Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Memory Jar 2015

     Tonight we decided to review our best memories from our special memory jar, a tradition we started last year (Memory Jar 2014) - here is the list of what made us happy in 2015:

meeting G
homemade chocolate truffles x 2
guests for my b-day
making a bow, arrows, and moccasins
1st stitches & removal
the boy's b-day party x 4
Writer's Festival Story Slam 
1st Glam Rock rehearsal
Glam gigs x 4
Thomas O'Malvin (new cat) x 2
In the Voice of Our Mothers writing workshop x 4
dinner @ L's
Challenger Space Center mission
planting annuals
baby plants
growing plants
magnolias, lilacs, irises, lilies, red raspberries, black raspberries, mulberries, morning glories
roasted veggies
learning the whole Hebrew Aleph-Bet
seeing Jurassic World
getting Magic cards
Pixels x 2
Inside Out
seeing a bald eagle sitting on the beaver dam
a bald eagle sitting on a tree branch 
a bald eagle on the wing
homemade pizza
chicken skewers w/peanut sauce
Will Lyttle's cartooning class
music at Bard College
roasted veggies, steak, and steamed brocolli
Shakespeare camp
 - Two Gentleman of Verona
 - Comedy of Errors
KISS gigs x 4
not-back-to-school picnic
going to the Card Vault
Ramones rehearsal
random $100 gift card
Thanksgiving @ D's
monthly game days
meeting a cool new mama friend & her family
warm chili on a cold night
watching my boy open a pile of donated gifts
hanging at G's & playing 'Rebels'
giving the kitchen a deep-clean
free book day!
1st visit to B's house
hanging @ W's 
B's b-day party x 2

     ...and even though it hasn't happened yet, I'm going to add the New Year's Eve party we'll be attending tomorrow, with some of the people whose names grace this list of happy-making memories, so I feel it's not a far stretch to consider we will have a Great time with them then, too!  Also, the Ramones gig is sure to be a knockout second weekend in January event, and I'm willing to bet it will top the list of 2016 memories next year!  I hope you all had a wonderful trip around the Sun, and that your lows weren't too low, but that you're highs were wonderfully high!  Here's to more of what's good in 2016 ~ see you next year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wordle 231


butter, next, years, connect, deal, sentence, tell, safe, night, chill, try, join

     By the time Malinda was done with her sentence, Bitsy had stopped buttering her toast mid-stroke, and stood frozen at her kitchen counter, the phone cradled to her ear by her uplifted shoulder, head tilted to one side.  There was a stretch of silence on the line - a pause long enough to prompt Malinda to check the connection.  "Hello?  Bits?" she prompted, "You still there?"
     Bitsy shook herself and put down the knife.  "Yeah...yeah, I'm still here, Mal, I'm sorry.  I just...well...that's kind of a lot to take in all at once...I'm in a bit of shock over here!  Are you okay?"  Stupid question, of course she wasn't okay.  How could anyone be 'okay' after a night like that?  Say something to make her feel safe you idiot!  She chided herself for being caught off-guard, for forgetting to tell her friend what she needed to hear most, right away.  "I'm here for you, Mal.  I love you, I cherish you, and I can be there in 10 minutes.  I'll leave right now..."
     ", I'm okay.  Well, I'm mostly okay...I'm okay enough for you to not run out of the house in your jammies and drive over here like a bat out of hell to help me deal, anyway.  In a bit, when I've had a shower and a minute to chill, okay?  I need to try and figure out my next move...put my head together a little, and breathe."
     "If you're sure..." Bitsy prompted, listening to her best friend drawing a deep, shaky breath, and letting it out slowly, doing her best to regain her composure after such an emotional testimony.  "You'll call me when you get out of the shower and let me know when you're ready to have me join you in a cup of tea?"
     Malinda gave a weak chuckle, and replied, "Sorry, we won't both fit."  They'd been saying this to each other for years - since high school - and no matter how shitty her life had become overnight, her heart swelled with love that her dear friend had found a way to work it into this improbable and morose conversation, and employ it deftly enough to pull a giggle out of her, even under the current unhappy circumstances.  "I love you, Bits.  Your the best."
     "I know," Bitsy smiled back, "that's why you called me.  Now get in the shower so I can run down to the bodega in my jammies like a bat out of hell, and buy us the biggest box of chocolates they have.  And ice cream.  And pizza!  And probably a few other things, too.  Call me soon, okay?  Okay.  Love you, bye."  Bitsy stood there, staring off into space, buttered toast in her hand, mulling over everything she had just heard, and began to formulate a plan with which to proceed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wordle 230


spreads  stream  scheme  crease  flood  fear  fact  lines  sweet  vicious  lure  extreme

What scheme is this,

     this flood of fear,

          this vicious lure

to forgo fact,
     and look to the extreme? 

The lines that spread

     across my brow

          crease and frown

               as my eyes stream

tears at the loss of innocence,

     and the lack of aspiration

to undertake

     the sweet truce

of unity.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Stacks, Pizza & Beer, Random mythological rundowns, and posturing.

