Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Taunting - Travel Edition Seventh Candle

It was the Seventh Candle and the final night we would be Traveling. Indeed, there were complications to the execution of the seventh candle.

The first problem was the plague. Try as we might we couldn't convince the stomach virus decimating our ranks that plagues were part of a completely different Jewish Holiday, where plagues get served wine and they have special songs sung about them. 

On the day of the Sixth Candle, the plague caught the Boy Cousin and Grandpa. This was bad. Sick Grandpas are Surly.

On the day of the Seventh Candle, the plague caught the Brother-in-Law and was laying in wait in the Girl Child. Seventh Candle was originally going to be celebrated with my sister at her house where she would have friends over and a Seventh Candle Shindig, but the descent of the plauge proved that it was not meant to be. A quiet family dinner at Grandma's, and we planned to go back through the woods and  over the river before 8:30. 

We lit the candles after dark but before dinner so we were ready to travel. The Taunting for the Seventh Candle called for the first night of identical poppets.

The boy, who seemed to be on the receiving end of a number of stunt poppets at this point opened his Takeout Box expecting. . . . .well nothing really. He didn't have any preconceptions having received a stunt poppet the night before. When he opened his box he met Pumpkin Spice, a small gentleman whom he had expressed admiration for back in November. He was pleasantly surprised.

Those of you who know us however, know that all things Pumpkin need to reference the Girl Child, she who loves Pumpkin Pie more than life itself.  Alright, maybe not life itself, but she's very territorial about Pumpkin Pies. Especially Grandma's Pumpkin Pies. Grandma makes 2 pies just for her so that everyone else has a shot at getting some during Holidays Where Pumpkin Pie Is Required. So while one Pumpkin went to the boy who wears a lot of orange so he doesn't disappear, it would have been seriously improper not to accquire one for the Pumpkin loving girl. And they were the last five Pumpkin Spice Poppets in existence, so it wasn't like there was going to be the option of acquiring one for a future Taunting.

So a pair were battled for and obtained.  They set off together for the relayed trip to Our House to then be smuggled for the Taunting Travel edition - which is as it should be since the Pumpkin Pies come from Grandma's house. 

But there was a glitch. The Pumpkin Spices had broken the First Rule of Adventuring:

Don't Split Up The Party.

One Pumpkin Spice had arrived with Dangles and Gingerbread but the other had wandered off leaving the House Reds to come up with a Seventh Night solution for the Girl.

The Really Polite Red was along with the Most Adventurous Red in the House while he was getting his Skeleton Costume made. There was orange construction paper for her too, but she found some of the orange wrapping paper  and wound herself in it. 
Costume solved! She was now "A Red Poppet Pretending to be a Pumpkin Spice Poppet". She jumped into the Takeout container and popped out on the Seventh Candle. The Girl thought she was adorable.

There were no pictures taken with Grandma's Menorah that night as we rushed to make sure we would be home before midnight, but first we had to go on a Poppet Rescue Mission. Poppet placeholders were also given by their aunt and the Christmas Poppets had arrived that day. So off to Auntie's house. The Christmas Poppets will make it to the Dreamtime at a later date.

Then we rode off into the incredible fog. Let me just say if you've ever read that Niven story where fog is a sign that realities are overlapping each other and you might not know where you'll end up, this was a good trip for taking bets on which parallel universe you'd land in.

Halfway, through the woods, but not yet over the river, the plague struck the Girl, plus there was all the fog. Really people, Passover is in April.

She held it together and there was superfast unloading, and we discovered the scout I had left behind had brought in packages and lo and behold, the Little Black Poppet had led the way and Skeleton and Pumpkin Spice were there waiting with him.

Here are the pictures of the Wayward Poppets with their Stunt Doubles. 

Everyone, People, Poppets and Stunt Poppets would be together for the last candle. One More night and Channuka and the Taunting would be complete. If we didn't all come down with the plague.  . . . .

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Taunting - Travel Edition Sixth Candle

Our travel tale continued with wayward Poppets at the fore. Skeletons were scheduled for the sixth night and Little Love Remains had shown up weeks in advance ready for her close up ( as long as she could wear her mask). When she arrived she showed off her practical side since her mask had it's very own little velvet bag, but her companion the Skeleton Playset had wandered off on his own. The Alien Poppet had delayed departure to make sure he was coming along, but they had separated on their way together. 

