Archive for April, 2012

We just got news that our dear Nora is out of surgery.

Undoubtedly challenging times ahead, huge changes. Send your loving thoughts to Montreal.

Nora, Nor-ski, The Nor-ster, Shark Bait. All of these. Her favorite color is yellow and she loves elephants and swimming.

Mighty Nora. You go girl, we love you!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Read Full Post »

How can you not be full of gratitude on a day like today? It’s beautiful outside, cool and crisp and sunny. The strong wind that whipped around the Valley every day for over a week has finally subsided. It will probably climb into the upper 60s later on. Yum.

This morning, our dear young friend is undergoing major surgery in Montreal, a full spinal fusion, from the sacrum up. It will take up to 8 hours. My mind will be on that at times throughout the day.

I’ve been listening anew to a bunch of Julian Cope. Wishing I could hear Jehovahkill though we somehow lost the disc; it was actually my initiation album to all things Arch Drude.

Julian Cope is as crazy as a loon, but he has managed to crank out some great stuff over his three decades on the scene. This from the stellar Peggy Suicide

Read Full Post »

Yes, bike ‘n’ bitch was embedded in a previous post, but as I make my way back into the world of cycling, I feel the need to give an update on my progress. You know, for me. So I know. So I know I’m doing this and taking it seriously, in spite of my years away, in spite of my age, in spite of of of of.

When I do yoga, I am full of fierce power and strength and flexibility and balance and inner peace and spiritual connection to the void and the expanse, with nothing to prove to anyone; but with biking, it is obvious that a very aggressive part of me is looking for expression. I’m not a biking slut. I am not a biking whore. I am a biking bitch. I know that sounds silly. I hate blogs by women who call themselves bitches. I hate the overuse of the word biatch. This is all part of the reason, not yet fully understood by me, for my need to be a bitch around the issue of bicycling. At least for this moment.

Today’s ride:

yes yes yes

today’s potholes and frequent lack of shoulder reminded me of the Julian Cope song No Hard Shoulder to Cry On, an excellent pun and particularly apropos considering that I spent much of last Saturday’s ride bitching and crying; also coming home to a house sans Hubby

today I was much more comfortable in the incredible wind coming off of the Hadley fields. I felt stronger and less afraid when it pushed me sideways along with it. Yes, fuck you, wind, you didn’t knock me over last week and you won’t today, ha ha!

what else? I am gaining confidence at intersections and on banking my turns without slowing myself down.

next challenge: to keep my shoulders relaxed enough that my mid-traps aren’t burning like the fires of hell mid-way through a short ride. Fuckin’ A!

Until further notice, I have also decided that I will feature someone giving the finger in each bike ‘n’ bitch post. This is probably the most famous one around and coincides quite nicely with the recent Johnny Cash fest in my car

P.S. I will not tell you a. whether I was tempted to flip someone off today while riding or b. whether I actually did flip someone off. Some things a gal needs to keep private until she is able to overcome the tendency to make manifest her inner bitch.

Yours truly, the bike ‘n’ bitch, twinklysparkles

Read Full Post »

I do feel like complaining a little and this is exactly the point of Thankful Thursday

So let’s have at it:

Last night, I went out. BY MYSELF. Yeah, me. What did I do? I went to a poetry reading held at the Eileen Fisher store in Noho (that’s Northampton to y’all who don’t reside in the Commonwealth).

Anyway, the space was lovely, all wood and white and brightly, yet soothingly, lit. Sumptuous colors and yummy textures of clothing. A spread of cheese and crackers and strawberries and little bottles of Perrier (I had 2 of those).

The reading was given by 2 local poets, Patricia Lee Lewis and Diana Gordon. I had seen the websites of each of them, but I don’t know them or their work. Now I know a little bit more. I even bought 2 books, had them signed (TO ME!).

While I don’t want to diminish the quality of the evening and of the poets’ work, because everything was truly wonderful, the thing for which I am most grateful, aside from the aforementioned just being able to go out on a date by myself, is that the second poet, Diana Gordon, finished her portion of the reading with Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat.

