Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Tree 2010. A seven-foot-tall Noble Fir. It smells very nice.

But first, I put on Mummy's white artificial tree and she put colorful felt ornaments on it, which Snowball would like to play with.


Note the two decorated sticks, one fig branch and the other a weathered juniper that I picked up while visiting Evan. Also Smokey the Bear and Googoo-Gaga (my sister Susan's toy monkey) (you'll probably have to click on the picture to enlarge it to see those).

Holiday Tree.

Mostly old-style glass ornaments along with some vintage ones, including GIANT SANTA HEAD!

Giant Santa Head.

And Abominable Snowman. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is on Tuesday on CBS (8 PM or 7 PM, depending on where you live).


After he was naughty Snowball pretended to be a good kitty.


Best Thanksgiving ever. Thanksgiving has never been an especially favorite holiday. Yes, I like the mashed potatoes and pies. But I never felt I had reasons to be especially thankful for. Except this year, when I did.

Evan drove down from Flagstaff and Mummy, he, and I had supper. I made a pumpkin stuffed with brown rice, pecans, some veggies, and cream. It was alright, but no one wanted seconds. In contrast, the mashed potatoes and cranberry-walnut-orange sauce were delicious. Lemon meringue for dessert.

Stuffed pumpkin. The birds are busy eating it.

Afterward, Evan and I went over to Becca and Brian's house, where Forrest was staying, and the guys played music. It was nice listening to them, and everyone had fun.

Forrest, Brian, and Evan.

On Friday, Mummy, Evan, and I went to the yarn store, the cloth store (Mummy is making me new curtains for the kitchen), and then lunch at Rosa's. Then we drove down to Tumacacori Mission.

Evan and Mummy.

Friday night I went and got Forrest and the three of us hung out. We walked up Sentinel Peak to look at the lights.

Tucson at night (click for a larger, better version).

We had an awesome time, although the next morning I was TIRED.

The three of us.

The next morning we took Forrest to the airport in Phoenix. We stopped at In N Out Burger, where I watched Forrest eat a cheeseburger. I am so happy to have spent time with him this week, I have missed him badly since he moved away.


We came back to Tucson and in the afternoon, Evan and I made a cookie cutter wreath.


We also got a Holiday Tree and decorated it, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for a picture of it.

This morning Evan and I went out to the Sweetwater Wetlands. The number of ducks is increasing and we saw a Moorhen.

American coot, after diving.

It was a nice way to spend the morning.

Best Thanksgiving ever.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?


A true anecdote- I did not have real mashed potatoes until I was in college because my mother always bought instant mashed potatoes (to this day she hates to cook).

Monday, November 22, 2010

I haven't see much wildlife outside my office window lately, but then a coyote sauntered past last week.


It looked very healthy. At home I kept busy getting my house ready for Mummy's arrival- rearranged furniture, did yard work. Meanwhile, the office is being all torn up as new carpeting and tile is being laid down, walls painted, and new electrical installed. It makes it hard to get anything done, even though my room isn't affected until mid-December.

So the new car drives nice and on Saturday morning, after a totally sleepless night (bad headache), I drove north and picked Mummy up at the airport. Once in Tucson we went immediately to the library and then Old People Safeway, where I insisted on paying for everything. I made nachos for supper, took a nap, and then drove north a second time to pick Forrest up at the airport. We talked non-stop all the way to Tucson. Then we decided to walk up the side of A Mountain and sit at the top, looking at the lights of Tucson.

Tucson at 1 AM.

Forrest set my camera shutter for a long exposure.

I stepped into the picture half way through.

We stayed up way too late talking and so Sunday was pretty groggy. I took Mummy and Mark to lunch at Rosa's and got Jimbo his calendar.

Today at work, less groggy, but trying to get things ready for a project next Monday. I see something out of the corner of my eye.


Evan is coming down Thursday, I am counting the hours.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My great grandfather's family was fairly well-off, so we have lots of pictures of them. They lived in Grand Rapids for six months in 1891-1892, so I can date this photograph to this short timespan.

John Hand Ransom and Emma Olive (Ransom) Harris.

