Friday, September 17, 2010


The beautiful orchid sent in Elsa’s memory. Thank you, my friends!

Friday, September 17, 2010
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Humid and cloudy

Yesterday was a bizarre day. I wound up cleaning and scrubbing early in the morning, in preparation for the exterminator, who was supposed to show up around 10. He showed up around 1:30. Sigh. At least he showed up, step in the right direction. And they gave us heat for a full 20 minutes around lunchtime. Someone must be getting high in the office and playing with the switch, because they sure wouldn’t give us heat on a weekday on purpose!

So, in the morning, I did bits of this and that, not wanting to go too deeply into anything that couldn’t get interrupted.

I wound up cleaning out some of those little top drawer things in some of the bureaus. And some of them I hadn’t even opened since I was a kid. Very strange experience. I tossed a lot, packed a lot. My goodness, even as a little kid, I picked up rocks everywhere I went. I’m always picking up stones and rocks. I have rocks and stones in almost every box and drawer. Even then, when I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew what I was doing! 😉

And then I found a notebook given to me by my Dad. He died when I was ten. It had some pages of different ideas and things from him to me, and then something I wrote about two months after he died. Wow.

I found photographs, black and white, too, of my mom at Niagra Falls in the 1950s, of my dad, my grandmother, my dog (actually, I think I was his human, he came into the family before I did), and a little picture of what I think is me. I found a naughty gag gift someone made for me in high school — it was the late 70s, use your imagination — and some boy-crazy notes from someone I used to be friends with in middle school about her latest crush. And medals – Spelling Bee, Honor Society, Music This and That.

So I packed up my past and it’s ready to go.

After the exterminator came and left, I started washing teapots. They’ve been on top of the kitchen cabinets, and with all the construction crap going on here have gotten really dirty and sticky. I don’t want to pack them like that. So I soaked them and scrubbed them, and put them out to dry. What’s interesting is that the oldest, seemingly most fragile teapots — the Allerton and the Steubenware, given to me by my grandmother — were the easiest to clean, whereas the more modern “dishwasher safe” ones were a pain in the —-, and one of them, my snowman teapot, lost most of his red coloring, which means the ceramic teapot wasn’t properly painted and then glazed, but glazed and then some paint slapped over it. It’s still cute, it just has a lot more white.

I didn’t know I had 10 teapots here. I have a few more boxes of teapots in storage.

I really like teapots.

And I feel off kilter with them all packed.

Not that I use them that often — usually I just stick a bag in a mug and pour hot water over it. But I like having the option and looking at them.

Violet played in the teapots as they dried.

And the big excitement — the President’s helicopter (and its companion choppers) flew over the building! I heard approaching helicopters and thought, “Oh, no, must be a bad accident on I-95 for them to fly this low.” Then, I look out my third floor window and it’s the Presidential Chopper! And it’s REALLY cool! He was attending some to-do in Greenwich. I’d forgotten. At least he wasn’t on the ground tying up traffic, right? Anyway, the third floor is high enough and they flew low enough to get a good look and it was really cool. I’m rather fond of helicopters anyway.

We had big weather kerflamma. Wednesday night, the weather folk said, “Oh, we might have some showers during tomorrow’s rush hour” and suddenly we had tornadoes in Brookly and Queens. Up here, it got dark fast, with thunder, lightening, and lots of rain. The cats weren’t too worried, so neither was I. Well, Iris scooted under the bed after a loud thunderclap, but she came out pretty fast. And then they pre-empted the shows to run the same three clips over and over again all night. Give me a break!

Caught up with some old friends online, which was nice. We’re scattered all over the place.

Had a decent first writing session of the morning.

Violet is sneezing again, and it worries me. She seems fine otherwise — she’s eating and playing and all the rest. Of course, I’m coughing up a lung with all the brick dust, too. I’ve measured for the past few days. With the windows CLOSED, between 1/8th and 1/2 of an inch of dust comes through every single day. Yeah, that’s healthy. Not.

I’m having iPhoto kerflamma. I merged some batches of photos, and now I can’t find them. iPhoto sits there like a Zen whatever, saying that, yes they are there, and not telling me where they’re hidden. Guess I’ll be calling Apple Care when they open!

Best wishes to my dear friend Lori, who has surgery today.

Today, I’ve got some business to take care of in the morning, and then I’m going to a friend’s to do laundry. I’ve got to polish those lectures tonight and tomorrow for next week. And maybe start washing and packing the vases.

Devon


teapot extravaganza

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy, hot, humid

We’re supposed to break 100 degrees again today. Ick.

Off to pottery yesterday, for my last regular class. Finally, I found something I”m good at — mask-making. We did slab masks (which means we created a slab on the roller, then shaped it on a newspaper form and decorated it). I’m thrilled with mine.

I have some experience with mask-making, both for ritual purposes and for theatre productions, although I’ve never made one in clay before.

We also trimmed the pots we threw on the wheel. So, I was back to going clockwise, which feels more natural to me, but other than that, it was a disaster. Now, it’s just getting to the point where I’m afraid of the wheel, which is not a good thing. My pot is a disaster, but I’m firing it and glazing it anyway, because when I master my fear of the wheel (like, when I’m 105), I can see how far I’ve come.

