Thursday, December 30, 2010

Honoring All of Me



The sun is shining, bathing the lea in a warm glow. There is an entire meadow of soft greenery for us to dig our toes into. Nothing sharp, nothing dangerous, nothing to mar our time together. There is just the slightest breeze. The sky is the most pleasant timeless blue imaginable.

The first to arrive is a girl about 8-years-old. Her skin has a sage tint, the downshot of difficulties in breathing. She brings me worms, leftover from when she gathered a bunch for her sister's birthday. For some reason she thought worms would make a good gift. She is a bundle of fears, although she is well-fed and well-loved. I just want to hold her wh,ile she breathes. I want to breathe for her.

finishing reading here

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Elizabeth



You have touched so many lives with your grace and strength. May you and your children find the peace you so deserve.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Listen

original here

Water flows from the heart-shaped northern lobe of the Aral Sea in Central Asia, as seen in a recently released picture taken by the ESA/NASA Landsat 5 satellite. Once the world's fourth-largest inland body of water, the Aral Sea has been shrinking over the past 50 years as water has been diverted for irrigation.

The whitish area surrounding the lake is a vast salt plain, now called the Aralkum Desert, left behind by the evaporating sea.

Via Green Consciousness

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blessed Samhein


In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil
that hangs among us like thick smoke.

Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings
arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.

"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze. ~~ Annie Finch

Photo found here

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frank Rich - what happened to change we can believe in?



No matter how much Obama talks about his “tough” new financial regulatory reforms or offers rote condemnations of Wall Street greed, few believe there’s been real change. That’s not just because so many have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes. It’s also because so many know that the loftiest perpetrators of this national devastation got get-out-of-jail-free cards, that too-big-to-fail banks have grown bigger and that the rich are still the only Americans getting richer.
Read it
here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Roundtable - The Politial Battlefield

Little Isis is hosting a blogger roundtable regarding the political battlefield of politics in America at Liberal Rapture. Go visit and add your 2 cents to the comments. And, I hear she is serving popcorn and apple cider!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From the Dep't of: Stand by Your Man

Wife of Clarence Thomas asks Anita Hill to apologise

Ms Hill said she had no intention of apologising for her testimony in 1991 The wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has asked Anita Hill to apologise for accusing her husband of sexual harassment 19 years ago, ABC News reports.

Virginia Thomas has confirmed that she left a voicemail message for Ms Hill at the weekend.

Ms Hill accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings in 1991.

Justice Thomas denied the allegations and was confirmed.

Ms Thomas said in a statement on Tuesday that she had left a message on Ms Hill's office answering machine with the intention of "extending an olive branch".

ABC News said it listened to the recording and reported that Ms Thomas asked Ms Hill to apologise.

"I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband," Ms Thomas reportedly said.

"So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did," ABC News quoted Ms Thomas' answerphone message as saying.

Ms Hill, a professor at Brandeis University near Boston, reported the recording to the campus public safety office.

"I have no intention of apologising, and I stand by my testimony in 1991," she told ABC News.

Ms Thomas, a conservative activist, said in a statement that she would be very happy to meet Ms Hill "and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same".

During Justice Thomas' confirmation hearing Anita Hill claimed that Justice Thomas had harassed her with graphic sexual remarks and pornographic films while they worked together at the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.

Story here

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday, October 02, 2010



photo found here

Needing one, I invented her - - -
the great-great-aunt dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves,
and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow,

and we'd travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she would change us both into something quicker - - -
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish - - - and all day we'd travel.

At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark,
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she'd hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,

this bone dream, this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

- Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ahh, Autumn

It's the only time of the year I can have a fire going in the front room fireplace and the back kitchen door open listening and smelling the pouring rain.

Buck up, Bucko. The audacity of obama

"Even worse, the president was promising he'd judge such "irresponsible" people harshly when it came to their seriousness of purpose: "If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

"Obama is talking to voters as though he is their boss, or their principal, or their father. He is not any of those things. He is their employee. And employers don't like it when their employees yell at them --"

Read it here

H/T to JWS

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Power of the President

Via Glenn Greenwald Charlie Savage:"I'm a huge fan of executive power, but if someone came up to you and said the government wants to target you and you can't even talk about it in court to try to stop it, that’s too harsh even for me," he said."

