11.13.2004

Dear Geraldine Monk:

The GARGOYLES are wonderful. I take them out when ever I am blue. I bring them to work. I show them to friends who used to write poetry but have stopped and they are encouraged to go on (true!).

I always think my "next poem" is going to be my best one, so I'm having a hard time thinking of what to send that's new and the right length.

I like the testimony series because it is based on this idea I have that testimonials are predominantly women's writing. I remember going away for a weekend, having selected a "chalet" based on very vivid satisfied customer letters written by women. It was just a horrible, flea-infested, smelly dump! And we spent the whole time wondering how the women who write the testimonials lived if they thought the cabin was so great.
So there are a great many patent medicine and hoax medical device and whatnot brochures in the public domain, and this makes them free online. One of the patent medicines is actually still for sale here in the states and I have some -- Lydia Pinkham's -- though they halved the amount of alcohol it contains in the 1930s, during Prohibition.
cool oral history site

http://www.anecdotalcity.com/web/start.html#half


An Evening of the Poetry of

Táhirih
translated into English by

Amin Banani, Ph.D. (U.C.L.A)
and
Anthony A. Lee (West L.A. College)

Reading from the first literary translation of her poems
into English Táhirih: A Portrait in Poetry: Selected Poems
of Qurratu’l-‘Ayn (Kalimát Press, 2004)

Books will be available for sale, and the authors will be available to sign them.
These exciting, provocative, and deeply spiritual poems will move the spirit and introduce the listener to another world. Táhirih’s brilliant and timeless poetry still has the power to startle and inspire!
Don’t miss this event!

Saturday, November 13, 2004 :::: 8:00 p.m.
Encino Baha’i Community Center
4830 Genesta Avenue, Encino 91316
Call for more information: 323-933-8291

11.12.2004

tried to post this to HUMANOPHONE, Janet Holmes' blog, but something happened and I couldn't -- don't want to lose it so here it is --

Nice Xena outfit!!!
More seriously, I think it is interesting you mention Snow's quotes and her ongoing sequences, and I was wondering abuot the positioning of Dickinson of "letter to the world" and the master letters in f2f?
The way the book weighs on its end is the heart of my unwritten comment on it. I really have to do that.
In other news from blog land, I was asked to pick 30 pages for a brief selected, so instead I am seeing if I can make a poem in one mode of composition -- the quoting and rewriting from other reading and writing mode -- from my jumbo .doc file of previously-published short poems. So far, I've got an index of titles, an index of first lines, and am debating an index of last lines (I have an unpublished piece that's all the last lines of Pounds Cantos, of the sections of Zuk's A, and of the Maximus poems -- kind of nutty, and really would be thankless to proof). I am thinking about an index of figures. But all of this is to force me through the poems.
If I were to do a similar thing with sequences, whether they'd been published or not would be a bigger piece of the consideration than now, and what a poem or section is would be a trial, like it was for that index of last lines project. Yet -- if one writes a great many series and sequences, how do they end, except either they don't, or they are abandoned, a la Stevens?
Anecdotally, if anyone has asked me why, in "Legendary," so many of the series poem titles are "FROM 'The Lives of the Decorators'" etc.... I was still writing them -- still am, but what is weird is that while I left those threads trailing to pick up again, what I ended up doing was making the whole trilogy a series, and all but dropping the individual series poems.
[the last line of OOD is "she's a series" -- I exchanged some e-mail w/ Joshua Corey but -- you know -- I'm using mathematical series, not musical]
A selected is VERY VERY interesting to me, since I've got about five different modes, and how they fit together is nowhere apparent. How about doing a jumbo one not a small one? I have about 600 pages previously-published (of varying quality) and another 200 pages in books – probably 300 pages or more online -- a “new and selected online works,” would be way fun, could even be full-length selected of around 100-200 pages. I don’t think it would be too burdensome to make into .pdf. And, since most of it was online at one point or another, I don’t care if it is free. Or if you want to try to vend it online and no one buys it and then it is free. Or if you can set it up pod once you have the .pdf and it doesn’t matter if no copies sell.

I’m about 10 – 20 years away from an “official” selected – if I ever get to that point. Just a wild whim. But we could do it!

I've got a trilogy sequel to DaDaDa (it is a four volume project) essentially completed; I'm afraid to throw too much of it online though. The last section, of which I'm particularly proud, is nearly book length and will be so when finished, but I don’t feel terribly secure in letting it all out in such a way that would preclude its paper publication, because I love these poems.

