Thursday, December 29, 2011
November 29 had surgery to remove a wandering hemo clip that "wandered" from a prior surgery to a most uncomfortable place.
I struggled the first six months of the year to lose about 12 pounds. I believe I've found every single one of them once again. Sigh. Judging by the way my jeans fit, I believe they brought a few friends along.
Anyway I am looking forward to 2012! The excitement of a presidential election year. The Republicans are all vying for the religious vote. Mitt Romney is actually somewhat sane but the Religicans don't like him because he is a Mormon! The rest of them are totally and completely ridiculous. I am just afraid one of the lunatics might actually get elected. Then what?
Oh, some are saying the world is supposed to end? That might be a better option than Newt Gingrich.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Daughter and I are on our search for the good, the bad and the ugly displays of the season. We wanted to do the twelve days of Christmas, but I had the wandering hemo-clip thing surgically removed and then we got busy. Anyhoo, I take no credit for this photo. It was sent to me by a friend. I thought it quite funny and I think the holidays are better if they make us laugh! We all need to laugh. Hopefully I will manage at least two more posts. I will leave it to your discretion to decide the category!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Here we are at Shazza's store. Some of the relatives showed up! Pictured are cousin Cynthia, my father (aka semiconductor), Shazza, Self, Aunt Bette (aka Mrs. Doubtfire), and Jeannie. Aunt Bette is my mother's sister, Cynthia and Jeannie are her fraternal twin daughters. They are holding a print of my Dublin "Chimbleys". My framer and one of her employees requested to purchase prints of Chimbleys. That was inspired the view from my hotel room on our family trip to Ireland four years ago.
Friday, November 25, 2011
A few of the girlfriends with their leis still intact, getting ready to perform. Delaney had a wonderful time. Besides performing she found time to kayak and bury friends in the sand. She missed Thanksgiving with the family although they "provided" the cafeteria grade turkey dinner with instant mashed potatoes, it wasn't up to par. Delaney sent us a text telling us she missed our Thanksgiving dinner. We stayed home. There were only the three of us. Oldest daughter was home from college and appreciated home time. So lets be thankful. Remember the brave men and women who fought for us and pray to stop these stinking wars.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I remember years ago suggesting to my daughter's elementary school PTO that we should incorporate some of these festivities into their fall festival. What fun it would be! (This was after a certain fundamentalism group outlawed Halloween). Needless to say that was immediately shot down and I was accused of Satanism.
October to me has become death month. I spent last weekend in Virginia following the death of my brother-in-law. Dr. Joe turned 60 on September 11th. One year ago we traveled to Virginia to "celebrate the life" of my husband's best friend. Michael was 51. My mother's birthday would have been October 20th. All three of them died prematurely due to different types of cancer. I'm not quite up to celebrating in the way of our Mexican friends.
I haven't felt much like posting. I felt the same way last year after Michael's death. Mom's birthday in the middle of this contributes to the down feeling. My students will be making colorful skulls in art class. Perhaps if I post the name of the project in Spanish I will not get flak.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I was assigned to the 400 acre Snyder family farm in nearby Mount Wolf. I was given one day in July to sketch and photograph and gather a general impression of the land. The owner agreed to meet me at 6:00 p.m. one evening. I drove around with my sketchbook and camera, wishing that I had time to paint on location.
The cause is worthy. The owners of beautiful farmland agree to preserve their land in order to maintain some of the rural character of our county for future generations. The land directly across the road from this farm was turned into a typical sprawling suburban subdivision. I'm sure it was somewhat profitable for the owners, but much more so for the developers. Just beyond the ridge of hills there lies shopping centers, car dealerships, and traffic. The tower of he trash incinerator is visible, but not prominent on the horizon.
I am honored by the invitation to participate in this exhibit. There are some well known artists participating that I consider way above my league!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Here's a painting I'm working on for Shazza's Sister Show. I am using her wonderful photography for inspiration. The sky is a little trippy but I like it.
This is definitely the landscape of my childhood as we were surrounded by the salt marsh. We used to call it the meadows. I used to play in it, sinking into the oozy mud while I hunted for terrapins and salamanders. When I was a pre-teen, I used to ride a painted Chincoteague pony down the sandy road to the Seaview docks. During the summer I set my crab traps over the Patcong Creek bridge and waited for my prey. As I got a bit older the sandy marsh roads led to "smoking" spots. When the marsh froze you could walk on the footpaths away from civilization. Small fires were built. Beer cans dropped by underage drinkers littered the ground.
