Tuesday, March 30, 2004


About a year ago I dropped through a wormhole when I left Japan after 7 years and moved back to NH for the first time in two decades. I'm not even sure if I can call it a wormhole because the move was planned and intentional, but the effect was like a wormhole. Suddenly I was in a totally different world from what I had grown used to and what I had pruned myself to fit into. In Japan I had become sort of like a human bonsai, a little tree twisted and manipulated to look like a replica of something bigger and more natural. Then I came back here and rediscovered my roots, I guess.
Recently I've fallen through another wormhole. One I was not at all expecting. One that I would have thought could only be a figment of imagination. And my imagination has been known to be much further reaching than reality gets most times. It hasn't exactly taken me anywhere physically, but I'm someplace very different in every other way. It's new. It's nice. It's deep. I feel unbound and able to spread my roots a little deeper and my branches up to reach the sky.

Spring, Welcome to Dover

Robins and cardinals and squirrels! Oh my!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Rock On

Had a lovely Sunday afternoon jamming with what I hope will be my new band, if they'll have me! We played for 3 hours. I was not optimally prepared for the jam because I've had some things going on that have been occupying my mind, but it was still a blast. Follow the music. Follow the muse. It's bound to lead me where I belong.


Funny thing about that 8 of Swords tarot card is that if you ever read any interpretation of it, they always point out that even though she looks like she's blindfolded and bound and in pretty dire straits, the binds are not that tight and, if she's careful, she can use those blades that surround her to cut away the ropes and free her hands, then take off that blindfold and see she's got a clear path to walk away to freedom.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


While I am not ruling out the possibility of another spring snowstorm, I think it's finally safe to say it's really finally spring. Yesterday it smelled like spring and the birds in the neighborhood were going so crazy the dog looked scared. I've seen robins in the yard and this morning a cardinal was hopping around near the dog house.
That was a long winter. I almost forgot about all the birds here. I'm listening to them right now, actually. My lilies are already sending up shoots. In a few more weeks things will begin to green up and it will seem like a totally different world. I love how spring comes to NH in teeny tiny little steps.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Just One of Those Days

Didn't even need a quiz to know this one's mine today.

The Order We Thought We Had

I read a really interesting article about the discovery of water on Mars and the ramifications of what the discovery means. The gist of it was that finding evidence of water on Mars upsets just about all the assumptions scientists have made to date about what else is out there in the universe and what it means. I'm taking it as a good omen.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thanks for Reminding Me

Checked the Weight Watchers site today just to see what was new and ran straight into this:
Thought for the day
There are many things in life you can`t control. Your eating habits are not among them.

Yeah, thanks for reminding me of that first part

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

It's my movie, dammit

I can't wait until I'm reading this in retrospect.
I can't wait until the storm blows over.
I can't wait to look back and laugh.
I can't wait to find out how the story goes.
And I hope I get to be the one to make the final edits
because I think it's about time I got to write my own damn movie
and stop being a bit player in everyone else's.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


I think I have a new idol. Check this out:
Slam it and jam it with Solid8(it would be virtually impossible for me not to love a newspaper article that contains these lines, ""Chick bass players rule!" Yes, they do.")

Say It Out Loud a Few Times

I am sofa king.
We Todd did.

mwa ha ha ha!!!!

To Whom It May Concern

I've forgotten a lot of what I learned in grad school, but one thing that has stuck in my mind was something I heard in Prof. David Ashworth's pedagogy class. I'm not sure it whether it had any direct connection to pedagogy or whether it was a tangent. I think he went on some pretty good tangents at times.
Anwyay, this thing that I remembered I have remembered imperfectly. It had something to do with the universe being filled with To Whom It May Concern messages and the point I believe he made was that the world is filled with these messages that are flying around us all the time and the ones that mean something to us are the ones we pick up on and pay attention to.
I started searching around the net last night to see if I could find where the idea comes from and found it's from Norbert Wiener, a mathematician, early computing pioineer and coiner of the term cybernetics.
There's a brief mention of the To Whom it May Concern messages in this essay,howard rheingold's | tools for thought.

Monday, March 22, 2004

explodingdog 2004

If anyone can tell me why these make me feel better, please let me in on it. They're just so.... something.

