Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Bat Cave

After my early bird swim I was energized for the day. But by 12:30PM it was raining and I needed a nap. I went to the bat cave, our bedroom with a black curtain. Romeo slept with me. I slept well.

Indoor Kebabs


I just added cayenne to my seltzer and apple cider. Delicious!

I Love Rebecca Solnit

Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice. To love someone is to put yourself in their story, or figure out how to tell yourself their story.



There is, I hope, a thesis in my work: we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody-two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it’s just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats—maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats—but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.


Cooking in my Sleep

I took a nap in the bat cave. I was out cold in 2 seconds. No Joke. When I count laps I go 2x as far. When I woke up I was already imagining what to cook using yesterdays aldente chick peas, rice, spinach, garlic, chianti, olive oil, toasted almonds, cumin, Adobo, soy sauce, chili flakes and chopped onions and cranberries.

After I made this I googled to see if anyone has made the same combo.

Early Bird Swim

The early bird weekend swimmers were all in the water at 8 AM. I arrived at 8:15 and swam myself into a happy mood. The Sun was in the pool and I dreamed about my 55 gallon aquarium. Peter's sister in law Linda told me she got all of her equipment for her 55 gallon tank at W-Mart.

When I walked home two big fat felines were yelling at each other in my yard.

Margot Fonteyn, a documentary

Belly Dancing Basics

Genius Keith Munslow

New Song
Coffee Breath

Waffle Pancake Happiness

You can always tell when I am euphoric because I want to have a breakfast of pancakes and waffles.

My waffles are made with buttermilk or yogurt and whole wheat flour eaten outside at the picnic table!
Choose your measure:

Volume Ounces Grams

1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil


Preheat your iron while you make the waffle batter.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter or oil.
Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy; that's OK.
Cook the waffles as directed in the instructions that came with your waffle iron.
Yield: 3 generous round Belgian-style (deep-pocket) 7" waffles.

Classic Sourdough Waffles or Pancakes

Crisp, feathery light, and with a delightful, mild tang, these waffles evoke memories of Goldrush days in California, when sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and bread were served to miners morning, noon, and night. This recipe also makes great pancakes.

1 dozen 8" waffles or about 2 dozen medium pancakes

Choose your measure:

Volume Ounces Grams

Overnight sponge

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed/discard

Waffle or pancake batter

all of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda


To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup. Note: This is a good opportunity to feed the remainder, if necessary.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup unfed starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.
Cover and let rest at cool room temperature (about 65°F to 70°F) for about 12 hours, or overnight.
In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.
Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.
Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Serve waffles immediately, to ensure crispness. Or hold in a warm oven till ready to serve.
Yield: 1 dozen 8" waffles or about 2 dozen medium pancakes.

Tips from our bakers

Want to make pancakes? Simply cook the batter in rounds on a griddle, rather than in a waffle iron.
For whole-grain waffles, substitute our white whole wheat flour or Premium whole wheat flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour.

Private Marathon Dedicated to Friends Fighting Cancer

marathon for friends fighting cancer

DetermiNation Endurance Series

DetermiNation is the American Cancer Society’s event endurance program, spanning a variety of sports including cycling, running, hiking, yoga, and more. The collective efforts of the dedicated athletes who use their fortitude to help raise funds to take down cancer are nothing short of amazing.

Join DetermiNation and you’re not just participating in an endurance event. You’re pushing yourself to help save lives from cancer. Just like hard work goes into your event training, the American Cancer Society gives our all through things like breakthrough research, a 24/7 cancer helpline, and free rides to chemo. Together, we’ll tackle every course, rally every community, and stay absolutely relentless in the fight against cancer.


Octavio Paz

The Labyrinth of Solitude
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Labyrinth of Solitude (Spanish: El laberinto de la soledad) is a book-length essay by Octavio Paz, first published in 1950. One of his most famous works, it consists of nine parts: "The Pachuco and other extremes", "Mexican Masks", "The Day of the Dead", "The Sons of La Malinche", "The Conquest and Colonialism", "From Independence to the Revolution", "The Mexican Intelligence", "The Present Day" and "The Dialectic of Solitude". After 1975 some editions included the essay "Post data", which discusses the massacre of hundreds of Mexican students in 1968. (Paz abandoned his position as ambassador in India in reaction to this event.) The essays are predominantly concerned with the theme of Mexican identity and demonstrate how, at the end of the existential labyrinth, there is a profound feeling of solitude.[1] As Paz argues:

Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone, and the only one who seeks out another. His nature – if that word can be used in reference to man, who has 'invented' himself by saying 'no' to nature – consists of his longing to realize himself in another. Man is nostalgic and in search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.[2]

Paz observes that solitude is responsible for the Mexican's perspective on death, fiesta, and identity. Death is celebrated but at the same time repelled because of the uncertainty behind it. As for the fiestas, they express a sense of communality, crucially emphasizing the idea of not being alone and in doing so, help to bring out the true Mexican that is usually hidden behind a mask of self-denial. This represents the way in which the Mexicans have inherited two distinct cultures, the Spanish and the Indigenous, but by denying one part of their identity, they become stuck in a world of solitude.

From the chapter "The Conquest and Colonialism" onwards, Paz makes a detailed analysis of Mexican history beginning with a look at the Pre-Columbian culture and in particular reflecting on the 1910 Revolt. In his analysis, he expresses how the humanists take a primary role as the intellectuals of the country. His major criticism is that to be an intellectual it is necessary to distance oneself from the subject that you are studying so that the argument remains critical yet rational and objective. As the intellectual gets more involved with the political environment, his arguments can often become influenced by other factors such as political motivation and pressure to conform.

"Song for Nobody" by Thomas Merton.

Thomas Merton: "Song for Nobody"

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.

(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.

"Song for Nobody" by Thomas Merton. Text as published in The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton (New Directions, 1977).

Donna Hilbert

I believe in the Tuesdays
and Wednesdays of life,
the tuna sandwich lunches
and TV after dinner.
I believe in coffee with hot milk
and peanut butter toast,
Rosé wine in summer
and Burgundy in winter.

I am not in love with holidays,
birthdays—nothing special—
and weekends are just days
numbered six and seven,
though my love
dozing over TV golf
while I work the Sunday puzzle
might be all I need of life
and all I ask of heaven.

"Credo" by Donna Hilbert, from The Green Season (World Parade Books, 2011). © Donna Hilbert. Text presented here by poet submission.

Wind Solar

Haruki Murakami

The World's Best Guide To Cold & Open Water Swimming

Review: A book about swimming that is not about swimming
LoneSwimmer / February 17, 2012

I’ve covered a few of swimming books a long time ago, two of the big books of our sport Kathy Watson’s The Crossing and Peggy Lee Dean’s Open Water Swimming and Bill Sweetenham’s Championship Swim Training. A few of the guys are excellent at covering open water swimming books, particularly Mark Robson‘s links of the classics of our sport and Evan recently had a great review of Wind, Waves and Sunburn.

I’ve recently read and really enjoyed Haruki Murakami’s short What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I’ve long had an interest in books about adventure and endurance and have found wisdom about swimming in many books in other areas.

