May 31, 2006

It's better to run to Toronto....

...darned if I know where that lyric is from; I seem to recall Grouch Marx singing this line on some recording or another. I'll research it.....

Arrived in country yesterday; Canadian customs was pretty chill, I ended up driving the last few hours of the journey, across the border. Exciting. We stopped by the client site yesterday for a quick walk-through; then off to the hotel and dinner.

Staying at a lovely Holiday Inn Select in Oakville. My "deluxe" room has a jacuzzi, which I doubt I will exercise unless today is particularly tough (not likely). Surprised to check in without presenting ID; George W Bush's Amerika must be rubbing off on me; I've gotten completely immune to the fact that we present ID at hotel check-in in the states.

We went out to dinner last night; my client has been to Toronto before and knew of a few places (which were closed or moved) but the last choice, Botanika down on Church street, was open and the meal was fabulous. Yum. So a little extra driving paid off in spades.

This morning, I actually unrolled my yoga mat and went through 30 minutes of postures - it was the first time I had really practiced solo. Fired up some Enya on the laptop, and I really got into it. Not a lot of formal, disciplined moves - some 1/2 suns, some Sun A's, some sun B's, a handful of lunge postures, some ab work, some backbends. But it was yoga - I mean, I was into it, I got into a flow, I had a nice small savasana. I even had little yoga smile going; as I was hearing the voices of my teachers in my head as I went through flow or held postures.

It was a treat to do that and realize I could get the yoga vibe going on my own. I need to dig up a few guided practices (audio only is fine) for the future....

Work today is mainly / mostly set-up - the meeting / broadcast is tomorrow. I do not get back until LATE tomorrow night.

My friend Dr. B just emailed; she is gonna be in Boston (long story, cancelled conference, visiting a friend) and so I might try to sneak up there over the weekend; but I have to work the Sun game on Saturday - so it might be hard to work it in....

Edit: Toronto Song, author still unknown, but I recall it from an album called An Evening with Groucho that I had as a child....

May 30, 2006

From the front stoop

I'm heading out to Canada this morning; 8:15 and waiting for my 8:00 am pick-up. So I am all packed, sitting on my front step to be ready to go as soon as my ride pulls up, on a beautiful Tuesday morning, and blogging via the wireless internet.

My cargo:

* Small suitcase
* Yoga mat (hey, ya never know when you want to throw down a few sun salutations; I am gonna miss yoga all week; might as well practice on my own)
* Briefcase with laptop (presently on my lap)
* Cloth bag full of travel junk - newspaper, granola bars, water, mints, CD's, cell charger for the car
* Purse
* Coffee (rather quickly disappearing)

The consummate road warrior, I

May 29, 2006

Holiday

Felt like a weird Sunday.

Jazzercise this morning. Then home where we planted the annuals and Zippy's cucumbers. Lot of digging and bending and weeding and stuff. A friend came over and we went biking up the canal path in Farmington. Then dinner at the Texas Steakhouse. Then off to the office to prep for my trip. Now back home. A client called up in a bit of a state - apparently some updates I did Friday inadvertantly overwrote some of the blogger based pages with old content. Stupid me. I knew that was an issue and I meant to republish and I forgot. All fixed now. But annoyingly dumb of me.

For some reason I thought we were leaving at 12 noon tomorrow, but I was probably confused with the Saturday WNBA call time - actually my day starts at 8 am. So no yoga tomorrow morning (was hoping to sneak in a session). Just as well, I'm kind of achey and tired.

If I was really dedicated I would invest in a DVD and practice on the road. At the very least I could roll through some sun salutations.

I'm in Canada (near Toronto, apparently) Tues / Wed / Thurs. Hold my calls. Actually, the cell phone ought to work; and email as well.

May 28, 2006

Sunday Haiku

Sun's caress, birds flirt
Bright hues hanging on the line
Train blares a warning

Out of Phase

MYA called this morning at 6:00 am to confirm plans for today.

She was just going to bed. I've been up since about 5 am.

May 27, 2006

CT Sun Lose to Detroit Shock in OT

Not an inspired performance. They came out slow, caught up slowly over the course of the game, and finally tied it up and went ahead in the 4th. The game was tied at regulation, on a Katie Smith three-pointer. OT was close, but it was not enough - the Shock beat them at the end.

My observations (for what they are worth):

* Margo sat most of the 2nd half, in foul trouble, and when she played she was a little flat
* Taj was also just a bit off - she was there but did not score consistently, and turned it over too often.
* Lindsey did not play an awful lot (20 minutes). Erin Phillips filled in and played really well but she missed a few of the important three-point shots that Lindsey tends to nail. Definitely a good Lindsey back-up, though - and an exciting player.
* Nykesha seemed to play well, but it was not enough

Just all in all not a great game.

I was totally swamped - showed up on site at noon and was flat-out until about 3:15 when we started the pre-game. Just a lot of beta tapes to digitize, content to generate, etc. Not even time for a meal at the luxurious MoSun employee cafe. Mucho gracias to the gloriously inked Kris for glomming a plate of food for me from the press area. And I am not just saying that cause of the tatts.....

Afterwards, I ended up dragging a ton of content off the local server and onto a portable drive; so that kept me there until 7:00 or so. So a lot longer and higher energy / pressure day than I normally have.

Shopping and Ice Cream and Sun

Zippy and I went over to Kohl's in Rocky Hill last night. We rarely shop (together or alone) so its a bit of a treat. She made out pretty well (two tops and a pair of shorts) - I got some things but a bit more pricey, and the primary goal (tops for production gigs / work) was not realized. Still, I picked up a cute ribbed tank top, some dockers, a skirt and a tank to go with it.

Afterwards, we stopped at Rita's which just opened up on the Silas Deane Highway. Amusingly, P (my Jazzercise instructor) was there with her husband and kidlet (both of whom I see at Jazzercise now and then) - they, on the other hand, got to meet Zippy. Who I introduced as "my partner" (thankfully not in her hearing, she hates the word). I've never been actually "in" at Jazzercise but now I guess I am officially "out". At least in one way.....

I am hitting Jazzercise this morning (and Monday morning, special Memorial Day class) and also yoga Sunday morning. So busy weekend, in terms of health. Today is a Connecticut Sun game - it's officially Faith and Family Day at the arena. Which is kind of odd / amusing; I mean (a) the arena is integrated with a casino, (b) the WNBA fan base is pretty womyn-heavy (acknowledged or not) and (c) something tells me the belief structure of the hosts (native americans) is not gonna be at the top of the chart in terms of faiths being recognized / honored. Just an unusual sort of promotion....seems frought with all sorts of potential marketing / PR problems.


Speaking of the Sun, mascot Blaze had a young apprentice, Flicker. She was trotted out in a gift wrapped box at the last home game. Blaze also seems to have his own logo / signature now, too:

Not sure I approve. I mean, Blaze has been a lovable, care-free, mischievous entity - he makes fun of refs, he rides around on a little scooter, he horns in on the guest performers. Kind of a Harpo Marx character. Now that he has a sidekick, he might be cast in a more parental role (Flicker gets to act out, Blaze has to rein her in). And with a signature, does this mean Blaze is signing checks and mortgage applications and stuff? Maybe they did some test marketing that showed kids were scared of Blaze, so Flicker (smaller, with a human face, and obviously cast as a younger and female character) might be less threatening. I dunno. We'll see how things develop this season.

