Monday, August 31, 2009

Doesn't Work in San Francisco

Dear Lucy,
I took some time today to go to the Mission District to check out a "Pirate" shop for my friend Deb.
I arrived kind of early due to the fact that my 5 very young and robust room mates were up at 8am, showering, dressing, putting on makeup, talking in whatever language they were speaking in (sounded Middle-Eastern) and generally being too noisy for me to sleep through even with earplugs.
I finally stumbled out of bed at about 9am, went to the kitchen where there are free waffles (you have to make them yourself though) and coffee. The waffles are rib-sticking and the coffee eye-opening. The sugar container pours from zero to 6 tablespoons in a nano-second so between that and the syrupy waffles, I was rarring to go!
So I waited for an hour for the pirate shop to open at a nearby park. Not your nice, take the kids to play in the sand-box park, but safe enough for the Mission District. A group of Mexican guys were playing cricket of all things. Cricket? In America? In California? In San Francisco?? It causes the heart to flutter.
I finally got into the shop and made my purchase and then wandered around the rest of the day watching the weird.
Tomorrow, if the "girls" get up and start with a re-run of this morning, I might just get up and dance around nude. They are foreigners, it might work on them. On locals? I wouldn't even get a nod! And that, my friends, is what makes San Francisco great.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Day in the Park

Dear Lucy,
Here are some pictures of the concert I went to at Golden Gate Park on Saturday.

Not terribly crowded until the day wore on and it was a hot and sunny day, unusual for the park.

As you can see, tie-dye still has a huge market in the Bay Area!

For those who like to look at guys' butts.

For those who like to look at girls' butts and legs

The music was great, the food was good and there was plenty of beer and wine to be had and enough pot being smoked that one could get a contact high anywhere in the park! Maybe that's why I ate so much!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Visit with Cathy in San Francisco

Dear Lucy,

I arrived in Oakland airport at about 10:30 this morning and by the time I got to the hostel in SF it was about 1pm.

Luckily, I called Cathy (my ex from many years ago) and she was home so we made plans to meet in Millbrea which is down the peninsula. Of all amazement, the Bart train now goes that far so I was able to get to the Millbrea station and meet up.

Cathy took me to Half Moon Bay which is a nice little beach town and we had a nice dinner together. We talked like two friends who hadn't seen each other in forever and after dinner took a walk on the beach and watched the sunset. I realized how much I miss the sound of waves crashing to shore, and we spotted a couple of dolphin cavorting in the waves.

After that she took me to her place and we had a soda and talked until I felt I needed to go to get the BART train before it got too late.

It was a great time getting together with an old friend and to know that we can now just be friends without expectations and let bygones be bygones. I am so STOKED.

Thanks Cath for the great time, I am so tickled that you are so happy and doing so well.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dear Lucy,
I was listening to "The Doors" yesterday. Yes, I know, it is an old band but I am still probably their number one (and only?) fan.
One song they were well known for was called "The End" and it was a song that Anne and I had playing many times while making love. I guess until yesterday, I never really listened to the opening stanzas:

This is the end
beautiful friend.
This is the end
my only friend the end.
Of our elaborate plans
the end.
Of everything that stands
the end.
No safety or surprise
the end.
I'll never look into your eyes

We loved that song and now it haunts me with the bare truth of the words. It is the end for us, the end of our plans, the end of the surprise of life together, the end of our safety together. And, I never will look into her eyes again. Those big, green, captivating eyes that turned me into an instant puddle.
If you, gentle reader, have someone in your life whom you cherish, go look into his or her eyes for me. Drink them in like you will never see them again. Let yourself be held by them and nurtured by them. Turn into a puddle now and revel in it.
Because you never know when the end is.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another of my Poems

The Voice

I am a seeker
of anonymity.

I slip unnoticed
through the labyrinth
of your mind
and family
in search of a reason
to be.

You cannot see me
in my languid

You cannot touch me
though time and again
I will
touch you.

I am
your conscience...

Cars, Cars, Cars

Dear Lucy,
So, my van broke down on Saturday. Overheated. Fortunately, I didn't fry it, managed to get it to a safe place where I could get it towed.
But, the radiator is toast and has to be replaced. That along with its hoses will come to about 600 dollars. Ouch.
I am glad though that it happened now before I leave for SF. Hate to have Suzie get stranded with Dad in the car.
And it is a 1995 car so I guess things will start going tits-up on it.
And, it is just money, right??

