Saturday, April 28, 2012

The difference between crows and magpies.

Here at the Bird Park crows jump down out of the air with a ground shaking, window rattling THUD, straighten their feathers, then assess the situation before committing to anything further. Magpies, on the other hand, careen out of the air, hit the ground running, taper off in a sometimes stumbling bounce to a brief pause before dashing off, grabbing a peanut or bit of kibble and flying away.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good-bye smoker's teeth world. Hello London.

At the moment, I'm halfway through the two part process of cataract removal. The right eye was done yesterday. Amazing! The walls in our house aren't smoker's teeth yellow after all. They're white! And the fence in the Bird Park? The wood has a lovely grain. One thing. I have occasionally noticed the curve of the new lens along the outside corner of my vision. I hope that goes away but, no matter what, next Tuesday we're doing the left eye.  

Now for the summer travels countdown part of this ongoing, chaotic account of my life accompanied by a fair amount of anxiety. Not for the trip itself, five weeks in London, five weeks in Paris. That should be really interesting and fun. It's the preparation that makes me crazy and I am currently fully in The Crazy, with an extra dose of anxiety for the flight itself, a two-part adventure beginning with that restless night before the flight. We get up about 4 am for the kick-off flight to LA on May 21 followed by a several hour layover before the 10 hour flight to London arriving 8 hours ahead of our biological clocks so we'll do what travelers do. Stay up to catch up. But more on all this later.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Moving Day

We were recently in Portland helping my son Jack move his family into their first very own home.

Mista Leo packed right along with the rest of us but took...

Mista Leo's moving day
...personal responsibility....

Mista Leo's moving day
....that his prize soccer ball...

Mista Leo's moving day
...made it safely...

Mista Leo's moving day their new home.

Faerie Court

No gender bias in her house so what a surprise when, completely on her own, Thea has fallen in love with the color pink and swirly dresses and takes very seriously the idea of being a Princess in the Faerie Court.

Faerie Princess Thea
Nevada is also a member of the Faerie court. on Twitpic
Faerie Princess Nevada

Of course, Nevada is only to happy to play along. If ever a dog were a faerie princess it would be Nevada.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Morning from the backroom

Comma Coffee is constantly changing.

Morning from the back of the room on Twitpic

Can you spot the new parlor grand piano?
Clue: look for the shinny flat surface.

Carson City Comma Coffee piano on the wall. on Twitpic

In fitting Comma fashion,
the old upright is now on the wall.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

 Back in the back.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Women and children first"


Republican version of women and children first then the world.

Here's Romney's proposal:

  • Make contraception less available to poor women by getting rid of Planned Parenthood.
  • Make the option of abortion illegal by signing a Personhood Amendment.
  • Make access to prenatal care and pediatric care less available by gutting Medicaid.
  • Then force mothers out of the home so that they can't even raise their own children.
  • Gut public K-12 education.
  • Gut grants for College Education.
  • Continue outsourcing jobs to third world countries where people will work for .50 a day.
  • Gut Medicare and Social Security.
  • Gut the environment upon which life as we know it depends.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Mizpah at last

I'm just back from my spring trip to the lovely semi-ghost town of Tonopah Nevada. 

The desk clerk told us they sometimes hear
children talking who are not there. That made
the strange miniature furniture look really eerie.

The big news this year is that the Mizpah Hotel has finally re-opened.

Last year...outside in.

I've been photographing the place through the windows for years.

Now I finally got in.

This year...inside out.

There have been other changes around town as well.

That photo I found a few years ago of the guy posing with a beer is gone.

It was in the cave/cabin on the floor with all the junk so, for safekeeping, I stashed it between some stones in the rock face of the "cabin". However, this spring it was gone so another face disappears into Tonopah's fading past. Also, the abandoned tailor's shack up the street that still housed some wonderful antique equipment is gone.

Little remained of tailor's
shop from days gone by.

I'm hoping the museum folks rescued the equipment. I don't think it was in the rubble but then I didn't dig around.

Tailor shop today, collapsed and gone.

And, as I mentioned before, the little store Hippies of Tonopah is gone, not the building itself, but Hippy. Graffiti inside reads "Ur Gay". So much for love in diversity. 

But no time to mourn to past.

The ghosts of Tonopah Present haunt us even now...

Goblin of the Fifth Floor

...not only the goblin that accosted us as we explored the hotel...

The Lady in Red

...but the ghost the Lady in Red herself. Legend has it that she was stabbed to death by a jealous lover in the hallway outside of her room, 502, and haunts the hotel to this day. Naturally, we tried reserving her room for our stay next fall but it was already booked. But we will be in room 501. Close enough. I'm already spooked. The building itself is morose and vaguely threatening. I was happy to get back down to the lobby and glad to re-emerge back out under the blue desert sky.

I posted more photos of the Mizpah here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Madhuban

Going through papers on my desk this afternoon, I came across some things I wrote years ago that I'd been thinking about, and forgetting to, do something with. As you might guess, I wrote it during a particularly difficult time in my life. Anyway, I'm posting an excerpt here and at Anna Sadhorse.

New Madhuban
West Virginia

this forest,    
planted for a loaf of bread
and a dollar a day, 
is a solemn place
the hill it has taken possession of
drops sharply
to a holler     too steep for pasture
a place where small skeletons   slowly turn to stone
this is a good place to be alone

the sun seldom finds entry to this grove
is a stranger here     off his path  
from a world that does not exist
his probing beams
only deepen the darkness
and threaten to ignite the brittle trees

one may only be here carefully    
this forest has no need of company
birds know it   they do not nest
or sing among its spiney branches
there is no undergrowth   
nothing pierces the needle mat

and the pines themselves
have shed their lower branches
becoming heartless    
pitch steeped trunks with shattered limbs
they offer no place to rest
who comes here must stand alone
who comes here to dream must dream
indifferent as the dead

West Virginia, 1975 - Excerpt from Sunday Feast
Trees were planted in this area during America's Great Depression of the 1930's as part the New Deal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

First dance

My niece Maren's wedding last month in Portland was a very sweet affair.

Maren, Thea and Mama

Uncle Papa Jim conducted the ceremony. Before meeting and marrying my sister, he was a fourth year novice at a Catholic monastery so priestly duties are natural for him.

He did choke up though when it came to the part where he put Maren's hand in Drew's. For a moment, we all held our breath.

Papa Jack, Mister Leo, Jeannette and Uncle Papa Jim

Unfortunately, I'm one of those crappy amateur photographers who waves the camera around in the air and hopes for the best. It's like trying to catch a swarm of butterflies with a bucket. I took a lot of photos but, unfortunately, these are about as clear as any of them get.

Big Girl Thea teaching cousin Leo to dance