7- 11-2012 World Population Day

Hi again:                July 11, 2012
Today I saw our first Nasturtium blooming! I celebrated by NOT eating it. (They are pretty, but they are also delicious.) The daisies are looking like they should be watered, I wish the outside faucet still worked. I’ve got a new hollyhock (don’t remember planting it, but it’s several feet from the initial two, and this one is white. The older hollyhocks seem to be fading a bit in the sun. The one with the black blossoms now has bright red ones, and the red ones look more dark pink. The day lilies are wonderful, but I hate to pick any because they are the kind of plant that has several blossoms on one stem that bloom after each other, so if I pick it, the others won’t develop. So I enjoy them in the garden. I also enjoy them along the side of the road- they are one of my favorite wild (or feral?) flowers.

I was wrong last week- GNEW wasn’t last week, it’s this week. I cannot TELL you how happy that made me. I felt like I’d been given a week. In theory, it was only a week longer to prepare for the event, but it meant I could keep working on the painting- which I’d hoped to get done last month, so it was on my mind.
That night Zoloft came up and slept in my bed, and I discovered that while we’re “on schedule” with the flea treatments, she had fleas- and left some with me. I love that she’s affectionate, but I could have dealt without THAT.
We still haven’t managed to get rid of the fleas. It’s frustrating because we used the expensive every-three-week stuff that is supposed to work (better than flea collars), and flea powder, and diatomaceous earth, and feed the cats brewers yeast and garlic, and we flea bombed while we were up at the lake, and still, there are fleas. I blame it on Zoloft, the only one who goes outside (and brings them in). But this last week she hasn’t gone out. She mostly just lies on top of the feed bin under the microwave. DSCF7972
Could be the heat, or could be she got in a fight and is nervous about going out again. She had the fleas really badly for a while and we thought that might have been the reason for some scabs we found (and mats), but she just hasn’t gone out, which has allowed us to comb out some of the mats, and find some rather nasty chewed bits, so it occurs to me that it could be she got in a fight with another cat (or animal) and that’s why she’s opted not to go out recently. We’ll see how she feels next week.
Smokey, counter-intuitively has decided to start hanging around upstairs. I would have understood if he had started going down into the cellar where it’s cooler, but upstairs? Why?

I have just finished this week’s New Normal show. I’m not sure how, but I scheduled both Kathryn Samuelson- an intuitive life coach, and Tanya Tarail, a medical intuitive on the same night. Not that I wouldn’t have done it on purpose if I’d thought of it, but if I did, it was subconscious- I was so embarrassed at losing track, and more importantly, I didn’t promote Tanya, and I feel badly about that. They got along, and Tanya invited both of us to be on her show, so I guess it was fine. It was interesting hearing them talk.
Sadly, we had a LOT of “hacking”. There’s apparently some bozo who has a couple dozen accounts and phone numbers and so we kept getting calls where he’d make stupid or obscene or otherwise inappropriate remarks, and all I could do was cut him off as soon as I figured it out. What a waste of time! We did get three real calls, but apparently there were people who tried and didn’t get through. Damn, I wish they had a system for screening calls! What a pain! As Willow says, it doesn’t take a psychic to know I’m trying to do too much at once.

The weekend was more productive than interesting. I finished the painting- here’s the last picture I took of it before mailing it off. I’m satisfied with how it came out. It looks like a book cover, and is interesting (and the trees provide enough room for the title, and info on the back. I’m always amazed at how long the part of the process that’s looking at the “finished” work and fixing this or that little thing takes. I can still see a few things I’d change- but it’s out of my hands now- and off to the publishers!DSCF7981

One thing that was unexpected was most mornings I’ve had to turn the painting up on edge to find the mosquitos that stuck to the paint overnight, so I could carefully lift them off with a clean brush dipped in solvent. I have been leaving a light on the painting to accelerate the drying, and, of course, that attracted the mosquitos, and the damp oil acted like fly paper. I suppose (lacking artificial lights) the great artists never had to deal with that.

The girls went off on Saturday to converge on Canobie Park in cosplay with their cosplaying friends. They do that every summer, and call it “CanobieCon”. It was a bit overcast, but they weren’t fooled, and used sunblock, and came home unscathed (unburnt). (This time not as many of the others were in Cosplay- I think because it was so hot.)
When I finished with the painting, the next project is the pottery (to give me time to fire it before the war). The big one is the funeral urn for Ælfwine’s ashes. I can’t find the Anglo-Saxon pots I made a while ago, so I figure I’ll finally get around to making one into which put the ashes that have been in a cardboard box for a decade now. The biggest problem I have run into is when I got the clay down from the studio, most of it had gone hard. I’m rehydrating, but it would have been so much easier to just have it ready to throw. Also, I’m NOT good at throwing pots, as I learned when I took lessons. By and large I’ve decided that I should sculpt and sell the sculptures for pots made by good potters, but I want to show the SCA that I have done just about every aspect of 6-7th century Anglo-Saxon stuff, and I’ve been meaning to get that particular pot made for about 20 years now, (I’ll be making a pair, one for each of us), so am using this as an excuse to get around to it.

