A Field of Snow

February 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm (my life)

It didn’t melt off for a month and then came fresh snow. Underneath is next season’s clover, chikory and hay but now it looks like Spring will never come. Snowed in for two weeks, getting a little panicky when I lost Internet and phone and felt cut off from the world. My grandparents wouldn’t have cared with kerosene lamps and wood heat and a root cellar along with 6′ drifts. They were so modern with a battery bank hooked to the windmill, a pump at the sink and a party line on the hand-cranked phone. There was a time I had my own battery bank and a generator to charge it and snowed in was normal.

How soft I’ve become since then!







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A Field of Clover

October 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm (my life) ()

There was a marvellous butterfly hovering over wild purple phlox last July as I pulled out of the drive . I stopped. It stopped. I went back into the house for the camera. I crept carefully up on it, aimed, fired…………..no memory card. The laptop was in the car with the memory card in it.

Did I get the picture?  No, but the field down the road was full of butterflies……….laughing at me.

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Leaf Fall Already?

October 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm (my life) ()

I start getting depressed in September but it really hits in October when the asters bloom. Why? The trees that worked so hard to turn green turning scarlet? Too many sad anniversaries? November, with lousy weather and another birthday, creeping up on me?

I swear the trees were green this morning, gold by afternoon. But there are little surprises – the flower baskets bursting into bloom after taking the summer off, a wild cyclamen hiding by the drive. I find things to lift my cloud – a new DVD (Fosse this time) an appreciation of the “new” corner of the living room with its soft light and books. Life may not always be exuberant or even bearable but it’s all we have.

Tonight I’ll feel the sadness. Tomorrow I’ll dance.

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So, What Do I Think?

May 24, 2010 at 8:32 am (authorship question) (, , )

I’ve spent the last several months immersed in private listservs and books, CDs and DVDs  (when I’m not hopelessly hooked on a computer game, working or answering e-mail). Elizabethan England is a remarkable place to visit…. rack, be-headings, Martin Mar-prelate and all.

I’ve learned that ladies were lifted by the busk in the Volta and not what it looked like in Elizabeth: the Golden Age.  The dance was considered scandalous because the dancers’ knees were revealed. Despite its title, the painting of Elizabeth and Dudley dancing is of two unidentified dancers and is associated with the French Valois school, c. 1580.

It’s a wonder France didn’t declare war on Hollywood for the way the Duke of Angou was portrayed in Elizabeth. Theirs was a long and apparently sincere courtship that might have resulted in marriage if her Frog hadn’t been French. Elizabeth reportedly danced for joy in her chambers when it ended but she reportedly danced a Galliard every morning anyway just to stay fit. She also took brisk walks in the gardens. Perhaps that’s how she managed to eat enough sweets to rot her teeth without losing her svelte shape. Next fad diet: The Elizabeth I

I’ve learned there’s dissension in the ranks of Oxfordians. I’m determined to remain neutral and open-minded on some of the issues such as ciphers and the incorrectly labeled “Prince Tudor” idea, at least as far as is possible. Roland Emmerich’s film is receiving much criticism before it’s even shot and I don’t think it will bring about the end of civilization as we know it any more than Shakespeare In Love did when it took seven Oscars.  Anonymous may interest people who don’t know there’s a controversy over the authorship of Shake-speare’s works and some of those people may sit on school boards. Those who are outraged don’t have to sit on theater seats.

These things may not be sound scholarship or even pleasant, but ciphers and scandals can hook the public as much as specials at supermarkets do. I may not go in to buy the ham on sale but I’m sure to find something I like once I’m through the door.

I now own two books on possible ciphers in Thorpe’s dedication and elsewhere and will shortly download a third. Ciphers aren’t too Baconian for me. I don’t think the fall of the house of Bacon was due to Ignatius L. Donnelly’s contortions or even Robert Fowler’s Freemason fantasy.  In my opinion a better candidate has come along and he, apparently, would have been exposed to ciphers from a book in Lord Burghley’s household and from a familiarity with Cardano, author of Cardanus Comfort, “Hamlet’s book”, which he had published in Bedingfield’s translation. I think the Cardano Grille should be applied to other writings of the period to see if anything shows up. Hopefully the messages would be deeper than George Frisbee’s “Edward loves Mary” found in a poem by Sir Phillip Sidney.

