Thursday, December 18, 2008
As the years have passed, I have sung these songs so much that I have made a complete reversal. If I hear "may your days be merry and bright" one more time, I may gag on the cheesy sentiment. The songs I find myself longing to sing are the old hymns, "It came upon a Midnight Clear" and "What Child Is This" or "O Holy Night". The poetry in these songs is gorgeous, and the tunes are ancient and borrowed from older songs.
Last night I came up the driveway and gazed at the brilliant wash of stars in the crystalline sky. I could picture the angels leaning down very close.
It came upon a midnight clear
that glorious song of old
with angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold
Peace on the earth, good will toward men
The heavnly angels sing
The earth in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Every year at our company's holiday party, they have an art gallery where employees exhibit their work. This year, I'm still feeling a bit timid about it, but I hoping that next year, I'll have some things I'd like to show. Perhaps I'll take my own artwork's advice. It's time to let nothing contain me.
This card was inspired by our wedding this summer. I can't remember the last time I felt so much love among such a large crowd of people. It was something I'll never forget.
This is a darker one. Making this card was kind of like having a dream - you are not sure, when you wake up, what it meant, but it seems somehow significant.
This is the first one I made. I call it "e-merge". I was thinking of my grandma as I made it. One of the things I got from her is my name, Eleanore. She had a little Victorian style plaque of the letter E that got passed down to me, and I keep it by my bed. It's funny to think of all the meanings that "E" has come to have, post email and e-commerce and so forth. Grandma was always very insistent that we spell our name with a final E, so that people will pronounce the O as a long O and not say El-a-"ner".
This one is called "akimbo", which is one of my favorite words. Looking at the world just a bit askance is important to do now and then, don't you think?
Here is "believe", which I made to encourage myself to take the plunge into making and sharing art.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I was struck by how one magical evening had spawned so much artwork. I thought about how many interesting moments and peak experiences I have had in my life, and how fun it would be to use those moments as jumping-off places for art. I don't know why this has never occurred to me before!
I am starting a list of moments that might be used in this way.
-the night we saw a constellation of a blender in the sky
-the first time I saw Paris
-my first earthquake on a train in Japan
-swimming in Rio, and the carnival drums
..to be continued
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
She is a very articulate and moving speaker and brought me to tears several times. She talked about the day when a probe was sent to the surface of Titan, ending over 300 years of speculation about what we might find there..and how that day should have been one when all humanity could celebrate and feel common cause. But do you even know when that was? (2004) She mentioned that next week, NASA will celebrate its 50th anniversary. And in that short time, humans have gone to every planet in our solar system. She talked about the way in which our species hurls itself out into the "maw" of space, just on the impulse to explore and to find out how we fit into the giant scheme of the universe.
Her ending images were so powerful. She reminded us of the power of the image of Earthrise, taken in 1968. She compared that image with one taken of a solar eclipse of Saturn. There is a tiny blue dot just to the left and above the rings. That dot is Earth.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Since then, we have accumulated and purged many times, but we have not had another garage sale. We almost always have had a box or two in the garage earmarked "garage sale", as if it is a yearly event or a required duty of all suburban families. Somehow or another, all those summers went by without another sale. We donated the stuff, or gave it to a larger garage sale being held by the chorus or some other organization. Sometimes it just went to the dump.
Today, we had our second garage sale. Yesterday, on the hottest day in recent history, we hauled everything out of the dusty garage onto the driveway. We talked to our neighbors and they joined in the "fun" by hauling out their stuff, too. Our dog walking friends and neighbors stopped by to peruse it. Honestly, some of that junk was stuff that should have been sold at our LAST sale, it was that old and moldy. In the last 15 minutes of the sale, we made half of our profits. Then the best neighbor in the world (ours), took all the leftovers in his truck down to Goodwill. It's gone!
