Edited by Morris DeanPaul Clark, aka motomynd, at yet another venue
The Neumanns, at anchor
Geoffrey Dean, at a building site in Rila
André Duvall, at an amazing number of things
The Neumanns, at anchor
The Pineapple people have had a very busy month, what with the football preseason, a trip to Sonoma County to see Yo Yo Ma on his "Goat Rodeo" tour and a little bit of boating thrown in. We haven't taken the big boat out all month and hope to make up for that in September, starting with being anchored out for the four-day weekend ending today. This is our three-year anniversary of owning Pineapple Girl II, and what a great three years it has been. We are really looking forward to relaxing and sure feel like we need it after the hectic summer we've had.
Hopefully now that the alternator belt has been replaced and the alternator has been rebuilt on the middle boat, Hinky Dink, we will have a few months of "smooth sailing" with THAT member of our fleet.
Our littlest boat, our dinghy "Spirit," continues to be the star of our fleet and causes us no problems what so ever. I wish the other boats could take note and be a bit better behaved. Doesn't work with kids, SURE doesn't work with boats.
|Musicians participating in a Rila Music Exchange|
Since returning to Bulgaria from the US at the beginning of August, I have spent most of my time reading (and trying to interpret) philosophy texts (mostly Heidegger, which may explain some potentially odd conceptualizations in what follows) and helping supervise the reconstruction of an old house in the town of Rila that may one day be the headquarters for the Ardenza Foundation’s annual ethno-music event, Rila Music Exchange.
Rebuilding the lower side of the four-story hillside structure has something of the nature of a mission (saving a building that otherwise would have been torn down), and also of an improvisation (working from memories of how the house was and of how it could be in the future). Each day, new possibilities for utilizing the space become apparent, and this has been true from the first day we were “on site” in Rila, when we discovered that most of the lower side (or “front half”) of the house had already been dismantled, laying bare the heart of the house and its upper, or back, half. We were surprised at our own lack of distress in finding the house in a heap of debris that Monday morning (Aug. 12); it (our surprise) had been seemingly sublated in our fascination at the new way of “looking at” the house now presented to us Ardenzians. Seeing it in its open(ed)ness has fueled our desire to preserve that openness by leaving out certain things (such as certain doors, walls, and ceilings) as we returned the house to a semblance of its former self. With master builder Sasho in charge, and him and his assistant Stoyan hard at work seven days a week, that return is now in full swing.
|Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis|
I arrived safely in Memphis a couple of weeks ago, and have finally completely unpacked. I am back in the residence I lived in from 2007-2010, and have discovered a new restaurant three blocks away, which offers southern spiced vegetables cooked in a healthy manner, with no animal fats. It's delicious! I've joined the neighborhood association, and I look forward to participating in various local services in the community.
I was busy last week recruiting and scheduling students. I'll be teaching piano independently part-time, and I was recently hired as a piano instructor for the music conservatory Lausanne Collegiate School, a great Memphis institution for pre-K through high school students. I'll teach there two days a week in addition to my own studio. I will also be organizing and leading an adult handbell choir, which I hope to eventually grow to perhaps form a children's chime choir.
While I work on my dissertation over the next two semesters, I'll also be doing some freelance accompanying and performing, and I've found a potential chamber ensemble with some great musicians (quintet and trio: woodwind instruments plus piano) of which I may be a part. The group would involve three members in Memphis and two in Little Rock, so we would meet periodically as our schedules allow, and be able to schedule performances in the two cities.
In Memphis, I look forward to having a little more time and greater opportunity to be involved in chess. This will be helped by the fact that Memphis has an active chess community, with frequent local tournaments, lots of casual play in different parts of town, and periodic larger tournament events. I'll be coaching chess in after-school chess programs two or three days a week (for one hour each afternoon) as a part of Mid-South Chess. I worked one day a week for this organization when I previously lived in Memphis. It has contracts with at least 12 private and public schools in the greater Memphis area to promote the study and enjoyment of chess among young people. For the weekend, I travelled with two friends to play in a very large regional tournament in St. Louis. I figured I would take the chance to play out of town before everything starts up in September.
Motomynd reports a mostly uneventful month of good running and riding. And he says his previously mentioned "mystery project" that has been pulling him away from this blog, and that also preempted his motorcycle ride to Alaska, has taken shape. "I will miss riding to Alaska and back," he says, "but I hope I will be very busy with this other full-time endeavor for at least the next 20 years. Hopefully much longer, actually." Here is a progress report in the form of a new website he just launched: "CAELEN."
James Knudsen, at two theatres
August has brought the return of students and faculty to Fresno City College. Three weeks in, things are looking good—the class rosters have thinned a bit and those that remain seem to be a good bunch. And I will be doubly busy through the third week of November, having been cast in two plays, Fresno City College's From Up Here, by Liz Flahive, and The College of the Sequoia's The Man Who Came to Dinner, by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. And no, I'm not the lead in either. Late night fast food for me until Thanksgiving.Susan C. Price, from the front lines of "entitled-lucky-navel-gazing"
Still "learning" what/how to be retired. It's not a phase of life for which there are "the expecteds." As a kid, the expecteds i understood were: school, chores, obey, play. As i went on to college and grad school...that continued. (Had i created a family with children, there would have been plenty more "expecteds")The Rogers, at work and play in Costa Rica
Work had the expecteds: do as directed, maybe have new ideas, rise in the structure, 8-5 monday thru friday. The dailyness and the week/weekend were a schedule i was used to.
