Sunday, April 10, 2011

Books, Cupcakes, Sunshine, and Really Lame Villains

Friday: our first real sunshine of the year. Thank you, sky gods, we needed that!

I didn't think to take a picture of it, though. Where was my head?

It looked kind of like the yolk below:

Oh, wait. Look! Behind the clown. Blue sky!

And Jim, wearing sunglasses for a reason other than coolness:

Aah. It was almost indescribably wonderful to get out in a little bit of sun. This year winter has really dragged. So, Friday: lunch at the food cart pod on Mississippi Ave (Portland is a mecca for awesome food carts, and this one is our favorite). 

We went for Garden State.

The cured lemon chicken sandwich.

With chickpea fries.

It was good. A little salty, maybe. But good.

Coffee at Dogfeathers. Dogfeathers. tee hee.

After which, to make a good day GREAT: Powell's City of Books!

Do you know of legendary Powell's? People have been known to move to Portland just because of Powell's. It is an entire city block, four stories of books. It is ... not a city so much as a world.

It is just so much MORE than most bookstores. Since they have so much space, they can carry an author's entire list, and not just the most recent one or two titles, and they do. New and used are shelved together, so they have multiple editions of stuff too, several shelves to an author often. It's a book candy store. (Also: great website for ordering if you'd rather support and indie than Amazon, + their employees are unionized. And often a little surly and put-upon to go along with it. But still great!)

I liked this display, "Rolling over n her grave, the Horrors of Jane Austen ..."

Poor Jane.

The children's section is a whole quarter of one floor, with huge YA and Middle Grade, and this big open picture book room:

Loot o' the day picture (on which more next time):

Powell's is pretty big, guys, and one gets a little depleted in there, after which, I'm sure you understand, cupcakes are not an indulgence so much as a necessity. Lucky for all, just up the street: Cupcake Jones.

Mama-baby red velvets.

Look! Look! Notice anything strange about us? No coats!!

Mama-baby feet.

The day continued awesome, as after all of this, Jim and I dropped Clementine at my parents' house and went to see a movie! This is so rare. We just never go to movies anymore, alas, sigh, and we were both really excited to see Hanna, the new Joe Wright thriller starring Saoirse Ronan, who is an amazing young actress. So we went. 

And damn it if it didn't completely suck. Such a bummer. If you see movies all the time, the occasional stinker isn't such a big deal, but if it's a rare treat, then it really sucks. It started off well, but it just degenerated into this trying-too-hard music-video style-y beatbox chase scene pastiche with the Lamest Villains Ever. First Cate Blanchett as a totally cardboard cut-out soulless b**ch, but she wasn't even the bad part. 

There was one of these soft-spoken sadist types that bad guys sometimes go to when they need something unspeakable done--you know, the indispensable monster? This time it was the guy who played Mr. Collins in Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice (and was great in that) as a bleach-blonde German white-track-suit-and-eye-liner-wearing nightclub owner with minions and a sneer. And the minions were straight out of the 1980s, these mangy German skinheads in jeans and jackboots. They were all SO DUMB, and the DUMBEST part? As entirely un-bad-ass as they came across (especially track suit), Hanna the supposed human weapon couldn't seem to get them. 

Oh, so much wrong. So so much. That only scratches the surface. I want to punch that movie in the stomach. No, I don't. I want to sit it in the corner in a dunce cap. And the reviews were really good and Joe Wright's previous movies have been so awesome! *stew stew*

Anyway, after that, a quick dinner at Teardrop, which is becoming a go-to for us. It's a small, beautiful bar in the Pearl District with a small, beautiful menu

And that was our wonderful day of play! After which: back to work! 
Hope YOU are having a good weekend!


tone almhjell said...

Sorry your movie sucked, but the rest seemed pretty awesome! I want to go to that bookstore. Want, want, want.

jesse said...

I want one of those sammiches. Excess of salt is a non issue.

Ina said...

I'm with Tone on this one, that bookstore looks amazing!

My husband and I are heading out to Portland in late June, and I've already added the bookstore and cupcake place to our list of things to see :)

Jessica Fleming said...

I agree with tone almhjell and Ina, I'm thinking of planning a trip just to go to that bookstore!

storyqueen said...

I so rarely get to the movies and I hate it when it's unworthy.

I think it was just a crummy movie weekend. Youngest went with a friend to see HOP. "Mom, they pooped out jelly beans! gross." Middle kid went with friends to see Battle LA. Her comment? "Mom, don't let seventeen year old boys pick movies. Ever."

I stayed home and watched Leap Year with oldest kid.


Liz said...

A shelfari friend told me she bought her books at Powell's, but I didn't realize the awesome factor of the store. If I lived in Portland I'd be broke with all the cool little shops, food carts and Powell's nearby. Books are my go crazy shopping item. Just not a purse or shoe kinda gal. A Borders near me is closing and we just picked up three 7 ft bookshelves for $99. Finally my spare room is turning into a library, but I think I need a few more.

Today we went to see Your Highness with Danny McBride and James Franco. Bad reviews but stupid, silly humor was what was needed. Sometimes in these kinds of movies there's a tiny little gem that tickles me and I get that silent-can't breath-side aching laughter going on and tears start streaming down my cheeks. Such feel good! Natalie Portman is in it as well, which seems incongruous after watching her last week in Black Swan.

Hatchling would make an excellent film. The Druj shapeshifting, Mihai walking head first down the cathedral wall, Mihai chanting as he carries Esme over the chasm with the monsters growling and reaching for them from below (what are they anyway?) the tabernacle of eyes, the Queen riding the sleigh...yeah, I wanna see that. Who can I write to or call to make it happen? :D

How can we order the UK special edition of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? I read the product info on UK Amazon and now the pain of waiting for its release has increased!

Perhaps a future blog post: How long has your hair been pink? Why pink? Has it ever been any other color? It's looks lovely and striking, and I love the way it photographs.

Be well

Kjersten said...

This post makes me super homesick for the Northwest (even if I'm having my own cool adventures in the Southeast -- Asia that is). I'm one of those people who would move to Portland just for Powells. I heart Powells. Thanks for making me smile by posting these pictures of your happy day.

Katie Anderson said...

We saw that dumbo Hanna movie too! I was looking so forward to it. Ack.

Suzanne said...

Ok, I must ask... what do chickpea fries taste like??

Essjay said...

I'm in awe of that bookshop - my idea of heaven. Also, those teeny tiny cupcakes are gorgeous. Am a bit gutted that Hanna sucked, I was looking forward to it too!

Laini Taylor said...

Hi everyone! Yes, Powell's is that awesome. I need to do a better post, clearly, so you can experience the full scope of the awesome!

Katie, ack, sorry for your lost time! How lame was that???

Suzanne ... hmmm. I don't know, kind of like fragile spicy fries, I guess. They didn't have a hummusy flavor though.

Msb said...

Movie? Never heard of it.

My brother just moved from Portland and absolutely loved it. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to visit but he told me, on more than one occasion, how much he thought I'd love it. Your posts about your hometown make me realize how right he was. It's a place right up my alley.

Heidi said...

I have "Court of Air" sitting on my shelf to be read, as well. Let me know when you read it!

Mare Freeborn said...!!!!!!!! Love, love, love.

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