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A local radio station has been playing an ad with Mavis Staples the past couple of weeks. Which in turn reminds me of the Ysaye Barnwell workshop I participated in a couple of Junes ago, which included improvising verses to "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round."


From Bill Penzey's latest e-blast:

One of the things I admire most about conservatives is their sincerity in their belief that they take responsibility for their actions. As Lincoln said, we can all be fooled some of the time; there is no shame in that. The trick is to not fall into the crowd that can be fooled all the time. What matters is what you do next; you can dig your heels in and become what you've stood up against your whole life. Or you can simply make amends and move on.



This entry was originally posted at https://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/143987.html.
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Today's subject line appeared in yesterday's newsletter from Bill Penzey, who posted "an open letter to America's CEOs about our experiences in facing right wing calls for boycotts," which can be read here and has received 47,000 likes to date.

Hubbard squash seeds

I roasted some Hubbard squash seeds tonight, along with the rest of the squash, an aging potato, and a spaghetti squash, serving some mashed squash with kielbasa. Earlier today I fried pancakes and eggs and baked a loaf of whole-wheat bread. I'm sipping chai brewed with some spices from the aforementioned Penzeys.

Another Asian American East Nashvillian who knows music and food is Alex Wong, who's donating the first month of his Patreon proceeds to Puerto Rico. Some of you may recognize him from Vienna Teng's tours.

I was so tired this morning that I went back to bed after the pancakes, and I'll be turning in before midnight tonight since I'm singing tomorrow. I've become a tad amused at how singing and dancing -- my bolder activities, if you will (timid performances serve no one well) -- actually keep me in line, since I try to get adequate rest and am cautious about consuming caffeine and other potential inflammatories before significant gigs or gatherings.

This entry was originally posted at https://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/412491.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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The subject line is from P!nk's "What About Us":


September 17 is Constitution Day in the United States.

  • My friend Katy boosted the signal on the "We the People" jewelry by Slow Factory (proceeds to the ACLU, hoop earrings become available this Monday): https://slowfactory.com/

  • A certain medal pin collector tried to drag Kaep for not mentoring guys in the hood. That sound you hear is New York and Tampa clapping back:

  • I've given the NYT pieces of my mind at least twice this year, and link to them probably less than 1/8 of what I used to, because [profane rant redacted here], but the wedding section remains a guilty pleasure, in part to glimpse how other connections are made:

    "Melissa you’re going to like this guy," she recalled Amanda Lynch, a former Harvard roommate, telling her. "He has the preamble to the Constitution tattooed on his back."

  • At the New York Public Library (which will star in a documentary that comes to my town next month), there are people meeting monthly to write out the Constitution by hand. [NYT]

  • Andrew Johnson

  • Tennessee's Andrew Johnson was a very, very, very flawed man, but when I first learned about him (in my US Presidents coloring book), what the one-page biography stressed was his profound love of the Constitution, and how he was buried with a copy of it under his head.

  • political cartoon

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/143610.html.
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    The subject line is a chant from Chicago's March for Science. This photo is from this morning's march in Nashville:

    March for Science Nashville

    It was taken by a woman whose mother had knitted the hats; she was there with her grandson, who worked toward getting a selfie with the dog as we chatted:

    boy at March for Science Nashville

    I've posted a cross-section of photos to my Twitter account (@zirconium). I'll add some more later, but I actually do have a grant application deadline to meet.

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/141379.html.
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    The subject line is from Carrie Fisher's Twitter bio. I learned of her death when I saw "Remembering Carrie Fisher" on a TV at Liuzza's, and one of the sadder things I saw later in the week was a sheaf of WizardWorld Comic Con flyers curled behind a machine or rack in a French Quarter coffee shop. The con is going on even as I type (January 6 to 8), but without Fisher, who had been listed on the top line of guests:

    WizardWorld Comic Con flyer

    I also saw two murals -- one on a wall with "RIP" prominent on wall, and the other on the door of the Krewe of Chewbacchus HQ. Friday morning, we spotted kegs being delivered for the second line parade to be led by the Leijorettes ("most ... are roller derby players").

