Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crazy Corporation RANT: A.T.& T.

As I was clearing my desk I found this check that I had held to blog about and forgotten. Seems one month I paid A.T.&T. one cent more than was requested on my cellular phone bill, and this is my refund check for one cent. ONE CENT! Now why on earth didn't they just credit my account bill the next month? I mean, isn't writing a check and cover letter then sending it through the mail far more expensive? The waste of paper alone is shameful. Imagine this happening twenty times a day for a year. I was originally a Cingular Wireless customer, and when A.T.&T. took them over I was really unhappy about it. It is just this type of corporate incompetence and insensitivity I was trying to avoid when I signed with Cingular. So I guess I will soon be in the market for another cell phone company. Anybody out there have any suggestions?

Modern Master: Chavela Vargas "La Llorona"

The longing of the heart needs no translation.

GEEZ.... I was only KIDDING!

I know I made the joke about "enjoy my valentine before the tornado blows it away". And you would think at this age I would know better, but yesterday the weather was wild here. We had three tornado sirens in four hours. I would drag my heavy top mattress into the bathroom and climb in the bathtub, wait a few minutes listening to the quiet, then crawl out 15 minutes later feeling really foolish. Then another siren, same drill. (LOL) What a way to burn up an afternoon!

So now we are expecting massive snow tomorrow. I spent today preparing to stay put for several days, which will help in my mission to get the studio space finished. Even went to the library and checked out a couple of new books to read just in case. Why yes, I was a girl scout, why do you ask? :) I keep waiting for a big snowstorm to hit and we've really not had one since Dec. Eventually we'll run out of winter days.

Another Valentine, with no mention of tornados this time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Turbo Heather: The NEW Southern Belle!

Creativity

I've been rearranging my studio space, as I am getting the itch to work. My desk has been set too low and I know from experience it will result in a backache in it's current configuration, so I'm nipping that in the bud. Don't know exactly what I will be making, but when the creativity bug bites it is best just to go with it. :)

Under a tornado watch all day today, since our temperature is falling rapidly (40 degrees in 6 hours). I won't go off in a rant about the weirdness of this weather. Tornados in the spring you expect, but not in the dead of winter.

Found a new fortune teller Valentine on Ebay and it arrived today and I scanned it to show here. I now have a collection of twelve vintage valentines after collecting for four years. My idea is to frame them individually and hang them together as a group. I've always liked fortune telling devices, and the sweetness of the vintage graphic elements appeal to me. This one is a mechanical valentine, and she actually tells fortunes. Enjoy before the tornado blows it away :)

Sea-monkey Update

Yesterday a good friend sent a link to this new product to me after remembering my sea-monkey necklace blog earlier this month. Thinking that a repeat "positive" experience would alleviate a bit of that old trauma no doubt. In the fine print of the product description it states that sea-monkeys can live in the locket for 6 hours before they die and must be replaced. The thought of wearing dead sea-monkeys is not at all appealing to me, so I think my experience of "sea-monkey as self decoration" is best left to my distant past. (LOL) But thanks for thinking of me....really. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Found in my File Cabinet


Decided to cull through my image files today (actual files of pictures and scraps I have kept for years for painting inspiration), deciding what to keep and what to let go. This one really tickled me...remember when these were in the back of most comic books? I wonder what actually came if you tried to order? (LOL) Just a little picture that tickled me.

Live for Today

This is a concept I struggle with personally. The idea of focusing on the day you inhabit, not the days and years ahead. I know from my own experience in life that the journey is the destination. My best memories almost always are of the trip to whatever I have accomplished. I am a compulsive planner, sometimes down to the most minute of details. But it is those first steps, first brushstrokes, first actions that are the most important. So on a day I am going forward with small steps I am reminded not to be in such a hurry, and enjoy the time it takes for plans to grow into fruition as well.

I am currently in a muffin baking binge. (LOL) I have a great cookbook of all types of muffins and it seems I am trying to memorize it subconsciously. Maybe it is the cold weather; there is nothing like a warm muffin on a cold day. Good thing it is a cookbook of low fat muffins! In some ways baking is a way to live for today, a small pleasure meant for the moment after stepping off a treadmill or a treat after a long day. A "carrot" on a long journey. OOOoooo, maybe carrot muffins next !

This would be funny...

...If it wasn't so true. I was thinking just the other day about our current economic downturn, and how most of the world has no pity for us because of this collective world view. Of course when our consumer nation falls, all nations will fall economically. For an example of this just look at the wild fluctuations in the world markets this last week. China has expressed concerned that we won't continue to buy their wares?!? We are all connected here, whether we like to admit it or not. This little spaceship earth. It really is a conundrum for a patriot. Buy expensive wares made in the USA , or go with the Walmart "buy more cheaper". My thoughts have always leaned toward buying American, but I am hardly a blimp on the economic screen.

