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Went for a walk today in what was supposedly a respectable, civilized park. 

Until we went off-road.

Scavenging through the underbrush, discovering and fording the deep and shallows of a creek - skipping stones - walking across pipes and (him) climbing a wicked-looked fallen tree over the water -

And zigg-zagging through barb-wire vines springing out of the soil and suckering themselves from tree limbs - what the FUCK are those things and how to they climb straight up in the air to attached themselves?!  And these were full on, briary crown-of-thorns style barbs - wicked stuff.

And scampering - yes, scampering - up hills through inches of leaf mold, dodging tree limbs and stickers until we accidentally ended up  ended up on the edge of a private estate - after going through all those thorns I was starting to think we were going to find fucking Sleeping Beauty there -

And other - stuff.

A walk, and a hike, and what felt like a lot of time out being childish and kid-summer-vacation free.

I want to go camping now.  The kind that involves hiking and setting up a tent and making an awesome fire, reading by firelight, sleeping on dirt, and waking up at oh-god-thirty without aid of an alarm.

I didn't know I loved being outdoors so much until I realized that it brings out the inner 10-year-old in me.

And being in good company for this - with someone who gets just as juvenile and risk-taking and just plain what-the-fuck why-the-hell-not, too -

Good times.

Really, seriously, good times.

Moving tomorrow.

Looking forward to being in a clean, well-lighted space again.  Small, but how much room do you need to get by?

Getting by all right today.

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     First Witch
 1   When shall we three meet again?
 2   In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

     Second Witch
 3   When the hurlyburly's done,
 4   When the battle's lost and won.

     Third Witch
 5   That will be ere the set of sun.

     First Witch
 6   Where the place?

     Second Witch
                       Upon the heath.

      Third Witch
 7   There to meet with Macbeth.


So which Olive Garden are we going to and what time was decided?  I don't get out of work till 6pm, and I think he doesn't get out until 7pm.

Tell me whens and wheres people or I shall go out upon the heath and meet Macbeth and - have a sammich or something.
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On the windowsill next to my bed is a seashell that looks something like this:

Imagine it in slate grey with blue and white accents.  Beside it is a small scallop shell, only as big as the end of the fingernail on your pinkie.

Both of these shells came from the beach on Galveston Island.  I was there last weekend.

For the first time in over 15 years, I went to the ocean.  Gulf of Mexico - same diff - if you can't see the horizon over the curvature of the earth, you may call it ocean.

Drive to Galveston till you hit water.  Take the car ferry over the short expanse of water and you are on a comparably desolate island.  A few convenience stores, a couple of desultory restaurants, and a small forest of houses on stilts - the few lone survivors of last years storms.

All entirely ringed by the foamy surf of the beach.

It was something of a long drive down, punctuated by one night in a hotel in Houston before we went on the second leg and then getting to the desired location of - just beach.  Water.  Sand. The occasional truck scoping out their own space and other campers spread at discrete distances for privacy.

We found our on spot fairly early in the evening and after a sparse dinner of trailmix and fruit and a short rest reading, we set up the tent on the sand.  And sat and read some more.  I went beachcombing; taking care to avoid the sharper edges of shells not ground into smooth sand, and found my shell, and another one for Paco.  And one to return to the ocean, so that we would always know where it was no matter where we went.

Spent the rest of the evening reading in the car, then reading after the sun went down by the light of the car's interior, and then went to bed.  In the tent on our sleeping pad and bags, the sand was firmly compacted and unforgiving, but it felt right.  Finding the pockets and squirming them into place until they fit.  And then listening to the sound of the waves pounding themselves senseless just a few feet away.

To say it was perfect would be an understatement.  To say, it felt like being as far away from everything as it was possible to be and at the same time as close to home in so many years that I hardly even realized until I was there how much I'd missed it.

Earlier in the day, while still on the mainland proper, I apparently turned into an 8 year old, cartwheeling down the the waterfront and running out into the waves, overalls rolled up above my knees, and then following out the granite jetty barefoot as far as it would go out, squealing in the spray and loving every warm wet minute of it.

Seeing the young girls in bikinis and children in sunsuits making sandcastles, the bike and cart riders, kite flyers, sunbathers - and then getting away from all of them to take a car ferry out the edges of a place where the concept of tourism has yet to be exploited.  Away from strip malls and WalMarts and Pizza Huts and Panda Express and Subways and on and on and bloody on -

Here was the purity of nothingness.  The crash and smash of water meeting the immovable, skirling back, and throwing itself down again.  Over and over again.  For the pure pleasure of pleasuring itself.

Imagine this, and imagine sharing it with someone you care about, without the need to deconstruct it, label it - just let it be what it is.

Imagine the darkness and the temperature and the sounds balanced so perfectly that the words and sleep are as natural as falling in and drifting under that vast expanse of pulling out and drawing near again.  Finding that for each swell, you are as far away and as close as it's possible to be without moving.

The cat stands in front of me, yawning, with no idea why I'm holding my shell up to my ear, pretending that the small spoonful of sound it holds is like a fragment of a secret weekend soundscape writ small.

I went to the ocean and took these small pieces of it home with me.  I took back more; things that I can't see or put into words, but that are as real as this beachworn reminder.

So much captured in so few moments.

Can you hear it?
Can you hear the sound of the ocean?

I can.

I can.

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Earlier it was simply too cold to do anything sculptural with the snow.  Dry and cold = powder.  Perfect for skiing, fucking useless for snowpersons or any other kind of construction.

However, we did invent a new snow activity:


Take a baseball bat.  Players (pitcher and batter) are placed within equal distance of a tree.  Pitcher forms and pitches snowball.  If batter is able to hit the snowball, s/he must run for the tree, and the pitcher must both form a new snowball and tag the runner before reaching the tree.  Soft and sloppy tagging balls are acceptable, pure powder is not.  Strike, ball and foul rules apply.

We tied.

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Snow is snowlicious.

The frickin' library is actually open today - but I am not there, too-ra-loo, too-ra-lay.  No risking my precious hindquarters for a non-essential service, so say I.  It is still a bit of a drag to have to burn through more vacation time - seriously, why should it cost me 8 hours vacation when the library is only open for a service day of 6 - and today, possibly even 4 - hours? - but better that I guess then trying to drive my BB pellet of a car over roads that are opaquely frosted white.  With 'tards whizzing by as though the laws of physics do not apply to them.  Fie on that.

Holed up with company, yaaaay.  Went out for breakfast this morning at 7am and nearly got stuck in the parking lot - which, if you're going to get stuck, at least IHOP has food and when that runs out, plenty of fat bastards to slow-cook when things go cannibal.  One of Paco's rear tires decided to freeze and lock up, which was interesting - never seen that happen before.  It got unstuck, which is yay.  And the car got puched out of the parking place by 5 selfless volunteers.  Just when I think that humanity should be wiped clean, people go and do nice shit.  Damn them.

Okay, so maybe I'm regretting giving up as many vacation days as I did this week - I could have made it in yesterday but opted not to.  Probably not the wisest choice; hope I don't end up regretting that more later in the year.  But being at home with the bed, books and kittehs sure seemed preferable at the time.  Aaah, instant gratification - you are a heartless bitch.

Hum.  The sun is starting to come out.  Wonder if I should go outside and try to build something with the snow before it starts to get melty and icy.  Pondering in 3...2...1...


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