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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Bivouac

Don't have a lot of time to blog, so here's a shortie. My place reeks, the food is rotten in the fridge, the rugs are ruined, but it's all fixable and most everything is salvagable. Not so for some neighbors, the elderly and poor who live downhill. The sewer backed up and all they owned is gone. That's gonna be a big effort and they won't be able to go home for a while.

I'll be back there next week; until then I'm at a friend's with an assortment of great and funny people and making the best time of it I can. Once again, the shit hits the fan and I come up smelling of roses. I live a charmed life.

So I'll be off here for several days and back when I can. Meanwhile, enjoy all you have and all you are.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Outta Here!

We're being evacuated. Just fucking lovely. So off I go to the HS, to spend two nights in the gym.

It's an adventure! Whoopee!!

Waiting For the End of the World

All this drama really tires one out. There is no gettting away from the onslaught if you use any media. And the End of the World hopefuls are revelling in it being "A Sign!". Hello? It's a friggin hurricane. And it's Irene, because it's the NINTH hurricane so far this season. This isn't a sign of anything, it's a regular weather occurrence for cryin out loud.

Whatever happened to making the best of these things and having fun? Whatever happened to looking on adversity, maybe scary stuff, as the opportunity to party? I don't know about other people, but that's how I was raised to respond. It's like the joy has been sucked out of life and replaced with a quivering mass of fear. Who the hell wants to go thru life that way? Not I.

And let's look at the reality here. Irene's already hit land in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane. Aside from wiping out a wooden pier and causing some flooding it's okay. If weathermen are standing in the middle of it on the beach, it can't be that bad. By the time it gets north it'll be a Tropical Storm, they're saying. There'll be a bunch of rain. For about a full day, along the coast. Well, were we all born last week and never seen a few days of rain before? My sis-in-law and I were talking about walking to school as little girls where you hung onto the fences along the way so you weren't blown off your feet (those skirts caught the wind like a sail). Guess what? We didn't die, and nobody talked about Jesus coming. Nowadays, kids would be swaddled in bubble wrap and put in a "safe room". What a Nervous Ned world we have now. Feh. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

NoW News on Who

Glenn Mulcaire complied with the court order to name names. He tendered the info to the lawyers today, but nobody's talking. In fact, it was submitted with confidentiality, so Mulcaire's lawyer can ask the court to stop their release to the public. Like the public has no right to know? The arrogance!

Should I Stay or Should I Go

The housing authority has billeted with flyers about getting ready for Irene. We may have a mandatory evacuation, as this place is a declared flood zone plane. If the Fire Dept. determines we go, we don't get a choice. Unless...
There's a part where they say "If you leave on your own, please leave a note saying where you are and a phone number on your door." hmmm... just wondering, could I pull off being reeeeally quiet and put the note on my door? ; )

Irene has been scaled down to a projected category 1 by the time it reaches NYC. Which is still bad enough if you live right on the ocean or out on Fire Island or any number of islands. They're evacuating the Jersey Shore islands now. My brother & SIL are a few miles from the beach so they should be fine. By the time it comes the 300 miles up the coast (and we're 200 miles from the ocean) it should be down to a pretty good rain here. Like usual.

Still, they may come and make us leave, so I'm packing my American Tourister Tiara. All the essentials- jammies, slippers, kazoo, book, glasses, ID, notebook, bar tray. If I get stuck in the shelter I'm gonna make music. A bar tray is a light, loud and good percussion instrument. Just ask Spider Stacy.

Anyhow, if the call goes up and they come around clearing us out, I'll post so everyone knows. What a hemorrhoid.

I may still try to hide.

Hurricane Hysteria

You'd think it was the end of the world. Newspaper headlines screaming doom for the whole Eastern part of the states. I've seen this before. Back in the 80s. I think it was in August too. I was working in a restaurant in Manhattan and we stayed up til all hours moving stock above flood level and boarding up the windows. The city hunkered down and waited. And waited. And nothing happened. It didn't even rain.

Then there was the September we got the tail of a hurricane here. Being outside was like having buckets of water thrown in your face. It came down sideways. We had a big party that night at the Common Ground. And whattaya know, it wasn't the end of the world, just rain and some wind. Like a hurricane!

I'm really sick of this drama from the media. If bad weather is coming, it's coming. There's nothing to stop it. But it's not gonna help anything to give old people heart attacks and whip the east coast into a frenzy of terror.

And another thing- since when did politicians start contributing to public hysteria like they all wrote headlines for the New York Post, that piece of filth?

Calm the hell down. It may not happen at all! Even if it does, it's rain. It's not a multitude of fire-breathing death dragons from on high. Jesus!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Which is Worse- Hypocrisy or Bastardry?

In the ages-old rhetoric over what's good and what's bad in politics, accusations fly. Take for instance, in the 80s and 90s the  label of "Limousine Liberal", used to decry the lefties who had big bucks. This seems a double hypocrisy to me. Yes, the rich liberal seems hypocritical, and so does the rich conservative decrying him for being rich.

In contrast, what the conservative agenda extols is pride in being a selfish, misanthropic bastard. Because one is upfront about being a bastard, that makes it good? I knew a couple of guys who manipulated that way, saying upfront, "I'm a bastard." Which then gave them free rein to be one. They were, too, but thank gods I had the brains to keep them out of my life. Still, girls flocked to them, under whatever misguided and stupid notions they had.

Being a bastard is still not good, no matter how you dress it up or claim it as what you are. Shame on them.

And to All Politicians; Shut up, create jobs and the economy will recover. Get to fucking work, I'm tired of your mouths flapping and nothing getting done.
Ya wanna keep Capitalism? Fine. Then make it work.
If you've forgotten how it works, here it is, so simple even a moron can understand:
Money in the pocket is food on the table,
Food on the table is cash in the till.
When the till is loaded the merchant is able
To fill up the counters he has to refill.
          Money in the pocket can buy what's required,
          Clothes for the kiddies, a dress for the wife. 
          Money for the doctor, a show when you're tired,
          Is living a normal American life.
From the worker to the merchant
The dollar takes a business trip.
Then off to the farmer to buy new equipment
And back to the worker in a salary slip.
          Everybody prospers, the butcher, the grocer.
          Great is the country and fine is the blend.
          Must there be depression? The answer is "No, sir.
          Money in the pocket is money to spend."

"Money In the Pocket" words and music by Bob Russell and Carl Sigman



Man oh man, this week has flown by. I'm thrilled to have done a bit of help on a website I love, Ladies of the Lake (fans of Greg, natch) and its webmistress posted a big Thank You to me. Which really made my week and was completely unexpected.

It's been busy, many family things going on. Strider is still stripping and painting her house and getting rid of a big pest. My niece and nephew are taking in a Buffett concert this evening, celebrating their -20th, I think- anniversary. My great-niece did something careless and will be paying her parents back for quite a while. My brother and SIL are fine. Everybody's busy. All is well, or on its way to being well.

Little by little, this flu is easing off. And I learned that once I start bitching, I'm getting better.

I've really been avoiding the US news. These Repos are beneath contempt. How can anyone who has an IQ over a hundred get behind these hate-filled misanthropes? Just goes to show what a high level of psychopathy there is in the US. And lack of real thinking. I try not to despair for this country.

ELP's High Voltage DVD was released Tuesday but Amazon still hasn't shipped it! Come on! I'm jonesin' here!!

