Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

So... maybe I was rushing to judgement a bit.

Much better, eh?
I decided to return to Syracuse to finish cleaning up my room and organizing my stuff, with the thought that I might still get to Boston by October 1st. I still have a lot of thinking to do and the change in environment is definitely making an impact on me. I took this picture on the NYS Thruway on the way home:

Aren't these clouds amazing? Check out the rays streaming out of them.

Yesterday I was driving through Syracuse in the afternoon and the clouds were so thick it looked like there was black smoke hanging over the city. Today is just another typical day. It's raining and the sky looks like this:

From what I recall, the sky looks like this all winter in upstate NY. It's 10:00am and so dark inside the house that I have all the lights on in order to see what I'm doing. I think the main difference between places in the lower great lakes region and the rest of the country is that in other regions when it's not raining or about to rain, there aren't many clouds in the sky. Here, there is a thick white blanket in the sky for weeks at a time even when there's no precipitation. It's what meteorologists call "Lake-effect cloudiness", I think. Do you think that has anything to do with why it's so cheap to live here? I mean, otherwise, this is a beautiful part of the country -- rolling hills, dense forests, lakes, all sorts of wildlife, etc. etc... I have to admit the cloudiness is kind of depressing. I don't know why.
Win Win Lose the Constitution

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You don't hear this everyday!

Craigslist founder says he won't cash in
On Tuesday I drove to Cape Cod. I didn't have a plan and I didn't really know where I was going, so I just kept driving and driving until I got to Provincetown. Once I got there I realized there was no where to park that didn't cost $6 and it didn't look really like there was anything I wanted to do in P-town since what I really wanted was just to go to the beach, so I got back on the road and got off at the first place that looked promising. There was a sign indicating that vehicles needed to pay $15 to enter the park, but luckily there was no one at the office. That's pretty steep, wouldn't you say? Anyway, there was hardly a soul there.

I just sat on the sand and watched the waves go in and out.

The grains of sand were pretty big (not powdery) so it was easy to see the progression from rock to large pebble to small pebble to grain of sand. It was easy to distinguish the different colored rocks in all those sizes. I've never seen geology in action quite like that before. : ) The grains felt really neat on my feet as I walked on them.

The sun was so bright that I couldn't even see what I was taking pictures of really. The sky was really blue.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I was in Portland, ME this evening around 6pm (I wrote this on Monday) and got a cup of coffee at a cafe, but it was terrible and I couldn't seem to make it any better with sugar and cream. I walked out of the store and up the brick street to where I had parked my car thinking, "I didn't come here to shop. I came here to see nature. I'm in the wrong place." About half way up the street an old man sitting in a doorway called out to me, "Hello, young lady!" I stopped to see what he wanted and he said, "I'll be honest with you. I could use some spare change." I said I was pretty broke, but I might have an extra dollar and as I fished in my delapidated wallet for the bill he started telling me that he was sorry he looked so bad -- his face all red and nose swollen and purple. He showed me that his hands, too, were swollen and worn. He said he's been a serious alcoholic for many, many years now. He had been married for 11 years some time ago... His voice trailed off. He told me he was clean now, but I wasn't sure that was true. When I gave him the dollar it was almost as though he didn't know what it was. He set it down on the step behind him. He looked like he was going to cry. He asked me again if I had any change. At the same time there was a sort of clarity in him. His eyes were crystal blue. When I studied his face he said sadly, "Don't look at me like that." I tried to get him to notice how blue the sky was and how nice the breeze felt, but he didn't seem to notice, but then he added, "And you're here talking to me!" "Take me home with you," he pleaded. I said I had to get back to Boston, but I offered him my coffee, not sure if he'd want it or not. He seemed amused and took the cup, but he must have thought it was something else, because after taking a sip he spit it out suddenly saying, "Oh -- coffee. I wasn't expecting that." I told him I had to get going. The sun was setting and I needed to get on the road. He shook my hand and said he was glad to meet me. I replied likewise. As I walked up the hill he called after me, "You should wear your hair down sometimes!" I laughed and said good-bye, wondering what else I could have done to help as I rounded the corner.

I drove south to Cape Elizabeth and watched the sun set:

Friday, September 22, 2006

There is some famous quote about how it's important to learn to stop trying to control things you have no control over. I am trying to get that into my head. I haven't seen the baby squirrels since Monday and I'm SO sad about it. I'm trying not to just assume that they wandered into the road and died a bloody painful death, but it's hard not to think it. Why do I care so much about squirrels? Why do I care so much about animals period? I can't explain it. It's just part of who I am. : (

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Guess where I found this article...

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Gerrymandered To Serve King Friday's Make-Believe Agenda

MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, PA—A plan to radically redistrict Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood to further cement the control of the powerful King Friday XIII political machine is expected to pass this week and deeply affect current taxation structure, voting patterns, and services. "Meow-me-meow can't afford meow property tax as it stands now meow, and meow don't want everything I've worked for to be destroyed meow," said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous. Among the anticipated changes are sharp cutbacks in speedy deliveries, the elimination of trolley routes to such low-income districts as Someplace Else and the platypus mound, as well as the destruction of the Museum-Go-Round to make room for a massive new headquarters for The Electric Company.

Monday, September 18, 2006

For the last couple of weeks I have been spending all my free time going through boxes trying to get rid of stuff. Today was my first day doing that full time, since yesterday was my last day at Peace Action. It's quite a chore, so I'm taking a break to see if I can post more cute squirrel pictures.

The wee baby squirrel is out this morning!

and s/he's no bigger than a chipmunk!

I can't seem to post any more pictures right now, but I'll try to post them later.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Two new baby squirrels showed up in the back yard this morning!

