Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Time to clean! No more procrastination!

I have to cut down on my blogging for a little while. Quite frankly, I need to get my house cleaned up. It is a mess that I can no longer ignore. We just have too much stuff. I need to get rid of some of it etc....When I get everything clean, I will be back. Hopefully, it won't take too long!

(Sometimes I wonder if there is some Freudian reason why I often choose pictures of girls much younger than me.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Shake Hands With the Devil

Right now I'm trying to save money on books. I spend sooooo much money on books. Instead of buying from Borders etc....I have been going to used book stores and thrift shops.

I never know what I am going to find when I take this route. You just have to choose from what is there. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised as I am picking books I wouldn't normally choose. So, right now I am reading Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. It's written by Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire.

He is the highest-ranking military officer ever to suffer openly with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He gives a detailed first-person, insiders account of the events leading up to the withdrawal of all the major powers and what he saw and felt.

I'm very interested in what happened in Rwanda and also other things going on in Africa, though I must confess it is a somewhat morbid interest. Things like this are so scary and I guess I want to try to understand what is going through peoples minds and how something like this could happen.

Also, and please don't anyone take offense at this but my mother is very anti-military. She is also very ideological and tends to see things as black and white. So, I was not raised to be open-minded towards the military. Since I've left home and grown up, I am more open-minded and realize that the prol-military have their poing of veiw as well and I respect it for the most part, though I don't entirely understand. So, it is eye-opening for me to read about how he felt about being a soldier.

So.....as of yet, the book is a little boring. Okay, not a little, a lot. But I am trying to wade through the beginning because I think it is going get better. (Well, I know this is sort of a lame post but it's all I have time for right now. I'll come up with something better soon!) So, what are you reading?

Friday, July 13, 2007

What would I do with myself if I was my daughter?

When I was 15 I went to San Francisco to spend time with my uncle Micheal and my aunt Amy. When I got off the plane and we got to the car, my uncle said, "Wow! You must be tired. Here have some of this." and he handed me a joint.

Thus started my 2 week trip to San Fran. I never liked pot that much actually. It opened me up too much. I lost my boundaries. I felt like people could see what I felt and that I could feel what they felt. I got confused. I wonder if anyone else has ever had that experience with pot?

When I was out there, my uncle took me to a used record store. One of the albums I purchased was Horses by Patty Smith not to be confused with Patti Smith. She is a poet and a musician (and I emphasize the poet part of the equation). She is absolutely awesome. I recently purchased the CD. She is just as relevant now as she was in 1974 when she cut the album. (She has been inducted into the Rolling Stone's top 100 artists.)

Here are some of the lyrics to her song, Land.

The boy was in the hallway drinking a glass of tea.
From the other end of the hall a rhythm was generating
Another boy was sliding up the hallway
He merged perfectly with the hallway
He merged perfectly with the mirror in the hallway

The boy looked at Johnny
Johnny wanted to run
But the movie kept movie as planned
The boy took Johnny, he pushed him in the locker
He drove it in, he drove it home, he drove it deep in Johnny
The boy disappeared, Johnny fell on his knees
Started crashing his head against the locker
Started crashing his head against the locker
Started laughing hysterically.

He gets the feeling,
He is surrounded by Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses
Coming in in all directions
White, shining, silver studs with their nose in flames
He saw Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses, Horses.

Life is filled with holes
Johnny laying here, his sperm coffin
Angel looks down and says, "Oh pretty boy, can't you show me nothin' but surrender?"
Johnny gets up, puts on his leather Jacket
Taped to his chest, there's the answer
You got pen knives and jack knives and switch blades preferred
Switch blades preferred
Then he cries, then he screams saying
Life is full of pain, I'm cruising through my brain
And I fill my nose with snow and go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud
And go Johnny go and do the watusi, yeah do the watusi

So, this is the stuff I was listening to at the age of 15. I guess was a creepy little kid. I bought a copy of the Satanic Bible by Alasteir Crowley. I didn't want to become a Satanist, I just wanted to know what it said. I read The Feminine Mystique and The Woman's Room. I read On the Road, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest and Catcher in the Rye. After I read On the Road, I started experimenting with drugs because they made it sound so necessary and almost killed myself one night huffing gas.

