Thursday, March 31, 2016

Recommended Readings

I liken it to a rough spot in a relationship...we'll get over it. 

Slippery slope: every couple of months...then every few days...until it blew upon insertion (not porn). They went through the system stopping short of tearing up the starbo'rd floorbo'rds. Creatives that they are, the solution was an auto-reseting breaker.                   
              Existential jollility is Us, but using hand signals at                                 night was a bit much.  



    M Train   by Patti Smith   (Knopf, 2015)

  Neighbor Law - Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise  (NOLO, 2008)
             by Emily Doskow  (Author), Lina Guillen (Author)

              Outrageous Opnnness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead
                         by Tosha Silver  (Atria Books, 2014)
This came to me via another blogger...The Good Luck Duck.
                  Thanks Roxanne!



           A German shows how it's done

web photo - no attribution


             Filmography at its best woven around the   "prized possession"....death.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


If you've never seen Germans getting down with their bad selves (skip ahead to around 2:59), you don't know the meaning of serious. There are few things that can compete, but PIE is one...

In case your translator didn't work, below is the text that accompanies the video. I'll leave it to you (adults!) to google doosch. 

Höhner: The caravan moves on (1998 / Five Star song) From: Helau and Alaaf! (WDR 2012) The best carnival songs and lively speeches between the Rhine and Weser Compiled by Hanna Dietz and Gisbert Baltes The Höhner are a Cologne music group. Among her best-known songs include the carnival hit "Blootwoosch, Kölsch un e delicious Mädche" and "I'm ene robbers" and the also nationally known "Viva Colonia" ... (Source: Wikipedia) The caravan moves on Dummer ne, stupid ne, stupid ne klore! Dummer ne, stupid ne, stupid ne klore! hammer nit, hammer nit, hammer nit! hammer nit, hammer nit, hammer nit! Oh jeh! Su ne Driss, su ne Driss, su ne Driss! Oh jeh! Su ne Driss su ne Driss su ne Driss! Jommer in en andere Kaschämm! Schämm! Jommer in en andere Kaschämm! the caravan moves on, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! the caravan moves on , the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan, dä Sultan dä'd Doosch! Dummer ne, stupid ne, stupid ne klore! Dummer ne, stupid ne, stupid ne klore! Han evver, han evver, evver han only Kabänes! Han evver, han evver, evver han only Kabänes! wool mr, mr wool, mr wool, wool mr nit! wool mr, mr wool, mr wool, wool mr nit! Jommer in en andere Kaschämm! Schämm!Jommer in en andere Kaschämm! The caravan moves Next, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! The caravan moves on, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan, dä Sultan dä'd Doosch! But Nathan the Wise, who knew modest - The knew ne oasis and was not very far! The caravan moves on, the Sultan'd Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! The caravan moves on, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan, Sultan dä dä'd Doosch! The caravan moves on, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! Dä Sultan'd Doosch! The caravan moves on, the Sultan would have Doosch! Dä Sultan, Sultan dä dä'd Doosch!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Good Cat Music!

Sometimes when yer not feeling well, it helps to play some good cat music. Herewith are several that often help lift my spliffoes (the poochie parts on a tabby's face where their whiskers come out). These segued into each other but I offer them individually just in case.

Stars & Stripes Forever

Washington Post March

Semper Fidelas

Sousa's King Cotton March

And for the finale, this superb performance with CANNONS!! Imagine, if you will, the cats reveling in another successful day of day-trading. Encamped upon a hill, the twilight transitioning about them, they raise their glasses to another fine day of capitalist endeavor. (My tabby Sophie, who died a few years ago at age 22, was a mergers & acquisitions specialist whose conglomerate, World Domination Cat Toys helped guide Nixon's efforts to open China and thereby save the world from WW III.)

This is music; it does NOT reflect my opinion of war...a completely unjustifiable activity.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Growing Olde(r)

Fun with color!!

Age 63, recently attained, is presenting some interesting (that Chinese curse) dimensions -- including some fond memories. 

The (dirt) roads in Death Valley are so rough one can only surmise they keep 'em that way to discourage travel and save the taxpayers from the costs of rescue or worse, like the Dutch couple below who succumbed in August of 2011.

But there was a time when I traveled with a young woman (I was young then too) who, whenever bouncing o'er washboard, became aroused. 


No doubt it was the similar action on my way to The Racetrack (in Death Valley) that inspired the recollection of a Spring day in New Mexico when her inferential glances segued into caresses. The road was remote, my proclivity for "the wilds" being fully-formed even then, so it was with confidence that we pulled off the track. (NEVER block the road!) We spread our blanket and eagerly shucked the socially-useless threads which, in the warming of the early afternoon, were completely without purpose.

Later, as we lazed in the mid-day glow, we were suddenly wrenched back into reality when a truck rattled out of the nearby juniper-pinons. Disentangled, our raised heads made us all the more aware of our nakedness. There was nought but small sage and cheatgrass to hide behind and our clothes -- shorts and t-shirts -- tangled and beyond reach, were impossible to don in the seconds available. 

