September 28, 2007

Heather Tiddens 2.0

What a difference a year makes. I was familiar with the Yin practice, so I knew what to expect. Many of the WHY teachers got on a bit of a Yin kick following last year's visit (or maybe Sarah Powers, I forget) but in any case, the Yin postures were less about fear and newness and more about settling in. More often than not, I was happy in the posture for the entire time; sometimes the times even seemed a bit short.

Who could imagine that with all the time spent in Yin practice, we'd still get a rigorous yang practice - and I'd leave my usual pool of sweat on the mat. There was still plenty of room for humility and room to grow, but it was nice to have my own answers in terms of props and padding (for the yin postures) - I seem to recall Heather spending some time with me last year propping and adjusting - this year I think I intuitively knew what to do if I needed to adapt postures. '

It was a wonderful practice on a lot of levels - deep, strong, and sweaty. My hips and pelvis feel like they came off a different car - a newer model with less miles on it, I think. Really open and yummy. We finished up with my favorite downwarard frog (which I have not done in ages) and even though I did not get my Sirsasana in, I was find without it. Just toasted perfectly!

Off to bed. Balloon fetching in the morning is a coin-toss, depending upon the winds....

Weekend Looming

Friday morning. I have a pile of work in the hopper, but some blog time while I am drinking coffee and listening to Elo whine about the bowl where the canteloupe used to be (Elo loves canteloupe). In a bit I'll get up and switch on Steve Theaker (FM on Toast / Mixed Grille) on WWUH 91.3. Let Zippy sleep in a bit before we start the music.

Yoga tonight. Tomorrow, Pipes in the Valley at Riverfront Park. Sunday, we're doing a Corn Maze with the True Colors mentoring program down in Middlefield at Lyman Orchards. An amazing website considering the agrarian nature of their business.

MYA has her first full weekend of work; I hope it goes well for her. She deserves some stability and success in her life. I wanted to try to get together with her for a late lunch and take her to work, but her phone was busy all night.....

I also have to believe that I'll be balloon chasing on one of the mornings (Saturday), and perhaps morning yoga on the other (Sunday). It's getting into that balloon chasing weather. I really need to revamp my balloonist's website; maybe if I get tired of electrical engineering today I will spend some time on it.....

Hard to believe we're saying goodbye to September; it's been so warm and humid this past week. The light says fall but the heat says summer.....

September 27, 2007

Heather Tiddens at WHY

I signed up for a workshop with Heather Tiddens for Friday evening, entitled Unlocking & Opening the Hips & Shoulders

I went to Heather's workshop last September, at which time I blogged:
Definitely a challenging practice for me, since I am not quite so flexible and fluid, but not so energetic and aerobic as some. Less sweat, more surrender and and some new concepts - Yin yoga, which is sort of a surrendering, not hot, do not force breath into ones body kind of practice. Apparently wonderful for loosening up the connective tissue. It was an evening of curiousity. And humility.

So it should be interesting to see how that changes - I am a much stronger and practiced yogi a year later but also I remain challenged by weight and flexibility.

September 26, 2007

A New Blog - Urban Compass

New to me, anyway. Heather Brandon blogs about the urban landscape in the Hartford-Springfield corridor. Somehow I ended up on her blogroll, so a reciprocal link is in order, n'est pas?

She's quite prolific, salts her blog with great photos, and has been blogging since May 2005. Also, anyone with The Caldor Rainbow on their blogroll is alrght by me..... I need to start adding interesting places to my own blogroll....

September 25, 2007

Cameo Appearance - WTNH News and Roadside Stories

Balloon flight this morning, with me in the air for a change. As was Bob Wilson, from WTNH (Channel 8) and the show Roadside Stories, along with his director of photography Mark Ciesinski. So look for your friendly neighborhood blogger / yoga addict / balloon chaser on WTNH news sometime in the next week or two, as well as on the Roadside Stories show (WCTX / MyTV9, Sundays @ 5:00 p.m.)

Robert Zirpolo explains inflation to Bob Wilson. "We do not BLOW UP the balloon, we INFLATE it"

A bit of a hazy day, but Hartford was visible in the distance - we flew from Panthorn Park in Southington, north and east to a neighborhood off the Chamberlain Highway.

