Re-post: Alas, poor Borders, I knew you…

26 11 2012

Originally posted 11.16.2011

I was at Home Depot last week, parked in the upper level garage, when I noticed this guy in a cherry picker removing the last vestiges of our local Borders. The last evidence that it ever existed. We frequented this Borders for so many years. It was our place to go after dinner on Saturday nights. Sometimes we would be out riding around and we would say at the same time, “Wanna go to Borders?” When our friends Carmen and George still lived in Virginia, we would go to dinner (usually Mexican at El Paso) and straight to Borders afterward—scattering in four different directions, then returning with an armload of books.

Borders enticed me to part with my money many a time, but I have a confession to make. More often than not, I only purchased when I possessed a 40 or 50% coupon or if there was a discount book that I simply had to have off their remainder racks. Okay, I confess. I’m a magazine junkie, too, so it was not uncommon for me to go in and spend $40 on photography, craft and gardening magazines in one visit—until I buckled down and learned to subscribe to them cheaper. I was just one of the many bookstore regulars who would occasionally look at a book, write down the title and price, then go order it for 25-40% less on Amazon. For this, Borders, I apologize. However, I talked to one of your loyal salespeople and she told me it was poor management that got you in the end. That relieved me of at least some of my guilt. (Although truth be told, I contributed to your success for many years—it’s not my fault you chose to squander it recklessly!)

So, as a tribute to you, dearly departed Borders, I offer my Top 10 Memories (in no particular order) throughout the years.

Memory #1: Borders in Tysons Corner, one summer evening. Scores of coffee table books stacked up against the windows. Each marked with that lovely red triangular-shaped sticker—$1. $1? It can’t be. Gorgeous color books on every subject imaginable (some interesting, some not so much). I promptly buy one of each. Yes, you read that right. One of each. It takes four trips for me and Michael to carry my loot out of the store. Most topics were of interest to me; those that were not could surely be gifts for someone else, no? It is my fondest moment shopping at Borders. We would go on to find other instances where beautiful books were marked that low, but this excursion was magnificent in its quality and range of subjects. It certainly doesn’t help that in my profession, I’ve actually designed books on numerous occasions—I’ve been known to buy a book solely for its brilliant presentation. Besides, who doesn’t need an oversized book about the history of the John Deere tractor for just $1? I still have dents in my forearms from holding overstuffed plastic carts while in line. Truly good management would have provided those little mini-grocery carts for biblioholics like me. I’m just sayin’.

Memory #2: Michael catches up on his zzzzzz’s in a public forum—ah, fond memories of finalizing my (seemingly random) selection for the evening, then heading to find Michael. Where would I find him tonight? Battling cyborgs in the science fiction aisle? Woodworking? Contemplating learning more about the harmonica, lap harp or guitar? Considering hydroponics or welding as a sideline? Pondering on whether we already owned this particular one-pot cookbook? Honing his wilderness survival skills in the nature section? Having an overpriced coffee and skimming through books he didn’t plan on purchasing in the coffee shop? Wherever he was, he would invariably be nested in a comfy chair, head bowed, an open computer book in his lap. Asleep.

Memory #3: When we first learned just a few of our area Borders were closing, we took advantage of the closing sales. As usual, the discounts came painfully slow, seemingly like this: Now going out of business—everything in the store—10% off (Really Borders? 10%? How bad do you really want to close?), then week after week finally progressing to 60 then 70% off. Thank you for finally breaking the 70% barrier and filling in those gaps on my shelves (as if there were any gaps).

One would think there wouldn’t be much to choose from at that point. Au contraire! We are fascinated by virtually any subject (just call me a bower bird). Of course, there are exceptions—anything mathematical immediately sends me back to painful days in college, wondering how I could finagle a diploma without passing math that final year. I did graduate (bless her little heart) and it did not involve special favors to any professor—although if you had told me at the time that it was the only way I would graduate, I am not ashamed to admit I would have given it serious thought. I am fairly adept at many things; aptitude with numerals isn’t one of them.

