Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's the perfect week read a banned book!
Have a good one, everybody!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A poem

I oughta save this for Mother's Day but
A. Mother's Day is a dumb Hallmark holiday anyway, and
B. it's a long ways off.

To say I know the poet would be kind of an exaggeration. We were co-staff members of a poetry magazine in college, only 6 of us, but she and I were not paired on a project. She's brilliant and shy and I never got to know her there. But I've watched with interest as her award-winning work has given me a glimpse into a talented mind and heart. Her books have a strong autobiographical thread through them and tell, among other things, about her deep desire to have a child. At the end of the last collection I felt so sorry that she was still waiting for her dream, and so happy when this new book arrived and I saw she finally, at age 45, had a son!

This poem, from that new book, made me smile.


Rocked in my mother's pregnant amble,
and born into forty-five years in the dark,
the egg this child was also swayed in the arts
of lovers I took before you, fed with me

in the public markets of Baltimore and Denpasar
on oysters and rambutan, woke with me each year
to new waves of wander, fish and flower,
liqueur of each region, and bread of each village,

each cup of moonlight in the long sward
between my window and the Wannsee.
The egg he was heard the voices
of everyone I desired and held itself

in some deep hormonal bloom,
taking whatever was remarkable
in my life into its possibility.
We learned not to hurry in Balinese rain,

to listen for the rumble of wild boar
in the Malvan woods. We climbed
into planes bound for cities we'd never
visit again and skin we'd summon

with sobbing. And so, my husband,
as you dream of owning this child,
remember that he has ridden in my fire,
bathed in my blood, and sipped

at the breath I drew the first
time I saw what Rodin had clawed
from stone before he turned from Claudel
and went home for dinner and a clean shirt.

Remember that this child is collage
of everything before you, frangipani
and escargot, five-for-a-dollar boxes
of macaroni, and French cherries

from an old woman in Auvergne
who insisted on the gift
because it was so marvelous
to see a woman travelling alone.

-- Leslie Adrienne Miller

from The Resurrection Trade. Graywolf Press, 2007.

You can get the book at Books-a-Million, B&N, or Amazon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bottlecap philosophy of the day

From a bottle of Honest Tea [TM ] "Green Dragon" tea with Passionfruit, part of yesterday's nutritious lunch at the health food cafe.

The bad news:
there is no key to the universe.
The good news:
it was never locked.

Turns out that Swami Beyondananda is a comedian: click here for his website!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My, um, exciting week

MONDAY: We repaired the screen door (which a raccoon had torn right through to raid the bird seed) and cleaned the porch. At last, it's porch weather again! In SC, spring and fall are the seasons for it. In between, the heat is usually too much. Now we're getting slightly cooler days.

Time to eject a cat from a lounge chair and get comfortable to...

ALL WEEK: ...proofread and edit a manuscript for Larry. I'm not the greatest copy editor. I can't maintain my ability to focus very well, so I miss typos, have to do a lot of backtracking. But I do make some good suggestions and weed out a fair number of typos, and I work cheap! The plan is to finish this project before we head for the mountains for a week, so I can take my own work, and some fun reading with me. Most of Larry's writing is fun to read but nothing is fun to edit - I was not built for detail work.

FRIDAY: My mom turned 80, and that gives us four parents in their 80's.

SATURDAY: As we're loading our car in the grocery store parking lot, a guy comes running out, with 3 store employees after him. He crosses the 4-lane highway, disappears through the trees into the neighborhood beyond and they lose him. We've got the car running by now, so we leave the store, cross the highway, cut through a parking lot, and there he is, strolling across in front of us and letting himself into a house. Back at the store--where they had not only devoted the 3 employees to the chase, but had called the sheriff --we gave them his address.

Later on Saturday, a friend of my brother's came to visit my parents. He had kind of a troubled family and spent a lot of time with us as a teenager, grew quite close to our parents. Hadn't seen him since my brother's 1994 wedding, so it was a cool visit.

SUNDAY: Today was Larry's birthday. The gods smiled - we had no accidents, auto or otherwise!

