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Kelly J. Cooper

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A Surprisingly Good Weekend [May. 29th, 2007|02:28 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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I had a surprisingly good weekend. Why surprising? Well, I've been extra bonus depressed most of 2007 and this was a whole lot of continuous good stuff, which hasn't happened much before this weekend.

On Friday, the BF and I went to Mahoney's Garden Center (the Winchester location, which is awesome to drive to via the winding Mystic Valley Parkway, especially in a little red convertible) and wandered through their greenhouses and tables of endless flowers and plants. So much green! So much fragrance! I fell in love with a Superbena (which is a type of Verbena bred for hardiness) called "Large Lilac Blue." They had it in a gazillion decorative pots along with this brilliant orange flower, but they didn't have any Large Lilac Blue for sale! I ended up settling for something similar (the name escapes me).

The BF got several annuals and I picked up basil and rosemary (for us to eat) and dill for the butterflies. And when we got home, it was still light out, so I weeded the herb patch and tamed the oregano back into the borders of the herb garden and away from the poor, beleaguered phlox. (Anyone want some fresh oregano? Let me know!)

Then a long lovely shower! Woo! Then work on a project. (Nothing's perfect.)

Saturday, I worked on the project some more, then couldn't really sleep. I must've dozed a bit, but I don't remember my brain stopping at any point.

So of course Sunday was a perfect day to walk about five miles. (A mile to the gathering site for the Somerville Garden Club, 2.6 miles to walk the Somerville Memorial Day Parade route behind the AWESOME Roberto Clemente Dancers, waving at all the nice people, then another mile plus to get home from the far side of Teele Square.) It was WAAAAAY more fun than I expected!

Then I hung out with a bud I don't get to see very often and we had TEA at the awesome Tea Zone and drank it while sitting on her porch, just talking.

Then I went home and had a wonderful shower because I got all the gloppy SPF 45 off of me (no burns! huzzah!) and soothed the aching bits.

Then the BF and I made grilled pizzas. Between the fruity olive oil and the rosemary he put in the dough, they were just the right kind of sweet! Plus I put fresh basil and fresh oregano on one of mine (we each had two smallish ones) and most of an avocado on the other and both were delish.

More work in the evening.

Monday started badly, with me waking up feeling great, then dozing off and having a massive nightmare and not getting out of bed until 4pm to find out that I'd done the project completely wrong, though I was cheered by being given a second chance. And the home-made chocolate chip banana muffins were no longer warm from the oven. Boo-hoo, it's tough to be me.

My shower cheered me up a bit, then a yummy pulled pork sammich (home-made by the BF) was a great and energizing way to head out and greet the The Stone Soup Poetry series.

So I took the T into Central Square, walked down to the Out of the Blue gallery, met my editor, and had a WONDERFUL TIME! My friends J & K showed up, as did rmd and clauclauclaudia. It was very comforting to have friends in the audience. There were some great readers for the open mike (in particular, Ann Carhart, a groovy grandmother who has a book of poetry published by Ibbetson Street Press called Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus which I bought on a whim, then found I really enjoyed after reading a couple of poems before the open mike performances started).

After the open mike, the coordinator turned the floor over to Ryk McIntyre, the organizer and one of the editors for the LOOK! Up in the Sky! poetry collection that published both me & ceciliatan (and which you can buy over at Lulu.com here).

Ryk is a fantastic reader of poetry - so good, I'd call him a performer. He really brought out the humor in the pieces he read (which included two of his own and a half dozen written by others).

He had Christopher Wood-Robbins up first, reading his "Bat Poem," then Ryk read a couple of pieces. Then he had ceciliatan up next, and she read her piece from the book ("Secret Identity") and another she wrote in grad school called "Idolatry" that was fabulous. Ryk read another couple and had Adam Stone come up and read his piece "The Passion of the Bat" and another by someone else (forgotten). Ryk read again, then I went up and read mine, "I Do Not Trip On My Cape," then I read Daphne Gottlieb's "Legion of Doom." Ryk read another couple, then his wife Melissa Guillet read her piece, "Doctor God." And then Ryk finished us off. It was fun and strange and exhilarating. Strangers paid me compliments! It was really ego-boosting!

I realized (as I was in the process of telling J&K and ctan this), that I always figured my friends praised me because that's what friends do. They are supportive. For my own part, I love most of the work my friends do and enjoy being vocal about what specifically I enjoy or think they did well, and I keep quiet about what I don't particularly like (it's just my opinion, after all) unless I'm asked for serious criticism. There's a part of me that has always thought my stuff is good but not THAT good and my friends praised it like yer Mom tells you you're beautiful - she HAS to, cuz she's your MOM. It never occurred to me that I might actually be fabulous, but strangers told me that I am tonight. Such a strange feeling.

And that's why my weekend was awesome. Woo!

[User Picture]From: muffyjo
2007-05-29 03:51 am (UTC)
I always figured my friends praised me because that's what friends do.
Well, silly, why do you think we all want to be your friends in the first place? I think you seriously understimate our incredible good taste.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2007-05-29 03:55 am (UTC)



You've done an excellent job of creating a compliment that I cannot deflect without insulting all of my friends.

So, um, thank you!
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[User Picture]From: metagnat
2007-05-29 09:24 am (UTC)
I'm going to steal your compliment deflector!

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[User Picture]From: lillibet
2007-05-29 10:05 am (UTC)
Glad you had an awesome and ego-affirming weekend!

I was thinking a rambling thing before I read muffyjo's comment that put it more succinctly. One thing that was rattling around the bean is that I think part of what makes people friends is the likelihood that we'll think what each other does/says/thinks is fabulous. So, yeah, we come with a compliment-discount, because of course we think your stuff is cool. But it's not so much that we think so because we're friends, but that we're friends because we value what you have--and are likely to develop--that's cool. And now that I've written it down, it makes it sound as if one has to do cool stuff in order to be worthy of friendsip, but it's not that, either--it's just that you're so damn nifty :)
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[User Picture]From: infinitehotel
2007-05-29 10:51 am (UTC)
Congrats on the reading! I really, really wanted to be there but I'm still on house arrest for a few more hours. I'm glad it went well.

Doing readings was a revelation. We're surrounded by witty, fast-thinking people all the time, and everyone writes pretty well, and so it often feels like you're just another face in a vast ocean of writers all churning their feet. Why bother? Anyone can write, right?

Standing in front of an audience reminds you that none of those other folks are relevant; your work is yours, it's unique, and you get instant feedback that, at least for the 15 minutes you have the stage, it matters a little. And that's huge.

Enjoy the rush, you deserve it. I'm looking forward to seeing the book!

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