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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Recently spotted in Provincetown:

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We drove past this sign in Provincetown last Monday on our Capril trip. We understood that it could not be a real traffic sign. The next street is a one-way and who can drive in a beehive pattern anyway? The next day, we drove past again and snapped some photos. That night I pondered and pondered the image in my mind’s eye. I figured it out. It is a woman; yes, a celebration of the feminine.

On our last day, on the way out of town, a woman outside the adjacent gallery said, yes, it is a woman, the Venus of Willendorf, to be exact.

Although I do have proper feet, I know just how she feels.

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magnolia pods

beautiful horsetail (an ancient plant, reproduces by spores like ferns do) hedges landscaped into a rock-and-water garden in front of a (multi) million-dollar ocean-front home

jade hedges; rosemary hedges; bougainvillea spilling out over garages and porches and clay-tile roofs; hummingbirds; shore birds; harbor seals; cormorants and the white streaks of their excrement all over the rocky cliffs on the beaches in La Jolla; the black-crowned night heron fishing off of the ropes at the Maritime Museum; the beautiful black-and-white spotted feather with a bright-orange rachis that I brought home with me but still haven’t identified (anybody?)

ship’s ropes

I got all fancy-schmancy and used the digital switch-over function for b & w, something to which I’ve always been quite resistant. With my old Retina camera, b & w was de rigeur, but with digital, it always feels like cheating. What is wrong with me? Am I so pretentious that only 35mm b & w photography is good enough? Yeesh.

dummies in the ship museum (who still uses these guys? CREEPY and his hand looks bloodied!)

same dragon, different angle:

You know I’ve said I think boy pee has a stronger odor than girl pee, due to the testosterone and all. That was before I visited one of the San Diego airport’s women’s bathrooms at 9 pm on a Saturday and one of the Atlanta airport’s women’s bathrooms at 6 am on a Sunday. These loos smelled very strongly of pee, BOY pee. YIKES!!! Maybe our hormones are equal to and/or greater than theirs? (I’m baiting you, you know).

if this were a b & w photo, you might be confused as to who should use this john

They may talk big in the South about manners and all, but let me tell you, they don’t seem to know how to clean a bathroom.

Today’s song has nothing to do with So Cal except that our pal George sort of half-played it for us and we sort of half-sang along (as if we could it at all because the Feelies don’t really sing their lyrics, they sort of mumble them)

In Coronado, an uber-white, wealthy (or just wanna-be wealthy, for the clueless tourists?), tacky, less-cultured-than-La Jolla (if that’s even possible), gazillions-of-SUVs type community, there are a few places on the sidewalks and at the curbs where quarters are glued to the pavement, I kid you not.

First, it’s illegal (not to mention un-American) to deface American coins. How is it that in one of the most Republican counties in the US, this is allowed?

Second, it’s cruel. What, Coronado, you have so much money, you sit around on your xeriscaped patios watching the lowly plebians try to pick up quarters all day? What about the little barefoot ragamuffin getting run over in the street as he tries to pick up that coin he needs to buy a can of beans for his family’s supper? Have you no mercy?

So, Coronado Beach, keep your money glued to the sidewalks. We don’t need your stinkin’ quarters.

Look what this little New England street urchin found, not glued to the sidewalk:

Look what I saw when I came home:

I know this is not a great photo, but at least I didn’t make it b & w, right? I never saw a sunset like this in So Cal. Chalk one up for New England!

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 The Red Inn, bayside, Provincetown, Mass

Last week, Hubby and I got to Provincetown BY OURSELVES for a couple of nights. It was sort of my birthday trip (July), sort of a belated anniversary trip (June), sort of a belated Hubby birthday trip (February).

Highlights included us not using our car for 2-and-half days. After we arrived at the Inn and parked, we used our commuter bikes to do whatever we needed, not hard considering how small Ptown is and how little was required of us. We biked up and down Commercial St. every day for coffee, the library, lunch, dinner. We biked to an ocean beach and walked in the Province Lands. The ocean side is only about 2 miles from The Red Inn which is on the tippy tip of the Bay side. It’s on the harbor, where the swimming is not so great, but where I find more sea glass than anywhere else on the Bay or the ocean. Any theories on this?.

