Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So very "Wow!"

Read this story for a moment of hope in a world that sometimes seems
much too crazy:

http://upperleftcoast.blogspot.com/2008/04/this-story-made-me-cry.html

What is true?

I've had one of those moments of sobering revelation that thud into
my consciousness and sink my heart into a place somewhere near my
shoelaces. The heart grabs the stomach on the way down. It isn't a
situation of which I would share the details. They are not details
I'd be proud to advertise, and they only have meaning for me and
maybe one other person. But the Aha! or should I say the Oh no! - is
something I can muse on here.

Have you ever had that happen: an event or something that occurred in
the past that you suddenly recall in an entirely new light and from a
different perspective? The circumstance remembered, a new awareness
hits with a jolt. The dominoes have been lined up waiting for a time
when horizons have broadened enough, or age and distance have allowed
for a new understanding. An abrupt shove and memory clicks. The
dominoes tumble into a place where you can understand beyond the
edges you have held.

I'm groping for a way to explain an emotional change and it is
something you either have experienced and recognize, or not. But how
odd to look upon an occasion for a lifetime from one side only, then
to see another. It makes me wonder how many memories I have that have
cemented certain beliefs inside me, which may be open to another
interpretation. Did somebody once suggest there is no such thing as
truth, only personal truth? And even that is suspect?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stiff

I just finished reading an interesting book on life after death. No,
not the psycho-spritual angel-ghost sort of thing. The down-to-earth,
what-happens-to-the-remains story. The book is "Stiff: The Curious
Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach. It is informational without
being dry, and a funny read without being irreverent. The subject
matter could be macabre and is one most people shy from but, face it,
we're all gonna be a stiff someday.

Have you thought seriously about what happens to a body after death?
This book will tell you. From coffin to cremation, from donation in
many forms, and final uses, Ms. Roach tells the truth about
decomposition and distribution. She delves here and there into the
history of what happens to the dead and especially into the less than
savory manners of cadaver use. We humans have very odd emotional
attachments to bodies even as good proportion of us feel the soul
leaves at death and what remains is... well, remains. Leftovers.
Protein, for goodness sake! I'm not so nostalgic but I still squirmed
a bit while reading.

Two particular parts stay in my mind. The first is the reverence and
respect given cadavers in dissection/anatomy labs. Stories of medical
school pranks have circulated for a long time but it seems attitudes
have grown up and changed. The second is a chapter on ecological
disposal that involves freeze drying a corpse to speed the back-to-
the-earth process. That one sounds better than cremation, cheaper and
more environmentally friendly, but with the squeamishness of human
beings it may never become available. Read the book if you have a
curious mind, a steady stomach, and are willing to get a chuckle from
soma humor.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Songs of My Childhood

There are many songs from my childhood, songs I have passed on to my
daughter and that she is passing on to her children, that are never
heard anymore. Some are songs from my mother's time and others are
tunes she likely learned from her mother. We've found old recordings
of a few. And some have been re-recorded in novelty albums. Others
seem to be lost. The melodies I recall may not have been the
originals. The words have perhaps changed with time and inventive
recollection.

Songs such as "Yes, We Have No Bananas" and "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" are
not so hard to locate. We've found "Don't Go In The Lion's Cage
Tonight", "Pistol Packin' Mama", and "Teddy Bear's Picnic". But where
can I find a recording of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, which I
learned from my mother as a song:
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

I can easily find the printed poem, but where is the song? Where is
"When Apples Grow on the Lilac Tree", or a song I barely recall my
grandmother singing about two little children freezing to death in
the snow?

Do you suppose some day my grandchildren will search the world for
some pop song they vaguely recall their grandmother singing to them?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sneezin' & Wheezin'

Allergy season has descended upon me and my brain is in a
hebetudinous state probably induced by a lack of oxygen to the gray
matter. Was that me longing for spring and the blooming of flowers
and trees? What was I thinking? Only the beauty inherent in spring
gets me past the itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, and general
torpor. This is my annual "I-should-have-moved-to-the-desert" phase
Which you may have noticed immediately follows the "Please-let-winter-
be-over" phase. The universe cheerfully gives me what I ask for and
sits back to chuckle. No, let me revise that. Change chuckle to
hysterical laughter and hoots of mirth and derision.