Mama kept close by to watch on them.

One of them is much smaller and I think s/he might have fallen or something here in the grass. I hope s/he is going to be ok.

S/he seems to be sticking close to the other one.

I guess I forgot to mention there's a new bunny, too. She/he's been around for about a month or so.

I guess because all my pictures are blurry...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is it just me or is Susan's baby the cutest ever? She just posted the most adorable picture on her blog. Click here to see it (the picture).
I feel guilty that my last blog entry was so negative, so to make up for it, here's something from The Onion:

Report: Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse
I voted in my first primary ever on Tuesday. I guess this job has made me more aware of how important it is to participate in government and how sad it is that so many people don't -- OR are robbed of the opportunity to do so. I always voted in the presidential elections, but usually I managed to be uninformed about when the primary was happening or who was running. This year I became very aware of the primary because I helped to copy and distribute Voter Guides made up by the Peace Action of New York State office for the New York Senate race. In the process I became aware of just how much Hillary Clinton does not stand in line with my pacifist beliefs and how much Jonathan Tasini does. But if anyone felt a sense of defeatism as to whether going to the polls would make any difference, I can understand. There were many things going against Tasini from the beginning, one of the biggest being Clinton's celebrity status. But even more than that was the issue of money. Hillary Clinton raised $40 million dollars for her campaign, whereas Tasini raised a meager $200,000. What kind of competition is that? The funny thing is, I thought I had officially switched to the Green Party, but I guess I must have dropped the ball at some point and it never happened. I actually wasn't even sure I was still a Democrat until my voting reminder card came in the mail the day before the election. There was a time when I had a lot of faith in Hillary Clinton and was excited at the thought of a woman president. But I'm learning that just because you are a woman doesn't mean you are more sensitive to the pain of others, more likely to stand up for those without a voice. (Look at Condoleezza Rice.) This just in:

"Senate approves $453 billion military budget for 2007 including another $50 billion for Iraq war.

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Senate approved the 2007 Defense Appropriations bill. The vote was 98-0 in favor, with Senators
Chafee (R-RI) and Lieberman (?-CT) not voting."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

According to Wikipedia,

"a "Rochester accent" can be described as similar to the accent commonly found in the Great Lakes region, like a "Detroit accent". It has also been described by some as "nasally", most easily recognized by the vocalization of the short "a" (æ) sound: "and" is delivered as something closer to "eee-yand".

It is often described as including the pronunciation of the city itself as "Rhaaaaach'str". The younger generations have, for the most part, a weaker accent."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

blessing the boats at st. mary's
by lucille clifton

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love you back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
Under the stars by Anne B. Murray

Under the stars
In the space of night
I walked the mountain tops
And knew the wind.
The stillness of the dark
Was mine
And the silence of the snow.
Mine were the frosted wind ferns
On the crouching rocks
And the glitter of their veins.
Mine was the creaking snow,
The mist like rime
And the crinkled gleam of the burns.
Mine too, the blue shadows
The grey, cold glint of ice
And the peace of the moon swept hills.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Have I mentioned that my mom is aspiring to have her own photography business? That's going to be her next career when she retires from the Syracuse Symphony. So, she spends a lot of her time taking photographs and reading books about how to use all the new fangled digital equipment. I hope I have that much energy and determination when I'm 65! I have been very fortunate that she wants to take photos of me, because I think a few of them will make good headshots/publicity photos for singing work. I've used a few of them already. She also has taken some beautiful pictures of the kitties. I'll have to post some of them when I figure out where they are on the computer.

One of the projects she has taken on recently has been to sort through all the photographs she has taken over the years. Partly this is because she has taken some fantastic nature shots all over the country and hasn't kept them organized so that she can find them or possibly use them as part of a portfolio. So there are lots of boxes in the living room labeled as "PJ and EJ Junior High/High School", "Graduations", "Performances", "Weddings", etc. with various photos in them. Today I decided to look through a few boxes and found a photo I thought was pretty hilarious. I had completely forgotten about it and can't even say with certainty when it's from or what the event was. It's me and my friend Kevin Ray, who is a musical theatre actor and artist in New York City now, from Junior High, I'm guessing, and I think we were about to go trick-or-treating. I think Kevin must have had the costumes from a show he was doing somewhere outside of school, but I don't know. Anyway, embarassing as it is, I thought I'd post it just for a laugh.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I just now stumbled upon a quote which I wrote down a couple of years ago after hearing it in a sermon given by Sam Lloyd, former rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston, where I used to be employed. At the time it made a very strong impression on me and now finding it again after having completely forgotten about it, I find it still quite meaningful:

". . . I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far into the future, you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer."

Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This is pretty neat, especially, I think, if you look into his eyes the whole time.

Noah takes a photo of himself everyday for 6 years

Monday, September 04, 2006

I found this poem written out long hand in the middle of a stack of music. I used to write out poems I really liked and put them up on my wall or read them on my answering machine back in the old days. Now I guess that's what blogs are for!

Housing Shortage by Naomi Replansky

I tried to live small.
I took a narrow bed.
I held my elbows to my sides.
I tried to step carefully
And to think softly
And to breathe shallowly
In my portion of air
And to disturb no one.

Yet see how I spread out and I cannot help it.
I take to myself more and more, and I take nothing
That I do not need, but my needs grow like weeds,
All over and invading; I clutter this place
With all the apparatus of living.
You stumble over it daily.

And then my lungs take their fill.
And then you gasp for air.
Excuse me for living,
But, since I am living,
Given inches, I take yards,
Taking yards, dream of miles,
And a landscape, unbounded
And vast in abandon.

You too dreaming the same.

Friday, September 01, 2006