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Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall St Goes to 1 Police Plaza

The Wall St Occupiers are marching on Police Plaza in NYC in protest of the terrible treatment some received last week.1 Police Plaza is a small place outdoors. Very small. Maybe 50 people could stand around comfortably. There are barricades and now they've put up barriers. I've been there several times before the barricades were there and I can't see how even a  hundred could squeeze onto that space. I predict a lot of arrests. Violence is likely. This could get very ugly in a short timespan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/30/occuply-wall-street-march-police-plaza

Lost Boy

Marble Arvidsen went missing the day before Irene hit Vermont. There is little info on where he could have gone or whom he was with. Marble is a good student, seemed to have no unusual problems for a teen, and is being searched for in Southern Vermont. So far, there are no clues and he hasn't been heard from.


If you've seen Marble or have any info, please use the contact info above. His family and loved ones are frantic with worry- it's been more than a month.

Over the Hills and Far Away

It's like I've got two minds right now. Part of me is trying to figure out how to coordinate moving back in from here and part of me is trying to figure out what I want to do with Strider since our time here together is quite shortened. And both are nebulous, a sea of things floating in my head that I can't grab anything from to start.

Hanging with Strider is what it's always been, we chat, relax, laugh. I've slept here like I haven't slept in years. And consequently a peace has settled in that leaves me uncharacteristically quiet and content. Her ex torques me but that's another story. Even he can't seem to rattle my cage that much. Maybe I'm shell-shocked. In any event, this is a me I don't think I've ever seen before.

But the news that I'll be leaving long before anyone thought has the stomach motor rumbling now. I thought we'd have another month or so- my temporary change of address is in til December 1st and so far there's been nothing forwarded, even! There's a list of things to coordinate and I don't know how much warning I'll have to get it all done. And I still haven't found the phone I bought.

It's all academic until I have a firm date to move back in. I have no idea how this'll all work; the "pod" has to be brought back onsite and someone else's belongings may well be packed in behind mine; my furniture and books and stuff only filled the front half of the thing, so someone else may have to move back before I can., or all their stuff may need to be taken out, my stuff removed and their stuff put back in. I don't know. Then, I have to coordinate the arrival of the bed. It'd be nice if that could happen on the day I move back but I'm not sure that can happen. Then I have to coordinate the kind folks who are storing my fragile and non-"pod"-able belongings, and Strider may have to take a day off to drive me back to Vermont, and I need to ask for helpers to move my stuff in again. And there's the re-starting of mail, telephone, cable and internet...oy. So the motor idles, and revs in a low state of panic now and then.

Half of me is over the hills and far away, half of me sits here in Strider's living room, planning a nice pot roast for dinner. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brattleboro, I'm Comin' Home!

Just got word from the BHA that the certificate for occupancy (the all-clear) for my Hobbit Home will be issued sometime between October 7-10.

Just when I got happy being here!
Well,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfy4ez1YKb4

Chris Freakin Christie?

The latest in the Repo conga line for nomination seems to be Governor Christie of New Jersey, though he keeps saying he's not saying. No wait, he is saying. No wait, he's not.

Chris Christie is a big ass. This is the guy who wants to cut state workers' salaries. Who wants to cut pensions and not let people retire when they've put in their decades of work. Who wants workers to continue taking unpaid days off but still carry their workload. This guy, in short, wants to gut the working class, the middle class and anyone else he can gut. But apparently he feeds his own gut pretty damn well.

I can't help but think what my Dad's and uncles' reactions would be to this list of psychos running for the Repo side. Romney the "tie the dog to the top of the car" guy; Palin, who couldn't even finish her one term at governor; Bachmann, Paul, Pawlenty, Santorum, Huntsman, Perry and -Jesus Christ!- Gingrich? Gingrich? Are you freakin kidding me? This is the Best of what Repos have? Holy crap! My Dad would be furious. Uncle Bert would turn in his card. Uncle Les would give up on voting altogether. And Nana? Nana would be on the phone 24/7 bitching at every Repo Club she could find about how bad this is making the party look They're all lucky Nana's gone.

It's a shame, really. They all make Obama look like a genius.

Autumn Morning in Maine

It's a chilly gray morning and it seems overnight the trees changed their clothes. What was uniform deep green yesterday is a variety of golds, oranges and reds in the diffused light today. The Fall flowers are muted colors- mauve, gold, a little yellow, a bit of red. Strider's touch is everywhere.

Following the meltdown two days ago, some changes set in me too. It's odd to be the one looked after. This isn't normal for me. It freaked me out. I'm a fixer. I like solving problems. There are people back home who need help and if I was there I'd be on the horn and networking like crazy. But here, I'm powerless. And all the projects, all the things half-done that I was in the midst of when Irene came to town, have to wait and so do I. I got a time out from Mother Nature.

Well, it gives me a new view on a few things. One is that I've forgotten how to play, or just be, as my friend Stevil pointed out very gently. Somewhere back in the self-help shrinkerizing decades was a deal about, "Be a Human Being, Not a Human Doing." Guess that has a value in life besides the groan it used to get from me. And that it's okay to need someone's help, to be on the receiving end. It's given me a whole new perspective there. It kinda wrecks it for the givers when you're not comfortable receiving. What givers want most is for you to be happy. And that it's good to goof off. I haven't just goofed off in a long time. And here's time to goof off and I immediately throw myself into work, which is fine, except that I apparently also need to put the whip down for a couple of days and just relax. I'm safe and beyond comfortable, I'm happy. I'm with one of the best people on Earth, somebody I love more than life, and with her incredible furfaces that are funny and sweet. I'm in a gorgeous place that I can't stop looking at. So why am I shoulding on myself?

Mother Nature is right, as always. People need time outs now and then, just to get back to being. And it's as good to receive as it is to give; don't spoil it for the giver. Maybe those are the lessons I needed to learn in this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Occupy Boston!

Who knows what this all will do, but it's catching:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/28/occupy-boston-wall-street

The Chicago march dwindled and died quickly, but I've a feeling the same won't happen in Boston. There's nothing like a really pissed off Bostonian. Ever try to drive there? ;)

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

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Occupy Wall St in 2nd Week

Protesters are in the 2nd week of demonstration at the US financial district. After Saturday's police launch on the protesters, there is an air of trepidation. Amy Goodman featured Nathan Schneider on Democracy Now! and many protesters including a woman who talked about the arrest and pepper-spraying are in this clip:

http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/nathan-schneider-reports-on-occupywallstreet-for-democracy-now/

Hold on, brothers and sisters, just hold on.

If you're still not sure what this is all about, give a read:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/25/1020121/-Workers-sacrifice,-Wall-Street-keeps-the-profits-OccupyWallStreet

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vermonters Displaced by Irene- Heads Up!

