more moose

Sep. 30th, 2013 07:34 pm
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
At YVR, my husband queued up for coffee and I headed to the washroom. I told him, "Meet you by the moose."

When I found him again, he said, "You realize that at this airport, 'Meet me by the moose' is not exactly specific enough?" But he'd known which moose I meant:

Vancouver airport

(He also asked, "Why is the moose the only one anthropomorphized?")

It was fun sitting by the fountain. Behind us, people studied it at length:

Vancouver airport

In front of us, various passersby petted the moose, the wolf, and the bear, and sometimes stopped for pictures. An older woman posed by the wolf, and then her partner slung an arm around the moose. A little girl snuggled herself into the bear as if he were a tree-cave, ready to shield her from the rain. (I didn't get that on camera, but here's a shot of the bear by himself.)

Vancouver airport
zirconium: Photo of Joyful V (racehorse) in stall (Joyful Victory)
The Monzante Memorial Fundraising Challenge: a number of teams (headed by various handicappers and other racing fans) are raising $$ in memory of Monzante, a horse who died at a Louisiana track last week. Some teams are offering rewards such as free picks or cookies.

* * *

Thanks to the current clutch of work, I've been paying scant attention to the ponies, but I've had this passage from Niki de St Phalle's Harry and Me on my "to share" stack for some time. This takes place around 1950:

When I rejoined Harry at Harvard, he and my brother John (who was also studying there) would go out very early in the morning to the racetrack where they were working as hot walkers. That is to say, they would walk the horses through a routine to cool them down after their morning runs. Harry enjoyed this very much. he was earning a bit of extra money while learning all about the racetrack from my brother, which fascinated him. John had quickly become quite an expert on the topic. His enthusiasm for horse racing was so great that it was difficult to walk into his room, which was brimming over with countless stacks of the Morning Telegraph, John's favorite paper for tracking the odds on the horses.

At some point John felt it necessary to take on yet another job ... with an airline, which I believe was to earn the extra money he needed to finance his obsession with the track. Despite the excessive amount of time John spent on "the horses," John did manage to do very well on his studies. Nonetheless, Harvard's administrators eventually cottoned on to the fact that he was only showing up for his classes to take the exams. They chose to suspend John from Harvard for a year -- in spite of his outstanding academic performance.
zirconium: Photo of Joyful V (racehorse) in stall (Joyful Victory)
From the University of Chicago alumni magazine (July/August 2013): "Uldis Roze, SB'59...wants us all to know that porcupines fluoresce under UV light."

I went to my 31st class at Hot Yoga East Nashville this morning. On the one hand, tree pose today was a struggle. On the other hand, I was able to bend back far enough during camel pose to touch my heels -- the very first time I've managed that. Go me!

Happiness is being able to coo at my sweet doggie (and my other best friend) while sifting through old snapshots. In a Prague post office, May 2009:
From Europe 2009 - set 3 - Prague
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Bikram update: to my surprise, I felt like attempting a toe stand today. To my even greater surprise, I managed the first handful of steps without feeling I'd gone too far, at least on my left side. (My attempt on the right side veered out of form before I raised my heel. This practice, it will keep a gal humble...)

I'm still sorting out where my head should be (so to speak) in Rabbit and Triangle. I suspect part of the problem is that I'm long-waisted, but without much in the way of core strength, so right now my arms feel both too short (in Rabbit) and too long (in Triangle) as they try to compensate for my middle not quite managing what I'm asking of it. Yet. By my count, today was class #23, so by any measure, I'm still just getting started (and I'm certain I'll still feel that way when I get to class #230. My pastimes have a way of doing that -- she says, glaring at today's efforts at writing.)

Duck: Buttercup! (aka 3-D printing in the news for something other than guns)

Lonely Eagles: Jennifer Michael Hecht featured Marilyn Nelson's poem about the 332d Fighter Group. Some poems, when I read them, I wind up bolt upright by the end and exclaiming, "Holy shit." This is one of those poems.

digging in

Apr. 30th, 2013 10:18 pm
zirconium: corner of dormant tulip bed (corner)
my assistant

It's been a couple of years -- maybe more -- since I last planted anything other than basil and chives in my backyard containers. This year, though, I'm giving in to impulse and optimism. At my church's herb fair, I picked up seedlings for two kinds of mint (Bowie's Apple and Kentucky Colonel), French thyme, Mexican tarragon, rosemary, and curly parsley. I've started a few pockets of beans, poppies, and tomatoes (the last very much an experiment -- the seeds are from 2006, so their viability is definitely in question). I've ordered seeds for French hollyhocks and evening primroses, and I will also be hoping for radishes, arugula, and zinnias.