Did all of that stuff give me ideas that I was too young to understand? Yes, since I was a mixed-up kid it probably wasn't the best thing for me to read. If I was my mother, would I let myself read these things? Listen to these things? Would you let your daughter?

Personally, I would. If she wanted to know those things, I would let her know. But she wouldn't read it alone like I did. I would read it too and talk to her about it. I don't blame my parents for not doing that with me. I was a difficult kid. Not many people would have known how to deal with me. I would know how to deal with a kid like me, but a lot of people would not. And I think I was pretty cool, warts aside.

I'm going to put in the rest of the lyrics now. I know some of those with poetic inclinations will enjoy them. but I didn't want to put them in earlier because people who are not impressed with poetry may not like to read something this long.

There's a little place, a place called space.
It's a pretty little place, it's across the tracks,
Across the tracks and the name of the place is you like it like that,
You like it like that, like it like that, like it like that
And the name of the band is
The Twistilettes, Twistilettes, Twistelettes, Twistilettes
Twistilettes, Twistilettes, Twistilettes, Twistilettes

Baby calm down, better calm down,
In the night, in the eye of the forest,
There's a mare black and shining with yellow hair,
I put my fingers through her silken hair and found a stair
I didn't waste time, I just walked right up and saw that
up there--there is a sea
up there--there is a sea

The sea's the possibility
There is no land, but the land
(up there is just a sea of possibilities)
Except for one who seizes the possibilities
(up there)
There is no keeper but the key
(up there there are several walls of possibilities)
Except for one who seizes possibilities, one who seizes possibilities
(in the heart of man)
I seize the possibility, is the sea around me
I was standing there with my legs spread like a sailor
(in the sea of possibilities) I felt his hand on my knee
(on the screen)
And I looked at Johnny and handed him a branch of cold flame
(in the heart of man)
The waves were coming in like Arabian stallions
Gradually lapping into the sea horses
He picked up the blade and he pressed it against his smooth throat
(the spoon)
And let it deep in (the veins)
dip into the sea, the sea of possibilities
It started hardening
Dip into the sea, the sea of possibilities
It started hardening in my hand
And I felt the arrows of desire

I put my hand inside his cranium, oh we had such a braniac-armour
But no more, no more, I gotta move from my mind to the area
(go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud)
And Johnny go down and do the watusi,
do the watusi
shined open coiled snake, white and shiny twirling and encircling
Our lives are now entwined, we will fall, yes we're together twining
Your nerves, your mane of black shining horses
And my fingers all entwined through the air,
And I could feel it, it was the hair going through my fingers
(I could feel it, I could feel it, I could feel it)
The hairs were like wires going through my body
I, that's how I
That's how I
I died
(at that Tower of Babel they knew what they were after)
(Everything on the current)moved up
I tried to stop it, but it was too warm, too unbelievable smooth,
Like playing in the sea, in the sea of possibility, the possibility
Was a blade, a shiny blade, I hold the key to the sea of possibilities
There's no land but the land

Looked at my hands and there's a red stream
That went streaming through the sands like fingers
Like arteries, like fingers
(how much fits between the eyes of a horse?)
He lay, pressing it against his throat, (your eyes)
His vocal cords starting shooting like (of a horse)mad pituitary glands
The scream he made (and my heart) was so high (my heart)pitched that nobody heard,
No one heard that cry
No one heard (Johnny)the butterfly flapping in his throat
(his fingers)
Nobody heard, he was on that bed, it was like a sea of jelly
And so he seized the first
(his vocal cords shot up)
(like mad pituitary glands)
It was a black tube, he felt himself disintegrate
(there is nothing happening at all)
and go inside the black tube, so when he looked out into the steep
Saw this sweet young thing, fender one
Humping on the parking meter, leaning on the parking meter
In the sheets
There was a man
dancing around
to the simple
Rock and Roll

