Sunday, October 31, 2010

z is for zap....

I believe that people have a right to decide their own destiny; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only as long as) individual citizens give it a "temporary license to exist" - in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy you own the government - it doesn't own you. Along with this comes a responsibility to ensure that individual actions, in the pursuit of a personal destiny, do not threaten the well-being of others while the "pursuit" is in progress."
Frank Zappa (1940-1993)composer, guitarist, satirist,song writer, and activist

crazy - how could we have already reached the end of the alphabet! seems like we were on "a" was just the other day - here we are at z!

z is for zap pa and zap ata!

initially I had thought I'd do z is for zappa, then I didn't have a good snap, however, I do have a nice pic of a wall mural which features emiliano zapata (1879-1919). and if you really think about it zappa and zapata have a lot in common (I realized this when I really thought about zappa's words above) in their own zones of activity they were both revolutionaries and they both sure had lots of pizzazz!

zapata left an amazing legacy; his influence lasts to this day, particularly in chiapas where the zapatistas are active. after our lady of guadeloupe, zapata is recognized as the next the most venerated national figure in mexico.

the portal has a good entry on zapata if you're a bit lazy and want a quick read - it is bizarre how many z's in his bio - zapata was born to gabrial zapata and cleofas salazar of zacatepillo, the family were mestizos and at the time mexico was ruled by profirio diaz.

in 1952 20th century fox released the film viva zapata! the screenplay was written by john steinbeck and was directed by elia kazan. guess who plays zapata - marlon brando!

in addition to the kazan movie, the portal mentions a dazzling number of other characterizations of zapata in our zeitgeist.

want to see something really zany? check out frank zappa on the steve allen show in 1962 when he was just 22 years old playing music on bicycles - crazy!

photo: outside wall of the mexic-arte museum austin, tx, sepetember 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

y is for yes!

i thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
e. e. cummings (1894-1962) poet & artist

yes' we have heaven from their 1971/72 album fragile

photos:ugo rondinone's sign installation on the outside of the new museum, october 2009

Friday, October 29, 2010

x is for x-ray

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944) pilot & writer

are you excited we are almost to the end of the alphabet?

I'm sorry I know x-ray isn't exactly the most creative x word*, but, isn't this costume unorthodox - okay, it's a hoot, but I couldn't come up with a word for funny that includes an x! a couple weeks ago lakewood had it's annual spooky pooch parade which explains the 'costume.'

*but as for creativity, I give myself two points for coming up with a quote that fits and is from someone with an x in his name! the quote is from de saint-exupery's 1943 classic la petit prince. if we read the passage in french we do get another x!!!!

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

vid from the 1974 film the little prince. this scene includes gene wilder, who plays the fox, sharing the secret with the little prince

photo: lakewood, 16 october 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

w is for wall

Love recognizes no barriers: It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.
Maya Angelou (b.1928) poet

May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire.

Irish Blessing

wall wednesday continues.

as does pink floyd's the wall today's selection is another brick in the wall, part 2

convenient that the blogabet is at w today, wonder how that happened - ha ha!

the second wall was encountered on a wander this spring, I think steve said the building is called the factory - wonderful place to while away some time if you're into street art as there is so much written on the building.

below a detail from the building from the ubiquitous nyc tagger rednose - I just love his rodents!

last week a friend turned me on to a wonderful resource - the writer's almanac which is the brainchild of wordsmith garrison keillor - now I'm up on what famous (and not-so-famous) writers have birthdays on any given day. well, that and 3 bucks will get me a small chai at the root here in lakewood.

if anyone is wondering today is the birthday of dylan thomas, fran lebowitz, sylvia plath, and sadie smith. wow, I've read books by all four! writer's almanac is also available on the web

photos: top - austin september 2010; 2nd & 3rd snaps nyc, june 2010

addendum: for all you street art lovers there's an article in today's nytimes about a wicked graffiti project. steve powers, one of the artists behind the work describes it as:
“... a real-life Wikipedia project. We hope that the people who see the words help each other figure out what they’re about, and that these things start a conversation that keeps going on the streets.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

v is for vote

Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (b. 26 October 1947) current Secretary of State

I just got home from visiting my mom in metro dc. she's holding up pretty well - some good days and some bad; today is the two month anniversary of when my dad moved to the other side of the veil.

there's been a lot of emphasis on voting early, the reasons are all very sound, this mouse revels in voting on election day. doesn't matter when you vote, just as long as you vote and your vote is valid!

registering to vote is very easy, many states have voter registration available at the local library. as of today, however, if you haven't registered it's too late in virtually all the states. according to this handy state-by-state guide the only states where it's not too late are: connecticut, maine and vermont. most states are like virginia where you must register 29 days before an election.

woody's this land is your land

photo: cpl, west park branch. october 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

u is for ulysses

Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.
from Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce (1882-1941)

not only is u for ulysses (my planned blogabet u word) but u is also for ursula.

