bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
The subject line is from Alison Luterman's "Telling Your Own Fortune."

Graceland shooting range

Elvis's shooting range, Graceland, Memphis, February 2012

I devoted most of my Saturday was to one of the tulip beds. There is more weeding and digging and hauling to be done -- it is not a large patch of dirt, but I have neglected it for several seasons. This year's shoots are looking scraggly, and I am not feeling confident about the two hollyhock seedlings I have been sheltering with pasta jars, but I shall start more plants after the cleaning and prepping, and spending time outside was my chief priority.

I also stopped by Woodland Wine Merchant for the Saturday tasting. Of today's samples, I liked the Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris (a rosé) the best.

Over at nineveh_uk's DW and LJ, I'm enjoying the discussions about naff hymns and mondegreens and Boredom Increments for wedding singers.
bronze_ribbons: Dee and Ryo from FAKE in deep kiss (Dee/Ryo liplock)

I was asleep before midnight last night, thanks to something in a bento box that failed to agree with me, but before the cramps set in, it had been a pretty nice day. At work, I wrestled with calendars and clauses, and took my camera along when I went out for lunch:

lunchtime sound check

Tootsie's getting gras'd

Charles Cagle exhibition

Dinner was at a Thai-Japanese joint in my neighborhood; the organizer wore a very pettable houndstooth fur that had us cracking Dalmatian jokes. At his house afterward, I curled up with my crocheting at one end of a sofa, where one of the cats periodically hopped on me and loudly purred underneath the square I'd then drape over her.

My dreams included Ernests Gulbis and [personal profile] logospilgrim, though their specific roles have since vanished from my memory. Ernie may have been negotiating for a sleeping spot in an attic, and the pilgrim may have been discussing a shopping expedition, it being sixteen-odd hours later, the lines between conscious and subconscious have long since blurred beyond definition.

The first two submissions of the year have been sent. The first fantasy tennis team of the year has been posted. I didn't feel up to practicing yoga or dancing, but I did scrub at the tar and sap on the car.

Wishing you all a year of good tidings, and of feeling heard.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
It isn't natural, but it is enjoyable.

A friend and I toured the governor's residence today. Some nice ornaments there, including some that made me want to get back to needlepointing:

TN's Home for the Holidays
[daffodil shout-out to [personal profile] lore]

There was more quirkiness than I expected...

TN's Home for the Holidays

...and a couple of Elvis sightings. We were told he dated Ann Ellington (a governor's daughter) for a couple of years (though the relationship sounds more platonic, in her words:

TN's Home for the Holidays

On the drive to my friend's place, I happened to have WFSK on the radio, which today meant catching a Creole spin on a Noel song followed by conversation about Haiti in French.

At the mall, there was a flute choir (bass flute FTW!)...

Mall at Green Hills

clerks ringing up and wrapping chocolates...

Mall at Green Hills

and a poinsettia-stuffed fountain:

Mall at Green Hills
bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
Between work and nerves, I considered heading home instead of going to synagogue tonight, but I'm glad I made the effort. The gathering was not large -- maybe three dozen people? -- but it was more diverse than the last time I was there (back around 2007), including some South Asians and an African American, and at least two languages in play besides English and Hebrew, and an elegant older woman who reminded me of my honorary mama cheerfully and graciously pointed out to me the woman who is this year's president, the new junior rabbi, a future Hadassah board member, and other notables.

I danced with the Torah as well as around it, sometimes hand in hand with others and sometimes hands-on-shoulders, and yes, I thought about the message I'd received from Women of the Wall last week as a prayer shawl was draped over my shoulders. The senior rabbi whirled around with a little girl in his arms during some verses, and playfully bopped some heads with a stuffed Torah at another point. Someone brought Glenlivet to share; there was conversation about bourbon casks during the walk from the sanctuary to the social hall. A Torah was unrolled in its entirety, the rabbis gesturing to the grown-ups to make the circle larger and larger so that all of the text could be seen. A father handed his own shiny teal-emerald kippah to his son, who'd lost his somewhere in the hall during all the running around. A mother collected her girl from a minor scrum; other little girls hopped and shrieked and shushed and eventually gathered under a canopy-shawl, giggling when the rabbi later dramatically swooped the shawl over his head. The man to my left was holding up the section containing the Ten Commandments. More than one person caught themselves drooping to the point of almost dropping their part of the scroll -- I'd forgotten how services can seem so rushed and at the same time so long within the same evening. And yet I got home early enough to call a friend on the East Coast, to reconnect briefly with another part of my life that is likewise no longer central but still beloved.

