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Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I'll just leave this here
Listening to:jingle bell rock
Reading:superbetter by jane mcgonigal
Weather:a crazy 60 and overcast


permalink posted by cat 7:59 AM

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I'll just leave this here
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
not on Rex Manning Day!!
Listening to:car wheels on wet road
Reading:The Moral Arc, Shermer
Weather:rainy, 53
No snow yet this year. But you know it's coming. Time to build a kitty shack on the porch for my too many cats. Mary and Kate, the white girls with a blue eye and a gold eye, keep tagging along with their mama black Peaches as if they aren't full grown and bigger than her. But Tupac, Biggie, Bootsy Collins, and Half 'Stache are independent enough to sometimes take a while to get to breakfast. The chocolate-eyed FlavorFLav seems to prefer life under the spruces than the porch, though he's usually paying attention to the status of the food dish.

Uncle Peaches comes around once a week or so, he's a big white boy, very snuggly. I think he's sleeping amongst the deer, he always comes home with multiple ticks great and small.

It's so dark, only a month and a half to solstice. Hunker down, kids, you know the drill.


permalink posted by cat 5:50 AM

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not on Rex Manning Day!!
Saturday, November 29, 2014
A kid goes to camp
Listening to:Queen, Jazz
Reading:Daddy, What's the Middle Class?
Weather:21, a few inches of snow on the ground
I was lucky enough to get to go to camp when I was a kid. I think I was about 12 yrs old when I went to Appel Farm in rural southern Jersey for 3 weeks. It was a performing arts camp, all about music, theater, dance. But it was on a farm, so there was fresh food growing and our bunks were old converted chicken coops and whatnot.

The counselors were from all over, Ghana, Australia, UK, etc. The kids were mostly jews from NYC and Philly. It was totally fucking awesome.

I spent my days learning jazz theory and improv from Lenny Liebman with a small group of musicians and my nights with my 8 or 10 slightly-older boycrazy bunkmates. They were worldly in an urban way. They knew enough to ignore the "don't bring anything to camp that requires electricity" rule. I was the token suburban WASP who wished the savvy chick who sneaked in a tapedeck had thought to bring more than 2 tapes. The blowdryer I could easily live without.

I still have the small dark blue trunk my mom bought me to pack my campstuff in, it's upstairs in my guestroom holding a couple of old wool blankets that I haven't trotted out in a couple of decades. Probably mothfood by now. Hopefully my grandkids never pushed the big latch shut, I have no idea where the key is.

Quantumleap back to the present, a team of my atheist buddies decided to try to raise $ to send a WV kid to Camp Quest, a weeklong sleepaway secular camp. While drafting the appeal I started this nostalgic mindtrip about the whole camp thing. Of course we had no internet back in 1978 or 1979 so we couldn't friend each other on the social web after camp or cyberstalk the cute boys or whatever. But we can do something like that now, if we remember enough to google.

I remember crushing on the sax player who riffed for hours over my piano rhythm from Herbie Hancock's Chameleon. He was from Teaneck. A few years older than me. He seemed like a fantastic player to me, what the fuck did I know, I was 12. Maybe he really was great, though. Remind me to bust out the Head Hunters album and see if it still sounds frickin awesome to me, too. Anyway, saxman's name was Ibrahim Tyner. We called him Abe. A quick google reveals that he died in 1999. Not much else. If he was a great sax player there's no evidence of that on the worldwideweb. Except this post. I wonder if he had kids? Became an insurance man? Got murdered? What happened to my sweet fellow camper from Teaneck who died at 36?

I also remember Injun Joe from camp. He was a counselor and fiddle player from India. Dot not feather. He was also a little bit creepy, liked to put his arm around you as you walked to rehearsal and feel you up a little. Yeah, if you were ever a 12 yr old girl you probably know exactly what I'm talking about, it's everyfrickinwhere. It wasn't all that serious, didn't put me in therapy or anything. My bunkmates eventually warned me about him and encouraged me to grab a buddy to go to rehearsal with. Buddy system, always good advice.