I kind of had a crush on Blaze last season, but I think he grew up over the off-season.

May 26, 2006

Updated Jazzercise Map

Because I am in a sort of cleaning, organizing, filing, catching up kind of mood

I am sure I missed one or more locations; it all tends to blur together after a while.

May 25, 2006

Holiday Weekend

It's Memorial Day. Summer is upon us.

I was at a post office in Farmington today; an older gentleman was collecting money for AMVETS or DAV (red poppies.....?) so I gave a buck. Just to sit outside in the heat all dressed up earned the buck. And its a good reminder about Memorial Day. Lot more folks in need of remembrance this year than last year.....thanks to our little colonial adventure in Iraq.

We have no serious plans for the weekend. I work on Saturday. We're keeping an eye out for something to do on Sunday and Monday. Tomorrow, its work and yoga and dropping my car off to get the A/C looked at - its dead this summer; probably needs a recharge - and MYA was not happy to be riding in a sweaty car. (nor was I, but I usually don't wear makeup!)

Looks like I am heading to Canada next week for a production gig (Tues - Thurs) which should be semi-exciting. The not-so-semi-exciting part - we're driving (9 hours each way) and I suspect at least 50% of my official duties will be to take the wheel for part of the time, and keep my client awake the rest of the time. Which is OK - we're a full service organization! Have not been in Canada in ages....

Not much else to report. Zippy and I did a walk in a park in West Hartford (near the mall) this evening after dinner (Olive Garden, our first visit to the new one in Corbins Corner)

May 23, 2006

Heart of Gold - Neil Young / Jonathon Demme

Friends called up; en route to see Heart of Gold at Cinestudio. I went.

What a wonderful movie. I've been a Neil Young fan for eons - with a Neil Young songbook and a bunch of old records from the very start; my acoustic guitar playing is nothing if not inspired by / derivative of his. His new material from the album Prairie Wind, written and recorded as he was preparing for surgery to treat a brain aneurysm, was poignant - but even more so hearing his classics, sung from the perspective of far closer to the end of life than to the beginning.

So often he'd pull out a classic and there would be what can only be called foreshadowing in the lyrics. Old Man....Heart of Gold (and I'm getting old).....Comes a Time....the Old Laughing Lady....could she be time? It was a sweet movie, tender, but brave and strong. To see those old fingers and grey hair and wrinkled faces - up close and personal, pulling music out of the ether like the rest of us breath.

I thought of Warren Zevon, departed in 2003 (which seems so very recent to me). Mr. Zevon's last work The Wind was similarly conceived in the shadow of death, but seemed to vibe Dylan Thomas and
Do not go gentle into that good night, as much as anything - the bad boy of LA rock to the end. The songs on Prairie Wind seem like a good yoga pose - snuggling in to the end of life, getting comfortable, working the edges. Interesting that both albums contain the word wind.

Colin McEnroe has been writing of mortality of late; his recent blog post resonates as well, with this quote from E.M. Forster's A Room with a View:
We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness.

I thought of Warren Zevon. I thought of Pat Seremet. I thought of my father. I thought how blessed Neil Young was to go toe to toe with mortality, to survive, and to be wise enough to throw his own goodbye party / concert and to film it. May we all be so fortunate.

And then, may we all continue to rage against the machine.....

Going Postal - Part Deux

In a blog posting a few months back I mused about a postal worker going on a rampage. Today, looking around the USPS website looking for information on passports (Zippy is passport shopping, I have one, we dream of a trip to Ireland), I stumbled onto the Postal Service's Setting the Record Straight Page.

Apparently some marketing / PR type within the postal service has the job of combing the media for (mis)representations of the postal service and writing polite but firm letters. Which can be pretty amusing, really.

While there are the expected letters in response to editorials and news stories, there are also letters to TV show producers (House and Crossing Jordan in 2006, Law and Order, Las Vegas, Alias in 2005). Even the vaunted New York Times comes under fire for a January 9 puzzle, where the clue "Go Postal" led to the answer "snap"

Apparently the archives do not go back far enough or the scope of the mission was not so broad in the days of Cheers (Cliff Clavin) or Seinfeld (Newman) - either of those shows could have garnered an entire website of firm rebuttals.

Even Stan Simpson of the local Hartford Courant gets a letter

I'm just kind of speechless.

Senator, You're No Jack Kennedy

Senator, Treasury Secretary and rather infamous candidate for Vice President Lloyd Bentsen has passed away.

Clearly, one of the best and most memorable debate sound bites of all time; and surely Dan Quayle was the harbinger of more GOP mindlessness and ineptitude to come.

Only in America


MYA and I spend a lot of time at Asian Buffets. She's a somewhat fickle eater and it gives her some choices and options, and coming from a place of not always having a lot of food / choices, the buffet is pretty darn indulgent and luxurious. We went to one recently in Plainville that is on our "A" list; mainly because they make the sushi to order and she can get her salmon and cream cheese rolls freshly made and without the little cucumber or celery that she normally picks out.

Anyway, we were there on Sunday and it was hopping, and the specialty of the place seemed to be king crab legs. We watched a middle aged couple - the guy walks back from the buffet with a HEAPING plate of crab legs. I mean, this was a full size plate, piled maybe 6" - 8" high with crab legs, plops it on the table, and the couple begins to snarf. It was noticeable and amusing enough - practically Homeresque in the "gobs of food" comedy of the image.

So we laughed a little bit - about gluttony and spoiled americans and destroying the planet and all that. And a few minutes later, notice the guy walking back from the buffet WITH ANOTHER HUGE PLATE OF CRAB LEGS.

And this my friends, is why America Sucks. Because we lose all sense of perspective. Because a rare delicacy that, were we indigineous or non-technological people we might never see or get to taste, becomes an opportunity to engorge. Because if a little is good, a LOT if better. Because we can have ALL WE CAN EAT for $11.95, and because we feel a responsibility to get our money's worth and screw anyone else who might want some. Because two heaping plates of king crab legs is the same as a small percentage of the world's population sucking up most of the world's energy and natual resources.

Oh, I know I am as guilty as the next person - I am an American too - I have a house full of stuff and I drive my car a lot and I consume and generate garbage. But, I dunno, I feel as if I think about the global and planetary consequences when I consider a purchase. I drive an older car knowing that when I replace it, I consume a bit more of the planets metal and petroleum, and add a bit to the global garbage heap. I try a little.

I do not pile king crab legs 8" deep on a plate and call it dinner.

May 22, 2006

Dog's Are Watching Us.....

Thanks to Tom Smith for the lead....

You may have heard of the recent commencement speech furor generated by Jean Rohe, pre-butting John McCain, at the New School in New York. The link will lead you where you need to go....

Well, that's all well and good; I've liked McCain's independence in the past; I've found him to be not so independent in the present. Whatever.

The important story under the story is this: Ms. Rohe speech started with a stanza from the song "Living Planet" by Jay Mankita.

