Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Second Thought Not That Thing

ProfiterolesAngela is having another Bread Pudding Off on her blog which keeps reminding me of a story from my childhood.

I do not like bread pudding.

When I was a kid my mom made this awesome pudding cake thing where you make the dough and then you make this very thin sauce, you put the sauce in the baking dish then you plop dumplings of chocolate dough into it, bake it and you have cake smothered in pudding. It's freaking awesome.

As a young elementary school aged kid, though, I didn't have a lot of appropriate descriptive skills so when I sort of vaguely explained to my mom what I wanted she obliged me by making bread pudding. It didn't seem the same going into the oven but I knew that the other thing morphed when you cooked it so I waited it out. It did not morph nearly enough. I kept trying to explain a sauce and my mother kept offering to drown the bread pudding in heavy cream which she also does with cooked chocolate pudding and which I do not like either. After much discussion (while she ate bread pudding and I did not) I was able to make it clear that I was talking about a different dessert entirely and she has never wasted bread pudding on me again.

I've told you before that I explain myself much better in writing. That story might be why I learned to describe stuff. I still feel bad about the whole thing.

*This is a photo of profiteroles I had in Italy. They are nothing like either dessert mentioned in this post.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Photo Challenge: DIGNITY

Have I mentioned how much I love doing these challenges? Well, if I haven't please be assured that I do. I really, really do. Thanks for joining me!

Sunbeam Dignity
I have known Our Lisa since I was a tween and her mom hasn't changed one whit since I first saw her. Beautiful.

In light of the gigantic todo over the Boob Song from the Oscar telecast Our Alisun's entry is perfectly on point.

Dad's old chess set
I have to ask Our Janet who George is and what he has to do with her dad's chess set.

Our Bethany lives with a bunch of yahoos. It's a good thing she likes them. (I do, too.)

I wasn't sure about this one of my mom at dinner in Italy but I kept coming back to it. In this context I like to think she's laughing at Bethany's picture above.

Sometimes something hits you at the perfectly teachable moment so you can never, no matter how you try, unlearn it. One of those things for me was a bulletin board display in 3rd Grade (shout out to Miss England!) that had a calendar and for March it said "In like a lion and out like a lamb" and we talked about what that would mean. Every March, without fail, that phrase repeats in my head. So, of course, this next challenge is going to be LION/LAMB but with that saying in mind so interpret away, you fabulously creative people!

Please enter by 9am Tuesday March 12th (my mom's birthday!) for posting on March 13th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and LION/LAMB. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have questions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

10 Things Favorite

UntitledToday's 10 Things are courtesy of the Favorites section of my Twitter account. No real surprises, probably, but some fun stuff and some smart stuff and some weird stuff. So, business as usual, carry on!

1. I am having cravings for chicken pot pie and cornbread. I'm collecting recipes and talking to people about it. One of these days I'll actually purchase or make the foods in question, too.

2. I'm debating taking a course that will help certify me as a dog trainer. Part of that debate is becoming more interested in articles on dog behavior. This one, recommended by our trainer, on idiopathic (aka unexplainable) aggression in dogs is very interesting. The short answer is that it's much more rare than we're led to believe. Most often people just aren't looking very hard or very carefully for an explanation.

3. Some hard facts about pure bred dogs and good reasons to adopt and to consider mutts. (You can always adopt from a breed rescue if you've got your heart set for some reason.)

4. If you're feeling the desire to vandalize stuff the bar has already been set pretty high.

5. According to a poll run by NBC and the Wall Street Journal the majority of Americans want abortion to be legal. I'm surprised and cautiously pleased.

6. I learned some stuff about the iconic Roe v. Wade case in this short article. The more you know...

7. Apparently in Japan everyone carries around their own towel. I just started re-reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy so this resonates strongly with me. It's also good for conservation but I'll wait to hear how my germophobe readers ring in on the practice.

8. I'm always harping on you guys to get your wills in order and take pictures for your obituaries, even when I haven't kept up with those things. Here's a site, by a widow who waited too long to do this work, that can help us!

9. If you don't know cartoonist (is that the right term?) Lynda Barry you should. Here's as good a place to start as any!

10. Articles like this inspire me to make my home a more efficient and beautiful place. Sadly I have yet to find an article that actual gets me off the couch to implement the inspirations.

