Friday, September 23, 2016

Come on

Feast
I discovered yesterday that people have recorded and posted sunset videos on youtube. I searched for 'NM sunset' and found a slew of time lapse videos of beautiful skies and terrain as the light changes. My kind of video wallpaper.

[lovely weeds image ganked from Bandelier's facebook post]

Outdoors
I saw an update on fbook by the Bandelier National Monument park that recommended coming out to camp this weekend. They provided some details to draw in visitors. The chamisa and asters are in bloom. There was a star talk on Thursday night and then a ranger talk on wildlife on Friday night. Saturday night there are Santa Fe Opera singers visiting and performing. The Jemez Mountain Elk Festival is also going on at the (relatively nearby) Valles Caldera National Preserve on Saturday. I would go for almost any of these reasons.

Wishing
I guess I'm missing northern New Mexico. The fall is the best and the most melancholy season. I'll be in ABQ on October 4 for hot air balloons and a mom visit. And it's not even soon enough.  

Homework
I have found the list of offices we'll vote on for our local/state/fed election in November. Now I have to make sure I know who I'm after. I may do the absentee ballot to get it out of my brain early. Except for the worrying about the outcome.

Anticip...
I'm pretty much in love with Sunday's forecast of a high of 72 and raining.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

At a remove

I've been reading British authors, which is not a surprise. But these most recent two books have both got me feeling the distance between me and the narrators which is more surprising. Both of them have child narrators: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man at the Helm. I found Curious had me tense on behalf of Christopher. I just never felt he was safe. The book gets high marks for its world view and the revelations of the first half. The end was more family soap opera than dramatic development. I think I secretly wanted there to be an unrealistically hopeful development for Christopher. It's for the best that didn't happen.

I'm not finding Man as funny as I think I'm meant to. Perhaps if I imagine it as a Wes Anderson film...

Adding to the list of things I didn't find funny recently:  A Bit of Fry and Laurie, season 1 and Broad City, the pilot. I did like watching some of the Fry and Laurie but.. that'll do me. Broad City is apparently not aimed at me. Maybe if I smoked more pot? To console myself and remember that I do sometimes find things funny, I will point out that Patton Oswalt's Talking for Clapping had me crying with laughter.

Hot and humid this week as we slide over the equinox. When I came out of the grocery store last night I even had my glasses fog over a bit. I just read that 'equinoxes' is a pig-ugly construction but I don't think equinoctes is any improvement. I'm looking forward to a cool down on Sunday but I should probably just assume it's going to be like this for the next two weeks and then I can be happily surprised when it switches. (Come on crisp mornings!!)



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Updated to add that I finished A Man at the Helm last night and it was very satisfying. The book managed to make me lose all patience with the mother and then start over as she started over. I like the narrator telling us she wished that it could have been just her mother at the helm but that all humans need someone(s) in their corner.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Boars at the beach

Sangliers à la plage link via Belgian Waffle:

EN IMAGES - Pyrénées-Orientales : une famille de sangliers à la plage

And why are wild boars called sangliers in French which sounds like sang (blood)? Merriam Webster says the word comes from the latin root singularis meaning solitary. A very unbloody explanation.

Bun says she wants an infinity scarf so I'm parking these here.
https://hooked-on-crafting.com/2013/09/10/bellflower-infinity-scarf-free-pattern/

http://www.diyncrafts.com/8654/fashion/26-cozy-diy-infinity-scarves-free-patterns-instructions

Just had a pop-in visit from K on her way home from school. So grown up. Although she says that she walks through campus feeling like a young imposter. Hey, you're not a college student! There are some students that look younger than she does...

All our gullies got washed last night and this morning. Nod wants to go camping and it just sounds damp and skeetery to me.

