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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

The end of August is here, kids had their first day of school, things are shimmying into shape for the mostly-organized portion of the year. To avoid even the thought of polluting my lungs I'm keeping busy. It's a really nice day, too, so a good time to plunge into those remaining boxes I haven't sorted out since the flood.

When other people pack your belongings in haste, the strangest things happen. The sugar bowl in a box of books struck me as weird.  And then there are the things I still haven't found and I think are just gone. My electronic drums, big enough that they should stick out, are nowhere. A framed photo poster of a boy and girl during WW2 walking into the woods (my husband gave it to me), gone. Assorted kitchen things...some books... pieces of jewelry that had been on my dresser... it's so random. Anyway, that's why I'm going through boxes, cuz if the sugar bowl can end up in books, then ladles could end up in holiday decorations.

Speaking of holidays, preliminary plans are under way. If it's not unreasonably expensive, I think I'll make a goose for Christmas Day this year. It's been years. If it is a king's ransom, I'll make ham. And we can have ham and gingerbread sandwiches for breakfast on "Boxing Day". It's all good. My somewhat SO will be going to his family so I won't see him til New Year's Eve. No tears over that; I may have someone much more important here. And this Yuletide is way organized already, so no last-minute freakouts, I hope. There's always a small scramble near the end, but that's usually a good cause scramble.

Meanwhile, Labor Day Weekend is coming right up. My great-niece turned 18, away from home, on her first trip without her parents. Hard to believe she's 18. For the first time, she isn't heading into another school year- she's in another country. Changes all around. The unofficial end of Summer, the beginning of the house party season, time for canning and freezing, and to start using the oven again. It's a week til Stevil's birthday, he'll be retiring this Fall. Special K is back with her Ex, I expect she'll be moving out of the Shire and into his house in Fellows Balls. She's rarely home anymore. There's a big conference in Burlington over the weekend but I only heard about it this week; I ain'ta goin'.

The Beest abides. Her personality change is amazing. From a terrorist to a sweetie pie. She's asleep on the rug right at the tips of my toes right now. She follows me everywhere, even if it's just to the bookcase and back. Like a dog, really.

Since writing this the phone has been ringing and though I've finally caught up to emails, now I have calls to return. Bear with me, folks. I will call, but I was just taking a break from the mess I created in the bedroom and I need to repack that or I won't have a place to sleep. So off I go to that. Catch you later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Not the First, but I Hope, the Last...

Being that yesterday was the anniversary of the great adventure known as Irene, I thought I'd mark the occasion with something. As it happened I ran out of tobacco on Monday night, so I decided to quit smoking.

It's been about 3 years since I stopped smoking cigarettes. I switched to a pipe, which I knew would lead eventually to quitting, as it has. Pipes are messy. Tobacco in a pipe doesn't stink like cigarettes do but there's the cleaning of the pipe, which brings home pretty clearly what you're inhaling. Changing the screen, scraping the bowl and stem out, the blackish brown globs of nastiness get repulsive. Tobacco is also expensive these days, and I'd weaned down to one pouch a month of organic tobacco so it wasn't much of a jump to nothing. But still, it's gone.

This is far from the first time I've quit. Over the last forty years I've quit at least a dozen times, sometimes for years at a time. And every one of those times I started again by saying to myself, "I'll just have one." It's never just one. But I'm in very different circumstances now. I'm not at work and I don't go out socially much, and there aren't as many people smoking these days anyway, so there's little opportunity to grub the one that starts it all over again. Somewhat regrettably, I'll have to declare my home a nonsmoking area (I do hate smoke nazis but this is my home and health now). 

What really wore me down to the point of knowing it had to go for good is that I can't sing. I've sung all my life. It's one of the things that makes me really happy. All of my family sang, together and apart. To not hit a note, or to lose wind, or to hear your voice crack and just air come out... it's a dealbreaker. My love affair with Mr. Nicotine is over. It'll take a while, but the vocal folds will heal. Without working on it I may not get the range back so I'll start looking into ways to help that along.

