"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Recapping the Week

Stuff I didn't have time or fogot to blog.

Sunday: Church. Feast of the Epiphany. Lost the cupholder in my car, probably in the parking lot of the Common Man where I had lunch with my friends.

Monday: Watched/Heard pundits predict outcome of NH Primary. Watched footage of Hillary at Café Espresso in Portsmouth, a place I know well. For the record, it's definitely not a "diner" as some of the press and commentators would lead you to believe. I wonder if she ordered my favourite indulgence, pictured here. It would cheer up anybody!

Tuesday: Retrieved my mandolin at Strings 'n' Things, where it had been re-strung and given a tune-up. Was informed that a short time before my arrival, Hillary had popped into the Dunkin Donuts next door. Went to polling place and voted. Stayed up late viewing poll returns and media meltdown.

Wednesday: Watched/Heard pundits try to explain outcome of NH Primary. The Chap came home early from his office, suffering from a worsening cold.

Thursday: Where to start?

Gorgeous day. The Chap stayed home with the girls. I departed the Lodge and arrived in a timely fashion at the Legislative Office Building for committee hearings on pending bills. We dispatched the first two quite quickly. Testimony was succinct and to the point, no questions from our committee. One bill related to permitting game hunting with a larger caliber handgun, so we got mired in ballistics and velocity and kickback and similar considerations.

The next bill was assigned to our committee by the Speaker's Office, although it was more of an Agriculture and Environment bill. This gave me no end of a thrill, because if I hadn't chosen to be on my committee I'd want to be on that one. (There are various reasons why I probably can't ever be on it, however.) The subject matter was licencing (or not) of breeders of domestic (pet) birds by persons in the "business" of selling them in quantities greater than (? undetermined) as opposed to the home hobbyist. The State Veterinarian testified. A Humane Society lobbyist testified. We got the perspective of someone who breeds dogs. Normally we deal with wildlife birds or game bird issues, so it was novel to be talking about parrots and parakeets!

Several members of my committee headed to the Capital (or Concord) Grille for lunch. I ordered a lunch special--pulled pork quesadilla--which sounds odd but was quite good. Our server was the granddaughter of the legislator who posed with me the picture of me in front of the snow bank. (Illustrative of the fact that if you aren't a legislator yourself, you're probably related to one!) We talked more local politics than national, but it transpired that practically all of the diners had voted Obama on Tuesday. Only 1 or 2 didn't 'fess up.

The afternoon hearing was even more Agricultural and Environmental. It was probably the most complex one, and dealt with the use of drugs on "wildlife". We took testimony from the State Vet and HSUS lobbyist again and heard from elk and deer breeders whose farming operations would be adversely affected. A subcommittee will have to work on this one.

From there I headed to the location of our Diocesan Council meeting, for which I'm the moderator. It was a wonderful meeting, and at the close we were privileged to hear the written words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has provided the forward to a forthcoming book by the individual on whose right hand I sit, freshly just returned from sabbatical.

I asked said person how long it took him to write his book.

"About six weeks."

My eyes widened, my lip quivered. I felt myself going into weepy Hillary mode. "How many words?" I bleated pathetically.

"Not sure. It'll be about 175 pages."

Scant comfort. Council members started patting my shoulder sympathetically.

"A lot of it was already written," the fledgling author told me kindly. "Speeches and sermons I've given."

I know from experience nonfiction is different from novels--especially the kind like mine which take years to research and write. I will not be jealous (much).

Friday: Rainstorms. Ailing Chap stayed home again. Mandolin lesson. Fielded phone calls and emails from citizens expressing opinions of legislation that would impose a boating speed limit on the Big Lake. My Big Lake.

Today: I'm uploading favourite photos to this nifty digital photo keychain, a Christmas gift from the uber-techie member of our extended family. If I get bored during our upcoming monster session of the legislature, I can watch a slide show of my roses and my dogs and my travels. Also, I made another dog video. Lola was ready for her close-up this morning. I'll post it someday when I haven't as many words in my head as I obviously have right now.

We're lifting the Chap's quarrantine for an exciting, can't-miss event. I look forward to Dressing Up.

Oh--and between now and then I'll be working on my book.

There may be a Nor'easter in our future. A lot of snow has melted, but there's still plenty around. It wants freshening up, in my opinion.

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