Monday, October 19, 2009

I'll Ask Them Myself!

Bogs seem to be fulled with question that the writers are answering for other people. I think it might be more interesting to answer my own questions. I might learn more.

1. What books are the first you remembe
r reading?
I must have been reading before these but I remember reading Greek and Roman myths in the fourth grade. Our teacher read them to us during "Story Time" a
nd I got hooked. By seventh grade I'd read most of the myths from Greece and Rome. I worked in the library during my study hall. I asked the librarian if she could recommend any to me. I'd read all she could think of including the Iliad and the Odyssey. She finally came up with The Golden Bough which I had to admit to her that I'd tried to read but found it a little too complicated.

This fourth grade Storytime led m
e to think I wanted to be a philosophy major at university. Nope. Only disagreements there. So I changed to psychology. Rat with wires in their heads didn't interest me at all. Finally I ended up a Social Psychology/ Cultural Anthropology major. Yep! Bingo! It seems I wanted to know why people acted the way they do.

2. What kid dreams did I have? I always left my window open at least a crack so Peter Pan could get in. The idea of flying off to Never Neverland seemed like a wonderful adventure to have. I probably thought it would be much more fun and less dangerous than running from my genetic father.

I am learning! The answer to number 1 leads to the reason much of my art and poetry has mythological elements. Number 2 might have something....or do with why the color of the sky where I live is so different from most people's sky color.

Here' a poem that shows my love of myths:

Medusa’s Eyes

What did she feel, she who dared
compare herself to others,
who risked the wrath of Aphrodite,
challenging Beauty herself?
and Beauty’s insecurity responded,
changing her enchantment
into a different kind.
Medusa’s tresses began
to writhe upon her brow
shadowing her bewitching eyes.
Were Medusa’s eyes brown or blue or green?
When she saw the men who once adored her,
whose hearts she filled with warmth and joy,
turn into cold, gray stone,
what did she feel?
Were there tears in Medusa’s eyes?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Quesrions

I found a blog that has Friday Questions. I though that might get me thinking.......and I just keep thinking as that is what I'm good at!

1. I have a history of depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. Before I went college, I frightened people with my vocabulary and ideas. I had no idea. When I started university I became very popular. That’s when I first had to go on medication for depression. You cannot be depressed on speed! I realized I was becoming addicted and stopped cold turkey…. didn’t know that was dangerous. The second time was when I got a teaching job that did not challenge me. It was fun but not demanding of my talents nor required any learning or growth on my part.

2. I wish I knew whether people wanted to me with me or not.

3. I'm eating (or recently ate) a pretty healthy diet. Need to cut down on calories and want to go out to dinner to a good place to eat.

4. I love to listen to the noise that drifts through my window from what is happening on the road.

5. So that's it, that's what I want to do. My art has become very important to me.

6. Everything (good, bad or indifferent) is better than nothing!

7. One week ago I was apprehensive about some medical news. I don’t want to share it now as I’m superstitious about talking about future happenings that might turn out negatively.

8. I lived in fear when I was young. I was afraid my genetic father might locate us again; none of my peers accepted me; I might be crazy because of my ability to disassociate from what was happening to me. I’d never heard of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

9. Mama told me nothing about her marriage to my genetic father or that our life had not been in any way abnormal.

10. Someone needs to give comfort to you and me.

11. Take your time, stop and look, listen and think.

12. My recent fear will pass! It will become meaningless, manageable or appropriate. I hope for meaningless.

13. I'm looking forward to completing the Halloween necklace, soon. My plans also include making the tiny haunted house and working more on my studio.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Health and Wealth

Places to Go; Sites to See

UFOs are easy to spot in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Just go to the places marked on the map to see the homes of Urban Fairies. Aside from a tendency to copy the styles of the facades of the human habitats they abut, the fae folk show amazing skill in carpentry and architecture. You’ll find the Urban Fairy Organization Here.

When Geeks get Bored they often find some delightful ways to entertain themselves. They also put it on a web site for the rest of us to enjoy. Some terrific photography, wacky pics and the really, truly best animal photos can be found by swinging over to here.

Sorry! Can't add photos now. Bad blog! Bad blog!

Grammar Gripes
Often people use too many question marks for my personal comfort. Don’t they???? However, often it isn’t too many Os in the word meaning also but not enough. Does that bother you too? Too has two Os unless you’re going to use it as a preposition. I’m a petty, pretentious, pedantic grammarian who can’t spell without a dictionary or a spell checker.

Good Health
I’m tired of hearing politicians and ordinary Americans denigrating universal health care. Not only do statistics show that American health care, in general, is horrendous, but my personal experience with health care in Norway, Holland and American is the opposite of those who are making untrue claims in their comparisons.

Granted, I’ve not heard anything good about British health services, but that is Britain, a country that still doesn’t use the Euro nor recognize European Union id cards.

And doctors are similar to any other profession; some are excellent and others suck. However, these are usually the general practitioners/family doctors. In both countries excellent specialist care is available. The difference is the availability of this care.

