Saturday, December 30, 2006

little match girl

it was the last night of the year.

it isn't yet, but it's pretty close and tonight i was thinking of deebs, who even as a grownup used to cry if you said that first sentence. fortunately, the older sister wasn't usually present to deliver the torment and for some reason i was too kind although kindness isn't really my thing.

i think i may never be warm again; i started being realy cold somewhere around two o'clock this afternoon and even though i've had a hot shower, i'm not really caught up. maybe tomorrow i'll have a sauna.

i'm home from the party, even though the party will be gong on until monday around noon. i considered staying, but i have church in the morning and plans on monday. besides, i've had some insomniac nights and i need the rest.

i don't know if you've ever suffered chronic insomnia, but when you go enough nights without any restful sleep you become desperate. it is a special kind of hell to lie quietly awake and watch the hours tick by until at last it is late enough that you know painfully well that even if you fell asleep now and stayed that way until morning you still won't have enough rest to get up and go to work.

but you get up and do it anyway.


it's time for bed. wish me luck.

Friday, December 29, 2006

catch and release

for reasons known only to me and maybe rumblestrip, that's the title of today's entry. never you mind why.

anyway, i realize it's been a while since i wrote and you know something? when you keep putting it off the project gets bigger and bigger. i decided this morning that i don't want to have blown off the entire month of december.

it's really nice out and although i am tempted by a new cache that hasn't been logged (online) yet, i am not outside. it is the first real winter day we've had yet; it is about twenty degrees and sunny. the topography here at my house is like this: ___________^

i live about five miles down a dirt road that goes across a long, low wetland and then you turn right downtown

(we actually call it that: downtown, even though all that's left of a once busy town center is an old silo and a four way stop. i may have said it here before, but it used to be that you could stand on the steps of the baptist church and look all the way through the notch.

you can still stand on the steps of the baptist church, but there's nothing else left of the church and the cellar hole is all treed in.)

anyway, you turn right downtown (your only choice except for the dead ends) and follow stage road , which is the boundary between the wetland on one side and bolton mountain on the other. i can't quite describe to you how dramatic this demarcation is. around here these days the sun comes up after nine in the morning because we're right up against the mountain and it takes that long for the sun to clear oxbow ridge.

in the late afternoon it's very pretty, though. from my livingroom couch i have a view of mount mansfield, and here at my desk i look out on the two ridges, one in front of the other. the near one, not as high, isn't frosted over, so that makes the far one that much more dramatic in the afternoon sunlight. brown. white. blue. and blue and blue.

besides the fact that i'm trying to catch up on some things at my desk, there's a big roving geocaching party taking shape for the entire honkin' weekend, but i only have tonight and tomorrow available so i'm also charging up my devices, installing new software, and otherwise getting packed to go.

last time i wrote it was thanksgiving week, which was mostly uneventful except for that somewhere out there i lost two things: my wallet and a coin. you can replace the contents of a wallet, but rumblestrip gave me that coin last winter and ever since it has either been in my pocket or in my hand.

courage, it says on it. rumblestrip wishes me to have courage. sometimes it comes in handy to be reminded.

two things happened to me the week after i got back. 'member that turkey breast that i bought on the wednesday before thanksgiving? well, i drove around with it in the back of my car for a week, and then thought to bring it inside and put it in the refrigerator and in the night i woke up with a hunger headache and pulled off a hunk and stuffed it in my mouth.

i wouldn't have bothered to think of it except that tha following day i went out caching with Tharagleb and i felt plenty queasy in the car, even though i was in the front seat. it took a day or two to settle out, but in the end everything was ok.

but the other thing was that i got busted for speeding on route 128 in westford. 67 in a 50. one hundred and forty-four dollars worth of busted. the ironic thing is that i habitually DO NOT SPEED on route 128. on the interstate it's como un pipistrello d'all' inferno but on 128 i do not generally speed.

so in the morning i'm coming over a hill into westford and i pick up too much speed and i think to myself "jumpin' jiminy! i am going way too fast." and i hit the brakes and that's when i saw the officer and i think he might not have noticed me had it not been for my sudden application of the brakes.

and of course i had neither license nor registration (see wallet, above), so that was fun.

so i called school to say i'd be late, only sally knows my first class is at ten and nobody was overly alarmed, except it's wednesday, when my first class is at eight-thirty, so that's a significant difference and nobody caught the error until the principal walks in and my class is there, but i'm not.

it took a couple of hours to get it all straightened out and everybody was sorry i'd gotten ripped a new one, but i was just so relieved it wasn't my fault that i didn't care.


dave said the greatest thing to me a couple of weeks ago: "we used to think you were mean", he said, "but now we understand you're just trying to teach us."


we've been working on this project about the circle of fifths (the governing principles of key signature) and the idea was to have the kids sound out the scales and then figure out the patterns. this one kid comes up with a set of simple rules completely unlike any other interpretaton i've ever seen and it looks improbable to me, but i get out my pencil and paper and darned if it doesn't work.

best original thinking i've seen in a long time.

but it is a hard project and i flit about the room, prodding, cajoling, and giving hints. some of the children do not have patience and are frustrated. i keep telling them, over and over: "i will not let you fail. i will not let you fail."

and i'm repeating it to myself over and over as i drive along nashville road and my voice fades into bob's voice and i know i'm being Spoken To.

i will not let you fail.


the coin showed up at the way bottom of one of my bags, and when i called rumblestrip to tell her the good news, she assumed at first i was talking about the wallet. "no", i said, "better than that."

it turned out that i was a missing person for a while. if you're going to be a missing person, as far as i can tell, it is much better if you remain blissfully unaware that you are missing.

when i am out caching, my wallet sits in a deep breast pocket. normally it would not fall out.

but i was in stanley park in westfield MA

(the first time i was in stanley park it was summertime and i was in love. stanley park is beautiful and even though it's been over a year and a half since the breakup, being at the park is kind of bittersweet.

someday if i have time i'll tell you about that breakup. the whole thing took about seven minutes. it started with "honey, what time are you leaving for connecticut in the morning?" and ended with "i'll have my stuff out in a month."

the lesson?

when you mean to say "i am angry that you did not jump at the chance to go to my father's retirement party when you found out you unexpectedly had the day free" you should not say "i think we ought to break up".

likewise, when you mean to say "i think we should talk about this but i don't want to talk about it right now just before i go to work", you should not say "i don't think there's anything to talk about".)

uh, anyway. the ground was kind of spongy and slippery, and it was covered with about four inches of fallen leaves, so on the rougher terrain i kept falling in such a fashion as to be head down.

i don't remember being down by the riverwalk in westfield, but it's plausible enough and that's where my wallet was found.

the guy turned it in to the police, who treated me as a missing person until the nice detective found a current post online and discovered that i was alive. due to the general circumstances of my life and my answering machine, i was slow to catch up to the story and did not get my wallet back until Christmas day in the afternoon.

i have a childhood friend who lives near westfield and who was coming up to see her mom.

the wallet still had the cash in it.

sometimes life is amazing.

and thngs would be just about perfect if i was sleeping nights, which i'm not, because i lay there awake with a heart rate of about 120. the topic comes up for conversation with dr. novas, who is kind of concerned because my last set of bloodwork came back with hyper thyroid indicators, which in and of itself wouldn't be terribly worrying except that i'm taking lithium, which will depress thyroid function.

so the general idea is that primarily i need to be getting sleep, becuase failure to sleep is for me much deadlier than an overactive thyroid.

my engine's running too fast, i need a haircut, and i have a bazillion things to do this afternoon before finally i get on the road to Flyingfisher's, from whence we will stage tomorrow's outing.

i got ta go.


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