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Reequusing September 30, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It began back in 1978, in gym class. We both hated gym class, Sue and I, which made it easier to identify each other and form an alliance as means of getting through the semester. It’s possible that as a result of this alliance, we may have even—do I dare say it?—begun to look forward to that hour.

Sue was a star of the drama department, and our mutual love of theater spurred our friendship along. By summer, we somehow had a pair of season tickets to a regional theater in Gettysburg—at least we think we must have, because we saw every show. It was a summer that felt like freedom, what with her having her own VW Bug. (Sometimes I had to shift while she held the driver’s-side door closed with her right hand. But that was a short-lived issue.)

We were falling in love—for isn’t every good friendship a kind of falling in love, a kind of passion for someone else? No, not The Children’s Hour, we used to say. But a passion, nonetheless.

One of the plays we saw that summer was Equus. The production was so well done, the writing so good and powerful that it became a Pivotal Theater Moment for both of us. I have since considered it one of my favorite plays. Later, the summer Sue worked at Fantasyland, we became friends with her coworker, who, it turned out, had been on stage that night, cast in an equine role.

So of course, when it was announced that the production starring Griffiths and Radcliffe would be coming to Broadway, we had to get tickets. We saw it Friday night.

The New York Times gave it a mixed review, but I was enthralled. I found one actor’s performance a bit distracting in its overacting feel, but it wasn’t a main character, and it was easy to get past it. The set was gorgeous, the horse costumes and stud bodies amazing. The horses should have their own pinup calendar. Seriously.

I still love that play.

But the greatest part about seeing Equus was seeing it with Sue thirty years after the first time. It wasn’t just a love for the play being celebrated, but an oddly obvious and timely way to recognize our thirty-year friendship. So here’s to dark psychodrama, to sexy horses, to tabloid-headline nudity, and to Sue: the woman who saved high school for this awkward and introverted Indigo Bunting.

Props September 24, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I recently got an e-mail from one of my Northbrook friends, Tim. He said, Hey, I finally developed the film in my underwater camera! He’d been taking shots on that same roll for three summers.

Among the shots were a few from a day that he, Husband Tim, and I went fishing on the Ausable, back in 2006. See? Here’s one now:

It was the end of the day, and Husband Tim and I, having worked our way up the opposite bank to get to the honey hole, needed to cross the river and climb up the steep side to the road, where Friend Tim awaited us.

I like this shot. What amazes me, though, is that the photo doesn’t convey how treacherous that crossing is. The current’s really strong, and even when the river’s low, when the water only hits my thighs or hips, I know I’m no match for it alone. I’d attempt a solo crossing only in an emergency.

But whenever I cross there, it means I’ve spent a few hours enjoying one of my favorite places with my favorite person. Tim and I support one another, become the stable prop for the other’s weight, take turns making the next move. We always get to the other side.

Mrs. Slocombe Bestows the Arte y Pico Award Upon Route 153 September 21, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Last week, I became one of Mrs. Slocombe’s five honorees for the Arte y Pico Award. Isn’t it pretty?

The award is given for a blog’s “creativity, design, interesting material,” and one that “also contributes to the blogger community, no matter what language.” I blush in your general direction, Mrs. S. And I thank you.

The most exciting part was traveling to Australia to attend the slinky ceremonies and pick up my tiara, gently placed atop my head by Mrs. Slocombe h’self. One may think my tears were simply a part of award gestalt, but I can assure you, I am touched by this, and Mrs. Slocombe’s words:

Route 153: Indigo Bunting: always generous, interested and interesting, writing from what sounds like a beautiful birdland. She’s also one of the people who’s actually finished a 365, so an inspiration to me.

Once awarded, the awardee can go on to bestow the award on others. Here’s how it works:

[y las reglas:]

1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogger community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each of the award-winning has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4. Award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte y pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. To show these rules.

Before I bestow my own awards, I want everyone to know that of course, if I read you, I believe you deserve an award. Your blog means something to me. You are part of what I must have in my life.

