Monday, May 31, 2010

strange days

even though it is still may (barely), memorial day weekend brings the 'unofficial' arrival of summer. it most certainly feels like summer in these parts - today promises to be a scorcher. if the forecast is correct it will feel like summer - but not the sweet days of june, but the dog days of august! as long as the rain and thunderstorms hold out after the final holiday cook-out concludes all is cool even if it's hot!

my fantasy this memorial day is for there to be no more dead soldiers to remember on all the memorial days to come.

why is there not a 'holiday' to remember all the others who die during times of war? why is it that the innocents of war are often those most forgotten?

today I remember and mourn all that died - soldiers and civilians alike. today I pray that one day we can erect a memorial to war. may war finally rest in peace. there has never been a war to end all wars - for war begets war.

martin luther king jr said that "peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

make peace! peace can never arrive through the aggression, invasion, and violence but though increased understanding, acceptance, and reconciliation and ultimately when the power of love overcomes the love of power!

strange days.....on so, so many levels!

two songs today. I just finished roy's thoughtful memorial day post and one of his songs reminded me of pete's song of the same name - written originally in 1965 for the boys in vietnam, this version has been updated to reflect today's big muddy. ah, pete - 91 and still going - his voice may not be as strong as it once was, but he is still tireless when it comes to making peace. alas, my wandering and subsequent neglect of the mouse this month cause me to miss putting up a happy birthday pete post (don't even get me started on how obama's choice for the nobel peace prize has probably destroyed the chances of having pete be recognized for his lifelong work promoting peace by the nobel committee. okay I'm started, but will end and hey, who knows we can still try - if you haven't signed the petition, please do here - 2011 is not that far away and hopefully pete will still be with us, and if he is he will still be working for peace).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the way you look tonight

My coat and I live comfortably together. It has assumed all my wrinkles, does not hurt me anywhere, has moulded itself on my deformities , and is complacent to all my movements, and I only feel its presence because it keeps me warm. Old coats and old friends are the same thing.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) romantic poet, novelist and dramatist

Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), philosopher & writer

Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)philosopher, historian and social critic

By a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant with a hair

Persian Proverb

Pit bulls are famous, in circles of knowledgeable dog people, for the love and loyalty they bestow on anyone who shows them a smidgen of kindness.

Linda Wilson-Fuoco, journalist

To any artist, worthy of the name, all in nature is beautiful, because his eyes, fearlessly accepting all exterior truth, read there, as in an open book, all the inner truth.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) sculptor

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) writer and humorist

"But you see, Meg, just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist."

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) above quote from A Wrinkle in Time

notes about photos:
  1. abandoned building on carneige, cleveland
  2. old man outside of the american visionary art museum, baltimore, maryland august 2009
  3. fugus, bath, ohio july 2008
  4. elephant at cleveland metroparks zoo, july 2008
  5. dixie was a wrinkly pup, pitbull puppies, like many so called bully breeds start life quite wrinkly. many of the bully breed puppies grow out of their wrinkles, five year old dixie is quite sleek although she still has very expressive wrinkles around her eyes. for those who just had some alarm go off when I mentioned that dixie is a pitbull, I would like to jump on my soapbox for a sec. pitbulls are probably the most misunderstoodbreed there is; years ago I admit I harbored an ignorant fear of pitbulls. then I got to know these wonderful, affectionate dogs and learned first hand that the fear and hype about the breed was crap. dogs are like humans - you can make any 'being' mean and aggressive just like you can make any 'being' kind and loving. when communities pass bans on breeds such as pits, these communities fuel stereotypic, uneducated, and unwarranted fear not only about dogs but also about people. thank goodness there are lots of good info out in cyberspace which tries to separate pit bull facts from the myths
  6. sculpture by igor mitoraj one of many of mitoraj's pieces which were exhibited in the jardin des tuileries. inside the eye my sister and nephew. october 2004
  7. getting the wrinkles out at a local dry-cleaning and laundry shop. lakewood, may 2010
  8. tunnel in baltimore - doesn't this pic make you feel like you are entering in a wrinkle in time? august 2009

fred astaire sing jerome kerns and dorothy fields classic song to ginger rogers in the 1936 film swing time