*Photo of Chrome on her birthday in October reading a letter sent by Misti, 'cause they are some of my favorites, too.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Insert Military Slogan Here

UntitledYou know how we're always saying stuff about "becoming a better person?" It's easy to gloss over the fact that that also means we're not our best version yet.

I hate line cutters. I get an extraordinary joy out of making them backtrack. It's unseemly, really. Whether it's a car in a merge lane or a pedestrian on the subway stairs I throw my everything into making sure that they wait their damn turn and hold my arms aloft Rocky-style when I win.

This morning I started up the stairs from the train and had the usual feelings about the trip. Recently one staircase has been closed down so everyone is jamming into one. This makes it even more important (in my tiny mind) that we all keep to the right in single file to leave the other lane free for people going downstairs. Folks mill about at the bottom, jockeying gently for position. You can tell the passers because they're looking up, checking for a break in the flow of downward traffic so they can jump into the left lane and go around. If someone starts down before they make it to the top they shoulder in to the plodding right lane and bide their time at our lowly pace until another opening appears.

As I mounted the first stair the guy behind me was clearly a passer. He was peeking out around me to see his moment. I prepared, gripping my book a little tighter, folding my elbows in, inching closer to the woman ahead of me. Tapping her heel with my toe and leaving my face inches from her derriere were small prices to pay in the interest of justice. Out the guy went but I was ready. When a kindly older lady met him face to face he tried to squeeze in front of me and met my implacable elbow. He had to fade back! He apologized to me! Victory in our time!

I sucked on that lozenge of triumph for a few more stairs, until the guy pulled out again and jogged to the top of the stairs. At that point I started to maybe feel not so great about myself. It's possible I might need to work harder on letting things go and picking my battles. I'm so bad at letting things go.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Poetry Prayer #5

It's time (perhaps well past time) to start memorizing lyrics for the new songs I want to learn. Here's one I am falling in love with. It's by October Project so the lyrics are those of Julie Flanders.

Something More Than This

In the shadow cast as you were leaving
In the beauty of the ending day
There is always something to return to
Something you allow
To slip away

In the empty corners of the evening
In the vacant beauty of the wind
There is always something to remember
Something to remember
To begin

I need no shelter
I need no guide
I'll be alone on this long dark ride

Whatever you fear
Whatever you hide
Whatever you carry deep inside
There's something more than this

Whatever you love
Whatever you give
Whatever you think you need to live
There's something more than this

In the shadow cast as you were leaving
In the beauty of the ending day
There is always something to believe in
As I watch you slip away

I need no shelter
I need no guide
I'll be alone on this long dark ride

Whatever you fear...

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Afternoon

New cutI took February off from vocal coaching in order to listen to music, watch movies, read books, and be generally lazy. It has not, in large part, turned out that way. I mean, I've been lazy certainly, but not the gigantic swathes of time spent listening to songs or writing stories or napping that I'd envisioned and maybe even longed for.

Today is the last Friday of the month. First I went to the early, cheap showing of Side Effects with my friend, Bill. Such a good mystery with plenty to think about regarding the financial and pharmaceutical industries as topping. (If anyone has seen it I'd love to talk about it but don't want to spoil anything here.)

Then I got my hair cut. While this was one more thing to do it also counts as a perfect rest-month activity because Tonya is fun and her shop is calm and soothing and we have a lovely time hanging out. Today was, of course, no exception.

Pretty early on she mentioned in passing that she's brainstorming ways to expand her clientele. I listed a few spectacularly average ideas before I took my usual turn into the realm of social media. We spent the rest of my hair cut and a nice chunk of time afterward talking about how Twitter works and why I think it's a powerful and even malleable tool for small businesses.

In the course of my monologue, which wasn't anything resembling linear, I explained, to someone already suspicious of social media's usefulness, that every time I get my hair cut I take pictures of it and put it on the internet. The point I was working toward was that if she had a Twitter handle I'd include that when I posted the pics and would thereby boost her signal and name recognition and whatnot. I hope that's what she heard because I can easily understand how it just came across as weird.

I'll own my weird, though. So here's a slightly arty photo of my new haircut*, both front and back in the same shot. I'm going to tweet it out soon. I hope Tonya sees it.

