Tuesday, August 30, 2011

JibJab Media Launches JibJab Jr!!!!

Quite possibly the most anticipated literary event in my household:  JibJab Media is releasing their first children's book, The Biggest Pizza Ever. It's an electronic book, designed for the iPad and it features JibJab's "Starring You" technology, so you can customize it with your child's photograph!

Also, the author of this first ebook, Scott Emmons is one of the wittiest poets you'll ever read.

And the love of my life!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The 40 Year Old Virgin Housewife: Can We Hit 1000 Pageviews In a Month?

Just helping out my friend Becky...she's a good writer and a superb human being. Read her blog!

The 40 Year Old Virgin Housewife: Can We Hit 1000 Pageviews In a Month?: Hey Friends,

I began this blog on July 29, 2011, one month ago tomorrow. I just checked the stats and we're already up to 923 pageviews!...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Morning

Air and sky dark, still.
Wearing spider’s sticky strands
this morning, I walk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Writing a Post Every Day...

...is more difficult than I thought it would be.
I would much rather just play online than do actual work.
See I'm not even thinking. I just thought I'd put up a picture from our trip to Maui this past June.  Which shows my son, snorkeling.
Snorkeling was easy compared to blogging.
This is not even poetry.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Doldrums

They should be over by now, the summer doldrums. It's only occurring to me at this point in my life that I need to push myself out of them. They won't go away on their own.

It's like I have to pass through them at least once every spin around the sun.

I need to row. Hard.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I was, you know, busy

With survival
when the power went out,
adrenaline came on.

With purpose I pointed
the beam of the flashlight
and tiptoed to the basement.

No, it was not overloaded circuits.
I knew that.
The boom and flash that tore holes in the sky
The deafening sheets of rain
That's what kept me from writing

to you all.

In daylight, much later
"Hello, do you have power?"
from everyone I met.
And that sense of envy when I would overhear
"Oh yes, the lights just flickered a bit."
And the sense of dread:
what would I find when I returned home?
Slimy petrie dish of a refrigerator?
Heat and the still air, a stifling blanket,
reminder of my powerlessness?

That is why I did not write
Until now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zeugma

A Z word! Zeugma.
I am using an actual ink-on-paper dictionary, Webster's 9th, which my spouse & I purchased for one another in 1988.
zeugma (from the Greek lit., joining, and related to the word yoke: the use of of a word to modify or govern two or more words usually in such a manner that it applies to each in a different sense or makes sense with only one.
For example: ".. opened the door and my heart to homeless boy..." this from the dictionary, (but I think it's more an example of Syllepsis).
My example: "She gave her heart to Jethro and her body to the whole damn world," Tom T. Hall.
Wikipedia has a much more detailed analysis here.




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Front Yard Haiku


I long for bright weeds,
splash of color here and there.
Front yard is too green.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Road Trip: Omaha's Got Art!

In Omaha, we had originally planned to go to the Henry Doorly Zoo, especially to visit the Scott Aquarium. But we got there kind of later than we had planned.

We had lunch at King Kong Gyros & Burgers across the street from the Zoo/Rosenblatt Stadium and then decided to go to the Joslyn Art Museum.

At the Joslyn we saw some incredible things...

I think I can link to this specific painting...I sent a request for permission to do so but have not heard back yet. I'll take the link down if I am told I can't but since this blog is not for profit, I can't imagine what problems I'll have with it. It's Makovsky's Russian Beauty and Cat. I thought it was stunning, the way the artist painted light into just about every pearl, on the fabric, on her face and on the cat's face. You will have to go there to see the painting itself and enjoy all the details up close.

There was also a Chihuly installation in the atrium between the modern pieces and the older ones.

Our visit was so short. I really wished I'd had more time there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip: Long Way Around

We took a short road trip to Omaha this weekend. We had time constraints although I had requested Saturday and Sunday off. We knew that Omaha was a short trip north along the beautiful Missouri River.
What we hadn't counted on was the beautiful Big Muddy's floodwater being all over the highway and well, we had to take the long way around. Interstate 29 was closed north of Rock Port, and highways west of there were under water.
To me it was amazing, that with the record heat we'd had, the river hadn't gone down below flood stage in some places.

We did not mind the detours. We got to see some pretty farmland in western Missouri and Iowa, where the gently contoured terraces of crops were dotted with eerily beautiful wind turbines. That got us curious about wind turbines in general. How would you maintain them? Would you have to lift someone by helicopter or crane (or jet pack) in order to fix a broken turbine? The following video will help elucidate those eager to know:


Friday, August 12, 2011

My Excuse

I forgot to post
Yesterday
When warm, sweet winds
and tolerable temperatures
relaxed me.

I took a long drive
Somewhere
I had never been before
A little lake sparkled
bewitched me

When I came home
Much later
My brain grasped for words
that until today
eluded me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jet Packs vs. Broomsticks: Are We at the Crossroads?

I have been thinking about jet packs a lot these days. This may be because it's been a hot, boring summer and I have time on my hands and lots of empty space in my brain once I finished rereading Harry Potter prior to seeing the final movie. In any event, Harry Potter can fly on a broomstick or thestral or hippogriff. He might choose to Apparate/Disapparate, take a Portkey or use the Floo Network. Evidently certain really advanced wizards can also fly without broomsticks.

All this has made me pretty envious in a wistful, slacker sort of way. Thus the problem of jet packs. Are they supposed to be the broomsticks of our time or something else? In any event, we don't have them yet.

