Photos

Reaching back, hungrily, on a cloudy cold Thursday

I don't mind getting older, and I don't mind weighing a little more than in previous decades. But about a month ago, the asthma I suffer mainly in cold weather took sixteen leaps from mild, intermittent to raging, slaughtering, so that I have been lying in unhappy repose, finally submitting to daily pills and daily puffs and the dull hope of a December in which climbing the stairs does not defeat efforts to do something else once I've arrived at the top of them. Because along with that dull hope is the notion offered by the doctor that perhaps in a few weeks I can take up light stretching and gentle walks and take control over the Ohio-fueled or possibly coincidentally peri-menopausally-fueled expansion of my waistline.

Mostly I just want to go around and do stuff again.

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YesterdayYesterday, trying out my sweet new winter hood.


Preparing space for NaNoWriMo and winter

Recently, I cleaned my closet well, repainted the bedroom, gave away more books, etc. to be comfortable and ready for winter. Time to do something about the little creative space, but it doesn't really get to be "attractive." The way I use it gives it a very utilitarian look, and so what I need to do is just make sure it feels nice to be in, which is a bit of a trick. I like for my surroundings to look and feel finished. This room is a tough case.

So I took a panoramic set of photos, and then a second lower view, to share and to reflect on. It might get me inspired, and it might inspire someone else.

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Some Notes:

1. That print is dead level, and was in fact hung with the use of a level. The phone camera lens is another matter.

2. Clearly, I have more space than I need. This will not always be the case, and I am mentally prepared for that, as I must be. Chances are, you have less space. But even if you're just carving out a corner for yourself, do it for yourself; make it your oasis, however tiny, from the energy-sucking hot desert of a busy day.

3. And—it's fine if you think you prefer chaos, but there's a method to making that work for you as opposed to just having kind of an unified unholy mess. Think about why you have a lot of things surrounding you, what you're really getting from it. The answer might teach you something about what you truly need. If it does, do something about that right now. If you need help with it, ask me or a friend or the web.


2014 road trip photolog day two: hanging out in Princeton

That was September 12. This is photo heavy, and there is no jump. Also, some of the pictures of pictures are purposely not great. Anyway, we went to Small World Coffee, to check out the daughter's art exhibit and also have proper coffee, then we had a look at the cemetery, because I always do, and Princeton Record Exchange, then lunch at Agricola on Witherspoon, a cool exhibit at the art museum, then a rest before the lovely young woman and I drove to Philadelphia to see Pinback at Union Transfer.

Smallworld
Smallworld Acryliconglass
AcryliconglassThis one is my favorite.

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HahnjrI always think they look like they're having a meeting.

Koppscycle This is Kopp's Cycle, the oldest bike shop in America.

CornedbeeflocalAt Agricola, on Witherspoon St. They use local ingredients, and are very into fermentation right now.

MehekIt always smells like heaven, walking past here.

StamoscardIf I'd known this would be so hard to find online, I'd have gotten a photo of it. There are several others with Sentinel in the title, but they are not this one.

Tworkov1960bondThis is Bond, by Jack Tworkov, 1960. Click on it to learn about the exhibit we saw.

DekooningcardClicking on this will take you to a better image than I could take in there. Mainly, I was snapping these cards and images so I could look them up later.

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I was sort of transformed when I saw this and read about it.

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UniontransferClick on this image for a video.

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2014 road trip photolog day one: it never took that long before

I can do this drive in ten hours without much hurry. It took us twelve, for an assortment of little needly reasons. But still, it was a good trip, across Ohio, WV, and PA, to Princeton NJ for our first stay. Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.09.38 AM

None of the photos are great, for two reasons. First, I didn't try to make them so, and second, my phone, which never really worked right since I got it in June, was on the verge of going utterly bonkers. This first set is not full of "interest," it's just an accounting of the trip across. Later, I'll upload large versions of the week's best ones to the photo page I have here. Photos with frames and a lot of filtering were done automatically by Google Plus.

If you haven't driven across the middle of the country to the east coast, you might not know about New Stanton. It's the final stop before you enter the PA Turnpike, and it looks...about as you'd expect it to. But the Chinese restaurant is pretty good. And then there are three mountain tunnels to go through, but not much else of interest unless you exit the Turnpike to see a few landmarks, such as Gettysburg, the 9/11 memorial, the state capital, and Valley Forge. Otherwise, straight shot to New Jersey.

So this was September 11, 2014.

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Martinis made with Death's Door gin, and just a swirl of vermouth, at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plainsboro, New Jersey.