John was born in 1875 and died in 1907 from tuberculosis of the lungs, leaving behind four daughters, the oldest of whom was only eight-years-old.

Emma was born in 1877 and died in 1964. She was the mother of nine children. In 1903, she received a gold medal for having the best butter in Michigan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Way back in the 20th century, when I was in grad school and needed to earn some money to do my thesis research, I applied for a job as an archaeologist in Wyoming. The man who hired me subsequently heard that I was gay and that another woman he hired was a lesbian, so we received a second letter telling us we were not hired after all. My friend Pat worked for this company, and he went to this guy's boss and said, "Homer is going to sue the company for discrimination" (he did this without telling me, he was a troublemaker!) and the bigot got his ass fired and I got a nice letter telling me that a mistake had been made, and that I was re-hired. I went to work for them and ended up running portions of the project because I am a good archaeologist. Some of the people beneath me at that time grumbled because a fag was in charge. They were also upset that I was physically stronger than them, since in their minds a gay guy had to be a wimp. Yeah, right.

Lately, it seems to be very acceptable for bigots to spout off about what jobs LGBT people should and should not be allowed to do. A sample:

Senator John McCain doesn't think homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

Senator Jim DeMint doesn't want gays and lesbians to be teachers.

Peter LaBarbera thinks that homosexuals should be banned from being TSA agents at airports because they might get all pervy on people.

Maggie Gallagher says that homosexuals should not be allowed to be judges.

The Pope and other leading Catholics say that gay men cannot be priests.

If these people had their ways, I guess all of us homos would be hair dressers, reality show judges, and interior decorators.

The LGBT people I know include:

- antique sales
- archaeologist
- architect
- art gallery
- artist
- bartender
- car sales
- carpenter
- chemist
- choir director
- dental assistant
- doctor
- engineer
- flight attendant
- hair dresser
- health department
- janitorial
- landscaper
- lawyer
- librarian
- linguist
- loan officer
- massage therapist
- medical research
- mortgage broker
- porn actor
- professor
- public relations
- respiratory therapist
- scientist
- secretary
- social worker
- teacher
- website designer

As far as I know, all of these people do their job in a professional manner, and the straight folks they come into contact with are left unaffected by their interactions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Replacement:

A 2010 Ford Focus, pale green, 35,000 miles.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

About an hour into driving north to Flagstaff, I realized I had left my cell phone at home. This made things a little difficult because I wanted to call Evan to alert him as I neared his house, and also I had the directions to said house on my phone. Luckily, he lives on a small avenue with a delightful name, and the helpful and friendly guy at the gas station sold me a map that showed that avenue. I arrived safely at Evan's domicile. We had Homer-made pumpkin/squash pie for dessert.

On Saturday we spent the morning backroading and looking at very interesting archaeological sites. I know very little about Flagstaff-area archaeology, other than the fact that a volcano erupted sometime around A.D. 1080, and that there was a transition from pit houses to above ground structures. Evan took me to a huge rock that stuck up in a sort of plain-like area, and there were numerous rooms built on the rock.


Perhaps they built them on top for defensive reasons- you could certainly see people approaching from a distance, especially if all of the trees had been chopped down close by for firewood and building materials.

Evan and lichen.

We then drove over to another site, where I sat down on the ground in one spot and picked up a handful of sherds for a photograph. Afterward, I replaced them in the same spot. This is important so future archaeologists can study the site, and it is also against the law to steal artifacts from sites (and besides, who wants the stuff cluttering up your house, a photograph certainly takes up a lot less space and you don't have to dust it off).


We then went to the San Francisco Wash, where water over a bazillion years has eroded a deep channel through the limestone.

San Francisco Wash.

In some spots along the walls of the wash, prehistoric peoples built homes underneath overhanging ledges. These are often very well preserved. It is rare to see a wall that could be 800-1000 years old, still standing.

Rock walls.

We went into Flagstaff and had a really nice lunch, went to see an art gallery where Evan has a glass fountain he made for sale, and then went back to his place and he played music for me. It was an awesome day.

