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Friday, October 10th, 2003
2:00 pm - Bad Poetry
I mentioned a sonnet in my last update, and that has become something of a trend. I am enjoying the word-puzzle aspect of it as much as I am the chance to disburden myself of a feeling that really has nowhere else to go. Those who are fans of such things will note that I prefer the Petrarchan mode.

And since it's really all that's new with me, I think it only fair to inflict it upon my friends. Apologies to him who has to see these twice. The rest of you are free to move on to other things if you don't want your eyes scorched by romantic drivel. You have been warned.

OUGHT I TO WRITE a sonnet, cap-a-pie?
A ream of words or more aslant a rhyme,
A rhythm metered out in ticking time,
A sentiment sketched out there, cut and dry?
A net to catch a falling star? A lie?
A romance wove from images sublime?
A song of how I made my heart a shrine
To you, who know it just as well as I?

There is no image that could better serve
The truth than what I have already said;
No poet's trick or verse-maker's device
To overcome habitual reserve,
Devotion glibly paraphrased instead;
I love you, and no other words suffice.

___________________________


NOT WORDS BUT DEEDS alone must prove a heart
If proof it needs, yet I have alwas been
A man of words, and not one to be seen
To pledge more than I gave; To play the part
Agreed for me to play and then depart;
To travel on before I can begin
To find the words within me to explain
What cannot be explained except by art.

Across this distance, why should I not try
By silent gestures somehow yet to show,
However wordlessly we come to meet
Again, that still I would and do defy
That silence, just to silently bestow
These verses dropped like roses at your feet?

___________________________


THE VERY LAST thing I would want for you
To feel is that I think that I could claim
Your heart's devotion, by whatever name,
A prize well won, as though it were my due,
A feather to my cap, a trinket; Who
Would set a price on love but plays a game
I do not play. Instead I hope these lame,
Poor, mountebank verses show my own heart true.

No prize, no gift but what you freely give,
What I already have, all that I aspire
To be in my heart thought more worthy of;
No deed of mine, however long I live,
However well it mirrors my desire,
Would ever dare claim as its due that love.

current mood: productive

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2003
11:21 am - Huzzah!
So, I have been a week at Carolina now, and the first weekend is now as distant as the next one, so it's time to check in.

My trip down was fine in spite of being made under my least-favorite conditions (at night, in the rain). At least night-driving avoided the snarls of road construction, and the rain was not so heavy as to present more than the occasional glare-related hassle. Kimba took the ride well, I thought, until I had discovered that he had in retaliation pissed on the pillows I'd put down for him to ride on. They're clean now, and Kimba was apologetic as soon as he saw where we arrived.

Up until the moment Faire opened on Staturday, it was less than assured that Sarina's booth would be ready in time. I am used to setting up quickly (one year at Bristol I only arrived at 6:30 AM opening day...), but I like to know that I have a booth to set up. When I arrived a week ago, I found not a platform in need of repair (which I had been led to expect) but a bare patch of earth. The rubble from the bulldozed platform was all back-stage. I just shook my head and took myself back to the campground to set up.

Thursday, I met with Sarina as arranged. The platform aws being re-assembled, but we had new lumber to paint. I painted cheerfully, and arranged to return the next day at noon to set up the tent, decorate, and do all of those day-before-we-open things.

Friday, I arrive at noon, to find that Sarina has discovered that she had only brought two walls of the tent, not the whole thing. She arranged to have the rest shipped, but it meant it would not arrive until about 9:30 in the morning. Yikes. I was told I had the rest of Friday off, but to be there, in costume, at nine o'clock in the morning.

Saturday, the tent arrived at 9:50. Ricky Tortuga helped us set it up. By cannon, we were, if not in top form, at least ready to open. Whew!

In the meantime, I had set up in my prefered camping spot. Not many regulars in the Psych Ward this year. A lot of newcomers. Girls, mostly. But Charlie is cute. Heh.

Duane and Marisa only arrived after our work was done on Sunday. I have made them promise to see me for a consultation to determine the roots of their rotten automotive luck and how they can change it positively. They have agreed.