----Time Out----Just had to grab my guitar and pick along to Dreamers Ball. The Queen album Jazz is definitely a soundtrack to this time period for me, I was obsessed with Queen in the late 1970's, while apparently the guy who would be my college boyfriend was similarly obsessed with the Clash. But that's a whole 'nother Oprah. ----Time In----

So what were the two tapes? Of course I freakin remember, how could I forget? Blondie Parallel Lines (One Way or Another I'm gonna smash the fuck out of this tape. . . ) and the soundtrack from the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me, you dirty old indian man. . . .). Yes, I know Blondie was new wave, not punk, but that 3 weeks pretty much pushed me far away from that whole corner of the musical world until 1984 when reintroduced by, you guessed it, a cute boy.

Well, I suppose if we get enough donations to send a kid to camp he or she might look back 35 years later wistfully, google or send a drone out to spy on the camp crush or whatever the kids are doing in 2049, maybe write a blog post about it. However it goes, hopefully the camper will have a fat stack of fineass memories of the experience to enjoy on Thanksgiving, like me.


permalink posted by cat 8:28 AM

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A kid goes to camp
Sunday, September 28, 2014
spectacular early fall
Listening to:birdsong
Reading:Year Zero: A Novel
Weather:48, sunny

Sunny, warm days, cool nights, sugar maples just starting to turn. We are still canning beans every weekend, every weekend Larry says "I think the beans are about done." Pickled beets and peppers well underway. I canned some peach (from Romney) and apple (from my yard) pie fillings after discovering Clear Jel is the ticket for homogenized texture that doesn't break down. Google it, it's a modified cornstarch made from waxy maize. Next up, apple sauce. After these last 4 pintnahalf's of beans.

I didn't make it to my 30th highschool reunion. I'm still trying to figure out if I have some kind of unique highschool Alzheimers or something, cuz Facebook has become the conduit for me realizing I only know like 30 of the 700+ people in my graduating class. Yet they all seem to know each other and remember amazing detail of that 4 yrs of life. I can't tell ya shit. What's up with that?

This blue sky with puffy white clouds is a bit stunning this morning. The daylight is decreasing at the most rapid rate, so 8:17 still looks early these days, sun still streaming in at a steep angle, coming up more and more to the south. I can't see how any person who has ever come to or through WV this time of year would ever find a reason to leave. Every curve in the road offers a new beautiful vista. Wild and cultivated food is all around you. Water, air, earth, all offering the perfect environment for humans here. If you can forget for a moment the looming dangers of frack destruction and whatnot, you can realize you're actually in paradise. Why shouldn't you deserve paradise?

Back to the beans.


permalink posted by cat 8:22 AM

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spectacular early fall
Saturday, July 12, 2014
hoe handles, copperheads, and guinea hens
Listening to:Penn's Sunday School
Reading:The STARLING Connection by Theodore Webb
Weather:82, sunny
I got invited to participate in a panel at a supergroovy conference about LGBT and rural yesterday. It was sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the USDA, among others. The conference was in Lost River, WV. Wha? Where's Lost River? Exactly. That's the point.

If I say the conference venue was fabulous am I inappropriately stereotyping? Well I don't give a shit because the Lost River Guest House was legitimately fabulous. Gorgeous landscaping and design, beautiful setting, delicious lunch out on the deck, groovy bar, kind and helpful and welcoming staff. Two thumbs up for the place.

The conference was also pretty dang awesome, as we say in Appalachia. Well, I say it, anyway. Great collection of thoughtful and effective people sharing ideas about how to keep rural people in mind while we work toward fairness for lgbt folks. I felt extremely fortunate to get to be there, what a sweet life I live when I get to hobnob with cool people in beautiful places and on the clock.

Though my drive out that morning was in heavy fog, I got to enjoy the wide open mountain vistas on the way home in the sun, and also passed that way last weekend on the way home from my dad's. On that trip we saw a bald eagle! And it was on the 4th of July, for real. What kinda charmed life am I livin? Jesus loves you, but he apparently loves me more, yo.

On the way to the conf my stomach was grumbling and I realized I was on a time trajectory to miss anything breakfasty at the conf, so I stopped at Cool Springs. Cool Springs is of course just about the only place you're gonna find something to eat along the way. If you've never been (it's on 50 near Rowlesburg) you're missing a sweetass slice of Americana, and a chance to sit at the counter and watch a friendly but efficient waitress fry up your egg sandwich on the flattop while filling diner's coffee cups with deft timing. And there's a crazy huge assortment of farm implements, cheap plastic toys, fruitfly-ridden fresh garden tomatoes, redneck ballcaps, and a metric shitton of other sundry stuff, all jumbled together in a delightful roadside distraction.

