Thursday, March 30, 2017

Barn Animals, Friends to Those that Ask

When I was little, I would sometimes go to a farm on top of a hill. There were pigs there, pushing their nose against the mud, looking for treats. From the hill top, you could see the sea glittering in the distance. The farm smelled like hay and manure and salt and brine. I remember going there once in preschool. We walked down a path to get to the farm. Next to the path was a red creek winding down the hill. My friend told me it was blood. I was little and believed her, although it wasn't the color of blood, it was more the organy color of clay and sediment. The same friend taught me about sour grass that day. Sour grass is long yellow flowers that you can chew on the bottom of to get a sweet sour taste. Sometimes I think all of this was really just a dream.

I went to a farm here in Washington recently with my family. We saw all the barn animals which was the best part. Animals always make a day better.

It was cold on the day that we were at the farm. The Ducks stayed still to huddle in the warmth of their feathers. They kept their heads slouched low and sometimes chattered a low quack. Probably they were talking to each other saying things like "Oh Myrtle, the chill in the air isn't good for my ducky bones." Or, "Rover, lets leave it all behind and fly south to the tropics where we can perch atop tall fruit trees with the parrots."

There were two pigs, one brown and one black and white, both with coarse fur and friendly demeanor's. They trotted around their pins grunting lightly and looking at every human who loomed over them with a glimmer in their piggy eyes. They probably had ancestors that found truffles in forests, a noble profession for a pig. But no less noble then making people smile, and even better, making people think about the sentience of a pig.

I love donkeys. They might be one of my spirit animals along with otters and cormorants. I can imagine having a long lasting friendship with a donkey. 

Sheep are friendly and funny creatures. My friend and I befriended one named Bob when we were in high school. I don't know what this sheep's name was.

 Cows are stoic and docile creatures, often accused of low intelligence when it is easy to see by looking in their eyes that despite their gentleness, they've got wit. They understand a sort of wisdom that far surpasses that of humans. They understand things about the grass and the sky and the smell of the air that we will never understand.

Gentle, playful and charismatic barn animals... they are friends to those that ask for their friendship and neutral to those who shy away. 

Monday, March 27, 2017


This is Owlberta.

Likes: Buttercups, daydreaming, perching in trees.
Dislikes: Her constant internal battle between her love of all living creatures and her hunger for fresh mice.
Favorite day of the week: Wednesday
Favorite time of the day: Three minutes after midnight
Secret Talent: Perfect pitch
Dream for the future: Traveling to Finland to see the aurora borealis
Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables
Perfect Day: Soaring though the stars with the breeze and the black sky.
Best Friend: Albearta, the bear.
Personal Quote: Life is a hoot!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Movie Weather

Even though it is officially spring (Hurrah!), Seattle isn't quite done with the cold and the rain. Bursts of sunshine and blue skies are happening more frequently, but most of the time it still feels like winter. The tree branches are still mostly bare, the dips in the pavement are full of rain water and the sky is gray. So while I eagerly await the true spring glory of sunshine and flowers, I will try to appreciate the stormy weather for for one reason: it is the perfect weather for staying in the cozy warmth of indoors watching movies. I've been on a marathon of movie watching! Here are a few movies I have seen lately that I recommend.
  • Short Cuts: Short Cuts is a movie directed by Robert Altman based on Raymond Carver short stories. Robert Altman directed an eerie, surrealist film I absolutely loved called 3 Women. After watching 3 Women, I was intrigued to watch more by him, but the second film I saw of his called The Player I wasn't too interested in, and afterward stopped seeking out his work. Short Cuts reminds me a bit of both movies. Short Cuts and The Player felt like they existed in the same world and that the characters of Short Cuts could potentially walk past characters from The Player in the grocery store. 3 Women shared a world more with films like Muholland Drive or maybe the characters from 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle.' But there were little surprises of eeriness, or carefully disguised surrealist undertones in Short Cuts. Raymond Carver, who wrote the short stories the movie was based on, use to live in the same small town I lived in (not at the same time), so I am automatically interested in him because of this shared connection. I remember reading a short story by Raymond Carver that took place in Arcata and it talked about a mail man there. It reminded me of the time I spent in Arcata at the post office and how there was one postal worker who had poetry taped at the front counter where she always worked. The poetry was by my college poetry teacher. 

  • Blithe Spirit: This movie was a comedy about a couple who enlists the services of a psychic as a lark, being unbelievers themselves. But the psychic is legitimate in her talents and summons forth the ghost of the husbands deceased wife. The comedy has elements of slapstick and silliness, while still be clever. The movie is based on a Noel Coward play, and the rich and witty dialogue definitely has more the flair of a play than a movie. It still translates well in the form of a film, as all of the main actors were great! This was a short and fun movie to watch. Also, the eccentric psychic had a great sense of style and was overall a hoot!
  • Don't Look Now: I don't know what it is about the seventies, but there have been so many amazing movies to come out of that decade, including 'Don't Look Now.' This movie was based on a story by Daphne Du Maurier , writer of 'Rebecca' (another great movie by Hitchcock and also a fantastic book!). The story seems at first like that of a couple trying to figure out their new normal after the tragic death of their young daughter. But soon the story becomes eerie, otherworldly and down right scary. This movie is a 'thinking person's horror film.' It has elements of horror to scare the most seasoned scary movie goer while still being contemplative and intelligent in the way it portrays characters dealing with loss.
  • Paris, Texas: This movie is the story of a man estranged from his family seeking a sort of redemption for failures of his past. It is a road movie, a movie about pasts veiled in mystery, a movie about the love parents have for their children and a movie about forgiveness. I can say the movie is about a man seeking to reunite with her family, but the movie itself is so much more powerful than that sentence can portray. 
  • Stranger than Paradise: Another road movie! This time about two friends and a cousin visiting from Hungary. One thing about this movie is that the two main male characters looked like they could have been brothers. They looked so similar and it made me wonder why they would hire to men that look so similar. Whenever movies have people that look super similar, I always find it a bit odd. This movie was a bleak but interesting glimpse into the lives and relationships of the three main characters. 

Movie marathon is almost to an end as the sunny days approach. But there is still some time to squeeze in a good movie or two. What are favorite rainy day movies?