 


Thrift Shop World

This week marks the beginning of our fourth year in Cincinnati. New Jersey seems farther away now. I still miss what I had there that I can't have here, or anywhere else, in fact. The sea, the history, the city, my daughters. Pizza just as I've always liked it, and real delis. A world, too, wholly unlike what people who've never been there think of it.

There's good stuff here that sets this place apart. The symphony, Jungle Jim's, and amazing thrift shops, to name some. This room is finally "finished" after three years of collecting from thrift shops and also Target, and the finishing touch was covering the dark sage paint with a creamy light blue. Resting
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Resting
It's a room I've always wanted, except for horrible cat (I don't care if you think cats are Gods; you wouldn't think much of this one,) and no real company with which to enjoy it. My sons are pleased with the result, too, though. Last night we enjoyed lounging around until late into the night. Finished
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The back open area with the fireplace, TV, PS4, that's made up of a collection of  things from various homes, it all just drifted together into a fairly pleasant "Mission style" kind of space. This, however, was all chosen by me, every single thing in here, except the cocktail shakers and turntables, which were gifts.
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Frontroom
The two couches were from thrift shops and in perfect condition, until cat. But they are okay for the space. The stereo receiver also from a thrift shop, and the coffee table, many of the books and records, most of the magazines. The one extravagant purchase, though you could hardly call it that, is the pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers.

Inside the "liquor cabinet" are many fun little glasses from St. Vincent de Paul, and an old hand crank ice crusher. I painted the pictures. Bluechair
Bluechair
Bluechair

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Leaving room for serendipity always yields the best results

I was in Columbus this weekend. While I was driving around and checking out the city, the GPS popped up with something I couldn't believe never appeared during my Google planning for the trip. But if you search for it directly, you'll see lots of hits for it, and photographs pretty much like the ones I took to share here. It's the State of Ohio Asylum for the Insane Cemetery. 

Apparently, there are three such cemeteries, and when I looked into this, it seemed clear people aren't all talking about the same one. However, here's an interesting short blog post with photos of the Ohio Lunatic Asylum, where "crazy" people were experimented on...and now I have a new subject to obsess over for a few days. 

To get to this one, you park at the bottom of a road with locked bars, then walk up that gravel road about 1/4 mile past what looks like an old small quarry, but could have just been excavation of some kind, until you're suddenly in a peaceful grassy tucked away lot, and this gate appears almost as if it wouldn't always be there, or would go away if you blinked a couple times.  20130908_124141
Obviously there's no real apology that can be made for what we all know went on at those places up until way too recently. I mean, other than, "Our ancestors were terrible, terrible people. We'll try to do better."

The graves are in a neat and interesting order, in what seems to be three groups. There are two under a big tree, with others partially circling them, and then there are two large sections where they're laid out in rows. 20130908_124344
Apparently, there are also leftover prisoners buried here; the ones unclaimed by family. 20130908_124603
The rest of the graves have no birthdates. And some of them have no name at all, or just a name and no death date. 20130908_124309
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I believe that some of the "unknown" ones are newer and replaced old markers labeled "specimen." But they all date from roughly 1857-1957, and are laid out chronologically, though the later unknowns have no years on them. 20130908_124208

These two markers really touched me. I kept going back to them. 20130908_124548
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At the back of the lot, part of a tree had fallen and was just lying there, one more ghost added to the gruesomely peaceful scene. But I can't say it had been there for more than a month, judging by the grass growing underneath it. 20130908_124558
And I can't quite say that finding this spot was the highlight of my weekend, but it had an effect on me that is cause for reflection. This is my serious time of year, when I do contemplate life, the universe, and a few bits of everything, and start wanting to get it all down in words again. As the angle of the sun sharpens and the daytime light wanes, I feel a need to...to bring it all together and make some sense out of it.

But of course, there are some things you just can't really make any sense out of at all, and the best you can do is reflect on it lightly while still moving forward. 20130908_124405
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My Bi-Weekly Cincinnati Outing: Report #5

Two weeks ago I went to the symphony to hear a somewhat unusual concert. Unusual for me, at least. The one playing this weekend featuring Sarah Chang is more my speed. But I wanted something different. 