Murakami is Japan’s most famous and successful novelist and he’s been a marathon runner all his life. Anyone who has spent thirty years at endurance running is sure to have words of wisdom and being an author, just as important, they will be able to articulate something so many of us struggle with.

It struck me immediately that in much of the book you could replace the word running with swimming and it perfectly would describe long distance swimming.

Since I have an e-book version, it was easy to verify and display this hypothesis. I just converted the file type and replaced the words run, runner and running with swim, swimmer and swimming.

One swimmer told of a mantra his older brother, also a swimmer, had taught him which he’s pondered ever since he began swimming. Here it is: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re swimming and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the swimmer himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon swimming.

The author also has done some triathlons, so he actually talks about swimming a bit, but from the triathlon point of view, which may be of use to triathletes and beginning open water racers, (he talks about the full contact nature of open water racing), but there is an irony that when he is speaking about swimming it is of less interest to me.

Murakami prefers marathons and the book is partly his writing life and how he finds running essential to maintain his energy levels for what he considers both a physically and mentally tough job, that of writing but it is also partly about training for a specific race, the New York Marathon. Of particular interest to me was his description, written just days after finishing of running a 64 mile Ultramarathon in Japan. I wrote my own English Channel description up pretty quickly, something now everyone does, and Finbarr recently mentioned in his guest article, the details fade. Writing my own account down was one of the most personally valuable things I’ve ever done, (and no it still hasn’t appeared on anywhere publicly) and have given me access to my feelings and memories, in the way that writing down a dream immediately after you wake gives you entry back into your dream state.

I found a great convergence between Murakami’s description of his ultramarathon and my own English Channel. Once again I’ve changed runner to swimmer and changed the distance to the distance of my Channel swim.

Either way, when I look back on that [swim] now I can see that it had a lot of meaning for me as a [swimmer]. I don’t know what sort of general significance swimming [forty] miles by yourself has, but as an action that deviates from the ordinary yet doesn’t violate basic values, you’d expect it to afford you a special sort of self-awareness. It should add a few new elements to your inventory in understanding who you are. And as a result, your view of your life, its colors and shape, should be transformed. More or less, for better or for worse, this happened to me, and I was transformed.

I’ve used that word transformed myself previously, though I’ve used other words like redeemed also. The value of this book for any endurance athlete should be obvious. It’s short, concisely written and in a very clear and almost deceptively simple voice. I highly recommend it to distance swimmers because as we know the mechanics are less important than the mind. Knowledge of or interest in running is utterly unnecessary.

Deliberately Fermented Foods

Thinking Outside the Box

What box?

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

Read this book by Ruby K. Payne

Humans of New York

“There was a small river near our village, and my father taught me to swim while we bathed. Before long I was sneaking to the river after school. I’d swim for hours every day. My father would physically pull me out of the water at dinnertime. But my village was very traditional and conservative. Adult women weren’t allowed to swim. So I had to quit when I turned fifteen. I didn’t begin again until my twenties. By that time I’d moved to the city, and there was no female instructor at our public pool. So I volunteered. During my lessons, I kept noticing an autistic boy who would stand along the edge and watch. Nobody wanted to teach him. The male coaches were afraid of being bitten and scratched. But I could tell that he was so curious, so I began to play with him. I splashed him. Slowly I touched him. I’d hold his leg and pull him through the water, teaching him how to breathe in and breathe out. He’d climb on my back and hold my neck while I did the strokes. He did bite me. And hit me. And sometimes he’d squeeze my neck too hard. But it was never malicious. In his mind he thought he was doing the right thing. It took a long time, but slowly he learned how to swim. Now he comes running to me whenever he sees me. That experience gave me a weakness for kids with disabilities. I’ve taught over two hundred so far. There is no government support. Nobody comes to see these children. So I go to the villages and seek them out. I teach them to swim in ponds and rivers. When they feel happy, I feel happy. Recently I’ve started my own academy, just for them.”(Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Garlic Buttermilk Marinade for Grilling

I made the marinade....I used buttermilk, molasses and soy sauce garlic and rooster sauce.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Police Codes

Police Codes
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This website has not been updated since 2005. Some sections such as "Pet Poisons & Other Hazards" still contain valuable information, but many links and time-sensitive material on other parts of the site are WAY out of date. Watch for an entirely redesigned and updated PullmanUSA website in early 2010. This page may not be included in the redesign.
Pullman Police, Fire & Rescue Response Codes | Agency & Officer ID's | 12-Hour vs 24-Hour Time | Phonetic Alphabet | Police Ten-Codes | Police, Fire, Rescue & Ambulance Frequencies

Pullman Police, Fire & Rescue Response Codes

Pullman Police normally use the "names" of the response codes, while the Pullman Fire Department uses the code numbers

Code - Code Name

1 - Alpha - NO emergency lights or siren, conform to speed limits and traffic signals. No urgency
2 - Bravo - Emergency lights, NO siren
3 - Charlie - Emergency lights and siren when necessary
4 - Delta - Emergency lights and steady siren
5 - Echo - Emergency lights and siren. Life in immediate peril

Agency & Officer ID's
These are the ID's used for radio traffic

Agency - Pullman Police
Agency ID - Pullman
Officer ID Range - 400's
Officer ID's:

401 - Weatherly [chief]; 406 - Hargraves; 407 - Tennant; 408 - Sorem; 410 - Dornes; 449 - Peringer: 451 - Sontgerath; 452 - Orsborn; 453 - Harris; 455 - Umbright; 456 - Kirk; 457 - Crow; 458 - Burkett; 459 - Austin; 460 - Sanders; 461 - Breshears; 463 - Carlton; 464 - Rohrbach; 465 - Bell; 467 - Heroff; 468 - Swanson; 469 - Germer; 491 - Kuhrt [animal control & parking]

Agency - WSU Police
Agency ID - Sierra
Officer ID Range - 300's

Agency - WSU Police Reserve
Agency ID - Vet Med
Officer ID Range - 10's

Agency - WSU Police Reserve
Agency ID - Cougar
Officer ID Range - unknown

Agency - WSU Police Reserve
Agency ID - Echo
Officer ID Range - unknown

Agency - Whitman County Sheriff
Agency ID - Paul
Officer ID Range - 10's (also possibly 500's)

Agency - Washington State Patrol
Agency ID - State
Officer ID Range - 900's

12-Hour vs 24-Hour Time
Most police agencies and militaries use 24-hour time

12-hour - 24-hour - 24-hour pronouciation
1:00 am - 0100 - zero one hundred
2:00 am - 0200 - zero two hundred
3:00 am - 0300 - zero three hundred
4:00 am - 0400 - zero four hundred
5:00 am - 0500 - zero five hundred
6:00 am - 0600 - zero six hundred
7:00 am - 0700 - zero seven hundred
8:00 am - 0800 - zero eight hundred
9:00 am - 0900 - zero nine hundred
10:00 am - 1000 - ten hundred
11:00 am - 1100 - eleven hundred
12:00 pm - 1200 - twelve hundred
1:00 pm - 1300 - thirteen hundred
2:00 pm - 1400 - fourteen hundred
3:00 pm - 1500 - fifteen hundred
4:00 pm - 1600 - sixteen hundred
5:00 pm - 1700 - seventeen hundred
6:00 pm - 1800 - eighteen hundred
7:00 pm - 1900 - nineteen hundred
8:00 pm - 2000 - twenty hundred
9:00 pm - 2100 - twenty-one hundred
10:00 pm - 2200 - twenty-two hundred
11:00 pm - 2300 - twenty-three hundred
12:00 am - 2400 - twenty-four hundred

Phonetic Alphabet

A phonetic alphabet is used while transmitting alpha characters such as license plates and names. Pullman uses Type 2 (highlighted in light blue). Note that Type 1 has two options for "C" and "F", and Type 2 has two options for "B", and "N".

Letter - Type 1 - Type 2

A - Alpha - Adam
B - Bravo - Boy / Boston
C - Charlie / Cocoa - Charles
D - Delta - David
E - Echo - Edward
F - Fox / Foxtrot - Frank
G - Golf - George
H - Hotel - Henry
I - India - Ida
J - Juliette - John
K - Kilo - King
L - Lima - Lincoln
M - Mike - Mary
N - November - Nancy / Nora
O - Oscar - Ocean
P - Papa - Paul
Q - Quebec - Queen
R - Romeo - Robert
S - Sierra - Sam
T - Tango - Tom
U - Uniform - Union
V - Victor - Victor
W - Whiskey - William
X - X-Ray - X-Ray
Y - Yankee - Young
Z - Zulu - Zebra

Police Ten-Codes
Pullman Police do NOT necessarily use all of the Ten-Codes

10-1 Receiving poorly
10-2 Receiving well
10-3 Stop transmitting
10-4 OK, message received
10-5 Relay message
10-6 Busy, stand by
10-7 Out of service, leaving air
10-8 In service, subject to call
10-9 Repeat message
10-10 Transmission completed, stand by
10-11 Talking too rapidly
10-12 Visitors present
10-13 Advise Weather/Road conditions
10-16 Make pick up at
10-17 Urgent business
10-18 Anything for us?
10-19 Nothing for you, return to base
10-20 My location is
10-21 Call by telephone
10-22 Report in person to
10-23 Stand by
10-24 Completed last assignment
10-25 Can you contact
10-26 Disregard last information
10-27 I am moving to channel
10-28 Identify your station
10-29 Time is up for contact
10-30 Does not conform to FCC rules
10-32 I will give you a radio check
10-34 Trouble at this station
10-35 Confidential information
10-36 Correct time is
10-37 Wrecker needed at
10-38 Ambulance needed at
10-39 Your message delivered
10-41 Please turn to channel
10-42 Traffic accident at
10-43 Traffic Tie up at
10-44 I have a message for you
10-45 All units within range please report
10-50 Break channel
10-60 What is next message number?
10-62 Unable to copy, use phone
10-63 Net directed to
10-64 Net clear
10-65 Awaiting your next message/assignment
10-67 All units comply
10-70 Fire at
10-71 Proceed with transmission in sequence
10-77 Negative contact
10-81 Reserve hotel room for
10-82 Reserve room for
10-84 My telephone number is
10-85 My address is
10-91 Talk closer to mike
10-93 Check my frequency on this channel
10-94 Please give me a long count
10-99 Mission completed, all units secure
10-200 Police needed at

Miscellaneous Codes

"Signal 60" - (1) a marijuana-related offense or (2) a non-specific drug-related offense

Police, Fire, Rescue & Ambulance Frequencies

Verified Frequencies for Pullman Police (PPD), WSU Police (WSUPD), Whitman County Sheriff (WCS), Washington State Patrol (WSP), Pullman Fire Department (PFD), Whitman County Fire District (WCFD), Moscow Police (MPD)

Ram Dass' New Book: Changing Lenses

Changing Lenses
Essential Teaching Stories from Ram Dass
Love Serve Remember Foundation

Batampte Half Sour Pickles

Harassing the Police

This morning on my walk to the YMCA at 7:10 AM I saw a man with a white cloth covering the lower half of his face while filming the Woonsocket police station parking lot. The POST OFFICE called the police station and by the time I arrived police had been alerted. I saw the guy filming try to smoke a cigarette without taking off his mask.

Experimental Station: Let's do this in Woonsocket RI
The Experimental Station is working to build independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago. We do this by fostering a dynamic ecology of innovative educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises and community initiatives. Since 2006, we have both built our own programming to address a variety of identified local needs and have fostered, hosted, and sponsored numerous other initiatives.

Among the many cultural events we have hosted since 2006 are readings by authors Naomi Klein and Thomas Frank, a three-day workshop and performance by the Bread & Puppet Theater, concerts by experimental composer and musician Gene Coleman, the Festival of Democracy, Assata Shakur’s Chicago birthday celebration, Chicago Humanities Festival panels and discussions, a year-long series of events and discussions on (Black) culture, politics, and esthetics, Hyde Park Jazz Festival concerts, Kansas City-based Whoop Dee Doo performances, an audio/photography exhibit by Ben Calhoun and Paul Calhoun, conversations with authors Michelle Alexander, Natalie Moore and Lance Williams, Hyde Park Community Players performances, the annual Tellebration storytelling festival, and most recently Brian Jones in ‘Marx in Soho’.

Naturally Fermented Pickles!

Vendor or Peddler?

I used to be a vendor: when people called I'd make art on demand. Now I'm a peddler. I make art and sell it afterwards.

Squirrel Cop

(13 minutes)


Write first, drink later. To write you must be warm, fed, loved and sober.

Write First

Write first, drink later. To write you must be warm, fed, loved and sober.


If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.


Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice. To love someone is to put yourself in their story, or figure out how to tell yourself their story.


Outbreak in Spring Valley



Inspiration comes of working every day.
Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.
Charles Baudelaire

Lamaze Baby

My 20 year old neighbor Victoria is 9 months pregnant and due to give birth TODAY.

6:33 AM Saturday, March 30, 2019 (EDT) Sunrise in Woonsocket, RI

Core Exercises

Darcey Ballet Heroes

Friday, March 29, 2019


Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.

Patrick Ryan

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

No. I don’t believe in it. I think things get in the way of writing, and sometimes one of those things is me, my confidence, the level in my creative fuel tank. But I don’t believe in being creatively blocked. If I believed in it, I’d probably find a way to suffer from it.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

William Styron once said to a group of us that if you truly want to write, you have to set up your life so that you can write. Meaning, do what you have to do to create a life that facilitates writing—even if that’s only for an hour a day.

Paul Monette, in failing health and not long before he died, told me to keep writing because the good stuff would come to the surface. That was such a simple and wonderful idea to plant in my head as I wrote story after story and novel after novel, one unpublished manuscript after another.

I also like this quote from John Irving: “If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” So many writers, I think, are afraid of finding the courage to write, because then it means they’d actually have to do it. And that means having to risk “failing” at it. Impatience and bitterness and distraction are far more attractive to a lot of aspiring writers than actually writing.

