Saturday, July 29, 2017

For Fudge

RantWoman realizes that most people would consider it ungracious to give away one's birthday flowers almost as soon as one has dragged them home on the bus. Who asked "most people?"

This post is dedicated to "Fudge." Fudge's real name was posted with an announcement inviting RantWoman to spend her birthday at an in-person memorial instead of just attending Quaker Auntie's memorial by email. RantWoman passed up the invitation.

For Fudge and her family with blessings and prayers, a Neighbor

Fudge was a neighbor. She had a seizure disorder. She also liked beer. This was not a good combination. Fudge's school-age daughter lived with her mother. This reality was painful for Fudge but some of the time she was at peace with it.

Since RantWoman could not go to the memorial, RantWoman still only knows what the building grapevine provided about the circumstances of Fudge's death, at her mother's. That is more than enough to hold in the light a grandmother and her granddaughter.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday night at the gratitude bar

RantWoman offers gratitudes in no particular order.

This annual session's grammatical sponsors:

Official Part of Speech Sponsor: pronouns.

Official fulcrum of dialogue: adjectival inclusivity vs snapshot in time.
For comparison consider:
colored. Negro. African American. Person of Color.

In the category of "Accept Help Dammit," RantWoman wishes to express deep gratitude for

--Friends who followed RantWoman's orders and took the sidewalk instead of the grass on RantWoman's first night on campus. RantWoman is sublimely grateful to know the concrete path is there so that Mbassador Thwack can help her find the way back to her dorm in the dark.

--Friends who helped RantWoman figure out the card key reader so she could get into her dorm.

--Friends who have helped RantWoman read interest group lists, menus, condiment labels,  worship sharing guidelines and other daily necessities where RantWoman is finally learning just to borrow someone's eyes.

--Worship Sharing Group. As usual every day is a different combination of people. The guidelines suggest letting each Friend's offerings drop into a well of silence. The guidelines do not reckon with jet noise, construction, golf carts, prospective student tours, trbial gatherings of cheerleader students and aikido practitioners and various species of raucous birds. The offerings are wonderful. They drop into some kind of well. Silence is not the concept.

Words that MAY make it out of RantWoman's mouth in presence of the clerk: "Friend, if people younger than 60 have their hands up, would you consider calling on them first?" RantWoman realizes this may not be a popular sentiment. RantWoman has even heard the word ageism, but how on earth are people going to fill the weighty friend pipeline if they do not get a chance to practice? RantWoman is aware of going to another event in a different part of her life with similar frequent flier issues. Consistency is okay; RantWoman would like some variety. Please hold whichever problems rise from RantWoman rendering this paragraph in the Light.

Thank you NPYM site committee. How do you do it? Does every campus you sign a contract with just decide "Oh good, the Quakers are coming. Let's schedule some construction?"

It Won't Take Long (Ferron)

Planet RantWoman is greatly appreciating some musical streams at #npym2017 but still wishes to leave this one in the air.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

After The Memorial

Data gathered from email and conversations and held tenderly from Quaker Auntie's memorial.

There were 40 or so people at the memorial, quakers and students  / music colleagues. The piano pieces sounded like a wonderful selection.

Quaker Auntie at Oberlin had a longterm boyfriend. Longterm boyfriend was African American. They wanted to get married. This Just Was Not Done at the time. Instead Quaker Auntie wound up in a miserable marriage to an abusive jerk musician she met in Austria. That marriage did not last. The stories of both relationships make RantWoman very sad.

In the realm of Quakers Who Smoke, several people at the memorial spoke of Quaker Auntie's smoking. Little Sister claimed credit for teaching Quaker Auntie to stash her butts in a Sucrets box if there was no place easily to dispose of them. RantWoman omitted that moment from her narrative but is keenly glad that others also mentioned the smoking.

RantWoman and RantMom clucked afterward about the smoking probably contributing to the aneurysms that left Quaker Auntie unable to live alone for 20 years before her death. Quaker Auntie had no short-term memory but could still play music and could still learn new pieces. Quaker Auntie also had such a gift for connecting with people that she had a number of people in the picture tending faithfully to details to manage her situation the entire time. RantWoman was touched to hold a moment from when things started to fray. People responsibly stepped up and made needed changes.

The Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation humbly notes that pasting the text of RantWoman's memorial offering into the email along with the Word document attachment was highly on point for the available technology and know-how of the recipients. RantWoman is VERY grateful for whatever editing occurred before the offering was read.

Blessings upon the memories!

Should you need a boxwood oboe

One of the gifts of surfing the internet in connection with the memorial for RantWomans beloved Quaker Honorary Auntie  has been other family connections reconnected.

RantWoman thanks the interwebs, a name and a musical instrument in a search bar, her options for accessibility tools, and the delivery of content in forms that RantWoman with her accessibility tools can interact with. RantWoman does not...whether other more poetic people are bored of RantWoman's paeans to #accessibility #a11y and insistence on including horrible hashtags in texts to be read by people who probably do not care about hashtags. Cope! And then enjoy the musical thoughts.

RantWoman celebrates the anniversary of RantDad's passing with a recommendation for a wonderful musician, craftsman, and mentee of RantDad's.

Ken Decker Oboe Builder and Repair

RantDad's mentee is also a vegan, in case that matters.

RantWoman also celebrates the fact that another previous internet mention of RantDad can still be found using two performers' last names and the name of a moderately obscure French composer
IDRS record of the Lalliet woodwind trio

Rantwoman promises--for NOW--to forego needed riffs on libraries and electronic futures and the question of how to value the availability of esoteric info of great historical and ongoing interest to a small number of people. RantWoman promise to forego this for now only because she is certain the universe is entitled to riffs on similar themes related to her Meeting's library and a certain discernment process getting off to a, cough, bumpy start. RantWoman has a bit of a wacky project management internet archiving idea which is WAY ahead of things as far as said discernment process, bbuut still...

RantWoman humbly thanks  Honorary Auntie for helping RantWoman grow the patience to stay present with the problem. RantWoman is also meditating about how a couple of her biggest Quaker influences were Quakers presences in other important parts of RantWoman's life, more so than apostles for Quaker worship or Quaker structures. This is a good thing because who knows how things would have turned out if Honorary Auntie, a profoundly gifted pianist had lived in the intolerant era when Quakers were read out of Meeting for owning pianos.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Linguistic meanderings for the day

RantWoman Tweet of the week part of #nfb17 stream: Dear DPRK. Thank you for ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty about access to print materials for blind people. Now, about those missile tests. And hey US Senate....

Official Russian government translators seem to nail idiomatic English fairly consistently. The same cannot be said about the Iranian Foreign Ministry's translation of its condolence notice for the death of Maryam Marzakhani. Sigh

Only one of the intense moments in RantWoman's reading of the Sherman Alexie link cited in a recent post: Alexie's mother was one of the last fluent speakers of their tribe's ancestral language. But she would not teach him the language she always told him his world is in English.

A moment from Meeting for Business
RantWoman offered lengthy commentary.

The entire room rose.

OH GOOD. A standing ovation!

Okay, probably not but RantWoman has a vivid imagination.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes other things matter. Today, RantWoman is thinking that she would have been thrilled, THRILLED if some really basic due diligence questions on her mind had come out of someone else's mouth IN Business meeting as opposed to as a result of conversations after. RantWoman wonders whether it MIGHT be possible to make do with email.

Happy Monday all..

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Peculiar Birthday Presents God Danced the Day You Were Born

RantWoman collected an assortment of birthday "gifts" from her media streams. RantWoman means it about the streams part and does not apologize for the range of perspectives represented, including, in order, joy, crap!, and REALLY glad to have only one's own problems.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ruuuth! Quaker Honorary Auntie

In keeping with standard RantWoman practice, still living people and Rant Family members get noms de blog. People RantWoman means to memorialize are referred to by the name RantWoman uses.

Deviating from RantWoman’s annoying practice of referring to herself in the third person, RantWoman will attempt to live with the first person in narrative below.