Forgive my lapses in blogging. It'll all be back to normal soon. Whatever normal is. ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fry's Birthday Delight

I would be remiss if I didn't note that today is Stephen Fry's birthday. Although he's in New Zealand, so he is in our tomorrow. In which case, Happy Belated Birthday Stephen, all the best to you.

Music From Big Pinko

There's no rest for the pinko today. I'm just well enough to have thoughts racing around the noggin. Which of course, end up pissing me off (why oh why do I still listen to National Petroleum Radio?), then the giant mower comes roaring around and then there's no sleeping.

To calm my fevered aggravation, I go to music. Some years back in the coop union drive my friend Stevil burned me a CD of union songs from way back. Wonderful folk songs, all of them. While so much of pop music ages and loses relevance, folk songs of protest are meaningful and speak to what's happening- seemingly always happening- to the Unrich. And they're often wry and witty. And I'm happy to say there are some younguns kickin ass today, too:

Worker's Song

One Day

Hey World

Disney is the Enemy

We Can't Make It Here

A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier and says,"watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

Oh So Annoying!

This is ridiculous. It's become a week or more of being all disgustingly sick and besides feeling crappy I'm getting downright bitchy. Now it's causing me to miss things- tonight there's a meeting about the shaping of our brand new healthcare scheme in this state. I really wanted to make noise. But I'm just too sick, in itself kinda ironic.

What the hell bug is this, that starts as a nose cold, wipes out your digestive processing and then transmogrifies into head cold and body aches and fevers and dragging your ass like you're 102? Right now I'm about ready for what my Father called "The Grand Old Cure-all", you drink whiskey til you pass out, sleep for a whole day and wake up okay. It takes 2 days out of your life and I haven't done it in more than a decade, but I'm getting desperate. And I have no whiskey. Dammit.

Well, maybe it's a good sign that I'm bitching. I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer's Almost Gone

It's decidedly turning to Fall. Nights require a sheet and I can bear long sleeves. There's that smell, that dying vegetation-wet cold night- morning now smell, around.. End of the summer thunderstorms, the cloudbursts I remember from childhood Augusts in the Catskills and Adirondacks. Definitely back to school weather.

Fine by me. I hope we have a long autumn. It's been wet so the foliage should be colorful. If the leaves make it. Very glad I have a futon, I'm thinking I'll have NYC refugees at Peeper Time and maybe I can get Strider outta there for a few days... maybe for Halloween.

This will be my first Fall and Winter in the new digs. Really looking forward to annoying the neighbor with my decorations for Halloween and Yuletides. Maybe things won't be stolen from my door here. That'd be nice.

Fall's my favorite season. I've got a feeling it's all gonna be good. It's been a fiery hot summer but the smoke is clearing. At last.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Almost Karmic

How freaking long have the regular thinking humans been saying, "Um, we're getting too materialistic..."? At least since 'A Charlie Brown Christmas', in my lifetime.

Now at last, a broker has said it in an analysis:
"We conclude that the rioting reflects a deeply flawed economic and social ethos… recklessly borrowed consumption, the breakdown both of top-end accountability and of trust in institutions, and severe failings by governments over more than two decades." he says.

Maybe, now that somebody in the money business says it, just maybe, perhaps, possibly the mucketys will hear it. That only took 45 years to get attention. But better late than never.

Now, will it make a lasting impression and will anything be changed? A lot of these current politicians ran on a touted "morality and values" agenda. I hope that comes back to bite them severely in what ever body parts will hurt the most.

We Had It Good

Dammit I hate getting nostalgic but I'm rewatching The Song Remains The Same and I can't help it. When you think about it, my generation had the most fun. I think so anyways. We had legendary bands of rock and you could actually afford a ticket. You could get a job that paid decently- if you really made an effort, you could leave the old and get a new job all within 2 weeks. The regular street drugs that everyone did were psychedelics and downers. Coke and junk were rare. And we had a boatload, I tell you, a BoatLoad, of sex. Everyone slept with everyone. Of course some of that didn't work out well in the end.

But we had such freedom. And such amazing music. Damn that was good. We were fools and young. Who knew we'd been so privileged?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The People United Will Never Be Defeated

Boy, am I behind in the world news area. Arab Spring has pressed on through the Summer and our Libyan sisters and brothers are close to freedom. Following most of the world's bigwigs giving Gaddaffi (or Qadaffi or Khaddafi or however the hell they're spelling it now) the symbolic finger, old Mo firing off a missile, lots of fights, not a few deaths, he's going down.

Syria isn't quite as far to the finish line, as Assad continues to show his ass.

Egypt and Israel made up after Israel killed 3 Egyptian soldiers:

Things are looking hopeful in several African countries, as sexual violence and rape are finally being frigging addressed, starting with the Republic of Congo:

Norway held a lovely memorial for the July Murders and PM Stoltenberg made a simple, dignified speech with no oiliness at all (I love stoic determination on the side of good and nobody does it like a Viking):
and several singers are taking up "My Little Country"

My old friend Wayne continues to intrigue:

Maybe I'm too old to go right to despair anymore, but things are looking better. It isn't, hasn't been, nor will be easy; good things are never easily gained. It's a violent world. Very sadly, some things must be fought and died for, still. It doesn't seem right and was not the way I thought the world would be when I envisioned the future in 1973. Then again, I didn't think I'd be alive now either. My friends and I thought we'd be dead before the 80s were over. A lot of us fulfilled that prediction, in the AIDS epidemic.

Wow, that started out so cheerful!

Just Go

There was a time on Earth when a record cover was not a band playing other people's music. It was the cardboard bit that covered the recording. My pal Rory has just blogged up some of the most sensational cover art you'll ever see:

I'll never be the same.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Remembering HP Lovecraft

For this post only, I've broken my no photos/embeds/things that will make it rotten for dial-up people rule.
The above photo was taken not far from where I sit now, at the old Goodenough house, in 1927. HP's in the middle, Arthur Goodenough on the left and W.Paul Cook on the right, two local families still here.

Today HP would have turned 121.

Though he died much too early in 1937, HP left a mark, a call, a shadow and many monsters. His creations live on...blip...blip...

Summerhill at 90

Summerhill isn't a widely-known or even reputed school. It's a "free school" where children are given the choice and responsibility to attend classes or not. Widely frowned upon by much of academia, it has always been financially struggling but has somehow survived these past 90 years.

It has also influenced many other experimental schools. My own high school was based on Summerhill philosophy, and though my school is gone now, in its time and place it was revolutionary. I realize now how very important and influential that experience was in shaping both my education and who I am as a human.

Were I ever rich, I'd found a Summerhill-like school. For many of us who attended St. Francis, it quite literally saved our lives. St. Francis was an ecumenical school as well as a free school, and though Christianity was available it wasn't singularly forced. In my Sophomore year I recall taking a class in Witchcraft History as well as an Islamic History course. I took many English courses in my Freshman year. Aside from the obligatory Classics we read Bestsellers and Mystery novels, which encouraged and edified my love of reading.

I was a scholarship student, one of very few there. Most of the kids were wayward rich types whose families didn't know what to do with them. There were some bad incidents, but we always drew together as a school and everyone really did have a say in what happened. It was painful to graduate and leave that school. Makes me wonder how many people can say that of their secondary education.

