To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Hilary vs. Bernie, Part 3

Still can't find the meme someone (anonymously) sent me (assuming I am some sort of traitor for not voting for THEIR candidate--even though I could very well be voting for Bernie Sanders. It's this sort of knee-jerk craziness that bothers me about the Bernie camp).  I've included the picture at the bottom, which I have captioned, though the words were written in white on the original picture (which made me think of an athletic supporter--you will see why--but no matter).  I think the meme is vile and stupid.  It was sent to me by someone in my area; that is all I know.

My decision to not tell anyone who I am voting for, and not indicating one way or the other (by not going on and on about one candidate or other), has been a social experiment of sorts.

 It's enlightening to observe the peaceful and compassionate Sanders supporters act like a pack of rabid dogs against Clinton. I have never heard such vile language towards her, nor such absolute disrespect (and, of course, volleys of  unresearched facts that people see on Facebook and just throw out there as true.  Snopes is your good friend in terms of verifying what is said about both Sanders and Clinton).

Quite a few of the peaceful hippies of Santa Cruz (btw, I am at least sort of a hippie) have really shown their true colors in this way: petty, sexist, cruel, unable to entertain anyone else's viewpoint, and absolutely divisive.  I appreciate the few--very, very few--Sanders supporters who are courteous and willing to weigh the arguments of both candidates, calmly, rationally, and reasonably.  I've met two so far (just kidding, but these really are in the minority.

Next part of my personal social experiment: everyone I meet just assumes I am voting for Bernie Sanders.  Granted, I've said nothing at all about my choice of candidate (for all they know, I am voting for Sanders), but everyone I know--and I mean everyone--just assumes this by virtue of the fact that I live in Santa Cruz.  Not one person assumes I am voting for Hilary (though apparently the ones who think I am, feel free to send me pictures like the one at the end of this post).

I should think that, given my experience, the caption for the following picture could easily be reversed, given  my current experiences in my little corner of the world.

In future, I do not want pictures like this sent to me.  Thanks.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sanders v. Clinton memes

I wish I could find the meme link which was sent to me via my contact form yesterday, but I must have deep-sixed it: it is of Alien threatening Sigourney Weaver, and the caption is, "Hilary Supporter Meets Bernie Supporter."

Alien is apparently the Hilary fan. Sigourney Weaver is the Bernie fan.

At the risk of losing a reader, I think the intent was to imply that I am akin to Alien if I vote for Hilary. This is because I refuse to tell anyone who my Democratic candidate of choice is and I posted as such here.  I've had a lot of awful things said to me by Bernie supporters, but not quite like this.

I would wager Sanders himself, a tolerant and kind man, would condemn that meme as an embarrassment and completely against what he stands for, and might very well rip a new one for anyone who sends something like that out.

 I rather like being compared to Alien, thought: indestructible and fierce, why not? And I surely could use a thicker exoskeleton at times!!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Voting for Sanders or Clinton, Part Two

My friends, I forgot to say in my last post about the election that I will support 100 percent the Democratic candidate for President, no matter what.
 And I am not going to be a whiney-baby "protester" and refrain from voting if my candidate of choicr loses the nomination in my state. You might as well cast a vote for the Republican candidate if you do that.

And please research news sources you post in support of your candidate of choice, especially with memes and articles posted on the eternal Facebook. Make sure they are not authored by organizations you do NOT want to support.

I do these things, too (last night I inadvertantly posted a picture of Earth as taken by the Hubble telescope. I am a very, very amateur astronomer and should know better). My friend told me to check Snopes. My bad: erase.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Beloved Ruth Stone

This poem by Ruth Stone is one of my favorites. It can be about the return of someone close to the heart, but I like to think it is also about the return of poetry to a poet who has been far from it.  Maybe both things are the same.

Ruth Stone is my favorite poet and you can read about her here:

Ruth Stone


When you come back to me
it will be crow time
and flycatcher time,
with rising spirals of gnats
between the apple trees.
Every weed will be quadrupled,
coarse, welcoming
and spine-tipped.
The crows, their black flapping
bodies, their long calling
toward the mountain;
relatives, like mine,
ambivalent, eye-hooded;
hooting and tearing.
And you will take me in
to your fractal meaningless
babble; the quick of my mouth,
the madness of my tongue.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Redoubling My Efforts Re: Asha's Book

Warning: though this post will not be graphic, I am discussing today my reaction to receiving, after some setbacks, Asha Veil's autopsy. I felt I needed to absolutely look upon what happened to her that night, hard and hearbreaking as it is. I am not allowed to reveal elements of it publicly, and won't, and wouldn't anyways, for the sake of decency and to protect her loved ones and friends who come here to read my words. But suffice to say that Asha displayed enormous courage to the very end. How she found that courage is a testimony to all she was, and all people remember her for.

And the man who denied her the very right to live her life, to bear her child, to go on whatever path intended for her in this world: all I can say is that I once saw a photo of Josef Mengele and other SS agents and camp guards at Auschwitz, on holiday, smiling and laughing: I easily imagined the face of Asha's killer among them.

I think back on the times I interacted with Asha--so funny, kind, and considerate--and I think of the things people have told me about her. I ask, over and over, "Why?"

I have never told this story about her, but there was a time when I was on food stamps, which are issued on a sort of debit card called an EBT card.  There was a VERY sour-faced cashier at the Ben Lomond Super who never failed to make snide remarks about food stamps and often claimed she could not get the purchase through, never failing to announce to anyone within earshot that I was paying with food stamps.

