Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jason Weems - Jason Weems - Jason Weems

The second house I encountered on the slow trip from the San Antonio airport to the Jinx House in Austin was the home of Jason Weems. I met many people there who I would keep running in to during my visit to Texas. One thing about Texas, at least the areas I toured, is that you make friends with the people you meet. Everyone I encountered was warm, sincere and open from the start. This includes Jason.

His apartment was filled with instruments. It's been a while but I think someone causally played the trumpet or some other horn while multiple people jammed on guitars and sang. The whole evening was filled with music. He told me stories of his very interesting past, all of which were centered around creating. The biggest piece of Texas that I keep with me is not the individual people, but the drive they all seem to share.

It is ok with them to follow your heart; something I've yet to find in the Northeast. At least not in a pure state. Jason Weems shines when he plays and I think that deserves some support. It's also the first step in acknowledging that you deserve to live the life of your dreams. The bottom video is his request, the first is a really beautiful song. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


He spies through glass covered
keyboards, through
snowy windows
with broken

asks for
simple things,
like words strung by
form and aloe on the rocks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

grape ivy

It lives!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

It's that time again.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have super wonderful days even if this isn't your holiday. Enjoy, relax, eat great food. I am watching A Christmas Story and getting ready to fall asleep. I received a potted Grape Ivy plant today which I will now be dedicated to keeping alive. Please send your prayers to it :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Each pixel stemming
from pupil

horizon at
every hour, brook.

Eyes which master
water and

who speak
of hills, jungle.

These conversations exist
between windows,

Their own
celebration of scenery.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I am such a little kid

So this is Paul Simon's new song, Getting Ready for Christmas Day. Jim Oblon is the dummer in his band and is in the video. They were all on the Colbert Report last Thursday. It was so exciting to watch someone I know on tv, especially on a show I love.

Last night's Owl Shop was maybe the best ever. I LOVE to dance. Will dance to anything, anywhere. Music or no music. But when you get great music and an awesome partner who knows how to lead I just can't contain myself. I was trying to find a video of the style of dancing Chris and I were doing last night but I came up short. The closest thing I could find was way more technical than anything I ever do. You could probably call it blues swing style. And if Chris didn't know how to do it neither would I. He says he learned his moves from dating older women. I should try that. (hehe) To make this long story short, we danced and spun and dipped for three songs and people actually asked us for more! I got to dance with Sarah too, which is our ritual. I know people like that as well, but for much different reasons. The band didn't play any holiday songs, but they did get down with Sunshine of Your Love by Cream. This was a request by three very nice out of towners who also bought me a glass of Argentinean wine. Yumm.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The squirrels are everywhere!

Right now, one is on top of a green tarp protecting a grill. One on a deck rooting through leaves, hopping over sticks. One attached itself to a very steep section of shed roof. Another on a fence post. They crouch down and pounce at each other like cats. Shake their tales furiously. There is never a moment where I can not find a squirrel. Sometimes if I look away for a moment they play with me. I'll have to find them again but it's normally not hard. They aren't great at standing still. I'm glad I can view their playground from my desk. They make work look like fun and they aren't afraid of heights.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In just

I ate some Chinese ribs today. Got a hive on my right eyebrow from a dinner party misfortune.
Inhaled chalk dust and blew more onto my carpet. I am molting.

There are times to pass on the novelty.
Excrete the fortune teller blood and the sexiest poses from a vocabulary.
To listen to radiohead and not feel sadness.

To look at a frog price so fair and green and silent
and know he is real.

He smiles.

I wonder if what was said is true sometimes.
That she is taller than those arms of everyone.

I know what he wants to say, but those words make empty feelings inside.
The repetitive, love, the love, love...
Reminds me of vacancy. Of poetry, of drawing to fill needs.

Honesty is felt. It reeks. It's permeable and palpable.
There is trust in these bones.

The molt removes the doubt. It grows the roots.
It unburies.

A diatribe. It shouldn't feel like that.

I can sense it.

head ache visual

head ache

Just to undo this thing
to fake it out
unravel the edges
leave it as leaf
bone, root.
bury the tree

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The world is right

I've had an exceptional week. Music is clearer, mind is free-er, heart is open.
Blackbird plays on Pandora. I just finished Cannery Row by Steinbeck.
I'd given up on Steinbeck a long time ago, too. What a fabulous book.
The back cover, "Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is; both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual."
My shift was diving in. Relating without interference. Losing the separation. For someone who lives multi-dimensionally this shouldn't seem like a challenge. Well, it turned out not to be. Just a subtle decision probably brought on by copper, The Chemical Brothers and a human being.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lost in the marsh

To keep another sentient
influence in view.
Eat life with new eyes.
Double eyes.
Pairs of legs
to run wild in sand,
and get muddy and
soaked with smells
not entirely pleasant.
With more of you than you
can be alone.
All together
enhancing your
own singular view.

Cloudy Twins

I put this video on to hear the song but then I may have fallen in love. Has my soul mate made a collage of cloud pictures to illustrate the music? I checked into it deeper and probably not. Oh well. I just thought it was funny. :)

Aphex Twin is solid. Pick any of their songs to listen to and you're going to like it.


