Jan 31, 2010


Yesterday afternoon i logged into Second Life for a meeting called by Osprey, the director and creative genius of The Show Must Go On. she wanted to test some new thing she was working on. she asked me to stand on a deserted island, not move, and wear a HUD she gave me. i'm good at this, standing still. after a short wait she shouted (in chat) LUCY, DUCK! and all this horrendous loud quacking noise began and from nowhere appeared well over a dozen GIANT DUCKS-On_BIKES!!! surrounding me quacking like a marshland springtime on steroids and chat-shouting HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCY!! it might be the funniest thing that EVER happened to me. i'm still laughing! i invented an acronym that is beyond LMAO and ROFLMAO...it's PMBROFLMAO "peed my britches rolling on floor laughing my ass off" feel free to use it if it ever happens to you! Opsrey the duck (LOL) then presented me with my own duck-on-bike avatar and we flew off to annoy and amuse the folks at a Haiti fund-raiser (we all donated), a live music performance, philip linden's house (he wasn't ta home but we broke in and left him pictures) and a lively pub!
here's Osprey's story from her blog of how she came up with it all, plus you can see the propellers spin in some rough video footage she shot during all the chaos and excitement! http://www.atomic-raygun.com/2010/01/back-in-december-i-started-hatching.html

Jan 30, 2010

i heart winter

as cold as the moon was ginormous
and the sun as bright
blinded from snowshine
we transparent ice
even colder
to stagger inside
and melt into fire chairs


Jan 29, 2010

i can't tell you that

i hardly ever remember to send them, but love to receive birthday cards! so impractical, and besides our time frame for remembering to do something is now Just In Time. the only defense is, it's FUN to get real mail!                                                                                 this was my favorite card i got this year...don't bother to open it, that's it.           no explanation, no punchline...unless "I can't tell you that." is the punchline.                         i find this hilarious. almost as funny as the card that says "my bologna has a middle name" on the front, and you open it and it says "it's marie."  LMFAO

Jan 28, 2010

LBJ's of deep winter

(LBJ is a technical term birders use meaning 'little brown job')
i just made up this little waltz, but amazingly, i'll bet if you try to sing it, a melody for it will just apply itself by some magic.

hello little birdies
where did you go?
i haven't seen you
since December's big snow

did you hide in the woods
where the deer make their bed?
and snuggle together
in the pines overhead?

hello little birdies
the winter's so long
i'm so glad to have you
to chirp me a song

hello mr cardinal
your're bright red today
first time that i've heard you
since you went away

you're whistling so loud
are you calling your mate?
i hope she won't sleep through
your valentine's date


hello little birdies
the winter's so long
i'm so glad to have you

to chirp me a song

come to think of it, a mug of beer or an oompah band would work here too!

Jan 27, 2010

shined shoes guys

2 guys from 'wealth management'
a 401K plan
arrived at the meeting
to explain the economy
they did a good job
energetic and knowledgable
they do love their work
wearing shiny black shoes
blindingly shiny
through the january thaw
the mud and the road salt
their shoes glowing brightly
how the hell did they get here?
did they fly? do their shoes fly?
are their cars shiny too?
i didn't think to look.
do investment guys all
wear shiny black shoes
or is it just them?
in rural new england?

Jan 25, 2010

Co- latha-breith sona dhuibh!

january thaw
turns snow to water flooding
the frozen land

january night
turns flood to solid frozen
clear and deadly ice

"o western wind, when wilt thou blow
that the small rain down can rain?
christ, that my love were in my arms
And i in my bed again."

happy birthday to
robert burns and virginia
woolf and *blush* me too

Jan 24, 2010

xmas is over?

christmas decorations
when do you take them down?
i used to wonder why vermonters left the evergreen wreath on the door until spring.
until i moved to a house.
i can't get to the front door until spring! and when i do, i'll scrape off the frozen smoosh of the jack-o-lantern, too.
as for those colorful outside lights...well, by then, might as well leave them up for the few months until they're needed again!
my mother has a childhood memory of the year all the kids were sick and her father had tb and the xmas garden stayed up until easter.
we were always late to put up a tree and long in taking it down.
12 days of christmas? epiphany? how about when the recycling center has their day for chipping up the trees? the modern official end to christmas.
not having a tree, my official end is when the batteries die in the candles in the windows.
and that is today.