But, there's a whole lot of lettering and writing to be done before I let myself buy more potting mix. In the meantime, there are things popping up that I didn't plant:

little discoveries )
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
My dog:

A bunny next door:

bunny in neighbor's yard

And never the twain shall meet. ;-)

That kind of sums up how today felt, truth be told -- even though, objectively speaking, I can recognize that I got a fair bit done (one article written, one shift at the hospital, various drafts and notes and what-have-you, etc., etc., boom). It just was one of those days where there was a lot of barking at windows (both literally -- the entire household got woken up to the sound of tumbling glass in the middle of the night -- and figuratively, aka me swearing under the hood of M$Word while trying to extricate bat skeletons out of its chassis) and me getting in my own damn way.

Fortunately, there is also the love of friends and doggies and the BYM. And clean sheets and strong tea and running water and city libraries and fireflies. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and YES. :-)

I just sat with my fear. I connected with its energy, and it felt sickening. I felt my throat begin to close and could hear my heartbeat through my chest. I watched as my mind filled up with dreadful, detailed thoughts about how inadequate I was. ...

I sat with myself in this way for about an hour. Many times I thought, Okay, that's it, I feel better now, back to work. But I waited a little bit longer, and the fear uncoiled like a snake at the base of my spine and moved up and down, up and down, until the energy of fear seemed to fill the room. Although I still felt tremendously uncomfortable, I also noticed a kind of growing warmth. I was paying attention to myself. I was sitting with myself as I would hold a still sleeping child twisting from a nightmare. I wasn't angry with her, and there was no sense in trying to talk her out of it. All I could do was hold her gently until she was awake enough to know where she was. The Zen teacher and poet John Tarrant says, "Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed," and that seemed really true.

- Susan Piver, How Not To Be Afraid of Your Own Life
zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
So far, so good. The Beautiful Young Man occupied himself at the dining room table while I dozed...

Mechanic at home Mechanic at home

...and Abby (as usual) made sure nobody would leave the room without her noticing:


There are three new pieces up at unFold: "Lickety-split," "The Season So Long," and "Tacky."

The bibliography is sort of updated (still some gaps).

My book (and also 140 and Counting) has been added to Operation eBook Drop (i.e., it is being made available free of charge to deployed soldiers).

Here's a bit from the Eudora Welty biography I've been reading, by Suzanne Marrs:

In her upstairs bedroom at the Pinehurst Street house, when she had no eight-to-five job, she established a pattern that would typify her writing career, devoting most mornings and early afternoons to composing, taking time off for reading and gardening, perhaps, but often not changing from her nightgown until she had reached a stopping point in a story. She had positioned her typing table so that she did not directly face the windows overlooking the large front yard, but so that she might look over her shoulder when she needed a glimpse of the outside world.

(I'll likely continue quoting from this and What There Is To Say... over the next couple of weeks. The books have been good company the past few days.)
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
The subject line is from my poem "Leftovers," which is (at the moment) in second place in the current contest hosted by the Goodreads ¡POETRY! group. (Voting is open to members of the group until March 31.)

pumpkin cream pie in progress

Also newly afloat on the net: "A Multitude of Sorrows" and "Good Morning," over on Houseboat.


I recently came across two oosts on e-readers and privacy within a day of each other. Nashville's Shopping Diva lamented that she could no longer "casually glance" at the books her fellow travelers were reading, whereas Sam observes that e-editions are a godsend "to people who like to read romance novels but are ashamed of the stigma attached."

As I promote my own book, it's been fascinating to learn about the current reading preferences of my friends and acquaintances. I don't myself own a dedicated e-reading device (although I have the apps on my laptop), and it's been gratifying to hear that Measured Extravagance is the first poetry e-book (and in at least one case, the first e-book of any kind) some people have been willing to take a chance on.

The downside, of course, is not having a physical book right at hand for people who prefer that format. That said, I'm willing to send signed postcards of the cover (isn't it pretty?) to anyone who'd like one -- please just send me a request (and your address) via PM or e-mail.

Unrelated to the rest of this entry, except that they live in Nashville: baby clouded leopards.


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