In this case, it was Quentin and Jet Li wandering through their favorite Hong Kong movies of all time, with a background of Kill Bill and Jet's Hero. Yes, this is the same Hero I was recommending nearly a year ago after seeing it on a friend's DVD. Very Chinese, to mind, and by the same guy that did Raise the Red Lantern. Yes. It's as depressing as hell. And, heck, yeah, it's GORGEOUS. I recommended it for the beauty and the sa chi, "killing breath/force/power". Beautiful.
On Friday. I hit a firestorm of confusion and anger in others, calmed the waves, tamed the flames, and got folks to figure out what they could do about it themselves, while I was gone. I watched Hellboy by the light of my laptop as I sent emails in all directions, got my status up and linked, and figured out what I couldn't do and apologized for it. My flight to Seattle was uneventful. My schedule there was pretty much completely blocked out.
Friday they picked me up at 8ish, and we had ice cream with Jet, who was ecstatic about seeing me again. He had to ride on my shoulders, hold my hand, and sit next to me, but he seemed happy about it, not traumatized about it. He'd lost his monkey on a bus, trolley, hike through Seattle, and John had called me about it. I'll admit, now, that I think John and I were even more emotionally attached to that cute little creature than Jet was. I did, however, bring him a crocodile, a beanie crocodile, which he attached to quite happily after noting that it had no tongue or teeth. He said he'd keep it safe from the bigger crocodiles since it was only a baby. John's now doing a search of the Metro Lost and Found system to see if there's a way of recovering the little monkey guy. Sniff. Now I'm glad that I, at least, have the picture of the little guy. *sniffle*
Saturday was breakfast, and a romp with Marina, and a trip down to the PCC, the local organic food coop, which was holding a Healthy Life Fair, and we all wandered through it, grazing like the omnivores we are. There was plenty for lunch and huge sacks of food to bring back home. I also found Mighty Leaf teas there, and just bought boxes of them, so that I could avoid shipping. Mmmm... from there, we headed to the beach with all the families in tow. Marina and her parents, Jet and his parents, and the grandparents all went, basked in the sun and waves and wind and water. Mmm... I read all of Neal Stephansen's "In the beginning... was the command line." and enjoyed the analogies he drew in the body of the book and once again, he proves he can't write a coherent ending to save his darned life. There is NO ending. Just in case anyone knows. Or conclusion, or even a coherent recommendation. The observations, though, are worth the price of the book.
Dinner was with John. I got time alone with him to go to Cuchina! Cushina! and got really great Italian food that was fast, fresh, and not a strand of the various pastas was even close to being soggy or gooey. A real plus for me. We got to eat outside in the cool, bright sunny day, without any fear of West Nile, sunburn, or dehydration of our food or ourselves, and both of us were so homesick it was just stupid. We now have a two year plan and a real vision that really motivates us to Get Back to Seattle, damnit, even after this move. Life is better now, but it could be great. I'm a little worried about how this'll affect my flowering ability to do work I love, but I now have faith that we'll find a way. It's not like I work with people I see most of the time anyway... and two years is a lot of time.
We then shopped at Trader Joes' and I filled my extra suitcase. It's now chock-a-block with chocolate chocolate chip pancake mix, cheese puffs, and pralined pecans. Happy sigh.
Sleep. Jet took a little while to get to sleep, but he slept happily when he did. The night John went out for a movie was a very sad night for Jet, but tonight, he didn't seem to notice we were gone. Marina had left, so maybe he was a mite more secure about having all of his grandparents' attention? I don't know.
Morning was John's childhood church and a lot of hellos to a lot of people we haven't seen for a long time. Jet had a blast in the kids' room and with Sunday school. He then ran around the coffee area with a dump truck and had a blast.
We got into the car, hit PCC for lunch, and instead of grazing, I went in and bought a sushi tray from them and enjoyed it completely. Jet ate cups of crackers, an Odwalla bar, and some soy ice cream. Mmm... soy protein in a bar. *grin* We then got back into the car, hit home to get some food and stuff, and then all but George napped when we went to Bellingham, and a great dinner with Dave and his teenage kids. It was fun, it was good, and it was Emily's birthday, and Jet loved Yuri's Lego. Yay, Lego! We then went to Mallard's, a local, handmade ice cream shop where we all got what we wanted.
For once, instead of "pink", Jet got super chocolate ice cream. I got rose and cinnamon, and the rose was delicate and gorgeous, the cinnamon was creamy and subtle (not the plank over the head, which I actually kind of like), and the two got along together quite well. John got a mocha breve, which was absolutely excellent and tasted like all the short mochas I've ever craved in my life. Yum.
John drove home, as everyone else napped, and Jet collapsed into his bed like a rag doll and had an excellent morning, though he kept asking to go back to Dave's.
John and I spent some time driving around Kirkland and Bellevue and after several million dollar homes along the waterfronts, we finally found the funky little neighborhoods by parks, bus stops, and stores that were more on the order of our house. Whew. At least there are some still, and Boulder County prices have kept pretty good ground with Bellevue/Redmond/Issaquah/Kirkland. We'll do okay, I think.
Lunch was at Kyoto Teriyaki in Factoria, and everyone enjoyed their meals. George then drove us to the airport and Jet fell asleep on the way, so I asked them to just drop me off. With drag-on luggage, it was easy enough to just get checked in and the gate was right behind a fairly quick security check, so all was good with the world. I got myself a decaf, iced mocha, and settled down to reading "The Fifth Discipline".
It's actually The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations by Peter M. Senge. More on that in another missive. Enough to say that I read it the whole way home.