8th Roses Are Red Off

Hey, I've got an idea. Let's write Roses are Red poems right here on the blog. It'll be great. I'll write a few to get you started. Then you can contribute your own. Over the next week or so, you can check back to read the awesome ones other people write. How about we set the rules as every poem much contain either the word "roses" or "red" and must follow the standard Roses are Red rhyming/stress pattern.

Full disclosure: this is not a new idea. It's been done many times, some of which were right here on this blog! Check out posts from '13, '12, '11, '10, '09, '08, '07
Roses are red
And contain a bug or two
When we eavesdrop dear Angela*
We feel closer to you
Rosas son rojas
Mi chiquita bañana
Besa me esta noche
Don't wait for mañana
You shouldn't buy roses
If you really cared
Buy local instead
And our earth with be spared1
Roses are red
But such a frivolity
And I thought you believed
In gender equality
Here, take your roses
Now I've done my duty
Is that sufficient
For you to show me your booty?


Wednesday February 12 2014File under: poetry, holidays

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2013

Twas the night before Christmas
In my cabin made of stone
The only light glowing
was our "tree" which just shone

It's just a twig, really
A humble little bough
But with only 96 sq. ft.
It's all the space would allow

But it serves us supremely
Setting just the right tone
As we bustled about
Making the place feel like home.

We brought blankets, we brought pillows
We brought gifts, we brought food
We brought a generator and 2 heaters
Which did little good

We swept mouse poop, made the bed
With blankets piled high
We juggled and did crosswords
As the evening passed by

To say this place was cozy
Is a tad bit extreme
It's got a ways to go
To live up to that dream

A wood stove would be nice
To chase off the cold
It'd be drier, it'd be cozier
It'd keep down the mold

By next year perhaps,
Or sooner if I try hard
It'll be picture perfect
Straight from a Hallmark™ card

But now, at this moment
I can't really complain
It has all that I care for
And keeps out the rain

My sweetie is beside me
And the world is far away
It's as simple as that
What else can I say?

Some people want Elmos
And others want blenders
Big screens and jewelery
A new car w/ chrome fenders

For me, it's just simple
What makes this evening just so
It sits in the corner
Quietly aglow.

Yes the sweet little twig tree
Brings us plenty of joy
Just a simple little token
No need for the toys

So as our eyelids droop
Whether from sleep or from cold
It'll sign off as always
Lest these rhymes get too old

I wish you and your loved ones
The same joy as me
Happy Christmas to you
And may your New Year be merry.
Wednesday December 25 2013File under: holidays, poem

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2013 Shop My Friends Buying Guide

Any glance at a newspaper, TV, or billboard will tell you we've now entered into that Buy! Buy! Buy! part of the year, when anyone who questions the consume, gift giving attitude is sourly looked down on as un-American*. Well, although Black Friday and even Shop Small Business Saturday aren't my thing, there is a branch of this gift buying tree that I can get behind.

I'm lucky enough to have some pretty freaking creative friends who make things, neat things. So not only would you be giving a neat thing with a story to that somebody on your list, you are supporting a good creative person. And if supporting good creative people isn't one of the best parts of consumerism, I don't know what is. So have a look at my 2013 Shop My Friends Buying Guide.