For now, I have plenty of chewing gum, which gives the added benefit of killing my appetite. That'll be the next issue, as my senses of smell and taste clear and everything becomes fabulous to the tongue. For the next few weeks I'll be chewing like a demon until things level out. It ain't my first time at the rodeo, I know how this goes. It's time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Dunno What's Going On

It's not raining and the power is on.. The cones and signs are still up so everyone parks elsewhere. Nobody has emailed or called or stuck a flyer under the door to say things have changed. Who knows what the hell is up...we're kept like mushrooms around here.

But I'm Being Negative #1859

I'll be glad when this month is over. As if just being who you are doing what you do wasn't enough to keep you busy and awake at night, now people want to talk about the anniversary of Irene. Well, color me stupid but I really don't wanna hear about a parade to commemorate a disaster. I don't want to rewrite history into a pablum of looking on the bright side. It's still pretty fresh to me and I can't imagine how bugged out the elders here are. One of them still hasn't gotten her FEMA claim sorted, and she lost the most- nearly everything she owned, including her cat. Some of them are in nursing homes forever after the shock of this mess took them down a few rungs. There are people who have lost everything, whole houses floated away in Irene. And we're supposed to be yippeekiohing because it was a year ago today that so many people went through so much?

No, that shit's for the people who heard about it, lookie-loued some of the damage and went home to their normal lives, unscathed. Those whose homes, belongings, livelihoods and pets hung in the air for weeks, some that still are up there, don't really want to want to remember. Because they haven't forgotten.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Varys. What the Hell does He Want?

That's a title on a thread of the massive Game of Thrones forum which I'm spending entirely too much time reading. I'm doing just what I did in HS and college with Tolkein and Brooks. Excepting that these days we don't lurk in the library and find otherTolkeinheads. These days we're all online. And we're Martinized.

Anyway, the Varys in question is a one-man CIA in the GoT saga. But nobody knows what his real deal is. And that made me think. Well, does anyone ever know what someone else wants, really? If you believe that theory of wants and needs fulfillment ho-hum, is our want list what forms our characters? Our choices and priorities are pretty much always around our wants. Half the time we don't know what we want, much less what anyone else wants. But motives can be hidden, even from the person acting on them.

I love mysteries. Life would be a drear if everything was straightforward and known. Happily, everything is complicated and most things have a mix-in of unexpected ass whoopings and astounding moments of joy. As I look over at a somewhat SO absorbed in the Game of Thrones marathon on my tv, I wonder what the hell he wants. The Beest is easy. She wants food or she wants petting. Two speeds. People aren't so easy. But they're usually more interesting.

And while I'm at it, what the hell do I want? I want the next freaky thing in my life to happen and get it overwith. There's something coming; I just wish it would get on with it.
In the deep big picture, I haven't a clue. Maybe it's better this way; it keeps the game interesting.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day

Time to relieve the inbox and put up some bits and bobs from the news and such.

Hey, my Dad was 53 when I was born!

Smart tomatoes

A preacher I'd go listen to:

The most expensive couple of inches of skin?

This should revolutionize real estate

Great, let's just strip everything out of everything and try to live on a husk

But I don't want a KITT

How about a nice iguanaburger?

Reading is good for you

It's impolite to point

Yay for the Green Chinese!

This is your brain on irony:

There's more than enough to get the old wheels whirring. I'm going to go play now. Later on I'll have to prepare for the daylong power outage while they hook us up to the Matrix tomorrow. 2 days of no electricity. What shall I do? ;)

Ah, the Smell of Death and Decay in the Air!

This morning, a pretty quiet Saturday, I smelled Fall. The first crops are in and that bit of dead vegetation difference is in the air. The full effect won't happen til after the September rains, when a touch of mold and an undercurrent of Earth's BO join in. But I see the sun goes down earlier and comes up a few minutes later now. It's still 10 weeks til normal time returns.

