Awake in Waitsfield

Well… I’m in Waitsfield, Vermont for the week. I’m here to attend a Home Design course at Yestermorrow.

It was cold as a witch’s tit last night… well compared to balmy Florida, anyway. Truth be told it was only in the 40’s, but coming from 90 degree weather it’s a real shock to the system. I’m not sure if it was the cold, but I awoke today with no back pain for the first time in weeks.

An interesting tidbit… I flew into Burlington, and had to take a cab into Waitsfield… cost was $80 for the cab ride. Ouch! My cabbie was Tibetan. His family escaped into India when the Chinese took over Tibet. The U.S. government allowed his family to repatriate to the U.S… and they ended up in Vermont. His demeanor and stories made the $80 cab ride worth every penny. From now on Vermont will be, as he put it, “Little Tibet”.

–sam

ouch!

Workout today was a killer… Legs feel like jello… not the bouncy jello with fruit in it… the runny jello that didn’t quite congeal properly. If you see me walking like I have to take a dump… you know why.

–sam

Earliest Memories

I was born July 15 (a summer or two after the hippie’s celebrated their “summer of love” and a year after Neil met the man on the moon) to Ana Luisa H. and Manuel Balbino S. on the north end of an island known worldwide as Manhattan. My parents soon split. My earliest memories don’t include my father at all, but that would change drastically in the coming years.

Memory #1… Watching my uncle Hansel (yes, his name is really Hansel) blow bubbles from his saliva as he slept on a high backed cushioned chair.

Memory #2… Playing with my sisters on a sculpture in a nearby park.

Memory #3… Walking with my sisters to get lunch, though I’m not sure why weren’t just eating at home

Memory #4… Bathing with my sister, Bertha (yes, her name is really Bertha) and seeing that she was not anatomically the same as me, I tucked my member between my legs and ran out to greet my mother with a “Mami look, I’m just like Bertha!”

Memory #5… Going with my mom to the bus station to pick up my sister Zaida (yes, her name really is Zaida) for summer break from private school.

Memory #6… Climbing into the refrigerator to get something… what I don’t remember

Memory #7… Riding the subway to go to the public pool for the day.

Memory #8… Going to schools (day cares?) with my mother as she asked questions

Memory #9… My last memory of my time in Manhattan was actually of leaving Manhattan… I remember getting on the plane to go to another island… Hispaniola

Entering the 21st Century…

OK… I’ve entered the modern age. I bought a DVD player. You shouldn’t be shocked by this, though. I bought my first CD Player a decade after they were on the market.

It’s kind of weird. I stay abreast of the latest technology, but I rarely seem to actually buy it. I’m not sure why this is. I mean sure there are monetary considerations. I guess I waste money in other more creative ways. Ways which I have yet to fathom. 😉

Now that I have a DVD player… Anyone care to recommend some must have / must see DVDs?

–sam

Crazy Neighbors…

My neighbor across the street never, ever parks in his driveway. Neither does his wife. Instead, they park on the street. By the way, my neighbor drives a huge work van. His wife drives a some sort of American sedan.

In the month that I’ve been living at the new place I have never seen my neighbors even pull into the driveway to turn around. Every morning I leave before he leaves. I have yet to see him leave before me.

Why am I telling you this…? don’t worry… I’ll fill you in.

It was raining last night, and I arrived home before Liz. I usually park on the street, but there was no nearby place to park on the street so I pulled into my driveway. Liz pulled in behind me when she got home. Our driveway barely fits both cars… with one car blocking the sidewalk. Oh well… no big deal.

This morning Liz and I went to workout. We took her car because it was the one at the end of the driveway. We got back home around 7:45. Since I usually leave before Liz we pulled my car out and parked in front of the neighbors house across the street. Unfortunately, his van takes up most of the space there and the tail end of my car partially blocked his driveway.

At any rate, I start my usually pre-work routine of cereal eating, e-mail checking, and showering. While in the shower, Liz informs me that the neighbor called the landlords to tell them that he was going to have my car towed. The neighbor was very angered that I would park in front of his driveway.

Well I got dressed and set out for work and the inevitable confrontation with the neighbor…

A craggy faced, salt and pepper bearded gentlemen in shorts and a t-shirt carrying gardening equipment says to me… “Never do that again!”. I explain that the parking arrangement was temporary… it certainly wasn’t something I planned to do regularly. At which point he decided to raise the stakes, “This is my house. I live here. You just rent. You can’t park in front of people’s driveways!”

He continued with… “You’re costing me money! I have to move my trailer out to go to work.” Mind you, I have never seen the trailer nor have I ever seen the man leave before me. I soldiered on with, “You’ve never used your driveway before. Let’s calm down.”

I tried to diffuse the situation, but he continued ranting at me, “If you ever do it again, I won’t even call… I’ll just have you towed.” I was really tempted to go at it with the guy. I have to admit that I very nearly lost it at this point, but no… I continued with my line of thinking that it was only temporary and that I had never once seen him leave before me. That one, unfortunately, seemed to really get his goat. He responded with, “I’ve been living here for 18 years. Have you? You just rent! How the hell would you know what I do?”

That’s when he turned around and started walking away. I waved, smiled, and said “Have a wonderful day.” I had to think calming thoughts on the way to work or I would have road raged myself into a fire hydrant.

As you can see the old guy most likely didn’t need to use his driveway this morning. He was just upset over a couple of things…

1. He’s very protective of his property and by extension the airspace in front of his driveway.

2. He doesn’t like the fact that new people… renters, in fact… have moved in across the street.

…while I’m sure there are other reasons for him being angry, I don’t necessarily wish to delve into the mind of someone that is teetering on the brink of sanity.

OK… now that you’ve heard the story… what’s your response. Did I act completely inappropriately by blocking his driveway for about 45 minutes this morning? Now that there is this animosity with my neighbor, how should I deal with future encounters with him? What would you do in my situation? If you are the type of person that retaliates, how would you do so?

–sam

DnD thought…

What if every race evolved from Orcs? What would the ramifications of that be?

Some of that would definitely have to be explained via magic or divine intervention. How would each of the PC races have developed if orcs were the progenitors?

Elves… this might be easily explained as some sort of fey-touched orc… that might be interesting in and of itself.

Humans… would have to be the next evolutionary step… Hmmmm… and what if Half-Orcs, instead of being a human/orc hybrid were the missing evolutionary link. 🙂

I’m not sure yet how to explain the other races… Any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

The Jewel

James Wright isn’t my favorite poet, but every once in a while I read one of his pieces and it really strikes a chord in me. The Jewel is one such poem. Here it is…

The Jewel
James Wright

There is this cave
In the air behind my body
That nobody is going to touch:
A cloister, a silence
Closing around a blossom of fire.
When I stand upright in the wind,
My bones turn to dark emeralds.