Monday, May 31, 2010

While I was away

It's good to be home after a week away - an intense and exhausting week. I met a lot of great people at my first MFA residency and I'm feeling good about my decision to do this, but I'm still processing all the input, readjusting to my "normal" life, and catching up with the world.

All last week I didn't once watch TV, listen to the radio, read a newspaper, or glance at a magazine. I didn't check Facebook, fool around on Flickr, read blogs, or play spider solitaire. And I didn't miss much - if anything. This makes me sorry to think of how much time I actually spend on these activities during a normal week. I swear I'm going to be more mindful of how I use my time from now on, but we'll see...

I did get a chance to take some photos during my busy, busy week, so that was fun. Here's one I shot at night, with only the available light in the parking lot outside my dorm. (yes, dorm.) Although it was night, the parking lot was well lit & I like the tone that resulted - makes me want to shoot at night more often. Doesn't this sewer cover look like the happiest guy you've ever known?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

So many blog topics, so little time

Tomorrow I fly off for my first graduate school residency. I'll be there for an intense week of seminars and workshops, and don't expect I'll have any free time for blogging, though I'm sure I'll have lots to say when I get back.

I still feel ever so slightly foolish for doing this at my age, but I'm giving it a whirl just the same.

In the meantime, here are a few of the topics I'd like to blog about if only I had more time, and hope to actually get around to someday:

navigation devices
my recurring broken phone dream
sharing the kitchen
cafe culture
Woodward Avenue
rude clerks
giant ugly purses
high fructose corn syrup
adoptee rights
small talk
involuntary memory

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Favorite Photo: Junior prom

This photo was taken in May 1998 on the day of my sons' Junior prom. (Twelve years ago!) I think it's a nice photo of the three of us, a rare thing to have captured during those busy, complicated years, and definitely one of my favorites.

That's Justin in the shades. And me with poofy dyed hair. I thought I was getting old then, but damn, I was in my prime.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We have lilacs!

We were very happy to recently discover that two of the bushes in our backyard are lilacs. Until they started to bloom last week we thought they were just big, ugly, overgrown bushes. So, what a surprise. And what a delight!

And look what I found while I was out there with my camera:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Kalamazoo tornado

Today is the 30th anniversary of the May 13, 1980 tornado in Kalamazoo - a day I remember well. I lived in an apartment a few blocks from downtown at the time and had friends visiting from out-of-town when the tornado hit. We were aware that a tornado warning had been issued that day but didn't take it too seriously. Growing up in Michigan we'd been through plenty of tornado warnings.

When it started to rain I headed out to roll up the windows on my car, but changed my mind when I saw the strange yellow tinge to the sky. I went back inside. "Don't they say a tornado sounds like a freight train?" My friend said, just as we heard that sound.

When the tornado passed we headed downtown to see the damage. Everything was covered with dirt and glass. Debris was still falling from buildings.

Everyone was walking around in a daze. The park in the middle of town looked like a salad of fallen trees. It was an unforgettable sight.

How eerie the ISB building looked with all it's windows blown out

The tornado killed five, injured 79, and caused 50 million dollars in damage.

I'm still so sorry I didn't grab my camera when we headed downtown that day. But here are some photos I found on a site called Vanished Kalamazoo. They sure brought back memories of what that day was like.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sons & Mothers

Well, here it is: another disappointing Mother's Day. Although that's not completely true, I'm not really disappointed, that would imply I'd been expecting something that didn't happen or didn't live up to my expectations. Maybe I should just say it's another underwhelming Mother's day. Just a Sunday afternoon, like any other, except for the brief phone call from my sons. One call, shared by both of them, while they were on their way to some other mother's home for a holiday meal.

I'd be sad about this if it weren't so par for the course. This is what you get when you have sons and no daughters I tell myself. A daughter would do better I'm sure. She'd send a card. Or maybe even flowers. It's not that my sons don't love and appreciate me, it's just that they're guys. And that they live across the state. And that, of-course, if we lived in the same city they would be here, no doubt, to kiss my cheek and wish me a happy day. Right?

In honor of Mother's Day, here are mine:

My mother, Ann

My mom, Marie

Thursday, May 6, 2010

thirtysomething again

For the last couple of weeks I've been hooked on watching the first season of thirtysomething on DVD. I was a big fan when the series was on TV from 1987-1991. The characters were the same age as me at the time and I related to each in their distinct and flawed ways.

Watching this show again is like reconnecting with old friends you haven't seen in a long time. And they haven't aged a bit! What fun to see their clothes and hairstyles - not a caricature of the 80s, but the real thing. Watching this show sometimes makes me sentimental for that "simpler" time.

Not all the episodes hold up so well, but most of them do. I'll admit it took a while for this series to hit it's stride. But it was like nothing else on TV at the time. Creative and high-minded, it was more like something you'd see on HBO or Showtime now.

It was accused of being whiny, but I never saw it that way. Okay, maybe the Nancy character - she can get on my nerves. And Michael was aways a little too serious. But otherwise I thought it hit just the right blend of drama and comedy. It always seemed true.

Monday, May 3, 2010

what's in bloom here

These dwarf irises, originally from our GR garden,
have survived two moves and seem to be doing just fine.

The primroses have also survived and cheer me immensely.

Don't know what this is. It popped up last weekend. Any ideas?

Here's the dogwood in our backyard. At least I think it's a dogwood. Isn't it?