Catching Up

Attention conservation notice: In which a lot of loose ends from this month are Tied Up, including what is happening with Communal Living in Barnardsville, further Realizations about Living Alone, and More BBC Stuff.

I followed my own advice, and on Christmas Eve, after sneaking about the neighborhood delivering cookies and Christmas mix CDs to my neighbors under the light of a full December moon, turned off the lights, sat down, clicked on the image and listened to Erik Satie’s nocturne.

It was absolutely bloody lovely, and I got that rare and wonderful sensation of knowing for a fleeting moment that I was writing the blog I would like to read.

I think that the Full Moon Invitations will continue on a lunar-monthly basis, and include a pic of the moon and a handpicked solo piano piece.

The free Rhapsody player will almost definitely be my player of choice. Please download it if you want to listen on a regular basis. BTW I think that the music I post can be enjoyed anytime, so if the sky is cloudy on your full moon night just try it if the moon peeps out, or just enjoy a moment in the darkness with the music.

Or listen in daylight. It’s just about listening in the quiet, really. Just listening and being with the music.

*******

I told my sister I was trying to build a DVD collection — small but well-chosen — and she asked me to name a few titles I wanted for Christmas.

All I could come up with was the 2006 Russell T. Davies version of Casanova, a Masterpiece Theatre production. I got it for Christmas, watched the first half last night and found it the best movie I’ve seen all year part two SUCKED * (I also, BTW, loved Stardust).

* Damn you, Russell T. Davies. 

I hereby take back every ignorant bad thing I ever said about Russell T. Davies, the Welsh TV writer who created Queer as Folk, revived Doctor Who, and even wrote another BBC mini I enjoyed, The Second Coming. I saw a few bad episodes he wrote for Doctor Who season 2 and shot my mouth off about his writing ability, and I take all most of it back.

Curious about his other work, I rented The Second Coming, his mini about the return of Christ (in the form of Christopher Eccleston) and liked it. Then I slowly began to realize what a demanding job it must be to produce and write for a TV show. Not everyone has the privilege I frequently allow myself of pickily making and taking time for my creative work to be just the way I want it.

I looked over Davies’ Doctor Who writing credits and saw that he really did write a lot of episodes I liked, and while I still roll my eyes at his corny streak (not to mention the dreadful ending of the otherwise magical “Love and Monsters” episode, or the horrid Peter Pan climax of “Last of the Time Lords”), I find that when I look at all he’s done, including “Rose,” “Aliens of London,””World War Three,” “Tooth and Claw”… I like his work.

He’s funny and talented and I truly wish I could get the British version of Queer as Folk from Netflix (I checked; you can’t). He’s no Steven Moffat, but we’ve got Steven Moffat to be Steven Moffat (and even the gorgeous “Blink” was flawed).

Casanova, Davies’ 2005 miniseries loosely based on the memoirs of famed horndog Giacomo Casanova, is a silly, funny wonderful series that manages to be funny, sexy, devilishly entertaining and very erotic. (When’s the last time TV pulled off real eroticism, much less Masterpiece LOL Theatre????)

You can’t get this one from Netflix either, but it’s worth buying. It takes the pansexuality of Torchwood and makes it jolly and red-blooded rather than forced and weirdly immature. The scene where Casanova makes a priest faint in the confessional by retelling his exploits is itself worth the cost of admission.

Good cast, great story, utterly charming lead… My DVD collection is off to an outstanding start.

*******

Housemate Don and the Makovinettes are moving out by New Year’s Day, which is good for them as a two-bedroom house is not the easiest place to accommodate 4 people for the night. I put up an ad in my local Criagslist for a new housemate, and we shall see what we shall see.

Having Don and family here was such a pleasant experience that I have a different attitude about the annoyance of a housemate-hunt. Last week I raked the backyard with the help and commentary of a 6-year-old girl, which is really the way to do that sort of thing.

Eventually the older daughter joined us in the yard and pointed out that my back yard is perfect for sledding.

Hmmmm….

*******

Since Don is moving out, that knocks out my idea of moving to Barnardsville and renting the house their as a trial run of communal living. Which is not a big deal, since I had no takers on my proposal, though I did have people who were very interested but locked into other arrangements, like mortgages and leases.

