Search This Blog


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Prep Time

Waddya know, it’s December. Winter doesn’t officially begin until later—December 21 at 11:48 P.M. EST, just to be all precise and shit.

That's the winter solstice, the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year—the day the sun flips me the bird. *sigh* Still and all, it’s a day to celebrate as it means that sunlight WILL be coming back, the days WILL get longer.

One of these years I’d like to observe the solstice up at the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands. Sunrise on that day isn’t until just a few ticks past nine with sunset at 3:15.  Six precious hours of daylight.

Dunno what goes down there on this day BUT Helen and Mark Woodsford-Dean of the Scottish Pagan Federation observe the day complete with mead and honeycakes.
 With the kind permission of Historic Scotland we celebrate the main Pagan / Celtic festivals at the Ring of Brodgar (by the fallen stone by the southern entrance) OR at the Standing Stones of Stenness. We usually design a ritual around those provided by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Wherever possible, we celebrate on the day of the festival, or as near as possible, giving preference to weekends.

Anyone with a warm heart and open mind is very welcome to join us, or even just interested observers, at any of these events. We usually sound a horn to announce the ritual is starting!
I think this would be an ideal way to ring in the beginning of longer days. Maybe my cousin Della could come up from Berlin and join me too. That’d be awesome plus.

This year, maybe what we’ll do, TAB, Jen, Oni and I, is have a nice dinner by candlelight....or bonfire.

In any case, my body’s been getting a jump start on the heart of the frozen season. The old skin sack’s doing it’s best impression of obscenely crispy, ancient papyrus recently unearthed from the Pyramid of Djoser. That and I’m beyond ravenous all the damn time. I could eat a block of cheddar, the size of my head, in one sitting—swear to Bast, I could!

That perpetual diet of mine? I’m currently doing everything possible just to keep from putting on additional, molto unneeded poundage. Actually losing weight will happen, just not until I’ve adjusted to the cold. Workin’ on it.

I've been wrapping myself in layers of wool and getting out to exercise each and every day. I’m even doing more walking in addition (incredibly!) to triking. My goal, once the snow’s fallen and the streets are icy, is to be able to stay upright—to be able to walk down to the big beach, less than a half dozen blocks down the seawall, and back without splatting on my ass 500 times.

This, even at the best of times, is a challenge.

So then, I'm fighting off my PTSS (Post Traumatic Snow Syndrome—brought on by last years' Snowmageddon), attempting to perk up my attitude/my down outlook and get fit (less unfit) so that I can get around on the coming ice and snow.

Yea me?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Absent Minded

The magical Linda Baker-Cimini has shared this bewitching meandering with me. I can SO relate!
As I was rolling the words absent minded around in my mouth something sour in the fricatives made me spit it out. It lay there in the palm of my hand glistening with spittle in the light of my beside lamp. It shrugged apologetically casting off its false hood and revealed itself as a useless knot of lines. How absurd for a word to be so opposite of what is true. I yearn to be absent, to be out of my mind as I spend entirely too much time within it.

One word can spur an archeological dig through the strata of the mind revealing the bones and wings of all the flights of fancy that have crashed and burned over time. Collisions give rise to hybrid creatures uniquely adapted to memory's lapses and waves of extinction. A near miss will sometimes occasion a gust strong enough to dislodge a bit of flotsam from unfathomable depths. Many such gusts might support rumors of cetacean intelligence. That the collective stream of unconscious would be comprised of wholly human tributaries is an aberration of an impoverished imagination.

Where is this leading I wonder? I was distracted by a word while reading a book. It's a good book too but here I am recollecting a child who knew me when she and I were one. Chronology leaves room for vacillation. From time to time half a century can dissolve and a single thought can shed light on a time of wonder as yet unprejudiced with illusions of certainty.

What I recall in the minute detail of Cartesian anxiety is the first time a word showed me the true colors of its dishonesty. I am halfway up the stairs. Progress is slowed by the fact that the next step is at the level of my knee. The wood of the stair is unpainted but coated with something clear and slippery. I have something heavy on my mind and must transport it carefully lest it knock me off my stocking feet. I am five years old and embarking on my initial studies of the Otherness of Brother as observed within his natural habitat. I must be very quiet so as not to disturb the habits of the native species. The inside of my head is still the inside of my head presently. This is the vantage point from which I am not absent at all but entirely present. I was pondering the intersubjectivity of the phenomenal world as I navigated those treacherous stairs.