Watch a sunset from the mirror
two flickering candles bounce off
the glass,
reflection of spectacles,
wet hair sleekness
blue screen television

the scrollwork of light fixture.

Goodbye sun, purple clouds.
on go kitchen luminations
from neighboring windows.

A little holiday cheer

This was performed by members of Improv Everywhere in NYC.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This song is a dream

I wish it didn't end. This song on a never ending loop played while sleeping would cause massive amounts of trippy memories. The real drums in there make such a difference. Wow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just a little self and selfless promotion

We haven't had much snow lately but it sure has been cold. My friend Pat makes amazing hats. I love my hat so much because it covers my ears, I have very sensitive ears, plus it's super stylish. She hand crochets them all, including the double flower. Her shop is here. You can probably still get one in time for Christmas. Pat would never tell you this because she's modest but the quality of her work is incredible. She's a perfectionist who puts hours of work into the details. It's hard to find such good craftsmanship today. She's an incredible lady!

Below are some winter prints of mine. Imagekind, the site that hosts them, has a sale today. 22% off everything. The coupon code is on the site. My galleries are here.

Last but not least, the e-book for No Fresh Cut Flowers, An Afterlife Anthology is still ten bucks and includes the soundtrack. I also still have time to ship the paperback in time for Christmas.

Buying from people helps people. Shop local, shop small and we can keep the money with the people who are really contributing to the world. Have super amazing holidays!


The story of Kevin

One sparkling morning
a Kevin

the sky-
skateboard in hand.

God caught up
with him

"Kevin, are
you sure you're

not too old
for this

reply made
god laugh with

abandon. After God
stopped he

my dear
human friend, just

because Rachel is
always late

you poems
does not mean

that time actually
stops. But

your athleticism
so I'll make

you a deal."
That year

so many
poems from Rachel

that time sped
up for

skateboard tricks
wowed all his

friends and he
became the

the valley
had ever seen.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Oh Bad Company how I melt at this song. I'm writing about classic rock love songs for MM and had to include this one as it's always been one of my favorites. Seeing this live version is amazing. Dig the chest hair? It may be the mix of sweetness in the beginning with that hard rock chorus that makes this song stand out, I'm not sure, but it works. I think it may be the honesty from the male perspective.  They think about love and it makes them want to have sex. Whatever it is, I'm glad it's still on the radio all the time. 


Donovan rocks. He's touring with a green acoustic guitar, too.


I made it through
a dreary time
without writing
you a love song.

Rolling boulders
off my shoulders
with no wine
at my side.

My desk faces
the sunset as
the centralizing

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Haven in Lights

This is the best lit tree i ever recall seeing. It really caught my attention!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Saturday, December 4, 2010

cold mornin'

Happy sunrise from Milford. I couldn't resist bundling up and walking to the beach this morning. Somehow purple and orange skies make it feel less bitter outside.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is really funny. I did not write this.

P R E - R E L A T I O N S H I P   A G R E E M E N T

The party of the first part (herein referred to as "she"), being of sound mind and pretty good body, agrees to the following with the party of the second part (herein referred to as "him"):
1. FULL DISCLOSURE: At the commencement of said relationship(colloquially referred to as the "first date"), each party agrees to fully disclose any current girl/boyfriends, dependent children, bizarre religious beliefs, phobias, fears, social diseases, strange political affiliations, or currently active relationships with anyone else that have not yet been terminated. Further, each party agrees to make known any deep-seated complexes and/or fanatical obsessions with pets, careers, and/or organized sports. Failure to make these disclosures will result in the immediate termination of said relationship before it has a chance to get anywhere.
2. INDEMNIFICATION OF FRIENDS: Both parties agree to hold the person who arranged the liaison (colloquially referred to as the "matchmaker") blameless in the event that the "fix-up" turns out to be a "real loser" or "psycho bitch". (For definition of "real loser", see "John DeLorean: My Story", available at most bookstores, or any picture of Bob Guccione in "Penthouse". For definition of "psycho bitch," see Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" or Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction.")
3. DEFINITION OF RELATIONSHIP: Should said relationship proceed past the first date, both parties mutually agree to use the following terminology in describing their said "dating": For the first thirty (30) days, both parties consent to say they are "going out". (This neither implies nor states any guarantee of exclusivity.) Following the first thirty (30) days, both parties may say they are "seeing somebody" and may be referred to by third parties as "an item". Sixty (60) days following the commencement of the first date, either member may elect to use the terms "girl/boyfriend" or "lover" and their mutual acquaintances may refer to them as "a couple". Under no circumstances are the phrases "my better half," "the little woman," "the old ball and chain," or "my old man/lady" acceptable. Furthermore, if both members consent, this timetable may be sped up; however, if either party "gets too serious" and disregards this schedule, the other party may dissolve the relationship on the grounds of "moving too fast" and may once again be said to be "on the market."
4. TERMS OF EXCLUSIVITY: For the first thirty (30) days, both parties agree not to ask questions about the other's whereabouts on weekends, weeknights, or over long holiday periods. No unreasonable demands or expectations will be made; "rights" or "holds" on the other's time. Following the first six weeks or forty-five (45) days, if one party continues to be "missing in action" the "wounded party" agrees to "give up".
5. DATING ETIQUETTE: For the first thirty (30) days, both members of the couple agree to be overly considerate of the other's work pressures, schedules, and business ambitions. All dates will be made at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance; there will be no "running off in the middle of the night to console an old girl/boyfriend", and both parties agree to strike the phrase "but he/she needs me" from their vocabularies. Further, during the first six (6) weeks each member of said relationship agrees to attempt one spontaneous home-cooked meal or to arrange the delivery of at least one unexpected bouquet of flowers. Following the first forty-five (45) days, both parties will return to their normal personalities.
6. TERMS OF PAYMENT: It is agreed that -- respective gross income aside "he" will pick up the tab at all dinners, clubs, theaters, and breakfasts until: He considers her suitably impressed, He is broke, or He says, "this is ridiculous, you pay!" Not included in this agreement are meals ordered from the bedroom, which are subject to the availability of discretionary funds on hand at the time.
7. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS (occasionally known as the "Why do I bother to keep my own apartment?" codicil): Should said relationship progress to the point where the couple spends more than four nights a week together, every effort shall be made to split the time between their respective apartments. Further, it is agreed that both sides will attempt to silence the lewd remarks of landlords, or roommates. Both will avoid having their mothers call at 7:30 in the morning. He agrees to "pick up after himself" while in residence at her apartment, including washing his whiskers out of the sink, and assisting with household duties. By the same token, she agrees to respect his right to keep his apartment "a mess".
8. THE 90-DAY GRACE PERIOD: For the first three months, each member of the couple agrees to hold the other blameless in the euphoric use of phrases like "Let's move in together," "Why don't we start a family?" and -- using archaic terminology -- "Let's get married."
9. THE "L" WORD: For the first sixty (60) days, both parties agree not to use the phrase "I love you." They may love plants, dogs, cats, cars, concerts, or the way a particular pair of jeans fits, but not each other. Failure by one party to abide by this rule will result in the other party using the "G" word ... "Gone."
10. GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION: Any of the following will be grounds for immediate termination and final dissolution of said relationship:
  • Infidelity: Running off at any time to console an ex-girl/boyfriend,
  • Ending any argument with the sentence "My ex used to do that same exact thing."

