Saturday, December 30, 2006

Comings and Goings

Thursday after Christmas and the chaos has ramped up, become more pronounced. We’ve all lost our car keys, three-and-a-half drivers, three cars, someone always parked in the way. Friends coming and going. My husband’s friend dreams they are married, but only in a congenial, nonsexual way. The dogs are loose in the confusion of opening and shutting doors; they're running, brawling with the neighbor dogs, chomping the neighbor guy’s thumb that tries to intervene. Grandma is putting together a puzzle in the corner. She prays at every meal, Thank you, Lord, that we’re all together. I’m praying that the neighbor guy’s thumb is okay and that no one comes to drag my jackass dog away.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Musicians. They've decided to wait a week to go to Fiddler's Hearth. Something about work, late nights, alarm clocks... Okay, so you were thirsty. Go to Fiddler's Hearth anyway. It will be fun. And maybe we'll see you next week, a little earlier, perhaps.

Fiddler's Hearth

Tom & pals are playing at Fiddler's Hearth tonight at 11:30, if you're thirsty, like music, don't mind staying up late, want something to do.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Day After

The day after Christmas and The City of Falling Angels and The Lost nudge Denis Johnson on my headboard. I’m sure there’s some hidden meaning behind all of that, but mainly I’m just wondering where to begin. The City of Falling Angels has won the first pick. Venice is wet, inviting, and romantic perhaps. Unfortunately, there are no trees, no wide open spaces, just bridges and canals. They say some people experience claustrophobia visiting there. And the cemetery situation is abhorrent. They bury you on an island where you’re only allowed to stay for ten years, then you’re dug up and sent to the mainland. Really. Unless you’re Ezra Pound. He’s still buried there. Best line in the book so far, “I luxuriate in this world I’ve invented for myself.” Certainly I’ve heard this before.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Grace For Christmas

Bono is getting knighted, so here's a little Christms poem/song he wrote. Merry Christmas and grace to you all. Forgive any sentimentality, my descent into pop culture...


She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

Music: U2
Lyrics: Bono

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tracking Santa

Enough manic whining. Santa Claus is coming to town. Of course, people like me aren't content to just let it happen. We've got to watch his progress, make sure he's on time, figure out when to set out the milk and cookies and carrots and the glass of Sam Adams pale ale... I never knew Santa liked Sam Adams until I got married, but then again there were quite a few things I didn't know.

So, if you're like me and you want to know how Santa is making his way across the globe on Christmas Eve, check out NORAD. Otherwise, go back to your regularly scheduled programming. Either way, Santa is going to come.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Solstice Day Report

So it’s been a weird week and I’ve been drinking too much coffee and eating too many donuts and working too late and trying to shove too much life into too little time. And too many people went on hikes with me and told me how fast to walk and got in the way of my picture taking and said stuff like women don’t really have brains for physics, which annoyed me and made me mention my cousin who is an engineer for Boeing, and a woman, because I couldn’t really give my own brain as an example of how well women get along in physics. This was not my husband who annoyed me by making these grievous errors. It was one of his co-workers, the one who hasn’t had six wives but does seems to want another one, or at least a girlfriend, and can’t figure out why he isn’t really lucky with women. But all that really should be shoved aside because I might be breaking the gender barrier this weekend anyway, even though I can’t figure out physics, by sheer brute strength and the fact that I have a decent pair of black pants, because my second cousin needs another pallbearer for her funeral and we’ve used up all the men we can think of and if I don’t do it they’ll probably have to pay the funeral home to do it which they really can’t afford. No only really knows my second cousin, but it doesn’t matter because she’s family and she has been disabled since she was born something like 20 years ago and things haven’t been too great for her for most of her life, so when she caught pneumonia she just died. And that’s my solstice day report. Tomorrow should be better, since we already have the holiday death out of the way.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Along The Way

Maybe the green orb in the picture is a ghost. Or maybe I just can't take pictures. Who knows?

Starved Rock is bordered by the Illinois River. In the winter eagles come and nest and hunt around the open waters below the lock and dam. We saw one bald eagle this a.m., but she/he didn't want its picture taken. It had places to go, away from us it seems.


Good labeling is very important.

Starved Rock Boardwalk

We took the easy bluff walk this a.m. The frost was clinging to everything, including this boardwalk. Icy fox, raccoon and skunk footprints glittered along the way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Blood

Yes, I should be working... But this was funny. O Blood. you know your blood type?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sunspot 930


Okay. NOAA says it's only going to be partly cloudy tonight in Michiana, so there's a chance, a slight chance, that you might be able to see something, like a meteor shower, say. And you won't have to freeze your ass off to do it, either, because it's only supposed to get down to 37. Here's the link with the details from NASA: Geminids. For Pete's sake, turn off the computer and go out there. Who knows what else you might see. Best place to watch from: a cemetery out in the country, away from everything.


The heart trial unended this morning with a thud, a hung jury. I should have suspected it. The word-guy I work for and I couldn’t agree. The plaintiff's attorney is angling for a mistrial, trying to recoup his costs before they send the jurors away. He has been paying experts for each word, hemorrhaging green. The lady is still dead, while another guy I know sings about beautiful unendings. I let all the words flow over me. A few of them I take in.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Groucho's Back

The words “independent movement” had barely passed the synapses of my brain and flowed out my fingertips onto the keyboard when the rest of my body absorbed the news. My back’s immediate reaction was to throw itself into a frenzy and spasmodically refuse to cooperate. So I’m moving like Groucho Marx, trying to coax my body into a better mood. To be honest, it probably wasn’t the words that pushed my back over the edge. More than likely, beyond a reasonable doubt even, it was the daylong bending over a filing cabinet, sorting and throwing things away that pushed my muscles over the edge. Let this be a cautionary tale: Do not try to clean out 15 years of financial documents all in one day. Better yet, do not wait 15 years to throw all those papers away.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Heart Trial

The trial has lasted months. Every week or so the guy I work for asks me to look over some of the words.

This is the problem: The lady’s heart blew up and she died. They have the heart. They’ve passed it around. The guy I work for, the one who writes down all the words, has taken the heart home with him. It’s an exhibit, preserved in formaldehyde, marked with a sticker and everything. The heart is very official, by God.

This is the question: Should anyone have noticed that her heart was about to explode? They use legalese to argue their points, phrases like standard of care and what would a reasonable physician do. They have experts argue persuasively on both sides. And they order all of their words to be transcribed.

It’s not really about the heart or the lady anymore. The heart is preserved forever; the lady is long gone in her grave. It’s about who has to pay and who gets paid when someone suffers a fatal wound. Sometimes I think I make an honest living; other times…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Breakfast View

Honey Pie & Felice peering into the dining room, waiting for their turn. Remnants of CCR dance by, looking out my back door.