Sunday, May 24, 2020

Moon, Mercury, and Venus

I climbed the hill, camera and tripod in tow, to see what I could see Saturday night.  The late afternoon had gained a pall of overcast, and I figured it would be just my luck that an otherwise clear day would gauze over at sunset and hide the conjunction of inner planets and the moon Yet Another Night.

I crested the hill and ... nothing.  Some sanguine clouds hung in an otherwise featureless sky over the darkening hills of the southern end of the Willamette Valley. 

I scanned the skies and saw one of the thinnest crescent moons I've ever seen in my life:  a whisker thin bend a shade lighter than the darkening blue-beige sky. 

Finally!  I set up the tripod, and discovered the camera was loose.  I fiddled with the knob on the tripod that tightens the mounting screw--there was a snap, and the camera came off the tripod in my hands.  A small, rectangular plate was still attached to the screw, and there was a corresponding hole in the bottom of the camera's plastic body, through which I could see the barrel of the lens and sensor mechanism. 

I rested my hand on top of the tripod, focused the camera on the Moon, and took a photo.  The camera seemed to be working, even with a hole in it.  I took a few more photos, during which a smudge of a cloud moved and unveiled Venus.

I knew Mercury would be above Venus, and took a few more photos before locating it.  I figured that if I kept the shutter speed at or faster than 1/20th of a second, I'd be able to hold the camera steady enough for sharp pictures. 

I don't know what I'm going to do with the camera.  The plastic has fatigued around the metal socket where there mounting screw goes; obviously, the weight of the fully extended lens combined with me tightening the screw extra tight was too much for the plastic parts.  I've briefly read about camera clamp mounts, which might necessitate purchasing a whole new tripod.  For now, I've covered the hole with tape to keep out bugs, dirt, moisture, and hair. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Grey Cocooning

The sun is out for the moment, and I'm taking the opportunity to work outside while I can.

The last few days have been wearing--it's been very, very grey.  I don't mind the rain so much, but the grey, sunless skies add to the smothering sense of endless, identical quarantine days piled on top of each other.  Being unable to switch from working remotely on The Day Jobbe to a different hardware setup has made it difficult to write, and I find that my bedroom office furniture makes me sore after a few hours.  I never realized how comfortable and supportive my campus office chair was.

Also, when it's wet out, I can't sit outside with the laptop and write at Café John (as I am now).   I'm  less likely to physically leave the house, which, I've discovered, is problematic.  It was bad enough the other day that I was seriously contemplating which was worse:  staring into the void and having it stare back, or staring into the void and not caring if it stared back.

Mercury and Venus are within about a degree apart from each other in the sky.  I'm hoping to get a photograph of the event, but it's looking like the clouds are going to interfere.  The outlook is better for a few days later, when the new crescent Moon shows up in the evening sky next too them.  In lieu of astronomy photos, here's some flowers from various local yards.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Math Art

This is my take on Crockett Johnson's Square Root of 2.  (Apparently, not only did he write Harold and the Purple Crayon, but he was interested in math art.)

I wanted to see how different numbers and different scales would work out.  This is an exploration of the square root of 4, 9 and 16.  If you want to find the square of a number n, make a semicircle of diameter n+1; the length of the perpendicular from n to where it meets the arc of the semicircle will be the square root of n.  Somehow this is related to the Pythagorean Theorem, but I haven't quite figured that part out.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Notes On the 2020 Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature

The last week it has been rainy, and I haven't been taking too many photographs.

I had hoped that I would be able to photograph the Moon as it swung underneath Jupiter and Saturn, but the clouds did not cooperate, and the morning skies were only clear by the time the Moon was past Mars.

The rains also kept me from writing outside, which means I didn't get much writing done, period.  I'm also going to blame crazy pollen counts (and sinus headaches) for my lack of writing, too.  

I am slowly making progress on edits for a 7500 word story, so there's something.

Saturday, morning (8 AM PDT) I listened to Pembroke College’s Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature, which was an online symposium of previous speakers -- Kij Johnson (2013), Adam Roberts (2014), Lev Grossman (2015), Terri Windling (2016),  V.E. Schwab (2018), and  Rebecca F. Kuang (tba) -- discussing how science-fiction and fantasy literature respond to, and provide inspiration during, moments of despair and personal difficulty.

