scarlettina: (Trouble get behind me)
In my last post, I mentioned that this past weekend I'd received news of a death. The death in question was that of my brother's best friend's wife. While this may seem like a distant connection, it's closer than you may think for reasons that will become clear.Cut for flist mercy and for cancer and triggery stuff )

I've been thinking about changing my reading habits in the morning. I read LJ at the start of each day, but I'm beginning to think that the things I'm reading in the morning are opening up wounds that never really heal for me and it's beginning to feel like I'm slicing myself to pieces bit by bit. I once had a therapist tell me that I have all the symptoms of PTSD when I talk about my mother's death; I never took it seriously until I was treated for PTSD, a treatment that I have had to acknowledge hasn't stuck mainly due to repeated exposure to new trauma. About the Boston marathon bombing news, [livejournal.com profile] suricattus posted on Twitter, "Reminder: if you're feeling echoes of past Bad Stuff, reading the news out of Boston, it's ok to look away. You're not letting anyone down." I'm feeling echoes of Bad Stuff. I may look away for a while. It's not a lack of love or strength. It's a matter of self-preservation.

PS--I don't want condolences upon Nancy's death; I'm serious about this. While her loss is painful, I didn't know her well. I'm mourning more for what her husband and family, and my brother are experiencing because I'm empathetic to their experience. And I'm dealing with the cascade of stuff that's been triggered by her death, especially in the context I've described above. I wrote about all this mainly because it's a way to start addressing it. We deal with things one day, and one word, at a time.
scarlettina: (Spirit Steps)
This morning as I was reading my flist, I found myself reading a back-entry of [livejournal.com profile] kate_schaefer's about a friend of hers who died years ago, and of whom she'd recently dreamed. It shook loose a realization that I'd dreamed about [livejournal.com profile] dochyel a couple of nights back. I'd dreamed that I was sitting or standing across from a friend (one of those generic, unidentified friends who show up in dreams) who was sitting on a flight of stairs, and that [livejournal.com profile] dochyel was curled up on a coffee table, I think, between us. He'd been there for years, apparently. We knew he was dead, but there he lay, perfect, as if he were only sleeping--and then he began to rouse and awaken. And then I woke up.

I've dreamed about him a few times since he died, and we're always passing each other somewhere. The last time I dreamed about him, we were in a farmer's market taking place in Grand Central Station. He was wearing his hair long and, rather than the Van Dyke he'd worn for years, he wore a handlebar mustache (which was a pretty good look for him, I have to admit). Anyway, I was delighted to see him and he was happy to see me, but when I asked him to come with me to see my apartment ("Come see the house," I said. "You never got to visit."), he told me he had to go; he was on his way elsewhere and he was clearly pressed for time--if a little regretful about it--as if he was going to miss some cosmic train departure for some other dimension if he didn't hurry.

That dream always left me with two reactions. The first was that feeling that the people I care most about often don't have time for me, which is more about my own abandonment issues than it is related to the truth of my experience; my friends are generous and loving with their time and I know it. The second was a feeling of gratitude that I got to see him at all. One of my great sadnesses about his death is that the night before he died we'd been in email planning to get together when I next visited New York, which was only to be in a week or so.

I haven't dreamed about [livejournal.com profile] markbourne at all since he passed away. Or maybe I did once; I have a vague memory of seeing his smiling face in a dream, but that's all. For a while, I found it distressing that he didn't appear in my dreams, as if it was a choice he was making rather than a choice my subconscious was making. The woo-woo, spiritual side of me still feels that way a bit mainly, I think, because given the discussions that [livejournal.com profile] dochyel and I had years ago about the nature of the soul and its connections on different levels of consciousness, I always feel like my dreams about [livejournal.com profile] dochyel really are visits from him rather than my manifesting his image myself--even if he is too busy to linger for a proper catch-up. If encounters in dreams really are visits from the other side, then I'm happy to have them, and I'll assume that the lack of visits from [livejournal.com profile] markbourne simply means that he's OK with where we were when he left--which is to say good friends who knew each other pretty well and were happy and comfortable there. Doesn't mean I wouldn't still like to sit down and have a whiskey with him, or with [livejournal.com profile] dochyel for that matter.

