Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spooooooky Booooooooks

I finished a craft project! If you will remember back two years ago, I had been seeing Halloween themed faux books and thought they were pretty cool but pricey. So I rescued three books of sizes that stacked nicely that were on their way to be donated. I tucked them away with the idea that I would decorate them seasonally the next year. Last fall I got as far as downloading some spooky looking fonts and printing out possible book titles to affix to the book spines. Then I ended up doing something completely different! Paint, stickers, and Mod Podge came into play as the books were transformed into their current state. Isn't this fun? I tried to catch the witch water ball with its tiny black bats and stars suspended after a vigorous shaking but was not able to snap a picture quickly enough.

What I was able to catch, without realizing it in the process, was this tiny rainbow filtered through the witchy water ball. Even when I'm trying to be creepy and spooky I get cheery rainbows. I must be part unicorn.

Must Love Dogs

This post does not concern the John Cusack movie of the same name. Although for me, pretty much everything leads back to John Cusack. Because I adore him and truly believe we are spiritually destined to be together. Even if that sounds creepy and stalkerish, let's pretend it's sincere. But I digress. I did not know of the existence of these cookies until a month ago when I saw them sitting quietly on the shelf at World Market. And thought, hmm, these might be kinda good, let's get some. I was wrong. Chocolate shortbread Scottie dogs are freaking delicious! Just thinking about the unopened box in the kitchen sends shivers of delight through me. Maybe I just need to put on a sweater. I know that in the past I have declared my undying allegiance to other cookies more than once. This time it's different. So different, in fact, that I am declaring these cookies my favorite for all time henceforth. I can see Mr Cusack walking through the park hand in hand with me as we enjoy nibbling on Walker's Chocolate Shortbread Scottie Dogs. We might be walking an actual dog, too. I can't be sure. The future is often so murky.

Monday, October 24, 2016

This is Your Life

Just listened to a story on Minnesota Public Radio concerning obituaries. The two guests write these life stories, one for a large, urban newspaper and the other writes obits upon request from a small town in Minnesota. Such a flood of memories washed over me! I have some experience in this area. I wrote my younger brother's obituary seven years ago, and then argued with the local newspaper editor who cut it to pieces prior to publishing it. His reasoning was that they published obits in a certain style and edited those submitted to conform to that style. Even if the result was shitty writing. He didn't actually say shitty writing, that was my take on the situation. What he did say was that if he allowed the obit to run as I had written it, then he would have to do that for everybody. I fired back that as an editor, it was his job to make editorial decisions on a case by case basis and then stand by those decisions. He didn't have a response for my argument. The obituary was eventually run in its originally submitted form. I wasn't just being contrary, I felt strongly that this was my brother's life story and it should be told in a way that reflected him accurately, not in a cookie-cutter fashion. Three years later when our mother died, my sister had a much more pleasant experience with writing and submitting Mom's obituary. My most dear brother-in-law wrote his own obit. He had nearly four years to ponder his life story after being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Mike loved words and possessed a remarkable sense of humor so it was fitting that he wrote his own legacy. I was also reminded of a friend who as a fledgling reporter was sent out to interview a couple who was celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary and write about it. She ended up writing the husband's obit as well when she arrived at their home just after the ambulance did. Also brought to mind was a favorite Carl Hiaasen novel, Basket Case, where the main character writes obituaries for a living. I'm wondering if I should get a head start on writing my own obit or if I should trust those I leave behind to write my life's story. Then I wonder if it's a bit morbid to consider it at all. Maybe it should contain a link to this blog. Maybe that's too much information. I'm left with the feeling that what makes a well-lived life isn't so easy to translate to the page. It's more about what memories of your own are triggered by seeing a name you are familiar with than the dates of birth and marriage and death and number of survivors and other facts related. It's not how much money we make or awards we win. It's the connections we make with others. It's the stories, not the words. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016


If you are a nasty woman, too, because I certainly identify as one, we can now lift our glasses in solidarity. We have a cocktail. Another excuse excellent reason to drink tequila! I'll be making mine with Patron Silver. Here's to our collective health!

Mystery Text

So I got this weird text message earlier today... (H0pe s33n) Informing? ?.3

Out of curiosity, I Googled it. And found a website devoted to Hosten Nyasia Genetic Disorder, aka sickle cell anemia. It appears to be a blog. I wonder what they want from me. As a public service, I am sharing the text to spread the word. I wonder how they got my phone number.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mr. Cohen, I Presume

I was just listening to Fresh Air, a repeat of the 2006 interview with Leonard Cohen. Host Terry Gross started off with music from his new album, You Want it Darker. The most recent album of his that I have is Ten New Songs, released in 2001. Which has me feeling grateful toward someone who is no longer in my life for exposing me to Cohen's writings, music, and poetry. I would probably at least be peripherally aware of him due to his songs Hallelujah and the Jennifer Warnes cover of First We Take Manhattan that got some radio play in the late 80's. But that only scratches the surface of his incredibly prolific catalog. Through Cohen I became aware of the poet Constatine Cavafy, and I have to say the two of them have made my life much richer. Cohen's singing was an acquired taste for me, it took a while to appreciate his seven note range and gravelly delivery. He has the good sense to duet up with some amazing lady vocalists to fill in the gaps such as Warnes and Sharon Robinson. So I'm feeling grateful. For people who have passed through my life and left gifts behind for me to enjoy. And also for those who remain and the gifts yet to come.