Monday, June 27, 2011

Poetry Monday

I don't remember how I stumbled across this little gem, but I hope you'll like it!

Camomile Tea - Katherine Mansfield

Outside the sky is light with stars;

There's a hollow roaring from the sea.

And, alas! for the little almond flowers,

The wind is shaking the almond tree.

How little I thought, a year ago,

In the horrible cottage upon the Lee

That he and I should be sitting so

And sipping a cup of camomile tea.

Light as feathers the witches fly,

The horn of the moon is plain to see;

By a firefly under a jonquil flower

A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.

We might be fifty, we might be five,

So snug, so compact, so wise are we!

Under the kitchen-table leg

My knee is pressing against his knee.

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,

The tap is dripping peacefully;

The saucepan shadows on the wall

Are black and round and plain to see.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Poetry Monday

Change the narrator's gender and this poem is Me!

Book Lover

Robert Service

I keep collecting books I know

I'll never, never read;

My wife and daughter tell me so,

And yet I never heed.

"Please make me," says some wistful tome,

"A wee bit of yourself."

And so I take my treasure home,

And tuck it in a shelf.

And now my very shelves complain;

They jam and over-spill.

They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?"

"some day," I say, "I will."

So book by book they plead and sigh;

I pick and dip and scan;

Then put them back, distrest that I

Am such a busy man.

Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne,

my Gibbon and Defoe;

To savour Swift I'll never learn,

Montaigne I may not know.

On Bacon I will never sup,

For Shakespeare I've no time;

Because I'm busy making up

These jingly bits of rhyme.

Chekov is caviare to me,

While Stendhal makes me snore;

Poor Proust is not my cup of tea,

And Balzac is a bore.

I have their books, I love their names,

And yet alas! they head,

With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James,

My Roster of Unread.

I think it would be very well

If I commit a crime,

And get put in a prison cell

And not allowed to rhyme;

Yet given all these worthy books

According to my need,

I now caress with loving looks,

But never, never read.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

5 for Sunday

5 movies I have watched with my father repeatedly (much to Mom's dismay)

Happy Father's Day/5 for Sunday Bonus edition

I realized that the 5 movie listing was short-changing my dad, so here are 5 memories to go along with it!

1. Possibly one of my favorites- the year my brother graduated from dental school, nearly the entire family flew to California to watch him get his degree. (poor Mom didn't get to go) Anyway, my brother took us to one of his favorite Chinese restaurants for dinner one night and tried to show off. He asked for chopsticks and said "Here, Dad, let me show you how to use these!" Daddy snatched them out of his hand and said something to the effect of "Boy, I know what I'm doing" and began eating with them as though it was something he did every day. 6 jaws dropped around the table as we watched this, and then I started laughing.

2. My dad cheats at checkers. When I was around 12 or so, the library system in our hometown was opening a new branch. Being a staffer's kid, it was decided that I would be given the honor of being allowed to check out the first book there. The newspaper was supposed to send a photographer out to take a picture of this momentous event. Mom was worknig at the main branch that day, so Dad got to take me out for this. Now, he had probably worked all night before we were scheduled to be at the library, so I imagine he was pretty tired. And of course the photographer wasn't there on time. So we waited....and waited...and while we were waiting, I challenged Daddy to a game of checkers in the kid's area. He started pulling out moves he called things like "Mississippi long legs" and beat me at every game. After another hour or so, we gave up on the photographer, I checked a book out, and we left. The next day in the paper there was a shot of our backs as we walked out the library door- guess who showed up as we were leaving?

