-Get Firefox! join the tribute to the victims of 9/11Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator barbtries a blog: October 2003
barbtries a blog
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Please Become More Selfish
thanks to george at the river for turning me on to this beautiful bit of wisdom.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
beautiful 2-year-old

Monday, October 27, 2003
on her 21st birthday...
...she had a really good time

Now Let No Charitable Hope
by- Elinor Wylie - 1885-1928

Now let no charitable hope
Confuse my mind with images
Of eagle and of antelope;
I am in nature none of these.

I was, being human, born alone;
I am, being woman, hard beset;
I live by squeezing from a stone
The little nourishment I get.

In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile.

Sunday, October 26, 2003
rory's eyes

taken in april in great lakes, IL, when he still had lots of hair.

OC Metro
"In the fourth quarter of 2000, ExxonMobil made front-page news when it recorded the largest quarterly profit ever: $5.12 billion.

i knew they must be gouging. it just seems as if as long as gw is president, there will be outrageous lies and wrongs committed against the citizenry of this country and others as well, and nothing will be done to redress the wrongs.

but it cannot go on. not forever - i just hope it stops at the next election. thanks to lying media bastards

imood.com query results for barbtries

a thoughtful mood on my grandson

moods i have wanted to share but were not on the list:
intrepid. especially intrepid. when i travel i am intrepid and i've done more traveling this year in almost my entire life prior to it.

bereaved. for obvious reasons

i know there are more. what i don't know is why i hang on to this little postcard of a message sender. who really gives a flying fuck what my mood is? if anyone does they'll read about it or hear about it.

but i like the dang thing. must there always be a why?

inscrutable. there should be inscrutable. i might feel inscrutable one of these days, possibly even today. i do not know why i am spending time on this.

laughing. my mood began laughing at laughing was not on the list.

and "knackered" is. what does that word mean?

i will stop now. if i don't i might spend hours doing this.

avoiding....nope. guess i'll go with clueless.

but how i really, really feel: like i need to get out and walk in sand next to water, specifically the big, large, great pacific ocean. that's my mood; will the body follow?

Picture Yourself
see CC; see CC's son on his shoulder. :)

Stone Garden
Kelly commented on my thoughts regarding spiritual evolution and recommended this book; i hopped over to amazon and bought it. got it yesterday.

finished it this morning. really a good read, and molly moynahan, the writer, packs some wisdom in there too. though i take issue with what i consider to be a not-fully-thought-out supposition that seems to be shared by a lot of people: that to have spirit, to believe in life after life, requires belief in god. not so. i've always believed in spirit, never could accept that when i died i'd just be all gone, and haven't believed in god for decades.

i like the phrase roethke uses in the waking: great nature. yeah, he refers to god too, and it is my understanding that roethke did believe in god...my point is that i cannot deny forces larger than myself. just try to stop the tide. just try to see to it that the sun won't come up tomorrow. what i do deny is the contention that "great nature" has cognizance or gives a rat's ass about me. there is too much random hurt. too many diseases, etcetera. it isn't necessary to belabor it. because there is so much wrong around here.

joseph heller argues persuasively and entertainingly against the existence of a cognizant god in catch 22, one of my favorite ever novels [i've said that if i ever had to be stranded on a desert island with only one book it would be catch 22...it ain't gonna happen, fortunately].

so anyhow in Stone Garden, one of the book titles dropped by moynahan, a high school creative writing teacher, is...yep. catch 22. she still seems to arrive at the conclusion that for there to be life after life there must be god. my grief counselor actually challenged me one day with that same assumption and i just punched holes in it. but i think i expressed it as well as i am able on bekah's 22nd birthday:There is no death but the shedding of mortality. Though you may say there is a god and I say there is not, don't think we're headed for separate eternities. Because I do perceive a plethora of souls on the other side. Souls who love me. And if god is not love, what's the point?

Love is god, love is why, love puts faith into my soul and brings Bekah into my dreams. Love will lead me back to life in time.
Love does not die. This is a statement often repeated to comfort the bereaved. This truth is the light I am beginning to perceive on the emerging side of the indescribably terrible place I was sent to when Bekah died.

anyway. thanks, kelly, for turning me on to the book. it was too good to put down until it was all read.

From: "andy zask"
Subject: Re: not a teenager....

hi mom, i mightve called or at least written yesterday,
but my e-mail was broken, so i had no clue if anyone
even remembered. well, of course you remembered, but i
didnt have the e-mail, so i figured there was no point
in responding. anyway, on my birthday, i stood a
6-hour watch and cleaned some stuff around the
barracks. on my last day as a teenager, i stood only
45 minutes of watch, while i let some other people eat
chow, and i drove my friend to the commissary. there
was a pre-halloween party at my barracks, so i got some
free food. that was neat. the navy and air force have
some strange people. thats all i have to say about
so, im no longer a teenager. i think in some ways, i
really missed out on the whole teenager experience. i
only TPed one house, i never egged a car, i never got
in a fight, never went to a kegger, never got a traffic
ticket, never got arrested smoking pot, im not on
probation, and ive never broken a limb. damn. im too
young to be 20.
okay i got now. love you

Saturday, October 25, 2003
The Healer Style
i am an iNFp, an idealist healer. wait...earlier i was

an INTP!
As an INTP, you are Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving.
This makes your primary focus on Introverted Thinking with an Extraverted Intution.

hormones? ya think? :) or i am schizophrenic along with the healer over here...

i just spent probably an hour trying to find the iNFp result, because it rings more true to me than the other, which also fits in a lot of places. like being very logical, and enjoying developing or studying theories...but it says i am thinking not feeling, and that i have to take issue with. logical or not i am about the most emotional person i've ever met.

anyhow. i believe the tests must have something to recommend them because they consistently nail me as an introvert, a thinker, etc. it's nice to know that me being how and who i am ain't such a bad thing.

been moving computer equipment around for ages. what i hate about computers: wires. wires, wires, and more wires. attached to this computer:

1 external cable modem
hp 1100 printer
canon 320 printer
brother p1500 label printer
digital camera

this is what i do not like about computers:

the wires, oh the wires! did not stone me. [anyone who gets what song i'm referring to here will receive...something]

happy birthday andy...
it dawned on me why i associated the book with birth...this is the 20th anniversary of one of the four most momentous births since my own.
happy birthday to my son. andy bales zask, seaman recruit.

