25 September 2009

Things to do in Seattle When You're Dead Tired

I can't imagine a better city to be in when your child is an early riser. Seattle and its many purveyors of fine caffeinated beverages made waking up at dawn to keep Bunni from waking the entire household a pleasure. Here are some of the extra foamy lattes I imbibed while in town:

Piccolino, Ballard

House of Leinster


Mighty O Organic Donuts, Wallingford



Caffe Fiori, Sunset Hill


Knotty Bodies, 15th Ave NW

ERRRRUP! (Cue needle scratching record). I know what you're thinking.

"Why is this girl wearing condiment-colored underthings?"

Oh - that wasn't what you were thinking? Sorry. I guess I should explain that Washington state is the land of genius inventions like the drive up FotoMat-style coffee hut. As well as not-so genius inventions like drive-up FotoMat-style coffee huts staffed by scantily-clad ladies. I'll give her credit, though: she pulled a pretty decent latte, despite her inexplicable ketchup-and-mustard lingerie selection. Maybe she used to work at Hot Dog On a Stick?

And now back to our regularly scheduled program...



Pacific Fisherman Shipyard, Ballard


Alexa's Cafe, Swanson's Garden Center, Crown Hill

Good to the last drop.

17 September 2009

A Love That Cannot be Contained

I left my heart in Seattle.

No, not like that; the husband and baby and I all made it back safely home together from a week- long stay in the Pacific Northwest (photos to follow soon). But don't expect me to be happy about being home. I LOVED being in that town, for so many reasons. But this post need only concern itself with one: the place is surrounded by water.

Driving in from the SeaTacky (as the Mistress of Wit, Becqitita, calls it) airport, one is treated to the most astounding view. And I'm not even referring to the urban cityscape on one's right, mirrored by it's foil, the Puget Sound and mountains beyond, on the left. Okay, all that is pretty picture-sque and a rather spectacular way to enter a city, if you ask me. (Too bad there are plans afoot to tear the entire thing down.)

What sets my heart pitter-patting is the super industrial shipyard area.

We all know what I spaz I am for anything briny, nautical and blue. So picture me, last Wednesday, driving through the Port of Seattle. My pupils dilated at the first sight of the mega-stories-tall industrial cranes poised over the water. I kept said eyes peeled the entire drive, scanning for my favorite shipping containers logos:
So authoritative! And ambiguously Northern European.

Love the cherry blossom.

But my most favorite of all:
I'm utterly clueless as to how that font makes my heart flutter with joy. But it does. It really does.

This got me thinking. We recently bought Bunni her first set of blocks. Why shouldn't my child - a Pisces, mind you, born into water even - have a set of mini shipping containers to play with? Are you telling me you wouldn't want to subtly encourage your child to grow up to be a shipping magnate? (We should have given Bunni a Greek name.) If I were handier, I'd have band sawed-up myself a set of wooden rectangles, then painted them with all the different container logos that very day.

It will be a few years before Mr. Sybarite and I can afford to play with full-size shipping containers. The Mister has long wanted to build ourselves a home in the desert out of them.

Then again, according to a recent article in the Daily Mail, maybe we will be able to afford one sooner than later. Apparently, the global economic "situation" is so dire it's spawned a fleet of ghost ships - cargo carriers with nothing to carry, no one to pay them. Its a bit of a gloomy article, in case you don't bother reading the whole thing. (Truth be told, I skimmed.) Since I've had enough gloom for one day, I'm choosing to take from the article that the days of rampant conspicuous consumption are nigh. Phew. About time.

Guess I better get to work on making those mini container blocks. Good thing whittling is a cheap hobby.

07 September 2009

We're Roasting, in More Ways Than One


Mr. Sybarite came back from the farmer's market Friday laden with a cornucopia of fresh produce. We decided to make quick work of the lot by chopping (into chunks) drizzling (with olive oil) and sprinkling (with sea salt and fresh thyme). We slid everything into a hot oven, sat back and relaxed. Roasting turns just about any vegetable into deliciousness, even the usually slimy and somewhat questionable okra (seen just above the carrots in the above left.)

The smaller dish on the right was special, for Bunni. After roasting, they were pureed and frozen in an ice cube tray for future meals, once she graduates from avocado - also known as "God's butter".

Yum to the yum!

03 September 2009

Smells like Nail Varnish












Has anyone else noticed that the humble beetle lucked out in the haberdashery department?

For years I've been waiting for some beauty company to come out with a line of nail varnish (as my husband grew up calling it) inspired by the beautiful iridescence of the beetle. Sit down - it wouldn't be as freakish as you think. Don't go getting your panties all in a twist, you bug-a-phobes*. It would actually be very elegant, very 1920's Art Deco Egyptian-revival, very Erte. Are you listening, Chanel? It'll put Vamp to shame. I've even named it already: The Scarab Line, in Vert, Bleu, and Noir. See? French names = elegant.








*Though I just KNEW that in my relentless searching for images of beetles someone, somewhere would shove a tarantula in. Just what I needed. Now I'll never sleep tonight.

Self-control




Here are the things I didn't buy today at Ye Olde Thrift Shoppe.

1. New Faryl Robin beetle-green metallic wedge sandals. A size too small. Damn.
2. Blue glass candy jar masquerading as Papa Smurf.
3. Bronze clear-heeled Springolators. Also a size 9. Also too small. Damn damn.

Let's get a little closer to the last item.


Five years ago I would have bought these even though they were not my size. Ten years ago I would have peed my pants the minute I saw them. I mean, clear plastic heels? Come ON. BANANAS, as Rachel z'Oh! (aren't you kind of excited her show's new season is about to start again?) would say.

Bronze is, after all, my favorite neutral color for footwear; it goes with everything. I love a suede footbed. And the Springolator is probably the most comfortable heel that Jimmy Choo/Manolo Blahnik doesn't make. Okay, technically, they aren't really Springolators (if it sounds like I'm speaking Greek right now, go here) but I prefer that name to "Mule". The only good Mule is a Muskovite, and yes, I have had one at the Gilt Club of Portland Oregon. It was as tasty as the last item I didn't buy today:

Are you sitting down?

A yellow terrycloth (my freedom fabric) romper. Dolphin hem. Made in Miami, Florida (the tag said so). And festooned (I really think that's the most accurate word in this case) with a gold and white braided belt.

I tried taking a picture of it for you. I even laid it out all nice-like on a black leather couch, next to a framed colored-pencil drawing of a lion and his lady. But I don't know. I was in such a foul mood. It was hot. I felt guilty for waking The Littlest Dictator from her nap so I could shop for things I don't need. There was no way my baby-birthing hips could have squeezed into said romper. In my previous life, as a non-mom, I would have rocked them with the Bronzeolators. But today, not a chance. I even felt sheepish having my camera out. So I didn't get the picture.

I *knew* I'd regret it.

Writing on the Wall





Seen in Santa Monica Sunday August 30th. Becca is an artist who graces the world with her feminine, cheeky and fanciful work in the most unexpected public places (think bridges or restaurant walls). Spotting a new piece is like scoring at an Easter egg hunt. Some would call her a graffiti artist. I call her fantastic. I especially love how she made her signature look like it was scrawled in crayon.

Speaking of crayons, I'm shocked to discover Crayola has retired two of my favorite colors: Thistle and Blue Grey. Does that make mine collector's items??

Is it strange that I still defer to Crayola's chosen names for colors? Literally, when I think of certain colors, I call them what Crayola did. Won't someone please tell us your favorite Crayola color, or any other Crayola story so I don't feel like such a weirdo? Thanks.