Thursday, December 28, 2006

I added a link to my music blog on the sidebar. Why more than one blog, you might ask? I figured there have to be at least a few people who read this one who really don't share my musical tastes and can't be bothered to suffer through my endless obsessing over music. Now you don't have to worry. My music writing has been assigned its own ghetto.

Jen's on a secret mission right now, and the kids have friends over, so I'd better go make sure the rest of the house is still standing. Be good to one another.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Iguana In The Tree

Iguana In The Tree
Originally uploaded by Corbie.
The iguana's Christmas present was a mini-vacation up inside the Christmas tree. He loves climbing trees, but is afraid to go outside, so the opportunity to climb an inside tree means a lot to him.

Oh, the the people got lots of cool stuff too. We also got (and still get) to hang out with loved ones.

Merry Christmas. Hope you all aren't too bloated with consumption.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I keep thinking that it's later than it is. Today is gray, with occasional rain. Jen is out doing errands. Sophie is on a play date. The rest of us are home. Off and on, I've been listening to the cds I've picked up at the Tower Records going-out-of-business sale. I've managed to put a sizeable dent in my want list, and picked up a few other things I've been curious about, all for very little money. At the moment, everything is a dollar. If you're reading this before the end of the day today, run on down to your nearest Tower and check it out. There are actually still (in my opinion, anyway) some good cds left.

To nobody's surprise (at least not to those who know me), much of the music I bought fits the mood evoked by gray, rainy days. It's going to take a little while for all of this music to sink in. I hope the days stay gray. It's comforting somehow.

Unfortunately, all of this music consumption reminds me that I've been stuck in a creative rut myself. I haven't drawn or written much (outside of blogging) lately. I think most of my extra energy is spent on work and family. In fact, Willow is in the room now, so I'm going to hang out with her now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ice Wagon

Ice Wagon
Originally uploaded by Corbie.
It been cold at night this week - cold enough to make a miniature ice rink in the old red wagon in the yard. The integrity of the ice was soon compromised by the girls, who delighted in shattering it and flinging it about the yard.

Nate is now 8, and one more party at the local video arcade is behind us. Willow's class held a Christmas party, at which the "surprise guest" turned out to be the same Santa the girls met after the parade a few weeks ago. Nothing like a little continuity in the Santa department to ensure belief. He's a good Santa too, with a genuine beard. That helps. Willow and Sophie both got to sit on his lap again.

I'm off work this week and next. I've been spending lots of time visiting all of the local Tower Records locations in an obsessive quest for bargains. A few days ago I met up with an old friend/ex-coworker at the Tower we used to work at, and we walked around reminiscing and bargain hunting for awhile. That was fun. Today I discovered that the San Jose Tower had everything in the store priced at a dollar. I also discovered that the store manager is somebody I used to work with when I was a Tower employee. Of course, now he's out of work.

For me, it was just a bunch of shallow retail therapy. I bought loads of cool cds though.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Partially Done

Partially Done
Originally uploaded by Corbie.
I think that when I finally cut off my hair (whenever that may be) I'll have it done in front of a crowd so I can either make it a spectator sport and/or attach some meaning to the process.
I was inspired by the fact that one of the teachers at camp this week made a deal with her kids that if they managed to stay out of trouble all week she'd cut off ten inches of hair on the last day of camp. To tell you the truth, I didn't think she'd actually do it, but at the end of the week, during our closing ceremony on the last day of camp before the holidays, she had one of her fellow teachers take the scissors to her hair. She's going to send the hair to Locks Of Love, of course, so it can be made into a wigs for cancer patients. Pretty cool thing to do. She even overlooked the fact that a couple of kids did actually get in trouble during the week.

We also had an incident involving an off-balance camper and a tumble off a wall into the creek. The kid rumor mill ran wild with that one for awhile, with reports of paralysis and shattered bones. In the end it turned out that he only had a few bruises. He did get an ambulance ride to the hospital though. A field instructor once fell in the same place and broke her arm in two or three places. This time we were lucky.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This week I've spent three days observing other instructors teaching on the trails around camp. I'm glad that I've gotten a chance to do this, because even though we all work together, we rarely get an opportunity to see each other work. That said, I know my coworkers well enough that everybody performed pretty much as I expected they would (quite excellently, I might add...). We all have different strengths and specialties, and it was a real treat to get to hang out with different groups as an observer, rather than a teacher. It gave me a feel for what it must be like to be a student in one of the field groups. I picked up, or was reminded of, some helpful strategies/games that I'm going to apply to my own field classes in January when we start up again. Tomorrow and Friday I'm back to teaching, and then I'm working at the Christmas tree lot on Saturday. Then that's it as far as work is concerned, until the 31st when I get to supervise a work crew. What a way to end the year, watching the orange vest brigade clean things. Time and a half, I think.

I've gone to Tower Records a couple of times this week. I got well tipped for the party I did last rainy Saturday (beautiful day, with rain making the city somehow indistinct, almost dreamlike, and gusts of yellow leaves scudding across the asphalt) and for helping tie trees onto cars at the Christmas tree lot. I scoured the two local Towers for overlooked gems (granted, a lot of the music I like tends to get overlooked) and got some good cds for 60% off. I'm curious to see how much more prices will drop in the next week and a half before the chain closes for good.

It's almost 10 PM. Time to think about going to bed. It's finally quiet in the house. Maybe I'll read for awhile instead.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Originally uploaded by Corbie.
We're more prepared for the holidays this year than we usually are, but that's not saying much. Today, the weather has turned rainy. I attended the staff Christmas party and got a white elephant gift in the form of a cookbook, packaged with a blank journal and a frog pin. I gave away an extra copy of Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf. Next week is the last week of camp for the season, and I'm spending half of it observing other instructors, which should be interesting. We do this from time to time because normally we never get to see each other teach. Hopefully I'll learn some new games or tactics.

Then the holidays will be upon us.

Sadly though, there are a couple of people I knew who won't be here for the holidays this year. These two people, one of whom I hadn't seen in years, passed away early this month, both from illness. The first was Sam Kress, who once sang for old Bay Area heavy metal band, Heathen, and co-created the magazine, Whiplash, with my old friend Brian. I didn't know him well, but he was part of the heavy metal community I chose to be part of as a teenager. If nothing else, his death has gotten a lot of people talking with each other for the first time in decades. That's something, at least. R.I.P. Sam.

Virgil Lorenz also passed away. He lived on site at the school I work at, and acted as kind of a night watchman, making sure all of the various doors and gates were locked after dark. In fact, my last conversation with him was about a missing lock on the front gate. He led another life too, as can be seen on this site. He will be missed by many. R.I.P. Virgil.

Hard to segue away from such sombre news, but one must continue...

As for me, I'm working at a Christmas tree lot again this year to make a little bit of extra money for the holidays. Another birthday has passed too. For my birthday, Greg took me to see John Waters up in San Francisco. Wanda Jackson, a rockabilly contemporary of Elvis, opened the show. She must be in her seventies, but she had a great voice and actually got me to enjoy rockabilly, which in most circumstances I do not. John Waters, now sixty, is still just as crass and hilarious as ever. A good night out. I haven't laughed that much in awhile.