Saturday, May 27, 2006

saturday sundry

oh beautiful saturday.

farmer's market in the morning. swiss chard, broccoli and an amazing organic greens mix of red & white kale, mustard greens and tatsoi. fresh warm cinnamon donuts with mint leaf ice tea. mmmmmmm.

followed by salvation army. found some good summer garments for tashi: several cute old navy tops and a red dress made of a kitschy guitar and flower hawaiin print fabric. also found a great vintage set of dishes. i think i'll start a plate collection. so many hip patterns.

in the afternoon we took tashi to a rollerskating birthday party. while she was circling around to disco music dan and i took a loop drive from afton to batesville and back. butterflies, brooks, big trees, beautiful homes.

after picking tashi up we drove by the evan almighty film set in crozet. they've built a big wooden ark. today was a day off for the crew, but if we drive by on a weekday we may see live elephants and giraffes.

on the way home we scored a free table sitting on the side of the road. it's kinda vintage, and needs painting, but will be very useful as a sewing table. has a great drawer with compartments, perfect for spools of thread, buttons and other doo-dads. that will free up my other table for collaging. three cheers for more surface space.

and now a dinner of sauteed tofu and greens. followed by a bike ride. that's the plan.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


the morning came too soon, after insomnia. cat luna was scratching at the window and cat loki was meowling at the door. both desired a romp outside at 5am.

the day was spent at an "office technology conference." i thought it was going to be hideously boring, but actually i learned lots of tricks and gained a more in depth perspective of the tools at hand in my new workplace. i even made it through all five sessions on one latte.

the evening was boca burgers, kale and homefries. finishing "the horse and his boy" on the hammock with dan and tashi. watching hawks swoop and trees sway. trimming my daughter's dirty toe-nails.

now i am sitting at dan's computer, because mine is an ancient mess of an apple. dan is jamming via skype with his brother in denver, his other brother in portland, and two of his friends in milwaukee. every thursday they rehearse like this for a gig they have planned for portland in july. it's a technological wonder to behold.

so rather than sitting smack in the middle of it, i think i'll curl up in bed with the cats and my book and hope for a full night's rest.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


"Eyes with with tears,
he spoke, and her ladyship his mother heard him
in green deeps where she lolled near her old father.
Gliding she rose and broke like mist from the inshore
grey sea face, to sit down softly before him,
her son in tears; and fondling him she said:

'Child, why do you weep? What grief is this?
Out with it, tell me, both of us should know.'"

(from Homer's The Iliad, translated by Robert Fitzgerald)

Her father was Nereus, considered an ancient sea god, son of Pontos and Gaea, who obtained a position under Poseidon and had the power of prophecy. Doris and Nereus had offspring of fifty, or perhaps one hundred, daughters, called the Nereides or Dorides, of whom Thetis was one of the most famous, at one time desired in betrothal by Zeus. Zeus was warned by Themis that such a union would produce a son who would surpass Zeus in might, so he withdrew from his engagment and Thetis the sea-goddess was given in marriage to Peleus, a young and pious prince of Phthia, in Thessaly. Together they bore the son, Achilles.

had kept in mind her mission for her son,
and rising like a dawn mist from the sea
into a cloud she soared aloft in heaven
to high Olympos. Zeus with massive brows
she found apart, on the chief crest enthroned,
and slipping down before him, her left hand
placed on his knees and her right hand held up
to cup his chin, she made her pleas to him:

'O father Zeus, if ever amid immortals
by word or deed I served you, grant my wish
and see to my son's honor! Doom for him
of all men came on quickest. . .'"

