Friday, October 31, 2008

Thor Gets Into the Spirit

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treating has been light this year.

Loki is under the bed.

Thor is pretending he is having a memorial service to his buddy Mick in the laundry room.

Halloween Confession

I had never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It first arrived in theaters when I was in high school and I didn't see it. Probably because it only showed for about 30 seconds.

A few years later, it started showing up as the midnight movie offering. I still never saw it. I wasn't allowed to be out past eleven p.m. back then. Now a days, I'm too old and tired to be up that late.

Over the years, the reports of rice and toast tossing, noise makers and bells, rain and newspaper hats made their way to my knowledge base of the phenomenon.

Still didn't rock my boat or peak my interest enough to get me through much more than the first few minutes of the movie whenever I happened to catch it on cable.

So it was with a certain lack of enthusiasm that I accompanied Jason the The Charleston Ballet's presentation last night.

It was quite enjoyable. There was some rice tossing and some water spraying, but the crowd was mostly subdued. The dancers were all outrageously talented. The movie playing in the background helped me keep track of the plot (cough, cough) line, but the sound system was stretched to the max and half way through it became painfully loud. (To be fair though, I'd worked the night before and only slept about three hours that day and become very sensitive to sound when that tired.)

I was completely in awe of the talent of Stephen Gabriel, who played the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. He was obviously reveling in the character and perfectly balanced the campiness, if that is a word, through the entire performance.

We discussed talent on the way home. I have said before that I love nothing more than to watch people with great talent do what they do best. Sing, act, dance, paint. And while I still was not impressed with the movie playing last night, I was completely thrilled and awed by all the dancers who brought it to life.

Loki sez: I wanted to go to the ballet.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thor's Day!


I gotcher Thor-bi-tude right here, human.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scariest Halloween Costume?

Hmmmm...seems like for some the scariest thing out there are college students. Oh and just why do you suspect, Miss JanetLee, that it's the Repubs doing this?

Because you gotta ask yourself, who stands to lose the most from a large student turn out?

Loki sez: I am Loki-fer! Fear me!

Ooooooh.....look, a birdie!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If Only I Had Any Artsy Talent

Is it so wrong that I have a giant giggly crush on Duff Goldman?

Not like that, for Pete's sake, he's like 12 or something. I just want to work there. It seems like such fun.

If only I could bake, draw, sculpt or paint.

Loki sez: Perhaps they need a box designer?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why Don't We Try Redistributing Some Knowledge?

I am not the smartest person on the planet by any stretch of the imagination. But my bull-shitake meter is pretty accurate.

Why do the American people play dumb so much?

Why do we pretend we don't know anything?

Why do we allow the propaganda machines to jerk us around like puppets?

Okay. The newest knee-jerk reaction snippet: Obama wants to redistribute wealth. Just like those sneaky old communists. Ooooooowwwwwwieeeeee! Aren't you scared now?

Thing is, civilizations have been redistributing wealth ever since there was wealth to redistribute. Render unto Caesar and all that, don't you know? Pharaohs had taxes paid to them. Kings had taxes paid to them. Common lords had their serfs pay a portion of their harvest.

And the Bush so called tax cuts just returned to the historical view that the poor should be paying the rich.

And McCain wants to continue this.

Obama wants the rich to once again start paying their fair share.

Look, I know you rich people work hard for your money. So do I. Let me hand you a baby that isn't breathing and doesn't have a heart rate. Let me give you a baby who has blown a pnuemo or has persistent pulmonary hypertension and let's see how hard you work then.

We all work hard for our money.

That ain't the point. The point is that the very upper reaches of income levels have been paying very little of their fair share.

And they love nothing more than to pretend that they don't know what they are saying. Say redistribute the wealth and most people think of their hard earned dollars going to people who don't work. We get angry at the poor who are on government assistance because we have this vision of them leading this lazy life of good times while we go marching off to work every day. But that isn't what has been happening around here lately. It's the rich people who've profited. Our middle class dollars have been used to make up for what the rich people haven't been paying the past years.

