Sunday, June 03, 2007

odds & ends III

Patti, owner of the wonderful Watermark Book Company in Anacortes, Washington, was in town this past week for the annual Book Expo America, mecca of the American publishing industry. I put her up for the four days she was in town, much to my, and hopefully her, delight. Though I've, for the most part, comfortably reacclimated myself to living alone, it's nice to have visitors now and then, people to chat with over a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening. Nova seemed pleased by the extra attention, too. Pictures below.

One of the nicest things about hosting Patti for a few days, other than the lovely hours of talk and the delicious meals, was that she left me a sizable chunk of Cougar Gold cheese. You probably haven't heard of Cougar Gold, but let me tell you, it's the best cheese in the world. My parents were alums of Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington, and my grandfather was a professor there for many, many years. And WSU, as you may or may not know, has amazing agricultural and food science programs. And part of this program is the Washington State University Creamery, and the creamery makes Cougar Cheese, sold there, but also at the Bookie and Ferdinand's Ice Cream Shoppe, on the WSU campus. When Nate and I were growing up, we spent every single summer in Idaho at our grandparents' summer cabin on Lake Coeur d'Alene, specifically the town of Harrison. Pullman was a two hour drive from the cabin, and at least once every summer we'd make the trek around the lake, over the Palouse (one of the most beautiful areas in the world, in my humble opinion), and in to Pullman for a couple days. And always, always, our favorite thing was to get huge cones of ice cream or chocolate malts at Ferdinand's. And always, always, we'd have to get several tins of cheese (yes, that's right, Cougar cheese always comes in a tin) for ourselves and various friends back on the East Coast. These days, it's also available for order online.

I had to work yesterday, but then met up with a few friends for dinner before heading over to Nate and Shanna's lovely new place for an apartment warming party. Pictures also below.

There's a brand new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History that I'm dying to go see, even more exciting than last year's Darwin exhibit: Mythic Creatures. I was a firm believer in mermaids and unicorns as a child, created entire worlds with my friend Amy Crow, and read L. Frank Baum's biography of Santa Claus every Christmas for years. So this sounds just about perfect, with intriguing little tidbits and historical origins of imaginary animals. Just one example, did you know that the plural of cyclops is cyclopes, pronounced sigh-KLO-peez??

"Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many wondrous and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the lumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die."
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

This past February, I joined the millions of Americans partaking in perfectly legal happy pills, specifically fluoxetine, more popularly known as Prozac. Reading the little information sheet that comes with my new orange bottle every month is a study in the ambiguity of psychiatry. Not only is fluoxetine helpful for your run-of-the-mill Depression, but it can also help with Premenstrual Tension Syndromes (that would be the pathologized version of PMS), Obsessive- Compulsive Disorders, Binge-Eating and Vomiting Behaviors, and Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia. A veritable cornucopia of medicatable predicaments. Any possible side effects? "Shortness of breath; fast or irregular breathing; fever; joint pain; fast pulse; lightheadedness or fainting; swelling of face; hives; & itching. Also skin rash; unusual movements of eye, face limb. Also diarrhea; delayed ejaculation in males; dry mouth; decreased sexual desire; drowsiness; unusual, painful & prolonged erection (gender unspecified); headache; difficulty falling asleep; nausea; nervousness; clenched jaw and teeth grinding; visual disturbances; decreased appetite; constipation; dizziness; unusual tiredness or weakness; sweating; shakiness. " Luckily for me, I have not noticed any of these side effects, at least no more than in my pre-medicated days. The only thing I've noticed is that I yawn. A lot. It's kind of weird, and slightly embarrassing, especially during staff meetings or meaningful conversations.

Lastly, dearest Andy who stayed at my apartment a couple weekends ago left me a little thank you gift, one of the oddest and cutest things I have ever seen. It was sitting on my desk at work for a few days (left at Nate's apartment, brought to SIPA by Shanna, transferred to my office, and eventually home), but finally this morning I opened it, watered it, placed it on my window sill. Hopefully, God willing and forgiving my lack of a green thumb, I will soon have an adorable egg full of mint. How did Andy know that was just what I needed in my life? Pictures also below.

1 comment:

Myster said...

I love Patti.

Also, I almost bought an Eggling in DC, then thought, "I don't really want to schlep this all the way back to the AK." Andy Warhol prints I will schlep, apparently, but not an Eggling. Now I am sorry, because we could be simul-Eggling-ing from our respective coasts. On the other hand, I bet they have them at Title Wave. That's the kind of non-book-item they're nuts about.