It was about 7:30 or 8a. I sat at the counter on one of the orange swivel stools two seats down from 2 older gentlemen. There were a few mend in coveralls or similar work clothes, grabbing some breakfast before heading out to the logging forests or gasfields in their Ford F150's. The older guy at the end of my row leaned a long fat wooden dowel against the counter. "Broke my hoe handle." Guy next to him looks over at me, looks back to his breakfast partner and said "I never break'em, cuz I never use'em." I laugh, "yep, that'll keep them in great shape." Then guy #1 says, "actually I was just killing a snake with it." Then guy #2 and I begin a conversation about how he's lived here all his life, they always had copperheads, and since he got Guinea hens 3 yrs ago hasn't seen a single copperhead. Not sure why, never sees the hens eating or going after one. Maybe they find and eat the eggs. Payback's about a bitch, I think, since snakes eat chicken eggs.

Breakfast ready, my coffee poured into styro instead of mug, I paid my $5 and went on my way.

Lovely drive, mostly had the road to myself. New highway 48, a soaring divided 4 lane through the mountains, across a little triangle of MD and back into WV, Grant and Hardy counties. Followed my directions (I still print a Google map to take, old school), got there no problem, right on time. My panel was in the afternoon. The whole day was great, very interesting people and ideas. Lucky me.

And it was friday, so lovely way to end the workweek.

This morning I confirm that Malala is giving her kittens hunting lessons. Malala's 6 kittens (all named Peaches, I'm not tellin why) have tortured screaming baby bunnies, rodents, and bugs on my porch numerous times while I was home to witness, and likely plenty of times while I was away. They cornered a baby bunny with half its fur torn off inside a tipped gallon jar one time. Ugh. I wondered which were the hunters. This morning I open the porch door about 6a, 6 tiny cats race inside the house. Dammit. I just wanted to fill the bowl with food, but they blasted past me before I could stop it. So I leave the door open, pour the Meow mix, and walk back into the kitchen. Minutes later I hear a series of distress squeaks, a now familiar noise, and I look to see that Lala is eating the food and has dropped a tiny half-alive mouse in the bowl.

Confirmation. Teach your children well, kittymama.


permalink posted by cat 12:41 PM

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hoe handles, copperheads, and guinea hens
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
random
Listening to:downtown traffic
Reading:The Price of Justice, Leamer
Weather:50+, cloudy
Just stopped in to see what condition my condition was in. A 93 yr old client told me a red-bellied woodpecker she's been feeding suet to in the winter landed on her shoulder. She is a total badass.

permalink posted by cat 2:38 PM

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random
Thursday, December 19, 2013
missing Joey Gatski
Listening to:Most Likely You'll Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine, Dylan and the Band
Reading:Gandhi by Chuck DiSalvo
Weather:53, sunny
I heard others say he told them "call me Joseph." He never told me that. He put up with me calling him Joey all the years I knew him.

The sun came out today, so welcome and warm, here in the darkest part of the year and after days and days of overcast skies and a very cold late fall. A pair of sweet wonderful infidels brought me lunch today at work, we talked local politics and local infidel scene stuff.

Since I lunched indoors on this beautiful day I decided to take an afternoon break to walk up the street, stretch my legs, breathe outdoor air. I had on short sleeves and no jacket. As I strode up High Street on the sunny side I hear "hey Cat!" behind me. I turn around to see my friend B coming out of Gibbie's. He's a character worthy of his own lengthy blogpost. But suffice it to say for today, I was glad to see him and say hi. He said come see my son. Our kids are about the same age and ate tofu hot dogs together when they were toddlers. I see a tall young adult there at the bar, greet him though we don't really know each other.

OK, just one beer. A Nate's Nut Brown, perfect afternoon break one-off brew. We smalltalk it a bit. Why are there so many vodkas on this shelf in front of us? Sheesh, 10 flavors just of one brand, and several brands beyond that. B says he was under the bridge the other day with a pint of vodka, couldn't get anybody to share it with him. Dang, you didn't call me. Too bad Joey Gatski wasn't still here, he'd have helped a brutha out there.

