Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Airing

I haven't talked much, if at all, about tomorrow's Royal Wedding. I haven't heard much about it either, to be honest. I've read a little in my free People magazines but that's largely it. Mostly I've heard people complaining about hearing about the wedding too much. I guess I'm not consuming the same media they are.

I'm not going to get up in the middle of the night to watch. I did that for the last one and I'm glad that I did and it was a lot of fun. My dad woke me up and I went into my parents' room and snuggled into their fuzzy bean bag chair (never mind, just keep reading) and together we all watched this incredible piece of theatre. It wasn't until later that we all found out how thickly the makeup and paint and smoke and mirrors had been laid. (If it weren't for Wills' thinning hair might we wonder about the royal half of his parentage?)

I am going to watch tomorrow's wedding, though. This is the sort of thing, I think, that DVRs were made for. Tomorrow in the late afternoon some friends are coming over and we're going to just revel in the spectacle. I will buy some bubbly drinks, I've heard that tea sandwiches are in the offing and we may indeed wear flowers and tiaras in our hair. Come on, if we're going to make a point to get together and watch the wedding of people we've never met who were born into fame against their will we may as well go whole hog. Doing it together is what makes it fun.

If you're not watching, that's cool, I get that. If you are watching, have fun! If you don't want to hear about it then what the hell are you doing this deep into a post where I led with a freaking photo of the monarchy? Go read something you do want to hear about.

Whatever you do tomorrow I hope it's a good day.

Good. Bad. No Ugly.

Flickr is maddeningly slow this morning (possibly so many people sharing photos of the terrifying weather that happened last night) so no pictures right now but, before I post anything more substantial for the day I've got a little yin/yang from my day job.

This morning one boss and his wife took their beloved dog, Daisy, to the vet to help her pain. In that permanent way. Her bad days are outnumbering her good and it was time to ease her suffering. So, as per the instructions of this site, more treats for everyone today in Daisy's honor.

Thankfully, my other boss called with some good news. Her first grandchild was born this morning. The family is happy and healthy and she was able to see the baby soon after he was born very, very early today. So, you know, smell the head of a baby if you can do it without being creepy. Or maybe just be nice to the next kid you see.

Hope any bad in your day is being outweighed by the good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photo Challenge: CATCH/RELEASE

We have a record number of participants in the CATCH/RELEASE photo challenge! Thanks for being so willing everyone. Super fun to go through and choose which pics to include (see them all here). Enjoy! (Also, scroll down for the next challenge.)

This one by Smalltown Mom looks so peaceful and serene in thumbnail then sneaks up on you with its Dread Pirate Robertsness.

Fondofsnape is the only photographer I know who consistently uses her lens comedically. I want to learn to translate dry wit into image, too!

The nearly uniform colors in lshykula's capture here make it impossible for me to look away from her son's sparkly eyes. I can almost hear him giggling.

I was talking with Bethany about this shot this week. I wasn't consciously looking to include all the traditionally appropriate principles of composition - color, line, focus, light - but they fell into place for me.

Elephant Soap is always putting the focus somewhere I don't expect. It makes me look at my own world differently, too, which is awesome.

This is one of a series of Orange Cape shots that herm007 took which make it so clear that those capes have magic sewn in. I'd love to see this as book cover art.

Sueb0b shared this fantastic shot that just fills me with hope. I love balloons and graduations.

I don't know why I don't plan these prompts ahead of time. I guess it's one aspect of my life where I'm actually able to live in the moment. I know that after I finish all the formatting and writing of the rest of the post I'll get to this place on the screen and something (SOMETHING!) will come to me. Today the voice in my head said, "Wine, women & song." Perhaps I'm watching too much of Game of Thrones. But I'm sticking with this prompt, however you choose to interpret it.

Please add your shots to our Flickr Pool by 9am on Tuesday May 10 for posting on Wednesday May 11. Please enable downloading on Tuesday or email me a copy of the pic so I can post it here (if you want it posted here). Tag with PhotoChallenge and WINE/WOMEN/SONG. Thanks again for making my days happy and bright with images and inspiration. I'm not even kidding when I say that I check the pool every day to see if anything new has popped up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Can Quote Me On This

Let's go with 10 Quotes today. Simple. Fun. Thought provoking?

OK, let's not overdo it.

