Montmartre— in light and dark

Montmartre— dans la lumière et l’obscurité

Sacre Coeur blackand white photo angle from belowThese are photos from our first afternoon in Paris. It stayed light til 8:30.

Now, you know, I’ve been dreaming of the trip— now that it’s over. As I did before it was born. Friday was two weeks since we left for farther shores. It went by fast and slow, as time does.

Felt like four days; felt like four weeks. Away –and three cities away– will have that effect.

streets of Montmartre, photos in black and white
streets of Montmartre, photos in black and whitestreets of Montmartre, photos in black and white

Life is different —and the same— when you return. That is to say, life is the same but you’re a little different.

streets of Montmartre, photos in black and whitestreets of Montmartre, photos in black and white

Continue reading “Montmartre— in light and dark”

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The water pipes upstairs froze overnight

photo of the garden and field under snowIt’s double-quilt weather and icy lashes weather as the wind stings saltwater rills from our eyes. Shoulders hunched, we retreat into our hoods like sheltering caves.

Convolutions and subtext slip away like shingles from a roof during high winds. Faced with the elemental force of cold, our needs simplify. Just as hunger renders food delicious merely by filling a need, warmth does same after a spell of shivers; muscles convulsing in their toil of keeping the blood from slowing in our veins.

The simplification is good. Makes us thankful for the ease of milder days. Which at length leads to contemplation; to philosophical meanderings and resolutions. We will never take anything for granted again!

But we tend to be creatures of reaction more than of action. So, always the ebb and flow: seasons without, seasons within.

We will be relieved when the plumbing returns. In the meantime, we recognize the relative ease of most days. We hope the pipes hold and do not burst. And we wait for things to thaw, to soften even a little, in their intensity.

deletions p.2

Wow. Having spent the past hour and a half at this, it becomes apparent that many sites make it difficult to close one’s account– or even to find out how to do so! There were at least five to whom I’ve had to send a request via email (replies pending), and one whose structure did not even allow for deleting– only to go through and delete each bit of info from your profile (DeviantArt).

So far I only feel slightly less cluttered as a result. It puts me in mind of the Thoreau quote, “Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.”

All this in mind, I will not create any new accounts for frivilous or momentary purposes, so if I decline a photo album or an e-card, don’t take it personally.

deletions.

I’ve been thinking about deleting things.

Despite having undergone a great purge of belongings before moving into this apartment with Ben, I find I still have  too many things. Every surface in my office has gown increasingly cluttered, and it makes it difficult to be serenely productive (perhaps that’s an oxymoron in some ways, but still).

The feeling of over-cluttered bled into the digital realm as, over the past week or two, my computer has been showing signs of distress. It’s nearly 3 years old and I’ve not taken proper care of it– it needs some disk-repair and optimization. Which, oddly enough, got me to thinking about the clutter out there; the kind that doesn’t even take up any of my (nor my computer’s) actual space, but floats out there on servers and in so-called clouds.  I removed myself from MySpace over the weekend– deleted all the attendant ephemera. It felt like a relief.

This got me thinking about all the various accounts I have out there, and why.

From a strictly webmaster point of view, the more the merrier– the more links pointing to (in my case) electrofork, the better its standings on search engines. But beyond that (a business concern) what?  Supposing we look at it in a more human way? Are we being pulled in too many directions? I have often felt stretched too thin when it comes to online presence; there are networking sites, portfolio sites, photo-sharing sites, blogs…  Add to all these music, book, and list-oriented web sites– it’s overwhelming. There are so many web sites at which I’ve set up accounts or profiles, and while several have been valuable, the majority of them have done little more than increase the number of sanctioned spams in my email. Ugh!

This got me to thinking: Do all these public presences amount to digital horcruxes? Are we splintering our souls, spreading ourselves too thin? Sites want as much as we’re willing to give, and while we may get something out of it, they get much more. Information is the most useful tool in a market-oriented society. We comprise the demographics. And with the help of thousands of sites out there, we’re doing all their research for them, and leading them straight to our inboxes.

