Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry To You Today.....

Help! I'm about to fall into a coma!

Well, not really but I just heard it on the Twilight Zone and it sounded good. Actually, to speak the truth: I am doing quite well, and am very happy just at the moment, down here in Indy with my Derby Family for the weekend. That's Joan of Dark with Cabal in the picture, but lest there be any confusion, Cabal is not here, I am just very limited in the picture option area and that was the one Dark here liked best. So there you have it.

As lovely as hanging here, in my jammies, with my peeps at, watching Twilight Zones at 4 in the afternoon is I have to say I do wish I could have brought the Bengals alone. Not practical I do admit, but I can only imagine what's going on at home.

Especially last night, that being Christmas Eve. I do believe there are stories that animals can talk on Christmas Eve and if any animals were going to pull it off, I am quite sure it would be my Bengals....

They sat, together that night, in the dark, the glooming, watching, listening. And they were ready....

Mim: When shall we three meet again....

Venus: Oh shut up already with that.

Magic: I slllliinnkkk I hhhuuntttsssss foooooodddddd wwwhhhaaaat?

Venus: WTF?

Mim: He talks like that. For reals. And anyway, there are five of us.

Venus: WTF???

Little Queen Mab: (LQM) Greetings. We are truly amongst You.

King Lear The Huge: (KLTH) Uh-huh. Is that food?? I'm rather peckish.

Venus: You suck, we hate you why are you here and anyway did I mention you suck?

LQM: We understand your feelings and we do not normally walk amongst you, but this Night of Nights, we are as one.

Venus: The hell you say! You suck!

Mim: That ain't as one.

KLTH: One won't be enough, I'm REALLY rather hungry...

LQM: I understand your feelings but amongst us here we should....

Venus: Stop with the AMONGST already!!!!!!! YOU SUCK!!!!!

Magic: Rrruunnn hiiiidddeee fooooddddd yyyooowwwllll......

Mim: Gods he's odd. Look, you lot, knock it off. We have important business to discuss.

Venus: Who put you in charge? You suck!

LQM: Madame Mim, of what do you speak, here amongst us?

KLTH: I. Need. Food.

Magic: MMmmmeeeewwwwww beeed slleeeeppp fooooddd????

(Venus, Mim, LQM, KLTH: Look at Magic)

Mim: SHE is not here.

LQM: No. SHE has gone away, whither we know not where.

Venus: WTF does that mean??

KLTH: She took the food?

Magic: Weee wannnttss wwhhhaaaaa...

ALL except Magic: SHUT THE HELL UP!

Mim: Make sense of an F1, not in this lifetime.

KLTH: Good thing we get nine. Hope the food is better than this one.....

Venus: You all suck!

LQM: SHE will come home. We will wait. We will be here.

Mim: I believe in her.

KLTH: She will bring steak!

Magic: SSShhhhheeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Venus: She. Will. Pay.

And so it went, that Christmas Eve, with the Bengals talking, working things out, enjoying the season and being together...

As I am now, and I hope that you are doing....

Love and Holiday,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Thought About Being On Fire....

This wasn't meant to be a blog, it was meant to be a comment, but it got too long, so what the heck. I have thoughts, and feel like I want to get them out here.

The new gym schedule is out, is my big news!! My trainer is teaching a lot more, and at times I can make it! I will take any class Little Evil teaches, which is good as her new classes are STEP classes which I hate. She has promised to use good music tho, so between that and the fact it is HER, I ought to be able to deal with the things.

It doesn't matter what she is teaching, I want to work with her.

We talked about it last night, she and I, and the difference a teacher can make, which I think translates to anything. It's like in music. Someone can get on stage and be technically brilliant but if the passion and LIFE is not there, boring. Or in writing, you can have a lot of information, or a good story, but if you aren't passionate about it, it ain't there.

