Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More PC

In an effort to be more politically correct in the new year and to apologize for getting this to everyone late, I offer...

Drum roll, please!!!!"



On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my
Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in
good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union
contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),

TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling
class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from
enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wet-lands,

SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

THREE deconstructionist poets,

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and...

A Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Holiday Greetings

There is no snow on the ground outside, but it lingers in shady patches here and there. The air is cool with a faint warmth that beckons me outside to walk the silent streets past barking dogs and brightly lit windows where families celebrate and unwrap their gifts.

Laughter floats eerily up from the landlady's apartment where her family gathers for the ritual of opening gifts and enjoying their stuffed goose with all the trimmings. I wonder if there will be a flaming plum pudding carried reverently from the kitchen to the table in Old World splendor.

Upstairs in my silent rooms I sniffle and blow my nose, snuggled into the covers with books and pens and paper to while away the hours and remember holidays past. Gifts and food and family that dwindled and grew and dwindled again flit through my mind, but it is the pranks I remember most, the ones I cherish, like the first Xmas prank I played on my brother's wife, Bobbie, and which I remember here in verse.

Nothing If You Please

It was Christmas time again
and the lots had been drawn.
I took the one left over,
the joy of giving so strong.

"What would you like?"
I asked with a smile.
"Nothing if you please,"
she replied. "Nothing at all."

I couldn't believe
what she said with that frown.
"Nothing. Just nothing,"
she said and at down.

She wouldn't help me,
wouldn't give me a clue,
so I went shopping,
nothing else I could do.

I looked and I purchased
what gifts I could seize,
while in my head echoed,
Nothing if you please.

An idea kept nagging,
tugging at my sleeve.
Everyone should have
exactly what they need.

Carefully I wrapped the last
and biggest box,
decorating it with bows,
holly, bells, and curled ribbon locks.

Everyone but she knew
what was inside,
a gift like no other,
a very big surprise.

The room was silent
as she unwrapped the biggest one
where inside nested another,
everyone snickered, "What fun."

Equally beautiful
in bold red and green,
the next box opened
to one with blue metallic sheen.

Each beautifully wrapped box
carried one inside
until finally, at length
one last box did abide.

With shaking fingers she opened
the tiny gold thing.
She pulled out the cotton,
tossed aside the string.

Shifting and shaking,
the cotton lining aside,
"It's empty," she said.
"There's nothing inside."

She turned it over
and the card aloud she reads,
"I gave what you asked for,
nothing if you please."

The story is here and I will have it printed up and sent to my sister-in-law as a keepsake to remind her, and the rest of the family, to be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.

Happy Holidays and may all your dreams and wishes come true.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Yule

It's the longest night of the year, the darkest of days before we begin the swing back toward the sun, and it has been a fairly quiet evening. I can't sleep. I'm disciplining myself not to go back to the living room, turn on the TV, and put in the next two episodes of Dr. Who with Christopher Eccleston and save them for tomorrow. I'm rationing them right now.

I had planned a full Yule celebration, but circumstances kept it from happening as I envisioned it. Still, Nelo loved the dragonfly themed gifts I got her, the landlady can't wait to hang the new wind chimes I got her, and Michael's gift is still in my living room, a forlorn and silent reminder that he decided to be alone tonight. The landlady left huge gift bags stuffed with homemade goodies and European chocolate in front of our doors and Pastor is carrying a brand new stuffed doggy in a Santa hat around with him, tucking it between his big hairy paws and resting his head on it when he lies down. Pastor made sure I was properly introduced to his new toy and got plenty of hugs and scratches before he laid down with his new pal.

The waning moon is a faint half circle of light in an otherwise deep black night where an orange light glows on the corner and muted holiday lights glimmer through the thick cloak of silent night. My head buzzes with conversations with friends over the phone and neighbors. The landlady showed me a couple gifts from one of her friends and we talked about how to rehang a beautiful sketch of a horse framed in cherry wood and wide charcoal mats, the sweet tinkle of the wind chimes still hanging in the air. The hallway smells of lavender, tangerine, and eucalyptus from Nelo's hot bath, lingering in the cool air and sneaking tiny fingers of scent beneath the door. I still hear Mark's voice on the phone wishing he could come back to Colorado before the end of the year and spend the time watching the new year dawn, his voice wistful with longing for snow frosted slopes and clear, cold air. Instead, he will go to Richmond, Virginia to spend the holidays with his sisters.

There is only the faint wagging tip of a year left and already the plans for a new year are filling my to do list. I have to remember to get a new engagement calender to write everything down. For now, I'm looking forward to next week's fare of writing, editing, and cocooning with episodes of Dr. Who while I ignore the clock and the computer and forget all about work until next year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Out of darkness

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Is it wrong to take a friend's trust and twist it into a weapon to beat them down or force them deeper into obscurity, their dreams dead before they have a chance to breathe their first lusty cry? Is it wrong to torture and torment someone to hasten them along the dark road of death into the next lifetime? Or are these simply examples of the Universe, the All, wanting to know how it feels to rend reality and fashion it into a darker shape?

Would we know night without the day, shadow without light, truth without dishonest, black without white, etc.? Do we need opposites in order to see the positive aspect of anything -- or do we choose the labels of good and bad based on our own selfish needs, wants, and desires? One could say that darkness is a friend and companion to someone with porphyria, that light and shadow have no meaning for the blind, that truth is a matter of perspective and slant, and that black and white are the absence and presence of all colors, except that white light is the presence of all colors and the color white the absence of pigment of any kind. Turn a jewel a certain way and all the flaws are visible, but turn it in another direction and it seems flawless. Which is truth and which the lie? Which the good and which the bad?

Hitler was seen by many as the saviour of the German people, the man who brought Germany from the brink of ruin and bankrutpcy after reparations required by the martial courts after losing in World War I. And there are those who see Hitler as a monster who exterminated millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and genetic and political undesirables. Turn the jewel in the light and you will see flaws or perfection, even though it is the same jewel.

It is the story of the frog and the scorpion, each a prisoner of its nature and neither able to free himself from its genetic coding. Do you fault the frog for using his amphibian capabilities in saving a fellow creature or the scorpion for reflexively stinging the frog in the midst of the flood and causing both their deaths? Fault one and you fault the other. Their futures, their paths, their lives are inextricably bound by circumstance and nature.

We seek perfection in all things, but we would be better served to see perfection in even the meanest and ugliest of creations, for one man's perfection is another man's foul creation. To all things under heaven there is a purpose and a use. Energy and power are neutral. It is we who place labels and judgment, forcing all creation into a preordered and preconceived mold to suit our tastes, our vision, our perspective, and no one is completely right or wrong. Life is life. Power is power. Energy is energy. And all are grist for the Universe's mill, a bit of grit killing an oyster who spins a coating of beauty to hide the nip of death. One without the other ceases to exist.

Good news or bad news first?

This has been a day of ups and downs and really ups and really low downs. Thank goodness it is nearly midnight and another day can begin its roller coaster ride.

After working into the wee hours of the morning, nose dripping and sinuses swelling, I managed an hour of sleep at a time between visits to the bathroom. When I finally managed to make a fist and hang onto a coherent thought I checked to find my paycheck had finally arrived -- late (by two weeks and one day) and way too light on the dollar side of the decimal point. At least the rent could be paid and that was of paramount importance. The electric bill will just have to wait another couple of weeks. It will be close, but it won't be late. I was more worried about the rent and that is now taken care of. One less thing to keep me awake at all hours pounding the keyboard only to be shorted beaucoup bucks. But life goes on -- sort of.

The the news got better. I discovered one of my poems entered into a contest won first prize. It's my first official, bona fide first prize for poetry.

And the winner is...

Masks on the Wall

You don't see me;
you never have.
You saw the masks I wore
now hanging on my walls.

Masks on the wall,
a collection of different faces
for different places,
the colors of emotions
for different occasions.

Masks on the wall,
a new face
worn for a time
then cast aside when you
wanted a new and different me.

Masks on the wall,
relics of my chameleon days
when I twisted and turned
myself inside out
to be what and who was wanted.

Smiles for family,
tears for lovers,
frowns in all the right places,
and always just the right faces.

Masks on the wall
are who I have been.
They signify the me you expected,
the me you created,
the only me you wanted to know.

Masks on the wall,
gathering dust.
I don't need the protection,
the deception,
the hiding place.

You still don't see,
you never have,
and now I know you never will.
It doesn't matter
for at last I wear
the real me.

That didn't hurt too much and many of you might have read it before. I'm still proud of it.

I had to give up a gift I gave myself for Yule, a hand-tooled leather bound journal, in order to get my laid away gifts out of hock, but it was worth it and they are waiting to be wrapped (wonder how much wrapping paper I can get for a small handful of change) and given to friends and neighbors tomorrow night during our little Yule celebration. That felt really good and almost obliterated the awful beginning to my day. And then came the email.

