Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pistachios, picture & perfect

The face of peace
(for Helen, who told me
she likes the blogs with the pictures best!)

Happy Appreciation Day!

By which--if you've been reading my blog for more than 5 minutes you will know--I mean: Happy every singular day.

I had a walk in the woods & a picnic by a lake. Pulled pork sandwiches, pistachios (pre-shelled), chocolate, bottles of water. I did bring a little screwtop bottle of chardonnay, but we decided to wait on that. The temperature was perfection itself--around 60, clear, still.

& now I am going to play cards & eat apple pie & vanilla ice cream, so hasta la tomorrow--or some today after that.


Blog alternative:
159. Plan a picnic, even if weather dictates you do it on the floor of the living room.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baristas forever

An old man leaves a coffee shop. The barista calls out, "Jim? You leaving?" & he raises his cup in salute as he keeps walking. When he came in, she talked about how they were all filled up & his usual table wasn't available. He expressed a little distress that he'd forgot to bring something in for her & she said, "Don't worry about it. You'll be here tomorrow." She told him about a show she'd recently watched, about the worst plane crash ever. (Apparently he's got a fascination for disasters.) He's in some stage or other of disconnecting from this life, but this coffee shop, this barista, are a point of connection. Hurray for him. Hurray for her. Baristas forever!

Zach's friend didn't hear back from the Knoxville car guy, so that ebay deal is a no-deal. I will be content with connecting with Zach by phone & email & warm fuzzy thoughts for the nonce. It's a good thing I didn't go see Nick; he & his Skritter dudes spent about 1 hour NOT working during the period I would have been there. (The content of the non-working hour? Guitar Hero.)

I have a playdate with a new friend (she's a publisher I met at the Mark Strand reading) today at 4:03. Will be fun to talk with her about art & words & creativity in general.

Last night I watched Patch Adams which is based on the true story of one of the first doctors to really use humor & laughter as major components of healing. (You can check out the continuing real life exploits out at patchadams.org if you wish.) It was partly filmed in Asheville! Very uplifting. Gesundheit!

I'm refining my mission statement. Currently it is:

To be an actively contagious example of
joy & peace & creativity.

I'll probably come up with an even better statement soon, but why wait for even better?

Blog alternative:
158. Refine your mission statement.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Puerto Rico quantum fizzikal crockpot refrigerator art

I've been spoiled by organic free-range wifi, & the pesky little devils have been avoiding my apartment. I see their tracks, & their ghosts, but they don't let me me load up. Oh well. It gets me out to coffee shops a bit more often.

Why does it take wifi? Because my apartment is so lovely & increasingly-well-ordered. You should see my bathroom! (That is entirely rhetorical, of course. I am NOT inviting you to see my bathroom, just to imagine a room that has been reinvigorated with cleanliness & simplicity.)

So, it's been a nice satisfying length of time since I posted, while I have been doing & being all kinds of wonderfulfun. Here is a short list. (incomplete & without much detail...)

My uncle came to visit while he was at Knoxville (a mere 2 hours away) in training for his new job. Hurray for the fall of the golden handcuffs. He & I had many hours of congenial talking--which is unusual, given that most of the time when we see each other there are numerous relatives who are talkier than he is, so he is content to put in the occasional word. We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway & saw the splendor of the autumn leaves, which were a full month later than usual, which I claimed was for his benefit, which then spawned a long conversation on quantum physics & the holographic universe (how many uncles (or nieces, for that matter!) would be all up to speed on current cosmology & quantum reality & such?) & we stood & watched a skateboarding competition at the skate park a few blocks from my apartment & saw part of the Shriner's parade (grown men in funny hats doing high speed formations in itty bitty semi trucks, for example) & listened to bluegrass at Jack of the Wood & had brunch with one of my good friends & just generally enjoyed ourselves. Thanks for the visit, Paul.

Two students from Puerto Rico did a project on "egg horror poem" & wrote me for background info. I was honored they chose my poem & they were honored I wrote back to them & it was a total honor & appreciation fest! (Hi Jennifer & Carlos!) They even sent me a photo of their project, which was fun to see.

