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I need to fly to Denver, CO, visit a day or so with my Dad and step-mum, then drive our little white car East. My primary issue right now is funding, time is secondary, as this is necessary, but I will still miss a bunch of work time. No work = no pay as I am paid by the hour.

I am currently thinking of flying mid-week, November 19 or 20, as they are the cheapest flight days (my current favorite airline is Southwest) at $135 one-way, plus I would need gas money and possible hotel if I cannot find people to stay with.

Driving home is at minimum, a three day drive. Talis drove out with overnights at a truck stop in eastern Ohio, and a friends house in Kansas City, MO, before arriving at Jamestown, CO. I am hoping to make it without staying overnight in the car.

My question to you, dear DW and LJ friends, is, would people be willing to donate to my travel cause? If so, my paypal e-mail is persis at thorndike dot name. If not, I will tighten my belts. Please let me know if this is something you would consider?

Edited last night to include my paypal e-dress... *sigh* I hate being in this position.
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from a friend in NYC, who heard from another friend, that [personal profile] otherdeb's angiogram test found no blockages in her coronary system, and so no need for the much-feared deeper surgery!! She will be sent home later today. They'll schedule her for a different procedure later and will put on a course of new drugs, hopefully ones that won't make her feel worse.
Hooray for good news!
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With all the stress of the flash floods in Boulder County, CO, AND a week of 4 interviews for SCF, listing these books has fallen behind on the great big list-of-all-the-things-to-do.

However, my Dad and step-mom Deborah are safe in Boulder with friends (for the time being; Dad is confused, they are both stressed and very sad about losing their four out-buildings and possibly their house); Talis and Serena are home; they arrived at Logan last night, and are now off to Savers (2nd-hand clothing store) to get new things to replace those that are in the car left in the Jamestown Elementary School parking lot. The roads to Jamestown are closed, rock slides and water, great forces of nature, have made the one road in and out of town impassable. Who knows when they will be able to get the car out. I have friends who live out there who have offered to perhaps get the car, or even maybe drive it East, eventually. It will be at least a month I think before anything can be done. None of the residents of Jamestown had flood insurance, and the insurance companies are being cold-hearted. There is some state aid (maybe federal as well), but I don't think it will be nearly enough to rebuild what they had.

Deborah was interviewed here (the older gentleman in the orange beret is my nearly-88-year-old Dad), and there was a picture of Talis and Serena coming off the army helicopter. One of their NBTSC friends Mom's knows one of their flight crew, so we can send them a thank you note. Somewhere there is a video of T and S when they came off the helicopter; they were on the first evacuation flight out of Jamestown. Deborah sounds just exhausted and sad, but their community support was awesome, and I hope they can rebuild that.

Here's the list of cookbooks so far. It's long, slightly over 100. Please let me know if you are interested in any.
list of cookbooks )
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So, the other day, I did not get out to be social with a whole bunch of people because I had had a week... part of which involved being transferred from one supervisor to another on one project, then not hearing from that new supervisor... plus very long intense interviews for the other project; all compounding into a weekend where I was just not coping with having to go OUT.

So, I did the first pass on the 20 or so boxes of cookbook from Mum's collection.

I have at least 5 bankers boxes, overflowing, so make that 6 or 7 bankers boxes, of cookbooks to catalog and give away. These are either duplicates of books I already have (Mum gave me a lot of cookbooks) or ones I am not interested in keeping, for one reason or another.

Tonight, instead of doing cataloging books, or doing two debriefs for SCF cases, I spent about 2 hours on a report call with the new supervisor (she's in California and just got 12 new field interviewers (FIs) and a whole bunch of new-to-her cases, all over the country), looked at fb, lj, and e-mail, and calculated how much mileage I spent on each project today.

I should go to bed now, as tomorrow is a farm day, and it is supposed to be hot and humid again, in the mid-80's.

Cookbook lists should be coming soon. Anyone who will be at OVFF should tell me if there is anything they want from these book lists, soon, so I can pack them into whatever car Spencer is driving out. sanyone else, either come for food at the Big Blue House, or we'll make other arrangements.
persis: (On Top Of The World)
I have taken the plunge and bought plane tickets, so I am going to be at OVFF unless something drastic happens.

