thoughts for the new year

Resolutions? bah, humbug! I resolved last year to not be such an ass. I did pretty well until December rolled around. Then all that pent-up 'assness' just came roiling out and about. So instead of resolving to be a better person, I'm sharing with you a few thoughts to take into this new year.

(photo via Soubry)

Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.

-Chogyam Trungpa
(via Assorted)

Be yourself: your unashamed, truly awesome, who you are, Self.

Even if it means you like to smoke cigars
and wear flowers in your babushka.

"Masturbation in the library toilet is a violation of the
University of St. Andrews Library Regulations"

Some rules are meant to be broken.
Enough said.

Read the signs as you go along. If you don't understand the signs,
ask someone who does. Sometimes two heads are better than one.

(see cowboy's post here, for clarification)

Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.

- Amy Gerstler
Advice from a Caterpillar
Dearest Creature

(via WhiskeyRiver)

"We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are."
- Dean Koontz
Life Expectancy

(via WhiskeyRiver)


...and at once i knew i was not magnificent

As most of you know, I live under a rock and rarely get out to see what's new in the world. Having a day off, I did wander around the innertent and stumbled over the grammy nominations for 2012. I don't listen to music much. But I decided to go and take a listen to all the songs nominated for record of the year. Here's the list:

Rolling in the Deep

Bon Iver

Bruno Mars

The Cave
Mumford and Sons

Katy Perry

I do love Adele and think she's fantastic. Grenade and Firework are pop music anthems that I can take or leave. I thought The Cave was interesting. But it is Bon Iver and Holocene that keeps me coming back to listen again and again. Bon Iver is up for the following 4 grammy nominations: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best New Alternative Music Album.

I'm not sure why Holocene has captivated me. I have not a CLUE as to what the lyrics mean. (If you have any ideas, please share.) The music is haunting, one of those melodies and set of sounds and rhythms that keep repeating in your head long after the song ends. I found an interview with Justin Vernon where he talks a little about Holocene specifically:

JG: Relating to your lyrics, your song titles. I want to say they're all places. But what is "Holocene"?

JV: Yeah, yeah. Holocene. Holocene is a bar in Portland, Ore., but it's also the name of a geologic era, an epoch if you will. It's a good example of how all the songs are all meant to come together as this idea that places are times and people are places and times are... people? [Laughs.] They can all be different and the same at the same time. Most of our lives feel like these epochs. That's kind of what that song's about. "Once I knew I was not magnificent." Our lives feel like these epochs, but really we are dust in the wind. But I think there's a significance in that insignificance that I was trying to look at in that song.
from an interview with Justin Vernon, here

All I can add is that recently I have met my own insignificance and realized how un-magnificent I really am.


"Someway, baby, it's part of me, apart from me."
you're laying waste to Halloween
you fucked it friend, it's on it's head, it struck the street
you're in Milwaukee, off your feet

...and at once I knew I was not magnificent
strayed above the highway aisle
(jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

3rd and Lake it burnt away, the hallway
was where we learned to celebrate
automatic bought the years you'd talk for me
that night you played me ʻLip Paradeʼ
not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree
saying nothing, that's enough for me

...and at once I knew I was not magnificent
hulled far from the highway aisle
(jagged, vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright
above my brother, I and tangled spines
we smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
now to know it in my memory:

...and at once I knew I was not magnificent
high above the highway aisle
(jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

Happy New Year to all!



Joe says, is a wild red flower
plucked from a river of lava
and held aloft on a tightrope
strung between two scrawny trees
above a canyon
in a manic-depressive windstorm.

Don't drop it, Don't drop it, Don't drop it - ,

And when you do, you will keep looking for it
everywhere, for years,
while right behind you,
the footprints you are leaving

will look like notes

of a crazy song.

- Tony Hoagland
from How It Adds Up
What Narcissism Means to Me



Happy Birthday, Dave !!

To the coolest skateboarding guy I know!
Hope your day is full of good wishes.


the morning after

I'm wrecked !

It's been an intense holiday season this year, and the week leading up to Christmas was the crucible! Having procrastinated horribly this year, a week ago today found me feverishly ordering Christmas presents for the kids via the Intertent. Yep. I paid the outrageous shipping fees for expedited shipping and even MORE outrageous fees for gift packaging. My oldest mulette arrived home from college and promptly threw the family into Christmas Cheer: (using mom's credit card) he and his girlfriend went to Wal-mart and purchased a Christmas tree and Yuletide trimmings for the house. On the one day I had off this past week, Monday, we spent time decorating the tree and home. Finally, Christmas arrived.

