Yesterday we had our first mid-February warm day. The sky turned pure blue, the wind died down, and the sun shone,giving rise to a temperature of 68 degrees. I went to the Heard Natural Science center, and walked the trails. As I walked on the shaded boards of the wetlands portion, I saw two butterflies. Thus begins the portion of our year in which the landscape looks like Winter, but the days so often resemble Spring. In a few weeks, the Bradford Pear trees so many of our neighbors planted will come simultaneously into bloom, a shimmer of color for a moment, and then they'll transition into green leaves. I think I saw a grasshopper skidding by. I read my book about grasshoppers, written in 1943. I like that books of a certain vintage make you want to learn about science and nature. I wonder if the reason science education is fading is because the books for kids are less fun now.
I went to CDBaby.com to browse among the self-releasing artists' works. I think that if one is going to "talk the talk" about supporting the most indie enterprises, then sometimes one has to "walk the walk". I have an idea germinating of starting an on-line magazine for reviewing micro-label and self-released music. Several such sites exist already, of course, but my site would be more fun. I set aside the idea, though, as I am preoccupied at present. I also went to magnatune.com to get queenseye's latest album. She plays a pleasing form of pop music,with a rock sensibility and a good home recorded sound. When I become a famous kazoo recording artist, I have promised she can sing backup on one of my songs. Actually, I seem to get an e mail three times a week about the shipment of the music notation software I bought on eBay. My purchase came in the midst of an upgrade of the software, so that they are sending me the new version. My seller signs his e mails "Monkey Mike", which is a nice touch, although the idea of Curious George, banana in hand, selling me software filters through my mind. I know already the ambient pieces I want to write on the software, so I am awaiting it eagerly.
I went to the website for Abra Moore, but the entrance mechanism all but defeated me, emitting one of her songs, but not actually giving me entrance. The curse of using dial-up with the AOL half-browser strikes again.
My wife returned last evening from a quick trip to see my parents. She took a tiny airline to a small city near where my parents live. My brother-in-law kindly picked her up, which worked out well, as the U Rent Car Company did not seem to have an overwhelming inclination to rent cars. On the return flight, all the passengers showed up early, so that the plane just took off when they arrived. In my mind, this kind of thinking serves as a metaphor for the good things about where I grew up--a pleasing informality.
My mother remains quite ill, which causes me great sadness. We chose to send only my wife this weekend (I had gone the last two weekends), to avoid increasing her weariness through too many visitors.This also gave me a chance to rest, which chance I took. My sister called last night to make sure my wife arrived safely, and to give us the latest report. My sister lives near my parents, and has been a huge help to everyone during this time of illness. My wife and I went to a local chain place for dinner, where I had grilled salmon. I fell asleep early, awoke at 1:45, but then fell asleep again. I woke up this morning fairly rested, but with the sense of heaviness which accompanies such things.
Yesterday, I saw a lizard so tiny and wiry that it resembled a miniature creature from the Gumby land,
as if it had wires inside it. I saw a cormorant on our pond--as cormorants are great fisherbirds, it tells me there must be a fair number of fish in the pond (or perhaps until yesterday used to be, come to think of it). I am enjoying the 2005 Short Story Market book I bought, not only because I want to write short stories, but because many of the places there also want poetry, but don't appear in "Poet's Market". I like the on-line publications, because although they are in some ways less "prestigious", one can easily review their archives to see what they publish. This will be a difficult week.