Watts Plays Beethoven's Emperor with Mei-Ann Chen, conductor, and André Watts, piano was the title of the program, but it also featured two contemporary pieces of music; "Poem," by Zhou Tian, and Jennifer Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra, which is just a real big experience to watch and hear live. Stunning, actually. If you can listen to the fourth movement, I recommend you do so but it's actually a satisfying piece of music altogether, though possibly a bit outlandish for anyone whose enjoyment of orchestral music is firmly pre-20th century. It's also not all that complex or intellectual, etc., if for some reason that's your thing. 

Here's a review of the whole concert. Afterwards, I went to Coffee Emporium for a late lunch before driving home.

Here's a little phone photo-log of my afternoon. It was very yucky out, and began snowing just as I got back home. 

 

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Today should be outing #6, but it is not to be, that is, it will be delayed a couple weeks, but hopefully not more. A sudden change in plans occurred, which I will talk about in the next post. 

 


My Bi-Weekly Cincinnati Outing: Report #4

I hope you enjoyed my little audio post. I'm going to do a better one, hopefully this evening, but for now, here is a long "dates with myself" entry, with a few links and photos for you to enjoy. There would be more photos, but my internet connection seems to feel about as well as I do just now. 

Two weeks ago I spent my afternoon at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I'd been there once or twice before, but not in nearly a year.

I have visited major art museums in Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. They each have something special about them. In New York, in that massive old building, you see art you've heard about all your life. In Philadelphia you see what seems like a true richness of creativity. Lots of good examples of 20th century style; Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, etc. Detroit has some great sculpture . I remember least about Chicago but what I do remember is being completely immersed in culture. Pittsburgh is a city that is practically made of art and beauty amidst a certain amount of decay. I'd want to talk more about the contemporary art there and could write pages.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is one of my favorite places to be out of everywhere I've been. It's beautiful, inside and out. There is a wealth of treasure there, literally, particularly the Imperial Chinese collection. And it's free, so you can wander in and out as you please, as you enjoy the complete outdoor setting, most especially in late Spring and early Autumn.

So for me, the Cincinnati Art Museum has a lot to measure up to. It does, you know, in one particular area of focus I'd never seen at another museum. That is local art, and in particular, the local art movement here in the 19th century. There was a thriving art culture here, you see, and the museum has great examples of it, but especially very good education on it. You really *learn* when you are at this museum, if you wish to.

Continue reading "My Bi-Weekly Cincinnati Outing: Report #4" »


My Bi-Weekly Cincinnati Outing: Report #3

Two weeks ago I went to Clifton to see what that's all about, and to see Amour. I'm really looking forward to going back there. The movie theater is pretty cool, there are many interesting restaurants around, and little shops to poke through. 

I'd been looking forward to seeing Amour for months, but then I kept putting it off because it looked so sad. But I decided I wanted to see it before the Academy Awards, so I went ahead, and I'm so glad I did. It's the best movie I've seen in quite a long time. 

Before the movie, it was hard to decide what to eat, but I ended up going pretty ordinary, to a place called Olives for their breakfast buffet. I had a Bloody Mary, and was entertained by people behind me having a very joyous birthday party. These were real friends enjoying each others' company. It was nice. And the food wasn't bad. I'll go back and try something from the bar, something from the regular menu. 

There's a nice park overlooking it all, and I drove up to it for a couple minutes. It will be very pretty in a few weeks. I'm going to add some links later, for now, a few pictures.  And I'll probably share about today's art museum outing tonight or tomorrow, instead of waiting two weeks. 

 

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navel-gazing/afternoon project: after photos, part one

Yes well, don't make fun of me. You out there in the ether. I felt internal and protective today and when I feel like that and I can't plant stuff or pull weeds, I absorb myself in some other detailed but mindless task. It's a sort of comfort. So here are way too many pictures of that, and I didn't even get to this adjoining room yet. 

Also, no, as it turns out, they aren't much better. I wasn't thinking creatively or technically. I should do that next time. But posting them here, that's part of the process, somehow.

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Cause I Want More

 

I think the fierce wind here is a good sign. Is it blowing something away, or ushering something in? Both, perhaps. As it does.

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I didn't like last year. I doubt if I like this one so far, after all, they're really exactly the same thing, aren't they? But dividing points, Mr. Last Night Pedant, are good for us because we can stop and say, from time to time, "Let's have no more of that." And, of course, being able to hug some things to ourselves in order to seal them in. 

So, I figure I can name 7 good things about 2011. Here are 6 of them. 

1. my swimming pool

2. Jungle Jim's

3. working on poetry again

4. my new camera

5. two fun book series discoveries:

    Aimée Leduc Investigations by Cara Black

    Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson

6. bowling regularly again

Mer & Ben bowling 12

7? Well, it's fun to have just a bit of mystery in life, isn't it?

