Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm sitting here in the very Starbucks I haunted for years when I lived in Baltimore, in Mt. Washington. The place used to be a working mill, and is in a brick loft-like building with high cathedral ceilings and a sense of history and intelligence. I came here to write, to work on the continuity "bible" when working for The Wire, scripts piled high as I documented each character's arc and attributes like badge numbers, occupations and types of guns they carried. Or, how they were killed off. I made friends here, none of which are working here anymore. The place has changed, from one of several tables to benches and long tables. It fits with the building and adds to the rustic ambiance. A high school boy sits across from me and works on calculus homework while I let my eyes relax out of focus, sinking into memories as Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" fills the room.

My mom is next door at Whole Foods, getting party snacks for company that we're having tomorrow. She drove me here, and it was striking at how unfamiliar the roads had become. Roads that I used to drive every day now looked foreign and unfamiliar. Before she left for the store, we sat at the table and looked through ancestry records on

While I was at their house, I was finally able to take this picture of an oil painting that I did for Jack before I left for Los Angeles. It was my first try at a landscape as well as a sunset, and I painted it from a picture he took when he was camping in the Sinai Desert in Egypt. I didn't have a tripod to photograph it, so it may look a little distorted, but it was the best I could do.

Oil Painting I did of the Sinai Desert

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Chris and Hal's, a very cool couple who live next to my mom and have two incredibly smart children. Smart, but gracious and hip, as are the parents. Couldn't have asked for cooler neighbors. Another great couple and their son, who also live in the neighborhood, joined us for one hell of a delicious meal. And I mean, delicious. There was some serious work that went into that feast. Everything was perfect, the company, conversation, Spanish guitar music filling the room, the setting and food. It almost felt as if I'd never left, as I slipped so easily back into the stream in the neighborhood. It certainly didn't feel like four and a half years had passed.

I flew up to Baltimore last Tuesday for my first real vacation in 18 months. I didn't realize how long it had been or how burned out I was until I had a chance to sit back and look at the vast amount of time that I'd been "on." This realization happened while I was still on the job with about a month and a half to go in my contract. My sleeping patterns, fragile already, became hard to manage and I was tired... a lot.

The first night there, it rained, and I heard the soft patter of raindrops as I lay tucked warmly into a comfortable bed. It was gentle, peaceful and almost meditative. A perfect welcome into my "off" time, its wonderfulness best described as that feeling of comfort that one gets when putting on a sock just after it comes out of the dryer.

I'll update this post with some pictures as well as post them on Flickr.

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