dimarts, d’octubre 25, 2005

Inventory (English)

In English for John, so he doesn't ask silly questions. It's just a pity he's monolingual ;) ....

Sometimes you have to take stock. I've been thinking a lot about that in the last couple weeks. Why, I don't know. Just something that happens in the fall, I suppose. It may make even more senes this fall, with the heavy and persistent rains we have been experiencing here. Over all I have to say that today, now, my life is full of rose moments. I have a lot to be thankful for, a concept which is lingering around the edges of my mind because Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

I have a lot to be thankful for in no particular order

-I have not one, but two houses which generate enough money between their three rental units to essentially pay for themselves. Right now, I'm spending about $300 a month beyond what they generate to live in one of them.

-I have not one, but two cars. My workaday car is a 1998 Saturn SL with almost 160,000 miles on the clock, and they're all mine. It still gets 42 miles highway and has the original clutch; I do believe that the Saturn SL is the 2-CV of latter 20th century American automobiles. My other car is a 1986 Jaguar SJ6 Vanden-Plas, one of only 18,000 ever made; even at nearly 20 she is still beautiful and still rides like a dream. Her burled walnut dash and her creamy leather seats are still as elegant today as when she rolled off the assembly line in Coventry.

- I travel regulary to Europe. I know the best Indian restaurants in Wales.

- I can blend in in four European countries.

- I speak 5 languages well.

- I live in Upstate New York, in Schenectady. Yes, I am thankful for that. I can think of only one or two other places I would honestly move to. Shangrila, this ain't, but it's not Somalia, Chechnya or Florida either.

- I have great neighbors, and at least decent tenants. These are my "house tribe" the way the Old People would have said it. They help me, and I help them. I will rue the day when any of that changes.

- I have a wide range of friends and acquaintances, some of whom I have know for ages. I have known Theresa for 27 years now. Many of my close friends and acquaintances I have known for more than 10 years. My friends live in 4 countries.

- I have a great job where I'm useful, perhaps even integral.

- I am paid well enough to enjoy some of the finer things in life.

- At 33, nearly 34, I can still attract and bed-down 18 and 19 year olds. Some people may think this is lecherous, but I think it's wonderful, and as long as I can, I will. My hat is off to my friend Kelvin from Wales who I saw snag a 23 year old this summer. He is 43. Perhaps it's the Welsh pheromones? It's lovely to know that some younger folks appreciate the skill and attention of an older lover.

- My mother is still alive. Even though she is not my favorite person, I have come to appreciate her lot in life more as I have aged. Additionally, as long as she is alive, then I'm not necessarily "next."

- I was raised in the country, and I know country ways. I know where my food comes from and I can honor the sacrifices of the animals who die to nourish me.

- I had a large extended family as I child. I still remember their names and faces, and the moments we spent together; I still miss them now that they are gone. I am thankful too that as they died I learned to appreciate life and people more than others who have not been so graced. It is, indeed, better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Because of losing them, I know how to let go of people when death takes them. I know to mourn the dead and bury them. I know how to scatter ashes. I suspect that I will have to do that many more times before I die myself. At least, I pray I will. I wish a long life for myself, not a short one.

Finally, I'm thankful for every rose moment, great or small. I'm sure life, if it has any meaning whatsoever, is for living and enjoying. I was lucky enough to be born in a rich country, with the waywithal to find a fair place for myself. I was born a picaro, but I have found my good port...

dimarts, d’octubre 11, 2005

Robat bysi (English / Welsh / Cornish / French)

No post for a while, not surprising, life has taken on its usual semesterly frenetic pace. I have spent the past month getting house number two ready for tenants. I have successfully rented the upstairs flat for the price I desired; although the downstairs flat has been quite a bit more challenging. Two decent prospects had presented themselves, but so far, no tickee, hence, no washee. Hopefully something will come by the end of the month. With the upstairs flat rented, I'm at least covering the mortgage and snow removal, but I'm really looking forward to having the month-to-month gravy from the other flat. For my budgeting purposes, I'm planning on paying the taxes for both houses out of my overload pay, but in real terms the longer the downstairs flat stays empty, the longer I'm actually losing money. This is of course is part of the risk of rental properties, but I would just as soon change that situation as possible. It doesn't change the fact that I bought the property at $30,000 below market value, and have only put $6,500 into to get it up to snuff, and all the while, the value is increasing. Still, the "gravy" would be lovely. Between the flat I rent from the house where I live and the second flat there, it would be like my getting three full paychecks every month. Who wouldn't want that?

Besides these sorts of things, I have been up to my usual socializing, today being no exception. After teaching till 12:30, I helped a couple Japanese students with their regular German verbs and how to decline the Akkusativ, then went to my colleague Marlene's house for an afternoon of Sex on the Beach and hors d'oeuvres, as well as conversation with a variety of colleagues. Marlene is nearing the end of a convalescence from some surgery and wanted to invite all her friends from work over for an afternoon of camaraderie. It was very nice, with great food and great spirits, in multiple ways. Next, it was on to the Table Française de la Vallée du Mohawk where we had a Basque themes supper, copious wine, and I helped thhostessse present some information on the Basque Country.

Now finally it's home, to sit back and relax with my good friend Basil Haydens and call it a night.

Hag an caryoryon? Eus, yma nowedhow war'n tra hemma, mes nyns yu mar dha yn wir. Oeddwn i wedi dechrau rhamant newydd, ac wedi ei gorffen yn yr un wythnos. A gweud y gwir, does dim wedi newid o gwbl. Nowedhow drok yu caryoryon, pur drok!

dilluns, d’octubre 03, 2005

My political profile

Your Political Profile

Overall: 40% Conservative, 60% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Ancient Memories (English)

I don't know who you are
nor were
But I can't help but feel ancient memories
lurk behind your face

Your face and eyes were ghosts to me
I saw you, and I was lost for a moment
ancient karmic memory
or deep delusions
I can't tell which
the glint of your hazel eyes
the stitch in your lip
your olive skin
your dark hair
conjured old feelings in me
you seemed like so many lovers and erstwhile lovers
that to me were so dear

Were you one of them returned from across the Styx?
coming to taunt me and haunt me for a while
Or were you just a collection a pleasant peptides for my desire weary brain?

Just like a ghost you vanished
back into the ephemera from whence you came
Taking your beautiful eyes
your olive skin
your dark hair
and all the dreams I dreamt of them with you
back into the darkness