In Holland, everyone is treated with much equality. The health care is quickly available to everyone. When I contracted a staph infection that permeated by entire body, I spent two months in the hospital. I shared a room with three others because we all needed similar special care.

One woman was a 92 year old whose family showed all the signs of being very well off, well educated and caring. Another woman was an ill-mannered slob whose family was numerous, thoughtless and loud. Both were treated the same even though the nurses thought less of the second woman because of how she treated them. (Being in their care for eight weeks meant the staff and I got to informal relationships that allowed me to share their feelings rather well.)

The entire stay cost me a total of less than 200 Euros and included a CAT scan, two MRIs, an endoscopy, solar gram, a bone scan and visits from many different specialists. The cost was for my private TV and phone! And now my medication is also totally free. When I needed some renewals while traveling in the States this summer, I was shocked at how expensive my medication was. It amounts to hundreds of dollars/Euros a month.

Now my husband faces some test and possible health related care. I’ll let you know how I feel about his treatment. Sometimes when it is someone special and not yourself you see events differently. We’ll see.

Quote Quip
When the external begins to define the internal instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as the being you really are.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Coming Soon

My ruby slippers brought me home. Five weeks in Palm Desert, Cabo San Lucas (Baja CA), and San Diego have left me with a great deal to mull over. More once my brain has reincarnated.....Soon I hope!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Places to Go

Talked to the Universe lately? Every weekday, I recrive a wonderful note from the Universe. According to the notes, Thoughts Become Things...So Choose the Good Ones! The Universe loves me and I love the notes.

The site where you can sign up to get warm pets from the Universe has other interesting things to find out about. How about million dollar bills?

TUT is described as "A philosophical club of like-minded thinkers who believe that life is the ultimate adventure... because thoughts become things, dreams come true, and all things remain forever possible!"

A Visit Home

Having lived in Europe for half my life and not visiting the States for two years, here are some of my impressions of cha…cha…changes:
1. Ads on TV: The breaks for commercials come often. The programs are interrupted so often that it is difficult to get involved in the program. Although the breaks come often, fewer commercials are shown in a row on American broadcasts. Some commercials seem longer but in total they don’t last as long. More often but less duration. (The warnings shown at the end of ads for medication are so dire that it makes it difficult for me to consider using any of them.)
2. Added Tax: I’ve gotten use to the price marked on an item being the price I have ready to pay. I’ve forgotten that the tax is not marked as part of the price. This makes it difficult for me to pay cash for the exact amount. It does make things appear cheaper!
3. Repeating Stores: Every strip mall seems to have the same stores: Walgreens, Starbucks, fast food and cafes. And the fast food places seem to all be in a row of five or six at a time.
4. Empty Stores: Southern California seems to be filled with ghost malls. Entire malls are empty with signs advertising them for lease. The malls and gigantic stores that are open all have sparsely filled parking lots. It’s easy to find a place to park. Here in Palm Desert that might be due to the heat of the summer but I don’t remember it being like this two years ago. Fast food and cheap eating-places and moderate priced restaurants seem to be doing good business and their lots and booths are full.
5. Green Bags: Reusable shopping bags are available cheaply in many bigger stores. They usually cost 99¢ and have the store ad on them. I’ve so far seen them for Trader Joe’s, Wallmart’s, Targets and Ralph’s. Most places provide recycling of plastic bags.
6. Food for +55s: Cheaper chain restaurants have special menu sections for customers over the age of 55. I’m really pleased, as the size of the portions is smaller and make for a more reasonable meal. Instead of two or three eggs, pancakes and bacon, the menus for the “baby boomers” have one of each. Considering the size of the pancakes or French toast and the unlimited refills of juice, coffee or tea, these meals are plenty big. Some of the higher priced chains also allow a couple to share an order.
7. Choice in Food Products: The quantity of choices in the markets is amazing. The markets themselves are huge and the number of selections within each type of food is amazing. Instead of a choice of different kinds of product, each kind has a myriad of brands of the same kind. I can try a different cereal every morning!
8. International News: Most of the news on TV and in the papers is about international events only when it involves US citizens. The first reports of plane crashes or hotel bombing seem to be centered on the interest in whether or not any Americans were involved. I do remember that when we first moved to Europe we found it difficult to find what we considered “news” in the International Herald Trib.
9. Spanish in CA: I’d use my Spanish so much with people here now that I’d finally become fluent. My friends at school never spoke Spanish in public but only at home. Now it is acceptable to speak languages other than English. Bilingualism
10. Fat Free, Low Cal Food: All food products seem to be marked with either these labels or Cholesterol Free, Natural or Lo Salt. Hey! I can eat as much of anything as I want and still loose weight and stay healthy!
11. Helpful but Lonely Staff: the staff in stores are very pleasant and helpful…when you can find them. In some stores the only staff I see are at the checkout.
12. TV Overkill: How do I find something to watch on 100 channels?
13. Americans, the Friendly Folk: We sat at an outdoor market to eat some “street food.” The men at the same table asked us all about our trip and living in Holland. They did, however, assume we were Obama supporters, liberals and shared their views on most things. What happens when they sit next to the “wrong” people? Maybe Paul and I just looked right to them!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's New in SoCal?