For a couple decades, I was a close friend and frequent correspondent with a lovely, talented and prolific writer who gave me encouragement. One time, after reading one of my manuscripts, she called her agent and told him to expect a copy of the manuscript that she felt he should look at an represent. He read it and sent me a lovely note: great writing, fast pace, excellent flow, but not the kind of work he represented. I accepted his verdict without question, as I never expected my friend to coerce or otherwise push anyone to accept work that wasn't up to snuff. I found out tonight during a long conversation that the agent didn't turn down my work because he didn't represent my kind of writing but because he was coerced by someone else, someone who made it their business to make sure I did supersede them in publishing a novel. That person has been revealed to be a negative influence that kept many promising and talented writers from being published, writers who were friends with the wonderful woman who saw in them promise and talent and ability and did her best to see that the road was smoothed a little for them.

Our mutual friend and I talked for a couple hours tonight and the friend told me that just before the writer died she had read a short story manuscript I sent her and was full of praise. Unfortunately, she was going blind and died shortly thereafter, unable to deal with the loss of her sight, and I didn't know how much she valued my writing.

I am amazed that someone who should know better and who was given a wonderful lifestyle in a highly creative atmosphere could be so eaten up by envy and hatred that she would delay or outright destroy another writer's chance to be read and known. What amazes me the most is that the envious woman is someone I called friend and sister because we shared the same birthday, someone I thought I knew. But she is someone none of us knew and that is just beginning to be brought to light. However, her bill has just become due and Rose Wolf, who has relied so heavily on her Ph.D., is about to find out what it feels like to spend a good part of her life behind bars where her education will do her little if any good. Her treatment of Andre Norton and Rose's betrayal of Andre's trust and loyalty is about to come to light.

Out of even the worst circumstances can come good.

Tonight a close friend shared her grief over the passing of a beloved pet and reminded me that friendship endures even when death's cold hand reaches into our lives. A neighbor reminded me that even though I had little, she had less, so I shared what I had. An old friend facing a court battle to right a litany of wrongs asked me to share in gathering up the loose ends of a powerful legacy to help right those wrongs. And a sister reminded me that even when it seems as though love and happiness are running through your fingers like the finest sand there is still hope.

No matter the news, good or bad, it remains news that can enrich or inform your life depending on how you deal with it. I have to keep that in mind when the nights are darkest and the journey toward dawn seems endless. Time does indeed have a way of healing all wounds, but more often it will wound all heels.

That is all. Disperse.

Phases of the moon

moon phases

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The most dangerous idea of all...

I woke up with swollen sinuses and a strong desire to cocoon with books and movies. Good choice.

I love historical costume dramas, especially when they are based on actual events. One of my choices today was The Affair of the Necklace, otherwise known in Parisian papers as l'Affaire du Collier in the wake of the American Revolutionary War and the days that led to the end of the French monarchy for a time, ending with the beheading of Marie Antoinette and King Louis. Hilary Swank and Simon Baker paint an all too realistic portrait of the times and sensibilities that led to deception and intrigue. The villains were well played by Johnathan Pryce as Cardinal Rohan and Christopher Walken as Count Cagliostro. Definitely a movie to see.

My other choice was Dangerous Beauty about the age of Courtesans in that most decadent of cities, Venice, a movie that fit my mood and my writing today of all days, as did the previous movie.

The high cost of honest love.

I am amazed. At no time in history have we measured the cost of attaining our heart's desire in such mean and miserly terms. We know only what burns deepest in our hearts and souls. Like a raging fire, desire eats away at our resolve and fear until at last we risk all for its attainment.

But is a cool head and careful planning any less dangerous or less risky? Love is an intricate dance with an uncertain and unsteady beat on a thin wire above a pit of hungry snapping crocodiles. One misstep even at the attainment of our prize sends us plunging to a painful and prolonged death.

Marriage is a contract, an exchange of goods and services to profit -- hopefully -- both parties. In the time of chivalry's brightest flowering finally did love enter the yearning heart and spirit of the contract to make marriage and alliance a more painful business of endless torture. Were we any better off without love or by courting love in secret while we paraded our seemingly felicitous contracts in public, a shining example of hypocrisy and appearances for appearance's sake?

When marriage took on the trappings of religious cant and solemnity, making love a perquisite of the connubial state, romance the holy grail, untouched and untasted by all but the scorned and punished sinner who faced the darkest circle of hell for daring to love boldly and without regret.

There is honesty in love that is tarnished by the dishonesty of appearances for appearance's sake, hidden in a religious habit sanctified by man's dream God and bound in steel bonds by legality and social demands.

There can be marriage with love but all too quickly does love wear lust's mask to clarify and burn away the taint of sin in order to possess desire, the wolf wearing the sheep's curly wool in order to wander close to the heart of the herd, taking the old, the young, and the weak unawares, feasting with bloody relish, coming again and again to the innocent massacre under cover of darkness and in blackest shadow.

So is the courtesan and the rankest of whores more honest in falling willingly to so-called sin and openly bearing away the well and hard earned spoils of her trade, working harder and smarter than any bandit brandishing the sanctified ring of contractual vows. Why not love openly, putting the devil to shame and call a religious spade a spade?

Love need not be socially approved nor need it wear sheep's wool to cover its lustful desires. Desire and love are their own payment.

From the beginning of narrow-minded and societally accepted time has love borne the stigmata of envy's wrath, choosing to bear it openly in defiance of custom's blind folly. Maybe Lucifer had it right -- better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven, a cur at the feet of a jealous god of small and mean stature created by Man out of his fear and unslaked desire as he postpones his life in hopes of a promised brighter and happier future that may never materialize, but upon which all bank.

Unable to reach openly for what burns deepest, Man paints all in ebony enamel while furtively chipping away to find the brightness beneath that calls to his heart of hearts, tearing at his hair and rending his garments in the light while creeping silently from shadow to shadow dividing his body, mind and soul for the sake of lies and jealousy and the fear of standing alone for truth and, yes, even for love.

Will we never learn to put love and contractual obligations in their proper places? Will we never learn that joy and pleasure are their own reward and that when we bow to society's whims and religious cant we all lose what is most dear -- the freedom to love where and as we will?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Burning both ends and the middle

This week has been busy -- to say the least. Pay period ends and the doctors aren't dictating much so I'm back to working during the night in addition to my regularly scheduled shift during the day. No help for it if I want to make enough money for bills, food, rent, and presents. And there's no one but me to pick up the slack.

Monday night I met with the PPRAA (Pikes Peak Radio Amateur Association) hamfest committee and was officially designated the newsletter editor and the newest voting member of their board of directors. The officers are voted in for a two-year term and my term has no limits on it. They have had trouble finding and keeping newsletter editors. My first official act was to beg (read strong arm by email) a friend for an article with pix for my first official newsletter in January 2006 (can you believe another year is nearly burned out?). My second official act was to introduce myself to the membership and let them know who I am and what I plan to do. Within minutes of my message being posted on the PPRAA reflector I received and article and offers of articles and help, all citing their good wishes and praising my enthusiasm and introduction. It was even suggested that I would be a great resource for helping other members edit their articles for national publication for organizations like the ARRL (American Radio Relay League).

Did someone mention money?

In the past 30 days I have had to join three organizations: the ARRL (to get my official badge for VE sessions, more about that later), MARC (Mountain Amateur Radio Club), and now the PPRAA (they frown on editors and board members not being actual members). And I foresee more money given to the poor and greedy -- I mean needy -- member hungry ham radio clubs and organizations. Oh, well, what price glory -- or membership?

I missed the MARC Xmas party due to work and didn't get to see Michael before he left for two weeks in sunny California with his family. I will, however, tool up to Woodland Park sometimes in the interim to meet his housemate, who is a Wiccan witch, and her fella and the new puppy that has kept Michael awake every night since he bought her from some kids outside the Safeway in WP. Cute dog -- or so I hear -- but yappy and needy and whiny -- just like a real girlfriend. He hadn't gotten any sleep before he caught his plan yesterday, but hopefully he will get some on the plane and when he gets to his mother's house.

I did manage to celebrate the end of my grueling work schedule Thursday night with the boys. They brought over hot wings (with the intention of napalming the mucous membranes on the inside of my mouth -- and failed) and I provided two pizzas (one thin crust with the works and anchovies and the other mushroom and sausage pan pizza). I provided the first movie, Sky High with Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, and a very cute guy playing Warren Peace (although I thought he was War & Peace). The show is cute and what you'd expect from Disney, but still an okay flick. Pretty schmaltzy in some areas and heavy on the good guy-bad guy deal with some low level special effects, but all in all an innocuous flick for a nothing-to-do-Saturday night movie. Then we watched the last three episodes of the first season of Queer as Folk. If you didn't see the series when it was on Showtime, check it out at your local library (if they're brave enough to carry it) or rent it from your favorite video store. And not just for the sex and hot guys, but for the ensemble cast, the drama, the whole shebang. Excellent show -- if a little heterosexually idealized for TV kind of drama, but still... Worth a look. I can't wait to see the second, third, and other seasons and I wonder why they took it off the air. It is definitely a winner.

They boys left early and I crawled into bed with Frank Herbert and the Bene Gesserit of Chapterhouse. I was supposed to go for a walk at 7 the next morning, but it was too cold for the landlady and I was still sleeping off my work binge. I went for a walk around noon to the library, to the post office, stopped for a moment at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a caramel apple freshly made an studded with English toffee, and a cold and bracing walk home. I needed the exercise and the fresh air after being cooped up inside with my butt welded to my chair in front of a computer with ear buds stuck in my ears.