You can't stop The Taunting, so with the help of the House Reds, we messed with it instead . . . . The Sixth Night Takeout containers were brought to Grandma's house, they stayed under the fruit bowl until those candles were lit. Little Love Remains was met with squeeing and "OMG that is SO cute." (Much to Grandma's confusion)

And then the next Takeout Container was opened and out popped . . . .

It was the Most Adventurous Red In The House . . . Pretending to be a Skeleton. We thought he did a very good job as a stunt poppet. The Most Adventurous Red in the House usually lives in a Ram's Horn called a Shofar, and when that Shofar when to Synagogue this year for Rosh Hashanah, he somehow or another made a daring leap in the bag and went along too. Somewhere on the way home he got into another adventure he hasn't told us about and is sporting a bit of a chip on the right side of his forehead. 

He is very distinguished and afraid of nothing. He knew that the Little Black Poppet that had been displaced by El Gatto, had found the Skeleton and they were on their way, but they would not make it in time to Travel. It was totally his idea. He might also have just wanted to Go To Grandma's House. He does like to travel. Thus the Sixth Candle Taunting was saved.

The Taunting - Travel Edition Fifth Candle

On the way to the fifth night we were experiencing technical difficulties on the inside of the Taunting and on the Outside.

The Taunting is carefully balanced and full of ying and yang. I do not know what The Taunting would look like if there weren't two children and they weren't different genders.  I do know it would still be there, and it would still celebrate each child's individualities and similarities simultaneously. The Taunting is not about being even, the Taunting is about being heard, even if they don't realize we were listening.

So thus when we put together the Taunting, we realized there was a problem - the balance on the fifth candle was off! It was a Poppet Emergency! Despite the best efforts of Poppets and People alike, the tiny culprit that threw off the balance prevailed and settled into the Takeout Box. That was the technical difficulty from inside and outside. Then there was the difficulties that come from the Overlap. We were not going to bring our channukiot (plural of channukia) because Grandma, of course has one. A decision was made that group photos of The Taunting participants would just take place at the end. During the Travel Edition individual crews would take photos with Grandma's Menorah (Grandma doesn't like to put on airs either).

Then  . . .  disaster! The charger for the camera was missing. Which of course was discovered while getting ready to leave because the camera was on low battery. It seemed that the Taunting would not be Blogged. But then . . . . .Salvation! Our friend who has no Overlap, had the same model of camera and we could stop by and pick up her charger. Then  . . . Disappointment. It was just a little off, but then  . . . . Hope and Redemption! She found a AA battery operated Canon and sent us on our way promising that the Taunting would still be aired. We felt very religious, after all that disaster and salvation and hope and redemption, and we also had someone who was keeping Black Death in his pocket so I'm sure we were acting out someone's religious narrative somewhere, even if it wasn't a terribly serious religion. I'd like to think it might be the religion associated with the small God in Dirk Gently's Refrigerator.  Most importantly we could keep our promise to air the Taunting.

And initially it was all OK. For the Fifth Candle, one recipient was given Monday's Poppet.

She was most appreciative, having eyed the little feline type friend for a while, but you and she both realize that Monday's Poppet is only pretending to be a Cat. 

Our problem was with the other Takeout container, because you see, Poppets are generally polite if pressing, but Cats are Cats, and there is really nothing anyone can do about that. 

When the other recipient opened his takeout container he looked in and found this
The note reads:

"I am keeping this space warm until a little Black Poppet arrives.

Then I might move.

El Gatto"

And then the borrowed Cannon promptly ran out of AA Battery life, which is when we found out that Grandma's house may be very powerful and it may very well have been both Christmas and Channuka, but no one in the house was capable of finding new batteries for the camera. And that was the last picture taken on Fifth Candle. We think El Gatto did it and just didn't want to move to take a photo.

Where was the little Black Poppet? His story will come later, there were other Poppets wandering but not lost this Taunting, and there were still three candles to go . . . .

You can mess with the Taunting but you cannot stop it. 