I was going to hold on to "u" until saturday or sunday since I'm currently away from home. but I received an unexpected email mentioning that october 21st is ursula le guin's 81st birthday! seems only right to push u up and pay tribute to two unique and unusual literary phenoms today!

ulysses has been on my brain recently and on my bucket list for years. a couple weeks ago I decided to undertake reading the book after receiving an invite to join a small cyber-bookgroup. my goal is to have this über-book finished by bloomsday 2011

photo: shelf at loganberry books - (by the way, pictured is the edition of ulysses I'm reading) cleveland. october 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

t is for time

What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.

Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) poet,
from Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day

I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that we are closing in on the end of october! tempus fugit!

today's wall can be found in cleveland's fairfax neighborhood. while taking the photo, I asked some folks if they knew the artist, they turned me on to pastor frank. turns out pastor frank is the director of a local transitional housing program and is working, as he put it, to "put the neighbor back in the hood." TERRIFIC!!

pastor frank told me that harry-the-artist behind the sands of time has encountered some hard times and like too many these days is unemployed and homeless. join me with sending up thoughts and prayers for harry that the troubles will soon end.

the song is called fly like an eagle, most of us know it by the recurring line "time keeps on slipping into the future." written by steve miller in the early 1970s, the portal has some tasty tidbits on the tune

photo: cedar avenue, cleveland october 2010

wall wednesday continues

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

s is for stop

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.

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

stop driving seems like sound advice!

the average american spends seventy-two minutes in transit every single day, most of that is driving to and from some place - if you do the sums that adds up to 290 hours a year in transit.

according to this source, the average household spent $5,477 on gas and auto expenses last year alone. spending varies by states and the source has a super breakdown if interested.

life on our little spaceship would be a whole lot more sustainable if we spent more time walking or biking to get around than using modes of travel that burn up fossil fuels. seriously, of course if we were become more sustainable as individuals and as a society, we have to stop doing business as usual and assess the ways we live and sometimes it might mean making some sacrifices. in the end it will mean embracing a simpler lifestyle and realizing that small is beautiful!

as a start, we should ask ourselves a series of questions: how far do we live from work? are the activities that bring joy involve spending money and/or increase our ecological footprint? is shopping a supreme sport? how engaged are we in our local community? I'll stop - I have a suspicion that the sense of such questioning is sparkling clear - so how about I stop and you add some instead!

john prine singing it's a big old goofy world, it may seem like a strange song to post, but I think you'll see the significance if you give it a listen and if nothing else maybe it'll make you smile!

photo: olympia washington, april 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

r is for red-tailed hawk

The Hawk

This morning
the hawk
rose up
out of the meadow’s browse

and swung over the lake—
it settled
on the small black dome
of a dead pine,

alert as an admiral,
its profile
distinguished with sideburns
the color of smoke,

and I said: remember
this is not something
of the red fire, this is
heaven’s fistful

of death and destruction,
and the hawk hooked
one exquisite foot
onto a last twig

to look deeper
into the yellow reeds
along the edges of the water
and I said: remember

the tree, the cave
the white lily of resurrection
and that’s when it simply lifted
its golden feet and floated

into the wind, belly-first,
and then it cruised along the lake—
all the time its eyes fastened
harder than love on some

unimportant rustling in the
yellow reeds—and then it
seemed to crouch high in the air, and then it
turned into a white blade, which fell.

by Mary Oliver (b. 1935) poet
from owls and other fantasies: poems and essays

rambling around near my sister and brother in-law's residence last month we ran into a remarkable sight - a red-tailed hawk resting in a tree in a residential neighborhood lunching on a rodent - :(

s/he let us watch for the entire repast!

select scenes from ladyhawke - in some scenes she's a red-tailed hawk, although in others it appears some hawkish shape shifting was taking place.

we really loved this movie when em was growing up - we resorted to recording it otherwise the rental fines would have been ridiculous!

photos: fort worth, texas, september 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

q is for quotation

A quotation, like a pun, should come unsought, and then be welcomed only for some propriety of felicity justifying the intrusion.