Last night the boys and I planned to meet at Temple Shalom for a Chanukah concert and nosh. The directions were vague and I ended up way past Widefield and came back to finally discover the street sign I passed on the way out into the wilderness was too dark to read in the dark. They really need to do something about that. I got there late, but alive and cold and intact. When I took my seat at the back of the sanctuary I saw a fellow ham radio operator peering from between the partitions. He asked if Temple Shalom was my temple and I explained I was invited for the concert. I suppose the tux and onyx studs on his pleated shirt should have been a clue, but he was part of the entertainment for the evening. (I found out just a few minutes ago that he is also president of the group.) And the concert was stirring and absolutely wonderful.

I had never heard the Little London Winds play before but I won't miss them again. They do free concerts all over the area throughout the year for free and they are an all volunteer band who play because they love music. Shel said music keeps him off the streets. I thought it was ham radio, but he assured me that kept him off the streets, too.

After the concert I talked to Shel for a few moments and his wife walked up and we renewed our acquaintance from the campfest ham exams in August. She suggested I go to their summer concerts in Manitou Springs at Soda Springs Park. I can guarantee you I will be there. I can't wait to hear how they play Sousa and all the tunes that I have loved so much over the years, especially if last night's little concert is any indication of their virtuosity.

While I was talking with Shel and his wife, the boys slipped out into the darkness and I drove home to pick up some wrapping paper for a gift to give a friend who came over today to drop off the Dr. Who DVDs he made for me. They are all the episodes of the brand new BBC series with Christopher Eccleston as the latest incarnation of the Doctor. He said one of the actresses reminds him of me. I'll have to check it out. He liked what I gave him even though I had to make him promise not to buy ANYTHING for himself between October and Xmas because he always talks about getting what I've already bought him. I have to find a way to keep him out of my head when birthday and holidays come around. I don't know how he does it.

And that brings us up to a beautiful snowy day on an old friend's natal day. I wish her well and hope she gets what she wants for her 41st birthday.

The snow outside is like goose down falling softly onto everything, obscuring my mountain from view, and turning the world a softer shade of white. Inside, it is comfy and warm and quiet and clean (I got up early this morning and cleaned house, did dishes, stripped and made the bed, and hung up my laundry). I smell chicken and vegetables and pastry cooking in the oven and I feel just a little sad. It seems a shame not to have hot chocolate and cayenne bubbling on the stove and a tree surrounded by boxes of lights and ornaments ready to hang, but that will come with Monday evening. I also have to buy a table and chairs and probably an entertainment center to house my growing collection of DVDs (made by my friend) and the ones I bought and get my TV off the floor now that it's paid for. Time for me to move in since I've already become a happy denizen of these environs. The fun thing about all this is that everywhere I go, even just to the store, I run into someone I know or met recently. Makes living here feel like home at last and like its time to put down some deep and permanent roots.

Tuesday afternoon will help with the continued shoe-horning of me into this little outpost of civilization because I have a date to go see Narnia. I never read the books as a child and I certainly am not a fan of heavy handed sermonizing and Christian proselytizing, but I do so adore fantasy, so Lou and I will bump into each other outside the theater on Tuesday, start up a conversation, and take the sting out of our first blind date. I really hate the idea of dating, but I love the idea of spending time with new friends and old. So, we've decided to forego the whole date stigma and pretend we just met and decided to sit next to each other in the theater, maybe have lunch afterwards, and see if we can strike up a friendship that will keep us both busy now and again. There are worse ways to spend a Tuesday afternoon. I'm glad mine will be in a movie with a bucket of popcorn and a friendly pair of eyes next to me in the dark.

And it's two weeks from my New Year's date with Gus, and I'm really looking forward to that.

It has been a year full of tears, fears, and drama, but all in all it has been a year full of interesting times. I guess the curse does work -- and it works really well.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Things that make you go hmmmmmm

I have heard that if you go without sex for a year you become revirginized. I wonder if that's true or if it's just some urban legend to make you feel better about not having sex and being thought pathetic.

Best line in a movie, "I was a cad for making you fall in love with me and then leaving you to deal with it all alone." Can you guess the movie?

A woman falls in love with a married man who is not going to leave his sick wife or his daughter. The woman, Charlotte Vale played by Bette Davis, nearly marries a wealthy man from a top drawer Boston family but after meeting the married man again, who tells her that her love made it possible for him to work and create and be productive again after so many years of unhappiness and depression and hopelessness, she breaks her engagement, determined to be a spinster with a parrot and a canary. If you want the rest of the story, check out Now, Voyager. One of the great classics with Paul Henried as the married man who said the line above.

I checked Weather.com this morning. It's 28 degrees outside but supposedly feels like 22. What difference is it what it feels like if you're just plain cold? Cold is cold.

I have a page on All Poetry that I haven't visited in months, many months. However, I did go back there because of an email from the site reminding me there was poetry there I should consider adding to. I went back. After checking up on old messages and looking at some of what I wrote (I never considered myself a poet), I found myself writing more poetry on the spur of the moment and the only goad was a poetry contest on the site.

Do poets write for themselves or are they prompted by external events and the desire to be read? Is it all about the art or is it about being seen? Is this just another case of Schrodinger's cat or the tree that falls in the woods when no one is around? Quantum physics or quantum ego?

My dating pool, the one I believed to be shrinking rapidly from a mud puddle to a wet spot on the road of life, is expanding. I feel almost like a diner at a seemingly endless smorgasbord. Does the act of being available create said phenomenon or is it that there are that many people out there looking for love in all the wrong places? Or are people finally becoming fed up with chasing the almighty dollar and deciding that having lots of things doesn't mean happiness, that looking into the eyes of someone who cares is worth more? Or am I just a romantic sap?

The apple at the top of the tree hangs from a slender branch that wouldn't hold the weight of a hummingbird. It dangles out of read so rosy red or brilliant green that looking at it makes your mouth water. There are more beautifully red or green apples within reach, but the one at the end of that dangerously slender branch looks so much better. Is it really that much better or do you want it because it's out of reach?

I'll shut up now. I have work to do, groceries to buy, breakfast to find, and garbage to take out. Have a great day.

A dose of laughter

While cruising through my F-list I found this.

Makes me wonder how many people walking down the street, thinking private thoughts, suddenly laugh out loud to themselves? Have you ever looked? Are you one of the culprits?

So, how about this? From now until the end of the year when you're out shopping, driving, walking, or whatever, look around you at the people passing by and listen for that musical sound of someone's unbridled, uninhibited laughter. You might even find yourself walking down the street or through a mall and laugh out loud because you remember some of those smiles and that joy. Report back.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

ElenaJosette snatched

Okay, I'll play. I haven't played much lately and I'm feeling antsy. So here goes:

Words: 718
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 1114
Male Score: 1191

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Apparently part of an algorithm that defines words as either male or female. Check it out for yourself. Supposedly accurate 80% of the time, but it was close on me. I guess I am almost balanced between male and female. Not such a bad thing.

That is all. Disperse.

White Trash Christmas

It's that time of year when everyone wants to get into the act and parodies abound. So, in order to spread a little holiday cheer, enjoy yourself and go here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yarg days

I'm having one of those days when I cannot concentrate, when I want to write and run and walk and get out of here. Cabin fever in December? Or something else? I'm fidgety and antsy and I want to do something, anything, but work.

Earlier today an acquaintance told me I need to do something with the relationship corner in my house. Wha!? Feng shui is what she meant. I know vaguely about all this, but relationship corner?

The way she explained it I suddenly realized there was no wonder my relationships are all over the place. My laundry is in that corner and it's spilling out of the woven African carry basket that I use for a hamper. Makes sense. But I had to check it out for myself. According to my search the southwest corner of my apartment is the relationship corner. I had to go look. The SW corner of the living is bare with a few cobwebs festooning the space between the window sill and the corner of the entry into the kitchen. She said I should put a picture of a couple in that corner. The search info said put something red, pink, and/or white in that corner, but go easy on the red because it means passion AND anger. I'm not into pink, although one of my close friends decorates everything in pink and green. Nothing like Pepto-Bismol and bile. Yuck!

Okay, so I called B&B and asked if they had a picture of a couple I could use to hang in that corner. I could put my parents' picture there, but I don't want the kind of relationship they have where one of us is slightly deaf and ignores what they can hear and the other is a shopaholic with a jewelry addiction who yells, gripes and criticizes all the time. I could put a picture of one of my sisters and her latest beau, but that changes from hour to hour and I'm not sure I want to even think about keeping up with her pace. I could put a picture of my brother and his wife up there, but he's completely oblivious to everything and his wife is gone most of the time. Not my idea of the perfect relationship. Then there's my other sister and her husband and I don't even want to go there.

My grandparents, when they were alive, had an interesting relationship -- and separate bedrooms. That wouldn't work for me either. Princess Diana and Prince Charles would be a very bad choice since she was bulimic when she was alive and is now dead and her husband is with a horse-faced wench who is also divorced from her first husband. I'm already a two-time loser and I don't need any more help in that area.

