Breakfast Special, #38, “Sleep Cycling”

“Sleep Cycling”

Lily knew it was Anton at the door by his knock. Setting aside her cookie and book, she quickly made her way to the door before he laid another set of quick, sharp knuckle raps on it. Anton greeted her with the disarmingly open smile he reserved for close friends as Lily opened the door and waved him inside.

“Hey, Lily.” Standing on the entrance rug, Anton glanced around the bookroom looking for Sarge. “Sorry, running late. Sarge already head up Percy Two’s way?” He stared at Lily in surprise when she shook her head, then held a finger to her lips signaling for quiet. She pointed at his boots and gestured towards the kitchen. Anton whispered, “Everything okay here, Lily?” After she nodded and gave a tired small smile in reply, Anton complied with her request to remove his boots and followed her into the kitchen.  There he took in the still three-quarters full pot of coffee on the stove, the teapot covered with the warming cover, pots and pans at the ready waiting on the stove, Lily’s near empty cup of coffee, a large book of forest photographs open at her place, the clean plate and empty cup at the other side of the table and the platter of  coconut cookies in the center.

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Orca Book Publishers

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Anton eyed the familiar looking and smelling coconut cookies with extreme curiosity as he sat down in the chair between the used and unused table settings.  Lily poured him a cup of coffee in silence and pushed the platter of cookies towards him before retaking her seat. Anton hesitated, glanced over his shoulder at the doorway to the bookroom and the entrance door at the far end of it. Reassuring himself that he had indeed seen Sarge’s heavy work-boots on the mat, he gave Lily a careful looking over.

Her voice soft and low, Lily pushed the cookies closer to him. “Go on, eat as many as you can. We both know you want to, Anton.”

Matching her quiet tone, Anton said, “Ahha, yeah, about these cookies,” he gestured at the platter, “they be what I think they be?”

“Depends on what you think they ‘be.” Lily sipped her coffee and popped the remaining portion of a half eaten cookie into her mouth. “Only way you’ll know for sure is if you eat one.”

Anton took one and ate it whole. Keeping his eyes on Lily, he washed it down with the coffee. “Yeah, they be what I think they be. How’d you get a whole load of them?”

Lily opened the recipe box and flicked her fingertips at the piece of paper stuck in the front ready for use in the immediate future. “Made them, that’s how.” She grinned when he stared at the recipe in disbelief.

“Ahh ha, Anton getting a picture book story right quick.” Anton took another cookie and sniffed it. “Hmm, yeah,” He looked over his shoulder again in the direction of Sarge’s boots on mat and then at Lily’s not entirely well rested face and form. “Lily looking like she need few more zs. Truth be, lot more than a few, my friend.” He ate the cookie while waiting for a reply. When Lily shrugged and gave her coffee cup her full attention instead of responding, he reached out and gently touched her shoulder to get her to make eye contact. “Not lookin’ like Sarge made tracks for a bus.” He nodded at the stove. “Not lookin’ like you woke up mad either.” He paused to give her a chance to speak, when she didn’t he continued voicing his thoughts.  He eyed the cookies again without any intention of taking another one. He waved his fingers at the platter. “Those little Ling sweets set some other sort of sweet thing in motion, Lily? That why you lookin’ like it wouldn’t hurt you none for some major z hibernating? Hmm? You and Sarge finally sort out a thing or two in a certain personal area you been keeping damn quiet about?”

Lily leaned back in her chair and returned Anton’s direct gaze. “Yes, we sorted out some things. Took us most of the night to do it, but we managed to get it done right. I woke up at my usual time. Sarge, he’s still in deep sleep mode. He won’t get to Percy Two’s place for doing that electrical work until this afternoon.  Sorry if that messes with the repair crew schedule, but I’m not waking him up and I’m not letting you or anyone else wake him up either. He’s not getting up until he’s had all the sleep he needs. He’ll wake up when he’s good and ready. You and the rest of the repair crew will just have to deal with that fact today, and every day hereafter. Do you read me, Anton?”

“I read you, Lily. Anton get it, Big Man been puttin’ in a hell of a lot of time and hard labor. Man needs a time out. That’s cool. No problem. Crew major respect all he do.”

Lily shook her head. “Sarge doesn’t need just a time-out, Anton.  If he’s going to continue fixing things here in the Flats he needs to ease up some. It’s not that he doesn’t want to do things, don’t take it that way. He does. He likes fixing things for people. You know he does. Problem is that he’s been using all this repair work to keep his mind too busy to deal properly with a few private things that require his attention. Those things do not include me. Oh I see you’re ready to jump on that statement of fact. Let me save you some breath. What that means is that I am not on the list of things he needs to deal with and get past. As far as he and I are concerned, we’re going to take our time and do things our own way and take it from there.  I don’t want to hear another word about what we ought to be doing or not doing according to what people usually do in your culture regarding their personal relationships.”

Anton made a zipper motion across his lips. “Should I share this intel with Esther?”

“No, I’ll make it clear to her myself. I know she means well. That’s not an issue. It’s just,” . . .. Lily stopped talking and stared out the kitchen window while considering her words. Knowing Anton knew her well enough that he wouldn’t take it as an evasive tactic she took her time. When she made eye contact again with the man patiently waiting and drinking his coffee, she sighed. “Esther thinks she knows how I should handle things with Sarge. I know what she thinks because she’s had no problem telling me. But Anton, you know from listening to your bones that sometimes what seems like the right thing to do based on logic is anything but right.”

“You saying you’re going all the way with your home people vibes regarding Big Man. Anton reading Lily right?”

Lily nodded. “Yes, Anton, I am. As Sarge put it last night, he laid a lot of cards out on the table because he didn’t want me to get blindsided by some things in his private life. Or what he thought was his private life. The more I think about what he told me, I’m not so sure it’s been very private at all. I know he’s talked about some of it with you. I don’t know what your bones have been saying. But mine have been in a bit of a tizzy, as Priest used to say, about those things and something he’s not seeing yet. Some thing Sarge doesn’t know anything about. My vibes can’t make sense of it right now.  Whatever that is, I do not intend to leave him to deal with it alone no matter how things turn out between us as a couple.”

“As a couple?” Anton set down the cup he’d been holding with both hands. “You both reading the same ink on that page, Lily? You and Sarge got that couple business all clear? You know why I’m putting the question back to you.”

“Yes.” Lily lifted her chin. “We agreed to continue living together between here and his place in the freight district.”  Seeing Anton’s eyes open wide with stunned surprise, she pushed on. “I told Sarge straight up that I don’t want him to leave and he told me straight up that he doesn’t want to leave. We get along with each other. Which is more than a lot of people you and I both know can say about their private relationships. Sarge and I have decided to take a shot at being a couple on our own terms. I’m saying that even after he laid a lot of his cards on the table and I put down some of my own. I didn’t put all down of mine at the same time because I didn’t want to get us off track about what was actually significant to the matters at hand. Some things can wait. At least until we’ve both had some more sleep. We’re both clear about each other’s past relationship problems and that’s what matters right now.”