I almost drove to Ohio to give Nick & his compadres my old Edenpure heater (I being in possession of a new one) but then they got more travel plans--another language conference, if I am remembering correctly, & ANOTHER grant (yay them!) to help take advantage of such opportunities--so I decided to just send them the heater & drive up to visit another time.

Oh, & I might get to visit Zach if he comes down to my vicinity to help one of his friends buy a car from ebay & drive it back to Minnesota.

More persons (okay, at least one more person (hi Chloe!)) did a 75(ish) things I appreciate list.

I read the current North Carolina Woman magazine which had a guest editorial from Christine Kane's blog (the September 22nd 2008 entry from the archives, if you're so moved to check it out at christinekane.com) entitled "How to Stop a Recession in Its Tracks" which was very lovely & inspiring.

My sister sent me refrigerator art! Done by her own talented hands. Yay. (She sent this to me because I sent her some watercolor pencils & required refrigerator art as a consequence of said action. Then I had to bug her to get the finished product, but it finally came, with the most wonderfully calligraphed envelope. My address has never looked so pretty.) One of the artworks was a little sticky note drawing of a crockpot. (My niece was doing a poem about the crockpot (my other niece did a coffee pot back when it was her turn) for a poem about kitchen appliances assignment.)

This totally inspired me & I went out & bought a crockpot at Bed, Bath & Beyond. (I was going to go comparison-shopping & peruse Target first, but I made the mistake of going out on Saturday afternoon & I was HORRIFIED by the weekend shopping traffic. B, B & Beyond's turn-off was first, so there I went & there I stayed. I had coupons, anyway.) I told the guy who was helping me--crockpot being only one of the things on my list to acquire--that I'd last owned one when it was a pot that sat on a little hot plate thingy & he said, "What, before the industrial revolution?" I said pretty much & admitted that it was 1980. He said, "Well, I was born then." I guessed that he had been 3 then, & he said no, he was 2. Anyway, he was helpful, although he cringed when I brought a "professional" cake pan over to him & asked if he had any "non-professional" ones because I didn't care too much about the quality. He said, "Well, you should!" (This is not a case of my favorite punctuating; I could hear the exclamation point.) Then, when I was getting a baster--recently I cooked cornish game hens & was dismayed to discover I could not baste because I had no baster--he whisked the one out of my hand & said, "No, not that one." (I could hear the italics.) He pointed me to one that had an injection needle & this cute little sprinkling head that would each screw on. Very cute. I love basting things.

Blog alternative(s)(because I'm so excited I can't choose just one):
154. Write a poem about a kitchen appliance.
155. Crockpot (or baste!) something.
156. Send someone art supplies & require refrigerator art in return.
157. Send someone refrigerator art.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hatshepsut black licorice aluminum foil

shining heart & new omega

my friend Cathy (Yaypigeons) did an exercise from my blog on her blog & then someone else (Wingcolor) picked it up from her & I decided to be reinfected, so here goes with 75 things I appreciate.

the phrase zippy skippy. lemonade. voting. the moon. chaos theory. Alex Grey. gold coins. elves. bamboo dish racks. spray roses. multiples of 13. aluminum foil. my organic cotton bedspread. collaging. the Minneapolis Institute of Art. my postcard collection, haphazardly stuck to my wall. pueblos. soy sauce. shamanic acupuncture. scissors. well-designed storage. refrigerator magnets. shrink & seal window insulating kits. the persistence of vision. Henry David Thoreau. stained glass. poetry. re-inventing the wheel. geranium-scented dish soap. relaxation. Mesopotamia. feta cheese. skateboarders. my Edenpure heater. Hatshepsut. umbrellas. horses. volcanoes. forensic pathology. conversations with my sons. Australia. grapefruit with greek yogurt & salt. cumulonimbus clouds. the Teaching Company. bridges. carabiners. Duluth. oatmeal pancakes with butter & syrup. street musicians. colored markers. wine. the peace sign. clean laundry. the smell of fresh cut grass, I mean, wood, I mean alfalfa--heck, all three. pattern recognition. the Law of Attraction. flirting with babies I don't know. cuddling in bed after daylight savings time switches back to standard. comfortable shoes. tropical fish. etymology. visiting with relatives. learning a new whatever. cork floors. black licorice. Malcolm Gladwell. the crab nebula.

