A couple of days ago it was KowaiHitsuji’s birfday, so Carrie & I headed up to Seattle to celebrate it with her. We met her at Dilettante Mocha Café on Broadway and there we had the best milkshake in the history of the world EVAR.
The Port Milkshake.
From what I can tell it’s exactly what it sounds like: a milkshake with port wine in it.
It is amazing. You seriously have no idea. We also had bread pudding, but let’s get back to the port milkshake because HOLY CRAP it is good. HOLY CRAP. Now I’m ruined for all other milkshakes for all time. Well, not really. But still, it IS THAT GOOD. Do all of my UNNECESSARY CAPS convince you yet? Just go over there and drink one of those milkshakes full of sweet alcohol goodness and decide for yourself.
Now I want to have port milkshakes ALL OF THE TIME.
So on Thursday I went with my museum buddy, Marvel’s X-Men’s female clone of Wolverine (X-23), to the Tacoma Art Museum to see their “Edo to Tacoma” exhibit of Japanese woodblock prints. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience. It’s one thing to see reproductions of prints, but its another to see the original paper from the 1600s with the original ink on it.
In case you didn’t know: woodblock prints involve carving a block of wood for EACH color. So a ten-color print (including black but excluding white) takes ten separate woodblocks to print. And these prints are generally no larger than an 8.5″ × 11″ piece of paper. So the carving work is incredibly intricate. It’s also a fascinating process in that practically off of the prints are commissioned by a publisher who hires the artist to draw something. Once the publisher approves the drawing (and the colors), it’s handed over to the carvers who do the actual carving work. Then the prints are mass-produced and sold, sometimes bound in a volume, especially the “series” works (like the 100 Famous Views of Edo and Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series (which contains “The Great Wave off Kanagawa“) of prints). So it was really a commerce-driven industry, not artist-driven.
I got this swell postcard!
After leaving the museum, we swung by the Fulcrum Gallery in Hilltop to see their latest exhibition, “Seasonal Affective” by Sean Alexander. Mr. Alexander (who has a very sparse website) suffers from seasonal affective disorder (which is pretty common here in the Northwest), and allows it to inform his art. His artwork is intensively, minutely detailed with excruciating and teeny-tiny linework. Like this postcard I picked up at the gallery:
So if for some reason you find yourself in the area during Fulcrum’s business hours, you should definitely pop in and look at them up close. And then after that I came back home.
So you may have noticed, those of you who may have frequented here this past month, that I’ve posted almost exclusively a bunch of Movie Reviews and one Article. Well, that’s what I call “housekeeping.” See, I got way behind on my Movie Reviews on 2010, to the extent that when 2011 rolled around I had seven movie reviews in the backlog that I needed to write.
I really wanted to write an article about my Favorite Things from 2010, but I couldn’t in all good conscience write a 2011 article until I was done with all the stuff I was supposed to be done with from 2010. So that’s why with one exception all of my posts in January have been movie reviews, then when I finally finished those I put up the article.
So now that ALL of that is out of the way, I can finally get back to the business of posting things that interest me, or random thoughts that occur to me, or interesting happenings or dreams (and maybe even *gasp* being able to write more than two or three articles during the course of the year). In fact, on Thursday I went to a museum and an art gallery, then yesterday I went to a rock show in Seattle, so tomorrow (and maybe even the next day) expect a post or two about that stuff.
Why did I get so behind? Well, because in many ways 2010 was a really crappy year. A lot of really good stuff happened, too, but still, 2010 had some of the more stressful times in it. I didn’t get done basically any of my goals because I was too busy being stressed out about dealing with stressful stuff. 2011 is so far shaping up to be much better, but it’s still dealing with the ramifications of what transpired in 2010. I am just going to take this moment to pro-actively dub 2011 as “THE YEAR OF MASSIVE CHANGES” (most all of them good). Just wait, you’ll see. I’ll post about one of those up-coming changes around the end of this month.
I decided to do something for the first time: Recap my favorites of random categories from 2010. Mostly arts & entertainment, but I also stuck restaurant in there as a category just because, why not? Who’s gonna stop me? I’d like for this to become a tradition because, well, that gives me an easy article to write every year. I set out some ground rules first, though: I limited myself to no more than five total choices per category, though I didn’t necessarily have to fill that many slots. That means one Favorite and four Honorable Mentions max per category. Why? Because I make the rules here, pal! And what I say, goes! Also, if there’s more than one Honorable Mention, they’re in alphabetical order. Let’s get started… [Read the full article]
I went in to Black Swan expecting it to be a drama about the trials and tribulations of ballet dancer Nina (played by Natalie Portman) with some dark, psychological thriller undertones. What I did not expect was for the movie to be basically a full-blown body-horror movie with a surprising amount of gore in it. [Read my full review]