On the work front, the last shopping weekend and week before Christmas was met with hoards of Christmas shoppers. Lines formed outside our store an hour before we opened EACH DAY and the stream did not stop until we closed the doors at 10pm. (We work extended hours during the Holiday season 8am to 10pm). On Friday we had a record breaking sales day of over $100,000 !! The economy might be struggling, but people are still buying jewelry for Christmas. I worked 8 hours on Friday, closing the store and not leaving until well past 10:30pm. Only to wake up at 6am Saturday, Christmas Eve, to open the store by 8am. Business was steady on Christmas Eve, the majority of shoppers being MALE. Half of our workstaff has some sort of sickness, including yours truly, the Mule. (Thank you Adullamite for blessing me with your illness. A true indication of my unrepentant soul :)

Christmas Eve was wet and dreary with temps in the 40's (cold for us southerners) and steady rain. Home by 5pm with the expedited packages awaiting me to open. Time well spent Skyping my sweetheart, wishing him a very Merry Christmas. Late night up, wrapping of last minute gifts and stuffing Christmas stockings. I no sooner had fallen asleep when the kids busted into my bedroom to wake me for present openings!! Why is it the unwrapping always takes less time than the wrapping ??? For mom, a surprise! A new uber sleek vacuum cleaner (as I had mused on Christmas tree day that I really could use a decent cleaner to sweep up all the dog hair in the house!) My morning has been spent picking up all the wrappings and packaging, bagging up all for trash, the washing of the dishes, and general tidying. Eldest made a late breakfast of pancakes. We plan to grill steaks for dinner tonight.... fingers crossed as it's still cold and dreary and lightly raining.

I'm back in bed, slowly loosing my voice (second time this fall) and facing an early morning opening of the store tomorrow. Life goes on no matter what time of year it is. And our after-Christmas shoppers are just as demanding as before: returns, exchanges, and SOLDERING charms onto their charm bracelets. By the end of this coming week, we will have taken in close to 1000 charm bracelets to be soldered (if past years are any indication.)

All appear to be happy with their new gifties. The dogs received a Christmas bath - hahaha. And kids will leave to go to their dad's house for the second half of their winter break. Christmas all over again! Meantime, I will be providing excellent customer service with a smile, dammit, no matter how shattered I am feeling. And donning my new cool slipper booties, I shall be happily vacuuming the house on my day off ........ Righhhtt .....!

Here's hoping your Christmas was full and merry. And if you must venture out to the shoppes, please remember a kind smile or word for the overworked, exhausted, holidayed-out shoppe girl who is assisting you. She will deeply appreciate the gesture.



i almost forgot the best part: the kissing ball !!

a big MWAAAA to all the boys

(and girls ;)



Merry Christmas to all ....

and to all a Peaceful New Year !


today i'm lighting a candle for you, my friends

Today is the Winter Solstice.
I'm lighting a candle and thinking of each one of you, my blogging friends.
Blessings to all.

Just Delicate Needles
~ Rolf Jacobsen

It's so delicate, the light.
And there's so little of it. The dark
is huge.
Just delicate needles, the light,
in an endless night.
And it has such a long way to go
through such desolate space.
So let's be gentle with it.
Cherish it.
So it will come again in the morning.
We hope.

translated by Robert Hedin



a blessed winter solstice

Winter Solstice Chant
~ by Annie Finch

Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.



just because i like them ...

Where Are You Going
~ dave matthews band

Where are you going
with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away like an ocean
But you can’t see, but you can smell
And the sound waves crash down

I am no superman
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, ah that’s for sure
But I do know one thing
is where you are is where I belong

I do know, where you go, is where I want to be
Where are you going, where do you go?
Are you looking for answers
to questions under the stars?
Well, if along the way you are growing weary,
You can rest with me 'til a brighter day
You're okay

I am no superman
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, oh that’s for sure
But I do know one thing
is where you are, is where I belong
I do know, where you go
Is where I want to be

Where are you going, where do you go?

Where do you go, where are you going?
Where do you go?

I am no Superman, I have no answers for you
I am no hero, ah that's for sure
But I do know one thing, is where you are,
is where I belong
I do know where you go, is where I want to be.
Where are you going, where do you go?

Tell me where are you going, where do you go?
Let's go.



more Kim Addonizio


When I walk in,
men buy me drinks before I even reach the bar.

They fall in love with me after one night,
even if we never touch.

