Sunday, September 21, 2008

'pro-life,' 'pro-choice'


i'm thinking about these two words tonight: pro-life. pro-choice.

i've decided, again, of course, that everything political rides on one side or the other of a fence, and the fence isn't truth. it's perspective and spin.

so what if there were yet another way to frame the discussion, let's say, in a more truthful way...

'your life, your choice'

so that each person who votes would be cajoled (by straight-forward honest language [gasp!]) into thinking that his or her vote is really about his or her own life and his or her own choice -- NOBODY else's.

it could even 'trickle up' and 'trickle down' and become...the thinking person's choice (gasp!)

how exciting.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vin's birthday was a few days ago (June 24)

He celebrated by getting a Norweigian parking ticket
(it's in a sealed bag because it never stops raining in Norway).
He pretended he was a Bergen dissident during German occupation during WWII...

And he got to live his Viking dream...

He even found a good book to read:

He really knows how to stop and smell the freaky posies in Svolvaer, our home away from home in the Lofoten Islands)...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

yestserday's comments and then some

very nice. did you see the long-winded one by vince about ammenities and food? (all true.) we're fasting--flat bread and water--these days to make up for it...

vin uploaded a few (of the 20 or so) videos while he was drinking that wine and beer last night. see or google "vince cavasin" or "stacy muszynski." (you'll find four videos from iceland. there's PLENTY MORE. we'll upload when we can.)

it's nearly 2am (in svolvaer [sounds like "s"+"vulva"], norway) and the sun is blazing. spain is celebrating its EUFA euro 2008 victory over italy, and we just got back from walking on the rocks along the seashore.

today's highlights: a local fella (imagine tom selleck, shorter) let us share a taxi ride from the airport with him. we climbed in the backseat, said "takk! takk!" ("thanks! thanks!"), and in 15 mintues got dropped off at our hotel. our cabbie wouldn't let us pay! "he's got it." he pointed to the nice fella in the front seat. "this is how norweigans treat everybody," our cabby said. they peeled out before any more thanks yous could be yelled after them. (our friend siw told us that the "northers" are friends, not like norweigians." lovely, we'd say.)

ha det (good bye)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

15 minutes

is what stacy said she'd give me to write this (while she, presumably very thoroughly, brushes her teeth). [um, vince here] we are on our second night in the impossibly beautiful and impossively expensive country of norway. and as i believe my love said, it's no iceland. it's kind of weird. norway is a mish-mash of what most people in most parts of the US who go out doors are familiar with--lake and river and mountain and ocean and wood and some medium-sized snow-topped peaks. plus with some neverending days and nights thrown in. actually quite like southern alaska.

but iceland is something i've never seen anywhere else. seeing boiling cauldrons of mineral waters, bathing in a hot river that contains the runoff from them, seeing where the lava from a volcano eruption stopped flowing...or where the continents are drifting apart 2 cm a year--that's something you just don't stumble across on an average vacation.

but then our days in norway are just beginning.

norway, norway, why must you rain

oh but it's romantic.

no story for a few hours. must eat first. entertain yourselves with these images...

post-apocalyptic party/-ies

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a week in iceland is not long enough

before i start blathering on, a quick mention of pics we've been taking of this trip can be found at

if you like your photos 90-degrees off-kilter and without captions, you'll love these.

of course, vin and i are in a lot of them, but the real star is the landscape--glacier, iceberg, bay, ocean, runaway sheep, hill, mountain, valley, waterfall, a horse named power, the sweetest farm with the coolest couple and their dog named hekla (named for the famed, angry volcano of the island). if you go there (skalafell farmhouse,, ask about my boots i left there. oops.

who you won't meet in the pics (forgot the camera) is elisabet, from reykjavik, who reminds us that, among other things, it is belief in ourselves and our genuine, loving connection and curiosity, our recognizing *this* moment in the world that helps us see our blessings. and you won't see siw either. she's our new friend and guide from oslo by way of oakland, ca (thanks for hooking us up, laura.) siw who knows where to find good reindeer patties. thanks for the view of the city from atop that crazy-cool opera house. good luck with getting that northface job.