I think one of my goals for this weekend is to do that with everyone who is solidly here with me on this plane of existence. That would be . . . a lot of whiskey. Maybe for once I should let someone else do the driving.
scarlettina: (All my own stunts)
I went to the dentist on Wednesday, a check up in the wake of some pretty significant dental work I've had done over the last couple of months. When I entered the office, the dentist was behind the desk with the receptionist. She turned toward me when I came in and said hello, complimented me on my haircut, and asked me how I was. I've had a tough week and said something noncommittal, that I've had better weeks.

She told me she could understand, that her 12-week-old niece was about to undergo open-heart surgery. And then she began to get into the details of what they were going to do because she found it fascinating, and I felt my entire body sort of heave up. About the time she got to, ". . . and then they put this golden mesh around the sack of the heart . . ." I realized I couldn't breathe very well and told her I couldn't keep talking about it and had to sit down. My eyes filled up, and it took everything I had not to start bawling right there, and several minutes before I was able to gather myself up for the actual business of my appointment.

The feeling wasn't like being hit by a wall; it was more like being overcome by a wave. Even as the dentist started talking about her niece's surgery, there was some part of me thinking, "You can do this; you can talk about this; it's OK," until it really wasn't.

It's amazing how easy it is, in the rush and bustle of life, to forget that grief doesn't end when the official mourning is concluded. I've missed [livejournal.com profile] markbourne these last four months, missed his humor, his insight, and his company. There have been particular instances--dinner with the Bears recently, SIFF, JayCon, this or that reading--when I found myself thinking "Mark should be here," angry at the untimeliness and injustice of his death, selfishly angry that I won't get to spend my 50th birthday with him. It's always little things, like wondering what he'd say about Prometheus or any of the films he might have seen at SIFF this year or what books he'd be reading or what he'd think about this person or that person to whom I wanted to introduce him or, well, you get the idea.

Our bodies remember grief, experience it, even when we think that we're coping with the business of life every day. I wouldn't trade away a single minute of my friendship with Mark, not one. This grief is only one legacy of that friendship; I won't allow it to overwhelm the rest, a wealth of time and affection that I'm privileged to have shared with my friend. But I do miss him.

Celebration

Sun, Mar. 25th, 2012 10:23 pm
scarlettina: (Candle)
Yesterday was the party in celebration of [livejournal.com profile] markbourne. [livejournal.com profile] kateyule and [livejournal.com profile] davidlevine were up from Portland and stayed at my place to attend the event. We took it easy Friday night, ran errands and went to see The Hunger Games on Saturday morning, had lunch, then headed over to West Seattle for the event. Somewhere shortly after lunch, I began to feel tense and a little freaked out. I wanted things to go well for [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne's sake, and I kept thinking of little things that might fail, people that might not handle the event well, and being sure that we were sending Mark off in proper style.

As soon as we got to the venue, I found myself unable to actually carry on a conversation. I kind of felt like I was wrapped in cotton, so rather than trying to work with anyone, I limited myself to making and putting up signs so people could find the room in the building. My inability to have a real conversation lasted through about an hour of socializing--many good and dear friends were at the event, none of whom I seemed to be able to converse with in any meaningful manner--and then Greg Bear, acting as the master of ceremonies, got up, introduced people who wished to speak, then encouraged others to speak as well. A number of people told great stories about Mark, and said kind and true things and some very funny things as well. I spoke a little. There was a lot of love in the room, and it felt exactly right. I read a story of Mark's aloud, "The Case of the Detective's Smile," which was well received. And then we showed a clip from a Marx Brothers movie, one of Mark's favorites. And then we wrapped the night.

David, Kate and I intended to attend an afterparty at a local drinking establishment, but I hit the wall when we arrived. David took me in hand and drove us back to my place. Kate made tea and David made me eat a light dinner. And that was the day.

And so now we move into the new normal, whatever that may be. I still miss Mark. I will always miss Mark.