What’s your advice to new writers?

Write because you enjoy the act of writing, not because you want to get published. Of course you want to get published, and you should pursue that, but it shouldn’t be why you write.

Patrick Ryan is the author of The Dream Life of Astronauts and the linked short story collection Send Me, as well as several novels for young adults. His work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Tin House, One Story, Crazyhorse, Tales of Two Cities,and elsewhere. He grew up in Florida and lives in New York City.


Words — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.


One should be able to return to the first sentence of a #novel and find the resonances of the entire work.

Julien Green

Thoughts fly and words go on foot. Therein lies all the drama of a writer.


“Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.”
— Marlon Brando

Shirley Temple

Dancing Mania

A Strange Case of Dancing Mania Struck Germany Six Centuries Ago
Modern experts still don’t agree on what caused plagues of compulsive dancing in the streets

Dancing mania
"Dance at Molenbeek," a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638) depicts pilgrims dancing to the church at Molenbeek. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
By Marissa Fessenden
June 24, 2016

Six-hundred and forty two years ago today, citizens in the German city of Aachen started to pour out of their houses and into the streets where they began to writhe and whirl uncontrollably. This was the first major outbreak of dancing plague or choreomania and it would spread across Europe in the next several years.

To this day, experts aren't sure what caused the frenzy, which could drive those who danced to exhaustion. The outbreak in Germany was called St. John's dance, but it wasn't the first appearance of the mania or the last, according to The Black Death and The Dancing Mania, originally published in 1888. In the book, Justus Friedrich Karl Hecker imaginatively describes the spectacle of St. John's dance as follows:

They formed circles hand in hand, and appearing to have lost all control over their senses, continued dancing, regardless of the bystanders, for hours together, in wild delirium, until at length they fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. They then complained of extreme oppression, and groaned as if in the agonies of death, until they were swathed in cloths bound tightly round their waists, upon which they again recovered, and remained free from complaint until the next attack.

The "disease" spread to Liege, Utrecht, Tongres and other towns in the Netherlands and Belgium, up and down the Rhine river. In other times and other forms the mania started to be called St. Vitus' dance. During the Middle Ages, the church held that the dancers had been possessed by the devil or perhaps cursed by a saint. Called Tarantism in Italy, it was believed the dancing was either brought on by the bite of a spider or a way to work out the poisons the arachnid had injected.

More modern interpretations have blamed a toxin produced by fungus that grew on rye. Ergot poisoning, or ergotism, could bring on hallucinations, spasms and delusions thanks to the psychoactive chemicals produced by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, writes Steven Gilbert for the Toxipedia.

But not all of the regions affected by the strange compulsion to dance would been home to people who consumed rye, points out Robert E. Bartholomew in an article for the July/August 2000 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. Furthermore, the outbreaks didn't always happen during the wet season when the fungus would have grown.

St. Vitus' dance later came to mean Sydenham chorea, a disorder that struck children and did cause involuntary tremors in the arms, legs and face. However those twitches were not the kind of dancing described in the outbreaks of dancing mania.

Another notable epidemic broke out in the city of Strasbourg in 1518. It started in July when a woman called Frau Troffea began to dance. Within a month, 400 people joined in the madness. This plague in particular was probably worsened by apparently well-meaning officials who thought that the victims just needed to dance it out and shake it off. They set aside guild halls for the dancers, hired professional pipe and drum players and dancers to keep people inspired, writes John Waller for

Madness is ultimately what some experts think caused such a bizarre phenomenon. Waller explains that in 1518, the people of Strasbourg were struggling to deal with famine, disease and the belief that supernatural forces could force them to dance. In 1374, the region near the Rhine was suffering from the aftermath of another, true plague: the Black Death. Waller argues that the dancers were under extreme psychological distress and were able to enter a trance state—something they would need to dance for such a long period of time. He blames the dancing mania on a kind of mass hysteria.

Bartholomew disagrees. He points out that records from the time claim that the dancers were often from other regions. They were religious pilgrims, he posits. He writes:

The behavior of these dancers was described as strange, because while exhibiting actions that were part of the Christian tradition, and paying homage to Jesus, Mary, and various saints at chapels and shrines, other elements were foreign. Radulphus de Rivo’s chronicle Decani Tongrensis states that “in their songs they uttered the names of devils never before heard of . . . this strange sect.” Petrus de Herenthal writes in Vita Gregorii XI: “There came to Aachen . . . a curious sect.” The Chronicon Belgicum Magnumdescribes the participants as “a sect of dancers.”

Once the first dancers started their strange ritual, other people perhaps joined in, claiming to be overwhelmed by a compulsion. Societal prohibitions against such unrestrained behavior could then be cast aside.

Ultimately, the cause of choreomania seems to be mystery, but it will never cease to be a fascinating part of European history.

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Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) Ballet dancer

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Ludwig van Beethoven

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Foolproof Cream Scones

2 cups (240 grams) white whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons (28 grams) demerara sugar, plus more to sprinkle on top
3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (353 grams) cold heavy cream, plus more to brush

Pickle Bender + Hand Cut Kimchi


noun: leper; plural noun: lepers

a person suffering from leprosy.
a person who is avoided or rejected by others for moral or social reasons.
"the story made her out to be a social leper"
synonyms: outcast, social outcast, pariah, untouchable, undesirable, exile, reject, nonperson, unperson, persona non grata
"a social leper"


What is the meaning of the first two lines of "Hamlet"?

3 Answers
Ross Brannigan
Ross Brannigan, Actor and PhD in Theatre and Screen
Answered May 1, 2016

Having played this role I can tell you the decisions we made. Basically they are terrified. It is very dark (no electric lighting) probably misty as well as freezing, there are twists and turns on the battlements. And......a ghost has been showing up!

Having the arriving soldier challenge the one who is standing guard is odd but not unusual considering the state is topsy turvy, preparing for war, the King has recently died and he has personal experience of what lingers up there. Imagine being on guard but without the benefit of a searchlight while there is a possible demonic presence just round the corner. Francisco is extremely happy to be relieved and Barnado is anxious that anything that moves won't blast him to hell. He is very happy when Marcellus and Horatio show up.

So the arriving soldier wants to simply know: is that you my soldier friend? Or is it a demon. (and he says it as a brave challenge)

The soldier currently on watch replies with the appropriate challenge and says that he's the one who should rightfully be asking.

They are muffled up against the cold and semi concealed so they are cautious about identifying each other.

You COULD play it with them seeing each other perfectly clearly and insisting on proving to each other that they are who they appear to be (ie not a ghost).

Ross Brannigan, writing a play about Polonius
Answered Sep 17, 2017

Hamlet is relevant today for many reasons.
One of the most important is that we still feel inspired to ponder the purpose of life and to wonder what we would do in horrendous circumstances. The tragedy of Prince Hamlet is timeless in that respect. How would I respond if the women closest to me whom I loved utterly betrayed me? How would I respond if my father challenged me to do something that would completely destroy me and yet was so obviously necessary that I couldn’t avoid it? How could I live with myself if my actions caused the woman I love to kill herself?