The Taunting- Travel Edition

Tonight is the Eighth Candle. The Overlap created the Chaos that was expected, but that didn't stop The Taunting. Traditions must be upheld, even Aunti Claus knows that The Taunting can be messed with, but it cannot be stopped.

On the morning of Christmas, before the trip to Grandma's, Aunti left a mini version of a taunting of her own, following all of the rules we use but leaving it to us to figure out. Gifts from Aunti are never simple. The gifts were unlabled and exactly the same size. The children ( who are not really so childish) figured out that she was using wrapping paper code, binary for the boy and non-denominational capitalist greetings for the girl, and they opened their Black Death and Mad Cow Disease petri dishes, and found Not Poppets in their stockings. The Not Poppets will get a post of their own at some future point.

The boy was very happy with his collection of Black Death and now carries some in his pocket because it's cute, and fluffy, and Black Death.

Then the team packed up and sent itself to Not Really Upstate New York to Grandma's house, where Grandma lets the butter sacrifice itself freely into baked goods and Santa is NEVER confused.

And a wondrous time was had by all with food and love, and some stories. And dessert-lots of dessert

The love of butter and dessert is the reason we gifted Grandma with a Gingerbread Poppet.  Upon introduction Grandma looked at her and wondered "Do you think she wants a house?"

So you see, although Grandma thinks the boy and I are a bit nuts with the embassy project, the apples have certainly not fallen far from the tree, Christmas or otherwise.

You can also see that Grandma's Gingerbread Poppet found places suited for her at Grandma's house with very little effort. 

The Taunting however could not be denied. Three days we were going to be in Not Really Upstate New York and that was three days that needed to participate in the taunting. On the table where Anti Claus once had a really mod silver tree was a bowl of fruit, and no sign of Aunti at all.  It seemed to be the place to be. The Taunting, Travel Edition was set up.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Found Interesting

 Once upon a time , there was a little girl who lived in Brooklyn, because all of the really interesting stories start in Brooklyn. She had no magic at all, but none of the things that were magical really believed that, because when their world broke apart she would hold enough pieces of it together that they thought it was magic. But it wasn't magic, it was work.

The little girl grew up knowing she had no magic , and she was pretty sure that no one else did either. Which meant that when she grew up and got married she didn't realize that sometimes legends are true, and the fae could bend and steal time.  She would have made sure to have a rule against marrying such creatures had she known. She went there unknowing and when she left that realm, everything was different.  Her own world had broken apart and she worked very, very hard to put enough pieces of it back together again. 

There are no Jewish Faeries, so she was pretty sure that if her children had any relationships with Jolly Old Elves it would have to be through her mother, who kept regular correspondence with magical things, or their father when they visited that realm where magic was real.  And for years that was so, until the year it wasn't, and the poor confused Elf paid a call to a house with a fireplace and a tree that lived in it. But the tree had a vulture, and the lights were all candles. He was invited in, although hesitantly, because she was holding together her children's broken world and it was still having it's glue set. 

That was the year they learned. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, 
surprised, since there had been no stockings planned there,
While Santa has stopped by for good girls and boys, 
There were hints of something else in the toys. . . . 

That year there were signs of happy snarkiness, and counterculture items that could not possibly be Santa approved. Black leather cuffs and Bunnys telling people to throw rocks. And thus they discovered that the Stockings had been infiltrated by Aunti Claus,  Santa's cooler rebellious younger sister, who hangs with dwarves that work at West Coast.

Santa Claus visits all the good little boys and girls, 
Aunti Claus visits all the interesting ones.

 (Yes, it is prounounced "Anti". That's because she spends a lot of time in NYC and because she likes it that way)

The next year Santa came again with mysterious stockings and behavior based rewards, but Aunti broke in too, and rearranged The Taunting - putting the 8th night presents in the stockings and breaking the house rules giving the children matching Ipods. That was when they learned the other part of Aunti's MO:

Aunti Claus gives you the presents that your parents don't approve of. 

On the third year the broken world was set, the woman who had no magic wanted to celebrate with her mother, the children's grandmother, who was the family's connection to the Tooth Fairy and Santa, and House Brownies. The youngest child was concerned . . . . Would Aunti Claus be able to find them at Grandma's house where everything was good and properly Christmassy? Could Grandma ban Aunti from coming in like all of the other questionable magic types? Grandma was very powerful.

