Wednesday, December 29, 2010

come and stay with me

By viewing nature, nature’s handmaid, art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow...

John Dryden (1631 – 1700) poet, playwright

warmest wishes to all this season -- though it appears 'tis not the season for blogging, all my bloggybuds are in my thoughts and heart this season - and sweet thanks for the holiday comments and greetings!

I didn't want to let another week pass before popping in to share the news ....drumroll please

baby bingo is here! he entered the world december 23, his timing made everyone very, very happy!

next to his mama and papa, perhaps the happiest person to welcome bingo into their arms is his very loving and doting big sister, ms t

although he'll always be bingo to me and ms t, his papa and mama had the wisdom to provide another name - but, given how we like our nicknames here in the bloggyhood, I expect sweet laurence will go continue to go by bingo here on the mouse.

yes, for those of you wondering, in the top photo baby bingo is laying on his very own mouse made quilt. and he is swaddled in one of the many lovely handmade blankies that his grandma jo made. a photo of the full quilt is on the (most neglected) magical mouse blog - see sidebar.

I'd love to visit more, but my ordered cards and stamps have arrived. one of today's goals is to start getting some our new year greetings via sent out snail mail!!

take care, be well, and have a very happy new year!

today is the birthday of musician and actor marianne faithfull (b. 1946) - marianne's life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and is an example of the resilience of the human spirit and our ability to recover and re-imagine ourselves. over her long musical career, marianne has explored a variety of musical genres and has collaborated with an amazingly diverse assortment of musicians, including john prine, metallica, the cheiftans, emmy lou harris, keith richards, nick drake and even the beatles.

in 2007 the european film academy nominated marianne for the best actress award for her role as maggie in irina palm, a film I recommended this summer. if you haven't seen it

come and stay with me (released 1965)


photo: top - wall in cleveland (ohio city); baby bingo and ms t, 26 december 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

hello my old friend

What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp.


what a joy to go to the mailbox and find nestled between the end-of-the year begging letters, credit card applications, sale circulars, and bills, a hand addressed envelope and know that inside is a hello from a friend or family member. I get a bit sad when I read stories about how living in the digital age is killing the tradition of sending holiday cards and letters through the post.

that's not to say there isn't joy in receiving a 'thinking of you' message via email or fb; but you have to admit, it's not the same. there is a unique tactile and visual pleasure being able to hold of a piece of mail. one marketing pundit says compared to the speed of digital greetings, the process of snail mail is an "antiquated waste of time." I say what good is time if it can't be wasted to send a warm hand-clasp across the miles.

having said all this, I have to fess up and mention that our holiday greetings have yet to be mailed. just last week I mentioned that my usual time-space "issues" are particularly acute this year. the folks on our holiday card list, won't be receiving christmas cards this year, but rather new year cards. they probably won't be too surprised, this is certainly not the first year our holiday greetings have been sent after christmas; in fact, new year greetings are probably now our norm.

as of now I await the delivery of both cards and stamps. I would have bought my stamps at the post office, but the other day when I went there to do just that, the pickings were exceedingly disappointing - not only am I a card snob, I guess I'm also a stamp snob. I always prefer to design our card; although I do fall for an image on some pre-made cards and up up picking up a pack or two just in case. what is also normative is my ability to predict how many cards I will send. as regard to the stamps, maybe it's just me, but I think an envelope looks so much nicer with a pretty and/or meaningful stamp on it!

what do you think?

hello my old friend by the electric light orchestra. the tune can be found on afterglow a 1990 boxed set compilation, it was intended to be on their 1983 album secret messages, but it and many other songs were scrapped when the album went from a planned double vinyl LP release to to a single when their record company said that because of the oil crisis a double album was too expensive.

photos: wall art, olympia wa april 2010; squirrel @ casa mouse today

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

happy solstice!

i am singing the cold rain
i am singing the winter dawn
i am turning in the gray morning
of my life
toward home

ni hoi nim ni hon ido mi moo
ni hoi nim ni hon e inif
ni hoi das i woi nu
na wodstan ni hi vist
na dutz na ho utz

Lance Henson (b. 1944), poet
I Am Singing the Cold Rain from
Harper's Anthology of 20th Century Native American Poetry (1988)

happy solstice all! and such cosmic happenings this solstice! not only do we have a full moon but there was a total lunar eclipse early this morning! last time this happened was in 1638. there's not such a long wait until the next time this happens - in 2097 there will be another solstice full moon and total lunar eclipse. it is possible that there will be many, many people alive today who will experience this rare event twice in their lifetime! unfortunately, baby bingo won't be one of them; we are still waiting for his arrival! he still has time to come for the solstice, but alas, he has missed the 2010 solstice eclipse.

here on the north coast we were totally socked in with clouds at the time the eclipse was happening. the moon, or maybe my bladder, woke me up at the time this celestial phenomena was taking place. I looked out various windows, saw that I could see nothing because of the cloud cover, visited the wc, then went back to the sack. fortunately we live in ab era where there are plenty of ways to experience the event vicariously!

snow, poem written by archibald lampman (1861-1899), musical adaptation and performance by loreena mckennitt, available on to drive the cold winter away (1987), a winter garden (1995) and a midwinter night's dream (2008). vid created by megansspark.

photo: nature's santa caps, lakewood. december 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

a pict song

To silence criticism is to silence freedom.