Sex ed

When I was younger and adults asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up the answer was usually: brain scientist, teacher or therapist.  It never occurred to me that I might end up writing about sex for a living, but when the opportunity presented itself I couldn't resist.  I started writing for a men's online magazine about a week ago and it's turning out to be tremendously fun! 

Until my early twenties I was the girl who kept her polo shirt buttoned up tight, never wore fitted clothing and had a shirt her bathing suit at the beach.  But evolution does occur and I've done lots of molting since then.  There is a lot information about sex on the web but much of it is either clinical research or porn.  I'm hoping to add some honesty to the mix while also being interesting.  

As the articles get published they will be linked to the 'articles elsewhere' page of this blog.  I'd love to hear your comments or feedback which you can add here or in an email.  This is a very new venture for me and it still shocks me that I'm so comfortable with it.  The only thing I haven't done is tell my Dad...and that can wait.  ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Simple things that made me smile today

1.  My dog has become more affectionate in his old age.  I got home early this morning to a sleepy dog who was happy to have company.  He sort of fell into my legs so I knelt down next to him to say hello.  After sniffing my neck, he planted a smooch on me.  Two actually, right on my chin. 


Glee sings a song I love.  I'm not normally one to love covers but I can actually understand the words with them singing it.  They inject a vitality to the song, too.  The original is beautiful but darker:

Seeing the video, I love her even more.  We could be make-up friends. 

3.  Impromptu cuddling.  I'm glad that as an adult that's not silly.

4.  Running at 4am.  That's when my gym opens.  Since I have not been able to sleep lately it makes sense that I'm not expending enough energy.  I hope running helps. 

Have wonderful days!

Monday, November 29, 2010

E-book time, hurray!

No Fresh Cut Flowers 
an Afterlife Anthology


$9.99 E-Book & Soundtrack  

Save some trees and money by purchasing the electronic version of the book. After payment, you will get immediate download access to the soundtrack and book files.  Instant gratification :) 

Lots of love this holiday season,  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Washington Ave Rootmark

There is a special place in New Orleans that I step over with childlike amazement.  

I named this tree Knobby.  She's grown into the sidewalk.  

Here she is in all her glory.  

New Orleans is filled with streets lined with these great big old trees.  On the parade route beads hang from their branches.  I love this tree so much because it tells me I'm near my friend's house.  Even in a city I can rely on natural landmarks instead of my ever-failing directional sense.  Hurray for that.

It's Thanksgiving

For all the years
I've omitted particular
ingredients, I say,
"thank you for this food."
And to all my family
who's made me smile,
I say,  "thank you for
your love." And to
all the crunchy leaves
outside, I say, "thank
you for the tracking system
you've invented for my dog."


Have a super special Thanksgiving everybody.  Don't forget there are many more people who love you than you'll admit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photo Illustrations from No Fresh Cut Flowers are available

Illustrating a book of poetry through photography was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.   In the beginning of the project I had expected to make drawings for each poem but when that started feeling forced, I switched to photographs.  A few of them had already been taken but most of them were inspired by the poems.  Thanks to the folks at The Owl Shop in New Haven I even had my first on-location photo shoot with a model.  Those photos, which feature Sarah Sartarelli, were inspired by Ariel Chance's poem "Black Ice."  Here are a few of the photographs from the book, though all of them can be viewed at my Print Shop.

