Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Left Behind - Hooded Oriole nest.

The Hooded Oriole is s summer visitor to the Santa Cruz Valley, arriving any time after March and leaving before September. Comfortable in neighborhoods they often come to humming bird feeders. Although they will perch anywhere they prefer to nest in fan palms using the palm strands to make their nests. Often the nests are well hidden under the fan palm. This nest was found by a gardener who was going to trim this palm when he found this nest. He left the nest, however it was late and the adults had left for Mexico.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Play with a Cobra

The Rogue Theater of Tucson performed the play Naga Mandala by Girish Karnard. Set in India, this play presents the oral tales narrated by women. The main story is about Rani, taken from her family to the marriage home of her new husband. Here she experiences her husband as two distinct persons. One is a stranger who keeps her locked in his house and appears only once a day for the midday meal. The other is a lover who arrives at night. We learn that the cobra can morph into what ever person he chooses.
At the center of the stage was a beautifully painted Mandala. Thought by many to be a symbol of sacred peace.

Use of hand carved masks worn by the actors identified various characters. Two puppets, one a dog and one the amazing cobra moved the story along.

The music was composed and performed on a variety of unique instruments by Matthew Finstrom.

Interpreted and Directed by Cynthia Meier, this was a 4**** production.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books & Dogs

Outside of a Dog,
books are man's best friend.

Inside of a dog,
it is too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Friday, September 24, 2010

Az.Buddy is sad today

Az Buddy is sad today.
Doesn't understand why the people that benefit the most from a public health policy - medicare, many who have children that benefit from medicare disability or medicaid -want to sponsor prop 106 and repeal the very legislation that the can benefit the people of this state.

Arizona is #2 in poverty. #2 in $'s spent on education. Homicides in Tucson are soaring. Yet this state allows concealed weapons, minimal gun control and has more gun shows than any other state. No questions asked. If the list is good things, Az is at the bottom. If the list is bad things, Az is at the top.

The GOP failed to advance the DREAM act, failed to pass the defense bill because they are more afraid of gays and lesbians that they are Al Qaeda and the Taliban and have unanimously agreed that the sky is NOT and never was BLUE.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Calendars galore. Makes me think of Marie Calendars.
Who pays for all these calendars?
Maybe you and I.
Each one more beautiful than the other.
Which do I save? Can't use all eight of them.
Can't even give them away because...
it seems that everyone gets calendars galore.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Snap,crackle and pop

No that's not rice crispies that I hear, but the seeds from the red Mexican Bird of Paradise escaping their seed pods as I walk down the sidewalk of beautiful blossoms. Many are ripe. This explains why our immediate neighborhood is resplendent with color of red and yellow.

Years ago when I wanted to plant them I was told to put the pods in a paper bag and they would pop and be contained. One evening the bags sounded in the garage and jumped around like Mexican jumping beans. I planted some but no luck.

In the neighborhood I live in now, Mother Nature does the planting just fine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two movie reviews- Cairo Time & Going the Distance

Yesterday I went to see the art film Cairo Time at the Loft. I went because it starred Patricia Clarkson, whose work I have always have appreciated. Also one of the main characters of the movie is the intriguing city of Cairo. This was a disappointing movie. No 4 letter words, no violence no sex and most importantly no passion. Just longing looks and heavy sighs. I fault the
writer/director Ruba Nadda. Timing was slow and acting stilted and not genuine.The character naive and more annoying that likable. Costuming inappropriate. The musical score was uneven and loud. Especially in a film where everything else was soft and quiet.

1* Don't bother. Unbelievable and boring.

Last week I saw Going the Distance starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. The theme of the film was the difficulty of maintaining a relationship from New York and San Francisco. In contrast this film had lots of the "F" word, sex and an abundance of passion. The room mates of the Justin Long character provided a good deal of humor to the plot. The chemistry was great probably because these two actors are best friends and have had a relationship off screen.

