Wednesday, April 30, 2008

he makes my day...

We all need a hearty laugh this morning after the Very Reverend
Wright's attempt to elect yet another loser white man in Nov.

From the talented Don Asmussen in the Wednesday chronny.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

picking up after others

By now you know that I close the big box on Monday nights and
I'm fortunate to have a good crew and we chatter away on our
walkies as we pick up books and magazines, coffee cups and the
occasional journal filled with ramblings from an unstable mind.
When I worked at B&N down by the wharf, there was a woman
that we named Buttercup because she used butter as her face
and body lotion. Every night she would slide pages of her writing
under our door ~ mostly sightings of extra-terrestrial beings and
government conspiracies. We had a whole bulletin board for her
in our break room.

Anyway, stay focused here, msmas. Last night Mr. Z and I
happened upon two stacks of books carelessly left on a chair
up on the 4th floor. And the subject matter? Feng shui!

Monday, April 28, 2008

a starving class act

"It's the same set!", I said to Husbando when we sat down for ACT's
production of Curse Of The Starving Class last night. We have seen
Sam Shepard's Buried Child and True West in the past, and he remains
one of our favorite playwrights. This play was whittled down from 3
to 2 acts by Shepard (he first wrote it in 1977) and even though it is
harsh and very sad, this is a play not to be missed. There's usually
excess alcohol and poverty in his plays, quite autobiographical, but
the dark humor and love of family somehow always comes through.

Pamela Reed played the daughter 30 years ago, and last night she was
the mother ~ I love that! Best acting award goes to Jack Willis as the
poor drunk father and Jud Williford right on his heels as the son. The
daughter (Nicole Lowrance) also deserves a hoorah-mention.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

revving up

Now isn't this prettier than yesterday's photo? Here is msBook G4,
preparing for yet another Round Robin. This will be #17, can you
believe it? Currently we are sending/receiving daily writes from
about 30 people and this is my least favorite part of the process,
other than the gatherings which I don't attend. My timing isn't
on the money yet, after a week or so I'll be able to guess when the
10 minutes is up, but now I have to watch the clock. And I don't
have my confidence either. How can I find the time and actually
write something every day? But that will happen, never fear. I just
need to remember that every piece doesn't have to be a treasure,
just write for heaven's sake.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

pesky annoyances

This isn't really my tire, but this was my day. I didn't discover the
flat until I was parked at 450 Sutter, so I think I drove on it all
the way from home this morning. Yes, I did sense that something
was not 100% with Ken, but I thought maybe he was just cranky
because gas is currently $3.89 a gallon.

But thanks to AAA and a stop at Larkin Brothers on South Van
Ness on the way home, everything is back to normal. It only cost
$15 and the guy said there were two nails in the tire, so it could
have been a lot worse. Times like this that I'm glad I have the
flip (cell phone) and I used it often this morning. Mostly to call
Husbando and tell him that THIS IS HIS JOB, but he said he
couldn't hear me because the vacuum was running.

Yes, the Giants have won 3 games in a row!

Friday, April 25, 2008

welcome home, dusty

I always loved watching Dusty manage our Giants ~ with his
toothpick, his less than perfect decisions and his obvious love
of baseball and his players. Tonight he'll be in a red uniform,
but to me he will always be a Giant. I wonder if Darren will
be with him and how old is that boy child now, I wonder?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

regular utensils, thankfully

Like many people living under the Bush regime, we have been
forced to cut back on our spending. Instead of lunch out on both
of my days off, we are now more selective and concentrate on
one restaurant a week. That works, especially if Husbando cooks
the other day. You already know that I brown bag my luscious lunch,
unless it's a special date with Dancing Jen or the Doctor.

Today we finally tried Spork on Valencia between 22nd and
21st. The street is a permanent mess with re-pavement stuff,
but we parked OK (of course) and enjoyed this cute spot that
has been open about a year. It took over the disgusting KFC
location, but we couldn't smell the former fast food place.

