Monday, October 29, 2007

Gone from Tuesday through late Friday (hopefully)

Friends aren't using a time share so are giving us the last 3 1/2 days north of here by 3 hours. I still have this cold, but I plan to go. My first away since CFIDS began 17 years ago. Now the problem is the dog. He's never been ill since we had him. Stopped eating late Saturday. To the Vet early this morning. Nothing obvious in the physical so blood was drawn and we'll get it back tomorrow. A teenaged boy is feeding the pets and letting them out so now things are iffy. If the bloodwork is okay, we'll assume he got into something and needs time for it to get out of his system and go. He has an antibiotic now as a precaution. If the bloodwork shows some liver or kidney problem, I just don't know.

My husband wants to delay a day anyway, but for me, with my trouble traveling, to go three hours to spend one day and night and turn around and come right back will only be exhausting and not restful.

Cross your fingers and assume I won't be back online until Saturday.

teddy waking my husband up 2007

Sabrina, the cat we adopted after she moved her new litter into our garage before Hurricane Wilma hit. (the witty 'poem' by Geoff Sanderson of Yorkshire, U.K.:-)


EDIT: Barring anything else foreseen, we're going. It turns out his friends got this week's timeshare for free for sitting in on a sales talk trying to pursuade them to buy. I saw the brochure this morning and it's unbelievable. I've never been anyplace like this. Just on the grounds are conservation walks, all sorts of activities, swimming pools with every building. I'm adding the layout below. We'll be staying in two rooms. BOTH have a kitchen, TV set, bed, etc and the larger room has a jacuzzi in it. This is true opulence! For those with wireless connection laptops, the main building in each area has high speed wireless connections. The room tv's are cable with every station.

(click to enlarge)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Countdown to Halloween--30 years ago this month

(these are entries from my logbook from the sailing trip of 1977)

Lognotes Oct 23-Oct 29 Moored at Bucksport, S.C. and picked up by my parents to visit our home in Pageland. Returned to the boat loaded with vegetables from my father's garden..sweet potatos, eggplant, tomato, watermelon, mustard greens, okra and peas (frozen). A feast!
Oct 30, 1977 South Santee River
We decided to make maximum mileage tonight and anchor in the South Santee River. Anchorage area okay. Windward Star and other boats were there. One boat from Cape Cod. We rowed over with Albert, traveling in tandem with us, who needed kerosene and took them some fresh vegetables to exchange. They gave us bacon. Wore my halloween mask in anticipation of tomorrrow.

The sunset was beautiful tonight. Albert and Suzanne joined us for fresh fried eggplant and green tomatoes for dinner.
Oct 31, 1977 Weighing anchor, bound for Charleston,S.C.
Small craft adviseries on the coast this a.m. We started early. R wore a devil's mask and I wore my face mask whenever a boat passed. Countryside here is low with strong currents and many trees. Midday it began to rain and get chilly , so we cut the run short and anchored in Hamlin Creek, above the Ben Sawyer bridge to dry out. We put our trusty flowerpot (makes a makeshift heater) over the kerosense stove to dry out our socks. It rained into the night. This anchorage is along a cut leading out to the ocean so we set bow and stern anchors to avoid a full swing in the strong tide change and possibly uprooting the anchor. Albert and Suzanne anchored nearby after going into shore for supplies. We were hailed by Windward Star on the radio, a huge sailboat, from Charleston. It was blowing hard there, they said, so they invited us to tie up to their boat when we arrived. Their storm anchor was out. The bridge past Charleston was down so the area was packed with boats waiting to move onward. Late October seas are too rough to go outside and down.

halloween day

...and later, into Georgia on a sunny day..

wearing our 'little adventure' tee shirts (our boat name)

Friday, October 26, 2007

More sailing adventures (taken in part from a note to a friend)

(click to enlarge any photos)

Sailing isn't all blue days and balmy winds. Sometimes it can be downright scarey. We were 'weathered in' at Nantucket for twelve days while 50 knot winds blew in the Vineyard. The first two days there were good weather, so we planned to leave the next day to stay ahead of the cold months as we moved south at the rate of five knots (a bit over five miles an hour...hull speed of our 22 footer). That night a storm hit from the side of the harbor where the jetty is and no trees. Pitch black, and one by one, boats are slipping their anchors ahead of us, dragging back and hooking and uprooting other anchors. We could hear all thse sounds in the night, then the ghosts of boats slipping past us. We ran the engine to keep the strain off the anchor and just prayed nobody would come down on us or our anchor. By midnight, we were in the front line of boats still anchored. At dawn, we saw the other boats anchored en masse behind us. A few people found a dock slip the next day. The winds inside the harbor were more sheltered but a chop stayed.

map of Nantucket

We started to run out of ice and since the man I was traveling with (my future husband, then ex-husband) was more handy with heavy anchors and engine starting, I hailed the marina skiff...they charged 5 dollars for a ride to shore and back...took the backpack and went in for ice and some supplies. We couldn't do anymore sightseeing and leave the boat unattended. When I was in that ice, a huge power boat came in. A woman stepped out of the cabin all dressed up. Inside I could see a lounge chair and a TV!!! I asked how the seas were and she said 'you'll have to ask my husband. I was inside the whole time'. How anybody could be out in those seas and not have a clue was beyond me, but she was dressed more for dinner at a restarant than salty brine. (Sailors and 'stinkpotters' didn't tend to mix and match much out on the water).