    Leijorettes HQ

    A post I bookmarked while mentally drafting this one: TJ's goals for this year.

    Speaking of fighting fascists, here's what Penzeys Spices has to say:

    The stories of cooks, at least the way we see them, super-humanize. If it looks like you, or someone you know, are going to be standing in the way of the new administration, we need your story, and a recipe or two, and this time we can't wait until July. No doubt public school teachers will once again be on the front lines of the right's anger echo chamber, but we're thinking this time it won't be just teachers, and this is why we are asking for your help. This year, the list will be long, and we would like to get a leg up on any direction it could head. Clearly this time around the targets are the environment, immigration, gender equality, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, income inequality, and pretty much anyone who is in any way a minority in any shape or form.

    If you, or someone you know, is on the front lines of one of these issues and have a good recipe or two to share, please contact us at editor@penzeys.com, and tell us a little about your background and your concerns. And please, don't think your experience needs to be dramatic, or that you need to have some sort of job title to participate. It's the every day decency of cooks that carries the day, not fame or celebrity.

    And because you may well be first up on the block, if you are one of those pre-existing condition-havers that have had a brief period of almost normal life because of the Affordable Care Act, please get in touch with us right away. The people need to understand your experience. Once again, please contact us at editor@penzeys.com with a brief description of your story, and one of our gifted and friendly writers will get in touch. Please. We all need your experience.

    Speaking of cooking, last night I scooped the Meyer lemon sorbet into smaller containers, and tonight I may proceed with this recipe for grapefruit-lemon marmalade. First, though, there is cleaning to do, but before that, lunch (a bowlful of leftovers, plus coffee dregs perked up with cardamom [from Penzeys], ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, with hot water and almond milk refilling the mug).

    What are you cooking or dreaming about this weekend, loves?

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/407776.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    The Christmas Day service at First UU ("It's the Most Jewiful Time of the Year") included a dramatic reading of Lemony Snicket's The Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming, led by the sabbatical minister with audience participation (congregants waving their arms and going "aaaaah!" on cue); a Dr Who reference (Rabbi Rami: I was hoping to watch the special tonight but my wife is insisting that we go out for Chinese); an extended Star Trek benediction in both Hebrew and English; and substantive theological points to consider, with the rabbi comparing closed systems (salvation-based) and open ones (hope-based). The quote I repeated to several other people later in the day : Johanan ben Zakkai's "If you are planting a tree and you hear that Messiah has come, first finish planting the tree."

    Also: The thrill of hearing a professional soprano several pews behind me warbling through "Silver Bells" and other standards. The pleasure of petting my friend Victoria's therapy dog through the first half of the service. The hugging of friends and acquaintances and the talking about plans for dancing, performing, volunteering...

    For champagne tea with my honorary mama, I baked potato wafers. The BYM and I heard someone very, very good playing the piano in the assisted living lobby when we arrived, and it was indeed her son, who'd brought along sheet music for several super-silly, wildly virtuosic seasonal pieces.

    I was not feeling well enough to join the late-night crowd at Lipstick Lounge, but I did stay up to sort out a few things and to say a few more blessings...

    second night

    And, speaking of blessings, my thanks to all who responded to my Feast of Stephen appeal. I am full of gratitude. See you in 2017.

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/407370.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    Thank you all!

    Flint water fund receipt

    Heading off-blog for the rest of the year. See you in 2017, loves.


    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/138524.html.
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    Today's mailman asked about the dog, having not seen her for a while. He said she was one of the few who didn't bark at him. I might be snuffling as I type. Read more... )
    Finally: I started this entry some hours ago. Night has fallen, so let there be light.

    first night

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/138474.html.
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    My big sister will be matching my St. Stephen's Day donation. That means your purchase of a $5 book (or posting/tweeting about this poem will send $4 to the Flint Water Fund. More details in the previous entry, and heartfelt thanks to everyone who's participated so far!

