Monday, March 30, 2009

Crow's back

Crow here. I know I've been away for a while and I apologize but I really needed a break. An invitation to fly with the condors in Peru was a chance not to be missed because these guys are totally cool and almost the same size as me. You didn't think I was a normal looking garden crow, did you? Andean condors are massive birds, among the largest in the world that are able to fly and since I stand at 6.5 feet (without my boots on) we can give each other back slaps and high wings without having to worry about injuring each other. Also like me, they have enormous 10-foot wingspans so strong winds are a joy whether high up in the mountains or along the coasts gliding on the air currents and thermals. It was a joy only their eating habits could spoil. I understand it's all very helpful to the environment but a diet of carrion got old for me once I ran out of the picnic goodies susan had packed. So I'm back. I see things haven't changed much.

It appears to me that giving more money to the people who caused the current economic problems isn't what I'd call helpful. I mean if you were going to give millions, billions or, God forbid, trillions of dollars, wouldn't you prefer it went to people who know what they're doing? Wouldn't you give it to those who have a history of spending money wisely for the greater good? Why not give it to Heifer or Doctors Without Borders or Unicef for crying out loud?

Speaking of trillions, what is a trillion anyway? I remember my old friend Carl Sagan saying there were billions of stars in the galaxy and billions of galaxies in the universe and everyone listening would gasp in awe. Now a billion is just like pocket change: 'Oh well, a billion here and a billion there, what's it matter?' Are they crazy?

Throwing money at these people is like trying to get rid of an infestation of rats by throwing edible garbage at them. Oh no, that will never cause them to go into an eating and breeding frenzy.

I'm reminded of another President I used to chat with many years ago, Andrew Jackson, and what he had to say in a similar situation:

"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves... I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God I will rout you out!"

Does anyone know a Chief Executive with that kind of courage?

Okay, that's enough from me tonight. There's a nice glass of warm brandy waiting for me and that perch over on the other side of the room looks very comfortable. I'll drink to your health and say 'Good night and good flight'.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

randal facts.. i mean random

Just as I thought I'd have a quiet rainy weekend to continue lazing around - I mean working on my latest painting - what should happen but that a quick browse over at Randal's blog saw me struck with the '6 Random Things' meme. That'll teach me to go looking for a hit of poetry and madness with my late afternoon cup of tea but, while the watercolor paper dries after the last wash, I'll add to what you'd prefer not to know:

The Rules
1. Link to the person who tagged you. (Done)
2. Post the rules on your blog. (You're reading them)
3. Write six random things about yourself. (As if anyone's interested)
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (Who else deserves this?)
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. (That's what surfing is for)
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. (Ditto)

Okay, here goes:

1. I like playing low-key video games or high key ones if I can play along with my best friend. Our all time favorite was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles where I got to be the magician female Yuke, Castra (that's her with the pointy ones) and he played the Selkie girl warrior, Numb. We've got a brand new version for our wireless DS's.. not as pretty as the Game Cube one but acceptable. I love casting spells and solving puzzles.

As a corollary to this we've been playing Animal Crossing Wild World twice a day every day for three and a half years. It's very Zen like and if you play it long enough and get every item you come to realize that things are valueless but friendship is real.

2. I'm near sighted but refuse to wear glasses unless I'm at the movies, driving or in a strange place. I couldn't stand the idea of contact lenses either with the result I don't see blemishes on people or notice wrinkles. I recognize people at a distance by the way they move.

3. I don't own a cell phone. If you see me walking down the street talking and there's nobody with me I really have gone crazy.

4. I've kept a journal since 2002 where I record books I read, movies we watch, presents we've sent and received and whatever happens to seem worth recalling like the concerts, visits and the time I decided to get an aquarium because the picture was pretty. That was a bad idea suitably noted for future reference.

5. Apart from visiting family and friends I've never purchased a ticket to a faraway place just so I could sit on a beach and stay in a hotel. Instead, I travelled. If a place looked interesting I'd go and live there, including finding work. Now I'm so much older than before it takes a little longer to decide on the next place.. possibly Halifax, NS. If we're lucky our pensions might add up to a decent rent payment which means working for food and sundries. Do you suppose elderly life models are in high demand there?

6. I have a passion for live music and even without the journal I remember every show I've ever seen.. like the night at the Leroy in Pawtucket, RI where guys were throwing their underwear at Blondie. What a thrill for Deborah Harry, eh?

Now we get to choose our six victims.. or possibly willing participants:

Pagan Sphinx
la Belette Rouge

No obligation here.. just if you have the time and inclination.
All is well.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

non-verbal communication

works for me

If I were a writer I'd be up here posting my poems or short stories or amusing anecdotes about the foibles of human nature.

If I were a mathematician I'd be manipulating symbols using rules without any hint of their true meaning.

If I were a photographer I'd be posting gorgeous shots of places I'd visited.

If I were a hiker or runner I'd be outside right now.

Instead, I'm an artist who doesn't work fast.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

hold this spot

It's time to get on with some work for a day or two but I don't want you to think I've got lost. So to provide something kind of neat to view for anyone who passes this way, here's another of my older paintings. She's been up here before but not in a long while.

Meanwhile, Crow sent a postcard from Peru where he tootled off with some condor pals a couple of weeks ago. He'd been pretty flocked off by the end of winter what with all the bad economic news and the fact I ran short of fruit cake but he says he's feeling much more relaxed and harmonious now. He'll be back with more news soon but until then he asked if I'd post this fine video of one of his friends sky dancing to the beautiful voice of Yma Sumac.