There were 3 John Waters sightings (not unusual) but the great thing was this very snazzy blue blazer he was wearing. Maybe it had some sort of shiny dark blue fibers with a black slash pattern throughout. But it’s rude to stare so I can’t be sure.

Absolute highlight? Meeting William Sanderson and his wife at breakfast on our last day at the Inn.

William Sanderson, the amazing character actor who we all remember from Blade Runner and many other roles, but we’re not exactly sure which ones.

Hubby puts it best when he says that the reason you can’t remember Bill Sanderson in some roles is that he completely embodies his characters. He disappears into the role absolutely.

When I looked for a bio on Sanderson later in the day, I was amazed to find that he has a degree in law and that he was an army medic.

He’s a sharp one, that Bill Sanderson. He quoted Robert Frost and he got goosebumps when we told him we were from Amherst and that we’d recently visited the Emily Dickinson installation. His wife was also very friendly. I sure wish we could have talked to them some more.

I had a happy and funny interaction with the owner of Joe (whose name is Scott) about an unfortunate incident involving getting my favorite coffee-blended made. He was a peach and my coffee-blended, which I ordered from the beautiful man behind the counter (SO beautiful, I know his mama loves him), was fabulous.

Another highlight was our trip to Savory and Sweet Escapes on our way out-of-town on Thursday evening.

I have decided that the SWEET ESCAPE POMEGRANATE CHIP ICE CREAM ranks in the top 5 best ice cream experiences of my life. YOU MUST GO AND EAT THIS ICE CREAM!!! In the homemade waffle cone. Who cares if it is dripping all over your hands and legs when you are only halfway through? I don’t even like fruity ice cream. I don’t get ice cream in a cone most of the time. Unfuckingbelieveably amazing flavor. I’ll buy you one just to prove it to you, just tell me where to send the 5 bucks.

Though we are in a drought, it did rain in Ptown last Wednesday. We watched the storm roll in, lightening striking off in the distance, probably on the ocean side. The air cooled and the sky was beautiful.

I leave you now with the following song which is featured in the Wes Anderson flick Moonrise Kingdom (who among you remembers Music Monday?)

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Provincetown: a pair of little dogs in a pink doggie stroller being fed ice cream by their owner. Egregious behavior? Not until she licked from the same cone and then tried to force feed one of them when it roundly rejected the ice cream. Other details available, just ask.

Window at one of my favorite galleries. On my way to a body and hair like this? Time will tell.

3 flying seahorses grace the handles of the Lipton Cup in the Provincetown Library. The cup was awarded to the great sailing ship the Rosa Dorothea, a reproduction of which is on the 2nd floor. When I say reproduction, I mean half-size, 66 feet long. Part of it is lit in pink. A Cape Cod must-see.

living sculpture:

Advertising for a show, The Naked Boys, I think. After you walk past these guys night after night, it’s awfully hard not to pull that terrycloth down and see what’s going on under there. And such pretty legs. Dang.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

Yes, this is the pool that I loved. High tide was often on either side of my poetry writing workshop. The Bay beaches lost a lot of shoreline a couple of years ago in a severe storm, so when the tide is high, there is just water next to a fence; this is why I jumped in the pool morning, noon, and night, naked when possible (also hot flashes are abundant ’round my these parts). I want to go back to the same house. I want to live in the pool.

The full moon last week. It makes me think of the nursery rhyme boys and girls come out to play, the moon doth shine as bright as day….I swear I’ve posted that song here somewhere, but I am too lazy to find it. Perhaps a video is in order?