It's about putting EVERYTHING out there when you do what ever it is you're doing. Every minute. Doesn't matter if you are doing it on stage, or in front of people, or alone in front of your computer, or what ever. If you aren't doing it with passion, if you aren't on fire about it, it is not going to burn. It's not going to be anything more than ordinary, at best. And if it isn't your best, why?

And the difference it can make to you if you are the one learning, the one sitting in the audience, reading the story. If someone throws that spark out there, you can catch it and light a hell of a fire.

There's nothing you can't do if you're on fire.

And if you're on fire, you can make a huge difference to someone else. Throw it OUT there.

Little Evil is like that. There's never a moment when she is teaching a class, or training someone when she isnt giving everything she has to it. Poetry is like that when we ride. Amanda and Jason come to mind on stage, my Boss when he writes. My Derby Friends when they Bout, and when they practice. Giving everything, all the time. Sparks FLY.

I want to get back to living like I am on fire. Not intermittently, but all the time.

There. That's my thought for this morning.

Burn. Brightly.

I think that GK Chesterton said it quite well, in his poem: The Great Minimum, (my personal favorite poem ever) Listen, and read:

It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched when all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.

It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.

To have seen you and your unforgotten face,
Brave as a blast of trumpets for the fray,
Pure as white lilies in a watery space,
It were something, though you went from me today.

To have known the things that from the weak are furled,
Perilous ancient passions, strange and high;
It is something to be wiser than the world,
It is something to be older than the sky.

In a time of sceptic moths and cynic rusts,
And fatted lives that of their sweetness tire,
In a world of flying loves and fading lusts,
It is something to be sure of a desire.

Lo, blessed are our ears for they have heard;
Yea, blessed are our eyes for they have seen:
Let thunder break on man and beast and bird
And the lightning. It is something to have been.

Love and On Fire,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Annual Snow Parking Madness

That's my driveway. You can't quite see how steep it is, but it's a huge baby hill. Which, of course, makes it very difficult to get up in the winter. So far I've made it and I am proud to say, have received only one snow parking ticket this winter.

This is an achievement as the snow parking regulations in our little town would drive a saint to give up its car.

I got my ticket the one night I parked on the street, November 2nd. No snow. No threat of snow.

Here's what the regulations state, clearly and succinctly:

"From November 1st to April 1st residents between the hours of 2:00am and 7:00am residents must park on even numbered streets on even days and odd numbered for odd days and no vehicle shall remain in place for more than 24 hours."

Only between 2:ooam and 7:00am, so when one comes home, if one has no off street parking or a really steep driveway, one must needs figure out the date for the NEXT day. Other hours, one can park anywhere. And one does.

PLOWING does not occur between the house of 2:00am and 7:00am. And it does not matter IF there is snow or not. Rules are rules.

Fortunately, no one gets towed.

A few years back, my block figured it out. The rule was, "Park on the side of the street with the blue van" these together people always got it right, and by following them, we were able to avoid most tickets. Sadly, they moved away. Or got a new car.

I actually taped a small calendar to my dash and would cross off days as they went by. Blackberry helps now, as do The Gentlemen Who Plow.

I have a gig tonight, and will come home in the wee hours of the morning. If I can't get up my driveway, will someone please tell me what day it is. Or will be?

Love and snow,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paul and Lorraine This Weekend!

Let's start with my favorite picture of King Lear, taken by Neverwear's Cat Mihos. I love this shot, and posts should have pictures. Keep reading and see just how cool this shot IS.

It's -17 out right now. Warmed up some since last night. Heh. It doesn't stop us here tho, in fact, people go to great lengths to prove how hardy they are here. Some people are happy as they can now go Ice Fishing.

This is an activity where one hauls a little house onto a lake, complete with a heater, and cuts a hole in the ice and fishes. Not oddly, I believe alcohol also plays a large part in this activity. I don't do it myself, but judging from the number of little houses now on the lake, it is a popular pastime here.

Many people here, the really cool ones, go out and hear music in lovely warm pubs. Which brings me to a point.