Imagekind is having a Thanksgiving Day sale and offering 25% off everything- enter code GIVETHANKS at checkout.  This offer is valid until midnight 11/25.  Thanks in advance if you buy anything <3

Photo Illustration from No Fresh Cut Flowers by Rachel Andrews

Photo Illustration from No Fresh Cut Flowers by Rachel Andrews

Photo Illustration from No Fresh Cut Flowers by Rachel Andrews

Photo Illustration from No Fresh Cut Flowers by Rachel Andrews

I am stealing a post from the Press site because Greta is a great poet you should read

Featured Poet: Greta Bolger

Greta Bolger's poem "The Vodou Afterlife" is published in No Fresh Cut Flowers, an Afterlife Anthology.  I asked her what inspired the poem and this is what she said:

"This poem came about at the intersection of my passions and obsessions: the often unbelievable cruelty of life, the total unknowability of death, and our fundamental need to believe that there is someone who cares about us out there somewhere. When, in early 2010, I heard the coverage of Haiti's earthquake on NPR (another passion), I was inspired to do further research into the beliefs of Vodouisants in Haiti and to imagine how desperately they must pray for relief from the calamities that continue to beset their country, how abandoned they must feel in this life, and how ready to welcome the next. Though most of us will never experience anything remotely as horrific as the people of Haiti have, I hope the poem conveys compassion for the inevitable physical and spiritual suffering of this life and hope for a better deal in the afterlife."

The Vodou Afterlife

If we believed, as NPR says the Haitians do,
in 16 reincarnations, half as men,
half as women, with a year and a day
in "the water" between each,
we could live for 800 years,

give or take, with a different body
each time, so that even when earthquakes
come, and hurricanes, and heart attacks,
even when help is hard to come by,
there is always next time, another chance

to hear what the rocks say, sense how the trees feel,
to learn again what the animals know.
Vodouisants are smart enough to know
that their big guy god, Bondye, is far distant
from creation, and cannot be held accountable,

so they send their prayers to the loa,
lesser spirits, like Papa Legba,
the guardian of the crossroads,
Erzulie Freda, the spirit of love, Simbi,
the spirit of rain and magicians,

Guede, the guardian of death.
They don't stick pins, not anymore, but
make fake people out of discarded shoes
and nail them on trees near the cemetery,
messengers to the otherworld, to say hello,

maybe, or help us out with these hurricanes,
or send us some rain in this unbreathable heat,
or give us strong magic, or to scream enough
with the crossroads already, we're already dead.
Send water, Erzulie Freda. Send shovels.

Greta's contributor's note for No Fresh Cut Flowers is located on the Poet's page of the Sephyrus Press blog.  To order a copy of the book, go here.

I am officialy a nut...or am I? Geraldo doesn't seem to think so anymore.

I haven't been all that vocal about how I feel about the 9/11 incident.  I suppose I figured that since I believe it was orchestrated by people in this country no one would really want to hear me out.  I don't have a link to the original video that opened my eyes so sourcing would take time and frankly it didn't seem very important for me to change anyone's mind.  The video above is new however so take a look.  Also, here's a link to a previous post and article written by Eric Francis about that day. Eric has written extensively about this topic and his professional experience as an investigative journalist adds credibility to his writing.  I highly recommend searching his site for more articles if you are interested.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I just found an article I'm in on

For the record, I was never vegan.  Maybe for a second or two before I discovered unpasteurized cheese and the deliciousness of raw fish and grass-fed beef - but it was never a choice of mine to be so.  It's just funny to me that I missed this in the article. It's also old now, from 2006, but through the greatness of the internet is still available.  For a while I was the go-to raw foodist in CT for reporters.  It was kinda cool :)  Except that they ended up labeling me in ways that were not correct.  That said, here's the article:
A Raw Revolution

Courant Staff Writer

July 6, 2006

For Rachel Andrews, it was pasta and breads just about every day. Sure, vegetables took a sliver of space on those meal plates. But her cravings for sweets - brownies sometimes served as breakfast - overpowered those healthful choices.

It wasn't hard for Andrews to work out the math on why she felt so sluggish and sapped. She read up on health and nutrition and made some changes. Out went the processed foods. In came the fresh vegetables and fruits. And soon Andrews began exploring a diet of vegan raw foods.

But for a fledgling raw foodist in the middle of Connecticut, resources and support were scant.

A dairy- and meat-free diet of fresh, uncooked foods calls for serious planning. It can require obscure ingredients and complex food preparation - to say nothing of the discipline in this get-it-now society of fast-food drive-thrus and pre-packaged foods.

"I had to go to New York if I needed anything," says Andrews, 24. She eventually orchestrated small monthly raw-food potlucks at her Milford home. But they fizzled once she moved to Newtown.

"It's difficult to make a drastic change in how you eat without help from other people. And there really wasn't any big, central meeting place in Connecticut."