Sleep is still an issue but I got 8 hours last night, anyway.
Beest had tuna today and is the happiest cat in the whole USA. She laid with all legs and head hanging off the desk shelf tonight. Little weirdo. What a character change in her, from bitchy little Valkyrie to pushy beanbag Clingon.

Neil Armstrong has died. One of those headlines that made me go, "Oh no!" out loud to nobody. What a crush we girls had on NASA boys. The astronauts were brave, and back in those days bravery was admired. The moon walk happened during my bout with Glandular Fever; it was entirely a Looking Glass experience. Maybe that's why I liked LSD so much. Anyway, we've lost Neil Armstrong. RIP.

A guy shot and killed his ex-boss on the street right in front of where I slung burgers and fries for a while, at 33rd and 5th. The cops caught up with him at the Empire State Buillding and killed him, shooting 7 others in the process. Glad I'm out of the work force; I think killing a boss is the new black.

Grand-Niecely landed safe and sound and grouchy in Vancouver. Mama is missing her chick, it's always hard to watch em go. Hell, I almost always cry like a big fat baby when Strider leaves.

We've set the first Heat Fund radio deal for September 12th. I'm making Flying Jacob but Westy can't eat bananas so I'll substitute sweet potatoes in it. There's so much bacon and chili-heavy cream sauce over the chicken already it doesn't matter. And where the hell would Vikings! get bananas anyway?

And Stevil's birthday party is in the works. He'll be retiring this Fall.

Wendy made her goal on Kickstarter, a week and change ahead of time; Brattleboro Cheese opens September 1st. It's good to see friends succeed. It's about time!

It's nearly 1 a.m. and I think I just may be able to crash so I'm going to try. Manana.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fry-day Fun

Hahahah! I'm free all day Friday too! Course, I only had about 4 hours' sleep and it's starting to get unhealthy. I'm going to make a real effort to sleep in this morning. So since it's 5 a.m. in the UK already, I'm posting for Friday now.

Today, August 24th, is my Niecely and Nephew's 21st Anniversary. 21 years! Happy Remarkableness!!And yesterday I got a gift in the mail from them- a Nook! And loaded with books! I'm ready for the Winter! Bring it on. And thank you Niecely. :)

Today is also Stephen Fry's birthday. You know how I love him. He's probably the only somewhat snooty toff in the world that I like at all. Because he's a snoot but not a snob, and he is unerringly on the side of good always. And brilliant. And tall. And handsome. So here's a little Fry for Friday

The kind barman


He and Hugh Laurie are so young!

And beyond the Fry delights...

There's happy stuff

and heart-punches

Here's a mindblower

And here's a pretty amazing statement by Lauren Luke (warning: intense)

If I ever do buy this house, it's gonna be moved a lot farther away

And if you know nothing of Greg Lake, here's a thread that's been around for 4+ years and still grows
(Okay, that's the obligatory Greg plug; I can't help it)

Happy Fry-Friday and Happy Anniversary Lisa and Derek!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Insomnia and Comedy

Guess I really will sleep when I'm dead, cuz it ain't happening.

Meanwhile, for all of us, especially Geo., here's Lewis Black's latest:
(ed note: this is what happens when you don't sleep for days. Here's the real link I was meaning to add:

But just cuz it's up already, here's classic Python

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Sarcastic?

After running my mouth nonstop for decades I've just realized I'm sarcastic. It never occurred to me. I say what I think at the time, usually. And I tend to love real irony. Bleakness cracks me up, And every guy I've ever been involved with has said I was sarcastic. But I never thought I was. I thought that was the domain of very bright people. Another myth busted. Two, actually.

It's been hectic and sleep-deprived. A couple times today I just lost the plot, I'm so tired. Had I paid attention to myself I should've gone to sleep early, but a phone call got me through that window and now I'm what my Father used to call "overtired". When you're tired-tired but you're still going and can't go to sleep.

