Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bugs in My Belfrey

Coming home from work last night, I found a Praying Mantis scaling our back door.

Me and my son Whit brought him in for close inspection and learned a few important mantis rules:

1.They get irony, as this one climbed atop the cover of the Silver Palet cookbook which has flowers all over it.

2.They are fast. Which makes photography hard.

3. They can leap quite well, so when they do pause and you get the camera poised they are (as this one did) likely to jump onto the camera.

I let him crawl upon my finger to carry him back outdoors and he quickly made it to my back.

A bit later I went jogging a found a freshly dead cicada, blew off the ants, and carried it home in my sweaty palm for Whit to examine. He consulted his bug book and informed me he thought it was a Dog Days cicada.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Riffing on Pup

It all started innocently enough ...

I made up a couple of words – pupulate and puptious – in an early Otty post and now I can’t stop myself. I have this weird puppy word rap going on in my head where I keep forming new words/phrases out of other words by adding pup.

Pupped out.
Pup a lup a ding dong.
Pupitude (my wife’s contribution)

That in me
which is obsessive which
all of me loves
word games.

Tonight in bed no doubt I will be riffing on pup words.

Honoring the Worst Poet

Short piece here on one of my brothers in Scotland.

A taste:

Beautiful Moon, with thy silvery light/Thou seemest most charming to my sight/As I gaze upon thee in the sky so high/A tear of joy does moisten mine eye."

Cuddly Friend

We had friends in from Madison for the weekend and I heard two funny comments from their kids. More than two actually, but these stood out.

The youngest referred to my shorts as “big underpants”.

The oldest, a boy, said my arms were way too hairy and I should shave them.

Looking for a Google shot to illustrate “hairy arm” I found this strange photo. I can tell you, I don’t have vacation pictures this cool.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tony Packo Saved My Life

Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic, but here’s what happened.

A friend and fellow chili dog lover told me a while back that the famous Tony Packo’s chili dogs out of Toledo was selling their sauce in cans at our neighborhood grocery store. I looked several times following our conversation and never found any on the shelf.

Flash forward. When my wife was out of town recently I quickly resorted to my worst eating habits which means hot dogs with chili sauce and went to the grocery, and not even bothering to look for Packo's again I grabbed a can of “it’s better than nothing” Castleberry’s chili dog sauce (as in the just recalled for botulism Castleberry’s) and started to walk down the aisle when I spied a pile of Tony Packo’s chili sauce cans.

It was finally there. I was in the right place at the right time and quickly put the Castleberry’s back.

You don’t get this kind of canned food drama on the cooking channel my friends. So, who knows. Maybe I dodged a bout with botulism thanks to TP’s

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Earth to Otty

Otty is crazy.

After a week now of puppy energy and early rising, and watching him pupulate around in that speedy off kilter way, biting me with puptious abandon, I am pooped. Harder than getting used to all this, is trying to take a picture of his wiggly little butt doing more than resting with a chew. With the delay flash on the camera it seems impossible to catch him in flight - where he spends a great deal of time - but finally today success.

I give you jumping aerial pet.

My Poor Basil is Hanged

Before the Basil went south we got a couple of great pestos. But now the plant seems to have lost its zing. In case it is not apparent from the photo, the leaves are more yellow than the deeper green they should be; also, they remain furled up like so--like little canoes. Thinking maybe they were outgrowing their pots we put them in the ground about two weeks ago but nothing has changed. If this looks familiar to you please let me know your thoughts on what ails me basils. RJ? Anyone?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Techno-Dork Unleashed

Have mercy.

My wife Celestia showed me how to take photos with our digital and load them onto the computer. Which means the floodgates are open and I am liable to send anything. I tried to get a photo of my Van Gogh sunflower tattoo but the hair around my shoulder where it appears just takes away from the beauty. And I wouldn't want to be responsible for making any fragile visitors retch.

