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space... the final frontier

to boldly clean and organize where no one has cleaned or organized before...


I'm pleased to announce the archeological discovery of the floor of Dylan's room. It actually reaches all four walls which was, up until an hour ago, disputable.


And now... the newest addition -- another book case because there seem never to be enough of those.

It's back-to-school time, for those of you who may be confused about this post. New jeans, new backpack to replace the torn and dying one he used for the last two years, and the newly organized room which is, I am happy to report, surprisingly spacious.

The funny part was when I was sitting on his bed thinking to myself, "now he's got enough book shelves... what he really needs, though, is a desk... oh wait... the desk is what the massive, ancient computer monitor is sitting on. oh yeah. hmmm...." damned monitor takes up the whole desk, which is why they're called 'computer desks' and not 'writing desks' or 'thinking desks' or 'day-dreaming desks'. So I thought "maybe Dylan needs a smaller, newer computer in his room." I went through the various possibilities and then imagined the ramifications of Dylan having a newer computer in his room. I then realized that what really should happen is that the big old ugly massive computer and monitor should simply be gone and then he could use his desk as a desk for writing and thinking and dreaming. And we will do just fine with the one computer in the living room. (thank you, xomi). Less is better sometimes. But first I need to find out if he's weaned from the games that only work on that big massive ugly computer...

curses. foiled again.

it's fallen and i can't get out

I left work and drove to my house to eat the bagel that I didn't have a chance to eat at the office before going to pick up Dylan at camp. Leaving the house, I noticed that the clouds were particularly low in the sky. That worried me, after my experiences in Texas and Tennessee, but there wasn't much wind so I shrugged it off. Dylan's camp is only a half mile from our house but, since it looked like rain, I was driving. Because of the rain, camp had been moved to the high school, which is adjacent to the park where camp is held. With the rain imminent I parked right up close to the building and as I opened my door, swoosh -- lots of water poured down from the sky. I ran inside the school building and it was so dark I thought perhaps they had closed up early -- but no, their power had just gone out. I called Steven and collected both kiddos, since I was there and it was after 4 p.m., grabbed their gear and headed back out to the car.

I headed for Cottage St. by way of Williston Ave. -- no -- tree down, with power lines streaming around it, blocking the road. Turn around, head down Lake St.? no. Another tree blocking that road. I head up Bryan Ave. nope. There's a tree across that road too. Feeling confused, I pull over and read my trusty map. Kiss map. Head back down into park because the park is bordered by ball fields and ball fields have no trees to fall. This works, until I get to to Garfield Ave., which has tree across it too, but there's Ward Ave., which was our ticket out of there -- except that Ward is flooded and there are people standing in the street up to their knees in water. But I don't know how else to get out of that neighborhood. So we sit and I contemplate and I watch a minivan drive through it and I think, well, ok I'm game. I nervously get the car through the flooded area, feeling very lucky and I'm heading up Ward -- no, I'm not because there's a man with a walkie-talkie flagging me down and pointing at the -- oh yes -- tree down across Ward farther up ahead. At this point I yelled out an expletive and started to feel panicky. For me, feeling trapped has the unfortunate effect of causing panic attacks and I was definitely feeling trapped. I did some deep breathing, turned the car around to face the flooded area again (which produced another expletive from me), called Steven to let him know that I was still stuck in that same neighborhood, the kids were chattering in the backseat about my cussing and I drove into the flood zone. Made it through the knee-deep water (I thought the car was going to stall, certainly sounded like it, but it managed not to), but then the brakes didn't work for a few minutes because they were soaked through. At this point I considered parking the car and having us all walk home because home was tantalizingly close, but given the rain-swollen streets and the downed trees and power lines... I decided to stick with getting us home in the car. Started on our way again and headed back toward the camp and took the only road I had not yet tried (Taft) and *yay* we made it out to Park St. "Now," I'm saying to the kids, "we're home free". Oh no we're not. There are police cars and flashing lights on Park St. across the street from the Williston-Northampton school and the road is blocked. Turn around again, take another right off of Park St. Make it out to route 10. I'm certain we're on our way. We drive back into town, turn onto Union St., then turn onto Liberty (one street from my street) and -- gah! -- another tree across the road. Liberty St. is blocked so we turn around, back out to Union St., head down to Cottage St. We see that the tree and power lines are still blocking Williston Rd. as we pass by. We turn down Adams -- which is blocked by fire trucks, which I later heard had something to do with a lightning strike. Finally we drive over to Franklin and make it back to Everett and I was shaking pulling into my driveway, I was so glad to be home.

Two nights ago I had a dream about driving Daniel's VW bus and having an accident due to a downed tree covered in snow -- in the dream I got out of the bus and wound up flailing around in the tree branches trying to get out. Having had that dream made the situation more unnerving for me today because I kept feeling like I was in the dream -- like deja vu. Was not helping the panicky thing.

Since I got home I've been feeling out of it all night, ridiculously felt almost like crying though I didn't, now I just feel drained and want to sleep but I can't sleep so I thought maybe writing it down would get me settled so I can relax. It's weird because there was a time in my life when I would have thought of the whole experience as "fun" and an adventure. I guess I'm old now because it didn't feel that way today. I remember when hurricane Gloria went through Boston and I was nineteen and high and driving around with my housemate, Rob, and just being impressed by the wind and rain and tree limbs blowing around. Yep, I've become old and cautious. And, apparently, anxiety-prone. phew.

Dylan has a field trip tomorrow and it's getting late. will sip chamomile tea. will knead pillow. will zzzzz....

editted to add: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/08/region_battered_again_by_thund.html?category=Chicopee+category=Easthampton+category=Holyoke+category=Northampton+category=Southampton+category=Springfield+category=Weather

Writer's Block: Immigration

If you had to immigrate from your current home, where in the world would you choose to go?