*That's not a recreational Hitler mustache, I'm still healing from the topical chemo thing, it's peeling and red but doesn't hurt anymore and usually doesn't even itch so it's an improvement.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Sense Memory


Processing some of the photos from Italy was hard because the sense memory is so strong. The food and drink were fantastic and we had plenty of time to truly enjoy every bite. I felt just short of gutted when I finished the prosecco pictured here because it was the last glass I'd have in Italy. Every time I look at it I want that taste in my mouth again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Pieces and Bits

WhenThings I've been wanting to share.

1. Karen Wolrond has cleared up why her self portraits are always so good. She's not screwing around spending 5 minutes in the bathroom mirror right before bed. You get what you pay for, even if you're paying in time and effort.

2. I finally finished processing all my photos from Italy. Huge weight off to finally have them out in the world. Man, what a great trip!

3. I'm finding myself grimly fascinated by the case of Oscar Pistorious and his now dead girlfriend. Over at Shakesville there's talk about how, in an extremely confusing statement, he talks about feeling fear and vulnerability and how men in our culture (white, straight, cis men) don't learn to live with fear and work through it. I would even extrapolate that to say that we don't, as a culture, tend to raise men to sit with, process, and accept as normal any feelings except perhaps anger. I don't think we're doing anyone a service with this approach.

4. I am intrigued by Stephen Falk's short summary of this book, the title, and the cover art. Can anyone give me a personal recommendation?

Citrusy Something 5. I have a thin connection to Burger King's administration. After yesterday's shenanigans I'm wondering if I should use that to see if they want a new social media director.

6. The top picture of POTUS in this post cracks me up every time I look at it.

7. I have been against the building of Atlantic Yards and the Barclay Center since the beginning. It's inaccurate to say I'm happy to hear that most of the employees don't have health insurance more like I'm unsurprised.

8. 21 states will soon ban insurance coverage of abortion. I'm running out of ways to explain that this is wrong and stupid. Not only should every citizen of our fair country have the right to govern her own body but if you let the skills for this procedure die out then you're looking at a host of health problems and deaths that are non-fetus-related. I'm taking suggestions on how to get the country to wise the fuck up.

9. I have recently discovered The Disgruntled Bookseller. It seems he and I share a love for The English Patient.

10. As you know I've been thinking a bit lately about when one's appearance might keep someone from socializing (update: there is scabbing in the healing process, also a little bleeding, it's kind of gross). This story from Advanced Style made me really happy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Not What You Think

Dear Whole Wide World;

I am white, short, my face reads young, and I am often alone. These things do not mean that I am a pushover. If you require further proof I direct you to NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission Hack #05067547 Medallion #8G98 and the trip from 15:12 - 15:57 today, February 18, 2013. He thought he could bully me out of my lawful ride because he didn't want to drive that far.

Sorry Charlie.

No, come to think of it I'm not.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Poetry Prayer #3

Sometimes it's just one line that gets you in a poem. For me it's the first line of this Celtic piece. This is another one I was turned on to when Sara's choral group sang a version of it.

The Coolin
by James Stephens

Come with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat,
Or wine if it be thy will
And we will talk until
Talk is a trouble, too,
Out on the side of the hill,
And nothing is left to do,
But an eye to look into an eye
And a hand in a hand to slip,
And a sigh to answer a sigh,
And a lip to find out a lip
What if the night be black
And the air on the mountain chill,
Where the goat lies down in her track
And all but the fern is still!
Stay with me under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat
Out on the side of the hill.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wear Your Sunscreen

Filtered For Clarity

Probably all I need to say about this is that when the doctor walked into the exam room yesterday he said, "Yup. The cream never lies." The translation is that the highlighted areas are sun damage.

Wear your sunscreen people.

The top image is filtered in instagram because I think it shows the dots of damage more clearly. See that very dark bit on the bridge of my nose? Totally fucked. Well, not totally. The point of this exercise is to have the cream destroy the evil cells so that surgery is unnecessary. Watch will be kept but so far so good on the no surgery front.

The bottom picture is how I look these days in bathroom light. I've got cortisone cream to use for three days to alleviate the ow and the itch. Then it's Aquaphor at night until healing is accomplished. The scaly, bumpy, disgusting parts should fade in about a week. The redness should be gone in about a month. I've got a follow up appointment in May.

