Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lift off; Minerva, Hank and other old friends

Lift off, with the goods.
We're going to Los Angeles for a few days. I should be trying to sleep. We're leaving early. I always seem to do this, stay up late before a trip and have a lot of trouble getting up in the morning. Whywhy? Oh well. No deep thoughts after 9 pm. I left Delicata and Nugget slices of avocado, orange and banana plus the usual dry food and Minerva has a new block of suet. I think she may be a raven rather than a crow. She travels alone which is typical of ravens not crows. Mr. Lee mentioned it the other day and I was only too happy to agree. I like the idea. Ravens are cool and then I get to say, "she travels alone, not in a ......... murrrrrrrrrrrrderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" (of crows). The legend of crows murdering one another isn't even true, as the FAQ points out, but it makes a good story therefore persists. And I am always up for a bit of drama. Minerva, on the other hand, is more into stuffing her beak, although she did fight off a couple of intruder crows the other day.

A few personal deities and friends of mine.

Hank is not in this happy group shot. He's taken to sitting on the top of my monitor, smoking cigars and talking tough. Ducks are like that, especially black ducks.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Delicata loves sweet oranges.
Heaven on earth

I gave the cockroaches a slice of a sweet, juicy orange the other day. It was a treat after I cleaned their terrarium. Nugget couldn't have cared less. She shot straight back into the dark safe hut. Delicata, on the other hand, loves sweet oranges. If it's not sweet, forget it. She stayed out and feasted, in spite of the fact that it was her first day out in a long time. The two of them have been laying low in the hot hut and we've hardly seen them all winter. I guess this is a sure sign it's spring. Well, and the fact that Delicata really loves oranges.

I liked the photo even though it was blurry so I slapped a couple of filters on it. The glow in the orange reflects the way Delicata feels about oranges, as does the way she is straddling it. All in all, it "captures the mood"... ecstasy. Ever think a cockroach could feel such happiness? More at Cockroach Diary.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bush forced to consider reality

The shift is meant to recognize the transformation of al Qaeda over the past three years into a far more amorphous, diffuse and difficult-to-target organization than the group that struck the United States in 2001. But critics say the policy review comes only after months of delay and lost opportunities while the administration left key counterterrorism jobs unfilled and argued internally over how best to confront the rapid spread of the pro-al Qaeda global Islamic Jihad.
I'm still not expecting any kind of sane leadership from the White House because I don't believe any of them are capable of living in reality. They are high on hubris. They really fucked up after 911 by squandering the world's good will towards us. Did they learn? No. They continue to fuck up. The result? Now to many, terrorists are folk heroes. We all know it, even if we can't/won't admit it. I don't know about you, but that really pisses me off.

We can also thank this swelling anti-Americanism on the (so-called Christian) fundamentalist, right-wing extremists and their Armageddon wet-dream. Like all fundamentalists, they believe they are "above the law"; forgiveness without accountability. They believe they can steal, lie, even murder for god with no consequences because they are forgiven. It's a lie. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. That's a law. It doesn't merely apply to physical nature. It's true politically. It's true spiritually. Bush and Co. don't believe it so they are icons for these one-note, flag-waving, xenophobes with their hysteria, sense of entitlement, and addiction to one-dimensional solutions. Their uncritical, unwavering support of the Republicans is essential to the spread American imperialism.

As a result, our foreign policy is in shambles but karma (cause and effect), unlike "justice", truly is blind. Why wouldn't foreigners fear and/or hate us for swaggering around, waving the world's largest cache of weapons of mass destruction? We thrill at the evil empire in the movies. They see us rolling through their villages. It's so ironic. Bush, himself a military deserter during the Vietnam war, is the world's biggest bully. We can't bomb countries into the stone age and expect people to bless us for it.

To go over the short list again, Bush continues committing us and our children to more and more debt. He whipped up support for his invasion of Iraq by lying to us and continues to lie to us. He is responsible for the ongoing, needless deaths and maiming of thousands of innocent, young American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent people in other countries. Ever wonder why we don't hear much about US military deaths in the news? After all, we are at war. The Bush mandated black-out on casuality reports. shsssss......he prefers us to sleeeeeeeeep.....His administration is cloaked in secrecy and is doing everything possible to spy on US citizens...with no check or balance on its power. The guys in the backrooms, who stay in power as presidents come and go, like it like that. Currently, they are doing everything they can to pad the Supreme court with extremist toadies who will support their nefarious agenda's. They will continue running this game until we collectively, emphatically say NO!.

