Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chest Bumping

AP Ding-dong World Press.
--------At a graduation ceremony this past week in Colorado, our fearless leader President Bush displayed his domination and power by engaging in behavior anthropologists call 'the ritualistic chest bump.' Gorillas, pygmy marmosets, and orangutans have also been known to display this behavior, especially if available females or rival males are watching. Bush was seen chest bumping with a young male, a fellow Texan. Bush faced the younger man then charged. At one point, it appears Bush was airborne, indicating fine chest bumping indeed. President Bush finished his ritualistic chest bump with a grunting sound, concluded by blowing out hot air through his nostrils and mouth. The crowd was somewhat awed and shocked by the gesture.

The Foreign Cities and Countries of Maine

You don't need your passport to venture into the great state of Maine, but within a few miles, you can visit Peru and Mexico. If you're not into the southern climate, you can head over to Sweden or Norway. If you want fine cuisine and culture, go to Paris or Rome.

Or not.

I did a little research on Maine's
many curiously named places. One scholarly tome---Maine Place Names and the Peopling of Its Towns (1957), by Ava Harriet Chadbourne, ----is presently out of my hands and in some dusty library, but it seems to be the cited authority on the subject. Other than this, I found a few tourist articles.

I'm going to boldly surmise that Maine's odd place names are for many reasons. For one, the early settlers (and later settlers) of Maine had a good sense of humor. Why not name a one horse town of 235 souls after a famous European capital? Two, the early Mainers of the 1600's thru the 1800's --stalwart Yankees indeed, admired the revolutionary quests for independence of many countries in the world at the time.

Oddly enough, many towns were
not named in reference to ethnic background. No French is regularly spoken is Paris, Maine, and very few Mainers of Italian ancestry reside in Verona. And Poland is a spring, not a country. More than likely, the main (Maine) reason for giving towns lofty names was pride. As Mainers & most New Englanders know, any Maine town measures up to any of the greatest of cultures of the world. Finally, the tourists notice these Maine oddities and want to visit, even though they're "people from away."

Maine has other funny places, like Lobster, Maine, (very expected) and Massachusetts Gore (I don't think I want to visit there). Many names are from the native peoples. Try saying Mattamiscontis three times after drinking three beers or seeing three bears, or both. And Jim's Pond, Maine must be an exciting place to visit. Finally, Maine has many gorgeous place names that roll off the tongue. 'Damariscotta' is one of my favorites.

Maine: Let us go now and make our visit:

map is approximate location of towns.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maine, The Way Life Should Be

This past Memorial Day weekend I went camping up there in Western Maine around the Mexico and Rumford areas. It was gorgeous weather, & the bugs were 'middlin' bad. Drove up on Saturday, stopping to see my family in Windham for 2 hours. Got to the Blue Moose Campground in Carthage, Maine, just in time to put up my tent & enjoy a delicious meal. Sunday I went on some easy hikes to see waterfalls in the area. Some of the rock formations (formed by the relentless water pressure) looked rather outer-worldly and creepy. Some looked liked gigantic gargoyles. That night we enjoyed local entertainment around the bonfire. A guy with a guitar, and I actually enjoyed it!

Monday I drove back and stopped in Windham again to see the kids and to help my sister with some gardening. Back in Boston I joined some friends for a barbecue. It was a great weekend!

Whata ya from woosta?

jimmies ? vs sprinkles?
Click below to see a video feature on Bostonian vernacular. I know 'jimmies,' and 'tonic,' but I've never heard of 'bobos' or take a 'digga.' Perhaps it's generational. I personally think of 'jimmies' and 'sprinkles' as two different things. I think the colored candies are sprinkles. The chocolate ones are always jimmies. When I was growing up, I never remember seeing 'sprinkles,' except at Dairy Queen. And Dairy Queen was a horrid excuse for real ice cream. How about you fellow Bostonians?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Here's the newest addition to my antiques collection--- a LC Smith & Corona Typewriter. I grabbed this baby at a flea market in Peru, Maine for 10 dollars. ((I think that is about all it's worth)). I'm hoping it will look nifty on my bookshelf, as some eye catching decor. (By the way, Hemingway wrote on a Corona Junior Portable).