Traffic tie-up? No, just an auto junkyard in Southington.

The balloon and basket shadow against a hillside. The foliage is mostly still green, with just an off splotch of color.

A tree farm on the back side of Meriden mountain.

This is about as close as I get to art, with the balloon reflected in the windshield of the chase vehicle. Note the vanity license plate.....

One last stand-up as the van drives away!

September 23, 2007

Ken Burns' The War: A Necessary War

Watched the first night. History learned: the significance of Bataan, Corrigador, and Guadalcanal. I love when history comes alive like that - my high school history teacher, Mr. Soliwada, made that happen like no person before or since.

Chilling moment for me - the Latino soldier who was part of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, who participated in Carlson's Long Patrol. Describing the success of what was basically a guerilla action, he comments that the Japanese armies confidence that they were a superior fighting force against the undisciplined US forces was a key to their downfall. And went on to describe a style of fighting that involved sneaking up behind enemy lines, striking a quick and unexpected blow, and disappearing back into the jungle.

Hope President Bush and the neo-cons are watching. Cause yanno, those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Except this time, we're not the guerilla force.

P.S. - I wish I had not caught wind of the Latino community complaints about under-representation and the fact that the series was editted to add Latino voices and stories. Because honestly, it's pretty evident where the editing was done: the stories are just not as compelling and it seems forced. You have four towns represented, and only one (Sacramento) seems to have had a large latino population. So there will, by nature of the work, be fewer voices. (I expect Waterbury to have a bit of an Italian slant, Mobile to deal with the racial issues)

I dunno. It's like hiring quotas. You have 'em in place and it begins to create a secondary level of racism, where one begins to look at targeted races or classes as being there not because of their skills or qualities, but because of their protected class status. There are other ways to work towards equality.

It hurts the series a bit, I think, because every latino story that is told will have me consciously or unconsciously evaluating it - was this really in the film or was it added later? Is this a story and a voice on a par with others, in terms of the information and emotional impact?

I just wish I had not picked up on that controversy......would have made my viewing experience a little more pure.

Anne Hungerford Yoga

A yoga teacher in New Preston, CT, Anne has a blog / website here. Surely our paths have crossed (she was at the Heather Tiddens workshop at WHY last spring that I went to), although I do not remember meeting or seeing her.

I really like the way she has a photo of herself in a particular asana and then writes about the posture - its meaning to her, some technical tips, some background or history. Neat!

Busy Busy Day

Starting with a hot air balloon chase, from Bristol down into Cheshire. Flicker photos here

Early morning take-off from Spring Street, on the Southington / Bristol town line

A mid-flight visit to friends in Southington, where we woke up Renee and her children!

Landing at a nursery in Cheshire, the bedding plant capital of the United States!

After the flight, breakfast at the Liberty Diner in Plainville. Then a quick run up to the WH Res for the Lupus Walk - Zippy was walking so I tagged along.

MYA and I were going to do a mentoring activity today, but she got another job and had to work this morning. So I have the afternoon off, and I'm gonna sneak over to the studio for community yoga.....

Edit: Back from community yoga. Not my usual practice time / space, but I missed my Sunday morning Hot Yoga and I have been sporadic for weeks now (travel and bronchitis). I practiced yesterday on my own, but its nice to get into the studio. Shankara was teaching (long time, no practice with) and my student teacher self was watching him teach as I practiced - he's such a delight with new students. Infectious enthusiasm. As for me, when he said "do some sort of inversion" I jumped at the chance to practice Sirsasana - I'm at the point where I can get up without the wall as a backstop and can balance away from the wall, but like to have the wall there, just in case. So I did a headstand while Shankara talked the class out of panic mode (shoulder stand prep) and then joined them in shoulder stand.

September 21, 2007

Lychee Wan - Bristol CT

MYA and I were driving around randomly, looking for a place for dinner, when we stumbled upon Lychee Wan in Bristol. It's on the corner of Broad Street and Emmett Street, former location of Cacti's. They have been open about a month.