I am becoming a worry-wort over money. I know I shouldn't, but I am. And better that I worry a bit and save as much as I need than not worrying, not saving, and not having it when I need it.

The altar-space in my tent has inspired Shannon & Vickie to set one up in their booth, and generated favorable comments generally. I imagine it will also cause anyone who shouldn't be in my tent from pinching anything while they are in there. Not at all it's primary function, but it never hurts.

Had some precious, precious time alone last night - dined by myself and wrote a sonnet. Not a terribly good one, but a sonnet nonetheless. Faire often makes me feel an urge toward Elizabethan gestures of the sort, but it is rare for me to act on them. Yay.

Speaking of affirmative experiences, Hodge visited Carolina both days last weekend. It was good to see him again, reassuring to notice that he is fundamentally unchanged, and I sympathize with him missing Kristie.

Weather here is overcast and raining oh-so-lightly, but not cold yet. I'll take wet & warm, but I'd prefer dry and whatever temperature it feels like being. Then again, if it is going to rian, during the week is when I want it to happen, so no worries.

So far, so good here. I may be borrowing a laptop and prevailing upon a friend with boothspace and a phone line next week, so updates may even become more frequent here, not less. Stay tuned.

current mood: satisfied

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2003
4:07 pm - Land Ho!
Made it safely to Carolina. Weather here is fantastic, and I got checked in hassle-free. My cat has forgiven me for the car-ride - he loves it here. So do I.

Out doing errands, and decided to check library hours. Very accommodating. I should get to make at least a few brief updates now and again.

Am, however, exhausted. But it's a good exhaustion. Tomorrow, first business meeting with Sarina. Tonight, dinner. Then sleep. Lots and lots and lots of sleep. Yay!

current mood: exhausted

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Tuesday, September 30th, 2003
2:08 pm - What's up with me
I loathe packing.

I mean, I love my job. It's great. Okay, freezing my ass off in a tent in November is kind of a drag, but all in all the compensations are worth it.

But moving every 2 months is getting old.

I have most of my stuff consolidated now, and what remains is to put it, the cat, and myself in the car and drive. No point in leaving sooner than midnight - it is an eight-hour drive, I don't want to set up in the dark, and in any case the office won't be open. I would rather arrive rested in any case.

But I feel bad leaving several tasks unfinished, perhaps most crucially the article I am writing for Broadcast, a publication put out by TOPY, with a deadline of Oct. 28. I really want to find a way to finish that and get it off to the editrix, Kali 53. Maybe I'll work on that in the null-time between packing and leaving. We'll see.

Currently re-reading The Jewel in the Crown - not a fantasy novel, although it sounds rather Morgothian, doesn't it? Rather a historical novel, first of four in the Raj Quartet, about the end of British rule in India. Even if historical fiction isn't your thing, Paul Scott really lays down some lucid prose and stunning characterization to provide a multi-layered view of a fascinating, complex collision of cultures in a crucial moment in history. Read this last winter and loved it. It is better the second time through.

But that's enough procrastinating for right now. Back to the salt-mines.

current mood: rushed

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1:53 pm - I love these things...
Thanks to Hamelyn for drawing my attention to the memegen phenomenon.

I know all of you are dying to try this out. Results vary, though. After all, Hamelyn's asserted he was straight...

<td bgcolor="#000000">LJ Name</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA"></td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Favorite Color</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA"></td></tr><td bgcolor="#000000">Gay or Not Gay?</td><td bgcolor="#DDDDAA">Not only gay, but a pervert too.</td></tr>
Gay or Not Gay? by tashay17
Created with quill18's MemeGen!


current mood: perverted, apparantly!

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Monday, September 22nd, 2003
7:45 pm
Well, it seems to be a feature of this particular wrestling-match with the Angel of Melancholy that after I totally lose my shit for a while, I come back to a more centered place. This does not really help the damage that is done while I am in negative space, but at least it keeps it from being ongoing.

The rain has stopped, too.

I am especially regretful of having unloaded on the boy while he was in a fragile space himself, but it is probably only an indication of the kinds of things we both will need to be aware of in dealing with each other. But it makes for rough going, and a not-fun conversation which we really had ought to get through before I drop off the face of the planet for two months.