Happy Birthday Percy!

It's the 63rd solar return of Robert Anthony Plant, bard, singer, rock god. There is nothing much more to be said for him, he's one of those celebrities that everyone has their own opinions and feelings about. Led Zep was the gateway to coolness to my generation; once you'd discovered "Stairway" you were on your way.

Mr. Plant was also the object of first hormonal raging amongst many of my crew. I don't recall anyone wanting to marry him, though. He wasn't the kind you'd bring home to mother. :D

His voice has filled the holes in many of my own hardest times in life and I owe him much for that company. Not to mention those incredible nights at MSG that gave me my "Happy Place".

So cheers, Percy, we love you still and wish you long life and happiness.

Your Desert Island Discs?

The BBC Radio 4's program "Desert Island Discs" has been broadcast since 1942. We've had similar shows in the states, but the BBC's is longest-running, still going, and has an enormous catalog of these shows available to listen to or download for free.

Music choices are interesting glimpses into who people are. As I searched for some "castaways" I saw that several weren't available for listening, but their choices were listed on a page describing them. The premise, of course, is to choose eight recordings that you'd take if you were stuck on an island. Having a wild hair, I looked for those I'd take and who else chose those recordings. A couple of my choices weren't even in the search engine. To my surprise and horror, however, two of the same songs I'd be stranded with were chosen by Piers Morgan. Go figure.

1. The Beatles- Let It Be
2. Emerson, Lake and Palmer- Pictures at an Exhibition
3. Led Zeppelin- Kashmir
4. Antonio Vivaldi- Spring (Itzhak Perlman, preferably)
5. Janis Joplin- Me and Bobby McGee
6. Wagner- Ride of the Valkyries (Vienna Philharmonic, I'd hope)
7. Monty Python- Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
8. King Crimson- I Talk to the Wind

So I'm wondering what you would choose. Care to share?

I Love Bloggers

A few weeks ago I passed on the Liebster Award from Rory The Scottish Scribbler to 3 blogs I think should get read. One of those bloggers- Moonraven of Moonraven's Social Alchemy- has now passed it on. I was delighted to read this Liebster Awarded blog, especially this post by Michaelann, and watch Chaplin give an electrifying speech in "The Great Dictator":

The more blogs I read the more I realize we're all very much the same, despite our differences. Perhaps we're on to something.
Thanks, Moony!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just a Note From a Wheely

Via Stephen Fry's Tweeting:

Too rich. And so apt, also too typical. What a bastid.

Fletcher's Castoria All Over Again

This is going to be a disgusting post no matter what I do. But it seems like one of those things you'll have dancing around your brain til you get it out and my throat's too sore to talk. If bodily functions make you yak, move on to another post. Scandinavians talk about bodily functions. A lot.

Every damn time I was sick as a kid, my mother threw a gallon of Fletcher's Castoria down my throat. It was a laxative. A gentle one I'm sure if taken as recommended. In the proportions my mother dosed me with, it wasn't gentle. It was also disgusting to the tastebuds, having prunes and castor oil as its main ingredients. I can still see the bottle, the constant sight on the nightstand when I was down ill.

This was also a deterrent from begging off school and the beginning of my wasted delinquent youth as a truant. In every school is a small group of good students who don't attend school, and I found that group in every school I attended. Along the way I met two other kids who'd chosen truancy rather than stay home when sick. And once you play hookey, life opens its doors. Until you're caught, anyway.

Back to the Castoria. As if feeling like crap wasn't enough, now you'd have the runs. Which my mother contended was the only way to get over a cold. Flush out the system. Who knows what arcane medical practices my mother grew up with, probably Victorian.

As nasty as all that was to live through, it most surely worked. Those old ways worked. In high school when friends had mononucleosis, ("glandular fever" elsewhere), they were out for a month or more and sometimes hospitalized. I spent 2 weeks on the couch with a hallucinatory fever and my feet wrapped in icy wet towels and was back at school 3 days after regaining consciousness. So who knows.

Today, still feeling pretty mis, I sent for Metamucil. I expect an uncomfortable night but I'll probably be that much the better tomorrow. Popcorn for dinner, Metamucil dessert. At least it's not Fletcher's Castoria.

The Republican War This Week

Following Warren Buffett's announcement that the rich should be taxed (he's a Really Rich guy), the Repos and their Fox employees set to work attacking the poor and working class. And that's what got me out of bed to post. Rupert Murdoch's Fox-Faux-Fux "News" is calling taxing the rich "class warfare". Yes, that's this week's drinking game. Every time you hear "war on the rich", or "class warfare", down the hatch.

My head's too foggy to get much clarity on this, but as always, Jon Stewart has it covered:

We're 64th? 64th? They didn't tell us that! We used to be in the top ten! WTF happened?
That's it, I'm going back to bed. Emails will wait, phone calls will too. Blech.

Sugar is Saweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

A couple of months back, Strider put me wise to Dear Sugar. Nobody knows who Sugar is, but it doesn't matter because what s/he does is what's important. Sugar gives advice. Not in the old Agony Aunt way, not like Dear Abby or Heloise or Dr. Ruth. S/he is all those and much more, because she's immensely kind and intractably honest. Here is yesterday's column, advice to a writer:

I sort of hope we'll never know who Sugar is. I'd like to imagine s/he's all of us at our best.

Soon To Be Revealed?

Glenn Mulcaire, the NoW's private investigator who hacked phones to supply the paper some dirt, has been ordered to name who it was that told him to do so. He's already lost in an appeal so it's either blab or be in contempt of court. Stay tuned, this is just getting good...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goopy Gloppy Gak Kak

Thought it was allergies but ya don't usually have a fever from allergies. Blamed it on translating a long bit of Russian but that's not it. It's a stupid bug. I'm doing all the things you do, and will retire early. My throat's a real pain in the ass and I wish they'd taken my tonsils out all those years ago. Grumble mumble. So I'm signing off for the night. Sweet dreams, all.

The Walkers

Every day they pass by, slowly and short in stride, gripping the spongy handles of their walkers. They make the circuit, up the other side of the street, round the administration building, past the "community room" building, back down this side of the street and by my windows. There is one who always stops and gapes at my windows, mouth slackjawed, oxygen tube hanging over her ears, she squints her eyes to get a look at me. I don't socialize here; I sit at my desk in the mornings. I imagine all she can see is my left arm, resting on a pull-out shelf of this old teacher's desk, hand resting on the mouse. Still, every day she stops and gawks.

They are usually alone, though sometimes a free walker will walk with one who is pushing the contraption. The free walker will adapt their steps, shorten them, so unused to such a slow pace that they occasionally falter and almost stumble. Companions are rare for the walkers. Alone with their thoughts, they push forward, gazing up now and then. The route never varies.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things I Don't Understand: "Second Life"

It boggles my mind that people spend their precious time and money online living in a fictional world. Is there not enough going on in their real lives? Is it a "reality is just not my thing" thing? How do you derive anything from inventing a character and spending all your time being said fictional character?

Shrinks must have a field day with this. If someone is disturbed, how can there even be hope of healing when they spend their real life being a character they've created that only "lives" online?

And what happens if and when the other online fake lives entwine and cross over into real life? I know of one example that destroyed a lot of real relationships. I'm still recovering from that insanity and the loss of an old friend who found her online life more important than those who loved her.