We had a great time socializing with everyone and watching our small portion of the world go by. People seemed to enjoy picking over the tables and mostly buying things that we did not originally own.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
From my perch high up in the Center, the delegate floor waa a constantly changing sea of color, depending on the signs that were being passed out. Each speaker was preceded with a flood of volunteers in flouresent green vests, holding a zillion signs with the appropriate message. At this moment, the signs were red, and the floor was swirling with excitement. As I watched, the red sea below me suddenly parted, spread apart by a black river of men in suits. At the head of the river, there was a turquoise
My photos are here.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The media seems determined to find conflict here. They are pressing everyone to say that the Hillary supporters are standing firm and will not accept Barack's nomination. But this is just looking for trouble - everyone we have talked to is ready to UNIFY and take back the reins of the country.
Here's a great shot of John in action!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
They interviewed me last Tuesday and had the film done by yesterday.. the concept of the contest is that you had to make a short film in a weeks' time. I haven't watched all the other entries yet, but so far this one is by FAR the best. (I don't think I'm biased.)
In the same large room, on the opposite wall, was a huge collection of Pendleton blankets, hung in a large grid so we could see the large patterns and beautiful colors. In the middle of the room, there was an immense wooden slab table that was covered with larger bowls and glass shapes, again made in the tabac color.
The glass flowers and plant-like spires and curlicues were mounted on huge sheets of black glass, that made a mysterious dark mirror, reflecting the incredible colors in another tone. You could imagine jumping into that netherworld and swimming among the glass roots of the imagination.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
She told me she was headed into the city on a weekly outing to the senior center at the Maritime Museum. She said that she did sculpture there, and that there were classes for all kinds of art. She grew up drawing, but now that she has macular degeneration, she has begun to sculpt.
I hope I'll run into her again. She reminded me that it is more interesting to chat with your seatmate than it is to listen to Dick Tracy's ipod.
Friday, August 01, 2008
I was thinking, why doesn't my phone just have a clip on it, so I can clip it to my visor and use it that way?
At Costco last weekend, I found the perfect thing! for $40! which is way less than the darn earpieces. A visor-shaped bluetooth device that finds my phone, is easy to operate, and uses my phone's voice recognition. I turn it on, it says "say a command". Then I say "call Barb". It says, "did you say, call Martha?" I say "no". It says "did you say, call Barb?" I say "yes!" It seems to be getting a bit smarter each time. Only one button needs to be pushed, and it never falls down to the floor.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Imagine my pleasure when I got back to my desk and took a look at the photos! I think now I'm ready to toss the old camera away.
(be sure to click on this image to see the large size of the photo...)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Ok, well maybe more than one word. But honestly we had so much fun watching that movie! and everyone else in the theater seemed to, too. Laughing out loud, singing along loudly to bad Abba songs, drooling over the beautiful Greek scenery, laughing some more, tearing up a little. Meryl Streep, sexy boys and girls, people bursting into song, more singalong, Meryl Streep again and again. Middle-aged women are powerful and can dance in platform shoes! Everyone ends up with someone! Very happy.
Afterwards we celebrated with greek pizza.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
The following week, my quartet entered the County Fair singing contest and won first place, Best in Show.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The phrase works in both directions. The political can also be very personal. The political action of leaders like Gavin Newsom has made possible this very personal experience of a wedding.
I can remember starting to deny marriage to myself when I was only in grade school. Others imagined themselves in white gowns and even started "hope chests". I scoffed at them. Children know without being told what is forbidden. I knew I would never grow up to be a bride, so why waste time dreaming about it? I refused to go to the prom, because it seemed like a wedding on training wheels.
Despite my generally optimistic nature, I could not believe that my family, my community or my country would ever give a stamp of approval on being gay. When I met Barb in 1982, I still could not imagine that our relationship could be anything we celebrated publicly. It was years before everyone in both of our families knew that we were in a committed relationship.
In 2004, when marriage was first dangled in front of us as a possibility, we jumped at the opportunity. After getting that license, we couldn’t believe how different it made us feel. We felt more connected and valued than we ever had before. Then, the marriage was annulled and we were disappointed but also defiant.