In memory of Ruth Corwin Meyer
Ruth Corwin Meyer obituary in Albuquerque Journal
I want to offer a few words in memory of Ruth Corwin Meyer but first I want to say a giant thank you to everyone who has been involved in her care and support in her last years. Ruth has been a part of my family, an abiding friend of the Rant Parents and a deeply beloved honorary Auntie to me, RantBrother and Little Sister for many years. After she moved to NM and we moved to MT, Ruth continued to visit us most summers and many Christmases. She even had her own Christmas stocking along with the family ones and an extra unmarked one for whoever else might be visiting.

It has been hard not seeing Ruth since visits became infeasible really on all sides. My heart has been warmed in connection with news of Ruth’s passing and this memorial to hear from and hear the names of several people Ruth has spoken of with great fondness many times. I am also deeply touched to hear more about Ruth’s connections to Albuquerque Friends Meeting. Thank you all and warm wishes as we remember Ruth to carry forward some of her spark, a lot of her music, and all the gifts she has brought to all of us. I am happy to be in contact with anyone interested at the coordinates above.

A biographical note: Ruth was married briefly to a musician she met during her time in Austria. She spoke of her former husband very infrequently, a couple times about some kind of shared experience. I never heard any sense of bitterness. I also never heard any thoughts of remarrying.

 Ruth joined the music faculty where RantDad taught at Western State College, now Western Colorado University in Gunnison CO in 1969 or 1970; she basically joined our family at the same time.

·       We took care of her cat when she travelled to CT to visit her parents.

·       She filled our supper table with hysterical puns.

·       Little Sister probably did not need any lessons about how to be a pill, but Ruth happily helped add a sense of fun.

·       Ruth read us Mary Poppins. At least my memory is that she read us Mary Poppins. Little Sister says to her Ruth WAS Mary Poppins. We both chuckled singing “Chim Chim Chiminey Chim Chim Chiree” as we talked about this.

·       Ruth showed Little Sister where middle C was at age 5 and drafted both younger Rant Siblings as guinea pigs for her piano pedagogy students; I already had a different piano teacher.

·       She lent us her rollaway bed when I broke my leg and needed to sleep in our dining room to save my stair climbing energy for school: fifth grade was on the third floor and there was no elevator.

·       She talked of the WWII-era internment of Japanese Americans long before the topic was more widely discussed.

·       She and my dad and others played woodwind trios and I think she sometimes served as accompanist for some of my dad’s students’ recitals.

·       Ruth’s way of talking about world events helped open my eyes to the practice of thinking about problems from more than one perspective.

·       Ruth also had this gift of empathetic but realistic nonjudgmental acknowledgment. For instance she noticed that the eye conditions that run in my dad’s family were a bit of a challenge for everyone.

·       Ruth was very generous with practical gifts. One Christmas it was a microwave oven. Little Sister remembers Ruth helping equip her with matching suitcase and cosmetic case before Little Sister took off for a study abroad year in Italy. Little Sister says the cosmetic case has gone many places since then.

I think Ruth moved to NM in summer 1972. Later that summer our family moved (back) to MT, but after the moves, Ruth visited MT most summers and many Christmases. One summer my sister visited Ruth in New Mexico. Another year my mom talked about visiting and taking walks on the golf course near where Ruth lived. Most summers until her aneurysms, Ruth visited my family in MT. Our house was not air-conditioned; we closed it up during the day and blew out accumulated heat in the evening. Someone else’s music students cheerily arrived many summer mornings. There were various family stresses, but to Ruth it was a spa.

 I visited Ruth at Pendle Hill in the fall of 1983, around Thanksgiving. I was taking time off from college and travelling with political activism. One of Ruth's many gifts was to talk to my parents of the Quaker idea of leadings: this calmed them a great deal. I do not imagine it necessarily made them worry less about my passion for political activism, but they were calmer about their worry around me and I definitely felt freer not to share every possible worrying detail while I figured out some of how to be an adult about my strong views.