That was the year they learned their third truth about Aunti:

Aunti Claus is a Ninja 
She comes in through the front door, you just don't know it. 
Not even Grandma.

That chimney stuff might mess up her outfit. Santa covered the living room in Christmas splendor - Aunti found a cool little blue and silver tree in the dining room,hung out her stockings filled with in-jokes and sarcasm, and left two working light sabers underneath the understated yet diva-like tree. The light side of the force was for the boy, and the dark side of the force for the girl because after all, the girl had the T-Shirt "Come to the Dark Side, we have Cookies"

The Children are older, the world is slightly more brittle, and if the young boy is asked the immortal question, "Do you believe in Santa Claus," he looks at you with Faerie Ninja eyes and smiles a secret holding smile. He answers, " I believe in Aunti Claus"

And Aunti Claus believes in him, because this year, there was no sign of Santa at the home of the Woman with No Magic, but there were Poppets in the Trees for her, Diseases in Petri Dishes and Extra Brain Cells for the children, Sharp and Unsafe Objects for everyone, Devil Ducks and Tiny Power Tools to be shared by the child and his mother. The daughter was was gifted with Software the Mother Did Not Approve Of and the ability to draw pictures with air and electrons. Everyone in the family was Found Interesting this year. Even the Perfectly Normal Stepfather, who got a collectors edition Red Swingline Stapler.

It is clear that Aunti Claus supports the Embarrassed Embassy Project.

They reveled in the binary of it all, then  packed up to travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house, where Santa still behaved as expected. Just because her children were Interesting, didn't mean they weren't Good.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Taunting - Overlap

Last night was the Fourth Candle and it was also Christmas Eve, which means we had to find time for our Local Christmas Celebrating Family and still fufill the mitzvah of lighting the candles, to get ready to leave tomorrow to celebrate with our Non Local, Non Christian, Still Christmas Celebrating family.

So the Fourth Candle came after the Poppety inflection on extended Christmas Eve food and gift exchange. This winter Poppet was gifted to a Perfectly Normal but Perfectly Wonderful Grandward. She actually gifted a poppet to me!

I am now the proud owner of a Shamrock Poppet - They are referred to in the house as Irish Poppets. My Irish mother in law gave me an Irish Poppet! That was so sweet. 

We did manage to get candle lighting done between 10 and 11, but that means that we were a bit bleary eyed, and the Poppets for 4th night were up a little late too.  We have pics but we'll have to go back and do a dramatic reenactment of the opening of the Alien Poppet Playset for the son-type person and the Poppets Are Watching T-shirt for the daughter type person.  They were very happy, but we suspect after this morning that the Alien Poppet might be in league with Aunti Claus.  . . .

More on that tomorrow. Best Quote from The Taunting. "You're in a bag and you're not a poppet. You're too soft to be a brain  . . . . .what are you?"

Coming tomorrow - Taunting on Tour

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Taunting - A Very Brainy Day

Last night was the Third Candle.  

Tonight is Christmas Eve, the complications of the Great Overlap are about to Begin. 

Last night the subtlety of the Taunting was displayed. Knowing gets you nothing. You can see that the take out boxes are larger, you can know that things are not predictable and yet - still the joy of surprise - Poppets do not travel alone. There is intellectual company and humans can play with their brains now too!

The Green Brain has entered into the spirit of celebration with her human immediately as they bonded over accessories. Green Brain, Green Bow - I believe she is a bit of a Diva.

The Orange Brain aides in it's own emergence . Like a Bunny in an easter egg, I wonder if there is something inherently and culturally Jewish about a brain in a take out box. It seems connected to me somehow. The Orange Brain is most likely a ninja brain. We used to dress it's human in orange so that he wouldn't disappear so easily. It just upped his DC check for you gamers out there. Both the brain and the human are adept at hiding in plain site long before TSR /Wizards of the Coast considered it a feat. It is as natural as breathing to the boy in our house. He has been trained to be seen by teachers and camp counselors, who've been known to consider reporting him to the police as a missing child, when he's been sitting  right in front of them, exactly where he is supposed to be. Maybe if he travels with his brain they'll be able to spot him? 