Very impressive! It's Pan-Asian cuisine, with a smattering of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian. So there were soups, salads, curries - less of the usual Chinese restaurant fare, and more lighter and spicier. I had the Tofu Sambal - which was great - the tofu was fried crispy, almost like bacon, with zucchini, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and eggplant, and served up in a crispy bowl (sort of like a taco salad). I was breaking up the bowl to get the delicious sauce.

MYA had sesame chicken which was beautifully presented and also delicious. And there were so many dishes on the menu begging to be tried. They have not done a lot with the decor left over from Cacti although subtle lighting, table candles, and asian art goes a long way to making it nice inside, and it's all very tasteful. The menu is really well designed - somebody either is or hired a graphics artist! The business cards are equally well conceived; I'll scan one in for here next time I am at the office.....

The staff was very helpful and friendly, suggesting several dishes as we pondered the options. I suspect they might have been the owner Sam Xu and his mom....there is a nice piece from the Bristol Observer online here.

No liquor license (yet) so it's BYOB - but call to be sure.

Bottom Line: Bristol has a high quality asian restaurant that's fresh and interesting - definitely not your typical Chinese or Japanese fare. So give it a try - we'll definitely be back!

Lychee Wan 417 Broad Street Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 940-6369 / 6420

September 19, 2007

The Boss on October 2nd

My favorite hot air balloon pilot calls this morning to tell / remind me that "I have a ticket for you for the Springsteen concert on October 2nd"

Way the hell up in the rafters, but what the heck. It's Bruce.....I've been moved to tears from the far end of Giants Stadium in the a nosebleed seat at the Hartford Civic Center is not gonna kill me.....

Blogging from BDL (the crappy terminal)

In the old, and soon to be closed, B terminal at Bradley. WAY off my stride this morning; I drove into the Parking Garage (oops) so I just headed right to the exit and got out without a charge and drove around the loop to the B Terminal Lot. Then I got to the ticket counter and could not find my ID. (oops) - I left the terminal thinking I left it in another bag (from last week's Uberman event) but thought to double check my bag and it was in the bottom. Then all that excitement (plus a phone call) maed me forget to hit the ATM in the ticketing area, so I got through security with about $5 in my bag. Need to hit an ATM in St. Louis.

I am headed out for an unusual (for me) site visit - some instability problems with a voltage regulator and a CT Scanner - my customer is sending and engineer, the internal drive manufacturer is sending an engineer, plus myself (ostensibly looking for wiring or grounding problems) and the imaging company site engineer.

The good news - a direct flight from BDL to STL. No rental car on my end (my customer is driving). Probably a late night tonight, and bug out tomorrow, so a quick trip. No time to site see.....

September 18, 2007

Death of a Friend

We just got back from the vets; Zippy's longtime companion Melina, a 16 year old Aussie Cattle Dog, had to be put to sleep.

We're pretty weepy here....even though we know it was the right thing to do. She had cataracts and slowly went blind over the past 5-6 years; that slowed her down a lot. A few weeks ago, started to get incontinent and went off her food. We've been trying to feed her a special diet, then chicken, then Ensure....but she was not eating, nror drinking. She was getting dehydrated. It was time.

RIP Melina, you kept us safe and brought us much joy over the years. Join your long time rival Mauzie, and Nipsy. We'll all be there soon enough.

September 17, 2007

Crew Chaos

Ballooning on Sunday, with way too many crew persons. My pilot, BB (Balloon Boy), was out of action for the weekend following some knee surgery, so he ended up chasing. As did my frind Kristen, who brought a friend Karen. Meanwhile, substitute pilot S brought his own crew person Lisa. Plus me. Plus a passenger family member. That makes six in the chase crew - way too full a van! We flew out of Farmington, and landed near the Meriden-Wallingford-Cheshire town line, adjacent to the Meriden Airport (we were camped out there for a while, expecting a landing, but the winds pushed our balloon a little west of there)

Making an approach to Meriden-Wallingford Airport, from the North

WAY too many crew members, waiting for something to do

RZ waits and watches from an unusual place - normally we're waiting for him to land!

September 15, 2007

RIP Alex the Parrot

Alex the parrot has passed away. "Here was a bird that in many ways did better at language than chimps."