I wanted to discuss the color GREEN. That was when the ambiguous nature of language first became apparent to me. My feet were sweaty. My mouth was dry and my palms tingled with a synaptic fear of falling. I knew that I could point my finger and discern the colors of the rainbow but how to convey the magic of the spectrum? I could never be sure that my brother's idea of green was not in fact purple. We might come to an agreement on the word but how would I know that he wasn't just humoring me? This was the first illustration of otherness that I can recall. The alphabet became a fractured song as each individual letter squirmed and wriggled in front of me. As I said the word aloud to myself GREEN became a doubtful place of isolation. I was not sure my brother could find his way there to visit me even if I scattered breadcrumbs. I abandoned the ascent and walked across the living room on shaky knees. I stopped in the kitchen and listened to the clock the sound making the room seem emptier somehow.

And here I am again lying in the narrow bed of now. A cumbersome triumvirate comes lumbering along, another tangent unmoored with all its clocks askew. Body travels blindly by land, guided by sensation. One can only hope that it will learn to modulate its voice as well as the bat so as not to be deafened by its own echo. Meanwhile mind suspended in a heavy fog of thought flies in circles looking for a hospitable rooftop on which to land. The questionable essence of soul is perplexed when asked to do math and feigns ambivalence as time wreaks havoc on its less fortunate colleagues. The hydra bridles and bucks as love, hunger, fear and thirst take their turn in the saddle. Zinc and copper conduct electric riptides through the bloodstream following convolutions that are anything but linear. What to name this knot of wonder and confusion?   
Remember, you can purchase prints (framed and not), posters and greeting card versions of Linda's awesome work on her Fine Art America site!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I'm Mad As Hell

 Republican presidential hopefuls were noticeably silent about a fatal shooting that took place at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. 
Yeah, that’s a real shocker, eh? Undoubtedly, they’re waiting to see how they can spin it so’s they can earn a bump in their poll numbers. Trump, who can reliably be counted on for the most coldly malevolent of statements has, as yet, been quiet. On this anyway.

Ted Cruz finally did come out, nearly 24 hours after the shit when down, to say that he’s praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely blah, blah, blah.

Gee dude, SO glad to hear that you’re praying for these folks. I guess, seeing as he's in the pocket of the Tea Party, that’s the balls on best he can do. Empty gesture. Empty words. AND he’s the only one of those craven smegma brained cretins to offer even that.


The poltroon hearted miscreants on the right, along with their pet screamers, the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Krauthammers, Coulters, etc., hold a fat, solid portion of blame for these latest murders. With their gross, inflammatory speech—their lies, obfuscations and colossal truth warping—they incite the barely in control, nothing-left-to-lose, tiny brained, ammosexuals amongst us.
The man who police say staged a deadly shooting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that offers abortion services said "no more baby parts" after his arrest, a law enforcement official said Saturday.
"No more baby parts?" Gee, wonder what he's talking about.
This summer, a group called the Center for Medical Progress began to release a series of videos from an undercover “investigation” which it claimed showed that Planned Parenthood “sells aborted baby parts” for profit.

Since then, those claims have been roundly debunked, but the stir created by CMP’s videos has led to votes on defunding Planned Parenthood in the House and Senate and in several states, multiple House hearings (including one happening right now) and the threat of a government shutdown, and even contributed to the resignation of the speaker of the House.
The Center for Medical Progress is another one of those Orwellian named, extreme right wing tools formed for the sole purpose of putting out those insane, deceitfully edited, inflammatory “investigative” vids.

They've got fuck-all to do with medicine. They’re nothing more than an anti-abortion protest group, founded by David Daleiden in 2013. And yeah, they’re hooked up with the terrorist group Operation Rescue.
The group's leadership includes a convicted felon who attempted to bomb an abortion clinic, and it once issued a press release saying the killer of an abortion doctor should have been able to argue it was a "justifiable defensive action."
By the by, these murderous Operation Rescue fuckers ought to always be called what they are—terrorists. So often they're referred to as "anti choice activists." That gives them far too much dignity.

I'm just wondering, do the right wing, feces brained, politicians understand that the combo of lying-ass incendiary rhetoric, unlimited access to guns and cutting support to the mentally ill isn't, ya know, salubriously primo?

Oh yeah and their obscene war on women bullshit's more fuel on top of our burning pyre of a country. We've GOT to vote these fuckers out before their insanely reckless pursuit of more money and power kills us all.