Now, we have finally achieved a level of equality. We are personally very happy and politically very committed to making sure that this marriage can never be annulled. The measure on the fall ballot that would deny the basic right of marriage to others must fail.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wiktionary is not much help:
midsummer (plural midsummers)
1-The period around the summer solstice; about 21st June in the northern hemisphere.
2-The first day of summer
3-The middle of summer.
Well, it is the longest day of the year. Of that we can be sure. Today, they found water (ice, really) on Mars. It's HOT even in San Francisco. The Mississippi is flooding, the West is drying out, and yet somehow we all keep on keepin' on.
This seems to be the week of spending money. The car needed repairs and a 90,000 mile tuneup. The windows needed shades. The camera broke and had to be replaced. Oh, and on top of it all, we are having a wedding! which has to be the most expensive thing to do in the world. New clothes, catering, cake, rental furniture, flowers, plants, extra house cleaning, etc. But we are spending with joy in our hearts, because, my goodness, who ever expected to be having a wedding! And our family members will be here and our hearts will be full.
Friday, June 13, 2008
You could say we got married on October 11, 1987 during a ceremony / protest action on the steps of the IRS during the March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.
You could say we got married on February 14th, 1991 when the city of San Francisco set up the first registry for Domestic Partners, and we were first in line.
You could say we got married on February 14th, 1999, when we registered as Domestic Partners with the State of California.
You could even say we got married when we got married - on February 15th, 2004, when Mayor Gavin Newsom authorized San Francisco City Hall to allow same-sex marriages. That is, until the State Supreme Court annulled our marriage a few months later.
The California State Supreme Court must have felt bad about that decision. They have changed their mind!
On June 27th, WE'RE GETTING MARRIED AGAIN! It's been 25 years since we fell in love. Don't you think it's about time?
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, and pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favourite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favourite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Today I lay down one extra flagstone by the gate, because Lola and other visiting dogs had taken to digging in that one vacant spot. Eventually they may have succeeded in going through to China, or at least under the fence.
Some neighbors were having a plant sale and we picked up a couple of caraval hollyhocks for a spot by the other fence, under a bird feeder. I hope I can keep their plot free of weeds long enough for them to get a good start.
Monday, May 19, 2008
We lost our oldest brother this week. We were five, now we are four, yet diminished by more than one. Bob Brooks was
a good man
a practical joker
a lover of Sousa
gentle lover of flowers
he voted Obama
we miss him
Monday, May 12, 2008
And the food is different, too. It seems closer to food that you'd get in Europe. The cheese is more authentic. The portions are huge. My theory is that the cook's grandparents are still living around here, and they are picky about the recipes being exactly like the one the brought from the old country. Either that or they are actually working in the kitchen. Out west, the cooks' parents split from their family and travelled out to see new places. They tasted a lot of different food and thought it might taste good if they mixed a little mexican pepper, say, in with the tomato sauce recipe that their italian grandma made. And grandma wasn't around to complain.
We are outside of time because we are spending time in a hospital, and that is innately a place with its own schedule and rotation. We aren't at work or doing our regular routines. We are living in motel and driving around on unfamiliar roads and making a lot of phone calls. We are thinking of time that we have not been together and trying to be "here" for each other now.
Friday, May 02, 2008
It was the summer of 1966. The radio was on, of course, as it always was when we went anywhere in the car. He was kind of shy and I was too. I didn't really know what to talk about. A song came on that I liked, Lovin' Spoonful, I think, or Mama Cass. We talked about the music. One song after another, the hits just kept on comin'. I'm not sure who made the statement first, but we both agreed that this year, 1966, had to be the best year EVER for pop music. There was never a better year and might never be a better year. These are songs we will remember all of our lives. Any we have:
Some of the hits from 1966. The tunes start up in my head as I read the titles.
