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Archive for March, 2013

ask twinkly! A new feature in which yours truly answers the burning questions of the day

Q. Is it illegal to use bank deposit slips for anything other than making a deposit into one’s bank account?

A. Yes, but the offense carries less of a penalty than removing a mattress tag.

Judges are especially lenient if the deposit slip was used for writing a love note.

Special consideration is also given to writers, as they are known to have psychological problems. However, if a resulting poem or prose piece is maudlin, drafty, churlish, peevish, overly flowery, or pithy, all bets are off. I have seen such cases prosecuted to the highest letter of the law.

Q. Is that guy’s haircut that way on purpose?

A. No, he woke up with mattress head and does not have a mirror in his domicile. His tiny car mirror is not large enough for him to see his whole head at once, so he has no idea he looks that way. Please treat him politely, as you would if he did own a mirror.

Q. Will the current trend in facial piercings know an end?

A. As each generation vies for increasingly more unique beauty modifications, the next trend is bound to be in attaching dinnerware about the face and head. Pots and pans will be reserved for only the most bold and daring citizens who live on the fringes of society.

Unlike the recent popular body modifications which are merely decorative, the trend will be toward objects that have a practical use. Just yesterday, I witnessed a young college student at an open mic with napkins strung through her earlobes, one on each side. She was seen to wipe a tear with one during a particularly moving poem that was read to a moving ukelele accompaniment.

Q. Should I add wet ingredients to dry ingredients or vice versa?

A. It depends on whether you are north or south of the equator. Also, if the recipe calls for any of the nut butters, you must reverse the directions.

Q. Is it appropriate to wear a tampon dress to a Passover Seder? What about Easter dinner at Gramma’s?

A. The Yves St. Laurent tampon dress is always in season. Never question your fashion sense when it comes to wearing anything that is off-white, knitted, and adorned with bows. Built-in snood is a bonus for those north of the Mason-Dixon line where the temperatures hover around 45 degrees F even in summer.

That’s all for this week. If you have a burning question be it about anything under the sun or over the moon, remember to ask twinkly!

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[experienced and written on Thursday 3/21]

the air lightens around us

1. I do not expect you to understand this post. There are bits that I have left purposely un-puncuntuated and one part that I left flimsy, poem-like. Not that I want my or anyone else’s poetry to be flimsy, but sometimes I like flowy words for no reason but the sound and feel. So we call it poetry and let it pass. Not all of life need be tidy and tight.

2. because you don’t have to number something if there’s only one

you know me as the [sometime] bike ‘n’ bitch, but I’ve got a new pair of high-heeled sneakers on; yes, I’ve been a dabbler in running, but there’s a new phase a’comin’. I just know I will be able to run the whole stretch of my block and back without stopping within the next little while, few months, year. To be honest, I’d settle for being able to do yoga again first. It’s the longest I’ve gone without a class in over 4 years. Sigh and fuck inexplicable injuries!

the neighbor who bikes to the racquet club was walking in the ‘hood with her husband

a woman was stopped at the end of the street, probably standing right in a pothole, with her Great Dane who did NOT have its ears or tail cut (hooray for humane decisions). The dog was so good, so patient. The owner was training her (him?) and it was a sweet sight. Who’s a good dog?

what is this?

it’s a dog snood

After her mom stopped her car at the end of their driveway, a small child opened the passenger door, ran to the mailbox, and flew back with the mail. So small and wee, jet-black hair waving in the current her speeding body created. Was it a boy with long locks? I waved and said “you are helping; that’s a good thing,” and he, rightly, took a little step back toward his mom and squinted across to me and shyly asked “what?” and I repeated what I said. I waved to the mom, too, so she knew that I knew that we all knew it was safe. It’s good thing when children are taught to be cautious of strangers.