Perhaps not. 
The last time they really lost track of him he was walking around the public area with a deer skull on a stick looking for the TEVA teacher. He was wearing orange.

Here is the Third Candle Crew joining the First and Second Candle Crew. Tonight we will join the Perfectly Normal Side of the Family. They did not grow up with us and they tolerate us nicely.  One of them will get a Poppet. We'll see where it goes from there. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Taunting + Sesame Street has a New Cabbie

The Second Candle has been lit, the Second Night Poppets have been released.

Color Me Happy was greeted with Squeeing and joy. The recipient had been sure no one would ever think to get her a Poppet that was so cheery, and she had really, really wanted one. 

Crash Test Poppet was met with similar enthusiasim and immediate plotting since the human that Crash would be collaborating with is part of the construction team for the Embarrassed Embassy. 

The Second Candle Crew has joined the First Candle Crew, in front of the Matriarchal Menorah ( who knows that she is a Channukia but doesn't like putting on airs. ) Her name is Goldie and like everything else in the house there is a story behind her. While I am not often in the habit of anthropomorphizing ritual objects Goldie is special - she is the first Channukia I purchased myself and it took me about twelve years to find one that I wanted to own. 

Crash arrived on the same day as the Yellow Taxi Cab Company agreed to provide Poppet Size Service. There had been some question as to who would be driving the specialized vehicle. Crash of course applied for the job immediately and said he was proud to be part of a long line of immigrant cab drivers on Embassy Row.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's about Food and Fire . . . .

Yesterday was "First Candle" which is the part of the Great Jewish Conspiracy when you light the first candle on the Channukia (or the special menorah for those not in the know, the regular menorah hangs out at synagouge and has seven branches instead of nine.) We eat fried foods and a dairy meal. The fried foods are a tie to the celebration of having enough oil to rededicate the desecrated Temple after the battle was over. (We lost that war by the way).The dairy meal is the echo of an older holiday that belongs to Judith, who prevented a war by means of assassination and saved many lives on both sides. (We won that war, so obviously we shouldn't celebrate it). The dreidel celebrated the secret code that was used during a later period of religious suppression when Jews were allowed to gamble but they weren't allowed to study. If you take books away from Jews, they will just start writing on any three dimensional object where they think they can get away with it. . . . 

However - here in the Meat World version of the Dreamtime, First Candle is the official start of the Channuka Taunting.

It works like this - all presents are put out at the beginning of the eight night holiday, they are numbered and you have to open them in order. You get to study the unopened ones during the holiday.  There is always a pattern or a theme to the presents and you have to figure it out. If you don't figure it out by the end of the holiday, I will tell you. There are good things involved in this. The kids know where the gifts come from, they know that the gifts have been thought of, sometimes for months in advance, and they have no idea what I will do each year. The theme is always about things they haven't asked for. One of my favorite years - absolutely everything was in the exact same size Hot Topic box regardless of what the present was. It wasn't the theme, it was the distraction to make the theme difficult. 

They police themselves - there is a code of honor not to shake - although sometimes they stare and try to determine based on shape. They know that the practical will be woven into the wanted. We only give "toys" on birthdays and Channuka, the children, knowing this think of "May I have" in terms of "Can I put this on my list" and have for years.

But this year there is knowledge -- rituals have developed over the six months we have known the Poppets. We have methods for announcing the package, traditions involving the opening, the mandatory 1st hour photos where the new poppets interact with the things in our environment and the slower ritual of "settling" where the poppets try out different places in the house to decide where they would like their home base to be.  There is a lot of bonding in our family over this. We are all creatives in different ways and Poppets are where we meet. 

So therefore I had to tell the children that they were not to preemptively check any packages from Strange Studios for me. It was going to be a very Poppety Channuka. The anticipation has been building for three months. Wondering where the poppets are in the first picture? They are on the mantle - Pretending to be Take-Out containers - there is a reference in that if you can figure it out. I will let you know at the end of the holiday if you haven't gotten it. 

So in the spirit of the Dreamtime I will share the Taunting. First Candle Poppets were given to the people who needed them. You have the same  information the children ( who are not so childish anymore) have.