Spork has mixed reviews on the internet, but we liked the
ambiance and my Mission Eggs (on a tortilla with avocado and
pork) were terrific. Husbando said that his burger was just
average, but he would still like to return. We sat next to the
window, as we both love to watch the passing parade. It
is v. reasonable for lunch ($8 and $9 entrees), but I'm sure
it's more for dinner.

Tonight is the writing group and I must search and find some
pearl from the past to present to read aloud. I have not one
burning new thing to write about ~ not a spark nor a spork.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

women need naps

OK, big yawn! I'm tired today after closing two in a row and last
night the big box was topsy turvy with two call-outs and a mysterious
crashing to the floor of a cash register. Since I can never sleep in,
I wander around in a fog the morning after and for reasons I can
never understand my body craves sugar and junky type food, so
I'm safer just getting the nap, or naps, as the case may be today.

When I have one of those bad nights (or days) at work my mantra
is, "it's only a few hours, you can do it", and of course we do. But
it knocks the starch out of me and I find I'm a little snappish at the
customers who enter the store a few minutes before closing and
want to see every book and DVD on all four floors.

On the good side, I only had to eject one customer (Mr. Smell Bad #455)
and there was only a minor cut on the hand of the bookseller who
was working the register that fell. But lordy, I was happy to get home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

what's in a name?

President Bush has done many foul things, but one of the most serious
is that he has caused people to ridicule those of us who nickname.
Although his name for Karl Rove is amusing, it doesn't make up for the
fact that both these guys are despicable. I am one who nicknames and
vice versa. Here are some of the names people call me ~ how about you?
(Oh, for you who have been institutionalized for 8 years, George W.
calls Rove "Turd Blossom".)

. msmas (some folks at work)
. mush (started by The Great Plotnik)
. msmush (ditto)
. mushnik & assorted variations (ditto)
. the omster (Blogmaid)
. mary om (ditto)
. ms. ommmmm (ditto)
. maryanniepoo (neti)
. my beloved (dancing jen)
. wiff (husbando)
. swiss (ditto)
. mare (ditto)
. big step (my step daughter-in-law)
. toots (The Emperor, at work)
. marijuana (the boss and it's awkward on the sales floor!)
. sister (my parents)
. lamb (an old B&N colleague)

Perhaps in another post I'll list some of my nicknames for others, but that
takes a little more thought.

(This photo was taken last week in Crockett, California. No, I did not go in to this establishment even though it looked quite elegant.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

important news from pumpkinville!

Here is RR celebrating her first St. Patrick's Day back in '04. Our
intrepid Dorf (so named because he has unusually short legs and
it is difficult for some to pronounce Dwarf) is guarding her and
and we can see that he realizes that he'll have a new person to
snuggle with. Dorf is one of those Velcro® cats who will attach
himself to any human who sits for even two minutes.
And here is a photo from last week. RR is learning the important
life skill of How To Carry a Cat. You can have your trikes and bikes,
your alphabet and multiplication tables ~ this, along with a solid
understanding of the Infield Fly Rule, is what a girl needs to know
on the path to becoming a happy and productive woman. Good job,
Dorffie, RR and Blogmaid!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

out of egypt

I'm glad I married a Jew for many reasons and I will list a
couple this morning. (1) humor ~ it's different and weird and
special (2) story telling ~ they are naturals here (so are
Southerners, but that's for another time) (3) the Passover
Seder celebration every Spring. I love the ritual and the bitter
herbs and the stories of everyone else's childhood sitting in
the grandparents small apartment at the kids' table and thinking
they weren't having a nice time and then growing up and missing
the whole thing and the family long gone.

It's a lot of work. A lot of food and plates and planning and odd
things like the lamb bone, parsley dipped in water, food-spotted
Hagadah books and one lone egg. Last night was very special
at TGP's and I think even better than last year because now we
know the other participants and the laughter and warmth was
even more important than the delicious brisket of beef and small
boiled potatoes. One year old Jacob was about the best child
ever (except for RR) and I thought it was pretty wonderful that
we ended up discussing the merits of Buddhism.

So I didn't get enough sleep, but that's OK because last night
was different than all other nights.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

blossoms and headlines

Apple blossoms courtesy of the Blogmaid and this poem is from our
friend Will who is in our Tiapos writing group.