Mark's Bench

Wed, Mar. 21st, 2012 10:44 pm
scarlettina: (Candle)
Starting Thursday morning (which is probably when most of you will see this) at 10 AM PDT, Marti McKenna will be running an auction to help raise funds to purchase a bench at Alki Beach in Seattle in honor of [livejournal.com profile] markbourne. Any monies raised in excess of the cost of the bench will be donated to Heifer International, also in Mark's honor. There's some great stuff being auctioned off. You can see the catalog at the auction site. Items include a necklace made by yours truly; Tuckerizations by [livejournal.com profile] jaylake, [livejournal.com profile] bravado111, and Bridget McKenna; professional editing services; live music; website services, and more.

Here's the scoop on participating:

1) Friend or subscribe to Marti McKenna on Facebook or just visit her page there starting at 10 AM PDT. She'll post about each item, including a starting bid, on her wall.
2) "Like" the item/post and place your bid ($1+ increments) in the comments section.
3) Bid early and bid often!
4) Tell your friends!

Each auction will be active for one hour. If you can't participate via Facebook for some reason, use the contact form on the Questions page of the auction site to send her your top bid and she'll let you know if you win.
scarlettina: (Five)
Theater: Last Thursday, I spent the day with [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne, who invited me to go to see the play "Red" with her at Seattle Repertory Theater that evening. I'm so glad that a) she wanted to go out and b) that she shared this evening of theater with me. The play is an extended dialog about the nature of art, as discussed in a fictionalized scenario featuring abstract expressionist Mark Rothko (Denis Arndt) and his assistant Ken (Connor Toms). Rothko's just accepted a landmark commission, but Ken sees it as a sell-out. Over the course of two years they argue art and its media, its messages, and its meanings in each of their lives as they create works for the commission. The play's a tour de force, with speeches any smart actor would kill to play, played by two of Seattle's best actors in top form. Both Arndt and Toms give terrific performances--really, it's a remarkable show and I'm delighted to have seen it.

Art: On Friday, I went to see "Gaugin in Tahiti," an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, with SA WINOLJ. I've never really been a fan of Gaugin--the "primitive" thing doesn't do much for me--and I can't say that this exhibit changed my mind. It did, however, give me a better understanding of who he was and what he was trying to do with his work. The exhibit did a fine job of setting this body of work into a geographic, cultural, and ethnographic context. The Tahitian and Polynesian sculptures and artifacts included in the exhibit provided great perspective and were fascinating in their own right. Many of Gaugin's paintings in this exhibit reminded me of paintings in National Geographic, seeing as how, in the beginning, they were created to catalog Tahitian culture and life, and that gave me an unexpected kick. I especially appreciated the self portraits; they seemed remarkably contemporary and vividly human. I admit that my tastes are more classicist than the artist might have preferred, but I could appreciate what Gaugin was doing, and I recognized things in the art that helped me understand why his works are still appreciated to this day. Certainly worth seeing.

Movies: Friday night, [livejournal.com profile] overratedomac came over with his daughter, we had dinner, and we watched "My Neighbor Totoro," which I've seen before. When I first saw the film, I was a little sleepy and didn't quite get every bit of the film in the way I should have. This viewing, however, illuminated a lot of what I missed the first time, and I have a whole new appreciation for it overall.

Rushing About: Saturday was defined by a lot of rushing about. I was out the door at 8 AM for a cut-and-color at the salon. Then I was off to Capitol Hill for the Time Traveler's Rummage Sale, where I acquired a beautiful berry-red blouse, a fabulous pair of earrings, and some gears for jewelry making. I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] varina8, and then a visit and dinner with [livejournal.com profile] davidlevine and [livejournal.com profile] kateyule who were in town for a square dance event. We had a terrific meal at the Kingfish Cafe (which, hello, if you haven't eaten at, you should go, like, tonight). They were staying with EG and JB, whom I rarely get to spend time with, so when David and Kate left for evening dancing, I hung around for a glass of wine and delightful conversation. Busy, busy day, but very pleasant.

