pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out

11 July 2018

Individual calculation


Ile de la Cité 12:40pm
Paris, France
15 January 2018

Moments rediscovered:

8 July 2012
Hanging out a window in Luxembourg, grateful for the cool night air on my face. I've lost track--again--of which language I'm meant to be speaking. In recent days, it's been French (badly, sometimes mixed with Spanish), Spanish (fluently, sometimes mixed with French or Russian, or even, unfortunately, Italian once). My brain is busy and tired and confused.

And sad.

We were abroad with the spouse's parents, and it had become brutally apparent that they were no longer fit to travel like this. In a year, my FIL would be diagnosed with the cancer that would take him a year after that. I'd always told the kids to be grateful for the time they had with them and not to take it lightly. I think this was the last extensive trip they took.

20 July 2014
Sorrow seems to run through families like a thread. Grandmas die, and husbands and children. Cousins. No one lives without some sorrow in their time.

When my grandpa died, I wasn't there. It was too far; he was in Texas and we were in California. But the night he died, I saw a shooting star, bright as could be, flare across the sky. It comforted me, made me feel like we were together watching the sky.

Actually, part of an early draft of the short story "Shooting Star," which would go on to become the daughter's short film "Starlight." I've found scraps of the story all over creation because I was writing it as it occurred to me. I've never been so messy in the process and had so successful a result.

29 November 2015
Not keeping in touch with SK's parents. I felt unimportant and maybe not liked. That I was unworthy. As time passed it became too difficult to mend.

A regret and one of the weird revelations of adulthood. I felt like such a fifth-class citizen as a child. I was poor, had the wrong clothes, lived in a bad neighborhood in a disastrous house. One of my best friends lived in the best neighborhood, an only child, had it all. We were so close and her parents hosted me so many times, for so many things. One of the really painful things in my life was that my mother wouldn't make any effort to return the hospitality, which mortified me. I worked overtime, puppet on a string, to try to be as grateful, helpful and humble as I possibly could be in their presence. I always felt they were kind to me because they were obligated to be so in order to make their daughter happy. I never realized that they found value in the fact that I was their daughter's friend. When I moved on with my life, I felt like I'd released them from an obligation. It turned out that I was wrong and caused hurt feelings...which mortified me. This was a testament to exactly how destructive self-hatred can be to those who suffer the collateral damage.

23 June 2017
Moments like a bag of tiny diamonds.

I remember the thought, but not what was behind it.

19 January 2018
Mass at Notre Dame

Mouse at Notre Dame

Old woman at Hotel la Perle stopping to fix her hair in hotel window. She wore a flowered scarf on her head, and she carefully tucked her grey hair away from the rain. Her gloves exposed her bony wrists and fragile skin. Her camel wool coat was old, not fashionable but appeared in good repair. She carried herself proudly, slowly moving away in old, broken down shoes--loafers--that appeared too big for her feet.

Nightmares about St. Sulpice. Something to do with high dark vaulted ceilings.

What can I say? Moments like a bag of tiny diamonds.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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27 June 2018

On a day that got swept away


Over the hill and far away
6 January 2018

Another huge home improvement project off the books.

So much changes. Another screaming compromise.

One step closer.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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30 May 2018

Already planning the next one


London, United Kingdom
5 January 2018

I finally started watching The Crown.

I watched about the first 4 episodes of The Americans back when. Apparently I am the only person who did not care for it.

I wanted to love the recent Farenheit 451. It was a serviceable film, but it wasn't Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451.

I liked A Quiet Place. I am the horrid sort of person who can see a jump scare coming from a mile off and still jump. But as a film about family, life and loss--and monsters--it's was well structured, well told and all too relatable. Okay, it did sort of go Perils of Penelope there in the last 1/2 hour but I can forgive that.

The son has been moved to his new city. That was an adventure. I made him take all his Lego with him.

Slowly but surely, my to do list is getting done.

Next up: air conditioning.

And making plans.

Future perfect waiting.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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24 May 2018

Value packs of 10 -- and cookies, privacy, etc


Allen's hummingbird
Orange County, California
18 May 2018

So the European Union has beefed up privacy and so forth starting 25 May, so if you are accessing the blog from somewhere over there, then I have to tell you my policies, blah, blah, blah. You go, European Union!

This is specifically what Google tells me: "European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies, and other data collected by Google.

You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. If you include functionality from other providers there may be extra information collected from your users
."

So. We had this convo about three years ago. This is what I told you then.