One of my all time favorite folk music lines of all time were also written by Mr. Mankita, in a parody of the song "From a Distance", called From a Dog's Stance
From a dog's stance, we are waitresses...
marching to the kitchen now.
Bringing bowls of food...Make that "people" food...
That's the stance of every dog.

Yep, that there is the best line ever written.

Bringing bowls of food...Make that "people" food...

BEST LINE EVER.

May 21, 2006

New Yoga Mat

Just got me a new yoga mat. I've been comparison shopping (i.e. - talking to people who have non-standard mats) and the Jade Harmony mat seems to be a good choice for the perspirationally blessed. That would be me. Some people have the grippy clothes they put over their mats, but the die-hards seem to prefer these; the natural rubber seems to be pretty darn sticky, and a lot of people have been raving around the studio. Time will tell.

Cedona Red, in case you care.

I am mat blessed; I have two jazzercise mats (one I keep at the jazzercise place, one I use in case I go to another location locally) and now three yoga mats. (I got a thin inexpensive one (red, color is important) to start; then upgraded about six months ago to a thicker, nicer one (teal) which is great on the feet but slippery when wet, er, sweat. I think I will keep the teal one to use for gentle classes and all level classes where I am less likely to soak the mat, and keep the new one for hot and power classes. The old red mat I may keep an eye out for a home for.....

One of the instructors quipped on Wednesday night that yoga used to be simple until it came to America. True - we have all these yoga toys - mats and straps and eye pillows and blocks and balls and......

And Weekend Updates

Weekend? What's that? Yesterday was Jazzercise and a longish work day (Noon to 9 pm, with an hour of driving on either end). Today is yoga and some chores, then playing a bit of soccer mom with MYA. Thursday and Friday were catch-up days from my trip to El Paso, and I am just now getting back into my groove.

On the work front, the Connecticut Sun beat the NY Liberty rather handily in the home opener. I was pleased to see Erin Phillips (31) made the team and is getting some minutes - she knocked down at least one impressive three pointer and did a good job with the ball. Also good to see Kelly Shuemacher (U-Conn alum, now with the Liberty). The work went pretty well - although I was flat-out - I walked in at noon to find a stack of beta tapes to digitize (18 cuts, all in all) - and I was pretty much sitting at the computer non-stop for 4 hours getting things ready. There were three "shows" going on - MSG was running a show (truck), WB20 was broadcasting (from in the control room) and I was running almost all of the video and slates for the arena (big screens). It was a BUSY place!

We went out this morning after yoga - bought some tomatoes and marigolds for the garden; and stopped by the big tag sale in Newington - got my sister some Peruvian silver jewelry from a woman who sells her family's work here. Nice!

Pat Seremet 1947-2006

Got up this morning to the news that Pat Seremet, the local celebrity reporter, has passed away.

Courant article here. Remembrances here. And an incredibly moving and gentle tribute here.

I've never had much contact with Pat, at least from the front. I've never been interesting enough for her to want to talk to me (imagine that, if only she had known), and I have carefully avoided her digital camera. Usually I have gotten to know her back as she seeks to interview people I am talking to. A friend was inadvertantly outed by her in Java (my friend's own dumb fault, EVERYONE knows you did not tell Pat anything you did not want published in the Courant.....) and on at least one occasion she got some public gruff for blowing pronouns with some trans friends who she mis-gendered in her column. But she was never deliberate or mean-spirited - we were there to relax and enjoy; she was there to work.

My last Pat sightings were (I think) at the National Writer's Workshop (she was getting ready to work the cocktail party, which I skipped) and also at the CARC Oscars Night party where she was interviewing folks as they came up the red carpet, in front of a camera broadcast on the big screens inside the room. I sneaked in the side door....the city of Hartford does not need my mug on the big screens. Before that, I had probably crossed paths with her at some Real Art Ways openings and creative cocktail hours.

She was indeed a fixture of the Hartford social landscape, and she will be missed. I imagine the next person to attempt to farm her patch of earth might have some different opportunities and experiences. Pat has been such a fixture that she was on everybody's radar - her mere presence on the scene changed the dynamics and energy. If Pat was there, it was AN EVENT. The Heisenberg Principle as applied to Society Page Reporter. At a certain point Pat became an integral part of the social scene she worked so hard to report on.

Damn, 35 years at one career, 25 years at the same newspaper. That's some hard work, dedication, and staying power.

Godspeed, Pat. I'll miss Java.

May 19, 2006

West...no East....I mean South....West

Around 3:30 this afternoon I started driving. West to Bristol to pick up MYA and her brother. East to West Hartford for dinner. East to Hartford to pick up Zippy.

Then east to Manchester to drop off MYA and her brother. South to Glastonbury for an evening of chanting and (attempted) harmonic singing.

After singing, west to Hartford to catch 84 then East to Manchester to pick up the kids. West to Hartford to drop off Zippy. West to Bristol to drop off MYA, her brother, and a friend at her house. East to Hartford. Where I am now.

I need a mini-van. And an unlimited gas credit card.

In the Ether

I finished up the big trip report last night - at 2:30 am. Ugh. But its done, pending comments and revisions.

I slept a bit late, but got up around 7:00 am anyways. Was on the fence about yoga - I stepped into the shower with my hair up (expecting not to wash it, thinking yoga-yes) then washed it (thinking yoga-no), and then put my duds on (back to yoga-yes). I got in to work and did a few things, the backlog looks manageable even with a yoga timeout, so yoga-yes. Leaving as soon as I blog....

In other news, my old desktop monitor was jittering when I got in this morning. It seems to have settled down, but I would not be surprised if it were departing. It's an old ACER, and I think its on it's 2nd or 3rd computer, so its probably due. Tiger Direct sent me "monitor special" email recently; so I ordered a new 17" LCD. I was tempted to order two monitors and a video card and set up a wall 'o puter - I certainly do enough online. Not this time.....

Off to yoga.

May 18, 2006

Up Late and Flustered

I pulled into the Jazzercise lot today at 5:45, totally forgetting that Tuesday and Thursday classes start at 5:30. Doh! I could have gone in but the parking lot was full and I would have had to mess around with shoes and stuff - I would have just ended up pulling something by jumping into the middle of class without stretching and warming up. So I punted....

Now I am up past my normal bed-time, trying to finish up a trip report I promised would be done today. I want to be sure this is in people's in box tomorrow first thing. So far I am done with Appendix A (power analyzer data, 18 pages) and am about 60% done with Appendix B (site photos and analysis, 8 pages) and then on to the actual trip report (maybe 25% complete so far)

Gonna be a longish night. I brewed up some leaded coffee. I hate to do this to myself, but my other client has 2-3 reports listed URGENT / ASAP which I really want to get out first thing tomorrow (plus, having missed Jazzercise, Hot Yoga is an imperative), so I want to finish this off tonight and start tomorrow with this off my plate.

GOOD BUY: Low Rates Guaranteed


I booked my hotel for the past trip through Yahoo Travel / Travelocity. I used the GOOD BUY: Low Rates Guaranteed feature - and got a $79.99 (plus tax) rate.

