Dec 30, 2009

virtual skiing


x-country skiing seems to have caught on in Second Life this year!  yesterday was 5 degrees Farenheit with high winds in real life, but i could still ski! click the picture to see it BIG. and if you want to try it yourself, go to the place called HORSE in Second Life.

Dec 29, 2009

what else can you do?

play the cards you're dealt
serious play, what is that?
make up your own rules

Dec 27, 2009

what did you do for christmas?

A second life story:


last year after christmas i was walking around in some of the winter builds...they are gorgeous, cities, forests, mountains, all snowly with ice skating places and warm fires and sparkly ice. I thot it would be fun to have x country skis, so I went to a ski resort -- Austria -- to find some, and had this conversation:

Stranger: are you here for the discussion?
me: who me? I am just looking around. what is the discussion?
S: On what did you do for christmas and new years.
me: (thinking this is the lamest discussion topic i have EVER heard of in Second Life, and feeling a little sorry for her) Well, i have to leave soon, but how was your christmas?
(i sit down on the bench with her)
S: Oh it was fun!  We had carolling and everything. Where are you from?
Me: vermont
(this led to a discussion of where that was, how much snow we had, the temperature, etc.)
Me: where are you?
S: India

we explored christmas customs in India and in the US for a bit. I said when i went carolling people were watching TV and dint even know we were there. She said "We make them come to the door, and we give presents to the children and tell them stories of Jesus."
(I sensed from pauses in her typing that she might be translating)

S: And everyone makes a big crib for their house.

after some confusion i realize this means what we call a creche or manger scene. I told her we did not put them in parks or schools because not everyone was christian.

me: and actually I am buddhist.
S: I am Hindu, but i love jesus.
me: i love jesus too!



Dec 26, 2009

turkey dreams

5:45 am xmas morning.
the alarm flashes; plays a jaunty tune.
3/4 asleep i hold it over his face so the tune and the light pour down on him.
his eyes open.
"put the turkey in the oven"  i mumble.
"already did" he replies.
i wake up a little more, suspicious even in my sleep.
"you did?"
"i woke up thinking about it, so i just got up and did it."
"you sure you dint dream it?"
"i'm sure"
"did you turn on the oven?"
"yes"
"should i go down and check"
"no"
worried, suspicious, he probably dreamt it, 10 people no turkey...but too late i am asleep.
later i wake up smelling turkey...he really did it!
all is well.

Dec 23, 2009

sing noel!

what was that?
bang!
out of the dark pre-solstice evening a snowball hits the front porch storm door.
...carollers!
oh i forgot --'tis the night for town carrollers.
we shivered for them in the open storm door making breath clouds.
hope they sing a short one!


out on the main road, all were crammed in warm and - comfortable?- in a big wooden cart pulled by 2 ginormous shaggy horned oxen beasties.
the ox-driver and a few others walking beside with lanterns, adults and kids.
we got a spirited rendition of Rudolph, and funny asides shouted out by the kids.


did they think how sweet, these 'old folks' (me and hubby LOL) maybe remembering caroling in the "old days"
well, yes, we do!
we carolled these streets for few years, with a group of all adults, while baby-sitters watched our flocks by night.
we walked and sang real Christmas carols, about Jesus and angels, and stuff like that...and we knew the words!
our singing improved with each block... we had a few bottles of jack daniels buried in the snow at strategic corners.
'in goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays' and out comes Jack Daniels!

Dec 18, 2009

how to get a dog

what if you were walking along, minding your own business, and saw a man hitting a young dog that was barfing in an alley?
what would you do?
if you were nancy, you couldn't just walk by -- you'd start a conversation with the guy about his dog.
and it would end like this: "lady, you want this dog? here, it's yours."
sick puppy!!

i've often wondered what happened when he got home.
"where's the dog honey?"
dog gone!!

nancy and sara do get their dogs in unusual ways.
once, driving, they saw a dog running in the median.
they pulled over, opened the door, and in it jumped.
new dog!!

currently they have two. one's a big, typically bumbly black lab that used to belong to a neighbor.
week after week the poor critter was tied out in the heat, ignored, unwatered, not quite bad enough for officialdom to intervene.
one morning he got off his chain, and ended up at their door.
they opened the door, let him in, and he's been theirs since...shhhhhhhh!
secret dog!!

all the other neighbors conspired in this; no one told where the dog had gone.
after a week or or so in hiding, it just became their dog...another of those ubiquitous black labs, and eventually, the previous owner moved away.
whew!!

this reminds me ... my hairdresser once stole a horse from a neighboring farm! the horse was not being fed and was skin and bones.
beth was unable to get the authorities involved fast enough, and fearing it would die, she drove her trailer up one day, and took it!
she actually ended up in jail, mostly for punching the policeman who came to get the horse back.

funny how compassion can make you daring.

Dec 16, 2009

heeheehahahoho!

we wait for years to use some jokes.
i'm always trying to work Kipling into the conversation, hoping someone will ask me if i like Kipling.
but only once in my lifetime, or maybe twice, has it happened!
and i was ready!
i replied in an off-handed manner, "I don't know. I've never kippled."
life is good sometimes!

Dec 14, 2009

HIDE HIDE THE COW'S OUTSIDE!

All families have their running gags.
(indian boy - "Mrs Gag, can little Running come out to play?")

One of ours is a kind of tourette's joke. It results in involuntary shouting.
Based on a truly stupid joke, it just sticks in your brain and never goes away.
Here's a version of the joke:

A kid is watching a drummaker and asks what the tops of the drums are made of.
The drummaker replies "Hide."
The kid looks around nervously "WHAT?"
The drummaker says impatiently "Hide! Hide! The cow's outside"
The kid says "I'm not afraid of a cow!"