Our Congress guys got a waiver to open up 90 apartments for people who lost their homes to Irene's floods:

http://welch.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1666&Itemid=90&utm_source=DialogMail&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwelch.house.gov%2findex.php%3foption%3dcom_content%26task%3dview%26id%3d1666%26Itemid%3d90&utm_campaign=Irene+recovery+resource+page%2c+help+for+small+farmers+and+Vermonters+displaced+by+Irene

Hurry and apply; there are only 90 available, but it's better than nothing.

Brattleboro's Annus Horribilis

My little home town is reeling again. Today a woman was shot by a man, apparently in a pickup truck, and 911 was called from in front of the Shell station near my home. So far the investigation is under way, no names or condition have been released.

This has been an awful year for our town. The huge fire, then two murders inside 2 weeks, the flood, a still-missing teenage boy, now this. How much can happen, how much can our little town bear? We're tough and resilient, but man, this year has kicked our collective ass.

http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php/20110927153057996

Some Whine, No Cheese

Guess it was inevitable. I was writing this afternoon about keeping up a brave face in disability when I fell apart. So much for my stoicism.

This whole experience has been humbling, horrifying, wonderful, terrible and surprising. For a few days in the beginning, I was fine. Then heart palpitations came. I rode that out, fighting off anxiety attacks with thought and meditation. When the final word came that I had no home and didn't know when I'd get one back I took it philosophically. And Strider stepped up, doing all she could to provide a haven so I wouldn't be on the streets. Her tremendous show of compassion and love lifted me for a while and I got to a plateau of gratitude.

Now I've been homeless for 4 1/2 weeks. I feel dependent on Strider for everything and I've disrupted her life and home. I'm terribly guilty and shamed, I'm homesick and stressed over not knowing what will happen, if my belongings are safe, where my belongings even are, or when or if I'll be going home. I was homeless when I was young. It was much easier then. I wasn't disabled. I could drive, or walk anywhere I wanted. And then after crippling up, living alone, with an aide to do the shopping and errand running I could maintain a semblance of independence. Especially after getting affordable housing. But take away all of that and the stark reality is that I'm not independent at all. Which guts me.

And I'm scared shitless that this is going to change things between Strider and me. She's gone so out of her way and over the call of duty to accomodate me, and my unhappiness has nothing to do with being here or with her. I just want to go home and get my life back. I'm tired of losing things, I'm tired of fighting, I'm tired of uncertainty. And I feel like an ungrateful huge whining baby for even admitting it all. Fuck me. I'm such an ass. I'm sorry. Temporary meltdown. I just needed to get that out, I guess...

Damn it, I just want my little Hobbit house back.

Wilmington and Irene

My town, Brattleboro, had some impressive damage from Irene. So did Townshend, Dover... there's a long list. But Wilmington was severely hit. The massive flood all but wiped out their downtown; they're still cleaning up and rebuilding, and will be for some time. Wilmington is the town in the middle of Route 9, the corridor that links all of southern Vermont east to west. It's an important center that serves the ski resorts to the north, too. I hope they're back to normal before winter sets in.

Catching up with what's going on back home I read last week's issue of The Commons, Bratt's local independent newspaper. And found a column written by Patrick Skater, "The Yarn":
  http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site04/story.php?articleno=4100&page=1

A splendid bit of writing, there. It has that feeling of unbowed resolve and slight sentiment that so typifies New Englanders. Well done, Patrick.

The Inexplicable Covers

In publishing there are inexplicable variables. A lot of that seems to happen in cover art. I once took all my sci fi and fantasy books out and looked at the cover art for inspiration to do a piece for an art show on futuristic fashion. After looking at them and putting them back, I had less ideas than I'd started out with, as if a creative vortex had opened and sucked out my brain and almost my will to live.

So it's with trepidation that I refer you to some of the most mind-boggling cover art ever produced for sci fi and fantasy books, on a website called, "Good Show, Sir":
 http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/

Rory, get out that tin foil helmet. You'll need it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

7X7 At 7 O'Clock

I just awoke from a nap, book on face ("Facebook, the Laura version", Strider quipped)  to find that Delores at The Feathered Nest very sweetly tagged me with The 7X7 Links!



How this works is, you go back through all your blogposts and choose 7 that fit the bill. Wow. This will take a while. And no, I still haven't learned to do proper hot links so the old way will have to do... ;)

1. most beautiful
A short poem about a memorable first kiss
 
2. most popular
Probably due to its being linked on Wikipedia, about my old boss:
 
3. most controversial
This is the hardest to find; the dear readers who comment and view my blog are usually in agreement wih me, so I don't get arguing feedback. But the closest I guess, came to being really pissed off about cynicism:
 
4. most helpful
In the wake of the Norway massacres this summer, I found something Stephen Fry tweeted and it was very healing:
 
5. surprisingly successful
At the start of the Murdoch scandals, Hugh Grant played a big part, and I had a surprising number of hits and they're still coming:
 
6. most underrated
Never understood why this didn't even get a comment:
 
7. most pride worthy      
Now here's the damning one; what I'm proudest of writing. Well, I'll pick one from the Way Back Machine, before a dozen people even knew I was blogging:
 
Here's the really fun part!
And now I have to tag 7 bloggers for the challenge. So here they are:
CarrieBoo is amazing. Her adventures, her wit and her lively take on life are not to be missed.
 
Rory is a great writer and his Scottish Scribbler blog is well-known, but this is his serious side, about politics and injustice.
 
Michaelann writes about all sorts of things, and about social justice in a no-nonsense, gutsy way.
 
Annie is a refreshing, challenging writer who picks interesting topics. Blog more, Annie!
 
Geo. is an enigma himself. You cannot define this blog. But it's hilarious.
 
I've recommended Wayne's blog before. I can't recommend it too many times.
 
Helene writes about all kinds of music. She writes about new bands, favorite bands and musicians she admires. She also takes great unusual photos  I admire her outlook.
 
So now I'll go let all these blogging stars know they have been tagged.  The rules are simple. Find posts in your blog that meet the criteria of
most beautiful
most popular
most controversial
most helpful
surprisingly successful
most underrated
most pride worthy      
and then, tag 7 lucky bloggers!
Thanks, Delores (Lawless) hehe. Visit  her at http://mybabyjohn.blogspot.com/

Nicely Said, Mr. Carville!

James Carville sent an email around asking peep to donate $3 or more to boost the Dems' warchest. The usual "we've gotta fight 'em" hoohah. But the opening lines made me smile:

"There’s something in their tea.
"That’s the only explanation I can think of to explain the bizarre babblings of Tea Party Republicans.

"And the rants of these global-warming-denying, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, job-cutting, Wall-Street-protecting tea party types would be funny if it weren’t for one thing:

"Money. Lots of it.