     About a year ago, sitting under some of the oldest trees in town (on the library lawn), their towering crowns carried my sorrowful soul up to the sky.  I wondered what that small piece of land would look like when the buildings had crumbled and fallen, when the trees were back in charge, when the forest reclaimed the space from us.  Would it feel holy to what came to tread there after?  The soil, worn so smooth, barely there for the deep roots I imagined, spreading out beneath the sugar maples; countless footsteps having drummed out the ancestors' rhythms, passages in time.  The land there feels sacred to me, in contrast to the land of the apartment complex I had just moved from, which I feel blessed to no longer live on - the fresh wound of the Earth reaching up and choking us all with its newness, like a ragged scar picked at, and not allowed to heal.  With the melancholy of being between homes, it was from the library lawn that I pried two stones up out of the mossy soil, working my magic through the trees rooted so deep to the land in which I was trying to belong - how long had those two stones lay beneath that tree?  Did I feel guilty?  I filled the holes with different rocks before I carried the old stones away, one for me, two stacked for the boy (leaving room for him to grow).  It put me in mind of how 'stacks' make me feel safe, be they of the library, or of stone.
     For some reason, it made me think "I'll be a traditional Romni for Halloween" to let them see what it really looks like, when it's pulled off by one of our own, and to give them a taste of what the stereotyping looks and feels like.  The flowered skirt, big earrings, diklo and braids, put on my bangles and beads, thick black eyeliner, and show them what it means - I'd offer to read fortunes, even bring my crystal ball...say things like "you know, Romani women have no closer connection to the divine than those fortune-tellers from other cultures, right?"  Or "I predict you'll say something bigoted and insulting in the next five minutes."  Do it right there on the library lawn, attract a crowd, and hit them with some truth.  Pop said that blood had to pool resisting the stereotype, am I causing myself more harm than good?  Muffling the Me that wants to sing and dance, get lost in duende?  I get so tired of having to prove that I'm something other than what they all think we are, because while some of us are doctors, lawyers, educators, business people, many of our talents truly do manifest in song, dance, fortune- and story-telling, and we shouldn't have to be ashamed to express that - to put it in my pipe and smoke it, so to speak.  I like to say I come from the 'wrong' kind of Roma, just to point out that their are the 'right' kind, as well.
     So that side of my family were thieves and scammers, that doesn't define us all.  So what if I can pick a lock and rob you blind while you're out getting groceries?  So what if my grandfather's brother did those awful things to my cousin...well, no, that's Never ok...but it has nothing to do with our ethnicity.  There are good and bad of all types of people, and we are no exception.  Pops himself was the best kind of man, in spite of (or because of) his horrible upbringing.  I met that nice lady who loves our culture because it was Us who forged her family's papers and got them out of Eastern Europe before all that awful history went down. Good for us.  I haven't forged anything since I didn't want those progress reports in Junior High to reach my parents, but if something Truly Awful goes down in this country, and it would help save a life?  You can bet I'd do it again.  Honestly, there are so many instances where 'the better angels of my nature' remind me that I am a law-abiding citizen, and to perform a task it crosses my mind to contemplate would not only constitute a crime, but would jeopardize my standing in my community as an upright and trustworthy individual, and undo the good work I put in upholding that notion.  Is there a way to use my less-than-honest powers for good?  I hope to find out one day.
     The boy and I didn't dress up for what I like to call Samhain that year - last year - as that was the night of our transition from 'crappy apartment on scarred land' to 'acquaintance's small house in a more rural area, much more to our liking', where we stayed for a month.  Then we were homeless for another month before finding our current abode, which is working out just fine.  Sometime after moving in, I wrote "At this moment, everything is alright.  Is that what I need to come to the page, now?  Is it that putting myself out there is more dangerous than it used to be?  Are the things I type and choose to share dangerous?  Define 'dangerous'...what am I afraid of?  That's not the point.  The point was that everything is all right.  The rent is paid, the bills are paid, there is food.  There is clothing, even though it is all in a gigantic laundry pile that I dread having to take the day out of my life to haul down to the laundromat, spend the 2 hours washing and semi-drying, then hanging it all around the house for two days until it dries completely, folding it, and putting it away.  At least the boy is old enough to help, now, and pretty much handles his own.  What a nothing to complain about.  So, on the base level, things are good.  I am in a comfortable place.  Today.  What's next on Maslow's Pyramid?"
     The next draft was apparently rather similar:
It's not that I can't write, it's that I don't.  I could sit down in front of this machine and kick out a jam at any time, it's that I don't make the time to do it.  To put it on the calendar, to compartmentalize the creativity...  We got pretty creative yesterday, with all the art supplies out.  I'm glad - I've been wanting to shift that energy around for a long time, but it took 11 months (already?) to finally settle in enough to get with the proper organizing for this space.  There's still lots of work to do, but the process is 87% complete, at this point, so maybe there isn't 'lots' to do, but more at the fine tuning of making it all pretty, now.
     So, I 'kicked out a jam' and wrote:
There was a certain nostalgia in the air last was a warm, coastal kind of evening, Floridian to me.  In November!  And the radio was just ON, which isn't the norm.  Made me want to run away with my own circus.  The night where you call that old friend not to say anything, but to just have the line open between you, but because there is such a thing as propriety, you try and fill the space with words.  Why can't we be quiet together?
     Once again, I don't know quite what I'm going for, here, I'm just throwing all my thoughts and feeling out into the ether, working through my own issues, and catching up with a bunch of blog drafts that I never finished, attempting to weave the disparate ends of my life together as a means.  Do I add a tip jar to the blog as an attempt to pull in more scratch?  Do I 'monetize' it, and clutter it all up with ads?  Would that really generate any income?  Do enough people enjoy what I slap down 'on the page' for it to make a difference?  Could I figure out how to make it so?  I've never done anything because it made others happy - I've lived my life singularly for my own enjoyment and personal, spiritual fulfillment...until I had a kid, then I added his relative joy to my equation, because, really, that's what parenting is about, if you do it with any level of competence.  He's like my own personal Jesus (with apologies to Depeche Mode and Jesus freaks) - taking into account how I was homeless while I was pregnant, and all the doors of the 'inns' I knocked on were full, and wouldn't let me in.  Since his birth, he has saved me, time and time again.
     During my healthy yet impoverished pregnancy, I developed the theory that the Jesus mythology was supposed to make Marys of us all - suffering in holy silence while the war mongers murdered our sons by the thousands in their bloody, useless battles against themselves.  Well, I wasn't going to buy into it.  No one was/is going to hang My son on any cross for such nonsense.  We are warriors for peace and harmony, love and community.  Highly vibratory individuals who choose coming together in understanding as a way to elevate us All.  Are you with me?  Feminism is (finally) back on the rise, and the energies are balancing.  'God', in my experience, is gender-less.  An all-encompassing energy that swirls around us, which can be moved with concentrated will towards a particular goal.  There are Goddesses walking around in my Earthly domain, and I have seen them in their bodies of flesh - you have too, if you are open to their energy, women who stop you in your tracks the way they carry themselves, the power of their being radiating out from them in a powerful enough miasma to knock you off your feet with a longing to curl up in their laps, and return to that place where we all felt completely and securely nourished, protected, and loved.  And where are my Gods?  Hunter S. Thompson is dead, and he was the closest anyone came to that title role for me, other than my dad.  I can only hope they are being raised by women like me, and the aforementioned Goddesses.
     We need these children of balance in order for things to get better for us in a whole, global way.  As a well-educated poor person in the Northeastern United States, I can tell you how tiring it gets to sit in a roomful of moms who have the privilege to talk about the tens of thousands of dollars they have to spend on their next car while my old clunker is sitting out in the lot with a smashed windshield and the front end about to fall out from under it.  Or how locally grown organic food is the better choice all around, when I'm living on low-grade pasta, canned food, and half-rotten veggies (if I'm lucky) from the food pantry.  These are lovely people, and I like them all.  Neither am I judging by saying these things, I'm merely putting the situation in context, to show the disparity between our situations, and how it feels to sit among them and not be one of them, even though we are similarly engaged in bucking 'the system'. So they married well, or came from money, or worked hard, saved their pennies, and invested wisely.  So some of them had a better support system, or a more advanced skill-set.  It just strikes me that I end up in these situations where I am rubbing elbows with folks who are obviously so far out of my league, and that I'm trying to give my kid the same advantages as theirs.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  No matter how much of an outsider I am - or maybe because of it - I nevertheless insist that the world's problems will be solved by taking a wider viewpoint that includes All members of a community/society, because the next great thinker may just be some kid who had to figure out how to rig some duct-tape fix to keep his single mom's fridge running, or his shoes from giving up the ghost, or some other small crisis that ends up having larger, global significance.  Can you feel me on this?
     That's enough random rambling for now, and I have two other pieces I was going to work on to share, as well as another piece I wrote for a different venue.  Let me know in the comments which you would like to see first:  a continuation of the comical werewolf story I was riffing on for The Sunday Whirl, or a more personal essay concerning my experience with child protective services?  Thanks for following along, and I hope you enjoyed the ride.  Also, feel free to share your thoughts on either monetizing or adding a tip jar to this blog, or both.  Which would you prefer?  I wouldn't prefer either, personally, but a girl's gotta make a living if she wants to fix her car so she can get her kid to all those fancy classes that will give him a chance to compete with those who have all the advantages with which he wasn't lucky enough to be born.  Selah ~