Someone once told me that the next great world war would be fought over economics. Maybe this is the silent battle that has waged around us all along we've been too self absorbed as a nation to sense it.

Just a couple of thoughts from me on a Saturday baking muffins. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

1920s-1930s Art of Tamara de Lempicka - 1938 Russian Waltz

What I am looking at now: 500 Self Portraits


I am really enjoying a book my niece gave me for Christmas "500 Self-Portraits" by Julian Bell. Published by Taschen (one of my favorite publishers) it is a wonderful little book of artists self portraits. I have always loved Frida and her obsession with painting the interior world she experienced reflected through her own likeness, but it really is fascinating to see how other artists have viewed themselves as well; what they choose to reveal and omit in their created likeness. Each portrait takes a full page, and it gives the viewer a great feel of art history without all the words attached. It's a keeper. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Photographs: Julie Blackmon

Fish Tank

New Baby

Before the Storm

I subscribe to VSL:Very Short List and today they featured the photography of Julie Blackmon. These photos really resonate with me at a deep level. Domesticity revealed, with a hint of the isolation of modern life. Spooky, and ethereal, I really like it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Knew I Had to Write About This




Well, well, well. A sighting of a U.F.O. in Texas. Lord have mercy, I have lived long enough to experience a lot of things, and what I wouldn't have given to see this. I've lived in the region where this event took place, and generally the only U.F.O. sightings there tend to be large billboards swooshing through the air during a tornado. Now, if it had been a Bubba reporting this spectacular incident after a private meeting with a case of Lone Star I would be inclined to giggle. And to be sure, maybe a few reports involved Bubbas. But when so many people who are otherwise nice sober country folk come forward to report it is a bit easier to imagine they actually saw something.
I mean, in a place where roadside signs like this are the norm,

I suspect they know "odd" when they see it. :::Hee-Hee-Hee:::

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Health

The sun is shining, and I realize how much health comes from just a little sun. I am a child of the south, and learned early to fear sun exposure. But recently I read a study where fifteen minutes a day exposed to a bit of sun is healthy for development of vitamin D in the skin cells and better for mental health. OK, since I'm working on understanding and leaving the myths of my childhood behind me I decided I would make an effort on days like today to test this out. I am also considering changing my working light to be more like daylight. I will be sure to publish my findings when results become apparent :)

I made homemade muffins this morning. I don't dare upload a picture since I've been advised the resulting drool would take out too many keyboards. (LOL) So I will publish the recipe instead. Easy to make and really delicious with any type of beans, today I made them to go with red beans. Just click on recipe to print and try.

"A Face in the Crowd"

Just happened to catch this movie this afternoon on AMC. It had been many years since I'd watched it, and those intervening years had added much more depth in my understanding. The main character Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes starts out as a loud, charming ex-convict and it follows his rise into small-time radio celebrity, then beloved TV star, and finally into a powerful media conglomerate. As time goes on, Rhodes reveals what he really is: a soulless shell of a human being desperate for power and God-like status. He's an opportunistic, womanizing jerk who's on the bottom of the totem pole of human decency and morals. Most shocking of all? Lonesome Rhodes is portrayed by Andy Griffith. That's right, Andy Griffith. The beloved TV icon best known as wholesome, laid back country boy Andy Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show", screams, yells, leers, laughs maniacally, throws tantrums, and shows a frightening array of ugly emotions in a stellar performance. He initially plays Rhodes as a slovenly, deceptively innocent hick from the sticks. When he is given a shot at fame by ambitious talent scout Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), she slowly is forced to bear the burden of knowing she's helped create a monster. Directed by Elia Kazan, "A Face in the Crowd" creates a scorching, brutal indictment of the media age and the corrupting power of celebrity. It is a surprising prophecy of the future for a film made in 1957. In today's celebrity worshiping times, when untalented kids make idiots of themselves on "American Idol" just for their 15 minutes, when Brittany Spears continues to unravel publically, and when Paris Hilton is famous just for, well, existing, a truer movie has not been made. A must see film, I am glad to have run across it again.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Three Steps Forward... One Step Back

After a couple of weeks of pretty intense forward movement I've experienced two blue days in a row. Nothing specific triggered this, just a feeling of overall lethargy and feeling overwhelmed. This morning it looked like it was going into day three, so I got tough with myself and made up my mind two days was enough of that. In my way of thinking there can be a stray blue day or two in a month, that's pretty normal. So I figure that to be 24 blue days in a year. I used up two, so I have 22 left for 2008. I think I am gonna save those for a real hissy-fit somewhere around May or June. Just to clear my complexion (as my grandmother used to say.) :)