My band, Paul and Lorraine, is back at Charlie's Pub, in Stillwater MN this weekend, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 to 11:30! We've had some time off this fall, and I am VERY ready to rock! It's warm, it's cozy, the food is great, the beer flows freely (well, not FREE) and most importantly, I will be there!

If you haven't been to a Paul and Lorraine show, come down. It's more like being in your living room with your coolest friends and a bartender, than anything else. You will make new friends. You will have a great time. We play Irish music, but not the stupid kind. If I tell you the history of a song, it will not be true, and will be entertaining. If there's something you want to hear, we'll give it a shot. (Especially if you buy Paul one)

We will also be there on New Years Eve! More importantly, the place is also a really wonderful historic old hotel, you don't have to leave at the end of the night! And as a bonus, we will also be playing the night of New Years Day, Friday and Saturday BOTH. You can spend one night of wild rumpas, and then the next day nursing your hangover in your private hot tub, then come back to the pub and laugh at everyone from the night before. How perfect!

Speaking of cool things, this came for me the other day! I will shoot it properly once I have it all framed, but here's a quick look. A Bengal painting by Rachael Rossman! I love her work and was so happy when she told me she wanted to paint my Bengals. I'd seen her work when she did Amanda, with horsie Glorious, and then again when she painted Cabal. The girl is GOOD! And I have wonderful art. Thank you Rachael!!

I think I will end now, as it is time for me to go OUT (And at -17 one COULD end if one is not careful) with another shot by Cat Mihos, this one of Mim, whose eyes seem to be saying it all:

"You are an idiot. I am staying IN by the fire"

Love and Gigs and Art and Cold,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day Part 2...

Here is the sad face of someone about to go out into the COLD and snow to try and do a bit of digging out. It would actually be Adventure Land, and quite fun except the windchill is down around -10 to -15 and the temp skulking around Zero. The wind puts a damper on Adventure Land.

The Gentlemen Who Plow come with their Big Trucks and Plows and Shovels for me, but they can't do much with Prius IN the driveway. I don't mind the workout bit of shoveling, but I know myself well, and know this isn't going to happen regular, hence The Gentlemen Who Plow.

I started with a Broom, which, I have to tell anyone thinking of attempting something like this, is the COMPLETELY wrong tool for the job. I waded out to my Little Shed, and true wonder, there was a Shovel in there. As you may have suspected, the Spooky House does not yet have a garage. In time tho, in time. It did have a Shovel, which is progress. (It needs a toaster too, which anyone following the Blackened Frying Pan Toast Saga yesterday will recall)

Looks lovely, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. And don't try and come see me up those steps for a while.

Here is my Artists Rendering of a shoveled path to my back door. It's like a real Path, only not as, er, passable.

AND one to my Garbage House. Very necessary, one does not wish garbage to pile up until Spring. We had a path to the Hot Tub, and indeed, I spent a nice time last night there with some friends last night, but it seems to be gone now. I'm done in tho, and shall wait until someone else wants to come over and Hot Tub. We'll see how badly they want this, I'm thinking.

Prius. On the street! The Gentlemen Who Plow had come in the night and done a quick pass up the drive TO Prius, so all I had to do was clean it off, and shovel thru the street snow that had been shoved in at the bottom.

Yes, all I had to do. I then used the Watch For Traffic and Floor It method, and we got thru.

Not that I am going anywhere. Nope. Staying IN for the day now. By the fire, in my bed that turns into a couch. It is possible that my Glued Together Concussion Head was not QUITE up for this Adventure.

But I'm glad that it happened.

Love and More Snow and COLD,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My World Is White....

SnOMG. Snomageddon. Snopocalypse. Call it what you will, it's happening out there now. I think, hard to see even across the street currently. I went out and took some pictures, which wasn't my best idea ever, but I had fun. (Ok, no, I didn't, but I got some shots)

Tonight was meant to be me going, concussion and all, to see the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls Bout against Duluth. We would have had a GREAT Derby Blog instead. I say meant, because even if it hadn't been canceled, it was looking like me going would have been. Prius, as you will see, isn't going anywhere.

