Monday, December 31, 2007

at year's end

There's so much that could be said on the eve of a new beginning. But this is all I have to offer:


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

and what did YOU do...

during YOUR Christmas dinner?

By the end of ours, we had the US leadership team for the next four years sorted out.

The premise was this... get rid of the whole election process that threatens to eat away at our sanity for the next 11 months, and just put 'em all in. Somewhere. Anywhere. Kinda like the interim government in Iraq. And why not? It's not any crazier than our current method!

So without further ado, here is the culminating consensus (yes, sister-in-law Sarah actually wrote the final list on a napkin!) of the lively discussion of nine adults, ranging in age from 19-81, with a little input from red wine and champagne----

President: Ron Paul
Vice-President: Ralph Nader

The Cabinet Secretaries:
Secretary of State: Joe Biden
Attorney General: Rudy Giuliani
Defense: John McCain
The Interior: Cynthia McKinney
Housing and Urban Development: Barack Obama
Health and Human Services: Hillary Clinton
Commerce: Mitt Romney
Education: Fred Thompson
Labor: John Edwards
Energy: Bill Richardson
The Treasury: Chris Dodd
Transportation: Mike Gravel
Veterans Affairs: Duncan Hunter
Agriculture: Mike Huckabee
Homeland Security: Dennis Kucinich

Haven't spent such an enjoyable time over roast beast and mashed potatoes (and with family, no less!) in a long, long time.

If your knowledge or opinion deems a different outcome for one or more of these posts, please, by all means, let me know.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

wish i were here.....

Smoke some good weed (or not), relax in your favorite chair, and enjoy this show!

La Noche de los Rabanos ("Night of the Radishes" for those of you who are illiterate in Spanish-shame on you!) occurs every year in the Zocalo in Oaxaca City, Mexico on December 23rd. Folk artists come from all over the state of Oaxaca to carve elaborate sculptures made entirely from radishes. Local folk and a few turistas wait in line for hours for a chance to see them. The gawking procession around the Zocalo lasts from sundown until the wee hours of the morn, until the last person has had a chance to view the radish extravaganza.

2007 marks the 110th anniversary of this event. John and I were there in 1997 for the 100th. I can honestly say I've never seen anything else like it in the world. It's such a surreal event that even Diego Rivera was moved to capture the essence of it.

More info:
"The radishes are not the little red round ones so prevalent in the United States. They are thick, long and cylindrical, measuring up to 20 inches in length and weighing up to seven pounds each. They grow into contorted shapes with multiple appendages. This grotesque outcome proves inspirational to the carvers, who are often forced to react creatively to what they have at hand. This gives an improvisational feel to many of the works. If the sculptures were music, they would be jazz."

Now if that doesn't prompt you to watch the show, I don't know what would.

I'm not sure how they greet one another on the plaza tonight in Oaxaca, but Happy Radish Night to you all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

it's my favorite night of the year....

and I have nothing to say.

so here's my offering:

You darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything;
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them!—
powers and people—

and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Solstice everyone. Here's to the sun's rebirth.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the story of stuff

This story came to me from three different directions within as many days, so I figured it was a sign. It has a message without being preachy. It's funny and serious simultaneously. What it is, really, is brilliant. Accessible to all.

Anyway.... here is The Story of Stuff.

You may think you have nothing left to learn about how we extract, produce, distribute, consume, and dispose in this country, but watch it anyway. It's 20 minutes well-spent. I promise.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

the ghost of christmas present

I was in a particularly happy and Christmassy mood on Saturday. Our whole family went downtown together, something we very rarely ever do. We did arrive in two cars, however: John and Bennett in one, coming from karate, and Grant and I in another, coming from home. But hey, there was free parking!

We spent time in various parent/son combinations while trying to secretly purchase presents for each other, and then return them to the trunks of our cars (where we didn't have to feed the meter!) Most of my time was spent in The Compleat Gamer, with a nice gentleman who helped me find games that our whole family can play together.