Poem: "Headlines" by Robert Phillips, from Circumstances Beyond
Our Control: Poems. © The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.


War Dims Hope for Peace.
Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told.
Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead.

Miners Refuse to Work after Death.
Include Your Children When Baking Cookies.
War Dims Hope for Peace.

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say
Prostitutes Appeal to Pope.
Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead.

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half.
Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide.
War Dims Hope for Peace.

Stolen Painting Found by Tree.
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over.
Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead.

Iraqi Head Seeks Arms.
Police Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers.
War Dims Hope for Peace.
Clinton Wins Budget; More Lies Ahead

Friday, April 18, 2008

day trippin'

We felt like a change of scenery yesterday, so we drove over the Bay
Bridge to Crockett to have lunch at the Dead Fish Restaurant. As we
all know by now, if the view if delightful, the food usually isn't. We did
sit outside and the setting made me think of Italy, must have been
the flora and fauna. We had Caesar salads that looked like the real
thing (but weren't) and the grilled mussels which were pretty good.
Alas, we've been spoiled by the mussels at Lulu's down on Folsom St.
and these just couldn't compare. Nonetheless, it was a fine outing and
we also took a little drive over to Port Costa (dead) and the so-called
downtown area of Crockett. My, despair, I'm ready for Post and Powell
again after that. I took the photo from our patio table and of course
you know the Carquinez bridge(s) and it was such a beautiful day that
we mutually agreed not to be so critical of the food. Sort of...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

a turtle named tootsie

Sometimes, in my humble opinion, the best writing is to be found
in the spontaneous email and here is an example of that. This is
from the Blogmaid who writes me every night before she goes to bed.
I asked her for permission to cut and paste and she said that she
was eager to "get published". I write her in the morning when I
am fresh and we cover a lot of territory, as you can imagine.
I have known the Blogmaid for about 18 years and had forgotten
about Tootsie. Forgive me for that. (After I started going to yoga
she renamed me Mary Om, as you may have guessed.) RR is the
Blogmaid's 4 year old daughter, but you already knew that...

Dear Mary Om-

Are you sure you've never heard of Tootsie, my sweet box turtle
that I got when I was 19? I named him Oliver, but then he laid an
egg so I changed it to Tootsie. She lived in the dorms with me, in
an aquarium filled with dirt and an upside-down tampox box for
her house. Unlike most box turtles, she wouldn't eat any vegetables
(much like my daughter) but she did love strawberries, so I spent

a fortune on those in the winter months, buying imported ones
from New Zealand. She also liked worms and snails. I would find
snails for her on the leaves of the agapanthus plants, and buy

worms at this little bait shop near the SF/Daly City border.

Turtles need sunlight, and Tootsie didn't get much, even after I
moved to the flat on Fulton and Arguello. When Maureen was little,
she and I would take Tootsie over to the white flower building
(name escapes me) in Golden Gate Park and let her run around

in the grass, but she developed these lumps on the side of her
neck that needed to be lanced, and then she needed to be on
antibiotics, and I got tired of the process. I found a woman in
Sacramento named Felice Rood who is the president of the
Sacramento Turtle and Tortoise Club. We became friends,
and she fixed Tootsie on many occasions. Finally I let Tootsie

live there, with Felice's many other turtles, where she has had
boyfriends and maybe even some girlfriends.

We couldn't actually find Tootsie today, and she may very
well have crossed over the rainbow in the sky (a phrase Felice
used several times today to describe several of her cats) but

I always enjoy visiting her and RR loved seeing all the turtles.
One other thing you should know. I used an old basket-style
purse of my mom's, with a leather flap, to transport Tootsie
when I would, for example, ride the Greyhound bus from
SF to Sacto back in the day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

who do we write for?

When I first started taking courses at the Writing Salon some
seven (!) or so years ago, my goal was to get published. And I
did, a couple of times, and it felt fabulous and I will always be
grateful to the Morbidmama for shocking me and asking me
if she could publish my Halloween piece in her Morbid Curiosity

I have been thinking about this recently because I no longer care
whether I "get published" or not. Imagine my smile of recognition
when Mistress Jane wrote about this in her recent blog. For me,
it's the writing, first and foremost. Catharsis. Getting it out of my
overstuffed, unfocused mind and trying to zero in on what is or
could be bothering me, what's important in my life.

