Saturday, July 07, 2007

1358 Observation

Great minds talk about ideas.
Average minds talk about events.
Small minds talk about people.

- Eleanor Roosevelt (?)

1357 Gift Shopping

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I had a finger-check typing the title, and it came out "Gift Shpooing". Maybe I should have left it that way.

When I was wandering through all the little boutiques around the kaleidoscope on Thursday, I noticed several things that would be perfect for three birthdays coming up, and one long past. The one long past is the most difficult to choose for. It has to be perfect. Light in weight, and very masculine. And I thought I had found the perfect thingy. Perfect. More than perfect. Exceeds requirements.

I went back today. The three future gifts were still there, and I got them, and I'm happy. The one past, well, they had some of them still there, but they weren't exactly right. They weren't masculine enough. I left my name with the shop, and they'll call when new stock comes in next week. If none of them are right, they may be able to have one made to order for me. I don't know how long that will take. They're made in India.

By the time I left the shops, my mega-dose of aspirin had worn off, and I was in real pain. I had fallen asleep on my stomach for three nights in a row, and now I have complaining nerves. It's the ones that go to the intestines, so the pain isn't in the back, it's in the abdomen. Knots, writhing. It's pretty bad. (Sex is the best thing for it, but a bubble bath and aspirin, a distant second, is the best I can do.)

But, as I passed Just Alan, I saw a sign up. "Retiring" "Everything Must GO" "30%-40% off"
Alan's store in Woodstock is mostly about magic. His Route 28 store is about antiques and Asian items. How could I not stop?

I bought some (modern, but Victorian-looking) barrettes, a silver case, and scented soap. I didn't buy THE LAMP. Oh, I want it. It's perfect for the desk in the living room. It's Art Deco, a cluster of bronze stems, like a bunch of lilies tied together, the flower heads drooping over at the top. The flowers are delicate lilies in frosted peach glass, ten or twelve of them I suppose. The wiring is the old fabric-wrapped stuff, so it would need rewiring, but I can do that myself.

The price tag said $1250.00, and it's a steal at that, but it's 30% off, so with tax it would come in under $900. Alan was accepting only cash during the sale, so I was safe from impulse. And tomorrow is Sunday, and the ATM will limit how much I can take out, so I'm safe tomorrow, too. And he's not open during the week. So.

The lamp was almost as good as sex. My stomach didn't hurt again until I got back to my car.

It looks sort of like this, but it's not Tiffany. The Tiffany lamp below was listed with James D. Julia Auctioneers ( in 2005, I believe, estimated at $27,600.00. "My" shades were more realistic in shape, with a fold and "lip".


Friday, July 06, 2007

1356 Avoiding

Friday, July 6, 2007

[Edit - removed a paragraph that caused conflict.]

The original purpose of this journal was to examine my thoughts and feelings. I haven't done any of that in a long time. Instead, this has turned into a daily activity log.

I don't know why.

Journaling got me through recovery after Jay's death, when I was finally able to examine my feelings, when I was finally ready to put them away. Putting them on "paper" got them out of my head, but kept them real, not lost. I got emails from complete strangers who had stumbled upon the early, exploratory, AOL entries, and many said that they'd never read anything so raw and yet so beautiful, that they were amazed that I could expose myself to that degree. I didn't see it that way. It is what it is, and I've never hidden my feelings.

Journaling helped again when I was sorely hurt a while ago. When my mind was confused and running in circles, when I felt that my trust had been so misplaced and so badly betrayed, writing it all down helped to make it linear, helped me to see what was really happening, not what I wanted it to be, but what it was. Putting it on "paper" defused the murderously destructive feelings. I had strangers telling me that they couldn't believe that it was real, that it had to be fiction. I let them believe that, but it was what it was, and I've never hidden my feelings.

Except from myself.

The introspection is gone.

My initial thought was that perhaps it's because I now have a few people reading this who know me personally. Some, like The Gypsy, I'm not worried about, because I know that whatever I say, she will understand. But others? I'm not so sure. I hesitate to expose myself to people who know me, and might judge me.

I'm not sure that's the whole reason. I'm simply not very introspective these days. I think I'm hiding something from myself.

All the more reason to explore it.