Exhaustion: Today I'll be heading to West Seattle for a writing session, and then to help plan [livejournal.com profile] markbourne's life celebration. I've set a hard stop for all my activities at 2 PM, at which point I'm going to come home, turn off the phone and, possibly, my internet connection, and just stop everything so I can relax and prepare for the week ahead. It's been a difficult, stressful two weeks combined with some wonderful time as well, and I feel like I've had no time to digest much of what's happened, between Mark's death, funeral, and the planned life celebration; my attendance at the Rainforest Writer's Retreat (which was really good and, while it hasn't gone unremarked here, deserved far more coverage than it got); and my sudden employment. [livejournal.com profile] varina8 observed that she and I, both having experienced early loss, may deal with it by compartmentalizing emotion and activity: by doing things that make me feel competent and in control, by helping someone else, I can put aside some of the hardest stuff to deal with until there's space and time. That pretty much defines a lot of the last two weeks for me. I've certainly dealt with some of it, but it's going to be a long process, and there's much more work to be done.
scarlettina: (Candle)
It's been a week since [livejournal.com profile] markbourne's death. I haven't been able to write about him, about how I felt about the wonder of who he was, about our friendship, about any of it. Nearly 20 years of friendship, during more than half of which Mark and [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne and I were very close and which were very important to me, are hard to summarize in any meaningful or effective way. I suspect that--given that I have been able to write about others within mere hours of their passing--the truth is that I am unlikely to ever be able to write about Mark, not because I don't want to, but because I don't know where or how to begin or what words could possibly convey any of it. Let me show you instead who he was through vehicles other than my own writing.

First, if you are a lover of film in any way, you must acquaint yourself with his movie blog, Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal. Mark was a snappy writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of and a deep love for movies. Every word he wrote about them shows it. You'll learn something you didn't know. Trust me on this.

Second, check out his web site. You'll discover that he was a terrific, well-published fiction writer, an astronomy enthusiast, and a nonfiction writer for hire with a nice resume indeed.

Third, read [livejournal.com profile] jaylake's wonderful eulogy for Mark. He captures Mark beautifully in some very personal ways.

Fourth, watch the photo montage created to be played at Mark's funeral. The musical pieces came from his own collection, and are typical of the sort of thing he loved. It's a long video, mainly of snapshots, but you'll get a sense of who Mark was, for sure.

And so, we move on. I have other news, but I'm going to save it for a separate post. I'm posting this here now because I knew that if I didn't, some of the pain simply wouldn't be processed. And there yet may be other posts about Mark at some point. But for now, this is what I've got.

ETA: More on Mark from other sources:
West Seattle blog remembers Mark Bourne.
Locus Magazine's placeholder obit for Mark.
SFScope's obit for Mark.
Author Bill Shunn writes about his friendship with Mark.
Editor/author Tom Dupree writes about meeting Mark online.
MythicalMonkey remembers Mark.
IndieBookspot notes Mark's passing.

On a lighter note, for the Serenity fans among us, catch Mark's brief foray into comics with Serenity Tales: Take My Love, which is full of Mark's sly mischief.
scarlettina: (Trouble get behind me)
[livejournal.com profile] markbourne's formal funeral is tomorrow morning. I've been working pretty hard on stuff around Mark's death, including managing communications, disseminating information, and preparing the program for the funeral service. How difficult that last item was. It looks good, and were he here, I think he'd be pleased, if a little chagrined. He might do his Charlie Chaplin mustache wiggle; if he did that, I'd know he was dubious about this whole effort. A formal funeral is so unlike anything he'd want (we're doing it more for the family). There might be eye-rolling and possibly inappropriate jokes. The fact that there will be none of that is another reminder that all of this painfully real, and painfully permanent.

I know that some of my very closest friends will be present tomorrow, and that will be a gift. But every time I think about what's to come, something in me wilts. I feel like everything has been squeezed out of me. The closer we get, the harder it is to consider this formal farewell.

Everyone wants to talk, and I have nothing left in me. At the same time, I want to talk, but I have no words that can express anything like what I'm feeling. I want so badly to write about Mark, to tell you about the person I knew, my blond-haired, blue-eyed twin born on the same day but one year and hundreds of miles apart. But it's not in me, not yet. I will miss him forever.
scarlettina: (Candle)
Arrangements have been finalized for [livejournal.com profile] markbourne's funeral. Before listing this information, I should note two key pieces of information.

1) This event will be a conventional (non-religious) memorial service in a fairly small venue. It's being held primarily for family coming in from far-flung parts, but if you'd like to come, please do. The venue will hold only about 80 people. There will be a later celebration of life for Mark (see point #2), so this won't be the only opportunity to show your support and respect.

