Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Magic in Everyday Things

I feel like anything is possible when I look closely at things. I have no plans for this summer and yet I know some magical things will just happen. I took this photo yesterday while relaxing and thinking about how much I like dandelions and other weeds.

"Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin'.
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it."
--Bob Dylan

Not only do I find a light spray of Shalimar refreshing in this summer weather, but mosquitos absolutely hate perfume. I haven't been bitten in decades. i haven't bought any perfume since early February, but I got 5 bottles of Shalimar for my birthday in April. I dropped one into a glass of water to see how it would look.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bob Dylan & The Yankee

I went out and bought some double chocolate mini cakes and a can of frosting. Why so much effort? It is Bob Dylan's Birthday. Happy Birthday Bob!
Personalizing these cakes was not easy for me--I had to wear gloves and I don't have opposable thumbs like all you primates out there. A friend of mine, Lysander ( a lemur who lives down the street ) was supposed to help me with this project last night, but he flaked out on me, and went to a Yankee's game instead. I can't blame him. I'd be there too if somebody gave me a ticket and a ride to the stadium.
This is one of my favorite Yankees. Jim 'Catfish' Hunter. He was pretty cool. In 1974 he won the Cy Young Award. The Yankees won three straight pennants with Hunter from 1976 to 1979. At age 33, In poor health, he retired to North Carolina, where he had a farm.
"If I hadn't played baseball, I wanted to be a game warden or something. I want to be outdoors." --Hunter
He died in 1999 at the age of 53. (He had ALS / Lou Gehrig's Disease)

He was absolutely thrilled to be the subject of a Bob Dylan song. Catfish wrote an essay about the moment he found out Bob had written a song for him.

Lazy stadium night
Catfish on the mound.
"Strike three," the umpire said,
Batter have to go back and sit down.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Used to work on Mr. Finley's farm
But the old man wouldn't pay
So he packed his glove and took his arm
An' one day he just ran away.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Come up where the Yankees are,
Dress up in a pinstripe suit,
Smoke a custom-made cigar,
Wear an alligator boot.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Carolina born and bred,
Love to hunt the little quail.
Got a hundred-acre spread,
Got some huntin' dogs for sale.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Reggie Jackson at the plate
Seein' nothin' but the curve,
Swing too early or too late
Got to eat what Catfish serve.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Even Billy Martin grins
When the Fish is in the game.
Every season twenty wins
Gonna make the Hall of Fame.

Catfish, million-dollar-man,
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

Bob Dylan (& Jacques Levy)

"The sun don't shine on the same dog's ass all the time"
--Catfish Hunter

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bob Dylan in the Movies

In the film "Private Benjamin" Eileen Brennan sneers at a Bob Dylan poster on a locker door. She says something along the lines of ...

" I know how crazy you ladies are when it comes to this FONZIE character, but not in my barracks!"

She rips the poster down and orders it burnt.

In real life Brennan and Hawn are close friends who attended Dylan concerts together.

Harry Dean Stanton's cool slithery performance in
Private Benjamin is a wonderful thing to watch.
You may remember some of Harry Dean's
other films:
Christine, Paris Texas, Pretty in Pink,
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (with Johnny Depp)
The Green Mile, Renaldo & Clara (with Bob Dylan)
Alien, and The Care Bear's Movie.

Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY! In the meantime, relax and make yourself pretty.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Princess Haiku Tribute

The Shadow Ghost of Blue Cat wanted me to post a tribute to a beautiful thinking blog. Here he bows to the Princess, he says, 'as the grass bows down before the wind.'

Princess Haiku's blog is filled with visionaries and poets. There are tea ceremonies, labyrinths, roses wet with dew, shadow ghosts, music, the scents of a garden, and splendor. It is an actual place you can visit, filled with people singing and performing lovely music. There are also book and movie reviews.

One post was about San Francisco's ban on plastic bags for groceries and shopping. Princess suggested learning to wrap purchases in beautiful cloth and gave some Japanese examples. While other's complained about the ban, she embraced it. I often shopped with canvas bags, but not always, and her post made me realize I needed to get serious. I am trying out colorful string bags as well as strong cloth bags for 'major' grocery shopping trips. Sometimes we forget that every small step we take towards green living makes sense. I took this picture for her some time ago, with some two-headed paper whites and white dicentra I found in my garden.