3. I take number 1 back- THIS is my favorite Dad story. We used to be owned by the world's biggest cockapoo- Scotty. (that's what the shelter told us he was when we adopted him as a puppy. fortunately for him, by the time the growth spurt proved otherwise, we were already pretty attached to him and not willing to give him up) My sisters have complained for years that I'm Dad's favorite kid. I'm here to tell you that it wasn't me, it was the dog and this story proves it. Mom was working the evening shift at the library one day. Dad & I were watching TV with the pup. Dad asked if I was cooking dinner. "No." A few minutes later, he said "Kentucky Fried Chicken sounds good." I agreed with that. So he got up, got his car keys, and drove off with Scotty in tow. (that dog LOVED to go for rides in the car) 20 minutes later he came back with two boxes. He opened the first box- livers & gizzards (yuk), clearly for himself. I sat up, anticipating that the next box would be something for me. Silly girl. Daddy opened the next box to reveal more livers and gizzards WHICH HE THEN PUT DOWN ON THE FLOOR FOR THE DOG. I didn't even get a biscuit.

4. A few years ago, Daddy had several health issues that landed him in the hopsital for several months. My brother flew in at one point, and he & I were at the hospital with him when a nurse came in to give Dad another round of shots. Trying to be perky and upbeat, she chirped "Where would you like your shot this time?" Without missing a beat, Daddy pointed at my brother and said "HIS butt." My brother protested "DAD, be serious" and the nurse cooed to Dad that it was nice to have his kids there to visit him. When we mention that there were more of us, she asked Dad how many kids he had. Again, without missing a beat, "Too darn many. Now get those two out of here." Apparently we were interfering with his TV watching.

5. Dad is responsible for my fondness for Pro Wrestling. (to Mom's dismay) When I was in high school, out town became a mecca for filmmakers and I wound up as an extra in several movies. I used some of the money from my first paycheck to buy tickets for us to go see the NWA when they came to town. Well, I had a good time- Dad, not so much. He was ok until I got into a screaming match with the bimbo valet of one wrestler. The truckers sitting in front of us thought it was a hoot that I was getting into it with this girl, so when she screamed for me to come to ringside and say something to her face, they were going to lift me over the barricasde to do it. Dad grabbed my by my back belt loop and yanked me back down to my seat without saying a word.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Poetry Monday

It's been a bit since we've heard from T. S. Eliot. Enjoy!

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn't just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,

Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,

Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey -

All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,

Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:

Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -

But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,

A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,

Else how can he keep his tail perpendicular,

Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,

Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,

Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -

Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there's still one name left over,

And that is the name that you never will guess;

The name that no human research can discover -

But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,

The reason, I tell you, is always the same:

His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation

Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:

His ineffable effable


Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

5 for Sunday

A look at some of the more ambitious projects on my cross-stitch wish list:

Cirque des Carreaux from Ink Circles

Ink Circles- Cirque des Carreaux

Ink Circles- Cirque des Cercles (view here is a section close up)

Ink Circles- Cirque des Triangles

Ink Circles- Aventail (this one is a little project and I've actually finished it! Still haven't gotten my camera working, so I had to search the web for a pic to post here.)

Debbie Draper Designs- Floral Fantasy

As you can see, I like intricate patterns. It's odd that I enjoy stitching so much since it requires more patience than I normally have, but it's a perfect pastime for my OCD. And here's a bonus image of another project I'm about to start on, although the person who stitched this version used different colors than I plan to-

Ink Circles- Pizzazz (yeah, I REALLY like Ink Circles. Go visit them at!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Poetry Monday

This is another one from Mom's big green book. We took the name of my first parakeet from this poem!

Casey at the Bat

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;

The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest

Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;

They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that—

We’d put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,

And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;

So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,

For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,

And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;

And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,

There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,

For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;

There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,

No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;

Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—

“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.

“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted some one on the stand;

And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;

He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;

But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;

But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,

And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clinched in hate;

He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,

And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

5 for Sunday

5 Favorite Wrestlers (tag team edition), again in no real order

 Animal & Hawk, The Road Warriors

Ricky & Robert, The Rock & Roll Express

Sweet Stan & Beautiful Bobby- the Midnight Express (w/manager Jim Cornette)

Terry, Michael, & Buddy- the ONLY Fabulous Freebirds (we won't discuss the Jimmy Garvin era)

Matt & Jeff Hardy