Beedwile, I'b tucking lige dis ed tryink to ged subair id by dose.
Gibee sub eddyhistimins!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earworm of the Day

Doggone it! This morning I woke up with Mozart on the brain.
Specifically the Minuet/Trio from Symphony No. 41. Some folks might
think this is an improvement over Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe -
but it terms of the maddening factor tune hardly counts. The worm
burrows in, grabs it own tail, and proceeds to spin out of control.
Thankfully I'm headed out to have breakfast in town with a friend. A
couple of cups of coffee and some conversation should drown this one,
at least until the next one surfaces in my cranial soup.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Did you ever see the work of an artist that sang so loudly inside you
you vibrated? I feel that way about the pottery of Faith Rahill. It
is glorious! My financial means are limited but I'm saving my pennies
for one of her spider tiles. I can't justify the Mother and Children
platter - though I think for the work involved her prices are more
than reasonable - but with luck, a tile is within my retirement budget.

Check out her designs and the incredible technique that is required
to make the pieces. So exciting...

http://faithrahillpottery.com/INDEX.HTM

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cold enough for ya?

Okay, I'll join the multitude of voices raised in Oregon right now
and add my curses toward the Arctic weather. It is Blinking COLD,
what the meteorological pundits call "unseasonable" and the rest of
us refer to in more pungent unprintable terms. My daughter, a
relatively recent transplant to Eugene from California, is
dumbfounded by snow accumulated on her deck in April. I equally
amazed at snow falling in Bandon though at least here along the coast
it doesn't seem to have stuck on the ground. But it is past mid-April
for heaven's sake! The daytime weather tomorrow in Fairbanks is
predicted to be twelve, **12**!!! degrees warmer than ours tomorrow!

I join the rest of the population in muttering "#%$@&*!" and uttering
a loud Boo! Hiss!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Internet Woes

It was a longtime wish of mine to live in the country where the
sounds of neighbors and cars, stereos and sirens, was farther from
the front door. How naive the dreams of idyllic pastoral living! Not
that residing out of town isn't great. But there are some major
drawbacks. The one that has me grinding my teeth in frustration
today, and yesterday, and probably tomorrow, is lack of decent
internet access.

(Insert hysterical, angry screaming HERE)

No high speed in the boonies. We have a choice between dial-up (SLOW)
and satellite, which can be fast but limits downloads, fusses about
clouds and rain (this is Oregon - what else is there?), and can be S
- L - O - W - E - R then, well, choose your favorite expression for
nearly stopped. So here we are, in an area where we could use
internet a whole bunch more than city folk: for news, communication,
reference, shopping, etc., and we have the least service. And the
least chance of anybody ever seeing it provided. We watch as site
after site goes flash, bells, and whistles. Try loading a graphics-
heavy, animation engorged website at 33kbps. Learn vexation first
hand. You'll understand why my blog contains few photos, no movie
clips, and why Flickr/YouTube/Second Life are just words, not to be
experienced.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Earworm2

Is it simply my imagination or to fellow earworm infectees take
fiendish delight in sharing theirs with you? If I mention the song
playing over for the three-millionth time inside my head my husband
gleefully sings a bit of his inner tune knowing quite well that my
brain will substitute his for mine and set the file back on endless
repeat.

What is this? His isn't cured and I'm infected with it now? Is it
like a computer virus jumping from one intelligence (and I use that
term lightly) to another? It could be a form of instant karma since I
brought the subject up in the first place but as far as I know the
infection only seems to spread from him to me, not from me to him.

This morning's tune, by the way is: Pistol Packin' Mama. Yup, my age
is showing. "Drinkin' beer in a cabaret and was I havin' fun, Until
one night she caught me right and now I'm on the run!" You'll have to
be of a certain age to catch THIS one.

Postscript: The husband reads the blog and I found out that he was
infected with A,T,& SF yesterday. AH, the fiendish delight is
mine!! Mwa-ha-haaaaaa!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Barn Swallow

The barn swallows have returned! My neighbor reported hearing them
recently, but this morning was my first sighting - a single swallow
perched on the power lines in front of our house. The rapture this
brings me is difficult to convey. The first tree swallows of the
season are welcome but something about seeing the barn swallows tells
me spring has truly begun.