Robert Chapman (1920-2002)lexicographer & editor

a quick head's up about one of the quirkiest blogs and books I've heard of -the former is called the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks - is there any question about what the book is titled? I'm number 6 in the queue at cpl for the book.

couldn't think of a song about quotations or quotation marks, instead how about the 1970 classic question by moody blues from their album a question of balance

photo: a quaint book recently brought home on one the quilts in progress, october 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

p is for pretty

Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.

Eugene O'Neill (b. 16 october 1888 -1953)playwright, 1936 nobel laureate in literature

last sunday while puttering around in the basement I encountered an old purse in a poorly marked box - inside was em's collection of my pretty ponies*. the ponies and accompanying accouterments were disheveled and a bit smelly - not surprising since they have spent the last twenty plus years in storage. after bringing the purse upstairs, I placed the ponies in a mild bleach, water and lavendar bath. after rinsing them off from their bath, the ponies were dried and properly pampered.

tuesday, ms. t's next planned day on avenue c was pretty amusing, when she saw the ponies she proclaimed 'where did all the ponies come from?!' I explained they were em's from when she was a little girl and perhaps she'd like to play with them. she was perplexed as to how they could have ponies 'back then' - but then soon got down to some pretty serious pony play.

sometimes being a pack-rat is pretty neat.

p is also for a pretty girl sitting in a pumpkin patch!

*according to the portal my pretty pony celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008

photos: october 2010

kenny loggin's 1994 adaptation of all the pretty little ponies - an old traditional lullaby

Friday, October 15, 2010

o is for oops!

welcome to blog action day! our topic this year is water.

when it comes to water, I thought I'd out my own personal OOPS.

until a few months ago I behaved somewhat obliviously. I knew bottled water was an obvious financial rip-off but didn't think critically about all the other problems - so when I was out and about and thirsty, well.......

then I saw tapped.

now, my blinders are more oops for me!

if you have 8 minutes check out annie leonard's short documentary the story of bottled water

no time for annie's vid?

okay, here's a nifty summary developed by Online Education

The Facts About Bottled Water
inspired? take the pledge

Take Back the Tap Pledge

I pledge to:

- Choose tap water over bottled water whenever possible;

- Fill a reusable bottle with tap water;

- Support policies that promote clean, affordable tap water for all.

and just think, when you give up bottle water you can start using these containers that are oh so much nicer than plastic bottles that end up polluting our lovely watery planet (not to mention all the other problems!)

photos: top - just a small sample of bottled water for sale at a local grocery store, october 2010 ; bottom - reusable canteens, waterloo records, austin, september 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

n is for nonsense

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) writer and cartoonist

nothing like a sign to awaken a flight of nonsensical fantasy

but, is it okay to pepper the street?

looking for dirty and noisy? best just walk on by

arlo's motorcycle song is pure delightful nonsense! arlo comes by vehicular nonsense naturally -- remember woody's car song

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

m is for music

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809 – 1894) physician, author, father

today's wall wednesday wall comes from austin the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world! for me there is nothing like listening to music live - thinking of holmes' quote, live music is definitely both a bath and a balm to my soul.

this week is going to be particularly restorative - we started the week monday immersed in the melodies of natalie merchant and will end awash with the music of donal o'shaushnessy!

it's paul simon's 69th birthday - happy birthday paul - thanks for all helping clean our souls...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

l is for lullaby

Autumn Lullaby

The sun has gone from the shining skies,
The dandelions have closed their eyes,
The stars are lighting their lamps to see
If babes and squirrels and birds and bees
Are sound asleep as they should be.

The squirrel keeps warm in his furs of gray,
‘Neath feathers, birdies are tucked away,
In yellow jackets, the bees sleep tight
And cuddle close through the chilly night,
My baby's snug in her gown of white.

The squirrel nests in a big oak tree,
He finds a hole in the trunk, you see,
The robin's home is a nest overhead,
The bees, they nest in a hive instead,
My baby's nest is her little bed.


last night f and I went to listen to natalie merchant live in downtown cleveland. she was the special guest for the cuyahoga county library fall event. the lady from the library emceeing announced that this year the library has again been rated as the #1 library in the country for communities with a half-million or more population.

the evening was layered -- leading into natalie's concert was an ensemble of 4 young poets who provided the audience with a lively poetry slam. later the lovely lyrical and literate natalie took stage; she was joined by long-time accompanist on guitar and backing vocals, gabriel gordon. the first part of the concert was exclusively songs from leave your sleep - each song was preceded by a little lecture on the poet - along with a little biography were a photo or two.

