Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some domestic details:

Another snowstorm today—-six to ten inches expected by the time it ends this evening. We’re averaging two to two and a half snowfalls a week and we’ve got a goodly depth of standing snow on the ground. Unfortunately, I’m unable to be of any assistance to Fritz (seen here using the new snowthrower to clear the Center’s parking lot) because I’m still not authorized to put any weight on my right ankle. There seems to be no end to the storms coming regularly from the west coast via the great lakes where the clouds tank up on moisture to freeze and dump on us. Until and unless there’s a major shift in the jet stream, this pattern looks to continue indefinitely. If we weren’t involved in building a new house up a hillside, there would be much less pressure on us to have everything plowed/snowblown/sanded early each day—-but we are and we have to.

I’m counting down the hours until the cast comes off—8am on Friday! I’m thoroughly sick of the thing, even though itching and other internal inconveniences I’d been afraid of really haven’t been too bad. Some of the layers of cotton wrapping that went on before the fiberglass have shifted just a bit so I can feel lumps here and there, but nothing that chafes. It’s just that it feels like dragging a boat anchor around.

Fritz did the spice quiz and wound up being saffron as well. Lewis (Spirit of St. Lewis) took it and turned out to be an uber-hot pepper. Such a sweet guy—who knew the torrid depths within? GO LEWIS!

Yesterday I began the construction of two big drapery panels for my younger daughter’s New York apartment as a Christmas gift. You may remember I posted a picture of the striped dupioni silk I had some difficulty finding given her very specific color and pattern requirements. Well, she saw the bolt of silk at Thanksgiving and said I’d found exactly what she’d wanted, which was a huge relief. Now I have to see if my old cast, or whichever type of new cast I get on Friday, will allow me to operate a sewing machine with any degree of control—I’m in the cutting and pinning phase of things right now.

I didn’t mention Monday that when we went to Home Goods for the Christmas stollen, we also browsed the gift food aisles and then came across a selection of Chinese woodenware carved from the roots of trees. The stuff was wonderfully textured with not only the wood’s natural grain but also with all the gnarled individuality of roots and burls. Some shaping had been done and the insides of the pieces had been carved out to make them into vases, umbrella stands, serving pieces; but mostly they were a kind of natural sculpture no matter what form or function they’d been adapted to.

The tag accompanying the bowl indicates that this is a newish industry in China and has positive ecological benefits. Large trees can be felled in half an hour, and logging is big business in China as everywhere. But stump and root removal, without which reforestation is very difficult, can take three or four days with the equipment at hand. Making the removal viable economically by providing village artisans with the raw materials for a marketable product, fosters complete clearing of the clear-cut land and speeds the planting of new trees with all the associated environmental benefits.

We were fascinated and I picked this large bowl to stand centered on a long parson’s table that’s going to be in our great room. Its blond wood and very clean, Shaker-like lines will be the perfect base for the baroque swirls and three-dimensionality of the bowl, that may be filled with fruit or an arrangement of dried florals and grasses from the property, depending on the season.


I’m a huge fan of Scott (Bill in Exile), a proud member of the big subculture of gay Marines. Scott’s always uncompromisingly himself, honest and possessed of an unerring bullshit detector. Also, he hates Mitt Romney every bit as much as I do, so what’s not to love? Scott published the following the other day and it bears serious consideration, particularly as Mitt has a very well documented history of saying whatever he has to say and temporarily espousing any belief he has to adopt in any given election to whore for votes:

"And I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark and loathsome and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations." The Book of Mormon as translated by Joseph Smith — using the Urim and the Thummim to allow him to understand the Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics the book is written in — and which explains that black men and women became black because they fell away from God and thus carried the mark of Cain.

This belief prevented blacks from joining the LDS Church until 1978 when the church finally opened its doors to them in response to a threat by the federal government to revoke the church's not for profit status.

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." Brigham Young — Second Mormon Prophet.

