Monday, January 28, 2008

Today's my birthday

Greetings fellow Aquarians (if you're not an aquarian that's aquarian-code for "hi everybody!").

I don't have any plans for the day, although I'm going to work and they may have something cooked up for me there. Last night there was a party for my boss, who shares birthdays with me, although she's 2 years younger. It was a "last day of her 30's party". It was a very well attended party with lots of great pot-luck food and at least 12 children under 6 years old running around and around and around. The party was in the almost ready cafe space at the bakery I work at. The tile is halfway laid down on the floor and the plumbing has yet to be installed in the bathrooms, but essentially all the pieces are in place, and with the party it's been warmed up for the customer deluge.

Saturday afternoon I spent with my friend Gina to celebrate my birthday. We went to a new grocery/deli in Montpelier called The Uncommon Market for lunch. First, it's cleaner than I've ever seen the store in all it's itirations over the past 20+ years I've lived here. Second, they have fresh produce as well as all sorts of dry goods and canned goods in the grocery section. And they make things like turkey tetrazini and portabello mushroom soup in the deli. And the service is friendly, warm and thoughtful. What's not to like? Nothing, that I can think of, and they offer fresh seafood 4 days a week, and take special orders, too. Awesome! It's also nice to have a small market downtown, for those who don't want to shop at the Coop. I'm charmed and I will be back.

I also went to Restuarant Pheobe with my friend Jane Friday before last, also to celebrate my birthday. You begin to understand why I'm sanguine about doing anything today?

In case you didn't know today is also Jackson Pollock's birhday (1912) and Claes Oldenburg (1929). Happy birthday fellow artists!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

downtown on a Saturday afternoon

After chores and lunch I went downtown on foot, on the way to a brisk walk. I've been diagnosed with high cholesteral, so I'll be doing a lot of brisk walking from now on, although I enjoy meandering a lot more. But that's not what I wanted to write about. On my way downtown I saw the blue lights of a police car and realized a street march was starting from the City Hall parking lot. When I got paralell on the street with the marchers I could see their placards. It was an anti-abortion rally. It happened that the marchers and I were walking the same route, although any similarity between myself and them stopped there. I looked at the marchers as I walked along. I realized after a few minutes that I didn't recognize anyone. At the time I thought the marchers were from out of town, that they had been imported for the event, which is entirely possible. But it's also possible the couple hundred people were local and I just didn't recognize any of the faces on the street because their lives and mine just don't intersect.

There was something else I noticed as I was walking down the street. It was very quiet. The marchers weren't chanting, they were mostly just talking among themselves. There was hardly anyone on the sidewalks that lined the marcher's route, and the car traffic was thin. It wasn't until I had almost reached the Post Office when drivers started honking their approval. One car honked all the way down the block. It wasn't much, though.

I'm thinking about the pro-choice rally I attended back in 1992 (I think that was the year) here in Montpelier. 5,000 people were estimated to have attended. I somehow ended up at the head of the parade (there was a percussion band keeping time and I banged on a drum for awhile) and got my picture in the paper the next day (if I can find a copy of the picture I'll post it). I remember one picture that was taken during the rally. It showed the blocks from the State House up through the corner of State and Main literally filled with people. That's five city blocks of people who felt strongly about the right of women to choose their reproductive lives.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

musician Dan Walker

I went down to the Langdon Street Cafe tonight and drew Dan Walker, who played solo guitar and sang original songs and a few covers. He bills himself as an Americana Roots Music man out of New Hamshire. Pretty good. Damn hard to draw, though. I was feeling quite pissy after an hour and a half of not very satisfying drawing. As I was leaving I ran into Dan as he was coming back inside and told him I liked his playing. I told him I'd done some drawings but wasn't going to show him, because they were crap. But he said some 75 year old characaturist made him look like a woman, and as long as I hadn't done that, they were probably ok. So I showed him, but I was telling him everything that was wrong with the drawings, including the drawing above having an eye that's too big for the rest of his face. But when I held it up to him for comparison, the resemblance was pretty good! Huh! So I'm feeling much better now. Thanks Dan, and good luck on your tour!

