jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The tops of my thighs are serious about letting me know that they have been Used. Yoga this morning may have been an error in judgement; even on a good day 'powerful pose' is the devil incarnate, and today even the prayertwists were rough. Hoping for good things from the "continue to work/stretch those muscles rather than letting them freeze" plan.

Had my first dropped chain yesterday. I turned to head up a steep hill, shifted down to low gear in front, and couldn't figure out why I was pedaling and still losing speed. Walked up the hill, took a look, and convinced it to reseat on the gear with minimal fiddling. YAY I FIXED THE THING.

First ride in the light rain this morning. (Not that Vancouver really gets any other kind.) Rather pleasant, honestly. Kept me cooled down, kept me alert, feet didn't slip off the pedals too many times. Suspect I'm gonna want a rear fender sooner than later.

I spent some time yesterday and today studying the city's map of surprisingly comprehensive bike paths. Makes me want to get out and ride the seawall. Or Stanley Park. Or, hell, just through some of the more pleasant and interesting East Van neighborhoods.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, um, yesterday I bought a bike.

This was not something I'd ever intended to do.

and yet, here we are. )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I have driven the Fraser Canyon (most of it, anyway, 'round midnight my lack of sleep, lack of updated glasses, and unfamiliarity with logging truck ruts caught up with me and I handed off the driving) and stared down logging trucks. I have watched the seasons roll back from full-throated spring to the tail end of winter as we traveled north. I have walked a property that felt a great deal like Gram and Pop's place in Helena gone to seed. I have flown over mountains and forests in a 2x2 prop plane, and seen the approach to Vancouver in the daytime for only the second or third time.

It was a good trip. It's still settling out in my head: there's a lot to process, here. A lot a lot.

Gonna be an interesting summer.

bah, cars

May. 2nd, 2017 01:13 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
It only took one encounter with rush hour traffic (being routed over the Patullo Bridge in New West) to take me from "driving: actually pretty neat" to "traffic is the devil, cars are the devil, driving is the devil." Bah.

I did go out and take a look at a Pontiac Solstice on Sunday, though. This is a car that I've been vaguely envious of since I saw the posters for the then-new concept car when I was buying Straylight back in 2005. It's stylish and eye-catching and reasonably priced, which are all things I admire. It also has literally no cargo space whatsoever. The way I saw it described was "you could carry a two-four in it, if you poured it out." I didn't really believe this until I saw it for myself, but, yeah. No back seat, no trunk, no space behind the seats for anything larger than the obligatory ADC map.

Didn't get to test-drive it: it was in a dealership showroom and getting it out would have required more waiting and more car-tetris than I was willing to put up with, particularly on a rainy day. Oh well.

I /would/ like to have access to a fun-to-drive car, but I'm not willing to pay real money for that, so. I'll continue dropping money on carshare cars when I feel the need to not take transit or walk, I guess. Possibly look into picking up a bike, though I maintain that cycling in traffic is a more active expression of a death wish than I'm really looking for right now.

This evening I'm off to The Interior. Williams Lake tonight, Prince George tomorrow, and thence to Fort St James. This will be my first trip within BC further than Harrison Hot Springs, which is about an hour and a half out of town. Should be interesting. Definitely gonna be interesting to see how I respond to an actual lengthy road trip.

also

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:35 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
The thing about depression is that thinking too much about it puts me back into that headspace, and now is not a good time to explore that.

Which is to say: thank you for comments, and I'm reading them, and I hope to be able to respond to at least some of them this week.
jazzfish: Two guys with signs: THE END IS NIGH. . . time for tea. (time for tea)
Friday evening I'd intended to meet Emily for dinner at the only source of gator in Vancouver and then catch a music performance. On the way to the restaurant we passed a theatre advertising that this was the last weekend they were showing Angels in America Part 1, and figured we'd go to that instead.

Only, I'd started feeling a little chilled after I left work, and noticed myself drinking a lot of water at dinner and generally feeling kind of ... not really lightheaded, not really spacey, not really achey, but ... feverish. So instead we went home, and Emily finished her sign for the Vancouver Science March ("Be part of the SOLUTION not part of the PRECIPITATE") and I took an hour and a half hot bath.



