Friday, March 28, 2008

VT Comes Through Again

Yesterday I was driving back up to VT and it was pretty warm outside. Most of the snow had melted in Massachusetts. It was making me nervous.

The progress of Fay's immune-mediated myelitis has plateaued over the winter. She's been doing pretty well since she got over our trip to California. In CA, where it was eighty degrees out, she was dragging both legs behind her. Back in New England where it's cold she's using her back right leg as best she can and only dragging her back left leg. She's feeling good and acting like herself. It seems to me that higher temperatures might contribute to the progress of her disease.

I'm not a summer person under ordinary circumstances but this upcoming summer has the potential to be really lousy for me and Fay. I'm thinking it could do her in.

Winter is definitely my season although I love autumn as well. I feel safe with a big blanket of snow on the ground and with the animals asleep and out of danger(ish) Everything's frozen, stable and not moving around very much. I've always been able to get the most and best work done between January and April. It's like a clear space for my brain.

Spring usually messes me up considerably. Things start waking up and moving around. The ground stirs and gets restless. I'm serious - I can feel in my bones the dirt moving around. It's unsettling. Roadkill numbers rise. The frogs, snakes and salamanders come out and then I have to worry about stepping on them or hitting them with my car. In this part of the world you can't go a day without killing something one way or another when the weather's warm enough. This year we'll be worrying about the bats as well.

So there I was feeling apprehensive about the warming weather, cooking up a plan to deal with my dread. I decided to make fear my new best friend. If the summer's going to suck I might as well take it head on. I'm going to immerse myself in things that scare me silly. Productive things - not jumping off bridges or anything. Things like sending out promotional art packages that include my embarrassingly thin resume. Like being sociable when I don't feel like it and talking to people who intimidate me. Things that will take me out into the world. If Fay's health is going to tank then I'm going to need some beneficial activities to get my mind off of it. If I'm going to be uncomfortable I might as well try to get it to work for me.

I like the plan. I wonder if I have the nerve to go through with it?

I went to bed resigned to the coming season.

I woke up to this:



This was the view from my kitchen window this morning. A reprieve.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What, Exactly, Is That Stuff?


Some of that stuff to the right of the Hancock Tower turns out to be the Logan Airport runways and the ocean. Mom and Dad were really happy to find out they had an ocean view.

I'm guessing they're almost halfway through their flight back to San Diego. Fay and I really enjoyed their visit. Fay is also really going to enjoy the left over osso bucco Dad saved for her. She doesn't know about that yet.

Mom and Dad did end up leaving their hotel/mall building and came to our house to see Fay a couple of times. Every time we drove back along Huntington Avenue to the Westin we'd go under a glassed-in pedestrian walkway. It runs over Huntington and connects the Prudential Mall to the Copley Mall. We'd watch from our car at the traffic light as the Anime conventioneers would pass by overhead. They were easy to spot in their brightly colored wigs, cloaks and princess outfits or with their seven-foot-tall cardboard knives or crucifixes.

Last night the pedestrians were again pedestrian. We were all sad the Anime convention was over. I wish people dressed like that all the time.

By the way, if you ever need to go to a food orgy - sorry, I mean brunch - in the Boston area I highly recommend the one at Turner Fisheries in Copley Square. Wow that was good. They have a fantastic pastry chef there too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Weekend

Pete and I got up at 4:45 this morning so he could catch an early flight to Florida to see his family for Easter. I couldn't get a sitter for Fay over the holiday so I was going to stay home by myself. Instead, my parents came to see me.

Mom and Dad flew in on Thursday. Now that they're Southern Californians they can't take a chill like they used to. We decided they should stay at the Copley Westin because it's attached to the Copley Mall which is attached to the Prudential Center mall and there would be all kinds of things they could do without having to go outside. Like shop. So far it's working very well. Their room is very nice and has an amazing view of the Charles. You can see everything from the Citgo sign to the Leonard Zakim Bridge, to the golden dome of the State House and whatever all that stuff is to the right of the Hancock Tower. You can see people walking around inside the Public Library, cars being pulled over for moving violations on Dartmouth street and people getting their pictures taken in front of Trinity Church. I imagine the skateboarders will be out doing their stuff later today too.

The best thing though is that the Anime Boston convention is going on this weekend. Since the Hynes Convention Center is also attached to the Prudential Center the malls and restaurants are swamped with people dressed up as Anime characters. It's way more costume-intensive than the Star Trek convention I went to there back in the early nineties. It's been so fun to see everyone enjoying themselves and their costumes and wigs. I wish I had a convention to go to!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Best Think Geek Newsletter Ever!

http://www.thinkgeek.com/edm/20080319.shtml

What don't I want here? Gifts for everybody I know!

