Thursday, December 20, 2001

The familial celebrations chez Washburn were gentle and warm, the turnout for Lorey's final celebration included the current crew from the fire truck unit he served on, singing and bridge-playing friends with stories of the weekly orchids and drawing lots to see who'd take it home. The church organist turned over the piano bench to show us the risers Lorey'd added on request - sawn from wood left over from the previous altar - and the church decorations committee pointed out that all the plant stands holding the baskets and arrangements of flowers had been made by Lorey.
The neighbor-ocer-the-fence for 35+ years came, shocking himself by stepping into a church, but added to the appreciations and also mentioned that Lorey had his human side as well - "for instance, he didn't like beer."

It was a good visit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

--- Ruth Temple wrote:
> Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 11:13:52 -0800 (PST)
> From: Ruth Temple
> Received the newws from Loren, and wrote this to my family-
> Dorothy and Lorey Washburn are another set of parents in a grand- sense of
> the term. His folks were enough older that when they married, Dorothy had
> the delight of being welcomed as a daughter who was like a grand-daughter,
> and they were tickled to welcome me in the same warm spirit.
> They were very welcoming not only to me, but made overtures to the rest of
> our family, writing the folks and welcoming Tamara for Thanksgiving holidays
> a few years. The first time I visited them with Loren, Lorey made a point of
> drawing me aside and saying, as we were all retiring for the evening, that
> they liked me very much, and that I was welcome to the family.
> When I took a week-long violin construction workshop, they opened their home
> for me to stay and commute over to Thousand Oaks to my classes, and we talked
> into the wee hours every night, about art & life & families, and wood-working
> (Lorey made grandfather clocks and had a splendid woodshop out behind the
> orchid greenhouse).
> As and after Loren and I changed our relationship from householding partners
> to dear friends, the Folks Washburn and I have chosen to "keep one another"
> as Family, and have kept in touch.
> Lorey had a tremendous, if quiet & subtle, sense of humor. Dorothy has a
> thicket of black bamboo in the side yard; once after thinning the canes,
> Lorey put some of the green-cut bamboo in the fireplace ... after about
> 30 minutes, he remarked casually how well that bamboo was burning...(it
> was charcoal in the gas flame by that time, mind you!).
> He worked as a fireman, and sang in the Methodist church choir most of his
> life. The first Washburn family home was built in the walnut orchards of the
> San Fernando Valley on their folks' land.
> After more than 65 years of marriage, Dorothy and Lorey were lovebirds, as
> sweet on each other as when they were newlyweds, and it was a delight of an
> example to see!
> What great last words - from someone who found all of his life to be
> delicious:
> --- Loren Washburn wrote:
> > Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 11:22:45 -0800
> > From: Loren Washburn
> > Subject: passing of a good man
> >
> > My father, Smith Lorenzo Washburn passed away this weekend
> > after a long and wonderful lifeand after a lingering and
> > dibilitaing form of blood cancer, myelodysplasia. He was
> > 89. He asked my mom for a drink of water, being too weak to
> > do anything but sip through a staw by now. He drank and
> > said 'My that tasted wonderful' and closed his eyes. Iin a
> > few minutes they realized that he had left them.
> > 'Share water share life', and what a wonderful comment on
> > his life!
> >
> > - Loren
> Love,
> Ruth

So, I'm off to hug the living family-of-choice and tell the stories
and sing the songs and Remember - full of love.

Saturday, November 17, 2001

The rains have come this week, and there are mushrooms poking up out of the ground in our backyard. I think the ones over between the strawberries and the rosemary bush may be a form of collybia, and haven't even brought in the big white one over in the far corner near the marigolds to key out at
California gardening patterns are so wierd, (though marvellous) having grown up in Minnesota. There's no rain here from April till November or so; summers are cold with the fog that the "stinkin' heat" over in the Central Valley pulls in over our heads on the coast (midwinter is warmer than midsummer!) and the rains that pass for "winter" here keep making me think it's April-in-Minnesota - time to plant greens! I could spend a few decades getting used to this. 'shrooms in the garden are an amazement anyhow...
love, Ruth

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Jury duty this week - call in Friday evening, to hear "call back Monday evening" - which left me open to working some hours for BEAM - very good and happy keyboarding.