A friend asked why the emotional exploration has to be public. Why can't I just write my thoughts in a private journal? Because making it public, even if it's only strangers out there, keeps it honest. In a private journal, it's too easy to lie to myself. Too easy to use faulty logic, to make excuses for others, in the guise of explanations (why did that just hurt?).

Even strangers will call you on that kind of subterfuge.

1355 Museum, Hail, etc.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A newswoman was talking this morning about all the weddings and Cesarean sections scheduled for tomorrow, and she said that tomorrow is "the luckiest day in history". Uh, what? There was no July 7 in, say, 1907? How 'bout 1977? If three 7s is good, is four better?

Chuck Ferris points out that babies born tomorrow will be 77 on 7/7/77. That's kind of neat. [Whoops! Quick edit - wrong, Chuck. They'll be 70.]


I went to the museum today, and sent out membership cards to 32 members. I hate Lotus.

There were a few screwups because of the stupid data base application. Things don't get "domino'ed" through, and every record has to be individually searched, and if someone doesn't search exactly correctly, we get double records for the same member, and there's no way we'd ever find out. It also doesn't assign the next number in sequence to new records. You have to keep track yourself of the last number used. I hate Lotus.

Betty says that the woman who set it up (another volunteer) "said she knew all about data bases". Well, I replied that when someone says that, they usually actually know only one or two applications at the most, and they'll set things up in the same way they had used it in the past - whether it suits this purpose or not. (I hate Lotus.)

What the museum really needs is someone who knows several of the popular data base packages, who can look at what we do with it and want from it, and then recommend the one, or even two, most suited to our needs.

I gave them a recommendation of someone who can do exactly that, but they haven't followed up on it. (I hate Lotus. Or at least this incarnation of it....)


While I was at the museum we had a hail storm. Hailstones the size of marbles. It was short, but I guess Route 32 got it either worse or longer than the Rondout did. When I was driving home, the sections of 32 where the trees are close to the road were completely covered in bits of shredded leaf. No branches down, but a lot of shredded leaf. It made the road slippery.


The checks from the stock sales are starting to roll in. Some are coming by mail, but the larger ones are hand-delivered. I got five today. Piper will be pleased.

1354 Overheard

Friday, July 6, 2007

Overheard from the booth behind at dinner last night:

"Every child holds on to the hope that someday his parents will be normal."

... which would have been funny, except that the topic of conversation was family court issues.

1353 Kaleidoscope 2

Found a short clip!

[If you're on a feed and don't see a video clip, click on the post title.]

This seems to be a bit speeded up, but it is essentially what you see as you lie on the floor:

There are the usual three mirrors, but the mirrors are tapered and angled, so that you see a globe, rather than a flat display.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

1352 Kaleidoscope

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A few weeks ago I discovered that a friend had never seen the Mt Tremper kaleidoscope, the world's largest (at 60 feet - you lie on the floor inside). So today we went to see it.

He picked me up this morning, and we drove to Mt. Tremper. I was surprised to see that there were actually tubers on the Esopus. They must be doing a lot of portaging, because there's almost no water in the creek. Even when the water is high and fast, one of the hazards is hitting your backside (hanging down through the center of the tube) on rocks. I bet there'll be a lot of bruised tourist bottoms this evening!

We wandered through all the shops surrounding the kaleidoscope. They have a lot of beautiful stuff, very expensive, but not overpriced. There's a kaleidoscope store, full of handmade kaleidoscopes of every description, every material, and you can look through all of them.

Then we settled on the floor in the monster kaleidoscope for the 10-minute show. It's pretty good, but mainly it's just being able to say you've seen it.

Back through the shops again. In the country store, the clerk offered me a taste of biscotti, chocolate, no less, "Try this, it'll change your life!" She didn't understand why I cracked up. Giggled for a half hour. Private joke. Don't ask.

We had a late lunch at a restaurant recommended by a clerk, who said that if we wanted burgers, we wouldn't find it there, but "blah blah Culinary Institute blah delicious food blah blah." It was quite a ways up the road, but we found it, and it was a sandwich joint! We'd imagined white tablecloths and flowers, and got sticky formica and ordinary food. Must be friends of the clerk.

We consulted the map, looking for a back-route home, and ended up swinging around and coming down Platte Clove Road. That's another experience he had missed, and another of those things you have to do once. It's pretty scary, but the view down down down into the clove is worth it.

