“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Hanging On For Dear Life

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm just a little busy desperately trying not to fall off the edge of the earth right now. Thanks to all who asked. You're all so sweet.

I'll let you know when I've pulled myself back up from this cliff. Hopefully soon. In the meantime, please pray this house will sell soon. I don't think I can wait much longer.

(By the way, that is not me in the picture...just in case you were wondering.)


The Swing

Monday, April 17, 2006

Almost a year and a half ago we were in Florida visiting the Geek's parents for Christmas. While we were there, the whole family (the Fish and Fishwife, the Scholar, and Geek and Geekwif) all went to a bookstore one afternoon. While we were there I noticed a table full of small volumes of poetry for $5.00 each.

One volume in particular caught my eye. It was by
Robert Louis Stevenson. For some reason, in that moment I got him mixed up with Robert Frost, one of my few favorite poets. (Please don't ask why. I have no explanation.) I glanced inside the book briefly while commenting to the Fishwife and Scholar that RLS was one of my favorites. I thought it strange that none of the poems I saw there looked like those I knew him for, but since it was a quick glance, I didn't think too much of it before taking it to the register. (Even a cheapskate like me can handle $5.00 for a book of poetry.)

Later on I realized my mistake and felt incredibly silly for it. I still have that book, but I've found that my favorite of Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry is his Child's Garden of Verses. Call me crazy. I don't mind. Some of these poems were in that
duct-taped volume of Mother Goose poems from my childhood. Here is a sample of one of my favorites.

The Swing
Robert Louis Stevenson

From A Child's Garden of Verses

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,

River and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!


Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The New Birth

'TIS a new life;--thoughts move not as they did
With slow uncertain steps across my mind,
In thronging haste fast pressing on they bid
The portals open to the viewless wind
That comes not save when in the dust is laid
The crown of pride that gilds each mortal brow,
And from before man's vision melting fade
The heavens and earth;--their walls are falling now.--
Fast crowding on, each thought asks utterance strong;
Storm-lifted waves swift rushing to the shore,
On from the sea they send their shouts along,
Back through the cave-worn rocks their thunders roar;
And I a child of God by Christ made free
Start from death's slumbers to Eternity.

Jones Very


A Poem For Little B

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My friend, Little B, sent me this picture yesterday and I couldn't resist. A bonus poem today, by yours truly.

Pensive Princess Bec
Staring into space
Spotted a mascara fleck
Upon a lady's face

Pensive Princess Bec
Her big crown, pink and fluffy
Distracted by a moving speck
Or was it a small puppy?

Pensive Princess Bec
Leaned down to kiss the pooch
Just a little tiny peck
Not a full on smooch

Pensive Princess Bec
Now has a friend for sure
And Pensive Princess Bec
Isn't pensive anymore


Of Teachers and Frost

When I was growing up, to my recollection, only two of my teachers ever read poetry in class. The first one was Mr. Slack, my 6th grade teacher, who read Shel Silverstein to us. All the kids loved him. He also taught us a short poem about picking your nose and he taught anyone who was interested how to play cribbage during recess. He was definitely a class favorite.

The other was my 8th grade teacher. He was another favorite among his students. Some of them made fun of him, but it seemed to me more like the typical 8th grade angst. He had us read the book of Exodus for a class assignment. I think some of the students may have complained about that, but I thought it was great. He also tried to explain to us how the song "Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name" was really quite impossible since no one could fall in love with someone they've never met. I'm pretty sure he got a lot of blank stares on that one.

Okay, come to think of it, maybe he was only a favorite of mine, not the whole class. Anyway, he introduced me to Robert Frost, which is enough in itself to make him a favorite teacher to me. Ever since then, I have adored Robert Frost's poetry. I'm too cheap (as mentioned in an earlier post) to have ever bought a collection of his poetry, but I've been tempted. Actually, I tried once and failed, but that's a story for another time.

The poem I remember my teacher reading was Mending Wall, and I still love it to this day.

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'


A Link, A Poem and Good Night

Monday, April 10, 2006

Not much to say tonight as it's 10:30 and time to go to bed – actually it's past my bedtime – so I leave you with a link to a must read post by the Geek over at our Dome Geeks blog, and a fitting poem by Miss Emily Dickinson.