Despite the fact they now inspire nonsense like this ciphers were common in their time. Without them Mary, Queen of Scots, might have kept her head (when all about her were losing theirs and blaming it on her – sorry). I’m mathematically challenged and don’t even understand how astronomical odds against coincidence are calculated but I have read enough refutations of William Dembski to know the odds against something happening don’t matter much. If something did happen the odds that it happened become 100%.  The odds that The de Vere Code would reach me from England with no State or zip code given on the mailer weren’t good, but I have the book nonetheless. I do not take this as a “sign”. I can and do read everything I can get my hands on concerning Edward de Vere whether I agree with it or not.  I can’t know if I agree until I’ve read it. I would be equally interested in a point-by-point refutation on some of the findings. The case for Oxford does not rest on ciphers or anagrams but I might be more convinced if  “ever” had been spelled “evere”.

Ben Jonson said he didn’t need a Cypher. What does that mean? That he had them and knew how to use them?

Anyone who has been through High School knows vicious rumors can get started for no apparent reason. Was Elizabeth the victim of these or might she have better been styled The Technical Virgin Queen? She denied the slanders and offered to show herself to the Council “as I am”. Of course if Edward was her son he might have entered his tutor’s household at the age of six instead of only four and that would solve one little mystery.  I don’t know of any plans to dig up Elizabeth’s body for DNA testing to determine if she was Henry Wriosthesley’s mother, but maybe after  the Fulke Greville investigation is completed they can go after the Queen.

The fart story (referred to in the highly inaccurate  article linked above) about Queen Elizabeth’s Lord High Chamberlain is from John Aubrey and ranks with Shakspere’s speeches over dead calves and Mary Sidney’s romps with her “stallions” for sheer improbability. What a way to be remembered over 400 years later.

I realize in this day and age of  Truthers and Birthers and Tea Partiers it’s hard to imagine other eras could have had their own lunatic fringes.

I no longer use the Bolbec crest (the lion with the spear is a later addition, but who added it and why?) as an argument and I’m backing off the canopy now that I’m told de Vere was “too high” to have physically born the canopy over the Queen. His duties at James’ coronation would have been quite different. The Earl of Derby was one of the five earls available to bear the canopy over James. Derby is suspected of being a “true author” and was married to one of de Vere’s daughters. The Earl of Montgomery, Pembroke’s brother, was married to another.

I now think “bases for eternity” may have a very different meaning in terms of poetry and have nothing to do with monuments. The word “canopy” has many uses – “ this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire”, “When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,  Which erst from heat did canopy the herd“,”O woe! thy canopy is dust and stones,Which with sweet water nightly I will dew“…….all written by the butcher’s boy, of course.

‘Presumably the magister camerarius became the hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain, whose coronation services, which are connected with the charge of the King’s bedchamber, the handing of a basin and towel at the banquet, and the preparation of the royal oblations, afford a sufficient indication of the duties of the court office.’- E. K. Chambers’ Elizabethan Stage, Vol. I, Chapter 2 (The Royal House hold)

‘”Obsequious” (from association with obsequies) is used often of the mourner, but here of the worshipper approaching the object of his devotion with the “poor but free oblation” that lies at his command, that of sincere and worshipful affection, The unexpected “‘not mixed with seconds”, applied to the sacrificial cake of pure wheaten flour, suggests some literary or ritual reference more direct than commentators have yet unearthed.’ – Canon G. H. Rendall,  Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Edward de Vere

Coronation Sonnet by Gwynneth Bowen

The cognoscenti will know what (                             )(                             ) means.

So, what do I think? I think it’s time for tea.

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Southampton’s Symbolism

February 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm (portraits) ()

It seems obvious the Tower portrait of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, is full of symbols, from the cat to the cuffs. It’s been suggested the symbols are Rosicrucian and Masonic, from the diamond windows to the shape of the ribbon on the book.  What does it all mean? I know less about Rosicrucian and Masonic symbols than I do about Alpha Centauri, but I’m always willing to learn.

I did find this on the symbols but they’re not specific to any group.

