The Other

written Sep 5, 2010...Yesterday, a man riding his bicycle along the same path as my family crashed about 20 feet ahead of me and one of my children.  There was no discernible reason for him to crash.  He had just passed us befpre he veered unexplicably and hard to the left, hitting first the fence and then the ground.  I told my daughter I was going to speed up to go check on him.  I rode ahead, expecting to find bangs and bruises, maybe broken bones.  When I got to where he was, I could see that he was immobile, but shaking, with blood on his leg and face.  I dropped my bike and yelled, "Sir?"  He did not answer me.  He did not move.  I went to where he was lying on the ground and tried again, "Sir?"  Nothing.  I went back to my bike to get my cell phone out of my bike bag.  At this point, my daughter had caught up to me.  My husband and our other two children were ahead of us before the crash.  I yelled my husband's name, but could not see him.  I knew that there was a road crossing ahead where they would be waiting for us.  I told my child to go to her father and to tell him there had been an accident, that we would need help.  After my daughter left, I went back to the man and tried to call 911.  The man was still unconsciuos.

I am finally reading Last Night I Dreamed of Peace, The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram, translated by Andrew X. Pham.  My dad sent this book to me a couple of years ago (2007).  He bought it for himself at the same time.  I tried to read it then, but couldn't.  I tried again to read it the next year before I went with him to his reunion for his Naval unit, he served on a submarine for a short time during Vietnam.  He had never been to one of the reunions before, although he had thought about it.  When the reunion was in Niagara Falls he decided to combine visitng us with a drive to New York - I asked if I could go with him.  The trip coincided with my 35th birthday.  I didn't like the idea of my father having been in war - of anyone having been in war. I have a picture of him as a baby with my grandmother, and she looks so much like me.  Since he gave me that picture, I can't help but see him as a mother's son.  I wonder sometimes if I look to him like his mother did when he was young.  If I do, I wonder if that makes him sad, if it makes him miss her.

(no subject)

1001 Things - less than one month left

I found this list while cleaning up my computer and figured I'd see how it's gone without my putting any extra effort into it as a list (apparently, because I haven't looked at it in over a year)

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Kids Overheard

My elementary-age kids are into the new Silly Bandz bracelet craze and each have a few that their friends have given them or that they've gotten at parties.  When they were playing with them the other day, they noticed that they could make them stick to the windows in the dining room.

A:  Look Vivienne - they stick
V: They don't really stick - it's more that they cling
A: Oh, they cling on?
V: yes, we should call them cling-ons
A: We could start a cling-on club!

The phonetics of this (and picturing my first and second grader dressed up like Klingon warrior women) had me laughing...

  • Current Music
    Kathleen Edwards


I worked the cupcake sale for St. Patrick's Day at the girls' school this morning.  So many of the kids were decked out in green, eating green food, wearing funny green hats...The music teacher came over and asked the group of parent's if any of us were Irish and whether we thought it made sense that we could celebrate this religious-based holiday and not so many others - or why not do others - or how to choose which heritages were celebrated and which weren't.  I confessed that i had not known much about the history of Ireland or the representative colors of the warring Catholic and Protestant factions until about midway through college.  I think a lot of that lack of knowledge comes, in general, from not having a lot of World history/current events taught to me in Jr/High school - this holiday has generally always been to me what it seemed to be to these kids - a day in Spring when people where green and talk about magical little creatures who like rainbows and gold.  So I wore my geen shirt today - and I sold cupcakes - and I didn't talk politics with the grade school kids.  The money from the sale goes to Jeremiah's Inn (a homeless shelter) as part of the second grade curriculum on Community. 

Worcester Women in Poetry Event

Last night was the 4th annual Worcester Women Poets event at Quinsig Comm College.

The final line up order:  Susan Edwards Richmond, Melinda Lee, Susan Roney-O'Brien, Jessica Bane Robert, Catherine Reed, and Jackie Morrill.

It was a great group of poets.  Several of them I had not heard or heard of before organizing this event.  Several of them did not know each other.  I think one of my favorite things year to year with this event is watching the poets listen to each other's work and then talk with each other at the intermission and after the show - trading books and contact information, making connections - I love playing that small part in bringing them together.  Selfishly, I book this reading guided by the notion that I'd like to put together an evening full of poets and poetry that I would like to hear - happily, this approach seems to be working.  We haven't had a single repeat performer yet - I had a self-imposed goal to make it to the 5-year mark showcasing all different voices - and we have (30 voices over 4 years).

I also really like about this reading that the QCC students are encouraged (I think there is some class credit involved) to come listen and also to read a poem in the open mic.  One student recited a piece first in his native Russian and then read an English translation he had found, another student gave a really powerful reading of Whitman's Pioneers! O Pioneers! - her interpretation bringing out the modern relevance of the work, there were readings of poems by Maya Angelou and Shel Silverstein, and a few pieces of original work by the students.

Note:  I had these attendance comments at the top, but they are far less important than the fact that the 6 women rocked - they were awesome - The show was not quite as well attended as I had hoped, although quite a few people trickled in during the first 20 minutes or so.  I know that part of the problem was that I didn't have a final line up until very close to the event date and so didn't have posters ready until March 3 (only 1 week before).
  • Current Music
    M's flute practice

Signs of Spring

Hung the laundry out yesterday and today - lots of wind turning the sheets to sails - almost got clocked in the head a couple of times by the spinning laundry line.

Cat brought us the first murdered chipmunk of the season - seemed to put him in good spirits (the cat, not the chipmunk - the chipmunk was completely dead on the doorstep). 

  • Current Music
    Jess Klein - Bound to Love

Overheard at home

A (examining V's valentine class list):  Why to the boys names come first and then the girls names?

V: I don't know.  Maybe because men were first on earth.

A: Yeah, Adam...

V: (Indiginantly) No.  Cave MEN. 

in my head

nope, I forgot, sorry sweetie, your mom has the memory of a dead fish

what does that even mean? like a dead fish?

no, not "like" a dead fish, smelly and belly up - "of" a dead fish

and that's different how?

oh come on, you've listened to Little Plastic Castles - fishes have bad memories - so - you know - worse than that

how do you know?

what - you think their memories get better after death?


well, ya, maybe, like a beatitude for fishes? Blessed are the fish poor in memory, total recall shall be theirs

that might be a blasphemy

hm, maybe for you, probably not for fish

how, exactly did we get to fish dogma anyway?

don't you remember?

no, nope, not at all

Old Year's

I am seriuosly fighting the urge to come up with a big list of things I need to do in the new year. Trying, trying, trying to slow down in time for Christmas to not feel like it ran me over with a mac truck full of glitter and piney air fresheners. I am also trying not to look at my list of things I planned to do in 2009 (that I didn't, mainly submission of poetry on a monthly basis, which I know stopped in May, but I'm not talking about that now, nope, not me...)