"Backed by millions of dollars raised by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, what would pass for a cheap side show at a flea-bitten circus has become a dangerous political force that threatens the very future of our country."

Good job!

Faster than the Speed of Light?

Physicists have observed what they believe to be neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. This is causing an uproar in the physicist community, as it defies Einstein's Law of Relativity. If true, this changes many things and opens possibilities thought impossible until now:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/23/physicists-speed-light-violated

I love it when things move forward. We have so much backwardsness these days. Who knows, we may see time travel in our lifetimes. Then that woman with what looks like a cell phone in that Chaplin film will make perfect sense. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiIrpEMbQ2M

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Bite at a Time

Spent six hours organizing notes and topics into chapters. I'm pretty well set up to get to it now. It's good it took 2 years to get to this space, in both body and mind. Really, I don't even remember writing all I have written. But somehow, through the drug fog and craziness I took some damn good notes- for myself. They'd probably suck for anyone else who tried to use them. Guess that's a throw-back to how I took school notes, making self-referenced notes so I'd associate things to what was already in memory, which were useless to anyone who tried to copy from me. That way if they wanted tutoring they'd have to deal with me, not just take my notes. And my notes were never stolen. Important, in NYC schools.

So these notes are like that- random key words that trigger experiences to relate. Meaningless to anyone else.

And I've gotten to "stop now while you have things to say" point. I'll probably make more notes for each chapter, flesh out what I've got and see what more comes up. There's two distinct parts now; I'll work as I go and have to keep stapling things. And I'll have to hire a typist. I know I can't do all this typing one-handed. It's gonna be a fairly big book. And I have to consider illustrations. A lot of work ahead. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

In other news, the Greg Lake portrait is done, thanks to Strider's eyeballing. I'm sending it to Eileen at Ladies of the Lake, who'll scan it for the website and get it to Greg for me. No guarantees there'll be a comment from him, but stranger things have happened. I have no expectations. That way everything is an opportunity- for a happy surprise, for the satisfaction of knowing his eyes will have seen it, for just having it on the website, whatever. It's all part of my weird-ass life. ;)  

You See, It's All Clear...

The sun rose over the mountains and burned off the caul of fog. It's like many other mornings I've seen and not at all like any other morning. Strider found an ergonomic desk chair for me; my body doesn't know what to do with it. I've been sitting in a delapidated wing chair for years, then on my walker for a month. It's gonna take a while for everything to adjust to where it's supposed to be. Yes, the spoilage continues.

This sentience of why I'm here and what got me here is either close to enlightenment or insanity, I'm not sure which. But in the middle of a really good movie last night I started making notes for the book, and when the movie ended and Strider was fast asleep in her big chair, I came to the desk and started writing.

It's not clear how I'll put this all together. I have chapter outlines and a lot of notes and I'll go from there. How it turns out, who knows? Having trust in the process is part of it.

In the news today, we go from the emetogenic to the ridiculous. Putin will probably go back for another term as Russia's president. Oh joy. There goes my appetite.

The hacking scandal keeps growing like The Blob:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/23/neil-wallis-revelation-questions-met

The NYPD has finally shown a decidedly rotten core to the Wall St protesters:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/sep/25/occupywallstreet-occupy-wall-street-protests

Ben & Jerry's has a new flavour, "Schweddy Balls":
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/09/23/vt-schweddy-balls-ice-cream.necn?hpt=hp_t2

Some Brazilians have a real story too ridiculous to not be true:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/23/ketchup-killing-sauce-fun-brazil

A Berkeley College Republican bake sale will price goodies by race:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/25/us/california-racial-bake-sale/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

US poverty levels soar as Repos fiddle:
http://www.bread.org/media/releases/census-state-figures.html

The first case of spontaneous combustion recorded in Ireland:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15032614

And I think that's all the news I can stand right now.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Live From Occupy Wall Street

There are many things going on to make your head explode, in this country and elsewhere. But just for today, I'm resolved to be and stay happy. And so, to give you the firsthand experience of what's going on with the Occupy Wall St. folks (as opposed to the internut gossip) here's their Livestream channel:

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

Oh, and here's the nifty article I lifted the Livestream link from:
http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/occupywallstreet-is-more-than-a-hashtag/

Enjoy. I'm sure I'll be back to bitching tomorrow.

From the Woods

Here I am in Strider's sitting room, staring out a huge picture window on miles of Maine mountains. This is such a big room that she added the bed and a side table without having to move any furniture-and now this great old wooden kitchen table for me to work on and a chest of drawers fill her front room and still she's nonplussed. She installed a john, too, since I can't do the stairs these days. Am I spoiled? Yes. And I'm loving every single thing. Because every single thing is because she loves me.

Strider's house is beautiful. I'd almost forgotten how unbelievably beautiful she makes her living spaces. Colors. Textures. Brilliant touches, like cutting and replacing the cat-scratch places on her big stuffed sofa and chair with funky carpet patches that look better than if it was all brand new. Like the thriving plants that she's always had a talent for growing. Like the tons of books and amazing array of good movies and tv series. Like the wonderful things that are everywhere that you look. Pieces of art, pieces of nature's own art, fanciful things that seem to each have a story- and that's the thing, they all do. She's got such talent at creating a home. I've never seen anyone else in my whole life who creates such spaces. And I can't believe how I'd almost forgotten what it was like to live with that force. It's happiness.

All that's happened- going gimp, moving from the building that burned down soon after I left, moving to The Shire, The Shire being flooded and leaving that, living at Aunt Nancy's Ashram, everything has moved me forward to being here. And yeah, sitting right here at this table, looking out this window, I'll finally finish the book. I almost got up and started writing in the middle of the night last night. But I was sabotaged by a pastel kitty named Clemmie.

Life astounds me. Truly when one door closes many may open...you just have to pick a good one and trust a little. And always go with the people who love you, because no matter how far you fall, you'll be okay. Better than okay; you'll get to know how much you're loved. And there is nothing, nothing, nothing better to fall on than love. It's the softest, bestest thing in the world.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bye Bye Bratt!

Before I take the puter apart I wanted to say a quick Thank You to everyone who's helped me thru this unexpected upheaval. To Paul G, Laura W, and all the United Way volunteers who packed me up in record time; to the whole Crompton Clan, 3 generations of big hearts whom I love; to the BHA and all their remarkable fortitude- despite the insanity they've kept it together; and to every member of Aunt Nancy's Ashram; most sincerely, Thank You. You've made what could've been a nightmare a kind of 'shroomy trip.

And while I get to skip off Down East and let others do the dirty work, there are some here still having to live in and deal with the aftereffects of Irene themselves. My prayers go out to them, who are getting little help, and to people like Barb L who are championing them. You go, Sabs!