I tell you I've got this shit down to a science.

They sweat with my memory,
alone in cheap rooms they listen

to moans through the wall
and wonder if that's me,

letting out a scream as the train whines by.

But I'm already two states away, lying with a boy
I let drink rain from the pulse at my throat.

No one leaves me, I'm the one that chooses.
I show up like money on the sidewalk.

Listen, baby. Those are my high heels dangling from the
phone wire.

I'm the crow flapping down,
that's my back slip

you catch sight of when the pain
twists into you so deep

you have to close your eyes and weep like a goddamned

More about Kim Addonizio, here
and at her website, here.



sunday sermon

Pietro Cavallini, Detail of mosaic in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome, 1291.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Teilhard de Chardin

from: please don't squeeze the shaman

" I’m not a big fan of anyone pushing religion or atheism in people’s faces. Just like anything personal, there’s a time to share what you value and know and there’s a time when it’s just not helpful. It’s like when I was a kid and spent a couple days at my cousin’s house. I went to her kindergarten class with her, but because I was already in 2nd grade, I would yell out all the answers, RED! 5! and the teacher said, 'That’s nice you know the answers already but the others are younger than you and need to learn.'

If someone likes believing that life is a Disney movie, you get a treasure chest in heaven if you don’t use birth control or that science is a demon, there’s not much you’re probably going to be able to do to convince them otherwise until their brains or hearts or cultures grow big enough to get it, and the way we grow is usually through patient dialogue and living examples. If we live an atheist or religious life that seems meaningful, connected, intelligent and caring instead of shouty, hatey and eye-rolly, it will influence others. Right now I’m enjoying the belief that somehow we are reunited with people we love after death. Someone insisting to me that this won’t happen might be correct, and maybe this belief is holding me back, but if they know me, they’d just shut up and let me do my own learning, just like 2nd grade me in that kindergarten class. "



on what women want, part II ...

"What do Women Want?"
~ Kim Addonizio.

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.


On my sweetheart's christmas wish list ...

(I'll be establishing a paypal site for all who wish to donate to the cause)



on Adullamite's christmas wish list ...

A lassie who irons !!



on my christmas wish list ...

“I had on a beautiful red dress, but what I saw was even more valuable. I was strong. I was pure. I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind.

~ Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club


Men become impotent because of women's low-cut dresses and bare legs

"... women dig a grave for men’s health with their bare legs and low-cut dresses. Every nice girl going on a date with a sexy top on will make only one man happy and a dozen men on her way will suffer from her revealing looks. In this case strippers are weapons of mass destruction; they have already turned the Western civilization into the society with limited erection."

Read the full article HERE



Letters from Granada

For my fortieth birthday, a few years back, my ex-husband and I traveled to Spain, specifically to the city of Granada. It was a lovely trip including visits to the magnificent Alhambra and the Palacio de Generalife, where we toured the famous moorish gardens. We rented a small apartment in the historical district of the Albayzin and spent our days walking the streets and soaking in the local architecture and culture of this beautiful city.

Imagine, then, my delight and surprise to discover a new blogging friend from Granada, Senor Alberto Granados. He recently posted a delightful poem and photographs of a walk through Granada featuring a famous species of tree, the Ginkgo biloba. The post brought back my fond memories of his home town.

With Alberto's permission and help, I am re-blogging his post,
Imagenes de Granada. 11: Nuestros ginkgos biloba.
Thank you, Alberto for help in translating Dona Elena's poem and providing the images.

Ginkgo Biloba

(Millennial Tree)

A tree. Good. Yellow
of autumn. It opens up
to the sky brilliantly, eager
for more light. Screams its splendor
into the garden. And natural,
free, it scatters its colour
straight against the blue. It grows
like a flame, blazes, illuminates
its ancient blood. Dominates
all the air branch by branch.

All the air, branch by branch
aglow with the yellow abundance
of the tree. Shines
that, only blue, lights
with a golden fire: Oriflamme.

Not flag. Joyful fountain
of colour: it nails up
its golden pole towards the sky.
Its eagerness of many centuries
reaches us. Light from the East.

Yellow. The wind does not
imagine yet, the flight
of its leaves, its brightness
already faded. The gloomy
evening approaches. Not even foretells
its loneliness, that sorrow
of its branches.

It was certitude,
joy - autumn! Beacon
of open light.

afterwards. Where is your beauty?