Although she seems ethereal, Princess is a strong down to earth person.

"My dreams are made of iron and steel
With a big bouquet
Of roses hanging down
From the heavens to the ground."
--Bob Dylan

Monday, May 21, 2007


Peering into the quiet monster in my back garden.

Sitting in my car in a parking lot on a very rainy day.

I've become used to taking my camera everywhere with me, thanks to reading Goldpoppy and Shadows & Light.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bob Dylan Gets Ready

All over the country, people are planning birthday bashes for Bob Dylan. Even my little village is hosting a Bob Dylan Birthday Weekend from May 24 thru the 27th. There will be Dylan cover bands performing and salutes to Bob all over the place, and a giant cake. Here's a little cartoon a friend of mine made for Bob. A scented birthday gift. This post starts the countdown to Bob's Birthday...what is your favorite Bob song?

Thursday, May 17, 2007



Chedwick decided to groom, feed and water his small collection of African violets today.

Removing the dead leaves and spent blossoms. His violets are always healthy and seem to bloom nonstop.

Ched's brilliant idea: outside the window the Forsythia was glowing, making an excellent background for the violets. Manipulate the photo so it looks like a painting, sort of.

Best Violet perfumes? For sheer sweetness, I'd have to say Insolence de Guerlain, but there are many out there, the violet being a favorite flower.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Literate Cats

Over at the Literate Kitten blog people are reading short stories and talking about their favorites. (I like how you can read a short story while waiting in line someplace) You can read an entire anthology of short fiction while in line to enjoy some ride at Disneyland, and you can read a thick novel while in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Manhattan. I know this to be true because I have done all three. People can get fussy while waiting in line, but the line moves along like a dream when you are absorbed in a good story. You lose time somehow and you never get that feeling like you are wasting time, waiting, like the guy who is twitching and muttering. The person in line absorbed in a book is the little inlet of calm in a sea of stress.

Once when I had an accident and the paramedics were taking me from my house to the ambulance, I realized I might be bookless at the hospital while they were patching me up! I sent ambulance man #1 back into the house to grab a book (ANY book) and bring it to me. At that time there were about 400 books in my living room, and he returned quickly with a novel by Jack Kerouac. What a great guy.

Once I accidently checked my book bag at an airport, (and could not get it back or go to a newsstand for some paperbacks.) All I had in my handbag was Goethe's "Faust"-- It was a ten+ hour flight-- I memorized Goethe's "Faust" and tried reading it upsidedown for awhile, and then read my seatmate's paperback about Savvy Investing. I come from a very long line of readaholics.

My favorite books would have to include all reference books, travel guides and atlases. I have been addicted to these since early childhood. One of my favorites was a traveler's phrasebook that took care of a dozen different countries and languages. Then come the classics, women's studies & social sciences, mass market fiction, biographies, and the occasional sci fi, horror, or mystery.

The Big Golden Book of Poetry, (seen here with a few of my favorite things) was the first book I ever owned. When traveling as a kid, even as I got a bit older, it was the first book to go in the suitcase.
I guess I should stop with the reminiscences already and list a few current favorite books -- this is just my "Random List No.1" -- a true reader's dozen of books that could be dipped into or re-read anytime, anyplace.

1. The Poems of Baudelaire
2. Are You Somebody? by Nuala O'Faolain
3. Bronx Primitive by Kate Simon
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
5. The Big Windows by Peader O'Donnell
6. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
7 .Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler
8. This Place on Third Avenue: The New York Stories of John McNulty
9. America's Women by Gail Collins
10. The Orchard by Adele Crockett Robertson
11. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
12. A Clergyman's Daughter by George Orwell
13. La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola
14. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

Please share some of your favorites.

Bringing it all Back Home

I have been busy because my recording deal finally came through! I had to hurry and buy a mansion, buy some bling (my bling of choice is a crown) and now I have to get a decent entourage together and hire some staff. I'm so excited about recording my first CD! But first I need an extra-long nap.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tangled Up in Travel

Cats are not terribly fond of travel, but I have to hurry off to Montreal for a few days. My limo awaits, so I must go now. Take care and I will see you first thing Tuesday morning!

What? My feather-Boa-on-a-Stick won't fit into my suitcase?
I need a bigger suitcase!

While I'm gone, talk amongst yourselves about travel.
Where are you going? Where's your favorite place?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Time Spent

Chedwick is art directing here. Does this flower need to be moved one eighth of an inch? He's lovely, anyway, and a joy to work with.