4th of July, fireworks on the beach. This was a kick, fireworks dotting the shore as far as the eye could see with the closest large display in the harbor at Provincetown. The great thing was that everyone was happy and running around in the cool windy air. Beyond Ptown, on the ocean side, we could see lightening. What a night. Here you can see what someone was shooting off right next to us. Tide coming in, but look how wide the beach is still…

All the girls (lucky man, that Paul):

Back to Ptown: Hubby and my mom, in front of Puzzle Me This, the best store in the world for games and puzzles

a very bold woman or a lost extra from the set of Lord of the Rings:

This is from our last night in Provincetown. We want to laugh at first, but it’s not funny, you know. It reminds me of the Jacques Brel song about the sailors and the whores.

Can you imagine?

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First, Hallelujah, we have wi-fi from an unprotected network. As long as I sit on the upper deck of our house rental (from which I can see the ocean of Cape Cod Bay, can see the sand peeking through the water at low tide—even without my glasses—can feel breeze on my bare skin), I get reception.

BUT WAIT! I have now adjourned to the bedroom, on the same side of the house as the deck, and I have connectivity! No mosquitoes, just the sound of the bullfrogs from the huge pond below! This Cape gets better every minute!

I made a mistake in my recent post, thinking that the puzzle-head sculpture was in front of PAAM; as I was walking in town later in the day, I realized it was in front of one of the many galleries on Commercial Street. You know how I like to be accurate if at all possible, so I thought I’d let you know.

Here are two more photos of sculptures of heads, both of these from the excellent sculpture park, deCordova in Concord, Mass:

I don’t really know why I am putting these here now except that they are extremely cool works of art….

I have much more to share. Provincetown; my poetry; my poetry workshop; the amazingly cool, inspiring, fun, beautiful, poetic, art installation at the Emily Dickinson Museum, “Dwell in Possibility,” which we managed to sneak in on Friday before we left town for the Cape. I’ll give you a peek:

You know, this exhibit has been up for weeks and weeks and although I’d driven by parts of it a number of times, the family waited to see it until the day before it was to be taken down. BUT, oh, how worthwhile. So much to tell, so many poems to post….where to begin?

Internet is sketchy unless I’m on the deck and tho the moon be full and lo I want to write and post, I will retire for now. I think the poems I have been working on in the last little while of my life are good. I am getting better at editing.

Just know that I can see the flat ocean in the distance; it is close, not even a quarter mile down the slope

July is the month of my birth


					

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On hiatus, possibly, from blogging for the week. I can probably do quickie updates, but nothing too involved.

I am in Truro, Cape Cod for the week, no wi-fi at our house rental (WTF?) but a fabulous pool and less than a block from the ocean (bayside).

I have my new point-and-shoot camera with me (you all know the saga of my older point-and-shoot camera with a water-stained lens, right? See any photo I’ve taken and put here on my blog in the last year-and-a-half and you will probably notice); my new commuter bike and paneer; Hubby; daughters; one of their friends; and my mother.

I will be doing a poetry writing workshop with Dorianne Laux each day this week at the Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. I am excited and slightly scared, though these words do not adequately describe the subtleties of my actual emotional state in regards to the upcoming workshop. In any case, wish me well….

Speaking of sex toys, I have forgotten all of mine at home. Fortunately, Provincetown is a den of sin and I think there are at least 3 “sex” shops. The most embarrassing (to me) being Toys of Eros, whose window is smack dab on the main strip (Commercial Street) and generally features its white-torsoed manikins in bondage gear. All these years, I have tried to stay in conversation with the kids face-to-face as we pass. I don’t know what my worry or discomfort is; they’ve been coming up here for 12 years, same as me, and they’ve seen more drag queens and leather boys than I ever did until I was in my 40s.

In the absence of having uploaded any current photos, I give you some from April 2011. Or you can visit a couple of old posts about Cape Cod, here, here, and here.

sculpture in front of PAAM, Provincetown’s excellent art museum

just a little house/building, not too interesting, but I liked it enough to take this photo

That’s all folks, I’m outta gas and outta a desire to sit in this internet cafe/coffee shop (The Wired Puppy)

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In 1983, I was a sophomore living in the dorms at Kent State University.

Some time that year, we got the diagnosis that my father had colon cancer. Now that I come to write about it, I realize I don’t have many details. He had surgery to remove part of the colon and when they opened him up, they found that the cancer had metastasized to the liver.

