Saturday, December 16, 2006
Now if it had been a beach house, then we could talk!
Miss Kitt singing in my head and the old familiar tune... "Santa Baby"....>>wink<<
I'd just be happy with a working catalytic converter. Now that is just sad. (LOL)
Friday, December 15, 2006
My car troubles hit right around Thanksgiving, and so all plans I had made for the holiday went directly out the window at the last minute. Visions of warming up a Swanson Turkey Dinner at the house alone, and watching the Macy's Parade danced in my head. I have spent holidays by myself before, and generally enjoyed them. But this year I really felt I should do something. I had spoken to a friend Lori here about doing Thanksgiving dinner with her and a few family members, but at the last minute her finances also tanked. So she called and invited me over for pie. While Lori was inviting me, from somewhere deep inside my head, my Grandmother's spirit yelled in my ear...If all you have is money troubles you don't have any troubles MAKE THANKSGIVING DINNER NO MATTER WHAT!!! I know from experience better never, ever argue with my grandmother! So on Wednesday before Thanksgiving I was crawling around, braving the crowds to find Thanksgiving ingredients to make dinner for Lori's family. A small enough gathering that a turkey would have been overkill, we settled on a big roasting chicken instead. And my payment for this effort was feeding a child who loved and craved stuffing, so he ate his fill and had leftovers for later. So even as bad as it seems for me right now, I am still grateful I can do small things that make a difference for others. So thanks Universe for giving me the opportunity to remember this, and always thanks and my love to you, Dixie Lafayette.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Crystal B.(aged 9)
A late birthday present that arrived today, but pretty near perfect if you ask me. :)
There she is!
So today I had to run through an entire tank of gasoline to disperse the "presto magic" gasoline additive through my Van engine in preparation for re inspection tomorrow. One entire tank of gas gets me to Dublin, Texas and back home. As you may remember earlier I talked about the special Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Plant, and so today I drove five hours to go to the gift shop and bring back a case. This also happens to be the home of one of my very favorite billboards, "Pee-A-Boo Pepper Princess." All day long she swings back and forth in her little Texas Star boots, and I thought I'd share her here. Can't share the bottled Dr. Pepper though, Genie and I will be taking care of that ourselves. :)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I also found a teeny-tiny Oriental "Lucky" cat on my birthday. He stands less than 1/2" tall, and I figured since I was turning 50 I could use all the luck I could get!
I was thinking today, how greatful I am to have a mechanic I trust around. Charlie is 23 years old, just an honest guy trying to feed his kids and make extra money on the side for Christmas with odd mechanical jobs after his work day as a school bus mechanic. One of those people that obviously know car engines backwards and forwards. He never shames me for not knowing anything, and tells his own horror stories of mechanic rip offs he has witnessed in his work. Like I said before, everyone should be blessed with a Charlie.
Genie told me today she thinks that failing the emissions test happened at this time so that I could have something fixed that was minor instead of a major car problem later. After seeing the spark plugs, and talking to Charlie, I think this is probably the case. So cross your collective fingers for me out there, hopefully all this work was the only steps I needed to make.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
So today I am feeling the energy surge to go forward and focus with my new creative project. This is going to take a lot of time and focus, so I will attempt to keep everyone updated on my progress with my blog. Please forgive me if return emails arrive slowly, or calls and letters are late. I am decidedly not an effective multi-tasker, especially when I am working creatively, as I become very focused at the task at hand. It is my nature to isolate when working, I've lived 50 years with myself and I know this is unlikely to change at anytime soon. It's certainly not personal, just a fact of my creative life. But this does not mean I suddenly care less about everybody, just means I have chained myself to the desk. :)
So that is my story on a beautiful Fall day.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
A picture of my neices and a nephew taken on Halloween. Of course Ryan is on the cusp of being too "cool" for Halloween, hense the attitude. There is Ashley in pink as a fairy princess (she always goes as a fairy princess, no surprise there.) Next to her Amber (My little pen pal) as the corpse bride. But oh my, what do we have HERE? Why, the light of my life Crystal is dressed as what? The Phantom of the Opera. Bwa-ha-ha
Last year, before I left Illinois, "Phantom of the Opera" was the last movie Crystal and I watched together, and I gave her a video copy last year for Christmas. It is reported she watches it at least twice a week, and has become enchanted with dark, misunderstood Phantom.This costume actually started in August, when she announced she would be going as the Phantom of the Opera to her poor, buffudled parents. Try finding a phantom mask in a middle America Wal-Mart to know exactly what a daunting task this can be. The Halloweens before this she was Spiderman, the Incredible HULK, and just about any super hero you name. And now she finds her heart as the "Phantom."
How could you NOT love this kid?
