Friday, February 29, 2008

I love this

Speak for yourself Rogie! (LOL) I'n not quite there yet!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog Tag Game

I was tagged by my friend Cedar today for this blogger round robin. Here goes....

THE RULES:
1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3.Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4.Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

I have a somewhat eclectic pile of reading next to my bed, as I have been studying pictoral symbols recently and looking through old illustration books. For the first time in my life I actually bought and I am reading an Oprah's Bookclub selection "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. I am fascinated with the whole online class concept around this book, so it is the one I chose to quote.

"People unknowlingly sabatage their own work when they withhold help or information from others or try to undermine them lest they become more successful or get more credit than "me."
Cooperation is alien to the ego, except when there is a secondary motive. The ego doesn't know that the more you include others, the more smoothly things flow and the more easily things come to you. When you give little or no help to others or put obstacles in their path, the universe-in the form of people and circumstances-gives little or no help to you because you have cut yourself off from the whole. The ego's unconscious core feeling of "not enough" causes it to react to someone else's success as if that success had taken something away from the "me."
Page 123: "A New Earth" Eckert Tolle.
TAG ...You're IT:
Bammy : I know you have a book lying right over there!
Brian : Interested in what you could be reading :)
Sharon : I know you've been a busy Domestic Goddess..maybe a cookbook?
June : Read you all the time...It's winter..time to write!
Anne : How's that book coming :) Pictures would work too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bon-Bons

My grandmother was quite a character. I don't hold a candle to her in this regard, but I do frequently find myself remembering and following through on her ability to find the fun in the mundane. Oscar Night was one of these small celebrations, and she and I would generally watch the telecast together. She loved to buy a brand new box of chocolates (usually the old "Annaclairs" from Sanger -Harris, but chocolate covered cherries would do) that would sit on her lap the whole show. Everytime a favorite film star or film won any category we would :::pop::: a whole chocolate in our mouths. Now she was diabetic as she got older, but this was a tradition she steadfastly refused to give up. We got chocolates, she got life savers.

So in the years I have been around my neices I brought this tradition back, this time I provided the chocolate covered cherries. It didn't seem to impress them much at the time, except the fact they were allowed to stay up later than usual to watch the show. Today is Oscar Day, and since they are all almost grown with busy lives I had no plans to watch it with them. Imagine my surprise when I answered a knock on my door earlier today to find my 16 year old neice Maryssa. Just stopping by to drop off a box of chocolate covered cherries since we wouldn't be together tonight. Wow, even when you think they aren't really getting it, they are. I consider this the best picture winner for sure :)




:::pop:::

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Crows

Tabloid Life


People talk. People buy magazines like these every day and get caught up in the details of lives of people they will never meet or have the real information to understand. For the life of me I will never understand why this is so. You will never find a person who applauds the photographers that stalk celebrities, but buying these supports the them. Licking lips at the newest celebrity scandel on tabloid TV feeds this system. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about the nature of American life, and how we have become a consumer culture where "connection with other" is not possible. The ability to throw away other's lives and other people in such a cavalier way is related to this...there is always someone else, something else that might be better on the horizon. But this is not so. The real measure of a life well spent is the real connection between people. Real people with all their faults and differences. To be a true rebel in this life is to understand beyond the crushing hype machine that what is "new" and "improved" is not always desirable. To understand not everything is as it appears on the surface of a person or situation.
In saying this I am moved to make more of a personal effort to understand others, and if that is not possible at the very least to have compassion. I believe in the adage; Be the change you seek.

The Artist's Eye

Ventured out this morning in the slush ice and spied little bird tracks in the snow. I have no idea why, but seeing them brought joy to me, and I spent the rest of the trip out almost giddy. I smiled directly in the eye of everyone I encountered, and really peeked at the tiny details of life I wouldn't normally notice. How much of life is spent walking through it without actually seeing the small delicious details of it. It is the artist's eye, this joy of seeing. So, thank you little bird for hopping about on this slushy winter day without snowshoes for your inspiration.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heavenly Bodies





Wasn't the eclipse spectacular last night? Illinois was bracing for another ice storm, but luckily there was a window of clear visiblity that coincided with the eclipse last night. All I had to do was open my front door to see it, and I bundled up and kept track of it for about an hour. This will be the last we will see in three years they say, so I was grateful to have such a glorious view.

