NaNoWriMo takes over

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Even if you were to ask me, and no, this isn’t a covert fishing expedition for compliments on my writing, I would not show you what I am working on for NaNoWriMo. It’s just a great pile of stuff. I am putting down memories of my family so that Peter can have them. Peter, as well as Buck and I, have been estranged from my side of the family for a long time — details are too voluminous for a blog post. :-O 

But I slog away at it, and am getting some mental benefit from it beyond the “Yay! I made my word count!” elation each day. This is worth the effort of getting it all down in a document.

I have decided that it’s a good thing for a parent to do, to put his or her life down on paper, or on disk, for the children. I’m hoping to give Peter a sense of what my family is, where he came from.

Powerlessness and power

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I must start out this blog post by admitting a thing that might make me either very popular here in Cincinnati, or, possibly, unpopular: we have electrical power at our house.

Ever since Monday’s infamous “deluge” by the remnants of hurricane Ike, with huge windstorms and much power outage, the most common question around here is “Do you have power?”

We came home, slowly but surely, yesterday, to find out that we did have power at our house. We came home slowly because, on Sunday when the windstorm hit, we were in a plane in the region of Knoxville, flying home from Ft. Lauderdale. Thus, since the Cincinnati airport was closed, we were rerouted to Atlanta where, as you saw, we stayed the night.

Further slowness in our arrival was caused by a huge fallen tree totally blocking a street leading to our house. So we had to walk the last quarter mile, dragging suitcases behind us, suitcases whose wheels are now probably permanently embedded with twigs from said tree. Several people stopped their cars to say hi and to welcome us home. Our friend Steve and Peter’s friend Betsy arrived at our house as we did, to help check on things.

Amount of damage: many twigs in yard. Many still-green leaves. Two limbs from giant oak broke, one fallen on our roof, and one still hanging from the tree. Apparently no damage to the roof, not nasty damage anyway.

So here we sit, listening to the not-storm (i.e. quiet) out of our window, with the frequent addition of power saw sounds in the distance.

Morning in Miami

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Again, I find myself in Miami Beach (or environs, rather — I am in a place north of MB called Sunny Isles). The tedium that you hear in the reading of that sentence has been building for several decades.

We always came down here for vacations, Easter vacation especially. I went to a catholic girls’ school, so we had Easter vacation instead of spring vacation; we were very non-PC. I remembered these vacations yesterday when our plane was near landing and I could see the palm trees on the ground. As a child, I never thought that the vacation really started until I could sight my first palm tree from the plane.

I started to hate Florida during high school when a vacation away from my friends with my parents was like a prison sentence. This sentiment held for a surprisingly long time: until my mother’s death four years ago.

Up until then, Mom would very forcefully “encourage” us to go only to the handful of places that she recognized/approved of. This included a golf club, a beach club (well, two of those until Dad died), and a couple of restaurants. When I voiced the desire to take the then-young Peter to Parrot Jungle, she looked badly astonished and talked as though I wanted to take him for a day jaunt in the wilds of Borneo.

So we put up with her whims, snuck out to Parrot Jungle or wherever when we could, and gritted our teeth until it was time to go home.

But then she died. And when we flew down here to help tie up the bits of her estate and sell her house, we found out an amazing thing: Miami Beach, and surrounding areas, is quite a wonderful place. Much to see, do, etc.

So it was with a smile yesterday that I found my first set of palm trees from the plane, and walked out into the steam-bath of Florida weather.

Pictures to come.

Saturday morning

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Peter came by late last night and picked up his puppy whom he dropped off here at 7:30 in the morning, of all the odd times. He’s usually not conscious at that time, and has carefully avoided all 8 and 9 o’clock classes.

So we had a wonderful puppy for the day, and I was sad to see her go just before bedtime. Maybe we’ll turn the house into a puppy day-care, for just one puppy.

