far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


Saturday, November 30, 2002

It started raining sometime during the afternoon so that the 8-10 inches of snow blanketing everything has begun getting more compact. (Perfect snowball material.) When I left the house this morning, the world was covered in thick, light snow, and between morning sunlight and the temperature floating up above freezing for the first time in a few days, the trees were shedding white material so that it came down like a second snowfall. Real pretty.

I've been deeply into travel prep., both actual prep. for the trip and also readying the house for a friend who'll be staying here, taking care of the place during the months I'll be in Madrid. Have been going since I got up this morning with the result that I'm right on schedule, I think, as far as preparations. This is good. Plenty left to do, though.

I'll be out of here tom'w a.m., won't touch down in Madrid until Tuesday sometime. Meaning that entries here will be spotty at best until mid-week.

To get an idea of the effect Madrid has on my writing, take a look at this journal's entries for the second half of July of this year, beginning with the 15th. Change is good.

Be well. Have a good few days.

***************************

No Comment:

From the News Quirks column ("Odd, strange, curious and weird but true news items from every corner of the globe") of Seven Days, a weekly alternative newspaper based in Burlington, VT:

"Weeks after introducing its newest planes, the $200 million Airbus A340-600, Virgin Airlines said it is having to replace plastic tables intended for changing diapers in its 'mother and baby room' because passengers have broken them while having sex on them. 'Those determined to join the Mile High Club will do so despite the lack of comforts,' a Virgin representative said."

rws 5:00 PM [+]

Friday, November 29, 2002

More snow came down overnight, an inch or two -- fresh, puffy and white, white, white. Light snow started up again within the last hour or two, gradually intensifying to where it's now a bona fide snowstorm. I need to head into Montpelier to get some things done. I went downstairs to move the car out of the garage, the door opener -- an old, tired model that's put in long, honorable service -- gave up the ghost. Had to unfasten the mechanism so the door can open and close, and will now have to add a trip to Sears to the errands in town.

This is why we have change: so our plans don't stay the same.

In 48 hours I'm out of here for the first leg of the return trip to Madrid. Suddenly I feel it looming.

Time to get busy.

***************************************

A quick nonsequitor:

"Smart chicks are so hot." -- Xander Harris

***************************************

Thought for the day:

Too much self-love will make you jealous of the people that envy you.




rws 11:11 AM [+]

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Man, it's been years since I've experienced a genuinely cold, wintry Thanksgiving. And snow -- I literally can't remember my last white Thanksgiving. The day slipped by at a startlingly rapid pace, in part due to lack-of-sleep bleariness on my part (getting to bed too damn late, getting up too damn early), and here I find myself at the end of it feeling the need to attempt a wrap-up of some kind.

Why? Well. A short time ago I watched Don't Look Back, the nearly free-form documentary filmed by D.A. Pennebaker during the course of Dylan's 1965 solo tour of England. An outrageously influential, iconic piece, which left me feeling a mix of emotions and thoughts that I'd be hard-pressed to express clearly. It's a bizarre work, a strange, slippery, powerful, exasperating bit of filmmaking, which somehow drew for me a starkly clear picture of the limited value of words. An odd place to be considering that I deal in words to an extent.

There is so much blabber in the film, and it never clarifies anything, at least to my eyes and ears. It deals in smoke and fog, in obfuscation and a sharply aggressive brand of elusiveness. Standing in drastic contrast to the words of Dylan's lyrics, which the film's brief concert segments showcase as potent, dynamic expressions of thought and emotion, expressing with a clarity that seems strange to me considering how dense those lyrics are, how excessively packed with words.

Blah blah blah. And right here, four miserable paragraphs into this entry, I find myelf hyperaware of my inability to express simply and clearly because I have to toss together a continually swelling accumulation of words, sentences, paragraphs to get at things having to do with feelings and perception, not with intellectual hooha.

I rely on my feelings more and more as this life of mine wears on, and I talk less. I trust my feelings. They lead me to clearer experience, clearer understanding, both nonverbal states that get served in pitiful fashion when I try to cram them into verbal form.

It's a curious, hilariously subjective thing, perception and all that. Example: take a look at some of the wildly varying takes on the film, beginning with the hyperlink in the second paragraph of this entry, and then here, here, here and here. The writers have distinct takes, all different in different ways and, apart from some factual goof-ups (i.e., Roger Ebert writes that "...Pennebaker's 1967 film... is a time capsule from the period when Sgt. Pepper was steamrolling Mr. Tambourine Man" -- the tour took place in '65; Sgt. Pepper didn't show up until two years later), who's to say that one is more valid than any of the others?

It's a provocative film of a provocative artist carrying on in messy, provocative ways. And provocative is good. Just uncomfortable at times.

******************

I've been thinking about this life of mine a lot lately, this being Thanksgiving and all, a good time to assess and appreciate. Which led me to a thought I've had before, one which might sound silly though it's true: I'm grateful to every person who has passed through my life. Every single one, whether they played a featured role, a supporting part or a cameo. They've all contributed to this wacky existence I've stumbled my way through, and it's been a great existence.

Hope you had a good holiday, whether you shared it with friends, family or no one but your worthy self.

rws 11:12 PM [+]

So who needs drugs when one has satellite TV? Especially now, when every other channel seems to be running marathons (Whose Line Is It Anyway, X-Files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek films, James Bond films, blahblahblah). All one has to do is turn the television on, settle down in a comfy chair and sink into a channel-surfing stupor. Which is kind of what I did for a while tonight, a while being somewhere around three hours. Which brings up the other use of satellite TV: time travel. You sit down, pick up the remote, next thing you know it's hours later. Creepy.

It's been snowing here for most of the last 48 hours. Lightly, most of the time, sometimes so lightly you have to step outside to get that there are actually snowflakes drifting down. The temperature hovered around 20 all day today, the sky was partly to mostly sunny most of the afternoon, the snow coming down anyway, at times heavily. Beautiful, really.

Christmas lights have slowly, quietly been appearing on more and more houses. The holiday season has crept in and made itself at home. In Montpelier, the streets have been adorned with strings of lights, every downtown pole wrapped with garlands of evergreen branches studded with bells. As I walked down Main Street yesterday, enjoying the cold weather and the holiday ambience, an attractive woman in business dress passed in the opposite direction, a Santa outfit folded neatly over one arm.

It's a sweet little town. Madrid may be a bit of an adjustment after these months in the north country. On the other hand, I'll get there just as the Christmas decorations are blossoming everywhere. Not bad timing.