Monday, Monday, The Mama's and The Papa's
96 Tears, ? and The Mysterians
Reach Out I'll Be There, Four Tops
Summer In The City, Lovin' Spoonful
California Dreamin', The Mama's and The Papa's
You Can't Hurry Love, Supremes
We Can Work It Out, The Beatles
When A Man Loves A Woman, Percy Sledge
Good Lovin', Young Rascals
Paint It Black, Rolling Stones
Wild Thing, Troggs
Paperback Writer, The Beatles
Good Vibrations, Beach Boys
Red Rubber Ball, The Cyrkle
Walk Away Renee, Left Banke
Bus Stop, Hollies
Dirty Water, Standells
Crying Time, Ray Charles
Secret Agent Man, Johnny Rivers
The Sounds Of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel
Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?, Lovin' Spoonful
Homeward Bound, Simon and Garfunkel
Uptight (Everything's Alright), Stevie Wonder
Wipe Out, The Surfaris
Barbara Ann, Beach Boys
Black Is Black, Los Bravos
Nowhere Man, The Beatles
Thursday, May 01, 2008
When some neighbor banged a garbage can loudly, they flew in a great rush out of the tree and disappeared. The body is dun-colored around the "shoulders" and then transistions to yellow on the belly. The yellow is exactly the same yellow as some of the holly leaves, and so they blend in quite well. Except for the fact that they are very large birds, and have a dramatic crest and that they flair up, and look like they are wearing incredible eye makeup. They are Broadway birds..
Also, the peonies are blooming. They are such old-fashioned flowers. Something about their shape and delicate whiteness makes me think I am looking at a victorian painting of a flower, not a real flower.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I stood close to the door with my binoculars, in awe of their gorgeous feathers and colors. A bird would pluck a berry off, hold it in his mouth for a second, then swallow it whole and pluck another one off a second later.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This year, due to all the mess of remodelling, I never got around to cutting back the rose bush. This week, there are more roses than we have ever had. This particular rose is not at our house, however. But I do love the color.
We had a little rain last night, and today the roses were covered with droplets and gleaming in the sun. It all felt so fine this morning, since I had finished the Wed NY Times crossword puzzle in one sitting.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Barb ran to be a Democratic delegate at the Denver convention this summer. She has always been passionate about politics, and every four years, we watch the convention on television gavel to gavel. She grew up watching it and discussing politics with her mom, so she has a very strong connection to the convention and the democratic process. This year, I encouraged her to GO.. her sister lives in Denver and it couldn't be easier. I found out how she could fill out an application and just run locally for a delegate slot. I became her campaign manager and emailed everyone we know, to get them to show up at the caucus and vote.
Last Sunday was the caucus. We had no idea what the procedure was. You had to show up at a local gym and sign in. If you weren't a Democrat, you could register. All the delegate candidates were standing out front, handing out flyers and shaking hands. After an hour of check-in and hand shaking, the doors were closed and the candidates all had 30 seconds each to speak. Barb came near the end of the line (it was alphabetical). She jumped out of the pack with her energy and speed of delivery. It was fabulous.
It took 90 minutes for them to count the votes, and Barb came in second to the two women who won the two slots for women delegates for Hillary. They seemed very surprised at the large turnout (for which we took the credit). One of the women who won encouraged Barb to run for the delegate-at-large slot. To do that, she'll go to Sacramento in May and the delegates who were elected will vote for her. In the meantime, she is planning to write about the experience, and is trying to get a press pass to the convention as a writer for the local paper.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
freak - I was one, let your freak flag fly, baby!
fall - a colorful season not as nice as spring or summer
friday - my favorite night of the week
foos ball - never played it much, but I love the word "foos"
french - took it for 12 years, can barely converse these days
fee fie foe - I smell the blood of an Englishman
Friday, April 11, 2008
The car was great, but the folks that worked there weren't so smart. Despite the fact that I had spoken with them three or four times on the phone before showing up, they didn't remember that I was non-committal about buying. They couldn't believe I didn't want to go into the backroom and discuss "financing" (I think I'd rather get all my teeth pulled out).
They had put my name on the very car I had ordered. However, I didn't get to test drive MY car. They had told me on the phone that I had to wait until MY car came in before I came down to test-drive it. Again, not so smart.