The Rays of the Wawanock Totem

Patience the heron must practice
while waiting for fish for its dinner
for many a task are accomplished
when self contol rules the emotions.

There were seven or eight totems on the totem pole at camp. The verse about the heron is the only one I've remembered over the years. Guess it's the one I've needed the most.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sign of Spring

I saw a robin fly up today as I was walking the dog. When it's just one it looks like spring. Later in the season, when there are 30 of them crawling around the yard at dusk, they're scary.

Perhaps I'm Infected

In the NY Times Clive Davis writes about The Honesty Virus and how people tend to be more honest online than off. Interesting concept...

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Wicked Spooky

OK. It appears that I am creating disturbances with the functions of computer equipment. A couple of days ago in Murkland I had the G5 and the video equipment get a little funky. And just now my iPod decided it could really update after all. Now, just a couple of hours ago I did all the things it said to do to get the iPod to update so that I could load my legally purchased music onto it. Nothing worked. I left the computer alone for a couple of hours. I came back just now, saw Jerry's comment below, and plugged the iPod back in to follow his advice. As soon as I did, the updater launched automatically as it should and it all worked perfectly.
I think I'm radioactive or something.

One Bad Apple

Grrrr. Not very happy with Apple at the moment. I made my first legit online music purchase at the Apple Music Store the other day. The download went fine and I can play the songs in iTunes, but they will not upload to my iPod. I have tried the iPod Updater Software, but it doesn't seem to recognize when my iPod is plugged in. I can't update or restore (reset) the iPod.
Checked the Apple site, including the Discussions board and have not found the solution to the problem. Anyone have any suggestion?

Everyone Loves to Watch Her Fall

A couple of interesting reviews of Courtney Love's recent NY shows. MTV.com - News -Courtney Love At NY Show: 'I'm Not Having A Nervous Breakdown'. Don't forget to check out the video links on the right. They're clips from the show.
Love Lives Through This, Rasping 'Take Care of Me' from the NY Times.
I wonder what she's had done to herself. Her face looks totally different than it used to. In some photos she reminds me of Darryl Hannah and the both of them remind me of guys in drag when they wear too much makeup.

Friday, March 19, 2004

So, What's Up With Bolt?

What's up with Bolt, you ask?
A ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa. ahhh.
Not much. So little, in fact, that I'm doubting whether it/we actually still exist anymore. Stef and I certainly exist but the whole band thing is, unfortunately, looking pretty beat. Maybe I should say we're on hiatus. We still need a drummer. And probably a singer too. Bummer, huh?
So, is that it? Am I done?
Hell no! You know the whole one door closes and another opens thing they say. Maybe that's true because I've got me a new guitarist. I'm not naming names at the moment. Plans for world domination are well under way. Watch this space for further developments.

Want Sushi?

How about some sushi nemo.

Dante's Inferno Test - Impurity, Sin, and Damnation

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test
Geez, I just like to enjoy myself. No need for the Very High ranking there!

No no no no noooooooooooo!!!

Nooo more snooooow!!!
I'm sitting here reading about people's gardens and we just got another few inches of the white fluffly stuff overnight.
Enough! Get over it! Bring on Spring already!

Thursday, March 18, 2004


I thought I was just joking when I made comments that Murkland Hall is haunted. Now I'm not sure who the joke's on. I'm here by myself in the Language Resource Center digitizing some video for class materials. I've been selecting appropriate news stories and pulling them into the computer. I was going to subtitle some video I already have in here, but I'm having trouble with the audio, so I figured at least I can get more files completed since I'm already here. I got three different clips in and then needed to go to the bathroom. I left the lab and came back and now the computer tells me no camera is attached. Nothing has changed with the set up. I checked all the cables, closed and restarted the program, shut down and restarted the computer, shut off and turned on the vcr, the vcr monitor and the Director's Cut box.
"No camera attached"
And then the vcr, which I had stopped, just started rolling again while I'm typing this.
That's spooky. Maybe I'm done here for the day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


I'm not really writing these days, more like copying. Maybe I'm processing. Or what if I'm out of juice? It snowed again today. The winter is awfully long here. I supppose it builds character. I could always use more of that.
I've been here a while now and I've ceased to be stunned by every little thing, even though there are many beautiful little things that catch my attention in the course of a day, whether it's footprints in the snow, a freshly baked cookie from the EZ Bake oven or the sun coming up over the field across the street. It just seems harder to capture the details when I'm not on my way to or from someplace else. Even though I seem to have lost what was so special, I don't want to be anywhere else.

