Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dear Target...

Dear Target,

I've been a customer of your Target photo lab for a number of years, now - the prints I make for cards and framing come from your machines, and until last evening, I can honestly say I've never had a complaint, and indeed, have been more than happy with your products and services.

Last evening, however, I must admit to leaving one of your stores in a somewhat less than gruntled state, Target.

I entered the Target in Buford, Georgia, at 6:25 PM, intent upon printing some photographs. Granted, I usually use another store, but I was in Buford and really wanted the prints to mount last night so I could ship them in the morning. When I approached the Target photo lab, the woman there informed me that the one-hour service I was hoping to use was closed. It closes at seven, she told me.



But...it's six-thirty.

And, she said, I have to shut the machine down and it take a little while so I started it now so it would be shut down by seven.

Uh-huh. So I'm thinking, the sign should read that the service closes at six-thirty, then. I just sigh. She goes on to say that I can do instant printing if I want. It costs a little more, but it's still open, or I can leave the order to be printed tomorrow.

Instant print it is. I slide the disc in and select the prints I want to make, go thorough all the choices I need to make, and start the printing.

Hurrah, I think, I will be able to mount and mail these babies before the weekend!

Umm...not so much.

The prints were horrible. Not in a "Oh, I thought the picture was a good one, but look, it turns out I can't photograph worth a damn" horrible but more like "These looked fine when I had them printed before, but now they look blurry and washed out like the machine's been on a bender and can't be bothered right now" horrible.


And the photo maven has conveniently disappeared. Oh, wait, there she is, hiding behind some carts.

She ever-so-cheerfully asked me if the prints looked OK.

No...no they did not, I replied. They look washed out, blurry, pixelated and generally awful and I can't use them.

Oh, she replied, yeah...she really didn't like using that machine because it printed like an ink-jet printer and not a real photo machine, and prints usually turned out looking a little funny.

Well, gee sugar, could you have maybe mentioned that before you wasted my time and this paper? Thinking, not saying...

She went on to tell me that she wouldn't charge me...which I thought terribly generous of her seeing as how I couldn't use them in the first place...

I thought about being angry...annoyed, even, Target.

I mean...am I unreasonable, Target, to expect that, when your own sign says a product or service is available until 7 PM, it actually will be available until 7 PM, and not until six-thirty PM so it's shut down by 7 PM? Am I out of line, here?

Is it wrong, Target, to expect your photo lab employees to have reasonable knowledge of the differences between processing methods, and that when they're informed that high quality prints are desired, directing a customer to a piece of crap printer that is no better than one at home is probably not the best course of action? And then, telling that customer that they are magnanimously allowing the customer to keep the useless prints will not likely engender feelings of warm fuzziness. I'm just saying, Target...I'm just saying...

Yes, I though of being angry...but then I laughed, target. I laughed. Because, Target, I realized that, while I didn't have my prints, and would now be delayed in finishing and shipping them...I had something just as good.

You, Target, provided me with blog fodder!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Meme Again...

I'm surrounded by memes...they're following me, I swear. I just started reading a new blog, and this meme was on it. Sigh. At least it is moderately different and interesting.

As always, tag yourself if you like, or just tell me how lame I am in the comments.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Not even a little...

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No...but I've smoked a haddock...is that worth any points?

3. Do you own a gun? Does a squirt gun count?

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I get cherry-limeade with extra cherry.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No...but I'm usually irritated that I had to wait so long...

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Mmmm...lips and assholes...with cheese, onions, mustard, ketchup(Catchup? Catsup? Whatever) and relish...

7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Wish for Wings That Work

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water.

9. Can you do push ups? I can't even do a pushup bra.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? There's a pentacle I never take off...and there's the glass piece K made me...

11. Favorite hobby? Ummm...all of them...

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Nope, but I have OCD...

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I only get only one?

14. Middle name? Don't have one.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: (1) I am so in love. (2)I need a shower - I'm all spider-webby from cleaning kittens out of the garage. Don't ask. (3) Should I microwave the bacon, or fry it, and do I want it IN the spinach omelet or as a side?

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Ummm....I fueled the van...aaannnnd....did some shopping for K (she was out of some merchandice)....and...umm...I don't know that I bought anything else...

17. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink? Water, not very sweet tea, water, and...umm...water.

