Friday, February 26, 2010

chiaroscuro

So far, we have about eight inches of snow. Yesterday, we had 2½ inches of rain. Squirrel Lake appeared at the bottom of the hill until the snow covered it. A lot of H20 this month. Supposedly, it’s not over until tomorrow. Just 22 days until spring ...

Stanley digging out, 2/26/10
Stanley decided to dig out early—hopefully not much more snow will fall. (click to enlarge)

a cold job
He’s listening to an audiobook while he shovels. (click to enlarge)

snowy yard 2/26/10
It was so weird, to watch it rain hard for an entire day and then watch it snow the next day.

dogs in the snow 2/26/10
Bingo and Ruby peeking over the edge of the patio. Bingo loves the snow—but Ruby, not so much. She probably needs a coat and booties since she doesn’t have a double coat. Stanley says Bingo would probably rip Ruby’s booties off her feet and destroy them. (click to enlarge)

woods illusion 2/26/10
I love this view of the school side of the yard—it looks like we’re in the snowy woods and isolated. (click to enlarge)

doggie duet, 2/26/10
It looks like Bingo and Ruby are singing a duet. The reality is they’re playing at biting each other. (click to enlarge)

I hope it doesn’t get too cold tonight—the roads are clear for the most part, but there is just so much water around the roads will probably get slick. I’m glad we only got the edge of the storm—no blizzard conditions here.

I hope it really is finished everywhere because there are loved ones driving long ways over the next few days—Kelly, Leo, and Dale from Panama City Beach, Florida to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Dad from the same place to Natick, Massachusetts.

posted by lee on 02/26/10 at 02:01 PM

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

in florida

Dad rented a condo in a hi-rise on the beach in Panama City Beach for the month. Why anyone would want to leave Massachusetts in February, I dunno, but he did in order to give family folk a warm destination for a winter break.

Jamie and Keith, Kristine, and Riley were first on the scene, followed by Maureen and Ben and later Kelly, Leo, and Dale. The latter five are there now—and I wish we were too. Alas, the logistics of dealing with two dogs and two cats and getting there were just not do-able this year. We watched the snowstorms instead.

Dad sent along some photos. I don’t know who took the one of Riley, but it’s a great photo. Keith took the second photo (I’m assuming, because he’s not in it!)

Riley Downey, Panama City Beach, FL, February 2010
Riley enjoying the condo in Panama City Beach, February 2010. (click to enlarge)

Kris, Riley, Jamie, and Jim, Panama City Beach, February 2010
Kristine, Riley, Granny Jamie, and GreatPapaJim at the condo, a cold Florida February, 2010. (click to enlarge)

Dad will be back in Massachusetts by March 1st or 2nd. Then we’ll head up there the next weekend to visit and to eat good food and watch the awards on TV for our annual Oscar party (Superbowl—feh!) We’ve only seen two of the movies so far, but it’ll be fun anyway.

posted by lee on 02/21/10 at 11:55 PM

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funk creeping away

It’s been more than a year since I fell into a hole, a funk, this low-level paralysis. After Mom died, I couldn’t seem to shake the sadness off. Not that it was unremitting—it wasn’t, or isn’t, just mostly. But lately, it seems to be lifting more and more. I don’t know if it’s the St. John’s Wort Stanley gave me to try that’s finally kicking in, or if it’s just time, or a weariness at being immobilized helping me emerge. Maybe a combination, and the telling of how bad I’ve been feeling to my sister and to Stanley a couple of months ago.

That’s not to say the blue is not kicking me in the ass still. It is. Hard sometimes. But I’m starting to get out of my way more. I love this song—it’s kind of my current anthem because, oddly enough, it cracks me up and helps me keep things in perspective:

I’m thinking about the garden, and what I want to do this spring. I even ordered tomato plants from White Flower Farm.

I’ve started to dig out the house. I’m so shocked about how messy, no, dirty it’s gotten. Clutter, cobwebs, dust frankenbunnies. Crap just piling up. Stanley’s been good about taking care of the day-to-day stuff, the dishes, cooking and cleaning up, the trash, cleaning up after the creatures. But I sure haven’t been pulling my weight. It’s amazing how much just piles up from just living. So I started by unburying the living room this weekend—the easiest to start with.

And started on the parlor, which we’ve been using as a repository of everything. This room, decluttered, is gorgeous—very plain, very New England, but something about the dimensions are just right and it’s just so, serene is the word, when it’s tidy.

Worked quite a bit, and have, in my head, a to-do list that’s quite long. I started feeling bad that I wasn’t getting as much as I wanted done, but stopped that train because it’s taken a year to get this bad and because I know it would go faster if Stanley could help, but he’s been working on a job that has a tight deadline and has been coming home exhausted every day (he even got blisters on his knees). So I’ll be content to get a little done every day until my house is back under some form of control (it’s never completely under control—200-year-old houses are in no way easy to maintain and we have a lot to do). I know it will get done. And I know it isn’t necessary to get it done yesterday.

Work is starting to get better, too. I’ve been able to get more and more done. I’m still way behind, but I can feel things starting to get back to my normal output.

There are some more issues I really need to deal with. One step at a time, though. I can’t get frustrated at slow, as long as it’s mostly forward.

posted by lee on 02/21/10 at 08:47 PM

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Friday, February 19, 2010

teevee news lesson from charlie brooker

Broadcast new scripts have always been loaded with clichés, but I never thought much about the visual clichés. Until I watched this video:

Here is his take on the U.S. media:

The only thing he didn’t get was Chris Matthews asking a guest a question then talking over the guest as he or she tried to answer.

TV news, cable news in particular, gets so tiresome. Rachel Maddow is currently the only one I can stand to watch for an entire hour, and even her show gets chopped up too much and gets boring when she has the same group of pundits, night after night, almost always spewing the correct political line, though she does try to get “the opposition” on.

I don’t so much mind pundits with credentials (especially when the shows reach out from the usual gang)—attorneys, professors well-versed in the topic area, actual government officials elective or bureaucratic. But I usually don’t get how hearing another journalist/pundit opinion adds anything to the topic—just smacks more of making sure buddies give each other paying gigs, more of a circle jerk than substance. I want to see these so-called journalists interviewing people that are involved in whatever the topic is rather than interviewing another journalist or pundit or commentator unless they absolutely add something substantive to the report.

Even 60 Minutes bugs me sometimes, particularly when one of the pack of on-air so-called journalists ask a head of state a question such as “How dare you build nuclear weapons?” rather than asking them to please explain things from the head-of-state’s perspective. Or explaining why it is wrong for Country X to do exactly the same thing we do. I guess investigative journalism, at least in broadcast news, is a lost art. Too bad.

posted by lee on 02/19/10 at 01:20 PM

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the worst is yet to come

We managed to avoid last week’s mammoth snowstorm, but not today’s storm. We currently have about six inches on the ground, and the WTNH weatherguy, Geoff Fox, just said the we’ll be seeing more snow tonight than we’ve seen all day. Oh boy.

Inside, anyway, it’s been kind of peaceful. The cats are keeping me company as I work—when they’re not sitting on my mouse, anyway.

Twitch and Slink snooze while I work
Twitch and Slink snoozing on their cushion beneath the window. (click to enlarge)

posted by lee on 02/10/10 at 01:31 PM

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