cat mornings, friendship, orange

Sometimes, I don’t like getting up in the morning. Correction. I do NOT get up in the morning, I rise in the early afternoon. Morning for me is 10am to 11am. Anything prior to that and I am either sleeping, or some kind soul is cooking up a mean breakfast in the kitchen that has roused me and my hunger. Or—if especially cunning . . . someone has appealed to my joy of cooking nature by conjuring act, seduction, or sweetness and I am making a tall stack of pancakes, towering like fluffy beige clouds.

Pixel and Odin have taken to waking me up the morning now at 8am, like clockwork every day. But let me back up first. When we all go to bed at night, Pixel curled up in between Brooks’ legs and I, resting on the crook of his arm as he reads and i listen to my iPod, Odin curls around the top of my head, his paws kneading my head and ponytail softly, purring, making my pillow a delight to lay on (though he can be a little hog) and all is pleasant and right with the world. We fall asleep like this, the four of us.

Then I wake up to different creatures in the morning.

First with Pixel scratching at the towering pile of books on Brooks’ nitestand, pulling them down with intermittent ruffle-thumps, while Odin dives under the blanket to get a better bite on our toes. Then Pixel takes to my side of the bed, leaps up onto my nightstand and sits directly on my alarm clock, tap-dancing on buttons until the correct one turns on my radio and it blares the morning music, which means I have to re-set my alarm clock. If this proves to be ineffectual, a crashing sound comes when he returns a few minutes later and pushes the alarm clock off the back of the nightstand. Meanwhile Odin is soft-paw scratching at the back of my bare arm which lies exposed outside of the blanket. If this doesn’t rouse me, it’s straight for the aerial tactics – he pounces directly onto my face and lands with both paws onto my closed eyelids, for added effect.

Sometimes I flail and yell a bit. More often than not, Icurse about interrupted sleep and the general nastiness of all things kitty. Occasionally cats fly like Peter Pan out the bedroom door get slammed out. This doesn’t deter them for long . . . the loft space above us is open and so they dangle from our closet and peek around from above and over the bed. Then the howling starts and paper chewing for the silly person who left bills or magazines or instruction manuals or cardboard boxes out—anywhere. Desperate measures call for cat sky-diving which will really scare the shit out of you, four eagle-talon spread claw-foots coming down to knock your wind clear out.

Then, whoever is more or less irritated, you HAVE TO get up and FEED THE CATS. And perhaps, if you are lucky, you can return to a couple more hours of blissful sleep until you have to be where you have to be.

But it was an especially nice night and a particularly eventful morning of cat acrobatics and i woke to some fresh yellow and white in the garden. Snow drops and some yellow crocus things. But they are calling for 5″ of snow late nite through mid-afternoon.

Spring is such a tawdry tease.

Well—that’s ok . . . some very nice things have been happening. Me and an old friend, Anne-Marie have reconnected and I am so glad to have her back.

When I lived in Detroit many years ago, had first met Brooks (online, which is yet another story) I also met Anne-Marie. It was a randomly created room called SSH (Stop Say Hello) on Yahoo! Chat, when that stuff was just getting started. She lived in Canada at the time and she was the first friend i met on the internet who i actually met in person. She drove a long way to see me so we could stomp around at some kitschy cool club in Detroit where the dance floor was like a train wreck—you didn’t necessarily like what you were seeing, but you couldn’t tear your eyes away either. Seems we played pool that nite, but my memory is such a blur from those days. Now that she has children and I am living on the coast, perhaps she can help fill those missing bits/years in.

music, photography, writing

trinity of creativity



“Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist . . .
you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere.
You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench,
a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free,
and good men die like dogs.
There’s also a negative side.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson


He described himself as “an elderly dope fiend living out in the wilderness,” and Hunter S. Thompson, inventor of gonzo journalism, the journalist of the Me decade with his whacked-out and occasionally self-indulgent prose, brilliant, wicked swizzle stick in the shit martini that is our over-sanitized, focus-group-tested, squelched news, media and political coverage – well, he shot himself in his Aspen home.

Not everyone is built for this world . . . especially those who ride it like a rodeo bull. Poor, brave darlings that they are, bordering on reality and escaping it as often as chemically possible.

i purge my own (un)reason through writing, through exercising my voice(s). it’s one of the few things that keeps me tethered to this life and helps me to dissect and reflect on it all. it’s not history until it’s documented, it’s not understood until it’s reflected in the eyes of others, it’s not any good until it resounds in someone else’s psyche as it expands your own.