Now, there are no expecteds, and fewer rules (well, maybe "stay healthy") and little structure. No one except the hubster would notice or care if i read all night and sleep all day.
So, what sense or (YE GODS) purpose am i to make of this Final Act? i havent the foggiest. i'm not yet exactly bored...i do find I have an increasing awareness of how silly many of my pre-occupations in the other "acts" were....or are....or?
ANY COMMENTS? I AM CURIOUS ABOUT HOW YOU DO IT/FIND IT
ah well, off to the gym
Janie and I have spent the month of August enclosing our front porch with bricks and screens. The ticos (Costa Ricans) think we are crazy gringos, but they seem to enjoy the comfort of visiting without the bugs—some very large—bothering them.[Don't miss Ed's Labor Day article, published a minute earlier than "First Monday with Characters" and appearing immediately below it.]
We also took two trips to Manuel Antonio, which is a beach and National Park area. The first trip was to scope out the hotels and beaches. After we found what we wanted in the way of a hotel room and located the beach that suited our taste, we drove the three hours back home. The following week-end we spent three wonderful days in the sand and sun.
Vic Midyett, at cook-out
Last night, in Walkamin, Queensland, the owner of the park we're currently staying in organized a camp-oven dinner. The park has emptied some in the last couple of weeks, so there were only about 30 folks chatting, telling of their travels, and laughing at jokes. A good time and very yummy food were had by all.
Nine people had cast-iron pots that are called camp ovens. All the cooking took place on or close to an open-fire pit. The camp ovens had a lid that fits into the pot and has a sunken rimmed top to hold hot coals for cooking from the top down.
Shirley and I prepared two large bowls of rice and eight large garlic bread sticks. No one came up with any Damper—a "bush bread." There was apricot chicken, two curries—one beef, one sausage—two other sausage dishes, and a quiche. One person even cooked a big pot of dirty rice. Someone bought a large cheesecake, and we also had bananas, and ice cream with strawberry or chocolate topping with nuts!! A regular banana split!
The owner of the park—she's wearing the red and white checkered hubbies shirt and shorts—is quite the character. She has a stock car that she races every opportunity she gets. She's a good driver too—usually beats her husband, Terry. She's very much a country girl, bubbly, and full of energy.
Incidentally, sausage in Australia come in the shape of American link sausage—only larger. You can buy all sorts of it, from Mexican-flavor, to flavored with Indian spices, to plain in beef, lamb, pork, turkey, chicken, or combinations of those. Australia also still has local butcher shops. These guys come up with all kinds of recipes of their own. And their quality of meat is usually much better than grocery stores. The butcher will take orders and cut and/or spice up anything your heart desires.
In August I rescued a four-to-five-month-old kitten who was trying to eat a lizard she had killed. What a lovely cat she has turned out to be! No fleas, short hair, and so affectionate. Took her three days, to stop hissing at the dogs and start being friendly. So funny to watch a French Briard sheep dog play with this tiny kitten. The Briard is careful and seems to understand that the kitten is big enough to do serious damage. As for my Westie, she plays with the kitten like she is also a kitten.Dawn Burke, occasionally at home alone!
But all is not great, as my two-year-old Calico cat has not adjusted to moving into my new home and hates the kitten. Emma cat has started attacking me and absolutely hates my boyfriend, so now I have a cat on Prozac. Seems to be helping.
My favorite pastime is eating out. Don't want any restaurants going out of business because of me!
Back to school busyness for this character. Buying clothes, supplies, etc. Then the first-day anxiety of getting everyone to their proper class, and in our case now two different schools: a granddaughter starting kindergarten, a grandson starting 1st grade, and a daughter starting her first year of middle school. So that's dealing with lots of things. It's more settled now, thankfully, and I'm enjoying being home alone for the first time in several years!Morris Dean, in better sight
I saw my neuro-ophthalmologist on Thursday, and only a fairly slight adjustment was needed to my distance spectacle prisms in order for my left and right images to be fairly manageable again by my beleaguered brain. This was demonstrated by having a prism patch applied to my right spectacle lens. It was soon clear to me that the remedy worked, so on Saturday I took a prescription for new distance glasses to the Costco optical shop. They should be ready in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, my old glasses with the temporary patch are serving quite well. (No adjustment was needed to my reading glasses, but I do need to do some "push-up" exercises to strengthen my eye muscles: 30 repetitions of slowly bringing the tip of a finger from far to very near—while focusing on the tip, of course.)
My only disappointment with my new frames is that Costco wasn't able to put me into round (or "John Lennon") glasses. I have always wanted such a pair....But I was told that, even if round glasses were available through Costco's supplier, they would not serve me well, simply because the lenses could rotate and throw the prisms out of kilter!
My doctor also explained something I hadn't understood before (or even been told so far as I could remember): the brain of an older person, or of a person who has suffered brain injury (such as I have, with my Parinaud's Syndrome), are not as adept at fusing divergent left and right images as healthy younger people. I have a narrower "range of accommodation," so I am lucky that prisms are able to bring the left and right images close enough together for my aged, damaged brain to accommodate and fuse them into a single image.
Copyright © 2013 by Morris Dean