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« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

18 posts from September 2008

The Cab Ride He'll Never ForgetSeptember 29, 2008

Have you read this? It's heartbreaking, and the most lovely small great moment.

ETA: Oh, you cynics! Darlings, this wasn't written as some sophomore attempt to make it around the world in one million emails. It was written by Kent Nerburn, and orignally published nine years ago in his book Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace, a meditation on the prayer of St. Francis. Anne Lamott called it "a lovely book." The zenmoments.org site that posted it crashed yesterday from too many hits. I'm not sure if they're bring their server back up, so I linked to a different site above. I love it.

Check, PleaseSeptember 27, 2008

I spent forty-five minutes this morning staring at the screen. I typed two words, and then forty-five minutes later I erased them. It was the right thing to do: what I was trying to write about needed to be in a different place, not where I was trying to force it to be, but it was really frustrating. Once I figured out where it needed to be, I was fine and I wrote for another hour without a problem.

This is fun, this editing thing. I've completed all the line-edits from My Agent (even in my head, she has capital letters), and now I'm working on the bigger stuff -- the scene additions, moving scenes around completely, and deciding on the wisdom of others. I've added a character, and I'm changing another one. My Alpha Male hero is a little too Alpha, bordering on complete jerk. I love him, but I can understand why he's a little too unlikeable. I'm softening him, which is fun. And I feel like I'm getting it! When I first sat down last week with the changes that needed to be made, I was overwhelmed. I didn't know if I'd be able to pull it off. But I think I will. I really do. I like the book so much better now, and I hope it keeps going that way.

In other news: I danced my legs off last night! The Whoreshoes played with Devil Makes Three, and you know how I LOVE them both. I think I might have hurt my knee a little because it's sore today. Run six miles, no problem, but dance in heels for hours, hurts a little. I loved my outfit, though. Black and white checkered dress and shoes.

It totally made me dizzy when I walked into our bathroom, though.

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I crack myself up.

Listening: My new Stopwatch Hearts station (link to left: Pandora is FREE, people, and it's the BEST) is awesome. Mellow chick electronica highly-produced tunes. Check it out.

Reading: I finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (link to right). And oh, god, I loved it. It was two things I don't usually go for: historical (WWII) and epistolary. But it was awesome. It's about the German occupation of Guernsey in the war -- did you even KNOW about that? It was fascinating and sweet and romantic and it made me cry. I do NOT cry over books. I don't know why -- I just don't. (Lonesome Dove, okay, yeah, I did cry. But I was so mad about it I threw the book across the room and refused to finish the massive tome twenty pages before the end. I'm still mad at McMurtry.) But this book, it made me tear up, and that's not even a spoiler -- it happened in the MIDDLE of the book. It was lovely. And there wasn't even a mention of knitting in the whole damn thing, which I thought was truly weird, and I still loved it. (I adore this picture of Guernseymen wearing their ganseys at a farmer's market.)

Now! To the beach with dogs and Lala, where if happen to find a lox bagel, I will eat it.

Fun With SaltSeptember 26, 2008

Without getting religious (let's leave that to Palin, why don't we?), I have to say that if I were God (always a good route to go in one's thoughts) I'd love creating salt. I'd add it to everything, even the ocean and especially potatoes, and I'd have fun with it like this:

(Salt on a metal plate on top of a speaker. Dogs don't like the sound of this video.)

Bark, bark. September 25, 2008

I went for a six-mile run today. Well, it started out being five, but at a crucial decision point I felt pretty good, so Clara and I kept going, committing to a longer loop, rather than an out-and-back.

That was dumb.

It was hot, and the route I choose took us inland, away from the water. Even Clara was cranky about it. I make sure she runs in shade when possible, and that her paws are fine, and that she's getting water (although she hates drinking from my bottle because she's a princess), but she was completely over the run after about mile four. She dragged on the leash so that I had even more weight to move forward, except when she was lunging maniacally at a groundhog skittering ahead of her.

It was a rough run. 

