.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

My Photo
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

O' Christmas Wreath, O' Christmas Wreath

Some folks in Colorado thought Lisa Jenson's Christmas wreath was offensive, divisive, and possibly a symbol of Satan.

It's quite obvious, right?

But Jenson’s wreath is certainly blasé compared to this clearly superior holiday wreath which is a tribute to the true spirit of the season:

I cannot decide whether to hang the wreath on my balcony or my front door. I am sure my neighbors would just LOVE IT regardless of where it appears. You can't tell by the above photos, but this wreath lights up too - and the lights flash as well! Oh joy!

Please do let me know which wreath you prefer, Jenson's satanic, divisive symbol, or mine. (There COULD have been flamingoes at the manger in Bethlehem you know; it's not entirely impossible. Stranger things have happened.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Homeward Bound

Maybe some of you remember the vintage Saturday Night Live episode that ran a short “documentary” which recorded, in black and white, arrivals and reunions set to Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound.” The short film aired during the holiday season sometime in the late 70s and showed a variety of reunions: a solider, walking from his plane to the waiting area, nearly knocked to the ground by the force of his petite wife who rushed into his arms, eager for his kisses; two small children who broke free from their father’s hands to slip under the cordon and run to their mother who, as soon as she saw them, ran toward them with open arms; a worried, hassled mother, her hair graying, her feet no doubt tired, her face careworn, bursting into smiles as her adult son deplaned and walked into her waiting arms; two sisters, their long hair swinging as they strode toward each other and hugged each other as if they would never let go. The short clip showed one joyous and tearful reunion after the other, and yet it was never overly-sentimental, never schmaltzy. I searched the Internet and could not find the clip, but did find a video of Paul Simon and Willie Nelson playing Homeward Bound – a wonderful rendition.

Tomorrow, I leave quite early in the morning to drive across the Bay Bridge and head northeast, away from my beloved Bay Area to my sister’s home in Nevada.

I travel to my sister’s home; yet, I am, like so many others, homeward bound, for I travel to gather with my family. My sister’s home holds the memories of her children as they grew from youngsters to teenagers to adults. It holds the memories of clan gatherings – for birthdays, holidays, graduations; the memories of ski trips – my children arriving with their father on my sister’s doorstep for a weekend of skiing, snowman building, and snow fights, and her home holds the memories of spur-of-the-moment visits – the passing-through-on-the-way-to-elsewhere stops. But even if my sister’s home was a dwelling she only recently moved into, one that held no collective family memories, I would still be homeward bound. Home is where the family gathers. And this year, a good portion of my family gathers in Nevada, at my sister’s table.

Not all my family gathers at my sister’s this year. My son will not be with us, but I am grateful, thankful, that he has a place at my brother’s table in Santa Cruz. My son too is homeward bound.

Like so many families, our Thanksgiving this year is a communal effort. My daughter is contributing pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cheesecake, as well as preparing the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, and the turkey. I am bringing cranberry relish, wine, and will bake an apple pie tomorrow, after I arrive.

My sister is making a pumpkin pie and a derby pie, and providing the salad and other side dishes, as well as the obligatory cranberry jelly in a can ( a must-have item – we “decant” the jelly from its can and serve it on the finest china serving dish available). Her daughters are contributing as well: wine and hors d'oeuvres.

I head out early tomorrow morning. If you want to get out of the Bay Area the day before Thanksgiving, it behooves you to leave early, before the bridges and highways are clogged with travelers who are headed home. If I leave after noon, the usual 4 hour drive turns into 12. I have a bay, a river and a mountain pass to traverse - I'm leaving early!

I wish you all safe journeys, whether you travel around the corner, down the street, up the coast, round the block, across town, county or state, or across the country. May you all travel homeward bound. May you all arrive safely.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


This weekend, I have a four-footed companion, Ginger. Her family is out of town for the weekend. A few months back, I told her family if they ever needed a dog-sitter, they should call on me. And so they did.

Ginger and I went out to the beach this morning.

She absolutely had to roll in the sand:

After a good walk and a shower in at the beach, she graciously posed for this shot even though the sun was in her eyes:

Back at my apartment, she kept watch from my balcony on the neighborhood.

Later, she contented herself with relaxing on my balcony bench.

She humored me again by posing for these pictures:

I hope my dear four-footed companion, Kitty, in Thailand, isn't too jealous. But after all, Ginger is here and Kitty is there. See how I am?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Frozen in time, rooted in a bed of white-petalled blossoms, who is she imploring? To what lover or god does she appeal? And why do they not answer? Why do they leave her here, surrounded by the garden’s beauty, yet captive nonetheless?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who's In The House?

Madame Speaker’s in The House!
Only Two Heartbeats Away!

A big shout out to my sisters! I can hardly wait for the next State of the Union address. When the camera focuses on Bush, we’ll finally see a female face replacing one of those fat-jowled, male visages sitting on the dais behind the Prez. Yeah!

My daughter and her girlfriends revel in this turn of events. “Mom,” my daughter tells me, “this means we might have a female president – in MY lifetime!” I won’t dash her hopes – maybe she’s right. Maybe a woman from her generation will become, as she and her friends shout it:


I am too jaded to think that far ahead. I am just gleeful that we now have a Madame Speaker just two heartbeats away from the Oval Office.

Yes, some of the neocons are worried about Pelosi – since she is, as the media have dubbed her, a “San Francisco liberal Democrat.” Amen, I say to that. Nothing wrong in being a San Francisco liberal Dem. But Pelosi is also a seasoned, practical politician. She has a mission – if the Dems don’t move forward positively, productively, ’08 won’t look so good.

To add to my joy, the American voters took control of the House and the Senate away from the bigoted, hate-filled, lying, hypocritical, and definitely not compassionate Republican neocons. Those neocons gave Republicans in general a bad name; they twisted compassion, and they played their own one against the other in a mad pursuit for power. And power not to help the people, but to merely help themselves. Fuck ‘em, I say. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Here's your hat - now hurry on out of here!

Don’t expect a sharp left turn from this new Congress and Senate. First off, the Dems don’t carry a large majority in the Senate, and second, quite a few of the Dems who kicked ass on the Repubs are CENTRISTS, almost conservatives – not leftists.

But the pendulum is swinging from the extreme right back toward the center. Maybe now we can see a cessation on the war the neocons have waged for the past six years against the people and the environment.

Utopia? Nope. But at least, perhaps, a more even, stable, rational path for our country.

Who’s in the House?