On Sunday night in NYC at the site of the old Magickal Childe (now a Spanish restaurant), Michael Lloyd launched Bull of Heaven. And the NY Times showed up.
Michael is on "cloud 99" right now. I hope he gets to stay there for years. I'm expecting he'll get a NYT Book Review. Who knows how far this could go, but it couldn't happen to a nicer guy or harder worker. This book shows the work behind every moment of the nearly nine years it took to produce. I can't do a real review. I'm in the thing. Family and friends are in the thing. I know this story, I love the guy who wrote it, no way I could be objective. If it wasn't excellent I'd say it wasn't excellent without a problem, or not even mention the book at all. But it really is excellent.

Every page I read (& I've slowed down because I don't want to rip thru it) is another surprise. Things I didn't remember because I hadn't thought about them in years. Things I thought nobody would ever tell. Things I told that I had no idea were worth noting but really are. To see your name and words quoted in a book like this... to see photos you took years ago and remember taking, in a, well, history tome... to know the people, and the lies and the truths and the incomparable way Michael dug out the facts. Took a couple days to wrap my head around it.

Not that people won't have trouble with it. Straight people, I'm sure will. But it's the biography of a gay man. There's gonna be gayness in it. There have been gay men in my life since I can remember. I didn't grow up with a prejudice about it. They were just who they were, like anyone else who wasn't me. As Lewis Black says so sweetly, "Because we are all like snowflakes." Anyway, it's a great book.

Otherwise, there's flinging feces everywhere and everybody's ducking. Fall is only30 days away. We were informed that we'll have no power from 8-5p next Monday AND Tuesday so the electric company can change transformers. That's just wonderful. 2 days, temps in the high 80s they say, and not even a fan. Makes me so happy to hear that. And I'm sure it's for the bastid Smartmeters but we po'folk have no say in anything. I'll see how my glands go. Maybe it won't affect anything. At least the Ace bandage is off and so far I've gotten the major hurdles cleared this week. Tomorrow I don't have anything pressing, but I could do a couple things that should be done. Or I could fart around and amuse myself. We'll see.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Understand that You are Not Impressed.

After the last two days I have no cohesive thoughts so I'm throwing together random bits here today.

L. Frank Baum is my quote of the week author:
"It is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners."

Phyllis Diller, William Windom and Tony Scott have all joined the choir eternal. RIP.

Thank gods the Pre-Raphaelites are back

A great thread about Mitt the Twit and Lyin' Ryan:

More about Ryan

The haunting story of Katy Elder

Is this how zombies started?

Adler 2.0

Seems to me that these days we're all vassals in some or other mad king's feudal game. And history tells us that the ones who got to speak truth and mostly survived were the jesters. Bond with fellow jesters.

Geez, it's midnight, the second "moon" of the month and I have 2 long days ahead of me. And 3 books call my name. There is no saner escape in life than in a book. Except maybe a song.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bug-eyed and Blissed Out

It's been happily busy and aside from pulling an Achilles tendon things have been great. The first sweet organic tomatoes have been eaten, the first political rally is locked up and ready (except for the scones I have to bake Tuesday), I've gotten into a place that few are invited to join, the Heat Fund rides again in 2 weeks and even the Beest has been sweet and entertaining.

While exercising the question popped into mind; when does a human reach physical peak? Personally I'd say 30. What do you guys think?

The Montreal trip went down the tubes, too many issues. I really hope I can get back to a point where I can just up and take off when I want to without having to involve others.

This late Summer is lovely at last. The past couple of nights have been cool enough to use the beautiful quilt that Cam gave me. We're coming up on the anniversary of the great flood, which seems very long ago now. Labor Day is right around the corner, with Stevil's birthday and party directly after. The next Bratt "season" begins, a luge ride that will take us right into the new year.

