In a tale most unbelievable, Port Angeles, which has many tattoo parlors (and ones not that good) happens to now have a shop which sells Hello Kitty supplies and not only that, rare and cool Hello Kitty Supplies. This means I actually have a shopping reason to go to Port Angeles. But also mean now I am in shopping envy, lying awake at night frustrated that I did not find item X or Y sooner, or that others maybe just THIS minute someone is buying what I want (a feeling never felt before about Port Angeles!). This was the store where I talked to the 16 year old girl about Hello Kitty, Demonia Shoes, Goth and yes, S&M. The store have a few “display rooms” and this is the Kitchen.
As you see they do retro, and it is not just Hello Kitty, but you can see the Hello Kitty toaster and the coffee maker up there.
Well, as of tonight, in typical Linda fashion, Linda has “shoppers regret” over that toaster, on how it would be REALLY nice but golly we can’t justify that (which is Linda code for “I really want it and keep thinking about it”). I don’t know why Linda doesn’t see and lust for things instantly like me, but it takes two days or so for her to get the bug, like in Paris when she decided she REALLY should have picked up that scarf on the first day. So back we had to go, subway transfers and all because seriously, is it not better to go back and GET the scarf then hear the regrets over NOT getting the scarf for two years? Plus Linda likes to shop but does not get crazy excited like being exposed to catnip about buying things (that is what I do!); so when she does WANT something, crave something, then yeah, I am going to get that for her.
So here is the toaster, nice, right, but we don’t HAVE to get it there, right? We could order it online! Only, it turns out this shop (which I am NOT telling you where it is, in case you go buy this toaster!), sells very ODD items. This toaster is a limited edition 2008 item and has a cover and a crumb tray and six to eight different settings on how you can toast Hello Kitty’s face into your bread. And it is not sold elsewhere, not that we can find. There are two other cheaper style toasters but none so cool as this. Sigh.
So while Linda was gazing at toasters I had found the most amazing Hello Kitty Temporary Tattoos, which I am sure are Japan Release Only (meaning, what are they doing HERE in Port Angeles!), there are Purple Geisha ones for the Girls and I found blue ones of Drumming and drinking sake for the guys (come on guys, playing big Japanese drums is manly!). But seriously, how cool would having a Geisha Hello Kitty shoulder tattoo be? A little temptress shoulder display….Hello Kitty for the Sexy Kitten? Not that I am starting to write my fantasies out loud or anything…..hee hee!
I also found a set of bandages, where EACH bandage is a different Hello Kitty scene. I had seen the pink Hello Kitty bandages before but not this visual delight of Hello Kitty. So I picked them up and can’t decide whether they would make perfect gifts or perfect rewards for me after surviving yet ANOTHER blood test and needle experience. Oh, to give or to enjoy for the self?
And as I was about to leave, I fell totally in love with the Hello Kitty Pirate sleepset! Look at it, who wouldn’t! Hello Kitty Pirate with her ribbon in her hair and a skull in the ribbon, her hat, her ship! All in a sleep cami. I rolled back inside and found out, only size SMALL left on the rack (now looking at the picture I ask myself, “Why did I not check the size of top on the MODEL?”) Instead I told Cheryl, “Oh well, not this month, but at the rate I am going I can get it next month or so.” But now, looking at the pictures I am having a terrible case of buyer envy. I want it – and I haven’t wanted a sleep set in like YEARS. Plus it is perfect for heat intolerant me. Double sigh!
Here is a picture of some of the goodies, you can see the size small top on the front bottom rack, and if you look at the top left you will see the edge a FULL purple sleep set including sheets and everything to make your Hello Kitty bedroom. I was offered this (perhaps in jest by Linda and Cheryl - they better be careful, as what if I threw myself of the bed shouting MINE!) but I refused as Hello Kitty was wearing a cheap IMITATION ruby in her ribbon. Sorry, I don’t do imitation, I do SKULLS! But still, next time I will get a picture of that for you.
We went from there to the Farmers Market at Port Townsend, 48 miles and many skary bars and stores from Port Angeles (avoid the road side shop on that way that has a sign advertising, “Animal skins and ice cream available.” The racks of animal horns mounted on the outside are a giveaway - yeah, I'm serious).
At the market, there were all the local farms, from a few miles away, as well as people making food from ‘home.’ The first thing I saw were these nectarines (apricots?) and then on to the peas (you’ve seen them).
A little further on was the best looking bowl of Borscht I have ever seen, it looks like raspberry soup and with an edible flower too! However beets and I had repeated childhood traumas so I avoid beet related things but if you are missing the old country, come and try out this bowl. I admit, I was not aware traditional Borscht came with “Sunflower-cashew sour crème” (I think that might be the Port Townsend influence).
There were many flower vendors and I was entranced by these Lilies, but with so many miles to go and having to hand carry them back (to be confiscated by customs – no fresh fruit or veg, etc….remember) I had to leave them behind. Still, I have a picture!
Linda, who when we try to call her a “Butch” gets laughed at by Butch Lesbians tried out an apron to see if she should Femme herself up. “Is this ME?” she asked, holding aside her pastry (where did that go Linda, and how come I never got any?), and holding this flowery apron to herself. “No, no, no, no, no!” I said and then, “Let me take a picture!” Because that is as close as I will get to Linda channeling Martha Stewart.
