are disappearing fast” (Robinson 1963, p. 1)."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once...

In the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade my foster parents, Don & Shirley, took the lot of us on a long drive to the town of Muskogee that is.
Lots of typical vacation things happened...sweat, boredom and swimming in Albuquerque.
I had a paper sack of books to read for the long long trip.
Don had a paperback he packed for himself to read and when he was driving, I got to read it. It was a story about a little girl who was just about my age at the or so.
It was the summer of 1962, and I didn't know it but I was on my last vacation with Don & Shirley. At the end of the summer I was to go back home to live with my mom, Lomita and my stepdad, Norman, in Yountville.

This book, To Kill A Mockingbird, changed my life forever. This is true of many peoples lives. This is a book that has a powerful and mesmerizing effect on people who actually read it. Some love it as if it is food and water and the air to breathe......Others see it as the Devil's Words.

It made me realize that I wasn't the only person in the world that was a bit too smart. It made me want to become a lawyer. I almost made it to law school. But I changed my mind. It made me a better thinker, this book did. I had proof that things were not always what they seemed at first glance. And that things are exactly what they are at first glance.

There's plenty to read about Harper Lee, so I won't bore you with details. It remains to this day the best book I've ever read.

Every time I wear tennis shoes I think of Scout.
Our lives were very different and also very much the same. We both had very odd families to grow up in. We both grew up in odd little old-fashioned towns. We both had parents who were town leaders and were loved and hated for that.
We both were missing a parent.
Like Scout, I too had an older brother that I adored.
Like Scout I had an interesting and complex friendship with a family of retarded boys that lived in Yountville. Boo Radley and his family are strange in much of the same ways as the Jones boys were.

I have a knife I think that is like one Scout might have. I keep little things like pen nibs, old pocket watches, marbles, and bits of pencils and crayons that she keeps in her cigar box at the beginning of the film. I have my old paperback copy from years past.I am still a tomboy like Scout.

I have a books-on-CD I listen to as often as I's read by Sissy Spacek, and it is perfect.

I have a copy of the movie poster.

I still have a newspaper clipping of Harper Lee taken at one of her very rare public appearances about 15 years ago. It's faded from being tacked to my refrigerator for a very long time and now I keep it tucked away.

I have another thing that I have only because I love the book so much. It's an old chair I found at a thrift store about 15 years ago. I've drug it from house to house as I've moved 5 times in the last 15 years.
It's rickety. I sit in it almost every day. It's my sewing chair, and my desk chair. There's nothing special about it except for one simple thing.
A long time ago, someone, a child I'm sure, took a brush and some white paint, and wrote in printed letters a name.
That child wrote Scout on the back of this chair. I'm pretty darn sure Harper Lee had something to do with it.

Friday, July 9, 2010


My dream of becoming a pirate, er, um ...a Sailor..... is coming True!

Tall ships with square sails

The other day Mark and I visited The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle on Lake union. Boats and boats and boats. Some canoes, rowboats, power boats, Cris Craft, and sailboats....all of wood construction!
Boats with motors without motors. Big boats...small boats.

The water is so wide and my boat is so small.......
I still can't yet comprehend how boats float and sails catch wind...and don't sink, and sail around as easily as I get up and walk down the block. It will come to me ...I'll get the pieces in my mind to fit together......

The Chieftain and the Lady Washington were docked down there also and we toured them both!
yes the very ship in Pirates of the Caribbean !
All that hemp rigging!
It is really tiny. You'd expect it to be the size of a small cruise ship, eh?
But No!
I stood on the deck, and walked from stem to stern, port to starboard....down to the galley, held on to the helm.......
and tried to imagine a full crew of 12 and tons of cargo...sailing around the Cape and up and down the West Coast and off to Hawaii for trade.....
It just seemed small.
Fine, big enough for a sweet sailboat, but ....small!

from The Historical Seaport website:The new Lady Washington is a full-scale reproduction of the original Lady Washington. Built in the British Colony of Massachusetts in the 1750s, the original vessel carried freight between colonial ports until the American Revolutionary War, when she became an American privateer. In 1787, after the war, she was given a major refit to prepare her for a unprecedented trading voyage around Cape Horn. In 1788, she became the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America.

A pioneer in Pan-Pacific trade, she was the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan. Lady Washington opened the black pearl and sandalwood trade between Hawaii and the Orient when King Kamehameha became a partner in the ship.

The modern Lady Washington was thoroughly researched by historians and constructed by skilled shipwrights. She was launched as part of the 1989 Washington State Centennial celebration. The new Lady Washington meets all of the U.S. Coast Guard safety requirements for a 21stcentury ship.