This isn't "The Strong and The Brave Will Make it thu the Storm" kind of snow. This is "Ain't No One Going Anywhere" kind of snow. I would have tried Whatever, but getting out to TRY Whatever, wasn't going to happen.

Oh, if you missed the Concussion Bit, here's a link to Boss's Blog which sums it up nicely.

The Universe is conspiring to keep me home, quiet and in bed.

Well, why not have a little fun today anyway? Can't go anywhere or do anything else. I'm going to enjoy my leisure, while resting and recovering from getting my head glued together. Clearly, first up is "let's dress up the Bengals in their SnowSuits and take them on outdoors for Adventure!"

Why yes, we have done this before!

No, really, they LOVE it outside in the snow.

Ok. And inside by the Fire, with Mousies. Smart Bengals. They wanted no part of this Blizzard Conditions White Out Cold Snow Wind Travel Impossible nonsense. Having none of it they were.

One funny thing, I knew I had at least one friend who is as Barking Mad as I am, (my riding teacher actually, nothing scares that women), and I knew if that Bout hadn't been canceled, she would have been there, so I called her to let her know: No Go. Bout's off.

We spoke for a bit, on this and that, commiserating, and then she said something like "Sure the Heck is Nasty out here, I'm driving now, OOPS, there goes the ditch again!" (Poetry, we're going to do just fine at Derby, either playing or sitting suicide! If you're there, I am so not worried.)

So here I am. Thinking about Hot Tub, and why not? Let's go out on the porch.

And get the door open.

Aaaannnnnddddd....Over to the Hot Tub. Might be TMI, but I generally do this sans clothing after dark. Not sure how that's going to work out for me today. If you can get here, and shovel a path to it today: You're so in Hot Water!

I can't come get you. I can't go anywhere. This was a couple hours ago. It's gotten worse, snowing harder, if such a thing is possible, and isn't stopping till after Midnight. You're going to LOVE tomorrows pics!

Here's some of the furniture I will no doubt be burning later for warmth. For anyone worried tho: Here in the North we know how to deal with Winter. There is PLENTY of Cat Food. The Bengals will not starve and start looking at ME hungrily. Now that they are done looking at me in disgust over the Going Outside Adventure, they are all curled by the fire. Very sensible of them.

See that little room on the right with the light on?

That's where I am now.

Not going Nowhere.

Not minding terribly.

Love and Snow,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Episode of Way To Many Bengal Pics!

Here we are, Folks, time for another episode of: WAY Too Many Bengal Pictures!!! Let's go...

Opps. Wrong roll. That is not a Bengal. Bengals rarely kiss anyone on the lips. At least not on a first meeting as Flippy seems to be doing. (Flippy is the Llama. The Kissee is Kerri.)

And here we have, well, not Bengals yet either. From all the fish flying around in bright colours, I'm thinking Delirium. Seems obvious. You never know when one of the Endless is going to photobomb a Bengal post, I guess.

AH, here we are. Madame Mim with slippers. Looking not exactly excited about the shoot. Yet. Steak will change this.

Here Freaky Venus takes the Lead Jammer spot, edging out Magic. (If the phrase "Lead Jammer" and the Star do not ring any bells, you might need to do a quick Google. There will be more Derby Posts. Promise.)

Venus has a suspicious nature. She has a great mistrust for pretty much everything. But she's certain about what she wants. And not afraid to let you know. Sometimes Mim uses her Ray Gun Eyes. She generally gets what she wants too.

We will all turn our Ray Gun Weapons upon you! How dare you surprise us! I shall defend these coats until DEATH. And it will be Yours!!! (One day I will actually clean up the place before getting the whim to do a Bengal shoot.Yeah, those are Grinch PJ's hanging out in the background)

Magic. And Tongue. Told you steak would help this shoot.

I like the way Freaky Venus is more concerned about Magic than the SKELETON ARM HANGING OUT OF THE BATHTUB! Relax, all normal. They don't call it the Spooky House for nothing. And I knew the guy.