Jan 23, 2010

surviving virtual horror

when i was at the imax watching-- experiencing Avatar-- and the battle part heated up, it was so loud i could feel my bones vibrating.
the little girl next to me put her hands over her ears and stared at me instead of the screen.
what the fuck was a 3 year old girl doing there!
it was so horrible and violent, i put my earmuffs on, plugged up my ears, took off the 3D glasses, and closed my eyes.
i could still hear it and feel it.
the realization came to me that this could be like the bardo, after you die, total terror, confusion and chaos. unable to think or comprehend, that's where you choose, amidst the howling mindless chaos, out of your reflexive habit of thought and desire, the situation that determines your next life.
 wow. serious shit.
so for practice,in the theatre, amid the mind-numbing howling chaos,i chanted to myself may all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness. may they be free from suffering and the root of suffering. may they never be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering. may they dwell in equanimity free from passion agression and prejudice.
an amazing thing happened. it worked! my mind cleared of confusion. i found i was wishing happiness even to the arch villain! i understood that all the bad peope in the movie were really trying to be happy!
it was like i stepped up a few rungs and looked down on it all and saw there was no right and wrong. it was all wrong and sad and unecessary.

Jan 22, 2010

boomslang airborne

more old pictures found on work computer!

barney as a siamese cat flies us around in one of his famous airships that he generously shared... you still see them around, with their distinctive pink madras balloons.

in the second picture we are checking out steampunk city, a huge city he helped create in the air above caledon.

i am soooo lucky!

no one seems to know what they were doing here this time of year, but there they were! the best guess was that they stop over at GMHA on their travels, kind of like a horse hotel. what a beautiful sight. i couldn't believe my eyes. trotting along hitched side by side not pulling anything...where was the driver standing? ginormous budweiser clydesdales excercising in the field right by the road, the red coats they were wearing so bright against the overwhelming white of the fields and hills, and a little dog in a red coat trotted along beside them. i let out a spontaneous cheer for the beauty of it all. most amazing, the valley glittered like a snow globe. the morning sun lit up the ice crystals in the air just right to make them sparkle.

Jan 21, 2010

Precision unicycle and knitting drill team

cleaning some stuff off of my computer at work. i found an old picture of the unicycle and knitting precision drill team! i think it is from 2007, we used to practice outside. i'm the one with the dark blue hair. the others are osprey, enjah, and ida.

i'd better get out my unicycle and practice up, hoping we have a routine for this year's show!
drum is cracked
still sounds
can't be repaired

gorilla mother carries dead baby
shakes it now and then
it has not decomposed

water stain on the ceiling
has no shape no message
that is the message


Jan 19, 2010

more grammies

more advice for brenda this time from experienced grammie pat:

The wisest woman I ever had the joy of being "mentored:" by was my next door neighbor in NJ -- (guess i'd best not blog her name).   She was about our age when we moved in, so retired from school teaching shortly thereafter.  She had raised 8 children......2 adopted since her first husband had a pelvic cancer and 6 step kids since Paul's (her second husband) first wife had died of breast cancer. Over the 22 years we lived there she had many grandchildren.  The great grandchildren came after we moved away, but we talked often until she died shortly after my husband did and her "rules" still seemed to work.  I actually visited her in the hospital a few weeks before she died and when the nurse asked her if I was one of her children, she said not by blood, or paperwork, but by love.  It was one of the loveliest compliments I've ever received.

In addition to living her life by the two greatest Biblical commandments, she had her own two:  give no advice unless specifically asked for it; and in choosing what to really worry about, first decide if in the name of all eternity, will it really matter?   I paid strict attention over all those cups of coffee at her kitchen table and have tried to live my life by those same 4.  Doesn't mean it will always be smooth sailing or that the inside of your mouth won't have a huge sore from biting it.......but there is a lot to be said for peace. pat

Jan 18, 2010

the grammies

brenda is a grandmother! she asked for advice via email from far-flung friends.

last year when candy had a new grandchild she wrote this:
My newest grandchild is being born today!  His mother is laboring to deliver him, and it’s hard work I know, but he has no idea what is going on.  So when I have held each of my children and grandchildren for the first time after birth I have told them how brave they are, and courageous like super heroes, to be born. And how much fun they will have in this new world, and it has always amazed me that they seem to understand, even though they don’t know the words I’m saying, and they settle in my arms with a newborn smile, as if to say “You haven’t seen anything yet”. And they’re right- I haven’t

candy's message to brenda's new grandchild:
Welcome to Lydia, a brave and valiant girl who fought hard to be born and is a beautiful precious baby who is so lucky to have such a brave and valiant mother and grandmother. God bless you all!

