Friday, February 27, 2009
When I lived in the house at the edge of the world, we had lots of hummingbirds. In the medicine cards, they are JOY. One of my favorite things, joy. This is incredibly loose and certainly will need some fine tuning, or maybe not. I can never be sure. Just had lots of fun with my tongue tucked between my teeth, brushes in hand, slap-slapping away. Never know what is going to emerge from the canvas. Surprise.
New and improved bird. He is kind of doing that coy thing, looking at us over his shoulder. The branch got some details, the values got pumped up, the feathers got a smidge more definition. It feels pretty done now. Time to order frames!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Pictures of birds are big right now, so, I painted one. Probably it is not the right kind of bird, but I like it a lot, so there. It is a hoary repoll, a Canadian bird. Well, we have a lot of Canadians here, like William Shatner and Michael J. Fox, I can import one if I want. Besides, it was just so very cute, and fun to paint. Don't know if it is done, that will take some time to decide, as usual. I'm off to the art supply store for some more small canvasses. I am just a painting fool these days.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Okay, I adhere to a diet of natural foods, not necessarily organic, but at least complex in their carbohydrates and not endowed with additives. Bread is something I eat sparingly, and it is usually 7 grain or oatnut or my very favorite, Health Nut. And, suddenly, out of the blue, came this CRAVING for sourdough, made from (gulp) refined white flour. Garlic bread, made with this marvel of the culinary universe, is beyond heavenly. Certainly this cannot be a terrible sin in the nutrition lexicon of nonos. Yet, it seems devilshly wonderful to have one meager slice with my homemade split pea soup, made with turkey bacon and olive oil, with onions and carrots straight from nature. I didn't even butter it! And I have this feeling that I just got away with something my mother forbad me to do. Of course, Safeway would not let me buy a single slice. There is a whole loaf of badness waiting for me. French toast made with sourdough! Grilled cheese sandwiches! Sinning was never so delicious.
Monday, February 23, 2009
For over 2 months, my daughter and I have been waiting to go and see Wicked, wonderfully musical and irreverant and sexy retelling of the story of the Wizard of Oz from the viewpoint of Elphaba and Glinda, the witches, bad and good. Now it has happened, and as usual, I have my post-excitement hangover. Honestly, at my august age, you would think I would have become more inured to ecstatic moments, but no, I am still all stirred up and have a way to come down afterward. Actually, I am not sorry about this at all. I think an attitude of wonder is a swell place to dwell, where the world can still amaze me, the natural as well as the artificial. And musical theater is a sincere artform, for sure. The sets were ingenius, the lighting was amazing, the songs fun and touching and, on occasion, brought tears to our eyes, the cast talented up to their ears. Energy abounded in the dancing and some characters got to fly, even. I knew the music by heart because daughter-mine gave me the original cast recording for Christmas (and the play was the second part of the present, how sweet was that), and she had to keep me from singing along. I am doing that here in the privacy of my house, serenading my dogs, today. Warm and fuzzy day in the Big City with Little Kiddo, one for the memory book.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Check these out. One is an abstract, obviously, but notice the palette of hues, they kind of resonate with one another, don't they. These were assignments I had to do for class, both with different aims. Both are destined to be painted over, as neither is up to what I could consider signing. Both were a lot of fun to do. I got really into slashing the brush over the canvas, which I stretched myself, by the way. And the still life was about spots of color. Really, I did my best there, but I was sick one day we were working on it, and it is really big, and, well, I could have done a better job. Whatever, I got an A in that class, because of my dedication to doing whatever I was told to do. That is the benefit of being a grown-up in school. There has to be some benefit to going to school in your sixties, doesn't there?