Beyond the deep internal struggles there is also the dimension of an action story with a supernatural element, family betrayal, sexual tension, madness and loyalty thrown into the mix. It has been a winner for 400 years.

Severe Pollen Allergies

Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein: Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor (BWV 1052)

My Crush on Pavarotti

0:31 / 6:14
Luciano Pavarotti and Mercedes Sosa - Caruso (Argentina 1999)

Joan Baez & Mercedes Sosa "Gracias A La Vida"

Etta James and BB King

Etta James + Jan Schmidt RI's Jan Schmidt is equally amazing.

Kangaroos Cows and Gigantic Blue Jays

I'd like to see this.

Mood Food

Can What We Eat Affect How We Feel?

Nutritional psychiatrists counsel patients on how better eating may be another tool in helping to ease depression and anxiety and may lead to better mental health.
CreditCreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

By Richard Schiffman

March 28, 2019

The patient, a 48-year-old real estate professional in treatment for anxiety and mild depression, revealed that he had eaten three dozen oysters over the weekend.

His psychiatrist, Dr. Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, was impressed: “You’re the only person I’ve prescribed them to who came back and said he ate 36!”

Dr. Ramsey, the author of several books that address food and mental health, is a big fan of oysters. They are rich in vitamin B12, he said, which studies suggest may help to reduce brain shrinkage. They are also well stocked with long chain omega-3 fatty acids, deficiencies of which have been linked to higher risk for suicide and depression.

But shellfish are not the only food he is enthusiastic about. Dr. Ramsey is a pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry, which attempts to apply what science is learning about the impact of nutrition on the brain and mental health.

Dr. Ramsey argues that a poor diet is a major factor contributing to the epidemic of depression, which is the top driver of disability for Americans aged 15 to 44, according to a report by the World Health Organization. Together with Samantha Elkrief, a chef and food coach who sits in on many of his patient sessions, he often counsels patients on how better eating may lead to better mental health.

The irony, he says, is that most Americans are overfed in calories yet starved of the vital array of micronutrients that our brains need, many of which are found in common plant foods. A survey published in 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only one in 10 adults meets the minimal daily federal recommendations for fruit and vegetables — at least one-and-a-half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables.

Nutritional psychiatrists like Dr. Ramsey prescribe antidepressants and other medications, where appropriate, and engage in talk therapy and other traditional forms of counseling. But they argue that fresh and nutritious food can be a potent addition to the mix of available therapies.

Americans routinely change what they eat in order to lose weight, control their blood sugar levels and lower artery-clogging cholesterol. But Dr. Ramsey says that it is still rare for people to pay attention to the food needs of the most complex and energy-consuming organ in the body, the human brain.

The patient Dr. Ramsey was seeing that day credits the nutritional guidance, including cutting down on many of the processed and fried foods and fatty meats that used to be part of his diet, with improving his mood and helping him overcome a long-term addiction to alcohol.

“It’s one part of the whole package that helps alleviate my depression and helps me to feel better,” he said.

Research on the impact of diet on mental functioning is relatively new, and food studies can be difficult to perform and hard to interpret, since so many factors go into what we eat and our general well-being. But a study of more than 12,000 Australians published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016 found that individuals who increased the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that they ate reported that they were happier and more satisfied with their life than those whose diets remained the same.

Another study of 422 young adults from New Zealand and the United States showed higher levels of mental health and well-being for those who ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the same benefits did not accrue to those who ate canned fruits and vegetables. “We think this is due to the higher nutrient content of raw fruits and vegetables, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C, which are vulnerable to heat degradation,” said Tamlin Conner, a study author and senior lecturer at the University of Otago.

One of the first randomized controlled trials to test whether dietary change may be effective in helping to treat depression was published in 2017. In the study, led by Felice Jacka, a psychiatric epidemiologist in Australia, participants who were coached to follow a Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks reported improvements in mood and lower anxiety levels. Those who received general coaching showed no such benefits.

A Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grains, legumes and seafood as well as nutrient-dense leafy vegetables that are high in the fiber, promotes a diverse population of helpful bacteria in the gut. Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may be important in the processing of neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate mood.

“Our imaging studies show that the brains of people who follow a Mediterranean-style diet typically look younger, have larger volumes and are more metabolically active than people who eat a more typical Western diet,” said Dr. Lisa Mosconi, the director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. Such brain benefits may be protective against the onset of dementia, she said.

Dr. Mosconi noted that “there is no one diet that fits all” but advises patients to cut out processed foods, minimize meat and dairy and eat more whole foods like fatty fish, vegetables and whole grains and legumes to cut the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases associated with aging.

She and Dr. Ramsey both recommend “eating the rainbow,” that is, consuming a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables like peppers, blueberries, sweet potatoes, kale and tomatoes. Such foods are high in phytonutrients that may help to reduce harmful inflammation throughout the body, including the brain, and promote the growth of new brain cells throughout our adult years, they say.

Dr. Emily Deans, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, cautions that a plant-only diet may carry some risks. Some large observational studies suggest, for example, that strict vegetarians and vegans may have somewhat higher rates of depression and eating disorders than those who eat a more varied diet. Those on a meat-free diet may also need to take supplements to provide missing nutrients. “Some of the key nutrients for the brain, like long chain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, are simply not found in vegetable only diets,” says Dr. Deans.

Samantha Elkrief, the food coach who assists Dr. Ramsey, adds that it’s not just what we eat but the attitudes that we bring to our food that contribute to mental well-being. “I want to help people find the foods that give them joy, that make them feel good,” she says. “It’s about slowing down and becoming more mindful, noticing your body, noticing how you feel when you eat certain foods.”
Correction: March 29, 2019

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the university where the study author Tamlin Conner is a lecturer. It is the University of Otago, not Ota.

John Coltrane - Equinox (Original)

I wish I was Brazilian!

My Brazilian neighbors have all the fun.

Happy birthday to Astrud Gilberto

Happy birthday to Astrud Gilberto, born on this day in 1940 in Salvador, Brazil. Here she is singing “The Girl from Ipanema” in 1964.