(from The Iliad, as above)

mythology in the morning

this morning i awoke at 4:30 am because of cat noise and the moon shining through a window and hitting in me in the eyes. i decided to rise and take advantage of a couple more hours added to my day, though i know i am going to suffer for it come afternoon.

i am attempting to read the iliad and thought it might be a good exercise to talk about the characters in here. perhaps it will urge me on. i've read the odyssey a few times and love it, but i tend to get trampled in the battles of the iliad.

this morning we will begin with a meditation on Thetis.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

happy mother's day!

may you all get extra hugs, kisses, sweet nothings, flowers, restful moments and maybe even breakfast in bed!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

this week in review

1) our isuzu trooper with over 225,000 miles failed inspection because of a crack in the windshield and a few other details which will cost us way more than we are willing to pay. we've had this vehicle for six years with a crack in the windshield. it moved us from california to michigan where it endured four harsh winters and then moved us from michigan to charlottesville where it may finally be put out of its misery. i've been in denial since day one that it falls into the suv catagory. but indeed it does. politically incorrect or not, it's been a good friend.

2) i took tashi to see the movie hoot. her ranger rick magazine hyped it and she'd been counting the days until it hit the screen. it was very much a kid movie, not very realistic and just plain dumb in parts. but i can't complain too much about a movie that might make kids think protecting the environment is cool as well as making them more aware of corrupt corporate decision makers.

3) the african violet in my office at work opened up two of its red blossoms.

4) i had a great lunch at the new noodle bar behind the satellite ballroom. dan and i shared a california roll, and then i had a delicious soup of soba noodles, shitake mushrooms, bok choy and ginger while dan had a delightful curry. we give it four thumbs up.

5) on thursday tashi got her hearing aids. somehow it doesn't feel right lumping this in with all the rest, but i was too exhausted that night to give it an entry of its own. we discovered a year ago that our daughter has a mild hearing loss that is probably not progressive and is probably genetic. the recommendation all along has been hearing aids, though we took our time examining the situation. after a second opinion confirmed that she does indeed have a hearing loss significant enough to warrant hearing aids, we took her in and let her pick them out. she ordered a lovely violet colored set with earmolds that have sparkles. i felt a range of emotions when the audiologist fit the hearing aids into tashi's ears and we all tested her new soundscape. tashi has never had a single doubt or concern about having to wear hearing aids. but as her mom i wonder about so many things, how these will improve her life in so many ways, and how they might affect her life in others. the expression of relief that registered on her face when those hearing aids were finally on her ears confirmed that we were making the right choice. the first thing tashi noticed was the whirring sound of the fan in the clinic. the fresh sonic clarity of her world comes to us in bits and pieces, when she starts because of a click or a thump, or she tests her own voice by repeating the same word or phrase in various tones over and over and over and -- did i say over?-- again, and when she notices birdsong or turning signal or cat bell or miscellaneous clatter. it's an amazing new dimension for all of us.

6) last night dan and i watched a very good somewhat disturbing movie called, "disco pigs." it had cillian murphy in it, the star of "breakfast on pluto." we give it four thumbs up.

7) today we had fun at the festival of cultures in lee park. the afghani dancers were gorgeous and the show of burmese refugees was impressive. tashi participated in some fun crafts, we ate some good food and heard some decent music. it was beautiful and sunny with just the right amount of cool in the air.

8) when i came home there was a brand new bike in the living room. dan and tashi giggled and snorted as my shock registered. they bought me a beautiful new trek for mother's day! they couldn't wait until tomorrow, so they gave it to me today. this is just so amazing. both dan and tashi have awesome bikes and i've been the speed walker. but now i can share in the joy of petrol free tansportation on wheels. i am so warmed and grateful. thanks loves!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

virginia plant sightings

the tulip poplar

one of the trees our new heavenly hammock is attached to is a tall tree that has been dropping these crazy green and orange flowers. i finally identified it by clicking through the various trees on an awesome identification page. it is a tulip poplar or a tulip tree or a yellow poplar or a liriodendron tulipifera. perhaps i should have known this already but, as much as i love them, i can't seem to keep all the trees straight.

the tulip poplar tree is one of the tallest north eastern hardwood trees (up to 120 feet). the leaves actually have the tulip flower shape for which the tree is named. the flowers are showy green and orange cups full of creamy stamens. apparently they are very popular with the honey bees.

the wood is not very strong on the trees and from what i've read they fall easily in strong winds. watch out house.