NYT "A large number of people inside the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department “believe, incorrectly but vehemently,” that enforcement of the Voting Rights Act “should not be extended to white voters but should be limited to protecting racial, ethnic and language minorities,” said the official, Christopher Coates, the former chief of the Justice Department’s voting section."

Gosztola "The Obama administration's adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president's stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department's failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration."

Is it just me, or is there a pattern here?
CORRENTE: more disturbing news

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogger RoundTable




I have been invited to participate in a Blogger Round table with 4 other bloggers concerning the future of blogging, sponsored by tamerlane. This diverse group includes littleisis from Liberal Rapture, JohnWSmart from his blog with the same name, Fionnchu from Blogtrotter, and last, but not least, our esteemed host, tamerlane from True Liberal Nexis.

A huge WTF WERE YOU THINKING to tamerlane for coming up with this idea, choosing the questions and putting this round table together. I hope the readers enjoy this concept as much as I enjoyed participating.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 1st Blogger Round Table on the subject of (drum roll, please)


The Future of Blogging



I'll start by giving you a brief biography of the cast of characters:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cyn
BLOG: DoubleJointedFingers

BlOGGING SINCE:
2000 and Bush v. Gore. I totally didn't see that coming and I was so outraged that I started looking around the Internet to see if anyone else was as enraged as I. I ended up at "Kicking Ass", the DNC blog and stayed there until 2008. A lot of those wonderful Dem friends I had made were not only backing Obama, but vilifying Hillary. I also blogged at Night Bird's Fountain, but left in 2004 and started my own blog.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Legal assistant to sole practitioner attorney

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
Politics

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT ON MY BLOG:
Not that many. I don't feel the need to post every day or even every week, although I did feel the need during the 2008 primary. For me, blogging helps me let off steam, share information and gives me a creative outlet.

HOURS PER WEEK ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
Hard to say, as it varies. I would guess approx. 10 hours per week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FIONNCHU
BLOG: Blogtrotter


BLOGGING SINCE: 2007

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
academic journals; scholarly references; Lunch.com, Amazon US (Top 500 reviewer), New York Journal of Books, and PopMatters websites.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Medievalist turned Humanities college instructor.

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
To share my passion for ideas and get my thoughts out of my mind and beyond the limits of a low-level teaching gig with few chances to find colleagues or students of a like-minded, inquiring, ornery, eclectic, and debatable bent.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
6 (on average)

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
2 (I read fast)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JohnWSmart
Blog: JohnWSmart

BLOGGING SINCE:
2005

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Film Clearance Administration

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
Anger at Bush administration lies.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
20

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

littleisis
Blogs: You can find her at Liberal Rapture or The Confluence

BLOGGING SINCE: I was seventeen.

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
I can't disclose those, this is a family blog.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Student

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
I started paying more attention to politics and entertainment towards the end of High School, after a string of suicides occurred in my graduating class. (Two of them were good friends of mine.) Blogging is the easiest way to shout my opinions at people.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
Depends on the week.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT READING OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS:
Also depends on the week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TAMERLANE
BLOGS: True Liberal Nexus, at JohnWSmart as a guest contributor and at Liberal Rapture as a cross-posted hitchhiker

BLOGGING SINCE:
2009

OTHER PUBLISHED OR POSTED WORKS:
Myriad client profiles, press releases, newsletter articles, print ads, & promotional brochures; Training Agreements, Helmet Release & Hold Harmless forms; a thesis on medieval knights; a published board game; a privately disseminated cookbook.

REAL LIFE PROFESSION:
Horse trainer; former jack of all trades

REASON I GOT INTO BLOGGING:
To protest the Sting of Hillary Clinton and to combat the destruction of Liberalism by the Obamalonian Horde.

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT WORKING ON MY BLOG:
3? 5? 0?

HOURS PER WEEK SPENT AT OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOG:
I have no fucking clue.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the bio portion of the Bloggers Round Table. There will be a brief intermission to allow you to stretch your legs and/or grab a cigarette. Day old donuts on the counter to your left.





** Roundtable Questions **

I The Future of Blogging
1. Can Blogging Save the World?

