Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Year's Eve

know what you're wearing?
i want pix of everyone!

~~butterfly ~~

a.k.a shel b. fly


Awakening is a flowering of your innermost being.
It is a revelation of your essence,
hidden by long eons of self-delusion,
unbounded desires.
Enlightenment is an ending as well as a beginning:
the ending of the old, veiled, dark ego,
its longings, illusions, frustrations;
the beginning of a vast expanse,
an infinite field of the Unknown,
an adventure in consciousness.

It is a revolution:
it represents danger to the old way of life,
to old ways of thinking and living.

It is freedom from the known and the unknown;
from the real and the unreal;
from any appearance of division between you and Truth.

It is the abandoning of beliefs, dis-beliefs,
presumptions and stances,
self, ego,
call it what you will,
or call it nothing,
what it is.

It is the Path of the golden Dawn,
the Path out of the Night of Time
into the Bursting daylight of Eternal Now...

- Petros

thankfully borrowed from "go gratitude"

Sunday, December 25, 2005


can't post pics of vegas without balancing shots of nature, now, can we?
we were two of the handful of folks camping in zion the week before christmas. i think we counted.. . three tents besides ours the several nights we spent there. vastly different from the throngs of summer!

photos: connect the description with the corresponding photo:
on the drive in the weather was 99% different than i've experienced before: cool misty and gray, with low hovering clouds that veiled the rock formations and gave the vast landscape a heavy mood.. well--the mesas had an almost mordor-like quality about them--i'd call that heavy, wouldn't you?
troyboy at his fire
the skeleton of a tree against the (regular) piercing blue sky
view from atop observation point trail
red rock with a sprinkling of early morning snow.
typical tif-shots of shrubs and stuff (perhaps i was taking shots of the shrubs so as not to concentrate on how exposed we were on the way up to angel's landing.. )
troyboy and his non-fear of heights
i think my favorite spot on this trip was with my feet right by the fire (with food cooking, too, of course ;)
sunset smear on our way out.

Friday, December 23, 2005


i know, i said i weren't gwine write no more, but i at least had to show ya some photos.

the most spectacular thing at the bellagio was this blown-glass sculptural ceiling in the reception area. i could have spent hours studying each individual disc-flower from different angles.

photos (in blogger-random order, of course):
in the theatre before "O"
sunrise: las vegas as canvas (view from excalibur)
reflection of the rainbow castle
who cares about the slot machines; gimme pritty food
lights by night: paris in the background
mi favorit: etude of bellagio blown glass sculpture


well, tb and i have been gone for a few days: in the great wideopen, zion national park--camping, hiking, roasting chestnuts on an open fire (ok, they were sweetpotatoes), stretching the bounds of my fear of heights-- and singing along to bing and dean as the miles ribbon ahead and behind us. then bowing to the great neon blinking god of the desert, diving into the crowd (herd) in las vegas to witness cirque du soleil's "O". virgins no more, we were baptized by the splashing display of human creative and technical mastery. wow.

i feel yet another shifting in the atmosphere. weather brews most decidedly on the horizon. new shaking hands with old, as i meet a new year in a new place, and bring my third decade in this existence to a close very soon (ha! i accidentally published this saying "second" decade--um, yeah. i'm on my third.). . . sorry to be so cryptic, but i feel that change is a'comin. i greet it with sentimental resistance, courageous head-longedness, and gently turn to take the wind in my face. the ride isn't over yet.
WIDE WORLD OF TIF will be silent for a short period while i prepare myself inwardly for these changes.

to entertain you whilst i turn inward, i give you, at long last, and after everyone has forgotten (but me, whom this blog is really here to entertain in the first place): vegoose.
written on the plane on my way to K-Y over a month ago.
with links!! :)

