I left home at 8, had jin shin for 1 1/2 hours, left there and zoomed to the dentist, and was there until past 1 pm. Finally got to eat breakfast a little when I got home, numb and hollow. I'm having a crusty crown replaced -- it was put in by the criminal dentist. I didn't think about it at all before I went, then it wound up being longer and slightly more involved than previously thought. I said, mid-way through, "I'm glad I don't know what you are doing." It was about two hours of drilling on top of everything else. I adore my dentist, who is a woman. I have a small mouth and if I'd had a man's hands in there I'd be worse off than I am. I received several stupid shots -- such fun. I've had a lot of smashy/painy crap this week -- maybe next week will be nicer.
Genetic Engineering from Eve
27 September 2004
Reply to my request for permission to quote:
'Yes, feel free to quote me if you wish. I thought of hosting a debating event discussing exactly this fascinating aspect of 3D virtual worlds, but then again, this would be intruding too much intopeople's personal lives - so I stuck to a few comments on blogs andforums instead.'
'Ah yes, and isn't there a way to "archive" part of your blog, or separate entries according to their type (say, RL, There, SL)? The first page really takes a long time to load :-('
Of course, the blog is archived, but I had a whopping 35 posts on the index -- I'm just SO BAD. And the image size creeps up and up...
I see the blog is two years old in October. I've kept journals on and off during my life. As a child I had years of a journal written using the code I read about in Anne Frank (no vowels). I've always written a lot that is unread by anyone (including me). That's a strange impulse, I think. Like painting a picture then hiding it in the attic. Perhaps each person only wants to reveal one facet and my artwork's my facet ... nah. Oops -- got to run, I'm late...
26 September 2004
Excerpt from Gweneth Llewelyn's Blog About Second Life
'People with disabilities - social, mental, physical - or severe illnesses come here to enjoy "normal life". For them, it's much more than an "escape" from RL. It's the only way they have to enjoy absolutely normal human interaction without any prejudice at all!
Therapists have actually encouraged some of these people to join an online 3D game for that reason. Since it's unpolite to ask people what they do or what they are in RL, they can enjoy hours, days, months of a completely normal and healthy "life". Even if it is a virtual one!
This amazing characteristic has begun to attract the attention of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and many types of mental healers - several even setup their own offices in SL! People are writing their college thesis on human interaction in a world without barriers or prejudice. All this is absolutely amazing and probably a completely unexpected "side-effect".
It will be interesting to see it evolve... '
Today is My Mum's Birthday...
Years and years ago, before I knew A$ in the way I do now, I remember her saying to me, "Today is my mother's birthday. She's 101* today!" I said, "WOW! How is she?" A$ said, "She died in 19--." Me, lapsing into confusion, "Uh... "
Now, however, it's MY mother's birthday.
*I don't remember the number
Second Life map -- the red circle is my gallery.
Map close-up showing the location of my gallery. Second Life is a flat world, unlike There, which is round. [In There you can drive (if you have a long time to spare -- but some people HAVE done it) to the poles, or around the world. Because it's on many servers, if one place is laggy it's best to move to another server. Lag is the bane of our virtual existences.] In Second Life each square is a "sim" -- a simulation -- and each sim is on a separate computer. There are edges of the sims -- like north of me you can look out over the water but you can't fly over it. There's no sim to the north of me. The Second Life world is a patchwork of places you can go and places which don't exist. That is fine, mostly -- I like having an empty vista in front of my house. Anyway, the danger-zone sim of Jessie is NNW of me and every time I sidle up to their border I get killed, so the more space the better! Once I was driving around in the snow sims (lower right-hand part of map) when I went off the edge into the gaping hole left by a sim that'd crashed. (I see I named the screenshot "no-sim-snow-sim.)
That's just fascinating to me. Even better than NOT ever seeing what happens -- especially since I got my car back eventually. It disappeared but I went back to look when the sim was up and there she was -- the little black Futura.