This Mormon tenet has never been repealed because it actually forms the very basis of one of the most important scriptural beliefs of Mormonism. And that is that the curse of Cain upon the black man will be lifted only through revelation from God to the Prophet and only then to mark the advent of the second coming of Christ.

Additionally, readers should realize that when a prophet of the church speaks his word carries the same authority as God speaking.

So, the question here is—are Romney’s racial politics as antiquated and vile as his sexual politics?


Yesterday, just after 5am. The cast is Fritz, myself, and Starr, my cat. There’s also a non-speaking character. The material is an improvisational scene on the theme, “The Drama of Life and Death”

S: (a series of low, protracted yowls from somewhere deep inside the apartment)
F: (waking) We’re in here, Starr.
W: That’s not her normal “where are you?” call, I wonder if she’s OK.
F: (turning on light) I don’t see her. Starr!
S: (appears at door, with a low, soulful yowl)
W: Sweetie, are you OK?
F: She’s got something.
W: A mouse?
F: I’m not sure.
S: (advances into the room and toward Fritz’s side of the bed)
W: It’s a mouse. I see the tail wagging.
S: (drops mouse which briefly lies still, then suddenly bolts for under the bed. Much scrambling)
W: We’re into drop, pounce, repeat. This could be a long siege.
F: (turning off he light) Let me know where the carnage is in the morning.
W: I just don’t want her to bring it up onto the bed. Once in Boston she tried to bring a mouse up onto the bed so we could all play together. I let her know that was NOT going to happen.
F: (silence) (sounds of scrambling at frequent intervals for about twenty minutes)

Segue to 7:15am

S: (leaps onto bed and stands on Will’s chest)
W: (checking to make sure she’s not carrying anything in her mouth) Hi, sweetie.
F: So where’s the carnage?
W: On the floor, your side of the bed, about two feet out from the big Japanese hanging knot.
S: (purrs loudly and does a flop-and-roll to have her tummy tickled and accept praise for her hunting skills)
F: Hello, Mousebreath!

The great huntress at rest

fascinating reading as always
i was not aware of the Mormon/black quotations.
i am mad-jealous of the snow, can't you send some our way?
and how much for the pusscat?
Michael, you're welcome to come and take as much snow as you like! Her price is beyond rubies, as the old saying goes.
Impressive picture of Fritz. He really gets a lot of volume and distance when he sends up a shot of the white stuff.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that bowl! I know exactly where I would put it in my house. I think I'd leave it unfilled, though ... simple and gorgeous. May I say, that looks very wedding giftish. Just saying.

Nice pussy cat, too.
Luckily we have only had two big snow storms so far, but the snow plow piles in the parking lots are taller than my car.

Its supposed to be 40 tomorrow, I'm hoping some of it melts.
Does anyone else want some snow? I'll settle for sapphires. - A.
PS - Nice woody. Bowl, I mean.
This snow crap really IS out of control this year. Though I imagine it's much prettier there!

The fact that people even believe a word out of Romney's mouth is beyond me. Even some GOPers I've talked to have expressed the sense that he is full of shit. And its all there and well documented with video and everything.
I like the snow (wincing)!

At least I got to use the snowblower I never used last year when I bought it since it didn't snow!
Ted--you speak truer than you know.

Nicky--that would require a mailing address.

Michael--we should only see 40 degrees here!

Alan--yes, it is. Also the bowl. :-)

Atari--how do the Republicans get away with it? All Bush has to do is say "9/11" and a majority of the electorate forgets all the lies, the incompetence, and the gross stupidity.

Jeff--I like snow, too, but two to three storms every week?
Will, Love the dialog with Starr! We have a fake mouse for our cat which inspires similar behavior at least once every twenty-four hours. Love that we've actually *tricked* her.
Her record has risen to two mice in four days. The temperatures have been unseasonably cold here and the little things are coming in through the granite foundations for shelter--and to their doom. She's very sweet, but a great mouser.
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