Thematic Photographic: Night

Ring Around the Moon
Click to enbiggen

Carmi says that the theme for this week’s Thematic Photographic is “Night,” so I’m offering this picture of the moon taken from my back yard near Dallas just as Hurricane Ike was ripping Galveston apart, and just before I fished the frog out of the pool.

Fuzzy had the good camera in Hong Kong, so it’s not great, but there really was a ring ’round the moon, and I swear it’s not a picture of a flashlight beam.


I like folk music.

Partly, this is because I grew up with parents who were activists, and partly it’s because I love stories, and storytelling is a key element of all music, but especially folk music.

Every month, the local UU church hosts a coffeehouse evening – there are homemade baked goods and fair trade coffee, and folk singers are hired to come in and sing. Despite the fact that I felt like crap last night, and much of today, I knew the music and company would make me feel better. So we went.

The opening singer was a man named Bill Nash, who began his set with an instrumental piece. He wore a baseball cap, and a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, and used several capos to compensate for a left hand weakened from MS, but his songs were full of amazing imagery and wonderful internal rhyme.

The headliner was Kathy Moser, who has close connections with the UUs in general, and this UU fellowship in particular. Her songs, and the patter between them were full of the sort of observations and wry wit that, as a writer, I really appreciate.

Both singers shared a common background element: participation in the Rocky Mountain Song School, where one of the exercises involves each group being paired off. You and your partner each tell each other a story, and then you write the song of the story you heard. Even without the addition of music to such a project, it intrigues me, and I think there’s a way to turn it into a regular writing exercise.

Kathy Moser will be attending services at the church tomorrow, and singing, and she’s agreed to an interview about her next album for ATG, and about her life philosophy. Her goal is to make production of her next album not merely carbon neutral, but “oxygen positive.”

I like folk music, because of the storytelling as well as the music.
I like folk singers because they are wordsmiths.

We Are NOT A-Mused.

My muse has gone missing. I can’t find the voice for anything I want to write. My novel won’t talk to me, my blog is taunting me rather than being an outlet, and in recent days I’ve taken to spending huge chunks of time doing anything but being near the computer.

Yesterday, for example, I:
– re-arranged the linen closet
– took care of all the garbage, which is usually Fuzzy’s job
– cleaned the kitchen, a lot
– cooked rice to mix with the leftover stir fry for lunch
– baked chicken and rice for dinner, after chopping lots of veggies to roast with the chicken

And today, I:
– woke up before seven, despite not going to bed until nearly two
– made a pot of coffee, and drank it all before noon (well, only three mugs full)
– baked banana bread
– cleaned my downstairs desk
– cleaned my upstairs desk
– filed a ton of old financial documents
– rearranged my file drawer

Do you see any writing in there? No, I don’t either.

I have been in a reading mood – in the last week or so I’ve read the first two Sookie Stackhouse novels, and the first one and a half coffee house mysteries taking place at the fictional Village Blend in New York.

And tonight? I’m watching some show on PBS called “THE MOON” that KERA’s website claims is from 2007, but no one seems to have any information about, and it’s driving me crazy because the narrator has a soft, gravelly, British voice I could listen to forever, and he sounds SO familiar, and I can’t figure out who it is.

When it’s over, I think I will go take a bath, and see if being immersed in lovely warm, sudsy water recalls my muse.

And if that doesn’t work? Well, there’s some lovely chilled chardonnay in the fridge.


My twitter feed is full of friends and acquaintances remarking upon the chill in the air this morning. I woke to a weather alert from the desktop client from, warning me that severe weather was possible. This being Texas, “severe” means “there might be frost.” While the part of me that is happiest in cities finds this ridiculous – frost is hardly severe – I have to remind myself that much of the country is still involved in agriculture and such, in which case frost can be an issue…though, honestly, it’s nearly Halloween. If the upper midwest hasn’t had snow yet, they’re all wagering on when the first flakes will fall.