The moon was but a chin of gold
A night or two ago,

And now she turns her perfect face

Upon the world below.

Her forehead is of amplest blond;

Her cheek like beryl stone;
Her eye unto the summer dew

The likest I have known.

Her lips of amber never part;

But what must be the smile
Upon her friend she could bestow

Were such her silver will!

And what a privilege to be

But the remotest star!

For certainly her way might pass

Beside your twinkling door.

Her bonnet is the firmament,

The universe her shoe,
The stars the trinkets at her belt,

Her dimities of blue.

Emily Dickinson


Welcome Home!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Welcome home to the Fish and Fishwife!!

My Geek's parents are coming home today! Woo hoo! They've been in Peru for the past 8 months and are coming home a bit earlier than they originally expected. We're heading out to the airport to meet them this morning and I'm quickly running out of time! Must go!

More to come tomorrow about a lovely date night yesterday, but for now, I just found this poem about home and, aside from the inherited gold, it pretty much sums up the life my Geek and I are attempting to create for ourselves. Actually it makes me sound too good, but from what the Geek tells me, he sees me kind of like this anyway. Yeah, I got me a sweet one.

Truly Great

    MY walls outside must have some flowers,
    My walls within must have some books;
    A house that's small; a garden large,
    And in it leafy nooks.

    A little gold that's sure each week;
    That comes not from my living kind,
    But from a dead man in his grave,
    Who cannot change his mind.

    A lovely wife, and gentle too;
    Contented that no eyes but mine
    Can see her many charms, nor voice
    To call her beauty fine.

    Where she would in that stone cage live,
    A self-made prisoner, with me;
    While many a wild bird sang around,
    On gate, on bush, on tree.

    And she sometimes to answer them,
    In her far sweeter voice than all;
    Till birds, that loved to look on leaves,
    Will doat on a stone wall.

    With this small house, this garden large,
    This little gold, this lovely mate,
    With health in body, peace in heart--
    Show me a man more great.

    W.H. Davies


Seriously, I Should NOT Be Allowed Out In Public!

Friday, April 07, 2006

I've done it again. I have completely and obliviously embarrassed myself in public. Remember this post? Well, I've matched that. Maybe even out-done myself.

Today, I stopped at the convenience store after work to fill up my car with gas, and to get a little snack. One of my co-workers had a Tab Energy yesterday which holds no appeal to me, but reminded me of Red Bull which I love. My obsession required that I appease it, so joyfully reluctantly, I gave in.

I handed the check-out lady a five and took my change. There was a guy in nasty grungy clothes with many piercings who looked like he hadn't taken a shower in a month standing in line next to me – a little closer than I would have liked, but I'm paranoid that way. He was pulling out money to pay for his purchase while I was gathering my things, preparing to leave the store. As he did so, change went flying everywhere and he just stared at it obliviously. I thought, "Man, this guy must be seriously high to be throwing change about and then just stare at it like that. I'm out of here. What if he's here to rob the place or something?" Sure, a little judgemental, but I prefer to think of it as paranoid and self-preservational. (Is that a word? Pretty sure it's not.)

I got out to my car and realized as I saw my reflection in the window that the badge I have to wear all day every day at work was still hanging around my neck. I grabbed it and whipped it off quickly, really embarrassed that I was walking around public places with a bad picture of myself in plain view, not to mention that my name was out there for every psycho stranger to see. Duh.

I got in the car, set my wallet on top of my purse, opened my precious tasty Red Bull, and pulled out of the lot. When I arrived home, I picked up the wallet to put in inside the purse for easier carrying into the house.

As I picked it up, what do you think happened? Any guesses? No one?

My change started falling out all over the front seat. Yup, that's right people. The change pocket on my wallet was wide open.

Hmmm. Whose change do you think that was falling all over the counter at the convenience store? And who's the one looking oblivious? Yeah, that would be ME! No wonder the guy had a weird look on his face. He was probably thinking, "Man, this girl must be seriously high to be throwing change about and then just stare at it like that. I hope she gets out of here soon. What if she's here to rob the place or something?"