“There is a pretty legend that this was Southampton’s favourite cat, and that when he was imprisoned it found its way to the Tower and joined him. But personally I prefer the suggestion of the late Lesley Hotson that the cat is there not as a pet but as a symbol. To the Elizabethans a cat stood for the desire for liberty, since cats, as any cat owner will tell you, have zero tolerance for closed doors. And if the cat is symbolic there’s a fair chance everything else in the picture is freighted with hidden meaning too. The fortress visible on the right of the picture is presumably the Tower: the inscription in Latin refers to Southampton’s imprisonment, proclaiming ‘In vinculis invictus’, ‘In chains but unconquered’. A book lies behind him, its ribbons untied. He has stripped off one glove so we are treated to a view of his left hand, dramatically pale against a dark ground, bare but for a single small ring and what appears to be a string of rubies round the wrist. Why? What do the rubies signify? And as for the ring – it has an irregular outline and appears flat and dark. I think it may be a mourning ring. These often had hexagonal bezels with a death’s head mounted in the centre. If it is, then taken together with the sombre clothes and expression I would bet money there is a reference to the dead Essex here. When James became king he would speak sentimentally of Essex as ‘my martyr’, because though they never met Essex had been secretly writing to James for years. But Essex burned their correspondence before he was arrested and there was little mention of the Scottish king at his trial. Just as well. Elizabeth would not have taken kindly to the thought that her dear cousin of Scotland was so impatient for her crown that he’d been in cahoots with a rebel.”


The cross on the book appeared on a coin issued by Louis the Pious (778 – 840 AD). The four dots apparently represent the four gospels.

Diamond windows were around in Medieval times and may have been more practical than symbolic.

Wikipedia says:  “The diaper shape of the panes gave greater stability than square-cut straight-set panes and hence are more common. It was also convenient to cut diamond shaped panes from a single “crown” of glass with less waste than that caused by cutting square panes.”


This room in the Bloody Tower looks as it might have when Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned there. Note the windows.


I don’t know if there’s significance to the broken pane but if there is it might have to do with wanting freedom, a desire to break out. I don’t think it has anything to do with the broken window in Oxford’s room that Dr. Nelson mentions. 😉  Maybe the pane really was broken; that might indicate a certain neglect.

If this was an appeal to James (who would want to commemorate an experience like this?), it’s effective.

I haven’t been able to find much on gloves but they indicated status and were usually leather. The “crosses” on the cuffs resemble heraldic crosses, I think, unless they’re X’s. They’re not unlike the ones that appear on imperial crowns. One topped Elizabeth’s crown in her coronation portrait. Maybe this is a reminder of who had him imprisoned just because he tried to overthrow her?

Or are the X’s saltires?

“A saltire, Saint Andrew’s Cross, or crux decussata (though it is never called the last in heraldry), is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross (×) or letter ex (x). Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross.

It forms the national Flag of Scotland…”


The Flag of Scotland, according to Wikipedia, is the oldest continuously used sovereign flag in the world, reportedly in use since 832 AD. And James was,  guess what,  Scottish.

Rubies represented many things but in this case I’d suggest the bracelet represents drops of blood referring to the Crucifixion or Essex’ execution.  Or is it a  symbol of undying devotion and love – but for whom?


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Kitty in the Sky With Diamonds

January 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm (my life) ()

Now, I’m not one to see Jesus in a piece of toast or Mary in bird droppings (and I certainly wouldn’t tell the media if I were) but I did notice a shape in the wallpaper on my mini-notepad that somewhat resembles the Prodigal Cat. I might take it as sign my kitty ascended if I hadn’t taken the picture weeks before he went into the night on secret kitty business never to return. He did visit me in a dream but I was realistic enough even in sleep to not wake up and get his treats.

I do know what paradolia is and once spent a few minutes viewing a picture before and after the blues were tweaked. This proved beyond reasonable doubt that even a mentally challenged person can use Photoshop but did nothing for the sasquatch effort. There wasn’t even a shadow to form an impression of a hominid in the brush, let alone two (one was transparent). It’s nice, I must admit, to be free of a group that even begins to take such things seriously.

 The idea of cats in the sky led me to Donald Johanson and the discovery of Lucy, so named for the song playing in camp. Contrary to popular belief at the time, the song is not about the initials of the title. John’s son brought a painting home from school and when asked what it was he said it was Lucy in the sky with diamonds. I’d somehow never thought of paleoanthropologists enjoying simple pleasures like we lesser mortals do. I prefer Norwegian Wood, however.