anyway, here's a sampling of what's up in dig-pics so far:

(note: the island only looks empty. there are actually approx 300,000 people living somewhere.):



icebergs in the bay

still amazing

freaky volcanic, mossy soil

rivulet in valley where lava flow stopped

run! run!

stay tuned for pics and movies of other adventures, including...

our saturday "night" on the town. icelanders don't feign a party spirit. those looking for a good time in the capital city, at least, don't sleep on the weekends. they party. and party. and party. "runtur," they call it. ('round tour.) pub crawl. as elisabet (the coolest gal in hilton hospitality) put it as we all sat on sunday night (vin and me nursing hangovers, she relaxing for a sec on the job) watching the sun not setting over the atlantic and over the main drag of reykjavik, "oh, you should see the walks of shame from here."

elisabet, it might be noted, is a renaissance woman. (icelanders seem to be like this, remaking themselves every few years.) i mean, at 31 she's already toured some US cities with her gal punk band, written and published a book, spent a bit of time as a cult of personality on icleandic web and radio. she also proposed to her finance. guess he said yes b/c they're plannning the dealio for 10/10/2010.

stay tuned also for...
our icelandic horseback riding experience. (if vin were awake, he'd tell you his butt cheeks still hurt.)

and also for...
erupting geysirs

and also for...
our hike to where the continents are drifting apart at 2cm per year. (this is the busiest little island, innit it?, with glaciers and earthquakes and volcanoes and continental plates breaking apart and people !)

and also for...
our 3 mile hike to "hot river." that's a river in the outskirts of iceland's capital city whose hills literally pipe steam because of the boiling water barely contained beneath. water roils, in mini cauldons, out of the earth. it's too hot to bathe at the source of the river, so you creep, near-naked back down the river to spots fed by glacier springs... then you sit and watch the steam rise around you. gray mountains, green grass, purple and yellow posies, and you and your honey. it's really stunning.

we're in norway now. thanks to siw, oslo is alive.

and we're blessed.

and, vince thinks i gave him giardia when i made him drink from a cool, clear icelandic glacier spring. (icelanders look askance at tourists who buy bottled water. "they just bottle it from our tap, which comes from the rivers," they say.) yeah, well, vin and i took a drink from one of these clean glacier springs. and just below our lips--a slug! (that's good for us, too. just ask an icelander. ;j)

stay tuned...

vince, you EVER gonna write something? ;j

Monday, June 09, 2008

on the other side of the moon

there's iceland. keflavik. it's 1am. here's what the universe looks like outside our window:

listen. the atlantic, it's tongue pushing against those black rocks. its breath rushing at our window. the earth giving us a little a prayer, right here in this tiny speck of the world. can you hear it? for laura's mom, anne, who has other things to do and see and be, as of 21 may 2008.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

edinburgh's weird, pretty, fun.

it all started on the way here from durham.

see, we left robert and laurie and the wee ones, thinking and feeling all this gooey lovey family stuff. then we’re relaxing at the train station, me falling asleep on vin (getting a cold), then…

we’re on the train. vin discovers strands of windy hair (not ours) on our headrest napkins.

then, i’ve got a cold--raw throat, head like a haggis-stuffed chicken. i sprawl, drooling asleep on the seat. the announcer: “edinburgh! next stop!” vin lauches for the bags. attached to his arse is a string, no, gum (not ours). he drags it across the train car before untangling himself, then we have to scrape up $1.20 so i can use the public loo (before i had "a accident" as june star said). we fall into the hotel. vin tests the ol’ ice and a knife trick on that gum. it works!

we hit the streets before anything else can go wrong.

maybe the girls in the u.k. have it right—take OFF the coat and shoes when temps drop from a gorgeous 68 degrees to a frigid late-night 40. they don't cough or sneeze or blow noses. we (vin and i) share an amontillado after dinner at this little tapas place [la tasca, 9 south charlotte street] with music pouring out the door and windows. but first vince inflicts his homemade joke on our spanish-cum-scottish waiter who has, of course, heard of edgar allen poe. “ever read him?” says vince. “oh yea,” says our waiter. “when i was quite young. something about a crow.” vince forgets to tell the joke. here it is:

Q: what did the raven say when he crossed the road?
A: nevermore.

anyway, our waiter suggests we check out cervantes and neruda. then vin and i walk around in the late night, the castle and the war museum lit up on the hill above us like a reminder of christmas.
[we leave you with a quote from billy bob thorton’s character in the movie we fell asleep to last night, Daddy and Them]: “It was the best time I ever had. It was the worst time I ever had. I believe that was witten by Dick somebody.”