18. Current worry? How the divorce will affect the Evil Genius.

19. Current hate right now? I try not to hate.

20. Favorite place to be? With the Evil Genius and/or Someone.

21. How did you bring in the New Year? Quietly, watching TV, playing games, and going to sleep.

22. Where would you like to go? To the lottery commission with the winning ticket.

23. Name two people who will complete this? I have no idea...who else has MCD (meme-compulsive-disorder)?

24. Do you own slippers? Do I ever! Cows, leopards, teddy bears, big blue monster feet with sparkly blue toenails...and pink flamingos. Yep...I AM a nutter...

25. What shirt are you wearing? One I made from a sarong.

26. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No...too slide-y and hot. I like cotton, especially Egyptian cotton, or maybe flannel in winter if I'm somewhere really cold.

27. Can you whistle? Not very well, alas, but I can sing.

28. Favorite color? Blue.

29. Would you be a pirate? Depends...what kind? Captain Jack Sparrow, lovable rogue? Sure. The kind that steals music or video, copies and sells it? Nope.

30. What songs do you sing in the shower? Sometimes I sin whatever I'm working on at the moment, sometimes an old favorite, sometimes I tone, and sometimes I sing a cleansing song.

31. Favorite girl's name? Katherine.

32. Favorite boy's name? Richard.

33. What's in your pocket right now? Three different shades of Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers, a fairy bell, a marble, a tiny pocket knife, a Guam quarter, a gold dollar, and a Chuck-E-Cheese token in the right front. Some lint in the left front (that's my money pocket - it's feeling a little empty and forlorn right now). Two card cases in the left rear, and my wallet in the right rear.

34. Last thing that made you laugh? Oddly enough, the same thing that made me cry - a wedding video.

35. Best bed sheets as a child? Hmm...the blue Snoopy ones, where he was flying the Sopwith Camel (doghouse) and Woodstock was fluttering past.

36. Worst injury you've ever had? Hmm...perhaps the one wherein I tried to rapidly force my head through a windshield while also attempting to puncture the dashboard with my hand.

37. Do you love where you live? I am right fond of it, yes...although there is one thing that would make it better...

38. How many TV's do you have in your house? Too bloody many...four! Three adults, four televisions...why? Why??

39. Who is your loudest friend? I have loud friends?

40. How many dogs do you have? None.

41. Does someone have a crush on you? Not that I know of...although I believe Someone loves me...

42. What is your favorite book(s)? Book series? I don't have a favorite...but if pressed I could maybe narrow a few thousand down to a handful.

43. What is your favorite candy? I don't have a favorite...although right now I am keen on Whatchamacallit and Snickers bars.

44. Favorite Sports Team? Umm...the Gladiators, if I have to have one.

45. What song do you want played at your funeral? Whatever the people actually listening to it want to hear - I'll be dead, it won't matter a whit to me.

46. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Writing, talking on the phone.

47. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? If I keep having dreams like that, I won't ever want to wake up! Whew!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sucks to Be Meme

So my post "Leave it to Meme" was ganked by these folks - cool!

And...erm...aww, crap! The OCD Memer stumbled upon a meme site. Help! I may never sleep again...

I managed to get away without reading more than one other meme...but I know the site is there...teasing...waiting...singing its siren song...

The Heretic Meme

1. Who was the last person of the opposite sex you lay in a bed with?
Hmm...the answer that most directly answers the wording of this question is...my son. He cuddles with me in the morning. The answer I think they may be fishing for is...well...I can't post that name because I don't kiss and tell and I respect his privacy. He knows who he is...poor devil.

2. Where was the last place you went out to eat?
A burger joint in Houston called "Princes", best restaurant burger I've had in ages. Although...now that I think about it...we didn't actually eat there. So maybe it was that little Italian place...hmm...

3. What was the last alcoholic beverage you consumed?
Chardonnay mixed with cranberry-pomegranate juice over ice, last Friday evening.

4. Which do you prefer - eyes or lips?
For eating? Hmm... OK, OK, I know...and it depends on what I'm looking for or doing. I like eyes for expression, for giving insight into what a person is thinking or feeling. Lips, however, are lovely for kissing...and I do like kissing...

5. Medicine, fine arts, or law?
If it's what I'm better at...I'd say Arts...although I'm pretty fair with Law, too, and fairly well educated in matters medical. If it's what I think is more useful, noble, the better pursuit...hmm...they're about equal in my esteem.

6. Best kind of pizza?
The kind someone else pays for.

7. What is in store for your future?
OK, so the smartass in me says "Whatever groceries I need at the time." Yeah, yeah. I could say "love" and throw the few readers I haven't alienated yet into a sugar coma.. Or I could give my standard answer - I'll know when I get there...