A New Day

Ever notice how great you feel the day you come off some lingering illness? Well, today is that day for me. There was sometime Monday I felt I was never going to feel much better. But today life surprised me. I would say my energy level is about 87%, so this bug lasted almost a full week. Good news is I spent the time in bed when I wasn't sleeping studying visual symbols and dream archtypes. Just a refresher course really, but it brought forth some really interesting and very lucid dreams. Just the thing now that the desk is clear and staring me down :)
We are in the midst of a huge ice storm. I chipped out the car earlier and did a few errands, as well as purchased a nice meal for watching the Oscars on Sunday. Now that I can actually eat food again I felt like celebrating. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and support while I was under the weather, especially those of you (you know who you are) that helped me laugh. It really is the best medicine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Still Alive >>bruuurp<<

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Leonardo da Vinci created a mural that his contemporaries regarded as an even greater masterpiece than *The Last Supper.* Painted on a wall in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, *The Battle of Anghiari* later vanished when the building was remodeled. Some experts believe it still exists, however, hidden behind another wall that bears a newer mural. Even as we speak, investigators are using advanced technology to detect the possible presence of Leonardo's missing tour de force. Let this serve as a metaphor for the work you have ahead of you, Libra. It's a perfect time to search for lost brilliance that's stuck behind a barrier or buried treasure that has almost been forgotten. Once you find it, then you can free it.

A significant horoscope; another Rob Brezsny masterpiece. Feeling a little bit more energy, but still sick :( Who knew a sick body could make such amazing music. OK...now you see why I've not been blogging. Too Much Information. Stop me before I start writing about "BO-BO". Really. Stop me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yikes

Spent the entire day (siince 4 am) running between the commode and back to bed suffering from what seems to be a very bad case of food poisoning or a very nasty flu bug. I have been ill off and on over the last few weeks, but this is the big daddy; the kind where you are so weak and nothing seems appetizing and fever makes you unable to think clearly. So I just made a 7-Up and lime sherbert shake, and hope I will be able to keep it down. If ya'll don't see me within the next few days I wil be trying to recuperate. After five days, send a search party. Thanks :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I would dearly love to say something wise and pithy about love here today. All I can speak to is what I know about love from my own experience. Love is fragile, and can evaporate without care. Love is strong and can last for a whole life. Love can not be rented or even purchased. Love can die when burdened with expectation. Love does not always look like you thought it would. Love can be exasperating, messy and drive you crazy. Love can heal old scars, or cause deeper ones. Love makes no logical sense.
But one thing I really believe. Just about every human action is motivated by love or lack of it. It is my thought that while we all focus outward for the grand, glorious "love" we might be missing the big picture of the love that surrounds us on many levels everyday. So to my friends I say this: Love yourself today. With all your imperfections and faults. Love yourself as I love you. My commitment to myself today is to do the same.

A Sweet Memory

Thank you for remembering. I love you :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Almost HERE

Strange Fruit

Leave it to Japan to worry about the difficulties of shipping and storing a watermelon and finding a solution. I have to admit, I would buy one just to try a square watermelon slice. I am a little odd that way. :)










Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Queen of Hearts

It occured to me yesterday there are people that think tarot cards are the only way a fortune teller reads cards. Most of my fortune teller valentines picture regular playing cards since that is what was used for telling fortunes during the 30's, 40's and 50's. My Grandmother used a "Fot Choy" fold out board and laid out regular cards to keep us spellbound. I actually own her old board and book, a prized pocession. :)

Some Days are Just Like That


It's always something. Seems like a not-so-happy spider (yes, I know...in the middle of winter even) decided I would be a lovely lunch and nibbled me on the leg. Didn't even notice his carnage until I started swelling in a major way. Ouchie! So in an effort to heal I have been out of the pool, as I think chlorine would not be good for this wound. Not to mention how really red and unattractive it is, especially doused in deep red iodine. I tried painting it on in a little heart shape for the season but the swelling would not cooperate. Just my luck. (LOL)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Fortune Valentine

Never fear, Valentine's Day is soon here and I will stop :) Promise.