I woke up the next morning feeling pretty much okay, and saw Emily off into the damp while I waited for Erin. We'd been kicking around the idea of going down to the States this weekend with some other folks, but I think we'd settled on just having a calm couple of days at home.

On the way there I got to experience my first moving vehicle accident. Not very fast moving, but still. Erin had just pulled out to turn left when someone who'd looked like they were turning right didn't.

I've been in several other accidents, from the time when I managed to come to a stop but the person three cars behind me didn't to the time when a concrete pillar at a gas station scooted into the passenger-side of my rental car at five in the morning. There's something different-- more visceral-- about being fully in motion at the time, and also about not being the one driving. Couple days later I'm still occasionally flashing back to the moment of impact, because I happened to be looking in that direction. It's not horrific or frightening, it's more "i can't believe this is actually about to happen."

Erin's car was rendered undriveable: body crunched up, tyre shredded, likely a snapped axle, possibly some engine damage. Probably totaled, since those things will cost more than two grand to fix.

We retreated to the safety of my place, and eventually made our way to Erin's, and the day turned from "quiet relaxing" to "recovery" and then "buying a car." Erin's out of pocket all this week for a school thing, and had been planning on driving her car, with a bunch of her stuff, up north the middle of next week. Which meant that she needed a car, pronto.

So Saturday was spent looking for cars, and on Sunday I rented a car (I'd been planning to anyhow) and we drove up to Squamish to test-drive one, and she ended up buying it. But that still took up much of the day, and much of the rest involved her frantically packing for a week away on a school trip, and then heading out past Maple Ridge for that. Not precisely the restful weekend I'd been hoping for.



Enterprise put me in a Hyundai compact that reminded me a lot of Straylight, my last car. Straylight was a low-riding Saturn coupe that I bought after my previous car caught fire on I-81. It was no hi-performance sports car but it was still fun to drive, and I enjoyed the existence of the trick third door as well. For city-driving or traffic-driving I would have preferred a somewhat more maneuverable Smart; for highways or just point-to-point, Straylight was wonderful.

(When I moved north to the land of carlessness, I sold Straylight to my friend Stephen. I believe it had an unfortunate encounter with a tractor trailer in the Affle House parking lot a few years ago. Sic transit gloria transita.)

By the time I left DC I hated driving, partly because I had to drive to get anywhere but mostly because driving in DC means traffic. Looks like five years was about enough time for that to fade. I genuinely enjoyed driving up and down the Sea-to-Sky. Even the backroads of the camp I left Erin at were kinda fun, though also stressful, due to rain and hunger and uncertainty as to exactly where I was going.

I miss road trips. I miss the freedom of getting anywhere without concern for transit schedules and flaky buses. I miss Straylight. I never thought I'd say that.



At least there was yoga this morning. I feel much better for that.

There's something bubbling under the surface about yoga and about things that make me feel more like me, and how that's changed, but it's not ready yet.
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
Will Moore RIP. The comments are insightful, particularly CassandraLeo's, particularly when paired with Five Lies Depression Told Me.

I don't know. At this point I feel confident in saying that I was depressed by summer 2012. That I was probably depressed by September 2011, and likely October 2010, and back and back and back with a little less certainty at each milestone. That being laid off eased up certain pressures but not others, and that after six months, being off work had done about as much good as it was going to. That I remained depressed up through last summer and on into the start of fall.

Still, I'm reluctant to identify as "depressed." I guess maybe I am, if frequent suicidal ideation and sporadic self-harm are anything to go by. I don't know. I feel pretty okay these days, but then oxytocin is a hell of a drug. Ask me in a month.



Too, I'm reluctant to try antidepressants for several reasons. In no particular order:

One, I am not the most reliable observer of my own mental state, and would prefer not to lock myself into something that maybe works with unpleasant side effects.

Two, finding a doctor in this town is a fool's errand.

Three, I would much prefer to sort out the external stressors in my life and see what's left after that.