Attempting to appear nonchalant about Lily’s matter-of- fact tone regarding her relationship problems, keeping in mind what he knew about Sarge’s problems, Anton slouched down in his chair and stretched out his legs. “Pardon me for asking, but did you or did you not lay down your card concerning what you did to Mark when you caught him on the stairs messing with Julianna?”

“I mentioned it. I didn’t go into all the details, but the gist of it got across.”

“The gist of it? Sarge knows it was you, not Ricardo, who broke the front door with Mark’s head, right?”

Lily scratched the side of her neck and frowned. “I think so. Well, maybe that detail needs to be clarified a little. What’s your point, Anton?”

Anton shrugged. “Nothing.  Just making sure Big Man knows how you can get when you’re riled up. That’s all. Don’t want him getting blindsided by a violin case in the gut if some drunk groupie backs him up against a wall in a stairwell outside a bar where’s he’s taking a break from from work, like John was at a music gig.”

Lily glared at him through eyes narrowed to sharp slits and found the energy to richly infuse her reply with sarcasism. “Oh no, we wouldn’t want that to happen to John or anyone else ever again. Not even if that drunk groupie happens to be his not so ex ex-live in girlfriend and his pants are down around his ankles.”

“Touche as they say. You clinched that there with the pants detail. I don’t recall hearing that before.”

Lily pushed her hair behind her ears then mimicked Anton’s mocking gossipy tone. “Did you hear the detail about him being stoned big time as they say? Hmm? John tends to leave out that piece of serious drug relapse intel when entertaining people with the story of Lily sending him to emergency room hospital hell with a violin case.”

“Anton caught some details about that violin case beating something besides the usual shit out of John. That something covered not only his hospital tab, but bought some serious don’t ask, don’t tell from the right folks. But hey, who listens to idle chatter from hospital orderlies pissed off about the drug trade in their neighborhood and in their hospital, right?”

“I definitely clarified all the details regarding that problem relationship, Anton.”

“Including details about John’s not-so-ex ex-live-in girlfriend? That be good fishin’ bait for some intel about new to Lily ex-live-in Sarge girlfriends, hmm.” Anton took another cookie and passed it from hand to hand while maintaining eye contact with Lily.

“There aren’t any ex live-in Sarge girlfriends or any other sort of ex-girlfriend to be concerned about,” said Lily.

Anton gave a faint hearted guffaw. “Hmm. I can’t see Sarge laying down some significant cards while making a pitch for bona fide serious couple rank without some card dealing with some ex girlfriends in some sense of the term. I can’t see this man doing that, Lily. My bones can’t see him trying to slide this card under a seat cushion. So let’s have reality fact check here regarding your understanding of this particular ex-girlfriends card.”

“Yes, Anton, I am aware that Sarge has had sexual relations with a lot of women. I’m sure you’re aware that it takes more than a few rounds of sex to have a real relationship with someone.  As far as real relationships go, in any sense of the meaning of that term, Sarge hasn’t had one that results in any variation of love-sick, angry ex-girlfriends doling out blow jobs in alleys behind bars to get a guy’s attention. There will be no such pitiful bitch appearing on Rosa’s porch at two in the morning wailing for Sarge to come out and fuck her blind in the street. Even if there was, Sarge is not the kind of man to give her exactly what she wants right there in the street, entertaining the gang guys going about their business as usual at two am. Yes, Anton, I knew what John did. I didn’t have to go out there and watch. I could smell it on him when he came back inside after sending her on her merry way as he put it.”

Lily was pleased with the taken aback expression on her friend’s face due to his learning of her awareness of an instance of John’s behavior which Anton had personally found especially offensive and which he’d made an intense effort to keep talk about from her ears. She mirrored his earlier action of taking a cookie while keeping eye contact. “That’s the kind of reality fact you wanted me to check, right?”

“You reality check that John fact dead on.” He took a breath. “Per current affairs, you care to clarify how you read Sarge in the other women line-up?”

Lily smirked then rubbed her tired eyes. “Do I care to? You’re being funny, Anton. To clarify my read further, well, I certainly have not had sex with as many men as he has had with women. But I bet I could catch up damn fast if I put up red lights on the porch instead of blue and put the word out that I’m open for business. Hmm. Do you think doing that would increase or decrease the odds of Sarge and I working out being a couple for the long haul?”

For only a very brief moment, did Anton consider raising the topic of the little grey book’s contents. “You got to be messing with Anton with that scenario. Such shit do no one any good.”

She laughed softly at his indignation and playfully kicked at his chair. “Relax, Anton. You know I wasn’t serious about that red light action play.”

“True. But I don’t like you even thinking up crazy shit like that, Lily. Gets my mind rolling along that maybe you done too much time in the Flats.” Anton paused while reviewing everything Lily had said so far. “There not much people action in the freight district where Sarge’s place be. When a man been living alone a long time, never know what that space that be like until you in it. Considering how Sarge deal with all things need fixing here, I bet money everything essential in good working order. That be a lot right there.” He looked around the kitchen and glanced into the bookroom. “Odds against it all comfy and cozy like your pad. But Anton thinking as long as Big Man’s place safe and solid, maybe Lily doing some time there be a good thing. Focus on couple action your way. No other people drama action distractions. No input there you don’t want. Peace and quiet be a big plus if you depending on your home people vibes to try to get couple two-way street working right for the long haul.”

“I think that’s a good idea, Anton. All the input from all quarters definitely has not helped me much with my other couple efforts.” Lily bit her bottom lip and briefly laid a hand on Anton’s. “But you always read the guys creed right for me, though. That definitely has helped me understand a lot of what went wrong.  What kind of shit do you think will get tossed my way when word gets around that Big Man is not making a permanent exit from Lily’s life as soon as he can easily catch a bus or cab out of the Flats?”

“Shit not worth taking the time to state you ignoring. Lot of folks been in-house too long with snow lockdown. Lot of head spaces packed tight with crazy notions. No telling what might get said by whom. All you need pay mind to be your home people vibes and what you know direct be true. Screw all the gossip drama queens’ bullshit flowing. They get all lathered up, that their issue.  Not yours.” Anton checked the bookroom again. “You sure Big Man is not going to wake up any time soon? I don’t want him hear us talk like this and get any wrong ideas that require the rest of the day and night clearing up.”

“I’m sure. Sarge won’t be up for hours unless the pipes start singing or the kids start jumping on the floor above the bed and wake him up. He’s down for about another three.”

“How you know that? You didn’t slip him something to send him to la la land, did you? Tell me you didn’t do that and mean it, Lily.” Anton put his hands together as if praying. “Please.”