Magic Jesus Rug


Imagine my surprise when I found this fold out Jesus prayer rug in my mailbox Saturday. Folded into an envelope full of strange religious ramblings with no appeal for money, it is a chain letter of some sort. The prayer and directions for use are as follows:
"Dear Jesus...We pray you will bless someone in this home spirtitually, physically & financially, and please dear Lord, Bless the one who's hand open this letter. Make good changes in this one's life and give them the desires of their heart. We Pray over and bless this letter in your holy name, Amen.
When you use this Biblical Faith Church Prayer Rug, go into a room where you can be alone (Just God and You). Turn off the television or radio, and be by yourself as you kneel on this blessed prayer rug. The next 24 hours are crucial to you. After you kneel and say your prayer-just slide this under your bed just for tonight Leave it there no longer than TONIGHT only, then return it to use in postage paid envelope. Only one night..GOD SEES! Notice the face of Jesus on this Church Prayer Rug. When you first look, his eyes will be closed. If you relax and keep staring, his eyes will slowly open and he will be looking back at you."
Now, in former life I actually wrote satirical prayers and directions for use on products, and I gotta tell you this whole presentation gave me the spooks. Mainly thinking of the poor desperate people that follow these directions, and send the envelope back (with address and name attached) for the secondary flurry of mailings that will ask for money. The drawing style is a very well known trick of the eye, there are very light circle marks on the eyelid that will look like eyes to your subconcious brain, especially if you are desperately wanting to see them.
I am sad that real faith and belief has become the focus of this kind of manipulation. My whole thought in my own presentation of prayer was that laughter broke the rigid binding of organized Christianity and helped illuminate the human-ness of the desires of all people.To not take so life so seriously; to enjoy it without being tied to the small, serious focus of what we are told we should be wanting in life. So I guess I won't be kneeling on this rug to pray, my prayer needs no accroutements. I won't return this letter so my own faith can be manipulated by man's greed. I hope the people that do find what they seek without losing their shirts in the process. Amen.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What to do with 24,000 Peaches

Honestly, this may be better than cobbler! :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Awoke yesterday to the wailing of a tornado warning siren, and it was another wild weather day. Awoke this morning to the news of the tornado devestation in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama. My heart really goes out to the residents; it could have just as easily been Illinois as well.

Had some really interesting thoughts yesterday about the core passion energy for life and how some people that are emotionally injured try subconciously to squelch it in various ways. I am as guilty as most in this, and it was interesting to apply this notion to my own life. As I better find better words to describe my thoughts I will write about it here of course.

Made my traditional election chili last night. I was clear Obama would win Illinois even before I voted, but I felt happy about my participation. I really would be satisfied with either candidate on some level.

Desk is up. Gotta go scratch that itch! :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Struggle is Over




As you all can see, "I Voted" yesterday. I was hoping to dip my finger in ink afterwards, and provide a photo-op for the propoganda machine. But all the State of Illinois could come up with was this sticker. On second thought I guess a picture of a middle aged lesbian woman holding up an ink stained finger after voting wouldn't have been a very effective marketing tool. :)


I struggled with this primary, I really did. I have debated between Obama and Clinton in my head almost daily for several weeks. I have watched the debates, read the blogs, and haunted even the most obscure corners both candidates' websites. I have listened to Obama's amazing command of the spoken word. It certainly tickles the ear and cheers the soul after the years of barely coherant "speak-a-fying" from the White House. I have seen Hillary struggle to disengage her almost immediate association with Bill's (oh horror!) infidelity in the public's minds: to try to demonstrate her own merit and ability. I have said this before, even if Bill wasn't in the picture this woman would have been a political star in her own right. All this tumbled around in my head as I drove to my polling place. And it did right up until I checked in and stood looking at my form and holding that ink pen.


And as I stood there, the final question that came to my mind was this: Which candidate would represent real change in my lifetime. Which candidate would be my message to Washington that change was not a request, it was a demand. Who would most deliver swift and effective change in all lives of all Americans the day they were elected. So with that question asked, I answered with my vote.

I voted for Hillary Clinton.