But I digress.

After Lucy I wandered to ancient Egypt and wondered if the ladies of the time applied eyeliner the way we do, for emphasis, or whether it was just to repel parasites. Desmond Morris called us the Naked Ape. I submit we’re the Decorated Ape.

I’m now all disinfected and entering the land of “Nothing by mouth after midnight.”  I’m already wondering what I’ll forget to bring to the hospital even though I’ve been packed for two days. It’s not like I’m going to a foreign country. My housesitter can bring me things – provided I remember where I put them. Will I really finish the books I packed? Can I live without the Internet for 3-5 days or should I risk bringing the netbook? Did I answer all the e-mails I really needed to answer? Will I come out of the anesthesia or will I end up like a character on House? “Oops! Did the wrong thing; you have five hours to live.”

I don’t have to worry about leaving my cat with a stranger. I sure could use his company now, but then I run across a glob of cat hair (how did he get it there?) and have mixed emotions. I understand my mother wanting out of cat sitting when time was slowing her down. I resented her putting housework ahead of her kids (who never did master the art of wiping  feet). “Who tracked up my clean floor?” I can hear her say. It just now occurred to me she could tell by the size of the prints.  So why did she ask me? Now I no longer resent her; I just miss her. I hope she understood at last I couldn’t be there for her because I just couldn’t handle it.

When I was little I’d cry over roadkill. When one of my first cats died my grandmother opined I should be glad it wasn’t a person. My mother responded, “Right now I think she wishes it were a person.” I think that was the only time my mother really understood me.

I used to think I’d be okay if I had no emotions at all. It would be nice if I could think everything I’ve lost in life is waiting for me in The Great Garbage Can in the Sky. Sister Clotine told me when I was in kindergarten animals can’t go to Heaven; they have no souls. That pretty much did it for me and religion at the age of 4 1/2.

So, kitties can’t go to Heaven and the shape is not some sort of spiritual cat. I can’t help but notice, though, that that Jack-o-Lantern “face” next to “him” in the photo looks pretty angry – or is it hungry? If, by chance, there’s an afterlife for kitties I hope all the animals he killed weren’t there waiting for him.

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Enter Anne, Stage Left

December 22, 2009 at 6:26 am (authorship question, portraits) (, , )


Anyone familiar with Oxfordian reading of the Shake-speare canon knows Anne Cecil appears in many guises. She’s Desdemona, Ophelia, Helena – the virtuous lady wrongly suspected, the dutiful wife who failed to give her wayward husband an heir in a reasonable length of time. He didn’t help things by refusing to sleep with her.

The letter from Dr. Masters  to Lord Burghley  paints a picture of a distraught young woman unhappily pregnant and convinced her husband, away on his travels, would not accept the child as his. She knew him pretty well. I’m not sure if she was really asking for an abortion (with herbs?) or just wanting her body to return to its normal monthly cycle (she might have been in denial that she was really pregnant). In any event she seems to have been ill and the treatment sounds like it was enough to kill them both!  The ever clever Lord Burghley countered the rumors this was not Edward’s child by spreading them even further in defense of his daughter’s honor and Edward returned with cuckoldry on his mind. He’d just been cast nearly naked on the English shore by pirates who had no more respect for him than those in Hamlet had for the Prince of Denmark. He was not in the mood.

At some point, to convince him he was really Elizabeth’s father, he was told he’d been “bed-tricked”. I imagine the scene might have gone something like this:

Anne: My Lord, don’t you remember that night when you were so drunk you could hardly get it………….(aside to Lord Burghley) Father, what am I supposed to say next?

Burghley hastily flips through the Bible looking for the story of Leah.

Polonius: (whispers) Ah, here’s something on the Virgin……no…..we can’t use that. Wherefore art my Decameron?

Edward, having read much of Lord Burghley’s 1700 volume library, may have had some serious doubts about this, but after five years of separation they reconcilled and lived more or less happily ever after until she died at 31.

The story showed up in The History and Topography of the County of Essex by Thomas Wright (1836), Vol. I. p. 516.

“According to this insane resolution, he (Oxford) not only forsook his lady’s bed, but sold and wasted the best part of his inheritance…. The father of the Lady Anne, by stratagem, contrived that her husband should, unknowingly, sleep with her, believing her to be another woman, and she bore a son to him, in consequence of this meeting.”

In Traditional Memoirs of the Reigns of Q. Elizabeth & King James I, Francis Osborne tells of a nobleman being so humiliatingly worsted in a quarrel he was

“. . . left nothing to testify his manhood but a beard and children, by that daughter of the last great Earl of Oxford, whose lady was brought to his Bed under the notion of his Mistress, and from such a virtuous deceit she (the Countess of Montgomery) is said to proceed.”

I’m not sure how the son got to be the daughter, but fool me once………Their only son died soon after birth in 1583.

Anne was far beneath Edward’s station and Edward may have had annulment on his mind. Oxford’s father, the 16th Earl, had arranged a marriage for him with one of the sisters of Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, but Earl John died suddenly soon after making his will. As it worked out, the chief “beneficiary” was Robert Dudley. Elizabeth elevated William Cecil (it’s good to be the queen) and this may have helped a bit, but Edward may have regarded Anne as a kid sister from their time together in Burghley’s household and not the great, passionate love of his life.  Edward, who often signed his name with seven crowns until James ascended the throne, would have had a stonger claim through the earlier marriage arrangement. 

Their early life at Wivenhoe seems to have been a case of Edward breaking loose after a wardship in which his every waking moment was structured while Anne wondered what she’d gotten herself into. They were childless after nearly four years of marriage. David Roper says Edward believed human gestation was a year (the stars were in their crystal spheres, too) and that’s why it couldn’t have been his child. In another version, he became enraged when he was told that the daughter had been born some 12 months after the last time he bedded Anne.  But the whisperings of Rowland Yorke (and/or Lord Henry Howard), who reportedly banned Anne from the earl’s bedchamber, apparently Iagoed him to action. “I must let you understand this much: that is, until I can better satisfy or advertise myself of some mislikes, I am not determined, as touching my wife, to accompany her.”

Poor Anne must have known he had a mistress in order to go along with, or even be part of, the story. Did she have a Jackie Kennedy attitude about it or was she as deeply hurt as any innocent of our time would be?

I couldn’t find a portrait of Anne, but David Roper (in Proving Shakespeare) suggests her hand may be reaching from heaven (see above) to rescue Edward from his Attic love with Southampton.

I’ve been watching Branagh’s Hamlet on DVD, complete with Robin Williams dressed like the gatekeeper from the Wizard of Oz, and wonder if Kenneth Branagh (a closet doubter in denial, perhaps) was aware of how much he resembled this Hilliard miniature of Edward de Vere:


Any resemblance between the Hilliard of the young man with a hand, once thought to be of William of Stratford hanging on to his muse, and the identified miniature of de Vere is purely coincidental, of course.



I have no idea why anyone thought the young man with the hand was Shakespeare in the first place.

The hand (if hers) may be all we see of Anne Cecil, but we can wonder if she let someone console her. If her husband was the Bard he immortalized her and expressed deep regret over his shabby treatment of her following the affront to his honor (never mind he lived with a courtesan while in Italy). But, seriously, would you believe that bed-trick story? 

If women could be fair and yet not fond,
Or that their love were firm not fickle, still,
I would not marvel that they make men bond,
By service long to purchase their good will;
But when I see how frail those creatures are,
I muse that men forget themselves so far.
To mark the choice they make, and how they change,
How oft from Phoebus do they flee to Pan,
Unsettled still like haggards wild they range,
These gentle birds that fly from man to man;
Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist
And let them fly fair fools which way they list.
Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,
To pass the time when nothing else can please,
And train them to our lure with subtle oath,
Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease;
And then we say when we their fancy try,
To play with fools, O what a fool was I. – Edward Oxenford

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Coping With Pain (and Dealing With Crazies)

December 11, 2009 at 1:14 am (my life) ()


I didn’t want to spend the last part of my life like my mother did, with my social life consisting mostly of doctors. I have nothing against doctors; I just prefer meetups with like-minded people over lattes and books to be purchased. For my birthday last month I treated myself to a latte alone and an Audubon guide to butterflies, but after many years of avoiding doctors (and attorneys) I now find myself having to see both.