It's all good. And as Fairuza Balk says in "Almost Famous", "It's all happening!"
Stay well, everyone!
(And Lawless- I hope hubby is better by now)x

Thursday, August 16, 2012

From Bernie

Bernie Sanders sent an email (he sends a lot of emails but this one's important). Since he's the only politician I listen to because he doesn't lie and this has actual facts, not conflations, I'm posting it here.

"In the 77 years since President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law on August 14, 1935, the retirement program has been one of the nation's most successful anti-poverty programs. Before Social Security existed, about half of America's senior citizens lived in poverty. Today, less than 10 percent live in poverty.

"Today, Social Security not only provides retirement security but also enables millions of people with disabilities, and widows, widowers and children to live in dignity and security.

"In these highly volatile economic times, when millions of Americans lost their life savings in the 2008 Wall Street crash, it is important to remember that since its inception, through good economic times and bad, Social Security has paid every penny owed to every eligible beneficiary.

"Despite Wall Street and right-wing misinformation, Social Security, which is funded by the payroll tax, does not contribute to the deficit. In fact, the Social Security Trust Fund today, according to the Social Security Administration, has a $2.7 trillion surplus and can pay 100 percent of all benefits owed to every eligible American for the next 21 years. Further, unlike the huge commissions paid out to Wall Street firms, Social Security is run with very modest administrative costs.

"Despite Social Security's popularity and overwhelming success, we are now in the midst of a fierce and well-financed attack against Social Security. Pete Peterson, the Wall Street billionaire, has pledged $1 billion of his resources to cut Social Security and other programs of enormous importance to the American people. Other billionaires and Wall Street representatives are also working hard to weaken or destroy Social Security and endanger the well-being of millions of Americans. We must not allow their effort to succeed.

"Let us never forget that the current deficit of $1 trillion was primarily caused by two unpaid-for wars and tax breaks for the rich. These policies were strongly supported by "deficit hawks." The deficit is also related to a major decline in revenue as a result of the Wall Street-created recession. The deficit is a serious issue, but we must not move toward deficit reduction on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. This would not only be immoral, it is bad economic policy. At a time when the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well and their effective tax rate is the lowest in decades, the top 1 percent must begin paying their fair share of taxes. At a time when large corporations are enjoying record-breaking profits, we have got to eliminate the huge corporate loopholes which result in a massive loss of federal revenue. At a time when we have tripled military spending since 1997, we must take a hard look at a bloated and wasteful Defense Department.

"House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has been a proponent of privatizing the retirement program by putting seniors' savings into risky Wall Street investments. Even before tapping Ryan as his running mate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he wants to begin the process of privatizing Social Security. He also would gradually increase the retirement age to 68 or 69. And he favors slowing the growth of benefits for persons with "higher incomes." Under a plan floated by Romney's allies on Capitol Hill -- Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) -- someone making about $45,000 a year today who retires in 2050 would receive 32 percent less in annual Social Security benefits than under the current formula. By that definition, the top 60 percent of all wage earners would be considered "higher income."

"President Barack Obama, meanwhile, was a staunch defender of Social Security in his 2008 campaign. So far this year, however, Obama has refused to stand behind his four-year-old opposition to cuts. In fact, the president has signaled that he may be open to lowering benefits by changing how they are calculated. In my view, it is long past time that the president told the American people in no uncertain terms, as he did in 2008, that he will not cut Social Security on his watch.

"To keep Social Security's finances sound in the future I have introduced legislation -- identical to a proposal that Obama advocated in 2008 -- to apply the payroll tax on incomes above $250,000 a year. Under current law, only earnings up to $110,100 are taxed. The Center for Economic Policy and Research has estimated that applying the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000 would only impact the wealthiest 1.4 percent of wage earners.