3*** Good and entertaining

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Loose Screw

A Day at St. Joe's Hospital Tucson, Az.
Goal - Have the loose screw removed which came out of spouse's cervical fusion
4:30 Drive in the dark 45 miles.
5:30 Pre-surgical waiting area - very cold. Glad they told me to bring a sweater.
7:00 Breakfast at Beyond Bread. Should have gone to McDonalds. Much cheaper & much better.
7:40 Back to post-surgery waiting room.
9:10 Screw is now removed from his neck and in my purse.
11:00 Allowed to see him.
12:15 Picked up the Buddy.
12:30 He made his own lunch. I took a nap.
It was a good days work.
Let's hope the other seven hold.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Simmons Market Research

I value market research and try to respond to phone surveys once I know that that is what is wanted and not $$$$ or votes.
Consequently I got my spouse and myself involved in a Simmons Market Research survey.

It came by FedEx in a very large package. Three large booklets of survey questions. Each well over 100 pages of filling in dots. One for Him, one for Her and one for the house hold.

I have never spent so much time for $10.00. He also got $10.00 but House Hold got no money.

Friends- Unless you have a lot of time on your hands: YOU NO NOT WANT TO DO THIS.
Of course as compulsive as we are, we did complete them and got them in the mail today.

FYI. Their web site is:

Friday, September 10, 2010


The Datura plant grows in all four of the south western deserts; in sandy ground and along road sides. Large trumpet shaped flowers bloom from March through November. The light lavender to white blossoms open from dusk to mid morning. Each flower has 5 points.

Because of its toxicity it has been known by many names such as witch's plant, Hells Bells,
devil's plant and many others.
It is likely the inspiration for the fictional plant Devil's Snare in the Harry Potter series.

It has been used as a poison for suicide and murder through many centuries.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Barrel cactus

The barrel cactus is the last cactus to bloom, lagging weeks behind the Saguaro, the cholla and the prickly pear. The key to a nice crown of flowers is to remove the yellow fruits from previous years. Birds and wild animals are apparently better at this that we human gardeners.
I see the best barrel crowns in the desert. The fullest of the following crowns were photographed in the Saguaro National Monument east.

Barrel Cactus are often called the "compass of the desert". They turn and twist toward the south. It is said that this is to avoid sunburn.
Barrels often have small young cactus growing around them. These are called "pups".

Friday, September 3, 2010

Georgia O'keeffe - Lifetime TV

The Emmy Awards gave us a chance to hear about films that we likely missed because they were on cable channels we don't get or that we missed. I took particular interest in best actor, best actress and best film in "Made for TV" movies. category. Thanks to NetFlix these are now available on DVD.

Among these was Joan Allen nominated for best actress in the film "Georgia O'Keeffe".
This is a biopic of one of the best known female artists of the 20th century. Born in Wisconsin, she ended her long life in Taos, New Mexico at age 98.
This movie concentrates on her marriage to Alfred Stieglitz, brilliantly played by Jeremy Irons, a Manhattan photographer and owner of Gallery 291. He became her benefactor and lover and eventually her husband after he divorced his wife. He came from wealth, and often took Georgia to the family home at Lake George, New York. However he did not have personal wealth due to the poor business operation of his gallery. By the late 1920's, O'Keeffe tired of his infidelities and New York. On the invitation of her friend Mable Lodge Luhan, played by Tyne Daily, she went to Taos to stay at Luhan's ranch. Here she was inspired by the beauty of the west and enjoyed her solitude.

But in 1932 she returned to Manhattan and Stieglitz because he was ill. He recovered but the continued oppressive marriage led to her nervous breakdown.

After her recovery she returned to her beloved Taos where she stayed and did not return to New York. Stieglitz died in 1946 but O'Keeffe stayed until her death at age 98.

MOVIE Review - Get Low

"Get Low" is a euphemism for burial or funeral.
Felix, played by Robert Duval in one of his greatest roles, knows it is time to get low. However, before he dies he needs to come clean with the town as to why he has been a feared hermit for 40 years. Consequently he wants to have a funeral party before he dies; a party where people will tell stories about him but more importantly he can tell his story.

Bill Murray as the opportunist funeral director is more that willing to help him. I love Murray's later works, away from the strict comedy. He has deadpan timing in these more serious roles. Lucas Black, an actor that I have never seen, is great as the assistant to the funeral director.

In fact, the casting in the film is right on.
Sissy Spacek, too long away from movies, is brilliant as the only one in town that knew Felix from before his hermit life.

The movie's pace is slow and shot with muted tones of color. Both of which add to the mood of this strange story taking place in Tennessee in the 1930s.