Memory #4: My father was the bearer of the bad news: All Borders were closing. Deep down, I subconsciously knew it was coming. Mercy, I was in such denial. No Borders? Where would we buy an overprized hot chocolate with yummy foam, white chocolate shavings and that cute little chocolate stick in the middle (even in the summer)? Where else could I buy yet another obscure cookbook for just $1.99? I still possess A Taste of Eritrea (really, Cindy?) among my culinary tomes. This is particularly funny, given that I cook maybe once a month and only if you can catch me in that kind of domestic mood.

Michael and I hit every single still-open Borders once the discount got to 60% and higher. Our best purchases were three short chrome bar stools covered in black pleather. Now we have some of the Borders coffee shop ambiance in my craft room. And you know those black plastic divider labels with the circular tags that stick out from each section? I scored a complete set for my own library—one for each letter in the alphabet. Just 25 cents each! (You do the math; you know how I am with numbers.)

Memory #5: Borders was one of the first stores (to my recollection) that let you listen to the music of select artists. I fell in love with Eva Cassidy’s voice when she was a staff selection and I eventually bought everything she recorded in her short life. Thanks for introducing me to Tingstad and Rumbel, Cheryl Wheeler, Katie Melua, Lara Fabian, Christine Kane and Tina Arena as well.

Memory #6: Free coffee grounds for my garden. Thank you for enriching my little paradise for so many years, Borders.

Memory #7: Lindt white chocolate balls, impulse buys at checkout. 3 for $1. I was visiting my family one Christmas and my dad and I went to a Borders. I bought three and handed him one. He hadn’t ever had one and the look on his face when he bit into one was priceless. All he said, with his voice trembling, was “oooooooooooooohhhhhhh.” I only had one complaint, Borders. When you sell them 3 for $1 and there are two people involved, it’s virtually impossible to evenly split that third one without getting greedy with the oozy (and best) part!

Memory #8: Ah, love me some 40-50% off coupons in my e-mail. And Borders Bucks. And Borders Rewards Plus. And free drink coupons. They may have been part of why you went out of business, Borders, but they did not go unappreciated. These were the times when I could justify buying that lovely coffee table book about fancy chickens or one of Martha Stewart’s many visually arresting “look what I have that you don’t” books. And oh how you discounted those gardening books. You’re the main reason my shelves are overflowing with hundreds of books on that very subject (and no, I will not tell you just how many). Although you are gone from my life, Borders, I will always love you more than Barnes & Noble. They are now the only game in town, and although I am forced to frequent them now, I will do so with a wee bit of disdain. And by the way, I know you probably profited by selling them that membership list with my name on it, but unless they’re going to start sending me 50% off coupons, I am ignoring their repeated attempts to lure me in completely.

Memory #9: Finally, when the periodicals hit 80% off, I could afford one issue each of those $15 craft and foreign Photoshop magazines I always avoided!

Memory #10: And my final memory…my very last visit to a Borders. It was in Woodbridge, Va at the end of summer. I drove by and saw “last day” on the storefront. (How could I not stop?) As I got closer, I saw “everything 2 for $1.” Then the “2” was crossed out and “4” was written over it. Everything was 4 for $1. Really? Surely there wasn’t much left at that bargain, right? Think again. After passing over the romance novels and books written entirely in Spanish, I scored enough books to spend $4.50 total. At those prices, I even considered a book on math (but only for a nanosecond). I’m currently 62 pages into how Chastity become Chaz. (Bower bird, remember?)

AFTERTHOUGHT: I neglected to thank Michael for all those wonderful $50 and $100 Borders gift cards he begifted me throughout the years on various occasions—birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Those cards are the reason why my library is topped off with oversized, gloriously illustrated books whose sole topics are snowflakes, penguins and succulents (to name an obscure few). Though some might find it an impersonal gift, he is a man after my own heart. Only a biblioholic would truly understand. I just had someone comment that they didn’t know all the stores had closed and that they guessed they could no longer use their gift card. How in the world do you keep one that long? Mine were spent before I could say thank you to the giver!

