Monday, May 30, 2005

My son's Costa Rica trip link
It really sounds like a superb trip. Meanwhile, his best friend is on an Alaskan cruise with his girlfriend and her family. I tell ya, the kids today....

The summer after high school, I went on an Outward Bound cycling expedition in Nova Scotia. My parents wanted me to learn something about Accountability and Personal Responsibility (and assorted other "-ilities") and this was their choice. I was having a great time right up to the point where I got hit by a car and chipped my left fibula. It was truly amazing that nothing worse happened to me--the bike's rear wheel looked like a piece of Mod-ren Scoolp-tyah.

At any rate, I learned that having a walking cast is cool.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

the sweat lodge

I was requested to blog about this, so here you go, Lightfeather! I'll tell what I know....

The sweat lodge I have mentioned a couple of times here is a homemade job in a friend's back yard. He owns a few houses on the same half-block whose back yards all converge in the middle (sort of--enough that there are pathways leading to 4 different houses--but he's sold a couple of the houses recently, so not all of them are "active" pathways). So in this nicely-treed middle area, there's a doughboy pool with a deck around it plus an odd assortment of massage tables, hanging chairs, benches, carpet remnants, etc.--your average Arizona "living room"--and the little stucco-covered building that is the lodge. It might be 8' x 8', but I'm bad at that kind of eyeballing.

The inside has double-decker benches on two sides, so at maximum capacity it will hold oh about 15 people, but that's extreme. There's a big ass metal sewer-type pipe that runs into it along the back wall, and inside the sweat there are big chunks of flagstone propped up against the pipe, which is vented through the roof, of course. The pipe opening is just flush with one outer wall, so you make a fire in the pipe, go inside, and after awhile pour water on top of it. Et Voy Lee, steam!

There are no "rounds" as in a traditional sweat; we come and go as we please. There's an outdoor shower just around the corner for cooling off, and the pool too of course. Inside, silence or prayer or song or didgeridoo music or chanting are common, but idle chatter is discouraged. And the place is open to the general public, although following a bad accident a couple of years ago, there's a sign-up sheet for new attendees (who must have a "sponsor"), including emergency contact and the usual disclaimer of responsibility in the event of misfortune.

So far it's been run by donation--$2/visit requested--and every time it's open, the door is covered by the volunteer Sweat Host, who checks names against a master list. It's open for coed sweats one night and one day a week, and gender-specific sweats happen one night a week as well.

When I first came to Arizona, I was lucky enough to be invited to some more "traditional" sweats. In those, a fire pit is dug and a fire is made with a bunch of biggish, preferably volcanic, rocks tucked into the fire bed. A ways away from the fire pit is the lodge, which is made of several long slender green tree boughs bent in a "u" from one side to the other. The frame is covered by tarps, blankets, canvas, etc. The idea is to keep it pretty low to the ground to maximize the heat experience, so you usually have to crawl in and out through the door flap.

The lodge has a pit dug in the center. When the sweat begins, people crawl in and circle clockwise around the pit. The Fire Tender rakes the hot rocks out of the fire, knocks the ash off, and carries them one by one to the door of the lodge where they are dropped into the pit. The lodge door flap is closed and the sweat leader conducts a series of prayers during each round, adding water to the rocks to create steam. Between rounds, the flap is opened, but no one leaves until the conclusion of the sweat, which is usually after 4 rounds.

Anywhere from 4-6 rocks are added at the beginning of each round, so as you might imagine the heat builds over the course of the sweat to a pretty significant level. I remember many instances when I'd just try to get my face as close to the ground as possible, seeking even the tiniest bit of cooler air! The praying can get really intense at times, as that's what takes one out of one's body and into the realm of "non-ordinary reality," to coin a phrase....

It's about purification and connection to the greater Whatever-You-Call-It. Nothing beats the feeling of standing outside in 40-degree weather, fresh out of the sweat, with steam rising in clouds from your pink, sweetly glistening flesh. You feel so alive--every pore is open and yelling, your mind is empty but filled at the same time, you feel the spinning of the earth--you lose your connection to your labels (whatever they might be) and simply become one with the energy coursing through everything. To put it mildly.