8. Who was the last band you saw live?
The Ragbirds.

9. Do you take care of your friends while they are sick?
If they want or need me to, yes. I always offer, anyway.

10. How many songs are on your iPod?
I dunno...a couple of thousand?

11. Where is the last place you drove to?
Long distance? Houston. Most recent/short distance? B's house to frolic in the pool with the Evil Genius, B, and her husband.

12. Where did your last kiss take place?
On my lips. No, I'm not actually trying to be sarcastic, but again - I am looking after someone else's privacy. No, I'm not trying to be dramatic...just courteous. Sorry if that irks you. Heck...I bet you haven't even read this far. I bet I could say "I have three heads!" or "I just won the lottery and am moving to a pink house on Grand Cayman where cabana boys will feed me peeled grapes on demand!" right here and no one would know...

13. What were you doing at 11:59 PM on Monday night?
Probably talking on the phone to the answer to numbers 1 and 12.

14. Are you a quitter?
Depends - if it means quitting something unhealthy, then yes...yes I am. Otherwise, I will give every endeavour my best shot. If it fails, I may or may not try again...

15. Who was the last person you had in your house?
Techinically, me, since I'm always in my house...except when I'm not.

15. What do you think about people who party a lot?
Umm...they lose count on the memes they're writing and misnumber them, then publish without proofing?

16. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?
Nope. Why, is there something you haven't yet learned form the Internet?

17. What was the last CD you purchased?
The Ragbirds, Wanderlove.

18. What are two bands or singers that you will always love?
Besides my own band and its members? Kelliana and the Ragbirds, off the top of my head. They're not the only ones, but I don't have favorites - they're the first ones who sprang to mind.

19. Which of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of?
I don't have sins - I'm pagan. As long as I'm not hurting anyone, it's all good.

20. How is your last ex doing?
He's alive and in one piece...isn't that enough? Seriously, my last (and, oddly enough, also my first) ex is doing fine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I'm going out to dance in the rain.

Come join me...

Simple Summer Supper

I cooked this up one evening when I had friends coming over, nothing to make for dinner, and a lot of partial servings of leftovers. I made a repeat performance last Monday, and it was just as good. Served with garlic bread or bread with olive oil for dipping, and a salad, it's a nice, simple meal. It may even prove healthy (shh, don't tell!).

The cast:
A handful of green beans
One yellow squash
One zucchini
A bunch of asparagus
One small can of chopped tomatoes (I used the ones with garlic, oregano, and basil in)
Pasta of your choice (I like the corkscrews - they're fun!)
Mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Chicken (cooked)
Sausage (cooked)
Leftover veggies of any sort that you think would go well in this
Ready? Action!

First, blanch the green beans. Skip this step if they're leftover from another meal and already cooked.
While the green beans are blanching, chop a slice or three of onion and a few cloves of garlic...
...then cut the asparagus tips into bite-sized pieces...

...likewise the squash and zucchini...
...and the now blanched green beans.
Set the pasta water to boil and cook according to directions. At the same time, heat butter, olive oil or a combination of both in a sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic.
When the onions are slightly translucent, add the asparagus...
...the squash and zucchini...
...the green beans...
...and finally, the tomatoes. This is also where you'd add chicken or sausage (cooked), eggplant, or anything else you think would go nicely in that tomatoey sauna of goodness. Salt and pepper if you like - I put a little of both, but it will do fine without.
Give it a good stir...
...and let it simmer until the squash is cooked to your desired doneness.
While it's simmering, drain the pasta and butter or drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Pasta loves to stick to itself. I think it's what holds the Universe together. I bet right now scientists are looking at the particles in the hadron collider and saying "Huh - so carbon molecules are held together with farfalle, but oxygen is stuck to itself by radiatore."

Wait, weren't we cooking something? Oh, right.

So drain the pasta, de-stick it (the reason I don't rinse is twofold - one, I don't want it to cool off, and rinsing can soggify pasta...and soggy pasta is one of life's great tragedies...right after when ice cream falls off the cone and someone else getting the last Oreo), and deposit it in a large bowl.
Doesn't that look like a bowl full of fun??

Now, while the sauce is still simmering, chop some mozzarella into chunks...or grate the cheddar...or, if you're me and you flaked on the cheese, chop up some sticks of string cheese and hope for the best.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and dot with the cheese.
Toss the lot, gently, until it's well mixed.
Looks good, doesn't it? I'm glad I had leftovers - typing this up made me hungry...and this stuff keeps and microwaves beautifully.