If we did have them--my spouse and I were discussing this today--there might be insurmountable problems:
1) How far could you go before having to come back and refuel?
2) Could you achieve airplane-like speed and height? Probably not unless you were wearing a spacesuit and what would be the fun of that?
3) What about the traffic problems? If you and your neighbors all had jet packs, it could make flying as time consuming as driving in some places. Could you cut across some open space to make time, only to bump into someone headed in the opposite direction? In other words, how regulated would jet pack travel have to be?
4) What would be the aim? Would you want to be able to travel at low heights (above the average suburban treeline, say) just to get around without a car or bike?
5) Would you want to be able to use your jet pack to lift you to say, a mountain top without having had to climb it? Some would say what's the fun of that--but what if you were on a rescue mission? I think jet packs would be great for rescue missions in the mountains. But you'd have to carry oxygen, supplies and more oxygen for whoever you are rescuing.

Back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hold the Presses: Newspaper Movie Critic Lives!!!

Robert Butler is alive and well but he's no longer writing for the Kansas City Star.
Although I miss reading him in the Star, I'm glad I get to read his blog--sometimes twice a day. I'm thrilled that he's writing about what he wants to see and not every big screen big movie that comes along. I agree wholeheartedly with Butler that it's not about the 8 bucks or whatever it costs to see a movie these days--it's about the time.

I also sometimes suspected that Butler was a little easier on some movies than he would have been given free rein. I am probably wrong, but I'm enjoying reading him so much more these days.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Haiku is gaining...

I've just noticed that in my Cloud, Haiku is overtaking Librarianship as a tag.
Poetry wins out every time.

To Live and Write in Kansas City...and environs...part one

I recently joined The Kansas City Writers Group.

It wasn't until the end of the spring semester and now, during the summer that I got the courage up to submit my poetry for critiquing.

I am so glad I did! For one thing, others catch things that I will have missed and the good feedback from the group proves to me that I have something worth working on.

Testing...

testing...testing

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Roses close the castle
Thorns scale the walls
As day becomes night
For a hundred years...

Friday, August 05, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Word that I like

Lately, it's a word that neither begins nor ends with Z.

It's SALMAGUNDI.I just like the sound of it.



salmagundi!
salmagundi!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Midsummer Sorrow

I often get really depressed in the middle of the summer. It wasn’t until I did some work in therapy that I began to relate events from my earliest years to who am I today.
My brother was born in the summer and for the content 2-year old girl that I was, it meant the beginning of the end.

The end of my mother’s love and care for me.

Some of my earliest memories involve me holding a turquoise-colored plastic or rubber bowl filled with urine-soaked diapers. I remember the smell. I remember the heat. I remember the crying of my new little brother.

I remember being yelled at for something having to do with my brother and then going away.

Yes.

That’s what my depression was: going away because the reality of my life was too painful. That’s what happens when it’s too painful now, as well. Yet, I had to exist. The pull to survive was very strong. So I pushed away all my 2-year old neediness and became helpful and quiet instead.

Now you may wonder, wasn’t there a father here to balance the mother’s consuming need to care for her newborn?

Well, at that point in time, my mother and father were separating. My father stayed around to help out, but his help consisted of molesting me.

I know these things, so when I become depressed in the heat of the summer now, I let it wash over me and try to calmly observe the connection. Sometimes an event triggers it.In my hormonal youth, a summer occurrence of PMS would always overwhelm me with grief. Most lately it has had to with travel and dislocation; the loss of personal space while we've had visitors and work has been done on the house.

But it's August. I can see autumn on the horizon, and a return to myself.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Grindbone

I'd like to draw your attention to Grindbone, a blog written by 3 excellent and very different authors.
I was made aware of it, especially of the contributions of Brent Allardby my friend Jasilandia.
Both great and I'd write more but I have to pick my son up from work.

Monday, August 01, 2011

What I'm Reading

I have a Barnes & Noble Nook Color and I love it! It's got wifi...but not 3 or 4G, but that's okay. It has me reading more. Best of all, with the Nook, I can download FREE books from the library or Project Gutenberg.
So this is what I'm reading lately:
Cold-Blooded Kindness by Barbara Oakley.Actually I've borrowed my husband's Kindle to read it. And I'm reading it because the subject of the book was someone my spouse was very close to at one time. And she stayed at our house with her now-dead husband. Whom she murdered. So it's an interesting read for a number of reasons.

Also, I'm reading on my Nook: Louise Penny's Fatal Grace, the second in the Armand Gamache series. While I find the lovely town of Three Pines a little too cozy, the twists and turns in the mystery are very intriguing. And the author has such a rich way of describing artwork and poetry as seen by the characters in the book. If only artists could always have such loving attentiveness paid their work!

And I started 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, which I downloaded from among the library's ebooks. I didn't finish it because...I got scared...and then it was due!

I finished Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, which was an actual ink-on-paper book, I checked out from the brick-and-mortar library and returned on time. It was beautifully written, the characters just wonderfully drawn. In some ways it was very familiar: clash of cultures, clash of generations, evil business decisions that threaten a traditional way of life in little British town. But through it all, there is the character of the Major...who just blossomed into three-dimensions. Highly recommended!

And...Gary Taubes's Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It. It's easier to read than his "Good Calories;Bad Calories," that's all I'm saying for now.

Hoc scripsit.