Friday, February 20, 2009
It was one of those nights of inner storms. Dear Eckhart (Tolle) would be ashamed of all the addictive thoughts that marched through my head like a crazed army, creating chaos as the trudged along. I slept late, until a well-meaning friend, who knows better than to call me before 9 AM, rang me up. My phone plays Vivaldi, and it is kind of sweet to wake up to the strains of Spring, from the Four Seasons. Nevertheless, I could have used another hour. And Lord knows, the dogs would wait for me. They were both overjoyed to see me when I rose. They always are. It's their job. So, I have imbibed my first cup of Sumatra, a stack of lovely lacy thin pancakes with peach preserves and whipped cream with chopped nuts and cinammon on top, and read my e-mail. Wonderful article in my NY Times movie review section on David Cronenberg, who made two of my all time weird favorite movies, Videodrome and Naked Lunch. Have I mentioned I like quirky movies, things like Local Hero and Bagdhad Cafe? I love that the Coen Brothers came to the attention of the mainstream, yet loved it when they were obscure and I stood pretty much alone in my adoration. In high school, I started fashion trends. Why wait around for others? Mine always looked good on me! And I admire those on the avant garde in all aspects, like I was a Steve Martin fan long before he hit the mainstream with Roxanne. The Lonely Guy, The Man with Two Brains, comic genius, so much better than Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey, so much more cerebral in a nutso kind of way. Like, well, ME. I am here because I am not all there. And I am very proud of that fact. Why should I hide my head, or troop off to the funny farm? I am not any more nuts than the average American. And I can rein it is when I need to. And let it out, when appropriate. And I can laugh at myself. Thank HP. I would be in big trouble if I didn't do that, regularly.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Did I mention that I joined Facebook? Or does one really join? One really just sets up a home page and waits for others to find one, doesn't one. Well, I did it because I like to be a peripheral part of my kid's lives, nothing obtrusive, oh, nonono. But I feel comforted when I know they are just plugging along, situation normal, not sick or broke or too discontented. So my profile sat there, and I was thinking that I was probably the only 60ish kind of person in the community, and suddenly, a whole bunch of friends found me, and I have a dozen and a half people writing on my wall! Even my former boss is on Facebook, probably doing the same thing I was, lurking in his kid's lives. Gee, I never knew how much fun I could have on my computer! And I am happy to relate that some of my friends are YOUNG. I don't discriminate, not at all. And I hope you don't, either. Everyone comes with a gift to bring to the table. Sometimes it is hard to see. Remember, if you can't be a good example, you'll have to be a horrible warning. That's a gift, too.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I am sitting here in my sweats, face naked, only a moderate case of bedhead, thinking about the day four years ago when I moved in to the little yellow house. I had the house for a couple of weeks before I had to move, so I was slowly doing all those things one must do in the beginning, you know, lining shelves, buying a refrigerator, things like that. And so that Boo would not get hemorrhoids sitting on the cold tile floor (it was January, after all), I bought him a blue brocade and fleece dog bed. He totally ignored it. That (*^%&! bed has sat in the same place in a corner of the kitchen lo these many years. Usually, it is a repository of dog toys, which have proliferated mightily with the advent of the Pickle. But lately, Boo has deserted me in the night. I thought he was sleeping on the couch, and he would, if I didn't have that room barricaded off since I found little yellow spots here and there. Now, he is sleeping in the dog bed. And I am worrying that he is sick. Truly unusual behavior for the Boo. He throws out all the toys first, climbs in and curls up. And he even does this sometimes during the day! I suppose it is a little nuts to worry that your dog is sick because he sleeps in the bed you bought him to sleep in. What can I say. I never said I wasn't a little nuts. Apparently, it's contagious, since Boo seems to have caught it.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Once upon a time, I lived in the Big City, right across the street for Golden Gate Park. I used to take my little one to the playground there regularly, and every so often, on a pretty day, we would walk down to the Academy of Sciences, where there was an aquarium, a planetarium, and a museum of natural history. Many a happy moment was spent strolling down that concourse and into that big marble building that looked as permanent as the Rock of Gibralter. Except that the last time I was across the street, at the De Young Museum, in their new observation tower, where the Academy had crouched so stately, there was nothing but a big hole. Well, they finished the new one, and it is a pip. Because it is still a major whoppee, I got tickets in advance and took my little guy, now 6 ft. 5 in. tall and 40 years old, for a day of exploring and saying "wow" a lot. Little kiddo and her beau joined us later, after we had done the rain forest (there are more than 5,000 species of butterfly in the rain forest - wow), and were beginning to check out all those fish. Upside down jellyfish were pretty spectacular, as were the little moon jellies. The freshwater rays were bespeckled, and the big black one with white spots kept lording it over the babies, chasing them away. I loved the shrimp, some of them smaller than my fingernail (probably why they are called "shrimp", you think) and all brightly colored and just amazingly delicate. Then we came to the