Color me clueless but dealing with life and real people is difficult, exciting, funny and surprising enough for me. I don't need to pose as a half-elf ninja nun. It's all pretty damn stimulating right here and now. But that must not be enough for some people. I just don't get it.

Another Taser Death

How long and how many deaths will it take before the Powers That Be take these horrible devices out of  use?

Here in the US we have a lot of police and security folk carrying tasers. We are the home of, "Don't Tase Me, Bro" and where every month or so you hear about someone else dying after tasing.

It seems to me there's a better way to stop someone in their tracks than electric shocks that stop the heart. 

New Evidence: Hammarskjöld's Plane Was Shot Down

To the day he died my Father claimed Dag Hammarskjöld was murdered. Suspicion runs in the family, it seems. Now the Guardian has reported a story that makes Poppa's claim look true:

It'll probably be another 30 years before my claim that Paul Wellstone was murdered looks true...

Coffee and Donuts at Midnight

No sleeping, again. Which made me think of college days and staying up all night, dragging your ass through the day and going to bed at 9 the next night to reset yourself. Lots of coffee when the Sunrises were done, lots of donuts.

I'm remiss on updating what's been up for the last couple of days. So, slump your shoulders, get a cuppa and put that resigned yet pissy look on your face.

Breivik the maniac was taken back to Utoya and showed police and authorities how he killed everyone.

The riots died down and everyone's pissed off in Britain. But there's sweetness too:
And police went into arrested people's phones.

The US economy still sucks, and the Repos are on parade with their assorted nuts itching for attention.

NoW and NIG seem an unending font of lies and coverups. It's an ex-royal editor telling the truth this week. A letter he wrote in March of 2007 is scathingly damning:
We don't need the redacting removed, we can fill in the blanks by now. Junior Murdoch will be called before the MPs again. Let's see what his lies are like this time.

Doris Day put out a new album. Oy.

Something is brewing in Californicate; another young man was shot there, the underground system shut off mobile phone access, protests and hacking ensued and they're just starting to get pissed:

It snowed in New Zealand. And The Hobbit continues shooting.

Black Sabbath is cutting a new album.

And that about brings us up to speed. See? Like a soap opera.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Week! One Week!

Okay, I'm probably a little overexcited about ELP's High Voltage dvd coming out next week. But Hell it's been almost 13 years since they last played together (and a year since this gig) and if peep with cellphones can record things like this:

the pro shot is going to be fab. I don't care if we're all senior citizens and look like shit. I don't care if the many bad physical problems that have plagued them means they can't hit every single note with their old precision. I can't even pee the way I used to- who friggin cares? They are ELP, they are Legends. And the day that dvd lands in my hot little hands nothing else will exist in my world. The boys played together again. That's all that matters. And I can't friggin wait!

Found it! Here's an amazing 13 year old doing the piano part from "Trilogy". 13. It's makes me so happy to know that young genius musicians will go on playing this beautiful eargasmic music:

Trivia note: August 23rd will be the 41st Anniversary of their first show together.

Here on the Fence

With all that's happened lately, and many friends emailing similar observations and experiences, I've been feeling a duty to tell the world some things that this area won't want to hear. It's not even that people don't know it; it's that they don't want to face it. I understand people wanting to believe that something is good and right in this world. But the truth is that it isn't and hasn't been.

It's not that I don't have the courage, of course I do. It's not that I'm fearful or don't want to be hated. My big mouth has gotten me in lots of hot water and I play with people who hate me. It's not being afraid of being smeared either; I was publicly smeared enough times that it doesn't bother me anymore. I also know I'm a troublemaker and kinda nuts, but I'm honest. You're never wrong if you're honest.

So I'm sitting here examining why I'm not telling...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bed Peace Hair Peace

A few years, well yes, a few decades ago, John and Yoko took to a bed for a week in a peace protest. If it did nothing else, it made news. There was also a documentary made and Yoko is offering it on her website for free until next weekend:

It's an hour and ten minutes long and be prepared to hear a lot of the Yoko primal scream cum bird imitation at the beginning. Aside from that, it's an interesting watch and for those of us alive at the time, brings back memories. And maybe, just maybe, it still speaks to the way the world is. And what we'd like it to be. All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

Mitchell and Webb have been making comedy for years now. I adore "Peep Show" and "That Mitchell and Webb Look" , and have listened to their "Sound" on the BBC Radio as long as I've been able. Among all the characters they've created, the one that really tickles me the most is Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.
 Here is episode one. The rest are in the sidebars:

And if you're a Dr. Who fan, this will delight too:

Music For The Times We Live In

Just because I'm a Progger doesn't mean I don't listen to a lot of things besides. Political and folk songs are right up there. The "artists" of today rarely write anything meaningful about the issues and being real. But we have many musicians whose songs are still so relevant it hurts.

Dick Gaughan

Michael Franti

The Ray Korona Band

Johnny Cash

and even moreso, Leonard Cohen:

and The People themselves:

No Sleep in Here Tonight

Well I tried. I can't read any more and I can't just lay there so here I am.

Since I'm looking for the good happening in all the bad, I wanna cite our Town Manager Barb. The last 4 months in this town have been way worse than any TM has seen in a long time and she's handled it all better than anyone should be expected to handle it. The huge fire that took out a quarter of Main St; the usual town bickering every summer over something; then the murders, 2 in 2 weeks, and now a bank robbery. It's like crack has come to Bedford Falls. She and her staff have done a great job. (applause)

And our Fire and Police Departments are the best. The BPD has done a 180 from a few years ago. We have good people. A miracle itself it seems, these days.

 We are in a big change. Something makes me think it's a crossroads and then something else says, "Oh bullshit." and then something else says, "Of course... Duh?!" Yes, this is the brain off drugs. See all sides of everything and try to figure it out. But there's no figuring out because every day there's something else to go,  "Holy Shit!" over and who can keep up? And the plot thickens.

And if you stare too much in that looking glass you'll fall through.

Meh, I can rant and rave and stay involved and do what I can. Throw praise when I can, call out, "That's a lie!" when I know it is. Give encouragement to those who are doing the right thing and yell at those doing the wrong thing.

I'm enjoying bleak humor a lot these days (joking about being put in internment camps?), which probably isn't good. I need a couple of Bergman movies to laugh and get it out of my system.

And here's a little St. Billy to feel all right by:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mischief Managed

Ah, it's good to sit in my saggy old wing chair. I have a feeling that someday soon I'll sit in it and go right through- and be stuck that way, knees against chin, for days. But there's nobody to repair things around here anymore. So I take my chances. Actually, anyone who has a useful skill, like shoe repair, tailoring, furniture reupholstering, small appliance repair- could set up a business and make a fortune here. The Brattleboro Development Credit people would even help you set up, if you employed someone beside yourself. Just saying.

Anyway, it was a day of accomplishments. Strider is stripping and painting her house. Yes, herself.. I know, I can't believe it either, but it's typical. It really doesn't surprise me. I just shake my head and worry. Not being quite so nimble or gung-ho, I set about tackling my bedroom and made good headway there. It's almost entirely functional and I can now move on to emptying the closet. And hanging pictures. It'll be nice to lie in bed and watch movies when the snow comes. Hopefully I'll have a new mattress and boxspring before then. This old set is like Fred and Ethel by the railroad tracks.