The people I talked to who were renting their home are part of a cohousing arrangement between a group of professors at the local university. They all have large, adjacent rural lots (dozens of acres), but share their large swath of property in common and have monthly meetings for dinner, fellowship and cleaning up their hiking trails of brush and debris.

Their arrangement reminded me of the time I lived in Charlotte, in a small studio apartment. I was friends with my upstairs landlord, who became one of my closest friends, and his partner. We three were all friends with another gay couple, neighbors Rick and Jeremy.

Between the five of us we had Easter brunch together, visited each other when out gardening, watched movies together both at the theatre and at home, went out dancing together, went to dinner together, moved my sister into two new apartments together…

Though we never called it that or realized it, I suppose we very much had a cohousing arrangement. An unintentional community. It was the happiest time of my entire life.

It has finally occurred to me that I really do like living alone. I mean, I’m the one who as a teenager declared, making my best friend aghast and uncomprehending, that I would rather not live with my husband, but would prefer to keep separate households (funny how youth always has the assumption of marriage).

Even now it doesn’t seem too unappealing an arrangement. I really do like my own space, and have always been good at making my own fun at home, within reason.

I like living alone. I just don’t like living alone in relative isolation. I wonder if what I have needed all along, and in fact in the past enjoyed all unknowing, is a cohousing arrangement.

And there are people in my life right now at this minute whom I think might be interested in pursuing intentional community in that form. Barnardsville is out for now. Let us see what the future brings.

To all who live alone in relative unhappiness I say, society is not going to offer you many worthwhile options. You are going to have to get creative. Let’s see what we can do with the wit, love and resources we have at hand.

*******

I had a lovely Christmas at my Mom’s/sister’s (they are neighbors now) in rural East Tennessee. After finally working out cat care (thank you, Don), I drove in for prezzies and an amazing dinner of baked turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, garden-grown corn and green beans…

I brought a delicious artisan chocolate cake and also some cinnamon-sugar almonds and soft, fresh-baked homemade espresso chocolate chip cookies that were, as we say here in the South, off the hook (thank you, Ran) .

My presents this year were absolutely outstanding. I need to get with my friends and fam about spending so much, but it’s hard to complain about abalone shell pendants, a heated lavender shoulder wrap, a new filing cabinet, a new DVD player and a gigantic wodge of cash from a friend who knows what working students really need for Christmas.

My gifts to myself were some fancy new birdfeeders for the silver maple in the front yard, a CD of North Carolina bird calls and songs, and a selection of fancy boro beads and semiprecious beads that taught me that small purchases really add up at the bead store, in a Rather Deadly Way, and that I really need a better system for putting aside money for bills.

Readers, you give me the gift of your time and attention, and I remain grateful. Thank you for allowing me this avenue of thought and expression. If you can put up with my raging Doctor Who fandom (like Neil Gaiman, the show got me when I was young and vulnerable), I promise to bring you full moon music, work-arounds for singles running out of happiness, and maybe even a few adventures (a very few, and no alcohol at all in them, probably).

Here is to adventure and surprises (good ones) (and bad ones that we only later realize were actually good ones), new beginnings, sane endings, creative solutions, solo piano and 12 new full moons the world has never seen before and will never see again.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to 2008!

7 responses to “Catching Up

  1. We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special last night.
    It was so-so IMPO. Have you watched it?

    Glad you had a lovely Christmas. We did as well. Even with all the germs in the house. ha ha :)

    Michelle

  2. I am glad you and your germs had a merry Christmas! I will try to find the Xmas special on YouTube — haven’t seen it yet!

  3. I just stumbled on your blog… hope you are able to find your way to Barnardsville, such a lovely place. I hope it does not get too built up and lose its charm. We have a dome home for sale there. Best of luck to you and good luck with CraigsList. :o)

  4. For interested housemates I’ll vouch that Jennifer is a very accomodating housemate. Best of luck on your search!

  5. PS: “Don and the Makovinettes”. I like! :-)

    PPS: … and speaking of sledding … I had no idea there was a SLEDS.COM. Check it out: http://www.sleds.com

  6. I think I am going to try my yoga mat as a sled. Sure seems the sme idea as the roll-up toboggan sled. You and the Makovinettes are welcome to come over here sledding anytime! Hopefully Sarah Kate is right about my back yard…

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