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July 2004 Archives

July 1, 2004

Siasconset Break

Last weekend, between trim sanding and painting, I was lucky enough to get a break and drive Grandma and her two visiting friends out to Siasconset. We parked and walked to see the old and famous rose-covered cottages, which sadly weren't yet rose-covered, and to admire some spectacular gardens overlooking the ocean, though the ocean had disappeared in fog. Back in the car we drove out past more almost rose-covered cottages at the Summer House, looped around by the beach and finished up at the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. Visiting Siasconset is like visiting another world, where only beauty and perfection are allowed. But then it was back to work for me.

July 8, 2004

Parallel Universes

Driving to Buffalo last weekend gave me lots of time to think and what I was thinking about was how you get into a sort of parallel universe on a long drive like that. What I mean is, at our first stop, I had a chance to watch the backs of at least ten people in the ladies' room before I got my turn. When we got to our next stop, I tuned in again. But it was at our third stop, that I recognized a number of women from earlier stops. There was the young woman with the interesting jeans, the mom and her two little girls, and the Indian woman in a beautiful sari. Though I hadn't noticed them at all in passing or passed cars, we had obviously not only been traveling in parallel, but stopping in parallel as well. How odd to feel so separate, sitting in our car, but to be perfectly connected in time with these others and to wonder if they too, noticed the connection. Had any of them been in one of the cars going exactly the speed I wanted to go, so that I just stuck behind them for miles and miles? Or were they in one of the cars that zoomed past but then slowed until I passed again. I started trying to imagine what our trip down the thruway would look like from above, if each car was a numbered stripe. Would there be sort of a herd of cars that stayed together? How many cars would you only see once as they passed or once as you passed them? Were lots of people going the length of the Turnpike and Thruway like us, or did some become part of the herd just for a few exits? You'd have all these stripes of cars going along, sometimes merging, sometimes separating and a few single stripes shooting through and disappearing.

On the way back, I tuned in to a different parallel universe beside us as we drove along. While I wasn't at the wheel, I kept my window down and my camera poised to connect for just a moment or two, with barns and houses where daily life was going on. Instead of stripes moving along together, I pictured this universe again as parallel stripes, but stationary and perpendicular to our moving ones. At each point I intersected for the blink of an eye, but they were likely unaware of my presence at all.

another parallel universe

I tell you it all made the trip seem a lot shorter and a lot more interesting.

July 13, 2004

Lost and Not Found

Well, I've lost my glasses, my favorite ones that I've had about as long as we've been back in Boston. They had dark green frames that blended, but didn't exactly match, with everything, but what I really liked was the way they fit. The side pieces tucked perfectly behind my ears with no poking out at all, a constant problem for the tiny-headed, some even said pin-headed, like me. They were nice and lightweight, and never once did they break. Not even a screw ever came loose.

I'm usually very careful with my glasses, putting them down in the same spot on the black desk and doublechecking whenever I leave the house to be sure I've got them. But when I realized they were missing on Sunday morning, I was up in Vermont visiting my sister. The Sunday paper called, and when I opened my yellow case to get out the glasses, they weren't there. A tour of the house and all likely spots turned up nothing. Thinking back to the night before, I couldn't remember for sure whether I'd actually used them for any reading in Vermont. Nobody else was sure either so I finally decided they must have gotten left behind at home.

country rainbow Back home, there were still no glasses to be found. Downloaded pictures from the weekend solved the mystery in part, showing me admiring my sister's kitchen improvements with the dear and favorite glasses perched on top of my head. Right after that photo was taken, the rain let up, the sun came out and we all dashed outside looking for a rainbow. Carried away with getting the perfect shot, of not just one but of a double rainbow, I started down the side of the ditch between me and the field next door. Muddy clay turns out to be slick as ice and I was down on my butt in a second, with mud spattered everywhere. Could it be then that the glasses flew off behind me? I did search the next day near the ditch but, convinced the glasses were probably back home, I wasn't very thorough. I've offered my nephews the reward of a Boston Aquarium visit if they find my glasses, so I hope they'll head out by the ditch and do some serious looking. I'm hopeful but not confident.

The shot is Peter's, just after the second rainbow disappeared. He didn't slip in the ditch.

July 15, 2004

The Beauty of Spam

Spam it is, but I wish I knew this guy who just sent me an email. With a name like Showily G. Coughed, I picture a rotund, bespectacled doctor with an especially pleasant bedside manner who makes you feel your problem is just a bump in the road. And regardless of what sort of problem you have, the text of the email leaves no doubt that the answer is found within.