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Desafinado

Classic Matzo Ball Soup By Michael Ruhlman

Passover 2019 will begin in the evening of
Friday, April 19
and ends in the evening of
Saturday, April 27

Classic Matzo Ball Soup
By Michael Ruhlman Fine Cooking Issue 128

Servings: 4

Let’s set the record straight: the secret to great matzo ball soup is not the matzo balls (though these are light and fluffy and delicious, flavored with schmaltz, or chicken fat, as is traditional) but the broth. The homemade broth in this rendition is made from roasted chicken wings and is rich but clear, tasting first of chicken and second of sweet aromatic vegetables. Much of the work can be done in advance, but if you want to make and serve the soup on the same day, begin cooking about seven hours ahead. To make this recipe kosher for Passover, see the tip below.
For the schmaltz and the broth

1-1/2 lb. chicken wings (about 8)
Kosher salt
1 large yellow onion, peeled and halved
3 large carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. black peppercorns

For the matzo balls

1/2 cup matzo meal (or 2-1/4 matzo crackers, finely ground)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. baking powder (see tip below to make the recipe kosher for Passover)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup

1/2 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3/4 cup)
2 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3/4 cup)
Kosher salt
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information
Make the schmaltz and the broth

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in an ovenproof 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast, flipping once, until the fat from the wings has rendered (this is schmaltz) and the wings are golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Pour the schmaltz into a small bowl to cool; you should have about 2 Tbs.
Cover the wings with 3 inches of cool water (about 1 gallon). Bring to a simmer over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to low, and cook uncovered, for at least 4 and up to 6 hours. The ideal temperature for cooking the broth is 185°F, which means the water is very hot and giving off steam, but not bubbling.
Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 1 tsp. salt, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook the same way—hot but not bubbling—for 1 to 1-1/2 hours more.
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, and then strain it again through a damp, clean, fabric-softener-free cloth or heavy-duty paper towels into another bowl. You should have about 8 cups of broth; if you have less, add water to make 8 cups.
Skim any fat that rises to the top of the broth, transfer it to the bowl of schmaltz, and refrigerate until solidified, about 20 minutes.

Make the matzo balls

Combine the matzo meal, eggs, 2 Tbs. of the schmaltz, 2 Tbs. of the broth, the baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl, gently stirring until thickened, about 1 minute. The mixture should be a sticky paste that holds together but is not heavy or dense; if you need to add more broth to achieve this consistency, add 1 Tbs. at a time, up to 1/4 cup more total. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Using wet hands, very gently form rounded tablespoonfuls of the matzo mixture into 12 1-inch balls, transferring them to a plate. Do not overwork or compress the mixture, or the matzo balls will be dense.

Make the soup

Heat 2 Tbs. schmaltz (or, if you don’t have enough schmaltz, add vegetable oil to make 2 Tbs. of fat) in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and browned at the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt, if necessary.
With wet hands, add the matzo balls to the soup and return it to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer until the matzo balls are cooked through and doubled in size, about 30 minutes (no need to turn them). You can cut a matzo ball open to check for doneness—the color should be light throughout, with no raw-looking dough in the center—or you can insert a toothpick into the center; if it slides in and out without resistance, they’re done. Serve the soup garnished with the parsley.

Make Ahead Tips

The rendered schmaltz can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 months.

If making the broth ahead, cool the skimmed broth to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months; defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

The batter for the matzo balls can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated.

Baking Powder Bay Leaves Black Peppercorns Celery Carrots Kosher Salt


To make these matzo balls kosher for Passover, omit the baking powder and substitute 2 Tbs. seltzer water for the 2 Tbs. of broth, adding more seltzer as needed to adjust the consistency. This will keep the texture light and fluffy without using chemical leaveners.

Gopi Krishna

“The only way you can conquer me is through love and there I am gladly conquered”
― Krishna

“I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit. I become the moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables.”
― Krishna, Bhagavad Gita

“One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction- he is a wise man.”
― Gopi Krishna

“Fools dwelling in darkness, wise in their own conceit, are puffed up with vain knowledge, go round and round, staggering to and fro, like blind men led by the blind.”
― Krishna

Kundalini Dangers: Internal Burning, Pingala Nadi, Gopi Krishna


Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety

Who Let the Dogs Out


Drink Water

Make transitions in your day opportunities to chug water.


When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away—even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

I hope birds ate the crumbs

Process is nothing; erase your tracks. The path is not the work. I hope your tracks have grown over; I hope birds ate the crumbs; I hope you will toss it all and not look back.


Survival Swimming

Black Scout Quick Tips - Make Your Pants a Flotation Device
USMA Survival Swimming Trouser Inflation Options

Drink Water


It's easy to take water for granted, but it's a vital nutritional requirement. Many foods, especially fruits, contain a lot of water. Water plays a role in nearly every major body function. It regulates body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen cells via the bloodstream and helps carry away waste. Water also helps cushion joints and protects organs and tissues.
-Mayo Clinic

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


“You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti


“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Medium High

Top Allergens





Dani Shapiro from Advice to Writers

My goal when I sit down to write out of my own circumstances is not to make myself transparent. In fact, I am building an edifice. Stone by stone, I am constructing a story. Brick by brick, I am learning what image, what memory belongs to what. I am arranging the pieces that come my way, as Virginia Woolf suggests in her diary. I am attempting to make a piece of music as clear, as emotionally resonant and orderly, as a sonata. I am striving to make order out of chaos, which is the sweetest pleasure I know. When I succeed, I have a thing, this story, to offer. It isn’t me. It isn’t even a facsimile. I have used my life — rather than my life using me — to make something more beautiful and refined than I could ever be.


Charlie Kaufman on Craft

I think craft is a dangerous thing. I saw a trailer for a movie, I don’t want to say what the movie is, but it’s coming out soon. And it was gorgeous, it was… gorgeous. And it made me really depressed, and I was trying to figure out why. I think there was an amazing amount of craft and skill on the part of the filmmakers in this movie. And yet it was the same shit. I know that this movie is going to do really well, and I know that the people who made it are going to get rewarded for it, and so the cycle continues. So I think the danger of craft is that it needs to be in second position to what it is that you’re doing. It’s seductive to put it in first position, often because what you’re doing is meaningless or worthless, or just more of the same. So you can distinguish yourself by being very, very good at it. I think you need to be willing to be naked when you do anything creatively in film or any other form, that’s really what you have to do because otherwise it’s very hard to separate it from marketing. I think that it just sort of becomes what it’s about.


Human Beings

I think humans are the most interesting thing I know about. They're inexhaustibly interesting. And I think one of the great beauties of the novel as a form is that it shows us that human nature is the great constant. Human nature is the same in all places, in all times, in all languages. And that makes it the great subject of any writer's life, just to try and explore this vast ocean of human beings.


Not Concerned

When you're not concerned with succeeding, you can work with complete freedom.

Eaten by Dragons or Stronger, Brighter, Deeper

“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
― Ursula K. LeGuin

“We're each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, Volume 1

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”
― Ursula K. LeGuin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”
― Ursula K. LeGuin

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

“Nobody who says, ‘I told you so’ has ever been, or will ever be, a hero.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

“Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.
Two are one, life and death, lying
together like lovers in kemmer,
like hands joined together,
like the end and the way.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

“But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

“Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk's flight
On the empty sky.

—The Creation of Éa”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.”
― Ursula K. LeGuin, The Tombs of Atuan

“The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn't have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable. If a book told you something when you were fifteen, it will tell it to you again when you're fifty, though you may understand it so differently that it seems you're reading a whole new book."

(Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading, Harper's Magazine, February 2008)”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
― Ursula K LeGuin

“I do not care what comes after; I have seen the dragons on the wind of morning.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore

“Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction

“Truth is a matter of the imagination.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“How does one hate a country, or love one? Tibe talks about it; I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make a virtue of it, or a profession... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Telling

“As you read a book word by word and page by page, you participate in its creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the coming-to-be, the existence, of the music. And, as you read and re-read, the book of course participates in the creation of you, your thoughts and feelings, the size and temper of your soul.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

“For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

The Journey

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.

