Friday, April 29, 2005

The Three Goals

David Budbill

The first goal is to see the thing itself
in and for itself, to see it simply and clearly
for what it is.
No symbolism, please.

The second goal is to see each individual thing
as unified, as one, with all the other
ten thousand things,
In this regard, a little wine helps alot.

The third goal is to grasp the first and the second goals,
to see the universal and the particular,
Regarding this one, call me when you get it.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Baby It's Cold Outside

Woke-up to a temperature of 32F/0C this misty morning. Each blade of dew-covered grass sparkled even though the sunlight was hiding behind a thick layer of gray clouds. It was not until I brushed against one of the branches of the lilac bush that I realized everything was sheeted in a thin coating of ice. I've never heard leaves on a healthy plant rattle before.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

William Stafford

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we man miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

News Flash!

"The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, has landed safely, completing its maiden flight"
-BBC News

I really hate to bring this up but isn't that what an airplane is suppose to do?

Elvis Kissed Me

T. S. Kerrigan

"Elvis kissed me once," she swears,
sitting in a neon dive
ordering her drinks in pairs.

Two stools down you nurse a beer,
sensing easy pickings here.

"Back in sixty-eight," she sighs,
smoothing back her yellow hair.
Teared mascara smears her eyes.

Drawing near, you claim you've met,
offer her a cigarette.

"Call me cheap," she sobs, "or bad
say that decent men dismissed me,
say I've lost my looks, but add
Elvis kissed me."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

This Is Just to Say

William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This Is Just to Say

Eric-Lynn Gambino

(for William Carlos Williams)

I have just
asked you to
get out of my

even though
you never
I would

Forgive me
you were
me insane

Monday, April 25, 2005

Mehitabel's Song

Don Marquis

there s a dance or two
in the old dame yet
believe me you
there s a dance or two
before i m through
you get me pet
there s a dance or two
in the old dame yet

life s too dam funny
for me to explain
it s kicks or money
life s too dam funny
it s one day sunny
the next day rain
life s too dam funny
for me to explain

but toujours gai
is my motto kid
the devil s to pay
but toujours gai
and once in a way
let s lift the lid
but toujours gai
is my motto kid

thank god i m a lady
and class will tell
you hear me sadie
thank god i m a lady
my past is shady
but wotthehell
thank god i m a lady
and class will tell

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Philip Appleman

O Karma, dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme abreak before I die:
grant me wisdom, will & grit.
Trustworthy, loyal helpful, kind,
gimme great abs & steel-trap mind,
and forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice-
these little blessing would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good-
and the good people nice;
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


David Budbill

I want to be

so I can be

about being

What good is my

when I am

in this


Friday, April 22, 2005

Sweater Weather: A Love Song to Language

Sharon Bryan

Never better, mad as a hatter,
right as rain, might and main,
hanky panky, hot toddy,

hoity-toity, cold shoulder,
bowled over, rolling in clover,
low blow, no soap, hope

against hope, pay the piper,
liar liar pants on fire,
high and dry, shoo-fly pie,

fiddle-faddle, fit as a fiddle,
sultan of swat, muskrat
ramble, fat and sassy,

flimflam, happy as a clam,
cat's pajamas, bee's knees,
peas in a pod, pleased as punch,

pretty as a picture, nothing much,
lift the latch, double Dutch,
helter-skelter, hurdy-gurdy,

early bird, feathered friend,
dumb cluck, buck-up,
shilly-shally, willy-nilly,

roly-poly, holy moly,
loose lips sink ships,
spitting image, nip in the air,

hale and hearty, part and parcel,
upsy-dasiy, lazy days,
maybe baby, up to snuff,

flibbertigibbbet, honky-tonk,
spic and span, handyman,
cool as a cucumber, blue moon,

high as a kite, night and noon,
love me or leave, seventh heaven,
up and about, over and out.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

This is Alexander Gardener's Civil War photo Death of a Rebel Sniper taken at Gettysburg. I have seen this photo's so many times that now each time I see it, it is like looking at a old family keepsake. I was reading a piece in the May/June 2005 issue of The History Channel Magazine about Civil War snipers the other night and this photo was on the fourth page of the article. As I examined the photo for the hundredth time I was startled to see the face of a man in pile of rocks behind the rifle. The face, tilted to the right and bearded, is on the rock just above and behind the rifestock and hammer.

