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Posts Tagged ‘James Brown’

[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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I’m not sure I have ever made a New Year’s resolution.

What I am NOT LIKELY to do in 2013:

Stop submitting my poetry for publication (though in 2012, this was my intention). I feel refreshed and excited right now and I look forward to sending out more poems. DANG it feels good to feel this way.

Change my blog to (the dreaded, overly-romantic-notion-of-oneself) white words on a black background. In order to spare other bloggers’ feelings, I don’t publicize this, but it is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I really like to be able to read blogs I want to read, but funky fonts and funky colors preclude me from a. reading without getting massive after-image-y headaches and b. taking the blogger seriously.

Then again, what about that Neil Young lyric? Maybe that would be even harder to read! (Does anybody know what I’m talking about? This could be a real born-in-the-’60s test).

Give up swearing.

Give up putting funky colors in my hair.

Let me now try my hand at some real resolutions:

Give up the habit of slouching at my computer. In other words, stop forgetting myself as a psycho-physical whole when I am in front of a screen and bring my good thinking to bear on myself.

Use the same good thinking when I interact with or talk about my mother (ie, stop being so effing codependent!)

I think I have to go back to the beginning of my blog and remove all photos which do not belong to me. I do not want to get sued. I sort of look forward to asking permission for some of the images if I can find the sources, but I also dread this kind of tedious work. I did look over J, F, M of 2011 and I didn’t use ONE PHOTO at all! Then came April….

I miss my own photos, actually, as I have always loved to take photos. I stopped taking as many when I got so caught up in using google images. It’s so DAMN easy and so damn fun and some of the photos are so damn apropos. Oh fuck me.

I would like to give you a photo that belongs to me. I am not sure I have one.

Let me look.

Here. Here is some random crap.

IMG_3669

Okay, it’s not crap. It’s really fun Lego sculptures from an exhibit we saw a few years ago at the Springfield Quadrangle. I cannot call it art, but I can call it fun. Sometimes art is not fun and especially artists are touchy grouches and their work sucks.

This could be a new regular feature on my blog. Random photos from my files. I don’t like it.

I do have more color in my face this week (HALLELUJAH!!!) so maybe I’ll take some quickie photos on my computer soon. Or record a song. I have a new phone, too. My first one with a keyboard and real photo capabilities. I am moving up in the world.

I have posted that James Brown song in the past, but it’s so dang good, I gotta have it.

Think about the outta sight things BABY!

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If you are new here, if you searched for twinklysparkles on google to get here, for instance, you may surprised to discover that I have a tendency to chew on the negative, to get the blues, to sit with my own dry crusty thoughts*

*from the poem What Have I Learned? by Gary Snyder, from the book Axe Handles

I’ve been a bit funky lately and not in a good James Brown sort of way. This condition has put a damper on my creative juices (or is it the other way around, chicken-and-egg like?). This is entirely the reason that I invented Thankful Thursday (yes, I invented it; I was the first, I swear).

I love many things today

I love yoga, the 2 studios I frequent, the teachers whose classes I attend. I love the yoga class I was in on Tuesday night wherein my teacher taught to the body of spring, to our spring bodies, to the shift in the air and light. I love how deep yoga goes, how it inspires me, the coiled snake, the mud, the ooze, the tones of my being, the heat, the invertebrate that resonates in my soft tissue, below the bones. I love the 7 chakras and that each has a sound, a color, and a desire or higher manifestation. I love the double helix and the spirals of my muscles which wrap around my bones.

I love that to be a student of yoga is to be in a state of unknowing, same as to be a student of the Alexander Technique. That in the West, thinking one needs to be positive alone to attain enlightenment is a misunderstanding of complexity. I am not enlightened; I am only on a path and that path has no destination.

