July 29, 2005

Going on Vacation


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In order to avoid bloggish depression I am going on vacation for two weeks more or less, though I may make intermittant entries as I find a wireless connection.

However, I am going where the Starbucks aren't, though I heard today that they are expanding to 1300 new locations.

Where I'm going we have Cup of the Bay, presided over by Cathy Leary, who knows everyone in town. Early this summer, the woman ahead of me in line ordered "what my husband usually orders". Cathy said a skim milk latte with two sugars. I was impressed. Under other circumstances, the woman may have suspected her husband of having an affair.

Photo note: This is sunset on a lake around the corner from home. At the cottage, we have an ocean, not a lake, a pier, not a dock, and I'll be glad to get there.

Posted by Dakota at 10:17 PM

July 28, 2005



worn down
before vacation
I allowed
the Big Baby
to wrest the mouse
from my hands
and slather


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Photo note: Two years ago I succeeded in growing a single hollyhock (second one down) which has since vaporized in the sea air. Fortunately I captured it in electrons for posterity. I remember hollyhocks fondly from my childhood, mostly in the context of lei making, and haven't seen one for years. To my delight, they seem to have had a fashion revival, and are everywhere this year.

Posted by Dakota at 08:39 PM

July 27, 2005

Empty Chair


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It has been pointed out to me by someone who is privy to my response to NPR's morning news at 5AM that I seem to be in a rage every morning. I do not awaken angry, I simply listen to five minutes of the news. That "all music" format they're talking about is probably a good idea for my gizzard.

This morning Nina Totenberg bless her heart, sifted through the paltry papers that have been released for perusal by the administration to the Senate Judiciary Committee. What she found was not a comfort. It doesn't seem that Roberts is the laid back, friendly, smart. fun loving nice guy that is being presented. For instance. his advise regarding a meeting with Coretta Scott King was to pretend to support her organization, but tell her that no funds are available. Perhaps it was all in fun, but he does come out sounding like an arrogant, elitist bigot. Lord knows what the administration is withholding besides his membership in The Federalist Society.
Maybe he met Jane at a Federalist Society Ball.

Posted by Dakota at 09:39 AM

July 26, 2005

City Vineyards


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The grapes
are lush
this season

built arbors

making shady
on asphalt

cool retreats
in between

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Photo note: In the city for a wedding this weekend, urban biking past two subway stations where I could hear our governor's piped in voice inviting all the riders to spy. Sport that he is, he rode one stop to show us all how safe it is.

Posted by Dakota at 03:12 PM

Women Stepping on Women - Abortion etc.


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Uh oh, it looks like Jane Roberts is not in favor of Roe v. Wade and we know how controlling those trial lawyer wives can be, just look at Hillary.

Jane is very active in an organization called "Feminists for Life", about which her friend has said, "Feminists for Life was committed not only to ending abortion, but also to making it "unthinkable" by providing every woman with the assistance she needs. Reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized a constitutional right to abortion, is a goal, she said, but not enough."

"Not enough"? NOT ENOUGH!!! Somehow I don't think that "assistance" to every woman includes readily available, free access to contraception, but I could be wrong.

In addition to the fact that Jane Roberts has always been a strong, practicing Catholic (and seems to be able to ignore the fact that the patriarchy in the church has made a little mess, and needs their moral code reexamined immediately), undoubtedly her anti-abortion stance has been colored by her experience as an adoptive mother. I am certain that Feminists for Life encourage the humane treatment of birthmothers; for example -- good heathcare, plush pregnancy surroundings, perhaps even open adoption, especially for college girls. Respect your breeder, and all that.

However, I have had occasion to carefully examine the long term implications of adoption. Please believe me that it is not a panacea. Post traumatic stress disorder is rife among birthmothers. They are encouraged to relinquish their children when they have no idea what they are giving up, and cannot fathom the long term consequences of this life altering decision. Adoptive children, as well, have been shown in the research to experience more difficulties than other kids, across the board. So adoption, although certainly an alternative, creates it's own set of problems.