2) A less-formal life celebration is being planned for several weeks from now. We're conceiving this as something much more in line with who Mark was, the things he loved, and his wonderful sense of humor and whimsy. No details are available at present. I'll share them once things are nailed down.

Here's the information for the formal funeral:

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Time: 10:30 AM
Place: Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home
3909 SW Alaska Street
Seattle, WA 98116

Directions:
From Interstate 5
At the intersection of Fauntleroy & Alaska in West Seattle, next to the West Seattle Produce Company - Take Exit 163 (West Seattle Bridge) west from I-5 and continue past 35th Avenue to Alaska Street.

The funeral home allows uploading of a photo and a statement for a memorial on their webpage. We're currently preparing an obit with a photograph of Mark to post to the site. I'll post a link when it's ready.

Note for Portlanders: If you're planning to come to Seattle for the services on Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] jaylake is seeking someone who can give his daughter [livejournal.com profile] the_child a lift back south. Please contact him separately. A ride has been acquired.
scarlettina: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] e_bourne is asking that anyone who would like to honor [livejournal.com profile] markbourne with a donation make their donations to Heifer International.

Information regarding a memorial should be available a little later today or early tomorrow. I'll continue to post here as things develop.
scarlettina: (Candle)
Information about a memorial for [livejournal.com profile] markbourne as well as where to send donations in his honor will be posted later today here on my LJ and to his and [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne's Facebook pages. Please keep an eye out.

In the meanwhile, if you have anecdotes about Mark, amusing things, things that really defined him and his humor and kindness for you, would you share them with me here? I'm helping the person who will be delivering his eulogy pull together material and would love to bring back to life the Mark we all knew and loved.

At some point, I'll be writing about how I am and what I'm feeling about all this, who Mark was to me. I still can't. It's too big, and it's too difficult. It's been a terrible, terrible two days.

Mark Bourne

Sat, Feb. 25th, 2012 03:44 pm
scarlettina: (Trouble get behind me)
This morning at 8 AM I received a phone call from [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne who was in Portland asking me to go over to Harborview Medical Center. She said that [livejournal.com profile] markbourne was there and wasn't doing well. She was getting on a plane back to Seattle, but she didn't want him to be alone. I arrived at the hospital 25 minutes later. A social worker informed me then that Mark was gone.

The social worker told me the following: This morning at 6 AM, [livejournal.com profile] markbourne called 911 reporting that he was having a "cardiac event." When the medics arrived, Mark was slumped over in a chair. They performed CPR on site for about an hour, and continued compressions in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Because of his age (that he was a relatively young man), they continued CPR at the hospital for another hour, but he never came back.

I stayed at the hospital by myself for I don't know how long, and was eventually joined by [livejournal.com profile] ironymaiden, [livejournal.com profile] melkahb, [livejournal.com profile] davidlevine, and [livejournal.com profile] kateyule. [livejournal.com profile] varina8 picked Elizabeth up from the airport and brought her to the hospital. We stayed there all together, saying goodbye to Mark and managing issues until there was nothing left to do. We went and got some lunch, then split up to attend to the business of life, but we'll be coming together again later today.

Elizabeth, predictably, is shattered. Our circle here is, predictably, numb but functioning because we have to. She's here at my place, along with David and Kate, resting until her son arrives from San Francisco, and then we'll head back to her house. No decisions have been made as yet with regard to funeral arrangements. I'll post information as it becomes available.

Surprised!

Sat, Feb. 20th, 2010 11:02 pm
scarlettina: (GWTW: Pleased as punch)
[livejournal.com profile] jackwilliambell and I met [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne and [livejournal.com profile] markbourne to visit Kubota Japanese Gardens in Renton, south of Seattle (pictures), and then we went to have lunch. As we were leaving the restaurant (Calamity Jane's in Georgetown, which I highly recommend), Elizabeth got a call from a neighbor saying that Kai the Wonder Dog had gotten out of the very-well-fenced-in backyard and we had to get right home.

I was worried. Kai's my doggie nephew. We got back to their place and I started calling for Kai the moment I got out of the car. E was adamant that we put our things into the house before going to look for him. Okay, I thought--it's your dog.

