scrumptious monkey

so much more than an amp -- and yet, not.

3.28.2005

name game


I love words. Names. Poems. For me -- the distinctions between those 3 are moot.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde.

I admit freely I have a dirty mind. This is a given. Depending on your own nature this is either a celebratory thing (no, you're not alone) or a cringe factor (and I have to imagine you would not be alone on that, either.)

First, may it be noted, Scrumptious Monkey was a name created by ej for one of his 2 Fulton-Webb boutique signature guitar amps. The first time I read it -- it just tickled me. deeply. still does. it's like a mood altering mantra: I swear to you hearing it said aloud... [ahem.] I wrote the FW guys an email -- never heard back from them. If at any time someone officially takes me to task for using Scrumptious Monkey as a blog title, I will change it... and for admitting I stole it outright I am sure a few peeps are shaking their heads. [shrugs] but, I would hope the actual guy(s) who came up with it will be generous of spirit and lemme keep it.

Jeen Lilly does indeed zoom right over most people's heads.
I tend to write and think from my sex up, but since I consider it the seat of my being and the centering of the soul starts at the first chakra ...
lots went into her formulation. It is, by-the-way two names as a first name.
I'm still trying out different last names... I rather like Miss Austen. =)

Let us now turn to things VG:

When I first hopped onto the net, I used Graelle as my chat name screen moniker -- yep, for all the levels of meaning -- the gray path, the mystical connotation of the grail-chalice / cauldron archetypes, the femininity of the "elle" ending -- and I Lo-O-ove Chartruex cats. (if it's possible to get a leg up on my next spin on the Karma Karousel I hope I've earned enough hit points to trade'm in and be a cat! hehe).
anyway -- I acquired the name, VisitableGorgon from MSN's random list of screen names -- the Meshugga-Sycophant-Nutters wouldn't let me in any where with Graelle (little did I know MSN "Upgrades" are a regular thing RATHER THAN AN EXCEPTION) so I decided to change my nic to something THEY DID approve. VisitableGorgon was the first name on the "random" list.
it hit me from all sides.

1. Gorgons are the least visitable creatures in mythology: specifically known for NOT liking company -- the name is an oxymoronic fillip, if ever I saw one...

2. the rhythmic quality tongue tangle is just silly fun (if you can say it three times fast, you aren't human! lol. I can't say it out loud once without flubbing it up)

3. Ah, the (tongue-in-cheek) snobbish joys of the ultra oblique / uncommon reference! (like Lydia says in Beetlejuice: "I am both Strange and Unusual.")

4. The Dianic layers of the name really appealed to the prickly cacti quality of my feelings towards men at the time. (famous graphic: lady displaying a cocked shotgun with a big smile on her face: the caption, "I just LOVE men!" ) Many are the times I have wished my hostile glare could turn insensitive boobs to stone... I've mellowed a bit. No. Really. (BAWAHAHAHAHA!!!)
Then...

Then -- I decided that men were ok. Big step for me, I'd had decades of bitter disappointment except for the certainty that all men were going to eventually disappoint me. BUT I did lighten up, and kept the VG but softened the longer name to
VedaliaGraelle.... using Veda or VG for short. The Vedalia is an Australian ladybug, a very beneficial warrior against aphids, and the Vedas are for the Rig-Vedas, which are the sacred books of learning in Eastern beliefs. (oh, and the onion is spelled Vidalia -- but I didn't mind the bright sparks going for onion jokes.)
Graelle, of course is for the protection and healing properties of the cup. yadda yadda yadda. And I like it.
There is a lot of power in names.
right now -- VG is just VG. I come up with random V&G words to amuse myself. VisceralGigglepuss, VirtualGiddyap, VelvetGiraffe, VivaciousGlissando, VolumptuousGadzundheit.
but VG currently ·VG·™ is what I am best known as.

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3.27.2005

* Inner Sanctuary *


Before you physically create a sacred space, it is important to have your inner sanctuary a familiar dwelling.

This is your sacred place within yourself -- and it is anything you want it to be.

Ideally you should be wearing loose comfortable clothing to begin with -- we are creating this inner domain and the path to it -- once it's firmly established you should be able to use it any time, under any condition to access your sanctuary.

Begin now by taking a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds, then release it slowly through your mouth. This is called conscious breathing (see post below).

Imagine yourself in the most beautiful nature environment; create this place in your mind.

It can be a place you have physically been to, or a place from your dreams. The most important thing is that it is an environment that appeals to You.

It can be as far away as another planet, or it can be the center of the Universe. Whatever you choose, feel very comfortable and peaceful in this environment.

Explore where you are, and make adjustments -- change anything you like, so that you feel this is YOUR place.

You only have to think the thought and it is done.
If you want to build a shelter, or a special building -- it is done!

in your relaxed, meditative state you can call on the Lord and Lady to bless this place. You may want to cleanse the whole area with white light and then add golden light for the divine Presences, and / or your Patron's protection and safety.

Next, select an area in this environment where you would like to build your altar. Just walk around, expand your consciousness until you begin to feel a special vibration -- this will be the perfect place for your altar.

This is your inner altar -- let your higher awareness / consciousness guide you in arranging it. Don't fret or double guess yourself -- you will create what you need and what you can handle!

Now that you have your altar, light a white candle and place it in the center. This is for your protection and enlightenment, and it will never go out.

Know that the light of a single candle can illuminate much, and has the potential to enlighten the Universe.

The candle that burns here on your altar is the symbolic Spirit of Fire that is You -- eternal, pure, and inviolate.

Bless it with Infinite Light and Energy, in the name of the Lady and her Lord. In the future, you will use the flame from this candle to light all the other candles that you place on your inner altar.

From this moment on, this is your very own sanctuary to go to whenever you want. All you have to do is desire to be there, and you will be.

Each time you return you will always find the atmosphere very pleasant, welcoming and harmonious.

)0(

Conscious Breathing Technique


Breathing is something most people take for granted: we all do it. BUT for meditative purposes this is the key to achieving the open relaxed calm that allows your mind to become the blooming lotus ideal.

It's simple, you can practice it anywhere -- and the more you practice it, the easier all meditation efforts become.

allow yourself to get very comfortable. You should be free of pressures. (loosen your belt, unbutton the top button of your shirt. ...ideally in the learning stages loose clothing is best.)

Begin now by taking a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds, then release it slowly through your mouth.

Try counting to 8 (think measured, full seconds): breathe in counting to 8; count to 8 to hold it; count to 8 to release it.

This is called conscious breathing.

as you breathe in and count, feel the breath fill your entire body. From the center: let the breath fill your chest, abdomen, shoulders, thighs, arms, shins, hands, feet, neck, toes, head.