1. "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York." Richard III, William Shakespeare

2. "Happy Easter everyone! Jesus dies, comes back from the dead - and we get chocolate eggs. It's like turn-down service from God." Denis Leary (from his Twitter account)

3. "Let's just...go with it." My Hair Stylist

4. "Yap, yap, yap, yap, Yap, YAP YAPYAPYAPYAPYAPYAPYAP!!!! Yap." My dog

5. "..." My cats

6. "If you read someone else's diary, you get what you deserve." David Sedaris

7. "There’s no yes in yesterday. And who knows what tomorrow brings or takes away." Song lyrics from Here's to Life by Phyllis Molinary

8. "It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. " Erma Bombeck

9. "Alan West to propose replacing the Constitution with "The Handmaids Tale"" Lizz Winstead (from her Twitter account)

10. "Can we have ice cream for lunch?" Me

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mired Myself

I do not suggest that, upon drawing a poetical blank on the last Monday of National Poetry Month, you google "perfect poem." No, do not do that. Consider that advice my creatively wrapped gift to you. Results are alternately stultifying and embarrassing. Eventually, though, you'll get to one that reaches out and pulls you from the mire. Unsurprisingly it will be by Dorothy Parker.

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet--
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
"My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.
That, of course, will center you. You will feel hope again for poetry and remember to link to a couple of other nice things you've found in the realm of verse.

Aaryn Belfer did not find just a poem, she found a poetic experience and she shared it with the internet.

Rob Rummel-Hudson is forever finding new and wonderful ways to describe and honor his fabulous daughter, Schuyler. This Langston Hughes poem is one of my favorite of his ways.

Have you found any poems lately?

*Pictured: Langston Hughes, since we haven't had a photo of him yet this month.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I talk a lot about how long my people live and how long I expect to live. I'm sure you know it's not that I think it's impossible that I might be hit by a bus or felled by some weird flu or whatever. I've had people die unexpectedly but more often I've seen people go slowly. Sometimes very slowly. So I think more about that because there are things about that you can control or, at the very least, beware of.

I don't exactly look forward to being old. It's the alternative I'm not wild about, as they say. I know there will be physical aches and pains and psychological ones, too. I'm not excited by the prospect, of course, but I think those can be dealt with. There's only one thing I'm really afraid of.

I don't want to get bitter.

I'm sharp already. I'm heavy on the sarcasm and lean toward the cutting joke. I'm good at it and most of the time it's funny. There will come a time, to be sure, when it's not, though. And I don't want to be so nasty and discontented that it's all anyone remembers of me. I don't want them to have to dig to recall the last time I laughed and laughed with them.

One of my darker jokes has always been that when (not if, when) I get the diabetes you should just put a pillow over my face. I love my sugar and my carbs. I love them dearly and I will be miserable without them. I'll probably learn to live without but I'll always miss them.

What I really should make you promise, though, is that if you ever see me going over to the bitter side, if you ever get to a point where you can't remember me laughing, really laughing, that's when you should slip me an extra dose of my arthritis meds. Maybe two.

Remember me smiling.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Migrated daffodil on a mound of leftover dirt in Fort Greene Park. A little splash of hope and beauty on a dull day.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 22, 2011


Got new hair and new lipgloss. Not completely sure how I feel about either. Thoughts?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home Retirement

As you finish touring the Temple of Heaven you exit along a path that is parallel to a porch-like walkway. At the beginning there are people selling souvenirs then it thins out a lot and just before you leave the temple grounds there's a long stretch full of people. Our tour guide told us that a lot of retired folks come there to socialize and relax. It was like bridge group crossed with roller derby. Clutches of people played cards or Chinese chess and even more people were crowded around each clutch spectating and heckling and generally having a jolly old time.

If it had been a warmer time or we'd had more leeway in our schedule I could have stayed there snapping photos for hours. So many beautiful, passionate people, so much fun being had. It was one of my favorite photo opps of the trip.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NWW: Caught Up In Getting Down

Recently I hit a section of photos from the China trip where I didn't like a blessed one for a long time. They all felt half-assed, poorly composed, mislit or any combination thereof. Then I got to this one and I decided I liked me again. Whew!

Have you entered the CATCH/RELEASE photo challenge yet?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love To Do

I love to do lists. The last month or so, though, I've been fully incapable of making them. Despite having made a list for this week I noticed as I ticked away at it this morning that the accomplishments weren't exactly marked with high difficulty. I am a little discombobulated. My brain power has been going to socializing and while that may take a very small wattage for many of you it takes pretty much all the amps and volts I have. Doesn't mean I don't like doing it (usually) or like the people I'm doing it with (almost always) just means that it's not my default setting. The battery she runs right down.

All my way of saying that I'm just going to share some weird shit with you in a list of 10 format today.

1. For 2 days I've been watching the NY Times' Hawk Cam. There are apparently 3 eggs under the mama in the nest high up on a window ledge of the library of my alma mater. I haven't seen them yet but I will!

2. My dog disapproves of yoga. Or anything else that encourages people to stand on one leg. He would like me to tell you that you don't look one bit like a tree so you should quit it because it's weird and bothersome. That's what all his barking means. (Side note: Many thanks to the young lady in tree pose in the park at 6:30 this morning for being cool about having a small dog tell her off for working out.)