It wasn't until I moved away that I realized the beauty of the salt marsh. I am glad that it is now protected. The osprey have returned. The place holds all sorts of memories for me. Some pleasant, some terrifying. I remember the smell of low tide.
As I look at it on my monitor it looks different than the painting. I added some new purple to the sky and now I realize that I should not have. I was trying to go for complementary color drama. I have to clean up a few stray marks here and there.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I did get an unexpected day off. Luckily my house is not in a flood plain. I did cross through a boundary and I drove through a water covered road last night. Normally I wouldn't do it, but the little VW ahead of me went through so I thought my bitchen mini-van would make it.
Hershey Park is underwater. Unfortunately they had to euthanize two buffalo (American bison) that were caught in a flash flood.
Major interstates are closed including I-81 and the Pennsylvania turnpike. It is pretty serious. This stalled weather system is causing more damage than Hurricane Irene last week.
The good news is that I spent the day painting. I have the preserved farmland trust exhibit coming up.
I hope everyone is staying dry.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Captured from a friend. I knew there was something about McDonald's food.
If you need another reason to not eat this shit, here it is.
Sorry, I've not been posting. First couple of weeks of school with all new classes! I'm a bit busy but I love you all.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
My daughter is moving into her fabulous Philadelphia flat this weekend! Just thought I'd share a few pictures. I want to live here!
The first image is the spacious L-shaped living room with twelve foot ceilings and wrap-around windows!
The second image is her second floor bedroom! This is a huge room and she will be sharing it with her friend.
The third photo is a view of the kitchen from beneath the open staircase! The appliances are three years old. The neighborhood is in a wonderful center city location. The girl looking out the window is facing an old cobblestone alley. There is a beautiful garden directly across the street. Most of the buildings are brick townhouses.
I am ready to move in. We have secured a two-year lease and if the girls decide to move home for the summer, you had better believe we will be Philadelphians again!
Friday, August 12, 2011
I must admit this doesn't look too bad from an aerial perspective.
From the side view you can see how crooked my little cake turned out! The bottom layer stuck to the pan a bit. I tried to cover it up with the cream cheese frosting, but...oh well!
Annelise is a huge fan of the Cake Wrecks blog. Anyway that was the inspiration for the Mohawk Baby Carrot Jockeys! First I was going to mount the little babies on baby carrots, but then thought the frosting would be more fun! Please note I do not have proper cake decorating tools. I do not own a pastry bag, I did not go out and buy squeezy tubes. I tried to improvise. First I attempted to make a little funnel, but after that failed I resorted to "shaping" the little carrots with a butter knife! I did buy the babies and I was able to squeeze a little icing gel on the heads in order to give them their little mohawks. I did not give the black babies mohawks because they looked like they already had them.
After I added the candles it gave my carrot jockeys the opportunity to pole dance!
Anyway the cake tasted much better than it looked! I grated fresh carrots, chopped pecans and substituted crushed pineapple for one cup of the vegetable oil. The result was an extremely rich and moist carrot cake. (Perhaps that's why the bottom layer stuck a bit. The frosting was also homemade, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and sugar. Yum!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Here is a fun little painting that I created in response to the Degas Project back in April.
I actually created two paintings. The first I posted was of three little ballet dancers. This second painting was intended as a quickie fun painting. I was trying to capture the dancer's long blond hair that appeared as alive as she was! It was quite refreshing as most of the paintings exhibited were "oh so serious" and photo-realistically representational.
I photographed it with an intentional blur and then wondered if I could paint it!
Well I had some fun with the hip hop theme and tried to throw in a little sgraffito and grafitti action! The painting was photographed as in progress. I did touch up a few things, but I can't show you as the painting is SOLD!
I was inspired by Dive's wonderful boy band photos and think she'd be quite the match for his blond boy rocker! I couldn't find the photo with my other dancer images and just found that I loaded it on hubby's computer!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Oh and by the way, I have been painting. I just haven't been sharing. For several reasons, the first being laziness. The second reason is photo software issues. The third being, paintings are always works in progress and not quite ready to share.
