Monday, November 23, 2009

The Christmas Diorama

The Christmas Diorama, 2008. Readers may note the Big Gray replica on the lower right hand side as being close to but smaller than the real house which consisted of three floors plus the attic.

I love dioramas. I believe I think I became a teacher because I knew it would allow me time to create dioramas with my kids. I have two grandchildren now as many of my readers know, so it allows me to see their delight every year at seeing my masterpiece- the Christmas diorama. This year, I'm integrating an HO train into the scene, and I've been preparing my backdrop by including a tunnel from which the little freight will emerge. Oh yes! I  built it around a frame I had with paper mache. Today, Nov. 23, I started rearranging my furniture to see if the plan I had made in my head for the space would work. I think it will be perfect. The diorama will be on display from December 5 to January 17. Be sure and visit for the holidays!                               

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm declaring victory.

This is what we should have done in Vietnam. I'm calling off the war and declaring victory. The park, or rather the little quadrant I take care of, looks radically different from when I began this project and likened my progress to Sisyphus'. Last year, I worked my way to what are the remotest parts of the woods I care for and found areas that have long been neglected. I cleaned much of what I found with the help of park personnel. This year, I returned with dread to those neglected areas which are plagued with thorns and poison ivy and so, difficult to reach until the understory dies back in the fall. Definitely, I found some other areas to clean and some which needed additional work, but no where near the amount from last year. Also, persistent scrubbing of problem areas is paying off. I notice these areas are staying cleaner longer like when they remove graffiti from a wall and keep it clean, eventually those who would alter it get the idea and cease. President Obama helped too. Not only did he encourage my volunteering, but by banning the sale of those flavored blunts, he stopped the littering of their foil wrappers. Anyhow, I'm declaring victory. I'm inviting all my Big Gray readers to come to Queens. Take the high trail around the kettle pond with me. Hey, if I can do this, so can anybody. Think globally. Act locally!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Zen Driving

Sunday afternoon. The wife cloaked in blue, in a sacred Bollywood induced trance on the coach. When I tried to tell her my bad news , I was shushed and sent to the computer out of sight in the bedroom. Left with this unfulfilled confessional mode, I turn to you, my loyal reader. I just got another ticket on the frakin car. This one, for not" properly "displaying my license plate. Mind you, it was "displayed", only improperly according to the bureaucrats. And all this after having to spend a morning at Motor Vehicles replacing the damn plate in the first  place! What? Oh, I know it's my  fault for hitting the guy. But man, talk  about Karma. Is this happening to me because I lied to the guy who fixes the car? I told him the wife was driving. It can't be that, can it? I have another ticket to pay for forgetting to move the car last Monday. That one was probably my fault. And,   I just beat one for an expired meter last week. In other words, I'm batting 1 for 5 with the car. Not a good average in baseball or  real life, is it? Eddie from Big Gray gave me that book, Zen Driving? I read it. I think I do drive like that. Trouble is, I don't do well with passengers in the car, so people don't get that. I like my car. I like driving.

The star ship commander who helped me restore propriety to my license plate this morning and I were having  our usual talk this morning- how "things are different than when you and I grew up". I told him I was writing a blog, and we shifted to communication and how "too much communication" can be a curse, and he allowed that it's so much easier to give tickets nowadays due to the improvement in technology. And that brought me back to the issue I've been wrestling with here that these young people who have been spoiling the margins of my beautiful park need to see. Nowadays, everything we do stays with us. Even a ticket for drinking or smoking in a park can mean the difference if you're trying to get a job, get into a school, join the Armed Services, or whatever. It's like Karma.

As far as I'm concerned, I might have to give my wife the car.