I've also got about ten mss. just sitting around (another trilogy of paper craft and cut ups, for example – required digital photos and scanning)!

I wrote the beginning of a book (30 sections, abt 35 pages) last February using Nintendo – I was reading in NY, but fresh out of the hospital – anyway, I spent the whole time either in my grim dinky hotel room with Nintendo not purchasing it but just going through the game controller options, and reading – this poem is intended to be "seeds" that pass through a number of texts on gardening (Cayce's Herbal, Torture Garden, -- there's one more), each time making a different poem -- the "seed" poem is about the right length, and doesn’t matter if gets published since it is intended-o to be part of a larger thing. There will be, I imagine, a game engine-written “player version” but I haven’t hopped on it yet.
It strikes me that this is the time to push for the ERA again.

Female soldiers are in harm's way. How can we deny them equal pay? Can opponents of ERA argue that they can't get equal pay / rank, etc. because they aren't dying in equal numbers? Isn't the argument against female soldiers at all also an argument against the war, that focusses more attention on the war?

More humanitarian aid orgs. pulled out of Iraq because just being around there, a westerner there, is so dangerous -- if you're American, you're in grave danger, whether you're "in combat" or not.

11.10.2004

SOFTBLOW presents 4 new poets:
STEPHEN OLIVER, a transtasman poet & author of twelve
titles of poetry.
+
TAYLOR GRAHAM, a native Californian & a volunteer search-and- rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada.
+
BASIM FURAT, Iraq-born poet whose work here is a translation
from Arabic by Najah Al-jubaily & edited by Mark Pirie.
+
CATHERINE DALY, a poet from Los Angeles with an upcoming
second book, Locket (Tupelo Press, 2004).

Read their poems at http://www.softblow.com now.
~
SOFTBLOW invites you to stop by & let poetry change you.
It is updated every month. If you would like to be featured on SOFTBLOW, do email us 4-6 poems as well as a biography.
Claim: W. David Hager, a physician and anti-abortion activist, has been appointed to an FDA committee on reproductive drugs.
Status: True.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2003]
Important - Women's Health Issue
Whether you're Right or Left on the issue of women's reproductive rights, please consider the following...
President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval.
The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy, contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination. Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream and a setback for reproductive technology.
Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.
Hagar's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a safe and early form of medical abortion. Hagar recently assisted the Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name of women's health.
Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome. Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that prevent pregnancy.
For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?1. SEND THIS TO EVERY PERSON WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS.2. OPPOSE THE PLACEMENT OF THIS MAN BY CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE AND TELL THEM HE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL. Please email President Bush at president@whitehouse.gov or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say "I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens all women's health."
Origins: So often the items we're asked to research have nothing to them. That is not the case here — the piece quoted above doesn't stray too far from the facts.


In December 2002, W. David Hager was one of eleven physicians appointed to the Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs, a commitee whose job it is to evaluate data and make recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of marketed and experimental drugs for use in obstetrics, gynecology, and related specialties. Dr. Hager is a part-time professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University Kentucky College of Medicine and a well-known specialist on gynecologic infections, and therefore at first blush his appointment to this committee would seem a good fit.
However, he is also vehemently pro-life and has vigorously played a part in the campaign to get the FDA to withdraw its approval of mifepristone (RU-486), a drug that terminates pregnancies. He is indeed the author of a number of books in which he's advocated prayer and the reading of the Scriptures as cures for medical ills.
Dr. Hager makes no bones about his beliefs but says they won't compromise his judgment: "Yes, I'm pro-life. But that's not going to keep me from objectively evaluating medication. I believe there are some safety concerns (about mifepristone) and they should be evaluated."
Contrary to the claim made in the now widely-circulated e-mail decrying his appointment, Dr. Hager says he does not deny birth-control prescriptions to unmarried women. However, Time magazine reported that "In his private practice, two sources familiar with it say, Hager refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women."
The appointment is a done deal, and Dr. Hager is now part of this committee (although, perhaps as a result of the controversy raised by this message, he was not appointed to chair the committee).
In June 2004, Dr. Hager was reappointed to the committee for a further year. Immediately after the re-election of President Bush, the e-mail decrying the appointment of Dr. Hager was circulated anew.
Barbara "retread" Mikkelson
Additional information:
Charter of the Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee (FDA)
W. David Hager (University of Kentucky)
RU-486 (Childbirth by Choice Trust)
Last updated: 10 November 2004 Petition is below.