That's poised to change. On a busy stretch of New Britain Avenue in an unlikely patch of Hartford, a mecca for raw foodists is taking shape at Alchemy Juice Bar Cafe.

Alchemy plugged in its first juicer and swung its doors open to this Trinity College neighborhood four years ago. And since then, this little-restaurant-that-could has amassed a quiet following of diners seeking organic juices and vegetarian comfort foods.

Now, owners John Zito and Imani are going raw. They're hoping to ignite a movement that's gained a foothold in cities like Los Angeles and New York.

"We want to be the source for raw foods in Connecticut," says Imani, who goes by her first name only. "Eating raw is about consciousness. And people are so out of balance, so out of touch with their bodies and with how they eat."

To help guide them back, Alchemy is expanding its standard fare of salads and wraps to include a menu of raw soups, pies, cookies and muffins - all made without heating any of the ingredients beyond 118 degrees.

The thinking: Cooking destroys the food's enzymes, making it harder for the body to digest and tougher to absorb nutrients. Vegetables, fruits and nuts in their natural states carry the highest nutritional value, raw foodists believe, helping the body ward off toxicity and chronic disease.

It's controversial, to say the least. And the philosophy has its detractors. But in the six years since learning about raw, Imani says she's read and heard first-hand countless testimonials of devotees' boosting mood and energy levels, shaking off chronic ailments and even curing disease.

As it gets ready to roll out the raw, Alchemy is planning regular workshops, tastings and lush, gourmet dining events in the coming months.

But the question is: Will Hartford support a raw-foods restaurant? The region has proved to be a good market for organic and vegetarian fare, with a handful of specialty restaurants and the arrival of Whole Foods Market in West Hartford last year.

Still, is the raw philosophy too `out-there' even for these patrons?

"That's probably the question, right? That's the big unknown," says Imani, 37. But she's trusting the answer is yes.

Customers have been asking for it. They want more information, she says, more of the raw products she sells in the cafe shop and through Hartford, she believes is ready.

Another green light? The restaurant's debut raw dinner event last month sold out, with 30 people paying $50 to sample the colorful feast prepared by Alchemy's resident raw chef, Erin Schuh.

"I was thinking maybe Oprah did a show on raw foods or something," jokes Imani. "I was like, where are all these people coming from?"

Something is shifting, says Schuh. People are making the connection that eating just-add-water meals, that unconsciously inhaling 99-cent burgers from behind the steering wheel, can't translate to healthy bodies and minds.

There's already a quiet buzz of raw activity in pockets here, from potluck groups like Andrews' to small markets that have carried raw products for years. And larger chains like Wild Oats and Whole Foods have taken notice, too. They're stocking their shelves with raw nut butters and crackers; exotic dried fruits like goji berries, said to have therapeutic properties; and date- and nut-based treats that satisfy sweet tooths.

Demand for raw at Whole Foods has been high enough for the store to launch a major product expansion. Two weeks ago, the store went from one small rack of goods to an aisle section - what the store estimates is the largest raw selection of any Whole Foods outside of New York. The store is considering adding gourmet raw dishes to its buffet counter, as have some of the New York locations.

But with their high-quality ingredients and labor-intensive preparation, these foods don't come cheap. A customer at Alchemy recently did a double-take at the $8 price for a serving of raw pie, Imani says. A 4-ounce bag of goji berries at Whole Foods retails for $4.99. And the One Lucky Duck line of raw snacks sell between $6 and $12 for 4- and 6- ounce bags.

"That does hold some people back," says Doug Pyne, associate grocer at the West Hartford Whole Foods, where he oversees the raw section. "Hopefully it's like years ago when organic food used to be so ridiculously expensive and then as more people got into it, the less expensive it got."

Still, consumers seem willing to pay.

So much so that Sarma Melngailis, president of New York-based One Lucky Duck, sees more business expansion in her future. Online orders for her macaroons, biscotti and ice cream (yes, ice cream!) come from across the country. Her products are in stores along both coasts, including 25 Whole Foods stores. Patrons of Pure Food & Wine, her trendy raw restaurant just off Union Square, run the gamut: Raw foodists and their curious friends, celebrities and local scenesters. (Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea came in for Father's Day, she says).

Raw is destined for the mainstream, she believes.

"It's kind of like the way Whole Foods has seeped into the mainstream and is kind of taking over," Melngailis says. Raw foodists have earned a cartoonish reputation for their zealous adherence. But for the more generally health-conscious, "it's not all or nothing. Most of our regular customers are not raw foodists."

If money is one barrier to raw, misconception is another.

"People think it must be tasteless and not satisfying," Melngailis says. "Or they'll go hungry, that they won't get enough protein or that it's just not sufficient."

Her goal with her raw line is two-fold: to bust this myth and to make the lifestyle more accessible to the masses. "It can be challenging if you work in an office building in Cleveland, Ohio, and you work long hours and there's nothing around," Melngailis says.

Or if you work in an office building in Hartford, and there's nothing around.

"This is where people need it. So we're here in Hartford, in the middle of Connecticut. And we can serve as this little healing mecca," says Schuh, 24, who just returned from a seven-month stint at a vegan restaurant in Hawaii.