And it is good to wind down the evening thinking about the silent prayer that spoke loudest to me tonight, Guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully ... As for all who plan evil against me, swiftly thwart their counsel and frustrate their plans. Thousands-year-old rebuke and comfort, ever ancient, ever new...
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
  • I confess that I don't much like "Jingle Bells" most of the time, but I borrowed Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' Jingle All the Way (2008) from the library earlier today, and their version? Oh yeah.

  • This one's for Molly: there's now a French market in Green Hills called Little Gourmand...

    Little GourmandRead more... )

    reindeer ornament

  • bronze_ribbons: Kimiko Date Krumm fistpump @ Seoul 2009 (Kimiko fistpump)
    It's not every year that a friend from college receives her doctorate. So there was a graduation party at my place. (And because neither said friend nor I have the hang of doing anything by halves, there was so much food that the BYM and I hosted a second party the following night, and I took a big slab of cake over to my honorary mama.)

    It was a pretty swell soirée, if I do say so myself -- people were chatting animatedly about everything from religion to criminal justice to gardens to ice cream, and here's what ended up on the dining room table (some purchased/made by me, much of it contributed by various guests):

  • deviled eggs

  • bacon-wrapped dates

  • pulled pork shoulder, sauces, and cornbread from Jack's

  • lemon pepper chicken (from Bree's oven)

  • mac and cheese from Edley's

  • cheeses, strawberries, and apples from the Turnip Truck

  • wines from Woodland Wine Merchant

  • blue cheese slaw

  • sesame carrots

  • baked beans

  • mushroom quiche and almond cake from Sweet 16th

  • cherry-chocolate brownies

  • Drew's Brews "Half-Jacked" coffee

  • :-)
    bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
    (Went to see ETHEL's Documerica last night, thanks to a comp from 12th and Broad, and going back tonight to see ETHEL +.)

    (I've been to the space once before -- a corporate dinner some years ago, back when it was still the HQ of the cigar company. Nifty displays, then and now.)

    From a recent profile of the founder:

    OZ, Ozgener says, is his gift to Nashville.

    "As you come to a stage in your life, you think of your life in general, what you have done in your life, how much you have taken from society, things that have helped you in climbing the mountain," he explains. "And the place where you live is very, very important, the place where you have taken energy from.

    "I didn't know anything about cigars, but I liked them, and that's how I got involved in cigars — as an engineer, I always tried to improve everything that I see. I was trying to improve the cigar that I smoked and I liked. Same thing with the pipe that I smoked. That's what I do as an engineer."

    At BAM, it shouldn't have taken Hopkins long to realize she was dealing with a formidable personality. In person, Ozgener exudes worldly charm and infectious curiosity. But underlying them is fierce determination. Whatever the game, he says, he will figure out how to win — something Schermerhorn learned in their tennis matches. Despite the late maestro's towering over him ("Kenneth was an octopus," he recalls), Ozgener used his engineer's eye to angle the ball return after return into the middle, where his friendly rival's reach was useless.

    "I have a deadly drop shot," he deadpans.

    bronze_ribbons: (tentacle sex)
    Evil Octopus is a dark, dark beer.

    (And it's on tap at Belcourt Taps, which was a nice spot to hang out between a hospital seminar and a movie matinee. They had a hunting-and-fishing show on one TV behind the bar, and Sportscenter on the other, which led to two young women commenting sardonically on the athleticism [cough] of baseball pitchers...)
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Clearing the deck kitchen counter before the money part of the day, as it were: I just turned in a budget request, and am going through the parts of the paper I read while waiting for yesterday's hot chicken order.


    The wait ended up being about 25 minutes, so I was glad I'd brought along parts of Sunday's New York Times. Jennifer B. McDonald is my hero, for calling b.s. on John D'Agata's nonsense re his irresponsible handling of facts.

    The Sunday paper also featured a half-page spread of color photos featuring my neighborhood. The Wild Cow happens to be next to Jeni's, where earlier this week I watched the staff assembling something like "One Night in Bangkok" sundae for a couple a few seats down (description and photo at the bottom of this page); it caught my attention because the version constructed Tuesday night also included fresh cilantro.