You'll have to settle for more puppy pictures.
And one of our sunflowers - if you click on the photo and look in the background of the sunflower you can see little purple throbs of all the morning glories open on the trellis. Shine.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conflicting Blurbs

Blurb madness.

I was just reading this blurb about blurbs and it reminded me about Nancy Eimers' first book of poems Destroying Angel. One blurb on the back begin with a line like "These are not poems of consolation ....". The blurb beneath it began something like, "In these stark poems of consolation." It cracked me up - forever.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kid Stuff

Growing up, I don't remember hearing a joke that was not oozing with poop, piss, barf, any body fluid you can imagine or bloated with the subject of sex, stereotypes, etc.

All these years later, I have settled on my favorite three jokes - the Trinity. All of them are extremely clean and in fact, I came across one in a children's book by Anthony Browne called The Shape Game.

Imagine me stepping up to the mic ...

So there are these two sausages in a frying pan, and as they begin to sizzle one sausage says, “Whew, it’s getting hot in here.”
The other sausage screams, “Oh my God! A talking sausage.”

And here is the second - much more fun to act out with a few choice gestures, but it goes like this.

A grasshopper comes bouncing into a bar and springs up onto a bar stool. The bartender is standing behind the bar wiping clean a glass and he grins and says to the grasshopper, "Heh, we got a drink named after you." And the grasshopper puzzles over this for a second then says, "Really, you got a drink named Lloyd."

Jokes, dirty jokes I guess, were a big part of conversation with my friends. I can't tell yet how much joke telling goes on with my son and his friends. I know he likes jokes, and he likes to make up his own - some are not bad. I like him to tell this one:

What did one hotdog say to the other?
Is that you Frank?

Poetry and Puppy

Poetry log.

Willow Springs still holding some work. (Lucky lucky lucky).

Have a haiku in for consideration with Snapshot press for their calendar project.

Dog log.

Otty is fantastic. Four days into his new gig and he’s already getting the routine down. He’s a quick learner and takes to his kennel with no fuss when we have to run out for Tony Paco’s chili dog sauce or my son goes to his swimming lesson. He is doing his business outside – mostly.
He runs after his toys in that jumbly, almost falling sideways way that makes him even cuter. Archaic phrases like pell mell come to mind.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Welcome Home Otty

Nothing smells as nice as a puppy. Ummm.

We made it back from Indianapolis safe and sound and one family member bigger. Please say hi to Otty. Unlike other terriers which have the longish muzzle, these border terriers have otter shaped faces or so say the dog-perts. So, we call him Otty. My son talked to him and sat by him the whole trip home and it is already clear they are fast friends. Last night, and this morning, Otty followed him everywhere and prefers his lap for cuddling. Perfect! I couldn't be happier. And the pup is already doing his business when we take him outside to his bathroom space.

Though, he did wake up this morning around 4:30 - in our room. By five we were all up and downstairs.

Infant hours! Youch!

Last but not least, another special moment on our trip was when we discovered Mr. Weenie.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Puppy Roadtrip, Tags & Island Bliss

I was gently tagged by Brent to list five books I would like to be stranded with on my imaginary deserted island.

Religion and Nothingness - Keiji Nishitani

The Bow and the Lyre - Paz

Mary Ruefle

Noise Made by Poems – Peter Levi

The Sense of Beauty – George Santayana

I tag anyone who can tell me how many different accepted spellings there are for Shakespeare? Or anyone who just needs to imagine being on an island.


Count down to dog.

Turns out we are driving to Indianapolis this weekend to pick up the puppy who was supposed to get here via his breeder. There are vague difficulties on her end.

That’s cool. I will be happy to linger in Lafayette (home of my Purdue days) and see the old haunts and especially the places where me and my wife Dolce used to live when we were (fluttering eye lashes) falling in luv.

Come Sunday we will be home with the little potato muffin.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why I Play Lottery Tickets

Chances are a million to one against it.

Odds are not in your favor.

Chances are slim to none.

We all know the “fat chance” speak that accompanies those seemingly hopeless situations, but I am not so cynical when it comes to overwhelming odds.