Blog alternative:
153. List 75 (or so) MORE things you appreciate. (If you did it before, consult your other list. Don't repeat.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mr. Rye for dogcatcher

& now, in honor of the upcoming election...

I don't want you to
agree with me--

I want you to agree
with YOU

you the whole you & nothing but the you
you the expanded version
you squared
you plus
you unabridged
you the director's cut
true blue you
you undiluted
you unadulterated
100% free range organic you
super you
you on steroids
ultimate you
you you you

& I guess all you have to do--all any of us have to do--is figure out who we are & what's likely to agree with us...

Blog alternative--
but first
I just talked to a friend who reads my blogs but missed out on the genesis & explanation of the Blog alternative. So (Hi Ken) here it is: back on April 18th of ought-something, shortly after I'd begun the blog, I did a little anti-bloggy post, explaining that I didn't really believe in either the writing or reading of blogs, but of living ones life. I listed 25 (I believe) things one might do rather than web anythinging & have continued giving suggestions. The true perversity of this is that one must read my blog to get my suggestions, so I suggest one come up with ones own suggestions instead. But, here goes, today's suggestion, the
Blog alternative:
152. Sit somewhere in public--a coffee shop, the library, a bank lobby--& draw a cartoon (stick figures rock, & anyone can do them) for the election. Focus on YOUR candidate & what YOU want to see happen when he/she/it is elected. Any election: presidential or school board, commissioner of agriculture or dog catcher. (Are dog catchers elected or appointed?)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Placebo Side Effects

I have rekindled my romance with words.

For the last couple days I've been rather maniacally poeting. Got up in the middle of the night to write a poem about gravity. (Don't laugh, it's not my first poem about gravity...) Plus I just read Immersed in Verse by (Asheville local & kick-ass-poet/performer) Allan Wolf, which is a book for young (hey, I'm only version 4.9) poets. & today I just bought & read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which absolutely truly rocks. Plus it has pictures.

(So don't worry, pictures, I haven't given up my romance with you.)


I feel very happy. Happy as a white scarf that used to live on Elvis's sweaty neck & now is the most treasured possession of a 73-year-old named Betty-Sue who keeps it in a shadow-box on her bedroom wall (until she has to sell it on e-bay to pay the nursing home rent).

Giddy. Giggly. Galumphing. If I was Eeyore, my useful pot to put things in would be filled with favorite words. & colors.

This blog is sponsored by my friend Cathy's favorite words: umbrella & parapluie. She is participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which starts today. I call her novelista. I ain't gonna do it, but I have written half a dozen poems in the last 17 hours. Some of them illustrated. (Or, since the illustrations came first, I should perhaps say the pictures were poeticized.)

I did not dress up for Halloween. I didn't even buy any candy. So I made sure the porch light was off so no children/large old children would be disappointed when I tried to give them a teabag instead. (No, really, it's lapsang souchong, my favorite--just add hot water.)

Watched The Running Man, which held up very well for being a 21-year-old science fiction movie. Almost eerie, with the stuff about "patriots." Plus Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger & former-governor Jesse Ventura were both in it. Funny.

To totally change the subject: a friend of mine saw an article in the paper the other day about more & more doctors prescribing placebos for their patients. Fewer side effects, just as effective. Wouldn't it be cool if a doc prescribed a sugar pill & said, "Now, this is going to have side effects. You're going to be more relaxed & mellowed out, with increased sensitivity to media, so I recommend staying home & meditating. No newspapers. No television. No talk radio. Pay attention to your own breathing. Be sensitive to your soul's needs. Say no to anything you don't want to do. If you aren't better in a week, take another dose."

Blog alternative:
151. Make up a placebo & a lovely list of side effects. I recommend a tiny square of cheese--some kind that folds easily. Place a smudge of peanut butter in the center & fold. Place the little triangle on the center of your tongue & close your eyes & just let it sit there for at least 15 seconds before you chew it.