Here Chedwick is caught in flight. He is jumping over the set, from left to right. A very abstract cat.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

No. 9

On This Day Last Year:

Some kids in Arkansas were disappointed with their skimpy school lunch. May 9, 2006.

After sitting around all winter, a Connecticut man jogged outdoors for the first time in six months on May 9, 2006.

On tour as usual, Bob Dylan was in Orlando, Florida performing on May 9, 2006.

In Texas, the blogger known as Flawed and Disorderly was writing about how her little eye mask that she sometimes wears to bed ended up in the toilet. May 9, 2006

A tree was loaded onto a truck in Rhode Island. Later that same day it would arrive at a nearby home and be planted. May 9, 2006.

Some kids in St. Louis sat around playing with flowers, pretending the flowers were jewelry. May 9, 2006.

What were you doing last year on this date?
What are you doing today?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tales from the Dark Blue Side

"Some of us live in the sunlit world of what we believe to be reality. But... there is, unseen by most, a parallel world, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit... a Dark Blue Side."

Joe Average walks down a typical suburban street in Anytown, USA. He is on his way home, and the sun is shining. Suddenly, without any warning, Mr. Average finds himself wrapped in a Dark Blue world he has never seen before. A place he never believed existed.

He hesitates, but hoping things will soon return to normal, Joe enters his little suburban home, where otherworldly things are about to occur.

"The Dark Blue Side is always there waiting for us to enter; waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight."

Monday, May 7, 2007

Tangled up in Tagging

Tagged by Camille for "Why I blog"

I have always tried to keep a journal, but I misplace them, or write grocery lists in them, forget to date entries, and end up with a journal that is a quarter full. I had better luck with sketchbooks. I tried to focus on something that was in my life on a very regular basis, I listen to Bob everyday, so that was easy, and I like trying out new perfumes, although I only wear a few Guerlains regularly, and then just a drop or two. But I started there, with perfume and Bob, and decided to let Chedwick, a small tuxedo cat run things for me.

Chedwick hasn't figured out how to fully link, or get a profile photo in place, or how to post a video wthin a post, and he is frankly, too lazy to try and figure these things out.

The blog takes care of my addiction to taking photographs that started when I was about ten years old,
and I can mess around with photoshop and post the results here too.

I read blogs for a few years before starting my own--I figured I'd never be able to keep it going. But in January I decided to try creating a blog and maintaining for one year. A sort of New Year's resolution.

I've met so many interesting and talented people through the blog, something I did not think about when I started out. That's probably the biggest reward to blogging.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tangled Up in Lilacs

I love this time of year ... when lilacs are blooming like crazy. They are everywhere, so you can put a bouquet in every room. I was lucky to marry in early May, and have a bridal bouquet that was mostly lilacs (with a few white roses) The men's boutonnières were a single white rose with a sprig of lilac. We married at City Hall in Manhattan, in a simple and swift ceremony, with a small group of friends to witness, but everyone having flowers added a certain flair. The maid of honor said we were the best smelling wedding party ever. We certainly smelled better than the group that was finishing up their hot-dog vendor breakfast while waiting outside the tiny chapel inside this huge Renaissance Revival building. My bridesmaid pointed out that Hot Dog Bride was carrying fake red roses. Hot Dog Bride was wearing a white satin dress and looked deliriously happy. Scanning the large waiting room, I saw we were a motley group of brides, grooms and well-wishers. Some nervous brides and grooms paced or stood smoking in the corridor next to giant ashtrays with sand in them. Bridal attire ranged from blue jeans, dressy business suits, simple frocks, to full-on bridal gowns, some with elaborate veils and trains. It was surreal and funny, and perfect. I wondered how many couples had waited right here to be married since this City Hall was completed in 1811. Outside, the weather was glorious.The day was glorious.

Today is a sharp, bright day, the kind of day that is better to live in than photograph. It is a perfect day to get married or attend a wedding.

The Dark Purple Common Lilac. The deer ate this plant down to a nub one year, but it slowly came back and now it is fine. When lilac time is over, we only have the sweet memory of the scent. And most lilac perfumes fall short, so I can only recommend two. Angélique-Lilas by Guerlain is a light blend of angelica and lilac -- very fresh and delicate. My favorite is Etoile du Sud by Fragonard. The lilac, ylang ylang , jasmine blend makes me dream of lilac time. It's very odd to put a few drops on and think of lilacs in the dead of winter-- It tranports you.

