Thursday, July 5, 2012

My New Grandson, Odysseus

July 5, 2012 So.... why did I really want to go to the Met yesterday? Robby would have gone anywhere. True, Abigail wanted to see the Byzantium show before it closed, but I didn't particularly (and ended up awed, troppo awed, triple awed, and overwhelmed like finding a new, lush world nobody knew existed. No, why I wanted to gotothemet was because the knob of my $29 watch I bought in 1999 has stuck so that I can't press in the knob to light up the dial at night and found I couldn't pull it out to change the hour from LA to NY, so I was permanently stuck like the watch 3 hours after the East Coast family. Whether you call it earlier or later I don't know, it was just making me schitzotempic. At the Met I knew they sold cheap fancy watches that look really classy. Tiffany styles, Egyptian, Old English, Van Gogh (pronounced Go like Go to the Met), Dali, square, rectangular, round, oval... We made an immediate beeline to the main store (what a wealth of gifts for giddy museumgoers!) "Just like our kids," said Abigail, grinning. I was stuck between a rectangular aqua cubist watch and a round, golden, Greek Vase watch. Robby looked at the Greek Vase and said, "That's so YOU," so that's the one I bought. My wrist is a bit narrow for it but big is beautiful, isn't it? Or do I mean black? It has a black dial, gold circumference, gold hands and gold dots for numbers. It isn't lit up but the gold hands reflect any light at all, so it will do its best at night. The band is a bit wide but it's shiny black with a russet Attic vertical stylized lotus relief (Odysseus never knew about watches, did he?). I love it! Oh, did I mention I have a new grandson, 5 days old yesterday? I didn't? Oh ye gods, sorry, send me back to LA!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bible Story in 3/3 Time

Adam he loved Eve. She wore him on her sleeve but first she had to sew, while he learned how to hoe. Abraham loved Sarah, though had to be bewarer of jealousy and sent his mistress from the tent. Isaac loved Rebekkah, there wasn't a home wrecker to spoil her family, her son Esau was he. Jacob loved Leah's sister, although he nearly missed her by kissing Leah first while Rachel became cursed. Joseph loved a lady whose past was somewhat shady, but being rich and famous, he never tried to blame us for what his brothers did; of him they would have rid the family of siblings descended from the riblings begun by Eve and Adam who never knew they had 'em to populate the planet and grow grass on the granite. So take care, all ye folks, examine those egg yolks, the seed you see may be the start of family for some great chicks and roosters who don't need any boosters and who if wise we'll choose to crow about the Jews.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Funny dialogues on a Tuesday Afternoon

Joshua and his assistant installing a new glass shower door in our bathroom. Joshua: This is a really old shower. At least 20 years old. Linda: Old? We put it in in 1979. Joshua: See? That's when I was born. Linda: Crazy world when we have to change a whole door just because the rubber seal is worn out. Joshua: Now don't use this new one for a day. You got plenty of other showers to use. Linda: Ok, we'll just smell for a day or two. That's how we were brought up in England. Joshua: You from England? My mother's from Maine. Linda: Oh. Joshua: My mother's an artist. Linda: Oils? Joshua: Sure thing. She tried to get me to paint but I wouldn't. So I made $32,000 dollars when I was 23 and she tried to make me buy welding tools to make art stuff. I wouldn't. Linda: You could have made gates and fences! Joshua: Nah. I like to keep busy. You got a lot of art. Posters too. You paint? You collect? Linda: Not any more. We like to sell. Joshua: I made $2300 from Estate Sales. I saw this poster online and I looked up the artist on my i-phone and I said, I gotta get that, so I bought it for $100 and sold it to a dealer. Another time I got this poster at a sale and it turned out it was stolen and never reported. These guys they offered me $500 and I said, I coulda got a reward, you pay me double, so I got $1000. Linda: What did you do with my old shower door? Joshua: It's in the front. Why, you want it? Linda: Put it in the back, I could use it as a coffee table. Joshua (to his assistant): Put it where she wants. On the back patio: Linda: Herminio, put the bronze sculpture of the lady under the window and let's put the glass shower door on it. Herminio: Like this? Linda: Like that, to the left, take off the old rubber seal, very good, now she's a coffee table again. Herminio: Oh Linda Linda Linda! But Abigail, what she say? She tell me, oh oh, Herminio, quick put the door in the trash, my mother coming! Linda: You're right! Herminio: What her house? Very clean? Linda: Very clean! Stop laughing! Herminio: She put everything in the trash, right? And Absalom? Linda: Absalom would say, Mom! Move that table! It's dangerous for the children! Mom, deal with it! Herminio: Ha ha ha! Linda: And Zachary would say, put it in my room and I'll take it to New York! Herminio: And what he say, Boaz? Linda: And Boaz would say, Stop, let's sell it! Stop laughing! Herminio: Ha ha ha ha! He climbs back up his ladder, still laughing. Linda goes to write it all down. Something else to save! 5.28.12