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Happy 2012...


through the mirror of my mind

A peek into my brain...
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There are always rhythms running through my head. Not like drum beats, more like musical notes without the notes. Except most of the time there are notes, too, and when there aren't notes there are words.

I think one of my sons inherited something of this. When he was a baby, we called him mantra boy because he'd just seize on a sound and chant it for what seemed like hours. I used to very lightly rock back and forth, which the family thought was odd, and maybe it was, and people still catch me doing it, but it's because it's always going. Most of the time, instead of obviously rocking back and forth, I'm pulsing out a rhythm with the muscle at the base of my thumb, but someone will catch me at that, as well. And if I'm occasionally mouthing lyrics my head is singing, then that gets questioned, and I think, "What the heck? Other people don't just subvocalize stuff?" Well, of course they do. I'm a little weird but not that weird. They're just more self-conscious than I am, and their lips never move, I guess.
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The boy, now 17, is also like me in that he can find music on the keyboard after hearing it once. But he, unlike me, composes music now, and it's all layered and full of rhythm. He took the thing and is making something with it. 

My thing is words. I listen to music all the time and my perceptions are shaped by it, but my poetry isn't often lyrical. Sometimes my essays have that sense to them. I like to repeat phrases and patterns in my writing. And, I mean, I love NaNo. It teaches me something every year. But I'm no novelist. I had come to think of my stories and poems as word paintings, but as they're more about essence than about the visual spectrum, they're kind of more akin to music. It's all math, anyway. The universe, conservation of mass, Picasso, Mahler, and your words. All math. But that's for another set of ramblings. 
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Anyway, here's what I was going to share. This morning, I was calling my coffee maker Mr. Sizzlepants. One of those unconscious rhythms running through my head, I found myself saying, "Hey, Sizzlepants. Leave those kids alone." 

So now I have that song plaguing me this morning. It never ceases. 

In a couple days I'll get back to my tiny story exercises. Maybe I'm about to figure out what to make of it all, at long last. Time may not be a rigid construct, but other people's perceptions of it are always pressing down heavily. 2011-11-19 13.13.26

 


In Which I Take a Photo of a Dogwood Tree, & Other Morning Tales

Each morning I prepare myself to go downstairs just before 8 o'clock. Downstairs is my office, after all, don't want to be late. I spend 30 minutes looking at news, weather, messages and school plans before waking the boys. During that time I also tidy anything left out the night before, and usually make myself a mug of coffee. 

This morning after rising, I looked out a window to note the dogwood tree leaves are now fully red, so I thought I'd pop outside and take a photo to share. After dressing and reflecting on the importance of appearing neat and pleasant for my boys, as an example and also because they should look back someday and remember their mother as pleasantly as possible, I grabbed my phone and the first book of a new series I'm reading, thinking I'd spend a few minutes looking it over before the day officially began, and headed down the stairs to the front door. I put the book on the hall table so I could go out to take the photo, but suddenly there were two cats at my feet, yowling for food. 

This was unusual, as the cats are kept on separate floors during the night. They do not get along. But there was Young Cat, along with Angry Cat, pretending to be affectionate in order to be fed. Cats think you might starve them if they don't pretend to be nice to you. I always fill their bowls at 8 o'clock, then open the door to let the Young one on the main floor so he can eat and hang out. Well, the food container was missing. I noticed yesterday we had only one day's worth left, but why would the whole thing be gone? I found it downstairs on the bar counter, and brought it up with cats clamoring all around me, and after putting it away, realized that my instructions for finishing the kitchen last night had gone completely unheeded. 

I personally keep the kitchen clean all day but do not do dishes except sometimes on weekends. That is what kids are for. Also, you gotta train em to do all this stuff for when they're grown up. But left to their own devices, it will always have been someone else's turn, and not get done at all. I went to bed too early! So I gathered it all onto one counter, cleaned the other counters, sink, and stove, and then went out to take my photo. 

It's beautiful outside today! And although I am wearing a sleeveless blouse, the sunshine kept me from caring about the morning chill. I emailed myself the photo and came in to look at the computer. Two of the kids were still logged in. There's something going on with the iMac lately, so that it works super slowly if more than one person is logged in. But I don't know their latest passwords. No, I'm not worried about them looking at porn or whatever. Because of plenty of reasons. Still, I logged in as well, and launched all three browsers, and Mail.  