“I didn’t do that. I mean it, Anton.  You know I wouldn’t do something like that. You’ve been dealing with way too many crazy people doing crazy things lately. I know because I’ve been paying attention to how Sarge sleeps ever since his first night here. It scared me the first time he slept so much longer than I expected. I couldn’t hardly tell if he was actually breathing or not. I kept checking on him. Then I got in the habit of checking on him whenever he sleeps longer than I do. That’s how I figured out about how long he spends in each stage.” She pointed at the coffee pot. Anton stood up and refilled her cup as she continued speaking. “We went to bed a little after four this morning. I can’t help but wake up by eight am even though I need a few more hours sleep. I’ll catch them later. You’re the same way. But Sarge, he doesn’t have a regular internal alarm clock like you and I do. If he does, it’s not working.  He’s got to work his way down to hit that deep sleep cycle and hang there for a few hours before he even starts working his way to the waking surface. It’s just a little after nine now, so he’s still in deep sleep mode, which I confirmed a few minutes before you showed up. I can tell what stage he’s in by his breathing and heart-beat. If he gets to sleep and wake up all on his own, he’s ready for anything all day long and most of the night too. If he doesn’t, then he’ll push through being still tired and he’ll do everything that needs doing. But he’s out of sorts physically and fairly miserable even though he doesn’t whine or complain about it like some people we could name but won’t. ”

Listening carefully not just to Lily’s words, but also to her tone and paying attention to her body language, Anton decided to share absolutely none of this intel with Esther. Everything he was hearing and observing right now told him there’d been a whole lot more going on with Lily in regard to Sarge than Esther, Rosa, himself, possibly even Sarge,  had a clue about. It fairly boggled his mind that she’d been monitoring the man’s sleep as carefully she was telling him she had. “Ahhha, and, um, have you shared all this sleep cycle intel with Sarge? Is he aware of how very aware you are of his sleep needs and habits?”

Lily took in the questions and frowned. “Sarge knows I check on him. I told him when I first started. It hadn’t occurred to me to discuss the rest in detail with him. After all, he can’t check on himself, can he? It just seemed useful to me to figure out so I know he is okay even when it seems like he’s barely breathing at all. I’m not joking, Anton. He’s so still and quiet when he sleeps it’s like he’s in a coma. He hardly moves. If I fall asleep after he does and wake up before him, I swear he’s in the exact same position as he was when I fell asleep. I’m not sure that’s normal. Do you think it would help anything if I told him what I’ve noticed?”

“Honest, I have no idea about that at all, Lily. Doc Tran might have a clue, but Anton definitely has nothing in his thought box about that sleep action. That something vary from one body to another. Might mean something, might mean nothing except that when Sarge down for the z count, he down hard.”

Lily relaxed and pulled her feet up onto the seat of her chair. Resting her chin on her knees she looked at the cookies then at Anton. “You really think I ought to tell him how I, um, pounded Mark’s head into the front door?”

Anton nodded. “I do. Main thing be Big Man knows exactly why. Plus, it don’t hurt none him knowing you can, and will, do a lot more than defend yourself in case a situation ever arises.”

“A situation? Very funny, Anton. Do you seriously think Sarge would create a situation which would provoke me to do some pounding on him? Hmm? Be honest, do you really think he deliberately would?”

Anton shook his head. “Truth be, Anton seriously doubt Big Man ever give Lily a reason to serve him some hurt.” He waited while Lily considered his reply. “Could be other situations arise though. Man never know when some time he get caught off his game or have to step it up real quick. That happen, help a mind knowing . . ,” Anton picked and discarded several phrasings before continuing with,  “knowing he got reliable support standing right there with him. Back to back, shoulder to shoulder support that won’t cut and run. That mean a lot to any man. Anton think it probably mean a damn lot more to Sarge.”

Lily contemplated this in regard to some of the things Sarge had shared with her. “I think you’re right.” She nodded thoughtfully at her friend. “Okay, I’ll clarify and elaborate on the Mark situation. Just so, like you said, so Sarge knows that about me.  And, in case, not that I think he ever would give me a reason, because I don’t think that at all, but just in case something ever comes up, he’ll know better than to try to bullshit me about it. Yeah, that’s like preventive medicine, right?”

“Could be. But like said before, don’t think Sarge ever give Lily just cause for punishment. Don’t think he got that streak in him, Lily. Not saying that cause he and me got decent rapport flowing. I mean it.”

“I know you do, Anton. I don’t think Sarge has it in him either.” She glanced out the window for a moment then look back at Anton. “I trust him. My vibes trust him. He’s a good man.”

“You read that right. No argument. Fact be, it sound damn good to hear you talk positive like that about him. ”

Lily sighed. “Anton, does it sound like I’m in love with him?”

“Sounding like you definitely in something with him for sure, Lily. Know you got some different notions about the whole love scene, therefore Anton hesitant to confirm or deny what’s what. But you said you don’t want Sarge to make an exit and you were straight up with him about that. Putting just that card on the table, well, I think you sure know why you don’t want him to leave. No surprise to Anton that Sarge don’t want to leave. Man been hoping you give him a chance all along.”

“Isn’t that what I’ve been doing? Otherwise I’d have sent him to sleep in the generator room or over to your place to get him out of my way from the start.”

Anton stared at Lily then shook his head to clear his mind and leaned towards her. “Wait. Hold on. Rewind things for Anton. Are you saying you been seriously checking this man out from the start for the whole time he’s been here? This ain’t been just about him getting stranded and you being nice and hospitality polite about him caught in snow lockdown in the Flats?”

“It’s not like I knew he’d get stranded here when I invited him in, but, I’d already decided to give Sarge a real chance even before he threw me in the taxi. Considering how he behaved after that, I guess you could say I was giving him a serious chance from then on. I gave him a little chance when he followed me up the street to ask for a date because of the book he was reading in the breakfast bar and how my vibes were humming.”

“Ahhhha. So Lily been givin’ Sarge chances all along then?”  Anton rubbed his right temple with his fingertips while considering this new intel from his friend whom this conversation seemed to be wearing down physically.

“Mmm. You read that right, Anton.” Lily blinked sleepily at him.

Anton glanced at his wristwatch, at the book of nature photographs Lily had been looking through before his arrival then at the way she was owning her chair with her whole body. “Lily looking mighty tired right now. There any particular reason you ain’t catching more zs? You stayin’ up to check on Sarge’s breathing or you staying awake to keep from taking things to the next level with him? Anton wondering why damned tired Lily ain’t in her own bed sleeping.”

Lily laughed softly. “That’s funny, Anton. The way Sarge sleeps, there’s no way to take things to another level. Don’t you get it? He’s way deep under the down for the count.  But you’re right that I am tired. I guess you could say I answered my alarm clock and woke up just long enough to be able to go back to sleep. That’s what I’m going to do.” She unfolded herself from her chair, stood up and stretched her arms overhead. “I may as well catch zs now while Sarge is heating up the bed instead of when he’s not.” She waved at the cookies, the coffeepot and the fridge. “Help yourself. You’re a cook. Make yourself something to eat if you’re hungry. You don’t need me for that.” She put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a gentle squeeze before walking past him and out of the kitchen on slightly unsteady feet.