I tried to date this machine. I believe it's a Corona-Smith Standard probably made in the mid to late 1930's. I'm pretty sure it was manufactured in the 30's. Earlier Corona models actually folded up!

The commercial history of the typewriter began in America around 1873. Conception of the typewriter (Edison was in on this too) began much earlier. The first typewriter on the market was the Sholes & Glidden. Some of these early machines I think are quite beautiful. To the people of the times, the typewriter must have been a marvel-- a little personal Gutenberg press!

To me, as a college student in 1983, it was the bane of my existence.....

term paper due tomorrow! Argggh!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Primal Woman

Here I am during my 'primal' woman moment.
I am turning on the spit a hunk of meat
that I hunted down and captured at a Shaw's all by myself.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Shroud of Turin

Friends, I've got the Shroud of Turin on my mind. Have you ever seen it? This religious icon --an ancient linen cloth embedded with the supposed image of Jesus--has fascinated me since my teens and early twenties. At the time I read several books on the subject. In 1988 the shroud (in the respected scientific community) was largely ruled as a hoax, because carbon dating placed the linen of the shroud to the middle ages (1260-1390).

I believed science & put the shroud out of my mind.

However, recent press has brought the
Shroud of Turin back on the horizon. Some are claiming that earlier carbon dating tests in 1988 may have been botched because we have documentation the shroud was in a fire in the early 1500s. Nuns repaired singed parts of the shroud with linen, of course, from the middle ages. Exposure to smoke and heat would have also affected the carbon dating process.

Many facts about the shroud continue to intrigue me: 1. male human blood is detectable 2. the image is definitely not painted 3. the image is not a photograph 4. the image is 3D 5. the image suggests the man was crucified in the Roman style 6. the image is not digitalized or computerized, as this technology was not available 7. The image is superficial--as if singed on--and does not embed the cloth.

If I had to gauge a guess, I'd say the shroud is a natural chemical process that occurs occasionally when corpses are wrapped in linen. A clever medievalist was aware of this process, & created the shroud during the middle ages. At the same, I question: then why do we not have more examples of this phenomenon? If this chemical process was possible, and known by some scientists, then why do we not have spooky shrouds of other people? I also wonder. How is that modern scientists can not reproduce a process clever folks could do in the 1300s? (Actually, there are modern theories that are being tested but the chemistry is beyond me at the moment)

Other points to consider about the shroud. First of all, where was it for two thousand years? The 'provenance' (historical evidence of existence) of the shroud dates to 1357 and on. Where the shroud was before this time is less documented & mysterious. To me, it is a key point that the original carbon dating also points to the 14th century. Another oddity is the image looks exactly like the Roman Catholic, European conception of Jesus. It seems too good to be true. This fact makes me suspicious. The 'real' Jesus, given the time & place he lived, would likely have been a short, dark haired man, not a tall fair haired man. Finally, religious relics and pilgrimages were all the rage in the middle ages. Many lesser relics have gone down in history as hoaxes, debunked by modern science. Even today we have the virgin Mary appearing in half-bitten twinkies.

The shroud remains intriguing. Hopefully further scientific inquiry will yield some answers, though the Vatican is (understandably) loathe to let the shroud be tampered with. It's either the best hoax in history, or the real thing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lost River, NH

Went up to the White Mountains this weekend to do some camping with a group of women. We had lots of fun. Friday night it was pouring in Boston, so I was not keen on going. But Saturday morning I got up early and just took off. By the time I arrived 'up north' it was sunny and warm. Spent the day taking short hikes and visiting the various water falls ---Thompson Falls, Glen Ellis Falls & Sabbaday Falls on the trails off the Kancamagus Highway.

That night we all hung around the campfire. I cooked my supper over open flames and had a 'primal woman' moment. We stayed at the Lost River Valley Campground in Woodstock, NH. Our sites were in a cluster by a beautiful running brook. On Sunday morning we had pancakes and then went for another hike/spelunking adventure. We edged and squeezed our way through various caves at the Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves. It was kind of touristy but fun.
The Cave Women Gang

Into the abyss

that is k's bum there.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Well, actually, we are. I love The Onion---"America's Finest New Source." I came across this article on the mysterious 'Kansas Rectangle," a spin on the legendary 'Bermuda Triangle,' of course. Watch out! Don't go to Kansas. Certainly don't live there! (sorry r.t.)

