Friday, May 15, 2015


About a month ago, my mom and we (local) sibs went to her 60th class reunion.  She had a tiny class and went to a tiny, little school.*  They make a big deal out of milestone class reunions, and family members are invited.  At one point in the program, she and her classmates introduced their guests and made little speeches.  Hers was super cute.  Of course, the evening was a little bittersweet, because the memorial portion of the program included my dad.  It was interesting to see my two eldest siblings (sisters) get really emotional and start to tear up.  My brother and I, who are usually more emotional, didn't cry.  We felt the moments deeply, but I realize during times like these that my older sisters knew my dad longer, and maybe have more to mourn about his being gone.  I don't know.  It's just something to think about. 
I really enjoyed that night, and the high school where it took place was really old-timey.  I honestly think it might have been in the movie Hoosiers. It had the same feel as some scenes in it.  I guess I should look it up.  My folks' actual high school is long gone, but a nearby one holds the reunions of its own classes and those of high schools that have lived and died.  It's a nice tradition. 
There were some funny things about that night, and here is just one of them.  My mom had told us that the high school had photos in the hallways, and that if we explored enough, we would see our dad playing basketball, and her parents in their class pictures, as well as an aunt and uncle or two.  Early in the evening, my brother and I told Mom that we were going off to look for the photos.  She said, "Okay.  Don't get lost!"  We smiled and said that we wouldn't, and that we'd be right back.  As we walked away, I turned to my big brother, and in my usual deadpan fashion remarked, "I went to London by myself."  He threw back his head and laughed.  I smiled.  My brother is moving to Florida, and I will miss him so much.  We're birds of a feather.  I'm so glad that we live in this era, when keeping in touch is so ridiculously easy.
Here are some pictures from that night.
Mom.  She will turn 78 in June.  The
theme of the night was western; hence, the
plaid.  The corsage was my brother's idea. :)

Mom and a salad. 

The gym floor.  Cute.  :)

Mom and my Aunt Judy looking
at relatives' photos.

My mother's mother.  She died when my
mom was very little.  When Mom was
in first grade, her father married her teacher
who I later knew as Grandma.  All of my
biological grandparents died before I was

My niece Ava, one of the little ones that night.  She loved
the little toy horses and wagons that made up the centerpieces.
She'll look at old pictures of me and my siblings on the internet
instead of in hallways, I guess!
*Her senior class went on a trip to Washington two cars.  There were ten of them.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quotes of the Week--Patton

I curse the humiliation and bless the annihilation, and even more valuable than the impulse toward art, I gained an inner radar for dark, hidden places where the strange ones go.

With zero malice on their part, the adults who organized the afternoon showed F. W. Murnau's 1922 film Nosferatu.  They closed the blinds on the windows and projected it against a bare wall.  Eight-millimeter film, clattering projector, that faint burning smell as the projector bulb ignited the microscopic dust particles.  Dust particles are mostly flakes of dead human skin.  So, when I was five, I watched Nosferatu with the atavistic, pagan odor of simmering flesh corkscrewing itself into my memory.  The optics are dream-logic, ratman vampire imagery.  The perfume is cannibal cookout.  That little square light took over that darkened room, and while I and the other kids around me screamed and cried, I wanted onto the other side of that screen. 

I walked away from you, Four Star, but not before seeing a print of Gone with the Wind so perfect it felt like a massive hallucination from another dimension, were humans more operatic than us found a way to make the South's defeat in the Civil War the sexiest calamity that ever crashed into history.

I wanted to be lunar, not solar.

--All from Silver Screen Fiend: Learning about Life from an Addiction to Film, by Patton Oswalt

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quotes of the Week--Solitude and Sci-Fi

Back in the day, I used to do Quotes of the Week.  This was always meant to be a little joke, because they would turn up every few months or so, at best.  I think it's been over a year now, so I figure it's time for another few quotes.  Nothing monumental just because they're the first in a long time...just whatever I've dog-eared recently.  There's even a quote of the week WITHIN a quote of the week.  Oh, the layers. 

So here they are...

How have we arrived, in the relatively prosperous developed world, at least, at a cultural moment which values autonomy, personal freedom, fulfillment and human rights, and above all individualism, more highly than they have ever been valued before in human history, but at the same time these autonomous, free, self-fulfilling individuals are terrified of being alone with themselves?

--Sara Maitland

Underlying these attitudes, Maitland argues, is the central driver of fear — fear of those radically different from us, who make choices we don’t necessarily understand. This drives us, in turn, to project our fright onto others, often in the form of anger — a manifestation, at once sad, mad, and bad, of Ana├»s Nin’s memorable observation that “it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.”

                            --Maria Popova, How to Be Alone: An Antidote to One of the Central Anxieties and Greatest Paradoxes of Our Time page covered "the."

--both by Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cyber Gent

He's taken a turn, and he's not finished yet.  Still giving him some attention here and there, when I have a few moments.  I won't abandon you, cyber dude!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Red States--In a Good Way...

So, this is pretty cool.  Back on an old post, I filled in these interactive maps with states and countries that I'd visited.  I did two more highlighting states and countries where I wanted to visit within the following five years...and I did it!  (For the most part). 

There were four states in the Northeast that I wanted to see, and England and Scotland were on the countries list.  Done, and done!  The only thing on the list that I didn't accomplish was a visit to France, which I apparently had there due to the familial connection.  It's still on my list, but a few other countries are jockeying for first position, so we'll see.  It's so nice to look back on a list of "I really wanna do this stuff" and actually see that I've done some!  I guess it's time to map out the next five years.

I haven't been to Alaska, but when you check off the US, you get the whole bag.
This map has way too few red bits!  Way too much world, way too little life left.
But I press on!

There are prettier map generators out there, but I just pulled up the one I'd used before.  Click the link below if you'd like to play around with visiting possibilities, past trips, or plans for world domination.  Bon Voyage or Good Luck and Have fun storming the castle!, as the case may be.

Create your own visited map of The World

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cyber Portrait

Ages ago, I had this fellow in my head and he was called "Cyber Portrait."  I drew a little sketch of him on cardboard and fit in some old parts from phones, greeting cards with sound, etc.  That's as far as I got, but he's been on my mind since that time.  I've finally started on him in earnest over the last few weeks.  He's not finished, but here's where he is now.  If you want to see his progression, scroll to the bottom and then go up.  Blogger loaded these this way, and I can't be bothered to switch them!  I'm not sure who he is exactly, but here he is.  Don't worry about the previous pictures--the 'stache is ditched.

The fabric piece is meant to be an ascot-ish thing.  It's not attached yet,
so hopefully I'll figure out a way for it to look better before it's on
permanently.  It's cut from an old pair of my pajama pants. 

Pardon my socked feet. 

I sort of wish I'd stopped here!

This is the original little drawing that I posted a couple of years ago.

This is a painting I did called "Drippy, Trippy Moon."  It
was ok, but it served its purpose, and now my cyber dude
is over it.  Bits of it peak out from the background, and
I like how that looks.  I can still see some of it, so
it's still there doing its thing.

I'll post the finished product.  Hopefully within a week or two, and not another two years!

Friday, February 20, 2015


I wrote a poem, wanna hear it?  Here it goes...  I wrote this circa 2008 on a Subway napkin.  Read it as fast as you can--that's best.

Bride-y, Bride-y, zill-y, zill-y
Going for the kill-y, kill-y
Meet her gaze, it's chilly, chilly
Try to flee her--silly, silly
She will rip you with her claws
Gnash you in her fearsome jaws
She will eat her fill-y, fill-y
Every Brian, Bob and Billy