Friday, November 27, 2009

Cake Pops

Daughter-in-law, Autumn brought these wee cakies yesterday. 
"Weecakies are delicious cake truffles on a stick made from fresh ingredients, dipped and decorated in fabulous Callebaut Chocolate. These are not ordinary cake pops! Each and every Weecakie is as wonderful to look at as it is to eat."   SOOoooo delicious. 

Favorite Yogi Berra'isms'

"He must have made that before he died." -- Referring to a Steve McQueen movie.
"I want to thank you for making this day necessary." -- On Yogi Berra Appreciation Day in St. Louis in 1947.
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."
"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."
"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"A nickel isn't worth a dime today."
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
"It gets late early out there." -- Referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at the stadium.
Once, Yogi's wife Carmen asked, "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" Yogi replied, "Surprise me."
"Do you mean now?" -- When asked for the time.
"90% of the putts that are short don't go in."
"I made a wrong mistake."
"Thanks, you don't look so hot yourself." -- After being told he looked cool.
"Yeah, but we're making great time!" -- In reply to "Hey Yogi, I think we're lost."
"If the fans don't come out to the ball park, you can't stop them." 
(another version of "they stayed away in droves")
"How long have you known me, Jack? And you still don't know how to spell my name." -- Upon receiving a check from Jack Buck made out to "bearer."
"It ain't the heat; it's the humility."
"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
"I didn't really say everything I said."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Love Funky Restaurants

I love funky restaurants so when friend, Marie offered to take me to breakfast at the No Worries Café and Grill, I was all in. The name really says it all. You feel like you’re escaping into a secret hidden place neslted at the bottom of an off-ramp halfway between Salt Lake and Park City. It’s cozy as well as tasteful and full of smiling people. Truckers and regulars have been coming here for years.

This is manager/chef Dante Eggan. He makes everything from fresh ingredients. Even their daily burger special is fresh, bought three times a week from a certified Angus dealer.
Although his training and expertise lies in four and five star restaurants, Dante prefers cooking in the intimacy of No Worries to some of the larger more sophisticated establishments he’s worked at.  “I like to get out on the floor and talk with customer, to know who likes what, I like the personal interaction.”

This is wattriess, Barbara. She really takes customers under her wing (note picture, yuck yuck). She was most pleasant and friendly. I had the Breakfast Burrito and Marie had French Toast. Marie says she comes here for family Birthdays, she loves it so much. I can see why. We stayed there for a REALLY LONG TIME and nobody made us feel like we should leave.                 

(Sno Worries - photo from website)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Time To Talk Turkey

Time to talk turkey. About addictions. Nothing to do with Thanks-giving, except that thankfully, I'm not alone. We're all addicted. Some of us to routine, traditions, food, O2; others to drugs, alcohol, drama, relationships, drama in relationships - you get the idea. One of the shelves in my bookcase is dedicated to books about addiction. Have they helped? A little.

And now the spewing forth, the splattering that is so common to confessional blogs. My drugs of choice: food and drama. There, I said it. No one who really knows me will be surprised.
was very nice
for Adam and his madam,
until they filched the fruit and took the fall.
They lost their place
and fell from grace
and you can bet we can’t forget
that eating is the oldest sin of all.
Victor Buono, Head
LimesNow  openly says she "eats very little," and if you look at Standing On My Head, you know she can't possibly eat very much. How DO you DO that? I know the times I have been most successful at curbing my enthusicastic appetites (for both food and drama) are when I subscribe to the Bob-Newhart-as-psychiatrist-on-Mad-TV-method.

This method really works (for a while). Toss the books, the counselling, the wallowing, just "STOP IT!" After decades of fruitless and carbless struggles, I now know that dieting doesn't work. The times I have girdled up my loins and regimented my intake have always been followed by exhilerating, joyous consumptive celebrations. Follow The Tao. Be with what is. Go with the flow. Wu-Wei Wu 无为. I find that since I started blogging, I don't feel like eating as much. I know it's narcissistic, but in a good way. I am exploring parts of me that I barely admitted existed and the need to distract myself with food (or drama) has lessened. Of course, now my addiction is blogging. (look for next post: blogging about bloggers who blog about blogging)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Complex Love

I begin the one-mile walk to Mom's house to check on her. I love this walk, but I don't enjoy seeing her diminish daily. She is not going gently into that good night and neither am I. When people ask how she is doing, she says, "I'm still kicking, just not quite as high."

I notice the beauty of everything so much more now through the awareness of Mother's frailty. That's one of the reasons I take my digital camera everywhere I go. I see this tree and it reminds me of Mom. The coldness, the green bark hanging on to summer. It is wrenching to be in this stage of life and death with Mother, but there is also a certain beauty to it.

When I get to her house, she tells me she can't figure out how to turn off the gas stove so I do it for her and add another worry to my list.  She has also forgotten to take 3 of the compartments of pills I have set out and labeled for her.

Mother has always eaten very sensibly and been very health-conscious. Now, at 95, she wonders why she was so careful. Her husband and all of her close friends are gone.  The image I have of my mother in my mind's eye will always look something like this picture. I will always remember her sense of humor and the sweet torture of listening to her laugh with Dad while my sisters and I tried to get to sleep. She has always had cute little sayings that are so unique like, "Why don't we whistle and start over? " or "Clean is a good color," and this phrase that she can say incredibly fast, "You dirty rotten, turkey-trottin', fly-blowed, maggot-eatin', hammered-down, sawed-off piece of sewer pipe and California peanut!"

I want to firm up some of her history before she gets more forgetful so I ask her about her grandmother and why she was called, "Mungie." She explains that Enid, the oldest grandchild came up with this pronunciation of Grandma. She remembers that the family made fun of how Mungie said that food was "good tasted," and no one could talk her out of it.

Mungie was a very strong woman who crossed the plains with her parents. Mom said Mungie had a way about her that made her, as a little girl want to open up to her more than her own Mother. Mungie took turns staying with different members of the family after her husband shot himself because he couldn't bear the pain of his stomach cancer. Mother was about 18 when this happened and her mother , who we called Nama, told her of the painful ambulance ride she took with her father (Mungie's husband).  As he was dying, he whispered to her, "I want you to know that I love you all, " and then he died. (below, Nama,as young woman and with first great-grand-child)                                                                                        

 All Souls
Did someone say that there would be an end,
An end, Oh, an end, to love and mourning?
Such voices speak when sleep and waking blend,
The cold bleak voices of the early morning
When all the birds are dumb in dark November -
Remember and forget, forget, remember.
After the false night, warm true voices, wake!
Voice of the dead that touches the cold living,
Through the pale sunlight once more gravely speak.
Tell me again, while the last leaves are falling.
"Dear child, what has been once so interwoven
Cannot be raveled, nor the gift ungiven."
Now the dead move through all of us still glowing,
Mother and child, lover and lover mated,
Are wound and bound together and enflowing.
What has been plaited cannot be unplaited -
Only the strands grow richer with each loss
And memory makes kings and queens of us.
Dark into light, light into darkness, spin.
When all the birds have flown to some real haven,
We who find shelter in the warmth within,
Listen, and feel new-cherished, new-forgiven,
As the lost human voices speak through us and blend
Our complex love, our mourning without end.
May Sarton

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I taste my eyes drinking
the specter
of deception's storehouse,
I cannot contain the edges of my doubt,
or hold the radiance of your elegant lie.
There is nothing to say,
and nothing to say it with.
 My skin has become
 the burnished membrane
of hard devotion.
© 2010 by Kathryn Feigal. All rights reserved. 
(inspired by Jonas' post and comments: click here)

Ready For Winter

This hat was just delivered to me tonight by Holly. If you would like one custom-made or would like to buy a ready-made one, go here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

May The Force Be With You

I love Star Wars action figures.  I love the movies too, but my children would say I love the action figures more.  You would think this collection would be in one of their houses, but no. It is in mine. I have three boys. How does one divide up a collection like this? And when the youngest started pulling the heads off and interchanging them, it became sacrilegious and that settled it. It's MY collection. I mended all the misplaced heads and broken legs and protected them like they were my children.

These are quotes from Joseph Campbell's  The Power Of Myth (I put them here to justify my adoration of the characters):
"Certainly Star Wars has a valid mythological perspective. It shows the state as a machine and asks, 'Is the machine going to crush humanity or serve humanity?' Humanity comes not from the machine but from the heart. What I see in Star Wars is the same problem that Faust gives us: Mephistopheles, the machine man, can provide us with all the means, and is thus likely to determine the aims of life as well. But of course the characteristic of Faust, which makes him eligible to be saved, is that he seeks aims that are not those of the machine. Now, when Luke Skywalker unmasks his father, he is taking off the machine role that the father has played. The father was the uniform. That is power, the state role." have to salute Luke Skywalker in Star Wars for that moment when he says, 'Turn off the computer and trust your feelings'....he's saying to turn off your machine and do it yourself, follow your feelings, trust your feelings. And when he did, he achieved success, and the audience broke out into applause...It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity - because that's where the life is, from the heart - or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called 'intentional power?' When Ben Kenobi says, 'May the Force be with you,' he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions...Ben Kenobi says, 'The Force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.' The force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play, it has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man."
(the interviews between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers which became the book, took place in 1985 and 1986 at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Opera To Die For

The first opera I ever saw: La Boheme.  Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. I was sixteen. In the last act, Mimi died flat on her back.  Singing. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw or heard. I went gaga (sorry, Lady). I saved the program and vowed I would do this one day.  Die dramatically and beautifully. Singing what I felt until the last breath and beyond. Ignoring moral and social laws and having people applaud me for it. Count me in.