Sidney Hook (20 December 1902 -1989) philosopher

seems only fitting that today is also the birthday of singer-songwriter and activist billy bragg (b. 1957). I don't know about you but it seems to me that billy shares professor's hook worldview and devotion to working towards making the world a better, kinder place.

remembering that there's nobody here but us chickens, a better, kinder world is mighty powerful mouse medicine!

in honor of both sidney and billy's birthdays, today's song is a pict song. even though billy is a brilliant songwriter, this song wasn't written by billy. however billy did compose the tune. the lyrics come from a rudyard kipling's poem of the same name. the poem appears in the short story, the winged hats, which appears in the kipling collection puck of pook's hill, which you can access here thanks to project gutenberg. if you read the story, you may find the today's photo fits quite well. perhaps....

the vid features footage from various protests against globalization.

Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
Her sentries pass on -- that is all,
And we gather behind them in hordes,
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk -- we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak --
Rats gnawing cables in two --
Moths making holes in a cloak --
How they must love what they do!
Yes -- and we Little Folk too,
We are busy as they --
Working our works out of view --
Watch, and you'll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you -- you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!

We are the Little Folk, we, etc.

-- Rudyard Kipling

by the way, the song appears on billy's 1996 album william bloke

photos: west side market, cleveland. december 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

dream a little dream of me

Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth, would be to have been young and never dreamed at all.

Jean Genet (19 December 1910 - 1986) poet, playwright, activist

yesterday was proof positive of the veracity of o'casey claim that life is a lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other. yesterday's lament - hearing the news that the senate did not pass the DREAM act; this (temporary*) set back was offset by the wonderful song finding out that the news that the senate (finally) repealed DADT!

*I am ever hopeful that eventually sanity will prevail and the DREAM act will become a reality!

ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong preforming dream a little dream of me - first sung in 1931 by ozzie nelson and covered by a everyone from doris day to miss piggy!

today's photo is of the beautiful delilah von dagger. delilah, which may or may not be her "real name" is part of the cleveland burlesque company. I met delilah yesterday while she was playing the role of an incredibly sexy santa at lakewood's last minute market.

ho ho ho!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

sepia saturday: rite of passage

today's sepia photos were taken in the 1930s. the top photo is of my mother and her communion cohort from st. michael's church in harwood mines, pennsylvania. harwood, one of the many little patch towns which surround hazleton, still exists as a place where people live, however, neither the mine nor st. michael's church are still in operation. an order was issued recently notifying people in the town to stop using "harwood" or "harwood mines" as the name of their town in their postal address and to adopt "hazle township" - I find this very strange. here's what the portal has to say about "hazle township" - no where in this entry is mention of harwood - it is as if someone wants to erase it from history. maybe I'm overreacting after all the portal does still have it on their list of places in pennsylvania!

history buffs with an interest in workers and unions may be familiar with the region because of events such as this, this and this.

my mom rita remembers that in her community it was customary that children receive their first communion when they were 6 or 7; this being the case the top photo was taken in 1931 or 1932. my mother was very tall for her age, she is the tallest girl on the second row. she remained being taller than her age mates until she was in high school, then she either quit growing or everyone caught up. at her maximum height my mother reached 5'4" - which is close to the average height for an american woman according to this. comparatively speaking both her sister rose and her brother george were quite tall - rose was at least 5'9" and george was probably a little over 6 feet.

the photo below is of rita's brother george at his first communion. george is younger and was born in 1927, hence, the photo was taken in 1933 or 1934. george's hands are probably clasped around the mass or prayer book that is customarily given to children. I have in my possession two first communion books: the white leather prayer book I was given when I received my first communion (on december 16, 1963 - at age 8) and a small black (faux leather) book my father received when he was a child (dad's book has a publication date of 1925, oddly it was printed in czechoslovakia and is written in latin and english - I know my family is from what was once czechoslovakia, but our prayer books too? how funny is that!) - aside from sentimental value, I expect neither book is worth anything monetarily as both are very tattered and torn. well used? who is to know? and who is to tell?

to visit other time travelers, visit the sepia saturday blog.

communion is christian sacrament but it is also a christian rite of passage. for today's song, I offer bob seger's song rite of passage, the song was released on seger's 1995 album it's a mystery.

Friday, December 17, 2010

imagine the world!