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California Academy of Sciences photos of arranged diatoms. I thought I had recorded this before but search says no.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Falling

Pumpkin Spice Smellovision
Via Schmutzie, a seasonal visit with our guinea pig pals:


Bundle up
We're having rain and steamy temperatures in the 80s. It could be worse I suppose (90s). Tonight is supposed to be the big cooldown and I am full of anticipation. It's possible that a light layer could be required first thing tomorrow morning. [gleeful clapping]

French Ham
I was widening my Hamilton interests by reading about the Marquis de Lafayette. First I found Sarah Vowell's book Lafayette in the Somewhat United States . It appears to have started life online as she refers to her readers as "dear Internet" at one point. It's a quick read and a good use of her deep appetite for American history and using it to understand our current government. I had some burning questions: what happened to the Marquis in the French Revolution? Did he keep his head? As an aristocratic military man he would seem to be on the wrong end of many of the factions. The book has some info about this although it's mostly about his American Revolution experience and his nostalgia tour in the 1820s. During the French Revolution he rushed around Paris trying to get the mobs to stop executing priests and minor nobles for a while. He wrote that this was temporarily effective but that after he left them, the crowds went back to arson and murder. Eventually he had to leave for his own safety. He ended up in an Austrian prison for several years. And I have questions about this experience and what else happened for him in France.

I thought those questions would be answered by a 'serious' biography I snatched up at the library by Bris. But Lafayette: Hero of the American Revolution turns out to be a terribly translated book by a determined name-dropper. I read the first two chapters and decided that was more than enough. George Holoch's translation retains so much of the original French construction and word choice that it staggers woodenly down the page. I will try again with something composed in English.

This blog post describes the wow that most of us get from the musical. It also does a good job of discussing the ticklish issues of race and Founders' glamour that are necessarily woven through the work.

Red rubies
The great tomato thickets are starting to drop their leaves. The still vast ranks of cherry tomatoes are easier to find now. It's been quite a successful tomato patch.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Gamesmanship

What a nice white rectangle this space is before I type anything. A good place to contemplate the void until the chatter begins.

The Band Day parade is Saturday and it starts at 8:00am. As an early bird I think this is exciting but I wonder if the turnout will be low. The weather forecast is nice, clear and high in the 70s so we don't have to watch the high schoolers roast in their marching uniforms.

Problematic ball game season is here! My oldest kid is excited for the NFL season to start, she says that's her favorite professional sport. I like watching it too even though I worry about the players' brains and deplore the all-American sexism and war cult. We talk a lot about how messed up the whole racket is. I feel better about enjoying baseball since it's mostly non contact and seems more human although professional players are the 1% of the 1% in their sport.

We've watched a lot of Alton Brown's Cutthroat Kitchen which is sort of like Chopped without the teary bio pieces on the competitors, complete with sad music and sometimes tears. I appreciate AB's no-hug policy for his show. It is a ridiculous and absurd competition which does not reward planning ahead but rather luck and I guess persistence. It makes me realize how we humans are usually ready to play a game. What are the rules? How do I engage with you? We are some weird primates, man.

All hail Smitten's pizza recipe! I finally made it and lo, it was fab. Totally worth using up a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes. I just made cheese, didn't even try to zip it up with exciting toppings. I still like my dad's hamburger and veggie pizza recipe (more cornmeal in the crust). But this is a good addition to the repetoire.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stormy hermits

Glarey yellow light first thing this morning. But no tornado, just a gullywasher on the way to work. We had wind gusts before the storm hit last night. Hail on the west side of town, just hard rain on our side.

The cloud show in the evening as the storm approached was amazing. First the front coming from the west, backlit by the setting sun, towering up and growing over the sky. The western sky filled in until it was all gray with lightning. Then the eastern clouds took front stage. There was a blossoming thunderhead that lasted for the 15 minutes I spent driving east to get home. The brilliant white top of the cloud mass changed from looking like a swelling snowball, to like a poodle's floofy top knot, to a huge white thing with a flat layer... words fail me. It was spectacular viewing. "Clouds are a glimpse into the mighty power of fluid dynamics", indeed.

My hermit hair shirt is feeling too tight. Need to get a social plan going. First I am going to message my neighbor down the street to see if I can catch up with her. Then I will send an email to another hermit and see if we can align in a rare sociable phenom. Perhaps I'll make a hermit crab costume for Halloween...



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Onward and upward

Adventure university: there sure are a lot of students. The big wave is underway. More fun than not so far.

Adventure high school: they don't actually use their lockers, just shlep everything in backpacks. K has plenty of classes with older students. Will K ride the bus or get a ride from a friend's family? Who knows? She's managing it so far. First self description essay of the year completed. Boy, I hated those assignments. Do we need to buy a new snare drum?

Adventure middle school: B will pick up her ipad today (I assume the district has insurance). Auditions for show choir were yesterday (she's a shoe-in). Walking two blocks to get to school is still a good deal.