B says Joey and I used to drink under those stairs over there. Yeah, Joey and I used to drink in the woods along the bank above Deckers. And a few other out of the way spots where you're right in the middle of town but somehow no one sees you or knows you're there.

B related how one time he and Joey were in the national forest, had been hiking a couple of days. Joey would wedge a dime in the rocks and they'd wait and watch an eagle swoop down past it, catching the glint in the sun. B, after Joey's stern warning about this hillside being slippery, slipped down a bank and got snagged in a V in the brush. B says "I felt it go and I said, 'see ya later, Joey!'" Joey was surprisingly strong, reached down and pulled me up outta there. We kept on going.

B says one time when I was a teenager, not even old enough to drink, Joey's dad Gunner saved me from a barfight. I wasn't willing to put up with this banker's son's bullshit, and I aimed to flatten him, but Gunner grabbed me by the back of the neck and sat me down. I got a friend out of a DUI by trading Gunner's signed football card for representation for my buddy. The press loved Gunner. He didn't even have a phone, his cousin had to go down to his trailer from up the hill to tell him they got the phone call that he was in the Hall of Fame.

OK, time for me to get back to work. Nice break.


permalink posted by cat 5:38 PM

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missing Joey Gatski
Friday, August 30, 2013
I L'd OL, I amuse myself so easily
Listening to:washing machine rumble
Reading:Cooked
Weather:a glorious sunny 70
Not in a dirty way, you perv. I was just flipping back randomly, well almost randomly, through my old blog posts, mostly looking at entries from this time of year in previous years. This even though as Kerouac rightly says, comparisons are odious. But I saw this one and thought it was rather hilarious. www.catsblogger.justpeace.net/2005/08/turtles-snake-sherpashepherd-finger-im.html

I have absolutely no independent recollection of the kid giving me the finger in the elevator. The snake I remember. Never did find that snake.

My nest is empty now, both of snakes and of the kid who freaked over that one. But I had the great fortune of hanging out with her last night. She and I picked her dad up and went to the Barbour County Fair, as is our annual tradition. Sometimes we have other kids with us, sometimes grandkids, sometimes just Larry and I go. But we rarely miss it.

It's a big one. So many cars they have a satellite parking lot they shuttle you back and forth from when the huge main parking area gets full on Friday and Saturday nights. This year we went on Thursday, rather than our usual weekend visit. Mellower, but still big, crowd, and way shorter lines at the food booths, a good thing. Believe it or not, we skipped the funnel cake, bellies full of lemonade and french fries and soupbeans and cornbread.

We always check out the 4H exhibits and the canning and fresh fruit and veg displays on our walk from the picnic tables to the midway. This year was the first one that Larry entered some stuff. He entered 8 jars of stuff we canned and 5 fresh veg, all 13 from his fabulous garden. He got tons of ribbons! A blue one for the pickled beets!!! Several red and white ribbons, too, nearly all his stuff got ribbons. It was awesome.

How did I become such a country girl? Raised in the burbs, just outside the beltway, all TV and sidewalks. Now I just want to push away from the crowded neighborhoods, toward the trees and pastures, hunt wild food, spend summer Saturdays over steaming canning jars, and talk about the weather because it actually matters around here. And watch Breaking Bad's final season.


permalink posted by cat 9:12 AM

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I L'd OL, I amuse myself so easily
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
remembering the library
Listening to:morning edition
Reading:Cooked
Weather:never stops raining
An old friend who is a college librarian posted a link to a place to nominate somebody for an I Love My Librarian award. It reminded me of the library. When was the last time you went to one? Don't get me wrong, I look shit up all the time, but rarely go to the library to do it. I actually did hit up Wise Library at WVU a few weeks ago when there was an old journal article I wanted to try to read. I consulted the catalog online from the comfort of my chair at home, prolly while stark-ass naked, but couldn't exactly tell from the listing whether the article in question was available there or not. I work a few blocks from the library where the periodicals live, so I thought I stop by and check.

So I stroll over. First off, as I already knew there has been radical renovation of the old place. When I was an undergrad this library had a huge front room, maybe 3 stories high, big walnut card catalog cabinets and built-in shelves around the perimeter and huge tables. It had that smell ya love, that rotting paper vanilla smell, you young kids won't probably ever get to enjoy. The room sound had a nice rolling delay, but was mostly quiet, except for occasional clicking feet and shutting of long heavy card catalog shelves.