Odd coincidence; Zippy is reading Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, and as he's reading, I get little snippets, anecdotes, and comments - related to our dogs, dogs in general, an argument he had with his dad about animal intelligence, you name it. Just now, he started talking about a smart parrot. I recalled reading a story about a parrot that recently died. (Zippy avoids the media, so has not stumbled across the story yet) Of course its the same parrot.

Weird serendipity.

Some Balloon Pictures

Just messing around on Flickr, and finding hot air balloon pictures of the locals:

Heartlover1717 has pictures from TONS of local balloon fests....

Crazeebird has a set from Plainville 2007

Chionwolf was at Plainville in 2007 as well....

Sharon918 was there (Plainville) too

And someone named judebright has some Plainville 2003 shots as well as some non-festival shots from June 2007

Have We Gone Too Far?

.....about this whole thing about publishing sex offender names? Coming on top of the whole MS-NBC "To Catch a Predator" series, some other news items that have caught my eye.

Item #1
Father gets 9 months for killing molest suspect

Item #2
Police say girl not molested before father stabbed neighbor

Item #3
Neighbors Allegedly Torch Man's Home
Two of Chandler's neighbors decided to do something about it, police say. They're accused of trying to scare him off by setting fire to his tiny house tucked away in a hardscrabble Appalachian hollow.

Chandler, 53, escaped from the flames. But his wife was killed in what authorities are calling an example of vigilante justice.

Yeah, sex offenders are reprehensible. And notifying neighbors makes sense. But where to draw the line?

Save the Planet or Save a Life

Two alternate events today, if you are bored. This morning's rain and clouds are expected to burn off.

Earthdance is happening this evening at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity College. Be there on time, there is supposed to be a global OM at 7:00 p.m., I think. Earthdance website here, local information at the Green Vibration / Alchemy Juice Bar site.

A last minute email from the Mad Agnes crew (back from the UK) informs me of the Twin Angel Folk Festival in Southington this afternoon. The fest is a benefit for Twin Angel Foundation which works on education regarding Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), and performers include my faves Mad Agnes, Cliff Eberhardt (goodness its been eons!), and Chris Thompson, among others.

Bonus: This weekend is also the Strawberry Park Music and Dance Festival - and if folks like The Nields, Richard Shindell, The Kennedys, Lucy Kaplansky, Jonathon Edwards, Gandalf Murphy, and Chris Smither blow your dress up, it's the place to be today and tomorrow! A lot of the same talent as one see's at Falcon Ridge, but a smaller, more intimate festival (at least it was last year!)

Got the Blues

2007 CT Blues Society Blues Challenge Finals at the Hannon-Hatch VFW 83 South St. West Hartford on Saturday Sept 15th.

The Supertones 2:00 to 2:30
Johnny Feds and Da Bluez Boyz 2:45 to 3:15
Fade To Blues 3:30 to 4:00
Mike Crandall Band 4:15 to 4:45
Own Rendition 5:00 to 5:30
Ozzie Williams & The Marion St. Band 5:45 to 6:15
Special CTBS jam starting at 6:25

Mor info here

If the Zipster and I get moving today, you might find us there, it's right around the corner.....

Kirtan Redux

Kirtan last evening at WHY. I fell into bed and slept, but now I am buzzing and up early. My arms are achey, perhaps a result of a bit of drumming last night (uncharacteristic for me, I'm usually a guitar and bass only kinda girl)

It went really well - we had a good turnout, the spirit seemed to move, and the music seemed to go well. We missed Tom, our regular tabla player, but Craig and Virginia filled in with some new drums and an african drum chant by Babatunde Olatunji (also see Wikipedia) that was great - a little change is good in terms of finding empty spaces and growth. I ended up doing sound in Tom's place, so apologies for any audio affront. My new amp seemed to help a lot - giving the musicians (including me) a bit of a monitor effect, in the past, we did not hear the guitar and bass......

But well - wiped!

Some Friends

Because I was netsurfing this morning to find their email addy's, I give you Eland Ra Arts, Craig Norton Photography, and Playtivity.

The universe keeps sending people like this into my life, and yanno, I really ought to open myself up to these wondrous gifts....