OK. dumb joke. but the ongoing effect is...
whenever you hear the word HIDE
you have an overwhelming urge to shout "HIDE HIDE THE COW'S OUTSIDE!"

This has happened to me, and to my son (not a child) and perhaps others in the family.

People mostly ignore it
and try to pretend you didn't actually shout anything
or at least not at them.

Dec 13, 2009

cat meets xmas tree

got this email from 5 the other day...

 Cricket's new bass player, KC, recently acquired an 8-month-old cat. The cat, a girl-type, has been friendly and sociable and well-behaved and he (KC) is very happy with her.
KC also loves Christmas. He used to play bass in a band that only played Christmas songs. So, naturally, KC brought home a Christmas tree early this week.
Well...
The cat went under the bed, dug a hole up into the box spring and went in there and didn't come out to eat or to pee or anything for days. I told KC about some of the remedies we know to help calm down our freaked out little beings, and I offered to come over and talk to her for him.
He was very grateful for the advice, and after careful consideration of the various products available to deal with cats, cat pee, and so on, he went home and got rid of his Christmas tree. The cat came out from under the bed, began eating and being sociable and peeing in her box again. Problem solved.
Except that KC loves Christmas and he wants a tree! I told him to get a Norfolk pine and raise it and the cat together.

Dec 11, 2009

get up and dance!

instant messages fly back and forth "Komuso is playing at XYZ"!
blues to dance to, gruff voice, electrifying harmonica -- quick! change out of your 18th century ball gown and butterfly wings and into fave jeans and halter, change updo to ponytail, no shoes needed -- and teleport to the venue!
i've been to Komuso gigs where i had to tp next door and try to walk or fly in, because the place filled up so fast!
once there, search your inventory for your favorite dance animations, click on your music and out wails Komuso's live music...where is he anyway? his bedroom somewhere? Japan or Australia? who knows!
the gravely voice and unique style of his St James Infirmary has everyone up and dancing!
more avatars arrive, dragons, tinies, furries, nekos, elves, winged people, bedside tables (LOL that's Barney), nearly naked people, people draped in bling, all moving to the beat, w00ting and howling.
linden dollars drop into the tip jar...always a good night for Komuso!
and then...and then...AND THEN...when no more avatars, no more bling, no more music, no more dance animations can possibly be stuffed into one sim...BANG !!!
we crash!
YAAAAAAAAAY!

Komuso Tokugawa is one of my favorite musicians to see 'live' in Second Life. If you go to this link you can listen or download some of his blues cuts - play them and don't just sit there tapping your foot -- GET UP AND DANCE!

Free! Poor Boy (Extended Bluestronica Cut) now available @ http://tinyurl.com/yjjq5tv Live SL cut, 10 min 18.6mb 256kbps
From the cotton fields to the asteroid belts, a raw improvisational elektrik koolaid space bluestronica enhanced version of poor boy, recorded live in sl on the12th Dec 2009 at "Up The Creek" club.
Pay what you like in L$ or paypal to paul@sonicviz.com
Cu in the bitstream,
kt

Dec 10, 2009

whiter and brighter

out of the drizzle and gloom
i asked the universe
please don't leave us here
in november darkness -
fourteen inches of snow fell
WHOMP
and the world is bright!

Dec 8, 2009

a tale of two weddings


this is the first wedding i went to in Second Life. a couple of years ago.
the groom, Squiddy, was one of the first friends i made in SL, and the first avatar to hug me.
i was so surprised to find that when someone hugs you in SL you actually feel like you are being hugged! 
the wedding vows were beautiful, as was the ceremony. it didn't last a year, but he did eventually find his true (SL) love. 
last time i heard from them, he was professor of dark arts at Hogwarts (in SL).

this weekend i went to another wedding. also one of my early SL friends.
we first met when we showed up at the wrong time for a peace protest march, and had a long discussion about Yosemite's decision to use a wheelchair in SL, as she does in real life.
we spent a hilarious noobie afternoon trying to get a boat to work on what turned out to be the wrong kind of water. 
Yosemite has gone on to work with designers fashioning better wheelchairs in SL and to push for SL venues to be wheelchair accessible. 
she and her partner have a lovely house that Yose keeps remodeling -- one of her partner's vows was to put up with all the remodeling! -- and they are expecting a baby soon (in SL). they've never met in real life and don't plan to!



Dec 7, 2009

working within the law

Liz does not allow her cats to put their feet on the table. yes, this raises many questions, but i'm thinking cats don't have that much imagination. 
in fact, cats believe that if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it's because at that moment no one actually exists.
one morning last week, Liz spilled a bit of milk on the table while having breakfast. 

she has way more imagination than a cat, and was able to pick up her floppy cat, not her stiff cat --  that never would have worked -- and holding it like a football, or maybe a bagpipe, use it as a sort of vacuum cleaner. 
she held all its feet under it, not touching the table, but tipped it's head down to the milk so it could lap it all up.
worked great she said!

Dec 6, 2009

Gift Giving - the New Health Craze?

The final word on gifts may be this New York Times article on giving. We know gifts may be a mixed or a mis-communication to the receiver, but for the GIVER -- it turns out it's GOOD FOR YOU!
GIVE EARLY AND OFTEN.


~_^

the perfect gift?


once upon a time, before EVERYTHING was made in China, back when Amazon meant a one-breasted woman warrior, i gave a friend a gift of a wind-up painted metal duck with a propeller on his head, riding on a tricycle. just for the absurdity of the thing!
it came in a funky chinese box. this may have been common on the west coast, but around here it was totally insane.
we loved our duck-on-a-bikes and we actually played with them sometimes! such an object was not to be had in the city she lived in. so each time i visited i'd bring her one and it became her ritual gift.
new house? duck-on-bike.
birthday? duck-on-bike.
retirement party? duck-on-bike.
xmas yankee swap? duck-on-bike.
once she called me in desperation. "LUCY i need a duck for this weekend!" luckily someone i knew was traveling to that city, and left a brown paper wrapped package at their hotel desk FOR VICKI.  an emergency duck-on-bike! by now everyone she knows has one. but if she meets some new people i may get the call again. 

the store that sold them no longer sells them, but i've seen them in the store across the street.