Four, I've tried drugs once. I was on Prozac for a little over two years, from the end of high school through the first two years of university. It clipped the highs and lows of my emotional state, which I guess was a tradeoff I was happy to make at the time, and also sharply limited any pleasure I took from sex. Not the drive, mind you, just the physical pleasure.

This was under the direction of a terrible, terrible counselor chosen by my parents, at a time when their worry was "clearly there's something wrong with our son, he's not keeping up with his schoolwork." (A caricature, but not, I think, a wholly unfair one.) It's possible that that whole experience has made me averse to the idea of being depressed.



I don't know what the point of this post is, either, other than leaving a record where I can find it later. At about this time, Tucker began to consider that maybe he was clinically depressed and had been for well over a decade.

Eh.
jazzfish: five different colors of Icehouse pyramids (iCehouse)
I'm at the Gathering.

I'm doing better this year than last year. Partly that's due to having a room to myself. I like Scott R quite a bit but our schedules collided just enough that I never really felt comfortable there. (As opposed to Christine, who was asleep when I woke up and otherwise basically never in the room at the same time as me.) Partly it's just, you know not being horrifically depressed. Which I'm pretty sure I was last year. I'm also taking a bit better care of myself, both before and during.

Anyway. I've only been here since Wednesday night, because time off is a valued commodity and because Erin vanishes for the far north in a couple of weeks and squeezing in as much time with her as possible is important. It's been good. No super-duper new games this year, not really even anything on the order of last year's Ponzi Scheme. Some good 18xx games, some good shorter games.

The passage overnight through Toronto and training down still seems to be the best way to get here. I had a middle seat for the flight but they gave me some sort of nicer, roomier seat, so it wasn't bad at all. Redeyes are still the most reliable way to get me onto East Coast time.

I feel like this is the con of my heart, in the way that BGG.con isn't. A lot of it's the venue: the light's better, the noise level is lower. Some of it's just that I've clicked really well with a lot of people here. I could do that at BGG.con if I went back ... but it's loud, and glaringly bright, and super-busy, and just not really a thing that interests me, not if I've got the Gathering.

The people. My first year here Eric B started teaching me 18xx games about midway through the week, and my second year he and his gaming friends sort of took me under their wing, so I've pretty consistently been able to find people to game with and to talk to. And I'm gradually meeting other folks as well and recognising them from year to year. And vice versa, which will probably never fail to surprise me. People remember me! They even sometimes seem excited to see me! It's ... neat. Eric hasn't been here the last couple of years due to life stuff, and I miss him and hope he can make it next year, but Joe R and Jeroen and all have been fantastic as well. I really like the sense of ... community, I guess, that I have here.

In a few minutes I'm going downstairs to play what will probably be my last big game of the weekend, and then tomorrow I'll maybe play some lighter stuff and fly home through Newark, with another Vancouver local who got the same flight I did.

Home. That's a thing.
jazzfish: an evil-looking man in a purple hood (Lord Fomax)
Well.

Via [personal profile] firecat, [personal profile] med_cat has done a fine service by translating relevant bits of LJ's new Terms of Service.

We knew (or at least suspected) that this was coming.

As before, I wholeheartedly recommend Dreamwidth as an alternative. I find it to be like LJ but less deliberately frustrating. [personal profile] rebelsheart offers a guide to leaving LJ for DW.

I'm trying to decide how much I want to reduce my LJ footprint right now. Crossposting and commenting will continue to be enabled for the time being, and I've not (yet) deleted or flocked my entire journal. (Among the reasons I'm not deleting at this time: some number of pre-2011 entries contain links to other LJ entries, and I'd prefer not to linkrot myself.)

We shall see.
jazzfish: Exit, pursued by a bear (The Winter's Tale III iii)
I'm notoriously bad at determining whether I like doing something, particularly something that's new to me. It took me at least a year before I could say "yeah i like viola," for instance.

bendy )

la

Mar. 29th, 2017 12:20 pm
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Been feeling fried lately. Partly that's due to having a lot going on, little of which bears public airing. It's getting sorted, is about all I can say for that. Looking forward to the Gathering in a couple of weeks, even though I'll only be there for a few days this year.