I MADE myself go work out, even though I was really feeling blah and not very motivated. It is truly amazing how my attitude changes the minute I hit the pool. I become a real shark, cutting through the water with deliberation. Of course tonight I'm paying for it, but I don't mind. It chased the blues away. Let's just hope they aren't replaced with "black and blues".>>wink<<

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Constellation

I love stars. Sometimes when walking at night I look up into a dark sky and it almost always takes my breath away just to see the constellations. Dotting the sky like old friends. I once wrote and illustrated a book, publication limited to my friends only, about the "constellation" of star friends in my life. Stars make an appearance frequently in my own illustrations, and even in my dreams. Maybe it is this natural connect the dots that fuels my interest in Astrology and drives my study of constellation maps. But most likely it is my sense memory of lying on that old Texas carport roof for hours staring into the night sky searching for the magic. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Determination

So today so far has been one of movement. I find myself unpacking and discarding old stuff, some boxes I have not opened in years. I tend toward being a pack rat, keeping old bits and pieces of things and ending materials left after old art projects have long past. Most artists I know suffer from this; the accumulation of materials. It is a daunting task, one I certainly haven't attempted for a long time, but I today I am determined. To move forward takes concentration on what is of use now, today, not what could be used in some far off future. So I am sifting through and finding the treasure. What is funny about this whole process is the treasure doesn't look quite like I thought it would. It seems to be more like the treasure of freedom.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rosie VS. Ellen




Been really thinking recently of how lesbians are viewed in the overall media, and one would have to live under a rock not to see the differences extended to two of the most visible women, Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen De Generes. The reason this has come to mind recently is that Parade Magazine had one of their polls that found Rosie O'Donnell the most annoying celebrity to most Americans. Wow, I guess that bubble of happiness millions of American women had while they TIVO'd her daytime "Rosie O'Donnell Show" has certainly burst at this point. Another celebrity fall from grace, last week's news.
Contrast her current dismissal with the meteoric rise of Ellen De Generes, who's fans are almost as rabid as Rosie's were, and it gives me pause. Two very different lesbian women, in very different positions on the media scale. I like both of them, but wonder why one is more acceptable to the general public than the other. Rosie is like most of the real lesbian women I know personally, and now that she is out of the straight jacket TV role that was her closet has taken on a lot of realities that face real lesbian women. I am sure her adopted children, visible relationship, and liberal political slant has made the establishment rather uncomfortable. Her well publicized argument with her "View" goldengirl (straight) co-host was probably the last nail in her coffin. Or was it the name calling feud with Donald Trump? In any case, most annoying? Damn...I would have thought that honor could go to any number of current media darlings.
Then there is Ellen De Generes. Out, but with a girlfriend right out of an "L" Word script. No kids there, no annoying politics. Until recently she never even uttered her girlfriend's name or made any reference to her orientation on her own show. "Don't ask, don't tell" could certainly have applied here. Carefully trendy, in the right clothes with a really good stylist. This is the lesbian that this country is willing to embrace. Do not misunderstand my intent, I like Ellen and find her focus on the positive in life very admirable. But I do see her as carefully packaged for general consumption as Rosie once was. Just a more acceptable, thinner, less politically "out" version.
I guess I have been wondering what kind of message that sends to all the young lesbians out in the world. The chubby mouthy ones, the visibly butch ones, the ones not ready for prime time. In any case, ROSIE...you are far from the most annoying celebrity to me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Water Aerobics is not for Sissies!

Just thought I'd take a stand here. I have participated in water aerobics classes for years, and generally when I tell someone I do water aerobics as exercise they get this weird smirk and have visions of little old ladies in 70's swimhats flashing before their eyes. NO! This is not the case, as I assure you water aerobics has changed over the years, and has become something not even resembling Grannie's movement classes. I have had full grown people actually laugh when I tell them that my advanced water aerobics actually works up quite a sweat. "How can you tell under water...blah, blah, blah." I am here to tell you, water is the perfect exercise medium, with higher physical resistance, sustained heart rate, and with fewer physical injuries than most other exercise routines. It does attract swimmers of an advanced age because it is good for every body, regardless of their condition upon starting. So excuse me while I slip on my pop-art flowered swim cap and go work out :::flounce::: (LOL)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hee Hee Hee Hee




Thought I'd take a moment from laughing hysterically to upload this picture of the culprit and reason for my insane glee..(chuckle, chuckle). I guess you'd have to be an artist or writer and experienced in "the block" to find this as funny as I do..but it has made me giggle almost all morning. I just love a clever idea, and this one is certainly one of the best. From the Metropolitan Museum Gift Store and Rogie...of course. (guffaw) I happen to know, from experience as well, the best cure for "block" is not taking it all so seriously. So thanks my friend for the timely reminder :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's a Struggle for Sure