I love acupuncture and the lessons my practitioner shares with me. That the Chinese system of looking at the body is more complete and encompassing than a Western approach, that it is both subtle and complex, that I will never understand it, that I know only the tiniest bit about it, but what I know I understand and want more of. I love that the Chinese understanding of the body includes how we relate to the world seasonally, that there is an explanation for how our bodies chime with the brightness of spring and that sometimes this can manifest in restlessness and anger. I love that there are foods and activities that nurture our bodies and that these change seasonally. I love that every part of the self is interdependent. I love the 5 elements though I have little understanding of them.

I love that my Alexander teacher, Missy Vineyard, sent me a link about this.

I love that I wrote my original Thankful Thursday post almost a year ago today. I had no idea when I went to search for it just now. I love symmetry and anniversaries and time as much as I hate them; therefore, I love asymmetry and random occurrences and timelessness.

I love so much that sometimes I am taken down by it. I cry with the spring, I wait for the rain, I walk the earth alone; I let my thoughts whisper and hope they take flight in the moonless, cloudless night. I bear witness to the air, the red planet twinkling, the new prey being eaten in the dark, all that goes past us and beyond our time here.

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Is it good or bad that I didn’t put my contact info in the little black notebook that I lost this week? You know, the one with my random musings, interesting web sites for future reference, notes on good music I heard on the radio, inspirations for writing, and, gasp, my privatemost poems….(can you tell that I don’t have an iPhone or Blackberry?)

Why do some women’s breasts get smaller after menopause and why do some get larger?

Why can you get the same pimple in the same exact pore over and over?

Why isn’t the local police blotter as interesting as it used to be? This has been going on for almost 8 months.

What kind of paint was used to spray paint the giant penis in the road?

How can one man have this much soul?

When someone tailgates me, which I consider not only aggressive but dangerous, why do I allow myself to get aggressive in return by slowing down even more?

Would you say this post is more testosterone or estrogen?

Can you gently slam on your brakes (or gently slam on anything else for that matter)?

Blue mascara: discuss.

Really, how many rodents can my cats kill in one day (and those are only the ones I see)?

Am I really missing out since I don’t know how to text?

Do you realize that there is a universe of posts 180 degrees in the opposite political direction from yours on Facebook? What if yours is the incorrect direction?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought Luddite? I can assure you that I haven’t.

Why do companies discontinue wildly popular products, like the pink marshmallow bunny Envirosax that I recently lost? I am crushed, I tell you, crushed. (If anyone out there has one, please forward to twinklysparkles!)

Do I really have to post a photo of a naked or bikini-clad woman at least every-other day to maintain my site stats? What about Justin Bieber (not naked)?

True or False: I have never watched American Idol.

True or False: I have only the slightest clue who Justin Bieber is.

In the True and False portion of this post, who is I?

Will someone please throw out the last chocolate cupcake? Please?

HIT IT AND QUIT IT!

twinkly loves you baby!

photo: ©kgfarthing2011

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Kale, how do I love thee?

One, you start with the letter K. Not many vegetables can make that claim (kohlrabi?).

When I was anemic (severely), you called to me, for you are full of iron. Fe on the periodic table, from the Latin, ferrum, meaning, well, iron.

The most common nutritional deficiency in the world? Lack of iron.

The most abundant element on earth? Iron.

Why do you need iron in your body? So your red blood cells can carry oxygen (O). You need 4 Fe molecules per erythrocyte in order to carry one molecule of O2. This is why anemic folks get out of breath (at least I did).

Wait a minute, twinkly, is this the same iron that we see rusting on playground fences and garden tools?

HELL YES! Would I lie to you?

What do you need to absorb iron so your red blood cells can carry oxygen? Something acidic (lemon or orange juice work well). What can interfere with Fe absorption? Among other things, calcium (Ca). The particulars of this get pretty tricky so if you are interested, you should do some of your own research.

What form of iron do humans most successfully absorb? Heme iron, found in red meat, especially liver, also oysters. You can eat a lot of kale and it will help, but it won’t get you out of a severe anemia.