In talking intimately to lots of women over the years, individually or in groups, as clients and peers, I have never--- that is never-- come across anyone who has delighted in having an abortion. Although an abortion may bring some modicum of relief to an untenable situation, in my experience, the decision to abort is always a weighty and painful one for the parties involved. Carol Gilligan, the feminist scholar, in studying women's moral decision making, found that women who come to terms with the choice to abort were able to understand that they too have a right to life, as well as their unborn fetus. They include themselves as part of the moral equation.

I cannot imagine that there are many women who use abortion as a birth control method. When that is the case, it may be because of a serious psychological difficulty or, more probably, because birth control was not readily available, or failed at the time of conception. Practicing good birth control could reduce the need for abortion significantly, though I doubt that the Feminists for Life are enthusiastic about making birth control more accessible.

Think of it. It is a rare circumstance that is ideal for the conception of a child-- when a mature man and woman, in a stable, loving relationship, wish to procreate, and feel that they have the emotional, physical and economic resources to do so. With contraception we have increased the possibilities that every child will be born under ideal circumstances, is truly wanted, and can be cared for under optimal conditions.

You will notice that the Robert's kids are both caucasian blondes. I doubt that their birthmother used crack, or that these little ones were in dire need of a home because they were born unwanted. They were probably bred for the family on a contractual basis. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. Research shows that adoptive children who actually look like their adoptive parents have an easier time of it. However, if one is opposed to birth control and abortion, and one is in the market (and today that term is all too accurate) for a child, one could adopt at least one of the unwanted kids who are languishing in foster care. If one is unwilling to contribute in that way, one should not take a moral stand that encourages the birth of unwanted children.

Why might preserving abortion rights be important to us as a society?
"Born Unwanted: Developmental Effects of Denied Abortion" describes a longitudinal study done in the former Czechoslovakia where a pregnant woman had to apply to the state for an abortion. If the local authorities refused an abortion, it could be appealed. This study examined the ongoing development of 120 children; those whose mothers applied twice to authorities for an abortion and were twice denied, and a matched control group of children who were wanted. (Many of the mothers of the unwanted children did not even remember applying for an abortion when interviewed nine years later.)

" The first follow-up was made when the children were age 9. Tests showed that intelligence was about equal, however, the unwanted pregnancy children were not doing as well in school and were described by their mothers as being "naughty, stubborn and bad-tempered." The unwanted pregnancy children were more often rejected as friends by their schoolmates than the control group. They also were considered greater 'cowards,' more 'audacious', more of a "loner" and the more 'clowning and showing off' by their classmates than the wanted pregnancy children.

In 1977 another follow-up study was made when the children were 14 years old. At this time it was found that the children born as a result of unwanted pregnancies perceived their mothers as showing significantly less parental interest in them than the children in the control group. The unwanted pregnancy group also complained of a lack of job satisfaction and had more drug and alcohol abuse problems than the control group."


"In the Summer of 1999 Steven Levitt, an academic economist (U. of Chicago) and John Donahue III, a law professor (Stanford) published an interesting paper about the subject matter of Born Unwanted. In Legalized Abortion and Crime they argue that legalized abortion might be the reason for the overall crime drop in the U.S. from 1991 to 1997.

It makes a lot of sense to conclude that unwanted children might not be given the love and upbringing in the type of environment they deserve. Unfortunately, the study has been attacked by many as being racist. [In the U. S. up to 40% of all African-American men are between 18 and 25 are in prison, on probation or on parole.] The report's conclusions are therefore called "politically incorrect." In an atmosphere of "correctness" in everything, even pointing out a correlation between two sets of statistics can leave a researcher open to attack. Even if the data points to unwanted pregnancies being a societal evil, we are all expected to keep quiet about that so we won't be called racist.

So it's not just the European studies which show that unwanted children have a higher involvement in crime and were imprisioned at a higher rate than the multi-control group; the problem is in the U.S. also. I dare to say that it is universal."

So it seems that by eliminating abortion and birth control in our society, we increase the possibility of attachment disorders and sociopathic behaviors. I wonder if George W. was unwanted. He is, after all, the oldest. I can't find Barbara and George H.W.'s wedding date anywhere, but we do know that Barbara dropped out of college to marry. Could that account for his lack of conscience and his sociopathic behavior?

Photo note: Technically not great, but a metaphorophoto that I just couldn't pass up.

