...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )
Archive for September, 2006
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
as youÂ see from the foto above, kathys do grow as trees. you too canÂ own your own kathy tree. by good fortune, i happen to have a fresh batch of kathy tree seedlings available for sale. be warned – they must beÂ fenced since they tend to grow their own way, are self willed, and will think for themselves. Â however they are delightful and well worth this extra trouble. fine print: kathys may not grow well in republican households, fundamentalist flat earth domains, places placing premiums on premiums, hypocritical habitats, or with the television visionless, the unkind, dishonest, short sighted, closed minded. they are also slow growing… took 32 years for mine to ripen.
leftover notebook notes in no particular odor:
turkish waiter asked if we were canadian. told him american. he apologized. i said don’t bother, no problem. he said it was odd, but when he mistook americans for canadians, they were never upset, but when he mistook canadians for americans, they always became very upset. told him i well understood why.
mcnasty’s – mcmediocre food, mcmediocre music, large cups of so-so mcamerican mccoffee, pretty decent mcfries.
parked along the krakow streets: renaults, skodas, fiats, fords, peugeots, mercedes benzs, citroens.
she asked what i wanted. told her a chair to sit in, a hole to hide in. i want fast guns and big cars (or was that fast cars and big guns?) so we can turn to a life of crime and rob english banks after the funds run out. figure we can survive for 2 years if she-god doesn’t get tricky and we don’t get fuelish.
kurt schwitters, one of the first collage/assemblage genius painters 90 years ago,Â at a poetry reading sat a photograph of adolf hitler on a stand in front of the audience and said to them if they liked his poetry, not to applaud, but to spit at the foto instead. he had to flee the country, then flee the country he fled to.
pop down one monkey head, another pops up.
the spiny nipple nut.
merkin – a pubic wig for women -Â from 1610 … why?Â
flesh cannot stop my pain.
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
she’s my red top hot slot, my mamba mobile mama with the big brain history train.
she said the english moors used to have trees but they were cut down and sheep introduced which kept eating the saplings trying to grow, so no more trees – just heathcliff roaming the moor’s less calling for “stella” in the night.
i asked where did the sheep come from, cuz back then it was all dinosaurs and carnivorous moss – were there saber-toothed sheep?
she said they came from woolly mammoths (of course).
i asked how the woolly mammothsÂ got so small, but the answer came to me: when the ice ageÂ arrived and it got colder, there was less food, so everything had to get small (like steve martin). big woolly mammoths became small woolly sheep, dinosaurs became birds, and saber-tooth tigers became kittens.
but this is not the hole story. see, it’s all sea evolution.
the sea got crowded, dangerous with the “lam”s in this complicated see-saw… there were the woolly sea lambs, and the sea lamps they used to light the sea to see – but then came the sea lampreys, which preyed on the sea lambs beneath the sea lamp light. so the sea lambs crawled out onto the lambless land, shook their woolly baa booties inÂ woolly disco thyme and became land lambs.
of course this was the moldy oldie days before mock n mold when corporate dinosaurs roamed the bottom line – so the land lambs grew large, with big sword teethies, and were known fur and white as woolly saber-tooth land lambs – that’s where land lines came from, by the way, before modems and broadbands and muttonchops.
(the modem evolution came thru a modern dance in a modest museum in a moment of myopic mayhem to a mutton… but that’s a more modest mumbling, to beÂ mangled in another story lie.)
Friday, September 29th, 2006
A friend asked me to write about food.
I made Monastery Lentil Soup tonight. We feel virtuous and nourished. In his last post, Steve shared his recipe for liquid copper corrosion. SoÂ at the end ofÂ postÂ I’ll share the recipe for the soup.
Ah, it’s good to have two burners and a fridge and a toaster in this studio apartment. But there’s no stove, so I can’t do any roasting or baking.
People sell fruit & veggies everywhere in Krakow. I can walk a couple hundred feet from our apartment in Kazimierz and I have access to an awesome market with fresh herbs and GOOD tomatoes. People even set up shop in the cracks between buildings. Produce is everywhere.
The first week here we bought a particular street food every morning. It’s a loop of dough, kind of a cross between a bagel and a pretzel. It’s chewy, so it takes a while to eat and it satisfies. And occasionally IÂ can get one fresh baked, hot.Â My favorite comes covered in poppy seed, which I’ve discovered I like even more than sesame.
The main square in Krakow: full of restaurants and more of those crazy pretzel stands. And sometimes people selling fresh popped popcorn or even boiled corn-on-the-cob.