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“My problem is my feet are too big and I can’t find the shoes that I want, shoes that are sleek and thin and make a pronounced statement of ‘I have access to important documents’ and ‘I have catering on a 24 hour basis’. I want to communicate these things with a shoe, which is impossible with my size, I can’t find the shoes that fit. And I can’t find shoes that make the statement that ‘I am a temple’, that ‘I am a grotto’, that ‘I am a botanical park of many leaves, flowers and trees which essential oils are derived from as well’, if you’re into that sort of thing. You need to make statements, whether you’re trying to be a cemetery of life, whether you’re trying to be a chaperone-slash- assailant, whether you’re trying to be a security guard-slash-masseuse. There’s different things you need to communicate with your footwear and it’s difficult when the width of your foot is greater than the length. Which in a way is kind of the way life is sometimes. Sometimes life is wider than it is long. And you just can’t fit in anywhere.”

~ Beck

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Music takes up a HUGE portion of my life. i am ever looking for the soundtrack to my existence, or at least a temporary explanation. And then there’s the consideration of mood. i’m looking for what fits.

some of the things i am currently cycling into the sound check, checking out, or waiting to arrive:

  • Who’s Got Trouble – Shivaree
  • Wikked Lil’ Grrls – Esthero
  • Guero – Beck
  • Speak For Yourself – Imogen Heap
  • A Girl Called Eddy – A Girl Called Eddy
  • The Beekeeper – Tori Amos

:::  :::  :::  :::  :::

“I don’t have any allegiance to an organized religion; I have an allegiance to the gifts that I find for myself in those religions… I’d rather be non-denominational, except for music. I prefer to learn everything through music. If you want divinity, the music in every human being and their love for music is pretty much it. It’s the big indication of their spirituality and their ability to love and make love, or feel pain or joy, and really manifest it, really be real. But I don’t believe in a big guy with a beard on a throne, telling us that we’re bad; I certainly don’t believe in original sin. I believe in the opposite of that: you have an Eden immediately from the time you are born, but as you are conditioned by your caretakers and your surroundings, you may lose that original thing. Your task is to get back to it, to claim responsibility for your own perfection.”

~ Jeff Buckley

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“When i’m posing for a photographer, as with music, it has to be improvisational at a certain point. For it to work you have to allow yourself to dream, to walk into a painting. If you establish an inner dialogue while you’re being photographed it can be a bit more revealing. i might remember a conversation with somebody that takes me to a certain space. i’m not inhabiting a different character – i’m inhabiting myself, although this might be a piece of the self that even i am just meeting for the first time. That’s what i like to see in a photograph. When somebody’s just blankly staring out at you, or seducing the camera in a really obvious way, it just doesn’t have the same resonance.”

~ Tori Amos from Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

:::  :::  :::  :::  :::

i don’t know if i will ever be the caliber of Dorthea Lange or Diane Arbus or Annie Liebovitz, but as i am constantly inspired by photographers, male and female, new and historical, and all encompassing a wide world of imagery, i will continue to explore my tools, and document my little red chunk of the world :heart:

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“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

~ Diane Arbus

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Meanwhile we are all desperately reaching for our trauma, our uniquity, our gift, or own personal freakdom that will allow us to express ourselves fully, to transcend our simplicty, mediocrity, anonymity – to become a vibrant version of ourselves.

And the approach is simple . . . convince yourself you can do it.

There is this trinity of expressive things i love: writing, music, and photography. i told myself i wanted to write; i did it, i was published in minor publications, won a small scholarship and continue to scribble – even my dreams are work for the paper. i told myself i loved music so much i would write it, sing it, play it live. i did. i took the writing, taught myself guitar, recorded several songs with a band on CD, played live and loved it immensely. i still sing and play here and there, but i mostly consume music now. i told myself i really love photography and i want to learn how to do it, learn to see my world differently. i brought joy to friends, family, even strangers who to my wild delight and surprise, actually forked over money for something i captured, and now i am displaying and selling them on the walls at my ‘real’ job. and every day, when i drive, when i walk, when i listen to conversations, when i have tea by myself, when i travel i see the world in little 4×6 boxes that i keep rotating, cropping, expanding.

and i am still learning and convincing myself i can do it.


mama’s got a brand new bag

i am UTTERLY surprised

Brooks bought me a new camera!

i suppose he wanted to see me bring it up to the next level of dSLRs
and so – soon, i will be the proud owner of the following lovely items:

w/ EFS 17-85 Lens Kit


Speedlite 580EX Flash

Brooks never buys me jewelry or clothing. It’s not my style to be dressed up and adorned.

When i wanted to learn how to build a computer and perform subsequent upgrades, fixing any problems myself – he set out to help me pick out parts, assemble it, and put together the desk i ordered so i had a nice workspace. He even lit candles and put a potted plant on it. That plant now resides in my loft overlooking the forest and near to the whirlpool tub in a MUCH bigger pot as it is too big for my desk.