I think I wanna be a hermit. Public places and I just don't mix well.


Since I'm feeling like I'd like to crawl into a little hole right now, here's a poem I find amusing about being nobody.

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you--Nobody--too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise--you know!

How dreary--to be--Somebody!
How public--like a Frog--
To tell your name--the livelong June--
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson (1858)


Tender Rain

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Today was a relatively warm, but cloudy April day here in my hometown. Of course, I spent the bulk of it indoors so most of what I know of the weather was from my commutes to and from work.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon I stepped out of my little shared office, which was mine alone today since either my co-workers or their children are sick, and I smelled rain. It was the strangest thing. There I was smack dab in the middle of a very large office building with no outside doors anywhere near me and no open windows, and I smelled rain. It was lovely.

The next window I saw confirmed what my nose told me; it was indeed raining - a cool spring downpour.
I love rain. I have a recurring daydream of standing out in a big field in a warm summer rain with my arms stretched out wide and my face to the sky. I twirl and twirl and let the rain drench me.

I've never yet done this anywhere but in my daydreams, mostly because I've never had a big open field. This year, however, I hope to have my opportunity to do so. We are now the proud owners of a 6 acre field, and should be living on it for most if not all of the summer months. I can't wait for my first warm summer rain.

With rain on my mind, I decided to embark on a search for a poem about rain. The following is what I found. I've never heard of this poet before that I can recall, but I love the meter, the imagery, the fact that she calls the rain "tender".

Oh, gray and tender is the rain,

That drips, drips on the pane!
A hundred things come in the door,
The scent of herbs, the thought of yore.

I see the pool out in the grass,
A bit of broken glass;
The red flags running wet and straight,
Down to the little flapping gate.

Lombardy poplars tall and three,
Across the road I see;
There is no loveliness so plain
As a tall poplar in the rain.

But oh, the hundred things and more,
That come in at the door! --
The smack of mint, old joy, old pain,
Caught in the gray and tender rain.

Lizette Woodworth Reese


Some Random Stuff and A Change of Pace

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thanks everyone for your nice comments and for not being angry about my little deception. You're all just too sweet.

On a completely different note...

This morning was frantic, crazy, weird. I woke up at 6:55 after the Geek called me as usual, and I stumbled my way down the stairs in a half-zombie-like state. About 2 minutes into my morning ritual, I was shocked into wakefulness by the sudden realization that I had forgotten to tell the Geek that I was going to work early today and I had an appointment at 7:15! Aaaaahhhh!!!

So, no shower, hair in a ponytail with my "bangs" hanging loose (more of a knot really since it's not long enough for a ponytail), clothes wrinkled, and head clouded with my typical morning snottiness (I'm allergic to's weird), I arrived at work at 7:22. What a morning. Blechhh. I'm thinking of taking a shower as soon as I'm done posting. I can't stand going even a day without a shower. Guess I'm a little obsessive that way. Blond Girl assures me that I've never smelled bad a day in my life, but I felt a little stinky today.

I just found out that this month is National Poetry Month! My apologies to whosever blog I read this at. I can't remember who it was now, but she posted a Shel Silverstein poem on her blog which delighted me because I adore Shel Silverstein even though I've barely read anything of his since I was a kid. (If that blogger was you, let me know!)

As a kid, I was completely obsessed with poems. I had a children's encyclopedia set with everything you might think a kid would want to know. Do you think I even touched most of them? Nosireebob, but the poetry volume was so well used that the letters were worn off the cover. I had a large book of mother goose poems that I read until I was about 12 or 13 I think. That one pretty much just disintegrated despite the duct tape holding the binding together. Crazy, sure, but I loved the rythym of the words and was fascinated by the rhymes.

As a teenager, my focus turned more toward music. That's not to say I didn't still love poetry, but I didn't know much about grown up poetry and the nursery rhymes weren't entertaining me much anymore.

Since then, I occasionally will seek out a book of poems from the library or spend some time in the poetry section of Borders, but I've only bought one book of poetry that I can think of, and it's now packed away in a box with most of our other books. I still love poetry, but it seems indulgent somehow, whereas a novel seems slightly less so. I don't know why. Actually I rarely will buy a novel either. I usually borrow them from the library or I'll buy one of those little classics from Barnes and Noble for $4.95. Guess I'm just cheap.

