alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Only of course it didn't, this being the US, but the song kept running through my head anyway.

After a trip to the hair salon this morning, I went back downtown to find the streets around the Common closed.  I had arrived just at the start of the Veteran's Day parade, led off by a band of bagpipers and a small cavalry unit.  So I stopped to watch the parade, thinking about my great-uncle who passed away last month, a WWII vet, my grandfather who died young, also a WWII vet, my uncle, a Korean War vet--it had never really occurred to me somehow that my dad's family was so military.  see? )My dad was of an age to be drafted for Vietnam, but fortunately for him he was working on a radar project deemed of importance to national security, plus had a family, and wasn't drafted.  So I thought about these men as the vets marched by, and my heart ached a bit for the great-uncle with the life long lived, the grandfather who was loved by all but I never knew and the uncle who never could seem to find peace until cancer took him.  The Waltham Veterans Association marching band came by, all of them I would say WWII and Korean War vets, the bass drummer pushing his drum along ahead of him in one of those rolling wire shopping carts with a look that dared anybody to think any less of him for not being able to carry the drum himself, the saxophonist bent and twisted nearly as much as his instrument, the women in their support hose and glasses.  And the Chinatown Veterans Association--many of them were WWII veterans.  I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must have been to be a person of Asian descent serving during WWII.  Of course it was the Japanese the US was at war with, but I suspect that subtlety would have been lost on many.  They got a big cheer from the crowd, all colors and ages of people.  I clapped too.  I don't like the idea of war--nobody in their right mind should--but in this moment I loved every one of those veterans, from Waltham or Chinatown or wherever, for having gone through whatever experiences the tides of war dealt them, for the sake of future generations, which would be me and my extended family of blood and friends.

Then came the Junior ROTC and the students of the Boston area military high schools, and I had to stay for them.  Some of them could be headed to Iraq or Afghanistan come this June or next, at least the military high school kids, and I thought they deserved to see people standing to see them march.  Again, I don't like war, it shouldn't happen, I have very, very, very mixed feelings about our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I felt like these kids should have random strangers stop and respect them for their commitment and courage, regardless of the government's policies that send them into difficult, perhaps impossible situations.  So I smiled at the young men and women as they marched with their varying degrees of precision but unwavering sense of pride in filling out a uniform, even a uniform so small.

It occurred to me as I watched that with the exception of the Chinatown Veterans Association, nearly all of the Korean War/WWII vets were white, the few Vietnam vets (who marched for POW/MIA rather than as an Association or post) were white, but the vast majority of the JROTC and military high school men and women were minority, mostly black or Latino.  There were some white kids in there, but not many.  It was hard to know what to make of that.  On the one hand, I felt proud for the kids who were obviously working hard and finding a path for success.  I don't want to assume that they were all from disadvantaged backgrounds, but given the locations of the high schools involved, I think that could be taken as something of a given.  On the other hand, I couldn't help but see a country that sends its minorities (racial or economic) off to war so that the majority (racial or economic) can exploit their labor and keep their own hands clean.  That is nothing new; it's been happening since Vietnam, since wars stopped being about what was right and honorable--stopping Hitler! even if the US had to be dragged in kicking and screaming!--and started being about what was politically or economically advantageous.

So I am equal parts appreciative and angry today.  I hope all those kids eventually become veterans and survive wherever they are sent, and I hope that they get the support they need when they return.  I urge everyone--in any country--to write your senators, representatives, members of Parliament, presidents, prime ministers, queens, whathaveyou to demand that very thing, proper veterans support services, from professionally-run hospitals to continuing mental counseling to treating their bodies with respect after they are gone (see the Salon series on Arlington National Cemetery, if you don't know what I am talking about there).  It's not "cool" to care about veterans.  It's way more cool to be in the anti-war rally that follows the parades.  But we make our society a better place one step at a time, and repaying those who have given everything they have would be a step in the right direction.  From small acts of compassion greater things may spring.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Sissy has started eating pretty normally again this morning; she's still grinding her teeth a bit but seeing her eat is a huge relief.  She drank a lot of water this morning too, which she needed.  It looks like a broad spectrum antibiotic was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Ianto, otoh, had a moderately severe seizure Friday evening, only a couple of hours after getting his meds and shortly after eating.  He's getting increasingly difficult to medicate as well.  The Lupron shot he got a few weeks ago has definitely helped him regrow his fur, but I'm worried about risking more seizures with trips to the vet for monthly shots.  Not really sure what to do about that, wondering if the vet would teach me how to administer the shots and let me buy the Lupron and do it at home.  I'm less worried about his losing hair than I am about his prostate enlarging and causing urinary obstructions.  But in general, his quality of life is still there so we hold on.  He's very happy and affectionate in his own non-cuddling way most of the time.