Posted by Dakota at 06:24 AM

July 25, 2005

white on white


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a couple
of little
white on
to celebrate
and looking


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General note: Have you ordered your Tamilflu yet? Go read Flu Wiki for some inspiration. I placed an order in at the local pharmacy where the pills are somewhat cheaper (@ $6.30 rather than online for $9.00/ pill), but it's been six weeks and they haven't arrived yet. Time is short, as is supply. The online company delivers promptly.

Posted by Dakota at 09:35 AM

July 22, 2005

Foot Fotos, Revisited


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Before and after metaphorophotos to illustrate my progress in the foot department. Please do not misconstrue this as complaining; think of it as a Chi Flow Progress Report. I have come to believe that the seizure of my feet is a symbol of my reluctance to be here fully-- on earth, that is.

Notice that, in the before picture, the feet and legs are out of alignment, stiff, lifeless, cardboard, but three dimensional and not unattractive.

In the after shot, a metamorphophoto as well as a metaphorophoto, the foot, though still slightly crippled, is flexed, sprouting greens, shining, translucent, decorated festively with pink polish and appears in several dimensions. Now that's progress.

In fact, the formations which I thought were cast in bone and looking pretty permanent, are softening and releasing. My foot isn't Ming Dynasty anymore. (Isn't it interesting that a culture so concerned with Qi would bind women's feet, constricting energy flow and groundedness? Let's face it, The Feminine can be pretty intimidating to the patriarchy, and often gets "controlled" in patriarchical societies --- take the burka or the elimination of birth control and abortion rights).

Photo note: I think we all needed a break from those insipid flowers. As the beloved and delightfulHelium would say, inssssssiiiippppid

Posted by Dakota at 06:56 PM

July 20, 2005



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It's the thin edge of the wedge -- as the Mitfords would say -- the Big Baby is trying to take control, filling this space with flowers or their equivalent. A metaphor. perhaps, for what is currently happening with the Supreme Court. Got Karl Rove off the front page pronto, didn't it?.

Unlike foxglove, google images does not have a particularly impressive rose hip collection, so perhaps this could be considered a contribution to world images.

And, as long as we're doing the botanical thing, you'll surely want to know that rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C. They were harvested from the hedgerows in England during WWII and made into syrups when citrus fruits were unavailable. Although they are too tart to eat off the vine, one can brew tea, make jam, soup or even wine from this lovely fruit.

I did have occasion, one summer, when trying to amuse and educate small children, to make a batch of rose hip jelly. The harvest was quite bloody, (gloves are recommended), and it took a bushel of hips to make a cup of jam. Unfortunately, I've never seen rose hips at the market next to the strawberries. You will have to do it all yourself if you are so inspired.

A word of caution - "Anyone using rose hips for cooking should remove all the seeds. They are covered with sliver-hairs that, when ingested, irritate the digestive system and cause what the aboriginal people call 'itchy bottom disease'."

Photo note: My new(ish) camera did a good job on those sliver-hairs.


Posted by Dakota at 10:45 AM

July 19, 2005



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The Big Baby is simply thrilled to present three of her eighty five pictures of foxglove. If you would like to see thousands more, try the google images collection. Foxglove is the source of digitalis. a most useful molecule for the treatment of heart problems. It is however, poison, so don't use it in a salad. Do , however, consider the alternatives if you want to increase your IQ.

Posted by Dakota at 11:52 AM

July 18, 2005

Yard Sale


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At the off-site request of a fan, I am going to publish a bunch of shots about which I have very little to say --- some of you might be relieved.

I guess I'll start soon.

I'm proud to report that I passed up this particular item at the yard sale, which was only $5, (and I'm sure would have been discounted with a little effort on my part). Obviously, it had endless possiblities as a photo prop.

I am creating space as my next project. That is an intention rather than a vow. I did find a terrific salad spinner this weekend, and paid the exorbitant price of $2 for it . I am now trying to pry my old, cracked salad spinner from the clutches of that aspect of myself that suffers from disposaphobia. Anyone out there need a great salad spinner with just a little crack -- for free.