on a plane, high above colorado. headed home for the first time in what seems like a long long time. not really that long in days, i suppose, but long in distance between my heart now and my heart six months ago.
so i figure i should finally get around to sharing with you about vegoose--the festival we performed at in las vegas over halloween weekend.
the hotel~~
we stayed at a huge hotel, off the strip. strange enough for current events, it was called the Orleans--a new orleans-themed extravaganza with jazz band alligators, beads, and besparkled mardi gras masks adorning every wall, corner, and entranceway. of course the lobby was a bell-ringing, light blinking, slot-filling-zombie-inhabited casino. although i thought our rainbowcircus attire fit in perfectly with the festive atmosphere--especially at halloween--we still managed to raise eyebrows from their blackjack tables. in the elevator on the way up to our rooms, icarus (bare-chested with vest, septum ring, feathers through his stretched lobes, and fedora), annie (with a crayola red skunk stripe through her ethnic black hair, and rainbow garb), and i waited with a middle-aged couple both dressed in cowboy attire--those button-down-pocket shirts with trim, and cowboy boots and hats (although i bet you they didn't usually wrangle any cattle). the man said, hmm. you all at some kind of . . convention, or is this everyday attire?
the venue~~
what am i spending time on the hotel for, though? the event was Vegoose--a huge music festival with headliners like Beck, Jack Johnson, The Flaming Lips, and Widespread Panic. it took place at the UNLV stadium, and the surrounding grassy grounds. our circus tent was flanked on one side by one of the large stages and its lawn, and on the other side by the false front of a "church", where impersonators doing marilyn monroe, elvis, ozzie ozbourne, and the like, walked out the front door and did their schtick. a bright red and yellow sign perched above our tent, like an anti-golden-arches: Vau de Vire Society Twisted Cabaret. vau de vire society--an "avant cabaret" company of contortionists, acrobat-dancers, aerialists, freaks (they would be kind of the dark, dysfunctional teenagers to our band of fairy-children)--is based in san francisco, and let us other folks share their tent. it was a mad love fest of tutus, grease paint, camera-hams, music, blackrockcity sex-appeal, and improv genius.
the action~~
at the beginning of each day, once we got our get-ups on, we lined up backstage of the tent and then made a parade--dancing, cartwheeling, drumming, tomfooling and playing through the crowd outside. we were led by dr. mad vibe, who shouted through a bull-horn inviting folks to follow us into the circus tent. the first day, when we wore our elf-attire, abundant silliness ensued. agent red (aka the strawberry to my blueberry) and i talked a vendor into giving us a few bananas. i used one like a cellphone (in elvin jibberish, of course. we were under strict no-english orders from the lady at the top), and then opened one up, smeared it on each other's bare skin and licked it off (that was a highlight, of course). we invited onlookers to join in, but they were happy watching in bewilderment.
back at the tent for the rest of the day we'd rotate through the list of performers, sharing the stage, collaborating and improvising as the spirit moved us. lucent dossier's pieces went well. it seemed that everyone was really putting themselves out there and focusing their energy and intention. the tent was packed with a wildly receptive audience everytime.
when we weren't performing, we had artist passes which allowed us access to where the famous people hung out--there was a red-lit lounge with red couches and carpet and big screen tvs that showed whoever was performing on the mainstage in the stadium. everything was on the house--liquor, red bull, a huge buffet (including yummy veggie stuffs), and a photo booth! (according to the attendant, we circus folks were the hams who most-frequented the photo booth. well.--yeah!) we even got our choice of a free pair of Croc's shoes--a rainbow variety of comfy cushy foam-plastic clogs with air holes. (i chose orange, troyboy chose light blue) i didn't "rub elbows" with any celebrities, nor did i seek to, but it was huge fun to get the VIP treatment, all the same.

the highlight of my weekend was the grand finale "dance-off" between us white-clad divine lucents and the dark painted demented vau de vire folks. we took turns strutting our stuff, which eventually turned into a big orgiastic pile (with this group? who'd a thunk?) of black and white and flesh rolling around on the grass people picking each other up, contact improv-ing, acrobatics through the pile, anybody climbing the rafters, tricking on the trapeze, taking the spotlight, smearing body paint and sweat and spit, to orgasmic pounding funky dirty improv-ing music and spoken word. to sum it up: it was improvperformerbliss. what i loved most about it was that i was right there in the thick of it. the music and i and this throbbing mass of skin and inspiration were one. i was not accenting from the side stage, or thankful to tag along but not to get attention, or kinda-but-not-really shakin' it--i was fully there as all-out and raw as i'd ever been. rockin' it. i belonged--to this group of totally-in-the-moment talented fabulous performers. a card-holding member. not just playing with the big kids--i was a big kid too.

to watch some of the parade:

for a wonky video of the awakenings performance:

~~may love, warmth, and light pervade and envelope your life during this festive time. may the new year bring you continued blessings, turning tides, and changes for Good. ~~
sincerely with love.


can't help but notice no one signed this thing:

"Thank you for sharing your views on the death penalty. The people of this State, through the initiative process, have voted to enact the death penalty in cases of first degree murder committed under certain special circumstances. The Governor supports the people's right to prescribe the ultimate punishment for the most heinous crimes.