"Those who want to cut Social Security benefits are looking at a number of proposals. One of the most talked about ideas is moving toward a so-called "chained-CPI," which would not only impact seniors, but also military retirees and those who receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The "chained-CPI" approach changes how the Consumer Price Index is calculated, so that a person 65 years old today would earn $560 a year less in Social Security benefits once they turn 75. Benefits would be cut by nearly $1,000 a year once they turn 85. Instead, I have proposed legislation to base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments on a Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, a measure that would increase benefits because it would take into account the real-life impact of rising health care costs and prescription drug expenses paid by seniors.

"While we often take Social Security for granted, we must not forget that Social Security today is providing dignity and security to tens of millions of Americans. It is a program that is working and working well. We must stand up today, on the 77th anniversary of this enormously important program. We must pledge to continue the fight against the right-wing Republicans, some Democrats and their wealthy backers who want to destroy the program."
Aye aye, Bernie.

St. Julia's 100th

Julia Child would have been 100, had she lived on. She was my inspiration, my teacher, my idol. Without her and Graham Kerr, my life would have been very different.

Julia was a revolutionary. She changed the way we cooked at home, and laid down the rubbermats for women to get into the food industry. She made the complicated clear, she made the impossible doable, and she made us laugh all the way through it.

Here's to you, St. Julia.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


And so before Gal Friday gets here I want to finish the grocery shopping list, answer emails, send a couple, see what the responses are to certain emails that went out yesterday. Of the above I can get the shopping list done. Because once again, Comcast email is down. Nice. A busy morning and no email. Just typical.

Middle Age Boom

Finally I'm catching onto this whole business of aging. It isn't an easy fit. First off, I want my money back on this body. Granted it's done things it wasn't made to do, but this is crap workmanship to fall apart this early. It came from the Manila sweatshop full of six year-olds making 30 cents a day of gene factories. And it seems to have a super-gravity feature, as everything is headed for the floor and my nails and hair are growing like crazy. Which reminds me of being a corpse, the hair and nail thing...


In my head and I guess because I spend all of a minute in a mirror these days and my eyesight is going, somehow I thought I still looked 35. Then the Greg pix came back and I looked and thought, "That's a seniorish woman... I'm Hyacinth Bucket age." Seriously. I'm in AARP. I'm Edith Bunker age, man. That's just not right.

You thought maintenance was time consuming at 40? Ha! My hair has shot down near to my waist in the last 5 months. I couldn't take having to file the long nails all the time so now I have to cut them all the time. Freaky dry skin patches pop up from nowhere. Your skin starts going all weird and changy. It's thinner and does this gross wrinkly shit. Your veins look like a special effect. And moles. I have my mother's mole, the exact one I grew up staring at when she yelled at me. Right beside my nose. Verrry attractive. Goes well with the limp.

There are a lot of Boomers left. Numbers have been wiped out via war, AIDS, drugs, car accidents, life. But there are still plenty of us. A lot more of us didn't breed, compared to prior gens. Not many had the 5-6 kids that were common in my generation. Some never married or found a good partner, or just didn't want to be hitched to anyone and stayed single. We were very different to our parents. When I hear younguns these days say that our gen didn't do anything I just smile and think, "You didn't know the world before we came along."

Now I'm the age my mother was when I made her life miserable. I was a late life baby- Hell my dad was 53 when I was born. I can't imagine having either a teenager or a baby to mother at this age. It's enough to stay on top of keeping myself and the cat.

Today I saw two people my age in the obits. One died in his sleep. Died in his sleep! We're that old? Jesus H!

Well, even with the stranger's skin, the mood shifts, all the unfair creepy crapola that comes with aging, it's a lot better than dead, I guess. I still want my money back.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Another glitch. For whatever reason. I can't respond to comments. Can't even get into comments. I'm going to go away and come back later. Maybe, perhaps, possibly, this will have passed by then.

Middle of August Already

Summer days, when they aren't Tennessee Williams hot, go by like commuter busses on the BQE. The past couple of days have actually been nice. No schloopy surfaces, no cat spawled on the floor like she's dead. It's not, for now, unbearable.