I worked in Alameda, where I was running, for years. I prayed for a cop car to drive by. I was planning on faking a fall just so s/he'd stop and I could get a ride back to my car. With my luck, though, I probably would have eaten pavement, so it's probably best I didn't.

And even with the duct-tape trick and new socks, I got blisters! What the hell? I was SO ready for the duct-tape to work. I think it did, it was just that after a while I sweated it off, and the tape then stuck to the sock, not my foot, causing rubbing in the arch area. I've tried everything y'all have suggested and more that you haven't, and I am left with the fact that I just have to get calluses.

Oh! But I've set up a donation page, with the help of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, so your hard-earned dollars really ARE going to honor my little mama. If you've already donated, your money has been moved to that pot, and I thank you with all my heart.

Grey's Anatomy tonight! And I'm planning on staying up late to watch it because I can. Also planning on knitting on the sofa, if I don't fall asleep first. I've been battling sleepiness for days now, and it keeps winning.

My dogs are barking because people are on the street in front of the house (the NERVE) and also, my dogs are barking, figuratively. I think I deserve a little ice-cream, maybe. Yup.

Oh, and dotty old Harriet would like to say hello. She may be almost 18, but she can still be very bossy.

Hi

I Have DecidedSeptember 24, 2008

1. that I will never stop being frightened when I see a tow truck in front of our house. Our tags are current, and we're parked legally, but old habits die hard.

2. that The Hives are my favorite pop-punk back to see live. I've loved them for about six years, but hadn't seen them live until last night. Wow. If Chuck Bass fronted a band, dude, he'd front that one. I've never seen a cockier set of young men on stage, EVER, and I loved them. Except the guitar player. He seemed like an ass. But the lead singer, mmmm. Dreamy.

3. that my favorite way to spend a day is this: Write for three or four hours. Take a long lunch, say an hour and a half, walking the dogs at Pt. Isabel. Have a lox bagel sandwich with capers, tomatoes, and cucumber. No onions, thanks. Go back home, write for another two hours. Get into bed and read a while. Take a nap. Get back up and write a little more. Seriously, it makes me SO happy. Can't I just do this? This whole Working For a Living is just the Man Keeping me Down, I think.

4. that today I will do #3.

Knee-DeepSeptember 23, 2008

I'm knee-deep in revisions of Love Spun, and I'll soon be hip-deep, I think. If you hear blurblings from over here, the water is too high -- send help. My Agent is awesome. She's really thought about this book, thought about it in a way that only I have. But that makes her able to ask the big questions, the ones that I really have to answer.

The water's rising.... Trying to shake a pernicious migraine, too. Need more coffee.

In BriefSeptember 21, 2008

A day off today. I managed to get some writing done, but it was like pushing mud. It's now after four o'clock, and I'm finally coming out of my fog. I thought I'd pop my head out of the ground to wave hello. Hello! 

You know who feels GOOD, though? Newly catnipped Digit, that's who. I love how stoned he looks at the end of the video:

Fish, PleaseSeptember 17, 2008

Fish

We have a line of cookbooks over on the microwave shelf (the microwave the cats eat on top of. It protects their food from Clara -- I know, I know, but we don't prepare food there).

Often, when we get home, the cats have pulled out a book for us to consider. (We don't know why.) Normally they leave it lying on the counter, but today their message was propped up, as you see above.

Loud and clear. Even with his back to us, eating his dry Iams, Willie would like you to know what he'd prefer.

In running news: Dad-in-law Tony (who has run 12 marathons) would like to remind me that had he known I wasn't training properly for the half-marathon, I would have received The Lecture, so whew! Close call! And he would also like to match up to a hundred dollars, like my dad did, so he'll match the next hundred dollars that is donated to MMRF (see this post). So your $10 will be doubled.....

(I feel like I'm doing an NPR fundraiser. I am a bad person because I cannot STAND to listen to the NPR fundraising. I switch the public radio station to the disco station imMEDiately when I hear it. Although we do donate when we can.)

Crossword CapersSeptember 16, 2008

Man, yesterday's 3-mile run SUCKED. I ran after work, so I wasn't on the Bay -- I was inland in the heat. I HATE the heat. I felt like a gazelle for approximately three steps, then I turned into a lumbering elephant and remained that way. A clodding overweight elephant, seventeen months pregnant.

