Saturday, September 2, 2023

Tech Support and Amazing Monologue

In 1856, a 17-year-old girl named Adeline Harris started making a unique quilt. Over the next two decades, she sent pieces of silk to famous people from around the world and they signed them and sent them back to her. She assembled them into a quilt with a tumbling blocks pattern (aka, the Q*bert pattern).

The signatures that Harris was able to acquire are astounding: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dickens, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Samuel Morse, Alexandre Dumas, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alexander von Humboldt, Washington Irving, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Oh, and eight US Presidents: Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant.

Friday was a glorious sunny and bright day. The afternoon temperature was 29°. Except for Sunday, we are expecting a brilliant week of weather. Yay!

The new iPad that is very small, is charging. It has an attached keyboard that makes using it for my speech generator is much, much easier than using the screen keypad. Jan was wonderful. She signs, she understands what it’s like to be severely speech disabled. It was a wonderful session that I had with her, and I’m excited about using my new devices—very excited. 

But my excitement waned when, last night, I discovered that charging the keyboard did not make it work. I have written for help to CAYA, but they will not get my email until Tuesday. So ... more waiting.

When she left, I started watering my gardens. It’s back to that again, but I get 2 days off on Sunday/Monday because it’s predicted to rain on Sunday. My gardens look much better now that Bronwyn and Amanda have weeded and topped all the beds with compost mixed with soil.

Bronwyn didn’t arrive until 1:30 and she didn’t stay long, but there has been a tremendous improvement in the gardens. I am very happy with her, and her work and I felt her bill was entirely reasonable. I wrote her a heartfelt thank you letter. It was sciatica—that and my friend Beth’s mantra—hire someone!—that got me to take action. Henceforth: I water, she plants and husbands the gardens. Hooray! She’s young and healthy and warm.

And Dave is going to get the splitter next week. His daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Gray, are here for two months. I’ve invited them all for dinner, and they’ve offered to help me split a lot of the big pieces of wood that I don’t want to wrangle alone. I am so fucking glad I moved here. It’s wonderful how much I get from this community. The renewed deck, plants, zero gravity chair, food, help when I was in hospital, my gay posse here, etc. etc. 

Wow. Fuck. I wish I could do my monologue as well as I did last night. Wow. I was brilliant, and as the owner of a bulldog of an inferiority self-image, that’s saying something. I learned how to do it last night. I will try to do it again today, minus the marijuana. I pray that I can do it again. It would make me proud to do the shows like last night.

It was the slowest I have ever done it. I’m often shocked by dialogue in film. I find characters kind of speak in phrases, giving audiences time to absorb and understand each unit of information. But that’s what I was doing last night, and it works. Slowing down lets me add gestures that are phrase appropriate and with facial expression I can transmit a lot of emotion. I had an epiphany last night.

It was thrilling. But the test comes later today.

Today, I am going to do some gardening—building on all that Bronwyn has done. And I will write a list of things that I want her to do when she next comes to Pinecone Park. Plus, I’ll read in the sunshine and snack on the fabulous cheese that Marleen and Julien brought.

I weighed myself this morning. I ate so much food when Steve was here, and when Marleen and Julien were here, but I only gained half a pound. That was a pleasant surprise. 

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