Looking over all the relationships I know about, very few of them work. Husbands bury themselves in work or hobbies or chores around the home -- or internet porn -- and wives shop till they drop, grow to the upholstery on their couch while they watch endless rounds of Oprah, Phil, Sally, or whoever is the current talk show host flavor of the week. Celebrity couples lie and cheat and most old couples are minus one. I want a plus one.

I could paint something myself, a silhouette of a happy nondescript couple gazing into each other's loving eyes while the sun comes up around them, but somehow I doubt fantasy will make my relationship corner any less empty. But I think I have the perfect couple.

A pair of falcons or eagles. They mate for life, have unbelievable high flying acrobatic sex, and never look at another falcon or eagle with lust in their far seeing eyes. But I wonder if that will bring a falcon or eagle to my door and into my life. I don't know if I can handle interspecies dating and mating.

Maybe I'd better move the over flowing basket of dirty clothes into that corner. That's the good thing about dirty clothes -- there are always more of them to be added. And a messy over flowing love life is better than no love life every time.

Back to work.

A little poetry offering

I wrote this poem this morning for a contest. The subject was chosen for me and I just wrote what came up. Just thought you'd like to...

Out of the Past

Out of the past you came,
sadness in your voice
and hope in your heart,
your eyes full of excitement
and love.

Silence stretched between us
through all the years,
a silence that began
with chances missed
by two shy children.

Friends we were
and friends we remain
through the silent years,
nursing a small spark
of the true love we share.

Red flags flew as you
opened your life and your heart.
Then I reached out to you,
heart aching for your pain,
and longing struck both our hearts.

But you aren't free,
a prisoner of circumstance and pain,
afraid to go forward,
more afraid to go back,
making prisoners of us both.

Empty weekends and holidays,
vacations we cannot share,
hiding our love behind public nods,
never touching, never holding,
never together.

We are destined for each other,
and have always been,
but time has been against us,
time and shyness and fear,
keeping us chained apart.

As Christmas nears and
a New Year approaches,
I wish upon a bright star
for the only present I will ever want,
you and I together at last.

Until that bright morning dawns,
all that waits for me is silence,
tears and empty longings for
all the days and all the nights
alone without you.

You can read some of my poetry and writing, some you've seen and some you haven't, here.

That is all. Disperse.

Snow globe world

The giant is shaking the snow globe again. The sky is gray-white that shimmers a faint washed out copper at the horizons. The white creeps down the mountain outside my window, wreathing the upper reaches in mist. Smoke signals drift lazily upwards, fanning out in a slight breeze that barely stirs the tiniest branches. The world is cold and silent, winter hushed. But here life is heating up.

I made some butternut squash soup a few days ago, cooling it in the fridge, mellowing the flavors. Last night I heated it up and mashed the big pieces of carrot and squash and onion with a potato masher. It didn't work. I borrowed the landlady's hand blender and fell in love. That's what I want for Yule -- a hand blender -- so when I make roasted pepper soup with black beans or butternut squash soup with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds or split pea soup or any blended soup I don't have to worry about spilling it all over the floor and the counter getting small batches into the blender, pouring it into another bowl, dirtying up the few dishes I own and the counter just to pour it all back into the pot and serve it. Unlike many women, I love getting tools for Yule.

I shared the soup with Nello across the hall, and the landlady when I returned her hand blender, and had a couple of bowls myself. It was the perfect meal for a cold winter night when the stars where obscured by clouds and blowing snow. Or for any winter night, come to that. Nello brought the container back a few minutes later, a big smile on her face and a searching look in her eyes that said she wanted more. Nello said it was just the right thing to warm her up and make her feel cozy. "Just what I needed."

And then I got the message. An email.

Gus, he of the lovely spontaneous prose, wrote to ask if I had any plans for New Year's weekend and if I'd mind if he came to town to take me out for coffee or a meal? He said, "We should know within 5 minutes if we like each other." I guess we'll see because I said I had no plans. And I didn't until last night.

In the past few years my New Year's dates have been me, myself and I. Sometimes a bottle of champagne was involved, but it was still just me and the animals and the silence and the music playing from the computer in the loft. I haven't had a date for New Year's in years. I did think Michael would ask me, but he's been busy and I've been ill and we haven't talked all that much in the past week. I do know he's going home to California for the holidays and I doubt he'll be back before New Year's Eve.

Someone told me 2006 was going to be my year. If this is any indication of the coming year, they could very well be right. I do know things are changing and changing quickly.

I suddenly realized that I miss writing poetry and have been visiting old poems and stories on the All Poetry site and even wrote a couple new ones for contests. I didn't know until I checked out the site again in response to an email to come back how much I missed it. That's not all I miss.

I miss writing. I planned to edit and flesh out Past Imperfect, my entry for NaNoWriMo this year, but I feel other stories bubbling just below the surface, ready to explode from my mind -- and my fingers. Something inside me is coming back to life. That something that always sent me running to the keyboard or reaching for a pen. And I'm sure I'll have lots to write about, although not a lot of time for it.

I've taken on the newsletter for the PPRAA and my first issue will be January 2006. Taking on the newsletter also means taking a seat on the board of directors. I'm sure I'll find something to do, even if it is just shaking up the ant farm. In the meantime, I'm getting all kinds of help and offers of help and invitations to parties. So, instead of just doing the monthly ham exam sessions between here and Woodland Park, I'll also be sitting on boards, helping plan hamfests, interviewing people for articles, writing about amateur radio and hams in the news (or putting them in the news), as well as carving out some time for prose and poetry...and maybe a date or three (or more).

The drama last summer is responsible for birthing this explosion of activity that forces me out of my solitary aerie and into the world more and more and I thank the people involved. If it were not for them carrying tales and sparking and interest in this lonely traveler, I would be content to sit and watch the world from my window-walled room, venturing forth only for necessities and the occasional movie. So, thank you all for shaking up this ant farm.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Just one more

As I save the old files in Linux compatible format, I found another poem I'd like to share from that long ago lover.


Almost flying the road opens wide
driving into the perfect blue sky of the future
the feel of hot metal and the scream of the wind
I punch through the clouds like an eagle
high enough to see forever, a super vision,
but what I see is ever so much better,
it’s my NASCAR girl
and she’s waiting for me,
looking for me,
wanting just me,
so glad I met her,
just perfect for me,
she’s my NASCAR girl
and she’s better than ever.

Her beauty isn’t superficial.
Her knowledge is rather special
(this is no empty head, no bows or frills
not the hanger-on blonde with no thought
other than the thrill of maybe getting laid).
How many fools have walked past her.
She wears a black Tee with white letters
above dual checkered flags that says
“Death Rules!”
She has reached out and tasted it
her tits sag and sway low beneath
and if you ask she’ll show you
scars that will take your breath away.
She says, “I’m always naked under my clothes,”
with a smile stretching here to Dover.
She’s a little fat, but so damn cute,
a voice like a song, a piccolo, a flute.
She can think, write, and play the day
like a rock song or Beethoven ode
and ride with you and roll with you
laugh with you and chide with you
until all sorrow sways into forgotten,
like the ‘49 Ford in Thunder Road.
She keeps a journal filled with stories
of the road journey of her soul.
Behind the flash of her true blue eyes
she is molten joy at just being alive,
it bubbles and seethes and boils at
the chance of love, the rumbled exhaust,
the breakneck speed, a love of the fast,
and asks, "How much time do we have left?”
She is no stranger to grease and oil.
Quicker and more deft with a five-eighths box
than most guys I know, and she knows and says
that the torque settings listed are way too low.
On the street and when she's ready to go
she likes a four-speed with a short sure shift.
All this with a heat that warms like the sun,
with a love that sears like an iron,
with the hot soft lips of a dark angel
with a hardness then a softness then
a flat out run toward the finish
a full power shift into ecstasy
now one forty flat out down the hot straight
coming hard off the turn
the RPMs taching up and up
driving, driving
only inches from the wall
flying past fast
the roar of the crowd
the howl of existence
the rush at the edge
the nothing of tomorrow
and all the flags waving.

She calls me her Darlington.
She can be silly, yet cool.
She was looking for a driver
so she could give everything.
“She is my NASCAR girl,
never better a lover,” I thought,
as I smiled at her and turned the key,
now and forever off to the races.

Ain't love wonderful...even if it is a Mayfly existence in a sped up world?

Just one more

As I save the old files in Linux compatible format, I found another poem I'd like to share from that long ago lover.


Almost flying the road opens wide
driving into the perfect blue sky of the future
the feel of hot metal and the scream of the wind
I punch through the clouds like an eagle
high enough to see forever, a super vision,
but what I see is ever so much better,
it’s my NASCAR girl
and she’s waiting for me,
looking for me,
wanting just me,
so glad I met her,
just perfect for me,
she’s my NASCAR girl
and she’s better than ever.