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Lucy,
Here we are, getting ready for possibly our last ride together for the season.
Though we are still having sunny weather, the wind is getting decidedly chilly even during the day and I don't have a biker jacket for Lucy. She outgrew the one I bought her last summer.
So, we took off to the dog park where she got to cavort and howl and chase other people's balls...wait...that was me. She just played.
By the time I get back from SF the weather will be too cold for her to ride on the back, though it won't be too cold for me to ride still.
Gotta get the rides while I can...

The Sheriff's Car

Dear Lucy,
As it turns out, the story behind the mishap with the Sheriff's car is that he was in a high-speed pursuit (must have been a donut shop nearby with fresh donuts) and some yo-yo from that apartment complex pulled out in front of him.
The thing is that this particular apartment complex is rife with alcoholics, drug addicts and other disfunctionals and so the cops or ambulances are there all the time. I figured the story behind the care would have been more exciting. But then, that's small-town Bellingham.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In Need of A Parking Ticket?

Dear Lucy,
On my way to Barnes and Nobel I decided to stop by my friend Deb's apartment. She wasn't there, but this Sheriff's car was...up on the grass of the apartment complex!
So, since I happened to have my camera I stopped and took this picture.
The guys in the blue suits and Dudly-do-right-hats who were busy putting up yellow tape, and measuring and looking pensive didn't seem to appreciate having me zip up on the scooter, park on the sidewalk and snap this embarrassing pic, but oh well, they will get over it!

Dear Lucy,

As I continue to get ready and excited about going to San Francisco, I found out that there's a big art/music festival going on in Golden Gate Park the weekend I get there. Woo-hoo!

So, I bought a ticket for Saturday where I will get to see the Black Eyed Peas and the Dave Mathews band among others, check out the art booths, eat myself silly and watch the crazy people! Can't wait!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Ready for a Walk

Dear Lucy,
As I prepared for my evening walk yesterday, Suzie had to take a picture of just how stunning I looked.
With the crazy camouflage shorts, the high-top sneakers (with skulls), sunglasses and hat, I just can't understand why I am not a chick magnet!
We often walk the same route in the evenings, but this one I took a different turn and ended up going much farther than usual. I also counted 7 expired VW buses in several different driveways and concluded that my neighborhood must be where all the Deadheads, (those are the hippies that followed the Grateful Dead band from one venue to the other) landed when Jerry Garcia died in 1995.
Makes me wonder what the nursing homes are going to look like in about 20 years when the hippies start hitting them. Will the homes have old 60's music playing to their tie-dye-shirt clad residents while they reminisce about the Vietnam war, LSD, and Woodstock?
Will they have to have vegan/vegetarian homes decorated with old concert posters of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Wavy Gravy?
It's a frightening thought. Perhaps I will go back to fractals!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More on Fractals

Dear Lucy,

As I continue down the "bunny trail" of fractals, here is some more information.

A fractal is a shape that, when you look at a small part of it, has a similar (but not necessarily identical) appearance to the full shape. Take, for example, a rocky mountain. From a distance, you can see how rocky it is; up close, the surface is very similar. Little rocks have a similar bumpy surface to big rocks and to the overall mountain.

Approximate fractals are easily found in nature. These objects display self-similar structure over an extended, but finite, scale range. Examples include clouds, snow flakes, crystals, mountain ranges, lightning, river networks, cauliflower or broccoli, and systems of blood vessels and pulmonary vessels. Coastlines may be loosely considered fractal in nature.

Trees and ferns are fractal in nature and can be modeled on a computer by using a recursive algorithm. This recursive nature is obvious in these examples—a branch from a tree or a frond from a fern is a miniature replica of the whole: not identical, but similar in nature. The connection between fractals and leaves are currently being used to determine how much carbon is contained in trees. This connection is hoped to help determine and solve the environmental issue of carbon emission and control.