At Gettysburg where, as one ghost tour site says, on July 1 - 3, 1863, 51,000 Americans, North and South, became casualties, spirit energies still run high. In the fields where they were slaughtered, in the Gettysburg houses where the wounded were sheltered and died, in the back yards where they were buried, strange, unexplainable events that can only be attributed to the paranormal, continue to occur.

That would explain why there might be a ghost in this photo. But, is there really a face in the photo? If so, it must have always been there. Why am I just seeing it now?

I've had people tell me they are not sure where to look for the face in the above photo. Here is a smaller version with the area where the face is blotted out.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Five Things I Did Today Instead Of Blogging

1. Mowed the lawn.
2. Read other blogs.
3. Watched Spider Baby.
4. Read about 100 pages of REPORTING CIVIL RIGHTS Part One: American Journalism 1941-1963.
5. Went to Hidden Features and printed copies of the “Easter Eggs” listed for the DVDs I own.

Amazing how time flies when you are having fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Find The Pope In The Pizza Contest

It's over. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, 78, described as, "a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine," is now Pope Benedict XVI. Will the last person leaving the Vatican please turn out the lights.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Back from a long weekend in Denver and coming "home" is getting harder and harder. When we turned off the highway and onto the side road that leads to the town I said to my husband, "I hate this town."
It happens every time I come back from a trip. The smallness of the town and it's people gets deeper and deeper under my skin with each return.

My mother grew up in Manhattan (New York City) and after almost 25 years of living in Denver when asked where she was from she would reply, "I live in Denver but my home is New York."
I realize that after almost 11 years of living here my answer to the same question is, "I live in Kansas but I'm from Denver."

My heart is not here and it never has been, so starting tonight I will end each day and start each morning with the thought, "In a year we will be gone from here."
This is just to get the ball rolling. The where and how I'll figure out later.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Viva La Raza!

I just found out Denver civil rights activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales died Tuesday. Mr. Gonzales was the son of migrant farm workers and as a young man he had been a Colorado Sports Hall of Fame boxer, a bar owner, and a bail bondsman. He was also a poet and his poem, I Am Joaquin, is considered by some to be the starting point of the Chicano Literary Renaissance of the 1960's.

He was the founder of The Crusade For Justice. Ernesto Vigil, a member of the group, has said, "The Crusade for Justice, for a span of 15 years, was the most powerful and effective organization to fight for the rights of people of Mexican descent in the state of Colorado in this century." He is right.

After growing up in Denver with a politically involved mother in the 1960'-1970's, reading of Mr. Gonzales' death brought back many memories for me. I used to walk past the Crusade For Justice building on the corner of Sixteenth Avenue and Downing Street many times. The building was a community center for Mexican-Americans and had a daycare center, a school, a gym, a library, and a dining room. You could also find legal aid and health and housing information there. I never went in because as a "gringa" I wasn't sure I would be welcome.

Then, as now, any group criticizing "the powers that be" is considered dangerous. On the night of March 17, 1973 the police arrested a man for jaywalking in front of Downing Terrace (The Terrace was an apartment building south of the Crusade headquarters which housed Crusade members) causing a crowd to gathered in protest. Things quickly got out of hand. A gunfight stared between Crusade members and 200 Denver police officers. Then an explosion tore apart Downing Terrace killing one man. The Crusade people said the police had lobbed a grenade into the building while the police said the explosion was caused by the weapons stored there by Crusade members. The next day the Denver papers showed a photo of a young women spray painting words onto one of the remaining walls. The message read, "We are not beaten and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such...what has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed".

What I found interesting about the passing of Mr. Gonzales is the fact that The Denver Post noted it on the editorial page. For awhile now the deaths of many former Denver leaders have gone pretty much unnoticed by the paper. Maybe the Post is finally understanding that old news at some point becomes history.

For a very short history of "Corky" Gonzales and the Crusade For Justice go here.

For a deeper understand of the poem I Am Joaquin go here.

