Friday, November 30, 2007

Mr. W.

Here's an interesting little film that just kind of sneaks up on you.

Mr. W.




Friday sink hole



In case you haven't fallen into a gigantic, time sucking vortex yet today, click on over to Tori's pics and hurl yourself into the hole.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vote for Mr. Splashy Pants!

Greenpeace is currently holding a contest to name a whale they have adopted. Hurry! Go there and vote for Mister Splashy Pants!

-------

UPDATE: Because of the huge interest, Green Peace has decided to hold the competition open for an additional week. It will now end the 7th of December. Mister Splashy Pants has a big lead but if you don't want some other name to slip by unobserved as we wallow in complacency, get your friends to go over to Green Peace and vote too!





Found art

This from BlueGal, a page from her then 9 year old son's day planner, a perfect found art poem/meditation on the nature of time. Plus it's hilarious. And be sure to check out the quote from Unknown in the upper right hand corner.





Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beautiful MInd


Stephen Wiltshire did not speak his first words "pencil" and "paper" until he was 5. Yet, at 11 he drew a perfect aerial view of London after only one helicopter ride. Even the number of windows of all the major buildings was correct. ColourField Productions tested the "Living camera" in Rome. They flew him over the city, then asked him to draw a 5 1/2 yard panoramic picture of the city from memory in 3 days.


Beautiful Mind

05:22




Monday, November 26, 2007

Cats in bird land


Two cats have taken to hunting in the Bird Park. There have been others but these two are serious about it and have even divided up the territory, front and back. Of course, Clarence the Bastard (not pictured here) also comes around but that is mostly for his morning, afternoon and evening constitution. Battle lines are drawn.






AWS and new chestnuts for the holidays



As some of you hate political posts, I have adopted this new Advanced Warning System. Whenever you see Duck n Cover scram. But before you do, be a sport. Go vote for Mr. Splashy Pants.

Now that the light weights have gone, here's a handy little reference I found washed up on the beach today penned by George Lakoff at Rockridge Nation. Don't hesitate to put the ideas into your own words. At least I find the wording a little corny. Ya never know when one of these lines might come in handy over the holidays when you're talking to friends or relatives who accuse you of morphing into a "nut" because lately you sound like a damn liberal.

"Aw you liberals just hate America."

No. We love democracy and we want to return it to America.
You want a presidential dictator.
We love liberty and we want to return it to America.
You want to tap our phones.
We love equality and we want to return it to America.
You think some people are better than others.
We love honesty and we want to return it to America.
You love lobbyists and corruption.
We love fairness and we want to return it to America.
You want to oppress the powerless.
We love openness and we want to return it to America.
You love secrecy and hiding the facts.
We love nature's glory and we want to return it to America.
You love the profit that comes from destroying nature.
We love community and we want to return it to America.
You want everyone to fend for himself.
We love public education and we want to return it to America.
You want to destroy public education.
We love civilian control of the military and we want to return it to America.
You want to militarize America.
And on and on...

George Lakoff
The Rockridge Institute




Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blog back up



This morning I installed OpenOffice, an open source alternative to MS Word. I'll let you know how it goes. On principle alone, it's good to be free of Microsoft but apparently OpenOffice has a lot to offer writers so what the hell? Time to give it a shot. It appears I may be able to access my blog from the back end with a Linux application via OpenOffice Base and create a printable version of it. Seeing as how I waste so much time blogging, it would be nice to have it all in a continuous document I could edit and print. On the other hand, perhaps all that would enable me to do is wallow in a bigger sink hole.



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Simple truth



We're back. I'm depressed. So be it. Need I add "no big deal"? Overwhelmed. So it is. I will have to ride it out like other times. Not the last. I know enough to know that. All is suffering. The First Noble Truth. So say priests of the human world. But feelings do not begin and end with us. All are suffering.