Bonus photo - the salad I served with it:
Abundanza, y'all!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Contest Results

Time's up. Yeah, I know, you were holding your breath, wondering "What the Hell is that??"


Is from this:

I call this shot "Sandy little piggies". I was randomly shooting from different angles to see if anything interesting came of it...and, while it's not exactly museum quality, I got a giggle from it. Thank you to Someone for being a good sport about all this.

Five folks played along - thank you Hermit Jim, Suzy, Cinner, Rene, and Kit!

No one guessed exactly what it was, but a couple of you came close, so I've decided to award two wins - one to Hermit Jim: "Looks to me like part of someone's body covered with sand...or with a combination of sand and salt water" and one to Suzy: "a leg covered with sand.". I can do that - it's my blog.

Here's what y'all get to do - click on the tags below to peruse the various photographs I've tossed around the blog, pick one you like, and e-mail me your choice and your address so I can ship you a mounted/matted piece, finished size up to 8 x 10. If you don't have a preference, just tell me your favorite color (or, conversely, the color you like least) and let me send you a random piece specially selected piece of art.

Miss Rene: "I looks like the Twinkie I found under the couch! No? Is it a stuffed animal?", Cinner: "I don't know what the hell it is, but I do know you can keep it. Lol.", and Kit: "A sandy, umm. . . a sandy. . . sheesh, let's just say it looks uncomfortable! Though that lower right corner has me confused. . . I give up!" (Kit...this is a family blog!!)(and it was a toe, sweetie)- y'all are funny! Thank you for playing along...I hope you'll join in again in the future!

Gee, Officer Friendly...

I was headed home when this happened...it's a bit long, but I found it funny...at least, at the time...maybe you'll be bored. Oh, well.
I was driving through Louisiana, on 12. I don't know why he chose me, really, but the officer said it was because I drifted over the line. Fair enough, I may have, although I don't think so. I know I wasn't speeding. Much.

I pulled onto the grass, far away from the traffic flying past, rolled down my windows, killed the engine, and waited. He sauntered up and leaned in the passenger window.

"Ma'am, may I see your license?"


I had my hands on the wheel, where he could see them. "It's in my back pocket." Georgia accent in full force, as it sometimes is when I am stressed, so it sounded like "It's iyun mah bayuck pawket."

"OK" He nodded.

I reached with my right hand, pulled out my wallet, and handed him the licence. I'm hoping the little smile he had to quash was because he thought the photo was a good one and not because the weight is clearly incorrect...by about sixty pounds the wrong direction.

"Well, Mrs. XXX (not my real name), do you know why I pulled you over?

Here's where my inner smartass really wanted out. I had to tie it up, duct tape its mouth, and shove it into a corner of my mind for the duration. In Italics are the answers I wanted to give...but didn't. You were clearly overcome by my radiance and had to stop me to gaze upon my visage, pay me homage, and beg for my phone number. "No, sir."

"You crossed the center line back there. You're not getting sleepy or driving under the influence on me, are you?"

Umm...can't you see the Gucci bags under my eyes?? Two iced teas (one of them a BK mega sized one) and two Vault sodas aren't doing it for me, but this little interlude sitting in the heat chatting with officer friendly is sure to help. "No, sir."

"Are you carrying any knives or guns with you today?"

Dang - left 'em home with the explosives and map of Fort Knox. "Only my cheese knife in the back, sir, in one of the bags." I use my fingers to measure the length, maybe two inches at best.

He smiled and shook his head.

"But other than that, I don't have any knives or firearms in here, sir."

He poked his head a little further in the window. "Are you alone in here, ma'am?"

Nope, I have the voices to keep me company. Say "hello", voices! "Hello, officer friendly!" "Yes, sir."

"Have you ever been pulled over before?"

"Yes, sir." But never by one as cute as you...sorry you're not my first...but you could be my best...

"How long ago?"

"Umm..." I had to do some math, and I'm certain that smoke curled out of my ears. "About eighteen years ago?" Yep, I'm a rebel, a scofflaw...

He had to fight the smile again. I think he found me amusing. Can you imagine??

"Ever been arrested?"

"No, sir." But I HAVE wondered what it'd be like to play with those shiny, shiny handcuffs...tell me, officer friendly, is that your nightstick or are you just happy to see me?

"You sit tight, I'm going to go run your license."

Great...could you bring me a cold one while you're at it? My A/C is on the fritz and I'm schwitzing up a storm, here... "Yes, sir."