I'd hoped to be able to use Zoom to get in, but I was shunted to the YouTube channel.  The panel was like an excellent OryCon or NorWestCon panel.  I found the running chatter on the chat-bar distracting and had an open notepad over it.   At the end I found myself missing convention panels and the occasional meeting with the Wordos at the local bar and grill.

It was interesting to hear how the panelists' work styles were affected by the pandemic differently.  What I took away from that was that the pandemic was good for research; that the tension between the isolation of writing and the communicable quality of performance provides the creative force to write; and that--extroversion or introversion aside--what the writers missed were the social interactions story-telling needs to function: interaction with others refilled the well of creativity.

On writing crises, the consensus was that writers write crises anyway, and this was going to change the science fiction and fantasy literature in the same way Spanish Flu, the World Wars, the Vietnam War, 9-11, and climate change changed (and is changing) the literature of their times.   In terms of making a difference, the sense was, (borrowing from Dorothy Sayers' "Gaudy Night") if what you do well is art, use your art to  help someone on the front lines get through it.  Someone else pointed out that women, queers, and people of color have been writing about living through crises of existence for 30 years.

The panel touched on Eucatastrophe, hope, and how fiction is an attempt to make sense of the world in a world that doesn't make sense.   And how memes were a way of sharing culture "from the bottom up."

In talking about working away from the Mono-Myth of the Hero's Journey, the panel sort of addressed what to do with the concept of "The Good Guys" and "The Strong Ruler," and I wished someone had formulated a question addressing how to strain out some of the more toxic ingredients from the soup pot of tales.   The consensus seemed to be that simple, un-glorious things like washing one's hands is a new way to (heroically?) save a culture, and that this could be the start of a move away from stories with Grandiose, external Evil (slay the dragon) and toward more nuanced, internal challenges.  

Before concluding, the discussion turned to the nature of the landscape (A Stranger Rides Into Town /  The Protagonist Gets Lost in the Forest, Confronts a Guardian, and Returns Re-integrated) in story.  What struck me was when Teri Windling pointed out that Urban Fantasy started out in the 1980's ("War for the Oaks," deLint's Newford stories) exploring the numinous landscapes of The City, but by the 1990's had turned into Urban Vampire and Werwolf Hunting (Buffy).

So now I'm re-reading bits of Jane Yolen's "Touch Magic" and wondering things like, in a culture where the global village has the Internet -- with its memes and hypertex narrative -- what has been the influence on the development of "The Lively Fossil" of Faerie Tales?

And wondering which personal myths I write.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Diverging Poppies

We have blooming poppies.

Looking at the date of last year's photos, they seem a little early; it's only the second week of May and they're blooming now--last year it seemed like they waited for the first week of June to bloom.  Perhaps we'll get more poppies showing up in a month.

This year's poppies appear to be reverting back to their hybridized roots.  Of the flowering plants, two seem taller with purple blooms and a decagonal symmetry; three are about the same size and mauve color from last year with octagonal symmetry; and four are half the height, with small pale mauve blooms with hexagonal symmetry.   Looking at photos from last year, the poppies had either decagonal or nonagonal symmetry.

They all smell pretty bad, though.

And the pedals only last about a day before they fall from the bud.

I wonder what it says that I'm looking at poppies and trying to "look into the seeds of time and see which ones will grow."  Does this make me a Mendelian curator of sleep and dreams and death?

Now of course I'm imagining a story with a mystic gardener growing a rainbow collection of poppies cautioning the story protagonist to choose carefully from the growing beds.   One lavender flower brings prophetic dreams, two flowers brings deep sleep, and three slumber without waking.   One red flower rekindles a love, two flowers brings a night of passion, three brings animalistic insanity.  

One white poppy sounds like a perfume...

Slo-mo Dog Video

Just dog tricks...

that's all.

I wasn't expecting Aoife's dog tag's jingle to turn into slow chapel bell sounds.   Also, I think it's really interesting to watch how the energy of her landing translates up her body and back.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Liminal Coastal Crows

A couple of weeks ago we went to the coast.  There were what I thought were ravens there, but looking more closely at the photos later, I think they are actually crows.

Crows and raptors don't get along.  Crows will mob raptors in an attempt to drive them away.  It's possible raptors raid crows' nests or something that makes the crows mad.  Actually, even raptors don't always get along with each other.   I suppose this is similar to being friends with goths and with jocks--you'd like to invite them all to a big, fun party, but it's going to be like King Arthur trying to hold the alliance of the Round Table together between the bickering Lord of the North and the Lords of the South.  And then just when you think everyone's going to get along,  a peacock appears.