Posted by Dakota at 06:42 AM

July 17, 2005

July 17


no hand held games
no swimming hole
no TV

the mystic
as promised

in adventure

'til the end

1000 pages
to go

the children
are reading

Photo note: Shot a breakfast on Sunday. Bet the little fella isn't reading the Columbia Encyclopedia

Posted by Dakota at 11:19 PM

July 15, 2005



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Wednesday I was driving on a narrow through street with cars parked on both sides and lots of oncoming traffic. There was a cyclist in front of me, pedaling uphill, and going rather slowly in spite of his spiffy outfit. I couldn't pass him safely.

Then someone, in an SUV, of course, blasted their horn at me. Refined, older gentleperson that I am, I flipped the bird over my shoulder. When I turned onto the side street, the SUV turned behind me and she -- it was a she-- pulled up next to me and opened her window. I opened mine.

"You got somethin' to say to me?" a platinum blonde punk rocker inquired.

"No" I said.

"You flipped me a bird, do you do that to everyone?" she said in her most menacing voice.

"You honked your horn, do you do that to everyone?" I asked productively.

"Only when they're going zero miles an hour in front of me" she countered

"Did you expect me to run down the cyclist who was in front of me? " I said.

Almost bested, she bared her unattractive teeth and hissed across her front seat directly into my open car window "You are a f---ing c---, and an UGLY one at that." and peeled off.

(Pardon the dashes, but I don't want to increase my readership with those googling for f---ing c---.)

I am sorry to say that, rather than having pity for a person with an anger management problem, I felt slimed. I decorated the inside of my mind with the unpleasant encounter for awhile. I spent some of my precious spare time, imagining caustic, condescending retorts like "That's projection. Go look it up in the dictionary."
I even repeated the story several times, shame on me.

Next morning I found a feather on the floor of my car, as pictured. Took me awhile to realize that it was a ruffled feather. Isn't the universe amusing?

Posted by Dakota at 05:23 PM

July 13, 2005

Suspicious Behavior


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In the aftermath of the London subway bombings, the commissioner of public transport in our fair city has issued some suggestions to citizens with regard to reporting of suspicious behavior.

Two things that worried me were instructions to look for individuals who were perspiring, and those taking pictures of things that ordinary people would never think to photograph. I, being Princess of the Latter, (and not a bad perspirer either), am concerned. I might imagine that I am safe from suspicion since I recently became a blonde, and am well past the usual age of rabble rousing.

However, glamourous dignified women of a certain age are not exempt from scrutiny. My dear college roommate, who lives in Manhattan, and suffered for many years with multiple chemical sensitivity has had two such experiences.

The chemical fumes in cars really used to make her ill. Rather than stapling herself to her couch, she purchased a small, attractive, gas mask to wear in the car.

One day, on her way to Vermont, she stopped to refresh herself at a gas station. Upon leaving the ladies, she was astonished to find a small swat team, guns drawn, squatting in front of the bathroom door.

She had been reported for suspicious behavior. The gas mask did it. She had noticed that a car was following her rather closely for several miles prior to her rest stop. That driver evidently had notified the police of her suspicious appearance. She was able to convince the police that she was not a terrorist, just off for a weekend of antiquing, and was released.

After that incident she carried a note from her doctor verifying her medical need for a gas mask. We thought she should put a little sign on its nose that said "Hi, I'm allergic"-- maybe a little smiley face too --something to make her seem a little less threatening.

Last New Year's Eve she was visited by New York City's finest at home. She had driven to New Jersey in a rental car that day and was spotted "driving erratically" (groping for the toll) on the George Washington Bridge. The police had traced her rental car and found her address. It did take them much of the day. She dutifully produced the gas mask for their perusal, as well as her doctor's note. It's a comfort that our citizenry is vigilant.

And so I will try to confine bizarre shooting to my backyard, at least for awhile. This is the wire brush I use to clean the BBQ, casting an interesting shadow in the late afternoon. I like the triangles.

Posted by Dakota at 06:16 PM



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This is a body/spirit(s) shot. Whether the spirits are coming or going isn't clear, but, since I took the picture, I am going to assume that it is about my wish to embody my whole self, all of who I really am, and I will take it as a measure of my progress thus far.