When looking at fractal art, it is amazing how similar it is to the LSD influenced art of the 60's!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Dear Lucy,
I watched a Nova program last night about Fractal Geometry that just wowed me. Now, before you go scoffing at the fact that this is old news to the world, it is new to me.
The basic definition is:

A fractal is a geometric object which can be divided into parts, each of which is similar to the original object. Fractals are said to possess infinite detail, and are generally self-similar and independent of scale. In many cases a fractal can be generated by a repeating pattern, typically a recursive or iterative process. The term fractal was coined in 1975 by Beno�t Mandelbrot, from the Latin fractus or "broken".

Fractals of many kinds were originally studied as mathematical objects. Fractal geometry is the branch of mathematics which studies the properties and behaviour of fractals. It describes many situations which cannot be explained easily by classical geometry, and has often been applied in science, technology, and computer-generated art. The conceptual roots of the fractals can be traced to attempts to measure the size of objects for which traditional definitions based on Euclidean geometry or calculus fail.

Fractals, it seems are in all of nature right down to our blood and are being used to further medical advances, the study of rain forests, art...everything.
So much of the program went straight over my head, but the part I did get was that even the minutest part of the natural world has a mathematical formulae.
A very intricate, complex design.
Which points to a designer.
The picture is an art piece from fractals.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Dear Lucy,
Another of my poems from the archives...

Once wept
the tears must
be swept
under the rug
So no one
will know
that my feelings
were hurt.


"Time heals," many people say.
It may.
It may help dull your pain.
But the medicine of time,
taken by itself,
is not sure.
Time is neutral.
What helps is what you do with time."
(From "Living when a Loved One has Died)
Time has dulled the pain. Taken away much of the denial (the "I can't believe she's dead").
But, sometimes, time, is all one can do.

Missing My Best Friend

Dear Lucy,

Maybe it's the weather or just the time of year, but I am missing Anne especially these days.

Back when we bought our first house in Washington lovingly nicknamed, "The Ferndale Zoo"-- because it was the "hippie house" where folks felt comfortable dropping by unannounced to hang out and play a game, talk, play in the vegetable garden or have an impromptu meal--August was canning time.

Because Anne grew an enormous garden and most of it was coming ripe in August, we canned lots of green beans, beets, squash and then apple-pie in a jar from apples gleaned from the yards of friends, blackberry sauce from the berries picked around town, mushroom soup made from mushrooms purchased at a mushroom farm and of course borscht that Anne made in a pot large enough to swim in.

We also had often procured fire wood over the course of the summer (again often from the property of friends), and would be busy splitting and stacking it for the winter. We heated our house completely with our wood burning stove and free wood.

After a couple of years of splitting wood with an axe, we bartered for an old, loud, smoke belching, gas powered log splitter that made the job easier so long as we could keep the contraption running.

Then, when time permitted, there were the last minute short-but-sweet rides on the Harleys before they were put to bed for the winter.

I miss my best friend.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alice Ramsey

Dear Lucy,
I had followed this blog during the summer and I think it is great. Following is the beginning to let you get the feel for it.
Interested? The site is

On June 9th, 1909 twenty-two year old Alice Ramsey set out on the journey of lifetime. Accompanied by three female companions, they drove from 1930 Broadway in New York City on an epic transcontinental journey. Fifty-nine days later Alice would become the first woman to drive across America.

The drive was much more than a publicity stunt for Alice (though to the Maxwell-Briscoe Company that is exactly what it was). It became a personal challenge and a proud achievement to Alice, perhaps one of the most difficult challenges in this young Vassar College alumna’s life. In the scope of American Women’s history, twenty-two year old Alice Ramsey was blazing a trail of her own; A trail that, unbeknownst to her, would merge with many other trails eventually developing into a unity among women fighting to be citizens in the United States of America. This fight, often called The Women’s Suffrage Movement, began to bear fruit almost ten years later when American women earned the right to vote.

It was 2005 when Dr. Richard Anderson, a Pacific Northwest antique car aficionado, and his 34-year old daughter Emily, dedicated themselves to recreating Alice’s Drive on the 100 year anniversary - June 9th, 2009.

The Challenge: they found only one 1909 Maxwell DA left in existence and it wasn’t for sale.

After a wide search Rich began to find pieces from around the world and began to rebuild another 1909 Maxwell DA, a near-extinct relic, but not without the help of numerous friends and colleagues.