Before living in Oregon the only notice of barn swallows I recall
taking was at my high school and college in California. They were
seen as pesky birds whose nesting on the buildings was heartily
discouraged to prevent the mess made below. Upon moving to Oregon, to
a farm setting where outbuildings provided prime spots for swallow
habitat, I came to appreciate the abilities of these winged bug-hoovers.

Coastal Oregon teems with wet places. Lakes abound, as well as
puddles, and human mosquito incubators such as buckets, water
troughs, or even discarded styrofoam cups. It takes only a few warm
days for such a cradle to become mosquito central. I'm one of those
unfortunate folk who are mosquito magnets. They crave my plump, fair
flesh and will bypass other meals to do their tiny Dracula best to
drain my blood. I swell up with a huge hot itchy lump at the bite
site and scratch for a week or two. I've learned to welcome the
around-the-clock, nature-provided insect executioners: bats and
swallows.

There are other insect eaters around our farm but the most obvious
are the barn swallows. They voice their squeaky song from the wires,
swoop through the air from dawn until dusk, and will allow close
congress with people. Twice, we've had nests built and families
raised on our front porch, inches from our dining room window.
Watching the careful construction of the nest, the shared brooding of
the eggs, and the tireless feeding of four hungry chicks until they
were fledged and on their own was a lesson in terrific parenting.

So welcome back barn swallows! Choose our porch for a home. I
encourage you to stay, as I do the tree swallows, the occasional
cliff swallows, and our several resident species of bats. Enjoy the
meals you find in our air. Your dining practices are appreciated. If
I sound like an adoring fan, I am.

Earworm

I suffer from an ongoing case of earworms: those little snippets of
melody and/or lyrics that sneak into your head and go around and
around. And around. This morning it was part of The Trolley Song from
Meet Me in St. Louis. The part that goes "and it was grand just to
stand with his hand holding mine... to the end of the line!" Over and
over it went with occasional additions of another line or two from
somewhere else in the song.

Conventional wisdom says to rid oneself of a particular earworm
choose another song and sing it. So now I have The Atcheson, Topeka,
and the Santa Fe from The Harvey Girls playing inside my head. The
last bit where Judy Garland sings "The Atcheson. The Atcheson-
Topeka..." adding a word each time through. Oh great! Substitution is
not a cure! I feel a bit like Lady Macbeth with her O/C hand washing.

So I'm writing about it and hoping that by using lots of other words
and concentrating on sentence construction my brain will jump the
tracks and whirl off somewhere beside the Atcheson, Topeka, and
the... Oh no!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weather

A look through the blogs around Oregon tells me that Oregonians,
especially those living west of the I-5 corridor, are obsessed with
weather. Yes, I am one of them. Get two or more of us together and we
immediately talk about weather. Perhaps it is a human-wide condition
brought on by millennia of depending upon it agriculturally, but it
persists in the modern world and is an art form in OR.

On the coast we always seem to have a wary eye on the sky. Here, a
bit north of Cape Blanco, we often host the jet stream. as it wavers
slightly north or slightly south our weather boogies about in
likewise undecided fashion. I'm utterly convinced that if there is
rain north of us the patterns will bring it down to just south of
Cape Blanco. If there is rain south the jet stream hauls it to just
north. Either way we see rain. And wind. Only late spring rain is
ever vertical here. Winter rain (winter lasts from October through
May in spite of the solar year) is a horizontal phenomena.

I expect a look through the blogs today will reveal a number of
Oregonians mentioning the recent two glorious days of warm sunny
weather and our return to cold and damp. Two days of warm sun at this
time of year probably had the weathermen scanning their notes about
drought and considering stories featuring the partially desiccated
bodies of the semi-amphibious humanity living along the coast.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pie

A good friend recently made me a pie for my birthday. When she asked
what kind of pie I'd like I was speechless - a rare occurrence, akin
to seeing a total eclipse from your front porch. IMHO all pies are
wonderful. Each has a unique and not to be missed character. It is
nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite. If I say lemon
meringue, which I adore, does that mean I like apple less? If I say
banana cream does that mean I'd rather have it than pecan? If I
mention cherry does that downgrade any other berry in my affection?
(Answers: No. No. No!)