A trinity of crows bathed in a stream.  I've seen other juncos, owls, ducks, eagles, geese, jays and sparrows bathing, but never crows.    Thinking about it more, what was surprising about the situation was that a medium sized bird, that wasn't a duck, stood in a substantial stream of flowing water, which produced a wake as if it were swimming.  I'd expect it to sharpen its beak on a branch or hunt for bread crumbs or shiny earrings.

Mark will probably twit me for trying to read a meaning into it--"what do we know; we're just birds taking a bath"-- but their appearance seemed like a a mummer's pageant.   Okay, also, at the time, while I appreciated the crows, I was focused on getting good photographs of them to share.

Maybe the sense of portents in these photos comes from the fact that there were three crows;  stories start with threes:  three daughters, three billy goats, three crows.  Some of my more magical dreams start with crossing a stream--and watching from across a stream as three crows bathe sounds like the liminal beginning of a fairy tale.

Maybe it was the conjunction of shadow, air, and water; signifying the secret place where intellect and intuition inform each other.

Maybe it was the reflection of winged darkness in the middle of the day.

Maybe it was the milky, cataract dot of the crow's eye--the nictitating membrane, perhaps--giving the black bird the impression of blindness as it peered into the flowing water.

Perhaps it was the blind black crow's baptism before flight.

The other crows flew away, too, leaving me standing on the other shore with my camera.

It's a poem.  It's a mystery.

Writing this, I feel like I need to make a tarot deck with crows in it.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Dog Park People

The other day Mark and I took Aoife to a dog park.   People there followed social distancing while the dogs froliced.  I thought this was a good action photo of the dog--Aoife's legs and tail have an action blur and her eyes are in focus--but Mark disagrees.

Dog park goers seem to come in a multitude of flavors:

  • I brought my dog here to give them some exercise and to socialize with other dogs.
  • (Gasp!) You're a Dog Person, too?  
  • They made me come here.
  • I'm going to shout directions at my dog as if they understood English.  
  • My idea of controlling my dog is to laugh uncomfortably.
  • OMG!  There's mud and filth everywhere!  
  • My dog's breed is just misunderstood.
  • I'm keeping half an eye on my dog while I have a very loud, long, involved, and deeply personal conversation on my cell phone.  
  • I love all dogs everywhere.   
  • What the hell are all of you doing here, can't you see you're stressing out my dog?  
  • I'm too sexy for my dog.  
  • What the hell are you eating/puking ? 
  • My dog is the best dog in the world.  
  • Dogs Are People, Too.   
  • Sorry, I'm too busy fantasizing about being the pack leader of my six unleashed killing machines.  

I think we're mostly "I love all dogs everywhere," and "My dog is the best dog in the world," Dog Park People.  (Okay, there is a surprising amount of mud at certain dog parks....)

Surprisingly, I think the above list still works if you substitute "cat" for "dog," to describe cat people... although I can't imagine how a cat park could even be a thing.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

May Flowers

The last iris is blooming out front.  The ones in our backyard have finished their show and only show brown, translucent fists where the flowers used to be.  I do wish they had a longer season--and this year they seemed to be done blooming more quickly than in previous years.

I suspect this year I really will have to get my act together and thin, separate and fertilize the rhizomes instead of just talking about it.  I like our iris's deep purple color, and I imagine that they would be the sort of flower that appears on altars.

This year we have no California poppies in our yard, and I have to make do with the ones that grow up and down and across the street.  Several years ago, we had some growing on our back steps, and I took a time-lapse photo of them slowly opening as the sun rose in the morning sky.  

I like them because they are orange, and because they appear in the cracks in sidewalks, or alongside roads, or in alleys.  I like them because they have a long blooming season, so you can never be sure where you might suddenly come across them.

Some of last year's other poppies managed to self-seed in unexpected places--assorted pots, and a few odd corners in a planter.  They aren't blooming yet, and we don't know what color the flowers will be.  Last year they were mauve, with veins of darker purple shading upward from the flowers' bases.  

These are the more formal kind of poppies, and as I recall, the green outer sheath of leaves over the buds will split in the evening, and over the course of the night fall off.  If the blooms haven't properly popped out by the early morning, they will by mid-morning or so--dropping the sheath.   The color and the shape of the blooms last year was sublime, and put me in mind of flowers an enchanter might grow.