When I got to the hotel, I handed over a credit card for incidentals. I noticed via my online credit card account that I had been billed for the room again. This is not altogether unheard of; I'm always on the lookout for it. I tried to get it cleared upon checking out but the 5:30 am desk clerk was not able to do that - and suggested I follow-up with the manager via fax once I got home. I do not expect an issue....

HOWEVER, the rate I was double charged (as a walk-in) was $63.99 a night - a full $14 a night less than Yahoo Travel's LOW RATE GUARANTEED. Some Good Buy....

So I called (and faxed) Yahoo Travel to see what the Guarantee really means, and will report what if anything, they come back with here.....

In the future, I think I'll just call the hotel directly. Heh. Live and learn.

Which Side Are You On?

Driving by Data-Mail in Newington today, I noticed a couple of young men at the front gate - one held the flag of Puerto Rico, the other had a Dominican Republic flag draped on his shoulders and carries a small UAW flag.

At the other entrance, two women - one with an American flag, the other had a another flag (unidentified) and both carried posters. I beeped and waved. Go them. Apparently, the UAW is working to unionize the facility. A small tent with a UNION NOW banner was set up at the nearby Knights of Columbus parking lot.

I find the flags interesting. It's as if the recently energized immigrants rights movement is bleeding into other forms of activism - as if unionizing is a form of cultural pride. I often drive by the bus stop that brings workers to the facility, from Hartford and New Britain - and the workers seem a lot more diverse than the general Newington population. Obviously, those taking the bus to work are going to be a filtered sample of the worker population.

I'm always of mixed mind about unions, or any sinecure (tenure, unions, stagnant corporate management structures, or incumbant elected officials) since in my experience these sorts of organizations sometimes lead to embedded incompetence. My enlightened management side finds a union to be a failure of management - if management was really doing its job and taking care of the workers, well, the union would not be needed. But thats an optimistic and rose-colored-glasses view - few management structures would prove to be truly so progressive.

Anyway, if you are driving past Data-Mail, give 'em a beep and a wave.

May 17, 2006

Home Again

Not just the title of a 1914 Marx Brothers vaudeville act.

I made it back home with a minimum of complications. The Continental flights were on time, rental car and check-in and security were fine. In a moment of inspiration, I plopped down the bucks for a paperback copy of The DaVinci Code which I burned through on the flights home (the guy next to me commented as we rolled up to the gate "well, you finished your book")

Tonight has been somewhat mellow - I popped over to the studio for a gentle class, doing some small cleaning and organizing things. I cut the front lawn, I ran the pump to get the last of the standing water out. Now watching a little TV and more chores and waiting for Zippy to return from a day in NYC.

Tomorrow is gonna be pretty busy - a huge trip report from El Paso, a bunch of reports for another client, some errands. Friday and Saturday I am down at the casino (WNBA home opener) and Friday night is double duty - taking MYA and her bro to a movie night, and another chanting night. May is zooming by....

May 16, 2006

One More Dub....

Last night in El Paso. So far no sign of Minutemen or National Guard or cross-border uprising. My mission to get to the root of the "illegals" problem is a dismal failure. Kidding. It is kind of interesting to have Mexico in site pretty much all the time. I could see a certain kind of xenophobic attitude developing based only on proximity. Just very weird.

The trip has been a mixed bag. Workwise, we got to the root of the problem pretty quickly, but a 100% solution eludes and I suspect will require some major actions which may or may not be implemented. Lot of politics. My job: write up the trip report, which should take a few hours - lot of diagrams and measurements to get from my sketchpad to Word. I fly back tomorrow morning early.

I went to a local Jazzercise class; I am long overdue in updating my Jazzercise map:

Since it's last been update, I've been to classes in Sunnyvale, Chicago, and a bunch of other places. I'll have a hard time remembering them all, but I'll give it a shot....look for an update soon.

It was a pretty light crowd - just 6 students. A far cry from my 20-30 student classes in CT. Not the best class ever, but not bad. Better than sitting around the hotel room.

Bout it from here - my one television passion these days - House - is on, so I am off to enjoy!

Close But No Cigar

Out in El Paso. A long long day of work. Not a lot of sleep (I am sleeping poorly in the hotel, between the change in climate, the bed, the time change, and A/C). And after a good long day of investigations, some positive findings, and leaving the site thinking "things are fixed" I got a phone call - scans 9 and 10 aborted. 8 good ones in a row were a positive sign, and much better than in the past, but there are still issues.

So instead of a low pressure day of hanging out and babysitting, back into the muck and mire today. Probably not going to make too many changes or do more tests, but will be putting together a fairly long and expensive action list which is not going to make people happy. Ick.

I am still hoping to get to the local jazzercise class tonight, and will be winging back home tomorrow. But what a long and tiring trip....

May 15, 2006

Well, I'm here

Not a horrible trip, but lots of complications.

Continental flight out of Hartford was delayed. And delayed again. Then a power outage in Houston's tower. I got moved over to American flights through Dallas - leading to a walk from one end of Bradley Airport to the other. But the Continental agent kept my ticket folder, with my license and my baggage tags - and without ID, I was stuck - cound not go back to Continental gate, nor on to the American gate. So I waited and waited for another passenger to bring them over to the ticket counter. Said passenger took the folder to the American gate. Uhm, nice try, but its hard for me to get to the gate without the ID. Security, remember?

I finally got on the flight - I got my ticekt marked SPECIAL SCREENING and ended up going through a very thorough pat down and bag screening - before being reunited with my ID at the gate. After some delays on the Dallas to El Paso leg - I am finally here - checked in around midnight. Slowly winding down for bed.

The new (?) Airlink at DFW is pretty nice - a heck of a lot faster and seemingly more reliable than the old TrAAm.

May 14, 2006

Because This is What I Do II

Sitting at Bradley International Airport, I am pleased and amazed to find free WiFi. Dang! When did this happen? So the fact that my flight out to Houston is delayed is not too horrific; I have a bunch of little internet projects that will get done. Go me.

Today was kind of a sleeper. Hot yoga this morning; Ana Forrest is visiting the studio this weekend; but the only workshop I was really into (backs) was this afternoon. But there is a buzz about; she's big stuff in the yoga world. Next time she is through, perhaps I will be ready for her workshops - I still feel like I have lots and lots to learn. Pearls before swine and all that.

No issues with getting here - my luggage was not overweight (the tool case can exceed 50 pounds if I pack it) - the gate agent watched me lift it onto the scake and commented that it would not be a problem (since I lifted it pretty easily), but it came in at 46 pounds. Butchy, me. Still, it was a kind of frantic packing and preparing kind of afternoon - purse, laptop, suitcase, tool case. Grab some files from the desktop, dump some inages off the digital camera, sync the PDA. That kind of stuff. I only regret not thinking to charge / bring my MP3 player.

Sitting in airports, getting online, doing some work, filling in the dead times with small projects and diversions. This is what I do.

Queer Prom Redux

I dragged my sorry rear end into the house at 1:00 a.m., tired and happy. And it was not even MY prom, for crying out loud.

I cannot say enough positive things about the HGLHC's Queer Prom, held last night at Charter Oak Cultural Center. Props to the Rainbow Room folks (and you know who you are) for a lot of hard work.

