30 March 2010

Passover haiku

It is - in my mind - Andy's haiku because I learned it from him.

Left the door open

So Elijah could come in

Now the cat is gone.

From Haikus for Jews

25 March 2010

Veris me facies

"Leta - that's a pretty name. What does it mean?"
"It's Latin for 'joyful'."

And my face is pretty joyful that spring is here.

Veris Leta Facies
from the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

Veris leta facies
mundo propinatur,
hiemalis acies
victa iam fugatur,
in vestitu vario
Flora principatur,
nemorum dulcisono
que cantu celebratur.

Flore fusus gremio
Phebus novo more
risum dat, hac vario
iam stipate flore.
Zephyrus nectareo
spirans in odore.
Certatim pro bravio
curramus in amore.

Cytharizat cantico
dulcis Philomena,
flore rident vario
prata iam serena,
salit cetus avium
silve per amena,
chorus promit virgin
iam gaudia millena.

The joyful face of spring
turns to the world,
sharp winter
now flees, vanquished;
bedecked in various colours
Flora reigns,
the harmony of the woods
praises her in song.

Lying in Flora's lap
Phoebus once more
smiles, now covered
in multi-coloured flowers,
Zephyr breathes nectar-
scented breezes.
Let us rush to compete
for love's prize.

In harp-like tones sings
the sweet nightingale,
with many flowers
the joyous meadows are laughing,
a flock of birds rises up
through the pleasant forests,
the chorus of maidens
already promises a thousand joys.

How to clean out your e-mail inbox

Sort by subject.

Delete everything with the subject titles Dinner; Lunch; Opps - now attached; Today; and Tonight.

Another target-rich area, of course, is the ones starting with You and Your.

24 March 2010

Boy, that's handy

I bought an iPod Touch from one of my co-workers and being just a little too cheap to buy expensive apps for it, I have only acquired the free ones. As it turns out, one of them has come in very handy lately. I recommend it highly.

It's called Flashlight and it makes the screen a very bright white (or blue or red or green or black* or any custom color). During The Laramie Project there are long stretches when I am sitting quietly, Stage Left, on the lip of the stage. So if anyone is missing from rehearsal, I read in their parts because ... well, I because I love read parts. So I sit there with the script on my lap and as we are at that point in the process where it goes randomly dark while lighting is being tested or adjusted or set, I keep the iPod Touch with me and use Flashlight to read in the missing lines. It's also helpful when someone needs a little assist on the escape stairs. Definitely handy. I'm glad I have it.

And it's also nice that I have Freecell. Which casts a light, too. I'm just sayin' ...

*I have no idea about the black, but I admit that I am intrigued by the idea of a black flashlight.

22 March 2010

Sometimes I do say the right thing

Which contrasts nicely with so much of the rest of my conversation. Although my friends generally seem to agree that my usually kind intentions often cancel out any infelicitous phrasing.

But every now and then I do say the right thing, which pleases me greatly and which is possibly why my friends are still willing to ask me for advice. Or perhaps they just enjoy the Magic 8 Ball experience of "What Will Leta Say This Time?"

I don't remember if I have "documented" these here before, so stop me if these sound familiar ....*

# One
Some years ago Friend #1 was considering proposing to his girlfriend. We had dinner and he told me this but wondered if it was the right thing to do.

"Absolutely. You should ask her to marry you."
"But I don't have any money."**
"Yeah, but you've never had any money."
"No, what I mean is that if money, per se, were important to her, she wouldn't be with you now."
"But I can't afford a ring."
"All she will hear when you propose is that you want to spend your life with her. Really. Give her a cigar band now and buy her a real ring in the future."

They got married and have been living happily ever after. And his sister, when she heard this story from him, promptly went upstairs and got their mother's ring from her jewelry box and gave it to him. So no cigar band was required.

# Two
Friend #2 also had a proposal dilemma. He wanted to propose to his girlfriend but as his field might require relocating a few times until he was sufficiently established and her field didn't have as general a possible practice area, he was concerned that marrying him would have a negative effect on her career. Or that they might have to be a long-distance couple. Or, etc.

"Marry her. If you love each other enough, crossing the country for each other is not too much of a problem. If you don't crossing the street is too much effort."
"Absolutely. Deciding to build a life together is what's important. The rest is just logistics."

And they are married and living happily ever after ... ***

I was standing on the stage at the WATCH awards a week ago and the friend standing next to me was listening to his name get mispronounced. More than once.

"Should I correct it when I get to the mic?" he asked me, sotto very voce.
"Well, [previous MC] mispronounced my name for five years running," I murmured back.
"Okay. I'll let it go."

Yep, sometimes in the midst of the nonsense the Magic 8 Ball gives the right answer.

*My having told them to you in person several times doesn't count.
**We were young and poor back then. We're middle-aged and poor now. Me because I am completely incompetent financially, him because this is a rotten economy.
***As you can see, I think that people in love should get married. "This is true love - you think this happens every day?" says it well. So, more darkly, does "You truly love each other and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say." both from The Princess Bride

02 March 2010

Time in a bottle

"Pamwriter" left this as a comment at the end of a nice essay on downsizing from the Tucson Citizen. It's definitely even more of a challenge to get rid of stuff when the "stuff" has sentimental attachment.

So this is really for the several friends who have lost loved ones recently and will be faced with sorting their possessions into "what to keep, what to throw, and what to give away."

A friend of mine recently said ‘You CAN keep time in a bottle’. She has decided that a small collection of bottles as keep-sakes is better than the tons of keep-sakes themselves. ‘After all,’ she said, ‘we’re keeping the memories.’ So what she’s doing is to write small notes and put them in the bottles that she has categorically labeled – maybe one is ‘mom’ and one is ‘dad’ and one is ‘first husband’ etc. I’m thinking about this as I sift through ‘my stuff’. I also have started to watch the ‘Hoarders’ – I watch then I get up and clean a closet. I’m in touch with the emotional attachment to the stuff and letting go. I’d put the cookie maker* (I had one too) into the pile to go to the hospital shop and let those folks decide which of their piles to put it in.

*The item that essay author Lydia Brewer used as her jumping-off to muse about de-accessioning.