P.S. She got to slick back and spray dye her white blond hair black, and those are Dad's "lace-tie" boots she insisted on wearing. :)
Monday, November 06, 2006
...since I last smoked a cigarette. I'm down to five commit tabs every day, still on target to be completely nicotine free by Jan. 1st, 2007.
More good news, another friend has decided to quit and I get the opportunity to support her as an informal stop smoking cheerleader. Congratulations Pam on making that first big step today!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Been busy the last week building bracelets for a quick show at the Design Center in Dallas this next week. Don't think they'll ever be a November I'm not busy making something for galleries and such for Christmas. Just thought I'd share what was on my desk today. :)
Friday, November 03, 2006
In the Mevlevi sufi tradition, sema dance represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfection." In this journey the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the "Perfection"; then returns from this spiritual journey with greater maturity, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination against beliefs, races, classes and nations.
A beautiful and mystical ceremony that speaks to my artist's dreamy soul today, and I wanted to share it here.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Just to say those words gives me a chill, but how best to describe voting in the modern USA? We voted with paper and pen the old fashioned way, and the voter's office was very busy. I even refused to vote for unchallenged Republican races. Now if we can only make the above words a reality by throwing the bums out, or at the very least building a roadblock to the personal Armageddon the Bush administration has invited us all on I know at least one happy patriot that will sleep better at night.
It is a sad day when you have to make a decision to vote early to insure your vote is actually counted and not eaten by Diebold. But then there have been quite a few sad days in this country in the last few years. Let's hope if we can just keep the faith we can turn some of this around. It is unlikely we will defeat Rick Perry for governor here in Texas because of the split among the Democratic side (Kinky is an independent...that's our guy), but as Genie says we will hopefully throw some of the bums out of Congress and The House of Representatives. Heck, with any luck even changes in the school board, judicial system, or dog catcher would be good. Sometimes change can happen, and it always does from the bottom up. I think we're as low as I care to go in this country, how about you?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tonight is one of my favorite Hispanic festivals "Dia de los Muertos." Always the day after Halloween, like most Hispanic religious celebrations it is fun as well as meaningful. A welcoming back of the dead to visit the living. Alters are built commemorating a the dead loved ones of a family, decorated with flowers, candles, and things that are reminders of that person. Special foods are also included, and in some villages in Mexico this is performed in a midnight ritual at the cemetery. Of course it can be as rowdy a party as Halloween is here, but it is a beautiful custom with a lot of spiritual meaning. I uploaded a few of my favorite pictures of some of the festival highlights. I always love the sugar skulls the most, used to decorate the alters and to remind children death is always with us, something to live with and not fear. I didn't build an alter this year, but I do take the time now to honor those I have loved that have passed by writing this.
Those of you that know what is on my creative burner at the present time...Is this a clear sign from the Universe or what? Not to worry, I am convinced. :)
Your IQ score is 139.
Your Intellectual Type is Insightful Linguist. This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind.
So does this make me a cunning linguist?...Ok,Ok....jeez...I was just kidding! (LOL) Took this long involved I.Q.Test online and here was my result. Wanted to see if I'd lost any points under the Bush Administration. Looks like my steady diet of International News is working as an antidote. Thank God.
Insightful linguists can take complex concepts and articulate them to just about anyone. You have a gift with words and insight into processes and the way people think. These talents enable you to explain things clearly to people.
Helen Keller is a great example of an Insightful Linguist. Blind, deaf and mute, she was still able to put things together in her mind and to understand complex ideas. She could do that because she was able to conceptualize ideas internally. Though she could not literally see, she had the visual and spatial skills necessary to understand patterns on an abstract level. She learned to read, write and ultimately became a writer on issues of social justice.
You have an uncanny ability to work your way out of sticky situations using your talent with words. Crossword puzzles, debates — you're particularly well equipped to come out on top since you can read people well. Like Charles Dickens, your verbal skills go far beyond having a good vocabulary. Dickens' genius was in the artful and descriptive way he crafted sentences. Also Dickensian, is your keen eye for detail and your adeptness for identifying the best way to express an idea based on your given surroundings and circumstances.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
This picture looks like any busy street corner in just about any small town in the US as we are approaching the mid term election. Notice anything strange? Let's take a little closer look, shall we? Yes, you are reading this right. A campaign style sign for Jesus in the mix. Being trained in advertising, I know the use of these signs for political candidates can be very effective, but why would someone do this to advertise Jesus, who contrary to some popular belief is not a candidate in Texas this election? I'll tell you why...because the effectiveness of these signs are subliminal, visual repetition works on memory. What galls me to my very toes is that this advertisement is a not-so-subtle reminder to those that consider themselves Christians to vote their religious beliefs into office and not focus on their actual political concerns. This tactic is insidious, absolutely wretched. Especially when you consider Jesus never ran for public office himself, he was too busy chasing money lenders from the temple and administering to the poor and weak among us. I saw this sign, and was offended for real Christians, the ones who believe and keep their own counsel by judging themselves and their own actions first, and do not cram their views down anyone's throat in an effort to influence an election.
