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.


Bill M said...

Seems like you have bee quite busy. Next year you will need to make it to Galax, VA for one of the best Bluegrass & Fiddler's conventions anywhere. I never missed it when I live in VA.

Elizabeth H. said...

One of these years, yes! Closer to home, it's looking like I'm going to make it to Wintergrass in Bellevue, WA in late February. I'm excited and somewhat scared. ;) It'll be an experience, for sure!

Cameron said...

One can say that it is the avid collectors of dozens of typewriters who have in fact lost their minds.


I'm glad to hear that you continue to make music!

Are you going to do Nano this year?

notagain said...

2I can see how that happens. If you still have that Ambassador and just want to store it with me, let me know. I promise to give it back when you get back into the spirit.
Seeing you on fb I'm not missing the blog posts as much as perhaps others are, except you fill in more interesting detail here.

notagain said...

Oh and too bad you didn't make Wintergrass in Tacoma where it belongs.

Elizabeth H. said...

@Cameron - unsure if I'll be doing NaNo or not this year...I have a ton going on both work-wise and real-life wise. I'll have a clearer idea by mid-October, I think. I don't have the ghost of an idea, but when do I ever this far in advance? For that matter, I did so little last year, I could really just scratch what I had written and start over with the same plot. It's a fun one, and I don't think that'd be entirely cheating. Or I could continue that story and do a non-traditional NaNo without claiming a win. We shall see.

@Notagain - yeah, this was a little redundant for those who have the ability to see me blab on FB, but it does give me the space to BLAB LARGE. I don't have that Ambassador--the SG-1 is my only standard. I'll likely be finding homes for the Royal Arrow, though, and some of the Olympias. Stinky worries me. I'd really like to send him out into the world, but it has to be the right home, ya know? Someone who will love him even as he is, and actually use him rather than being disgusted by his battered little soul and body. Can't really just put up a cold hard Craigslist ad for him. Hrm.

There were a lot of people who weren't thrilled with the Wintergrass move, but I've heard a lot of positive things about the new venue. Sounds like it's easier to navigate, if nothing else. It'll still be impossible to see everyone and everything. Awful lot of good stuff going on all at once! And that's even without taking jamming into account. It'll be an interesting experience, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back and enjoying your music. Stay with it, it feeds the soul. Also, liked the cycle/Pinto. I owned a Pinto when they first came out. It was terrible. Seeing one mutilated pleases me.

I had the same fears about canning but it all worked out. I especially liked the "slup" sound when the lids cooled and sealed. The canned contents taste especially good on a wet, freezing winter morning.

Good luck downsizing the typewriter accumulation. I'm at the same point. I have 4 desktops I cycle through and rarely use portables anymore. I hope to get down to half a dozen portables. Might try Craigslist but might see if the local senior center would like one or two, or maybe a high school creative writing class.

Jeff The Bear

Elizabeth H. said...

Ooh, the "slup!" Why do none of the fancy canning sites tell you about that? I did the whole boiling the filled jars for the recommended time (actually a bit over, since I am paranoid) and then carefully started taking them out of the water to cool, and was both startled and pleased by the slupping sounds they started making. It's a marvelous thing.

Art said...

Let me know what olympias you want to get rid of. :) I'd be most definitely interested, and you know it wil go to a very loving home.

Elizabeth H. said...

The only Olympia I'll likely be re-homing is Stinky...and I don't know if he could survive the rigors of shipping again. Otherwise, I'd totally pass him into your guardianship! Poor little guy deserves a loving home.

Art said...

Well... if there are any other machines. ;)