I Adulted! A Morning After Tax Deadline Triumphant Oratorio

I Adulted!
A Morning after tax deadline tribute sung to the tune of the Halleluiah Chorus

*My apologies to George Frideric Handel






I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!

Filed just before the midnight deadline
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
Filed just before the midnight deadline
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
Filed just before the midnight deadline
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!

I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
Filed just before the midnight deadline
I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!

Filed just before the midnight deadline
(I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!)
I Adulted!

The evil schedule C
I have slain
I am now triumphant
Over tax forms
Over tax forms

And I won’t have to do this till next year
And I won’t have to do this till next year
And I won’t have to do this till next year

And I won’t have to do this till next year

The IRS can just go bite me I Adulted! I Adulted!
You got my money but not my soul I Adulted! I Adulted!
The IRS can just go bite me I Adulted! I Adulted!
You got my money but not my soul I Adulted! I Adulted!
The IRS can just go bite me I Adulted! I Adulted!
You can just go and bite me

No penalty
No penalty
No penalty
I have escaped your trap for one more year

I stayed up late well past my bedtime
Did the right thing I Adulted! I Adulted!
I feel like crap and need lots of coffee

IRS can go bite me
IRS can go bite me
I feel like crap and need lots of coffee

but it was worth with, it was worth it so very worth it
(IRS can go bite me)

I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted! I Adulted!
I Adulted!


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Dia De Los Muertos in Tacoma

Dia De Los Muertos, translates to Day of the Dead.

Once a little known (to us) observance celebrated in Mexico and Latin America, it has become more prevalent in our society, the predominant culture of which is taught to fear death and the dead.

The closest festival that those of us with Northern European/Gaelic/Celtic ancestry once had is Samhain, which was eventually assimilated by our culture and turned into the modern Halloween which has nothing to do with honoring our ancestors and departed loved ones and everything to do with commercial profit.

Sadly, this is beginning to happen to Dia De Los Muertos as is evidenced by incredibly tacky Halloween costumes on sale, and other misappropriations.

Make no mistake, Dia De Los Muertos is not “Mexican Halloween” just like Cinco De Mayo is not “Mexican Independence Day” (it commemorates the battle of Pueblo and achieving victory over French forces against all odds, but that’s a conversation for another day) nor is it about drinking tequila until you puke.

This Huffington Post article speaks to appropriation and misrepresentation of the observance, so rather than wax poetic from upon my soapbox, I shall link it here.


While appropriation and colonization are very real and serious issues based in devaluing and disrespecting other cultures, the United States has always been known as the “Great American Melting Pot” in which many generations of immigrants from different cultures brought some of their own traditions.

We can learn a lot from other cultures and regain some of the connections to the earth and our ancestors we lost when we all melded into a homogenous culture if we approach it with respect and a desire to learn.

This short video explains the basics of the observance…

The Day of the Dead – A Lot More Than Skulls and Candy

It's definitely not the “Mexican Halloween.”

Posted by AJ+ on Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today, an example of respectful learning and celebration occurred at the Tacoma Art Museum for Dia De Los Muertos.

A colorful event that included education, entertainment, music, activities for children and sacred spaces created for departed loves ones drew people from all over Tacoma and beyond in the spirit of community.


Offerendas (altars built to honor departed loves ones and ancestors) lined hallways on multiple levels of the museum. Filled with photographs, decorations, memorabilia and often, written explanations about the symbolism and people involved were lovingly built by individuals, families and community groups who took workshops to understand their significance so that they could be created out of love and respect.


I spoke with a Latina woman who was laying out a lovely offerenda she was decorating with feather headdresses, photographs and items of significance or that were favorite things of her departed loved ones. She told me about her father who had passed only one year ago, and her grandmother and aunt. She sadly told of how quickly “the cancer” took one of her relatives and smiled sharing fond memories others.

I then spoke with a Chinese American woman who wanted to take my photograph since I was in costume and we shared stories of observances in our own pre-United States cultures (in my case, Irish) that were similar to Dia De Los Muertos,

I saw people of all ages, classes, cultures and ethnicities come together to learn, share and remember their departed loves one who live in our hearts and stories. I watched people of diverse political leanings learn about another culture at a deeper and more personal level than before. I witnessed healing.

If you didn’t make it this year, you need to put it on your calendar for next year. I certainly hope that the museum will continue to provide this amazing, free event to the community.


There is still time to “get your dead on”. Tonight, on 6th Avenue there is a Dia De Los Muertos

Doors will open at the Studio 6 Ballroom Event space, 2610 6th Avenue, at 4:00 PM for face painting, creating and local vendor setup.