Cyn: I don't think anything can save the world. I've become somewhat jaded after the 2008 election. I believe there is only so much that bloggers can do to make a difference. However, I do see that the Tea Party (however much I disagree with them), are making a huge difference in the Republican party, but I don't know that it is due to blogging. I do believe that so long as we don't lose our hope of being able to make the world a better place, blogging will continue to grow.

Fionnchu: No, given that our voices will be drowned out.

John W. Smart: No. Nor should it try.

littleisis: Anything that speaks truth to power can end up saving the world. Mainstream press seems more concerned with speaking power to truth these days.

tamerlane: No, but it can rescue a scrap of veracity and free, meaningful discourse -- our samizdat in the face of Pravda Light censorship and Dancing with the Stars distraction.

2. Will Blogs replace Newspapers?

CYN: So long as newspapers need to turn a profit and remain beholden to corporate interests, yes.

F: No, as we lack the funds to afford to investigate issues on our own without the backing that media gain. We also lack credibility unless perhaps attached to a larger blog site sponsored by a corporation. We don’t get the press respect or the PR clout that enables us to garner review copies, either!

JWS: No.

LI: Eventually they will. I use the NYT to line my cat's kitty litter.

TAM: They'll meet somewhere in the middle. Unlike 99% of bloggers, most newspapers still know how to write & edit, and do proper investigative reporting. Most bloggers are hacks suffering from the mind-scours.

3. Should a successful blog: a) charge to read it? b) Accept Ads? c) Ask for donations? d) Stay free, free as the wind blows?

CYN: In a perfect world, stay free, free as the wind. However, if the blogger needs to ask for donations or put ads on their blog to generate income, it doesn't bother me. Especially if it is a blog I follow on a regular basis. I would rather donate than see it shut down.

F: Stay free. I don’t accept ads, I wish blogs were free of ads. I prefer a Net more resistant to consumerism and capitalism. I wish I’d started on WordPress, not Google’s E-Blogger. But, tech- challenged, as I began a few years ago, it’s too late now given the search engine tilts. And, I have a corporation giving me access gratis to make my blog. So, there’s a hidden charge, no free lunch.
JWS: a. no. b. yes. c. yes. d. no.

LI: I don't know about charging readers, but I don't see any problem with accepting ads or asking for donations. Regular blogging can take time.

TAM: Computers and the internet place us at the potential dawn of a new social order, with a truly "free" market where people give things away for self-actualization. Kinda like Star Trek.

II The Blogosphere
4. Person you'd like to see blogging who doesn't?

CYN: Madeleine Albright. She fascinates me.

F: Some of my egghead but populist friends in Ireland and here, who prefer anonymity due to their fears of surveillance.

JWS: Edie Falco.

LI: Seriously. She's brilliant, funny and a great writer. I just have to nab her before TC does.

TAM: John Mellencamp.

5. Does Perez Hilton hurt or help blogs being taken seriously?

CYN: I have no idea as I never knew she had a blog. However, sight unseen, I don't think it would make a difference.

F: I could care less. TMZ and C-Span both serve as entertainment in the media we’re dished out. Any arena will attract the strutters and ballhogs as well as us waterboys and peanut vendors. Bloggers are caricatured as kooks by the mainstream, but the MSM funds and uses them too. I think FB or whatever future medium rises will erode blogs more, as people read less. Scanning and Twitter and instant updates also substitute for what a few years ago blogs provided as a method to share tidbits and finds on and off the Net. E-mail dwindles as people don’t use that to share information as links or photos or articles among a list of friends, and as with discussion lists in the late 90s, blogs may fade more in this respect.

JWS: He has no affect.

LI: Not for me to say. Not all blogs should be taken seriously to begin with. Similarly, not all

newspapers should be taken seriously. The National Enquirer or the NYT, for example.

TAM: Who's Perez Hilton?

6. Is the Huffington Post a blog, a newspaper, or something else?

CYN: A blog, and all blogs are not alike.

F: It replaces Time Magazine as a compendium of a safe political slant-- combined with pop culture and stupid photos & videos that I admit being surprised to find. I don’t read it but I get links to it via FB posts by friends now and then. This is what the MSM is evolving towards.

JWS: Something else.

LI: A newspaper, because it repeats talking points.

TAM: It's the air-sickness bag of the proglydite Weltanschauung.

7. Are Kos and Drudge journalists, politicos, or something else?

CYN: In my opinion, politicos.

