Monday, April 30, 2007

Winners of last week's Theme of the Week: Toy (mosaic)

Winner Mosaic Title, 1. Spiderman III,
2. ... be happy :), 3. Reflection

Mosaic created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Congratulations!

The New Theme of the Week is Landscape If you'd like to enter, join Flickr's Theme of the Week group.

Photos must be taken between April 29 and May 6.

    From Today's Soundtrack

  • Love─Chet Baker, trumpet─Chet Baker & Strings
  • Mon-Gu Tuul 2 (Mongolia)─Artists Unknown─The Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol. 6: Central Asia: Ethnic Music Classics
  • J.S. Bach (maybe): Wiederstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54─Ricercar Consort─Kantaten Der Bach Familie
  • I Wanna Get Married─Nellie McKay─Get Away from Me
  • Raga Lalit─Zakir Hussain, tabla & Brij Narayan, Sarod─Raga Lalit/Raga Bairagi Bhairav

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Great Big Happy Birthday to EllaL!!! (photo)

Hope you are having a wonderful actual birthday today!

Meera and I had a great time at your party last night! Wish we could have stayed longer. Thanks for inviting us!

    From Today's Playlist of Life

  • A Case Of You─Joni Mitchell─Blue
  • Musique Merina─Talakimaso village performers ─Valiha Madagascar
  • W.A. Mozart: Vesperae solennes de Dominica KV 321 5. Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (Ps 116-117)─FRANK-REINECKE, ETC.─Mozart: Litanies, Vespers, Etc.
  • Guateque Campesino─Ibrahim Ferrer─Ibrahim Ferrer
  • My Little Town─Simon & Garfunkel─The Essential Simon & Garfunkel
  • Eleanor Rigby─The Beatles
  • Ring of Fire─Johnny Cash
  • Standing in My Doorway Crying─Jessie Mae Hemphill─Putumayo's Mali to Memphis
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara: Lorca Suite─Netherlands Youth Choir; Conducted by Eric Ericson
  • It’s A Pose─Nellie McKay─Get Away From Me
  • La valse des Bélugas─La Bottine Souriante─Je Voudrais Changer d’Chapeau

Saturday, April 28, 2007

From "Everyone's Photos" on my Flickr Home Page a moment ago (photo)

PICT2768.JPG This photo is by mikehillwig.

Sometimes a photo comes across the Everyone's Photos stream that you've just got to click.

Thanks for the smile, Mike, whoever you are!
    From Today's Soundtrack

  • It’s All Too Beautiful─Small Faces
  • And I Love Her─The Beatles─A Hard Day’s Night
  • Water Babies─Miles Davis─Columbia Years 1955-85, Disc 3, Originals/Moods
  • Kylä Vuotti Uutta Kuuta (The Village Awaits the New Moon)─Värttinä─Seleniko (with a shout out to lionlady)
  • John Tavener: The Last Sleep of the Virgin─The Chilingirian Quartet;Iain Simcock, Handbells─The Last Sleep of the Virgin
  • Overs (Live)─Simon & Garfunkel─The Essential Simon & Garfunkel
  • Ravel: Bolero─Frank Zappa
  • La Vie En Rose─Madeleine Peyroux─Dreamland
  • Be My Love─Keith Jarrett, piano─The Melody At Night, With You
  • Hallelujah─Imogen Heap

Friday, April 27, 2007

another sweet meezer moment (photo)


another sweet meezer moment, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Piper and I thought this was a really cute shot of us.



    From Today's Soundtrack

  • We’ll Meet Again─Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman
  • Suffragette City─David Bowie, with a shout out to leigh cheri. (Gabriel insisted I play this twice...well, three times, but twice is what he got. Direct quote: I LOVE ROCK 'N ROLL!!!)
  • Pipistrello II─Clusone 3─Clusone 3 (Meera hates these guys...I love 'em.)
  • Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No.2, "Quinten"─Quatuor Festetics─Haydn: Les Quatuors Oeuvres 75, 76 & 77
  • Vaclovas Augustinas: The stomping bride (1994)─Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Paul Hiller, conducting─Baltic Voices 3
  • Mahoni─Idjah Hadidjah & Jugala Ensemble─Tonggeret: Sundanese Jaipong and Other Popular Music
  • Corcovado (Quiet Nights)─Stan Getz─Stan Getz: Compact Jazz
  • Walk Of Life─Dire Straits
  • Ciaccona─Itzhak Perlman, violin─J.S.Bach: Sonatas & Partitas (one of the best violin performances I've heard of this, not surprisingly)
  • The Party ─Phil Ochs─Pleasures of the Harbor
  • You Can’t Lose─Big Blue Hearts─On the Air: KUSP’s Live Music Sessions






Thursday, April 26, 2007

Encountering Jacques

Last night I had a very distinct urge to spend my dinner break at a seedy bar. My thought process was tightly wound and seizing up; a little lubrication and a carousing social atmosphere seemed just the thing. A while back I'd gotten out of the deleterious habit of writing in my journal at a bar, so it was kind of fun to revisit the experience this one time.

I had to find a new bar, though, because my old favorite dive, a noisy sports bar with a happy hour that couldn't be beat, had gone out of business*. I felt like an outsider when I entered the dark confines of my new-chosen venue, until I was greeted warmly by a bartender who had worked at the sports bar a couple years before. I set myself up at the end of the bar where I had the benefit of light from the front window and open door.

I ordered a martini and a pint of Guinness, an allotment for the night that would amply satisfy me. I hauled out my journal book and the latest National Geographic. I did a quick survey of the patrons; the place was full of people having a good time, playing pool in back; through the open backdoor I could see people enjoying the spring evening out on the the sunlit back patio. Determining that there was nobody I knew, I immersed myself in the process of writing in my diary.

I wrote about the blog experience, the effect it's been having on me: tensing up my thought process, for one thing, wondering if I needed to step away from it for a while. I wrote about the fact that I couldn't remember the bartender's name...but I knew it would come to me...perhaps I would hear someone addressing her.

