-Get Firefox! join the tribute to the victims of 9/11Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator barbtries a blog: December 2003
barbtries a blog
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Opinion: Ed Garvey: To tell the truth is not George W. Bush's game
But one rule of President Bush is to never admit a lie and
never apologize for your actions. He lied about weapons of
mass destruction in order to invade Iraq to grab the oil
fields, create profit for Halliburton and Bechtel, and
tell the world that we are No. 1.

This is a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions.
The United States will be viewed for generations to
come as a country that will lie to gain its ends. We,
as a nation, are missing that little voice we call a
conscience. If the world needed proof, listen to Bush
and Rummy say that we invaded for 'democracy.' But,
of course, we will impose democracy on our terms. We
liberated them, and by God we will democratize them.

As for those who suffered collateral damage, or lost
a son or daughter, well, no one ever said liberty
comes without sacrifice.

this was published back in april but just came to
my attention and i believe deserves to be read by
all humans above the age of 10 or so.

Bush Lies
and lies, and lies, and lies...that bastard. president - aaargh.

bush-dictator.mpg (video/mpeg Object)
don't know when or where he said it, but that little
chuckle is the part i don't believe. that bastard. president - aaargh!

Ex-ICC Forum - Ex-Members of the ICC #3121.41
another cult refugee expressed the belief that to heal, ex-members MUST forgive. i responded

i used to believe that....

then my daughter was murdered, by an enraged drunken
woman who did all she could to avoid paying the consequences
for her crime and to this day has not admitted that she
recklessly and maliciously caused my innocent daughter's

i go to grief counseling. one of the big issues i have
needed to work on is forgiveness, because i always
had believed that if i could not forgive this -
this thing, which is actually a human being, though
her actions belie it - i would go on to my own death
bitter and ruined. ruined by my own lack of forgiveness.

but what she did was unforgivable, certainly without repentance. there has been no repentance, no admission of guilt, no apology, no remorse,
nothing. i think the situation is analogous to many icc
leaders who continue to exploit the unsuspecting seekers
they encounter, entice, and exploit for their own gain
alone. how can they be forgiven when they are still so
dedicated to something so WRONG?

the father of a young man murdered about 16 years
ago explained it best to me. his son's killer has
been identified and never brought to justice for
lack of evidence, though the detective keeps the
file in his briefcase to this day. he wrote to me
that at some point his wife and he realized that
someday this person may seek their forgiveness...
until and unless that day came to pass, they simply
had to let it go, for the sake of their own mental

that is what i strive to do. let it go for the sake
of my own mental health. for the sake of my own mental
health i fully embrace the belief that justice will be
done whether here or on the other side [my daughter's
murderer will be out of prison in feb 2004 after
serving only two years].

some things are not forgivable. so we strive to let
them go so that we can go on, and live.


Tuesday, December 30, 2003
my oldest son is 28 years old
to the tune of "merry christmas baby" by chuck berry

happy birthday johhny
guess i can't call you that no more
happy birthday john, then
cause you're a man with kids of your own
happy birthday johnny
happy birthday john
happy birthday son of mine.

with all my love

in unrelated news, here's me:
You are a Radical. Right on!

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, December 28, 2003
In Iraq, Pace of U.S. Casualties Has Accelerated (washingtonpost.com)
i know it's the holidays, and we don't like to think about war, and premature death, and unjust death, and wrong death. but perhaps we need to.

today is my mother's 78th birthday. she died over 23 years ago, a month before her 55th. happy birthday mom? i just remember these days.

12/28/2003 10:47:00 AM  0 comments
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Merry Christmas!
and happy birthday to my sister Carolyn.

a room full of 99 cent presents awaits the hours of wrapping. rory's back from his friend's house and anything i do from here on out involves him or involves him sneaking into that room to find out what's in the bags. and i did not make it to the paintball place yesterday and they do NOT apparently sell gift certificates online.

i know what i'll do! i'll do it in publisher! yeah.

santa been very very good to me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
SinCamper Comics #17.1
sinCamper started her own forum to showcase her original [and well-informed] take on the kip mckean and cohorts cult

Zero Fog Blaster
i want to get one for rory, any body? any idea where to go? it's too late for online i need a store i can drive to...thanks
i think i might want it for me, too. :)

email to andy, in VA for the holidays
hey. i miss you.

christmas? bah humbug. after losing a week up north i got sick and just started shopping day before yesterday. but yesterday i all but got done with $110 at the 99 cent store.

i miss you.

this christmas...no bekah, no andy....

i haven't gotten anything for you andy! and i should have put a care package in the mail - i'm sorry i didn't! if i do, what do you want?

