Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cloud Atlas

Did anyone out there ever read the book Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell? I loved it. I want to read it again. I want to write down each wonderful turn of phrase. 
"I watched clouds awobbly from the floor o' that kayak. Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an' tho' a cloud's shape nor hue nor size don't stay the same, it's still a cloud an' so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud's blowed from or who the soul'll be 'morrow? Only Sonmi the east an' the west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds."
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

The SAT Test

 Today is a big day... Nick is taking the SAT's for the first time. It is the first official step towards his college career! He's been taking a SAT class in school to help him prepare for the test; I hope he does well... if he does well enough, maybe he won't have to take them again. But chances are, he'll take them at least one more time. You can take the SAT's a few times and they will accept your top scores in each category.

Poor Nick had to wake up this morning pretty early, almost as if it was a regular school day. I made him an egg and some tea, because I didn't want him to be hungry (and I thought a little caffeine might help wake up his brain a bit.) I never woke up with Frankie when he had to take the SAT's, but he didn't really need me to. Nick did need me to - he hadn't even set his alarm clock. If I hadn't gotten up with him, I'm not sure he would have woken up. He was allowed to bring a bottle of water and some snacks - he brought a cinnamon bun thing and a bag of pretzels - for during the break. The test lasts something like 4 hours...

He also had to bring #2 pencils, his calculator (which he forgot in school, so I lent him one) and the admission ticket that proved that he paid for the test. Because yeah, it isn't free. It's something like $50? I forget how much, but definitely not free. We registered for it on line, on the college board web site.

The class he took at school for SAT Prep gave him strategies for taking the test, things that you would never know if you don't take a class. Like, for example, did you know that sometimes you should guess, but sometimes you are better off not answering the question if you aren't absolutely certain? Hey, I don't know all those strategies, because I didn't take the class. But hopefully Nick knows them now. And I'm glad he was able to take the class in school, instead of at a private class place that I would have to pay for. Those courses aren't cheap.

Well, anyway, keep your fingers crossed for Nick. He's had a hard semester - he's been immersed in English and in SAT prep which is half English and half Math - and I think he's learned more than he realizes.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Picnic

Last year, my bro-in-law Steve went hiking with his son to this park. It was snowy and the river and at least part of the water fall was frozen. They walked past a family who'd had the idea to bring a picnic lunch -- and the two Steves decided that it was a good idea. Thus, a new family tradition was born.

Well, part of a family tradition. Only part of the family made it.

And it wasn't snowing or very frozen this year.

But it was a very nice hike, and a lovely little park that we'd never been to before.

And the food was delicious! We had London Broil, Overly baked potatoes (we didn't take them out of the fire in time), Macaroni salad, and onions.

We hung out a while, hiked a bit, and then we hiked back outta there before it got dark. Lovely day. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frankie is off again

After a long holiday break, I brought Frankie back to school yesterday. I'm not sure when the next time we'll see him. I was happy he was going back, for the same reasons I was glad he went away to school in the first place; it's really exciting, isn't it? It's a great thing for him. He's learning to be on his own, to take care of himself. Plus, it gets him out of the house, and that gets me out of his business. I don't WANT to hover, but if he's texting in front of me, I want to know who he's texting. If he is going out, I want to know where he's going. I need to separate from him.

He was pretty happy to be going back, too. Back to the dorm, which is like an entire kingdom exclusively for 18 - 25 year olds. Adults do not belong. Back to late nights playing video games and running from room to room. Back to a cafeteria that will feed him almost anything he wants any time he walks in - all he has to do is pick up a tray. (OK, he isn't learning to take care of his meals very well. He missed the cafe so much that he just didn't eat, at home, if someone didn't hand him his meal.)

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Save You

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Save You is a Pearl Jam song. There is a lot of cursing in it,so I'm not going to write the lyrics here. But it's a great song, and in some ways it fits (although not completely because it's more dramatic than the situation warrants.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A picture is better than 1000 words

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Although I'm not sure what it says, because I'm more of a word person,

Is blogging still fun?

I've noticed I've had less time for blogging lately. It's less of a challenge than it used to be. Or maybe more of a challenge. I have a hundred thoughts on my mind to explore, but which ones can actually be narrowed down to a post? I wonder if every thought that passes through my mind is really something anyone wants to read, anyway? And besides that, what's the goal? Is it to create? Is it for me? Or is it for an audience? Is it something that could be measured? Does it matter?