CHIME IN! Do any of my fellow biblioholics have any treasured stories about frequenting Borders? Leave a comment and I’ll compile fodder for a future posting!

PREVIOUS COMMENTS:

From composerinthegarden.wordpress.com: A witty and fond look at a once great place to gather. Here in the rural suburbs, it was a beacon of civilized life and a favorite gathering spot, complete with live music on Fridays. Now sorely missed. Thanks for the great post!

From jntquigley.wordpress.com: Great ‘farewell to Borders’ post! I miss it terribly, also. It was always my favorite getaway place on my day off or after work.

From thatgirlwhit.wordpress.com: saddest. thing. ever.

From barbaragarneaukelley.wordpress.com: Cindy: What a lovely post! And, I have been the lucky recipient of some of the bargain books you have bought over the years.

From thekingoftexas.wordpress.com: Loved every word of it, and you aren’t exaggerating about the countless books and magazines and various ephemeral items such as the white chocolate you grudgingly shared with me. I should know, because I’ve staggered out with many a load of books for you—in fact you have a large box of books that has been in the closet waiting for you.

The way I remember the white chocolate was that you consumed two of the three pieces before you asked if I wanted one.

One more thought: Do not ever chide me for the length of my postings—never, I say, never, never, never! You used 1635 words (I speed-counted them in blocks of 25) You could have just said, “I bought a lot of books and other stuff on sale when Border’s went out of business.”

Just look at the amount of ink and paper you used—this was so not green!

All seriousness aside, this was a great posting and a glorious tribute to a worthy organization. You done good, ija de mio.

From Dan: How Chastity became Chaz? Shall I draw you a picture?!





Hop on the bus, Gus

2 02 2012

My friend, F.T., constant deliverer of things interesting via e-mail, sent me these 30 second videos encouraging bus travel by De Lijn (The Line), a transport company run by the Flemish government in Belgium to provide public transportation. Their tagline is “It’s smarter to travel in groups.”





Whimsy in the garden

22 08 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Be still my heart!

13 07 2011

So, I’m still dreaming about possessing the Nikkor 200mm micro lens. It would really come in handy when I want to do macro shots of butterflies and other insects that won’t let me get close with my beloved 105mm Nikkor micro. Occasionally I will look at various vendors online to see their pricing for the lens (pointless—it’s as if I expect them to go on sale). I did just that a few minutes ago in a Google search, with some really strange (but laugh-out-loud) results this time around. Keep in mind that this lens runs anywhere from $1475-1700+ retail.

My search began in Google with the words, “200mm Nikkor micro.” Here is the first screen I saw:

I click on the top one because I’m thinking, “37 bucks? For that lens? No way! It must be a lens cap or a filter for it.” So, I click on that first link and this is what I get:

Apparently, Amazon is (accidentally) selling my coveted lens for just $36.99 (and I’ll save a whole penny)! Let’s check this one out pronto. I know it has to be priced wrong, but I’m going to quickly order it for $36.99 before they realize the mistake they’ve made! (In fact, I’ll order a couple dozen of them and resell!) When I click on the top link for Amazon, here’s what I get:

The last link in the previous listing was for eBay-eastwestphoto and showed the lens listed at $100 but that link leads you nowhere. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Back to reality, folks!

Then again, if just 1,700 of my 285,818 visitors-to-date sent me a dollar, I’d be set. Not that I’m hinting or soliciting or begging, mind you. I’m just sayin’.





Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A little paint, a little paneling…

6 04 2011

I told Michael that he could easily set up a PC repair business on the cheap in Austin—for a fraction of the cost of renting an office space here in Northern Virginia. Case in point:





From my friend Josiah: To add or not to add? Facebook Dilemna

29 03 2011

My fellow blogger buddy Josiah posted this poem below (composed by his friend Kenny V. Anderson) on his blog. I asked for permission to share it with my readers. I think it’s so clever! You can see the entire posting here.