Every year in late January there's a giant gem and mineral show in Tucson (really, like the biggest one in the world), and twice a year there's an arts-and-crafts Street Fair--all of which attract a certain number of like-minded people, so I've met folks at the sweat from all over the planet, who've just heard about it through the Rainbow Grapevine--and I love that this man believes in the ritual so much that he's footed huge monthly water bills for lo these many years. Like twenty. I know it was happening before I arrived in Tucson and got hip to it, and I've been here for 18 years.

It's certainly one reason that I find myself returning to Tucson again and again--this family that I belong to. The sweat fulfills many functions for's a church, for praying and purifying; it's a social event (as many churches are); it's creative--acoustic music jams abound. There have been rants over the years about clutter and trash and the lack of volunteer labor; but there have also been great work parties, lots of "sweat benefits" which include live amplified music and awesome potluck fare, and that sweet feeling of belonging to a community that holds together through trials of!

OK that's all folks,
ciao for now!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why I Blog

Well, my little bitty rant about losing readership made me start thinking....why do I blog?

If I blog only to get comments, well, that's like saying that I do massage just for the tips. Every now and then (well, actually a little more often than that), I'll give a kick-ass massage--and the person leaves without tipping.

[NOTE TO READERS: If you get a massage from a self-employed MT, then don't tip--they are getting the total buck amount themselves--but if you go to a massage clinic, where the person is an employee of a larger organization and only receiving a percentage of the total, please tip if you got a good treatment!]

OK where was I? Oh yeah. I do massage because it's an awesome way to be of service while earning a living. I can't imagine working in an office 40 hours a would seriously erode my natural spontaneous optimism. And that is one other thing that I also offer my clients--the energetic result of doing what I love for a living. That's important--way more important than receiving a $5 tip!

So, blogging? Do I blog because I simply have to express myself no matter who's reading? YOU BETCHA I DO (and Magz, it's mostly your fault that I'm doing it in public now--my journal-keeping has suffered a bit due to this new habit you've introduced!)!!

Meanwhile, we got RAIN last night--pretty amazing for May weather--and this morning was cool, overcast, and breezy. Perfect for dog-walking, bike-riding, hangover-nursing--you name it. LOL.

And now it's time for me to get my ass on my meditation cushion before I have to go to work. Thanks for the comments, I do enjoy the reciprocation--but I'm thinking I'll be here anyway!

The Big Question for Today: Why do YOU blog?

ciao for now!

Friday, May 27, 2005

bored ya, didn't I?

Yeah, so I lost about 3/4 of my readership when I mentioned the Buddhism class. OH WELL.

It's Friday afternoon, 4:30-ish and only 95 degrees! We've had lovely hazy cloud cover for 2 days, and a brisk warm wind out the southwest last night made the evening truly lovely for sitting outdoors with a Mike's Hard Lime (new flavor and by far the best).

I'm getting blitzed courtesy of Cootera's Sloppy Virgin recipe (check back in my comment section for it, or leave a comment here if you really want it and are too lazy to look). I really don't drink very much at all, so introducing vodka into my body has totally rearranged my typing abilities, lol. I only had one appointment today so I guess I'm in for the night, getting seriously wasted by myself. Is that some kind of danger sign? (Only if you are trying to be a good Buddhist, Taza....)

Meanwhile, nothing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

a long funny for your day

I had to post this. I love John Cleese!

Subject: U.S. Independence Nullified

In light of tomorrow’s Syttende Mai celebration, commemorating Norway’s 100 years of independence from Sweden, the following message has been released from 10 Downing Street (or Fawlty Towers, whichever):

A Message from John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up 'vocabulary').

Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of '-ize.' You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)--roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776). Thank you for your co-operation.

fun in class

OK, ya'll know I'm studying Tibetan Buddhism, right? We had an interesting exercise in class last night that was a great illustration of how our own brains create our own worlds....

We got into pairs and one person closed their eyes and held out a hand. The teacher then gave the seeing partner a small everyday object to place into the blind partner's palm. They were to hold it upright so that the holder couldn't feel any more than a small portion of the object in their palm.

Then the blind partner extended one finger only to further explore the unknown object. The point of the exercise was to go slowly enough to "watch" the brain collecting information until the breakover moment when the thing was successfully identified.