What about chocolate? Or peach? Key lime? Pumpkin? Each is heavenly
and not to be refused. Then there is anything with sour cream or
cream cheese. Orgasm territory! Did you see the movie Michael? Andie
MacDowell singing 'Pie, pie. Me-Oh-My!'?

If the cook is good with pastry (and my friend is!) the middle, which
as a child was all I would eat, is enhanced by a flaky, buttery
goodness that is a treat all by itself. Keep your birthday cake.
Bring me pie.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Politics, revisited

Would you run for office in America? It is tantamount to agreeing to
stand naked in the center of a swarm of fire ants: you must endure
thousands and thousands of tiny vicious bites delivered by small
mindless beings. How many of us have lives that could survive the
scrutiny? We know we couldn't watch every word we say 24/7 or stand
up to the constant criticism. So we don't campaign. We choose instead
to sit back waiting like a princess for Prince Charming to save us,
while we join together in taking pot shots at anyone willing to make
the effort.

What happened to the 'united" in United States? All we have is
hostility between our political parties. What is the name calling and
side-swiping getting us? Republicans and Democrats are so busy aiming
at each other they have forgotten the job of governing. The pettiness
and divisiveness of American politics seems destined to be the straw
on the back that brings down the camel of our country. Candidates for
public office are wary of delivering anything but pallid newsbits
that fit the fifteen or twenty second stories during the short time
we allow for TV news. They must avoid saying anything that becomes a
target for the opposition, so they say very little with meaning.

We must quit allowing politics to be run by people who attack. We
must begin asking what they will do if elected and how they plan to
do it, and stop listening to what they think someone else would or
would not do. We must stop being charmed by platforms which make
promises we know in our hearts cannot be kept. As long as the voters
continue to listen to blaming, negative campaigning, and pie-in-the-
sky assurances, we will continue to elect officials who are clueless,
and powerless to lead.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Laundry day math problems

A woman does laundry once a week. The same woman wears clean
underwear every day. She owns 14 pairs of briefs. How is it that the
number of briefs in the laundry can equal twelve each week? Explain
how the number of briefs remaining in the dresser drawer on laundry
day can = 0.

Show your work.

Determine the probability that the number of socks removed from the
dryer will be an even number.

Calculate the ratio of hangers available to clothes requiring them.
Express as a negative number.

Extra credit: Explain how a man who cuts his toenails regularly can
have holes in the toes of 100% of his socks. Extrapolate for duration
of non-holed socks after first use. Estimate the chances his wife
will darn socks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eating Disorders - Part 2 (con'td from yesterday)

(Prompted by reading: Slim to None by Jennifer Hendricks. Jennifer
died at age 25, weighing 45 pounds.)

Let me repeat: Anorexia, bulimia, and obesity are all eating
disorders, different manifestations of the same disease! The anguish
is the same. The effect on quality of life is the same.

Of course we aren't viewed the same overall. How many times have you
pointed at, or called names to, an anorexic? How many are shown on
television as characters to laugh at? Have you seen a news story
featuring pictures of their bellies or butts? Have you whispered
about what is on their plate in a restaurant? Snickered at the sight
of them in a bathing suit? When you worry about your own weight which
do you least wish to resemble - a fat woman or a skinny one?

Hello? Which form of eating disorder is most common? Which one is
making the most money for purveyors of books, food plans, pills, and
fitness gurus? Is there any difference in the bottom-line recovery
rate? Three answers: Obesity, obesity, and probably not. Small wonder
that while Jennifer can have had a disease, my form of it is a still
seen as a topic for comedy.

Jennifer Hendricks spent her short life being told she had to decide
not to have an eating disorder, as if her disease was something she
could choose to do, or not do, on a whim. I wonder how many times she
heard the call for 'will power' as if it was a button she could push
and everything would change. I've been the recipient of that sort of
advice all my life. Her inability to stop a behavior her mind knew
was destructive is familiar to me. So is the hopeful planning, the
short term changes that seemed promising, and the inevitable return
to her previous pattern. I ached at reading her journals, was angered
by what she did, and recognized myself in her voice.