There's small trouble in The Shire. First someone pinched my roses. Then someone stole my pot of marigolds. And now someone's tried to pull the thermometer off my front porch. They only managed to bend the frame down but it pisses me off. Management asked me if I know who would've done it. If I did, I wouldn't be reporting it. Sheesh. Amateurs.

In the national news, Mitt the Twit picked a running mate who was voted "Biggest Brown-noser" in his HS class. Is anyone surprised?

I'm 168 pages into Michael Lloyd's Bull of Heaven. It's a surreal experience to see bits of your life in a book. These people and places from so long ago, many of them dead and gone now, and here's the story of what happened. Michael doesn't spare anyone, either. It's a relief to see much of the truth finally out after years of rumors, vicious gossip, agendas at work. It goes with me where I go so I can snatch a page here and there.

It's looking like the tomatoes are going to come in all at once. I'll freeze some, make some sauce. That is, if they aren't stolen too. Hell, it'll be September soon. We have a gig here for Senator Illuzzi on the 22nd; I'm making a few dozen scones. And the Heat Fund rides again right after Labor Day. What to make? Stevil's birthday party is right after that. September is shaping up; I better enjoy what's left of the sod-all time.

The Beest has a new toy, a Kong catnip-filled Kickeroo, that she's crazy about. It's taken a beating since the minute I threw it to her and shows no sign of the abuse! She looks stoned all the time anyway- those half-lidded dozey eyes crack me up- but she's truly stoned now. She'll sit staring into space for a few minutes, then go curl up on her scratchpad and nod off. Little weirdo.

Kick has sold her house, a very low offer but the rental tenants wrecked the place (they even burned the bedroom doors in the woodstove!) and she just wants it off her hands. Another Bratt survivor who's put this place behind. Special K is doing well. Stevil is straightening out the financial mess he's in and hopes to be back online in a week or so. Strider's been superbusy. Niecely's Aunt Pat died tragically but they're okay. Great-Niecely is readying for her big trip to Vancouver. Life goes on, the Dude abides. 

There's plenty to catch up with right here. Two blog awards I haven't gotten to honor. Monday Photo Prompts have come and gone and I've missed the deadlines. There's so much in the news. Well, Summer's winding down. If I don't get to it before September I will then. It's close to the start of the school year already, you can see it on the faces of the kids. Remember that feeling? Only 2 weeks of freedom left and then it's a new grade, a new teacher, new kids, new clothes, new shoes. Excitement and fright and grudging resignation. When the kids are back to school I'll be back to regular blogging. Until then I'll be doing like they do- staring up into trees, watching bugs do their thing, sleeping late...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

But We Decide Which is Right and Which is an Illusion

In restaurants, when you're way behind and have little hope of ever catching up, you say you're "in the weeds" or "snorkeling". I'm snorkeling, blogwise. I'll never catch up with the not-so current events that have been playing out in the media, so I'll just start with what's up and ongoing issues that have hit my inbox.

Not sure what I think of this

10 Billion people? That's nearly 3 times as were around when I was born...

Wait, climate change is still being denied?

It's a good time for memory loss, then?

Farewell, Gore Vidal, I'll miss you

Transplants may be outdated soon

Einstein didn't know it all

But do they have pizza?

What would Castaneda do?

Don't toy with me

And finally, 2 websites that are worth watching. The second was brought to my attention by our own CarrieBoo:
They're putting old sci-fi into free ebooks so they're saved.
Where a lot of things are discussed that people aren't comfortable discussing.

Okay, that's a good start to the megabites of stuff that've been crowding my email and pressing on my mind. There's more, but there's always tomorrow. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why, it's Cheeeeeeeeeeeeese!