This morning we went into town and had pancakes and hash browns for breakfast.

Hash browns!

I certainly fit in with my very bushy beard- there were a lot of country folks there. Evan sat across from me and I admired the view.

He put blackberry or blueberry syrup on his pancakes.

We spent the morning visiting other archaeological sites near his home. He is lucky to live so close to many interesting places.

And then it was time for me to come back to Tucson. The next two weeks are going to be crazy. I have to buy a car this week. The house has to get rearranged- the dining room converted into a bedroom, since Mummy flies into Phoenix on Saturday around noon. I bring her to Tucson and get her settled, then back to Phoenix to pick up Forrest that evening. I am so excited to see him, it has been 10 months since he moved away. Evan is coming down on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. I get to make Thanksgiving supper- I am thinking stuffed pumpkin, cranberry-orange-walnut side dish, spicy dill string beans, mashed taters, and a rage-inducing lemon meringue pie. And to top everything off, I have a project starting the following Monday.

You know, life is really awesome right now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NEVER MIND. I had a scare this morning, thinking my treasure boxes had been stolen. They weren't where they were supposed to be. Luckily, I decided to empty out my dining room closet and they were in the bottom of my quilt box.

The two cigar boxes contain:

- my little wooden Noah's Ark animals that I got when I was four
- my namesake's pocket watch
- a lion button from my great-great grandmother's dress
- some pieces of pottery I picked up in Amsterdam from a pile of dirt
- a couple of reproduction arrowheads
- a glass candy piece from Prague
- a leather wallet my grandpa made for me
- a Petoskey stone bolo tie
- my passports

Of course I feel like a total fool panicking and forgetting that I had packed the boxes away.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My pictures of All Soul's Procession didn't come out very well, so you will just have to imagine 1000s of people in elaborate costumes, altars, memorials, political signs. I was very touched to see many signs against the bullying and suicides of LGBT teenagers.

It was an awesome weekend with Evan. I'm heading up to Flagstaff on Friday so he can show me some archaeology sites.

Still waiting to hear how much money my destroyed Saturn is worth. The whole process seems to be soooo slow. The rental I have is a huge SUV. It is a monster and difficult to drive (hard to see out the back). I can see how something this big would totally crush another car.

I have been looking at a Ford Focus. It is a roomy, good gas mileage, and my mother would be able to get in and out of it easy.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Evan drove down from Flagstaff on Friday and we went to BK's for supper. The next morning we drove out to the Mission of San Xavier del Bac in the monster SUV that I have at the moment. In the plaza is a huge memorial to the immigrants who have died on the Tohono O'odham Nation as they attempt to come to America and realize their dreams.

183 lives ended because Republicans are afraid of Mexicans.

It is horrible to see so many small crosses, many with the Spanish word for "unidentified" on them. Meanwhile, their family members in Mexico and Central America wonder what happened to their loved one.

Hundreds of crosses.

The Mission gleams white in the beautiful blue sky. One of the two towers has been restored, the concrete plaster taken off and the lime and cactus juice plaster applied.

Mission of San Xavier.

The church was completed in 1797. Sometime in the 1790s, someone used paint brushes to paint elaborate portraits of saints, Jesus, Mary, angels- hundreds of images. It is somewhat overwhelming.

An angel.

In the museum room is one of the original illuminated hymnals- in Latin. Can you imagine the Native American choir singing songs in Latin 200 years ago?

This hymnal dates to before 1828.

Although I took Latin in college, I recognize only a few words. Afterwards, we traveled to the Presidio Park. Mummy called and we sat on the porch as I described the car accident and she told me how excited she is to come here in two weeks.

Evan is patient.

I made waffles and Evan helped make hash browns this morning. Afterward, we went on a hike to go see the petroglyphs. I was disappointed to see the vandalism happening there.

Saguaro and blue sky.

At the Sweetwater wetlands, we saw a variety of waterfowl including some widgeons.

Wetlands reflected.

We had lunch at Rosa's and I saw that they have the new calendars ready, I will have to go back and get one for Jimbo's holiday present.

Evan had the avocado enchiladas.