Friday, October 24, 2003
of pytocin and books
with all four of my babies, labor did not progress on its own as nature intended, resulting in four induced labors. the first took forever and ever. with bekah, my second child, the doctor had anticipated that my body would produce its own pytocin. twas not to be...after bekah's father and i spent the night in the hospital watching the graph document contractions that were getting further apart and weaker rather than closer together and stronger, my doctor showed up about 8:30 or 9 a.m. and admitted that i was one of those mothers whose labors were repeatedly stalled, and ordered the pytocin drip. i was dilated to something like 3 cm at the time.

unlike my first labor, however, this time the drip did its work in good time, so that at about 11:00 a.m. i was telling my then boyfriend to "please get your fucking hand off my arm," and complaining that i needed to push. he ran for the nurse. she obligingly examined me and declared that i was at about 5, or "halfway there."

this news made me cry, remembering how long it had taken with john, my oldest son, to progress from 5 to 10 cm. [try 12 hours or so]. i said, "it's going to be hours!" and i was in despair. next contraction. i said, "i really feel like i have to push so bad," so obediently bekah's father again fetched the nurse, who with good cheer said, "we'll examine you more often now that you feel like - oh YoU DO HAVE TO PUSH!" i had gone from 5 to 10 cm in 5 minutes. it was time to get into the delivery room and have a baby. :) Bekah was born at 11:24 a.m.

what the hell has any of this have to do with books? you may ask...well, the nurse with the next baby and maybe even the one after that told me i just needed a "whiff" of pytocin to get that baby out. and i've been studying The Artist's Way for only a week and 2 days. i've missed my morning pages once, and didn't make my artist date. nonetheless, today i have been struck, inspired, started plotting and peopling the novel i will write in november as a participant in NaNoWriMo.

so my thinking is i only needed a "whiff" of The Artist's Way to get those contractions up and running. i mean those chapters prepped and plotted. or something like that.

whatever works. yesterday at this time my november novel was a big blank piece of paper; today it has characters, a title, a theme...well we'll see if a book is actually born from this, but it does feel good.

The New Yorker
"The point is not that the President and his senior aides were consciously lying. What was taking place was much more systematic—and potentially just as troublesome. Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq, whose book “The Threatening Storm” generally supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein, told me that what the Bush people did was “dismantle the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them.

“They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information,” Pollack continued. “They were forcing the intelligence community to defend its good information and good analysis so aggressively that the intelligence analysts didn’t have the time or the energy to go after the bad information.”

The Administration eventually got its way, a former C.I.A. official said. “The analysts at the C.I.A. were beaten down defending their assessments. And they blame George Tenet”—the C.I.A. director—“for not protecting them. I’ve never seen a government like this.”

i don't know that there has been one. i do believe that gw will go down as the worst of all the presidents. though saying that assumes more knowledge of history than i possess in honesty. so, okay, the worst in all my life, and i've lived through some doozies. nixon. reagan.

but this guy...what i start to fear is that he'll end up not only the worst, but the last. because he's been shitcanning democracy ever since he strong armed his way into the office, and he has a bunch of powerful greedy conscienceless hangers-on who really have no "need" of democracy, being rich white men and all, and...and. i'm sputtering. and i'm pissed.

but what has really got me kinda scared is i don't think this worst case is as farfetched as it ought to be. thanks to Lying Media Bastards for pointing me to this article...it is another one that i would urge every single person to read. it's long and it's disheartening but we need to know this.

peace colors

two turtles

last saturday at the cemetery

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
DINFOS Course Listing For FY03
andy graduates, according to this, on 11-14-03. according to him, it's most likely the 13th. anyway, he got his orders, orders that make a mommy happy! [sorry andy]

norfolk, va. stateside. ya. i feel sorry for being so happy but i am so happy he's not going to a war, so happy and so sad there has to be a war he could be going to that any body's child is going to be going to...sorry and happy and crying and grateful and PISSED that these emotions have to be so equivocal and scared like.

Massive Head-wound Cory
Finally a biopsy with negative results. Everything is fine, none of the lumps extracted showed melanoma.

good news, indeed.

Monday, October 20, 2003
Reality Bitchslap
scroll down to cc's 10-18-03 entry and see my paintings the way they were meant to be...:)

tee hee

Sunday, October 19, 2003
at the cemetery
my grandsons and i went to the cemetery yesterday. after we visited bekah, we went to the pond, where there are fancy koi, ducks, and turtles. i think they're red-eared sliders...anyway they are generally exceedingly shy and never let me get within ten or twenty feet. yesterday, this one came up close and let me take picture after picture of it.

i was so jazzed. after a while i realized that another turtle was sneaking up on the left of me as well...i'll try to find those pictures too. for now here's the one turtle.

by the way in case you wonder why so many people want to live in CA, yesterday it was 88 degrees. that's why.

my tattoo

Saturday, October 18, 2003
john's tattoo

bekah's brother john's tattoo.

The Eek-A-Mouse Eeksperience
no jamaican enemy; jamaican friend ya! :)
a good show.
eek a mouse and me

thanks to my jamaican friend.