We passed the sign for Opus 40, and lo, he didn't even know what that is, so there's another expedition for sometime. I can't believe he's lived in this area for decades, and missed so much.

We ended up in Rhinebeck, dinner at the Mill House Panda.

I got home about 8:30. It was a very nice day.


There was one major disappointment today. The last time I went to the Rive Gauche Moroccan night, I tried to call a few days ahead for reservations, and was told that they didn't take reservations until the day before the event. So I held off calling until this afternoon, and then when I tried, we were up in the mountains, and there was no cell signal. I wasn't able to call until late afternoon, and was then told that they were full, no more room.


Willow is dancing tomorrow night, and we can't get in? I might have to go and press my nose against the window glass. I'll have to find some tattered rags to wear.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

1351 Aural Pyrotechnics

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I joined FW at Omega at 5 pm. She bought her drum in the bookstore. It's small, very prettily painted in a rainbow of colors and swirling patterns. She's very pleased with it. I thought it was shockingly expensive. The head is tacked and glued, which means that when it stretches, you can't tighten it. There was another plain one with a roped head that I recommended (you tighten it by slipping wedges under the ropes), for slightly over half the price of the one she liked, but she wanted a pretty one. I guess it doesn't matter so much how it plays as how you feel when you play it, so maybe the pretty one was the best choice for her.

The food at Omega is excellent, if you don't mind a dearth of meat. Before we went to the bookstore I had some cucumber yogurt soup in the cafe, that was perfectly seasoned with some unidentified herb. A buffet dinner was served in the dining hall. The only meat was lemon tilapia. I don't usually care for fish, but this was delicious. I had two pieces. The other protein was roasted tofu. Again, a surprise. It had been tossed in tahini before roasting, and it was perfect. I had two servings of that, too. The salad dressing was a neon green house creation involving bananas, some exotic fruits, and mint. Very good. Everything was good, even the steamed broccoli and the rice salads, both herbed perfectly.

I recommend dinner at Omega. You stop by the Guest Services office, sign in and buy a $10 dinner ticket, and show up at the dining hall.

The concert was free. I didn't write down the guy's name, figuring I could find him on the internet - but the Omega online calendar doesn't list the concerts! Oh well. I liked his voice on the ballads, and he certainly can play the guitar, but most of the selections were very raucous, very hard rock, and even on most of the "softer" stuff he beat the guitar up so brutally it drowned out his voice. He did some interesting vocal things, and some of the songs (his own) were funny or poignant, and I'd have liked to have heard them more clearly.

So, a good evening.

1350 Beautiful!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

[If you're on feed, and don't see the video, click on the blog title.]

Just found this. Very different, and beautiful. I don't know what that metal doohicky on the left is, but I love it! I want one! I want to touch it! Anyone know what it's called?

More! I've found a new love!!!!

I'm on a roll here.... It's called a "Hang Drum", invented in Switzerland in about 2001, and difficult to find in the states. Also expensive. I am now embarked on a search.

1349 Another Passion

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

[If you read this on a feed, the embedded video may not show. Click on the post title to see it.]

FW just called. She invited me to join her at Omega Institute tonight for dinner and a concert, and to shop for a djembe (an African hand drum, usually carved wood, with a goatskin head). She's thinking of joining a drum circle. Coincidence?

I seem to be on a theme lately. Here's another passion of mine:

I love bagpipes, and the military drum tattoos. But just hearing a recording doesn't do it. I have to SEE it. I guess it's the attire, and the faces, and the movement I have to experience, too. Also, a recording doesn't make that throb in the chest that you get in person, when the sound becomes part of your body.

Part of my love for bagpipes is that I deeply appreciate skill and craftsmanship wherever I find it (oddly, I don't necessarily have the same respect for talent), and bagpipes require hard work and dedication.

Irish (uillean) pipes require in addition a dose of insanity. Here's some Irish bagpipe playing. Note the bellows under the right elbow. Unlike the Scottish bagpipe, the Irish pipe player can play the drones, too.

I've seen Joe McKenna play Irish bagpipes, at Wolf Trap, in the early 80's (the same festival where I fell in love with zydeco). Joe's had several drones with exposed reeds, lying across his lap, and one hand whipped back and forth from the chanter (I think that's what it's called) to the drones. Fascinating. Here's a picture showing Joe's instrument.