and candy's advice for new grammie brenda:
What I have learned from grandmothering is that the greatest joy for the grandchildren is that they get to boss you around, sort of like the dog, and that you will still always love them for it- it's actually very entertaining for them, since they have so few people to boss around, and they know that you are a VIP by way of being their parent's parent, so that makes it all the more fun for them. Oh, and as far as stepping in to give your children advice- forget about it. Just concentrate on being Grammie (i.e., relating to your grandchild one on one) and let them do the parenting. If they ask for advice, then tell them what you would do, but if they don't ask, don't tell.

Jan 17, 2010

Avatar the movie

did i mention i'd seen Avatar? over a week ago in 3D at the Imax.
i'm glad i saw it in 3D at Imax. the technology is awesome, and the first part is art showing off a new medium. absolutely gorgeous and enchanting.
i'm sorry to say there was nothing new or satisfying about the story. unless it was to point out that technology gets better and better and people...well they still suck.
even the natives of pandora and all their oneness with their planet and its flora and fauna...turned out to be zenophobic from the get-go and quite good at mass slaughter of other beings.
i'm not a fan of movies that try to teach a lesson, and yet i believe every movie does just that on some level. some understanding or confirmation is absorbed by the viewer as if, Pandora-like, they had woven their tendrils together with the filmmakers.
could be it's just me, but i'd have liked a story that modeled for us a better way, especially when it portrays beings so much like humans, but just a little better, capable of amazing feats of union with forces we might almost be ready for.
the story as it is may breed many sequels, but none that i'd go see.
i would go see Avatar again, the first part is worth it! i'd just quietly sneak out when it gets to the part where half the audience has their eyes closed and their hands over their ears.
i'll be curious to hear what HBA says because altho he himself has a gentle heart, he revels joyfully in subjects that i find horrifying!

Jan 15, 2010

worm and beetle lovers! come out of the woodwork!

ziggy lives across the street. 
i meet him up at the store sometimes. he has friends all over the village, and often stops in at back yards for a happy romp with a tethered neighbor.
he'll join dog-walkers or families out for a stoll down the street.
not everyone in the village has a black lab...it just looks that way with ziggy going along for the outing.
dogs and cats used to live outside with lives of their own.
they hated and loved according to their own scheme of things, sometimes right on the sidewalks downtown, and had interesting litters of puppies and kittens that had to be given away or drowned.
dogs had enemies to play serious games with...cars going by! the plumber! the milkman! the postman!...all of whom had to work out their strategies of dog treats or pepperspray.  it was part of the job.
cats have retained their freedom to a greater exent. cats born and bred inside often don't even know how to kill a mouse! their mum has to teach them, it isn't innate; they may figure it out on their own given enough opportunities.
now there's alot of pressure to keep cats inside, especially strong from bird-lovers.
the worm and beetle lovers would just as soon have the birds kept inside, but they don't get much press.

Jan 14, 2010

january snowshoe to the river

 tuesday at lunchtime Sandy and i snowshoed out to look at the river. i took my new camera, since it was warmer and up into the 20s F.  Sandy forges ahead while i fumble around with my camera. (click the pictures to make them bigger - you'll feel like you're there! - put your hat on)

The river is frozen solid at the ford where the tractors drive across in summer.  some critters have been here recently.

Jan 12, 2010

let them wear hats!

sometimes at work liz and i wear gloves, because even with the heat going, hands get cold!
when she forgot to bring her fleece vest, i said "put on your hat!" since everyone knows that "90% of heat loss is through your head."
turns out she doesn't believe this! (could it be something her mom always says?)
i admit i never gave it much serious thought.
apparently it only works if the rest of you is well clothed.
according to Liz, a naked person would not feel much warmer if they put on a hat.
if you are nekkies, 90% of your heat loss is NOT through your head.
according to liz.
she did not say if she had tested this. is she just going by COMMON SENSE?
which works most of the time, but i for one don't trust it. COMMON SENSE has turned out to be WRONG WRONG WRONG too many times.
please someone try this...stand out in the cold with nothing on, then see if you feel noticeably warmer when you put on a hat...a nice wool tuque pulled down over your ears.
for the sake of science.
and please don't send pictures, just your subjective conclusions.