I was sad to miss the St. Billy concert but found a wonderful prize behind Door Number One. The ELP bio by Forrester et al finally arrived! Got it for half the price it usually sells for, too. All other reads go to the side. I've been waiting for this book for a decade.

It's a tad muggy tonight; but the unbearable heat is gone so I'm not complaining. Somebody's shooting off a barrage of fireworks in the distance. The peepers and bugs are trilling and scratcheting away, but my cul de sac is sleepy senior citizen quiet. The excitement of the day was a bank robbery downstreet. There'll be more to hear about that in days ahead I'm sure.

From a summery night in a small New England town, I bid you sweet dreams... 

Capitalism is Killing Itself: WSJ Interview

This is 22 minutes of analysis by a NYU Professor on of all things, the Wall St. Journal site. Absolutely worth more than one view, with break between to absorb it:

Slow and Steady

Taking a break from unpacking the bedroom. Yes, I'm 4 months here and still not unpacked. Even though this place is a third larger than my last, it's still a Chinese puzzle. In order to even get into the closet, a whole laundry list of things have to be done first; sorting and unpacking boxes and bags of linens, and clothing I won't wear til it's cooler. I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished in 2 hours. And unpacking is more fun than packing. I found a pirate shirt I'd made for Halloween many moons ago, and a quilt I'd started about 25 years ago (I should finish that) but I still haven't found my thumb ring. It's somewhere, I remember noticing it gone after packing the closet in the old place. That's one of those things I lose for a while here and there but eventually turns up. Anybody else have things like that?

They say Mercury Retro is a good time to finish things, mostly because new things will get delayed and snafu-ed anyway, as I'm witnessing with Amazon. With the slightly cooler weather the nesting instinct is coming back too so it's all good. The heebie-jeebies about this place is over; I try to completely ignore my neighbor now. Life's too short to be considerate to those who don't reciprocate. And I'm looking forward to everything being where it's going to live permanently. And finding my favorite nightgown.

Okay, back to work.

Such is Life

Here it is Saturday morning already. It grew chilly last night, and for the last 2 nights there's been a distinct smell of  Fall. That tang of greenery past its prime in the cool air. The two trees closest to my window have already dropped at least half their leaves. The swamp maples along the brook are thinned out enough to see the sky through them. Seems early for this.

It turns out nobody is driving up to the Billy Bragg concert. Since I don't have a car and public transportation barely exists here, I'll just let it go. Not happily, but oh well.  Still, I'm glad he's here and I hope he opens a lot of minds tonight. Damn I wish I wasn't a gimp. Cam kinda talked me out of trying to hitch with a walker, but the thought's still there... I'll see how I feel around 4, when I'll have to leave if I decide to try it. It's only 15 miles or so.

As my friend at writes, our local "newspaper" is discontinuing free online access, for all intents and purposes. Not that the whole paper, or even most of it, was available to non-subscribers anyway. You can still read it at the library, if you can get there, when it's open, now that the hours have been reduced. I do hope this will make more people contribute to iBratt, so that we who aren't Trustafarians or just plain well off will be informed of what the hell's going on.

The sun is sharply bright today. Good day for haying.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And Another Thing & Then I'm Off to Bed 2

Here's something that's been pissing me off for a long time- why do they always insult one's intelligence? Is this like the bully thing where they're testing to see how little we care? Or is it like the toddler thing of pushing buttons to keep your attention on them? I don't like it and I don't trust it, whatever the fuck they're up to. A great way to control people is to dumb them down and not have them learn to think. Then cut education back, destroy unions, send manufacturing to cheaper labor, lower their standards of life, eliminate a tenth off the top by sending them to jail (which the whole family will struggle with for a very long time), but keep them fed and entertained. Oh and drug them, like in those radical books in the last century. And make everything very expensive so they don't have enough money to better themselves.  

And what the hell is up with the font size? I didn't touch a thing.

Yesterday I was thinking of how my mother- and all the women I knew as a little girl- dressed. It was hats, gloves, high heels, stockings, scarves, big coat, sometimes furs. There were 7 of us in that house on one income, my dad's. There were hat boxes stacked in the closet. We had hardwood furniture and almost every home had musical instruments. The 5 & 10 store is not where you bought your clothes. We had real clothing that you took seriously because it would last for maybe ten years. Hell I had one sweater with an ILGWU tag in it and no other label, and it lasted from 5th grade til I was 27. And we were 7 people in that brownstone on one income. Couldn't be done now. It would be extreme poverty.

When was the last time there was a crusade to make the masses into the poorest economic class? Anyone know? Feudal times maybe?

How Much Are We Supposed to Stand?

In an email I just received:

House and Senate leaders named their members for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Republican leaders have chosen the following six lawmakers: Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas (co-chair) and Dave Camp and Fred Upton of Michigan; and Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio. Democrats have selected Sens. Patty Murray of Washington (co-chair), Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts; and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Are you kidding me? We might as well plan on dying young, or start the deal in Logan's Run where we all go to "Carousel" at 30. Not one real leftie in the bunch. Not one. Nobody to balance the scales. Bend over, here it comes again!

Seriously, do the Dems think we'll keep voting for them because they're better than the Repos? They're not. They're all politicians, career politicians. As long as they can fool all of The People some of the time they're in like Flynn. Not to mention that half of The People don't bother to vote anymore anyway. This stinks out loud. We're screwed, folks. Screwed, blued and tattooed. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And Gods Bless You, Russell Brand

Russell Brand isn't everyone's cuppa. That's the way with comics. But whether you like his work or not, he has a sharp mind and he says what he thinks. He's just weighed in on the London Riots. It's a considered bit of thought:

Theme of the Week: Avoiding the Cause

In damn near everything I've cared about through this last week, from the riots in England, the shooting murder at my old workplace, people's personal medical care, people trying to get problems solved, again and again is a complete avoidance of causes by those who are supposedly seeking to fix things.

Why do people even pose remedies without honestly and courageously examining the causes? Why do they turn immediately to blame and punishment, which are obvious consequences of anything, and run from WHY it's happening? How about looking at the psychopathy of Capitalism, the glaringly obvious usage of the working class and the poor, the real threat of massive deaths at any time bolstered by the culture of fear-mongerers, which has caused rampant cynicism and hedonism in the young? The young folk that I know see things quite clearly and don't buy the lies we were raised to beLIEve about equality and opportunity. At an early age they are exposed to what the world is: scheming, advantage-taking, dangerous, unfeeling, abusive, selfish. This is what our corporate takeover of society has wrought.

My generation saw some of this, but we were raised with falsities and promises. We were the crossover generation. We went from Duck and Cover to knowing there's no help to be had in a nuke accident, let alone terrorism. We sought escape. There are also about 3 times as many people on the Earth as there were when I was a kid. These kids are not us. They see things as they are. They may be uneducated, they may live off the system, but why should they bother? It really COULD all end tomorrow. They know that politicians aren't to be trusted, nor police, nor religious types. They know that getting a college degree doesn't mean you'll have security or even a decent job. They weren't sheltered from the adult world; seven year-olds know more about sex and violence than I did at thirteen (and I knew quite a bit). They've seen the awful things that can happen right there in their own families and neighborhoods. September 11th happened when they were children, as did countless other atrocities, and it was all broadcasted 24/7 in front of their eyes. Bigoted hatred is baldly obvious. They may be uneducated but they aren't stupid. They know what's out there, that the odds are against them, and that everything they'd put decades of their lives building, everything they'd devoted their lives to, could all be gone in a flash. That's what we've proved to them. So why bother?