Sunday morning I grab a bus down to Cambridge, Mass. to spend the night with friends. Monday night I board a plane to Europe. Tuesday morning I'll be back in the Spanish capital. The days are slipping quickly by, and I'm feeling tremendous gratitude for being alive here in the middle of it all.

There is so much to be grateful for.

Have a fine Thanksgiving.

rws 12:36 AM [+]

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

To the north, the sky is a thick, uniform gray. To the south it lightens up near the horizon. To the north, snow is coming down, becoming heavier as it extends up the valley. Here around the house it falls lightly, gently -- to the south it appears to taper off. Snow's been coming and going all day, usually lightly, occasionally in squalls which move through with sudden bursts of intense snowfall, the flakes swirling with the breeze. Not much in the way of accumulation (which is just fine with me), but loads of atmosphere and great visuals.

It's a classically beautiful winter scene. The hills spread out arrayed in dull grays, browns, dark greens. Snow covers most of the open ground. Perfect holiday season conditions. Which brings me to my idea of holding Christmas early this year (see entry of 18 November). Or holding two Christmases. Or making it a two to three week affair. The only fly in the ointment that I can think of is the deer season gunfire thing. Puts a teeny bit of a dent in the deckingthehalls/happyhappyjoyjoy/peaceonearth vibe, plus it could be distinctly hazardous to eight tiny reindeer. Holding off until December's a few days old and the hunters have all realized the season's over is an idea to consider.

Otherwise, yuletide-friendly weather like this doesn't come along every year and one never knows what kind of meteorological turns this wacky planet of ours may take, so it behooves us to think a bit, make a quick decision and seize the opportunity to maximize this god-given opportunity to celebrate the holidays when our little world (and I'm referring to Vermont here) actually looks like all the cheery snow-laden Christmas card images that we'll all be pelted with soon.

Or maybe I'll just do it on my own. I have a feeling the rest of the western world may not pay much attention to this brilliant idea I'm trying to foist off on it.

rws 3:54 PM [+]

Monday, November 25, 2002

So let’s see. Last Wednesday I ordered a few CDs from Half.com (now an e-bay fiefdom). Because Half.com is the strange place that it is, each CD turned out to be purchased from a different seller. So, fine. A bunch of CDs began making their way across this broad land of ours toward my mail box. Today – five days later! hot damn!– three of ‘em arrived. Brought ‘em inside, carefully opened the mailing pouches (thanks to my childhood indoctrination re: reusing mailing pouches that arrive in good condition). The first package turned out to be a CD by those Australian head cases, the Vines. "Highly Evolved" -- it’s playing right now in the background. Fine rock ‘n’ roll.

Whoever packaged the CD up wrapped it neatly up in a page from the September 19 issue of Rolling Stone. One side of the sheet: page 125. The other side: page 126. From the very rear section of the issue where the classified ads lurk. It’s been a while since I’ve perused an issue of RS, so I took a look at what they were pushing on their readers. Here’s what I found:

Page 125 consisted of:

– five (count ‘em – five) ads for outfits wanting to train me (or you) to be a recording engineer -- one promising "No experience required. On-the-job training in local major Recording Studios.... -- along with two ads from more ambitious, possibly more legitimate concerns offering a broader spectrum of training options (video production, radio production, digital media, computer animation, etc.)

– two ads aimed at college students – "Term Paper assistance – send for our free catalog listing 19,278 quality research papers...." and "University Degrees – You may qualify for a Bachelor’s Master’s or Ph.D. degree based on your life and work experience. Free confidential evaluations."

– one ad for the CIA – "Opportunities as diverse as the nation we serve. Challenges for a changing world."

– one ad promising the following (in LARGE LETTERS): "Increase Breast Size ... Guaranteed #1 Seller In America! Now she can increase her breast size with the #1 selling breast formula in America! Bloussant Breast Enhancing Tablets increases her breast size, firmness and fullness – naturally! An independent double blind clinical study states that ‘Breast volume, bustline, breast width, breast circumference and breast length were all significantly increased." The clinical study also showed an average increase of 2 cup sizes – and, in several participants, an increase of 3 cup sizes. No more artificial padding or expensive surgical implants. Get back the increased cleavage and gain back the firmness she had as a teenager. NOT available in stores!"

That’s page 125. Page 126 consisted of one half-page ad whose banner read "EXCLUSIVE Jenna Jameson Bobblehead plus FREE VHS or DVD Videos!", three classified ads for videos ("OSVS Bizarre Sex Videos!" "Topless Lolitas" "Traci Lords"), six ads that fell under the category of "Teledating" ("BI CURIOUS LOCALS! Live Male Phone Chat" "Casual Sex Dateline" "Sexy Girls Want It Now!") and a whole big bunch of ads for "Phone Entertainment." I have a vague memory of the days when "Phone Entertainment" meant calling random numbers and asking if their refrigerator was running (Punchline: "It is? You better go catch it!" followed by helpless snorts of teenage laughter). In this case it’s more along the lines of "1-800-WIFE-CHAT – Bored housewives love to be naughty" and "Hot Coeds" and "Horny Nasty Babes!" And then there’s the tried and true "FOR A GOOD TIME CALL MONA." And even one that says "Wild Sex Like The Rock Stars!"

Those rock stars -- ever the role models.

Did whoever wrapped my order use this page ‘cause they didn’t want to waste paper containing a readable article? And what’s with the bobblehead hooha – aren’t people tired of those things yet? How many recording engineers does the world need? And what kind of folks answer those phone sex ads?

The world is awash in mystery and unanswered questions.


rws 7:04 PM [+]

Just stumbled across a quirky, specialized blog -- GoogObits -- which describes itself as "Obituaries and essays augmented by Google searches." That may not sound compelling, but yesterday's entry turned out to be worth the time it took to read it. It begins: "Lynda Van Devanter, whose pained account of her life as an Army nurse in Vietnam focused attention on the burdens of American servicewomen in the war, died on Nov. 15 at her home in Herndon, Va. She was 55." Again, that may not sound wildly interesting, but it's only the intro -- the intro to a brief description of an unusual life.

Not your usual blog.

rws 11:08 AM [+]

Saturday, November 23, 2002

With Thanksgiving looming and me playing holiday music day and night, my thoughts have turned to big holiday meals. (Two contributing reasons for that line of thought: (1)I'm having company over tomorrow a.m. and will be baking a pumpkin pie (yes, a manly type like myself can pull together something like that); and (2) starting in a week and a half I'll be in Madrid for quite a while -- a place where it takes some work to track down Amurrican type holiday food, so I'm aware of what I won't have easy access to. Not that there's *anything* wrong with the local fare he reminded himself, moaning with food lust.) Therefore when I stopped in at foxvox.org today and saw the link to Eating Dangerously's Thanksgiving recipes, my salivary glands immediately hopped into a hyperactive state. A website, as it turns out, well worth a minute or more of your time.

