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January 1st, 2003

"it looks like a ship to me"

Yesterday the mail brought two very nice things. One was a nervousness exchange from texastornado_91. She was only obligated to send me something wonderful she made, but she went above and beyond our contract terms. She took her nanowrimo novel, Vionelle, part I, and put it in a mini-book with tiny type, all hand-bound. I'll have to find a magnifying glass. This should be fun! In addition heymaggie sent me a cool bit of "random art". People send me the coolest things. I must get busy sending out more of my un-cool but earnest things.

Now we're off to the movies.

Seagulls on a warm January day

I spent the first part of the morning watching season 1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon episodes. The first season was exceptionally strong, and I miss characters like Jenny Calendar. This season now in progress is also very strong, which is remarkable for a show to stay quite good so long.

We got up late, and missed the morning showing of the film Evelyn, so we went to see the new Harry Potter at 11 instead. We enjoyed it, although my wife, who was wearied by our travels last week, slept through a bit of it. After lunch at the local Pakistani buffet, she went home for a nap, while I popped on walking shoes and headed to McKinney Towne Lake Park for a walk. Just off Exchange, I saw another tiny sparrow hawk, swooping down upon some unseen prey, so that his golden chest was colorfully visible. A fair number of people were walking the sidewalks around the lake, as I was, but it was not too crowded. The day was unseasonably warm, reaching up in the very high 60s, and the sky was blue with a few fluffy clouds. I noticed a couple of seagulls on the little lake, which are an unusual addition to the year-round geese and ducks, the grackles and crows, the "once in a while" hawk or woodpecker and the herons which one usually sees on the lake.
I looked overhead, and dozens upon dozens of seagulls were hovering. I thought to myself that the entire day could be a January day in coastal Southern California, except that the trees were all wrong, there was not enough chapparal and sage, and the place looks more Bakersfield than Marina del Mar. That is to say, I suppose, that the park could have been just like coastal southern California, but for the fact that other than the temperature and some birds it had almost no similarity to coastal California. The gulls and the warmth did have me California dreaming a bit, though.

I remember a January Sunday at the Whittier Narrows nature reserve, some half an hour inland of Long Beach, some years ago.
Huge bare trees were filled with myriad thousands of crows. The crows were all emitting cinematic caws as if on cue, reverberating as if they were recording an ambient crow music album. The entire scene was so real that it seemed surreal.

My friend scottm put our electrical football field music on CD. If I can just maintain the energy, I'll get it and another thing ready to mail off for duplication tonight. Then it's just a matter of covers and jewel case insertion and that project is done.

I have much to do before we leave for a short vacation on Saturday. Even after these holiday break days, I am ready for some time off to just read and spend time with my wife as we snorkel and hike and talk.