There were over 200 kids there. There was a diversity - races, cultures, classes, genders, identities. Goths and trans, butches and femmes. There was a remarkable representation from the suburban crowd (in Hartford, even). There was a DJ struggling to balance musical tastes (and mostly, succeeding, based on the screams of recognition at each new cut, and the packed dance floor) There was voguing, there was screaming as friends from across the state reunited, there were couples pairing up, holding hands, hanging out.

OK, true confession. I went to both my junior and senior proms - there are some fairly embarassing prom photos out there. I went with more or less convenient dates - unpaired friends from my social circles. Catholic school in the late 70's, we had no GLBT resources or recognition, and we queer kids (regardless of our self identification or self awareness at the time) either found someone convenient to go with or were left out. So while I spent some time at proms and high school dances, it was mostly as a spectator and an outsider - I had so little awareness of who I was or what I wanted, and whatever social roles and coupling opportunities were open to me felt stilted and awkward - like putting ones shoes on the wrong feet.

But the Queer Prom. Damn. Kids danced. They sat on the steps out front, talking. They hung out downstairs with the snacks and the art. They sat in the dark pews watching the merriment. The dance floor was packed and the rules were tossed - boys danced with boys, and with girls. Girls danced with girls, and boys. Gender was splashed all over the canvas - with a handful of obvious transkids, people on the butch / FTM boorderline, goth kids who were hitting androgyny hard. I watched a young butch woman in a suit and a fedora with a jaunty red feather get passed around (somewhat aggressively) by femme's vying for her attention.

I hung out with a few of my fellow mentors - all of us in some way wistfully thinking back to our own high school days, all of us watching our charges with pride and a little worry. These kids are so young and so vulnerable, yet so gloriously self aware and full of life. A good friend, R, was taking prom photos - she had a digital camera and a tripod, and all night, kids came up off the dance floor with a new friend or pack of friends, and posed. The kids can get a copy of the pictures for a couple of bucks at Rainbow Room. A keepsake that they can look back on when they are cynical and a little beaten down and wise and remember the glorious, passionate, beautiful kid they really are inside.

As I dropped MYA off at home last night, I watched her to the door. As she stepped inside, I could see her mom sitting on the couch, and I saw her break into a smile as her oldest child came home, safe and flushed with dancing and flirting. She had a cheap paper crown in her hand - how many transfolk will carry the memory of being named Prom Queen with them into adulthood? As I pulled away, tears came to my eyes - for one kid with a really hard and lonely life who had one night of joy. And as I write this, hours later, tears are flowing again - for the beauty that these kids are, for the future that they represent, for my own lost years, and for the privilege of being part of all this chaos and divine energy we call life.

Hey, HGLHC. You done good. Thanks.

May 13, 2006

Prom Night

MYA is visiting; she is getting ready for the GLBT youth prom this evening. I'm driving her, and maybe hanging around (if they need adults in charge / chaperones) or else I am gonna leave her there and come back later. One way, or another.....

Been a kind of weird weekend; torrential rain yesterday - lake of shining waters today. I've been clumping around in rubber boots to get the water out of the backyard (sump pump). Also hit jazzercise, stop and shop, and vegged out a bit before going to pick up MYA, and dinner at the fabulous Gold Roc.

Tomorrow: yoga, cleaning up around here, maybe going out for some more signatures for Ned Lamont, and then off to BDL for flights to El Paso.

May 12, 2006

Because That's What I Do

I had an "A-ha!" moment this afternoon.

A particularly tricky issue with a UPS and an MRI system is underway in TX. One of my clients is in the middle of it; and I have been on the periphery as the locals and the UPS folks have been trying (so far unsuccessfully) to resolve it. It's finally escalated to the point where I am getting the nod, and Sunday will find me winging to El Paso.

The afternoon has been a cacophany of activity - booking flights, arranging for a hotel and a rental car, fetching my tool crate and power analyzer from my storage room. I'm sending the power analyzer out via Fed Ex to avoid excess baggage costs. It's been a while since I've hit the road, so I unpacked and repacked my tool case; a large black rolling behemoth filled with small foam padded bags with all the gadgets and measureing tools of my craft.

It was while I was rolling the cases out of the storage hole that it hit me: This is what I do. And its been a long while since I've jumped on my horse, strapped on my spurs and six-shooter, and rode on out into the wild world.

It feels good to be back - this sort of travel, the challenge of a tricky problem, an unknown resolution, and the chance to figure it all out and maybe walk away a hero.

Bonus: with any luck, I'll be able to sneak in a Jazzercise class; I looked up a nearby class at 6:00 pm every night.

May 11, 2006

Live from New York

On the 20th floor banquet room of the St. Regis Hotel in NYC, you can grab some WIFI by standing in the far southeast corner of the room. And so, I come to you live from NYC.

I'm in the city for two days of powerpoint princess-ing; shepharding 8 hours worth of corporate powerpoint presentations. We're into presentation 6 of 19 and I am already looking for diversion. It's that kind of day. Just trying to stay awake; balancing hydration with the access to bathroom visits, wishing I had thought to fill my bag with emergency foodstuffs (granola bar, fruit, snackage) because the crew is not really getting fed. But mostly, trying to stay awake and alert, just in case the presenter bags himself.

HIMself. Not him/herself, not themself. 19 presenters. No women. One woman introduced the day (she had about 60 seconds of podium time). Some of my clients are more diverse - but this is engineering; and not sexy/fun engineering.

For the record, I did not stay at the St. Regis last night (too much gilt for my taste, truth be told) but I did lodge at the chic Parker Meridien a block away. Much closer to my taste - along the minimalist / modernish. Not that I could afford to stay at any of these were I actually paying the bills. But you know. The perks of being a freelance geekette.

Now if I can just stay awake until 5:00 pm.....

May 10, 2006

So Much To Do in New York.....

....with no money. Extra points if you get the reference.

I'm in the city this evening - came down for a corporate production gig. I'm staying the the Parker Meridien and working at the St. Regis - both exhorbitant lodgings in their separate ways. I actually dug into the minibar for $4 chocolate covered raisins (crew dinner was delicious but kind of thin over at the St. Regis) - I figured $4 snackage would prevent a costly room service binge.

Of course I am doing nothing fun - we worked until about 9:30, and need to be back on property at 7 am. No time for fun :(

But I am in New York....so I feel urban and sophisticated. Also my jaded cynicism plays as hopeful optimism and delight here.

I got some hot yoga in today. So now I am kind of running on fumes. A hot tub would really feel good. But I'll settle for a dog-free bed.....

May 09, 2006

Green Tea China Bistro

Zippy, MYA, and I had dinner tonight at Green Tea China Bistro, in Newington (Berlin Turnpike). It's been there for a while, in what was (I think) a Pizzeria Uno, and maybe something else in between. It's a pretty nice restaurant that I've been wanting to try for a while.

It struck me as a PF Chang wanna-be - without the larger than life decor. The food was really good, they had some nice martini's, and the prices very reasonable. While the interior has not changed all that much from the Pizzeria Uno days, the lighting was fresh and attractive, the place was clean and neat as a pin, and the staff extremely attentive and nice. Upscale chinese food vibe, family friendly prices.

