another, to rewrite at a later time


One of my favorite fairy tales

warning: I'm a religion/english cross There once was a tiny, tiny baby who was very much wanted. Her mom considered her to be like a flower. A nicely polished walnut shell served as her cradle. Her mattress was made of the blue petals of edible pansies, and a rose petal was pulled up to cover her. That was how she slept. She could sing, too. One night as she lay in her cradle, a toad hopped in through the window that was open to the night air. "Here's a perfect wife for my son!" the toad exclaimed. I don't why she said that; I don't why her son wasn't perfectly able to find a partner on his/her own. The poor little thing woke up early next morning, and when she saw where she was she began to cry bitterly. There was water all around the big green leaf and there was no way at all for her to reach the shore. She was a lotus flower, after all. The toad curtsied deep in the water before her, and said: "Meet my son. He is to be your husband, and you will share a delightful home." Her son was rather unconversational. She was understandably upset. The fish, who swam in the water, as fish tend to do, beneath had seen and understood the the toad. They looked at the young woman. They did the best they could, and Thumbelina was adrift. But something happened: she became a traveler. A lovely white butterfly kept fluttering around her, and she planted many gardens with plants that butterflies love. It was all very lovely as she floated along, and where the sun struck the water it looked like shining gold. Thumbelina undid her sash, tied one end of it to the butterfly, and made the other end fast to the leaf. It went much faster now, and Thumbelina went much faster too, for of course she was standing on it. T loves waterskis. ... maybug interlude... All summer long, poor Thumbelina lived all alone in the woods. She wove herself a hammock of grass, and hung it under a big burdock leaf to keep off the rain. She took honey from the flowers for food, and drank the dew which she found on the leaves every morning. In this way the summer and fall went by. Then came the winter, the long, cold winter. All the birds who had sung so sweetly for her flew away. The trees and the flowers withered. The big burdock leaf under which she had lived shriveled up until nothing was left of it but a dry, yellow stalk. She was terribly cold, for her clothes had worn threadbare and she herself was so slender and frail. Poor Thumbelina, she would freeze to death! Snow began to fall, and every time a snowflake struck her it was as if she had been hit by a whole shovelful, for we are quite tall while she measured only an inch. She wrapped a withered leaf about her, but there was no warmth in it. She shivered with cold. Near the edge of the woods where she now had arrived, was a large grain field, but the grain had been harvested long ago. Only the dry, bare stubble stuck out of the frozen ground. It was just as if she were lost in a vast forest, and oh how she shivered with cold! Then she came to the door of a field mouse, who had a little hole amidst the stubble. There this mouse lived, warm and cozy, with a whole store-room of grain, and a magnificent kitchen and pantry. Poor Thumbelina stood at the door, just like a beggar child, and pled for a little bit of barley, because she hadn't had anything to eat for two days past. "Why, you poor little thing," said the field mouse, who turned out to be a kind-hearted old creature. "You must come into my warm room and share my dinner." She took such a fancy to Thumbelina that she said, "If you care to, you may stay with me all winter, but you must keep my room tidy, and tell me stories, for I am very fond of them." Thumbelina did as the kind old field mouse asked and she had a very good time of it. "Soon we shall have a visitor," the field mouse said. "Once every week my neighbor comes to see me, and he is even better off than I am. His rooms are large, and he wears such a beautiful black velvet coat. If you could only get him for a husband you would be well taken care of, but he can't see anything. You must tell him the very best stories you know." Thumbelina did not like this suggestion. She would not even consider the neighbor, because he was a mole. He paid them a visit in his black velvet coat. The field mouse talked about how wealthy and wise he was, and how his home was more than twenty times larger than hers. But for all of his knowledge he cared nothing at all for the sun and the flowers. He had nothing good to say for them, and had never laid eyes on them. Thumbelina told stories, and the mole fell in love with them, although he didn't say anything. He had just dug a long tunnel through the ground from his house to theirs, and the field mouse and Thumbelina were invited to use it whenever they pleased, though he warned them not to be alarmed by the dead bird which lay in this passage. It was a complete bird, with feather and beak. It must have died quite recently, when winter set in, and it was buried right in the middle of the tunnel. The mole was considerate, and took in his mouth a torch of decayed wood. In the darkness it glimmered like fire, a fire he could not see, or need. He went ahead of them to light the way through the long, dark passage. When they came to where the dead bird lay, the mole put his broad nose to the ceiling and made a large hole through which daylight could fall. In the middle of the floor lay a swallow, with his lovely wings folded at his sides and his head tucked under his feathers. The poor bird must certainly have died of cold. Thumbelina felt so sorry for him. She loved all the little birds who had sung and sweetly twittered to her all through the summer. "What good is all his chirp-chirping to a bird in the winter time, when he starves and freezes?" Thumbelina kept silent, but when the others turned their back on the bird she bent over, smoothed aside the feathers that hid the bird's head, and kissed his closed