Liftoff time is T-3 hours. I don't have much left to do, really. Think I'll go have a smoke on the porch and stare at the view, however foggy it is this morning...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Last Last Supper

Well, we ate some really good food, drank a bit of champagne, laughed a lot. I don't think it'll set on any of us that I'm really going til I'm gone. I'm kinda tipsy on one champagne!

Well, it's been fun here. Now Part 2 of Austanspace- There and Back Again begins.

Really, I can't wait..

Looking for a Kidney Donor

The Feathered Nest posted this, from http://myprivateconey.blogspot.com/ who's asking for a special kind of help from a special kind of person. If you can help, go to My Private Coney and email her. If you can't, please spread the word wherever you can.


This is Juan.




He's from New York. Mitchell Lama houses on 95th and Amsterdam. When he was growing up there, you still could see New Jersey from Amsterdam. Never lived anywhere else but New York (and you can't count those 8 months in Kansas City). His high school job was opening-the- doors-closing-the-doors at the Planetarium. TWA flight attendants, then glamorous heroes of the sky, in full length fur coats taught him the difference between a silly drink of vodka and orange juice and the sophistication of a kir royale. Christmas finery in those days was skinny jeans and a shirt unbuttoned down to there. Well, after all it was the 70's.

Then Tom met him.

 Tom is not from New York. He's from Missouri. He moved to New York and went to a Buddhist gathering. Took one look at Juan and that was that. And that was 26 years ago. Tom is the only reason Juan lived in Kansas City for eight months.

I ask Juan, "What about you is New York?"

"I experienced everything. We didn't grow up with money, but I experienced everything."

This is my friend, Juan. And what I want him to experience is something he hasn't before - a new kidney.

So if you are B+ or maybe even O or O+ or 0- and you got a kidney, my friend needs your help.

And if you are not any of those things, would you help and pass this post forward? Post it to your blog, post it to your facebook, send it out with your pigeons, let your friends know.

Spread the word. And welcome to His New York.

Troy Was Executed

As I went to sleep last night I heard over the radio that Troy Davis was killed by our government.

I hate that I live in a country that will kill a man who may have been innocent. I hate the death penalty altogether. And I hate those who rubber stamp it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Still Lives

The execution time has come and gone, and Troy Davis is still among us. But it ain't over, either. There is a delay order, while the US Supreme Court mulls the matter over.

But Troy has gained a lot of backers. And a lot of support from we internet types who don't like injustice. There were 500 people protesting across the street from his prison tonight.

And he lived to see it.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/22/troy-davis-execution-delayed

Our Stuff Defines Us

When I left in the evacuation, I took clothing for 2 days. There was no time to be fussy. But I packed the book I was reading, some toiletries, a couple of fun things and my omnipresent notebook. When the word came that we had to pack p our homes and may be out for 2-4 months, it was a different story.

For one thing, there were about 10 people, all but 2 total strangers, packing my home up. I took over packing my desk and grabbing the music I knew I'd need. What I didn't realize was that fate steps in, always. And so by some unplanned quirk, I ended up here with my notebooks full of The Gimp's Guide and the artwork I was doing. And a bunch of electronics. I don't even know what's in the basement here since I can't get down the stairs, but it's all going with me to Strider's and we'll see. I had to order underwear and will have to order socks if they don't turn up. Dunno if there are other shoes, either.

I have to smile when I see my essential music. ELP, Zep and my brother Johnny's memorial CD. The crisis music. The movies were a bit more random as I just grabbed what hadn't been put in the Big Chest of Videos. Which ended up being "Peter's Friends", "Ed Wood", "Mary, Queen of Scots", "Anne of a Thousand Days", and then delivered here, "Thor", cuz I'd pre-ordered it. What a weird bunch of stuff to be a refugee with. No underwear, no socks, but I've got ELP's complete catalog.

Ya gotta have priorities. :)

It's People Like Me What Causes Unrest

A few months back, when France was rioting and Brits took to the streets in huge protests against the way things are being run, I asked a question on a local site: "Will We Ever Riot Here?" And got trounced for saying it. Now, Mayor Bloomie of NYC is asking it;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14978876

We've rioted before. I grew up with riots. But it does puzzle me how, since the drug cultures emerged (first illegal, now prescribed pharmaceutical) much of the resistance to and criticism of authority has died down. And it makes me wonder, sure does.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cops Drop Hacking Source Demand

The little one's crying her eyes out, so I won't go into it. But the cops are dropping their demands that the Guardian reveal their sources in the phone hacking scandal:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/20/metropolitan-police-drop-hacking-sources-action

Nighty-night everyone.

Winding Down and Winding Up!

Things mostly went off without a hitch today. My aide got almost everything done, except for the two rugs I was having done for my hostess; the dry cleaners can't find them. I think she went down there to search. The dry cleaners are inundated with people's rugs and house goods from the flood and it's all gotten away from them.

I'll activate the Tracfone just before I leave (bastid thing- my lymph glands are huge and have been for 2 weeks already).

Ah, Nan's just come back with the rugs. All's well. Now follows the first of the Last Suppers. Tomorrow I'll have the little one to myself, Thursday it'll be the 4 remaining roomies and the Last Last Supper, then Friday I'll be gone.

And another chapter of this adventure ends and a new one begins.
Got the sweetest email reply from Strider today. I asked her what she wanted from here, and her response was, "I just want you mama." If that ain't the best thing I ever got, I don't know what is.

I Remember It Well

If you've never smelled New York City, you've got a chance now. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the smells but from the descriptions it sounds right to me.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/20/scratch-n-sniff-guide-new-york

I would add a seasonal line.
New York in the Summer- urine wafting up from the subway vents, hot pretzels at night, pizza, stale trash juice, beer vomit, cotton candy, sweating fire escapes...
New York at Christmas- chestnuts, wet wool, metallic steam radiators, pine boughs, soups in the delis, peppermint, people's coffees...
New York in Spring- defrosting gray snowbanks, uncovered trash, that rusty smell after it rains, the earthy Central Park smell, cut flowers outside the corner stores...

It could even get particular to the boroughs, as they all have their own idiosyncratic odors too.
Yes, New York is a feast for the senses. I hope the book does it justice. She has more planned.

One Last Effort

Troy Davis is scheduled for execution tomorrow. The Georgia Board signed it in yesterday. There is one last avenue, and organizations are asking for help. From an NAACP email:

"Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm is the man who originally issued the death warrant against Troy Davis, and he is in a unique position to petition the judge to withdraw that death warrant against Troy.
Since Troy Davis' conviction, the facts of the case have changed dramatically. The evidence in the Troy Davis case has always been circumstantial due to a lack of relevant physical evidence and no murder weapon. The conviction was based almost wholly on witness testimony, and seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimony or changed their stories.