September 13, 2007

Names and Dogs and Home

In "The World According to Garp", Garp spends some time going through the phone book, looking at jobs and careers he might enjoy. Fodder for his writing. I'm in the process of helping a client selling tickets to a holiday event, so I am seeing a lot of names. And it's been pretty fun just looking at the names - they are certainly diverse, eclectic, and fun.

As far as dogs, I got to meet two today - a smallish white something (that was not a pug) at the studio who was adorable and lovable (and who I told, sincerely, I want one just like you) and today at the office, a Welsh Springer Spaniel - I love Spaniels (general) and Springers (particular) - my longtime companion Nipsy was an English Springer Spaniel, and a Welsh Springer is close enough.

Busy night - I think I might end up at the CARC Uberman event tonight, and then off to a late kirtan practice in WH. Tomorrow - work, yoga (maybe), work, setting up for kirtan, work, and then home to get ready for kirtan.....

Today, I made it back to power yoga. Nykki noted my absense and said "Welcome home" before kind of catching herself and saying "Welcome back". She had it right the first time....good to be back on the mat.

A New Blog

For me, anyways. It's by Terrence McCarthy, titled The Web Town Observer.

I am lured over there now and then by his comments at Colin's blog. But it's time I started reading more regularly.

If only for the Springsteen video clips......

September 12, 2007

Hartford Mayoral Race

In purely statistical terms - the results were not all that unpredictable. The incumbent got 1/2 the vote and the challengers split the rest. The only plausible losing scenario for Perez is Minnie Gonzalez splitting off some of Perez's support - but unless the anti-Perez constituency settles on one candidate (and can generate some ideas and energy besides something other than "not Perez"), I fear more "divide and conquer" come November.

We got two personal calls from the Mayor this election season (one in response to a quality of life complaint, one to solicit our votes). And we've not been supporters in the past. As the incumbent, Mayor Perez certainly seems to have the political machine in place to rally the troops.....

We're a Feltman household here - Art's been our State Rep for a while and I like his politics as well as his fiscal restraint - his platform seems to be the most logical response to the the "anti-Perez" sentiment out there. Barrows (who actually stopped by the house and got an earful from Zippy) and Matthews had some good things but also some more problematic things in their campaign messages. But really, none of the candidates struck me as saying much more that "We are not Eddie Perez" and that's just not enough to build a coalition on.

We'll see in November, but I'm not holding my breath for anything more than another Perez term, unless something impeachable or indictable comes down the pike.....

Grammar Police

Word Usage Division. This morning on NPR, someone was describing the NYC Mayoral campaign between Dinkins and Guiliani, and commented that "In the past, winning the democratic primary in NYC was paramount to winning the election". I think it was someone involved with the Dinkins campaign, way back when.

I think he meant "tantamount"

September 11, 2007

Heart in my throat

As he does from time to time, Colin McEnroe reaches across the miles (he's on the cape at the moment) to dissolve me in a puddle of sadness, and thankfulness, and appreciation.

I spent a day last week with my mom - having dinner with her and her best friend, talking about nothing as I did some work and she watched television, spending a rare night under the same roof, and sharing a drive back from Philly to Hartford. Colin reminds me how blessed I am for those precious hours and minutes.

It was close to a decade ago that we thought we might lose her; Mom's complicated health problems were putting her in the hospital 2-3 times a year, and it seemed likely that a downward spiral might drag her under in not too many years. Not unlike watching Dad die slowly, as the heart attacks piled up and we stood by helplessly. Fortunately, her doctors got her stabilized, and she's been able to manage her health issues the past many years.

So yeah. September 11th. A day of atonement, of contemplation, of thoughtfulness. Colin puts it so beautifully. "We live inside flowers that sit on pads that float on the water that floats on the river bed that floats of the surface of the world that floats in space. None of it is permanent, and we would do well to see some beauty in that."

I have been blessed to have seen that, and felt that, and in my best moments I walk and think and act with that knowledge at my core. But I forget too soon. I am blessed to have people in my life to remind me, now and then.....

Bruce Springsteen - Magic

There once was a time when I camped out for Springsteen tickets, and waited outside the record store to be the first in line for a new release. Alas, we age - the boss is coming to Hartford and I did not get tickets (generally a bit pricey for me, and I figure if the universe wants me to go an opportunity will present itself)

I am also surprised to find (via the Dar List, of all places) that there is a new album due out on October 2, called Magic. More info here and you can download a free copy of the song Radio Nowhere here. It's an E Street Band backed track but it sure sounds different - kinda raw and garage band interesting to hear how the rest of the album sounds....