Her beauty isn’t superficial.
Her knowledge is rather special
(this is no empty head, no bows or frills
not the hanger-on blonde with no thought
other than the thrill of maybe getting laid).
How many fools have walked past her.
She wears a black Tee with white letters
above dual checkered flags that says
“Death Rules!”
She has reached out and tasted it
her tits sag and sway low beneath
and if you ask she’ll show you
scars that will take your breath away.
She says, “I’m always naked under my clothes,”
with a smile stretching here to Dover.
She’s a little fat, but so damn cute,
a voice like a song, a piccolo, a flute.
She can think, write, and play the day
like a rock song or Beethoven ode
and ride with you and roll with you
laugh with you and chide with you
until all sorrow sways into forgotten,
like the ‘49 Ford in Thunder Road.
She keeps a journal filled with stories
of the road journey of her soul.
Behind the flash of her true blue eyes
she is molten joy at just being alive,
it bubbles and seethes and boils at
the chance of love, the rumbled exhaust,
the breakneck speed, a love of the fast,
and asks, "How much time do we have left?”
She is no stranger to grease and oil.
Quicker and more deft with a five-eighths box
than most guys I know, and she knows and says
that the torque settings listed are way too low.
On the street and when she's ready to go
she likes a four-speed with a short sure shift.
All this with a heat that warms like the sun,
with a love that sears like an iron,
with the hot soft lips of a dark angel
with a hardness then a softness then
a flat out run toward the finish
a full power shift into ecstasy
now one forty flat out down the hot straight
coming hard off the turn
the RPMs taching up and up
driving, driving
only inches from the wall
flying past fast
the roar of the crowd
the howl of existence
the rush at the edge
the nothing of tomorrow
and all the flags waving.

She calls me her Darlington.
She can be silly, yet cool.
She was looking for a driver
so she could give everything.
“She is my NASCAR girl,
never better a lover,” I thought,
as I smiled at her and turned the key,
now and forever off to the races.

Ain't love wonderful...even if it is a Mayfly existence in a sped up world?

Poetry presents

Many years ago someone wrote me poetry, making gifts of his feelings in words. I'd like to share a few with you.

She Was a Poem She Didn't Know

I could not think a poem any better,
wholly a mystery
the way the words come together
just appear in dark ink on paper
between the letters
that we used to write each other
about writing from the very soul
to become truth, changed, whole
in a world bent on splitting us apart.
Your bleeding, daily, literally
fighting to write and stay alive,
bit by bit you let it unfold but it
left me shaken, quivering, rolling through
the whole story, your bravery and the bold
way in which you walked away
into what you have become,
a flame that doesn't dare to flicker,
a wick that burns no matter the hard wind,
a courage most men could hardly match.
Then you take your pen and write a letter
and tell me you think my poem is better,
that you could not think a poem any clearer,
but the words are all for you, like a mirror,
for the wonder you are, how beauty comes together.
No, I could not think a poem any better.

* * * * * *

When we touch electric

When our lips touch
when our hearts caress
when our souls kiss
with each electric yes
inside every neon sigh
this bright white light
flies and streaks like lightning
drives to the heart this spark
nothing but electrified bliss
that arcs and crackles in your cries.
I think it starts right here above your thighs
and darts to become blazing fire inside your eyes.

Zap! Hot breath. Hot death. Sweet electrocution!

* * * * * * *

I Love You For Your Mind

No, I love you for your mind, woman, for your mind
no, not for your tits that hang like supple pears, apples, ripe grapefruits
succulent and dangling from the tree of life
that suckle me long into the deep of night with your juice and nectar
No, I love your for your mind, woman, for your thoughts
no, not for your nipples sweet and red like the bud of a fresh rose
between my teeth rising and jutting out hard so proud majestic
No, I love you for your mind, woman, for your ideas and dreams
no, not for your breath tumbling and gushing and panting out
in animal sounds, unmeasured sighs, the sometimes screams
inside the hugging and the giving and the pulling and the loving
No, it is your mind I love, in your mind I find love and treasure
no, not in the delicate slope and rise of your belly above your mound
the wisps and curls of hair there in which I play and then twirl around my finger
then traces, toying, the thin skin around where you were joined to your mother
No, what I love you for is your complete grasp of European history
that you know the significance of Napolean's stunned defeat at Waterloo,
this huge and wheeling turn of history,
long after the master stroke of simplicity to take it all at Austerlitz
no, not for the mystery of the parting of your flesh, this entrance to heaven
where the angels sing and call me to answer and offer prayers upon my knees
my lips and tongue and teeth all kneeling and gnawing to enter here these heavenly gates
No, I love you for your mind, your cleverness revealed in contract talks
no, not for your sweet lips that close tight and hard around my stalk
humming a tune and waiting for the sudden hot electric shocks
No, it is for your mind, the intricacy of your curiosity that turns me on
not the wonder and the glory of your most perfect ass
not the delicacies I find in every crack and crevasse,
No, I love you for your mind, woman, but only for this single thought:
when you think that yes, yes, you'll go on,
go on forever, thinking that you'll never ever stop loving me
and suddenly, hell, I just love the way you think.

That is all. Now go write some poetry to someone you love. Yule/Xmas/Chanukah is coming/here.

Look what I found...

While converting one of my computers to Linux, I found I could get into hard drives and files I haven't seen in years. Some of the things I wrote and thought long gone have resurfaced through the cyber murk and make me smile. I wonder what prompted some of the pieces and clearly remember what gave birth to others. There is even a goodly bit of erotica that I need to find somewhere to post and might even create another LJ just for that. If you're interested, let me know. Otherwise I'll keep it to myself and you'll miss some really hot and spicy vignettes.

For right now, here is a tongue firmly stuck in cheek piece called --

Homeless Advantage

No responsibility. No time clocks to punch. No ruts to faithfully pace day after day after day. It’s a dream come true. It’s what we all wished for every year as we blew out the candles on our birthday cakes, and now it’s ours to live day after day after day. Bums do it. Winos do it. Even the mentally ill do it since the state facilities set them free to get their piece of America’s dream. Now middle class women and children can do it, too.

Ah, America, land of opportunity, freedom and, if the Bill of Rights is nonfiction, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We all have the right to choose – even if the choice is being homeless.

Being homeless can be a lot of fun if you handle it in just the right way. It’s all a matter of choice. Try to make sure you do it in the right city, though. Some cities offer no real opportunities or enough choices to make an informed decision.

Charitable organizations in some cities offer you free food, of a rather bland and predictable nature, or you can choose dumpster diving as a change of fare du jour. Let your palate be your guide.

If you’re prone to ulcers, the blander menu would be better for you. Your children can always dive for snacks before bed to satisfy their preference for fast food. There’s nothing faster. It’s a matter of taste.

They can wallow in food and have all their condiments right at their fingertips, nose, mouth and many other places that food hasn’t had a chance to get near since they were babies learning to eat with forks and spoons.

Forks, knives and spoons are optional unless you still have a family heirloom of white plastic laying loose somewhere. If you’re watchful and lucky you might even find a few in among your food. What a bonus! No restaurant ever offered you more for your money.

You can join your children and enjoy a little quality time together. But if you were really honest with yourself you’d admit that you like a little junk food now and again. Where else can you go for real junk food?

Dumpster diving doesn’t have to be your sole option, nor does the bland, tasteless fare from missions or free hostels. Keep in mind that even the most unpalatable stodge is far superior to the cramping complaints of a stomach on a strict no-food, no frills diet. You could take time from your open schedule to earn a bit of pocket change to buy a few inexpensive tidbits to supplement your tightly varied meals, like a pack of gum or day old donuts or bread. The green stuff is good for you –where do you think penicillin comes from. And just think of the benefits of having a natural antibiotic in your system when you get cut on the rusty bits on dumpsters or get bitten by rats.

Earning money need not put too big a crimp in your idle style if you’re intelligent about it. All you need do is cultivate the ability to appear needy, heart rending and just a little obnoxious if the situation warrants when charity is not uppermost in the minds of your would-be benefactors hurrying down the streets on their way to those boring, time consuming ruts you’ve been clever enough to avoid.

Work smart not hard – teach your kids the business. Send them onto the streets you never allowed them to play near when you were tied down to a mortgage or rent. They can stroll along the curb and look for loose change. After all, they are closer to the ground and all that bending does tend to get to be a bit tiresome after a while when you’re having trouble just standing up straight.

Pennies add up just like the old cliche says. If you watch for pennies they’ll soon turn into dollars. There’s very little for the price of a penny these days though. Thank you lucky stars for that. Penny candy would just rot your children’s teeth and spoil their dumpster dinner. Save your pennies for those cold days ahead when your options are fewer and wanderlust beckons.

My favorite way to support the nasty habit of eating – a monkey on my back I’ll never be able to get rid of – was to sell blood plasma to the local donor center three or four times a week. That $15 or $20 every other day or so adds up to a tidy sum when you sit down and think about it. Since plasma centers don’t take children you’ll have to keep this source of income all to yourself. Can’t let the kids have all the fun.

My favorite time when donating was afterwards. The first beer after your tour of duty on the comfortable plastic lounge in the donor center just hits the spot. It numbs your stomach and your brain and replenishes the fluids you’ve sacrificed to your addiction for food. It also costs less than a square meal.

If you’re averse to the benefits of hops, water, sugar and the fermentation process there’s always a free fountain full of icy water in every big office building’s lobby. What more could you want? It’ll also help fill your stomach to stop it’s everlasting complaining. That rumbling noise can be so nerve wracking, especially when it’s coming from your stomach.