Evan is in the living room playing his guitar and singing while I type this. In a while we will be off to the All Soul's Day Procession.

Friday, November 05, 2010

So yesterday was all about a painful neck and back, but the combination of muscle relaxers and lots of sleep have resulted in my feeling almost back to normal. The adjuster just called and told me, as I already knew, that my car was a total wreck.

I have to say, the whole insurance process is very confusing.

Yesterday morning I went out to the ranch site and the workers had found two huge rattlesnakes in the basement of the house. They promptly chopped their heads off with shovels- not something I would have done.

Decapitated snakes (click on picture for full size).

What I did not realize is that the snakes continue to move after losing their heads- writhing around and squirming. It is really nasty to see.

Twenty minutes later.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So I am driving down Congress Street, just west of the bridge over hte dry Santa Cruz River, and there is a bus picking up passengers in the right land. I am in the left land, as usual, and as I drive along at 25 or 30 miles an hour, a big white SUV darts out in front of the bus, attempting to make a left turn onto Congress. I have time to say out loud, "Oh shit!" and smash into the front of the SUV. No time to hit the brakes.

There must have been some sound but all I remember is the cloud of talcum powder-like dust from the airbags filling the car. I sat stunned for a moment, and all I could think was, "Oh my Saturn is ruined." The car was filled with dust. My glasses had come off. A man appeared at my window and asked me if I was alright. Is aid, "Yes, I guess so." I was shaking. I undo the seat belt and get out. The young couple in the SUV have gotten out and he asks me if I am alright and I say yes. The front of my car is crushed, the hood smashed down (I think his SUV was on top of my car for a moment), hte bumper only a few inches off of the ground and all these fluids making a mess. The engine is still running and the man who appeared tries several times before he can turn it off.

The inside of my car is a mess. I had been out to the old ranch site that morning and collected about fifty bricks from a chimney they had taken down and were discarding. I had collected them for a walkway. All of them hurtled through the back seat, tearing it out, and about six or eight flew into the front passenger seat. Three hit the windshield and another batch landed on my work laptop and my green LL Bean bag, in which I had put four antique plates to hang up on my kitchen wall. The computer and one plate were smashed.

So the police finally came. The nice police officer gave the other guy a ticket. A towtruck came to take Saturn away. Patrick came over and brought me home, where the middle knuckle of my right hand swelled up from where one of the bricks hit it. I have scrapes from where I hit the steering wheel and seat belt (like I have said before, always wear your seatbelt!), but I am lucky I wasn't hurt worse.

The accident happened at 5:03 or so. By 7:00 GEICO insurance was calling me (the other driver's insurance) and offered to settle with me for the bluebook value of my car. I was polite and told them htat first I would be talking to my insurance agent and that I needed to go see the doctor just in case. I was kind of amazed that they would be so aggressive while my hands were literally still shaking.

And now I get to buy some new or newish car and I wasn't planning on making car payments and I really don't have the spare money lying around.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I traveled north to Richard's house and carved a pumpkin.

Mine is the one on the left.

On Saturday I cleaned house thoroughly. I was amazed at how much cat hair and dust there was, especially on top of the door sills. I managed to break a pane of glass while removing the window-mounted AC unit. Under a couch I found numerous sewer roaches cached there by Snowball. Sometimes, my degrading homosexual lifestyle is truly dirty and disgusting.
Unexpectedly, Chad called me and said he was coming to Tucson because he was bored in Sierra Vista. I had been planning to stay in (and had, in fact, turned down a party invitation from Patrick), but I dressed up as zombie redneck and Chad as a medieval man, and we went out to two bars, and both of us agreed that Tucson's nightlife, even on Halloween, is pretty non-awesome. Chad was super-delighted when I gave him the very unstable chair that looks like a Roman camp chair. He will be using it for his SCA events.

And on Sunday I was lazy and took naps, watched Doctor Who, and transcribed 1860s newspaper articles. Later, 35 or so children trick-or-treated and I ran out of candy. Pirates and Tron were the popular costumes this year.

This coming weekend should be awesome.

Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments powered by Disqus