This morning I added
a bit of honey to my yogurt.
I think I permanently
maimed my honey bear.
It’s still way too hot here for January, but at least I needed a light sweater today. Inspired by the sunshine, I took off for a little town not too far from here and did some wandering around. Apparently I wasn’t the only one inspired. A street musician, wearing some multi-colored quilted jacket, was wailing away on his recorder. In between little trills on the thing, he’d yell out “Aieeee!” or “Arghhhhh!” I tried not to make eye contact with the madman as I passed, but he started to follow me a little bit, inclining his head in my direction as I sped away. I ducked into a shop, and the owner explained that he just does that. She simultaneously turned the music up a bit louder. Poor thing, having to endure that all day.
After walking around for a bit and getting a junk-shop fix (where I saw the ceramic bust, above) I stopped for a coffee at a little café. There I did some knitting, reading, and uninteresting eavesdropping (gossip about a friend’s impending divorce—these friends don’t think it’s a good idea—and the wonders of Tide detergent pens). It always disappoints me when I take the time to listen in and the conversation’s boring. Oh well. I was being rude, so I guess it serves me right.
I also read this interesting passage from my book (The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, a little literary candy about vampires). In it, the father of the narrator is musing about the change in landscape from Istanbul to Budapest:
It is a gradation of towns, of architecture, of gradually receding minarets blended with the advancing of church domes, of the very look of forest and riverbank, so that little by little you begin to believe you can read in nature itself the saturation of history. Does the shoulder of a Turkish hillside really look so different from the slope of a Magyar meadow? Of course not, and yet the difference is as impossible to erase from the eye as the history that informs it is from the mind. Later, traveling this route, I would also see it alternately as benign and bathed in blood—this is the other trick of historical insight, to be unrelentingly torn between good and evil, peace and war.
I thought briefly about the way the Earth has memory that can be sensed from being in a place. I also resisted the though, because I don’t like to think of nature as being solely a reflector of human history—we don’t define it; it defines us. But then my coffee was getting cold, and it was time to go.
Today’s wrong, but it’s hard to be upset. After a gray and drizzly morning, the clouds parted in an instant, leaving a clean, clear light that was almost as jarring to the senses as the record-breaking heat. Driving toward the beach with the windows rolled down, the newly-washed colors popped in a way that I’ve only ever experienced while on drugs. I turned the music up a bit louder and drove along with a star-struck grin on my face. Everywhere, everything, screamed amazement. I walked along the beach, not even wearing a sweater, in awe. The clouds returned as I headed into town, and the sun played off them. I watched shadows play off buildings the way I do when I’m stoned. But I wasn’t, which made the experience that much more incredible.
This isn’t good. The heat today should convince anyone that global warming is real, and that we need to do something about it. Now. It might already be too late. What’s more, this day is going to make winter all that much harder to bear when it does come. My senses are awake. I’m ready for life to begin again, and it’s not real.
Here are a few photos from my day. My camera did not do justice to the intense colors, but you might get the idea.
This was the view of the water from
the bridge heading to the beach
Another view from the bridge
This moldy orange looked like a
scary little face to me
View of the beach
Water crashing on Bass Rocks
Boat on the Essex River
We’re having a snow day here in my neck of the woods. Everything was so peaceful and pretty that I decided to go out and snap some pictures.
Another View of the Essex River
Snowy Branches Outside My Window
Snow on Good Harbor Beach
Fluff wishes you Happy Holidays, too.
I like Christmas lights. Here are a few photos from my family’s tree.
Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth,
Posted in Photograph
Happy Winter Solstice, Northern Hemisphere! On this darkest day, we anticipate the return of the light. And that is a happy thought.
Posted in Photograph
Little Sassy Schmoozer went to Washington, DC, for a business trip a few weeks ago. Fluff came along too. Monday morning, Fluff and I were able to sneak off to do a bit of sightseeing. Here are the highlights. Answers to the previous Fluff Quiz appear below.
View of Washington Monument
from Lincoln Memorial
Fluff and Abe
National Public Radio Building
Answers to Fluff Quiz the Fourth!
Dive and Fat Sparrow did exceedingly well on this quiz, and they’ve tied. Hangar Queen did very well too. Kav’s one answer was correct. Robyn and Knudsen made me laugh. Well done, everyone!
1. In one of the above photos, Fluff is pictured with an Ape (pronounced ah-pay). What does Ape mean, and why is the name clever?Previous Fluff Posts
Ape means a bee. An Italian friend of my sister’s said with a chuckle that it was made by the same people who make the Vespa (meaning wasp) and wasn’t that a funny play on words.
