Thursday, February 18, 2010


Phew, a month has passed as the blog has sat fallow.

I was off in Los Angeles for 10 days at the end of January -- doing ethnography for one of the unions trying to organize grocery workers, and managing a couple of other ethnographers, a videographer, and another anthropologist doing on-going phone interviews for the same project.  That set us hip-deep in data that we're still chewing through.

It was good to see Anna, Esperanza and Alberto, and I used Glendale as my base of operations.  They fed me well.

As that California project slips into the write-up and video-edit stages, I'm running point on the next phase of research, interviewing Walmart employees. (More on that later.)

In Rhode Island and Connecticut, unsettled weather has brought snow days and school delays.  Nothing like the blizzards they've gotten further south and inland, but Monica and the boys have been exploring the local ski slopes.  A few warm days have thinned the snow cover and it's patchy on the sunniest spots.  The rivers are running high.  A bluebird showed up yesterday morning, poking around in Nico's birdhouse.  The juncos hopped around looking at it as though it were an apparition.

I introduced the boys to GURPS, the role-playing game, and it became an immediate obsession.  Their characters bonded in their first tavern brawl - an important rite of passage in gaming.  And now they are starting out on a campaign to free some captive wizards in hopes of getting some magic items in reward.  Porter has a cat-man with powers of stealth and invisibility as well as a woman knife-fighter who teleports.  Nico has a red-headed fencer who shape-shifts to a fox and a female elven archer.  I'm running a pyromaniacal dwarf and a magic user to balance out the group.  It all waits on Porter getting ahead on his burden of homework.

Monica's been emailing back and forth with Clara settling the details of March's trip to Costa Rica.  We're getting antsy for travel.