Dec 4, 2009

may we reach enlightenment at the same time

waiting to use the narrow bridge
are 2 huge horses with a wood wagon.
the driver, tall handsome grey haired
stands in the wagon reins in hand
as our group of cars goes by.

some physics law makes cars go in clumps
on these 2 lane country highways.
no cars pass our house for an hour
then 7 in a row.
we joke that 25 minutes ago the light changed in Springfield.

the same law makes bottlenecks behind tractors,
makes walking meditators
circumambulate at the pace of the slowest walker,
makes families start and stop to the rhythms
of the sickest or the craziest.

Dec 3, 2009

more more on gifts!

a friend and i have exchanged many gifts over the years.
a few years ago she said "how about if we give each other back gifts we didn't really like?"
she said "the person who got it for the other, REALLY liked it, thought it was special, and would probably appreciate it!"
hmmmm

this seemed quite sensible at the time.
i was fascinated by my reaction when she returned one of my gifts!
i thought "this? she didn't like THIS? this is so wonderful!" and i felt a little hurt.
then i thought "i REALLY like this! i'm glad she gave it back to me instead of giving it to the thrift shop."
and i treasure it still.

Dec 2, 2009

read my mind!

give me a gift of
just what i always wanted
but never told you.
                                      ~mudpie

Dec 1, 2009

continuing thoughts on gifts

gifts are personal, and/or gifts are ritual.
there used to be rules for when to give, what to give, how much to spend, based on the kind and degree of relationship.
i think that's gone, for most of us modern folks.

now gifts are personal. what does this say about me, what does this say about you.

the two get mixed up.
i know how to make soap.
so i make you some special soap to give you on a ritual occasion.
i am giving you my time and my talent.
you take it as a personal gift, not a ritual gift.
you think maybe i think you don't wash enough.
you think i didn't care enough to buy you something.
i think you will think i am cool because i can make soap.

Nov 29, 2009

one teensy aspect of the huge subject of gifts

fruitcake is off the gift list this year in my family!
my mom always sent a fruitcake, a really good one from some place in texas, to each of us kids. last year we sadly sent them to each other. this year we decided not to.
VOLUMES are written about gifts and gift giving! how can i even get a handle on the subject in a simple blog entry.
he gets her a roomba for xmas.
his thoughts...
he is clever and generous.
she will be happy not to have to vacuum.
it will be fun to set up and to watch it, see how the cat reacts!
he has solved a problem!
her thoughts...
he is stingy and overly practical.
he thinks of her as a housekeeper.
he just wants to play with this toy himself.
he isn't very romantic.
what the gift means to the giver can be completely different from the meaning understood by the receiver!  the gift is a coded message and each side has a different decoder ring.
and of course...
everyone has way too much stuff anyway!

Nov 28, 2009

you can get anything you want!


need someone to talk to? here's a list of the early morning discussions open to the second life public one morning this week - click it to enlarge. there are lots more discussion groups for philosophy, science, activism, role playing...it's like alice's restaurant.

Nov 26, 2009

for thanksgiving ~ gokan no ge sutra

This food of three virtues and six tastes we offer to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and to all life in every world.

First, innumerable labors have brought us this food
   we should know how it came to us.


Second, as we receive this offering, we should consider
   whether our virtue and practice deserve it.


Third, as we desire the natural condition of mind to be
   free from clinging, we must be free from greed.


Fourth, to support our life we take this food.


Fifth, to attain our way we take this food.

Nov 25, 2009

mmmm fresh pine

why my delight at
trucks filled with christmas trees?
i don't like christmas!
 
              ~mudpie

Nov 24, 2009

ricey beanie recipe

cook some brown rice
  (organic is best - for the planet,
     the pickers and planters,
      the web of life,
       your health,
        maybe your karma).
open a can of organic beans
  (the plainer the better,
    the kind you like best,
     black beans are my favorite
       recycle the can).
rinse all the packing liquid off the beans.
put beans in a pan with 2 cups of the rice.
open a jar of organic chunky salsa
  ( local if possible,
     otherwise newmanzone is good,
      whatever heat level you like
         recycle the glass jar).
add to the rice and beans
warm it up good.
put it on nice pottery plates
  (or eat from the pan if you are alone
    and really depressed).
good with salad and red ale
  (or you can skip the salad
    and add seconds on the ale).

Nov 22, 2009

Lucy cooks Uncle Ben

Dear Uncle Ben
First let me say, it's not me it's YOU!
We've been friends for so many years, I thought I could always count on you.
the boxes change, the cooking times change...I stuck with you.
i'd look at your face on the box and think "ok, this box feels lighter, but Ben's a guy I can trust."
they say aquarians are loyal...loyal beyond commonsense maybe. but once an aquarius walks, we don't look back.
goodbye Uncle Ben.

Oh the reason?
boil-in-the-bag.
THE STUPIDEST WAY TO COOK ANYTHING.
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
the box was purchased by accident, because IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE REGULAR BROWN RICE BOX.