Anyway, I am currently working on four or five paintings. I am sharing this one because it didn't photograph too bad.
This painting was inspired by a photo my sister, "Shazza" shot on the Jersey shore near her home. We both grew up on the "Jersey shore". Please note it is not the Jersey Shore of Snooki. Our stomping grounds were about and hour and a half south of Seaside Heights. We locals were not so much into big hair, gold chains and spray tans. I was of the long straight hair, parted in the middle, T-shirt and landlubber jeans. Shoes were flip flops or nothing. I remember that the bellbottoms of the landlubbers were long enough that I could curl my toes into the excess material. Otherwise the Rent-a-cops would boot me off the boardwalk.
Anyway, Shazz has this incredible store and invited me to do a "sistah show" with her. She will be showing her incredible photography and I will show some paintings. I borrowed some of her outstanding photos for inspiration. I am not trying to copy her incredible photos verbatim, but I am trying to add some of my recollections of growing up at "the shore". It was a huge part of becoming me and even though I am currently landlocked, the ocean, the dunes, the marshes and the boardwalk will always be part of me. As this show will be at the shore, I felt it appropriate to paint along with that theme.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sarah, the Palin meerkat can see Russia from her front porch. She can skin a moose, talks like a twit and has become the sweetheart of the redneck set.
Michelle the Bachman Meerkat is equally endearing. She confuses sociopathic serial killers with Western actors and promises to be submissive to her husband when she reaches the highest office! She is stealing the evangelical Christian voters from Sarah the Palin meerkat! (Well, Sarah isn't officially on the ticket yet)
Equally adorable and of the male persuasion is Ricky the Santorum (please Google this) meerkat. His distinguishing characteristic is one of fundamental Catholicism. (Gotta get those voters too). All of these meerkats enjoy tea parties and are funded by the multi-billionaire Koch brothers. In case you are not familiar with meerkat behavior, please research Americans for Prosperity, the 912 Patriots and other tea party groups. Most rednecks, fundamentalists and ordinary zoo visitors think that these are "grassroots" political organizations that are made up of regular, ordinary citizens. Little do they know it is an orchestrated and hugely funded scheme! This scheme was carefully orchestrated by the Cocksuckers, I mean Koch brothers. They are in the gas, energy and corporate take over business and are enjoying amazing profits since the Bush tax cuts. The Kochs are fundamentally libertarian, their father was one of the founding members of the John Birch society. They have organized a campaign to destroy Obama, pesky labor unions, public schools and the middle class.
The tea party members are made up of primarily working class and middle class people. Most of them are or were hard working, honest people. The Kochs are successfully setting them against teachers, unions and other working people by suggesting that teachers and union members have it better. The Obese Governor Christy of New Jersey called teachers welfare queens.
One tea party group has openly admitted to a goal of destroying the public school system. Let's keep those lower and middle classes stupid!
People. The meerkats are cute, but they are puppets. George W. Bush was a puppet. Obama is actually a human being with a brain. He is failing because the republicans are united in destroying him.
Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph all the Washington meerkats for you. Some were underground and receiving "slimy yet satisfying" treats from their keepers. Lucky for you, I was able to catch the cute ones with my little Nikon digicam.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
After one year of student housing - sharing a tiny studio with another student AND the fact that none of them were privileged to win the lottery for on-site housing, the girls are looking for their own digs. (This is actually a good thing, we think)
What an exciting, emotional and frustrating experience this has been. Exciting in that in brings back memories of my young adult self living in the city in a cool townhouse with three other girls. The little known small streets of Philadelphia, some cobblestone, some paved over but too narrow for cars, unknown, quaint little neighborhoods to explore. I remember living on Rodman Street. No one has ever heard of Rodman Street. It was an adorable little street!
Several years ago, Doug and I took the girls on an adventure...a train ride to Philadelphia to see a production of the Lion King at the Academy of Music. We rented a hotel room and walked to the theatre. The best part was the hour or so to kill before the show. We walked around the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood and I showed my girls my old townhouse on Rodman Street. A sign in the window read, "Frodo lost, Bush stole the Ring."