Friday, May 05, 2006

home town friday

i just love charlottesville on a friday.

first dan and tashi picked me up from work. it was pouring rain and i was completely on a stress bender. we decided to have dinner at the south street brew pub which has an absolutely amazing blackened catfish sandwich w/ fries for $8.95. it's the best damn deal in the place, don't doubt it. the beer is delightful also. i was sad to discover that as we were eating we were missing a free show of morwenna lasko and jay pun at the charlottesville pavilion fridays after five spectacular. i like to describe morwenna lasko as the jimi hendrix of violin.

but the good food and and beer made up for any sadness.

after dinner we booked down the swarming main street pedestrian mall toward the guano boys, the next act at the pavilion. on the way we saw the buford school steppers who were a bunch of kids doing some amazing synchronized moves and calls and clapping. i got all choked up watching them 'cuz i'm just that way. yay for kids gettin' it together in a world that is totally falling apart.

we had fun watching the guano boys, dancing a little, playing tag, seeing some familiar faces, and yes, drinking more beer. none of that budweiser crap either, just the real starr hill thang. sometimes i feel a little guilty drinking beer in front of my child, but there's something comforting about being in a crowd of many parents doing the same. disfunctional maybe. but frankly, i think hops rock.

the charlottesville pavilion warrants many complaints. it's ugly. the sound sucks. it keeps the surrounding neighbors up too late. the music is bad and good and really great and awful. but on a friday night, there's something just so fine about being able to see some good music with the family for free amongst lots of folks with familiar faces while drinking yummy microbrew as the kids play chase and occasionally do the two step. small pleasures, yes.

but i'm also wondering, where are all the black people?????? please come out and see music at the charlottesville pavilion. the crowd is so white sometimes that i think there is something very, very wrong around here. and well, obviously there is.

after the guano boys ended we went the bridge gallery which is next to spudnuts. spudnuts has some sort of cult following around here as they make donuts from potato flour. but anyway, that's a whole other topic. we went to an art gallery in a sort of old building that was once and auto shop or an insurance agency or an air conditioning dealer. i was pleased to see that one of the exhibits was by a girl who i had met at work recently. she does these mixed media, photo, legal pad, string, anatomical installations floating in space. another room was a giant sandbox which tashi just loved. while she played in the sand we watched an apocalyptic video loop of countryside, sunset, river and industrial wasteland set to the tune of weird answering machine messages. i got grossed out in another room where there was of a film of a guy puking in a cafe. and then there were more photos of italy and factories and then we saw a kindergarten teacher from tashi's school and everything just got too mixed up.

we went back to main street where things were really starting to take turn at 9pm. tashi and dan were getting an ice cream cone and i was waiting outside and a toothless guy seemed to think i was waiting for something else. why can't a woman just wait? there were drunk teenagers and drunk college students and drunk childless couples and drunk old people and drunk toothless people and slightly tipsy tired parents getting their children ice cream cones. it was definitely time to go home.

and home i am, if i dare declare it that, after a night in charlottesville that makes me both pleased and puzzeled about where i might spend the many years ahead.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

neil young, spring chicken and eight hours

today at work i listened to neil young's free album on the web, living with war. it's awesome and neil young is an artist of true integrity.

there was an end of term picnic where i ate fried chicken and pizza. i introduced myself to a faculty member in my department and he said, "which undergraduate program are you in?" the expensive facial lotion must be working. he felt pretty sheepish when i told him i was the new staff member.

i'm slowly resigning myself to the fact that i'm not going to have much of a life outside of work, at least not until i learn the ropes and can do my tasks in a semi-conscious state. i'm usually a late night person and that is where i fit in things like writing and reading and making things and watching david letterman. but if i'm going to make it through the days without picking up a coffee habit, i'm going to have to be in bed by 10:00 to get my eight hours of sleep. that gives me a total of 90 minutes to myself after tashi's light is out. and the house, oh what a mess.

don't worry, the blog might get interesting again someday. if it ever was interesting to begin with.