I also enjoy the seed pods afterward, with their secret chambers and hidden structure rattling with tiny poppy seeds

Camas grows in our part of the Willamette Valley, and I wish we could encourage it to grow in our yard.  It's all over a slope about four blocks away, and similar patches grow here and there along the waterways, or near the neighboring slough.   I like it because it's purple, and because the stem structure reminds me of cathedral spires.   Supposedly, you can roast and eat the roots--but I think they're difficult to dig out.
Larkspur, between the Autzen Stadium millrace and the Willamette River.  This photo isn't capturing the gestalt effect of the spiky purple (purple, again) flowers growing in a curtain between the grasses.

We've got some growing along the eastern side of our house, and I'm afraid it's much less striking than the splashes I saw along the jogging and dog-park paths.  It strikes me as the sort of flower a milkmaid or farm girl would gather in her apron and place in a pitcher set on the kitchen table.

Mark and I couldn't figure out what these flowers were.  He thought they might be cone flowers or echinacea.  They're cute, in a mod, 1966 kind of way.  I can see them being made into boutonnières, worn by groomsmen in a meadow wedding.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Ides of Spring 2020

The Ides of Spring have come and (Sunday afternoon) I am writing in the backyard circle, underneath the cherry tree--which has lost most of its blooms in yesterday's wild thunderstorm--and next to the last blooming iris of this season.  The lilac tree nearby is still going strong with its blooms and scent.  I'd like to think that I'm writing between the worlds.

Yesterday evening (Saturday) I managed to catch sight of an incandescent, quadruple rainbow.  Banks of scudding clouds turned the sky a study of every shade between blue and grey.  A thunderstorm cell had passed by, heading east, and the sinking sun cast long rays underneath slate clouds.  I thought about photographing it, but decided that I wanted to enjoy the ephemeral nature of it instead--besides, the photos never do the real thing justice.

Earlier this afternoon, I mowed the lawn; the grass has been growing like crazy with the mishmash days of sunshine mixed with rain.  I started in the center of the circle of pavers and mowed the lawn in an ever-expanding deosil spiral.  I figured that doing so would be my urban version of dancing the May Pole, and I saluted the cardinal directions as the mower passed by them.  I suppose as far as rituals go, it was a ritual cleaning or straightening up.

The sod had grown over many of the pavers in the circle.  The North paver was visible because it's been covered by the labyrinth stone, but the other cardinal pavers were mostly overgrown--and the cross-quarter bricks and the ones dividing the circle into sixteenths had disappeared underneath a tangle of grass and roots.  I'm not sure if the pavers have sunk a little into the ground, or if it's the nature of sod to build up (although, looking at a photo from two years ago when the pavers were freshly laid, I'm thinking they've sunken).

I got a straight-edged shovel and scraped the pavers clear.  Which took more work than I thought.  I had to tap the hidden pavers to figure out where I should be scraping.  I wasn't sure what the best way to edge the pavers was, and ended up lifting the sod and grass up as I used the shovel as a lever with the fulcrum at a paver's edge.

Last year, Cicero especially liked to sit on one of the pavers, and would be temporarily named "Black Cat of the East," or "Black Cat of the Solstice," depending on which paver he sat upon.  This year, as I cleared the pavers, Aoife came up and sniffed each unearthed surface---I hope she wasn't eating the uncovered worms or grubs.

My reward for mowing the lawn and clearing the stones was to get out a folding table, some blankets and pillows and set up a writing area.  Of course, as soon as I did so, Aoife plunked down and made herself comfortable.

During all of this,  Mark looked out the window and said, "Whoa! What did you do?  It looks like you're hiding the evidence out there."  I had to admit the rectangular bricks especially looked like tiny open graves.

But what should I expect, writing between the worlds, summoning recollections, looking out of the interstice?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Irises' Allure

It is the time of the irises.  It is the time of the falling cherry blossoms.

In early April, I watch the irises lift up their swords.  The dark buds sway at the tops of the waving stems and the rain falls.  It rains -- dark day after dark day -- sometimes a mist drifting downward and smelling of the coast, sometimes a torrent from bursting clouds.  On those days, I don't see much of the irises' progress.

I associate irises with the old farm my mother's mother was born on.  They used to have giant bearded yellow and blue irises growing in front of the pioneer farmhouse in the woods near Astoria.  Some of the rhizomes used to grow on the hillside below my folk's house long ago -- taller than we were -- but frost or deer or moles got to them and they haven't been seen for decades.