After a few years sitting on the side of the road, stewing in my own juices, I started shaking. Oh, great, NOW the caffeine kicks in! The nice officer returned, my license in his hot little hand. I don't think he noticed that my pupils were now two different sizes and whirling like a Warner Brother's character on a sugar-high.

"Where are you coming from?"

"Houston, sir." Back thataway...

"There on vacation?"

"Yes, sir." I bobble-headed a nod. Smooth.

"Were you on your own, or were you meeting friends?"

Is he fishing to find out if I'm available?? Hmm...I DO like a man in uniform... "I met some friends."

"What did you do while you were there?"

All kinds of things I wouldn't tell my mother, officer, but I'd be happy to show you a few of 'em... OK...now...I'm tired, emotionally and physically drained, missing the person I left behind, and really ready to be done driving for a while. I'm hot, the A/C isn't helping me any, the caffeine is kicking my ass, I can be really voluble when I'm nervous (and being pulled over has always made me nervous), and this guy is playing twenty questions. He totally deserved the seven minute discourse on the fun things to do in Houston and Galveston (G-rated version). I'm just sayin'.

Eventually he waved me to a stop.

"Where are you headed?"

"Home, sir." Up yonder.

"Where's that?"

Dude, it clearly says on my license...oh, crap...I can't remember where I live... "Atlanta...well, north of Atlanta, South of Gainesville, sir."


Duh! Tag says Georgia...is this a trick question? Oh, crap...what's the right answer? Where's my cheat-sheet?? "No, sir, Georgia."

"Uh-huh. Do you have any marijuana on you?"

Why, you want to roll a blunt and party on the roadside, sugar? "No sir." True.

"Any cocaine?"

Dude, I look rode hard and put up wet, I'm exhausted, and I'm at least eighty pounds overweight - do I LOOK like a coke head?? "No, sir." Also true.

"Any methamphetamine?"

See the answer for cocaine, but add that I am in possession of all my teeth... "No, sir!" in a tone of utter disgust, this time, and completely true then and always.

"So you wouldn't mind if I searched, then?"

Only if you promise to get a little rough and call me Rhonda...and then can I put the cuffs on YOU?? "No, sir." Now, I know I'm supposed to demand a warrant or probable cause, but I was tired and in no mood to play with the nice man who just wanted to do his job - and if I was hot, he was hotter, standing in the sun wearing his uniform and a Kevlar vest. It's not his fault that drug runners have started using mom-mobiles as mule, or that I look so freakin' glamorous I must be a gangsta's moll, yo.

He handed me my license. "Step on over here, please." He waved for me to come out of the van and walk toward the back.

Oh, joy. "Yes, sir." I pulled out my wallet and replaced the license as I climbed out of the van and into the sun...and more importantly, my nappy-haired, sweaty, tired, overweight, been-on-the-road-for-several-hours looking self was in full view of the motoring public. Hurrah. The nice officer was waiting in the grass behind my van.

"You dropped something."

So I had. "Oh, thanks - it's the manager's card for the place I was staying."

"Where was that?"

I just handed him the card - we all know he wanted to see it...or maybe he just wanted to touch something that had been in really close proximity to my magnificent ass.

He asked me to step to the side.

"I'd hate for a car to hit my cruiser and crush us both." he handed me back the card.

Yeah, me too. "That would be fairly horrible, sir."

"I pulled you over because we get a lot of driver under the influence through here, and a lot of drug traffic, especially from Houston to Atlanta. We don't like drugs coming through here. Now, usually if we pull you over and ask if you're carrying anything, if you just have a little for personal use and you're honest about it, tell us, we'll just let you go."

Like fun, you will...

He continued "I'm not looking for that - I'm looking for big stuff. You're sure you don't have anything on you?"

"Sir, I'm clean." Sounded more like "Ser, ahm cleeyin", but at least it was the truth - the worst thing I had in the van was a beer Someone left in the motel room (I later told him it's in my fridge, but if he wants it he'll have to come get it) and some completely legal herbal smoke that is so old, it'd probably turn to dust if I opened it (if I could even find it buried in the very back in a box I haven't opened in a year or more).

"You're clean? OK, then, have a nice day."

Seriously? All that, and it's "Have a nice day"?? I don't even get a pat down, maybe get you to cop a feel? I could have body parts in those coolers...or every drug known to nature under that quilt! You made me lose all the semi-lukewarm air in my car, got my heart rate up over two-thousand bpm, and paraded my sorry butt out in public...and that's IT?? I demand a strip search! I know my rights!! I...uh...I'm getting back in the van and getting the Hell home, is what I'm doing.