Cool Quotes

Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy author.
"There is a theory that if anybody ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more inexplicable. Another theory states that this has already happened."

Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who.
"I don't know many singers who actually do like the sound of their own voice."

Johnny Cash.
"Never fall in the same trap twice."

Gypsy Rose Lee, striptease artiste.
"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly ... very slowly."

Gertrude Stein, writer.
"There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer."

Dr Seuss.
"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."

Bad March Verse

Trees in the backyard are still bare
Snowflakes floating through the air
The sky's a lighter shade of gray
Can't believe they called off school today.

Letter From Asia: Japan and China: National Character Writ Large

So, what's the difference between Chinese and Japanese? This is definitely part of it. (ny times site.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Rock On and On

It's Nancy Wilson's birthday today.
First concert I ever saw was Heart, in Portland Maine in 1980, probably. I passed out, got passed over the barricade and lost a contact lens during Ian Hunter's set when we tried to stay up front. Sat in back with one hand over my contact lens-less eye for Heart. From then on I was pretty much hooked.


It wasn't exactly the same as this for me, but it pretty well explains why I only have one kid.
Not for the squeamish! (discovered via K.

Monday, March 15, 2004

All I Want to Know

is what is up with March.

A Little Monday Morning Humor

I have a friend with whom 90% of our email communication involves her sending me cute, odd and clever emails. We went to grad school together and worked together in Japan and we've spent many an hour over many a beer wondering why relationships have to be so stupid. Now that we're living far away from each other and she's now a mom too (still single though) most of the communication is the clever emails, occasionally punctuated by a good full blown, melt down, soul clearing venting session.
She sent me this a while back and I kept it because I think it's for the most part both true and funny.

Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.

To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next."
They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Essays in Idleness

I just received my copy of the Donald Keene translation of Essays in Idleness, a collection of short essays by Kenko, a Japanese monk in the 14th century. Opened it up and the first essay was this:
What a strange demented feeling it gives me when I realize I have spent whole days before this inkstone, with nothing better to do, jotting down at random whatever nonsensical thoughts have entered my head.

Replace one word and see if it fits you. I can relate.

I Guess This Is Reassuring

How insane are you?

A Little Bit Odd

You may make the odd crazy decision in life, but on the whole you live by the sandard rules that society gives us. You are pretty much like most people. How boring.

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Bring On The Next One

Forgot to mention that I hit my Weight Watchers goal a week ago. Went to a meeting this morning with my dad and found I had lost another 1.2 pounds. That's 5 pounds in two weeks. Total of a little over 18 pounds total. I weigh the same as I did in high school. That's kind of weird.
The funny thing is I started going to WW back in October mostly to keep my dad and niece company. Figured it would be more fun as a family effort. Turns out I'm the one who stayed all gung ho about it. When I reached my goal the general reaction from my parents and sister was something along the lines of "Of course you did, Honey. That's what you do."
It was a nice medium term goal to set. Something to focus on. Now I'm formulating a new goal. I'm going to have to work hard to make it happen, but I will. If nothing else, I have stubborn determination going for me.

Read More and Save the Crickets!

Is this what it takes to get kids to read these days?
Principal feasts on crickets to boost literacy
If I were a kid I probably would have read double my normal load just to see that, too. Can't wait until the animal (cricket?) rights people start protesting...

Friday, March 12, 2004


Shuttle Cock is playing the Barley Pub in Saturday the 13th, not today. Oops.