I'll lift you and you lift me, and we'll both ascend together.

John Greenleaf Whittier (17 December 1807 – 1892) Quaker poet and abolitionist

just imagine at one time john greenleaf whittier's birthday was considered a holiday and his poems were revered and memorized by many a schoolchild and adult - but alas, that is not the case today - too bad. so sad.

give the gift of music, donate to playing for change this holiday season (or any time you might have a few bucks/euros/pesos/pounds/baht/rubles/rupees)! they do good work.

photo: the fall of icarus, cleveland museum of art, december 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

teach your children

The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today.
Margaret Mead (16 December 1901 – 1978)

it is simply quite wondrous to be around a young child as she's learning to read. ms t hasn't mastered this shel silverstein book (yet) but she has so many of the poems memorized one might be fooled.

ms t will soon will have the opportunity to start reading to her very own baby brother instead of her favorite stuffed rabbit. baby bingo, as ms t has named her bro, is expected any day now. I mentioned to ms t's mama that I hope bingo would be born today- december 16th is one of my absolute favorite dates. it is the birthday of margaret mead, a mega hero of mine, it is also the birthday of jane austen, and my sister-in-law ann, and the son of a dear lifelong friend don -- not to mention the anniversary of other significant events in my life!

ms t's mom just called and said that there's no sign that today will be the day so, it's all clear if f and I wish to go out for dinner. sounds like a plan!

since it doesn't look like bingo will be born on the 16th, now I'm pulling for the 21 (the solstice) but his mama is hoping she'll be pushing earlier than that!!

photo: ms t, casa mouse 14 december 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

no time

We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.

Muriel Rukeyser (15 December 1913 – 1980) poet, social activist
poem above found on the pacifist memorial

wall wednesday continues.

my head feels it should be september or october and here it is mid december. how did this happen? I remember being in a similar pickle last year. truth be told, this year my time-space disorientation is even worse.

no time to post these days. many projects, many deadlines, and I am behind on them all.

there is comfort in knowing that the world won't stop because I am running behind.

if I could only make time stop to catch up just a little.

no worries, soon it will be january 1 the annual clock starts anew.

who remembers this golden oldie by the guess who? no time - first released in 1969, but the song became a hit in 1970.

photo: playground mural at p.s. 41, new york city mural created in 2000, photo taken october 2009

Saturday, December 11, 2010

sepia saturday: john barleycorn

this old photo is a gem among the old photos in my treasure box. the photo was grandpap's and it features two of his buddies. it is so full of mystery and whimsy.

unfortunately like most of the photos in my treasure box, it is not dated nor is there any note of the identity of the two men - but I believe it was taken in the mid to late 1910s (before grandpap married grandmam) based on the message on the back.

I don't know who the gentleman on the left is but the fellow on the right I recognize and his name is steve crynock. I always thought that the crynock family was related to my father's side of the family. but now I'm not too sure, when I saw my mom recently, I asked ma if grandpap was related to steve crynock, she didn't think so. she thought steve crynock and stephen yanoshik (my grandpap) were just really good friends. even if there are no blood ties, the bonds are strong between the two families - for instance I know that this man steve had a son, and this son had a son, and he named his son "shan" - which is the name my father, christened francis, went by. I know until recently, the young shan (who is probably in his late 40s or 50s) has stayed in touch with my folks through holiday cards, I don't know if the cards still come - if young shan is like most of us, he's probably relying more on email greetings than snail mail.

the message on the back, written by steve, is pretty funny it reads:
Drunk again, note the Little Obstacle below my nose, better known as a dislocated eye brow. Which you might see by close observation.
It seems as if I get soused every time I get my picture taken. I always take a H__ of a picture.

to visit other time travelers, visit the sepia saturday blog.

in honor of lifelong friendships and toasting to each other's health, I offer as today's song john barleycorn. this version is by one of my all time favorite musicians martin carthy

by the way, there's a lovely version of john barleycorn on the first imagined village cd. imagined village is the name of a collective of musicians which includes martin - the group seems to wax and wane so.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

another brick in the wall, part 3

I carry my own church about under my own hat, said I. "Bricks and mortar won't make a staircase to heaven. I believe with your Master that the human heart is the best temple."
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr. (1859-1930) writer, creator of Sherlock Holmes

the mouse is back - hey, I bet you didn't even know I was gone. I made a quick trip to metro dc, yes sadness and grief linger, but that is no surprise; on the whole, everyone is doing well. everything in its own time.

my ma, who had total knee replacement surgery in early november is doing amazingly well and she's way ahead of the curve in terms of the expectations of her doctors and therapists with regard to her mobility and activity levels. all right ma! I think my mother's inner athlete is re-emerging; who knows, maybe she will get back on the links come spring! it's been three years since she played golf regularly (like 2-3 times a week!). her golf playing stopped because of mom's desire to stay home in order to be with and take care of dad. we know activity is good for grief so I hope once winter is behind her, she'll reconnect with her game.