Friday, October 17, 2003
check my times

you would not believe how much faster this is. i am in heaven

CABLE internet
just got it just love it

Google Search
cemetery refuses headstone size...my blog also came up on searches for:

golden trout resort
who leaked spy outed
"The Begats" mp3
What sort of things where invented in The Great Lakes
underage fuck pictures
faux buoys candles
beautifuler for msn
luisa xxx ooo


i wanted to finish posting my thoughts about spiritual evolution before they were lost forever. but i'm sitting here passing out. have laundry to do. i'm going to see eek a mouse tonight at the coach house or be making major jamaican enemy if not.

okay. the rabbi said of bekah that in many ways, she was "quite an evolved being." and i recognized the truth of his remark. for example, i consider bekah to have been more evolved than i am, because she chose vegetarianism of her own volition when she was only about 14 years old and stuck with it to her death [she had "cheated" with poultry through the years, but in the year before she was killed bekah quit eating chicken and turkey too].

so that might seem a small detail, but her motivation was born in her compassion for all living things. i believe i share her compassion. i still eat meat. chicken is like my favorite food in the world.

so evolvement. i wondered, as i said earlier, how rambo could live in the 21st century, as marginally human as i perceive her to be, while, for instance, shakespeare lived over four hundred years ago?

liitle baby steps...my theory is that the evolution of the spirit is comparable to the evolution of species...taking place over such a huge block of time that our little pea brains cannot see it happening at all.

the reason this matters to me is that there are certain beliefs i hold that i deem to be so obviously reasonable and correct all people should share them. these beliefs at this point in time are just as obviously NOT shared by a lot of people, and include:

- people are not supposed to kill each other
- this planet is capable of supporting all the life upon it without war, famine, murder
- peace is possible between all peoples regardless of color
- humanity should be color blind

etcetera. just your basic pie in the sky "what a wonderful world" system. obviously i am WAY before my time! lol

believing that good may will out eventually does not appear to be especially reasonable or supported by the facts of my life or current events throughout the planet. so my theory of spiritual evolution allows me to hope that someday, way, way on down the road, we as a people will achieve peace, love, and harmony.

sometimes i think that may be the day the world ends, because the souls alive and dead will be joined at that time. just a half-baked theory of goodness and justice and love and evolution, arrived at courtesy of the murder of my daughter....

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Tom Acousti
Bloom Where You're Planted
Words and Music by Tom Acousti

I’ve heard it said ‘when I was young he held me well’
And I can’t pretend to remember him myself
But in the story Grandma tells
‘When other men were angry and withered in the sand
My Daddy never raved and never ranted’
He just bloomed where he was planted

Tom Acousti ©1998 “All Rights Reserved”

just got my cd yesterday. finding out about tom acousti is all connected to CC, who became my first patron [of the art! WOW]...from the webpage:

Sweet Cicada Pi Music and Tom Acousti have donated all potential profits from the sale of this CD to a self-perpetuating ‘Pay It Forward’ style program to honor the memory of the late, Kenneth R. Hobson II.

For every copy of ‘Bloom’ purchased, two are given away to families who have suffered the loss of a parent. The delivery of these gifts is currently facilitated by Comfort Zone Camps, the nation's largest bereavement camp for children who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.

i'd stumbled onto CC's blog somehow, still haven't figgered just how, and read about how he'd been a fan of Tom Acousti for years and had lost contact for years. at a video shoot one or two months ago, a friend comes up with...tom acousti! knowing that CC was a huge and true fan for years already.

so CC blogged all about this and i clicked over to tom acousti's page and checked out some lyrics and the info on this cd. all of the profits from this cd are dedicated to families with bereft children. i read some lyrics that really touched me, particularly this song:

My Baby's Been Here
Words and Music by Tom Acousti

My baby’s been here
My baby’s been here

I never really knew her but to know her name
I held her just once now my forever’s been changed

My baby’s been here
My baby’s been here
There’s a book I will never read to you and birthday’s we can’t bring you to
No mud on your feet from the stream I will not help you through
This swing will not hang from a tree you can’t climb
To rise above this world you’ll never find
But I can write your name on every single page of this book of life
That we will never bind

And I will take care of your mother and I will make you proud
And no one can call you the devil’s martyr
For we will kick and scream and love out loud
Gripping even harder
We will steer when we sing

My baby’s been here
My baby’s been here


And we will write your name on every single page of this book of life
That we will never bind

And we will dig deep to recover the only spark of life
Will not stay buried inside our sorrow
For underneath this hatred that we fight
The love we now only borrow
Will fill the air when we sing
My baby’s been here

Tom Acousti ©2000 “All Rights Reserved”

tom's oldest child, a girl, was stillborn. i responded to CC's blog, thinking that perhaps the children at Loved Ones, where i get my grief counseling, could be put on the beneficiary list for the cd. can you imagine an artist so accessible - tom himself emailed me the same day, and sent his phone number so we could talk. now that i have my cd i think i'm ready to call him.

it was all so serendipitous. so internet too. but i am grateful. check out tom acousti, pick up a cd and do a good deed. :)

doodling with watercolors

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Adult Child Characteristics: Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Family
led here by johnny's blog [still cannot put that book down!], i tested myself. my mother was an alcoholic. these are characteristics of adult children:

1. Adult children guess at what normal is.
2. Adult children have difficulty in following a project through from beginning to end. check
3. Adult children lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Adult children judge themselves without mercy. check
5. Adult children have difficulty having fun.
6. Adult children take themselves very seriously. check
7. Adult children have difficulty with intimate relationships. check
8. Adult children over-react to changes over which they have no control. maybe check - it's my reaction so who am i to say it is an over-reaction?
9. Adult children constantly seek approval and affirmation. check - i work to be self-referred but lose that battle often as not
10. Adult children feel that they are different from other people. check, with caveat: i think every person is different from other people
11. Adult children are either super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Adult children are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. check
13. Adult children are impulsive. super check

maybe i'll browse further. i've considered that a 12-step program is probably a good idea for me. however, rather than that hard road [which i probably won't finish, being an adult child and all], i'm going with the artist's way. just did my first morning pages and affirmations.

also! read the draft of my query letter to my counselor today. he says it's good. he praises me and my progress highly. he told me that i have had my "eyes on the prize" as i have traveled through hell.

bekah on her first birthday

i think he actually admires me. i guess in fact i am proud of me. still too lazy. true...and he said you're ready to go on to the next step [pursuing publication]. i said well, it's kinda like, FUCK IT! what can you do to hurt me now? i've withstood the worst thing. he agreed.

there is freedom in FUCK IT! the book will either fly or it won't. if it doesn't it will hurt. but FUCK IT! you cannot hurt me more. i am good to go for any fucking thing. as long as my boys and grandbabies and denise are okay.

