Whale fluke

A quick one tonight:

by Christopher Walsh, 2/25/2021

Thank you, words:
You let me see
What I can do
With you.
I'll make sure to use you well.

© Christopher Walsh, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Star Wars - Fly away...

Plenty of times, things aren't dramatic. Like now.

A quiet day. A day at home: a bath, a bit of reading, doing a crossword, some time sitting with a cat on my lap, taking time to make a filling dinner (chicken thighs plus lentils), some light exercise, and a beer a few minutes ago.

Yesterday was a quiet day, too, even with going out. I took advantage of yesterday's nice, dry weather, walking up Foster to Powell, then down to Steakadelphia, a cheesesteak place I like, for late lunch. It was slightly brisk for outdoor eating, but at least it wasn't raining.

I'm both getting rested and keeping myself occupied, at least to an extent.
Cartoon Chris

Now my own poem, this one about spiders

I like adding to the poetry in the world, in my own way, so:

Spiders in the Home
by Christopher Walsh, 2/17/21-2/22/21

I wave to spiders.
They've earned the wave:
They quietly add to the net good of a place,
Finding corners, ceilings and overhangs where they spin and weave
And wait.
Eventually, they feed.
Meantime: beauty and symmetry in their webs,
In themselves,
— an alien symmetry those of us with two legs may find surprising
But beauty and symmetry nonetheless.
They even have personalities:
Maybe you'll see them.
At least, you'll see them travel,
Sometimes fast,
In rooms far bigger to them than us.
I look out for spiders
(Moving them, occasionally, when needed)
Then wave,
Pretending they and I can relate.

© Christopher Walsh, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Whale fluke

This fits.

Not my words in this blog, for once:

You’re not imagining it, nobody seems to want to talk right now.
Messages are brief and replies late.
Talk of catch ups on zoom are perpetually put on hold.
Group chats are no longer pinging all night long.

It’s not you.
It’s everyone.
We are spent.
We have nothing left to say.
We are tired of saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘I cant wait for this to end’.
So we mostly say nothing, put our heads down and get through each day.

You’re not imagining it.
This is a state of being like no other we have ever known because we are all going through it together but so very far apart.

Hang in there my friend.
When the mood strikes, send out all those messages and don’t feel you have to apologise for being quiet.

This is hard.

No one is judging.

— Donna Ashworth

The Adventures of a Well-Known Film Composer, and Me

Last night's dream was wistful and kind of lovely.

And inspired by at least one real event.

I was driving around a rural, semi-desert area much like the outskirts of Hermiston, Oregon, where I lived in the late Nineties. Wide-open spaces with center-pivot irrigated farm fields and low bluffs, and sometimes miles between any structures or intersections. Taking care of business, some of which involved helping Eliza Dushku (hey, I'm allowed thirst traps in my dreams) in some kind of high-tech control tower...

...and in other travels through that rural area, I met someone else. Orchestrator and film composer Michael Kamen, who worked with Pink Floyd, the Eurythmics, Kate Bush and others, and wrote the music for the first three Die Hards, the Kevin Costner Robin Hood, Band of Brothers and more; plus he wrote two of my all-time favorite scores, for Terry Gilliam's Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. We had to find something, so Mr. Kamen and I were looking around various complexes, and we found at least one of the things we needed...

...and in my dream I realized this was all a flashback. To something that didn't happen, because I never met Michael Kamen in person, and he passed away from a heart attack in 2003. (He'd lived for several years with multiple sclerosis.) But. I met him over the phone. February 1996, when he consented to a phone interview about his Brazil and Baron Munchausen work. This remains one of the neatest, geekiest things I've done, and he was a delight to talk to. He was funny and sometimes colorfully blunt, telling me how Brazil was daunting but ultimately very satisfying, while Munchausen was a frustrating and seemingly endless experience.

This dream had me and Kamen running into each other again. The timeline sort of works: I moved to Hermiston for my newspaper job in 1997 and was there until 2000. And in the dream I was geeking out (quietly), but also aware it wouldn't last. It would come to an end, and later his life would come to an end. Which made me wistful, even as I was enjoying the search and the views.