After a while her name came to me, and that was that, I had nothing more to write, so I turned to my National Geographic, a very interesting article about Jamestown and the ecological impact the colony unleashed upon the New World. Sensational stuff:
By the beginning of 1610, the settlers at Jamestown were dining on "dogs, cats, rats, and mice," Percy wrote, as well as the starch for their Elizabethan ruffs, which could be cooked into a kind of porridge. With famine "ghastly and pale in every face," some colonists stirred themselves to "dig up dead corpse[s] out of graves and to eat them." One man murdered his pregnant wife and "salted her for his food." When John Rolfe arrived that spring, only about 60 people at Jamestown had survived what was called "the starving time."
Ooh, I have to quote that in my blog, I thought.

I looked up from my reading, as if to share this gruesome detail with someone, when I noticed a small man dressed in dark garments: a heavy coat, an old knitted scarf, and a flat cloth cap, a sort of limp ragged beret. He made his way over to me, pointed out the array of items in front of me, and remarked in a slow, halting way that he found this curious. He seemed pretty drunk, and I wasn't relishing having to deal with him, but something about him made me decide to engage him, so I explained that I like to contrast the flavor of gin with the flavor of Guinness, and that when I get tired of writing, I like to read, and vice versa.

Emboldened, he took up a bar stool next to me, and then inquired about the nature of my writing. I'm often asked about this, so I gave a rendition of my usual answer. "I write as a way to apprehend my existence, savor the details of my day, and also to sort out my thoughts and emotions, deal with problems, and to help me remember things."

He seemed pleased with this answer, and asked my name. I obliged and asked him his. He told me he was Jacques, which made me aware now of his slight French accent. He spoke very carefully, halting between each word; this punctuated his speech with a kind of gravity, but I also was aware it might just be his effort to sound coherent through the haze of alcohol. As I shook his hand I took a closer look, admiring his Old World face, which was long and haggard. He had serious thoughtful eyes, a prominent nose and a pointed beard, all of which, in the shadows of the bar, brought to mind the face of El Greco.

I asked if he was French. "I am Flemish," he said. "Oh," I answered, being at a loss as how to respond to his Flemishness. He asked who my favorite writer was, and as I paused to turn over the usual literary suspects in my mind, he waved his hand dismissively and said, "I shouldn't ask that."

I noticed at one point that he had a golf ball-sized goiter on the left side of his throat. Questions about iodized salt flitted across my mind and then fluttered off. My involuntary glance at the bulbous protrusion led him to adjust his scarf back around to cover it.

The conversation continued on a vague course. Because of his slow, deliberate way of speaking I was at a loss to understand where he was going with his series of questions. He told me he was an artist, a painter. He seemed to want to convey that in his native country there was pride in being an artist and in making a living at what you most wanted to do. By implication, Americans did not hold this value. Certainly, the job I've held for so long does not fulfill my life's calling. It provides the financial means so I can pursue that fulfillment in my spare time.

Jacques spoke wistfully about Paris, which was a couple hours from his hometown. Here his speech was even more halting, as if words were inadequate to express the wonders the city had to offer. Also, he seemed to keep getting lost in his reminiscence.

I took my last sip of martini, thanked Jacques for the conversation, and bid adieu. As I walked away from the encounter, I felt very satisfied. I had realized my desire for amiable social interaction, the European flavor Jacques provided, a bonus. And though the concepts were only vaguely expressed, the kinship to the aesthetics of life inspired me.


As I was looking at portraits of El Greco to illustrate this post, I came across the visage of another 16th Century painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, responsible for those fanciful portraits of people comprised of fresh produce. Somewhere between El Greco and Giuseppe Arcimboldo you can get an idea of the impression Jacques' face made on me.

Now I'm wondering if the artwork of the dark and brooding Jacques has any of the whimsy of Giuseppe Archimboldo's vege heads.




In other news, tonight's the night I host the classical music program Musica della sera, which you can listen to live on-line. Show time listing is Pacific Time. I'll be adding to the playlist through the course of the program.

*I prefer not to think the curtailing of my barside writing habits was the direct cause of its demise.


    From Today's Soundtrack

  • Ahir Bhairav/Nat Bhairav─Hariprasad Chaurasia And Shivkumar Sharma ─Call of the Valley
  • Love Turns 40─Vienna Teng─Dreaming Through The Noise
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised─Gil Scott Heron
  • Carl Orff: Carmina Burana─Chicago Symphony Orchestra, James Levine
  • Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)─k.d. lang─Hymns Of The 49th Parallel
  • Selva Amazonica/Pau Rolou─Egberto Gismonti─Solo
  • Antienne Devant l'ouvrage de tes mains, et Psaume 91, avec kora─The Monks of the Abbey of Keur Moussa─Psaumes & Rythmes pour tous les temps - Samedi
  • Calice─Chico Buarque & Milton Nascimento─Brazil Classics 1

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Zazzle Fun! (photo)


Zazzle Fun!, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

This arrived in the mail today, my first order from Zazzle. Ordered through Flickr.

Direct from the photo page, you can custom design your own U.S. postage stamps!

Cool, huh? They look great. Stamps cost less than a buck a piece...price will go up when postage does in May, but in the meantime they're sending out 41-centers at the old price.


    From Today's Soundtrack

  • John Tavener: The Protecting Veil─Steven Isserlis, cello;London Orchestra; Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, conductor
  • Baby Let Me Follow You Down─Bob Dylan with The Band (live)─The Last Waltz
  • Never On Sunday─Pink Martini─Sympathique
  • Handel: Handel: Duetto Aci, Galatea: "Sorge il di" from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo─Carolyn Watkinson, Alto; Emma Kirkby, soprano; London Baroque; Charles Medlam
  • Nazali Mwasi─M'Bilia Bel─Bameli Soy
    Aaja Nachle (Come on Dance!)─Mychael Danna─Monsoon Wedding (soundtrack)
  • Beirut Hal Zarafat─Fairuz
  • Khammaj─Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, sarod─Signature Series, Volume 2: Three Ragas
  • Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Pganini, Op.43─Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano; London Symphony Orchestra
  • After the Crescent─John Coltrane─Dear Old Stockholm
    Country Blues─Doc Watson─The Best of Doc Watson 1964-1968

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Plausible and Patriotic Case for Impeachment

Evidently, according to Dennis Kucinich's web site, he was to give a news conference today on a plan to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. ("Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 5 p.m. on the Cannon Terrace, intersection of Independence and New Jersey Avenue".) I'm not finding the coverage at the moment...

