Monday, May 31, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #16

photo/ willow/ magpie tales


I don't wear shoes that seduce,
named after a weapon.
I don't buy stilettos with lessons attached,
to teach me to walk this way.

Once my clackety-click
in high heeled shoes
used to be alluring.

I feigned a glamorous stance,
walked on 4 inch impalers,
dipped into
the embrace of a tango
and all the bliss it entails.

Learned a long time ago
how to put one foot
in front of the other.
Currently I plunk and glide,
trying not to overreach my stride.

When I kick off my old soft shoes,
seduction has nothing to do with it.
A warm bubbly soak
is all I require,
and old slouchy scuffs
fulfill my desire.

c copyright/all rights reserved/ 2010

Please treat yourself to the other participants of Magpie Tales.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

                                      MEMORIAL DAY/ 2010

                 and at my departing.

16th century primer

Saturday, May 29, 2010


                             Watson, Holmes, Adler

Here's a bad movie.  Like, in don't see it.  And if you have, and you liked it, so be it, we can still be friends.

Boys will be boys, and Guy Ritchie, the director, likes to dig into their fantasies.  So he put together something identified as "Sherlock Holmes", for the cool set.  Boys of about 11 to 16, add a couple of dozen years or so.  Watched it on Netflix.  Was on the "long wait" list for a very long wait.

I get fooled by hype.  Still.  How bad can just one more Sherlock Holmes movie be?  Especially one starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes, and Jude Law as Watson.  Hee, hee.  Very.  Because first of all, this one seems to be based on a lost manuscript by Dan Brown, which I'll just call, "Demons and Holmes".  The one that never got published, but it's obvious who and what inspired this script.  I think that Brown should get a token of appreciation, if not a kick-back.

Next, lets examine performance.  Downey seems too pleased finding himself cast as Holmes.  It's as if he's really playing House, playing Holmes.  Which, sucker that I am, would probably pay to see.  Hugh Laurie, as House as Holmes.  And just an aside..Downey's aging rather quickly, something's catching up to him!  I think he's talented, but his elocution got lost in the sauce in this one.  All over the English map, and next time, sub-titles, please.

And of course Holmes falls for Jude Law.  The movie tries to deny it.  Law is sort of almost like a person as Watson.  Lots of fisticuffs and special effects divert them, and it's just right for the teenagers watching.  Me, I'm hopeless, always looking for a plot!!  Maybe in the sequel. 

Villain comes back from the dead, too much eyeliner, thought this was more Drac trash.  Irene Adler is a saucy dish...she'll have to return..but will Holmes really care?  On the plus side..really gorgeous to look at, set design,  extravagant London.  Just turn off the sound, watch the action for a while, take a nap. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vampire Mom / Choclat Sin #21


What's a vampire Mom to do?
Well, get some good blood today,
that's my priority.
Not as if the milkman
will leave a quart at the door.

I'm thinking ahead to a dark tomorrow,
maybe an eclipse
can shorten the daylight
so that silver edges bleed into night.

Pay attention!
When I say look, you look,
when I say run, you run,
when I say grab her,
you better listen.

And don't stay out too early.

What kind of stork brought you,
you ask?
A bird whose span covers the slit of dawn,
feathers tufted with ebony plumes.

Come out of your bed,
let's play a game
with archaic toys.
Place the Ouija board
on the edge of the slab
and urge a dark spirit
to come through to me.

Hark!  A troubled soul listens
when I open my beckoning arms
and say yes,
I know how to be your Mom.

                          Melted chocolate.  What did you think it was?
                                     Just a bit of Choclat Sin.

c copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #15

                                    photo/ willow/ magpie tales

WE WERE PLAYING TRUTH OR DARE.  AND I DARED MY PALS TO JOIN ME for a very special fish dinner.  Not such a big deal on its face, but jaws dropped when I told them what I had in mind.  How about a bit of Fugu? 

The infamous puffer fish, lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly.  But a notorious and very celebrated dish in Japanese cuisine.  Japanese Roulette, any one?  I merely wanted to try a new restaurant around the corner.  After all, there are about 17 licenced Fugu restaurants in the US, and 12 are in New York City.  So how bad can that be?

For some reason I was faced with scepticism.  This from a group that's planning an excursion to investigate Mothman sightings.  There is a festival on Sept. 17, not too late to join the adventure...anyway...

The Japanese Emperor is forbidden to eat Fugu.  From time to time Fugu has been totally banned.  The Tiger Blowfish, which is the most poisonous, is also the most edible.  The Ministry of Health has a list which shows parts that can be consumed safely. The best time to eat Fugu is autumn and winter.  If you die of Fugu poisoning, your friends will know, because you will look like a dead fish.  I just made that up....

Nowadays most Fugu sold comes from fish with a small amount of toxin.  The "Forbidden Fruit" is the liver, still eaten by fools, and amateur cooks, often with fatal results. 

