Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seven Ways to Say Yes

  1. Ice white as snow
    brown grass designs
    a rorschach lawn

  2. A smile as thin as New Hampshire
    or as long as California
    or as wide as Texas
    or as false as Wall Street.

  3. Eyes bright as a new moon
    or as broad as the Milky Way.
    Eyes searching eyes or busy crowds.
    Eyes evening drowsy.
    Eyes with pupils
    dancing like sweep second hands

  4. Fingernails, songs at their tips,
    half moons under
    quarter light

  5. Warm hand on hand
    Head on shoulder
    Word echoing word
    Twilight laps
    and morning arms

  6. Now the day is short
    now the wind is white
    now the air is fire
    now the sun is hidden
    now we go forth
    now we forget our dreams
    now we forge youth
    now we ponder these visions
    we descend to honor
    we ascend to defeat
    we go forth
    we become our dreams

  7. Yes, I will
    Yes, I am here
    I am listening
    I am with you
    I'll meet you where you are
    I do not know you but I want to
    Thank you Thank you Thank you

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Land Is Your Land

Pete Seeger, his grandson Tao Rodriguez, and Bruce Springsteen. Note that Pete, that wonderful iconoclast, sings verses rarely recorded - "By the relief office, I saw my people" and "The great big sign there said Private Property".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Idée d’jour

A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not stake their own.
- H.G. Wells, writer (1866-1946) Words to the wise, Dick Cheney

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The last time I wanted to vomit into a trash can, I was in college. That was my freshman year, 1976. I was living in Worchester House, a converted Navy barracks, on the south end of campus. My roommate, Richard, was a tall lanky fellow - at least a head taller than me. It was clear we were each strange cats, and had little in common.

I suspect it was early in the year that Richard suggested we go out drinking, as a way to bond. We walked to a bar about two blocks from our dorm. The Fallout Shelter was downstairs at a mini-strip mall. We drank pitchers of beer, all the law would allow.

We actually did use the trash cans that night. And maybe the next morning as well.

When I started feeling bad last Wednesday, I thought breakfast had not settled well. I had eaten at a greasy spoon, and it seemed possible the sausage had been too greasy. I still felt uneasy at lunch, but felt I should eat anyway. Something light - like a bowl of chili.

Not a great idea.

After lunch, I started feeling really bad. I felt bloated. I felt like I needed to use the restroom, but "nothing was delivered". I began to feel warmer than normal. I finally left a bit before 4 - just a half hour early.

Driving home was the greatest challenge. Every bump was amplified by the bile in my tummy.

By this point, opening the garage door did not seem an option (I have to open it manually). I parked in the drive, and ran in the house. I turned on the TV, intending to lay on the couch. I think I laid on the couch for about 10 minutes, then decided my bed was much more inviting.

I left the TV on. I left my dress shirt and pants on. I crawled under the comforter, loosened my belt, and prayed the increasing nausea would pass.

About two hours later, I felt the gorge rising. I wasn't sure I could make it to the bathroom, and grabbed my trashcan. I did not throw up at that time.

I did make it to the bathroom. That's when the diarrhea started. I started going to the bathroom about every two hours.

Thursday morning. I felt feverish. The diarrhea was on-going. No way I was going to work. I left a message on a co-worker's phone. Shortly after, I dashed to the restroom and knelt before the porcelain shrine.

It appeared that I hadn't really digested much of the chili I ate the day before.

During one of those frequent trips, I did use the trash can in the bathroom. I had lost the energy to kneel, and had laid down on the bathroom floor. The gorge started rising, and I just grabbed the bucket just in the nick of time.

Happily, I line my small trash cans with plastic grocery bags.

Now, I don't generally let myself off the hook very easily. My goal is to go to work every day. I figured once my stomach pumped all the gorge out, I'd be good to go to work Friday.

Not so. I felt better, but extra movement seemed dicey. I made one trip Friday, to buy more Pepto and 7-up at Target.

Now, I have two theories as to how this thing started. My original hypothesis was that it was food poisoning from the greasy spoon. Then, sometime Thursday or Friday, I remembered my elderly neighbor had described similar symptoms last Monday.

I've been helping him get adjusted to the converter box for his TV. Which, naturally, requires I go in his house on occasion.

I've been living on clears liquids and crackers the past few days. My stomach was queasy Sunday and Monday; it's now "hinky", which seems like an improvement.


Classic story song by Mark Erelli & Peter Nelson; performed here by Mr. Erelli.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Idée d’jour

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top.
— Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)