I wish I could tell you that this is Art, that was what I was going for, kind of an abstract painting almost, of contrasting Spots and Stripes. Actually, I think I will. Got nothing better. Pretty cool tho, eh?

Little Queen Mab gets ready for some serious photos, with a little scratch while King Lear the Huge remains unconvinced. He has not YET seen the steak. These guys aren't cheap. They don't work for free. They don't much POSE either. And are rubbish about taking direction. Unless steak is tossed that way.

See? There's steak cunningly hidden up there. And King Lear the Huge Knows It. Either that or he wants some tunes.

Not a great Cat Photo, but photography is not one of my skills. (It's ok, I have others, my ego is fine) It is a nice example of three different kind of Bengals, tho. Magic on the left, Spotted, and early Generation, Venus in the middle, a Silver, and Mim, a Marble, more stripes than spots.

I debated a long time when I got this Spooky House about buying Bengal Kittens. They're expensive for one. Start at $600 for a pet kitten, later generation. And there are so many animals in rescue, why do this?

I found out why after I got Venus and Mim, from two different breeders. Venus's breeder was shut down by animal control, for horrible conditions. (Mim came from a responsible breeder.) Shortly after that, I found out about Bengal Rescue, and just how many of these Kitties were being given up because people either had to for whatever reason, and shelters will not take them, or they didn't do their homework, and didn't know what they were getting. Couldn't handle them.

I started fostering, and helping find new homes for Bengals, working with Great Lakes Bengal Rescue. Having Venus and Mim, I knew these cats. Knew what they needed, and how to help them. Then I got Fosters Magic, and Lear, both Early Generation, more Leopard than domestic cat. (Mab is Lear's bonded friend, no splitting up a pair. Bengals BOND, with eachother and their people) No homes for them. Can't happen. Me or sanctuary, where they would have to live in a cage, but would be alive. Nope. Couldn't do it. So I have five Bengals.

An F1 kitten like Magic was would start at $2000.

Please, if you have a chance, tell this story, if you hear of someone wanting an early gen Bengal, tell them: Don't Do It, unless you know what you're doing. They aren't pets. They Are Not Cute Little Kitties With Spots. If you hear someone who might want a later gen Bengal, tell them to do their home work. Know what you are getting into

And call us at Great Lakes Bengal Rescue. We have lots waiting for homes who WILL make very good pets.

There, that's my piece. If they cross my path, I will save them.

And if you do decide to bring one into your home, and they are the kitty for you:

You will never, ever, regret it.

I kind of just want to ask for captions for this last shot of Little Queen Mab....There's so much there.

Love and Way To Many Bengal Shots,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Derby. I'm In.

I am home. And no longer a Derby Virgin. Nipped down to Indy this weekend to see Naptown bout the Chicago Outfit (yes, I can say things like this now) and went knowing I was going to love this, very excited to see my friends skate, and beyond anticipating how cool seeing live and up close was going to be.

I have to tell you honestly: It far exceeded my expectations.

To start, the girl about to unzip her shirt and photobomb me, I met earlier in a TJ Max while buying a purse, with another Derby Friend. Derby is like that. These things happen. You make friends fast. And hard. And truly. (Being no good with names, I can't name her. But she is my friend now)

I want to tell you everything, but there was far too much, and there aren't exactly words. The best I can say is that it's very like the first time I got Covered In Bees. You aren't the same person.

If you are lucky enough to attend a bout: Sit Suicide. This means you sit directly on the track, just out of bounds. I took this shot. Right there. No walls. No safe. You're there. Best place to be really.

I know a LOT more about Derby, it's rules and why what happens happens than I did. I want to know more.

Here's the first pic by amazing photographer Tom Klubins. I love him too and meant to adopt him as a brother and didin't formalize it, but we know. That's Joan of Dark warming up in a Lorraine a Malena Tee Shirt.