Her husband was busy, so we decided to leave the next day despite reports still of high winds outside. Going down the jetty a big fishing boat passed us, hailed us and told us to turn back, that it was still too dangerous out there, then a coast guard boat flew by, leaving a crashing wake just as we were turning. Since we'd decided last minute to go for it, I hadn't finished securing things inside the cabin and the boat rocked from side to side,sending things flying. Monster jumped onto my lap, claws extended and I felt something warm and wet. I realized she'd peed out of fright. Then I realized that I'd peed out of fright, too. What a mess. We got back in, anchored, cleaned up the boat, cleaned me up and by the next day the weather was okay to leave.

photo of the infamous 'pee-er'

Another scary time was our night trip down the Jersey coast, with sails battened down and only the storm jib up, surfing the waves rolling out of the darkness behind us.

Down the fast moving East River beside Manhattan towards the Twin Towers and the Lady on out to Sandy Hook, N.J. We left early the next morning for the trip down the Jersey Coast.

Taken at twilight, before the storm hit.

I won't even get into when our new outboard failed us in Cape May, NJ, before heading up the Delaware Bay and down into the Chesapeake Bay where we spent a month. We had to stay in Cape May for a week in a dock since the holding ground there was horrid and we'd slipped the night before. We had to hitchhike a ride in a pickup truck to go get the motor, bring it back and mount it without dropping it into the water behind the boat.

This shows the size of our cabin. No room to stand. A small V-berth for sleeping was beyond my feet. The photo was taken as we moved into the cooler months.

A couple of slices of the endless adventures of that six month trip!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sailing Days

(click on any to enlarge)

This is the marina at Hull, Mass. We moored in a hook of land in front of it for two years before the six month boat trip in 1977.

A haiga made from a shot taken while anchored at St Michael's in the Chesapeake Bay. An old boats race was underway. These boats had no keel. A long board was inserted under the lip of the cockpit, extending out over the water on the other side. The crew crawled out and sat on it. Needless to say, when the winds were up, just finishing the race was a challenge. We set our own crab trot line and feasted for free during our stay there. The waters were still good then. All females were thrown back to replenish the population.

This is me, taken once we entered the waterway at Norfolk , VA.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gloria Steinem on 'Chick Flicks' vs 'P**** Flicks'..thanks, Colleen!

Colleen posted this wonderful article link under my post about Titanic. It starts out with:

To the Young Man on the Plane from Los Angeles to Seattle Who Said of the Movie That Most Passengers -- Male and Female -- Voted to Watch, "I don't watch chick flicks!"

So what exactly is a "chick flick?" I think you and I could probably agree that it has more dialogue than special effects, more relationships than violence, and relies for its suspense on how people live instead of how they die.

I'm not challenging your choice; I'm just questioning the term that encourages it. After all, if you think back to your school days, much of what you were assigned as great literature could have been dismissed as "chick lit." Indeed, the books you read probably only survived because they were written by famous guys.

Think about it: If Anna Karenina had been written by Leah Tolstoy, or The Scarlet Letter by Nancy Hawthorne, or Madame Bovary by Greta Flaubert, or A Doll's House by Henrietta Ibsen, or The Glass Menagerie by (a female) Tennessee Williams, would they have been hailed as universal? Suppose Shakespeare had really been The Dark Lady some people supposed. I bet most of her plays and all of her sonnets would have been dismissed as some Elizabethan version of ye olde "chick lit," only to be resurrected centuries later by stubborn feminist scholars.

Indeed, as long men are taken seriously when they write about the female half of the world -- and women aren't taken seriously when writing about themselves much less about men or male affairs -- the list of Great Authors will be more about power than about talent.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Can somebody tell me why this is referred to as a 'chick flick'??

Celine Dion sings the theme song from The Titanic, interspersed with clips from the movie. I love the song and the movie. Okay, it's romantic, but....??? I need help from my male readers here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Online talk radio show hosted by S.A. Griffin from last night. Check it out!

The show was fun. S.A. interviewed me and two other poets, Courtney Campbell and Jane Crown, on a number of issues ranging from the changing face of feminism to how online poetry blogs have influenced (or not influenced) our poetry. The joining of the four of us from L.A., San Antonio, Brazil, and Florida was exciting. We also read a couple of our poems. Go to Onward: Blog Talk Radio. The show is now in the upper right-hand blue square. Just press the button to start it going. S.A. couldn't get connected until a few minutes into the show but then it starts moving pretty quickly. Hope you can take time to listen next leisure time.

A link to Onward is in my links column now, as well. The player in that column will play the show until the next one airs next week.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Featuring Elena Ray

I love her art. This one is titled The Secrets of Paradise Live In Your Soul (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Li-Young Lee Interviewed

I love this man's poetry. Very good interview in Poets org.