Yesterday I had a massage, went to Redbones for lunch and then went to my parents' house for dinner to see them and my brother and crematia13 and little nephew Timothy, who even in just a week's time is so much better at standing.  I bet it's not long before he's walking.

Dancing at the Middle East tonight, 9:30pm!  Hanging around for drinks and dancing later as well.  John's a great DJ, it's like having Garabed back again!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Our neighbors are indeed moving, I have confirmed--the upstairs apartment is listed on Craigslist with a Sept. 1 start date.  4 bedroom for $2400, 2 baths, relatively recently renovated.  You do have to pass through one of the bedrooms to get to the stairs to two of the other bedrooms (the first floor is laid out like our apartment, with stairs to the next floor going through what in our apartment is the bedroom), so it's not really an effective apartment for four people to share, but it would be great for a couple with a home business or a couple of kids.  It would be great for a musician and a belly dancer each of whom strongly desires their own workspace, but it's way too expensive for us.  Obviously we're thrilled at the thought of not having the rampaging children overhead, but they were very good neighbors in most other regards, and genuinely nice people.  I just learned that the father of the family does research into owl calls at MIT's Media Lab, which is awfully cool.  Hopefully the next people will be just as nice and interesting but a lot quieter. 

Lovely birthday dinner for my brother at my parents' house last night.  Nephew Timmy is so much fun.  He has a great sense of humor already, and even when he's tired and cranky you can almost always tease a smile out of him.  I'm sad that my brother and his wife are finally selling the house and moving away, though I'm happy for them that their plans are finally happening.  My mom is not going to take it well.  But hey, now we will have a reason to visit somewhere I've never been before, Colorado. 

alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
  • Caprica:  A+!  Still dubious about how the concept will spin out into a series, but enjoyed the premiere episode that's been released on DVD very much.
  • Gardening!  I bought mostly purple plants, even their leaves.
  • Mother's Day:  much being busy!  Fun though.
  • Wrentham Outlets: somewhat disappointing in terms of the bargains to be found, but I did really well at my new favorite store, White House Black Market, where all the clothes are black and/or white.  Finally I have found clothes made for grown ups that totally suit my style, and I know I will like the color ;-)  Did well at the Jockey outlet too, though I expected that.  The Hot Topic outlet was ridiculous, clearly it was the junk bin and that's saying something when talking about Hot Topic merchandise.  In light of South Park we were amused by the wall of Twilight stuff.
  • Found truly waterproof foundation that works well for my skin, Make Up Forever's Face and Body Foundation.  Reviews online complain about it being lumpy and hard to remove, but I think those reviewers do not read their product packaging, which clearly says to shake well before use and that water-based makeup removers will not suffice to remove it.
  • Watched "Wounded Knee" on American Experience and recognized someone I knew in Chicago who had always said he had been at the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 but I was never sure whether to believe him or not.  It was definitely him, though, and as he's dead now (bar fight) I feel very badly for having doubted him.  I'll do something appropriate in his memory the next time I have the opportunity to do so.  It's an excellent documentary.  I felt like I knew a lot about that time period and the politics involved, but I was surprised by some things, and hadn't made the connections between other things before.  I think it's something every US citizen should watch, to understand these things about their country.
  • Off to see Star Trek at the Imax now!  Whee!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Congratulations to [ profile] crematia13 and my brother on the birth of Timothy Robert Harrison!!!!!!!!!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

Friday was the American Craft Beer Festival.  I had: list o'beers )

Saturday started with a much needed massage, and then a fun and heartwarming shower for my future nephew up in Lowell.  That will be one well dressed kid, I tell you!  Funny moment when somebody said they needed a knife; my dad, my uncle and I all said "I have one!"  Later somebody remarked that our whole family carries knives, which was pretty funny if you know my family, as it made us sound like some kind of crazy gang.

Today I went to the Dance Complex and sweat buckets while working on my piece for next Sunday.  Did not feel super awesome about what I accomplished but I'm still not 100 percent over being sick, and it was awfully hot.  The mirrors in the studio I used are angled slightly so that you look extra squat and stout in your reflection, which didn't help but at least I could keep sight of the fact that it was the mirrors, not me.  Glad I went, anyway, so that I could use a lot of floor space.

Now I am going to do carpentry on our futon frame to prevent weasels from sneaking in through the sides of the frame.  It's fine if they go under the bed, but we're afraid they'll get squished squeezing through the small holes between the slats and the futon.  Hopefully I am stronger than the drill right now...