How do you fix that?

New Drinking Game!

Every time some talking head says, "Mindless", you drink. Not only fun and gets you smashed, but makes the whole thing easier to stand. Try it!

78 RPM

Even the spin is spinning now. There are only a handful of MPs remaining. MP Angie Bray stumped the party line of punishment, that no more police are necessary, that volunteers are the cure. MP Sir Gerald Kaufman spoke well, citing a youth program in his district that has helped immensely, despite some rude clowns speaking as loudly as possible near him. A Tory gets up and tells about his ol' grandpa who was poor but would never riot. A Labour MP says her honeymoon was ruined and calls the rioters "mindless". Many call for giving the police legalized brutality. And the spin goes on. Anecdotes and pretzel logic. You can follow it live at:

Give Me a Shovel

It's getting higher and higher in the Parliament session. Without a trace of irony, one MP blamed the public for being mindless and irresponsible, then claimed that the public agrees it was all about criminality. The same irresponsible mindless public? Now you're citing them? This circus is hilarious! Where are the little cars all these clowns came in?

Parliament on the Riots

I've been listening for a couple of hours now, and really, no surprises. The left wants to look at the causes, the right wants to punish. The right wants to enforce laws on parental control, the left wants no cuts to police. And at points when I left the room, I couldn't even tell which side was talking because it was an attack on the other side and a bunch of rhetoric. Cameron wants neighbors to rat on each other. Money will be allocated to help businesses reopen and to help local gummints to clean up and/or offset taxes on the affected businesses. Cops will now be able to take any face covering off of anyone. Personal messaging is also to be reviewed, to limit or eliminate its use " when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," said Cameron.

One thing that stood out, was one MP who claimed the idea that poverty among the youth was not a factor and said there were 1300 apprentice positions available right now in London. What the hell does that even mean?

And they're talking about gang culture and getting rid of it. Good luck with that. There have been gangs since the Greeks and Romans, and probably were before then.

In short lots of vitriol, lots of allegations, lots of rhetoric. More to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

St. Billy is Coming!

On very short notice, it's been announced that Billy Bragg (yes, That Billy Bragg) will be playing two towns away, on Saturday night. And this is what really makes me happy to my ass- tickets are 10 dollars. 10 little dollars! You can't go to a movie for 10 dollars anymore!

I'm going if I have to gimp to the highway and hitch. This is once in a lifetime, not to mention that sitting around with my fellow Pinkos singing and yelling will do a world of good.

I tell ya, I have a Guardian Angel. Oh- if you're in the area- here's the info:

Some Things Make it All Bearable

Bring on the jesters! We need them now:

Not Even a Fable

Granted my mind is a muddle right now. The solace is only in knowing there are some who know the truth. But there are many more who would never want to know and would deny its truth.

I'm scanning my brain for an allegorical tale of what's happened, but there are none forthcoming. Anyone know of a tale where a twisted king appoints a henchman to do his dirty work so he can keep his heroic image and then the henchman is killed and the king gets to play the martyr?

Perhaps I'll have to write that fable myself. I'm still searching for the moral to the story.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Names Named

The police have finally released the names of the victim and the killer, which most of us knew hours ago.

The victim, Michael Martin, was just starting at my workplace when I retired. He'd been hired as a Sales Manager, to oversee the department managers and make changes. The shooter, Richard Gagnon, I've known for 16 years. Not well, he wasn't a buddy. But I remember when he was building that wine department from nothing and how successful it became. I know his wife, too, and am most concerned about her right now. It's tough when you don't know the people well, just for a long time... what to say? Do I say anything at all?

Rumors swarm about the reasons behind it. We know the truth, but it won't make a difference to tell it.

And all day I've gotten calls and emails, vultures circling for tender morsels so they can gossip and show they know something. Things like this really bring out the best in people.

I'm gonna go alter my mind.

Taking a Time Out

As the details of this morning's murder come out, I'm fading into gibbery forgetful idiot.

If my head comes back to focus, I'll post later.

Peace, pax, frieden, ashtee, alaafiya.

A Shock Close to Home

This morning someone walked into where I used to work and shot a man dead. Nobody's saying who was killed yet, this has just been announced. Rumors abound.

I spent a dozen years of blood sweat and tears there. Sure I hate a lot of them, and plenty hate me, but they're like family. This is too awful.

And In Other News

Jon Stewart talked about the country's credit rating drop and calls Boehner "the world's most misguided tangerine,"

Wisconsin's Recall Election is today

Japan failed to inform Fukushima neighbors of what to do or where to go

The whole world is nuts, Just nuts. I'm gonna go eat some chocolate and put on The Pogues.

No, Of Course

what really matters is the blame.
I'm an absolute newshound today. Zipping from newspaper to newspaper, from links all over the world, listening to BBC 4 "You and Yours". A man who phoned in is saying that kids may have started it but adults were inside clearing the shelves and a woman now saying it's the parents' fault and the general entitlement issues of the young generation.

So it seems that all that matters is the blame, which boils down to "The Welfare State" that "creates criminals" according to a very important white man.

David Cameron is back in London, is recalling Parliament for session Thursday. He looks pissed that his vacay was cut short. Funny how all the mucketys were on holiday at the same time.

Mark Duggan died of a gun shot in the chest.
Though the article says it was part of a "pre-planned operation", there's nothing about what the pre-planned operation was.

Londoners Tweeted a clean up storm and much of the mess is already picked up. Good for them.

And again and again, witnesses and shopkeepers say the police did nothing:

In Camden a group of people are assembled to give Free Hugs to anyone who needs one.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Thing You Need to Read

About the UK riots:

I'm so glad Nina Power writes.

At 8 pm EDSFT in the US, the BBC Worldnews has just reported rioting in Liverpool.

And just now, looting in Ealing, and Camden in uproar, huge fires in Croydon, a vacant police station in northwest Birmingham is afire. There is just too much happening to keep up with. The Guardian website has an interactive map detailing the sites of riots.

9 pm my time. Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham are now reported as in crisis too. My gods what is happening. And a huge fire in Essex.

In Day 3, London Riots Spread

The Guardian now says that the rioting has spread to Hackney, Peckham and Croydon, and up to Birmingham and Leeds (hope you're okay, Gary).

With all this going on where is Cameron? Under the Tuscan sun, of course. Why should he cut short his holiday? It's best to keep a safe distance when the plebes revolt, anyway. Just ask ol' Louis and that charming Marie Antoinette.

Ongoing coverage here:

Update: Cameron has decided it's time he go home. How noble. What a sacrifice and how inconvenient for him.

I'd like to add Rory's post about the police:

Confusion Will Be My Epitaph

I'm bursting. So many pundits have something to say but all seem to miss the point. I looked at the list of riots on Wikipedia:
Certainly, Wiki is not the Be-All of facts, but if even 70% is correct, there have been hundreds if not thousands of riots that I don't even recall, in my lifetime.

What struck me is that in the terse rendering of causes there was usually one act that tipped the balance. In the "Harlem" riots (we had them in Brooklyn, too) of 1964, police killed a young black man. Sound familiar?This was on top of all the horrors of segregration atrocities in the South and the missing Mississippi civil rights workers. Things came to a head. As things usually do.

