Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving poem

My thankfulness is a circle of thanks

With outer edges extending

My blue skies touch

Another’s pain

My bed of flowers

Touches the same earth

They huddle near

In terror

As bombs drop

And lives change

And families

And fragile bodies

Are torn apart.

Without our help, life itself, can part us


Strands pulled and wearing at every corner

Do we need to add to the fray?

I’m thankful for peace and love

And gentle kindness

Woven by us in the small particular moments of our own small universes.

May we see through someone else’s eyes

On this Thanksgiving Day.



This is a work in progress. What do you think?

I need advice, HELP please!!

I’ve kind of prided myself on being able to stay connected to the people in my family who have very different political ideas… but I need some advice. Usually, I try to listen and understand where people are coming from, but right now I feel so outraged about the torture and killing going on in Iraq that I don’t feel, morally, that I can stay silent. Also, I feel very strongly about the current political issues, so I have a hard time talking about it without getting intense. I also don’t want to have a contentious or tension filled Thanksgiving. I’m going to be at my aunt’s house who is far right politically.


I’d like to be able to say what I think, inform my family of what’s going on, yet keep it light and warm and stay connected…


Thanks for any help! I was just on the phone with my mom and she said, “What ever you do, don’t bring up politics.” Even that made me angry and I said that with what is happening in the world right now, I feel it would be immoral not to  speak up.


Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Go Figure

I need help thinking of a better caption for this picture. What would be a funnier caption than "I don't get it...But I might like it." ??? I'll re-do the picture with the winning caption!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Warm day, blue sky, leaves red, my phone works all the way across the street, I listened to a great song while I was driving, hand out the window, and

Natalie wrote to me! Natalie wrote to me! Natalie wrote to me! And she said she liked my pictures!! So, there.

See, that is why it is worth it to blog, even though the highest amount of unique visitors I've had has only been 35. Even though my posts often sound clumsy. Even though my site will probably never look as good as French Toast Girl's. Natalie wrote to me. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Let’s talk about sex

I saw Kinsey last night. It’s the true story of Alfred and Clara Kinsey who, along with a team of researchers, did scientific studies of human sexual behavior in the United States. I thought it was well done, thought provoking and disturbing, and I recommend it. It was sexually graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend taking your kids, although you might want to talk to them about the ideas in it.

Concerned Women for America are planning to protest the movie. I find this interesting since there are so many lascivious movies out. Why did they decide to protest the Kinsey report? It can’t be the sexuality shown, even though this movie was very graphic by my standards, there are much more sexually graphic movies. [The 82 year old woman next to me said she liked the pictures.] Is it the story? Are they protesting telling the true story of the people who studied human sexual behavior in America? Is it because they think he shouldn’t have done the study or because they are upset by what he found? Do they dislike his lifestyle and disagree with his views?

I highly disliked several aspects of his lifestyle and disagree with part of his philosophy about sex. Splitting sexual debate into two simplified camps; there are the prescribers and the describers. Kinsey was a describer. He falls into the camp of anything goes. This group prides itself on being open minded and sexually free. They avoid prescriptions at all costs saying that anything is alright as long as no one gets hurt. They won’t tell the truth about how sex affects them. I know many people who say sex can just be for pleasure, we are animals and it is only societal convention that makes sex emotional. Of course, we are animals, we are animals that bond through touch, and when sexual bonds are broken, it hurts. In the movie, Clara gets it right when she says, "Did you ever think that societal norms are there for a reason?"

The other group prescribes sexual behavior. They have a set idea of what is ok sexually and what isn’t ok. Of course, there is variety in the prescriptions. They don’t want to hear about the actual sexual behavior that people are engaged in and they are often hypocrites, spouting theory that their behavior doesn’t match up with. This group doesn’t want sex ed taught or condoms handed out because teenagers SHOULDN’T be having sex, ignoring the fact that they ARE.

