Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"I Think A Seahorse Barfed Up His Organs In Our Bathtub"

Annabelle wrote these words on a piece of paper and handed it to me while I was on the phone. I had sprinkled Comet all over the tub, then left it to soak when the phone rang.

It is all too obvious that scouring the tub is a rare event in our household.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crown of Creation

Trippin' down memory lane. I have to pay tribute to this album --I used to listen to it all the time when I was in high school. This song "In Time," transported me far beyond my bedroom in the basement. Hearing it again, I feel I can travel those same places now. Jefferson Airplane sure made some beautiful music.

Monday, January 26, 2009


"P O O K A - Pooka - from old Celtic mythology - a fairy spirit in animal form - always very large. The pooka appears here and there - now and then - to this one and that one - a benign but mischievous creature - very fond of rumpots, crackpots..."

Elwood P. Dowd: "Oh, you can't miss him Mrs. Chumley. He's a Pooka." Mrs. Hazel Chumley: "A Pooka? Is that something new? "Elwood P. Dowd: "No. No, as I understand it, that's something very old. "

Over the weekend I saw the movie "Harvey", starring James Stewart, and I really dug it. James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, who is both a rumpot and a crackpot, and Harvey is his pooka. They do everything together, which mostly means hanging out in the neighborhood bars. Elwood describes his typical day to a psychiatrist:

"Harvey and I sit in the bars... have a drink or two... play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they're saying, "We don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over... and they sit with us... and they drink with us... and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they've done and the big wonderful things they'll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey... and he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me."

The crux of the story centers on whether Elwood’s family will have him committed, or allow him to carry on his eccentric friendship with a six foot rabbit they cannot see. Or rarely see. Elwood’s sister confesses to having seen him a time or two, as does one of the psychiatrists. So the nature of reality is uncertain, and the basis for happiness called into question. Despite his unconventional lifestyle, bar-hopping with a pooka, Elwood seems far happier and more content than any of the “normal” humans spinning themselves into a frenzy around him.

I love this movie because it seems to be asking, “Who can decide for us what a good life is, and what will make us happy?"

Indeed, Elwood's happiness is as mysterious as his invisible bunny. He says, "I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I'm with. " For this reason, Elwood says he doesn't have much use for Harvey's special powers, which are considerable:

"Well, Harvey can look at your clock... and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like, with anyone you like, and stay as long as you like, and when you get back... not one minute will have ticked by. You see, science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space, but any objections. "

The movie was originally a play, so it's chock full of witty dialogue about white slavers, sex-crazed psychiatrists, Akron, one person being a Taurus and another person being "on the cusp," and how it's our dreams that "separate us from the beasts": "I wouldn't want to go on living if I thought it was all just eating, and sleeping, and taking my clothes off, I mean putting them on."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What A Day!

Jubilant. Moved. Can't keep my mascara on. Impossible to work. Can't put it into words. Wish I was in Washington to experience the energy of that crowd.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rap For MLK Day

It’s Monday morning
And I’m still a snoozin
Didn’t set the alarm
Now daylight I’m losin

I’m sleepin in
Didn’t mean to slack
But I wuz feelin’ so tired
I stayed flat on my back

And now I’m thinkin’
Bout what’s sposed to be
About the one who marched
So all could be free

Jes cuz I’m in bed
Don’t mean I’m not thinkin’ bout the cause you led
Hey MLK, you see I’m meditatin’
Bout peace and justice for those still waitin’

Yes it’s a powerful thang
These prayers I’m sendin’
Can’t you see how hard I’m concentratin?
That’s why my eyes are closed, my eyes are closed
That’s why my eyes are closed and my eyelids are fluttering
That’s why I look so relaxed and my jaw is slack
And my mouth is droppin’ open
See I got the knack
I got the knack I got the knack
I got the knack…
Igot the…

Must have nodded off.
I had a dream.
I mean I HAVE a DREAM.
Cuz I’m ON it
The peace and justice thang
And I’m meditatin’ for it
I’m like hope on a wing
Cuz I’m hip, I’m fly
And I understand why
And I’m reflectin’ on the day
Gonna go all the way
And I’m usin’ my head
That’s why I’m in bed

So here’s to you MLK
You showed us the way
And it’s a powerful thang
On which I'm meditatin'
That’s why my eyes are closed, my eyes are closed
That’s why my eyes are closed and my eyelids are fluttering
That’s why I look so relaxed and my jaw is slack
And my mouth is droppin’ open
See I got the knack
I got the knack I got the knack
I got the knack…
Igot the…
I got

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Am I Becoming One Of Them?