I love bodhran, too. Here's a guy who's really good

And hammered dulcimer, oh, Lordy, hammered dulcimer:

There are so many sounds and sights that will stop me in my tracks.

You know, it's good to have things outside yourself that excite you.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

1348 Penmanship Shmenmanship, Who Cares?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rereading the previous post, I get a feeling of suppressed annoyance. It really has nothing to do with the credit card issue, because that has nothing to do with me.

It's penmanship.

And other idiocies.

Renewals aren't too bad - I stick a preprinted label on the form when I mail them out, so it's easy to figure out who sent it back with their check. Of course, there's always the three or four who don't return the form with their checks, or who for some unknown reason tear the top part, with the label, off. Duh? Why? There's always a few.

The real frustration comes from the new members. They fill out the form with their name, address, phone number, and email address.

Don't they realize that someone has to READ that thing? Is this a "1", or a "7", or a "9"? Is that an "o", or a "u", or an "a" ? And then there are the ones whose name is just a scrawl - I can't even tell how many letters there are, let alone what individual letters are. Of the 18 new members in this batch today, I had difficulty reading 12 of them. I could take the information off the checks for a few, or a preprinted return label on the envelope, but the rest I had to guess.

That really really bugs me.

Then there's the folks who put their full name and address on the form - and leave off the zip code. They don't know their zip code? They don't write or dictate their address very often?

I don't understand.

When I worked for The Company I often ran meetings where attendance was mandatory. I passed around an attendance form, and each and every time, I warned people that if I couldn't read their names, they would NOT be credited with attendance, and they'd have to go through it again. And yet, after every meeting, I couldn't figure out fully 20% of the names, even with the department lists in hand for comparison.


Yeah. I'm frustrated.

1347 To the Museum

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

To the Maritime Museum volunteer gig this afternoon. I processed new member and renewal checks. The first half-hour was opening envelopes. The second half-hour was making copies of the forms and checks to leave on the accountant's desk. The last two hours was updating the membership info in the database.

I hate Lotus.

We found an "uh-oh" with the new dues payment forms. The museum wants to start accepting credit cards, so there's a space on the form for the type of card, the number, and a signature. No space for the expiration date. Cute. That's the letters I sent out last week, so this month we'll start getting payments we can't process. Real cute.

Well, that's the coordinator's problem, not mine. I refused to have anything to do with credit cards the first time it was proposed.
"We're going to start accepting credit cards for the dues, so you'll have to process them in the gift shop."
"No. I won't do credit cards."
"I don't want to do credit cards. If you want credit cards done, someone else'll have to do them. I've got more than enough to do now. I won't take on more."

Man, as a volunteer, you can pretty much dictate your terms. Lots better than being an employee!

The credit card machine is downstairs in the gift shop, and it's temperamental. Last week some woman bought like $45 worth of stuff in the shop, and the machine overcharged her card by fifty-some dollars. The volunteer on the register followed the printed instructions to cancel the transaction, then tried to refund the card, and nothing worked. She offered the woman a cash refund from the register, and the woman, tapping her foot impatiently, refused it. Small panic, phone calls made.

Hain't no way I'm touching that fool machine. Sounds like something a paid employee should do anyway.

No plans for tomorrow.

I guess I have to admit I did waste time yesterday. Absolutely no other person has been in this house in the past year. The place is a mess. When Roman picked me up to go Mass MOCA a few weeks ago, I was waiting outside for him. He asked if he could use my bathroom, and I said "No. We'll go to the diner." He was shocked, but nope, no one's seeing the inside of this house until I can clean up. I used to say it's cluttered, but at least it's clean clutter. Now the clutter is so bad, I can't clean.

Roman's house is a mess, too, stacks of paper on every surface and the floor, but that's different and ok. He lets me in his house (but nobody else, only me). He doesn't understand the difference. I said, "Well, when a man sees a woman's house all messy, he thinks, 'Yuck. She's a rotten housekeeper.' When a woman sees a man's house all messy, she thinks, 'Aw, so male. He needs a woman.' And that's a BIG difference."

So, tomorrow I move storage containers to the basement, and see if I can't get some order in one or two corners, at least.

Monday, July 02, 2007

1346 More D&B Corps

Monday, July 2, 2007

When you view the videos in the prior post, at the end of each you are offered more related choices. I've spent (absolutely NOT "wasted") most of today watching all I could find. Yeah, this is a passion, one that's been neglected for far too long.