Thursday, May 17, 2012

By the Wayside

By the Wayside A voice is heard on high, and Rachel weeps, refusing consolation; some say we shall return by here one day from distant desolation, so people pass and tell her do not weep, that passing from this world is like a sleep. But she replies that darkness fills her heart, that stillness is for ever, that apart from those she loves the valley is too deep and weep she will and must until creation brings light from those whose love she’ll keep and transformation. 12.12.2005

Guggenheim, Lee Ufan show, September 2011

LEE UFAN, featured exhibition at Guggenheim, June 2011-09-04 I indignantly copied this from one wall, to explain to dim people like me what the Emperor’s New Clothes were about: Restraint in Art transforms his works from material objects to fleeting living experience, and his non-production serves as a nuanced critique of our globalized society of surplus and over production. By not making, Lee inspires a kind of productive passivity in which emptiness and open time are given meaning and substance. ENJOY THAT? THEN YOU'LL HAVE ENJOYED THE SHOW. IF NOT, YOU COULD JUST SKATEBOARD DOWN THE GUGGENHEIM SPIRAL. AT LEAST YOU'D HAVE AN ARTISTICALLY AMBULATORY EXPERIENCE!

Cat v. Mockingbirds in May

5/17/12 Figaro my clumsy cat sits at the window or by the closed screen door making soft growling tunes in his throat, and the poor sweet lovable joyous mockingbirds who have nested as usual in the tangled bougainvillea over the front door are silenced except for hours of squawks. Is it the male or female who guards the nest from tooth and claw? That door is closed but we parentbirds can't be too sure, they say. The couple must be under terrible stress, unable to sit peacefully on the eggs singing their hearts out, and the babies will be hatched from their thin shells quite frazzled. I hope they learn to fly quickly and get away from my resident monster.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Goerne and Eschenbach: Die Schöne Müllerin


You are never prepared for the transformative moments in your life. I’ve had a few. The first time I saw Mesa Verde from the top of an adjacent mountain. Watching my family praying Mincha, each in his own spot, amidst the deserted ruins of Segesta. Lightning striking a Bristlecone Pine while my son was standing next to it, peeing. Waking in the morning aged 10 and realizing I was in love with Shakespeare. Waking at 24 and realizing I was in love.
Such was the evening I spent at the Disney Center on Monday night. Matthias Goerne, no longer a youth, singing… no becoming… the lovelorn young miller’s apprentice in Schubert’s heart wrenching song cycle of Wilhelm Müller’s Die Schöne Müllerin, with the aging Christoph Eschenbach transformed by our sheer imagination to the miller’s daughter, all the while sitting with intense concentration at his piano.
The world slowed down; we were transported to an age of complete identity with nature, ours and God’s: indivisibly water, woods, trees, emotions, imaginary relationships, thoughts and voices, and everywhere the color green, the color of life, love, springtime, growth and ultimately the grave, when our feelings cease to fluctuate and grass covers us all.

Goerne was consumed by his role. His utterly beautiful voice soared and softened and was one with his entire body which bent like a reed, straightened and writhed in the agony of delight, love, happiness, jealousy, bitterness, anger and utter sorrow. His face followed; it did not matter that he does not look like a lovelorn youth or that his accompanist wasn’t a foolish maiden. He had me utterly under his spell.

The Disney Center was half empty. It should not have been. People of all ages, colors and experience should have been battering down the doors.

At the sweet, bitter end Goerne and Eschenbach slowed to their stop, and we all waited, waited, and waited… then, finally, they woke from their trance, faced the audience and we gathered up our strength to stand and applaud and bring them back until the two old loving friends walked away for the last time.