As the sun was slanting westward, Santa came out of a doorway to welcome us into his little brick haven, where he sat on the floor with the boys, showed them his sleigh bells and performed yo-yo tricks. He was the Real Deal. Best of all, there was no one taking photos and trying to sell them to us on mugs or t-shirts or ornaments.

On the corner of Tejon and Boulder, Grant and I stopped and listened to a man playing the guitar and singing.... "Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel, things are going to be much better, if you only will...." (Confession-I love James Taylor, if only because John played and sang "Something in the Way She Moves" while I walked down the aisle at our wedding, but that's another story)

Even though I knew Grant was anxious to get into the toy store, we just paused to listen for awhile. When the song was over, I got out my wallet to give him a buck, only to find out that I had neither cash nor coins.

Grant said, "I have money."

And he wrestled his wallet out of his coat pocket, opened it, dumped some change into the palm of his hand, and placed it in the guitar case. That was the beginning of my "particularly happy and Christmassy mood."

Later, on the corner of Tejon and Bijou, we walked by a blind man in a black overcoat with his hand out. Again, Grant shook some coins into his hand, and bravely walked forward to place them in the man's dirty palm. I know he was a bit frightened, but he didn't hesitate.

I was so proud of him at that moment. I felt the nearly nine years of child rearing paying off, with interest.

Our afternoon was made complete by a late lunch at the newly-opened Heart of Jerusalem Cafe (on Bijou where the Jambo Juice used to be - Go there NOW!). I was prepared to get my supertaster a bagel from around the corner, when I saw that they had chicken nuggets on the menu. Halle-fuckin-lujah! Bennett and I had falafel, John had lamb, Grant had nuggets (again, like Santa, the Real Deal). Everybody happy!

I don't care if the blind man spends the money on booze or if we spent too much money on games or if Santa is a lie or if Tejon is going to go both ways or if free parking is part of a plot to lure shoppers downtown or if Jerusalem (and Colorado Springs, for that matter) is a city fucked up by religion...... (it seems I can't write a truly "happy" story anymore, sorry folks... ) Anyway, the point I'm trying to make (rather feebly at this point, I admit) is that Christmas should make us all slow down, eat good food, spend time with our families, suspend disbelief, go downtown instead of to the mall, and take time to give. Sometimes it's OK, and even necessary, to leave our cynicism behind.

driving to work

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

art teachers first!

Congratulations, Tom Burkle!

Here's why

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the ghost of christmas past

My father left his wife and two kids on Christmas day in 1971. I was four. My brother was ten. In the years that followed, the three of us always celebrated together on Christmas Eve. Christmas day was a solitary but exciting affair, when the one unwrapped present from Santa (and the only toy) arrived under the tree. My mother was never there, under the tree with us, on Christmas morning.

I have absolutely zero memories of Christmas as a family of four, and there are no pictures remaining to help me remember. The memories I do carry with me are the ones my mother tried so desperately, without much money, to create. Upon our arrival home from Christmas Eve service, my mother would light a fire, as well as every last candle in the house, and turn off all the lights. It was like magic to me, this candle-lit time, when the ordinary became mysterious and cast shadows on the wall. My mother, my brother, and I would then gather in the front room to open our presents.

Perhaps it was because there were so few of them, or perhaps it was because there were so few of us, or perhaps it was because my mother was trying to savor these few brief moments of her children's happiness. Whatever the reason, we opened our gifts slowly, one at a time, with reverence. Gifts from our mother were always hand-made items (or necessities), and I'm absolutely certain that my brother and I never rewarded her fully with the joy she had hoped to see on our faces. I have asked her forgiveness for this more times than I can count. If it's any consolation, Mom, I still have my skirt with the elaborately embroidered Holly Hobbie on it, and I know that my brother's giant stuffed brontosaurus still lives somewhere (if only in his mind).

It's only now, as a mother of a seven and eight year old, that I can truly appreciate the sleep she must have sacrificed to get those presents under the tree for us. It's only now that I am grateful that she informed my world not with mounds of material things, but with gifts of time and talent. It's only now that I can see how my sense of tradition has carried over into how I raise my own boys.

And it's only now that I am able to recognize her pain and sorrow behind the candlelight during those years. She could have given in to misery and self-pity every Christmas, but she chose to make it special for us, using her sheer will to make it so.

And I am absolutely certain that this melancholy feeling, along with my desire to overcome it with candlelight and small things and willpower, is something I must have learned from her.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

reason to party

The police helicopter is being grounded next week! As soon as we heard the news, John turned to me and said, deadpan, "We should have a party." Thinking about it. I'll keep you posted.

Last summer, the damn thing flew circles around our neighborhood for hours. Nothing like looking up from your bed through a skylight to see a spotlight shining down on your humid nakedness! Anyway, I'm glad they came to the conclusion that it's simply not cost effective.

The rub? The same one that's happening all over the country: cut the budget (be it for schools, parks, military, whatever), and watch the private companies swoop in like the hawks they are. Look out, folks! Be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

r.e.m. nightswimming

because all summers must come to an end

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the joy of bowling

Tonight, I witnessed the true meaning of the common phrase:
"pure unadulterated joy"

My friend's son turned 10 today. Double-digits. We went bowling. A simple, very American pastime, like stock car racing, the sort the "elite" are wont to denigrate. Seven boys, four moms, one dad, and a bowling alley full of fascinating characters (I wanted to take photos of them all). The crashing-rolling-echoing din of the place would make any mildly autistic person (like myself) insane.

Their bowling names: Dragon, Soup, Smoker, Sarge, Grendl, Mouse, and Jaguar.

At one point they were all chanting in unison, "Soup, Soup, Soup, Soup!" It was spontaneous and beautiful. And when Soup made a spare, you'd have thought they had all won the lottery, there was such merry-making and high-fiving and back-slapping. It occurred to me then, while watching them together, seemingly on the same team, unconcerned with scores, celebrating each fallen pin together..... it occurred to me that I was happy watching them be happy.

"Why did you choose to have kids?" a friend once asked me. "They give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning," I replied. It's that simple, really. They keep us from giving in to our Selves. Yet sometimes, when we are completely unaware, they give us a glimpse of a world without terror or global warming or divorce. It may be a lie, but at least there is merriment. If only for a moment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

the age of reason

Today, Bennett is seven. The age of reason has arrived.

Although I am not Catholic, I find this fascinating....
(from Wikipedia):
The age of reason, also called the age of discretion, is the age at which children become capable of moral responsibility. On completion of the seventh year a minor is presumed to have the use of reason (canon 97 §2 of the Code of Canon Law), but mental retardation or insanity could prevent some individuals from ever reaching it. Children under the age of reason and the mentally handicapped are sometimes called "innocents" because of their inability to commit sins: even if their actions are objectively sinful, they lack capacity for subjective guilt.

With each significant age, the world as we know it widens, and our place in it becomes so much more circumspect. We travel around ourselves with a constantly expanding orbit, encounter other life forms along the way, and struggle to integrate our orbit into the whole of the universe.

At the age of seven, the world (though still black and white) truly opens up for the first time. A child who has reached the age of reason is now able to see "the other", and realize that his actions have consequences. We, the grown-ups, seem to think they have this knowledge before they do, and in many small ways, we take their innocence from them.

Today, Bennett is seven. His world will never be small again. This evening we looked at photo albums from when he was born and we talked about the umbilical cord that held us together for nine months. Later, sitting on my lap on the living room floor, he said, "Today wouldn't be my birthday if you weren't here."

I love you, Bennett Buddy Boo.

Friday, November 23, 2007

i want to start.....

a blog dedicated solely to photos of people's bookshelves. The bookshelf of the living room and the bookshelf of the bedroom can differ significantly. Some of the books we cherish have been read; others sit waiting for something - the right time, or perhaps, simply, the time. A bookshelf displays only a slight sliver of time, and allows the observer a few inferences about us. It reveals both the content and the structure of our lives simultaneously. What we think. How we organize, if at all. Haphazard attempts at genre or author categorization, but ultimately hopeless as books get read, moved, purchased, loaned, returned, rearranged. It may seem permanent and timeless, but unless you are a stagnant human, your library has mutated over the course of your lifetime. People change. So do their bookshelves.

