pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: February 2016

29 February 2016

Continuing ed. With beer

 
Orange, California
29 February 2016
 
Wow. That came out really dark. (I sent it directly from the phone)
 
Anyway, snifter of Milchkaffe (a milk stout, I don't remember the brewery) while listening to a poetry lecture. They took a break. We snuck out the back door and gathered the daughter from class to have dinner.
 
That is what I did with my extra day.
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. In 2012 and 2008, I blogged on the 29th at Out of the Kitchen. I looked because I was curious. In 2008, the boy was working on his refrigerator blindness science fair entry. In 2012, I was working on financial aid docs--which I haven't even been able to coerce myself into thinking about this year.
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27 February 2016

The mundane


USS Iowa
4 January 2014
San Pedro, California

I am--really!--trying to get back to the business of writing. The problem is that I seem to have forgotten how to write about my boring life. Yes, I can tell you about trimming the giant climbing rose bush (I did), and you will say, "Um, don't you have a dislocated clavicle or something?"

(I do. Or something. And I'm supposed to see an orthopedic surgeon. Of course.)

And I will say, "Yes. But I climbed a ladder and trimmed a rose anyway."

Because, me.

And yes, it hurt like hell, thankyouverymuch.

See? Boring. See also? Got tired of life in the slow lane.

See? Me.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. No, I don't mean the photo is mundane or boring. I chose a photo tonight by closing my eyes and using something from the folder on which the cursor landed.
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23 February 2016

Pizza man


Sixth Street
Austin, Texas
31 October 2015

This has to be one of my favorite photos from the Halloween/Austin Film Festival adventure with Deb, the spouse and the daughter.

I caught sight of him from across the street. He was glowering a bit (I don't blame him. Who wants to work when there's so much fun going on around you?). But he was so beautifully framed in the dark and the doorway. I quietly and carefully lined up the shot. Snapped the shutter. And there it was: the expression on his face. Curiosity, interest, the unguarded softening of the human face when the wall comes down and we are a part of the world around us. We are who we are.

I don't do portraits, and I rarely take photos of people. I hate having my own photo taken. I don't like taking staged photos of others (though I've gotten some good posed, but spontaneous shots on occasion). And yeah, I felt a bit like a voyeur having taken this. But it was perfect: The backlight, the way the light from the pizza case lit his face, the attitude of his body, his expression.

A great photo? No. But a great unguarded moment that both broke my heart and lifted my heart? Yes.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. If I had the portraiture talent of Kyle Cassidy, taking photos of people would be a different story. I think my own shyness inhibits my ability to connect with others in that way. Portraiture is an act of intimacy.
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22 February 2016

That a way


Dumbarton Oaks
Washington, D.C.
8 November 2015

No comment.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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20 February 2016

Long shadows


Newport Beach, California
31 December 2015

I saw someone declare the other day that Facebook killed blogging and I'd imagine there is some truth to that. For the most part, I refuse to use Facebook. Ergo, still blogging.

Some days, anyway.

(Do you realize I've been doing this for almost 10 years? Yeah, neither had I.)

As usual, the longer I stay away, the easier it becomes to keep away. And yet, I still see this as my own safe little corner of the Internet where I can ramble away at will.

Seriously, why are you here?

************

Today is the daughter's natal day, and she asked for lunch at the beach. Why, yes, it is February, but it is also California. So we took her to the restaurant of her choosing down in Laguna, a place that was on the beach itself, and I had a salad (natch) and she had fish and the spouse had a burger, and it cost $100.

See also, California.

But we sat outdoors, and she watched the waves, and she was happy. That's enough.

Then we came home and I baked her a cake, and made a large bowl of fluffy vegan chocolate "buttercream" frosting (we have learned that neither she nor the spouse can have dairy of any sort any longer, so I have to get very creative with some of their favorites. Some have just been abandoned. Like anything to do with vegan cheese. Talk about an abomination...)

The choco frosting was declared delicious by the daughter who was happily devouring it off one of the beaters while she played a computer game older than she is on an old, old computer that I set back up for her.

(Yup, I have 20-year-old computer games and two computers running original versions of XP. Fifteen-year-old computers, kids...)

I frosted the cake, embellished it with the candles the daughter had chosen, and we sang a rousing version of "Happy Birthday"--falsetto as possible, with lots of cha-cha-chas thrown in for good measure (I think the kids learned that version in primary school, and for whatever reason, it stuck).

Even the cat got a tiny bit of cake to celebrate and ceremoniously (and joyously) cleaned crumbs off his whiskers.

It was a good day.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Day one: no improvement.
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19 February 2016

I feel it in my bones


Mud
Racetrack Playa
Death Valley National Park, California
23 November 2016

So, yeah. Finally had to go visit the doctor.

And she said, "Uh?"

And she said, "You haven't lifted anything heavy? You haven't been injured?"

(We all decided that the Death Valley trip was too long ago to be the cause.)

And she said, "You didn't notice this?"

(In fact, I hadn't.)

And she said, "Well, we need to x-ray this, and x-ray that. And while we're at it we'll do an x-ray series of this."

And I said, "You are talking to the person who can have a massive disc herniation while brushing her teeth."

I saw her eyes light up then, and she said, "You are one of those joint people..."

And she used words like "rheumatological" and "undiagnosed."

It's very hard to know what to do with a body that is tearing itself apart. And I really can't live like this anymore.

(And Rush isn't even touring this time, dammit. Usually, I at least get the consolation of trying to figure out how to drag the carcass from pillar to post.)

Tech stuff: Taken with my NikonD7000. About the time I finished writing, the doctor had called with the x-ray results: my bones are in good shape. Which means it's soft tissue. As usual. High dose ibuprofen over the weekend and return Monday if no improvement. Sigh.
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10 February 2016

Shapes of things


Death Valley National Park, California
24 November 2015

So, there was this trip. And there was some going off road (all approved) in a properly outfitted 4WD. And there had been a really bad storm the month before, so the roads were shit.

I spent the worst of the off roading hanging on to straps and whatnot, trying to brace my body so that my utterly destroyed lower spine would not be taking the worst of the bouncing. Which was great. Except that it looks like I tore something in my shoulder. Or my chest wall. Or both! Because my body is crap and is trying to kill me. (No, I mean literally, not figuratively or metaphorically. My corporeal self is really trying to self-destruct).

Anyway, it's messing with my ability to work on the computer. I can't sit at the computer long without agonizing bolts of pain shooting from my shoulder into my head. Even the inside of my ear hurts.

(Full disclosure: I've also written about 17 pages worth of posts regarding why Hillary Clinton and her band of rabid out-of-date feminazis need to take a long hike...and never return. All that rage doesn't do me much good, either. And no, you don't get to read any of it.)

Anyway, trying to return my shoulder to normalcy (which involves lots of arm waving).

And my mood (which apparently also involves a lot of arm waving).

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. On the positive side, there is story creation taking place that we hope will lead to filming this summer.
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01 February 2016

Catsong

 
Milton
31 January 2016
 
On top of Old Smokey
All covered with toes
I saw my poor kitty
And booped his small nose

He got very angry
And clawed me real bad
'Cause that's what a cat does
When he's really mad

No, he didn't claw anyone, but I'm not sure why he felt it necessary to perch himself on top of my printer.

He is going to be really mad because he doesn't get breakfast in the morning. It's off to the vet to get his teeth cleaned.

And the song (which I made up this evening after watching The X-Files with the daughter) had the girl falling on the floor laughing.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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