Ok, 4 little bags inside. drop one into 4 cups of boiling water. WHY WHY WHY?
OK maybe some people's water isn't potable, this would be good!
But NO...there are HOLES IN THE BAG. The rice absorbs the water.
Ok,well you don't have to use a measuring cup for the rice
BUT YOU DO HAVE TO MEASURE THE WATER!
It takes 15 minutes - AFTER the water boils! Why not just cook regular rice?
Do you sense me stomping around jumping up and down shaking my fists in the air at the stupidity of it all?
Now,FROZEN TOAST...you just pop into the toaster, is FUNNY. Boil-in-bag rice isn't even funny.
Uncle Ben, were you kidnapped and taken to MARS? Did they feed you M&Ms until you were brain dead, or just replace you with a cardboard cutout?
Shaking my head sadly. Can Opsrey create another blog for this?...posters searching for the lost, kidnapped or compromised -- our formerly trusted ummm trusted ummm fictional purveyors of comestibles?

Nov 21, 2009

Lucy cooks beans and finds Mycroft

turkeys crossing the road with Thanksgiving right on their tails...it's a sign!
i'll blog about food!
let us (heehee) begin with one of my favorite food groups, a favorite around the world -
BEANS AND RICE !!
it makes a complete protein (says Diet For a Small Planet) and
like buddhism, takes on the local flavor wherever it finds itself.
oh sure, there are many kinds of rice in the world,
but that's nothing - NOTHING I TELL YOU - compared to the beauty and variety of BEANS!
which reminds me, speaking of cooking, and also of beans,
i have found THURSDAY NEXT's UNCLE MYCROFT!! (inventor of the entropy detector)!
he has changed his name and is living in Seattle!
read it for yourself...who else could it be??
a few quotes:
...an eclectic array of speculative and potentially world-changing ideas — inventing a new battery, taming hurricanes, defeating disease. And here, along with the laser designed to shoot mosquitoes out of the air (a high-speed camera counts the rate of wing-flapping to ensure that innocent insects are not vaporized), is the best-equipped restaurant kitchen anywhere that never serves any customers...
...They also demonstrated cryoseared duck breast, a technique that calls for implements not typically found in a kitchen: a small satchel of loose metal, dry ice, dog hair brush...

shhh don't give him away!

Nov 19, 2009

meandering flock

i stop my car for
ten fat turkeys unhurried
in the frosty dawn
                     ~mudpie

Nov 18, 2009

Sparkle sparkle!

I'll tell you, it's no secret, November around here in't supposed to be bright and sparkly!
Most years we get that creepy fella EDGAR ALLEN POE to do November up.
Last night, tho, he took sick or somethin.
Had to call in his understudy, one Mr JACK FROST. AND, he called back the star of the summer season for an encore, good ol MISTER SUNSHINE!
Mr Sunshine wan't able to do much about it bein wicked cold, but that's how Mr Frost likes it.
He does his work in black and white with potloads of sequins.
None of that ice cream smooth sparkle of snow, mind you, with cute little caps on the fence posts and apples.
The EN-TIRE apple, the COM-PLETE fencepost, EVERY DANG SURFACE of each TWIG, BRANCH and GRASSBLADE -- sparkly sparkly white.
And that there riot of grace and texture...you know, the WEEDS...pure poetry. pure poetry and dance, froze inna place.
Sweet jesus it's cold. I blieve i can hear the woods tinkling and chiming.

Nov 17, 2009

in which the lost is found and someone learns more about the meaning of 'real'

hooray hooray oh frabjous day the lost owner is found!
two weeks ago i found a kitty doll by the road as i walked through a road cut, no houses nearby at all, just woods and rocks.
something about it told me it was loved and missed. i made some handbills, added my phone number and took one to the village store. they kept it right on the counter...this was important!
and on sunday, the phone rang...yes! "my daughter was visiting from Connecticut and this is my grandchild's favorite toy! they got home and called me..'is it there? do you have it? where is it?'... but we had no idea where it had gone."
yesterday i took it to the store to be mailed back to it's own christopher robin.
the happy grandmother said "i've never thought much about it if i found a toy, but believe me, i will now!"

Nov 16, 2009

more murder mysteries

continuing yesterday's post on murder mysteries...i am currently reading another strange one, The City and The City by China Mieville.
the setting is so very strange, 2 cities that exist simultaneously in the same spot, the citizens forced to ignore everything concerning the city they are not currently part of, under dire penalty for even 'seeing' the buildings, cars, people who are part of the other city.
and the mythical 3rd city, or is it just a myth?
it took me 100 pages of deciding not to bother reading this 'police procedural', but continuing to read anyway, before i really got into it.
now by page 220 i can't put it down!
the main character is a police detective from one city who must travel back and forth to investigate a murder (a young archeology student) and the mystery that becomes something even more sinister. Publishers Weekly says "Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, MiƩville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities."
but phooey on them, it's an exciting read once you wrap your mind around the bizarre concept.

Nov 15, 2009

murder mysteries!

our local weekly newspaper had halloween photos, and one was of a group of people dressed up as the characters in CLUE! colonel mustard, miss scarlet, the whole gang was there with a rope, a candlestick, so funny!
yesterday i was involved up close in a new kind of mystery. for years i've read mystery novels, working through all the classics, then on to the ones with great characters, the ones in interesting settings, then i stopped for awhile. lately i've read a couple of unusual ones.
one is the first of a series from Cuba, translated from Spanish, Havana Red, by Leonardo Padura. the story is told by a Cuban cop working on a case in contemporary Cuba involving the murder of a gay man dressed in drag. the writing is great, and it has a literariness unusual in mysteries.
the policeman's interactions with suspects and friends illuminate some of the mysteries of Cuba itself and what life there has been like in the past few decades. the internal reactions of the main character, confronted with gays and female impersonators, are especially fascinating.
oh, and the new kind of mystery i was involved in is one that is taking place in Second Life even as it is being written as a serial on a blog! the doctor in Second Life who is investigating the murder took me to see the crime scene, the bloodstains, the body on the table in the lab awaiting the post mortem, and a few of the suspects!
reading a serial on a blog is tricky, you have to sort of rewind it to the first post to begin. but the pictures are beautiful! there are other amazing tales on this blog, too, if you like swashbuckling adventure and explosions!