Glazed my little tiny pressed mold pot, which looks cute, and glazed my enormous pressed bottle vase. I love the glaze room, and I’ve gone from being fascinated by glazes to being obsessed with them.

Several people praised the pressed bottle vase, which surprised me. I look at it and see the flaws, but they think it’s really cool, the way I played with texture. I thank them for their support of a newbie.

When I get back from Philly, there are a few glazing days, so, provided this work’s been bisque-fired (the first firing), I’ll be able to glaze it and send it on for the second firing.

I received an unexpected check which, I think, will pay for fall’s pottery class.

While I was at class, my mom dealt with the new exterminator now handling the building. He’s very nice and very thorough — what a great change from the guys who wandered in, squirted the hose a few times at baseboards(and then we had to wash away the run-off before the cats stepped in it), and wandered out. Everything he uses is pet-safe (Elsa, being Elsa, followed him around to make sure, and the twins peered out from under a table; Elsa must always supervise and remind anyone who enters that this is a cat-centric household, and she expects proper greetings and pettings) and his equipment is very precise, so there’s no drippage or leakage or it getting onto anything but what he focuses on. With all the construction and other chaos going on, we needed a good exterminator around here, not to mention so many people moving in and out. It’s a fact of living around New York — you have to battle vermin on every level.

Unfortunately, because he was so thorough, it means I can’t use the gas oven for two weeks.

And while that was happening, I’d merrily offered to bake for the final class party that I’ll miss next week, and leave it on Monday at the clay center before I leave for Philly on Tuesday.

So, I called up a friend of mine, who will be away this weekend (she goes to an old family retreat every weekend all summer), and asked if I could borrow her oven. She was just talking to her co-workers about our last adventure when I called, thought the whole thing was funny, and we’re sorting out the key exchange later today.

I received a very exciting offer, but there are a few contract details to sort out, and the person I’m supposed to deal with is on vacation — but the contract is supposed to be signed “immediately” — so I went to the person who sent me the offer and asked who I should deal with in the interim. Someone’s got to be covering, or, if not, it won’t be finalized until that person gets back. Not signing something just because the other side is in a rush. Anyway, IF we get these two contract points sorted out, it will be exciting news and I’ll be able to share it.

Also received my next assignment from Confidential Job #1, which looks pretty darned interesting. Sometimes, I think my editor over there reads my blog!

Elsa’s new medicine did not arrive yesterday — although it was sent out and to the correct address. Why am I not surprised? And, of course, the vet still hasn’t made his promised phone call. She actually was a little better, although she’s kind of droopy. I want to call the acupuncturist/Reiki master recommended by the woman in my pottery class when I get back from Philly and see if I can set up an appointment. Elsa’s moving sometimes as though she’s uncomfortable (although she can still outjump Iris, who never bothers to do the math before she does a jump, but just flings herself on and off things and assumes inanimate objects will move to accommodate her). I think a little acupuncture or some Reiki would do her good. I know I sure as heck could use some Reiki. So, I’ll meet with these people and see if we connect, and then maybe they can at least help Elsa stay more comfortable. Supposedly, they do acupuncture at my vet’s, and I’ve asked for it several times, and the request has been ignored. I’d rather go to an independent professional anyway. My acupuncturist was recommended by both a jockey friend and a trainer’s wife, and she’s been a life saver — certainly a career-saver. I would have had to quit Broadway much sooner because of disability had I not started seeing her.

Anyway, I’ve got some running around to do today, some correspondence, hopefully get some writing in. I got some ideas for a couple of little projects to use up what’s left of my clay, so I might head back to the studio for open studio hours this afternoon and finish up for a couple of hours. Got a couple of things sorted out for the Philly trip — looks like I’ll be dealing with another set of scumbag real estate management company when I hit Philly, who are creating unnecessary problems at the site. I’m used to real estate scumbags by this point, and if they get physical, I’ll file a police report. Hopefully, it won’t come to that. I’m starting to think that 98% of the people who work in real estate make pond scum look like a higher life form.

I am certainly looking forward to things lightening up after July 21. Saturn can’t leave the House of Pisces fast enough for me. Enough life lessons already! 😉

I’ve got to pack for Philly and decide which projects to take with me. I’m doing a lot of running around, so I don’t want to take too many projects and then not get around to doing them. I’m definitely taking both books on which I’m lecturing, to finish the notes and lectures. If the contract is finalized before I leave, I’ll be outlining another project along the same lines (per the contract); if it’s not finalized, I’ll wait. I’ve got the booklet to work on and some short stories. I’ll take the assignment from Confidential Job #1, which I don’t think I can finish before I leave. And, oh, yeah, I kind of have to do the work I’m paid to do while I’m there, right? 🙂 I’ve also got to write up Elsa’s medication schedule and feeding schedule so my mom can take care of it while I’m gone, and cook ahead so my mom doesn’t have to cook while I’m gone.

Yeah, it’ll be a busy weekend. And a hot one. I will probably run the air conditioner a lot. Yesterday, even in air conditioning, I just couldn’t cool down.

Devon