This is one of the earliest and most familiar pieces of writing of my life. It is like a part of me, my heart, by heart. My father gave me a few books of poetry when I was young, one an over-sized book of Edward Lear’s nonsense poems. Maybe he read the poem to me then, maybe not; I do not remember. I later lent away the book to my good friend’s daughter who was like a little sister to me and who I grew up with when I was 21 and she was 3 and my father was dying. I never saw the book again, as is the case with so many books we love and which we know are out-of-print. Even then, when I lent it out, the cover was coming away from the binding, I remember the gap and the white stitching, the blue pages at the front and back where there are no words.

When Diana was about midway into the first stanza, my eyes welled up. I do believe that in all of my years of reading this poem out loud to others—myself, my father, my two beautiful and amazing daughters at many bedtimes, this is the first time I remember anyone reading it out loud to me.

And that is why we keep trying one more day

I found this charming illustration on google images and with a little research, discovered that it is by Mary Ellsworth, from The Colorful Story Book (New York, The Saalfield Publishing Company, 1941).

This style of painting feels quite right to me for the poem. A little European, more detailed and grown-up and proper than later styles of children’s book illustrations, somewhat distancing, but simultaneously engaging, inviting the viewer to be right there on that hill in the bright day with the three of them; we are party to their wedding and so it shall ever be.


Read Full Post »

My wireless mouse is possessed (or maybe it just needs new batteries)

One of our credit cards is cursed by Satan (but they all are, really. who am I kidding?)

A friend told me once that poker is a man’s game, women can’t play it. He was a poet, but apparently not in his assessment of poker and gender. Then again, I can’t play poker.

Last night, I had no singing voice to speak of (that’s funny, don’t you think?)

maybe all of the batteries are tied up in vibrators

but probably not. and vibrators don’t really get tied up, not in the literal sense

Do electric razors work well? That’s all I remember my father ever using. He also shaved with powder. Is that unusual?

I still have a tin container of Pepsodent tooth powder. I loved the taste of Pepsodent when I was a kid. It tasted like Beeman’s gum.

I remember something on the Beeman’s package when I was a kid, something about it aiding digestion. Does anyone else remember this?

This is not a quiz.

OH OH OH I was going to announce something, but now I forget

I had a roommate in college who referred to orgasms as THE BIG “O”

I know that’s common parlance, but I never took to the phrase

editing my poems is hard

sometimes things that are hard are good and I suppose I can admit that editing is hard in a good way

I have never seen a movie with Mae West or WC Fields in it. Do you think in 60 years anyone will have?

I used to like this quote by Mae West: my right leg is Christmas, my left leg is New Year’s, why don’t you come up between the holidays and see me some time?

Not everything is about sex.

I got kind of excited when I clicked on the image for the google doodle yesterday, the one with the zipper. What did I think was gonna be under there anyway? What is wrong with me?

I flipped off somebody while I was riding my bike the other day. The driver hadn’t moved over on one of our cruddy Amherst-has-some-of-the-highest-taxes-in-Western-Mass roads which features abundant potholes and no shoulder and that was probably scarier than flipping him off. But I was crying and shaking anyway. I wonder when the last time before that was that I flipped someone off (besides joking)

I’ve had a rough week in some ways, in other ways not. I know I’m privileged, so it’s not that. Ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and valleys, life and death

One of my favorite movies (in the top 125 maybe?) is called The Opposite of Sex, but I don’t think too many folks saw it. It’s not Herzog or anything, but it’s really good. It starred Christina Ricci when she was still zaftig and strange. The flick gets twinkly bonus points because it features a birth without a lot of bullshit medical crap. Like the Sean Penn movie Indian Runner. That one even shows the baby’s head crowning; it is a true, non-medicalized homebirth. Good stuff and you get to see Viggo Mortensen naked. He does not look very tall. He looks like he’s about 5′ 8″, but I don’t really know. When Viggo Mortensen is running around naked, you don’t really care about height any more.

Did you see Grizzly Man? You should. It was great.

The only card game I was ever good at was euchre. In high school and college. I have always thought that this means I am only good at a simpleton’s game.

Read Full Post »

Ja, es stimmt! Werner Herzog will be at UMASS tomorrow. Living in the privileged bubble that we call The Happy Valley has its advantages. Fuckin’ A.

