Archive for April, 2011

I missed Thankful Thursday last week. I didn’t realize it until about this Monday. Did my week go less well? Was I steeped in negativity, naughtiness, evil thoughts and deeds? Were the temptations of Satan harder to resist? Well, no. Still, I am trying to get the rhythm right.

Grateful today for:


The blossoming trees which are everywhere right now. All over my neighborhood, all throughout downtown. The cherry and tulip trees. Magnolias, too, if my eyesight is to be trusted. Pinks and purples, and white flowers blooming like snow.

The moisture in the air. The misty rains. The wind. The window is open at the front of my mudroom and the window is open at the back of the mudroom and the curtains billow, knocking over all of my tchotchkes and papers.

The word tchotchke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tchotchke

Shit. I’m trying. I really am. But I’m just inventing stuff now. And my life is relatively easy. I have enough of everything, a house, Hubby, great kids. I am not in the South (tornadoes) or Japan or in a war zone.

Here’s something real. I followed this woman for a few hundred feet in Provincetown last week because I loved her umbrella. I think she was Italian. Why that matters, I don’t know, but it’s interesting anyway.

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Remember last Music Monday? Well, one year on our Cape Cod trip, this is the song that made the rounds. In the car, out of the car, at restaurants, at the beach, on our dune hike, and on and on and on…

Since I have had to spend an inordinate, inhuman, ungodly amount of time cleaning up after our long-haired cat, Miss Lilly, namely cleaning up her poo, this has been in my life A LOT lately. It’s like having a baby. Or two. Or a really gross baby. Or three.

So here it is, the ugly truth. It’s brilliant, really. Enjoy!

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These aren’t particularly Easter-ly words and the passage takes place in summer, not spring. It is however, timeless, and I can’t find much meaning in the holiday that we call Easter, so this is what I have come to today.

I come back to this passage again and again. It is beautiful and contains so much about life and death and work and rhythm and love and being human. I still haven’t gotten to the point of understanding it fully, but I am trying to remain teachable in my heart and soul and being.

Excerpt from “A River Runs Through It.” Norman Maclean; The University of Chicago Press; Chicago; 1976, p. 104

Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand when I was young are dead, but I still reach out to them.

Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.

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Returned from Cape Cod last night with 4 teenage girls and my 77-year old mother in the aged mini-van. You can imagine that hi-jinks, hoots, and hollers were all part of the trip. That’s what I would imagine, if it hadn’t been me behind the wheel, encased in reality.

Couldn’t get my ass too far beyond inertia until quite late in the day today. I didn’t cook; only cleaned up cat poo, went grocery shopping, managed 2 different group email lists in order to convey mass information, downed a pint of Starbucks. I finally managed to start a batch of granola at about 10 this evening and to brew a pot of coffee to be consumed tomorrow.

Sad news today about one of my daughter’s former teachers, too.


I walked around by myself in Provincetown for a while on Wednesday. It’s something I do very little of–I’m usually with kids or Hubby, even Mom. It was so lovely to stroll around and snap photos. No matter what’s going on inside of me, Ptown has a stability. It’s reliable and predictable. There will always be skilled locals riding their simple bikes (not fancy, 21-gear racing bullshit–these people are practical and really going where they need to get) against traffic, darting between pedestrians; always beautiful gardens and houses painted charmingly; always some big honking gas-guzzler of a fancy black SUV plowing its way along Commercial Street; always a fat touristy family in Cape Cod sweatshirts eating loads of ice cream, looking sort of out-of-place, but not really out-of-place because they belong as much as anyone. There is always commerce and productivity–people working on their houses, deconstructing, reconstructing, sanding, blasting, painting. Always some drunks, always some smokers. Lots of tattoos and the most fantastic short haircuts to be found anywhere in the world. The proprietors will always be gay and hip and will always treat me differently and even sometimes less well than they treat the locals, as well it should be. The beautiful galleries and paintings and art everywhere. The feeling that this is not reality, but then remembering the working class roots of the area, the hardscrabble life of sailors and seafarers which beats its true bloody heart into Ptown as much as the art, performance, and flamboyance. This is a place of survivors and brave souls. There are no wussies here, except the visitors, like me. I am in love with it all.

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As you may know from Music Monday this week, we are spending a few days on the cold and windy Cape of Cod. Here is my yelp.com review of our favorite restaurant in Provincetown, MA:

Heaven, I’m in Heaven. What? I’m not in Heaven, I’m in Chach? As has been abundantly stated, the most amazing, HEAVENLY, vanilla-infused French toast ever made. I can’t finish it, can’t eat the middle because it gets too soggy and gloopy. But the crusty edges, thick all the way up and down: give me more, ’til I burst!