Meme Central - Memes, Memetics, and Mind Virus Resource
i'm actually a little disappointed that the word rhymes with "dream." i liked the "me!me!" pronunciation i had adopted in my own little me!me! way. the subject is esoteric, i think...do i know the definition for esoteric? hang on, i'll check...

Merriam-Webster OnLine says:
Main Entry: es·o·ter·ic
Pronunciation: "e-s&-'ter-ik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin esotericus, from Greek esOterikos, from esOterO, comparative of eisO, esO within, from eis into; akin to Greek en in -- more at IN
Date: circa 1660
1 a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone b : of or relating to knowledge that is restricted to a small group
2 a : limited to a small circle b : PRIVATE, CONFIDENTIAL
- es·o·ter·i·cal·ly /-i-k(&-)lE/ adverb

i want a better word than esoteric to describe this school of thought. the thesaurus Yields: RECONDITE, abstruse, acroamatic, deep, heavy, hermetic, occult, orphic, profound, secret

i think recondite fits. beyond the reach of the average intelligence

hell, i have supposedly above average intelligence, and the subject of memes is abstruse, acroamatic, deep, esoteric, heavy, hermetic, occult, orphic, profound, secret, or erudite, learned, scholarly; academic, pedantic; difficult, hard; dark, enigmatic, obscure; anagogic, cabalistic, mystic, mystical; cryptic, runic, sibylline, etc., to me.

it seems to fit one of the theories i've hatched since bekah died. spiritual evolution. at her funeral, the rabbi described bekah as "quite an evolved being," and i take that to mean civilized, cultured, vital, literate, aware. her death was violent, inexplicable, uncivilized, caused by a person whose actions on that night can be reasonably described as "inhuman," as in "monstrous," "depraved," "murderous."

apparently bekah's killer's lifestyle up to 07-19-01 was consistent with those actions, based on numerous reports passed through the grapevine and coming to my attention via a variety of channels. it seems that most of the people familiar with this person, when they learned of what happened, said, "so rambo finally killed someone." as far as i know, nobody who knew her was especially surprised. shocked, maybe, but not surprised.

i describe rambo as "unevolved," based on everything i have learned about her and the circumstances surrounding bekah's murder. nothing she has done since has changed that assessment. at every step of the process the woman has had the option to do the right thing. she has demurred, at every step.

i wondered how it could be that this person could be alive in the 21st century. [wonder the same about gw bush in fact] - i believe that i could not do what she did. i mean to keep driving after bekah's head shattered the windshield in front of her face...dragging a body down the street with her car...dumping it in the middle of the street like it was nothing. it was a human being! and she had to have known that.

my belief - that i am not capable of treating another human being so callously - was validated one day a few months after bekah died. driving down PCH at about 40 mph i suddenly realized that a dead animal was in the road just in front of my car. the poor thing had been run over so many times i couldn't say what it had been. i swerved to avoid it. just reflex. pure reflex.

rambo swerved to hit bekah. according to the police report and an interview on tv with a policeman the day after bekah died, she was on the wrong side of the street, speeding, without headlights, when she killed bekah. she drove away without leaving a skid mark and on to the road leading to her hilltop home, a winding 2 lane country road that she could not have safely circumnavigated without headlights and control of her vehicle.

she got home fine. then the stories multiply. did she tell her husband she thought she hit "someone or thing"? did she call her attorney? definitely she did go to bed and to a sound sleep. Her husband reportedly had to shake her awake even though multiple policemen were in the room and her dogs were barking loudly. she initially denied having been the driver of the car that killed bekah. then she denied knowing she had killed a person. at her deposition in the civil suit over one year later rambo swore that she had no idea she had hit a person until waking up with her room full of cops. but the DA told me that she had consulted her attorney long before the police caught up with her.

if she didn't think she had hurt or killed a person why would she have contacted her criminal attorney prior to being identified and arrested? at the police station she expressed dismay because of her car being wrecked, but never said a word or asked about bekah. nothing.

bekah's best friend just called and i need to call her back on the land phone. more about spiritual evolution later.

10/15/2003 05:50:00 PM  0 comments
i am an artist now
thank you CC!

sold sold

[thank you bekah too]

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
ThoughtCafe Writers and Writing Website - Articles
ThoughtCafe Writers and Writing Website - Articles

Massive Head-wound Cory
cory quit the interferon and feels better already. :)

Massive Head-wound Cory
the interferon is interfering with cory's sense of well-being. hang in there; time is healing.

Richy's Random Ramblings: Net: Memes Archives
cool weblog - i did a search on google for "meme" - and of all the responses [very many] clicked on this page. it was a good choice, i think. memes are pretty much what i thought, i guess. though there is more. perhaps a whole new sociological or biological school of study. most blogs are memes. i'd probably have to say that my blog is a meme. i'm thinking opposite of youyou, or theythey. religious memes are the infectious kind; ii try to stay away from those.

Lizard Tree > Man Absentmindedly Sings Along with Muzak

Johnny Has Plugged In
woke up and resumed reading johnny's blog. this dude's "dream repository" is the best. they must be authentic dreams. reading his dreams is like dreaming them, but laughing. i like this writer.

