Saturday, February 24, 2007

If you're a Shakespeare fan...

...then click on the title of this post to check out this episode of "Cat Head Theatre".

A bargain at any price...

...but all you really need to buy this precious--what is it? I don't think they call it a relict...well, anyway, it's an image of the Virgin Mary...on a stovetop, and you can get it for a mere $30K. Just click on the title of this post, and it'll take you right to her.

Apparently this couple went to clean their stove one morning, and there she was, in the indentation in the tray where the burner grate rests. Who expects to find the Holy Mother pooling in the grease on their stove? This couple was apparently quite taken aback, and immediately resolved to find a proper home for their stovetop by putting it on eBay at what is clearly a very reasonable price. Moreover, to demonstrate their spiritual motivations, they promise to put the profits (over and above the cost of a new stove, which is considerable) into "something meaningful", such as their upcoming wedding. How can you resist?

Go now. Listen to your heart. Our Lady of the Stovetop Grate Pan is calling. Put in your bid, and make it good. There'll be some scalpers at this auction.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Book Meme

I found a 'meme' on a Blogspot blog called 'Faith and Theology'. The author created this one himself, after being introduced to the idea of the meme, which originated in Richard Dawkins' book, "The Selfish Gene", as a 'unit of cultural transmission' or some such definition. In practical terms, it's a list of questions or directions that gets passed around and evolves over time. I've seen lists of various favorite things; tests to determine what playing card, animal, romantic type, etc., you are; geeky, Hollywood, silly, snobby, poetry, and word memes. One girl's blog has a meme list of words that always look misspelled to her.

Anyway, I liked this one. Although it is on a clearly Christian blog, and most of the answers posted in the comments section appear to involve people trying to impress each other with their knowledge of arcane writings, the questions themselves are fun to answer, and will make you think. I've added a few categories of my own.

1. One book that changed your life: Myths to Live By, Joseph Campbell

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Egyptian Book of the Dead, Wallis Budge translation

4. One book that made you laugh: Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris

5. One book that made you cry: The Diary of Anne Frank

6. One book that you wish had been written: We're Only Human, anonymous quotes by fallible people (this is the one I put on the Christian blog, but I'd like to add: Grow Up, Dammit, by anyone who's been through sufficient pain to know what they're asking)

7. One book that you wish had never been written: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (I never read this, I just hate his economic philosophy and what it did to destroy any social conscience the U.S. may have developed)

8. One book you’re currently reading: The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Beloved, Toni Morrison (God, I feel so guilty, I haven't done that yet!!)

10. One book you think everyone should read: Sabbath Poems, Wendell Berry

11. One book I wish I'd written: Memoirs

12. Now tag five people.

I don't know how to do that linking back thing, so I'll just send this to some bloggers I know. Feel free to list your own here, in the comments section, or copy and paste into your own blog/email.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Rating my life

Okay, so I can't resist these things. I found this on another person's blog. They're kind of funny; for example, this one, like many, still doesn't have a slot for living with someone in a long-term relationship; you're either married, single, widowed, or divorced. Still, they're kind of interesting to do.

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Various blogs

Plastic surgery. The cute boy in my trig class. Anti-aging formulas. Maseratis. How well my wife, Barb, cooks. How to make a lot of money through sensible investments. Women in skimpy but not really pornographic outfits. Minor league baseball. The quest for meaning, which apparently includes wedding packages that include the false eyelashes. Neo-Calvinism. Teen angst and bad (if heartfelt) poetry. Liberalism. Conservatism. Fundamentalist Christianity. Up and coming stars. Washed up stars. How to send Halloween party invitations. Cute children. Homely children whose parents (very fortunately) think they're cute. Hockey goalies. Travel diaries. Asian girls who desperately want to be cool in some ill-defined American way. Transcendant art by people who seem too stupid to create it. The preponderance of irony in quite a few bloggers' lives. Teenagers who hate their skin. People who check in to note that they have nothing to say. Life in New Jersey. Nerdy information technology stuff. Guys who want to sleep with stars. Resources for the microtonal composer. The infestation of polite society by child molesters. Songs to work out to. Logrolling. Hurtling toward thirty. Using a blog to serve the Lord. Private consultations with a witch doctor. Parrots. Wooden porch railings and the superiority thereof. The amazing chameleon.

Hey, if you can't find the answer to your existential questions in one of these, you got a problem, dude.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Short Poem

. . .
Meditation in the Night
. . .
Night heron brings me these words:
. . .
The birthright of the human is
a broken heart.

. . .
Be glad;
accept your fate.
There is no grace or promise
in any other state.

. . .

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial...

My skin is finally healing. The blisters peeled off, one by one, and revealed new skin underneath. It was very tender, but healthy. Occasionally I bleed. But I think I'm past the worst of it.