Secondly, it's having someone read my writing and respond. Every
blogger loves comments, even if someone has the audacity to
disagree with us. And, like Jane, our Tiapos writing group is of
utmost importance. No matter that I'm typing madly away 14 minutes
before we meet, hoping my printer won't clog and break this time.
It's the act of writing and reading our work to our friends ~ knowing
that they will forgive a misplaced comma if we write from the
heart, and don't sugarcoat our pain or pleasure.

The recent leather coat post was special because I had 6 (six!)
comments and I do want to highlight this one. I have no idea who
I. is, but I want to thank her/him sincerely. Isn't this terrific?
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ”WOW, what a ride!”

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

one beautiful and wild movie

We finally watched Into the Wild last night. Fabulous. Too bad
we didn't see it on a big screen, or at least on a TV larger than
your average waffle. But still, great movie. I wrote a friend this
morning that it takes you right back to when we were 20 and
life was an adventure and we had it all figured out down to how
we wrote our middle name in a backward script (or not).

And the music. I knew most of it because the Doctor had burned
a CD for me when the film first came out. Early on in the movie
we hear Sharon Olds read this poem. It has always been a fave
of my friend Ginger in Kansas, so here it is in print this morning.

I Go Back to May 1937

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

~ Sharon Olds

Monday, April 14, 2008

a foggy night with monkeys

There were 15 of us in the audience last night to see the world
premiere of Kevin Fisher's play Monkey Room at the Magic.
Our favorite theater reviewer had been there five hours earlier
by some little big city coincidence. I agree with TGP's review, as
usual, and I especially want to echo his praise of Lauren Grace
and Robert Parsons. And I really liked the set ~ a detailed lab
room and office, appropriately sterile and messy at the same
time. There were chimps nattering away in the background, so
I thought I would highlight one today. We were both pleased that
we went to this play, but are not sure that we would recommend
it to others. It was only 70 minutes, so I can't even suggest that
they edit it a bit more.

The temperature dropped about 30 degrees late yesterday and
the fog horns were mooooing by the time we arrived at Fort
Mason. Too cold for the reversible coat, honest.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

the leather jacket (one year later)

My, that Fevered Brain is relentless and has not changed one iota
since we worked together as snippy-ass copywriters over in
Oakland at Capwell's Grand Department Store. Let's see, I do
believe that was six or seven years ago (or so).

I will tell you all the truth about the expensive Italian leather
jacket. But first, I am going to change and I am going to wear it
in 2008. It needed a little rest, I guess. I'm afraid to wear it.
There, I've admitted it. I'm afraid that it will be removed from
a coat rack or the back of my chair. I can never wear it in the
rain. I don't want to spill my latte or have someone drop a
Pringles® chemical-laden potato chip on it. It is not warm
enough for the really cold San Francisco nights. I do not wear
it to work because I have some elegant hoodie sweatshirt type
apparel in assorted colors ~ exceedingly attractive. I would
never wear it to a baseball game because when I slide into
2nd base it would get all grass stained.

The reversible black leather jacket from Italy is too beautiful.
But I am going to treat it differently before the FB asks me
again. I will wear it to Passover dinner next week. I will wear
it to the theater, maybe even tonight. I will pretend that it
wasn't way too expensive for the likes of me. My mother's
voice will be deleted from my know, the one that
says, "Sister, how much did you pay for that jacket? Does
money grow on trees up there in San Francisco with all
those godless communists? You weren't raised that way,
Sister." I needed the nudge, thanks Susan.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

well, we won in our own way...