Johnny Has Plugged In
this blog is kind of like CC's, because i don't know how i happened upon it. and it reminds me of Liz's blog, because it is well written and thought-provoking. also because it's not archived strictly chronologically - if it is even at all... and he's an insomniac.

memes. what are memes? johnny is working it out. i mean ALL of it. and i have been glued to his blog for a couple hours or so as he does. an american in new zealand - i think there have been some big, negative events in the past couple, few years. anyhow. good reading. brain food.

then i stalled to watch Brown Sugar, a hip hop version of Love and Basketball, both movies involving Sanaa Lathan as the girl who gets boy, loses boy, gets boy back. i know i'm way tired because the cliche-ridden final scene made me cry. or maybe i cried because deep down inside, i really know that Taye Diggs will never be mine. or maybe i wasn't crying after all, just drooling uphill. mm. that man is about as good looking as a man gets.

what did we do all night long before there was an internet? how did parents cope when their children were killed, without a grief board or two or three, and MADD? i am so virtual. and thankfully so, assuming all other facts of life unchanged.

Monday, October 13, 2003
Roman Catholic church
Roman Catholic church urges HIV sufferers to ditch condoms: BBC

it is mind boggling how people with power who supposedly are concerned with the interests of others can fixate on some little bullshit phrase in a book to the extent that they would invite people to knowingly infect others with a deadly virus. AND in the year 2003.

for the catholic church, they just draw the line at contraception. no matter what. this article states that the vatican is claiming that they may as well not use the condoms because they are ineffective against the HIV virus anyway.

some ignorance is willful. when it is, what is it called? hatred? immaturity? stupidity? piety? call me ignorant, but i just don't get this.

New York Daily News - Home - Daily News Special Report: War's bloody fallout
The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq mounts incrementally each day, rising to 315 and bringing sorrow to families halfway around the world.

But in a devastation that has gone almost unnoticed, nearly 2,000 G.I.s, Marines, Navy and Air Force members have been wounded in the war.

Many have lost limbs, suffered severe head trauma and shrapnel wounds in combat, vehicle accidents and other mishaps. Additionally, more than 3,000 soldiers have left Iraq with illness or psychiatric problems.

peace now. end the occupation now.

In Memory of Tyler
tyler is the 4th person i know of who killed himself following a murder - the other three are bereft brothers. tyler killed himself at the age of 12 after his biological father beat his mother to death, also killing tyler's unborn baby brother.

it's about 3:15 a.m. i drafted a query letter some time ago and emailed it to a couple of people for feedback. tonight i started out looking for it in my sent box [i'm on the 3rd computer since bekah's death]. next thing you know i'm reading these emails from the days just following bekah's death. all these emails. all these people and they are victims too, all this tragedy.

does anyone else ever feel like growing to the size of a mountain to exhort the world: "stop killing each other!" ? i do, sometimes. but i do have a blog.

there were other unexpected things in my sent box. incidences meant for the bekah church of wonder catalogue of unexplained phenomena and incredible small world stories that i had forgotten entirely. reminders of people, people i love, people who care.

in chat earlier my friend/benefactor and i were discussing love...she is a big believer in a god whereas i maintain that god was made up by people, but we agree that love is the only meaningful good. i said, if it wasn't for people being so great i wouldn't have any hope at all. then i said, because i remembered and couldn't forget, if it wasn't for people being such shits bekah would be alive.

bekah at the pinnacles

before a month had passed from her death i was visiting a close friend out in the CA desert. he took me to a place called the pinnacles. it was something like 108 degrees outside, the 10th or so of august, 2001...i felt bekah's presence out there. kept getting the chills, up and down my body. of course at the time i was still in shock and incapable, seriously, of thinking about anything but bekah. my friend took a picture of me and i remember praying to bekah as he did, please be in the picture bek, please be there, a white light next to me...

a couple of weeks later my friend sent me a few prints from that day. i was at 7/11 getting a dr. pepper when i opened the envelope, planning to go to work [i still thought i could maybe work then]. the picture of me was the first in the pile. sigh. just a fat sad woman in shorts standing on a pinnacle. the next prints were pictures i had taken with his camera. when i saw this one, i nearly shouted out loud in the store.

fuck work. i took off for bekah's best friend's job - had to show her bekah! she was out to lunch. crap...my son just happened to be driving by as he was working in the neighborhood [have i ever mentioned how the 10 or 20 million people in LA shrunk to something like 500 in the days after bekah's death?]. john, look, i got a picture of bekah!

my son is a skeptic. well until bekah's 23rd birthday this year. he may not be anymore, i'll have to find out for sure...at any rate in september, 2001, he just kinda patted me on the head and said, there, there, mom. sure it's bekah mom.

i went to the cemetery. talked to bekah. prayed to bekah, thanked bekah. finally rolled into work at about 3 pm or so, and immediately showed the pictures to L., the woman who runs my old office. when she saw this picture, she said, "That looks like an angel!"

finally validation. i broke into tears. bekah. amen

Saturday, October 11, 2003
MADD Online: Blind Injustice: Violations of Victims' Rights
"Blind Injustice: Violations of Victims' Rights
MADDvocate, Winter 1998

You will find the following hard to believe. More than theory, these true stories highlight the need for an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to assure victims' rights.

In a state with both a statutory Victims' Bill of Rights and a State Constitutional Amendment for victims' rights, a widow had to go to extraordinary means to attend the trial of her husband's killer. By chance, an advocate met the woman and suggested that she hire a private attorney to motion the to court on her behalf to attend the trial. Originally, the defense attorney argued that the mere presence of the widow at the trial would cause her Victim Imp act Statement to be inflammatory and prejudicial to his client. When the private attorney filed his motion, the defense argued that he had no standing in criminal court since he represented neither the defendant nor the state. At this point, the prosecutor joined the private attorney in the motion. The judge then agreed to look at the state's victims' rights law, and when he did, agreed that she had the right to attend the trial and give a Victim Impact Statement.

The family of a young father killed by a drunk driver closely followed the case because they knew the judge was a close personal friend of the defense attorney. After the trial and sentencing, without notifying the family or the prosecutor, the judge reduced the sentence to 30 days of shock probation. The offender avoided paying restitution or doing anything for the victim family or the community.