My heart said Obama, but my head said Hillary Clinton. Before I am accused let me make it clear that I didn't automatically vote my gender, or hers. I voted for the person I felt could most relate to my concerns for this country in this particular election. I find it annoying that just about everything negative that has been said of Hillary would be expected and respected in a man, and that attitude must change. Maybe it won't in this election, but I would be a hypocrite if I allowed the subtle sexism directed against her to stand unchallenged. No woman has ever been taken this seriously as a contender for president, or been as frightening to the establishment. One only has to listen to the braying of Rush Limbaugh for thirty minutes on any good day to know this is the truth. This is the only time in our countries' history that 50% of the population may have an experienced voice in this office. I think back to some great political minds like Barbara Jordon and Ann Richards that weren't even considered for the high honor of the oval office purely by accident of their birth and I believe I know what Anne would do if she could cast a vote today.

With that being said, I truly respect Obama. I would celebrate his election certainly. I do not believe he has the experience to immediately make the changes needed in this country, and I don't think we have the time to waste on a learning curve. Maybe the only way to change our government is revolution. But the most effective way change can happen in our current democracy is to find the candidate that can find some measure of compromise between the deep factions that have been artificially created in this country. Obama can speak to this, I believe Hillary actually has the experience to do it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another Valentine...Another Day

Feeling a bit better. Of course now paying for the last several days of sloth by being really busy today (LOL) I may even make it to water aerobics, YAY!

Eureka



Eureka! It Really Takes Years of Hard Work
By JANET RAE-DUPREE
Published: February 3, 2008 New York Times

WE’VE all heard the tales of the apple falling on Newton’s head and Archimedes leaping naked from his bath shrieking “Eureka!” Many of us have even heard that Ebay was created by a guy who realized that he could help his fiancĂ©e sell Pez dispensers online.

The fact that all three of these epiphany stories are pure fiction stops us short. As humans, we want to believe that creativity and innovation come in flashes of pure brilliance, with great thunderclaps and echoing ahas. Innovators and other creative types, we believe, stand apart from the crowd, wielding secrets and magical talents beyond the rest of us.

Balderdash.
Epiphany has little to do with either creativity or innovation. Instead, innovation is a slow process of accretion, building small insight upon interesting fact upon tried-and-true process. Just as an oyster wraps layer upon layer of nacre atop an offending piece of sand, ultimately yielding a pearl, innovation percolates within hard work over time.

“The most useful way to think of epiphany is as an occasional bonus of working on tough problems,” explains Scott Berkun in his 2007 book, “The Myths of Innovation.” “Most innovations come without epiphanies, and when powerful moments do happen, little knowledge is granted for how to find the next one. To focus on the magic moments is to miss the point. The goal isn’t the magic moment: it’s the end result of a useful innovation.”

Everything results from accretion, Mr. Berkun says: “I didn’t invent the English language. I have to use a language that someone else created in order to talk to you. So the process by which something is created is always incremental. It always involves using stuff that other people have made.”
The innovator Jim Marggraff, creator of an interactive world globe called the Odyssey Atlasphere, the LeapPad reading platform for children and
LeapFrog’s Fly talking pen, explains that each creation built on the work that went into making the previous one. That same process of accretion holds true for the Pulse Smartpen, introduced last week by his new company, Livescribe; he hopes that the product, which records audio while it tracks what the pen writes, will bring back computing to its pen-and-paper roots.

“The aha moments grow out of hours of thought and study,” he says. “If you look at my innovations, there’s a common theme. I take something familiar, intuitive and ubiquitous and recast it in a manner that will redefine its use to drive profound change.”

The Atlasphere grew from his dismay that one in seven American adults could not find the United States on an unmarked world map, and that one in four couldn’t find the Pacific Ocean. He sees geographic illiteracy as a big obstacle to world peace, so he packed his interactive globe with games and tens of thousands of geographic and cultural facts, all available at the touch of a stylus.
The “near touch” technology that went into the Atlasphere might have other educational benefits, Mr. Marggraff realized. A self-described “student of learning and learning systems,” he had been puzzling over how to help his 4-year-old son understand reading.

“I was pointing to the words on the page and trying to explain what a word was, but I’d watch him and realize that he didn’t have any idea what I was talking about,” he says. “This black-ink thing here is called a letter — I realized this was all very abstract.”

Mr. Marggraff likes to go to bed with one or more problems on his mind. “Typically, I’ll fall asleep chewing on it and then I’ll wake up at 4 in the morning with some sort of solution,” he says.
That’s a common theme in innovation, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist at the Claremont Graduate University in California. “Cognitive accounts of what happens during incubation assume that some kind of information processing keeps going on even when we are not aware of it, even while we are asleep,” he writes in “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.”