Balancing all your creature comforts won’t be too difficult if your children have done their parts. You can live like a king in the spring, summer and early fall and profit from the healthful atmosphere of the wide open spaces when it’s warm and dry. But don’ sell rainy days short because they help create the pitiful appearance you’ve tried so hard to maintain. Thunderstorms, and the occasional downpour, also save you the expense of wasting your hard-earned money on a facility with a shower. Nature does provide well for its itinerant offspring.

Save your money for those lean times in the winter when nature’s accommodations become a bit too drafty and cold for comfort. Don’t rule out the open shelters and missions in those times of wintery bluster so close to the giving season of Christmas. A red-cheeked face, shivering body and waif-like children come in so handy to remind the workday slaves of charity and generosity in that most holy of seasons dedicated to the birth of Christ and the open-handed largesse of Santa Claus.

Make the most of every advantage to stockpile your acquisitions. At the very least newspapers, catalogs and advertisements for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales will go far toward feathering your cardboard nest if you’re less than happy about parting with your vacation cash.

Remember the lesson of the birds that migrate south at the first sign of cold weather. By the time the weather turns nippy you could use the exercise from all the indolence and ease of those bright summery days not to mention how much you’ll save by not having to buy winter clothes and coats.

Traveling is a great education for the children, too. They won’t have to worry about proper clothing, shoes or peer pressure either. Homelessness is so much healthier for their budding psyches.

Without telephones, television, radio or movies they won’t succumb to the flash of colorful clothes, warm-up jackets or expensive shoes. Sandals are much more suitable to wear with summery clothes. They will be somewhat in fashion with the holes and tears in their clothes. Some things are just unavoidable.

Drugs won’t be a problem for you or your children. They’re expensive and unnecessary. They don’t offer you and yours the luxury of getting away from it all when you already have. The numbness and euphoria working people find so addictive are already yours from cold and lack of food. Why waste your savings paying for what you can get for free?

Outside of a little petty thievery to help with those lean begging times to keep the kids’ eye-hand coordination sharp as a tack, their quick thinking on the beam and their reflexes honed to perfection from those quick getaways. Crime is not a problem either.

Who’d want to steal from you and where could you hide the loot if you stole anything more than you could easily hide or eat? Of course, store owners do have a prejudicial tendency to want to keep you out of their establishments, but you don’t want their overpriced, defective, middle class goods anyway. That’s what you’ve been trying to avoid. The decor would clash w the manila color of your cardboard abode anyway.

Schooling for your children isn’t really necessary if they choose to take over the family business. If they wish for the rutted rat race you can teach them yourself. What better education that learning on the job?

Reading, writing and arithmetic will be the easiest because they are a part of your daily life. They’ll learn to read by the signs and papers they use to line their clothes and bedding. Writing is just as easy with all the litter around to use for paper. Pens and pencils are usually found lying in the street. You could invest a few cents in one from a store if push comes to shove – consider it a business expense and take it off your taxes when the IRS gets around to demanding their share of your earnings.

Math will come easiest of all from the practical side of their days counting change and dividing the spoils from dumpster foraging trips.

Current events and geography are easily learned, once again, from newspapers and litter. Science will practically teach itself from observing their own bodies, and yours, as you all physically change by making do with less. Comparisons are easily made between you and the wage slaves who hurry by as they pretend not to notice you.

The state will eventually have to be petitioned for financial aid if they choose to go to college. They might decide to stay with the family business after all. Nothing is impossible. You’ve learned this as you survive from one day to the next.

One song says, “Life’s a ball if only you know it. And it’s all just waiting for you...”

Living is easy when you pay attention and take advantage of the edge you have over everyone else. Homelessness isn’t so bad once you get used to a standard of living so far above the animals that comprise your biggest competition.

After all, animals can’t appreciate the benefits they take for granted every day – time, freedom and the open road whenever they wish to walk it. What more could any astute mammal wish for?


Yesterday, winter bowed and made its first appearance with a quiet steady salting of snow. Outside my windows the mountain was hidden behind a dense draping of white as though the world was inside a snow globe some giant shook and shook to obscure all with flying flakes.

The snow globe world outside my window this morning is quiet beneath a clear blue sky with a hint of blurry clouds on the mountain brightly lit with a blazing sun. Squirrels huddle on the ends of slender branches still as statues while clumps of snow fall into the silent street below. Water drips down outside my windows as the bright sun melts the frosting on the roof above me. The streets are nearly empty of all but a couple white mounded cars. Somewhere out there a metal shovel scrapes against a sidewalk, sometimes bumping and banging to loosen its heavy wet burden, as one early bird makes a path through the crystalline powdered white.


I've been down with the flu, as anyone who has talked to me over the past few days can tell, but I have not been alone. Friends, neighbors, the landlady, and new acquaintances have stopped by with food, reading material to make me smile (and sweat), herbal concoctions to help me heal, and one generous soul has even sent healing energy my way. That one generous soul has also kept me company on the phone despite a trip to the emergency room for an accident that could have taken his eye...

...and he sent me this to warm my heart.

As the sun cast down its rays of light and warmth upon the frozen mountain top, slowly turning the ice into water which flows down the mighty slopes, filling in all the deep crevices that time has created, it makes its way to the valleys below where it will give the life force to make all things come back from a long solitude of sleep. The grass will grow. The flowers will bloom. The trees will sprout new leaves. The valleys will once
again shimmer with life.

It is as the same when the heat of passion casts its rays upon a frozen heart. Love will once again flow, filling in all the hurt and pain time has created, making its way through the depths of the soul, nd bringing the life force needed to awaken the heart from its long solitude of sleep. With this all is well and life is good.

Gus wrote that for me last night.

This morning after we got off the phone, he wrote and sent this:

When the light of day meets the dark of night, it is here where all the questions and all the answers of the universe can be found by those who look deep enough with a clear and empty mind!!

Needless to say, Gus and I have a date when he comes back to Colorado Springs.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Down for the count

Or thereabouts. My voice is scratchy and sounds like I have a chorus of frogs lodged deeply in my vocal cords. My nose is by turns runny and stuffy and my head aches. I've felt better. I have the flu. Oh, joy. No Denver weekend for me and no fun outside of this apartment. Good thing I have two new movies to watch, three new books to read and review, a brand new horror compendium, and the Red Hat/Fedora Bible to peruse. I think I'll be fine if I can just get some more of the garlic and rosemary laden Jewish penicillin the guys dropped off a little while ago. And I wouldn't throw a hissy fit if they threw in more of the nuts and dried fruit, herbal teas, and a couple pints of Godiva chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream or Boulder Mexican chocolate ice cream.

And I still have to work the rest of the day. Oh, joy!

There are worse things.

I'm certain there are worse things.

Let me think for a minute.

Oh, yeah, starving children in Africa and China, war in Iraq, the clean up of Louisiana, fire, flood, mayhem, and all that other stuff, but, really, as bad as all that is, I'm more inclined to whine and pray for being able to sleep, breathe, and feel a whole lot better so I have the energy to remember all that.

That is all. Disperse.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dates and dating

Michael and I went to see Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen. This version of Pride & Prejudice is much different from the miniseries that have been done by the BBC and A&E, and not just because the movie is 127 minutes long instead of 6+ hours, and of course Colin Firth is not in this one.

The pace of this version of P&P is quicker paced and lighter in tone than the previous adaptations. The vistas are panoramic, if somewhat limited, and the houses and ballrooms much smaller and cozier than previous films, less grand and ostentatious, although Pemberly is still grand and beautiful with marble statues of Mr. Darcy and his family instead of miniatures and paintings. Judi Dench as Lady Catherine de Bourg is a delight despite being such an obvious snob and meddling old biddy, but that is just good acting.

The screenplay is lively and funny and wonderful and the screenwriter did an excellent job of including the social commentary Jane Austen intended when she wrote the book while leaving romance delightfully touching and sweet. Definitely a keeper and one you should add to your DVD library when it comes available.

Michael, a guy and a martial arts expert, really enjoyed the movie and did not consider it a chick flick, so keep that in mind fellas.

After dinner, Michael suggested we have dinner at Red Robin and dinner was full of laughter and thoughtful conversation.

All in all, the afternoon and evening were a success and it was difficult for me to end the evening by going back home and back to work. Lovely work. Only one more sleepless night and a full day of typing and I can head for Denver for a weekend of fun, frolic and mayhem.

What's going on in your world?


Yes, it's true. In between working, dating, and spending time with my friends watching movies, I wrote a novel. I didn't think I'd have the time, but I did manage it.

Here's my reward:
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And if you're interested in checking it out, go and see for yourself.

That is all. I return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Holiday Hi-jinks

Last weekend Mark came to visit. I picked him up at the airport Friday evening, an hour after he was originally scheduled to arrive because Delta decided to change tires on the plane in Cincinnati, and we went immediately to my favorite Oriental restaurant, Coal Mine Dragon. It was very dark and hard to see the mountains but the sky was clear, the air crisp and the stars bright and close enough to touch. We ordered two different entrees and shared while we talked and laughed and ate and caught up. After dinner we drove to my place and settled in for the night with a movie and lots of conversation.