Something I thought the other day when things were about at their worst which disturbed me: My life is so impermenant and peripatetic that if I did (Fates forfend) kill myself, most of the folks I care about would have no way of knowing. Perhaps I need to work on being more present even in my absences. I think a safety net is a good thing to have, things being what they are.

current mood: calm

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2:38 pm
Ever get the feeling that there are times when you can't say the right thing? That whether you lie or are truthful, you're going to hurt someone whether you mean to or not? It's especially hard when silence would be just as painful. In those circumstances, I try to go for unvarnished truth. That's supposed to set us free, isn't it? Perhaps I'm thinking of work.

Too many things undone that must be done before I leave for Carolina in a week. Far too many to realistically hope to get done. I suppose I had ought to prioritize, but it's getting hard to give a damn.

Hitting the trough of a depressive episode, not quite a soul-sucking maelstom drawing me toward self-destruction, but a steady drain that saps my enthusiasm for much of anything, and magnifies small mis-steps into major set-backs. I try not to dwell on the negative, but the positive is so diffuse, vague and ambiguous that there is little else to grab hold of.

Rainy weather is soothing, though I cannot say it's lifting my mood. If I were feeling romantic rather than futile, a glass of wine, a good book of some moody, nineteenth-century English sort (one of the Brontës, perhaps) and my cat nearby would be perfect. I'm settling for coffee and the bland heedless stare of the monitor. Work with what you have.

"Hours, days, months and yeas go by; the past returns no more, and what is to be we cannot know; but whatever the time gives us in which to live, we should therefore be content." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

current mood: melancholy

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Thursday, September 18th, 2003
2:36 pm - Before the Equinox
September drowses toward autumn
after the long August days have gone
Exhausted, ashen
Sunburnt and eager for frost.

I am as diffuse as fog
that drifts from the riverbanks
Thick, impenetrable
to the wan morning sun,
Stretched between memory
and hope beyond hoping.

I do not regret.

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10:54 am - Before we continue in review...
I'm going to ramble about current events.

In Cincy with the folks, killing time prior to Carolina show (which is all set, by the way, the Boss Lady having called in her pass-list). This means I get to see the folks and Jane, and also Grandma. But it means also that I am not in my own space, really, and don't feel settled, because there's no point in settling in for just a few weeks. Oh, well.

Revisited Yellow Springs, and it was a vaguely dissatisfying trip. I didn't hike. Maybe I should have. Shopped instead and all of those places have more of a markup than they should. But it was still nice to get out for the day. Got a copy of V for Vendetta which I had almost bought at Quimby's in Chicago. Good to own. Also a birthday-card (in advance) for That Special Someone - a painting by Susan Seddon Boulet, whose work I adore. A tibetan aromatherapy silk-pouch-on-a-string thing... some "lucky mojo" oil (alleged). Yay. Trinkets.

I need to find more focus, RPG-wise, for my play-by-email pirates game. Been hard to be productive with that. Also need to get some writing done for the TOPY piece, working title is "Thee Crucible ov Desire: thee TOPY Process as Internal Alchemy". Have an outline, which is a good start. Sent outline to editrix Kali 53 and she was very excited. I am flattered, but now the pressure is on. Oh, well, I do my best work under pressure. It'll be good to publish.

Not feeling focussed at all. I realize this is post-Bristol depression, but knowing doesn't mean it stops happening. Need to persist in spite of this. Also need to smoke less. Too easy to chainsmoke when I am on the computer. I really should quit.

Going out today to replace the boom-box I lost when my car was broken into. Also need to call the garage about car work - headlight, tail-light, antenna, oil-change. But that's easy enough. Also want to find a local source for 9-day candles so I can get one burning for St. Louis prospects. I really want that gig. I know I am good at what I do, I'd be a definite addition to any show, and I want to get in to one while it's young. That and ulterior motives for being in that region. Muwahaha.... So I want to just hoodoo the living shit out of that job-prospect until it happens. Jane says (she's done with Sergio... - no, wait - not the song, I was going to say) that they may have plain 9-day candles at Kroger. I'll check.