That said, five were to be chosen, and here are those five:

1. Sewa Yoleme’s September Songs: Admittedly, this blog was alive for only one month: September 2007. When Sewa Yoleme joined the Dancing About Architecture project—a song a day project—he committed for exactly thirty days. And what a thirty days it was. This blog is like walking into a classroom of musical history and culture. Check it out. While you’re at it, check out his current blog.

2. Cedar Waxwing’s Snapshots of My Life: She actually transcribes her teenage diaries into a blog. I find CW fascinating on so many levels, not the least of which includes the fact that we’ve both lived in the DC metropolitan area, Pennsylvania, and Elgin, Illinois (she grew up there; I lived there for one year). Believe me when I tell you I do not have the cojones to let people take a look at my diaries. She gets the award for having the cojones, but usually, I read her with much joy here.

3. Mali’s Travelalphablog: This woman has lived an fascinating life and traveled to incredible places for both work and pleasure. I love following her through time and the world.

4. Bridgett’s Alphabridge: It’s where I read her now, although I should be trying to keep up with her South City Musings blog as well. Bridgett’s the gal who came right along with me from 365 to Dancing About Architecture to alphablogging. She is the only person to have completed the Dancing About Architecture project (kudos!). Bridgett has a way of bringing me into her world and making me feel it—yes, suddenly a world that is so very different from mine feels like my very own. Some of her last lines punch me in the gut. In a way that somehow keeps me coming back for more.

5. Deloney’s The Danforth: This is where I go for comfort and sustenance. I could hang out in this virtual apartment forever. Something about Deloney’s writing is warmth against the cold for me.

There it is. Bestowees, enjoy your awards, and if you’re so inclined, go and bestow upon others.

Six Unspectacular Things About Me September 16, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I’ve been tagged by Mrs. Slocombe, and although I’ve avoided memes til now, I can’t deny him. So here are six unspectacular things about me:

  1. I unconsciously perch on my desk chair—that is, I sit right at the end of it. When I realize I am doing this, I try to sit back and give myself some support. But it won’t be long til I’m perching again.
  2. If you are on the phone with me, chances are I am not sitting still. I pace through all the rooms of whatever floor I’m on when I talk/listen. (I am a bit hyperactive.)
  3. I do not own a cell phone.
  4. Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are sacred texts to me. I hate Disneyfied Winnie-the-Pooh.
  5. I drive what many consider to be the Vermont State Car.
  6. I have a soy/frozen fruit shake almost every day for breakfast.

Tagged: Craig, Adam, Dona, Damyanti, Helen (I can dream, can’t I?), Mali (if she’s game and can get around the alpha thing)

Meme Terms and Conditions

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Mention the rules on your blog.
  3. List six unspectacular things about you.
  4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.

Girl September 13, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Sometimes I think I’m not really a girl. That is, I don’t seem to have picked up certain behaviors one often associates with being female. I don’t sew or knit or bake. I can cook, but cook is a big word for what I usually do, and I tend to see it as a means to an end, not as a delightful process. I don’t wear makeup (well, not so that you’d notice); I don’t bother with my hair beyond the occasional blow dry; I don’t really know how to use product. I don’t have my nails done. In fact, when they get too long, it makes me crazy.

I had a maternal instinct once, when I was about twenty-eight, but I closed my eyes, counted to 100, and it was gone.

I have one plant that is still alive in spite of me. I may be one of the only gardenless women in my state. I don’t have pets. Clearly, I am not overindulging a caretaker instinct.

Unfortunately, I’m not really a boy, either. That is, I don’t seem to have picked up certain behaviors one often associates with being male. I don’t know how to fix things around the house or change the oil in my car. I don’t know how to build anything. The edges of my yard are choked with weeds and god knows what. I do not have a high-paying, competitive job that pays me hundreds of thousands of dollars. Gym-class team sports were so traumatic for me as a child that I never learned how to throw any object more than about a foot away from me.