Orange and Purple have joined our crew. If you look at the bottom of the fireplace you can see our growing Embassy Project. 

Some people put out Holiday Villages, we put out pocket realities. 

We celebrate with many different friends and families so there will be other celebrations as well but the Channuka Taunting belongs to us with flame and food and wit and love. 

Merry Solstice.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Coffee Poppets are Here!

There will be more with my little kindred spirits later - for those of you who do not know me well, please understand I have a deep, deep love of coffee. I still remember a perfect cup of coffee that I had in August of 1999. I can describe it in every detail, the color, the selection of half and half instead of cream, the single scant teaspoon of sugar, the smoothness of texture and creaminess that blended and complimented the robust flavors of the roast instead of smothering them. When a cup of coffee is just right it encourages me to believe that there is such a thing as civilization.

Thus, the introduction of the Coffee Loving Poppets was followed by the cri de coeur  "They must be mine!".

At home I mostly drink alone, my husband does not share my passion, and my son begins to dabble in the way of java at the same time he begins to dabble in the logic of JAVA. I am sure there is a connection. But he does not drink coffee often, and not seriously, he is only just taking steps to developing his preferences and it is not yet a need or a passion. My daughter for various reasons should not truly be drinking coffee so therefore it is mostly something I do alone or with the coffee co-op at work where we try to limit our conversations so that our co-workers do not think we are even crazier than their current evaluations. 

So now, happily I can drink knowing that there are at least two creatures in my house who will appreciate bean and brew. 

Of course the Embassy Re-gentrification Project includes the Poppet Cafe, and the Reds were doing the groundwork, now the Coffee Poppets have arrived for the heavy lifting, stocking and designing. I do find it interesting that the Coffee Poppets did not arrive until the same day that I received the City Cafe restaurant supplies for the project. It's almost as if they weren't willing to make the trip until they knew for sure that they would have access to their own espresso machine.

I will tell the story of the Cafe equipment later. In the meantime here are the Coffee Poppets inspecting the potential Cafe Furnishings, and of course the Dreamtime Brew . . . . 

Not bad considering they'd only been here for about 15 minutes. . . . 

We are now off to make the Sunday Morning Brew.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Inspection

Algernon and his Poppet were called in for the inspection of the Embassy property

They were immediately concerned about the condition of the floors and the knowledge that unlike Poppets the space was not bigger on the inside than the out. 

Cookie had tried to sell the place "as is" at a discount if the Ambassador would bypass the inspection, but New York state laws wouldn't let that happen even if the Ambassador were willing.

Algernon and his Poppet used their mad skillz to check out the foundation:

What was discovered here was that the base is attached by long pin brads and that the humans that will be involved in the reconstruction and renovation may well be able to take the whole thing apart. The brads are rusty and may disintegrate when removed or may not be able to be replaced.

An suggestion is promoted by Algernon as he suggests that more than one city block be obtained to experiment upon. It's good to be in a recession proof reality . . . . . 

The Humans have decided to follow up with the suggestion - plans for a Major Project are underway, permits are being applied for, graft is being enabled. 

The papers are signed and the Re-Gentrification Project is underway!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finding the Balance

I do not have "work/life balance". I have work/life confetti.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Second Opinions

The Embarrassed Ambassador and the Reds very much liked the proposed site and the neighbors seemed properly friendly and weird. Embassies are tricky things though, an Embassy is a tiny piece of displaced nation held together by law and fiction. The Embassy would be an outpost, a refuge, an asylum. It would be like a room of one's own in a foreign apartment. But it is also a place where you adjust to the land you are in. 

So an embassy must be welcoming to poppets, muppets, humans and moppets. This was the only way to be sure that the future Embarrassed Embassy could live up to the immortal Embarrassed Motto "We Apologize for the Inconvenience", and make sure that people and poppets could feel really good about it. They would have to be able to arrange for scooter rentals as well. Just for tradition's sake. Embassies are very concerned about traditions, as well they should be.

