Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's Be Safe Out There

Starting Saturday, if you don't move over or slow down when you see police or emergency workers pulled over on the side of the road, you could pay a hefty fine.

Under the law, the fine will double if you are speeding or fail to move over when passing through the emergency zone.

WSP says there were still 80 collisions in which passing vehicles hit trooper vehicles parked along the highway between 2006 and 2009.

The purpose of the law is to prevent incidents like in this video

Stunning footage, no? I was taught to slow down and either crawl past or, if an emergency vehicle was in motion, to pull over and wait for it to be well past before pulling back out. I have seen a number of people ignore both laws, but I never fully understood just how stupid and dangerous ignoring what seems obvious to everyone's safety until I watched these videos. So let's slow down a little and give our safety officers a little more regard, okay? Oh, and have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Home Again From the Sea

Hobuck Beach with Cape Flattery in the background -
the Northwestern most point in the Continental U.S.

After a lovely weekend at the beach, walking under intermittent rainy skies and by wind-tossed seas, we are home again. The cats pressed baleful glares and outraged meows against the window as we came up the walk, and the house was cold, cold, COLD after two days of no heat. We lit the tree, turned on heat, made some hot cider to sit and sip as we ministered to the felines, and all was soon forgiven.

Our happy little tree from the Olympic
National Forest in all her holiday finery.

V and I gave one another gifts we knew each would love. One of my gifts to him was Jane Austen's Persuasion, unabridged on cd - he's a big fan of Austen, and was delighted with the gift. And two of his gifts to me were a giant rolling toolbox (which I will be using as a household mobile studio), and a Makita cordless screwdriver (I've been ogling the Dremel Stylus for use in my bookbinding endeavors). How wonderful to be so happily secure in ourselves that we were each pleased as can be with what would often be perceived by our culture as girl or boy gifts! I just love it!
"Hey V! How d'ya like getting a box of socks for Christmas!?!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is for the Children

Precious New Zealand Children act out the Christmas Story

More from the St Paul's kids down under

Some American kids explain Christmas

With a song in her heart

Kids talk about Christmas


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flash Mob Messiah

My sweet fella, V is a tender hearted guy...though he'd not have you know that about him. Pfftt! I showed this video of a Flash Mob surprising a food court crowd with a lovely performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah to V this evening, knowing Messiah is his favourite piece of music - bar none. I didn't expect his emotional response, but I fully agreed. There's something about seeing "normal" (quotes because I loath the concept of normal) people sing such an incredibly celebratory piece of music so beautiful, whilst surrounded by other "normal" (ie; non-performing) people enjoying the moment of magic - possibly for the first time - that enriches the soul and fills listeners with wonder. If I've made some sense, watch and listen, and see if you don't agree with us...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Ghost In This Machine

Me, circa 1975, Seattle, Washington
Photo Marc Sterling

Ball of Seduction

Feminine grace, electric groove, where time passes by in slow motion.

Sometimes drifting, other times removed. The fantasy of flesh, the rhythm of love, the taste, the touch and the twists of fate.

The rise of the new day with the one you love. Timeless wonder. Time to make love -- electric love, the sighs, the moans, the lust, the love, rolled up in a ball of seduction.

Rock me gentle, rock me smooth.

On a whim, I occasionally look for old friends with whom I've long lost touch. Today I used Facebook to search for a few, and happily made contact with a gentle man who once took a lot of photographs of me and weathered the madness I endured in my 20s.

I was so lost then. Even more than I am now. har.

I've often thought of Marc Sterling over the years, wondering where and what and who, but before the advent of the Net, finding him would have necessitated a trek back to the Pacific Northwest. And I was busy living large in Texas, so Marc and many others slipped to the back of my mind. Of course, with the gazillions (that's a technical term) of people connected via the Net, I frequently take a few moments and search for one name or another (Michael Harder of Pacific Grove and Central Point, where ARE you!?!). This morning, I reconnected with Marc Sterling.