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart...
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

may the force be with you

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

I don't know about you, but thirty-three years ago today I know exactly where I was. I was sitting in the dark with f and a small band of friends, traveling to a universe far, far away. today is the 33rd anniversary of the release of george lucas' masterpiece star wars.

thanks george! may the force be with you and with us all.......

photo: paris billboard, september 2004

Monday, May 24, 2010

teach me tiger

The living self has one purpose only: to come into its own fullness of being, as a tree comes into full blossom, or a bird into spring beauty, or a tiger into lustre.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) poet, novelist and essayist

although we were home this weekend, it felt as if we were on holiday with all the special activities that we took in. saturday the first special event f and I checked out was the "1st annual cleveland asian festival" - am I alone, or do others think it's somewhat cheeky to call something the 1st annual? actually, what really surprises me is that this year was the first year cleveland has held an asian festival. the city has a rich and established asian community so I wonder why it took so long for an asian festival to get organized! well, regardless, the festival was definitely a good time; I look forward to incorporating attending future festivals into my annual rites of spring in all the years to come!

for several years the st. clair superior development organization has sponsored an annual public art project celebrating the chinese lunar calendar. this year is the year of the tiger--- the year of the tiger began on the 14th of february 2010 and will end on the 2nd of february 2011; just this past week cleveland's tigers were unveiled and installed in various locations around the city. since the year of the tiger is a big deal in my house - my f was born in the year of a tiger - we went on a tiger prowl this weekend, my goal was to "capture" all the tigers. the asian festival made finding the tigers easy as ten of the twenty-five tigers were grouped together at the festival site. on saturday and sunday I found the rest of the tigers (with the exception of the tiger that is missing from its location - the ohio technical college). and yes, if you are curious about this public art project, you can see my snaps just check out my flickr set here (by the way, information as to the name of the sculpture and the artist can be found if you click on "show info" )

after saturday's tiger hunt, the cat theme continued and f and I went and checked out another possibly 1st annual event - this one was held in the collinwood neighborhood and was a benefit to help the feral cats in north collinwood. debbie gulyas, co-owner of blue arrow records and some of her cat-caring friends organized an evening to help the cats with a reception, 'chinese raffle' and a series of concerts by local bands.

this was also the weekend for the hessler street fair - another good time and this year was the 41st year for this community art and music festival.

april stevens sings her 1959 hit teach me tiger. the song caused quite an uproar when it came out considering its sexual suggestiveness; consequently the song had limited airplay with many radio stations refusing to play it all together.

photos: top tiger 'green ti-gore" created by joann depolo, the sponsor for this tiger is st. martin de porres high school; insert - at the reception and raffle from the cats of collinwood

Thursday, May 20, 2010

who let the dogs out

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist, philosopher & peace activist

"It is hard to be brave," said Piglet, sniffling slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal."

A kindly gesture bestowed by us on an animal arouses prodigies of understanding and gratitude.

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954)novelist

Your bones have been my bedframe and your flesh has been my pillow. And I'm waiting for sleep.
Ani Difranco (b. 1970) sing-songwriter (from Both Hands)

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber (1878-1965) philosopher

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
George Eliot

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, peace activist

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

Our hope of immortality does not come from any religions, but nearly all religions come from that hope.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) reformer, freethinker & orator

notes about photos:
  1. cat mural on side of a tremont art gallery, cleveland. may 2008
  2. sunday bird and small animal market near notre dame on the ile de la cité, paris. september 2004.
  3. petting a new pet at the hessler street fair, cleveland. may 2008 - speaking of the hessler street fair, the fair will be happening this weekend! be there or be square!
  4. bed time on avenue c f with gwen and rosie
  5. dixie hanging out on avenue c in her cold weather hoodie, december 2007
  6. street woman with her pets, paris. september 2004
  7. pretty coat junction - the groomer we use for tsuki annual shearing, lakewood. october 2009
  8. cemetery cat at cimetiere du pere lachaise, paris. march 2007
  9. statue of cat, sarcophagus for cat mummy, and mummified cat - brooklyn museum of art. december 2009
  10. to the right is a snap of tinkerbell (aka shelby) holding pip the rat. pip was one of two pet rats I've had over the years. rats can be wonderful pets - they are very smart, affectionate, and surprisingly clean. october 2004
I couldn't resist adding one more picture of two of the sweetest dogs in the universe - dixie and elvis, january 2005