The irises at our house are planted under a cherry tree, and it's easier to watch the cherry's blooming.  As April progresses, the buds above and below begin to show their tightly wrapped packages.

When the buds open, the cherry becomes a giant swab of cotton candy and the dark purple spears of the irises unfurl.

Smelling the iris blooms is what I've been waiting for.  In the early morning, in the afternoon when it's not raining, I go to them and inhale their scent.  The cherries don't smell so much, but irises have a dark base note, like clove, but not as sweet or sharp; like licorice, but not as floral; like sandalwood, but not as volatile; like patchouli, but not as earthy.  It would be too twee to say "they smell like enchantment."

They smell like the perfume of an unconventional aunt who wasn't satisfied being a Pre-Raphaelite's model, and painted her own queens, knights, magicians and sorceresses.  Or an aunt who mixes her own perfume based on her research of ancient civilizations.  Or an aunt who bakes pungent cakes for obscure holidays, like Gazing Globe Day, or Chimes Night, or The Feast of the Invisible.

Perhaps my difficulty describing the scent is why I like it.  It is strong, it is unique, it is deep -- and by the time we're past the mid-point of Spring, they'll be memory.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Ruminations on The Path

Recently, I critiqued a manuscript that straddled the line between a blogging and memoir.  The manuscript's format and subject matter (showing, telling, praxis, faith, knowledge, and finding one's path) made me think about my own blog, and how lately it's gone from thinking about ideas and the examined life to "weather is here; wish you were fine" with Cat Pictures.

I blame some of the blog's straying on my Winter Writing Malaise.  Some of it is losing my focus.  Some of it is simply enjoying posting photos of our pets and the skies.  Some of my idea-lite posts come from only posting how many reps I did at the gym; which isn't a bad thing as far as accountability goes -- but I'd like the blog to be more than a mere gym ledger entry.

Coincidentally, I was having a discussion with The Child about What He Wants to Do With His Life. His current aspiration is to become a Rich and Famous Video Game You-Tuber (I think).  During the course of our discussion, he rattled off three names:  I didn't recognize one; one I know as a profane swearer; one I don't approve of because of his slurs.  On one hand, it's probably a good thing that the You-Tuber I refer to as "Yammerhead" wasn't on the list--but neither was the Kind and Curious Minecraft You-Tuber from about six years ago.

"So," I asked near the end of our discussion, "What is it that you're actually going to offer?"

"I'm going to post games reveal videos.  I'll probably put in some click-baity reaction-video stuff so I get five thousand likes -- that's when you start to make money as an affiliate."

"Yes, that's great" I said, "but what is your content going to be?  What will you have to offer that would make people want to watch your You-Tube channel?"

He gave me a look that anyone whose parents didn't understand that their garage band, or poetry, or painting was a one-way ticket to the big time gives to their out-of-it parents.

This whole entry is reminding me of The Hermit tarot card.  The Hermit, as a part of his journey, lifts his lamp up so that other travelers on the path can see where they might go.  I have to say, though, that I never thought of The Hermit as an Internet Influencer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Animals and Everything

Week four? of Shelter in Place.  We continue to work and study from home.    I drive the car some place once a week just to keep it moving.  We walk place or hang out outside when it's nice.   What I do notice when I drive, is that traffic is very light, but that there's two or three instances of loopiness from other drivers making interesting choices or random pedestrians crossing the street in random fashions.

Stuck my head out of the window this morning (Wednesday), thinking that I might see the Lyrid meteors, but it was raining.  The last few days have started out overcast, but have cleared by mid-afternoon.  The snow

Some time in the night, a bag of dog treats had spilled -- I suspect a midnight snack raid -- and there was about 2/3rds of a cup of treats on the kitchen floor.  If I had been more properly awake, I would have swept them up -- but the dog was happily hoovering them up.  Later, it crossed my mind that maybe the kibble wasn't proper dog food.

On the Writing Front:  did a final pass on a 6900 word story by having the computer read it back to me.  I've been polishing for a while, so the process caught only a few odd places where there was a missing "the" or some other word-o.

I should put more stories into the mail.  One of the last items, which I thought had been in the slush for 90 days, apparently had been rejected after 5 days and the reply was stuck in my spam filter or something.

On the Gym Front:  Did my Power Walk, only without music this time.  On the plus side, the music keeps my tempo up; on the minus (?) side, having the soundtrack makes me pay attention to the surroundings differently.  I am unsure if having the soundtrack makes me more engaged with the neighborhoods I walk through (because I'm compensating for not hearing soft sounds) or if the soundtrack engages the woolgathering part of my mind that pulls me out of the world when I walk.  Came home and did some free weight work; looped an elastic loop over a cherry tree branch and did some cable pull-downs.