Wear your sunscreen. And a hat. Then take some Vitamin D3.

Got it?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Different Love

4th(ish) Birthday

A different loving post today.

4th(ish) Birthday

It's someone's made up birthday.

4th(ish) Birthday Album Cover

He's FOUR! Ish!

4th(ish) Birthday Bershon

I've liked him a whole lot since the beginning.

4th(ish) Birthday Bershon Closeup

But I like him better every day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photo Challenge: HEARTFELT

Happy Almost Half Price Candy Day (February edition), you guys! We've got some HEARTFELT photos to launch you into the loving frame of mind. Some marvelous stuff here, please let the photographers know that you appreciate them. Scroll down for a new prompt.

Our Bethany's Grambie died last week. While it wasn't exactly unexpected it is still a terrible blow. This moment was captured by Bethany's husband, Michael, on their last visit together.

2011 November 112 Susie Tree wish
Please click through and read up on this shot from kcinnova. It's a message from a memorial tree planting project called The Susie Forest and it's beautiful.

Finnegan Takes a Sick Day
I can't say enough about what wonderful guys Our Lisa is raising. Here her guy is showing off Finnegan. Finnegan is having a sick day, poor thing, but I think he's in extremely capable hands.

Young Carter
I thought this was a shot of one of Our Cindy's relatives until I looked more closely at the tags. Former President Carter was quite a romantic!

This might be my very favorite photo of the whole trip to Italy (finally finished processing all the photos on Monday night, only took 5 months!). Queen Bee enjoying the garnish on our amazing house special cocktails with our pizza lunch on Murano. Delish!

UPDATE: Late breaking entry. I hate it when people want to be in and get left out.

Hearts:  Here, There, and Everywhere
Pretty sure this is one hand belonging to Our Janet and one belong to Her Dave. I think they might like each other.

There was a State of the Union speech last night. We're coming up on President's Day. A couple of days ago I got a brief history of the creation of Liberia (hint: it's directly related to slavery in the US) from a neighbor. Monday Aaryn Belfer shared this video and post by a friend of hers. To say that DIGNITY is on my mind a bit is an understatement. So, that's our prompt. Go to it!

Please enter by 9am Tuesday February 26th for posting on February 27th. Tag your photos with PHOTO CHALLENGE and DIGNITY. Check out the wonderful work in our Flickr Pool for inspiration. Also, let me know if you have questions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

9 + 1 Foods

Will BusterSome neighbors invited me to their rocking Korean New Year party. All the food was homemade and there was much of it. I wanted to record what we had so I wouldn't forget and my 10 Things Tuesday list seemed as good a place as any. 

Note: I got halfway through before I realized I was using the word 'delicious' for every entry so please understand that the delicious is implied.

9 Things We Ate at the Lunar New Year Party (Korean Style)

1. Skewers of sweet, tender beef cooked over a fancy brazier that sat on the dining table.

2. Clear noodles with finely chopped veggies and a little meat.

3. Meat dumplings.

4. Dessert rice, which I think is traditionally lucky for the new year. It had dates and pine nuts and sugar and honey in it.

5. Wine.

6. Spinach or kale pancake things.

7. Pecan pie (I think that's non-traditional).

8. Sparkling wine.

9. More dessert rice (it was that good).

1 Thing We Didn't Eat

1. Snake

Photo is from my trip to China. I don't have any photos of the party. I was too busy stuffing food in my maw to take any.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Gaga Dress, DetailI may have told you that I'm voluntarily doing a round of what amounts to topical chemotherapy on some spots on my face. They are believed to be actinic keratoses (say that 10 times fast) and I'm using 5-Fluorouracil cream, which is the one my insurance would cover. I think the other was Aldara. (Humorous note: I originally spelled that Alderra which brought back a lot of results for Star Wars and Alderaan.)

I knew going in that it was going to rough up my face but after like 3 days with the stuff when there was just a tiny bit of redness I was starting to think it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I also started to tell myself that the watery eyes and soreness were crap, too. I mean, I asked the dermatologist if it would hurt and he said no. Then on Friday night, exactly a week after starting it, my lip felt tickly after I applied the cream. Quick mirror check shows that I'm bleeding! Not badly but like I cut myself shaving. At that point I did some internet research.