They're not kidding re: the 'dangerously' part, by the way. Check out the recipe for Dangerously Deep Fried Turkey.

Dear god, just the thought of a table laden with beautifully prepared holiday food has my system in a state of longing that could result in some truly unfortunate bouts of shoveling chow into my system.


rws 3:19 PM [+]

Friday, November 22, 2002

Two days ago: The dawn brought a clear sky and brilliant sunshine (for a change) so that despite early-hours temperatures in the 'teens, the mercury shot well up into the 50s by midday. This with something like ten inches of snow on the ground, mind you. A big day for melting snow, water dripping from the eves, water streaming through the gutters and downspouts. Warm enough that the air was full with insects brought to sudden life. Warm enough that one could walk outside without a coat or vest or sweater or sweatshirt (though waterproof boots remained a must). By mid-afternoon, the snow on the ground had shrunk to less than half its morning depth, becoming soft and dense (perfect snowball material). With the accelerated melting and evaporation, vapor began rising from the earth, producing a thick, white mist that hung above the fields, still and quiet. Ghostly.

As the sun dipped behind the trees and daylight waned, the mist grew thicker, becoming fog that filled the air and lasted throughout the night. Rain started up yesterday morning, meaning hours of fog and rain. The fog eventually cleared up. For a while. This morning: no rain for the most part. Some fog. Later today: rain fell. The fog thickened.

Rain. Fog. Rain. Fog.

On the way back from Montpelier late yesterday a.m., I stopped in to say hello to Mo and Kay, my downhill neighbors. We're sitting around their small kitchen table marveling at the goofy weather, discussing this and that. Just after noon, there's a knock on the door and three people enter. Three salt-of-the-earth Vermonters, two men (mid-40s, late 20s), one woman (30-something). Local folk, probably lived here their whole lives, like Mo. Wearing bulky clothing, wool hats, big, clunky waterproof boots. Hands thick, reddish, the nails dirty. They had store-bought sandwiches and a bag or two of fried pork skins. They apparently weren't expecting to find a stranger there, their initial vibe toward me cautious and distant, almost suspicious. Mo introduced us all, they realized I was the person who lived up the hill across from the woods. Things relaxed a bit. I got up and pulled on my coat, the three new arrivals pulled up chairs around the table and sat down, stripping the plastic wrap from their sandwiches and digging in. The woman had roast beef on a roll, the meat as red and raw as I've ever seen. She pulled the bag of fried pork skins open, it made its way around the table.

Mo and I continued talking, mostly about the mess Goddard College has been in. The others talked between themselves. At some point, it became clear they were listening to Mo and myself. I mentioned what we were talking about, they all began contributing opinions. Goddard is in the neighboring town of Plainfield. The younger guy mentioned that a group of people had bought close to 100 acres in Plainfield and were planning on creating a community on the property, a communal mode of living, not seen here in many years. From there the conversation turned to hunting, the reason they were up here on the hill. It turns out I've seen them going by on the road on a daily basis this last week, one of them driving a massive pick-up with a snowmobile loaded in the rear. I'd waved, they'd waved back. Local courtesies. The older guy began talking about their plans for the afternoon: to go up on the hill behind Mo's place and spread out, the idea being to flush out deer, drive the game into the area between them all, then close in and bring one down.

I'm not a hunter. Their way of life isn't mine. But it's theirs, as it is for many local folk. They like it, they identify with it. It's something they grow up with, part of the fabric of their lives, part of the cycle of the seasons in these parts. Worthy of respectful interest, at minimum.

There was more talk, eventually I excused myself, said good-bye, headed back up the hill. I pulled up by my garage, was standing out in the snow looking off down the hill and up the valley when one of the hunters came out of Mo's place off down the hill, going to one of the parked cars. They got in and started it up, drove slowly up the hill, pulling over by the woods across the road, a couple of hundred feet away. The door opened, they got out and stood there pulling on gear, zipping up. I waved. No wave came in return. Could be they didn't see my gesture. Could be they didn't feel like responding. Could be something else. It felt, though, like the vibe I'd experienced when they first entered the kitchen, that standoffish you're-a-stranger thing, may have resurfaced. Or not. I can't say for sure.

The coming days may bring more encounters. I'll be curious to see what comes of them.

Meanwhile, the rain continues, as does the fog. The snow dwindles, patches of lawn slowly reappear. The forecast for tomorrow: colder temperatures/snow. Could be time to get the Christmas music cranking again, light a few candles to offset the chilly late November dark. We'll see.

Later.


rws 9:40 PM [+]

In keeping with the early holiday season mojo I've had going over the last week or so, the following arrived this morning in an e-mail from a loved one:

In case you are remotely interested in what two teenagers on the planet want for Xmas (my nephews... with a couple of asides from their mom).

Forrest’s Christmas List (age 13)
-- Hot Topic, Kohl’s or Best Buy Gift Cards
-- Paint Ball Gun & Paint balls
-- Zero gauge earrings
-- Fluorescent orange hair dye
-- Low cut white socks (lowest you can find)
-- Black belt (30 " or so)
-- White tank tops, white undershirts (adult small)
-- Korn or System of a Down Posters
-- Adidas soccer shorts (adult med.)
-- Soccer socks (black or red)
-- Black, blue, red gel pens
-- Rings ? silver (size 8?)
-- DVD’s The Pest, Queen of the Damned
-- Cell phone (yeah, right)
-- Good portable CD player
-- MONEY
-- LA Looks hair gel (strongest hold)
-- Black neck tie
-- Boxers (adult small)
-- Duct tape
-- Another black light (he has one already though)
-- Black light posters
-- Little red slider turtles (live ones)
-- Razors and shaving cream (he doesn’t need these..haha)
-- Stereo
-- Hackie sacks
-- Incense
-- Bottle of easy cheese (stocking thing)
-- Etnies Wallet
-- Bed Comforter (twin size ..heavy one)
-- Digital camera
-- Kicker ramp for skateboard
-- traffic light (Wal-Mart)
-- Beta fish [note: this must refer to a
Betta Splendens, also known as
Siamese Fighting Fish]
-- Tank for beta fish (small) ? kitty proof