Friday, July 24, 2015

ABC Wednesday - B

Blah.  Blech.  Blargh.  Boo hoo.  Bollocks.  Bronx cheer.  Bad day.  Wish I could find some Balance, Because Bad is in my Blood.  Gonna end up another Burned-out old Bum, Begging for Bread Behind the Bar.  But let's talk about Books instead of the Bottomless Bugaboo of Bigotry, Because Books are a Beautiful, Bountiful, Blessing...

On  my shelf, one would find:

The Business of Fancydancing

by Pamela S. Booker

by Marion Zimmer  Bradley

Bury Me Standing

Before Night Falls

The Bull of Minos

by Janet Bord

by Barbara Kingsolver (also Animal Dreams)

and my good, old, Old Mr. Boston's Bartending Guide

Bye for now - Be sure to check out all the other great Bloggers posting at (the Badge is a link, click it!):

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


     Heinrik lay on his bunk, staring at the ceiling.  He wished she hadn't written to him.  He'd written to her, though, about two weeks after they processed him, but four weeks later, his letter was returned to sender, address unknown.  After five months of nothing, he reconciled himself to just doing his time alone, contemplating what it meant to be in jail over 40, with no one on the outside missing you at all.  Life just went on, man...sure, there were people who would be happy to see him when he got out, but it didn't really matter to anyone that he was gone.  That kind of thinking got him down.  But here was a letter - all full of words the same way Blanche was, tumbling out of her onto the page in a rush, branching off into other stories that went on for pages.  Like he was right there in the room with her, and they were having a conversation.  It made him smile, but in here, a letter from her was as unwelcome as a fresh breeze, because once it blows through, it leaves the air behind it even more rank and foul than it was before. God, he actually missed her.
     Rolling over on his stomach, he shuffled the pages back into order and started over from the beginning - 'Blessed Beltane, Brother!'  God, he didn't even know what time of year it was, past Hot.  That meant summer, right?  And if the Solstice was on...June 21, then it was coming right up.  He wondered what phase the moon was in, and made a mental note to try and see it out the window at some point, soon.  Heinrik sat up on, then jumped down from, the bed, and got a piece of paper and a pen from his locker.  Sitting down at the table with Blanche's letter, he began, "Hey Blanche, so good to hear from you!"  He filled the front of the page with his standard response - a quick run-down of the place he was in, how much he hated it, a countdown to when he'd be out, and a request for more letters.  Heinrik looked up at the sound of Andrew pulling out a chair to sit down across from him while asking, "Whatcha doin'?  Writin' a letter?"
     "Yeah."  was all Heinrik offered.  Andrew wasn't a bad sort, just not the sort he liked to call his friend.  He laughed his strange laugh; halting, like he was testing the sound of it, unsure.  "Ha ha, who would right you a letter in here?  Nobody likes you, man - ha ha!"  Heinrik felt his chest fill with air, but blew it out slowly through his nose while creeping a sly half-smile across his lips.  "It's from a girl, Andrew...a woman.  A woman who may be my best friend in the world, Andrew."  He leaned back in his seat, and let his eyes drift skyward, spreading the grin out as he affected the appearance of remembering fond days gone by.  Andrew's uncertainty increased, and a frown briefly ticked across his generally open face as he assimilated the new information, and worked out what to say next to keep Heinrik engaged in this rare display of camaraderie and inclusion.  "No...," Andrew lowed, "couldn't be...there's no women that would have anything to do with a low-down loser like yourself."
     Heinrik fully grinned as he swung forward on the weight of the information he was about to impart, hooking Andrew into his story, and enjoying the tiny bit of gossip this crumb of humanity would bring him in the next week, in advance.  "Yes, Andrew, my friend Blanche would - when she used to write me during that stretch I did in Stockton, we weren't allowed to have any magazines or anything, so she would write these pornographic letters for everyone to read.  We'd pass them around.  She had a bunch of fans by the time I got out."  That thought actually did make him a bit nostalgic, but he shook it off just as quickly as it came on, and sat back in his chair again, finished conspiring with Andrew, who was rapt with attention.  Letting Heinrik's words settle into his understanding a bit, Andrew smiled slowly and shook his head as if he thought the possibility highly unlikely, stating, "No, ha ha ha!  No..."
     "Yes, Andrew, it's true!  I really do have a good friend who writes to me, and I've just finished writing her back," Heinrik assured him, as he stood up, stretched just enough to make his point, and sauntered away from the table to find an envelope and a stamp so he could send out his response as soon as possible.  "There's no woman writes you nothin' from nowhere, ha ha," shouted Andrew, in his simple, halting way, "probably your gay-ass boyfriend from wherever you hippy fuckers live, ha ha...yeah, hippy fuckers, ha ha!"  Andrew nodded and fidgeted to himself for another minute or so, then abruptly got up from the table, and made a few swift, tight, circles around the outer edge of the room, every now and then muttering "pornography...woman...outside...".

Totally not Sunday, but still Whirling.


breeze angle tilt staggered awake astray spirit cracks bruising instinct hamper smiled