Tonight is RP night at Rowan-Oak. Three players. Now I need a story seed. I'll thinkify about it while I am out and about. Court the old muse and see what she gives me. May see Jane earlier, since she is off work and home by 2 today. Perhaps take her on my errands with me. I think I want to go to Mullane's for lunch. Another old haunt - coffee house from my highschool days. Fond memories, and all. Really, that's the last space I journalled in regularly. Does not seem nearly as long ago as it was. But then, while I've done stuff since, the person I was then and the person I am now are really the same person. Continuity. So it's not hard to feel connected.

Harder to feel connected to people who aren't here. I have been spending (for me) inordinate amounts of time talking with Hamelyn over various instant message applications, and that has been gratifying, though not as satisfying as being there. I tell myself that space is essential, and a good thing, to give whatever is developing room to develop in a healthy way. Most of the time, I believe it. Mostly, I keep the anxiety demons caged. Not having expectations is difficult. Being in the "Now" is difficult. The "Then" was so nice, and the "Will Be" is so uncertain. Still, it feels good (terrifying, but good) to say "I love you" and mean it. Scary but good to hear it, as well. Today, mostly scary. But good, over-all. Going to suck badly not to be in touch as much as I have been. I'll cope.

Really should document the Bristol stuff while it is still fresh in my mind. Incredible season, all in all. Want to finish processing all that before Carolina swallows me whole and imprints new experiences over it. Hope Carolina goes well. I think it will. We'll see.

Stuff to do, people to be. Stay tuned.

current mood: restless

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Monday, September 15th, 2003
11:34 am - Our Story so Far - Part 1
Well... Been a while.

2003 did not begin on the most up note for me. A wintery winter in the Midwest when I was really wanting to be in Arizona is apt to do that. However, being with the folks certainly had its perks. While the house was being refurbished - the upstairs had not seen a face-lift since 1975! - I was able to lend a hand, and it was an exciting project. Also, I had the opportunity to spend time with my grandmother, who is 90 so I want to make the most of our time while I can.

Spring, when it came, was a godsend. I took the opportunity one glorious March day when things were just getting green, to drive up to my old college town, Yellow Springs, and hike around in Glen Helen, a nature preserve across the street from campus. Took a long stroll, past my favorite places and out to the pine forest where I smoked a prodigious jay (I had been laying off the pot since November, and I was really ready for one) and then in a happy cannabinoid haze set out to get lost on purpose, and make my way back along routes I didn't know and to see what I could see.

What I found was a spot where a stream, fed by spring rains, ran down the hillside and across my path, fanned out into myriad channels with stepping-stones across, a large, flat, white one in the middle catching the afternoon sun. The place tingled with Chi. Places of power are things I find by accident, as and when I need them, but I know one when I see one. I made my way to the flat, white stone and stood there with my back to the sun, facing downstream, and just breathed. As I exhaled, I could feel months worth of tension and unhappiness just draining away, drawn out through my feet by the flow of the water. I stood and breathed until I felt empty. Then I turned and faced the sun. At that point in the afternoon, the pale golden light just sparkled off the water running down the hill toward me. I stood, and breathed, and was filled with this indescribable, blissful, green, fresh vitality. I stood and breathed until I was full, I thanked the spirits of the place for their blessing and moved on. Words cannot do it justice. It was a peak experience. I felt reborn.

In April, my sister Jane and brother-in-law Dave moved back to Ohio, and I was able to help them unpack and settle in. I took Jane with me up to Glen Helen for another hike and we had fun, but I should have known that an experience like the one I'd had on my initial visit couldn't be duplicated. I didn't need it then.

With Spring duly welcomed in, I began to look forward to my Summer, and started getting my ducks in a row for the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I got out my costume, laundered it, took inventory, polished my jewelry and unearthed a marble faun statue I'd gotten there the year previous. I'd forgotten how much I liked it, and as a sort of reminder of my experience in the Glen I set it up in my room as the focal point of an altar. I had been living without altar-space throughout the winter, and it felt like taking my spirit out of mothballs. I'd emerged from my depressive slump.