But . . . but then who should we be greeted by at the door--inside the house--but Kai? And . . . wait a minute . . . there's a balloon bouquet by the fireplace that wasn't there when we left. And there's . . . [livejournal.com profile] ironymaiden? [livejournal.com profile] oldmangrumpus? [livejournal.com profile] shelly_rae? Brian? All these people . . . WHAT?

It was a party! A surprise party! It seems that [livejournal.com profile] markbourne and I were being given the birthday celebration we never quite had this past summer. As you may recall, Mark's heart surgery was scheduled for our mutual birthday and, well, events got in the way. This was our do-over! Our birthday cake was a big heart-shaped chocolate layer cake that said "Happy Re-Birthday" on it, surrounded by perfect little yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting--very basic and very much my favorite. The group insisted upon singing "Happy Birthday" to us--I laughed all the way through it. Friends from different parts of our lives attended, and others who couldn't be there sent along gifts. All of Mark's were heart-themed (two, in fact, were plush, beating hearts complete with sound effects!). All of mine were beautiful beads of all sorts--cats were a theme, and a penguin bead showed up from Portland, as well as a heart-shaped box filled with "muggle beads" which looked suspiciously like pretty jasper but insisted on being "muggle beads." I received a beautiful bead with a blown-glass tree frog perched upon it, a fused glass pendant, and a pendant featuring a blossom suspended in glass, and so many others. Such pretty things! They'll all be used and will all be seen adorning me.

I was completely surprised--gobsmacked! I still am to some extent. I have the most extraordinary friends on the planet and could not be more grateful for the gift of this day. I send out special thanks and love to [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne, [livejournal.com profile] ironymaiden, and [livejournal.com profile] shelly_rae for conspiracy, and [livejournal.com profile] jackwilliambell for keeping secrets at close proximity. And then thanks to everyone who participated in one way or another. There's no question that today is the high point of my year. I love you all.

Transition times

Mon, Sep. 21st, 2009 08:15 pm
scarlettina: (Default)
Spent the afternoon with [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne, helping her prepare her house for the return of [livejournal.com profile] markbourne later this week. It was hugely satisfying, putting down no-stick tape on the steps, rearranging closets and cabinets. I'm so glad to be able to help; this is one of the good things about the timing of the end of my NCsoft contract.

Of course, I got home, looked around, and took a nap. That's classic avoidance behavior for me. But I have friends from out of town visiting on Wednesday, so I've got to get stuff done around here to make the house at least acceptable. Also, if I'm going to be spending more time here, I need the place to be more organized and tidier. I'll be doing some of the work tonight, more tomorrow morning. Time to get my butt in gear.
scarlettina: (Movie tix)
Now that [livejournal.com profile] markbourne is more awake and aware, I've been trying to help keep him entertained. One of my immediate brainstorms, when [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne told me he didn't have the patience or endurance for long movies, was to send her links to short films, up to no more than 10 minutes or so. And what's happened is that I've found some awesome stuff. Some of it I've seen before--Oscar-nominated pieces, or stuff I've seen at animation festivals--but I decided it would be fun to share some of what I've found here. So here's a sampling of short entertainments for a Friday morning.

Octopodi (This was a particular favorite of mine when I first saw it and it's still completely entertaining.)

Rockfish (~9 minutes)

The Furniture includes a mantra we should all repeat daily.

The Last Knit (~7 minutes)

Validation (16 minutes)

Replay (8:45 minutes) French w/subtitles

Do Penguins Fly? (~2-3 minutes)

Duncan (~3 minutes)

And of course, Pixar's brilliant Presto (4.5 minutes)

Enjoy!

Say hi to Mark!

Thu, Aug. 20th, 2009 05:09 pm
scarlettina: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne, [livejournal.com profile] markbourne's ready to communicate on Facebook:

From Mark, please respond to his wall: Hey all, I'm awake. I'm still recovering. Thanks for your kind thoughts. I am still in bed at the ICU. Perfect thoughts by Mark, imperfect translation by wife.

Yay!
scarlettina: (Squishy)
It's one of those nights where I feel like the day was an even balance of "win some, lose some" even though, really, it was mostly win some. I may be sun-downing more than anything.