When I first encountered this place as a shiny teenage freshman it totally fulfilled that part of my dream of what college would be like. Serious study would go down here. I would fill my head with the knowledge of the ages next to hot brainy guys who would be impressed with the stacks of books I poured over at my table. Yeah, that never happened. Neither did the wine-fueled philosophy discussions with students and favorite professors into the wee hours of the morning. Instead there were 19 cent Goebbels at Speedy's and puking friends and drunkwalking from Sunnyside to Towers into the wee hours of the morning. But I did drag my hungover ass to class almost every single day to try to learn something.

And I would actually spend plenty of time at the music libraries for the next 4 years. There were two: the listening library downstairs and the music book library upstairs at the CAC. I did my 10 hours of workstudy every week in those libraries under the supervision of John, aka Conan the Librarian. The listening library was filled with turntables and vinyl records and headphones. The book library had, ya know, books, sheetmusic bound into books, periodicals bound into books, all those spines looking pretty homogeneous since they sent everything to the same bindery. Dark blue, brown, black, plain white stamped letters.

We used paper cards when I first got there. Paper pocket inside the cover with a lined white card where you sign your name for us to keep, paper sheet glued in where we stamped your due date. Cards got filed, overdue notices got sent, kids gave no shit. Professors could keep books out eternally, no due date, and believe you me, they did. Some books never saw that library again, I'm sure, after Professor X snatched them right after acquisition and never gave them back.

The library was a mellow place to work. I worked early mornings a lot, which got me to the building so I could hop downstairs to class after a couple hours of doing homework at the circulation desk. Though there were plenty of books to shelve in the mornings. Ya wheel the cart around through the narrow stacks, carefully do decimal math to reshelve in the proper place, though usually the gap on the shelf gave you the shortcut view. A misshelved book is a lost book, buddy, don't slack. Getting there early had its perks, though, nobody else was there. I could chill or sing to myself or whatever while I did my thang.

By the time I was a senior I could tell where every freakin thing in those libraries was, just about. I knew which shelf held the Whitesnake album (donated in a collection by the family of a dead person, no doubt), where the Weiss guitar anthologies were. I could help the Freshies find their crap.

So while I wasn't ever a real librarian, I think of myself as a once baby librarian. I wonder if there are still baby librarians out there. The music library has been consumed by the larger Evansdale library, it's no longer in the CAC. Do the kids even need to go there anymore?

That old journal article I sought at Wise was not available to me. WVU doesn't pay the cash for access to the Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion. Have to get that access online, I guess. That's what the librarian told me.


permalink posted by cat 7:52 AM

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remembering the library
Thursday, May 02, 2013
jonesing for a swim
data by justpeace
data, a photo by justpeace on Flickr.

It's not even hot yet. It's just past May Day, perfect springtime clear skies and mild temps. But I'm itching to jump into my favorite swimming hole, right down the road from my house. Seeing this, aren't you?


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jonesing for a swim
Thursday, April 25, 2013
sweet sweetness
Listening to: Crowded House, It's Only Natural
Reading:Creating A Godless Community by Jesse Smith
Weather: fuckin stunning beautiful 50's sunny
Spring is the sweetest season. Literally. The greens are so sweet when they are new and tiny. Try eating dandelion greens in July, that shit is bitter nasty. But now, delightful. My apple trees are blooming, the light pink blossoms smell sweet and perfumey. The boys are looking so delectable.

Holy shit, have you ever listened to Crowded House? Yeah, I know you like Something So Strong back in the 80's, and you enjoy the various covers of Don't Dream It's Over. But have you actually listened to these guys? These brothers are terrific writers, gorgeous fresh harmonic progressions, groovy melodies that work great in two-part harmony, lyrics that just stop you in your tracks. Nice performances and arrangements, too, sweet post-Beatles danceable pop, dead on vocals, horns, clean guitars. Check out this track It's Only Natural, then try on Four Seasons in One Day. Fuuuuuuuuuck, truly sweet sweetness.