Leaving Anton in the kitchen, Lily made her way back to her bedroom feeling sleep settling into her muscles with just the thought of the warm bed. She’d forgotten all about Anton by the time she walked along the edge of the bed, tugged lightly on Sarge’s toes as she moved past them, she knew full well it wouldn’t wake him, pulled off her thermals and got under the down quilt where the cotton flannel sheets were as warm as she’d expected. Snuggling under the quilt she lay on her side looking at Sarge’s profile in the faint dim light pushing through the small curtained bedroom window. Laying on his back with his head slightly tilted in her direction, the quilt covering him hid the rise and fall of his chest as he slept. She amused herself by reaching over and lightly tugging a lock of hair away from his face and watching it fairly spring right back into place when she released it from her fingers. She giggled a little and repeated the action with another unruly wave. “Your hair behaves like one of those metal ring toys, Funny Man.” She sniffed the air warmed by his body heat and scented with several sachets in the pillow cases and under the quilt. “Hmmm, smells like a warm day in the woods. Night, Sarge.” Remembering a summer day spent gathering plants in a forest with her mother and Gran, Lily caught up to Sarge in her own deep sleep cycle within moments of closing her eyes.

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CommonSenseCanadian

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Sarge awoke several hours later just as Lily had told Anton he would. Having no idea of the time and not caring and enjoying not caring about the time, he started to stretch out his arms as usual and discovered Lily sound asleep next to him.  Her long black hair spilling out from under the quilt drawn up over her ears hid everything but her eyebrows from view. A random clanking from the radiator caused him to cringe at the harsh sound as he turned onto his side to face Lily’s sleeping figure. Watching her sleep, he laid his fingertips on the nearest edge of a black swirl of her sleek hair and whispered, “Hey, Lily there are coconut cookies waiting for breakfast.” When she didn’t stir, he smiled and pulled the quilt edge up under his eyes. He took a deep breath of the warm air trapped underneath the down. “Smells like trees under here, Lily. Yeah, it does. Let’s go for a walk in the woods.” Closing his eyes, he lay quietly imagining wandering with Lily among the tall trees he’d seen in one of her books.

~~~

 Melanie Wong

Only one place on Earth is home to ancient cedars, towering spruce, cougars, wolves, grizzlies, salmon, and the iconic Kermode, or White Spirit Bear, which gives its name to the region. At 6.4 million hectares, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. For thousands of years First Nations on Canada’s west coast have sourced life, culture and heritage from this environment. Today, the Great Bear Rainforest is such a global rarity that it has inspired unconventional partnerships, visionary leadership, and a radical change in the way we manage our resources.

A Quick and Dirty Review of Deborah Meyler’s ~The Bookstore~

*Public Domain Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz

Seldom have I ever been so on the fence regarding a book I’ve selected for a spot of easy reading than I was, and still am, as I’ve been with The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler.  After reading several pages at a random opening, I checked this novel out of my wonderful public library~ (side note: Everything under human control in the library is wonderful, though the departments ruled by computer intelligence are quite questionable of late. Artificial Intelligence is driving the staff a tad mad due to its distinct lack of common sense regarding book culling. For example, who would remove the second book in a young adult fantasy thriller series thus leaving a gap between volume one and three? What sense does that make? All it does is discourage the would be reader because the story is now incomplete. Okay enough of this developing issue.) Yeah, I promised a quick review for everyone on the cyber-space run.  Let’s get to the good stuff first: This is an easy-going read writing wise–you will not have to work through any deviously poetic complex sentence structures. The supporting cast of characters connected to the bookstore are very engaging creations–and mainly male. You get a decent sense of New York City’s never sleeping city atmosphere. There are interesting references and allusions to great art and great books. There’s a slightly developed commentary on the demise of independent bookstores being put out of business by corporate run big box book retailers. This is a nice big plus because it supports the assertion that Esme, our thoroughly modern young woman on the academic art history move, has a decently educated mind in good working order–except when it comes to the entire concept of pregnancy. She’s clueless like so many young people these days when it comes to her biological nature beyond sex for fun.  But I won’t hold that against her.  She does have many good qualities along the tune of -> Yes, ladies it can be very cool to be well read, intelligent and interested in much more than the moron box taking center stage in many living rooms. For the most part I like Esme very much. Hang on to “for the most part” –the not most part when I don’t care for–or comprehend–Esme is part of what still has me on the fence regarding this book.

What’s got me on the fence? Esme’s love interest, Mitchell. For the life of me I can’t figure out what this young woman finds to love in this cold-hearted bastard.  Being handsome is not enough–statues, male models, actors and non-famous dudes on the street can be very good-looking–but women don’t fall for them just because of the outer packaging–or do they?  I guess some do. Maybe Esme is supposed to be one of those ladies? Perhaps it’s because she’s twenty-three and has a libido in good working order? I’m serious here, folks. if  Meyler had given Mitchell a character profile beyond handsome economics professor from a wealthy family –I’m sure some of you are arguing that’s plenty, but it’s not in this context. Esme has too much going for her to be picked up by a handsome sexual predator running amok in NYC. Or does she?  Maybe there’s something amiss with the young Miss? I’m still not sure after finishing the book–which I nearly gave up on several times because I had such serious trouble buying this particular woman and man connection.  All the good things, bookstore, homeless people, Stella, George, Luke etc. kept me reading though–and the hope that Esme might get a clue or two regarding the man using her for nothing more than satisfying his own very manipulative dysfunctional ego. It’s not like she doesn’t have plenty of other men to compare this asshole to in order to see the light.

Mitchell’s character is a cliché in the extreme. Hence, I dislike him immensely. Disliking him is probably what Meyler had in mind. Problem is, he’s so dislikeable that it’s hard comprehending why Esme loves him. There’s nothing even remotely loveable about this guy as he is portrayed. If there’s some unwritten or edited out part of this novel that is loitering with intent to explain Esme’s feelings for this man, then it needs to get edited into the novel. Yes, women–and men–fall for the wrong sort of people all the time. True enough. But stating this guy has charm and giving him none at any point in time makes Esme come off as a complete dunce.  It would help matters considerably if the reader got some glimpse of what lures Esme into loving this man. Yeah, the slam dunk sex foreplay in the women’s restroom fails to do that for me.  It works for sexual attraction, but not for emotional attachment and involvement. Hmm. Maybe that’s Meyler’s point–that people confuse physical sexual attraction with emotional love attraction? Maybe.  I’m not sure.

Oh–yes, Esme does have alternative love interest choices which appear to operate on a more positive level–or could. There are hints which I won’t spoil here for any interested might be readers.  In many ways this is story about dealing with such relationship scenario. Perhaps it’s a modernized version of a very old cautionary tale for young women.  It certainly works in that regard. Hmm, maybe this review is getting me off the fence as I air my concerns here. Maybe.

If anyone has run through The Bookstore’s very accessible pages and cares to comment on my fencing–please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about any chapter or verse in the novel. So, was this quick and dirty enough? Oh a little short on the dirty–hmm–consider a toothbrush standing in for a vibrator. How’s that for a little dirty?

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Meyler’s author page at http://authors.simonandschuster.com/deborah-meyler/408315626

Tell the FCC: Restore Net Neutrality + Court Backs Internet Censorship: Open The Internet Now!