Now playing on iTunes: Teardrop from the album “Mezzanine” by Massive Attack

I reveal my loves

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Much as I have grown to love and revere BBEdit as both a program and way of life, and have become an actual card-carrying member of its license holders, I still go to TextMate for my blogly-writing needs. As in all other life, that which you admire is different from that which you use. BBedit may be the grande dame of Macintosh text editors, but it doesn’t have native tools with which I can hack these posts out via a third party package, and publish the post with all the necessary trimmings, like keywords and track-backs as I see fit.

Sure you could make such a thing with BBEdit, but why? I already have what I need in TextMate, and it was installed with the rest of the program. Therefore I use TextMate: it does what I need it to do, and it did so first. So there.

One lesson you have to learn: don’t re-invent the wheel if it’s already been done.

On other fronts, Other Patti and Our Friend Sally have just been over for their accustomed movie night on Sunday nights. I’m glad we have kept this up over the past year, even though I told them that I was healthy at last, at least enough so that they could resume their regular evening lives, and not have to watch TV with me every evening.

We do so now every Sunday evening, because during the process of my recovery, we got to liking the camaraderie of it all, and didn’t want to lose that part. So tonight, we watched Peter Lorre play Mr. Moto. It wouldn’t have occurred to them all to hire an actual Japanese actor to play a Japanese character, though, would it? :/

Sunday nite at the movies!

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For movie night, we had I’m not There to watch, courtesy of Peter. This is a biography of Bob Dylan done by lots of actors most of whom don’t look like him, except for Cate Blanchett, who not only moves but looks like him. Now that’s spooky. Also excellent acting.

Each version of Bob Dylan was played by a wildly disparate cast that included Heath Ledger and Hayden Christensen. None of those guys approached Cate Blanchett except perhaps for Charlotte Gainsbourg playing the long suffering wife, and Richard Gere at the end. Gere seemed to have to do with the part of his life where they were playing Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

It’s the sort of wonderful movie that happens out of sheer chaos. We get bits and bobs and are trying to put them all together, with the rest of the group here for movie night. We seemed to have liked it.


“I’m Not There (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)” (Todd Haynes)

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Kid safely home

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Peter has made it back home here this morning, fresh from the wilds of NYC. He has nothing but awful things to say about the airline that cancelled his flight last night for no good reason, but he seems to have forgotten all of that in the reunion with parents and chihuahua.

He and his chihuahua have gone back down the block to his place to get fresh clothes (well, clothes for him, not the chihuahua), and then we go out for lunch. I have no idea where to take him…

End of another fine Thursday

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Dentist: uneventful. Only screamed once. But seriously, folks… nothing to report, and only reporting the nothing because I’d promised you all I would.

I am noticing a rhythm to the days now, for the first time since my operation a year ago this last March. It’s a good rhythm, one I haven’t had at least since I’d drop Peter off to grade school and head to my math classes at the University of Cincinnati, an even longer time ago.

Having a rhythm to your days is a gift. What that rhythm contains is up to you, but the simple gift of enough days to find a rhythm, that’s a gift.

And having good blog friends is a gift, too. :D

The best dance scene in the world

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I told you all a while back that my son, Peter, got me to watch Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders. In particular, he had me watch the famous-in-certain-circles dance scene. It’s now a favorite of both of us. It only just now occurred to me that YouTube might have it. Silly me.

It’s the opposite of all the dances in American in Paris, but in a very good way. Enjoy.

Dancing at the cafe – Bande a Part (AKA Band of Outsiders)

Letters from Paradise

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Well, okay, Letters from Chautauqua. But I love it here. I haven’t updated as much because, well, nothing happens in paradise, does it? That’s rather the definition of paradise: always the same loveliness.

But tomorrow is the trip home, and to always the same… unloveliness? No, that’s not what I mean. But there will be two cats, and two dogs (we get to take care of Beatrix the Chihuahua for Peter till his return) and whatever stuff else gets thrown our way. So, the usual usual.

No notes from the road, probably.