Let's dispense with further myths of what raw food is and what it isn't. Yes, it's uncooked. And yes, its simplest example is a bowl of greens or piece of fresh-picked fruit. But, judging from the spread Schuh laid out at last month's dinner, it doesn't have to be so bland and dreary.

Soaking, blending, dehydrating - such culinary tricks yield dishes far more complex in flavor and texture that one might expect.

"My goal is to create raw foods that are appealing to everybody, no matter what their normal diet is," says Schuh.

It seems she succeeded on the recent Sunday dinner. Diners from across Connecticut - and with different levels of experience with raw food - packed the restaurant's adjacent yoga studio, transformed with exotic swaths of red fabric. They slurped a tangy, green asparagus soup and nibbled basil- and flax-seed crackers dipped in olive tapenade. They gave high marks to the pad thai, marveled over the inventive peppercorn-crusted macadamia nut cheese and relished the watermelon-rose sorbet - all the while attempting to decipher the techniques and ingredients that went into Schuh's creations.

And when it came time for the golf-ball-size chocolate dessert truffle, made from raw cacao, few left even a morsel of the rich dessert on their plates.

"It's so great to see this finally coming to Hartford," diner Mary Lawrence says. A personal chef who specializes in vegan cuisine, Lawrence, 38, says she's impressed with the flare and creativity of the menu.

Now, she says, if only the city's conventional downtown restaurants would incorporate these options into their menus. A city like Hartford, fancying itself as up-and-coming, needs to better cater to the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, she says.

"I think it's only a matter of time," says Leslie Kerz, 37, of Rocky Hill. This, from a raw-food novice having just had her first taste.

How was it?

"Your [tastebuds] have to acclimate to it. But I definitely liked it. I'll be back."

And that's all Imani is hoping - for folks to give it a try.

"It's baby steps," she says. "It's simple things. Even for someone that eats a lot of processed foods, eating a salad a day might make a total shift for them. You can make a simple switch, and the power of that switch can be amazing."

Alchemy will host a raw-food tasting workshop Friday. Cost is $20. The next raw-food dining event is scheduled for Aug. 20. Call 860-246-5700 for more information.

An old article about Raw Foods

I know this article is old, but I'm psyched I found it.  I lost the copy I had ages ago and need it for an assignment.  This was written in my raw food potluck days, something I greatly miss!   I wish this had the picture that went with it.  It was me preparing my lunch of two red bell peppers.  Yumm!

Fans of uncooked food say it’s more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle

Andrews, 23, is part of a movement to eat uncooked foods, a trend slow to catch on here, but well-established in California, Hawaii and in big cities where raw food restaurants can be found.

"In natural hygiene, a toxin is anything ingested that can’t be used by the body. Anything cooked loses nutritional value and becomes a toxin," Andrews said. "I feel better now because my body’s not stimulated by all those cooked foods."

She believes that cooking depletes food of enzymes and other nutrients.

Andrews came upon the raw food diet in her quest to find more energy. The community college student, married to a man who still likes his steak and baked potato cooked, found herself dragging by 9 a.m. and again hitting a lull at 3 p.m. Then one day she was looking through books at a thrift store and for $1 found "Fit For Life," a book about a diet that promised new energy, partly through eating raw foods.

She started last fall by ditching her waffle breakfast for fresh fruit. Then she added more fruit for lunch. She felt so much better that she explored the raw food movement further on the Internet, where she discovered the International Natural Hygiene Society, of which she is now an executive board member. The society promotes "total well-being" through eating raw foods, getting enough sleep, exercise, water and sunlight and eliminating stress inducers that drain the body.

Today, Andrews is "mostly raw," save for steamed vegetables or a baked sweet potato, and evolving to a diet that is 100 percent raw. Andrews said since changing her diet, she’s full of energy and has more patience with the children she serves as nanny to after school.

After filling up on fruit such as pineapple or bananas for breakfast, she’ll dig into one of her favorite lunches: a sliced bell pepper. There was a time she would have eaten a cooked cheeseburger instead, but her taste buds have changed so, she said, that the bell pepper tastes better. For dinner she’s likely to have a salad with romaine lettuce, carrots, sprouts and unpastuerized or uncooked cheese, no dressing. If she has more fruit with dinner she eats the fruit first, otherwise, it is believed it will sit on top of the salad in the stomach and ferment.

"It’s made a huge difference," she said of the diet. "If I eat cooked food, I feel tired."

Raw food diets vary. Some raw food enthusiasts, such as Andrews, are vegetarian, some are vegan and eat no animal based products, and some eat certain types meat and fish, also raw. Part of raw food eating also promotes eating "living" foods, such as sprouts that are still growing.

But Dr. David Katz, the nationally renowned director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, said while there’s an element of eating raw food that makes sense, all raw is further than people need to or should go. He said our species has had fire to cook food for millions of years — long enough for our bodies to adapt — and the nutrients and other good things in some foods are actually enhanced by cooking. He said eggs when cooked increase the body’s absorption of biotin and tomatoes when cooked increases the absorption of lycopen, important in helping to prevent prostate cancers. He also said there is also a danger of bacteria in uncooked meats and fish.
"I agree with the benefits of eating closer to nature, but I think they’ve taken a good idea and are making it an extreme idea," Katz said. "We’ve romanticized nature."