 One sad thing I remember about the visit to Pendle Hill: Ruth received word that her mother passed away. By that time Ruth’s mother was in a nursing home in NM and Ruth decided that she did not even need to hurry back to do a memorial. I found that easy to understand. Ruth's mother had visited MT a couple times after the move from CT to NM. Ruth's parents had visited us in CO and maybe in MT. Ruth’s dad was a very gentle and centered presence; Her mom's delight in children's books was a joy to be around but her dementia was definitely a heartbreaking challenge for everyone.

 I still often just refer to Ruth as my Quaker Honorary Auntie, but that does not do justice to all the music she and my dad and others made, to many trips to bookstores, to  her generosity about family indignities such as our dog who liked to hump her leg, to many moments at the supper table, to all the layers of affection and thoughtful caring observation of our family dynamics.

 One of the things that impressed me was how Ruth kept up her Quaker ties even  when she was living in places like Gunnison where there was no Quaker Meeting. I remember her often having copies of Friends Journal with her when she came to visit; a few times I picked them up because I am a total reader grazer and when I could see better looked at pretty much any print I could get my hands on at least once. Often when she visited Billings she attended worship at the Billings Meeting too.

 I think everyone in my family feels very blessed to have known Ruth. As someone who got more interested in Quaker worship as an adult, I also consider it an enormous blessing that Ruth got to develop her talents and did not grow up among the sort of Quakers who read people out of Meeting for owning a piano!

 Blessings and warm wishes to everyone gathered for the memorial.

 With much love


Seattle WA

How to celebrate a birthday

How to spend a birthday, options from Planet RantWoman

Birthday #0: the arrival. 11:00 am on a Saturday. RantDad had lunch at the home of one of RantWoman's honorary grandmothers. Honorary Grandmother was scandalized that RantDad ate green onions for lunch. RantMom and RantWoman were not distressed.

Birthday #18: traffic court, paying a fine for hitting a fence while driving a popsicle truck. It was the first day on the job. It was the first day RantWoman had ever driven a stick shift.RantWoman is still not sure what happened but the phrase popping the clutch came up. Amazingly RantWoman did not get fired. RantWoman paid a $30 fine with 3 rolls of popsicle quarters.

Birthday #21: court in New York City related to civil disobedience for protests connected with the Second UN Special Session on Disarmament. Also known as college students practice going limp so students at the police academy get to practice their body dragging homework. The charge was the sort of minor offense where if one shows up in court, the charge is likely to get adjourned and dismissed after 6 months if no further offenses occur; if one does not show up in court, worse things happen. RantWoman showed up in court. After court RantWoman and Blind Roommate went for Chinese food, roasted crab somewhere near the court.

It did not even occur to RantWoman later that summer to worry about the six-month interval. RantWoman and Blind roommate did stand on a street corner with a sign support for friends who staged a prolonged protest at the Israeli Consulate  The protest was about human rights violations in Palestinian refugee camps; partly as a result of the protest, the Israelie government lifted the blockade being protested. New York's finest were completely uninterested in the people standing on the street corner.

Birthday #34: partying at a Russian restaurant on a Friday night with Little sister one of her co-workers and , RantWoman thinks, the co-worker's mother. The food was good. The party was fun. And Rant dad died 3 days later.

More than one birthday at NPYM Annual Session. Enough said.

Birthday # 44: RantMom has hysterectomy to deal with endometrial cancer. Peculiar symbolism that.

Birthday #53: Mr. Nasturtiums In Salad Friend Decamps to other realms

This year:
--Family party in park near Little Sister's house on Bastille day because everyone is overbooked on actual Birthday. LOVELY party. A bunch of small sunflowers. Simple tasty menu. Irrepressible Nephew and Brother-in-law ate and then went fishing. RantMom and Little Sister presented birthday presents and demanded RantWoman try them on. SCORE.

--On actual birthday, a candidates' forum for mayor and city council primary races. Or TWO memorials, one for a neighbor with a seizure disorder who died very suddenly and one far away for....Quaker Honorary Auntie. Urk. RantWoman will share the sunflowers with neighbors in honor of the first one. The second one gets its own whole post, or probably more than one. Urk. Then RantWoman will go to support at a restaurant with friends and probably acknowledge some birthday emanations via facebook.