Philip’s Christmas List (age 15)
-- Wizard or Dragon Pewter Statues (like you
can find at stores like The Unicorn)
-- CD’s: Any Korn, Rammstein, Slipknot, Ozzy,
Tool, Kidney Thieves
-- Reptile Stuff: Fake plants, vines, little houses
any decoration stuff for cages.
-- 60-100 watt UV light bulbs for cages
-- Book: The Wings of Merlin
-- Electric Hair Clippers
-- Any kind of books about Merlin, Celtic or
Druid Books
-- Black, Red and any kind of fluorescent paint
for walls (gallons)
-- gift cards to Best Buy, Hot Topic, Kohl’s or
any soccer store or pet store with reptile stuff
-- Black, red, yellow/gold soccer socks
-- Black curtains, black sheets (twin) and black
pillow cases
-- Posters: David Beckham (soccer player), Korn,
System of a Down, Tool, Slipknot, Static X, Flaw
-- Etnies bookbag
-- Digital Alarm Clock
-- 4 gage earrings
-- Colored sharpie markers
-- Any band above T-shirts
-- Cheap VCR
-- DVD remote for x-box
-- DVD’s: Queen of the Damned, Brotherhood of the
Wolf, Reign of Fire, MIBII, Super Troopers, The Pest,
Merlin, Joan of Arc
-- Bongo
-- Long Wallet Chain
-- MONEY
-- Picasso’s art work books


rws 2:22 PM [+]

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Going through old, old, old e-mail, I came across the following (author unknown):

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR DOGS

10. Thou shalt not act half-starved whenever thou watcheth me eat.
9. Thou shalt not lift they leg to water the Christmas tree.
8. Thou shalt not roll in any distressingly aromatic dead organic matter thou mayest find in the yard.
7. Thou shalt not lie down next to me and commence making licking and popping noises.
6. Thou shalt not treat my shoes like a chew toy.
5. Thou shalt not drink out of the toilet.
4. Thou shalt keep they nose out of the cat's litter box.
(4A. Thou shalt not WATCH or BOTHER the cat while she is in her litterbox.)
3. Thou shalt not pass gas in my presence and then leave the room as if thou hath been offended by me.
2. Remember that thou hath been neutered and do not run away from home in pursuit of a good time.
1. Thou shalt not sneak up on me and lick me in the mouth while I am sleeping.


rws 1:07 PM [+]

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

No meteors here last night due to overcast. (Sniffle.) Which is fine ‘cause way down deep inside, I wasn't too thrilled about dragging myself out of bed at 4 or 5 a.m. and going out into the glacially cold night to stand and stare up at the sky. With a playmate, maybe. On my own, not a hugely exciting prospect.

But the early-holiday-season mojo continues. More and more Christmas lights are appearing between here and Montpelier, and considering that recent weeks have been mostly gray and cold, strings of lights bring a cheery note to the days as they head into the darkest time of year, growing shorter with every 24 hour span. (Meanwhile, the big illuminated plastic Santa that I mentioned in the entry of 14 November is now lying flat on his back in the snow. Hitting the eggnog? Making snow angels? Decked by the big illuminated plastic Frosty the Snowman positioned to Santa's left? Don't know, but it's a disturbing image.) Inside the house here, I've got Christmas music going and Christmas candles burning. Silly? Perhaps. But it feels just fine. The days, for the most part, have been so dark – between that and the close to one foot of accumulated snow, I need a boost. The early holiday thing seems to be doing the job.

****************

An extremely cool news item tolen from Metafilter by way of foxvox.org: a small poetry magazine suddenly finds itself on the receiving end of a mammoth stroke of good fortune.

rws 7:02 PM [+]

Monday, November 18, 2002

A few timewasters, copped from Mike's List:

To make your own virtual graffitti on a virtual wall (and then mail it to a friend), go here.
To draw little pictures then post them online, go here.
To make your own fireworks, go here.

********************

It's continued snowing, getting heavier and wilder, the wind picking up, snow flying everywhere -- in swirling sheets before cold breezes, in huge, slow, majestic clouds across the valley to the north of here, obscuring the long arching lines of the hills. Tremendously beautiful, genuinely beautiful in a deep-winter-arriving-way-early kind of way. A kind of beauty that deals in transience, the scene up and down the valley constantly changing with the blowing snow and shifting light. The clouds overhead are whipping across across the sky, much faster than normal, bringing occasional glimpses of sun, bits of blue sky, sending patches of light and shadow undulating across the valley's slopes, visible through shifting curtains of driven snow. It's a powerful, primitive scene that feels a touch overwhelming to be out in, showing as clearly as it does how small we are before the force and scope of it all.

Someone should consider rescheduling Christmas, move it up to, say, this Thursday. Call off work for the week, give everyone 48 hours to get shopping out of the way, break out the decorations and carols, get on the horn and round up friends and loved ones for a major celebration, and savor a classically beautiful white yuletide. 'Cause it's as perfect as one could ask for, and we should take advantage of it. Run out and pick up bunches of groceries, pull together a huge, multi-course, sprawling meal, share it with people we love, and let the cold world outside put on a spectacular display.

I would enjoy that. And whether anyone take me up on the idea or not, I may have to break out some Christmas music and light a white candle or two. I'm not going to be here in December -- for the first time in this lifetime of mine I will be overseas for the holidays. It'll be lovely, I'm sure, but it'll be different. The world has provided the perfect surroundings for a fast, early bit of Christmas. I may have to indulge.

There's nearly a foot of snow on the ground. Time to head out into the weather and tramp around in it all before darkness falls.


rws 3:28 PM [+]

Yow! There's something like six inches of snow on the ground and it continues to fall steadily, though lightly.

It actually began sometime in the early hours on Sat., so that when I got out of bed a half inch to an inch lay over everything. It quickly turned to sleet, then rain, and remained so throughout yesterday, a day that turned out to be a good one to remain inside and hibernate. Last night, it reverted back to snow, and the world around here is now white and gray, with traces of deep evergreen peeking out from under snow-covered branches. Kind of mind-boggling, I think, given that Thanksgiving is still 10 days away.

Could be worse, though. South and east of here – in Maine, southern Vermont/N.H., Massachusetts – the conditions led to icing rather than snow. As in ice storms. I give groveling thanks to the universe at large for the relatively benign local conditions.

So there it is. November 18. One more pelting in the string of early-season peltings November has brought. Two weeks from tonight I'll be flying back to Madrid. Lovely, active, snow-free Madrid, city of tapas and, er, no snow.

