[livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball and I left for NYC on Friday, returning late last night. He was the instigator, saying he really wanted to see Pippin, and after watching the Tony awards video (which you can see on that link right there ^^ ), I had to agree it was worth seeing on Broadway. So, in for a penny in for a pound, we also made plans for Kinky Boots, another Tony winner this year.

We had our next-door teenaged neighbour watch Rover for us, which worked out quite well, compared with boarding for the weekend- R. likes her routines, and our neighbour certainly likes Rover! (And now I notice that Rover has to sniff their door when she comes back from her walks... I think this may have something to do with bacon on the weekend...)

We got to Pearson and discovered our noon-time United flight had been postponed three hours. Well, indefinitely. Well, we might be able to rebook onto the next flight in three hours maybe. Instead of following the gate agent's instructions, I found us another United agent who instead put us and one lucky other guy onto an Air Canada flight at 3pm, and standby for an earlier flight. So the three of us trooped out of the ground-level prop-plane area to our waiting gate, and crossed our fingers, because 3pm was going to make it tight for us to get into the city and to our hotel and to Pippin. dan did his thing and got us from an unlikely standby to a much more likely standby flight- and lo, all three of us got lucky. And found ourselves on the ground at Laguardia just after 2pm. And we made it to our hotel in Hell's Kitchen, Midtown, in fine time.

At the end of this trip, I'm quite appreciative for the chance to run off and do things like this. We both really love Manhattan. We were idly talking about how great it would be to live there; perhaps when we both retire; perhaps for a short period on one of dan's sabbaticals. If this works, it will certainly involve a lot of planning- and being flexible, perhaps more so than with the flight rearrangements...

This was a full, but not overly full, trip.

We stayed in Hells Kitchen, the first time either of us had spent much time on the West Side. It was quite convenient to Broadway, our hotel was comfortable, and there were many good restaurants, including an eponymous Mexican restaurant "Hell's Kitchen" which had amazing fish.

Pippin was eye-poppingly neat. The acrobatics were the most awe-inspiring I've ever seen (see ^^ video). The first act is easily in my short list of favourite first acts of any musical. (Whatever that list is; I haven't given it serious thought except that the first act of "Sunday in the Park with George" is currently at the top. But I digress.) The story feels like it sort of unwinds in the second act. I hadn't seen the show before and wasn't prepared for a bit of storytelling where a certain amount of plot seems to be un-done in order to tell a completely different story in the second act- the story felt stapled together, and the main character AND the main actor started to grate on me a bit. I see from the wikipedia page that it could have been smoother in the second act. But the Leading Player/"Ringleader" character was wonderful throughout, including the very end where she offers Pippin a suitably glorious finale for his life aspirations. All in all, seeing this was my favourite part of the trip.

We had left Saturday mostly unscheduled, with an idea to get half-price tickets for an evening show, and a plan to see my Aunt who lives in Manhattan in the mid-afternoon. d. and I negotiated this one pretty well, also; I was going to see my Aunt while d. went downtown to buy us tickets. She accepted my sending his regrets about not seeing her, even though in advance she had said she would be very offended if he decided not to see her. Anyway, she and I got to visit, she got to show off her local Whole Foods and get me a mid-afternoon snack, and d. got to stay the hell away and do some clothes shopping downtown while ostensibly "on a line" getting us tickets at the TKTS booth.

But I get ahead of myself: In the morning we went to the Guggenheim. The main exhibit was by James Turrell, a Quaker artist and architect who works with light and shadow. In addition to designing a Quaker meeting house in Austin Texas, he's done other arts installations that have felt Quakerly to me, inviting contemplation and inner stillness. His big new work turned the seventy-five foot tall spiral atrium into ... Well, sort of the inside of a mood lamp, with gorgeous curves and subtle slow colour changes. Some 50 people laid back in the atrium looking upward at the colours. It felt meditative to me, even with the occasional conversation nearby. Though: it didn't feel like Quaker Meeting, not by a long shot. But it was at least as meditative as I could hope for in a crowd of New York tourists. I'm not sure what Frank Lloyd Wright would have thought about what they did to his atrium, but I'm grateful for the chance to see the exhibit.

There were also some great abstract art from the Guggenheim's collections, from between World War One and Two- including some great dadaist work, and some great Miró and Klee. These would have been a fine stand-alone reason to visit the museum.