The Cavaliers are my favorites, because they are so precise on the field patterns, and they don't try to put on a Broadway show, like so many others. Here's an example of the patterns:

And another, shorter but maybe better:

I keep calling them kids. My drum line buddies of '97 said that they age out the day they turn 21 (I think I remember 21), but in practical fact, they usually drop out when they go to college, because they just don't have the time for the hours and hours of winter practice, and to spend all summer living on a bus going from competition to competition. They look so grown up in these videos. The following is a video of a BBQ hosted by alumni of the Cavaliers. Watch the current members as they come through the food line. These are KIDS! Teenagers.

Hmmmm. Drums have an effect on me. Now I need me a man....

1345 Drum Lines

Monday, July 2, 2007

[If you're looking at a feed and don't see imbedded videos, click on the post title.]

I was watching a Metcafe video linked by another blogger, and when it finished, this was offered: Thrilling! (I haven't been able to figure out how to imbed it, sorry. )

It reminded me that I haven't been to a Drum & Bugle Corps competition in ages. There's one at the stadium in Kingston every summer, and the past few years, well, since Jay got sick, I've missed it. I just wasn't paying attention.

I love drum and bugle corps, especially the drum line. I love to hear them, and to watch them. Its a passion of mine. And here's why:

That was the Blue Devils, of Concord, CA, one of the top corps, in rehearsal. The sound! The precision! The Rockettes have nothing on these kids.

The next is the Cavaliers, from Illinois, warming up before competition.

Doesn't that thrill you to your very toes? My heart beats faster watching them. When the competitions are in Kingston, you find this sort of thing happening in parks, parking lots, and on lawns all over The Stockade all afternoon of "the day".

An evening I will remember as one of the best of my life was at a D&B competition. It was just before Jay got ill. He had something to do that evening, so I went alone. I was in the lower seating in the stadium, and a man came with two very young children, which he seated next to me, in about the only two seats left. He strongly cautioned them that they were to stay there, not to move, "I'll be just up there", and seemed concerned about leaving them alone. So as he as leaving to go to his own seat, I offered to trade seats with him. He gratefully accepted, and ... I found myself sitting in the middle of the alumni of the (long defunct) Kingston D&B corps!

At first they seemed a bit disconcerted to find a tiny white lady in their midst, but when I started asking questions, they were happy to have a receptive pupil. I learned sooooo much about what looks hard but is actually easy, what looks easy but is very difficult and why, what gathers points. All the technical stuff to appreciate, "Now, watch this! No, not the snares, watch the left! Woooo! Did you see that!" The guys on either side of me lifted me up high when the crowd stood, so I could see. I had an absolutely wonderful time.

They talked about how much the corps had done for them. That if it hadn't been for the discipline and pride they got from the corps, they wouldn't be where they were today. Every one of them had some kind of college degree, several owned their own successful businesses, a few were programmers with The Company. That if it hadn't been for the corps, they'd probably still be on the streets kicking stones, and that with all the problems Kingston had with midtown youth, the city was missing a bet by not resurrecting the corps.

I pointed out that they, themselves, were in a position to make a difference. The mayor was interested in things that would improve the city. Maybe they could get the Chamber of Commerce interested. All they really needed was a director and funding. By the end of the evening, they were taking about sources of funding.

I'm almost ashamed to say that I don't know if Kingston now has a corps. But I do know that shortly after that evening, Highland started a corps, and Port Ewen started a senior corps (you "age out" of the regular corps fairly early. Despite what it looks like on these videos, these are KIDS!), and I wonder if "my" drum line buddies were involved.

The following is a video from that very night! I found it entirely by chance. This is the Brigadiers, of Syracuse, NY, 1997.

The next competition in Kingston will be August 11th, 7:30 pm, at Deitz stadium. I'll be there. The lineup so far doesn't look exciting - where are the Phantom Regiment? The Cadets of Bergen County? The Bluecoats? The Cavaliers? The Brigadiers? All the national winners?

Regardless, I'll be there.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

1344 Moon Over River

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dirty Dave just sent this, taken by his cell phone. Moon over Hudson River. Roman also tried to capture it with his cell phone, which drew one of my "Mensan comments", "How can that work? Cell phones don't have a flash." Which got some laughter, but isn't what I meant. I meant "don't they need more light?"