Rock On

My favorite local band, Shuttle Cock, is playing the Barley Pub in Dover tonight. I think I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with them, but I really can't help wanting to just stand there and bask in the decibels and stare at Nate,uh.. I mean Porky, doing his thing. Don't want to talk to him. Don't want to know him. I just want to watch. I'm a retard.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spring Break

I didn't just happen to fall into teaching by accident. I was well aware that becoming a teacher would more or less ensure me a lifetime of spring breaks, summer vacations and long holiday recesses. And the other thing is I just always liked school so much that I never really wanted to leave. There was a moment I had as an undergrad in Boulder that has stayed clear in my mind all these years. I was walking on campus, just a little bit off Broadway, across a stone bridge with the library way down the quad in the distance. The leaves were green and it was about 3pm. The sun was still above the Flatirons, sending its long diagonal rays through the branches. I might have been on my way to a creative writing class. I stopped on that little bridge and looked around and wished that somehow, someway I could figure out how to become a university teacher (not necessarily a professor, mind you). Of course, there was nothing I really excelled in enough to ever imagine being able to teach it, but I remember the feeling. Schools make me feel safe and calm, like I'm where I belong. I used to feel the same way up on the 5th floor of Hamilton Library at UH where they keep the Japanese collection.
That wish I made was one of those things I thought would never come true, but it did. Over the years I have noticed something kind of spooky about myself. I have wish power. Whenever I have really wished hard and long for something to come about, generally it has. Maybe I just wish on things that seem a sure bet to begin with. Or maybe I just wish powerfully.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


I guess it's not a good thing when the boss sends out a note that announces the department must make a 20% cut in non-tenured staff and you happen to be non-tenured staff. Wonder if I'm going to have more free time next year than I counted on having. (And less income.)
It would be nice if my horoscope were right just this once. Here's what Jonathon Cainer had to say today:
If you have a comfortable, weatherproof environment, what does it matter how hard it rains? Only if your protection looks likely to let the elements in, is there a need to worry. Think of yourself now as fundamentally safe and sound. The worst a passing storm can do is enter through a small hole in your roof and spoil one tiny area of an otherwise comfortable room. Better to put up with this philosophically than to climb outside to cover the gap and end up drenched!

Yeah, hope it means something.

Bass Player Jokes

Q. What do you call a bass player on the front porch?
A. The pizza delivery guy
Want more? Go here.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Dreaming of Spring

I see poetry popping up in blogs all over the place these days. Maybe it's a sign of spring. Here's my crocus to add to the bunch.

I have hours. everything's okay.
It's a beautiful day.
It's a beautiful day.

Got no worries.
Free from flurries of all kinds.
And there's nothing I'm looking to find.
No one I'm trying to bind
or blind today.

So I'll wind on my way
to play away the day.
Come what may.

Why Thank You

I got carded buying beer at the grocery store tonight. That hasn't happened to me in a couple of years. I could have children who are legally old enough to drink. I get too much of a kick out of it.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Sunday is Mud Day

Out the door and down the street, past the towering compost piles and straight on back into the woods. Keep going. Take a left when you get to the spot where there used to be a fork in a log in the road until my nephew removed it like Arthur two summers ago. Through the woods, up the hill, down across the fields, to the trail in the woods along the river. Splish, splash. Splish, splish, splish, jingle, jingle. Panny circles like a satellite. It's not hard to be the center of a dog's universe. He frolics. I trudge. Splish, splash.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Letters are Commonplace

Letters are commonplace enough, yet what splendid things they are! When someone is in a distant province and one is worried about him, and then a letter suddenly arrives, it is as though one were seeing him face to face. Again, it is a great comfort to have expressed one's feelings in a letter even though one knows it cannot yet have arrived. If letters did not exist, what dark depressions would come over one! When one has been worrying about something and wants to tell a certain person about it, what a relief it is to put it all down in a letter! Still greater is one's joy when a reply arrives. At that moment a letter really seems like an elixir of life.
-- from The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, circa late 900s. Translation by Ivan Morris.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Does This Count as Spring?

Green, gray, damp and dreary. I imagine this is what Seattle is like. Kobe was like this sometimes too.