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/138141.html.
    pondhop: white jointed mannequin in glass door (Default)
    Flint still does not have clean water, and Congress isn't inclined to do more about it.

    So -- a proposal: buy Measured Extravagance or tweet about "Look at that, you son of a bitch" by the start of 26 December (CST) and I'll donate $2 per purchase/boost to the Flint Water Fund. Details here.

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/406991.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    My offer: buy my book for yourself or someone else you're fond enough of to spend 5 USD on (at Amazon</> or elsewhere elsewhere), send me some indication of the purchase (order #, screencap, whatever...) by 12:01 a.m. CST on December 26, and I will donate $2 per copy to The Flint Water Fund.

    Alternatively: mention my poem "Look at that, you son of a bitch" on one of your social media platforms by 12:01 a.m. CST on December 26, and I will likewise donate $2 per mention.

    What's the cap? $200.

    Why the offer? A sudden urge to goose up my royalty/readership figures.

    Why $2? Because "useful, oddly very crisp," and categorically queer (for certain iterations of "categorically" and "queer") could well be used to describe me.

    Why December 26? It's the Feast of Stephen. The first Christmas carol I ever learned to play on the piano was "Good King Wenceslas," which is but one of the reasons it's deeply embedded in my blood and bones -- if there's a carol I can sing in my sleep, it's that one. And as my friend M'ris might could tell you, there are a multitude of ways to sing and hear about the snow so deep and crisp and even. (And about what we know to tell, for that matter. Hence the subject line.)

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/137939.html.
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    People gathered from near and far,
    In small groups and large,
    To share their fears and grief
    And the darkness in their hearts.

    A year like no other, this was,
    Testing us beyond what we'd ever imagined.
    Day after day, week after week,
    We found ourselves growing
    And becoming sturdy
    Because there was no other choice.

    [I sang this years ago. Something I learned today: the ritual it comes from was co-written by a Unitarian Universalist and "a self-described Quaker witch" (source: http://indysolstice.com).]

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/406596.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    Just wrote a thank-you card to Kellogg's. http://maudnewton.tumblr.com/post/153905564012/todays-action-stopping-breitbarts-ad-dollars

    Used some galangal from Penzeys in the cauliflower-potato soup I made tonight. "Online sales are up 59.9%, gift box sales up 135%" since their CEO gave Orange voters a piece of his mind a couple of weeks ago. He posted an open letter to other business owners/execs today: https://www.facebook.com/Penzeys/photos/pb.216397232833.-2207520000.1480654780./10154815494657834/?type=3&theater

    Bronson Koenig: What I Found at Standing Rock

    Rasheed Wallace: The Truth about Flint. This is from October, but in the words of the man himself:

    I've been visiting Flint for the past year, so let me tell you the truth.

    Some of the folks in Flint can't take showers because their water is still poisoned with lead.

    They have to boil water, pour it into the sink and then wash in it.

    Yeah, a grown-ass man has to take a bird bath. That shit ain't right. It's still going on today.

    And it's not going away anytime soon.

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/406119.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    Seen at Target today:

    'tis almost the season

    Discussed at brunch today: the owner of Penzeys Spices speaking his mind about what happened on November 8. The comments section at Daily Kos is, for a change, one that does not require donning a hazmat suit to peruse.

    For those of you who plan to place an order with Penzeys, there are coupon codes you may find useful.

    Another way to speak with your dollars: contact your bank if it's one of the 17 funding the DAPL. Or, send supplies (including banners/sheets and spray paint): http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/.

    This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/405832.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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  • Those of you reading this post on Dreamwidth can see a pair of boots in the icon. It is from an illustration [Bad username: trickofthedark.insanejournal.com] drew in response to my fic "Those I Can Save." The character wearing those boots participates in resistance activities. So.

