Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Photos from the Northeast

I wish I had time to offer great stories for each of these pictures, and there are some fun ones.  Alas, I'll just resort to brief captions.  I've long surrendered the battle with Blogger when it comes to getting pictures in a certain order, so here they are in their scattered glory...

Near Thunder Hole, Acadia  (I think I've had a case of thunder hole a few
times, after eating spicy delights from other nations).

A nice panoramic shot taken by my friend Heidi.

Me in a weird hair moment, but having fun with phone
at the ready.  It was funny that I happened to wear my
Ireland jacket, as I saw some sights at Acadia that were
not unlike ones that I saw from the Ring of Kerry.

I love autumn--it's my favorite!

All of these shots from on high and looking over the Atlantic are from
atop Cadillac Mountain, the first spot in the U.S. to get sunlight in the
morning (not the farthest east point of the U.S., but the highest point peaking
over Nova Scotia).

This was taken by my friend Heidi.  Those words captured in the sand were
torn from a moving, poetic, and deeply meaningful letter, from one love to another.  Ha ha,
just kidding.  Actually, they were from a hotel check in/check out instruction sheet. 
It's still a really cool shot of sand and words, though.

Way down there is Bar Harbor (Bah Hahbah), and a cruise ship that was docked there.

And here is the Jewel of the Sea up close!  Thanks for getting one right, Blogger!

Flags at Bah Hahbah.

Boats at...well, you know.

I love shots of signs like this, and yes, we did go to the
crazy awesome chocolate shop run by lovely accented
Irish folk, who where jamming to a great Irish station on
satellite radio.  There was a lady and a fella, and the lady
noticed my Ireland jacket right away.  She hails from
mighty Dublin.

Yes, I sampled this there!  Not bad, but I went with the Chocolate Chunk.

I love, love, love Birches...

... So you have to look at more of them.

Photo bomb!  My gracious hostess whilst in Maine.

At the not so creatively named Sand Beach at beautiful Acadia.

Excellent friends.  I was maid of honor in their wedding mumble mumble years ago.

Sorry--you didn't ask to see my feet.  The weather was warm that day--64F-ish.
Well, warm for Maine in October, and days before Hurricane Sandy.

All for now.  Maybe more later, and also I'll post some of our Zombie Walk pictures!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lame, Quicky Post

I had a great vacation in the Northeast over two weeks, during which Hurricane Sandy made its appearance.  My family and friends who I visited were not affected.  My trip was only adjusted in that I stayed in Maine for an extra day, and rolled into my sister's driveway in Pennsylvania during trick-or-treating instead of the night before.  I feel horrible for those who have had everything from inconvenience to real suffering, and am hoping the best for needs to be met and communication to be back up.  Along with casting my vote this week, I think it's my duty to do a few things that will benefit those in that corner of the U.S.  We all should--no?  I will do what I can.

In the mean time, here are a couple of pictures from my trip.  These were taken at Acadia National Park--a very beautiful place all around. 

Cheers, and more is to come.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Quotes of the Week--Science and Sci-Fi Edition

"He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions.  That is the heart of science."  --Carl Sagan

This quotation comes from Sagan's Cosmos series, Episode 3: The Harmony of the Worlds, and the "he" refers to Johannes Kepler.  Kepler nursed a long and deep belief that planetary motion in our solar system was somehow connected to the five Platonic solids.*  He worked on creating a model of this idea for a very long time.  It was his passion and solitary purpose...until he hit the wall of reality, which didn't match his belief.  He graciously let it go.

"In Mercerism, an absolute evil plucked at the threadbare cloak of the tottering, ascending old man, but it was never clear who or what this evil presence was.  A Mercerite sensed evil without understanding it.  Put another way, a Mercerite was free to locate the nebulous presence of The Killers wherever he saw fit."  --From Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Thank goodness there really are no Mercerites in the U.S.**

Also from Androids, but Dick was quoting Mozart's The Magic Flute:
"Papageno:  My child, what should we now say?
 Pamina:  The truth.  That's what we will say."
And finally, the quotation under my profile photo is also from Androids.  But I could have written it about you, dear readers.  I would score terribly high to view such a horror.***
*Could Mitt Romney be the sixth?  (Bazinga).


***No "Bazinga."  A wink and a smile.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Artsy Stuff, Interrupted

I've been working on a few artsy-type things, which always makes me feel charged up.  It also creates the illusion that my mind is active and engaged, and my hands skilled at something.  No matter how well things start out, I end up keenly aware that everything I make looks like something that could end up on Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF?.  As I plan to keep all of these items and not try to sell them or force them on others, they (thankfully) won't be pictured beside some of the porcelain and crochet abortions that are featured on that site.  Here's a little tour of my unfinished projects.

