Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Woman of the Hour

Here's a photo of the inimitable Mrs. Gouker who turns 30 today. We celebrated the birthday last evening with a cake and a potful of Chicken and Dumplings from the kitchens of Mother O'Reilly.

Catherine is the trunk of our family tree--the rest of us are just hangers-on. She dances along and we just follow behind taking orders and trying to keep up. She was born bossy...and funny...and smart, which is the dangerous portion of the child.
Two of her recent watercolors are included here and a photo of the Port of Tacoma just because I like it(the port of tacoma, that is.).

Happy Birthday, little girl.
Your mother loves you.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cats Can't Spit

I remember the day that Maggie wrote and told me that Shadow's backside had had to be reconstructed...
Ha! I thought, that will never happen my very intelligent Snuggs O'Reilly--he's too smart to put his ass in a sling.
Another instance of me being wrong about something...
Snugg's fuzzy butt is in a sling--and naked as well.
Like everyone that goes to any sort of hospital he's had his last shred of dignity removed.
And twice each day I get to jam a pill down his throat--so I'm glad that cats can't spit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


the lesson of the moth

Don Marquis 1927

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before I could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself


Monday, February 9, 2009

Catholics: cooking the books

You know, I remember indulgences...little prayers and assignments to do that would get you time out of Purgatory. I thought it was stupid then--its like plea-bargaining with God.
And now its back!
Oh, for God's sake...

...and don't get all over me about that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Satriani Review

If Joe Satriani had been born into a world without guitars he would've had to invent one.
I stand in awe of the people who just HAVE to make music--they can't help it.
Many long years ago (but not before Les Paul--who I think is still alive) there was a concert--I think it was called the Black and White concert--with Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen and KD Lang and Bonnie Raitt and god knows who all else--lots of people.
I'll find some video...
They ended the show, I believe, with CandyMan--and it went on forever. You could just lie back and soak it up.
Joe puts me in mind of that--
Thank you for that, Mi Hermana.
As long as we can listen to good music played by people who love it--its a good old world.

The End of the Road or getting close, anyway.

...And I couldn't be happier

See the old Portuguese girl...heading down the last lap to retirement.

I'm working one or two shifts a week--sometimes.
It's heaven.
Follow the link to an article about 'Plan B'.

Well, I always knew I wouldn't die rich and I'm right on target--they've even made it easier for me.

The medical system where I am employed has decided to get rid of the travel nurses because they're too expensive--they're hiring 'older' nurses who are coming back to work because all their money is gone.
Ha! I beat them to it.
No benefits, crummy hours, can't see, have arthritis but we're out there doing it.
As long as I can make a couple of extra bucks now and then, I'm happy. And it'll be a few years yet before the nursing ranks increase enough so that the young, healthy (and less expensive) gals and guys muscle us out.
It's a laugh riot at work--I just can't handle the 600 pounders any more. Or the 6' 4" 300 pound men who come in whining that their knees need to be replaced.
I walk into the room and they look at the stubby, gray-haired RN and say: "You'll need help"
Well, there is no help, Bubala. It's me and you, so marshal your resources.
That's motivation to make those new knees work. And maybe motivation to ease off on the beer and chips.
You know when they say 'It's nice to be needed'? In this day and age it is.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Music Appreciation Day!

In honor of my niece (who still has days and days before she turns thirty) and my nephew (who helped me wake up).

Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen, together on a 'Starry Night'.

As Water Droplets Erode Stones..... do small efforts create very significant results.

My husband and I are a slightly odd pair. He's a devout Lutheran, I am a contented non-believer. He's a staunch conservative Republican whilst I am an increasingly progressive liberal, with no party affiliation.

And yet we have loved one another for 29 years, love that's like the Rock of Ages, because we are kind to one another and in complete agreement on what's really important; Home and hearth, family and friends.

In the year 2000, I voted for Gore and Kurt voted for Bush. But I was frankly more enthralled in the machinations and the insanities of that fabulously hilarious election than I was of it's eventual outcome.

By 2002, Mr. Bush was making me a little hot under the collar. By 2003, I was hopping MAD! (I still gag a little when I see that picture of him, resplendent in flight suit and codpiece, posing on the deck of a ship where there would hang the sign "Mission Accomplished" to commemorate a victory in a war that is ongoing almost six years later.)

My fingers began to fly! I wrote to every politician, publication and suitable institution to voice my protest. I issued strongly worded rebuttals to all those lunk-headed, hoo-rah, bigoted emailers who had the balls to clog up my inbox. And I made connections (Rich Simon, Sandy Randall...) that I never would have made otherwise. My like-minded sister started this blog, and I sent blog links like a cyber blizzard throughout the ether of the Net.

Kurt noticed my activity but didn't comment on it too much, except to smile wanly when I ran into the bedroom yelling, "Hey, I got a REAL reply from the Congressman", or, "Look! They published my letter in the New York Times!" As it happens, his Lutheran pastor is my political ally, so he was kind of getting it from both sides. But Kurt loves us both and has never been snide.

Now it's February of 2009 and President Obama is pushing a nearly one trillion dollar economic stimulus package to jump-start the economy. (Which is why you should always drive a standard transmission, by the way.) While my husband is not against a bill that would support housing and improved infrastructure, he's convinced that we are rushing in a blind panic, that there is too much 'pork' in the bill and that we should discard it and start anew. He may be right. I haven't studied the bill.

Last night he said to me, "Back when you were so busy on the computer, trying to get Obama elected, who were you writing to?" I realized that he had come to believe that I, and all my subversive family and friends, had actually made a difference! (As I firmly believe we did.)

So, I told him. I said that he should write to our Congressman and Senators, to the NY Times, to the Washington Post and to the White House. He didn't think those were good ideas at first, because he thought it would be a waste of time to write to Democrats. I told him that it would be a real waste of time if he was just going to write to people who already agreed with him. Our Democratic Congressman, John Hall, might ignore a letter written by one dissident Republican, but he can't ignore letters written by 3,000 dissident Republicans! I told him that he has to participate in government every day, to some degree or another, and not just consider his duty done by walking into an election booth every four years. He may not have voted for the present administration, but they are his representatives as surely as they are mine, and he has the right and the responsibility to voice his opinion. Because that's what America is all about.

- Maggie (Finally!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Love Paul

...he usually says just the right thing.

Re: Bailouts

Bailout/Stimulus text per OpenCongress

Here's the text of the Bill.
Thank Croesus, I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist next week...and I still have health insurance.

Getting busy....

Tantrum--I'll Keep it Brief

Let the banks go!! Cut them loose. Millstones...Albatrosses...Balls and Chains.

Take the hundreds of billions--subtract the number of multimillionaire taxpayers of the USA and then divide by the number of US taxpayers who have a million or less and divide it evenly amongst them--the million or less people, that is.
No one will need credit for awhile, anyway.

BUT: Where is this $$ coming from? Are we borrowing it from China? Give it back to China--it's NOT OUR MONEY.

America is running on empty.

Time to cut the crap.

Where is the text of this bailout, anyway? I'm going to read it and pull out the stupid parts--I'll post them here.