For information on Ernesto Vigil's book, The Crusade for Justice: Chicano Militancy and the Government's War on Dissent go here. (There is a photo on the upper right side of this webpage showing Denver police struggling with protesters. The man grappling with the police officer on the far right is Corky Gonzales.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Small Town Life

A couple of weeks ago a farmer in the county south of us found the skeletal remains of a body in one of his fields. When the sheriff got there he looked at it and then called the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to send someone out. The man they were sending could not be there until the next day so the sheriff and his deputies examined the area and flagged all the evidence they could find. Then the sheriff left one deputy out there all night to protect the scene. The whole thing wasn't that urgent since they were fairly certain it was the body of a local man who went missing after a domestic dispute 16 months ago.

Now, I read about this a few days later in the local paper and the thing that flabbergasted me was the this quote by the Sheriff, "There was so much traffic out there we had to have the county department block the entrance. Some curious farmers would drive around our vehicles."

Some curious farmers would drive around our vehicles. Don't any of these people watch CSI?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

No Entry Today

I sorry there is nothing to read today but I am still recovering from the shock of almost having to spend an extra $111,000 on three vehicles I really didn't want yesterday. Some traumas just take longer to get over.

Monday, April 11, 2005

You Break It, You Buy It

Last week my husband decided it was time to buy a new truck (and yes, we did just buy a new car) so today we drove over to a town near us to pick it up. We were told the truck would be ready at 1:00 PM but ended up waiting around for two hours before it was finally released to us.

To pass the time I wandered around perusing the other new cars. Since we were at a Chevy dealer the cars I looked at were Chevys and a few Buicks. The first car I examined was a Chevy SSR. Talk about a high concept car. Chevy calls it Part Pickup. Part Roadster. and uses phrases like vehicle architecture, performance art, and Hot Rod Genetics. Chevy DNA, to describe it. This one was selling for about 50,000 USD/26,445 GBP.

When I got behind the steering wheel I found the seat set to far away from the foot pedals for me so I reached down and pushed the seat adjustment button. The seat moved forward for a couple of seconds and then I heard a grinding, cracking noise down near where my hand was which caused me to jerk my hand up and away from the control button. When I looked down at the front of the seat I was horrified to find a small gouge in the plastic seat trim along the bottom of the seat and to see some sort of big chunk of plastic poking out from beneath it. I didn't know just what had happened to cause the seat trim to be damaged but I wasn't taking the blame for it and I got out of the car and quickly walked away.

I was so upset by what had happened that for the next half hour I just walked around looking at the cars but staying at least two feet away from them. Then I started getting bored so when I found myself in front of a Buick LeSabre- Limited Edition I opened the door and climbed in. The second I was inside the car I started comparing it to my Toyota Camry. Even though it was priced at around 10,000 USD/5,300 GBP more than my Camry it looked cheaper. The grade of plastic used on the doors and part of the console looked thin and flimsy. The leather seats did not feel as smooth and silky as the leather sets in my Camry. Nothing about this car said it was worth all that extra money.

The one thing I did like about it was the design of the dashboard, it had a swoop in it that went up and over the instrument panel. I reached out to grab hold of the dash and when I touched it, it dropped forward and for a second I was afraid the whole thing was going to fall onto the steering wheel. When I looked at it closely I could see that the dashboard was not connected on the left side to the car the way it was supposed to be, it was sitting on top the connector and not snapped into place. I got out of the car and quickly walked away.

Again I just wandered around without getting close to the cars but then I passed what Buick calls a family utility vehicle; the Terraza. It's a nice looking van and I really wanted to get a closer look at it so I decided that as long as I did not climb inside everything would be alright. I reached out and opened the rear driver side door. I really liked how after I opened the door it slid back out of the way automatically. When I closed the door it did the same thing in reverse. When I stepped back from the van I could see the track where the arm that moved the door backward and forward along the side of the vehicle. Right above it and under the rear side window was a long thin rectangle piece of metal. Being curious I reached into the door track and grabbed a hold of this piece of metal and almost broke it in half when it turned out to be a piece of plastic. I turned around and quickly walked away.

