Thursday, May 10, 2018

Book Eight: The Blind Contessa's New Machine

I don't know what to think of this book.

It was fanciful but kind of tragic.The ending made me feel as if everything else in the story was pointless.

I don't like feeling that way.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday Musings

I find it hard to get going on Mondays. I would understand it if I have a normal Monday through Friday work schedule, but I don't. I got off to another slow start today. I had intended to hit the gym, but blew it off around 9:30. Not good. I need to schedule Mondays more aggressively, rather than just see how it goes.

Lola walked around the block for the third consecutive day. She was happiest on Saturday's walk. It was colder and windy yesterday; we speculated that she might not have enjoyed herself as much because of that. Today she started smiling about halfway around the block.

I spent a good chunk of the day finishing a SAT test and checking my answers. It seemed easier than other tests I've taken. Or I could be getting better.

The Mets have morphed from marvelous to miserable over the last three weeks. They lost six in a row and lost first place. Tonight they won for the first time in eight days--barely. I'll take any win I can right now.

Tonight is the second anniversary of Bartolo Colon's first career home run. The Mets hit four home runs tonight. Coincidence?

I've been trying to take more photos of Lola. She's not cooperating.

These are the best; I'll keep trying.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Red Letter Day

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo.

Kentucky Derby day.

The Norwalk River Valley Trail Mutt Strut day.

Lola's designated birthday.

Spike's half-way day.


drum roll.......

Lola walked around the block with us for the first time.

Let's build up to that.

We met other dogs and people at the Route 7 commuter parking lot at 10 for the Mutt Strut. A police officer stopped traffic for us so we could cross busy Route 7. Lola seemed comfortable--a vast improvement over last week's crossing. Maybe we just need a police escort for her at all times. It was cooler and less humid than the previous few days--perfect for a long walk. We walked over an hour--Lola set a slow pace with lots of sniffing stops.

We picked up a goodie bag after we finished and headed to Mathews Park for the Norwalk portion of the Mutt Strut. After another 45 minutes--walking to Oyster Shell Park and back--we went to lunch at Burger Bar, where dogs are welcome and people tolerated.

All three of us dozed off after we returned home. I felt like another walk, but didn't want to drive somewhere first. At first Lola was afraid to leave the parking lot. I took her out front, and we sat on the steps for a few minutes. Then we started our walk, turning onto Maple. Our previous best had been a walk up Maple, turning onto Fairview where Lola balked.

Yesterday we made it completely around the block (technically six block lengths.) Lola didn't seem to mind when a few cars passed us. She enjoyed herself. We saw her happy face the whole time.

We're so proud of her; it was a special birthday.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

First Friday of May

April was a cold month with a few exceptions; it ended on a cold note. On May 1st temperatures jumped 30 degrees. This meant several nice walks with Lola during the week. We visited three different parts of the Wilton branch of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, Taylor Farm and Oyster Shell Parks.

Last night was the return of DPF (Dog Park Friday.) I put Lola's short leash on her and let her run semi-free. We've been doing this at DPF with her long leash for about a year. Unfortunately, the long leash gets caught under the picnic table, and we have to release her.

After we got home and gave Lola her dinner, Jeff and I headed out to First Friday Wall Street Lantern Parade. Some people carried handmade lanterns--probably made in the Norwalk Public Library's lantern assembly party that afternoon. It was fun; as we passed Banc House, people applauded us. We had a beer at Fat Cat  and got take-out pizza and kale salad.

First Friday was a beautiful spring night.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Some Good Things

I went to the gym four times last week--the first time of the year. I felt strong and good. I exercised for an hour home on Wednesday, and a half hour Saturday. I also walked with Lola--from 30 to 75 minutes each day.

I've been writing more blogposts recently: this will be the 21st in April. That's the best monthly count since last November. I wasn't actively trying to blog more, but it's nice to see. Maybe I can get around to other writing.

As we move into May, it finally feels like spring. Yes, we're still seeing chilly days--today it struggled to get in the 50's--but we'll bounce back faster to some warmth.

Lola's been getting better and better with other people, other dogs and the vacuum cleaner (still a work in progress.) She was very good at Taylor Farm today. I had her on the long leash. I didn't hold it, but could grab it if she ran anywhere I didn't like. I didn't have to. Twice she turned one way, but I wanted to go another. When I called her, she came to me. Yay Lola.

Nothing life-changing, but for now it's enough.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Box Seven: Riptide

Since I liked the first three books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child so much, my brother lent me a bagful more. Riptide was the fourth chronologically.

A brief summary sounds silly: a high tech team assembles to dig up buried pirate treasure on a mysterious island off the Maine coast. I said something similar about Relic--a monster lurks under the Museum of Natural History--it sounds silly, but there's so much more to the story (e.g. action, biology, mystery.)

I started thinking about the women in the Preston/Child books. All of the books I've read so far have multiple points-of-view. When I read Relic, I didn't realize that Relic was listed as part of the Pendergast series. I saw Margo Green as the main character in both Relic and its sequel Reliquary. Margo is a complex, fully-drawn character. So are the other major point-of-view characters: Aloysius Pendergast, Vincent D'Acosta and William Smithback.

The two stand-alone Preston/Child books I've read are Mount Dragon and Riptide. Although these also have multiple points-of-view, one narrator is prominent: Guy Carson  in the former and Malin Hatch in the latter. Each book has a professional woman as a key part of the narrator's team who is exotic, voluptuous and gorgeous. That's it: they are barely more than caricatures whose bodies distract and entice the narrators. I can't even remember their names. In Riptide, the woman exposes "dangerous" amounts of leg and breast.

It's silly and bad writing. How can the team that created Margo in their first joint work fail so badly in Mount Dragon and Riptide? 

That's a mystery I'd like to solve.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Artist Receptions

I want to do more art-related activities. When I was actively taking myself on Artist Dates, I found many fun things to do. Highlights were going into NYC to see Edward Hopper and Jackson Pollack exhibits. I didn't have to go into the city. I also went to a Haitian art gallery in New Canaan and saw a play reading at Norwalk Community College. Sometimes I just went to a fun store.

On Saturday, two art shows opened in Norwalk, and Jeff and I went to the opening receptions. The first was Sea Views by Brec Morgan. I knew him as a sign painter and muralist. It was nice to see his paintings. Unfortunately, the venue was in an interior design store. It was crowded and hard to move around; I got claustrophobic.

The second reception was for a show called Transformations held at Oakhill Mansion on the grounds of St. Philip's Church in Norwalk. The mansion is beautiful with a majestic staircase, many fireplaces, large rooms, and Corinthian columns on the patio.

The artists had hung paintings along the first floor, up the staircase to the second. Several artists studios were open. Back on the first floor, there a pianist performing, a bar and several tables of food. Norwalk poet laureate, Laurel Peterson and others read poems, but Jeff I didn't stay for that.

Thanks for the event email.