Go check out Josiah’s blog, Devastating the Obvious, here. I especially enjoyed “The Bucket List” found here. Just three weeks into blogging, this newbie is very funny and brightens my e-mailbox several times a week with his musings. He just nominated me for a “Versatile Blogger Award” and when I figure out how to accept it (Do I have to wear a formal? With pantyhose? Do I have to give a speech? Will there be snacks?) and offer up my own list of “7 things about me,” I’ll respond in kind. Thanks for the nomination, Josiah, and congratulations on your award as well. Keep up the laugh-out-loud posts!

The 23rd Facebook

The Facebook is my shepherd, I shall not poke.

It maketh me to lie down with my smart phone 

It leadeth me beside the computer, it restoreth my old friendships.

It leadeth me in the paths of comments, for my ego’s sake

Yea, though I scroll through the valley of misspelling,

I will fear no grammar, for emoticons are with me.

Your likes and your comments, they comfort me.

Thou preparest an event before me in the presence of my newsfeed.

Thou anointeth my wall with statuses, my suggestions runneth over.

Surely friends and strangers shall follow me all the days of my life.

I will dwell on the wall of my profile forever. lol.





Breakfast of champions!

16 03 2011

My friend Karen and I went to check out a local Fitness First club late yesterday afternoon. We had a tour of the place, talked amenities and pricing, and headed out the door with our materials to ponder later. As soon as I got into the car, Karen said something like “and to celebrate our return to health….” and handed me my very own box of Peeps. The contrast of the Peeps against the Fitness First flyer (both in irony and color) was just too hard to resist. Some peeps from my peep!






Repost: Picture this. Miami. Christmas day. 1991.

24 01 2011

Originally posted January 2010

(FYI, the title borrows from the character Sophia Petrillo in Golden Girls…”Picture this. Sicily. 1912.”)

With no plans to visit our respective families for Christmas that year (no particular reason not to either), we declared that Christmas must be spent in the Everglades National Park. We loaded up the car with cameras and camping equipment and embarked, with unbridled enthusiasm, on Great Adventure #17 (remember, this was early on in our courtship, so the adventures hadn’t stacked up just yet!) to the Everglades. What surprised us most is how close the park is to Miami. One minute you’re at the mall, the next minute you’re surrounded by alligators.

Camping + Nachos + Steve Martin = It Must Be Christmas!
Michael, master camper that he is, set up a fine tent. It was getting late and we were too impatient to cook over a campfire (okay, so I was the one who was too impatient), so we did what any camper would do if they were just a mile from a city—get in the car and drive to a Mexican restaurant, followed by a late showing of the newly-released movie, Father of the Bride. Mexican Food and a chick-flick. How Christmas-y is that?

Gators + Marshmallows + Open Boat = Are You Kidding Me?
One afternoon we booked a tour on an airboat that took us through the glades to spot alligators. At one point the guide spotted a rather large one, slowed the boat down, then tossed out a marshmallow in its direction. The guide then joked (insert Captain-Clint-from-Jaws voice here), “Aye…ya know…he could scamper onto dis boat in no time flat if he really wanted to…arghhh.” The group was so silent, you could have heard a marshmallow drop.

Mama?
One morning we were walking along the Anhinga Trail…camera in hand, I searched for something to record in the saw grass marsh. I came around a corner and there sat a miniature alligator…not more than a foot long…and a mere five feet away from me. I stopped and snapped a few shots. Then I kneeled down and shot a few more, moving very slowly so as not to frighten him away. Michael was a few feet behind me. I paused, then turned to him and asked, “umm…this is a baby alligator, right?” He nodded yes. “umm…so…where is its mother?” He replied, “in the tall grasses near this boardwalk, probably watching you.” We had seen several “mothers” sunning themselves on the banks when we entered the park. This little guy? I could take him, but I was no match for his mother. “Ummm…10 shots of this little guy is plenty, I do think. Oh, my, I think it’s time for lunch. Let’s go. Now.