I believe that little detour stirred something in the daughters. Annelise enthusiastically applied to the University of the Arts and lived about four blocks from my old townhouse.
Today we place an outrageous deposit on a townhouse rental in an outstanding neighborhood two blocks away from my old house.
The place is perfect. The girls are worried that it is too nice for them. Split four ways, it is still cheaper than the University housing.
This is emotional because I started here in so many ways.
This is frustrating because the first apartment we looked at didn't work out. I am working with three other students and three other families. We all want our daughters to live in a safe neighborhood. We all want them to live in a nice place. I have one Mom with whom I see eye-to-eye. We agree on everything. I have another who is in Wisconsin and is worried about price. I have another who is a bit of a ______neurotic head case. No I didn't say that. (Yes I did.) She finds fault in everything. I have tried to convince her that all of these wonderful places are cheaper than what the university was charging. She just doesn't seem to get it. I do not want to alienate her daughter. Mine thinks the world of her, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
So how to parent and negotiate and navigate and stay focused, but not overwhelmed is a challenge.
I keep obsessively checking my email. Yesterday I received about 10 messages on this issue. There is in-fighting and shit going on between them. I don't want to get into the shit! I just want to be settled in an apartment!
Monday, July 4, 2011
I am at the brink. I feel pure, creative genius coming on, then paint, paint, paint....Some ridiculous music has spurred me on. I walk out the door. I come back one hour later and the canvas looks like cat vomit.
Well the sure cure is to pour. Then I can come back with some more opaque stuff and see if I can find anything interesting. These might be painting starts or nothing at all, but sometimes I am happier with these than the planned stuff.
Oh and excuse the non-existent cropping and crappy picture quality. My laptop does not have Photoshop and the photo editing software is crap.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The day started with a formal ceremony and mass honoring Jessica's rite of passage to young womanhood.
A huge stretch limo was hired. Photos were taken a a park and a formal reception was held at a rented hall.
Some people may have gushed at William and Kate's wedding as every young girl dreams of becoming a princess, but this was so much better in so many ways.
The first picture is of the mini-quinceaneran, one of Jessica's cousins who enjoyed the honor of dressing like the honoree. She also won the admiration of every little girl at the park!
Jessica wore an elegant dress, a tiara and carried a scepter. She was truly a princess for the day!
She is escorted by her brother. He rode in the limo with about 13 beautiful young ladies! Lucky guy! He took a bit of "razzing" from his friends, but didn't seem to mind too much.
What an incredible day for a wonderful young lady. We returned to the reception hall for homemade Salvadoran food and dancing. There was a ritual "changing of the shoes" where Jessica's father replaced her Chuck Taylor sneakers with high heels. Jess stood up and thanked her family and her friends for helping her become a young woman. Every member of her family helped to prepare the feast and festivities.
Jessica's mother told me that she could not have one because her family in El Salvador was too poor.
She fulfilled the dream for her daughter.
I wish every girl could be a princess for the day.
(My daughter is the ginger-haired, third from left). I hope you enjoy the photos. Blogger would only allow me to upload three. What's up with Blogger these days?
Monday, June 20, 2011
Oh what a scandal!
I did not realize that this scandalous sculpture existed!
Thankfully, my art student daughter enlightened me.
This sculpture, created by Horatio Greenough created quite the scandal in 1840.
The Wikipedia entry is as follows:
Greenough modeled his massive (30 tons) figure of “Enthroned Washington” on the great statue of Zeus Olympios which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and which was destroyed in late Antiquity). The seated and besandled Washington gazes sternly ahead. He is bare-chested and his right arm and hand gesture with upraised index finger toward heaven. His left palm and forearm cradle a sheathed sword, hilt forward, symbolizing Washington turning over power to the people at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War.
Well, the American people at the time thought it was obscene and hid the sculpture until at least the 1960s. That makes it all the more fun doesn't it?
And by George, he was chopped!
We met up with my California brother in our nation's capitol Friday. This was the highlight of our trip, besides dinner at La Fourchette, the restaurant we visited over our honeymoon, and breakfast at The Diner at Adams Morgan.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Now you can understand my reason for helping with the job search.
Oh it has been extremely frustrating. All of the retail outlets and food outlets must be swamped with applicants as none of them ever bother to contact us. The girls follow up with phone calls and hear all manner of excuses.
