Camp Baskerville

As many of you know, I am fond of Sherlock Holmes stories. Not the first fictional detective, he is the most popular and has the honor (sometimes dubious) of having been written as a character more times by authors NOT his original author than any other character.  Sherlock also holds the Guinness World Record as the “most portrayed movie character” – more than 70 actors in more than 200 films!

 

So I was intrigued when I learned that Park Square Theatre was doing The Hound of the Baskervilles this summer.  From looking at the website I could see that Holmes and Watson would be played by women and it didn’t look like it was being billed as a serious production.  A woman playing Sherlock didn’t bother me; if Ghostbusters and Dr. Who can be women, why not the most famous fictional detective.

Park Square is known for occasionally messing with your expectations but I was really unprepared for the audacity of the production, the sheer silliness. There were just five actors; if you’ve ever read or seen Baskerville, you know there are many more characters than that.  Normally this bugs me a little when actors play multiple roles, but I quickly got over it and in fact, they used it for comic fodder.  At one point towards the end, the actor playing Lestrade and Henry Baskerville did a “half and half”, turning from one side to the other – hysterical.

There was a lot of laughter; a few times so much so that I needed to wipe my eyes. Of all the different ways that I have seen or read Holmes, I have never experienced him as “camp” and I loved it.

If you have the chance, the production is playing for another week or so and I highly recommend it.. ESPECIALLY if you’re a Holmes fan.

When have you ever laughed until you’ve cried?

 

Surprise!

Our daughter phoned yesterday, full of excitement about some wonderful Chevre goat cheese and creamy Brie she had discovered at a farmers market, as well as the thrill of being held up as an exemplar of paperwork perfection at her work during a Medicaid audit.

This surprises me. In elementary, middle school, and high school I could have presented her as an exemplar of the biggest flibberty-gibbet, fly-by-night slacker of my acquaintance.  I guess maturation happens, but I never expected this from her!

Who or what has surprised you, for good or for naught?

Bread and Circuses

August 4 has been pretty busy through the centuries, so I am leaving this blog post pretty open for the weekend for Baboons to comment on three pretty fun things.

In 1693, Dom Perignon is said to have invented Champagne.

In 1777,  Retired British cavalry officer Philip Astley established his riding school with performances in London,  a precursor of the circus.

in 1919,  The Rodin Museum opens in Paris in The Hôtel Biron containing works left to the state by the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Say what you will about Champagne, circuses, and sculpture.

That’s What Neighbors Do

Well, the Trump supporting wife beater moved out of the house across the street taking his Trump sign with him.  They are renting the house to his wife’s son and daughter in law,  a young couple with a 2 or 3 year old girl, a cat, and a retriever-type dog.  I had high hopes for them until the young man hung a large Confederate flag from the front of house.

The other day another neighbor and I spotted the girl, the cat, and the dog running around  without any supervision.  The girl was happy as could be running into the other yards, with the dog doing its own exploration and the cat lying down in the middle of the street.  The neighbor grabbed the dog and the girl while I rang the doorbell to inform them that everyone was loose. The cat had already sauntered back to safety.  The mom was mortified and thanked us profusely. The little girl had just learned to open the gate to the back yard, and took advantage of her new skill.

A day or so later, the dad came over while I was in the front yard. He again thanked me and said they were so grateful we had noticed their daughter and animals, and offered to do any heavy yard work I might need done as a thank you. I told him that wasn’t necessary, as what we did was just what neighbors do. He seemed puzzled about that. He didn’t seem to understand that neighbors help without expectation of recompence .He also spoke with a southern twang, so he is evidently not from around here.

I suppose I could have asked him to take down the flag, but if he doesn’t  understand the concept of being neighborly, he might not have understood the request. I will just hope for other opportunities to show kindness.

What sort of flag would be a good response to the flag across the street? Tell about some of your more memorable neighbors. 

Haute Eats

In three weeks we are flying to Tacoma to see our daughter and celebrate the successful completion of her first semester of graduate school. She is aiming for a Master’s Degree in Social Work from USC.  She has done very well thus far. If all goes according to plan, she will be done in May.

Daughter decided that the Washington wine country around Woodinville was the place to spend the bulk of our visit.  She booked a dinner there for us (at our expense, but we don’t mind) at a place called the Herb Farm for a nine course dinner lasting four hours, with foods and local wines sourced within 100 miles of Woodinville. She says we are taking Uber so we don’t need a designated driver. We will dine, in an intimate group,  with other people we have never met. I think it sounds fun, and possibly alarming.

Daughter hates fish, but is willing to try Geoduck with turnip, Dungeness crab with shiso, purslane, and cucumber, along with Fried oyster with spicy egg yolk sauce, not to mention Lummi Island Tribal Reef-netted sockeye salmon in Zucchini blossom and green coriander sauce. She says she can tolerate it because the portions are small, and she will be brave.

We are to dine on 7-year old, pastured Snohomish Valley Black Angus (I think that means tough, chewy cow) with black currants, bone marrow, beets, and bachelor buttons.  Let us not forget the marigold buttermilk sherbet, Skagit Valley purple barley malt Ice cream, Gravenstein apples, cabbage with crispy duck confit, green field-burned rye berries with mushroom sauce,  house-churned Holstein butter,  and sourdough loaf.  I have left out many other things we will be served, but you get the picture.

We never eat  like this, and I don’t expect we will do it again, but what fun!

What is the hautest of cuisines you have eaten? What makes for good food in your book?

 

 

Crazy Eights

Husband and I received a lovely clock for our wedding almost 35 years ago. It plays Westminster chimes, and has traveled with us from Winnipeg to Indiana to North Dakota.

The clock worked quite well until last year, when it just stopped. We took it to the nearest clock shop in Fargo, where they told us that the innards were all worn out and it needed new ones.  We had a choice of digital or traditional.  I like to wind it, so we had them install new inner workings from Germany. It keeps time again quite well, but it has some quirks that I find alarming.

Some days, randomly, at  8:00 am and/or 8:00 pm, it chimes  continuously for up to three minutes. It plays the Westminster chimes over and over, and then plays variations on the Westminster chimes. When it has got it out of its system,  it rings eight times and gets back to its quiet ticking. It only happens at 8:00.  Some days it doesn’t happen at all.

I don’t know what to think about this.  Ghosts?  Odd German clock maker humor?  Who knows?   I don’t feel like driving it all the way to Fargo for a repair, so we will just put up  with the “Crazy 8’s” and see what new Westminster variations we get.

Tell about some infernal machine problems. What do you think it feels like to be in a time warp?

 

Over the Hill, Not Over the Thrill

I’m all set for my birthday week. As an adult, I don’t expect everybody to get all worked up about my birthday.  In fact, when I came home from China with Baby, my mother said to me “You know, it’s not about you anymore.”

Several years ago I started cultivating companies that will help me celebrate. If you sign up online, they’ll send you a coupon on your birthday.  This year I have coupons from Panera, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry’s, Brueggers, Nothing Bundt Cake, Noodles, Caribou and Dairy Queen. Except for Caribou which needs to be used on my actual birthday, I have planned to spread the others out over the upcoming few days.

I don’t give myself a card; it seems a little overkill to make a card and then give it to myself. However some years I do bake myself a birthday cake or a birthday pie; some years I even throw myself a party.  No party this year and the jury is still out about the cake/pie.  I gave my BFF theatre tickets for her birthday and turns out that the date that was good for her was my actual birthday, so I guess technically I gifted myself with theatre tickets this year!

What’s a great gift you’ve received?

 

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