“Anyone who knew Violet well could tell she was thinking hard, because her long hair was tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes. Violet had a real knack for inventing and building strange devices, so her brain was often filled with images of pulleys, levers, and gears, and she never wanted to be distracted by something as trivial as her hair.”

- Lemony Snicket, "A Bad Beginning"

Mi Mero Mole, a little street Mexican restaurant off SE 50th & Division in Portland. Becca took us there for lunch this weekend and we all left with satiated appetites and a not overly-dented wallet.

2. READING, non-fiction.
Joe Queenan's "For the Books," an hilarious, often annoying, very precisely snobbish series of thoughts and stories about his relationships with books. A classic example of someone who might make you mad, but who you are forced to listen, respect, and love a little due to the force and humor of his assertions.

Badly Drawn Boy. I love it when my wife gets on a listening kick with someone. I've been a BDB fan since his first proper album, and even more so after his beautiful score for the underrated Hugh Grant film About a Boy. But the last week or so, it's been her who keeps playing him. It's a great feeling when you know what you want to listen to at a particular moment.

A few years ago, she picked up a collection of classical records for me at a garage sale. One of those 10-LP composer series deals. Been enjoying the Strauss selection, which inevitably makes me think of Stanley Kubrick. Lilting, light, but also sections of sweet melancholy and longing. Beautiful.

Over the last year, we have received cookies, brownies, cucumbers, tomatoes, flowers, coffee, and, as of this evening, a "little slice of chocolate cake" that turned out to be, size wise, roughly the equivalent of a semi truck tire. And tasted mmmmm delicious. You know who you are, neighbors. Thank you.

5. PLAY.
Building LEGO sets monochromatically, with occasional splashes of a single brick for accent. I've been building walls in single colours. Really, really cool walls. Seriously. My kids think they're cool and I have no harsher critics than them. Arbitrarily-imposed creative restrictions are truly an excellent gateway to innovation.

It's the oldest story in the English language and it's just so good: Beowulf. Do you think my heart thumped a little bit when my son came up recently and asked if I thought his drawing of Beowulf looked very good? Uh, yeah.

Then he moved on to rendering Grendel. And THAT was terrifying. Such an epic tale. Find a version, even a mediocre one, and get familiar with it. So good.

Au revoir and gut nacht, universe. May your week ahead be filled with wonderful happenings and music you can then recommend to me.

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