Archive for July, 2011

First, I love the boxes that I get at Atkins. When I shop at Atkins, I don’t have my groceries bagged; rather, I grab a box from their Wall of Boxes and stick everything in there.

The Wall of Boxes has a lot of cardboard “crates” in which bananas, melons, hmm, that’s all I can think of, bananas and melons, have been shipped.

The Wall of Boxes also has A LOT of wine and beer boxes. These are the boxes to which I gravitate. They don’t have the huge “breathing” holes nor do they have gunky leftover leaves of plants in the bottoms. The beer and wine boxes tend to be the perfect shape for putting underneath my desk to collect the household paper-recycling and to load with clothes and household goods to send off to the Goodwill (soon, soon, I swear). These boxes are also perfect for packing a cupboard’s worth of foodstuffs for several days on the Cape.

But the real reason to love these boxes is the graphics:

This is the other side of the lemons’ box:

You may not be able to read the fine print, but it says that the trademark on the design goes all the way back to 1928. Pretty cool if you ask me but since you didn’t ask and this is my blog, I get to say what’s cool anyway. Queen of Sheba and Lord Grand Poobah, I am.


And this one, over which Violet nearly flipped (“Mom, Mom, can I have it?”) (blurry photo=apology from twinkly):

So that’s all pretty good for Thankful. But there’s more.

Violet was away at camp for 2 weeks and here I will gush. She came home with hair like this:

And she made, among other amazing things, this:

Alternate view, since it takes a minute to “get it:”

It’s an anatomical heart. Made of glass. Unbelievable that kid of ours (again, sorry about the blurriness of the photo)

If that’s not enough, Annie obtained a cupcake-decorating book last week, so she’s been making cupcakes like mad:

That’s about it for today. It’s a lot, isn’t it? All of this saved you from a Thankful Thursday about men in kilts. Maybe next time:

He’s wearing a pink shirt. You know how I feel about a man in a pink shirt, don’t you?

I just realized this is Gerard Butler in an ad campaign which sort of sucks and makes me want to remove the photo. But he’s so beautiful, I’m just gonna leave it. Plus, those beautiful graphics on the shipping crates are all about advertising, too. This brings the post a little bit full circle. Full circle. Another thing for which I am grateful.

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I sifted through almost my entire Facebook Wall last night, going back almost the 3-plus years I’ve been on. It was impressive, everything that I wrote, that others wrote to me. Really fun stuff and a lot of good music and musing on politics.

I got nothin’ today. Still not ready to revisit sexy songs. Hubby is away, my car is acting up, there’s a yellow jacket’s nest that I haven’t dealt with on the inside of the door to the shed where the girls’ bikes are stored.

I was thinking about Bonnie Raitt singing “Angel from Montgomery” last week, but not so much today.

I have thought the tiniest bit about Norway, but there’s nothing to be done.

I looked back at Facebook to find the day that our dog, Aggie, died. It was September 19, 2008. I would have thought it was 3 or 4 years, yes.

This is the song that I liked hearing:

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Protected: 3 older poems

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I’m feeling a little off today and thought I might need to bitch, rant, and curse. This is why I need forced gratitude.

Something happened recently–I think I missed the last time I’ll ever have my period, IN MY LIFE! This has been part of me for 34 years, and POOF, it’s gone. I think it’s been over 3 months. But if you know anything about menopause, you know that at least it’s unpredictable. A woman could never know it would be her last period. There’s no goodbye to plan for, just waiting to see if any blood will come again.

Look, I know it’s not popular to talk about menstrual blood, but fuck it. Those stupid ads where a pad is shown absorbing water. It’s like it’s a fucking diaper or something. But as Paul says, what do you want them to do, show real blood? Maybe, I think.

I told my acupuncturist that I was sad because maybe I didn’t get to say goodbye to my period and she said maybe my body will hear this and I’ll get my period again with a vengeance. Funny.

The other thing is that at 48, I’m jealous of my friends who are 54 and 55 who still bleed. This makes me older than they are on some level, you know. Fuck it.

The washing machine blips at me

I am in the kitchen, you in your “new” office in the basement

Annie in her own bed (for once)

I need to be grateful, making my lists

So what do I love today?

Fans, old metal fans

If I could understand physics at all, I would know why this design never goes out of style

curved metal petals in a ring around the center to push the air along

I think of fronds and woven grasses on the ceilings of huts in hot places

I had this huge old metal fan that probably my own family got used (that’s how my dad was) and I used it for a long time.