Have at you! Anger as soon as fed is dead 'Tis starving makes it fat. Nobody's ever the greatest anything. Looking for medication in internet? carburetting anthropogenic We`ve got everything you will ever need. dashed pottered Free ClAIis sample with any order! carton natation underpresser withe unsyllabled The mind that is anxious about the future is miserable. Hope is the golden thread that should be woven into every experience of life. Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.

Is Showily also prophesying about politics? Or am I reading too much into it? I've always been partial to anything dashed and pottered but have trouble expressing it in an unsyllabled way.

July 21, 2004

A Belle Birthday

Isabel makes a wish I just love getting presents how long before it's mybirthday?

When you're this age, birthdays are to be celebrated and that's just what we did. Last weekend Isabel was the lucky one and you can see how much she enjoyed being the birthday girl. Big sister McKenna is eagerly waiting for her turn next.

July 27, 2004

The Volunteer View

The first thing that's apparent about the DNC is that there are many many volunteers and not quite so many tasks to be done. Particularly sad for me as an IT volunteer, but unfortunately typical for IT, is that the database is down, IBM is working on it and there's nothing to be done until it's fixed. That's left me heading to the 'on call' center to be assigned elsewhere. Sunday I jumped at the chance to help man an information booth at Downtown Crossing, directly opposite my beloved Filene's Basement. Many maps were distributed and directions given, primarily to Bostonians looking for freebies and foreign tourists unaware of the convention. The tourists overwhelming question was about the equally overwhelming presence of police on nearly every downtown street corner. Though we assured them it was not normal for Boston, their initial impression and the pictures they carry back with them will likely spread an intimidating view of life in Boston.

Monday's volunteer assignment at the dedication of the Rose Kennedy Greenway was quite a different crowd. No one needed our maps or directions, since they either had limos parked nearby with staff directing them, or just walked over from the surrounding neighborhoods. The celebrity brush that many volunteers were craving was eminently satisfied, as we lined the exit path where just about every member of the Kennedy family, plus Romney, Menino, Bulger and a lot of other fancy-looking, potentially-important people I couldn't identify, walked by right in front of us. Only Arnold escaped out the other side of the tent directly to the limos.

July 29, 2004

Garden Update

rooftop garden eggplantsUp on the rooftop, some things are going well, like this eggplant. I've never grown them before so it's a special treat to see the pretty pale purple flowers turn into thumbnail-sized, dark purple eggplants. I see parmesan in the next week or two, perhaps including some plump roma tomatoes that are thick on the vine and just beginning to ripen. Unhappily though, the pesky squirrel continues to dig between the flowers in one of the boxes and the hoped-for California poppies from seed, were a bust. Busy or lazy, I'm not sure which is most true, I haven't reseeded the arugula or micro greens but next week I'll do that for sure. It's a good, self-sufficient feeling I get even from my teeny little garden.

July 30, 2004

More Convention Views

Andrea Cabral, Sheriff of Suffolk CountyKerry at the Charlestown Navy YardNantucket Lightship at Navy Yard with sign for Kerry/EdwardsWednesday I was able to squeeze in a non-volunteer opportunity and sign up at revolutionarywomen.com. For $10 that gave me entry to their afternoon of speakers at the new convention center, a good walk from South Station across the Fort Point Channel. And the speakers were worth every penny and every blister, including Carolyn Moseley Braun, Madeline Albright, Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton, all speaking to the theme of progressive political leadership for women at all levels of government. My favorite though, and not just because she is the local Sheriff of Suffolk County, was Andrea Cabral. She spoke first, she spoke calmly and she spoke well, skillfully blending elements of history and her personal experience, with none of that political shouting style of speaking or obvious pauses to allow, or even to prime the pump of applause. Her stage presence with such heavyweight women politicos made me think they could learn from her, at least about speaking, rather than the other way around. She's the one on the big screen in the photo, giving you a bit of a feel for what it was like from back in the audience.

My other back in the audience shot is from Kerry's Thursday morning rally at the Charlestown Navy Yard, where he arrived from Logan Airport by boat with his Vietnam Navy crew. He's the little figure visible just to the right of the man in the beige jacket. Again I could have seen much better watching on television, but the energy and general hoopla surrounding these events, made even a distant view extra special.

Before the convention started I had noticed the Nantucket Lightship tied up next to the ferry dock and wondered how it happened to be there. The rally provided the answer, using the Lightship as a perfect display spot for a giant Kerry/Edwards banner. Notice the impressive number of boats patrolling the water just beyond where Kerry's boat had tied up for the rally.

Oops! Almost forgot to add a link to my favorite convention blog - Hot Flashes from the Campaign Trail. Those who know me well need not ask why.

About July 2004

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