I cannot account for the fact that there seem to be two spirits, except to say that perhaps the owner of the black PT Cruiser from whose rear view mirror the spirits dangle, needed extra automotive deodorizing,

The fact that this particular metaphorophoto uses the form of a hula dancer is interesting. Dancing the hula is an ancient spiritual practice, done by both men and women. "Every movement in hula has a specific meaning, and every expression of the dancer's hands has great significance. The movements of a dancer's body might represent certain plants, animals, and even war. For example, in imitating a shark or waving palm tree, the true hula dancer believes he or she becomes the shark or palm. " Definitely a good way to develop empathy. Maybe if we all embodied war for a short time, we could figure out a way to end them.

Christian missionaries, as is their wont, almost eradicated the hula due to it's sensual nature.

Be sure to take notice of the bluebird of happiness whizzing across the face of spirit #1.

Photo note: All of the above

Posted by Dakota at 06:26 AM

July 11, 2005



to blame
for Plame


to win

high treason
no reason

bad crime
this time

make it stick
to the prick


so much



Photo note: A metaphorophoto, with little yellow flowers softening the basic shape, and a bit of bunting for irony. Nice depth of field if I do say so myself.

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Posted by Dakota at 09:01 PM

July 10, 2005

More Trash


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Short Review of "Bewitched"

Nose is

Photo note: Taken with a flash while exiting the movie. A metaphorophoto and a fine addition to the garbage series.

Posted by Dakota at 10:05 PM

July 07, 2005

Circle of Trauma


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I'm sorry for all those who lost their lives and their loved ones to violence today in London, in Baghdad, in Iowa and Darfur. I am sorry for all of those who were injured and traumatized by witnessing the injuries of others. And for the generations to follow who will have parents who are hypervigilant and autonomically hyperaroused, unable to soothe themselves or their offspring, who awaken with nightmares, rage, who have suffered so much that, in protecting themselves, they victimize others.

The circle of trauma is vast, and ripples out through time.

Photo note: The other side

Posted by Dakota at 08:29 PM

July 06, 2005

Speaking of Flags


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On the third of July
I spent ten minutes
circling a puddle
near the sewer
camera in hand

in order
to capture
just the right
of clapboard

Two days later
I realized that
I captured the flag

what I'm not thinking
always surprizes me

Photo note: more flags Oh, and I forgot to mention this is both a metaphorophoto and a metamorphophoto. It's easy to see the morph, and, as for the metaphor, start with the sewer cover and work it out from there.

Posted by Dakota at 07:39 PM

July 05, 2005

More Visions of Liberty


Ah...h..hh the patriots were out in full force this week. We begin this photo essay with a flag in double triangle, surrounded by many triangles, for those of us who are into symbolism even though we were not able to finish "The DaVinci Code". The formation was momentary, but I was there to capture it for posterity, which I choose to take as a good sign.


another view

The ever tasteful bunting was all over town. Houses were draped for the occasion of a lavish fireworks display on the beach. Unfortunately, the show actually took place on the 4th of July. Can you imagine? I had to be back in the city (which also had a really lavish fireworks display plus thundering hordes) before dark, so I could not take my usual three hundred out-of-focus shots that are generally part of my repetoire this time of year. Electron conservation.


And here is our flag waving, as reflected in the window of an SUV, seen through a screen. A metaphorophoto. Gas was $2.68 a gallon at the marina this weekend. Let's hear it for sailboats and hybrids.


Our precious flag, cut up and quilted, but not burned, certainly not. Does intention constitute desecration? What of those little old ladies and their shears, or those Ralph Lauren bath mats? It's good to know that American flags are available on prostheses too, we'll need them.


Our favorite Mickey Mouse version of the flag. It seems to be turning blue. I shall take that as another good sign.


Grand finale - the blow up version. I wonder if it comes with one or two blue fingers, and whether it's available with the index finger at half mast?

Posted by Dakota at 06:00 PM

July 04, 2005

July 4th


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I'd be living a lie
on the 4th of July

if I did not deny
that I strongly decry

instead of

should anyone try
to make my flag fly
with that awful Bush guy
who 's making me cry
as things go awry
in Iraq

I wouldn't be shy
as I gave 'em a pie
in the eye

or jalapeno

Photo note: a narrow vision of democracy

Posted by Dakota at 10:05 PM