The Ambassador invited Sunray who was always the most cheerful of visitors, to come visit with the neighbors. She reported back that they were most pleasant and not interested in eating bugs at all no matter where they were on the food chain. As a matter of fact some of the neightbors were bugs! She enjoyed meeting the Tweedlebugs. Indeed Sunray found that she and Big Bird had a lot in common, including a love of hiding in tubes.

Winter was quite taken with the dignity of the architecture and the views. She was also quite polite to Cookie's repeated offers of escort to the nearby Desert Bar.  She made sure to put out a statement to Cindy Adams of the Post that she was flattered that Cookie was so welcoming and that rumors that he was just trying to use her to cover a third desert that night were simply incorrect. She also agreed the current buildings needed work and the function spaces would need to be formalized. 

Stripe thought that it was very interesting but recommended that the Ambassador might want to invest in more Security since it was obvious that the "Broken Windows" crime prevention policy had skipped this neighborhood. Why there weren't any whole windows at all! Rudy Guliani failed to return any requests for comment, saying that he was concentrating on tanning in Florida now that the election was over. 

All in all the proposed site was a great hit. All who were invited thought they would be happy to be invited back. While there were still many negatives and a great deal of work to be done, the Ambassador was ready to declare the search over and call Sesame Street his future home. 

Now the Ambassador just had to go through the inspection!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Re-Gentrification Project Begins

The Embarrassed Ambassador is looking at the formerly prestigious Sesame Street location for his new Embassy. Current owners Bert and Ernie are planning on moving to Connecticut and realized the old neighborhood is not what it once was.

Cookie Monster is now acting as the local real estate mogul and happily shows off the amenities. He is particularly happy that the Reds are scoping out Hooper's Store for the Poppet Cafe.  He confides in the Ambassador that his cookie reformation is something that is contractually required, on his own time cookies are NOT a sometimes food, but he has found ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies in his cookies and tries to make sure that the ingredients are all local and organic.

The project will involve a great deal of renovation and the place may not be as recognizable if they sell it, the Ambassador would like Bert and Ernie to be very sure they are OK with sharing their legacy of respect and politeness and fun. 

The Poppets also spend some time with a resident who will NOT be moving. He is very excited that there will be a great deal of construction noise and mess. There will be heavy equipment and copious amounts of things that are no longer needed. He will only be upset when that day comes where the new rooftop garden is in place, all of the street facades will gleam and no further mess will be created. The Reds reassure him. If this works out well they may buy the buildings on the next block too. 

The Ambassador will invite his friends to check out the buildings tomorrow, since Bert and Ernie seem amenable to the deal.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Embarrassed Ambassador



The Embarrassed Ambassador has arrived! The Ambassador's arrival is wholly unexpected and therefore all the more welcome. Here in the Dreamtime we are all too aware that the "meat world" could use more gentleness and diplomacy. 

The Ambassador's arrival has made me think of the nature of healing. It's mission was to smooth the way with respect and peace and a sense of giving. It arrived on a day when I was at then end of my supply of all of the above. 

With physical illness there is a period between being so ill that you can't picture ever being healthy, and being well. This in-between state is also there with physical injury. It's that place in recovery where you think you SHOULD be able to behave like someone who isn't sick or injured because you don't feel nearly as bad as you did before, but it's an illusion. You aren't really healthy, you're just better.

If you've been sick a long time, people have to remind you that better is not healed, because you want to go do things. If you push too hard, or expect too much you can re-injure yourself, or create a relapse. But sometimes the people who remind you have forgotten as well.  Then instead of celebrating better, you and they mourn the loss of healthy

As the one who reminds, I am trying hard to remember, but I might only be better too.

Countries are like that. If too many countries think they are healthy when they are only better they re-injure themselves and no one really heals. It takes diplomacy to bring them back around to the business of trying to heal all the way.

It also takes diplomacy to care for people and organizations who are better, but a long way from healthy, which is a great deal of what I do.  I've been losing my diplomatic abilities lately. The Ambassador was a great help on a day when I needed it. 

Perhaps building the Embarrassed Embassy will help us get back to celebrating better, while preparing for healthy. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crushing on Bradbury - Reading is FUNdaMENTAL

There are no TVs on the entire main floor of the house, the kitchen is here, the dining room is here, the living room is here. My house would burn to the ground. We have living room books and dining room books and kitchen books. There are also bedroom books and ALL of the Books (family room) and office books and each child's personal collection of books.