Nov 13, 2009

Gina Dances

monday night at the end of middle-eastern dance class, when we 15 women formed our closing circle, hands in angeli mudra, gina asked us to meditate for a moment on gratitude for those things that make it possible for us to come here and dance -- physical, emotional, financial, and...political.
i love this class, it's one of the most fun things i do, ranking up there with The Show Must Go On in Second Life.
every female size and shape you can imagine is here shimmying in jingly hipscarf (sometimes worn over corduroys and turtleneck), and occasionally a man, and every level of trained or natural ability, or lack of... it's all fun!
i have never been a sinuous dancer, my people being more the jumping up and down type (highland fling, polka, morris dances, irish clogging) and yet i enjoy moving to middle eastern music in my own way.
it seems so simple -- to come to belly dance class and dance each week. but once i turned my mind to all the reasons women here and round the world may be unable to do this simple thing, i realized how incredibly lucky i am!
one important thing gina didn't mention in her list of things to be thankful for, that make it possible for us to come and dance together....is GINA!


THANK YOU GINA!

Nov 12, 2009

war and sex

on hallowe'en, exploring in the cornfield in SL,  Bamika and i had a chat about Fawn's rut,
and how humans are such an anomaly in that they have no particular time of being in heat or rut or season.
this kind of thing can get my brain going, grinding away at these curious questions.
sometimes it goes on as background chatter for weeks on end!

my brain: must be some reason for it
my brain: right - maybe to have more kiddies
my brain: well it takes us so long to raise one up to independence
my brain: and we only have one at a time usually
my brain: so why do we have 2 breasts?
my brain: that's irrelevant -- you'll be asking why men have nipples next.
my brain: anyway it only takes a few men but lots of women to keep the population supply up
my brain: so men can do dangerous things, in fact, they seem to like to -- keeps their numbers down
my brain: like war?
my brain: maybe war is an evolution strategy
my brain: the guys who had a violent streak killed off the other guys and got all the women preggers with a higher probability of violent boys?
my brain: something like that
my brain: and so on until warlikeness was the norm?
my brain: right, all the societies with peaceful men got done in by the impaired group?
my brain: could be - or maybe it's good to have a big genetic variety of men
my brain: but isn't all that sexiness also in the service of bonding?
my brain: yeah but what about female synchronization of fertility and stuff like that?
my brain: oh are we getting into your cookoo theories on fidelity or the one on DNA preservation vs Species preservation?
my brain: ouch ouch ouch stop it can't we go meditate or something?

Nov 11, 2009

unleaving

autumn upon me
each day comes word some bright leaf
let go flown gone
                                   ~mudpie



and a birthday toast to kurt vonnegut's ghost

Nov 10, 2009

medical advice

someone recently asked me for advice about colds, probably because i play a doctor in a vaudeville show in a virtual world.
in fact, here is a picture of me taken by a fellow thespian, Headburro Antfarm...
no...wait...that's a closeup of my stethoscope during the hallowe'en show
here it is...
and here is how Dr Lucy deals with colds:                                            if around people with a cold - i drink lots of echinacea tea.
if i feel like i might be getting one - zinc!
zinc cough drops have just a teeny bit of zinc, might be first line of defense.
zinc tablets, esp if throat is sore... i put them under my tongue. don't do this on an empty stomach. they taste awful and make anything you eat soon after seem not to taste right.
also i escalate to zycam, i think it is called, which is zinc stuff you squirt in your nose...this really really works! ...and btw...no one paid me to say this :(

if i still get a cold, of course i drink lots of water and juice and i get a box of chicken broth (organic, free range ... chickens are people too) and add green chilis and tons of garlic all cut up, and just make it hot and drink all day like tea.
keep taking zinc.
and hot lemonade with whiskey and honey in it is good especially before bed.
unless i have a fever, tylenol (acetaminophen) works better than ibuprophen or aspirin for some reason.

what? it wasn't funny? well better luck next time!

Nov 9, 2009

november walk

yesterday at some time after 3 i decided to go for a walk.
the sun was sitting right on top of the western hills.
POP! down it went and the street was in shade. how can it do that so early!
dusk comes early to us valley dwellers.
the fields to the east were still bright, and i headed out across the alfalfa stubble with quick steps.
the sounds of the village grew fainter, the low sun warmed my back.
by the time i reached the soft trickle and rustle by the stream at the foot of the woods, my breathing was slow and deep, my mind was still, peace had settled onto me.
i remembered when i was a deer, stepping mindfully along on my skinny legs, like i do now, quiet like a prey animal, alert and happy.
i loved living in the woods, loading up on all the autumn nuts and apples i could find,
searching out a winter yard of pine needles under the evergreens. thinking of the bitter bark i'd chew in february.
the sun dropped lower behind the dark western hills.
or did the earth turn?
the shadow crept across the field.
time to turn back toward the cluster of buildings, tiny in the palm of the valley.