May came, and I took a preliminary trip up to Bristol to clean out my booth and see what kind of work it needed for the season. Jane came with me, and in spite of some mis-communication and a quarrel, we got a lot done and it was a worthwhile trip. I had chosen a shade of "hoodoo blue" for my windows and door-frame - the shade considered lucky in the middle-east and certain parts of the southern U.S. The Faire did not approve the color, but I thought I could probably sneak it in. We headed back to Ohio, finished out the month, got through June and when I thought it was about time, I headed back up to Wisconsin again for my summer. I felt optimistic. I knew it would be a good show. And I was right. But it was still a surprise. Isn't it nice when things work out that way?

To be continued...

current mood: nostalgic

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Friday, January 24th, 2003
7:05 pm
Few things are as rewarding a find as a good book. I saw Neal Stepenson's _Snow Crash_ (which I had borrowed, read, enjoyed and returned) at the bookstore this week, in a handsome trade paperback format, and picked it up. If you enjoy cyberpunk, it is worth a read - easily as good as Gibson, and it plays a lot with the Burroughsian notion of language as a virus from outer-space. I was glad to pick it up and to revisit it.

I also took a chance on another book by the same author, _The Diamond Age, or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer_, which I like even better. I read it more or less straight through - it is a page-turner - then let it percolate in my brain for about twelve hours, picked it up and began reading it again. It is rare for me to encounter unfamiliar vocabulary, and _The Diamond Age_ had me reaching for my dictionary several times (and once for the O.E.D.!) - to me, this is a major plus.

_The Diamond Age_ (TDA, hereafter) is set in the environs of Shanghai, in the early 22nd century, after nanotechnology has reshaped the economic structure of the globe. The title refers to the extensive use of diamond in the nanotech envisioned by the author - more easily synthesized than glass. Like most works in a cyberpunk vein, TDA is a bit on the distopian side, but plays with the notion of culture, and asks whether one culture is better than another, and if so, why.

The Shanghai setting allows for a classic encounter of East and West, with Eastern culture introduced through two characters, one a judge in the Confucian legal system of the Coastal Republic of China (perhaps a descendant of Taiwan and Hong Kong, while the legal system is confucian, the culture of the nation is capitalist and essentially Western), and a crime lord, the elusive and and urbane Dr. X, who controls - or at least is deeply embroiled in - the machinations of the Middle Kingdom, an enclave of traditional Chinese culture wound through the underground of Old Shanghai.

Western culture is represented on the one hand by the nanotech design engineer, John Percival Hackworth, who is a distinguished but not aristorcratic member of the neo-Victorian society of New Atlantis which is rich in nanotech innovation, and which creates the islands which it inhabits, from which it processes polluted air and water into nanotech raw materials (with the amusing byproduct of clean air and water) which it then markets to inland societies (in this case, mainland China). The neo-Victorians can perhaps be taken to represent Imperialism.

They would not be complete without a serving class, and these are the other major Western presence, a tribeless, mouthbreathing, media-addicted proletariat called "thetes", who inhabit the fringes of the New Atlantan island of New Chusan in a sort of buffer-zone of real estate called the Leased Territories. Although nanotechnology assures that no one goes hungry, the cultural impovrishment of the thetes is a going motif. The protagonist, a child named Nell, is born to a thete household, and has a bleak existence until a strange artifact, "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer", finds its way into her hands.

The plot is elaborate and convoluted, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, following several characters as well as the internal story of the Primer itself, which guides Nell to her destiny. I recommend this book very highly for people who enjoy this sort of thing. An entertenaing, enthralling, thought-provoking read.

current mood: enthralled

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Wednesday, January 1st, 2003
1:15 am
Another year gone. I'm starting to feel like settling down. Not for the first tiem, either. The domestic urge hit me hard seven years ago, but the attempt was less than successful. That was on the younger side of thirty, however, and now the urge is maybe enhanced by a hint of dread. Shouldn't I be a grown-up now?

Well, a new year is a fresh start, and perhaps by the end of this one I'll have found myself where I want to be. I avoid resolutions, as a rule. I generally break them, and feel bad for it. Far better to go forward with a mind adaptable to the situations it meets.

This journal is a new thing for me - a blank page. I collect blank books, and most of them stay blank. Perhaps marking the pages is a step in the right direction? We'll see.

Happy 2003.

current mood: pensive

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