I have nothing to complain about. In spite of myself, I have got it pretty good. In comparison, really good. Damn good. Yes, I am grateful. For lots of reasons. That doesn't mean I can't/won't be depressed. I am undisciplined and lack humility. But don't take all this to mean I am a practitioner of religion. I am not. That was in an earlier curve of the whorl, since passed. And don't take this to mean I do not have a spiritual life.

Night has brought a little relief. The blurry world outside my window now faded to black but for the orange street lamp blinking on and off one street away.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Tofurkey Day!

I'm in Oregon for the holiday, sitting on a nice, enclosed sun porch typing this. Not bad. I spent yesterday with my grandkids. They are with the other side of the family today. I'm fine with that. I hate holiday hubbub. I'll see them again tomorrow anyway. This afternoon M. Lee and I are having a nice vegetarian meal with parents and my oldest son, so it's all good. I hope, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, your day is also serene. But, if this year is your turn to have one of those memorably shitty holidays, I've had my share, try applying my magic POOF-Holiday-Be-Gone formula: It's not Thanksgiving. It's Thursday. (works on any holiday or occasion)



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wikileaks, truth unchained


Wikileaks. This is exciting. Well, exciting if you are interested in a truly free grassroots press dedicated to exposing the secrets, lies and video tape of oppressive regimes (including ours) and spanking the muzzled lap dog faux journalists supporting them. You know. All that stuff. Here's a bit from Wikileak's About page. See for yourself:

Should the press really be free?

In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government." We agree.
The ruling stated that "paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."
It's easy to perceive the connection between publication and the complaints people make about publication. But this generates a perception bias, because it overlooks the vastness of the invisible. It overlooks the unintended consequences of failing to publish and it overlooks all those who are emancipated by a climate of free speech. Such a climate is a motivating force for governments and corporations to act justly. If acting in a just manner is easier than acting in an unjust manner, most actions will be just.
Injustice concealed cannot be answered. Concealed plans for future injustice cannot be stopped until they are revealed by becoming a reality, which is too late. Administrative injustice, by definition affects many.
Government has ample avenues to restrict and abuse revelation, not limited to the full force of intelligence, law enforcement, and complicit media. Moves towards the democratization of revelation are strongly biased in favor of justice. Where democratized revelations are unjust they tend to affect isolated individuals, but where they are just, they affect systems of policy, planning and governance and through them the lives of all.
Europeans sometimes criticize the freedom of the press in the United States, pointing to a salacious mainstream media. But that is not democratized revelation, rather it is the discovery by accountants that is a lot cheaper to print celebratory gossip than it is to fund investigative journalists. Instead we point to the internet as a whole, which although not yet a vehicle of universal free revelation, is starting to approach it. Look at the resulting instances of, and momentum for, positive political change.
Wikileaks reveals, but is not limited to revelation. There are many existing avenues on the internet for revelation. What does not exist is a social movement emblazoning the virtues of ethical leaking. What does not exist is a universal, safe and easy means for leaking. What does not exist is a way to turn raw leaks into politically influential knowledge through the revolutionary collaborative analysis pioneered by wikipedia.
Sufficient leaking will bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality from their peoples. Daniel Ellsberg calls for it. Everyone knows it. We're doing it.

Comics forth coming. I promise.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sonoran coyote



M. Lee got home from San Carlos last night and things are slowly beginning to return to normal. It will take a few days. He's still bleary from the drive plus it takes a while to decompress, switch gears and pick up where you left off. He brought back some really cool gifts, things he found in the wild. They didn't only stay aboard when they boat camped. They snorkeled and spent time ashore exploring roadless areas of the desert few people ever see. So I got a bag full of perfect conch shells, their lovely bony spires still intact! Then a pouch of pottery shards, who knows how old, and great rocks with strange stories to tell. And once he gets all the photos turned right side up, we're going to have a picture show. Can't wait! But the jewel was this wonderful grinning coyote skull. A coyote from the Sonoran desert! I feel so honored considering, as I do, the coyote a mythical, mysterious and mystical creature.




Oh the irony!