(Oh, and if you have something neat for sale, post a link in the comments!)
Path Puzzles: My buddy Rod created this awesome book of a type of puzzle I had never seen before. It's a little like Sudoku, a little like Ken Ken, and a little like nothing you've seen before. Great for that puzzle enthusiast on your list!
Baby sweater patterns: Got a do-it-yourselfer on your list? A baby sweater pattern (knit or crochet) with an awesome story might just be the thing. My friend Stef* is doing this awesome project. Check out the site for all the info, and for goodness sake, buy a pattern. Don't let the babies freeze. (She's also got some pretty awesome earrings over at her Etsy shop.)
Chair Dancing: Learn the sexiest dance of all time: I posted once about it here, but it's worth calling it out again. If you've ever seen the chair dance, this book is a hilarious companion. Or it can stand alone for anyone who appreciates satire, humor, and maybe a little bit of hair flipping.
Troothpicks: You know them! You love them! Now buy them! Get 'em for yourself to take to holiday potlucks*, give them to that foodie with a great sense of humor, or stuff them in any stocking you can find. And if nothing else, at least it's good for dental hygiene.
Dexter and Stray: If you've got a young person on your list, then check this out. My fellow juggler, Chautauquan, and beard enthusiast Zack writes young adult books featuring Dexter (Tinkerer, bicycle mechanical genius) and Stray (free spirited juggling acrobat*). The adventures are great not only for their creativity and wackiness, but also for their exaltation of circus!
Friday Comics: Remember those hilarious weekly comics that graced BdW every Friday for all those years? Well, they can be yours to own or give to friends to enrich their lives. No reasonable offer will be refused! Contact me to order yours today! (be reminded of the hilariousness here!
Custom hand-carved block prints of your pets: Bill (yes that Bill of Spoonshine* fame) does something pretty neat. He hand carves block prints of your pet from a photograph. What a unique, thoughtful gift that would sure to be loved.
Music:It seems you can't swing a dead cat in the northwest without hitting a wonderful musician. But no need to start searching dumpsters, because I've got a few musician type friends that have music for sale, no cat swinging necessary.
  • Pepperjill & Jack: With a blend of classical training, old-school rock 'n' roll, and odball quirkiness, they're having a hard time defining exactly what genre we're aiming for, but it's safe to say it falls somewhere within "fun".
  • Strangely:Lively accordion often with bold messages, this street performer/juggler/etc. put lots of energy into his album for you to enjoy.
  • Rattletrap Ruckus: Rattletrap Ruckus is a rollicking four-piece instrumental band from Bellingham, WA. They play fiddle tunes, ragtime, tango, paso dobles, various breeds of waltz, klezmer, polkas, and oh so much more. Fun fun fun!

Saturday November 30 2013File under: misc, holidays

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Happy Pi Day 2013!

Even though I've been looking forward to and semi-planning for this year's Pi Day for over a week now, I somehow find myself celebrating it exactly the same as last year. Well, maybe not exactly because my quiche has spinach and mushrooms in it, but pretty dang close*.

Yep, pecan pie and a quiche, just like last year. But why not celebrate it the same way? It's the awesome way.

Speaking of celebrating Pi Day, did you know that I wrote a Pi Day Crossword? You should print yourself up the crossword, go find a nice slice of pie, relax, and celebrate!

(oh, and if you're really in the mood for all things Pi Day, you can check out my previous posts on this oh so special day here, here, here, and here.)
Thursday March 14 2013File under: holidays

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7th(!) Annual Roses Are Red Breakout

This year's entreaty for Roses are red poems is coming a little late. That means you better get your submission in pronto! And remember, the more entries the more fun! (Rules as always: gotta use either "Rose" or "red" in the poem and it must follow the standard Roses are red rhyming/stress scheme.) Happy composing!


oses are red
that much is true
but there isn't a flower
that can hold a candle to you


'll make you a rose
In your choice of hues
If you don't care
What chemicals I use



or 7 years now
I've rapped about roses
How many more years
Til this tradition decomposes






Wednesday February 13 2013File under: poetry, holidays

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New Years Eve Costume Fun

For the past 2 years, Della and I have gone to an awesome New Year's Eve party at Pandaland* in Bellingham. Besides great food (pies!), great music, and great people, the party invites folks to come in costume. While most people interpret this as fancy-dressed-to-the-nines type costume, we always seem to take a different approach.

I particularly like this year's costume because of the juxtaposition of obviousness and subtlety. My costume (which I've worn before) is totally covered in personal ads of men seeking women. Wearing something like this leads to people staring at you all night, which is unsettling until you realize they are just reading the ads. Della's costume is just as you see it, as subtle as can be.

There is a photo booth* upstairs which feeds images to a projector downstairs, so the party can see the fun. It's really a great time. Here's our photo from last year.