As you hold the breath and count, feel the oxygen filling you and charging you with the energies around you, your whole body brimming with cleansing, delicious, fresh air.

As you exhale and count, feel all the debris, aches, stress rush out of you, allow your muscles to relax; let all the *stuff* go and become tranquil, emptied of angst; peaceful.

breathe again. 8 in; 8 hold; 8 release.

This can be repeated 3-5 times -- however, if you have never done this before it can be quite a rush! Do it too much and you can become light-headed and dizzy:in extreme circumstances you might hyperventilate.

Once you have exerted this conscious breathing technique you should notice that your breathing is deeper and more relaxed.

From here, finding a meditation ritual for grounding and centering (most likely aligned to your elemental affinity) is the next step.

3.26.2005

Buk


I was reading Bukowski
loving how he looked up
from the bottom of the barrel
at life in general;
an unsentimental Romantic
cheerfully pessimistic
gloom awash in a sea
of dry wit and rough whiskey.

We all have our demons:
some bulled into our lives
we were just the target of
opportunity (nothing personal)
some were invited to come
and bring friends; funny
what we'll take as company
when loneliness crowds in.
~
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3.24.2005

Dancing Naked in the Mind's I.


a question on the boards at Spirits of Fire:
Merry Meet to everyone!
I just wanted to jump in and ask you all a little question to you all, just to get to know you guys better. How did you found this path, and why did you decide to take it? How many struggles did you had to go through before you decided this was it (if any)? Well you see, no brainer!!! Let's get to know each other! Now I'll be lurking around to see your answers!
Blessed Be
~Corax~

I just joined after meeting one of the owners in MSN chat. Here's what I answered.
It's ironic that when we are children, fitting in is the most important THING in our lives.
Spiritually most organized religions require that we remain children for our whole lives, and what they really mean is "conform to the norm."
Act with the freedom and fearlessness, the curiosity and silliness of a child, and you'll be punished for your childishness.
This repression stunts the healthful growth of a spirit -- but whoever said Organized Religion was concerned for the growth of any one individual's soul? I digress.... (um... hehe. get used to it. My writing can take on the overload of ideas like the typical plate gets loaded with Thanksgiving dinner....)
This is about my starting on the path...
ever hear:
Religion is for people worried about going to hell.
Spirituality is for people who've been there.
My witchcraft takes a very spiritual form.
Yes I've always been different, there have been all sorts of factors contributing to my differences but my Empathic awareness is probably the most overwhelming confirmation of not fitting into a mundane mold.
I was about 13 when I started studying Paganism -- and this from someone who grew up in a Conservative Catholic home. I had serious questions and doubts about Catholicism that I was brazen enough to ask, while at the same time everyone thought I was going to become a Nun. lol. Like someone discovering their sexual orientation is not "standard" and crying themselves to sleep at night for the anguish of "What's wrong with me?" it was just another piece of evidence that I didn't conform -- but it took me a while to be able to look back and see it for what it really was: waking up: which is really what adolescence is about, whatever chronologic age it happens.
I discovered I was particularly adept at reading cards, and so I started to learn about Archetypes. I wish I'd had access to the Internet, but this was 1973-74. I had to learn the making of a witch in bits and pieces -- didn't even know there was a term for what I was -- a Solitary -- or that I really was an honest to gosh Witch, regardless of the fact I had no contact with a Coven. Found Robbin's Dictionary of Demonology and the compilation entitled A Treasury of Witchcraft in the high school library, and wow! a fair set of markers indicating The Parallel Universe of Paganism -- or so it seemed, compared to the world I was not fitting in with -- and went over the (first) wall with no regrets but one: "Where were you all this time?.."

The thing is, the stereotype of "witch" is highly negative and inflammatory. I have trouble with it even now, outside of the circle of brother and sister witches. My hangup, and I'm working on it.
To people who deplore popular entertainment like Charmed or Buffy the Vampire Slayer for letting in the "fluffies / wannabes" to the ultra serious path of Witchcraft and somehow expect a savvy old witch like me to agree with them, I have a standard lecture that goes like this: "I am happy for any positive treatment given to the much maligned honorable vocation of Witch.
I also love Harry Potter, the works of Diane Duane; the MANY Fantasy SF writers who may not portray the letter of Witchcraft and Wicca but do express the spirit I embrace."
I am very happy indeed to have any understanding and generosity of spirit extended to Pagans.
*sigh* Fundamentalists at either end of the spectrum give me a pain.
People who are in your face about being a witch tend to be in the "Warrior" mode of their journey at best and the "Confrontation with Authority" mode at worst. I will admit it here; in my teen years I was VERY confrontational. I felt Christianity was hypocritical and Patriarchal Authority was all about control -- specifically the control (read subjugation) of women -- and hey! That ain't right. Had I known at the time what it was I would have called myself a Dianic Witch. (Think spiritual feminism, to the umpteenth power)... BUT I also found myself falling off that high horse quite a bit through the years. It seems to be a fairly common problem amongst heterosexual women: once you free yourself from the constraints of the Monotheistic Big Daddy G-O-D and "discover" the true trinity of Maiden-Mother-Crone (i.e. the eternal cycle of the divine feminine) it takes a bit of time for the shock to wear off and to adjust to being fully in your skin, a being of love and light and POWER... and what does that mean men are?.... life support for fertilization equipment? (I've heard men described as, "that flap of skin attached to a penis".)
I had a difficult time accepting that there are evolved and enlightened men among us...
Never mind actually getting to know any! But I have met a few -- they exist, rare and beautiful jewels that they are.
makes ya wanna run right out and start breeding witchlets with them. lol.

When I had to tell someone my spiritual orientation I used to say, "I'm a Matrilinealist Neo-Pagan Comparative Mythologist Eclectic." Usually their eyes have glazed over by the time "Comparative" came out of my mouth!
Undeniably I am a witch. I hold the wheel of the year sacred, I pray to and meditate upon the triple goddess and the horned god as MY gods amongst the multitudes of god aspects I recognize as valid.... there are as many gods as there are people to call on them.
I use tools of witchcraft in my rituals to open myself to commune with my god(s)... and often I use no "outer" tools at all. I study herbs, stones, tarot, animals, psychology, philosophy, comparative mythology.. and the world to understand and heal the lives I come in contact with; this gives me equal amounts of joy and trouble.
Like anything worthwhile! =)

When I get newbies exploring Wicca and Witchcraft in chat I always tell them to READ a BOOK. I'll recommend Cunningham, and admit $ilver Ravenwolf is a place to start to get some answers. (albeit she's commercial and cashed in on the surge of interest, she is in every bookstore I've ever walked into, and her sources are probably the same as that Treasury I stumbled over.) Go read: and think about how this might fit in with who you are and what you feel is right -- For You. I know I come across as a strong and confident person and in some ways I am: no conceit, just a statement of fact. But in other ways I am and always will be more complex and divided and searching than anyone outside of my own head could possibly guess.
Just like you.
Just like anyone who has embraced the freedom of feeling their own feelings.
My validation comes with my own pleasure and the comfort of having a practical, hands-on relationship with wonder. I have no need to actively convert anyone to what I believe, either from a concern for their eternal soul or to boost Paganism into a world domination majority. I practice the Namasté factor without condenscension -- I recognize and respect all that is god within others and share the benevolence of all that is god within me... with anyone open to the mutuality of this.
Still -- discretion; I have learned the hard way is just as important as faith.
Never Dance Naked for Little Minds, brothers and sisters. It freaks them out and a frightened little man -- or woman -- will kill you.