Monday evening, "call back in Tuesday evening" - so I have today to figure out who else to vote for in today's elections in SF... we could wind up with a municipal power Co instead of the ripoff PG&E profitmongers. That'd do fine. I do want to see a forst of solar panels on city roofs, and more wind generators than just that line of them out along towards Livermore.

Friday, November 02, 2001

3895 words down in my 'novel' file in the NaNoWriMo write a novel in a month 'contest' -- there's something just viscerally appealing about how simple it is to set out a 'contest' where everyone who makes the 50,000 word line by November 30 is a winner... and who knows, perhaps it's possible to create something coherent?
At the moment, I seem to be scribbling vignettes from my life and those around me over the past year and a half; and plan to deal with those scary emotions about how to deal wtih a slow debilitating disease or two (diabetes and having one's retina detach slooowwwwly and painlessly...and coming down with nasty asthma during the rainy season while working in an Old office in a fusty mildewy pier building) and what it's all going to mean about work and ability issues and how painful it is to run into the walls of what you can't do any more, the way y'once could...
Id the safe walls of fiction and write the nasty true stories of Girlfriend's former workplace and the stoopid managment decisions that have run the place into the Ground, a bad situation for any service profession that was started with an intent to be run as a charity health caregiving deal...
And then there's our dear neighbor, a Viet Nam era vet who lives in his van and rolls with the big hardships of his life, and goes to pieces over the small but personal injustices, like being ripped off by other homeless folks with even less than he has. *sigh.*
Of course, because it's me, it'll poke through all these tragic and sacred everyday living happenings and wind up with happy ending of hope claimed and nurtured and passed along from heart to heart.
Love is the most powerful thing there can possibly be, after all.
The yahoo group artistsjournals has been such a delight in my life this last half a year, I can't begin to express it.
The techniques different folks report and share and the show-and-tell of
the files area, the swaps of art projects, on top of the great
conversational threads that go by - nurture something deep in my soul.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

well, I've gone and done it now - I've signed up at NaNoWriMo to scrive a novel in the month of November this year -- that means, 50,000 words, starting tomorrow...!!
a near-gloss fictionalization of the past year from Spring to Spring in SF will do it for me; exorcise some o those demons, tell all the juicy dirt about Baaaaad management decision over at GF's workplace, follow a few personal effects of the dot-bomb going down, write in our dear friend and neighbor, a vet who lives in his van and goes to pieces over certain hard knocks but rolls like a serene buddha with the Big calamities and small indignities of his life.
Vignettes of the City, snarls and setbacks, a protagonist reaching for hope in the face of slow disabling functions and looking for the great What's Next? in the face of a wobbly economy.
Hope springs green - of course it's gonna have a happy ending! I'm the one writing it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Back from a weekend enjoying the Dead Ringers in San Francisco. Friends who've been morris dancing for years gather from the corners of the continent where they've spread out, and dance several sets near the Cannery and Hyde Pier in SF on Saturday, retiring to the Steelhead brewery for dinner; then continue on Sunday with a beach picnic, bocce 'tournament' and pub session (singing, dancing of jigs, consumption of goodies) until we're ready to wander off and call it a great time until next year.

Note to self: must find and learn the words to The Pro Musica Antiqua. no one could perform it *quite* so 'comme il faut' as Lynn, perhaps, but it Must be Known...

some highlights: Alex and Time came over to J&P's on Saturday night after the day of dance, and we played a set of Cliffs of Moher alternating with it jig self in 7/8 for the sheer fun and games of it.