 I used to avoid the sour-faced cashier's line, but one day couldn't avoid it, as she took over checking in the line.  As usual, she claimed she couldn't get the EBT card to work. Somehow Asha showed up at the register, took my card, and expertly put the purchase through in less than a minute. I thanked her and she said it was not a problem at all, that she was happy to help.

All this redoubles my efforts to finish this book, to hold Asha and Anina, and all who loved her, in my heart until the very last word (and beyond that, of course). This I promise through my heartache today and my falling tears.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Voting: Sanders or Clinton

I dare not reveal which candidate I am voting for, lest Santa Cruz's peaceful hippies get in my face with idiotic, unresearched, knee-jerk-accepted "facts."

One of the few things I'm proud of about myself is my ability to sit and do hours of research for my book, which translates to researching the information on Facebook. ANYONE can take five minutes to at least go on to see if their "urgent news story" has been debunked. I'm guilty of this, too, but realized long ago that if I post an hysterically-driven story on Facebook and then post a redaction as a comment, people are likely not to read that. Then they spread the bogus news story, which is picked up by others, and so on. Thus, the research, which generally takes about ten minutes, tops.

I am not voting for Trump. That should suffice, and that is all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Awful and Good, and Dance

I apologize yet again to my readers.  I have many loyal readers out there, and I really like to communicate about my life, the progress of Asha's book, and everything else.

I am going through enormous stress on the home front.  Nobody is ill; nobody is dying; finances are okay, but my household remains under a lot of pressure and anxiety.  I hope it is resolved soon, positively, for all involved. I intend to keep up from now on, even if it's to show off my sewing projects, though I intend to write of other things, and to talk about what I'm doing with Asha's book).

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures from my first bellydance solo.  The photos are by Daev Roher, one of our wonderful photographers in the Santa Cruz community.

Though I do not want to focus on my weight, the photo where I am doing a mudra and posing is of me at a weird angle, and my choli, stiff and somewhat weighty, is off to the side a little. In sum, I look bigger than I really am.  I wish I could get off the weight thinking (sort of borderline obsession, like many women, unfortunately). At this point, what I want to get to is being light enough weight-wise to not put further stress on my knees as a dancer.

The photographer caught me in mid-floreo, which is why my hands look that way.

So, here I am, and here I will stay.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

You've Been Trumped!

I apologize for having been away for a time, dear readers.  I'm going through a lot on the home front.  I'm going to commit to writing more now.

In the meantime, a very funny video from the Jimmy Kimmel show. It stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and it helps if you know a little bit about The Producers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Donald Trump and the Nazi Salute

Please note that the video contains offensive symbols presented in a song from Cabaret's film and stage version. It reflects the setting and overall anti-Nazi message of both the film and play. I do not endorse these symbols in any way and present them here for the purposes of parody.

In consideration of Donald Trump's continued metamorphosis into The Fuhrer, I thought I might suggest a new campaign song for him. It would be quite appropriate next time he asks his devotees to raise their right arms to salute him and pledge their loyalty. Tunes from musicals are always catchy and Cabaret also has that edgy feel of a society about to experience massive change, whuch should tickle The Donald's fancy no end. I hope Mr. Trump considers my suggestion, and I'm grateful to be able to to post this well in advance of a possible Trump presidency, before my First Amendment rights are curtailed.

Monday, February 29, 2016


There is a very silly spell in one of my many books of rituals.  It involves tapping one's big toes together whilst invoking Morpheus, to cure insomnia.  I have never tried it, but it's tempting tonight.

Might as well blog...I can't catch up on email because notifications come through people's phones nowadays and I might wake them up.

I feel very far away from Asha's book right now.  I am still absorbing a lot from the conversation with a significant person related to Asha's story.. I am often the point of feeling not up to creating this kind of a book. This is a bad space for a writer like me to get into.  I get myself out of it quite fast, though. This is not a fun book to write, but it is a real one.

A friend recently found out I was planning to visit Auschwitz when/if I can go to Poland. He first said that, as he understood it, there was little to eat in terms of vegetarian food in Poland, and people smoked on trains (I am a vegetarian and cigarette smoke is one of my asthma triggers).  I detected a subtle note of concern.  Then, in a gesture I thought was very kind, he next sent me a link to a Facebook page for the Loire Valley in France and said , "Why visit concentration camps when you can go here?"  He knows what I am writing about, that Asha was from Poland, and I have told him that I feel the need to visit Auschwitz when I am there, as my book is also about the evils human beings visit upon each other.

But his statements, to me, said, "Why are you doing this? Why are you going back to the shadow lands,? I thought you were not going to do that anymore." Maybe even, "Can't you write your book in a nice, nurturing place instead of going to places that will only hurt you to see?"  I entertain his concerns more than almost anyone's in my life, because he was there to see my house of cards fall down once, and I hear some unspoken concerns in his link to a beautiful area in France.  "Wouldn't you like to visit somewhere really nice like this instead?" it seemed to say,  It is a sweet gesture and breaks my heart at the same time.  I do not want him to fear for me, to worry, but I hear it.  I have neglected to write and promise him that I will not go into the shadow lands and get lost there, and I will write that to him soon.  He will not believe me 100 percent and I think he will breathe a sigh of relief when my travels through this book are done and he finds that I did not get lost in the shadows after all. It is good to have a person like this in one's life who does not think I am just some superhuman.

But the truth is, in some ways, this book chose me, not the other way around, and when that extraordinary thing happens, such a gift can't be given away.  It is a good lesson in learning how to walk carefully in the places Asha's story will compel me to go.