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions on matters relating to drugs used in he practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy, contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy termination. Dr. Hager, the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. His views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction
Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious eliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less. There is something you can do. Below is a statement to be sent to the White House, opposing the placement of Hager.


(1) Please copy and paste this post into an e-mail, sign it, and send to
president@whitehouse as you will be #170.

Then caopy and paste this post into a fresh

email; sign it and after you sign, SEND

THIS TO EVERY PERSON

YOU KNOW WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS.


(2) Every 10th person who signs the list (i.e., #10, #20,

#30, etc.) -

please forward the entire e-mail to

president@whitehouse.gov


____________________________________________________________________


We oppose the appointment of Dr. W. David Hager to the FDA

Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing a specific religion and

medicine is unacceptable in a policy-making position. Using the FDA to

promote a political agenda or a narrowly-defined moral agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens women's health. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the

basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American

women deserve no less.


11.09.2004

I am not aware of a voice that women have in most evangelical churches, or most established churches. Same problem in most organized churches.

Where women are not in the church leadership, they have no voice. When they are testifying, witnessing, a god is speaking through them; they are not speaking. Where they are in divergence from the letter of particular (and even particular translations -- nota bene the very particular stances on translation in many fundamentalist churches and in the Catholic church) sacred texts, they are as individuals in error. As women, they are in error, and being punished for it, in many religions based on the bible.

Very few women, as ministers, rabbis, priests, have the permission or power (if you will) to interpret texts or practice exegesis. Women have no identity in most conservative Christian religions, or they have an identity only in relation to men. In many religions, women are "other" to god; since they do not share gods' gender or lack thereof, they cannot represent him.

Amazing how god is rarely as other as women are.
I tried to bring this out in the Heresy section of DaDaDa -- the writing *around* writing and speaking and identity is a subject and I hope object.
am reading Tertullian -- poisonous stuff -- but here's the gist so far:

the post-curse Eve is not an equal to Adam

she laid the groundwork for the situation of Original Sin that made
Jesus' death necessary

after Eve, woman is the doorway / opening of the devil

Mary didn't conceive in sin, but her birthing of Jesus was still
punishment

Mary, in her time and place, if Roman or pagan, would have been likely to
abort the fetus or expose the baby, killing it

i.e. all women are being punished -- facts of their gender are punishment, they are no longer equal to men, yadda, yadda -- all women bear the responsibility for having killed the child of God -- sort of like the first abortion, no?

perhaps just an aside -- their beauty points to their inherent evil

good point by Hassan on the POETICS list that it is a Christian *identity* many use, not Christian belief or practice; identity being something that is used to include / exclude -- lot about Identity in Da3 -- in some ways ALL about Identity, just as all the poems in the CONFITEOR project --

Tertullian uses women as an indeity / other from him, but also uses control of women TO ESTABLISH HIS / Christian identity

Tertullian uses control of women (and control of their bearing, appearance, way in public) to establish his / Christian identity. He uses veiling and cloistering to distinguish Christian women from pagan women who had occasion to be in public for religious festivals -- since Christian women had no reason to appear in public whatsoever. Recognize us as us because we treat our women like crap. Sound a bit familiar?
He interestingly used references to the apocrypha, etc. as well as the bible to make his arguments. Religions of the book. Bleah.
I have to admit, at first I thought "Hey cheap historic and in town. I bet it's pretty." To my mind, I am not really interested in the neighborhood. One of the major strikes against nicer but more expensive houses in different, but nearby neighborhoods we have considered recently was not freeway proximity (althouth this is only abt 50 feet further from the freeway than the foursquare on the assessor map) but David Kidd's souring on the whole neighborhood coupled with Paul's assessment that housing values are likely to fall further there than elsewhere. This house is in David's neighborhood although it is in the HPOZ and it is not so very near a package store or apartments. It backs up on an auto lot on Washingon and it is going too fast for me to see? Agrh. I am very frustrated.
It is not in Kenney Heights, Lafayette Square, Victoria Circle, or Country Club. Yet, those neighborhoods we can't afford. But, as you know, I have a more optimistic view of your future earning potential than you do.
and something like no puck like boy girl boy but about the lack of hockey season based on shakes rather than a precient baseball poem w/ both the red sox and cardinals in it

I am posting now about NOTHING TO DO with poetry and poetrics because I have been completely distractd at work YET AGAIN but THE FREAKING SEARCH FOR A FREAKING HOUSE

If you know my husband and I personally, you know that for the past several years he has been searching for a house; you also know that we both work hard, but want a lot of space for our home (writing) offices, and are not willing to sacrifice on location. There's really no need to, as he makes a good salary and it looks like I won't be teaching anytime soon, so I am temping around until I can find something meaningful to do making at least 100K a year. At least if I can't teach, I can make the same amount of money as one would in a tenured position at a top tier school.