At my viola lesson last night I managed to work out much of why I've been having so much trouble with my left hand. On cello the left hand ought to be in a perfect C shape, fingers more or less perpendicular to the fingerboard and only touching the neck at the fingertips, thumb resting on the neck behind the second finger. I've mostly-unconsciously carried this over to viola, where it's almost entirely wrong. I end up supporting the viola with my thumb, leaving my hand extremely tense and having trouble reaching the lower strings. It worked well enough as long as I stayed mostly in first position, but now it's making it exceedingly difficult to shift.

So I talked to Tegen about how I couldn't figure out how to relax my hand, or to keep my thumb off to the side of the neck like she's been telling me, or to generally have any kind of flexibility and suppleness to my left arm. And between us we got my left hand into proper position: base of the first finger resting on/below the neck, so that that's where I'm supporting it; fingers bent at sort of a 30-degree angle instead of straight on to the strings. This is going to take some amount of practice to get in the habit of, but will almost certainly make my life much, much easier.

Now if I can just find more than a couple of nights a week to practice.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
Confession time: I've never read The Once and Future King. I adored the Disney Sword in the Stone when I was young, and watched Excalibur before I had any real sense of what was going on it in. Those and a general cultural osmosis formed most of my Arthurian background. I read Lawhead's Pendragon trilogy in junior high, and found it increasingly unreadable from Taliesin through Merlin through Arthur, and don't think I ever got through the tacked-on fourth volume.

But I like reading aloud, and Erin evidently likes being read to and is exceedingly fond of Sword in the Stone, so I've dug up a cheap ebook copy of OFK. It's exactly the kind of ... Edwardian? Early-twentieth-century English prose style, anyway, that I'm partial to, the same as one gets from Milne or Beatrix Potter ("And when Mr. John Dormouse was complained to, he stayed in bed, and would say nothing but ‘very snug;’ which is not the way to carry on a retail business."), or apparently Wodehouse. Very very dry and reserved, but with gorgeous language, and with a sense of such solid /joy/ just underneath. (I am told that the rest of OFK is much less joyful and more bitter.)

This particular copy of OFK consists of five volumes: The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind, and The Book of Merlyn. Poking around, it looks like the last was published posthumously, but complete, and always intended as a final volume. So I'm happy to have that.

It's The Witch in the Wood that's got me a little confused. According to Wiki, The Witch in the Wood is an earlier and much longer version of the 'standard' second volume, The Queen of Air and Darkness. I'm generally all for Author's Preferred Edition, but in this case it seems more like two completely different books.

Anyone out there read both and have an opinion?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Advice on how to play a gig, by Thelonious Monk: two pages of handwritten notes from Monk. "Don't play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music's just imagined."

I Stopped Trying To Be Quiet During Sex & Here's What Happened: "I often forget to take care of myself, and to give myself the kindness I'd give to someone else."

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship: "Maybe I looked like some nerdy gigolo or this elegant woman's attentive secretary. If we made no sense from the outside, it didn't matter. We were mostly looking at each other."

Snakisms: variations on the old game Snake, each inspired by various philosophical 'ism's (stoicism, asceticism, existentialism, etc). Hilarious.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
Jeez, it's been awhile. My reading of actual printed books has fallen off dramatically the last few months. Partly that's due to the croweded #99 bus being not terribly conducive to reading; partly it's due to being ridiculously busy. But a couple of weeks ago I pulled out a physical book and started reading, and I immediately felt so much more relaxed than I had in ages. Worth remembering.

What are you reading?

Fire On the Mountain, Terry Bisson's alt-history novel wherein John Brown's 1859 attack on Harper's Ferry is successful. Now it's 1959 and astronauts from Nova Africa (f/k/a "the American South") are about to land on Mars, while back on Earth the journal of a man who fought with Brown and Harriet Tubman is being delivered to Harper's Ferry for the centennial of the raid.

I'm enjoying it so far. Partly that's a combination of familiarity (it's set in Appalachian Virginia), partly it's the well-done unspooling of the alt-history combined with decent prose. Interested to see where it goes from here.

What did you just finish reading?