I fell very behind in terms of the bloggyhood while away - I know I won't be posting like I did in november. whatever possessed me to sign up with NaBloPoMo, I don't know, but I made through the month and posted something every day. what I noticed however is that keeping up on other blogs suffered, so I don't think I'm going committing to daily posting again. hope to get back to some sort of routine soon and I'm really looking forward to start making rounds visiting everyone's blogs.

wall wednesday continues wall wednesday continues as well as working our way through pink floyd's the wall today's selection is another brick in the wall, part 3

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

lovely day

Each person must live their life as a model for others.
Rosa Parks (1913 -2005) activist

today is the 55th anniversary of when a hard working seamstress named rosa parks refused to give up her seat so a white person could sit down on the bus in montgomery alabama. rosa was arrested and her act of civil disobedience sparked the montgomery bus boycott and rosa's action is considered a seminal event in the national civil rights movement.

today is also world aids day - a day to take a moment to reflect and think about this continuing crises that we face as a world community. although the situation has improved in some countries - in many parts of the globe and among many marginalized groups, aids is still a death sentence and is still out of control.

in downtown cleveland this afternoon I saw a bus with world aids day mentioned in the repeating script of the front l.e.d. display. an odd union of sorts of two events/ things to be mindful of on december 1.

elizabeth mitchell covers lovely day on her new album sunny day. I can't seem get enough of elizabeth's version - it makes be feel so good! if you like to give a gift of music, I highly recommend mitchell's new cd - especially if there are children you like to give presents to (this evening is the start of hanukkah -coincidentally) - however, her cd is suitable for music lovers of all ages!

the song is vaguely familiar, but its really nothing more than a small blip on the my musical radar. according to the portal the song was quite popular in 1977 (peaking at #6 on the r&b charts in the states and making it into the top ten of the british pop charts). written by bill withers and skip scarborough the song has been covered by a number of artists and another version of the song was even used in the 1992 movie the bodyguard - a film I've never seen. the following is wither's own from a best of album released in 2005.

photo: wall wednesday continues. many street artists contributed to this busy wall in olympia washington.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the naming of cats

today is the 175th anniversary of the birth of author and cat lover samuel langhorne clemens (30 november 1835 - 1910), clemens is better known by his pen name mark twain. to celebrate twain's birth a few of his many remarks on the creatures he loved so much:

A home without a cat -- and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat -- may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?
Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughably vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive, finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house. ... The worship of royalty being founded in unreason, these graceful and harmless cats would easily become as sacred as any other royalties, and indeed more so, because it would presently be noticed that they hanged nobody, beheaded nobody, imprisoned nobody, inflicted no cruelties or injustices of any sort, and so must be worthy of a deeper love and reverence than the customary human king, and would certainly get it.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)

I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.
Mark Twain as quoted in Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field (1922)
by Henry Fisher and Merle De Vore Johnson

snaps of the royal family at casa mouse - top cat queen bee gwen (b. 1992); king tsuki (b.1998); lady stella (unknown date, adopted as an adult but most likely 1994 or 1995)

the naming of cats from the andrew lloyd webber broadway blockbuster cats which was based on old possum's book of practical cats (1939), t.s. eliot's whimsical collection of poems

Monday, November 29, 2010

a sorta fairytale

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
C.S. Lewis (29 november 1898-1963) novelist & scholar

last night I thought I'd post a snap of my igoogle homepage, but this morning I read on the writer's almanac that today is the birthday of c.s. lewis - a favorite author of mine. the entry included the marvelous quote above.

I didn't read lewis' narnia books until I was officially an adult (18 to be exact), it wasn't for any issues involving shame, rather I didn't know they existed (which is strange, I was a 'reader' as a child) I read all seven books in quick succession which was a good thing since I had discovered them during my first month of college thanks to a newly made friend.

narnia is once more on my mind. I don't know about where you live, but around here there are lots of billboards advertising the next narnia film - the voyage of the dawn treader. although I know the film won't be as good as the book (films never or rarely are) I most likely will go see it. I understand tilda swinton is returning to play the white witch - oh goody - or is that oh, such wicked baddy-ness!! however, the fact that the film has the white witch is an obvious sign that this is a loose adaptation of the book, for we all know that the white witch isn't in the book voyage of the dawn treader.

along with c.s. lewis today is also the birthday of louisa may alcott (1832) and madeleine l'engle (1918) - two authors whose books I did discover and devour as a child!

a sorta fairytale released by tori amos in 2002. the song quickly made it to the top of the charts and is regarded as amos most successful single. the official video is one crazy vid - thank goodness for magical kisses, those heads on disembodied legs are definitely sorta grim(m)!

photo: okay, the lion isn't aslan, however, reed a. thomason's mural at the lakewood public library does reference a number of fairy tales! lakewood, ohio

Sunday, November 28, 2010


inspiration for today was found on my igoogle homepage*.

here's's take on namaste which was today's word of the day:
namaste \ NUHM-uh-stey \ noun;
1. A conventional Hindu expression on meeting or parting, used by the speaker usually while holding the palms together vertically in front of the bosom.
2. A conventional Hindu expression on meeting or parting, frequently a part of yoga practice.