Do You Get the Feeling We’re Being Watched?
I photographed these Black Vultures in a tree overlooking our campsite. In retrospect, I think these vultures must have seen our license plates, figured we were lost Yankees, and were just waiting for us to run out of prepackaged R.E.I. meals and simply perish…our bodies ripe for the picking. Little did they know that in town we had supplemented our MRE’s with refried beans, enchiladas, buttered popcorn and Nonpareils. We lived to tell the tale.

Vulture #2: “So, how long do you give ’em?”

Vulture #1, shrugging shoulders: “I dunno. Whaddya think? Two, three days, tops?”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From Vimeo: Human + Ice Skates = the Perfect Camera Dolly

21 01 2011

Turn up your sound and watch this video by filmmaker Kasper Bak. It has a lovely rhythm to it. After I viewed it, the following things ran through my mind (simultaneously):

1) Wow, I really, really need that Nikon D7000 right now. Great HD video capability.

2) I would need some ice skates, too.

3) Hmmmm…just remembered that I really don’t like having my feet all bundled up in socks and laced up, corset-like into skates that feel two sizes too small. I was raised in the south…you know, where bare feet originated.

4) Oooh…wait a minute. I did try ice skating in D.C. back in my late 20s and it really wasn’t pretty. Suffice it to say, I suck at ice skating.

5) And anyway, this is metropolitan D.C. We get snow one day and it melts the next (but the schools all close anyway). I’d have to go to Montana to find ice thick enough to make my movie.

6) Speaking of Montana—-back in the late 90s when we visited Michael’s Aunt Jackie near Yellowstone for Christmas, she took all of us ice fishing. We traversed the lake via snowmobile and the kids sat on 5-gallon buckets for hours (the fish were a no-show). I remember thinking, “I just won’t get off the snowmobile. You know, just in case the ice cracks.” Apparently I’m not as smart as I look after all, despite the cute glasses. I did venture onto the ice but very, very slowly (as if that would save me?). Long enough to say I did it and to make the laughing stop. Folks, I was born in Alabama and raised in south Texas. We don’t have lakes that freeze. Sure, sure, I know you’re a native…you’re probably right that the ice really is more than a foot thick on that lake. I don’t care how thick you assure me that ice is, I just don’t know if I can truly ever trust you. What if you are wrong?

7) and just by chance you are wrong, look where my Nikon D7000 (that I don’t have) and I would end up!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/18370836″>Dutch Winter</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user2815124″>Kasper Bak</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>





The Orphaned Images Project: Leisure Suit Larry and the Priest

10 01 2011

More treasures to share from my newest venture, The Orphaned Images Project. A few of my regular readers have asked if they can have a shot at captioning some photos. By all means, please feel free to do so. I will give you a little background to get you started. I promise to re-publish the photos with all of your accompanying captions.

Photo #1: Larry’s mind-tripping moire patterned suit and pre-Harry-Potterish glasses were no match for Carol’s psychedelic pop-art floral skirt. (7.30.1971)

Photo #2: I’m assuming this is in a church (there’s a priest). Apparently the church had fallen on hard times—take a look at the paper wall decor above grandma’s head! What do you read into the sheepish (baby daddy?) look of the guy on the left and the resigned look on Father Murphy’s face? (8.01.1971)

Please feel free to submit your own captions for these two photos (nudge, nudge, Jefferson, Babs and The King of Texas)

UPDATE: Captions and comments

From Jeff:

Picture One — I’m pretty sure the fellow in the top picture is the father of the guy who plays “PC” in those Apple ads. And I love how high the gal’s skirt goes. Yes, I remember the days when wearing your skirts like some old guy in Florida would was considered sexy, damn sexy.

Picture Two — “Behold the red-haired devil child! Hail Satan! Now, Father, go get me another wine spritzer and let’s get this end of days thing rolling!”