It got me to thinking about a program I heard on public radio last month. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was on Tom Ashbrook's program On Point Monday, March 26, 2007. I found it riveting. I decided to transcribe portions of it because I thought it important and worth sharing. (Naturally, I recommend that you listen to the whole program.) Excerpts:

Host Tom Ashbrook: Why are you calling for the impeachment of President Bush?

Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson (pictured): I think this president has so badly abused his power, breached his trust in remarkable ways with our Congress, with the American people, has violated so many of our international treaty obligations, our Constitution, our domestic statutory laws, and has been responsible for ordering and condoning heinous human rights violations. We need to draw the line.

The impeachment clause in the United States Constitution is actually there to help preserve our balance of power among the three branches of government. It is there to help preserve our democracy against those who would go so far beyond our executive power. If there is ever a time when impeachment would be appropriate, this is certainly the time.

TA: How do you understand your role in these big global issues?

RA: Well, I think anybody has a huge responsibility, especially anyone in any leadership position, to stand up and speak out against the kinds of abuses of power, the Constitutional and treaty violations we have seen, the human rights abuses that have been perpetrated in our nation’s name. What are we becoming?

I think that impeachment is absolutely crucial to send a message to the world, and to the future of our country, that this is not representative of America, this is not representative of our values, and we are not this kind of a nation, and we won’t stand for it any more, and I think that it’s also a very important message to the future, that the President cannot declare for himself a unitary executive power─that’s what President Bush and Vice President Cheney call it─meaning, that in times of War, they get to be a dictator; they are above the law, above the Constitution, and beyond the reach of the court. It’s a frightening time. I used to think impeachment was a fairly radical idea. I think that it would be a huge endorsement of our separation of powers, our constitutional and democratic system of government.

[The program then featured a sound clip of Mayor Anderson’s speech the previous week in Salt Lake City on the 4th Anniversary of the Iraq Invasion: ] “I do not state this lightly, but the record demonstrates, President Bush is a War Criminal. He has blatantly violated relevant treaties and constitutional provisions in leading the United States to a so-called preemptive war against Iraq, without any justification in law or in fact. He must be held accountable. In our democracy, under our constitutional system of government, he must be held accountable through impeachment, and removal from office, for the many violated treaties and constitutional provisions, and if we don’t, those treaties and provisions are nothing more than paper and pretense.”

T.A.: How did you end up on this spot?

R.A.: I hold very dearly the underlying values, not only constitutional values of our country, but also the moral values, the kinds of values that have, for our nation’s history, set us apart from totalitarian governments, and we are becoming like them under this president, who claims for himself a power beyond the Constitution, beyond the courts, and beyond the legislature. This is a president who misled our country in very fundamental ways in taking us to a war of aggression that is absolutely violative of our solemn treaty obligations, under the United Nations charter, under many other treaties, that absolutely prohibit the invasion, the attack by one country against another country, unless it’s in self-defense.

The misleading of Congress, the misleading of the American people, toward a war of aggression in violation of our solemn treaty obligation is clearly an impeachable offense. The carrying out, the ordering, during a two year secret program of warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, in violation of both the United States Constitution, 4th Amendment, and the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act, an act specifically passed by Congress to prevent warrantless wiretaps and to set up a very easy procedure to obtain a wiretap under those circumstances, he just blew it all off and said, “I’m President of the United States, I’m above it all, nobody gets to tell me what to do,” and he blatantly violated our Constitution, listening in, ordering the listening in on American citizens’ conversations.

With people in authority, there is a real predilection by many people in this country to forget about our fundamental American values and what’s happening to our country, and rather it’s this cult of personality, it’s the sense that you’ve got to follow our President, and if you don’t, you’re not patriotic.

President Roosevelt said, Theodore Roosevelt, I think, said it so well when he said, “When your President’s doing wrong, you have a patriotic duty to stand up and take him on, not just blindly fall in line with him, and if you don't, that’s not only being morally off the mark, but it’s being unpatriotic, because patriotism is not love for the person in that office, it’s love for your country.”
Colorado Republican state chairman Dick Wadhams joins the conversation.
R.A. This is not about political party partisanship. This needs to be about who we are as Americans. If Dick Wadhams and Republicans and even Democrats…there are plenty of Democrats who have been absolutely pathetic in the United States Congress these last several years, sitting by, when you talk about a culture of obedience, a complacency that, I think, we’ll look back on with real shame, historically.

T.A.: You hear Dick Wadhams saying to you, Mayor Anderson, he wants your face to be the face of the Democratic Party because he believes it’s a political loser.

R.A.: Well, I think, he hasn’t looked at the polls in this country. This president’s ratings are completely in the toilet. According to some polls, the majority of people have said that if the President misled us into this war, he should be impeached, if the President ordered the unconstitutional warrantless wiretappings of American citizens, he should be impeached.

T.A.: What do you think, Dick Wadhams, when you hear Rocky Anderson call for impeachment, call the President a war criminal

Dick Wadhams: I think it’s sad. I think he’s way out of the mainstream [laughing] of frankly even the Democratic Party. Even the Democratic Party is not going to go down that road because they know that would be overreaching and the American people would reject that.

R.A.: All I would say is, for someone to support this president and oppose impeachment, I would have to ask Dick Wadhams, do you believe that human beings should be kidnapped, by order of our President─is that what we’ve become?─that we actually kidnap, hold people without charges, send them off to other countries to be tortured, or, for the detainees that we incarcerate, engage in torture without accountability?

T.A. Dick Wadhams, is that okay by you, Mr. Wadhams?

D.W.: I think you ought to approach your own people and get this impeachment resolution moving with your party. I think that’s what you ought to do.

T.A.: What do you mean? And what about Rocky Anderson’s question? What about kidnapping and torture, as he would have it?

D.W.: Oh, I’m not going to go down that road. I’m not going to play on his turf. [Anderson chuckles].