Digg actually banned this Brave New Films video yesterday for “Inappropriate Content” then unbanned it today. The images were, after all, taken directly from Bill O'Reilly's show and other FOX prime time smut slots.

FOX News Porn

02:03

From Crooks and Liars.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Notes


I'm wondering what I might have to say to you. The man I overheard in the store telling someone on the phone that he was tired of being on pain medication, tired of being slow and dull. Or the fat woman in the next rack over bragging about big money real estate on her cell, her bleached white hair and strained white suit while rummaging through the discount goods jammed together in aisles so narrow empty sleeves catch and drag along behind. Or the younger obese woman leaning distractedly elbowing her grocery cart down the middle by the meat. Another woman at the grocery store trying to back her motorized shopping cart into its parking place like she's got something to prove, sausage thighs straining their stretch denim casings. My fellow citizens. The only one who dared make eye contact all day the guy strung out on pain meds, in the cammo pants and baseball cap, looking every bit like he'd give the distance a shot. For a moment I thought he might say something to me, put his question to somebody else for a change but no. A mechanical voice called me from the library tonight to inform me that my "materials are in". I don't remember which book it might be. I returned "Accordion Crimes" unfinished. Couldn't take two Proulx in a row. The brutality displayed like a nerve pulled out from under a tooth and left to writhe in the open air, punished because it is alive and can, therefore should, suffer. We get enough of that in daily life, don't we? "Suttree", the book I'm reading now is depressing enough. And these two coming not long after reading McCarthy's "The Road" makes the whole world seem hopeless. Dark into dark. My dreams, at least, are better these days after cutting back on the caffiend.



Sweet for bitters


As I posted several disturbing articles this week, here's pallet cleanser. Now I've got to get to work.




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Karl Rove - caught on tape


Wondering what Jason Alexander has been up to lately?


04:52


Roses, scars and traveler's return


M. Lee will be back late Friday night. Naturally they just got San Carlos all figured out, all the important things that is like who sells the best Flan. I use a capital there because Flan is holy. Besides the fact that I am definitely ready for him to come home, I think it's in their own best interest. Last night he and Greg were drunk from Flan and whipped cream. It can only get worse.

When they first got to San Carlos they went shopping in Guaymas, the next town over where the real markets are. He told me about a sad little carnival there and I made him promise he'd photograph it for me. So he made a special trip back there yesterday and took some pictures. I don't expect it to look like much. After all, it is a sad carnival but I'm always drawn to rundown places and things like that. In past lives I must have been an actor in a traveling theatre troupe or two.

As for the month of creative experimentation, I don't have much to show for it but I did make a little progress. At least as the time draws to a close, I am back to showering in the morning, something I'd gotten away from over the summer. It's hard working at home. And I am expanding the stage of the Invisible Theatre. But I haven't written much or done any comics. And only kept a couple clips of the poetry readings, although I did several. But I learned something about lighting and and which room has the best sound and that, if I'm going to be in front of the camera, I should probably comb my hair first.

Here are a couple of photos from the day. My hand is doing pretty good but I have to massage the scars as hard as I can stand 3-5 times a day. It helps break down the scare tissue. Stings like hell! If the body is a world made up of different countries, by the end of the day, the country known as the Right Hand is very annoyed with the country known as the Left Hand.


Right Hand telling the Left Hand to BACK OFF.



A rose
is a rose
is a rose
even when it's a rose bud.





Sunday, November 11, 2007

Teachers and learners

I've got an attitude. Perhaps you've noticed. I can't remember a time I didn't. Unfortunately I'd be lying to say I'm not a little proud of it even though I suspect swagger is inversely proportional to competence. I'll leave that to critics and historians. Anyway, my 'tude got me in trouble again yesterday. Not trouble as in suffering consequences from others but in that it's a filter, I nearly missed a good thing. Well what I think is a good thing. Luckily, someone challenged me and I could admit they were right. Tell me you'd be amazed to hear that it took years before I was able to consider that I might be wrong when I am so RIGHT. Anyway, as a result I found my new favorite site today. Here's a video from it which I hope you will enjoy as well.