I'm in the desert of Southern California for the first time in two years. So what's new? Not the heat. Not the traffic. But I'm seeing this land again with a new vision. I'll record my impressions soon as I get an electronic connection that adapts my Mac to the "funny" little fragile prongs on the US plugs. See ya then!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Take a Picture, Why Don Ya!

Places to Go; Things to Do
Jojo knows photos! If you
use a digital camera, you'll probably like Jojo. Here's what they say about their site: What We're All About We publish an insanely great newsletter on photography. More specifically, we scour the internet, rip pages out of magazines, ransack our friends' closets, and go through dumpsters to find the very best Photo tips, DIY projects, and Gear.

One of the more humorous hints is about making your camera ugly so it won't be stolen. How'd you like your camera to look like this? will show you how! and WHY!

Likes and Dislikes
I really like digital cameras! I took many photos with my film SLR Canon but I love being able to play with cropping, sizing, coloring and special effects that are sooooo easy with digital. But I use my camera for more than just fun. Being so available for instant use, it becomes a notebook, reminder pad and, basically, indispensable. Here are 13 ways I use mine:

1. ID Your Camera:
I recently saw a program on the BBC about aspiring detectives who enjoy trying to track down the rightful owners of cameras by identifying restaurant interiors and concert snapshots. Not everyone will take the time and enjoy the effort. If my camera runs away from home, help it find its way back. Take a photo of a sign saying This Camera Belongs To: and my phone number and/or e-mail address. I lock it so it won’t be erased by mistake. This screen would also be a good place to put anything that emergency workers would need, like blood type, drug allergies or organ donor status. I don’t put my address or full name as I don't want to make new and possibly strange friends.

2. Mark My Parking Spot: Sometimes it’s me who needs to get home. I take a shot of the number, letter, row, area sign or anything that helps me remember where I parked. I can also take a pic of the doors I go through to reach my parking spot. Something I found out the hard way when I went through a door I didn’t remember when I tried to return to my car. Also, if I still can’t locate my car, the garage man probably can. Don’t know how but they can.

3. Make a Map:
Until I’m carrying around an I-phone or personal GPS unit, my camera can help fill the gap. I can fit a lot of detail on a single photo, and my camera allows me to zoom in on photos for a closer view. This also works at amusement parks, malls and such especially when added to the last comment about parking. If I’m in an airport new to me, I snap a shot of the floor plan in case I have to find gate L45 in a hurry. This trick is also good for keeping a shot of the public transport system. When giving directions to our home, photos of landmarks for friends help them follow directions. I also keep a walking photo tour of the route to the local museum, beach and stores of interest. I’m better for my friends than Fromer.

4. Complex Parts Inventory and Repair Diagrams: Before unplugging my router, fixing or disassemble the pond fountain, I snap a photo of what it used to look like. Connections of wiring on DVDs, cables, and other electronic gear are easier to reconnect with photos. These shots can stay in the camera and go to the store with me if I have to buy new parts. “This doohickeys won’t go into the thingamajig,” isn’t gobbledygook at the hardware store when illustrated.

5. Thank You Notes: Take a photo of you using or wearing a gift for a quick thank you.

6. License Plates: Car next to me parked diagonally? Overloaded pickup parked ready to drop its load on your rental? Rental comes with ding? A photo with a date stamp that includes the license number might save me a fight, a bundle of cash or both.

7. Yellow Pages: Want to take a little info on the road? Rather than tearing out the page or printing a ream of paper, snap a photo of those drug and alcohol treatment centers listings... and by drug and alcohol treatment centers, I mean craft supply stores.

8. Evidence in My Defense: I never need defending but… if I did find myself in a legal conundrum I might use a convenient photo. Times I might consider warrant a little documentation: ticket machine is broken, meter is malfunctioning, I have to trespass because I’m being chased by a demented zombie who keeps chanting, “Brains! Brains!”

9. Shopping: I take photos to clothing shops for matching style, prints and colors. To the craft store for photo lists to consider when my head isn’t full. To the home repair store with a photo of a problem to get expert advise. Any store, restaurant, street, etc. to get inspiration for art works. Take photos of storefronts to show name, opening times, windows, etc.

10. Food
: Photos of finished recipes to remember visually sizes and colors needed. Baby carrots or giant winter varieties? Cans or fresh? Red or green? I can also snap shots of unknown products to try to identify later. This is particularly helpful in ethnic markets.

11. A Mirror:
If I need to check my teeth for taco pieces particles, lips for ink or see how I look and a mirror is not around, turn the camera on myself.

12. Visual Wishlist:
When I see a book at a friend’s place that you want to read, an album I want to get, or a gift I want to pick up for somebody, I take a photo of it. Or, if I drop my keys behind the sofa, I use the monitor on my camera to help me see into places I can’t quite reach.

13. Entrance Passes:
If you take photos from unusual angles or of usual objects, especially if I have two cameras around my neck, people assume I'm a reporter and become very helpful and often let me in places I wouldn’t normally be allowed.

Got any more Ideas?