Happy Birthday to RantWoman.

And no, RantWoman did not give permission for this to occur, but Maryam Mirzakhani Dies of cancer at age 40

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jahrzeit Candle Cloud

From a Facebook remembrance:

"My brother died 25 years ago on July 4th. It’s our tradition to light a candle on the anniversary of a loved one’s death. I couldn’t do that this year; I was in a car headed to an island in Maine. Here, birds abound, which Marco would have loved.  When I arrived at the island, I took the only existing paper copy of a letter, from Marco to our mom, and I retyped it onto a computer, so that the cloud can have it. Marco wrote it in 1978 when he was 19 years old."

See the rest of the remembrance here.
My Brother's Letter

If you need to complain about untagged graphics, get over it!

RantWoman's topical comments:
RantWoman finds it a bit of a mystery to have so many friends who are birders. RantWoman takes people's lifetime lists on faith and fascination because seeing enough detail to maintain a lifetime bird list has never really been feasible on Planet RantWoman
--Marco embraced birding with the same joyous obsessiveness he brought to a number of other pursuits. RantWoman remembers visiting him in a hospital in Indianapolis and marveling that he was still adding to his lifetime bird list even as he was fighting off whatever the medical calamity of the day was.

While RantWoman was ruminating, she dug up a couple previous posts. They are oddly topical to other current life threads, but here is not the place (YET!) for Dial-a-Tirade
Independence of Sorts

Varlam RoboFag Doctors

Friday, July 7, 2017

Jimmy Carter Brilliantly Explains How The Establishment Gave Us Trump

RantWoman finds this item at least as satisfying as a bunch of soap operas and electoral what-ifs. On the other hand the hard work that comes with the electoral what-ifs is going to be needed!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourth of July For This Year

 Holy revolution and Interdependence Batman, it's the Fourth of July! What is a Rantwoman to do?

 Dig the T-shirt. It's Red White and Blue. It honors the Navajo Code Talkers. The T-shirt seems on point in two ways. It is a SMALL thanks for your service gesture, as much rah rah military as RantWoman wants to get anywhere near. Also, it pays MODEST homage to the Indigenous people who were here long before a female printer added printed by and her name to the Declaration of Independence, the people who remain here among us.

The language they were forbidden to speak is the same language that saved the nation.
Festive T-shirt
for the occasion

Meditate upon the national anthem. Note RantWoman says meditate. RantWoman is not coming down on one side or another but is taking note.

Lyrics for all 4 verses

Why we should sing a fifth verse written much later

Read up on The Founding Myth of the US--on nonviolent resistance

Have an excursion to West Seattle with RantMom

Consider whether it is tacky and / or worthy Bad Friend behavior to riff on a #ThanksNorthKorea hashtag in honor of that country's latest missile test. Example: #ThanksNorthKorea We are sorry your leader is a little cra-cra. We are glad we are not the only country in the world with that problem.

Accept the dominion of The Queen of Spades, become cat furniture for the duration of the fireworks, not only the official show, but all the booms generously contributed by the 'hood.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Full Time Organizer Position Open at Faith Action Network

RantWoman is a big fan of Faith Action Network .

RantWoman is a fan because they are seriously multi-faith. For example recently they collaborated with multiple faith communities to offer We Stand with our Muslim Neighbors talking points to help combat Islamophobia in connection with visits to Seattle by, basically, a known hate group.

RantWoman is also a fan because of job opportunities like the following. Word!

Faith Action Network is about to take a new, exciting step forward!

In order to develop FAN’s interfaith network into a more powerful voice for justice, we are expanding our staff capacity to organize across the state. FAN will be hiring a full-time organizer to help lead our efforts to build our networks of Advocating Faith Communities, individuals, and partner organizations, especially in legislative districts where additional education, advocacy, and mobilization is needed.

Click here to see a full job description. Applicants should email a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to The position will remain open until July 28.