If you surf cyberspace this is important to you. If you’re reading these words, this is important to you.

Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

Take Action!

Tell the FCC: Restore Net Neutrality

FreePress.net
Jan. 14, 2014

An appeals court just dealt the latest blow to the open Internet. The court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order because of the questionable legal framework the agency used when it adopted its Net Neutrality rules in 2010.

View original post 386 more words

News from ~ Howling For Wolves: Wolf Hearing at Minnesota Capital on January 28th

Wolf supporters everywhere, heads up!

Image and all following text from Howling for Wolves email news announcement  http://www.howlingforwolves.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Wolf hearing at Minnesota Capitol
On January 28th, the Environment and Natural Resources Policy committee of the MN House of Representatives will hold an informational hearing on Wolf Management by the State of Minnesota.

Committee members will hear testimony from individuals, state agencies, and organizations concerned with wolf management policies and their impact on the long-term survival of the gray wolf in Minnesota.

What is at stake
The purpose of this hearing is informational and there will not be a vote taken on any specific bills related to the wolf. But we think that this hearing represents progress. Last year, the committee chair; Rep. David Dill, publicly stated that he would not hold any hearing about wolf management unless the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) indicated their wolf management activities were unsustainable.

With 650 wolves killed in just two recreational hunting seasons, and a 25% population decline prior to the 2013-14 hunt, there are clear indications that current wolf management policy is damaging to our native wolf population.

The January 28th hearing is important for wolf advocates because it will create a public record about the recreational wolf hunt, and the uncertainty that surrounds it. This hearing will influence the perceptions of legislators for the remainder of the 2014 session and beyond.

Why you should attend
Legislators are primarily concerned with the viewpoints of voters in their district. If you live in the district of a committee member (find out here), you can help by contacting their office before January 28th. Let them know you oppose recreational wolf hunting and trapping, and that you will be following their actions on this issue. All state representative seats are up for re-election in 2014 – let them know that you and the majority of Minnesotans value the wolf and that you expect representation on this issue.

We need a strong turnout of wolf advocates at the January 28th hearing to impress upon this committee the importance of the issue to their constituents. If your representative is on this committee and you plan to attend, make sure to let them know in advance that you will be there.

Informational Hearing on MN Wolf Management
When: January 28, 2014, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: 200 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN

Swinging and Singing on the Sidebar

If you’re in search of an up beat for your feet today, then explore the music on the sidebar–that vertical column area to the left of the main post text. Aside from Chopin’s Nocturnes, Catch 22, Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” and Medicine Buddha song/mantra the offerings are new discoveries and explorations for moi. The Speakeasy Three harken back to a bygone era and make it all their own–as do all the other vocalists and dancers. Some of them fall into the music genre of electro-techno swing–which is quite a lot of fun for my feet. Might be for yours too. I had some fun comparing and contrasting the videos as small and full scree for the visual fun. This isn’t a full blown Music Theme post, but it works fairly well by default. Enjoy.  If you’re in search of a music theme just surf the links via my last Music Theme post to explore what’s playing elsewhere.  Okay, I’ve got eggs to poach  .  .  .  .

Five “Foreign” Films, first set quest

These are trailers of the first five films on a list I’m compiling of “foreign” films–as in films not produced in America. This is a search for substance and meaning in the movie industry outside of Hollywood. I’m looking beyond borders for connections with the rest of the world regarding the human condition as portrayed via film media. All genres are welcome.  Also,visual artistry, performance, and music are all of interest. If you have suggestions for this list, please share the titles and/or trailers via a comment.

Note: The information text for each film is from the uploader sources cited for each trailer.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color ~ France

unifrance

15-year-old Adèle knows two things: she’s a girl, and a girl goes out with boys. The day she glimpses the blue streaks in Emma’s hair on the main square, she feels that her life is going to change. Alone with her teenage questions, she transforms the way she looks at herself and the way that others look at her. In her intensely close relationship with Emma, she is fulfilled as a woman and as an adult. But Adèle doesn’t know how to make peace, neither with her parents, nor with this world full of absurd morals, nor with herself.

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The Broken Circle Breakdown

FlandersImage

Elise is 28 and owns her own tattoo parlour. 36-year-old Didier is a Flemish cowboy who plays the banjo in a band. Although in many respects they are as alike as day and night, somehow their characters match perfectly and the arrival of their baby, Maybelle, makes their happiness complete. Life is good until one day, fate intervenes, and they lose their daughter.

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An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker ~ 

TIFF

Acclaimed director Danis Tanovic won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for this unflinching exposé of the prejudices faced by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Roma minority, starring the real-life couple whose harrowing ordeal became a national scandal.

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The Missing Picture ~Cambodia

New Wave Films

 

CPH:DOX· :

Highlighted as one of the most important films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where the jury headed by Thomas Vinterberg gave it the fully deserved award. Just like ‘The Act of Killing’, the Cambodian Rithy Panh deals with the impossible question of how a film can relate historically to a genocide. Over two million people died under Pol Pot’s dictatorship from 1975 to 1979. A period, during which all existing photos and film footage were created by the terror regime’s propaganda machine. Panh himself was 13 years old, and the film is based on his own and his family’s memories of the four dark years that followed. But how does one portray a past of which there exists no pictures? Panh’s answer is to recreate it in the form of miniature figurines, hand-painted and shaped in clay, which stand for the regime’s victims, while a single voice quietly shares its testimony: ‘People say, that their souls will wander all over the earth.’ The paradoxical poetry in Panh’s choice of words (and in the skilfully detailed clay figures) is not just a historical documentation of a past out of reach. It is a protest against inhumanity everywhere and throughout the times.

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The Hunt ~ Denmark

MOVIECLIPS Trailers

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Contrast ~ Music Theme ~ 10 January 2014

Johnny selected this Contrast — Opposites Musical Theme.  I’ve had a little fun with it. I hope you do too. 🙂

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Breakdancing to Classical Music 

devinsupertramp

Composer: Stephen Anderson. Film made by Devin Graham.
The dancers consist of Tyson Smalls, Robot Reeve, Nick Pitts, Josh Unice & Murphy Yang.  Dancers are from Ensoul Collaboration.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ensoul/…

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Contrast In the Note of C 1080p

Jay Saul

Abstract animation exploring the perception of light and contrast.

Animation and Music by Jay Saul copyright 2010

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Sesame Street: Opposite Stuff

Sesame Street

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Tribute to M.C.Escher

chaos17

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Opposites Attract ~ Paula Abdul ~ The Wild Ones

emimusic

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Same song sung by a woman and a man. Yes, gender contrast.

I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know  

~ Amy Winehouse

Onlymusicmusique·

&

~Donny Hathaway

Al Dubois

Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 — January 13, 1979) was an American soul musician.

Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part I” in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine “marked him as a major new force in soul music.”His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973. Six years later, his body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.

Lyrics

If I ever leave you….you can say I told you so!
And if I ever hurt you baby….. you know I hurt myself as well.

Is that any way for a man to carry on
Do you think I want my loved one gone
Said I love you
More than you’ll ever know
More than you’ll ever know

When I wasn’t making much money
You know where my paycheck went
You know I brought it home to baby
And I never spent a red cent

Is that any way for a man to carry on
Do you think I want my loved one gone
Said I love you
More than you’ll ever know
More than you’ll ever know

I’m not trying to be
just any kind of man
I’m just trying to be somebody
You can love, trust and understand
I know that I can be
yeaaahhhh
A part of you that no one else could see

I just wanna hear,a hear ya say
its allright
yeahhh yeahhh

I’m only flesh and blood
But I can be everything that you demand
I can be king of everythang
Or just a tiny grain of sand

Is that anyway for a man to carry on
Do you think he wants his little loved one gone
I love you baby, i love you baby
i love youMore than you’ll ever know

If I ever leave you….you can say I told you so!
And if I ever hurt you ….. you know I hurt myself as well.

Is that anyway for a man to carry on
Do you think he wants his little loved one gone
I treid to tell ya I love you baby, i love you baby
yea i love you baby
i love you More than you’ll ever know

i love you
i love you
i love you baby!!

i told you so many times before
I love you
I love

*

Links to more contrasts:

Johnny http://johnnyojanpera.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/yes-i-did-the-music-theme-contrast/comment-page-1/#comment-3220  Careful–it’s Lively over at Johnny’s blogcasa.

Deborah  http://myriad234.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/contrast/#comment-1481

Bear http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/

Willow http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/contrast-musical-theme-for-january-8-late-_/

Kate will post her Music Theme on Monday. Or so I assume based on her last post :).  http://sincerelykaterz.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/miscellaneous-mondays/

Breakfast Special, #37, “Coming Clean”

“Coming Clean”

Inhaling the earthy scents in the shower, Sarge watched the water play over his fight scarred hands. He thought about how he and Lily might create a warmer, more inviting living space on the second floor of Kozy’s warehouse, a space in which Lily would feel as welcome and comfortable in as he felt here in her apartment, a space comfortable enough to study in when it suited her, a space where she would feel comfortable enough to consider spending the night. Sarge shook his head under the shower with his last thought then stepped back and pushed his hair off his face. Consider? Just consider spending the night? Who am I kidding? I don’t want her to just consider it. I want her there, in my space, in my bed all night like I’ve been in hers for weeks now. Wait, that’s not quite being totally up front with yourself, is it, Sarge? He felt his hands tremble and held them palm open to the hot water streaming from the shower head. Yeah, I don’t want her in my bed like I’ve been in hers all this time, like I think it’s best keeping things like they have been until . . .. Until what, Sarge? Her name isn’t in that damn grey book or any other book like it. You know that. You know you wouldn’t be here right now if she hadn’t invited you in of her own accord. No one told her to invite you. No one paid her to do that or anything else since. Yeah, you know that if she wanted to, she’d kick you out to sleep with the generator, or over at Anton’s in one of the “sun rise” rooms they keep ready for people when their domestic or other problems get out of hand.

He swished the water in the tub, for which he’d closed the drain in order to save the hot water for soaking his feet for a time after showering. Dinner and dancing while making the coconut cookies had taken the edge off the chill that had set in from wading through the cold water in the basement of the building the Lings lived in. Even Little George’s insulated rubber boots hadn’t quite stood up against the extended amount of time he’d spent setting things to rights water-wise in the cold flooded basement. He turned off the shower and let the tub fill with enough hot water to make his feet happier. Flexing his toes, he sat on the edge of the tub with his chin in one hand. Enjoying the scented steamy warm air, he resumed his conversation with himself.  Yeah, I should have done this tub action for the feet right away. What is it with me and water lately? Ever since that first bath Lily made me take, I feel like I could live in a tub. Well, something a lot bigger than a tub. At least a lake or river. An ocean would be best. Oh Jeez, here I go on this bend again. It’s probably just that this bath thing is new and very cool. Especially with Lily’s home people scents added in. I can’t believe I never thought to try one on my own even after Kozy found that huge tub for the second floor. Lack of imagination, that’s what that lack is about, Sarge. Lack of imagination, that’s what does people in all the time. Is that my problem with Lily? Lack of imagination? Or just some old fear of imagining what sort of serious, meaningful relationship I want with a woman and screwing it up when it comes along? Wait, I’m not talking just any woman in general anymore. I’m talking about this one woman in particular. I’m talking about Lily.

Sarge turned the water back on and let the tub fill further while he eased himself down into the soothing heat.  Yeah, this is the ticket. Relax, take my time. Think things out. There’s no hurry. It’s started snowing again. Lily is having some time to herself out there and I’m having some time to myself in here. It’s all good. We both know having this sort of time alone by ourselves works for us. Well, except for the fact that she has access to those coconut cookies and I don’t unless I make wet tracks…. Cut it out, Sarge. Get back to this ‘until what’ question and answer it already. Yeah, so what concerns are on this table? Hmm, concern number one: while I have no legit reason to think of Lily being the sort of woman who wants to screw around with me in bed just for the sake of screwing, well, let’s face it, that’s a concern considering what I’m damn sure has been the case with all the women I’ve gone to bed with so far. It’s a mind fuck I’ve apparently not quite gotten past yet. That ball is entirely in my court and I’ve got to deal with it. How do I get to where I can trust my own instincts and thinking that this is not Lily’s agenda?

He slid down until his head was entirely under the hot water then surfaced gradually with a relieved gasp. That’s it, get some more blood moving in the feet and the head feels better too. Answer to question, I’m not quite sure yet. Sarge, you know it’s not a good thing when you don’t trust yourself. How are you going to trust her, if you don’t trust you? Hold on, wait, but I do trust Lily. Why? How do you know that you trust her? Sarge looked at the bathroom door. Why? Well, let’s see what matters in regard to concern number one? Okay, except for the bath to deal with the dead squirrel shit smell, she’s never come in here while I’m showering or taking a bath, and she’s never come in and tried to start playing sex games. She respects our spaces in the bed. She keeps to her side and I keep to mine. Old Reliable Jack is in residence on the floor on her side. I don’t need something like Jack to make a point about wanting to be left alone while sleeping. Neither of us goofs around in there. I don’t want her to get the wrong idea and she hasn’t said or done a damn thing to give me the wrong idea. It’s like we both know it’s too easy to mess things up by saying or doing the wrong things in that context, so we’re extra mindful of being polite. I know I am anyway.

Damn, it’s too easy to hurt or get seriously hurt in this scenario. Well, there you have it, Sarge. You’re afraid of getting hurt again. If this doesn’t work you’re going to be hurt, and not like before. Even if it does work, you still are opening yourself up for some kind of hurt along the way. You know from talking things out with Anton that you already care enough about Lily to not want to hurt her, if you can possibly avoid it. Are you having some self-worth issues because of the names in that damn grey book? Maybe a few. But I’ve learned a lot in the last year or so by staying away from the ladies at the folks’ place. One major thing I’ve learned is that it’s not in the normal scheme of things for a guy to get set up with as many women as I’ve been by my family. That bullshit is definitely affecting me now. I can feel it. I can’t put words to it yet, but I feel it messing around in the back of my mind. I am well aware that Lily is not a set up. I know that inside and out. I’m concerned about that personal history I bring to this relationship. There’s no way around it. I’ve got to lay all the cards on the table as far I understand them for Lily. I wouldn’t want to be blindsided by someone with my history, so I’m not about to do that to her. I have no idea how she’ll react to any of it. I’m pretty sure that scares me. I understand what Anton says about her capacity to deal with dark shit, but still, in some very personal ways I’m a guy with a lot of trash trailing after him.

