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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

33 Years Gone

On this day in 1980, John Henry Bonham died. And it's my firm belief that the world went to Hell after his passing.


Here we are nearing the end of September. Construction and deconstruction goes on in The Shire, with the worst being over for me and the worst yet to come for some neighbors. One of the buildings has a mold problem and the Hobbits there will be displaced for a week or more as that's sorted out in addition to all the 'flood mitigation' to be done. Only one pallet of bricks remains on my front yard. After the workers leave today I'll go see if my building is done (sans the floodgate, which is still to be installed).

I'm still ruminating on my column for Vermont Views. There's no dearth of subjects but I'm not inspired and frankly just don't want to think much. I'm tired. It's been busy and stressful. The things I do want to carry on about aren't things for public consumption. All excuses, but all true as well.

The situation in Congress is so disgusting I can barely stand to bring the subject up. Blackmailing the American people! How friggin dare they? These Teatards are the most despicable bunch of traitors, they should be arrested for treason, obstruction of government and terrorism. They so obviously belong to their corporate masters that they flaunt it now. Shame and damnation on them. I wish them on themselves, and hope their children are better, wiser people.

We had news (via the media) that the new building for the tenants here will be plopped in the middle of the town's southern shopping strip, Canal Street. A 3 story building is to be built next to a Walgreen's, where an autobody/junkyard/garage was. And it won't be owned by the BHA or HUD, but by a private nonprofit from up north. So it won't be subsidized housing and most of us can't afford unsubsidized housing. I don't know how this will shake out, there are 2 years before the doors will open. Perhaps I'll have moved away by then. Who knows?

Tomorrow Stevil is coming over for a pretty belated birthday dinner. Another friend, Maury, is in town from NYC and I haven't heard back on whether he'll join us but I hope so. It's been years since I saw him in person. Also can't wait to see Stevil's face when he opens his presents. ;)

Billy has no results from the docs yet. His motorcycle is in the shop because of a couple of recalls, which kinda gives me retro-willies. He made a long trip just before the recalls, and hallelujah nothing fell off or jammed. Like I said, we're being kept around to be tortured.

It's been another beautiful day. Cool, sunny, blue skies with puffy clouds. September seems as short as February seems long. I hope, in spite of whatever else may be going on, that you have sunny blue skies where you are.

And that Bonzo will still be playing when I finally get to the Great Gig in the Sky.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Autumn... and Spring

Since I have a superstition about these things, I decided to be blogging when Autumn starts at 4:44 p today. A long time ago someone (I don't remember who) said whatever you're doing when the season changes is what you'll be doing for that season. This Fall I plan to be writing. The Summer put me in a daze and I wasn't very productive at all, writing-wise. Lots of other things, but not what I love best. Right now I have a large Tortie pestering me for attention, the smell of a peach/apple pie filling my Hobbithole and BBC radio playing. It'd be fine to spend the season this way. It's 4:44! Happy Autumn to those of us in the north, and Happy Spring to those of us Down Under.

Fall is the one I look forward to most. It's still mostly green, but cool and fresh today and we haven't been overrun by Leaf Peepers yet. It's also blessedly quiet in the Shire, and in a little while I'll start up "The Hobbit" (which I've had for weeks and weeks and still haven't watched) and have a yummy dinner of bangers and mash. Sometime while watching the movie I'll have tea with a bit o'whisky and pie. Life is good.

Well, I'll qualify that. Life is good so long as I don't think about things. One of the reasons I haven't written much is because I want to live in the bubble of No Bad Things that I created over the Summer. I needed a break. Though I kept up with what's been happening and shared the important points and news on my FB network, that's all I did. It's easy to just see a post, hit "share" and presumably those who care will see it. It doesn't require deep thought nor emotional investment and it makes the point. But it's the easy way out and I know that. Autumn is a good time to come back down to Earth and that's what I intend to do.

But not today. Today is one last escape, and that makes it even sweeter.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bash! Boom! Bam!

This turned out to be a way busier week than I expected.

