Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The First Bonfires of the Year

I had been doing so well posting at least once a day, Monday through Friday, for a while.

Then life intervened and I stopped posting for a week.

In that time, I have completely run out of money. So when I took this picture of the girls last weekend, it was as we were enjoying bonfires and marshmallows and barbecues. Now when I look at it, I see our hobo life, building a fire in an oil drum for warmth.

I hope it doesn't come to that.

Of course, I'm painting it bleakly for dramatic effect. I am teaching three art classes a week at the elementary school this Spring. It doesn't pay much, but even worse, it doesn't pay often. I just completed the fourth week of the eight week course today and I have yet to be paid for any of the weeks' classes.

I know times are hard for everyone. I also know that I don't really provide any real blogger product worth much, but if you have some spare change and feel like sharing, I've got a paypal link there on the left. I'd be most grateful. Thank you.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Some difficult thoughts and things this week.

A lot of things I thought would be easier by now.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

Trying to think of a title for this post, I tossed around "Bigger isn't always better" or "Size Matters" but since the subject, tangentially, is my daughter, those seemed inappropriate. Then "All Creatures Great and Small" popped into my head and it seemed perfect. But I wondered if it was from the bible. Wikipedia tells me it's from the hymn, "All Things Bright and Beautiful."

1. All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
2. Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
All things bright ...
3. The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
All things bright ...
4. The purple headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;−
All things bright ...
5. The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,−
He made them every one:
All things bright ...
6. The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;−
All things bright ...
7. He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
All things bright ...

If you took the god part out, I think this is mostly a lovely song celebrating life. Of course, many folks don't like to sing verse three outloud. Funny how the god of the people who wrote this song would put this idea in their heads. Perhaps this god got his ideas on frequent hunting trips with Cheney.

Anyway, it was not my intention to talk about religion here. It's my opinion that this patriarchal religion, in its many forms, has contaminated much of our planet. But that's just my opinion.

The story of this post (whew!), is that my 8yo daughter loves slugs. The smaller slug in the picture above is her pet. She caught him a few weeks ago, after she decided to do her science project on slugs. The Science Fair was last Thursday.

Sisters at the Fair

Her plan had been to let the slug go after its debut at the Fair. Of course, when the time came, she couldn't part with "Swuggie." The slug seems to be happy in the habitat she created for it. She takes it out and lets it crawl around several times a day.

So yesterday afternoon, as they were enjoying the gorgeous Spring day, she and her sister found that other, much larger slug in the top picture. I thought for sure that this one would become her new pet. But no. She let the big one go back where she'd found it, and tucked Swuggie in for the night.

Bright and beautiful.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Friday

My mom

I joined the facebook trend-let of changing your profile picture to a picture of your mother in honor of Mother's Day, which is apparently this weekend. As I was looking through my photos of her this afternoon to choose one, she happened to call. It was not typical until recently for us to talk on the phone regularly--neither of us are big phone people. This new development makes me happy.

My mother has begun preparing her exit, begun preparing me. A friend of mine joked that her grandmother has been doing the same for the last ten years, so put the tears away, I've still got plenty of time. (And, of course, now I'm crying as I type this) Maybe there are people who always know how to play their role, but I seem to figure mine out after the show has closed. I feel, as a parent, like I only learn how to resolve certain challenges at the very moment they are no longer a challenge. As a child, I have no clue how to go through this next phase in my relationship with my mom. Even though, in the past, a month could go by without our ever talking, I took for granted that we could.

I love you, Mom, even if I never send you a Mother's Day card.

Toronto Comic Arts Festival: Pencil it In from Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Vimeo.

"Everything you love will eventually be taken from you."
(watch -- it's actually a cheery video)

A pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

For ms. f.

Other people's dogs.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Righteous Rant from my friend S

There's no place to run anymore.

The corporate fascists have taken it all.

Bin Laden is dead? So what.

Tomorrow morning I'll get up -- if I bother to go to bed to try to sleep -- and still have no health care, no job, no hope of a job -- and get ready to move to another place to either wait to die from untreated illness or to end my life when I run out of money.

How did this happen?

I let it happen.

I believed that if I worked hard, got an education, and stepped up to take care of my family all would turn out well. It didn't. Life's promise left me out -- and I'm not the only one.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Helen Mirren's Breasts

My friend, jac posted a link to this video earlier today. I am new to the Helen Mirren phenomenon. What I mean is, she seems suddenly to be on everyone's list of sexy older women. I don't know much current pop culture, but I think she even did a skit on Saturday Night Live recently about her magical breasts (please correct me if I'm wrong, for I'm too lazy to google). It turns out she was a sexy younger woman, too.

What struck me about this video is how well she carries the exasperation at being asked those questions that women artists always get asked. Essentially: how can you create any art of value when you have breasts? How can you expect men to take you seriously? Either you're too beautiful so that is too distracting or you're too ugly so why should we pay any attention to you.

Yet another post about soaking in patriarchy. Maybe I should get out more.