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Friday, August 20, 2004

...and she's off!

off on vacation, that is. we're taking a week, renting a cottage, and doing a whole lotta nothing. sun, sand, reading, napping, ice cream and hot dogs. that's about the size of it.

(and thanks to my sweetie, and Little Small, and a bunch of family and friends for making yesterday a great birthday. yeah... that's an indicator of how my life has changed, eh? no more countdowns and taking the day off to celebrate. i worked on my birthday. also, got a lot of calls (you got it right, bs!), and cards, and beer and a ball game, and a nifty neato new camera. all in all, a good day. got me ready for a whole week of them.)

see you in a week - don't forget the sunscreen! ;)

:: scribbled at 8:58 PM ... ... o

Thursday, August 19, 2004

have you seen any of the news photos or (scarier) film footage of Charley's effect on Florida?

we actually caught snippets of it on the Weather Channel (oh, hush), and i've been floored by it. watching the wind pick a roof off a building like so much wet tissue... unreal.

if you're interested in helping out down there, Strengthen The Good has pulled together some sources for assisting Charley's survivors. you might also want to check back on their main page; the idea of STG is to identify 'micro-charities', where a dollar really does make a difference.

:: scribbled at 4:14 PM ... ... o

oh, yeah: part 17 of 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation':

as bs pointed out, i worked at the DNC. yup, took the week off and volunteered. how it slipped my mind to mention that... well, let's just say i'm not firing on all cylinders lately. did i mention i lost my cars keys? yeah... left them on the front seat of the car, and locked the door. i am so very bright these days. ;)

anyway, i worked the convention. bs said it was just because it was Democratic, but i think i might have worked it either way, my theory being that democracy only works when you get involved. generally, when i say that, it's the collective you, altho i always vote. this was a great chance to do something more than just vote.

interestingly, the actual experience was largely anti-climactic. i sat in a hotel lobby for 3 shifts, and helped people (the Puerto Rican delegation, to be exact) find their way around town. oh, and all the volunteers had to do Dale Carnegie training. dunno what i was expecting, but it was all fairly mundane. nice, tho, to be able to help out and show off our (ghost of a) town that week. high point: seeing Bill Clinton. granted, it was an obstructed view of half his head for 2 seconds, but i saw him. and yes, i did squeal. :)

and for the record? General Francisco Franco is still not dead.*

as promised, here's a spiffy recipe for the grill: New York Steaks with Avocado and Grilled Corn Salsa. the dry rub is a snap, and the salsa is so very worth the time to grill the corn. personally, i prefer it with roasted garlic (no, i didn't roast the garlic; yes, i did buy a little jar of the stuff, because it's immensely handy). i think the recipe could be adapted to chicken, or seafood (like tuna), or vegetables - heck, i'd make just the salsa and slather it on whatever was handy, it's that good. :)

* yes, i realize that it's a misquote. but it's what was running thru my head that week. the ex wanted to take LS out of state for the week, because *things are going to blow up! we're all going to die! the sky is falling, the sky is falling! brawk brawk!* and yes, that would be sarcasm and a whole lotta eye rolling coming from me.

:: scribbled at 2:57 PM ... ... o

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

unconscious mutterings:

Server ::crash
Charlotte :: Bronson
Jackson :: Heights
Resentment :: simmering
Controlling ::bitch
Intense :: moody
November :: grey skies
Donkey :: riding
Weave :: waffle
Satisfies :: urge

(hey, i didn't say the inner workings of my brain made *sense*...)

:: scribbled at 3:38 PM ... ... o

Monday, August 16, 2004

things that have happened recently:

  • we went to a boat launch in Maine. The Dane's Big Brutha (the saint in a pickup who helped us thru the move) launched a refurbished Friendship sloop, one that he's spent several years and much love and care rebuilding. it was a lovely day and a half, with The Dane's family, and sun, and boats, and lobster. Little Small did an excellent job, only asking if we were there yet about 3 hours into the drive.
  • in the process of the trip to Maine, the AC in my car died. it was a bit freaky to see white smoke billowing out from under the hood of my car. the upside is that Penny's mileage has improved drastically, to the point where i thought either the tripmeter or the gas gauge was broken. ;)
  • we took Little Small to his first two ball games, up in Lowell. goddess love minor league ball and small jewelbox ball parks. LS now wants to be a baseball player.
  • in a much later, and only tangentially related event, i know now how i react to crises. i've made my first emergency room trip with Little Small, who did the classic little kid 'i got it, i got it, i got it ...(drops glove)... where's the *klonk* aaaaahhhhhh!' on the ball field. all is well, he's a little trooper, and The Dane and i are only a little greyer for the experience. (arguing with all the medical personnel over who i am and why i should be there... that's another story.)
  • much sailing. also, much swimming. and helping Little Small learn how to do cannonballs off the side of the boat into the harbor? outstanding. he had a small panic moment at first, even tho we'd explained that the water was deep. really deep. as in, can't touch the bottom deep. but after that, he worked up to jumping off the swim ladder, then the boat, and with great abandon and joy.
  • racoons. this is a saga unto itself. let's just say it wasn't in the least bit attractive.
  • mice. less saga-ish, thankfully.
  • continuing adventures with the ex-wife. feh. some days i think she's malicious; on the better days, i just think she's unaware.
  • birthday parties galore for Little Small. so far, The Dane has done a magic show at school (i made Cocoa Krispie marshmallow treats and goodie bags, and brought lemonade), and we've had First Official Company at the house for LS's birthday. (i'll post recipes later.) one more to go - a bowling party in a few weeks.
  • and probably a dozen more things that are slipping my mind at the moment.

and we're coming up on vacation, a week at a cottage on the Cape. a week of sun and sand, playgrounds and mini-golf and soft serve ice cream, no computers and lots of books.

you see the theme, i'm guessing. family. what does it mean that i'm part of this little family? how do we all work together? who does the shopping, and what do we do about family dinners? and who the hell knew that it took so much effort and paperwork to get organized for first grade? goddamn, there's a lot of red tape.

i've been spending a lot of time thinking about family, and my place in it, and the day to day of feeling out the roles. amazing to me that (even with my predeliction for overthinking) there's such a cavernous difference between being a family, but not all in one place, and being family, in the same house, 24 x 7. and yes, it is x 7, even though LS is only here 4 days or so a week. even when he's not here physically, i'm thinking about how to make this a good home for him. crushing, sometimes, the responsibility, coupled with the damn balancing act of being part of a 4-way parenting consortium.

also, i've been working thru the changes that come with sharing a living space with my sweetie. i love and adore him, and i think neither of us really saw how big a shift was coming down the pike. it seems silly to say this, but things like deciding on a brand of toilet paper takes on a whole new set of implications once you're living together. ;)

so. many changes, and much feeling around to see how this all works. it seems as if things are settling into patterns, or, more precisely, patterns are emerging. there's an ebb and flow to the week establishing itself. and as that all makes itself known, i'm finding little niches here and there for 'me' time, for writing time, for puttering time. it's all coming together, and i'm feeling more balanced, even in the last few days. and that's a nice feeling.

i feel as if i'm surfacing, in a way. honestly, i've had so little ability to focus lately that reading is a chore, any sort of analysis or story telling torturous, and writing downright impossible. there have been a few mornings, driving to work, where i compose bits and pieces of entries. and i've felt badly about not being able to write. *insert obligatory blogger whine about 'all the other bloggers can do it, why can't i' - and feel free to ignore silly self-serving whine* in a non-whiny way, i've wondered in passing if i'll regret not being able to capture some of the smaller moments, or if an impressionistic view of this change is enough for me. but more than that, tho, i've felt lost in a really new and scary and different way.

i haven't been able to tell *myself* the story of where i am. mind you, this doesn't come from bad things - not at all. it just comes from the sheer volume of change, and my decreasing ability to roll with the punches. perhaps i'm underestimating things, but it does seem as if it's harder to assimilate change. feh. that's not even how i want to say it... hrm. how about: i don't remember going off to college being this disorienting. maybe it was, but i don't think of it that way. in the midst of that, i still had moments of clarity. this, lately, has felt more like mud. big mud slide. muddy moments of forgetting if i've brushed my teeth, or called to make an appointment for an oil change, or learned something new in the day. the first few weeks here, i felt like i was choking on huge clots of mud nearly every morning.

now, things are smoothing out. The Dane and i have had a great many moments of missing each other, of just not hearing because of all the mud. lately, we've started hearing, listening again. the place feels more like home, in part because of the material changes (unpacking and cleaning), but in greater part because of the emotional changes (listening, and being there, and learning new patterns as we build our family). i am very much a creature of habit, and building new ones with my partner is reassuring, comforting, good. challenging, too, because they're his habits as much as mine. and that, too, is good.

(also - having company pushed us to finish up a few unpacking and organizing chores. amazing how liberating it can feel to be able to look at a clear corner of a room, rather than a box of miscellany. i've been skittering into newly cleared spaces and doing happy dances, just because.)

:: scribbled at 10:37 PM ... ... o