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It's almost February.

It doesn't seem as if we've had as much of winter as we have.  But I guess it's the several weeks of February and the first bit of March that are when it usually gets to dragging me down, in the this-has-surely-dragged-the-hell-on way, and that's still to come, with a leap day thrown in there t'boot.

This weekend I really need to do some decent grocery shopping, and attend to some household things.  I had a vague movie date but an infant's company is looking to win out over mine.

Was just thinking of the Ann Harding character in an old movie I haven't been able to bring myself to delete off the DVR, though I've watched it quite thoroughly at this point (including last night) (whether Donald Trump can believe it or not):  When Ladies Meet (1933).  Myrna Loy's in it too.  But that Ann Harding is something.

Dignity is nothing when nothing is challenging yer dignity.

It seems Ann Harding ended up doing TV in the '50s, and had her bigger moments in the movies early--- and they include her having played Linda Seton (the Katherine Hepburn role) in the earlier version of what I've sometimes called my favorite movie, Holiday.  And that version, which I've never seen, is in the public domain and free via archive.org.  And Edward Everett Horton has the same part in it he has in the 1938 one.

Ann Harding Never Cut Her Hair  <-- title for poem

clock follow-up

I've almost decided, I think, on the clock.  And it's probably not going to be this late entry, but I'm showing y'all clock lovers anyway:
It also comes with a black rim, or with the white and black reversed.  The little peek at the number is cool, and the way the gap forms a hand.

I need a new wall clock.

It will be on a lime green wall (with a blue wall nearby, and later a lavender wall even nearer by), above a rectangular slab of (largely red) multi-colored mosaic that vaguely represents watch/clock inner workings.  So I *think* I'd like it to be round, but not necessarily.  And my general inclination is simple, with arabic numerals in a pleasing font.  But I'm not married to any of that.

Do you like any of these?
(a) metal/cage mesh (b) rocket round 

(c) rocket not round(d) robot 

(e) retro (f) metal oval-ish

(g) translucent, blue (h) translucent, white

(i) simple    (j) Grand Hotel

(k) blue Telechron (l) school


left the thermos at home again

A bulletish-shaped thermos of sweet milky cold coffee sits at my place, and I drink the office machine large.  At least it's only 15¢.
I might be pretty sleepy this eve, having not gotten back to sleep after the third waking last night, 4:30ish.  But I don't feel it yet.  And I do dig me some Hitchcock, and it looks like this movie is good as a movie too.

I had a picture book on Hitchcock films when I was fairly young.  Can't remember what-all I saw of his in college.  It was in the early Baltimore years after that that I really got into them.  A bunch of his films that hadn't been available for decades were suddenly out again, like the dazzling-technicolor wonder The Trouble with Harry, and the Charles screened many, often in double feature.

I went to a lot of double features in my twenties.

Last week on Friday I had the day off work and spent almost all of the daylight part of it embroidering (on the work shirt that was part of my '70s outfit for the concerts that started that night) and watching the first many episodes of Nurse Jackie, which I'd seen all of before, and which are now on Netflix.  I figured something I'd seen before would be good cuz I'd be looking at the needle & floss & fabric pallette most of the time (or rethreading the needle, often, it turned out), and could half-follow the story by listening lazily, and not miss anything much.  It was quite an experience, though, watching that show a second time, from the fresh early days, not only knowing, like I did the first time around, in the way one knows (or oughta know), how badly things were going to go for [the] Jackie [character] and (sorta worse) for the people [characters] who were involved with her, but really knowing in specific detail how exactly and in particular that crushing reality [fiction] was going to go down, cuz I'd already witnessed it.  Seen the consequences play out.  Even if I didn't remember ALL the details.  It was a new variation on pathos, like I was in flashback, only I wasn't.  Cuz, like, it don't get any more inevitable than I've already seen the rest of this show, and it's over now, and what's gonna happen is what's gonna happen, and I really do already know what these people [characters] are in for.  Like post-acceptance, a la post-modernism, with just a touch of rerun deja vu.