     His instinct must have been what woke him from his deep slumber.  After the ritual the other night, he and Garibaldi had sat together at the massive table that had been brought out to the meadow for the event, and stuffed themselves full with tender and delicious victuals until they leaned back in their chairs, half-asleep with satisfaction.  They groaned and rubbed their bellies, when Daddy-O suddenly realized he hadn't noticed Noel around since before the ritual, when he'd told him to go away in no uncertain terms.  With a great yawn and a stretch, he changed the angle of his head just enough to sniff the aromas surrounding the table and the meadow without having to move his bloated body, and didn't sense Noel anywhere.  "Hey...hey seen Noel in a while?"
     "Hmm..?"  Garibaldi had barely responded, "Noel?  Not since I left you sitting on that stump before things began to pop off.  He's probably passed out in a bush somewhere, dreaming about 'getting some' from that nymph."  He chuckled to himself and smiled, "Idiot.  I hope she doesn't kill him...or maybe I hope she does.  At least that way I get my den back sooner than later.  Speaking of which, I'm about done in, you want to call it a night?  I'm happy to walk you back to your place."
     "Yeah?  That would be cool, thanks.  I'm falling asleep right here, and I wouldn't mind getting back home before I pass out completely."  While Daddy-O staggered to his feet, Garibaldi dozed off and fell out of his chair, which woke him instantly, and he sprang quickly to his feet, blinked his eyes, and turned in a circle to sniff at the breeze, discerning whether or not there was any threat in the air.  Daddy-O smiled and shook his head when he heard the soft thud of Garibaldi's body hitting the ground, and the subsequent rustling that accompanied his quick recovery and reconnaissance.  "You too, huh?  Well, let's blow this taco stand while we're still both somewhat awake, and able to make it back to my place without going too far astray."
     Shaking his head to clear it, Garibaldi yawned, "Aight, let's do it, my man."  Making their way out of the meadow, they shook hands/hooves/tentacles, gave and received hugs, and called out their thanks and good-byes to the many who still lay littered on the ground, on the table, and up in trees.  Garibaldi led his friend safely home, and sauntered off sleepily back to his own den, which was still several miles away.  Daddy-O had stumped over to his comfy loveseat, and gone face-down without even removing his tattered clothing, which had certainly seen better days - like yesterday, when he'd put them on before the whole Bacchanalian had yet to go down.  Sleep came instantly, and deeply.
     But now, there was something awry, and his senses alerted him to the danger through his slumber.  It felt like a pricking on his skin, and he knew better than to move, and let whatever may be intruding into his space know that he sensed its presence.  His heart thumping in his chest, he listened intently to the small cracks he was hearing, coming from somewhere over by the laundry hamper.  What could it be?  Sniffing the air slowly so his nostrils wouldn't flare noticeably (in case whatever-it-was was watching him for signs of wakefulness) he tried to make sense of what his adrenaline-flooded synapses were telling him.  That Noel was sitting on his floor, over by the crevice that served as his closet, cracking and eating walnuts.  What the hell..?  How should he address this trespass, and blatant disregard for his privacy?  He didn't much care for Noel, in general, but he could sympathize with his situation...somewhat.  This, though...this was beyond what he was willing to accept.
     Daddy-O decided to meet the challenge head-on.  "What the fuck are you doing in my den, Noel," he intoned gravely without moving; no hint of welcome in his voice, no sign of friendship.
     "You know I didn't like, mean anything by it, like, it's not breaking and entering or anything.  Just needed a place, have a little snack, that's all.  Yeah, just stopped in for like, a snack.  Want a walnut?  Just like, tilt your head back a bit, and I'll, like, toss one in your mouth."
     Sighing heavily, Daddy-O hauled himself upright and stretched sleepily.  Walnuts were a rare commodity in the forest, and as much as the thought of one set his mouth to watering, his desire for the dry, soft nut-meat was less than his desire for removing Noel from his presence as quickly as possible.  "You are cruising for a bruising, Noel...I swear I'm fixing to leap across this room, and tear you to pieces for my breakfast."
     "...Cruising for a bruising," Noel guffawed.  "That's so, like, 1950's of you, like, the spirit of the sock hop is alive and well, and, like, living in a cave in the forest!"  Laughing at his own joke, Noel stood up to stretch his legs.  As he shook them out, he continued, "Like, why do you even, like, dress like that?  And, like, talk like that?  And...and...hey, what are you doing?  Hey!  Ow!"  Daddy-O had raised himself up off the loveseat, rolled his shoulders and his neck, then sprang across the space between them, and pinned Noel to the wall of the cave, pressing hard on his windpipe with his forearm.
     "I thought I told you yesterday...leave me alone.  I don't like you, I don't want you in my den, we're not friends, and your presence is a nuisance to just about everyone I know.  So - if you get out of here the second I let you go, I promise I won't kill  Tomorrow?  Well...we'll just have to see about that, now, won't we?"  Noel was struggling and gurgling under the pressure of Daddy-O's muscular arm, his face turning colors the blind werewolf couldn't see.  Managing at last to croak out some form of positive affirmation, he ran for the entrance the moment Daddy-O chose to release him, coughing and choking as he stumbled out into the forest, snot running from his nose, tears streaming from his eyes, shit staining his pants.  Smiling to himself, Daddy-O picked up the remaining walnuts he could feel strewn about the floor, cracked one in his fist, and enjoyed the delightful treat that had made an unexpected appearance in his day.  
      "That settles that," he said with finality, as he made his way back to his beloved loveseat, grabbed the hand-knitted afghan slung across its back, and curled himself into a ball beneath its warmth to enjoy another few hours of blessed rest.

for this week's whirl, I decided to continue the story I began last week.  hope you enjoyed it!  follow along at:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ABC Wednesday

I popped into ABC Wednesday to see what was up over there, and it turns out, they're shutting down soon, so I'm glad I checked.  Right at the beginning of the alphabet, too.  So I'm gonna jump in this round, and think of something that begins with A...

A is for Alpha, agrimony, aluminum.  Arsenic, antimony, agriculture, aardvark.  A is for artist, art, and arterial...airplane, aeronaut, and ardor.  Alaska, Agartha, asparagus, Agrippa...Aesop, aged, apparent, aster.  A is for Aleph.  'A' my name is Annie...A is for Apple.  A is the beginning, the first point following the subject in an outline.  A is for Angel. A is amusing, aggravating, and apocalyptic. 