1343 Complications

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The decision as to whether to go to the fireworks has been made for me. There's a gusty breeze high in the trees, and the maple trees are showing the undersides of their leaves. Sure sign of rain.

If I'm wrong, I can still see the higher chrysanthemums from my deck, so I think I'll stay home, warm, and dry.

There were actually about 12 people at NJ's last night. I forgot to count the Pilot and the Nurse. It's interesting that among so few people, there was so much going on underneath. We've all known each other entirely too long.

It was last year at this time, at NJ's, that the proverbial poop hit the fan, as regards Roman and me. I'm sure a lot of people were wondering what is now going on with us. It was obvious we are friendly, even affectionate, which I'm sure blows people's minds, given what had happened. I'm a little surprised he showed up last night. Pond scum and all.

He made a point of several times mentioning "the woman I had been dating", ensuring that everyone knew they had broken up. We left together, and if anyone had been watching from the window, they'd have seen a hug and a very small kiss. They'd have seen both cars go through the stone gateway one after the other. What they couldn't see is that at the end of the access road, I turned north, and he turned south. What they don't know is that's the way it is now. That's pretty much the way it has to be. Hello hugs and goodbye kisses, and nothing much in between.

Dirty Dave broke up with his several-year girlfriend more than a year ago, and he's not over her yet. He finally figured out that she didn't really like him at all, that she was using him. He said she has lived the grasshopper life, and has found herself in her late 50s with no savings, and all she wanted was someone who would pay for her fun.

The poor guy wants a woman.

I opened the can of worms when I asked him if he'd done any travelling lately (that was his retirement plans), and he said no, that he hates travelling alone. He had tried to get back together with a prior girlfriend, and it actually looked promising, but he said that the 15-year age difference, that hadn't mattered at all when he was still working and dating her, is now suddenly a problem, because he has all this free time, and she has none. She has a lousy two weeks of vacation, and the occasional day off, and they just can't travel like he wants to. It's frustrating.

(He doesn't know what my involvement is these days, but as he went on about it, I felt like he was talking directly to me. Yeah, I understand more than he knows.)

I reminded him that he'd always said that he prefers women his own age. Maybe he needs a woman who is willing and able to pay her own way. Maybe all he needs is a platonic travel companion (implying, of course, me). I swear I said that innocently. (I want to travel. I need a travel companion, too.)

Twenty-some years ago, DD and I'd had a very brief fling, pushed together by NJ and May, who had thought we were ideal for each other. The only other person in the room who knows I had slept with DD is Roman, and it bothers him a lot. I have absolutely no sexual interest in DD. None. I have no desire whatsoever to repeat the experience. When I saw the look on Roman's face, and the look on DD's face, I wanted to say that, make it clear, or withdraw my suggestion. Bleck. Foot in mouth again.

There was a woman there who is at least ten years older than I. Back in March, a new member came to NJ's Green Eggs and Ham, and I noticed that this woman seemed fascinated by him. The expression on her face when she looked at him, the way she engaged him in intense conversation, the way she leaned into him. Last night, it was obvious she was still fascinated by him. When he left, he hugged her tightly and asked her when he'd see her again. And later, she said something about how the night before, she'd forgotten that she had xx in the refrigerator, so he and she'd "had no dessert after dinner." She'd cooked him dinner the night before? Wow. Why wow? He's got to be 40 years younger than she.

Wow. I'd love to know what's going on there.


Post script - The next October, Roman decided to go to Israel to visit his Daughter, and invited me to go with him, as a "platonic travel companion".  I turned him down (I wanted to go, but The Man wasn't too happy about the idea, and pointed out that he being a man himself, he knew durn well what Roman was thinking.)  Wow.  I wonder if Roman got the idea from the conversation with DD.

1342 Crocs2

Sunday, July 1, 2007

[Edit - fixed the date, per Roberta's comment. Nice catch, R.]

Thursday, when I met Daughter at the mall, she was wearing crocs. She said they were wonderful, and yes, I should get some. She slipped her foot out and I slipped mine in, and...

"Yuk! They have bumples in the bottom! I can't walk on bumples!"

I didn't know they have bumples.