So now it's the end of the short workweek after the concerts.  T's out today.  I skipped Wednesday to sleep a lot, and there was also Monday off for MLK Day.  And the trainee is out this week.  And next week I'm passing her on to another second reader, and we'll hunker down to get through the rest of a winter that's about to bury DC/Balto but has barely snowed on us up here, and the next work holiday isn't until Memorial Day, and the new chorus season will start, and Victor's quitting he told me yesterday and I thought about in the night and why and yeah, considering, along with other chorus things, and a string about chorus has been broken, hyperbolic-sounding exclamation that is actually not hyperbolic at all.  And I found out somebody's therapist is somebody else's therapist, which is different from finding out (as I have twice) that the person I'm dating has the same therapist I do (which is weird and sort of startling) but is still something kinda like that, and also not.  And I've started carrying bags of books out of the house in earnest, and may well get back into that project now.  I hope so.  I aim to.  And I'm not done embroidering, either.

Meanwhile, I carry a sort of soul sickness.  Its intensities come and go, as does the relative dignity with which I perceive myself as bearing it.  At least now I know I am entitled to it, when it is what I am experiencing; I recognize the bogusness of the other attitude, when it's in me, and even most of the time if/when it's in someone else.  And I can see it and feel it and acknowledge it without being stuck in it.  Stuck with and stuck in aren't the same thing, after all.

So now walk the dog, back to work, walk the dog and eat something, and into town for the movies tonight, where I might even take the chance afterwards to peek at Carol again, in a double feature variation, even though I don't have the stamina that way I once did.

sordid details following

That's an amazing lyric for a pop hit, particularly at the time.

"Ashes to Ashes" was on some satellite radio station in my new vehicle the other day.  I hadn't heard it in years.  I remembered it seeming all such a mysterious world, back in the day, this place that person was representing, singing from/in, w/e.  Confusing but daring in a way that I knew was making spaces bigger for lots of too-cramped outlier weirdos in the world.

And that was catchy sometimes too.

Tierza thought it heroic like the Berlin wall lovers of "Heroes" to transgress by sleeping with women, and that was catchy, too.

From Young Americans:

Those were some musicians he was working with there, weren't they. Feel that drummer waiting until the last possible moment of the beat, making it fat fat fat languorous full. And a saxophone as breathy as those breathy sexy soulful words.
I don't know for sure this was it, but this was the scene in which I missed a line, I think of Carol's, and I don't remember hearing what the apology was for.

It's pretty cool screenplays are often available online.

carol screenplay bit.jpg

winter sky poem

This clear cold night, the Pleiades
jump out at me, hollering
Lisa.  Up here.  Over here.

Yes.    Here.

What are they trying to tell me?
Nothing, of course.  They're not
talking to me.  But they are

grabbing and holding my gaze and
me, frozen, of a sudden just a post
for the tether to the dog I half-hear smelling spots

in the same small circle of crunchy grass
miles below, light years further away
than seven blue sisters in the sky.
Got a letter yesterday from my doctor's office:  my doctor has retired.  She was going to retire later this year, it says, but because of health concerns she's not seeing any more patients after January 1st.  Which has already come.

This is a bummer.

I kinda figured it'd happen sometime, on accounta she's probably 25 years older than I am, or maybe more.  And I hope the health thing isn't anything real bad.  I hope it's just that she's sick of being rushed around between people, though I guess it probably isn't.

She was a good doc for me.  The letter had pictures and blurbs about two new docs in the office who are taking new patients.  Heavy sigh.

Okay, so here's the confession:  I don't like the big Adele "Hello" song.  It grates on me.  I could quite do without her singing hello in my earshot ever again.  It's not like it's whining but more like it's droning.  I have some kind of visceral reaction of being annoyed and wanting it to stop please now & get something else in my ears/head a.s.a.p.  Furthermore, yeah I get that she has quite a voice, and I'm not at all averse to a torch song, but I don't even get why people like the song.  It seems like some giant radio joke to me.  Are you people really serious?  It's so beloved it's the premise of a Saturday Night Live bit about how there's one thing your diverse divided family can agree on at holiday time, and it's how great this song is???
I dreamed I was holding Betty Draper,

So much happened today

Years ago I had a dream about my inner tiger, and trying to push it back down.

This here's a tracking-crazy mental processes meandering postulation post.

So I will share this room with you

I totally forgot I could park in the lot today.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Hail, hail!

I skipped (well, held off) (it's on the DVR) watching the end of Back to the Future III (which one I'd not seen before) to get the dog a brief adventure this afternoon, and this evening I skipped (held off on) finishing up a stage within today's stages of my tidying project to go into town for the annual Labor Day screening (free to students) of Casablanca.

Hi, mostly people I don't know in person.

