Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Old Oliver Video

This is three years old. I love it. Back in FL, looking for lizards!

Street Painting

I'm posting this again because it makes me happy to see my friend, Shannon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Real Litany

I posted this kids reading The Litany by Billy Collins a few entries ago. I didn't catch, however, that it was supposed to by funny. Turns out, it is...

Summer Art Camp

I spent the month of August teaching in a summer art camp in Hyde Park. I only blogged about it a  few times, but thanks to my little iPhone, I was able to take pictures of the kids' creations to share.

Dominique included a picture of me, in princess form, in her collage.

The kids made sculptures out of recycles materials.

I mixed sudsy water with some paint to make this bubble project.
Here's what the bubble art looks like!

Not sure what the story is with this one - part of a long mural the whole class made together - but it's funny. Move it!

My commute home.

Love these studies in abstract art.
This one is a study on the effect things have on watercolor. I had the kids scribble in wax on the paper, paint over it, then dump salt on top.

I love this one. The start of Kayell's Kandinski! Five years old and such an attention span!
Kayell's completed Kandinski!

It became the thing to do to bring in stuffed animals. Here, they are supervising the class.

Jenna's Paul Klee.

On the first day the kids made the circles by putting cups into paint and stamping the paper. They filled them in the next day!
Here's where I found my ideas...

The Crafty Crow
Laugh, Paint, Create
Art is the Best Part of the Day
Paint Cut Paste
Art Projects for Kids

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love and Friendship

Romantic relationships really are the cruelest of animals.
When you become close to someone in that way they invariably become your best friend too. So when it ends you have not only lost a love, but you have also lost your best friend.

It's really quite nasty.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I was listening to the radio while driving when a segment called "Striking a Chord" came on. There doesn't appear to be a link to the sound byte, unfortunately, but they were talking with singer Natalie Merchant about her song "Wonder". She explained that she had met a severely physically handicapped girl years ago, who talked about how her adoptive parents changed her life and gave her quality of life, and that she was able to do much more than anyone had ever expected her to do as a result of their love and support.

Merchant went on about how the song became an anthem of sorts, for many people. She attended a graduation at the Perkins School for the Blind, and a mother of one of the graduates came to her and told her about how she remembered sitting in the nursery in the middle of the night, in the dark, feeding her son who everyone told her would not be able to live a full life like a seeing child would. She would listen to the song while rocking her baby, and today, the kid has travelled the world and more.

Merchant had met doctors who have entered countless rooms to meet their child patients, and that many of them had the lyrics to "Wonder" posted above their beds. Another brain surgeon told her that she played the song while performing surgery.

Pretty cool how a child can inspire a song-writer who then goes onto to inspire so many more people.


Doctors have come from distant cities
Just to see me
Stand over my bed
Disbelieving what they're seeing

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of god's own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer
No explanation

Newspapers ask intimate questions
Want confessions
They reach into my head
To steal the glory of my story

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of god's own creation
And as far as they can see they can offer
No explanation

O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She'll make her way

People see me
I'm a challenge to your balance
I'm over your heads
How I confound you and astound you
To know I must be one of the wonders
Of god's own creation
And as far as you can see you can offer me
No explanation

O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as she came to my mother
Know this child will not suffer
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She'll make her way

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

Liz, "I'm not looking for a man."
Felipe, "You don't need a man, Liz. You need a champion."

" I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
Elizabeth Gilbert

"I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in charge?"
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

"You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."
Elizabeth Gilbert

"You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions."
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

"They flank me-Depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They dont need to show their badges. I know these guys very well...then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity;but he always does that.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

I may have to reread Eat, Pray, Love afterall.
Find More Here

My Path in the Woods

I went for a walk
after the snow
and I knew others had been there before
for the path I was on
was well beaten down
and it held my attention
no more

For the path well-trod
leads to despair
and is surfaced with dusty schemes
The path I prefer
I'll carve it myself
and pave it with elegant dreams

I once walked there
on the path well-trod
but my footprints I never could find
for they were all mixed and mingled therein
with the others
I walked behind

So I left the path
and I walked in the woods
and when I turned I could see
the most beautiful trail there in the snow
created only by me

My trail wasn't straight
nor was it wide
it wandered where ever I pleased
but the beauty I saw
could never be seen
from that well-trod path through the trees

Alone in the woods
I shed a tear
and gave the Lord thanks that day
for just one thing He gave to me
-the courage
to break away

But the tear that I shed
wasn't really for me
‘twas for the many who fear to be free
from the well-trod path
that shackles their souls
and shrouds their destiny

For on the well-trod path
nothing can grow
save for a few dusty schemes
But on the trail you carve yourself
you'll find
the most elegant dreams
- Marty Rickard

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I went today to see the movie Eat, Pray, Love with Maureen. I had read the book and while I enjoyed it, I found it to be a bit overrated. Going to see the movie was nice, but I think I would have gotten a different message out of it if I weren't licking my self-inflicted wounds from a break-up. I wanted to feel inspired by it, but really, I just felt it hit too close to home for me right now.