Quote Quip: If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many books will a memory card hold?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Being Kermit Green

Places to Go and Things to See

I Want One of Those! is a site to see. It has all the things you don't need but want anyway. It also has a few things that might be exactly what you need....
but do you really need colorful shower? But how can you live without a stress reducing, see-through ant house in a lovely shade of blue?

On the other hand, The Museum of Useful Things is just what its name implies. You can get all sorts of items you'll find lots of ways to use. Admit it! You've always wanted one of those hotel desk bells. Call your family to dinner. Set up codes to who needs to come downstairs. Train your cat to come when dinner is served...Oh, yea. Forgot that cats can hear any can opener or bag tearing from anywhere in the house or yard. They don't need a bell! And, they can only be trained to do things they agree to do. So train your kids instead.

I Like Being Green!

“It’s not easy being green,” Kermit laments. He’s right. It’s not easy being outside the limits of what is seen as average whether it is coloring, height, intelligence, or any of the myriads of characteristics that make us individuals.

Some traits are more obvious than others. We even have names for most. Midget; giant. Obese; skinny. Easy to see and easy to name.

The extremes of intelligence aren’t usually so obvious. “Retard” is a common insult. Usually it means a person has done something silly or unacceptable to the peer group. At the other extreme? Brain, geek, nerd? The dictionary equates these with “bore” and “drip!” Do you think they’re the same?

“Excessive” intelligence and creativity are often equated with insanity. And it’s true that someone in possession of these traits might seem demented to many. Unusually intelligent or creative individuals think, feel and act differently from the average person. It has not been shown, however, that extreme intelligence brings with it mental illness. In fact, individuals of higher intelligence show less mental illness, criminal behavior and deviant behaviors then those of average intelligence.

Schools often identify “gifted and talented” students because it is recognized they need specialized attention to their needs. Gifted adults are often not identified as such by those with whom they associate. They may be seen as weird, strange, opinionated and even slightly scary. Since one of the characteristics of higher intelligence is a questioning of authority, these individuals may indeed prove a source of concern for those in authority.

If, however, as many schools indentify them, the top ten percent of the population exists….and how could it not?....where do they disappear to when they are adults?

Quote Quote: It's not easy being two standard deviations away from any mean. Theo

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

13 Things I’m Glad I Did

1. Flew in a glider
2. Saw the midnight sun
3. Went into the heart of a pyramid
4. Saw Bob Dylan perform
5. Talked with Philip Leakey
6. Stopped work
7. Saw Monterey Pops
8. Took Karate
9. Discovered Christi’s art work
10. Became more myself
11. Taught animation, journalism, fifth grade, eighth grade social studies and English, K-adult computer skills
12. Backpacked Europe
13. Married Paul

1. It was peaceful and beautiful and lots of fun.
2. The midnight sun brought awe into my heart.
3. I overcame my fear of falling, claustrophobia and the idea of being covered in tons of solid rock.
4. I made up for missing him during university finals when I thought it was more important to study.
5. Talking to experts is stimulating.
6. My job had become toxic to my body and soul due to administrator’s harassment. I’ve now found joy and peace of mind again. front of and behind the stage) and
7. These three days of music, friends (in color will always bring light brightness to my memories.
8. Karate is the most physically demanding sport I’ve ever done, much more than long distance water skiing, badminton, bowling, volleyball or dancercise.
9. Christi has inspired me to try art and share it. I also get wonderful feedback from her group of fans.
10. I’m not trying to be accepted by others or acting the way I think I should instead of the way I am.
11. The variety kept teaching fresh for four decades and gave me a way to touch many lives.
12. Travel introduced me to the wonders of the world and the people who live in it. Backpacking allowed me to get away from the internationally indistinguishable tourist sights that can equalize all cultures.
13. In good times and bad times, he helps make my life interesting.

QUOTE QUIP: Dare to dream isn't enough unless you also dare to do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

13 Places I'm Glad I Visited


1. The Pyramids
and Luxor
2. Paris
3. Athens
4. Amazonia: Home of the Boto

5. Rome
6. Great Meteor Crater

7. Grand Canyon
8. Norwegian Fjords
9. Portmerion: Keeper of The Prisoner

10. Olduvai Gorge
11. Big Island of Hawaii
12. Stonehenge
13. Glastonbury Tor

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

PLACES TO GO FOR THINGS TO SEE: Creatures from El and Feeping Creatures
Well, I made some Tiny Critters that were cute! OK, I don’t care too much for cute but I thought they’d sell. Not too many of them were born before I got bored and changed to Lil’ Monsters. After putting them up at Christi’s yahoo chat site, someone directed me to Feeping Creatures. Yep, he done it ‘for me. It’s amazing how much alike our critters are. In addition, Dylan’s Creatures have such a great story to their name. Blah! I copied without knowing what I was doing!

Ellen, the creator of Creatures from El, designs and makes elegant, complex figures that I’d never be able to copy even if I tried. And talk about a great name!

FAMILY MATTERS: Meeting my Brother

“I know I have some brothers and sisters but my family is so mixed up I’m not sure who they are.” I said this to a new neighbor who was gathering information about the family who just moved into the neighborhood. I was seven at the time and didn’t realize how strange this statement might seem.