Pretty light crowd for an early Tuesday; not sure if it picks up all that much later on or on weekends. A good selection of vegetarian food, the usual chinese menu favorites, the "lettuce wraps" and other nouveau appetizers (PF Chang inspired, no doubt). Rice choices were fried, white, and brown (nice alternaive) which Zippy said was great. We had Hot&Sour soup (very good) and Won Ton soup (looked a lot more interesting than the typical offerring of broth and 1-2 wontons, although I did not try it)

There is a bar and a table card with a selection of fancy martini's - lots of beer and wine to choose from as well. While we were there a few tables filled with families - seems like an OK place to take kids or a table full of coworkers for lunch or after work dinner.

We'll definitely be back - there were some really interesting entree's (e.g. - mango chicken) that I want to explore - and a separate Thai menu was handed to us as we sat down - not sure if thats a regular thing or a special on this particular evening.

Green Tea China Bistro - 150 Kitts Lane, Newington
860-878-6863

Serendipity All Over Again

Had another moment of serendipity this afternoon with MYA. Pulled up in front of her house behind a car with vanity plates - the license number seemed familiar. Not uncommon - there are a bunch of vanity plates I see as I move through my weekly routine that I always think I am seeing in multiple places. So I figured I had seen this car in front of the house before, or just thought I recalled the plates, or something.

When I walked into the living room however, there was a woman sitting on the floor, playing with MYA's young brother. I said hello to MYA's mom, who introduced me to the woman on the floor - who said "Oh, we've met". Turns out we used to go to Jazzercise together at Tikvoh Chadoshoh Synagogue - I used to stand right behind her most of the time. Small, small world.

I need a clone....

This is one of those days when I need a doppelganger or a stunt double.

* I'm in to work at 7, need to bang out a quick report.
* Yoga at 9:30, since I'll be out of town tomorrow and Thursday and I AM ADDICTED AND NEED MY FIX
* Quick home, change into un-yoga-ish clothes, then back to the office. One of my clients wants to do a conference call, which I need to try to squeeze in at some point.
* At noon, I am due in Manchester to pick up some stuff for MYA.
* Back to the office, a 1:00 pm appointment to walk a clients through email setup.
* Maybe the conf call will happen.
* At 3:15, I'm in Bristol to take MYA to an appointment. After that, dinner.

Zippy is the kind of person who puts one, maybe two things on her schedule, and calls it a day. I am the sort who works best with a tight schedule - like running an obstacle course.

May 08, 2006

Good thing you called....

A client called up today for an informal post-mortem on the game yesterday. In the course of the conversation, the fact that I have committed to doing a production gig in NYC on Wed / Thurs came up - I had completely forgotten - not sure if I wrote it own and it got erased, wrote it somewhere and did not put it on my calendar, or just plain forgot to write it down. (we definitely discussed it, I do rememeber that)

I had to call and cancel / reschedule some things - annoying. But nothing fatal. Uncharacteristically ditzy of me.

The Notorious Bettie Page

Great movie. They nailed the visuals. I loved the cinematography (I think they mixed archival footage with new footage dialed back to look old to get a sort of grainy B/W feel for the NYC shots, but mixed in color as well - perhaps cued from the ephemera (photos resulting from a particular scene or part of her life).

Remarkable how sympathetic and innocent / naive Ms. Page was (was portrayed?) by Gretchen Mol. She really got both the look and the "having fun" aspects of it all that seem to come through in Bettie Page's through-the-lens personna. Also fun - the portrayal of the photography buffs (kind of 50's geeks), the butch photographer (portrayed by Shelley Mars) and Bunny Yeager. Not being an aficianado of pin-ups or the history of erotica....its all kind of new to me and interesting....

Consolidation in Office Supplies

So somewhere along the line Viking (who send me office supplies quickly and at a good price, albeit with way too many catalogs in the mail) got bought out by Office Depot. And Reliable (more catalogs, but thinner) seems to have partnered with Office Max.

Side note - Office Max recently closed a nearby store, their 1Q2006 Financial Release reports:
During the first quarter of 2006, OfficeMax opened 6 new retail stores and closed 109 stores, ending the quarter with 867 retail stores compared with 940 stores at the end of the first quarter of 2005....during the first quarter of 2006 we closed 109 underperforming domestic superstores

So who is Staples gonna buy out / get bought by / merge with? Oh yeah - these folks. Since 1998, apparently.

But what about W.B. Mason?

Me, I just need to buy some printer ink.

Marketing Your Business

A free seminar at the University of Hartford on May 15th.

Seems like a good opportunity to network and schmooze....

Erin Phillips (31) - Connecticut Sun


Keep an eye on this one. The Connnecticut Sun have signed an Australian point guard, 5'7" Erin Phillips. She just seems like a sparkplug - at one point during yesterdays game she took it down the lane with authority (despite being only 5'7") and threw up an improbable but effective layup. A lot of confidence and talent. I'm excited to see her and Lindsay Whalen working together, as well as spelling each other.

The preseason game against the Detroit Shock was pretty much a snoozer. None of the Sun stars played - Whalen, Sales, Douglas, and a few others did not dress, Dydek and Taj have not yet joined the team. It was pretty much the second team vs. the Shock's regulars, so nobody was upset at the apparent second half rout.

My work, though a bit more involved this year, (I'm running the computer with a lot of the in-arena graphics and animations on the big screens) is still pretty relaxed during the actual playing minutes, although as the season progresses we'll probably be adding features and clips in the "get loud, get rowdy" vein. So I get to watch the games, albeit from a small room in the bowels of the arena. Last year it was mostly "stills" (kind of like PowerPoint) but this year most of the graphics are animated, plus I am running all the commercials (Contessa! For people who appreciate fine food!), the upcoming games and events trailers, as well as the little film clips they play to get the fans going. I'm getting some basic chops on the Adobe Premiere Pro editing system.

The big news this year is that a number of the games will be broadcast locally on WTXX (20) as well as WTIC (61) - two of those are home games (which impacts our work somewhat) and four of those are away games (which means I can further my nascent WNBA addiction). Other games are on ABC and ESPN2, but having ultra-double-secret basic cable (on-air, some news, and a couple of toss-ins, but no serious cable channels) I do not get to see the away games too often.

May 07, 2006

NoHo Pride

Spent much of the day yesterday at Northampton Pride. MYA wanted to go up. Zippy was doing some volunteer work on her own, and spent the day at a health convention / conference, so it was just me and my charge.

We took the back way up from Bristol (177 to 167 to 309 to 10 into NoHo) which took some time but was picturesque although it was kind of gray and rainy most of the way up. Missed the parade - but by the time we got there, it was sunny and warm - enough so that I was able to strip down to a cami top and get some sun. Freckle season is upon us.