25 September 2004
I guess it was inevitable, but I just had to make a zoot suit for Oz. I've only made the shirt so far -- the rest of it it just within the interface clothing-changing options. The chain -- I spent 2 minutes on it, so it doesn't count. I was going to make it colorable -- I don't know what made me decide to go with blue. It wouldn't be MY choice for a suit, but then I don't have to wear it (if you think that's a sign of a crack-up you don't hang out in Second Life).
I like this time of year -- well, this particular thing: in the morning everything is sometimes all white, like I'm suspended in a cloud. The sun changes everything quickly, once it gets going, and there's a rapid burn-off that makes the landscape appear in a magical way over the course of about five minutes.
I'm sure this has been in the local paper forever, but I just noticed it a second ago.
24 September 2004
Nikki Goes Skydiving
Nikki is just so cool. I haven't seen her in years, unfortunately. The last time, when I was having a show of my paintings in New York, she was a teenager. We were all doing something, and Nikki kept saying to me, "Cover me," as in "You like that car? Cover me!" and so on. She was very funny. That was the year I got m.s. and things became strange. As I said to Frank yesterday, though, illness is a portal to adventureland. I'm ready to find the exit now, however!
Aunt Fluffy says, "She really has "balls" Do you remember when Nikki, you and Richard went on the wild ride at Great Adventure? Nikki said she was laughing but Uncle Bud was really SCREAMING. She thought that was so funny since the ride was sooooo much fun."
Oooh -- Françoise Sagan, author of "Bonjour Tristesse" has died. It was one of those novels that were kind of surprising in their time. She wrote the book when she was a young woman -- and I read it as a very young woman for that precise reason. Well, so long Françoise. No more tristesse.
23 September 2004
Working on the color site for SWMNBMIMB. I don't mind working on things in a time crunch if I have either A) my head (best case scenario because I like to have my way), or B) all the information in a form that's understandable to me. However, because she's an artist too, I don't get to have my own way over everything! It's character-building! Morally up-lifting! I wind up doing things way too many times to try to approach, incrementally, the desired effect. Eh -- it's all actually just another way I like to amuse myself. Once I had to get up at a workshop and say something about myself. I stood up and proclaimed, "I'm Vivian Kendall, and I'm OBSESSED WITH IMAGES."
22 September 2004
At school -- which was empty but for Tiff and me as everyone had gone to the Puyallup Fair. I wrote more stuff, searched for and printed children's artwork as assessment back-up. Tiff scrounged around when I told her I'd forgotten to eat breakfast and made cheese sandwiches for our lunch AND gave me a Mounds. That was good. Last night I had to get up at 1a.m. and find something to eat as I realised I'd never go to sleep on no food. Stupid physical needs -- jeez. I'm getting a bad feeling about the way things are going in this country. It's been years since the scary polarisation has come about, but I've ignored it all for the most part as I don't know people who are on that other side. And I could rationalise the Bush thing one time -- as just a crazy aberration -- a mistake -- a horrible fluke -- not what the people of the country want. I sincerely hope Kerry wins the election, however if this country elects Bush on purpose because they like what he's doing --then I will somehow need to sprout wings since I can't run away. This is horrifying.
21 September 2004
This is pretty cool -- I found it last week but just now found out it's from the Game Neverending people, Ludicorp. It's a fotolog site that will post to your blog automatically. Sweet!
The Word from Game Neverending
"This email contains your password for the GameNeverending site, gne.net. We know many of you have been waiting a *long* time and for that we apologize. And guess what? BETA STILL HAS NOT STARTED (just want to make that clear). However, we thought that we'd send you this password now since we are currently testing some of the game's "social infrastructure" (chat,messaging, groups and a few other things) and cool game features are in the pipeline. So, feel free to drop in, meet some of the regulars and get to know the place."
Well -- so it was good to ask!
I just saw that blue heron that used to land on the next-door's dock before the new next-doorers bought the place. It was headed there -- but veered off and landed on the rotting pilings nearby (leftover from a long-gone railway line, I understand). Then it took off -- someone was nearby at the next-door's, who then took a canoe out to inspect the empty spot (presumably).
