Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse, Part II

I was born 28 days after my due date.  In the middle of summer.  My parents, tired of people asking if I'd been born yet, just stopped answering the phone.  This wouldn't happen these days, but it happened then.  Early in my mom's pregnancy, as legend goes, one of my elderly Polish relatives (maybe my great-grandmother?) put her hand on my mother's stomach and said that the child (me) would wait for the ninth cycle of the moon.

I was born on the night of a total lunar eclipse, a fairly major one of the last century.  My mother relays the story that, while she was in labor, the doctor, nurse, and my father were on the roof of the hospital watching the eclipse. 

Today is another such total lunar eclipse, though it isn't visible over North America, sadly.  It is, however, momentous in that is the first Inex series lunar eclipse since the night of my birth.  According to Wikipedia, "the Inex series repeat eclipses 20 days short of 29 years, repeating on average every 10571.95 days."

I actually think this is a much cooler marker of time than a birthday...

Kandyan Dance Videos

More videos!

This time from a dance performance at a cultural center in Kandy, Sri Lanka. 



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Elephant Videos!

I just realized one of the benefits of super fast internet is that I can now post videos from the last several months!

Apologies for any grainy video - I just uploaded the .mov files from iPhoto without doing any editing or anything, so they may not be of as high quality as they are on my computer.  

So here's elephants heading into the water for their afternoon bath at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka:

And here's one of them splashing around a few minutes later:

And here's a vocal little guy - such a strong voice for a little elephant!


And because I can't resist, here's one of a herd of elephants bathing at Uda Walawe National Park:

And, lastly, a solitary bull at Uda Walawe.

More Cheese With That Whine?

All right, I've been writing random thoughts down for days now without getting anywhere near a coherent post, so here are said random thoughts so I can now concentrate on a post about seeing long-lost friends.  Which may well take longer than it should.  And this collection of thoughts sounds awfully whiny now that I read it through.  Sigh.

Before I begin - Blogger is showing a huge and sustained increase in the number of page hits this blog is receiving.  So if you're a new reader, welcome!  And if, more likely, Blogger's stats function is on the fritz, is anyone else having the same issue?

Boy listening to the radio sure does catch you up quickly on pop culture references you've been puzzling over for months...  But can I just ask why the Kardashians are so popular?  I just don't get it.

Yesterday I made the requisite pilgrimages to Basketville and The Vermont Country Store.  I now have a great new collection of beautiful (and hopefully functional) baskets on its way to KSA, and I've stocked up on New England oddities and confectionaries for the next few months.

It's June 14th, and we have a fire going in the woodstove in order to stay warm.  Last week we had a heatwave, and now it's cold and rainy.  I am not really complaining - it makes sleeping pleasant, and I haven't had a lot of outdoor activities this week, so it's not interfering with too many things. 

Not having a car AND not having access to motorpool is challenging.  I can (and often do) take one of my parents to work in the morning and use said car for the day, but that involves getting up early and having a very scheduled day, which is less than ideal on vacation.  That combined with living in the middle of nowhere makes for not getting too many things knocked off my to-do list.  I am starting to come to terms (albeit slowly) with not getting to Trader Joe's on this trip, since apparently there are none in Florida (and none less than a two-hour drive from my house).  I guess stocking up on my favorite pasta sauce was not meant to be this time around.

The real culprit behind my not posting more often is the fact that I have acquired a nasty cough and persistent aches in my neck and head.  It started off innocently enough and became a monster.  I actually lost my voice over the weekend (full story to be explained in a subsequent post), and the cough became more pronounced and joined with an upset tummy.  So of course I've been feeling sorry for myself and watching a lot of Netflix and trying to sleep.  I woke up this morning with a sore ear, but thankfully that's subsided, as has the cough to some extent.  My voice is still pretty weak, but it's rebounding.

Tomorrow is another recovery day with some time for laundry and packing for Miami!  Plus dinner with my brother and his fiancée and kids.  And then off to Florida on Thursday!

(Oh! And the reason that this subject makes sense is that I've been buying and eating a lot of my favorite cheeses that I can't get in KSA, mostly soft cheeses and some fresh mozzarellas.  And occasionally running across a decent French baguette.  Yummmm.)