I also know I’ve got a lot to offer Lily that has nothing to do with sex. I figured that out by taking small chances with the ladies from the libraries and bookstores. I could see they weren’t right for me for a serious relationship and I wasn’t right for any of them. But it was also clear to me that all of them and me are right for someone. We all bring different things to a relationship table. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind getting some input from a couple of them, like maybe Diane and Elizabeth, regarding things with Lily. They’d be outside this context and see things differently than the people inside it. But right now that’s not happening. I’ve got me—and to an extent Anton to discuss things with. I’d call Kozy for a long chat if there was a phone somewhere with real privacy. But I haven’t seen one yet to ask about using for an hour or so. Yeah, a good long jawbreaker with Walter wouldn’t hurt one bit. Or maybe, what the hell, maybe I should just have a really long talk with Lily?

Sarge got out of the tub and put a towel to work drying his hair. I’m going to have to talk with her about my so-called past relationships at some point in time. Considering what we agreed upon today about living together, maybe sooner, as in now, is a lot better than later, even if I don’t yet have all the information I want about certain family matters. This way, if she decides to rethink things, no one else knows anything about it so she won’t be embarrassed or have to deal with questions she doesn’t want to answer. Yeah, thanks Diane for that tip about not embarrassing women with their friends by putting them on the hot seat concerning relationship issues unless you’re just itching to start a war.

He dressed while making a short list of the most important things he thought he needed to give Lily a heads up about. He knew he was on the right track when he finished buttoning his shirt, one of Little George’s loaned flannels, and realized his personal thermostat had retuned to normal.  Feeling phsyically balanced again, he shook his head to get rid of any lingering water in his hair. He had previously noted his hair apparently found Lily’s home people plants agreeable in some way that when he left it to finish drying uncombed it appeared much neater than when washed without them.  Even when he did comb it after a good washing with some of Lily’s herb mixtures, it looked like a nice neat tight mop rather than a ransacked squirrel haven as it had prior to Lily scent time. Though he admitted his take on this was totally biased because his nose was calling the shots in the home people land scents department. Lately his nose didn’t give a damn what his eyes had to say about anything.  After pushing his hair away from his face, a futile gesture if there ever was one as it immediately went right back to where it had been, Sarge turned to open the door and felt a keen thrill of emotional electricity flit through him. It was much the same as the feeling that he’d experienced when he’d exited Big Bob’s and caught sight of Lily working her way up the street then set off after her. He liked the way that move had turned out, so hopefully this was an indication that this move, as strange as it felt to him in several ways because of the nature of what he felt he needed to talk about, also might turn out to be to his liking. There was no way to know except to follow through on his decision.

He opened the bathroom door and walked down the short hall to the bookroom. Hearing Lily speaking in two different voices Sarge wondered if Marianna or another child from upstairs had come for a visit and was being entertained with a story.  This notion jumped right out the window as soon as he had sight of the back of the red velvet couch where Lily’s left foot was chasing her right across the top of the couch back. He stood listening to her switch from a falsetto to a something just below her normal voice speaking tone and realized there was a different voice for each foot which were being used in place of puppets for some adventure he couldn’t make heads or tails of because she wasn’t speaking in English. Recalling that he’d caught a glimpse of this same foot action when he’d returned after being doused with the garbage disposal refuse and that it had ceased as soon as she’d become of aware of his presence, Sarge kept quiet in order to satisfy  his curiosity by watching her feet and listening to the tones of her dual voice action. Only when the storyline seemed to have played itself out and her feet rested on her heels moving slowly sideways in one direction and then in the opposite, did he announce himself by speaking.

“Hey Lily, do you have some time for seriously serious talk?”

“Considering the fact that I’ve been having a conversation with my feet, what do you think, Funny Man? Hmm?” Lily pushed herself up from the couch seat cushions just far enough to peer at him over the back of the red couch. “What’s on your mind, Sarge?”          

He pointed at her feet as he came closer to the couch. “Well, first off, what’s that story with your feet about? I have to ask because your right foot really did a number on your left, but I have no idea why right foot beat the heck out of the left foot.”

Lily moved to sit cross-legged on the couch. “That’s not really what you want to talk about. You’re curious, but it’s not the headliner on your mind, Sarge.” She wiggled her toes. “Tell you what, I’ll go through the whole story in English for you, but only after we talk about whatever has you out of the bathroom after only half the time you usually spend in there. Deal?”

 “You promise to tell the whole story after we talk, no matter what we talk about?”

“I promise. No matter what we talk about first, I will give you whole blow-by-blow from start to finish afterwards.” She made a few lines across her chest then shrugged. “What’s that called where people seal their promises with all this finger action in front of their chests? Whatever that’s called that’s what I just did.”

“Oh, you mean like ‘cross my heart and hope to die if I lie’. Yeah. Hm.” Sarge looked at her and smiled a little. “Okay, I guess I’ll just have to trust you to keep your word about the story.”

“I’m warning you that it’s probably not quite what you might be thinking it is. As in, it’s not some quaint little home people fable.”

Sarge sat on the warm radiator facing the couch. “Okay, so what kind of story is it then?”

“It’s a way I have of dealing with a few things that I have issues with. You know some safe, self-contained, acting out play.”

“Oh yeah? Does it work?”

“Enough so that I stop chasing the dog’s tail in my head.”

Sarge thought about her statement for a moment then nodded. “Then it works. I’m going to hold you to your promise.” He rubbed his bare feet on the rug and contemplated stretching out on the floor.

Lily waited for Sarge to speak his mind. She watched him move to lay on his back on the rugs where he liked to read stretched out along the radiators so he could look up at the sky through the windows without any obstructions. He was quiet for so long that she considered gently prompting him into speaking instead she heeded the soft hushing of her vibes and made herself comfortable by stretching out over the length of the couch. Realizing something just as important as their new agreement must be on his talk agenda, she listened carefully to his silence while he was searching for a good opening while the sky darkened outside the windows. Knowing he, like she, enjoyed the room at night without the lights on and the shades open as they were now, Lily shut off the lamp then lay back on the couch with her hands interlocked behind her head.  Just after her eyes had fully adjusted to the change from lamp-light to moonlight he began quietly talking to her from the floor where he lay looking up at the night sky dotted with lightly falling snow.

*

Robert Snache

What’s in Betty Medsger’s ‘ The Burglary’? Crow-bars, COINTERLPRO and Naughty FBI Spy Games.

what lives in a book

inked leaves unfurling words

secrets detecting

&