F: They began as pioneer investigators, but as celebrity bloggers, they’ve capitulated to MSM corporate approval.

JWS: Something else.

LI: Tough question. I'm not even sure if they're human.

TAM: They're two little hitlers who'll fight it out until one little hitler does the other one's will.

III The Art of Blogging
8. Worst sin(s) a blogger can make?

CYN: Knowingly posting lies or advancing an opinion on behalf of someone who pays you to do so.

F: Not revealing sponsorship or perks.

JWS: Thinking they matter more than they do.

LI: Banning people for financial or business reasons.

TAM: Writing when they have nothing to say; Cut & paste; Blogging Under the Influence.

9. The perfect blog post would ...

CYN: Inform me, charm me and make me laugh.

F: Distinguish between cut & paste blather and original insights that the author labored over rather than plagiarized or paraphrased.

JWS: Link to my blog.

LI: Make people think, and laugh.

TAM: Put something in a new light for me.

10. Ideal length of a blog post?

CYN: Personally, so long as it keeps my attention, it doesn't matter.

F: Less than most of mine. 750-1000 words max?

JWS: Depends on the topic.

LI: It would depend on the subject of the post and whether it's an open thread.

TAM: I've retained the self-editing habits from writing for print materials with physical size constraints:
• Daily comment on news: <= 500 words • Weekly observation/rant: 750 - 1,000 words • Monthly philosophizing: 1,500 - 2,000 words. • If you have anything longer, send it to the New Yorker.


11. Ideal format: Minimalist or Glitzy?


CYN: What ever floats your boat or reflects the

personality of the blog.


F: Minimal. I hate distractions. But I do like decorating the margins with artworks and piddling with colors. Google is not as generous as I’d have anticipated with how you can customize your templates.


JWS: Minimal.


LI: I prefer glitzy, but I'm a girl.


TAM: Minimalist.


12. Real-life human activity blogging most emulates?


CYN: Dear diary...


F: Chatting with friends about ideas, issues, and trends. Or talking to yourself. Some may say masturbation in public, but haven’t writers, actors, and creative types been long accused by puritans and prudes?


JWS: Walking.


LI: Telling your children you'd like to do what you can to make the world a better place for them.


TAM: Singing in the shower.


IV Your Blogging Goals


13. Head-in-the-clouds goal for your blog:


CYN: I really don't take my blog that seriously.


F: To gain a patron & recognition for my brilliant acumen so I never have to work again. I keep expecting a MacArthur Grant in my inbox. Acclaim from the academy so I land instant tenure and I can get time to write books rather than entries every other day. I stopped daily blogging when I realized how few people cared about it. But that led to a backlog of dozens of entries, ironically enough!


JWS: Huge profits.


LI: Loyal regulars.


TAM: To have both Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann on the same day mention with disgust the same TLN post.


14. Feet-on-the-ground goal:


CYN: Possibly transfer my blog from Blogger to Wordpad.


F: To keep it up until I die or until some other medium evolves that I can afford to replace it. I feel it’s like a term paper that’s always near due, and it keeps me locked into a self-imposed schedule. It keeps my mind fresher and my thoughts more ordered, as I pretend I have an audience that gets me out of my own self-glorification and makes me aware of the fact someone may take me to account. I have made friends whom I’ve gone on to meet in the “real world,” and that pleases me no end, as such contacts in my daily life are non-existent regarding such comradeship.


JWS: Keep going.


LI: Loyal regulars


TAM: I get lots of hits, but want more comments.


15. Any changes, improvements. additions you'd like to make to your blog?


CYN: I pretty much change my blog design when I get bored with how it looks.


F: I’d like the Google E-Blogger templates to allow more alterations for a tech-challenged type. But now that they have started charging $10 for template changes of some sorts, I wonder. WordPress seems the only competition, but it’s as I mentioned a bit too late to migrate. The Google formats constrict you even as they make it dumbbell-accessible, an inevitable compromise to put such html intricacies in the hands of the huddled masses.


JWS: Yes. There are.


LI: I wish it looked more glamorous, but there's only so many things you can do with wordpress.


TAM: Tags and shit.


16. If you were paid full-time to blog, would you do it?


CYN: No. I would feel stifled.


