Wednesday, January 13, 2010

i can't imagine the horror of a huge earthquake in a place which is already so down-and-out as Haiti, probably one of the poorest countries in the world. It boggles the imagination and what rankles me is that this is a place that is quite close to the usa, yet one we have always hesitated to notice, as if that would be difficult, in the situation we're in. well, it is, and now it's worse. but, what do you do? send some help their way, maybe, or some prayers, if that will help...just wish them well, i guess. it's a lot of pain and suffering for a single place...

what got done over break

did so much sudoku that i actually got tired of it, which rarely happens. made a couple of youtubes; the second is somewhat random, but i'll put it here soon anyway since one doesn't make a youtube every day and every youtube is instructive in its own way. restarted a novel, but in the process of cleaning found that same novel which had been started at least once before; in other words, this is nothing new, and getting three chapters into it isn't especially new either. cleaning out the old files- now that was important and necessary; but, i didn't even get half done, although i did reacquaint myself with the location of some important things. then, and here's the big one, i got out the thirty-year quilt...this quilt has been hanging around; people who love me and hang close to me say maybe i had it out about six years ago; but, thirteen years ago was more like the last time i did serious work on it. it started in the seventies, believe it or not, although i do recall that almost as soon as i realized i had a daughter i started reminding her that the quilt might be ready for her children, and most likely not for her herself. and so it is; her child is due in late feb., and this quilt will probably not be ready when she's born, but might be ready in time to give to her before she actually grows up.

what else? a lot of car repairs; that's always big. time with each boy, including the one who was sailing through st. louis on his way from jerusalem to kansas. if that sounds like a kind of extreme journey, it is, and my trip up there was equally extreme. traveling in january, i always find to be kind of living on the edge. the roads are salty; the shoulders are icy. creeks that are covered by icy bridges that you cross, are also icy. no room for error; it's hard to crack the window open to get some fresh air, if you get tired and feel like the interior heating system is actually putting you to sleep instead of supplying you with the fresh stuff. going through 'the villes' i realized that white snow, and the golden tops of bean fields, are exceptionally beautiful, and they became more so as the sun went down up near st. louis. but even more stunning was a sunset behind the arch, that lit up the arch, right as neon flashed through downtown, and now, huge ice floes came on down the mississipp, so that they were all an eerie pink from the sunrise, and a ghastly blue from the color of ice and very cold water. as a relief the king bridge was down to one lane and didn't need more, so it wasn't the usual tightrope trip that doesn't allow you to even notice the river. the mark mcguire highway was once again salt & ice; people going seventy with no shoulder, nothing but ice for miles. my son's car was covered with snow, but started right up; off to kansas he went. stories of jerusalem & other venues were told, over mexican food. it was the high point of break, in some ways; i live for good stories, and we'd missed him dearly. but life has gone on; the holidays are over; everyone is back in a rigid kind of black-line january thinking.

what didn't get done

for one, i have tons of web clean-up at the office, that just barely got started. i made six resolutions, in accordance with a website that my wife found us, and got started cutting my coffee down to three per day, which i'm still doing, though it's still break. the other five, i wrote down, but have only been thinking of them. lose ten pounds, is one, seriously. the quilt is not on there; neither is music. but hey, i'm resolved, baby; i've been active on all fronts. haven't lost ten pounds. haven't kept good track of the news. haven't cleaned out the garage, except to bring some musty quilt stuff in.

didn't do trains this year, except geo-tracks, and that was mostly with mr. nephew mcgurk. didn't light the way; christmas eve was rainy, and it wiped us out. got on skype, but didn't use it effectively; i can see my relatives, but am generally too busy to find them, and sit & talk with them. kids steal candy from above the refrigerator; the dog steals shoes & starts chewing them; people scream & cry and tear each other's hair out, if i turn my back for a single minute sometimes. maybe carrying a needle around will keep them off balance, i don't know. i don't know what drives a person into serious sewing, if not a-d-d (or attention deficit look-there's-a-squirrel, adltas, as we like to call it), or simply the point you reach where occasionally stabbing yourself seems like more fun than continually trying to read a sentence only to have it interrupted. a biography of woody guthrie didn't get read; a cool history of the great lakes didn't get read, and some sudokus got so messed up that they couldn't be recovered, though it's never over 'til it's entirely over. and though mark mcguire admitted using steroids, i didn't have to; i couldn't even swim my usual 2/3 mile, and instead had to settle for 1/3, or 1/2, or whatever i could get, a day or two a week, today and maybe tomorrow, but certainly not friday. friday it all starts over again, though we have another three-day weekend after that; then, it's truly all over. another year starts. until i can get my writing business off the ground, that is. i have stories waiting to print; they didn't get printed. more wal-mart books, to be advertised on sites where they make fun of the wal, but recognize it as the great cultural icon that it is. it's one of the three giants of successful marketing, in my book, along with McD's & Disney; but, it has good things about it too. here's one. for years i moaned about how cereal should be more organic and should only be a couple of bucks a box instead of the usual 4 with coupons & gimmicks. now w-m makes it that way- 2 bucks a box, no marketing, no gimmicks, and do people buy it? probably not. but i do. we use a couple boxes a day of cereal- if we could be a little less damaging to the environment, it would make a big difference. if they're going to make their suppliers go organic & use less energy, i'm onboard, i don't care what a bad rap 'generic' cereal gets. i actually like the stuff.

what else didn't get done? i didn't become famous. but then, that's just as well. i sit here, and write this blog, fill it up, raise my kids, walk out on a glorious january night to see orion, king of the winter sky, ruling up above- what do i need fame for? good music, i could use a little more of that, even make some, but, the rest of it, i could take it or leave it. the football playoffs, for example, i could live without a television a few more months, until that's over. but the olympics, that's a different story. the luge, the bobsled, all those scandinavian names, ski jumpers and all those wild characters, now it might be good to rent a television for that. i wonder, if w-m would trade a t-v for a few days, in return for all that nice stuff i just said on my blog. don't know. bribing/extorting w-m, that's another thing that didn't get done. sometimes it's just as well that you don't live out all your fantasies, and that when push comes to shove, sometimes, you're still in that overstuffed chair over by the window. and, off in the distance, an ambulance goes by, but you know it isn't your own kids, or your wife, or the retired folks nearby, because you know where they are, and the ambulance is going in another direction. orion shoots off toward the pleiedes (sp?), but there are a whole lot of stars in a cluster there and apparently a black hole, and one can imagine, he just lost an arrow, into one of those alternate universes that collects socks, old phone numbers, and random haiku. hammers, and today a drill, also tend to find their way into those lost corners of the universe. maybe they're in the shed. but then, it's icy, and, i'm tired, so i'll report in the morning...chou


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