September 28, 2005


Tonight I listened to Joel Long read selections of his poetry at a creative writing conference that the university is presenting. His writing gently grasps you and before you are quite aware of how you arrived, you find yourself in the middle of places that seem to you only dreamt of; places both real and imagined, or so unreal they could only have been conjured by the fervor of fury or besotted of the small things our aging minds collect from childhood.

I was immediately intrigued when I heard that the title of one of his collections is Chopin's Preludes. For each of Chopin's 24 Preludes, he has provided his own accompaniment. He has produced art as fine as the one whom he interprets. We spoke afterwards and I told him how I have now infected my daughters with love for Chopin and that when they were small, I would frequently play Chopin's Ballades for their passage into slumber. As we talked, he wrote. I paid and walked the spangled sidewalks to the parking lot.

When I returned home, I decided to read his written rendering of my favored composer while also listening to Martha Agerich perform the magic of the music. Opening the book to the title page, I found inscribed: "For Rae, for listening at night time...when the children are nearly asleep." And, For tonight, I thought, when I am not nearly, but very near sleep myself.

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September 27, 2005

Yes they will.

Oooohhh, I can't wait to read this in The Atlantic for November.

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September 23, 2005

Night Vision

I dreamt last night that I was sitting in a classroom. Before me was a test that I hadn't studied for, hadn't even anticipated. In fact, I had no idea how or why I was in this place. I had no pen or pencil, but fortunately was wearing clothes. I began to cry uncontrollably, as a child might over something easily remedied.

The previous night my sleep was filled with (and this is frequently the case) my dilemma of either climbing a set of stairs, steep, narrow and without a handrail, to get to the top, or to give into my fear of falling and not see what was beyond. K was once again a toddler, standing at the top and attempting to make her way down. I was unnerved by her fearlessness obviously grounded in seeing me at the bottom; her absolute trust that because I was there, she would be safe. She tripped and fell through the space. I caught her by the torso between my feet and pulled her through. Just as her face emerged above the mahogany steps, I saw another way to reach the top. To my left was a landing, easily managed with a short hop and a stairway secured with support on both sides. I instructed K to hold onto my neck, to wrap her pudgy legs around my waist. A careful measure with my eye made confident my decision to jump. We landed. I then placed K at my side and we climbed to the top, woven together in the middle by entwined fingers, tethered to the guardrail by hands, large and small, with the fragility of paper cut-outs, and the determination of a mother's love and a child's trust.

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September 20, 2005

Gaga Over Google

I am not typically first in line for technological firsts, so this is probably old news to everyone besides me, but I love Google's Personalized Page option (or just and the link is on the top right). Google lets you choose from several news sources, word of the day, business news, technology, sports, and allows for even more fun with the "Create a Section" option. I added my favorite blogs and found that it not only lists the blog name, but also the lastest posts, too. I think it's Google's answer to Apple's widgets. I see it like owning shoes: you can never have too many pairs.


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September 19, 2005

Superficial Badges of Equality of Existence

There is one person in the last year that I have struggled to love. When I reference love, I reference the love of Christ, that unconditional love that so many misunderstand and misapply. I have wanted this person to feel pain, to be humiliated, to be shown truthfully to those to whom he lies. I have not desired only good for this person. In fact, I have beseeched heaven for his discomfort.

This is what I have learned: hate can begin with good intentions. I only wanted this person to not insist on winning to the detriment of others; for the sake of peace to concede that which he really didn't want; to not care how others may misperceive, but to conduct himself in a manner of humility, knowing he may be falsely accused. I wanted for this person to seriously consider those whom he was maligning for his own sake, and how it would eventually come full circle; to think of the suasion that he holds and exert it without malice rather than pointing fingers, blaming, misleading, lying.

I learned long ago in a home filled with leather couches, oriental rugs, the latest technology, the pomp of educational achievements on the den walls, people of position and influence flowing through and out our door, that people were blinded by things and by the appearance of good simply by the amount of material wealth a person displayed. Because this person has these things, they certainly aren't capable of misdoing. They are more believable. Why do we have the defendant wear her best dress when facing a judge and jury? We know the power the eyes have over the mind, over facts, over loyalty and sound judgment.

So, to quote not Lord Byron, or Keats, or any of the other pretentious poets that I so love, I go to a more recent man of rhyme: Will Smith.

"Let God deal with the things they do
Cause hate in your heart will consume you, too."

Let me not be consumed and so become that which I despise.

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September 18, 2005

The other day one of my professors mentioned in passing "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron. It was one of my favorites when I was in high school. I thanked him for the reminder.

