zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)
The subject line is a chant from Chicago's March for Science. This photo is from this morning's march in Nashville:

March for Science Nashville

It was taken by a woman whose mother had knitted the hats; she was there with her grandson, who worked toward getting a selfie with the dog as we chatted:

boy at March for Science Nashville

I've posted a cross-section of photos to my Twitter account (@zirconium). I'll add some more later, but I actually do have a grant application deadline to meet.
zirconium: the word "SANGUINE" engraved in stone (sanguine)
[Today's subject line is from Christophe Willem's "Berlin," which is on the album advertised on posters at Lyons Part Deux seven years ago.]

090527 strasbourg 142

Seven years ago, I was staying in a (comparatively) cheap hotel in a slightly sketchy section of Strasbourg. From a 27 May 2009 e-mail to the BYM:

Slogging away on the [] manuscript and missing American ice machines (I literally pried four cubes out of the hotel tray yesterday afternoon so that my liter of Coke could remain drinkable), takeaway coffee, and clean glassware.

Minor nuisances: the shower's so small the water temp changes whenever I turn around (because my body keeps hitting the faucet), and some dude tried to hit on me by asking if I was from Japan, which is a lame pickup line in any language.

On the plus side, I do think I looked pretty good yesterday [], I bought strawberries and scallions at an open market near the Jewish quarter, and there was a fantastic countertenor busking in front of the Cathedral. Got in a half-day of sightseeing just from getting lost, so I will feel less lame about staying glued to the laptop/netbook all today.

Two mornings later, I took the train from Alsace...

French train station Strasbourg train station, I think

to Marseille, which included a transfer at Lyons Part Deux, where some passengers sit on a bank by the tracks between trains:

IMG_1489 IMG_1485

30 May 2009:

Marseille even noisier and rowdier than Strasbourg, but I was expecting that. I'm getting a good sense of what 65 EUR hotel neighborhoods are like, I guess. ;-)

Also, the further south the train station, the crazier it is. Well, not really, but Lyons Part Dieu was like JFK/O'Hare combined (in terms of sheer mass of humanity and chaos and I even first got on the wrong train, because somehow everyone is supposed to know that the TGV to Marseille will be on track I as opposed to the normal train on track G, and though I at least suspected something was wrong since the train I was supposed to catch had two levels and the Ter had only one). When I got on the right train, some dude was in my seat, so there was a moment of "Oh no!" -- and then another dude mistook it for his because *he* had gotten onto the wrong car.

The drama at Marseille St. Charles was seeing a dozen people pelt through the station, trying to catch their connections.

Dinner was pasta from Chicken World, where I also threw back two espressos (at 11:30 pm).

Today, I ended up discarding plans A, B, and C in favor of housework, yardwork, and time with the dog. Lots of tugging at stubborn vines, stubborn roots, and occasionally stubborn canine. (Me to the BYM: She was chomping on some of ivy. Do you suppose it has hallucinogens in it, and would that explain why she ate half of my poodle-print scarf earlier this week?) I transplanted a hollyhock seedling (which didn't look happy about its new location, but it was one too many further down the row), a cactus cutting, and a bunch of pepper seedlings. I harvested a handful of radishes. I am planning to sow zinnias and maybe marigolds.

We are worried about the dog. Some days she gallops from one end to the house like a puppy; some nights, like tonight, her hind legs intermittently give out on her. It may be time to revisit medication options; it is certainly time to steal more time for her, as it were. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon pruning branches and yanking at stems in a corner of the yard she likes to disappear into, the better to let passersby know that they're on her street. I can't save her from tripping over herself, let alone most of the wide, ever-beckoning universe, but I can at least clean up some of the corners. Digging at the roots unearthed an old shard of glass, some blue-green netting, and the usual jumble of rocks and clumps.

Some of the branches are now propping up parts of the fruit-heavy mama pepper plant, whose pot I also tidied up today, adding soil to cover roots that our spring weather (or the dog) had disturbed. I am resisting the urge to stock up on sale mulch; given the music I need to have in my bones by mid-week (on deck: a recording session [touching up some spots on the forthcoming Heritage OP album], a workshop with Ysaye Barnwell, and two Music Sunday services [also featuring Dr. Barnwell]), I'm unlikely to get through the bags already on hand. As it happens, the dog is now napping in the room with the piano. When I practice tomorrow, she'll probably jog my left elbow before I'm ten minutes in, because (planting snout firmly in my lap) don't I already spend enough time not paying attention to her?


Sep. 13th, 2015 08:52 pm
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
At my church today: Spanky, a therapy dog in the Pet Partners program.

Spanky the Shih Tzu

My church observes a custom called "sharing the plate," where half of the "loose cash" (i.e., not designated for pledges) collected during the offertory goes to a local charity. This month the money will go to Crossroads Campus, whose goals include "OFFER[ING] PAID JOB-TRAINING internships to young adults who lack the connections and experience needed to break into the workforce" and
"PROVID[ING] AFFORDABLE HOUSING for young adults on the brink of homelessness; offering stability, safety and community to those who need it most" -- two social issues that many people in the congregation have put in many hours toward addressing.

Petting Spanky

The literature on the social justice table today included coupons for the Crossroads store and self-serve dog wash, and save-the date cards for Hike for the Homeless (November 7), which will benefit Safe Haven Family Shelter.