The last and best comes first: The Hugos
Congratulations to everyone who won a Hugo Award tonight! In particular, I send out congratulations to my friends:
* Best Novelette: “Shoggoths in Bloom”, Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) (Asimov’s Mar 2008)
* Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones, Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio ([livejournal.com profile] kajafoglio & [livejournal.com profile] philfoglio), art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)

Mark and Elizabeth Update
Spent the afternoon at the hospital with [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne and [livejournal.com profile] mikigarrison. E knitted, Miki colored in her coloring books, and I beaded. E gave us the scoop on Mark--he's stable, and they're preparing him for a tracheotomy tomorrow. As she wrote on LJ yesterday, "This will get the tube out of most of his throat and make him more comfortable. It will be easier to wean him off the ventilator, and while it will need to be explained to him, it's a normal procedure for someone with ARDS because they tend to become ventilator-dependent." It's scary for all of us, I think, but intellectually I know (and Miki has reassured me) that they wouldn't do this procedure if they didn't think Mark wasn't stable or strong enough for it. I take it on faith and hope for the best.

Can't win for losin'
I woke yesterday morning feeling more ambitious than I have in days, and my throat felt much better. I trolled the house looking for ways to declutter. I pulled together a box and a bag of stuff, then took them to Goodwill to donate today. I went into the store with one particular goal: to find a frame for a piece of art I've been wanting to hang for a while now. I did find one, a nice silver metal frame that was just the right size. I brought it home, cleaned the glass...and broke the glass. ::sigh:: I've mentioned before that when I'm stressed I become clumsy. See exhibit A herewith. Guess the trach thing has me a little shaken.

Keeping the homefires burning
[livejournal.com profile] jackwilliambell has been at WorldCon the last few days, so I've been using the time to get well, do stuff around the house and catch up with things. Doesn't mean we haven't been in touch, though. We video chatted last night for quite a while, a lovely thing. One of the other things I did this weekend was bring in the first piece of the cat tree he and I have been making together. We're doing something right because as soon as I put it down, Sophie leaped upon it and began scratching with abandon, as though she knew it was for her. I pick up Jack from the airport tomorrow evening. Looking forward to his return.

True Blood--no spoilers
I just don't know what to make of this season. Sookie seems...far more helpless, in constant need of rescue, which bugs the hell out of me. She insists she can take care of herself, but then clearly can't. And all the other drama going on...well, there's interesting stuff but it feels like it's unwinding in a rather forced manner. Perhaps I'll post another time in some detail (behind a cut, of course). I'm just...restless with it.

Other
There's a new Sekrit Project in the works. Also, I feel behind on all sorts of things and I need to fix this feeling, whether by reprioritizing and deprioritizing or by getting off my ass and doing something about them. Also, I recently watched the first three episodes of Torchwood: Children of Earth with Jack, then crumbled and watched the last two episodes myself yesterday. Will post about it soon. Also, I didn't realize until this morning's overcast gloom how much I'm looking forward to the fall--I guess 15 years in Seattle has acclimated me. Also, [livejournal.com profile] greeneyedkzin is in town and I get to see her for lunch on Wednesday--YAY!


And no, there's no relationship between the icon attached to this post and the title of this post and the content of this post. I was feeling random and wanted to try something different. Voila!
scarlettina: (Truth shall make you fret)
Cat perches: I spent last evening with [livejournal.com profile] jackwilliambell, working on the next phase of the cat tree he and I are building for Sophie and Spanky. We're not done yet, but I brought the completed base home last night. I got in so late and so tired that I forgot to take it out of my car trunk and bring it inside. Will do that tonight.

Torchwood: Children of Earth: While working on the cat tree, we watched the first three hours of "Children of Earth." Creepy, creepy stuff. I feel like it's the true realization of the show's potential, especially given the scattershot nature of the first two seasons. I'm looking forward to the last two installments.

Vocal exercises: Recently at work, a call was put out for folks interested in doing a little voice-over work for one of the company's other games. I threw my hat into the ring. The auditions were yesterday. My competition included the lovely and talented [livejournal.com profile] anaka and [livejournal.com profile] shellyrae among others. I think my audition went very well. I'd made a point to warm up my voice before going in so I had some vocal control. And, of course, I'd taken a little time to read through the text. All three of the people in the room seemed impressed when I got rolling. I'm hoping for good news. Fingers crossed!