William Holden's Mad as Hell speech from Network.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Flotsam du Jour

There’s an article in Rolling Stone on the new Bond girl (HATE that moniker!). It makes out like she’s some miraculous street urchin BUT at the same time it’s selling her as a safe rich girl type. This seems to be how she bills herself and they’re going along with it. They're each having it both ways. On the one hand, she's the exotic and beautifully romantic orphan, abandoned and making her own gritty way on the streets of Paris. On the other, she's the cultured and alluring offspring of extreme wealth, raised with refinement and superior artistic tastes.

This bullshit's a bugaboo of mine—folks who play like they’re from lowly backgrounds, up by their bootstraps but in reality, no, not so much. I’m thinking, just at this moment about that fetid, putrescent skin sack, that horrifically embarrassing example of humanity, Trump. He claims he's self made. His father gave him just a wee million dollar loan to get started in biz.

Now, if you think $1,000,000 doesn’t sound like all that much, consider this: one million dollars in 1970 is equivalent to six and a quarter mill (or more) now.

Everyone, it seems, wants to be able to claim that they've come from nothing, that they've struggled to get to the top, that their fame and fortune were hard earned. It's a better, more compelling, romantic and engaging story. And it's often a work of fiction.
Back to Bond though, I’m looking forward to seeing Spectre. From what I've read, his ultimate love interest is, for the first time in 52 years, a woman near his own age.

...during an interview with Red Bulletin, when his interviewer suggested that Bond in this film was shown “succumbing to the charms of an older woman”, aka Bellucci, ironic considering Bellucci is only four years older than Craig.

“I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age,” Craig responded. “We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake. When someone like that wants to be a Bond girl, you just count yourself lucky!”
Grown ups!
It is now catalogue season. You may've noticed. We’re getting ad collections from companies we’ve never even heard of. Why? I order on line from L.L. Bean, Daedalus Books and Sundance on occasion so I’m on the list. (insert ominous, scary music here)
Pajamagram? Oh c’mon now, how many of us REALLY want or are even capable of getting our entire family dressed in matching Christmas themed jammies?

And their ad copy “Give on the Wild Side” beside a young woman wearing a decidedly mundane PLAID flannel number? This is what passes for wild? Where? In Lubbock, Texas maybe?

I know, I know, I’m hardly one to criticize nor am I their target market.

In the Company of Dogs? Hello?! This is a house of cats!

Backcountry? Why am I getting a catalogue for a joint that sells ski equipment and rock climbing gear? These are two activities that I will never, ever do. Mountains—they’re made to be admiringly gazed upon not tumbled down arse over tea kettle. This being precisely what’d happen if I attempted either enterprise.

I also get catalogues from assorted art museum stores. This, OK, is understandable but still, I do not need these glittering gimcracks—oh no I don’t.
Robert Lewis Dear is the appallingly vile and stunningly disgraceful example of humanity who shot up the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs yesterday. What better way to absolutely, beyond question, prove you're pro life than to murder three people, eh?

On that note, I believe it's time to suit up and ride before the cold rain begins. Triking—it's wonderfully meditative. Zen-ish, is what it is.

Friday, November 27, 2015

And Now We Are Four

Huh, I seem to be four years old now—this blog anyway. It was Thanksgiving day, four years ago (the 24th in 2011) that I began rambling and I've not shut up since.

Waddya know.

I’ve blathered on about my carnival days, being deaf and how I got that way, cats (endless cat tales!), travels with Jen, cars (!!!) and triking. There’ve been *cough* a few *cough* rants about clueless flatworm brained cretins, asswipes, feces headed fuckwads and grifters (not always the same exact thing). I've gone on about books, books, more books and feminism.

Hells, there've been rants about books AND feminism AT THE SAME TIME!
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
~Rebecca West
I've actually let other people take the helm on occasion (invited—cajoled 'em even!). Brenda Rock's had a few things to say. Heike, my cousin Della in Berlin. author Kevin Tudish, Steve, The Amazing Bob AND his son The Green Milesother important others too.

There've been interviews with artists and authors, love stories, art reviews and travel talk (categories which often overlap).

And, of course, there's been some navel gazing as in Why Do We Create. Pics too!

So then, obvs I'm not gonna stop yapping anytime soon (and there'll be more fabulous guest posts!), so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


TAB & Harry watching the big game
This morning, in no particular order, I’m wicked thankful for the following:

1) Today marks the day, 35 years ago, that I left my parents house and moved to Boston. I took an overnight bus, arriving the morning after Thanksgiving. My buddy Craig picked me up at the Trailways Bus station and put me up (maybe I mean “put up with me”) for a couple weeks until I found a job and an apartment.

Thank you Craig!