i almost picked up the platinum version of CS - you know, the one with counterstrike, blue something, this and that - for rory, then i thought he already pretty much has all this, he's already playing online? is there a reason to buy an updated version? anyway i didn't do it. but should i?

i think about the last thing i need to do [can afford to do!] is to get a gift certificate for paintball for rory and john and denise. slim pickings this year. i spent quite a fortune this year, traveled a lot, enjoyed it too...for the first time in my adult life i have an adequate wardrobe. but we're back on the poverty train...:( the last of the settlement is in bobby's hands, hopefully it will last a little longer that way.

so. 01-04-04 i officially begin my studies toward my bachelor of fine arts. i got two books and some software [including MS office pro] yesterday. i am ready! going to school, since i grew up that is, is the time i feel most vital. i love learning actually.

not that i'm not always learning anyhow. all of life is a learning experience. i think that approach is part of what i needed to even attempt let alone effect a recovery of sorts from losing bekah. so from the start i was trying to divine what the lessons were in this massive grief...but the structure of formal schooling adds an element and a goal that i find energizing. you know?

once again, john's phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxxx, CALL US ON CHRISTMAS MORNING! you will be in my heart if not in my sight but your absence cuts me, son.

i love you

Monday, December 22, 2003
7 Years Old
i could not find the entry, but i know i blogged this story last year somewhere around this time, because the killer is so much like rambo. i noted that i would try to find out whether justice was achieved. thanks to the MADD vigil, i can report back regarding that.

i don't think so. she got eight years. half the travesty of bekah's killer's four year sentence, but considering what this woman did when she killed this adorable 7-year-old, a travesty without a doubt.

one of bekah's tributes; they won't allow links to pictures this year [go figure; the picture was still on my server just the way it is with blogger], so i can't even hope to be woken up by the sight of my girl as happened last year.

iStockphoto.com - royalty free stock photography community
CC is a photographer, too...sold his first photo this week. way to go. :)

Dating God
When I look back at the last year of my life, I see that all of the explosions were because I stayed too long at the party...

Wholesale lifestyle changes. just seem to happen in an instant and only in retrospect are all the steps leading up to the change appreciated. Katherine has taken a 180 degree turn in her life and she is going for the future very thoughtfully.

this is a blog that i could see being a book, easily.

katherine's experience reminds me of when my life exploded. i feel like digging up my notebook from the first days at my sister's in lancaster [after having been evicted from the apartment i'd lived in for 7 1/2 years, a calamity which was closely followed by the loss of a job]. i know i had a list of instructions for myself...

i found some of it. not all. i started this post approximately 2 hours ago, been trippin' down memory lane ever since.

sometimes it feels like i get less wise as i grow. must be the effects of too much tragedy...at least i have hope once again, at least i believe the future can spell an improvement in our lives. i've gone almost full circle from the first moments of disbelief, learning bekah was dead, to the realization that death as perceived by us while we are material, mortal beings, is something altogether different than coldness, stillness, absence, degeneration...we spiritual beings are clothed in bones, guts, skin, hair, and when we lose all that, we do not die.

thank you bekah for doing so much to make sure i did not lose that lesson...amen

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
email to my sister
how you doing? i got back from up north friday after a 9 1/2 hour drive in which i stopped and got gas once. never a restroom break even. but i made it.

it actually would have been a good trip if the purpose was not so sad...and so deja vu. they were together 15 years, like mom and dad. when tim proposed he asked if he could be her children's father, just like dad asked mom if he could be your and jim's father. he was 49. and he dropped dead of a massive heart attack.

susan will do much better than mom though, i think. she doesn't drink, at least not to excess, or smoke at all, and she's a teacher very dedicated to what she does. the
community where they live is a close knit one. the casket was hand built by friend's of tim's using wood he had milled; the grave was dug by friends and the casket lowered
and the grave filled in right after the sharing. i grabbed a shovel and put a few piles of dirt in the grave. i figured i did it for my daughter i can do it for tim...

he was buried in sawyer's bar, a tiny town on the salmon river over a mountain from where they live in etna. the reception was held in the town hall there, a short walk
from the cemetery. susan, her daughter-in-law jennifer, and i were walking to the town hall and i decided to take some pictures of the river, which i hadn't had a chance really to see because that was the only day we went over the mountain.

check out the picture. * it was clear that day, after a week of foul weather. susan and i had both known it would clear up for tim's funeral, and it did, in spite of a lousy forecast. but when i uploaded the picture, i found that it wasn't so clear on the river? i think we were accompanied by many spirits on that walk.

by the way i cut my hair, for cancer victims. i think you don't read my blog so i'll probably post this email there.

i love you

*scroll down to see a bigger view of the picture i took at the salmon river the day my friend buried her husband in the catholic cemetery at sawyer's bar.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
CNN.com Specials
it's about time we started learning some names and seeing some faces of the people who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

i made a table and for all the dead from California, my state, i marked whether the death was hostile or non-hostile. of 51 soldiers from CA killed since this travesty commenced, 29 were at the hands of the enemy, 20 were not, and 2 were unclear.

it just all feels so wrong. so unnecessary. all the wasted youth and anguished survivors.