While our diets are too high in the wrong kinds of fat, sugar and other bad things and don’t provide enough fiber, "you don’t need to eat raw food to fix it," he said.

Ellen Liskov, outpatient nutritionist at Yale-New Haven Hospital, said that while Americans do need to eat more raw foods such as fruit and vegetables, as suggested in the newest dietary guidelines, eliminating items like grains, milk and cheese are likely to create a calcium and vitamin D deficiency that will lead to problems later. She said information about the raw food movement has popped up a lot lately in the media, but she doesn’t see it much in everyday practice.

"I think it’s more of a movie star, southern California thing than an East Coast diet," Liskov said.

In her effort to spread the word and get local people interested, Andrews has established a monthly potluck at her house by the beach on Pearl Street. Last month, three people showed up, including herself and an uncle, but she’s not discouraged and was happy to meet Milford resident Jean Coulton, 62, also a vegetarian, raw food and natural hygiene enthusiast.

Coulton — who brings her own meal when asked to dinner at a friend’s house and in restaurants orders Caesar salad, hold the dressing croutons and anchovies — brought salsa to the potluck dinner. The salsa was made of finely chopped red peppers, tomatoes and celery.

The small showing didn’t phase Coulton.

"It was still good ... like any support group where you’re on the same path," Coulton said of the meal. "Even with only two people there, we were able to share what was good for us."

Coulton decided many years ago that she didn’t like meat and went vegetarian. When a friend developed cancer, she began reading about the role of raw fruits and vegetables in bringing health and found the natural hygiene information. For three years, she’s been "75 to 80 percent raw."

"I’m healthy now, I’m 62-years-old and I want to stay healthy," Coulton said.
The group will gather again on June 4, but this time the menu will include a talk by author Paul Nison of Florida, who has written three books on the subject, "Raw Food Part One," "Raw Food Part Two and "Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease."

He also was once a raw food chef and gives as an example of a tasty dish prepared raw: lasagna. The noodles are of sliced zucchini, with raw cheese, raw tomatoes and ground up Brazil nuts instead of meat.

Nison, 34, has been on a raw food diet for 13 years and turned to it as a last ditch attempt to cure his inflammatory bowel disease, for which doctors said there was no cure. Since he’s been eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, he hasn’t a problem. Now he travels the country giving lectures.

"When food is raw, ripe, fresh and organic, it’s the highest it can be," he said. "This way of eating goes back to the Bible. In Genesis 129, God tells us to eat fruit and vegetables."

Anyone wishing to attend the two-hour talk by Nison can call Andrews at (203) 868-4780. cqThere is $10 fee for the special meeting in addition to bringing a raw food that could be as simple as a bunch of bananas or a pineapple.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

coming home

Three planes. Beautiful morning. Naked machine.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In a moment

Good night New Orleans.
Your gun shot fireworks
will exist in dreams of
me encouraging a friend
to speak psychic and
my Freddy frog prince
proudly wearing his crown.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

mobile blogging?

This is my test. I will be in new orleans this week and hope to take advantage of travel time by blogging. I just wish i knew how to capitalize letters on this phone. Hmm...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No Fresh Cut Flowers, An Afterlife Anthology now on Amazon

 Click on the cover picture for the link

The book is available now on   Wooohoo!  I've heard great things from the poets involved and also those who have purchased the book already.  The soundtrack, which is included with the book, has also had some excellent feedback.  I hope you love it!  For more info about the contributors, their bios are available on the poet and musician pages of the Sephyrus Press site.

Poems by: Nick Doniger, Tom Clark, Byron Danziger, Peter Rennick, J.J. Steinfeld, Barbara Bialick, Neil Ellman, Richard Schiffman, P.A. Levy, Scott Keeney, Ariel Chance, Anna Taborska, Ayara Stein, Phil Gruis, Laury Egan, Changming Yuan, Lynn Hoffman, Gary Beck, Greta Bolger, Mary Belardi Erickson, Toni Clark, Lisken Van Pelt Dus, CJ Clayton Dippolito, Karen Neuberg and Penn Kemp 

Introduction by: Rachel Andrews

Music by: The Icarus Descent, ztraceny, Two Structures, Stung by Horses, The Autumn

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It is not against the law to knowingly report false news

This is a clip from The Corporation, a documentary from 2003 directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbot.  Two news investigators profile Monsanto's bovine growth hormone for a story on the Fox news show "The Investigators" only to be harassed first by lawyers representing Monsanto, then by Fox themselves.  It's a very interesting clip, the two reporters have done their jobs, represented both sides of the story, refuse to give in to the wishes of both corporations to falsify their findings and wind up with nothing.  It turns out that it is NOT illegal to report false news.  It doesn't shock me, I just never really thought about it.  The whole documentary is great and free to watch on

I was going to add that when you see "rBST free" on dairy labels this is what that means, it's free of the bovine growth hormone recombinant bovine somatatropin.  When I went to lord google to get the correct spelling of the hormone I find this (below) from and since I love to stop lies I read it.