Most religious moment of the day: playing for Jane, Liz & Patti, the tune Over the Hills and Far Away for the 3-person jig Barrow's House. Strangers reading this should know that morris dancing in general takes a long while to learn and coordinate with one's team, and is thus performance dance; a jig is a solo or small group ensemble-with-solos dance for showing the youngun's How It's Done. or something like that.
Jay came up with a credible new jig to the Webley Twizzle and Peterff leapt and twirled his 'Whirled Service" jig in the tradition of Minneapolis on Mississippi, a regional morris form created for the Bells of the North by Jim Brickwedde, when they were a New team lo these few decades ago. Further fascinated new readers may peruse the following locations for edification and amusement:
I'm dubious today about continuing with LASFAPA, a print based zine apa I've been involved with desultorily for a year-plus, more seriously this fall. The folks are mostly well-intentioned and kind, and different from me, and not really of huge passing interest or connection with the folks involved therein, except as a furtherance of prior and outside connections with a handful of same. I need to commit to paper these ramblings and musings, when I could blog online, save myriad trees, and let those who might wish to know, these whereabouts?
Perhaps for the best.
As to zining in print, I'm getting more excitement out of the yahoo group botmzines and the ten- for ten artzine swap every other month - the commentary to one another is more to the point and swift, being as it happens online, and the zines themselves remain expressions of personal vision and artistry.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

Vanessa wrote to the ECD list:
While strolling through weblogs I found this link to a recent LA Times article
on the subject.

"The first case of Stuck Tune Syndrome is lost to history. If ancient Romans had
'Parvus Orbis Est' (Latin for 'It's a Small World') chirping incessantly in
their heads, they were kind enough not to mention it."

(mind my artificial line break in the URL)

Of course, it has been scientifically proven that the tune "Liliburlero" will drive out any offending tune stuck-in-endless-repeat-loop in a brain, and then will calmly leave of its own accord when the good deed is accomplished.
Verified in the kitchens of Pinewoods Dance Camp and the on the shores of the Monterey Bay, it's True, true, true.


Thursday, October 11, 2001

I am also celebrating the drive from SF to LA and back with Lise, for the
weekend - we took Friday, and dawdled down 101; a hashmark for every shopping
center of that same generic could-be-anywhere in CA, could be Nowwhere, that we
passed; also noted with delight the regional sights: garlic stands/barns in
Gilroy, the decor of the Madonna Inn in SLO as well as the gift shop and an
apple dumpling from the Apple Farm restaurant, reading from natural history &
roadside geology books as we go...
She'd never been to Solvang before!! so we stayed there, and prowled the
historical Danish village...ate at Pea Soup Anderson's in Buellton on Friday
night, our picnic on the beach in Santa Barbara on Saturday included lefse from
the bakery in Solvang, but that lefse (Mrs. Olson's) was from Minnesota! haw...
the little carousel in Solvang, a Denzel reproduction with someone's
meticulous care and love and incredible hand-painted detail, is gone, having
been sold to a Japanese collector. We imagine it is well loved in its new home,
wherever that is. (*snif!* I miss it!) The seocnd-generation proprietor of the
Viking Motor Lodge on the main drag, Mission Street in Solvang, is Chinese, and
has a huge painting showing the Yellow Mountains and misty valleys, that his
father brought over from China. Lovely...we admired, and drew map sketches on a
scrap of paper to see where the Yellow Mountains are...some of the incredible
landscapes/waterfall scenes in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which
you must see if you have not yet) were shot there.

I celebrate landscapes, and the myriad of micro-climates we drove through this
weekend. Chapparal on the west and south sides of hills and oak forest on the
north sides in that valley rolling down through San Luis Obispo (or SLO; one
pronounces the 's' in Luis), and those 'Golden rolling hills' Kate Wolf sang
of, with a red-tailed hawk circling above, well if not every one as the song
goes, then many several of them.

We stayed with a delightful couple, folks who play SCA as well as being active
in the English and Scottish dance communities. We made them stuffcakes for
Sunday breakfast before heading easy road - there are still groves of
Meyer Lemons along the Simi Valley, there are no public mailboxes for posting
letters or postcards to be found in a walk around downtown SLO (the handy
half-way point stretch stop), and Carl's Jr. has decent salads and fresh
greeneries on burgers (that'd be Hardee's to those of you East of the