Meanwhile, early feedback on the novel is good. Received one excited call from someone reading the manuscript, had to get them to wait until they'd actually finished the thing before they began unloading specific feedback on me. They'd apparently reached the end of chapter 7 when they picked up the phone. On an impulse, after the call I picked my copy and zipped through that chapter, which reads pretty well, though I found all sorts of small errors. How do I miss that stuff? I go through a chapter, it looks clean. I put it away for a few days. Next time I take a gander at it, I'm practically tripping over small, embarrassing typos and the like. (This is why people have editors. I need to get me one of them buggers.)

rws 11:14 AM [+]

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Saturday morning. Man, it's cold outside. Right now, 9:45 a.m., the temperature is about 21. Just went outside to put a letter in the box for pick-up and move some plant pots into the barn. Though I wore a big down coat, the cold air made my hands hurt and, despite a scarf, insinuated itself down the back of my neck (one of the disadvantages of a real short haircut). Two huge pick-up trucks cruised by on the gravel road, probably scouting around for likely deer-hunting spots. Which reminds me – all those mentions I made in earlier entries re: deer-hunting season being in full swing? They were wrong, at least for rifle hunting. That season starts today. Which raises the question: what's with all the rifle fire I've been hearing over the last few weeks? Answer: could have been for any number of reasons. Black Bear season's been in effect since the beginning of September. The seasons for hunting rabbit, gray squirrel and ruffled grouse are in effect. Could have been any of them. Me, I'm just an ignorant nonhunter, so I can't say for sure.

Another pick-up just drifted by, a big black one with silver trim.

It's a strange time of year, hunting season. Men with rifles everywhere, wearing camouflage outfits, driving huge pick-up trucks, big enough that they could almost be ocean-going vessels. The local macho equivalent of low-rider cars or hopped-up street rods -- enormous, beefy, wide-flanked vehicles whose exhaust may contain testosterone. One of Vermont's many quirks.

Two of the few residents of the neighborhood, Charlotte and Jody, just walked by out on the road, one of them wearing a luminescent orange vest, which brings up another strange aspect of hunting season: bullets flying everywhere make it a good idea to wear bright orange clothing so hunters won't be quite as likely to let loose in your direction.

Meanwhile, the deer, who were cavorting everywhere during the warm season, have wisely taken cover. The only one or two I've seen during the last few weeks – when bow hunting season was happening – did not linger in the open. They made tracks, running directly for cover. They may not be rocket scientists, but they're no dummies.

Another truck just drove slowly by, a red one.

Deer rifle-hunting season lasts 16 days. A good time to stay out of the woods, maybe rent a few videos or catch up on e-mail.

**************

To blow bubbles using Andie and Mike's bubble machine, go here.


rws 11:42 AM [+]

Friday, November 15, 2002

Ever since the time shifted from daylight savings to standard, I've been waking up around 4 or 5 a.m., resulting in nights of anywhere from 4-6 hours of sleep. Now, there are those who claim we can not only get by with substantially less than 8 hours worth, we can thrive on less. My body doesn't seem to agree with claims like that. And if I go for a stretch like this current one, with less than the preferred amount of snooze time night after night, it eventually begins showing up during my waking hours as bouts of irritability and crankiness, which means I begin cracking myself up on a regular basis. ‘Cause it just gets so silly. It's the equivalent of some internal portion of me stamping its little feet in frustration when things don't go just the way I want them, and we're mostly talking here about small, inconsequential, unimportant things, passing moments in which something in my little world doesn't cooperate, producing melodramatic responses which get mighty comical. Grumbling, gnashing of teeth, a heartfelt snarl. Funny, undignified stuff. And what else can one do but laugh when it starts up? It just gets so goofy. I am glad, however, that there are no videocams around the living space capturing any of these moments for the world at large to get a gander at.

Meanwhile, after some brief sunlight early this a.m., the day turned gray, becoming grayer and more ominous-looking as the day wore on. I went into Montpelier after noon for a session at the gym. When I stepped outside, post-workout, a cold breeze had started up, the sky hanging low and dark, spritzing rain. On the ride back out here, as the rain began evolving into something more serious than spritz, I saw a hitchhiker standing by the side of Route 14 in East Montpelier, thumb in the air, pack on the ground by his feet. I pulled over without even thinking about it, he ran to the car, threw his pack into the back seat, climbed into the seat next to me. And within 60 seconds I discovered why I haven't picked up a hitchhiker in a long, long, long time. ‘Cause I found myself trapped in my car with a guy who jwouldn't shut up. And he not only couldn't shut up, he wasn't what you would call a sympathetic character. Kind of a grating personality, actually. So that when I let him out of the car in East Calais village, I was glad to see him go. And then afterwards I was glad I'd had the experience, ‘cause it was over quickly and in retrospect almost everything about it cracked me up.

Honest to god – life: never-ending entertainment.

With my return to Madrid looming and the work on the novel done with, I'm now delving into tasks that need to be taken care of before I'm out of here. Including lining up Christmas gifts for my brother's family, since I won't be on this side of the Atlantic in December. And I'm happy to say that my Christmas shopping has been completely, er, wrapped up. Pretty simple this year – gifts for my brother and his family. That's it.

Simple is good.

And speaking of Christmas, I had my second sighting of Christmas decorations today -- strings of lights hung on the front and back porches of a house in Montpelier, all lit up. Though now that I think about it, they might be leftover Halloween decorations. Heavy on the orange. Orange and, er, violet, I think. Not what you'd call Christmas colors, really.

Bugger. Never mind.


rws 6:15 PM [+]

Thursday, November 14, 2002

OH, yeah. Much better. I've been liberated from an overabundance of hair -- hair that, the longer and more copious it grew, grew less mindful of my instructions re: how it should look -- and am once again looking devilishly debonair. Much better. (On the other hand, I take grateful satisaction in the fact that, unlike many members of the male persuasion, my hair has not thrown in the towel and continues to grow in overenthusiastic plentitude.)('Overenthusiastic plentitude' -- dear god, did I actually write that?)

Meanwhile, yesterday brought the season's first sighting of outdoor Christmas paraphernalia. A big, illuminated plastic Santa hanging out on a front lawn with a big, illuminated plastic snowman. Both looking excessively happy. And wny not? They're out of the closet (er, not that closet, Santa) early this year, in keeping with the early appearance of winter. Which actually has backed off, allowing autumn to reassert itself. Today was a beautiful November day -- sky blue, sun bright and hanging low in the sky. In Montpelier, autumn leaves blew cheerfully around the streets and sidewalks, no snow to be found anywhere. People walked about, enjoying the sunshine and the brisk air. Had me smiling.