On the dream front:  I haven't exactly been having the intense dreams that some folks have been having because of COVID19 lockdowns.  I did have an intricate "back at Reed, failing Physics, freshly-discovered missing attendance" anxiety dream, which I'm going to attribute to an unsettled stomach this morning.  I had an intense advising meeting with Del Rhodes--who in real life was the head of the Psychology Department, but in the dream was a perky Physics Professor.   I can't recall the conversation verbatim, but she said something ambiguous, which I took the wrong way, and replied with a pointed remark, but after some back-and-forth, we ended up on the same academic plan.

On the animal front:  Aoife and Smokey just now had a nose-to-nose meeting.  Smokey was in the windowsill.  There was no growling, barking, howling, snapping, or claw swiping.  Mark says Cicero made some kind of wailing noise from outside the window (which I think I heard from the next room) along the lines of "Oh, Smokey! You're gonna die!"   There's apparently a second meeting going on in the Cat Sanctuary, so I better go see what's going on.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Moon, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

This morning at 5:20 I managed to pull myself out of bed and photograph the morning sky.  The Moon, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter were lined up east to west.  At first I wasn't going to.  I really would have preferred to photograph the morning before, when the moon would have been about thirteen degrees to the west, underneath Saturn, and I could have composed a picture about a quarter of the size (and with greater resolution).  And I would have, if yesterday morning hadn't been completely overcast (the day before had been clear!).  But, this morning, the planets shone bright.

I trooped out in my slippers and PJ's and set up the tripod on the other side of the street.  I supposed I must look like Arthur Dent, the kids from Narnia, or possibly an absent-minded professor.    Smokey and Cicero joined me -- between the advent of the dog and the clear weather, they've been spending a lot of time out of the house.  I think they weren't expecting food.

Yesterday I did some marketing and got discouraged over one very short story that hasn't found a home; it's been through the usual professional markets, none of the semi-pro markets seem right for it (wrong theme or they only want reprints or they're closed), and I found myself thinking about self-publishing it..... and on one hand it seems like a cop-out, and on the other hand I'd have to call myself "Fit-Of-Pique Publishing," and on another hand do I really want to put stories out there that might not have been picked up for a reason (although I suppose I could call myself "Glowing Rejection Press")?

On the gym front, I did my power-walk Wednesday evening...and I'm wondering if I might try the jogging path again to see if my knee joints have beefed up enough to not bother me jogging.  The power-walks are fun and all, but I feel like I'm not getting enough of a workout.

Sheltering in place is going well all things considered, but it is wearing on my nerves.  We're very lucky: no one in the house is sick, we are able to work remotely, on nice days we can escape to the backyard, and so far our immediate families are healthy.   Occasionally the cabin fever does strike me and I have to resist the shriek trying to climb up my throat and the urge to run berserk into the street.  As soon as it's safe to do so -- which probably means next October -- I want to dance in a drum circle or go clubbing or something.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Blurry Days and Animals

Isolating in place at home and working remotely has made the weekdays blur together.  It's an odd feeling working with less physical boundaries between work lives, home lives, and family lives.  I'm getting a touch of cabin fever, the treatment for which is physically leaving the house for a power walk or to get food.  Mark is working from home (most days), as am I.  The Child is attending his classes remotely.  Mostly,  we're managing to give each other enough space.

On the dog front, the cats have moved from fear and grief to anger.   Okay, and a little indifference.  Mostly.  Smokey was going to do something about That New Creature the other day when Aoife came into the bedroom while Smokey was on my lap, but I was able to negotiate a peaceful retreat with the use of a blanket.

I connected with a FaceBook group that watches a local pair of bald eagles (and their arch-enemies, the ospreys).  There's a nest that's visible (at least until the leaves come in) from a local Willamette River path, so I fled the house with my camera and managed to get a photograph or two -- mostly of eagle beak.  It's not quite as concentrated bird as The Raptor Center, but at least it's open.

On the writing front:  staying home means I'm actually at home before 1:30, so I've had lunch and I'm actually writing by 2.  Some friends have started up writing groups in Zoom, which seems to work as far as motivation.

On the gym front:  well... I've been doing power walks, so that's better than nothing.  Aoife makes doing mat exercises difficult.