The mysterious region has, according to some accounts, swallowed thousands
of potentially interesting and active lives. (the Onion)

It's hilarious. Click here to read the full story.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Soul

New Soul by Yael Naim
I woke up to this song this morning. I've never heard of it before. I love this song. (and she's so cute).


Monday, May 12, 2008

Slam 2008

Here's my softball team, after our first game of the season. We look rather giddy, even though we just lost. We had a great rally in the fifth against our worthy opponents, but still lost by one run. It was a great day out.

Bottom Row l to r: Molly;Katie;Jules;Dani;Me;Carol
Top l to r: Big D;Tara;Em;Bailey;G;Lil D;Donna;B;
Lora;Wendy;Philly. (missing yo (big papi) and julia)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the Farm

Yesterday I volunteered for The Food Project in Lincoln, MA. I spent the morning weeding invasive species, planting bell peppers, and transferring trays of celery root from one greenhouse to another. It was interesting and fun, despite hoards of teenagers.

The Food Project (in Lincoln and Roxbury) grows tons of vegetables and fruits per year to donate to homeless shelters, etc.

Last year, while on a photography meet-up hike in the area, I discovered the Food Project as we passed the farm. Since you don't see people planting cabbages everyday, or working farms, we inquired. A sweaty woman kindly took a break from her back-breaking work and told us about the Food Project. Later I checked out the website and found out about volunteering.

Besides growing food, the Food Project seeks to educate folks about how much Americans eat processed foods. Whereas my grandmother ate the fish caught by her kinfolk, and the potatoes grown by her mother, we Americans today consume 95% of foods manufactured by corporations.

It's a sobering fact.
Peppers I Planted

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Women's Roller Derby

Have you heard about the Boston Derby Dames? They're becoming quite popular. Tonight was my virginal experience watching several live roller derby bouts in Wilmington, Ma. My friends and I headed up to the Shriners' Auditorium in lovely Wilmington quite early to watch this amazing spectacle. Upon entering the stadium, we secured our prime seating spots in the fifth row. There we were surrounded by a most unusual roller derby crowd: tattooed & pierced people, motorcycle guys, old retirees, goth enthusiasts, snot-nosed kids and their parents, old gents in fez hats, and fellow queers.

Despite this eclectic and interesting crowd, I can't say I was entirely charmed by my experience. Though I openly ogled at hot women in various get-ups throughout the night, with names like Pussy Venom, Sarah Doom, Full Metal Jacque, Jodie Faster, Coco-A-Gogo, and Jennasaurus Wrecks, I unfortunately experienced stimulus overload. Bad beer, stale popcorn, screaming & obnoxious announcers, blaring heavy metal music, cramped seating, people pushing me, bad acoustics, glaring lights, and sticky floors left me seeking solace.

Oh well. At least I bought a cool t-shirt and a sticker for my scooter, and saw some fine looking ladies acting rather graceful and kicking butt at the same time. You go gals!

Next time I'll bring ear plugs......

Here are the Boston Massacre Ladies warming up. The
other area teams are the Cosmonaughties, The Boston
B Party, the Nutcrackers, and the Wicked Pissahs.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Somerville Open Studios

This weekend I ventured over to Somerville Open Studios, very briefly. On Saturday afternoon (late, cold, and rainy) I went over to check out my friend J. D.'s artwork. Here he is standing in front of his spooky woman poster.
I decided to buy his "Godzilla vs. Estabrook Elementary School" diorama/ shadowbox. For me, it seems apropos. (If you look closely, you can see Godzilla in the upper right corner).

On Sunday evening, I also meant to go an opening at
True Grounds in Ball Square, Somerville. My worthy acquaintance Asia Kepka was having an opening for her photo series: "Bridget and I." Quite brilliant. I really wanted to see this opening. But I missed all the bad wine and good art during the appointed hours of 6 to 9. Now I'll have to go on some off hour or day to take it all in. Her exhibit runs through May.

-Asia Kepka

Sunday, May 4, 2008

O Canada!

