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.