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

namaste!


inspiration for today was found on my igoogle homepage*.

here's dictionary.com'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.

Quotes:
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

Origin:
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

twilight

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem.

Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh


photo: squirrel at casa mouse talking to me! november 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

saint in the city


Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily.

Dorothy Day (8 november 1897 –1980) journalist & social activist

dorothy might not have wanted to be called a saint, but for those who know of her life and work, her actions were most definitely saintlike. dorothy is best know for her work with peter maurin in establishing the catholic worker movement. she devoted her life to non-violence and making the world a kinder place for people less fortunate.

there is a documentary about day entitled don't call me a saint. I've been wanting to see it for a couple years, but none of the local libraries carry it. one of these days I'll either break down and buy it or stumble across it - rumor has it that a friend has a copy.

there is a narrative movie based on dorothy, entertaining angels: the dorothy day story, although I saw it many years ago, I remember it vividly and enjoyed it immensely. this film was released in 1996 it features moira kelly as dorothy and martin sheen as peter maurin. I just checked and it is available via netflix; I saw it courtesy of my local public library.

the photo above is a detail from one of the altars from cleveland's day of the dead celebration. as promised below my slide show of the festivities on saturday. it was a bit chilly and wet, but the weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of those assembled.





acoustic version of bruce springsteen singing his song it's hard to be a saint in the city

Sunday, November 7, 2010

both sides now


Sorrow is so easy to express and yet so hard to tell.
Joni Mitchell (b. 7 november 1943)


today's writer's almanac reminds us that today is joni's birthday. reading the blurb on joni made me flash on the cervantes quote I ran across yesterday:
As a kid, she got a bad case of polio, and in the hospital the staff told her she couldn't go home for Christmas, and she was so upset that she started singing Christmas carols at the top of her lungs, and she decided that she was a good performer. She recovered from the polio and taught herself to play the guitar by using a Pete Seeger instruction book.
joni performing both sides now in 1970.


and a jazzy, fully orchestrated version of the same song thirty years later


happy birthday joni!!!!

photo: window of luxe restaurant, detroit avenue, cleveland 6 november 2010

(no have yet to check out luxe myself, but hear it's great. we passed by it yesterday during the day of the dead parade - great time by the way - a slide show will be forthcoming this week - I promise!!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

John Lennon (1940-1980) musician & activist

today's post is brought to you by NaBloPoMo

photo: yoda courtesy of t who is on his way home from california whoops, gotta run and pick him up and return his car. hope he doesn't freak at the deer imprint on the right rear panel!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

last night I had the strangest dream

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

Lao-Tzu (570-490 B.C.) mystical philosopher

our home was without its customary peace flag for the last several months. the local shop where I bought the last flag mysteriously closed it's doors sometime in the spring. for months I've looked for a replacement flag locally.

in july I put in a special order with a local shop, the owner assured me that she could get the flag I desired. I went back a few times to inquire about the status of the order, each time I was told "it's not in." finally I realize there were other forces at work (bad local economy).

once I gave up on shopping locally, I googled peace flags and within seconds I found the flag I desired, a minute later I saw one of the vendors with the portal of all material things had them for less than 5 bucks each. the price was so good, I ended ordering 3; one week later I had the flags.

when we first heard the drums of war in 2001 we proudly raised a peace flag. in the last nine years, we have gone through 2 flags. each flag was retired because it became so tattered and torn.

damned depressing.

now I dream that the flag now flying in front of our house will be retired (with creases) because of peace.


if you have a few minutes check out the vid created by some talented person who goes by the name spadecaller. the vid updates the classic song last night I had the strangest dream. written in 1950 by ed mccurdy (1919 - 2000). ed was a friend of pete seeger, who sings the version in the vid below.

the song was first performed by the weavers and over the years has been performed by hundreds of musicians and thousands (perhaps millions) of peace activists and dreamers. in 1980 the peace corps adopted the song as its official theme song.



photo: view out front window at casa mouse, october 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

mice eat cheese

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.
Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) writer, producer & film director


a couple weeks ago I ran into the fellow with the fun shirt at bwi, as a cheese and mouse lover I asked if I could take his portrait. he agreed! the story with the shirt is although this man said he was fond of mice and cheese the reason he wears the shirt is because it a makes his grandchildren happy. aw, that makes me smile.

there are things that make us happy and there are things that make us unhappy. I definitely am not happy over the results of tuesday's election. isn't it funny, but not in a happy ha-ha way, how the electorate's collective memory is so warped that they forgot who and what got us to where we are today. (the image on the right came via fb and I just had to share it!)