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

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September 17, 2005


My girls have always loved nature. One of their first ten words was moon, only they added an "er" to the end to form "mooner." They would reach toward the night sky with round arms, fattened by their mother's milk, and entice the moon with dimples and smiles and eyes blue as the noonday sky, calling to it so intimately and affectionately, "mooner, mooner." On the nights that the moon was full, I would raise the blinds in their room; its brillance bathing their slumber and allowing me to see more clearly the lids of their eyes flutter in sleep. I wondered what dreams filled the minds of my babes so tired out from the simple business of the day.

E is now my height; A to my chin; C following closely; and even baby K stands to my waist, but I still sometimes quietly stand next to their bed at night, when their breathing has slowed and watch them in the moonlight, and wonder what visions are there.

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September 16, 2005

The Sound of Music

My brother suggested a new band to me. He called the other day sitting on his porch, drinking a glass of wine, taking in the evening. He asked if I had checked out the music yet. I let him know that I googled the name, found the site, but couldn't figure out how to do anything other than purchase an album through paypal. He told me it's all there. I think our conversation was interrupted by one of his darling nieces, and we decided to talk later.

I went back and found that my brother was right on about this music. I just needed to click on one of the buds hanging from the tree to find the links. He told me that it sounded like something Zach Braff would like. I agree. Now we just have to get Zach in on this so they can be played during Scrubs or Zach's next big directing/acting hit so they can enjoy the success and fame like other backseat bands that rode the wave of Garden State. They sound a bit young, but I have yet to follow an artist from the youth of their career and not witness the progression from merely talented to disciplined and mature lyrics and composition.


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September 15, 2005

You know, everytime I start to take life too seriously, I just read Greg.

From yesterday, this particularly caused me great amusement:

What’s up with atheists running around and complaining about the Pledge of Allegiance? If they have that much time on their hands, I wish they’d come over to my place to do my laundry. At the very least, they should read a story by Flannery O’Connor called Wise Blood. It’s about a man who is so vocal and emphatic about the non-existence of God that it quickly becomes apparent that he’s actually a fervent believer. These people are the equivalent of frat guys named Chad who go around calling everyone “faggot”; they’re clearly protesting too much.

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September 14, 2005

Can you see this?

It's my eyes rolling when I saw the "Liberal Blogosphere Hurricane Relief" button which took me to the Red Cross homepage.

Wow! First, I didn't know the liberal blogosphere contracted with the Red Cross; second, I had absolutely no idea that the people of Hurricane Katrina would refuse aid from a conservative.

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Do you hear that?

It's the sound of my retching every time one of the famed über-liberal senators tries to trap John Roberts in a game of semantics.

Technorati Tag:

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September 10, 2005

Letter of the Law

My latest submission to my professor:

I grew up in Oklahoma; however, my lack of a detectable “Oklahoma” accent is often noted when it is discovered that I am, indeed, an Okie. Quite honestly, I am unable to discern much of an accent or distinct pronunciation in my speech. Although, I can say that my parents having both completed multi-undergraduate degrees and having been avid readers has to have influenced my pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax. I simply cannot recall “ain’t” ever being used by a member of my family, immediate or extended.

Once, when I was quite small, but old enough to detect the slight pretension that pervaded the atmosphere of my home, I announced that I wanted to change my name to Candy. My mother nearly fainted and once recovered, delivered a short lecture intended to correct my shady desire. We used big words all the time, even when a smaller, more easily understood choice was available. In second grade I nearly became the laughing stock of my classmates by using the word procrastinate (I am sure I was telling little Bobby not to procrastinate in retrieving the crayons).

So, while we weren’t a particularly religious family, we did regularly attend the temple of Grammatica*. Noses held high in approaching the altar, we offered our sacrifices in the form of fingering the heretics deemed unworthy of attendance. As my patent leather Mary Jane’s pinched my toes, I couldn’t help but hear the laughter down the street at Rhetorica’s** place.

*Grammatica signifies those who adhere to the letter of the grammatical law.
**Rhetorica conversely represents those who are more loose in their acceptance of one's grammar as being correct or incorrect.

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September 08, 2005


Sometime in the night, Chub the Guinea Pig breathed his last. K found him this afternoon when she went to retrieve him. She usually holds him on her lap while she has an half hour of computer time. I suspect that E assumed him to be sleeping early this morning, and so quickly fed him and went on with her routine.

We plan an early evening funeral. That pig put up with a lot of "affection" early on from K, but as both grew, she learned how to handle him, and he became much more tolerant of her. He saw much in his life: the love of his life in Yummi Puff, the death of his only two offspring, and then settled down to a quiet existence. We spoiled him with bits of apple and Romaine lettuce. He would frequently lie on my tummy or chest while I read to the girls in the evenings, alternately napping and situating himself.

Rest in Peace, Chub, you certainly deserve it.

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September 07, 2005

What Was I Thinking?

Reading and writing. Reading and writing. I go to sleep surrounded by literary tomes; I awaken before the rise of the sun to finish papers.

Why did I choose English as my major again?

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