    I also had my camera with me. I drive up and down Gallatin Road at least once a week (it's part of my route to and from the Talking Library studio), and I can't help grinning whenever I see this sign:

    store on Gallatin Road

    This entry was originally posted at
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (babe in bath)
  • Chamber choir rehearsal: cool music + singing with people with phenomenal voices = kickass combination that in turn increases my motivation to become a better singer (which has also become a chief reason for me to say "no" as often as I need to in order to take proper care of myself so that I stop disappointing myself and other people in this regard. You can't cheat on sleep as often as I have this winter without it taking a toll on both physical appearance and vocal quality, and I'm vain enough about both that I don't want the deterioration to continue any faster than it must).

  • Sometimes it's all I can do to keep from wriggling in sheer happiness when I hear the men behind me -- one bass is the director of choirs at Vanderbilt, and his sight-reading is smokin' smooth and seamless; another has the low, rich notes that are the aural equivalent of bathing in chocolate; and the baritone soloist is an incorrigible smartass who also gives great technique tips (sometimes along the lines of "for God's sake, squeeze your buttocks together and you'll stop going flat on that note," but damn if it doesn't work).

  • We're doing a Moses Hogan arrangement of "Hold On" this Sunday, which includes an all-out soprano solo with a sustained C'', and Laura nails it. It's the kind of performance that would give you religion if you didn't already have it -- it's that good.

  • The music for our upcoming concert includes an arrangement of "Somewhere" from West Side Story where the first altos get the melody for most of the piece. Woot!

  • Positive forward motion on a number of projects. Still so crunched that I'm having to pass on most of the social/volunteer/creative things I'd normally want to be a part of, but once I slay the current flock of albatrosses (all due no later than April 30), I can start acting like a halfway sane person again.

  • Tonight's corporate event included a tour of the GEC rehearsal hall (very warm, very spacious, very bright, and heaps of cases and electronics), and the Predators' workspaces, including the team locker room, the workout room (the tour guide pointed out that the players spend hours on the bikes, and their legs are so strong that ordinary people can't move the pedals at all at the settings the players use), the tools (including glove-warming boxes and a skate-warming oven) and the toolroom. Also a nifty presentation about NHL economics from the team brass and a good buffet (sushi and garlic mashed potatoes. Mmmmm).

  • A new poem drafted and a second one starting to take shape. It's been a while.

  • Good hair day.

  • My church might be visible on a segment of NOW (a PBS show) this Friday. (A crew taped parts of our March 18 service, for which I was the lay leader (on a not-so-good hair day, alas), and interviewed members of the church involved with the Vanderbilt campaign for living wages.)

  • Scando-geek video humor:
  • bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
    [ profile] matociquala: All you can do as an artist is, when it's your turn, do your damnedest to tear the cord out of the motherfucking wall.

    Today's tally:
    * one sermon finished and delivered
    * one story revised and submitted
    * three new poems drafted

    Also one bunch each of asparagus and baby beets roasted, a delightful coffee-break with a friend, and another friend treating me to the Panda Garden buffet in Cookeville.

    Breakfast was a slice left over from last night's outing to Pizzereal. Good stuff. (One of the poems I drafted tonight was about retsina.) Maybe I simply failed to notice the combination elsewhere, but the fact that my neighborhood now has two combination pizza/Greek/Middle Eastern joints just seems way cool to me. (One of them, Italia, has become a major hangout for the precinct's cops -- there are usually several officers eating there when I pass by.)

    Also, Pizzereal has beautiful wood floors and a gas fire (last night's weather was wet and dreary) and great service.

    Tomorrow is not likely to be as much fun -- umpteen billable hours to crunch through, heaps of miscellaneous but must-do paperwork, and an appointment to deal with a fractured tooth. But it all can wait until I log in a good night's sleep. The better to fence with, at, and through all the double-damned ever-moving ever-maddening funhouse walls... Onwards!
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
  • If you live in the Boston area, please consider attending the Peter Mayer concert that [ profile] psongster has organized. March 10. $12. He's a fantastic musician (and also kinda hot, at least when I saw him four or five years ago) and [ profile] psongster herself is of the awesome.

  • If you live in the Nashville area, please consider coming to "Vendredi Gras," an event being coordinated by some of the Vanderbilt Div School folk (announcement edited for space/bloggability):

    Vendredi Gras, February 23, 2007, Friday, from 7:00 - 10:00 pm
    "Why Vendredi Gras? Because it's too late for the Chinese New Year and too early for Purim..."