who let the dogs out and frank the dog from mib

just had to add this snap which I took a couple years ago at the clifton arts and music festival here in cleveland. given the number of dogs that show up with their humans, it should be called the clifton arts, music and pup festival

Monday, May 17, 2010

musical monday

Why attack God? He may be as miserable as we are.

Erik Satie (17 may 1866 - 1925) composer & pianist

the photo above was taken on may 1st - it was low tide on alice bay and the resident great blue herons have come to see what treats await as the waters retreat.

I'm still a bit discombobulated in terms of reconnecting with the cyberworld. everything in due time. I missed yet another sepia saturday. I had a quilt to finish which I wanted to deliver this weekend. it may be a while before I get back to the cyber routine, as for now there are all sorts of project deadlines to meet and work to do and life to live before the next wander comes around.

oh, it is going to be one incredibly busy spring and summer!

a few of my cyberbuds regularly celebrate what they call musical monday (however, I noticed tut-tut recently went from musical monday to 'tune tuesday') - since I routinely match a song to the day's post I've never felt the need to label any post as 'musical monday' post, however, since today is the birthday of erik satie, the creator of what I consider some of the most moving compositions ever written, the gymnopédies, I thought I'd label today's post as musical monday - and I don't really think the titles of satie's compositions make for very good post titles!

the following piece (#1) feels perfect for this gray, cool day here on the north coast. contrary to what one may expect, such a day and such music has a very comforting effect on me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

mysterious ways

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
Diane Ackerman (b. 1948) author, poet, naturalist

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist, philosopher, peace activist

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"

Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four

Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness.

Julia Cameron (b. 1948) teacher, author, artist

I met his eyes, confused. Eric Gault and a gun went together like cavier and hot dogs.

Patrick Kenzie, a private investigator created by Dennis Lehane in Darkness, Take My Hand

What harm cause not those huge draughts or pictures which wanton youth with chalk or coals draw in each passage, wall or stairs of our great houses, whence a cruel contempt of our natural store is bred in them?
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), philosopher & writer

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
quote attributed to Albert Einstein

notes on photos:
  1. illuminated word on floor of the rubin museum from the what is it? exhibit. there are currently two exhibits at the rubin which explore one of life's great mysteries - that would be death, well death isn't a mystery as it is inevitable and will happen to each of us. what is the mystery are the various perspectives on what happens after death and why death comes when it comes. I can't wait to check these special exhibits out next month when I head to nyc! you can be certain I'll report back to you on the exhibits! october 2009
  2. for me iceland is a place of mystery and the icelandic language is particularly mysterious. in my investigation of what the word valahnúkur means this came up - quite mysterious and coincidental given the current volcanic activities going on these days. (transferred from film) march 1999
  3. statue of sherlock, london (transferred from film) may, 2001
  4. isn't it a bit mysterious how there are (at least) two extremely notable individuals named francis bacon in history - there's the philosopher from the 16th century and the artist of the 20th century. it is said that everything is better with bacon - I doubt that the expression pertains to the wisdom of the francis bacons' of history, but then again..... photo taken in some sort of art space in gruene texas (sorry, forgot the name of the space), april 2005
  5. perhaps my favorite bookstore for mysteries - a trip to new york city isn't complete unless it entails a visit (or two) to partners in crime. march 2009
  6. graffiti often contains some very mysterious references; for instance, just who is hacuha? the portal of all knowledge is mysteriously void in terms of providing a clue; however, the tag is alive and well in cyberspace!
  7. one current mystery is colony collapse disorder (ccd); according to a recent update on ccd the condition is described: "While bee hives die from many causes, scientists diagnose a hive with CCD when all the worker bees mysteriously disappear. The queen and brood (eggs and larvae) may be left behind, along with a few nurse bees, but the vast majority of bees are gone without a trace. The current CCD epidemic began in North America in 2006." if interested, you can read more about ccd here and if you go here you can watch a pbs program on the current crises of colony collapse. sorry I used this photo not too long ago - but I don't have much time this afternoon to devote to theme thursday in order to mine the archive for another bee hive photo. my time issue also explains why I also have a less snaps than usual. I had other ideas but like with the bee hive snap, no time to mine!