I love the waitstaff. I think some are leftover from the last restaurant here whose name escapes me.  I love the woman with the fish tattoos. Is she a Pisces? I don’t know, ask her. She also has a great haircut and a sort of typical “does she like me or hate me?” Provincetown vibe. The older gentlemen waiters who are generous with the “sweeties” and “honeys” are an easier read: obviously they love me.

My kids love it, my hubby loves it, my mother (yes, my unpleaseable mother) loves it, our friends love it, our kids’ friends love it. Closed on Wednesdays, so don’t take a 3-hour walk down the beach from your condo and expect a big hunking breakfast on a Wednesday.

If you’ve never vacationed in Ptown yet, you may be surprised at the prices, which are on the high side, esp. considering that this is mostly breakfast. The music can be unpredictably loud or simply too Ptown for me.

Lots of locals, always a good sign. Chach gets thumbs up with a twist (highest rating).

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This week we find ourselves on Cape Cod. Each time we head to the Cape, we are treated to a rotating group of approximately 11 songs sung by a rotating group of approximately 7 girls: When I Was a Wee Wee Tot; I Bought a Goat; Cape Cod Girls; Two Little Buggies; Green and Yeller are amongst the titles.

Trying to find good examples on youtube of any of the above songs, which are generally learned at summer camp or passed down from parent to child or from friend to friend, is a difficult task. Sometimes the lyrics can be found, but usually many variations exist with no definitive version.

I wanted to post Cape Cod Girls for obvious reasons. But I wasn’t happy with what I found on youtube. Too sloppy, too sincere, too goofy, too slow, too long, too plodding, too poorly recorded, too few verses.

Here is one of my favorite renditions of Look at the Coffin, a song we learned several years ago from one of the [now] teenage-girls. There seem to be two basic modes for this song–slow and sincere or fast and ironic. Can you tell where this guy’s sentiments lie?

I know it’s a bit strange. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a gold mini-van, circa 2000, with 150K miles, 5 teenage girls in the back, 2 adults in the front, all singing the same song at the top of our lungs. It’s a hoot. Learn it and pass it on.

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I didn’t watch Oprah much, but once a few years ago, I tuned in and she was saying that one of her pet peeves, or maybe what she considers rude, is gum-chewing. I guess people who are chewing gum when she’s in conversation with them? Well, what’s good for Oprah is not necessarily what’s good for the rest of us.

I am not sure whether chewing gum is good or bad for you. I hear reports of both. Good because it actually cleans away stuck food particles (gross!) and it exercises the jaw muscles (that would include masseter, buccinator, obicularis oris). I have even heard that it can make you look younger; no, not because you are engaging in a teen-agey activity, but because it exercises and lifts the muscles in the front of the neck. This is obviously bullshit information put out by secret agents of the chewing gum industry, but I will take it as true because I am getting a turkey neck, and jowls, to boot. Chewing gum may be my only hope against aging because I am not getting plastic surgery! I also have deep gullies on either side of my mouth. Maybe chewing actually makes these gullies more pronounced?

What are the downsides of chewing gum? I will not discuss something so negative and abhorrent on Thankful Thursday. Blasphemers!

If the flavor of gum isn’t enough for you, you must admit that popping bubbles is extremely satisfying. There is no compare orally, really, and I’m not just fishing for you to think sexual thoughts. I don’t chew bubble gum, but I love smacking regular gum into tiny, crackling bubbles. It makes driving around on errands not only bearable, but enjoyable. My car, my time, my gum.

Here it is, in all its beauty. The original Dentyne.

Look at it, damn it! Okay, so the photo’s a little blurry. Use your imagination. It says right there “Taste the Tingle.” C’mon, my god. What a bold and sexy little bit of enticement. And it’s all true. The package limited to only 3 colors. It’s pure genius.

I have found a source for original Dentyne. I also have a source for Beemans, Black Jack, Clove, and Teaberry. Usually I engage with the Teaberry or the Dentyne. Heaven! I never dug that new crappy Dentyne. And Big Red, no way! I occasionally pop a cinnamon disc in my mouth from the candy bowl at the front desk at the insurance agent’s office. Even those have lost their luster. But not Dentyne. It is a true and reliable friend. Maybe it’s made in China out of garbage, though. I don’t know. Are they going to come after me, the Dentyne police, for suggesting this? I wish they’d just offer me a lifetime-supply for plugging their product. Then I would be a proud and rich Dentyne whore and I would live in a palace made of Dentyne wrappers! YES!

Why does the store where I get my Teaberry charge only 25¢ a pack (5 sticks) but charges a buck a pack for Beemans? It is an outrage. In spite of this, I will, on occasion, treat myself to the Beemans. Like during the week of my birthday (hint, hint).

Gum. Yum. Grateful.

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