If nothing else, I was awake for the rest of my trip...no need to pull over for any more naps!
Later, I'll announce the winner of the contest and maybe bore you to tears with a few other snippets from the trip. Cheers!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beautiful Wood

This is Lafonda:
She resides in a little artsy place called Idyllwood at the Tallulah Station in Tallulah Falls. Isn't she marvelous?I had to photograph her. The artist (Victor Eller of Clarkesville) allows photographs, only asking for a tip in exchange.I think...I think I love her... I love her expression...how serene, how sensual she looks...
I couldn't help myself...I had to touch her...her belly, her thighs, her breasts, her face...had to run my hands over the smooth wood. She was warm from the sun. I almost expected her to breathe.
I love the way the light plays across her, and how she looks like she's going to step from the pedestal.She's carved of black walnut, one big piece...and she's alive...vibrant, rich, stunning.

I want her.

Don't forget the contest, ending tomorrow...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to Save a Life in Three Easy Steps

Step One - go to my friend Rachel's blog, the Waxing Moon.

Step Two - read her posts about Trevor, the dog.

Step Three - stage a midnight requisition of one canine from the Whitehorse animal shelter (although how they're a shelter when they kill the creatures they're supposed to be rescuing is beyond me) and ship it to a certain Blue Witch in Georgia, where she is fairly certain they won't think to look for him, or bother to come fetch him. Fetch...something he deserves a chance at again, I think...

My fellow humans, for the love of all you hold sacred and dear...think...THINK...before you make another life your responsibility. Think about the consequences of your actions (or lack of them) before you drag some poor mutt into your chaos. This sort of thing is shameful, a blot on the collective soul of humanity...and I have some very unpleasant opinions about the specific woman who lied and cheated to get this dog and is now costing a life. Oh, wait, it's just a dog, though, no biggie...


Leave it to Meme

I did this on Facebook a few days ago. Some of the answers have changed, some not. Does anyone care? I wasn't tagged, but I can't help it...I can't leave a Meme alone...sigh...

Tag yourself, if you like.
Some firsts...

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Never went.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Technically yes, as I am certain I loved my Mum first...but if the question refers to first romantic love...well...yes, too.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Wine of some sort - they put it in my bottle when I was an infant! Grew up drinking it with dinner. It's a wonder I'm not a lush.

4. What was your FIRST job?
Babysitter, I think.

5. What was your FIRST car?
1979 Chevy Malibu Classic with a 305 V8...argh, argh, argh...

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
Someone texted me??

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Someone. He knows who he is.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
Italy. I was six months old. I remember it well...

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
Dana Mullen and Sean O'Dell, equally, and no...we lost touch when I was six or seven and moved out of state.

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
Probably my grandparent's house - I slept there a lot. If you mean at another child's house, not until I was in high school, that I recall.

12. Who was the first person you talked to today?
Myself, if I count - otherwise, the Evil Genius.

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
Umm...wait...I think...I have no idea. As an officiant, John and Tome's. As a party member...never, actually...unless you count mine, when I was the bride (because there was already a groom).

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Woke up.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
I'm not sure...i think it was the Vineyard Peace Concert, although it could have been Carly Simon, too...or Bonnie Raitt. It was probably on Martha's Vineyard, anyway.

16. FIRST tattoo?
Triple moon over my left scapula on my back.

17. FIRST piercing?
Ears - also only piercing, and likely to stay that way.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to?
Canada, although I hardly think that counts. No, wait...Italy, I guess, even though I don't remember that one...

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
Bambi, Fantasia, and Star Wars are all muddled up in my head as early experiences...

20. When was your FIRST detention?
Never served one. Boring, me.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?
Jenny Something in boarding school. Poor thing.

23. If you had one wish, what would it be?
That all who love are loved by their beloved in equal measure. Or to win the lottery...whatever.

24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

25. Did you marry the FIRST person to ask for your hand in marriage?

26. What was the first sport that you were involved in?
Umm...swimming? Horseback riding? I know I took tennis lessons as a kid, but never competed...I think soccer was the first thing I played on a team, competitively. I remember being a terrific fullback, often covering the goal alone as we were usually short a few players.

27. What were the first lessons you ever took?
Not to show any emotions or trust anyone with my heart. Oh, wait, you mean useful, mundane ones. Probably tennis or horseback riding.

28. What is the first thing you do when you get home?
Wait, I leave home?? Enter the house, I guess.

29. Who do you think will be the first person to post this in return?
I have no idea. Lately, prescience isn't my strong suit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Musical Interlude

This one's for Cygnus, because something he wrote reminded me of a song...