    The GDR/Divinity School (PAN, AL's Pub, SGA) is hosting a fundraiser for the New Orleans Women's Health and Justice Initiative and Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee. ...we have a small army of bakers who are donating everything from baklava, pecan and sweet potato pies, brownies, cheesecake, chocolate cake, to Burfi.... We will also have live music and games (pin the Arabian Horsetail on the FEMA director) and a dessert auction and libations. This will take place in the basement of the Divinity School. We will be collecting canned goods as well.

  • Words to ponder, from Joan Acocella, quoted in the Sunday NYT Book Review: "What allows genius to flower is not neurosis but tenacity and the ability to survive disappointment."

    (No, I'm not claiming to be a genius. I am, however, as stubborn as they come when I've a mind to be. Hah.)
  • blessings

    3/2/07 20:20
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    * All y'all. Thank you.

    * A good send-off for Jace this afternoon. Full church (300+ people); choir singing "River in Judea"; Tony Jackson and others singing "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," "Sing a Song," "YMCA," and other standards.

    * "Light tea" at the very charming Savannah Tea Room with a friend this morning. For her, a pot of Assam. For me, cups of blueberry rooibos and Provence rooibos. You start out by choosing your teacup from the shelves on the wall; then the server brings by a glass filled with Devon cream and topped with a raspberry, to go with the miniature scones. For the light tea, the second course is the tea tray, which consists of fruit (grapes and slices of pineapple, kiwi, and oranges), savories (cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, and tuna salad in phyllo shells), and sweets (blueberry cream puffs, apple tartlets, and chocolate covered cherries). The final course (i.e., a full-size dessert) was pineapple sorbet.

    * Got to chat with Bryce a bit after he and the BYM finished messing around with cars out back.

    * Went to Stacy Irvin's opening at The Parthenon. The photographs that linger with me at the moment are the ones of the camels, "Slow Day" (a child in a Chinese shop), and one of a farmer straddling an irrigation ditch.

    * Running into more friends while stopping at Savarino's to pick up dinner.

    * Finally opening the bottle of red wine ("The Four Graces" pinot noir) given to me when my term on the church board ended last year. I'm sipping it with my plate of eggplant parm as I type.

    * I technically took today off, but I did sneak in a stop at the Green Hills branch of the library. One of their current exhibits consists of some of the birdhouses for this year's W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School fundraiser. There are always some that are stunningly gorgeous and inventive, and others that are just laugh-out-loud funny (some of you may remember me cooing over "Hawkwarts" last year). The one that made me stop and giggle in my tracks this afternoon was "The Schroederhorn" (with Snoopy on the podium; Nashville's new symphony hall is "The Schermerhorn").

    * Also on display at the library -- a number of fun-looking new children's books, including Piratepedia and Adele and Simon (a sister and brother wander around Paris...).

    * Maura Stanton's "God's Ode to Creation."
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Prayer for Perspective

    When I last checked, the votes for the "marriage = 1 man + 1 woman" amendment to my state constitution totaled:

    YES 1,407,717
    NO 322,575

    I've been reminding myself that some of my Unitarian abolitionist forebears must have felt like this: the percentages will be reversed someday -- possibly even within my lifetime, give or take a few generations -- but it's painful how so many people don't get how grossly unfair they're being to their neighbors and kin on this matter.

    On the determinedly positive side, at least 19% of the vote was against the amendment. That's more than some people would expect ("1 in 5 Tennesseans favor marriage equality!" It's tempting to go make some heads spin, as it were...). My own precinct voted 3 to 1 against it on Election Day (816 voters), which was not a surprise but cheering nonetheless (and the totals may be even higher, since that ratio doesn't factor in ballots cast during the "early voting" period).

    So. Much work to do. There will always be more work to do.

    This country's growing pluralism is a blessing - one that the founders of this country could never have imagined but for which they prepared fertile ground by writing their egalitarian ideals into our foundational documents. What we should be doing in this country is continuing to expand the circle of those we include in the promises made in our Constitution. And I believe that despite the backlash we see every time the circle is widened, it never really shrinks back to where it was before.

    And also:

    We are a gentle and generous people. But let us not forget our anger. May it fuel not only our commitment to compassion but also our commitment to make fundamental changes. Our vision of the Beloved Community must stand against a vision that would allow the privilege of the few to be accepted as just and even holy. Our religious vision must again and again ask the Gospel question "Who is my neighbor" and strive always to include more and more of us as we intone the words that gave birth to this nation, "We the people..."

