Monday, January 31, 2011

My Fans

Or my readers, as I should call them. I appreciate you all: from the person in Slovenia, and Russia to someone in Switzerland and another in Australia. Your hits on my site are really what keep me writing. Thank you.

A new group has joined my readers: the Healthy Place. That's an online community I subscribe to for my disabilities, or as it's sometimes known, MI, or mental illness. This is the place I want to talk about my love affair with chocolate, coffee and unicorn-meat eating kitties. And sometimes the environment and world affairs. I am documenting an island in Time. And the water is rising.

It's an artificial environment, trying to live the 50's American dream in this world of global warming and world wide economics. And I am fortunate that I know it's artificial. Otherwise I would blame myself for my lack of funds. So many are poor, but the culture where I live carefully preserves the reality, and the illusion, of wealth.

And when I was really ill, I bought all I wanted and more. We are so wealthy, it's a disease: I was a shopoholic. One year for Christmas, I went on an all day shopping spree and didn't eat. I ended up in hospital for the night, vomiting. 

But this blog is a haven for me that I share with you.

I can go to a store and buy all the chocolate I can eat. I can buy rich coffee from anywhere in the world for next to nothing. I can buy anything I want, if I have the money for it. Of course, I can't buy all the cats want...that's an Impossible Dream.

And the places in the world where this can happen disappear one by one: Greece, France, Egypt. But I don't think we are waiting on the Darkness, but on the Light.

Take heart with me here. I feel your presence more than I can tell you, with all my art and craft. Any poem I write must have you to exist. You are the poem and I hear your call to me.

What Do You Think?

I am now a foster home for a dog. A small Labrador retriever puppy, named Blackberry. He is the first runner up in the search for a new service animal. He is amazingly cute, even to a curmudgeon-in-training like myself. And in a Pirate of the Carribean Johnny Depp sort of way, too. He is currently engaged in destroying what little in the house the cats have not barfed on.

So we have moved on to Mill Mountain Coffee in Daleville, VA. He is posing for his LAP calendar picture, and Mike and Olivia are working tonight. Ryan left earlier. It's nice to be surrounded by gleaming yet beat up floors and shiny wood tables. The coffee is the only thing I can taste over my stuffed up nose.

I am watching what is going on in Egypt, along with the rest of the known universe. I have several friends from Cairo, ex-pats, and visited there in 2002. Cairo is sin city for the Arab world, and I have seen the poverty up close. The economy stinks there; just as it does in other places where people have rioted: Greece, France, etc. As America gets poorer and poorer I am waiting and watching.

Times, they are a changing. I feel as if I am caught in a Bob Dylan song. And, as poor as I am, I am eating cake.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coffee or Tea?

I love Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea (MMCT) in Daleville, VA. It's not a place to drink coffee, it's another universe.

Mike is the manager, stud muffin and barista extraordinaire. There's Olivia, who looks almost exactly like, but not quite, Imogene Heap. Her partner is Ryan. They are both so young and earnest, they make me blush. I liked growing out of that phase, actually, but it's delightful to see it in someone else. It's like a quiet path beside a stream and some ferns, with the sunlight streaming in through the trees. Together, they look like a Benetton ad. There are other baristas, the other Mike, who slings coffee and plays guitar, and the odd assortment who pass in the night.

Then there are the 'regulars' whom I will not describe, other than to say the majority did not grow up in the South, which is a breath of fresh air. There is a lot of reading accomplished there and every Wednesday night, a small crowd gathers to play Celtic and bluegrass, and a larger crowd gathers to listen and dance.

I was describing it to a friend in Australia, and found out her father played the saw. Startling. Must be a Scottish thing. So I am skipping out on moving to SW Roanoke. I have been to all the Mill Mtn. Coffee shops and this one is the best. Why mess up a beautiful relationship?

But I am ashamed to say that I have seen the baristas treated so rudely that it's unbelievable, in a nouveau riches sort of way. It IS just a Botetourt County thing,   And I blush for the patrons who act that way.

Besides, service animals and children are well loved here.