Before a death sentence is carried out, the prisoner has been convicted of first degree murder under one or more special circumstances, has further been determined to warrant the death penalty and has had the opportunity to have these determinations reviewed by both state and federal courts including the Supreme Court of California and the United States Supreme Court.

The Governor would prefer that no person commits the type of crime that would warrant the death penalty, but knows that unfortunately there are persons capable of committing such acts. He hopes that some will be deterred by the death penalty, but for those who are not, he will enforce the law as enacted by the people.

Your views are important and appreciated. On behalf of the Governor, I thank you for your letter.


Office of Constituent Affairs"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


" Thank you for your email to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Governor appreciates hearing from concerned and involved Californians, as well as from individuals all over the world who have an interest in California.

Governor Schwarzenegger is committed to restoring your confidence in state government. As the Governor has said, with hard work and your help, California will once again be the "Golden Dream by the Sea".

Due to the unprecedented number of emails sent to the Governor, there may be a delay in immediately responding to your email. Please know that the Governor's office is making every effort to respond to your inquiry and will ensure that your voice is heard by the Governor.

To help us respond to you, please include your email address when you communicate with the Governor's Office. Please note that we are unable to accept e-mail attachments because of the risk of Internet viruses. We ask that you please send your attachments via traditional mail to:

Office of the Governor
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information about Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California, please visit the California website at

Again, thank you for your email. Governor Schwarzenegger is proud to serve you and all Californians. "

don't know if you pay attention to Current Events, but california just executed a guy called Tookie. this guy allegedly did some really rotten stuff--like start the gang the Crips, and kill some folks. while he was imprisoned over the decades, he found Religion, educated himself, and did a whole lot of cool things trying to organize, and educate, against violence. he wrote a novel about his personal story, and wrote a bunch of children's books. i don't support the death penalty. but especially in this case, this man seemed to be a huge SUCCESS story for the penal system--reformed, rehabilitated, and productive. the state of california could have USED him in all kinds of ways to promote themselves, and to educate kids. it didn't happen that way. may he rest in peace and goodfellowship.


i been drinkin this concoction these days after i jog.
it just makes me feel like i'm being healthy, drinking something that looks that green. it sho do look green. it look like a pool o tempera paint--you remember that stuff? you know you wanted to eat it (or was that just me?).

a piece of fruit (i've used oranges, bananas, a handful of frozen blueberries if they're around. i bet a ripe peach would be yummy!)
a drizzle of honey (cuz i worth it)
you know it=a spoonfull of almond butter (cuz i love it)
a splash of liquid (i use water. i encourage you to use your favorite milk)
not even a tablespoon of supergreen powder.

fire that stuff up in the blender. see if it don' make you feel like you bein' healthy.

this recipe is dedicated to madame kristin (AMuse), for her inspirational energy. (hell, she gotta be doin' somethin right. "i'll have what she's having.")

color and light

every day is beautiful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


or, "my favetest bitches"

(photos when blogger ain't feelin' so arthritic!!)

(soundtrack: aladdin's alibabba song)

the last night i had on that side of the continent before i jumped the plane to return to my promisedland: the brer white and i had such a good vibe going, i looked forward to one last evening of fellowship with him and the cats--maybe creative, maybe imbibelicious--it was sure to include laughter and a few tears.

finishing up my (purposefully) whirlwind visit with mon frer and fam, we ate at sonny's bar-b-q, in the spreading sprawl of nicholasville--a 15 minutes drive into the country from lex-town. a phonecall from brer says, "whatta ya think about going to nema's tonight?" my heart was sent to spinning. i'd confer with him post-feast.

a homey persian restaurant snugged onto "the brick alley" of otherwise sleepy (yet still picturesque--thus runs a theme of the K-Y experience) downtown state capital frankfort. large, original murals decorate the walls, classic molding lines the high ceilings, persian-style rugs cover the floors, and the wall menu has back-lit photos of each dish--american hamburgers and traditional kabobs alike. it is the much-frequented unofficial meeting place for all kentucky-landed persians. jack (the ONLY persian with a kentucky accent!) and neeta, the owners, run themselves ragged to keep the place going, smoke their own hookah when they have a free moment, and treat their weekly bellydancers like princesses. the first night they hosted dancers was my second gig as an Official Member of Rakadu Gypsy Dance. over the years, these weekly gigs have grown to feel like cutting the rug in our own living room, with family.