But that was yesterday. Tomorrow will be better. I hope.

On a completely unrelated topic: You know a weird thing? I think my little mama left something behind when she died. And it's a goofy thing.

Crossword puzzles. The ability to do them. And the desire.

I have NEVER been into crosswords. I admire them. They're gorgeous, smart things. I loved the documentary Wordplay. Seeing Jon Stewart do the Sunday New York Times puzzle in pen was a heart-be-still moment. But I've never done them. Never wanted to.

Mom always had a puzzle at hand. And she could DO them.

Shortly after she died, I did a People magazine puzzle. Man, that thing was easy, except for the cultural references to rap stars and country songs that I just plain didn't know and had to work around. But the fact that I'd wanted to do it surprised me.

Then I started doing a co-worker's puzzle from her local paper. I could do most of it by myself and only looked up a couple of things online at the end.

Then I noticed her paper also carried the NYT puzzle, so I tried one of those. I tried a Sunday puzzle.

Um. No. I am smart, yes. But I am not that smart.

Or maybe it's a combination of things: I am not that smart AND the smarts I do have don't correspond to puzzle-smart. Even in these last couple of months of doing crosswords, I've noticed that some words pop up, over and over again. Ria. Who knew it was even a word, let alone a good puzzle word?

So I turned sadly to the Monday NYT puzzle, not expecting much. Suddenly I WAS A GENIUS. I find I really start to flag on Wednesday and I haven't tried a Thursday or Friday, since I don't see my co-worker that day.

But it's just weird. This sudden compulsion to do crosswords. It wasn't even an action of grief: I didn't consciously remember Mom and her puzzles until I was wondering what the hell was up with me. Why was I suddenly into this?   

"Is it crazy to think I got that from her? Sudden-like?" I asked Lala. She said no, that after her first wife Aura died, Lala had inherited her ability to cook without a recipe. And I can vouch for how good Lala is at whipping something up from ingredients like mustard and kale and pimento-stuffed olives.

A strange little unexpected gift.

Also strange and unexpected, but not so little, Digit, drooling on me for your pleasure:

Drooly

UpdateSeptember 15, 2008

Good night, moon. Thank you, my friends, for such a response. Damn! We've already raised $1310 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. In just a few days! That came about from a bunch of $10 and $20 donations and a couple of whoppers. It's amazing.

Really amazing. I find those words so small for all that I feel in my heart. You know?

Oh, and my dad left a comment saying that he'd match donations until he was up to a hundred bucks, and I think we have some slots for that left, so if you just want to give a little, he'll double it..... Nice, eh? I thought so.

Oh! And Jennifer with Purl Soho has been a doll and volunteered to donate the yarn, so if you win (I hope you do!) you can go to the site and choose either Lorna's Laces special custom colors yarn or Koigu KPPPM and then I'll knit them up for you. Whatever color you like. Yep. I LOVE that.

You can DONATE here, if you'd like. And then you can hope I actually make 13.1 miles. I'm worried, folks. But I have hope. I did three miles the other day like I had wings underneath my feet. It helped that Clara was overexcited and pulling because there were groundhogs running in front of us. But it was a GREAT run.

I gotta say, though, even with a 3-miler, I got those same blisters. And ow! I haven't bought the silk socks yet, but I've been using blister bandaids (the good kind) and BodyGlide. This is my strategy: To get blisters on my instep three times a week (they're small enough that they heal in a day or two) until I have big ole happy impervious calluses. Yep. I hope I can build those in a month. Gonna try.

Meantime, in unrelated news, loving True Blood. OMG - SO GOOD. Loving it. Can it maintain the level of excellence it's set up? Any ideas? (Haven't seen this week's episode, no spoilers, please.)

Win a Pair of Handknit Socks! September 12, 2008

Well, now.