Online Candlelight Vigils
i go to check again...if bekah's not there, i'll light another.

The Amateur Movie Primer
by cc chapman, a fine art collector, father, and filmmaker, who is almost 30 years old.

Submarine MSs Make Holiday Gingerbread House
The replica stands about two feet high and three feet wide. The gingerbread walls are extra thick for maximum support. The windows are made of homemade transparent candy, and the chimney bricks are bite-sized licorice. The roof is frosted mini-wheats, and the balcony is framed with white chocolate-coated pretzels. Extra-sticky frosting holds the entire structure together.

andy sent me links to his first two bylines today. let history reflect that my son's very first assignment as a navy journalist was to report on the building of a gingerbread house.

i'm not sure about the first story, but andy did mention when he sent me the link to the second story [ USS Hampton Returns Home for the Holidays] that not only did they get his name and rank wrong, they butchered his story.

that should be seaman recruit Andy B. Zask, after today, seaman apprentice. i guess that "commander" i see after his byline does not reference him though that was how i read it. so even though they butchered his story, he did get "top story" status his second time out, and that seems pretty cool to me.

his mother you know. i am his mother. yeah, that's my son!

Monday, December 15, 2003
Massive Head-wound Cory
isabella is here and already keeping her parents up all night. :)

Plagiarist.com Poetry » Archive » Rainer Maria Rilke » "Love Song"

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin's bow,
which draws one voice out of two seperate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.

the poem read by gabe at bekah's funeral. it was rilke. learn something new every day. weird, how things to do trickle in. i am missing her again. i won't wallow, after the tape is over. amen

Sunday, December 14, 2003
and, by Ray: Bounce
i wrote my "bounce" before bekah was born, about eh, late '90's i guess...how about you, ray? winner of bruce's "Best Use of a Blog by a Poet" award. congratulations, kudos, and by the way, i'm working on the song titles. :)

anyway it was inevitable. i have poems titled, night. bitterness. bittersweet. in other words a lot of poems with titles that easily be titles for different poems by others.

The River
SO, i go out of town and return, trying to catch up and i am listed on bruce's blog as the holder of the "Visual Artist Blog of the Year"!

ooh that is just cool. thank you Bruce. i'm smiling like diamonds. look, bekah will demonstrate:

better put some art on here....

Victims Vigil
'tis the season to remember...our loved ones. for parents, when we can only remember our child because he or she has died, 'tis the season to get through. i promised rory a tree this year. but i didn't know tim would die and i would be gone for a whole week in december wondering why and feebly trying to comfort people who as i write this are just beginning to get to know their "brand new grief."

the MADD vigil lasts until the end of this month.

The Compassionate Friends - Grief support after the death of a child
bekah's candle and picture on my balcony

barbtries a blog
i blogged me to bring attention to the picture i added to my post from 12-08-03 - from the Etna Cemetery. Here's another picture from Etna, of a white dog standing in the snow wondering why her master has been absent. the dogs and i got along quite well...this "miss white thing" actually cried during one of our walks, and i think she lost weight while i was there.

hope she's adjusting okay...

icc related
a discussion on anger and the icc.

if you deny your emotions long enough they will manifest physically or mentally - either way they will make you sick. i think this has been demonstrated in the icc.

when she first joined the icc my friend attempted to proselytize me. this led to some conversations i found frustrating because of her tunnel vision. for instance she would always come at me with some shit about the bible, to which i do not subscribe. she knows me well, she knows i don't view the bible as a sacred text, yet over and over she'd bring up the bible as if it was understood to be just that. we could be on the phone or in the same room and she would just ignore what she knew of my personal beliefs and pretend that she was presenting an argument to someone who had conceded or agreed that the bible was the "word of god."

i suppose she had to do this because if she stopped to consider me and what i believe she might have to concede herself that it is in fact my choice and that empirically speaking, neither of us can "prove" the veracity of our positions. from there she might even have to admit that her beliefs are also her choice. instead, she wanted to believe that divine truth had been revealed to her. still does. i remember once quoting hamlet to her ['there is more on heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy' or words to that effect] in the context of telling her quite honestly that i was distressed to see her mind shrinking instead of growing - she had shared with me her new learning, that "the path to heaven is narrow." she responded in an obtuse manner, as if she didn't get it ('i don't know what you mean. we're not talking about philosophy')...maybe she had convinced herself that she didn't get it or that i was talking about something that wasn't as plain as the nose on her face.