He made a little namaste at Mamaji, hands pressed together at his chest, a small hint of a bow.
-- Cory Doctorow, For the Win

People emerged from the masjids and mandirs, shops and houses, with faces seemingly devoid of any impulse to offer salaam or namaste , or to smile.
-- Moazzam Sheikh, The idol lover and other stories of Pakistan

Namaste has become popular in English as a result of yoga. The Hindi word derives from Sanskrit, namas , "bowing," and te , "to you."

over the years I've run across many different takes and definitions of namaste. here's one that strikes a nice chord in me:
I honor that place in you, where the whole Universe resides. And when I am in that place in me and you are in that place in you, there is only one of us.

* igoogle allows folks to customize their homepage - what's on your homepage? maybe for tomorrow I'll post a snap of what's on mine!

how about a little bollywood from the 2005 movie salaam namaste

photo: statue of ganesha, the elephant-headed god. in the hindu pantheon each deity has an animal companion or vehicle to aid them in mythic exploits and in earthly temples. you will note that ganesha rides upon a mouse, mooshika, who helps ganesha as he can gnaw through any obstacles. rubin museum, nyc, october 2009

namaste friends!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

sepia saturday: gap tooth girl

in honor of the mouse's 1,000 post, sepia saturday features a few snaps of yours truly.

since today is also the 75th birthday of documentary filmmaker les blank the photos are chosen in recognition of his film gap toothed women. I ran across this film in the late 1980s when I was still a little embarrassed about my gap. les' quirky film helped dispel any lingering self-consciousness I had regarding my gap and helped me become a proud member of the tribe of gap toothed women.

although still sporting baby teeth at two, my gap is visible, here I'm holding my beloved raggedy ann in front of our house in san diego (1957).

in 1967 my aunt rose made matching outfits for my sister and me and aunt rose's daughters. a bit reminiscent of the scene from the sound of music when maria makes outfits for the von trapp kids out of her bedroom drapes. auntie didn't use drapes but she did use the remaindered end of the bolt of fabric. during the 1960s and 1970s we had a relative who worked at a fabric mill who was most generous in bringing home fabric that was getting tossed. one of my family's mottos was waste not want not.

at 12 I was very self conscious of my gap and rarely showed my teeth when being photographed; this often made me look quite dour. however, in this picture I'm probably looking dour because I was out in public (at the national zoo to be specific) dressed identically to my four year old sister and my eight year old and twelve year old cousins. although one could say that with the exception of the my cousin lisa, no one looks particularly happy - or maybe we were just facing the sun!

the photo above was taken in 1979, a beaming gap shines on f and our new bundle of joy! by the way, em did not inherent the gap.

a trailer for gap toothed women (1987). if you like the gap, you'll love les' film on garlic (1980), in 2004 the library of congress included garlic is as good as ten mothers to the national film registry.

to visit other time travelers, visit the sepia saturday blog.

Friday, November 26, 2010

dead flowers

okay, truthfully, if it weren't for NaBloMo there would not be a post today. but I did commit to posting EVERYDAY this month. although I don't want it to be december, I do want november (and the internal pressure) to end. ha ha!!

so, where am I today? happy and thankful. we had an absolutely great thanksgiving. we spent yesterday at the home of friends who live in one of the eastern suburbs of cleveland.

sometimes it is fun to be a guest instead of a host. the friends whose house we were at are friends we've known for only 4 or 5 years, we met them before they relocated to cleveland when they were still living in metro dc. they are friends of friends we've had for over 30 years.

what was so neat about yesterday was the texture of the relationships and friendships I had with the folks at the thanksgiving feast.... there was family, long-time friends (e.g. the mutual friends from metro dc), medium-length friends, friends that were brand new, and even a friend of a couple years I met via the cyberhood - the daughter of tut, who I first 'met' via the cyberhood! how is that for the circle!! yesterday brings to mind the old song I learned oh so many years ago when I was in the brownies ...