Oh!  Saturday night we went to La Buona Vita in Arlington Center.  We'd never been there before.  Very good uncomplicated Italian cooking.  Not a long menu but a well-chosen one.  Definitely somewhere to go again.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Just got alcohol injection #2 for my foot--it stings a little this time, but overall soreness is improved.  The doctor said it's a very good sign for the treatment's overall effectiveness that I felt so much improvement from the first shot, and I may only need 3-5 shots instead of 8-10.  When he put the needle in my foot (have I mentioned this needle needs to go into the top of my foot about a half inch?), it was clear that there was much less inflammation in my foot and that possibly some of the scar tissue is softening up.  I would jump around for joy right now if my foot weren't encased in ice.

M and I worked on our study for hours and hours yesterday and it's like a whole new room.  M got a new work station for all his music gear and it all looks very sleek and professional now.  I love my new desk; everything is in its proper place.  I love that the desk has a magnetic board built into it, so now I can take all those important random scraps of paper and pin them up rather than have them floating around everywhere.  Once one part of the room looked organized, the bookshelves looked so messy that I felt compelled to attack them as well.  Those of you who have been in my house know that I do believe in covering every horizontal surface with knick knacks and so forth, but there were a great many items that had been shoved into the bookcases because there was nowhere else for them to go.  Thanks to Staples' recycling program, I was able to get rid of all the dead tech I had floating around, and also recycled umpteen million manuals and outdated computer books.  Anyway the study is bright and airy now, since there is no longer a desk in front of the windows, all my books are visible and in order, there is not a piece of tech in the room that isn't current and in use and best of all there's enough room that I could easily do yoga in the study, so I can use Yoga Journal's podcasts.

While going through some of my photos/family stuff, I found a report my brother had done in I think junior high or high school about our family history.  I knew a lot of the stuff about my mom's side, but not so much about my dad's, so it was very interesting.  I knew there were a lot of coal miners in my family history, but man, there were a *lot* of coal miners, on both sides.  No wonder I'm so pale, we probably lost our melanin working underground.  My grandfather's father started working in one of Scranton's coal mines when he was 10 and worked in that mine until he was 65.  Crazy stuff.  I'm happy they all survived long enough to have offspring, otherwise I wouldn't be here.  At least a couple died of black lung disease.  Another recent ancestress was a midwife.  My father's father, who died not long after I was born, was a typesetter for a Scranton newspaper, which was probably messy and hard work but somehow seems glamourous, like his job was to make the newspapers with their screaming headlines spin around like they do in old movies.  It's all pretty solidly blue collar but I'm proud to come from people who worked with their hands and worked hard.  I can be stubborn and persistent and maybe that's where some of it comes from, that determination to do things myself.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
1.  Sick
2.  Seasonal allergies
3.  Allergic to papaya (had some for breakfast)

It's one of those three things, but I can't put my finger on which it is.  Maybe some combination.  Petals from flowering dogwoods are blowing up and down the street I work on, which makes one's morning walk quite pretty but I think does not do much good for sinuses.

Mother's Day was ok--we spent it with the in-laws.  I was glad to do something nice for my mother-in-law but I missed my own mom.  I'll try to schedule something with her soon, though now that my dad's partially retired their calendar is almost as busy as ours.

Dreamed about whales last night, after watching a beautiful show on Animal Planet about humpback whales.  The narration of the show made little structural sense but the footage was gorgeous.  The narrator should have just said "here, watch some whales be beautiful" at the beginning and left it at that.  Anyway it was so striking it filled my dreams.  The first night I was out in the field in my job in Alaska, I fell asleep listening to the sound of a pod of humpback whales breathing in a nearby channel, so they always seem welcoming and comforting to me.

I do believe I am 100 percent in solidarity with [ profile] rojagato  about trucks within metro Boston.  Bad trucks.

at peace

Dec. 27th, 2007 08:19 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
10 years ago today M and I had our first date--we watched an episode of Deep Space Nine and then went out to a Korean/Japanese place in Brighton Center.  I can't believe it was so long ago, and at the same time I can't believe it was only ten years.  That was the first day of the rest of my life :-)

The holidays have been good to us.  We both got good swag and some exciting family news from my brother and his wife, making it a very happy holiday indeed.  I bought a camcorder yesterday, a JVC model that came with its own DVD burner, which is very cool since my computer does not have a burner that can do DVDs.  I've been following Seti around making little movies, and it does ok in the low level of lighting in our dining room at night, so I'm optimistic about how well it will handle belly dance shows.  It has a sports setting for capturing fast moving people on static backgrounds, which might be useful.