Why didn't I do some of that before I started putting a controlled substance on my face? Oh, you, with your questions. Hush now.

It doesn't say anywhere on the internet that I could find that you should stop using the cream or call your doctor if there's a tiny bit of bleeding. The scaliness is to be expected and I'm pretty sure the seepage is, too. I don't look like any of the bad reaction shots in those links so I'm calling it good until I see the doc on Thursday.

The internet actually made me feel better about the soreness and the eye involvement. Apparently it does hurt some people and we all know I have no tolerance for any kind of pain. Some people also have eye symptoms even without making contact with the eyes. Mine aren't bad, just weird. After looking at all the painful pictures, too, I convinced myself that I was only seeing the destruction because I was looking for it. Then Pony Express came over. I hadn't told her I'd started this yet and she was there to do something else so I didn't mention it. I didn't want to seem like I was attention-seeking. Sitting across the room from me she stops in mid-sentence and says, "Your nose"

So, ok, I guess it's noticeable. Oopsie!

For some reason until I looked up the information I hadn't fully admitted that what I'm doing is putting poison on my face on purpose. This seems...unwise. Except, well, Fuck Cancer, right? I don't know.

If any of you know, let me know, you know?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Poetry Prayer #2

UntitledThis week Cindy posted her Love Thursday about Chris. Today is the first anniversary of his death. I didn't comment on the Love Thursday post because I'd never met Chris. Suebob did, though, and apparently she really hit the nail on the head. I wanted to do...something. I thought maybe this Sunday poetry thing might be good. I focused on limericks for a while but you'd be surprised at the dearth of good limericks available by googling "funny limerick." Googling "funny poems" brings you a lot of "family friendly" selections which didn't seem like Chris at all. Finally I found a passable limerick and another poem I think I've posted before but that I still think is funny in a more subtle way. Hope you enjoy them.

There Once Was A Man From Nantucket
by Anonymous

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all of his cash in a bucket.
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nan took it.

This is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Snow Line


I didn't think we'd get as far as the park so I didn't bring a big camera. The boy loved it, though, so in we went and met up with friends and trudged around.


The best thing I saw, but didn't get a shot of, was a family we passed on the way home. Dad, wearing boots, fancy warming socks, fancy warm jacket, ski hat, and cut off sweatpants as shorts was pulling a sled with one kid. Mom, more conventionally attired, followed behind pulling a long sled with a second kid who asleep. Awesome.


I hope that everyone is well and safe right now. I know the north land got slammed with more than two feet of snow and high tides and a bunch of insanity. Please be very careful out there.


Friday, February 08, 2013

Ask It

Some questions are almost impossible to answer on your own. Maybe crowd sourcing will work.

Why can I never remember how to knit a freaking purl stitch? This baby hat is a mess.

Ok, what do you need to ask?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Not Picnic

Em Blizzard of 96
So, there's a lot of hysteria over a coming winter storm. So much, in fact, that some idiot actually published a forecast that projected 30" of snow for New York City. That's not going to happen, kids. On the other hand, for some other places, especially in New England, it's going to be at least that much if not more.

While tracking the storm yesterday I spoke with a co-worker and we reminisced about the blizzard in January of 1996. She proudly recounted how she'd just moved to New Jersey and insisted to her husband that she'd get to work in New York City no matter what. She did. Shortly thereafter her office closed because the storm was so bad. I nodded and smiled and appreciated the story.

I am a fan of people who work hard. I really am. I hope we don't all have to work so hard that we can't also play hard but, especially when you're doing something you love, and this woman was, I am pro-hard work. However, I'm also pro-community responsibility which is why I'm about to tell you what I'm about to tell you.

Stay fucking put. Don't be an asshole.

If you live in a place where the weather is going to be bad please think at least twice before you go out in it. We're lucky to work at a time in history when many of us can work from home. Do you really think you need to go to that concert/show/art opening/party? Can you walk to and from it? And I hear you saying, "I'll be fine. I know what I'm doing." To which I am obligated to reply, "Not everything is about you." Weather is unpredictable and we'll all have to wait and see how bad it gets out there but imagine that you head out to work/concert/show/party and it's bad but not so bad. By the time you're good and ready to head home it's much worse and, through no failure of your own skills, you wind up in a ditch or smashed against a wall or tangoing with a casino bus. Now all sorts of first responder experts have to come dig your ass out of the snow bank instead of checking on the elderly or helping to bring the homeless inside or tending to a heart attack victim who shoveled too much. You won't mean to be part of the problem but, by not being part of the solution, you will be.