A dish of Fugu can cost about $50. in Japan.  A full dinner, is $200.  Due to the expense, the fish is sliced very carefully to obtain the largest possible amount without poison.  A Hiki knife is used to slice the fish, and is usually stored very carefully in a separate location. 

I'd like to add that even though I'm inviting my friends to some Fugu and Chips, I do understand their point of view.  They may be influenced by the fact that Fugu is totally banned in the European Union. 

I don't like to eat alone and am still waiting for some takers.  Anyone??

The great poet, Buson (1716-1783) wrote this famous Senryu:

       I cannot see her tonight
       I have to give her up
       So I will eat Fugu.

Once again I thank Willow at magpie tales for thinking up this dare, and urge you to check out the other participants!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reversible Destiny...

 SHUSAKU ARAKAWA  July 6,1936-May 18, 2010 / madeline gins

THIS CAUGHT MY EYE" It's immoral", Ms. Gins said, "that people have to die".  This was the closing line of an obituary that appeared in the NY Times today.

Ms.Gins was speaking about the passing of her husband, Shusaku Arakawa, the artist and neo-Dadaist.  He was born in Japan, moved to New York at the age of 25.  With his wife, Madeline Gins, both conceptual artists and designers, they explored mortality by creating buildings meant to stop aging and dying. 

He died on Tuesday.  Ms. Gins said, "This mortality thing is bad news."  She now intends to strengthen her efforts to prove that, "aging can be outlawed".
She declined to give the cause of his death, but my belief is that it had something to do with his tongue being irrevocably stuck in his cheek.

They called their philosophy,"Reversible Destiny" and explored it in books, paintings, poems, and for those who would pay for it, architecture.  A house on Long Island/ Lifespan Extending Villa, featured dozens of colors, sloped floors that sent one hurtling, and levels meant to induce the sensation of being in two places at once, windows at odd heights and no privacy.  All of this was meant to keep the owner young.

Their work has been considered by some philosophers, critics, and architects as important in both an objective and subjective sense.  But fun and strangeness have prevailed and they had a retrospective in 1997 at the Guggenheim to exhibit the infinite ways to stretch life.  Arakawa said that Marcel Duchamp was his mentor.

As a further indication of their well thought out ideas, it should be mentioned here that in the 1990's they invested money with Bernie Madoff.  They lost it all in the fraud.  Perhaps dying is better than living forever in poverty. 

RIP... Shusaku Arakawa


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm not asking you to try this.  I just like for us to be aware that it's out there.  I think that this might be a good addition to your backpack if you're going on an overnight and just might get lost.  Dessert could help get you through the night.

Here's a real recipe, easy as falling off a Yule log, that might help you get through a different kind of night.

Another thing, I've adapted this from a long ago recipe at  See, I'm being honest...I didn't invent this and they think they own it.  Who really owns a recipe?  And chocolate?  Puhleez.  I'm doing social work.


1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 3 oz. pkg. crm. cheese, softened
1  8 oz. container whipped topping, thawed
16  Oreo double-stuff coffee flavored cream cookies, crushed
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
2 tbls. strong, brewed coffee

Make pudding according to directions on box.  Chill 5 minutes.

Stir together crm. chs., whipped topping, and coffee

Spread 1 cup crushed cookies on bottom of an 8 cup bowl.  Spread half of cream chs. mix over crushed cookies.  Sprinkle with half of pecans.  Spread all of pudding over top.  Spread remaining crm. chs. mixture over pudding.  Sprinkle with remaining cookies and pecans.  Chill.  Serves 6/8.

To make this recipe into a Choc/Peanut Butter Pudding, substitute PB filled cookies and 1/4 cup PB for crm chs., and dry roasted peanuts for pecans.

Don't feel guilty.  I use no-fat or low-fat ingredients in this and others recipes.  I can't taste the difference.  Maybe it's self-deception.  But I'm happy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #14

                                      photo/ willow/ magpie tales

Another weekly challenge from Willow at Magpie TalesLots of fun, do look up all of the participants!


When I was a little girl, before I even started kindergarten, my Mom began collecting Blue Willow china from a very unlikely source.  Every Wednesday we would go to a matinee movie at the RKO Pelham, in The Bronx, NYC.   A bonus was given away, free with the the purchase of a ticket: a Blue Willow plate, or bowl, or cup or whatever would finally make up a place setting.  The goal was to reach a complete set, so that you could feed a group of 8 hungry folks and have them eating off a matching set of china.

Time flew by, and I grew past kindergarten age as my Mom continued to watch bad B movies and collect Blue Willow.  I was happy to be going to school, to escape all those seedy romances and boring westerns, usually the second feature of a bill that might feature Bette Davis or Clark Gable or some super glamorous star, who meant nothing to me anyway.  No one ever walked out of movies in those days.  If you paid, you stayed.