Nov 8, 2009

making space

thoughts and memories
i shove aside to make
a place for you


                      ~mudpie

Nov 6, 2009

a dark night

i had to park in a dark area, the parking lot near the class was full.
as i locked the car i heard a man shouting. i turned onto the sidewalk, and saw him across the street. with my peripheral vision i saw he was oldish, biggish, hunchedish, in bulky layers of wool clothes, unkempt, stumping along shouting. "I SEE YOU UP THERE!" shout shout shout "OH THAT'S NOT YOU" but obviously not meaning me.
"drunk" was my thought. it's a scary neighborhood even in daylight.
let's see, generate confidence, compassion, fearlessness, openness, INVISIBILITY!
i kept walking he kept shouting. i noticed he was starting diagonally across the street. i began planning my quick turn into the meditation center parking lot. "THERE YOU ARE" he shouted from the middle of the street.
a dainty little cat, white with calico markings, stepped out of the weeded vacant lot ahead onto the sidewalk.
the man became more agitated, shouting "YOU'D BETTER GET HOME! YOU GO HOME NOW!"
the cat headed off the other way, noticed me, stopped turned towards us. the man seemed to notice me for the first time. "oh you're here." then back to admonishing the cat.
i stood still, the cat came our way. 'kitty kitty' i called softly, trying to be helpful.
the cat moved closer to us, then playfully veered across the street and up the driveway of a dilapidated apartment house, the man stumping along after her, waving his flashlight in her direction "YOU GET INSIDE NOW, YOU'RE GONNA GET WET, IT'S STARTING TO RAIN NOW" and it was.


i smiled for a long time.

Nov 5, 2009

The Four Reminders drive to work #4

#4
Samsara
Is an ocean of suffering,
Unendurable,
Unbearably intense.

my drive is so beautiful, car is so comfortable
people ahead of me
driving like idiots, driving so slowly,
i must get to work!
sit at my computer, continue to wish that
i was somewhere other, anywhere else.
this is samsara, like frogs on hot asphalt,
have to keep jumping, grab any distraction,
or else it's too painful, until i remember
i'm lucky to be here at all
however impermanent

#1
Joyful to have
Such a human birth,
Difficult to find,
Free and well-favored.

Nov 4, 2009

suddenly i am again 7 years old and at my grandmother's house

cold frosty morning
barefoot on kitchen linoleum
what is time?
                                           ~mudpie
 

Nov 3, 2009

haz u lost me?

walking home sunday i came across a striped kitty sock doll by the road. it was not there 2 hours ago when i walked out. i picked it up to take with me, and pictures filled my brain -- child crying in grief and disbelief 'my kitty's gone!' and kind but grumpy parents turning the car around to drive the road searching. i set it on the rocks where it could be seen, and safe from fox kits.

oh that night was dark and very cold. at least, no rain.

in the morning i felt guilty, but told myself these long cold nights of the soul can bring new understanding and compassion, even to sock dolls. i pulled the car over and walked to the rocks, dusted it off as curious staring faces drove by. set it in the seat next to me and drove back onto the road, crying.

i reached over, moved it to my lap. here with me now it lives in the land of lost toys.


someone's inner doctor jung will have the use of it 30 years from now; someone who will still dream of his lost kitty, as i do.

Nov 1, 2009

scent world

the sheep stare at me walking by
i stare at the sheep
if i had a camera
on a day like this i would claim each scene!
i could pee on each landmark
but that doesn't feel like claiming to me

soon i hear small sounds of the woods
i smell the woods mmmmmmm
what's it like for a dog to map her world by smell?
in Second Life you can turn on 'highlight invisible'
and suddenly some things make sense

in my mind i turn on 'highlight smells'...
i see transparent overlays of many colors (smells)
the color code key reads 'magenta-brown = leafy forest floor'
i click it to learn the forest floor scent components
oak, maple & birch leaves, dried ferns, deer poop, fisher hairs, dead mouse and if i zoom in
i can isolate the deer poop scent area, the color more intense at the center
ah there's yellow, my favorite, my dog best friend was here
and i can tell how long ago

the pasts are here to be scent sensed
like the layers in the road cut

Oct 31, 2009

note to self: buy candy before dark


this night dreams and fears
spill into the dark ~ take form
and beg for candy


                 ~mudpie

click picture to enlarge and see the wonderful poster Osprey made for today's shows. Taken at Barney's train station, and there is Lucy in one of the costumes.

Oct 30, 2009

signs that might be knowin'

late yesterday a flock of geese was in the field. they looked so tired, they were quiet and hunkered down. must have come a long way to arrive so late. not much corn left on the ground. this morning they look better, most are standing and many are honking impatiently. time to go! snow coming from the midwest!
i have seen a little fox in that field, peeking out from the corn in the summer as i walked the tractor road. hard to imagine his scrawny self could be any danger to those big geese!

Oct 29, 2009

hallowe'en in the boo! nies

vampires and tinkerbells
stood at the door!
we live in the village
more came, and then more!
we gave them the apples
and chocolate and gum;
quick ransack the house before more of them come
our nickles and pennies we were in a fix
what's left but the case of guacamole mix!
we gave them that too, got some puzzled expressions
we turned off the lights, we had learned a new lesson
don't put out a pumpkin, don't dress as a clown
if you live in the village this night, just leave town!

Oct 28, 2009

The Four Reminders drive to work #3

#3
Unalterable
Are the laws of karma;
Cause and effect
Cannot be escaped.

every object along the drive, even my thoughts and actions,
is the effect of all that has been before
nothing comes about of its own
house, road, car, stone fence, beaver pond,
asphalt, job, tree, hill, song, memory, anger, love
-- and all are cause!
all part of the causes and conditions
to coalesce into future joys, deaths,
landscapes, friendships, environment, suffering, love
pay attention

Oct 27, 2009

virtual treats, but none for real kiddies!

sent out this invitation to all my Second Life friends to come trick or treating at my place, even if i am not there (which is most of the time). the funny part is that at my real house, i have to leave home to escape the trick-or-treaters! so many children come, and it will be at the same time as the Second Life hallowe'en show i am in, so i'll be off to hide out at with friends out in the boondocks.