"In light of this knowledge, the evidence used to convict Troy Davis appears even weaker.
Sign the petition to District Attorney Larry Chisolm. Ask him to petition the judge to withdraw the death warrant, and support clemency for Troy Davis:
http://action.naacp.org/petition-da-chisolm
An innocent life hangs in the balance. Tell DA Chisolm that he has your support in preventing Troy Davis' execution.
Thank you."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting Ready to Go Go

Three more days and I'll be outta here and on my way to Strider's house. I'm planning the last suppers, cuz Nan will be gone Wednesday so tomorrow night's the last night we'll all be together. It's kinda sad. I've grown so used to the way things run here, all the roomies and people coming and going. And the 4 year old and I have become pretty attached. But it's not like I'm leaving forever. I'll be home.

Last night my friend Lise brought me little homemade "Come Back Soon" kinda box. It's so sweet. She put tiny handmade candles, little incense sticks, a lucky penny, a flower button, a spring of pine with a teeny pinecone on it, and a liittle shale stone, all to remind me of home. And the box itself is decorated with teeny flowers, a little red stone, and the inside, if you turn it, is a full moon over trees. Very Brattleboro. I, of course, cried when they hugged me goodbye. I am sap, big time style-y.

There will be a few goodbyes this week. And I'm sad to leave my home town. But as soon as we hit the highway, I'm gonna be busting to spend a couple of months (maybe- maybe only one month) with Strider and Ems in the house in the deep woods. ;)

The Wall Street Occupation

Is going well. Several thousand have shown up, and though police got a jumpstart and actual Wall St itself is cordoned off (the rich always get thru with a pass), Liberty Street, which is actually much more visible, is where the camp is set up now. There are already lots of little heartwarming stories, like when someone tweeted they were hungry and a local pizzeria got $2800 worth of orders to deliver:

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/19/occupy-wall-street-financial-system

I'm very proud of our brothers and sisters for this. Indignados, unite!

Update: The Guardian has posted pix of the indignados in action:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/sep/19/wall-street-anti-capitalist-protest#/?picture=379236184&index=1

Good News!!??

It's been long enough coming. We've been waiting for Obama to find a spine, and maybe he has. The tax cuts for the rich are planned to end.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/us/politics/obama-plan-to-cut-deficit-will-trim-spending.html?_r=1

This of course, doesn't mean it'll happen; it's a plan. And it also includes cuts on Medicaid and Medicare and "other entitlement" programs. Entitlement? Hello? We pay into those for years- to say "entitlement" reeks of it being a favor... but that's another blog.

In a smaller but important victory, the St. Mark's Bookshop will live to fight another day. The St. Mark's is a landmark of NYC, and was nearly lost when its landlord demanded an outrageous rent increase. Lots of people signed a petition and lots of politicians, seeing a popular thing to get behind, rallied, and St. Mark's is okay. hooray for our side.

The birthday we planned for Nancy came off without trouble. Phoebe cooked an assortment of Indian dishes- all incredible (I wish I'd had her at restaurant school) and everyone ate, laughed, told stories. Which reminds me- I'll have to "Cube" y'all someday...

And the writer doing a book about the summer from Hell here interviewed me for 2 hours yesterday. We went all over the place with what this town's about, what the coop shooting did, just everywhere. I'm sure I'll catch hell for some of what I said, but it's all true.

Gotta run- this is my last week in Bratt for a couple of months, I leave Friday. Many loose ends to tie!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Troy Davis to Die on Wednesday

Troy Davis is sentenced to be executed on Wednesday. Twenty years ago, Troy’s conviction was based entirely on circumstantial evidence and witness testimony. Seven of the nine people who testified at his trial have recanted their testimony or changed their story. There is more than reasonable doubt. Tomorrow is the last chance he has to stay alive. Please read and listen to his sister's plea and consider writing to the Georgia Board to save his life. Even if you are pro-death penalty, this is a travesty and miscarriage of justice:

http://www.naacp.org/blog/entry/a-special-message-from-kimberly-davis

Hugh Grant and The Goodies

I've been remiss in reporting what's most recently happened in the phone hacking scandal. That is, that police are now wanting The Guardian's sources named and have applied under the Official Secrets Act to have it done. Hugh Grant, who blew this all wide open by being wired and catching an admission that hacking was a standard practice for tabloids, has something to say about it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/18/met-police-worrying-hugh-grant
.
It is somewhat questionable that Scotland Yard would be doing this. Whose side are they on, afterall?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kara Kennedy Dead

News has come that Kara Kennedy, oldest child and only daughter of Ted Kennedy, died in a health club on Friday. She was 51.

http://bostonist.com/2011/09/17/kara_kennedy_allen_dead_at_51.php

And Today Starts Occupy Wall Street

As I noted several weeks back, today was the day called for The People to not just march on Wall Street, but to sit down and stay.
http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/147351/protesters-begin-to--occupy--wall-street

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/667756/%22occupy_wall_street%22_today_in_nyc%3A_a_%22day_of_rage%22_kicking_off_our_own_arab_spring/#paragraph3

So far, so good!

The Legend of Bloggy Creek

It's been a busy Saturday. Finished the rest of the glitch hunt on Ladies of the Lake, organized details for Nancy's dinner tomorrow, made several lists, lots of emailing, just made a potato and leek soup and threw a 3# meatloaf in the oven. Everyone's got a bug here, to one degree or another. It's been playing with Nancy and me, but it's seriously brought down a couple of people and as I write, there are 2 napping and one blowing his nose on the porch... 
Haven't had time to get aggravated with what's up in the world today. There's a lot going on everywhere. Unfortunately tragedy and bullshit will always wait to be caught up with tomorrow. It doesn't go anywhere.

Tomorrow afternoon an author is coming to interview me for a book he's writing about Hurricane Irene and the people it affected. I hope he doesn't have an angle about it, and has an open and honest viewpoint about it. It certainly wasn't what anyone around here expected, and dealing with it hasn't had a roadmap or guidebook. Ya just go on however you can. Some of us are luckier than others. I, for instance, didn't lose near enough to call it a catastrophe. But I didn't get the brunt of the 5' wall of water and sewage and I'm not 80 years old either. When you can't find your insurance policy in the muck and the company's bitching that you need to find it, that's catastrophic. My situation is a tiptoe thru the tulips in comparison.

I'm thinking that most people don't like dealing with uncertainty. That seems to shake their trees. It's been my experience that all of life is uncertain, and that most of these constructs we have, of safety, or dependability, are just illusions. Maybe that's cynical to some people. I think it's just realistic, and that it's setting yourself up to fall if you cling to useless concepts. Nothing in life is sure, except that some day you'll die. Why break your own heart with expectations? Just not logical to me. Maybe, as my brother accused, I'm a Vulcan. ;)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tell Boner to Cut the Crap

Tell Speaker Boehner to drop the Tea Party nonsense and sign in President Obama’s call to take immediate action to put Americans back to work. Add your name here:

SIGN THE PETITION: http://dccc.org/BackToWork

Where Will Boner Stop?