A is annoying.  It's not A's fault I've got nothing.  I even looked back through my blog to see what I did for A last time I played, and you know what?  I never did one!  I seem to have popped in at I and dropped out at W.  Weird.  So I'm not sure what to go for, here.  Roger did Alpha-Bits...should I write a poem?  Post a picture?  Define a word?  I was looking for something new to inspire me this morning, so maybe I'll google A and see what comes up...

The first thing to come up (after the ads) was the Wikipedia for the letter A.  Under images, a big black blocky A.  That's not inspirational.  I need more...a YouTube search (for A) brings up 'Spider bursts out of a banana', followed by an aluminum cast of a fire ant colony.  So random...where to, now?  Handmade books were on my mind this morning, and there's a fresh set of folios folded on the table right next to me, ready to be glued.  But 'books' would be there an A book?  A books...AbeBooks!  Look what a lovely welcome they had for me!

Who's Your Book Hero?

I discovered AbeBooks while I was working on my thesis, so let's call that no less than 5 years ago.  They had some rare selections at interesting price ranges, really nifty stuff.  Let's see if they have any of that now:  well, there's a 'weird book' room, which is sort of interesting, but not what I was going for...ah!  Found it!  Here there are books bound in cowhide, ivory and calfskin, silver/gilt/velvet/rubies, embroidered silk, inlaid wood, snakeskin, mulberry bark, and other mediums, some rather curious.  Which led my ramblings to another A, Anthropodermic bibliopegy.  Kind of gross, but go ahead and click the link if you don't mind gross things...I'll  leave it up to you, but it did make me shudder, even though I think it's kind of cool, and puts me in mind of The Pillow Book, though in a much less romantic way!

Hey - check out this little book that's another kind of A - adorable!  Well, that's all I've got.  I'll think of something better for B, or maybe I'll just do some more books, who knows. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Weekly Wordle - Witches, Werewolves, and...wha-at?


 witches ear dolls heartbreak branded scorpion spells
ball werewolf resurrection alone blind hunted

     At the Witches Ball, the blind Werewolf found himself standing alone.  He knew this would happen, but still, he had to shake off, brush himself down, and go out of his den to interact in social situations every now and again to keep himself sane, so here he was.  He could smell that there were a variety of creatures at this gathering, including at least one other Werewolf, which made him slightly less nervous, though he couldn't quite tell who it was...maybe Noel, or Garibaldi.  There were several humans, a few extra-terrestrials, brownies, sprites, nymphs, Greet, some satyrs and maybe a centaur (they could be hard to tell apart), and a couple of elves who were either married, or twins, he wasn't sure.  And there was this other...thing.  Or rather, it was more like a presence that didn't necessarily have an odor so much as something you noticed just after it passed by; a movement in space.
     His ear twitched toward a sound at the edge of the circle as he sensed two Werewolves approaching on his right.  He shifted his weight to the balls of his feet, and curled his shoulders slightly forward as he heard, "Hey ho, Daddy-O!" followed by the sweet aroma of fresh, raw, meat on Garibaldi's breath.  Puffing up his chest, he bobbed in the center of his acquaintance's circling, and nodded his head when he caught on that Noel was present as well.  "Hey guys, what's up?"
     "Just chekin' out some new spells, you know, new spells, because I need to like, get that nymph over there to like me so I can, you know, like, get some...or whatever."  Noel was so weird about females.
     "Dude, what?  What the hell are you talking about?  You're a Werewolf.  What the hell makes you think you could - 'a' do a spell, 'b' do one good enough to put over on a nymph, 'c' not get killed trying to do so by any number of female-respecting members of the forest community...and 'd' you're a moron!  Cheesus, what I have to put up with you new guys...hey, shut up until I tell you you can speak again, Noel."  Garibaldi shook his head, and put his arm carefully around his blind brother.  "Listen, Daddy-O, how you doing, ok?  You need anything out there in your den or anything?  How's the hunting going?"