We Americans have this vast, beautiful, peaceful, bilingual, socialist country to our North, and we hardly notice its existence. Canada! O Canada!
Sadly, I've only been to 3 0f its provinces. I so much want to see Western Canada!!!! How about you?

create your own personalized map of Canada

Guest Blogger #2 ----J.

On Why We Blog-- by J.
Why is it, this basic human inclination to blog? What has motivated our species since a couple of years ago to record our thoughts publicly, post idiosyncratic remembrances, and smear emotional residue all over the electrified wonderworld known as the internet? Nature? Nurture? Rampant pretension? Schools of thought abound.

Geneticists cite their experiments in Papua, New Guinea, where nude aborigines presented with the opportunity to blog, did so at a 75% rate of the total populace. Many of these little people, after the roasted wombat was consumed, quietly excused themselves from the tribal bonfire, eschewing the ritualistic dances and healing ceremonies that formerly formed the spiritual and social backbone of their culture, to instead slip stealthily back to their huts and discreetly log in. There is increasing evidence that children in particular are more inclined to view the sacred communal honoring of the Gods on YouTube, rather than actually drink the lizard's blood or reenact the day's hunt with a spear and a guy wearing a dingo skin.

Experimentation with other primates produces similar data. Though their efforts remain crude, a significant sample of Rhesus monkeys have blogged when provided with a reward system, similar to CVS‘ Extra Bucks, though evidence is mounting that the male with the most hits gets greater access to females, thereby creating a "natural" incentive. Though at a glance their incoherent ramblings seem the equivalent of electronic paw-prints, they may eventually provide clues relevant for understanding our own species. Even primates raised by wire-mesh mothers have demonstrated at least a curiosity about the medium, though their posts contain few embedded videos or MP3 files.

But what of highly-evolved western man? Why is he neglecting the
dishes, the lawn, the checkbook, to instead hunch, type, and click. The tiny beams of light and electrical impulses that run the machine are lost upon him...they are a means to an end, superfluous details in the primordial urge to blog.

In search of answers, I offer myself as an example. I am a single man, and whilst I have numerous friends in the area, I still return home to an empty apartment. Some evenings, after listening to people at work all day, I am disinclined to pick up the phone. I need my space, thus the blog serves as surrogate spouse, family, or gerbil. It listens, it absorbs, it obeys most commands (except for the damn font key; I can never get it to change font. It sucks). Often artists, actors, musicians, and poets, working sickening day jobs, find that time for creativity at day’s end is lacking. A blog post - in essence a colorful poop- provides immediate satisfaction and relief.

Then there is the media and its warped attempts to determine what art is "good" and which artists receive attention. Commerce is the ultimate motive, not objective acknowledgement of talent or originality. To those who swim in the mainstream's most distant tributaries, alienation sets in when they realize that the media isn't there for them. We learn the truth at 17 that Britney will always get more press than Arthur Lee.

Therefore the blog serves as home-made magazine, a place to be editor-in-chief, graphic designer, gossip columnist. Perhaps 10 loyal friends will skim this gazette every couple of weeks, just to cover themselves for when they next see you… Nothing is more offensive than “loved ones” who don’t read your blog.

Like spores these machine 'zines multiply rapidly, the phenomenon spreading to corners previously considered unbloggable. One need merely check out some of the sizzling new Amish sites (I particularly recommend Barely Amish) to get a sense of the pandemic proportions. Who will be the first to blog in space? (and here, am I blogging in my tin can). In Texas? (not until the war is over). In church? (a reading from the blog of Mathew to the Phoenicians).

I know these answers no more than you but believe blogging marks a milestone in human evolution. We no longer need to write or call anyone. Even cell phones collect dust once the computer is turned on. One small step for the mouse, one giant leap for mankind. We have
found the missing link.

Guest Blogger #1 ----J.T.

I asked a few friends to 'guest blog' about anything, and I would publish it here to the Quibley Corner, widely read by thousands. I'm brave, I guess, but I do know my friends and family pretty well too. So far, I've gotten 3 responses. A little prodding was necessary. Here, my dearest sister, a sensitive and intelligent woman, rants about censorship. Comments welcome.

Rant of a Gentle Person (who, by the by, has
literally never killed a bug with intent). by J.T.