Unbelieveably, 50 Repo congresspeople want to cut disaster spending! Really, if I have to think on this for one more second something bad will happen. So read it and scream:

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2011/9/16/64836/1384?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boomantribune%2FSvpw+%28Booman+Tribune%29

Progging On

The VNA schedulers in their infinite wisdom, filed me as "Out of Town" a week early, leaving me with no aide to be my legs and run around doing the things I need done before leaving. Oh joy! After throwing a Class A shitfit at them, I left a message on my RN's voicemail; perhaps I'll get someone before I leave, perhaps not. Just another tasty treat to make my life so special.

Fortunately, Nancy was here and kept a cool head as I raged at the stupidity. Because of her even Buddhist nature, I filed a temporary change of address with the good ol' USPS online and dealt with Comcast close to sanely. Had I been alone in the house, I'm pretty sure I'd still be calling, cursing, yelling at people and getting nowhere. Instead, I got a sweetheart at Comcast named Sandy (in Nashua, NH) who bent over backwards in doing everything possible to help me. She is a credit to Comcast, and the human race in general. Thank you, Sandy (hey Comcast, are you reading this? I hope so- give her a raise!).

Things will get done. Not as I like, the way I'd planned, nor in my schedule of when and how, but they will get done. Breathe deeply...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bahahahahahahah!!!!!

I really don't give in to laughing at someone else's misfortune often, but when it's Sarah Palin's all bets are off: Enjoy!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/15/sarah-palin-alleged-cocaine-marijuana-book

The Chipping Away...

or as my friend Lise calls it, "Creeping Fascism". Anti-Choice forces are rallying to make it as near as impossible as they can to eliminate anywhere a woman can get a safe abortion. Here's one story about a Virginia attempt to undermine women's health service centers via health and building regulations after 2 of only 3 clinics in Kansas were successfully closed this way :
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/15/abortion-usa

Shame On US Part 2

The worst thing I've heard from my own countrymen in I can't remember how long happened this week. At the GOP nomination debate, a crowd of  Teabaggers cheered on the idea of letting someone die rather than giving medical care:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PepQF7G-It0
I'm ashamed of anyone who would back this "party", these people, this incredible heartless selfish ugly greedy bowel movement of a movement.
My gods, how low will we go? I dry heave to think.

A Loose Scramble

There are a few ends to be tied before I leave, but nothing huge. Once you're out of your home, there isn't much left of your life to manage.

But I do have to swutch mail, phone and net, return the cable box and modem (still hunting for that), notify the bank, blah blah.

Then it's repack what I've unpacked here, collect the belongings I've leant the housemates here, and assemble everything for next Friday's bug out.

Strangely, it feels like a journey, like some weird walkabout kinda shit. Or maybe that's my long-awaited acid flashback.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Going Mobile...

As things have shaken out after my small and sudden freakout, I'm going to stay with Strider for the duration of my displacement.

I'm very psyched. Not only to be living with her for the first time in what- 15 years?- but to spend time with Ems the Wonderdog and her two new fuzzfaces, Clem and Hildie. And have a family Thanksgiving and get to cook dinners for my favorite daughter.

So it's just fixing the details now. Making a list, checking it twice, then doing all that needs doing. It's gonna be all right, anyway, as well as and in spite of, all these chutes and ladders. Cuz I have a daughter what kicks ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxoO5yrabfc

No Rooms at the Inns

Due to the FEMA workers in town for the emergency and the annual Leaf Peeper invasion, there are no rooms available in town at all.

It's starting to look like I'm going to Strider's house until Hobbiton is fixed....

Whoa, Nellie, Again...

So the housing peep emailed saying that 15 people who'd moved back in have to leave due to "moisture". It seems the optimism was unwarranted, as now they're saying they're sticking to the 2-4 month range before we can go back. Which changes everything, again.

Now I'm thinking that I should get temp housing at a motel, as I'm putting everyone out of place here; this is an already crowded house with a large extended family and isn't conducive to anyone with disabilities. My walker is always in the way, for one, and now that I'll be getting the FEMA grant for relocation, perhaps I should use it to do exactly what it's for- temporarily relocate. If our hobbit houses won't be ready for another 2-3 months it behooves me to find somewhere that I'm not inconveniencing others, like a motel.

Another day, another set of situations. Whoopdedoo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

And to Top Off the Good News Today

Shareholders are revolting against El Murdoch for his shady dealings:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/13/news-corporation-shareholders-complaint

This has been, all around, a very very good day.

FEMA Rocks in the End

Chuck The FEMA Guy was here, did the paprework, had already been out to my place (which he said was all cleaned and ready but he didn't know about the ravine out back) and the claim will be processed today. I'll get an emergency relocation grant that'll probably cover my bed and rugs. I'll know the $ amount tomorrow, and will have the check by Friday in the mail. Amazing. Everything's gonna be all right. 

In his estimation, I'll probably be back in the wawa hut in 2 weeks. I cried.

We're going home, Toto.

Today's Good People

Here's one to restore some faith in your fellow babies.
A young man was saved by a bunch of construction workers:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/09/13/2011-09-13_construction_workers_pull_man_to_safety_from_burning_car_after_motorcycle_crash_.html

No Pie For You!

Well, well, little James Murdoch is going back to testify before the MPs investigating the phone hacking his dady's empire paid to have done...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/13/phone-hacking-james-murdoch

Meanwhile, Sheila Henry, mom of a 7/7 victim is taking her case to court against the News of the World for their having hacked her son's phone:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/13/phone-hacking-7-7-victim

And  "lawyers acting for phone-hacking claimants have been a handed a 68-page document by police which lists the names of those who asked Mulcaire to engage in hacking, based on notes seized from the home of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in a 2006 raid.

"Mulcaire had a habit of noting the names of people who asked him to target mobile phones in the left-hand corner of his notebooks, often using their intitials or first name to denote their identity."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/13/phone-hacking-news-international-documents

Oh please, if any god/desses still care about humanity and think we're not irredeemably awful, bring down the Murdoch/NIG/Fox empire. And let it be the beginning of a landslide that engulfs all corporations that think they're more important than We The People.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm the Richest Chick in Town

Wow. Just wow. Not only am I blessed to be staying in a funny home full of love during this strange turn of events, but things are floating into place.

A FEMA guy named Chuck called; a nice, friendly guy who's already seen the place a dozen times and will just come by here tomorrow to do the paperwork. So there, nasty FEMA woman on the phone!