For the next 45 minutes I stayed away from all cars. What happened to me made me wonder about the quality of the cars being built in America. I am very glad we bought a Toyota.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Multipurpose Peeps
$80 million: Amount spent by consumers on 1.2 billion Peeps each year.
-Of note: A third of all Peeps are bought not for eating but to be used in science experiments, arts and crafts, dioramas and rituals.

-Rocky Mountain News, Saturday, April, 9, 2005

Rituals? Rituals? Oh God, what are some people doing with their poor little innocent Peeps? I can't even imagine... unless they are talking about that annual celebration know as Peeps microwaving.

More Peeps facts here.

Friday, April 08, 2005

My Darling Clementine

This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
-John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev'ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

I watched John Ford's My Darling Clementine this morning and cannot get the above song out of my head. I love this film, it is such a "John Ford western." Like most of his other westerns this one takes place at a point in time where the old "Wild West" was just beginning to be replaced by the new "civilized" West.

John Ford's view of the west was always romantic with definite heroes and villains roaming the landscape. He viewed women the same way and saw them as either bad or good. The "bad" girls were fun, sexy, and sassy (but you wouldn't want to marry them) and the good girls (before you married them) were sweet, virginal, and demure.

His films were always about the mythical West and My Darling Clementine is based on the biggest myth of all; the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Talk about playing fast and loose with history. The gunfight is depicted as a battle between good and evil when in reality it was a little more complicated than that. It was the end result of an ongoing struggle for political control of the town of Tombstone. But, to paraphrase the quote at the top of the page, John Ford believed that when legend becomes fact, film the legend.

My Darling Clementine was filmed, like most of Ford's westerns, at Monument Valley in the American Southwest . There are beautiful black and white shots of the land and sky throughout the movie. I've driven through Monument Valley and Ford captures the magnificent scope of the area wonderfully.

I've always appreciated blank and white photography. It is luminous in a way color can never be and Ford was a master at filming with it. The contrast between light and dark in black and white can be breathtaking. If you have never see this movie I recommend it highly.

If you want to learn more about the gunfight you can go to either one of these two webpages:

1. Official version of the gunfight.

2. Clanton family version of the gunfight.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

It's A Beautiful Spring Day

So why am I still sitting in front of the computer? Hasta manana, iguana.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.
-Christina Baldwin

The week before I took my time-out my husband left for Pagosa Springs, Colorado to spend time with his father. I spent the next seven days watching every episode of Upstairs Downstairs. Let me tell you, when you watch the whole series in that time frame you are relieved when whinny-butt James kills himself at the end. I mean, could there be a more self involved character in the history of television?

Unfortunately, this distraction did not cure the feelings of depression and loneliness brought on by Emma's death and my husband's departure. Then in the middle of that week my husband called and said he had found a dog. I knew he had been checking with breeders but I thought there would not be any puppies available until late May or early June. Now he was telling me that we could get a dog the following week. I started crying and said it sounded like he wanted to replace Emma with another dog as quickly as possible. I felt that by getting a dog so soon we were betraying Emma. He then said something that erased my fears; we were not replacing Emma, nothing could replace Emma, we were just getting another dog.

The dog he had found was a 10-month-old male who's owner had died in February. Soon after she died her husband had given the dog to a friend but for some reason the friend could not keep him and had returned him to the first owner's husband. I wasn't sure I wanted a male but this dog was small, only weighed 30 pounds, was very loving, and had a great personality. As we talked about him my husband and I agreed it would be easier on Kate if we got an older dog. She had been showing signs of depression and loneliness too and we knew another dog would help her but we were not sure if she could handle a puppy at her age. May be this was the dog for us.

In the end we decided to get him and on Tuesday March 29th he flew into Denver and we picked him up at Alaska Air cargo. When I first looked into the shipping kennel I saw, just for a second, Emma looking back at me. When we opened the crate door and let him out he quickly crawled into my husband's lap and huddled there searching for comfort and safety. At that moment I knew we had done the right thing and that Emma would understand. He needs us and we need him.


Monday, April 04, 2005

I'm Back

Hello everyone, sorry to be gone longer than I anticipated. I have not had access to the Internet since the day I signed off. I am not going to write much today but will tell you that March was a month I would not want to relive again. You know the saying March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb? Well, for me, this March came in like a lion and went out like a lion. I need a day to just chill. Be back tomorrow.