And, I will be kicked out of Springsteen heaven for this, but I swear if you play this track backwards, you will hear the riff from that Tommy Tutone classic 867-5309 (Jenny) - the chord progression just sounds really familiar but slightly off....

Audible Reality Overlap

There is an electrical contractor prowling the halls of the building; pulling some network cable for another tenant. He has something jangly on his belt - a ring of keys or allen wrenches perhaps.

But all I can think of is a native american dancer with anklet bells or perhaps a kirtan dancer with a chemise with I keep looking for someone a little more colorful and festive. Just the contractor, alas!

Rainy Day

It's nice to have the rain, today. It's a contrast to the crystal clear September 11 we had a year ago, and five years before that.

Rain seems more fitting somehow - mourning. Washing away the dust, the pain. Prepping the ground for new growth.

Come rain.

September 10, 2007

Friends of Alex Wilson

I wrote back in June about my second cousin, who was seriously wounded in Iraq.

Just a quick update. He's still in TX, recovering - it's a long process, and his family (his mom is my first cousin) has been back and forth to be with him. Another cousin has set up a website for him here: Friends of Alex Wilson - Alex posts periodic updates which are nice to read.

He's just one of the ten's of thousands seriously injured in the war, all deserving of our respect, support, and prayers.

September 09, 2007

$10 for Football Uniforms

Couple of kids came by today, selling discount cards for $10 for football uniforms for Hartford's Bulkeley High School. Apparently, the school budget is threatening to eliminate the football team, so they are working to earn some money for uniforms.

I bought one - $10 is a pretty cheap investment in keeping a bunch of Hartford teens in school, on the playing field, and off the streets. And mind you, I was the kid being stuffed into lockers by my high school football playing classmates, so I don't speak from a particularly nostalgic or romantic place regarding the sport. And I'm normally a huge critic of football in terms of sucking budget from other sports and other academic programs.

Anyway, its $10. Hope it helps a little....

Weekend Meandering

Sunday morning here, in the midst of a long and boring weekend. It's been pretty great end of summer weather, but Zippy and I are still sick, so we're laying balloon chasing (BB is in Europe) and no yoga (cause I do not want to infect others)

We went to a wedding yesterday; Zippy's friend L from the library. It was quite lovely - an outdoor ceremony that was mostly secular (with some Jewish touches, the groom is Jewish). Probably the first wedding I have been to with Zippy, and we were outsiders. I can at least play the wedding game, having been in one, and having been at many. But Zippy was pretty uncomfortable - not drinking, not dancing. We mostly sat at the table and talked to people.

I felt a bit underdressed, partly because I have gained weight this summer and some of my nicer things were a bit snug. And partly because I opted for more casual. Live and learn. It's definitely time to lose weight; I got on the scale at the doctors on Friday and was shocked. Ugh. At least going to regular yoga keeps me feeling OK, but the recent hiatus (work travel and illness) has me feeling pretty sluglike.

September 07, 2007


Unblogged so far: back on Tuesday as I boarded the 90 minute late Amtrak Vermonter, en route to Philadelphia, an unusual blip in the fabric of the universe.

I found my way to the Cafe Car (and the business class seats waiting in the front of same). I found a pair of empty seats and tossed my roller bag into the overhead rack. And as I am sitting, I make eye contact with the woman across the aisle, who coughs and says "Do I know you?"

Of course she did - my friend M from MHB (and who I have met twice in person, once in NYC and once in the Boston area) - en route home to NYC from visiting family in Vermont. We gabbed the entire trip from Hartford to Penn Station; she is an experienced train traveller so gave me the 4-1-1 on travel by rail.

Strange days, indeed.