Had an ocular migraine before bed last night.

rabbithole with auxetics

I bet a million dollars I'm the first to write a blog post by that title.

Auxetic materials have negative Poisson ratio, which means when you stretch 'em, unlike a rubber band, they get thicker.  Sketches of structures that do that are cool to look at.  Like rug patterns or chunks of Escher drawings or cool internet wallpaper imagery.  Here's a gif (thanks to Joseph N. Grima of the University of Malta) that shows a way it works, if you're wondering and having trouble imagining:

Apparently there are YouTube videos of auxetic foam, but I didn't go that far down the rabbithole.

look what the math society did

***A message to all staff***

In January 2015 the Council approved a “Policy on a Welcoming Environment,” which says that the AMS strives to ensure that participants in its activities enjoy a welcoming environment. It affirms that the AMS supports equality of opportunity and treatment for all participants, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or veteran status. The policy goes on to state that a commitment to a welcoming environment is expected of all attendees at AMS activities, including mathematicians, students, guests, staff, contractors and exhibitors, and participants in scientific sessions and social events. The policy includes a mechanism for confidentially and anonymously reporting violations.

Christmas Eve Eve

In A2.  So Christmas Eve2 in A2, sort of.

I've just decided not to go see Trumbo tonight.  There are a good handful of inviting movies out now, and Carol is going to be special, if bittersweetly so, and is currently my plan for Christmas Not-squared Eve.  So maybe better if I keep the moviegoer palate clear a bit first (the pleasing tastes of Star Wars still lingering).  And I bet Trumbo is maybe 2.6-dimensional, and I'd probably stay up too late if I went.  I'm okay with it leaving town and becoming a maybe-small-screen option for me.

I feel far away from certain people I love.  One of them just quit chorus, I don't know why, and has been on my mind a lot, in the far-away way, for months.  One of them so often seems to be so near and so far---so impossibly far I ache with it, and have to work not to despair over, while really frankly never at all far from my heart (and I don't toss around lightly the nevers and alwayses and everys of this world).  One of them I wrote a long letter to recently, and much enjoyed being with that way, and wish even now I were sitting in a kitchen with for a long, lazy digressive giggling and deep-heart chat.  One of them I'm quite looking forward to telling I got a Jeep, cuz he loves cars, and I can imagine touching his enthusiasm for them.  One of them may come visit me in the Spring, which is fucking excellent, even if my house is a long way from guest-worthy, all torn apart inside.  One of them hung out with me and that possible visitor in NYC one fine time, years ago, and I was thinking the other day how fun it would be to do that again, and how last time none of us had dogs, but maybe ....

These are just a few of them I'm thinking of.  And that's only of the alive ones.

I'm also thinking about one who was just surprised by a budding break-up of her long-term relationship, and how it's hard to fathom that's going on.  And I'm thinking of my own shaky/strained relationship with my kind counselor, which is its own special kind of not-relationship-yet-relationship.  And somehow that reminds me of a guy I feel increasingly connected to, in a fellow-traveler kind of way, and how glad I've been to be in his quiet presence fairly often of late.

A chorister I don't know very well but like a lot got into my new car with me after rehearsal and gave me a gift of oohing and ahhing that seemed silly even while it was going on but nonetheless felt really good.  OTOH, I finally today picked up what I hope are the floor mats I was supposed to get with the vehicle, and after various hassles surrounding them I find I no longer have the warm feeling toward my automobile sales dude that I did.  But, hey, there's one relationship probably hardly anyone even hopes will be relatively smooth, let alone enjoys.

Had the first filling of the gas tank on the Jeep today.  This is very small news, I know, if any of you are still reading way down at this paragraph.  I'd been sitting in bumper-to-bumper, as I rarely have to, all those Christmas shoppers maybe between me and my floor mats, and realized I didn't know how much I could push this gas gauge.  Turned out I had 0.051 gallons less than a gallon left, in a 12.7-gallon tank.

Yes I guess I'm just blathering now.

I think I wanted to type so's to have an audience for a report from this agent, this evening, this life.  Or, you know, another audience besides the inside of my head.