My head swirls with thoughts about my purpose in general, not just here in the blogosphere. I see myself as I was as a child, but the world sees me as old. My hair is black and I am short and skinny. My hair is gray and I am short and stout. My hair is dyed, and I hate to be fake. I want to dye it back to black, because that is who I am, but everyone says black looks fake, so I dye it light brown, because somehow everyone else likes that better. If it's gotta be fake anyway, why can't I dye it bright blue, which is the color I would choose?

What is the purpose of a life? To create more lives and continue the species? I've done that, so this biological goal has been accomplished. Does that make my life meaningless now? I heard that the existence of grandmothers is important to the continuation of our species, because grandmothers hold the wisdom in stories to pass down to the next generation, which helps the tribe survive. So if I am to be old, and have a meaning for existence, is it to tell stories? Is that the purpose of my life now?

I write and write, and then I backspace and erase the entire post. Because none of this is interesting or important or entertaining. I can go on and on, and then backspace and post none of it. I do that a lot, because my audience here is not here for that. But then again, am I here for an audience? I don't think so... but the fact is that sometimes, people do read this, people I know. So I am an editor as much as a writer.

Well. Anyway. Time for another cup of tea, and the laundry. My typical day is measured in steps from the computer to the stove to the washer and dryer and back again. Talk to ya later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I finished my painting!


I can't even tell you how many years it took. It's been a while. For a long time it just sat around in various rooms in my house, and I looked at it, and wondered about it, and what needed to be done to fix the problems I had with it.

I don't think it's perfect, by any means. But I do think it's done.
I have some aspects of it that I don't love, but... hey, it's a learning curve.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

My windowsill


I love my windows. This is the sun window, next to my computer. I don't really believe in washing windows. It doesn't bother me much. If I washed my windows, I wouldn't have the time to play with my camera and sit next to my window at my computer.
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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Family Photo

Hi all
Here is a picture from New Years Eve

Our family is all together for the new year
and tolerating each other rather well
and being quite peaceful and basically pleasant
and sometimes, that's all you really need.

It's pretty cold outside.
We sit on the couch and warm ourselves in front of the tv.
Football is a huge presence in our weekends, for now.
(Ignoring that, I read a new book every weekend or so.)

We have plenty to entertain ourselves
and never have to leave the house
or really even talk to anyone -
not even each other, if we don't want to.

How long until we have cabin fever?
It hasn't happened yet this winter
but I doubt we can avoid it forever.
Even with TV, computer, books and music.

How are you doing?
Are you enjoying your winter?
Do you get out much, or are you happy at home?
What have you been doing with yourself?

Write soon,
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cleaning the House

I'm not really cleaning. But I've been in a sort of "organizing" mood. Getting rid of junk kind of mood. Not at all normal for me.

My tupperware cabinet in the kitchen hasn't been really useful in more than 10 years. I stopped opening the door because every time I opened the door, a bunch of plastic fell out. But yesterday, I pulled everything out of there and washed it. I'm happy about that.

Of course, it's still sitting on my counters. But it's clean. And nothing falls out of the cabinet when I open the door.

I tossed a whole garbage bag of clothes out of my closet. I haven't actually donated them to charity yet, but they're going soon. And they aren't in my closet anymore. It was all stuff that I haven't fit into or worn because it's ugly or dated, and yet, I hated parting with it! Why am I such a hoarder?

The books, of course, are stacked everywhere around the house. I need to get them a little more organized, and then I'm having a book borrowing party, and I'm inviting everyone. Come on over and take some of these books. I'll let you know what the date is, as soon as I know...

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm not creating, I'm absorbing.

Sometimes I feel very creative. But not right now, I don't. Right now, and for the past few days, I've felt more like just sitting and enjoying something that someone else has created.

I haven't felt like writing, but I've had a great time reading some of my new books.

I have been absorbing new music at the sixty one, which is a new music social networking game kinda thing. It's great, I love it. If you like playing around with new music, take a look at it, and make friends with me - my name is Susyluwho. Of course. But appreciating new music isn't the same as creating new music.

I haven't felt like painting. I haven't felt like sewing. I haven't even felt much like playing with my camera and photos. I haven't done much of anything. I've been watching a few movies, that was nice. Just absorbing other people's productivity...

I haven't been cooking too much, but I have been eating plenty. I'm cutting back on my food now that I'm back to work -- not too much, though, not enough to actually lose weight. I saw a picture of myself, and I strongly resemble a hobbit. Oh well, I am what I am. I like the idea of second breakfast and elevensies and lunch and afternoon tea and snack and dinner and supper. As long as I don't have hairy feet. (Yes, Lord of the Rings was one of the movies I've watched.)

And right now, I'm in the mood to have a nice cup of tea, and settle back down with my book.