Yes, after this photo was taken I ripped this damn sign right out of the ground with a great flourish and deposited in the nearest dumpster. I am sure three more will spring up by nightfall. But as Bill Moyer said on his program this week, "If we are truly the best and greatest country on the planet we best start acting like it." And to me a good start would be to develop tolerance for people with differing religious beliefs and keep specific religious affiliation and government separate.
Monday, October 30, 2006
So I am trying it again today, and if they disappear again I will step away from the delete button and live with imperfection. (LOL) Another day, another lesson.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
You can't visit Waxahachie, Texas without bumping into the Ellis County Courthouse. A massive structure, built when cotton was king and this little city was the center of the cotton universe. Upon close inspection of this building, there are a series of intricately carved stone faces on each of the four porch capitals, ranging from the sublime to the grotesque. Legend has it that German itinerant stone carver Harry Herley fell in love with the local girl Mabel Frame, whose grandmother operated the boarding house where he resided while sculpting all the courthouse's exterior ornamentation. Herley loved Mabel Frame dearly, as goes the myth, but she did not return his love. The beautiful likenesses of Mabel portrayed on the stone porticoes soon turned into demons. Time and the dwindling love affair are portrayed as one walks around the courthouse. It is also said poor Herley went crazy from too many nights of carving these, and eventually went mad and died in 1899. Supposedly his spirit resides in the clock tower and wanders around banging up there at night. If he does I can assure you I won't be up there after to dark to disturb him.
Another day roaming around an old cemetery looking at tombstones and searching for angels. Not many angels found today, but plenty of old markers with carved "clasped hands." Generally clasped hands represent farewell to an old friend or the bonds of marriage when found on a grave markers from the turn of the century. The cemetery today had many more than I am used to seeing, so I took a few pictures for my collection. Interesting to me because hands figure so prominately as symbol in my compositions.
The "Urn on Draped Column" was spectacular, beautifully carved and so high it was hard to take a good picture of it. I think at one time this cemetery had lots of carved items on columns, but somewhere along the line they were looted or defaced. When I go in antique stores and find old religious carvings I always feel sad, wondering how they found themselves there. Old personal items with religious meanings are one thing, but stealing grave pieces to sell seems to be very bad karma to me. For the buyer as well as the seller.
I have been in a very visual space for the last few days, and seem to be fascinated with all types of arts using natural materials. ice, sand, etc. What this has to do with the big idea I'm working on I couldn't say, but I do know from experience that I must let my creative eye have it's fill of stuff while I'm in this phase. I've also been looking at religious whirling dervishes, 40's Pin up girls, and Hindu Advertising Art. Creating imagery is sometimes like the pictures that come in dreams, they don't always have to make conscious sense. I've just learned to feed my eyes and head whatever they want when working, trusting my intuition to take over and use it where it is needed.
As you can see, I'm a little "out there "right now, but don't have me carted off just yet. At least let me get my work done first (LOL)
Friday, October 27, 2006
I am happy to report 72 Days since I quit for those counting. I'm down to 6 Nicotene tabs a day now, well on my way to letting go of this addiction for good. No cough, and having a functional nose again is wonderful. I will never do this (smoke) again.
I received a late birthday gift today, and WOW they were so cool I had to share them. I have always liked "Floaty" pens, the ones you found as souvenirs at various vacation spots, with little scenes that changed when tilted. But for my birthday I got special subjects, all my favorite girlies: Frida Kahlo, "Anima Sola" (Hispanic Soul in Purgatory), and the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi (Of Wealth and Fortune). I sure hope I can find refills for these, and I am sure they will be getting a lot of use. Thanks LY! :)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
When people start taking their animals door to door "Trick or Treating" for dog yummies I think we're gonna hafta admit our society as a whole has gone a little over the deep end here folks. These so remind me of the stuffed dressed frogs sold as souvenirs in Mexico in the 60's and 70's, and I guess I should be grateful these animals were allowed to live through this experience.
I must admit, I am giggling here in spite of myself. We're all doomed. (LOL)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Big thoughts in my head now, lots of activity and a new (but old) project idea dropped into my lap out of the blue. I knew that big desk cleaning and clearing was for something :) So I will update as I can, and will look for fun stuff to upload for entertainment in the meantime. Just consider it kinda like elevator music until we reach the next floor.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I must be one of the luckiest women on the planet to have such great friends, and one who dearly loves throwing a good party. I have a cook book collection, work hard at table decor and themes, and generally enjoy entertaining (yes, I am a rather odd lesbian.) So imagine my glee when I received the new book " I Like You- Hospitality under the Influence" by comedian Amy Sedaris today as a birthday gift. Oh, it is about as amazing as any entertaining cookbook can be. Kinda Retro, with bizarre entertaining tips...a really really funny book. As I flipped through it, I laughed out loud at 50's party recognition and from my own "arty party" experience. The perfect hostess book and a real delight. Thanks RC!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
She leans back against the wall and she watches tugging her collar like it might be a noose.