On the way out, I was delayed and fascinated by these candle displays which are actually made of Soy, I think they are Vegan Candles? I am not sure why the soy but they made them with different flavors, Tomato and Kumquat and had such pretty displays that I wanted a display if not a candle. Port Townsend does have lovely farmers food and flowers and GREAT presentation.
From there we went to downtown Port Townsend for lunch at the 50’s Diner where they serve REAL malts from original malt machines brought in from where they were found all over the country. Here I am with Cheryl, the counter in the background. I also paid 25 cents in the jukebox for a song; Linda picked, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” while I picked the oh so hammy ballad, “Leader of Pack.” First, who doesn’t like a tragic motorcycle ballad? But also because I got to sing the backup singer girl part, you know, the two girls who stand in the background making hand motions and repeating the last word, “He didn’t know what was going down.” At this point I do the wavy motion of my hands while singing, “down….down” I don’t know why but I always wanted to be one of those back up singers; seemed a great gig, you stand on stage and sing about 8 words and “Oooooooooooooo!” Between my reliving childhood career fantasies I did postcards. Yup, want to know how I get those cards done and sent – dedication! So I do a little bit whenever I can. When I travel, your postcard travels with me until it is done!
The next day we were back in Victoria and I decided to use the $100 I had won from the Hudson’s Bay Company by winning the 10K race in my racing wheelchair. They actually sent it to me (Sweet!). I decided this was a good time to bring closure to my Japan trip by getting Canadian gifts for those who helped me in Japan. I wanted to get one particularly for a gentleman, S-san, from the Japanese Volunteer Disability organization who corresponded with me for five to six months before the trip and helped up create our trip “bible.” But also for the English speaking volunteer in Kanazawa who stayed with us for several hours, got my wheelchair repaired and saved the trip. In Japan, because of issues regarding status, you can only give food or perishable gifts. Because to give a gift that is permanent puts an obligation on the person or family receiving it. This has not stopped cost or status from entering as melons (the round fruit) are a popular gift (people eat them and gift is gone), so there are Melons costing over $100 (I kid you not). I ended up getting S-san a Haida art box with a can of fresh Queen Charlotte Salmon inside, as I know seafood is popular in Japan. I also got maple syrup treats for all the people in his office so that he could keep this himself and not feel obligated by being singled out (when he was representing them), and thus forced to share it. However, I know he worked far above and beyond, so I wanted to give him something uniquely west coast.
This however did not finish the $100 so I went search for gifts, primarily for men, because when I give gifts, I try to include a little something for the whole family. Except while I do well on chidren, teens and the women I am friends with, I tend to be terrible with guys. What do you get a guy who is a husband to someone you know? But since all my friends are in internet land I focused on trying to find things that were particularly west coast. I did manage to find some more temporary tattoos done in different Haida and Native Art of the West Coast.I think they look cool and very 'manly', but would look good on a butch too!
I also picked up a couple fridge magnets, again trying to find something unique to this area. Since the Hudson’s Bay company has represented the contact with the native population, for better or worse, here on the west coast for the last several hundred years, they have a lot of decent native art. So what do you think of this, cool enough for a guy to put on the fridge?
I spend the last of my funds on Art Print, which would be more of a gift to a husband/wife, or couple or maybe academics, not sure. I like this print but then I could really mess up and send it as a gift to someone who finds this boring. I selected it from dozens. Each print comes from a different artist; this one is from an artist near Prince Rupert, on the Alaska border of Canada and across from the Queen Charlottes. While it is not the traditional black and red of the Haida art, it has the traditional forms but has use of colour I really enjoy. I hoped that whoever gets it, it will be something very different from where they live. What do you think, would most people like this, or is it an acquired taste?
I stayed away from buying the Inuit Art (the people in the arctic) which tends to be abstract and representational and I really enjoy. Because I can’t imagine sending Inuit Art to someone in Kent or in Iowa as it is usually stacks of stones to represent people or carved seal bone (literally art from what is up past tree line, stone and bones!).
So that was what I ended up getting with the $100 from the race (and a bit more to get all I wanted to buy). Linda asked me if there wasn’t something I wanted for myself, but at the time I could honestly say, 'no.' But that’s until I saw the picture of the Hello Kitty Cami and sleep shorts set again….now I have that frenzy to find and make it MINE!
Seriously, many things have gone away: I have virtually no taste left, the same with getting hungry or thirsty, just part of the disease. Indeed, one odd side effect was that certain seizures make me sleepy, while a few make me hungry…and I haven’t been hungry in months and months (or thirsty, which is why I and others have to constantly monitor me for dehydration). As for me, I am trying to fund a trip to San Francisco and to a Neurologist and getting rid of things, selling things. I also have very little in the way of appetite. So for me, finding a gift that I think someone might like and sending it to them, even if that takes a couple weeks or months is the closest I get to that sort of pleasure now. After all, I still have all the excitement of shopping and get the added pleasure of hoping, like the post cards, the right gift gets to the right person.
So that was it, the 'normal' day and today I got to write about it, about the normal, normal me (touch that toaster or those Pirate Hello Kitty PJ’s and DIE!).