September 06, 2007

Home Again

Mom and I made good time back from NJ / Philly - leaving at 9:00 a.m. and arriving home around 1:30, and that included a potty break, a gas break, and lunch at a diner in New Haven. We ended up missing NJ Turnpike Exit 11 (for the Garden State and the Tappen Zee Bridge) so braved the much feard (by Mom) GWB. Not too much traffic (even sans EZ-Pass) and then we took the Hutch and the Merritt (which Mom thought was pretty, and was actually a nice drive around noon with little traffic)

So, a safe trip back. Stopped by the house to say hello to Zippy, then to the train station to fetch my car, and then saw mom to I-84 East. Mission accomplished.

A little work this afternoon, and then home for dinner. We watched Mysterious Skin tonight (dark, triggering, excellent) - I'm slowly rolling independent films into our Netflix buffet. We need to use closed captions, I think, because the movie is punctuated by Zippy saing "What?" to an unheard line and me either repeating the line (with increasing emphasis as the movie goes on) or saying "I dunno....."

September 05, 2007

Pirated WiFi from Southampton NJ

Work done in Philly, visiting my mom's friend June. We're doing dinner tonight, sleeping, then heading back home (I'm driving mom as far as CT). June's got a neighbor with an open Wifi hub so internets here I come :)

The work went well today. Add Electro-Physiology to the list of medical equipment and procedures I'm glad to not have dealt with so far. Pretty impressive watching the team work on a patient as we watched to see the symptoms of the equipment problems.

September 04, 2007

Amtrak 1, Jude 1

Amtrak was 90 minutes late, so I did not roll into my hotel room until 10:00 p.m. Did I mention my client is picking me up in the lobby at 5:45 a.m. ?

On the other hand, I'm putting my rollaboard up in the rack, and getting situated in business class, and the person across the aisle asked "Do we know each other?" Of course we did - she frequents a message board we hang out on and we've met in person once in Boston and once in NYC. She was en route back to NYC from a family visit in Vermont. So from Hartford to NYC I had someone to gab with.

Still got some work done between NYC and Philly....but no need for all my boredome suppressants.

The universe is weird and wonderful, n'est pas?

Thinking in Pictures - Temple Grandin

My train reading. I picked up (3) books by Ms. Grandin at the suggestion of our couples counselor, who compared Zippy's need for a calm, controlled living environment to Ms. Grandin's work with autism. I left the others back at the house for Zippy.

I cannot tell you how much that concept / insight has helped me so far - it made me look at Zippy's energy and needs much differently. I guess I've always seen it as different than my own needs (and probably less good) - but really its just different without a value. And instead of trying to react to Zippy, I need to kind of work with him proactively to make our shared environment and my interactions with him less abrasive, less agitating.

Union Place - Hartford Wireless

Hey, free wireless at Union Place....just like at BDL. Pretty slick.

I'm en route to Philly, waiting for the Vermonter. I'm probably over prepared for the trip, with my laptop, MP3 player, a copy of today's Courant, the latest Hartford Business Journal, a book, and some trade magazines. Also an iced coffee and a subway veggie delight for supper - no idea what if any food is available on the train. Hoping that business class provides a power outlet and enough room to work; I have a bunch of reports to get out and emails to review.....

Here's hoping that the trip works out OK - I have a completely romantic and optimistic outlook on train travel.

September 03, 2007

Unconventional Travel

Business travel for me usually means (a) trekking up to BDL for a flight or (b) trekking over to the local rent-a-car place to pick up a more road-worthy vehicle.

Tomorrow, I head down to Philadelphia via Amtrak - the Vermonter which will whisk me in style (business class!) from Hartford to Philly. I'm working at the Hospital at the University of PA (walking distance from the train) and lodging at the local Sheraton (also walking distance). I'm pretty psyched that the train mode of transit works out so well; wish it did more often....

Working Wednesday, then heading over to NJ where my mom has been spending time with her friend - my mission is to drive her and her car home (or at least as far as CT) on Thursday - save her a few hours of driving; and nice to spend some time with mom.

Another client called Friday - looking to get me down to Baltimore this week. The have not committed so far (and it looks like it may be too late to organize something for Thursday) although maybe I can slip down on Southwest on Friday morning....and come back Friday night or Saturday morning.....

Photo of the Amtrak Vermonter glommed from Jeff Lubchanskey


We've been working up to this separate bedroom thing for a while. It makes a lot of sense, in a couple of different vectors.