My parents were living in Sylvania, Ohio at the time.

Some time in 1984 or ’85. Our good family friends in Southfield, Michigan, lent me a giant, dark-green Ford so that I could commute back and forth from Kent to Toledo while my father was dying. I spent the summer drunk, screwing a number of non-boyfriends, dancing to reggae bands upstairs at Mother’s Junction (above Ray’s), and going to see the Numbers Band at JB’s down.

I can’t remember what job I held. I do remember the heart-wrenching misery of driving to Toledo every Friday night and returning every Sunday. The long dark road, I-80, where deer/car collisions were a regular occurrence and the tail-end of the Appalachian range flattened completely by the time you’d reach Northwest Ohio. Some damn ugly land. I remember how everything in me screamed not to go. If I didn’t go home, would he not die?

Richfield, Ohio, Kita Lyons’ property. I had written in my book that this is July 13, 1985, 2 days shy of my 23rd birthday. One of the necklaces I’m wearing belonged to my Tante Nelli, but she died in May 1986. I wonder if she gave me some jewelry earlier than I remember.

My father died in August 1985.

I decided to make my pilgrimage the following year. My mother bought me a used, silver Toyota Corolla/Tercel, a model that they made for only a short time. I think it cost 4 thousand bucks. I have no memory of how many miles it had on it. I do remember going to someone’s house to check out the car, how their driveway looked, dark black asphalt. I would pay my mother back from my aunt’s estate when I received that money. My father’s only living sister, Nelli Landau. She died 9 months after him. I know it was a broken heart, for she loved my father and had no husband or children of her own.

I decided first to drive east. I would be staying mostly in youth hostels, but also had a few connections to stay with people I’d never met. Friends of friends. I miss that spirit. I miss it.

I am not sure any more all of the places I stopped. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where I stayed in a governor’s mansion because my friend’s friends were the caretakers. The wife was a New England blue blood, going back several generations. She was a fiber artist, had a studio set up in the house.

They steamed mussels we picked up fresh from a little fish shack in town. I’d never eaten mussels before. I learned what a Widow’s Walk is. I toured the rose arbor in the back yard. The wife’s name was Sydney. This is how people name their children in New England.

One night, we drove past oceanfront mansions, stopped on the damp ocean beach, got high, and watched the sunset.

I next stopped in Cherryville, Maine, the famed place of an annual blueberry harvest which gathers hippies, loafers, stoners, and other back-to-nature types for seasonal farm work. Now I realize that there must be real migrant workers who go there, not just the educated white children of middle class families.

The hostel was really an old hippie commune. My first of so many things, again. I used an ATM machine in the quaint town. I got poison ivy (sumac?) on my legs. I stood in a circle with a couple dozen other people, stoned, holding hands, swaying, singing om om om. I learned what a Clivus is and determined that some day I would have one.

Maine, Bar Harbor, a little boat trip around some of the islands where I saw seals and puffins. The first time I heard the word shoal. Acadia where I walked on some barnacled rocks for a few hours, did nothing else, and left. I met a guy at the youth hostel. I remember eating a meal, walking around the town. Saying Bah Haba like the locals over and over, laughing, tschoke shops, lobster everything everywhere. I gave him a ride to the Greyhound station in Boston. A kiss in the rain. I didn’t even like him, but he was friendly. Dark hair, not too tall.

One very clear memory is of driving on the interstate in Massachusetts and the giant granite rocks on either side, with their trees and lichen, roots, gray and yellow stains. I think of it still when we go to Boston on I-90. I remember.

I started this post thinking about every car I’ve ever owned because my 2000 Toyota mini-van is up near 160K miles and creaky.

Let’s call this Installment One of Old Girl, the story of the first half of my cross-country trip after the death of my father.

♦ ♦ ♦

Hey, I’m not saying I like this, but I went to see them live a lot back in the day. The first video is kinda shaky to start, still good to see them looking good and playing after all these years.

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