My object was one of those small plastic scoops that come in, oh, a tin of lemonade mix, for example. My partner held it on my palm by pushing on the little handle part, with the "back" of the scoop towards me. One finger does not provide a lot of sensory input (even for a massage therapist!), so it took awhile of slowly working my way around the sides until I found the handle sticking up. I still didn't know what it was until my finger worked around to the concave side of the scoop, and then in one "blinding" instant the object was "known" completely. From a collection of bits of raw data came a total picture, and the moment of crystallization was really--well, momentous! (lol)

I have to admit I had to battle with myself a bit....there was some frustration about not knowing and wanting to "figure it out" right away. It was challenging to make myself stay with the process, and revealing to find out how uncomfortable I was!

We are studying Buddhist logic and believe me, it's not a subject I warm to instinctively--run screaming in the opposite direction is more like it! We are discussing lots of ideas and ways that we categorize objects in our world: i.e., the concept of "car" vs. an actual car vs. MY car. Sets and what's the point?

Well, the point is that our minds do an incredible amount of labelling, all the time, and much faster than we can usually follow unless we take it to the extreme like we did last night, with one tiny little ordinary "thing." But it illustrated to me that if I were able to "see" without "labelling" that I might be "seeing" in a totally different way, which might in turn change the appearance (and therefore the reality?) of my world.

I know, this sounds like a bunch of gobbeltygook--and I can't do any better, so I'll stop for now....but here's your (my) question: does HOW we see affect WHAT we see?

ciao for now, bow wow brown cow (yup, no question, she's flipped)!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Today's TazTale

Howdy, faithful readers! Pushing 4:00 p.m. and we just now broke 100--whew! What a relief!

I've been avoiding running the evaporative cooler all night so that I have a slim psychological margin in reserve....because once you leave the cooler on all night, you're stuck doing it for the rest of the summer. And summer here is very, very, long; and running the cooler makes the electric bill go very, very high--of course, not as high as those folks running AC, but I live about a third of the way up the around the hog's knees. Folks with AC, now, they're on the high side of the porker. But almost everyone has a cooler.

Except that lately I'm noticing that many new homes are being built without the cooler option, which is a crying shame. It's a relatively cheap and usually effective way to cool a house, add humidity (they only work in arid climates), and perfume the air with the signature scent of damp aspen wood, all at the same time! The cooler pads are made of slender curls of aspen wood, contained in a mesh covering. These pads line the sides of the cooler box, a water pump sends water from a shallow pan through a "spider" and wets the pads, and a big ass motor cranks out your air flow. Et Voy Lee, cooled air!

I remember when I moved here and wondered about the strange-looking metal cubes on the top of everyone's houses. Then I got edu-ma-cated about the joys of evaporative cooling, a system that works absolutely wonderfully until we get our annual monsoon season in late June/early July. Rain systems work up to us from the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, and we get downright thundery rainy deluges if we're lucky, and oceans of clouds just begging for a burst if we're not.

Those days put PMS to shame, 'cause EVERYONE feels it, not just us feminine types.

Back when I lived in the boonies north of Maggie's Farm, I made a living by shovelling horse pucky at an Arabian stables. To get there, I'd drive about 10 miles south on the dirt road, park at an ex-lover's, and walk about a 1/2 mile north to the stables on the other side of the San Pedro river(bed). Come monsoon season, that sucker ran a few feet deep usually--but it wasn't really a problem if it wasn't past my knees. I thought it was entirely kewl that I walked across a river to work!

The only quirk was, that particular river runs north out of Mexico, and a good storm a few hours south of us could put the water level up to a danger point in a matter of hours--i.e., about the time it took to shovel 18 stalls worth of horse pucky!

There were days when I'd walk to work simply to announce that I was leaving before the river rose any more. And there were a few days when I took my chances with the current and walked home anyway, even though I should have known better. I got knocked down and dragged a couple of times, and eventually my afore-mentioned pragmatism took hold of my addled brain and said, "Hey now, Taza, this isn't kewl anymore; it's just stupid, you know?"

About that time I acquired the now-defunct Cow Truck, which had 4WD and could usually get across the river at a crossing that some other ranchers used. But one summer, a dam broke somewhere across the border, and we had a 20-foot swell come thundering our way. I spent a full 3 weeks driving all the way to town (45 minutes), crossing the river on the interstate, and then driving another 45 minutes to the stables. (Had to ask my boss for a gas per diem....which he was kind enough to entertain. Thanks Gary!)

My son is heading for his very own tropical adventure in the next week--he's sold his car, moved out of his house, and is leaving for Costa Rica for a 3-week trip into the rain forest. I can't imagine such an undertaking--but I know it will be the kind of life-changing event that everyone needs in their early 20's. I hope he doesn't have to cross any raging rivers while he's there, or that at the very least the group has a boat in which to do it....

ciao for now!

Monday, May 23, 2005

freakin badpatty freakin got me!

1. What is the total volume of music files on your computer?

0...As in ZERO.
I have a little bitty brain-in-a-box here, a late model 1999 Gateway Astro that I bought when I lived in a 23' travel trailer in the boonies an hour north of Maggie's Farm. It was resurrected when I moved away from the giant-suburban-home-with-a-great-big-Dell last Christmas, and you would not believe how I have to whip the gerbils just to get email out of them. (Oh, don't worry, they like it. I only buy BDSM gerbils.)

2. What is the last CD you bought?

Derek and the Dominos, Layla. I don't buy new music so much as re-aquire my favorites on whatever new medium they've come up with now.

3. What song is playing right now?

I don't listen to music all that much although I love it dearly. Go figure. Guess it's because I don't have any stored on my computer! (*now that's a thought*)

4. Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

The entire Passion lp by Peter Gabriel. Never saw The Last Temptation of Christ but don't think I need to b/c I just about memorized the soundtrack. PG is a genius!

In terms of a fave PG song, there are lots....Yes, badpatty, Don't Give Up is awesome. Much of the material on Us is permanently locked in my brain pan as well....

Then there are the songs that put me in a special mood, or pull something out of me when I least expect it. To that end: The Boss and that weird little short song about the train. Whooo-hoooo-hooo, his falsetto at the end makes my heart contract!

Loved Steve Winwood's first solo offering, Arc of a Diver. It came out in the ?early 80's? The song Spanish Dancer is killer. Very sinuous, nice to dance to. And it's followed by Night Train which is a great segue for cuttin' the rug. My little house has a long tile hallway. I put it to good use during those tunes!

And for the past week or two, I haven't been able to get most of Stagefright by The Band out of my head, so I've been playing it a bunch. It's Just Another Whistlestop....

5. To whom am I passing this, and why?

I ain't passing it. You wanna cut and paste and send it on to someone? Feel free, it's blogland.

OK Bad Patty? You satisfied, you Creative Loafer you? (Can you guess I used to live in Hot'Lanta?)

The weather report: it's gone from 103 to 105 in the time it took me to cut, paste, and answer those questions. And I'm getting ready to Go Out There and Drive Around. Sick, I know.

ciao for now....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

land of la la

Slowly roasting onward, 9:40 p.m. and still 97 degrees in the Old Pueblo! It was so hot today that I refused to use my car air conditioning....I can be contrary like that. My eyes were sweating!

So after work I grabbed a couple movies (The Notebook and Ray), came home and proceeded to couch potato myself into near oblivion by watching the smarmy Notebook movie. I'll save Ray for tomorrow.

My son's father and stepmother were all set to leave out of Ft. Lauderdale for a cruise for their recent birthdays, when suddenly the male half of the equation found himself in a dead faint at Marshall's. 2 days later, he's still in the hospital with a diagnosis of bleeding ulcers. They're trying to stabilize him with drugs and hope to cauterize the areas, but were unable to figure out exactly where the bleeding is coming from, so (needless to say) the cruise will be postponed until a later date. I'm just happy it all went down before they got on a ship and were miles away from a good hospital! Nothing like a little catastrophic emergency to remind me of the fickle nature of health and life in general. I decided to listen to 2 Buddhist teachings honor of the fickle nature, etc. etc. etc.

So tonight I'm thankful for good health, good dogs, and good cooking. In approximately that order.

ciao for now!

Friday, May 20, 2005

back again

It's slightly less hot now (note color change)--almost 10 p.m. and still 92 degrees, but when it's been as hot as it was today, 92 feels all right. Plus the added benefit of no sun makes this desert evening almost pleasant.

I'm slightly tipsy on Corona with hard lemonade added in a proportion of London they call it "shandy" when they mix beer with lemonade. I've always enjoyed the flavor mix. Most people can't stand it and even the idea of mixing their beer with anything makes them screw up their faces in a most amusing manner.

Mr. Puncture Wound, oooops, I mean Angus the Adorable, has almost learned the command "DON'T BITE!!!" My arms look like I've been out trimming mesquite trees with a dull set of nippers. He's coming along. I keep telling The Old Dog that he won't be a puppy forever; soon enough he will be a grown up, less cute, farting, 3-dimensional rug just like she is. NAW I am kidding, she is still very cute and not much of a gasbag....thankfully!

I don't seem to remember the insanity of her puppyhood in quite the same way that I'm experiencing Angus', but then again he was taken from his mother WAY too early....AND he's a heeler to boot, which from everything I've observed over the last 2 weeks means he's got doggy ADHD. He's settled down a little since I bought some milk to add to his food--I'm pretty much non-dairy and never thought of it until I saw how much bigger his puppy sibs were. So now he's packing on those cow-building calories and looking a lot better for them.

OK, I'm nattering on about dogs and the weather....time to go.

ciao for now!


Five o'clock and one hundred three degrees in the Baked Apple....the dogs and I just shared a strawberry popsicle....and I've bought my first Mike's Hard Lemonade, so it must be summer (or as good as) around here!
So I broke my rule about "before noon." (Addicts change their 'rules' all the time too. I know, because I've done extensive postgraduate empirical research into Addictive, Co-Dependent, and Otherwise Dysfunctional Relationships in the Latter Decades of the 20th Century my "Piled Higher and Deeper" after about 11 years....)
Not much else to report, 'cause I've got to head out to the foothills for an appointment, so catch ya later!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good morning-almost-afternoon

I'm trying to keep this manageable (the true addict's refrain!) by only being online before noon. I've got 18 minutes to finish this post.

I watched a great movie (i.e., sans adventure, thrills, blood, violence, special fx, chase scenes, suspense, etc.--but avec lot of thought-provoking dialogue) last night called Waking Life and must see it again tonight. It did a good job of describing my last few days, which have been spent in a dream-like state that had me confused for awhile. After talking to 2 other friends who have been in Funksville themselves, I quit worrying about it, and will quit apologizing about it too.

I'm a nester and fully claim my rights to my own personal nest that I've created in a city of about a million other souls....after moving back here from the middle of nowhere (15 miles of dirt road in either direction from my old abode), some culture shock is to be expected. Combine that with the old adage, "the older you get, the more like yourself you become," and I'm fully comfortable with whatever permutations of lonerhood I sprout almost daily--be it spending an entire day reading a book, or cancelling one meeting to attend another and then cancelling the 2nd one, or having a diet consisting of PB and B foldovers for about 2 days. (I was dollar-poor, but PB-rich....) Not having any cash is a great way to save money. Har de har har.

Hope YOUR day is going swimmingly and in the right direction too,

ciao for now!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I'm so easily amused....see side bar for details!

Lost in the ether

Hmmmmm. Lost almost the whole day yesterday to finishing a book (Longing For Darkness by China Galland) I'd been poking along with--I did NOT use the computer, I did NOT go shopping, and I only drove my car to the riverbed in the morning (to exhaust the puppy) and then to work later on. The whole of the day was spent drinking coffee, eating egg rolls, and reading the book. Finally I'm done. But I do need to figger out how the hell to make a second column and start adding links to my blogmates, or I fear I'll be blacklisted!

I know any number of you have already done this without too much gnashing of teeth or rending of garments (but hey--you all may be secret garment-renders when no one is looking), so given that I've seen the sidebar, I know it exists and that I can probably do it without too much trouble. Isn't it quaint that I can blog about blog problems?

Sometimes that opposable thumb just means nothing but headaches. Meanwhile, THANKS for the comments, and I hope to be able to link you soon!

ciao for now!

Monday, May 16, 2005


Geez, I'm feeling supremely testy tonight, and it isn't PMS unless that stands for Persistent Mental Suckiness. I've eaten all the junk in the house while trying to add a Blogroll to this thing, but without much success--at the latter, that is; junk-eating always is a smashing success in this house! Sigh.

So, feeling inept, grouchy, and less than bodhisattva-like (one reader has linked me as Taz the Bodhisattva--so very far from the truth, but I'm moron enough to be flattered)--must be time to listen in on a Buddhism class and get my aura adjusted.

Since I get to print whatever I want, I'll add the link for these courses. Asian Classics Institute ( has top-notch online courses in Buddhism--for free. You can stream them or download them, plus find all the written material you need to go along with the spoken classes. It's an amazing endeavor as it involved inputting thousands of pages of Tibetan Buddhist text (the teacher doesn't require you to learn Tibetan, but has the Tibetan words printed right along with the English translation just so it can 'work on your subconscious level')....and many of those texts are now destroyed courtesy of the Chinese occupation. Centuries of irreplaceable knowledge have been burned--the wood blocks from which the old texts were printed were used for FIREWOOD--ahh, don't get me started!

The man who got all this rolling is Geshe Michael Roach, an American-born, fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk who spent 8 years learning Tibetan so he could go study at a monastery in India (the re-incarnated Sera Mey Monastery which used to be in Tibet...) for 22 years. I mean--can I say I've done anything consistently for 22 years, except eat, breathe, and shit? My son is only 21, and I have NOT been a very consistent mother except in title alone....more on that later, maybe.

I have two litmus tests to see how compassionate I'm feeling at any given time--how do I feel about 1) the Chinese government, and 2) George Bush?

On the day that I can honestly say I wish either one or both all the best in the world, I think I'll be enlightened.

But it ain't looking good for today.

ciao for now grrrrr grrrrr grrrrr

have I laughed today?

Sad to say, I don't recall any good belly-shakers today....
...they say a day's not wasted if you laugh, or something, so I better find something amusing pretty soon!!!!

I took time this morning to wrestle with Norton AV--spent $50 and several precious hours downloading, rebooting, troubleshooting--but at long last my virus definitions are up-to-date. If you are not a Symantec fan, please spare yourself the time it takes to rant about it; it's a done deal!

Then it was off to Maggie's (Puppy) Farm yet again--an hour each way--to pick up one more sweet poopie oops I mean PUPPY, for delivery to Frank-the-man-who's-hauling-away-the-junked-truck-from-my-yard. It was a short visit and a loud ride home (except for the interstate--all passengers seem to nod out on the interstate, including my son), and Angus got to cavort with a littermate for an hour because Frank was about an hour late in picking him up. I'm NOT complaining just reporting!!!

[On the way home I listened to Democracy Now, which is a cutting-edge daily news program produced by Pacifica Radio, that you can listen to online at or as I do, on my little hometown community radio station KXCI (which can also be streamed into your home via your computer from If you haven't ever heard Amy Goodman, you owe it to yourself to check it out, before the Patriot Act has us all genuflecting to Big Brother.

Nope, not feeling all that cheerful just now. Would you believe that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is feeling the pressure to bring it's point of view "more into balance" with the republican right wing? If you care to listen to Bill Moyers' address given at a conference this past weekend, I'm sure you can find it at Democracy Now's website.

I'm also going to take the opportunity to stump for KXCI; they are having a fundraiser right now, and I completely support a radio station that has live dj's you can call and talk to IN REAL TIME, who will TAKE REQUESTS! Plus the station provides that hour's worth of honest reporting every week day at 3:00 p.m.--so listen in, and pledge!--end of commercial--]

There was a teensy little part of me that was pleading the case for another puppy here at home, to provide Angus better and more comparable company than either myself or The Old Dog can supply--but the teensy part was quickly brought under control by the practical part. Ah well, what can I say, I can be pretty pragmatic at times. Whoa, how thrilling, I know!

Magz, now a technicolor redhead, was in fact getting ready to leave for the Safeway as I departed. I sure hope those other 4 puppies find good homes. I done my part best as I can.
So I am ready for a good laugh; any takers?

ciao for now.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

good morning!

A friend who lives on 40 acres near Safford (2-1/2 hours away) came to town last night, caravanning (sp?) with the couple who have agreed to caretake her property for the next 'however long'....she is planning to satellite/relocate to Harbin Hot Springs, and wanted to make sure her place was occupied and worked. She's got a bunch of fruit trees and an organic garden and a couple of kitties to take care of. She's off the grid, solar-powered, and her place is great with 2 yurts and the "kitchen bus" (which is an old school bus that has the fridge and stove in it). She and her ex-oldman put a lot of time, effort, and money into making everything solar, but they did it. There's a nice sweat lodge and bath house as well, with an "on-demand" hot water heater that runs on can take a hot shower for as long as your fuel lasts!

It's a sweet place to be if you don't need to go make money somewhere, and/or have the skills to grow your dinner. And this couple she found has a lot of organic gardening experience, so down the road I'm hoping she/they will offer shares in the garden. I buy organic wherever possible, but unfortunately have a brown (if not black) thumb when it comes to gardening, or I'd be turning my back yard into my own salad garden!

She found these folks through some kind of Caretaker Classifieds....they are from Virginia, and this is their first experience of the desert, I think. So all of them parked/camped here last night in my yard (and Angus got a whole new set of temporary chew toys!). I love the hippie connection; I'm aligned with, but not engulfed by it. She wanted to give them an introduction to Tucson's rainbow community, so there was a dance-jam type event last night and then this morning is one day that the local sweat lodge is open to the public. She's taking them there as well as on a tour of some of the local health-food grocery stores.

I'm happy to open my home to people on a temporary basis, knowing first hand about living out of town and how nice it is to have a base of operations for those extended town trips. It was a "good meet" and I hope they will feel comfortable using me as a resource in the future.

Arizona was the first place I'd ever been where I saw folks living however they pleased out in the middle of nowhere, and I liked it. I still like it a lot, and tried it myself for 7-1/2 years in a "community" about an hour away from Maggie's Farm, but found that I'm not quite handy enough on my own to be able to live that way. And it's a hell of a reason to have a man, just b/c I don't have the skills I needed to haul/fix/make whatever on my own. So, given those facts, I decided that I was better off living in the city and visiting the country instead of the other way around.

The other plain fact is that I love what I do, which is massage therapy, which means I need a certain size population to make it my sole source of income. I kept it as a 'side job' for many years, and finally decided I was ready to try it full-time and found that I love it, it loves me; we're a happy couple!

The best way to stop working is to love what you do, and that's just the truth....

In a little while another friend is coming over to give me a Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment, then I'm taking her to lunch as a belated birthday present. Ahhh, Sundays!

ciao for now!

Friday, May 13, 2005

2nd of the day

This appears to be a distinctly habit-forming activity....even though no one seems to be reading it, I feel compelled to come and type more stuff for my own pleasure. Beats smoking crack! (Not that I would know....)

I've got a puppy named Angus. He's a purebred Queensland Heeler, which means that he's under, or just behind, my feet most of the time. He's cute as a bug, but bigger, and fuzzier--and has many more, very sharp teeth. The Old Dog (Sun Bear) and I are busy training him not to use us as chew toys, but the lesson bears repeating. Often, and loudly, and sometimes with a physical consequence as well.

Ah, BABIES! My own human offspring is a fully-legal ManPerson and is off on some incredible adventures this summer, so I'm hanging at the home front with the "mouth on legs" as my son calls him.

I've been leaving my door open at night so that Angus can come and go (or, I suppose, go out and go) as Nature intended. This has been the case since I got tired of letting him out 3 times a night. The nights have been cool enough for me to think he might get chilled out there, as he's missing the puppypackness of his litter, so the Open Door policy was enacted, and it's working in terms of keeping piles and puddles out of the house.

And at 5:30 each morning, Sun Bear comes into my room, jumps on the bed, and Angus is right at her heels--as he must necessarily be--he's a heeler (see above)! Usually I lift him up on the bed and then doze for another 20 minutes or so while he romps with the covers....but today, I found out that his tongue exactly fits up my nostrils! (ACK!) I have to say it's a very unusual now I guess I have to put all of me under the covers for that last little delay before arising into the new day.

He also hasn't managed to completely discriminate between licking and biting, which means that any licks can almost instantaneously turn into "weasles ripped my flesh" (bonus points to anyone who can name the author of that line)....but it sure makes waking up interesting!

ciao for now!

Mumbled musings

Hallo, self! Hallo, other selves out there!
My Buddhism classes teach, among other things, that "other" is no different from "self". Interestingly enough, in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know, this theory is generally substantiated by research done in quantum physics. On the sub-atomic level, there is nothing that is not exactly like any other thing. And most things are not actually "things", they are possibilities that only coalesce into existence once we've pointed our brains at them and "decided" what they are.
Have you ever been driving down the road and seen something out of the corner of your eye, and since you couldn't see what it was, exactly, your brain "created" an image for you? Like maybe an image of something that you "know" doesn't "really" "exist"?
Yeah, that's some good fun!
I do it often. I have pretty bad eyesight and at times my mind creates very very peculiar pictures out of something that, once I get close enough, converges into an everyday object. But I love those flights of fancy....those moments of, "Gee, that looks like an African bushman on the side of I-10 there!!!---oh, it's just a yucca plant, in full bloom. Oooooops."
One tribe of Native Americans used to call twilight "two-light" because it's neither day nor night, and at that time the eyes can often "see" things in a different way.
So today, I'm going to practice "seeing" others as myself.
ciao for now!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Feeling lighter!