2) The Amazing Bob baked the most amazing apple pie yesterday. I’m about to have a piece for brekkie. YUM! He’s making pumpkin pie later. And he’s made cookies!

I LOVE (mondo understatement here) that TAB’s health and energy have gotten so much better that he’s baking again.

3) My trike—DAMN I’m happy about this beast! Yesterday, I went for a wildly epic ride. It was about 45º, sunny and there was very little wind. Perfect. Today it’ll be partly cloudy and in the mid 50s. Splendido! Obvs there will be a post food fest ride.

4) The McMurrer Fam Turkey Fest will be next door at Jen and Oni’s after all. What this means is that I’ll slide next door for a round of hugs, convo and vino—just enough socializing to make me feel all happy and warm but not so much that I feel utterly swamped (lipreading—exhausting, motherfucking work, don’cha know).

5) The Grands. We won’t see them today BUT I’m thrilled to bits that we can see them as often as we do.

This is because…

6) My baby-sweetie Helen and fam live in upstate New York. That's home now—a mere four hour drive. YEA! Dallas, where they lived previously, wasn't even in this solar system. I'm pretty sure of that.

7) The Amazing Bob’s most awesome son, The Green Miles, lives in Southern Massachusetts, a piffling 90 minutes away. He moved up from D.C. a few years back. YEA!

8) I stopped by a coffee shop the other day, just to slay some time while waiting for a shop to open. The caffeine pusher, when I arrived at the counter, started rattling, rápidamente, a whole bunch of words. All I could do was laugh and say “Whoa Duuude, I’m deaf and missed every last little thing you just fast talked.” Know how he responded? He smoothly, fluently, amazing and wonderfully repeated everything IN ASL! I was blown away.

I’m thankful when people “speak” my adopted language.

9) We’re coming up on the 13th anniversary of our move to Valhalla from Cambridge. Yeah sure, sometimes we miss living in town but...HELLO, Mister Ocean.

Aaahhhhhhh, ocean. I am so mindbendingly happy that we (TAB, Oni, Jen, me, Skitter, Thelma, Rocco and Coco) get to live here.

10) Lastly I’m très grateful for my friends and family. They are, blissfully, too numerous to name in this blog post so I’ll just leave at this:
You know who you are. I can’t adequately express my appreciation for all your warm, caring company through good times and bad. MOLTO fucking grazie!
So then, that’s my list for this morning. What are you especially, truly thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Here’s another thought...

Holly Sears painting
Holly Sears tile
Don’t shop AT ALL this weekend.

Take the entire four day holiday (if you’re lucky enough to be off work all four days, that is) and spend it with your loved ones. Take a hike with the kids, go to a museum, sprawl on the floor drawing airplanes, cats and flowers with your nieces and nephews, visit with your father and make him laugh. On your own for the weekend? Enjoy the blissful solitude. Go for a stroll along the beach, ice skate, chain-read Ransom Riggs’ trilogy, take yourself to the movies.
On my movie list?
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
Meet Your Makers

Taylor Custom Cuttlefish
 Shopping for art/craft? (and, really you should.) None of the local—Boston/Rhode Island area—open studio events happen until the first weekend in December anyway.

The Foundry Show in Pawtucket opens on December 3rd.
The Pawtucket Armory | Center for the Arts
172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860
Open on the weekends, beginning December 3rd and running through the 13th.

P. Kroner at Vernon Street
Mudflat Studio's sale starts on the 4rth and closes on the 13th. They're at:
81 Broadway, Somerville

The Feet of Clay Holiday sale opens on Thursday, December 10th. The website says they’re open daily through the 23rd though I don’t see biz hours listed. Call (617-731-3262) or email  ( before setting out. Parking in the Brookline Village area is hard to come by. There’s a Green Line T stop right across the street though. Just FYI, Holly Sears' amazing paintings, pots and witty scuptures can be found here.

Lori Watts bowl
The Vernon Street Studios open house is on the weekend of December 5th & 6th only from noon until 6pm. The website notes that there’s a parking lot. Good as I don’t believe there’s a T stop nearby.
6 & 20 Vernon Street • Somerville, MA 02145

You could shop online thereby not having to leave the cozy warmth and comfort of your home. AND, if you're in Buck Snort Arkansas (a REAL town!) or someplace similar—i.e., nowhere near anything but giant chain stores selling nothing but made-in-China gimcracks and gewgaws—you can shop for gorgeous artist made work on line!
Wendy Baker earrings—FYI, she does a lot more than skulls!