My mother married three times; my stepfather married twice. I have a half sister and half brother who share a mother with me. My stepsister is the blood daughter of my beloved stepfather. None of these other kids were raised in our home.

My stepsister, Kay, wore big hoop earrings and had pet rats. She married the year she graduated from high school. My half brother, Winfield, and half sister, Donna, were raised in a family that always served pancakes on Sunday morning and strawberry pancakes on holidays….always.

My first memory Win was a visit he made while attending the Coast Guard Academy. He seemed a uniformed giant who easily reached his white gloved finger to run it over the top door frame. It came away dusty. He gave a withering look to our five foot two mom.

All the stories I heard about him mentioned his intelligence. He got into the academy because admission was done by testing and not congressional recommendation. His daughter had scholarships to USC and an east coast ivy league university but he told her she shouldn’t be making more money than he did because he was brighter than she was.

When I volunteered my confusion to my new neighbor, I didn’t know just how confusing my family was to become. My stepsister married twice; my half sister twice; my half brother twice. Most of their children carried on this family tradition.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been married for almost forty years. Through good and bad times, I haven’t added to the confusion.

Blood may be thicker than water but only when it leaves the body.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun, Flowers and Flu

Having fun, being silly sometimes doesn’t seem as if it is a respectable adult activity. I’m always on the look out for the unexpected times when people share their fun sides. Finding these silly times make me feel more comfortable with the fact that, no matter how elderly I am on the outside, I’ve never really grown up inside.

The Guerrilla Gardeners have found a way to help the environment, make city life more plant friendly and have fun at the same time. They are also happy to share their techniques so others can have fun with plant bombs, midnight plantings and street meridian veggie crops. I love it! I’m gonna make myself some seed paper to write notes on so people can eat my words!

Being an Urban Gardener is not so silly. Being an urban improv comedian is! The Urban Improv Comedian, wacky group of fun lovers, organizes activities on a grand scale. I could do it on a smaller one. Instead of having all of Grand Central Station take a freeze frame for a few minutes, I could get two or three friends to stop on our local shopping street, The Fred. (Fredrick Hendricklaan) I don’t know enough red heads to do their version of the Redheaded League but five people or more could do the High Five Escalator Ride. The Starbuck’s Time Loop is something you’d have to work up to….and besides, we don’t have Starbuck’s in Den Haag.

I’m feeling manipulated. Last week the International Herald Tribe, CNN and Time were obsessed with the “drug war” being fought along the Mexican–US border. It seemed as if that was the most important war going on in today’s world. After all, Iraq was becoming boring. Tourists were actually making visits! The Somali pirates were getting rich without many deaths. And Pakistan? Well, few people seemed to care much that over 700 men, women and children have died in order to eliminate 14 known terrorist.

But that was last week. This week the world is fighting a new war: the war against swine flue. The news reports are full of the 1,600 suspected swine flu cases and the 152 deaths that are possibly caused by the flu. Laboratories have confirmed only 26 of Mexico's cases, including seven deaths, as swine flu. And today a two year old died from swine flu in Texas.

Yet these deaths dominate today’s news. What happened to the concern over the 7000 deaths reported in Pakistan so far this year? Or the thousands of deaths in Mexico and US cities caused by that other war? And, hey, In the U.S. alone, the CDC says about 36,000 people a year die of flu.

Yet, people are now asking if Paul and I are still going to Southern California and Cabo San Lucas this summer. Why weren’t they worried about biannual our trips previous years? I think they just weren’t thinking about it. Deaths in Mexico and San Diego weren’t in the news.

Maybe the economy needs the increase in the pharmaceutical right now. Maybe Obama’s first 100 days haven’t been negative enough to make good news. Maybe it is because Mexicans and Americans have the flu and we could all get it, not just drug dealers. Maybe I’m paradoid.

Maybe. It could be all of these and much more I’ve not thought about. And maybe this new flu war will develop into a world pandemic killing millions. How do you feel about it?
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Not Cute, Pretty or Sweet
I’m ashamed to admit that I have been called “cute” and even “pretty.” Boy, is that lame! I’d rather be “interesting” and “unusual” any time. But I’m afraid that cute is going to stick to me like shit to a shoe. AND even worse, I’m sweet! If you could only see beneath the gossamer exterior….Yea, there lurks the real me.

If you, too, don’t care for cute and pretty, I’d recommend some of the sites I’ve crashed into when swinging around the web.

The first is the Zymoglyphic Museum. The curator describes zymoplyphic as:
zy'-mo-glyph'-ic, adj. [Gr. zyme leaven + Gr. glyphe carving]
1. Of, or pertaining to, images of fermentation, specifically the solid residue of creative fermentation on natural objects.
2. The collection and arrangement of objects, primarily either natural or weathered by natural forces, for poetic effect

Here’s an example of one of those objects:

Happy Fish

The museum is only open to the public a few days a year but the site is wonderfully visual. Take a look!