U2's mysterious ways from their 1991 album achtung baby

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

running on empty

I don't know if I'm running on empty, but I'm definitely running behind. last week we returned from a vacation to the pacific northwest, no sooner than I had all my clothes washed and I was off again. thursday morning I headed down to metro dc to spend a few days with my folks.

outside of time spent with family, I did get in one outing worth mentioning. when I arrived at union station, my sister met me and we headed over to the smithsonian's arthur m. sackler gallery in order to check out the current exhibit in the realm of the buddha. it was outstanding; if you find yourself in washington between now and july 18th make sure to drop in. I totally fell in love with a large statue of the white tara done by the 18th century phenom situ panchen. why is it that they never sell postcards of one's favorite pieces from special exhibits - and of course since it was a special exhibit no photography was allowed. for now the image is emblazoned in my memory and who knows maybe some day I'll run across the statue again or a print of it. I'm glad I checked out the gift shop to see if they had a print/postcard of the statue as the shop had a wonderful display of six statues showing various buddhist mudras. in the photo below, the center statue shows the gesture with both hands with palms facing out, placed below the waist means to 'calm the floods' - the mudra on the right with both hands crossed placed on the chest is the vajrapradama mudra which is the gesture of unshakable confidence. nice eh?

I missed celebrating my mother's 85th birthday with her on may 1st as we were on the west coast, but I was able to spend mother's day with ma and have the added bonus of being with all the members of my family of origin. my sister annie was visiting from her current home in zambia; she was doing a bit of reconnaissance for her family of creation as they will be moving back to the area this summer. sunday was particularly special as all three sibs were together with my parents - it was fun to have us "kids" working together to prepare the mother's day feast. even though we are getting up there in age when one's folks are still around we will always be 'the kids' - we are so grateful to have both of our parents with us - given our parents ages, having them still here, makes each day a gift.

I had a post planned for mother's day - using this great mural in olympia washington as the focal point, but what can I say things happen so my happy mother's day post didn't get up. but, I'd still like to share a couple images of this wonderful mural. on the corner of state and capitol is a very large mural which is called the olympia/rafah solidarity mural; according to the mural's website, its purpose is to recognize "all the people who struggle and work for justice." the catalyst for the mural is the tragic event which united the two cities of olympia and rafah palestine - the a tragic event was the unnecessary and untimely death of rachel corrie.

each leaf on the tree celebrates a particular social justice project or organization. one leaf, at what I would consider the heart of the olive tree is of a mother holding a baby and has a caption which reads 'every mother is a working mother.' the leaf was sponsored by and honors POWER (parents organizing for welfare and economic rights) and was created by quinn russell an olympia artist and mama of twins.

I don't have any travel planned for the next month, maybe I'll be able to settle down and get caught up on things - but some how, I'm seriously doubting that, best I can do is try and just keep filling up my tank so I'm not running on empty!

jackson browne performing his 1977 signature song running on empty. in 2005 rolling stone listed the song among the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

pink love

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) novelist & philosopher

Every path has its puddle.
English Proverb

When companies put pink ribbons on their products, they're no longer just selling a sweater or a watch - they're selling the expectation that buying their product is going to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, ... Pink Ribbon marketing efforts make a significant difference in corporate bottom lines. But the 'portion of the proceeds' that goes to breast cancer is all too often miniscule in comparison.

Barbara Brenner (b. 1952) breast cancer survivor and activist

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin (1903-1977) writer

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.

Annie Dillard (b.1945) writer, best known for her narrative nonfiction

If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise.