But the word "sweet" has developed a little sour edge for me lately. Aside from the fact that it is obscenely overused, by me and all the rest of you dorks, I recently encountered a subculture where it is overused and in an ugly way. Now this presupposes that reality tv is real, so skip to the next paragraph here if you are a skeptic. I saw on Sister Wives, a show I totally freakin love btw and can't get enough of, that there are polygamous sects of mormon where the subjugating patriarch admonishes the women and children to "stay sweet" which in assholespeak means "obey." Heh. That really chaps my ass, they way they stole one of my fave responses and twisted it to the shitty. Not cool, p'lygs, not cool. Probably won't alter my usage, but still.

Sweet sweetness also reminds of me of the cool MMORPG I used to play in beta that went south last year, Glitch. When you levelled up, trumpets played a lil fanfare and the screen said Sweet Sweetness! I really miss that game. Great community. Lots of creative and hilarious allusions in game, cool art, holiday treats (ie. you could only bake Pi on March 14, carve pumpkins on Zilloween), collecting stuff and making stuff, very clever and funny players. It was the only online game I ever played that was fun and interesting enough to stick with.

Got some sweet sweetness in real life the other night, got to sit in with the Short Bros with the mighty sweet Deniz the Turk Kilicli on lead guitar. At Genes, lovely old neighborhood bar that is generally filled with groovy people and many old friends. There was moonshine and nuggets. The Shorts put on a helluva show, as always, and Deniz sounded great, too. They had Lynn King playing bass and he was uncle funky all night long. Good times had by all.


permalink posted by cat 11:21 AM

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sweet sweetness
Sunday, March 24, 2013
it's getting to my head
Listening to:spring fever, orleans
Reading:some shrt form Alinsky
Weather:high 20s, snowing 8+ expected
So predictable. Even though it's crazy cold and snowy still, and will be for at least into the first week of April for shit's sake, the big wheel has turned and cat's annual spring fever is in full swing. Clockfuckinwork. Every year it's the same, all the boys start looking amazing, and I start rationalizing all manner of moral compromise regarding the married ones. Oy, will I ever grow up? Well, apparently not this year, anyway.

Got my mind all tangled up with impure thoughts about one in particular, that's never good. Let's leave it at that.

Seriously, 8-12 inches of snow expected through tomorrow night, and this after the prognosticating rodent called for early spring. I have a little sack of onion sets i'm jonesing to plant. I have visions of white mulberry dancing in my head. Oh, btw, saw in several posts of varying likely veracity on the web today that homemade root hormone is as easy as chopping up a small willow branch complete with leaves and soaking in water. Heh. Was denkst du darĂ¼ber? What possible harm? Like none, so on with that show.

It's partly the springfever thing prompting this silly thought, but i'm a big fan of bones. Bones of every definition, i'm a fan. Got various critter skulls i've collected on woods walks adorning the porch and living room. Got a pile of deer bones bleached from sun out in my giant satellite dish. Other kinda bones? Yep, they are all cool for cat, she said reaching an 80's britpop allusion.

So love is in the air, no sense fighting it. Tally ho!


permalink posted by cat 8:42 PM

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it's getting to my head
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
lookin back
Listening to:If You Really Love Me, Stevie Wonder
Reading:Peter McWilliams
Weather:31, overcast, a little snow on the way
Shameful how I've ignored this blog all year. Blame it on the Facebooks, sucking my brain drippings.

What got me here today was seeing a new Point of Inquiry podcast, an interview with Scott Sigler! Scott is a science fiction writer who I discovered back in the early days of podcasting. I was an avid listener of the Daily Source Code hosted by Adam Curry. Yeah, that Adam Curry, tasty long-haired VJ from back in the early days of MTV. Adam, the podfather, was kinda one of the inventors of podcasting, we're talking 2005. I had lots of reasons to want to listen to this guy.

  1. He's a hottie
  2. He was born in Arlington VA, a few miles away from where I was born in Alexandria VA
  3. He was born in 1964, I was born in 1966
  4. He had one teenage daughter during this early podcast period, I had one teenage daughter at that time
  5. His child's other parent was born on April 7, 1949, my child's other parent was born on April 6, 1949
  6. He was into emerging, creative, decentralized web broadcast technologies, me, too
  7. He went to college in West Virginia (Salem), I went to college in West Virginia (WVU)
  8. He's an avid conspiracy theorist, me, too
  9. Do you really need more?