alas, there is no youtube version of natalie singing autumn lullaby from her new album leave your sleep, but you can listen via her website unfortunately she didn't perform autumn lullaby last night - but it is one of my favorite tunes from the cd - after all it was written by anonymouse!

below is a lovely vid that is available from the new compilation - the song is nursery rhyme of innocence and experience by charles causley.

by the way, john hayes has an analysis of the tune on just a song and a review of the album on robert frost's banjo

photos: top- 'lil x singing leah a lullaby, july 2010; for ms t a stroller ride around lakewood is all the lullaby she sometimes needs, september 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

k is for karma

There are the waves and there is the wind, seen and unseen forces. Everyone has these same elements in their lives, the seen and unseen, karma and free will.
Kuan Yin

karma the basic meaning - action - is simple. yet the concept of karma is quite complex given all the teachings around karma.for me karma is all about the relationship between action and consequence. generally associated with buddhism and hinduism, I believe the concept of karma infuses the world view of most ethical (and spiritual) schools of thought - within christianity is a lesson about whatever we sow we also reap....sounds like karma to me.

bodhisattva khasarpana lokeshvara - the bodhisattva of compassion - or would that be kompassion?

yep, today's song from our friend john

photos: top - amish farm outside of kidron; lower - kimball art museum, fort worth september 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

j is for join

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

Greg Anderson (b. 1964) author

I'm fascinated by this project. the organization has asked anyone with a camera to join them on a cinematography journey to record life on earth during the 24 hours of 10.10.10

the trailer is a jewel. pour yourself a cup of juice, java or joe, sit back and enjoy.

photo: joyful, jeweled juggler, lakewood, oh august 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

i is for imagine

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one.
John Lennon (9 october 1940 - 1980) musician, artist, peace activist

if I lived in a parallel universe john would be 70 and our tristan would be 20 years old today.

happy birthday boys. I miss you. I love you into infinity and a day......

photo: strawberry fields, central park, nyc august 2008

Friday, October 8, 2010

h is for hispanic heritage

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
César Chávez (1927-1993 activist and labor organizer

hispanic heritage month began september 15 and will conclude later this month.

in case you were wondering why the odd start date, it makes total sense if you look at the history of our latin american neighbors. september 15th is the anniversary of independence for five latin american countries —costa rica, el salvador, guatemala, honduras, and nicaragua; mexico declared its independence on september 16, and chile on september 18.

according to the 2000 census, more than 35 million people identified themselves as hispanic/latino. the united states continues to be a country characterized by incredible diversity and blending of cultures. our country is so much richer because of the contributions of those with roots from so many lands.

according to the census bureau the country is projected to become even more diverse in the years to come. I don't know about you, but for this mouse, I welcome this increased diversity. variety is truly the spice of life! the mouse would like to join in the celebration of hispanic heritage month and say gracias!

tish hinojosa performing banderas del sol (flag of the sun) - don't you just adore tish's voice? I'm a bit bummed as it doesn't look like cleveland is included in her stops during this fall/winter - but it's really not all that far to columbus, maybe we'll get to hear her live this year -- according to bumper sticker wisdom, live music is better.

photos: both taken in spanish harlem. did you know that the image of our lady of guadalupe is mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, and veneration of the virgin of guadalupe has spread throughout the world . nyc december 2009.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

g is for garden

More grows in the garden than the gardener sows.
Old Spanish Proverb

goodness gracious there are just gazillions of great, gorgeous words that start with the letter G - but there is nothing quite as glorious as a garden.

for today's alphabet extravaGanza g is for garden!

when we first moved to cleveland, we lived right across the street from a neighborhood community garden. for the three years we lived in that flat , we had a plot in the garden. it was great, along with the gratification of growing our own food, the community garden was a great place to meet people and learn about our (new) community. after we moved, my veggie gardening became limited to containers of tomatoes, peppers and random containers and beds of flowers and herbs.

although my gardening is limited to flowers and just a few edibles, we partake the bounty of local gardens. truth be told, with more and more farmer's markets, a generous group of veggie gardening friends, and being on the receiving end of getting 'extras' from friends who who have shares in a couple local csa's - I find we don't really have the need to grow a full scale veggie garden. although, another truth be told, I miss the experience of gathering together with others who are growing things on a shared ground.