We smiled, waved and did our best to look modest as three generations of Native Americans passed by.  Their cognitive dissonance almost made us laugh with them as they alternately tried to ignore us while satisfying their curiosity. I mean, we were less than 100 feet apart! 

Time, normally berated for it's fleetness, stood still. Their smiles, the gorgeous turquoise sky, the unique odour of love wafting upon the sparkling light and enveloping warmth helped sustain our dignity as they traversed the expansive horizon that dominated our low-lying vantage.

To this day I wonder how they know. There I'll be, happily lost in thought while "watering the lawn" when they come trundling round the corner. I suspect the perverse humor of Jung's collective unconscious, but danged if I'll try and prove it.


At the other end of the spectrum was the millionairess who, although fully emancipated, enjoyed playing at traditional roles. Thus, whenever out for a spin, yerz trooly was at the wheel. 

Eggbert, lacking a phone console and with narrower seats, enabled me to reach her more easily. But on the highway enroute to a B & B, the Lexus, with it's large windows and sunroof provided the better medium for indulging her exhibitionistic tendencies. She'd remove her top and sometimes her pants and ask me to slow down as we pulled alongside trucks and other high-stepping vehicles. Satisfied their drivers had received a good eyeful, we'd zoom ahead to the next lucky sailor. She also enjoyed the top of the kitchen counters. There, with lights ablaze, the huge windows, custom-crafted from sliding glass doors afforded any passerby a clear view.

Perhaps it's the recent walking on of Michelle's Mom that's prompting some of this. The first gal is, as far as I know, living happily near Seattle while, as I've mentioned elsewhere, Frayda left here in the Spring of 2006. And maybe *that's* what's prompting the memories of her; she died at the end of April.


Recently I discovered I'd lost another.  She coordinated the Tamkaliks celebration in Wallowa, Washington and taught school there. It was around Valentine's that I went online to look up her mailing address and found her obituary. The cancer she'd been wrangling for several years had taken her.

Perhaps it's the cold I came down with a few weeks ago. The deep, wracking coughs and long trudge back to health. Or maybe it's just the age...and it's like the Chinese curse.  I hadn't thought of the Seattle woman in years and if it hadn't been for the road I might not ever have again. And though some are poignant and ache with loss, it's nice to discover most of them are fond. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Have U Had Yer Vasectomy Today? or The Cost of Children

There's not much to Beatty, but I figgerd ah'd best git busy if I was gonna see what there was to see in the 32 minutes it was gonna tayk the dryer to do hits thang.

What I found was so personal it made my teeth ache...

Her grandmother was one of the founders of the Beatty Museum. She'd take the Greyhound from Las Vegas and stay with her in the summers. Later, when she grew up, she served on the Board and is now a paid staff person. She also has a position on the Fire Brigade as an EMT but doesn't like the potential for wrong (life-saving or threatening) decisions. She has a four year degree in nursing and a three year old daughter. Her daughter was born at noon on Dec 24th. (I delivered at 6:00 a.m.)

She's waiting on a ticket to Scotland where a 44 year old man she loves awaits. He's a gallery owner and they've known each other six years. She's 30...the same age difference as Frayda (a millionairess I loved who died of pancreatic cancer in 2006) and I. A year ago they spent time together in a big city (I missed the name...perhaps NY or Paris) going to museums and galleries. They skype frequently.

She talked about the desert. How everyone looks at it and thinks it's the same. "But it's not, you know. You have to pay attention to the details....look closely and LOOK." (I'd had similar thoughts just the night before. It occurred to me that dealing art, learning to see the details, gave me the training to appreciate the desert.)

We talked about her daughter and how she kind of wishes she hadn't had's too much of a burden. But she was six months pregnant before she realized what had happened and didn't want to abort. She breast fed for two years and is concerned about what'll happen when she starts Beatty!! "And." she said, "She's three going on thirteen!"

Imena was born in Israel and remembers the topless women on the Jordan beach as no big deal. She wants to raise her daughter so she's confident and herself....but in Beatty?!!


I mentioned a young lady who came into the gallery (over 15 years ago)  who'd been brought up in the Montessori tradition. I've yet to meet another 18-year-old who exuded such confidence, enthusiasm and curiosity. Imena was aware their curriculum is available by mail and was considering it. I gave her my card and asked her to keep in touch. I wanted to hear how things come out 15 years from now.

The woman running the Senior Thrift Store had waitressed for ten years at the Casino. They treated her well and she thought it was the best job she'd ever had other than working for herself. She and her husband ran a restaurant until he died. Her son has gout, a bad back and a faulty aorta, he's 55. He gets food stamps but not disability and they live on less than $1,000.00 a month. They'd cancelled her Medicare, but she didn't know why. She thinks the town is 75% Mexican and the majority aren't legal. She feels that's wrong although some of their best friends are Mexican. That Obama!! I told her I thought it simplistic to blame the President and wished I could have referred her to Shirley Hatfield's video, but she'd said she didn't have a computer.