This is a typeface/letterpress drawer that I bought a long time ago at one of those stores that's like an ongoing flea market.  I tried hanging it and filling it with little doodads, but it always looked a little frumpy.  I took out the doodads for awhile, and that didn't look right, either (though drawers like this can look really great as found art on their own in the right setting).  I decided to paint it and see what happened...

Here it is hanging on my bedroom wall.  I left some of the spaces unpainted so the antiquity of the piece isn't completely lost.  It turned into a mini-installation, as I found an old cheesebox (Huh? That's what it said on the label) at the same store and painted it as well.  I chose the colors because they were the ones I had in the form of acryllic paint--purple, blue, lime green, and white to mix in and make the three lighter shades of those three.  I count this as unfinished (interrupted), because I want to find a third little partitioned piece of some kind and hang it along with these two. 


Ok, don't judge.  This is a Palmist's sign that I'm making specifically to hang at Halloween.  The hand is one of those inserts that you get inside a (cheap) pair of gloves, and ages ago when working on another project, I had put it in tea in order to make it stain and look aged.  The other hand was used in another Halloween-y project.  This one sat around forever in a drawer with crafty stuff, so I took it out, decoupaged it to a cheap wooden plaque I had bought at Goodwill and had painted a metallic blue color, again, because I happened to have it.  On a whim, I glued on my old Emmaus cross.  The sign remains as pictured, but I think I'll paint the edge of the placque black (and slip out the back, Jack).  I'll do some kind of doodling or writing around the hand.  We'll see.


More non-judgement is required here.  This guy has been in my head for a couple of years, and I'm glad he's starting to take form.  The name of this is Steampunk Portrait, and I've been saving the little doodads for his face for awhile.  This is just a sketch of him--he will be painted.  More of him will be mixed media, as I have old striped pajama bottoms saved to make his suit, and I'll do something so his top hat will be 3D.  I love him so.  I think he's dashing. 

Even if you're tempted, please don't start up a website called TGINFS.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Much Ado about Chicken

So, there's been loads of hoo-ha about Chick-Fil-A (that's not really a word), and how their CEO equates gay marriage to SHAKING OUR FISTS AT THE SKY (that doesn't make anything happen) and how they use profits to fund NOM, or the National Organization for Marriage.  Other posts and articles in other places give a much better background than I am here, but just as a little catch up, NOM is considered a hate group by many, including the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama.  Alabama, I say.  An organization in Alabama categorizes them in a file marked "Hate Group." 

Alabama.  File.  Hate Group.  I'm going to give a little space here to let that wash over you for a minute...


That's the cause.  The result is that all of the cheeseheads on your facey-tweety-tumble-pages are posting pictures of themselves with Chick-Fil-A bags, because it's a way to plant another flag up the mountain of douchebaggery that they're scaling.  Thumbs up if you claim that!

Exhibit A

The issue here is that some people think that we in the states should define marriage by looking to the Bible as an authority.  Most people, especially many Christians, have no idea what this would entail.  I thought a little clarity might be in order, and who better to deliver than America's Best Christian--Betty Bowers!

Thanks, Betty!  You did it again!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Two Jews on Friday

It’s been an odd and tiring week at work, so I wanted to focus on something fun to celebrate the advent of Friday.  What better way to ring in TGIF than with a little TJoF—Two Jews on Film.

Joan and John Schwartz are the self-proclaimed Two Jews on Film, and they are wicked funny.  Weekly, and sometimes more, they praise (usually Joan) and skewer (usually John) the hits and misses that are newly releasing both at the multiplex and at the arthouse.

Having been in a film club for a couple of years now, and being surrounded by human encyclopedias of movie history, I’m not even sure I qualify for this term, but with some pause I can say that I am a film buff.  That being the case, I love to hear what these Jews…guys…have to say about the new releases; but really, these two could be going on about reality TV or restaurants or spark plugs.  It wouldn’t matter, because they are so entertaining—squabbling, reviewing, flirting, laughing at each others’ quirks...they’re always so much fun to watch.

Their rating system is zero to five bagels (not one to five, because I think John has given at least one film just half of a bagel), and there’s some nuance, as the bagels can be either dry or slathered with kosher delights.

With that, it’s time for me to get to the bagels.  I give Two Jews on Film five enthusiastic bagels, and they runneth over with lox, cream cheese and tons of capers.  Two Jews on Film open (release a new video) almost every week on YouTube.  Go see them, and tell me what you think.