Here is why I use three browsers. First, I have to use an old copy of Firefox for K12 Ohio Virtual Academy. The site doesn't work with Firefox 4. But I don't really like Firefox anyway. So I have 3.6 on here, just to manage the kids' school things. Next, since I began using Chrome as my regular browser, that launches iGoogle, and I check out the weather, my friends forum, Tumblr and Brizzly, the bank, etc. However, I also have to check in at Facebook each day. This is not because I consider it a verb. It is because that is where my brother communicates with the outside world, and where I see updates from the local parent group from OHVA. Since I don't want anywhere I visit on the web to think it knows me through Facebook, to try to make me "like" it or log in with my Facebook id in order to comment, which is still ridiculous and maddening after a year of this nonsense, I log into Facebook in Safari. And then now use Safari for nothing else except downloading music from a couple places which don't consider themselves adjuncts of Facebook. I prefer Safari to Chrome in a couple of key ways, but one or two bill-paying sites work better in Chrome, so it won the non-Facebook lottery. 

Anyway, it was all loading agonizingly slowly, and I couldn't log out of the boys' accounts without dragging them in here, so I just restarted the whole thing and went to fix my coffee. 

Then I was able to log back in, and resize my picture to share in this post I no longer had time to make until just now, completely out of proportion to the event. And then it was 8:30, time to wake the boys. On the way back to the stairs, I noticed the book I'd left on the hall table. Guess I'll just start reading it tonight. I got the first three of the series from the library, after buying five of them on Border's Last Day last month. 

So, here's my dogwood tree: Dogwood

Isn't it pretty?


In some of the corners of my mind these days

You can pretty much judge how depressed I am by how often I update this blog, because I can tweet or reblog at Tumblr no matter how things are going, but here, I want to have interesting stories to tell or thoughts to relate and I cannot do that when I'm feeling low. I also listen to less music, but you wouldn't be able to judge that. Take my word for it. It's unbalanced. And despite my abiding 4+ year love for Twitter and Tumblr, this is the place that's really all mine. 

So in the meantime, here's some vaguely personal stuff with details, but not really details. You know. I'm personal in only the most shallow ways possible.

I want to do NaNoWriMo this year but don't have my own computer. Partly that's okay; only one boy and I are sharing the iMac just now, as the other two were sent cheesy but useful PCs by K12. The thing is, all three of them sit on the dining room table and no matter how I adjust this chair, I end up with pain in my neck and sometimes nausea after sitting here for awhile. 2011-10-05 12.30.57
So that's not super inspiring. I'm so used to a laptop, mostly all I've used for, well, quite a few years. 

The problem is that I need the chair all the way up in order to face the tall screen correctly. But when I do that, I am typing several inches below where that would be correct. So when I do NaNo, I suppose I'll set the keyboard on something to elevate it, but it needs to not slide around…

None of that has anything to do with feeling low. I just do. Too much is not at peace, though our house here is a pleasant sanctuary in most ways. 

I miss my desk upstairs. I created a cozy little studio for writing, painting, and listening to music. But the desk is empty. 2011-10-05 13.04.05
It wants a new Macbook Pro, of course. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I stare at a canvas, listen to a little Frank Sinatra, then wander away to some other part of the house.

I need more poetry, classical music, and cushy furniture in my life. That wouldn't solve any problems, but it would be good. Of course, I can solve the first two needs easily, if I just think to. But the days are just packed, and so is my head. Novel reading has been my meditation lately.

Good things are that I live on the edge of two library systems; Cincinnati and Clermont County. There's a Cincinnati branch 3 miles west of here, and a Clermont branch 2 miles east. All media not at my fingertips is a short drive away, and completely free. 

And we found a great deal that allows us to bowl on Sunday mornings, and we found some parks; none you can get to by walking, as that doesn't seem to be a great priority in this area of the, er, area, but still fairly nearby. Just as in New Jersey, we live moments from a pike (historically; there aren't tolls these days,) which is a good path from way over there to way over there, but this one has almost no sidewalk, no shoulder, and has hills as well as curves, so we cannot use it for walking or cycling.

You see how flat and dull all this blather is? I'm not at peace, because others are not at peace, and I cannot make things better for them. Platitudes are useless. As well, little niggling "red tape" issues still invade my days. I'm no good at them, and they won't ever leave me alone. Avoiding them makes it all worse, of course.