And my old pal Princess Wendy has extended an offer of financial help now as well as a consulting job when she opens her new cheeeeese shoppe here next spring. Thanks, Princess. I'm hoping the FEMA funds will cover the little I've lost, but if not, it's incredibly comforting to know I've got back up.

So as I enjoy my homemade fruity muffin served by an adorable 4 year old who's very excited to have helped (and looks a lot like Zuzu from It's a Wonderful Life), all's well in little old Austanspace. I hope all's well in your space, too.

All-Subject Blog

There are so many things to blog about that I don't have the time to go into everything. So here's a multi-purpose blog of the current lowlights.

France's Marcoule nuke waste plant had an explosion. 4 people are reported injured and one was "carbonized". Nice new sanitary way of saying "incinerated":
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/12/french-nuclear-plant-rocked-explosion

The UK is insisting on bank reformation so that bailouts don't happen:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/sep/12/vickers-report-banks-given-until-2019

This footage was taken about 100 yards from my home, and shows why we aren't there still and won't be for another month:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxDxGJHTiGM

David Mitchell has a good idea in sustainable furniture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syii9DKnb2M

A young man missing since the day Irene came to town is still missing:
http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php/20110906090715365#comments

Seven oil rig workers were rescued from a raft:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-14878420

75 people were killed in an oil pipeline blast in Nairobi:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14879401

I have some business to take care of and will be back later with the latest on the stories I'd been following before we were so rudely interrupted by homelessness. :))

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How I'm Spending My Sunday

It's 11:28 a.m. now, and for the last full hour I've been on hold, disconnected, called back, reconnected to 2 other people, and back on hold with FEMA. It seems that someone goofed on my initial registration, and not only was I declassified as not in a disaster area, but nobody but The Almighty can even open a workpacket for me so things can be processed because nobody can figure out why this happened to correct what went wrong and until that's straightened out I'm not even in the system. Mind you, I filed a week ago. Had I waited another day it would've been an even shittier shitstorm than it is.

So now, at 11:45, I have finally found a supervisor on the line who has straightened out the mess. An inspector will be assigned to come see the place, get the evidence and make a determination. I'm ready for Happy Hour, I tell ya. It's 5 p.m. somewhere.

Ten Years Gone

That morning, I called a coworker about an apartment in her building and she said, "Don't you know? Turn on your TV!" And that's when I saw the first tower burning. It seemed unreal; I'd watched, like every other NYer, as those were built, with a cynical eye. Over the years they'd just become part of the scenery. What the hell? Then I remembered the people, the friends and family working there or near there, and a sort of panic set in. I tried calling my brother's house but couldn't get through. I called my best friend and we watched as the second plane hit. Then I twent o work and walked in stunned uncertainty into my department. The radio was on but there was no other sound anywhere. Here and there a hushed conversation, a few sounds of crying. I worked while hearing the all-day news, hoping my people were all right, that they'd gotten away and out of the area. We barely looked at each other, trying to suck it up and not dissolve into the emotions we were all reining in.

When I got home that night the Oxygen channel had been replaced with NY1, a 24-hour news channel. I was grateful for that small miracle, and for days left it on, waking and sleeping, every moment I was home. On the Thursday I finally got a call through to NYC. It was a mixed bag. I've recited that all enough on this blog, most recently with bin Laden's death.

Here we are, those of us still alive, marking today with what?- there are the tributes, the memorials. But I think what's best is to do what we're doing here today, just what we always do. One roomie is watching something and laughing in his bedroom, another is gone doing morning salutation, one is off to work, her daughter gone to church... I've got laundry going. We'll make a big dinner together later, maybe the subject will come up, but maybe not because of the shortie. In any case, we'll carry on as we always have, do what needs doing, think of those we lost and miss. These ten years have changed us, but not that much. Not in the ways that count.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Noam Chomsky on September 11th

If you aren't familiar with Noam Chomsky, you should be. He's a brilliant man, and sees thinks clearly in a way most people are afraid to:
http://www.alternet.org/story/152308/noam_chomsky_on_the_dangers_of_american_empire_and_why_the_us_continues_to_be_bin_laden%27s_best_ally?akid=7547.295356.MlTh9z&rd=1&t=19

Deja Vu

I'll be moving back in the beginning of October. I moved in at the beginning of April. Strider got away for a visit at the end of April and helped me settle in. Strider will be getting away at the end of October and will help me settle in, again. Perhaps I'll change the furntiure arrangement. I mean, it's an opportunity to redecorate!

And there are good things out of this. I think the war with the old lady next door is over. A tragedy makes pissy things go away. I will get a new bed, which I've desperately needed for a couple of years anyway. And those rugs held too many memories...time to let them go.

Today I tore into cleaning up the parts of the website I'm volunteering with that I hadn't gotten to before Irene came to town. What a pleasure to get normalcy back. And the house is quiet- all the roomies are off doing Saturday things. And my niece sent me these outrageously good shortbread cookies- "I like a short cookie, Ralph!" So yeah, today is just all right by me.

I'll get back to outrage tomorrow. I saw the Guardian last night, and after 2 weeks of no news it was a shock to see what's going on. I'm still getting caught up on other peep's blogs, too.... ach, 14 lousy days and the world's run way ahead of me! I've a feeling I'll be playing ketchup til Halloween. Be patient, kind reader, I'm only a Vermonster.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Homeward Bound!

Talked with the BHA high priestess and she said it'll be about a month and I'll be back in my hobbit house. I can breathe again, I can make plans, I can rest easy. And I can tell my roomies when they'll see the end of my old ass, when my friends will get to reclaim the space my plants and belongings are taking up in their homes, and when I'll need a new bed by!

Life is magick and turns on a dime. Why do I always forget that?

Official Space Helmet On, Oh Captain Video!

After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, having no clue as to what to do or how to do it, I got a spine back. So today my darling aide went to the shops, got me a wireless port thingie and hallefreakinlujah, I'm online again.

Oh, my darling full size HP PC how I've missed you, things are normal again- deleting goes the way it always has, I don't have to wear glasses to see the screen, there are no hoops to jump, no hoping and waiting to get online time, and now I'll spend a couple of days catching up on what the hell's been going on in the world for the last 2 weeks.

There's still no idea what's up with the home scene. Nobody gives an answer. But I'm dragging my ass over there tomorrow and getting some firsthand questions answered.

God it's good to be back and bitching again.

Okay, now to see what the world and all the bastards have been doing...be back later.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not So Bad Once You're Up

For sure things would look a lot better if it would stop raining. And if I could get my own puter on the internet. But things are as they are, all we have to do is take a breath and carry on.