Depart Boston at 7:30 am, on Southwest, change at Chicago Midway, arrive Columbus 12:40 pm on Friday, Oct 25. Leave Columbus 6:35 pm Sunday, Oct 27, change planes Atlanta, arrive Boston 11:37 pm. Anyone needs more flight info, let me know.

As far as I know, wee Talis will probably be working that weekend, and has said she cannot decide now (she just called me from my Dad's in Jamestown, CO, and won;t be home til late on the 15th). I guess I will have to bring pictures.

Boy is it good to be writing here again.
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DW/LJ Thing One: From Betsy Cassandra Marks Delaney's FB event... open to all interested parties (even if you are not on FB):

It is now official. We will celebrate Marty Gear's life and art at the Great Room in Savage Mill on Sunday the 18th from 4-8 pm. We feel sure that Marty would welcome his guests dressing in whatever costume they felt appropriate to celebrate his life and gifts to us all.

NOTE: Due to catering exclusivity, no potluck allowed.

France Andrews Zeve is coordinating the gathering. I [Betsy] am merely the messenger.

Candy Madigan is coordinating arrangements for crash space for out-of-town guests. If you have space to offer or you need space to stay for the weekend, drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with each other. (See comments for more information on offering space.)

Please spread the word to folks who are hoping to attend. If you can't make it but want to keep the event active in your feed, choose Maybe and comment. Decline makes the event go away.

For those traveling to LSC3 (From Pierre Pettinger): There will be a Marty retrospective from the Archives at LSC3, at some point during the masquerade, and the video will be posted on YouTube afterward.

Thing TWO: if anyone is so inclined to make a donation in Marty's name in lieu of flowers: there are two charities to donate to in Marty Gear's memory. Buck Lodge Middle School, 2611 Buck Lodge Road, Adelphi, MD 20783 ph 301-431-6290, Principal is James Richardson. This is where Bobby taught for many years, and is also where Balticon Books for Kids makes its donations. Marty ran the Balticon Charity Auction for many years (and also ran the Young Writers Contest).

The other charity is Bat Conservation International,

If the link does not work, go to and click on make a tribute donation.

I am gong down to Columbia for the memorial, and will hand-carry letters, cards, statements to be read, whatever. I need to go say good-by to my dear friend.
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Three pieces, each 32" wide X 18" deep X 75" tall. Wood and wood veneer. one shelves. drop leaf and two-door cupboard, one shelves and two-door cupboard, one just shelves. All have back light on top shelf. $50 each, or $125 for all three. Please make me an offer. I would like them to be gone definitely by our party date, May 18, preferably earlier. While I will be away next week in Chicago, the rest of the Big Blue Household will be around.

They have been wonderful pieces of furniture in all of my homes, since I bought them in 1981 from Jordan's Furniture on Moody Street in Waltham. It is time for these to move on to another home.

I have posted the wall units from my family room on Craig's List... CL used to be the place to post things like these, but so far, all I've gotten have been scam responses. Sadly, I think it has outlived its usefulness, so I am offering them here, as well as on my DW & LJ pages.

I do not seem to be able to insert an image, as the functionality here requires it to come from a URL... Pictures can be sent..., or go look at CL here

Any one want a game of Monopoly? We seem to have an extra...
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I have bees again in my blue hive! Picked up one package of bees this morning, and installed them mid-afternoon. They seem to be happy, most of the ones that would not come easily out of the package container, are now in the hive, and the one left in my car is out an presumably will find the rest of her mates. :-)

Another package of bees will be arriving mid-May (yes, there is a bee crisis and that is why it is so important for us, and our other hobbyist beekeepers, to keep bees), so I have time this week to visit Wood's Bees, a semi-local (RI, on rt 146 (which runs from Providence to Worcester)) bee company (yay, support local) for important things such as frames and foundation, landing board, bottom board, inner and outer covers... and another hive tool, so Talis and I can work on hives together.

I am in need of several birdbaths, so I can provide water for my bees. If anyone has one (or more), even with out pedestal, I would be interested.

And it is time to celebrate David's square birthday.

Saturday, May 18, 2013.

The Big Blue House
11 Wayne Road, Milford, MA 01757

Potluck, please bring something to share. Please send e-mail to persis at thorndike dot name, or call or text at 508-282-0089 if you have questions or want to coordinate.
I will provide plates, flatware, napkins, cups, some hot hors d'oeuvres (and possibly some fish, as the 17th begins the summer fish share).