This is what I'm telling you now (almost exactly the same):

People in the European Union (and everywhere else):

I just got a notification from Google that I am required to talk to you about cookies. No, not the kind you eat, the kind that land on your computer. Apparently, Google is putting a hideous giant banner on my content in the EU to make you opt in. That's fine. Let's talk cookies:

This is a personal blog, as out of vogue as that may be. I write for my own pleasure and for the various people who keep coming back to read it. I haven't, strictly speaking, invited any of you here, though of course, you are welcome if you're nice and not a content thief. So if you're reading, you agree that it's okay this site drops whatever cookies it drops on your computer. If you don't agree, I suggest you go away now.

How I use cookies (other than periodically baking and eating them):

This is a personal blog (see above). I do not solicit ads or allow placement thereof (ie, you should not be getting any AdSense cookies from me). You should see the emails I send to marketers who try to sell me advertising. It isn't pretty. So, I do NOT use cookies to target advertising. Because there is no advertising.

I do, however, use certain services that collect information on you, the reader, via a cookie. These services include Google Analytics (which is waaaaay too complicated for my purposes and which I use approximately once per year) and Statcounter. Blogger also theoretically gives me certain info on readers, but it seems so far off base that I ignore it. Anyway, these services tell me certain things about you, the reader, including where you are geographically speaking (to a first approximation), and what you read (more or less). Mostly, I am curious (in an idle, periodically bemused, way) where you are from. I am interested in what gets read most frequently (in an idle, periodically bemused, way). If you are here just to look at my Birkenstocks, PLEASE GO AWAY NOW.

The information that is collected is non-personally identifiable. While I am puzzled by the VAST number of hits a photo of my Birkenstock sandals has garnered from (apparent) aficionados in the European Union over the last untold number of years, it's not like I could go to Germany and walk into the Internet café where you are mooning over a photo of my (old, decrepit) sandals and catch you in the act. Basically, I know that someone in Berlin looked at the Birkenstock photo last week. Who knew there were Birkenstock fetishists in the world? Certainly not me.

In a nutshell, that is how I use cookies on this site.

Let me also be clear that I am not responsible for any cookies that Google, which owns Blogger, may be putting on your computer. I utilize the Blogger platform with little customization, the exception being the Statcounter code mentioned above. So what Google does with regards to the platform is between you and Google. I utilize Google's Feedburner service to manage feed access and it also collects very limited information on users, including feedreader and country of origin. Also, if you are accessing this blog through a third-party site other than a feedreader, you are a) subsidizing content theft and b) at the mercy of whatever that site is dumping on your computer which is nothing to do with me.

So, we all clear there? I make no money off you, I sell no information related to you.

Also, while this is intentionally vaguely flippant, I take privacy very seriously. Just ask my friends.

Now go enjoy the pretty birdie.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000.
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13 May 2018

My Mother’s Days tend to look like this

 
Wiltern Theater
12 May 2018
 
I prefer not to attend brunches or fancy lunches and dinners. My Mother's Days tend to be about wheelbarrows and baseball games. Ten years ago, I went to a Rush concert. Last night the daughter and I went to see Steven Wilson (she's still mad she didn't get to see Porcupine Tree with me in 2009. She was 12, for the record). It was a good show that would have been a great show if not for the fist fight that broke out behind us during "Permanating." Talk about irony. I don't like GA shows. I hate drunk people--and I don't use the word "hate" lightly.
 
Okay, SW and band were epic. Opening video was perfect. Loved the setlist, which had a lot of unexpected gems. And apparently I'm an outlier because I really like the new album. But then, I grew up with ABBA, the Carpenters and Barry Manilow, too, so maybe not so much a surprise. And if you've read here for any length of time, you will be aware that my musical tastes are All. Over. The. Freaking. Map.
 
As I've always said: one week I'm sitting in my seat at the symphony, the next you find me at a Rush show (well, when they were still playing, anyway).
 
And now, I'm off to build some furniture. #Mother'sDay
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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22 April 2018

Pitch and modulation


Eurostar
St. Pancras International
London, United Kingdom
11 January 2018

"I love you."

Not so breathy.

"I love you."

More whisper.

"I love you."

Again.

"I love you."

Next line.

"You can go."

Sounds like a teacher. Take a breath. Think of Milton

"It's okay. You can go."

Less tearful.

"It's okay. You can go."

More whisper. Not so hot.

"It's okay. You can go."

Laugh.

Oh my gods, that's so creepy. Again!

Laugh.

Improvise something for whispers.

"Look, just die. I've got another guy waiting in the wings. And like, your arm is ready to fall off. And what is up with your nose...?"

Hysterical laughter from the control room.

Wrap.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. I thought my brilliant career was done, but you know, someone needs a woman's hand for an insert, an additional off screen voice, and there I am again.
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17 April 2018

A not so quiet place

 
Somewhere, California
15 April 2018
 
Some people will recognize this. For others, just a grand mystery.
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. No NDAs here, but because I'm so inured to being subject to them, I naturally tend to secrecy. I was just helping out.
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