Werner gets style points for mentioning poetry

Read Full Post »

The other day in the car, I was listening to one of our local indie radio stations (yes, I know it’s quaint to listen to the radio) and this song came on and hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. How could it not? It’s crazy and bold and unusual and annoying and entrancing and her voice, well, it’s powerful and clear and schmaltzy and beautiful and perfect for musical theater and it draws me right in. I had to look it up on the playlist when I got home because its title wasn’t announced by the time I got out of the car. And if you think wiki qualifies as research, I did a tiny bit of that, too, just to be fair to the writers. I think it’s a brilliant song.

Yes, Hubby and Violet have finally made it back from China, both in all pieces, meaning each in one piece, at 2 this morning. It was high time.

No one seemed to read my post the other day. I swear, on my stats page, not one hit. What’s up with that? But if you do read it, it sort of makes this Music Monday more of a twofer, as they say in FM-radio parlance, but also, that means it should be posted on a Tuesday. But this isn’t FM radio, you dig? so I’m still in like Flynn.

Read Full Post »

If I told you every reason why Paul and Violet being delayed sucks, it would sound suspiciously like whining. So I won’t. I will only fantasize about whining. and ranting. and having my man back. @#$%*!!!


I think of couplets
as I lie alone

in bed this morning
still empty of you

I cannot make rhyme
nor reason of your

flight’s delay in China
so try for rhythm

but that fails, too

the last day of many
I lie alone in bed

thinking of coupling
finally with you

Read Full Post »

Do you know how far away China is?

I sure don’t because I flunked my geography test last week. Not only that, but my GPS doesn’t tell me the names of the streets.

Hey, the littlest birds just saved you from a post entitled: ugh! wordpress, why are you so dumb?

and that wouldn’t have been very fair because, let’s face it, I love my blog. But I also love irony.

on another note (or is it all the same note?), I am still sad about our dear cat and I am eager to do a real Montreal travel post since it got kinda fucked up along the way

Read Full Post »

Miss Lilly, our beloved cat, died last night at the vet’s office.

I received a call this morning that she had a cerebral edema (swelling to the brain). As she had been on pain meds since she was brought in on Tuesday morning, we expect that she did not suffer. She made great strides in regaining some of her functioning, but whatever impact she endured caught up with her.

Thank you all for your well-wishes yesterday.

I feel badly that our kitty didn’t have a familiar place and familiar people to be with these last 2 days when she was so compromised.

2 cats in 6 months seems especially unfair to us, to them.

This is why Dakin asks you to make the cats indoor cats when you adopt. But Miss Lilly was 3 years old when we got her and when we tried to keep her indoors, she peed on everything. Once we allowed her out, no more pee, and an obviously happier cat. And eff those who say not to use anthropomorphic terms to describe what animals feel. She was happier when she was allowed to go outside, you dig? I know you dig.

She seemed to be in her element outdoors, following me around when I gardened, lying in the sun, taking dust baths (like a pachyderm!), bringing us more rodent (and the occasional squirrel or rabbit) tributes than I could have dreamed possible.

I want to kick myself for it, but the other day (literally 5 days ago) I watched her cross the street, but first she waited for a car to pass, and I commented to my kid that she seemed to know about cars and to watch for them. But I also qualified my statement—you never know when a cat sees something it needs to rush toward, you never know if a driver is going too fast on your 25-mph side street or if they are going 60 mph on the other big road you live on where your other cat was found dead in the street in the dark in the night on Thanksgiving Eve.

I once killed a cat in my car, so there’s that. I didn’t see it, broad daylight, I wasn’t speeding, I still remember it, it was a short-haired gray cat, with a light-blue collar. Fuck it.

Lilly started out as a pretty miserable cat, but we were able, with good, grain-free food, lots of love and patience, to allow her true temperament to come out. She was a sweet-natured cat after all, after months of cranky, swat-and-claw-at-all-human-hands behavior, as well as lots of bad poop and stinky farts. We laughed about it and marveled at the change in her disposition after we got her on the good food.

Now I don’t know if it is the busy corner we live on (our friend down the block also lost a cat to this infernal street), but I feel like I’m being punished for my folly of letting the cats out. I have never had an indoor cat and the older adopted ones needed to be outdoors, there was no other way.

Annie and I will go and dig a hole near where Willow is buried and we will get Miss Lilly’s body and bury her. This is especially hard without Paul and Violet home. So sad.

We loved you Miss Lilly, we still do

requiescat in pace

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »