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I am a fierce taboo competiteur, or so I thought. I realized, though, that perhaps my communication is only as good as those who speak the same language. My clues in order to get team guess a word, without me saying obvious related words:

‘Greenline’  <no response>
‘Tosca’  <no response>
‘Buffet’  <no response, blank stares>
‘Seriously? Selmer is so last season’  <cricket chirps>
‘Van Doren’  <no response>
‘no one plays on Backun, how are you not getting this?’  <tumbleweed rolls by>
‘Sweet Jesus. Ok, how about Stanley Drucker? Lawrie Bloom? John Bruce Yeh? Benny Goodman? Really? Nothing?  <silence>
‘Ok, this section sits next to the bassoons, you must get this’ <flutes?>
‘Sigh. Behind the flutes, through the tree…’

*photo from Flickr, MollyAdventures’, all rights reserved

Ixi keeps various bowls of “stuff” around the kitchen. Usually they contain tasty treats such as japanese candies, almonds, scones, apples, an occasional onion or potato, and at least two fruits of the earth. Ok, sometimes, a bowl may contain…catfood. Yes, three bowls to be exact. One per cat. Two mornings ago, Ixi was sampling some honey-roasted soy nuts whilst conducting business on the computer. I think we can all guess what happened next. Reach for nut, put in mouth…confused look on face as taste buds kick in…slow, “hey…this doesn’t taste like…ahhh” spit spit. 


She said it tasted like corn. And fat. Corn + Fat.


The same day Ixi received this text message from me: Groundhog just ran into Walgreens and is under register two. How many times can one say that, right? I knew something was going down when I saw the cop and several employees looking down at the ground. Naturally, I thought someone had died. Sounds reasonable. Anyway, I was quick to stick my nose into the business at hand and asked “What’s going on!?” Thats when I learned a gigantic rat-like critter had run in from the parking lot, through the automatic doors, and burrowed under the check out counter. They all figured it wasn’t a rat unless it was the biggest anyone had ever seen. I grabbed the flashlight from the cop who was making sure the Ground hog didn’t get “out of hand” ( Really, what’s a groundhog gonna do?) and sure enough, I did spot a massive rodent. There proceeded to be a stream of other cops, who, having heard of the “situation”, had to check it out and make fun of Groundhog Cop.


Wendy asked me if I saw its shadow.

Like clockwork, the following reappear in my life to let me know that it is officially summer, even if it is before June:

dvorak serenade for strings, red bull, drastic changes to my hair, creating drama, dog park, java jive, long hours at music hall, cursing opera, being smitten, SNDPs, long hours at the gym, loving opera

I love a good period film. I love the costumes, accents (only if they are somewhat consistent between actors), big castles, the whole lot, and I do think this is related to borrowing too many videos from the Free Library of Philadelphia, which I think has about 3 different versions Sense and Sensibility available. I find though, that they are not often filmed very well. Maybe it’s because I’m in a small minority target group interested in such movies, but I was disappointed in the overall cinematic effect in Becoming Jane – but I saw The Other Boleyn Girl this evening and was happy to finally see a well-produced movie.

The plot line of this movie is in fact mostly historically accurate, and at the same time really messed up. I won’t go into too many details for fear of ruining anyone who may have slept through 6th grade Social Studies – I’m pretty sure I might have – but the pairing in relationships is at time ridiculous, true, and reminiscent of dating in the music world. A few fun facts not in the movie:

When Henry VIII died, his only legitimate male heir, Edward VI became king. Eddie’s mum was Jane Seymour, Henry’s 3rd wife after Anne Boleyn. Henry’s 5th wife, Catherine Howard, was first cousins to the Boleyns. Henry met his 6th wife, Catherine Parr, in the court of Mary, the daughter of his first wife, Katharine of Aragon, whom had previously been married to Henry’s bro Arthur. The final Catherine had fallen in love with Thomas Seymour, Jane’s brother. After Edward died, Jane Grey, the great granddaughter of Henry VII ruled for about 9 days before Mary, daughter from the first marriage claimed the throne and had Grey executed. Mary died, leaving the throne to Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn.

