Friday, June 26, 2009

All Over the World

There is a sadness. I'm without words. And touched by the outpouring of grief, memories, and tributes to this unique human being. RIP Michael.

An Amazing Video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

School Bus Children

School bus children
live in a different world
where buses leave on time
leaving behind
uncrowded playgrounds
walks home with friends
practice for the Christmas play
extra help with homework

School bus children
learn to line up quickly
or risk sitting in the front row
where the rearview mirror
reflects dark eyes
waiting to catch someone
breaking the rules

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When I'm Feeling Blue

I turn to Picasso.

A Day Late

and a dollar short. Yesterday was Kris Kristofferson's 73rd birthday. He still looks mighty good to me, especially when he sings "Me and Bobby McGee."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Rest of the Story

So, having acquired an "early exposure to jazz," on a date with a southern California DJ for a small local radio station, I decided to impress him with my vast knowledge of jazz by waxing eloquently about Cal "T" Jader. He promptly set me straight: "It's  Cal Jader." Ooops! Once burned, twice learned. 

Happy B-Day Adolphe

My first husband and the father of my two sons, introduced me to jazz, via Earl Bostic, an extraordinary sax player. The saxophone itself was invented by (and named for) Adolphe Sax. To both men I say "Thank you, for the sexiest music ever invented."

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

I love Bob Dylan. Everything about him, especially his gravelly voice, pointed lyrics, and brazen eccentricity. In my next life, I want to be Dylan. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

If I Were a Cat

I'd lie on my mother's breast
nurse for a while
then sleep the sleep of the well-fed
I'd dream
of chasing daisies in the field
Waking, I'd stretch long and deep
open my mouth so wide
butterflies would rush in
If I were a cat
I'd make playthings of small creatures
bat them about
pretend to free them
then reach out, grab them by the tail
and eat them
If I were a cat I'd taunt the dog
pretend to fall out the window
then pull back at the last possible moment
laughing at his stupid expression
If I were a cat
I'd find a partner and have dozens of babies
Each perfect, just like me

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Our Sisters in Iran

My first job in Hollister was teaching 8th grade algebra. One of my students, a young girl from Iran, was really struggling with the concepts so she stayed every day after school to get extra help.

By the end of the school year, she had brought her grade up to a B and was honored at the year end assembly with a "most improvement" award. Her parents were so proud.

She wrote the following thank-you on my white board. I can't remember the exact translation but her sweet smile said it all.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I grew up in a small town in central Texas where there were almost no people of color but everyone there knew about Juneteenth.

Though Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was effective January 1, 1863, it had little effect on slavery as most of the south was still primarily under the control of Confederate troops.

On July 18, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with 2000 troops. The next day he is said to have read the contents of Executive Order #3: "The people of Texas are informed, inaccordance with a proclamation of the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

Long celebrated in Texas, since the 1980s Juneteenth has grown in popularity throughout the US. Let us take a quiet moment this day to remember the men, women, and children victimized by this dark chapter in our history, and to renew our commitment to fighting injustice wherever it is found.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday MC

MC Esher (June 17, 1898-March 27, 1972) is best known for his graphic works and prints that visualized the impossible and conceived the most complex mathematical and geometrical ideas, captivating mathematicians, crystallographers, and biologists.
(for more information see

Notes to John RE: My House

Day 7: 121/80

Monday, June 15, 2009


I found this photo among those I took from my Oklahoma City aunt's albums. I have no idea who it is. But I wish it were me, sitting side-saddle, ready to ride across the Territory. 

Two Steps Forward, One Back

Life is just too damn complicated sometimes. But, since the alternative is not much fun, I keep pushing along, slow and steady, hoping there's a big hunk of lettuce waiting at the end.  

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I just spent the last 48 hours cleaning and reorganizing my small space. And there's still crap shoved under the coffee table, a 2-foot stack of photo albums on one end of the sofa, and enough junk sitting in the corridor that it's risky to navigate it in the dark. But there's hope!

Day 4: 121/77

Thursday, June 11, 2009

At the Heart of the Matter

I want to live a long, long time. To get even with my son, if for no other reason. So, I'm setting out on a quest for health and wellness. I've filled the fridge drawer full of fruits and vegetables and non-alcoholic beer and wine. I'm checking my blood pressure daily and working on how to get some moderate exercise (the real challenge).
Day 1: 123/78.

artwork by

Changing Lives

One note at a time. Cindy turned me on to this NYC music teacher and I've been obsessed ever since. Go to and select Teacher Saves Students with Song. Click on the video below. You'll be hooked too. (There's lots more on YouTube.)

This Week in the Stars

Virgo: All you need is love, but a good therapist and tax attorney are handy, too. Keep them both on speed dial, because anything could happen this week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Good driving has nothing to do with sex."

"It's all above the collar." Alice Huyler Ramsey (1887-1983)

As someone who loves to drive, I'm fascinated by Ms. Ramsey's story. In 1909, accompanied by two sisters-in-law and a woman friend, Alice drove a Maxwell 30 from Manhattan to San Francisco in 59 days. A graduate of Vassar (1907), she was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1970. Over the years, she repeated the cross country trip more than 30 times. 

Happy Birthday Alice!

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the above information.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

When I Question My Memory

I just pull out my old pictures and see what I can find to confirm or dispute.

In the early 60s, some guy came around recruiting folks to go to some place in Central or South America. The deal was free land in exchange for homesteading, sort of like the old west. We got as far as having passport photos and then it all fell apart.

I've often wondered if it was a real deal and how life would have been different if had been the great opportunity my father yearned for. Hopefully we wouldn't have ended up drinking Kool-Aid.

PS I love that only my younger sister was smiling.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Last Time

The last time I saw my mother,
she did not look like this.
The last time I saw my mother,
her hair was white and uncombed,
her eyes tired, voice uncertain
like someone who's not sure
where she's going
or with whom.
The last time I heard that voice
she said come live with me
and I said yes
but my father said no.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Roads Lead to

In the 40s, my aunt and uncle owned a cafe in Hobbs, NM. (My aunt is 3rd from the right). Hobbs was known as "Little Las Vegas" back then. There was an army base out on the north side of town but these boys at the counter look more like locals. The back counter looks pretty well stocked for a hot dog place.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thinking About the Future

In 2000, I visited Sherman, Texas, to interview Susie Mae Griffin Edwards, my maternal grandmother's first cousin. At 103, she was clear as a bell, healthy, lived alone, and needed only routine housekeeping and personal assistance from her next door neighbor.

After lunch, she provided a complete and clear oral history of her strand of the Griffin family. As I approach 65 and medicare and full retirement, I think of her often and hope that her genes managed to make it to my dna.

Monday, June 1, 2009

For All the Corgi Lovers Out There

I'm Obsessed

with black cats these days. My Sweetie sleeps under my bedspread all day and on the back of the sofa all night. Except for frequent forays to the food bowl. He's huge and temperamental and can shift from loving to biting in the blink of an eye. Like mother, like son?