It was a performance that was hardly performance, and I with a few others bought a CD which normally would be found at half the price on Amazon, just to commemorate an evening of awe. The two great musicians came down, sat next to each other at a little table and beatifically, gratefully, signed their names on the CD. Yet it was us, the worshippers, who were saying Thank you, Thank you, and amazed at seeing them smile. How do you recover from an experience like that?

LRH 4.16.12

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Time I let this poem see the light of day:

So here’s to François Villon, that vile scamp
Who left no bone or stone without a BUT
And strewed the LATIN with his barbed bequests
But when they hunted him the fox decamped.

Yet dead, dismembered, drowned or exiled soul
He left to me, once daughter, student, wife
And mother, teacher, critic, cook and foe,
A Testament with which I arm my life.

First Stanley White Mountain, that ice judge
Who sits in paleness on his crumbling heights
His heart long frozen by his spouse the Code
Of California, which cracks and blights

The living forests of our marriages,
Heedless of tears, repentance, cries from friends,
Follows agendas, reaping fat rewards
By stealing what it never earned but sends

The foolish felon to his lonely cell,
Alone when crowded into saddened dorms,
Alone when maddened by a vicious guard,
Shackled with years ahead of deadened hell.

When that ice judge who moved himself from din
Of desperate poor and beaten, black and brown,
Then granted freedom to the hatchet men --
Their victims surged and burned the city down.

And Frieda said: my friend, your man is next;
His whiteness is the scapegoat, for the judge
Now needs to wash his fingers clean. You’ll see,
He’ll slay your man, with money crimes pretext.

And so it came to pass; three score and ten
Are all that’s granted as our fleeting years,
Judge Stanley cut a seventh from that life
Then went a-golfing with his legal peers.

To him I do bequeath a childless bed,
To him I do bequeath night’s bitter dream,
Forever may his ears be pierced with pain
When in the court I would not stop my scream.

If led away in shackles is enough
To cause my heart to howl with nightmare rage,
I do forgive those fools and greedy men
Who stole from me and skimmed my shrunken wage.

I wish them only decency, respect
For me, desire to repay:
If they can love their fellow-man, their wrongs
Will right their debt to me one distant day

But all those uniformed by choice or State,
Police and prosecutors, legal clerk,
Fat RICO and Sir IRS his mate,
Their fancy birds employed to spy at work

While in the arms of legions of the Law
They squawked whatever story Law would hear,
Rewarded by a kiss outside the court
Seen and recorded by this writer here:

To those I do award the poison fruit
They grew to reap their quoted poison tree,
They will be damned just as they tried to damn
The one who gave them bread and herbal tea.

Their little brains called conscience will alarm
When sitting down or walking by the way;
Their children puzzle at their silences:
Methinks thou doest protest, good mother... gray

Is black with white, and gray is what he was
When you cried black and joined the fleeing rats,
Were you not black destroying such a man,
Wired and whispering, buzzing biting gnats.

Invention is a sin like rumor, rife;
Omission is a worse, when lives depend
On one good word, and even that drowned out
By facts without a context, sneers that send

An innuendo, fact without a face,
Lies: “Hid his Rolls,” “had cash” or “mansion in
Bel Air,” “Look judge, he turns
Intimidating that poor witness!” Grin

Behind your hand, Attorney, you have won
A filthy point, besmirching your great name
You shun to say belongs to ancestors
Lest their creed that is mine may yet defame

Your addled ambition for a higher rank
The rat race tempts with since you have no soul,
No children, wife, no generosity,
No God, an empty, painted paper bowl.

To you I say, your name was Valley Rose:
You mispronounced and sullied that fair plant;
You squandered rights to your inheritance.
To you a barren future I will grant.

Banished abroad, you’ll wander all the months
And years, a public mountebank,
Skilled in tricks and talking fast you’ll
Sleep amongst strangers, unmarked, rotting, dank.

And if statistics proved your pinching point,
Percentages like eighty, ninety, more,
The years you spent to find the smoking joint
Hid numbers that belied the golden store

Of papers proving just the opposite,
Of patients grateful, cured, never billed,
Which showed last moment truth from Miss Marine
Quick hidden so the fox be caught and killed.

A foxhunt’s what it was, a company
Of redcoats, horns, fast horses, hounds with teeth
That hunt the beast to earth from weariness
To bleed to death upon the soil beneath.

The scales are off the eyes in hunting lands;
A revolution of enraged and landless folk
Have felt the dying pain of bull and fox,
Of shackled millions in cemented yoke.