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3.16.2005

The Wilde Side of Me.


Oscar Wilde was a poet, playwright, novelist, journalist, critic, and all round wit.
He was born in the Victorian era.
He really would have loved being alive today -- not to mention he wouldn't have been sent to gaol for having an adult homosexual love affair... he'd have to do something really outrageous -- run for public office and get caught with an underage subordinate to even get people to blink, now.

I love Wilde for his incredible poetic sense, in everything he wrote. My particular favorites are 3 of his Fairy Tales.
For children. Of all ages.

A member put my most favorite onto an MSN prose board this morning. MSN groups get ranked by the volume of posts x membership, generated each day -- so there's enthusiasm for things like poetry boards, how-to hints, short stories; all, it is assumed, edifying for the membership to be exposed to. There's lots of good stuff, and an equal amount of *shrug* stuff. I understand that 's how most people probably perceive me: which is okay: 90% of everything is crud (ty Theodore Sturgeon) and the perception of crud depends on the POV of each individual. Often a lot of good stuff gets relegated to the realm of crud just because the individual isn't ready to give it the attention it requires. We don't live in a place and time where sitting down with a good book is the first option for personal entertainment most of society opts for.

hm. Maybe Oscar Wilde had to be a man of that epoch.

It was so good to see the title in my mail when I signed on this morning. It's the unexpected pleasure of meeting a dear friend you hadn't seen in a while. More than a dear friend. This jewel of a story is... a Mentor.
I'm sure if I look for it I can find discourses on the significance of Wilde's work, with an equal amount of condemnation and scoffing. All valid; as Wilde himself said:

"It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art."

"The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."

"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. "

The Nightingale and the Rose is Art. and Genius. and Sincerity.
and it is a fatal thing.
The first time I read it and everytime I read it, I find the Curmudgeon in me dies a little more.

Although it is a story written for children, I cannot imagine being able to read this aloud to a child. In fact, I think it might possibly scar a child for life.
"Why are you crying, Mommy?"
"Because Sweetheart, the world we live in is a ring of hell populated for the most part with imps and devils who would as soon gut us like trout and sell our carcasses for hamburger for not being in dumb acquiesence with the evil they perpetrate hour by hour.
Now sleep tight."
or --
"Because this story is awful, my love; my heart. It is awful and beautiful and truthful; it is sad, exquiste and thoughtful... and I am probably crippling you for life in the real world, by reading it to you."

good thing I'm not anyone's Mom.

Over and over in the Wilde stories,the writer awakens empathy in the reader. He does this with intelligence, insight into the human condition, and dazzlingly beautiful poetic imagery.
My copy of the Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde is subtitled,
"Immortal Stories of Great Charm".

they are.

Here, because it means so much to me, is the core of my understanding of the world:
grab a box of tissues, you'll need it.


The Nightingale and the Rose
by Oscar Wilde

`SHE said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,' cried the young Student; `but in all my garden there is no red rose.'

From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.

`No red rose in all my garden!' he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. `Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.'

`Here at last is a true lover,' said the Nightingale. `Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are red as the rose of his desire; but passion has made his face like pale Ivory, and sorrow has set her seal upon his brow.'

`The Prince gives a ball to-morrow night,' murmured the young Student, `and my love will be of the company. If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn. If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms, and she will lean her head upon my shoulder, and her hand will be clasped in mine. But there is no red rose in my garden, so I shall sit lonely, and she will pass me by. She will have no heed of me, and my heart will break.'

`Here indeed is the true lover,' said the Nightingale. `What I sing of he suffers: what is joy to me, to him is pain. Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the market-place. it may not be purchased of the merchants, `or can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.'

`The musicians will sit in their gallery,' said the young Student, `and play upon their stringed instruments, and my love will dance to the sound of the harp and the violin. She will dance so lightly that her feet will not touch the floor, and the courtiers in their gay dresses will throng round her. But with me she will not dance, for I have no red rose to give her;' and he flung himself down on the grass, and buried his face in his hands, and wept.

`Why is he weeping?' asked a little Green Lizard, as he ran past him with his tail in the air.

`Why, indeed?' said a Butterfly, who was fluttering about after a sunbeam.

`Why, indeed?' whispered a Daisy to his neighbour, in a soft, low voice.

`He is weeping for a red rose,' said the Nightingale.

`For a red rose!' they cried; `how very ridiculous!' and the little Lizard, who was something of a cynic, laughed outright.

But the Nightingale understood the secret of the Student's sorrow, and she sat silent in the oak-tree, and thought about the mystery of Love.

Suddenly she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden.

In the centre of the grass-plot was standing a beautiful Rose-tree, and when she saw it, she flew over to it, and lit upon a spray.

`Give me a red rose,' she cried, `and I will sing you my sweetest song.'

But the Tree shook its head.

`My roses are white,' it answered; `as white as the foam of the sea, and whiter than the snow upon the mountain. But go to my brother who grows round the old sun-dial, and perhaps he will give you what you want.'

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing round the old sun-dial.

`Give me a red rose,' she cried, `and I will sing you my sweetest song.'

But the Tree shook its head.

`My roses are yellow,' it answered; `as yellow as the hair of the mermaiden who sits upon an amber throne, and yellower than the daffodil that blooms in the meadow before the mower comes with his scythe. But go to my brother who grows beneath the Student's window, and perhaps he will give you what you want.'

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing beneath the Student's window.

`Give me a red rose,' she cried, `and I will sing you my sweetest song.'

But the Tree shook its head.

`My roses are red,' it answered, `as red as the feet of the dove, and redder than the great fans of coral that wave and wave in the ocean-cavern. But the winter has chilled my veins, and the frost has nipped my buds, and the storm has broken my branches, and I shall have no roses at all this year.'

`One red rose is all I want,' cried the Nightingale, `only one red rose! Is there no way by which I can get it?'

`There is a way,' answered the Tree; `but it is so terrible that I dare not tell it to you.'

`Tell it to me,' said the Nightingale, `I am not afraid.'