It wasn't until I was older and studying and performing operas that I began to notice that while both men and women enjoyed the same liberation on stage, more women were dying because of it than men. This disturbed me. But the music was still beautiful.

I have stewed about this duality in opera for years. I think women in opera are archetypes.  Carmen is the image of a woman who refuses masculine definitions and must pay for it with her life, much like Thelma And Louise (now that would make a great opera!) Women are mere symbols on stage. They are expendable.  Men are substantial and real.

I am often taken back to my first opera and Mimi's singing death. Do women die in opera because it is the only way they can be reborn? As Mimi dies, she is reborn simultaneously as she sings - the music is the resurrection, the redemption of her dying spirit. Sound waves are infinite so Mimi doesn't die, because her music lives on; the sound waves are captured in memory - on tape - and stream on endlessly in the universe.

But should women in opera have to settle for being eternal wispy waves? They are created to be victims in an art form that demands their submission or death for the sake of good closure to the story.

Let's go through the list: Aida is buried alive when made to betray her lover rather than her country. Carmen loves whomever she wants and dies for it. Desdemona is killed by Othello because she is too blond for her black Moorish husband. Too fair, too trusting, too loyal. Violetta dies because she breaks away from her courtesan image and actually loves and allows herself to be loved. Tosca, an opera singer, jumps to her death because she has been tricked into causing the death of her true love. She also breaks a few rules when she kills the chief of police. Butterfly, an innocent Japanese girl who has been taught by her culture to love only one man, is asked to give him up because another culture doesn't consider it a real marriage -  then traditional honor codes require her suicide. Does this sound fair?

Men do die in operas, but it is because they are losers. They are defeated and weak. Or they are lame, hunchback, foreign, old...MEN WHO ARE LIKE WOMEN. The triumphant men in opera are fathers, kings uncles, lovers. The authorities are always triumphant...and so are Churches.

So opera reflects society. Opera was born in courts where Kings had total control. In this era, opera was aimed primarily at the middle class. It was how moral codes were disseminated. It was how women were told what their role should be.

In the Renaissance, women who sang in public or who tried to publish their poetry were regarded as courtesans and were pressured to grant sexual favors in exchange for being permitted to participate in cultural productions.

I think a similar phenomenon exists today. I have witnessed situations in my limited singing career where men in power demanded sex from aspiring sopranos in exchange for roles. Later, these same men would condemn those women for having slept their way through their careers.

In history and everywhere in the world today there is a strong suggestion that women need to know their place. Remember the Gulf War? The pictures of the Saudi Arabian people trying to escape the bombings? Women, who are not allowed to drive, actually had the nerve to get into cars to try and save themselves from being blown to bits. Later, they had to stand trial for this offense and after a lot of discussion, were reprimanded and released to the care of their fathers and husbands.

So, there are sociological implications to a woman's role anywhere, including opera.

Why do we so blindly, or deafly accept all the killing of women in opera? - (and the ones I have listed are just a smattering of the many women slain in opera..)

Is it because the beautiful music makes it all right? Is it OK to kill someone if you have an amazing musical arrangement?

Does the transcendent nature of music let us escape logical argumentation?

Maybe women die in operas because they have not seen to their creative needs - they are living others' rules - society's, families - MEN'S.

As I have thought about these sociological implications, I think this killing off of women in opera could represent the death of the soul for both men and women. Call the soul what you like: identification with the wild, hope for the future, passionate curiosity, Stanley.....This is that nebulous thing that I'm after in opera -  through  all music - all art. I'll do whatever it takes to maintain the vitality and endurance of the human spirit - and even die on stage, singing about it.
see "Opera, Or The Undoing of Women," by Catherine Clement

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two-Day Self-Imposed Silent Retreat In Midway, Utah

Pot Rock Collection - Don't Take Any -
In the Olden Days, 
Neighbors Shot Each Other Over Disputed Pot Rock Ownership -
Pot Rock Buildings In Town (below)
  Now Take A Quick 'Scroll' With Me Down Midway (Memory) Lane

 Irrigation Gate
Watercress Grows Freely

Only One Democrat In Town

Yippee! The Town Finally Gets A Grocery Store

Metal Works Shop Where Angle Irons Were Made 
That I Used To Support Beams After I Jacked Up Cantilevered Edges of Cabin
(it's a long story)

Bonner's Policy: Turn No Cat Away
(yes, it smells like the Cat House at the zoo)

The Bridges of Wasatch County

"I'd like to take a walk ALONE along the Provo River - 
This screwdriver should be enough protection."

"...and the hoary frost of heaven, who has gendered it?"
(Job 38:29)

River Foam Among The Logs

Where's Elmo the Fisherman?

I would like to decay beautifully
like this crocodile log.

Please, random attacker, if my screwdriver fails, 
lay me out in this field, next to this log -
let me be earth.