I've got to get dancing again, but the last three days have been super productive for me.  I organized all my sweaters in bins (as opposed to storing them in a jumbled heap on the top shelf of the closet), went through years of accumulated paperwork (I suppose I don't really need to keep the phone bills from three apartments ago), am currently backing up my computer, found places to put all the christmas stuff, bought a utensil holder bucket thing from Monroe Saltworks so that we can actually find things in the kitchen drawers again, and many other useful endeavors were undertaken and accomplished.  This is really what I wanted to do with my holiday break, so I'm not too sorry about missing the dance time.  Tomorrow I should get in some dancing, after the trip to Winmill Fabrics and a couple of sewing projects.  Though among my swag were a couple of samba DVDs, so I might delay the Middle Eastern dancing another day ;-)

Today my parents took us to see the Napoleon exhibit at the MFA.  I'm not sure I would have gone on my own but it was quite fascinating.  I had no idea about much of the symbolism of the material culture of the time--no design elements were accidental.  Napoleon had his artists creating a new lexicon of symbols based on the principles of the Revolution, at least before he went all power crazy emperor.  Josephine sounded fascinating in her own right.  I'd like to find a good bio or better yet a good reality-based novel about her.  Of course the elegant gowns made us all think of [ profile] kambriel --if you are reading this, K., my mom says hi to you and C.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I had a lovely long birthday weekend, full of presents and fun and good food and good company.  Thursday night we did indeed go to the Green Street Grill, where we split some excellent food and I had a couple of elegantly mixed cocktails.  The deal with the food is that it is regional and fresh, so the menu is constantly changing.  I would say if you are a vegan or lactose intolerant vegetarian it would be difficult to eat there, but there were some meat-free items on the menu.  I bet if the chef were contacted ahead of time, any diet could be accommodated.  I will definitely go back there again!

Saturday we were off to the races!  It was perfect weather, the racing was exciting, the horses were beautiful, and it was nice to see a lot of the improvements that have been made to Suffolk Downs (including the availability of John Harvard beer!).  [ profile] misscalculation  and i studied our racing forms and made educated bets and didn't win anything (though I think a couple of times we both had picked the winning and placing horses, just not in the same betting combination as each other--I know I did for the MassCap), and then in the very last race of the day, she bet on a horse with her cat's name and I bet on a horse who was a pretty gray color and was named Wolf Howl.  Naturally, we won money on them.  That's horse racing for you!  The race I enjoyed watching the most was the Moseley Sprint; two horses had shipped over from the Godolphin Stables in Saudi Arabia, and they were exquisite athletes, polished to perfection.  There was no point in betting on the race, their odds were so high.  They came in first and second, not at all surprisingly, but they were a joy to watch, especially the winner, Afrashad.  Plus with a sprint, the explosion of power from start to finish just grabs you and doesn't let go.  It's a good thing the crowd was all yelling, because if I hadn't been yelling too I would have forgotten to breathe.  You can see some really nice photos of the day in misscalculation's LJ.  No picture of the lady in the somewhat disturbing horsehead hat though.

Saturday night I went to a party and drank beer from Lebanon and talked to interesting people.  Sunday I messed around on the computer for a few hours and then went to a birthday dinner at my parents' house, where much hilarity ensued.  My family is nuts.  In the good way, though.

Oh, and Raks Spooki II.  Coming soon to a advertising blitz near you, when I find the time!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Yesterday my brother and [ profile] crematia13  got married, in a truly wonderful and heartfelt ceremony.  Those two crazy kids are just right for each other :-)  Crematia13's dress was gorgeous, seriously one of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen, and she looked stunning; my brother proved that he cleans up good and looked very dashing in his tux.  The wedding party, parents, etc walked in to the song "Somebody's Getting Married" from The Muppets Take Manhattan (proof that this muppety thing must be genetic!) and the bride and groom walked in to the song "Love" by John Lennon, and then exited to "She's the One" by the Ramones (the wedding cake also featured bears dressed as the Ramones).  It was all so touching and really reflected their personalities and was just the perfect ceremony for them, officiated over by [ profile] brigid.   Everybody had a great time and I could see my parents were so very proud :-)

This wasn't quite as exciting, but cool nonetheless:  as we got close to home after the wedding, M and I saw a wild turkey on our street.  Actually, M had to stop the car because it was in our street, and with admirable confidence they have faith in their ability to stop traffic and do not give way to cars.  The turkey was pretty soggy but stalked around unconcerned about the people stopping to gawk at it.  They look so prehistoric, big dinosaur birds on the hunt.

Debating whether to go to yoga class or not, but I think the rain is deciding it for me.  Plus I want to get some dancing in, as I won't have much prep time for my show next Sunday.  So I'll just do dancing and yoga at home for a couple of hours.  I bought a thera-band upper body set up this week so I can start strengthening my teres minor and all those other little back and arm muscles that have been sqwaking lately, so I'll get that going too.  I slept a blessedly peaceful 12 hours last night, so I need to tire myself out so that I can get to bed at some rational hour tonight.  Gosh that sleep was good though.  Maybe I'll also check out the samba DVD that just came in from Netflix...


alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)

December 2016



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