In a serious injury case, the prosecutor told the victim's father that he was not going to request jail time for the defendant. The father was angry, and then the prosecutor became angry. He kicked a desk, spat on the father and called him a son-of-a-bitch.

A prosecutor realized he was required to give an injured pedestrian some information. He reluctantly called the victim and told her, 'be at the courthouse at 1:00 and don't bring anyone with you.'~ When she arrived, the prosecutor took her into a back room alone and berated her for being in the road when she was struck by a drunk driver. A prosecutor objected to the presence of a MADD advocate in court and referred to her as 'that reprehensible blonde.'

A mother and her six-year-old were struck by an underage driver. She was not kept informed of the progress of the case. She called the prosecutor to find out when the sentencing was going to take place. The prosecutor told her the sentencing was 'tomorrow.' When she expressed her dismay at the nearness of the sentencing, he replied, 'I'm just kidding. I don't know when it is; I figured you'd tell me.'

An 11-year-old child chose to give an oral Victim Impact Statement after her father pled guilty to child endangerment for driving drunk with her in the car. The defense attorney attacked and ridiculed her Statement, requiring her to stand up as he did it. The prosecutor did not object to the defense's treatment of this child. A victim traveled to the county in which the defendant was to be sentenced nine times, each time incurring travel and hotel expenses only to learn that the sentencing had been postponed. The prosecuting attorney's victim advocate had not found time to call him. Eventually, the sentencing was scheduled, but the defense attorney offered the victim $20,000 if he would not come to court that day. The victim has asked the prosecutor to pursue charges against the attorney, but so far she has declined.

A woman was hit by a drunk driver, hospitalized four months, and is now permanently disabled. Without notifying her or her family, the court sentenced the drunk driver to 30 days in jail, 27 suspended, and to a $500 fine, $250 suspended. The judge also said that if the drunk driver agreed to attend alcohol awareness classes, the fine would be reduced to $125.

and in CA, the family of a 21-year-old victim was lied to and subjected to at least one hour's worth of "spin" as the murder case against their loved one's killer was dismissed and the killer was allowed to plead "no contest" to two lesser felonies, for which she was handed the minimum sentence.

the IMPACT statement i delivered to the back of rambo's head on 02-15-02:
My daughter's name is Rebekah-Marie Bales Zask. We call her Bekah. I am here today to remind the court, the attorneys, any other interested parties, and the defendant in this case that Bekah lived.

She was a human being, barely 21 years old. She walked and talked and thought and felt and ate and drank and loved and laughed and learned and danced and drove and cried and cared, about a lot of things. But more than anything Bekah cared about people. She respected people and the sanctity of life. She appreciated that life is a precious gift. And Bekah was happy in her life.

Bekah was not this nameless unmentioned "victim" "decedent" "fatality" until while crossing a street in San Pedro on July 19, 2001, she was killed by Lynn Woolever. A healthy 21-year-old woman was taken out of her shoes, dragged down the street, run over, and dumped in a huge pool of blood to die as her killer drove home. The defendant left some of my daughter's grey matter on 25th Street and took some more of it, along with hairs from her head and plenty of her blood, home with her, where she went to sleep.

Killed Bekah; went to sleep.

Since July 19, 2001 I have done almost nothing but mourn my only daughter. My grief has been intensified because Bekah was killed at the hands of this defendant. Woolever has exhibited nothing but contempt for an innocent 21-year-old woman who never did anything to deserve it.

The contempt with which this person killed my only daughter baffles me and keeps me asking why months after logic has convinced me I will never know. And just as unfathomable as why to me is how:

How could you keep driving after the head of a young woman shattered the windshield right in front of your face?
How could you drive on after hearing the blood-curdling scream that was the last sound ever to come from my daughter?
How did you get home up that dark winding road if you were too intoxicated and angry to stay in your lane on 25th Street?
How could you sleep after killing Bekah?!
If you just had to kill someone, I'll volunteer. I would gladly die rather than to survive my only girl and be forced to live with the terrible knowledge of how she died. I've had my children, lived more than twice as long. Kill me instead. Let my daughter live.
Obviously I cannot choose to die in place of Bekah. And Bekah cannot choose to stay alive and fulfill all of her promise to this world or realize its promises to her. Bekah celebrated her 21st birthday thirteen days before she died all alone in the middle of the street, so gruesomely we were excused from identifying her body and precluded from having an open casket at her funeral. You are 32 years older than Bekah was - almost 33 years older than she will ever get to be, because of the choices you made last July 19. Now you have chosen to volunteer for four years in prison rather than to stand trial for the crime I firmly believe you committed that evening.

During the minutes, hours, days, and months since her death I have looked to the Court for justice for my daughter, Rebekah-Marie Bales Zask. This result falls far short in my opinion. Lynn Woolever ended Bekah's life violently, senselessly, with no more respect for her victim than if she had stepped on a bug. The defendant's actions before, during, and since Bekah's death, I believe illustrate "an abandoned and malignant heart," such that I have no doubt that this woman murdered my daughter.

As helpless as I am to bring Bekah back to life, so it appears that I'm equally incapable of procuring justice for her death. I cannot choose to die instead of Bekah; I cannot choose for you to die instead of Bekah; I cannot choose how to adjudicate the "People's" case against Lynn Mary Woolever. All I can choose is my words, and no words will ever suffice to express the scope and the magnitude of your crime when you killed my only daughter, Rebekah-Marie Bales Zask. Bekah

The last part is paraphrased, because it was ad-libbed. It was only finally that morning that we did learn for a certainty that the terms of the plea bargain had been misrepresented to us]

Your honor, that was to be the end of my statement. But I only recently learned that the amount of time the defendant will spend in prison was misrepresented to us as eighty percent when in reality it is only fifty percent. If you have been made to believe that Bekah Zask's family is okay with this agreement you have been misinformed. Consequently I must beg you to please sentence this woman to at least six years, so that she does the amount of time the family of the victim was led to believe she would do, or you throw the bargain out and let her be tried for the crime I still believe a jury will agree that she committed.