Friday, June 06, 2008

5 days married

we’ve quickly relearned how to sleep in. 1pm never came so quick.

yesterday (thursday, 5 june), it was sunny in london—again! we spent the day and night walking, trying most of that time to pin point that weird little underground thames walk path. we found it:

after traipsing through michael hoppen gallery’s photo exhibit by wonderkind california girl alex prager and what was supposed to be richard avedon but instead turned out to be that fabu photog who shot that one we've all seen, “american girl in italy.” but i digress. the walk path—think ultra-mini-detroit-to-windsor tunnel meets the catacombs in poe’s “the cask of amontillado”—dank, drippy, echoey—with the occasional bike rider whizzing by. about that trek vin summed it up: “well that’s four hours of my life i’ll never get back.” true enough. he’ll be choosing today and tomorrow’s adventures. if our luck holds, i’ll be able to complain bitterly. ; j.

back to the biking…yesterday the whole city seemed to be running or biking along the thames, including a bunch of people on crack. not the drug. the peekaboo-butt-crack that keeps popping up when the back of the pants refuses to. (an eyeful of this and you’ll never again complain about biker shorts that fit.) eesh.

but even london’s crack habit couldn’t kill our appetite. by 10pm we were starving and cranky and bitching at each other just like married people, and we’d just missed dinner hour with “fabulous” kidney pie wth pea gravy at THE GUN, the little pub tucked into a tiny neighborhood that WHERE [LONDON] magazine calls a “must-visit gastropub in canary wharf.” not only did the place look and smell worth its accolades, a local in the know said that from the cozy terrace one can gossip and eavesdrop loudly and happily and catch the greenwich mean time laser that scans the wharf. we plan to head back there when you visit sometime in august and/or september ; j . maybe we’ll also catch david attenborough’s exhibit—THE ART OF NATURAL HISTORY IN THE AGE OF DISCOVERY. (yes, we’re nerds.) the show unites the work of four artists including leonardo—all of whom shared a passion for the unusual aspects of nature at a time when new species and varieties were turning up just about daily. the exhibit runs until 28 september. fyi.

and in case you’re wondering what madonna’s doing on 9/11, she’s in london with her new show, SWEET AND STICKY. tickets prices...ready?? 198 pounds. that’s almost 400 bucks. material girl, indeed.

we ended the day’s escapades by reading aloud THEM by joyce carol oates. well, i read. it’s really good, so vin stayed with me for a few pages. At this rate we should get to WUTHERING HEIGHTS by, oh, our first anniversary.

thursday, 5 june

today under muted skies (ah, england!) we’re heading north to durham to visit friends robert and laurie and their wee ones. seems even a pricey train fare doesn’t secure you a seat, though. we spent the beginning of the three-hour ride keeping company with the fire extinguishers between “carriages” (that’s “compartments” for anyone who dudn’t speak the queen’s english). it could be worse. the kids who “forgot” to pay got seats—next to each other even—got charged something like 700 bucks each for the favor. oh to be seventeen, busted, and in love. (but shuh, two outta three ain’t too bad. last night vin and i got caught with our hands in the candy jar--literally--by hotel staffers. toblerone. big bowls of the stuff at the registration counter. who could resist?)

sun’s peeking out. just brilliant.

[vince here: stac just went to bed. here are some pics from our trip to Durham, and this evening at the Cavins':
Man on train next to Stacy demonstrating untoward behavior:

Vince, admonishing stac to use the wrist strap!!!