At 6:00 PM a procession will move down 6th Ave, many participants carrying paper mache figures they created in workshops.

At 7:00 PM, there will be live music, celebration and activities back at the event space lasting until 9:00 PM.

Come join your community and departed loves ones, for death is not to be feared, it is part of life and the end, is just the beginning.

I leave you with a charming short film showing a little girl discovering Dia De Los Muertos

It’s Almost Time…

It is almost time for the technical run through of tonight’s midnight fire spectacle.

I know I’ll see many (oooh, about 20,000 or so) of you at First Night Tacoma Pierce County tonight to help ring in the new year with music, art, fun and community.

For those I don’t see, I wish you a happy, healthy, safe and totally fabulous New Years Eve!

My plans for 2015 include a lot more quality time with friends, loved ones and chosen family.

More music (making it)

More dance (performance, class and recreational)

More writing

More time spent on positive endeavors and with positive people.

More gratitude.

More game nights (Cards Against Humanity and Cowgirls Ride the Trail of Truth anyone?)

More hiking, backpacking, cycling, kayaking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and other outdoorsey stuff.

Getting back to healthy eating and more exercise.

Being kinder to myself.


Bring it!

2014 fire

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Of Turkeys and Gratitude

In place of my annual Black Friday rant about corporate greed, bad behavior and misplaced priorities, which now extends to Thanksgiving Day, I’m going to take a more positive route and talk about why I, and many others feel so strongly about this holiday.

While we all know that the story we were taught in school about the friendly pilgrims and indigenous peoples isn’t how the first Thanksgiving really went down, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth celebrating.

OK, this clip from the Addams Family movie isn’t accurate either, it’s hilarious and I just love to watch it every year.

All kidding aside, the ideas behind Thanksgiving, gratitude and sharing are pretty darn awesome.

Oh yeah… and FOOD! Who doesn’t like food?

But what about that first thanksgiving and should we really be playing into it?

In a recent article published by Indian Country Today Media Network, Ramona Peters, the historical preservation officer for the Wampanoag Nation dispelled some myths about that first Thanksgiving.

When asked if she considers Thanksgiving a positive thing, she replied, “As a concept, a heartfelt Thanksgiving is very important to me as a person. It’s important that we give thanks. For me, it’s a state of being. You want to live in a state of thanksgiving, meaning that you use the creativity that the Creator gave you. You use your talents. You find out what those are and you cultivate them and that gives thanks in action.“

And yes, she celebrates it.

Thanksgiving, unlike less secular holidays doesn’t bring up a bunch of religious debate. There’s no “war on Thanksgiving” (see comments from a descendant of those who were there above) there’s no requirement to go into debt and spend stupid amounts of money on items people don’t need in order to impress the neighbors.

We all eat, and sharing a meal makes it even better. Thanksgiving meals need not be expensive. If you like traditional fare, turkey is actually pretty cheap as are the side dishes. (and if you’re against turkey genocide, there’s tofurkey)

The focus on family, friends and gratitude it what draws me to this holiday.

It is far too easy to get caught up in the sadness, stress and challenges of our daily lives and the world beyond.

It is far too easy to forget what is good in our lives.

It is far too easy to forget to tell people how much they mean to us.

Thanksgiving is a chance to remember and celebrate the good.

We all have our own memories of the Thanksgivings we celebrated growing up. Oddly enough, in the dysfunctional house I grew up in, holidays were actually happy and not stressful unlike most of the rest of the year.

Thanksgiving in the early 70’s involved laying around after eating too much and watching the Twilight Zone Marathon. (you millennials can google that if you need to) It also involved me getting a few sips of champagne and getting yelled at for putting the olives on my fingers. I remember learning how to make the lead crystal glasses “sing” by dipping my finger in water and running it along the rim. I have those glasses (I still stick olives on my fingers too)

To this day, it still involves tuning in to a local radio station at noon to listen to Alice’s Restaurant.

and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without revisiting the now classic WKRP in Cincinnati “Turkey Drop”

As we grow older, move away from or lose our families, we begin to create our own traditions.

An increasingly popular trend is “Friendsgiving” either before, after or on the actual date. I have hosted my “Day After Thanksgiving Feast/Anti Black Friday Protest” for the last twelve years. I love doing it on Friday so more people can come. It also gives me the day of to “party hop” at other people’s events.

It is a commonly held belief that the expression of gratitude can boost one’s mood and outlook on life. That’s a good thing, especially up here in the cold, dark Pacific Northwest where seasonal affective disorder begins to manifest at this time of year.

