Bannack took his first few and steps at our good friend John Rausch’s party last night. The house was packed full of people and Bannack loves an audience so it was the perfect setting to show off his new skill. He seemed to be able to walk halfway across the room when he wanted to. He even executed a turn or two and his crashes were simple sit downs.
This year’s Christmas show at the Archie Bray had some of the best work I’ve seen in recent memory.
Standouts for me were the dreamy and intense sculptures of Kelly Garrett Rathbone. (I’m saving up for one.) David Peters had some beautiful crucible like cups and floral “gold pans” that looked like solid iron. It was my first time seeing the work of Jeff Campana. His carapace-like pots are made up of delicately joined slabs with glassy smooth seams between them. And maybe I’m turtle-minded after returning from Saipan, but this small piece by Bethany Krull was another favorite of mine.
I’ve been suffering from some mild jet lag. Yesterday morning I could feel every tired muscle in my body calling out for sleep and last night I woke up refreshed and ready for my day to begin at around 4AM.
As it turns out sleepiness may not be my only problem:
Jet Lag May Cause Stupidity
In addition to making you groggy and dazed, jet lag may make you stupid. A study presented November 15 at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting finds that hamsters suffering extreme, chronic jet lag had about half the normal rate of new neuron birth in a part of the brain. What’s more, these animals showed deficits in learning and memory.
Jet lag decreases the numbers of new neurons being born in the hippocampus by about 50 percent, the team found. Mental function suffered, too: The jet-lagged hamsters were worse at learning which of two chambers contained a desirable running wheel. Even after 28 days of a back-to-normal schedule, the formerly jet-lagged hamsters still showed learning and memory problems. The mismatch between the internal body clock and the external environment “is having a long-term effect on learning and memory,” Gibson said.
It was a real shock to touchdown in Great Falls on a runway swept with ribbons of dry snow. My mom and dad and (who else?) my beautiful nephew Bannack all braved the icy mountain pass between Helena and Great Falls, passing a 5 semi-truck pile up along the way, to greet me!
They had bad news though, the road home was closed until the trucks were removed and the plows had a chance to clear the snow away. So we had some time to catch up.
My first concern though was to insure that the massive quantities of hot sauce I had haphazardly packed had not all burst in transit. Fortunately they had not, but I got a polite little note from the TSA informing me that they HAD searched the bag and found nothing alarming. Looking only for bombs they left my precious pugua alone.
The road home
We got on the road and got as far as Wolf Creek where we waited, delicious Montana beers in hand, for news of the road opening. The snow kept falling though so we settled in and had a greasy bar lunch at the Frenchman and Me. Just as our orders were up we got news the accident was cleared away and the plows were running.
We rolled into Helena a little after 6PM and met with Sara at the Blackfoot for a few rounds and stories. Then to her and Chris’ place (Chris, unfortunately, is in Bozeman until the weekend) for pizza, unpacking and betel nut!
My second to last day on Saipan, the day I should have been packing my bags and cleaning my apartment “ours party team” instead took a splendid (gratis!) day trip to Managaha, that speck of sand sticking out of the Saipan lagoon.
The party team is from left to right are Nika (a.k.a. Mia), Emma and Vyka (a.k.a. Richi). The trip was Vyka’s brainchild. For various reasons we hadn’t all gotten together for weeks and she was determined for us all to meet one last time. I’m glad she did.
The girls have had a long standing, open invitation for joyrides to Managaha from the boat operator (Bongo at Seahorse Tours) and we had a blast getting out there.
We enjoyed a few blissful hours on that lovely island. In between dips in the salt sea and over beers we told each other stories about what we’d seen and done since we had been together last. A really beautiful and wonderful way to top off the past months we’ve shared together on this gorgeous (and crazy) island.
This Tuesday morning I spent in American Memorial Park, just a block north of my apartment. A beautiful park, complete on this Veteran’s Day with a flag from each 50 states plus one from each of the statelets. (My coinage for the various U.S. commonwealths, protectorates, territories, etc.)
A beautiful morning, spent in the shade on the periphery of the main event with Peter’s family. Under the tent were the governor, the mayor, the delegate elect, and the entirety of the legislative and judicial branches. They watched a nervous Parks Department director’s introduction and ROTC cadets in chrome helmets handing out patriotic art produced by school children. Meanwhile we lounged out of earshot. Auntie Tina and Si Joe brought three of their youngest, Ping Ping, Christopher, and Kaitlyn. (A special thanks to Kaitlyn, she was my photographer in the ones that I am in.)
I had a friend in New Zealand who for her 21st birthday sailed with her dad from Wellington to the coast of India. When she came home she had incredible stories about their time at sea. Including having fish jump in their boat after their food spoiled and what you do when you out of fresh water days before reaching land.
Not long after I came home from New Zealand I read the great (and copyright free) tail of Joshua Slocum and the sloop Spray, in which he completed the first solo circumnavigation in history. It’s an old but exciting story:
I had resolved on a voyage around the world… A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood.
This trailer is for a great travelogue/documentary of some intrepid young sailors who take to the sea in the cheapest boat they could find. They are self proclaimed maniac sailors of the Anarchist Yacht Club so, as there should be, there’s some salty language. It makes me want to jump in the nearest sailboat and sail into the sunset.
While I’ve been gone my Dad directed the Helena Theater Co.’s fall show at the Myrna Loy. It’s the story of two Catholic sisters and a door knocking “Catholic Missionary.” As in, she’s out to convert Catholics.
I’m pretty bummed I am going to miss it. It’s a very funny script that pokes some fair fun at both sides, Evangelical and Catholic, and as my dad was quoted in the IR:
“I think the audience will see pieces of themselves and characters they know,” Casey added. “People should come to this play if they want to see a thoughtful comedy. It’s funny. It’s bawdy. It’s well drawn.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Nov. 4-6 and Nov. 11-13
Where: Myrna Loy Center
Contact: 443-0287 or myrnaloycenter.com