We were surprised that it didn't feel as little as it looks. Of course, it was a lot bigger than those tiny little European models. There was plenty of room for the dog in the back.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Leah - longest tenant, 1st business at home, tact queen, 1st computerized phone bill/list, 1st punk hairdo, appliance queen
Barb - fart queen, roho queen (rolling hostess), DJ queen, 1st spouse who moved in
Grant - wife queen, tipped the balance to more males than females
Tedd - teen queen, most intense, phone queen, 1st microwave owner, angry queen
Eric - faerie queen, 1st tv/vcr owner, most houseguests, 1st wall-to-wall carpet
William - string been queen, garden queen
Teresa - clean queen, most tranformed, 1st fart queen, 1st dust buster owner, 1st house stereo owner, queen of the lump sums
Doug - tallest, straight queen, 1st subletter, least funny comedian
Rhodes - least stuff in shortest amount of time, greyhound bus locker award
Gene - most stuff and phone calls in the shortest amount of time
Danalan - house dork, most names, 1st ex-lover to move in
James Bergeron - slept with most roommates and guests, sex queen, 1st to live in the basement
Charlie - art slob moderne, shrink wrap queen, 1st vacuum cleaner owner, 1st coffeemaker owner, mirror queen, burp queen, 1st art studio in house, trend queen, 1st sixth housemate, strangest shoes
Betsy - invisible, most girlfriends, 1st to paint room, best stuff
Gus - best cook, chef queen, 1st male companion, coffee queen
Michael - in and out prize, caused most girls' tears, 1st car owner, 1st separate phone line, best pot, money fret queen, shoplifter queen (tied)
Martin - best xmas present-giver, photo queen
Connie - fret queen, toast queen, tenant power queen
Hilary - migraine queen, cry queen, 1st to volunterily move out, most nerdy boyfriends
Sue Bishop - anti-stereo queen, 1st one kicked out
Nilos Nevertheless - bat, wierdest food, s&m queen
Laura Mae - space queen, most not present for someone who was here, 1st beard
David Dalechek - smoker queen, most depressed queen
Bob Amey - most things in storage
Breeze - hump queen, size queen
Dreams - 1st cat kicked out (see Michael)
Monroe - most talkative cat
Nelson - pee queen
Big Man of the Record Collection - Barb
Big Man of the Handsaw - Eric
Big Man of the Toilet Bowl - Teresa
Big Man of the Front & Back Doors - Barb
Big Man of the Kitchen - Teresa
Big Man of the Fireplace - Connie
Big Man of the Basement - Charlie
Big Man of the Landlord - Connie
Big Man of the Water Filter - Leah
Big Man of the Food Bill/phone bill - Leah, formerly Teresa
Weirdest Guest nominees: Australian woman (told Connie "your nipples are hard"), Danalan, Mike Mayo, Janet (Hilary's friend who slept with James)
Best costume on a guest: Jorge, Gay Freedom Day 1983
Honorable mention - Fred Oberg (most house items donated)
Broken toilet award: unknown
Best neighbor award: Roosevelt & Nate (how you bof?), Matthew
Worst neighbor award: Bitch, Red man
Wives awards: Teresa & Leah
Best kept secret: The Secret Thing
Monday, April 07, 2008
The first album I remember spending my allowance on was Creedance Clearwater Revival. I never thought there was much point to buying albums, because you could hear it all for free on the radio. But when I loved a song, I had to figure out the lyrics, jotting them down by the radio, or spring for the record and hope the lyrics were written inside the album cover.
When the market started shifting to CD format, I was really angry. I felt cheated that I was going to have to buy my favorites all over again. But by then, I had moved a lot and the albums were starting to get ragged. Some were warped and all were scratched. The ads assured us that CDs were PERMANENT and that we'd never have to replace them. Now I am trying to find the time to strip all the music off of my collection and get it all digitized. In the meantime, my CDs are in a box under the bed! Only the very favorites have been dropped into iTunes and get played in the kitchen off of my iPod.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
For the past 23 years I have spent most of my discretionary funds and a great deal of time learning how to sing this artform, how to carry the melody without carrying the quartet, how to blend in a chorus, how to perform with joy and excitement.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
A is for apple. I come from apple country - western New York, where the macintosh reigns supreme. When the leaves got colorful and the temperature started to drop, we'd go out to Frost's Orchard on the O-At-Ka Trail on a sunny crisp Saturday and pick up a few bushels. They always had the cider press working. The funky smell and texture of the apple pulp, laying on the ground like brown felt. The ice-cold intense tang of the newly squeezed cider. The skin of the apples bright red and green, the surface cold and smooth as a marble.