This date has been inordinately accident-prone. In 2000, our neighbor locked herself out, came to our place to use the phone and tripped on the sidewalk, breaking a wrist and a cheekbone. That was a rental complex, so we had plenty of sympathy and no liability. She and her husband took us to dinner afterwards. Then in 2004, and again in 2005, SUV's backed into us. On his birthday. Who the bleep uses a drive-through ATM, and then backs up?! That was the 2005 incident. Only someone sent by Satan to crunch our front bumper, though one reason we let it go is that the decorative front plate took the damage. The guy offered me $20. I said, "It's a custom plate." "Will you take $40?" I agreed.

By last year we were scared to leave the house.

But 2 years in a row have been incident-free. We finished the day at what used to be our favorite restaurant. We still like it but they had dropped prime rib from their regular menu about a year ago, breaking Larry's heart. They do have it as a special on occasion, and derned if tonight wasn't one of those occasions. Which means this blog has entered the darkling plain of my telling you
what we had for dinner!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Woulda coulda shoulda

This is a picture of pretty much nothing. The eaves of our porch. Well, pine trees. Trees are nice. But yesterday, and for a couple months, we've had a big beautiful garden spider living there. Now she's gone.

We may be too emotionally involved with our wildlife around here, but aside from the fact that, thanks to her, no annoying flying insects have come in our front door to divebomb us--not one all summer--we just loved her. We watched her and her downstairs "sister" build their webs. Larry took care when weeding around the downstairs lady not to disturb a line of weeds that anchored the bottom of her web. We enjoyed the drama as a collection of small males sidled over to each web, hinting around for the privilege of being her lover and her next meal. (Actually in the wild, the female only lunches on the guy sometimes. But if I'd gotten a good photo of the suitors, I still had an "eatHarmony" post all planned out.)

In the AA program I learned the dangers of "woulda coulda shoulda." All the things we wish we could go back and do over. They can drive you crazy. Some of them seep through anyway.

We got back from the grocery store yesterday and there was the Termite Guy.

This isn't our house. My parents own it as a guest house and we live here gratis which makes it possible to meet a lot of our obligations, especially medical ones. It's wonderful. But it's their house and we do things their way. My dad loves lawns. Larry and I both hate 'em. Someday in our mountain acreage we'll have woods and gardens. No bleepin grass. But we keep up the lawn here. OK, Larry does it. 8~)

In our own place, we'll avoid chemical pest control as much as possible. But the folks send the Termite Guy around periodically and it's OK. We did stop the inside spraying long ago. We figured that termite damage affects the house, but inside, chemical sensitivities take precedence. We've got cats for that anyway. Somehow we both thought that ended everything but the termite service itself.
So yesterday we waved Hi at the Termite Guy, said hello to our pretty spider, went inside and put the stuff away. After awhile the bell rang. Termite Guy said "OK, your termite inspection and pest control are done," presented me with the orders to sign, we bantered about the weather as per usual and he went cheerfully on his way. I didn't think to look over at our lady on her web. Though it would have been too late then.

We didn't notice till this morning that our girl and her whole structure were gone. Pest control had done its work. Her sister downstairs was cleaned away too. The words suddenly came back to me: "Your inspection and pest control are done."

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. "Hey we like the spiders so don't bother them, OK?" If I'd thought of saying it when we saw him in the driveway, they'd still be there, munching happily and making eggs. He didn't attend to them till after we got back. Upstairs Girl was still there when we went up with the groceries.

You wouldn't believe how much we care. Larry called the pest people up and told their Saturday answering machine never to bother our spiders again. I went out, looked around hoping she'd escaped, but knew that Termite Guy wouldn't have been doing his job if he just said "Shoo." Our 2 spiders are dead. No rewind.

I sat on the steps and had a good cry, helped some by the cat pragmatism of Scooter who mewed irritably and headbutted me: "This isn't about me so it can't possibly be important. Scratch right here." Then I walked around and visited the three who had not built on the house itself and thank God, they were well and happy.

There's one:

But the two on the house -- they shouldn't have died, damn it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A nice break from errand-day

Just had a couple of days too boring to go into -- cat-loosened computer wires ("What the bleep is the matter with this thing?!"), Vista-incompatible programs, errands, lost orders (though we found the stuff eventually). What a great day to run into a fun timewaster website over at Nellie Blog.

I decided to Simpsonize myself over to my favorite mini-mart for my drug o'choice, a fountain Diet Coke fix. 32 oz., only a little ice, and a shot of Full Throttle [TM] energy drink mixed in. Good, stuff, man! Now i'm ready to put my achy head to bed early.