20 years!

Sep. 23rd, 2014 01:38 am
zirconium: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (tulip)
Ann Arbor Juvenile Probate Court, 23 September 1994

me and my sweetie

Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, 29 August 2014

fruit gone

Sep. 14th, 2014 11:28 am
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
So, that tomato I mentioned yesterday? By the middle of the afternoon, it had vanished. I'm side-eyeing the dog something major right now.

On a more productive note, I'm the featured poet at the Houseboat this week: one interview, ten poems, and assorted photos. This has been in the works for over a year, and it's gratifying to share at last what Rose has selected from the words and images I sent to her. My thanks to her for all of her work, and -- as ever and always -- to you for reading.

late fruit

Sep. 13th, 2014 09:40 am
zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
I've been waiting for what I thought were the last two cherry tomatoes to ripen. I plucked them from the plant this morning. I was about to haul the container to the compost pile when I spotted this:

not done yet
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
At the moment, it is about 30 degrees F cooler than it felt three days ago. It's apparently what some of the flowers needed to emerge:

my garden, Monday
bachelor's button

my garden, Monday
French marigold

Read more... )
my garden, Monday
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I spent the first part of today at Art Camp, and the highlight for me was an impromptu session led by Amanda Micheletto-Blouin, the manager of Jerry's Artarama. Read more... )
ArtCampNash: Jerry's Artarama
zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
A week ago, the BYM and I walked eastward on Fort Street to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Along the way, there was a yoga studio... Read more... )
Discovery Coffee
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
Seen at Vancouver's Greenhorn Espresso Bar:
Read more... )
vancouver tuesday 006
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
September 2013:
Christmas pepper seedling

January through July behind the cut )

August 2014:
christmas pepper 001

christmas pepper 002
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
My current gig at the Western and Southern Tennis Open was the kick in the pants I needed to get the long-overdue better camera. Here are some of the shots I've been taking with it:

Sara Errani Sara Errani

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Cincy Open marshal
A marshal, aka security, aka making sure only properly credentialed folk run up and down the stairwell to the player areas and media center.
zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
I spoke too soon about the French hollyhocks -- they've all produced blooms now, except for one, and that one is one of the larger, healthier-looking stalks, so who knows if it offended the bees or is simply taking its longer, even sweeter and perhaps every-other-year time than all the others. Even the one growing diagonally. (I laced some of the others to the fence for support, but that one looked runt-y enough that I hadn't bothered.)

In the toiling and spinning department, I'm waiting to hear back from various contacts about this and that, doing a fair bit of homework, and inching along in the never-ending quest to turn things right:

when at first you don't succeed
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Dog at the door

It's 96 F (36 C). I am dripping, and not just because I sloshed a bunch of dishwater onto myself while scrubbing and rinsing pots. Praise be for air conditioning, and running water, too.

It is, as ever, the usual scene here: the more I pay attention to the house, the yard, the writing, the lettering, the studying, and so on, the longer the lists grow and the twistier the learning curves, and the more I yearn to address the little details I currently don't make time for. Scraping at x. Clearing out y. Saving for z.

In the meantime, I'm getting some things done here and there. I'm now listed at the Haiku Registry (on the task list since 2010). I updated part of my website. I cut and sanded boards ...

cutting boards

... and prepped for other projects. Onward!
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

(1) Amendment 1 is ultimately a power grab by Tennessee's legislature:

Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

This is the legislature whose shenanigans have repeatedly embarrassed us on a national scale (cue WasTNOnTheDailyShow.com, Don't Say Gay). It frankly should be given as little rein as possible, especially when it is essentially trying to override the rights to privacy discussed in great detail in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee vs. Sundquist.

(2) For the amendment to pass, it must collect a majority of votes not only among those voting yes, but also in relation to all the ballots cast in the governor's race. Put another way: this November, it will be important to vote for someone for governor (even if you think Haslam has his next term all sewn up), because each vote will raise the threshold of yes votes needed, and thus improve the odds of defeating the amendment.

P.S. My mood is "irritated" because there are plenty of other things I would rather be working on, and there are plenty of things the damn lege should be working on, such as directing funds toward food deserts. From an article by Shelley DuBois:

"it's important that we talk about how we can do things that are not always punitive to mothers who have issues going on. Sometimes we must also do things that are positive," said Rep. Harold Love.

The punitive law he's talking about refers to a controversial bill the legislature passed last month, effective July 1, that will enable law enforcement officials to prosecute women whose babies test positive for illicit drugs.

One positive step, Love suggested, would be a bill that took a portion of the money the state collects from soda taxes to build grocery stores in areas that lack fresh produce. Women's health, he said, ties directly into resources available in the community.
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
My allergies were out of control when I was a child, which meant I stayed indoors as much as possible, so I'm just now learning things that are probably obvious to other gardeners my age. This summer has really shown me how much the size of the container affects the growth of a plant. I'd been trying to get by mainly with the shallow and small pots and planters I'd had on hand, but this year I sanitized some larger ones (and splurged on some quality soil) and lo, the lone survivor from last year's batch of Christmas peppers is finally bearing fruit:

Christmas pepper plant

(That's one yellow pepper among a crowd of ripening-into-purples. Nature is weird and cool.)

The big pot vs. smaller pot demonstrations appeared in the form of basil (not pictured) and cucumbers. This cucumber vine (with a chopstick as its stake)...

lemon cucumber plant

... was sown at the same time and in the same box as this lot (I couldn't resist transplanting it when it was clear some thinning needed to happen):

lemon cucumber plants lemon cucumber plants

(And yes, they needed water. I took care of that after snapping the photos.)