The Incrementalists, by Steven Brust and Skyler White. First reread. I'm more fond of it this time around: on first go I was expecting some sort of world-shaking plot to go with the potentially world-shaking setup, and came away disappointed I'd not gotten it. Knowing that it's a relatively small and well-contained story makes it easier for me to enjoy the story that's there. And it's well-written (of course) and well-characterised, and just generally fun. I'm glad I kept it.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Skill of Our Hands, sequel to The Incrementalists. I'm quite looking forward to it. After that, who knows?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
On Wednesday I finally got the home office area set up. Now I can work from home with an actual monitor and keyboard and trackball and standing-desk, rather than laptop on couch/bed.

It's all in acceptable shape, but only just. I'll need to drag in another mat or two to stand on, to get the desk to the right height. My Mac keyboard has lost the use of the S key and spacebar, but I've got a Windows keyboard which works well enough for now. The real problem is that Microsoft hasn't updated the Mac software for my trackball in several years, and it won't talk to the latest version of macOS. So the trackball works, but the buttons are ALL WRONG. I've found a couple of potential workarounds but they looked more involved than I wanted to get on Wednesday afternoon. Sometime next week, I expect.

The office is actually the back of the second bedroom. It's got yellow walls that desperately need some art hung, the (two? three?) TUCKER'S OFFICE boxen need to be unpacked onto desk / bookcase, and there's some other miscellaneous /stuff/ that needs sorted or scooted or something. But the window's nice (though glare is problematic in the afternoon) and it's good to start to feel like there's a space that's mine again. The 'office' in the New West place was that, more or less, but it was dim and stuffy and caught a lot of dust from the dryer vent. This room is substantially nicer, if more cramped.

There are things about this apartment that frustrate and irritate me: the laundromat-style laundry, the dining room being a little narrower than we'd thought, the kitchen in general. Overall, though, it's not so bad. It'll do for now.



I am also now the proud owner of a bass guitar (Freeway 4) and an amp. My friend Chani's partner had been talking about selling his bass and amp for, o, months now, and it's sort of been at the back of my mind since then.

I think I have this idea that it'll be faster to pick up bass than it has been for viola, or that I'll be more readily able to find places/people to play bass with than viola, or something. This of course all depends on me finding my way to the alternate universe where I have enough time to learn not one but two instruments.

I'm also looking into an ear-training app for the phone, for commutes and such. And perhaps some actual formalised music theory learning, instead of the ad-hoc bits Tegen's been teaching me.

I'm not sure why music's becoming more of a focus than fiction-writing. Maybe it's that I understand how to get better at music, or that I'm more comfortable with not being very good. There's something in there about smashing awful pots, too. With music I'm learning a skill; writing feels more like creating a work. And yes, I do know that there's a hell of a lot of skill inherent in writing, skill that improves with practice, but I've not figured out how to feel comfortable practicing my skills in fiction.

Or maybe it's as simple as music being what's pulling me right now. Being more interested in accessing a space without words.

It's not like I can make rent (well, "mortgage payment," which sounds even worse despite being a smaller number) on either of those activities in any case. So in that sense it doesn't really matter which it is, as long as I'm having fun with it.

As always, we shall see.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
Cripes, how has it been nearly twenty years since Clinton Calls For National Week Off To Get National Shit Together: "'I am certain,' Clinton told the American people during the radio address, 'that you, too, have a great deal of shit piling up. Now more than ever, we, as a nation and a people, need this time off to finally deal with all the shit we've let slide.'"

Because we could use one of those right now, i tel yu whut.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Sitting in a cafeteria outside Granville Station, watching people walk by, reading. Or too tired to read. How does that even happen? I know how it happens when it's past bedtime, but at five in the evening?

Watching people. Today I have: gotten a music stand and mute so I'll feel less awkward practicing the viola; done some repetitive work correcting a thing I did a month or two ago that I thought would be useful, and was but had unexpected side effects (unrelatedly, work does not appear to be doing the stupid thing from last week, so yay); written to my parents again and perhaps it will get through this time; taken a profile-silhouette photo of myself a la Hitchcock; listened to David Francey's "Nobody Lives Here No More" "Torn Screen Door" a dozen or so times; gone running. I think that's it for useful.