We like areas where we can walk around the block at night and can walk to a restaurant, a bar with bands -- just a little something to do. And we actually do this from time to time. Ron has a fear of neighborhoods of tiny ranches all lined up except if they're in Glendale, and I have a fear of suburban areas -- distant from museums and libraries and such -- even if they meet my "walking around" criteria. Neither one of us wants to be next to a freeway, an apartment building, or any commercial property (or church!) -- just near it. And this is not a plea for help. We are looking for something with spirit that has at least 2000 sq ft, 3 bedrooms + den, 2 full baths, and a guest house. We have tried Eagle Rock and I like Martha Ronk's neighborhood near OXY, but that's about it. We have no desire to live in a townhouse again, after living in Park La Brea (as Diane Ward did) for seven years and my husband being partially raised in a townhouse. The valley is too hot. Palms is yucky; Westchester's under the LAX flight path. Downtown is still in transition. C'mon. We are former New Yorkers -- you can't fool us, those are open air drug deals.

There is a neighborhood in Los Angeles that was destroyed by the 10 freeway. It is a story like the Robert Caro Robert Moses story that hasn't been told in book form about Los Angeles except partialy by Mike Davis and partially in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. It is a story that my freeway manuscripts don't even begin to touch -- a story of oil and self-interest and real estate -- a story DAY OF THE LOCUST and all the film noirs don't tell, except perhaps the one that has the last shots of Bunker Hill when is was old Victorian mansions carved into rooming houses. That neighborhood is called WEST ADAMS. It is officially South Central. The riots were there; it is north of Watts but was on the same streetcar route; it is not on the same (or any) metro route. It is gentrifying because of the pressure on housing prices in LA. My husband's writing partner lives there. We have put in offers on two houses there (well, one was in USC, which -- has not taken care of their neighborhood at at -- USC neighborhood the houses are orgiinally nicer (and older) than those in West Adams, but the crime is terrible and the people are very very poor or often very drunk students).

There is not a house available in West Adams under a million dollars (oh yes, many of the houses are a million dollars there -- especially those in Lafayette Square where uh - blanking -- the woman made famous by the civil rights movement because she wouldn't go to the back of the bus?) which is not near an apartment building, car repair garage, package store, or the freeway itself, it seems.
what I am working on more:

a top secret project I may send to anon

a thing called Unique Hawaii I'm writing from old mimeos with an eye towards Tinfish eBooks; it's got a little Chris Piuma Saskatchewan influence

"something for a gargoyle" -- probably a swath of OOD: Object Oriented Design, the sequel to DaDaDa that's essentially finished but I'm still tweaking and adding to,

especially since it ends "she's a series" it could re-begin with this Inanna poem as Inanna is about singularity

InANNa
Catherine ANNE Daly

though the Inanna poem might be the first poem in the third volume of the confiteor trilogy, right now the working title is the title of one of the sections, ALL THE ANGELS AND SAINTS

looks like great swaths of OOD are going to come out or have come out as chapbooks

as you may know (did I post it), I generally didn't do the chapbook thing the long years I didn't have a book out, I did e-chapbooks, lots of online publication (starting about ten years ago -- still YEARS after I finished my degree), and a lot of chapbook-like printed ephemera for readings.

something for Tamafir Mountain Press that's not experimental

like the Hawaii poem, I have a fun Australia poem that is sort of cento-like, from John Tranter's Penguin Australian Poetry anthology

a whole ms! now that the paper-craft / school book poems have become two ms. long (one currently probably being rejected from Ugly Duckling, one probably currently being rejected from futurepoem), a new ms is called TO DELITE AND INSTRUCT

reviews: Alice Duer Miller, Matthea Harvey, Lisa Lubasch (assigned)

not assigned -- gosh I am way behind on finishing up my book of reviews. At least I have about 150 pages now; I'm about halfway there. -- loads

I am mailing out course adoptions stuff to new media, women's studies, and poetry, as I have *three* course adoptions and I love them!!! and

I am mailing out galleys of LOCKET, which is coming out in a few weeks, albeit without my BAD FRENCH poems, which

I still need to rewrite Locket in bad franch, la langue d'amore, la langue d'oc and la langue ... the other one

and Italian, the language of oil (south) and the language of butter (north)...

portugese and spanish.

I am also working on an ms. called Les Grandes Horizontales (you guessed it, courtesans from three or four different eras and the "new sentence" thrown up for grabs) that I may send to BlazeVox. An ms. called HEAVY ROTATION that rewrites rock lyrics more directly (still working on the metal and power pop sections). Two novel ideas, one rather predictably entitled Miss Narrative written using a seeding process and lives of female artists and three different eras of women's fiction. Oh and that creative nonfiction, Big Fish Little Fish. Slowly chipping away on that since the early 90s.
am working on an old tertullian proj. -- is old, was on the back burner -- the stuff's poison, but he wrote against beauty! and ornamentation, so it is useful to me

heres the flavor

Nobis vero semel homicidio interdicto etiam conceptum utero, dum adhuc sanguis in hominem delib[er]atur, dissolvere non licet. Homicidii festinatio est prohibere nasci; nec refert, natam quis eripiat animam an nascentem disturbet. Homo est et qui est futurus; etiam fructus omnis iam in semine est.

Indeed for us murder is forbidden once and for all, so it is not permitted even to destroy what is conceived in the womb. To prohibit the birth of a child is only a faster way to murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or prevents it from coming to birth. It is a human being, who is to be a human being, for the whole fruit is already present in the seed.

Text is CSEL 69; translation is based on Glover, Loeb edition, but made slightly more literal. Infanticide (particularly of baby girls, whether by drowning or exposure 'to cold, starvation and the dogs') and abortion were both legal and usual in antiquity. Glover quotes (p.49) the papyrus letter of Hilarion to Alis (AD 1); "If it was a girl, put it out."

Rosam tibi si obtulero, non fastidies creatorem. - If I give you a rose you will not disdain its creator.


Tu es ianua diaboli - You are the doorway of the devil
NB: Talking about woman, and notorious in feminist literature, following Simone de Beauvoir in Le deuxième sexe. Church, F. Forester, Sex and Salvation in Tertullian, Harvard Theological Review, 68, 1976, pp.83-101, (reviewed in CTC 76, §26) assesses this issue rather less polemically. (Not checked). Marie Turcan reviews the whole subject, Être femme selon Tertullien, Vita Latina 119 (September 1990), pp.15-21 (reviewed CTC 90, §51). Also in ...

from http://www.tertullian.org/quotes.htm
lovely last event in the round of first anniversary dinners last night -- well, there might be one more -- we cancelled dinner at Matteo's on the night of the anniversary, and might reschedule dinner at one of Frank's fave LA restaurants [in New York, when my sister Elizabeth lived in Elizabeth Street (that's around the corner from CBGB), she lived above the ovens of Frank's favorite NY bread bakery, and down the street from Frank's favorite sauce -- we ate at Frank's favorite NJ Italian restaurant once, and IT WAS FABULOUS

and at that time, Nov. 1, I booked dinner which was last night -- at Il Cielo -- said to be one of the most romantic restaurants in town -- maybe if you're seventeen. A goodly portion of the crowd was college -age women, with the attraction being the romatic setting and getting served on Daddy's charge card. Romantic setting: lots of Christmas lights and tarnished-gilt mirrors and a sepia tinted photo of the owners' wedding picture. The other groups of diners were easily in their 80's. I would describe it as a very Palm Beach crowd, there in Beverly Hills. The Palm Beach of Beverly Hills? Probably true. Restaurant's next to the BH Pratesi. Worst valet in town. When we were leaving, a "mother"-daughter duo in jeans were coming in in an older jag (those early 90s sedans every single woman in Palm Beach -- and apparently BH -- drove), but the plates read "R 2 Jag." BLEAH. We will never go there again; but still, we enjoyed celebrating.

The antipasti was good, but the pasta was not. They treated the *second* top of a wedding cake -- a delicious cheesecake, but of the over sweet, stuffed with cookies, candy and caramel kind, alas, not the purist NY cakey cheese cake or the sour cream creamy cheesecake -- very well, having cleaned it up, they brought it out on a silver tray covered with rose petals.

Other anniversary dinner: courtesy of my parents, at Campanile -- Campanile, besides being the four star restaurant we can walk to! is an old Chalie Chaplin sound stage (LACMA West, the old May Co. building, is the site of Chaplin's brother's old airport), and at our wedding they stayed at the Montecito Inn, which was a Chaplin investment.

Brought the Halloween candy into work today.