Aside to M. Lee: This clip illustrates why I continue to post those rants you hate.

Animal Magnetism

03:24


Via Collateral News. Visit them.




Open mind, insert facts


I hate to interrupt your regular Sunday morning routine (or whatever day, week or year it might be that you are reading this). I hope you will be a good sport and indulge me for the next few minutes. There are several documentaries and papers on the subject available online (you can research that for yourself) but, after you read this intro, I want you to read the short article posted below. Other than the fact that a contradictory message has been embedded in the basement of our brains, set to repel this information and make it feel extremely tedious and unnecessary, even dangerous, the article is a quick and easy read. But I want you to be prepared. If you have the courage, for one second, to take this information seriously the feelings of displacement, powerlessness and disorientation could be enormous. Nothing you won't survive and, though it leaves you with questions rather than answers, in admitting that there is even a slight possibility that this information is true, it will leave you with a much more sober view of the the century. So I hope that for the next 2 or 3 minutes you will jam open the doors to your mind and plow forward.



Steel Ignores Jet Fuel

by Edward Mitchell

I am not a scientist, nor a physicist, nor structural engineer. I am a Boilermaker, Shipbuilder, and Blacksmith Forger. Union. Now a contractor on military facilities. I build steel storage tanks for jet fuel. A few years ago, a typhoon blew through, and I got to watch a Mobil AST, with 1,000,000 gallons of diesel in it, get hit with lightning. The grounding failed, and the million gallons blew up.

Well, for a diesel fire that is. It didn’t “blow up”. It simply caught fire, burned itself out after 4 days, blackened the steel. Catch that? One million gallons of diesel fuel, burned for 4 days, and didn’t melt a thing.

The tank, 1/4″-thick steel, never melted.

Yet the 47 HUGE box-section core columns, the main structural supports of the WTC towers, are said to have melted?

Stop, I’ll wet my britches laughing.

I’ve melted, welded, forged, bent, twisted, repaired, sheared, punched, formed, plated, blasted and coated just about every metal you see used commonly in industry and construction, for over 32 years. I’ve welded many a steel I-beam: purlin clips, joining plates, you name it.

Do you recall the explosion you see after the second plane hits the tower? What caused that?

It was the JP-8 [jet fuel] contained in the aircraft’s tanks.

Did you see that huge fireball? What was that?

It was the kerosene (JP-8 is nothing more than refined kerosene, the same stuff you use in your camping stove).

It burned OUTSIDE the towers!

How could this fuel then have reconstituted itself after exploding, and put itself back inside the building?

And then?

It ran down 90 floors to melt the “un-insulated I-beams”? What? “Shook” the insulation off by jet impact? Are you kidding me? When the jet hit, it did not even knock folks down in the building below it! What nonsense!

Because I KNOW the dimensions of a 14,000 gallon fuel tank. It’s about 11’x11’x11’ — About the size on one of the many small offices on the floor that got hit. That’s all. The size of one little office the size of a 11-foot-cube.

Let’s look at this another way: The volume of each of the towers was roughly 50 MILLION CUBIC FEET.

The volume of the fuel was a relatively insignificant 1,300 cubic feet, about 0.003 percent!

Yet, you would have me believe NOT my own eyes, that see an explosion of huge proportions caused by the impact of the jet plane, but rather a tale that says exploded fuel turned back into liquid form, and less than 14,000 gallons, a ridiculously small amount of fuel, ran 90 stories down the stairways (the stairwells the firefighters used to come up to see “small fires”) and caused the beams to melt because the impact “knocked off the insulation”.

I have only one reply to that: What about WTC 7. Not hit. there goes THAT THEORY.

Steel at higher temperatures may bend, but it NEVER melts or turns to dust. Never. No, not ever.