I kept putting my limp down to having jobs where I’m on my feet a lot and winters with respiratory infections that seemed to sprain a ligament with every sneeze. But then the limp turned to a hobble and I let a friend haul me off to Urgent Care. Two X-rays later I was referred to a surgeon.

I had mild to excruciating pain with my back for thirty-five years. I took a fall playing longball in Junior High and the family doctor diagnosed a sprained sacroiliac. I wish he could have seen my X-rays when I finally broke down and had my 3rd degree “spondy” repaired. The pain and stiffness over the last several years was really minor compared to that and I tended to dismiss it even after I took to using shopping carts for walkers.  I actually scoffed when my employer said I could be in for hip replacement surgery.

I almost never took pain pills for the back due to an aversion to “drugs”. Mostly they didn’t work. Amazingly, ibuprophen actually helped my hip and I started gobbling them at the rate of one a day. The surgeon said I could take three three times a day, but it wasn’t long before I was back at Urgent Care. The nurse practitioner prescribed an industrial strength anti-inflamatory and more hydrocodone. I buried my guilt and watched House in relative comfort after a day at work that was almost pain free. Wow. I was even dancing!

By then I had an appointment with a GP who sent me a letter saying he doesn’t do pain management and won’t normally prescribe anything that can be addictive. I was just there for a pre-surgery checkup. I decided not to ask and gritted my teeth in preparation for toughing it out. After telling me I’m in pretty good shape he actually volunteered. He said I’m in acute pain and gave me enough refills to last well into next year. I guess he noticed the unique way I got on to the examining table.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my neighbor left a note on my door informing me she would cut off my water the next Monday. I hadn’t heard anything from her since I accidently caught up with the fact she’d been charging me half the total water pump bill instead of half the current amount. While we tried to figure out why it was running so high (drought? leaks? sprinklers? long showers? six people to my one?) she had evidently failed to notice the overdue amounts – for seven months. Since her note didn’t give me a clue to how much the total was (her normal billing method was to send a kid over with handwritten amounts every six months or so) I had to estimate, giving myself six months credit for the overcharge. Her reaction was to leave some really colorful language on the voicemail. I made an appointment with an attorney. 

This diversion, the Internet and some lengthy shopping trips,  helped me deal with the pain of losing my kitty.

But what does all this have to do with King James’ Queen Consort? A debate on YouTube took a bizarre turn when a poster decided Anne of Denmark was the Dark Lady of the Shakepeare sonnets. At first I thought this was parody, a snide take-off on some of the extreme anti-Stratfordian views, but the poster was serious, proposing the Bard and John Florio, onetime tutor to the 3rd Earl of Southampton as well as Anne of Denmark, were in a ménage à trois. There followed pages of one-line posts, now removed, that seemed to be diagnostic for an episode. It’s interesting we debate pseudonyms and concealed identities while using them ourselves – even to the point of changing gender. This person revealed having several identities (he was giving himself Thumbs Up on his own comments), and, while posting under a woman’s name, mentioned writing a sonnet for his wife. He also said he hadn’t read up on the case for Oxford but that hadn’t prevented him from declaring Oxford is the worst candidate of all. Why would the fair Queen Anne be the Dark Lady? Because she commissioned and acted in the Masque of Blackness. Ladies of the time used belladonna which made their eyes appear dark. She had a thing for poets. Shakspere co-produced The Tragedy of the Rape of Lucrece by Thomas Heywood. Really?

In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name;
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a bastard shame:
For since each hand hath put on Nature’s power,
Fairing the foul with Art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bower,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress’ eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Sland’ring creation with a false esteem:
Yet so they mourn becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says beauty should look so.

I’m not implying, of course, that all Stratfordians are stark raving mad.

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Lying For Credibility

October 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm ('squatchin') ()


(Note: This post was in draft when real life intervened. I’ve thought of ignoring the situation completely, but to ignore dirty tactics is to enable them, in my humble opinion. Therfore, I’ve decided to back up my blog again and publish it.)

I don’t understand why anyone would think that lying about people who are telling the truth is a good way to promote the image of their organization and make it look – what’s that word? Oh, yeah – respectable.  I realize it’s embarrassing to say on a public forum that someone was at a festival and then have the poster show up and say he wasn’t, but is that any reason for someone on the  “staff”  of a blog to write a highly insulting and innacurate tirade (removed, but not before it was cached) against someone who was merely reading the thread?  Maybe that was just a coincidence. Since the main target of the blog has left the blog wars maybe the “staff” just needed to turn the cannons on someone else, namely me.

