§31oct02 . . . . . boo
Off to a place where there are actually children trick or treating this weekend, and then to a bonfire Day of the Dead party at Stephanie and Morgan's.
§28oct02 . . . . . spectacle, society of
We saw 33 movies in 4 days. Of course, some of these movies were only five minutes long, but a lot were feature films, usually in made-for-TV lengths of 30, 60 and 90 minutes, approximately. And, while I was really excited to see that the fight against global capital is alive and well in the arena of activist film making, I will be happy if I never hear the words "After the events during the WTO meeting in Seattle..." [and accompanying footage of the streets on fire] again. Greg and I are writing up a little movie report on what we saw which is taking up my typing time today. We're home safe and sound and there's actual snow lingering on the ground now. It's fun seeing how quickly you can get the inside of the house from 45 degrees to room temperature, using only a woodstove.
I put a few pictures of the last days of Autumn up for your viewing pleasure.
§21oct02 . . . . . church
What we went to wasn't really a funeral, it was more of a graveside service [which we didn't go to] and then a church service [which we did] and then a lot of talking and eating and looking at pictures back at the house that used to be my Grandma's with a bunch of family that I don't really see often enough, and oddly without my parents who maybe I do see just about enough.
It was pleasant mostly except for one part, the church part. My Grandmother was a member of the local church and the service was a longish church service, including a really lovely and inspired eulogy by my cousin, with hymns and standing and sitting and "amens" and all of it. As you probably know, I don't go to church, don't especially believe in capital-G God, tend not to mind people who do do either of those things but don't have much use for it in my life. My grandmother always considered this somewhat of a shame, but we didn't tussle over it at all. She had many other apsects to her life that we could relate on.
I felt like I was on one of those vacations where you get a free trip to Florida but you just need to sit through a six hour condominium timeshare sales pitch first. I felt like I wanted to pay respects to my grandmother but to do so, I needed to not just witness, but be part of a thirty minute advertisement for god and Jesus. I respect and acknowledge that my Grandmother was a believer and that the church was important to her. I'm sure church may also an important part of the lives of many of my family members, but I know it isn't for my Mom, my Dad, my sister, and me. I was expecting to show up and mostly listen to the minister and maybe some of my family talk about my grandmother and maybe a bit about faith and whatnot. I did not expect to be asked to sing songs about how much we love god and love loving god and then to listen to the minister speak about how this is all much more bearable since we're all united in Christ, etc etc. I kept looking to see if he was glaring specifically at me and made jokes with my sister as to which one of the semi-hidden electronic components built into the eaves was the "god-meter." It's not that I'm rebelling from any particular faith, more that I was raised without one and certain rituals that are practiced by the faithful are utterly baffling to me.
§18oct02 . . . . . back and unback
I never did get to the Cornell Library. I came down with one of those six-day colds and stayed at Robin's place drinking tea instead. Endured a harrowing eight hour drive home and went to bed for two days. Now I'm better just in time for a trip to Somerville to fetch my sister, take her and Greg to my grandmother's funeral in Connecticut, then back to have dinner with Greg's parents who will be in Boston for two days, then back to Vermont for more guests. October here is like this, I just forget every year. If anyone wants to come to the Vermont International Film Festival, it's not as quaint as it sounds, a lot of good social justice films and cheap cheap cheap.
You really would not believe the glory that is my backyard this month, you just wouldn't.
§14oct02 . . . . . our kestrel maneuvers in the dark
So yesterday I spent most of the day in the car en route to Ithaca marvelling at how lovely Autumn can really be. Today I'm amazed at how fast cable modem can be. Later I expect to gaze in wonderment at how large a university library can be. Greg's sister Robin is at school at Cornell and we have come for a visit. She lives in this converted garage/carriage house that is outside of town on the site of what used to be a wholesale nursery. The place is now just overgrown but you can go walking in the back woods and see rows and rows of really tall trees, organized by type, that used to be for sale and have now gone wild. It's really a lovely sight.
My Google Answers article, sort of predictably, had some repercussions at Google Central. I seem to have been relieved of my researcher duties. I wrote about it a bit over at librarian.net. Nothing horrible, just the standard breaches of contract perpetrated by large corporations, creating new rules to suit their whims. I was just a little disappointed because I liked Google, still do, mostly.
One of the things I do not like is Columbus Day.
§09oct02 . . . . . sucker
I don't mean to be unkind, but you really are a sucker if you have an oven and a pan and you still buy that lame-ass store bought granola. This recipe was Jim's originally, I have modified it.
Mix in a Bowl:
Mix in a Cup:
Greg and I have this new game. It's probably more fun in the country than in the city but it goes like this... one person thinks of a thing that can not be found locally, then the other person tries to guess where the nearest place is where that thing can be found. The thing can be prosaic or more interesting. So, for example, the nearest espresso to here is roughly 13 miles away, in Barre. The nearest public fax machine is eight miles away at the Yellow Store. The nearest elephant is most likely in the Boston area, at the Stoneham Zoo, but we can not be certain.
§07oct02 . . . . . class
Greg survived the LSAT. Since I tutored him and taught him all the special tricks to not lose your mind at standardized tests [hint: wear special underwear], he now has to teach me to program in php, the poor dear.
Cluster fly season appears to have ended, it's about 30 degrees tonight and I am hoping this kills them all. My father and Cindy are in town and we have been looking at leaves like tourists saying "do you think it's peak yet?" "is this peak?" "when is peak?"... questions that I haven't really had since I stopped doing acid, honestly. We went and watched them make cheese over at Cabot, looked at books & art, stuffed animals, bug art and snowflakes in Saint Johnsbury, and nearly drove into a flock of about thirty wild turkeys. It's been a nice series of days. We had friends up again this weekend and will most likely be hosting people the next few weekends if you have been bitten by the leaf bug or just want to sit around a woodstove for a chilly autumn evening.
The state park nearby has a trout fishing lake with a ranch house and they need a caretaking couple. I remember what happened before when I was half of a caretaking couple, but I think it may be time to try again. My resume doesn't exactly scream "I like cooking dinner for yuppies!" but perhaps I can work on my demeanor in the meantime. Wish me luck?
§02oct02 . . . . . the seige begins
Cluster fly season started yesterday. We woke up and our windows which might have a fly or two on them in the sunny mornings were now covered with ten or twenty. Each. On the one hand, it was nice to go sit out on the deck in the morning and have the birds fly all around your head, oblivious to your presence. On the other hand, knowing that they were doing this because they were picking insects out of the air by the dozens reduced the thrill somewhat. The little sticky tape ledges that we have affixed the the front windows have become buzzing walls of death. A brief trip down memory lane tells me that the flies are a bit early this year.
Peter came by this past weekend with some venison for the grill. We were halfway through it before he mentioned that it was a deer he had killed himself [with his car] and the first one he had ever gutted and skinned himself. It was a tasty meal, and moreso because it did not have all the factory-farming associated guilt I generally feel when I eat meat. Shopping at the co-op helps, reducing my meat intake has helped, reading Wendell Berry has helped.
We have some more folks coming up this weekend to look at the leaves. If you're in the area, do drop by. My article on working for Google Answers just got published by Searcher Magazine. It's a good read, if I do say so myself.