Back to Scott Sigler. So back in those days in 2005 it was a small podcast world, e'rybody knew e'rybody. Adam, and the few other popular podcast personalities, regularly played promos from other podcasts. There was a burgeoning serialized fiction podcasting thing happening, especially with scifi writers. Scott had written a scifi novel called EarthCore that he had been shopping to publishers for a few years with no luck. So he decided to podcast it, reading a chapter a week available for free audio download. He set up a website with a chat board so listeners could discuss and interact with each other and him. Somehow I found it and started listening. Loved it. I was using a podcatcher called iPodder Lemon(before the days of iTunes offering podcasts). I chatted with Scott on the board and via email, since I was an avid audiobook listener I had some hopefully constructive criticism about his podcast, mostly related to tempo and audio quality. He was cool about it. I heard his promo on the DSC one day, emailed Scott a congrats, since it would get thousands of potential listeners linked to his book, and he emailed back that he didn't even know Adam had played his promo and he was totally stoked! Long story shortened, Scott eventually got over 5000 people downloading his weekly chapters, and leveraged that into a book deal, and by now has published lots of scifi novels and is making bank doing it.

Fastforward to 8 yrs later, I see Scott's name on a high quality atheist podcast. Sweet. Looking forward to hearing what he has to say. And btw, EarthCore is a gripping high-action scifi book, I recommend it.


permalink posted by cat 11:13 AM

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Glad you're back!

Chuck Conroy
 
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lookin back
Sunday, December 23, 2012
IMG_0605.JPG
IMG_0605.JPG by justpeace
IMG_0605.JPG, a photo by justpeace on Flickr.


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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Apparently I like getting lost
Listening to:Jellyfish, New Mistake
Reading:Mortality, Christopher Hitchens
Weather:70! Sunny!
Thanks for the prompt from my old friend Spud (he's actually not old, but I am) to dust off the blog. I think spending more of my media consumption time on a tablet rather than something with a keyboard is negatively impacting my media production. So easy to read and watch on a 10 inch portable touchscreen, less easy to create or write more than 140 characters. No excuse, just a bit of explanation or more likely rationalization. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

I spent the last 3 days in DC at a conference for work. It's one I have been to many times over the years, so I get the added enjoyment of seeing colleagues there from other states whom I have known now since our now-grown-up kids were small. But also the sadness of news that another colleague has left the fold and taken some other job that will likely take him out of my sphere forever. Particularly a bummer since this guy was one of my faves, a long-haired composer and luscious hottie. Oh fuckin well, it was sweet while it lasted.

I stay with my mom rather than at the conference hotel for this one because she lives in Alexandria, a Metro ride from DC. I could seriously get used to riding a train to work every day, lots of cool things about it. The DC Metro is really nice, too, pretty clean and orderly, reliable, frequent runs so there's a short wait between trains. Nice to be able to chill, read paper or book or work, sneak a sip of coffee (eating and drinking on Metro strictly verboten), listen to podcasts or music, people watch. Some just close their eyes from the time they get on to exit stop. I did a little of everything, basking in the novelty of it. My mom is on the Yellow line which takes you across the Potomac, a lovely view on almost any kind of day. So I looked out the window some, too. I find it such a groovy way to ease into and out of the work day.

But the first day the end of the ride kinda sucked. I had driven to the station and parked, and had a very long day at the conf, leaving mom's house at 6:30a and not getting back until after 9p. My ass was draggin. So I chill on the last leg of the train trip back, get off train and head to car. . .dude, where's my car? Seriously, where my car be at? Walked around and around and around the parking garage, no car. It doesn't help that my silver 2004 Honda Civic looks like every other fuckin car on the planet that's not an SUV. So finally I realize, I can't find the stairway that I took this morning from car to platform. Heh. Ooooohhh, there must be TWO PARKING GARAGES. Brilliant. By this point my dogs are barkin, and I'm not totally convinced, but I decide to head back down to the platform and then I see it, the OTHER garage. Yoy. There's my damn car. Mostly all alone. Sheesh.

Relief to get in there and start'er up. As much as I love public trans and the greenness of it and the chilling part of it, I am at my core a car whore. No, I never need a fancy one, in fact I perfectly love a beat-up old car as long as she's still seaworthy and reliable. It's not only private transportation that goes EXACTLY where I want, EXACTLY when I want, but it's a giant purse on wheels. Need a different pair of shoes? There's on in the trunk. Need some quarters or a $50? It's in there. Lip goo? In the little dash shelf. Straw? There, too. A scarf for unanticipated wind or cold? Black on in the back seat, goes with everything. My car, I think I'll keep her.