My husband and I have been in hot anticipation for the release date of Grand Theft Auto IV. After a painful delay, we finally got it this past Tuesday (and yes, he brags to his cable co-workers that his wife actually plays and enjoys video games). This is quite an event for us. We've played the previous titles, along with other select games. I do have discriminating taste in this area, as in films and books. When one of the GTA games comes out, we inevitably spend fevered weeks, malnourished, bug-eyed and dishevelled in our own stink, controller firmly in hand. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but we do not make a lot of firm plans for a while, and the first few nights we have easy clean-up dinners. It is, for the money, cheap entertainment ($60 bucks for at least 40+ hours of play) and a way that we bond over a common interest, which makes for a healthy marriage. Plus we live in Maine, for the love of Nancy.

I'm writing this for those who do not know anything about these games, the last concept of video games they have being Frogger trying not to get squished on the freeway. GTA is a detailed, immersive world that you play through a character's eyes, who starts out, in this case, stepping off the boat fresh from Eastern Europe with a promise of a better life from his low-life, lying, self-aggrandizing cousin. You then guide your character through a storyline that is constructed like a movie, with missions, or parts of the story that you complete and hopefully rise up until your character is top dog of the underworld.

There is a lot more to it, but that's the gist, and suffice to say, it is not at all mindless killing and mayhem. You have to have patience, restraint, even mercy, and use strategy and problem-solving skills. Now there is another side to the game as well. You can "free play" where you just roam around a huge city and cause all kinds of trouble, if you choose. And oh, yes, we choose. For me, personally, it is a stress-release, after working with children with special needs all day. I do crash cars, run over people, rob the innocent, use a sniper rifle to pop pedestrians, take out police helicopters with rocket launchers, visit hookers and strip clubs, etc...debauchery, baby.

But guess what? I don't do those things in real life, and neither do an overwhelming majority of people, including teenagers. There is no direct link from games like these to violence of any kind. Kids who listen to death rock, watch horror porn and play these games and then go shoot up their school have deep-seated psychological problems. They do not play a game and suddenly feel this rage. They are abused, bullied, ignored, and poorly nurtured.

Here is crux of the issue, though. I am an adult and it is a mature game, supposedly sold to no child under the age of seventeen. It says that right on the box. It says, literally, on the back of the game: Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol. No surprises there. So if your fourth grader is playing this game, where are you? I should not be penalized, as an adult, because parents have no clue what their child is seeing or playing. It is escapism for me and many others, nothing less. I just read that M.A.D.D. is calling for the producers of this game to pull it off the shelves because the character drinks and then drives. That is censorship, plain and simple. It is ridiculous to think that people of age to play this game will get up off the couch to try drunk driving in real life because of a game.

I am entitled to view, play, listen to, or read anything that does not harm others. I love this game. It is fantasy, it is hurting no one, and it pisses me off when ANYONE tries to dictate my freedom to choose what I want or reject what I find distasteful. Reject, if it is not your cup of tea, and don't play, but please shut up so I can enjoy myself in the privacy of my own home.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Andrew Sisters

----------------------------------------------------- ------------------Maxene, Patti, LaVerne
Among the many icons of those golden years (1930's/1940's) of American music-- big band and jazz, who can't love the Andrew Sisters? They're so harmonious, and I love how they sound so playful and happy.
I think it was a necessity of the times, happy tunes, to block out all those horrors that were going on in the world. The Andrew Sisters also call up fond memories of my grandparents, of course. These decades were their heyday! My favorite Andrew Sisters' tune is "Don't Fence Me In," and of course their most famous, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." I also like "Pistol Packin Mama," but couldn't find the mp3 link.
Listen to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"
By the way, Patti Andrews lives in Calf., and just celebrated her 90th birthday!!! And the Andrew Sisters were the first all female group to go platinum. They recorded over 700 songs and had 46 Top Ten hits! Many of their hits were also collaborations with other singers like Bing Crosby.

Women's Softball Continued

By now you may have heard Sara Tucholsky's story. Click below for a news article and interview. Today, my nephew Z, despite a swollen knee, begins baseball for the first time. I'm predicting he'll really like baseball, but we'll see. If he stays with it in the coming years I hope he experiences the same team spirit and 'sportswomanship' that Sara has, and me (on my beloved team SLAM), and many others.