And then we hit the Armory for "WS", a retelling of Snow White by Paul McCarthy. This, like the Turrell, was large-scale, covering the stadium-sized Armory (we once went to an art-sales show there, which took many hours to get through). Unlike the Turrell, it was loud, edgy, and quite profane, and I'm quite surprised they weren't sued by Walt Disney's estate. Every staff person we asked what they thought of it, said they couldn't wait for it to finish- which it was to do the day we saw it. In retrospect, I would have been fine if it had closed just before we were there.

After we met up after my Aunt, d. and I walked down to the High Line, the multi-mile linear park which used to be an elevated train-line. I wanted to like it, as a floating-park-in-midair. But there were too many people, too many rope barriers telling us what was off limits, and too few comfortable benches. All it needed was a roof and it would feel like the train- in the end I think it didn't escape far enough from that which it once was. I hope that it can gradually shift into something more than that, over the decades. Maybe a few exits into adjoining buildings? That would be spiff.

Dan's ticket find for the evening was "Phantom of the Opera", which neither of us had seen, though 20 years ago I listened to the CD quite a lot. Now in its 25th year, it was exactly like the CD, not a note different from what I remembered. And the music, instead of being a fond reminisce, sort of felt late-80s cheezy. Upsides? The costuming was great- particularly, I loved the spectacle of the masquerade ball. I guess it's good to finally see this; just as later this month I'm finally seeing Cats (in Toronto). I hope I like Cats more.

On Sunday, we walked to the Hudson River Park, just a few blocks from the hotel. Now this, this is how to redevelop an urban park. It was less manicured, more varied, and most importantly, not cramped. There was also free kayak instruction and consequently lots of people *in kayaks on the Hudson*. Which felt a bit weird to me, since I always considered the water there to be too dodgy to do anything with. For that matter, the ducks we saw next to the water looked a bit scruffy.

We did quite a lot of walking: after the Hudson park, across midtown to Central Park, lunch near Lincoln Center, and back down Broadway and down to 42nd street to see Kinky Boots. Which was great fun, and deserved their Tony wins. I might buy the album; it felt like a Cindy Lauper CD but in drag. (Which is possibly the same thing).

And then we retrieved our luggage and headed for Newark airport for our evening flight home. And we returned to Rover in our house, which was the best return ever.
So, yeah. We had a week of vacation. The second half:

Suddenly coming up on a pack of bicyclists on a twisty Vermont road? Slightly scary. Seeing their reaction to a car: scatter in all directions, to both sides, and the middle, including making hand-gestures for us to slow down? Eeek! We were a bit rattled, for a while, and I'm glad for dan's reaction-time while driving. When we later ran into them at a nearby town, I was sorely tempted to get out of the car and have a stern conversation with them. (Dan's comment was something like: "what is this, Critical Farmland?")

Sutton, Quebec is charming. I took a jaunt across the border because I wanted to give the wedding couple a bottle of Sortilege maple whisky, which one cannot easily buy outside Quebec. Hey, we were 30 minutes from the border, and it was a nice day for a drive. And Sutton wowed me. Particularly compared with the tiny towns in northern Vermont, Sutton seemed to be a hopping place. Just between where I parked and the SAQ, I found three cafes and a chocolate shop and museum. Also a pair of realty offices, which put the price-per-square-foot at much closer to, say, Stratford, Ontario than Northern Vermont. I found my Sortilege, and the chocolate croissant I got was very tasty, too. (I got a second bottle, for home, and I expected to pay duty on it, but the US customs guard was confused enough as to how it was that an American was living in Ontario, that he only paid attention that I was giving one of them away as a gift, and he waved me through. Whatevs!

We got much better weather than we probably deserved. It was supposed to rain all three days we were in Vermont, but it only really rained one evening. So we got to leaf-peep as well as hike a portion of the Long Trail (we climbed 1,000 feet; the peak we aimed for was apparently a further 300 feet altitude, but we were pretty pooped after that hour of climbing). Rover was quite helpful at finding our trail, actually- it wasn't well marked, but we used an effective heuristic of "if two of the three of us thought it went one way, we'd go that way".

As commented in my last entry, it turns out we weren't the first people we know to stay at this B&B- in the same bizarre room, no less. They were great hosts; I would go back to the B&B, but I think not back to that room.