Their goal: to complete the car for June 9th, 2009 the 100-year anniversary of Alice’s landmark drive and drive away from 1930 Broadway with Emily at the helm and three other women in the car to support. The final destination of the celebration is the St. James Hotel in San Francisco, California - exactly where the 1909 trip concluded and along the way multiple celebrations & events to pay homage to women’s accomplishments during the last century.

It’s a massive undertaking but a celebration of this magnitude is bound to draw 1000’s of people out to support and cheer as they putt through the small towns and major cities. Keep your eyes peeled for a rather unusual sight…four women in an open air automobile, driving across America.

Take a read!

Dear Lucy,

I have been going through some poetry I wrote years ago, and it amazes me how some of it still feels true today. Here is one of them:

It is the dark, silent
that penetrates so.
Like the unrelenting
of an angry lover.

I seem to get the blues in the evening (especially in wintertime) when dinner is over and the day is winding down and I am tired from having struggled through another day.

In the quiet time. To some, solitude; to others solitary confinement.

I found a coloring book of Mandalas that I bought. I sit with my headphones on listening to meditation music and color. It is relaxing and right-brained. And it passes the evening.


My Friend Deb goes Fem!

Dear Lucy,

It isn't often that a card-carrying pirate like my friend Deb cross-dresses in a dress no less (hey that rhymes!)

Usually comfortable in a pair of slacks and t-shirt often stained with the days meals, Deb is not your feminine type of gal. Anyone who thinks an eye patch and dog hair constitutes accessories, is not one for girly things.

But, she had a wedding to go to, and urged by a friend of hers, she bought a dress and even painted her toenails.

Now, to keep her anonymity and to prevent any one from becoming overwrought and turning into a stalker, I am not showing her face.

She made it through the whole day before she lost her freshness, but a day in a dress is a daring thing for any pirate to do. Way to go Deb!


Pictures from the new camera

Suzie buying cherries at the Bellingham Farmer's Market

Dad and Lucy

The best side of me: My high-top sneakers


New Babies

Dear Lucy,
Today my friend Lynn and her partner Katherine adopted two new yearlings. The chestnut's name is Cinch and the dark one is Tobasco. Both stallions. They belonged to a friend who breeds horses and is well, overstocked.
This makes 5 horses in their family, more than enough to keep them busy and scrambling for hay. Who knows, I might see them near the Bellingham mall holding signs, "will work for hay"!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

I finally found this pic of me and Lucy on the monster scooter taken last summer. Scary aren't we?

This will be us later. When I find the perfect motorcycle and side car!

Went to the Movies

Dear Lucy,
Today Suzie and I went to see "Julie and Julia" at the theater. The movie was pretty good; Meryl Streep did a great performance.

I don't know that as a person of poorness I would pay to see it at a theater as it is not exactly a big screen type of movie, but Suzie and I were most seriously bored having neither garden to ravage nor dumpster to dive into.

Not that one needs to dumpster dive in this apartment complex. Folks are nice enough to leave items near the dumpster rather than throw them in it.

I have been fighting a rather depressing case of low energy this week though I am sleeping all right and not sick.

But, I give the movie a thumb's up if one is not finding much available to watch. It is a laugh.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On the Lam

Dear Lucy,
This is hard to admit, but Suzie and I are on the lam. She came home from a friend's house to inform me that a neighbor told her that she could glean his vegetable garden and blueberry bushes while he and his girlfriend were on vacation in Portugal.
After gleaning to our heart's content, taking two of his 4 cabbages, several Zucchini, tons of his beans and quite nearly all of his blueberries we learned from a neighbor that we were only supposed to avail ourselves of a few items.
You can't Super Glue cabbages back on to their stocks or tie the beans back to their poles. You can't unpick blueberries or even hope to save them until their owner returns in two weeks.
Our only hope is to eat the evidence and lay low hoping that he cools off and didn't have big plans for his produce.
In the meantime, call me Francuazan and Suzie Gustavoan until the heat is off!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's Your Label?

Dear Lucy,

I did one of those things I thought I would never do: I set up an account on-line for single lesbians in Washington.

I don't want to go to the altar yet, I just want to find some friends who aren't already married and busy "nesting", and Bellingham Washington is not exactly crawling with lesbians. But, Seattle is!