Monday, July 9, 2007

Tragedy is back

Tragedy said nothing for several minutes, she was trying to remember who Djana the dark was, she couldn't remember having ever heard of her, but she didn't like to ask because she thought Nohna had probably told her during lessons and would be disappointed that Tragedy didn't remember. Tragedy had a notoriously poor memory and it caused her a lot of embarrassment and she had developed ingenious ways of faking her way through situations like this, but finally she had to ask, "Okay Nohna. Who is Djana the Dark? I'm sure she must be someone very important and very evil and I suppose you are about to tell me that I have set in motion the end of the world or something. Hmmph!! And my parents always said I would never amount to anything."

"Huh? What?" Asked Nohna who had drifted off into her own reveries, "Oh no Tragedy, no, no. Nothing like that! Djana is a pain in the ass, that's for sure, but she isn't all that important."

"Says you!" snarled Joy from the corner.

"Oh shut up, Twit!" snapped Nohna.

Tragedy screwed up her face very unattractively and stared very rudely at Nohna. It was a facial expression equivalent of being flipped off. She was tired and getting grumpy and she just wanted to be told what was happening without having to drag it out of Nohna.

"Oh Tragedy! Out with it, what is it that you want to know?" Nohna was getting crabby too, she was overwhelmed by the thought of everything that she was going to have to do in order to get ready.

"Well, excuse me if I can't understand your vague mutterings. I could start reading your mind if you're too lazy to talk. Do you want me to start reading your mind? Because that's what I'll have to do if you aren't more clear. You'll leave me no other choice." Trinity had jumped up and was angrily glaring at Nohna. She knew very well that if she read Nohna's mind that it would give Nohna a splitting headache and that Nohna wouldn't want her to.

Joy started to giggle. "Oh, will you shut up!" screeched Tragedy and she flung a piece of bread at Joy which hit her in the forehead leaving a big glob of butter. Tragedy had gotten to a point where she no longer thought of this thing as her sister or she wouldn't have done that.

Nohna started to snicker and Tragedy paused stunned, then yelled in mock anger, "Shut up! Or I'll throw my stew on you!" Nohna friskily tossed an apple through the air and bounced it off of Joy's head. Nohna and Tragedy both began laughing hysterically and it might have turned into a food fight if Brian had not arrived home at just that moment, sending all of the straw in the roof fluttering. Gasping for breath, tears rolling down their faces, Tragedy and Nohna went staggering out to greet him leaving Joy to sulk.

"Okay, Tragedy. I'm all yours. Tell me what it is that you want to know." Nohna said after they had settled down. They had explained to Brian why they were laughing and he feigned to be too sophisticated to find such antics funny; but he looked through the window for them and told them that the butter was still stuck onto Joy's forehead, that she hadn't wiped it off yet . Not only that, but there was a piece of apple on top of her head and Joy looked really stupid trying to be fierce with an apple fragment on top of her head. This sent them into fresh hysterics at which Brian pretended to be displeased.

Eventually, Nohna was able to settle down and tell Tragedy who Djana was. Djana, it seemed, had been a well-loved wizard who had sent herself into oblivion doing unapproved spellwork and had never been able to find her way back. Tragedy had opened up the way for her to come back by performing her glamour-off. Djana had been the only wizard ever, until Tragedy to earn the fealty of all 4 kingdoms of elementals.

"Djana had been much loved for her kindness but her spell work was atrocious. She couldn't cast a spell to save her life! Everything that she did turned out wrong somehow. And she came from a long line of powerful magicians, that was what made it so hard to understand.. No-one knew quite what to make of it, she seemed to have no magical aptitude whatsoever. People actually ran when they thought she might begin to cast a spell. For her spells never turned out the way they were meant to, but for some reason could not be set right, that was the only thing that was strong about them is that they could not be fixed. You will see several magicians tomorrow who were victims of her ineptitude. Her spells were very silly...try not to laugh!"

