Questions and answers.
Most of my hobbies are things that are meant to be done alone. Like birding, or reading, or working out. I guess I do those things with other people sometimes, but not as often as I do them by myself. Except for working out, my hobbies are also pretty sedentary, which isn't ideal for me.

I'm thinking of learning a craft. One I could do with friends, or on my own if I wanted. Maybe something useful as well as decorative. I never had a hobby as a kid, or did a craft, except for maybe once at a free after school program, so I'm open to suggestion. Does anyone reading this have a hobby or do a craft of some kind? Even if your interest is solitary, or doesn't have a product, I'd still like to hear about it.

Not much going on lately, the summer seems to have the same effect on the people here as well as the birds. It drives us into our nests or into the shade, makes socializing more difficult to sort out. At least we don't have to find our own food or water.
I've had some good talks with some new friends lately, and with some older friends, too. There is a good side to the heatwave, I guess, if it brings people together.

There have been plenty of thunderstorms lately, natural for the time of year I guess. Whenever they come, I think of Sean. He used to be scared of them as a kid, but he used to pretend he wasn't. He liked looking brave more than anything, trying to impress me. I'm pretty sure he can't hear the thunder now, but when it does come, my first reaction is to wonder where Sean is, if he's scared. When we were older and in the act together, he used to hate when he even thought I was treating him like a kid, but he always came to my room during a storm anyway.

I don't know why I talked about the weather so much in this post. It's what's outside my window, I guess. One thing that's nice about being outside the city is that I get a clear view of the night sky without all the smog.
It's pretty late, think I'll call it a night.
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Checking in.
Summer is officially here and everyone is feeling it. Everyone has behaviors that help them cope with the heat. When I was a kid, I'd get up in the middle of the night and wet a washcloth in the sink. Then I'd take it back to bed and and lay it on my pillow. I remember in the morning my mama would be mad I'd gotten my pillow wet, but it was worth it to go to sleep with that nice cool feeling on my face.
Birds have things they do when it's hot, too. You can see them hop around the yard with their beaks open, or see them flapping around in a place where there is some loose dirt - both things keep them cool and ready for flight.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, mostly the things the Ambassador sent me, but also a biography of Henry David Thoreau. I like what he has to say about the natural world, but he had a lot to say about other things too. His thinking is really holistic, though, so they're the same thing really, I think - the natural world and the other things.
Here is a quote from his writings that I liked, "Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh."

A while ago, the Ambassador did a meme in his journal. I decided to do it and I liked what he had to say about it, so I'll quote him, too.

"The idea is to write five statements, directed at five people you know, only they must be something you can't or won't ever actually say to the person. And you can't say who they're about. It's supposed to make you feel better about these things you can't say."

- We disappointed each other, hurt each other, and didn't talk enough. Things are different now, but when I do feel angry I feel almost more angry with you than with anyone else. I wish I could tell you that, because I know now that you'd understand. I think we'd finally talk. I miss you.

- I try not to think about it all the time, but sometimes I wonder how it would be if you came here to visit me. When I do think about it, I feel both joy and fear. The thing I'd like most is to think about a time like that and not feel the fear of what you'd think of me - just the joy of seeing you. I love you.

- I know someday we will talk. You'll come to see me and you'll ask me questions and I'll try to answer them. I don't know if you'll understand my answers, or if there is anything to understand. I realize now that I don't know who you are, but I don't think you know that either. Maybe you'll tell me when you find out.

- We're so unalike, like people from two different planets. At least I always thought so. Now I think maybe I was wrong. I should have gotten to know you better, I should have tried harder. We could both have used another friend. Maybe someday we'll talk about it. Even if we don't, I'm sorry for the pain I caused you.

- When came here, I thought I knew everyone I was ever going to know. I thought that my family and my friends could only get farther away. I didn't expect to make a friend, to find you here, saying things that I didn't expect anyone to say. Wherever you go from here, I'll be thinking of you. Thank you.

I'm not sure how that makes me feel yet, but I guess I'll find out.

[[Scene: Diego and Ken in "Jailhouse Lawyer"]]
(Backdated to sometime in March)

pro bono workCollapse )

Last week.
When I leave the prison for a hospital visit, a guard escorts me. This time it was a guard I'd had before, which was nice, because we could catch up on the things we talked about last time he escorted me. His name is Andre. He has two kids, brothers - so we talk about them a lot.

The visits don't happen very often, just a couple of times a year. For about a week I get tested, evaluated, treated, and retested and then they send me back. For better or for worse, nothing has changed.

It was nice to come back to find the things from Ambassador Palaeno in my room. The book he sent me was great - Cohdopia is really a beautiful place. He also sent me some bay leaf mints, which he said I might like. I did like them - they have a strange taste, but the kind of strange taste that makes you want to eat more of them, not less. The mints were minty, but also kind of - "green" is what I want to say, but green isn't a taste.