Just wanted to take the dog for a walk and sing along to the iPod by myself but had to stop for a chat with the neighbor out for her jog, then the lady in the minivan asking for directions to a house for sale in the neighborhood. Had to greet all the passersbys and talk to the little boys playing lacrosse. For solitude I'm going to have to head out into the mud. Hope the weather's all right tomorrow.
Today's soundtrack by Cracker.
I Want Everything and Low

A Friend in Need

Dear friends, readers and folks who just happen to float in on the tides,
I have a favor to ask you.
It's not for me but for a great and very talented friend of mine who has saved my sanity in some dark and stormy times. Read his letter below and do what you can to help out.

Here's the deal: I entered a national competition in
The Japan Times Photo Contest and 3 of my entries
(count 'em t-h-r-e-e) made the first cut. To make the
second cut, readers (viewers) have to vote for my

The top 20 vote getters make the 2nd cut. So please go
to this link:


Click on "Vote for your favorite photograph."

Click on "Outside Kanto"

Then vote for #44, #48 & #49.

There are many other good photos there, but please
vote for those three. Two of the three they printed
are too dark. After you vote, please foreward this to
EVERYONE on your mailing list and ask them to vote for
#44, #48 & #49 in the "Outside Kano" catagory. I'll be
sharing the prize money with everyone who votes for
me, so...Let's Rock. I thank you, my mother thanks

Michael (a.k.a. Bubba) Sta-boo

It'll take you 2 seconds. You'll get to see some very cool photos of Japan. You'll be helping out a friend and earning lots of good karma. And if you happen to vote from more than one email address, I'll never tell.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Birthday Ramble

Hmm, so the birthday is here. Wish I had time to reflect on the past year at leisure, but leisure doesn't really fit the schedule these days. Insta-reflection mode tells me that the past year has been spectacular and everything has worked out even better than I imagined. What's not to like? I even got to start the day with birthday greetings from near and far (see the comments. Thanks K! and Bob, but you're near not far).
I figure it's also my dog's birthday because we adopted him on May 18 and he was roughly 10.5 weeks old, which by my math means he could share my birthday.
I'm used to sharing a birthday. Kate was a year younger than me to the day, but she exited the realm 10 years ago. We had the same birthday for 27 years together. I still miss her.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Is it me, for a moment?

OK. I'm usually pretty chummy and chatty with everyone at the Dover post office, but today was a little weird even for me. I was at Eileen's window but Marty felt compelled to call me over and ask for my hand so he could put an "insured" sticker on me, which lead to a discussion as to what my value should be and whether I was liquid, fragile, perishable or all the above. Marty said fragile. Eileen said all of the above. I'd have to agree with her.
This somehow seems to me to be tied to an incident earlier this week at the photgrapher's house where he felt suddenly compelled to cross the room and offer me the potato chip he had in his hand. "Here, have a chip." I smiled and said thanks and ate the chip. What else would I do? It was cute.

One Year Ago Today...

-- was my last day of being 37.
-- I had just gotten back to Japan from Hawaii.
-- was another year I got older and Kate stayed dead.
-- was twenty days before I blew out my back spectacularly for the first time ever.
-- I was starting to say good bye to a lot of friends.
-- I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I had to do it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I Confess

Up until this very morning I had never heard of skee ball. It came up in class as a possible translation for "ske-bo" (short way to say "skateboard") and I didn't know what anyone was talking about. They all looked at me like I was nuts and said "You grew up in northern New England didn't you?!" Yes, I did, but I somehow missed out on that particular summer arcade right of passage.

Monday, March 01, 2004


Do you ever have those days where you feel like you're picking up too many different frequencies at once? I think I've met more interesting people in the past week than I have in all the time since I moved here almost a year ago. For example, I spent a good three hours today with this guy and his wife. Extremely nice and cool people and a serendipitous way to meet.
I think Michael Lutin was right when he called for a head's up on a big wave coming in. Too bad I never make sense when this stuff is all happening. I can only ever figure it out in hindsight.

Tell Me Why I Don't Like Mondays

Can I just rewind and start this day over again? I've already been crabbed at for something I didn't even do and I managed to misplace the cd I needed for the quiz this morning. I've got a hard enough shell to deflect the misdirected crabbiness and I was able to grab a copy of the cd from the lab before class, but I still can't find the original cd, it's not even noon and I'm all ready to pack it in and escape. Who ever signed me up for this being an adult business anyway?