And yet, waking up to a 45-degree chill is sort of bracing. It’s cold enough to justify turning on the heat, but I find myself unwilling to do that. While we do have central air and central heat, air conditioning cools but does not refresh, and right now, after a couple of days of wide open windows, the house feels breezy and light, and not stuffy, and I don’t want to click the heat on and ruin that.

Besides, it’s not 45 degrees IN the house.

I had planned to sleep late today and then work on my own writing, since I’ve got nothing due until tomorrow, but even though I went to bed around two, and took melatonin, I was up slightly before seven. Even the dogs were restless, asking to go out, and then standing there on the deck doing nothing.

I poured a glass of cranberry juice and came back to bed, and now that I’ve written this entry, I think I might follow their lead and curl up for another hour or two.

Glitteratti (or, Take a Lesson from Molly Brown)

I have to preface the two photos below with this information: I hate my hands. Everyone else in my family has my grandmother’s long, elegant fingers, strong nails, perfect dexterity.

Me? I have my grandfather’s stubby fingers, and my nails break if I breathe on them the wrong way. While I still own a cello, one of the reasons I never pursued it after high school is that you can’t be in an orchestra or chamber quartet if you can’t play a full-sized instrument (oh, they make 7/8 scale “ladies celli”, but those are difficult to find, or at least, high-quality ones are difficult to find, and horribly expensive when you can), and my hands are so small certain transitional and upper positions, are difficult for me.

My grandfather used to comfort my despair over my diminutive digits by reminding me that Molly Brown (the unsinkable one) had small hands also.

Ms. Brown wore fancy gloves and rings to show off her tiny hands and fingers. Me? I’m not really into rings (except my wedding and engagement bands) so I resort to nail polish. For the last several months, I’ve been having acrylic put on over my natural nails (no tips) because of the afore-mentioned breakage issue. Generally, I opt for solar nails (this refers to the manufacturer of the solution and powder, not any special daystar-related technique), which are designed to mimic a French manicure, pink bases, white tips.

Ever since dying my hair Blackberry and Indigo, however, I’ve had an issue with the fact that the purple in my hair stains the tips of my fingers. Today, Mai at ZiZi Pedispa in Arlington Highlands (shopping center, TX) suggested we use a color for the tips – she had glittery purple sitting out, and since I like purple and don’t mind a bit of glitter, that’s what we used.

Here, in crappy shots from my Blackjack cellphone, are the results:


This isn’t an essay length piece, just bloggeries I’d ordinarily have tweeted, or compiled into something in paragraph format.

– Since washing my indigo-streaked hair is staining my finger tips lavender these days, I opted for a modification to my traditional French manicure at the pedispa today. The main part of the nail is still Light Solar Pink, but the tips, where the white would normally be, are now Glittery Galactic Purple. I don’t think I’ll keep this much past Halloween, but today it’s making me smile.

– The thing that makes Starbucks’ “Perfect Oatmeal” only practically perfect and not completely perfect is that it’s all carb. I could have added protein to my drink, but didn’t think of it.

– The temporary SPIRIT Halloween shops are fun to look through but everything there is way overpriced. The animatronic Hannibal Lector was kind of cool, though.

– Halloween stuff at Target, on the other hand, is reasonably priced. I got the coolest stuff!!! And even completed CANDY shopping. Yay Halloween!

– Why use the word “bloggeries?” Two reasons: one is that it seems an appropriate term for this sort of sticky-note style presentation of random thoughts; the other is that I like the sound of the word.


Bobbi honored me with the above award, and, as per the rules, I’m passing on the appreciation to ten of the bloggers whose work I enjoy. They’re listed in alphabetical order, because I’m silly that way, and for a change I’m not offering commentary. Explore, if you will.

  1. The Goat Rodeo
  2. Gold ‘n’ Purls
  3. Living the Fictional Dream
  4. Michele
  5. Mindful Banter
  6. Nogut pik i bagarapim ples matamat
  7. Nota Bene
  8. Notes from an Eclectic Mind
  9. Paula Tracey dot Com
  10. Tuna News

(I tried to pick people who aren’t already displaying the E award, or who inspire me, or both. That the list is all female is intentional, it being breast cancer awareness month, and all.)