T.A.: Do you say it has not happened? Or it’s happened, but we had to do it because of extraordinary circumstances?

D.W.: [stammering] We’re talking about the Rocky Mountain West and the political situation in the Rocky Mountain West, what else do you want to talk about on that?

T.A.: [awkward pause] Uh, well, I guess it’s a national issue…I guess all Americans have some stake in that, but we see where you’re drawing the line there.

R.A.: You see what I’m talking about in terms of this culture of obedience? That you’re not even willing to talk about the fact that our country is responsible for torturing human beings, kidnapping them, holding them in communicado without charges…

T.A. [Talking over Anderson] We’ve got to take a break here…I want to thank Dick Wadhams, Colorado Republican State Chairman, for joining us. Salt Lake City, Utah Mayor Rocky Anderson is with us.
After the break, Wadhams was gone, but the fun continued when a caller defended the Iraq invasion by implying that Saddam Hussein was Public Enemy #1 in the war on terror. Anderson was very polite in setting her straight.

I used up all my spare time today transcribing this, so I'll have to leave my brilliant eloquence on the subject to your imagination, except to say that I fully support this approach to impeaching George W. Bush.

Do listen to the program. Rocky has a very pleasant voice.

    From Today's Soundtrack:

  • Smoke Rings─Laurie Anderson─Home of the Brave
  • For What It’s Worth─Buffalo Springfield
  • Where Have the Actors Gone─Sunny Wilkinson, vocal; Shelly Berg, piano─Morten Lauridsen: Northwest Journey
  • Moe ’Uhane (Dream Slack Key)─Sonny Chillingworth─Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters
  • Try a Little Tenderness─Otis Redding
  • Casacabeles Azules (nana)─Pepe Marchena─Flamenco
  • Opening Parade, Bali Arts Festival─Recorded by David Lewiston─Global Celebration 4: Gatherings, Joyous Festivals
  • Gregorio Allegri: Miserere mei, deus─Stephen Cleobury; Choir Of King’s College Cambridge─Allegri Miserere, Etc.
  • Mockingbird─Carly Simon w/James Taylor─Hot Cakes (with a shoutout to Xtinpore)
  • Pete─Dinah Washington─Stairway to the Stars

Monday, April 23, 2007

Feelin' Gloomy

It's a warm and sunny spring day today, after countless cold, overcast, or downright rainy ones.

I'm in a funk, though, because I lost my temper with Julian this morning. He was unwilling to get ready for school, and gentle coaxing and encouragement proved ineffective. I had to raise my voice, use intimidation tactics, so he would get dressed, but even that wasn't enough to get him to eat his breakfast.

It was all too much, and I hated to drop him off at school before tensions had eased, and now I know I'll be carrying around this lump of remorse all day long. He was just groggy, and not ready to face Monday morning. I know how that is.

With rue my heart is laden.

    Highlights from Today's Playlist of Life

  • W.A Mozart: Sonata in D, K. 311, 2. Andantino con espressione─Mitsuko Uchida, piano─Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas
  • Don’t Cry Baby─Bessie Smith─Bessie Smith: Chattanooga Gal - Disc 4 (Me And My Gin)
  • W.A. Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622─English Chamber Orchestra; Richard Stoltzman, clarinet and conductor
  • Dogsong 2─The Be Good Tanyas─Chinatown
  • Igor Stravinsky: Three Pieces for Clarinet─Richard Stoltzman, clarinet─Tashi Plays Stravinsky
  • Tarif "Allah! Muhammad, The Four Friends, Hajji Khwaja Qutb Farid!"─Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan─Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: En Concert à Paris
  • John Dowland: In Darkness Dwell─Sting; Edin Karamazov, lute─John Dowland: The Journey & the Labyrinth
  • O Leaozinho─Caetano Veloso─Beleza Tropical: Brazil Classics 1
  • Lady Sings the Blues─Billie Holiday─Billie Holiday: The Ultimate Collection

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bloggy's First Comment


I wonder if I should get a baby book for my blog. Thanks to RevJen for showing me what a blog comment looks like from my end, and for the words of encouragement. I had the foresight to activate email notification, not fearing for a moment that my inbox would be flooded, nor was it.

I'm in a somewhat taciturn state of mind today, having stayed up rather late watching old TV shows on DVD. I put Amadeus on for Julian last night, and he watched it fairly attentively for a non-kids movie. It was way past his bedtime, though, when we got to the Intermission (i.e., the point when one has to turn the disc over) so hopefully we'll watch the exciting conclusion tonight.

Today I want to focus on reading the blogs of my friends...I hope to add more to this entry throughout the day.
­µ µ­ µ

I'm an avid Flickr user, and host a fun group called Theme of the Week. The theme changes every Sunday at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time), i.e., right about now.

The new theme for this week is Toy, however you wish to interpret or express this.

Photos must be taken between April 22, 2007 and April 29, 2007. 2 entries per person per theme.

Ideally photos should be taken with the theme in mind.

1st and 2nd place winners get to judge the following week's contest.

I invite anyone interested to participate! It's quite fun to go out and take photos with a theme in mind.

We're awaiting the judges' decision on the theme Blue

Here are last week's winners, on the theme Bugs:

Winners of the Theme of the Week: Bugs

1. Winner Mosaic Title, 2. Straw maintenance, 3. a hoverfly,
4. Ladybug

Check out the Theme of the Week group if you haven't already.


This just in, winners of Theme of the Week: Blue

Winners of Theme of the Week: Blue

1. Winner Mosaic Title, 2. Blue Drops 1, 3. Through the bones, 4. Cineraria- blue and white


    Highlights from Today's Playlist of Life

  • Beethoven: Streichquartette B-Dur, Op. 18-6: I. Allegro Con Brio─The Smithson String Quartet─Beethoven: Sechs Streichquartette Op. 18
  • Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in E Minor, K.402/L.427─Eteri Andjaparidze, piano─Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Volume 1
  • Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in E Minor, K.402─Scott Ross, harpsichord─Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas, Disc 25 (I have all 34 discs! I'm crazy for Scarlatti.)
  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Piano Concerto No.3 in F, Hob. XVIII:3─Leif Ove Andsnes, piano and conducting the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
  • Joseph Haydn: Piano Sonata No.53 in E Minor, Hob. XVI: 34 ─Emanuel Ax, piano─Haydn: Piano Sonatas No.32,47,53 & 59
  • Arvo Pärt: Passio Domine nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem─Hilliard Ensemble─Arvo Pärt: Passio
  • John Dowland: Have You Seen The Bright Lily Grow─Sting, voice; Edin Karamazov, lute─John Dowland: The Journey & The Labyrinth

feline embrace (photo)


feline embrace, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Piper and Yoshe, very compatible.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Piper Shows Some Tongue (photo)


Piper Shows Some Tongue, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Piper, a lynx point, is one of our two Siamese cats. The other is Yoshe, a snowshoe Siamese.