A lot of family secrets are tawdry.  Here's one.  The last giveaway, the very last chance to get the last treasured piece of Blue Willow, my Mom couldn't go!  But I had to go to school!!  What to do?  Well, we all have to make sacrifices from time to time, and even though I was sent to school when I complained of what Mom called imaginary illnesses, my Mom justified my skipping school that afternoon by pointing out that I would be contributing to the completion of what was sure to become a collectors item.  She bribed me with a dinner out at the Golden Dragon, the local Chinese restaurant, where I could feast on my favorite, fried noodles and wantons.  Enough said.

Mom bought my ticket, (adult price), spoke to the matron, (remember them?), who seemed always to be waving her flashlight, asked a special favor for her to keep an eye on me, keep me safe and sound, make sure that no pervert chose me to abduct.  And to absolutely see to it that I receive the Blue Willow final plate when they were given out.

All went as planned, and the set of china had a big debut on Thanksgiving.  And was put into semi-retirement, since the Blue Willow reached antique status rather quickly at our house, too precious for everyday use.

I now possess the last soup bowl.  It has a tiny chip on the edge, and doesn't interfere with Milo, my cat, drinking water from it each day.  He sometimes lingers, probably wondering how he can engage the attention of the two lovebirds flying above the idyllic scene.  I too, as a child, was mesmerized by the intricate, very different story, that the Blue Willow had to tell.

Friday, May 14, 2010

To Life!


They say that as soon
as you get that you are a dream,
a Maya,
you will be thankful to disappear
from life itself.
So the Masters say.

I've got some words I still want to write.
I need the world to see me
a moment more.

I fear losing this form
disappearing into the cosmos,
no edges, I am you, you are me.

So I screech to a stop
because I'm just not sure
that infinity is as much fun
as being here.

Most of the time
I like that the play's the thing.
I may want to romance life
once again.
Bouquets of pink roses,
more, please!
Am I forgetting that they come with thorns?

And mother's milk,
for all the sweetness I missed
the last time I cried.

I'm almost dust now.
I don't know.
Do I want quantum, cosmic dancing
just yet?

c copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meeting a Challenge...

ON SATURDAY, MAY 8, 2010, MY GREAT AND GOOD FRIEND, DERRICK, at Melrose Musings, threw down a challenge for me to help him solve both the provenance and the intrinsic meaning of the beautiful painting he had posted on Saturday Spotlight.  I   advise you to head for his exemplary blog immediately, so that you can feel the full force of this endeavor.

A description of the painting must include the subject matter.  Intensive research on my part reveals the Maharajah of Jodhpur, head of the Rajput Clan of Uttar Pradesh, sitting on his throne.  Next to him sits his pet miniature lion, Udai Singh.  Known affectionately as Singh.  

His twin nephews, Rao Bika and Rao Kumpa have been called to account for the fact that they, the promoters of lion miniaturization, have not been able to include a reproductive system for the lion.  And also to explain why the kneeling Kumpa has grey hair, and the upright Bika has black hair.  The simple answer is that Kumpa is the scholar and Bika is the entertainer, and must preserve the illusion of youth. 

Kumpa is quite distressed at Singh's failure to reproduce, since the Maharani of Kashmir has a standing order for one of his offspring, which at this point, comes down to zero.  Explanations will be in order there too.  My research shows that there's a painting of the Maharani, circa 1544, in tears.  Perhaps my great good friend, Derrick, can get his hands on that treasure too.

The Maharajah of Jadhpur had hoped to bring the art and science of miniaturization to his kingdom, a touch of whimsy, and glory to his court.  Just as the Japanese have shrunken trees to become the ever popular Bonsai, and the ancient Chinese had great success shrinking, or stunting the growth of feet.  Tiny pets were an obsession of the Maharajah.

Unfortunately little Singh was the end of the line for tiny lions.  But he proved to be a loving and faithful pet for the Maharajah, hardly ever leaving his side.
Little Singh met an untimely end one day when the Maharani of Kashmir came to visit.  She asked to walk him outside the palace along a golden brick road, and legend has it, they both disappeared!

I hope I've met the challenge to fulfill and extend our mutual knowledge and titillation!  Bring 'em on!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #13

                                    photo/ willow/ magpie tales

Doesn't this grab you?  It does me!  Another great prompt from Willow at Magpie Tales.  Please check out the other participants..all found at the
Magpie Tales blog!


Kundalini, coiled,
sleeps on my spine
when I'm hushed
as a babe-in-arms,
beneath the quilt of night.

The alarm of dawn!
It's time again to rouse for first light.

God's snake,
watching over the immortal path,
waves and shakes its rattle,
slipping up the stirring channel
while earthly eyes
are still submerged in costumed dreams.

Awaken, eye of my soul,
the race is on.