Remember two days ago when I thought I ran six miles? I'd used gmaps pedometer to map it out before I left, but I ended up getting a little lost (don't ask -- lost on a straight line), and I thought I made up for it while I was running. Nope. Instead of getting those big blisters on my insteps in return for running six miles, I got them for only running 4.8. Not even five miles. Dude. I was so disappointed when I found that out. And I walked a lot of it, too. And I was slow. And I'd even imagined I might have gone seven miles! Wrong.

I was discouraged.

Then I went to the Nike Marathon website. I was reminded that their official cause is Team in Training. This is awesome. They're great.

Then I realized that on October 19th I would be surrounded by women running in purple shirts, all of whom had raised at least $2500 to go towards lymphoma, luekemia, and myeloma research.

Myeloma. What Mom died of three months ago.

And I realized I was jealous of those runners.

Me, months ago I put down my seventy dollars or whatever it was to register. I'd be wearing a plain tee-shirt and running, not helping anyone but myself and Nike (a whole 'nother ball of guilt).

And that's crap.

Let's change that, shall we?

I need motivation to run, to keep training. I'm [thisclose] to copping out, to saying I can't do it.

But If y'all are behind me, and I'm running to honor Mom and your belief in me and to do something good, I'll be there. With bells on.

So what do you think? Another little raffle? I absolutely don't care how much we raise together -- I have no set goal that I need to reach in order to run. As much or as little as you feel moved to donate helps SO much. Really.

Every $10 donated gets you a chance at a pair of hand-knit socks. So fifty bucks gets you five chances. You donate straight to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, LINK HERE. Then just send me an email with how many chances I should mark you down for.

On October 18th, I'll draw a random name and that person will get to tell me what size and color she wants her socks. Then I'll make them in a hurry and get them to her faster than I did to Carol who won Lala's AIDS lifecycle sock-raffle. (Carol! They're in the mail! Sorry! I hate the post office!)

On October 19th, I'll run the half-marathon with you behind me.  This is a way to honor my little mama and help others (like Annie Modesitt's husband Gerry) living with the disease.

And on October 19th, in thirty-seven days, I'll run the half-marathon as fast as I can (which will be pretty damn slow, I can assure you), with pride. I'll run with love.

Post six-milerSeptember 10, 2008


 

Me and my book waiting for my pulled pork sandwich to be called at the Seabreeze Cafe. I have blisters. Ow. But I feel good and I have orange'n'cream Stewart's soda so life is good.

Chatty

Ahhh. A day off. A lurvely day off, and I have nothing planned. I absolutely adore when my Google calendar daily email says in the subject line: You have no events scheduled today. There. I just went and looked at it again. I could just eat that line.

Hang on. I have to go get coffee. And maybe put on socks. It's a little crisp in here, THANK GOD. The heat wave is over for now.

Okay. Back, with socks and coffee. I feel chatty today. Hi! Pull up a chair!

I'm still loving my Kindle, have I told you that? It has several unexpected features: 

Feature one - It facilitates reading somehow, so that I'm reading more than I usually do, and I usually read a lot. I think it has something to do with the fact that it's normally with me, whereas I often forget to carry a book. With books, I usually have one in my car, two or three at work, and seven or thirteen on my bedside table. I read what's with me where I am or what I'm in the mood for, but I don't transport them. That doesn't leave me one while I'm waiting for the sushi to be ready, or at the post office (like I'm ever there. Hate the post office). I've never been in the habit of having a book in my purse. Knitting, yes. Book, no. Now that I have the Kindle, it's always around, and it pleases my non-monogamous reading nature. I can dip into anything that's in there.

Feature two - The shopping pleasure! In a weird way, I think it's saving me money. Go with me here. I hear about books I have GOT to read. I read about them online or in magazines. Then if I see them in the store, I have to buy them, or I might forget what I wanted to read. Or if I go to Amazon and find that it's a starred PW review and the blurbs are amazing, I'll just impulse-shop them right into my one-click cart. NOW, if it's available on Kindle (and most of my wants are), instead of buying it, I send the first chapter to my Kindle. For free. FREE! Then, of course, I forget it's there. I have maybe fifty first chapters sitting in my Kindle right now. But someday, when I'm not sure what to read next, I'll sample some and buy one (instantly downloading it) only if I love it and I know I want to go on reading. Grabbing those chapters completely fulfills that Book Shopping Urge that I get sometimes, and it doesn't cost me a thing until I commit to a book I'm already reading.