Here we are last night ~ from the left: the Blogmaid, Notthat and The Boy
(son of Notthat and a really fine kid). The Giants lost due to some strange
errors and the fact that Albert Pujols can really hit a baseball. We had
many food discussions (and lots of food) and bemoaned the fact that TGP
and Snowglobe Sal were absent. There was also a good (?) half hour
devoted to the 3 Molina brothers in major league baseball. Notthat
swears that Tito Molina is the middle brother and that is when I put
my radio back on both ears and told him to stop eating Pringles® because
they taste of chemicals. (I don't know who that attractive stranger is up
there in the left hand corner. Do you?)
I had to work for 2 hours this morning due to a schedule snafu. Boring
story. Then my friend Neti picked me up in her Mini and we went to
visit her daughter in Sacramento. I did not touch up this photo ~ the
sky is SO blue and it was warm, but not hot up there. These are glorious
Dogwood trees in Nicole's nabe ~ are there any here in SF? I think not,
but why not? Nicole served us lunch on her back deck and I became
quite relaxed and thought how nice it is not to work on a Saturday. It
is a difficult day, very busy, in the big box and not my favorite day, if
you want the truth, and you do.

Friday, April 11, 2008

baseball tonight

This is the backside of the Jewel, probably taken from the Lefty O'Doul
bridge, a strange contraption now that I think about it. It's fun to lean
against that white rail (that you can barely see) and look at the SMGs.
(Small Boat Guys). I'm meeting the Blogmaid and Notthat tonight for
our first real game of the season and the Giants are on a 3-game win
streak! Garlic fries, hot dog and probably a Coke® ~ I'd better tuck a
$100 in my wallet. Thanks to Notthat for getting the tickets...

My writing group (Tiapos) was extra special last night. No reason, just
good words and harmony and laughter. How lucky am I?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

back to the non-parade

Until this whole Olympics thing, I thought this sweet man was simply
a spiritual leader. I knew next to nothing about Tibet and now I know
that he is more than just a gentle man who writes gentle books that
we sell in the big box. The Dalai Lama is indeed a force for freedom.
What was interesting about the demonstrators yesterday is that
they were mostly young and there were a lot of basic white folks
too, the ones we think are not interested in politics and who have
been accused (even by wonderful ME) of expecting life to be
handed to them on a silver platter. (Also known as The Entitlement
Generation.) So, I won't rattle on about this anymore, but I do
think it has all been exceedingly positive and I admire Mayor
Newsom's thankless leadership role in yesterday's event.

OK, I promise a garden post tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Here we are glued to the TV on this beautiful day when we should be in
the garden or walking the nabe or breathing salty sea air. What is it
about these events? The coverage is confusing and you can hear the
irritation in the voices of the reporters. Partly, I think, it's seeing SF
from the helicopters and the feeling of being right here where it's all
happening. All is calm now and it appears that the torch is heading to
the airport. I like that they used the bright yellow Bay Quacker
aqua-duck tank that we see all over the city, usually filled with tourists,
today the silly looking thing carries the torch and the runners. Husbando
just said that this is like watching the OJ chase so many years ago. Good
call. But it's history and for some reason, it's fascinating to us.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

our small window of time

A year ago we were in Italy. This is the view from our restaurant in the
little town of Panzano where we ate outside and oooohed and aaaahed
about the food, the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and the fact
that we were the most fortunate women in America ~ to be in Italy
and loving every moment of it. In August we will reunite in Summerland
(down by Santa Barbara) because Adriana from Florence will be here.

Last night I slipped a bit when making the closing announcements. I
really wanted to say, "Please, just go home", but I didn't. Honest. I did
say, "Ladies, gentlemen and customers" and Mr. Z said over the walkie,
"well, that should cover everyone". Actually, a v. smooth closing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

feeling the pain

My dear friend Jane has been urging us to see this film, but I was
afraid it would depress me. Her battle with breast cancer would
be a whole lot easier if she didn't have to fight her insurance
company every step of the way. Jane's blog is about the best
reference tool available for breast cancer treatment, because she
has done a lot of research and is one of those people who wisely
considers all options before making difficult decisions.

Sicko did not depress me, but it is astounding that we have let
the insurance and drug companies rule our lives. That we have
allowed the term "socialized medicine" scare us into this rotten
situation. I would have edited the film down a bit, but that's
me. Our niece lives in Paris and she said there was a lot of
laughter in the audience when she saw the movie there.
How do you say "hahahahaha" in French?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

edge of my seat!