You Black robed Circuits, Death Heads, Hanging Judge,
May you be immortalized in pen
Of Daumier; diplomas fade; your graves
Untended, out of mind and men.

And take with you Appeal judges, three
In a row, pronouncing life or death;
May you be Siamese triplets in Huis Clos:
The Code Almighty rule your wheezing breath.

And now for those great Companies that take
And take their private tax upon our life,
Their premiums they monthly have to rake
In millions to protect us from all strife.

Those faceless CEOs who send their sharks
To court in droves to snatch our claimings back,
The Power Suits, the smirking, padded, paid
Employees padding their pads of scribbling hack.

Jealous you shot him, he who stood too tall,
The foolish angel, Robin Hood, the one
Who thought he danced at a glorious, glowing ball,
The one who flew too high towards the sun.

He was no Satan, he loved God and Man,
Faults he might have, and foolishness of flight,
Wings made of wax and words flying fast and free;
Better a beating than eternal night.

You grovelling, grasping legal teams, employed
With dignifying State supported back
And bottom scratching Dept. and Div. and Off,
Big payoff paying State and Police devoid

Of care for any bar the mighty $
And votes and cronies at the Country Club,
Your fine desks will receive your thudding head,
Your tearducts dry, your spouses feel the rub

Of Time and Greed, divorce and drugs and grim
Thoughts when you die of those you fleeced with scorn;
Your childrens’ prep schools teach to propagate
The values you declared would not be borne.

And last, not least, the Board of Holy Quacks
Of California, that freely Licence grants
To addicts, murderers and alcoholic thieves
But can’t abide a label that it tacks

Upon a fellow doctor whose main foe
Is Dr. Rosehill, paid to give the dirt
By State who never met the man himself;
He Wrote a Chapter, big deal, take the shirt

Right off the felon’s back, In Case he Harms
The Public, whom he never harmed before,
The real reason being common sense
Bows before Agendas of a whore.

Poor Rose, your scent is tainted far and wide,
But don’t despair, these men will drop your name,
Ashamed of tribe, religion, loyalty
To any but the dollar, State or Fame.

You Holy Board, Attorney, Dr. Shrink,
This sickness will pervade your putrid drains:
Over your thoughts dull doubt will dry your brains,
Your theories disproved, your isms stink.

You Dr. Shrink whose brother haunts the stage
Will be exposed as actor, liar, and
You, Shark Jesuit, your Jesus rant and rage
That you despoil those that by their hand

Depend their loved ones, living through the years
Of self-examination, striving, toil and hope,
Your heartlessness will eat your heart and head
Your skin be flayed by Jesus’ furious rope.

And lest you think the Snows of Yesteryear
Can’t be recovered, once their pristine glow
Has faded, let me now pronounce
My vision that my friends can see and know
Has stayed throughout from love and loyalty
And grown, may God protect us all our days:
They melt and there beneath -- the snowdrop blooms,
And holds for us the power to amaze.

Linda Hepner
13-14th January, 2002

Logblog 3.20.12

Log Blog 3.20.12

A bit warmer today, catching up with the East Coast and Mid West which has been hot while we’ve been shivering.
The Wall Street Journal this morning had two articles of note: one about sibling rivalry and how to soften it (men use action, women talk) and another about the miraculous powers of chocolate. My resolution to eat all the chocolate in the house and then refuse to buy any more or accept any from wellwishers flew down the driveway. Gershy went to TJ’s for soups but I requested a package of chocolate covered cranberries, amending that to “and nothing else!”
True to character, Gershy brought me not only multiple packages of cranberry chocs but chocolate covered toffees too. He is killing me with kindness!

The girls at Bais Ya’akov are a delight. Very bright and enthusiastic. With two of the classes I am doing Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream, my slightly expurgated version. Meanwhile in the office I heard the office staff, who were mostly alumnae of BY, discussing women they knew. “She’s got sheitels on the brain,” “She’s crazy frum,” “She’s a Chassidic junkie” and other such scornful lashen hara-isms. They could have been politer with me in the room, considering I was wearing not only a skirt and long sleeves but stocking, socks with sneakers and a black hat squashed onto my hair. They looked incredibly elegant with their nice shoes and sheitels and were really enjoying their catty conversations. I guess I was invisible under my hat.