Reading now - Hillbilly Gothic, Adrienne Martini. Which brings me sideways to feature three: If you click that link to the right, you can see you have to buy it from a secondary book-source, probably used. Amazon doesn't carry it anymore. While I have my own issues with Amazon versus Indie bookstore (give the indies the love and the money!), there always remains the fact that Amazon is just so damn easy to use. And while everyone loves a cheap book, if I buy her book used, Adrienne doesn't get any of the money for her hard work. Writers should be paid, I think, and I like to give THEM the money, not a huge used-book warehouse in Indiana. Amazon carries her book in Kindle format, though. She gets the money, I get the instant gratification.

I'm loving Hillbilly Gothic. A memoir, she writes with what appears to be such transparent honesty that even when she admits the hard stuff, the ugly parts, you're still with her, still very much on her side. And get this: she's a Raveler! Martinimade over there, her blog is here. Her blog is as well-written as her book is. Enjoy.

I'm also loving the Murakami running book (link to right). I'm signed up for the Nike half-marathon in, oh, a MONTH or so, and I haven't run more than two and a half miles in forever. And even then, I was trotting slowing and wheezing a bit. Lordy. What with my propensity to blisters, I really don't think I'll make it through the whole thing, but I've promised a friend to give it a try. I'm going to try for a six-mile run today. Just to see if it kills me. If it doesn't, I'll go on running. If it does, well, I won't have to run again, will I? All this to say, I love READING about running. When I'm reading about it, I am SUCH a great runner. Lying in bed after two Manhattans and five brownies, reading his perfect prose about running, I fly with him, knowing the next morning I will probably run a voluntary half-marathon, just because I feel like it. Yep.

Not Reading now
- Anything Twilight by Stephenie Evans. I'm sorry. I'm totally sorry. I gave it the old college try, I really did. I read the first one and while it was fun, I  never bought into it. I wanted to love Bella, I wanted to want to be Bella, the best way to read a book, but I never did. Edward was mildly interesting, but not compelling. I finished the first and bought the second, wanting to buy into it. But I have given up. I am in the minority, I know.

Watching -
Fringe: I kinda liked it. That's as enthusiastic as I can be, but I'll watch it again.
Gossip Girl: OMG, that last episode was AWESOME. I love that show. It's not even a guilty pleasure anymore. I'll tell anyone. I LOVE it.
Long Way Down: Oh, Ewan. I love you, too.
ANTM: Go, Isis!

Listening -

To Digit complain.

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And now. Off to run. Wish me luck! And then to watch more TV and knit, because I can on a day off like this.

Where were his pants? September 8, 2008

Burglar victims wake to spice rub, sausage attack.

Really, my favorite news story in forEVer.

Wedding 3.0September 6, 2008

That was awesome. Really. Even better than I thought it would be.

1. No stress at all. We didn't even really tell anyone about it until Monday and only invited my sisters and La's brother and sister-in-law to the ceremony. It just happened that Lala's parents told us on Tuesday that they'd be in the area, so they got to be there too, which was unplanned but amazing.

2. Did I mention no stress? I dug my dress out of the coat closet an hour before we were supposed to leave. Yep. Still looked okay. Lala got held up at work and got home twenty minutes before we had to leave, and she made it with time to spare.

3. I was NOT the only lesbian knitter there getting married! Nancy Roberts, of Machine Knitting to Dye For fame (she's a genius), was marrying her long-time partner, Adrianna. So great. We lurve them.

4. The hair! Lala's had her orange stripe for a while now and I realized our photos might look kind of funny. I called her two days before the wedding and said, "I've been thinking. You know, I'm just not that comfortable with the idea of you have orange hair in our wedding photos." Then I paused, a LONG time, in which I heard her brain scrambling for some way to save her hair. Then I said, "Unless I have orange hair, too! Will you dye mine tonight?"