I find either type of viewpoint equally repugnant for the exact same reason. Maybe it’s the scientist in me; I’m annoyed when people ignore reality for theory. I consider both groups to be publicly dishonest, even when they are honest people at home. This is often the trouble when people start getting off into theory, ignoring their own and other people's experiences. My anecdotal evidence of people I know who prescribe certain sexual behavior is that none of them live up to their ideals, me included. My personal experience of the people who say that anything goes sexually is that they are all, I mean ALL, affected emotionally by their sexual relationships, just like everyone else.

Why deny reality publicly? Maybe it is the adversarial way we debate issues in this country. Perhaps both sides fear that if they give a more nuanced view, the other side will use it as a weakness to promote their agenda. Boy, have people used Kinsey's research to promote agendas. The most disturbing agenda I found while researching the anti-Kinsey articles, is that a group of pedophiles have used the report to justify molesting children. It made my skin crawl just reading this article. Labeling something common or rare doesn’t take away how good or bad it may be for you. Even something common may be very unhealthy.

So, why do I still recommend the movie? Food is often equated with sex these days and I'll continue the analogy here to make my point. If you were in favor of a very particular nutritional plan, would you therefore be against finding out what people currently eat? What if the people who did the study had a different nutritional ideal in mind? Would you then be against the study? What if the people who did the accurate study ate very unhealthy meals? If the study was done well and accurately, to my mind it benefits anyone interested in nutrition to know what people are currently eating. From an organizational standpoint, you can’t change if you don’t know where you are starting from. If you are really for sexual reform, it benefits you to know what people are currently doing, so accurate sex studies will only be a benefit to you. The only agenda sex studies threaten is secrecy. (If you are a great big hypocrite, then that might be the way to go.)

Alfred Kinsey was of the non-prescription, only description camp. I think the movie accurately portrays that he got it wrong. And, I still think it’s a good movie. The movie may make you uncomfortable. Being honest with yourself while you watch it may make you even more uncomfortable.

Here's Paul Clinton's review of the movie. (His review has some spoilers.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Secretly Famous

I’m finding such great stuff today! Oh! Check out this graphic novel by Augustine!

Last week I worked.Today I play. Just sitting around in my pajamas exploring the blogosphere. Tommorrow… more work.

By the way, Thank you for all your “anonymous” input. For now I’ve decided to split my blog personality three ways: my “proffessional” blog, Braidwood –partly anonymous, and another TOTALLY SECRET blog, never to be revealed. My initial reason for posting anonymously, by the way, is because of my long standing wish to be “secretly famous.” You might be surprised, looking at my work, that I have a fear of becoming famous, but I do! I like being well know by my own community, but I hate the thought of giving up my traveling anonymity. I like blending in, if you can’t blend in you can never really get to know people. I would hate to be famous – oy. What with the stalkers and what not. On the other hand, I would like to have my songs and poems and art be scattered out broadly in the world. Thus, secretly famous. (I know, a fear likely never to be realized, but still.)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Not gonna do it!

(Not a)

Not this year at least. Here is what some crazy people are doing, including my friend Laura. They are writing an ENTIRE novel in 30 days, at least 50,000 words. wow. You say you have time to kill, speedy fingers and stories just waiting to flood out of you? Go to NaNoWriMo and join the throng. Hurry!

ps: I just went to Laura's site and she has written 2 more chapters in her very "page-turner" book. yay!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Anonymous, not anonymous?

Hmmm... My blog is fairly anonymous. I have a pseudonym and I haven't told many people about it... but I'm thinking I might want to make it even more anonymous.... Last night someone reminded me that I sent him an email telling him about my blog- this when I was trying to get more traffic. Now I've realized that I'm destined to be a little by road on the info super highway anyway, and that having people who know me look at my blog might inhibit my artistic expression (it already has, actually.) So, what should I do? Few people comment here that I don't talk to regularly :) But, if you feel like being really wild leave me a comment and an opinion.

