Archive for the 'uncategorized' Category

where reasons end, by yiyun li

…if we’re willing, we can pick out any number of statements from any number of books and find them comforting.

the life to come, by michelle de kretser

The Pacific chuckled softly: it was insane, twinkling away in a violent blue dream.

from “truman springs”

They played a podcast about a gay clockmaker in the deep South, as depressing as it was fascinating. The moral seemed to be: throw yourself into your work as much as you want, become the very best in the world at what you do, it doesn’t matter, nothing matters, you’ll still die alone.

Erica slumped in the back of Stephanie’s RAV4 and drank in the scenery. It was a cold, bright spring day. Snow lingered in the high Sierras, even as Hope Valley spread out a brilliant blanket of wildflowers. Past Markleeville, the redwoods gave way to the high desert and Bodie, the ghost town, lonely and severe. Then a twist of the highway revealed the pastel pink and blue moonscape of Mono Lake, its tufa towers menacing as alien monoliths.

rogue protocol, by martha wells

I hate caring about stuff. But apparently once you start, you can’t just stop.

the cooking gene, by michael twitty

The American plantation wasn’t the quaint village community you saw depicted in your history textbook. It was a labor camp system for exiled prisoners of war and victims of kidnapping.

the age of the horse, by susannah forrest

For the wild horse, these ruthless new hunters would be both an ark and an accelerant to their extinction.

the mister, a love story

Last month marked twenty years since I hooked up with himself and I meant to write about it, but the longer I am with him the harder it gets to write about us. Honestly, it feels like tempting fate; like every smug newspaper columnist and relationship coach in America who gives insufferable lectures on How To Keep The Spark Alive and you loathe them so much you just assume that their significant other is planning to elope with their dance instructor and you hope the two of them will be happy.

This morning, flying home from Seattle and listening to Panic! at the Disco’s “Casual Affair” approximately one billion times while reading a particularly devastating chapter of the epic Steve/Bucky love story, I realized one reason why it feels so risky to write about it: it was staggeringly dumb luck on my part. Obviously I was cute as a button at 25 but I was also, in Grant’s memorable phrase, an emotional basket case. And he was being diplomatic as hell when he said it.

Stupid, infinitely improbable dumb luck. Really. What were the chances that anyone would want to take me on, all of me, me and my intensity and my endless garbage-pile of trauma? What were the chances that a person would not only be able to cope with all of that, would sign up for my total lack of self-knowledge or emotional intelligence, but would be able follow me as I ran, as I zig-zagged across the Anglosphere, as I fucked up and bottomed out and rebuilt everything every few years? Would sit with me in the middle of the giant messes I made and coax me to laugh?

I know everyone thinks their boo is the one in a zillion but I also know, I know in my bones, how broken I was and how hard I made things for myself and everyone around me. And to wake up here in middle age with him, with the universe of shared jokes and shorthand so enormous that it makes Claire furious that she will never learn all the stories, never know all the references, with the still-unbelievable truth that however difficult it has been, however difficult I have been and still am, he still wants me, he still misses me when I’m away… eh. Words fail me. I hope he and his tennis coach will be very happy together.

alice and thimble shelved themselves in alphabetical order

the tragedy of the macarons

Opinions are divided over who left the five remaining Laduree macarons in our beautiful little apartment on Rue de Seine. Certain people have held the contentious position that I am principally at fault; I, contrariwise, maintain that the responsibility for commonly held macarons is itself collective, and that everyone ought to have done their part.

However the disaster came about, the fact remains that the macarons were left behind, and the Pole Sud macarons purchased in Lezignan, while undeniably delicious, were considered no substitute for the real thing.

We caught the TGV back to Paris yesterday and there was some talk of ducking out for replacement macarons, until we established that there were Laduree outposts at CDG itself. As we checked in this morning, our gate agent told us there was one such outpost just inside security. Jeremy dashed all our spirits when he reported that Google said it was closed.

Fie upon you, Google! It wasn’t, and almost our last act in Paris was to replace the Earl Grey, menthe, vanille, abricot and yuzu ginger macarons that had been so tragically lost. Since this story has such a happy ending, technically it is now the comedy of the macarons. Goodbye, Paris, we love you and hope to see you again soon.

horse heaven, by jane smiley

from my kindle notes

“I sounded ignorant and shallow, a twerp with no experience of life.”

– Helen Garner, Joe Cinque’s Consolation

“Overcome with dread,
they wept and affirmed their love for each other, witlessly,
over and over again.”

– Donald Hall, Without: Poems

“I consider my father and mother the best part of myself, sir.”

– George Eliot, Middlemarch

home from oz farm

We saw: mule deer, a jackrabbit, red-shouldered blackbirds, a scrub jay, turkey vultures, a kestrel, harbor seals, great blue herons, snakes, frogs, toads.

I read: Motherland, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, I Lost My Love in Baghdad, Telegraph Avenue.

showing jackson

We neither won nor placed. But Jackson was delighted to be at the show with the fancy horses, and we didn’t disgrace ourselves or the barn, at all. (Two clear rounds, one with one rail down and one elimination.)

For the first time I understand how horse showing can fit into horsemanship, into the kind of rider I am trying to be. The round is a snapshot of where the two of you are at that moment in time, what you can do, what you struggle with. It yields information you can take home and work on.

If the horse is the hardware and the rider the software, the show is the test.

she cracks me up

Salome and Tym

Took home the high points ribbon :)

the standards you walk past are the standards you accept

I like to think that my grandfather was this kind of soldier.

As Jeremy points out, it’s a good basis for a more general code of conduct. Have some moral courage.

pretty much the best picture i will ever take

Untitled

meanwhile al is explaining to ross that we are made of stars

Today the sword of Not Trying To Fix Everything brought a wheelbarrow full of horse manure up from the back paddock, put it all around Mum’s roses, planted pansies between the roses, washed down the back deck and then oiled it with tung and linseed oil. So, you know. That happened.

look at this handsome devil

Me and my da.

8811939203_ebf14025af

forgot the best part

…which is what we did on Labor Day afternoon. We all schlepped down to Noisebridge, where the girls did a circuit hacking class with Mitch Altman. Liz and Milo were there and Jamey and Rowan came too, and then Danny showed up. Danny and I curled up in the library writing. Every now and then Claire or Jules or Jeremy would come and give me a hug.

Claire made an LED lamp that changes colour. The frequency increases if you put your hand near it – it has an infrared sensor. Julia made a name tag with her name spelled out in LEDs. She soldered it all herself.

I love Noisebridge for being so close to us and so full of light, and for having a library, and for running this class deliberately to be at a family-friendly time, and for being a place where all my friends hang out, and for having as its motto “Be excellent to each other.”

i hunted down the hunt

IMG_20111125_113607.jpg by yatima
IMG_20111125_113607.jpg, a photo by yatima on Flickr.

Now the hunter has become the hunted!