3. If you like books and you like things that are funny you should really be subscribed to Better Book Titles. Thanks go to Kath for tipping me off to it while we sat in the corner at a party and made up titles for Melville books. ("Whale! Turn Around!!!!!")

4. I met a famous author at dinner the other night. I had already read one of her books. Now I can't decide which one to read next.

5. Oh, right, I owe you guys a winner of the Comstock video. DVD arrived a while ago I just need to wrap my head around setting up the list for the randomizer to choose from. I've got a 4 day weekend starting Thursday. I have big hopes for this sort of thing to be done then.

6. One of the things I didn't quite expect from Twitter, though I should have, happened today. A blogger posted her own obituary, written in the first person then killed herself, leaving the internet to decide how to get her help. As I didn't follow her before this happened I am only getting information third hand but it seems that she succeeded. It's a strange and terrible thing on a number of different levels.

7. I'm still posting photos of China because I'm still processing them. I'm up to the part where we visited the Temple of Heaven. Lots of math involved in the construction of that temple. 3 times 3 of these and 9 times 9 of these and 27 of these all laid out so that you can hear a whisper on the other side. Very cool and somewhat intimidating.

8. Someone keeps asking me what I'm doing for Easter. I keep saying, "I...don't really...celebrate Easter." That sounds weird to me but it's accurate. I'm technically Christian (Congregationalist if you want to put me on the lists somewhere) but Easter wasn't something we spent a lot of time on. Sometimes my grandmother made ham so we wore skirts and ate it. Oh, and once there was a chocolate egg hunt. She hid one of the eggs inside a crocus.

9. If there was an egg hunt I could go to I would celebrate that way, I think. That feels worth making an effort.

10. Is there anything you'd like to tell me?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Live & The Dead Nettle

It's still poetry month, you guys. I have no anchor this time but plenty still to share.

Clemo has recently shared something by Ogden Nash, by Spike Milligan and by Nipsey Russell. Go check those out.

Gert tossed a nice Frost into the wind.

Chili mentioned a specific poem by Paul Monette, Love Alone. I couldn't find the text of that online but at the beginning of some fan fiction inspired by his book of the same name I found this lovely piece of Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Love can not fill the thickening blood with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.

Carmencita suggested I check out Robert Service's work and this one, The Three Bares, is a hoot.

I have refrained thus far from linking repeatedly to the T. S. Eliot poem that calls to me every year. Probably many times of the year. It is Little Gidding and you can see the whole text here. This year, though, just in case you can't bring yourself to click (CLICK!) I give you this tiny excerpt:
"There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons; and, growing between them, indifference
Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives—unflowering, between
The live and the dead nettle. This is the use of memory:
For liberation—not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country
Begins as attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance
Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,
History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,
The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,
To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern."
I mean, wow, right? That dude really knew what he was talking about, don't you think? Sure, he might have been a huge downer at parties but I wish that he and Dorothy Parker could have sat in the corner of a Christmas party some time, next to me, telling my about life, love, the universe and everything. 

Not least, though, is Pony Express' contribution. She said right off the bat, "Lewis Carroll!" and immediately began to quote the Jabberwocky. I'm not reprinting that here. Go click, though, it's fun, and even better if two of your friends break into it as a duet at the brunch table. I will instead give you the text that was used as lyrics to a song I sang in high school:
You Are Old Father William
by Lewis Carroll

'You are old, Father William', the young man said,
   'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
   Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

'In my youth', Father William replied to his son,
   'I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
   Why, I do it again and again.'

'You are old', said the youth, 'as I mentioned before,
   And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door --
   Pray, what is the reason of that?'

'In my youth', said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
   'I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment - one shilling the box -
   Allow me to sell you a couple?'

'You are old', said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
   For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -
   Pray, how did you manage to do it?'

'In my youth', said his father, 'I took to the law,
   And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
   Has lasted the rest of my life.'

'You are old', said the youth, 'one would hardly suppose
   That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose -
   What made you so awfully clever?'

'I have answered three questions, and that is enough,'
   Said his father, 'don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
   Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!'

OK, now you go. What other poems do you love?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Three Can Play

Yesterday was a pretty fantastic day for my whole menagerie. I left the house about 9:30 and spent the day with Queen Bee and Chrome. There was knitting and sushi and sake and wine and guacamole and, most important of all, a brandy new Broadway musical that surprised us all.

The dog got to spend the day at mecca, the home off Scooter Food, Scooter Snacks and their beloved creator. He had two companions in crime, M's dog, Ben (the fluffy black one) and his trusty sidekick, Mr. Smith. I hear they played all day (below) with a brief break to take over M's bed for a nap (above).

The cats got to stay home alone without any of us bothering them.


*Photos courtesy of M and a quick finger on the cell phone's shutter button.