These would be my rules:
Rule # 1: You can submit up to 3 photos.
Rule #2: I will publish all that you send me. I will neither censor nor judge.
Rule #3: No prearranging of bookshelves allowed.
Rule #4: I trust that you will not prearrange, because to doubt you would be foolish and completely unprovable.
Rule #5. I can change the rules at any time.
Rule #6. You may write some sort of explanation or description about your bookshelf, in prose or in poetry if you so desire.
Rule #7. (because I like sevens, remember?). I will publish photos anonymously, with a name, or with a link to your blog/website. The choice is yours. You may remain as transparent or as obscure as you wish.

Until this bookshelf blog gets started (can't you see me filing it away with all the other unfinished projects?), here are three of my own photos. I followed all my rules. I am a good rule-follower. Sometimes.

If you want to email ( me up to three of yours, I will create a new blog to share them....

At least tell me what you think of the idea. I know anyone can post a photo of their bookshelf on their own blog, but wouldn't it be fun (or am I just perverted?) to have a space where you could just go and browse one stranger's bookshelf after another?

Oh god, I probably should do my research first! There may be something quite like this, already. And maybe you've heard of it. And maybe it's famous. I'm going to go have a look.......

Well, here's what I found: a little something to get you started. And completely lost.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

happy anniversary

a decade plus two gone behind us
i love you

zombie love.... interpretations welcome

Last night I dreamed I loved a zombie.....the details are sketchy, but I am trying to recreate the images in my mind as I type....

A man died. He was buried. I dug him up and placed him in a device that held him lying face down, yet suspended about four feet off the ground. Like one of those massage tables, but it was a homemade wooden contraption that could have been an instrument of torture if the person in it were alive. His arms dangled down.

We were in a daycare center, and the little children, ages 3-6 or so, were attempting to climb under, over, and on the dead man. I tried in vain to keep them off, horrified as they played with his limp bloody arms under the table, and reached out to touch his rotting feet. I lay underneath him and looked up at his disfigured face, defending the defenseless.

Later, he was sitting up in a chair, and when I looked over at him, he reminded me of the time I was in Zunil, Guatemala, in a dark room with an effigy of San Simon and all the colorfully-dressed locals around offering him cigars and whiskey in a room full of lighted candles. Suddenly I knew there was some life left in him. I watched and waited. The pesky pre-schoolers were gone. Soon, one eye opened, then another, and he looked at me.

I knew he had returned from the dead to be with me forever. I watched as he stretched his limbs, and I crawled up to recline beside him. He was bigger than a normal man, like the size I imagine Frankenstein's creature to be - human, but just on a larger, grotesquer scale. We snuggled on the chair, and I wrapped my left arm over his chest, feeling for the heartbeat that had returned. He took my hand and moved it to his crotch, and I felt the warmth and life there also, as if he needed that sensation to prove to himself that he was, indeed, alive. The thought of a zombie's penis kind of creeped me out, like it was delicate and might fall off if I handled it too aggressively. I removed my hand, put my head on his chest, and wanted to sleep. He never said a word. Neither did I.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

seven more things

Today, instead of feeling grateful, I'm pondering all the things I am NOT, and wish that I were. I'm sick of all the "be proud of who you are" rhetoric. Maybe I've been watching too many Disney movies or something, but we can't all be the self-possessed hero. I just want a moment to wallow. Thanks.

Sometimes I wish.......

1. that I liked mussels and mushrooms instead of mac&cheese and milk.
2. being late didn't make me anxious.
3. the fear of feeling left out would leave me.
4. an idea for a really great story would just pop into my head.
5. that I wasn't so attached to this world-that I could take everything less seriously.
6. that I could recognize a D or a C# or an F when I heard it.
7. crying wasn't such an automatic response - it would be so nice sometimes to have a harder shell.

Monday, November 12, 2007

seven things

In the interest of cultivating a spirit of gratefulness, here is my offering of things for which I am grateful. I happen to like packages that come in sevens.

