Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Not Dead Yet: UJTU Late September 2012

I have sadly neglected the blogosphere as of late. I may well have missed any number of earth-shattering, life-changing, world-altering posts from some of you. One of these days maybe I'll find some time to catch up!

1. First off, this is rather marvelous. It's like a verbal banquet. I like words, too. Don't you?

2. I haven't been doing much writing. I have, however, been playing and listening to a great deal of music. Made it to quite a few local bluegrass festivals, some of which were mostly listening, some of which were mostly hanging out with friends and playing music. I saw this thingamabob at an old time festival in Centralia, WA in August, and tried stumblingly to describe it to friends...until it showed up at another festival in Rainier, WA a few weeks later and was able to capture photographic proof. It's half Ford Pinto (painted hearse-style) and half motorcycle. Fascinating.

It'd make for an interesting vehicle for a NaNoWriMo character, no?

The bluegrass season is over, but I'm still playing tenor banjo at the local Irish session, practicing mandolin whenever I can (working on various waltzes lately, mostly--waltzes go well with fall weather), and trying to get better at playing accompaniment/backup chords, which is something I struggle with. Not nearly as intuitive as picking up melodies.

3. Other things I've been up to: last weekend I made my first solo venture into canning, and made a batch of apple butter (partly using apples I got from a friend's trees, in return for which I'll barter them back some apple butter, which makes me feel all pioneerly and such). The making of the apple butter wasn't hard, but I was pretty terrified of the canning portion, based on all the dire warnings it is possible to find on-line and my own heightened ability to ponder Every Thing That Could Possibly Go Wrong. The jars must be filled full, or they won't seal, but not TOO full, or they'll explode when processing, and if you don't heat them long enough in the processing stage, the apple butter will become angry and toxic, stalk you while you are sleeping, and inject nerve gas into your bloodstream, whereupon you will die a horrible, painful death. Or something like that. But I did the best I could, and (wonder of wonders), they all appear to have sealed properly and they look kinda purty.

Only catch? After all that work, it seems a real shame to actually break the seal on one and eat the stuff...

4. As a final note, after a certain amount of soul-searching (and wallet pummeling), I believe I will be putting many of my typewriters up for sale. Much though I mourn a few of the ones that got away (mostly the Hermes 3000), I'm just not cut out to be a collector. The Lettera 31 will stick around, and I'll figure out a few others, but if you see any ads with my photos attached on Craigslist...it isn't a photo thief. It's just me, having lost my mind.