It's the way the light streams into the windows on a Tuesday afternoon, and the way the lights twinkle at night.  It's the light refracting off of the faces of the loved and loving. It's the breeze in the summer, and the startling cold of iced coffee. It's the poundage I don't gain with their food, but do with their desserts.

Well, well. But one will go on and on in a shop with coffee that strong with real cream.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Never Get Up At 3 in the Morning

Well, reporting on large groups of animals dying got boring for the media, so they stopped reporting it. It makes my head spin trying to figure out if it only got noticed because they started reporting it in the first it truly, as some officials say, that this 'sort of thing' happens all the time, but is not covered, so not noticed?

Or, is it a 'cover-up'? I don't know. But I do know that I have grown up in the country, in the US, and have never heard of flocks of birds falling simultaneously dead. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, and massive fish kills were directly related to some kind of environmental contaminant. That wins my vote.

None of which explains why I woke up at 3 this morning, with the feeling that it was time to get up. Ben Franklin used to get up at 3, as did some of the ancients. Our lives with electricity are vastly different than many previous generations. However, for me, as for many, this is the middle of the night. I have had jobs that required me to get up at 4, and felt dreadfully sorry for myself as long as that job lasted. Getting out of work at 2 in the afternoon doesn't compensate one for having to go to bed at 8 at night.

When I was much younger, I had a job where I got off of work at 3 in the morning. I loved it. That was 20 years ago. The cats, at least, are flexible. They will wake me up at their regular hour no matter what time I go to bed, or when I want to get up.

And they always want me to get up at 6 when I can sleep late, and at 10 when I have to get up early. Funny how that pans out.

I see our NYC friend's post on Youtube got big enough to make it to Yahoo and the major networks. So much for dead birds.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

When a Sparrow Falls

Ok. I am going to post a news story from Yahoo from today, Jan. 2, 2011. With my comments on said news story, since this is my blog. The story is true, the mindset of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission almost unbelievable.

And I quote, "– Sun Jan 2, 9:18 am ET BEEBE, Ark. – Wildlife officials are trying to determine what caused more than 1,000 blackbirds to die and fall from the sky over an Arkansas town.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Saturday that it began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. the previous night. The birds fell over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area.
Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said the birds showed physical trauma, and she speculated that "the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail."
The commission said that New Year's Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.
Robby King, a wildlife officer for the agency, collected about 65 dead birds, which will be sent for testing to the state Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.
Rowe said that similar events have occurred elsewhere and that test results "usually were inconclusive." She said she doubted the birds were poisoned." End of Quote.

Let's examine the possibilities together, gentle reader:

"Similar events have occurred elsewhere"? The only other time I have seen a story like this is after Chernobyl, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima.  But over some wheat field in Arkansas? Should we be wrapping our houses in plastic and duct tape? Where have I heard that before?

Fireworks scared the birds to death? What kind of fireworks are they using in Arkansas? Are they marked, "Made in North Korea?" Or maybe the birds keeled from realizing the jokesters were breaking innumerable fire codes and noise ordinances? OR, maybe they were on retreat and meditating. Anything but a noxious cloud of something drifting over Arkansas and poisoning the birds. That would be alarming.

I can actually buy the one about the hailstorm, since Arkansas is in Tornado Alley and Tornado Alley has been having a bad week. And lightening--- the phrase, "A thousand points of light" drifts across my mind. But the commission didn't run with that one. They ran with: fireworks?

It can't be a train wreck releasing deadly gas into the atmosphere. We've already had one environmental crisis this year in the Gulf spill. There can't be two, that would be overwhelming. The public might realize that the Environmental Protection Agency is a shell of an government entity, a hollow mask propped up to mute those who want the U.S.A. to work on the reduction of global pollution. Holy Cow.

It's much more likely that some of Lord Voldemort's dementors are hovering over Arkansas and killing blackbirds thinking they are Aurors. (With all due respect to J.K. Rowling)

And I think, that with that talent, the commission should be paid better.

Tomorrow: I Am Just Waiting and Watching the News