It’s been making me feel a little creepy and much overdrawn, so I’m setting out to delete as many of my ‘profiles’ as I can; hopefully feel a little less fractured, a little less sold. As ephemeral as this stuff is, all those traces of me will hopefully be overwritten by new profiles eventually.

it wasn’t even close.

President Elect Barak Obama!
What an amazing Election Day (and we even knew who won before midnight for a change). You should have heard Brooklyn last night!! Horns honking, people were in the streets celebrating and whoo hoo-ing for several hours after the announcement was made. An epic victory.

It’s exciting to see intelligence, reason and compassion come out on top.

EVERYBODY WINS!

2008 Time for Change

Ahhhhh. I just voted, with no lines, no waiting. OBAMA!

Incidentally, I should mention that I did have good birthday, despite the following day having been poor! Spoke on the phone with my Mom and Beth and Kelley; lots of well-wishing from brothers and others, too. Later, I had a happy hour beer with Kim before her internship at the theater, then I went to Beast and saw friends. Ben met me there for dinner and gave me the above antique cigarette package, from 1878. He had made it into the beautiful card pictured above; the writing on the back even more lovely than the design on the front.

Thanks, everyone! 🙂

S A L E

I shall soon be moving into the House of Ben, and we had a superbly successful moving sale Saturday last– the weather held without rain, and many walkers of the Avenue stopped to look, and to buy. (The photo above shows only a fraction of the myriad what-not ’twas for sale, as I hadn’t a chance to snap a photo ’til afternoon.) A busy and fun day– whirlwind purge of duplicates and extras before the the merging of our two homesteads.

Only a few boxes remained at the end so I have far less to pack than before, and we have a good start on saving money for a new couch, sorely needed.

post script: I’m happy to report that a few thing didn’t sell (things which I’d marked pricey on purpose), so I got to keep tham after all. You know, there are some things that, once you see people looking at them like they are worthless, you just don’t want to part with, despite trying to pare down.


* later note– thanks be that no one bought the red and gold throw, which we are enjoying to this day and I didn’t want to part with anyway.

McCain

*sigh* The RNC: frat party to GOP supporters and oligarchs alike. Whoo hoo!

Not even worth much in the way of typing, but…
(1) [Sen. McCain] “…and get this country back on the road to peace and prosperity.”
Really? With Four More Years of same? Who got us into all this mess? The Republicans have, after all, held 20 of the past 28 years in Washington. He has plans to “shake up” Washington DC. If he has problems with the way things have been running, why has he sided with Bush on just about everything? Is he now re-negging on the past 8 years? It simply underscores that the people in that convention hall are the ones who would be there no matter who was nominated; there is no application of reasonable thought. “When he says he will “stop leaving all our country’s problems for some unluckier generation,” does none of the audience realize he can only be referring their party, especially under GW Bush?
It seems as ever, all a GOP candidate need do, ultimately, is say “Democrats will raise taxes!”

(2) [audience, chanting] “USA! USA! USA!”
Hmmm… Do they mistakenly think that they are at the Olympics, or some other venue in which this country is in competition with others? Do they not realize that both parties are, in fact, of and for the USA?

UGH.

Miserable Palin.

The RNC speeches were baseless, devoid of fact or reason, and generally nausea-inducing. Giuliani is more desperate than ever (and such a tool)! Hard to watch the speeches; embarrassing that so many were there with their hateful BOOs and misplaced applause and cheering. Sadly, the GOP has done very well by appealing to culture-clash points and derision.

I’m pasting the following bullet points on Palin here (courtesy of MoveOn.org), just because they ought to be widespread. Book-burning. Really? So sad. Please let not a single Hillary vote go to the GOP on account of this wretched woman– er, bulldog.

Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is “God’s task.” She’s even admitted she hasn’t thought about the war much—just last year she was quoted saying, “I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”

Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union—to “keep up the good work” and “wished the party luck on what she called its ‘inspiring convention.'”

Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn’t made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact.

Palin doesn’t believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being manmade.”

Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP.

Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn’t even support abortion in the case of rape or incest.

Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She’s said she will only support abstinence-only approaches.

• As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them—shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, “news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor.”

• She DID support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said “thanks, but no thanks” to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.”