Last day of conf, Saturday, mom suggests I drive in rather than Metro so I can just take off for home from there. Good idea. She writes me excellent directions. And I promptly take the wrong fucking bridge into the city. Never a good start, no. But I'm stubborn and damn sure am not going to go all the way back around to get back to the Virginia side to get back to the directions. No, I'm going to just find my way to Connecticut Ave. Yeah, there's Pennsylvania Ave, there's Florida Ave, how far can Connecticut be, right? Hehheh. I keep going out 14th Street. Then I get to the part I remember from childhood as where the whores used to hang out. Not so many whores now (now in 2012 and now at 8 in the morning), but progressively sketchier as I keep going. Oh fuck, Uncle. I find a Starbucks, pull over, will hit free wifi with my tablet to map my way there, cuz I'm apparently a total pussy. Got my pumpkin soy latte (holy shit, what a sugar bomb, I seriously couldn't drink half that thing). Wtf? No free wifi? Seriously? Oh for fuck's sake. Back in the car, luckily skeevy zone clearing back to yuppie zone where Starbucks flourish on every other corner. Next Starbucks free wifi. Just carried my cup in so as to avoid feeling like a I had to buy something else to demonstrate my customerness. Map, and sweet, I'm actually quite close! My strategy had actually almost worked! I'm about 10 blocks from Dupont Circle where I'll happily hop on Connecticut. Rounded the circle, wait was that Connecticut? Rounded again, yep, but wait the sign is over there that's one way the wrong way, rounded again, it must be a divided road at this point, too the unmarked one before, and in a couple blocks verified I am indeed on Connecticut! Sweet, I rule, I am not a pussy I am a fearless trailblazer! Dum de dum, what? Wait, where did Connecticut go? What? How did I get to H street? Oh fuckity. Started trying to head in the general direction I thought I should go, not easy because there are a shitton of one-ways and Connecticut is of course a diagonal street in a world of right angles. Yoy. Drove around. And around. Quite not finding my way. Well, I'm late for the first session now. Fuck. Yes at this point I'm sure you're chuckling about what a dipshit I continue to be for not having a cell phone all smart with GPS and chick to turn-by-turn me to my destination. WHatev.

Eventually I found my way there, too late to politely enter the first session so I aimed for the second, chatted up a few colleagues in the hall, bla bla bla. Saw some cool places and people along my second lost adventure and burned a little gas but I'm not much worse for the wear, honestly. Good for the brain to have to figure some shit out every so often, I'm sayin.

While in the last session I mapped my way home on the tablet (see, not a total Luddite!). Easy peasy. Didn't even get lost for a second.

Glad to get home, power back on after being off a week after Superstorm Sandy. Still snow on the ground in the yard, but the sun is shining. This morning I got back in the car and headed to Haymond Community Center for the monthly community dinner. This month it's turkey and dressing and all that. Delicious as always. Comforting to see all the same old people (I'm the youngest of the hundreds of people who go to these things by at least a decade, closer to 2). Yum. I give my leftovers to Larry for the kitties, as usual, and head back up the road. On this lovely day why not take the long way? And on the long way, why not take one of those roads I always wonder where it goes?

Done and done. Wow, lots of tree damage out in these woods, all from the roads by now but plenty of evidence of recent and prolific chainsaw work. Come to a fork, hmmm, which way? Take a right. Eventually that road starts getting a little rough on the old Civic, so I turn around and head back to the other fork. Righteous. Saw lots of cool houses, some new ones, some old abandoned ones, barns in various states of repair, birds, creeks, crossed a few questionable narrow wooden bridges with no guardrails, generally had a lovely drive. But I got to more than one more fork and eventually realized I probably couldn't get myself straight back the way I came. Gonna have to push on through, all roads eventually go somewhere around here. You guessed it, lost again, but again I found my way back to a familiar spot which got my home.

There's a little bit of anxiousness that creeps up when you're lost, but then when you find your way it's especially awesome. I look forward to getting lost again soon.


permalink posted by cat 3:41 PM

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