Victoria, Spanky, and a friend
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Abby 001

You can never learn this world too well, nor will you ever be bored by it. I don't fault my dog for not being able to count to three. It took me a whole life, including a million bars of waltz time, not to get lost.

- W. A. Mathieu, "Triple Nature," in THE MUSICAL LIFE (1994)
zirconium: snapshot of my dog on my deck (Abby)
This is Charma, the young Kerry Blue Terrier who was the "guest dog" at the Museum of the Dog in St. Louis this past Saturday.


As Herb and Kathy (her handlers) put it, she was "pushy-friendly." I told them that was exactly what my own dog is like. Charma greeted me by sniffing at the band-aid on my knee. Herb and Kathy told me about the local breeding and dog show scene and showed me how Charma's fur was turning blue lower down, closer to her belly.

Upstairs, the artifacts included a handsome armchair with daschund-shaped armrests:

armchair with dachshund-head armrests


Downstairs, the painting I kept returning to was Kathy Jakobsen's Dog Walking in Central Park. It is fabulously detailed (dog in a fountain! dog in a bike basket! doggies lined up like ducklings! dog distracted by something while two mohawked lovers embrace!) and I've requested her book on New York from the library because I want to see more. There were also exhibits on military dogs, police dogs, sled dogs, show dogs...

I wasn't expecting to pet any dogs today (although they are allowed at my hotel), but at Shu Feng's, there was a five-month-old Afghan Hound puppy, owned by two young women hanging out en route to a very dressy party. Like them, Sunshine was sleek and friendly. ;-)
zirconium: Photo of Joyful V (racehorse) in stall (Joyful Victory)
1. My poem Spelling "For Worse" is up at Goblin Fruit, in both text and audio formats.

1a. I am keeping right fine company on that TOC. :-)

2. Merrie Haskell wrote a novel called Castle behind Thorns. It's about to emerge, it has earned a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, and it will be a Junior Literary Guild selection. (Her second published novel has been collecting recommendations and awards, too, including "the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award winner for middle school for its depiction of a person with a disability.")

3. The Velveteen Rabbi will be reading her poetry in Jerusalem. I am so excited for her!

4. Making manuscripts reader-friendlier. Go me!

4a. Having the chops and experience to recognize typos (especially in Spanish) I wouldn't have caught five years ago.

5. Ripe cantaloupe and canned quail eggs. For when one works flat through dinner and then needs something that doesn't require cooking (i.e., stink up the kitchen) right before bedtime.

6. The sumo tangerine I picked up at a store last week. It was an indulgence, but it was also a great conversation piece, and I am about to candy the peel.

7. Having a dog that gleefully hoovers up vegetable scraps. (I am less enamored of her fondness for snacking on potting soil, but that's because it makes her wheeze.)

8. It is sunny and 55 F here right now. I'll be spending most of the day with spreadsheets, but I think I'll first sneak out for a walk.

9. Particle Fever! (And yes, I wore my CERN jacket to the showing.)
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
...that even the rail on the deck is sprouting fungi:
fungus it rained so much last night

Naturally, the mosquitoes are also flourishing. I was not a happy kitten about them feasting on me. To Abby's immense relief, however, I decided to stay outside and get some gardening done (indoors, I've been stalking her with brush and scissors all around the house, since she's in high moult). Naturally, she wanted to help...


...and I did reward her with a green bean that had escaped its stalk. It was a productive day: I transplanted the Kentucky Colonel mint to the front yard and the rosemary and thyme to larger pots. I sowed arugula, radish, hollyhock, and primrose seeds. I divided my mom's ancient Christmas cactus (at least five years old, and probably more like ten) into three pots, as well as rooting one cutting and saving another. There was also some pruning and weeding and a side trip to a pathetic KMart and a decent Home Depot.

The to-do-next list includes transplanting and maybe dividing the tarragon, researching plants that should do well in light shade (I have some lists; it's a matter of deciding what I want), and maybe acquiring a bulb or two to force in some indoor containers...
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)
Porte Dorée Sunday market
Paris, November 2011
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
I went to Cheekwood after church today. By the time I finished lunch, there were dozens of dogs lined up for a doggie-model contest...

dog contest at Cheekwood

...and some being fluffed and prepped in adjacent gardens and lots:

dog contest at Cheekwood

more photos under the cut )

[There are a few more snapshots chez Flickr.]
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I was insisting to the Beautiful Young Man late last night that I have a heart of stone -- specifically because I will not ride with panniers on my bike every day just in case I come across a puppy in need of rescuing (long story) -- and he was laughing at me at length, because it is true that I can be somewhat daft about doggies, especially when they happen to be a mongrel named Abby. And it is also true that I tend to pause (paws!) for business that set out water bowls on the sidewalk:

dog bowl

So when I saw this in front of a needlepoint shop in Charleston, I went inside, where I was greeted eagerly:


I didn't take pictures of the designs on display, but I was impressed at the plethora of canvases of dogs ready for a more experienced needlepointer to tackle. It being almost Christmas at the time, there were also plenty of holiday designs on offer at the time.

(I was crazy about needlepoint in 7th grade, to the extent of designing my own projects, but then got caught up in other obsessions. But the store had a handful of beginner-appropriate kits available, including a coin purse with a sunflower design, so I picked that up for some future holiday...)

Cabbage Row Shoppe
Note the palmettos on the sidewalk as well -- they're very much an emblem of the Holy City. (The cocktail napkins at 82 Queen have palmettos on them, and I'm sure they're in a bunch of other logos as well.)


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

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