`If you want a red rose,' said the Tree, `you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.'

`Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,' cried the Nightingale, `and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?'

So she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She swept over the garden like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed through the grove.

The young Student was still lying on the grass, where she had left him, and the tears were not yet dry in his beautiful eyes.

`Be happy,' cried the Nightingale, `be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and coloured like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense.'

The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.


But the Oak-tree understood, and felt sad, for he was very fond of the little Nightingale who had built her nest in his branches.

`Sing me one last song,' he whispered; `I shall feel very lonely when you are gone.'

So the Nightingale sang to the Oak-tree, and her voice was like water bubbling from a silver jar.

When she had finished her song the Student got up, and pulled a note-book and a lead-pencil out of his pocket.

`She has form,' he said to himself, as he walked away through the grove - `that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.' And he went into his room, and lay down on his little pallet-bed, and began to think of his love; and, after a time, he fell asleep.

And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened. All night long she sang, and the thorn went deeper and deeper into her breast, and her life-blood ebbed away from her.

She sang first of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and a girl. And on the topmost spray of the Rose- tree there blossomed a marvellous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song. Pale was it, at first, as the mist that hangs over the river - pale as the feet of the morning, and silver as the wings of the dawn. As the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver, as the shadow of a rose in a water-pool, so was the rose that blossomed on the topmost spray of the Tree.

But the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. `Press closer, little Nightingale,' cried the Tree, `or the Day will come before the rose is finished.'

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and louder and louder grew her song, for she sang of the birth of passion in the soul of a man and a maid.

And a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves of the rose, like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kisses the lips of the bride. But the thorn had not yet reached her heart, so the rose's heart remained white, for only a Nightingale's heart's-blood can crimson the heart of a rose.

And the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. `Press closer, little Nightingale,' cried the Tree, `or the Day will come before the rose is finished.'

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her. Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.

And the marvellous rose became crimson, like the rose of the eastern sky. Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as a ruby was the heart.

But the Nightingale's voice grew fainter, and her little wings began to beat, and a film came over her eyes. Fainter and fainter grew her song, and she felt something choking her in her throat.

Then she gave one last burst of music. The white Moon heard it, and she forgot the dawn, and lingered on in the sky. The red rose heard it, and it trembled all over with ecstasy, and opened its petals to the cold morning air. Echo bore it to her purple cavern in the hills, and woke the sleeping shepherds from their dreams. It floated through the reeds of the river, and they carried its message to the sea.

`Look, look!' cried the Tree, `the rose is finished now;' but the Nightingale made no answer, for she was lying dead in the long grass, with the thorn in her heart.

And at noon the Student opened his window and looked out.

`Why, what a wonderful piece of luck! he cried; `here is a red rose! I have never seen any rose like it in all my life. It is so beautiful that I am sure it has a long Latin name;' and he leaned down and plucked it.

Then he put on his hat, and ran up to the Professor's house with the rose in his hand.

The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.

`You said that you would dance with me if I brought you a red rose,' cried the Student. Here is the reddest rose in all the world. You will wear it to-night next your heart, and as we dance together it will tell you how I love you.'

But the girl frowned.

`I am afraid it will not go with my dress,' she answered; `and, besides, the Chamberlain's nephew has sent me some real jewels, and everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers.'

`Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful,' said the Student angrily; and he threw the rose into the street, where it fell into the gutter, and a cart-wheel went over it.

`Ungrateful!' said the girl. `I tell you what, you are very rude; and, after all, who are you? Only a Student. Why, I don't believe you have even got silver buckles to your shoes as the Chamberlain's nephew has;' and she got up from her chair and went into the house.

`What a silly thing Love is,' said the Student as he walked away. `It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to Philosophy and study Metaphysics.'

So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.

*****

The Nightingale dies for love -- and if it is a cold and caustic story ending (with the Professor's daughter rejecting the Student, and the Student tossing the rose into the gutter when it fails to make his dreams come true) I also think of this quote from Wilde:

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

a Nightingale has sung outside your window all night long, and a rose that cannot possibly exist, does.
But the student is a lost cause.
For now.

At the end of "The Happy Prince" an angel is sent to earth to find the two most precious things in the city.
I suppose it would have been too much to ask or too much of a copy-cat ending to have the rose and the nightingale brought to Paradise but for me -- that's where they are.

Nothing done for love is ever nothing.

3.14.2005

a cat story.


I wrote this in response to an online friend's loss of a feline companion and sent it out to my *infamous* oof list(about 30 people at the time, mostly all ej-list members). I went looking for it today -- and realized the only place it exists right now is at Paula Beard's personal website

Paula, thanks so much. Seems I was a blogger before I knew what blogs were...
_______________________

I had a dream about cats last night.

A few weeks ago I was in a pet supply mega-store and they were having a cat adoption program-drive: a bunch of lovely, shy, resigned felines in cages looking at the humans looking at them with the detached air of the totally disenfranchised.

I don't allow myself to look in eyes like that -- I am too much a cat myself these days to bow in service to the Supreme Life form of the Earth. I still resent being born this time around sans tail, but I'd thought I'd gotten over the need of ownership. Not to be a Cat Owner (as if any human ever "owned" a cat!) but to be Kept by one....

In my dream last night I was back in the pet store -- and all the cats I'd ever known but one were in the cages....

Growing up in a near rural area we had cats as a necessity -- the house was between two creeks with a swampy back lot and an ancient barn my father used as a garage shop: there were lots of critters one would not want to become too friendly with or be surprised by in the dark, and so the succession of patrol felines.

I use the term "near rural" because the one road going past the house was a major Rte. from deep boonies into the more populated city, and located approximately three feet from the front door. (You would be surprised at the sort of noise you can be right on top of and sleep straight through!)

This did make our home a final destination for Humane Society cats -- on the right, land and swamp-jungle and wildflower tangle meadows as far as a cat may ramble. On the left -- the IMMEDIATE left! -- sudden death screaming down on you at about 70 mph in the form of interstate tractor trailers and beer-pumped teenagers in too much car for that little share of brains.

We went through a bunch of cats -- some lasting a year, more than a few a matter of weeks, and a memorable hand full that I can only describe as --"Free At Last!! YAY!!" -- SPLAT!! (awful, but like in the Monty Python film "Life of Brian": when a Roman Centurion questions the nonplussed attitude of an old codger towards the possibility of his death by crucifixion exclaiming, "But that's a horrible death!", and the old man says "Yes, but at least you're out in the open air...")

I didn't really get attached to any of the cats until I was old enough to start having a hand in naming them. "Inky" was a black and white Asian mixed (Siamese cry/meow) kitten my sister Carol found at the back of the convenience store a mile up the road. Inky lived to be 14 and eventually died of the dread Meatloaf Disease so well chronicled by B. Kilban in his cat drawings -- (where the cat as she ages gradually turns into a (barely animated) meatloaf shaped entity.)