here we are, 10-12 years later, and if she is ignorant of the real character of the icc it can only be because she chooses to be and chooses not to think outside of the cage they built for her. i think it was the same conversation that ended in her tears because i was not equivocal about my disgust. i wonder if her fear of going out into the world as just herself as opposed to a "disciple" [incidentally she never did share with me that she was called a "disciple" or that she had a discipler "above her," chosen by someone in her "church," who told her what to do, say, be, pray, etc., and when] predates her indoctrination into the cult, and i don't know the answer. at the time i just knew that i was being proselytized, that i DESPISE being proselytized [it is so disrespectful], and that i was not about to be subjected to more of the same no matter how "awesome" the speakers at women's day were.

i wonder if she knows yet that women's day is leaders' payday? that every day in the icc is leaders' payday? there so much that is sick about the icc. i don't get why she believes, or claims to believe, and i don't believe in the plastic serenity of her voice. She has chronic pain issues and is always tired. curses on the people who made up this destructive cult and took my friend away not only from me but from her very own self.

wish i could get through to her. these days she doesn't even return my phone calls. oh well

tonight at 7 pm i light a candle. remember my daughter, who died over two years ago. maybe cry, maybe not. some days these days i don't cry.

other days, i do.

HIV & AIDS - Christine Maggiore
email to a friend, who is pissed regarding the information made widely public since HIV came into the spotlight:
Cal Pen Code § 647f
hi...i am downloading all the links and will listen by and by...you know how i always check out the chp log? this morning there's an incident that says "subj apparently 647F" so i looked up 647F and ... go check it out.

this may be an issue you're interested in, if this person should not be charged with an additional felony based on the so-called "HIV test." i haven't heard enough to make an opinion. just thought it was an interesting coincidence.

this is what happened: i am pregnant with rory, and magic johnson goes public that he is HIV positive. suddenly i think if magic johnson has it i could have it, anyone could. like i said i found out later how incredibly promiscuous he was. the guidelines at the dr's office include HIV testing as one of the early recommended procedures, so i tell the OB i want one. he asks me if i fall into a high risk category; i say no, but i have been a single woman for the past five or so years, and i am pregnant, and he tells me they aren't doing the tests, they're referring people to the clinics!

okay. when i was a little hippie girl i went to the free clinic for bc pills, etc. long waits is what i remember best. and i am a logical person. obviously i could not be at a very high risk for AIDS if my own dr refused to test me for it. one thing about HMO's is they will do what they believe to be necessary to try and keep their members healthy. it's only cost effective, right? so i didn't sweat it.

after rory was born i discussed it once with my regular dr whose been my dr since my "from birth" dr retired. he told me that rory and i would not be healthy if i was HIV infected. again, he did not see any need for testing. so that was that. and i told you about bekah and how she was tested - i know i didn't think for a second that she would be positive. when she called with the good news i had all but forgotten that she'd taken the test. and i'm a worrier.

anyhow. i've only listened to one of the radio shows and didn't hear all of it. so i don't want to comment yet.

missed you last night [holiday party for Justice for Murdered Children]. you should have come. ribs. wings. links. meatballs. and desserts. it was really nice. we all wrote a note to or about our murdered loved ones, attached them to balloons, had a meditation outside, and released them.

i also really appreciated that the meditation was not a didactic reborn veiled proselytization the way prayers often are. [at tim's funeral his own mother stood up and talked about his "salvation" having been contingent on accepting christ and being baptized for the forgiveness of his sins blah blah blah].

really, people are free to believe what they choose to believe. i am just offended by proselytizers' refusal to respect other people's beliefs. i just get pissed - you know? my daughter was murdered. how dare anyone presume to tell me the disposition of her soul?!

on top of which i know she was pure of heart. according to their "scriptures," jesus himself said that means she will [depending on the version you consult] either see god or inherit the earth. no hell for bekah according to jesus himself, and these fucks want me to think she's in hell for all of eternity because they didn't succeed in brainwashing her before she was killed?

ok. rant over. love, barbara

taken at the salmon river thursday as we - susan, her daughter-in-law, and me - walked from the catholic cemetery to the town hall in Sawyer's Bar, CA, after having buried susan's 49-year-old husband Tim.

it was cold and clear as i took this picture.

