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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let's Celebrate the Anniversary of the Auspicious Arrival of Dear Kass!

It's her birthday. We should all get a little tattooed reminder to celebrate her each and every year. Happy birthday, Kass, and many happy returns of your special day. Readers should know this little celebration was created through the contributions of several really generous, crazily creative bloggers. It has been my task and pleasure to gather the input and deliver the finished product. That's only right because it was my idea! Please join me at Kassie's party. I'm leaving Las Vegas in my pink bus right now. I'm going to circle the globe, pretty much, picking up party-goers and the things they'll add to the party. Here's a look at the accommodations:

Here is our trio of perky party servers and let's listen to Pink get this party started!

My first stop will be only a few miles from home, for Standing On My Head lives right here in Las Vegas. She's a photographer with a grand grasp of the importance of light and composition, and her learning curve appears to be about a 45-degree angle. She writes poetry both laughable and stunning and presents both bravely. It's good to pick her up first because she thought of some of the most vital elements of partying. SOMH was one of the first bloggers to comment, "I'm in!" Soon came her gift of words and a list of food she planned to bring. "Guacamole and chips" caught my eye! Since I have the longest ride on the bus, I'll be munching at those for quite awhile. SOMH is also bringing a most important item - these are her words, quoted verbatim: "A hand-made, heart-shaped chocolate ganache cake festooned with crazy candles of various shapes and colors, burning brightly, as does Kass." Well!

SOMH sent these beautiful birthday sentiments to Kass, as well:

may the long time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you
guide your way home.

My next passenger/party-goer to board will be Kim from Numinosity Beads. I have choices about where to pick Kim up, as she lives in both Arizona and Alaska. For convenience sake, I'm hoping she's in Arizona. Kim has a soft spot in her heart for forlorn little rag dolls and it is through Kim that we met Candace, now on her world tour. Kim is bringing along a friend of Candace's, the lovely Celeste who is in a partying kind of mood. Kim also took up my invitation to make a party for Kass and her gift was made very quickly, a tribute to her talents. This during a week she's making the move from Arizona to Alaska again!

Look at Kim's beautiful birthday gifts for Kass! Get on board, Kim ~ let's go.

We're going to make a sharp turn to the north, SOMH, Kim and I. Our destination is the home of my youth, Sugarhouse in Salt Lake City, where we'll pick up the birthday girl! Come on, Kasserole. Jump in and let us start to celebrate! I don't want to spring too many of the surprises, but there are to be so many gifts and happy moments in this party that I'm going to give my gifts to Kass right now, right in Salt Lake. First is my heartfelt, but amateurish poem. I am no poet. But I know whom I love.

The lovely Kass, so fair of face,
Exudes a state of natural grace.
But while she shares with us a grand felicity,
There’s also that spark of raw electricity.

My second gift is a gift of music. I learned this week on another blog that Kass enjoys the music of Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole. So here is Iz doing what he does, and . . . . oh, Kass, I have a little surprise for you. She has taken a brief break from her world travels and dressed in garb that Iz would recognize. Here, just for your birthday, is Candace in her party hat, hula skirt and coconut shell bra. I brought along a little stowaway! And now, ladies, let's start picking up some men. We'll head for the eastern part of the U.S. and pick up the man who commented just last weekend, "That Candace is a doll!"

I love adults who can be playful and whimsical. I'm not sure when we forget how to play and use our imaginations. It pleases me to head now for Cleveland to pick up Kirk Jusko, a playful man I feel I know very well, indeed. Alas, I have never seen Kirk. He does not post his picture. How will we know him when he gets on the bus? Well, I imagine he'll be wearing his mystery man costume. And we'll surely know him by the music! For Kirk's response to the party invitation was that he didn't know Kass well enough to wax poetic about her, but he'd be pleased to bring along some party music!

Passengers, please hold the noise level to a dull roar and buckle up once Kirk seats himself. We're heading south to Norfolk, Virginia and it's going to take us awhile to get there. Is everyone finding enough to eat, drink and make merry with? Candace and Celeste are drinking virgin pina coladas, right?

We're aiming for Tag's place next, folks, and Tag will be a wonderful addition to our wandering party. Tag is a most contemplative and gentle man, generous with sharing love and admiration. He was the first to say "I'm in!" for a party for Kass. I didn't hear anything else for a day. Last night while I had the two-hour massage, my BlackBerry announced that Tag was delivering up the goods.

Tag approached the tribute in a couple of ways. First he found some pretty brilliant images that put him in mind of Kass.

The significance of the images is this. Tag felt we wouldn't want any uninvited guests crashing our party like a flock of birdies. And he found the photo of the distraught princess evocative of some of Kassie's own photos featured on her blog Shooting Strangers in Restaurants.

I was pleased when Tag volunteered to bring the wine. It's an important consideration for a party! However, he said his stemware could use some attention over at yet another of Kass' blogs, Redoing the Undone.

Last, but not least, Tag produced an extraordinary gift of words. The reader should know a few things. Kass committed to writing a poem a day for National Poetry Month in April. She has done that, and admirably. She's not churning out shlock. Tag has written Kass a ghazal and has begun each couplet with a line from Kass' own writing, followed by a line of his. Behold:

A ghazal for Kass in her words (and mine).