I'm watching Y Tu Mama Tambien on the comp. in spurts, and playing "Sing Sing Sing" in between spurts as I get into these repetitive-listening grooves. Last time was two years ago and I spent weeks playing "Anarchy in the UK" a billion times a day. I used to have to massage my brain cells into the proper shape by listening to opera before I went to work at A$'s. I repeated I Lombardi so many billions of times I can pull it out of my brain whole.
I recorded that Ozymandias movie with something I just found called Fraps. That was the demo -- but I think I might want the real thing. It's $29.95, which seems a decent price. In Project Entropia there are things called FAPs -- so it made me go all mixed-up thinking about it. I can go to P-E and make a movie featuring the monsters that chase me!
Hmmm... what's today... Tuesday -- yesterday I had jin shin then hung out conserving my strength so I could go and take my driver's test today. If you walk in with a cane it's a mandatory road test, now -- if you don't walk in with a cane you can still get drunk every night and drive around, however, and unless you are stopped by police the government won't punish you. If you have physical problems that are made much worse by stress you get to be overloaded with stress, then the government tests your ability to take a test when you feel horrible. If you fail and you have m.s. you feel worse the next time, then worse, then worse, then finally you die from the stress. And of course, if you can't drive you can't support yourself, so I guess it's better to die than starve in the gutter. Have a nice day. Your government at work.
I haven't heard anything back from the Cornell QueenBee -- she was going to send me the url for a download site for the virtual world. I'd like to familiarise myself with it before I do anything else -- like, oh, if we at school are deciding how to proceed, etc. Anyway, I'd reckon I've worlds enough to occupy me. I should check on Game Everlasting, which told me I was to be a beta tester ages and ages ago --
-- just checked on them -- I'm STILL just on hold after nearly a year -- but I was afraid they'd gone belly-up at first as I didn't find them immediately. No, no -- they're fine -- with other people inworld. I probably won't like it anyway (sour grapes) as it reminds me superficially of A Tale in the Desert, which held me enthralled for 0 minutes.
I'm going to school for IEP meetings tomorrow afternoon. The entire school is going to the Puyallup Fair -- but my meetings are with parents, so it doesn't matter to me. Tiff is coming, too. She gets more work done when no one is there. She returned recently from a jaunt to the Hawaiian Islands -- MANY of the islands. I've been to several, but have only spent time on Kauai and Hawaii.
Eagles and osprey very busy back-and-forthing over the lake. The other day a staggeringly beautiful osprey crossed very near to my filthy windows, affording me a wonderful look at the feather markings. Breathtaking!
19 September 2004
...by my Second Life gallery...
uh ... it's 10pm -- I'd better stop fooling around and EAT DINNER.
American Indian Museum
A few years ago I became a charter member or whatever they're called, for the proposed museum. They said, "Pay and have your name on the lobby wall," so I paid and had "Wa He Lut Legends Art" put on the lobby wall. I thought it would be cool for any student from my program who visited the museum to see that. I received a certificate which I took to school (where is it now??), and inside the frame I put a message saying I'd paid for it personally in case someone objected to what they might think was the use of school funds. Now the museum is opening, and some people from my school are going!
18 September 2004
Cornell Theory Centre -- Virtual World
The workshop was today in the computer lab at Wa He Lut. Our people were: our principal, Mr. Monster, Mr. Dyson, me, and four students: Andrew, Halisa, Vincent, and Charlene. Taholah sent Mr. B, who has a year's experience with this, and his star pupil Cody, a very nice young man. A nice woman from Tulalip was there, too. From Cornell came the fantastic Queenbee, and the very good Ladybug. We had an introduction to the world, then split into two teams and used our new skills to make a display. It was groovy -- I stayed until about 20 to 4, which meant I was very tired. I started to leave, then went back to school as the gate was closed. Mr. Monster was leaving then, so he opened the gate. I missed about 10 minutes when they were filling out a form Ladybug had thoughtfully given me to fill out early, as she knew I was liable to leave early. So -- I did very well. Came home and watched Dune and ate soup.