Categories: ,

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Spring 1999, Sorrow Stone

You are rare and precious to me,
My sorrow is like a deep blue stone.
I open my hands to set you free
The white bird of our love flies on.

I put the stone gently into my belly
And like a woman in her village, waiting for her lover
I carry water like I always did
Silently heavy inside.

But our love is a translucent bird in the sky
You will not return.
The sun is melting it already
It’s feathers fall like petals.

Someday when the warmth soaks through
The many layers of my skin
Through the winding tissue in muscles
Through my bones
And melts the stone
I will wake again.

Spring 1999,
Modified July 28, 2002

Monday, November 08, 2004

Peace. Sing it, Baby!

Listen for free to songs about peace at the Peace Jukebox.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Come on People Now

I sent a not too thinly veiled show of support for Kerry by emailing a Michael Moore article to my friends and family- in the guise of humor. My friend wrote back with a not too thinly veiled request. She said that we should stop criticising the current President and seek unity as a nation. Does that mean I need to shut up?

It's the holy grail of community to be able to be yourself and belong to a group, and I know its possible. Falling silent won't unite us, it will impoverish us.
We need to hear each others stories to understand each other, to care about each other, to vote beyond our narrow self-interest.

Learning how to connect while allowing ourselves and others freedom of thought and expression is woo-ha, challenging. To meet this challenge in your personal life, I reccomend: The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner.

For our country and the world's well being, we need to hear a wide array of stories. Let's get the screaming pundits off the air and demand to see and hear a variety of people talking about their own lives and how the issues of the day have affected them. That's news, and that's what heals.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

All in all

Want to get lost?

Another cool site from the illustrator web ring, (of which I am a part- said in loud whisper.) Check out Portugal through the eyes of Vic/Madge. Warning: I looked last night and got lost for an hour. Some random art and some that will pull your heart.

Oh, I just checked it out to get the address and there is a cartoon about bloggers. Check it out, maybe you will see yourself. I don't think she drew me... or, scary thought, she DID draw me!

(I'm going to try the trackback feature. This will be my first trackback ping.)

ps: Why have I been publishing my text in boring black?? Ahh well, you live, you learn. Such is the life of a young blogger.


1. A free trackback system without ads.
2. Use firefox to look at my site. I just checked it out in internet explorer and it looks really bad.
3. Now that I'm part of a cool illustrators web ring, I also want to be part of a
quality poetry web ring
and a
singer-songwriter web ring.
4. I have an idea, I need some money. Any idea how to get in touch with grant givers?

Emergency blog help: I just notice that the haloscan comments and trackback disapeared my old comments. AHHH!!! What do I do??

Friday, November 05, 2004

I get trackback, the world looks brighter

I saw Amy Goodman of Democracy Now tonight. She said that most people are good and kind and if they had seen the real images of the results in the war in Iraq, they would have been outraged. I used to listen to her all the time on KRCL.
When I got home one of my cutest little eco-models sent me an uplifting note from Michael Moore. I laughed. (Check it out, you will laugh too!)
Then I decided to add Trackback to my blog! yay! Sorry about the ads on my track back!! I really hate ads. I was looking for an ad free trackback when I saw this article that talks about trackbacking being an aid to democracy. Yay Democracy!
I think Democracy is Love on a large scale. I can't remember if I read that in Bell Hooks or Carol Gilligan. ah well...

Categories: , ,

BLEEEHHHH! Impatient.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Guest Artist: Red

this is an audio post - click to play

Have you survived the elections, just barely? Are you wondering what the future holds? Check out the only horoscopes worth their salt.

Meanwhile, maybe not for you listening enjoyment, but certainly for our silly pleasure, we have recorded Guest Artist, Red, along with Braidwood reading a sample of horoscopes with an Irish accent. (Oh that old bit!)

I'm a member of a Web Ring!!

