Wednesday, November 18, 2009


After having successfully completely every NaBloPoMo since its inception (okay, three) I have to accept the fact that I have too much going on with my life right now to commit to blogging everyday this month. This is harder than it seems.

Today I am getting my hair cropped after not having done anything with it for six years. I'm nervous and excited all at once.

Here's the "before" photo (taken last June)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

If You're Tired of Tea Then You're Tired of Life

The phrase "Mama, may I have a cuppa?" as spoken by my four-year-old, makes my Cockney heart swell with pride.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Teaching cockney and dialect coaching followed by rehearsal made for a full day. I've got nothing in me bit sleep.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My head is full of Cockney cant and slang as I revamp my handouts for this weekends workshops in preparation for the Dickens Christmas Fair. No time to write, of course.

What a sorry excuse for a blog!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Talk to the Bird

It has been, I hope understandably, more than a little crazed in these parts. So here is a photo that I took back in August of a pelican on the Santa Cruz Pier. He will be your temporary host today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I long for the mantle of fiction with which to cloak the truth.

Well, that and a good eight hours of sleep in a row.

A dish of gelato wouldn't be turned away either.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Funeral

Arrived at the church, my mother sniping, complaining and criticizing me the entire three hour drive. I kept my father's voice in my head and refused to take the succulent bait she tantalized me with, responding to everything with, "Yes, mother" or just reaching over and taking her hand.

I escorted her into the church, still clad in jeans and t-shirt and fled as quickly as she would let me to the car to retrieve my clothes.

There are three Patriot Guard Riders here, as motorcycle escort (though not flying any flags), all on Harleys. I approached one of the men and thanked him for being here and for everything they do. He smiled kindly and said this was his second most rewarding job. (I will ask him what the first was on my way back inside.)

The man looked at me, removing his dark glasses. "Are you alright?" he asked gently.

"No," I admitted. And he opened his arms and enveloped me in a hug while I sobbed openly into a stranger's arms.

He is old enough to be my father.

Why is it that we often feel most alone in the company of family?

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Two family deaths in one week and two full days of rehearsals and teaching dialect classes has resulted in one shell-shocked and brain-dead blogger. Add to that an average of four hours sleep for the last three nights. My internal censor has checked out entirely at this point.

I am leaving in six hours to drive two hundred miles to a funeral in the morning, returning tomorrow night. Right now, there is too much to write but I've not the facilities to do so.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Plato

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Mojo and I are watching an old Cosmos. Carl Sagan is talking about the Library of Alexandria and I am dreaming of what it would be like to have a library card.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Day four of NaBloPoMo and it is literally the eleventh hour.

I am sitting here in front of the computer trying to update my materials and do a class outline for the new Advanced Cockney class I am teaching to participants of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. I am failing miserably.

Instead I think about my cousin, Punky, who I just found out tonight lost her battle with cancer. I am think about family and memory and the stories we pass on. I wonder about memory and how it becomes compromised, specifically how my memory has become compromised. The memories change when they are transmuted into story. They change with the telling. And as years pass and the tales become ingrained they are almost more vivid then the actual memory. They also become clouded with others stories, especially as they overlap.

It's day four at the eleventh hour and I am lost in memory. My daughter sleeps quietly beside me and I think about the stories I will tell her of the people she never knew. Those who came before. I wonder what stories she will tell in time and how our memories shape the future.

The best memory is that which forgets nothing but injuries. Write kindness in marble and injuries in dust. ~ Persian proverb

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Dia de los Muertos

The list grows:

Rose Rushdoony Deovlet (Grandma Rosie)
Phil Deovlet (Grandpa)
Robert H. Deovlet (Uncle Bob)
Gloria Deovlet (Auntie Gloria)
Rose (Vartoohi) Mahdesian Deovlet (Grandma Darling)
Benjamin Deovlet (Grandpa Darling)
Richard Deovlet -(Uncle Ricky)
Rose (Vartanoush) Rushdoony (Grandma Rushdoony)
Y.K. Rushdoony (Grandpa Rushdoony)
Mary Movsesian (Auntie Mim)
Spurgeon Avakian (Uncle Sparky)
Ruth Avakian (Auntie Ruthie)
Evelyn Cooper Smith (Grandma Evelyn)
Haywood Smith (Grandpa Haywood)
Joy Deane Wagner
Auntie Margie
Auntie Posie
Mullah Don Brown
Dave Coker
Fred Cone
Brian Dall'Armi
Maxina Danner (Snookie)
Jorge Luis Farias-Martinez
Ronnie Geoffrion
Mary Jo Goss
Tony Guzman
Mace Hanley
Bill Harris
Michael Hefflin
Jerry Josephs
Jennifer Lee
Patrick Lee
Ruth Leggett
Wally Lockwood
Amethyst Mariani
Evan McCaskey
Don Mills
Shelly Munge
Dan O'Brien
Theryl O'Ryan
Timur Otus
Ricky Paul
Dave Ricker
Phil Robledo
Barbara Rose
Sally Schneider
Andrew Small
Manny Suarez
Sully (Gordon Sullivan)
Bob Thomas
Marilyn Tutunjian (Punky)
Linda Underhill
Robin Wadsworth
Bob Wright
Margie Wright
Wolfie, the Maine Coon of my heart

As every year, I pause. I read the names aloud and hear the echo in my heart. I wrack my brain fearing, knowing, I left someone out. I cry. I remember. I love.

No more words of my own. Take these in their place:


by Christina Rossetti
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

I just looked back and realized that this will be my fourth NaBloPoMo. Can I get a resounding call of "Holy Crap!" from the congregation?

Of course, I contemplating ignoring the month altogether. It seems I have less time to write and/or spend on the internet. But when I have a deadline, an assignment, a task to complete, I have always managed to eke out the time to do it. So I have made the commitment and joined the blogroll.

I'll close with a quote that I have always loved. Hopefully it will prove inspirational.

It took me forever to realize that in order to write I just have to turn up at the desk every morning at 9 A.M. and do it. I can never convince kids of this. Faulkner said something wonderful about it when somebody asked him, 'Mr. Faulkner, do you write by inspiration of perspiration?' He said, 'I write by inspiration, but fortunately it arrives every morning at nine o'clock.'
--Reynolds Price