after having to take a break from the troupe for "personal reasons" there toward the end of my life in lex-town, visiting nema's and seeing the ladies dance promised to be an emotional rush. being that it was on my way between lex and louisville, where i'd hop the plane, and being that the three most original dancers (t-tessa, mel-lovely, and queeniequeen--all much-loved and much-skilled and -admired) would be dancing, it seemed to me my path led to nema's that night.
the brer opted to stay in lex to prepare for an early wake-up. i needed to hustle to get to nema's in time to see some dancing. this gave us the perfect excuse not to drag out what would unquestionably be a painful parting. rubs on the cats, stuffing the suitcases, a care-package from brer (which--don't you know--included beer), a lump in the throat that sprouted tears and a deep, loving hug.
"see you soon."

walking into nema's, indeed, feels like walking into the home of family. i feel a fluttery-flitting in my chest as i shove through the back door (the "dancers' entrance!"). the ladies are taking a break; they collect themselves in the front corner, right behind the storefront window displaying a blinking christmas tree, and a hookah (my place to be, fer sher). the musicians (PHENOMENAL performers in their own right, and skilled artists in musician-dancer collaborative improv) are absent. in their stead, aladdin's boisterous alibabba soundtrack fills the air. patrons eat at every table. twinkley christmas lights, fragrant hookah smoke, and bustling staff. this is the place to be. happy huggings with the goddesses, i tuck myself into a corner and order a "cappuccino" flavored hookah and pot of tea. who else is in attendance across the way--one of my oldest dancing sisters--andri--surrounded by a tablefull of her own bellydance students, on a girls'-night-out from berea (where she now lives with her partner and their toddler, Phoenix). my cup overfloweth!! what blessings!!
the ladies commence to dancing--whirling and gyrating and jiggling in the center of the room on their persian-rug-stage. andri and i agree that, even after the years, the familiarity, and training, witnessing these ladies make magic through movement still gives us chills. i might as well not order food, because i'm too fascinated to pick up my fork--and don't even try to tell me nothin' cuz i too bizzy watchin' them girls shake they thang! even in the short time i've been gone, i can tell that these goddesses have been practicing and working and creating. hard to imagine, but they just keep getting more mesmerizing and skilled. they entwine grace, sensuality, mystery, elegance, humor, and astonishing technical skill and coordination into each piece, solo or together. and i have yet to see a bellydance company that seamlessly interestingly easily improvises as well as this troupe. period. delightful, illuminating, impeccable and inspiring! the permagrin abounds! as their "outro" t and mel shenaniganize, broadway-cheese style, the alibabba song for us all. as we crowd around the table with hummus and girltalk, i feel like the Same Ol' Tif (tiftif) who has danced with these goddesses for years, now. it feels like home, and they are my family.
finally, as jack, neeta, and the crew roll up the rugs and turn of the lights, we scurry out into the cold (!) and into our separate cars. upon request (yea!) they leave with cookies from Barb and Tif's Annual Christmastime Bakefest (for details, staytuned!).

breakfast recipe

now that we're coming into the cooler months, i'm wanting a yummy warm reason to get out from under the covers in the mornings! this recipe, plus that warm beverage of choice (no, not a hot toddy!), does the job most days.

~~soothing rice breakfast~~
this recipe makes several filling servings for me, but probably just a couple for troyboy the hungry sealion.

most of the prep for this can be done the night before, and the only work you do is the coupla minutes for you to remember, and toss the ingredients in the pot. if you wait to do it spontaneously in the morning, it takes about 40 mins--cooking time, not prep time (maybe a few more if you're groggy!).

