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'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!

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?
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
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 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's a sign!
i'll blog about food!
let us (heehee) begin with one of my favorite food groups, a favorite around the world -
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: 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

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 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 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


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

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 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


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

Is an ocean of suffering,
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

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?

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