Finally Mom's ingenious idea: The Temp Agency. I used to use these agencies when I was young and inexperienced. I landed a few nice little busywork jobs filing and typing and filling envelopes and such, but they were resume builders.
I helped A to build up her resume. Highlight skills: Adept at Photoshop, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, yadayadayada. Beef up the National Honor Society and 500 letters to soldiers and Vice Captain of the Fencing club to compensate for her lack of actual "work" experience.
It helped so much that she became overqualified for work in the cookie factory. (Not exactly what we were going for)
Then the Volkswagen dealer was looking for someone with her exact qualifications but wanted a permanent commitment. (No chance)
Will try another temp agency tomorrow. Funny, when I was her age they were always looking for clerical people.
This teen boredom might be the reason there are so many cute cat internet pictures, videos, games, etc.
Monday, May 30, 2011
To me, Memorial Day weekend also meant the unofficial start of summer. Ocean City, New Jersey was open for business and the shoobies were flocking to town. We used to laugh at the Pennsylvanians who clogged the roads trying to capitalize on the three-day weekend. They crowded the boardwalk and bought Budweiser visors to wear with their black socks and sandals.
Now I live in Pennsylvania and I will not go near the shore or anywhere else on Memorial Day weekend. Yesterday we had a very laid back "party" with good friends and good food.
Today I decided to relax. I read an entire book while sitting on the back deck. I haven't done that for a while.
Thanks again the the brave men and women from every country who have allowed me to take an extra day to relax.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
1) ONE OF YOUR SCARS. HOW DID YOU GET IT? I have so many! I’ll take my ankle surgery scars! I got churned up by an ocean wave and shattered my ankle. Five broken bones! Surgeon thought it was caused by either a football injury or a motorcycle accident.
1) 2) WHAT IS ON THE WALLS OF YOUR BEDROOM? Some cheesy naked nymph from the days I worked as a picture framer.
1) 3) WHAT DOES YOUR MOBILE PHONE LOOK LIKE? Flat black and boring. Who cares?
1) 4) WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? Miles Davis and John Coltrane interspersed with the Clash, Modest Mouse, Vampire Weekend, old Joni Mitchell, Mozart, independent new artists, Allman Brothers, old rock, depending on the mood.
5) DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN? 1:31 a.m.
6) WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW? The school year to end
7) WHO DO YOU MISS? Mom, Michael Canty
8) IS ANYONE IN LOVE WITH YOU OR HAS A CRUSH ON YOU? Hopefully my husband,Doug. Crush? That would be hilarious!
9) WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU KISSED? Doug
10) WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? Ann
11) THE BEST TV SHOW EVER CREATED? Homicide
12) THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO? Doug is talking now
13) DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK? Not particularly
14) THE LAST PERSON TO MAKE YOU CRY? Mr. Fredericksen from the movie “Up”
15) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOGNE/PERFUME? Eternity by Calvin Klein
16) WHAT KIND OF HAIR/EYE COLOR DO YOU LIKE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX? Dark hair, blue eyes, but I always end up with the blonde lol.
17) WOULD YOU RATHER BE SMART OR FUNNY? Funny. I am smart according to the accepted IQ tests but it’s not always “fun” to be brilliant \o/. (I think too much)
18) COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS? Coffee duh
19) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING? Onion and black olives on cheesy thin crusted New York style pizza
20) IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A nice sharp provolone with grapes
21) WHO IS THE LAST PERSON WHO MADE YOU MAD? Stupid scholarship committee at school for picking a butt kisser instead of the most amazing art student I’ve ever had the privilege to teach
22) DO YOU SPEAK ANOTHER LANGUAGE? I used to speak Haitian creole
23) WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT THAT YOU REMEMBER SOMEONE GIVING YOU? I’m fixated on the turquoise EZ-Bake Oven for some reason.
24) DO YOU LIKE SOMEONE? yes
25) 25) ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED? No not even close
26) FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND? No I am opposed to brand name anything
27) 27) WHAT IS YOUR DREAM CAR? O Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz…
28) WHAT COLOR IS IT? Gold with classic wood interior
29) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF EXERCISE? Walking in the woods
30) WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING? Not at my age.