Oct 25, 2009

the mystery on page 81

a big mystery! i got to page 81 in the Agatha Christie and noticed a neat pencil mark underlining the page number.
i was reading all the A.C.'s at the local library.
one by one, i read them and, always, a neat pencil mark underline on page 81. same with the Nero Wolfes! and, in fact, all the mysteries. i started seeing it in the other books!
someone has been here before me.
by observation, deduction, and clever questioning, i solved it.
Mr. Whittaker! he'd been doing this since he was 81. you can bet that HE never got half way through a mystery only to realize he'd already read it. this happens to me ALL the time, but fortunately, i don't usually remember how it turns out, and i just read it again. the funny part is that when the library replaced a book with a new copy, he'd happily and innocently READ IT AGAIN and underline page 81.
i want to do this with youtube!! people send me links and i watch them and think "this is great!" and send them to people who email me back..."you sent me this last year!"
not everyone is as lucky, or unlucky, as i am -- to have a magic slate for a brain that wipes itself clean. just me and Mr.Whittaker!

Oct 24, 2009

to err is human and so is blowing things up

this morning i found a great animation for blowing myself up,
with a horrifying noise, spewing blood and guts so far
that neighboring properties send notices that i am not allowed to set anything on their property
...all this in Second Life of course!

this will be perfect for the hallowe'en show zombie act.
today is a rainy nasty cold day the leaves all falling
and i am in the virtual world happily blowing myself to smithereens
and then smilingly reassembling.

Oct 23, 2009

the four reminders drive to work #2

#2
but death is real,

comes without warning.
this bodywill be a corpse.

my commute can be a charnal ground.
frog, skunk, deer, racoon, bird,
tree across the lane,
and once, a man lying ,
steam rising in the cold
from his hot blood spreading over the asphalt,
once a dog standing confused beside
another dog lying quite still.

Oct 22, 2009

The Four Reminders Drive to Work

#1
Joyful to have
Such a human birth,
Difficult to find,
Free and well-favored.

i have driven the same road each day for over 15 years

i am so lucky
beauty revealed season upon season
i drive into a calendar picture

there is time to sing and feel and be present
my little subaru takes me through dangerous conditions
glad not to be the fly that shares my ride or the thin fox racing across the road,
or the toad that -- ooops! -- sorry!

Oct 21, 2009

what's the latin for 'fear of entropy loss'

3 things that happened yesterday:

1. in the morning i started to read a book karuna sent me, which began with the quote "Mid-way in life's journey I found myself in a dark wood, having lost the way." (Dante, The Inferno).

2. when i got to work i opened my email and read in The Writer's Almanac "It's the birthday of poet and essayist Robert Pinsky ... in 1995 he published a new translation of Dante's Inferno ... Robert Pinsky's The Inferno of Dante begins: 'Midway on our life's journey, I found myself In dark woods, the right road lost.'"

3. later that night a complete stranger added this comment to my blog post about the entropy detector:
"Just shot and posted a "how to" video for this device on youtube (search for "stephenleadersf")Thank you and Mr. fforde ."

I'd better build myself one quick! Entropy is dropping fast.

Oct 20, 2009

but soft!

"... in 1995 Pinsky published a new translation of Dante's Inferno."
so many beautiful works are translated again and again into user-friendly english.
but we be english speakers, thus we must study and take classes to understand the parlance, so old it no longer makes sense to us...for us, Hamlet in English must be performed using the original words!

do other countries re-translate it year after year, excitement and outrage at each new translation, some better some worse?
listening untutored to the archaic speeches in Hamlet would be like listening to a strange opera in an unfamiliar language. quite beautiful, the meaning inferred from the performers' expressions and actions.

oh but we don't think of it as music, as sound, as accoustical performance art.
and does anyone say for example, "but soft!"? How terrible would it be if instead they said "Quiet!" or even "Hush!" or even a whispered "stfu horatio."

Oct 18, 2009

sorrow to my heart

pick up the water bowls
put away the toys
throw the litter down the bank
wash the old blankets
cry and leave doors open
my long married life
this is the first time
living in apartments
or a volkswagon camper
or with my parents
or in my own home
no warrior joker intense friend
guards us from hard-heartedness
there is no cat in the house
goodbye dear Mouse


* *,

Oct 16, 2009

more zombiefication

a follow up to my previous post -
in my guise as a headless zombie, i went to a sim last night to look at some skins; i can't remember the name, it had god in the name somehow. there, a stalwart sort of fellow who seemed to be quite taken with my appearance followed me around saying mostly "Wow." it turned out he spoke only italian, except for wow - not even 'woot'! and i know nothing but ciao in italian. mother always warned me about guys who dig headless zombie chicks and speak only italian, so i said 'ciao' and went home...oh, but not before winning a lovely bed by having the letter L come up on a lucky-chair in a gated crypt reached by going down some stairs into what appeared to be a pond and through a maze of creepy rooms.before the lucky-chair gave me my prize, the chair electrocuted me quite spectacularly. definitely a place to avoid, tho i must say the bed is pretty.

note to self - avoid Osprey, she has armed herself with zomb-off

Oct 15, 2009

Hallowe'en


last night i worked on my zombification for the hallowe'en show.
not a good thing before going to bed, i thought i'd have nightmares! but it was so exhausting, i slept soundly. zombies are scary enough without also worrying about losing your head.

Oct 14, 2009

wtf were you thinking

small squashed mosquito
you wanted so little
now both our blood's spilled


~mudpie

Oct 13, 2009

West coast bookstores

on my vacation i took 2 books and came back with 5.
took The Time Travelers Wife and finished it, and Marilyn Robinson's Home, didn't read yet!
bookstores i visited along the way (not counting in the airports!) City Lights in San Francisco :-D, Bookshop in Santa Cruz, Open Secret in San Rafael, and the Henry Miller museum which is also a bookstore, in Big Sur . They were great! I could have spent way more time browsing, something i don't have much patience for at home.
maybe west coast bookstores have it all over the ones around here, even tho there are TWO independent bookstores in the tiny town where i work!
i didn't buy any books...too many to choose...the 3 new ones i brought home were gifts.
between that and the tea i got in San Francisco, it'll be a good winter.
I did just finish Tea Time for the Conventionally Built, and Smith is back in stride. i'd given up on the series, but this one is another winner.

secrets of the night

in the night came the snow
washed away by morning rain
late sleepers don't know!