F: Yes, but I’d prefer a MacArthur grant renewed in perpetuity. I might hate blogging if it was my job. As a hobby, it’s fine.


JWS: Yes.

LI: Absolutely.


TAM: Twist my arm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This concludes our 1st Roundtable. I wish to thank tamerlane and my co-roundtable-ers for taking the time to put this together. It's been lots of fun and I look forward to the next round of the Roundtable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Domestic Violence and Plea Deals

Please, please, please. This is an action alert. Click the link here and let this Prosecutor know that we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.

And, pass this on.

Thank you for standing up

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hypocrite President

As is my habit, I wake up each morning and listen to C-Span. This morning I awoke earlier than usual and was subjected to Obama's speech from last evening. I had no intention of watching this speech, as I am sick of being talked at by a whiny voiced professor.

What I heard was clear. The man who ran for the presidency on his "no vote" for the war was now George W. Bush, spouting how we've done so many wonderful things for the Iraqi people. What a wonderful war this was! We are such wonderful leaders of the free world!

This President, in a very short time, has morphed into exactly what the last president was - a corporate shill willing to put American lives on the line because he isn't strong enough to end the lies. The sellout didn't take very long at all.

In my opinion, this speech has done more to harm than good to his plunging poll numbers.

Oh, and if you are interested, you can read about all of the wasteful spending on this war here via JohnWSmart

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yes, it's the Mosque again

FDL.

The beat goes on. Actually, I am more distressed over the FDA and the egg problem.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Guns and Roses



I have to admit that I am fascinated with the whole "Mosque" at Ground Zero brouhaha. I live in NY and had a daughter and nephew working in Mid-Town on that horrible day. I realize the pain and helplessness of not knowing if I would ever see my daughter again. It was one of the worst days I have lived through.

What fascinates me is how divided we are on this issue. People I have come to call friends due to shared political ideology are so divided on this topic. People I have come to know on blogs in the last 10 years, who have helped me live through the Bush years and the fiasco of the last Presidential Primary. Without them, I don't know how I would have gotten through. These are the same people who saw right through Obama and realized the empty victory of finally having a Democrat in the White House. They are loving,intelligent, savvy, kind, hardworking people from all walks of life worried about the down spiral of America. I may not have ever met them in person, but I know them better than I know my next door neighbor. And, they are divided right down the middle on this issue.

When Hillary had the audacity to run for President, I lost many of my Democratic friends to Obama frenzy. I understand that. And, as far as this division goes, I kind of feel like I don't have a horse in this race. I really don't care if the Center is built or not.

What I do care about is "live and let live". Peace. Reaching out to understand others. All ground is hallowed ground and religion has been the root of too many wars.

I love you, my brothers and sisters of the mighty blogs. I just don't understand the uproar over this. However, I respect you for your opinion and just hope this whole damn thing gets settled soon.

Although THIS pisses me off royally. H/T to Hecate for the link

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sign along the side of the road

God hates a lying tongue.

I couldn't get past the "God hates" part.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010


On the way to work this morning, I heard a clip of Obama on NPR congratulating himself in a speech at Ford Motor Company for his bailout of the auto industry. Seems Ford is putting on new employees and Ozero is taking the credit for job creation linked directly to his bailout.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it a fact that Ford did NOT take any of the bailout funds?

Ahh, yes, I am not crazy. With a little digging I found this: "Desperate To Claim Economic Victory, Obama visits Ford Plant To Tout Success He Had Nothing To Do With."
Photo found here

Monday, July 05, 2010

Stuff I didn't know

It is way easier getting a tan riding around in a convertible than laying on hot sand with baby oil all over your body while the sun beats down on you.

Not that I am advocating sun bathing, but who knew?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Off With His Head



Let me see. We've longed for real journalistic reporting after 8 long years of Bush. Fox news has been the ruination of MSM and CNN and MSNBC are not far behind. On talk radio, Ed Schultz is Rush with a liberal slant rant, with innuendos, opinions and a willingness to sensationalize every farce that comes along.

Now, we have a General who gives an honest interview to Rolling Stone and it is actually published. And, the wheels come off the bus. How dare the General be honest! How dare Rolling Stone publish it! How dare anyone criticize Obama!

I find it odd that people are comfortable with silencing criticism. Believing it more important to protect the President from a critical General than to actually listen to what the General is saying. Open a dialog, per chance? Not in America.