In her twilight months we brought home a kitten to stimulate her, as is recommended by certain animal "experts" and the only stimulus effect I could see was that Inky would stop cold in the doorway of the room where Guinevere was frolicking in high cuteness kitty mode, give the cattish glare of "What Fresh Hell Is This?" feline disdain towards all bipeds present and do the slink and inversion reverse cat exit from the doorway.

I interpreted this to mean she did not care for the energetic charms of the kitten; and had my suspicions further confirmed by the dear old girl departing this world shortly after Guinevere's arrival: Inky having attained full meatloaf form: an inert island on a flood of bladder release, dead center between my home on college break wheelchair dependent younger sister's ankles.

But I didn't want to talk about Inky and Gwen -- I wanted to talk about MY cats: Maneater and Godzilla.

They arrived as kittens at the same time, though I don't remember if they were litter mates. Zilla was the definition of a Kipling cat. She was a sinewy, spar gray, with the hint of tiger striping in charcoal from her shoulders back to her tail, which was a return to plain gray and held in a perpetual question mark "?" bend and curl, whatever her mood or occasion.

She was a backyard ghost. She was a house ghost. I tried to bond with her over the years but she was not the sort to approve of human-feline fraternization, and was simply the green eyes peering out from shadows and the haunts of kitty corners. When I moved out of the house at nineteen, Zillah took THE ROAD OUT in beginner "Frogger" fashion within the first two weeks of my leaving. Did she miss me? Had I mattered to her? Was it just her name getting read out from the karma kitty-call up? I got the clean up call, as ever, and thought about what makes a self contained proper cat do the splat; trying to give her a proper burial in frost hardened winter ground.

Maneater started out as my sister's cat: when I moved back home two years later to take care of my mom after surgery, Mannie and Inky lived in a state of detente: and the once aloof, conceited-and-proud-of-it Maneater attached herself to me in dog like fashion. I'm sure she was simply bored and missed Susan, who had started college that year.

Maneater...was a big cat made house cat size. Amongst feline definitions of beauty she excelled all conventional notions -- a Siberian with tortoise shell brushstrokes of vibrant autumn displayed like treasure on a graduated mink coat with an asymmetrical, broken blaze of honey, amber, and gold echoing the Halloween perfection of pumpkin orange eyes; smooth sable shoulders with the left forepaw gauntleted in a swirl of color; and her back end and tail as full and bushy as if she were dressed in Cossack trousers. Breathtaking in a "Oh, what IS that?!!" glimpse of something that should have been feral and predatory as well as Queen of All She Surveyed.

This cat became my companion and gave me the privilege of her direct, Cattitude Attentions. My desk is an old 1930's oak teacher's desk, the surface top of which measures 60"x34": "Manita" would sit like a Bast statue on the desk just to the left of my left hand and watch me read, or write in my journal. I, of course, had to start our conversations but once she had my attention things rolled along as you might expect between a so called "dumb" animal and a lonely human -- which is to say she played me like a piano and I thought she was a Clever Puss!

Mannie was one of the best companions I'd ever had; from the moment the alarm clock went off and she started her kitty yoga alongside my shoulder; taking care of my Mom throughout the day, she was always ready to offer suggestions on what "Baby Jane" enhancements we could torture the old lady with -- devious little minx of a mind! -- to the end of the day when I'd put the reading and writing aside and say, "You ready for bed, Miss Thing?" and we'd get up from the desk together, hop into bed and that swirled left paw would always tap my chin, or an ear as if to wish me pleasant dreams before we curled into separate fetal knots for sleep.

She was as content to look upon me as I was pleased to look upon her, and there were times I'd KNOW with absolute certainty she not only understood what I was saying to her (not towards her, but TO her) but agreed with me on that level where words of reply are superfluous; an incline of that head, a perfectly timed blink -- the twitch of a nose as if to say, go on...

She never suggested she was bored and I had to play with her. None of this head butting, how can you look at that silly book while I am sitting here in all my splendorous beauty: no attempts to chase the pen scratching along on the paper like some substitute prey. She sat. She watched. When invited, she provided feedback -- for my sake, I am sure; all she really ever needed from me in the mix of our friendship was my big bipedal presence. Maybe she liked the sound of my voice? I don't know. What makes a dumb beast dumb, but our own lack of understanding?...

My mom eventually regained mobility and went back to work and I stayed and got a job working at the kennel down the road. I like animals, and I especially liked dogs; which my mother had not allowed us to have.

Maneater at first was quite appalled at the smells I brought back with me at the end of the day and the disruption to our daily routine but she adjusted -- and gave me the space to get stripped down and showered before she'd pop up and we'd chat over the day we had -- her end of the conversation mostly being my offerings of multiple choice.

Mannie had her job to do too -- she was the chief patrol cat during the day shift and had been neglecting her rounds to care for the caregiver during those first two months. (Mom had gone into the hospital for a replacement hip and been infected with staph, and then -- she slipped on a wet floor in the hospital corridor and fractured the good hip! Being that I was the only member of the family who did not have a) a husband/family of my own to care for, or b) a career to advance in or c) education to be furthering I got volunteered to assist at home. Sealing my fate was the fact I was temporarily homeless since the Drug Factory in the third floor apartment had gone up in flames and all my worldly possessions on the first floor were waterlogged: it was deemed a fortuitous chain of events -- for my other five siblings who would not have to deal with mother on a daily basis.
BTW it was around this time I stopped believing in a merciful Christian God.
Go figure.)

About four months into the kennel gig we had a freak summer storm blow through our area -- quite the biblical over kill, with day becoming night and hail the size of golf balls doing major property damage. The dogs in the kennel went berserk. I got home and my sister's boyfriend was sitting in the kitchen. My sis wheeled out of the bathroom and looked at him then looked at me and looked at him again. Mom was still at work.

I don't remember who told me Mannie was dead, though I seem to remember the boyfriend did most of the talking. As I type this, the pain and frustration of that bereavement roars up from the past and bleeds -- hemorrhages -- as if it has just happened... and I needed to stop typing and mop up the tears and snot before I fried the keyboard.

This was 22 years ago, and my consolation is that I haven't really thought about it until now: I got over it, and I'll get over it again. Time heals -- but memory is a knife. ah well -- my sinuses needed a good blow out anyway...

In my family, I have the reputation as the Strong One. The Smart One.
She's got a stainless steel spine and she doesn't take sh*t from anyone, not her Husband, not Mom, not God -- nobody!

My Mother and I have come to a detente of our own - but that's a story for another time, as are my love hate love relationships with male figures throughout my life. That cat was one of the most important relationships of my life.