Getting up early Saturday morning was difficult, but we made it, taking turns in the bathroom, and getting to Celebration in time for the first free seminar. It wasn't what I expected and was more of an infomercial than a free seminar. B & B met us there and B was out the door as soon as he could get through the milling crowd at the door and to the car. He didn't like the seminar much either and he wasn't feeling very well. So, Mark and I said goodbye to the guys and went over to Mountain Shadows for brunch, back to Celebration for a look around and to say hello to some friends, as well as scoping out gifts for Xmas, and then we got into the car and headed north to Wilkerson Pass and South Park. The visitor center was closed for the winter, but the views were still as spectacular and beautiful as ever with a white rime of snow frosting everything.

I needed to go to the bathroom and ended up in a porcelain toilet over a windy chasm that spanked my bottom pink with cold. I was so glad to get out of there and shut the lid on that windy hole as soon as possible. We went up 24 to South Park, looked around and headed back down the mountain toward Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods.

We wandered around inside, looking, touching, and literally fondling some of the goods in the trading post, eventually getting coffee for Mark and water for me, chatting and watching the out of towners, then getting back in the car to head back to my place. Little did we know that as we turned onto the road out of the trading post parking lot than we were shadowed by a pair of Bs in their Jew Canoe (that's Cadillac for the uninformed). When I parked the car and Mark and I went around to the front of the house who should we bump into than a panting pair of Bs on the front porch claiming they had waited all day for us to arrive. The story came out shortly thereafter and I invited them into the house to get warm and watch a movie or two. And they did -- until a little while later when they mysteriously vanished like their tails were on fire.

I took Mark into the bathroom to show him the cabinet where I keep all my essential oils and the Bs decided to buzz out of there thinking hanky panky was in the works -- or hoping by leaving they could instigate episodes of hanky panky. Mark and I came out of the bathroom to see the living room light out and abandoned and the Jew Canoe leaving the curb in a cloud of dust with squealing tires. I turned out the hall light the guys left on and put in a movie. Mark and I settled on the love seat and talked and laughed and didn't see much of the movie, so we turned off the TV for the night since we had an early morning Sunday.

Needless to say, we were late rising, but it was just in time to go to Front Range BBQ for lunch and a walk around some of Old Colorado City before we headed back to my place for conversation, laughter, and movies -- and another late night.

The next morning I found out Mark's flight had been canceled during the night and rescheduled for later in the afternoon. Go, Delta! I took off work and we puttered around, went out to lunch and headed for the airport. I didn't find out until later they canceled Mark's flight when he started to board the plane and bumped him to another flight that left nearly five hours later. I went to the movies to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with the guys and Mark couldn't get hold of me to let me know. He didn't get home until after 1 a.m. and he called to let me know he made it.

Tuesday John came over to help me load Linux onto my computer and that took about all day. It took a little time and some work, but we finally got it loaded and working while we laughed and talked and took turns taking apart my computer to put in a new hard drive. He had a massage appointment and left fairly early, but he called back a couple times when my DSL suddenly went down and I wasn't able to get the modem to synch up. I wasn't sure if it was something we had done or not, but we figured it out that it was the phone company's problem and nothing we had done. In the meantime, I played with Linux and got into files I haven't seen in a few years -- about three of them.

Wednesday I met someone who has turned out to be very interesting, quite loquacious and more than a little intriguing, all the more so because he called yesterday afternoon to ask if I'd like to go to the gun show this weekend. Today was out because I had to work, but I said yes to going tomorrow.

Interestingly, he is a ham radio operator who has a fondness for guns and edged weapons and reads a lot of the same types of books and genres I read. He has a fondness for cats and he makes me laugh. He also surprises me a lot, even more so when he asked how I felt about going to New Zealand since he has two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world and has been waiting for someone to share it with. I think it's a little premature to say if we'll be able to tolerate each other's company long enough for a trip to New Zealand, but I have to admit it's flattering to be asked and a pleasure to meet someone who talks more than I do.

Yesterday was turkey day and I cooked a free range turkey and took it over to B & B's along with a salad and some cornbread stuffing and we had a lovely dinner. B makes the best cranberry relish I have ever had and it was more like cranberry mousse than relish. The ham was very good even without the cloves and dinner was a smashing success. We talked and teased and watched six episodes of Queer as Folk and Catwoman.

Queer as Folk is fascinating and funny and sad and fully realized. I can't say as much for Catwoman with Halle Berry. Halle is a talented actress and she is definitely sexy, but the movie left much to be desired. The special effects were badly done and almost cartoon like without the smooth seamless fit they should have been. The effects were campy and overdone and completely unbelievable. Halle was by turns clueless and shy and a definite victim then sexy and cat-footed and aggressive with little segue from one to the other. Sharon Stone was made of stone and the whole plot ludicrous in the extreme. They should have taken better notes from The Wasp Woman in order to make the story more realistic. Corman had the campier and better film despite the lack of high tech dazzling special effects and CGI. Go figure. I'd give Catwoman a miss unless you're looking for bad entertainment and even then I'd borrow it from the library instead of paying money to rent or buy it.

Right now I'm tired and worn from lack of sleep because someone has kept me up for two nights in a row talking on the phone and going through every battery in the house. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but I do need some sleep to pack the bags under my eyes and store them in the attic or basement very soon if I have any hopes of being scintillating, witty and awake tomorrow. Then there's Sunday to plan and Monday afternoon when Michael takes me to see Pride & Prejudice. I guess it's time to get out my track shoes and start training for the holiday hi-jinks that are bound to ensue.

I have already been invited to two -- and possibly three -- Xmas parties, not to mention spontaneous adventures dreamed up along the way. There's also an antenna to erect when John gets time and who knows what kinds of impromptu kidnappings and hijackings before the year's end. Good thing I am taking the last week of December off and will have 12 days of vacation from doctors who refuse to open their mouths to speak clearly, learn proper pronunciation of medical terminology and technical terms or who insist on either eating while they dictate or speaking at the speed of sound without being able to clearly and succinctly speak one work in a hundred. Silence is golden -- especially when you have to listen to chaos and babbling for months on end.

In the meantime, go enjoy the holidays and dive nose first into the festival trough so you'll have something to resolve not to do again -- until next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Let it snow!

The sky outside is impossibly blue and there isn't a single mare's tail of a cloud in the sky. Not even bloody con trails cross the infinite blue. The sun is a searing ball of blinding light and the skeletal trees stand silent without a puff of wind to stir their gnarled twiggy fingers. The squirrels race up and down the trees and across the road like they are still in the throes of spring fever.

There is no snow.

There is snow back in Ohio and snow in other parts of this country, even a bit at the higher elevations, but nothing here. I long for the cold crisp bite of snow laden air and the cool kiss of flying flakes on my skin.

There is no snow.

There is, however, sign of the coming season and it is all redneck. Nothing like jumping the gun.

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At least someone is planning ahead.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The real story

Ever hear of Katrina? Did you hear about the communications problems at all levels of government and rescue operations? Remember the Jay Leno Show when two kids using text messaging were beat out by two older men dressed in telegrapher's clothes using a 160-year-old technology? Want to know how these two episodes are related?

Everything you always wanted to know about emergency preparedness and communications

Just a warning, but the Leno video is 8MB and it helps to have broadband to access it. However, you can read about it

That is all. Disperse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Nothing special

This is one of those days when the sun is a bright dazzling ball of eye searing light in a cloudless robin's egg blue sky seen through the curled and gnarled branches of sleeping naked trees and the world is dusted with a confectioner's sugar sprinkling of snow. The mountains are clear and pale in the light, deep folds outlined in purple and black. The squirrels are slowly climbing down the trees, heads pointed downward, darting around in rushes and spurts of coiled spring energy keeping warm. The streets are silent and white with drifting veils of glittering crystals and a few sere yellow-brown leaves cling safely above the cold hard ground. Winter is nearly here.

I'm focusing on work and finding it difficult because I want to go outside and breathe in the fresh crisp air, let it tickle my lungs with cold and clear the cobwebs from my tired brain. But here I sit working -- or rather writing for the moment -- while work sits unfinished, accusing me of laziness.

If you're of a similar frame of mind, check out a couple of new reviews just posted for Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, the second in a series of books about magic and Victorian teens that made the New York Times Best Seller's List, and Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur, a first offering in a new series about werewolves, vampires, dhampires, and all beings supernatural in Melbourne, Australia if you need to generate some heat on a frosty winter morning. Keep in mind that it is nearing summer in the land down under while we close in on winter's cold white grip.

Back to work.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A little too bright

After a rough night of wailing winds ripping fragile yellowed leaves from their precarious perches, the sun is a bright ball of light hammering down from a achingly blue sky. The folds in the mountain face are deep irregular slashes of darkness besides brightly lit shades of green and highlighted gold through the twiggy fingers of the bald scarecrow trees on this silent Saturday morning. Birds play tug of war with insects diving into the craggy bark of two-fingered tree outside my window and sere brown leaves cling with tenacious skeletal grips to the precarious attachments here and there. Gone are the Farmer's Market crowds cruising the street looking for a parking place close to Bancroft Park and striding purposefully down 24th like early birds soaring and dipping on the winds determined to get to the fattest and juiciest worms first.