I remember reading on the red bed in the kitchen and eating the macs as I read, feeling rich with apples, you could eat all you wanted. I always ate the whole thing, including the core. The seeds were nutty and a little bitter, bringing the whole thing into balance. The sweet, the sour, the bitter, the apple.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
This photo comes from here, a collection of simple jaw-dropping images of decorated busses in Pakistan. The American art car people have something to learn from these artists! This bus that's loaded with all the people on top reminds me of the bus we took the length of Ecuador on the Andean highway. The road runs across the tiptop ridge of the Andes, and we thought it would be a cheap and scenic way to see the country. Well, it was cheap. But scenary? no. We were virtually in the clouds the entire way. You could only see the crosses that lined the road, where previous busses had careened over the edge and killed all the passengers. There also were no bathroom stops, only stops for tire-changing and picking up more passengers to squeeze aboard. We sat in front of a woman who was sharing the same seat with two children and several chickens. At one point the child peed on the seat, and the German tourist who was sharing the row with her was not very pleased.
There was a King of the Bus, a very young boy whose job it was to collect any gear or boxes or animals that wouldn't fit on the bus, and pile them up on top. While the bus was moving, he'd climb down the outside ladder, grab the stuff, run up the ladder with it on his shoulders and store it somehow. He would also come aboard and collect the fare. People got on and off in the middle of nowhere. Out of the fog, you'd see people appear, standing along the road in woven sarapes and hats, with a sheep or a pile of bags. The King of the Bus would get them aboard and we'd be underway in minutes.
I have never been more happy to get off of a bus.
Monday, March 24, 2008
We took a lovely spring hike yesterday up Baltimore Canyon in Larkspur. The weather was pleasantly warm and sunny, and the very first of the white wildflowers were blooming along the path. The trillium make such a big splash along the trails. This one is called Trillium Ovatum or the Western Wake Robin. I found this out by talking to my sister, and also by consulting the online Trillium Identifier.
I learned some other interesting things while I was looking for the name. Picking the flowers of Trillium can seriously injure the plant. The three leaves below the flower are the plant's only food source and a picked trillium may die or take many years to recover. Trillium seeds have an organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they can be protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant garbage. (Did you know that ants have a special place for their garbage?? This requires more research.)
I'm not sure what this plant is, because it hadn't bloomed yet, but the leaves were such a gorgeous green, and the way the breeze played on the leaves made such a soft lovely bed.
Friday, March 21, 2008
They are so much more vivid and hi-res than google's street view!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
As reported by Gardner in the Skeptical Inquirer (May/June 1996, page 8), the legend was born with an article penned by Annalee Jacoby in the March 19, 1945 issue of Life magazine. Ms. Jacoby was on assignment in China at that time, when she witnessed a peculiar Chinese ritual. According to Chinese legend, it is easier to stand an egg on end on what they call the first day of spring (which is in early February). The Chinese legend, unfortunately, has an uncertain origin, though it is propagated through old books about Chinese rituals. Ms. Jacoby was in the capital city of Chunking on Li Chun when a crowd of people came to balance eggs. It must have been quite a sight, and so she wrote about it for Life.
Evidently, the United Press picked up the story and promptly sent it out over the wire. At that moment, a legend was born.
What's funny about this is that Ms. Jacoby evidently reported that the event occurred on the first day of spring, but it was never said (or else it was conveniently forgotten) that the first day of spring in China is a month and half before the first day of spring as recognized by Americans! The legend now states that you can only stand an egg on end at the equinox, yet the legend started because the Chinese were standing them up six weeks earlier. Ironically, the very basis of this legend is wrong!
