Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Winner Is: Number 7!!!

Thanks to Sheila, Mother Of Blue, I did not have to spend tons of time cutting up paper. The random generator is truly a modern marvel. After one quick click, there it was: Number 7. Lucky number, that!

The winner of my bracelet giveaway is none other than Deabusamor whose blog is "Overstimulated Undercaffeinated." I do not know this woman, but she's got "amor" in her name and because of that, I like her. I like her a LAWGHT.

This was Dea's comment:

Deabusamor said...

I think I'd frame it if I got the bag with teeth marks, along with a picture of the Somewhere Joe in action!

Please enter me in your giveaway!

Thanks for the giggles,

Listed as a student and from Hesperia, California, Ms. Deabusamor says in her profile:

"Art has always been important to me but only recently did I discover that tactile art -- specifically sculpture and sewing -- was a required daily dose for my sanity. I work primarily in Polymer Clay though I also dabble in wire-wrapping, sewing, digital painting and various other mediums. (Craft ADD!) Most of my designs are for sale at my Etsy Shop ( and I welcome custom orders."

Please fellow bloggers, do yourselves a favor and go see what she can do. She can do beauty of the first order. Trust me. Go with me on this one.

Follow now three Presentation Poses. Poses both Valentinian and Gawpoean, all three of which are performed in my now famous red sweatshirt, fruitful boon of a dumpster dive. (The Russian judge only gave me a four, but I got straight 9s from the rest, so it's all good.)

Pose The First:
The teeth which indent for the purpose of creating a record. This, if you will, is my seal. A biting down to symbolize, Ms. Deabusamor, your own mastications of life's beauties, not the least of which was how we came to meet. One World. One Heart. One bite.

Pose The Second:
Holding out this little morsel of gift to you, as though a consecrated host, the which is so lovingly embodied in our own host, Ms. Lisaoceandreamer. I hold this gift in my hands and therein consecrate the friendship that relates us, the friendship that erases any strangeness that stood between us and the hundreds of touchings that all participants left in the way of comments on each others' pages.

Pose The Third:
You, Oh Deabusamor, were randomly generated. Face it. Fate is at times a luck. You were number seven. Lucky number seven out of a possible 211 entrants. (Okay, a few less than that because I had to rule out some duplicates as well as Somewhere Joe who disqualified himself due to his maniacal humility.) I bow down my head, therefore, and close my eyes. I pray you into favor with your life, with your own gifts from which flow wonderful creations of your own hands. No, I did not make the Giveaway bracelet. But Monica did. And I gladly bequeath to you as her ambassador this small token of my own One Heart on this Saint Valentine's Day. I pray love into the package. And the dried shrimp themselves rejoice, longing for your taking them onto your tongue as a communion. (But you don't have to if you don't want to.) Just send me your address, Dea, and you will surely score that picture of the Somewhere Joe Jocular Microwave Move to go along with the bracelet and shrimp and bean.

Finally, a word about the painting which I have chosen to back my ground. It is a creation of Rick Bartow. Rick is a longtime friend. A musician. A father. A husband. A Vietnam veteran. A Native American. A loving man. Last year I bought this painting. Rick had offered it as a way to help the family of other friends whose 12 year old son, Keegan was battling cancer. Rick donated the price of the painting to the family. Keegan and I shared birthdays. May we some day share the same day of passing. I would like that. I only this week got the painting framed. I love how it turned out, floated and simply bordered, as is your art, Dea; as also ought we strive to live our time here: Floated, and simply bordered.

***UPDATE 021508 @ Twenty-Zero-Seven Hours***
I was a bit too vague. And I do apologize. Keegan did not survive the cancer. And I am not certain he made it to his 13th, my 53rd birthday. Yes. Very, very sad.

Keegan flying my airplane:

Literally "out of the blue," after some minutes of flying the airplane and keeping the craft well along its path of straight and level flight, Keegan turned to me and spoke these words through the headsets: "Thank you."

So I turn now to you, Lisa. And I utter the same: THANK YOU.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And The Winner Is......

....going to have to wait until late tomorrow. It is not quite yet midnight. I have to work in the morning. A twelve hour shift. Yes. Half of an entire day.

