In the meantime. Squirrels.
I am moving some things around behind the scenes. This site may become unavailable for a few days.
In the meantime. Squirrels.
I am currently going through a French language obsession. Or, more precisely, a French word obsession. In trying to understand why, I'm seeing myself loitering (with great pleasure) at the building blocks stage of things.
I'm very much enjoying these Sicklemoon decks on Tinycards (that's a vocabulary App, a subsidiary of the language learning Duolingo program, and a log in is probably needed to see them). Each of these decks, like a sort of "sonnet plus one," has fifteen entries, each on a closely related theme. I think that's related to the way the program is set up, but to me, they are like fifteen word poems, introducing me, almost from a child's point of view, to snippets of French life: "Les Animaux de L'Étang." "Les Animaux de la Plage." "Les Fruits de la Forêt."
The pond one is a particular favorite (also the berries). Who needs to know the French words for waterstrider and whirlygig beetle? Evidently... me.
They're words--they are names--in an Ursula K. Le Guin sort of sense. Knowing the names... I think that still bestows real power--even if only a brief flare of it.
And... drat. The formatting has cropped off the accent aigu from the capital "E" of étang.
Actually, I was tidying something boring and this sketchbook turned out to have been shoved in there by mistake.
I'm pleased that it turned up, and really like what I'd forgotten I had drawn.
I'm going to try something new... I'm reconfiguring my social media use.
When you've maintained (in a general, if not in a organized, ongoing sense) a website since 1995, you periodically realize that what you are doing with your site isn't working.
Facebook has been a part of that--it's so easy to share my ideas there, that I haven't taken the time to share them here.
But today... I have a new App installed today, and I am going to see how this goes.
Thus far, the book has lived up to my expectations. So far, Marie is only 16 years old, and I have moved only a little on from her early entries as a precocious 13 year old. But what an odd privilege, to read the words of this petted child, as she rackets around some fine estates in Italy and France:
Something tells me that both Nice and Paris must have been nice... in 1873, when Marie was living there.
Marie is known best these days for her journal, which she herself predicted... and somewhat for her paintings. She did some very fine paintings--not enough of which are on the internet.
I've learned about this building by several names: the Paul Martin House, the Riverside Hospital, and now the Saint Paul German hospital. This first picture is when it was the Saint Paul German Hospital. I'm pretty sure it's significant that the date of this photo is ~1910. After hostilities with the Germans and WWI--well, I'm guessing that that was when they renamed it.
The whole thing is gone today. I'm not sure exactly when the building was pulled down, but it used to be a near neighbor. It was a grand building, set on grounds that backed onto the West Side bluff of the Mississippi, to the south of the city as the river wends its way through St. Paul.
It got an addition sometime before the 1930s. Here's the same side of the the house, with the porch removed and the gracious arch balcony on the third floor where the nurses are standing (above), bricked in:
And a final photo--this one dated to ~1888. This was when the building was Paul Martin's private residence. I wish I knew where north is in this photo! Did that great tower face out over the river bluff, or did it stand in the opposite direction?
There is only a single building of this grandeur in my neighborhood today, and the buildings all around--they are overshadowed by mature trees. The culture that built this house--it is utterly vanished and gone.
Ah, the delightful grubbiness of it!
The English taking their club minutes seriously... How I ended up Secretary of this lot, I definitely do not remember. But how very fortunate I was, to be a part of this club through the late 80s-early 90s, which was just a great, great time to be caving in the UK. Some new technical advances meant a new level of descent had just opened up to a broader, perhaps more casual caver, and I got to visit (and indeed to explore) some amazing places, both magnificent and... scrofulous, as we-afterwards-in-the-pub-affectionately-called them.
Termcards dating back to 1959 (definitely before my time!) can be found here.
(drawing credit Tony Seddon, I believe)
Equally, I could title this post, "cool things you find on the internet."
Here are the passenger landing cards for the first Reimanns in my family to arrive in America.
It's not really useful information. I believe "Jean Key" was the name of an owner, and not of the actual vessel, there's no port of embarkation (family lore says Bremen), and the names are somewhat wrong. This Ludwig and Attillia Reiman went on their tombstones as "Phillip Ludwig and Maria Ottilia Reimann"--so I come by that second 'n' in my name honestly, or at least it's been used by my particular family for ~150 years.
But, although these cards lack an influx of really good new information, looking at these cards, one thing struck me: my understanding is that Ludwig and Maria Ottilia were not people of great means. Ludwig's occupation "mechanic" was more a sort of a class competency than a profession (think: the 'mechanicals' in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, not car engines). Yet somehow they arranged for their entire family to travel to America together. Phillip, one of their older children, was already married to Margaret (listed on his "accompanied by, line, following his parents), and sister Barbara, also traveling in the group, was married just four years later, in 1848. What prompted this middle-aged couple to pick themselves up and move here? War? A draft? A prospect of a better life? It's true that, on arriving, the family traveled straight to Buffalo, settled there, and prospered. But the family did know know that was going to happen when they set foot upon that ship.
I'm 50 this year. Four years older than Maria Ottilia. As I sit here, typing to you on this marvelous machine, I stretch my imagination to consider selling my possessions, and moving with my husband and children to a new country. Chidren--I have three. Would they all want to come with me? Even if the stakes were high, and they knew they might not see me again? My great-great-grandmother: she had 10, and all 6 of the survivors came to America with her on this ship.
What was so wrong with where she was living that she, that they, made this choice?
Katya Reimann is a writer & artist living in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Sites I recommend
These ones are maintained by long-time personal friends.
John Bedell is an archaeologist, historian, and father of five living in Maryland. His blog is a fascinating grab-bag of historical, artistic, and political materials. This entry about work and leisure gives a good example of his voice.
is a consummate artist. There are so many images to enjoy on this site. His carved wooden long-leaf red pine Rhinoceros (which he made for me when I was ~11 years old) is a personal favorite.
Metro Bikes Trails Guide
(St. Paul, MN)
"Reviews and Reports on over 70 bicycle paths in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area!"
Maintained by the tireless Seamus Flynn, and a great little site for those local to the Twin Cities area.
Is the U.K. based caving gear store run by serious hard-ass Tony Seddon. This link goes to the 'caves' section of the store's site--complete with alarming portrait photo of Tony ("After 7 days underground and 700m prussiking").
The Oxford University
Maintained by Steve Roberts, a guy who is extraordinary in so many ways, I'll just limit myself here to saying "Steve is a man who knows about motors."
This is Liz Manicatide (now Liz LaManche), principal at Emphasis Creative's personal art & graphics site. I love Liz's work, panache, and aerial artistry, which leads me to--
Flying Squirrel Consortium
Phil Servita's site, and the place to go for custom fabricated circus equipment (either freestanding or fixed point), and aerial classes, if you happen to live in the area.
Paul's site is... unique, authentic, & expressive, and pretty much exactly what I think of when I think of a website as an artform.
Sites I enjoy
I don't know these people, but I appreciate their work.
What's That Bug?
The title says it all. An incredibly useful site for both the non-bug-phobic & the consummate bug-phobe.
Margaret & Helen
Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting…
Okay, I'm nowhere near a grandmother, but I very much appreciate what these women are trying to do. Especially the fact-checking part.
This site is ridiculous. The home-made signage is the best.