For me, cooking a meal and sharing it with friends and chosen family is a show of gratitude for them being in my life, it’s a small way to give back. It’s a positive, happy thing; don’t we all need a bit more of that in our lives?

woodstock thanksgiving

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Winter Solstice Dreams – 2013

Happy Winter Solstice! (Of course, it is only Winter Solstice for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere; happy Summer Solstice to our friends South of the equator)

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The days will slowly get longer again. For those of us in the far dark, frozen North, this is a big BIG deal!

Winter Solstice is the promise of new life; we really won’t notice the days getting longer until closer to Candlemas/Brigid/Ground Hog’s Day.

Last night, a group of friends gathered in my back yard for a bonfire. We wrote down what we want to leave in the darkness as well as what we want to bring with us into the light and put those into the fire (which was of course, the yule log) The smoke from that fire filled a wish lantern, which sent our wishes to the heavens. We then, passed the light, candle to candle whilst listening to (and in many cases, signing) Dar Williams, “The Christians and the Pagans”. We then all sang along to “Here Comes The Sun” a Solstice classic.

It doesn’t matter what religion you are or aren’t. It doesn’t matter what you believe. The Solstice is an astronomical event that draws everyone together at this time of year to celebrate light, love and hope.

Each year, I love to post the Northern Exposure video to the story Raven Steals the Light being told (I’ve used it for the children’s story at Solstice rituals in years past)

It is a traditional story from the Northwest Coast and Alaska.

I like this Northern Exposure version.

Not everyone knows this, but the town of ‘Cicily Alaska” is about an hour and a half from where I live, and is in fact Roslyn Washington (yes, I’ve been to The Brick)

and here’s another wonderful story of light in a magical part of the world (the Great Pacific Northwest)…

And of course, my traditional Solstice post/greeting…

On this night, around 3,000 years BC, a very special event unfolds at a place we now call Newgrange. A group gathers around a large circular stone structure. A drumbeat resounds across the mist-shrouded hills of ancient Ireland, bump bump… bump bump… bump bump…; The heartbeat of mother earth. The scent of incense mingles with moss, moist earth and the burning torches. All gaze hopefully towards the eastern horizon. After what seems like an eternity, it happens, the rising sun begins its ascent. Once again all attention is turned to the structure with great anticipation. Suddenly an intense shaft of light pierces the innermost chamber of the structure, illuminating a stone basin adorned with carvings of spirals, eyes, solar disks, and other sacred symbols. A joyful sound rises from the crowd, who then begin to dance ecstatically. For the darkest darkness of winter has passed, and the light has returned. Soon: the hills will be covered in fresh green grasses and wildflowers, trees will bloom and set fruit, animals will give birth, the songs of birds will fill the skies. The cycle of life will continue. The world, once again, has been reborn.

Tonight we celebrate an event, which predates our modern religious celebrations, an event as old as time its self. Just as events like this were observed at Newgrange Ireland, we find similar ancient architectural wonders based on solstices and equinoxes all across Europe, Asia, The Americas, Indonesia and the Middle East. Thousands of years ago, these monolithic structures were built and elaborate ceremonies held, out of reverence for the cycle of life, and perhaps the fear that without human intervention, the sun would not return.

At the winter solstice, the tilt of the earth on its axis, is such that our hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the sun, our days are shortest and the sun is at the lowest arc in the sky. For thousands of years, our ancestors honored the cycles of life: solstices, equinoxes, harvests and plantings. The winter solstice is perhaps the most sacred of these celebrations. So sacred in fact, that modern religious observations all over the world take place on or near the time of the solstice. Solstice observance is not a celebration that excludes or dismisses any other religious celebration; rather it is the common bond of many modern and not so modern religions.

The time of the winter solstice represents death and rebirth, just as corn stalks wither and die in the fields in the fall, so does the symbolic god give his body to nourish the earth, only to be reborn of the goddess again on this darkest night. The original divine birth. Is it any wonder then: that the Christian church chose this sacred time of the year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Hebrew people to celebrate the Festival of Lights, or Native Americans and other aboriginal peoples to celebrate their sacred events?

Solstice is not only a time to celebrate the retreat of darkness and the return of the light, but it is a time to look inward, at the darkness within ourselves and to embrace it. For without darkness, there would be no light. Without challenge, there would be no triumph. It is a time to celebrate the death of old habits, thought patterns, and difficulties, a time to celebrate a spiritual renewal. The darkness gives us all a chance to embrace and work through our own darkness, so that like the earth, we may also be renewed.

L. Lisa Lawrence
Copyright 1998

Here’s our observance from 2007 (the video is just too much fun!)

Here’s one from two years ago, in my back yard. For the last several years, the weather has cooperated for a bonfire even when the forecast is for a 100% chance of rain. Last night, the howling winds stopped just before we were ready to move outside.