Pundits I've heard so far have wagged their tongues from every direction. But none to my knowledge have pointed at the corruption and lost faith in and trust of the police. The recent uncovering of widespread bribery and "white collar" crime in the Met Police has been treated very lightly, as if it's a given. I suppose, only right and consistent if you're fine with police killing civilians over nothing and letting them get away with it. Which is what we do, time and again, ad infinitum.

Yet underneath it all is the real cause- poverty and all its ugly accompanying horrors- that nobody wants to look at with compassion, only judgment.

And that's not to say that I would put it past the PTB to light the fuse, either.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

London Riots

I tried to stay away from news. Really, I did. Put my head in other directions, thought big thoughts, read til my eyes burned. But this news is inescapable.

Starting with the Tottenham riots last night, over the police killing a man, Londoners are rioting in the streets. Tonight in Brixton and Enfield,  Dalston and Walthamstow, people poured out into the streets. They broke store and bank windows and raided, looted and ransacked.

People have had enough.

Lightening Up

Bear with me here. I'm always in some process of understanding. Because the more you're willing to understand, the more you will.

In the total self-interest of being happy I try to maintain "looking for the Buddha nature" in everyone. Since I think we all operate from a longing to be happy and have love, that's where I'm trying to get to now. Which isn't easy to stay conscious of when there are powerful people making life awful for the unpowered. Holy crap, trying to understand Boehner in that context makes my brain hurt. But the Buddha nature in him is there, it's in everyone.

The courses of unhappiness are to be abandoned in order to gain happiness. Which doesn't mean walking away and ignoring everything that makes you unhappy. It means not giving them energy. It's the "wolf you feed" kind of thing. This is why self-pity is so poisonous. It consumes all energy. Transforming one state to another takes a lot of energy, and if you spend all your time focussed on your suffering, how can you rise above it? You can't. You've spent all your energy in the troubles and your emotions resulting from the troubles. There's nothing left.

If everything is a construct of our own making by what we understand, and I believe it is, all we have to do is change our position to change everything. If we step back from our need for emotional responses to things we get perspective, and perspective is very helpful. And once we have perspective we can change the focus of where we're coming from and what we're looking for, to compassion and love. Choosing to invest your energy in positive active directions brings happiness as a result.

Compassion and love. Oy. What a spaghetti platter that is, if you're looking for romance in there, because anytime you're looking to get something outside your own ability you're bound for trouble. Not so much if you're just in it for your own understanding and to find it in others. I think this is why lamas and other holy folk live so long. They spend a lot of time getting what they really need from themselves, and rely on others for bodily sustenance, while focussing their interaction with others in kindness given and received.

We can't all be lamas; some of us have to be in the midst of the world to keep it running, and indeed to give bodily sustenance to those who have to be lamas and holy folk. We all have to be who we are. But we can change how we operate, what we feed, and we can keep trying to be better people.

I really don't know shit, I'm just trying to understand.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another Plan Shot to Shit...For Now

It's getting time to start gearing up for the Heat Fund again. I was trying to get a Talk Like a Pirate Day benefit together in late September. Since The Marina's rebuilt and the theme is pirates, I thought "Good fit." Except Daryl had already gotten them to donate a dinner a week for 30 weeks as a raffle to benefit the Heat Fund, and said raffle will be drawn in early September (Tickets are 50 bucks; let me know if you want in). Cancel the hitting up The Marina plans.

Also, nobody has volunteered to help at all. Which creates many unnecessary obstacles. No venue + No help= No Benefit.


So maybe not pirates this year. Maybe pirates next September, and this December do something simple and sweet, like a Yule Log Vigil on Solstice Night. Or in February when the money always runs out, a Candlemas/Brigid's Vigil with a bonfire and drumming. Get the Pagan and hippie communities involved in a new charity. Now where to do that?.......

I don't know if we're gonna do the monthly recipe on the radio again this year. I gotta shoot Daryl a WTFIGO. Cuz I don't know WFTIGO. Loose organization is good when you're talking charity work, but ya gotta know what each other's doing. And it has to be planned. Not a rigid schedule, just a rough idea. Planning is everything when you're a gimp.

Where in town could we do a bonfire benefit without incurring the wrath of the Whiners?

Well, Shucks...

Rory at The Scottish Scribbler has said some really sweet things about this blog and now has gifted me with the Liebster Blog Award.

I'm honored and humbled. Thank you Rory. You were already among my favorite people.

With this award comes the part of honoring 3 other blogs with less than 300 followers whom I think are pretty damned nifty. It was not an easy thing to do, and it's put a resolve in me to promote other bloggers more. But I have to pick 3 for now. And so...(drumroll)...

MoonRaven's Social Alchemy  Moony has been blogging about sustainability, living together and combatting societal issues through knowledge and cooperation. He is one of the Earth's most gentle people.

Auto De Fey  sdt goes all over the place, from the political to the metaphysical to the musicals. He's also an old friend of mine.

Wayne ing Moments  Wayne K has done It All. He has 2 published books and a 3rd in the wings. I met him at the Magickal Childe in 1991. He's got a very good life story and a very big heart.

I hope they will also praise 3 other bloggers in turn. Give their blogs a look-see. We have some amazing writers on Blogger. And thanks again, Rory.

Too Much Goin On

It's high mowing days, and there's been  a bustle of activity, so haven't blogged. Sorry!

Stevil noted that he's seeing leaves turning on sick trees and I'd noticed but hadn't wanted to say anything. Everyone's so bummed out these days or in a world of fear and frankly it makes me wanna puke. Any time you mention anything remotely odd or bad it gets wrapped in a shitball of everything else that's happening. What a world of drama! There's a post on iBratt from someone who's afraid of walking down the town's streets. Oh give me a break. Go live in the real world for a while and then tell me how scary this little town is. The 2 roughest bars we had are closed. And the biggest continual problem with them were the outdoor crowd and their mouths. Hello, are we in grammar school that we actually care what some drunk says? I mean, unless you happen to be drunk yourself. Then it's go time.

People must have been quite sheltered to get fearful like this. I'm trying to understand that. It must be nice to live in an idyllic peaceful place. And then to think you're watching it be lost must be sadddening and maybe scary. I've been such the opposite, living in hard places and trying to make them softer, that I don't know that perspective. It appears weak and cowardly to me. Which is of course itself wrong, to judge, but it's what comes to mind. We're all the same in many ways, and still oh so different.

The 11ers came by last evening. It's always nice to hang with the girls. Kinda warm in here for it, though. The glaze ran off the donuts.

My niece wrote that they've had 20 days of over-90 degree heat now. As brutal and unrelenting as winter was, the summer has been miserable. I probably would've loved it in my teens and twenties, but now, not so much. Now it's living in a cloud of baby powder and tying my hair up on my head. The unknown tree that's sprung up in my front garden in the last month is now 5 feet tall. It's a jungle out here. ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Being Neglectful

Apologies. I haven't been keeping up as a faithful blogger should. I've been doing other things. When the seafood done me in my habits changed and I ended up reading books. Besides, we're in that point of the Murdoch soap opera where weeks go by without much happening (Heather Mills?) and you can catch up a week later like it was yesterday. Not much new about the killer Breivik, since it's all investigation for now. It's also just good to get a breather.