One theme is around noise, clutter, chaos, and disorganization. I *thrive* on it! I work with talk radio (NPR mostly, with some leftist AM thrown in when available) buzzing int he background, I am not happy unless I have multiple projects running, I am almost never one to clean up my mess before I start the next one. Every so often the chaos builds up to the point where its debilitating, and I step back and clean, organize, purge, or whatever. But mostly, I am happy bouncing from thing to thing. I described it in therapy like a scene from the Spiderman 3 trailer (not that I've seen the movie) where the webslinger jumps from one piece of falling debris to another, moving towards his goal. That's my life. Probably seems like chaos from most perspectives, but from the right point of view - poetry!

And well, Zippy is not that kind of person. The Zipster likes calm and quiet - thumping car stereos irritate. As do ice cream trucks, motorized scooters, parties that spill outdoors - pretty much the summer urban landscape. Zippy's serenity extends to the house as well - liking things neat and organized - not fanatically clean, but not chaotic or messy either. So, as we shared the master bedroom, my side of the room was a constant irritant in the Zipster's psyche. In therapy, I began to see how the regular rhythms of my life were a drumbeat of annoyance for the Zipster.

On the other side of things, we've been struggling with the intimate parts of our lives. And while we are not shutting the door on those things, I've felt spurned too often, and felt like our mutual bed was a place of animosity and rejection. I need affection and intimacy, I have not been getting it, and my seeking it is has escalated our problems. So having a separate space means I have a place to recharge and refresh where I am not feeling like crap about myself. Tack in some recent discoveries (on my part) regarding polygamy and monogamy - I've always purported to be happily polygamous, but really, I'm a lot happier in a monogamous relationship, and Zippy is in a place of discovery and change that means I get hurt (if he explores), or he is left unfulfilled (if he remains monogamous with me). And while that's not changing, its easier to protect myself with a bit more space between us.

That being said, we're roommates with privileges. So I imagine we'll share our beds from time to time....

Other minor things - Zippy needs more sleep than I do, so when I come home late or wake early I disrupt sleep. Zippy likes a blowing fan in the summer; I get back and neck aches.

And finally, as I have been setting up my room, it strikes me that I have not really had my own space in years. I moved in with the Zipster in 2000. I moved into a house fully decorated with art - so I have interjected my personal stuff in the cracks - but have not really created my own space - colors, objects, art, passions. And it need not be said that I am a very different person in 2007 than I was in 2000 when I left my house in Waterbury. So its nice to have one room that is 100% me.....where I can put up yoga posters or curtains or whatever.....

So, its not such a bad thing. I think I'm gonna be a lot less irksome to the Zipster. I think we will be able to coexist more gently with each other. And we're still a team, and still in love.....

Unconventional, we have always been. And will, I imagine, remain.....

September 02, 2007

Amp'd Up

The upcoming kirtan has motivated some musical consumerism; I traded in an electric bass (and some $$$) for a new keyboard amplifier that will be just the ticket for replacing my homebuilt mixer.

Plusses: Four inputs (one a mic input), and extra aux input for a CD / MP3 player, an effects send (mostly reverb / delays), and line out feeds. Small enough (20" x 17" x 12" / 44 lbs) for me to heft to gigs. 180 Watts - way more than I'll need. A lot easier to set up, and I can use it as a monitor so I can hear myself.

So far so good - I've been practicing with it, and it helps a lot.


Big day today. Sad. Hopeful. Zippy and I have moved into separate bedrooms. We've been in the same room for 6+ years.

Not all bad, really. We've been at an impasse, relationship wise for a while now. And there have been many ongoing issues. Zippy is looking forward to having a Jude-free space (in terms of clutter and chaos), and I am realizing that it been a long time since I have had my own space. When I moved in with Zippy, the house was full of art; so I sort of filled in niches, but never had my own space.

So...a day of big change. It may be permanent, it may be temporary, or it may be a slightly different spin on what has been til now an unconventional relationship. We'll see....

Six Engines

At the far end of our street this morning. Woke us the heck up, so we went to see.

All fire trucks, no police, no ambulance. By the time I got there, it looked like an IAFF convention - lot of hanging out and talking, but nothing to see.

Will look for something in the news tomorrow.