So, I start answering all these questions and realize that they are labels. Labels that I don't fit!
Am I fem or butch? Hell, I don't know. I don't care.
What religion am I? Hmmm. If I answer Christian, what does that mean to people? A Hell fire and damnation person? A Republican? An anti-abortionist? If I say Buddhist, does that mean I believe in reincarnation? That I believe in Nirvana and not an actual Heaven?
What political stance do I hold? Liberal? Not necessarily. Democrat? Ummmm, no not entirely. Republican? No.
What do I do for a living? Now that's a good one. Do I answer that I am on hiatus from the working world thereby seemingy unemployable, unreliable, irresponsible or just lucky?

I have never been good at this label thing. I know that it makes it easier for people to have labels. It is safe and concrete.
But, that really has been my struggle since Anne died. The labels that I had got shredded, or now after all these years of us just knowing each other, now have to be defined again.
Perhaps it is time to ditch the label thing and go without. But then, someone out there would make a label that said, "not labeled"!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Medicine is a Scary Thing

Dear Lucy,
I just finished reading a friend's blog. She has type 2 diabetes and stage 2 kidney disease. She just found out by doing her own investigating, that she has went into stage 3 in May! And her doctor didn't tell her about it! She had shoulder surgery and has been taking high doses of Ibuprofen which is the worst thing for kidney problems.

Most people don't think about how inept our medical system is until they go through this or know of someone who has gone through this.

I have been my father's advocate with his doctors for years. Every time we go to a visit, his blood pressure is a bit high and the doctor wants to increase his meds. The problem is, his BP also drops for no reason and at one point we were having him falling all the time. I told the doc to let his BP be a little high that we were going for quality of life now, not quantity.

Suzie took him last week for his check-up and his BP was high again and they wanted to change his meds!! She had to tell them that I said no changes or they would have done it and it would have destabilized him for God knows how long.

The bottom line is, be your own health advocate. Ask questions. Do your own research. My friend is already in stage 3 and it's too late to change that. And any "sorry" she gets from the doctor or the courts doesn't mean a thing when your life is at stake.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Heading to San Francisco

Dear Lucy,
It is that time again, time for me to run away from home.

I just booked a one-way flight from Bellingham to Oakland the end of this month for $68.00! I will stay for 14 days in a hostel near Union Square and then who knows. I may come home or I may go to another hostel or I might look for a room to rent in a house for a while.

But, I figure I have got to get this out of my system and decide where I want to live for a while.
San Francisco has so much more to do than little old Bellingham, but I am not sure I am wanting to do the city life again so I am dipping my toe in the water as it were.

While there I plan on going to a few historic museums, the library and used book stores and doing some research for my novel Gold Fever. I have tried to do the research on-line but there is just so much information to wade through that I don't have the patience for it. That was always Anne's job. She could spend hours at a used book store looking at EVERY title of EVERY book. It was her "See the hill, take the hill" personality.

I also plan to eat my way from one end of the city to the other gorging myself on the best Mexican and Chinese food in the land!

Beyond that there are the tons of gay AA meetings to check out, the Buddhist temples to visit, coffee shops and free concerts. The list is endless.

Can't wait!


Monday, August 3, 2009

I Got My Passport!

Dear Lucy,
It has finally come down to this; either get my passport or don't go into Canada. Well, that's not completely true. I could go into Canada, they don't have the passport requirement. They want us to come into their country and spend our money!

It's the good old USA that wouldn't have let me back in that was the problem. Like I am some kind of threat to our national security!

And it's not like I am always wanting to go to Canada. In fact, I don't think I have been in a year, even though I live 10 minutes from the border.

But I have friends there. Friends I have made because they came into the USA and I met them and became friends and they have jobs and families in Canada.

I had a dream a month ago that one of my good Canadian friends was in a car accident there and in the hospital and I couldn't go see her because I didn't have a passport.

I went the following week and applied.

Of course, Vancouver had their gay pride parade yesterday and I couldn't go because of no passport and didn't really give it much thought because I didn't expect to get it for another two weeks.

Then, I go to the mailbox today and there it is. I hadn't checked on Saturday so it might have been there then. {{{sigh}}}.

Ah well. My luck I would have met some Canadian lesbian, fallen in love, and had to move there. Where they say 'eh?' at the end of every sentence. And not one of them knows the words to their own national anthem. And they have the metric system. And their Mexican food sucks!