It talked about forgiveness and personal growth, the concept of keeping a balanced life, trusting in love. There was a scene when Liz is in Rome getting a tour of some ruins and hearing the story of the transformation of the ruins over time. "Ruin is the road to transformation" she said.

There were many sayings and statements in the movie that gave me pause, another being "Having a  broken heart only means that you tried."

I don't remember what I got out of the book, but there was a scene with a ganesh. Liz is shopping with one of her boyfriends and there is a shelf full of them. He is a hindu god who protects against obstacles. "I could use a bunch of those" Liz says.

Liz travels the world after divorcing her husband; starting in Italy, then on to India and then on to Bali. As I recall from the book, she was able to get a financial advance because she would write about her travels. Part of me loves the idea of that; leaving everything and 'finding myself'. The other part feels lonely just at the thought of it. Besides, I know who I am already.  Traveling and meeting new people, bonding with them then having to part ways again, having learned your lessons from each other and life's storybook requiring that you end a chapter and move on. "Nothing lasts forever" says Liz.  I am all too aware of this concept. We learn it as children really. Learning from people in our lives and then moving on is all part of life. I don't care for this aspect of life though.

I confess that I have very few people who I've severed ties with and now look back on with love, admiration and lots of appreciation for having had that person in my life. Mostly all I remember is the feeling of loss, or the feeling that my life is ultimately better without them. I don't like either feeling.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I didn't sleep well again last night. I woke early in the morning hypoglycemic and there was no juice in the house. Or milk. I had to take a spoonful of honey and wash it down with water. Must get out to get myself provisions.

When I went back to sleep, I dreamt I was in a yard somewhere, using a power saw on something. A storm kicked in and the people who were there with me disappeared. I didn't want to leave the tools out in the rain, so I ran to the shed to put them away. Lightning struck because of the metal I was running with, but missed me and hit some power lines.

A fire started and I began to yell. Not much sound was coming out of me, but the neighbor heard me anyway. When he came out I looked at my feet to see Oliver lying there lifeless. I gave him mouth to nose and he began to breathe again.

In the middle o all the chaos I was worried because I was late for school. I'm late for school a lot in my dreams.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cape Photos

Bootsie shakes it off.

Red paint.

Lilia swings for it.

Oliver smirk

On Shimmer

Monday, August 16, 2010

Slow and Steady

...wins the race even in friendship?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ikea and Mean People

On my way to the cape today, I detoured to Ikea. I'm not really sure why. To be alone. To look at stuff. To think. Think I did.  I thought about life for the most part, and occasionally detour from that when I'd see something and think what a bummer it was I had no place to buy that thing and put it. I left there with two white oven mitts.  Huh? Well, I saw them and thought I could do some kind of cool iron-on with them.

I wandered from section to section, looking a the artwork and the couches and beds and cool chairs. I thought about how I could buy some new sheets for my bed, but none of them seemed quite right, and when I decided I wanted white, they only had off-white.

I did however, hear a few people speak really harshly to each other. So that was kind of awesome - nothing brightens your day like hearing people be unkind to one another. Like the Indian couple; the woman sitting on a couch with her daughter and the man standing in the walkway in front of them yelling in something that wasn't English. She would shout back in a thick accent, "Don't talk to me. Don't EVEN talk to me!"  It made me sad that this kid had to listen to that.

On the way out, the store weaves you through a section where you can pick-up a box with your unassembled furniture of choice. Again, I heard two people bickering. It seemed like a girl, her father and her mother. The girl was in her early to mid-twenties and trying to convince her dad that the box in front of her was the right one. He yelled back, "You have no F^%cking idea what your talking about!" I turned and made a "dude, you're a JERK" facial expression at them. I hope the wife saw me.  Now, granted, maybe the kids a jerk, but I'm guessing that if that's the case, she got it from dad.  I hope they got whatever the dad thought was the right item and then got all the way home before they realized he'd chosen the wrong box.

I hope they live in Maine.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eighty degrees and sunny

And I feel anything but.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Art Camp

My students were passing the time making beaded necklaces while I set-up for the next project. Three girls and one boy. The boy cut a long string for his necklace and announced, "Mine's really long! It's down to my penis!" This was followed by a pause. A cricket chirps and he adds, "I don't know why I said that."

Monday, August 9, 2010


I would love to truly grasp this...
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I just spell-checked a cover letter and it suggested that when I listed my work website, what I actually meant was "sadomasochist".