The other site for you to visit is the ghost town of RavenslBight. Ray O’Bannon, the designer/owner/mayor of the town is a delightful ghoul with a twilight sense of humor. He’s a generous being and has a toy store, library and cinema that are all free to visit and the souvenirs are free, too. I think you’ll have an…..uh, interesting, unusual time.

LIKES AND DISLIKES: Being a Bipolar Retard with OCD
Perhaps it’s my social psychology background. When I was teaching one thing was bound to get my harsh up. I just couldn’t handle kids calling others “retards!” It was guaranteed to put me into Teacher Mode and to get the kid a lecture in my Teacher Voice. Recently I have trouble with the idea that sooooo many people classify themselves as bipolar or as having OCD.

Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Feeling sad is not depression and felling happy is not manic. It is living. Being neat and orderly….which I AM NOT…is not obsessive, compulsive nor a disorder. If carried to the point where neatness, sadness or joy disrupts my life, I might be neurotic but OCD and bipolar describe psychotic behavior that doesn’t disrupt but totally prevents living a socially integrated life. So, if you are neat, sad or happy….live with it! It is life and not a disorder!

Neurotics build castles in the air; psychotic live in them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Movies, Films, Pathe, Cinama

What movies do you love? Many movies make me smile, cry, cringe or sneer—sometimes all of these at once. Please add your comments about your favorites as I always need to see more movies and will read and consider your recommendations.

I have to confess before you read further, however, that when Paul and I lived in Stavanger, Norway, we got something of a reputation as film critics. The only theater in the small town showed movies on a “movable” schedule. If people came, a film showed for two weeks; if no audiences showed, the film could be gone in two days. If a movie came that you liked, you spread the word. Once a colleague asked if we’d like one that was showing. Yea, I said, it was wonderful! Oh, came the replies. Then I guess we won’t go. Hummmmm……. So my favorites might not be that popular. These five are in no particular order.
1. Willie Wonka or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- both: Gene Wilder's Willie is a low-keyed, slightly “man behind the curtain” tour guide of the magical candy factory. Johnny Depp's Willie shows the same character with delayed development and a more maniacal bent who doesn’t seem to particularly like kids. Perhaps I love these movies because they star two of my candidates for sexiest actor working today.
2. The Wizard of Oz: Having seen this only as an adult, Dorothy’s transition to Technicolor, the visit to poppy fields and capture by flying monkeys, and her green glasses that she wears to visit that Man Behind the Curtain might have meanings for me that I’d not have developed if I’d first seen the movie as a dope innocent child. But it isn’t called Dorothy of Kansas!

3. Blazing Saddles: This movie can offend even someone who loves it. No matter how open minded, left wing, accepting you are, at least once during the film you will feel uncomfortable. For me it is the campfire farting scene. This movie provided a whole set of communication tools to those who love it. If I can say to you, “He’s the salt of the earth, ya know” and you do know this isn’t a compliment and doesn't refer to either The Sermon on the Mont or The Rolling Stones, you’ve enjoyed this movie…probably more than a few times.
4. Jesus Christ, Superstar: I first saw this with the original cast several times in London so I wasn’t sure I’d like the movie version. I do. In fact, I like it better than the stage version. The Star Wars mixed era costuming, ruined locations and slightly rustic, unpolished feel just ads to the great story and wonderful music. The flash collage of the Crucifixion art that answers Jesus question of how he will die, always, always sends shivers down my back.
5. Head: Chances are that you’ve never even heard of this Monkees’ movie. The prediction when it first came out was that no one would go to see a movie about a manufactured rock band. Head’s title has many meanings. You can choose the one you want. Co-produced by Jack Nickleson, he makes a cameo appearance as does Victor Mature, Dennis Hopper, Teri Garr, Carol Doda, Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa, Sonny Liston and Ray Nitschke. Most movies attempt to draw viewers into the scenes; Head keeps pushing the audience out and reminding them they’re watching a film. The scene of Davy Jones with the medicine cabinet mirror scares the bejesus out of me! Every time I close one, I do it with fear! The movie ends with a delightful song that asks, “What do I have to do to keep from going through this again? Didn’t I get it right the first time?”

There they are: five of the movies I choose to watch over and over whenever I get the chance. I just noticed that three of my favorite actors are also involved in these films. Not surprising at all. However, Nickelson is a co-producer, not the star. And certainly Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp have certainly starred in more popular films. If asked, I’d say I don’t usually like musicals. Four of these are musicals. I guess I just can not trust what I think about my own likes and dislikes. However, I really can’t tolerate Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) or (Gasp!) The Sound of Music.

If you’ve read this far, I’d really like to hear what your favorite movies are. You MUST be an interesting person…..with time on your hands to read and think!