1 cup brown basmati rice
1 apple chopped into pieces, don't bother skinning
a handful of nuts or seeds
1 1/2 cups water
throw these in a pot with a lid.
bring to a boil. then stir once, and turn down the heat to a simmer. simmer for 10 minutes, then let sit--without removing the lid or stirring--for 15.
this makes the apple nice and soft, and sweetens the rice, too.

at meal time:
take out a portion of the rice and apples, and put into a skillet with:
a drizzle of water
a drizzle of your favorite milk (i'm into almond these days), enough to make is soupy--like oatmeal, the soupiness is up to you.
a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter (again--almond!)
a dash of cinnamon
salt, to taste
bring to a simmer, stirring to keep it off the sides, let simmer till just a tad before the perfect consistency--it will thicken up as it cools. this takes only a coupla minutes. then serve it up in a bowl! or, brer and i call it "timming it" when you eat a hot meal straight out of the pot--over the sink.
this recipe uses no sugars, other than what's in the apple. the whole grain rice keeps all the good-for-you nutrients and fiber, plus flavor and chew.
it's tasty, hearty, and satisfying.
i encourage you to experiment with the grains and additions that you like. one idea: for something sweet and special to soothe the soul--how bout chopping up a banana instead of the apple, and adding a little bit o' chocolate? (i think i'll try that right now.. . )
here's to a cozy winter season surrounded by those you love.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


(soundtrack: ani's pick yer nose song)
starting yesterday, in any random order i feel like it, i share with you the amazing experiences and people of my trip Back Home. today, i wanna tell you how much my sistergoddess ecogyrl RAWKS THE HOUSE!! brer and i stopped by her place after a hike at Indian Fort in berea (where that sweet phone of mine decided to part ways.. ). this chica is kickin eco-ass and taking eco-names in the (please correct me if i'm wrong, mz. gyrl) green architecture program at berea college (a picturesque campus in the appalachian foothills, which, among other programs, offers degrees in many aspects of sustainable living). and the madame and her mister (whom i shall call " the chef") are in the process of totally redo-ing their early-20th-century home in downtown berea. rippin out walls an' stuff. the ecogyrl, savvy and pursuasive as she is, talked her berea college professor into making their house the "rebuild project" for a class. SO, as their classwork for the course, 20-some college students are gonna be doing the work on ecogyrl and the chef's house--for ALMOST FREE!! she's redesigning their kitchen as the project for another course. and if all of these don't impress the socks off of you as to this womyn's superamazinglysharp brainpower, she's already got a plan written up, brochure-style, for the ecovillage she, the chef, and some others will build when she's graduated. her idea is to create a community that is funded by teaching green-building techniques. wow, does this lady rock.
when they're not focused on building, ecogyrl and the chef are running their diesel truck, big brown betty, on used veggie oil they get out back of local restaurants.
i remember, a while back--but not too long ago!, when ecogyrl was my manager in the produce section at Good Foods Co-op. she took a weekend retreat at a tree-climbing seminar out in the woods. when she came back, she had a new vision. and kapow! she was signing up to go back to school, to become an eco-builder (at least, that's how i remember it!). when this gyrl moves, ya better stand outta the way, cuz she gon' make fast tracks!!
(photo--that gyrl, she move so fass, the only pitchers you can get are where she already LEFF!)

Sunday, December 04, 2005


soundtrack: that one grant green song

since nobody know ho like i know ho, might i present my oldest friend in the donning of a new name:
ho-swah, ever akin to snakes in the shedding of worn aphorisms, has discarded his most recent nickname, "the ho," and taken another shape as he ever journeys toward his most divine self.
now, i shall call him "brer white du rabbit." "white" for that part of his nature that pursues The Mystery like a stocktrader with a deadline. and "brer"--well, do you know the uncle remus story? anything that's worth doing by brer white is worth doing a WHOLE LOT of. in excess, with gusto. need we mention his pursuasive powers.
wait, you ask, related to barry, the famous white with the particularly distinctive sound? brer says the ladies can ask him that one in person.

brer white, in returning from our recent reunion, i am proud to reflect that you are still the yin to my yang--soul twins, activate! in the form of.. cheesey blogposts about how much i adore you!

photo montage: the prowess of brer white
notice the side kick, Rod Dofolus, attentive to his hero's every move.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


meow meow meow meow. meow meow meow meow. MEOW meow meow meow MEOW meow meow meow! (remember that one? it was a favorite. i could play it on the piano when i was seven.)
another commercial break as Our Favorite Tif navigates the deep netherworlds of Blood Ruh Layshuns. . this time. . brought to you by. . xingolati!! really cool.
(you might spy some fancy jigglin by yours truly.!)
(click on xingolati download)

stay tuned!!