eyes. "Maybe it was he who sang so sweetly to me in the summertime," she thought to herself. "What pleasure he gave me, the dear, pretty bird." That night Thumbelina could not sleep a wink, so she got up and wove a fine large coverlet out of hay. She took it to the dead bird and spread it over him, so that he would lie warm in the cold earth. She tucked him in with some soft thistledown that she had found in the field mouse's room. "Good-by, you pretty little bird," she said. "Good-by, and thank you for your sweet songs last summer, when the trees were all green and the sun shone so warmly upon us." She laid her head on his breast, and it startled her to feel a soft thump, as if something were beating inside. This was the bird's heart. He was not dead- he was only numb with cold, and now that he had been warmed he came to life again. Thumbelina was so frightened that she trembled, for the bird was so big, so enormous compared to her own inch of height. But she mustered her courage, tucked the cotton wool down closer around the poor bird, brought the mint leaf that covered her own bed, and spread it over the bird's head. The following night she tiptoed out to him again. He was alive now, but so weak that he could barely open his eyes for a moment to look at Thumbelina, who stood beside him with the piece of touchwood that was her only lantern. "Thank you, pretty little child," the sick swallow said. "I have been wonderfully warmed. Soon I shall get strong once more, and be able to fly again in the warm sunshine." "Oh," she said, "It's cold outside, it's snowing, and freezing. You just stay in your warm bed and I'll nurse you." Then she brought him some water in the petal of a flower. The swallow drank, and told her how he had hurt one of his wings. The swallow stayed there all through the winter, and Thumbelina was kind to him and tended him with loving care. As soon as spring came and the sun warmed the earth, the swallow told Thumbelina it was time to say good-by. She reopened the hole that the mole had made in the ceiling, and the sun shone in splendor upon them. The swallow asked Thumbelina to go with him. She could sit on his back as they flew away through the green woods. But Thumbelina knew that it would make the field mouse feel badly if she left like that, so she said no. [zaniness ensues] Then came the wedding day. The mole had come to take Thumbelina home with him, where she would have to live deep underground and never go out in the warm sunshine again. She said good-by to the warm sun. "Chirp, chirp! Chirp, chirp!" She suddenly heard a twittering over her head. She looked up and there was the swallow, just passing by. He was so glad to see Thumbelina although. She could not hold back her tears. "Now that the cold winter is coming," the swallow told her, "I shall fly far, far away to the warm countries. Won't you come along with me? You can ride on my back. Just tie yourself on with your sash, and away we'll fly, to the warm countries where the sun shines so much fairer than here, to where it is always summer and there are always flowers. Please fly away with me, dear little Thumbelina, you who saved my life when I lay frozen in a dark hole in the earth." "Yes, I will go with you!" said Thumbelina. She sat on his back, put her feet on his outstretched wings, and fastened her sash to one of his strongest feathers. Then the swallow soared into the air over forests and over lakes, high up over the great mountains that are always capped with snow. When Thumbelina felt cold in the chill air, she crept under the bird's warm feathers, with only her little head stuck out to watch all the wonderful sights below. At length they came to the warm countries. There the sun shone far more brightly than it ever does here, and the sky seemed twice as high. Along the ditches and hedgerows grew marvelous green and blue grapes. Lemons and oranges hung in the woods. The air smelled sweetly of myrtle and thyme. By the wayside, the loveliest children ran hither and thither, playing with the brightly colored butterflies. But the swallow flew on still farther, and it became more and more beautiful. Under magnificent green trees, on the shore of a blue lake there stood an ancient palace of dazzling white marble. The lofty pillars were wreathed with vines, and at the top of them many swallows had made their nests. One nest belonged to the swallow who carried Thumbelina. "This is my home," the swallow told her. "If you will choose one of those glorious flowers in bloom down below, I shall place you in it, and you will have all that your heart desires." "That will be lovely," she cried, and clapped her tiny hands. A great white marble pillar had fallen to the ground, where it lay in three broken pieces. Between these pieces grew the loveliest large white flowers. The swallow flew down with Thumbelina and put her on one of the large petals. How surprised she was to find in the center of the flower a man, as shining and transparent as if he had been made of glass. On his head was the daintiest of little gold crowns, on his shoulders were the brightest shining wings, and he was not a bit bigger than Thumbelina. He was the spirit of the flower. In every flower there lived a person! "Oh, isn't he handsome?" Thumbelina said softly to the swallow. The king was somewhat afraid of the swallow, which seemed a very giant of a bird. But when he saw Thumbelina he rejoiced, for she was pretty. He took off his crown and gave it to her. He asked if he might know her name, and proposed to make her queen of all the flowers. "Yes." "You shall no longer be called Thumbelina," the flower spirit told her. " That name is too ugly for anyone as pretty as you are. We shall call you Maia." "Good-by, good-by," said the swallow. He flew away again from the warm countries, back to far-away Denmark, where he had a little nest over the window of the man who can tell you fairy tales. To him the bird sang, "Chirp, chirp! Chirp, chirp!" and that's how we heard the whole story.



