Friday, March 27, 2009

About spring

I don't believe in spring


Not yet, not when there's frost

On the car I forgot to bring in last night.


I don't believe in spring

When the weekend's forecast shows snow,

And the furnace will again kick on, endlessly.


No, it's hard to believe in spring

When I'm grabbing a winter coat from the closet

And regretting I took my gloves from the pocket.


And where was spring  this morning,

When I woke in the dark, shivering,

Thinking of warm coffee and abandoned blankets?


O spring, cruel phantom,

Meteorological tease,

Vernal equinox who?


You've fooled those birds I heard singing

When I opened the front door this morning,

Before even the sun got up.

Although the sun seems confused --

So warm on my back, and

Forgetting t to set until long into evening.


I've warned the trees in my yard--

Budding rapidly - -that this

Is something they'll regret. To no avail.


You go ahead. Get all excited and open your windows.

Not me. I won't be falling for that errant warm day


Because I don't believe in spring.

Monday, March 23, 2009

About, ode to a cell phone

There was no way to talk.
There was no way to text.
And the little black cell phone
Now has me perplexed.

Where last night all was well
Where last night all was right
Now this morning it seems
You've been hit with some blight!

Why won't you boot up?
Where's your welcoming screen?
Where's the sweet tone that says,
"You have messages--fourteen!"

A sick feeling settles down over my head.
No matter my action, you seem to be dead.
A frantic phone call to Verizon confirms
There may be some substance attached to my dread.

A long, quiet day with no Elvis ringtone
To warn me of text or call or voice mail.
Had I heard of the last of my little cell phone?
That seemed so reliable, friend without fail!

A long wait this evening at the cell store,
All those with lost phones, lost minutes, and more--
Finally, my name called, my cell in my hand,
I approach the counter, so youthfully manned!

Young JJ, he tried so hard it to revive,
But that which is dead, cannot come back alive.
The little black Alias which was so dependable
Now was just so much black plastic, sadly, expendable.

Well bummer. Now what should I do?
The timing's not right for a new-every-two.
But suddenly! An idea ballooned in my head!
I remembered my Razr, so straight home I fled.

My once-favorite phone, now consigned to the closet,
Still working, still trendy, too good to toss it,
All it needs is a charge, and a little activation,
With a few keystokes, a *228, we had affirmation!

The Razr, it works! And a such a low cost!
If texting is clumsy, at least no calls are lost!
We have voice mail, we have cheery rings--
Alas, no contacts, but the call is the thing!

The lesson I've learned all this long cell-less day
How much I depend on that digital display--
And friends, now listen, no matter the cost
Back up those contacts, cos damn! Mine are lost!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

About the detritus of winter

So today I took a box of daffodil bulbs from the shelf in the garage where it had sat all winter. Certainly I'd meant to plant them in the fall, when bulbs should be planted; indeed, after Angela gave them to me, in September, "plant bulbs" had gone on my to-do list each weekend. 

But somehow fall got away from me, maybe because I'm always in denial--if fall has really come, then it will lead, inevitably, to winter. I'm not fond of winter's long chill, and if I pretend it's not fall yet, perhaps winter will not come, either.

So the bulbs don't get planted.

But the garage is cool, and mostly dark, and that's how bulbs are supposed to be stored. So when a day comes in late winter that feels more like early spring, I think about those bulbs and decided to take a leap of faith, being an optimistic sort, that if I plant them, they will grow.

So I haul the necessary accouterments outside: the bulbs, the trowel, my gardening gloves, a trash can for the detritus of winter that must be moved before things can grow.

And there in the afternoon sun, on the south side of the house, winter--long and gray here in Indiana, frigid and snowy, dangerously icy, welcome long since wore out--disappeared.

I took my clippers and trimmed back the dry, dead leaves from daylillies and roses; scooped up crackly bronze pin oak leaves blown from trees that aren't even in my yard, gathered last year's tomato plants and the fall's chrysanthemums. Gathered them up and threw them away.

Dug my trowel deep in the earth, moist and soft from last week's soakings, and wiggled it around, so I could place each daffodil bulb as deep as I could, shoving it down with my fingers, then pressing the dark dirt down gently. 

I've worked on these beds--the horrible plastic-y clay soil is now buried beneath years of black dirt and compost and mulch I've worked in. Every spring, when I plant my marigolds and petunias, tomatoes and peppers, I spread bag after bag of something--anything!--more planting-friendly that that clay. 

I put a dozen in a little front bed, around the crab apple tree, among the daylillies; then another couple dozen in the narrow bed along the south end of the house, where tulips were pushing up and a few brave crocuses already bloomed.

I'd taken off my jacket early in this process; the sun shone strong and warm on my back, and I started to remember what a warmer world felt like.