both of today's photos are from jane's house in nearby oberlin. jane is a guru of gardening. in addition to an incredible crop of, well, you name it, she also has a couple glass bottle trees 'growing' in her garden. I asked jane about this curious crop. she said bottle trees go way back - to exactly when and where, she couldn't recall. however, she said that when glass bottle trees "grow" in a garden - the gardener traps whatever evil spirits that might be lurking about in the bottles and the garden will then be filled with only good spirits.

of course, curious mouse that I am wanted to know more about bottle trees. researching this phenomenon I found a guy named felder rushing who has a website that is a virtual grove of gorgeous images and history about glass bottle trees.

not long ago, the mouse shared pete seeger's version of the garden song. in a comment to that post, roy reminded us that the person who wrote the garden song is no other than the extremely talented singer-songwriter david mallet.

sometimes when songs are covered by others, I lose sight of the person behind the song. so thanks roy for the reminder! fortunately youtube has a version of david performing his song. although pete is my hero and I love his rendition of the song, I ADORE david doing his song! by the way, check out john denver's gnarly cover - which includes a group of glorious singing flowers (and don't the flowers look a little like gladiolas!) a la the muppet show!

photo: oberlin, august 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

f is for fish

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.
Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18) poet

Only when the last tree has been cut down,
Only when the last river has been poisoned,
Only when the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

Cree Indian Prophecy

overall, humans have been poor stewards of the earth and of all the the beings that inhabit our beautiful blue planet. when it comes to fishing the waters of the earth, instead of exerting control we are exult greed and exploit many species of fish at the expense of the future of the world's fishes.

according to experts, many species of fish are near the point of extinction because of overfishing. humans don't have to be fishing failures and it does not have to be the end of the line for the world's fishes.

if you eat fish, always ask before you buy and eat only sustainable seafood. the monterey bay aquarium provides a fantastic series of regional pocket guides for north america that list which fish are the best choices to consume, what are 'good alternatives' and what fish to avoid. click here if you would like to access and print off these guides. for those who live in the u.k., the marine conservation society provides a similar resource that you can find here.

shapes of things released by the yardbirds in 1966 - the original yardbirds played in the 1960's the group is probably best known for turning out three guitarists who are considered the crème de la crème - eric clapton, jeff beck, and jimmie page.

wall wednesday continues - today's walls were seen on a wander around olympia washington in april 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

e is for everything

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist, philosopher & peace activist

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

I couldn't stop at a single einstein quote, everything mr. e said is so excellent. well, okay, not everything but essentially everything!

as a child my mom used to sing show tunes - I remember most were from south pacific, my fair lady, and other broadway hits of the day. the habit rubbed off on me; however, the show tunes I sang when em was a kid were from jc superstar, hair, and tommy..... my repertoire included a couple golden oldies - such as, the sound of music and mary poppins. my singing voice is not nearly as sweet as my mom's; as soon as em got to be older (and developed an critical ear), she'd groan and that would put an end to my spontaneous concerts.


everything is all right from jesus christ superstar (1973).

do you, or did your parents have a habit of walking around singing show tunes? and if so, what where the faves in your home?

photo: first - sidewalk wisdom, olympia, wa april 2010; second -street art, nyc june 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

d is for doll

Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) humorist, writer and lecturer

when I was little I had a raggedy ann doll, according to my mom I carried it everywhere. in 1956 I lost my raggedy somewhere between philadephia to san diego. I was flying to san diego with my nana and "dodo" after having spent the summer with them while my mom, dad and brother moved from florida to california. my folks wisely thought it easier to get settled into our new home without an active toddler underfoot. my grandparents didn't exactly know where raggedy went missing - the plane stopped a couple times before arriving in san diego. when I discovered raggedy was gone, my mother said I was quite inconsolable.

then I got better.

some weeks later, a package arrived at our home. inside the package was raggedy. I was ecstatic and I resumed my practice of carrying raggedy every where I went. she never divulged where she went or what she did; and it is a mystery as to how raggedy made her way to her new home and to me. all my mom can remember is that one day a package arrived from st. louis addressed simply to "the little girl" with our address on la dorna drive. inside was raggedy. no note and no explanation as to how she found me.

as I got older I eventually quit carrying raggedy everywhere. however, by then she became a very ragged raggedy - the fabric of her face was soiled to a permanent deep tan, one eye had fallen out and her original dress had long gone missing; but, I loved her as every child loves his or her oldest childhood friend.

