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Nov. 5th, 2009

10:42 pm - Your moment of zen.

Because I get silly after a long evening with the 'shop.

Also, the jacket and pins turned out nicely after all.

Oct. 30th, 2009

10:22 pm - Note to future self.

When a Dremel tool is used on CD jewel case plastic, it doesn't grind or cut. It melts.

Yes, even on the lowest setting.

12:14 am - Things I miss about sewing:

1) Wearable crafts.


Things I don't miss about sewing:

1) Perforated callouses.

2) Two trips shopping for supplies and still having to make do with almost-right.

3) The sneaking suspicion that someone very close by is much better at this than I am.

Oct. 22nd, 2009

08:39 pm - My lab coat.

I can't remember what happened to it.

Is it hiding in a completely unsuspected case or box?

Did I give it to someone?

Did I donate it? Where would I have taken it?

Sep. 14th, 2009

05:48 pm - Friday morning, the phone rings.

"Charlie was at a conference in New York," and she means the city, "and he collapsed in the street. He hit his head...."

My stepmother, Michelle, breaks off, and her breath is ragged. She apologizes, and says that she hasn't been crying, doesn't know why it only hit her now. I understand, it's the pressure of knowledge, of completely understanding something only when we have to tell someone else about it.

My dad is 65 and has agonizingly high cholesterol and blood pressure. Diet and medicine have kept him around long enough for me to be grateful for his presence and his love. He's suffered heart attacks, hospital visits and carries so many tiny supports in the arteries surrounding his heart that I've stopped counting. Most have been implanted in the inferior vena cava by going through an incision in the thigh. It's not exactly dinner conversation. I know it's just a matter of time.

"Some good person found him, and must have called an ambulance."

Attending a trade conference, he had complained of dizziness, and started on the short walk back to his hotel. He was still out when the first responders arrived, but they got him to the closest facility. The night was pretty tense, but not for issues with his heart. Something in his daily medication had gone off balance, and he'd passed out from low blood pressure. The immediate problem: a concussion sustained falling unconscious to the pavement.

He found out he was in a "teaching hospital" after asking why there were so many faculty around. By morning, young interns were wandering the place in small groups. For some reason, a lot of them visited his room while he was recovering. He'd wave, they would leave. He called home to reassure everyone that he was fine, he'd be coming back on the train Friday evening accompanied by one of his staffers. No driving or traveling unaccompanied for a while.

It's Sunday, early afternoon. We're just finishing up a sandwich lunch on the shaded back patio. It's a beautiful day at the end of summer, and Michelle pressures my dad to tell us "the best part." He's still dizzy, and a little tired, but smiles and reminisces. A doctor had finally confided in him that not everyone was getting the same level of observation.

"Apparently the word was getting around, and everyone had to see this guy, you won't believe it, he's 65 and he looks 50. I had tour groups."

I don't remember much else about the weekend, but the memories I have are worth it.

Sep. 2nd, 2009

01:15 am - Brickskellar? Brickskellar!

Understaffed! Warm beered! And it was Tuesday!

But throw five people into the basement and it's a great time. labrynthos is in town for a few, so she called up some people. Brad, Ron, Rob, and myself, and we drank ourselves sillier than normal and groused about work and remembered embarrassing stories out loud. No more than 3-4 apiece, really, but it's enough to be in good company. And I just remembered I owe Brad a beer or two.

And they leaned on me to join the evil Facebook network. Between them and my family it's impossible to resist, so I guess I better do some larnin'.

Aug. 25th, 2009

09:24 pm - Belated 36

There was a great party for all of the Augusts this past Saturday, featuring Numbers turning 30, and with the coolest and most gracious of hosts kindly turning their extensive home into a huge bar. Again. Seriously, when will you guys learn? Beyond that, when will I learn that if I'm surprisingly presented with a lap full of girl, that is probably not the time to ask how her Krav Maga classes are going. And be cuddly or something. Sorry, they didn't cover that at the Spengler Institute in the amateur mad science discipline.

Then there was dinner with family the previous night, which started at Clyde's and ended up completely soaked to the skin because I am an even huge-er idiot and can't wait two minutes for someone with an umbrella. But at least it wasn't at all cold, and I suppose if I were into wetness or something, it would have been an incomparable experience.

On that note...some of us never seem to grow up. Collapse )

Happy clobberin' time, everybody.

Aug. 18th, 2009

08:46 pm - This is not drama. This is not politics. This is...


It makes me so happy.

Aug. 14th, 2009

07:22 am - Signs and Portents

All of my dark socks fresh from the dryer paired up perfectly. Does this rejection of the customary sacrifice mean I am no longer favored by the goddess of laundry?

Aug. 4th, 2009

01:10 am - August

I have tried to rest, but I can feel my heart beat. Pressure spreading, my teeth grind, fingers grasp lightly at the edge of sleep without purpose or volition.

Returning here, to my room, to this cave, this tower, this window to the familiar, I've taken on all the old weight of life. The air unsettles after travel, humid and invasive, seething into me, infusing my old man's lungs with its signal of war. After so many priceless days, the stink of fuel, the roar of mighty engines, clamoring streets, wind and arctic surf. Torn mists climbing the twisted cypress, falling into narrow coves, infusing groves that for all their foreign and blackened woods held more the breath of home than this unwelcome heat.

I strain, I cough, a tickle in the throat, numb thoughts, a bitter salt gorge of disgust. Living here thirty years when every day is a battle. Waking again, a head full of numbers suspended in cotton, trying like mad to be something approaching loving and friendly and efficient and normal. My guide those simple moments of clarified anger or pain or confusion. Those gifts given, gone forever. Those taken, not without price.

I am not alone here, I see it well from the outside. We all live with loss and chaos and strive to step correctly, to both advance and preserve, to appreciate the present with no regret for the past. We are all born as minds in a metaphor of the flesh. Grasping at momentary pleasures. Curiously pitching forward on faint paths into a dusk of perfume and lamplight. We get one chance, and soon enough we'll be done with this ragged effort. Nothing to do but wake up again and prepare as best we can.

That is my comfort. This is still a life, and even if I don't have a long enough night, it may still contain a little sleep.

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