Friday, April 30, 2010

poetry month ends

My Tiapos friend, Will, told me about the Knopf poetry daily April email. This is when I love the internet the most because I find out about people and places (and poetry) that I'd otherwise never know about. Ms. Digges was 59 when she died.


We end the month by honoring Deborah Digges, who took her own life on April 10, 2009. This poem—a reminder that the call to poetry is powerful beyond measure—will appear in her posthumous collection, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart, to be published next week.

Thank you for reading with us this April. (from Knopf)

Write a Book a Year

Well the wild ride into the earth was thrilling,
really, scared as I was and torn and sore.
I say what other woman could have managed it?
My life before then
picking flowers against my destiny
what glance, what meeting,
who was watching, what we don't know we know,
the hour we chose and we are chosen.
And suddenly the dead my mission,
the dark my mission.
He'd find me pounding out the hours.
Spring is for women, spring clawing at our hearts.
We are pulled forward by our hair
to be anointed in the barren garden.
I want the dark back, the bloody well of it,
my face before the fire,
or lie alone on the cold stone and find a way
to sleep awhile, wake clear and wander.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

almost perfect...

The headline does not refer to the weather ~ it actually stopped
raining for the game. Nor am I talking about the new #10 Muni
line that takes us from home to ballpark in about 20 minutes.
The $11.00 seats? Front row and wonderful. And no drunken
Dodger fans to contend with ~ the Phillie fans were really quite
civilized in their bright red shirts and caps. I do love baseball.

No, it was the game. Perfectly pitched by Tim Lincecum (we saw
a tee shirt that said "Let Timmy Smoke" with a marijuana leaf)
and then the bottom of the 9th when the manager brought in
the bull pen. There went the game and the Giants lost after
11 innings. It shouldn't have been that way. We had a 4 to 1
lead going into the 9th inning. I do hate baseball.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

from the eye of the storm

Mary's photos: Out of Sight (above) and
End of the Road (below)
(I asked my friend Mary in Bisbee, AZ for her thoughts. And yes,
I too wish she had a blog. Fascinating. Thanks, Mary.)

Dear Mary Ann

I really don’t think I have anything intelligent to say that is worth

publishing about the whole situation. I live right on the firing line

so to speak. It's a very complex issue down here near the Border.

I think that people who don’t live near the Border and are applauding

this bill probably are just prejudiced against Hispanics; and likewise

the people from other states who are depicting Arizonans as a bunch

of racist gun-totting morons are prejudiced against anyone isn't a

textbook liberal. After all, the proposed law is only saying the local

police will enforce a federal law already on the books.

Around town in several shops down here there are boxes for people

to put in clothes and other necessities for the Deportee Center on

the other side of the Border in Naco (where they exit this country

after being deported) and I have put jeans and shoes and socks in

there. But on the other side of the issue, shortly after I moved to

this house, which is about five miles from The Border as the crow

flies, I was forced to use a loaded gun to drive away some very

dangerous looking 'coyotes' who were trying to break through

my front door. (this was before I had security screens put in).

Last winter I called the Border patrol to help some guys who

were at my door and seemed to be in trouble in the middle of

a fierce winter storm. The Border Patrol took them to the

hospital down the road where they were treated and one of

them was hospitalized.

Also, I'm not sure how much different things will be down here -

the local police routinely pick up illegals - there is a whole section

in the Bisbee weekly paper called "Border Patrol Assists" where

these events are listed - this is in the Police Activity section

(everybody reads this section to see if they know anybody who

got in trouble the week before - although a lot of it is small

stuff like removing skunks from under a house, rattlesnakes

from behind a dryer, etc).

As I understand it, all non-citizens in this country are supposed

to carry papers that say they have permission to be here -

i.e. visas, etc. - so the only difference is that this state law gives

Arizona police the power to enforce this national law which is

already on the books - but is not being enforced. Also, I believe

people have to be stopped for already breaking a law before the

police can check whether they are here illegally.

As it is now down here, the cops turn the illegals they stop over

to the Border Patrol, who dump them back across the Border

to Mexico through the little town of Naco - unless they are guilty

of a crime - then I'm not sure what happens to them. However,

I'm thinking if our cops start arresting these people and keep

them under local control- where will we keep these people?

How would they process them?

We already take care of scores of ill and injured border crossers

in our small local hospital and the Federal Government refuses

to repay the cost (around $350,000/yr) - and this is a poor

town. I just don't think we can afford to process and convict

these people who are probably mostly guilty of small crimes

and are here illegally.

I think the problem is that there are more and more criminals

crossing the border - not just normal poor folks looking for work.

The rancher who was shot and killed recently had a reputation

for helping illegals who were in trouble while trying to cross the

desert on his property. An old man out in Elfrida, a small

settlement East of here, was also helping some illegals recently

- i.e. he let them stay on his land to rest up - but they repaid him

by overpowering him - stealing money and his truck. All these

events make for a very troubling situation down here. People

want to do right toward their fellow man but are now having

second thoughts.