There will be cake, and perhaps ice cream.

There is now a dog in the house; please medicate appropriately. (I will vacuum as best I can, but he does shed indiscriminately.)

NO hot tub this year.

If you want to stay over, please let us know ahead of time.
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I ended the day yesterday with an absolutely *wonderful* waltz with someone young enough to be my child, to the music of Perpetual Emotion (a dance band from the fabulous State of Maine). I actually danced contra (!) at NEFFA, for the entire last Contra Party session. My only complaint about the dances was that they were *very* long, and had very few opposite swings. :-( I had very nice partners, and then again, there was that very lovely waltz at the end. :-)

Dance Performances on the Auditorium stage went well, although the two sessions yesterday were about half as long as they have been in the past, and there was a scheduling kerfuffle with one group that needs a fifteen minute costume change in between dances. I have a Co-Chair (who does not communicate well and has been described as a steamroller), and I am a bit unsettled about that. My tact-meter was OFF on both Friday and Saturday, and there are conversations I need to have with several people, but they will happen after the festival is over, but soon.

I bought some wooden spoons from a vendor in the Craft Hall, talked to several people about Arisia Tech (I may have myself a Video Area Head and several other general tech people), and put aside a pile of clothes from my favorite clothing vendor, Eagle Ray Traders, who design and make my flowey batik dresses.

So, today, the last performance block, and hopefully some more lovely dances. The music has certainly been good, and the dancing has done worlds of good for my sanity and well being. Shoulders aside (I wrenched the right one when I was out in LA), dancing is good.
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All residents of the Big Blue House are OK, as are the 5 visiting teens who took the train back into Town mid-day (and did NOT go see the finish line in Copley, but sensibly went home to Cambridge/Somerville/Watertown). Go hug your loved ones, and live each day to the fullest.

For the first time in years, I am filing an extension for both federal and state. I have money owed to me, but I need to double check on some things before sending them in.

I started working on my cases for CBECS today.
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Please keep Winnie in your thoughts today, Last night he ate two 12-oz bags of baker's chocolate and spent the night at Tufts Vet School ER (to the tune of $600-$800; thank fortune I have pet insurance that will hopefully cover some of that). Chocolate is fatal for dogs, and baker's chocolate (very dark) is the worst for caffeine and other stuff.

They just called and he is doing fine, although his heart rate is still high. They want to keep observing him til late afternoon then he *should* be able to go home.

Of course this would happen when I am out of town,

and when I am unemployed,

and when the regular vet is closed.

Of course.
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To all my fannish, filkish and dancing friends;

After a long day at a high school assessment, I looked at my phone, to find a sad message from my friend Suli Isaacs. My friend Sandy (nee Nathanson) passed away this morning, peacefully, in her sleep. She had had terminal lung cancer for the past year. I am so glad I saw her at Arisia, albeit very briefly. She was her usual feisty self, big smile, lots of hugs, although traveling in a scooter, and was very thin. She will be missed, both at conventions, and dance floors and NEFFA. My heart goes out to her siblings, David, Phil, Debbie and Sharon, and her daughter Jessica. RIP, Sandy.
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I am, once again, working as House Manager for the Sudbury Savoyards, on their production of Gondoliers, to be performed the last weekend of February and first weekend of March.

The Big Blue House household is performing in (Persis, Spencer and Talis) and doing lighting design (David) Antiphony with the North Cambridge Family Opera, with performances the third and fourth weekends of March.

And, NEFFA, which conflicts once more with FilKontario. I am the Dance Performance Co-Chair, sharing this year with Marcie Van Cleve, who works with the Folk Arts Center in the Boston area.

I am looking for people who want to come usher for Gondoliers, for any and all performances, bake things for our concessions table, and, for your time, see the show.

For NCFO, come see us perform in a classic tale of the Ants and the Grasshoppers.

And for NEFFA, I am in need of stage managers for the Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon dance performance blocks. My usual go-to guy has a paying gig that weekend that takes precedent. And the usual media wranglers... to liaise between the performance groups and the stage tech. None of the time slots will conflict with the dance medlies (or so I am told).

I do like this sort of volunteer work, but this year has been a tough one for me. Mum dying in July, followed by my Dad becoming very forgetful... and not always seeing eye to eye with my sister (who is very different from me, as people who came to the Celebration of Mum's Life discovered).