My feet aren't princess feet, beautiful as they are. I like walking barefoot, and I can even walk on gravel barefoot, but at least on gravel, the bumps hit different parts of your feet. Bumples in your shoes hit the same spots over and over, and I can't stand that. The bumples take over my mind, and it's all I can feel.

Ok. I'm over my crocs lust.

1341 Drums

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Doing the CD list has me listening to a lot of music I haven't heard in ages. I was listening to Natacha Atlas ("Diaspora") this evening, and suddenly I could clearly hear and identify two of the rhythms I had always before confused.

I have a little ceramic Indian bayan in the den that I used to play for practice when I was waiting for long downloads on the desktop. Since I got the laptop, it's been neglected. I started playing it along with the Diaspora CD, and I could keep up! I was doing pretty well! I wasn't getting off beat, and when they switched rhythms, I did too! Something must have clicked in my brain.

I got so excited I went to the back bedroom and got one of the big doumbeks, which I hadn't touched in months.

It's a little harder to keep up on the doumbek (it rebounds more slowly or something so I have to hit it sharper or it slows my hand down too much), but by George, I think I've finally, after two years of frustration, I've finally got it!


An annoying post script - The doumbeks, with their man-made heads, are in zippered cases. The African djembe, which has a goatskin head with the hair on, was not in a case. The flippin' moths ate all the hair off my djembe. I'm pissed! My djembe is bald!!!

1340 Moonlight

Sunday, July 1, 2007 (Late night, early morning, whatever....)

Moonlight at NJ's was nice. Naturally, I forgot a real camera, but I took two photos with the toy camera on my keyring. The first is the view from NJ's back porch. The small figure on the lawn on the left is FirstWoman, to give some idea of the scale. That hill is actually very steep. There's a bit of beach visible beyond FW.

This next one was taken from where FW is standing in the first photo. She wanted to smoke, so she had spread her blanket there. I joined her and we talked for a while, but I wanted to get back up to the group, so we moved her blanket up to near the porch, where Roman joined us a little later.

We didn't last long out there. Something was biting FW and Roman (as usual, I was being ignored by the bugs) and they couldn't take it any longer - especially Roman, who was wearing short sleeves and shorts (red short shorts - he took some ribbing for that), so we moved inside.

It was a small group tonight, maybe about 10 of us. People wondered why - I see no mystery. I figure a lot of people started their holiday at the end of work on Friday.

The moon finally came up about 9:30ish, I'm not sure, but it was full dark by then and the bugs weren't so active, so we all went outside again. Dirty Dave had brought a telescope, and we looked at the moon and at Jupiter. Jupiter's four moons were all lined up together. Kinda neat.

The moonlight shone over the water, and it was pretty, and then fireworks started somewhere across the river. Hyde Park is straight across, and the fireworks were south a bit, so we figure they had to be at the Culinary Institute. We got a good show.

Poor Roman had put a jacket on, but his legs were still getting all bit up, so we left everyone else still out on the porch and moved to the kitchen, where we were eventually joined by Dirty Dave. People started leaving, and the last hour was Roman, Dirty Dave, The Hippy, NJ, and me in the kitchen. Topics of conversation ranged from Roman's daughter's luggage having been lost on the way to Israel (she went through Heathrow yesterday, shortly after the terrorist threat there), to DD's single status, to Zig's mysterious friend in Boston, to online dating, to property easements.

They have convinced me that I have to get back the easement that I gave the guy who's building below me (for $1 and clearing the woods in my side yard), since it turns out he can't use it, but if he ever sells the land, the easement will go with it, and who knows what a new owner would do.

The Hippy and I talked about joining up at the Jazz Festival. We could, but he said he wasn't too enthusiastic about the groups they had scheduled, so he might not stay long. If he's not enthusiastic, I'm sure I won't be - that's something he knows something about. So I'm losing my enthusiasm, what little I had. And the fireworks we saw tonight might be enough for me. I don't know.

I got home a little after midnight, and on the way home I was thinking about the bug biting thing. It seems like every guy I have found attractive in "that way", has also been loved by bugs. Obie, Jay, Roman, The Man - they all attracted bugs as much as they attracted me. I don't think I've ever been attracted to a bug-repellent man. I guess the bugs and I both sense the same thing. The Man says it's testosterone. I can believe it.

That would be a cute line in an online dating profile: "Must attract bugs."