This time, Mr. Marggraff awoke at 4 in the morning determined to “flatten out” the globe so he could use the Atlasphere’s near-touch technology on a single page and, ultimately, within a specially designed book to help children learn how to read. Though some would call this an epiphany, it took years of trial and error to make the LeapPad a realityThere’s an aha moment followed by a ton of work to figure out what it is that’s actually going to work,” agrees Douglas K. van Duyne, co-founder of Naviscent, a Web usability consulting firm. “It goes back to that old saw that invention is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The idea of epiphany is a dreamer’s paradise where people want to believe that things are easier than they are. It takes a huge amount of determination and effort to follow through.”

Businesses want to believe that a brilliant mind or a brilliant idea can make or break their innovation efforts, Mr. Berkun says. The myth of epiphany has a long history because it’s appealing to believe that there is a short, simple reason that things happen. The myth has staying power because there is a tiny core of truth within it.

“But as soon as you dig into what happened five minutes before that magic moment, or a day, or a week, or a month,” he says, “you realize that there is a much more complicated story in the background."

THAT more complicated story most often begins and ends with a determined, hard-working and open-minded person trying, and failing, to find a solution to a given problem.
“Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until ‘the Muse kisses them’ and gives them a ‘bright idea’: they go to work," Peter F. Drucker says in “Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”
“Altogether they do not look for the ‘biggie,’ the innovation that will ‘revolutionize the industry,’ create a ‘billion-dollar business’ or ‘make one rich overnight.’ Those entrepreneurs who start out with the idea that they’ll make it big — and in a hurry — can be guaranteed failure.”

It’s not that these magical moments of epiphany don’t happen. In small ways, they happen all the time. But they’re not nearly as important as what the innovator did before — or ultimately does after — the magic light bulb goes on. As the French scientist Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
One of the best descriptions of true creative process I've read in a while, thought I'd reprint it here to inspire you, my friend. Innovation in anything is like a child digging in the dirt with a spoon, layer upon layer of thought discovering itself over time. Even if you drop the spoon for a while, it is there when you dare to pick it up again. There is a core of self awareness that traveled from one realized idea to another in my life, hope you recognize and take up that familiar spoon in yours.
Thanks Rogie, as always, for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

:::Gurp:::Blurp:::Urp:::

Another Valentine...on a day I would not like to decide which I am! (LOL)

Ketchup Mona

Wonder how many times in this artist's life his Mama told him not to play with his food? Hee-Hee

Saturday, February 02, 2008



Another February Day, another Valentine. XOXOXOXOXOX

:::Bluuurp:::

Yesterday's stiff neck aand sore throat has turned into today's rumbling stomach. Desperately hungry (since I couldn't eat yesterday), I improvised a soupy mushroom rice dish to eat, and so far so good in keeping it down. The fever comes and goes, and luckily I am not coughing and wheezing...yet. I am bowing out of my Superbowl Party plans as I wouldn't wish this on a mangy yeller dog.

Took the opportunity to bring out and and re-read "Geek Love" by Katherine Dunn. Been a few years, and I still find myself fascinated with it. And just for you Brian I scanned the insciption on the front page. I met Katherine through an old friend, and when I sold two of my own "Geek Box" art pieces to Barbara Lazaroff in Los Angeles (the infamous Mrs. Wolfgang Puck) and she found out I knew Katherine she tried bidding furiously for the right to film it through me. It truly is a small world in so many respects.

Working on feeling better...wish me luck. :)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Our Lady of Tissues and Fever

Drug it out of bed to blog and drag it back. Outdoors it is a winter wonderland with snow burdened trees and icy cold air. Inside I am suffering with a severe sore throat and cough. It is likely some germ saw me walking by yesterday and decided I would be the perfect place to wait out the cold, and since I am commited to kick this early I will be back in bed before spell check finishes. Since I am snowed in I won't be attempting water aerobics until it thaws, which is frustrating since I'm behind in it. But the trusty treadmill awaits. Goody :/


Hot soup, salt gargle, and Advil...oh my!


Somebody woke up one morning and said....






"Let's Have a Ballon Fashion Show!" (LOL)

Ahhh...the delicious insanity :)