Category Archives: culture


Happy March everyone! It’s overcast and cold as the dickens, but that is OK because it’s March, it’s Friday and all of that must be good.

So far 2013 has been less the year of the snake and more of the year of work. I’ve been kept busy in the library. The normal bits, of course, APA help, research, book ordering, answering life’s mysteries — you know — being a librarian. But the things that have kept me hopping the most are my additional duties of being the “champion” of the online students and tutorial. (Side note: Have I told you that I literally do have the title of “Flex Champion” that indicates nothing about muscle, but really lets the ground students who take online classes know that I’m their go-to-gal. The title is hysterical and does warrant some raised eyebrows. I find myself letting the students know that I will not flex for them — no, not ever.) Those two roles rolled onto my main gig are keeping me off the streets (or the net) and busy.

Beyond work, what can I say? Life is beautiful. Like I said, it’s March, it’s Friday . . . what more do you want? This month I am in a writing challange that I am a bit nervous about (it’s about quantity and not quality though, so I have that going for me). I’m back to trying to run — should be fun to move as soon as I see the sun again. And, there is a small amount of me trying to learn the guitar. (Hope you all have the cliche of old dogs and new tricks going through your head. Music ability at my age is tough people!)Tonight may find me involved with puppets of the Edgar Allen Poe kind. Let’s hope that is some weird magic and not just awkward pauses.

Happy weekend and 2013 everyone!

progress, planning and prose

Ahhh July. It is a good month to get things done. I’m still on track (so punny) with my preparations for a hot, hot, hot 5K in August. Realize all too often that my skeletal self is still in denial. However, I’m very happy I’m meeting my body for the first time in 40+ years.Hopefully my body will feel likewise soon.

Beyond that, it’s turning into a busy Summer. I have plans to visit friends and family, work has plans for me to visit other places and then life always has a plan of its own. In short, there is travel ahead of me and behind me. I did, for pleasure, recently return from my first ever trip to Boston. There was a Fenway outing and the Freedom trail and lots of walking that helped with the lots of eating . . . it was a perfect trip. Loved the city, history, baseball and food. Definitely the best Braves loss I’ve ever witnessed. If you’ve never been, please make a point to do it and take some good walking shoes. I may try to put together a photo album of some pics, but am swamped at the moment planning everything on the horizon.

I did, however, take a personal day off and decided to upload a book to my Kindle. After some hasty research that involved Salon, random questions to trusted reading friends and a glance at some Amazon reviews, I selected The Fault in Our Stars. I finished it last night. Yes, it’s so good you cannot put it down. You must devour the beauty and brilliance in one sitting because it’s so heart breaking that you may not be able to pick it back up. They (you know who they are) consider it young adult fiction for some reason. I think because the 2 main characters are 16 & 17. But really, this is a book that everyone except the very young should read. Absolutely gorgeous.

Hope everyone is happy post-Independence Day. And if not happy, hope you are all progressing forward anyway!


I’ve just been reading the NYTimes article about the Winter Solstice. It brought back Rome and my teenage years and rambling in the woods and all the mythology of my life so far. There is a whole life of shadow and another of the Sun that we can’t even begin to pinpoint within ourselves. Yet I do intend to try soon.

This past weekend I was able to participate in a lighting of a fire, this time it was burning rum off of chocolate to make a really tasty mousse — regardless of the reason, this convergence of themes has reminded me to light the fires of the things we need to get rid of. So I’m going to collect those bits of consciousness and memory and acknowledge that I’ve learned from their pain/experience/moment and then I’m going to burn them on their little scrapes of paper. I’m going to celebrate the fear and cycle of life with every little flicker. Allow them to lift off and enter the inky dark. I’ll see the new that comes from it.

Happy Winter Solstice!


old friends, new discoveries

We were walking along night Chicago and stumbled upon a fountain. I’d read of a fountain that would spout on the hour and wondered aloud if this could be the one. Waiting was an option, even though early trains had … Continue reading

Car wheels on a gravel road

Yep, Lucinda Williams is playing this weekend and the gang is headed down from NC!  Shame about my sinus infection keeping me from winning any “good housekeeping awards” . Domestic diva I’m not nor have ever been  (and hopefully their love for me adjusts expectations accordingly). And 2 cats do not a housekeeper make — IMHO. Of course, 2 cats may make me get a housekeeper . . .

Doesn’t matter though! Just looking forward to great talks, music, visits, updates and sharing of dreams and encouragement. And food! Can’t forget food (this weekend I’m “off diet”.)

But I’ll kick start all of that with a massage this afternoon. Long, overdue, massage. If I’m reduced to a puddle, then maybe someone from NC can come “sweep up my lazy bones” before the show. (I know, Beck and Lucinda is an odd pairing.)

Hopefully I’ll have pictures next week. Darling Nikki has been a bit impatient with me lately.

Have a great weekend!

bipolar bliss

Beyond just speaking directly about my mental self (I’ll speak more on why later) I’m also referring to one of those fantastic nights where nothing is easy but everything is good. 

I was invited to the American Consulate which lies next to the Arno in a gorgeous building. For those of you that read my previous blog, yes, I made it on time and not too ruffled from my motorcycle ride. I even beat Luigi there, actually, but not Frank and his crew. 

And the consul was very warm and she danced a bit with Frank’s dad and Luigi and Frank gawked at her beauty and charisma. In the meantime, I broke a champagne glass on a marble mantle, laughed at someone when he told me his name was Marco Polo (and it was Marco Polo) and basically became the brutta figura I know deep down I am. I truly hate swank (and this wasn’t even that swank), but I did it because it was slightly important to two men in my life and at least I was able to drink free bubbly for a bit. Luigi did convince the band to sing a few more songs and he honored me by imitating a great crooner. To top that stage of the evening off, he asked the consul to go to CPA with us sometime. Oh, the CPA, I’ll explain, but needless to say she didn’t go that night but did take Luigi’s card. He has guts, that one.

We ate at Enovino (I think that’s the name) and then taxied (such extravagance) to the other side of the Arno and arrived at CPA. The CPA is a communist party organization that holds movie screenings, bands, talks, etc. for super cheap (and the best bar prices in town). It is, in short, what Americans would call a dive — but with a philosophical core that sets it apart. Once there we watched a movie in Italian, were served small cocktails that tasted like sweet tea, I lectured on the word benediction, we read some poetry written by the bartender’s boyfriend and listened to music. It’s easy for those of you that know me to see which side of the river I prefer.

Can’t really express the great dichotomy between the two worlds we participated in, but pleasure can be found in both. And the music never stops.


It’s the day before Befana here. La Befana is a witch that belatedly goes out searching for the baby in the manger and she is more popular in Italy than Santa Claus. Needless to say, I love her. The night before the Epiphany she leaves children treats or coal — depending on their behavior. Sound familiar?

Her popularity seems unexpected in a place where beauty is idealized. Obvious proof that a good story can sway public opinion. And she is the official end of the holiday season. (Of course the Italians celebrate longer than the rest of us!) So, take a moment and reflect on the good stories in your life and enjoy a bit of wicked with your spiritual self.

Consider that your treat, from me to you. And now for the lump of coal:

Unemployment sounds warning about the economy.

sorry, I had to.