I called the Hygienic Art Gallery on Saturday because I couldn't remember when we were supposed to pick our pieces up. I spoke to Jim Stidfole, who told me that he'd called everyone whose piece sold, and I should come down on Sunday to get mine. When I got there, the piece wasn't where I'd hung it up. It turned out that it had sold about an hour before we got there! I'm thrilled. It sold for $100, which means I get $70 for it and the gallery gets $30. Makes me feel like less of an impostor. I might even have the courage to enter their second annual juried show in March.

"For what it's worth, it was worth all the while..."

I'm still depressed about my kids. But I did all I could do, by saying I was sorry for what I had done to hurt them. I'm not going to let them abuse me; nor do I subscribe to my daughter's theory that that's the only way they'll heal. They need to deal with their own stuff, and I'll deal with mine. It's very hard to think that I may have seen them for the last time in my life. But I have to accept it. And I hope this doesn't come back to haunt them later, but I don't actually think that will happen. They didn't seem to care how I was doing--all the while saying that I was the self-centered one. And when I tried to give to them in the present, they saw it as manipulation, rather than my just trying to do what I could now, since I'm only human and can't change the past. Perhaps they're partly right. I would have done anything to have some kind of relationship with them. Anything, that is, except admit to being my daughter's perception of me.

I shouldn't actually include Adam in this. He thinks he makes his own decisions, but he's led by his sister's ideas and opinions. I think he is naturally more forgiving than she is, but she pumps him up, and since he's also naturally volatile, that gets him in a pretty emotional state. I wonder if she thinks she's doing him a favor.

I really am sorry for the ways in which I hurt them. Most of it was out of my own screwed-up emotional state. But I can't change that. All I can do is try to be better.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Two Digital Collages

Rather different, these two. The first is called "Vision of Culture", and the second is "Crow in Winter".
. . .

HOORAY! I can access my blog again.

Blogger is switching everyone over to their new version, which involves their new contract with Google. So I finally decided to do it, then couldn't access it. Went back and forth with emails, then tried to sign in from John's computer. He uses Firefox, rather than IE. It worked. So I just downloaded Firefox, and I'm good to go.

It's amazing to me how much I missed being able to come here when I wanted. I've gone for a month without blogging, but the past few days I really wanted to be here, and wasn't able to. And just writing wouldn't do it; I needed to write here. Even if only six people have been here over the past year.

I am healing, finally. It was a full three weeks before I felt genuinely better. I'm still tired, but the burn is finally looking better. New skin is appearing under where the blisters are washing away. It itches horribly, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

I've been terribly depressed. I miss my kids. But they're probably never going to forgive me for being who I am, and I have no choice but to accept that. I'm trying to just keep going, working now 10-15 hours per week at DNEC. They want me to keep going for several months, maybe for one day per week, which is great with me. I get a little extra money, and my spenddown goes away. But mostly it keeps me from sticking my head under the pillow and leaving it there.

At the right is my latest tarot card, 'The Hermit'. It got a bid the first day I listed it, which was pretty exciting. I'm also working on a sort of folk art painting of a woman's face, which is really fun. In my next post, I'll put up pictures of a couple more digital collages I finished over the past couple of days.

Only 39 days until Spring.


Monday, February 05, 2007

And on a more cheerful note...

I read at the Hygienic Art Gallery's poetry night on February 3rd. John had had atrial fibrillation every night for four or five nights, so he didn't feel up to going, but Carrie and Shawn came, and another colleague/friend, Susan Zimmerman, was also there. Carrie took a couple of photos of me; you can see one here.
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .

And I'm finally remembering to post a picture of the collage I did for the show. It's called "Handle With Care". (The pic's a tiny bit blurry; it was dark in there!) In the picture of me reading, you can see a sampling of the wide variety (in type and quality) of art at this truly populist show. Carrie's has already been purchased. I don't know whether she's posted a pic to her blog, but you can get there from here; just click on "Carrie" under contributors on the left, which will bring you to her profile page, then click on "preciousblogger" to go to her blog.

And last, but not least, is a picture of our new kitty, Loki. He's very mischievous (which is why we named him Loki, after the Norse trickster god) and has very long legs. He's a sweetie.

So, life goes on. May it continue to do so.

Don't look if you're squeamish

Well, my burn continued to get worse for two full weeks after the end of radiation. I wasn't anticipating that. I had a lot of pain, and when I saw Dr. Schauer for my regular infusion on February 1st (two weeks to the day after the last rad treatment), I asked him to prescribe something for me. I'd been using old stuff from dentists, and I wasn't sure I should be taking four-year-old oxycodone. I only used it once after that, though.

Dr. Schauer said he thought the extreme burn was because my skin was so sensitive. I showed it to the oncology nurses when I went in to get my infusions, and they called Terry, the head nurse in the radiation oncology unit, over to look at it. She brought me some gel dressings to use for about a week. Apparently, the new thinking is that you keep the wound moist, rather than dry. The dressings are rather a pain to keep plastered to my chest, but they do make it feel better. I'm starting to itch a fair amount, so I guess that's a sign I'm healing.

That being said, here's a pic John took of the burn sometime over the weekend. It seems hard to believe this is about 16 days after the end of the treatment.