We live in a country where one no longer has to earn respect, but is magically bestowed with intelligence, power and leadership by winning an election. Oh, yeah, and has the right to censor those who don't agree.

Remind you of anyone?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sonnet 18 (liberties taken)


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is her gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in her shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as women can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
W. S. (with h/t to JWS)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blessed Summer



As I'm carried down the Lake Road with the tall trees at my side,
My gaze is pulled upward by the vast and glorious sky.
I start to feel the power that is hidden in the earth,
and my ears are filled with music, and I understand rebirth.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bitchin'

Within the last week I have dealt with 3 different companies all of which have made me want to tear my hair out, scream, reach through the telephone to strangle someone or, a much safer bet, boycott them.

Company No. 1: Time Warner Cable
My Dad passed away in January of this year. Shortly thereafter, I phoned Time Warner, advised them my father had passed away and discontinued the service, asking for a final bill which was forwarded to me. Near the end of March, I was officially appointed executrix of my father's estate, opened an estate account and began paying bills in the first week of April. Within a week of paying the Time Warner bill, I rec'd a second statement. I called the company and they assured me that the payment and bill had crossed in the mail and the account was paid in full.

Last week, I rec'd a bill from a collection agency for my father's Time Warner account. I phoned the collection agency and explained that my father was deceased and the bill had been paid. I was advised by the representative that she could not speak to me without my father's permission. I once again advised her that my father was deceased, I had been appointed executrix and therefor had legal capacity to discuss this account. She once again asked me to put my father on the phone so she could get his permission to speak to me. When I told her he had died, she expressed sympathy and asked if there was anything else she could help me with, as she could not discuss the account with me.

Company No. 2 - Snyder Propane located in Fort Plain, NY
Once again, this was my father's account. My sister had called the company and asked that they remove the propane tank and reimburse us for the propane in the tank (which was full). Although my father was charged rent on the tank, there was a $70.00 fee charged for its removal, a $25.00 travel fee (which they waived), and sales tax in the sum of $5.60 charged for the labor to remove the tank. Bottom line - $120.43 worth of propane was in the tank, the company is located less than 10 miles from the house and rec'd a $44.83 credit to his account. To add insult to injury, I now have to phone them to turn the credit into a check payable to the estate.

Company No. 3 - Frontier Communications
I recently turned on the telephone at our summer place. I do this each year, turning it on in May and off in October. I am always billed at my residence address. Approximately one month after turning on the phone this year, I rec'd a letter stating that I had not paid any of the bills for 2009 for the summer phone and unless I paid within 10 days, both of my phones would be disconnected. I checked my records and they were correct. I could find no payments for the summer phone last year.

I was provided with a return envelope for forwarding the payment, but it had a window where the address would show. However, I hadn't received a bill, but a letter, with no address for payment of the bill. I called Frontier to ascertain how it was that I had not received any bills and where payment should be sent. After approx. 15 minutes of canned music, I was told that the bills were sent to the physical location of my summer residence, which has no mail box nor an address on file at the local post office. Additionally, although I have another phone which is active year round, I was never notified that the bills were unpaid.

I ended up locating a local office to pay the bill, rather than to mail it and rely on the company to actually apply the funds to the correct account. Bottom line is although I immediately recognized the mistake and attempted to rectify it, Frontier took no responsibility for their error, nor lack of follow through. It appears that if I hadn't turned on the summer phone this year, they would never have rec'd payment for the year 2009.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

"We call upon the earth, our planet home, for its beautiful depths, and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together, we ask that it teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the mountains, the cascades and the olympics, the high green valleys and the meadows filled with wildflowers, the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers, and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the land that grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the forests, the green trees, reaching strongly to the sky, with earth in their roots, and the heavens in their branches, the fir, the pine and the cedar. We ask them to teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon the creatures of the fields and the forest and the seas, our brothers and sisters, the wolves and the deer, the eagle and the dove, the great whales and the dolphin, the beautiful orca, and salmon who share our northwest home, and ask them to teach us, and show us the way.

We call upon those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dream the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are built, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to teach us and show us the way.

And lastly we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of great spirit of love and truth, which flows throughout all the universe, to be with us, and teach us, and show us the way."