Tom Rush, The Dreamer - I first heard this on a compilation CD called The Vineyard Sound, Volume One, a collection of songs by artists on, from, or who love Martha's Vineyard (almost as much as I do).

Sweet life's a sparrow lost at sea...in dark of night with far to go...dreams are ships that sail away...and the dreamer's only cargo...only cargo...only cargo...

What the Hell is That??

Yep, it's time to play K's favorite game - What the Hell is That??
Here are the rules:

Post your best guess (or twelve) in the comments section by the cutoff date and time.

The first person to guess what it is wins. If no one gets it right, whoever makes me laugh the hardest wins.

Casa de Crazy dwellers don't get to play, since they probably already know, and even if it'll save me postage when they win, it just doesn't seem fair.

I'll annouce the winner and (eventually) send them a prize.
Easy, huh?
The prize: An original, signed, custom matted/mounted print of one of my photographs (yeah, yeah, I'm a cheap bastard, but what do you expect from an quasi-artist??) from this trip - or, if you've seen some of the other entries with my work, one of those if you'd rather.
Today is Friday...sooo...let's run this baby until next Monday, July 27 at 10:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, or until someone guesses right.
Now for the photo:

What the Hell is that??

Good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Galveston, Part Two

I don't know why I dig this shot, but I do - something about the composition, the funny little Victorian style building framed through the windshield of a very obliging car (she's a sweetheart, and Rosie enjoyed a good gossip with her when they were parked together)(yes, I did just write that)(what's wrong with anthropomorphizing cars??)(I'm shutting up now and getting on with the blog).

This is the view from the piece of beach on which we settled.The surf was gentle, just enough for my friend to body-surf a little while I swam, floated, and had a chat with Mama Oshun. At one point, while we were swimming together, a large Fish of Some Variety leaped from the surf and landed in the water nearby. We thought it was cool. A little while later I was floating on my back, bobbing in the waves and chatting with my friend when another Fish of Some Variety decided to leap out of the water and torpedo into my right...erm...chestal area, flop onto my stomach, and after a moment or two of utter confusion find its way back into the water, where I am certain it swam away asking "What the Hell just happened??", which is what I was saying. The two young men attempting to surf nearby expressed my sentiments nicely - "Holy shit!!"

There was a small group of young people visiting the beach. I think it was a church group. Usually, I would rather burn my hair than let teenagers see my bathing-suit clad body and open myself up to snide comments and tittering...but I didn't mind them...too much...and if they were thinking unkind thoughts, they never let on. I think it helped they had a young woman of size in their midst, and they seemed solicitous of her well-being. Sweet. As they prepared to leave, one of the young ladies stood in the surf, and I snapped this:
It just appeals to me...

While the view before us was still light, bright, behind us the sun was clearly setting, turning the sky burnt orange, fading to darkness.

It was time to start thinking about going home...well, back to my room, which had been my home for the week. This was my last evening in Texas, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer few hours. I wasn't the only one thinking of heading back to roost:

One last splash in the waves, one last look at the sand and the surf......and we packed up and headed back to Mundania.

The sand was sugar, the surf gentle, the water warm, and I could happily have stayed the night there, watching the stars pop out, splashing in Yemaya's inky waters, and enjoying congenial company until the sun turned the sky once more.

Thank you, Texas, for showing me some of your beauty during my visit. I was honored to meet several e-quaintances who inhabit you, and your kindness and good nature were truly a balm. I'll be back!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I was outside just now, enjoying the coolth (yes, that is too a word) and the waves of night song washing over me.

Somewhere in the world, people were watching as shadows played Hob with their day. Earth, Moon, and Sun bowed to their partners, bowed to their corners, began the dance of the Eclipse. Here, it was, it is, dark. Night is well fallen, well beyond evening and into darker time. Somewhere, though, it is day, if obscured.

I made a wish. Why not? New moon, eclipse, why not?

I wish that every man, woman, and child who lives in fear of another blow, in fear of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, knows peace.

I wish that every man, woman, and child who lives with hunger, homelessness, uncertainty, want, or need, knows peace.

I wish that every man, woman, and child who is waiting for the next gun, the next bomb, the next invasion or act of violence, knows peace.

Peace. I wish for peace.

It's my wish...I'll spend it how I like. Wishes aren't supposed to be realistic - they are supposed to reach beyond the bounds of reality and into that place called Hope, that soft place in the human Heart, the human Soul, where the last of Pandora's gifts shelters, waiting for us to notice her.