Pride was, as usual, mixed. I saw a lot of old friends, and the usual pack. Caught up with my friend Jeep. Bought one of these tee shirts - ostensibly for the Zipster but we'll both end up wearing it. Or not. Hard to find the right social situation for a bold combination of political and queer outness. The two womyn selling said shirt were fun and yummy (and their little dog too, ensconced in a backpack). It was good marketing - I saw a bunch of said tee-shirts on hot people. So yeah. Took MYA to the Pride and Joy bookstore so she could experience it; she browsed and also bought a postcard (Warhol and Divine) for Zippy. Kind of fun to take her places like that; passing along the culture.

Met some new friends - shout out to G and friend? partner? spouse? who has already found my blog. Apparently a few carefully chosen keywords and the directive to "Google Me" is sufficient these days, despite my lower profile online, to find me. Although I am a lot less visible in some ways, the combination of a decades worth of online ranting and outness, and a reasonably integrated life makes me pretty easy to find. G had an email waiting for me by the time I got home, so ze (pronoun preference unexpressed; hate to assume, but if I had to guess I'd say androgyne in the Ari Kane and pre-transition Jude model) is clearly as neurotic as me in terms of email.

Also ran into PR, who purports to be a music manager, but her real vocation is rabid Connecticut Suns fan. The last two times I have crossed paths with her she was wearing a Suns tee shirt, and has season's tickets. Go her. I need to try to connect with her down at the arena just to say hello, but I'm usually pretty busy once the doors are open.

MYA had a good time, we ran into a bunch of people we knew from True Colors. Aside from her rather crass habit of asking people if they were members of the tribe (working on it) she was fine - she bummed around with a friend all day who lamented the fact that hanging out with her made people thing he was straight. Oh honey, not with the pink accoutrements and queer button laden hat.

Pride was moved to a parking lot this year - and although some were not happy with that, I thought it worked. It was kind of urban and compressed - instead of feeling rinky-dink like a festival gone to seed, it was a lot more vibrant. I ran into lots of friends, I saw more people, I listened to more music. I vote yes to the parking lot.

As always its kind of bittersweet. Walking alone through a space that I would rather be sharing with the Zipster is difficult. Zippy and I are not closely connected to any one specific sub-group in the GLBTIQ enclave; we cross a lot of boundaries and borders but are not really part of any one specific team. Part of that is being coupled. Part of that is my own journey. Part of that is being burned out. Part of that is being older.

May 06, 2006

Celebrity Sighting: Nykesha

In the MoSun garage. Not surprising; I am working with the team after all, but I rarely cross paths with the players in person.

She's just a wee bit taller than I so she was not particularly noticable; I sort of walked by her before it registered who she was. Which is noteworthy - you expect professional athletes to be larger than life and unusually / visibly gifted. So seeing her right in front of me and not all that different physically than me makes me appreciate her talent, drive, and hard work all the more - she is such a great player. Cause dammit I could never do 1/10th of what she does on the court. Yowsa.

I'm getting excited for seeing some WNBA games; kind of caught the bug last year.

Waterbury. Again. And Again. And Again.

OK, Waterbury is pretty much death to me. The purchase of a piece of property in that city, and the financial ruin* said property wrought on me, has soured me on the city. And the ongoing malfeasance of politicians and cronies from the brass city continues to rock our state. While I lived there, two mayors ended up in prison, and the downfall of our former governor (and a recent scandal in the judicial branch) all trace back to the Naugatuck Valley.

So when I read of CIA chief Porter Goss being forced out, amidst accustations of poor leadership and brain drain at the agency, and find out that he is a Waterbury native, why am I not surprised?

While I've seen no evidence that Goss is linked to the Rowland cabal (not that there is no link, just that its not evident to a layperson like me), it just makes you scratch your head. If Waterbury pops up on the CV of any prospective politician or government leader, methinks thats a good reason to pause, and perhaps do a bit of due diligence.

* As if to add insult to injury, the property, which I was happy to unload in 2002 at a 24K loss (I had been upside down in it for a decade, watched property values stagnate and slowly inch higher, could not refi a stupid ARM that slowly drove me into financial ruin, and finally abandoned ship when I moved in with Zippy in Hartford) is now valued about 50K higher than I paid for it in 1989. Ugh.

Naked to the World

I have come to use Computer Associates for virus protection - I find their software to be pretty transparent in terms of pop-ups, updates, etc. Set it and forget it. Other virus protection (MacAfee and Symantec) seems to be in your face a bit too much, slows things down, uses up resources.

Except, when the recent "your virus software is about to expire" pop-up came through and I re-licensed it for my laptop, the license code they sent did not work. I uninstalled the software, reinstalled it. Just sent message #2 to tech support (message #1 went unanswered other than an initial acknowledgement)

So now I have no (or compromised) virus protection. Grumble.

May 05, 2006

Friday Night Vinyasa

I've been down in Uncasville, doing prep work for the basketball season. Wednesday and Friday, both somewhate frustrating in a "hurry up and wait" kind of way - nothing seriously bad, just a lot of sitting there feeling kind of useless in between grinding away at prep work. Last season, my job was to pop still images up on a computer, this year, we're doing commercials, moving stills, and various bumpers and things from the same box. In some ways not greatly different, in other ways very different. Sunday is the first (pre-season) game which is sort of the shake-down for the process.

Zippy and MP are off to celtic music tonight. I did not know when I would get home so I did not plan to join them, but snuck home early enough for catch a 6 pm hot yoga class. Way different vibe - both internally and externally. My body is different in the evening, the energy is different, the class makeup is different. But I survived. ALl sweaty now - time for a shower. Maybe do some laundry, and relax a bit.....

I'm taking MYA up to NoHo Pride tomorrow, and the game on Sunday. Probably try to sneak Jazzercise in tomorrow, yoga on Sunday morning.

Writers and Readers


Buck and I went to the Writers and Readers evening at Real Art Ways last evening. Remarkably the web elves of Real Art Ways have already killed the webpage listing for this event, so no link. But Mommy has it cached and is a bit of a web elf herself so:

Interesting evening. I loved Rand Richards Cooper's stuff (his full name sounds like one of those complicated to pluralize titles, like Attorneys General, so he's Rand Cooper from here on in) - he read from an early journal (which he is working into a piece called the "Year of Eating Dangerously") and some other pieces. I like his writing style a lot; bonus points for being easy on the eyes and and ears. The ceremonial gustation of a cat figured in to his first piece, and there was a bit of a cat involved in the second author's piece as well, so I was thinking the theme should have been cats (as opposed to the official "nourishment")

Ann Hood - loved her style, was not a huge fan of the piece she chose to read. Do not know the name but it was about an older alcoholic woman run off with a younger minister intent on drying her out and falling for each other in the process. A lot of good stuff there-in (the minister reminds her of a childhood cat, continuing the feline sub-theme) but it was a more difficult story to hear - I was more intellectually engaged then sensuously or emotionally.

But Colin. He chose to read a chapter from an unpublished work written by a woman who had been in a writer's circle. If I were a good little reporter doo-bee I'd write the facts down, but I was in suck up energy mode. Reading this was a bold move and wonderful.

The reading itself was resonant - themes of breath and planting oneself in the earth (do I smell yoga?) and a cape cod cookout (nourishment). The protaganist (and the author) were dealing with breast cancer and aging (mortality). The scene - cape cod and a beach cookout - fulfilled the main theme (nourishmente) and reminded me of a similar "run away to the cape" story of a former spouse. (if it were published, I would buy it and send it as a gift) It was a delicious piece of prose.