When i was taking an astronomy course i showed a great interest in meteor showers and constellations. i spent time studying physics, looking at spectrograms and hanging a pointed finger out car windows to tell everyone what the formations were. In response to this – he bought me a telescope.

When i was living in Detroit still, 7 years ago when we first met, one of the first gifts that Brooks sent me was a developing tank. i was taking my first photography course and hand developing black and white. i was so thrilled to receive such a thoughtful gift and now THIS!

To me it says that the man i am with supports the hobbies i adore, and takes an interest in what moves me. Even more, it shows that he likes what i do and his gift says that i do it well enough that i have improved and that it requires the new equipment sure to expand my skill and knowledge.

He really liked my Red-bellied Woodpecker photo. He even printed it and put it in our living room and declared it one of the best photos i have ever taken. :shrug: Who knew?!?! Here i thought i was just hanging out in an artist community where i could share my little part of the world, get feedback on what i was doing and in doing so, i produced something that he really liked and inspired him to buy me such an incredible gift. He said it was because he wished the photo had been shot on a better camera with more information so he could’ve made the print bigger and i could put it out there in the world. i was so flattered and so proud – he is a very kind, very wise, very attentive man, and his opinion always mattered most to me :heart:

Now – as far as opinions go – i have read the in-depth review and i notice some great photographers use this camera and the models just above it (getting into the $5-8000 range).

SO – if anyone has any feedback or opinions on handling and usage, it would very appreciated. :nod:

in the meantime . . . i am thrilled to await its arrival and it will come into its first, most important job when i shoot my friend’s wedding, Josh and Amy on March 5th – making this the 3rd wedding of my friends i have taken photos for.

i may even have to give this camera a name.


Be Mine, Whomever You May Be + Letter to The Neverseen (poem)

kisses and sweet affection to all on this rainy Valentine’s Day

know that you are loved in some way
by someone, somewhere and count
yourself rich if you know love in many
ways and know it by many people

and now – a poem about love whether it exists
or whether you are still seeking it out there
amongst the parading faces of strangers . . .

Letter to The Neverseen

He says he translates me like medieval
pomegranate print nightgowns . . .
and I turn to him and mumble
hmmmm — let me taste that for a while,
let me run in that fantastic white frock
in dark and distant fields once dreamt
when i know only you are watching.
let me laugh under crystalline moonlight
let it cast the shape of my body
like a silver sword,
and let me wear the dew like earring cusps
and kelly green smoke perfume.

ok — you don’t have to touch . . .
you are the ineffable —
(but promise me you’ll watch)
as there is something i wish for you to see,
you may be
a seahorse, a starfish —
if it suits you,
if you wish.

And promise you’ll pay attention
when i turn from a saucer
to a dish,
and if i became a cup
would you rather me be a bowl?
would you find yourself drinking more?

i miss you in many ways,
i need you still more in others,
i learn you further, deeper every time
sometimes – i liken it to being . . .

looking out
over plankboard streets and cabinets,
sunlit holes in the concrete
trying to be windows,
vines and flowers spurting from crevasses
where water runs down into rusty red-orange lines
to meet the dirt
that is the road.
Hoops and barrels of silver day-water
and the dust tarnishes everything
even the day itself
cannot touch.

Baskets and tarps,
passage and carry,
cloth covered fruit in flesh-hued skin
and me in the window ledge with
the only foreign tongue
in a land, a time, sometimes foreign to me.

And you —
you walk down the dirtroadstreetconcrete
window light field
and speak my language
soft from the path below like a surprise
like a magic-hat rabbit boy-child
in dark good fur to curl upon for sleep.
And in the sun bath,
and under your leather shoes,
the stones talk about your approach
and i steel myself,
and the words are like lovemaking
and your voice resonates firm
in my sex and circling outward into
the shafts of my hair and fingernails.

And i find in the lightest, strangest
parts of my psyche,
of this world,
that i understand words,
that i am able to sew them finely together
and make beautiful shawls
and bedsheets.

I go here whenever I hear from you:
I compose the sugar and the sass
The Litany and profanity.