And we po' folks are tired of carrying the load.

I was taught that paying your share of taxes was part of the dues you paid for living in this great nation.

Paying them. Not electing people who would change laws so you could get out of paying taxes.

It's not socialism. It's patriotism.

Thor sez: Redistribute some of that cat food over here, please.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Loki Sunday

The hiss:

The guilt:

The forgiveness:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Esmeralda and the Flood

When I woke up this morning, I had a strange remnant of a memory of Jason telling me that the back yard was flooded up to the porch.

Surely it was a dream, brought on by my noticing the creek was up in the neighbor's yard last night along with the flash flood warning I'd seen scroll across the bottom of the TV screen.

But no, when I peeked out the bathroom window, I was greeted with this scene:

Esmeralda the Third was very grumpy as she spent the morning repairing her web:

Loki sez: Something looks different today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gloom, Dispair and Agony on Me

Deep dark depression, excessive misery.....

Any one remember that? We were forced to watch Hee-Haw as children and I clearly remember laying on the floor, chin propped up in hands waiting for that bit and/or the cartoon pigs to dance across the bottom of the screen.

That probably explains a great deal about me.

I suppose it's the weather bringing the gloom to mind.

And what better than a ghost story on such a gloomy day, so close to Halloween?

I'm currently reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It's about a little boy who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. It's a children's book, not quite YA. The story is enchanting.

Also reading A Midwife's Tale, a non-fiction book by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She has taken the diary kept by Martha Ballard between the years 1785-1812 and used it as a guide to explore different aspects of the community of Hallowell, Maine in that time period. Very interesting read.

Jason brought home a stack o' books to review so I'll probably start getting into them soon. (Isn't that just a biblioholic's dream come true? Free books brought right to the house?)

Cool rainy day, warm lap cats, good books.

Maybe it ain't so gloomy.

Loki sez: I'll be your little ray of sunshine!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thor's Day!

Cutest Thor ever!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello, I'm Calling for....

I can't believe that after what Bush did to John McCain in the 2000 SC primary season (phone call: Did you know John McCain has a black daughter born out of wedlock? Referring to the child he and his wife adopted), that he would not strongly condemn the use of distorted facts and outright lies in the robo-calls being made by his supporters.

But I guess it's only wrong when it is against him. (Not to mention the breathtaking evil of using a child in such a lie.)

If it's against another person, it is okay.

Yep, he's a Bush clone.

Dang, and I did have a lot of respect for him.

Loki sez: Meh. Only people who need to be angry believe that stuff anymore.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two For Tuesday

Loki has decided he wants to try toothbrushie also. Thor isn't so keen on the idea of sharing.

Thor sez: My toothbrushie.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Does Not Help

with my I-wanna-be-a-granny-itis:

My great-niece Hannah, all ready for Halloween.

Don't ya just want to gobble up those cheeks?

Actors Are People Too, You Know

I always get tickled when I witness someone puff up with indignation and began pontificating as to why actors should not express their political opinions. It's usually when the actor has an opposing viewpoint and the reason for the offense is that the actor doesn't know what he/she is talking about because he/she "is only an actor" and they should "stick to acting".

Well, aren't we all "just" something? I see people of all education levels and political affiliations jumping on-line to voice their opinions on every little thing they can come up with an opinion about.

Why is it so wrong for actors?

Just pay them as much mind as you pay to the pride of SC that post on the local rag's website.

Why get so worked up about it?

Thor sez: I gotta opinion.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Loki Sunday

Pop goes the Loki!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday

We're going to have a good time.

I'm glad it's your birthday.
Happy Birthday to you!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Art Auction

Hmmm...a horse that paints? I wonder if I could sell Loki's cardboard sculptures?

The artist at work:

His current work in progress:


Anyone care to start the bidding?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thor's Day!

It's curtains!

Thor sez: HEEEEEELLLLPPPPP! I'm stuck!!