From the King of Texas:

What does that guy Jeff mean, talking about how high my skirt goes? It’s just a couple of inches above my ankles, and it will never go any higher, at least not while I’m wearing it, not even for Larry unless he moves that ring from his right hand to his left! I admit that the skirt is a bit higher waisted than I like, but it complements Larry’s tie so nicely. I found it at the Goodwill Thrift store—that’s where Larry and I shop for clothing—they have really great prices!

Second photo:
No, no, NO! My husband is the guy on my left wearing the collar, and the young boy on my right is my lover and the father of my child—got it?

From RedHeadedWoman (a.k.a. Karen):

So that’s where my favorite skirt from 1969 ended up!

From Pepe Le Peu (a.k.a. Rob):

Photo 1— William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson

Photo 2 — “Please hurry, I have a “Where’s the Beef” commercial to film.”





How much is that doggie in the window?

27 08 2010

We spotted this old red house while en route to check out Georgetown Pottery in Georgetown, Maine, not far from Freeport. Had to stop and photograph it, of course!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






FAVE: Tim Flach Photography Ltd.

26 07 2010

I stumbled upon London photographer Tim Flach’s work a few months ago and requested permission to show this particular photo below (I want a dog with dreadlocks!) and link back to his site. Joanna Niklas, who works with Tim, told me about his newest project, DOGS-GODS, which explores and celebrates man’s remarkable friendship with the dog. The book will be a visual representation of the oldest human-animal friendship and a journey around the canine kingdom. The link below takes you directly to his website (and what a great opening!). Click on “Portfolio,” which begins with stunning images of dogs. The website itself is as fluid and luminous as his photographs.

While you’re on his site, be sure to click on the “Info” link at the top, then “Film,” and download director Chris Purcell’s Animal Planet documentary, Through the Lens of Tim Flach, Photographer.

(Note to Kathy and Kevin M.: Bet you wish I had gotten a shot like #43 of you guys with Kramer and Oatmeal before they went to their new home. Sigh…missed my chance! To learn more than you ever truly wanted to know about iguanas (and Kramer and Oatmeal, in particular), check out this posting by their babysitter, The King of Texas, here.

http://timflach.com/





Life After Death by Powerpoint 2010

27 04 2010

Thank you to Chuck Green (http://www.ideabook.com/) for sharing the comedy of Don McMillan in his latest Design Links Briefing broadcast. If you’re a designer, sign up for Chuck’s free Design Links Briefing e-mail here. In his twice-monthly e-mail, Chuck does the surfing and shares his treasures with us—tips on print design, web design, fonts, imagery, illustration, and lots of links to great websites for inspiration. I own several of his books, too—he’s a great resource for designers. Check out the Ideabook.com store here. A working graphic designer in Virginia, he publishes his own books and still finds time to educate the design masses. The man either doesn’t sleep or runs on Jolt Cola! A few years ago I talked with him about designing my website because I love his clean design style—I just have to get ahead of the curve to be able to afford it (not that his prices were unreasonable—they weren’t).

This video is almost 10 minutes long, but it is really funny—particularly if you have ever used PowerPoint or watched a PowerPoint presentation. I love the acronym overload part. McMillan has other videos on youtube.com relating to the workplace.





H.M. Dyer’s ‘Ode to a cheesecake’

6 04 2010

I must preface my father’s poem (below) by explaining his urge to write about a cheesecake in the first place. In February we hosted a very scaled back Chocoholic Party for friends—aptly renamed the “Cabin Fever with Chocolate Party.” It was scaled back from our annual soiree because of the unprecedented piles of snow in our area, which resulted in virtually no parking for guests from outside the neighborhood. (This annual party usually brings in 35+ chocoholics, so ample parking is necessary!) So, if you could walk to our house in 30+ inches of snow, you were a guest! Anyway, earlier in the week we bought a cheesecake from Costco during our rounds to gather food for this semi-potluck party. I was sitting at the computer working a few days before the party when Michael came downstairs—a brown wrapped package in one hand and a shovel in the other—and unlocked the patio door. I watched him, wondering if he was going to dig a path through the almost three feet of snow to the back gate (and why?). He proceeded to dig a hole into the snow bank just outside the door and buried the package. I then asked, “what in the world did you just bury?” “Cheesecake!” he exclaimed. “There wasn’t any room for it in the refrigerator and since the party is just two days away, I figured it would keep.” There you have it. Such a resourceful man. I think I’ll keep him.