Folks pass by my house all the time after crossing the Border.

I have watched folks being picked up in cars, trucks, vans.

I have watched long silent lines passing in the night on the

road behind my house. I see bottles, other trash and back

packs that they have left behind. (See attached photos) I have

never called the Border Patrol on these folks. When I talk my

neighbors. they say the same thing: they never call the Border

Patrol unless they feel threatened.

The statistics for last year in this sector alone (Nogales east to

New Mexico border) are 300,000 illegals caught and returned

to Mexico last year. The newspapers were applauding that

the count was down from 375,000 the year before!

Yet – for the most part it is very quiet and peaceful here. I love
living here and actually feel safer and less threatened than I
did walking the streets of San Francisco. Although I am worried
about the large pack of coyotes that have taken over the territory
and can be seen and heard in the night running in the gully in
front of my house- I worry that they will catch and kill one of
my cats.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

more art and museums

Somehow we missed this 1997 Masterpiece Theatre presentation
entitled Painted Lady and featuring Helen Mirren as an aging
Irish folk singer who gets involved with art theft, murder and
redemption. It's an unlikely plot, but that's OK, we were in
the mood for intrigue, especially in London and NYC.

Monday, April 26, 2010

snowed in and almost under

The True Deceiver is an unusual piece of fiction by Tove
Jansson (1914-2001) a Swedish author of famous books
for children. I had to wait about 6 months for it at our
library, but it was worth it. It's the story of an unusual
friendship between two eccentric women and it takes
place during a relentlessly snowy winter in a tiny village
in Sweden. Sometimes, it seems, the lies we tell
ourselves are worse than the ones we tell others...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

so poignant

George Segal's sculpture "Holocaust" out at the Legion of Honor.
It is particularly moving on a day as glorious as yesterday, when I
took this photo.

Take a look at the one standing man, looking out through the barbed
wire fence. His friends and family lay dead behind him. Their poor,
stark bodies laying there all which-way, tossed about by the Nazis
who re-defined human cruelty. The standing man is completely
defeated, it looks like he doesn't care if he lives or dies.

I don't go see this sculpture as often as I should. It upsets me too much.
They have cameras there now because in the past some jerk(s) would
deface this incredible art. Swastikas and such, one can only guess.
I went yesterday morning before work and a man on a bicycle stopped
near me and muttered something. I couldn't make out what it was,
but I felt a chill and I moved away from him quickly.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the red rain coat

The last time we had dinner with The Great Plotniks we talked
about this movie with Donald and Julie. Husbando and I had
never seen it, so we rented Don't Look Now from the Flix. Wow,
it is one of those WTF films where I had to go online to read
thoughts and comments after we watched it. The scenes in
Venice, Italy fascinated me and of course it was great seeing
these stars as young people again ~ smoking and drinking too
much, the way we all did back in 1973 when it was filmed. The
very graphic love scene was a delight, reminding us that these
were the days before breast augmentation. Thankfully. And
yes, I recommend it, but it is a tad scary.

Friday, April 23, 2010

purr, show and tell

From the blogmaid, with thanks:
RR is Star of the Week and as such, gets to bring in
something to share every morning. Today she wanted to
bring in Dorffie, so after clearing it with the teacher,
I hauled him in. He was a good sport. He did try to go
right back into his carrier, but we foiled that attempt
by locking him out. He let the kids pet him and shed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

BTA 2010

They closed the museum for 45 minutes last night and we could
enjoy the Bouquets to Art all by ourselves. Talk about employee
benefits. This is the first time I've seen the photos, so enjoy them
along with me. No time to straighten or improve, sorry.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

they meet by accident

Here we have Tim Kniffin (Richard Gere-like, no?) and Arwen
Anderson, the two actors in An Accident out at the Magic Theatre.
The story: he runs over her with his Toyota and they become involved
in an intimate way. It's a quick 80 minute play and when I began
to criticize it on the way home Husbando reminded me that this is
experimental theater and I reminded him that I needed to express
my opinion and he allowed that I usually do. The play has promise,
as I wrote the blogmaid this morning, but it needs work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the rain has returned

A little late for this I'm thinking. I wonder how it will affect the many
guests at the exhibit today. It's usually our busiest day of the four.
I will miss having my lunch outside and I'm frankly not feeling all
(like) excited about smiling and being on my feet all day. Tonight
is the Magic and Husbando will bring cheese sandwiches and we
will eat them looking out at the rain drops splashing on the bay.
That part will be quite nice.