Thank you your honor.

GeorgeW. Bush, dubya for his hometown budies, and his bushisms
Nov. 2, 2000, SEATTLE --"If you don't stand for anything, you don't standfor anything!"
Gov. George W. Bush said to a packed rally at Bellevue Community College on Tuesday night.

"I believe a military of high morale is conducive to keeping the peace..."

"...when we find a senior who has to choose between food and medicine-that's not our vision of America."

"I'm not going to talk about what I did as a child. What I am going to talk about -- and I am going to say this consistently -- [is that] it is irrelevant what I did 20 to 30 years ago. What's relevant is that I have learned from any mistakes I made. I do not want to send signals to anybody that what Gov. Bush did 30 years ago is cool to try." - Gov. Bush in an interview with WMUR-TV in New Hampshire, when asked if he had used "drugs, marijuana, cocaine"

"I don't want nations feeling like that they can bully ourselves and our allies. I want to have a ballistic defense system so that we can make the world more peaceful, and at the same time I want to reduce our own nuclear capacities to the level commiserate with keeping the peace." - Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 23, 2000

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." - LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to have gag orders."

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it."

"Mr. Vice President, in all due respect, it is - I'm not sure 80 percent of the people get the death tax. I know this: 100 percent will get it if I'm the president."

"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial
profiling, which is illiterate children." - Second presidential debate, Oct. 11, 2000

"It's going to require numerous IRA agents." - On Gore's tax plan, Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 10, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."
- In response to a question about whether he wished he could take back any of his answers in the first debate. Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000

"I would have my secretary of treasury be in touch with the financial centers, not only here but at home." - Boston, Oct. 3, 2000

"... I've been talking to Vicente Fox, the new president of Mexico... I know him... to have gas and oil sent to U.S.... so we'll not depend on foreign oil..." - on the first Presidential debate, 10/03/2000

"I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy." - Redwood, Calif., Sept. 27, 2000

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected."- Los Angeles, Sept. 27, 2000

"...more and more of our imports are coming from overseas." - On NPR's Morning Edition (9/26)

"Well, that's going to be up to the pundits and the people to make up their mind. I'll tell you what is a president for him, for example, talking about my record in the state of Texas. I mean, he's willing to say anything in order to convince people that I haven't had a good record in Texas." - MSNBC, Sept. 20, 2000

"A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness." - The Edge With Paula Zahn, Sept. 18, 2000

"The woman who knew that I had dyslexia--I never interviewed her." - Orange, Calif., Sept. 15, 2000

"The best way to relieve families from time is to let them keep some of their own money."- Westminster, Calif., Sept.13, 2000

Friday, October 10, 2003

bekah, laughing and talking on her 21st birthday

She laughs, laughs
opportunistically, with a sound
that was not known
Before her.
She romances laughter and
thrives on each guffaw,
A woman need never
Be bored.
Yeah. She talks, talks and talks
Her topics are infinitely
Personal. Her concern
Universal, her interest keen
as that of a genius
learning to read
Soon this child of brilliance
Will teach grown-ups how to be
How to keep the sparkle
humor, curiosity
For her it is something personal,
She cares. Bekah cares.

Thursday, October 09, 2003
:: cowtownbloggers.org ::the cowfolk of the new wild west :::
I have an earnest need and desire to live in a world where everyone has equal rights. I reject the notion that I should have more rights then someone else. I reject the notion that my rights mean anything at all if they are only at the expense of someone else. There is room in my world, and yes, in Alberta, for Same Sex Marriage and Families.

i just don't think this sentiment can be expressed better than it is here. go read the article to see it in context.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
it's my fault; andy told me so...
from my son the sailor:

On Wed, 08 Oct 2003 13:11:51 -0700, "andy" wrote:

> mom, what the hell?! an austrian bodybuilder invaded my
> state and there's
> nothing i can do about it! i leave you alone in california
> for a few short
> months, and look what happens. how could you let this
> happen?
> over here we have this small whiteboard by the TV lounges
> where people
> reserve the room at certain times. last night it read:
> i thought it was pretty funny. until i woke up this morning
> and found out
> so anyway, you know im far away and cant do anything about
> what goes on over
> there. it was your job to take my place and keep the people
> of california
> in line. anyway, im gonna demand a recall and say that i
> never got an
> absentee ballot. and then ill explain to them that my word
> is worth 51% of
> the voting population of california.
> ok, im off my soapbox now. im gonna go. don't write to
> this e-mail
> address, i only use it when my other one isnt working. so,
> ill see you.
> love you
> Andy
> _________________________________________________________________
> Instant message in style with MSN Messenger 6.0. Download it
> now FREE!
> http://msnmessenger-download.com

as for me, well. what the fuck. i'm gonna stop looking now, i think. the way i feel reminds me of how i felt after the gulf war. but i'm thinking i have quite a bit of delving to do with that and how these days' events remind me of that. let's just say for now that the intervening wars [did someone say bosnia? afghanistan? and so on] may as well have not happened for all that they registered on my personal richter scale. i didn't wake up til gw was running for president, and well, it's been pretty dread since then. apart from my personal reality, i mean. civically speaking as a citizen of the US of A.

anyhow. gots to go meet eek a mouse. later.

bekah's 23rd birthday miracle

another shot of the turtle on the day after bekah's 23rd birthday. it's walking right at me here. i laid down in the wet grass and the turtle walked straight to me. when i got up there was some white gunk on my pants and denise told me it was turtle shit. i didn't even care.

i keep bringing it up because it actually does blow me away, and i feel as if everybody should know about it. would knowing that a turtle appeared as if from nowhere out of the megalopolis that is Los Angeles, CA, to spend one month in the backyard of the brother of a murder victim on her 23rd birthday change the mind of a skeptic? what if the skeptic was to then learn that the murder victim had identified with turtles when she was still alive, calling herself the "turtle" of the "butterfly and turtle" duo that was herself and her best friend?

what if i shared that since bekah died i collect turtles as part of my recovery process, that her father chose one of bekah's own little ceramic turtles as the item he wanted to bury her with? that both the brother in whose yard the turtle appeared on 07-06-03 and the dead woman's mother have memorialized her with tattoos - of turtles? that while designing her headstone her parents agreed that instead of the "dash between the dates" they would put a turtle?

which was done, a turtle walking from 07-06-80 to 07-19-01, with the hebrew symbol for "life" on its shell.

well, i dunno. skepticism dies hard. but i swear to GAWD what happened on bekah's birthday was HER present to US. and considering that on 07-06-03, bekah had been dead for almost two years - i call that a miracle. thank you bekah - again - amen.