They worked their fingers to the bone / Nothing left they can call their own / Packed it in under leaden skies / Just the wheat waving them goodbye

And tonight I'll write with Steph and Kat and Theresa, at least in theory, and then I'll go home and intend to practice and we'll see how far intention gets me.

I am tired, wrung out, stretched thin. I don't know that this is actually the case in any larger sense but that's what it feels like. Possibly too many people at housewarming yesterday? Possibly too little actual downtime? Possibly too much rattling around in my brain to settle down?

Had a life that they tried to save / But the banks took it all away / Hung a sign on a torn screen door / 'Nobody lives here no more'

I should enjoy the people-watching from here, I think, if I didn't have someplace to be. Coming up from and going into the Granville skytrain at rush hour, all manner of interesting and no sense that I have to be a part of it.

Onward.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
It's a bits-and-bobs kind of week.

Spent the last weekend sick with some sort of short-term head cold. This is perhaps the least offensive illness I've ever had: my throat and lymph nodes ached and my head felt vaguely muzzy for a couple of days, but I remained more or less entirely functional. Which is nice. Maybe my immune system's coming back up to snuff.

On Sunday [personal profile] uilos and I had a slowish morning, which was nice. Afterwards we went out for a somewhat errand-y afternoon, full of shipping packages and attempting to sell books and just generally wandering around town a bit on a gorgeous day.

Then come Monday (a BC holiday) Erin took me out for a wander through the Strathcona community garden ("someone put in a garden plot with a sign that had a permit number listed on it, and then more plots appeared, and eventually the city showed up and said 'uh this permit isn't valid,' and then after some discussion they said 'whatever, y'all keep on keeping on'"), which is a pretty great space even in the grip of winter. It's partly hidden by blackberry brambles (used to be much more so, I gather), and has an eclectic mix of herb gardens, garden gardens, orchards, a small lake with water-plants on the edges... Would ramble again.

She also took me to an ice cream place with 238 flavours, which is exactly as overwhelming as you think it is. Chestnut and apple-wasabi and fruits I'd never heard of, chocolate sorbetto and mint cookie dough and a decent cinnamon. And just under a mile from the apartment, which seems potentially dangerous. (I still think of the apartment as "the new place." I suppose that'll change eventually.)

The apartment is slowly starting to look inhabited. Art's going up, the bed in the second bedroom is together, we're down to a very few boxen. We're having folks over this coming Sunday so that's a deadline of sorts for figuring out large-art, I guess.

Work is threatening to be intensely stupid in the near-term, but so far it's only threatening. A terrible customer keeps requesting detailed documentation of a kind that we don't provide, for free. Last month someone finally said "okay, we're gonna write up how much work that will take and how much it'll cost them, and they can either pay up or shut up." We put that together (verdict: roughly nine person-months) and handed it to the appropriate people. Today we've been asked to revisit this estimate, and provide how long it'll take if we all pitch in rather than having just one person. This ... seems ominous. Big customer meeting tomorrow, after which I guess we'll hear whether they pay up or shut up. Hoping desperately for the latter. Harbouring secret thoughts of a career shift, though god only knows to what.

Viola continues. I'm beginning to learn how to shift, which means revisiting how I hold my left hand, which has me feeling again like I have little idea what I'm doing. I am also beginning to develop, mm, not just a sense of musicality (though that too) but the ability to translate that into the sound of the piece I'm playing. I suspect that given time I might actually get to a point where I'm happy with how I sound. Though not for a good long while at this rate... Next October makes three years; I'll re-evaluate then.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Snoring cat in the catbox.

Black squirrel playing in the snow outside.

Decent tea.

Nobody else around.

I have really missed working from home.
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
I don't know if I ever actually saw this or if I just heard about it, but:

Abby had, at her desk at work, a sign that read HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS with a vulture perched beneath it. Or maybe on it, that seems more likely.

Which, I just now realised, is why references to 'the thing with feathers' always make me think of vultures. I suspect this was not actually Emily Dickinson's intent, but there it is.

i miss you, abby.

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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