  • If you would like for the House Oversight Committee to insist on obtaining the PEOTUS's financial information, here's an action to take TODAY (Friday): https://twitter.com/FereJohn/status/799410740440375296

  • For those of you in the habit of exchanging gifts with me around the start of winter: if your plans aren't already set, it would please me immensely if this year you were to donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists' Gene Roberts Fund for Emergency Assistance.

  • This entry was originally posted at http://bronze-ribbons.dreamwidth.org/405568.html. I see comments at DW, IJ, and LJ (when notifications are working, anyway), but not on feeds.
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    ["Under the oak leaves" - a line from "Au clair de la fontaine" (By the clear fountain)]

    The senior minister at my church is on sabbatical, and Rabbi Rami Shapiro is visiting monthly as a guest preacher. On September 11, he brought with him a shruti, which he played as the congregation learned a new round:

    I am a fountain

    Longtime readers/friends may recall that I do have a thing about fountains... though this past month my scant spare time has been more on lake and river. My Labor Day getaway plans having fallen through twice, I decided to get on a paddleboard four out of my five days off, and last Friday I watched the full moon from my lantern-lit plank on the Cumberland.

    Elsewhere and elsewhen: Paying work. Housework. Homework. Paperwork. Footwork. Speaking of--
    Dancing: hip-hop, flamenco, Afro-Cuban (orishas), English country.
    Friends: Visiting from France and elsewhere. Running for office.. Organizing campferences. Selling taco + lesbian farmer buttons (coupon code here, btw). Preparing for High Holy Days. Coding. Cajoling. Caretaking. I could go on ... in short, inspiring me.
    Harvesting: peppers.
    Deadheading: zinnias.

    Recently published:

  • At unFold: Spacing for Sky, with typography by J. S. Graustein

  • At Folded Word: "O Margaret, Here We Are Again"

  • At 7x20, a weekful of polished micro-poems: 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5

  • There is more to say and write, much of it off-blog, but a guest arrives tomorrow, so for now it's back to cleaning. Onward!

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/137107.html.


    Aug. 14th, 2016 09:24 pm
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    I mentioned Rahsaan Barber in my previous entry. The ads for his concert had caught my eye in large part because he played in First UU Nashville's 2015 performance of Darrell Grant's Ruby Bridges Suite; I sang in the choir.

    A snapshot from the dress rehearsal:
    Rahsaan Barber

    A recording of "Hold My Hand," from the suite: https://soundcloud.com/tn_choirboy/hold-my-hand-sunday-june-14

    That Sunday, the orders of service included postcards of Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With. I'd collected a few left behind in the pews and sent them to friends.

    I had forgotten that I'd received a copy of that postcard myself back in 2009, when my late friend Marilyn purchased it at the Detroit Institute of Arts and sent it to me:

    postcard from Marilyn

    Now I wonder what spoke to her -- why that card, that day, out of the many others in the racks? These conversations we can no longer have -- they don't quite form a regret, not with the many conversations yet to be entered into with the near and the here. The questions that cannot be answered -- this learning to live with them is not new, but the texture and the thicket-ness of them shifts with the living and rereading and rethinking.

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/136468.html.
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    At church this morning, div school student Sara Green read some passages from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech, delivered in 1967. Two excerpts:

    Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

    Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

    The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy...

    This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/125873.html.
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    From paris day 1

    Latin Quarter flat, October 2011. Note how the stove, shower, and toilet are adjacent to one another. The price was right for one day and night, though -- I set my stuff down, checked messages, napped, and later headed across the city to Kehilat Gesher to celebrate Simchat Torah.

    more pictures and notes under the cut )

    As I waited for various trains, I saw a series of posters campaigning against violence: "School violence, extortion, assault, harassment ... too many young people are victims of violence in their schools, in public transport, in their neighborhood."

    From paris day 1

    This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/51548.html.


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