I like the project (well, I WOULD, wouldn't I) and the children seemed jazzed about it, too. I may be wrong, but it seems as though it's set up to use duplicates of objects as that would minimise what in other worlds is a heavy graphics-card-processor-speed need, allowing the program to run on our crappy school computers. I was wondering how our computers would function -- as they're far from my home computer (3G-with-a-G-of-ram-and a-256Meg-AGP-card).
17 September 2004
News from Groovaceous Marilee
I sent images of my Ravenstail bags off to New Zealand yesterday - - and they fired right back to tell me they accepted me and my work in to the prestigious gathering in January!! I could not believe my eyes!
More creative stuff - - Did I tell you about the casting of a "Golden Girls" type reality show on a major network and that some one thinks I am cute and feisty enough to make the cut??!! Well George is coming over tomorrow to film me - - being interviewed off camera by Sandra Sarr - - who just interviewed Jane Goodall - - I hope I get it as it sounds like fun to be in LA for a week in a great house with other women all expenses paid and some bucks to boot!
16 September 2004
I'm wicked tired. I was at jin shin, then school all day -- home at 5. Got a fair amount done, plus spent some time beating on Andrew, which was good. Talked to two students about NOT making the art program. R made me lunch. She's now asst. coach w/ Montrose of the freakin' volleyball team -- so I had 1 1/2 hours making files by myself and cleaning it all up, then barely managed to crawl out. Saw Alex -- he cracks me up. R just rolls her eyes. It's just because he's so laid back -- we're in a frenzy trying to get things done, and he's calm and relaxed. It's because he's not emotionally invested in getting his program off the ground. I'm passionate and so's R. Skunkie was working on eagle feather bustles when I arrived (10:30) so I didn't have tables to spread paper out onto -- made it hard, but I got things in binders by 5. We may be ok -- now I wonder about the boys who never brought papers in... Had a talk with a girl, S, whose father wouldn't sign hers. I said I was sorry not to have her but I was sure her father knew best. She resignedly said, "Yeah --parents always think they know best."
Came home, cooked frozen pizza and lay in bed watching Gormenghast. Checked into Second Life to find they'd given me 2500 L for some reason, which is like giving me 14 dollars. Maybe it was because I was logged on yesterday when they were moving servers. They had a crash when their back-up wasn't there, so changes were lost -- if they compensated everyone for the losses it was very generous, I think.
The other day Psi IMd me as I was working on IEPs for my program. There was updating and taking a long time, but we both got online when There finally opened and met on the top of Comet Mountain. Someone I'd met last year started talking to us, and we wound up teleporting to all the new spots (almost all anyway). Then Psi helped bunns (whacky name) get her voice going -- which was difficult. I thought he did an excellent job of describing and explaining -- the more so if one considers his very young age. He got her all fixed up, which was a miracle.
I fixed a bum link for SWMNBMIMB, when I got on tonight, too. So all in all, I've had a busy day, I'd reckon.
14 September 2004
Second Life: "Burning Life"
One of the displays at Burning Life had to do with the purloined "The Scream." The outside was a museum. If one entered the empty frame, though, "The Scream" minus the screamer, and with the chalk outline and yellow tape of a crime scene, was presented for avatars to walk around in.
Burning Life was varied and interesting -- I was glad I had been a part of it even in my very nooby way. From the striding giant crushing concepts that included "hope," to the space elevator that propelled avatars into the realm of the planets, the displays revealed what people are thinking about.
In another region of SL I found:
--- which make me feel that although EVERYTHING isn't represented in SL, it's damn close.
I found a little island that was made by Salazar Jack. I admire his way with landscape.
Today I wanted to go in to school as I'm feeling panic-y about how the process of getting students identified and enrolled in the art program is advancing, but I feel so rotten I think I'd be wise to stay at home. Anyway, there'd be no point unless I suddenly arose feeling wonderful and zoomed off in the next 5 minutes ... rather unlikely ...
