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And here I am at Neil's, high in the Catskills. We had snow last night, just a scum of the stuff. Though it was rather nice, being out in it, which Kathryn and I were when we went to get Chinese takeout for dinner.

Driving through Massachusetts yesterday, driving across Massachusetts again, I felt the same relief I felt back in October, when last we visited Neil. As the land became hilly - and soon there after mountainous - and as the species of tree changed, becoming taller and more robust, my anxiety eased. The sky, braced up by the Taconics (soon replaced by the Berkshires, and then, finally, by the Catskills), ceased to press down upon me with such force and malice. My breath came more easily. I gazed out the window while Spooky drove. Past Springfield, the forests became snowy, and the peaks were dusted white beneath the trees. We crossed the Hudson sometime around 4 p.m. CST, those roiling green-brown waters that lead on down to Storm King and Pollepel Island and finally Manhattan.

I may love the sea, and it may hold a special place in my - I hate the word "soul" - but it's the mountains that are my home, and the mountains are where I belong. I know that now. I think I likely knew it once before. This wouldn't be the first time I allowed myself to forget some fundamental aspect of my self.

And soon we were here and ensconced in the guest house, watching the snow fall down. There's a squirrel (we assume, as it sounds to small to be a raccoon) in the attic who scritches about. But I'm okay with that.

We'll be here two weeks, give or take, and during that time I need to write the final two issues of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird, and I need to write a new piece for the next Sirenia Digest, and...other stuff. The omnipresent Other Stuff. I have the galleys of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea: The Best of Me (Volume Two) to proofread, also.

Meanwhile, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. There's a copy of the Turkish edition of The Drowning Girl, and I only have a few of those. That auction ENDS TOMORROW!

So, pay attention, kittens.

Last night, we began Season Two of The Newsroom. I'd been warned that Season Two was nowhere near as impressive as the first season, but I admit I'd dismissed the comment. How could it not be as good? Well, now I know. The opening title sequence, which in Season One, is an ode to news broadcast of days gone by, to that time when TV news was news, is replaced by a slick and shiny thing that comes off like an Apple commercial. And the two episodes we saw felt like The Newsroom on Valium. Gone was the dizzying, marvelous, rapid-fire dialogue. Indeed, the whole thing almost felt like an apology for Season One. "Hey, look. Okay, we were too smart, and we were too incisive, and we pissed a lot of you off, and not enough people watched. We've learned our lesson!" The irony is as thick as the fog outside these windows. And it's deeply disheartening. I know the show was floundering, ratings wise, straight out of the gates (this current season, its third, is the final)., but there is no point in moving forward when you abandon everything you came to say. Maybe it'll get better, but I suspect The Newsroom was only allowed to be that brilliant and that fresh and that relevant for one season before HBO put its foot down.

I should go. Neil just email to say he's heading over from the main house. Though, really, I want to get bundled up and go walking in the misty, wet mountain woods...

Aunt Beast


( 12 comments — Have your say! )
Dec. 6th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
I hope that you and Kathryn enjoy your eventual walk and your stay there. It sounds fantastic. I am on vacation and conferring with my step-kitty. He sends his fond regards.
Dec. 6th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)

I think it's going to be wonderful. But the kitties are missed.
Dec. 6th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
Have a nice holiday in the Catskills. Please tell Neil I said hello.
Dec. 6th, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)

Will do.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 6th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)

I know that feeling all to well, the homesickness for the long departed places.
Dec. 6th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
May it stay a gentle place; may you find another gentle place. I'm glad you can do self-care like this trip.
Dec. 6th, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)

Thank you.
Dec. 6th, 2014 07:03 pm (UTC)
, and the mountains are where I belong. I know that now

its like when our bones settle...
Dec. 6th, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)

its like when our bones settle...

Dec. 6th, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
The Catskills
The Catskills, Hmmm. You're in spitting distance of the Adirondack Mountains, which are geological oddity. The Adirondacks are billion year old geological formation that just rose up about twenty million years ago. They are composed of metamorphic, and igneous rock. If I had the time, I could go into the truly bizarre nature of the mountain, but quickly stated, it's a dome formation with the second highest diversity of minerals on the planet. Earth quakes are rare, but can get as high as five on the Richter Scale. The Adirondacks form a cultural shield foe the rest of the state. The Catskills are considered very touristy. The locals are consider rude, but if your from New York City, your incapable of noticing. People from the city flood the region, which drives up land prices, and taxes, hence the locals will hate you if you move there. If you drive past the Adirondacks, the land is quite cheap, and the culture is livable, if boring. For years, they have been trying to build the "Roof Top Highway", which would would allow the denizens of New York City flood the rest of the state like a horde of zombies. My apologies to zombies everywhere.
Dec. 6th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an amazing place. Hope your time is relaxing and productive. And renewing.
Dec. 7th, 2014 02:55 am (UTC)
Though, really, I want to get bundled up and go walking in the misty, wet mountain woods...

It sounds beautiful. Enjoy.
( 12 comments — Have your say! )