If you are a subscriber of things on YouTube, please subscribe to their YouTube channel.  If you are a liker of things on Facebook, like them on their page.  Also, if you are so inclined, check out their great website.

Whether or not you’re a movie fan, whether you agree with one, both or neither on their reviews, and no matter if you’re a Joan with your bagel half full, or a John with your bagel half eaten, you will love and adore Two Jews on Film.  If you’re like me, after your first viewing of one of their videos, you will wish they were your cool, Jewish, movie-loving neighbors.

Now, picture me moving out of the frame and coming toward the webcam to stop recording, and in low, foreboding tones I say something vaguely related to all of the above, like, “May the Schwartzs be with you.”


Here are a few of their recent videos--a little atypical in that they agree on both films!  Spoiler alert:  The Watch is a wash and The Dark Knight Rises to the occasion.

I offer a curtsey to Rich from Wide Screen World, whose post about the Two Jews awhile back is where I was introduced to them.  A sheynem dank, Rich!  (I'm trying to be clever here, I think that means "thank you so much" in Yiddish).

Friday, July 20, 2012

Comment on Our Times

“I’m a registered Republican.  I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure, and not gay marriage.”     --From HBO's The Newsroom 

I heard this quotation on Fresh Air during an interview with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and it really resonated with me as a perfect comment on our times in middle America.  It reminded me of Rachel Maddow's oft-quoted, "I'm undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I'm in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform." 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Heroine

"Above all, be the heroine of your life..."

--Nora Ephron 

May 19th, 1941 - June 26th, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last Post Continued...

In my last post, I was answering questions posed about my blog.  As I mentioned last time, I was tagged for this set of queries by Rich from the fantastic film review blog called Wide Screen World, and here are his answers.  I'm to choose past posts of mine that fit these categories.  Onward!

The Most Controversial Piece

I suppose in the context of my blog, any piece could be considered controversial wherein I speak of my change of views regarding faith and religion, particularly to those who have known me for a very long time.  The funny thing is, I really started this blog so that I could post photos of different art projects and anything creative that I might be up to.  Very quickly, this place became a mish-mash of stuff, and a common theme around here is religion.  At the time I'm writing this, the largest tag in my cloud to the right is RELIGION.  It's a topic I frequently visit, so it's sort of second nature to me now.

The first time I wrote about my changing beliefs felt a little tenuous, just because it wasn't something I was speaking about publicly a lot yet.  Here is the first post about religion, and I remember clicking "publish" after writing it and wondering what would come of it all.


Here is one that has been misunderstood, and therefore I suppose is a bit controversial.  A few people spoke to me about this, and thought that I was saying that Christians should not get tattoos.  I don't care if Christians get tattoos.  I think that those Christians who get tattoos should be consistent and not oppose homosexuality, because the same passage in the Bible "discourages" both.  God hates tats!!!

Bible Buffet

The Most Surprisingly Successful Piece

I don't know if this makes it successful, but I got several text messages about this post...people thought it was funny, I guess.  It's kind of a tidy little entertainment piece.  I remember thinking about it during a boring day at work, and working it out in my head.

Television is Over

The Most Underrated Piece

I don't really know how to judge if any post is underrated, nor do I know if I've ever written anything that is worthy to be highly or even moderately rated!  As I scroll through past posts, though, I see that these are a couple of posts which go together and some who have come to the blog more recently may find them fun.  Or not.  But here they are!

Magneto von Bulow, Part I
Magneto von Bulow, Part II

The Most Pride-worthy Piece

The pride here is for my friend and our Alma Mater.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

7x7 Award

Rich, who writes a wonderful blog entitled Wide Screen World, tagged me awhile back for something called the 7x7 award.  Here goes!

First, I'm supposed to tell something about myself that no one knows.

Some people know this, of course, but most who read this blog probably don't.  I was in a car accident when I was nearly ten years old.  I was in a van filled with my mom, sisters, niece and nephew.  We were in Illinois, and  there was an accident that caused our van to go off of the road and roll four times.  I have worn a seat belt every single time I've ridden in a car save that time.  I'd had it on, but my nephew, who was a toddler at the time, had fallen asleep next to me and was pushing over against me.  I took off my seat belt so I could scoot over a little farther and not have him right up in my grill.  (In those days, toddlers his age didn't ride in car seats, but he had his seat belt on).

Anywhoodles, our van rolled around with me going about like a pinball.  When the van stopped rolling, and thankfully it stopped right side up, I had landed in a seated position on a tricycle that was in the storage area in the back of the van.  It had been mine and my siblings' before me each in turn, and was being given to my nephew.  I was fine save a few scratches, but a few of my sisters had much worse injuries--no worries, all survived and are good as new, though one sister had a long recovery.