The Kanji symbol for balance. Spending a lot of time right now attempting to find balance in my life, so it is appropriate to memorize this one. A long time ago a friend told me happiness is found when you find yourself happy in your daily routine, and I think this might be so. Being of a somewhat artistic temperament (yes, I admit it already...) balance is always a struggle for me. Although when I do achieve it I like it.
So off to water aerobics. Working on that balance today :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Freakishly Warm

I really don't want to be one of those bloggers that write about the weather everyday (that is what the Weather Channel is for) but I gotta tell you it was warm here yesterday. It topped 73 degrees yesterday afternoon, and it felt like a late Spring day. People were walking around in shorts, and when I was out all I could think was..."This cannot be good!" Because any old Texan (as well as resident of the Midwest) knows when cold hits hot it's like a Neiman Marcus engraved invitation to a tornado. So last night we had massive thunderstorms with hail and up pop the tornadoes. Got through without damage here, and today the thunderstorms continue although not as severe. I like rain as a rule, and thunderstorms can be exhilarating, but tornadoes are no fun. The weather I've witnessed this last year isn't like anything I've experienced in my lifetime; anyone who thinks there is no climate shift happening in this world is pretty much asleep at the wheel in my estimation.

Monday, January 07, 2008

And a Little Inspiration in the Middle of Winter






Judy sent these too. :)

A Little Road Trip: Photo Essay from New Zealand









Judy sent these over today, little pictures of interesting places and things she has come across in her travels through New Zealand. Funny to see how even in travel we did rub off on each other a little. (LOL) You've come a long way since the drive-thru tree Ms H. :)

Sea Monkey Trauma


OK, don't ask me what I was actually searching on the Internet for when I found this product. (LOL)But it struck a really strong "twang" in my childhood memory center, and I've decided to upload it here to remind myself of a long buried memory. I actually got one of these when I was a child, and was completely enthralled with it. I mean, wearing an aquarium around your neck...how cool was that? The problem was it had a major design flaw, the minute it was full of water and sea monkeys that little plastic stopper couldn't hold the weight of the glass bulb. As you can imagine, mine crashed to the ground on first wearing, splattering water and sea monkeys all over the pavement. I cried for those poor little dead sea monkeys for days. OK, I was only 10...but it was traumatic. Now that everyone has had a good chuckle back to the business of serious blogging. Maybe. :)



Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Weekend in Review

This was one of those weekends spent working at organizing and cleaning. I have always maintained that you can tell the condition of my mind by looking at my desk; when it is messy I am not thinking clearly, when straight I have a laser beam focus. Today my desk is cleared and ready for use. I know all this sorting is about movement, and feeling clear in my head how and what to move toward. It's been a long time, and I feel like moving forward again.
Sometimes you have to learn a lesson by repeating things until you understand why you do and then how they no longer serve you in life. It is not about intelligence, it is about emotion. Sometimes it is the healing of specific family trauma, at least it has been in my case. I finally understand the why, and now what I must do to go forward and break the cycle for myself. On a piece of notebook paper on my desk is a group of steps I have worked on for the last several days. Small steps cover large distances, and so I am starting those steps.
My treadmill miles are going well, I am still at 1 mile a day, hoping to improve as the days go by. And tomorrow water aerobics classes start, and I am really looking forward to that again. I am such a water baby, always have been. :) So that is the news from this weekend, all in all a very good one.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Leftover Day

Save me from the leftovers! My God, my family cooks were collectively under the delusion they were feeding the world this Christmas, so we were obliged to take home obscene amounts of leftover food from every event. Even if we didn't really want them we were forced to cart home huge plastic containers just to keep family peace. So for the last few days it has been strange eating around my house. For example this morning it was was flour tortilla rounds filled with cream cheese and ham for breakfast. Lunch it was leftover bar-b-qued hot wings, bacon wrapped cocktail weenies slathered in brown sugar, and slices of hard salami. I am starting to daydream about eating mountains of unadulterated vegetables. Visions of carrots dancing in my head. I guess the holidays are really over now.
Started my treadmill miles yesterday, but if this keeps up I'll have to walk 10 miles a day just to work off the meals. Thank God this only comes once a year! (LOL)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

All God's Chillin' Got Peas

There has never been a New Year's Day in my life I have not eaten black eyed peas on January 1st. It is an old southern tradition; my grandmother served hers in little crystal bowls at midnight. The rumor is that they bring a dollar in the New Year for every bean eaten on the first day of the year, though I don't think this is always the case. No matter how far I have been from home, when my Christmas gift arrived from my Mother there would be surely be enclosed a bag of dried black eyed peas with the note "All God's Chillin' Got Peas". So this year found me cooking and eating them with my two sisters, the rest of the family eating left overs because they wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. Crumbling in the cornbread and chatting with my sisters tonight I thought of my Mother smiling in heaven that we still eat our black eyed peas. But most likely this tradition will end with us.