A cat.

I've had dogs since... but today... I just ... miss my cat.

3.13.2005

my little obsession confession.


The question arises in most thoughtful minds from time to time, a thoroughly subjective, in-the-moment take stock of things: you can dress it up in poetic metaphor, you can pick it apart in clinical analysis, but the question in essence is -- "What "does it" for YOU?"
Let me be crystalline on this.
Music does it for me. close second -- the well turned phrase.
Flowers, candy, shoes, perfume, gold, jewels, clothes do not affect me -- in fact all that stuff will pretty much have me looking askance at the petitioner who seeks my favors.
I do have my vanities -- compliment my way with words to flatter me.
And I have to admit, a man who knows how to brew a good cup of tea certainly will get my attention.
but.
give me music.
Wether it's something new to me that you love or the discovery of common interests; share your enthusiasm and delights for whatever sparks you up.
I do love to hear different stuff.
Though I return, over and over to my favorites.
I have a lot of favorites.
I can say with some certainty a name that pops up quite often when I'm talking about my favorites is eric johnson, which is a name you are most likely to hear spoken by other musicians: particularly guitarists; particularly really GOOD guitarists.
I have some sense of humor about this because I recognize the idiosyncratic quality of being tweaked in such a way as to be a fanatic... about anything. Everyone has their quirks. (having no quirks is a quirk!)
My quirks are mostly harmless. (according to me, anyway.)
eric johnson is ... beyond words, really.
Let me put it this way.
He'll have a new album out this summer... greatly anticipated by those who know about it, lol.
This one thing I am excessively emphatic about getting to hear.
If I were to die for whatever reason before then I would be MIGHTILLY pissed off.
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The Universe has a perverse sense of humor and a child's concept of pity.
A piece of music seems such a small thing, a mote of goodness against the noise of wailing lamentations and teeth gnashing.
But it is goodness.
and dammit I want to hear it.

Sometimes I wonder if it isn't the overlooked aspect of ej's output that makes me such a fevered fan.
welll... then I put the headphones on...

There are excellent reasons why "we" don't talk about bootlegs of ej on the forum: frankly he sees no income from these things being traded around, and probably of equal if not greater consequence is the fact he's got the perfectionist disease.
on the one hand -- gotta love him for caring so much about quality control.
on the other hand -- I just lucked into about 4.5 hours worth of live ej material -- and I want MORE.
omg, launched on a life of crime through addiction.
so I've been working on this and that, and mostly listening to my *illict* trove of recently acquired ej goodness.
It's not my intention to rub it in.
I honestly just have it REAL BAD for all things eric.
I confess. Your Honor I am guilty, guilty Guilty.
Commute my sentence to a nunnery in Austin, please.
I can understand the desire to follow a touring band -- 1. I can't imagine ever getting tired of this music for one thing -- and for another, 2. the boy mixes it up. sheesh.
and it takes so long for him to release an album, the only sure way to hear ej's new stuff is to see him.
and do we get to hear all the stuff he's written?..

is it really...um..."bad" to want to break into his house and listen to every bit of tape in "the vault"??? I won't take anything, I just want to HEAR this stuff!
hmmmm you know that line between "fan" and "fa-nahhh-TIC"?
I just looked behind me. *oops*.

my little obsession confession.

Connecticut: frozen wasted land, home of the Huskies, yeah whatever...


Where Are YOU From?

wow -- I have lived in Connecticut all my life -- and obviously these writers have only driven through it...

You're From Connecticut When...

You have hiked up a big hill or small mountain at least once for a keg party.
I sure as hell do not hike mountains to spend time with drunken @ssholes. Keggers have never been my thing.

You never went to a bar in high school.
BawahahahaHA! helllooo, I had a rack at 14, the shine was off going to bars by 14&1/2.

You thought that the only highways were 91 and 84.
No. Dad was a weekends-are-for-driving guy.

You thought everyone couldn't buy beer after 8 pm
No.

You actually thought that Hartford was big
lol. for a sink hole, sure. as a "city" -- no.

You or someone you know has attended UCONN
yes, I know UCONN survivors.

You drive a JETTA
No, a nondescript Ford.

You still think that the Whalers are cool.
Is that the Hockey team?.. I prefer the Mystic Seaport stuff -- and that it is a thing of the past, thanks.

You have been to Misquamicut and to that little hot dog place.
where? I have been to many a little hot dog place, I love hot dogs (it's a phallic thing -- don't get me started!) but most of the Indian derived place names I know of are in either NY or NJ.

There is a farm within miles of your house
yes. this one IS accurate.

You thought bars were really for people over 21
Bars are for adolescents, whatever the chronologic age.

Your high school thanksgiving football game was the highlight of your school year.
You must be kidding. The highlight of my school year was the last day of school.

You don't have an accent when you talk
I don't have a stick up my ass, nor is my lower jaw immobile when I speak. People generally think I have been to an Ivy League school but that is only because I gots book larnin' [rolls eyes]

You have known at least 2 preppy rich kids from Fairfield who listen to Phish.
Nope. Phish is something my friends would only bring up if they were talking about an internet scam, as in "Somebody tried to phish me."

You love Hilton Kaderli and your mom cried when he retired.
I am vaguely aware of who he is -- a weather guy? I think my mom watches some other network broadcast.

UConn basketball rules and no one can tell you different
riiiight. Again -- well, my interest in sports can best be summed up with, "I like movies about baseball."

You have deer in your backyard.
I don't have a backyard, I have neighbors with a deck.

You didn't drink or do drugs until 10th grade.
again -- got over the whole drugs and drinking scene before high school -- when I decided I preferred my brain unaltered.
And my better judgement fully functional.


You still don't understand why people say that Connecticut is the richest state.....
this is true because I know Bridgeport, Waterbury, and I live in the Naugatuck valley currently. Yes, Connecticut does have Fairfield, Westport, Greenwich -- the so called "Gold Coast", but it also has the flip side which is all the more shocking for its excesses. In both directions.

Your best friend went to Central, Western, Eastern and finally Manchester Community College.
I suppose the implied joke is that the schools mentioned are not Yale or UCONN, the "better known" schools. My friends and I didn't go to college, we went to work full time out of high school.
Connecticut -- that Haven of Higher Learning -- bite me.


Your mom works at Travelers and your dad works at Pratt and Whitney.
My mom was a Visiting Nurse, and my Dad was a Teamster. A Mechanic.

You have been drunk at the Meadows and don't remember the concert.
I have never been to the Meadows -- I don't care for large gatherings of drunks and lousy sound systems.

You go to Riverside at least once a summer
I have never been to an Amusement park in my life. Slight case of agoraphobia.