Onward to Massachusetts! We realized that our route took us through Hanover NH, and managed to get in touch with our friend Judy, so we got to have lunch with her on Friday, as well as stopping at King Arthur Flour, a baker's paradise in retail form. It was Dartmouth's Homecoming weekend, which Judy didn't know when she suggested we have lunch in town. We used up probably a month's worth of parking karma to find a spot just next to the restaurant we were aiming for. And after a really good time catching up with Judy, we were back on the road.

We got to Essex, MA without any Boston drivers actually doing damage to our vehicle or persons; and in the process of getting dinner at a local seafood shack [1], discovered that the next day was Essex Clam Festival. Darn! We'll miss it due to the wedding we came all this way for! Aha- the Clam Fest was at lunch time, and the wedding wasn't until 3:30.

So, Saturday morning, we and a few other people went back to Essex, and sampled a dozen types of clam chowder for $5. Local beers were $4. We had to try a few chowders more than once. In order to properly determine our favourites. Damn, that was good chowdah. We also got our photos taken with Shucky the Clam, the mascot for The First National Bank of Ipswitch (Slogan: "We Dig Our Customers"). Our bank (TD) was also giving away freebies; Rover now has a TD-branded neckerchief, which is adorable.

So, success all around.

OH YEAH. The wedding! Very well organized; the weather once again cooperated, so they got to be married next to a very photogenic pond. The officiant was the groom's mother; she told stories she hadn't cleared with the wedding couple, and they recited vows they wrote themselves, which were very sweet.

Dinner was fun; one of the themes was plush viruses, because the bride has traveled the world working on water-treatment engineering. We came home with Giardia, which felt apropos.

We also got to meet several really nifty people, friends and family of the bride and groom. Sunday we had a big brunch with everybody and hit the road at 11.

At 12:30, we stopped for a stretch-break and dan realized he had migraine symptoms. So I started driving; and I drove until sundown, when he woke up feeling much better. And at that point I realized I had migraine symptoms, in part from staring directly into the sun. So dan drove the rest of the way. All in all, we were lucky that we got our migraines serially, instead of in parallel; we would have stopped and rested if we needed to, but it's good we didn't have to.

Aside from the migraines, the biggest down-side to the last part of the trip was that Rover picked up some ticks in Vermont, and I just discovered them on her this evening. Now taken care of, but... ick!
...and now she is running and barking in her sleep on the floor of my study.

It is good to be home again.

State of the da_lj

Wednesday, 1 June 2011 10:58 pm
At the moment I'm:

feeling well-exercised. It turns out to be 13km round-trip from work, up to the local BBQ place, and home again. Dinner was a totally awesome shrimp poboy.

I"m slightly worried about [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog - she got an abscess next to her ear, and the vet gave us a fairly substantial set of drugs to deal with everything, including an ear infection. She's been wearing her Cone of Shame for a few days, though we trimmed it down so it's slightly less awkward. The cut is doing much better now than it was on the weekend, though, so I'm only feeling slightly anxious about how she's doing. She's a trooper, and she seems in good spirits (she even enjoys being pilled. What a cooperative dog!)

Really looking forward to the weekend- [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball and I are off to Ithaca on Friday! Wegmans! And Viva Taqueria! And Quakers! Oh my!

A big regret is that we can't take Rover- we had been planning to, but it makes the most sense to kennel her at the vet's. It would be a tougher decision if 1) they didn't love her as much as they do, and 2) she didn't love staying there as much as SHE does.

I'm starting to feel nervous about the Quaker workshop I'm co-leading next weekend in Toronto. I will spend a bit of prep-time between now and then, and I am sure everything will go fine, and now having done this before, I can answer the question of "why the hell did I think this was a good idea?" - because during, and afterward, it is totally rewarding. It's just the before that's a bit anxiety-inducing. :)

I'm grateful for all of the people who spoke up at the Regional Council meetings these last two days, concerning light rail. If you read this, you know who you are- you rock. And I'm also grateful for the people who've been live-tweeting the council presentations. I am cautiously optimistic, though I think the next few weeks are going to feel more nerve-wracking to me than the federal elections were...

I'm frustrated that I got half-way through a book and it got auto-returned on me. I checked it out online, via the local library; it was good for 14 days and there was a hold on it. (Though really I don't know how many holds there are- so who knows when I can check it out again.) While I did take notes on the parts I had read, I'm not sure how easily I'll be able to reconnect with it whenever I can wrest it back again. ...Ironically given my inability to finish, it is Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, about focusing one's attention on the things that matter to you. More words to come, I hope.

