Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Postcard From the Edge

So I began to write on a thin scrap of paper that said: Love's #220 Cheyenne, WY Date 07/25-05 Time 05:23 PM, wishing I had a real piece of paper to write on, but glad for this scrap. I sat at the window of the tenth floor looking down at a city like a jewel in the middle of a desert so ordinary it might be anywhere in the world. Palm trees, birds running on the edge of rooftops of buildings below, not afraid of falling because they are birds, men walking, and taxis in the streets. I have a fear of falling from high places. Even if I had wings I would be afraid. I know the sound the wind makes, rushing past my ears as I fall, falling faster every second. But not today. They say when you fall in a dream you never reach the bottom, because if you do reach the bottom you will die in your sleep. Some night, maybe soon, I will fall in a dream and not wake up. Sometimes I fly in dreams. Maybe on that night I will just fly away, like a bird. I am out of paper. Having a great time! Wish you were here!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Super Size Me--Not

It's not my fault! Blame McDonald's. Fat used to be beautiful, just look at those old renaissance paintings of the Masters! Now, as Tv feeds us a spectacle of pictures of Americans starving on rooftops after Hurricane Katrina, a couple of books have come out with a new take on hunger. Sharman Apt Russell, who comes from New Mexico, has a new book called "HUNGER." Some of her sources include studies of doctors in the Warsaw Ghetto, others mention a notorious 1944 Minnesota Experimant which used Quakers and other conscientious objectors as "volunteers."

Did you know about this? These "cheerful" subjects grew "morose, flat, then bellicose, angry, and just plain miserable." Who wouldn't?

More recently, Magician David Blaine sealed himself in a Lucite box and went without food for 44 days. (Jesus only fasted for 40!) We make "obeisance to the cult of thinness," writes Wiliam Leith in THE HUNGRY YEARS. He writes from his own struggles, saying "Mostly, fat people are fat because they are troubled, and if they lose weight, they become troubled slim people, and then they start overeating again, and become fat people who are even more troubled than they were before." He writes, "Inside the binge you are pure have created a time zone more present than the present. You know you shouldn't do it, know you'll regret it... but none of these things matter." Audiences flocked to see Morgan Spurlock gain 30 pounds in a month for his film, SUPERSIZE ME. Yet he managed to keep himself "aloof from the sin of getting fat because it wasn't really his fault. It was McDonald's."

Or maybe the fault is not in ourselves, but in our stars. Or maybe not in McDonalds, but in ourselves. I'm turning over a new leaf.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


Lab tests showed today that the same deadly H5N1 avain flu virus found in Turkey and Asia has now infected ducks in Romania, confirming that the virus has reached mainland Europe. Also today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt said preventing the start of a global flu outbreak is just about impossible, what with the migration of birds and all. It starts with one quarantine in a remote Romanian village, not that people are sick, just ducks, 3 ducks....

Remember Stephen King's pandemic influenza outbreak in THE STAND? sCAREy....

Friday, October 14, 2005


"What do you call six lawyers at the bottom of the sea?"

"Not all anti-lawyer jokes are fairly earned -- many of them are recyclings of jests told at the expense of politicians, traveling salesmen, Jews ... Lawyers are in no way a protected species and cannot shelter behind the rules of political correctness. Seen as 'agressive' and 'domineering' they attract the insults once lavished on doctors and priests. Being sought out as a joke target is a tribute to high status and has the ultimate effect of boosting rather than lowering reputation. 'We have so much status,' says Wisconsin-Madison Law School emeritus professor Marc Galanter, author of Lowering the Bar, Lawyer jokes and legal culture, we can enjoy a firestorm of jokes."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dead and Gone???

Is Osama Bin Laden dead? Rumors are being circulated that Osama was in earthquake stricken Pakistan Kashmir when the quake hit. The India Daily newspaper reported Tuesday that International Intelligence Agencies estimated that he is a goner. What are the chances? I say a fat chance is better than none! (I think "estimated" is the telling word here.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wish List

"Theodore Roosevelt Heller

Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller, dear brother of the late Sonja (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the US Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 am at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Zidilshover Section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans."

--Chicago Tribune, 10/10/2005


Calvin and Hobbes has been gone for ten years now! It has been that long since a boy and his tiger pushed their sled for the last time on a downhill race into history. I loved them. I've missed them. But now, a 1,456 page, three-volume set, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, an epic of every panel ever published can be had for a mere $150. In his intro to the book, Bill Watterson says: "Hobbes got all my better qualities (with a few quirks from our cats), and Calvin got all my ranting, escapist side. Together they're pretty much a transcript of my mental diary ... I meant to disguise them better."

Friday, October 07, 2005


... A pleasant soul
Herself, they agreed: her plump features
Vacant of malice ...

They were soon fetching out their soft hearts
To compare, calling to mind
... the mountain winter,
Her solitude, her sore feet,
Haling her down with all but music,
Finally, to the valley,
To stand with bared gums, to be embraced,
To be fussed over, dressed up
In their presents, and with kind people
Be settled in a good house,
To turn chatty, to be astonished
At nothing, to sit for hours
At her window facing the mountain,
Troubled by recollections
No more than its own loosening stream
Cracking like church pews, in spring,
Or the hawks, in fall, sailing over
To their own rewards.

--W.S. Merwin
(National Poetry Day, UK) also National Poetry Week in Utah Oct 9-Oct 15

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Ritual Cat

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them, so the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery to be tied up. Centuries lster, learned descendants of the spiritual leader wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

--Insights of the pixelbuddha

Saturday, October 01, 2005


"If you were suddenly plucked from Earth and carried quickly into space, our planet would appear briefly as a gorgeous blue globe before being lost in a melee of stars. As you sped outward, you'd be able to see the whole of the Milky Way, a starry disk with curling arms, and then the Local Group, the clump of galaxies to which the Milky Way belongs, and then the Virgo supercluster. Stars and distant smudges of galaxies would be everywhere you looked. Passing through a nebula, you might be immersed in clouds of glowing copper gases, where tear-shaped cocoons swaddle embryos of stars. Pulled farther out, you'd see the Universe on a grander and grander scale, until the galaxies arranged themselves in trailing lines.
The stars are where God lives, I thought, on them, between them. Space is not an empty void; it's a vessel filled with dark, divine water, silky to the skin. How wonderful it would be to swim through it, darting among the stars, seeing colored gases and the explosions of supernovas.
If you think life is a circuitous journey, if you're ever tempted to place too much importance on a single day's events, try envisioning your existence on a cosmological scale.
Everywhere (Margaret Geller and James Huchra) looked they found starry bubbles, each one a lighted circle, or a partial circle, surrounding a pool of blackness. They also detected a region where untold unmbers of galaxies were gathered, lighting space in a band that stretched beyond the edges of their maps. This Great Wall, as Geller and Huchra named it, is now known to be a billion light-years long and tens of millions of light years thick.
So once again, we step back from our studies and shake our heads in disbelief. Space is not simply smeared with light, but honeycombed with it, and in places, steeped in it."

From a book I am currently reading, "Year of the Comets" by Jan Deblieu, who also wrote one called "Wind," which the Los Angeles Times called "A stunning view of the Earth."