Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


For the hell of it. So I had a somewhat bucolic weekend in Maine, complete with spending a whole day with my wonderful Mom and Aunt Kimmie (couldn't have been better -- it had been a long time since I'd had a good long visit with them). I saw the progress on the house being built at the top of the hill (they are currently residing in a trailer at the bottom of the hill where there were, conveniently, already electric, sewage, and oil hook-ups). The new house is going to be absolutely beautiful. The only eerie thing was how dry it was there. We were all walking around thinking about how we looked like Pigpen from "Peanuts." Dust was puffing up from around our footsteps. It has rained in other parts of Union, but not there. It's dessicated and odd. Last time I was up there, the whole place was a glorified mud pit! (Nota bene: this information will be important later on in the post.)

The weekend was also spiced by free night at the Blues Festival in Rockland. While I was there, I caught up with all sorts of people -- Seren, Suzanne and Patrick (owners of Rock City Coffee né Second Read), my elementary school gym teacher and his family (I always liked their mom a lot) and a few other members of the community -- some of whom I had bumped into recently and some of whom I hadn't. The music was good, too. There was dancing.

The weekend ended with some sad news, regarding the unfortunate death of a childhood friend of mine, Joel Cartwright. A n MVHS grad, Joel was great friends with one of my best friends' younger brother, and I saw him at their house a lot. Later, I did theatre with him. The whole community is sad for his death.

I also heard of the sad death of someone less known to me, but for whom I have no less sympathy: another MVHS graduate Vinny Galkowski.

And to wrap up the bizarrely sad news of the weekend, just 12 hours after I left Mum's house on Saturday, her porch caught fire and burned off the front wall of their house. Public service announcement: do not put cigarettes or matches out in planters! There is fertilizer in potting soil, which is flammable. The flames stay alive, eventually catch fire again.

At 5:30 in the morning, a random stranger who likes to drive past Mum's perennial garden was driving past it in the sunrise. She noticed that the porch had a huge fire on it, but that no one seemed to be aware of it. Immediately, this woman jumped out of her car and started banging on the windows until Mum eventually woke up and called 911. Kimmie and Mum were outside with buckets and hoses to keep the fire down, and when the fire department arrived and squelched the flames, the flames had just eaten through the 2x4's of the walls. Yes, five more seconds, and it would have been into the sheetrock and ripping through the living room. Not long after that, the whole place would have been up in flames, and a major forest fire would have begun. Everything is OK, and Mum can claim bonified trailer trash now that the front of their place has been burned off and has a big blue tarp over it. They don't have any cars buried under 6 foot grass, but they do have a couple of trucks and a tractor. I'm just glad she's OK.

And tonight, I had my first French class in 11 years. I had fun! I like the teacher. And I think it's definitely the right class for me. A lot of it is review, but it's good to get some of the language down again about parts of speech. And I learned something new today, (or at least, I think I did) so I'm grateful for that, too. I think it will be good. I enjoyed it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Important Articles
Every now and again, something crosses my computer screen that I think I should share. The cell phones article is particularly interesting -- findings doctors don't wish to dignify but begrudgingly know they have to.

The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating
Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice... -- Courtesy of The New York Times

and the public service announcement --
Cell Phones Risky During Pregancy

Unlikely Finding: More Bad Behavior at Age 7 if Mom, Child Used Cell Phone: May 21, 2008 -- Mothers who use cell phones during pregnancy -- and let their small children use cell phones -- increase their child's risk of serious behavior problems by 80%.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Playing with oils

I've also started painting again. This painting is actually about 16x20 in and is the first time I've picked up paint for around ten years. I like it! It's not done yet, but I wanted to share it anyway.
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