"Eventually, they had no choice but to ban her from doing magic. So, when the elementals came forth to offer their allegiance everyone was shocked and didn't know what to make of it. There were many long discussions about this as this was an unheard of thing and needed to be made sense of."

"I'm afraid that some people were rather hard on poor Djana, jealous of course. For everyone was a better magician than her and yet she was the one who received this honor. Some cruel things were said. Some of these things got back to her. And Djana was very sensitive and she took these things hard and she was helped in this by someone who was not good for her."

"Djana had a cousin, Emele was her name and she was one of the best magicians of our time. And Emele was enchanted by Djana. Djana was everything that she wasn't. Djana was a beautiful girl, Emele was plain; well not simply plain...ugly would be it. But Emele was smart... she was so smart! She felt that this should make up for her plainness. But Djana always had all of the attention though because of her beauty and it really wasn't right. This made Emele become cynical and bitter."

"Because Emele had more talent than all of us. Only thing is, she was so mean. Oh was she mean, and she became even meaner! Everyone was afraid of her, except for Djana, she was always kind to Djana. But when Djana was honored by the elementals this finally caused Emele to come loose. She began to hate Djana as well as love her, maybe she had already hated her."

"Her love became strange, with hidden knives inside it. She began to toy with Djana, to become sadistic. She was the one who made sure that Djana knew what people were saying about her. She did her best to make Djana feel that everyone was laughing at her and that no-one respected her. Djana began to spend all of her time with Emele, to avoid other people who she only felt uncomfortable around."

"Then she offered to help Djana, to teach her to do magic properly. She was able to invoke an amulet to protect her from the ill-effects of Djana's spells so that she wouldn't end up with an arm growing out of her forehead or something ridiculous like that, though that would certainly have been an improvement on her looks. No-one knows what her intentions were, whether she intended to help Djana or if she was operating out of revenge. She knew that Djana was forbidden to use magic. Though Emele would have been chastised for her part in it, Djana was the one who would recieve the punishment."

"As Emele was so talented, she actually began to help Djana. Djana actually became able to do some rudimentary spells without mishap. Then came the spell that wax the end of them both. At least the end of them as they had been known."

"Which spell was that?" Tragedy wanted to know.

"A Glamour-off," replied Nohna.

"Just kidding!" Nohna chuckled in response to Tragedy's horrified gasp. "I'll get to that in a minute dear!"

"None of Djana's mishaps had ever really hurt anyone, they were actually quite funny as long as you weren't the recipient. Perhaps this lulled them into a false sense of security. For a beckoning is a spell that is normally easy to perform, only due to Djana's 'problem' the potential for mishap was there. As you know, one needs to use precautions in dealing with the dead."

A beckoning as Tragedy knew, was a spell in which the spirit of one who was dead could be beckoned and then made to answer questions. The power of the spirit beckoned was dependent upon the stregnth of the magician casting the spell. A beckoning is quite fun, for the living as well as the dead. "

On the night of a full moon, Djana, Emele and Persepha went deep into the woods to perform the beckoning."

"Who is Persepha anyway?" asked Tragedy.

"Persepha is Djana's lover," replied Nohna.

"Djana had a female lover?" asked Tragedy, intrigued.

"Okay, actually her name was Persepho until Djana accidentally changed him into a woman when one of her spells went awry. They began calling him Persepha in order to avoid awkward questions."

"Oh, I see," replied Trinity bemused.

"Of course, this would explain why she is so bitter and slightly insane, plus....I think she has a crush on you!" chuckled Nohna wryly.