Continuing the good news this week is that my friend Wendy Levy is starting a cheese shop right here in little old Brattleboro. We met almost 17 years ago when we worked together for Henry (The Cheeseman) Tewksbury in the Bratt Food Coop. While it was another food area that I loved working in (and Henry was the Best Boss ever), cheese became a passion for Wendy. Henry has passed on but Wendy is carrying the torch on to cheesemongering in her own right. She's built quite a resume in the ensuing years, working in fine cheeses and consulting to such places as Zabar's in NYC.

Now in her mid-thirties, Wendy's ready to do it herself and is opening a fine cheese shop and cafe. She'll also offer classes covering the making of, history behind and uses for cheese. To help her get the funding together, she applied to and was accepted by the Kickstarter program. If you haven't heard of Kickstarter here's the skinny. It's a central place where people can apply for financial help from the public to make their project a reality:

And here is Wendy's presentation

This is Wendy's Brattleboro Cheese website, still in construction

The shop is scheduled to open in September, which coincides with the time limit to raise money on Kickstarter. I have everything crossed that she'll make her goal. Good luck, Wendy!

The Attitude of Doin' Right

There's bad in the world, always has been, always will be. Things seem to be focused on the bad these days. People do terrible things and that's all you hear about for weeks on end, one horrible act after another. We escape however we can. If we don't happen upon good stuff we never even hear about it. But there's plenty of reasons to be hopeful, and right now I want to share the good I've found lately. Two short films I caught lately.

First is a documentary about Sister Helen Travis, a late-to-the-calling nun who founded a recovery center for men in the Bronx:

And then is the story of Tom's Shoes, a company that gives a shoeless child a pair of shoes for every pair someone buys:

These two stories alone can pick your head up if it's down and be outright inspiring if you're already okay. A coworker used to call me "Rebecca of Darkstar Farm". I'm not known for being optimistic. But damned if these stories didn't throw me out of the "That comet can't come fast enough" mode.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Strawberry is a Mammal

Well bythejesus, it's been busy. Having just stumbled upon some ugly revolting developments I've decided to take a break and try to start catching up to blogland. Even when I'm not taking a recess days go by and there's not been time to get back here til now.

I do have some funnies to share. Here is a QI -great entertainment on its own- but a friend put me on to turning the volume off and reading the captions. Gives a whole new perspective...

The title of this is "Things are Tough All Over"

Billy Connolly on Prophets (with the usual Connolly warning)

For all who've worked in retail (the Connolly warning applies here too)

Okay, that's it for break time. I'll get to serious stuff at some point; there's a long list of it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recess is Over

Well, that was nice. I ate strangely and read a lot of A Dance with Dragons. I watched Youtubia in a stream of consciousness way. Found this goodness:
Learned that before you have a stroke you smell burning toast.
Fasted on Lammas, thinking of that saying, "When you're full, remember what it is to be hungry."
And I discovered a tv show I actually like, "Perception." I'd avoided it like the plague but it's not bad at all.
I did nothing but bare essentials.
Didn't answer emails or return calls.
Of course, that didn't mean anyone else slowed down. I have a lot to do come Monday. Fridays in the Summer are useless to get anything serious done. I'll ease back into things over the weekend, do the family catchups, answer the emails.

One thing I know is that people have to take a break from writing books. I have too many friends and acquaintances with books coming out, month after month. Really, this has to slow down. I can't read that fast anymore because if I do I don't recall anything. And they add up expensewise. So quit publishing until 2013. I should be caught up by then.

Speaking of, I saw a review of Michael Lloyd's book here and found out that another guy from the Magickal Childe years has also written a wayback machine book
I don't think I've seen Wasserman since 1995. I emailed him once years ago; he didn't reply.

And Wayne Kernochan's been banging books out like no tonorrow. I just ordered this one
(this is the Kindle version)

There's a new ELP bio coming
And of course Greg's full book-form autobio will be out at the end of the year.
So yeah, everyone take a break. I recommend it.
I'll be back later with news.