Taut. I think that's the right word for this mystery thriller by Dennis
Lehane, who also gave us Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River. TGP
warned us that we were in for quite a ride, but I was surprised that
there was so much humor too. Mr. Lehane obviously loves language
as well as intricate tri-plots that all connect quite beautifully at
the end. (Is tri-plots a word?) I give this play MANY **** (stars).

Congrats to notthat's Kansas Jayhawks. That's basketball and I
only follow it through his blog. April madness. Like any true fan
he realizes that what he wears is directly linked to the outcome
of the game. Everyone knows that...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

it shines like a miracle

(drat, I missed my chance to match poppy photo to
this poem. On the other hand, it's so nice to
have poetry fill this month for commano.)


The poppies send up their
orange flares; swaying
in the wind, their congregations
are a levitation

of bright dust, of thin
and lacy leaves.
There isn’t a place
in this world that doesn’t

sooner or later drown
in the indigos of darkness,
but now, for a while,
the roughage

shines like a miracle
as it floats above everything
with its yellow hair.
Of course nothing stops the cold,

black, curved blade
from hooking forward -
of course
loss is the great lesson.

But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive,
Inside the bright fields,

touched by their rough and spongy gold,
I am washed and washed
in the river
of earthly delight -

and what are you going to do -
what can you do
about it -
deep, blue night?

Mary Oliver

Friday, April 04, 2008

save the whales, poppies, bricks & dirt roads

Truth be told, I would rather sit and read on days off, but I strapped on
my knee guards, laced up the 14 year old Nikes® and headed up steep
Alabama for a long walk. Bernal Heights used to have many bucolic
dirt roads, but they are almost all paved now. A friend of mine used to
be a firemen and he said they dreaded those dirt roads, sharp turns
and always, the hills. But I miss that feeling of being really OUT of the
city. Still, lots to see on yesterday's walk...
It's a big poppy year. We had some in our backyard but Husbando
thought they were weeds and now they are no more.
What's this? A new discovery? Yes, here on Winfield, right off Cortland
we have a brick street. The neighbors are worried about PG&E, so
they alerted me to the bricks. Rather amazing, really.
Here it is, almost 100 years old! Also notice the clear blue sky. A perfect day for a city walk.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

another poem for april

Adam Zagajewski is from Polond, now living in the USA. I don't
know much about him, except that this poem is quite wonderful.
It's from his book Without End. (By the way, it helps me to
type someone else's poetry, as well as reading it aloud many times.)


Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine,
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salted oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees going nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

~ Adam Zagajewski
(translated by Clare Cavanaugh)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

day off with letters from the 1700's

Abigail and John Adams wrote each other constantly. Formal,
devoted, chatty letters filled with affection. Needless to say there
is enough history in here to fill an HBO mini series.

I had lunch yesterday with the Egyptian Baroness Elizabeth and
discovered that yes, she is building a B&B about 5 minutes away
from Aswan. It will be finished in the Fall or Winter of 2009 and
there will be three guest rooms. I'm fixin' to be the first guest.
In the meantime, she stays at a hotel in Aswan and is forced to
pay $7 a night, up from the $2 of a few years ago when she first
fell in love with Egypt. And yes, she takes her computer.

I need this day off, I truly do. And tomorrow too. Hooooray.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

with a wink and a nod

April is National Poetry Month and I will try to include some
of my favorites here between baseball and work-grumble.

My friend Ginger in Kansas sent me this one. (I never know if
it's OK to just borrow someone's poem, but I guess we'll find out.)

A Faceless Will

Now I am past fifty,
the woman I still see
in the mirror when occasionally
I seek her out is slowly
ceasing to be recognizable.
I know who she is~~
we have cohabited long enough for that~~
and she knows me.
But as one steers through a crowded party
as much escaping A as seeking B,
I would rather look at someone else.
If I do happen to meet her eyes,
I acknowledge her, as she does me,
with a wink before
we mutually quickly turn away.

Rachel Hadas