So I read the whole of the first 2 books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and am a couple hundred pages into The Fry Chronicles. Fabulous reads. GRR Martin has a wickedly Jungian imagination. And Fry is Fry. What more needs to be said? So I fully enjoyed myself while recovering. But WTH it's like I've spun back to being 17. Who knew I'd ever be the weirdo geek bookish girl in the peasant clothes again? I'm wearing beads. I'm making an anklet (talk about slow going jesus christ!). Just bought an OED to reread. In full nerd blowout here. And will probably pick up the whole Tolkien library, followed by Brooks, for the winter. I even ordered 2 dresses. Life's too short. Terrible things are happening. One has to enjoy what one can.

Winter is coming.

Strange Fruit

The supermarket ad said, "Large Fresh Florida Avocadoes  5/$5". I like avocadoes. Even just on the half-shell with no dress up. So on the list they went.

When my aide came back with them we were perplexed. "Turns red when ripe" it said on the stickers. Okay. They were a young cucumber green. They were huge- easily twice the size of your Haas types, not pebbly leathery skinned, either. And for their size, not heavy as the dense regular ones are. I put them on a straw plate to ripen. They laid there, suspiciously.

This morning I gimped out to make coffee and noticed they were indeed turning red. "Aha!" I thought, "Avocado lunch." And so, after catching up with online things and a couple of phone calls, I grabbed one and an avocado knife.

If I hadn't been told they were avocadoes I might not have known what it was I was eating. A slight sweet nutty avocado scent to them, but not much avocado flavor. The flesh looks akin to an avocado, with a huge stone where it should be, but it's light and wet and slippery. Biting into a chunk minded me of something between a melon and an avocado. Smooth but not creamy, not fibrous but not fatty avocado goodness either.

There is something of the pod people to this. I'll keep an eye on them. 

How About a Little Fire, Scarecrow?

The theme these days is being burned. My aide came to work with one of the worst sunburns I've seen since I fried at Seaside Heights in 197...5? 6? Luckily NancyDance had given me a huge aloe vera plant and she coated herself in it. It was painful to look at. Such a deep bright red and so tight you could feel the skin screaming in your own body.

It sure seems odd that we'd stay outdoors all day when I was a kid and never get burned. Of course, the air pollution over NYC then was so thick it was visible from the highways leading in. A huge gray smog cloud perched vulturelike over the city. Seeing it, when coming home from trips upstate, meant we were 45 minutes from Brooklyn. So perhaps we were sheltered from the UV rays. There were no SPFs in those days. People rubbed oils and lotions on themselves to attract more sun. These days the sun feels much more intense. I'm dead-chicken white-skinned and had sun poisoning several times. Even sitting around outside I feel the sun prickling my skin like teeny thistles within a few minutes and know it's time to get shade. I don't tan, I burn. Which is fine because I don't want my skin to look like Samsonite anyway.

And there have been cooking burns. My greatniece's hand and arm were burned in a microwaved-butter accident just yesterday. Which brings the number of bad burns I've heard about in 5 days to 4- all from nuking food. Another reason I hate microwaves. In cooking burns (I've still got scars on my arms) if you don't cool the skin down and keep it cool your flesh will continue cooking. Cold water soaks are the best way, and I remember the many times wet sidetowels flapped around my hand or arm as I went on cooking.

But when I was a child the common "cures" used for burns were horrible. Butter. Butter? Hey, meat's cooking, better baste it! Noxzema skin cream? Sure, put drying astringent on it! Baby oil? Similar fry technique with a pretty smell. Then there were several marketed sunburn sprays and creams, all of which felt good when you first put it on, and dried to an unholy hell in 2 minutes. What were people thinking?  Even Dorothy knew to put water on the burning scarecrow.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Shirley Jackson Element

We're halfway through the week, only three days into August, and so far I'm very not impressed. Not only has my country opted to head toward the conditions that brought the French Revolution, but local news is bad too.

A young woman who worked at the pizza place I love was killed and her body left a ways from a back road by her boyfriend/crack dealer. An 11 year-old New Hampshire girl was found dead after a long search for her. Nobody's saying how she came to be in the Connecticut River, as the last time she was seen was at her computer in her bedroom.

All of New England is a little strange, but this area at this time of year is unsettling. For many years now my friend Stevil and I have noted what we called, "The Summer Sacrifice."- sometime between now and the end of September, a woman's body is found floating in the Connecticut River. Over the years, there have only been 3 summers when this didn't happen (There are also two women who have been missing for ten years, a mother and daughter:

As the states go, we have a low homicide rate. But when they happen, everyone notices for just that reason.
And there is often a weirdness to the murder. Archer Mayor gets a lot of inspiration here.

One of my favorite writers, Shirley Jackson, wrote her stories while living in Vermont. Tales like The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Lottery were wild and scary to me when I read them in my teens. Having lived here for 16+ years now, I understand how she came to write them. There's something a little off, a bit enigmatic. People blame "ley lines" or the inordinate number of the mentally ill for the bizarro vibe. I blamed the Morris Dancers for a long time. :) It's tough to describe this feeling, this uneasiness... but it is central to the region. And conducive to disturbing fiction, if you go by  Jackson's works. I suppose disturbing fact has that effect.

Update: The autopsy performed on the young girl has not concluded a cause of death:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What To Do?

Nancy Pelosi called the debt deal, "A sugar-coated Satan sandwich with Satan fries on the side."- and yet she voted for it.

Obama made a video after the Sunday talks looking very relaxed and happy.

And We The People don't even know what's in the deal.

Not to mention that it's all gotta be re-sorted out in the fall, after Congress gets their 5-week vacation. Here's a look at the situation:

Now what to do? The Courage Campaign has begun organizing people to end the Teabaggers' reign. From an email:
"The so-called debt limit "deal" that just passed Congress should never have gotten as far as it did. We can't let this continue.

"The Republicans "governing" us actually hate government. They show no respect for a nation that was built on caring for the least among us and offering equal opportunity to all. They show no reverence for the American Dream. If they have their way, the entire government will be privatized, so only the rich gain. And right now they're winning.

"You love America and so do I. I just joined Courage Campaign's movement to End the Madness and win back the nation of our dreams in 2012.

"Can you join it too?
We have to start fighting back somewhere. I'm in.

A P.S.- I just checked if my Representative supports tax fairness, and the answer was pretty surprising. Can you check too, and tell YOUR member of Congress to get on board before it’s too late?

This website makes it simple:

Monday, August 1, 2011

About the Debt Ceiling Cave In

It's a dank day here and after the seafood incident I'm not up to par to sort out all my thoughts and put them in a post.
Thankfully, Donna Smith has done it already:

Horrible Histories

The Horrible Histories series is good children's programming, but its Pythonesque humor is good for adults too. I, of course, am partial to the Viking segments. With the demoralizing budget deal that looks likely to be voted through, we need to laugh. So enjoy.

Lindisfarne Monastery

Viking Family Feud

Sigurd the Mighty's Stupid Death

Viking Classic Arena Rock

From The "How Stupid Do You Think We Are?" File

In my local paper today:

"On July 28, deputies from the Windham County Sheriff’s Department found several marijuana plants in the Dummerston and Putney areas. Anyone who is missing their plants or has any information regarding the ownership of the plants is asked to contact Deputy Benjamin Horion or Deputy Melissa Martin..."