And speaking of Rapt, I was reading it over the unRapt long Weekend, which included celebrating Queen Vicky's birthday, my birthday, very few raptures, [livejournal.com profile] amarylliss visiting us from Toronto, and a few people over to watch Left Behind and Left Below.

And on that note, I think I'm Left for Bed. Night!
Or, Columbus Day, or both, if you prefer!

Today we took on the challenge of the Butter Tart Trail, through Arthur, Mt. Forest, and Damascus, Ontario. We didn't have a designated driver, but did practice safe sampling, not too many tarts at each location.

We met up with [livejournal.com profile] amarylliss in Guelph, which is under a metric buttload of construction (detour D-twelve?!), enough backtracking to get downtown that we were fairly grumpy at their not communicating if there even were an alternate route to the centre of town. And then saw a detour sign which they didn't even bother labeling with the detour number. "D minus." Yeah, that's Guelph in a nutshell right now...

The plan was to hit the two stops on the Butter Tart Trail we knew were open on Thanksgiving Monday, and see what else we found on a long weekend drive. Success!

Fergus had practically nothing open, being Thanksgiving Monday. But Tara got some bouldering in on a cliff at the waterfront. And Rover got her first swim of the day.

In Arthur, River's Edge Goat Dairy was open to our surprise, and we had our first butter tarts with goat's milk in them. And they sold us some amazingly good chevre. The goats posed for photos, though they didn't want to be in the same shot as [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog.

Kenilworth Country Kitchen, in Kenilworth, had half a dozen types of tart. We had lunch in their restaurant, cheap tasty eats (their breakfast special had slabs of home-made bread and thick slices of turkey sausage. Mmmm.) And as we ate a Butter Tart Sundae, our waitress told us about moving to the middle of nowhere from Toronto a few decades ago for her daughter's sake, and being a criminologist for the RCMP as her main job. She called Kenilworth "Never-Never Land", which having lived in a tiny town, I can identify with. Dan got peach pie instead of trying a different flavour of butter tart, which was also quite tasty.

We stopped in Mt. Forest for their waterfront park, which gave us all a chance to walk off a bit of lunch. Rover had a chance to swim and wag at Ducky Friends, and Tara took the chance to climb a tree.

In Conn, we picked up a pack of Walnut Butter Tarts at a country market. And in Damascus, we stopped at the Damascus Emporium, which had such a jumble of junk masquerading as a rummage sale that we didn't feel like actually going inside, despite writeup in the Trail guide as having "Old Fashioned Charm."

We did not have a conversion experience either on the roads to, or from, Damascus, even as we unwrapped the Walnut Butter Tarts. Mostly we looked at the leaves and did the road-trip thing. Perhaps we would have had an epiphany had we been walking.

But we all agreed the trip was a success, and I'm so glad to have friends to go with on this sort of thing. Because that would have been a lot of butter tarts to eat all by myself.

(no subject)

Friday, 2 July 2010 11:22 pm
Dan, rover and I are at an inn a town over from home; we're spending the night, and tomorrow I'm going home, repacking, and heading off to a week with 1,000 or so Quakers.

The experience here has been delightful. They fed us well. We shared a table with three other couples, each with good stories. There were fireworks. Our room smells of wood fires. Tomorrow breakfast will be tasty.

The irony of going off to a Quaker gathering afterward is not lost on me.'that will also be good, but differently so. There probably won't be buttery croissants at Bowling Green State University.
Bless me LJ, for I have been quiet. It has been two weeks since my last post.

Hey, I'm 36! My birthday was low-key; bookended by food: takeout BBQ one night and yummy home-cooked shrimp scampi. And ice-cream on my birthday. 36 so far feels like 35 with more things falling apart.

I've lost track of how many times I've had bike flats in the last month. It's at least five.
Tomorrow morning might be exciting; I'm biking to work by way of the bike shop, to replace the rear tube (again) and tire (overdue). The tube/tire on the bike might hold long enough for me to get there.

On Saturday morning, I went to reinflate my bike tire to the recommended pressure... and didn't notice a hole worn in the tire sidewall. "Hey, that side's bulging. Hey, maybe I should let the air out before it - " BAM! My ears were ringing for a while. I had to laugh out loud at the absurdity. I immediately pictured birds flying in circles around my head.