In so far as my family has any money, our unvast nonfortune is built from pie -- my great-aunt's recipes. The other evening, I went to a locally-grown, fluffy bunny epicurium and selected a pie crust made from rice flour. Over the years, I have attempted same crust making with unusual flours (I have made pies I can consume, and if I am feeling motivated, will make one for my birthday next week), but failed. Pretty great at cookies, etc., tho. My first effort, egg pie, was very, very tasty. But quiche is easy. There was another pie crust remaining. I was challenged to make "a real pie," but... there was no sugar. I soaked some dried wild blueberries in rum, figuring: sugar. I made some sort of gelatenous goo from coffee (figuring, "rum and coffee? why bad?") and tapioca flour. I made it and put lots of soy-free (yeah -- but these aren't the good soy-free chocolate chips ;( that's why they were hanging out in the kitchen) chips in for a freezer pie. It remained in freezer a week. I just tried it. Um... chewy blueberries, not too sweet, mocha ice-cream-like... but I was laughing so hard...


Spare Room celebrates the work of Jackson Mac Low May 16-17 Portland, Oregon Friday, May 16 Marathon reading & book launch for the Complete Light Poems (forthcoming from Chax Press) at Division Leap Saturday, May 17 Readings and performances of Mac Low works and tributes by poets, musicians, dancers, and others at Performance Works NW



what constitutes sexism?  a few useful pointers:

"I'm not sexist" is not a modesty topos.

What's your data sample?

Who are other, they, them?

Maybe "PC" stands for political, personal consciousness, conscientiousness.

thanks, ITM.


turning notes

laplace:  not possibility of undetermined forms

the computable can give rise to the uncomputable; rational, irrational

there's  no method


the animated features that are actually humorous

I DO NOT remember the position I was up for.

Executive was an engaging fellow, former LA Sheriff's Dept.  He looks at me.  He says something along the lines of, "I am a former blah from LA Sheriff's Dept."  Stare.  I say something along the lines of I have worked very effectively with the heads of IT Security/Data Center/Disaster Recovery in the past.  Stare.  "many people I know have worked in law enforcement, including my former colleague x, who worked her way up thru IT Security from law enforcement, and is now blah at more famous company."  Stare.  "My fiance's Dad is a Florida Sheriff, and because my father was involved in city government..."

Phone calls start pouring in, and he takes them.

He turns to me, and says that the data center is a hot pain.  It is located next to the concrete channel the LA River doesn't quite obey.

I say, "as you know, as you just said, never locate a data center -- particularly not the largest one for a major corporation -- in a flood zone.  I can help you with this."


the animated feature

I had many interviews, over the years, with this company.

I got highest up the food chain with the consumer products division, which oversaw the licensure of branded plastic shit, clothes they retailed, books, and other "educational materials."  Hiring manager was a bulldog who really seemed to understand what I did.  His second was from LAPD, and understood the software I was using to do whatever it was I was doing.  Which was:  tracking slave labor hired by licensees in SE Asia and SoAm, and getting licensees to sign off on not hiring such, and locking this into a hypersecure system of my own design.

They had hired, and brought to LA, two very well qualified and beautiful young women, to be the direct reports to the position for which I was interviewing.  Great law schools, very happy with newly-leased Mercedes.  So new to LA that our lunch was at the commissary.  Can't we go to -- ??? Oh, it is just such a privilege and reward to eat salad HERE.

I eagerly await this opportunity.  I have lived in India, etc.  Little concern:  now-ex refused to wrangle cats in NY for major modeling agency, and later co-wrote a film about this.

I am not hired.  Last interview with bulldog:  while you are easily the most qualified candidate... whatever.  What are your plans?  Well, I'm going to Hong Kong next weekend.  He said:  go to Macau, it is what you are expecting.