So, if anyone wants more information on any of these organizations, or the jobs themselves, please let me know.
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Pretty pitiful as far as travel goes this past year, but every place was memorable and meaningfull:

Milford, MA
Boston, MA (twice, same hotel)
Enfield, CT
Gaithersburg, MD
Columbus, OH
Columbia, MD
Manchester, MA
Pittsfield, MA
Los Angeles, CA
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I was looking for the You Tube of last year's New Year's Eve with Amanda F. Palmer in NYC, when I first heard Neil giving his New Year's Wishes... It was wonderful, and I can still hear his voice in my head. I think he included all of these, but it has gone walk-about, and so I give you these quotes.

December 31, 2001 and 2004: "May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."

Dec 31, 2008:..."I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind"

December 31, 2011: "I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever." -- Neil Gaiman

This past year was especially difficult for me, and my friends and extended family came thru for me, in flying colours. Thank you, all, for being a part of my life. Know that you have a place in my heart.
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Seventeen years ago, last night, Spencer drove me from Brookline (it was a very snowy week and Brooklne is so much closer to the Boston Hospitals than Milford, and, did I say, it was *very* snowy) to Brigham & Women's Hospital, where, 4.5 hours after I started labour, my beautiful daughter, Talis, was born at 1:33 am.

Happy Birthday, dear Talis, may you have a year full of adventure, joy, and success in whatever you pursue.

(The current plan is to go to agricultural college, to be a farmer. MIL is not yet aware of this plan. She would not approve, as farming is not a high income job.)
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Anyone here have today's Globe?

I am currently away in LA on job training, but was told that there was a front page story on TIMMS and Massachusetts.

I am interested in copies of this story, especially since MA 8th graders have performed so well, 2nd only to 8th grade students in Singapore, but also because I worked on the data collection end of this project and it would be nice to have records of the fruits of my labors.

I'll be home on Thursday, and could come collect said pages, or you could mail them to me at the Big Blue House, 11 Wayne Road, Milford, MA 01757.

Many thanks! in advance.


Dec. 6th, 2012 11:25 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet gave me 27 last week in the age meme going around FB. It's been a while, and remembering where I was back then takes some doing. I was a very different person than I am now. I am much happier with myself now. :-)

Relationship: In the second year of dating my first husband; we got married in 1988, divorced in 1992. It seemed like a good thing at the time. Clearly not. I had no self-confidence or self-esteem until I got rid of him.

Living in: probably in Watertown, on Arlington St, second floor of a two family house.

Work/School: I started work in April of this year, at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center Newton Center office, as an office worker. After 6 months, I was promoted to the position of Manager of the Boston office, which cam with additional duties. Along with managing the office, I got Payroll, Foreign Student Advising (which turned out to be my favorite part of the job), and moving the office (in mid-1986). (Eventually, I gave up the managing part and became a full-time Director of International Student Affairs, and built up Kaplan's foreign student and American medical student populations, with the accompanying F-1 student visas.)

Fear: That no one would love me and I would never get married.

Best Memory: It's hard for me to remember the good things, as the later years of that relationship were so not fun, and I think I've blocked out a lot of what I did while in it.
I loved living in the apartment in Watertown, and I loved having people over. I think my best memory from being 27 was the surprise birthday party Frank threw for me.

Comment on this and I'll give you an age, but only if you want to play, These things are arbitrary.
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I am heading out to LA on Saturday morning, for 4 days of job training starting Sunday morning at 8:30. I'd like to go see Vixy & Tony at this event in Santa Monica. Google maps says it is only about 20 minutes away from the JW Marriott at the LA Live Center. Anyone want to come with me? or come pick me up (so I don't have to take a cab)?

I'll be busy during the days til 5:30, but would be happy to see my West Coast friends in the evenings.

BTW, thanks for all the suggestions about gluten-free. We are looking forward to getting some of the cook books, and to further reading of blogs.
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Talis is trying a gluten free diet in hopes that this might solve some of her digestive issues. However, a lot of her favorite foods contain gluten, and we are finding the frozen options to be less than stellar (and cause stomach aches). So, we'd like to try making them from scratch. Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, any pasta dishes... (although we've found a quinoa pasta that is acceptable). It's a good thing I have been reading labels for years now, just adding one more thing to look out for.

So, my LJ flist, what Gluten Free Cook Books do you use?


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