A Picture's Worth - Beautiful Princess
this picture and accompanying essay fulfill david's purpose exactly, i think...funny, real, enlightening. i wear make-up myself and just today i realize that at least in part it's cause i feel more beautifuler when i do.

Jihad Unspun - A Clear View On The US War On "Terror"
"The young men and women who are dying in Iraq are our future generation of leaders. They are the future of America. They represent the best that America has to offer. Those who survive Iraq will undoubtedly face years of anguish over what they have witnessed in this immoral war, all in the name of oil. In the meantime we, the American public, sit by, mute, as we watch our young die. We must halt this unconscionable action in Iraq immediately and bring our young people home. "

the above is from a letter written by the mother of a fallen US soldier and quoted by Nancy Lessin of Military Families Speak Out, an anti-war, anti-occupation activist organization, when she addressed a congressional hearing on 09-09-03.

peace. bring our children home.

Online Email Obfuscator
my email obfuscated;

Nth of Pril:: what it is
great post from april...i commented that i was jealous i hadn't written it, then i remembered: i did, i even painted it:

this is the crux of it:
if it is on the ground, and it looks like shit, and it smells like shit, and it ruins your shoes the way shit will,

it is shit.

You can say it's a sandy beach, where lovers will walk in the glow of a nuclear love. But it will still be shit.

because shit is what it is.

Massive Head-wound Cory
cory's liver is fine...good and not so. he loses so much energy with the interferon. keep on keepin' on

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
the ungrown

human wrongs are serious and many,
multiplied by silence
joined by guilt
made larger still by virtue
of the unshed tear
the unsaid sorry

repentance is not
a solitary endeavor,
though forgiveness may be, or may not.
mirrors do not think.
they only reflect and therefore,
mirrors may philosophize, not feel.

the ungrown consult the mirror of escape
as they don the armor of distrust,
parade sterility as cleanliness,
allow suspicion to stand for esteem;
claim and embrace hubris
name and replace pride

with misperceived tempests of emotion
and disbelieved judgments upon love,
which they feel and fear: they feel unfairly,
blinded by potentials, which are hard
to recognize, let alone reconcile
with hurts that stunned them young and were never undone,

instead growing themselves
into wrongs so monstrous
"it had to be human"
not justified, but multiplied into the uncried
tears of the ungrown, cultivating
sticks in barren gardens.

Random Foo Pictures
i haven't checked the site out yet; got to get somewhere before the walls start moving in [been here too long], but i had to note the URL cause this is CC's movie company.

sometimes i find my way into information in a real back assward sort of way. but life ... is not a boring pursuit.

Monday, October 06, 2003
bekah and john

she never feared not being able to fill the shoes. she always put them on anyway and seemed comfortable enough...:)

Tomorrow is get off your ass and save California day!

jesse advises how to vote. it happens to be how i planned to vote anyway, but if you are in CA, registered, and have any doubt, click over to jesse's blog so if it all doesn't work out too well it'll be the way JESSE said to vote and not the way BARBARA said to vote.

but do vote the way jesse tells ya to. ok. good.

Saturday, October 04, 2003
reggae dance


I am muted by these colors,
Painted into a mutant
Has-been wannabe, who am I?

Lines have so many meanings.
Colors so light and so dark.
What is this bereft thing doing?

Faking? what is fake? Is the poem
a joke, did the painting
Make you cringe? Where am I?

In a studio or a study;
at book or easel or blog,
When am I who I am?

How will I know the moment?
Doubts beat out from a strobe
In the ceiling. Is this a migraine?

Is this surfeit or want?
Am I rich, am I destitute,
And will money ever be the subject?

Either way. Any way. When I am slapped
About the head and bones. Rotisseried
Like a nice rump roast. Bored and less,

Sick of my pastimes, wondering why.
Once again why...but why
Don't I get off my ass and move?

Amber Alert Issued Saturday October 4.
gardena's just down the road.

watercolors on canvas

something new. i mean i tried something new. :)

Friday, October 03, 2003
C.C. is a happy camper. and he made me a happy painter...by offering to BUY a painting!


wonders will never cease, and that is a good thing. one of the paintings he mentioned as a favorite unfortunately i cannot sell, it's Shock Summit.

this is the first painting i dared to show the world. i'm looking at it right now. it makes me think of a poem [in fact at least 3 or 4 of the paintings CC marked are associated with poems, which means i can maybe lend to him for his video but cannot sell], An Amateur Mourning Map for Mothers of the Recently Murdered, one of my favorites.

anyway...more later, if i don't hit the shower now this bleach will fry my hair.....

Massive Head-wound Cory
cory, cancer, and V8...i think he should do the interview anyway.

Thursday, October 02, 2003
Massive Head-wound Cory
thinking healthy thoughts...:)

Confessions of a Car Salesman
this is for future reference...but i want to read it. i've been sick, laid out, stretched prone on the couch. still not 100% ... and in between times, wonderful things went on. will blog more later, after my head is clear.

Who am i, what am i
A picture's worth

moon phases

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I stand on the sand, and I'm rocking grief to sleep in my arms.

Poetry roll
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