Wrote a long poem about it.



cosmos + a great city in Europe

cosmos nos. 1 and 2


I want money.  I call in my chits, and get an interview at Mountaintop.  Various kind mentors have worked with the senior execs at Mountaintop, and have vouched for me.  

[interviews during which I thought I would be hired]

Parting remarks by them:  oh, we can get you a lot pass, and you can tour it all for free.
Parting remarks by me:  Thanks, my husband wrote a film shooting here, and I live in the neighborhood.  Isn't it lovely?  and xyz restaurant is actually decent.

'nother job

On arriving in LA, and after quitting my real job, I have many interviews with a comapny that was later subsumed by a conglomerate that was subsumed by a company I had used as consultants in the past.

Cleared HR.
Director of Engineering is friendly.
CEO looks at my hand (lovely engagement ring now worth $750., but was much more expensive at the time) and says, "you'll be pregnant within the year, 60K:  take it:  you need health insurance."

So I walk out, call some friends who have won gender-discrimination cases... decide eh, whatever, LA sucks.

Director of Engineering:  I really need you.

So I work there, learn a lot, open up some profit lines, etc.

CEO:  "We can bring you on at $70K. We're about to blah, but you won't get a cut of the blah"
Me:  I currently earn twice that, if you annualise the hourly.  I have brought you business, and am your sole interface with IBM.

I freaking took the bus to work every day, and since the eastbound didn't pick up, my husband picked me up from work every evening.

obvious pun warning:  so I walked

AmEx Financial bad interview

I wanted this job.  I made a marketing and support plan which, IMO, was better than those I had made previously.

I get to the interview.  A very beautiful, well-dressed woman who seems like she is more marketing than numbers to me (initial impression) rolls her eyes at me while exiting.

Fat dude in bolo tie and boots, bad replica Remingtons all around.  Can you drive this eighteen wheeler out of the parking lot?  he asks.  I said, this is my plan, and I have successfully performed in this blah... previously, for such companies as blah.  The metaphorical the eighteen wheeler is [analysis].  Yes and more.

As I was leaving, I saw a young spanish-speaking family (with baby) going into the room.

Pumpable Meats

So I'm working at a comapny called S&S Saturn, makers of candy, meat slurry and rice for dogs, meat slurry and rice for cats, tinned meat slurry for dogs in prada or chanel bags, tinned meat slurry for siamese cats, and rice for humans.

I am replacing a cheery Christian woman who left to play beach volleyball with her roommate (this is true).

I am coordinating with the Y2K people for the Y2K readiness of "my softwares" which are documented to be Y2K ready.  Presentations, documentation, etc.

Then I look at CCW's work.

I'm not really a maintenance developer, but because I have CCW's old desk, I'm next to the traders.  There's a tracking system for the meat slurry:  when purchased, when delivered, that sort of thing.  All of the traders have taught each other how to dump the data into excel in order to get usable reports.  Everyone has his/her own report.  I capture requirements, reduce it to two reports that everyone needs.  I look at the tracking system (this isn't really in order of occurrence).  All of the dates (which should be Y2K-compliant date fields) are TEXT.  So I change them to date fields and update everything, make two new reports, all that.  Have I mentioned I am NOT a maintenance developer?  Somebody made a small typing error at some point, and it appears as though a boxcar of pumpable meats has been sitting on a rail siding in Kansas for five years.  Much hysteria.  Then the realization that the new system actually functions, and it actually Y2K-compliant.

Having learned my lesson, I try to become a GREAT maintenance developer.  Also, the pumpable meats smell really bad in the lunch room "guess they're running fish today!!!" so I am spending all of my time indoors. I open up CCW's packaging system.

No wait, I was told that I had to make the packaging system enterprise-worthy by my boss' boss, who is  cheap suits, bleached hair, dumber than dirt.  A bajillion meetings later, I see that there is a packaging system that CCW and BB are fighting off  that will actually work.  No slam to the secretaries:  they were smart and read WSJ every morning, and we'd joke about news and the more bizarre comapny's policies and stuff.  Anyway, I meet the men and women in packaging/manufacture.  They are BRILLIANT.  Their job is to package and fill containers with the finished pumpable meats, and rotating shapes in space is a big IQ thing.   CCW has basically tried to turn them all into developers of the system they need, and sell it up.  They ask me abstruse questions about programming.  I answer them, and since I am a teacher, encourage them. "I can be team lead packaging one day." "No, ma'am, buy a suit -- we are in the garment district -- and manage this shit."  "Why don't you just become a programmer?"  I can eat lunch with them, because their area doesn't have a rotting meat odor, and coffee is allowed.  

So that's when I told them that I would make S&S get the software they needed because we knew I would be fired for this, and leave for a job offer I'd received.