~mudpie

Oct 12, 2009

not david either

hard frost everywhere last night
car-scraping frost
killing frost
"an end to gardening for everyone" weatherman said
it's official! no more feeling bad about the garden this year!

got up in the night to find wool socks
slept curled in a ball and dreamt of Los Angeles
sleeping floating sprawled in warm air

the hard-working boy who mowed our *cough* grass all summer
has stacked the wood in the garage.
what is he saving for i wonder, that makes him work so hard?
i do love stacking wood, but could not find time this year.

when i stack it myself, i leave room for the car.
now john is rearranging it, not knowing how to tell the boy to.
he'd better hurry. this morning something whispered 'snow.'
i wonder if that boy shovels walks?

i mostly wonder if this boy is from another planet, shot into space by his loving parents
as his planet fell into its sun.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Imagine Peace

i didn't get to meet or dance with Yoko Ono on Friday night :-(
the imagine peace project activities continued through the weekend.
all i managed to attend was the saturday morning discussion, which i expected to spend 10 minutes at but stayed an hour.
it was far better than any discussion i have been to in second life, for many reasons.
i don't feel i contributed much except to stir the pot and keep throwing out thoughts.
here is a report from any1, and many thanks to her!
i hope there will be follow up to it. as for her posting some of our remarks here, i'm not sure it is in the spirit of uninhibited discussion, but whatever works.
http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-340694

Oct 11, 2009

loneliness

All day
my toes
missed your toes.

~mudpie

(mudpie is an alt of lucy. i'd put a picture but mudpie is sometimes male and sometimes female)

Oct 9, 2009

Fussbudgets i have known


lucy as a tiger has conference with fussby


in second life i have a cat fussbudget, named for a real cat now gone to be with elvis; fussby is the being i envision sometimes to raise maitri, 'unconditional friendliness.'
to get in touch with this loving feeling within yourself, you think of someone, person or pet, that you love without complication or reservation.
both cats are orange tabbies, very vocal, very consistently companionable and amiable.
real life (rl) fussbudget, unlike many rl cats, was even delighted to get his ration of cat food each day. yeahhhh! it's CAT FOOD AGAIN!!!! unlike sl fussby, rl fussby was a major barfer -- i always wanted to get him a little tee shirt that said on the front something like 'barf your guts out' and on the back 'then eat the barf' -- he was very tidy and easy going.
enough about that. here's my problem -- every now and then sl fussby's programming gets out of whack. like a rl cat he is programmed to ignore all commands and settings from time to time and wander out of his preset range to get hung up in some neighboring sim border or object protection. dragging him back doesn't always put him right and then i have to delete him and rez another copy.
this is where i get a little freaked out. is it the same cat i am so fond of? this sounds like the buddhist exercise "if you lose a leg are you still your 'self', if you lose all limbs are you? if you lose internal organs are you? if you lose your brain are you still you? etc..." (for the answer, meditate for several lifetimes).
are these sl fussbudgets just blossoms on the virtual cat bush? to me it seems the exact same cat but i still hate to delete him. and for some reason i don't consider him a sentient being like the roomba, any more than i consider my avatar to be a sentient being. maybe because neither one of them seems to learn much along the way.

Oct 8, 2009

not Robert

frost -- warned in August
September -- frost predicted
now just assumed -- frost
.
~mudpie
.

Oct 7, 2009

praise be to fill-in-the-blank

vermont in october (not my photo)


there are just a few times i ever wish to believe in a god.
when my child was out late in bad weather, lost, in trouble or sick, i wanted some super power who could help where i was helpless.
more often it happens on days like today when the beauty of the world is almost unbearable and i am bursting with praise and gratitude to be offered up.
yesterday the hills were a vast choir of voices of color singing their hearts out, and then at 5 pm a rainbow appeared above it all!
this morning was grey and rainy which only made the red maples among the yellow and purple trees blaze like neon.
and don't get me started on snow, the most wonderful amazing undeserved gift of joy and beauty, always different, always glorious.
ok i admit it, i sometimes pray and praise a god i don't believe in and have no ability even to conceptualize.
one of my secret vices...singing hymns and gospel music...i love it!
praise be for hymns and gospel music by people with a totally different explanation of it all but the same wish to express their heartfelt experience of joy and beauty.

Oct 5, 2009

my trip and a business opportunity

10 days 5 cities 6 airports and many friends later: new hampshire to boston to seattle to san francisco and drive down the coastal road to los angeles then back to burlington vt via pittsburgh! what fun! i loved it all!

idea someone can use -- i will never act on it, but someone should! usually when i come up with a great idea someone's beat me to it anyway...like 'baseball' style cards with serial killers, or even a starter kit and handbook for s.k.

new idea:
peel and stick lettering for anonymous blackmail letters.
do you think this exists?
don't you hate it when you have to cut out all those letters, and the black stuff from the magazine gets on your hands plus what kind of glue is best, anyway?
maybe a starter kit and then sell refills and new sheets of most-used letters.

Sep 24, 2009

PBS TV on SL

PBS Religion and Ethics Sept 18

not to suggest anyone try second life, but many of my friends are merely curious about it, and this is the best report on it I have seen yet. Usually reports focus on the sensational stories, not the everyday experience of creativity and community.

It's from a PBS tv show about religion. Too bad they didn't show some of the amazingly beautiful buddhist builds, where i have gone for meditation, to watch videos of buddhist teachers, and discussions with real buddhist teachers who have avatars in second life.