Inchworm on a friend's grave

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Indie artists

If you're an independent writer or publisher you might be interested in the 2005 DIY Book Festival. Grand prize is $1000 cash and a flight to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony. Worth a shot. What the hell?

And while you're at it, check out Patty Water's. She a wonderful singer. Her "Black is the Color" is incredible. It was recorded 40 years ago and is still ahead of its time. Listening to it, my blood felt like it was going to boil.

Plonk's legacy

Now that it's warm out and we're sleeping with the windows open, the early morning pigeons visiting my bird park are waking us up very early. This morning I shooed them off and promised Mr. Lee I'd stop tossing seed randomly in the grass, at least until things cool off again. Sadly, I've lost track of Plonk in all this. It's a long story.

I have to admit, I'm a bit embarrassed by all the pigeons that drop by for breakfast. I think they're a great bird but they do suffer from a bad wrap. Besides their kind of crazy group-coo (too many horror movies), the problem is that they hang out with humans and have a bad reputation because of it. People blame pigeons for being dirty but the fact is pigeons are just people tolerant. People are the dirtiest, most polluting creatures on the planet but still look down on pigeons. Swans hang out it parks but manage to stay aloof and enjoy a certain mystique. I'm hard pressed to think of one bird more tolerant of humans, other than buzzards.

Seeing so many pigeons outside my window, I have come to a new appreciation for their sense of style. They don't wear drab uniforms. I'm visited by white pigeons, black pigeons, metallic green, purple, silver, and blue ones plus all the regular muted beige, sienna, mauve, plum, yellow, cream colored "ordinary" ones mixed in. Well, enough of this. I didn't mean to get on a jag about pigeons. I've got things to do today.

Infiltrating Bilderberg 2005

Daniel Estulin: Infiltrating Bilderberg 2005

Novus Ordo Seclorum: "New Order of The Ages" or New World Order.
Why is an Illuminati symbol an official US symbol? While we sleep, the annual Bilderberg Conference works. Could they be aliens bred into human bodies for the purpose of exploiting the resources of our planet and enslaving our population or are they the human manifestation of oil scum, living waste risen from the slit veins of the Earth so that we may all drink and drive? Perhaps they are covert because they are deeply humble and don't want all the love and gratitude we, citizens of the world, would heap on them for all the service they render humankind and all the cuddly animals, if we could. Decide for yourself.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's done!

I took the manuscript for Ash Canyon Review to the printer today. If all goes well, it should be done in a week. It looks great and is a wonderful read. In fact, we're going to nominate a couple of the poems for the Pushcart Prize. We think they're that good. Well, more later. Got a movie to watch.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

No spin zone

If you like hearing the rest of the story, check out zReportage. It's a site dedicated to "telling stories that need to be told." For starters, there's an interesting photo essay about the hair trade. It's a bit disturbing but if you've ever wondered how there can be so many wigs made of human hair, check it out. And if you think you're tough enough to look reality square in its staring, white, stony eyeball, go to Doggy Death Row.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Workshop, Miles the Dog and Ash Canyon Review

Brewery Arts Center, home of Ash Canyon Poets
The writer's workshop went very well today. We decided we have to do it again soon. Krista's going to lead next time. Some good poetry came out today's session. A couple of poems were nearly ready for submission in the first draft.

The workshop was scheduled for the Comma but the place was closed today due to illness so we trundled over to the Brewery Arts Center (where we meet on Friday nights). There were some interesting people outside the Comma when I first got there though, travelers doing a road trip documentary with their very cool Black Lab, Miles. It's a kind of Travels with Charley thing. They are searching out what there is of non-corporate America and were very surprised to find Carson City is in such a groove. They gave me their card with their URL, but I can't find the damn thing. If you guys happen to read this, send me your address again. I'd like to follow your trip. Thanks.