Rent some movies. Download a book. Dust off all the old monopoly pieces and hunker down. It's the responsible thing to do.


Photo from the actual 1996 Snow Event. Dogs were ecstatic but even they didn't stray more than half a block from home.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

NWW: Yum

One of the hardest things about travel is to taste things that are sublime, much better than the versions you've had at home, and then not be able to taste them again whenever you want.

We ate these delicacies on a hotel bed in Venice. I am genuinely sad that I can't have them again right now here on my couch.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

At Least Ten

Old WatcherBefore I get to the 10, here's a link to the full bloggy explanation of the project in yesterday's post.

1. Feministing published info on legislators who oppose the Violence Against Women Act. If I have to tell you why this makes them unfit to legislate I'm making you a footnote to the list. Sorry but it has to be done. If you live in a state where these folks have been elected please do contact their offices and express your disagreement.

2. If you ever loved the TV version of Friday Night Lights these tweets from Aziz Ansari during the Superbowl will bring a smile to your face.

3. Recently an activist named Aaron Swartz committed suicide. I didn't really know who he was. This is a wonderful explanation and tribute by author Cory Doctorow. I think you'll be glad to understand who Swartz was and what he was doing with his life. (Aside: I am nearly finished read Homeland by Doctorow and it is fabulous. I'm glad I read this piece before I got to the afterward by Swartz.)

Untitled 4. I'm not totally sure that you have to read this link unless you're completely unaware of a controversy that includes a pastor, a waitress, and a chain restaurant. If you know that much the only reason I'm posting this is because I've been reading all about it for entertainment and because I am interested in how social media is changing our world but now I only check out the links because I want to hear from the nasty pastor. Here's a woman who runs her own church after having been called to God while a single, homeless mother and she was instrumental in getting a low wage earning woman fired through an act she even characterized as ungodly. So, where's the apology and the repentance pastor? Where's all this Christian charity I hear so much about? You give God 10%, what's he going to give a woman who called out a prideful Christian and lost her job for it? Just wondering.

5. The description of this dog implies that people find certain animals unadoptable because they are "unsightly." That's pretty fucked up, don't you think?

6. Huge standing slow clap for Oregon. It's the only state that doesn't have anti-choice laws on the books. I want Oregon to come around to every state and help us be more like them in this respect. Let's make that happen, shall we? (Dear VT, given that you seem to have a law that you're leaving cluttering the books because it's overridden by federal law, you could have a pretty easy time matching Oregon's awesomeness.) (Dear OK, you probably want to get to work right away, you have the most laws to whittle away.)

Untitled 7. I watched just a few highlights of Hillary Clinton's appearance at the hearing on the deaths in Benghazi. I did see her get a little teary but nothing huge. Apparently she's being accused of using tears to gain sympathy. Many thanks to Shakesville for pointing out how fucking laughable that is, just ask any woman who has ever welled up in a work situation. Never gets you ahead. Fucking never.

8. You're just not going to convince me that more folks with guns is going to make our world safer. If you want to try then you're first going to have to suppress every, single, itchy trigger finger, mistaken identity story like this. So many other solutions were available to the shooter but, because he had a gun, that's what he used first. (Clarity: I'm anti-assault weapon and pro-mandatory registration and conflicted with regard to how background checks should be used.)

9. Here's a "cute" comic strip about what some people think feminists look like. It didn't make me laugh but it did make me happy.

10. This story happens to be pro-choice but I think that it can be inspiring even if you're anti-choice. A woman encountered an organized group of people who shared an opposing view point and she was brave enough to stand up in front of them, entirely spontaneously, and inform them of the reasoning behind her stance. She had to defend herself slightly but she did it anyway. It wasn't neat or scripted and there's no guarantee it changed any minds but I am endlessly impressed that she made the effort. Thank you Michelle Kinsey Bruns!