~ Elena Martin Vivaldi



notes to my daughter

“The perfect man? A poet on a motorcycle. You know, the kind who lives on the edge, the free spirit. But he’s also gotta have the soul of a poet and a brilliant mind. So, you know, good luck.”

~ Lucinda Williams

via assorted

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.

~ Barbara Kingsolver

via assorted

“It’s never too late - never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.”

~ Ms Jane Fonda

via assorted


ode to a jack - an rdg poem

My stomach aches, and a cool drink of water numbs the pains
My sense of hedonistic feasting on toast and porridge
Or, empty-bellied, napping amidst the opiate of poppy-hued linens
Three minutes past one, and forgetfulness keeps me dangling:
'Tis not because I'm unhappy that you are happy,
But your happiness makes my happiness almost unbearably happy.
That thou, fleet-hoofed martian of the fields,
In some dulcet trick
Of stacked hay golden, and shadows fled,
Singest of the mule days of summer with ease.

O for a sip of that rare vintage! It has been
Cool'd eons ago in the depths of assam earth,
Tasting of passion-fruit, and lemon cheesecake,
Scrabble, and Shaun the Sheep - what mirth!
O for a potter's pitcher full of thy sunny smiles!
Full of the true, thy Three Graces,
With gurgling bubbles and barking spiders,
And rich ale-stained mouth;
That I might slurp, and slip this earth, unseen,
And with thee, my jack, fade away unto the sea.

(preferably with a life jacket for me)

my sincerest gratitude and most humble of apologies
to John Keats
whose ode I have thus, magnificently mangled.



on my christmas wish list ...

The great question that has never been answered,
and which I have not yet been able to answer,

despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is

"What does a woman want?"

~ Sigmund Freud

Christian Louboutin's



a moment with Leonard Cohen ...

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

thanks to Soubriquet for the lyrics



on public decency

The following is a guest post written by goatman. Its genesis was a discussion about a girl in Egypt, Aliaa Elmahdy, who chose to present herself in a naked pose on her blog. The discussion evolved, as discussions do, to include the larger question of public decency and our 'cultural' perceptions of nudity.

(More about Aliaa Elmahdy can be found here at the Daily Mail Online)

"I think it was Tommy who first took us to the hot spring (details on Tommy will have to follow, perhaps on a future blog post) when we lived in Albuquerque.

The Jemez hot spring in the Nacimento mountains was a drive through the Jemez Pueblo -- a dusty place of adobe huts and pickup trucks -- up into the heights of the rocky piney forests. The spring hung off of the side of a mountain with views down into the valley and eventually the pueblo if you follow the stream. After a hike from the parking lot, we strip down and slowly enter the water, too hot really to just sit fast -- its more of an easing-into motion . . . slowly. Lie back with the others -- really not strangers at this point, and drift for hours. Someone invariably had oranges or wine or candles at night.

Once a Hopi fellow was above the spring chanting : hioo hee hee hee heeee hioo hioo hee loudly over and over . . . it just went on and on. What to make of this? We were told by a spring regular that the summer solstice ceremony was upcoming and that when the wives in the pueblo could hear his chant, he was ready to sing at the affair.

The only run in with "decency" occurred when a girl scout leader decided to lead her troop on a hike on the trail above the spring. Girl scouts and small minds were aghast and reported their apoplexy to the newspaper in Albuquerque after which were many letters to the editor and reports from those who had to check it out.

It was determined that a sign would be posted below the spring informing that there may be naked people above and to bang on the metal sign hung from a tree if they required a moral experience upon continuation up the trail (now I am being snarky!!). Upon hearing the signal we were to exit the water, dress appropriately, and wait until they passed (or decided to join in).

As the last person left the spring at the end of the day or night he would turn the sign around to a blank side --- the coast is clear. This worked very well and, as far as I know, still is the setup to this day. All were accommodated without grief or trepidation.

Attached is the exact Jemez spring of which I spoke. I am disillusioned, it has been domesticated by prudes -- too many damned people, in my opinion. "

thank you, goatman


Alice came to a fork in the road.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

~ Lewis Carroll. (1865). Alice in Wonderland


via Assorted


because my daughter asked me, "What is the purpose of our lives?" and i didn't know how to answer ...

“And then sometimes a day would come, a gray one (or a sunny one) when she missed him so fiercely she felt empty, not a woman at all anymore but just a dead tree filled with cold November blow. She felt like that now, felt like hollering his name and hollering him home, and her heart turned sick with the thought of the years ahead and she wondered what good love was if it came to this, to even ten seconds of feeling like this.” ~ Stephen King

via Assorted