P.S. If you haven't seen Maira Kalman's Principles of Uncertainty then do go and check it out as soon as you can! I just got the hard-bound version of the blog she has of the same name (but is no longer adding to) at the New York Times site. It's wonderful. I'm overcome. I want to adopt Maira. Maybe she could be an older cousin? I already have a few of those, so it's not completely out of the question. I'm just saying I'm open to the possibilities. Maira, if you see this, think it over and let me know! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Goodbye Miche! Have a nice winter!

Literally and figuratively, it's the last of the miche. I've got a sandwich worth left in my kitchen, then, that's it. At least for the winter. I had a baker drop off a loaf for me last Friday night. Actually, it was Saturday morning. 2am, to be precise. (That's when the baker got back into town from baking...he was only doing what I asked him to do...) I realized way too late that I'd have to get up and retrieve my bread from the porch if I didn't want it to freeze. So I woke myself up to do that and couldn't get back to sleep. That's when I understood that it was either me, or the miche. Today I withdrew my employee standing order. But it wasn't strictly necessary to do that. Miche is only baked two days each week, and usually between those two days it's rare that more than 45 loaves are baked. So it's not likely that "my" loaf is going to go to waste.

Not that it would "go to waste" if no one bought the last loaf, because the bakery donates day-old bread to farmers in the area for animal feed. Plus, any little scraps of bread we employees don't eat on our break goes into the compost. Oh, and the compost is so awesome! Bread, dough, left over flour, food scraps, coffee grounds and even unbleached brown paper towels all go into the compost. We filled four 50 gallon compost bins in the past two weeks. The Central Vermont Solid Waste District picks it up and takes it over to the Vermont Compost Company, et voila, 200 less gallons of garbage in the landfills every two weeks. It's a beautiful thing.

"Say goodbye to the nice bread now, dear."

"Bye-bye miche! Bye-bye!"

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Today is payday, which is helpful, because it's also chore-day. I put the rent in the mail, went to the once-a-month winter farmer's market (bought maple syrup, potatoes, pork ribs and some prepared chicken and rice), did the laundry, dropped off the dvd I saw last night (Ratatoille) at the local video/dvd place savoy theater/downstairs video dropped off some used 5 gallon buckets (that used to hold canola oil, from work) to someone who needs them for their sugar bush (maple sugaring business), went back to the farmer's market to drop off some extra small socks to Laini Fondiller (a woman with extra small feet) who runs Lazy Lady Farm where she makes excellent goat and cow's milk cheeses as well as raises them for meat, and also weaves and sells beautifully hand-dyed handspun wool (she named one of her goats after me, too!). I then got the car washed (and discovered rust in the wheel wells, dagnamit) and then finished up my chores by filling the tank with gas (at $3.06/gallon).

This is a drawing I did in May 2005, of the jar Laini uses to display her feta cheese at the farmer's market. It case you can't read it, it says "We Make Better Fet'r". I would have bought some of her feta today (it IS the best) but she doesn't make it in the winter.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thanks for the comments!

I sent out a little e-mail last night about this blog, and gratefully received half a dozen comments back. Thanks for the encouragement!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

white, many shades of gray, blue & purple (a snow storm)

I've been trying to find statistics on how much it snowed in December, but lacking factual information I'll fall back on the anecdotal: WAY TOO MUCH!

I know it's beautiful, I know. But I'm overwhelmed. Then again by tomorrow night it's supposed to get below zero, and by then it'll probably stop snowing. So, which is it gonna be, snow or cold? Cold or snow?

January 1, 2008. Welcome to winter, folks.

EDITED 1/3/08: It snowed 47.2 inches in December. WAY TOO MUCH, INDEED!