A few days ago I decided to grab some YatKa for lunch, and was enjoying the meal, when my suddenly my fortune cookie presented me with: “You have an unusual magnetic personality. Just beware of your polarity”. Yikes. I love YatKa and usually get eerily apt fortunes from them (similar to the horoscopes at the Erie/Marburg Starbucks) such as, “Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure, the word for chopsticks is quai-zi and your lucky numbers are 6,14,32 and 9″ but since when have fortune cookies taken on a PhD degree in psychoanalysis???




Some days I long to be a kid again, when days were long and weeks felt like months and months felt like years. With our thousand and two things to do every day, I find myself being jealous of … babies and kids and well, even my cat Simon (aka thunderpaws). While being an adult human is a blessing, (you get to be aware of your existence, you can contemplate a before or after, you can find meaning further than the next meal or next nap, you can run for president or do big important things to make our world a better place, you are tall enough to wash your hands by yourself, you can say “I’m hungry” rather than “waa” or “rowr” … and the list goes on) occasionally I’d like to cast all responsibility aside : what taxes? what oil change? what return calls? and sit in a sun beam watching the dust motes drift aimlessly like my thoughts, or blissfully find amusement in a piece of yarn, or one’s own toes. There’s an Italian expression, il bel far niente, meaning the beauty of doing nothing, that is something so idealistic and precious in Italian culture that one’s life achievement is measured by how successfully one attains it. Seems kids and pets have that mastered, so I’m off to find company with Simon, maybe find a nice pair of socks to kick around, or curl up egg-style. Meanwhile, I’ll give you a couple guesses as to who this is (obviously this is not the coloring of my people, so no, it is not me):



As per the weather in Cincinnati, this past weekend the city was hit with ‘white death’ aka a snowy mess, and today the weather reached 45 F/7 C. I can put aside the oddity of the weather in this region, I think I’m rather used to it, but I can’t put aside the strangeness when people dress completely inappropriately for the weather. Somehow, somewhere in the brain the important synapses confuse warm and warmer. Today was warmer than yesterday, but it is not warm. Thus, you should not be walking around outside in shorts and/or a T-Shirt. I try to hang on to the very last bits of the season, no matter which one it is, and ease my way to the next. Of course I have my occasional mishaps, sometimes wearing a ridiculous scarf when it’s relatively warm, and the one I can’t seem to avoid – getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, which happens every time I’m in New York. I suppose we all have things to learn in life…

the snow keeps falling

each a forgotten being

happily floating

After about a full 60 seconds after I meet you, my mind will immediately race to the next thought of… “I wonder what this person’s nickname will be.” I take this seriously. Sometimes it takes years to find just the right one, but eventually it arrives, and I’ll pretty much refer to you by it for the duration of time that I know you. If you request a change, I become spiteful and think of something embarrassing and mocking. Just ask Cap’n PattyCakes.

I have been reading Alain de Botton’s philosophical novel On Love intermittently over the past year or so, and I recently came across a passage re: nicknames. In this chapter he explores the thought process arriving at intimacy. Now naturally I don’t have these feelings for everyone – but I think it’s phenomenally rational way to explain dubbing people close to my heart something else entirely.

7. Aware of the other’s characteristics, we acquire a need to rename one another. Love finds us with a name it did not invent, a name given to us by parents at birth and formalized by passports and civil registers. Given the uniqueness the person locates, is it not natural it should find expression [however obliquely] in a name others do not use? It is a victory over the past, a symbol of the rechristening and rebirth afforded by love. I have found you with a given name, says the person, but I am renaming you to label the difference between who you are to me and who you are to others. You may be called X at the office [in political space], but in my bed,* you will always be “my…”

*please note this phrase was left unaltered strictly for the poetic impact, and not because there is a correlation of nicknames and my bed.
February 2020
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