And everyones tied to their thing
To their past or their drink or the date that they bring
I just get tired all of sudden taking it in.
And I want to lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of changes, strangers, illusion, confusion,
I speak from my heart but im not really sure if its true.
I wanna lay my head down on you.
Oh they say dont waste too much time planning
Or you'll get rug ripped out
And the only way you'll be satisfied
Is learning to live with out.
But some plan for the kingdom of heaven
And some take their chances and bet lucky seven
I don't know what to believe I just show up and breathe anymore.
And I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of dressers, professors, lookers, hookers
If I don't get out I'll do something I don't wanna do.
And I wanna lay my head down on you.
Was it so long ago
That we sat and talked in your car
Your things were all packed
And the place you were headed not really that far
Years later I think
That I would have been much more alive
To have taken you up on your offer and taken that drive
Well everything that's come before us leads us to where we are now
And thats simple, I know so why cant I let go of the feeling
That im lost somehow
I'm just a ghost looking in
Out of my own life just visiting
In search of a body to have and to hold and to keep and to sleep.
I wanna lay my head down on you
Because youre the only solid thing in this room
A room full of missed chance, slow dance, cold fate heartache
I showed up for a party and saw my life story full view
And I wanna lay my head down on you.
Emily Saliers * Indigo Girls * "Despite Our Differences"
Still the soundtrack of my life.
Ritual can be very complex, such as the ritual I observed in preparation for my birthday transition this year, or very small and mundane...like using a special lucky coin for Texas lottery scratch offs. I think rituals are imperative for focus and clarity of intent personally. But in looking at the above definition I would say I more often use ritual to enhance social bonds and to make special connections with the spirit of my family and friends. We are all nudged to be responsible, work-focused adults in this life, with the unfortunate effect of loosing the ability to be grateful, humble, and inspired for where we are in life that sometimes the focus of ritual restores. I do feel a person that does not believe in something bigger than themselves, something majestic and unknowable in life is not really present and awake in the living of it. This does not necessarily mean a belief in God, though some choose that way to acknowledge this. No surprise there are so many rituals observed in religion, it is a natural way of acknowledging the divine spirit. But it is not always necessary ... just go outside, really observe life, really closely listen to people and you will find many things and situations that cannot be explained by science alone.
What I have always been interested in is rituals that develop naturally in people or groups over a period of time. Everyone has food rituals they may not even be aware of (example: eating one bite of each different entree on a plate clockwise, finishing all at the same time. Or eating one entree at a time, or eating the thing you most dislike first and finishing with what you like best.) Watch your friends or loved ones eat sometime, then ask them why they do it that way. Most don't even realize they do it.
Some of my own rituals:
* I have an artist's alter of intention. It actually helps me visually focus on what is most important to me in my life and remind me of lessons learned. Most people have these areas naturally in their homes, though they don't perceive them consciously. An example would be a collection of old jars, seashells, or small stones on a kitchen windowsill over the sink. Unless a decorator did it for effect, there is meaning there.
* I am a big believer in random acts of kindness, small things that make another person's life better or helps them know someone else on the planet is connected to them. I try to do at least one everyday. The best of these are anonymous, but I do them with people I care about as well. From my own experience, small stones cast sometimes cause great ripples in someone else's life. Your influence is wider than you can imagine, and kindness sometimes increases exponentially.
* Before a big creative project, I generally do a clearing and cleaning ritual. I have done this so long it is almost unconscious. I organize, clean, and clear my desk top. When I start doing this (I am in the middle of one of these now) I know something is coming or some work is percolating, even if I'm not sure what it will be. The longer and more involved the process, the bigger the project has been my experience. I have LOTS of studio rituals, I could so write a book.
So these are a few of the things I do as ritual I can think of offhand. I do others involving recognizing holidays, seasons, the passage of time as well. And like everyone else, I do have small "creature" comfort rituals (favorite glass for iced tea, favorite mug) and of course food rituals. Take me to dinner and I'll show you. >>wink<<
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
While I was in Galveston I found this gravestone angel for my image collection. She actually survived the hurricane of 1900 and was moved to a cemetery on higher ground of the island. Before the storm hit, Galveston was actually bigger than Houston, and a much more prosperous sea port so there were many beautiful antiquities found there.
For you triva buffs, days after the hurricane, Thomas Edison arrived and shot several silent movie reels of the devastation of the island to try out his new "motion picture camera." At the time there were only five cameras in existence worldwide, and this disaster was the first people actually "saw" by movie reel instead of still photography.