The simple pleasures.

Speaking of which, I have a pint of Cherry Garcia to finish off.

Later.

****************

The morning started out thickly blanketed by fog, the sun slowly burning through. It's now a lovely mid-November a.m., quiet outside, less quiet inside where the stereo has been blaring for the past three or so hours (currently Jimmy Eat World; earlier Camarón de la Isla, the soundtrack to Monsoon Wedding).

Have essentially finished with the novel I've spent the last, er, five years (on and off) writing, and find I don't really know what the hell to do with myself right now. Which feels logical and is maybe right where I need to be. Some unfocused time would probably be good for me. Will be going into Montpelier for a shearing later on, since my hair has become long and unruly. Combine that with a bit of facial stubble and a glance in my direction could send children away screaming.

Made the hike into Montpelier yesterday evening to spend an hour in a Thai restaurant speaking Spanish with a local acquaintance who spent a couple of years living in South America a decade or two back. (Should I be worried about this pernicious multi-cultural thing I seem to have going?) Damn, it feels good to be speaking Spanish. English is an excellent language for the written word, but Spanish is much more fun to speak. (In my humble, ignorant opinion anyway.) Expressive and goofy. I'm looking forward to once again being where it's spoken all around me -- less than three weeks now.

************************

Something I stumbled upon during a bit of surfing this morning: for those into the art of Edward Hopper, a great place to spend a few minutes.

rws 11:46 AM [+]

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Mmmm... Cherry Garcia.


rws 10:58 PM [+]

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

No, I haven't been playing hookey -- I've been working on getting the last bits of the novel in readable shape so that I can mail them out today. Once that's done, I'll resume inflicting nonsense on whoever stumbles through this corner of cyberspace.

*************************

Yesterday morning: when I coaxed myself out of bed around 7, the outside temperature outside hovered around 58 degrees. A gray day, bizarrely mild for November. As I pulled clothes on, something outside caught my attention. Or rather, nothing caught my attention. As in the lack of something. Cranked the window open, what I heard was: nothing. No birdsong, no faint traffic sounds from Route 14 way down the hill. Apart from the sheerest whisper of a breeze against the window, nothing. The absence of noise.

The only other time I've experienced a lack of sound that complete -- outdoors, not in an acoustically manipulated room or enclosure -- was several years back in New Hampshire, during the time when I'd just begun thinking about shifting life from the city to the country. My friend Joe, a long-time resident of a small New Hampshire town, notified me he'd seen a listing for something like 100 acres for a good price, not far from where he lived. He knew where the land was, thought I should take a look at it. A few days later, I hopped onto the interstate north out of the Boston area and made tracks up to his place, a big old house on 90 acres of wooded land, on a dirt road well outside the little town in which he and his wife, Deb, live.

We got into Joe's car, he threaded his way through back roads, each more remote than the last until we were well down one narrow dirt road, past its single residence -– a backwoods special, with rusted cars and dead refrigerators strategically placed around house and property. Well away from any other humans. Until we came upon what was at that time the largest barn I'd ever seen, a mammoth structure put together by whoever had originally lived on and farmed that land, land now unoccupied for so long that had begun reclaiming its original wild state.

We got out of the car, investigated the barn -– a beautiful, gigantic building, built to last -– then walked away from the road and building, down the gentle slope of the land toward trees and wooded acreage. At some point we stopped walking, I took a moment to listen to the world around me, discovering: quiet. No sound. Not the faintest hint of people noise, no sounds from insects in the grass or local birds. Deathly calm, dead quiet. So quiet I wondered if something had gone wrong with my hearing until Joe started back toward the road and the sound of his passage through the grass gave my ears something to latch on to.

Without that ghost of a breeze, yesterday morning would have been just like that.

rws 12:59 PM [+]

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Outside it looks and feels like April, or at least April's north country version -- snow melting, lawn gradually appearing, air mild enough that one can go outdoors without a jacket or down vest. When I stepped out the door this morning, the sound that greeted me was the burble of water from snow-melt dribbling through the downspouts. A cheery sound, that, despite the periodic punctuation of distant deer-hunting gunfire.

The downside of sudden faux spring snow melt: roads and parking lots that were hard packed dirt just 2-3 days ago have become expanses of water and mud. Messy.

With the onset of friendlier weather, I got the chance to do some pre-cold weather/pre-Madrid tasks the early winter made impossible, one being the reconstruction of a tiller that had been sitting lonely and forlorn in the garage. At least tossing it together to the point where I could haul it out and push it to the barn where it'll sit out the winter months. There's nothing like pushing/dragging heavy machinery up a couple of hundred feet of snow-covered, upsloping lawn. (On the other hand, it was nice to have the kind of weather that allowed me to drag heavy machinery around like that.)

Meanwhile, a loved one down in North Carolina has been keeping me posted re: events in the life of a friend of theirs, H. Because of all the rain some days back and the resultant softening of the ground, a big old oak tree in H.'s front yard toppled over, falling across the street so that a crew had to come out and cut it up and incurring unexpected expense. The following dispatch arrived today:

"I talked with H. today. He said the Stump Buster came. Said he looked like Jerry Garcia. Had a HUGE piece of equipment that cost him $200,000 but reduced this mammoth stump to sawdust which then got mixed in with soil to a depth of 2 feet, in about an hour and a half. H. said the equipment was lime green and mr. buster was color-coordinated in a lime green and bright yellow outfit right down to wearing bright yellow plastic sunglasses. Man, I'd love to have seen that!"

Me, too.

rws 6:40 PM [+]

Thursday, November 07, 2002

It's cold. Cold enough that the snow on the ground's not melting. It not only isn't melting, it's crusty and crunchy. It couldn't melt if it wanted to (without major assistance from hairdryer-wielding snow haters).

People are out cross-country skiing, things like that. It's winter. How the hell did that happen?

Today: a beautiful, sunlit day. Beautiful, sunny, but still winter. (And only November 7th, mind you.) This evening, when I left to go to a small event at a nearby village, a Maxield-Parrish-style crescent moon hung low above the western horizon. Below it, the remaining daylight leaked rapidly away. Above it, the sky was the dark, dark blue it gets just before evening gives way to night. A real New England winter evening.

This evening: clear and cold, the sky is covered with stars, the Milky Way streaming down the middle of them all.

Meanwhile, tht novel I began nearly five years ago? Finished it yesterday. Am still tweaking and massaging the last few pages, but that doesn't count. The bugger will soon be out the door, on the way to a few folks for reading/feedback. It's been a while since I finished a major project. I'm enjoying it.