Whose watch will rule the sunlight hours,
the one that sings the mantra
of ego delights,
and tries again
to etch a world perceived
through colored glass?

Or the one that gleams
with the indigo of oceans,
the azure of heaven,
open always to join all hearts,

time without end.
The eye of eternity
that knows what you really are.

c copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


                                   A garden in The Bronx, NYC.  14 years old.

My Mom.  
Who did she think she was? 

Looks like the first supermodel to me!
            Always a star in her own mind!

To all "Mother and Child reunions"....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Party of the Year

THERE WAS A GREAT BIG FAB GALA HELD IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD THIS PAST WEEK.  Celebrities galore were pouring into The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the annual Costume Institute Ball, known far and wide as "The Party of the Year".

Being famous predominates.  Even a celebrity created in the last 15 minutes can make a name for themselves here.  But the overwhelming kiss, kiss greeters are major celebs, jet setting for a night with the stars hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Anna Wintour (Vogue).  Hello, gorgeous..hi, moneybags!!  No, darling, we're not here to be's all for charity.

There was a time, a few years back, when I would show up at the Ball, and have a very sociable time.  Way before celebrities thought it was important to be seen at a museum.  Even before old money started going out, instead of leaving a masterpiece or two for posterity.  Before the elite sashayed up the red carpet, paparazzi popping, I skipped up the concrete stairs, a plebeian princess at the ball.

Now how did I manage this glamorous life?  I'm a little girl from The Bronx, and I first went to the Museum with my class when I was about 11 years old.  I fell for the Egyptian Wing, and the Costume Institute.  As I grew up, I became a Museum junky and made a vow to myself and any angels listening, that someday I'd live as close to The Met as I could get.   

I think that maybe one thing that we wish for is given to us.  I was given proximity to The Met.  I never again asked for anything else.  I'm still here, tucked away in a very middle class existence, in the midst of astonishing fortune.  Of course I've maintained my membership in the Museum to this day.  Ages ago they sent invitations to members to attend the Costume Institute Ball, amazingly for $200. a ticket.  Not yet the "party of the year".  I went once with my ex, me all dolled up in a slinky black gown.  I went another time, no more ex, with one of my girl friends.  Again, in another slinky black gown.  Still have them.  You never know when the middle class will be back in style.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


WHEN I WAS A KID IN THE CITY, IN THE SUMMERTIME, after supper, (we didn't call it dinner then) we ran out of the house to catch a breeze...AND...  We hung around, waiting for that sound, the bell on the truck, The Good Humor Man!  That was a sound of daily joy...that beckoned with frozen enticements.

Nowadays the bells are mostly silenced because someone in the crowd gets a headache from too much ding-a-ling.  But today, as usual, I'm ready to ring that bell!  Another Wednesday, another chocolate reward...bring that good humor on...Chocolate just keeps on giving!!


8 oz. unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
3 tbls. Southern Comfort
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, until heated and sugar is dissolved (do not boil).  Remove from heat, stir in whiskey, vanilla, and salt.  Use immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 weeks.  To reheat, microwave sauce, at High, for 15/30 seconds, stirring, until warm.

Layer sauce into serving dish, add any flavor ice-cream, (everything works!), more sauce, sweetened whipped cream.  Top with sprinkles, for nostalgia's sake!  Ring that Bell! 


Monday, May 3, 2010

MAGPIE /Prompt #12

                                      photo/ willow/ Magpie Tales

      Another tale that's erupted in the name of Magpie Prompts..long may they wave!! Do catch up with all the clever Bloggers who are Prompted!! 

I DON'T THINK I'LL BE A PROBLEM.  I'M QUIET. Not aggressive anymore, in any way.      

Penny said I could stay.  I've been very well behaved for a long time.  Well, I'm certainly good at that.  I can pretend anything.

"What's this ?" Penny asked, as she helped me unpack.   I smiled inwardly.  I didn't want her to know I prized it. 

"Oh, you know, one of those glass weights, like the Christmas globes you shake to create a chilly snowstorm.  Only, it doesn't matter if you shake this.  You can have it if you like", I lied.  What if she'd said yes?

Should I tell her that Edward gave it to me, one of his collection, just before his life ended? Then he died.  I saw his soul settle inside the globe, behind the blood red coral reef.
They let me take the globe and keep it with me when I went to stay in that place.  A harmless thing in itself.  Some people thought it was the instrument.  Nonsense, if they'd thought it through.  Much too ungainly to wield a lethal blow.  

I am my brother's keeper.  I will let him go when I want to.  Penny might laugh if I said that.  No I take it back, she would shudder as others have.  It's best not to say that anymore.  She'd probably reach for a phone, as if all hell was going to break loose.  Again.

No need to worry.  I'm different now and I'll keep all my secrets to myself.  Penny is a very good sister to let me come and stay.


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