Derby relationships are like that. I now have a family there. It's fast, and it's hard. Much like Derby. I love every women on that team. Each of you. And will never forget the Afterparty, where you showed your love for me, all 20 of you. Thankyou, Joan of Dark, I will not forget that. Shady Lane my friend, you too, Amooze Boosche, and Cheerio who planned to make my evening perfect. And several others I will never forget.

(the bruises will fade and be assured, I will not be forgetting your birthdays)

Another photo by Tom Klubins here. These women can SKATE. It's like ballet, like poetry, like music. It's hard, fast and all consuming. It's giving everything and hitting hard. It's loving in the very most way I've ever seen in my entire life. It's passion and will taken: All. The. Way.

It's the coolest thing I have ever seen.

And yes. I most dangerous. I saw a skater go down, not in a general way, across the audience, from the stands, but 5 feet from me. She got hit, and not sure what happened, but she was down.

Saw her face.

Knew, and felt the bone break. Felt it happen to me. I was there, saw her face when it happened. Spent an entirnity, 5 seconds or so, experiencing that completely until the refs called it and every skater went down on a knee, stopping the bout.

Katya Lookin, met you earlier that day, thought we could be friends, know it now. You need anything, I've got your back.

But that is what Derby is tho. A whole lot of people, of family, that is THERE. Don't matter what. At least with this team, and the people I have met so far, that is what's going on. I may have been lucky, meeting the people I've met. But I know I'm lucky.

I've got Joan of Dark, Dill Hero, Jane Ire, Cheerio (Kerrie!) and everyone, all of you, I've met this weekend.

There are rules about after parties, and pictures, and telling stories, but I will stretch them now and leave you will this, and my Joan of Dark (whose fault this Derby and me thing is entirely)

Me: What was that shot you just did?

Her: Don't know. What's Patron?

Me: Oh dear...

Love, and love, Derby,
Quiche Medeadly

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Going To See Some Derby!

Here you are, for those of you who missed it, the Famous Weeping Angel Honey! The Birdchick goes into no little detail about our Honey Extracting Adventures over HERE if you would like the Full Story. I can't tell you why Weeping Angel Honey, I will have to just stick with Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.

Here's a close up of the Little Dear. Don't Blink.

And onto something I know is going to be one of the Best Ideas I Ever Had, tomorrow I am nipping off to see the Naptown Roller Girls bout with Chicago in Indianapolis! It's my first ever live up close and personal Roller Derby Bout!

I suspect one of two things will happen. Either I will become firmly convinced that this is a Bad Idea and Very Much Not a good sport for me to participate in, or I will come back completely convinced this is a GREAT idea, can't possibly be safe but what the heck, life is short and what a Fabulous way to get REALLY FIT and I have never really been a safe person anyway.

I am pretty sure I know which way it's going to go.

Some things you just know, and this has been creeping at me, teasing my heart, weaving dances around me and sending me dreams (the cool kind which may or may not be Night Mares) since I got that darn calender from Joan of Dark a year ago.

(I believe she sent it to my Boss, but only because she didn't know ME at the time, I think it was simply Fates way of hooking us up)

And, you know, I have a score to settle with Skating. Once upon a Time, I was a figure skater, a competitive one. And a good one. Might have been a Really good one. Might have been. Got the rug more or less yanked out from under me at 16, which happens in families, and had to find a different path. Which led HERE and now, so I'm not complaining. Nor blaming anyone, I could have found a way. But therein lies the score to settle. How many times do you get to go back and Do Over?

I want to skate. And I've never forgotten how it feels to skate. Skate hard. To fall and get up, again and again. Competing with yourself, and seeing just how far you can go, and how good you can be.

Yeah. I want to skate again.

Wheels this time. Life's like that. There's a reason for everything in this funny old world.

So I'm going to see some Derby this weekend!

Here's Good Night from Bengals Venus and Magic. Actually, it was this morning, but they aren't particular about sleeping hours, so who's counting?

Just me. And the hours until it's time to see my first Bout.

Love and Derby,