When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

Ursula LeGuin

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia or Having a Medicine Ball

Have you ever played with a medicine ball? I swam with one and it was like carrying a head.

This reminds me of my husband's favorite BAD MOVIE
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) - IMDb

An American barroom pianist and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Babe Ruth

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
Babe Ruth

Hypomania By Robin L. Flanigan

The Ultimate Guide to Handling Hypomania
By Robin L. Flanigan
April 8, 2016

Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose)

Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye
Premiered Today in 1910 Ravel: - Ma mère l’Oye - - Premiered Today in 1910
by Georg Predota | April 20th, 2018

Mother Goose Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) loved children. Although he was not married and did not have children of his own, he always seemed to spend more time with children than with adults. In fact, he never outgrew his ability to see the world through children’s eyes. A famous anecdote relates that during a very long and boring meeting, Ravel had suddenly disappeared. Everybody was probably worried, and they began to search the building from the top floor to the basement. Finally he was found in the children’s playground, sitting on the swing and playing with woodblocks. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ravel also wrote music about and for children. No doubt, his most famous children’s work is Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose).

Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel
Ravel was a frequent guest at the salons of Cyprian and Ida Godebski, a young Polish couple whose Paris apartment became the gathering place for some of the greatest artists of the day. The Godebski’s had two highly talented musical children, Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7. Since the children loved fairy tales, Ravel would often make up stories, and he even sent them funny postcards from his travels. When he saw them reading an illustrated version of French fairy tales, he decided to compose the Mother Goose Suite for piano 4 hands. Ravel recalled, “The idea of evoking the poetry of childhood in these pieces naturally led me to simplify my style and to refine my means of expression.”

Ravel Mother GooseDedicated to Mimie and Jean, both accomplished pianists at an early age, Ravel hoped that the children would perform the premiere. They declined, and two more precocious children, Geneviève Durony and Jeanne Leleu, ages 6 and 7, premiered the work on 20 April 1910. Ravel was over the moon, and wrote to Jeanne, “When you are a great virtuosa and I either an old fogey, covered with honors, or else completely forgotten, you will perhaps have pleasant memories of having given an artist the very rare joy of hearing a work of his, one of a rather special nature, interpreted exactly as it should be.”

Maurice Ravel: Ma Mère l’Oye

Train Your Mind

Train Your Mind: Lojong Commentary by Judy Lief


Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
― J. Krishnamurti

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.”
― J. Krishnamurti

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom

“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”
― Krishnamurti

“Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.”
― J. Krishnamurti

“Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Governments want efficient technicians, not human beings, because human beings become dangerous to governments – and to organized religions as well. That is why governments and religious organizations seek to control education.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti, Education and the Significance of Life

“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end - you don't come to an achievement, you don't come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Do not repeat after me words that you do not understand. Do not merely put on a mask of my ideas, for it will be an illusion and you will thereby deceive yourself.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“You know, if we understand one question rightly, all questions are answered. But we don't know how to ask the right question. To ask the right question demands a great deal of intelligence and sensitivity. Here is a question, a fundamental question: is life a torture? It is, as it is; and man has lived in this torture centuries upon centuries, from ancient history to the present day, in agony, in despair, in sorrow; and he doesn't find a way out of it. Therefore he invents gods, churches, all the rituals, and all that nonsense, or he escapes in different ways. What we are trying to do, during all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind, not accept things as they are, nor revolt against them. Revolt doesn't answer a thing. You must understand it, go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind, with everything that you have, to find out a way of living differently. That depends on you, and not on someone else, because in this there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is.

I think that will be enough, won't it?”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Happiness is strange; it comes when you are not seeking it. When you are not making an effort to be happy, then unexpectedly, mysteriously, happiness is there, born of purity, of a loveliness of being.”
― Krishnamurti
“The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“do it or don't do it but get on with it...”
― Krishnamurti, Beginnings of Learning

“It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”
― Krishnamurti

“Follow the wandering, the distraction, find out why the mind has wandered; pursue it, go into it fully. When the distraction is completely understood, then that particular distraction is gone. When another comes, pursue it also. ”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We carry about us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young -- not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age -- and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem. ”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“The ending of sorrow is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge is always within the shadow of ignorance. Meditation is freedom from thought and a movement in the ecstasy of truth. Meditation is explosion of intelligence.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. ... The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Thought is so cunning, so clever, that it distorts everything for its own convenience.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

“To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves; and what is important in beginning with ourselves is the intention. The intention must be to understand ourselves and not to leave it to others to transform themselves or to bring about a modified change through revolution, either of the left or of the right. It is important to understand that this is our responsibility, yours and mine...”
― J. Krishnamurti

“When you once see something as false which you have accepted as true, as natural, as human, then you can never go back to it.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti

A Metaphor

A Metaphor for Dying

Posted June 6, 2012
Ram Dass on Changing Our Metaphor for Dying

I sit with a lot of people who are dying these days because I am very interested in seeing whether we can develop a metaphor for dying that isn’t quite as horrendous as the one we have going in the West. Because our metaphor for dying comes out of philosophical materialism where a person that is dying is surrounded by people who are saying “you got to be up and around tomorrow. Don’t talk nonsense about death.” Then they walk out into the corridor and say “she won’t last the night.” I mean, just total hypocrisy.

While you can’t kill anybody you can’t prolong life. You only know whether or not life is to go on or not when you are yourself not afraid of death. Otherwise your fear totally distorts your perception all the time and you just panic when somebody is near death. Recently Wavy Gravy called me up, he is a very beautiful guy. Wavy said there was a boy who was dying here in San Francisco, and asked if I would visit him. And I said sure, so I went over and visited with him. He was about 23 years old and he was dying of Hodgkin’s disease. It was last August. We met at Tom Wolf’s house, and I went over to the kid and I said to him “I hear your going to die soon.” He says “yeah.” I said “you want to talk about it?” He says “ok.” So we started to talk about dying. After a while he went to light a cigarette and I noticed that his hand was shaking, he was very thin and weak. And I suddenly got totally paranoid and I felt like, “gee what right have I got to be coming onto to him? After all, he’s the one that’s dying.” So I said “hey if I am coming onto you, you know, just tell me to go away. I don’t have to do this.” And he says “well, being with you is getting me nervous, but the reason is because as death is approaching I’ve been looking for the strength to die and you are the first person I’ve met who doesn’t seem to be afraid of dying. And that’s just what I am looking for.”

And I feel like a child in this scene, and I’m just so excited by it that I am shaking. He was giving me the license – he was giving me the license to be with him. And we went on being together for quite a while and then he died later on. And what I recognize now – there’s a woman that just died in New York last year, her name was Debbie Matheson – she’s a beautiful woman. She was in her forties, she had two children and she was married to an author by the name of Peter Matheson. She was connected with the Zen Center in New York City, and when she was dying she was put in Mount Sinai Hospital to die. So the Zen students all came to her room every night and meditated and they turned the room into a Zen temple. And what happened was the first night they did this the doctors, the three young residents came to visit her room making their rounds, which usually consists of pushing open the door with that kind of hearty hail good fellow well-met type, you know, “how we doing today? Did we eat well today? Let’s look at that chart.” You know, that type of thing. They walked in and they faced all these beings sitting like this with candles and incense and the room was darkened and it freaked them out completely. And the second night they came in a little more gently, and by the third they would open the door very quietly and come in and stand in awe for a little while and then go away.