This is the beginning of the interview...

Tina Chang: In your most recent book, Book of My Nights, night is many things. Night is: "abyss and shuttle," "the silence tolling after stars / and the final word," "all of night / the only safe place," and "All the nights are one / night." Why did you feel a calling to the night as opposed to the day?

Li-Young Lee: It's because I'm an insomniac. In fact, I haven't gone to bed yet. I was up a lot. And, I didn't know this, but I think my insomnia came from trying to quit writing poetry. As soon as I started doing that, I couldn't sleep.

Chang: Why did you want to quit writing poetry?

Lee: It was a weird time. I was involved in a lot of activism, and I came to this conclusion that poetry couldn't "do it." It couldn't change the world, or something like that. I was involved with this group, and we were trying to change the world [he laughs]. It's ridiculous. So I thought I'd stop writing. And I couldn't do it. I started losing sleep and I didn't know why. So I had to find a way to justify my own writing. I was involved with this person who told me I had to give up my poems.

(click the above link to continue)

Flu Shots, Beauty and Dying Young

An online friend recently asked if I'd gotten my flu shot for the year. The question prompted this outpouring of family history:

I don't get the flu shots. CFIDS docs are split on that but most say no...don't get. I remember my mother got them when she got older and had at least three days of flu-like symptoms after. In her retirement apt down here, a number of people would actually get the flu after a shot. I decided if I was going to get the flu, I would get it on my own :-)

Historical mother was next to youngest of six children and then didn't have me until she was 35, so my roots go back further than most my age. Her mother had the killer flu that swept our country in 1919. Everybody did except mother, who'd had it the year before when it was killing people in Europe. Mother was 13.
Her mother got up, feeling well from it, then relapsed. It soon became obvious that she wasn't going to make it, so the family doctor who was attending the dying all over town had her taken to the hospital. My grandfather was sick too, but pleaded with the doctor to go with her. There was no heat in cars in those days so the doctor told him one of them had to survive for the six children and my grandmother's elderly parents who also lived with them.

My greatgrandparents are seated left and middle, with my grandparents and children standing. A family friend is to the right. My Uncle Herman hadn't been born yet. Mother is the towhead clinging to her mother's skirt.

When she was in the final stages, however, the doctor sent word. He said that if my grandfather wrapped himself in blankets he could come. To his relief, he was able to be there and hold her hand as she died. My Uncle Herman was only five. Grandfather kept his wife's parents even after her death. They were part of the family and any other choice was unthinkable to him. Her father, W.B. Dickson, had fought in the Civil War, meeting his wife, Anne Harris, when a dying buddy asked him to deliver a letter to his sister after the war for him. Unbeknownst to my grandfather, it was a 'letter of recommendation' saying that there would be few men left after the war of marrying age and he could vouch that W.B. Dickson was a good man.

Uncle Herman and his father, my grandfather, after my grandmother's funeral.

Five years later, my grandfather was killed by a drunk driver. Mother was 18 and had just entered college. Her oldest brother was married and willing to take him in when the house was sold and the Dicksons moved in with another of their children, but his wife who was rather sharp tongued refused to take him on. He went to my grandfather's half brother whom he barely knew but I think turned out to be better.

When all this happened, though, he begged mother to go with her and stay in her college room. He said he would hide in the closet and be very very good. It was heartbreaking. Uncle Herman, by the time I knew him, was a man who kept his feelings close to his chest. I think those losses created that survival technique in him. Mother tended to hold her emotions in a lot, too. She may have been 18 but had no home to go to and no space at her two married sibs over holidays. She spent some holidays with roommates and stayed many at the dorm.

Mother's college graduation photo.

When she graduated, times were rough My father was then a school principal, out 4 years, himself. He hired her to teach first grade and they married a year later. She was beautiful. Whe was voted 'most attractive' in her senior class , and resembled Greta Garbo.

This is me with my father. He was 40 when I was born.

Monday, October 08, 2007

More torture memos..Washington Post online

We already know George Bush has repeatedly lied to us about the increasing intrusion into our privacy without the need to go through due course legal proceedings--yes Big Brother is alive and well, folks! We also know about the interrogation techniques Bush secretly authorized and still authorizes our forces to use with prisoner. Read thiswashington post article online for more and weep.

Does anyone remember the years when we used to decry the use of these very same techniques on our own troops? Have we become the face of the enemy? Will all of our dreams die before our days on this planet are over?

We repeat our mistakes and amplify them. It sickens me.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cat Stevens-Father and Son

This song was popular when I was going through a period of angst in younger years. Even though the singer is male, I identified with that need to run from the old to the new to anywhere to find myself. Every time I hear that song now it brings back that person I was then, sitting on the edge of my bed in the commune, this song on the LP, feeling all sorts of emotions bubbling through.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

An interview with Didi Menendez by Edward Nudelman

Click on the post title for the link to Edward Nudelman's blog. Note that this interview took place earlier and some parts are outdated (this is stated in a comment by Didi), but it's an excellent overall interview. Didi Menendez is publisher of all MiPo productions--journals, both print and online, and radio.