Let me end this entry with, not a plea for sympathy, but a plea for
parity on behalf of the obese men and women in the world. Like
anorexia and bulimia, obesity is an eating disorder. We who suffer
from the disease have all the criticism, all the judgement, all the
disgust at our appearance we need, bouncing around in our own heads.
We certainly don't need more, and we certainly don't need yours.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Eating Disorders - Part 1

(Prompted by reading: Slim to None by Jennifer Hendricks. Jennifer
died at age 25, weighing 45 pounds.)

I have an eating disorder. One that is epidemic in this country.
Jennifer's journal resonated with me in so many ways. Her anger. Her
distorted image of her body. Her use of food to compensate for
emotion she was unable to control. I understand her elation/
depression mood swings. Like her I have planned endlessly to change
my behavior, had periods where things seemed to improve, and plunged
back into old patterns. Like her I have been treated by doctors and
psychiatrists, and by society with calls for will power and advice to
change my habits and thinking. Like her I have cried, and raged, and
wanted to die. Like her my eating disorder is likely to kill me.

One difference between Jennifer and me is that Jennifer and others
like her are seen by most people as suffering from a disease. Their
plight has found a sympathetic ear in the media and public opinion.
People like me are seen as disgusting and weak. Jennifer had
anorexia. I am "morbidly obese".

Please learn now that anorexia, bulimia, and obesity are all eating
disorders, different manifestations of the same disease.

Wikipedia defines eating disorder as "compulsion to eat, or avoid
eating, that negatively affects one's physical and mental health".
Then it goes on to discuss anorexia and bulimia - ignoring the
question of obesity. NIMH has a similar attitude. It refers to
"extreme reduction of food intake or extreme overeating" but the
primary focus is on anorexia and bulimia, with passing reference to
binge eating. Neither seriously takes up the subject of extreme
overeating as a disease even though they have included it in the
definition of an eating disorder.

(continued tomorrow)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Morning Grandmother Story

I just got off the phone after chatting with my son-in-law. He is a
stay-at-home dad (spell that H-E-R-O) with two toddlers to watch.
Near the beginning of our conversation the two year old got noisy and
loudly requested his father's undivided attention. SIL responded with
"Charlie, I'm on the phone right now. You have to wait." whereupon my
grandson, in true two-year-old fashion began to howl.

SIL returned to our chat and I enjoyed the long-distance
grandmotherly experience of hearing the background crying turn angry.
Any parent or grand-parent is familiar with the difference in
character, of the crying from pain and the crying from being
outrageously pissed. When I could suppress my amusement no longer and
mentioned the escalating sound to my SIL, he turned to the source of
the bellowing and asked, "Charlie, are you angry?"

(sniff) "No," and the crying stopped.

And I fell on the floor laughing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Slow Spring

Only another week and it will be mid-April but the trees in my yard
are still resisting the urge to bloom and leaf out. Only the apple
tree has shown much change. It has the reluctant beginnings of
leaves. The cherry and pear in the back yard remain budded but un-
flowering. In past years they would have had flowers in mid-March. No
signs of barn swallows yet either. They are normally here by late March.

Last year we had a very short summer. Spring and fall seemed extended
and winter mild but way too long. I wonder if there will even be a
summer this year?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wet Wit

What is it about running water, specifically the shower, that gets
creativity flowing? I can sit staring at a poem or story in progress,
or trying to come up with a theme about which to blog... zippo! Nada!
My brain is empty of inspiration. Nothing there.

I step into the shower and get totally soaked and ideas pour forth,
bubble up, stream out. There I am, sopping wet and as far from
keyboard, pencil, paper as I can get and remain inside the house. My
toweling off is often accompanied by muttered phrases I'm in a rush
to set down before, like the moisture, they evaporate into the air.

Perhaps it is time to invest in some of those crayon soaps made for
toddler bath-time fun? I can jot down my thoughts and leave cryptic
reading for the husband's late night wash.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oeuf Ooof!


At least one of our hens has to have an achy twat today. She laid this monster yesterday afternoon. The picture doesn't do it justice. The smaller egg is the size of a very large store-bought egg. Good thing they are soft when the come out, right?