This connection:
2 birds
2 bellies
2 eternal voices
meant to find solace
and unity in creation —

2 pear halves passed
from deity to deity
on blue gilded plates.

you and i are these.

death, dreams, friends, weather



“After all –
What were you really looking for?
and i wonder when will i learn.
Blue isn’t red everybody knows this
and i wonder when will i learn
Guess i was in Deeper than
i thought i was if i have enough love
for the both of us . . . ”

Strange by Tori Amos


the snow is almost completely melted,
but the air conditioner nearly died with
frozen lungs – coils, weeping down the wall.
i woke from nitemares of her, hot tears
on my cheek this morning, icicles dripping
from the rooftops, pattering, the feet of
following cats, behind, in front curling
like those mysterious numbers – unknown
unforeseen consequence, the heat of pain
melts the chill of fear.

an accomplished mathematician and a brilliant
physicist who saw sinister messages in Shakespearian
sonnets, visions of certain hell, doomed patterns and
curves in the language put him into his car, drove him
to a dark bridge where he jumped into the icy bay.
our tormented friend lifted the veil, saw Spring too soon
and wished to be reborn, the water carried him away.

something strange is out there in the frozen grass, the
grass that stands stock still straight up like inverted
exclamation points, silver punctuation – something up
there in the icicles pointing down, witchy accusatory
white-blue fingers, snapping off, truncated memories
touching my skin where it is neither welcome nor warm.

ice is strange – how it preserves what dies for food,
what dies to give new life, meat, red, chilled down to
blue – that something there, imbedded, i cannot dig it out,
not with claws, not until the spring thaws what is still
beneath, what is still inside – then i will be grateful for
the release and as i look outside, as the wooden planks
bloat, thirsty for water, showing their dark skin again,
and i walk safely, and the snowdrops bow their heads
in the garden and the snow is almost completely melted.

~ Andrea E. Janda

nature, weather

walking (carefully) in a winter wonderland . . .

Well it’s Groundhog Day and that fat, furry little buck-toothed bastard popped (or more properly, was pulled) out of his hole by a man wearing a top hat in ::snicker:: Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. “Punxsutawney Phil, King of the Groundhogs, Father of all Marmota, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators declared to a host of booing people in groundhog hats that it’s going to be cold and we’re all going to hate it for six more weeks.

In related news . . . i know several people who have slipped and fallen on snow and ice. People are showing up to work with bruises, sprains, and abrasions. A couple nights ago i nearly lost control of my car. In a tailspin on a slippery dark country road, i saw headlights, tail lights, trees, barriers, ditches and then with a maneuver straight from a Starsky and Hutch, i finally skidded my car to a halt facing the opposite way at the side of road and then called a couple people to affirm that i was indeed, still alive.

i have been parking my car at the top of the VERY steep hill that is my driveway; otherwise, the tractor will have to pull me out. i love my old Mercedes but it is an absolute sled in this weather. Four wheel spins in 2” of ice or snow and forget it, i’m crippled. i’ll have to rock out, dig out and have someone push me. This has happened 5 times or so already.

Tonite i amused myself by venturing down the driveway, found myself slipping, attempted to back up, made the loud squirrelly, scratching sounds of tires with no traction, nearly slid into a tree and then into the NO TRESSPASSING sign, and finally made it back out of the driveway and onto flat land where i could park safely. The only reason i was seeing how far i could go is because i have been accumulating heavy items that need to get into the house, but are too cumbersome to carry that far. There is a huge mirror with a wooden frame in my backseat (for three days).

But tonite, the 40lb box of kitty litter had to come in.

i slung my purse over one shoulder, my messenger bag for work over the other, decided the now empty Chick-Fil-A bag i had for dinner could stay, and i hefted the box of kitty litter out in front. i descended the treacherous driveway of white hell slowly. It was dark, cold and the box was slipping out from my gloves. Before it got dicey and i lost my footing, i got this brilliant idea . . . “put the box down and kick it along.” And why not! Everything else was sliding and sure enough, the box of kitty litter careened down the hill like a toboggan, much to my delight! At the bottom of the hill nearer to the stairs i began laughing like an idiot to myself as i pushed the box along like some perverse curling stone, and the thought of THAT sport got me laughing again.

“Kitty litter curling!”

Now if i just had one of those ridiculous brooms . . .

i know i know – i shouldn’t make fun . . . it’s a very old Scottish sport and hey, the oldest Curling Club in the U.S. is the Detroit Curling Club, in my home town, which started playing on Lake St. Clair, in the early 1820’s. Of course, it is those kooky Canadians, who probably are able to subsist on snow, that boast more curlers in total than any other country. But i digress, i don’t care for winter sports . . . skiing is a bit rich for my blood and sledding is a death trap headed for trees and then there’s snowboarding. the idea of strapping myself to any size wooden or otherwise highly polished, waxed synthetic plank is of great consequence to the way my limbs are arranged. Getting in and out of my driveway is sport enough and if i wanted to do any of that, i’d simply hurl myself down it with wild abandon and great style and see how it all turns out.

The groundhog only comes out once a year during mid-winter, and if it gets worse, it may very well require a man in a top hat to pull me out into the snow any time soon . . .