Here are the songs from the video, my favorite Winter Solstice songs…

“The Christians and the Pagans” by Dar Williams

Amber called her uncle, said, “We’re up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay.”
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree,
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, “It’s Christmas eve, I know our life is not your style,”
She said, “Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and it’s been a while.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, “Is it true that you’re a witch?”
His mom jumped up and said, “The pies are burning,” and she hit the kitchen,
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, “It’s true, you’re cousin’s not a Christian,
But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And where does magic come from , I think magic’s in the learning,
‘Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning.

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, “Really, no, don’t bother.”
Amber’s uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadn’t spoken in a year,
He thought he’d call him up and say, “It’s Christmas and your daughter’s here.”
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve,
Saying, “Can I be a Pagan?” Dad said, “We’ll discuss it when they leave.”

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old,
And making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold…

And of course, the required Solstice tune…

“Here comes the sun” by the Beatles

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right
It’s all right…

Just now, it just now… happened…

Blessed Solstice all, let’s look to the light.


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Earth Day!


Earth Day 2012 has been a big deal for me.

The whole rebirth thing is reverberating strongly for me this spring.

Friday, I staffed a booth at the University of Puget Sound for their Earth Day Event. Saturday, I was at work advocating for local, sustainable, healthy food.

Yesterday, I just had to plant a tree in honor of Earth Day (well, and because I like to dig in the dirt 😉

Considering that since I bought this place two years ago, I’ve planted nine fruit trees (cherry, apple, plum, peach, pear) two nut trees (hazelnut), five ornamentals (flowering cherry, dogwood, ash and one edible ornamental pollinator (crabapple) I’m kind of running out of space.

But there was one spot in front that would shade the front porch which has a Southwest exposure and gets hit hard by the summer sun and heat that just begged for a pretty tree.

I chose an Indian Summer crabapple (beautiful, just the right size, small edible fruit, provides food for wildlife, pollinates apples) which unlike the Sugar Tyme I have planted in the back yard which has pink buds opening to white flowers, has stunning red flowers.

Isn’t it pretty?

Earth Day 2012 006

I also had clumps of day lilies given to me by my neighbor Steve when I first bought the place two years ago (he dropped off clumps before I even moved in) that were getting crowded.

So I thinned them down to two reasonable size clumps.

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This left me with TEN good size clumps to relocate.

I decided to plant them in the parking strip out front in between the flowering cherry trees. I want to eventually reclaim that strip from lawn to garden and this is a good start.

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You can see that the Kwanzan Flowering Cherry trees are just starting to bloom. Aren’t they lovely?

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I couldn’t leave the fairy garden out of the fun, so I picked up some pretty and fragrant carnations to put out there.

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I have more garden photos from this season on my Flickr’ page.

(if the slide show doesn’t embed or you prefer to click on individual pictures, you can view the photos by making with the clicky clicky here)

I also managed to sneak in some time at the dog park with Frodo the Wonder Corgi.

We had beautiful weather, and it was a great day to honor the earth.


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Wine Hog!

We came, we wined (& cheesed) and we oinked…

It was the annual Wine Hog celebration which is always held the Saturday closest to Ground Hog Day (I’m just late getting the photos up)

Everyone brought a wine or a cheese for non-snooty non-blind judging.

We had an even 12 cheeses and 12 wines.

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One of the important parts of Wine Hog is the table cloth which is brought out every year so that guests can sign and date it, draw on it, and write the odd dirty limerick.

The best poetry this year was Rick’s

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Allen made his usual appearance carrying a big summer sausage. I think this has been a joke for over twelve years now…

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He also brought the large white dog, Cody who along with my Corgi pup, Carmel’s fluffy Corgi (you can see her butt in the picture) made for an extra exciting evening.

Here’s Jim attempting to bribe the judges just before the final “wine off”vote…

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Not conindicdentally, the winning wine was Jim’s California Cupcake Red Velvet, with Charle’s Sky River Raspberry Honey Wine as the runner up

Here his is getting his [cue announcer voice] Faaaabulous WineHog Prize…

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the winning cheese was Knut and Alice’s Rondele with Rick and Tony’s Barber’s 1833 Cheddar as runner up.

And here they are getting their [cue announcer voice] Faaaabulous WineHog Prizes…

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Special mention was the Trader Joe’s chocolate cheddar which could not be entered into the competition but scored very high.

The rest of the photos are here in a slide show.

If the slideshow doesn’t embed properly in your broswer, you can view them here in Flickr…


If you are friends with either me, Jim, Charles or Carmel on Facebook, there is a hilarious after hours “oink off” video there.


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