I don't ask for things until =to me= the positive outweighs the negative -- that means, for me, that my incredible need for independence and privacy can't be breached unless it's worth it to me to give up my independence and privacy to receive whatever help is available. Some people are totally cool, though. So -- I'm getting a leeeetle bit into asking... and a leeeetle bit into accepting what's offered... Sometimes something will be offered but I'm not ready to accept... then 6 months later I'm ready, but the offer isn't there anymore :)
Looper thinks I'm screwed up in the way I stop doing something if, for me, the negative finally outweighs the positive (like, say, I stopped going to the opera when the stress and complications made the enjoyment almost nil). She says she figures out a way to do things --and she does, and she enjoys the things she does. I'd like her to understand that I have a differing viewpoint, and that there is no "wrong" or 'right" way to be. Just as we have different strengths and spend our time getting excited over different things, our enjoyment of activities comes from individual angles. I arrange things to my own liking to the best of my abilities, and she does the same. So far, for everything I've stopped doing, there's been at least one new thing I've found to spend time learning and doing. Yes, lots of avenues seem unavailable to me, however, I don't do the same old things or just less things -- I feel like I head off into brand new territory. To me, that's exciting. So to the outside world of my friends I may appear to be doing nothing, seeing no one, etc., but to me I'm very active in these other dimensions. Don't cry for me, Argentina, the truth is, I'm online :)
-->Argentina: Isn't it odd to name a country after a metal? Is that just to do with greed?<--
Anyway, I seem to be crankier than I think I am. That's not a good thing.
12 September 2004
Words From The Levellers (circa 1650)
"Those who have by an unrighteous power made merchandise of the earth, giving all to some, & none to others, declare themselves tyranicall & usurping."
"And that this Civil Propriety is the Curse, is manifest thus, Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, or Murther, or Theft; and all landlords lives in the breach of the Seventh and Eighth Commandements, Thou shalt not steal, nor kill."
Maybe we should listen to the Diggers. This blog was begun 2 years ago because I was interested in trying to figure out (and hoped to get suggestions) what we need to have a good society framework, since the society I live in, as it is now is ... uh... not conducive to reinforcing the goodness in people and, frankly, rewards immorality. I mean immorality like running sweatshops, not like working as a nude dancer :)
I was reminded of my Toxic Mold Family's need for a house when I read the quoted passages.
As a interesting side note, the virtual world Second Life is in the middle of an unhappy situation where land barons are buying up the land and selling it at inflated prices. The poor person who isn't trying to make a profit, but just have a place to experiment and build, gets preyed-upon especially during the early-player days when s/he is naive about the value of land and virtual money. Land prices are artificially inflated, which hurts everyone. Some of these land barons make hundreds (if not thousands) of USD a month. Unlike real land ("Land is a good investment -- they're not making any more of it.") they are making more virtual land -- but Linden Lab probably doesn't need to have that expense in extra servers as there's a huge amount of land that was bought up to be sold at profit, and which is currently empty but for twirling "For Sale" signs. Then I wonder -- maybe that's something that will potentially happen to each piece of land a maximum of one time -- hmmm... Maybe not as the buyer might be trained to think s/he can jack up the price and cheat a noob in turn...
There's just a wee glimmer of anti-land baron activism afoot :)
For some reason I started thinking: the first poem I can remember was "Song of Hiawatha," recited by my sister's class at some kind of school night, in England when I was about 3. I remember being up "high" and looking down at the brightly lit massed students in light-colored clothing, who were to the right. "By the shores of Gitchi-Goomee, By the shining BIG SEA waters, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the MOON, Nokomis..." I reckon that's where my Longfellow-liking started. I find his poems rather calmly-measured and lulling, but also just groovy -- like ocean waves. "THIS is the forest primeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlocks, etc., etc." I like the repetition, which is like "Song of Roland," when the lance-thrusts and sword-descents are described (as I remember it, anyway, although I haven't read it for 30 years).