Apple versus NYC?


Let me say right off that this is an Apple Computer household. We've had Macs just about as long as there have been Macs - five in the room in which I'm writing, and another couple semi-retired upstairs.

Imagine my dismay when I read about Apple's legal department opposing New York City's use of an apple in their advertising for a city ecology campaign. Just about lost my cookies! The guys at Apple think we weak-minded public will get the logos horribly confused. They also worry that their signature company logo will be diluted of distinctiveness. Ooooooooh!

I love you Apple, but it would serve you right to lose the case AND be required by the courts to change your company name and logo, since New York, The BIG Apple was around first. And while you are out there worrying, did you know that my grocery store has bins of Pippins and Granny Smiths? Infringement! Copyright adulteration! Eeeek!

We all know a company must defend it's trademark, but personally, I think it might be great for Apple Computer to be connected with a green initiative in a country where the dumps are bulging with outdated, discarded hardware.

Are you confused?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Talk Oregonian?

Just read this post on another blog:

http://portland.metblogs.com/2008/04/04/do-you-talk-like-an-oregonian/

and the title prompted me to think that the best way I know to
separate Oregonians from non-Oregonians, or at least to tell recent
transplants from long-timers, is to have them pronounce place names:
Willamette, Heceta, Siuslaw, etc.

Or around our local area: Ophir, Blanco, Langlois, Rosa.

Bet you can come up with a long list of Oregon places that challenge
the newly arrived. Probably works for any other locale as well.

(By the way, I say both Hot Dish and Casserole. We moved around a lot
when I was young!)

Living Beside Wildlife

I woke this morning to the unmistakable scent of eu de Skunk. That
smell is recognizable by everyone but the city folk only get it as a
quick highway experience when they speed past a recently Goodyeared
Mustelidae. Living in the country you have a chance to savor the
depth and penetrating power of Polecat perfume. It can creep through
tightly closed doors and windows in enough concentration to wake you
from a sound sleep. And this from a mashed specimen a quarter of a
mile away. Everyone who owns a dog keeps the recipe for skunk scent
annihilation close at hand.

The skunk incident made me think of past urban, or more suburban at
least, encounters with wildlife. We came here from San Jose,
California (I know - Boo! Hiss!) and though our old neighborhood had
been established housing tract for over twenty years there was still
critter infiltration. I recall a night when I stood at the bedroom
window about to close the drapes and stared into the face of an
opossum who had climbed the wisteria trellis and was looking directly
back into my face. I think the whiskery little peeping Tom was as
surprised to see me as I was to see him. I also regularly saw whole
extended families of raccoons emerge from the storm drains to
dumpster dive behind the local supermarket. My husband tells stories
of them raiding the garbage at his parent's home in Palo Alto and
then washing or playing with their meal at the top step of the
swimming pool.

Here on the farm we have closer, more frequent encounters and I look
forward to them, but have also learned to recognize the country
attitude toward beasties. There are times when my Yuppie-Puppie
citified sensibilities conflict with the farm folk convictions. I'm
all into experiencing the mystery and miracle of animal life. Then a
neighbor with a horse talks about hating 'possums because they carry
some illness lethal to equines. A raccoon shreds several chickens and
leaves the remains uneaten. Turkeys descend upon a tree of ripe fruit
and strip it bare the night before it is to be picked. I'm caught
between the love of nature, with my awareness that I've moved into
their world, and the human "mine now" point of view. No good answers
or resolutions to be seen. We try the middle approach. Chase off a
few, tolerate a few. And a few get murdered. It was easier to avoid
the guilt and choices in suburbia.

Friday, April 4, 2008

To, Too, Two?

My husband and I are watching a Teaching Company lecture series
called History of the English Language. We're midway through the 36
half hour talks and Seth (hard to call the guy chatting at you in
your living room "Professor Lerer") tosses out the word: homonymy.
Great word! My mind careens off on a side trip, away from the topic
at hand and lands on the old to, too, two group. Hubbie challenges me
to a limerick. Here's what resulted:

If you dance with a large ballet crew
Learn this lesson while you are still new:
Pirouetting is fun
In a tutu for one,
But a mess in a tutu for two.