Say, how about this for an argument: From now on, Controlled Demolition, Inc. never needs to use sophisticated computer analysis on where to place the explosives, amounts, sequences…oh no. We can simply pour 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the basement, stand back, and watch a PERFECTLY SIMULATED controlled demolition. Right?






Saturday, November 10, 2007

Impeach Cheney


Bush photo op

Dennis Kucinich has it right. Cheney is determined to drag us into war with Iran. Apparently our only representative brave enough to do speak up, Kucinich introduced a motion of impeachment to stop this craven son of a bitch. Think the Iraq war is so insane that it can't happen again? Think again. Cheney is insane and insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. And if we stay silent about Iran, so are we. Why? Because what did we do during the run-up to the Iraq war? Kept our mouths shut.

Now the ball is in Senator John Conyers' hands. As Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, he is gatekeeper for Kucinich's motion to impeach this monster. And he is reluctant to push it forward. Now it's our turn to lift a finger to defend our embattled democracy, lucky us, from our oh_so_cozy_lives. Our task is simple. Make a phone call and say IMPEACH CHENEY. How hard is that? Call Conyers. Phone: 202-225-5126 / Fax: 202-225-0072

Kucinich Writes to Conyers
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2007-11-10 00:53. Congress | Impeachment

November 9, 2007
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Conyers

I am writing in support of H. Res. 799, the Articles of Impeachment which were referred to the committee relative to the Impeachment of the Vice President of the United States of America.

Recent reports indicate that the Vice President is attempting to shape the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to conform to his misperceptions about the threat Iran actually poses. Much like his deceptive efforts in the lead up to the Iraq war, the Vice President appears to be manipulating intelligence to conform to his beliefs.

If the reports are true, they add additional weight to the case for impeachment. I believe impeachment remains the only tool Congress has to prevent a war in Iran. This information relates directly to the Article III charges in the resolution. I urge your timely consideration.

Sincerely,

/s/

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress




Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yesterday's news






I had lunch at India Kabab yesterday. Warning: If you click on their link, adjust your speakers first. You'll be met with a blast of jaunty Indian movie music. India Kabab is my current favorite buffet in Reno. The food is good. I love dahl anyway plus I have an abiding fondness for tiny, downtown cafes. One of the other things to recommend India Kabab is the televisions tuned to a delightfully bad Bollywood MTV channel. The videos are so sentimental and impossibly romantic that they are the equivalent of Mexico's De Película Clásico, the 24 hour twilight zone of 30's - 50's era soaps. For me these things create a kind of global village hometown feel, but then I'm weird. But M. Lee is worse. On our last trip to Mexico, he so got deeply addicted to De Película that I seriously began to worry about him.


Flash back
Wednesday, November 23, 1870

I was in town for a follow-up appointment with the hand surgeon. (hand healing nicely, btw) He shares an office complex which houses an incredible collection of old Nevada photos rivaling any well endowed museum. I photographed this article while waiting in the exam room. It's from the front page of the 1870 Nevada State Journal. As it was framed, behind glass, hanging on a wall and a little too high for me to easily reach, the quality is poor, but, if you like language, history, politics, and/or schadenfreude, it's worth the trouble to read it. This story about the shooting of lawyer A.P. Crittenden by Mrs. Fair, the old harlet, has it all. I can only imagine what the writer would have to say about our current batch of rotten celeb religious politicos!






Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No fee writing contests thru December


More contests, including those with entrance fees, at Poets&Writers


Bear Star Press
Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bear Star Press is given annually for a poetry collection by a writer residing in a state west of the central time zone. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 65 pages with a $20 entry fee by November 30. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
(See Recent Winners.)
Bear Star Press, Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, 185 Hollow Oak Drive, Cohasset, CA 95973. (530) 891-0360. Beth Spencer, Editor.
www.bearstarpress.com


Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Literary Awards
Two prizes of $500 each are given annually for a book of fiction and a book of creative nonfiction written by an African American and published in the United States during the previous year. The awards, presented at the annual meeting of the American Library Association, honor original works of literature that depict the "cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora." Publishers may nominate books published in 2007 by December 31. There is no entry fee. E-mail for complete guidelines and the list of jurors to whom the books should be sent. (See Recent Winners.)
Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Literary Awards, 3003 Van Ness Street NW, W522, Washington, D.C. 20008. John Page, Awards Chair.
jpage@wrlc.org
www.bcala.org


Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation
Short Story Competition
A prize of $1,000 is given every three years for a short story that presents the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner and is based on a historic person or event. More than one winner may be chosen. Submit a short story of any length by November 30. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, Short Story Competition, 2500 North Palm Canyon Drive, #A4, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Arch Brown,
President.
www.aabbfoundation.org



Cintas Foundation
Fiction Fellowship
A fellowship of $15,000 will be given biennially for a fiction writer of Cuban descent to pursue a writing project. Cuban citizens, or writers with a Cuban parent or grandparent, who are not pursuing academic studies are eligible. Submit two copies of a fiction manuscript of up to 25 pages and two letters of recommendation by January 14, 2008. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for the required application and complete guidelines.
Cintas Foundation, Fiction Fellowship, c/o Dewey Ballantine, LLP, 1301 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2907, New York, NY 10019-6092.
www.cintasfoundation.org


Cleveland Foundation
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Two prizes of $10,000 each are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year that "contribute to society's understanding of racism or appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures." Submit five copies of a book published in 2007 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for the required application and complete guidelines. (See Recent Winners.)
Cleveland Foundation, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, 700 West Saint Clair Avenue, Suite 414, Cleveland, OH 44113. (216) 861-3810.
www.anisfield-wolf.org


Merton Institute for Contemplative Living
Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award
A prize of $500 and publication in Merton Seasonal is given annually for a single poem. Submit a poem of no more than 100 lines by December 31. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE, call, e-mail,or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Merton Institute for Contemplative Living, Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, 2117 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40206. (502) 899-1991. Vanessa Hurst, Assistant Director.
vhurst@mertoninstitute.org
www.mertoninstitute.org


University of Notre Dame Press
Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press is given biennially for a poetry collection by a Latino poet who has not yet published a book. Submit two copies of a manuscript of 50 to 100 pages by January 15, 2008. There is no entry fee. E-mail or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
University of Notre Dame Press, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Institute for Latino Studies, 230 McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Francisco Aragón, Director.
faragon@nd.edu
www.nd.edu/~latino/poetry_prize


Puffin Foundation
Artist Grants
Grants of $1,000 to $2,500 each are given annually to emerging poets, fic tion writers, creative nonfiction writers, and other artists "whose works due to their genre and/or social philosophy might have difficulty being aired." U.S. residents may submit an application form, project description, project goals, budget, biographical information, and either a small work sample or references by December 30. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE for the required application and complete guidelines.
Puffin Foundation, Artist Grants, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck, NJ 07666-4111. (201) 836-8923. Gladys Miller-Rosenstein, Executive Director.
puffingrant@mindspring.com
www.puffinfoundation.org


This entry has a $10 entry fee.
University of Southern California
Ann Stanford Poetry Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern California Review, the literary journal of USC's Master of Professional Writing Program, is given annually for a single poem. Submit three to five poems with a $10 entry fee, which includes a copy of Southern California Review, by December 31. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
Fiction Prize
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern California Review will be given annually for a short story. Submit a story of up to 8,000 words with a $10 entry fee, which includes a copy of Southern California Review, by December 31. Send an SASE, call, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines.
University of Southern California, Master of Professional Writing Program, Southern California Review, 3501 Trousdale Parkway, Mark Taper Hall, THH 355J, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0355. (213) 740-3253. Annlee Ellingson, Editor in Chief.
scr@college.usc.edu
www.usc.edu/scr




Earth life



The birth/death rate here just reflects human life. I wonder what the numbers would be if, say, animals destined for the slaughterhouse were factored in.