The first piece of music I remember falling in love with was the "Emperor Walz" in Canada, when I was about 6. My sister and I had a big stack of records (probably from a rummage sale at $.10 the lot or something) and presumably a record player (I don't remember anything about it). In one memory we are in an attic-y well-lit space that was empty but for us and our accoutrements. That was our zone in that house. I remember dancing with the horrible enormous stiff ball-gowned dolls that we were given one Christmas. One was in a blue ball gown, the other in red (I don't remember which I had). We despised them, anyway. We spent hours listening to (classical) music and dancing (ballet or minuet). I STILL love the Emperor Walz. And I still love Longfellow. Hmmm...
The first THING I really took as my own (which I have even yet) was a rock of quartz. I can remember finding it, at about 5,on a ramble with my family (probably mushroom-picking) -- we were newly-arrived in Canada. We found the remains of a house -- just a lumpy bit in the ground with a bit of foundations left. It was bright, dry, not cold. I found this roughly brick-shaped (and sized-- well heavier but half the dimensions) rock, and I remember thinking how perhaps someone had shaped it to use as a brick. I carried it off, and it sits on a table in the hall right now. I used to feel vaguely guilty for carrying off a rock, but then I realised that the place in Ontario where it'd come from is now paved over. It's a beautiful rock, and sometimes I hold it and put it up to my cheek, or lie with it on my chest.
* That was about 1958.
10 September 2004
Went to school to do the scoring of the evil standardised creativity tests :( Rosanne and I struggled until the temporary speech woman, A, came out and declared, "I LOVE scoring standardised tests!" and enlightened us. At one point B came in and laughed at us because she has to do it, so I said, "You don't understand -- we're artists, and artists live in poverty in run-down housing and suffer and lead very difficult lives -- but we DON'T HAVE TO DO STANDARDISED TESTS." Rosanne and I were in total agreement about things, which was good. We had to struggle to score as instructed sometimes, but we did it. Those were just the first few tests. Got completely worn out, went to my car and found the off hind tire extremely low. Luckily R and her friend followed me to a gas station and then they actually went ahead and filled up my tire, which was above and beyond.
Upon entering the school I saw JC, and he told me about a possible new thing we might get involved in -- a "virtual museum." I said, "Money out, or money in?" He said money in. I said it'd been my dream to get the old yearbooks online. I saved all the old paste-ups from as far back as 1991 -- before anything was even possible (in our world). I said I'm not sure what shape they're in now as I can't protect objects, but they're there -- and at worst I could scan the old yearbooks themselves. The children now are children of, and siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews of the children in those early yearbooks. I have no clue why I arrived at school and IMMEDIATELY began putting yearbooks together, but it was just something I decided on and made happen. Now I think it's appreciated greatly by the parents and students. I have always told them that it's "not for now -- it's so you can go down memory lane in the future, and show YOUR children what things were like at school."
09 September 2004
I'm having ftp problems with one site. It's weird. I think I'm making problems by emitting static.
What would happen if everyone around the world rebooted at the same instant? World peace?
06 September 2004
Yesterday as I was leaving I had to squeeze around a truck and car parked in a line behind my garage. I saw The Man Below -- said he was moving. I said I was sorry, as he was a good neighbor, but happy for him as he's bought a house and is excited about that. The car/truck were to do with The Woman Below, and I saw her and she said "Do you want me to move my car? You don't usually leave on Sundays." I said, "You don't need to move it, but in the future don't park it there -- and you don't know when I leave." She said there was not going to BE a future as SHE'S moving, too. Today -- yes, it was all parked the same way. She said she'd never known me to leave the house so much -- I said, "YOU'RE NOT USUALLY STANDING IN THE DRIVEWAY." When I came home there was a TRELLIS in front of my freaking garage door, so I had to move it before I could get in my garage. She told me yesterday (she came in to talk to me) that she had "lit a fire" under the Man Below to encourage him to buy a house and move now rather than waiting until next year, his plan. She had wanted to move into his place, but complained about The Woman in The Bottom of the House's noise, then my landlord got fed up and told her to leave immediately. She told me that the WITBOTH had done laundry at 2 in the morning. I said, "Did you say anything?" No, she said, but some things are just UNDERSTOOD. She complained that she can hear WITBOTH's loud speaking voice... I can hear HER loud speaking voice, plus she freaking smokes like a fiend, weedwhacked for 6 hours at a time, and set an enormous slash pile ablaze that filled my house with black smoke. Sheesh. I don't doubt that WITBOTH is noisy, however if one doesn't say anything at the time of the offence, how is she going to get trained? None of us are quiet little church mice, however there's no merit in seeing one's neighbor's transgressions but not one's own.