Not an hour's work, after all--I really did have time to do this last fall. 

It's not guaranteed these bulbs will sprout, given the negligence they've suffered, but I'm feeling optimistic. Some of the bulbs were sprouting a little; I'm thinking they may just keep growing and bloom right when they are supposed to, anyway. 

How tidy the little beds seemed after I was done, all winter's garbage gone. And I felt I'd planted so many mysteries that will make the spring even better than usual: will the bulbs grow? And bloom? And what colors will be where?

So winter left us one March day on Hearthstone Drive; trucked away in a garbage bin. We dug spring up, and resurrected it. Again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Twitter Name: CathyBlogs

Tweet me at CathyBlogs

Monday, March 9, 2009

About Peter Tork

Last week, I was surfing channels and stopped dead at The Smithsonian Channel because I heard the announcer say, "Coming up next: The Monkees."

That was just weird enough to watch.

And worth it--while I knew some of the story--the manufactured first-boy-band-ness of them, the emnity with their producer, the bad break-up--I'd had no idea that Jack Nicholson was in any way involved (with Head, their weird, probably bad, first-and-last movie).

Lots of screaming girls in that documentary. Girls who, in 1966 or '67, where older than I, but none who loved Monkees more. Me, my brother, my sisters--we all loved The Monkees. We played them for my parents--we'd put their albums on and pretend to play. We were the original lip-synchers.

My littlest sister was always Mike (she got the leftovers), my brother was Mickey, my other sister was Davy, and I was Peter. I liked his (relative) quietness, his quirky goofiness. He didn't sing many songs, though--I'd have preferred he had more of a lead role in the band.

I remember writing a fan letter--I really sent it, but I have no idea who I addressed it to--begging that I BE a Monkee. Like they needed a 12-year-old clarinet player.

Sometime in the late '80s, The Monkees came to Fort Wayne and yes, I went. No Mike--I think he's permanently estranged from the troop--but Davy, Peter, Mickey--there they were, on the Coliseum stage, and I was breathing the same air as they. There for an hour or so ... I was 12 again.

Funny how now and then, a Monkee song is used in an ad or is covered by another band--Smashmouth, among others.

On my Facebook status, on the night I watched The Monkee's show, I mentioned my affection for them. And how surprised was I when a friend who'd lived in California in the '80's commented that he had MET Peter Tork--he'd MOVED Peter's stuff. My friend was working for a moving company, and he MOVED PETER TORK. Peter seemed down on his luck, at that time, my friend said--kind of sad. 

I felt badly at that, but still--I know knew someone who HAD MET PETER TORK!

So I'm surfing just last week, and what headline do I see? That Peter Tork--my Peter--has cancer.

Oh no. I just meet you, and now this.

Prognosis looks okay for Peter, and I have to say, in the Smithsonian show, he seemed good. Maybe my friend moved him at a down moment.

Hang in there, Peter. Remember, I'm a believer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

About getting Twittered

The other day at work I was talking to someone across the field at the cubicle farm -- I had needed him to call me and I said, without thinking, over the heads of a bunch of technically challenged people (who laughed),

"You could have Twittered me."

Out of context, a rather suggestive statement.

But lately, it's a heck of a good way to get my attention.

Those 140-character updates are both hypnotizing and addicting, whether I'm following my closest family ... or some organization for work ... or, God forgive me, a celebrity.

If I enjoy getting updates from my nephew ("I hate cleaning the grease tubs as work") (He works at a KFC), and if I learn a lot about what our competitors are doing at work ("New blog post about blah blah blah"), it's my new BFF I really can't quit following.


Indeed, I am one of John's 50,000+ Twitter followers. But the beauty of Twitter? I feel like he's Twittering just to me.

Because there's my Twitter screen. And in the list with my sister, my nephew, my friends, my interests, is my new boyfriend, John Mayer. Twittering to ME.

His guitars, his Oscar experience, his jokes, his new web site, he's telling me all about it. 

And sometimes, it's so, so hard not to reply, to tell John just what I think of tux, his music, his poll on People

Twitter gives you ... the illusion of chumminess. The Twitter illusion.

'Cause I know that really? John Mayer does not follow my tweets. He doesn't know I had to choose between McDonald's or Burger King for lunch, or that I love my netbook, or that I needed coffee this morning. John. Just. Doesn't. Care.

Oh, well. His loss, huh, that he won't know he's the star of my latest blog post? 

But if YOU'RE wondering what I'm peeping about, just follow: CathyBlogs

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Play-doh is FOUND!

No time to go into details now, but for those following the Play-doh story, let's just say the mystery involved Taylor and a (formerly) empty Boy Scout popcorn tin.