Bro pats all around!

Robert & kids:

and that, my friends, is family life in northern England. Tomorrow, a quick tour of Durham, then off to Edinburough, hopefully in an assigned seat on the train...

Vince (&Stac, whose sawin' logs)]

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

walking in the sun in london

st. pancras (yes, vince stood there holding what he thought was his pancreas) church (and local hospitals) have cool sculptures in their tiny gardens. we skipped the thames so we could rush to a production of TWELFTH NIGHT at the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park. it was fun. good night.

now that we've lit the candle...

we're trying to burn down london town.
actually, we've stopped in london just for a few days before iceland to recoup from the funnest wedding we can remember since...we can't remember--we're still pretty tired.
but we're draggin' our wagons out of bed now that it's 5pm and sunny out. we'll let you know what we find under the thames. (that's where we're headed...we heard we can walk a nasty 1/4 mile under the river to get from one side to the other. how symbolic.)
stac&vin "cavazynski"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

a lil detroit in texass

acl is coming up again. well, in a few months, anyway. man, the stories in the music. they gitcha, don't they just?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

secret fantasies

Eyes Wide Shut. ya seen it? in a beautifully decorated little bauble its "aboutness" if you ask me is human sexuality and attraction in the face of commitment. it's about masks and denial. it's about seeming and being--and lying and truthing. it's about--have you seen "6 Feet Under"? in a beautifully depressing little series of one-two punches by the olding-yet-lovely ma character in its first season (haven't gotten beyond it yet) we discover nearly the same thing: of course, we looooove our partners. sure we'd sure miss em when they're deeeeeeeead, but getting kinky with someone else who noooootices us once in a while, who has all the badabing and none of the strings, that's sure does entice. trouble is, it raises trouble. as it does for the couple in kubrick's EWS.

one apparent difference between the two stories, however, is the cheating mind versus the cheating...ahem...other, more tangible parts of the body.

what about 'fidelio' (psst: fidelity)? what about depravity dressed up like decadence? what about the essence of incredible, incredibly empty sex? what about the distance from here to there, when we're 6 feet under with our eyes wide shut?

do you tell? do you tell your fantasies to your beloved? do you consider the consequences and NOT tell your lover? do you do whatever the fuck you want and lie, even while telling your beloved "bu-bu-but baby, i've never lied to you!" and isn't it difficult to admit to being a liar simply because we don't want to acknowledge the difficult, uncomfortable and, well, slimy truth of it.

what do we tell...and who do we love...and what, really, do we want? how many people do YOU know who live with eyes wide open?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

conversation with a slut

last night i was talking to this slut who likes to read. she's a real slut. and she really likes to read. i asked her, "hey, slut, do you think about words and books and characters and stuff while you're out there slutting and stuff?" and she said, "hell no." i said, "why not? don't they all get mixed up in the same stinky bag?" and she said, "you need a life."

this is true.

i took another swallow and said, "did you ever have trouble with getting the worlds mixed up? do they ever, you know, enter each other?" and she said, "lookit. there's only one thing you gotta know about being a slut: never let em see you think."

this sounds true enough.

i gave it one last college try. "hey, um, so, do you care what people say about you?"

she cocked her head, closed her right eye, and zeroed in on me with her teleccoping blue-shadowed left, and said: "sister. sluts are magical people who can take you magical places. it's fear and snear that keeps the rest of em talking. they give me my name and keep it in business. we're all in it together."

really, i can't argue too much with the logic even if it makes me squirmy.

"aren't you tired of acting dumb? i asked. "don't you fear for your life sometimes? don't you hate that by acting dumb you ruin it for those nonsluts who don't? act dumb, i mean." i really couldn't believe i was being so honest. musta been the bourbon.

"sweetheart," she said, "sweetheart. i don't act dumb. i just don't let them see the wheels churn and the smoke pour out. besides, we all do it. some version of it. we just don't know. now hand me my book. you're boring me."