In our old circa 1920 house, you could stick the thing right in the window and it was beautiful. In this house, the windows are too narrow with no sill and short (about 18″ high, if that) and they only open to 45 degrees.  But I used to prop the monster right on the floor to move the air through our stupid long ranch-house anyway. Clearly, the thing needed some attention–the cord and motor were pretty rickety–and because it weighed a ton, it would clank and bang against my legs when I carried it up from the basement. So I found this older guy in Northampton who still knew a thing or two about metal, motors, and repairable small electrics. He fixed it, for all of about 15 bucks. Ed. His shop is so cluttered, dark, and dusty, I don’t know how he breathes or moves around the lamps and hand-mixers and toasters without knocking everything over or how he knows what he’s fixed or not. He wears a big button-down shirt, full open to his large tanned belly, and he has piercing blue eyes in his large face.

Anyway, I brought the hulking beast (the fan, not Ed) home, set it up on the floor. That motor was so damn powerful, it’d knock over a lamp. But I walked away for about a minute and the damn thing started sparking and set the [45-year old] carpet on fire. That was it. I had to let it go.

I still have a large metal box fan that I bought at a tag sale in Stow, Ohio for ten bucks. It works pretty well and Ed fixed the cord on it, too. Just a little afraid to use it…

Those were the days, hunh?

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Last week’s Music Monday got me thinking about this song.

From my meager knowledge, this is about as close as we get to a modern [American] murder ballad; I realize it lacks certain elements that tend to be present in the genre.

There’s another live version of Springsteen doing this on a 12-string. I prefer it, but the recording is a bit harsh and his voice, more monotone. Something feels more authentic about it though. (Actually, I truly prefer the studio version but it’s not on youtube anyway).

As I was trolling around on youtube, thank God that I found this, too. I had no idea Springsteen had it in him to be this sexually bold in a song. The version released on “Born to Run” was suggestive, but not really, right? It’s all teenage pop with no room for the bravado and double entendre.

Sadly, without some remixing, it’s hard to hear the vocals clearly-they’re pretty sketchy.

After that, I’m ’bout ready to let Bruce feel my own crushed velvet seats.

Late breaking post update: I just found out that “Pink Cadillac” was not released on “Born to Run.” Whatever the hell I used to hear as a radio hit must have been the B side of “Dancing in the Dark.”

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Today is in between my birthday and my brother’s birthday. So that’s something.

I’m excited about tomorrow being my bday, but my 15 yo is away, overnight, for another week-and-a-half and I don’t like that part of tomorrow being my bday.

I watched “Nova” last night with my younger daughter. The show was about cuttlefish. Daughter was very happy and that made me happy. She’s still gushing about cuttlefish, especially the flamboyant cuttlefish. That name rivals resplendent quetzal for cool names in the animal world, don’t you think? And the Linnaean name is also cool: metasepia pfefferi. Is it peppery or did someone named Pfeffer discover it? No matter; those cuttlefish are amazing on many levels, mostly because their skin can change color via 2 layers of specialized chromatophores…yes it’s true. AND, if that’s not enough reason to love the cuttlefish, there’s this Tom Waits lyric from the excellent song Lucinda: “skin as white as a cuttlefish bone.”

I did get a haircut today and I loved that.

I did buy myself a present, too:

Naturally, the photo doesn’t do the necklace justice. It was made by Rebecca Rose. Her work is exquisite and simple and not too hard on the wallet.

(Now to clarify–I’ve been in the dumps fighting a cough for 2 [fucking] weeks [goddamn it]. I thought is was getting better (Sunday and Monday), but it’s gotten worse again for a few days. It’s unfortunately hard to keep happy and positive when I’m feeling so cruddy. I’m hot, I’m coughing, my scalene and serratus mm are sore. I’m tired of doubling over and of taking icky sticky cough syrup and of sucking on lozenges (that attract ants if they fall on the floor; the wrappers, too). I’m sleeping for shit. I hate whining, but I’m whining. I think I need antibiotics. Why didn’t I get them sooner? I have never had a cough like this that lingered so long. It has not been severe, just lasting.)

Thankful that I have a dr’s appt this afternoon.

Whew. Back from the doctor and I have a Z-Pac in hand.

Oh, hell. You know that Tom Waits’ song? It’s so dang good, I was gonna post a video right here. But he can’t sing any more in the live versions (Hubby says he doesn’t need to be able to sing which I suppose is true) and you can find the studio version yourself. I love that song goddammit!

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Today, the music is courtesy of Camille Saint-Saens from “The Carnival of Animals,” the piece called “The Aquarium.”

Since I went to see “Tree of Life” last night, I was thinking about other Malick flicks. The movie was sold out, so we ventured on to “Midnight in Paris.” Nothing sums up my feelings for that movie quite like this review.