Great news! I am an official member of the Illustrators Blog Web Ring just this day! Yay! Want to be inspired? Take a look at some of the sites on the ring. I looked at ALL 46 sites on the ring, here are some of my favorite:

French Toast Girl
I love how the site looks and the adorable illustrations, it gives me something to aspire to on both counts. Check out the peas in the pod! Oh, how cute.
Guild of Ghost Writers For anyone who has worked in a windowless cubicle-cell with arbitrary rules, the little cartoon you’ll find here is strangely moving. Scroll down to a really cute tribute to Elvis impersonators.
Pomegranates and Paper This art has my kind of colors – colors to swim in.
Frog and Toad’s Wild Ride It looks like a newbie, like me. I wish the pictures were bigger. Check it out to see more gorgeous, swimmable colors.
Chillies and Chocolate Very pretty pictures! (And a lame blogger template, like mine :)
Design Kitten Kind of simple and sweet.

My one complaint: Not everyone has the illustrated blog ring graphic on their site. Come on people! It’s not a ring if someone breaks the chain. For better surfing, until people fix this problem, go to the Illustrated Blog List to surf through the sites in the ring.

Categories: ,

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Out o' here

So are some other people! Check out the blog Pop and Politics for a funny take on moving out of the country.

Oh, and here's a guy that already moved. Read about his journey to becoming a Canadian resident here.

ps: I don't really want to move, I love my country. But come freakin' on, people!

The European Dream

A friend sent me an article about a book called The European Dream. It reminded me of my deep yearning for a more humane lifestyle. How can so many people be satisfied with the dreary strip mall endless driving set-up we have here?

I wish that I could magically switch people into another person's life, like in Friday the 13th. I imagine switching George Bush with a young Iraqi mother, for just a month...

I recently saw a real life switch, of sorts, related to this article.
My friend went to Italy for a month this summer. This friend and I used to talk about our future. She wanted a big house, and was fine with driving everywhere she needed to go, and basically wanted the typical consumable American dream. I, on the other hand, being a true hedonist, wanted a small house, easily maintainable yard, a co-housing like community and wanted to live where I could walk everywhere I needed to go in my daily life. Well, she came back from Italy very homesick... for Italy, where she lived in a small villa, walked everywhere she needed to go, and the shopkeepers in the stores knew her by name after just a month.

See, I'm profoundly convinced, [even of the Bushites, although I can hardly say it this soon after the HUGE disappointment!] that people are mostly good and mostly smart. I think most people would definitely prefer the European dream, they just haven't experienced what it could be like.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

5 More Minutes

It's 9:30
I have waited an hour for you.
You, who have waited
So many minutes, added up to
for me.

5 more minutes.


It's almost 9:30
The moon is squashed.
I have sat in my car
Waiting for...
To laugh with me, and play and maybe
Rub my feet.
An exhaustion has set in
That is deeper than the day,
I just now realized what it is...
It is the exhaustion of a long journey
With no end in sight.
A journey like my journey up
Mt Timpanogus, under a midnight moon
Where the scaling of the peak
Just another peak to climb.
And this journey, that I've been climbing since my childhood, is:
"Where will I find my love?" and even more,
"When will I find my home?"

If I Write 10 Thousand Poems

If I write 10 thousand poems
How many of them
Have to be good?
Not this one, I guess.
Dolly Parton's my muse
Prolific country song-writer
A smart lady
In her overdone make-up
She gets the joke.
She told it!
And behind that
Is some beautiful music,
And a giant bra,
Flapping in the wind.

A poem, while I'm waiting

I've been here about...
50 minutes
Now that's ridiculous
And though I've been spinning ideas,
I may have been wasting my time.
If you don't show soon.
This is when a cell phone would come in handy,
You are late
For our un-appointment.
My drop by.
In a year of knowing you,
You have never once dropped by,
That is what I tell myself nights that I leave your place angrily,
And drive home,
With a drive just long enough
To turn my hurt pain into anger into self-righteousness into resolve into
Moving on.