Monday, April 27, 2009

A Cup, not a Carafe...

So thanks to Mark’s succinct words referring to my last morning cup—documentary—I’ve decided to try to shorten these up a bit. You might actually get through it without having to refill your cup of coffee! It is called “Morning Cup,” after all, not “Morning Carafe.”

Update: Mark was only teasing and I know that! I was going to try to make it shorter anyways...

Winter finally seems to be in retreat here in the northwest. The temperatures are slowly creeping up during the day (though last week it was 34˚ when I left for work!), and I’ve actually sat outside on the balcony in…shorts! Last Saturday Matt and I decided to head down to Pike Place Market for the first time since January. After deciding to drive downtown, we managed to find ourselves in the entry of the most expensive parking lot in the city. Just as we were about to reverse out way out of there, a car pulled in behind and we couldn’t just pull in and turn around without paying the initial $8. So we decided to park there and chalk it up to experience…but be back in time to pay the lower fee before we jumped to the next price bracket.

Now thorough experts of the market—or so we thought ourselves—we breezed past the craft stalls and the fish-tossing place and delved into some of the more ethnic stores there. I found masarepa flour in a Mexican grocery store to make arepas with.

Arepas are a cornbread/sandwich food stuffed with meat or cheese that we ate almost every day in Venezuela. The one time I’ve tried to make them before was with flour I bought in Venezuela. When I cooked the arepas Ammah and I discovered that there had been some sort of eggs in the flour and the heat had caused the eggs to hatch. We didn’t see them, however, until we began to dig our forks into them and noticed black specs. Ammah did her best to keep eating and not say anything, but when they began playing leap frog on her plate she had to give up. So twelve years later I’m ready to try making arepas again!

We wandered in the Asian store and bought some oyster sauce, looked at pickled ginger and coconut vinegar and other unusual items. Next we drifted into DeLaurenti’s Italian goods store. I felt like I was back in a shop in Florence—the smells, the brands, everything was so authentically Italian it made me want to shout “Viva Italia!”

Next we headed across the street to the waterfront piers and walked past the arcade with the wooden carved miners and sailors flouting fresh fish and chips, and made our way to “Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.” Curious indeed. We paid 5 cents to watch an vintage slides
how of Charlie Chaplin, gawked at the mummies in the back and got a bit squeamish over the two-headed cat fetus and piglets/fetus/thing. Definitely a place to bring all you future tourists.

Sunday we took Roy for his first trip to the dog park. This place is called Marymoor and is enormous—640 acres! Every time I would ask someone, though, “Is it fenced?” I’d get the same response. “Oh it’s soooo big it doesn’t need to be!”

They haven’t met Roy.

Having it be “soooo big” means Matt just got to run soooo far to catch our former stray. Oh sure he’d pause and glance back when we called his name, but there were dogs and dogs and dogs to meet and acres and acres to run! Why stay with Mom and Dad? We even tried containing him in an area—Matt and I on one side and our friends John and Carrie on the other. Roy blitzed over a Rottweiler and through John and Carrie’s defense line in 2.5 and was nothing more than a brown streak on the horizon.

Needless to say he had fun, and we learned our dog wouldn’t maul sausage-sized mutts. The picture of the three dogs is a tri-way game of tug of war with one stick, and if you look at Roy's nose you can see the swipe of slobber from other dogs giving their greetings. But we think we’ll stick to the smaller, fenced parks until he learns to come on command a bit better!

Today was a warm, beautiful day outside. I decided to keep up this new found explorer in Roy and take him to Discovery Park. Not an off-leash dog park, but a reserve of forests and meadows and bluffs overlooking the sound. Breath-taking. Actually what was breath-taking was Roy pulling my arm off for four miles. Now before I disparage him let me rave about him a little. The past few weeks he has gone from sled-mushing dog to barely pulling dog that ends up being a loose-leash dog by the end of the walk. Seriously, he’s so good we can hold onto the leash with a finger and he’s glued to our side.

Not so much today. I think he walked better the day we brought him home from the shelter! I swear it was like I didn’t exist. He was on sensory overload with the smell of the trees and the sound of the wind and the dirt trails! Ironically the times we’d be on a paved part of the trail he was back to good-walker-Roy. But once his paws hit that dirt he became “Roy the Wild Stray Dog” and took off. At first I wasn’t entirely sure I could keep it up holding him back for the whole hike! We keep him on a short leash, and attempt to keep his head level with our legs to show we’re the leader. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The farther we hiked the more I thought, “It’s ok, once he gets this energy out he’ll behave.” That dog drug my butt 3.5 miles and only for the last half a mile did he bring it down a notch! I was worried I’d collapse his windpipe a couple times as I yanked and tugged on his choke chain. Well he is still breathing and my arm is attached, although both are probably going to be sore tomorrow. By the way, if you look close (or click on it to see full size) at the picture of the sound, a little past halfway to the left is Rainier--much clearer than my cell phone could take a picture of!
Wrapping things up (see? Isn’t this shorter?), just wanted to give a little plug for my articles I’ve started writing again on Not only do I get to put my intelligent discourse out there for the public to read and comment on, but I’ve got an account with Google and for every ad that’s clicked on one of my pages I get paid! Not much, it’s true, but so far I’ve accumulated $59.64!

 If I ever reach the magic $100 mark when they cut me my first check, I think I’m going to start putting it away for a plane ticket home! My favorite one I published recently is “How to Have a Country Heart in a City Life.” So if you feel like it read one of my “hubs” and don’t forget to click on a Google ad or two! If you want to read more, click on my hubpages name “Solorya” and it’ll take you to the home page.

That’s all for now! Enjoy spring!

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