Monday, March 9, 2009

entertaining myself

This is what I did on the weekend. I've never photographed a painting in progress so the only people who get to see what I'm working on are those who stop by my house. That's a pretty rare event in itself, one that calls for the painting to be covered and the brushes rinsed while I make tea and conversation.

What you see here is the central image I'll be working from. It's been transferred to its sheet of watercolor paper and has already undergone some changes but the pencil lines are so fine as to not be discernible to a camera. I inked the original drawing so you can get an idea of my idea. It may not look like much right now but it took several days to get this far and will likely take weeks to complete.

If I weren't such a lazy person I could have drawn a picture of a great public works project that came to mind. How about if they built a moving sidewalk from Los Angeles to New York? Building it would certainly provide employment for a lot of people and I imagine it being powered by former corporate fat cats running inside large versions of hamster wheels. Travelers could stroll with their luggage for a mile or two or sit in those ubiquitous white plastic chairs waving to the people going the other way or for entertainment, throw their garbage at the guys in the wheels. It may be an idea whose time has come.. I wish.

(Any resemblance between the central figure and anyone you know may or may not be intentional.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

march is spring's yawn

Tourist: Good afternoon.

Shepherd: Eh, 'tis that.

Tourist: You here on holiday?

Shepherd: Nope, I live 'ere.

Tourist: Oh, good for you. Uh...those ARE sheep aren't they?

Shepherd: Yeh.

Tourist: Hmm, thought they were. Only, what are they doing up in the trees?

Shepherd: A fair question and one that in recent weeks 'as been much on my mind. It's my considered opinion that they're nestin'.

Tourist: Nesting?

Shepherd: Aye.

Tourist: Like birds?

Shepherd: Exactly. It's my belief that these sheep are laborin' under the misapprehension that they're birds. Observe their be'avior. Take for a start the sheeps' tendency to 'op about the field on their 'ind legs. Now witness their attempts to fly from tree to tree. Notice that they do not so much fly as...plummet.

From Monty Python.

We all have days when instead of soaring we plunge. I'm trying not to let it get me down.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

who knew?

We all thought Escher's work to be inexplicable until the recent discovery he was actually an economist.

Now I feel much better.

Mark McHugh - thanks, Lindsay!

Monday, March 2, 2009

time for skittles and beer

Ahh, my favorite time of year is springtime and it's almost here even if you do happen to be among the unfortunates digging out from under 15 inches of blizzard delivered snow today. Take heart. It's March and Easter's on the way. Watching rampaging giant bunnies chase children over hill and dale is another of my favorite things. Thanks Michael Sowa for letting me post another excellent canvas filled with spring delight.

Speaking of thanks, I've been very remiss in not acknowledging the very excellent blog friends who've given me awards recently. I've been feeling guilty about not posting them but must also note that I'm not very good in general about blog awards. This is a tiny spot and some of the awards require the recipient to pass them on to eight or ten other bloggers. By now just about everyone I know up here has been given them during my period of idleness, indolence, inertia, sloth, languor, lassitude, lethargy, loafing and general apathy. Take your pick. See, I'm still digressing but now it's time to make amends and to express my gratitude to those of you kind enough to let me know you find something enjoyable here now and then.

Three lovely people have nominated me for the 'Friend's Award':

The first of these came from Lover of Life (I like to address her as LoL) -- who appeared out of the blue this winter. She lives at Lake Tahoe and not only posts lovely pictures of the area but also is a very thoughtful and interesting writer. I liked the ghost story and have one for her one of these days.

Then the charming Pagan Sphinx gave both Crow and me the same award. Crow is still preening over that one since he's quite certain it was meant just for him and my name was mentioned only because Pagan is kind. He's likely right since I know the two of them have a 'thing' going.

Just yesterday the highly cultured Liberality surprised me with the third one. We've been seeing each other around for quite some time and I've been very impressed by her astute and candid observations about social issues combined with great personal kindness.

The well designed 'Creative Blogger Award' also came from Pagan Sphinx. When this arrived Crow started packing his bags saying he's been meaning to spend some time in Western Massachusetts and spring seems like an excellent time. He's on his way, Pagan, so I hope you have some extra peanuts and some old Christmas cake. He might need a stiff shot of brandy and a warm perch if it's still snowing there. He brings my thanks and salutations.

The final one, the 'Sisterhood Award' was presented by the inestimable gifted writer, precocious blogger and very sweet longtime friend, La Belette Rouge. She and her He-Weasel and charming, delightful, exquisite, splendid, dainty, delicate and lovely little Lily of the West are preparing for a trip to The City of Light this spring. I never got to see Paris in the spring and they've promised to think of me as they sip un verre de vin on the Champs Elysées. What more could you ask of a friend?

Now that I've got them, what do I do with these fine awards? You can call me idle, languorous or torpid but the fact is that now I have approximately 34 deserving blog friends to nominate in turn and only have 20 in my blog roll. Should I spend the evening searching out the unknown (to me) lands of Blogtopia to find worthy recipients? No. I'll just be gratified I have such good friends.

On the other hand, I don't think the 'Sisterhood Award' really hit our neighborhood so I'm going to award it in turn to some dear Sisters:

Utah Savage - offering Savage Delight
Lisa Golden, formerly DCup of Politits, now - That's Why!
Linda, my Vulture Peak Muse
G-Fid, North of Sanity
Lover of Life - LOL :-)
The Crow
Pagan Sphinx
Suzie Riot
and, last but not least, Seraphine of Encore Seraphine.

If any brothers would like a Sister Award, please drop a line. Meanwhile, happy almost end of winter - also known as Spring!