I didn't see many birds while I was gone, just some gulls, but they were beautiful. The birds I see every day here are a lot less impressive on first sight, but I like their songs better - anyway, I doubt a gull would want to come into my room.
They had postcards at the hospital gift shop, some with the same kind of gulls I saw. Andre and one of the nurses I know got me a few different ones and I sent them to Sean. Someone will read them to him. I think he'd like the pictures.

It's a strange feeling, being away from this place. I'm reminded how big the world really is, how many people there are, all doing the things they do everyday. It can get lonely. Sometimes I miss it here - which is probably the strangest thing of all.
Now that I'm back, I'm looking forward to a few things - getting in a game with Diego, talking to a few new friends, maybe watching some Aahnrühd. Maybe I could even give it a try.

It's a nice night. I think I'll go down to the yard for a while before lights out.

Yesterdays and today.
When I decided to do this I meant to do it more often than once a week. But I'm just getting started keeping a journal, and I think I'll get the hang of it. It's been good to finally meet the people around me - I hope I'll get a chance to see more of everyone in person.

The weather's been great. I played some ball with Diego, great games - he might be practicing in secret, he's getting too good. Sometimes Rosa, the ward nurse, comes out to watch us. Maybe she just wants to check up on her patients, or maybe she's a basketball fan. I know she likes the Lakers.
I like sports, basketball and soccer especially, but I've never been a fan of one particular team. With traveling so much, home team loyalty is hard to foster. My favorite team was always the circus.

I spoke to Moe this week about showing a new friend of mine around the circus - I really hope the Ambassador enjoys himself, I know Moe will enjoy showing off the Big Berry. A few days after we talked, I got a note from Moe - it was really a note from Regina, but it had a note from Moe inside the envelope.
Regina doesn't sound very different, but something like that can be hard to judge from a letter. Moe said in his note that Regina really wanted to write to me and that he hoped I didn't mind. It wasn't like she said anything strange or hurtful in her note - I think Moe was just trying to look out for me. For Regina too, I guess.

I'll write Regina back, but I don't know if or when she'll send me another note. She's like that. Part of me wants to not write her back. But I know that not responding would just be hiding from myself, and from Regina - and even if she never noticed or cared, I would.

The guide to local birds I picked up from the library has been great. Now I know that the small birds I've seen flying high over the walls are Cliff Swallows. They must have their nests underneath the overhangs.
In the yard, I saw some Phoebes and Mockingbirds - and a Scrub Jay. He was so blue - I never knew there were such colorful birds that weren't exotics. He was just there for a minute, then he was gone.

I also got a book of short stories at the library. If anyone reading this has a favorite author, or a favorite kind of book, I'm always interested in recommendations.

It'll be lights out soon. I'll read until then.

Visiting hours
Moe wrote a few weeks ago saying he'd be in town with the show. He knows he's always welcome - I wrote back and said I'd like to see him if he had time, but it was kind of a surprise when he just showed up. I know Moe likes to be surprising though, so that's fine.

Moe's visit is as good a subject as any for my first post here. I've never kept a diary or anything like that, so I don't really know how it'll turn out. Diego seems to enjoy it though, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Moe seems happy about the way things are going with the Big Berry. Being ringmaster agrees with him, though he tells just as many bad jokes as ever. He says he doesn't tell them in the ring, but I wonder. It's possible that he tells them and no one gets them, so he thinks it doesn't count. It would count, but I think no one would really mind because it's better to have Moe telling bad jokes and happy then Moe not telling bad jokes and crying.

Even though he looks dignified now in his ringmaster's outfit, sometimes Moe still acts like a clown. I don't think clowns can help that. Sometimes Moe's jokes seem out of his control, like yesterday. They'd told me I had a visitor, so I was waiting in the lounge, by the double doors. I could see Moe through the glass, and he saw me too. I know he thought it would be funny to squirt the guard in the face with water from the fake flower in his hatband when he was asked to show his pass, but the guard didn't think so. I had to wait in the lounge an extra 20 minutes while they took Moe back to the guard station and "searched him thoroughly".

When I finally did get to see him he was a little flustered, but soon he was talking about the Big Berry and seemed more at ease. He brought me a box of snacks and some books, and showed me some promotional photos he'd had taken of some of the animal acts. The photos were great, and he let me keep the copies he he'd brought. Moe's sense of humor might be hard to take sometimes, but he's a kind person.
I asked about everyone, and he said they were all doing fine. He also said that Max seems to be settling in well, which is good news for the circus since he's such a big draw. We talked for a while longer and had a cup of tea together, then it was time for him to go.

Moe asked about Sean and I told him how things were last week, since I haven't talked to the doctor yet this week. He asked if I'd mind if he stopped by to visit Sean and I said that would be fine with me. Diego says it's important for Sean to have company, people to talk to him besides the nurses and doctors. Moe said he'd stay with him a while.
I'm fortunate to have good friends.
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[OOC: KEN DINGLING PROFILE] [Comment & Critique]
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that daring young man on the flying trapezeCollapse )
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