In the last week, I've had high hopes for a long bike-ride after work, or on the weekend, but with the different flats, it just didn't seem like a good idea. Hindsight, at least two of the flats were caused by wearing through the tire sidewalls. One was glass, one was a bad patch (over a seam) and I don't remember what the rest were. At least I can still say Rapid Flat-Fixes Я Us.

The odometer did roll over another 200 km, Friday evening just after I replaced the n-1th flat on my way home from work; exactly 30 days after the last 200km.

Other stuff falling apart? Goodness. My laptop has been crashing (though I now have Time Machine running backups, so at least that's automated), my phone/camera has been acting finicky, my iPod has been refusing to update again, our front stoop has lost a chunk of stone and now looks a bit gap-toothed, and I think the front doorknob is possibly loose. Whee! Oh, and we're probably going to replace the car reasonably soon, as upkeep costs begin to approach trade-in value. I feel super-lucky, though, that none of these are dire situations, as long as everything doesn't fail simultaneously. (*glares menacingly at laptop, phone, iPod*)

Anyhow, this weekend included a batch of errands, a wonderful walk with [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog and [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball in a leash-free dog-park along a river, and a fairly recuperative Pilates session that made me feel all stretchy.

Work recently has included a foray into writing some C code, which is quite challenging for me. So many ways to screw up! But I've hopes that I (and colleagues I can rope into helping) will end up with a minor contribution to OpenSSH. Srs!

Since I last posted, I also went to Philadelphia for a Quaker thang, which was useful at unsticking some "how should I do this" sort of questions I'd been stuck on (and perhaps will post on eventually) and also for some good news about the Quaker Quest program- there will soon be funding to hire some number of additional staff. And then I spent a wonderful afternoon with friends in the Philly area, and we romped in the park with their dog and their 5-year-old, AND had a visit from NJ friends who came into town for the afternoon; and then they fed me soup and brownies and sent me on my flight back home with a big smile on my face.

OK, that's weird.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010 09:20 pm
da: (blue)
On my walk with Rover, my iPod decided to make me a random playlist. As far as I can tell, it was a shuffle of everything, 5327 songs.

The first four songs were a great combo:

Laurie Anderson - Statue of Liberty: she says, "...It's a good day / To run away / Freedom is a scary thing / Not many people really want it."

The Cure / Open ("I really don't know what I'm doing here / I really think I should've gone to bed tonight but...")

Brian Eno, Music for Airports / Ambient 1/2

O Brother Where Art Thou / Highways and Hedges

And then we got a middle chapter of the book Stumbling on Happiness, where Daniel Gilbert helpfully reminds us that "most people do prefer to have more freedom than less. Even if it makes them less happy."

So, is he agreeing with Laurie Anderson, or disagreeing. I'm not sure. Maybe my electronics want to remind me that free choice isn't always the ticket to happiness.


How was your day? Mine included excellent raw fish at Taka Sushi; and good news from two different parties about job offers. So, not so bad overall.
The arts event I went to this evening was... meh.

I slept instead of going to the Cory Doctorow talk. It was a good nap.

I had a funny idea that solves a problem at work. I want to start hacking WWW::Mechanize to make a proof of concept, but [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog is standing at the door staring at me and her eyes are saying, "You haven't given me a walk yet."

I shouldn't write this code, anyway; I should give it to my co-op.

Really I shouldn't.

OK, Rover, time for a walk!

Getting Older

Friday, 12 December 2008 07:43 pm
I just went to the going-away reception for a colleague of dan's, a man of many talents who is moving west to become a CTO at another University. There were hors d'oeuvre, wine, cheese. And there were many speeches; some entirely professional and largely boring, some more heartfelt messages with personal touches. But you could tell this man will be missed for his even-keeled and wise service to the University.

And so, walking Rover just now, I was trying to determine exactly what I was feeling in response. I thought, for a while, that it was sort of a proxy pride-mixed-with-loyalty; watching all of these people who'd been working together for decades, showing honour to one of their beloved colleagues.

I'd be feeling it by proxy because of course it's second-hand imagining of their pride and loyalty, recognizing their depth of connections over the decades. And while I do feel loyalty to the University (as an excellent employer, as a source of social and societal good, as somewhere I hope to work for a long time) it's not anywhere near the loyalty of someone who had given it his all, for multiple decades, in a career he'd spent his entire life in.