For our interest, here’s what’s showing in Stavanger today:
La Giusta Distanza, Monsters vs. Aliens (norske), Lett på tråden, Skjult
The Boat that Rocked, Bolt (Norsk versjon) , Gran Torino, Jaques Mesrine Del 1: Instinkt for mord, Lille Soldat, Easy Virtue, ORPS, Pride and Glory, Slumdog Millionaire, Fast & Furious. Monsters vs. Aliens, Marley & Me, The Boat that Rocked and Che.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Enchanted Castles, Mermaids and Happy Endings

Katydid just started a blog, too. She has finished another charming garden fairy. And she took a picnic to a remarkable place in her home state of Georgia. I wish I could put on some of her flower fairy wings to fly over to see it first hand. I guess photos will have to do for now. Take a look at what one amazing artist created at Pasaquan.

I have been fortunate enough to visit The Watt’s Towers in Los Angeles. Build by Simon Rodia in the Watts district of Los Angeles (known for its infamous riots), they consist of 17 connected lacy structures, two of which reach heights of over 99 feet (30 m). Rodia built them in his spare time over a period of 33 years, from 1921 to 1954. Why would he spend all his time doing this? Easy for him to explain: “I had in mind to do something big and I did it. ”

Both of these creations echo the amazing works in Barcelona by Antoni Guidie. La Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of the Holy Family, remains an unfinished masterpiece. Wandering through it is a true religious experience for me, one of awe and lightness of spirit. Rodia and St EMO bring me to the same level of reverence.

One of my favorite movies, one of the few that I own, is Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Only one part of this enchanting film grates on my nerves. That part is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I like the music well enough…but Mickey as the lead? No Way! This mouse in gloves has made some entertaining cartoons but this is not one of them. I think this duality is at the heart of my problems with Disney. I like Sleeping Beauty; I can’t stand Cinderella. I enjoy Lady and the Tramp; I can’t watch The Little Mermaid. This list goes on: like The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians; dislike The Hunchback, Beauty and the Beast. Disney destroys classic fairytales! The Little Mermaid danced on broken glass and became seafoam to save her love. Cinderella’s friendship with mice? Give me a break! She lived a miserable life in an ugly home. It sorta makes me glad that her sisters mutilated their feet to fit into the glass slipper. Fair tales can, literally and figuratively, be Grimm. They don’t teach children that monsters don’t exist. They teach us all that we can live in spite of them. Happy endings and ever afters seldom happen.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
G. K. Chesterton

BLOGGING 101: It seems that to get a slideshow, I have to have my photos saved in Flicker or some other "source." Humm, this could become just another link in the chain.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Deviant Art, Creativity, and Albert


On Deviant Art I found an artist who’s polymer clay work is unique. Chris Kapono lives in Missouri but has sold around the world, most recently to Russia. Take a look at her ATC and covered boxes. Devian Art isn’t often overly deviant but sometimes it is wonderful. Mandarinmoon’s work is an example of why I go there daily.
I love Christi’s generosity and the sharing spirit of the members of her Yahoo group. They share tutorials on how to duplicate their art. Christi Friesen has free downloads at her home site where you can learn to make, along with other tuts, a sleeping mouse and punkhearts. Then Sally Golubosky gave us wonderful directions on how to make her dragons and griffins. And Dolores who is Following Troll Tracks, shows some lovely mices. that combine felting and polymer clay.

What I don’t enjoy are people who don’t share because they feel that creativity is their possession and they themselves own nothing of their creativity to anyone ever.


“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Christi Friesen's Schedule of Classes

Just so you can plan ahead, here is Christi's (of cforignals) schedule of classes and Online classes:

Online class
Fantasy Garden Mirror
Signups are ongoing through mid May - sign up anytime and work at your own speed.
Online Class
Peacock Pizzazz art jewelry necklace

Signups are ongoing throughout May. Signup anytime and work at your own speed.
For more info/signups, check in
CT's Beads n Things
April 9 -- evening class: 5-8pm
Lancaster, CA
Sparkle Flowers focal beads For info/signup: call 661-729-9450
Indiana Bead Society Benefit Workshops
April 17 - 19
Co-Sponsored by the Indiana Polymer Clay Guild and the Indiana Bead Society to benefit Ponsawan Silapiruti's daughter, Ada. So, join us for 3 fun-filled days of great polymer clay bead-making!
Friday morning: Fiber Feline: Meow!
Friday afternoon: Phabulous Pheonix
Saturday morning-afternoon (extended class): Jungle NecklaceSaturday late afternoon/eve: Garden Dragon:
Sunday afternoon: Steampunk Chameleon:
Sunday late afternoon/eve: Sparkle Bird:
For more info/signups:
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, Ca
May 2
Luna Moth (focal bead or brooch
For info/signups, call: 661-822-6794
Brea Bead Works
Brea, Ca
May 20
Steampunk Chameleon