from Monday, October 1, in response to a query reaching for some good news from mon pere on our family yahoo: in spite of the current political situation, what are you celebrating?
Just today I'm celebrating the fact that dancers in LA have thrown their first annual Playford Ball, a fancy-dress party version of social English Country Dancing, named for a fellow who started publishing heaps of dance instructions and their tunes in 1651. It's a living dance tradition, with dances in the 'style' being written and taught to the current moment (often Playford Balls will center on a theme or period within this continuous history - someone is putting together a Louisiana Purchase Ball in the South, and choosing dances that were popular in that era and that part of the world.) Saturday's dance in LA didn't really have a period theme, but was named St. Michael's Madness and featured the dance Michael and All Angels - which were chosen last spring by the dance coordinators for the date the dance was held (St. Michael's Day on the liturgical calendar) -- but which turned out to be deeply and richly significant in the light of the last few weeks, as the dance was written by Fried de Metz Herman and set to a tune by Purcell, just as the Gulf War was heating up, as a prayer "please God don't let this be the start of world war three" (having come of age and survived WWII), and English Country dancers have been gathering together in their regular dance series and classes worldwide and doing this dance and the dance, Peace be With You, in the past few weeks, as a prayer for peace.
It felt Appropriate.
Lise has been out & down with an inner ear (viral the doc thinks) the past few days, we bopped into ER Monday night and got her poked, prodded & medicated and sent home for Rest a few days, and she staggered not only into work today (she's the library director for the California Institute of Integral Studies) but also called a dance this evening over in Berzerkeley - we have just arrived to home, and should be tipping over asleeeep, but are both sitting down elbow to elbow at the desk in the kitchen (our Main room of Cosiness) and checking emails for relaxation and comfort at the tail end of the day.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

Maze Musing

One of last spring's projects was painting a maze on scenery muslin – 10' wide by about 17' long. Hurrah for Dharma Trading Company for having all the necessaries – muslin at cheap a yard, and paints. Having a 6' round table to work on, I did the math for path and border widths, knotted a string and stitched it into the center, giving me a measure to work from; plastic-tarped the table, and laid on as much of the muslin as I could at a time (not quite a quarter of the circle at once). I didn't see the whole piece entire until it was finished and taken up, being folded for bringing to the BACDS Playford Ball in March.
What is a Zine? Some Historical Natter...
(c) 2001 Ruth Temple

Zines, amateur publishing associations, mutual arts-and-letters swaps, and their unique vocabulary have grown out of science fiction fandom over the last 60-plus years. There are prozines, semi-pro zines, fanzines (focusing on a genre theme) and 'perzines' or personal zines that are writings of personal interest to &/or by the author. Zines are usually produced as a solo work but as often including letters of comment (LOC's), articles, stories, thoughtful essays and artwork from full-page wonders of fine-art on down through the simplest of scrawled "illos" - B&W spot illustrations from friends of the editor and subscribers.

Prozines would include your glossy, slick professional magazines that pay for writing and artwork, semi-pro zines would include industry review magazines, or zines that have gained huge followings such as Locus or File 770; and amateur, as the French use the word (done for the love of it), which encompass the perzine, which became shortened to 'zine. It's the latter that has leapt forward, still before email blossomed, with the alternative and punk scenes - as a way to self-publish a burgeoning social movement.

The Beats of the 50s did a lot of self-publishing, the civil rights movement of the 60s and various social justice movements following (gay rights, women's rights, disability rights) have all documented themselves with the written word - and there has been some small crossover with the folks using 'zine' vocabulary for what they were doing, but the crossover of language from SF fandom to the larger community/ies really took off with the early Usenet groups/BBS's of the late 70s early 80s - the abbreviative jargon that was so useful when one was typing ditto masters on a manual typewriter (imho, LOL, VBG) carried over and has been taken up by most all of us (not many here don't yet know those mean: "in my humble opinion", "laughing out loud" and "very big grin").

The concept of zines has been beautifully adopted by artists, journalists, poets, and niche-hobbyists of all kinds. I believe the reason that this genre of fan publishing spread from SF fandom to the larger community is that folks who read speculative fiction are, on the whole, interested in the whole world around them - which is why one finds singing groups and art happening among the readings, costuming events, parties and literary panel discussions at SF conventions!