Sunday, November 4, 2007

A good ol' girl


To: Cairo * From: Asia * July 10, 1995

Cairo - my Baby!

I love you
Bark Bark
meow (just kidding)
He he
Grrrowl
*Pat – Pat*
*Rub – Rub*

Take a flea bath

Go to the Lake

I MISS you ---

momma





November 4th, 2007 - 12:27 pm



I shouldn't be surprised. Her health had been failing, the latest a tumor under the eye. Last night, suddenly, she started hemorrhaging and it was clear that her time had come. Still I am stunned that how between yesterday and today, she is gone.




Actually, that's a smile. Even as a pup Cairo had
a wacky, wonderful smile but in the beginning I insisted
she wear this mask when my daughter brought her over.
I felt really bad about it but it was the only way to keep her
from consuming the house plants.




From a letter dated 7/18/95

Aside to CAIRO

I had a dream with you in it. It involved boats, of course, and tides and travel. Strange dream. I remember you running around exploring, doing your own thing. You weren't constantly by my side but whenever I called you, you came running with your tail wagging. I miss you so very much. Often, when I'm out walking, I look down and imagine you trotting alongside me with your fur shining and your tongue hanging out the side of your mouth.



I love you.

Momma



I was always trying to photograph that smile, but whenever she broke into it, she was also wiggling too fast to "capture" it. This was about as close as I ever got. In the next second, when she was in a full grin, she had already hopped and wiggled out of range. She greeted everyone with complete joy although every now and then somebody would freak out thinking she was being aggressive. I felt bad for both of them but especially Cairo because animals always pay the price for our ignorance. Sometimes I thought I should hang a sign from her collar saying, "SHE'S SMILING AT YOU, STUPID!"





She lived with all of us at different times,
and was always ready for a road trip
but loved her Momma best of all.






Waiting for someone, anyone, to join her for a walk



or toss her a snowball






Cairo and her Momma.





Eventually Asia sent me a dog nose mask, as its teeth were a bit like Cairo's in full grin. I took a photo of that mask this afternoon, after Cairo died. I didn't plan to blur the shot for some arty effect. The photograph just came out this way so finally I see. Cairo's smile could no more be "captured" than the twinkling of a star.






Another Dog's Death
in
Collected Poems, 1953-1993
by John Updike
Knopf

For days the good old bitch had been dying, her back
pinched down to the spine and arched to ease the pain,
her kidneys dry, her muzzle white. At last
I took a shovel into the woods and dug her grave
in preparation for the certain. She came along,
which I had not expected. Still, the children gone,
such expeditions were rare, and the dog,
spayed early, knew no nonhuman word for love.
She made her stiff legs trot and let her bent tail wag.
We found a spot we liked, where the pines met the
field.
The sun warmed her fur as she dozed and I dug;
I carved her a safe place while she protected me.
I measured her length with the shovel's long handle;
she perked in amusement, and sniffed the heaped-up
earth.
Back down at the house, she seemed friskier,
but gagged, eating. We called the vet a few days later.
They were old friends. She held up a paw, and he
injected a violet fluid. She swooned on the lawn;
we watched her breathing quickly slow and cease.
In a wheelbarrow up to the hole, her warm fur shone.




At the end, livin' the good life with grandpa.




Digital nightmare




Backing up that precious manuscript? Remember to use a flash drive, send copies to an online email account or both. And, in the interest of your own personal mental health, I suggest you give each version a separate and distinct name. This guy doesn't have a backup and has a presentation in 10 minutes.

(I tried posting the clip but, for some reason, it screws up my template but you can watch it here. Trust me. It's worth a click.)





Friday, November 2, 2007

Watch your butt


Okay, NaNos, if you haven't finished your 1,667 words yet today, take a little break (00:25) then get back to work!

Photocopy your ass

00:25




Thursday, November 1, 2007

Death industry


Seeing as how it's just one day after Halloween, here's a timely upbeat little clip from the Good Magazine called

The business of death

03:27