Beck is a Scientologist? What? Is that TRUE?
05 September 2004
I've always thought it was weird that I can fall into what seems to be a deep, satisfying sleep (or an extreme drowsiness that promises satisfying sleep) while doing some un-sleep task like reading or even (!) taking part in a hot school ZZZZZZZZZZZ-fest of a meeting, but if I can actually go straight to bed the wonderful sleep evaporates and leaves behind the usual lousy tossing-and-turning that I am resigned to between the hours of midnight and six (roughly). Sometimes at those times I'll be super-drowsy or asleep but hyper-aware of how GREAT the experience is. If I were really rich I'd have someone wake me up early every morning so I could have that lovely I-can-go-back-to-sleep time. That's fairly close in tone to the satisfying-but-illicit sleep experience... Sleep... Strange...
Poor old E called/IMed me several times and I knew she wanted to do SOMETHING... I explained that I couldn't do anything much ("I know," she said sadly.) So I roused myself -- I took E out (first time in months) and we went to Suzann's in Shelton for lunch. We stopped to look at things along the way. At one point she said, "That's Oyster Bay." "How do YOU know?" "I read the sign. (jeez!) " Coming home we were talking about spelling, and I said her writing and spelling had improved a lot since she began her "new life" (her words). I said, "Spell apartment." "a-p-p..." "One 'p'." "Oh, I don't know if it's one 'p' or two 'pees'... A-P-A-R-T-M-E-N-T." I whacked her, "You make me SICK." We laughed. I saw signs... "Spell Westcare Medical Clinic." We howled. "W-E-S-T-C-, etc." "Spell Nail Effex." "N-A-I-..." Spell pedicure... cardboard... now renting. And the kicker. Spell ATM -- we laughed and laughed and were ready to put two pees in her apartment.
My favorite building in Shelton.
E took this shot of Sha reflected in the window.
04 September 2004
I got up and made a concerted effort on my Burning Life project and got it done. The idea is that it's a garden of plants from another planet, and the plants have been certified non-agressive by the Inter-Planetary Biological Control Board, but there're a lot off weird purple snailish creatures infesting the plot eating things that include a human visitor. It was a good experience trying to do something for this -- a building experience that involved (not all survived) about a thousand prims or more. I went around and looked at things in the Burning Life sims. I'll have to go back. There were some very nice things, some that aren't anything much so far, and some that failed to ignite anything in me at all. So to speak. We'll see how things change.
Spoke to E, Looper, and Con on the phone. I feel rather badly that I can't take E places. It's hard on her -- suddenly losing that aspect of her life. Con said they are planning a party that is for all the people who have birthdays around now, which includes me, although I told her I probably wouldn't be there. She's having a rough time. Many people are, I hear.
03 September 2004
This is the first anniversary of my father's death. Boo hoo. I've been sad and churny-feeling. I miss my father and mother. Shelley emailed me today, and in my response I said I wasn't time-based -- that I'd been feeling rotten, but that I didn't think our relationship expired if we didn't get together within a certain time.
