April 20th, 2002

the only earth?

because everyone loves footnotes

tonight: went with Elena and Carole all the way to bellevue for Mediterranean food. the place had good food but strange policies. one policy: no reservations for parties of three. even though we called ahead and made a reservation for three. apparently parties of three must sit at tables for two when tables for four are available.

more fun: when the salad dressing is on the table, the waiter is responsible for pouring it on the salads. they serve only a limited number of a certain dish per evening1 and this finite number was one serving away from its limit by seven o' clock. despite the weirdness of both the restaurant and bellevue, the food was very good. I was overstuffed with top-notch falafel.

still, we managed to eat ice cream2 at Wally’s before going home to watch a movie. this movie, the city of lost children was a nice continuation of our evening of strangeness. it is a French movie. if that doesn't capture the weirdness, some highlights: street children, insane scientists, clones, dream-machines, psychotic Santa, circus people, clones, cyclops assassins, trained fleas, practically (but not physically) conjoined twins, explosions.

thought about checking out aveo's late show, but I’m drained from these adventures.

(1) lamb shank couscous. Carole had to settle for some other dead cooked up animal.
(2) flavor: green tea (!)
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the only earth?

tiptoeing through the tulips

This morning we set off to mount Vernon (by way of Bothell) for the tulip festival. Once we made our way through the intense highway traffic bound for the "city of the soft petal", we found a parking spot and walked to the downtown street fair.

The whole thing was pretty entertaining. I think street fairs are the social event of the year for the canine community. From giant dogs on leashes to tiny dogs in purses, all the animals are out for a meet-and-greet. Second only to the dogs are the children in wagons, strollers, and backpacks. None of these visitors care much about arts & crafts, jewelry, or quilts.

What they do care about: fair food! My entire diet consisted of junk food: French fries, ice cream, and a malt. This is really the prime reason to attend.

Having satisfied our street fair needs, we returned to traffic to find some actual tulips. The roads were not designed for tourists -- we spent a lot of time waiting in the car. Somehow I expected it to be more organized and for people to be in costume leading the events. Though none of these expectations were met, when we found them, the fields were amazing. Most of us were satisfied by the intense blocks of color spread out as far we could see. Others wanted to see flowers that were green, blue, or orange. Even the bouncy mud in the fields provided a subject of interest.

In some sense, the experience felt very ritualistic. I wonder what an anthropologist would make of the whole pilgrimage to the fields. Groups of friends, parents and children, and couples all made their way into the rows of tulips for staged photos and then returned to their cars to find more tulips.

After a day of strolling through fields and riding in the car, I'm rather tired. I think the rest of the night will be pretty lazy - reading or watching a movie seems appropriate.