Friday, December 02, 2005

wait wait

hesitancy. it can make [insert gerund here] slower, more delicious. or it can rock it off its somewhat questionable base, help push it over, force it flat on its face.

hesitantcy. with its sinister and secret surfeit and withholding, its tease and delay.

in a moment you have life and death, "an occurance at owl creek bride," "the secret life of walter mitty." or you have the fallen diet, just one more scoopful of mayonaise-laiden spinach dip, just one more bowlful of creamy-cold crunchy moosetracks.

hesitancy is not an even-sum game. it is loss or it is gain. it is loss and then it is gain. or it is withholding and withholding--that good idea, up like ash in golden fire. waited on an instant too long. bye-bye. up-up nothing and gone. into the air. like a memory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

machines and animal kingdoms

no, i did not yet see the new joaquin phoenix-cum-johnny cash flick yet. no, i did not yet brush my teeth today. no, i have no advice. BUT, i did have another wacked dream.

this time a growling gigantic epoxy gray and black behemoth truck-van thing was revving its engine like some sort of four-wheeled beast standing on its hind wheels. it was competing with half a dozen motorcyclists whose tinny sounding engines (like the sounds of fat flying flies amplified close to a thousand times) popped wheelies and rode high and higher up the half pipe wall set up for such displays. as the beast wound down, its front end settled into the ground with a resounding crash-bounce-bounce, while the white pleather-suited and shiny blue-helmetted cyclists winnied their way down in a sea horse frenzie, scooting to and fro, up and down, maniacally, as if when their wheelies died so too would their living breath.

as i woke and tried to pull these notions out of my dream and into the world i imagined seeing the freaky orange cat who actually belongs to the previous owners of our house but who never leaves our back door. i imained that he strolled nice as pie down our hallway settling himself comfortably outside the bedroom door.

any questions?

any idea wtf?

Monday, November 21, 2005

ain't i sumpn? just ain't i?

is this the sort of mentality it takes to be a famous writer? a famous french male writer? famous frech lover? famous? french? what? where do people get their hubris?

August 15, 1846, letter of that gustave flaubert guy to his wife louise colet:

I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to
yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports... When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.

where art thou edward

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by edward albee has to be one of the 10 or so best things ever written mostly in the english language. but who can count these things. it's tough to number the sublime.

some "facts" about this play about truth and allusion (among other things):

when the play was denied the pulitzer in 1962, two members of the committe resigned and no play received the award.

the play's original title was to have been The Exoricism.

what's-his-all-american-blue-haired-blond-eyed-face robert redford turned down the film role of nick in the highly acclaimed mike nichols' directed 1966 adaptation. psh. he always was shooting to be the effectual one wudn't he? (george segal took the role. he was smashing, no?)

a few years ago in a basement theatre on the campus of wayne state on a friiiiiigid january night i dragged vin to see albee's Seascape (which did garner him the pulitzer). too little too late is what i said. P.U. is what vin said, who has no respect for the absurd - when it's onstage. put it in the middle of our kitchen, living room or back deck in the middle of a bunch of guests and he's all over that shite, though.

i mean, let's look again at the words of george (the main dude, not segal) shall we...

but first a word on george and martha. george. martha. get it? america's first couple. setting up house. disorderly. disgusting. mythic. ready to tumble. and then george says (at nick, not to him) [remember nick? he's the ultra good looking biology phenom who's primed to take over the department. he's youthful, rational, rarin to go. but also a smidge underhanded, which is why redford turned down the role if you ask me]:

"You take the trouble to construct a civilization . . . to . . . to build a society, based on the principles of . . . of principle . . . you endeavor to make communicable sense out of natural order, morality out of the unnatural disorder of man's mind . . . you make government and art, and realize that they are, must be, both the same . . . you bring things to the saddest of all points . . . the the point where there is something to lose . . . then all at once, through all the music, through all the sensible sounds of men building, attempting, comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours. I suppose there's justice to it, after all the years. . . . Up yours."

lest you think the whole thing is's not. it's mostly sick and disturbing and funny as hell. wife picking at husband, husband protecting himself. horribly to-the-bone hurtful. and funny as hell. but i repeat myself.