as a 'navy brat' my family moved frequently and raggedy happily moved from one home and one place to another. over time raggedy simply became a decoration on my childhood bed. when I left home for college I did not take raggedy with me. one year I came home; my room was redecorated and 'repurposed' and raggedy was gone. I like to think that maybe raggedy felt as I was off starting a new life, so would she start a new life and she picked up and resumed the journey she abandoned oh so many years before -- with my raggedy this is a strong possibility.

it's funny, I will on occasion think of raggedy. when I see an old raggedy ann a wave of nostalgia hits and I wonder what my raggedy is up to these days.

now for something completely different, girl anachronism by the dresden dolls

photo: ellen's childhood friends, austin. september 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

c is for chicken

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

St. Francis of Assisi (b. 1181/1182 - d. 3 october 1226)
patron saint of animals and the environment
feast day is observed on october 4th.

the muppets covering the louis jordan 1946 classic ain't nobody here but us chickens. although jordan's version really swings I couldn't resist putting up this muppet vid - it's been way too long since the mouse conducted any muppet craziness!

photo: a couple of chickens at my sister-in-law's 'ranchette' new braunfels - september 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

b is for buddha

When Sitting, sit like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Standing, stand like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Walking, walk like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Thinking, think like a Buddha. Let Buddha think through you.
When Breathing, breathe like a Buddha. Let Buddha breathe through you.
Let Buddha live through you. Be Buddha. Enjoy the natural great perfection. You are far more Buddha-like than you think.
a meditation from Awakening the Buddha Within
by Lama Surya Das, published 1997

a while back I ran across a delightful book called if you find the buddha by photographer jesse kalisher - jesse takes readers around the world and shares photos of buddhas that he finds virtually everywhere - from a little coffee shop in carrboro, north carolina to the patpong sex market in bangkok. I find the book to be both a treasure trove of buddha iconography and an inspiration for starting my own finding buddha project.

and a nod towards sepia saturday, I include one more buddha photo - the photo below was taken in 1965 when my family was visiting japan. today, the photo is quite poignant as it includes my dad, who passed away a month ago. while I was growing up, dad was the family photographer so he's not often present in our vacation photos. looking at this photo with my dad with my brother and I, in front of this most venerated buddha statue is quite healing.

even though I was only ten years old, the trip to see the giant amida buddha and the surrounding buddhist shrine was the highlight of our trip for me. by the way, this buddha was constructed in 1252, it is made of bronze and is 37 foot tall and weighs 93 tons.

answer me from the silencers 1988 album a blues for buddha - I admit I've lost track of this incredibly talented band. in fact the only two albums I have of theirs are this one and the one that came out next - dance of the holy man. from their website, I've discovered they have a number of recordings since holy man (uh-oh, this could be dangerous). although the band has changed over the years, the band is still active and playing live music - unfortunately, from what I can tell, it looks like they don't come over to this side of the pond.

photos: top - standing buddha, shakyamuni, 7th century - part of the permanent collection of the kimbell art museum, fort worth - september 2010; middle - buddhas in the window of the daystar boutique, lakewood - september 2010; bottom- kamakura, japan - spring 1965

Friday, October 1, 2010

a is for action

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You'll find the fun, and...snap! The job's a game!
Mary Poppins

I await getting back into a blogging groove. it's time to take action and pull out the mouse's tried and true solution to the bloggy blues - the blogabet. in the past the alphabet has served as a delightful muse - not only is the alphabet fun, it's interesting to see where the alphabet takes us - I liken it to a sustained association exercise.

this year since we are starting in october, it seems fitting to start off with promoting an annual worldwide blogging event - blog ACTION day. beginning in 2007, blog action day has united the world's bloggers by encouraging worldwide discussion of an issue which needs action; past topics include the environment (2007); poverty (2008); and climate change (2009). this year the topic is WATER.

as I write this morning, there are currently 1,341 blogs registered to participate from 91 different countries with an estimated readership of nearly 12 million people! if you haven't registered yet, I hope you will - if you do, please leave a comment. I don't want to miss your contribution to the dialogue on this very important topic. it's a snap to register - just go here.

one more action plug - tomorrow, october 2nd, is a day of action and activism for america. because of my recent wander to austin (and other towns that don't start with the letter a) I'll be absent. I'm sure there will be plenty of mouse associates in attendance - I anticipate reading your articles about the action! details of the october 2nd action are here

in honor of julie andrews 75th birthday today, today's song is spoonful of sugar from the 1964 classic mary poppins

photo: rescue workers training on the guadalope river, new braunfels, tx; 28 september 2010