And the square’s good for free entertainment. Steve and I discovered the versatility ofÂ the accordion. A group of musiciansÂ make theÂ circuit round theÂ outdoor cafes, playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on accordions! (Also the night we heard Urban Jellen Test, one of the opening acts was a fabulously sexy and talented accordion player. Her voice and music haunts.)
And there are more of those silver and gold spray-painted people, who pose like statues and let you take their picture for a coin dropped intoÂ a box.
Food’s crazy cheap. My favorite thing is to buy a pint each of blueberries and raspberries and gorge, loading my oatmeal or my ice cream with nutritious cheap good fruit.
We found a superstore today, TESCO. Bigger than anything I’ve been to before, but strange in the scope of its offerings. Many, many baskets of cruciferous and root vegetables, twisted white turnip things.Â From what’s generally offered in the stores, it seems there’s not muchÂ desire to cook anything other than Polish or Italian cuisine. The Knorr brand is REALLY BIG here.
At the Polish TESCO, there are many choices in things such as canned whipped cream. You can buy chocolate whipped cream, which is veryÂ important, I think. We thought about it, but I’d already bought a toothpaste tube of Karmelowe Mleko topping for my ice cream. I’m only allowed so many indulgences at a time.
Cheese lovers do well in Europe, especially in the Netherlands. Get it right from the country which makes it, and save a bundle on import costs.
In Amsterdam, it was too expensive to eat at a restaurant. So weÂ went nuts buying food in the supermarket.Â One morning we had cocktail shrimp on fresh croissants, gouda cheese. We ate outside the supermarket or in the main square every sun-silvered morning, and it was blessed. Oh, happy happy life!
Here’s a receipt from a couple days ago at a medium-size grocery store in Krakow. (Please realize, we buy fruit & veggiesÂ from the stands – so this is not a proper sample of our diet!)
MLEKO KONECKIE SW (caramel toothpaste) 2.09
Kolecz.z owsa Che (cheerios?) 4.99
KAVA Z KOGUTKIEM (Coffee of the Cock, our favorite brand) 4.29
Rosol Kogutec dro (chicken bouillon) 1.99
Orzechy ziemne so (peanuts) 1.99
Pomidory BK bez s (2 cans of plum tomatoes) 2.38
R Rajstopy Lycra (lycra stockings) 1.59
MORLINY BOCZEK B (bacon) 4.19
Ser Edamski Warmi (edam cheese slices) 2.99
POLGRUNT SOCZEWIC (lentils) 2.90
Workt na sm. LD gr (milk?) 1.99
SWEET TOP SLODZIK (Nutrasweet) 3.10
Maslo Smietankowe (butter, about 2 sticks) 1.99
Ciastka Wiatracz (2 pkgs. oatmeal cookies) 2.59
Jajka w opakowani (eggs) 2.39
CHLEB SLONECZNIKO (small loaf of dense, sourdough-like bread) 2.39
Ser Mozzarella w (2-3 chunks fresh mozz cheese) 2.99
Grand total 52.13 (about $17.20 USD)
And here’s the recipe:
MONASTERY LENTIL SOUP
1/4 C olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
fresh herbs, preferably thyme & marjoram to taste. Today I used aboutÂ one cup total of basil, chives, parsley and rosemary. I dice everything except the parsley. I throw in entire parsley sprigs because it’s pretty.)
1 to 2 chicken bouillon chunks
2-4 cups water
2 cans plum tomatoes. Chop tomatoes in half when adding them to the soup.
1 C washed dry lentils
splash white wine or sherry
cheese of choice
Lightly salt and saute onions, garlic and carrots in olive oil until onions become translucent. (Italians lengthen this process. TheyÂ first saute the garlic, then add the onions until translucent, then the carrots. TheyÂ call this “to make tasty” or insaporire.) Add fresh herbs and saute 2 more minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes (plus their liquid) and two cups water and 1 cube bouillon. Add more water if necessary to cover solid ingredients.
Bring to a boil, and then let simmer. Sample occasionally – add other cube of bouillon only if really, really necessary. Add more water if soup evaporates too much.
Let simmer for at least 1.5 hours if not longer. Lentils should be cooked long enough such that one isn’t grossed out by a sandpapery texture.
After done cooking, splash in white wine or sherry – usually just 1/4 to 1/2 C.
Garnish servings with cheese. Parmesan is good if the soup is not too salty, otherwise I like swiss.