ACSH Agrees rbST-Free Milk Marketing Misleading
By Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D.
August 29, 2007

Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) have ruled that companies that sell milk and other
dairy products may state that the milk comes from cows that were not
treated with recombinant bovine somatatropin (rBST)
bioengineered hormone is identical to the one naturally produced by cows
and, when injected, extends the period of milk production. Monsanto, the
corporation that produces rBST, had sued to restrict such labeling.

Marketers who use the "our cows aren't given rBST" approach are thus
legally correct but scientifically wrongheaded. There's nothing
unhealthful or dangerous (to humans or cows) from using rBST, in spite
of activists' claims (does anyone doubt that the proponents of organic
foods are behind these claims?). But the implication of this labeling is
that the milk from rBST-treated cows is somehow inferior to that from
untreated cows, which it isn't. Thus it perpetuates a myth about the
supposed advantages of "natural" products.

While ACSH is in favor of truthful advertising and marketing, sometimes
following the letter of the law can lead to the dissemination of
misinformation. This is such a case.

Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., is Director of Nutrition at the American Council
on Science and Health (,

Source: American Council on Science and Health.

Can I say any more?  We have the director of Nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health siding with Monsanto, making a dig against proponents of organic foods and stating that the advantages of "natural" foods are a myth.  Not to mention lying about the effects on cows and humans that rBST causes.  Yikes.  I guess Dr. Kava was already familiar with the title of my post.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Have you seen it? Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me

It's hard to believe this film is already six years old.  What was created with a budget of $65,000 is a true wake-up call and a partial explanation of why the newest generation of children are estimated to have a lower life expectancy than their predecessors (based on CDC studies done in 2005).  In 2007 74.1 percent of American adults were overweight or obese ("World Fattest Countries"  Last year obesity related deaths surpassed those from tobacco use.  What are we doing?  According to the USDA only 21 cents out of each dollar is spent on the farm value of food.  There is an excellent graph explaining where the rest of our money goes here.  It's true that when we purchase food from a company there will be a markup which pays for labor, rent, etc, but 79 percent seems like a high number.  I hear all the time that healthy food is more expensive than ____ (fill in the blank) but with a little effort one can find superior resources like local organic food co-ops that deliver each week, online farm markets, etc.  It's possible to spend less on food and not even have to leave the house to get it. has a database of local farms, what they offer, farm stand hours and more.  The site is well designed and even has an online shop.  Buying food from a farm may also help children develop a better appreciation for fresh vegetables, meats and fruits.  We don't have to be such a self-destructive nation.  Even a little bit of effort will pay off in money savings and health gains.  Cheers to that!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Having Issues

My first issue is that I need to write a bio for this new gig I got.  The first sentence has to include the year I started writing.  Uh... ?  It would be like if someone asked me how long I've been making art.  I can't seem to get past this.

Concern number two:  (this is why I never watch tv news) on ABC news right now is a story on the 'gluten-free diet FAD' and how it can be dangerous.  My goodness...  I'm feeling moody about this.  Nutritionists need to get their heads out of their asses.  He just said that not many people have celiac disease and then gave the stat as 1 in 100 have it.  I'd say that is a pretty high number!  OK, now he's saying that a diet devoid of gluten will lack fiber and nutrients because wheat flower is fortified with minerals and vitamins.  What about vegetables for fiber?  And beans and other grains like brown rice?  I know I'm just ranting but really?!  This is why two thirds of adults in this country are overweight.  They try something new, something a little different to help benefit themselves and they are shot down by an old-fashioned nutritionist from Columbia and a popular news station.       :(   
At least they explained what gluten is in the beginning of the story.  I am happy about that. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bad titles

Yeah sure, I shouldn't be doing this.
Aren't I too old for explanations via
blogging?  My inner guidance system
is shrugging and humoring in that
bat the eyelashes and shrug of the
shoulders sort of way.  "Go on," it
says.  "Just let it out."  Well, I will.

Vegetarians beware!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Uh huh.

Here it is,
I try to write about it
but the layers get in the way.

The shit's from the bottom.
That crack, exposed in the middle.

Why it comes out below,
Yes.  I know why.

But do you?


It's alright.
Except that I'm the fawn
who thinks she's the buck.

And when this time is here,
it feels uneasy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NOH8 Campaign

On November 4, 2008 Proposition 8 passed in California, amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The defeat provoked a groundswell of initiative within the GLBT community at a grassroots level, with many new political and protest organizations being formed in response.

The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska ( and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest.

Nearly two years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to over 5,500 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.

The NOH8 Campaign has received overwhelming support from around the world, appearing on various local and national news programs and publications. The images are currently being used on various social networking sites to spread the message of equality, predominantly Facebook and Twitter. Eventually the images are expected to be compiled for a large-scale media campaign.                
NOH8 Website

Ben Persett, the person to the right in this photograph is someone I've known since I was five.   It's so wonderful to see him making such a great contribution to gay rights!  I'm so proud of him.  Go Ben!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pickles and Deemo

Whenever I miss being in Texas, I remember that youtube is a click away.  Yes, they are twins.

DS 9

In a cozy nook,
a docile woman
rests her head
on a padded shoulder.
She feels for
a blanket and pulls
it over her body.
Warm tea sits in
a medium sized mug
to her left, on the floor.
The closing credits
of a television show
from the 80's singals
an untimely departure

from the comfort
she's finally able to feel.