I'm beginning to worry about me lately. My resistance to the whole librarian thing is breaking down. It must be those online classes I've been taking --sending subliminal messages in digital form. Because I'm beginning to think that being an "information professional" would be alright, and worse yet, I've been spending lots of time with lots of other librarians lately. On Friday I went to a workshop to learn about changes to the search features of a widely used online database. The changes were not well received by the other librarians. There was a hue and cry. Have you ever been in a room surrounded by outraged librarians? The scariest thing is, I shared their indignation: "how dare they get rid of the single citation matcher?!" I hollered, along with the others. It was torches and pitchforks time. There was a muttering that rose up from the incensed crowd that this was the work of programmers. Librarians and programmers often lock horns, because programmers often seem clueless about library functionality and the needs of dense patrons.

Other disturbing signs that I am being taken over: Yesterday, I found myself presiding over a whole roomful of librarians! I was at the head of the room with a microphone, handing out awards to a group of seasoned, grizzled old bookmarms. (Well they weren't all old and grizzled.) How did this come to be? It's all because I belong to this group of health science librarians in Kansas City, and for the second year in a row I had been suckered into chairing the Awards committee, which picks five libraries to win "awards", and then hands them out at the January meeting. Yet I'm not even a bonafide, gold-seal approved librarian myself. And I am not sure I want to be. I wrestle all the time with the implications, of what I could become if I go down this path. But yesterday, there was no distinguishing me from the others. And as I stood there and scanned those faces, it was like that song by the Talking Heads: "and you may ask yourself, how did I get here?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

What Winter Has Reduced Me To

Wow I can't believe how good the bowl of tomato soup I just had was! It was so good I can't get over it. I had bought the primo stuff -you know, Campbell's--because it was on sale, not the usual Best Chance/Crap Shoot brand and I used all milk instead of water. And I threw in some gobs of cheese. Omigod it was ambrosia. My eyes nearly crossed. Gad, now I know what kind of old lady I'm going to be. The kind who eats the same kind of soup every day. I've been hitting the tomato soup pretty hard lately, you see. So I've already turned into one of those people. The kind you see loading up their cart with ten cans of soup. Or who drives to IHOP every day and orders the same meal.
And no, I didn't put up an image of Andy Warhol's tomato soup cans, because that's such a cliche. Yawn. Though now I'm beginning to understand his obsession.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

These Crows Make Me Happy

Omigod, I found the crows, the "counting crows" from Sesame Street. About ten years ago, when my kids were really small and I was bleary-eyed and numb from hours of Barney and Blue's Clues, these crows came on TV and gave me the will to live again. When you are surrounded by wall to wall kiddie culture and feeling like a mom-blob, you have immense appreciation for anything that speaks to your adult sensibilities in some way. These crows had an indie rock sound and sang about "beautiful numbers" and "counting in the dark night." One of the hippest things I've seen on kiddie TV. At one point I had taped this segment along with other stuff on Sesame Street, but I could never find it again, even after searching through hours of episodes on my home-recorded VHS tapes. But I have found them at last. Thank God for YouTube!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Art Jumping

This man is jumping in an art museum. There is an entire blog devoted to people jumping in art museums, called "jumping in art" The blogger describes herself as an "avid Art Jumper" and says, "sometimes, while visiting art museums and galleries, I am so excited by what I see that I have to jump for joy." If you go to her blog, you'll see photos that have been sent to her by people from around the world. People in Prague and Mexico and France and Dubai, all jumping. There is even a facebook group for jumping in art museums. I swiped a few of the photos from her blog so I could post them on my blog. You can see many, many more at the following link:

Jumping at the Guggenheim

More Guggenheim jumping

Jumping at MoMa

I like how people's bellies show when they jump

Jumping in Prague

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Upper Right-Hand Position of January 2009

What's that fishman pouring into the clouds? I hope it's not more "wintry mix". He needs to get out of there. What's he doing in the picture anyway?

In my mental calendar, I always picture January at the far upper-right hand side, with the months February, March, April and May following, going from right to left. Then I picture June, July and August dropping down in a vertical line on the far left-hand side. I see September through December going from left to right at the bottom of the calendar. Perhaps this is universal. How do other people picture the months in their mind?