Latest Photos/Recent Uploads, Shuffle, and New! My Blog

Body and Soul

I never liked the store brands of pasta sauces, until I tried Trader Joe's delicious varieties. Now I find I don't make my own spaghetti sauce nearly as often as I used to. Besides, who ever has the thyme?

It's overcast and damp, and bloody freezing in the house, in the low 50's Fahrenheit. I'm too stubborn to make a fire in latter day April, so I'm resigned to being grumpy about it.

I've added a playlist section to the blog. I'm a hopeless shuffler. I'm delighted with the first few tracks that popped up today. Coleman Hawkins "Body and Soul" is among my all-time favorite jazz recordings. I'm also very fond of that overplayed Iz tune (Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful Life).

I am still trying to find my Blog voice. I'm also in that limbo of an inchoate blog that has yet to garner a comment other than my own. I'm guessing this is natural. As is the alarming amount of unaccountable time gobbled up by random acts of web page tweaking. I don't even know what a new comment looks like. Will I be notified in some way? O magnum mysterium!



I listened to a fantastic interview with Kurt Vonnegut last night, a rebroadcast from a year ago of the BBC's World Book Club. (click Kurt for details) Calls and emails from all around the world, and charming responses from a great American author. We miss you, Kurt. Hi ho!

I just got a call back from the A&E people about that broken Avengers DVD. They are willing to replace it for free, if I pay for the shipping. Praises to C/S rep Julie who went out of her way to make this happen, when I hadn't even asked. By the time I talked to her, I had resigned myself to buying the replacement at full price. She took all the initiative.

This was such a refreshing contrast to the first jaded nameless C/S rep I talked to who refused to help me in any way, beyond answering every point and plea I made by reiterating, in a Nurse Ratchet tone of voice, that my only recourse was to take it back to the store where I bought it. Implied message: scum who don't buy directly from A&E would not be countenanced.

Today's the day the Roomba died. Our beloved cleaning robot will need to go to meet its maker, who, I hope, can repair it. I suspect a shattered ball bearing is what's keeping the brush cylinder from rotating, judging from the jerky rattling. While they're at it, they can restore its beep tone voice, which has been sickly for weeks.

    Highlights from Today's Playlist of Life

  • Umqombothi (African Beer)─Yvonne Chaka Chaka─Hotel Rwanda
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful LifeIz
  • Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981): Qui habita─Netherlands Chamber Choir; Uwe Gronostay─Music in the Light of Vermeer
  • J.S. Bach: Ich folge dir gleichfalls─Rundfunkchor Leipzig; Staatskapelle Dresden; Peter Shreier, conductor─J.S. Bach: Johannes-Passion
  • Body And Soul─Coleman Hawkins─Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of American Music

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kids Sound Bite Retrospective, Part II

Mar 16, 2004 –

Julian said something yesterday in the car that made me laugh.

I had just gotten a pedicure on Sunday--something I haven't ever done in his memory. He was very impressed with my shiny, painted toenails.

I picked him up from school after a long day, and while we were driving away, he said,

"I have to say hello to your toenails. I haven't seen them Allllll Day!" [Editor's note: This is Meera's story, in case you were wondering...]
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May 25, 2004 –

Julian's thing recently has been to talk about how he can fly and live in the clouds. I asked him if other people live there, too, and he said yes, lots of people live there...

"And sometimes they poop on people's heads. Except Superman. His poops are asteroids."
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Jun 8, 2004 –

Whenever I laugh at something I read on Table Talk, it gets Gabriel giggling, too. It makes me aware that I LOL a lot more than I realized.

And he is an avid vocalist and a very sophisticated babbler, bust still only has three recognizable words in his vocabulary: Mama, Da-Da and Na-Na (Banana).

Oh, and he will go "ahhh" gutterally after taking a drink. And say num-num when he anticipates particularly tasty food, whether it be breast milk or something else.
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Dec 14, 2004 –

Two gems from Julian tonight:

While he was going to bed and babbling about holidays, he very seriously said, "I want my own holiday. I will call it 'Thumbtack Day'."

And the other funny one---

"Daddy said that I can't use scissors without supervision. I see just fine."
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Jan 24, 2005 –
Julian and I had this exchange:

Me:......You know what, Julian?
Julian: What?
Me:......I looooooove you!
Julian: Stop saying that!
Me:......Why?
Julian: 'cause I already know that!
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Jun 11, 2005 –

I was driving with Julian the other night, and we were headed to a restaurant to meet Nicholas. We were probably going to get there at about the same time.

A jerk cut me off, and, as I usually do when some one is rude on the road, I uttered a "DUDE!!".

Julian then said, "Mama, if Daddy cuts in front of you, don't call him 'Dude'."

beat

"Call him 'butthead'."
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Aug 2, 2005 –

So a friend sent us a nice package of old videos and a stuffed bear that we got in the mail yesterday. Upon its opening, Gabriel claimed the bear as his own, holding it close and cuddling it. Julian said to me, "That's going to make me cry!"

Anticipating that it was going to be one of those sibling rivalry things and he was going to say something about wanting the bear, I warily said, "Why will it make you cry?"

"Because Gabriel is so so cute!"

He really did seem to almost have tears in his eyes. I kid you not.

awwwwwww.
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Aug 8, 2005 –

The other day...

Julian: Mama, where's [some little piece of detritus that I can't remember right now... like a little toy or something]?
Me: Where did you put it?
Julian: [Some obscure place]
Me: Well, god knows where it is now.
Julian: Could we pray for help to find it?