When I get home tomorrow, I will include every entry up until midnight Pacific time. Hey, Lisa's rules. If it were up to me, I would count votes until ten past midnight. But she's a stickler. She is so STRICT!

Anyway, I will come home and use the random generator link that Sheila (MOB) sent me (Oh, thank you so much dear labor-saving Mother Of Blue.....mwuah!) and the winner shall be announced with a Fan for his or her Fare. As of 18 minutes until midnight, I have 210 comments. Some are duplicates and I will reduce the whole lot to a single entry per person. Per person. That was so fun to write that I had to do it twice.

Stay tuned.

Oh----and Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

Xs and Os to all!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

One World One Heart Giveaway

***This just in 02/03/08 Super Bowl Sunday @ 1605 hours: Lisa says to add this:

That anyone wishing to should leave a comment between now and the 13th of the month. I will then draw a winner on the evening of the 13th and make the YOOOOOGE announcement on the 14th. That is Valentine's Day. Hey! I get it now! COOL! Valentines Day? Heart? World? (nods head knowingly and with a deep sense of satisfaction here..) Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, I am supposed to ask folks to leave me a link to their blog, an email address (I love those) or some way to contact the winner to get an address to send this AWESOME OWOH GIFT to.

Get it?

Got it?


(now back to our regularly scheduled post...)


This is Neropaco. It is a store. It is a store that sells creations uttered in glass by the owners. The owners are brother and sister. Neropaco is in Venice. More specifically, it is on the island most famous for its glaziers, Murano.

This is my sister, Karen. On her left (yes, to your right) is Monica. Monica assists her brother in the making of fine glass pieces. Specifically, Monica makes some of the smaller pieces.
Even more specifically, Monica made this.

And she included bags to go with each piece Karen and I walked away with. Yes, you get a BAG. A Venetian Bag! w00t!
But that's not all. When you win this One Heart piece, you win also an individually wrapped bag of Japanese Dried Shrimp With Green Bean. It is a bit spicy. And the shrimp are cute. (notice cheap plug for Jeremy's book all propped up nice next to the giant hooka.) No. You do NOT get my red sweatshirt salvaged from the dumpster in a rich residential area NOR my cap which I found on the ground at the beach all wet and dirty at the time. (So was the cap, by the way.)
And what would a giveaway such as this giveaway be without some showmanship. In honor of Somewherejoe's magnificent feet....uh.....yeah they are magnificent, but what I mean to say here is fete, you can receive with a smile the knowing that your Venetian bag with its contents of one Murano glass bracelet and its accompanying individually wrapped bag of Dried Shrimp With Green Bean has been clenched ever so lovingly in my teeth while performing what has come to be known as The Somewhere Joe Jocular Microwave Move. And yes, there will be teethmark indentations on the bag. (notice cheap plug for my ability to associate with blonde hotties---friend, Summer---as depicted in deliberately posed framed photo. nana g on fridge and cold water salt water aquarium on right.)


Friday, February 01, 2008

Two Days With A Friend

It snowed some more at my house. This is my view to the southwest.

I waited until the weather reports gave me permission to leave my hill. There was a good deal of snow along the route and roads didn't improve until reaching the Valley. Interstate 5 was clear though, and the rest of the journey was a breeze. Jeremy and I had planned this time together for some weeks and I really wasn't up to suffering a disappointment. The plan was for us to meet at the Abbey and then we would head up to the hills, to the Milk Ranch on the Abiqua. I am about to lay down some tracks in the freshly laid blanket.

In about 2 1/2 hours, I was at my destination. The first time I saw this sign was in July of 1972. My vocation director, Larry McGovern, was scoping out an alternative seminary to St. Patrick's in Mtn. View, CA. I returned in September to begin what would wind up being over a nine year relationship with students, staff and an introduction to a phenomenon I had never yet heard about: Monasticism.

I left the scorching heat of the San Joaquin Valley on that July day in 1972 and landed at the Portland International Airport where it was cool and misting. In July. Yes. Father Adrian, the assistant Dean of Studies and Father Anselm, the prior of the monastery at the time, were there to meet me. Anselm would become Abbot not long after our first meeting. The new bell tower is last year's addition and smacks of all the beautiful towers I saw in Italy. After a quick tour of the new digs, Jeremy and I headed for the hills.