My religion is based on books and collecting the books and comparing the books and arguing about the books. I'm pretty religious that way, so I have a bunch of those books, and the books about the arguments about those books.  I play games that require their own books, and have replacement books. I treat my computer like a book. I just bought a computer with "book" in it's name - subliminal messaging perhaps?

They are decoratively placed so we don't look like one of those families who is owned by their books but our family room does resemble a library.

Without books there is no part of my life that would be as warm as it is - books provide the fire to make things four dimensional. We'd never make it talking to the walls.

That was the first thing I took away from Fahrenheit 451.

The second thing ,was that when Farber and Montag thought of the revolution and needed to network of people to put it into motion, Faber thought "Oh there are may actors alone who haven't acted Pirandello or Shaw or Shakespeare for years because their plays are too aware of the world. And we could use the honest rage of the historians who haven't written a line in forty years" 

A direct hit! As a former actor married to a historian, those who know us would surely agree with Farber that our rage would be easily tapped. I'm fighting my own rage being kept from acting Shakespeare right this second, and that's my own fault. I pity the censorship society that inflicts it on me involuntarily  since I can barely forgive myself. 

It's the first time I can remember every seeing anyone tag actors as being willing to participate in a revolution, and admitting that it would be for access to the art and not an act of ego. 

Actors are people too who are AWARE - with books! I now have a total schoolgirl crush on Mr. Bradbury, he's the only one who really understands me  . . . .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fahrenheit 451

I had not read Fahrenheit 451 until this afternoon. My son has been reading it with enthusiasm, which is not the way he generally reads. It's certainly not the way we greeted him reading A Clockwork Orange. This led to the uncomfortable occurrence of us watching the Kubrick movie together.  That will be a completely separate post. 

I do like Ray Bradbury, and I've had the novel in my house and have for as long as I can remember, left behind by some roommate, or boyfriend long gone. But I have not read it. So my son asks me about it over  and again. Then last night he brings me his laptop and says there might be Poppets inspired by Fahrenheit 451! So Lisa Snellings Clark has actually written about her concern because she is close to having a wall of TVs and she's fairly sure Bradbury would not approve.

To be honest she makes me wonder how she can accomplish all she does with so many TVs - We have 1.5 here. It forces us to share. I cannot abide TVs in the living room and I won't let one into bedrooms unless you can cover them up. This is my own preference - I did not grow up this way, and my parents have more TVs than people.  

But the TMC ( too many coincidences) factor was too high, and so today I've read the book - which means now I'm thinking about the book, about belief and fire and the nature of dystopia. And if we're living in one now. 

First thing - around page 9 poor unsettled Montag is walking with Clarisse and sees her family on the porch and asks her  what they were doing ."Oh, just my mother and father and Uncle sitting around, talking. It's like being a pedestrian only rarer."

And I laughed aloud and my immediate thought was "Poor Ray Bradbury" because he already saw things going that way in 1953. Because it's true, for both halves of the statement.

When my daughter's friends come over they are surprised by the fact that we converse at the table. We hang out in our living room and talk to each other. We eat most meals together in the dining room. (not in the helicoptery "because the magazine said so way", but because the food is ready, and if you want to eat, it's placed on the set table.) So we converse with each other. About stuff.  About  books and webcomics, and people and art, and the nature of God,  and why book reports matter, and politics and respect, and manners and poppets, and work and school and how we are spending the next 24 hours. This week we spent alot of time talking about why Kubrick made A Clockwork Orange about Kubrick's views of sex instead of Burgess's view of sociopathy and redemption. We agree that maybe Kubrick should have seen a therapist. 

We'll be the first against the wall when the fireproofing comes. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Introduction

I've given in, I need a place to share the poppets.  I'm not fully sure of what else will be going here. I feel very identifiable and would like to avoid viral over sharing.

My shamanistic quest to be a virtual Gypsy Rose Lee.

Maybe I'll let the art out here, maybe I'll let the snark out here. I think my subatomic particles are snarks and boojums and I'll leave the quarks to find their own way.  

In dreamtime the Id can play  . . . .