Not much more to say right this nanosecond. (Lucky you.) Have a serious case of munchies which must be gratified.

Later.

rws 9:51 PM [+]

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Once again, it snowed all morning. Started sometime before daylight, continued without let-up, though at varying intensities. Right now there's anywhere from 2-4 inches on the ground, more in open sections, less near the house and trees. The view to the north has consisted of snow and mist all morning long, the mist sometimes pooling in lower areas, probably combining with wood smoke from the few local chimneys.

Snow and mist.

This is, I think, the earliest winter I've ever experienced. Not just the advancing cold season bringing spells of hard weather now and then, but the real item, settled in early and making its presence felt. The local weather folks claim things will ease up by the end of the week -- we'll see.

Meanwhile, between the weather and me focusing my days on wrapping up the novel I've been working on [see journal entries for May 24, June 15, 13 & 22 August], life here has narrowed down, gotten a bit insular. Hence my continuing amazed commentary on, er, the weather in recent entries. Boring, I know, but this is a lot of what recent existence here has consisted of. If the gray, snowy days don't ease up before I'm out of here on Dec. 1, I'll be extremely, wildly happy to find myself in Madrid again. Even happier than I would normally be, which is saying something. It gets cold there in December, but it's a kinder, gentler kind od winter. More reasonable, not given to inflicting days of snow on the locals. Not even given to the occasional day of snow. Unless you head north toward the Pyrenees – they get pelted plenty up there.

Later today I'll head out to Montpelier for an hour of Spanish conversation and Thai food. The change will feel just fine.

In the meantime, the hours coast by, the snow continues to fall.


rws 1:02 PM [+]

Monday, November 04, 2002

It's been snowing on and off here for most of the morning, coming down heavily during one hour-long stretch, completely wiping away the view up the valley. That let up around 10 a.m. Since then it's come down more lightly, no wind to speak of, small flakes descending slowly, gracefully. Not necessarily what I'm looking for on the 4th of November, but there it is outside all the windows anyway, pretty as all get-out.

Most of the cold weather prep. that had to be done outside, around the house and land, has been squared away. There were a few projects I would have undertaken had the weather remained a bit more user-friendly, but they can wait. (They'll have to.) Inside the house here, the coal stove in the basement has the living space nicely warm, extremely cozy. So cozy I found myself on the couch with a magazine in my lap about an hour ago, reading, snoozing. Just drifting, thoughts on nothing important. The kind of thing I haven't done in a long time. I've been working my adorable little keister off during recent weeks/months, between one thing and another. I'm feeling the need to let the pedal up from the metal a bit, so I'm doing just that.

It's a classic kind of set-up, really. The weather outside cold, wintry. Snow falling, sky uniformly gray, except for, now and then, a dim, blurry circle of subdued light where the sun hovers in the southern sky. A kind of weather that has a deep, stately beauty all its own. Add to that a comfortable, cold-proof living space to hang out in and the whole concept works nicely for me.

The single problem: my drive and ambitiousness tend to evaporate in this kind of setting. And what the hell -- this time of year is tailor-made for slowing down, for going inward. The world outside has gotten darker, the daylight hours getting shorter and shorter, the sun (when it's out) going down behind the trees to the west around 3:30. All the activity of the warm season is a memory. It's easy to curl up for a while.

Maybe I'll go do just that. May as well. The snow has started coming down heavily again. I look out the window, it gets kind of hypnotic. Why fight it?

Later.

*****************

And it is. Later, that is.

It snowed like hell all afternoon. And it is accumulating. This really has to stop.

*****************

Anyone who happens by this foolish journal and checks out an entry on the day it's been posted is reading first draft material. Sometimes that works out fine, other times less than fine. I'm not always my best editor when it comes to first draft material. Usually, though, within a day or two, I've returned to the entry and pummeled/massaged it into moderately acceptable shape, or have at least caught any flagrant misspellings, etc. Usually. Every now and then -- like today -- I'll stop by and take a look at an older entry. Sometimes the entry is fine, always a nice surprise. Sometimes it just needs some tweaking, which I can live with. Now and then -- like today -- it's just rife with disastrous writing, writing in need of immediate remedial work. (Pause for moment of cringing.) The entry of October 29 -- not a good example of my first draft work. Better now, though.

I've said this before and it remains true -- sometimes it's a good idea to let a day or two pass before wading through an entry here. Now and then they need time to ferment and mature.


rws 1:45 PM [+]

Sunday, November 03, 2002

I have the feeling that deer hunting season commenced today -- I walked outside about an hour ago, the hills were alive with the sound of gunshots. Don't think I'll be taking many walks in the woods in the coming days.

It's a beautiful early winter's Sunday, balancing out yesterday's nippy gray Saturday. Snow fell on and off during most of yesterday morning -- not my preferred early-November weather, but real damn pretty, with little accumulation. The nights here have been authentically cold, temperatures dropping to the mid-teens, the overnight temperature in the house also drifting down to genuinely cool levels. Which suits me just fine, actually -- I love sleeping under warm, thick covers, the air in the room nice and cool. I've gotten into a pattern of waking up on those cool mornings, pulling on warm clothes, heading downstairs to clean out the ashes from the previous day's coal fire, a process which would goes on for a bit as I sift through the ashes to take out the bits of unburned coal (the 'clinkers,' my downhill neighbor Mo calls 'em) and toss them back into the stove as a foundation for the coming day's load. Go outside, dump the ashes into a bucket, pick up some wood to start a fire with, build that, get it going. Once that's well underway and most of the wood's been reduced to embers, coal gets added, two or three shovelfuls at a time. Which gradually builds up a good bed of hot, cherry-red coals, the kind that gets the stove cranking out serious, concentrated heat.

Not as much fun as being able to walk outside into summer sunlight in shorts and t-shirt, but it'll do. It does feel good to head out into the cold for a while, then return to a warm living space, the northern Vermont landscape doing its thing outside every window.

And it's deer-hunting season. Not my kind of activity, but part of life's fabric up here. There have been one or two hunting seasons during the past few weeks, the more recent being deer bow-hunting season, nowhere near as popular or noisy as rifle season. And now everyone gets to bring their rifles everywhere they drive in the hope they'll stumble across some deer in a field. Trucks cruise slowly up and down country roads, looking for something legitimate to let loose a few shots at, the more serious hunters find a spot in the woods to settle down and wait for a likely source of meat (or antlers) to happen by. Me, I'll watch 'em all and write about 'em here.

And the days will roll on.