On my way back from my very short “beginner’s loop” (though I’ve been a beginner for years), I cursed the sidewalk that our neighbors seem to feel is beneath them to shovel. I’ve actually heard the wife chide her husband for shoveling too much. Isn’t that backward? I thought hen-pecking happened because men didn’t do enough around the house, but somehow, she thinks that anyone who walks the neighborhood doesn’t deserve a clean, shoveled, safe stretch of sidewalk. Now I know I’m bashing a sista, but when it comes to sidewalk safety and being a good neighbor and doing your part, especially if you are able-bodied and home much of the time, I got no patience for ya.

In fact, in the last few years, this is only the second time I’ve seen their stretch shoveled and on my run, the path was EXACTLY ONE SHOVEL-WIDTH across. You gotta have some balls to shovel only one shovel-width, but I think the wrong kind of balls. The snow was heavy as water, yes, but only about an inch-and-a-half deep by mid-morning on Tuesday. Their stretch of sidewalk is about 20 feet across. You know how much sidewalk we have? about 75′. Fuckers.

with the sun behind me, I made a shadow-shape on the blue snow and I watched the motion of my hips, unmistakeably me; no matter how much weight I gain and cringe to think of how I look, it’s me. Unmistakeably sexy, me. This is my walk, this is my gait, this is what people see.

The grief point where my rib meets my sternum, over to the left, above my heart, where the voodoo darning needle was plunged, still brings a rush of pain and tears. But it’s getting better.

Running and me? Two steps forward, one step back.

My health? The same.

Aging is a motherfucker, but sometimes I fight the good fight. Today was one of those days.

Look how James Brown seems to float above the floor. That is about how I felt today when I walked out of my acupuncturist’s office and my ribcage was pain-free.

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Indeed it snowed

Indeed my teenage daughters built a snow fort (the second of winter! after many years of no forts!)

Indeed it is spring

Indeed my m key is sticking

IMG_1339

Cat Walk

black ice boot tracks

footprints in the snow

sidewalk running

[now a line that rhymes, but I HATED and therefore deleted it. You can figure it out because you are so smart!]

ipsilateral/contralateral

cat gait trot pace

howling at the moon

crust snow, rust snow

pink blue

glow

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each day

the whetstone.

a writer,

the words.

pen to paper;

fingertips to keys

wrists see

*

who visits my dreams

tugs at my ankles, ruffles my hem

I do not know why, for whom
I write this

corseted

record

*

Hell yes!

***

Okay, so it’s not a real mash-up, but a twinkly-style mash-up and that’s how I roll….

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This morning, I dozed back to a restless sleep after my kids left for school. Semi-insomniac that I am, I had a couple of bad nights this week; paired with my lingering health problems, I have been needing more sleep than usual. Some day, I hope to return to productivity and my old “morning person” persona. When did I get this way?

As I slumbered (ha ha, don’t you just love that?), I had a dream with spiders. Huge spiders whose bodies mimicked the fruit of the sweetgum tree, aka, monkey balls (I don’t think that as children we thought they referred to a monkey’s testicles even though every kid knew what balls were).

There was a musician playing a guitar. Another man, too, but I don’t remember who. And Paul was there, I think to save me from the spiders. The spiders were key. There were many, sort of hanging around off the wall and they were huge and some of the spiders had babies. I thought the spiders should not be squashed and that if they were, they would make a bloody mess; bloody both in the British sense of the word as well as the bodily fluid.

I know why the spiders looked like they did in my dream. Yesterday, I had an appointment with my acupuncturist. There are 4 treatment rooms in her clinic and I was in the Herb Room. One wall is made of built-in shelves and on the shelves are glass jars comprising a Chinese pharmacopoeia. One of the jars has something that looks like the monkey balls of which I speak. I am guessing they are the very same, but since I don’t know the Linnaean name nor can I make sense of the Chinese words, I have no way of knowing. I suppose I can check next time I’m in the Herb Room, but I will have forgotten by then.