1. a buck was seen in our backyard last night by my neighbor at 3 am. he said it was magnificent, the biggest he's ever seen, and he watched as the buck jumped over our fence and ran across the street to the park.
2. the old rusty fence is low enough to let in a buck and to not cut us off from our neighbors (though sometimes i do wish for a little more privacy).
3. i organized the boys' multitude of toys into a manageable collection. piles into the trash and piles to give away. how do we accumulate so much crap?!
4. my boys have a multitude of toys
5. a hawk (don't ask me what species) flew through our yard today and perched for awhile on a nearby lamp post
6. i am flying the flag on this veterans' holiday. it belongs to all americans, not just the uber-patriotic war mongering ignorant ones. me: "do you know what a veteran is?" bennett: "it's someone who makes it so we have a day off of school."
7. i can choose NOT to fly the flag, if i so wish.

and are you grateful? and what for? and why does it matter?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

this changes everything

I've done a lot of cool things in 16 years of teaching.....

I've been the "Curator of Egyptology" and created a museum of 6th grade projects in the library, amidst cries of "You can't do that-the kids will just destroy them...." blah, blah, blah... Would I be lying if I said that the pre-teens were so amazed by the pyramids and mummies and Anubis clay statues that they kept their grubby paws off them, nothing broke, and there was no graffiti? Certainly. But it was minimal. A scribble here, a decapitated clay figure there. Nothing more. And the benefits far outweighed the risks.

I've strolled somberly through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. with 8th graders, their eyes wide open and their hearts full of compassion. The mysteries of human evil being revealed to them in both the past and the present.

I've directed middle schoolers in Orpheus and Eurydice and Blame it on the Wolf and A Mid-Summer Night's Dream.

I've struggled day in and day out to try and create a few more literate human beings in the world; not just ones who CAN read, but ones who WANT to read.

But this is the coolest thing I have ever done, amidst the cries of, "Well, I'm not sure you can do that..... what if? ...." blah, blah, blah. I feel like I did 12 years ago when setting up the Egyptian Museum - up against the forces of fear who cannot see that the power to transform lives involves taking a risk.

It is better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Anyway, if you want to see what I'm blabbering on about, please visit:

Freedom of Voice


The Beginning Writers

and be sure to leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

measuring myself against the rainfall

if i were a ruler
i would be able to tell you how much, how long
compared to last month
or New Orleans

rulers have done more to damage the world
by comparing themselves to something more-
or less.
nothing spells insecurity like not measuring up to
tomorrow’s prediction
or yesterday’s record

throw open the doors!
it’s raining.
i want to know the violent pulse from the sky

but how far? how wide?
enough for beauty
but not for irreparable damage.
if you want the door closed, do it

and what about the leaks?
water dripping onto antique such-and-such
now it’s the whole roof!
and someone else has to fix the problem

measurements will have to be taken

if you measure in
i will measure in
pyrex or longitude or nanoseconds or eighth notes or

something incomparable
to lessen
the rain

August 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

today's email from john

As if Blackwater didn't make you sick enough... Check
out this link. I KNOW dad would have been disgusted
with this turn of events. He was a proud member of
the Foreign Service for thirty years. But he would
NEVER have condoned what the State Department has done
here!!! Condi is a despicable shithead bitch!


Here's the link

the beautiful things that heaven bears

I inhaled this little melancholic novella by Dinaw Mengestu in two days. Echoes of other immigrant stories, yet all its own. Read/heard about it in three different places within as many know how that comes to "mean something".

Here's a snippet of a conversation between two African immigrants who escaped violent coups in their separate homelands to come to the US with the naive belief in that elusive American Dream.

Everything is beautiful to you.

Not everything.

But damn close.

You just have to have the right perspective.

Which is what?

Indifference. You have to know that none of this is going to last. And then you have to not care.

And then the world becomes beautiful?

No. It becomes ridiculous. Which is close enough for me.

It is filled with these embedded little gems that make you stop and want to underline them. But I never do.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

almost all hallows

Being the grammar nazi that I am, I did a little research to see if hallows needed an apostrophe. I found three variations: hallows, hallow's, and hallows'. I prefer missing apostrophes to misplaced or unnecessary ones, so I opted for the simplest choice.

