Monday, May 1, 2017

What Price Technology?

I just saw a stunning, original play performed with consummate artistry. It was the last performance of “The Blue Kitchen” written by Eric Prince and brought to life by Wendy Ishii (and Barbara Clark).
    It was far too easy to get a great seat in the middle of the second row. And there were far too many empty seats in the Bas Bleu Theater in north Fort Collins.
    Talking to Wendy after the performance, she attributed the sparse attendance to sparse (nearly non-existent) newspaper coverage. Newspapers are in jeopardy because people rely on their computers – email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – instead of reading off-screen.
    What a shame. If our understanding of our world must be shrink-wrapped into sound-bites and 140-word messages, the scope of our lives and understanding are correspondingly diminished.
    Amazingly, the Bas Bleu Theater is celebrating its 25th anniversary. . . in spite of an information vacuum.
    What can I do if I wish to help Bas Bleu thrive for another 25 years? Well, I can continue to subscribe to my local paper (delivered to my front door).
    And I can use technology – post a blog and share it on Facebook.
    And tell my friends (and an occasional stranger) that there is an amazing pocket of real culture in our area which deserves our support.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


I distinctly remember writing a post called something like "The Squirrels Always Win."  I thought I 'published' and scheduled it, but it has disappeared. As if it never existed.

It was about my long and monumental efforts to feed the little birds -- finches, chickadees and an occasional goldfinch -- that I try to entice and nourish in the area of my 'patio' (it's just a slab of concrete under my pergola).

I have now purchased three 'squirrel-proof' bird-feeders all of which did not even slow the little rodents down.

There was always a vine or post or branch from which the critters could swing over and munch.
So I moved the latest far from any vine or post or branch.

For days, the level of bird seed remained constant . . . but then . . . catastrophe

Somehow, swinging on the wire for the little dragonfly lights I'd hung around the edges of the pergola, they broke the wire, now dangling, useless next to the feeder.

Then they broke the feeder -- making its bounty unavailable to both birds and squirrels.

I have another new feeder. The dragonfly wire has been fixed. We'll see how long they survive.

After all, the beasts ate the post I wrote and published last week.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The WAY back

Lost in cyberspace, I have, until about 9 p.m. yesterday, been unable to post anything on my blog. That evening, I invited the Christensen family over for dinner and Way Christensen offered to see if he could solve my internet mystery. He did! I'm back!

On March 23, I attended an event that moved me deeply. I wrote about my reactions but was unable to share them until now. Many, many thanks to Way for helping me come back.

We did not belong 

A friend and I went to a community meeting on immigration. We both thought we would learn how to counter the anti-immigrant policy and sentiment that threatened. It took us a while to understand that the meeting was not for well-meaning Anglo-Saxons but for the Hispanics in our community. 

It was organized by the local chapter of LuLac (League of United Latin American Citizens). The church pews were primarily populated by people who looked Hispanic – families, elders, young. The people who spoke into microphones spoke mostly Spanish . . . until they realized that there was a scattering of non-Spanish speaking people attending -- me among them. 

 The key speakers were immigration lawyers sharing valuable information on how to respond to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). What Hispanic rights were. What precautions they could take against having their families torn apart. What resources existed to help them. All essential stuff. 

From time to time, a family would be called to the rear of the room, presumably for private counseling. Looking around, I saw only people I would like to know better -- people who were living in fear in my own smallish town. In my own country. 

Although I was grateful for the sporadic English translations and occasional bilingual slides on the screen, I was more grateful to experience what it was like to be an obvious minority listening to a language that was not what I had learned as a child. [I had forgotten how nice it was to hear another language.] 

And I was grateful to be among those who, in spite of the possibility of detection/ deportation, had enough courage to assemble and learn. My friend and I did not belong at the meeting. It was an honor and privilege to be there.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Both Sides Now

I can’t even find the CD. I purchased it in an obscure used bookstore somewhere in Chicago, probably about 20 years ago. 

Recently one of the songs invaded my consciousness, haunting it, searing it. All of a sudden it has become more relevant, more devastating. 

I had to find it. 

I can hear it on YouTube and I copied the lyrics from Google -- so what was lost is not really lost. 

Then I had to figure out why, 20 years later, it surfaced on my cerebral cortex. I reviewed the words – about clouds and love and life. I realized that, while all the verses are still accurate – for Joni Mitchell and for me – I needed another verse, maybe two. 

They would be about my country, my safe, smallish town existence. I think we all shared the illusion that what we are as a nation, as an island of privileged population, would just keep on keeping on, in perpetuity. Sure there would be bumps and detours but overall, we were eternal. 

No. That’s a dangerous illusion. We really don’t know our lives at all. 

Now, awakened, we must stand and be counted. Sign petitions. Write letters. Demonstrate. Object. Support those who support our values. Pray to whatever we pray to. Join with whomever we trust. Sing. Shout. Come alive. 

We must truly see Both Sides Now.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Herbie Sleeps Around

It's a seasonal thing.

When it’s really hot, he prefers the upstairs bathroom sink. 

When it’s mild enough to open the dining room window, he watches squirrels from a little window platform. 

In cool weather he has favorite places in almost every room: dining room, atop the high east-side shelf in the morning sun; guest room, bed pillows; TV room, the back of the couch; living room, either in front of the furnace register or on the blue cushion on the ladder back chair; in the laundry room, the little blanket atop the dryer. Upstairs: the pillows on my bed or on one of the three places in my study that I’ve covered with soft things for him. 

The one place I find inexplicable is the upstairs windowsill where he rests his head on a book. 

It doesn’t look at all comfortable but when the sun shines, he’s there. 

There used to be jokes (which of course I do not remember) about all the East Coast signs proclaiming that “George Washington slept here.” However presidential he may be, I can't to do the same for Herbie.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11, 2017

Flowers bloom! in my front yard in Loveland, Colorado, USA

Saturday, January 28, 2017

This is what we are about

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Looking at these words etched in the soul of this nation, I see no mention of race, or religion, or gender. The golden door has slammed shut -- replaced by a wall of intolerance and a wall of arrogance.

This has been a week of inexcusable actions, a week that will live in infamy.

This is not what we are. 

This must not be what we will become.