dusty strings and a Return of the Jedi 550 piece fully interlocking puzzle

Oliver Fern and I journeyed to Fremont after lunch to look at ukeleles and banjos at Dusty Strings. I’ve been curious about getting a ukelele after playing a lot on Adam’s little cheap toy guitar with Oliver, but I was disappointed when I played the ukeleles in the lower price range. They sounded like…..cheap toy guitars. The banjos are what really swept me off my feet, I sat down with one for a little while and it felt surprisingly natural to play (it probably helped that I’ve let the fingernails on my strumming hand get super long….I’ve been playing my guitar more than usual).  I like Dusty Strings, it’s a nice shop and I like the people there. I’ve been a patron for a half dozen years, but not to buy any very expensive things. I do wish I could have been there without Oliver Fern today, nobody in a music shop takes you serious when you’ve got a baby with you.

Speaking of Fremont, I felt like I got whacked with a 2×4 over the head when I saw that Costas Opas, the little Greek restaurant on the corner across from the bridge, is GONE (I felt wackily disoriented for a moment, like I was in the wrong block). The restaurant has been replaced by, ugh, a Chase bank. I hate Chase bank, we were part of the mass defection a couple years ago from Chase over to more community-oriented banks or credit unions. I think it’s a devastating change to that corner, which is a very attractive gateway to the neighborhood as it sits across from the bridge. How could Fremontsters allow this? It may or may not be proof Fremont is weathering the storm of growing blandness across the city about as poorly as Capitol Hill, although those two neighborhoods are apples and oranges. Our next door neighbor works in Fremont, for Google. The dotcoms have descended on it the past few years.

My plans for productive errand-running around the city were foiled because Oliver took a very short morning nap. He has been a little off this week, he has a fourth tooth coming in on the bottom. With a more limited window of time than normal, we made our last stop the Goodwill in Ballard to drop off a huge box filled with baby toys that Oliver is bored with (he prefers cardboard, paper and dust bunnies). I haven’t been to the Ballard Goodwill in a long time so we looked around for a few minutes.

I got a paperback copy of Return of the Jedi to complete my collection of the trilogy, a hiking guidebook for the Colorado Front Range and a 550 piece Return of the Jedi puzzle that Adam and I started tonight. The puzzle box felt full, I gambled that all the pieces were there (and they are…Adam and I counted them). After we put it together, we’ll glue it so Adam can have it for a picture on his wall.

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