I don't know... in some families this exchange wouldn't be that unusual, but it had me laughing...
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Aug 29, 2005 –

So Julian and I were driving home the other day (amazing how so many of these things happen in the car; I suppose we're captive audiences for each other), and we were talking about the solar system and things that were in it. I listed planets, moons, asteroids, lot of dust, and oh yeah, comets. He asked what they were made of and how they moved. I told him I wasn't exactly sure, but I'm sure that it had to do with gravity.

"How much gravity?"

"I don't really know, sweetie. It's very complicated. I'm not even sure how to measure gravity, even."

"I think it's measured by God's handful."

Wow. Not only would "God's Handful" be a great title for a book, but wow! How did he think of that?
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Aug 30, 2005 –

Reminds me... Gabriel's word for bowel movements is "yucky poo-poo". But he has trouble with the "y" sound, so it comes out as "lucky poo-poo"! Cracks me up every time.

"Mama, lucky poo-poo inna die-poo!"

Yet he still isn't potty trained.
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Oct 17, 2005 –

Julian said something funny yesterday. We were having a picnic and a yellow jacket landed on the chicken of my sandwich. Instead of shoo-ing it away, I watched its little jaws work on the meat, eventually carrying off a little bit to share with its yellow jacket friends. Of course, the entire hive (do yellow jackets live in a hive?) comes out to join us, resulting in a scurrying to cover all meat- or fruit-related food items. Later, Julian and I went off to take a walk, but it meant walking by the path where the yellow jackets had retreated. (Perhaps their nest? hive? flock? I dunno) was near the path.

Julian hung back, being concerned about passing them. I told him, "You don't have anything to worry about unless you're a hunk of meat."

He looked up at me, and said, "But we ARE a hunk of meat!"
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Jan 24, 2006 –

The other day, Julian and I were driving, listening to my book on tape, the very adult (only in complexity, not in terms of X-rated) Patrick O'Brian series, in which one of the characters was lamenting the onset of middle age. Julian and I got to talking about middle age, and I said something along the lines of not looking forward to more grey hair and wrinkles and getting old, O woe is me.

He said, very seriously, "That's okay, Mama, at least you have your health. That's the most important thing."

Maybe you had to be there, but I just about drove off the road I was laughing so hard.
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Feb 7, 2006 –

Gabriel, playing with his mylar birthday balloon, while shaking his finger at it:

"You stay here. Is that clear?"
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Feb 13, 2006 –

I was sitting in on Julian's class on Friday. (He's in first grade.) The kids were all talking about Presidents' Day. The teacher asked, "Does anyone know who the president is right now?"

Hands shot up, and one of the kids said, "George Bush."

Julian, sitting in the front row, couldn't contain himself any longer and blurted out, in a put-upon tone, "He's been president my whole, entire LIFE!"

Poor kid.

(The teacher almost couldn't contain her giggles at that one.)
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Apr 28, 2006 –

I put Winged Migration on for Gabriel while he munched on an off-brand of strawberry pop tart...

When the big moon is shown at the beginning of the film, asking Gabriel if he knows what that is, and having him tell me it's a fork. Puzzling on him calling it a fork, which led to

Me: Do you mean spoon?
Gaby: Yeah, spoon.
Me: Do you mean moon?
Gaby: Yeah.
Me: Did you get fork mixed up with spoon, and spoon mixed up with moon?
Gaby: Yeah.
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Jun 5, 2006 –

Today I was driving Gaby to daycare, and it was a beautiful morning. I spontaneously broke out in song:

Morning has broken, like the first---

"Mama, moe-ning isn't bwoken, it FIXED! And the twees are fixed, and da fwowers, and da kitties... and da clouds. Dey not bwoken, they all FIXED!"
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Sep 21, 2006 –

I was asking Gabriel which shoes he wanted to wear, sandals, sneakers, or his monster slip-on shoes. He kept asking for the "tire" shoes. Tire shoes? shoes made of tires? we don't have those, I don't understand...

Frustrated, he picked up his sneakers. "TIRE shoes!"

"Why are you calling them 'tire shoes'? They're not made of tires."

"'cause dey TIE! you TIE them!"

Oh. Silly me.
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Feb 12, 2007 –

Not two minutes ago, from Gabriel:
"If you sit on kitties, they pop."

A few weeks ago, while eating an absolutely divine danish:
"I loooooooOOOOOOOOOOOooooooove this!"
After finishing it:
"I'm done eating, and now my tummy loooooooOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooves this!"
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Apr 2, 2007 –

Yesterday Gabriel came into the bedroom, naked as a jaybird. "I'm NAKED! I'm NAKED!!!" while he did a little dance around the room.

"Why are you naked?" Puzz asked.

"'cause I took off my shirt, and my pants, and my underpants, and my socks and my shoes!"

Simple, direct, to the point.
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Apr 17, 2007 –

We're having a sick day today, beginning at 5:00AM this morning with Gabriel puking all over my pajamas. After many bouts of upchucking, Gabriel asked for some water, and greedily slurped it down. Too fast, it turns out. Not five minutes later, he projectile-spewed all over the bed. "I can't drink water now, Mama; I exploded like fizzy water." Then he looked at me sorrowfully and said, "It's gwoss, Mama."

He's feeling much better now, and is eating normally, though he has a fever. I'm doing laundry today.

Kids Sound Bite Retrospective, Part I

I didn't give myself much time to post an entry today.

I will report that last night I broke one of the DVDs from my 17-disc Avengers Emma Peel Megaset, taking it out of the box. It was stuck to the spindle, and I heard the sickening radial snap that rendered it unplayable.

I was able to reorder just this one disc through www.originalavengers.com...expensively. But I must have a full set of this chic and campy B&W classic. Besides, I think this disc includes the episode where Emma adorns herself with whips, chains, and scanty leathers.

Thank you to Meera for gathering together eloquent moments in our children's lives, mostly reported in Table Talk, Salon.com's on-line community, where she and I have been members since around the time our first son was born.

