Wednesday, July 05, 2006


The last few days celebrating our nation's independence have been chock full of love, plants, irony and plenty of thunder/lightening. My mother (affectionately known as "Mama Iva") came for a visit - my first house guest. (That's her, flirting with my favorite lothario, Mario Barmosca.)

Let's face it. Mom came to make sure I was okay and not marinating in my own Juices of Sorrow with a few bottles of whiskey thrown in for flavor. I guess one is never too old to need Mommy. So much for independence.

I decided to make good use of her visit to kick off The Gardening Era. That's right, I intend to sprout a green thumb or at least a couple of tomatoes. Growing up in the beach culture of Southern California and then ripening on the urban hipster streets of San Francisco left little time for getting to know the soil. Sure, we've got a family farm in North Dakota (cue Americana music here) that produces sugar beets, soybeans and whatnot but personally, I don't know a lick about conjuring edible and/or pretty things from the earth.

We began by visiting the Denver Botanical Gardens, just down the street from me. Known as one of the country's best, it was an intimidating launch into my new hobby. We left there inspired and immediately went out and bought me a tomato plant, gardening tools and potting soil. After all my hovering and care, if that thing ever produces anything I can legally put into a salad, my culinary independence will then begin.

Apropos to the national holiday, I also received a pair of heartwarming calls from Lady Liberty herself, Valerie Liberty. (She was my partner-in-crime from those halcyon days of the DotComBoom - her Macromedia business card read: "Queen of the Wild Frontier.") Her message was threefold: "I'm thinking about you, I'm thinking about our country and I'm thinking you need a copy of Neil Young's latest album, "Living With War" so I've sent you an iTunes gift certificate."

Lady Liberty then waxed poetic on the freedoms that we, as American women, currently possess and how we can't afford to take them for granted, especially during this awfully divided time in our history. We discussed the recent elections in Kuwait, marking the first time women in that country have ever been allowed to vote. Not so alarming when one considers that a mere 113 years ago, Colorado women were finally granted their right to vote. Historically speaking, that is practically last Tuesday.

Ever the loyal friend/messaging expert, Liberty managed to weave in my recent 'adventure' with the current state of feminism and today's autonomy-enabling technology and make it all seem like there is, in fact, a finely sharpened point to it all. "At what other time in history, would you have been able to pick up and move across country by yourself, continue your work wherever you went and now consider, if you like, moving again to wherever the hell you feel like moving to?" she asked flatly.

I loved what she was saying and admit I liked the imagery. She's right, of course, save for the fact that my father (a man) helped me move and that I moved here for someone I thought was a man, though I was sorely mistaken. Not very feminist of me. Still, her take on my life held in the context of democracy and broadband make me feel more empowered, less pathetic ... almost swashbuckling. Once again, all I need is a horse to complete this picture.

Angry as I am at our current administration, I am eternally grateful for the atmosphere that was built so I can have the freedom to make grand mistakes, pick myself up and start over again. This, I have always felt, is the true basis of friendship. Though I may feel differently once I get a hold of Neil's latest angry melodies, for today, I am good friends with America thanks to Lady Liberty, a little tomato plant and, of course, Mom.


Shmeder said...

If you need more planting stuff stop by Tagawa. It's near Arapahoe and Parker Road but it's totally worth the trip!

Fang Bastardson said...

The new Neil Young album is essential! If you have any credits (or tokens or widgets or whatever they use) left over, grab up as much of Kris Kristofferson's new CD as you can, "This Old Road." It reminded me of Cash's first album for Rick Rubin - it's that good.

Hugs always to Mama Iva, but isn't she robbing the cradle, just a little? And look at those incisors - are we even sure it's a HUMAN cradle?

Just asking because I care...

Princess Jami said...

Swashbuckling! Arrrrr!!! I can't wait to dress up like a pirate. :-)

Mama Iva's pic makes me smile. Isn't it nice to have mama love?

I think you will really enjoy your Botanic Gardens membership. Maybe we will see each other there on the same days! ;-)