Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Domestic disorder. And hummingbirds.

I still haz it. It's complicated. At the moment it is not only too hot to cook, but also too hot to try to do the kind of 'find a place for everything and put it there' cleaning that is necessary from a) tearing up the kitchen (and the downstairs bathroom, and the dining area) and b) moving out of the kitchenette (and there is plenty of 'normal life wear and tear' in the loom room and the study area and and and...

The previous downstairs bathroom was a small, ill-designed room with a non-functioning showerstall and a toilet placed so that no one ovver a size 8 could feel comfortable there. Because of the way the house is built, the placement of the toilet and the basin was foreordained, so the new version has the toilet and the basin clinging to the left wall. It's now all very white, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (guess what image I can't find on Google?) white, and I think I will put an ancient wall-painting on the wall. Started out thinking dolphins, pondering Ancient Egyptian garden, trying not to make tacky pun and do Minoan Throne Room.

We shall not speak about the garden. But black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne's Lace look great, and as an archaeologist-type I like having th house surrounded by luxuriant jungle vegetation.

ONe of the few things I have been faithful about is bird-feeding. I have at least two resident Indigo Buntings, and at least four (probably more) hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are mostly this year's chicks, the size of medium shrimp, and they talk a lot. They chirp when they fight and they mutter themselves afterward. Here was an odd interaction from last week:

The males do a kind of territorial/mating thing wherein they make big (like 12+ feet) arcs back and forth, with aeolian effects from the feathers. It reminds me of watching the big swinging Flying Boats from carnivals. The other day, a male (I am pretty sure he had a red throat) was trash-talking either a young female or a young male at the feeder. But instead of the usual diving and open dogfighting, these two were flying no more than a yard from one another and the feeder. It looked like they were flirting, and even more when the aggressor did a few passes of modified Flying Boat, with an arc only a yard across. Then the one on the feeder, instead of another mildly evasive manuever, lifted up from the feeder perch and sat on the aggressor's beak. Looking smug. She and the sat-upon bird stayed in the air for a moment, falling slowly onto the porch, and after the one on the bottom had flapped a little the one on its beak let go. But they went on sparring for several more minutes.

I love them. I'll miss them when they go south.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not dead, no, really

Though I will be if the heat doesn't break. If only because I don't want to cook because it's about 85 in here and I have no food. (oo! Granola!)

Actually last week I made Ugly Instant Cobbler: take some so-so peaches and cut them in to a bowl. Add granola to taste or texture. Add date sugar and top with yoghurt. Here's how it becomes ugly: microwave it for a few minutes. The yoghurt curdles. The whey soaks into the granola. The peaches poach a bit. The date sugar enhances whatever peachy goodness they have. No cooking vessel to wash. No fat unless you count whatever they put in the granola.

I went to field school. I got the coughing crud. I had to go to bed at eight pm for most of two weeks and could not join in the beers at night because it seemed to make me relapse. This was boring. My block was the only one on the dig with psychodrama (well, we had the most, anyway). My block went crazy and found enough scrapers to make me almost blase. I found a fluted point, which really does take some of the 'I wish I ever found anything decent' pressure off. I am trying to make a narrative. An illustrated one becomes too large to e-mail almost at once. Flickr, I suppose?

Only before I could make the narrative I wanted to get the photos in some order, since the last year or so Dick has decided it would be fun to have pictures of the relatively important finds as they are found, ideally in situ with a signboard. These take place before the object gets a bag number, and way before the object gets a catalogue number. And even once I became diligent about keeping a photo-log (phlog?), I was apparently on crack. I know this, because I have the pictures and I have a copy of the phlog. And except for the few times I frightened one of the diggers into getting me the bag number it's hard to figure out which picture goes with which object. Even if you have a signboard with all the coordinates, if you don't have the list of bag numbers you're lost.

This became an obsession. Now, of course, I want to alter the very fabric of space and time itself and get the photo numbers into the computerized database. We'll see.