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be

you may be wondering, but what's with the snap??? before the party got started I went on a walk with one of my "old" friends - our walk included a stop at the local graveyard where I took today's featured photo. yeah it doesn't really have anything to do with thanksgiving but I did think it had one of more interesting grave-marker inscriptions and some wise advice.

speaking of old songs, how about this for today's theme song. dead flowers by the rolling stones. I'm not a big fan of the stones, but I do like this song quite a bit....

photo: marker cemetery of chagrin river road, gates mills, ohio. november 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

turkey trot

Turkeys have walked wild on this continent since the last ice age, whereas Old Europe was quite turkeyless. (That fact alone scored them nearly enough votes to become our national bird, but in the end, I guess, looks do matter.) Corn pudding may be the oldest New World comfort food; pumpkins and cranberries, too, are exclusively ours. It's all American, the right stuff at the right time. To this tasty assembly add a cohort of female relatives sharing work and gossip in the kitchen, kids flopped on the living room floor watching behemoth cartoon characters float down a New York thoroughfare on TV, and men out in the yard pretending they still have the upper-body strength for lateral passes, and this is a perfect American day. If we need a better excuse to focus a whole day on preparing one meal, eating it, then groaning about it with smiles on our faces, just add a dash of humility and hallelujah. Praise the harvest. We made it through one more turn of the seasons.
from Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (2007)

happy thanksgiving!

photo: free range turkeys in amish country, ohio 2007

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

show me your soul

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done-then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (24 november 1849 – 1924) writer

wall wednesday continues

but now for something completely different and funky, the red hot chili peppers and their 1990 song show me your soul

photo: wall scrawl, nyc june 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the way we are

having committed to NaBloPoMo, I feel compelled to post even if I don't have anything to say. so how about couple snaps of ms t from today?
prior to heading out to run our errands, ms t fueled up with some of randeep's yummy homemade peanut butter cookies. bunny but didn't eat any cookies but t make sure she was dressed warmly.

after errands, ms t was joined by neighbor friend ms dre over for an afternoon of play. one of the girls favorite activities is dress up - they love making gowns out of scarves. after dress up we settled on to the sofa for story hour - ms. t and I took turns reading mary and the mouse and the mouse and mary.

and my song du jour, the way we are. I absolutely adore this song from the flatlander's 2009 album hills and valleys. give a listen, I guarantee the song will brighten up your day!

a couple snaps from the november 12th concert at kent stage. em was in the best seat for photos and took some terrific concert shots, here's one (of many) - I was meaning to put together a slide show but haven't gotten around to it!

after the concert, joe, butch and jimmie were kind enough to stike a pose with em. thanks guys!

Monday, November 22, 2010

i'm only happy when it rains

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.

George Eliot (b. 22 november 1819 - 1880) novelist & freethinker

along with being george eliot, née mary anne evans, birthday, today is the birthday of daughter em's sweet dog dixie. dixie turns 6 today. according to this chart, six in dog years is comparable to 40 human years. who comes up with these things? I believe there is a puppy in every dog, no matter how many birthdays have may have passed.

I think dixie also considers herself a puppy and if you met her you'd find she also considers herself a lap dog. despite the fact that she weighs 60+ pounds, but if dixie sees a lap she will try and get a cuddle. evidenced to the right! happy birthday dixie!! I hope dixie comes over tomorrow (along with tuesday being ms t day, tuesday night is the night dixie often comes over since her human enjoys taco tuesday) ms. t and I will sing happy birthday and maybe even bake a bone-shaped cake!

remember I'm only happy when it rains, garbage's big hit from 1995? at first, I thought of tagging the song rainy days and mondays, as today's theme song, since it's rainy and monday, but rainy days and mondays never bring me down. okay, maybe some mondays bring me down - but never the rain.

roger miller once quipped, some people walk in the rain, others just get wet - so true, so true. attitude is so important!

photos: puddle 22 november; dixie and friends last tuesday. casa mouse, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

say hello

did you know today is world hello day! until today I never knew there was a world hello day, but why not! I think it's a pretty cool idea; however, as with earth day, I think we should make every day world hello day - as we should make every day should be earth day.

in terms of observing the day, each person is encouraged "to greet 10 people for peace." the "holiday" begun in 1973 by brian and michael mccormack, after the yom kipper war. the objective of this special day is to promote peace and to encourage world leaders to use communication rather than force to settle conflicts. according to the portal, hello day is observed in 180 countries!

say hello from heart's 1977 album little queen

photo: squirrel who lives down the street from casa mouse, november 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

sepia saturday: someone to watch over me

I feel the need - or rather the desire - to apologize for my long absence in both posting and visiting my fellow time travelers. what can I say, sometimes life and death gets in the way.

it has been almost three months since my beloved father passed away. he died at age 88. aside from spending the last two weeks in hospital, overall, dad had a "good death" he did not appear to suffer and he was lovingly attended to and continuously surrounded by his family.

in march I celebrated my dad's life with a sepia saturday post. in that post I mentioned that I knew of only one photo of dad from his childhood. during a visit to my folks in july I finally made a copy and this photo is above when dad was ten.

all year I've tried to visit metro dc, where my parents live as frequently as possible. in july my father was home and happy. although he seemed to be getting increasingly weak, for the past few months his get up and go had pretty much got up and gone; but the spark in dad's eyes was still very much there and when asked how he was, he'd always replied "great!"

dad celebrated his 88th birthday on august 3rd; the family had a party scheduled on the 12th. on the ninth dad had a serious bout of dehydration resulting in hospitalization. we were hopeful for a recovery but after living so many years in the danger zone dad's body finally decided it was time to be going on to the next plane of existence - on august 26th dad went home to god.

congratulations to sepia saturday for hitting the half century mark with 50 sponsored saturdays. to see who is time traveling this week, visit the sepia saturday blog.

thanks dad. I know you're still watching.....

photos: francis yanoshik 1932; july 15, 2010; august 15, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

skywatch friday

The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.