If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?

Joan Baez (b.1941) singer-songwriter, activist

Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) poet, naturalist, philosopher

Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

but it sounds more pink in Italian

Rosso di sera, bel tempo si spera,
rosso di mattina mal tempo si avvicina.

coming up to this week's theme thursday I tried to limit the number of photos to no more than six - well, you can see how well that worked! once I started pondering pink and looking into my photo stash - I soon learned that was an impossible task. so once more I am posting my normative nine (not counting pinky mice pic on the right - but come on, how could I resist, after all this blog is named mouse medicine - no worries, no animals were harmed in the snapping of the photo. the mice did however go on to fulfill their destiny as being food for our pet snake monty. yes it is 'eat or be eaten' in this world of ours!). actually you are lucky there's only 9 (10 photos) once I started mining the archives I found scores of good pink pics!

notes on photos:
  1. pink rhododendrons in bloom, eugene oregon. 28 april 2010
  2. sweet a, one of the many pink loving girls who populates our "village", playing in a puddle on a particularly warm day in december, cleveland. 27 december 2008
  3. the pink ribbon is used world wide to help raise awareness about the problem of breast cancer. but beware of pinkwashing -think before you pink. according to this site, 1 in 4 women with cancer in the world has breast cancer. this photo was taken in paris a few years ago, I seriously doubt one would ever encounter banners like those on any street in the united states. october 2005
  4. flowering tree in my hood. late april 2010
  5. street mural, new york city. march 2009
  6. italian greyhound in my hood. may 2009
  7. joan at a code pink rally part of a massive demonstration against the iraq war [will this war (hm, invasion) ever end!! ] washington. september 2005
  8. apples at the olympia farmer's market, washington. 23 april 2010
  9. pink sun over lake erie, cleveland. august 2009

blonde redhead's pink love

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

ramblin' girl

I'm back! nothing like a vacation to recharge one's batteries and after ten days in the glorious pacific northwest I feel like I could power a village if not a small country.

we had a great time. I was just about completely off-line when it came to cyberspace while I was away so I fell completely behind with what is going-on among my friends in the bloggyhood. given all that is ahead to do now that I'm back (deadline, deadline, deadline - oh, and some more travel) please forgive me for not even attempting to catch up, rather I'll just return to my normal habits and drop in according to my regular, irregular ways.

as expected I took a ton of photos - even though I culled the snaps on an on-going basis, I still came home with over 1,400 images. yikes!!! not too surprising as regular visitors know I do take photos of everything!

no time to provide a full account of all our doings. suffice it to say we had fun. we visited quite a few old friends and made some new friends. we ate much, enjoyed local wines and brews - and since we were in the coffee capital of the known universe had lots of lovely blends. we soaked in the local culture and took lots of wonderful walks - those in towns and cities delighted me as I got my fill of great street art (I wish cleveland had a mural scene like they have out in the pnw) and those in the country were filled with spring beauty and were enough to satisfy the country mouse inside this city mouse. speaking (or would that be squeeking) of country mouse and city mouse here's a snap from one of the many highlights of our trip:

one reason we chose to go out west when we did was so we could attend the procession of the species - this was the sixteenth year olympia has held this wonderful, funky, community celebration of life on our fragile blue planet. if you would like to vicariously attend, you can go by visiting my flickr set here.

here's a few snaps capturing some of our rambles

we rambled around vineyards with some sheep

wandered along the oregon coast

checked out the pasture scene in skagit county washington (unfortunately the tulips were early this year, so missed out on that)

enjoyed hanging with some of our peeps and are grateful for everyone's hospitality (and generosity for putting us up for eight of the ten nights we were away!)

and discovered some new delightful microbrews

the only bummer was experiencing a traffic jam of epic proportions in portland which made us miss out on a planned rendezvous with seattle area blogging buds citizen k, premium t, and robin. oh well sh** (and traffic) happens....

tom paxton and pete seeger performing tom's first break away hit ramblin' boy (since it was pete's 91st birthday yesterday, I had to post another song with pete! never too much pete!!)

may all your ramblin' bring you joy!