Anyway, with it being National Poetry Month and with me feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, I've decided to post poems. Yup, poems. Not my own. I can't remember the last time I wrote a poem of my own. I'm going to post poems I like that other people have written. If I have time, I'll post a little random something from my brain about that particular poem, but some days I might just post the poem itself. I may still post something else if the mood strikes me and I feel like I have something to say, but for the most part April will be about the poetry.

Today, I'll start off the month (just a few days late) with one off my favorites by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein


It's Only Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pants on FireIt's confession time. I'm a liar. I thought it might be fun to play an April Fool's joke, so I came up with something somewhat believeable and posted it. I really didn't think anyone would believe our names were Eliezer and Josephine. (The Geek suggested those names by the way. I think he actually likes the name Eliezer.)

Almost immediately after posting I started getting some very sweet comments from people who believed me! Do you think I was enjoying the success of my joke? NO! Instead I started feeling guilty. I fooled you into thinking I was doing something nice and here I was being a big old meany.

Jeana, you were right not to picture me like that.
Diane, I'm sorry.
Blond Girl, well, of course you knew the truth (are you ashamed of me?)
Hot Rod Mama, see comment to BG.
Kristi, hooray for you, you figured it out!
HolyMama, right on both counts. I'm not blond, and thank you so much for not picturing me blond. Blond is one of those things that's great for other people, but not for me please.
BG again, that's funny. It does look like Jason!
Thumper, glad I didn't fool you. Though I suspect Max would have thought it was pretty funny if I did.
Debra, so sorry.

Whew. SO...after thinking it over I have decided to make it up to you...well, half-way. I'm still keeping Geek and Geekwif. They're more descriptive than our real names and if I lived in the Matrix world I'd totally go by Geekwif. The picture though, I have decided to share. You've already seen the Geek, but since I usually stick pretty close by him, here's a pic of us both. No fooling this time, I promise.
There we are. I'm not blond. We're a bit older than that other couple and this was about 3 years ago or so, though we still look pretty much the same. I'm not wearing any makeup and my hair is really bad and I'm wearing sloppy clothes. Can we call this picture penance?

On the other hand, the Geek looks pretty much as he always does; a big cute grinning goofy jolly guy. He makes that face in about 90% of the pictures he poses for. Then there was the one for his old Sam's Club card where he made a scary-looking psycho face just to see if he could freak out the employees. Yup, that's my cutie.

So now you know. I know I like to be able to picture the person who's blog I'm reading, and now, when you come here, you can too. And I sincerely hope none of you were hurt in the process.

UPDATE: Blond Girl reminded me that I never linked to Jeana who got me thinking in the first place about whether I should post pictures and names or not. I usually try to link to the bloggers I mention here, but I just forgot yesterday, so here it is. Jeana's post, Standard Blog Procedure. You really should all visit her. She's got some great stuff to say and always manages to make me laugh.


Can You Handle the Truth?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Well, it's time. I've decided. There's really no good reason why I should keep up the secret, so today is the day you get to find out the truth. I am going to share my name (and the Geek's) and a photo of us all in one day. How exciting is that, huh???!!!

(chirp, chirp, chirp)

Ah well, I'm going to do it anyway. I read a post over at Jeana's blog today about keeping names and photos off blogs for safety's sake and I realized that I've never kept these secrets for safety's sake so much as for the fun of it. It's just more fun to have a secret identity. Trouble is, my name and face don't really keep anything secret now that you all know so much about my everyday life.

So, the only question that remains is...are you ready? Make sure you are because from this point on the secret is out. If you're not ready, then don't look beyond the star line! Here goes.


Oh, just a word of warning, the pic is a bit fuzzy. It's weird, we don't have many pictures of the two of us, so this one will have to do.

Ok, here goes!


The Geek and Geekwif otherwise known as
Eliezer and Josephine (otherwise known as Jo)

Aren't we cute? Ehhh. This pic was taken quite a while ago, so we're a little older now, but there it is, nonetheless. Could you get more anticlimactic?