My mother had a small cut on her head that took maybe eight stitches to fix, not a big deal, but I very vividly remember my mom with blood all over her face from that small cut.  I knew she was alright, because she was walking around holding my niece who was a baby, but it was a scary sight.  My brother and dad had a very scary ride out to come see us, because the hospital folks basically wouldn't tell them anything.

Oh, I should say that it was very serendipitous that right behind the accident were two car loads of doctors and nurses carpooling on their way to work.  That was a good thing, indeed, and I look back with fondness to those people and the help they readily gave.  Some who hear the story say, "Oh, they must have been angels."  Nope.  They were people--people with specialized training that was hard won and learned over many years of study.  I don't know their names, but I thank them, and all who make their living cleaning up the bad things that can happen when the human frame meets something stronger, heavier, and coming much too quickly.

The whole thing was such a defining moment in our family at the time, but now we hardly ever think of it--I don't, anyway.  Every once in awhile it comes up in conversation, and we all kind of have a moment of gratitude that we're all still around.

Sorry if that brought the mood down!  On to the next things.  I'm supposed to link to posts of mine that I think fulfill these titles.

The Most Beautiful Piece

I haven't written a beautiful piece, not even once, but I've been in some beautiful places and taken pictures.  Easily the most beautiful place I've ever seen is Ireland, and here are two posts that have pretty pictures of it.

Ireland Photos
More Ireland Photos

The Most Helpful Piece

Gosh, I can't think of anything helpful on this blog, ever.  In this little post, I guess I was trying to be helpful, if in a sarcastic way, to a televangelist.  It's interesting for me to see that I mention my old church, which I really wasn't attending anymore by that time.  Maybe I had attended a few times at the end of 2010.  The memory fades...

Love, Sarcasmo

Most Popular Piece

I get a ton of hits on posts that mention any celebrity or pop culture icon, as is evidenced in my "Greatest Hits" column somewhere on the right.  These hits are from Google searches, obviously, so they really don't count as most people probably move right on when they get or don't get the picture or info they wanted.  (Paranthetically, my blog recently came up for someone who was searching for "satanic paraphernalia."  I rather like this.  Also, I feel really sorry for those searching for tchotchkes with the phrase "I'm keeping Christ in Christmas" only to find my post entitled, "I'm keeping Christ in Christmas, and Stretched Across My Tits).

Anyway, apart from pop culture stuff, the post that has had most hits to date is this one.  It got a shit ton of hits because Kiley posted it somewhere, and she is super famous.  :)

But How Seriously Did You Take it, Michelle?

To be continued!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Last Egg Post--Pinky Swear!

Here's my awesome art group (half of us, anyway) and the eggs we made tonight. We had a ball, and will display these and some more of the goodies we made this year at our big group's annual dinner in a few weeks. (My art club has about 200 members, and we are broken up into small groups that meet each month. I'm biased, but I think our group is a collective rock star).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tired of Omelettes and Quiche...

...but having fun with the shells.

Here's the progression of an egg getting wax and dye in stages.  After the last color, you hold the egg over a candle and wipe off the wax as it melts. Voila!

The wax protected everything I wanted to be white from the yellow dye.

Before adding wax to all of the space that I wanted to stay red.

Wax sealed off the red from the black dye.

Hold it over the candle, wipe, repeat.

Wipe a little off, and the design starts to come through.

My dining table looks like a meth lab.

A Very Young Rachel Maddow, Already Kicking Ass

My sister sent me this video today.  I love that the intelligence and snark were already in place.  That voice is  unmistakable, even with all of that blonde hair!*

*Oops!  Sorry, Tina Fey.  YELLOW hair.  (See Bossypants).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Here's my first and very experimental egg. I did these in Russian class more years ago than I'd like to think about, then a few weeks ago happened upon a class at our downtown gallery. I had planned on doing this with my art group, as it's my month to host, so that was serendipitous. I'll make more purposeful designs this time, but this was a good go for practice.
The last one shows the egg before I put it in blue dye and then melted the wax off over a candle (see, this is why it smacks a little of Wicca). These are just egg shells--I have poked holes in the ends of each egg and blown out the contents. I will not post pictures of the egg blowing. It's not attractive, and this is a family show. You can see the holes in the eggs in the picture on my previous post. So, there ya go. I'll have a prettier one next time, and rest assured that these will not be hidden in the meadow for Eostre to find and therefore grant me fertility. That bitch gets enough eggs.