This is St. Anselm's Hall. It housed a high school on the third floor and us undergrads on the second. The first floor was administration and classrooms. My Greek class was comprised of me, Steve Obersinner and Father Gregory. That's it. The larger classes were stuffed with upwards of a dozen students. I felt lost in those large classes.

Along the way to the Milk Ranch, I snapped this shot of one of the many hopyards that border the Abbey's edges.

This is the place. On the walls of the house are pictures of some of the monks who worked the farm around the early 1900s.

I cooked dinner and we supped well on pasta and sliced tomatoes and red onions in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

I brought Big Night. Jeremy had not seen it. Here I am spying on Stanley Tucci and Isabella Rossallini after a sordid romp behind Mini Driver's back. Those Italians!

The last time I had been at the Milk Ranch was as a monk of Mt. Angel. They still had two of my pots. I was touched. Inside this one was a used dryer sheet. Not having remembered putting it in there, I removed it.

My signature at the time.

We rose none too early and I prepared a frittata, coffee and toast for breakfast. My mother and father and grandparents would slide the frittata out of the pan and onto a plate to be then inverted in the pan for finishing the top. One day I just said heck with it and tried an idea that I now see routinely demonstrated on Food Network: You slide the pan under the broiler to finish it off. Lots easier and the surface looks so beautiful. We prayed Divine Office at the table after eating and later celebrated Mass in the small downstairs bedroom converted into a chapel. It was easy to fall into the role of acolyte again. And it felt good. This day marked one month to the day that Jeremy's father, Dick Driscoll died. We celebrated Month's Mind with Dick very much in mind. I knew Dick well and loved his every wrinkle of being. A funny, funny man who would call out from the bathroom nearly every morning after waking, "Oh my God, it happened again! I got better looking while I slept." Me, he referred to as "The Little Devil" and Jeremy said that Dick often asked what his son had heard lately from The Little Devil.

Here's a shot of The Little Devil at table with Dick Driscoll's son.

I took this picture with my new picturer, and I love it.

We were sort of hoping we'd get snowed in.

We were somehow able to plow our way out and we returned to The Hill. This is the monastery's laundry building. Novices get to do the laundry for the entire house and it is in this room that I spent my first year as a monk after changing my affiliation from the Diocese of Stockton to the monastery of Mt. Angel Abbey. My bishop was not too happy. I really didn't understand that. Vocations aren't from whim, you know.

Jeremy and I then walked back to St. Joseph's Hall where Brother Claude Lane has his studio. As we approached, Claude was writing an icon.

In Claude's studio is this piece which we all three collectively named, "Jesu Sub Tavala" or "Jesus Under The Table." We decided that Jesu Sub Tavala would be the Patron Saint of all those who labored for cash without paying taxes. Hey, someone's gotta support those folks.

Speaking of working under the table, Claude proudly displays his new shipment of "Community Coffee" which comes from another Benedictine house which may or may not be reporting their income from bean sales. Being not so sure, I don't want to burn their name, but the fact that they put chickory in their blend, can narrow it down from there. Claude and I were trying to explain to Jeremy the importance of Scarlett Johannson to film. You can see the edge of her IMDB filmography on the computer screen. We kept trying to describe Lost In Translation, but trying to describe Scarlett Johannson to a brilliant theologian is like trying to describe chickory in coffee to a tea drinker. Or something like that. A rare serious pose from Claude, you can see just how firmly he feels about that coffee and chickory. So do I. And I am not smiling as I say so.

Here Claude is basically saying he has no idea why his icons are so unbelievably, utterly beautiful. Okay, he didn't really say that, but they are. So is he. Not to mention being one of the funniest persons I have ever met. Claude introduced me to Mississippi John Hurt and Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks. No one has heard of the latter. When Jeremy and I arrived, the former was playing on the stereo. Okay, he knew we were coming, but it was fitting.

If Claude cared to leave a comment, he could explain all that's going on in this icon he wrote, "The Giving Of The Rule." It was done for a Carmelite house. That little flower growing there means something. Claude said what it meant. But I am old now and cannot remember.

Here we are.

And there's the former Brother Gawpo, front row center.