So, I figured this proxy feeling was best personally described as "inspiration". And that was OK.

But you know, that's not quite it. As I watched Rover run in the school-yard I realized something else was more true. What struck me, hearing these profs pay their respects, was a personal profound sense of getting older.

Not in a negative sense, at all. Or, yes, but not only. Realizing it's the way of things. You spend your time on earth in whatever you're going to do; and possibly you pay attention and get better at things (and possibly the things you're better at, manage to find you). And perhaps you are recognized for the things you do, or perhaps you just know, yourself, and that's OK. And maybe if you're very lucky, it makes a great story; or maybe it seems dull.

But it's your life, every step, and you wouldn't be here if you hadn't been there first. And the you, now, can see a lot further because of it. And it's like seeing a photo of yourself from a decade ago with that hair and clothes and realizing shit, I really thought that would look good on me? And like listening to a Quaker friend's twelve-year-old go on about how much he loves watching The Wizard of Oz over and over, and as he gesticulates wildly with his hands, keeping the Cheshire grin to yourself (and thanking God for his parents not being bigots). And it's like recognizing to yourself the dues you've paid, ultimately OK with them even if they were crazy over-priced stupid dues.

And maybe, looking honestly and lovingly at the you-of-half-your-lifespan-ago and whether, if the two of you met, younger-you would laugh out loud in surprise (and maybe awe) at the you-of-now. And you're mostly looking forward to discovering the you-of-the-same-timespan in the future. Shit, he really thought that was a good idea then, didn't he? By God, yes, I do. And you'll please be keeping that smirk to yourself, future-me?

And maybe they won't throw a party with canapés and the University President, which is probably better off if they don't; and maybe actually the worst is yet to come. But maybe you get to use that as a stepping-off point to something even better than you'd ever imagine from here, the you-of-now who is getting older and paying attention and being open to the chance that the best is yet to come.
(Video SFW, though you'll probably want to mute the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas Music)

Wet Dog

Tuesday, 4 November 2008 01:07 pm

Wet DogRover, age 4 months, taken just before Halloween 2002.  In Elora Gorge, if I'm not mistaken.  On a day with weather much like it was earlier today- warm enough, but most definitely Autumn.

- - -
* Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
* Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
* Include these instructions, and share the love.
I'm at my parents' place in Croghan through Friday.

I'm watching Persepolis with my parents.

[livejournal.com profile] roverthedog doesn't quite know what to do with their two young cats, Rusty and Dusty.

Rusty is fairly Garfield-ish in shape, and brave enough to start chasing games with Rover. She'll start chasing him, but loses her nerve quickly.

Right now he's running back and forth in front of us, back and forth, thumpa thumpa thumpa. I think he knows he's got the upper hand.
We never taught [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog that when I go for my wallet, she's getting a walk. (In contrast, she ignores my ipod: sometimes she gets a walk, sometimes I'm washing dishes.)

We certainly never taught her that when we're sitting on the couch with her, if we yawn or stretch, she must get off the couch. She's fine-tuned: when I put down the paper, before I even start stretching, she'll wake up and hop down. It seems that when we yawn or stretch at other times, she pays no attention: it isn't that she thinks a yawn/stretch are a sign she's doing something wrong. And sometimes even a small yawn will get her off the couch. (Then she comes back and puts her head on the cushion and looks up at me until I pat the back of her head and she jumps back up.)

Far away, so close

Thursday, 30 August 2007 10:18 pm
Just now, on a walk with Rover, I thought the sky looked particularly clear, and easy for me to find identifiable constilations. The slightly-past-full moon also looked particularly bright, close enough to reach out and grab. This might have had something to do with all of the jet planes crossing the sky, nearly passing the moon in the East as they approached YYZ. But doesn't a bright moon usually mean the stars are dimmer?... No matter, I enjoyed the walk.


Wednesday, 25 July 2007 10:42 pm
[livejournal.com profile] roverthedog is acting strangely- clingy, won't stay settled, panting a bit, occasionally whining. At the same time, she's not listless; she jumped up when we offered a walk. And ran around like her usual lunatic self on the walk. But now, laying on my office floor, definitely not happy.

I'm 75% expecting she's OK till the morning before I call the vet; but it's that 25% that wants to call the emergency number...

Originally uploaded by da_.