Anyway, I hope you had a happy (or restful or exciting or ecstatic) New Year. Here's to 2013 being as awesome as 2012!
Saturday January 5 2013File under: holidays, pics

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2012

Twas the night before Christmas
The most low-key in years
No van living, no cruising,
no circus, no gears

It's just me and my sweetie
with no big to do
We quietly watch Jeopardy!
While petting tussie-roo

There's comfort in the quiet
No stress and no hurry
Instead of ham or a turkey
We nibble veggie curry

Our holiday duties
with her kin then mine
Were nice but now finished
Which suits us just fine

Her folks' house was bustling
Full of wonderful smells
With my fam we gathered
In our sweaters with bells

But now is the time
For our traditions to grow
Whether they involve presents
Or a t.v. game show

But all that will happen
For it takes many a year
For now I'm content
with my brand of holiday cheer

So we shuffle off to bed
Just like any old night
Feeling blessed and lucky
And that everything's right

So with that I will end
This holiday rendition
And wish you Happy Christmas
As is our tradition.
Monday December 24 2012File under: holidays, poetry

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A Holiday For the Mathes - Pi Day 2012

Happy Pi Day!! For the (few) uninitiated of you, today is Pi Day because of the date (3/14). But since I've posted about it three times before, it is safe to assume you all are in the know.

The traditional celebration of Pi Day (besides annoying everyone you know by telling them it is Pi Day) is the baking of pies, of course. I pulled double pie duty this year with a pecan pie* and a quiche*. I guess that means I'm pulling double duty on eating too. C'est la vie.

(In looking back at previous Pi Day posts, I found it a rather amusing way to track self-portraits. Hopefully, come ultimate Pi Day (in either 2015 or 2016, depending on how you round the digits), I'll have a great little Pi Day photo album to reflect back on.)
Wednesday March 14 2012File under: holidays, food

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2011

Disclaimer: I would say that this poem is inspired by true events rather than an actual true story. I've been spending lots of nights in a Toyota van* of late and it's been totally awesome. But the truth is, this actual night before Christmas, I'm in a bed. But the sentiment stands.

Twas the night before Christmas with just us in the van
Parked any old place just cause we can
Last night at the Cirque Lab before that the quarry
When living in a van you can write your own story
The world is your oyster with your bed close at hand
The space's a bit cramped but the view is quite grand.
Now back to the present this O Holy Night
We're parked on a street that's lit up so bright
The blue lights in bushes and white lights that twinkle
Unfortunate inflatables that make my nose wrinkle
So we draw the curtains and settled in to our nest
To make good on the proverbial "long winter's rest"
The rain hits the roof just loud enough to hear
So I close my eyes and imagine reindeer
Dasher and Dancer and Blitzen, the whole posse
With Santa yelling "onward" and being quite bossy
I don't think he'll find us but I'm not going to gripe
Plus he'd have a fat chance of fitting through the tail pipe
But I've got all I want as I scribble these words
I've got health, I've got freedom, I've got Angry Birds
My family's amazing, I've got many a friend
To count all my blessing would go on without end
So as I drift off to nodland, a smile's on my face
Of anywhere I could be, this is the place.
Matt Foley's* wrong in his motivational speech
Van living's awesome, all you need's within reach
So I reach out my arms and she snuggles in tight
I whisper Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night

Saturday December 24 2011File under: holidays, poetry

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Happy Pi Day 2011

Of all the things I shouldn't be doing right now, baking a pie is right up on the list. I should be packing and preparing to leave town for a couple months; laundry, bank, post office, charging batteries, downloading podcasts, cleaning, etc. But I just can't help it.

Today, you see, is Pi Day (previously covered here and here). It being one of my favorite holidays, I had to drop everything and make a pie. Now I have to drop everything and eat said pie. (Perhaps now you are starting to see why it is one of my favorite holidays).

I hope your Pi Day is 3.14 times as exciting as you hoped!
Monday March 14 2011File under: holidays, food

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