Your parents actually care about the Governor, the Patriots coming to Hartford, the lights at Christmas in Hartford & Channel 3 news.
LOL!!! My parents were too damn busy struggling to feed house and clothe 6 kids that Politics, Sports, excessive wastes of resources and Channel 3 news were not even a blip on their radar! New Haven's channel 8 was closer -- I think that was the preferred TV source.

You have a UCONN flag outside of your house year round
Not even to have it blow past the door.

You think New Jersey was a toxic waste dump
nah. But I do say, "The garden state" with a titch of irony.

You hang out at Denny's
I hang out at home on the computer. I think there are Denny's restaurants on the Merrit Parkway.

You've partied at bonfires
Nope. I'm a Pagan -- I avoid fires in public places, as I have no desire to be an unwilling guest of honor.

You have at least one friend with a pickup
No. I don't know anyone with a pickup.

You think everyone works tobacco in the summer
You must be joking. Again -- what century are you referring to?

You think Old Lyme is a shore town
Old Lyme is a race track. for cars.

You've been to Cape Cod
Nope. Can't say as I have.

You think the Connecticut River is endless
I don't understand this one on any level. [shrug]

The town diner is the only place open after midnight.
shockingly, fast food franchises and donut shops have infiltrated CT -- as well as 24 hour Supermarkets and drugstores.

You have at least 4 friends who drive Jeep Grand Cherokees
nu-uh. Although I do have friends who own Ford Explorers.
We remain friends anyway.


You root for all the New York sports teams
No -- but if I had to I think I might be able to name New York teams.

If anybody asks, you're from just outside of New York.
Naaah. I'm from a quaint and depressed factory town in the Naugatuck (I assume that is Indian for "f*ck you whitey") Valley.

You've never looked at a public bus schedule
I depend on Public transportation -- my husband uses our car for work.

You have both girlfriends and guyfriends with the same name as you.
Guess again.

You go to the diner late night to post party.
a bit fixated on Connecticut diners, are we? again, No.

You think New Haven is the worst ghetto you've ever seen

Hardly. Sections of Bridgeport, maybe. New Haven is a study in contrasts. I personally love New Haven. I have to travel to New Haven to walk into a book store! There is ONE bookstore in the Ansonia-Derby-Shelton area -- and it sells second hands. I tell ya -- never ever move into a town without a bookstore!

You can proudly tell an outsider about Nutmeg.
Yes. I know why Connecticutians are called Nutmeggers.

You weekend either on the Cape or Rhode Island at a summer home
lol. I won't even waste a dream on that -- I weekend running errands and listening to NPR Comedy shows.

You have said... " I'm in a good location... Between both Boston and New York."
Not quite -- I have said on several occasions, "I live in Connecticut. That's where people pull off and pee between Boston and New York."

You can carry on a conversation about Mike Liut, Torrie Robertson, and the Brass Bonanza.
??? Never heard of any of that.

You have to explain Cow Tipping to people from out of state.
I have had out of state people explain cow tipping to me.

When you go to a real city, you sincerely feel bad for every poor / homeless person you see.
yeah uh huh. Being working class poor all my life, I sincerely wish we could all make a living and not die from stress as well as exposure.

You get pissed at anyone who doesn't know how to drive in the snow.
No one knows how to drive in the snow, but everyone thinks they do. Piss my pants, for sure -- pissed off? I am too busy calling on Ganesha to remove obstacles -- like spinning SUVs -- from my path.

You can name all the members of the UCONN men's and women's basketball teams.
hahahahaha.
No, I really can't.


You still can't find your way in Hartford (except for that bar area near Union Station.)
I follow my nose. And since I do not have a d!ck impeding my common sense -- I ask for directions.

You hold the door open for someone and they don't say "Thank You."
Wrong. everyone I am polite to -- and I am generally polite to everyone, unless s/he is being abusive to someone -- and then I am so IMPOLITE as to ask them what the hell they think they are doing? (in various degrees of intensity; what ever will break off the abusive behavior) but for the most part -- people are polite in return. Wether they are surprised or simply polite on their own reconnaissance, I don't know.

You own a golden or a lab (used to...)
Nope. Poodles and terriers.

You own real Oakley's
I don't know what an Oakley is..?

You only know Westbrook and Clinton because they have good outlets
Clinton is also close to one of the best independent bookstores in the state (R.J. Julia's) in Madison =)

You don't think you're a yuppie, but the rest of the country does
wow -- are THEY misinformed.

You only ski in Vermont or out West
I do not ski. Let's see -- hurling myself down mountain sides packed with snow, wearing specifically designed for the task waxed boards strapped to my feet. Oh goody. afterwards, to reward myself can I polar bear dip into an ice hole on a frozen lake!? I hate winter. Cold is a personal affront. The only real winter sport is keeping WARM. The rest is all done on frat boy dares.

Your mother is the head of the PTA
no. But I think they jello wrestled together once.
joking, Mom.


There is absolutely nothing to do in the winter
Read a book. watch a movie. Hibernating sounds like a plan.

You live twenty minutes form either an Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, or GAP.
Well, can't let the Yalies go nekkid.

You sail, or know someone who does.
ummm hummmm. oh yeah. we are all yatchsman. and we ARE the people in the J. Crew catalogs! I do not know anyone who 'sails" though I have known a few sailors in my time. Submariners, actually.

You don't understand why everyone else has not been to Europe.
lol. I have never been further than New Jersey, in any direction.

You can't get through the week with out a Coffee Coolata
I'm a tea drinker. I drink coffee maybe twice a month.

Your family owns more cars than legal drivers
nope. again -- One car -- two adults.

School attire is a North Face fleece jacket, a North Face Fleece or L.L. Bean back pack, a plaid shirt, khakis, and Doc Martins.
oh puleeeze. No kids -- so N/A

Summer footwear is either Reefs or Birks
canvas deck shoe style sneakers. I have odd feet -- these are my all purpose shoes.

You carry your keys on a carabineer, but you don't know how to rock climb.
carry my keys on a keyring, with a mass of store card tags attached to them on another keyring.

You feel for the homeless, but are not willing to give up the golf course land to develop a homeless shelter.
Wanna bet?! Take the f*cking golf course!

As a child you took horseback riding, golfing, tennis and swimming lessons.
golly. So off the mark as to be surreal.

You grew up wanting to be a lifeguard
??? I want to be a Librarian!

You own every DMB CD
No, I do not -- DMB?? Not a one.

The state is so small you know where all the speed traps are
that might actually be true.

You can't understand why people don't understand what your talking about when you refer to a "package" store
I hardly ever refer to liquor stores in conversation, and I am sure I wouldn't call it the "packy" unless that is how it was referred to by the other party.

You went to prep school even though your public schools are awesome
Prep school? Nope -- Trumbull school system from kindergarten through High school. I spent a good deal of time in the public library as well.