I think this photo is so lovely. It makes me think warm and happy feelings, like spring. Can you think a feeling or are thoughts and feelings distinct? Certainly, humans have the unique ability to summon feelings. Feelings, as well as thoughts, are simply neuro-chemical impulses after all.

Some time late in my college years, I made a beautiful mobile out of natural objects. A crab claw, a feather, perhaps some sweetgum fruits strung on thread. I can’t really remember. These things perish because they are not rocks or bones or sand. Maybe feathers, like hair, last a long time. Crab claws, they break. We see so many of them on the beach, their shells, too; they are thin and brittle. Maybe they become sand.

The long and short of it is that when I did get out of bed, there was a small, jet-black spider on the wall. It’s not the usual spider we get in the house, but I’ve seen them before. I meant to go back and grab it up into a tissue and put it outside. But I forgot. It dipped down pretty cold today, a freezing wind and no sun so it would have died. I try not to kill them in the house. This creates a dilemma in the winter. Sometimes I do suck them up when I am vacuuming.

Is it better to be squashed to death if you are a spider or to be put outside to freeze? Sometimes, I need my space to be free from spiders, but more often in the winter, I just leave them alone. In warmer weather there is no dilemma.

Are your dreams ever prescient or do you not cotton to that kind of phenomenon? No matter; I believe in the inexplicable and it’s often good enough for me. Science has its charms but I don’t think it can measure everything.

How many spiders live in winter? how many billions of neurons are in your brain? how many stars are in the universe?

Estimated guesses, my doves. You can leave the rest to the poets and dreamers.

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[Tuesday, dusk]

what I have accomplished of late:

that my eyes glaze over at poems I read online

that I perceive myself as impatient

that I baked bread without sufficient kneading

that I preheated the oven too early

that I have begun myriad posts exactly like this one and you will never know them. There was one about snow. One about our lack of snow. One about the snow ending though it never began and how much I miss les neiges d’antan.

The heavy rain. I had a dream that it was thick, wet snowflakes. I still believe that the dream was real. I could almost catch them on my tongue, right while I was lying in bed.

In an hour, I will pull the loaves from the oven, let them cool enough to run a giant knife through one. I will slab butter (unsalted only please!) on the slice and look ahead into my life.

The rain is falling in sheets, back-lit by the pine boughs, the neighbor’s fence out my window. The light is beautiful, the green needles, the red, brown, and black mottled bark. Transport me Lord.

I went outside to photograph what I thought was a white crocus. It was half an eggshell dragged from the compost by some critter. What do you think? a squirrel? a crow?

[NEXT DAY. NOW COMPLETING POST. DIG IT, BABY, DIG IT]

I attended the Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention for a few sunlit and glorious hours on Saturday morning. It does transport me. I’m already feeling pretty silly about my whining.

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Every March in Northampton, Massachusetts is the Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention (this link is always available over in the right column of my blog, under “Music”).

You are warmly invited to the 2013 Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Singing Convention. We look forward to welcoming singers from near and far, reuniting with old friends, and making new ones.
March 9th and 10th
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
(Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday)
Dinner on the grounds at noon
Saturday evening social nearby

I missed last year’s Convention. I don’t usually make it for the whole weekend anyway, but this year I will be present for a couple of hours on Saturday morning. Come see me at the Welcome Table. I’ll draw a design on your name sticker if you want (and if I have time in all the hustle and bustle)!

After that, I’ll come home and probably schlep my kids around. Then, I will go to an Alexander Technique refresher course at my school. Saturday night, I will be seeing some funny at The Arts Block in Greenfield. Hubby has written some sketch comedy (though he and I are not in the performances that night) and the fabulous Ha-Ha’s will be performing as well.

Sunday afternoon at The Academy of Music, I will be attending Screen Test 2—a fundraiser for The Amherst Cinema.

You can go to youtube and look for videos of our Convention and yes, I could simply share one of those with you now. Instead, here I am again, singing my heart out. Because I love you.

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