Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cornmeal Crepes and Hipster Art

A week late, we finally got to celebrate our anniversary. We got Abe settled in all snug and cozy with Ted's nephew D and his wife S, along with cousins L and E and the delightful friend L as an added bonus. We then settled ourselves in snug and cozy at the restaurant Lovely Hula Hands, which I'd heard fantastic things about.

We had drinks (mine a "chambord kamikaze"--too sweet, not recommended) and foccaccia bread with olive oil and olives as an appetizer. It looked like this:
Pretty tasty, though Ted didn't care for the salt on top.

Ted ordered a chicken dish that he liked but that I thought was weird tasting (how's that for a sophisticated review?). I had the cornmeal crepes, which were really tasty. Notice the butter on the bottom of the plate these are nestled in all snug and cozy? Mmmm...butter.
About halfway through our meal, a loud-talker arrived, sitting right next to us. Across from them was a pair of Germans whom Ted had been eavesdropping on here and there, commenting on how they were speaking "high German," very articulate. The Germans were two tables away and talked in at a normal level, so Ted had to really strain to hear them. The loud-talker ruined Ted's listening practice.

He and the woman he was with ordered right away, then leaned over towards us when they noticed I was eating the crepes, asking how they were. It's not that I'm anti-social; it's just that this is our anniversary dinner, and it's sort of a fancy-schmancy place, and I don't want a jeans-wearing loud-talker directing his bullhorn my direction. So I sort of shrugged and said that I was enjoying them though I am not a connoisseur of cornmeal crepes. He nodded and went back to telling the whole room about his house remodel.

(And yeah, I guess it may have been considered impolite that Ted was listening to the Germans. In his defense, he really enjoys practicing his German, plus it was a mother and daughter talking very politely about today's rain and the color of the drapes in the room.)

We ended our dinner by taking what I thought would look sweet but that ended up looking like a bout of after-dinner arm-wrestling:
We then took a walk down the street where, what? there's a shop selling specialty gourmet salt? Really? Really:
The owner gave us a sample of salt-infused caramels. It was all we could do not so spit it out on her floor. Sorry, lady, but we're not fancy enough yet for that kind of thing.

We then walked past a children's shop that was closed for the day, but I looked in the windows and was horrified at what some Portland hipsters consider appropriate (i.e. non-nightmare inducing) artwork for kids:
Excuse me, but what the hell is that? It looks like some warped Dr. Suess blue snake with no eyes ate a sad man with a sharp nose who managed to work his way almost to freedom but who gave up right at the end, thinking droopily to himself, "Eh, I'll just let my lower half get digested slowly by this scary blue worm...can't hurt that bad, right? They're only legs and internal organs." This clipboard art can be yours for only $75. Hurry, there's sure to be a mad rush on this happy character!

I turned around and saw the partner for half-digested worm-eaten man:
I'm not sure where to begin. This horned monster looks snug and cozy compared to the freakishly scary plastic snowman in a red hat below him. Notice how angry the snowman looks? And how about the sweet fuzzy sheep with devilish red eyes? What kind of childhood do the demented parents who buy this stuff intend for their children to have?

When we got back to pick up Abe, we found this wholesome stuff going on:
This was the first time we'd left Abe that he didn't cry even once. And how fun is it to watch your child turn from his play when he hears mom's familiar voice to put down every fun toy so he can scoot across that floor as quick as possible for a welcome-back snuggle? Aah, man, that gets me, especially when it comes with a welcome-back pat-pat-pat and exclamation of "Mom!"

As Elton said, "I thank the Lord for the people I have found," people who lovingly care for our son so we can celebrate our anniversary by being grossed out by salty caramels and freaked out a little by hipster kids' boutiques.
Abe told us on the way home that he likes anniversaries and thinks we should have them really often, especially if he gets to hang out with those guys you see above, nice people who only have pretty artwork with pictures of kitties that he can exclaim "kee-ee" at (he's moved on to two syllables now)
Now to start packing tomorrow for Blog Union '08. Woot. Woot.


Anonymous said...

LOL! I love Lovely Hula Hands, but those are definitely not the items I've tried there. I'd have to agree...the bread didn't look that appetizing. ;)
Sorry you had a loud talker, that place is pretty small! You can't get away from them in tight places like that. I'm delurking, writing this. I live in PDX, too, obviously, but came across your blog thru another adoption blog. Love your writing and pics!

As for the hipster scene here, geez, there IS some scary stuff out there. Especially on Mississippi. I think hands down the best kids stores are Grasshopper on Alberta and the one on NW 23rd. Adorable stuff at both! I have a friend who always makes me go with him to buy stuff for his nieces and nephews and those places can't be beat. Anyway, great blog you have. Happy late Anniversary.

coffeemom said...

YOu know, anniversary dinners are wonderful, congrats again! And you know, I was a studio art major...and those too hip for you kind of pieces make me nuts. Especially when directed toward kids...what are they thinking? I can only say they must be childless.....because they are too hip for it?

emily said...

Can't wait to meet you guys in person!!

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I want to try those cornmeal crepes right now!

mama becca said...

YUmmmmmmmmmm... all that food looks good. and I love salt. (good southern girl).
So sad we can't come to the blog union :(...
have fun though!!!

Blog Shmog said...

This was a funny post Lori! I loved your anniversary story. And yes! Those are some scary creatures at that kid's store. What in the world??

Have fun at the Blog Union! Wish I could go.

Erin Sager said...

You are great! I have run into your blog a few times, we are adopting from Ethiopia and live in Portland, your stories crack me up. I do have to say the chicken at Lovely Hula Hands is my fav, your ending picture of the night tops it all! Very sweet! And so is your son..