Ash Canyon Review, draft cover
Also, a quick update on the Review. Susan and I did the (nearly) final draft last night. Rita is proofing it again then, after some last minute corrections to Breakfast with Gothic Girl, we're about ready for the printer. It looks good. If you want a copy, lemme know. We're only doing a tiny run.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Home again

I've spent the last couple of days at the Reno Hilton. Lee's mom was in town and got us a room there so we could visit more easily. It was fun, but nice to be home. I refueled the bird feeders, tossed Minerva some peanuts and now I'm off again for an evening at Ash Canyon. Saturday is our copy editor's meeting for the Review and Sunday I do the writing workshop. It's almost like having a life! Thanks for the comments, ol' buddies. Cynical bastard that I am, I'm sincere when I say I appreciate them. It's creepy writing for the void.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tuesday's amendment following "Blew" Monday

Crap...I'm guilty once again of sniveling and this time I even have to make an amends to someone else because of it. This is embarrassing....give me a minute....tickticktick...tock. Deep breath as Minerva lands for her daily popcorn. I owe my daughter an amends. In yesterday's post "I said she said" my website is dead. And she didn't. And she called me on it. No door mat this girl and I'm glad of it, even when she takes me to task. I put words in her mouth for dramatic effect. And I'm sorry. I was the one whining to her recently about my "dead website". Oh my god! Is there no way to keep this from being an episode from Days of my Pathetic Life? No? Okay then.
Note to A: I'm very sorry for the dirtly little trick. I tried dragging you into my web-o-lies. Bad mama. Thanks for calling me on my bullshit. Love, maw.

Footnote: According to the stats, my website isn't really even dead. It's just that people don't leave comments. I hate that. But enough sniveling for now. It got me in to trouble and I'm going to shut up before it gets me into trouble again. I know this won't make any difference but.... just leave comments, damnit!
Ps. Variation on "skeery" house based on a fine drawing from Elizabeth Massie.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Questions without right answers

In response to a question, my daughter said to me the other day, "Why not do it, mom? After all, what are you doing besides blogging about the birds that visit your backyard and tweaking the hyperlinks on your basically dead website? I raised that girl to tell the truth. But is it the "whole" truth? No, if you don't know the background of the question. If you do, she's right. I have a writing project I'm not working on. The new project I'm considering would take time away from that...something I'm not doing. It would take from the time I am currently lavishing on pointless bird stories and web graphics. I say this with a glance to Minerva the crow who is outside at the moment, finishing up her popcorn breakfast. These days she doesn't fly off every time I move in my chair and that delights me. It's the small things. Anyway, I have a decision to make and to be that most obnoxious person who quotes herself, "It's noon at my place on earth."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Surprise yourself

I'm facilitating a writer's workshop next Sunday. By accident. Some people argue there are no accidents but if that is the case then this was happenstance. No doubt about it. Judge for yourself. Ash Canyon was planning to host a workshop/book signing for a UNR professor/poet sometime this month so I called Comma Coffee to see if the 22nd was available. As it turned out, the workshop was cancelled but a writer's workshop was added to the calendar anyway. The cafe print calendar went out with my name on it so what the hell? I'll do a workshop. Come if you can.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mid night ramblings

Couldn't sleep. Too many ideas running around my head. So I got up, made a cup of cinnamon tea and dinked around on the synthesizer for a while. That was comforting. Now it's just me, the keyboard and candle and, beyond the window, black night...edge of the starry, lapping sea. Listen closely. Words cannot go past this point.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Minerva in the rain

Minerva is one suet loving crow. She's been back every day since she discovered it last week. I know it's her because of the pale feathers on her right wing. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Louie is the one who told me her name is Minerva. Hopeless, eh?

And now, of course, a couple of other big birds have caught on to the goodies and she is pissed. There was a brief but interesting mid-air battle which M. won. She has been keeping me amused today as I worked on the Ash Canyon Review. It's coming along really nicely. I've got all the poems formatted and pasted-up. It looks good.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Oregon Lit Fellowships

Here's something for my Oregon writer friends. Do yourself a favor and apply for one or both of these literary fellowships. The deadline is June 24th. There's no entry fee so what the hell? Leap before you look. After all, they want to give money to some Oregon writers. Why not one of you? At the very least you'll get a little more focused. This is an annual event so remember what the spider said, if at first you don't succeed, keep at it.
Fellowships ranging from $500 to $3,000 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. In addition, a Women Writers Fellowship of $1,000 will be given annually to an Oregon woman writer of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction whose work explores experiences of race, class, physical disability, or sexual orientation. Submit 15 pages of poetry or 25 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction with an application by June 24. There is no entry fee. Send an SASE or visit the Web site for an application and complete guidelines.

Literary Arts, Literary Fellowships, 224 N.W. 13th Avenue, Suite 306, Portland, OR 97209. (503) 227-2583. Kristy Athens, Program Coordinator. www.literary-arts.org