She recently emailed this around to family members, and I thought I'd include it here, along with some school portraits of the boys that I recently scanned:
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Jan 9, 2003

I called Julian "sweet stuff" when I was putting him down for his nap, and he said, "I'm not made of sweet stuff like sugar! I'm made of blood and bones and skin!"
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Jan 10, 2003

....Julian was riffing tonight at bedtime on the phrase "chocolate rocket". "It's just pretend," he explained, and started handing me little imaginary chocolate rockets, "They're very little. I put them in a box." I told him I liked the way it sounded. "From a socket," he said.
...."From a socket?" I asked, not sure what he meant. I was thinking plug socket.
...."What's this part?" and he pointed to the side of his eye.
...."That's right, that's your eye socket, the hole where your eyeball sits. So, a chocolate rocket flying from an eye socket, nice. Did you make that up?"
...."It's a song," he told me, with a tone implying I should know that, and started sing-songily, "Cho! c'late! Ro! cket!"
...."Where did you hear it?"
...."At the museum." He paused in thought and then added, "Far, far away."
...."What museum?"
...."At my wedding." Hmm, I wondered where this sequence of thoughts came from, without a clue—he hasn't been to any museums or weddings lately—and chalked it up to pure imagination.

....We went on to talk about other things, and then said goodnight to each other. As I was leaving his room he said softly, "I will sing the eyeball song."
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Jan 24, 2003 –

Last night I was lecturing Julian about his incessant use of "Why?" as a response when we tell him to do something or not to do something. I was pretty annoyed with him because he was running around doing all those things he's not supposed to be doing, so I scolded him and told him to stop saying "why" and just do it.

He didn't skip a beat and said, "But can I say the letter `Y'?"
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Feb 2, 2003 –

I was telling Julian about the Space Shuttle tragedy today, the day after he had said to me that he wanted to go up in a "paceship" and I had said that he could, if he worked hard, was very smart, and very brave.

I told him that the space shuttle had broken up when it was coming back home, and that the astronauts had died. He said to me, "My space ship won't break up. I won't die."

"I sure hope not."

"Will your space ship break up?"

"No, honey, I don't think I want to ever go in a space ship. It's too scary to me."

"You can go in mine. It will be safe. You have to be brave."
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Feb 2, 2003 –-

This is kind of a daddy shaggy dog sound bite:

Last night after an endless process of folding several loads of laundry, I started putting it away. Meera had folded and stacked all of Julian's underwear (I never understood the reasoning of folding underwear, but then, I'm a guy.) Julian has been asserting his independence lately, insisting on doing things himself...that's a good thing. But when I picked up his clothes to take to his dresser he shouted, "I WANT TO DO IT!" and rushed over and grabbed the stack of underwear. I tried to stop him because he was totally unfolding them and crumpling them together. He upped the decibel level and emphasis of his protest: "I...WANT...TO...DO...IT!!!"

So I said...

...........wait for it now...

........"Don't get your panties in a bunch."
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Feb 17, 2003 –

For some reason Julian is accepting the Catch-22 I've been giving him the past few nights. For quite some time he's been insisting when I leave him, after reading stories, that I come back in fifteen minutes to check on him. Lately I've been telling him I'll only come back if he's asleep. "I will be!" he says eagerly. And each time he has gone right to sleep.

In contrast to him being wide awake after each fifteen minute interval with his eyes fixed obsessively on the digital clock, chanting creepily the mantra "fifteen minutes".
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Mar 14, 2003 –


Julian and I had the funniest conversation the other day. We were driving and J. was talking to himself, as he usually does. All of a sudden he pipes up, "Mama, what is God?"

OK, I think, the difficult questions begin, and he's only three.

So I go into the whole "some people believe in this, some people believe that, some people believe that god looks like a man, some people believe god is everywhere, some people don't think that there is a god at all..."

"But they're wrong, aren't they, Mama."

"Well, I don't know. It's something that you have to figure out for yourself."

Silence for a few minutes.

"What is God doing right now, Mama?"

"I don't know, honey. What do you think he is doing?"

"I think he's going to work. And what is Mama God doing, Mama?"

I'm giggling. Mama God. "I don't know, honey, what do you think she's doing?"

"I think she's pumping milk for Kid God."

I'm laughing now. "And what do you think Kid God is doing?"

"Kid God is a dinosaur. A Tyranosaurus Rex. Rawwwwwoooorrr!"
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Mar 17, 2003 –

Speaking of child astronomy, I was leafing through a great big book about the universe with Julian the other night , and when we got to a chapter about constellations, I was naming them and describing them to him. He suddenly burst out fervently for me to show him his constellation. I told him I was sorry but I didn't think there was a Julian constellation. He started shouting indignantly, "Yes There Is!" I tried to appease him, but had to tell him I really didn't think there was. I kept flipping through the pages in the act of looking. He then pointed to one. "That's it, that's my constellation."

"Scorpio?"
"Yes! That's mine!"

I told Meera about this and she said she had showed the constellation for his sign to him but didn't really think he was paying attention.

He was of course impressed by its resemblance to the letter J.
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Apr 2, 2003 –

Julian's most recent career ambitions:

"When I grow up, I will be President of the United States. My name will be Julian Franklin George."
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May 25, 2003 –


"Fireworks are my favorite fire!"

Julian's excited exclamation when he stumbled on the fireworks setting on the RealAudio player.
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Jun 20, 2003 –

Julian has this annoying habit of shoving his thin books down the crack between the wall and his bed. It's a big heavy wood futon frame which is a real pain to move in order to retrieve them, so I try to reason with him to get him not to do it. Sometimes I guess he just can't resist the temptation.

So, the other night he went ahead and did it again, slipping his Peter and the Wolf book down there. "Now why did you go and do that? Now we won't be able to read it."

He glanced up for a moment as a thought came into his head, along with a smile, then he looked at me and said, "But the bugs will!"
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Jul 1, 2003 –

The other night as I was leaning over to kiss Julian good night he said, "I bid you farewell," with a regal sweep of the hand.

I have no idea where he picked this up!
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Sep 22, 2003 –

The following may be just a tad nauseating, but here goes.