But the meta discussion. Colin chose to read someone else's work rather than something he has written (and I am sure he could have dug up 3 or 4 of his own essays or pieces that would have fit the bill; it seems a theme he has touched on). Interesting - renewing my vision of him as a connector / conductor, a person who transfers energy. Thats me too, perhaps why I "get" him, and perhaps why we each get yoga. Connectors are so rarely grounded; the chance to be alone and in direct contact with the earth is precious. I find myself most effective when I am making connections and contacts, bringing people and ideas together. Connectors, like electrical conductors, need to be insulated to work well.

And the author. A woman who has unfortunately succumbed to the cancer she wrote of in her fiction. Her work was never published; Colin told the story of how he contacted the woman's daughter to get permission to read the piece, and how in talking, the daughter confessed to not having read her mother's life work. He commented on the fact that there were lots of wonderful authors out there who had never been published, whose voices would not be heard.

And it struck me that while Mr. Cooper and Ms. Hood are each accomplished writers and brought that to the space, Mr. McEnroe is working in a slightly different field. Writing, yes. Performance, yes. Artful networking, or social engineering, or something. My friend K came in after the reading, and I was bubbling over, there was a feel of having been a part of something special - something ephemeral and instinctual.
From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows? --Ernest Hemingway

Colin confessed to having lost touch with the writer's group after he stopped participating. Yet, he reached back through the years to snatch a bit of this woman's soul from the fire of obscurity, and toss her words onto the wall of art - to grant her a small piece of immortality. A room full of people heard her words read, and took them in, and made them a part of our being.

What a precious and thoughtful gift.

May 04, 2006

Sense of Belonging


Being self employed and a lifelong affiliate of sorority Gamma Delta Iota (i.e. - G*d D*amned Independents), its kind of nice to have an ID badge for something. (In this case one of my freelance gigs.

And doubly so when the picture is actually something I'm willing to show in public....no idea how that happened - I was not expecting to have my picture taken, had not showered, and was wearing the bare-ass minimum amount of makeup.

Even having a decent hair day; I particularly like the assymetry in front.

Spreading the Word...

Passed along from my pal Peter, who is playing Bass in this one, a message from Terry Rand:
It's been a long year of many changes for me....as most of you know!
I've been doing a few impromptu solo acoustic shows here and there... I've been locked in my room writing new songs....I've been working on starting a new career. But, now it's finally time to get back out there to play some rock n' roll!

I would like to invite you all out to an evening of fine food, drink and music hosted by the new and improved Terry Rand Band! We will be playing at La Boca Restaurant on Main St in Middletown, CT on June 3rd from 10pm - 1:30am.

We have been hard at work rehearsing and working out new songs and bringing the new members of the band up to speed. We have added a new drummer, Emmet Hale (formerly of The Neybas) and also my long time musical associate, Peter Anthony (formerly of Continental Drift) on bass guitar. As usual, joining me on stage will also be Rich Gordon (guitar) and Bob Bowmar (keyboard). This isn't going to be my usual acoustic based format of a show, though I will probably be tempted to play a few acoustic songs. I really hope you can all come out and join us and help celebrate this new band lineup which I just know you all will love! Invite your friends and family and help support your local music scene!

La Bocas is a fine Mexican restaurant so come early and have some dinner then join us in the bar for a few libations and some excellent rock n' roll!

Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you all there!

Sincerely, Terry Rand and The Terry Rand Band

May 03, 2006

Beltane

We went to a lovely evening of ritual, food and frolic - a small circle of women, some fire, some herbs, some candles, some libation. It was very nice.

In the small world department, Zippy's hypnotherapist / local queer community figure is usually a member of this circle (her partner usually leads things) but they were unable to attend last night. Somewhat thankfully; I had recently kind of snarked in that direction (rather inappropriately) over a support group, and gotten a "step back" letter in response. My bad..... I need to remember that I should just shut up and lay low in the community, the more I speak up, the more I muddy the waters.

Zippy got to meet my client (who convened things last night) which was fun (she's heard much about her over the years) and despite divides of age and privilege, we had a nice time. We did have a good discussion about "having it all" - in Zippy's eyes, these women have "had it all" - marriage, money, kids, career, and now, as they age, a sort of dykish womyn-community - and she sort of resented that. And I guess I was more circumspect about it - realizing that they have paid a price for what they have had, they have made certain decisions and taken on certain responsibilities.

I am OK moving through higher strata of wealth and privilege - I do it so often for work and my social worlds. It does not bother me to be around it, when needed I can buy into the club, and when I move through those worlds I do not feel the need to highlight my own financial situation, and am comfortable that I am bringing something of value into the space. Wealthy people often collect interesting friends....that would be me! Zipster has a harder time with that. Which is odd because she comes from a family of higher social standing and privilege than mine. I think my family upbringing was such that I learned to dress nice and be polite and try to fit in; not so much in a social climbing way, but more in a "try not to embarass us" kind of way.

Anyway, it was fun, perhaps we shall be invited back for the next sabbat....

May 02, 2006

Ferrets Gone Wild!

CASPER, Wyo. - Encouraged by the successful reintroduction of black-footed ferrets into central Wyoming's Shirley Basin, state wildlife managers plan to release more ferrets into the same area.

Story here

If you have a phobia regarding rodents running up your pant leg (which, so far as I know, remains unnamed), be very afraid.

Beltane + One

Zipster and I are attending a May Day / Beltane / Sabbat ritual this evening (one day late) with a client who practices wicca. Should be interesting on a lot of counts.

Part of me suspects this is just an excuse for the eomen to get together, relax, nosh, drink, although my client has confessed to being nervous about leading the ritual for the first time.

Ned Lamont

I've mentioned the Nedster's campaign here a few times. My support for Mr. Lamont has continued - with a donation, with public diplays of affection (i.e. - a bumper sticker) and now, with volunteering (petition signature canvassing)

It's not the first time I've supported alt.candidates - my very first presidential ballot was cast for John Anderson, I've supported Howard Dean and Nader / Laduke. But always, these were symbolic gestures - made in states where the national democratic candidate for president was a lock.

So, I'll be canvassing in the southwest corner of Hartford. I'm a political virgin, be gentle.

May 01, 2006

From Pain, Family

A really interesting article in yesterday's Hartford Courant, by TINA A. BROWN And ELIZABETH HAMILTON

Seeking stability amid the chaos, more poor women of color are turning to each other.

In Praise of the Divine Feminine

May has been a Goddess month for me. My catholic youth was filled with "Mary" - herself a heretical figure imposed by the vox populi on the patriarchy of "father, son, and holy ghost" (who herself, had a bit of a gender transfiguration to the more feminine "holy spirit")

Wikipedia suggests: The month may have been named for the Greek goddess Maia, who was identified with the Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, whose festival was held in May.

As one who dances at the interface of light/dark in terms of gender, well, Yay for May. Worship the goddess. Be fertile. Plant something. Notice all things green. Sink your hands into the mud. Feel the sun making love to the earth. Dance round the maypole.

Yum.