Last night we finished the 2nd season of Breaking Bad. Such an
amazing program, but so hard to remember that it's just TV.
We are emotionally involved with the main characters and
that good vs. evil thing that kept us glued to our seats during
The Sopranos. Great writing and acting and just enough
sly humor to bring out the occasional audience (of two) guffaw.

Monday, April 19, 2010

time to re-group

My luxurious lots-of-days-off-and-no-money month of April
is zipping along way too quickly. The much-loved Bouquets
to Art begins tomorrow at the deYoung, so I face five days
of work, but I will take my camera, as it is the one time we
are allowed to take photos (including flash) of the exhibits.

Round Robin begins today and I already wrote and emailed
my "Allow Me to Introduce Myself" beginning piece. It's a
a gentle way to get back into daily writing. I almost said
habit, but writing will never be that for me. It's always a
push and shove, even if I have something to say.

The knees are so much better, really it's incredible. Even
stairs are no longer a problem. I'll keep going back for
some tune-up acupuncture, but in the meantime I'm
astounded and amazed by the whole process.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

thanks, again, fevered brain!

My friend Susan (The All of It blog topside over there on the
right) recommended this short novel by Alan Bennett who
wrote The History Boys. It was there in my Noe Valley Library
and I'm already about half way through The Uncommon Reader.
The story: the Queen accidentally discovers books and the joys
of reading and her whole world changes dramatically. Good stuff.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

plenty of wiggle room

Ginger strides purposefully to visit her garden (above).

Some folks get fancy with beds and fences.

Our worms live here with tomato plants,
basil and a new artichoke (above).

Picky, picky picking out the avocado labels.

Older tenants have lush green plots.
I prefer pretty flowers to vegetables.
On Thursday I went via BART to visit our friend Ginger who took
about 30 buckets of our black gold compost to her new garden out
in Pleasanton. She rented this 12x18' space and since I have enough
trouble with our itty bitty garden, I'm a little puzzled by the concept,
but she loves it and our city worms are in 7th heaven, so who am I
to judge?

First of course we had lattes and catch-up at Peet's and then after
garden we went to Stacey's on Main Street for lunch. It was v. busy,
but we found an inside (drat) table. It is owned by Scott Adams
who does the Dilbert cartoon and I think I saw him there, but
then I often see famous people where none exist.

I had never seen a community garden up close. They provide the
water and lots of garden tools and wagons. She showed me the plot
of the woman gopher murderer and admonished us just a bit
because the labels on fruits and veggies don't disintegrate. And
it takes a long time for pineapple tops to compost.

Our worms are have found their life's work and I had a great
time out in the burbs with Ginger.

Friday, April 16, 2010

photo memories

Monday night dinner at Montrio Bistro in Monterey ~ salads and artichokes.
We always have at least one meal here.
More of our favorite walk from Monterey to Pacific Grove.

Sea lion sand potatoes. Phewwwwwww.
Cannery Row ~ part of The Walk.

The famous Ambrosia burger at Nepenthe.

More Nepenthe.

Carmel beauty.
Tuesday night street market in Monterey ~ busy!
German chocolate cake at Rosaline's ~ only $6.00.
Tuesday night dinner. We're are missing about 7 of our
minimum daily requirement of fruits and veggies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

time for a book break

This is a must-read. See up there between the first and second
line of the title? The walker represents Philippe Petit who
actually walked across the World Trade Center towers back
in 1974. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann takes
place only in NYC and here we have a brilliant fictionalized
account of a handful of characters who watched this amazing
tightrope walker and how their lives intersect and (if you
will) spin around the city and each other. Phenomenal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ambrosiaburgers and sunshine

This is my 2nd favorite walk (after Crissy Field) ~ it goes all along
the coastside from Monterey to Pacific Grove. Yesterday was a perfect
day for it and at a later time I'll show you the lazy ass seals sleeping
on one of the beaches. Ewwwwww, they do smell. We walked through
Cannery Row and passed the Aquarium that was packed with
children, so we didn't go in. Surprised?
Here is Nepenthe. We sat outside and enjoyed our burgers and
reminisced about the past because this restaurant was so important
to us when love was new. Yesterday they were busy and the parking
lot was filled with Harley Davidsons, mostly from Wisconsin. It
was a delightful time. Then we drove into Carmel and poked around
the stores, walked down to the beach and didn't get back to the
Marriott until 5pm or so. One full day, but glorious.

Breakfast AND dinner at Rosaline's. Wait until you see the "slice" of
German chocolate cake ~ most of which is sitting in Ken's trunk
right now. Time to go home today to see if the endless leak in the
bathroom has caused the ceiling to cave in. Lots o' fun when one
owns a home that is cozy, yet old.

It is interesting, though, isn't it, that when couples get outside
the home (cozy or not) we are given time and the incentive to
talk about important things that somehow get passed over in
the everyday living of "what's for dinner?" and "are we out of
Kleenex®?" We need to plan the next trip!