Silver smokestacks rise above green and gray and brown shingled roofs flashing fire that sears my sleep addled eyes. There are chores to do: floors to sweep and mop, dishes waiting in the sink, laundry to be sorted and washed, a bathroom to be cleaned, and the urge to crawl back into the warm shadowed sheets and shade my eyes from the argos-eyed sun, read a book, and wake when the day is not so blinding. I am drunk from broken sleep. So much to do and breakfast is waiting to fill the aching void inside.

I could flip a coin, calling best two out of three, playing the waiting game until big white clouds stray across the horizon and hide that furious blazing search light enough so I can face the day, but it is a stop gap, a bargain struck with a wisp of smoke, and I would still need to keep my date with my chores. It is far too easy to give in to this urge to climb back into the cocoon before my wings fill and dry, but I know I would emerge later, wings stunted and wrinkled, unable to fly.

Breakfast is calling and my stomach rumbles in answer. Time to go.

Friday, November 11, 2005

eBay stories

Once upon a time not long ago I bought some things from eBay. Notably some candle making supplies that cost more to send than their selling price and a couple of hand carved wooden combs, one from China and the other from the Ukraine. I have since found out I could get them cheaper and faster through a website that deals in what I was working with -- essential oils.

Anyway, the Evil One sent me a really hilarious link to an eBay seller who put his past romantic life and his goods on display in full color. Don't forget to read all 21 questions & answers.

Make sure you don't have anything in your mouth when you're reading as I will not be responsible for liquids spewed across monitor screens. Got that, Maryann?

The picture and the story"

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Q: Are these boot cut pants and if not what is the width measurement of the bottom of the pant leg? Sep-17-05
A: I do not know what a boot cut is, but the pants are 8.25 inches wide at the bottom.

Q: Seen your ad on VBMX.com.....are you gay? LOL Just kidding!! I would claim these on VBMX!! Now all the guys are gonna think of you as a sissy!! LOL!!! Good luck bro!! Sep-18-05
A: Thanks. That's a lot of exclamation points.

Q: Hi, Sorry I don't want the leather pants but just had to write and say I really had a good laugh at your description!! I really hope you sell them .... and not to a guy! Good luck! Jeannette Sep-18-05
A: If you change your mind and want the pants, I'll be waiting patiently by the keyboard.

Q: For Mr. VBMX: If he were gay, he would know what boot cut means. What does VBMX mean? Sep-19-05
A: I'm not sure. It sounds like a missile.

Q: Well, it looks like you're going to sell them. They're too big for me anyway and I'm female. You're a great writer -- so natural, so funny. I think you should be in standup. Thank you so much for making my day. Sep-19-05
A: Thank you for the kind words. In lieu of standup I post things on Banterist.com. The hours are better and there's no drink minimum.

Q: Bsack, I'm an editor for Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) (http:// www.poormojo.org), a weekly online magazine now entering its sixth year of publication. We'd like to run the text of your posting, with the image of the glorious pants, as a rant on our site. May we do so? Our submission guidlines can be found here: http://www.poormojo.org/submission.html (Long story short: we owe you a beer for one piece--provided you came to Ann Arbor or SF, CA to pick it up--or will reward you with a PMjA t-shirt after we've published 5 of your pieces.) Interested? Best, Dave . . . Editor and Technologist PMjA Sep-20-05
A: Sure, if you don't mind that it's already on Banterist.com.

Q: I am in a band, but do not wear leather pants. However, if I DID wear leather pants, your pants are the ones I would buy because your description is...eloquent and touching in a leatherish sort of way. May we post your ad on our site? Sep-20-05
A: I think I answered this already, but eBay is asking it again for some reason. Thank you for being polite and seeking permission. Sure, you can post it. After all, I'm trying to sell pants.

Q: you enjoy stereotyping people that wear leather dont ya, you think owning leather is gay, let me tell you something i am not gay, i am not famous, dont ride a bike, and unlike i aint a coward. i do own 2 pairs of them, to me they are more comfy than blue jeans ever will be, i where them anywhere i want including church, no ones ever said nothing about them. Sep-20-05
A: More important: Do you need a pair of 34x34 leather pants?

Q: You express yourself exactly like my ex-fiancee. I had to check if you lived in Boulder, CO just to see if you were him. I really didn't think anyone else had his matter of fact mixed with twisted humor personality. Ten years ago I was just ending our relationship so I was going thinking that possibly he bought these pants to try and woo a little waitress vixen with an IQ half that of her bust size. By the way, the last person that claimed that you were stereotyping, did you for some reason envision Dueling Banjos playing in the background with a man sporting a greased back mullet and a makeshift spittoon, and, of course, comfy leather pants, or was that just me? Sep-21-05
A: Yes, the grammar and tone said 'Deliverance' but the leather pants in church said 'Wham UK'. So I'm confused.

Q: I don't actually need the pants... and they wouldn't fit my less than womanly curves even if I could pull them off- but I could not resist telling you what a fabulous ad this is. While reason prevailed in the end, I was almost convinced to buy the pants if for no other reason than to see if I could be coy enough to get a man to wear them in hopes of a relationship with me... fabulous ad, just fabulous. Sep-21-05
A: Sadly I lack the ability to sell people things they don't need - unlike Ron Popeil and The Sharper Image.

Q: No question, just wanted to tell you this is the best listing i've ever read. I'm sorry it didn't work out with the short girl, but am so proud of you for never wearing these. :) Good luck with your sale! Sep-21-05
A: Thank you. I'll be free of them in less than two days, and at least $76 closer to owning a yacht.

Q: If they did still fit.. and I wasn't married, would you wear them for me? LOL.. best of luck! Sep-21-05
A: Yes, but only if I was wearing a pink tank top and re-enacting Billy Squier's regrettable 'Rock me tonight' video.

Q: I would like to be tough, gay or a rock star. Do you think purchasing and subsequently donning these trousers will help? Sep-22-05
A: Probably not if you call them 'trousers.' A true rockstar would say 'pants' or 'duds' or something more rock-star-y, like 'ladykillers.'

Q: FUNNY!! I too have a pair of leather pants to sell and for very similar reasons. Mine also have severe case of closet shrinkage. Thanks for the laugh and happy selling. tom Sep-22-05
A: Hmm. Maybe we know the same girl.

Q: Thank you for the inspiration. I am now thinking of ebaying every little thing....and I do mean little thing that I ever wore to be a man pleaser/enticer. That would have to include stiletto heels, leather bustiers, gstrings and the like.....hmmm, wait a minute....now that I think about it....I might have to bid on those pants and create an ensemble....for myself. Did I mention that I am 5'2? Sep-22-05
A: Hello Senator Clinton.

Q: I just wanted to tell you that you made me laugh aloud! First, when my husband was in high school he apparently bought a white satin Michael Jacksonesque multi-zippered jacket from The Chess King under strikingly similar circumstances. I wonder if it is the same chick . . . Second, my husband and I recently hosted a white trash party, Trailerpalooza. We had been to a 38 Special concert and decided to knock off thier look. So we each bought pleather pants (though these beauties would have been perfect!) and I then sewed flame fabric to the bottoms, as if it was lapping up the legs. We also got leather jackets which we adorned with a bit of flame fabric. Well, somehow, I came out looking like a badass, but my poor husband looked like a homo. In fact someone actually said, -It's amazing how pleather makes Shari look so bad, and Rick so gay.- I wish I had a picture on my computer, because I think it would make you laugh! Anyway, good luck with the sale of your magic pants! Sep-22-05
A: When I was a busboy at El Torito I remember a waiter who saved up hundreds for a replica Michael Jackson 'Beat It' jacket. Zippers everywhere. At the time I thought he was a god. Now I think he's probably buried in someone's tomato garden.

Q: Are these pants worthy of cruising for transvestites while in my Maserati? I just got one and need an outfit that would go with my new car. Sep-22-05
A: I think leather pants would accent that mid-life crisis quite nicely.

Q: Love the pants but . . . I wonder, how many thongs do you think could be made from them? Fruitcreek. Sep-23-05
A: For Americans? 15. French? 45.

Q: LOL. I once knew a guy who actually wore leather pants, loved them, and was very popular with them. That was 15 years ago...he was Italian...and my uncle's boyfriend. Enough said. Sep-23-05
A: Italy shares France's reputation for adultery, leather pants, and aggressiveness to women. Except for your uncle's boyfriend, of course.

Q: I have a friend that emails these types of auctions to me for a good laugh and I must admit, yours is the best I have seen in a long time. Your wording and demeanor are perfect. If I had the cake to spend on something I would never wear right now, I would buy them just for the simple fact you made me laugh that hard. I wish you made commercials on TV so I wouldn't be forced to channel surf when they came on. Kudos to you. Are all your descriptions this funny or is this a fluke? Your replies are excellent and this auction should be on Letterman or something. Good luck and thanks for the laugh. Sep-23-05
A: I used to write commercials, but they're hard to make funny because the people who make the final decisions are idiots. But maybe you'll like Banterist or Sixtysecond.

Q: I'm confused, is Donna Karan a rock star or a transvestite? Sep-23-05
A: It's a very fine line, really.

That is all. Disperse.