Another good thing is that for the first time in I don't even ever, I have all the clothes I need, *and* I like them all. I've never been the sort of person who wants a huge wardrobe, and I don't much like winter clothing, so I tend not to prioritize that. But I now have two thin cardigans, two longer sweaters, several new tops, three pairs of jeans, two pairs of dress-up slacks, a half-dozen dresses, two jackets and a coat, and new underwear and bras. I even bought socks. I no longer have leather boots, which would be a welcome finishing touch, but I can manage without, if necessary. People do. And I still have good gloves and lots of scarves. I cannot abide bulky clothing, but layering can and will be done when it is too cold to pretend otherwise. 

So this is something moving to Ohio from New Jersey did for me. But we still have very many other needs here to be met. I'm out of focus there, but working on it. 

What I'd like to also do for myself is buy a Kindle Fire and let that be my go-between until I can somehow raise money for a new laptop. I had planned on a Tab or iPad, but they cost three times as much, and I can do with my phone any tablet function I wouldn't have with the new Kindle. It's a pretty great phone, though the next model along is what dreams are really made of, I guess.

Living in Ohio, I have found some people who are like those I met at the Jersey shore. I mean, of course, the real New Jersey shore. Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 10.54.07 AM
People who live closer to nature, who still touch what they make, and who take in nature with the breath they can spare. But they seem to don't live on my street! 2011-10-05 13.45.41
I wish they did. Because otherwise, it is very artificial here, and there's something I'm having trouble grabbing hold of. I can't go back to the sea, to the people who communed with it. Lake Michigan is 300 miles away; it was like that there, too. Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 10.48.42 AM
The seashore, even an inland seashore, breeds the spirit to which I most relate these days. And there's no sea here. Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 10.57.09 AM

There is a bit of color, though. So that's a very nice thing on a sunny warm day in October. Why ask for more? 2011-10-05 13.48.12


part three: winter sky

The baby and I drove down to Costco last Monday to do our Thanksgiving shopping. On the way, we stopped at a place that always intrigues me; the "scenic overlook" on I-295 near Bordentown. (you can zoom in pretty far.) Here are a few photos I snapped there, though I was unable to get a good one of the nuclear power plant residing behind some trees to the southwest. I did get a gorgeous one of the boy himself. Click through to see 1200x900s. They aren't technically black & white, but an rgb translation of it. I think that's pretty cool, though. 

I think this will be a season of poetry, painting and photography. When I'm done putting 50k+ words into the NaNo counting machine, I need to reach into the part of me that is preparing to hibernate and give it a little external voice, instead. 

 


no holds barred

what's that mean, origin-wise?

okay, whatever.

I have one of those barometric pressure headaches. But there's no rain forecast. For once.

Here's a picture of me, taken last April. And possibly more, if I start to clicking.


Does that look, to you, like a person who has suffered lifelong embarrassment of a huge overbite and teeth so crooked they don't quite work right?

 


Does it look like someone who adores Star Trek but wouldn't know a character from Battlestar Galactica if he bit me, and loves lounge music and hard rock and playing basketball but not watching it, and who loves, loves, loves to bowl?

Do I look like an incorrigible flirt? A prude? Both?

Do I look like I birthed and nursed six babies? Like someone who is creeped out at the sight of eyebrow tweezers, and also anything anyone used, rolled into a ball and discarded?

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Do I look selfish? Prideful? Compassionate? Empathetic?

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Does that dress look like I ordered it from the vintage section of eBay? Does my hair look like it's the natural color?

Do I look like I bleed green? Carry word puzzles that I tore out of puzzle magazines in my purse? Read dictionary pages when I'm bored. Do you guess that I read poetry? Paint paintings without using brushes?

Do I look like I have a loving and giving heart?

I'm turning 44 soon. I thought my teeth would be well on their way to normality by then. I was, sadly, wrong about that. I've struggled with health, physical and mental and emotional; the whole enchilada pan. Over the past year I painted more and wrote less. It's possible I should have a haircut or two. I still need to master a good savory pie crust, because it's not quite a certain thing yet. I used to say I'd get a book finished this year. Every year. I'm not saying that this year, so maybe I will.

I have several pimples. And my eyes are aging by the minute. I cried yesterday, overwhelmed by my surroundings. Then I made cookie dough. For my kids to bake. I brought a plastic cup to Star Trek last night and asked for water at the concession stand. It was in PA, and I was sort of grossed out by the amount of "snacks" people were consuming. It seemed like people eat more there. But this one lady was wearing a very old Spock "Live Long and Prosper" t-shirt and that was rather sweet.   

Not quite ready to take this year's "almost" photo yet. But here's something silly from last night.