Thursday, October 30

Throwing You a Curve Ball

Hormones may be getting the best of me. For the past couple of weeks, I've been stomping around, huffing, puffing, crying and peeing in everyone's Wheaties. At the rate I am consuming pie, it won't be long before I'm moving up a size or two in blue jeans.

So now it's your turn, my stealth readership. I know you're there. I can hear you breathing. I can see your muddy shoe prints on my blog after you've sneaked in during the middle of the night and slipped out through the backdoor without so much as a howdy. BTW, whoever took the last Diet Coke out of the fridge is going to pay...BIG.

We all have a lot on our minds and let's be honest, 1/2 of you stopped reading after the first sentence. I was going to post an articulate, well-researched rant about the state of whatever state we are in as a country right now, but I gotta tell ya, I'm too tired and cranky to put that much work into it, so you're getting bullet with it.

1. All you conservatives and liberals...shut up, stop stealing each others yard signs and get your ass to your local polling place and vote.

2. If you've already voted, way to go Skippy, but you're not done. Call/text/email, IM/etc... ALL of your friends, relatives, co-workers, bar buddies, neighbors, I mean EVERYONE on your list and encourage them to vote. Don't take NO for an answer and don't let anyone slide with an excuse. Gas up the car and shuttle people to and from the polls if you have to.

3. So what if they are voting for the other guy. We've gotten so damn apathetic and cynical about voting, only 64% of people eligible to vote pulled the lever during the 2004 presidential election. This means 36% of you were sitting on your couch with your hand in a bag of Doritos (or worse) watching TV. I promise you whatever you're watching will be resurrected in reruns, on your TiVo or YouTube. Get up, find your car keys, drive to your polling place and vote.

4. Speaking of voting...let me remind you that you are NOT voting for Obama or McCain. Those are the names you'll see on the ballot, but DO NOT BE FOOLED. You are voting for the political platform of the party supporting the candidate. matter what you think of the choices, when they get into office, everything they do will be driven by the party platform.

Oh, and don't wait until the last minute to read these manifestos, they've got some heft and if you're like me, will need to take a breather now and again for a glass of wine and the throwing of something breakable when you realize what you have/haven't been voting for.

Here's a link to the Democratic Party Platform and here's the Republican. You're welcome.

5. When all is said and done on November 5th, we will still be neighbors. These are folks you will need to turn to in a time of crisis and I'm not talking about a cup of sugar. Learn to talk with (not to) each other on a human level without all the personal attacks and the voice raising and the sign stealing. That's nothing but school yard bully behavior we've learned from watching #43 in the White House and you're better than that, really you are.

I'm going to stop for now because I'm tired and there's still pie to be had. I'm not nearly through, so wipe your feet on the welcome mat the next time you drop by and could you bring a 6 pack of Diet Coke?

Thanks friends.

Monday, October 27

Pressure Cooker

I'm working on a rant, but need to hit the release valve a few times before the words will flow. In the meantime, enjoy this:

Letter from the Desert: DIY Rapture

and the dish ran away with the...

I am baffled.

When was another utensil added to the standard place setting at the dinner table? Fork to the left, empty space in the middle for the plate, knife and spoon to the right nestled atop a neatly folded napkin and to the right of that, a cell phone.

Apparently, modern society has added the cell phone as an essential mealtime tool, but that's not what has me baffled.

When did we transfer our personal power to the ring tone? Or more importantly, to the person dialing our cell phone number? When did responding to a ring tone become an involuntary reflex like breathing or blinking or digesting a meal?

Thursday, October 23

Yes I Did!

...and it felt so good I think I'll do it again tomorrow!
I was so excited they gave me two stickers...two, like lollipops from the doctor. And, I didn't even have to bend over for a shot!
Let's hear it for democracy...
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

Tuesday, October 21

Fledgling Goldfinch

I am but a tiny bird

Lo for the day
when a pansy
could shelter me

Monday, October 20

Prayer Circle

Six pillars in a circle
prosaic stones etched by time
its passage witnessed
by shadows intertwined
casting lines of light,
lines of darkness
across her fractured face

an eye, but no expression
a mouth, but no sound

Solitary woman standing centered,
among pillars of voices
rising in unison to an unknown god

Her primitive spirit
inside her clasped lips

Sunday, October 19

I Screamed

My good buddy J and I went to dinner last night. After a spicy Korean meal that left our sinus cavities twinging, there was only one thing to ice cream!

We stopped at the local Baskin-Robbins and discovered this:

To our left we see the "Whirl of Change" flavor, peanut-nougat ice cream whirled with chunks of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and a caramel ribbon.

Over there on the right is the "Straight Talk Crunch" with caramel ribbon, chocolate pieces, candy red states and crunchy mixed nuts swirled into white chocolate ice cream.

Since I intend to vote early this week, I thought it appropriate to put my voting reflex to a test. There they were, side-by-side and the dude behind the counter was anxiously awaiting my decision. He muttered under his breath, "The Straight Talk Crunch is no good. That red candy leaves a bad taste in your mouth."

"A scoop of Whirl of Change please," shot out of my mouth quicker than a too hot potato. I blew the smoke off the end of my trigger finger and dug in.

For the record, change tastes very, very good.

Tuesday, October 14

Duke - the House Guest

Before winter settles in, we'll have several cold snaps. The temperature will drop into the low 40s at night with lovely, low humidity days no warmer than 70. This weather pattern causes the leaves to change into vibrant colors and sends people and critters scampering for food, firewood and a warm place to hang out. All-in-all, a welcome and positive event. Except...

Meet Duke. We met one morning about two weeks ago when I was doing laundry. It was early and I was going through the motions without really focusing on the here and now, but couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. Directing my gaze above the washer and dryer, I see it, a snake face staring at me with a rather quizzical look, as if saying, "Hey, this is a warm, dry place. Can I hang out here?"

Much to my surprise, I didn't throw my hands up in the air and run screaming from the room. I started talking. To the snake. Out loud. In complete sentences. Posing direct questions is if the snake possessed the power of speech. It went something like this:

Me: Good morning. How are doing Mr. Snake?

Snake: [blink]

Me: You're quite clever to have found a way into the basement. Is there more of you or just a head?

Snake: [blink]

Me: Of course there's more of you. About how much, would you say?

Snake: [blink]

Me: So, I'm just gonna do a little laundry over here and how about you stay over there and everything will be copacetic. Okay?

Snake: [blink]

I took that last [blink] as a yes and went about my merry way doing chores. When it was time to put the clothes in the dryer, Mr. Snake was gone and I thought that was the end of that. Except...

He liked the hospitality so much, he came back and has taken up residence on the ledge above the dryer, unless he's stretched out on top of the masonry wall under the floor joists (okay, I have obviously watched too much HGTV).

I'm still not particularly concerned about Mr. Snake hanging out in the basement. He's non-poisonous and best I can tell, a King Snake. He comes in at night when it's cold and goes out in the morning after it warms up and does, you know, snake things. Since mice like to hang out in the basement too, it seems like a pretty good deal. Mr. Snake gets a place to chill and the mouse population is kept at bay. Except...

After two weeks of this amicable living arrangement, Duke is beginning to act like an ungrateful teenager. He sleeps till late afternoon, sits and stares for a while and then goes out about 5:00. I don't see him again till the next morning and he doesn't call to let me know he's sleeping over at a friend's house. Really...after all I've done for him!

There's one more thing. I'm not the only person who goes in the basement. There's the lady who cleans on Mondays and volunteers come and go on a regular basis. It occurred to me they may not be as calm about Duke as I am. So today, I outed Duke to the cleaning lady and she was like, "There's NO WAY I'm going down there and doing laundry with a snake!"

Okay, so now I have to do something about Duke. Which is kind of a shame seeing as he's such a good conversationalist.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 11

Red River Rivalry

No. 5 Texas vs No. 1 Oklahoma
met today in Dallas, Texas
at the famed Cotton Bowl
Final score: Texas 45 Oklahoma 35
mmm, mmm, mmm...that's some good NCAA football
to read more about the game, click here

Tuesday, October 7

Plug In, Bliss Out

I have a picture in my head. Can you see it? No, I didn't think so and that's a shame. I long for the day when technology advances to the point where we can transfer images in our head to a free, easily accessible medium. In the meantime, maybe a port could be installed behind my ear and a cable run from brain to laptop to the blogosphere.

Until then, I'll grapple with the English language, attempting to describe sights, sounds, feelings and sensations that will pull you into the moment.

Okay? Everyone take a deep breath and engage your imagination. Here we go...

Two windows dominate the southeast wall of the bedroom. Because my living quarters are in the basement, they are inset at ground level and rise some 50 plus inches where they meet the ceiling. At the moment, no window coverings block the view of trees grown tall and slender over time. The canopy of leaves reach so high I have to tilt my head sideways to see the top, swaying gracefully on a crisp fall breeze. Streams of early morning sunlight illumine all it dissects. In this light, lichen-covered tree trunks look dressed in emerald trousers, fine enough to lead a St. Patrick's day parade. In the lower canopy, a sumac is afire with blood red leaves, seductive as they flutter like lashes on the tips of thin branches.

Then there are the birds, whose flight casts fleeting shadows on the wall. Two chickadees plunge beak first into the bird feeder, fueling up on oil-rich safflower seed which will keep their breasts plump and warm during the winter days ahead. They are joined by a titmouse, with its signature table manners. After selecting the perfect seed, the titmouse retires to the crooked metal arm that supports the feeder with seed clutched firmly in its foot. With rapid fire movement it taps, taps, taps until the shell splits to reveal the soft kernel. Such percussion rings out clink, clink, clink, like a blacksmith striking hammer to anvil.

It's this time of morning when the air is not invisible ether, but infused with color, texture and tone. You can feel its supple thickness on your fingertips, see the air currents before your very eyes swirling, lifting, dropping to the ground as temperatures rise and dew evaporates, defying gravity.

Too soon, the moment passes as the sun rises higher in the sky. Before it does, I rush outdoors in bare feet, raise my hands to the sky and breath this river of life into my soul.

Monday, October 6

Fall's Harvest

there comes a time
in this season
when you look up
in disbelief

body, earth
parched ground, skin,
the gaping mouth of
a shrinking lake

all cry out
to a barren sky
that only rains
falling leaves
who driven by wind
deceive the ear
but dazzle the eye
with their golden, scarlet, russet hues

would i trade showers of color
for showers of rain
in these days of drought?

ask me tomorrow.
today, i feast
on fall's harvest

Saturday, October 4

Euonymous Americana


Hearts-a-Bustin' with Love

Wednesday, October 1

Happy Birthday Holly!

See Holly.
See Holly grin.
See Holly grin on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

See Minnie.
See Minnie kick up her heels.
See Minnie kick up her heels for the birthday girl.

See Holly and Minnie.
See Holly and Minnie skip.
See Holly and Minnie skip backstage.
See Holly and Minnie skip backstage for an adult beverage.

(btw, that's Holly on the left)
To my dear friend Holly,

I hope your day is filled with grinning, kicking up your heels, skipping and an adult beverage.