Monday, February 04, 2013


Neil Gaiman is doing a project with Blackberry. I haven't watched the video about it yet, you know me, but I got the gist from Twitter. He's putting out 12 prompts, one for each month. People are tweeting responses. He's going to do something with them. I assume write stories. I've been loving the prompts and would like to have them in one place so I'm going to put them here (up to October, I might get as far as November before I have to go to bed). Feel free to respond to any or all. They're fun!

Why is January so dangerous?

What's the strangest thing that ever happened to you in February?

What Historical figure does March remind you of?

What's your happiest memory of April?

What is the weirdest gift you've ever been given in May?

Where would you spend a perfect June?

What is the most unusual thing you have ever seen in July?

If August could speak, what would it say?

Tell me something you lost in September that meant a lot to you.

What mythical creature would you like to meet in October? (&why?)

What would you burn in November, if you could?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Poetry Prayer #1

There are many things I'd like to make a habit of but without accountability I know that it's unlikely I'll keep up with it. I'll binge and forget and binge and forget in a way that doesn't lead me anywhere but in circles.

Today I went to listen to Sara's chorus sing their winter program. This time the theme was poetry set to music. There were a lot of quite well known poets represented and some that weren't as easy to identify. The music spanned centuries.

One of the things I always wish I was doing is reading more poetry. I love it but find it takes a lot of concentration which is at odds with the super fast way I love to read. Around National Poetry Month (April) I usually spend a day figuring out which poems I want to share but then I fall off the wagon again. As I listened to these lovely poems sung I lamented my old familiar ways until I thought of something better. I think I shall share a poem every Sunday here on ye olde blogge. It seems like a Sabbathy sort of thing to do without being churchy which isn't something I'm into.

I'm going to start off with an e. e. cummings that I heard today. It was set to music by Eric Whitacre. Having grown up near the ocean and finding that both frightening and comforting this burrowed into my heart.

maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) 
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

Friday, February 01, 2013

Different Verse

Day 275: PrescribedI'm afraid this may not be scintillating reading but, with health care as with so many things, I feel as though the more we tell our stories and get the information out there the better chance we have of getting some change in this stupid system. If I needed back up on that (I don't) here's a post from Shakesville today about how all the people telling us to "pull [our]selves up by [our] bootstraps" don't understand what that would entail. As you may know, I've spent several years working for rich folks so I speak from experience when I tell you that, no, they really don't have a clue how the system works. They don't have to.

So, anyway, what I'm here to document is a trip to the pharmacist. If you don't know about my fun with basal cell carcinoma here are the photos.

I now mention every single weird skin thing to Dr. Choudhury, my dermatologist. When I got my annual check I asked him to reassure me again that two spots on my face were harmless. He allowed as how, if they continued to present in a way I found troubling, I could use a cream that works in some magic way to both discourage cancerous growth and/or expose it. Since part of that process is to make my face look red, irritated, and gross I decided to wait until after I was done with the show, which meant waiting until the new year was well under way. Yesterday we met.

There are two versions of the cream. Dr. Choudhury and his student debated which to use. They talked to me about whether I'd rather have a shorter, more aggressive and obvious course of treatment or a longer, easier one. I chose the former to get it over with then thought for a bit and asked about price. The doc had been putting both choices into the computer and said that, actually, insurance had made the choice for us*, they would only cover one. Not my best move, I realize now, but I didn't even confirm which one it is.

I gave the pharmacy a day to get it all together. I went in this afternoon and still had to wait about 20 minutes. Halfway through that I get called up to the counter so that I can confirm that I was willing to pay the cost, $191. Yes, I'm going to pay it. Dr. Choudhury said it's the kind of thing he'd only say I should do about once a decade so it's not like this is going to pop up again in a few months. Also, it goes toward my deductible ($1,250 annually re-setting every January 1st.) so that's a goodish thing since I'm pretty sure I'll meet it this year. And yet, seriously, a tube of cream to be used twice a day for a few weeks to combat cancer costs $191 and it's not something anyone mentions to you until you get to the check out counter? There's something wrong with the system.

Oh, and even if I'd met the deductible they'd only cover a percentage of the cost. The most they will ever pay for my prescriptions is 60%.

And I know I'm one of the lucky ones.

*Total fucking bullshit. Why we allow this to happen I will never understand. It's despicable.