Bam! Monday morning my neighbors and I were greeted with sledgehammers and powersaws. The Shire authorities didn't bother to tell us there'd be deconstruction crews knocking out 3 feet of bricks (windowsills to the ground), some waterproofing done, and then masons to rebuild the walls. All we heard about were floodgates, with my building being done Sept. 30th. So the slamming and noise went on thru Thursday, when they put adhesive up for the water barriers and monoxide alarms went off. One of the workers had told me to close my windows cuz of the brick and concrete dust (which had already left a gritty haze all over my bathroom) and now we had monoxide. The maintenance guy came and changed out my alarm, cuz it wouldn't stop once it was activated. The stink was unbelievable, I got a headache and Beest has been sleeping a lot since all the hoohah. I think it's disgusting that we had no warning when this must've been planned for weeks. We're all just getting over the shellshock of Irene, we don't need shocks like sledgehammers on your wall at 8 a.m.. Not to mention it's so charming to use the facilities when there's someone standing right beside you, outside your window. I should've introduced myself. Where were my manners?

Today they blessedly started a little later, at 9. Only a couple of hours of sledge against my living room wall. Gal Friday and I watched the hanging pictures dance on the wall. They broke for lunch at 2, and I haven't seen any of them since. Their tools and things are all over the place, there are 2 huge pallets of bricks on my front yard, and the building's about halfway done. At this rate they'll be done by Mud Season. But I hope they don't work weekends.

Meanwhile, Billy had to see an oncologist today. He has the markers for multiple myeloma. She took a quick blood test and right now nothing's horribly wrong. There are more tests in the next weeks, and it could be that he has the form of myeloma that doesn't kill for decades. That's of course what I'm banking on. When we talked about it tonight, we agreed we aren't going to get the quick deaths; they're gonna keep us around to torture us for another ten or twenty years. The gods play with us, so why should we expect that to change?

He also sent me a surprise, a giant NYPD soup mug, which Fedex smashed to smithereens. I'm dealing with Fedex. The phone guy was great, but the claims dept. sent me a pdf I can't get into and I don't have a printer. 3 emails now, no response. The rat bastards.



With all that and some more, life is good and I'm happy. The weather's been beautiful, days so good you could eat em with a spoon. Billy and I didn't use half the food I'd laid in for his visit and I have a full freezer and have been able to share with people who need it. I have to bake things to keep up with the produce friends have dropped off. And the stone fruits this Summer were incredible. Strider is happy with a good fella and her adoring furfaces. She's almost done painting her house, a sharp but sweet and somehow homey blueberry color. Told you she's good with colors. Beest is fine, her Winter coat is coming in thick and she's itchy but otherwise all's well. She's asleep on the sofa right now, after inhaling a supper of 9 Lives chicken and salmon. First time I've seen her eat fish! She turns up her nose at real fish! She'll eat trash out of the bag, but not white tuna. Cats. Beest cats.

Before we know it the holidays will be here again. I really like buying presents. Yes, shopping has started. Matter of fact, I'm about a third of the way there already. We used to make fun of Mom for shopping in September, and here I am. Don't know who besides Stevil and myself will be around for this year's festivities, but I'm looking forward to them. And I've already scored some stomping hot presents. :)

It's all happening, and it's all good. I hope the same with you. I'll be back Sunday. xo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th is Lucky

There have been at least a dozen times in the last week when I've been starting a thought for a blog while doing something. Of course I don't do the reasonable thing and jot down the thought, I do what I'm doing, the thought goes away and is gone with the wind. It's been a while since I sat down and just wrote. There are things to do, people to see, and here we are facing Fall already and I'm out of the writing habit.



First, Billy was here. What a great visit. He looks good, all things considered. He's also much more tender than he ever was to me. We fell back into the kids we used to be, singing cartoon songs at each other and making references only we'd get. I can't tell you what it did for both of us. We also pieced together timeline holes that we had. We talked about what happened all the years we've been apart- even including his Army time when I was home alone with Mom. In 5 days we covered 45 years. Took the skeletons out of the closets and looked them in the teeth. And we laughed like lunatics. On Sunday friends came by to meet him and that was great. The whole visit went by so quickly and of course I cried. I started crying Monday night when I realized there'd be no more days together. But he'll be back.