     Nodding, he assured  Garibaldi that all was well, "oh, yeah, it's good, you know?  I've gotten much better with the traps, and I'm starting to spread out from my den a bit more, maybe a two and a half mile radius, now?  I get a bit lonely, but my den's good - I really dig that loveseat you brought me, it's really comfortable for me in both forms, thanks."
     "Hey, no problem!  I told you, I take care of my friends, Daddy-O, I take care of my friends.  You look good.  Any pain, still?  You need any more of that ointment from Jolene?  Hey, she's right over there - hey Jolene!  Come shout at my man, Daddy-O!"  Daddy-O felt the weight of Garibaldi's arm lift from his shoulders before enduring several 'brotherly' slaps as Jolene was welcomed into their chat.  "Jo-leeene, what's up, girl?  You're looking fine as always, when are you going to let me come swim in your river, huh?  How long we known each other, huh?"
     "Not long enough, Garibaldi.  And before you ask, if we know each other another hundred years, it still won't be!"  Her laugh smelled as sweet as her skin, and Daddy-O had to smile as he felt her light touch on his wrist.  "Hey, sweetie, how are you?  It's nice to see you out."  She leaned in and brushed his cheek with a kiss, and the scent of her made his mouth water.  "How are the eyes, any pain?  Do you need some more of my rush ointment?  Lucky I always have some handy," she said, as she fished in her bodice for a small shell filled with her magical heal-all.  "Hello, Noel, I didn't see you standing there.  How are you this evening?"
     "I'm not supposed to talk until Garibaldi says so, so...nothing."
     "Oh, Noel...whatever.  You don't have to do what he says, you know."
     "Yeah, actually, he does.  He's older than the Dad, over here, who as you know, just recently went blind, and still manages to take care of himself better than this one who hasn't moved out of my den, yet.  He's cramping my style, you know?  Cheesus, I need my life back, Jolene, what's a Werewolf to do without his privacy to brood in?  It exhausts me, mothering him; he's on a deadline, and he needs to get straight before he gets himself hunted.  You hear me, Noel?  You're gonna get yourself hunted, my man, so get it together!"
     "Oh, poo - you're too hard on him.  Be nice!  Listen, it looks like they're gonna start the circle, so I'll see you hairy bastards later.  Dad, honey, save me dance, ok?"
     "Oh, yeah, Jolene, no problem, thanks for the ointment," he called, as the intoxicating scent of her drifted across the meadow.  He felt weak in the knees suddenly, like it had taken all his strength to hold himself up while she was in front of him, but now that she was gone, he was spent by the effort.  "Hey, Garibaldi, can you find me a seat, I'm dizzy all of a sudden..."
     "Yeah, no problem..." Garibaldi sighed as he watched Jolene walk away, then sprang to Daddy-O's side and gently led him to a stump.  "That woman is a scorpion; she's got heartbreak written all over her."
     ", Garibaldi, she's not like that at all!"
     "Yeah, what do you know?  How long have you known her, 4 years?  5?"
     "Well, yeah..."
     "I've known her for that, plus a hundred, kid, ok?"
     "I know, but..."
     "Her kind play with men like they're dolls, Daddy-O.  Their souls get branded when they face the trial of the resurrection.  Ugly shit, I'm telling you.  I know I flirt with her and tease her, but don't ever underestimate the power Jolene has to flay you inside out.  You hear me, Noel?  Inside out!  It wouldn't surprise me at all if that ointment she gives you might not just restore your eyesight all together, my man, you know?  All right," Garibaldi said in conclusion, "you hang tight here, I'll come back around to you eventually.  After the ritual, we'll sit together, and I'll make you a plate!"  He slapped Daddy-O's back one more time as he made his way through the crowd to greet some Greet.
     "...but I'm not a man, am I?", he sighed to his acquaintance's non-presence.
     "Yeah...who here do you think would sell me some spells, 'cause I like, really need to get a few, for you know, things.  There's some things I'd like to do..."
     "Noel - seriously.  No one is going to give you a spell.  And if you don't leave me alone, I'm going straight for your neck when the moon rises.  Your blood would be a worthy enough sacrifice from me, so please don't put me in a position where I may be forced to kill you, ok?"  There was no response, but he could tell by the shifts in the air around him that he had made his point, and enjoyed the swirling mixture of scents that filled in the welcome absence.  Yes, this was going to be a good party; he was already glad he came.