A couple of days ago I read in some folk's blog about how he'd read a study that said the cost of raising a child was around $250,000.00. He scoffed at the number as if the only cost was clothes, food and a roof. And besides, once they were "of age" they were on their own.

After listening to the two women above and this one here (from over two years ago in Tonopah) I couldn't keep myself from weighing in. I'd recently watched the DVD about Marta Becket, the dancer-painter-actor-choreographer who bought the Amargosa Hotel & Theater in Death Valley Junction in 1967 and who, at age 91, still lives there now. I was raised by a musician and a painter both of whom loved to dance. I know the power of the arts to imbue magic and meaning.

The blogger, who has two youngsters age 5 and 7 (or thereabouts) had yet to encounter anything beyond the necessities and couldn't IMAGINE spending that much on child-rearing. I know you're "the choir" but if you're like me you never tire of nodding with smug satisfaction (I had my vasectomy when I was 22.) that you DIDN'T have children.

Bear with me as I rant about children. I posted the comment below to their blog, but it didn't pass muster for public consumption; too long, no doubt. Reading it, I'm reminded of my heritage and how we Deutschlanders love to go on at length. Hopefully, you too can smile, as they do in Whitehorse, the capitol of the Yukon, (where they fly in 300 Germans a day straight from Frankfurt) and say, "Just ignore them; they can't help it."

So I wrote:

I'm retired but used to contract with Albuquerque Public Schools to provide after-school programs. Here are a few gleanings from those years....

In one school there was an 80% turnover of children due to families moving. Many of the children had three (or more) sets of parents. (YOUR children may only have one set but they will encounter and be subjected to the behaviors of others.)

In most neighborhoods, there are no longer trees to climb or streams to play in. Even if there were, most parents would be too paranoid of pedophiles or other predators to allow their children to play unattended.

Children benefit from simple encouragement. The exposure to experiences such as "trying" the clarinet, switching to drums and then moving on to something else lets them explore their talents or lack thereof. If they're lucky enough to have a private teacher, they learn what it means to have the full attention of another adult besides their parent. [In another comment a parent bemoaned the "lost" funds as their child experimented with different things.]

They also benefit from attending ballets, symphonies, dance performances, and other types of cultural events. The variety not only gives them the perspective to decide what they like, but each occasion has behavioral protocols that expand a child's repertoire. Although many performances can be found for free, they are often expensive. And being appropriately dressed costs money too.

(notice rocks lined up at base of big one in center)

Learning manners and comportment will enable them to interact with a variety of folks. Being comfortable in places where decorum is expected comes with experience...and not just once. That too costs money.

One of the commonest aphorisms has to do with how money doesn't imbue a person with taste. And while the world *is* becoming more "casual," there are likely, even 20 years from now, to be occasions where knowing how to behave (and be comfortable) at a black-tie event would help them socially.

As they grow older they may benefit from tutoring. As with many things, quality isn't cheap. Preparing a child for life in today's global community involves much more than merely feeding and clothing them, at least, that is, if you have hopes of them becoming anything more than  cogs in someone's machine.

At present their needs are relatively simple. But all the things I've mentioned come one-upon-the-other fairly quickly. Although they may not benefit equally from exposure to everything, being able to provide a variety of experiences will give them a much better chance at acquiring perspective, self-confidence, compassion for others and a degree of sophistication that will better enable them to be flexible and recognize and take advantage of opportunities.

Your children are on the edge of entering the stage where they will increasingly be in close proximity or contact with activities that may not always have the potential for positive outcomes. The decisions they make and the resulting experiences may have life-altering impacts...not necessarily bad, but it can be argued that the ability to make lemonade from lemons is also about how one processes information...not just attitude.

Gaining the perspective to make good decisions doesn't just happen. Money, of course, doesn't buy intelligence, but it can help.

Your children are, in the not too distant future, likely to be made aware of their "privileged" lifestyle. Hopefully, as they age, you'll be able to afford to stay in places where they can entertain themselves with things besides gang activities, vandalism, thieving and such. And hopefully they won't be subject to peer-pressures that foster group-think and the need to "fit in" that is resulting in the social homogenization and nationalism so prevalent in America today. (My sister, a natural blonde, was mercilessly teased as a "jueda" (or hueda) -  a word that can be either descriptive or pejorative depending on the tone -- when she entered elementary school in El Paso, Texas.)

The interesting times are ahead. While you can cut costs in many ways such as denying an Xbox or folding knives, developing an appreciation for life isn't something that just happens. And while many pleasures can be had for free, variations in wine, bread and cheese (let's not forget song!) don't just magically evolve simply from hunger.

Phew Dawgies!! Ain't we all glad ah got THAT offn muh, chest.

Thanks for listening!

Hav a nice day, ya'll!