The girls are working on their preparations for the war- Willow complains that too much of the stuff is stuff that only I can do, so she can’t help. Well, yes, I’m the one doing classes (both there and at GNEW) and trying to show off in the Arts display. I’m the one who has to write a letter every week, and do a talk show, and writing booklets, and organizing a conference. But thank goodness I was wrong about the dates for the Great Northeastern War. Since the girls are coming, I’ll have help putting up the tent, and they’ll be selling while I teach (and talk to my friends.

When the hot weather started I spent some time putting movies that I had on my netflix queue in the “requested” list for interlibrary loan, and seriously overestimated how much watching I could do. (In my defense, at the time I was feeling pretty brain dead.)

I finished the first set in the Great Ideas in Psychology course, which I was surprised has a lot of physiology in it. I suppose if you want to talk brain and perception, you have to know how eyes and ears and memory work. The next set is in, and I will start listening as I work on the pottery.

If I’m going to recommend one movie from what I’ve watched recently, it would be Decoy Bride. It’s a romantic comedy- the decoy part comes because it’s a movie star and famous writer trying to avoid paparazzi when they get married, so they hire someone to throw them off the track, and, as can  be predicted in a romantic comedy, it turns out that the groom and decoy are better suited. The reason I liked it so much is the way they showed what true love looks like. About an hundred minutes in there’s an old couple who must be in their nineties, and so in love, and so happy, I re-watched that scene over and over.
Another movie I watched was The Black Scorpion, a tale from 9th century China that is fairly close to the story of Hamlet. The costumes were gorgeous (I wonder if they were accurate?), but the wire work was off putting. As with Hamlet, everyone died at the end.
I’ve got a bunch of cowboy movies right now. I’ve watched The Unforgiven, a Clint Eastwood movie with incredible performances especially Gene Hackman’s. It appears not to be a remake of The Unforgiven, a 1960 Burt Lancaster movie. Maverick was a knockabout of sheer fun- I loved spotting the guest walk-ons from old cowboy shows, not just James Garner. Tom Horn (with Steve McQueen) was apparently based on a true story. Apparently Horn, having been one of those famous gun slingers was brought in somewhere to be an enforcer for the ranchers, then they decided that he was too dangerous and hanged him. It reminded me of Rambo, First Blood, but without as much of a “happy ending”. If we want warriors to protect us, we have to deal with the violence that is a part of them.

I read Master and God, a novel about ancient Rome (period of Domitian) by Linsey Davis who wrote the Falco books. It was a pretty good story, but sadly buried in all the research she did on it.  The story didn’t require as much of the history as she included. I’ve also been reading Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther, just to see what the excitement was about. So far it reads like a novel (in the framework of letters). I am more struck by the way that the protagonist neither seems to have to work, nor seems to think that this is worth noticing. It’s something like watching old movies and seeing the casual sexism and racism or even smoking that pervaded the culture not that far distant, but now seems so alien.

This week I heard that Serena Lucia, who we made friends with when we were on the throne died over the weekend, and then another SCAer I didn’t know as well died. I suppose, if 40-50 years ago, a bunch of people in their twenties started the organization no one should be surprised that we’ve started dying off. But one at a time, it does catch you by surprise. With each person a universe dies. It’s hard not to take that badly. I am just grateful every time I hear about a “quick” or “easy” death, and feel confident after all my reading this spring that they are doing fine, no matter how bummed out we may be.

Once again, I’m going not going to take much longer on this, because I have so many other things I need to spend time on, and recently, I have been staying up too late (trying to finish the painting, and more recently the pottery), and I have to get back onto a daylight schedule. Today John and I went out to have lunch with Mark, and woke up late, so got out late, and in late… it’s a bad cycle. (I also wore a new pair of sandals- sadly discovering that while one fit perfectly, the other pinched. I’m going to have to learn when I only try on one shoe to always use my left foot!) I also got a chance to have Friendly’s “Forbidden Chocolate” ice cream again (we ate there), because they haven’t had it in the stores this year. I’m afraid they may be discontinuing my favorite flavor! Ah, my first world problems! (I heard on the radio that some people in West Virginia still haven’t got their power back! When we lose power it’s generally because of a blizzard and our frozen food is not at risk. Another thing to add to my list of things for which to be grateful!
Until next week!

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.
Richard Bach

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