April 16, 2005

Happy Easter! My Equinox/Passover/Easter was three weeks ago, along with my annual haircut, but Spring deserves all the credit it can get, and I've been up to some Eastery things lately. On the Standard Good Friday (the Farmer's Almanac should be proud), I cleaned out most of the border of my front walk, put in new soil, and planted seeds- Shirley poppies and lanceleaf coreopsis. Today I cleaned out a couple more small sections and planted some Spring bulbs, anemone and ranunculus. I probably should have used the term "corm" instead of "bulb". They were an impulse buy today at Big Lots, where I stopped to get candy to sneak into the cinema. But I love anemones. I planted some convolvulus seeds on top of the bulbs and some more in a hanging basket.

The movie I went to see could well be a perfect Easter offering, the newest version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The little things it did wrong, any attempt to add to the original, were just cutesy filler, but it's heart was in the right place. And the production values were excellent and the special effects didn't distract much from the real story, as in most blockbusters. And it made me want to read the book again, always a commendation.

This was the third cultural event I attended in three days, so it's been a busy weekend. Friday night I went to the première screening of a local film, Stolen Nights. I didn't know anything about the film going in, except that a coworker of mine has a small role in it. She's a social worker in the ER, and I don't know how she got involved; she doesn't seem like the performing type. But she was quite good in it, and it was a surprisingly better film than I expected. I won't tell you what it's about, since it will never be seen outside of a small circle of friends of the cast and crew, I'm sure. It had some major script and production problems, a budget of $50 or so, but was still entertaining.

Last night I went to a political puppet vaudeville show by a company called Bread & Puppets. I'd never heard of them, but they've been dealing out political satire since the Vietnam War protests. They employ song and dance and skit comedy and some very big puppets, or maybe they are really just costumes, since the puppets all have people inside them. Some of it was funny, some of it was so very obvious, some of it was plain silly; but my main objection was that it cost $15 and only lasted 58 minutes. Not much bang for my buck.

All these activities have cut into the one project I've been trying to finish as soon as possible, another baby quilt for another nurse at work. She started lobbying for it as soon as she saw my last one. She wasn't even pregnant at the time, so I put her off. Next thing I know, she's telling me she's pregnant and cornered me. I think she got pregnant just so I would have to make her a quilt. I tried something with her I've never done before. I took a couple of boxes of fabrics for her to look through. Not to pick what she wanted, but just to get some idea of her tastes. Sometimes the fabric will inspire design ideas. She thought she was picking colours, and she was worried about the blue/pink issue, since the baby's sex hadn't been discovered at that point. But I was more interested in her choice of patterns, not colours. I would never make a blue quilt just for a boy, and I would never make a pink quilt period. I'm glad I didn't explain the test to her, though; it's better to be surprised. The main motif is a large circle made of 8 arcs. I worked the design in from that, now I'm working out from it to the edges. I might finish the top tonight, but may not finish the whole thing before she goes on maternity leave.

The other distraction from the quilt this week was fixing Michael's old secretary's computer, which he offered for me to do without asking me. But she turned out to be such a nice lady, I didn't mind. It was a hassle, and I'm fed up with hassles. Her niece had screwed up her operating system with some downloads, so I had to reinstall Windows XP. Not hard, just time-consuming, especially with all the updates. Michael fired Sandra because his sister Marie moved back to Athens and he had told Sandra when he hired her that if his sister came back, he would offer Marie the job again. And that's what happened. Marie had moved to St. Simon's when her new husband's job moved him down there, but they didn't stay long before his job moved him back. Doesn't make much sense, but I don't ask questions about them. I got to keep Jackson for the weekend Michael drove down to help them pack and move back.

Jackson is becoming a little celebrity. Michael takes him to meetings with clients and they all love him. According to Michael, Jackson helps land some clients. Maybe so. This is bulldog country. Michael used a photo I took of Jackson for an ad for his business, then decided to get a professional photographer to take better ones for a new ad. They are glamour shots of Jackson (some with Michael), and one is especially pretty. When he gets the real photos (I've only seen the proofs with the photographer's name stamped all over them), I'll post the best on my website.

The other big pet news is that Benjamin, my black rat snake, escaped a few days ago. He just kept pushing on the cover until he got enough of a crack to get out. I'm only worried if he got outside. He might be able to survive, he's a pretty good killer; but I would hate to think of some idiot neighbour finding him and killing him. I've been looking for him, but I'm not going to take the house apart, and that's what it would take since he can squeeze into just about anywhere. If he's still inside, he'll show up if he gets hungry enough. And I'm not scared of his sneaking up on me. He's very gentle. He got loose one other time years ago, and I almost gave up on him then, till I moved the couch to clean under it and there he was just curled up sleeping. If I don't find him this time, it will solve one problem. I looked up on the Internet and found that the lifespan of the black rat snake is 10-15 years. He's at least 11, maybe 12, so it was just a matter of time before I found him dead in his cage one day, and that would tear me up. As long as I don't see him smashed by a golf club, I'll take comfort in the mystery of his disappearance. But I'm still watching my step around the house.

PS. I just bought this stationery at a yardsale Saturday. Butterfly stationery