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This was a really good weekend, the kind that you need to hold in your heart, to get you through January.

Thursday was CSA pick-up and some rowboat time of Lake Wingra with the nephew.

Friday involved a sailing lesson, a lovely outdoor dinner at Buraka on State Street (their chicken peanut stew with injera is one of the best things I have ever eaten, and I often crave it mightily), followed by a starlight sail on Lake Mendota that ended just before midnight, and a balmy bike ride home (a drunk-dodging slalom up State).

Saturday was mostly taken up by a 45 mile bike ride to Mount Horeb and back. (If you stop for a meal at The Grumpy Troll, I can highly recommend the Trempeleau Hotel Walnut burgers, the Dragon Boat Wit, and the Trailside Wheat beers.) This was our third use of our state trail passes, bring us up to $12 worth. Two more rides and we break even for use, though I'm ok with the donation if we don't make it, for some reason.

Saturday night was supposed to involve another starlight sail, but I was pretty exhausted and had been haunted all day by a recurring headache, so I begged off. There was more sailing for me today, however, as I got in some more practice on the tech dinghies. Learning how to capsize/turtle the boats and recover went much better after I figured out that removing my shoes was key. I was having a lot of trouble getting a good kick while wearing them. I had been able to right it with a lot of effort, but it was exhausting. So I took them off, tied them to the painter (to keep from losing them) and tossed them into the boat. After that, I was able to kick and pull myself all the way into the boat.

Side note: purposely capsizing a perfectly good boat feels so very counter-intuitive. "Why the hell am I doing this?" But you need to know what to do, and so much better to learn under controlled circumstances. I did lose my bandanna in the process, but c'est la vie.

In the end, I did not obtain a Tech Light rating, as I need more practice with my landings. I am hoping to have it by the end of summer, though.

Further plans for the evening included yoga class and a barbecue, but rain and general tiredness curtailed those. Instead, I think this calls for turning on the paper lanterns and chilling on the porch for as long as I can. Long live summer!



Sometime around 2000, I heard, in error, that Maurice Sendak had died. I was sad about this, but did not discover that it was a false report until years later, in 2006. I wept Tuesday morning when I heard, once more, that he had died. I knew that this time, I wouldn't be getting him back. I wasn't as heartbroken as I was when Jim Henson died, but Henson died well before he should have. I knew from recent interviews with Sendak that, at age 83, he was starting to get pissed out about still being alive. He seemed ready to go.

Maurice Sendak, like Henson, had a strong hand in shaping my childhood landscape. Where the Wild Things Are became a favorite of mine very early on, and it remains so to this day. I am not alone in this by any means.) I did find the movie version to be enchanting, but I'd probably rather watch the Scholastic Storybook Treasures version.

However, it wasn't just Wild Things. My sister and I had a cassette of the Off-Broadway production of Really Rosie that we played over and over, memorized, and performed on our own. (I was particularly fond of "The Awful Truth.") We had copies of Pierre and Chicken Soup With Rice that got their share of wear. We also loved listening to Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or, There Must Be More to Life on tape, as read by Tammy Grimes.

Like Trina Schart Hyman, he was one of the illustrators whose work I have most admired. I was tremendously excited to find the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of "Nutcracker", with set a costume designs from Maurice Sendak on VHS in the late 80s. It was a wonder and a delight.

Unsurprisingly, this week I have spent a great deal of time reading other people's memories of Sendak and revisiting my own. We remember and we carry on.



Travels and Snow

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December and January have been busy for me. Fun, exciting, and hectic. Also, as tends to happen in winter: cold, dark, and snowy.

Between traveling, getting a couple of colds, starting projects, and occasionally curling up in my cave to hibernate, I haven't posted much. I'd like to start making up for lost time.

Over Christmas, I took a trip out to the east coast, and got there just in time for the big December blizzard.

Also out in the blizzard was Jamie Stuart, "Idiot with a Tripod," who shot this excellent short video using a Canon 7D. It's a really nice piece of work. Even Roger Ebert loved it. Check it out yourself!

Idiot with a Tripod from The Mutiny Company on Vimeo.



Springy Springy Spring

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Ok, so technically it is still winter, but it feels like spring. It smells like spring. That's the important part.

Yesterday evening, it was grey when I got off of work, but it was also 50 degrees and not raining. I hauled out my bike, pumped up the tires, and went out for a ride. It was wonderful! There was still a bit of chill in the air, of course, but a pair of fingerless gloves were sufficient to keep my hands cozy on the handlebars.

Riding along, I smelled woodsmoke, mud, saw dust (from a construction site), and, at one point, ganja (near Willy St.). It was neat to smell things besides salt and cold.

The mist was rising up from the Yahara River and Tenney Pond in very interesting ways. I did find myself wishing for my camera, but all I had with me was my phone, which wouldn't do. (Actually, with the lighting, I'd have needed my camera and tripod.) However, we are getting to the time of year when I actually do start bringing my camera with me when I go out. At least, much of the time.

Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday (hence my current treaury and spring becomes official the week after. Granted, this is Wisconsin, and late snow storms are not unheard of. Those are always a little hard to deal with, mentally, but even if we get an Easter Blizzard or WIAA boys basketball tournament's only a little time before that is all just a memory for a few months, and we all start smiling.



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