That noted, I hear that lilies prefer being root-bound, so I dithered some about repotting the calla lily we received last fall. But I'm going to be away a fair bit in August, and I'm trying to improve the odds of things staying hydrated without investing in major installations or complicated rigs, so I decided the lily should at least go into a pot large enough to accomodate a wine-bottle nanny. Plus it was kind of neat getting a look at the roots:

pot-bound calla lily

And now to those indoor things. Ars longa...
zirconium: snapshot of me at class in Israel (me with M14)
From Dorothy Wickenden's Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West (Scribner, 2011):

Sam [Perry] doted on Marjorie, his firstborn, treating her like a son. Every year she accompanied him on a weeks-long hunting expedition. As one newspaper account described her, "Wearing a heavy flannel shirt and chaps, like a cowboy of the plains, she has ridden through the wildest regions of the state, shooting deer and bear and even an occasional mountain lion." One year she returned with a bear cub she named Perrywinkle and kept in her parents' backyard in Denver. (As an older woman, when her two favorite dogs died, she skinned them and used their pelts as rugs.)

(On a side note, there is nothing like reading about pioneer wives to snap me out of a pity party right fast. Good God, what those women endured.)
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
Harvested seeds from my healthiest French hollyhock (aka mallow) plant just now. If you'd like some, send me your address (comments are screened) and I'll drop some into the mail. They need full sun and don't necessarily flower the first year (I've got three plants without flowers and five with, all from the same packet of seeds, but planted/transplanted at different times, and over-wintered in different-sized containers). In theory, they don't like being transplanted, but the healthiest plant started out by the side of my driveway last fall, was dug up and lived in my study over the winter, and then moved to the other side of the house this spring. (I left the two biggest plants outside over the winter, well mulched, etc., etc., but the winter was too damn long -- nothing in that row survived other than the crepe myrtle offshoot.)

French hollyhock (aka mallow)

French hollyhock
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
From Timothy Beaton's profile of Charles Clary in Nashville NATIVE:

Appropriately, his largest and most ambitious piece was constructed in tribute to his mother, the woman who put the first crayon in his hand. The piece took six months to complete, and the final product sprawled across 240 square feet in an eight-by-forty-foot installation.

The number of towers reflected the number of days from his mother's cancer diagnosis to the day she passed: 204. It included seven seventeen-by-seventeen-inch towers representing the seven-month period, and twenty-six twelve-by-twelve-inch towers for the twenty-six-week period. There were also another 172 towers of varying sizes that completed the piece.

"It was something I had to do. I didn't let myself say, 'This is exhausting.' You're alive, and you're telling a story."

17 Tamuz

Jul. 15th, 2014 06:32 pm
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
"People must be taken one by one in the world, that is the way they are loved, believed, or understood, and when we are told to think in masses, we are lost for the one thing that is the essence and holy is gone. . . ."

- Eudora Welty to Diarmuid Russell, 23 December 1941 (quoted in One Writer's Garden)


Jul. 13th, 2014 08:43 am
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
For reals:
grinding out some green

Some other goings-on:

  • The 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar is now available. It includes my poem "Texas Instruments."

  • The Changeover published my essay "Accounting for Tennis Prize Money," and Sports Illustrated noticed.

  • Also now available: the 2014 Dwarf Stars anthology, which includes my poems "Even an Empty Life Can Hold Water," "Newest Amsterdam," and "Making Rice Dance."

  • Also, three rejections, the usual bug bites, half of my horses finishing third (which is useless when you're making win-place picks), and two hours in a waiting room with a TV on (but at least it was tuned to HGTV, which I find more tolerable than what's usually on). And a dress I bought just last month is not working out, but is already stained in multiple spots, so into the ragbag it went.

    But at least I figured the not-working-out on second wearing, which was a quicker scramble out of the denial swamp (aka making-do morass) than my usual wrangle with buyer's regret. Also, I won a gold medal in Green Acres (fantasy tennis tournament) and drafted a new poem on my phone while sipping a free glass of prosecco at a neighborhood bar. And now it's back to the drawing board...
    zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)
    (borrowed after lingering with the ones at my favorite wine store...)

    Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat (Abrams, 2012) - text by Susanna Reich, illustrations by Amy Bates (pencil and watercolor)

    The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews during the Holocaust (Holiday House, 2009), by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix -- the illustrations were "created with oil paint applied with brushes, paper towels, and all twenty fingers." The artists' command of line, color, and texture is impressive, and I could study the results for hours. (The story is too text-heavy for story hour, in my judgment, but the academic side of me appreciates the presence of both documentation and an index, even for a forty-page picture book.)

    Charlotte in Paris (2003), Charlotte in London (2008), and Charlotte in New York (2006) by Joan MacPhail Knight - contrived but nonetheless cute fictional journals, with cameos by real people like Julie Manet, Mary Cassatt, John Lavery. and Paul Durand-Ruel. Had these been available when I was Charlotte's age, I probably would have fantasized about being Charlotte's best friend; now, I want to find time to read more about the adults and look at more paintings. Coincidences: reading about Henley 1895 the same evening a friend in England happened to be moaning about Henley 2014, and just now I was reminded about the sheep dyed yellow in honor of the Tour de France when Charlotte and her father deliver a package from Edwin Austin Abbey to Frank Millet. It contains several tubes of cadmium yellow, and Millet explains why he keeps running out of that color: "At certain times of day the entire village looks as if it's been dipped in golden honey -- including the sheep."
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    ars longa, fungis omnis

    mushrooms sprout on the wheelbarrow
    as I sharpen
    another pencil


    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

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