(from Bad Astronomy)
I enjoy reading about the pagan springtime celebrations from which our spring holidays originate.
Ostara (sometimes spelled OEstera, or Easter), the Germanic fertility Goddess, was associated with human and crop fertility. On the spring equinox, she mated with the solar god and conceived a child that would be born 9 months later on December 21: Yule, the winter solstice.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Star Trek: the next generation was superior in almost every way to the original series, but the originality of the first shows can not be contested. As much as I cringe when watching Capt Kirk get the girl every time, and those uncomfortable mini-skirts, it was trend setting to have Uhuru there at all. I always enjoyed Mr. Spock, and the strange chemistry of the three main characters. I heard that the next movie has re-instated the mini-skirts, because it takes place earlier in the time-line than the original series.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
thanks to Sacred Ordinary...
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Since Rudy had his picture on the blog recently, it's only fair that Lola gets her equal time. Here she is on the very same sofa. She is giving her snaggle-toothed grin at the camera, and putting her ears in Yoda formation.
Not long after I took this picture, Barb came in to see how cute the dog is (she was just checking, something that she does every few minutes or so), so I snapped this one of the two of them..
Friday, March 07, 2008
This seemed like cheating to me. In fact, it is cheating. I wanted to say to him, "use me, not Google!".. but by this time I noticed that he smelled a little funny and seemed a bit anti-social. I wasn't sure I really wanted to engage. In the half hour-long ride, he had entered quite a few clues, but only written down two or three answers. It takes more than Google to solve a NY Times puzzle. It takes a human brain, and an eye or an ear for puns. Since starting to do the weekday puzzles, I have gotten progressively better. I notice that when I start out intensely, I'm looking for facts and hard answers. As it goes on, I relax into the rhythm of the puzzle and I feel around for the fun, twisted answers, based on double-entendres. Today, there was a clue: "bug zapper?" - the answer was "cure".
If that guy is googling today, maybe he'll find the answer here.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Rudy spends most of his time outside, but when it's cold and wet, we force him to spend time in the house. This year, he is enjoying it more than usual - perhaps he's getting older like the rest of us, and enjoys some time relaxing in front of the tube. Lately, he has gotten so relaxed around the dog that he'll look her right in the eye, or sniff her tail as she walks past.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We took the boys to the Haight last Monday and went to a couple of stores with "Robot" in their name that sell these limited-edition toys. The kids are crazy for these figurines, some of which look like little cigarettes smoking little cigarettes, and some which have faces and some that don't. They seem to be manga-inspired.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Some of the stores were still the older type, with hand-lettered signs. There were a lot of empty storefronts, and mixed in were day spas and bars.
Friday, February 08, 2008
The social director took us around and told us how expensive it was to get in there, and how, despite that, there is a waiting list. It made me think about what kinds of people would enjoy that kind of retirement.. do people want to go back to "dorm" living, with a built in community of strangers who could become friends? Wouldn't it be better if we could build our own familial groups and move in together in a shared home? But how many elders can afford to do that? Our society makes it much easier to move in with strangers than to find shared housing with those we know.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
There are day-to-day topics, like going to the dentist (yesterday) and then stumbling to the polling place, still a bit high on nitrous. You can make your own guesses as to whether the gas had any effect on my vote. The remodelling drags on, this is supposed to be the "final" week. The punch list is getting very short. We'll be very glad to have our second bathroom done. My quartet is preparing for contest the first week of April and is rehearsing more regularly.
There are more cerebral topics, like politics or what to do about an email inbox that is bursting at its seams (actually a topic at a workshop here at my office today), but others seem to be more informed than I am on stuff like this.
