Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

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damselfly and a 'zine inquiry

I slept most of the afternoon, trying to overcome the weariness and downbeat mood I'd inflicted upon myself through getting off my customary sleep schedule. I'd have a nice long telephone chat with an old college friend, and a nice longish chat with my parents, so the early portions of the day were not entirely lost to my bad mood. But I did feel stretched and down, like Gollum trying to detoxify off paxil on Mount Doom.

I took a walk which included several circuits around the little park pond at the park down the street from our home. I saw a lot of little signs of nature on that walk. At one point, a half dozen insects that looked like dragonflies, only with transparent wings, hovered, all electric blue, above a portion of the water. At other places, tiny frogs, barely the size of a quarter, hopped into the water. Killdeer, those odd, misplaced suburban plover, shouted warnings and flew about the pond, while a swallow dive-bombed the pond, almost heedless of my presence. I saw green dragonflies perch on dense, vivid-green algae, and examined them with my binoculars. The ebay-purchased cheap French binoculars have served me in very good stead for insect and bird watching. I trained them on a scissortail flycatcher, which perched in a tree. Its tail feathers were nearly a foot long. I also saw an insect that was a kind of vibrant orange, which looked almost like a cross between a dragonfly and a wasp. I wish I knew my insects better; after dragonfly and damselfly, I am not very good at the nuances of the related species. I saw many mosquito fish swimming in the shallows, the females much larger than the males. I saw a black swallowtail flying high, almost out of vision, and a sulphur butterfly which flittered low, roving from here to there. After numerous circuits of the pond, looking into the fringes for insects and fish, looking through binoculars at the things I sighted, I walked home. A mom with her child in a wagon headed to the swimming pool.

I used our new lawnmower to mow the front and side yard. The old mower had been barely held together by bolts, and I used it well past its prime. The new mower did not require any of the frantic realignments I'd have to do to keep the handle from falling off.It was nice to make the yard look trim and neat again. I'll need to do some finish-up work and complete the back yard later this week.

I've had that sheepish feeling all day, which tends to happen sometimes when I am very opinionated in expressing myself to others and very tired. I like about myself that I say what I think, but I dislike about myself that I say whatever I think at the moment. As I change my mind on things, this probably makes me more flexible about publicly evolving my position than I might otherwise be if I adopted a more hesitant approach.

I noticed that sleepsleep put a mail art call over in mailart for a show to be held down in Dallas. Maybe I'll do a postcard, or try my first Artist Trading Card. I didn't clean up our upstairs spare room today, which I meant to do, but I'll have more time on tomorrow evening.

A reporter for a local music alternative magazine dropped me an e mail asking where I heard the Bronco Bowl was closing. That was easy, since it was in the morning news. I'm a bit like that Steely Dan song on such matters, where the fellow swears by every word.
I sent her an e mail with a number of hits from a google search on the topic.

I managed to find a home for the pastels I found for 3 dollars at the estate sale yesterday, and enjoyed looking at the full-color pictures of succulents in 75 cent succulent book that I also bought.
I may need more succulent plants in the near future, but I think that I might use a catalog and order something a bit more exotic, and yet hardy, like the less familiar sansiviera. That stuff, also called "snake plant" or "mother in law's tongue", is probably the single most hardy houseplant. Yet it comes in many varieties which do not as often get sold in stores, and I may try to buy a few.

I don't have to travel this week. I do have a small trial scheduled next week, which will require some preparation. I'm glad I stayed close to home today, and I'm eager to feel fully rested in the morning. My moods are very dependent on two things--sleep and stress. I have had too little of the former and too much of the latter in the past six weeks.

The Texas Travel Guide makes me long for a weekend in deep woods, near a quiet lake, with good barbecue, and a great novel. Oh, and museums.

I am pleased that my recent poll confirmed that many folks seem to get far more comments to their light and toss-off posts than to the posts in which they invest the most. I think that sometimes LiveJournal can provide such rich, satisfying connections that one can get disappointed when it does not provide more perfect connection. I think that for me, the traditional disadvantage of e mail/message boards versus communications involving facial expressions and tones of voice play a negative role. A lot of things about discussion that work for me in person--a mildly comic satiric tone, a love for emotionless exploration of issues through debate, and a fundamental "this is a friend speaking" softness of intonation--don't always come through on the printed page. I think in my earliest days posting to LiveJournal, I compensated more for this, and now I will redouble my efforts to add the words expressing a richer understanding of the point a poster or commenter is making.

I want to pick a date for a chess tournament in October. I've been disappointed with the response from other local clubs about cross-promotion, although people have been entirely kind. I think I'll just have to bite the bullet, set a date for a tournament in Octoberish, and then promote it through advertising in the chess publications hereabouts. This is a reversal from my original plan to run near-spontaneous ad hoc tournaments, which accords much more with my theory of chess as play, but I've learned in life that one must do what people want to get them to come to something.

Aside from the chess tournament, I have a lot of loose ends to tie up on a lot of projects--the CD, the novel (which merely needs an edit and the completed cover), the poems, the other poems. The mail poetry call is gradually gaining submissions, though I must promote it more actively than I have done. I must figure out how to draw the "infinite space, tiny apartment" illustration for the documentation, but otherwise I seem to have my ideas for documentation in place. I believe that I will have the desired "enough participants to work with but not so many as to be unwieldy", which is perfect for a first mail poetry call. The deadline is not until August 1, though, so it's early days yet.

As my various projects come into being, I'm already focusing on another creative project. I wonder if my LJ friends could input on whether it might be fun if I put out a 'zine, to which people on LJ could submit material. I've never done a 'zine, but it cannot be very hard, based on the ones I've seen (or is it "zeen"?). I keep thinking it might be fun to take all the tremendous creativity that appears in my friends' journals, and have them bottle it up into short-short stories, sketches, poems and notions. What do y'all think? Might that be fun? It's so easy to put things like this out nowadays, and it might be fun to create documentation. I love that word--documentation.
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