There, right in the middle of Mount Sinai they redefined a whole new metaphor, a metaphor that can be created through the strength of mind because you can create your universe anywhere you are. Once you recognize that, a hospital is merely a collectivity of minds who share a certain model about what it is all about. And the problem is that this society is one where the medicine men are knowledgeable, but not wise. And with the recognition of that, we are now seeking wisdom–not just knowledge–in our healers. And wisdom has in it compassion. And compassion understands about life and death.

A doctor is committed by the Hippocratic Oath to save life, but she or he does not have to be attached to that. They merely do that in the same way a bus driver drives a bus. It is the emotional attachment that they have to it that comes out of their own fear of death that is the problem in medicine at this moment in the West. And hopefully within a few years we will have an 800 number telephone number like you do for getting a motel reservation where if you are going to die in the next few months you can call that number and somebody will come and hang out with you and provide help for you in defining a new metaphor for how you’re going to die. And we’ll have some cassette tapes that you can play when you are in pain that will help you figure out what the pain is about, and how to use it to become more conscious. Because it’s obvious that the way to die is to learn how to live, and the answer to dying is to be present at the moment.
Ram Dass

Berkley Community Theater, March 7th, 1973


December 17, 1770 - March 26, 1827

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
Ludwig van Beethoven

I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never wholly overcome me.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.
Ludwig van Beethoven

The true artist is not proud: he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal, and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?
Ludwig van Beethoven

Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.
Ludwig van Beethoven

What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience.
Ludwig van Beethoven

A true artist is expected to be all that is noble-minded, and this is not altogether a mistake; on the other hand, however, in what a mean way are critics allowed to pounce upon us.
Ludwig van Beethoven

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, 'Thus far and no farther.'
Ludwig van Beethoven

I must confess that I lead a miserable life. For almost two years, I have ceased to attend any social functions, just because I find it impossible to say to people, 'I am deaf.' If I had any other profession, I might be able to cope with my infirmity; but in my profession, it is a terrible handicap.
Ludwig van Beethoven

When somewhat at a distance, I cannot hear the high tones of instruments, voices. In speaking, it is not surprising that there are people who have never noticed it, for as a rule I am absent-minded, and they account for it in that way.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music comes to me more readily than words.
Ludwig van Beethoven

This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Friends applaud, the comedy is over.
Ludwig van Beethoven

There ought to be an artistic depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork in order to receive what he asks for. As things are, one must be half a business man, and how can one understand - good heavens! - that's what I really call troublesome.
Ludwig van Beethoven

A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.
Ludwig van Beethoven

O, you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you, and I would have ended my life - it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Off with you! You're a happy fellow, for you'll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!
Ludwig van Beethoven

I joyfully hasten to meet death. If it come before I have had opportunity to develop all my artistic faculties, it will come, my hard fate notwithstanding, too soon, and I should probably wish it later - yet even then I shall be happy, for will it not deliver me from a state of endless suffering?
Ludwig van Beethoven

I only live in my music, and I have scarcely begun one thing when I start on another. As I am now working, I am often engaged on three or four things at the same time.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music from my fourth year began to be the first of my youthful occupations. Thus early acquainted with the gracious muse who tuned my soul to pure harmonies, I became fond of her, and, as it often seemed to me, she of me.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Often, I can scarcely hear any one speaking to me; the tones yes, but not the actual words; yet as soon as any one shouts, it is unbearable. What will come of all this, heaven only knows!
Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.
Ludwig van Beethoven


Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.

Pickles Pliers + Gravity

I feel claustrophobic with one large canvas. I have to stretch the 2nd one. I'd feel better with 6 or 12. I need plenty of space in my head to rotate and fail and experiment. Even though I went to art school and majored in painting, I had to learn to stretch a canvas this big, from a you-tube video last week. I think this is funny. Pre-gessoed canvas is very stiff and I have made depressing saggy canvases before. Painting the raw canvases with gesso and then sanding them is not good for asthma people. If you spray water on the back of a saggy canvas it will tighten like a drum but only temporarily. I discovered that I had to stretch this canvas vertically using canvas pliers, staple gun, hammer, and gravity to help me. It worked out! I am elated. Now how to get the jar of pickles open? Where's that hammer.

Whenever I am trying to create I feel like Alice in Wonderland LOST in SPACE! It's terrifying which means I should be there. As my performing pal Keith says "It's a long time since I've been scared on stage. That's when I knew I had to do did a solo show!

Be terrified! It makes us GROW"

The OPEN ZITI! (the open channel)

Typhod Mary from Mamaroneck NY

On this date in 1915, the woman known as "Typhoid Mary" was put into quarantine in a cottage in the Bronx. Her name was Mary Mallon, and she was a large and fiery Irish-American woman about 40 years old. She worked as a cook in and around New York City, and every household she worked in seemed to suffer an outbreak of typhoid fever. Typhoid is caused by a form of Salmonella bacteria, and is usually spread by contact with human or animal waste. It was common on battlefields — it may have killed more than 200,000 soldiers during the Civil War — and in poor and unsanitary housing conditions, but it was rarely seen in the wealthy households like the ones where Mallon worked.

The first outbreak associated with Typhoid Mary occurred in 1900, in Mamaroneck, New York. She had been cooking for a family for about two weeks when they started to become ill. The same thing happened the following year, when she took a series of jobs in Manhattan and Long Island. She helped take care of the sick, not realizing that her presence was probably making them worse.

In 1906, a doctor named George Soper noticed this strange pattern of outbreaks in wealthy homes. He went to interview each of the families, and found that they had all hired the same cook, but she never left a forwarding address when she moved on to other employment. He finally tracked her down after several cases in a Park Avenue penthouse, so he interviewed her. She didn't take it well, and swore at him, and threatened him with a meat cleaver when he asked her to provide a stool sample. He finally called in the police and had her arrested.

Urine and stool samples were taken from Mallon by force, and doctors discovered that her gall bladder was shedding great numbers of typhoid bacteria. She admitted that she never washed her hands when cooking, but she didn't see the point, as she was healthy. No one had ever heard of a healthy carrier of typhoid before, and she refused to believe that she was in any way sick. They wanted to take out her gall bladder, and she refused. They demanded that she give up cooking, and she refused to do that too. They confined her for a while and put her to work as a laundress for the Riverside Hospital, and in 1910 — after she promised to give up cooking and only work as a laundress — she was released. It wasn't long before she changed her name to Mary Brown and took a job as a cook. For the next five years, she stayed one step ahead of the doctors and the law, spreading disease and death in her wake, until they caught up with her on Long Island. Authorities placed her in quarantine on North Brother Island in the Bronx for the rest of her life, and she died of pneumonia in 1938.