Steampunk Bird
Bead & Button show
Milwaukee, Wi
June 3-7
Wed. June 3 o 4:00pm-7:00pm: Sparkle Flower focal beads
Fri. June 5 5:00 pm-8:00pm: Horsin' Around focal bead
Sun. June 7 o 9:00am-noon: Delightful Dragonfly beads:.
Online Class:
Triple Trouble Dragons: art jewelry necklace project
Class opens June 12 and signups are ongoing through end of July.
Australian Clay Tour 2009!
June 19—July 5
Christi will be visiting bead stores and studios in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide.
Full details coming soon!
IPCA Retreat (International Polymer Clay Assoc.)
Chicago, Il
July 11-13
Christi is the Guest Artist for this retreat, and will spend most of Monday, July 13 holding scheduled demonstrations as well as being available to retreat attendees for questions, critiques and advice!
For info:
Online Class:
Class opens July 24 and signups are ongoing through Aug. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Winterlandz Firepig. (And we'll make a clump of Flurribelles too, while we're at it). In Nov. the next in the Winterlandz class series will continue with the CloudCatcher. more details soon!
Fantasy Garden Mirror
Mixed Media Arts Studio
San Marcos, California
July 25
Everett, WA
Aug 6-7 afternoon/eve classes
Steampunk Bird
Little Landscapes

Northwest Polymer Clay Guild
Seattle, WA
Aug. 8-9
Class choices to be announced soon!
Info, email:
JuLee Wolfe, (NWPCG)at –
Stringbead Store/Studio
Chico, CA
Aug. 22-23
Class choices to be announced soon!
Online Class:
Hello Sunshine
Class opens Aug. 28 and signups are ongoing through October. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, Ca
Aug. 28
Re-Run: Pegasus 10-12:00 = beginners
1-4:00 = more experienced clayers
Colorful Creations Bead Co.
East Longmeadow, MA
Sept. 14 evening: Meet & Greet party!
Sept. 15-16 workshops
Class choices coming soon
Darbella Studios
Hollis, NH
Sept. 18-20
Friday night meet & greet and mini-class leads into the 2-day workshop
Class project to be announced soon
Online Class:
Beautiful Bouquet: art jewelry necklace
Class opens Oct. 2 and signups are ongoing through mid-Nov. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Info/signups starting in Sept. at:
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, CA
Oct. 24
10-12:00 - Snuggle Rodent mini-sculpture
1:00-4:00: -- Art Nouveau floral focal piece
info/signups: call 661-822-6999
Nov. 14-15 BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza)
More details soon
Online Class:
Class opens Nov. 20 and signups are ongoing through Dec. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
More details coming
Brea Bead Works
Brea, CA
Nov. 21
2 workshops.
More details coming
May 5-15, 2010
All the details soon!
more info:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Clay, Breaking News and Explamation Points

If you are interested in any type of polymer clay work, I recommend going to visit Cynthia Tinapple’s Polymerclay Daily. Every week day she post one or two sites showcasing work she has found on the web. She also has collected workshops and classes that she post as part of her site. Her achieves are worth wandering through and even her ads are interesting. It’s a must read for clayers.

One other site I visit every weekday is The Daily Art Muse. Although Susan Lomuto does emphasize clay work, she also admires other mediums and inspirational images. Here I find art being created from mediums I’d never have guessed were being used. And this is another site that offers great achieves and links.

Go to these two sites!...Now! You won’t regret it…unless you only have a few minutes to poke around. Then you’ll have to return.S

I enjoy weather. These first days of Spring are delightful. The colorful blooms, mild breezes and later sunsets make me smile. Spring is one of my four favorite seasons.

I dislike the idea that everything reported on the news is described as Breaking News in big red letters and lots of invisible exclamation points. I love the sound of breaking glass but not the interminable sound of a story that breaks for days.

And those exclamation points! They should be used with care!! I do not exclaim every sentence!!! Most I just say! So when I write, I use these excited little explosions sparingly, too!!! Don’t you???

My bets on Alice and the Cat.

It really does only take five minutes to set up a blog using Blogspot. Choosing a format and colors, typing a title, a description and the first post is all you have to do. Since all of that is easy to change, you don’t have to agonize over it. Then when I posted this first info, the program set up the comment section and achieves. Today I click on someone’s counter and signed up for one. It only took choosing the style and giving the blog address. Bingo! It appeared. I’d figured out yesterday how to make a link and put in a photo. Duh! The buttons in the menu were the hint. So far, this is worth it for the learning and the knowledge of how easy it is made to make a blog. No wonder one is set up every second! (Mac’s estimate; not mine.) I originally choose Blogspot because I ran a search using “ easy recommended blog” and found a Mac site that discussed the different blogs and what you can do with them. This was the easier for beginners.

I’m singing my little happy song.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Christi's Example

Is it worth it?

I recommend going to:

to see Christi Friesen's wonderfully creative art pieces. She makes artjewelry and sculpts. All show great design and are full of humor. She has lots of free tutorials in polymer clay as downloads. It's worth a look just to see what can be done with this artificial clay.

Admit it! You like list, too! Here's a site that lets you read some slightly strange list and add your own, too:

LIKES AND DISLIKES: I like getting feedback on my creative work. It helps me become a better artist. The feedback can be admiringly encouraging or helpfully critical but it must be specific. Saying I like it or I don't like it is useless to me. WHY?

GRAMMER GLUMPS: Two OOs make to into too much, too little and also, too. Try not to forget that extra O.

QUOTE QUIP: Too many people are sucking glass-blowing grass-holes and crass troll...

Now, if I can figure out how to put a comments section on this blog, you can give me feedback but only if your read my Likes and Dislikes above!