****************

Went to see a French film this afternoon, a kickass concoction called "Read My Lips." The scuttlebutt is that this film is already slated for an American remake. It's HIGHLY unlikely they'll improve on the original -- if you can check this one out, do it.

****************

Cribbed from www.foxvox.org (w/ thanks to Kristen):

"What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a Masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath."
-- Thomas Crum




rws 1:44 PM [+]

Saturday, November 02, 2002

So I rented an old Marx Brothers film, "Horsefeathers." Hadn't seen it since college and wanted a fix of cinematic anarchy. Yee-ha! The beginning of the film goes as follows:

The outgoing President of Huxley College addresses an auditorium filled with students. The Trustees of the College sit behind him, two rows of middle-aged academic men with black robes and four-corner caps.:

Outgoing President: ...and so in retiring as president of this college, it is indeed a painful task to bid you all good-bye.

And now, with the utmost pleasure, may I present to you the man who is to guide the destiny of this great institution, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff

(Applause. Wagstaff is seated at the side of the stage -- in shirtsleeves, his suspenders down --shaving, a lit cigar hanging from his mouth. He grabs his robe, moves quickly to the podium.)

O.P.: Professor, it is indeed an honor to welcome you to Huxley College.

Wagstaff: Never mind that – hold this coat. (Gives robe to O.P., who holds it while Wagstaff gets it on.)

O.P.: By the way, Professor, there is no smoking.

Wagstaff: That's what you say.

O.P.: (Trying again.) It would please the faculty if you would throw your cigar away.

Wagstaff: The faculty members might just as well keep their seats – there'll be no diving for this cigar.

(Wagstaff picks up the gavel, hammers for order.)

Members of the faculty, faculty members, students of Huxley and Huxley students – I guess that covers everything. Well, I thought my razor was dull until I heard his speech. And that reminds me of a story that's so dirty I'm ashamed to think of it myself.

As I look out over your eager faces, I can readily understand why this college is flat on its back. The last college I presided over, things were slightly different: I was flat on my back. Things kept going from bad to worse but we all put our shoulders to the wheel and it wasn't long before I was flat on my back again. Any questions? Any answers? (Breaks into song:) Any rags, any bones, any bottles today? Any rags.... (Stops singing.)

No doubt you would like to know why I'm here. I came into this college to get my son out of it. I remember the day he left to come here, a mere boy and a beardless youth. I kissed them both good-bye. By the way, where is my son? (Looks out over audience, addressed a female student in the first row:) Young lady, would you mind getting up so I can see the son rise? (She stands up, we see she's been sitting on the lap of Wagstaff's son (Zeppo Marx).) So, doing your homework at school, eh?

Zeppo: Hello, old timer!

O.P.: My dear professor, I'm sure the students would appreciate a brief outline of your plans for the future.

Wagstaff: What?

O.P. I said, the students would appreciate a brief outline of your plans for the future.

Wagstaff: You just said that. That's the trouble around here: talk, talk, talk. (Adopting a melodramatic pose:) Oh, sometimes I think I must go mad. Where will it all end? What is it getting you? (Addresses O.P. more aggressively:) Why don't you go home to your wife? I'll tell you what, I'll go home to your wife and outside of the improvement she'll never know the difference. Pull over to the side of the road there and let me see your marriage license.

O.P. Professor Wagstaff, now that you have stepped into my shoes...

Wagstaff: Oh, is that what I stepped in -- I wondered what it was. If these are your shoes, the least you can do is have them cleaned.

O.P. (Forging ahead:) ...the trustees have a few suggestions they would like to submit to you.

Wagstaff: I think you know what the trustees can do with their suggestions.

(Begins song: "I'm Against It.")



rws 2:34 PM [+]

Friday, November 01, 2002

Last night: no trick-or-treaters. (Sniffle.) Not that I made it easy for them. Went out for most of the evening, driving through the early darkness into Montpelier around 6 p.m. to see a film. The town turned out to be hopping, way more active than your normal weekday evening. It's a funny place, Montpelier -- a small town (population: around 8,000) situated at just the right place (a junction of two rivers, essentially midway between Boston and Quebec, between the Maine/N.H. coast and Lake Champlain), that it wound up becoming the capital of the state. Because of that, the population doubles between 9 and 5 on weekdays as people roll in to work in government offices, one or two major insurance companies and a bunch of small businesses. After 5 p.m., everyone goes home, the town quiets down, by 6 most businesses have closed, most store windows are dark, the streets are generally quiet. Not the case last night -- plenty of traffic, people in make-up and/or costumes wandering about, grown-ups accompanying little ones in mostly homemade outfits on the quest for sugary ca-ca. Kind of nice.

The film: Lovely & Amazing. Lots of good, low-key acting, with a story that leans toward the depressing. Hmmmm.

Back home, no evidence that anyone had come around seeking ca-ca. Of course, while I was gone I left no outside lights on -- it's dark out here, so it's possible any potential sugar-seekers would have had real difficulty finding their way to one of the doors. Could be frustrating. I found no indication of thwarted sugar lust -- no eggs, no chalk, no toilet-papered house, nothing. It's probable no one made the attempt out here in the cold and dark of the hill.

The upshot: I now have a bowl of Reese's sticks that will slowly go stale, 'cause there's no way I'm eating all those buggers.

Meanwhile, it's snowing outside. Welcome to November.

Bleah. It's early. Time to pull myself together and head into town for the morning.

Later.

***********************

I got home last night around 8:30, in time to see the last 90 minutes of the original Twin Peaks film on TV. I'd forgotten how much fun that series was, and how far afield from the rest of the television programming of the time. A great synthesis of creepy, comic, dramatic, silly, surreal. Somewhere I have virtually all of it on videotape. I had, at some point, a copy of The Diary of Laura Palmer, which turned out to be so creepy I finally got rid of it. And I still have a cassette of the Dale Cooper tapes. I may have to hold my own mini-Twin-Peaks-Fest. Or not. We'll see.

***********************

The snow let up mid-morning, no accumulation. About fifteen minutes ago, snow showers approached down the valley to the north, blotting out the view as it came. When they hit, it snowed like hell for a while. No accumulation, but real damn pretty, just like the ride in to town this morning.

The view to the north has been mostly restored and is looking as alpine as one could ask -- low hanging clouds brushing the tops of the mountains, mist rising from the hollows between the ridges, some snow swirling around.

I have some trouble getting my teeny little brain around the concept of snow on November 1, but there it is.


rws 7:36 AM [+]

BLATHERINGS

August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





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