lumpsuckers. No, I didn't make that up, there are actual creatures with that name, and they look like tiny hippos. They don't swim very well and tend to perch on the rocky bottom like strange little fat birds. Oh, and there was the fish that guards the shrimp' hole, and the pipe fish, and the sea horses, and the decorator crab. I came away just in awe of the variety of life we have on this little dirt ball we live on, and how precious it all is. In the end, we found the penguins behind a big window at the end of the natural history museum, and a bunch of us humans were all fascinated by this one little guy, who kept coming up to the edge, looking like he was about to dive in, only to sidle away and hop to another rock, before hopping back and perching on the very edge again. He knew he had us, this rapt audience, and continued this for about 10 minutes before finally diving in. We all applauded. Humans are so easily amused, you know. All in all, it was a fine outing, nostalgic as well as new and exciting, and next time, I hope to do a planetarium show. It is in a huge orb, very futuristic, and I bet that is really scintillating. I may be old, but I can be childish forever.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Computers are lovely creatures, when they work. I bought tickets online to the California Academy of Sciences for this Saturday. They just opened their new facility in Golden Gate Park, and frequently sell out, so I was making sure my 60 mi. trip into the City would not wind up a bust. I opted to print out the tickets right in my own little office, and save a wait in line. Hey, it's cold out there! Well, tickets were a PDF file, and Adobe just refused to let me accept their #$&$% license agreement and kept closing on me. Advice from my techie kind of guy led me to scan with my 2 dynamite anti-everything-bad programs. One did just that. The other kind of stared me down and refused. Well, I remembered techie guy told me I would have to register and pony up for that one, so I did. $55. And it refused to install itself. HOW FRUSTRATING! I should note, however, that in the process, I was led to the Adobe page, where I updated to the newest version, and was able to PRINT THE TICKETS! Now, all I have to do is get this @#%*^% program to install, and all will be well. I hope. Until next time. Yes, there is always a NEXT TIME,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Last night was the second night of the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the 133rd. Westminster is the second oldest sporting event in the nation, only the Kentucky Derby is older, and every year, I settle in with my dog(s) and wax all gooey over these amazingly beautiful animals. The last group to be judged was the Working Dogs, and, oh boy, there was Stump! Stump is a Sussex spaniel, and looks like a cross between an Irish setter and a Basset hound, very much a unique little guy, but of course, he isn't, since he was the best of breed. Stump won this group 5 years ago, and I really rooted for him to be Best in Show, but, alas, not to be. And here he was again, 10 years old (like my Boo, who really is totally unique, you know), strutting his stuff, bold as brass. And he won Group, again! I scared the hell out of Pickle, who was nesting at my side, by jumping up and down and yelling a lot. Yay, Stump! And then, the best thing happened. Stump was named Best in Show! Talk about comebacks! That made my day. Hell, it made my year! There's hope for all of us. Stump is not glamorous like the standard poodle that won Non-Sporting Group, or perky like the Scottish terrier, or elegant like the Scottish deerhound. He is kind of pudgy, droopy, jowly, sort of like ME! Except that he is low to the ground, and I'm not. So, here's to Stump. My hero.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Say hello to Baby. Cannot seem to get off this cow thing. Also cannot say I am thrilled with this, but it is done for the moment. Onward. Must meditate on what to do next. I am thinking flowers would be nice. Or vegetables, fruit. A portrait of Pickle? That's a possibility, too. Anything, just not cows. But, then, you never know. Life has a way of surprising me, just when I didn't expect it.
Monday, February 02, 2009
I had not really spent my Christmas money. I was mulling about it, maybe an old upright piano? A whole bunch of professional, highly saturated pigments? Really, the pleasure of deciding how to spend money is just as sweet as the new object at the end. And then, I had a flat tire. Again. The same one that went flat a month ago, on Christmas Eve, and how inconvenient was that? Do you know how hard it is to find a station that offers air? Most of those compressor thingies were broken or the coin slot was jammed, and there I am, driving on a mostly flat tire, flipped out. Yes, I have AAA, and if it was entirely flat, I could have called them. But no, it was just mostly flat. How annoying. I have a couple of long drives scheduled later this month, and a moderately long one tomorrow night, when I am scheduled to sojourn out to West County, to regale the alcoholics with my AA story at the 8 PM meeting, so I called my favorite tire shop this morning, the ones that patched this tire up last year, and, with assurances that they could get me on the road in time for my noon class, they put my little puddlejumper up on the rack, and lo and behold, all those tires were looking, well, tired. So, baby got new shoes for Christmas. Not that I resent it, oh, nonono. I worry a lot about the state of my tires, not unreasonably, either, because I know NOTHING about them, and have had the delight of many a flat in the past. I just hate stopping doing what I think I should be doing to take care of this stuff. In the end, though, I get to do what I do without a thought or frownline. And I got these really nifty metal caps. Sort of looks like a new car, too. Makes me want to wash it, again.