this was really fun!  come join in at:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sunday Whirl Monday


quilts grain heart crows escaping open collapse clay splintered crack crawled bones

open heart
        splintered heart
escaping into the open

cracked open
        splintered open
my heart crawls open

my heart collapses
        collapses open
cracked open and splintered like bones

my bones escaping
        escaping my heart
cracked open and splintered like grain

grain cracking crows
       splintered by crows
escaping through my open heart

the clay quilted
         across my heart
splintered by crows

the bones quilted
        crawling across my open heart
splintered like clay

escaping the quilts that collapse my bones
        in the splintered clay where
the crows crack grain

open like my heart
        collapsing open like my splintered heart
crawling across my bones

this one felt like a chant to me, with a rhythm of its own.  not sure if I caught it, but the repetition at least hints at the solemnity and power of the image these words laid out in my mind.  do join in the fun at:

Study Hall

     Blanche was drawing a complete and utter blank, in more ways than one.  Some of her writer acquaintances were getting together for a 'virtual study hall', and while she wanted to join them, she felt she had nothing to offer.  This ominous 'nothing to offer' was becoming an all too familiar theme in her advancing years - not that she was all that old - and as an idea, was one that could keep her laid flat out in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling, enumerating her shortcomings to herself.  Topping the list was the fact that she remained utterly and unhappily single, and saw no relief from her solitude anywhere even near the horizon, which led her spiraling through her harsh, personal, judgements conspiring to keep her prone on an otherwise beautiful day.  She decided to run through the litany out loud, in a pathetically whiny sing-song voice (there wasn't anyone to hear, anyway) to make it sound as awful as it felt to her.
     "I'm faaaaat," she whined.  "I'm uuuuuglyyyyyy, " she continued.  "I don't have any real friiieeeends," she moped.  "No one loooooves me, and I'm never going to have seeeeex again,"  she complained.  "I don't wriiiiiite, I don't draaaaaw, I don't creeeeaaaaate aaaanything anymooooore," she concluded.  Heaving the deep sigh such negativity elicits, Blanche rolled onto her side and looked at her computer across the room on her desk, which stared placidly back, waiting calmly for her to pull herself together.  "What are you looking at," she accused the machine's blank neutrality.  When it failed to respond, she let her arm fall to the side of the bed, feeling around on the floor, and came up with a slipper that she barely managed to toss in the direction of her desk, not even aiming at her perceived enemy.  Giving out another moan of self-loathing, she rolled onto the floor, then crawled over to her office chair, made a great show of hauling herself into the seat (there wasn't anyone to see, anyway), and huffed at the computer screen as it jumped awake to her touch on its keyboard.
     Checking her email, and finding one that needed responding to immediately, she began typing, and soon, another whine filled the empty space around her.  "I can't even tyyyyyype anymooooore!"  The tedium of having to backspace and correct misspelled words, or syntax errors, was enough to send her back to the bed like an over-tried five year old, but she merely shrank into her chair and rubbed her face while growling out her frustrations with sounds more animal in nature than most educated humans cared to produce.  She was a heathen.  A stark raving heathen so full of self-pity, she could barely stand her own company, and spent half her day trying to get away from herself, leaving her exhausted.  Managing to pound out the few lines required by way of reply, she sent the pixels off to do what they did in cyber-space, and resisted the urge to call that enough of an accomplishment to merit a long nap. 
     Blanche knew she had a long way to go to consider herself worthy of earning a lie-down, but she wasn't sure where to begin.  Checking and responding to email hardly counted, since she had used this activity to replace her morning yoga practice, more than a month ago.  She considered that, and stood up wearily, rolling the office chair aside to make enough room on the floor for her to perform a sun salutation.  Stretching her arms up to the sky, she then reached out as far as she could and bent forward, until her fingers brushed the tops of her toes.  She couldn't help but notice how tight the back of her legs felt, and noted how in the recent past, she could rest her palms flat on the floor with little effort.  Inhaling, she stretched her left leg out behind her, then exhaled as she reached her arms skyward again.  Another inhale as she set her hands on the ground, then an exhale as she moved her right leg back in line with her left, and pressed her hips upwards into 'downward dog'.  She took a moment to breathe in this position, savoring the sensation of feeling her back stretched flat, and noting the pull in the back of her stiff thigh and calf muscles.  Drawing a blank on the next move in the sequence, she crumpled to her knees and elbows, sighed another great sigh, and lay down.  "I quit," she mumbled into the carpet, which she couldn't help but notice needed a good shampooing.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Memory Jar 2014

Last January, sometime around the 1st, the boy and I decided to take one of our many empty glass jars and fill it with our best memories from over the course of the year, then read them out to each other on the following New Year's Eve, 2015.  Well, we didn't do it on New Year's Eve, because the majority of our household items were still packed away in storage at that point, but we did unpack that particular box tonight, and found our jar, so we did the thing, and I decided it was fun enough to share with all of you.  foreshadow - at one point during the fall, we were walking down a wooded trail, and we passed under a large branch hanging from another branch of the tree, and thinking it might fall on someone and possibly hurt them, I reached up and grasped it, gave a slight tug, it came down on the boy's head, and he began to cry, briefly.  He was alright, though I felt bad (obviously), but we swiftly moved on along with our day.  Later, when we got back home, I thought it might be amusing to write the experience down for the memory jar, just to throw in a twist:  "what?  that wasn't fun, that sucked!  you're weird, Mom!"  so I wrote 'the day when my mom dropped that branch on my head' on a slip of paper, folded it up, and dropped it in the jar to be discovered at a later are our best memories of 2014:

Frank Zappa show
today I saw half levitating ice
today I got my first electric guitar
today I played my first day of my show
today I played my second day of my show
today I played at Deitz Stadium
today I played my best of season show
archery (x 2)
(me) L. B.'s Birthday!
J's barbeque
today I went to MOMATH  (museum of math)
today I did a skyscraper class (Center for Architecture, NYC)
colony 36!  (live action role playing game)
punk day 1
punk day 2
crowd surfing at punk
(me) PUNK!  both nights!
mom's enlarger
Robin Hood!
(me) Today was a good day
the Jersey Shore (x 2)
(me, impersonating him) the day when my mom dropped that branch on my head

as we took turns reading through our moments, I kept wondering where the branch scenario was going to pop up, which one of us was going to pick it?  slips of paper were shaken from the jar, read out, but no branch story.  I began to wonder if I had really put it in the jar, or if I just imagined it.  finally, there was one slip of paper left, and I was pretty sure I knew what it was going to say.  he grabbed for it and read out, "the day when my mom dropped that branch on my head", frowned, looked at me, looked back at the bit of paper in his hands, and looked back at me.  I, of course, was laughing.  I thought it was awesome the way he read it out, because it was first-person, even though he didn't write the note!  he caught on and began to laugh as well.  "You're so weird, Mom, why would you do that!" he giggled.

"Hey, I've been waiting several months to watch that joke play out - do you remember that day?  Sorry again, by the way, but that was so totally funny!"

so worth it.  soon as the jar was empty of last year's remembrances, the boy put two slips of paper in for this year's memories already.  guess I'll have to think back over the past few weeks since the year began, and see what I can put in the jar for next New Year's Eve.  looking forward to filling another jar (and year) with moments of joy shared with my best guy.