Kale is in the brassica family. It is a cabbage or cruciferous vegetable, named for the shape of the leaves at its base. You can therefore feel virtuous for eating cabbages, getting to the crux of the matter, as it were.

Here’s my basic kale recipe and how I cook my kale almost always, though I do put it in soups and frittatas and egg-and-cheese strata. Me and the mister just love it this way and I think you will, too:

Get yourself a bunch of lacinito kale (aka dinosaur, Tuscan, or black kale)

But twinkly, can’t I use another kind of kale?

NO. This is my blog and you will do as I say and cook as I do.

Here’s why–

the lacinito kale is beautiful and dark, dark green. Its leaves are firmer than the other varieties of kale. It is darker green, so, even though I’m making this up, it stands to reason that it’s higher in vitamin A and all of the B-complex vitamins. It cooks up crunchier than other kale because it’s leaves are so dang firm. No soggy crap!

That tough stem that all kale recipes tell you to remove? You can leave it. You can leave it in all varieties of kale, but especially with the lacinito kale. Yes, you can trim it at the bottom if it is a 1/4 inch or more wide, but leave the rest.

Okay, back to the recipe:

Ingredients:

appx 1 lb fresh lacinito kale, trimmed at the bottom

appx 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (you already know your fats should be organic)

garlic, at least 3 cloves (I like the hard-necked garlic when it’s available) ready for a garlic press

half a lemon

some toasted sesame oil and don’t use the Trader Joe’s stuff because it doesn’t have a shaker-top and it’s not too flavorful to boot

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

good set of metal cooking-tongs (you won’t be using a non-stick pan, right me maties?)

Method:

Grab your big bunch o’ kale

Rinse the leaves. Usually kale is pretty clean of dirt, but sometimes does have some little bugs

After rinsing, leave the leaves full of those beautiful, silvery dew drops of water

Cut your kale into a chiffonade. Use a really good, sharp knife–not serrated,’kay?

(chiffonade is French, but your knife should probably be German)

You don’t have to cut it super-fancy thin, but about 1/8″ is good. You’ll need to cut narrow across, not length-wise

Heat about a TBSP of evoo in a large pan on medium heat, or if your stove gets really hot (I have electric, sorry purists), turn that down a notch. Don’t use a non-stick pan because a. Teflon will kill you (the fumes can kill a bird) and leach icky endocrine-disruptors and hormone mimicers into everything and into everyone’s gonads, even fish and especially amphibians and b. your kale will not sear properly and have a tiny crunch to it.

If you are anemic (menstruating ladies, take heed), you can use a cast-iron pan for extra iron

When your oil has a bit of a sheen on it, throw in the kale. It will sizzle and pop. Take a step back and let the dew do its magic.

While the kale steams a bit in the pan, take your garlic cloves and crush them in a garlic press (I DO sometimes slice my garlic, but I prefer the crushed in this recipe). Throw the garlic onto the kale.

Grab up a tong-full of kale and turn it in the pan a few times. Do this until all of the kale gets a turn: fair is fair. The garlic needs to be distributed evenly.

Grab your half-a-lemon and squeeze some of that baby into your pan. Sizzle, sizzle. Do your guests like a lot of lemon? Use more juice. Keep grabbing up the kale and turning it in the pan.

Take the toasted sesame oil and shake shake shake it onto the kale. Now you can also shake your booty. Put on some James Brown. Now you’re cookin’! Maybe five shakes should do the trick. It’s really a matter of preference.

You can put a pinch or so of sea salt (appx 1/4 tsp) onto the kale and grind some pepper on there, too. Salt seems to go pretty far on kale, not sure why, so don’t overdo it; you can always add more after a taste-test.

That’s about all. I like the kale to have a lot of crunchiness and some signs of searing, but I don’t like it to lose its bright hue. You can cook it so it has no searing or you can cook the living hell out of it like our parents’ generation seemed to do to all green veggies.

HIT IT AND QUIT IT!

Would I lie to you?

photo: ©kgfarthing2011

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