R and I went to Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle last night. They do custom ring work there, which I had been aware of because a couple of acquaintances went there to have custom rings for ritual work, of all things, made there. I hadn't thought about them much but I asked Scott where his wedding ring was made, as it isn't a standard looking ring, and he mentioned that place. R found their website and we found out that they custom make their rings and cast them using the lost wax method. The idea of unique rings embodying what we wanted seemed quite fine so we made plans earlier in the week to go out.
The design that we came up with is two interleaving lines forming a kind of continuous infinity sign. I had wanted something of a vegetative look in lines so we managed to turn these interleaving lines into vines with leaves. We'll see the wax models in a few days to approve. The final rings will be done in yellow gold for us. We barely made it under the wire as these things can take most of a month to do but it will be worth it.
Today, I slept in a bit and then R and I dropped off her car for some work on the brakes. We went down to Flower's in the University area for breakfast. They have an all you can eat Mediterranean buffet that I've gone to off and on for about six or seven years. All vegetarian and all quite good. Afterwards, we looked at some bookstores for a bit and I picked up a couple of new ones: Backyard Ballistics, which is on creating tennis ball mortars, potato cannons, and the like and a used copy of The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel, which is a biography of Alexandra David-Neel. She is best known for her Magic and Mystery in Tibet, which I read many years ago. She was a French traveler and adventuress who was one of the first Westerners to travel into Tibet, which was a closed country, visit Lhasa, and study the Dharma. This was during the 1920's. Her books are under some criticism now as not always being accurate and I've actually found them to be fairly good given the era and climate. She definitely respected the culture and did a retreat in a mountain cave in Tibet, along with other traditional practices. The authors had done a previous biography of her years ago but this one updates and supersedes that one based on information that they've found since then. She died in 1969 and I have to wonder what she thought of the Tibetan Diaspora as it occurred at the end of her life.
I finished China Mieville's Iron Council last night. As with all of his books, I'm not sure what to make of it when I finish it and I don't mean this in a bad way at all. I found it to be an excellent book and a good follow-up to Perdido Street Station since they are both largely set in the city of New Crobuzon. This one is a lot more overtly political than the other two by him but a lot more complex in ways outside of the politics. I'll have to see where it sits with me. I definitely recommend it to anyone that reads fantasy at all though I would recommend reading PSS first. Any of his books can be read by themselves but there are definite links between them and this one occurs about 20 or 25 years after his other two books. Definitely good writing. I'm trying to decide what novel I'll be reading next but it will probably be something short to balance out this longer (500+ page) work.
Ripley's Game arrived from Netflix today. I've seen this within the last year but R has never watched it. We'll probably watch it this evening. Definitely a different kind of movie than The Talented Mr. Ripley but I find both to be excellent in their own ways. Tomorrow, we'll probably be going to a BBQ that my friend, John, is having at his place.
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