A dancer in mid pas de deux
Said my costume is covered in goo!
I wore it for fun
In ballet number one
Must I wear that tutu to two too?


(Your turn!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sunny Morning!

In my determination to make it be spring I waddled out to enjoy the
sun this morning. Couldn't sit on the porch with my morning coffee.
That would have meant severe frostbite. But around 11AM a peek out
the door showed the air temperature to be mild so I gathered up my
embroidery and crept through the front door to establish a bulwark
outside.

What was I thinking? The air was mild, almost warm (gasp!) but
basking in the sun as I sewed simply wasn't a possibility. I could
bask a bit; it was the accompanying stitchery that couldn't happen.
When I go outdoors my life is no longer mine. It becomes the chattel
of the various domestic animals who live around us. Mr. Wow, the
aging gentleman cat, is first to take possession. He is nowhere to be
seen as I open the door but is at my heels within my first three
steps. This is amazing since he is quite deaf. He barely waits for me
to sit before he is up in my arms. Such a loving old mancat, how can
I rebuff his attentions?

Next to arrive is the little yellacat, Flickie. She skulks under my
seat on the cedar bench and makes Pet-Me forays around my ankles
until the canine contingent shows up. SallyAnn and Ginger are the
dogs-next-door. They are always welcome visitors and show up to
request a cookie, a cuddle, and possibly a game of fetch - if Ginger
is persuasive enough.

Last to arrive is my husband. He is a late night kind of guy and is
primed to begin his morning monologue detailing movies, TV dramas,
news, and computer-garnered trivia from his solo hours in front of
the screen.

I abandon my bastion of sun and retreat to the house, sewing
untouched. Maybe another day?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Frost

Another morning with frost on the car and a cold, white, crispy lawn.
It is April for cryin' out loud! It is about time for us along the
coast to have a sunny morning where everything outside is not frozen!

The birds are trying so hard to insist that it is spring. Red-winged
blackbirds are sitting in the hedge and blasting their "Ka-Reeeeeeee"
to the world. A few Tree Swallows are swooping around after the hardy
flying things that have braved the chill. They haven't quite
convinced the fruit trees though. While a few have blossomed here and
there most of ours seem to be holding their buds in tight fists. You
can almost hear them groan in an effort to resist the up-rising
energy. They know the cold is hanging on and hoping to blight the
tender flowers and fruit-to-be.

The daffodils have been marvelous. The tapering off of what felt like
eternal rain is great. But never satisfied, I'm longing for the mild
part of spring. A morning when I can sit outside in the sun and drink
my coffee without fear of ice crystals forming on my nose, or get
into the car and not have a 5 minute wait to unfreeze and clear the
windshield would be so nice. The coast is heavenly, but winter hangs
on too long and springsummerautumn is too brief. Being sixty-plus,
where time moves faster each year, increases the sense of brevity of
the warm days. The seasons seem to be a lop-sided merry-go-round with
much of the ride being far from the golden ring.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What has Disney got against breasts?

I'm a big fan of the Pixar short films so for my recent birthday my
husband bought the DVD collection, volume 1. We sat down to watch it
the other night, giggling our way through Luxo Jr., and Tin Toy, and
Knick Knack, and were startled to see the surgery job done on the
bathing beauty in that last feature.

You've seen the original Knick Knack? The lady was obviously modeled
on circles! Her bikini top is mere color painted over two magnificent
ballooning breasts. She's animated and very much a doll so the
abundant topside figuration is funny. It is certainly a great part of
the fascination her snowman suitor feels for her.

The Disney company, however, must think breasts are naughty in some
specific corporate way. Since I saw the film on VHS the character,
and her mermaid double, have been the victims of radical
mastectomies. They now have all the chest allure of ten year old boy.
I'm flabbergasted by the change.

Did some small-minded viewer complain? Did someone think the public
who buys Barbie dolls couldn't handle the sight of a bustline on a
cartoon character? Visualize the meeting where the subject of
animated character over-endowment was discussed: bunch of suits and
ties around a table worrying about cartoon bosoms. Aren't you glad
those guys are watching out for your delicate sensibilities? Don't
you feel safer from sin with the Disney company protecting you from
hooters? Bunch of boobs making that decision!