Friday, July 6, 2007

In defense of being slovenly

I have a book calleld(please don't think I'm too shallow, I'm a compulsive book buyer! I wind up with some real doozies!) The Best Kept Beauty Secrets. They tell you how to give yourself home made facials etc. (And don't knock it, facials work a lot better than you think. I'm not being defensive am I?) Anyway, the masks mainly call for food products, such as milk, oatmeal, avacado, sugar and different fruit juices. The oatmeal and the sugar have abrasive qualities which will remove the top layer of skin revealing the 'fresher more youthful skin beneath' , and the milk and fruit contains various chemicals that peels off the top layer for the same reason!

So, I've been mulling over this lately for it seems that I am beginning to notice that the skin around peoples mouths doesn't seem to be as wrinkied as the rest of their skin. Perhaps I'm just imagining it, I don't know.

Well, I'm sure you know where I'm going with this: of course I'm wondering if these are people who do not wipe their mouths after they eat. My mind is kind of going wild because when I see someome with a relatively unwrinkled face I envision them with food smeared all over their faces. And the people who are wrinkled, I see them as excessively neat which in this context seems disgusting while now I am beginning to see the non-face wipers as enlightened. Strange how your persepective can change isn't it?

So, I think that I'm going to smear food all over my face when I eat and then I'm not going to wipe my face afterwards. It will keep me youthful in more ways than one. And when people think I'm revolting, well...we'll see who has the last laugh 20 years down the road.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Family Tradition

My mother is a history major. She taught highschool history way back in the 70's. She didn't like teaching and didn't do it anymore after that. When I grew up I was always being given little impromptu history lessons which usually started with, "See Diana, years ago......."

One of the things that we often had around the house were books written about the daily habits of people who lived 'years ago'. I learned many interesting things from these books. For instance, did you know that in the dark ages no-one used silverware? There was no such thing as a fork. Everyone carried a knife and this is what they ate with. If you went to someones house you used your own knife.

In Holland, children did not sit at the table. They stood behind their parents chairs and were fed like little puppies. The lower-classes in London subsisted on a barley-based gruel. That was it! Hence, the life expectancy of 30. I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the idea.

So I picked up a book called "Inside the Victorian Home," the other day and it has been as enjoyable as I thought it would be. Here is an excerpt which will hopefully illustrate why I like and get a kick out of these books.

"For us, mice and rats are the first thought at the word "vermin"; for the Victorians it was bugs: blackbeetles, fleas, even crickets. If the struggle against them was not waged with commitment and constancy, they would "multiply till the kitchen flooor at night palpitates with a living carpet, and in time the family cockroach will make raids on the upper rooms, travelling along the line of hot water pipes...the beetles would collect in corners of the kitchen ceiling, and hanging to one another by their claws would form huge bunches or swarms like bees, towards evening and as night closed in, swarthy individuals would drop singly on to floor, or head, or food...........Mrs. Haweis did not object to rats and mice, which she thought were "nice, pretty, clever little things."

Okay, one more and I promise I'll stop!

"As soon as the water was hot, the sheets and other linens were taken out of their overnight soaking water, rinsed in hot water ladled out of the copper, and rubbed or beaten with a dolly or a possing stick." "The sheets were then wrung out, and the water was thrown away. A bar of soap--there were as yet no detergents--was shaved, cut into pieces, and dissolved in boiling water to form a jelly. The jelly was rubbed through the sheets. Then the water was added to transform the whole to a soapy mass, and the sheets were agitated again. More water--as hot as could be borne by the laundress--was added, the sheets were rubbed a third time. The water was thrown out, more was taken from the copper, and the items were put in their first rinse, then wrung out. They were then put in the copper itself, together with one teaspoon of soda to every two gallons of water and boiled for and hour and a half, to remove the soap thoroughtly. After the boiling the sheets were taken out, rinsed a third time in another tub of boiling water, and then a fourth in a final tub of cold water, which had had 'blue' put in it." "After the blue rinse, everything was wring out for a third and final time, and hung up to dry. Thus, the first--and simplest--load of laundry took one soaking, two washes, one boiling and four rinses:"