...yesterday a LGA food-stand sold me a Bloom-County branded bottle of tea, made by Honest Tea. I wish I could say it was tasty, but... it was weirdly peach flavoured. But the label's cute. "This Fair Trade oolong tea is halfway between a black and green tea; like Opus is halfway between a chicken and a doorman." Yeah.

I'm very glad to be home.

Today, d. and I took advantage of the 14-degree weather (!) to take R for a long walk in the Guelph arboretum, where our little bundle of fur got herself turned into a bundle of swamp-mud and twigs. Conveniently, they had a clean-water pond on-site which we could send her through before heading back to the car.

Tomorrow's the first day at my new job! Yay. Paperwork and more paperwork, most likely. I'll be sure to get photos of my new office some time this week.

Oh, and this about "Welsh Dragon Sausages" running afoul of the UK label laws, for their sausage name having "Dragon" instead of "Pork"... is really funny.


Saturday, 21 October 2006 09:13 pm
I just spoke with my family.

They own a plot of land in Ellenburg NY, ten km south of the Canadian border, 90km south of Montréal. They've been half-heartedly trying to sell it for the last decade.

A wind-farm developer wants to option it. Maybe.

Pretty cool.


I'm not sure how he's done it, but so far [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball has: had two hours of chorus rehersal; went to Convocation at the University; and at this minute he's singing the first of two concerts this weekend. When he gets home, we're likely to head to [livejournal.com profile] persephoneplace's place for her house-[re]warming.


Meanwhile, I've just checked a batch of things off my todo list and sat in front of the fire with the dog. Yeah, I'm lazy that way.

Boston Post #3

Tuesday, 19 September 2006 07:56 am
I'm catching up through Sunday, which was a pretty nifty end to our weekend in Boston.

The high-points to the morning for me were:

Seeing Wendy after Quaker Meeting. She's a writer, reaching retirement age, half of a lesbian couple who we met through Queer Quaker circles, and we got to know them much better while we lived in Boston. Wendy's partner, Polly, is trying to finish her PhD and both dan and I had tons of empathy with the both of them. Wendy's the sort of person who lights up a room, and it was great to have twenty minutes with her.

Walking in Harvard Square before Meeting was quite peaceful. Since it was early on a Sunday, traffic was quiet, so my predominant impressions were tree-lined streets, birds chirping, insects buzzing, very old brick buildings, and lots of cobblestone.

This led me to mostly thinking about privilege and obligation during Meeting. I'll keep thinking about it, and try to come up with something coherent and interesting to write. :)

Subjective time is funny. Dan says that during Meeting there were no breaks between people talking that were longer than two minutes, sometimes no more than 30 seconds. I've got no reason to doubt that, since his time sense is- honestly- much more accurate than mine. But I had a different perception, that some messages were separated by lots of silence, during which time I digested the message and went back to considering what I was meditating on. That silence changed the entire meeting for me. I agreed with him afterward that there were far too many messages, but I thought the overall meeting was "Ok".

We missed seeing Sharon and Mark, who we'd hoped would come to Meeting. Mark is Dan's nephew, who just turned nine; we last saw them when they came to visit us a year ago. But making the connection was going to be difficult, as they were in the 'burbs and apparently had a full weekend as well.

After Meeting and catching up with Polly, we had leftover-dinner for lunch, and spent a little while book-shopping at the Harvard Book Store. They get points for noticing and telling me that a $10 book I was buying (as a Christmas present) was in remainders as hardcover for $6. Bonus!

Back on the green line to our hotel, to meet up with Malia and Amy. Dan had mused that he wished we had their phone number, since there were bound to be a better place to meet them. At the other end of the subway car... were Malia and Amy!

We got off at the Common, and spent the afternoon sitting above the Frog Pond catching up with the both of them. They're great folks; both in their mid-thirties and they've been together three years longer than we have. When I first met them, it was probably about two years into our relationship and I was impressed that they'd been together for a whole *five years*. Heh.

As for that afternoon, we lazed around until about 5:30, then caught our respective trains and d. and I made our way to the airport, getting home late to *[livejournal.com profile] roverthedog* already *home*. (It's really great having a neighbour watch the dog for us. We *so* owe them a dinner).

Evening Haiku

Thursday, 10 August 2006 09:22 pm
Moths flit in tall grass
Spaniel fetches a found ball.
One, two stars in blue.

August 2013

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