Friday, September 29th, 2006
lots of folk ask how i create the blue wax-like finish in my art.
i share this formula with any who desire it… my dead mom mother dwarf smith used it, my dead brother cat smith used it, my live wife the lovely lady kathy ireland smith uses it – i use it.
lets say a pint of Liquitex Matte Medium (or gloss, or the cheaper roplex, or any acrylic polymer medium which dries clear)… add 1/4 teaspoon of copper powder or gold powder or brass powder (we get it at an art supply store, or sometimes a sign supply store)… add 1/4 teaspoon of salt… may or may not add a wee bit of water… shake vigorously… starts to turn blue almost immediately, but keeps turning for awhile.
any of the above measurements may be varied – i never make it the same way twice… too fond of chance, and hate to run a run course.
the water makes the goo much runnier but also bluer.Â i work flat on the ground. sometimes paint it on, frequently pour it on. use it as glue and drop stuff in it. good trick is to cover pot metal or rust with it – rust rusts thru due to salt and turns quite orange… pot metals oxidize whitish, sometimes with yellow bubbles of sulfur depending on cheapness and manufacturing process.
the various copper, gold, brass powders oxidize different shades of blue, blue-green, green.
the oxidation process changes over months, slowly assuming different shade, etc, so you’re using chance, chemistry, perhaps physics, and time as art elements – which tickles my little zen brain no end.
thin layers are transluscent, can be read thru. can also pour into cookie molds and have copper objects, but they are pliable so need reinforcement.
everyone is welcome to this process cuz we all go different ways no matter what we try to do.
Friday, September 29th, 2006
i say my 40 yr old nam-myoho-renge-kyo buddhist chant near every day. i say it for help when worried (what -Â me worry?),Â as thanks to the universe for being kind and having such a sense of humor, sometimes for its calming rhythm, its soothing om-like sound, and i say it a lot to calm myself when my endless inner rage raises its ever present myriad head. what i don’t do is say it for others to hear. but here’s where i got it:
In 1966 San Francisco, two cute oriental young ladies ask me if I want to go to a Zen meeting, so I went around the corner, hid all my money in my sock, and went with them.
They took me out to the suburbs into a small living room that’d been turned into a temple. We had chants, and incense, and at the end I signed up to become a Zen Buddhist. They gave me a Gohonzon — a little scroll — and a chant to chant to it (Nam myoho renge kyo – I think it was Nicherin Daishonin Buddhism). They asked for a donation, so I had to take the money out of my sock, which made ‘em smile, and they took me back downtown.
I was hoping for romance, but I think it was the ole bait’n'switch, you know.
I lost the Gohonzon but I still say the chant just about every day one way or another for multiple reasons and situations.
the history of where the chant originated, what it means – officially:
Established 28 April 1253. The title of the Lotus Sutra in its Japanese translation is Myoho-renge-kyo. But to Nichiren, Myoho-renge-kyo was far more than the title of a Buddhist text, it was the expression, in words, of the Law of life which all Buddhist teachings in one way or another seek to clarify.
Nam – From Sanskrit, “to devote oneself.” In original Sanskrit, nam indicates the elements of action and attitude, and refers therefore to the correct action one needs to take and the attitude one needs to develop in order to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime.
Myoho – Myoho literally means the Mystic Law, and expresses the relationship between the life inherent in the universe and the many different ways this life expresses itself. Myo refers to the very essence of life, which is “invisible” and beyond intellectual understanding. This essence always expresses itself in a tangible form (ho) that can be apprehended by the senses. Phenomena (ho) are changeable, but pervading all such phenomena is a constant reality known as myo.
Renge – Renge means lotus flower. The lotus blooms and produces seeds at the same time, and thus represents the simultaneity of cause and effect. The circumstances and quality of our individual lives is determined by the particular of causes and effects, both good and bad, that we accumulate (through our thoughts, words and actions) at each moment. This is called our “karma”. We create our destiny and we can change it. The lotus flower grows and blooms in a muddy pond, and yet remains pristine and free from any defilement, symbolizing the emergence of Buddhahood from within the life of an ordinary person.
Kyo – Kyo literally means sutra, the voice or teaching of a Buddha. In this sense, it also means sound, rhythm or vibration. Also, the Chinese character for kyo originally meant the warp of a piece of woven cloth, symbolizing the continuity of life throughout past, present and future. In a broad sense, kyo conveys the concept that all things in the universe are a manifestation of the Mystic Law.
The phrase NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO is taken from the title of the greatest teaching of the first historically recorded Buddha, known as Siddhartha Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived in India around 500 years before Christ was born.
There is such a close relationship between each of us and our surroundings that when we change ourselves, we change the world.