Thursday, April 28, 2011
She's doing a full-on through hike and should be arriving in Campo soon. My impression is that Free Range Amelia can throw down quite a lot of miles per day so you'll have to keep up as best you can.
She will update this journal regularly. This blog post has been amended to remove the word "GORP." Gorp is disgusting.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
O.K. That's enough about the goose for now. Here's the rest of the series. I'm staking out my parking spot; don't swoop me. Scroll down to the bottom for the full schedule. Why didn't someone tell me there was a typo in here?
(pictured: Aimee Bender)
Neo Benshi, Roxi Power Hamilton, Jen Hofer and Konrad Steiner
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
She was an older goose -- well into her teens, which is pretty old in the goose world. She had dirty gray feathers, a baritone voice that could carry for a half mile, and a bright-orange growth, roughly the size and shape of a walnut, over her upper beak.
I know that there is a long and embattled history surrounding Lucy, and that some local neighbors were upset about the noise and droppings, etc. Did this sentiment have something to do with her demise? News reports didn't say. According to one account, she may have been the victim of an animal attack. I suppose that's possible, though it wouldn't have been easy for a creature to get her. She was fairly well-protected behind a fence, and often slept and rested in areas that were completely surrounded with water.
One of Lucy's longtime fans told me that she used to live out near that big lagoon in Live Oak, once known for its large flock of loud, knee-pecking geese. According to one account, she was "dumped" in the harbor one day. Over the years, local publications have mentioned the controversy over Lucy's noise and messes, mostly as an excuse to fold in every pun you can think of involving "fowl" and ruffled feathers, etc.
Lucy was not perfect. For one thing, she was lazy. Her trumpet was so loud you could hold your cellphone up to it, and it would hurt your listener's ears. When she walked, she swung back and forth so much that she sometimes bowled herself over just walking up a hill. Lucy could go from retiring to aggressive and back again with little warning. Sometimes Lucy would preen for her fans, then turn her back on people or shout at them for no reason.
But she was part of the harbor landscape, and a testament to perseverance. Preferring her own company, she ate and played alone, but she was indulgent towards the people who served as her unofficial caretakers.
Even the tsunami storm could not drive her out of the channel for long.
Lucy will be missed.
I hope someone gets to the bottom of this soon.
(above: image of Lucy at full wingspan)
Friday, April 15, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Friday, April 01, 2011
“She was very precocious,” Wolff said, dryly, during his opening remarks at the first night of UCSC'S Living Writers Series, which drew a capacity crowd to the Humanities Lecture Hall on Thurday.
Each one of us has an author like that, Wolff said. “You look back and think about who it was that made you store up extra batteries in your flashlight so you could stay up reading, and put towels under the doorway so your parents couldn’t see the light shining in the room.”
For Wolff, a creative writing professor at Stanford, that man was Albert Payson Terhune, a writer and dog breeder who surrounded himself with collies, which he described as a “tawny swarm.” Terhune found fame writing genre fiction about his dogs – with many of narratives told from the point of view of the dog.
On Thursday night, Wolff talked about the way an author can store up readings, encounters and experiences over time and how these things can make their way into a creative work years later, taking the writer by surprise.
Terhune’s books were the first “reading binge” Wolff ever went on. Though Wolff now thinks Terhune was “probably certifiable,” he found himself drawn right back to those collies with one of his latest stories, “Her Dog,” in which a man has a prolonged conversation with his dead wife’s aging dog, Victor. Together they talk about fidelity, marriage, mortality and friendship, and have a standoff with a vicious dog and its thuggish – and curiously litigious – owner. In this case, it's clear that the protagonist, John, is talking with his own conscience, and using the dog as a mirror. “I could not have written this story without Albert Payson Terhune,” Wolff said.
All those childhood reading binges finally paid off, more than five decades after the fact.
[author photo by Photo by Elena Seibert]