Jan 11, 2010

wings of morning

wing of pigeons glides
in flight banks against dark clouds
Farenheit 8

Jan 10, 2010

bring back my stuff dammit!

omg! i'd started to shut the car door, and there between the seat and the edge of the door were...my favorite blue drugstore glasses i'd lost a few weeks ago.
this was just before xmas. i'd looked everywhere for them!
what was that...someone giggling?
over xmas week we had elves, or maybe mischievous spirits (mom? dad?) in our house. things we searched high and low for would weirdly be found right where we looked!
a ring of my mom's that  i'd lost (i thought) at the movies last xmas turned up in my drawer! and the glasses turned up! the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle was found days later ...on the floor right by the puzzle! zinnia's sock, eaten by the dryer, turned up days later inside 5's pajamas (which he had been wearing nights).
sometimes when my dad dropped a nut or screw in his workshop, it would totally vanish. 

he told me he'd search the floor with a flashlight, then sweep the floor, and finally he would say out loud "ok that's it. i'm not looking any more." and turn to switch off the light and start to leave.
that did it. they brought it back. whatever they were. have they moved in with me? or were they just visiting for xmas? i swear i heard giggling.

Jan 6, 2010

Virtual Light by william gibson and Well of Lost Plots by jasper fforde

loved Virtual Light! (once i got over the slow start).
somehow i read All Tomorrow's Parties first, then Idoru, and never Virtual Light.
totally the wrong way to read a series, but it worked out well, since i don't like suspense.
i still think All Tomorrow's Parties is the best one, the one that got me into the series.
then i read Idoru because i felt like i was one in Second Life.
the ending of Idoru made it all worthwhile.
since then i've read those two at least one more time maybe more.

before 5 lent me Virtual Light, i had just finished #3 of the Thursday Next series, Well of Lost Plots.
same thing...bored for a few chapters, thinking it wouldn't be good, but then it got better and better and in the end...oh just read it sometime if you haven't already.
happily there are two more in that series to look forward to. i hope Gibson does more on the bridge series, i love the stories of the bridge culture.

Jan 4, 2010

scenes before sunrise

already the sky lights up earlier!
i stand at my big kitchen window, teabag in hand, watching a young teenage boy, bent over like a wood-cutter's child with a huge pack strapped to his back. he walks up the hill to get the schoolbus.
my mug of water goes round and round in the lighted microwave. i can tell how cold it was in the night by how long the water takes to boil. the mug, the water, the machine all cold this morning.
a teenage girl comes up her driveway across the street, heading right towards where i, inside, stand in my bathrobe, framed in my lighted kitchen. we don't acknowlege each other. like the japanese and their paper walls, she doesn't see me thru my window and i don't see her through her curtain of hair.
one morning a few years ago i watched a woman  walk her dog up the pre-dawn street; a strange square hung down in the middle of the length of the leash.  next time i saw her i asked her why she was using pantyhose to walk her dog! (one toe tied to the collar, one toe round her hand) she thought no one had seen her, but probably half the street did, standing in their kitchens holding hot mugs of coffee or tea, watching the dawn break over the hills.  between getting kids to school, and herself to work,and the leash not to be found, it was the closest thing to hand! we laughed and laughed, and still laugh about it sometimes!

Jan 2, 2010

tripping on no-trip

my friend Jeffrey wrote this great poem after experiencing Warrior Assembly. perhaps it is only meaningful to those of us who have gone through this 2 weeks of Shambhala Buddhist training. but i really like it and hope it resonates in some way with anyone who happens upon it.

True Harlequin Romance

by Jeffrey Slayton

The trip of no-trip is the biggest trip of all
No-trip is the case but not for you
Not for anybody
Here we are on a trip
We long for the release of no-trip
But that’s just another trip
We can’t avoid our sad and tender heart
It is so sad, so beautiful
We are so, so sensitive
From the grossest barbarian
To the subtlest yogi
We turn away
But in this place
On this particular trip
We cannot escape the razorblade-thin path of warriorship
Moment by moment
The shocking glare of the Great Eastern Sun doesn’t stop
Being scared shitless and enjoying the bliss of luminosity is our heritage
Thank Heaven for providing no-trip
But do not disparage the trip that Earth demands
This gives birth to the Sakyong Warrior