The mind is a questionable thing especially when you ask it,
to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or words from an empty basket.

The wintering language of violets, make no sound at all
as if the motor in my mind had blown it's own head gasket.

Poco a poco mon non tropo, da capo a fine
here I show my ignorance. for now I'll try to mask it.

Gathering courage I grab his face and hold it close to mine
deeply entombed inside the earth, I've gone and lost my casket.

I am where I am going, yet a star shines from the sky.
Does the universe care, I don't know go ahead and ask it.

It's like...not quite... but almost coming close
Running out of rhymes, though not quite ready to trash it.

The second to last line, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KASS
and we are back where we started from a tisket and a tasket.

All right, hearty party-goers, get out your passports and your diving gear. We're going international! In theory, my pink bus should be able to deal with the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and finally the Pacific. But we tried to consider all possibilities. We're going to Zambia. And yes, I had to look it up on the map, too.

The blogger seems a gentle creature who signs her comments loveNlight. I think she must give those off in abundance. She has a remarkable number of poetic quotes at her fingertips and offers them generously, garnering many thanks almost every time she comments. With apologies to Gabi, I could not import her photo. Please visit her lovely blog and see her face for yourself at Embracing Who We Are. In the meantime, I improvised and Googled "love and light" for an image. Although I know Gabi is darkly beautiful, I liked the image that came up and I hope she does, too.

Here is what Gabi had to say to Kass:

The slience is broken
The “K” is talking
With her hearty token
She is finally talking

But I was also touched with what Gabi had to say about Kass: "This is Gabriela (known as Gabi). I love your idea of giving a different and meaningful present to our dearest Kass. So please kindly receive attached my humble contribution to the same." It's not a very humble contribution whatsoever! Come on, Gabi, jump on board.

Fellow revelers, prepare to travel awhile. For we leave Africa now and we're heading for the Land Down Under. She's not contributing vegemite sandwiches, but I imagine she could tell us where to locate some if we wanted them. Elisabeth is an extraordinary writer. She is thoughtful and thought-provoking. When I read her posts, I have to go away for a day and think awhile before I can make a cogent comment. She is brave, sharing her compelling life stories. They are not always sugar and spice, but sometimes gritty and tragic. She picks up followers faster than any blogger I have seen other than those whose blogs have been named Blog of Note. I believe I would characterize her as a serious person, and yet she once held her own in days of ongoing commentary about a comedy movie she'd never seen. She also participates in virtual parties and bus trips around the world, offering her poem and contributions before any other blogger. Kass and I were once e-mailing about Elisabeth. The word that kept popping up was "respect". Be sure to visit her wonderful spot in the blogosphere!

Here's what she had to say: "I'm bringing a microphone for the speeches. Anyone can speak, poetry and prose are acceptable, but all should be directed toward this celebration of Kass' birthday." Hear! Hear! By the time Elisabeth boards the bus, there will be some noise and those microphones will come in handy.

Elisabeth told me she was planning to bring her husband's excellent famous pissaladiere to the party. I did not know the word. Luckily, she described it as an onion tart latticed with anchovies and dotted with kalamata olives. Yikes! Far better than vegemite sandwiches. Here is her clean, unadorned haiku for Kass:

A non-silent K
Her words roar across the page
Kass, poet and orator

Picking up Elisabeth last makes me a little sad. Had we gone the other way around the world, she would have been fourth and Kass last. That wouldn't have made sense to party without the birthday girl. But I propose, in order to give everyone a complete party experience, we circle the equator just once more, completely. We shall laugh and dance, toast Kass and get to know one another. We shall eat and drink and be unfettered by the restrictions of real time. We shall part ways with smiles and hugs. And I will park my bus under the carport until the next birthday comes around.


  1. LESLIE, STANDING, KIM, KIRK, TAG, GABI and ELISABETH - Thank you so much. I'm really in the partying mood now. I'm stealing this post and putting it on my blog now. I am most touched.

    WV = duckier , I mean, what could be duckier?!!

  2. I love you,Kass. Happy birthday, sweet!

  3. Hi all
    Happy happy birthday Kass.

    It's my colonial inheritance living here on the other side of the world to be last in line, not sixth in line.

  4. Hi Les

    I'm confused now. Which blog bus am I on? Yours I think. I've just visited Kass's and the party is in full swing.

    I think the earlier posts I thought I'd sent have disappeared from here. No matter, Les.

    Thanks for all your hard work to make this party possible.

    And Kass, whether you're here or over at your place, whichever birthday bus you're on, enjoy the rest of this day.

  5. Leslie, congratulations for the great post you come up with to celebrate Kass b-day. The post is fantastic.
    Thank you for the ride on the bus... I'm feeling so blessed to be part of such an amazing group of bloggers!!
    I'm also touched by your kind worlds, and the picture you used to represent me.
    This is indeed the most awesome B-day present I have seen so far. But we all know that our dearest Kass does deserves it.

    Que los cumplas muy feliz, querida Kass!!
    (Happy birthday dear Kass!! I love you)


  6. Hi Les, somehow my first comment disappeared. I wanted to thank you for putting this all together and taking us on a glorious bus ride. And all that and a massage too. You are mahvelous. Thanks again. Your love shows with each word. Well done