February 2nd


It appears that Joe Cocker and I have at least on one thing in common. Lurkers who read here sending in suggestions on landlord tenant law, several different people calling to see if I needed a cat carrier for the day, friends who can't lift boxes preparing cookies for the crew. Kevin and his wife, my new landlords, have been working longer and harder hours than anyone else. A.T. has been over many days scraping old paint and de-greasing walls and painting and stuff. Catsy has put in a couple of days of hard work scrubbing and re-scrubbing. DeVil and CB came over one evening and put in several hours of sweaty work packing boxes with me. KSlave is doing the same tomorrow. Every one of these friends is stacking up so much in the wheel of balance. I've not been rested, really rested, in weeks, and I know Kevin hasn't either. If I were to sing the song today, my style would probably look like Joe Cocker's as well.

The carpet and linoleum should be going in Tuesday, and the new fridge hopefully the following day or so. I'm off work Thursday and Friday. I have to have my computer disassembled Thursday and over at the new place, even without furniture, as I'm meeting the cable modem/tv guy there at 8am Friday. Saturday morning at 8am everyone will be meeting at my about-to-be-old place, and the grand move itself will occur. I have a coffee pot working at each end, and I'm certain donuts or pizzas will appear.

Fair warning: I will probably be unreachable via computer from 2/6/03 until 2/9/03, and the phone will be in transit from about the 7th until Monday the 10th. For those who know my cell number, it will be my lifeline.

And yes, I'm definitely looking forward to my trip to Edmonton for Lupercalia the week after I move. Mamma Bear Cabbie, an old friend, is driving her Yellow Cab door to door for both airport trips. Hazel will be feeding the cat and fish. And I will be doing my best to totally relax, have fun, and shed this mantle of grey clouds and heavy shoulders that have been with me from January 1st right on through. Yayus!

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Friday night I was a volunteer security person for the first annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It was simply astounding. An hour or so after opening we were told that there were over 800 people inside, that they had expected 500, and that we had to have folks form a line and admit one for each person who left. The line stretched up the block and around the corner - and the people in line were happy for us that it was so successful they had to queue up. It was like that for the next hour or two, until finally everyone who wanted to attend was admitted. [All the above numbers, by the way, were the word of mouth from that evening - I'll be corrected on all of them after the fact, but no matter the exacts, it was fucking incredible.]

--0--


I've dreamt of space since my earliest days. Jules Verne, Robert Heinlein, HG Wells... the hope and dream of space travel has always been a quiet piece of the structure of my vision of my time and the years to follow.

With Columbia we have now had another loss, another set back, another tragedy.

I say that there is only way we can show honor to those who have passed - not just the most recent seven, but Dr. Judith Resnik, Vladimir Komarov, LTC Gus Grissom, CPT Sonny Carter, Valentin Bondarenko, and dozens more, both on the ground and in the sky. We can honor them by redoubling our efforts to follow them. The further we extend our reach into space, the more the pitiful tantrums of the tyrants such as Kim Jong-il, George W. Bush, and Saddam Hussein fade into pettiness and perspective. Coincidentally, I just finished reading Against The Odds, by Elizabeth Moon. At the end, in the context of an end of mission toast to absent friends, a song is sung. She updated Blake's Jerusalem to sing to the sky, including this:

This for the friends we had of old

Friends for a lifetime's love and cheer.

This for the friends who come no more

Who cannot be among us here.


We'll not forget, while we're alive,

These hallowed dead, these deeds of fame.

Where they have gone, we will follow soon

Into the darkness and the flame.


Bring me my bow of burning gold

Bring me my arrows of desire

Bring me my ship - O clouds unfold

Bring me my chariot of fire.


We shall not cease our faithful watch

Nor shall the sword sleep in our hand

Till we have gone beyond the stars

To join that fair immortal band.


[with full credit to and respect for the proper wordsmiths - William Blake and Elizabeth Moon]

Join with me on your own, soon, and make your own affirmation that despite it all, Life Is Good.



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