 Hmm, how’s that poem working for you? May not make the publishing book grade, but it does the introduction rites job today. Sort of. Books are strange things. Never know just what you’ll find between their covers–hard copy or electronic, it makes no difference when the words are what make the mental meat of the matter. I have no clue how good or bad Medsger’s brand spanking new book reads. Yet. It’s literally a NEW release by Random House-as in publication dated yesterday.  Ironically the historical story it features is decades old. New book for an old untold story about American citizens taking things into their own hands in order to get to the truth of what matters.  According to the interview on Democracy Now! this morning, the newspaper media nearly failed them. The truth was very HOT to handle. Some political folks so feared the FBI that they turned their backs on the right to information regarding illegal activities by the FBI. One mailing of copied documents never reached its destination. Can we say “intercepted”? Or maybe just an honest mistake on the part of the postal service. I wouldn’t bet a penny on that.

Clearly history is repeating itself in current events. The stakes are just as high regarding freedom and civil liberties. A portion of the public is very paranoid. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud of the media spin on all things of politics regarding the military industrial complex and corporate personhood for inducing much paranoia–according the old documents stolen and “released.” Some times it’s just no fun having a theory proven. My next observation might seem like a side issue, but it’s not. How many ‘cop’ shows are on television? How many feature all sorts of fancy surveillance techno toys? How many feature terrorist threats week after week? How many evoke sympathy for the hardworking agents no matter what their flaws? Have you gotten used to the sound of gunfire from watching crime shows on television? Ever notice the lack of emotion from the people doing the shooting and the characters giving and recieving the news that someone has been killed?

Side note: At the opposite end are the medical heroes who do everything they can to save lives and then seem to suffer a sense of loss when their patients die. Hmm. I’ve yet to encounter any such doctor in my life experience. I’ve managed to send a couple running in a panic. I guess that proved those well educated individuals were human after all.

“Excuse me, doctor, but that’s not his sense of humor.  At the moment, he really thinks you’re all aliens out to kill him. He’s a lot stronger than he looks. I advise exercising caution when handling.” Watch doctor run back to ER room.

Back to the regular word flow:

I wonder if there’s a television program in the works about TSA folks in order to show us just how good all their intentions are as they intimidate, strip search, x-ray, hassle and belittle people everywhere with impunity in order to keep people safe.  The irony of TSA is a steak so thick an axe is needed to cut the meat.

What’s your paranoia meter reading? I know people who freak out every time there’s a plane crash and others who fear the sight of police people wearing gun holsters. I also know a fair number of folks who don’t give a flying f&*^ about anything except their daily routine and money-making. As long at those boats are not rocked, all is well in their universe.

Is there a safety lock somewhere?

Is this piece fully loaded?

Careful with the drones~

Make sure they fly right~

Status quo depends on the system flowing, flowing, flowing…..

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The Context:

Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets

The New York Times

The Book:

The Burglary by Betty Medsger

click cover for Random House

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The Motive:

“It Was Time To Do More Than Protest”

democracynow·

Published on Jan  8, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – One of the great mysteries of the Vietnam War era has been solved. On March 8, 1971, a group of activists — including a cabdriver, a day care director and two professors — broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. They stole every document they found and then leaked many to the press, including details about FBI abuses and the then-secret counter-intelligence program to infiltrate, monitor and disrupt social, political movements, nicknamed COINTELPRO. Calling themselves, the Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI, no one was ever caught for the break-in. The burglars’ identities remained a secret until this week when they finally came forward to take credit for the caper that changed history. Today we are joined by three of them — John Raines, Bonnie Raines and Keith Forsyth; their attorney, David Kairys; and Betty Medsger, the former Washington Post reporter who first broke the story of the stolen FBI documents in 1971 and has now revealed the burglars’ identities in her new book, “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.”
Watch part 1 of this interview: http://youtu.be/GMWuJipChs0

For more of the interview and links to related items –> http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8/it_was_time_to_do_more

&

Radio:

NPR  coverage –> http://www.npr.org/2014/01/07/260302289/the-secret-burglary-that-exposed-j-edgar-hoovers-fbi

How’s your day? What’s in your mailbox? Have you fumigated lately?

Yes, I am looking forward to reading Medsger’s book.

a poem day ? maybe, maybe not, then again

Today is one of those days. You know the sort. One of those days where you start off loaded with positive intentions that quickly are buried under the murky weight of dark news information freely flowing from one edge of the cyber swamp to another. Haiku was on my mind at dawn.  Something about the crisp cold snow seemed sensible for a few brief lines.  Then I got online and hit Democracy Now! for some news. I know better than to start every day off with Amy Goodman’s “War and Peace Report”.  For mental health reasons, I try to switch it up for different times of the day after the livestream broadcast. Some days it’s better to read the transcripts rather than listen. Real news can be very disheartening. I don’t know how the news staff of this independent news venue manages day in and day out to thrive on a steady diet of The Dark Side of Humanity–without perky blonde cleavage or airy breathless reading of text monitors. Seriously. Actual journalism work is not for the faint of heart.

A report on the death of another gang rape victim in India lingered long after I moved on to other online tasks. I thought it was disheartening enough to learn that a woman is raped in India every 11 minutes–until I learned that there’s a rape every 6 minutes in the United States.  These numbers maybe be skewed because so many rapes go unreported.  Violence against women has been on my mind lately. It’s hard to avoid–fans of Downton Abbey will even get a taste of it. Yes, I watched ahead via online venues. In real life, things for the women of Afghanistan are at about the worst ever. So much for all the USA lip service paid to making life better for women and girls. Not so far in the back of my mind loiters the question: What is wrong with all the people who rape women, children and men? Are they born-hard wired to engage in such violence or are they made by their environments? Maybe they’re nature’s form of human predators for our species?  I’m not sure. Before I forget, The Invisible War aired on PBS–again.  It’s an expose about the rape epidemic in the military.  Ladies, I know it’s tempting for some to enlist for economic reasons like supporting your family or college funds–but do so knowing the risks you’re taking by hitching a money ride with the armed forces on any front. Take note, men aren’t escaping the sexual violence either, they’re also targets.  I’ve had conversations with people who say that rape has always been a part of war.  Hmm, hard to dent that fact. But, how does that explain military people raping the men and women in their own ranks? Is that a by-product of military training people to kill, torture and rape other people who they’re taught to view as non-humans? Possibly. What’s going to happen when the rapists return home? Are they going to cease engaging in violent sexual crimes?

Well, this is now very far afield from haiku about biting frost. Or is it?

~

Amy Goodman — We Will Not Be Silent

Link TV

~~

Deomcracy Now!

www.democracynow.org

~

Democracy Now! YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/democracynow/featured

~

January 2014

_

Tomdispatch from January 2013

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175641/

~

The Invisible War trailer

~~

Maze of Injustice–The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA–pdf file. This is the size of a small book complete with very informative end notes.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf

~

~

Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan ~ RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

http://www.rawa.org/index.php

https://www.youtube.com/user/rawa77/about

~~

&

so goes the snow haiku

down the rabbit holes deep

sleep? dream of chances snow blowing

&

`

news blues blow off vent

cyber waves serenity

mind fields boom! boom! boom!

&

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