Kamen did enjoy his life, from everything I've seen. I can do that.
Whale fluke

Adventures in having no power or heat

I had good reasons not to leave the house today: 1) snow, 2) ice, 3) I didn't have to leave, and

4) being out would h

...yeah, tailed off, didn't it? That's because last night around 10:00, while I was posting, the house lost power. Didn't get it back until after 3:00 this afternoon. That's 17 hours powerless. Um.

Er, things could have been worse. But it was a frustrating time, and I'm relieved we're (so far!) out of it.

Item 4 in that list above was going to be "being out would have taken me farther from a bathroom," because for much of...Sunday, yeah, Sunday (I had to check just now), I was dealing with diarrhea. No fever, so as far as I know it wasn't COVID, but still I had stuff coming out from there that usually doesn't come out from there. So I rested, had water, read in bed, went to the bathroom, had more water (didn't want to dehydrate), rested, read in bed, and so on. At least I was past it by the time that all the lights went out. (I'd even already brushed my teeth for the night before the lights went out.) So for much of those 17 powerless hours, I was asleep or resting.

Strange dreams, even for me, but I won't go there this time. Didn't help that branches were cracking and falling during the night and into this morning; the neighbor's house had some gutter damage from a tree, but house-wise that was the worst damage, and this house is fine.

Today, I slept in, because that's a good way to keep warm. Didn't eat much and limited my food intake to stuff in cabinets, so I wouldn't be opening the fridge and letting out cold. I got slightly online using my cell phone (I really only go to one website on it, and it's not this one, or Facebook), to know a little bit about the outside world, plus I messaged a few people. All of us in the house read (except the cat, 'cause cats don't read) and occupied ourselves. We also gathered up the available candles and flashlights, in case we were dark once it got dark.

Getting power back was fairly undramatic. Around 3:10 I was reading in my rocking chair at the living room's front window and didn't even notice that a living room lamp was on. One of the housemates had to say something. I looked up and was all "Oh. Oh!" We commenced resetting things and getting conditions a little more normal.

And our experience was not nearly as bad as what many people in the Portland area have had because of this storm. I heard 240,000 people lost power [Tuesday morning update: 330,000 people], in a three-county area with 1.8 million people; that's a good fraction. Some people have been without power since Saturday at least. (Someone said it got cold enough in their house that they could see their breath. The lowest I saw us get was 58°F.) Crews are having to do a lot of line repair work.

As for me, my mood is odd. I still feel a little unsettled, a little frustrated, and a little sad. I was getting bored and cranky. Only so much I could about it. But now things are better. Let it get better for more people.

Meanwhile, I've had dinner. Cheesy grits. I wanted something warm, filling, and comforting.
iAm iSaid

Doggerel, Tonight

Because I'm in a cranky mood (something I ate didn't agree with me, plus I have a slight headache), this came out...

by Christopher Walsh, 2/13/2021

Like a James Bond song gone horribly wrong,
The tune weak and too long, and the noise of it strong,
I don't want it on; the non-pleasure's prolonged
And if songs could kill swans, this would do. What's been spawned?!

© Christopher Walsh, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Oregon Coast 1

Reporting from the snow

I'll be honest, I was hoping Portland would get through this winter without getting snow.

But, okay, it's happened. Fair amount for our city, too — a few inches here, in my part of Southeast — with what sounds like slight sleet at the moment. Though this is better than the high winds we got last night, enough to shake my bedroom window a bit. Still, I managed to sleep. (And better than I did two nights ago, when I got awakened at 1:55 a.m. by a random call. 207 area code, so unless it was a spoofed number it was from Maine.)

(I'd set up a Thursday pickup appointment at the library for a few items on hold — including the novel Children of Dune — but a library staffer called me minutes before I was going to leave that day to let me know the library was closed. So I've borrowed an ebook of Nora Roberts's Blue Smoke and I'm rereading William Goldman's non-fiction Hollywood book Which Lie Did I Tell?)

Not being in the mood to go out in the snow, I stayed in. Last night and today. I toyed with maybe going to Space Monkey, but didn't. I have other sources for food and warm drinks, of course, but I support them. Warm, comforting food has been my goal today: grits and hot cider for late breakfast, pasta (bucatini! I can find it!) for dinner.

Tomorrow calls for continued hunkering down. *nods*