“Days of Heaven” is one of my favorite movies, but that’s really an understatement. Hence, I insert a quickie review of mine from a few years ago:

This is in my top ten of all time. A masterpiece from the golden era of American cinema. Allegorically, the story of the clash of agriculture with the coming industrial revolution. None better than the ethereally beautiful narrator played by Linda Manz and the only Richard Gere movie that’s worth a damn. Haunting soundtrack and haunting images. Unmatched cinematography. A time passed that we’ll never see again, both in cinema and in America. This should be required viewing for all. I did have a friend who thought it was too slow and that, well, nothing happened. Go figure.

Now please witness one of the most striking opening sequences in movie-dom and a perfect marriage of music and image.

(Sadly (and ironically since this is Music Monday) both the first and last few notes of the piece are cut off in this clip).

When I watch this, I feel like I’m seeing something I’m not meant to see–it’s all mystery, a secret. The turn of the boy’s head as he lights a cigarette; the smiling but calm children looking up from play. They can see through me. I am unnecessary, superfluous. I am the passer-by; they are permanent. Voyeur.

I recognize a couple of the images–the one of the man with the socket wrench is Margaret Bourke-White. I am sure I’ve seen the man jumping across the 2 rocky cliffs outside of these opening credits, but not sure where. That ice palace stuck with me from first time I saw the film; again, haunting is the word that comes to mind. I looked all over the internet and while I can’t be sure, I think it’s the Ice Palace from the Montreal Winter Carnival, circa 1884. Frozen in time.

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New Picture, self

You know, I want to put a new photo of myself up. On Facebook, I switch my profile picture a lot a lot a lot. I love to do that on FB. Here, there’s not such an opportunity. Even posting many photos in a post is not great. It’s the layout or my dashboard set up or both. I’m not sure. I guess there are blog formats more suited to photography and this isn’t one of them. I always like the way O’Brien‘s photos look on her blog. They are never crowded or too much. Just perfect.

I’m not sure about the whole “gravatar” thing. There was one photo I put of seaweed from a beach in Rockport and then another photo from a trip to Storm King–I’m in front of the Andy Goldsworthy wall. Those are the “gravatar” photos here on my wordpress account. I’m not quite sure how to alter them or even how to delete and exchange them…maybe I could figure it out.

It’s easy to keep photos up of myself that are flattering. It’s easy to keep photos of myself as I was younger–even 6 months can make a difference nowadays, but really more like 8 months and I notice a difference. It’s not that I’d put up a photo that’s bad or unflattering, but I should like to stay a little honest.

One problem is that our camera has had a spot of water on the lens, and I mean smack dab in the middle of the lens, for over 2 years. Christ-amighty what’s wrong with us? That does mean some photos get weeded out automatically.

This is a good one. Or maybe it’s not. It’s sort of stupid, just standing for a photo. I’m usually behind the camera, but I like photos better that are taken in interesting places or with my kids. But I won’t put photos of them here anyway. I’m quite vain, you know. Maybe you can tell. Maybe it takes vanity to have a blog. I like to read my own words and sometimes I read them over and over. Mostly the poems.

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I like when my inbox has fewer than 400 emails. I achieved this about 2 weeks ago–was almost down below 384, but it’s slowly inching up. When I first had an email account, I could keep my inbox to 20 and less.

I love acupuncture. I now have a low tolerance for an aggressive needle-technique. I wonder why I was able to deal with painful-er needles for a number of years. My current practitioner is so, so gentle with the needles. Almost as soon as a couple of needles are in, I feel my system re-balance; often I relax and doze. My long-time toyohari practitioner (a Japanese interpretation of acupuncture in which needles are NOT inserted) said that I take treatment well; my body soaks it up and responds easily. It is good medicine for me. I love acupuncture.

The way eggs feel when gathered right out of a nesting box. I like the way the eggs are warm and the way they are smooth. I like the rosy-colored ones and the chalky green ones especially.

I’m struggling today to find things for which I am grateful. Could you tell?

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Happy 4th of July, my American brethren and sistren! I thought it would be unpatriotic if I posted a sexy song or the Habenera from Carmen or Beethoven’s 7th, 2nd movement. Not only that, it would be fucking pretentious. So I found this piece of fluffy nostalgia:

Will this song be around in 50 more years? 100? Time will tell, time will tell. Maybe I underestimate; lookie here: In 2010, Billboard named the song the 20th sexiest of all time (source: youtube). It does say “the thought of rubbin’ you is getting so exciting” after all. But with that tempo and those haircuts and harmonies, sex is not the first thing I think of when I hear it. It’s not even the second thing I think of….While I’m all for sex in the afternoon, sex to the sounds of this song? More like BBQ, deviled eggs, potato salad, and badminton. In other words, perfect for the 4th of July.

I did find this, which really is a 4th of July song. I like it pretty well, it’s short, and this guy is funny:

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