Hi everyone, all 2 of yus at least (that would be me and Magz, who as far as I know is the only one who's checking in here with any regularity)!

Gosh, I feel great after yesterday! A nice lady came for a couple of the wooden doors, then a man came for the rest of the doors, and it was one of those "good meets" as we really seemed to enjoy chatting. He loved my puppy Angus and is interested in getting one from Ms. Magz, which made me very happy. As an official Auntie of these pups (I was the assistant midwife on the day of their birth), I'd much rather see them go to someone I've at least had a minor acquaintance with, instead of schlepping them off to the Magz has threatened to do on more than one occasion.

At any rate, he got very interested in the truck as well, and is coming back tomorrow to put some air-holding tires on it so that next week he can haul it home to Red Rocks...wherever that is. Geography was never my strong I haven't a clue where it is, just that it's within a couple hours of Tucson. That's true of a lot of places--little funky out of the way country towns--and I'm ashamed to say I know nothing about any of them, except a couple that I've frequented in the last several years of my life.

Later on another guy showed up and we loaded the dryer and range onto his pickup--and now my back yard is ready for the weed whacker....the graythorn digger....and most especially the cute hunky landscape architect (where oh where might he be????)!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

how peculiar

I just posted a blog entry that failed to appear... is this normal?
I was praising the Tucson-based Freecycle program, where people post what they have (must be FREE) and other people come get it.
I've got an assortment of potentially useful crap ugly-ing up my back yard. Just moved into this place around the 1st of the year and finally am getting around to dealing with the yard...which could be (Will Be, think positive!) awesome, minus the accumulation!
FREECYCLE began in Tucson and has spread world-wide. If you are interested just go to the Yahoo Groups home and enter Freecycle in the search engine there. There are groups in most major cities.
OK now this is going to sound pathetically redundant if the original post shows up, so I'll quit for now....
wish my life were more interesting, oh well!

morning ramble

I'm taking the day off to get rid of a bunch of crap that is lying around in the back yard of the house I moved into a few months ago. In case you didn't know, there's a great Yahoo group called FREECYCLE in which people offer stuff they have for free. You place your offer, you get tons of email, and somebody comes and takes it away. FREECYCLE is a wonderful idea that started right here in !Tucson, Arizona! and has spread worldwide. Just go to Yahoo Groups Home and do a search for "freecycle" and you will get an idea of how many communities have caught on.
My extra back yard could be a fabulous shangri-la, but right now it's quite far from that condition. There's an old burned out truck with some great custom tool boxes mounted on the side panels, a couple of random appliances on pallets, and some potentially nice wooden doors with glass panes. Not being the handy type myself, I've no use for these things--but I know someone out there does--it's just a matter of connecting the dots.
The first day I posted the items I got 34 emails! Hope everything is gone by tonight, fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

One step at a time

Oh Yippee! I get to play with fonts and colors--this is getting more fun by the minute!

I spent my morning walk time today composing "my next blog entry." I can see this could become somewhat of a habit......

I spent the day yesterday down at Maggie's Farm ( with my dear friend Magz, who in the past week has sustained the kind of personal losses that might knock me down if they were delivered in a year's time instead of a week's. She's just like me, only completely different, and spending time together both heals and stretches the 2 of us.

Magz likes activity about as much as I like solitude, but the extreme ends of either condition will push both of us back towards the midline. She's got so much going on in her world, and in her mind; whereas my work and temperment incline me just as far in the opposite direction. Still, we share enough common ground to have our sisterhood deeply ingrained, and can count on each other when we get pinched in a serious way.

So we talked, computered, and then went to town for a variety of activities--post office, bank, feed store (hitting the high spots). We ate largely at the Chinese restaurant, and continued on to participate in the wildly popular common pursuit of Retail Therapy; namely, we WENT SHOPPING at her town's newest dollar store for longer than either of us thought possible. We strolled down every aisle, had a duel with pool noodles, filled a cart to overflowing, and entertained the staff to boot!

It wasn't what we did, it was that we did it together. I hope getting gaga was a sweet breath of respite from the bardo of her last couple of weeks.

Feeling done for now, but I can always come back later.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Good morning world

Thanks to my galpal Magz I've got my very own blog now. Sheesh. Where's the swelling musical introduction?