Wilma Mankiller
1945-2010
Chief of the Cherokee nation via Cari Ferraro

Friday, April 09, 2010

Battle of the Cooks - Karl v. Cyn - Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

OK, so here's the scoop. My husband cooks 90% of the meals and before you start in, I KNOW I'm lucky. However, I like cooking! I don't mind it at all. Both of my Grandmothers' cooked, my Mom cooked and I cook. I love having someone to cook for me, but our styles of cooking are very different. I love cooking the whole chicken, bones and all. Karl - not so much. For him, it's boneless, skinless, tasteless (to me) white meat.

Enter last evening, I just couldn't face another lump of white chicken. And, to be fair, his chicken is excellent - well flavored and cooked to perfection. It's just not my perfection. I long for a drumstick to gnaw on or some turkey thighs braised in apple cider. So, I decided I would cook my own chicken and he could cook his own. At first, he was a little miffed - no likes to have their food disrespected. However, after thinking it over, he rose to the challenge and off we went in opposite directions. The only rules were we couldn't use a recipe and had to make use of ingredients we had on hand.

THE RECIPES:
Karl's first
Chicken breast was butterflied and marinated in Italian Dressing. When ready to fry, EVOO and a dab of butter in the frying pan. Breast was salt and peppered, dipped in Mayo and dunked in a Pecorino cheese, Italian bread crumbs, instant potato flake mixture. Skillet hot and chicken fried to a deep golden brown. I have to admit, it was very tasty and very moist, just not my cup of tea. He loved it.

Cyn's recipe
Chicken breast was also butterflied and sprinkled with salt and pepper. EVOO and small dab of butter in a pan with 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Cooked slowly until smelled the garlic. Pitted large Spanish olives, capers, diced tomato and diced prunes added to the pan, along with the chicken. Sauteed for approx. 5 minutes, turning the chicken once. Heat turned off and pan covered to allow flavors to meld. When ready to eat, chicken was removed from pan and thinly sliced. Pan was reheated to medium high, added freshly grated ginger, sauteed for approx. 5 minutes with a splash of dry Vermouth added right at the end. Chicken back into the pan and quickly heated through. I adored it.

Naturally, we each thought our creation was the best, mainly due to our individual idea of what food should be. So, although it was a standoff, hopefully it will get us out of the habit of eating the same things all the time and start our creative juices flowing in who knows what direction? Maybe the winner in this challenge was the fact that we had a lot of fun, realized we had such different styles of cooking and we both made something we wouldn't have normally cooked.

I think this is a win, win situation. However, I'm letting Karl do the cooking tonight.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I am so stealing Delphyne's stuff!

School Prayer

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

~Diane Ackerman~
here

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We have a saying in upstate New York

Bullshit.

Quotes from Kucinich:
"I think that with three years left in the Obama presidency, we have to continue to encourage him, but we’ve got to be careful that we don’t play into those who want to destroy his presidency and say—you know, the birthers and others who say that, you know, he should have never been president to begin with."

"One of the things that has bothered me is the attempt to try to delegitimize his presidency. That hurts the nation when that happens," the Cleveland congressman said, sounding genuinely anguished. "We have to be very careful" that "President Obama's presidency not be destroyed by this debate ... Even though I have many differences with him on policy, there's something much bigger at stake here for America."

I thought I was so over politics. I experienced the closure of no longer being a Democrat after a lifetime of being a proud member due to the decapitation of Hillary. I saw what went on up close. However, this "save Obama no matter what" meme is ridiculous. We should keep an experienced, lazy president from taking his lumps? From any hint of criticism? Why? Because we didn't have the foresight to elect someone more qualifed? We bet on the wrong horse?

This bill is awful. It should not be passed. However, Dennis, et al are willing to sacrifice American citizens to line the pockets of Big Pharma and Crappy Insurance Coverage so to legitimize Obama's presidency.

Bullshit.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Changed?