5. Pictures (more over here):

License
At the clerk's desk, waiting to get our license. So. Cool.

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Waiting for our justice of the peace to come git us and take us upstairs where the magic happens.

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I have gathered you all here today....

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Lala, me, Adrianna, and Nancy. You  can tell who's part of which couple by the color arrangements. (Nancy dyed that green yarn that Adrianna knitted up so beautifully. I wish I'd captured the sweater better.....)

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Gittin' hitched.

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The ring part!

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All done.

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Yay.

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Gotta have a Rachael self-portrait style shot.

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Outside Jack London's cabin.

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At dinner, at Soizic (right before sister Bethany (right) got slammed with a screaming migraine. Poor kiddo). Fantastic dinner. Thank you, Tony!

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Sister Christy and me. We might have had a few drinks by then. But maybe not. You never know.

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Hooooray!

6. After a family dinner, we had a drink-up with friends at Baggy's By The Lake, where we had our first date. Everyone appeared to have a good time. I certainly did. I believe there was bourbon and dancing involved, but again, that might just be a rumor. More party pictures over at my Flickr set.

7. We learned that Baggy's is a $30 cab-ride (not bad) home, given that the cabbie is employed by Grand Theft Auto. Damn.  I swear, if he could have popped a wheelie with his cab, he would have. Apparently Lala was terrified, but it felt like one big video game to me.

8. Love is good.

And a little moreSeptember 5, 2008

Driving home tonight after getting Lala her super-cheap bass (yay, bass!) off Craigslist in San Jose, we passed a truck with a bumper sticker on it that said, "Marriage = one man, one woman."

I don't normally react to bumper stickers since I live in the Bay Area, and you never know who's carrying, but I stuck my tongue out at him. He looked rather startled.

I mean, really. How is that okay?

It's like this:

1. We believe (don't we?) in equal rights for men and women.
2. If a man can marry a woman, then saying a woman can't marry a woman means women don't have the same rights as men do. It's the same reasoning that interracial marriage is allowed (gasp!). If a white man can marry a white woman, with equal rights a black man can marry a white woman, too.
3. It's that easy, and that's the bottom line. This line of simple reasoning is why the California Supreme Court is allowing Lala and I to get married today.

His bumper sticker was hateful. I understand that he has the freedom of speech, natch, and I don't argue that I want it taken off his bumper. He's got every right. But what an ass. He probably doesn't even get that he's being so hateful, so queer-bashing. "I just think marriage should be between a man and a woman. What's wrong with that? California has domestic partnerships, and that's pretty good. I know some gay people. I support them having domestic partnerships. Let them have that. Just not marriage." I've actually heard people say this, thinking this is an argument. They can't back it up any more than to say that it's the way things have always been, and it's what their pastor says. Not good enough, my erstwhile friend.

Marriage equals love. I know plenty of straight people who are dying to get out of the situation I've been trying to get into for years. I'm honored to be entering into this with my best friend, my sexy Lala, and if they take this away from us in the vote in November, we'll have to get all married again when we get it legalized again. And really, how long is my dress going to be in fashion? Pictures to follow. Thanks for loving us, and for fighting the good fight with your vote.  MWAH!

Happy ThingsSeptember 4, 2008

Do you know what I'm happy about? Well, many things. But namely:

1. Gettin' married again tomorrow. Yep. Third time's the charm, right? We're just doing a little justice-of-the-peace thing tomorrow afternoon with family followed by dinner out and then drinks at the bar where we had our first date. Legal! In this country! Or at least this state. Thanks, Tila Tequila!

2. Happy that I'm writing. I swear, since that conference a month and a half ago I haven't missed a day of writing except for the four days I was camping. The change? DOING IT FIRST THING. And not accepting excuses from myself. Even though I work 12 hour shifts, and need to get up at 4:45am, I've been getting up around 3:45, before the alarm rings at 4am, just to write. The best part? The rest of the day feels great -- you did what you really wanted to/had to do. You checked off that Big Life To Do and all the rest is just extra. I read something yesterday that basically summed it up: If you have to go to bed a little early with less TV watching/internet surfing time in order to get up early to chase your life's dream, isn't that worth it? Hell, yeah.