We stayed overnight at a friend's place on Saturday and Julian woke up at about 4:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Meera and I were asleep on a futon on the floor with the baby between us. Julian wedged himself in and wanted to snuggle up to the baby. We told him to go back to sleep and leave the baby alone. He whined, "But I have hugs in me, and I need to get them out."
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Dec 2, 2003 –


We have an unwanted lodger in the house, currently occupying a place in the wall behind the sink.

We have been talking about getting a cat for some time now; maybe after our Christmas vacation. Meera and I and Julian, age 4, were talking about what to name this hypothetical cat, when Julian suggested we call it "Eat Rat".
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Dec 13, 2003 –

Julian was playing a video game and chattering to himself, and then out of the blue he said, "I can't believe we have a baby! He's soooo cute!"
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Dec 13, 2003 –

Julian calls Gabriel "Little". "Hello, Little!"
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Jan 25, 2004 –

Julian came up with this the other day...

He was being his normal, difficult 4-year-old self and having trouble listening, as is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common. Finally, after telling him "no" about fourteen times in a row, I said to him, "What part of NO don't you understand?!!"

He looked at me and said, "Nnnnn. Nnnnn. Nnnnnn."

grrrr.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

sunset celebration, detail (photo)

One of my favorite photos, Gabriel and Julian at sunset, with the Cement Ship. I recently ordered US postage stamps with this image, using zazzle.com, via flickr.com.

And here's an interesting recent side story about the Cement Ship.

This is another test of Flickr's blogging feature, this time from my Puzzled Gallery account.

self-portrait using artpad.art.com (drawing)



Self-portrait sketch using the very cool on-line free hand drawing tool artpad.art.com.

This is a fun program.

I'm posting this mainly to test the blog feature of Flickr.

Second Post

A second post turns out to be a big event in the life of Puzzled with Aplomb, as it comes more than a year after the first post.

Distractions of the day are the bane of my existence, and yet they are often rewarding. Maintaining a blog promises to generate a lot of distraction, so I enter the blogosphere with trepidation.

Two items I wish to share in this post are quite different.

I'll start with a link to National Geographic's LiveCam at Año Nuevo State Reserve, just up the coast from Santa Cruz where I work. Legions of elephant seals lounge, soak, sun, sand, tustle, and procreate on the coast within view of Año Nuevo Island, where an abandoned lighthouse keeper's house has been taken over by sea lions. I recently visited this wonderful location with my son and his 2nd grad class. Here are some of the photos we took: Ano Nuevo, Land of Elephant Seals (Set).



Just this morning I discovered the LiveCam link in the May issue of NGM. I was told of the LiveCam's existence during the 2nd Grade field trip, but hadn't yet gotten around to tracking down the URL. Unfortunately, I have yet to enjoy it because the firewall at work denies me access to such things. I'll have to wait till I get home to view it.

The second item concerns yesterday's Supreme Court 5-4 decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Act. I won't comment on the subject right now, but I wanted to digest Ruth Bader Ginsberg's dissenting opinion (q.v.), since the lengthy legalese of the full text dilutes the eloquent pith of her points. Here are excerpts from the full text of her dissenting opinon:



Seven years ago, in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U. S. 914 (2000), the Court invalidated a Nebraska statute criminalizing the performance of a medical procedure that, in the political arena, has been dubbed "partial-birth abortion."1 With fidelity to the Roe-Casey line of precedent, the Court held the Nebraska statute unconstitutional in part because it lacked the requisite protection for the preservation of a woman's health.

Today's decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health.

As Casey comprehended, at stake in cases challenging abortion restrictions is a woman's "control over her [own] destiny."

Their ability to realize their full potential, the Court recognized, is intimately connected to "their ability to control their reproductive lives." Thus, legal challenges to undue restrictions on abortion procedures do not seek to vindicate some generalized notion of privacy; rather, they center on a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.

In keeping with this comprehension of the right to reproductive choice, the Court has consistently required that laws regulating abortion, at any stage of pregnancy and in all cases, safeguard a woman's health. We have thus ruled that a State must avoid subjecting women to health risks not only where the pregnancy itself creates danger, but also where state regulation forces women to resort to less safe methods of abortion.Indeed, we have applied the rule that abortion regulation must safeguard a woman's health to the particular procedure at issue here--intact dilation and evacuation (D&E).

The Court offers flimsy and transparent justifications for upholding a nationwide ban on intact D&E sans any exception to safeguard a women's health. Today's ruling, the Court declares, advances "a premise central to [Casey's] conclusion"--i.e., the Government's "legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life." The law saves not a single fetus from destruction, for it targets only a method of performing abortion.

Delivery of an intact, albeit nonviable, fetus warrants special condemnation, the Court maintains, because a fetus that is not dismembered resembles an infant. But so, too, does a fetus delivered intact after it is terminated by injection a day or two before the surgical evacuation, or a fetus delivered through medical induction or cesarean. Yet, the availability of those procedures--along with D&E by dismemberment--the Court says, saves the ban on intact D&E from a declaration of unconstitutionality. Never mind that the procedures deemed acceptable might put a woman's health at greater risk.

Ultimately, the Court admits that "moral concerns" are at work, concerns that could yield prohibitions on any abortion. By allowing such concerns to carry the day and case, overriding fundamental rights, the Court dishonors our precedent.

Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem." Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the "bond of love the mother has for her child," the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution--ideas that have long since been discredited.

The Court's hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed. Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label "abortion doctor." A fetus is described as an "unborn child," and as a "baby," and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as "preferences" motivated by "mere convenience."

In sum, the notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational. The Court's defense of the statute provides no saving explanation. In candor, the Act, and the Court's defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court--and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives.


I'm afraid that the Virginia Tech story is distracting the country from a lot of important events that will have long-term effects on our lives, and deserve a whole lot more of our attention. This Supreme Court decision is just one of many.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

First Post

Monday, February 06, 2006

How many blogs get started because the person just wants to sign up so they can respond to another blogger?

That's the case here. I don't have any particular desire to share my thoughts with the world, especially as I spend far too little time writing in my private journal.

When I don't write in my private journal I start to lose touch with my emotions and my reality and it's not pretty.

Well, that's enough for now.