The whole production tired me out and I still feel like I could sleep for days but it also somehow reenergized me. A week before he came I went into high gear and stayed there. I got used to cooking a real meal each night and doing all the things you do when you have company. Tuesday night I fell out and I've been sleeping like a rock since, but I'm up and at things again. It's like I'm younger or something. I'm no physically better (except the probiotics have me eating everything like a normal person again) but I'm attitudinally way better. Go figure.

I also purchased a digital camera and am in the throes of learning the deal. Yes, there are many pix of Billy's visit, his new motorcycle, the Sunday crowd. Now that the weekend's here I'll get around to hooking it up to the computer and posting them. Even the most Luddite among us has to get with the times.

We had a helluva thunderstorming day yesterday. It got a little worrisome. Downtown had some flooding but the Shire came through without a problem.

I owe about a dozen people phone calls. If you've called me and I haven't called back, I apologize. I'll get to the phone over the next week. I've been trying to keep up with everyone via Fecebook, especially since Comcast email is so unreliable these days, but I'm blocking time for phonebacks. It'll happen.

Next Spring I'm going to the city. Old friends are throwing a huge gathering for Beltane, and I want to check on Billy in the house and see Kick and her family so I'm going. It'll make Billy get his ass in gear too.

There's lots of news to discuss. The Jersey Shore burning down right after they'd just rebuilt from Sandy was disheartening. Seaside was our Spring school trip, and I went there whenever possible in the late 70s Summers. I have dear memories of the place, young and sunburnt and laughing with friends. It's awful to think of those hardworking shopkeepers (who put up with crazed tourists and teenagers all the time) losing everything twice within a year. Just awful. I wish them strength and the money to do it all again.

Politics. Ugh. The Repos brought up cancelling Affordable Care for the 41st time. Each of those votes cost the taxpayers 1.45 MILLION dollars. You do the math. Then think of all the Congressional time lost to this stupidity when more important things could be done. Think they care?

I won't even discuss Syria. It's all too insane.

There's been no shortage of outrages lately. I'll spare you those that have happened and pick up what happens in future. You no doubt have heard enough already.

Okay, near 11p and I'm winding down. It's good to be back. I'll catch up with the rest over this weekend, as I expect to do some serious desk time. See you soon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Helmet Head

Wow. A month's gone by since I last blogged! Labor Day is gone, the Summer's nearly over. It's all run by in a warm humid blur. Now we'll look forward to cool days and cooler nights. We have a frost warning for tonight, temps going down to 33-36F! Woohoo! Sleep weather! And we've gotten through the second anniversary of Irene. All's well in The Shire. In fact, the Flood Mitigation they'll start doing in two weeks won't displace me again after all. This building will only need floodgates, an outside job. Several other tenants will be moved out to do more extensive work in those apartments, but this is well-planned and they should only be out of their homes for 2-3 days. The whole thing will be over by mid-October.

Today will be marked in my personal history. After 18 years of living in Vermont, my brother Billy is coming to visit. Not a long visit, only til Tuesday, but still. I'm thrilled and excited, the house is full of food ( I have a lasagna setting up in the fridge), and throwing an Open House on Sunday so my closest dozen people can meet him. He called me an hour ago to let me know he was leaving. But he already had his helmet on and couldn't hear me. Typical. He's been riding again since April but this is the first long run he's done in over 30 years. I'm trying to not think too much about it. If all goes well he'll be here at 1ish. I have lunch fixings. Just a couple more things to do and I'm all ready.

It'll be a while before I catch up with my blogging family. Billy's here til Tuesday and I expect to sleep for a day after he leaves. But I will catch up! I feel like I should write an excuse note- "Please excuse Laura from writing, she's been busy living life." You've all been in my thoughts, even if I haven't been around. Summer's over, time to settle back in. There is much going on in the world, but we'll get to that. For now, I just wanted to say "Hey!" and let you know I'll be back.
xo