Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Shots

I think Spring has settled in, and I have the shots to prove it.

Grouping on Carpet of Blooms

Hostas prior to snail nibbles, with squirrel guardian

Pear tree in bloom

Spring View

Folded Ear Cat's Usual Supervisory Pose

Now I need to put on my shoes and take a walk in the breezy outdoors; let the wind blow through my locks and give me a bit of invigoration.  I've got some new songs on the ipod to speed me on my way.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Still Life with Folded Ear Cat

The last few days of truly warm April weather have Folded Ear Cat enthralled
Queen of the yard, with lavender

Hard and Soft = Interesting Crochet

I love a small crochet project, especially one that I can make up as I go along.  I've always been a collector of rocks I stumble upon when out on a walk, and in my world everything goes better with a little crochet.
Along the way, my scale has increased
Smooth stones + yarn + crochet hook = creative evening

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Black Cat/White Cat

Folded Ear Cat and her inky yard-sharing neighbor:
Her Foot-in-the-Air, the Concrete's Warm pose

Put that Camera Down and Rub my Head

Gardens: Phinney

I was out for a walk yesterday in the sunshine.  To push my lung capacity and cardio resources, I simply climb a Phinney hill and hike down the other side, which forces me to climb back up a spectacular hill to return home.  There's no way to avoid it unless I go a very long way out of my way, so up the hill it is.  Here are some photos of loveliness I snapped while getting my walk on.
Fantastic Fences
Curved Brick Borders and Pathways
Verdigris Frog with Pansies in Chocolate and Violets
Where did they find that Meerkat statute?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The One and Only Ivan

Everybody needs a good rainy day book (especially in Seattle), and I admit that I am often drawn into a bookstore by a book I see in the window.  This happened to me the other day when strolling in beautiful downtown Ballard.  There, in the window of The Secret Garden bookstore, was The One and Only Ivan, and I couldn't resist.

It is a book meant for 8- to 12-year-olds and I'm a bit older than that, but it's a fantastic animal tale based on a true story of a gorilla stuck in a cage in a mall for a very long time before being released from his cage to a zoo.  It is written believably as a gorilla might think, in few words - but words of import.

Ivan is an artist, and has friends in Stella the elephant and Bob, a dog who purportedly likes the "freedom" of homelessness and sleeps every night on Ivan's generous belly.  When a baby elephant, Ruby, is brought in to increase interest in the menagerie, Stella extracts a promise from Ivan that is very hard for him to keep.

Ivan, however, is an honorable gorilla and as a silverback he's bound to be a protector of his family, so he works out a way to keep that promise - with a bit of help from some humans.

This book makes for a quick and very satisfying read.  In its few words it brings every character to poignant life and Ivan, Bob and Ruby will live in your heart for a long time.

Futuristic Movies

I've seen two very interesting movies in the last week:  In Time and The Hunger Games.

In Time stars Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.  Justin lives in the ghetto and Amanda is a cosseted rich girl.  The whole currency in this world is time.  When you turn 25, suddenly this glowing green clock embedded in the tissue of your arm turns on and the length of your life is measured by that clock.  People work and steal to keep their clocks filled with time, and when your clock turns to zero you are dead where you fall.

First of all, it is a very odd world indeed when everyone looks 25 forever and parents and children all look the same age.  (Olivia Wilde plays Justin's mother!)  This was an intriguing concept, but left me with some questions.  Who decided 25 is the optimum age when everyone looks and feels their best?  What is the purpose of this system, i.e., to keep the population small, to encourage people to work hard to gain more time? The system certainly is flawed because you still have people stealing and killing for more time and lots of people who somehow have centuries on their clocks, and even if you look 25, living forever can get tiresome.

I waited until the crowds died down before slipping into a theater to see The Hunger Games.  I haven't read any of the books, so this was an entirely new world for me.  Katniss is indeed a great, strong female character, with a compassionate core.  The story and the characters were very engaging and made me care what happened to them.  The game is very real and scary, and thankfully most of the scenes where kids were killing kids brutally were blurred so that you didn't see all the details.  This world also consists of extremely poor people and decadent rich folks (with oddly colorful hairdos).  Running through the tale is a commentary on the way reality is manipulated for entertainment purposes.

I found it interesting that both of these futuristic movies showed such clearly defined borders between the haves and the have-nots.  Either you are rich beyond measure and are decadent with impunity, or you are living in squalor and struggling every moment to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.  Clearly, we aren't the only ones noticing the gap between the 99% and the 1%.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Clues of Spring's Arrival in the Northwest

I think spring truly is here to stay in Seattle.  The trees are blooming.

Little bits of color are popping up all over.

Dormant flowering ground covers are spring back to life.

Folded Ear Cat revels in moving her naps outdoors.

The temperature is warm enough for porch sitting.

However, my stone yard squirrel looks rather exposed without his usual covering of Hostas.  
He's unused to being on such naked display.  Oh, where are those leaves when you need them?