Thursday, November 29, 2012


Close-Up, originally uploaded by Corbie.

Here's a photo taken during our short honeymoon last week. We found all sorts of creative uses for the ducks people brought to the wedding.

Call me an idiot, but I just noticed that I can share photos directly from my Flickr page, not to mention compose the post itself from there, so the main function of this post is that of a guinea pig. Here goes nothing...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Deep Autumn

The wheel of the seasons is spinning towards Winter, but for the most part, it doesn't feel like it. California never really has a Winter, instead skirting the edges of the season with a storm or two, and never staying below freezing for more than a few hours all season long. This time of year, the best thing is the interesting sunrises and sunsets. I think my biggest problem with Summer has always been the boring sky. I'd rather have something more varied to look at, and I'd even rather have things fall out of it than have to suffer through months of pale blue nothing.

The Thanksgiving holiday week is drawing to an end. We had a modest little get-together at our place, which included the Trader Joe's brand of imitation turkey. I forgot to put the gravy on it, but it was still good. Willow was actually here on the holiday instead of a day or two afterwards, which means her mom spent Thanksgiving without kids for perhaps the first time in 16 years. I must note that we celebrate Thanksgiving the same way we celebrate Christmas - from the standpoint of tradition rather than any real agreement with the myth behind the holiday itself - in this case, it's the myth that the pilgrims and the Native Americans lived in some sort of Disneyfied fairytale land where everybody helped each other out. I think most people don't really give it a lot of thought. Sure, everybody comes up with lists of things to be thankful for, which is a good thing because it steers us away from taking too much for granted, but I'm sure nobody has ever uttered the thought, "I'm thankful for this continent we stole from the poor suckers who were here before us." People, I might add, who thought the concept of land ownership was ridiculous. Good for them. Why is it that sensible people always get overtaken by barbarians?

We went to a Harvest Festival the other day too, and bought things from artisans there - candy, tea, ear cuffs for Eva, and a romantic picture to hang on the wall. Willow doesn't think the picture is romantic though. She thinks it's creepy because it has skeletons in it. Oh, well. The whole reason I mentioned the festival at all is that the name signifies another thing we're generally out of touch with in modern society, at least those of us who don't live in rural areas. I'm talking of course about the harvest, the bringing in of the crops, the squirreling away of food in order to stave off starvation during the bleakness of Winter. There was no shipping fruit in from the southern hemisphere in the old days. No, you had to spend the Autumn months stuffing it into jars and cans. We have it pretty easy these days, but as always, this comes with a hidden price. Every convenience does. Think about it.

Currently listening to: William Basinski "The Disintegration Loops"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Moon of Honey

We're heading out for a brief mini-honeymoon in a couple of hours. Despite this being my second marriage, I've never been on a honeymoon before. The first time around, circumstances (read: finances and children) didn't allow for that kind of luxury. Here in the present, we're making it happen.

Traveling with us will be a bunch of rubber ducks, given to us by literal-minded wedding guests who read the fine print on the invitation. Or perhaps people just like buying ducks. Either way you look at it, we have a bunch, and they're going with us.

We're taking the chocolate ducks with us too. They won't survive for long.

Currently listening to: V/A "Benefit For Animals In Need" Follow the link if you'd like to support the ASPCA while at the same time adding 31 songs to your digital library. Go on, you know you want to.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


The wedding went off without a hitch. Over a couple of days, our friend Raul whipped together some fantastic balloon decorations, and Earles of Newtown, a swing band from Nevada city featuring my old friend Chad on washboard and vocals, proved to be so entertaining that adults and kids alike had good things to say about them. The ceremony took place in a hillside amphitheater, at just around sunset. We passed around a speaking stick with our rings attached, and lots of people chose to share their thoughts and wishes for us with the crowd. By the end of the ceremony, it was so cold that I invited everybody down to warm their hands around the fire, which ended up being just perfect. The cake, baked by Walrus, was magnificent, and the company was excellent.

Plus, we have a lot of ducks now, mostly of the rubber kind, but also a nice wooden mallard, a plush duck or two, and some wind-up ones. I'm not sure what possessed me to write "nobody will be admitted without a duck" on the invitation. I'm just glad that nobody brought live ducks (at least a couple of people almost did).

My friend Jellyfish took some nice pictures too:

Currently listening to: Celer "Recumbent In Wishes"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today Is The Day!

Jeanine and I are making it all official later today. We've opted to keep the ceremony simple, since neither of us have ever understood the need to make things more complicated than they need to be. That said, there will be scenic views, a warm fire, yummy cake, friends aplenty, and good music. What more could anyone ask for?

Currently listening to: Xambuca "Kamuy"

Thursday, November 08, 2012


In less than 48 hours, Jeanine and I will have rings on our fingers and the benevolent gleam of legality will illuminate our already interwoven lives. I think we've covered all of the pertinent details, and hopefully there won't be any nth hour moments of sudden realization due to overlooked tasks. I'm very much looking forward to the ceremony, and will of course write more after the weekend.

After a couple of weeks in the field, I'm working nights this week and next, followed by a week off in honor of the annual Feast of Gluttons.

Here's a picture taken during field class the week before last. I love how fog utterly changes the mood of the photo.

Currently listening to: Tim Eriksen "Josh Billings Voyage"

Saturday, November 03, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I meant to post this awhile ago, but it got pushed to the back of my mind by more pressing matters.

I often get Facebook messages from friends, usually accompanied by a photo (like the case in point here), asking me to identify some mysterious creature that appeared in a yard, or bathtub, or garage, or somewhere else terrifying and inconvenient. Usually I can identify the critter right away. In most cases, if I can't identify it, I'll at least have a good idea.

The animal in this picture is as well known to me as the palm of my hand, and since I know what it is, I would never actually put one in the palm of my hand. It's a Rattlesnake, of course. To be precise (as a pair of fictional detectives are fond of saying), it's a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. Fortunately for the kid in the picture, the species isn't very aggressive. It makes up for its lack of aggressiveness with relatively toxic venom though, so it's not something you should pick up with your bare hands, no matter who you are.

In this case, if I remember the story right, the irresponsible party was a grandparent. As adults, it's our responsibility to be knowledgeable about potential dangers in our immediate environment. This particular adult fell down on the job. Hard.

Where living things are concerned, the best advice I can give is: If you don't know what it is, don't touch it.

Friday, November 02, 2012

A Brief Update

After inspecting a couple of antique stores, we found a nice pair of wedding rings today. The ladies who sold them to us spent a moment sharing how long they'd each been married. If I remember correctly, the durations were 41, 47, and 65 years. The unanimous opinion was that marriage works. That's good to know.

This day also marks a somber anniversary, since it is the one year anniversary of my dad's death. It's hard to believe that a year has already vanished, since the day is still so finely etched into my memory. It's interesting to note that my dad passed away on the Festival of the Dead, a festival that became All Soul's Day once the Christians got hold of it. Yet another holiday that now has a deeper, more personal meaning for me.

Speaking of the dead, All Hallow's Eve passed without incident. A row of jack-o-lanterns and a large balloon Frankenstein's Monster greeted the surprisingly large number of trick-or-treaters who came to our door. Jeanine reported that many of them didn't seem to know what to say, instead standing there with mute expectation.

Currently listening to: At Jennie Ritchie "The Communist's Garden"