When I knew Marc, he worked a gig at Kaye/Smith Studios, the premier recording venue in Seattle of that era, and was building a photographic business on the side. Marc continued photographing the world around him, and has created many beautiful images over the years.

And, I'm pleased to report, Marc has returned to his music, too. When we connected via Facebook, one of his first questions was to ask if his use of an image of me from the dark and distant days of my youth as accompaniment to some music he'd written was copacetic with me. Not merely copacetic, but very groovy indeed. The piece of music is tasty, and the photo suits it well. Seeing that beautiful young woman makes me more than a little sad, for I can see from this aged vantage just how MUCH she had, and I know how little she understood her own value.

Makes me wonder what my future self will have to say about me.

Anyway. Here's the Ball of Seduction track from the cd he made with James Walker Jones, Welcome To Shark Park. The guitar and arrangement sound a bit like Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow album - one of my favourites. Trust me, it's worth a listen, and your purchase, too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Am I a Phoenix?

A phoenix is a good symbol to represent me, it seems. I keep crashing and burning, and then I inevitably reemerge from the ashes, despair burned away and wearing a fresh layer of hope all shiny and new.

I had a massive - and I mean MASSIVE - meltdown on Thursday night whilst at the grocery, standing in front of a box of Scooby-Doo Mac 'n Cheese. Yes, that's a real's a picture of the ridiculousness...

As I stood in front of dozens of Scooby-Doos grinning at me, my eye fell to the price. $1.37 One dollar and thirty seven cents. One hundred and thirty seven pennies. That's it. Not even the price of a cup of decent coffee. And I couldn't afford to buy even a single box. Not one.

Struck/slapped/crushed by the sudden, absolute realization of precisely how utterly broke I am, I fell off my tenuous perch and fell without net or parachute of any kind, deep, deep into the void. I walked out of the store and into the parking lot, got in V's car, and crashed. I didn't sob, I made not a single noise, I just sat there with the tears rolling down my face, quietly, definitely dying. At one point, my mouth opened and a strangled wail of pure despair issued forth. After that, I couldn't move or speak...I was barely breathing. Somehow, I got home, where I sat silently in my sound penetrating from within or without. I felt DEAD.

When I was 18, my parents and I went through a Christmas without money. I remember it well, and how depressing the shops with their dazzling array of treasure were. As poor as I was, I had the good sense to step back and really look at what was important about Christmas. As I was absolutely not a Christian (at the time I was practicing Witchcraft - with a decidedly dark bent), I knew it wasn't about their religious portion of the holiday. And I knew that the crass commericalism in ready evidence wasn't what moved me, either. And as I moved through the days of that bleak Christmastime, I finally figured out what was important to me: the lights, the music, the greenery, and the food. Sure, presents are WONderful...I aDORE them, even have a piece of my personality named for its feeling for gifts "The Present Whore," but after that Christmas, I knew they weren't essential for a happy yule, but food and music and pretty lights were.

And here I was, forty years later, unable to buy food. Total, complete, absolute despair set in.

Now it's important that I take a wee break here and defend dear sweet V. He funds our lives at the moment, and he does it very well. But without my financial contribution, we run a mere $20 excess per month. So when we exceed that amount, the only place that can give is the food budget. So, dear reader, I'm trying to make you understand that the onus is not on V to improve this situation, tis decidedly and forthrightly smack atop my shoulders.

But how did it come to this? I mean, having FAR more than enough money is still a vivid memory of my life not that long ago. But then, so is my terrible fall into the abyss, and therein lies the full tale. It's hard to grow when you're hemmoraghing, you know? I spent fifteen plus years bleeding out, in critical care, every day renewing my intent to live. I may even have died some of those days. But now I'm mostly alive again, and ready to LIVE, but. BUT.

*deep sigh*

There's no conclusion to all this. I don't KNOW from where or what the answers are, but I'm wide-freakin' OPEN to all the possibilities. So come on, life, bring it on! I'm ready to participate again, if you'll have me back.