Les Semaines

November 9, 2008

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

 §

We Be Jamming

Saturday was the annual ritual of making our spiced apricot-raspberry jam. After a few years long ago trying different jams, this is what we've settled on making (our pear jam never set, our blackberry jam just become flavourless sweetness, etc.) Despite one spat between Jim and I, all went well: the jam set, and for the first time in many years, all my jars sealed (I use paraffin, and the seals haven't set--this year I waited until the next day to do the wax, and voila. I am very happy--resealing failed in about half the cases and it became a frustrating experience. Last year was the worst when our frig filled up with unsealed jars that we had to foist and our friends and tell them to keep it in the fridge the whole time.

We have our settled roles in the cooking: I wash the jars, skim the foam, pour the jam, then later seal the jars (when I can!). Jim brings the fruit out from the freezer (raspberries from our yard and apricots we buy and chop up in the summer), lets it thaw, mashes it, puts everything together, and stirs. We both get out the ingredients and measuring things.

This year we made four batches of the apricot-raspberry. We have enough blackcurrants to make blackcurrant jelly, but this is enough jamming for one weekend.

The week also included the election of course and the amazing sense of hope and possibility of change that followed. May those feelings last long and spark a movement to bring us out the short-term profit-for-me-thinking world. I confess to getting teary as the results came in. Sad about California's Prop 8 and its nasty relatives in other states, but for the first time feel like it's only a matter of time before this kind of archaic thinking is a thing of the past. It's going to be so hard, though, with so damn many things just *wrong* right now for so many people. I won't go on about this because so many other have so much more eloquently, but at last there's a feeling that there may be some way out.

Hope. We be jamming.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Someone on ecto sent me in search of Brooke Waggoner. If you sign up for her mailing list, you can download an ep. It's pretty darn good, so I went to iTunes and bought her full-length. It doesn't appear to be available on a physical CD or I would have bought it that way. Well-produced piano-based songs with a lot of craft. iTunes categorizes one of her releases as alternative and the other as folk, so I would say it's fairly individual pop with folk touches. More pop than folk, though, and not mainstream pop and thus defaults to alternative. Indie, certainly.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Deb Caletti's young adult novel, The Fortunes of Indigo Skye tells the story of a high school senior who is a waitress. When a customer gives her a check for 2.5 million, she has to decide who she is an wht her priorities are. A charming, realistic novel, wit hstrong characterization.

Allegra Goodman's young adult science fiction novel, The Other Side of the Island is a chilling tale of a post-global-warming-apocalypse society under complete control. Honor is a young gitl growing up in a world where the official truth is contradicted by quickly fading memories.

Three more Maisie Dobbs mysteries (yes, I inhaled them): Pardonable Lies, Messenger of Truth, and An Incomplete Revenge. I've enjoyed all of these. They have an unusual depth of detail in setting and character that really makes them come alive for me.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

So, the poetry manuscript has just begun its voyage into the world. We'll see what fate brings it.

I also submitted three batches of poetry.

I'm struggling with the fiction. Whenever I work on one project I get distracted by another. It's strange to have three in the air and probably not good for my focus.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Scotland 1994

When last we saw our heroes, they were travelling in Scotland in 1994, and had devolved into only being able to lists the sights they took in, no longer able to describe their adventures. They had run out of words!

However, Jim must have located some spares or found the backup batteries at the bottom of his suitcase, because his journal stutters on for a bit. Here's:

June 27, 2004, Edinburgh

  • Drove from Inverarie to Edinburgh
  • Check in at Ardmore House 10:30
  • Took taxi to Museum of Scotland
  • Saw Instruments of Science again
  • Lunch at museum café
  • Shelagh [that's my mom!] checked out totem pole in lobby
  • Shopped at James Thin for poetry
  • Walked Royal Mile
  • Shelagh and I took taxi back to B&B by 3:00
  • [Dad and I wandered around downtown Edinburgh a while longer]
  • Dinner in our rooms

June 28, 2004, Glasgow

  • Met Jens at Portrait Gallery/Museum of Antiquities./LI>
  • Saw Annie Liebowitz photo exhibit
  • (Shelagh give me desk calndear from exhibit)
  • Visited Pictish stones again
  • Said goodbye to Jens at 11:00
  • Head for Glasgow.
  • Stop off at Stirling Castle
  • Abby nearby
  • Glasgow by 3:30
June 27, 1994, Glasgow to Home

  • Taxi to airport at 5:00 am
  • Long day's flight
  • In Seattle after 5:00 pm

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