It’s not that I don’t want to ever learn any of these things other girls and boys are good at. It just seems that I haven’t time. I work a lot. I’m good at meeting deadlines. I’m good at keeping the books and knowing the schedule. When that’s done, I’m really tired. Then I tend to do rather gender-neutral stuff, like read, watch a DVD, go to happy hour.

In the past maybe half-dozen years, though, something has happened that makes me realize that I am, in fact, a girl.


I want them.

Suddenly, I find myself eyeing jewelry: rings (finger, thumb, toe), bracelets, earrings. I went through a stage when I decided I wanted a dozen watches. I’m still not big into necklaces, which I’m sure has something to do with my flat chest and its accompanying wardrobe; still, I await the perfect, shorter possibility.

Shoes. I have some cute shoes. When did this happen? When did I start caring about shoes?

Tuesday night, when I arrived in Portland, Tim and I met a friend of ours for dinner. He’s a stylist for an overpriced fashion company and can get me his discount. I’d been thinking about a particular pocketbook (oh my god, Indigo—can you hear yourself?) for long enough that I took him up on the offer. When I wrote that check, at 50% off retail, I spent more money than I have ever spent on a bag. Ever. May that record stand for awhile. (An aside: This bag arrived in its own protective yummy-soft cloth bag. A bag with its own bag. Just sayin’.)

How did all-practical-all-the-time Indigo become all about the bling? I have never been all about the bling. What has the middle-aged self-indulgent Indigo done with the young selfless Indigo?

Well, apparently she hasn’t completely ditched her, because as much as I drool over the Sundance jewelry catalog and as often as I drop by the artisan places, actual purchase is rare. Practical Indigo is still keeping the spending in check relative to desire. Practical Indigo is still saying, “It costs what? That’s immoral. There are people starving in the world.” Practical Indigo is still winning more often than not.

But it’s this accessory desire, lately, that has made it clear: I’m a girl.

Maybe someday I’ll want to go to a prom.

Tomorrow Night September 12, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

If all goes as planned, I’m going to the derby.

Migration September 8, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

At breakfast, we heard our first migrating geese as they honked over our house, heading south. I pouted.

Tomorrow, we head east and a bit north to coastal feeding grounds. I’ll be in Portland for a week, mostly chained to my desk trying to keep deadline panic at bay. (But, for the record, on Saturday you’ll likely find me at the roller derby.)

It’s that time of year: We’ll come back to a changed Vermont.

Fanny September 5, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It isn’t so much that Fanny was Deloney’s cat as it is that Deloney, as well as all of the Danforth that she could see, belonged to her. She will be slinking in and around the corners of our minds as long as we have minds to house her, to feed her, to keep her warm.

To honor Fanny, whom we physically lost this week, I offer this rerun from Alphabird. I had promised a “D is for Deloney” entry, and when I got back ’round to D in January, this is what found me:

A click of the mouse and suddenly I’m on the Danforth, tumbling onto the street like Alice down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it’s hot and steamy there; sometimes cold and gray. Always there is the smell of good food and a many-accented murmur. It’s good to be on the street, but it’s also lovely to take in the view from the window of Deloney’s apartment, the smell of onion and garlic comforting even that which thought it could not be comforted—and Fanny rubbing up against me, purring a bit, pushing a bit, whispering, “Move. That’s my sill.”

Yet September 3, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

One friend says McCain’s Palin pick is the final nail in his coffin; another says now he’s sure to win. One friend is diagnosed with cancer; another’s disease is turning up the heat. A sorely understaffed office in the middle of Vermont is downsizing again.

A fresh 2,500-page edit towers above me; when I glance down, I can see my tax bills. And look, over there! Hurricanes and public displays of convention!

Yet, following a full and festive Labor Day weekend, there is my husband, reminder of All Things Good, saying, “I’ve been to a marvellous party!” He couldn’t have liked it more.