David Russell (b. 1953) classical guitarist

To see more photos of the sky around the world visit here!

david russell giving a "tiny desk concert" on npr - the vid mixes interviews and music. watch a little, watch a lot, but give yourself a gift and catch david action - one musical bridge you won't regret crossing!

photo: another view from the lorain avenue bridge, cleveland 17 november 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

available light

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) poet

available light from rush's 1989 album presto

photo: cleveland from the lorain avenue bridge - 4:30 p.m. 17 november 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

in the flesh

Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.
Martin Scorsese (b. 17 november 1942) director, writer, film historian

the portal list 22 films in scorsese's features filmography - I've seen all but 4, maybe 3 - for the life of me I can't recall seeing after hours, it seems unlikely that I missed the film given that it came out between the king of comedy and the color of money. my enthusiasm of all things martin began in the early 1970s when I saw mean streets and lives to this day.

the 3 films I for sure haven't seen are his first two features (who's that knocking on my door and boxcar bertha) and his latest film, shutter island. I wanted to see shutter island when it came out on the big screen, but I couldn't talk any of my movie buddies into going - which I still find very odd. adding a new item to my bucket list: view all of martin's movies.I wonder if the library has who's that knocking on my door - the film is martin's directorial debut which makes it a good place to start and that it features harvey keitel makes it even more of a must see - few do conflicted, complex characters better than harvey!

scorsese is brilliant, it is hard to identify a favorite. however, if the desire to own is an indication of favoritism, by default I appear to have four: kundun (1997), gangs of new york (2002), the last waltz (1978)* and no direction home: bob dylan (2005)*

*not on the list of 22 as these two titles are music documentaries and speaking of music documentaries, I can't wait until next year when martin's film of george harrison is released!

wall wednesday continues as does the wall. there are two versions of in the flesh in pink floyd's the wall - but only one will be on wall wednesday, they are really dark and heavy tunes.

photo: section of a mural from austin, september 2010 (another piece seen here)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

zap the crap!!

A half-truth is a whole lie.

Yiddish Proverb

we're been hearing a lot of lies lately from conservative and republican corners about obama's health care reform plan. this rap was made before the bill passed, but the ladies' message still rings true!

Monday, November 15, 2010

this weekend I spent saturday hanging out with tut-tut's daughter who goes to school in oberlin. we didn't stick around the school very long, however, I was there long enough to tour her brand new dorm and learn about an exciting initiative currently going on at some college campuses.

the initiative is the campus conservation nationals (ccn). if you haven't heard of the ccn, don't feel bad, this year is the first time for this conservation competition. forty schools across the u.s. are currently competing to see what campus can achieve the greatest electricity and water use reductions during a 3-week period. on specific campuses there are also college specific competitions as to what dorm or hall be the most energy efficient.

what a great idea. now if the newly developed conservation habits of this 3 week competition period stick and spread!!

I was quite tickled to see that the spokesbeing for the oberlin conservation effort is none other than a rodent - obie, the energy squirrel to be exact!

what a coincidence that yesterday the mouse focused on the black squirrels; I didn't really plan to follow that up with another squirrelly post. things happen. when I started thinking about "what can I put up? today" after reading tut-tut's recent post where she wondered what her l and I were up to on saturday, visiting with l came to mind. isn't the bloggyhood wonderful!!

to answer tut's question, I say only good things! no bars and no pool halls!!! after leaving oberlin we headed into cleveland. the day was absolutely gorgeous. we first attempted to lunch at a little french inspired bistro but abandoned idea because everyone else seemed to have the same good idea.

no worries, if there is anything that cleveland has in abundance it is good places to eat. we simply walked down the street and ate another lovely cafe. after lunch we headed to the cleveland museum of art and after the museum closed wrapped up our day in cleveland by watching night night descend on the shores of lake erie.

oh, back to the obie the squirrel - long time readers of the mouse may remember reading about the oberlin white squirrels last year on the mouse. now I'm wondering if oberlin has a white squirrel festival like kent has a black squirrel festival?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the promise of living