Now that the shock is wearing off, I'm settling down. It helped that I slept a lot in the last 2 days. Irene has left a lot of damage. A teenager is still missing, a man was found dead in the water, and there's an overwhelming amount of work to do. Much of which depends on insurance companies' inspection and determination. It's an elephant for the eating, one bite at a time. It's also put our regular charities on the brink, as right now a good 10% of the town is de-homed or de-businessed in one way or another and all of us who are affected tend to be the ones behind the scenes in said charities. But I remain resolved that we'll get it all fixed. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but next week or the week after.

And many things go right ahead as if nothing's happened- the things that the people on the hill planned before Irene are going right ahead. I'm trying hard to be all right with that. My world may have come to a stop, my neighbors' too, but not everyone's. And that should be as it is. The whole point is that life goes on and we need that continuity.

I'm really looking forward to getting to the BHA office and doing what I can to help get us all back home. If we all do just a bit, it'll be put back together in no time. This is all doable.

And from now on I'm adopting the motto, "Keep calm and Carry On", cuz I think we're gonna need it.

I thank all of you bloggers for your unwavering care and support and cheer. It's meant more than I can say. Though my online time is kinda limited, every time I get on and see a comment from somebody my heart lifts. And soon I'll be back, ranting about politics and hypocrites and all those balloons just begging for a pin.

May I never lose sight of all we have to lose, all we have that can never be lost, and what great people surround me right now; Nancy, Joe, Paul, Laura, Henry, Phoebe, Lila ... all heartful, holy people in their own rights. I'm blessed.

And Happy belated Birthday, Stevil!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Here Comes the Rain Again

Really not a chipper day. Though I've been pretty cool with it all til now, the pain and the inability to have the surroundings I need for comfort is wearing on me. How quickly I grew used to having a toilet seat not so close to the ground, a bed not on the floor, clear walkways where my walker and I weren't just squeaking thru a narrow passage, a comfortable chair and surfaces at the right height. Not to mention the constancy of me or my walker being in someone's way all the time. And the million things on the floor that make pushing a walker a strain around or over them is stressful and physically painful. Change is not good for a gimp.

I'm trying to stay cool. I really am. I'm so very lucky to have been taken in by kind people. But they can't understand and I can't expect them to. They're all able-bodied and it would be demanding and ungrateful to want them to change their environment for me. I don' even know how long I'll be displaced. 2 weeks? A month? 2 months? I'm not good with uncertainty. I just want to go home. It's been a week and a half and I just want to go home. I just want to go home.

I've sent an email to the housing folks offering to man phones there and call all the displaced daily to check on them, offer support, give them any news. It would help us all, I think, to keep constant communication and not just be left in limbo.

Forgive my failing humor and weakness. I guess the reality of what's happened has set in.

While my belongings were being loaded to go separate ways- a shared pod storage unit, 4 friend's homes- a man came up and asked if I'd be interested in moving to a private home under section 8 housing. That really hurt and pissed me off. I want my damned hobbit house back- it wasn't even really damaged, for christssakes. In better days I could've cleaned the fucking place up and been back by now. And that's the moment they choose to hit you with a sales pitch to get you out of council housing? When you're helplessly watching and worrying about everything you own being taken away? I was polite, but in my gut I was stabbing him in the heart.

Ah well, the happy face has slipped, maybe just for today. Perhaps it's the rain and the ridiculous amount of pain it brings. Perhaps it's being in a place where there's nothing I can do and I have no control and no choice but to be at the mercy of others. It is what it is. Better days are coming, and I hope I never take it for granted ever again.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's All an Experience

Just a week into being de-housed and already I'm looking forward to being settled back in to my little hobbit house, unpacking all over again and writing til I make sense of all that's happened. For the short while I was in the shelter, I got a taste of what the victims of Katrina felt and thought- the cold impersonal shock of being one among many unfortunates tossed together in rows of cots. But what made it okay was the little kindnesses we instinctively offered, the sharing, the cooperating to do what someone else can't and someone else doing what you can't, for each other. Humans are pretty damn good, given the chance.

I've laughed more in the past week than I have in a long while. A United Way volunteer asked how I could laugh in it all yesterday, very seriously. And I asked how couldn't you? It's all so ironic and ridiculous! 4 months ago I barely escaped a huge fire, and here I barely escaped a huge flood! It's like I'm in a Final Destination movie! What's next? I've already seen famine (the 80s) and plague (also the 80s)... not locusts..not zombies...not giant monsters nor fire-breathing death dragons, so I guess there's more to see. I'm beginning to understand Bilbo Baggins a bit more personally.

And I'm incredibly lucky. All I lost were some carpets and a bed (it absorbed whatever nasty funkiness the rug below held). Some of my neighbors lost everything they'd ever owned. How many get thru these things with so little damage and land in such a welcoming soft spot, among lovely Buddhists? I've made a great new friend, gotten to see how really terrific some old friends are, and am now sitting in a comfortable bamboo chair with my feet up, typing on the laptop of a young woman I've known since she was 8, looking at the furniture we scraped down Friday to paint for her 4 year-old daughter's new bedroom makeover. I should be crying? I don't think so.

I do hope I'm back home for some of the fall. Halloween is a favorite holiday and I had the porch all decorated in my mind. We'll see. Stranger things have happened and I'm not unused to miracles.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

But the Pizza was Good

Well, my belongings are spread around to 4 friends' houses, I'm here in the kitchen of the ashram on a borrowed computer, there are many stories to tell of today's keystone-koplike evacuation of the area, much humor and much pathos, sunburn and bug bites, tragedy and outrage. I am absolutely filthy, itching from head to toe, my brain's been thru a pasta maker and I wanna alter my senses and attitude 10 minutes ago.

With any luck at all, I will be set up and blogging like normal, answering emails and comments just like the good old days of a week ago. But that ain't tonight and probably won't be for a few more days.

Meanwhile, be grateful for your home and belongings, for those you love and all you have in life. I've just come from a place of utter devastation and loss. Joni's right- you don't know what you've got til it's gone.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Not So Fast, My Pretty

News came about an hour ago that I won't be moving back to my apartment for 2-4 months. This is a combo decision between the Health and Safety peep and the insurance co. I'm incredibly lucky to be welcome here at the Ashram until my apartment's done. However this causes a red alert in that I have to get back to the old place tomorrow and pack up and sort out what I want and what would break in rough pod storage and get it outta there between 10 a and 4 p tomorrow. Just fucking ducky because it's Labor Day Weekend and lots of my pals including 2 housemates here are already gone for the weekend. I'm scrambling to get volunteers to help me move back out of where I'd just settled in. Many decisions to make in less than 24 hours' notice. Lists, places for these things, people to help, all at last minute alarm notice.

But as always, I'm not gonna freak. Thor has saved my ass everytime and I've no doubt he will again. But damn Sam, just as I was getting comfortable. Guess I'm glad I didn't get all unpacked.

ok. Gotta start sorting out and making lists. A new adventure for the second time in 4 months! Whoopee! Wish me luck!