One of the pieces of fannish zinedom that I'm not seeing as much in the art-zine world is the letter of comment. ::waving her finger querulously in the air:: "Back in my day" - and well before the phenomenon of email and its instantaneous communication connection, the LOC on one another's writing and thinking was the ultimate form of pen-pals - you could count on getting feedback for that short story you printed last time, hear someone else's wry pun on your comment on someone else's writing - an APA group essentially becomes a fertile discussion ground – where you check in with one another once every week or month or two.

It's even slower than writing morning pages - but the continuity is there. In these days of immediate correspondence via email, I keep an APA membership or two, just because that slow growing groundswell of ongoing conversation feeds something critical to my soul.

There are zines that have been continuously published for over 60 years. This is better than the run of several professional print magazines we all know of...

APA or Amateur Press Alliance or Amateur Publishing Association, or any combination of the above, are set up to swap a certain number of copies for a collated "disty" or distribution of those from everyone playing, with a central editor/swap mama/OE who acts as sorting and mailing agent and in many cases puts a cover and what-the-ground-rules-are intro section on the collation.

What may be true of zines:
• they have irregular publishing cycles
• one finds widely varying production quality (those slubs are MEANT to be charming!)
• they include personal writings, stories, essays, editorial rants,
• reviews, letters of comment
• they include artwork, illustrations, figures, drawings, cartoons...
• they may or may not include any (paid) advertising
• they may or may not pay for writing or art submissions
• they may be long-running publications or one-offs
• they may be general or theme oriented
• zines are a great form of self-expression

Friday, September 21, 2001

So I'm teaching 6th-to-8th graders in this afterschool program, combining writing and art exercises into a zine-making course called Pub Your Ish!
Two afternoons a week, they start out with three mood words, a timed writing exercise, and move into a topic or an art project.
You can imagine Wednesday the 12th of September.
I had learned two dance-community friends had died - Stephen Adams was a sommelier in the restaurant Windows on the World at the top of the WTC, and another morris-dancing buddy, and son of an English Country dancing family, Chris Carstanjen, was in one of the planes that crashed into one of the towers. So I was able to bring the immediacy of 'this isn't just a story Out There; someone known to someone here with you, died in this.' - which put the human side of things immediately within their grasp! We discussed their views and knowledge of the incident, what they would say to such a person who would do such a thing as this; and then made cards addressed to 'someone affected by the event' - some wrote angry notes to terrorists, or the prez, and some wrote sympathy & get well cards to victims and survivors, and both were powerfully cathartic - to me as well as the kids.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Online communities are one place I find coonnection with old and new friends, inspiration, challenge, comfort and communication. The lists I touch base with include the English Country Dance list

yahoo groups:

French-ok - being my retired french-teacher father's daily postings of readings in french and english - a delightful sometimes whimsical outlet for his unending source of storytelling and occasionaly bursts of poetry.

artistsjournals - a place where artists who journal, or do art in their journals, meet and swap projects, ideas, inspiration, occasional journal entries, sources of stuffe, techniques and calls for art.

botmzines - where a bimonthly art-zine swap touches base.

ComparativeTarot - a wild and eclectic bunch o' folk who love the art and spirit of tarot decks. Many, many decks. Look, here's another one with an interesting twist on the imagery of *that* card! Excellent juicy archives of study and thought and mythic exploration.

I also enjoy poking about at and am very taken with the project as well as the new circlejournals yahoo group. Where cyberspace punts us back into actually making and swapping Real Things through the mail - swaps and collaborative artworks and serially-collaborative journals. Good for the soul.

I also attend to private group and family sites - a yahoo group of cousins on my dad's side of the family, named for his mother and dedicated (so far) to her descendants. It's been fun looking at the photos and old news clippings some of us had, and have shared, as well as hearing more from far-clung cousins in the past couple o' years than I have in the previous few decades. Oh yeah, that's what email and the 'net are for.
I write, therefore I post - belonging to an APA for the first time in years has brought me back to the written page and journaling in a big way this past half year. So - how much is navel-gazing, and how much is meaningful in a larger context? Dunno, but being an in-the-daylight sort of person, I've decided to put it out there, in hopes that my words will entertain, amuse, bemuse, beguile, and/or inspire other friends, family, and random strangers.