Canada, southern Scotland, Ireland (near the Ring of Kerry), Northern England, Italy near Florence, Greece

architecture and nomenclature

I was reading an article about the new buildings in Beijing -- the new strange skyscrapers that look like Star Wars scenic leftovers -- and the architect's name started me giggling...

the architect's name is Koolhaas.

what a great name for an architect, eh?


The article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080720/wl_mcclatchy/2994196

leaves and breeze and blue sky, oh my

I heart the hammock in the backyard -- relieves stress almost as well as dark chocolate, maybe *as well*.

(just sharing that moment)


Birds at the feeder: House Sparrows (living in the eaves of the house next door -- these birds have it made), Starlings -- they have pretty iridescent feathers around their heads but they totally bogart the seed, Downy Woodpecker -- have only seen the Mrs. of the pair, she's a pretty one, and several White-Breasted Nuthatchs that I thought were Tufted Titmice but in fact were not.

I loved the chickadees at Sarah's house -- that was soooo sweet, feeding those wild birds from my hand -- it was a wonderful morning. And the turkey vultures with their porcupine... it's an interesting wild world.

Mar. 26th, 2008

freewill astrology: virgo

"...The meaning of everything can't be reduced to one number, or even to a single theory or ideology. In fact, the meaning of everything is just the opposite: It's glorious mystery. It's gorgeous, mind-teasing ambiguity and fertile, fascinating chaos. Get out there and enjoy the prodigious, kaleidoscopic truth! "

I like reading my horoscope when he writes them :)

Mar. 24th, 2008

dylan had his first boyish bodily damage today -- he was scootering with the other boys up and down the sidewalk and they ran into each other and dylan swept the pavement with his own face. ouch. big bloody scrape on his cheek that extends to under his nose. and his hand. and his knee.

he didn't cry though, which i thought was interesting. i would have cried. it looked painful. instead he was embarrassed -- i had to talk him into letting me clean him up. i got him a bag of frozen cranberries out of the freezer and pink panther cartoons on dvd and a bowl of strawberry ice cream. and two (kids strength) ibuprofen. his friend jack came in after a while too and dylan felt better in no time. he's gonna have a wicked shiner tomorrow though. sheesh.

i've been steeling myself for this part of mothering a boy. i wasn't even surprised. but now i need to make cranberry bread.


happy spring!

woo hoo!
The lives we lead, and the lives we wish we led.

This world, the so-called “real world,” is just a front. Pull back the curtain and you’ll see the libraries are all filled with runaways writing novels, the highways are humming with escapees and sympathizers, all the receptionists and sensible mothers are straining at the leash for a chance to show how alive they still are. . . and all that talk of practicality and responsibility is just threats and bluffing to keep us from reaching out our hands to find that heaven lies in reach before us.

You can taste it in the shock and roar of a first, unexpected kiss, or in the blood in your mouth that instant after an accident when you realize you’re still alive. It blows in the wind you feel on the rooftops of a really reckless night of adventure. You hear it in the magic of your favorite songs, how they lift and transport you in ways that no science or psychology could ever account for. It might be you’ve seen evidence of it scratched into bathroom walls in a code without a key, or you’ve been able to make out a pale reflection of it in the movies they make to keep us entertained. It’s in between the words when we speak of our desires and aspirations, still lurking somewhere beneath the limitations of being “practical” and “realistic.”

When poets and radicals stay up until sunrise, wracking their brains for the perfect sequence of words or deeds to fill hearts (or cities) with fire, they’re trying to find a hidden entrance to it. When children escape out the window to go wandering late at night, or freedom fighters search for a weakness in government fortifications, they’re trying to sneak into it—for they know better than us where the doors are hidden. When teenagers vandalize a billboard to provoke all-night chases with the police, or anarchists interrupt an orderly demonstration to smash the windows of a corporate chain store, they’re trying to storm its gates.

When you’re making love and you discover a new sensation or region of your lover’s body, and the two of you feel like explorers discovering a new part of the world on a par with a desert oasis or the coast of an unknown continent, as if you are the first ones to reach the north pole or the moon, you are charting its frontiers.

It’s not a safer place than this one—on the contrary, it is the sensation of danger there that brings us back to life: the feeling that for once, for one moment that seems to eclipse the past and future, there is something real at stake.

Maybe you stumbled into it by accident, once, amazed at what you found. The old world splintered behind and inside you, and no physician or metaphysician could put it back together again. Everything before became trivial, irrelevant, ridiculous as the horizons suddenly telescoped out around you and undreamt-of new paths offered themselves. And perhaps you swore that you would never return, that you would live out the rest of your life electrified by that urgency, in the thrill of discovery and transformation—but return you did.

Common sense dictates that this world can only be experienced temporarily, that it is just the shock of transition, and no more; but the myths we share around our fires tell a different story: we hear of women and men who stayed there for weeks, years, who never returned, who lived and died there as heroes. We know, because we feel it in that atavistic chamber of our hearts that holds the memory of freedom from a time before time, that this secret world is near, waiting for us. You can see it in the flash in our eyes, in the abandon of our dances and love affairs, in the protest or party that gets out of hand.

You’re not the only one trying to find it. We’re out here, too . . . some of us are even waiting there for you. And you should know that anything you’ve ever done or considered doing to get there is not crazy, but beautiful, noble, necessary.

Revolution is simply the idea we could enter that secret world and never return; or, better, that we could burn away this one, to reveal the one beneath entirely.

-repost this-