To the extent I understand the genetics behind my first son Rainer’s death, I still marvel at the odds that tumbled into place when in this whole wide world I would fall in love with and marry a woman with a similar gene tick as mine; a glitch we both apparently have that when combined results in a mitochondrial disorder so rare and fatal that only 25 similar cases in the world had ever been recorded. Some odds, eh? Or, here are other odds. Our doomed genes, again when put together, threaten a 1 in 4 chance of any child we have will be born ill.

I get sick with anxiety when I have to fly on planes. I don’t accept statistics about them being safer than cars. When someone begins, “You are more likely to die in a car crash …” I tune out. What is more likely to happen does not impress or comfort me. I figure it must be happening all the time to someone somewhere. Some life is going to be the 1 in those million to 1 scenarios. So when I hear statistics about people being more likely to die by dog attack or bee bite than shark attack ... or the odds of getting struck by lightning ... those mind-numbing figures, so coldly abstract, like a million to one, do nothing to assuage my fear.

I believe in outrageous odds.
I believe in longshots.
I believe in the impossible.

If I have a buck in my pocket, I buy an instant ticket despite the odds of winning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sad Dick

Poor monstrous bastard. No funds for Satan.

Easter Sonnet

A few months ago I began another sonnet study which lead me to Frederick II and Lentini, Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin, and now Mameluke warriors. But, back then, before all this bloody history seduced me away, I read this wonderful sonnet by Charles Martin and promptly ordered his greatest hits.

Easter Sunday, 1985

To take steps toward the reappearance alive of the disappeared is a subversive act, and measures will be adopted to deal with it.
—General Oscar Mejia Victores,
President of Guatemala

In the Palace of the President this morning,
The General is gripped by the suspicion
That those who were disappeared will be returning
In a subversive act of resurrection.

Why do you worry? The disappeared can never
Be brought back from wherever they were taken;
The age of miracles is gone forever;
These are not sleeping, nor will they awaken.

And if some tell you Christ once reappeared
Alive, one Easter morning, that he was seen—
Give them the lie, for who today can find him?

He is perhaps with those who were disappeared,
Broken and killed, flung into some ravine
With his arms safely wired up behind him.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Poetry, it Does a Body Good

Read poetry.

For strong bones, whiter teeth and a healthy lustrous coat. And, according to this study, it broadens the mind. But if Byron lights up the mind, what would Eliot do? Can an MRI show, with its pretty lights and colors, a mind being 'blown'? I read this, in part, as the science behind the buzz I get from certain poems and poets.

"Writing poetry is almost a physical experience as well as mental. Children are rarely worried about extracting too much meaning from poems, but they seem to get a much deeper experience from it."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Songs with a Certain Sexiness

What's your pleasure?

Time of the Season - Zombies

Neko Case - she is a song, really

Fascination Street - The Cure

A couple tracks from "Night on Planet Earth" I don't know the name of - Tom Waits

Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen

The list is much longer than this, but each one of these songs flips a little switch in me and suddenly I am Romeo -without all the poison and death.

How about your songs? Which tunes make you feel seductive, amorous.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Work is a 4-Letter Word

Come to think of it, so is Blog.

Good God, I have actually had to work at work for the last few works. The ulcers are bleeding, headaches are back. Hair's falling out. (Well, that last one happened along time ago.) In short, I have not been able to keep up with my own Blog or visit any of my favs.

Who is winning what?

What will Mary photograph next :)

You know, big issues. All this to say, sorry to anyone who has come by only to find (still) Dick Cheney's ugly ass up. Hopefully will get my shit together next week and can maybe get back to poetry and important things like my feelings, my hopes and my dreams.

On a more productive note, in my spare minutes I have been reading and thoroughly enjoying, James Reston's Gods Warriors which covers the 3rd Crusade. Richard the Lionhearted pitted against Saladin. Absolutely marvelous book. And sad to see nothing has really changed much.
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