Wendy Baker’s transcendentlly beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets can be found on her Etsy page.  
Shadow May mug

Lori Watts of A Fine Mess Pottery—You can find her pots and soaps on line at her website (link above) or you can shop in person. These Maine and Rochetser, New York joints carry her fab work:
    Portland Pottery Cafe, Portland, Maine
    Quench, Belfast, Maine
    Gray Fox Gallery, Rockland, Maine
    Bayview Compay, Saco, Maine
    Handworks Gallery, Blue Hill, Maine
    Monkitree, Gardiner, Maine
    Craft Company No. 6, Rochester, New York

Jill Burns’ elegant, illustrated plates, mugs and bowls can be found at Early Bird Designs site.

Chris Taylor of Taylor Custom says:
Each of our items is exhaustively researched for scientific accuracy, and painstakingly crafted for a maximum quotient of aesthetic and mechanical elegance, educational richness, and general nerdiness!

Many of the products in our unique and diverse line are are small scale replicas accurate enough to use for instruction and study... and very convenient to keep on-hand
Jesus, I want one of everything! He’s got frog drawer Pulls, tyrannosaurus skull clip keychains, an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus lockets, a squid and whale ring, cuttlefish necklaces and more.

Atomic Earrings—LOVE these!

Shadow May is mostly, I think, a sculptor BUT I've scored some of my fav mugs from him.

So then, resist the gods of commerce, keep your wallet shut for the next four days, unwind and chill. K?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Magicians

Guess what, we’ve official entered the shopping season. It’s that time of year when acquisition fever seizes us all. The only way to duck all the buy, BUY, BUY commands is to go into a coma for the next couple of months. Mind you, this'd be quite restful BUT it’s a bit extreme, even for me.

Given that the vast majority of us will shop, whether it’s in bricks and mortar or virtual stores, I ask/suggest/plead that y’all buy local. Invest in individuals and your community by spending your hard earned wads at independently owned booksellers, clothing emporiums, toy and home goods shops versus the big chains.

OR purchase your prezzies direct from the creator whether they’re in your town or online. By creator I’m talkin’ about the artists, craftspeople and authors themselves.
Today, if you’re not already aware of her, I want you to meet Linda Baker-Cimini. I happened on her work while in a small gallery in the Berkshires this past summer. I’m wild about her odd creatures and their captions. Magic simply rolls off them. If  Neil Gaiman or Ransom Riggs had an illustrator or ghost writer, it’d most def be Linda Baker-Cimini.

Here’s her tremendous bio:
Linda Baker-Cimini was born in the year of the wooden dragon. This CAN be a fire hazard and exacerbates a predisposition to an assortment of phobias and generalized neurosis. Other than that she's very well adjusted. Just make sure you don't touch her feet. Ever. Also of historical significance: it was a time when a certain species of Beatle infected young girls with mass hysteria. Then came the Rolling Stones and so on. Many other things were happening simultaneously.

Linda was unaware of all this. She was busy having staring contests with cows, reading 'The National Geographic' magazine and dragging large, interesting things home to store in the pole shed for further study. They didn't have a T.V.  She was omnivorous in her choice of reading material and WAS, if truth be told, VERY much influenced by a book's cover. She grew up on a dead end road. The town was proud of its obscurity and was known as the smallest community in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA, population: 176. It was beautiful.

Linda didn't have a lot of playmates that were of the same species,(besides her brother), but she had LOTS of imaginary friends and there were seasonal friends... mud puppies and toads in the neighbors fire pond. You could never skate on it because the chickens walked all over it the minute it started to freeze and made the ice all lumpy. As a child, (and as an older child), she had a strong aversion to organized scholastic pursuits and most other activities that involved speaking to or making eye contact with other children. She did however like to watch them from the safety of the playground's observation blind.

Linda wishes she was born with a prehensile tail. She loves coffee. She's allergic to wool,(nasty rash is what happens). Her favorite color is Safety Green. She believes that having large feet increases ones stability.

She presently resides in Pittsfield, Massachusetts with her pet caterpillar, Hugo. Her pet night crawler, Bill, has gone missing. Her mother has a worm farm in New Mexico. Maybe Bill went there to visit.
Where can you see more AND buy Linda's awesome work?

The Saint Francis Gallery
1370 Pleasant Street, Route 102
South Lee, MA 01260

Lenox Local, LLC
55 Pittsfield rd.
Lenox, MA 01240

and on line at:
Fine Art America
You can find her books on her website. I’m expecting mine in the mail any day now and I’m PSYCHED!