Friday, December 12, 2003
Welcome to Locks of Love

my hair
was cut off two or three days ago in yreka, CA, and sent to this organization by my recently widowed friend. she'd done the same thing shortly before her husband died. when i drove up to be with her following his death one of the first things i noticed was that susan has short hair...her hair was always kept long.

when she told me why she had cut it i could not help thinking about another close friend who is giving ovarian cancer more fits than its used to [and suffering mightily for her trouble], and whose hair as i write is much shorter than my own ear-length remnants.

and it was frizzy, and ratty, and it will grow back. so. i'll post a picture of me with short hair as soon as i get one i like. don't hold your breath. :)

and oh it's been an exhausting week of grief and wonder. i don't know why good people die young. but dread imagining the world without them, and their love. thanks to their love i have faith that what we call death is more on the order of a freeing - losing those mortal weights like skin and bones and disease and blood.

i'm back at home in body but my heart is still hugging susan and the loneliness is intense. however! the people of etna and sawyer's bar are family, and truth be told, i am probably more alone here in this megalopolis of los angeles than susan or her children will ever be up there. all good. i spent more time away from rory than ever yet [and he, me] and am happy we're next to each other again. after i've slept i'll come all the way home, i'm sure.

Monday, December 08, 2003
email to a friend
hi, how's it going? i'm up here in etna, CA, practically at the oregon border. it is beautiful and cold.

susan, my friend, is not burying her husband until next thursday. i plan to stay until the funeral then head home, which means i'll get home about the middle of the night friday morning. i wish the lag wasn't going to be so long but oh well.

the upside is where i am...it is so beautiful. i passed mt shasta coming in and will see it going home. trees and mountains everywhere. i'm staying at this charming little bed and breakfast, a huge victorian era house run by the editor of the local paper. did you ever watch bob newhart's show? that's what this is like.

deer are abundant here. this morning i walked across the street to this old graveyard and wandered around and watched the sun fighting its way through the clouds.
barbtriesthe weather has been foul but the place is just so beautiful glory!

susan is doing too well. just way too well. she is talking with tim all the time and i think that's a good thing. i remember when bekah first died i felt her, but i didn't believe in her yet, i just thought then that the dead and the living couldn't communicate. i know so much better now, and am thankful that susan knows it already.

he was 49, and died alone up on a mountain nearby. susan thinks he died on wednesday and told me that he told her he wasn't found until thursday because their son timmy was in a concert on thursday night and he didn't want him to have to miss it. he knew how much it meant to timmy.

timmy is 12. when my father dropped dead at 49 i was 13. i really want to spend some quality time with timmy; i may get a chance today. susan's mother in law mentioned that they need to as a family get together and make decisions, and so on...about 20+ years ago, her 21 year old son lost it going around a curb in big bear in his brand new porsche. so she is twice bereft and it makes me ache to even imagine. she is very religious however, some sort of christian variation. i hope it is a true comfort to her. it gets uncomfortable talking with her sometimes though because my own beliefs are just as strong and differ quite a bit [lol].

anyway we just hugged for the longest time when i walked in. she knew about bekah already. i'm getting teary and i'll talk with you later. no messenger on this computer, no pal talk, etc...i am hopeful that i'll be able to hook my notebook up to his dsl line and communicate that way within a day or so.

i love you

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Forever in my Heart
a classy flash done in the memory of a 15-year-old victim

The River
Here's the news: Until it leads the national newscasts on TV, it hasn't made a dent in the public mind.

i realize i am still, at the age of 48, bereaved, poor, all that shit, hopelessly naive. i am still incredulous when it is pointed out that most americans do watch and believe the evening news. think that gw is a good ol' boy. don't believe what his war is about. cannot see our forefathers turning in their graves. and so on.

oh well. bruce has a couple links and a quote from Will Greider, who wrote who will tell the people, a book i have not read. the blurb explains that in this book, Greider shows us the realities of power in Washington today, uncovering the hidden relationships that link politicians with corporations and the rich, and that subvert the needs of ordinary citizens.

fashion plate
i just walked in from taking rory to school and realized that my ensemble is just so, so, this is it: heavy white socks over beige flipflops with stripes, plaid pajama bottoms in grey black and red, blue knee length nightgown with navy and olive green flowers, black jacket, black leather fur-lined gloves, and my shades.
i'm stylin' - think i need a picture of this? :)

i haven't figured out how to do the timer thingy delay so. zeroes cool

question: is that what this decade is? zeroes? for some reason the phrases "90's cool" and "80's cool" came to mind and i dunno how to name this decade. anyone? thanks :)

Monday, December 01, 2003
sunrise off the same balcony 12-01-03
good morning

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

moon phases

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