I went in to school today because I've got this new-and-more-complex amount of paperwork-and-process to get through for my program to be set up. I have Rosanne doing my bidding, and I've tried to explain things as I've gone along to her and to anyone else involved. Last week I had her go in the classrooms and present a still life that children had to draw from. Then they could draw anything they wanted. I explained to Becky (my program is under the aegis of her program) that since the process is different and longer, I wanted the differences highlighted to make them obvious. I asked Rosanne to be sure to explain clearly to the children that they were just doing a preliminary step. She did. I went in today and we sorted through the drawings and she made packets of the forms I'd made. I told her I didn't want to jerk anyone around, and I was trying to be very clear. I knew people would get the wrong idea, but she didn't. I sent her off to give the papers to the children, and she came back saying that she'd needed to explain all over again when the children saw the envelopes and cried, "Woo Hoo! I made it!" I'd written a letter to parents outlining what is going on, what each step means for the child, and what I need exactly. I re-did all the forms this summer as per the sample files given to me by the BIA, but tried HARD to reduce the officiousness of the documents as I despise it and feel it isn't something parents respond to. I took time to explain the paperwork step-by-step to Rosanne, and I asked her how commited she is to the school -- will she learn how to do the necessary paperwork? I said if I died tomorrow the paperwork needs to be done. Her immediate reaction was that this year... no. Poor Rosanne -- she came back from Thailand and immediately started in at school with no respite at all. She was very ill on Wednesday, but recovered quickly. She's not looking for another stress load. She is following everything I ask of her, and I trust her -- which I told her on Monday. She showed me some shadow puppets she brought back, which she's hoping to use as the basis of a project. The puppets are raw, stretched hide, and she had a cool photo she took in Thailand of a man forming the design by punching or cutting with some kind of implement. I interested her in a fotolog so she can post her pictures and be able to have them seen by friends around the world.
I've been helped in such a nice way by two friends, Louie and Marilee, lately, both of whom walk-the-walk. Louie has me set up to receive farmers' market vouchers through her organisation for off-reservation natives, even though I'm not an off-reservation native, and she got together with Marilee and figured out how they could make things appear in my kitchen with no effort on my part. I'm lucky to have such friends. Now Marilee has just lost her auntie and two friends in one week. My favorite Marilee story came about because even after 30 years, she is treated as an outsider by many on the reservation she lives on. One day she was gardening, and a neighbor was coming by and at first didn't see her. "Marilee -- oh, I didn't see you there." "Why, I've been here thirty years," she replied. She has high standards and maintains them even at high personal cost at times.
I first heard Club Topsy radio as I was flying over someone's land on Second Life, and I liked it and associated it with my land so it played there all the time. Then it disappeared but I had got cranky after hearing too many Minnie the Moocher renditions in too short a time so I didn't care. Later I was flying over someone's land and heard something I liked and associated it with my land -- and it turned out to be Topsy radio again. It's classic and neo-swing, so it's repetitive because that's a pretty small world. I have an almost unlimited desire to hear Sing Sing Sing, for some reason.
I have been neglecting my Burning Life project, but I feel numb and glum right now. Well, internally -- like Rosanne says, I'm always laughing and so it's hard to tell how I feel (fortunately I find a certain amount of hilarity in my condition, plus if I had to feel good to laugh I'd never laugh at all).
The other day my friend Marie called me -- we went to high school together. We were a trio -- me, Marie, and Jack -- best friends. I hadn't heard from her in a couple of years -- thought she had lost interest in me. Anyway, Jack died years ago (that was a hard one) of cancer (almost 25 years ago). His mother had Huntington's
chorea -- and Marie was telling me she found out that Jack's sister Paula, who had been married to Marie's brother Paul, had died about 2 years ago from that same degenerative disease. Marie found out by accident (!) that her father, who had m.s. but was never crippled by it, died in February (this year? last year? not sure). He was a doctor. Her mother didn't tell her -- she won't speak to Marie. That's truly horrid. And she found out (this was through some Phila. area obit website) that an old boyfriend of both of ours off and on, died in 1997, I think it was. He had been a marine in Viet Nam, and his father was a hall-of-fame football player. Before he went overseas his father said, "If you come home I'll buy you any kind of car you want!" He told me he didn't care about a car (he got a very expensive new something and instantly totalled it) he just wanted his father to say, "WHEN you come home..."
Anyway -- gossip-time on the phone. Marie said, "Vivian, I bet they're ALL DEAD." That was a tough time to be young and it looks like not many of us made it out without huge damage. Maybe in other parts of the country it was different -- not so dangerous. For instance, the genotype of hepatitis C in that area is the worst one -- the least curable.