    We are, and we should be, both a gentle, and an angry people.
      - Bill Sinkford -- from a pastoral letter on Katrina, but it applies to many other things as well
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    I didn't get there in time for the pre-show lion-dancing, but the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's production of Macbeth turned out to be quite good. In particular, both Macduff and Macbeth's reactions to the deaths of their wives were affecting, and the staging of the Weird Sisters was terrific -- they were in flowing backlit acid green robes (think fairytale white witches meet Morsmordre), billowing from a balcony, and they chanted rather than shrieked (something I've disliked in other productions). Also, this is the first production I've seen in which minor characters such as Ross and Lennox (sp?) came across with their own personalities -- dunno if earlier productions simply cut their scenes, if I was just more awake for this one, or if the directing brought it out. Now I want to reread the play. But not before bedtime...
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
    The Nashville Calligraphers Guild new show at the Centennial Arts Center opened last night. I have two pieces for sale ("Come, Come, Whoever You Are" and "Praise Everything") and there's plenty of beautiful work by other Guild members on display.

    The park itself is great -- there's the Parthenon, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival -- this year's show is a Japanese-influenced Macbeth, the masses of flowers and herbs lining its paths...
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Both of these stickers were on the bumper of the car next to mine in a Church Street parking lot:

    "I ♥ Country Boys"

    "Vote NO on 1"
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    On the one hand, I just got back from dropping books off at the library. I keep asking the idiot in the mirror, "Haven't you learned anything over the past 15 years?" because this feeling like I'm reliving graduate school isn't healthy. There's a part of me that's well aware that I'm smarter and stronger than I ever was during my twenties, but I also keep having to fight off the feeling that I've barely made any progress at all.

    On the other hand, there's a certain pleasure in observing who else happens to be out and about at 2 a.m.: aside from the usual jaywalkers and junkies, there were also a couple of youngsters dancing and snogging their way down Second Avenue.

    Saw Vienna Teng in concert last week and met her afterwards. She's very pretty, very nice, and hella talented. At present, "Harbor" remains my favorite song of hers (downloadable from here), but "Shine" is what I've been replaying in the car and in my head the past couple of days:

    shine with all the untold
    hold the light given unto you
    find the love to unfold
    in this broken world we choose
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Hendrik Hertzberg in The New Yorker:

    In the past forty years, the definition of marriage has indeed been changed, not by any homosexual master plan but by an epidemic of heterosexual divorce. Marriage is a social good—Bush is certainly right about that—but it has become a disposable good. The causes of divorce are manifold, and they do not include gay marriage. (The state with the nation’s lowest divorce rate, Massachusetts, is also the only state where gay marriage is legal.) The day after the Senate vote, USA Today reported that “the number of active-duty soldiers getting divorced has been rising sharply with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.” The divorce rate among Army enlisted personnel since 2003, the year of the invasion of Iraq, is up twenty-eight per cent. For officers the increase is seventy-eight per cent. Perhaps this, rather than the imaginary threat of same-sex marriage, is something that the President should look into.

    Davidson County readers: The League of Women Voters is hosting a forum for school board candidates this Thursday.

    angsting over school board choices... )

    All of that said, I just now read this post, where Kay Brooks characterizes A Place at the Table as follows:

    I'm of the mind that the core mission of public education is very narrow. You'll have a hard time convincing me that it includes indoctrination by the Southern Poverty Law Center via their video on civil rights. This video, we're told, equates the struggle by certain parties to have their form of mutual love accepted as on par with the struggle by people of color to obtain full personhood.

    This is language similar to that used by Carolyn Baldwin Tucker (the most virulently homophobic member of Metro Council) in her ravings against homosexuality. For me, this is the deal-breaker: I will not vote for someone who shares Tucker's narrow-mindedness on this issue.

    "Certain parties," indeed. That's a significant segment of my neighborhood you trivialized there, Ms. Brooks.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    "When you're doing it you're just trying to do the best you can," Mr. Preston said in 2001. "You don't know if you're doing something important, and whether it will make history has yet to be seen. Just the fact of being able to do it, and striving to do the best you can, was the accomplishment."

    - from Jon Pareles's obituary of Billy Preston in today's New York Times. Preston worked as both a solo and session keyboard player, including with the Beatles.

    On a related note, Nashville's Musicians Hall of Fame opens this Friday. I can't find Will Ayers's Rage writeup online, but what caught my attention in it is that the new Hall intends to lift up the work of session musicians as well as featured performers. This makes me seriously happy.

    The title of this post is from Steve Winwood's "Still in the Game"


    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)

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