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.
Aaron Copland (14 november 1900 -1990) composer & teacher

we have a couple new squirrels on avenue c - they are little, cute, sweet, active and still way too shy to pose for the mouse. based on their similar size and youth, I'm thinking these guys are sibs. from what I've observed, there are regional pockets where black squirrels are common, overall however, they seem somewhat unique.

kent, ohio is renown for their black squirrels - they even have an annual black squirrel festival - which I have to check out one year. friday we went to kent for a concert*. we tried to have dinner at a place called the black squirrel pub. unfortunately, when we got to the address we discovered the black squirrel pub was no longer in business (this is what happens when: #1 you** use the internet to find a place to eat; #2 you choose a place solely on its name, and #3 you don't call ahead to confirm said place is still in operation!) even though the black squirrel pub was no longer in business, there was another place at/near the same location and even though the name wasn't nearly as sweet as the black squirrel pub, the food was decent.

here in lakewood, there are quite a few black squirrels they mostly hang around lakewood park and close to the lake and the park; however, this fellow is an oddity in my neighborhood (1.25 miles south of lake erie as the crow flies, in case you are wondering). if you are curious, black squirrels aren't a separate species rather they are a melanistic subgroup of the eastern grey squirrel.

*great concert and if you have a chance to catch the flatlanders, do not hesitate to go - nothing like live music!

**you =me

aaron copland's the promise of living creatively set to old 8mm and 16mm reels - vid done by tfwhaling3, whoever he may be! thanks tf!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Night was drawing and closing her curtain up above the world, and down beneath it.

Jean Paul Richter (1763 – 1825) writer

looking at the sky this evening reminded me of mary chapin carpenter's song twilight. if you haven't heard mary's song, give it a listen - I bet you will be glad you did.....

hope you are having a good weekend!

photo: twilight today, cleveland 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

listen to the music

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) poet, musician,
cartoonist & all around renaissance man

gotta post something since the mouse is NaBloPoMo-ing this month.

today's post of my neighbor's dog sophie, was inspired the wonderful photos of another sophie on maggie's secret garden. both sophies are rat terrier mixes; we joke that our sophie here on avenue c must have a bit of bat in the mix. aren't her ears the best!!

we'll be listening to some great live music tonight as the flatlanders are in the area on their midwest* tour!! yeah!!!!

doobie brothers listen to the music - listening to this song leads to some serious time trippin'! I imagine I might have seen their midnight special performance when it first aired in 1973!

*midwest/mideast - your pick. as for me, I have been influenced on breaking up north america into regions corresponding with joel garreau's book the nine nations of north america. even though I read the book way back in the mid 1980s, garreau's classification system still strikes a chord within me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

and the band played

The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who'd really fought.
Kurt Vonnegut (11 november 1922 -2007), novelist & essayist
quote from Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

so true, so true and kurt knew - as a soldier vonnegut was captured during in the battle of the bulge and became a prisoner of war. unlike many of his fellow p.o.w.s he survived; however, like many other veterans, his wartime experiences turned him into critic of war and a strong voice for peace.

on november 11, 1919 woodrow wilson declared the first armistice day* on the first anniversary of the end of ww I - which was declared as "the war to end all wars" - a claim which was a bit premature, wouldn't you say?

ah, if only....

over the last couple days npr has had a number of excellent stories on today's veterans, this morning the story on homeless women veterans was moving and got me thinking about how things have changed within the military over the years when it comes to men and women in service.

for instance, during the 19 years of the vietnam war 265,000 women served in the military, 11,000 of these women were in active duty - and most of these active duty women were nurses**. today about 20% of people in the armed forces are women; the number of women in service today is estimated to be at 250,000 - which is slightly less than the total for the entirety of the vietnam war - and the roles women play well, they are so many and so varied we could write a book if not an encyclopedia.

thanks to all the women and men in service - today and all the yesterdays stretching back to the war that ended all wars.

photo: vietnam women's memorial. washington dc, june 2009

*in the mid 1950s armistice day was renamed as veterans day

**in 2000 mary reynolds powell's memoir a world of hurt: between innocence and arrogance in vietnam was published. powell, a cleveland area resident, served as an army nurse in vietnam in 1970. this is a powerful book and I highly recommend it if you are interested in looking for a unique insider's view. as with vonnegut, mary's wartime experiences has led to her being a passionate anti-war advocate and strong supporter of her fellow veterans.

june tabor singing eric bogle's haunting ballad the band played waltzing matilda. if you have never heard june or this song, take a couple, sit back and lend an ear....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

games people play

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)mythologist, writer & lecturer

doesn't one of the critters above reminds you of mr. snuffleupagus? speaking of snuffy, today is the 41st anniversary of the premier of sesame street.

we are having some beautiful sunny days on the north coast - hope it's nice where you are and you make some time to play.

games people play (1981) by the alan parsons project, from their album the turn of a friendly card.

photo: akron,oh march 2010