Thor sez: No, it's okay that you are taking pictures instead of helping me, I'm FINE right here. Perfectly comfortable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thank You For Being A Friend

Mick the Guinea Pig Jagger
2000 - 2008

Mick passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday afternoon at the ripe old age of "about 8 years".

Thor is very sad.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Will It Go 'Round in Circles?

Leslie, the owner of the Santosha on the Ridge B&B had a labyrinth built on the property.

I must confess that I knew nothing of labyrinths before I took this trip. When telling us about the Columcille Park, she mentioned walking the labyrinth there and like many people, I concluded that it was a type of maze.

One afternoon, I wandered out to the Santosha labyrinth. I stood at the entrance, looking down a gentle slope toward the river just out of sight below and cleared my mind of any notions I may have had.

I would follow the path and let it tell me its story.

But it told me my story. The story of all humans. Of life. It reminded me that the path is never straight. It is never direct. I was walking towards my goal - the bench in the center - but the path was taking me away from the center, then tantalizingly close, and back away again.

It was telling me no matter your plans - the earth, the universe, your god, whatever name you give to that which guides you has its own plans. You can peacefully walk the path laid before you, learning as you go or you can fight and rail against it, missing the entire journey.

I walked the path, feeling the bark of trees as I passed by, admiring stones set out along the way, noticing the many hues of yellows and reds of the leaves beneath my feet. At last I did reach the bench and sat quietly there, listening to the wind through the trees, the scrunch of leaves being shuffled by the chipmunks and the conversations of the crows. I watched the light and shadows ripple as the trees swayed. I breathed in the clear, crisp air, slightly tinged with wood smoke from a fireplace down the hill.

I felt the exhilarating paradox of being completely at peace and completely energized at once.

And I walked out the same way I walked in, open to what our Mother had to tell me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

How I Spent My Autumn Vacation

It all began last Spring. We deferred our usual May trip to somewhere we'd never been before so Jason could send his daughter to China for an international robotics competition. Then he mentioned that one of his favorite artists -Frank Frazetta -had a museum in East Stroudsburg, PA.

I began looking into the Stroudsburg area and discovered it was in the southern Pocono Mountains. Perfect! We could combine our usual autumn color trip with the never been there before trip.

We flew into Allentown, PA, a pleasant little airport and drove about an hour to the village of Shawnee on Delaware.

We stayed at an awesome B&B - Santosha on the Ridge. The owner, Leslie, was awesome. The inn was gorgeous. It was one of those places where you almost hate to tell people about because you want to keep it all to yourself.

(Before I forget, all photographs by JAZ.)
The road to the inn:

The inn:

One of the views from our room:

We hiked the "red trail" at Bushkill Falls:

I raised an eyebrow or two at the claim of "The Niagara Falls of PA", while certainly beautiful and no, I've never been to Niagara, but these were a tad bit smaller than Niagara. Also- back at the gift shop, there was tee shirt emblazoned with the boast: I survived the Red Trail at Bushkill Falls! 1267 steps! And since I had survived the trail (and the shirt was on sale) I bought it. The lady there told me that the 1267 steps referred to the actual wooden stairs built along the trail, not the other 10 jillion steps along natural paths. No wonder my calf muscles were screaming blue murder at me for days.

We went at dawn to a spot down the road, Columcille Megalith Park.
What a treasure this spot is! Leslie, our innkeeper, told us that the gentleman who created this park was a teacher who had spent some time in the Scottish Islands and fell in love with the spiritual use of stones. He has created this park over many years, trying to capture the spiritual feel of the stones and the power of the earth and nature.

I think he succeeded beyond measure:

We also drove up to a small town, Milford, PA because we'd been told it was a nicely preserved example of a New England town. It was a great little side trip, a beautiful town - all decked out for Halloween already! We had a wonderful moment of wandering around success when we stumbled upon Grey Towers.

On the way back, we hiked a short hike to Raymondskill Falls.

And finally, on the way back to the airport, we did a quick drive by through historic Bethlehem, PA. I wish we'd had more time to explore as it looked to be a great spot to wander.

The food? That's a whole other post!