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A Dark and Stormy Night November 30, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I’m exhausted. Rain and wind ripped through Parts West last night. At first, the sound of rain was comforting, a luxury so late in the year. But soon the wind was knocking things around. My back door? Maybe it wasn’t latched, but it didn’t sound like my back door. The garage door? I wasn’t going to get up, get dressed, venture outside, and check. Someone’s big plastic trash cans hitting something? I would begin to doze off, I think, because eventually I would start awake again to a bang.

In between dozes, I thought about my cousin, who today is having a breast removed and reconstructed. Everything is supposed to be fine; this should take care of any cancer threat. But the idea of losing a body part—even one that can be “reconstructed”—is so sad to me. I thought about how scared I would be before such a surgery. With two surgical sites needing to heal, her recovery will take weeks. I imagined the frustration of limited mobility.

This morning the sky is blue, but I can barely keep my eyes open.

Lift November 28, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

When she was sixteen, Stella began to steal. Specifically, she lifted magazines from waiting rooms.

It began innocently enough. She was waiting to have her teeth cleaned, and her name was called before she had finished an article in Vogue, an article that had somehow hooked her. Something about some celebrity, she supposed. Or perhaps she had simply wanted to continue leafing through the glossy pages of beautiful people. Whatever the motivation, she rolled up the thick issue, slipped it into her oversized bag, and took it home.

After this, she couldn’t enter a waiting room without pilfering a periodical.

She lifted magazines from doctors, veterinarians, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. She lifted them from hair stylists, manicurists, mechanics, and psychotherapists. Sometimes she wasn’t even waiting for her own appointment. Sometimes she was waiting for a friend.

She kept every issue she ever stole. Over the years, she amassed a great collection. In her young adulthood, she filled a great white wall-sized bookcase with her finds: the New Yorker, Harper’s, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People, Real Simple, Runner’s World, InStyle, GQ, Yoga Journal, Seventeen, Esquire. Also Good Housekeeping, Fly Fisherman, Cook’s Illustrated, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Country Living, Condé Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Entertainment Weekly, Outdoor Photographer, American Artist. Her interests were varied and vast. Or, possibly, indiscriminate.

She placed the magazines on the bookshelf chronologically by date. Most still sported their original mailing label. In this way, she could often keep track of where she had bagged the trophy.

Some friends told Stella that what she was doing wasn’t stealing—that it’s expected that waiting-room magazines will disappear into client or patient hands. Stella, who loved the thrill, chose not to believe this.

She may have them bound for posterity. She believes she is sitting on cultural gold.

Things to Distract Me from Not Being in Mexico November 10, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

My next-door neighbor Lynda is in Mexico celebrating her fortieth birthday with good friends. As noted previously, I am not there. I am missing out. Distractions are a must. Here’s a bit of what’s been going down since she left:

Work. Well, of course work. Fly-fishing manuscripts and a pamphlet for pregnant teens about having a baby. It’s good to get a little medical again. (For the record, I’d rather fly fish than be a pregnant teen.)

Food. I have two words for you: osso buco. And two more: firedepartment pancakebreakfast.

Drink. A friend brought five amazing bottles of wine to the osso buco dinner. I like to think that the minor hangover I had the next day was my little way of connecting with the birthday girl the day after her fortieth.

Backgammon. The food and drink ultimately led to a rousing evening of backgammon. I won two, lost three. It turns out that I sometimes I don’t count well when I’m tipsy.

Exercise. A hike up Porch Hill with Tim and a muddy descent. Yoga. Trips to the gym. (Keep moving! Don’t think about Mexico!)

Shopping. Farmer’s market on Saturday. Local buying club order. Online vitamin purchases for winter. It’s all terribly exciting, isn’t it?

Reading. Deloney sent me a bird-nerd/foodie novel by Edward Riche called Rare Birds, which I just finished and totally enjoyed. Thanks, Deloney! (Now I want to see the movie.) I am rereading the November project, a project Mali and I participated in last year, 30 writers, 30 days, 200–300 words. I am reading each day’s booklet on the day itself and skipping the writers I don’t care for! So there.

Screens. Went to see a bird-nerd movie, The Big Year, which was great. (I’d read the book a couple of years ago and it never occurred to me that anyone would turn it into a movie. But with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black, how could you go wrong?) Have also been catching up on season 2 of Bored to Death. Yum.

Something totally new. Tim and I took a curling clinic last night. You heard me right, my Canadian friends: curling! It was a lot of fun and really hard. My schedule and cold-hands-and-feet thing and fear of team sports generally pretty much mean I won’t be joining the club, but I am so glad I checked it out.

Junk food. After curling, and way too late at night, Tim and I melted the last of the queso Chihuahua (which Pat had left for us before she left for Mexico) over blue tortilla chips and sucked them down with a nice IPA. We never do stuff like that. I felt like a teenager. Plus, we were watching Corner Gas’s curling episode and were pretty psyched that we understood it.

Swing. Yesterday, because it was 67 degrees (F), and to help fulfill my goal of never letting a calendar month slip by without this activity, I got on the birthday girl’s swing set next door. There’s something about swinging really high, up over the creek, hitting the low pine branches with your feet—Mexico or no Mexico, you are right where you are, and it’s perfect.

California II November 8, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It’s clear I will likely not write about my trip to California. But today our photographer friend, with whom we stayed four days in the northern part of the state, posted some shots he recently took from a powered parachute. They are so beautiful I am outright stealing a few and posting them here. This is where Tim and I hung and out and fished with our fantastic host and guide. Is it any wonder I sometimes feel something akin to homesickness?

[Click on any of the photos for a better view. We stayed in a guest house to the right of the white house with the red door, amidst the trees—its roof just visible here.]

A Quarter to* Dark November 1, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It’s Samhain, truly summer’s end. There was no denying it as the snow fell on Thursday and on Saturday night. I had wisely scheduled my snow-tire changes for Friday and Saturday mornings. Goodbye to all-weather radials!

It’s Samhain, which means it’s a quarter to dark, but the cold makes it feel even darker than it is, and it will feel this dark (and darker) until it’s three-quarters to light.

We’ve had a busy, celebratory weekend. I never have time or energy to deal with costumes; still, we managed to visit a haunted house, attend a party and walk in the dark woods, clean out a very scary closet, view the fantastic Frankenweenie (a tradition!), crawl out from our baseness long enough to participate in a neighborhood salon, and tag-team Halloween night, one of us appeasing trick-or-treaters, the other tippling across the street.

It’s Samhain, and my pagan friend Craig and I will exchange small gifts. With four quarters and four cross-quarters to the year, it’s like Hanukkah, but spread out. (The gifts part.)

It’s Samhain, and Sunday night the coyotes yipped and howled. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

 *or til, if you like. I have no real preference.