2. The David in the photograph is a replica. Where is the original?
David resides in the Galleria Accademia in Florence. Pollution and a crazy foot fetishist are to blame.
3. To what did the title of E.M. Forester’s A Room with a View refer?
Specifically, it referred to a room with a view of the Arno in Florence. Dive and Fat Sparrow’s wonderfully literary answers put the question to shame.
4. My sister and I stopped in a caffé in Florence in the afternoon. A man walked in (not American) and ordered a cappuccino. The bartender wouldn’t give it to him. Why?
Believe it or not, the man was Italian. Seriously. He wasn’t an American, nor was he a Brit (sorry, Dive, I saw countless English people order up afternoon cappuccinos in Rome). No one in Italy drinks milky coffee in the afternoon. Somehow the whole incident made me feel a bit better.
5. Italian boxed wine. Discuss.
Well I for one was horrified. I know that boxed wine is supposedly moving up in the wine world, but I still find it incredibly tacky.
London and the Opal Coast of France (for one day, to get some wine
Dispatch from the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square, Somerville
New York City
Fluffy in Memphis
She’s crafty – she’s gets around
She’s crafty – she’s always down
She’s crafty – she’s got a gripe
She’s crafty – and she’s just my type
Oh, I just love it when Ad-Rock whines “she’s crafty”! He’s just so cute. OK, so this isn’t about that kind of crafty, but I thought it fit. After all, I have gripes.
Blame Dive for this posting of my crafty wares. Well, come to think of it, you can also blame Creative Carissa, as she convinced me to join Punk Rock Knitters, a knitting blog. And you can also blame Robyn for posting such pretty watercolors and getting Dive going on his Photoshop wonders. I’d say blame Knudsen too, but he’d probably kill me.
In my very first bloggy post I wrote about a number of things that I had caved on in my life (I had vowed never to get involved in blogging, hence the theme). Crafts was a big one. I come from a crafty family. Mom’s a former artist and current craftswoman extraordinaire (you name it, she’s tried it, and she’s amazing). Dad’s an amateur woodworker, and my sister is an artist. For a long time I figured that I’d be the unique one in my family and make absolutely nothing with my hands (I also had some what I thought to be feminist principles about not pursuing any kind of domestic arts). Thing is, it’s in the blood. It was only a matter of time before I’d turn to crafts. I’m glad I did. I like them.
I took up pottery when I was living in New Hampshire. I never got terribly good at it, but I loved it very much. My Monday night class was with a bunch of salty women of varying ages and was taught by this perfectly normal guy, the most straight-laced potter I’ve ever met. We probably traumatized him, but he loved us. He screened people for our classes because he didn’t want to mess up the vibe. I miss the class (almost like therapy) and haven’t found anything around these here parts to replace it.
Knitting was something I swore I’d never do. Ever. But then I wanted this funky scarf that I could see in my mind, and I decided that I had to learn. Here’s a photo of the McDreamy hat and scarf set that I’m giving my mother for Christmas. She loves bubblegum pink, and I was in the middle of my endless Grey’s marathon, so I decided to name it after McDreamy (the hat pattern is from the Stitch ‘N Bitch book, and the scarf is free style). Read my first blog post for a picture of the cell phone cozies I made (they are cute). If you are really interested in the details, click here for my Punk Rock Knitters post (I finally did it, Carissa).
The third day of alone time was the charm. I awoke this morning prepared to deal with other human beings and with no desire to watch endless reruns of Grey’s Anatomy.
Although I’m sure today’s high of 60-plus degrees bodes ill for our environment, it was balm to my New England soul. New England winters are hard. They aren’t Montana hard, with endless snow and roads that never get plowed. Nor are they Alaska hard, where I heard it was -31 this morning. No, New England winters don’t usually pit one against the elements like they do out West. Instead, they wear you down in an endless succession of cold, snowy days—until May. So when it is 60-plus degrees out at the end of November, we New Englanders rejoice. Those of us who had the day off (like me) go outside.
First I took a lovely walk on the beach. I smiled at strangers and petted dogs. Here are a few pictures from my stroll.
Then I went to my favorite junk shop and wandered around.
And then I went and had coffee at a café and did some knitting (results will be posted shortly). Sitting across from me at the café was an aspiring novelist (she was not writing for National Novel Writing Month, either). I thought of Robyn. I ended my travels with a vist to this little gourmet take-out place my sister works at. There I got some delicious potato leek soup for a late lunch.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. Never you fret, though. I go back to work tomorrow. The snarky vitriol will return shortly.