For entertainment lately, we discovered that the game show network is showing "I've Got A Secret", hosted by Gary Moore. It's odd to see the grainy black & white past in contrast with the current commercials. Gary is constantly smoking on screen, and we googled to confirm that he later died from emphysema. In fact, all the men on that show died from smoking related illnesses. It's strange when the men stand to greet women coming onstage, and the other women stay seated. It's strange to see how dressed up they are, and how slow the show's pace is. It's strange to think about how this era seems so long ago, and yet it's the era that made up my formative years. I was ACTUALLY ALIVE when all this was going on. It seems impossible.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
But really, Hillary is my gal. I bought a Hillary for Prez in 08 button in 2000 and still have it. She has the kind of no-nonsense leadership and powerful friends who will hit the ground running when they get in the white house. I am looking forward to voting for her on Tuesday. But whatever happens, I'll do my best to make sure that one of them makes it in. It's fun to be discussing and comparing and debating.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Can you believe it's Jacksonville, Florida??
We are so used to the flattened out map of the world that we can't imagine it in the three dimensions.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Selby (pre school) - she lived 3 houses down the street. That's all it took when you are babies in a small town.
Sally (grade school) - she played flute (like me), liked the Monkees (oh, all right), had several brothers and a sister (like me).
Choddy (jr high) - she wore miniskirts (despite the ban), lived in an A frame house (cool), had a big family (like me).
Roxanne (jr high) - she liked the same music I did, was loud and funny (like me).
Teresa (high school)- she was in band (like me), was part of a clique (like me), interested in mind expansion, travel and rock and roll (like me), her dad had tattoos on his chest(not like my dad).
Michael (college) - he liked Joni Mitchell (like me), was sarcastic and talkative (like me), enjoyed arguing (like me).
Monday, January 14, 2008
All three of these films were primarily about men, and their lives. "No Country" was the story of a man dealing with no longer being able to face how evil some people can be. "Blood" was the tale of what happens when a man and his son can not communicate. "Wild" was the tale of a young man's journey to find and test himself.
Can you think of any movies that take these basic themes and explore them from a woman's point of view?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
My niece and her husband have added the newest member of our clan, Violet Lorraine Ashton, born on the 8th of 08. Isn't she beautiful?
I am her great-aunt. I had a great-aunt named Auntie Mickey, my grandma's sister, who rarely visited us but always sent fruit cake and ribbon candy at the holidays. She was very rich and lived in a mansion in Pittsburg, PA. The mansion had an organ in one hallway, and a solarium with walls made of glass that was full of plants.
I hope I will be more interesting to Violet than my great-aunt was to me!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
On Thursday night we watched the news and they were predicting a series of storms to hit overnight. We haven't had much rain this year, so we were thinking it was just the hyperbole of the media. GET READY! HERE COMES SOME RAIN! IT IS GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE SKY!! WITH WIND!
By Friday morning, the rain was falling sideways and anything not tied down was flying around the backyard. Nonetheless, I had guzzled more water and taken more pills, so we got in the car to go into SF for the procedure. When we got on the freeway, cars were not moving. The big electronic sign on the side of the road near our exit first said "high winds... no trucks on the bridge" and then as we sat there, it flipped to "bridge closed..." and then "101 south closed". The cars were directed to the next exit, and Barb got on the phone to tell my doctor that I wouldn't be coming in. All that prep for nothing! But I'd rather go through all that again than be sitting on that freeway for four hours, and getting stuck in the city all doped up afterwards.
So we got home, and I had something to eat, and then the power went out. And stayed out til Saturday afternoon. We found out that we are not very well prepared for an emergency. We had to go out for D batteries for the flashlights. All of our new appliances sat beautiful and silent, and we couldn't even take a shower because the tankless water heater requires electricity. Today we escaped to the mall to get coffee and the rain started again, this time with hail.
But soon after coming home, the power came back on and we are once again warm and cozy, with soup on the stove and the laptop humming away at the kitchen table. As we like to say "thank god for the infrastructure!"
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I'm going to start making arty things
I'm going to take the bus to work, instead of driving
I'm going to get the craft room organized
I'm going to creatively organize all of our new spaces at home
I'm going to talk more to my family on the phone
I'm going to have more dinner parties
I don't think I've made resolutions for many years, but this year, I feel inspired. I think all of these things will shine some energy on my more "usual" intentions, like winning a quartet competition, exercising more, being more efficient at work, making new friends, etc...