Party pics from The Burkles' haunt:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

circa samhain

For those of you not in the know, I realize a little clarification of my costume is in order, else you might think I have truly lost my senses. I think here you will find sufficient explanation. If you still have questions, you may address them to my personal secretary.

Thanks to John and Jenny for throwing a smashing shindig.
Thanks to the moon for being so resplendent; sorry I didn't get a photo of you.

I want to live in Ireland: "Irish children have a week-long Halloween break from school; the last Monday in October is a public holiday given for Halloween even though they often do not fall on the same day." -Wikipedia

Sunday, October 14, 2007

operation homecoming

It was homecoming weekend at Colorado College. Homecoming. A time to come home. Sometimes the measures we take to get back home are drastic. Sometimes we can't figure out how we got so far away from home in the first place. Sometimes it is impossible to go home again. Sometimes we get home, only to realize it wasn't what we thought it would be. Sometimes we are homeless. Sometimes it's a three-run homer. Sometimes we think home is farther away than it really is. Sometimes home is better once we have been away for awhile. Sometimes it is worse. Sometimes we choose to try and make our home in a foreign land, wishing for two homes but finding we have none. Sometimes we have a home away from home. Sometimes there's no place like home.

Sometimes our lives are so dramatically changed by the journey that there is nothing left to do but write.

Friday, October 12, 2007

poster children....

...for All Pikes Peak Reads.

Grant's Zorro is sporting a homemade sword forged from branches in our backyard and fastened together with pipe cleaners. (Only they don't call them that anymore because it's not PC). The cowboy hat I picked up in the Goodwill parking lot where I'm not quite sure what happens... there's lots of boxes full of stuff and men (generally Mexican) sit around on their tailgates and look over the goods. I don't know the rules for this event, but I have managed to glean a pair of nice black shoes, several toys, and that brown hat from them, always for free. (It might have something to do with the mini-skirts and my coy attempts at engaging them in Spanish, apropos to the hat being used for a Zorro costume).
Grant's cape is a black fleece blanket held together by a safety pin, which he found by recklessly dumping out the contents of a clay jar that sits on my dresser. You know. The one that collects all the items that emerge from pockets at the end of the day: all the pins, marbles, pennies, paper clips, rocks, scrabble tiles, buttons, and rubber bands that simply have nowhere else to go.

Bennett's Greek fisherman's hat came from, well, Greece. I bought it when I was there nearly 20 years ago, never dreaming it would end up on a 6-year-old's head (MY six year old!) when he wanted to be Zorro. Together, we threw open the old suitcase of dress up materials, and dug around until we found it. He didn't care that it wasn't a caballero hat; it was black, and that was just fine. His "cape" is fashioned from an old piece of black material I bought when putting on Orpheus and Eurydice with a bunch of middle schoolers. He was lamenting that it had a hole in it, but after my quick-witted explanation of "that's where Zorro got sliced by a sword but narrowly escaped unharmed", it quickly became a badge of honor. It was fastened at the neck with a gold pin I found in my mother's old jewelry box, which also sits on my dresser.

The masks were made by the boys at Acacia Park during the All Pikes Peak Reads kick-off party.

On this evening, they dreamed of being something bigger than they really are, with more courage, more luck, and more daring than they possess in real life. This child's play is fascinating to watch, as little beings don not only capes and hats and boots, but also personalities and attributes. I love Halloween. The boundary between the worlds becomes thin, and we can all, for awhile, dig around in our closets, rummage through history, and become something more. Or at least different. It doesn't take money, only a little ingenuity and a willingness to suspend disbelief.

Bennett: "I want to be a hero when I grow up."
Grant: "So he robbed, but he was good."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

today's best

see the rest

I am not able to forget the little siren who sang to me so sweetly.
You are a beautiful ghost who lives in the ruins of my broken heart.

(PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

smalltown boy

I was listening to KEPC, 89.7, on my way to work yesterday morning, when this song came on. I started singing at the top of my lungs, physical memories of lights and people and my own dancing body flooded my world. When I finally came to, I found I had missed the left turn green light, at least eight cars having gone before me, and mine having gone nowhere. Luckily, there was no one behind to wake me from my revelry with an angry, "I have to get to work, bitch, stop singing!" honk. It has been playing in my head for the last two days.