Mark's progress: [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne made her nightly progress post on Mark for yesterday. It was mostly a good day, and the first of her scheduled-company days. I'm managing a calendar of guests for her so that she's always got company. She made no note of any SNAFUs, so I'm assuming things went well on that end. I hope things continue smoothly.

Feeling log-jammed: Though Jack and I worked on the cat tree last night, I feel plugged up, like deadfall's blocking the course of my personal creative stream. I've been feeling that way for weeks, with no time to write or bead or take a photo excursion or anything. Obviously, this summer's events have gotten in the way--but it's beginning to make me feel sloppy and dull somehow. I need to find some solid artist time for myself.

Living--and dying--culture: Today, The New York Times is running a piece on the demise of a Jewish immigrant tradition: the burial society. At least, they're talking about it in context of burial societies that were established probably from between the 1870s (possibly earlier) through the 1950s in the United States. Basically, the idea was that if you were a dues-paying member, you could be buried in the society's plot and be assured that your burial was ritually appropriate and that your family didn't have to deal with the stressors that often come with having to make decisions in distress. It was a very practical solution, especially for immigrant families who knew only those in their own communities who spoke their own language and practiced the same religion in a gentile country. I found myself sad reading this article, the loss of another piece of my cultural heritage--like the lingering death of Ladino (the Sephardic answer to Yiddish, a beautiful, melodic melding of Spanish and Hebrew).

The melancholy Doctor Dane: David Tennant's Hamlet is being brough to television. "PBS said Sunday the TV adaptation will air in 2010 as part of its 'Great Performances' series and will include Patrick Stewart in the cast." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] anaka for the tip!)

And that's the scoop from Chez [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina.
scarlettina: (Default)
What a rich, busy weekend!

[livejournal.com profile] jaylake was up from Portland, celebrating the more positive news about his health. We had Greek food and then attended the last Clarion West party of the season. Very pleasant, but we both crashed pretty hard when we got back to my place.

Saturday morning, I introduced him to Big John's PFI with its 30-foot-long cheese counter and its collection of exotic imports from the world over. He was suitably impressed and a leeetle giddy about the place. We stopped briefly at Gasworks Park where we sustained a tantalizingly short visit because we were due to pick up [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne for lunch. Shortly after victuals, Jay headed north to [livejournal.com profile] mikigarrison's place and I headed home to catch up on stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] jackwilliambell arrived around 4ish and we headed to Miki's for barbecue and socializing. There were jarts; there was croquet, complete with trash talking and vicious ball whacking; there were moose burgers (tasty enough, but I'll stick to beef and buffalo); and there was a boomerang...just out of reach. Jack played guitar, mellow and excellent as always. We then party-hopped to Vanguard in West Seattle, a smaller gathering than it usually is--a shame, because the food was excellent, the evening was comfortable, and we had a great view of the Seafair fireworks.

Jack and I had planned to work on the cat tree we started building for Sophie. Unfortunately, this morning we discovered we didn't have quite the right sized staples for the staple gun. Frustrating. Still, we had a big egg breakfast and a very pleasant morning.

Jack's stay and departure overlapped with [livejournal.com profile] greyjoy's arrival. We went to lunch at TASTE, then visited the Seattle Art Museum's Andrew Wyeth: Remembrance exhibit. The show reminded me why one must see famous paintings in person--you discover up close and personal why such paintings are what they are. I never had any doubt that Wyeth was a master; seeing some of his Helga paintings that I'd never seen before confirmed it for me in a remarkable way. The exhibit will be at the museum until September. I wholly recommend it to the locals.

Got home at 4:30 and spent the next 3.5 hours working on scheduling company for [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne at the hospital. Had a light dinner, watched "True Blood" (finally we know who Marianne is!), and tried to call Jack, with no luck. ::pout::

And now it's time for bed. I'm going to sleep hard tonight--and be ready for Monday with energy and enthusiasm.

PS--Elizabeth has made another Mark posting. He had a good day!

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