People actually wear sweaters around their necks
seriously -- Connecticut is not a J. Crew catalog.

You've never taken public transportation
wrong.

You know of at least one person who's house was totally trashed after a huge party
in an Urban legend sort of way, I suppose. Not much of a party girl.

Your mom drives a Volvo wagon
nope. she drove Fords, mostly.

You have at least one friend whose house was built in the 1800's
ah. Now -- I grew up in a house that was originally a Colonial Tavern, built in the mid-18th century. A very small home.

You live in a huge colonial
currently in a two family Victorian

You know at LEAST one person who has been pulled over and found to have weed in their car
nope. I am just a dull, dull girl.

The only overcrowding is of deer in your backyard
riiiight.

Your house would cost half as much in any other state
Now that is for certain. property is a major expense in CT. They're not making any more of it, y'know?

Your wardrobe contains at least three pairs of cords and five wool sweaters
jeans, tee shirts, sweats and a scary purple cardigan that would be roomy on Hagrid.

Half of your friends are from another town because yours is so small
most all my friends are online!

At least one of your friends has a sick house right on the water
a "sick house"? would that be where Buffy and Skip go to 'dry out" and catch the sea air? la de dah. nope.

so where you from? Did they get your state right?...
(Austin has it's own!)

3.11.2005

well this might get me dooced*....


I need absolution.
I've spent the last two days watching and listening to EJ bootlegs.
yesssss plural.
guilty, guilty, guilty.
on audio cassette: Mariani dub (which I haven't finished listening to -- very psychodelic stuff, but there's several Hendrix covers on the end as "filler".) The recording of the Raleigh Electromagnets set; and a really really good dub of a radio broadcast show from 1990, KLBJ's Local Licks Live.
on VHS: a dub of the July 20 1990 Bottom Line show that aired on Japanese tv, followed by a very bootlegged KLBJ Aquafest show -- total time on the video approx an hour and a half...? I'll check the clock next time...
Many nice things about the Japanese show: the big thrills for me being an acoustic break with "Kathy's Song" (the other acoustic number is "Song for George") the Texas Swing take on "the Cement Pond", and "Mountain".
the video tape is a loaner, I have to send it back to the owner after I make a copy (which I am scheming to do) the audio tapes are mine to keep:
just one more instance of generous EJ fans doing what comes naturally.

I can say one thing -- EJ does love Texas audiences best.
oh, but it sounds like the feeling is mutual. lol.

I did(finally) send an email to my benefactor:

ungrateful wretch that I am, I have been glutting myself on the goodies you sent and haven't managed to do much more than breathe and eat between feasts.
oh, life is SO good.
The tape from Local Licks live is an especially yummy treat -- wow, live East Wes, Trail of Tears, Trademark, and Mountain??!! The guys are just on fire (in the inspired and soulful meaning) and the sound is (excuse me) panty melting awesome. sorry. such an understatement does require bringing up underwear. =)

I do have the instructional vids -- the first one was made around the time of the Bottom Line show, so I have indeed seen the mullet cut "spry 35 year old" before (still looks like he's gonna get carded!) I confess my heart stopped a few clicks when the video ended during tears of a clown -- but I just rewound and enjoyed it all over again.

I'm so happy to have heard and seen his cover of "Kathy's Song" finally -- if you remember me from the list -- it's one of my all time favorite S&G tunes. lol. He does it very well indeed.

and Mountain is Great. I can understand his frustration with it, though -- it has a great, catchy hook and plenty of room to showcase stunning, shimmering licks, but it's fragmented. Now, having said that -- I would LOVE for him to have gotten it together for Bloom.
Do you think it's the rarity and tantalizing tastes of a work in progress that make it such a gem? hmmm having typed that I think that is only a small part of it. It really is a good piece of a song.

Months ago I was talking with folks IRL about the "Lack of Bloom " and the possible straits of someone who is a phenomenally GOOD player not being able to get his new work distributed profitably -- the short of it is, the discussion looped around quick one-off money generators -- that EJ would probably never do, just because of his.. y'know.. Artistic Integrity.
Like an album of Hendrix covers.
Or Wes Montgomery.
Listening to the flip side of Mariani (what a trip THAT is! sheesh. 15-16..? wow.) and the Hendrix tunes -- yes, it's unbelievably good, and the joy of hearing Eric do it is FIXED on the point that it is ERIC doing it, and doing it dead to rights. Does it advance anything BUT enjoyment for the fans of EJ? Nope, and it need not be more than that -- sheer bliss.

lol. The one thing I haven't listened all the way through yet is the Magnets in Raleigh. [blush] the first cut sounds so much like Zappa I thought you sent a Zappa show as "the surprise treat." (going on the premise I am a fusion fan.) Well -- I live with a 51 year old Zappa completionist. I don't suppose you're interested in everything Frank ever breathed on, are you...?

Thanks so much. Again.
I'll try to be more coherent in the future -- I need to go commune with my VCR again...

...
P.S. oh DADDY!! cement pond -- that boy has a future in Texas SWING!! what CAN'T he do?...




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B U Z Z ·W O R D ·O F ·T H E ·D A Y

*dooced: To get fired for something you wrote
in your personal blog. Named after Heather
Armstrong's Web site dooce.com. Heather was
one of the first to get sacked for her musings.

3.08.2005

Tales of Brave Ulysses...


Ulysses... have I ever mentioned, I've been in love with the Ithacan King since I was 6 years old? This is my definition of "Hero". The wylie Odysseus, Warrior King; favored by Athena -- for his wits, cunning... and Nobility. After Achilles (and that's a whole 'nother sort of hero in my book don't get me started on pretty boy / jock BMOCs) the greatest hero of the Greek Host.
Yep, they hold a contest at Achilles' funeral.
gotta love the classics.
I guess most people are *vaguely familiar* with the story -- unless they grew up on Mythology; it's been with me this long because the first real book I remember reading was "The Trojan War" by Olivia Coolidge.
I think if you were to crack that, you'd understand the core of who I am.
First we are talking a lyrical, wonderfully written book that I would imagine was written for a young adult audience (it's been 30 years at least since I saw a copy; mine literally disintegrated -- I think I'd swoon if I found a clean copy somewhere.) I appropriated it (pack rat that I am) from a stack of books given to us by one of the Aunts. I was 5 or 6 at the time and reading everything I could get my hands on that had a passing interest for me...
and probably stuff that I should not have been exposed to at that Kindergarten age.
I'd say this fell into that category since there was plenty of fighting, adult themes of love and sex (not vulgar, but unmistakable) and what I really loved was the constant intervention of the classical gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Trojans -- divided right down the middle of the 12 -- all my favorites were supporting the Greeks, lol.
I'm a Big fan of Comparative Mythology, and it started here.