So, my ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ poem (see my previous posting) has inspired my father to write his wonderful ‘Ode to a cheesecake.’ Bravo, bravo, King of Texas! Here are his comments to my post, followed by his poem.

_________________________________________________________________________

In advance of posting this comment, I humbly offer my abject apologies to the preacher John Donne, to the poet Joyce Kilmer and to the author of ‘An apology to the wood anemone’ . . . It’s not my fault—it’s in my nature—it’s something I cannot control. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa maxima.

Ode to a cheesecake

Breathes there one with soul so dead
That never to one’s self hath said
Methinks that I shall never see
A word so lovely as anemone.

Offed from my tongue it rolls
Sadly as the bell that tolls
Not for thee and not for me
Nor for the lovely anemone.

But for the cheesecake in its bower
Not ‘neath trees nor plants nor showers
Nay, ‘neath snowstorms full of power
Lying beneath the snow for hours
In wait for the chocolate party
To be eaten by goers hearty.

But wait, what’s that I see
Beside the cheesecake ‘neath the snow
The anemone arises ready to go
With the cheesecake to the table
Petals eight to be divided
Among the diners so excited
A ‘nemone to see.

They smell the petals
They hear the bell
They’ll come to know
As time will tell
If snow and cheesecake
Sounds their knell
Or leaves them alive
And well.

— H.M. Dyer (1932-     )

I neglected to give credit to Sir Walter Scott for his poem ‘The lay of the last minstrel’ in my ‘Ode to a cheesecake’—credit is now given. I also neglected to say that I loved your poem ‘An apology to the wood anemone’… Well done!

Your anemone arising from the snow is reminiscent of Thoreau’s “Walden,” in which he tells of a golden bug that in the spring gnawed its way out of a table after being entombed in the wood for many years.

_____________________________________________

See more of my father’s pondering, hypothesizing and philosophizing, musings, comments, lectures, diatribes, royal reflections and revelations, essays, memoirs, biographies and autobiographies, tall tales, fables, childhood memories, yarns, jokes, poems, political and social commentary, and my favorite of his topics—excellent grammatical lessons—on his website, thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.





Love it!

11 02 2010

For more “What the Duck” fun, visit cartoonist Aaron Johnson’s website here.





I know what you can get me for my next birthday…

10 07 2009

TreeBedYes, I am fully aware that $15,000 is pretty pricey for a bed frame, but if just 15,000 of my currently 82,733 blog visitors chipped in just $1 each, I could sleep in this bed every night! Imagine that. (I didn’t account for tax and shipping charges, though—this thing must weigh quite a bit. Does anyone have a large truck?)

Of course, it might bring on recurring nightmares about the snake-and-doomed-robin-chick episode of last week that I posted here. The scene atop the bed looks eerily familiar. You see, I have this visual penchant for trees, leaves, nests, feathers, birds and eggs. Oh, and sleep. That’s a good thing, too. So, this present would combine four of those faves of mine in one simple gift. And you don’t even have to wrap it! Oh, and I’ll provide the linens, so no need to fret about including those.

Then again, $15,000 would buy at least three of the pricier prime Nikon lenses that I don’t already have but certainly still lust after. (Which ones, you ask? Oh, say the 600mm f/4D IF-ED II, the 200-400mm VR f/4 AF-S, and maybe the 200mm Micro f/4D IF-ED, in case you were curious or just taking notes.)

Tree bed, Nikon lenses. Tree bed, Nikon lenses. Hmmmm. What do you think? Talk amongst yourselves. I’m sure I’ll love whatever you get me.

Take a look at artist Shawn Lovell’s other metal creations on her website here. Beautiful work!