"And the west, encumbered by crippling alliances, and burdened with a morality too rigid to accmmodate itself to the swing of events, must . . . eventually . . . fall."

these are about the only two outright political things albee says. mostly it's allusion and perry and twist and marriage and infidelity and hide-and-seek with truth. all set inside game-playing. kids with wickedly sharp wit and tongues.

always seemed to me sneaky smart people are scarier than weapon-weilding stupid people. not because weapons don't eviserate. smarts just has truer aim.

thanks for the pain, edward a.

i am an innocent bystander, says the dreamer of her dream

this morning's dream contained the dream version of my dad and one of my brothers. the dad told the brother that he(the brother)'s got to do better. the brother didn't like this news. he gaffawed, which is male-dream-brother code for cried into the crook of his blue flannel-shirted arm. the brother said something that sounded like: rootbeer!? then he walked away shaking his head not understanding why the dad would want him the brother(the son) to accept or welcome a friendship with the stepmom(she does not make appearance in the dream)'s foresaken love. (in the dream it is understood that, pre-dream, the stepmom has given up a lover in order to marry the dad.) none of this makes any practical dream-or-otherwise sense to the brother. he does not want to attend a birthday party. he does not want to extend a welcoming hand to a foresaken lover who is not even real. he does not understand the dream father's thinking at all. not at all.

what goes on in our heads? how do we become such bystanders in our own lives?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

performance art and haircuts

about noon i woke up shaking off the last moments of my last dream. i was back in my home town at a local arts auditorium/gymnasium. don't know why, just >poof< and i was there. the performance contained some well-sculpted student athletes or artist types. difficult to tell how old anybody was - including the me that was implied in the dream.

there was a particular performer i noticed down there on the court. see, all the seats were above, as with all small towering stadiums. the stage was a court, with mattresses or inflatable barriers for the performers to rebound and ricochet offa when they flew into it or were tossed or body slammed into it by other performers. it hit me all of a sudden that these performers, mostly men, were wearing basketball warmups and jerseys. there were even some basketballs floating from hand to hand, under legs and around backs as dancers pivoted, slid, high jumped and flew over each other. think globetrotters meet martha graham.

it was choreographed, but not. it was messy but beautiful. it was violent but elegant. one guy, the one i had been watching got bumped out of center court where he was holding court. he slammed into the bumper padding and grabbed his shoulder, grimaced. his cornrows barely moved but he was shaking off the shock to his system. or was he acting? one of his mates, glistening white, looked back worried for a second. or was he acting? the scene was turning into something from Rollerball (remember that movie with james caan? a guy ends up a vegetable in the end). before all hell broke loose the whistle blew. half-time. nobody seemed too bad off. the dancers slinked off stage and headed to the locker rooms for their pep talk.

i waited in the lobby so i could stretch my legs. a woman, tall and slinky with sexy nappy hair stuck very close to her head struck up a conversation. i agreed that yes, exhilirating athleticism, yes a suprise to see art mimic b-ball, yes they sure can fly. jordan, nureyev, baryshnikov's got nothin on them.

the performer i'd been eyeing came out from behind the locker room door marked M-E-N and stood close to her, his head bowed into hers. she introduced us. his black skin glistened. the bleach white towel slung around his neck stayed dry. will you be here for a while? he asked me. depends, i said, feeling myself blush. i'm getting my hair cut, you may not recognize me later, i said. oh, in that case, he responded, i may not be around later. he smiled, flirtatious.

he disappeared again behind the locker room door. the woman -- she seemed to me now his sister -- called quietly to him in her husky honeysuckled way. the door stayed closed. she raised an apologetic eyebrow. he was born in a barn, she said. then she smiled, flirting. her teeth were big. flourescent light shining out of the ceiling grates glinted off them. then i woke up.

i said, hey vin. you wake? can i tell you my dream? sure, he said. and i did. and he said, see honey. it's a sign. you don't really want short hair again.

see, i was thinking after my hair cut i'd like to see some ballet - or a pistons versus san antonio game.

funny, until today i had always maintained that i disliked basketball. huh. goes to show what i know.

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