"I married Isis on the fifth day of May,
But I could not hold on to her very long.
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong."

"Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child.
What drives me to you is what drives me insane.
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin' rain."
--Bob Dylan

Shalimar Perfume de Guerlain

I love taking pictures of the Shalimar bottles, as you can see. This bottle was designed by Raymond Guerlain in the 1920s and was inspired by the fountains in the gardens of oriental palaces. The cap is meant to suggest an oriental fan. The amber scent inside created by Jacques Guerlain in 1925, has been called mythical, mysterious, magical, and has stood the test of time. Thousands of perfumes have been dreamt up and presented to the public by top perfume houses only to be forgotten after a few years. But Shalimar remains the favorite of the House of Guerlain. A masterpiece.

'A perfume must be more mysterious than a copy of something in nature. When a man sees a woman, he shouldn't think of a rose; he should think of that woman..'

--Perfumer Jean Paul Guerlain
(on the philosophy of his grandfather Jacques Guerlain)

The Shalimar bottles are so well-designed. Although there are many other designs, these are the three you will probably see most often in stores today.

Shalimar was created in 1925, and was an immediate success. I put this bottle down on top of a beautiful advertisement that said 'Future' because Shalimar is truly a timeless scent. The bottle is a classic art deco design. Shalimar is a time traveler that transports you to mysterious enchanting lands that no longer exist, and to the future where anything is possible.

Shalimar was created as a tribute to the legendary lovers Mumtaz Mahal and Emperor Shah Jahan and the Shalimar Gardens of Agra. (In Sanskrit Shalimar translates to '' the home of love''. ) When his Queen died just after giving birth to a daughter, Jahan was completely devastated and spent fourteen years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

(Photos by Chedwick)

Thursday, May 3, 2007


I have to take time out from my busy sunbathing schedule to answer a sort of questionnaire from the lovely Groovy Lady of Groovy Lady Land!

1. What is the stupidest mistake you have ever made with money?

Chedwick: Eating it. Coughing up a hairball with pennies in it is a horrific experience.

2. Do you think taxes are unfair or do you think it’s your civic duty?

Chedwick: The Cat Tax is so unfair! Down with the Cat Tax! What? there IS no Cat Tax? oh. nevermind then.

3. Do you take risks and possibly turn your life upside down for new opportunity?

Chedwick: I don't want to get hung up in venetian blinds or anything, but I can't help exploring and taking risks. If someone puts a perfume bottle cap on a ledge, it is my job to get it down and play with it!

4. Are you the alpha in your household?

Chedwick: No, I am a very small cat, and the youngest in my household, but I have a blog.

5. Do you compromise with your significant other or does someone always get their way?

Chedwick: Everyone gets their own way here, maybe because there is no Alpha--we don't play head games or negotiate. No sneaky stuff. It is all very aboveboard.

6. What curse word do you use most often?

Chedwick: I was recently introduced to the word Mofo, by a blogger named Catlin! Being a cat, it is hard so me to say human words like crap and damn , but I can kind of sort of say Mofo, which is cool.

7. Do you easily change your mind or are you dead set on most issues?
Chedwick: I'm open to new thoughts, ideas every single second!

8. What famous person would you like to trade places with for one week?

Chedwick: Someone who sleeps in the sun a lot, and has a good catnip mouse toy, I guess.

9. If you could go back in time and tell one person off, who would it be and what would you say?

Chedwick: I think it would be a waste of time for me to even want to do that. I need all the quality time I can get!

10. Were you a good student or did you do just enough to get by?

Chedwick: I was a good and studious kitten. I caught a big moth last night. I got honor grades in catching flying things back at kitten school.

11. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out on their own, what would you tell them?

Chedwick: Get a generous and loving host family to adopt you.
12. Are people basically good and honest or are most people opportunistic and predatory?

Chedwick: I lead a very sheltered life, so I'll go with good and honest.

13. Is there somebody you wish you could go back and apologize to?

I was very sick as a kitten, maybe I would apologize to the lady at the animal shelter, Diane... who took such good care of me. she probably had to devote a lot of time to me. Sorry I threw up that medicine on you, something like that I guess.