A doughnut factory, a phantom key stroker, an e-ink watch (so cool!) candles with colored flames, classic Star Trek Communicator (for Chris Harges) a Touchpad Dynamic Effect Sampler for Pete, an interactive gaming webcam that lets your body be the weapon (PC only)! Spend $25 and you get a free Micro-Spy remote! Plus, they're hiring!

I only wish I'd played D&D at least once in my life (well, that and that I was actually good at science and math) I was a closet sci-fi/fantasy geek. Maybe my brother will play with me one day.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's Probably Personal

It occurred to me today that my feelings about the Democratic candidates are probably related to my childhood.

I went to an all girls' school growing up. Hillary Clinton reminds me of many of the women/teachers that surrounded me then. She feels familiar to me in a positive way. Barak Obama reminds me more of certain boys at the boys' school that I grew up with - a feeling equally familiar though somewhat less positive.

These were the guys at the top of the heap to whom everything came easily. They were handsome, brainy and athletic and their parents approved of them. They got everything right the first time. They felt entitled to look down on anyone who was not as fortunate as they were. They sneered at the girls' school teachers, derisively calling them "housewives." My teachers were housewives. Housewives with masters degrees and Ph.Ds. I bet those guys are now married to women like my teachers. I hope they have more respect for their wives. My teachers were fully qualified for and excellent at their jobs.

I don't know enough about Obama to know if he is like those boys. He could very well be like the boys I was friends with who were also handsome, brainy and athletic but who had a larger world view. I don't know why they weren't considered the top of the heap - they're the top of my heap. Maybe it was about self-perception. Maybe they lacked the desire to crush others and so they got stomped on a little bit. Some of them opted out of the hierarchy thing altogether.

High school is a difficult time for most people. Everybody gets through it as best they can despite the fact that they have no life experience, no sense of perspective, and almost no power to change their situations. We were all in the same boat and dealing with it as our different personalities, faults and strengths allowed. I can't hold anyone's behavior in high school against them and I really don't.

Somewhere inside me though is a girl who is still smarting from what went on in those days and who effects my view of what's going on now. Fortunately the bigger part of me is an adult who is capable of looking at the larger picture. There are benefits and drawbacks to both candidates. Obama would bring vastly more drastically needed change. Clinton has proved that she's extremely tough under grueling circumstances and she does have valuable experience: she's older and has been in public life longer. Ultimately I'll be happy with whoever ends up being the nominee. I think they're both qualified, that either would do an excellent job and I hope to God that one of them gets to do the job.

Plant Me Someplace Gothic Please

Today I happened to notice a large bird alighting high in the old dying maple tree next to our mailbox up by the road. I got the binoculars out and found that the bird was an owl. The time of day was a little after four in the afternoon and we were being pummeled by heavy rain.

I've been reading about other peoples' weather. Spring is definitely arriving here too - you can tell by the rain - but we still have over two feet of snow on the ground. I think I'm not being clear: the weather is lousy. And yet, I like it.

I don't know much about owls. I don't know what they normally do in bad weather or if it's normal for an owl to be out at four in the afternoon. I don't know what kind of owl it was. I suppose I could google and find out. Or wikkipedia. Some new verb or other. I felt bad for that one, the owl.

It hung around for a good forty-five minutes then all of a sudden it was gone. I just missed it's departure. I didn't see where it went. So, in case it was sick and had fallen, I put my slicker and rain boots on and went outside to look for it.

I climbed up on the snowbank the plow left at the side of the road and looked around the base of the tree. No owl, no owl pellets no evidence of owl at all. I imagine food is hard to come by for owls this time of year.

I looked up into the tree, holding my hood out as best I could to keep the rain from smacking me full in the face. I couldn't see anything but leafless, rain-blackened, twisted tree branches against a cold, grey sky. And it just felt so good. It felt like where I belong. It was beautiful and I loved it.

What the hell is it with me?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Before, After

Yesterday:


Today:


Look at all the snow I moved!

By "I" I mean the guy with the back-hoe that came while I was working in my studio. I don't know who he was or who asked him to come but come he did.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What a Day

My plan had been to take a day off and have a spa day, read a book, knit a little. It didn't end up going that way.

First I had a feminist incident brought on by an idiotic article in the Washington Post. I don't really understand why they published it. I've never been so shocked at something I was reading in my entire life. Poor reasoning and frivolous comments peppered with pronouncements like "Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true." A minority of people who commented thought the rest of us should "lighten up" and "enjoy the humor" of the piece. A napalm bomb in a clown nose is still a napalm bomb. I can just imagine the e-mail forwards I'm going to get now about how science has proven that women are stupider than men, citing "expert" Charlotte Allen and her article from the Washington Post.

Moving on, I found zazzle.com, a website that allows you to design things and have them made on demand and shipped overnight. I've had a some ideas for things l'd like to mass produce lately so I started cranking out some designs just for ha has. Now I have a Zazzle store and you can see my first products at the bottom of this page. I could get into serious trouble with this and spend WAY too much time on the computer. Like I am now.