Dennis Kuchinich – Health Care or Insurance Care? It’s Time to Respond!
Dennis Kuchinich’s Web Page

Dear Friends,

The health care decision-making process in Washington is horribly tainted by the campaign contributions of insurance and pharmaceutical interests. Under the pay-to-play system health care becomes insurance care, the public option shrinks to irrelevance, the choice we are left: What kind of private, for-profit insurance do you want? This is not acceptable. We must respond now, and not settle for a plan which subsidizes insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and sets the stage for the privatization of Medicare. We want Health Care for all the people, Medicare for All, which is exactly what the bill John Conyers and I wrote, HR 676, accomplishes. And the only way we will achieve it is to organize and take action in our communities to effect real change at a state and national level. Let us initiate immediately an action plan to intervene and provide health care for all:

1. On-line petition. Please contact your lists, your family and friends. Please sign the petition for a single payer system. I will deliver the petitions directly to your Congressperson.
2. Petition to download, print and circulate among friends and neighbors – including an instruction sheet.
3. A National Health Care for All Conference Call from Washington, DC, at 10 pm EDT, Thursday, September 10th at 1-800-230-1096. Join us, so that we can discuss our new beginning and ways in which we can all help. Pre-registration is necessary in order to reserve sufficient phone lines. Please RSVP here. When you call in and the operator asks, “what conference call?” tell the operator, “Health Care for All.”
4. Health Care Meet-Ups. Coming Thursday September 10 2009.
5. Tell A Friend. Every email forwarded will make a difference? Please use the “Forward Email” link below to circulate up to 5 emails at a time to your friends.

I need your help to initiate this action. If you believe, as I do, that we can and must begin a new long-term state-by-state grassroots effort to create a single-payer, not-for-profit health care system, please contribute now at Kucinich.us
please contribute

Thank you.
Sincerely.
Dennis

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I am thinking Spring


Ostara is nearing and I am thinking of all things I associate with spring - tiny seedling, Robins, cleansing rains, Easter eggs, the feel of sun on my skin, the smell of dirt, March hares and magic in the air. It feels good to know that very soon, life will be bursting forth in full glory.


All wonder and miracles,
All creatures upon the earth,
All things wise and beautiful;
Our Mother gave them birth.
By Lady Abigail

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. In honor of all of those amazing women out there, let's take some time to honor some of them. To get you started, here is a great site with lots of ideas. Not that you need any ideas but Goddess knows, there are so many amazing women out there, it is hard to choose. Today's choice is inspired by all of the substandard journalism we have been subjected to in the past 10 years.

MARTHA GELLHORN




Novelist, essayist and journalist, Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) was a war correspondent during some of the most momentous conflicts of the 20th century, from the Spanish Civil War and World War II to Vietnam, the Six-Day War in the Middle East and various conflicts in Central America. As a correspondent for Collier's Weekly, she reported on the Spanish Civil War, along with her future husband, Ernest Hemingway. From Spain she moved to Germany, chronicling Hitler's consolidation of power and the onset of World War II. She reported from virtually every theater of the Second World War, — Czechoslovakia, Finland, Britain, Burma, Singapore and Hong Kong — and even snuck aboard a hospital ship to witness the D-Day landings in Normandy. Her reports on the Middle Eastern and Central American conflicts appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. A collection of her war correspondences, The Face of War, was published in 1959. From PBS - Reporting America at War

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, January 31, 2010


IMBOLC

So the skies rumbled and the snows came,
And everywhere down through the centuries of this gray night,
Came women gathering to pray,
And to sink their hands into the dark earth.

They gathered seeds and prepared them for planting,
They meditated in the icy darkness,
And they celebrated the lambing of the first ewe,
To hasten spring.

And when through the earth they felt the stirring,
They sang songs encouraging the tiny seeds to grow.

In the dark, wet soil you can smell their work still;
They are digging along beside us. Listen!

The north wind carries their song across the snow,
This Imbolc night.

As the Earth prepares for Spring,
Wise women gather in circles to await the promise of new life,
And to sing praises for the green earth.

And so do we, here now,
This year, and every year.

Welcome Imbolc!

Poem found here


Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Via Liberal Rapture

I put the photo up last night. Today, I find out that Ted Kennedy's Senate seat went to a little known Republican who posed as a centerfold for Cosmo.

When I left the Democratic party in 2008, it was due to the DNC's slavish adoration for the black man who could raise money and had no qualms about throwing anyone who got in this way under the bus. Look what they got. Via Mort Zuckerman of the Daily Beast

“We are convinced,” he said, “that he is not strong enough to confront his enemy. We are concerned,” he said “that he is not strong to support his friends.”
Read it all. It will make you puke.