I'm not going to give a comprehensive critique of the mess in the u.s., but I would like to mention a couple issues near and dear to me - peace and health care. a pack of lies got us into the quagmire of the iraq war and mr. bush's folly cost the american people a lot more than just robbing the country's coffers and possibly bankrupting future generations. think of all the death and destruction. for what? we were told iraq was behind 9-11 and had weapons of mass destruction. they weren't and they didn't. invading iraq wasn't for 'freedom' it was for the hope of cheap oil. well, that certainly didn't work out, did it? although officially the iraq war is over, u.s. involvement is far from over, and the united states is still paying plenty - and for what end?

access to health care is viewed as a basic right in most countries of the the world; here in america, health care boils down to being a privilege. at the end of mr. bush's term there were over 47 million americans without health care. mr. obama wasn't the first president who wanted to make sure everyone in america has access to health insurance - the campaign to expand health care for all americans goes back quite a way. for instance, fdr asked congress to pass an 'economic bill of rights' for all americans and singled out access to adequate health care as fundamental to this bill of rights, after him there was harry truman who advocated a single system that would cover all americans. geez, even richard nixon had a plan to expand health care!

all I can say is america beware of lies! now mr. boehner, who will be replacing nancy pelosi as speaker of the house, believes that one of the reasons the democrats lost this year is because the american people do not want health reform. he states that the reform package would "kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country."

hmmm....interesting take mr. boehner. I hate to burst mr. boehner's bubble but according to independent and non-partisan sources the u.s. health care system ranks around #37 in the world. the only place we rate a #1 spot when it comes to our health care system is on spending - we are great at that!! in terms of our health the u.s. comes in at #39 for infant mortality; #36 for life expectancy; #43 for adult female mortality; and #42 for adult male mortality. (want more go here ).

okay, I really wasn't planning a rant; sometimes things can get me going - small things like injustice and lies.

okay, it is time now to return to thinking about happy things like cheese, mice, grandfathers who like to make their grandkids smile and the tunes of modest mouse.



mice eat cheese (2001) by modest mouse

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

my country 'tis of thy people you're dying

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.
Chief Joseph (1840-1904) humanitarian & peacemaker



buffy sainte-marie performing her song my country 'tis of thy people you're dying on rainbow quest with pete seeger. buffy released this song on her 1966 album little wheel spin and spin, this is a powerful song which presents a stinging indictment of the effects of white man's colonization of north america. listen and weep.



photo: chief leschi olympia, washington. april 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

dead can dance

People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.
Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922) novelist, essayist, critic

november 2nd has particular significance in various cultures and traditions as a day to honor and commemorate loved ones who have passed on. depending on where you live and who you are today can be known as all souls day, día de los muertos (day of the dead), or the feast of all souls.

in cleveland the artist and latino communities have been coming together for the several years and pulls out all the stops to celebrate the day of the dead. this year the celebration is taking place this coming weekend - november 6th and 7th. if you're around the north coast this weekend, here's the schedule of activities. I'm definitely going so perhaps I'll see you!


the carnival is over (1993) by dead can dance



photo: cleveland november, 2008

Monday, November 1, 2010

get up stand up


Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.

George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) critic, essayist and editor


tut-tut inspired me to try to post every day this month; really I shouldn't let my momentum from october wane (woo-hoo 26 posts - a record high for 2010). november is the only month this year when I'm not scheduled for a wander! the other day I was wondering why I've felt so behind, then I looked at my calendar and realized I've been a way for a chuck of every month - a minimum of five days away and some months, many many more days than five. hmmmm....

I like the 'disclaimer' that tut-tut used when she committed to NaBloPoMo, please tut be complimented when I repeat your words to say: I'm posting every day in November, the mundane, the boring, the tragic; I'm letting it all go. Maybe I'll even have an insight or two. Who knows?


the mouse's thought for today: tomorrow's election day in the united states; if you are registered don't be an ass and vote! if you're not registered and you are qualified, well, we really don't need call you any names - but, get off your ass and get registered! then you will be all set for the next time an election comes around- and remember, elections are not confined to november. don't put it off, add 'register to vote' on your 'to do' list!

perhaps bob put it best get up stand up!!

the vid of marley singing get up stand up I wanted to use is 'disabled' (am sur bob wouldn't approve of that!) - however, this version is fun it mixes marley singing the song with a little bit of interviews and kids dancing and kids lip syncing the tune.



photo: bow, washington. april 2010