11.08.2004

Well, I guess the post-election stock market jolt fed an art auction frenzy yesterday? A painting by Milton Avery's wife, Sarah -- her work is like Avery's, really almost indistinguishable from what I've seen, and some claim he stole everything from her -- or at least is she a new E de K? -- sold for $7000. more than estimate at the Bonham's & Butterfield's LA auction.

So did a painting I actually bid on, in a feeble attempt to get my husband something he wanted for Christmas. But now I am (or think I am -- I guess I need a registrastion number) qualified to internet absentee bid.

___


Ah, but is pregnancy and childbirth not only the curse on Eve but punishment for sexual activity, even in the face of (fairly rudimentary) technology, i.e. birth control? Actually, all this talk about sin and women and sex has led me back to this rather grim thought. For it is clear that it is women who are "immoral" in the case of fertility, sex, etc., as it is in many theocracies still.

I wrote a paper for Religion and Gender East and West in college -- my paper defense was scheduled opposite my honors poetry reading -- I was a top grads in poetry -- and the advisor, who was the sabbatical replacement of my Religion major thesis advisor (he didn't approve my thesis as she had, and so I lost the major) wouldn't move the paper defense! So I got a C. In a term when I got all other As. My R&G E&W paper was about birth control in 13th Century Islamic cultures.

As you will recall, the 13th Century was a blossoming period for Islamic culture, and there were many female poets writing in Arabic during this time. I have some poems based on their writings -- mostly I took bits from several poems to make very short single poems.

And it is mostly women who suffer from inadequate healthcare in the U.S., too.

Was reading something someplace -- a reminder that most pro-lifers, including those in my childhood religion classes (I begged out of the abortion movies pleading squeamishness -- note, I am not very squeamish) will admit abortion in the case of endangering the mother's life (although not when the mother's health problem will impact the health of the fetus -- or even make it eventually nonviable), but not in the case of rape or incest. Yup, "something good from something bad." Now, Kerry *almost* got to that in a debate.

I had three "lost" papers in college. One was about the evolution of meditation practices and mystical experiences and how they are communicated (you know, many "believe" these pracices experiences don't "evolve" since the experiences are of "god" and that's "unchanging" and that the writing is always referring to the same experience) ; another, a system analysis of a school of Tibetan Buddhism which incorporates nothingness at its center; and the third was -- I don't know. I remember my meetings with the religion department (to declare a major, you had to have an interview with every member of the religion department -- it was a small and easy major other than that) were all about how the study of religion I was interested in could be seen as the study of a single nexus / idea -- in the full variety of cultures and approaches -- whereas undergrad philosophy was a survey.

11.07.2004

Part of the problem I have with the social services and "moral" initiatives of the current executive branch as well as the Republican-led Judicial and Legislative branches is that the policies are anti-female.

For example, if social security is gutted by people mis-investing their incredibly modest "trust fund," unfortunately mostly women are affected, since women live longer as elderly, retired people than men.

We can look closely at the case of widow x, who because she retired at the same time as her deceased husband, has a smaller pension. Because her husband was no savvy investor, she's already cash poor -- he lost everything possible to lose in the market before his costly final illness. At least if her estranged children (of a previous marriage) don't pull through for her, she has social security. But if her deceased husband invested that money poorly, too, in a fishing business, well, where is the cord wood for her wood stove coming from? The truth is that in marriage, money isn't separate, and retirement savings is mostly for women.

Thanks for the mail Catherine. I'm glad you're also looking at this stuff.
The big question now seems to be: how are people who get this information
off the internet going to share it with people who don't use the net
regularly, in a way that is non-threatening, sober, and (hopefully)
convincing. Any ideas/opinions on that?
I think we're going to do a little "Artists Inspired by Voting Fraud" thing
at the end of this month at the smell, which you are of course invited to
read at. Should it be "Artists Against Voter Fraud"? "Inspired" seemed
like a more exciting word, perhaps. I sense you're a little tired of the
smell, so I'm not leaning on you to come, but I thought it could mix some
reading of poetry and other texts about this situation, or even based on
voter statistics and other info, with a little bit of "teach in" type stuff.
Hopefully I can find some really knowledgeable activists or better yet
professionals in the area of polling or statistics to do the teach-in part.
Any input you have would be appreciated. Thanks for what you are doing.
It's very important to stand up for the American electoral nation. If the
electoral process breaks down, I think we would soon find ourselves in a
second-rate mis-governed nation.
Yours,
Stan