It was somewhere in the mid-80's and music ruled the world. My world, anyway. I spent the latter half of that decade in college, with a semester abroad in Spain and a year abroad in England. All the while connecting myself to people who would go see The Cure in Madrid or Robyn Hitchcock in Manchester (I drove a van full of 15 students through the roundabouts of Manchester to get us to that show!), or Echo and the Bunnymen in Seattle.

Once upon a time, dance music wasn't just one tedious beat after another. "Maybe," she says with a sigh, "I'm just getting old and I just don't get it."

But when this song came on in the club, we were ALL there, rushing to the dance floor to work out our darkest fears, our dearest hopes, our lovers and friends all together in the same realm. Bronski Beat. I willingly confess to loving this band. Listening to The Age of Consent over and over and over again in my dorm room. Dancing as if my body or soul might explode at any minute. I miss that. There's no place for us of The Breakfast Club generation to dance that will play Bronski Beat. Or Simple Minds. Or New Order. Or Cabaret Voltaire. Or Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets. No place that I know of anyway. Please enlighten-I desperately need to dance to something other than endless monotonous techno filled with teasingly painful reminders of my past. (I think they're called "samples").

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007


happy (what would have been) 70th birthday, mom.
here are a few of your favorite things......

Saoirse with Hope
Caoily with Strength
Bennett with Adventure
Grant with Courage

Thank you for teaching me the value of character rather than the value of things.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


sometimes, when i don't really feel like
i spend my time with

(non-prophet-be sure to check the link-you'll love these!)

am i the only one who felt sorry for the coyote, who didn't laugh when he went careening over the edge for the five thousandth time, who wanted the road runner to get his ass kicked-just once?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

jesus loves porn stars

I am now the proud owner of a t-shirt that says just that. It cost me 15 bucks, but after Ron Jeremy signed it, I figured it at least tripled in value. Here's a blurry pic of him signing it, and one of ron & me having a tender moment.

Shove Chapel was filled to what I'm sure qualifies as unsafe-by-fire-code standards. Every available space had bodies in it, most of them college-aged porn fans. You could just feel the hormones in the hot, stuffy air. Craig Gross made some fairly valid points, and his ministry has a place in the world, I suppose. (And he is really, really HOT, I might add!)

In the debate, Ron was funny, gracious, and honest. In person, he was warm and huggable and smelled like some unnameable cologne that an old man might wear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ode to oregon

Two days ago, I was only a few miles from here, but I chose to go here instead. With my brother. So many memories. His. Mine. Ours. Memories of being born again, huckleberry pancakes, unknown daughters, skinny dipping, sore feet, speared trout, freedom, fire, good pot....

It's scary, really, how big the world is there, with life dying right before your eyes, and death making a bridge, a carpet, a path, a home. If I counted all the cells in the forest, I wondered, would the balance come out in favor of life or death? It's complicated. Consider the tree:
center heartwood - dead
middle sapwood-alive
outer bark - dead

Shall we have a reading, then?
How about something from the diary of Opal Whiteley?

From Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart

I heard the mama calling.
She did send me in a hurry to the woodshed.
She wanted two loads of wood.
The first load I brought in a hurry.
The second load I brought not so.
I did pick up all the sticks my arms could hold.

I looked long looks at them.
I did have thinks about the tree
they all were before they got chopped up.
I did wonder how I would feel
if I was a very little piece of wood
that got chopped out of a very big tree.
I did think that it would have hurt my feelings.
I felt the feelings of the wood.
They did have a very sad feel.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

thank you grammar lady!

ode to bloomers

Some bloom early. They
know, like all sentient beings, the
anxious awaits of beating hearts after the
brown months. Their
gifts are innocence and perfume and a small immutable

Some bloom late. They
know how to wait for the
gray to align with the
restless breathing of tired lungs. Their
gifts are memory and no regrets and there’s still

ode to late bloomers