Galveston, Part One

I was going to do this post in one big bang but decided it would be too big, too unwieldy...so it's coming at you in two pieces. Why yes, yes I am milking my six day trip for nearly two-week's worth of blogs...why do you ask?

Admit it - you'd do the same thing...wouldn't you?

Oh, well...on with the blog.

With the Garden Center behind us and another night spent avoiding the heat and humidity of Houston in July (and consequently taxing the A/C in my room to its limits) under my belt, my friend decided that my last day should involve the beach - Galveston, to be precise. I was happy to go - I miss the sea, and although I tried to have some quality time with Mama Oshun in Florida when we went for Aunt D's funeral, it was a bust - too much hurricane damage to the coast, too many rocks in the way, too much surf. I had high hopes we'd be able to swim...and I tried very hard not to mind that swimming would involve a bathing suit on a public beach during daylight hours when innocent bystanders could very well be struck blind.

There were these nifty marshes on the way over to the island:People were fishing in them...or crabbing...or whatever it is one does in these types of coastal marshes. It reminded me of Summers spent catching blue crabs for dinner, sitting on a footbridge and dangling a pig's foot in the water.

I know they're not the best photos, but this is the Rainforest Cafe. We didn't stop or go in, because we were beach bound, but it looked cool enough to try and snap a pic. I dug the waterfall, and from time to time the volcano would "erupt" with a roar, heralded by the pounding of drums. Cool.

We drove along the sea wall a bit, just taking in the sights, sounds, and scents of the Gulf. Above us, there was someone having a good time. The pilot was sporting with the wind, and we enjoyed seeing him at his fun.

There's nothing wrong with your computer - the building really is that color. I had to take a photo...it was so awful, it was amazing. Truly - bright, lime green, bottom to top. The building has style, at least in form...but the color? What were they thinking?? OK, so maybe it appeals to some folks, and looks like a vacation spot...but really? Wow...

There are still plenty of signs of hurricane damage, even now- piers washed away, nothing but pilings jutting up from the surf like broken teeth in the mouth of someone fresh from a brawl.

I wondered if they were ever going to rebuild, or if the owners had decided to cut and run, give it up, perhaps heartbroken or worn down by the wind, the waves, the relentless bureaucracy of insurance claims and government regulations...But obviously some folks decided to rebuild, soldier on, fly in the face of the storms, shake a fist at and tempt Mother Nature (who will answer...she always does).

Tomorrow, more of Galveston (although none of me in a bathing suit, because I love you too much to subject you to the horror) and the day after that? A contest! Hmm...that gives me two days to get Mel's prize in the mail (Mel? Still there? Helloooooo?) and figure out a prize for this one.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Garden's End

We are coming to the end, now - a few hours wandering in this lovely garden, a week showing you some small glimpses of what I saw. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Houston, consider making your own journey through this beautiful place and making your own memories.
Flowers are not the only colorful things growing here. How could I resist the stripes?

More stripes, in greens and yellows. Those hands belong to my friend...I couldn't edit them out without losing some of the lovely leaf. I thought it was funny that he was shooting the topside while I was sneaking in from underneath.

The flowers and greenery weren't the only thirsty things in the garden - by the time we found this water fountain near the fence, I would have welcomed even a mud puddle to sip from! I was distracted while making ready for this jaunt and forgot to grab water. Silly, me. Ah, well, I drank deep and was refreshed...

This little fellow hopped out and paced us as we walked past the last few beds and out to the car, our afternoon heading for air-conditioning, cool drinks, and a bite to eat.

I hope you've enjoyed this walk through the Houston Garden Center at Hermann Park...I certainly did!

Wound Tight

I know just how they feel,
Waiting for the sun to rise,
Shine on them,
Warm them,
Coax them open,
Envelope them with his light and love.
So tightly wound, ready to burst,
I know just how they feel.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lantern in the Garden

This Chinese lantern stands beneath a pear tree, offering a perch for passing pigeons.

I had fun trying to shoot the lantern and a pigeon feather in the grass. Good thing I'm pretty bendy for a big girl!

It amazes me how such softly colored flowers can survive intense heat and sunlight...

When no one is looking, who blows this trumpet? Some fairy or elf? A pixie or sprite? Who gives voice to the garden's song? Who unleashes the call for the moon to rise and give light to the fay folk's play?

Another soft-hued bloom. Three, three, three, triple trines, lovely to behold.

If sunlight were to take shape as a flower, were to reach up to rejoin its source, I imagine it would look something like this.