3. Happy that dogs is cute.

1

That's Clara, AKA the Sand Monster, flying by. I like how the photo makes her look like she's a really ugly, wet bird.

2

 

Beach! Even at high tide with seaweed grossness, it makes everyone happy.

Strawberry 2008September 2, 2008

I'd love to show you pictures of my weekend, but apart from a couple of really, really bad pictures taken of me while I was napping at the lake (Lala managed to get the camera out of my backpack which I was sleeping on without waking me), I didn't manage to get any good ones.

It was a good weekend away. For the most part. Strawberry Music Festival is something I've almost always gone to with the family. Mom was always a huge part of it. I went by myself a couple of times, but that was different: that was by choice. This year I expected it to be kind of hard. And it was. Friday night I ended up with a migraine, which I brought upon myself by drinking beer at noon and then sleeping in the sun and then drinking more beer. Really, I'm not good with beer. I always forget that when it's hot out, though.

Saturday was great, with the Knitters playing in the afternoon, Patti Griffin that night, and Lala's band The Whoreshoes playing Evergreen Lodge later that night. The place was packed, and the crowd was high-energy. The Lodge is about a mile in the pitch-dark from camp, and there's this wonderful spot between the two where you can't hear music from either place. It's just completely quiet and apart from a sprinkling of stars through the sugar pines, completely dark. I walked back alone and turned off my headlamp at this midpoint and sat on the side of the road, just feeling the dark and the quiet. It was wonderful. Then I had one (just one) Blair Witch thought and I hustled my ass back to camp, pronto.

Sunday was okay. The night was flipping rough. There's a built-in sentimentality to the last night of camp. You're regretting that the weekend is over, and you're dreading packing up to leave the next morning. Usually I'm with my family and there's that mad push-pull between loving them hard and wanting to get away. But Dad packed up and left early on Sunday, not staying till Monday (I suspect he was avoiding the pit I fell into, and he's smart). And the sisters weren't there. Lala was there, of course, but we were camped with her band so she was good and busy.

Sunday night was always the night we went to bed early. We'd leave the last show before its finish (or even skip it altogether). Mom would make tea and we'd sit around playing music half-heartedly. She'd offer us the rest of the hot water to pour on our washcloths to wash our faces before kissing good night. If we were at Live Oak, not Strawberry, we'd hear the last strains of the closing bagpipes floating in the distance. Mom LOVED hearing the bagpipes through the trees.

I lost everyone on Sunday (kind of on purpose) and then got good and sad. Dude. I just wandered around crying. Crying up at the stars, and lunging through the tent flap to hide whenever I heard people approaching our camp. Lala was so good to me, even when I told her I just wanted to be completely alone. She covered for me big time. I think she told our friends that I had another migraine. But no. I was just so sad, and so tired. I did get some of the best sleep ever that night, despite the fact that it got so cold both Lala and I were shivering at times. And the crying wasn't bad. I wasn't trying to get around it, or hide from it. It felt like some damn productive crying, you know?

But even with all that, it was a lovely time. I adore Lala's band, and my absolute favorite time of the festival was Saturday afternoon during the afternoon break. Before we went to the Lake to cool off, the girls rehearsed some songs for their 46-song set (really) planned that night. There were two kids camping next to us who thought the gals were the MOST amazing things they'd ever seen, and they kept rhythm with the music with whatever instrument they had at hand (once, the little boy clapped his boat oars together, and he was totally in time with the beat). We loved them, and I caught them here. (Dad's playing along, and what you can't see is our friend Megan knitting while I'm spinning.)

   

ETA: I was just going through the blog, looking for pictures of knitting (updated my Knitting page (link to top left), and found this old entry at Strawberry 2003. Bethany was just getting on the road to start her road trip. Mom waves us all goodbye as we drive out. You can just make her out, waving in green, Christy's Volvo, Bethany's truck, and my convertible seen in the picture. I love this picture.

Straw20