It’s baffling to read about “attacks” on the organization at “every opportunity” when there seem to be none (I’ve passed on a lot of opportunities). Is the idea to provoke  a response and then try to claim the person has already been discredited? Perhaps they just can’t stand the idea that they’re old news and nobody really cares. I’d have asked if all the ghillie suits were accounted for but a mod stepped in and I stepped out. The originator of the thread, who had a remarkably familiar writing style,  has since been banned but I had nothing to do with that. I was just looking for the “fireworks”.

It’s hard to find time to read books, let alone forums, but the books I own are far more interesting than the endless squabbles and blog wars that have nearly turned me completely off a subject that once was interesting to me.  I thought these folks were supposed to be out looking for not-too-bright primates, not acting like them.

I once lived in a tent in my very own forest in sasquatch country and knew people who’d investgated incidents. My best chance for a sighting would have been at night on Washington’s Hwy 14, but I was just never in the right place at the right time.  Would I have had more status in the world of bigfootery if I’d claimed a sasquatch went through my truck (and who can prove one didn’t?) or that that hair-raising sound I heard at dawn was without doubt a sasquatch and not an elk or that blowdown is sas shelters ?  If some people find my posts “irritating” because I back my stuff up with books (my area of “expertise” is classic evidence, not campfire stories) I suggest they stop reading them.

What must new members be thinking? If there’s a falling out will there be blogs full of disgusting information directed solely at them? Will the “staff writers” take personal information completely out of context, twist and distort it and post it on the Internet?  If  “newbies” try to tell it like it is will their honest input be dismissed as “holding a grudge”? Will their PMs and e-mails be  shared and posted?  Do they need to worry about their families and their jobs? Are the laws against cyber libel, stalking and bullying any protection against these antics? Might a new member wonder how lying about people would make these folks seem more credible when relating their experiences?

There are several groups currently that seem to be in line for the Disgrace of the Year awards. I have no idea which name is in the envelope, but I do know these groups weren’t given a bad reputation; they earned it.


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Goodbye, Butterscotch

October 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm (my life) ()


Butterscotch was a homeless kitty who’d wandered into the fellowship hall and was speaking louder than the speaker.  I didn’t take him home that night. After leaving my life in Washington I didn’t want to have anything I’d have to take care of, nothing to love and lose. The next week someone handed him to me. The women had been passing him around and he smelled of cologne. I stopped at K-Mart for a bag of dry food for him and he had it torn open before we got home. I put some outside and told him he was my outdoor cat.  He circled the house yowling for the next two hours. I let him in, but just, I told him, for a little while.

That was about nine years and eight months ago.

He became my indoor-outdoor cat, coming in in the middle of the night announcing his presence. He’d be waiting in the drive when I got home or sleeping in the house and then yelling at me before I could open the door as though he’d been waiting there for hours.  He thought five AM was a good time for me to get up and get his tartar control treats until we got that moved to seven. He had a really cute begging gesture.  He’d paw my face or my arm or my leg when he wanted something, like petting or treats. It would have been cuter if I’d had him declawed.

I’m trying to think of all the good things about him being gone. I won’t have to get a cat sitter when I go into the hospital this winter. I won’t have to get out of the car in black pants and discover I’m covered in cat hair. The kitchen floor will be safe from dismembered kills and I’ll be able to walk across it barefoot in the dark. I won’t have to worry about burrs and ticks in my bed. I’ll be able to keep my laptop on the bedside table without fear of him knocking it off. There will be no more triangular tears in the curtains from his sudden compulsion to climb them. I won’t have to move his paws when he stretches across my chest, kneads my hair and gets dangerously close to my ear. Never again will I have to wonder if he thinks his name is Damn Cat.

A parade of friends, family and pets from hamsters to horses goes through my mind. I was devastated at the loss of each but don’t feel the pain now. I know I’ll be better in a few days and stop thinking he’ll be waiting for me the next time I come home from work. I won’t go to the door and futilely call when I’ve accepted the fact that he blended into the autumn leaves and vanished in the night.

But right now I can’t stop crying.

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