I bought apple crunch bread.  You want some?


it's a nice afternoon, turning into evening, at the office.  my day was kinda shifted today.

i really do just wanna go sit in my spiffy shiny super-cool Jeep.  but i have things to do here.  and i really gotta get after that script for the chorus show tonight and in the next coupla days, now that i've settled the vehicular thing, pretty much.  (it was missing its floor mats, and i'm waiting to find out when i'll be getting those, but i'm up and running and have already put maybe 30 miles on it.)

people are being so happy for me about the new wheels.  indulging my pointing out how cute it is, for instance.  even congratulations gifts!  who'da guessed leaping to indulge myself more that way would prompt my feeling the love of others, too.  also the way the thing unlocks itself as i (and only i) walk up to it is reinforcing the feeling that i am ALL THAT, with my schnazzy mobile chamber of wonders that i rule with my mere (and singular) presence.

kerri just reminded me that the movie Carol will be coming to theaters soon, finally.  i'd been seeing stills from it for a while at a tumblr dedicated to it.  thinking about reading the book last spring, or early summer--- seems so long ago.  back when i already wondered whether i'd really be seeing it as planned, come christmas, with the woman who was reading it with me.

kerri --- i should really be capitalizing her name if i'm gonna capitalize Jeep and Carol, hunh --- and then there was "christmas" there, too --- oh well --- kerri pointed out this click-worthy piece on lesbian couples with notable age differences.  it's nice to be reminded of what i really don't believe of what the world seems to default to on matters like that.  and how one of the many gifts of queerness is its nudge(/explosion) towards freedoms from way more than just the gender label of the person you love.

among people i love (but not that way), i love todd haynes.  the karen carpenter story in whittled barbie doll was a hell of a gift to begin with, and great how it slapped us with such seriousness after setting itself up like a joke, but the care and delicate touch of Far From Heaven, with its delicious queer layering of the once-(/then-)unspoken on the douglas sirk framework, made for one of my most surprise favorite cinematic visits, and has me confident that what he'll do with The Price of Salt will be dense with wonders and beautiful to look at, while emotionally taut and gloriously agonizing.

"Nice car!"

No, I haven't gotten my new wheels quite yet.  This is a story about the old one.

When I first got the Subaru, I noticed I'd occasionally see other "copies" of the same model and color and year-ish Forester--- dopplegangers for my quite spiffier-than-the-last automobile.  I'd have this kind of "Hey!" feeling of kinship, encountering one, and got it in my head that I wanted to have a mutual communication around the coincidence with the driver of the other car, by means of catching her/his eye and mouthing "Nice car!"  You know, ha ha.

It turned out this simple joke was hard to execute.  Just catching the eye of the other driver was usually a stumbling block.  But when I'd manage that, and did my part, they'd just look at me like "What?" or "Is my tailpipe on fire?  What is it?  I didn't cut you off.  What's your problem?  Weirdo."

It was kinda sad.

I mean, we could digress into an examination of what parts of my personality or temperament or relationship preferences are involved in wanting to share the little dumb joke with the stranger in the twin vehicle, but let's just say I was disappointed enough at the increasing unlikelihood I'd ever pull it off that more than one person in my acquaintance has heard the story from me, about the joke I want to make and how years are going by and it's not happening.  A few days ago I realized I'd almost certainly not be getting my mutual joke moment with the Subaru, what with its dwindling time as my ride.

Last night on the way to chorus a doppleganger car was suddenly next to me on South Industrial.  The young woman driving it seemed to have noticed the coincidence before I did, and was laughing when she saw me recognize that we were sliding parallel up to the light at Stadium, where she'd be turning right and I'd be turning left.  OMG, I thought, Here's my chance.  My last chance.  She had a passenger in the front seat and was turning to that person, smiling and laughing, and seeming not to want to look at me again, seeing out of her semi-peripheral vision that I was making such a point of keeping my car right next to hers, and turning my head that way once we'd stopped, and facing her unrelentingly.  She could probably feel my intensity and urgency right through two layers of safety glass.

Yeah, I'm weird.  I know.  But look at me.  Look at me, young woman.

Thousands of milliseconds were ticking off; the light was going to change any moment.

Then suddenly her head turned back toward me, and I was ready:  I did "Nice car!" with the exaggerated diction I now knew was needed.  And....?  She smiled, and laughed, and got the joke.  !!!  The dumb little joke I didn't want to let go of 'til I'd pulled it off.  Which now I have.  And which now I had, less than 24 hours before the appointed time for bidding farewell to the Subie.

You may or may not get why that then made me laugh and laugh, and feel light, or even lite, which is lighter than light, plus blessed by the little kismet wonders of the world, and about as sure as I ever get that I'm doing the right thing, as I chugged the rest of the way down the road to meet the people to sing.