snow in summer

snow in summer
digital photography

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Turning Point

Guerrilla Girls

Watched the movie "The Turning Point" with Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft couple nights ago. It's a great movie because it's a movie that relies on acting to create and tell a story. It doesn't lean on special effects or even a soundtrack. I love it because it's a story about two women faced with a choice. One gets pregnant and chooses marriage and kids. The other becomes a prima ballerina. She's unmarried over 40. It bothers me women still have to choose between family and a career. I was married once. Wanted kids then, too. I guess I can't say definitively that if I'd gotten pregnant I would never have painted, but I'd say it would have been unlikely. Addition to the fact I was married to an idiot, I knew that marriage was a jail sentence for me, so I divorced. It took me a couple years to figure out I belonged in the arts. I'm grateful every day I found my way to what is true to my soul. Not everybody gets there. I certainly haven't achieved the celebrated career Bancroft's character enjoys, but I'm successful nonetheless.

Politicians always distill choice down to abortion. That's only part of it. It's about the freedom to live the life a woman was designed to live and that's not exclusively motherhood. Also watched the HBO doc on Pussy Riot. A Russian reporter asks Katia doesn't she want to get married and have babies? She firmly answers, "No. Not every girl wants to find a man and give birth." Exactly. Christ. We're still lumping every female into the birthing box? The Paycheck Fairness Act was voted against by every Senate Republican this week. Why? Because it's a bunch of old white men from another generation doing the voting. (I want to hurry up and add that the women casting these votes hold a seat/job in the Senate. The woman who spearheaded the fight against the ERA in the 1970's and got it defeated wasn't home putting dinner on the table for her family because she was out campaigning. WTF?) So much for Lilly Ledbetter. I guess we have to wait for these old white guys to die off or get voted out. I hope I live long enough to see that. I have parents, Dad included, one of the coolest old white guys I know, that told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Clearly I believed them. I'm one of the lucky ones. Why aren't I just a person? No luck involved. Merely a decision. I hope we, the people, make a decision for freedom this November.

"You can keep your soul. I don't want a cell mate." Them Crooked Vultures

Monday, March 17, 2014

Resistance is Futile


I've been watching "Cosmos" with Neil deGrasse Tyson on Sundays. It's visually gorgeous. A feast for the eyes. Also happy to report some of the information presented I already knew. Thank you Bloomfield Hills Schools for a decent education. What has really struck me is the discussion of evolution as scientific fact. Several mentions of Darwin and his discoveries. I'm imagining the Tea Party and Fox News in a full on panic. I read where an Oklahoma station edited out an evolution reference in the first episode. They would have had to pretty much block last night's entire episode to prevent any ideas from entering the homes of their flock. Is it 1580? I was waiting for a breaking news report that Mr. Tyson had been arrested for his comments.

I don't know why science and religion always seem to be at such odds. It's possible to interpret Biblical statements to harmonize with what is being shown to us by astrophysicists. For example, the statement that God created the Universe in 6 days. If you modify your concept of a day beyond a human day to a meteorological day, then why not? A "day" can be billions of human years and maybe it's still biblical day 6? I don't believe "god" is a dude in a cloud. If you want to call the impressive and powerful force of the Universe "god" then, ok, I believe in God. I find it interesting how humans regularly backtrack on philosophies. I get the resistance to science in the 1500's. Galileo was just beginning to be able to prove previous theories like the Earth revolves around the sun and the Universe is vast and exists well beyond our solar system. Since the church had so much power and their business was threatened by these facts, they pushed back. Hard. Modern day Evangelicals must feel threatened to push back so ferociously.

I'm a little surprised I perceived some kind of breach while watching this show. That I even considered someone might get fired or arrested for broadcasting this kind of programming. What's most fascinating? This show is broadcast on Fox. On Sunday. I love that. Who made the decision to license this show? May I be the first to thank you, enthusiastically. I'm not against religion. I'm a fairly spiritual person. I also like science. A lot. I like facts. Show me. It's why I subscribe to the metaphysical. It's a lovely blend of both. There is so much we don't know. Still. Like what is dark matter? I'm not going to invent an angry looking old white guy with some kind of weapon and a beard to represent that mystery. I can call that unknown phenomenon God. I can call it Pete. A black hole by any other name is still a black hole. With our education system so profoundly failing our children, I'm thrilled to see this kind of programming. Bravo and god bless Pete. (I'll probably get fired for that ;)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Geek Month

I've been writing, it's just been on my "other" site. Couple teaching an intro to website building, researching to buy a smart TV and the Comcast air/data grab, it's been a fascinating month. Also happened to catch Eric Schmidt on Charlie Rose as well as journalists who specialize in technology and keeping up with it. Wow. I've really simplified all the data I absorbed, but made a few comments on this site: faytech

I'll be back here soon with what I hope is a holy-crap-spring-finally-showed-up post.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy Idiot

Watched an episode of Frontline about Steve Cohen and the pervasive practice of using material non-public information to make a shitload of money. Insider trading. Some traders are being arrested and serving jail time. Not in Leavenworth, mind you. In some fancy pants white collar jail like where Martha Stewart did her bid. And when they are released, guess what? They're still rich. The whole thing isn't about intuition and smarts. It's about relationships and information. Getting the "first call". Pretty easy to trade when you know ahead of everyone else, including the market itself, what's coming. You pay for this information, but who cares when it makes so much. Except it's illegal.

I would have been great at this. My brain works the same way as Cohen's except for one irritating pisser of a characteristic. Integrity. I've never been so mad at my moral compass as I am right now. I'm exhausted from my emaciated existence which was exacerbated this week by two entities whose ineffectiveness threatened my income. It's why I don't like working for someone else. I'm not in control of my own destiny. How hard is it to make a call, answer an email? Jeezus. Gimme the phone. I'll do it. It's a strange phenomenon to be a painter with a side of Wall Street trader. Probably explains why I've been able to sustain the dumbest career choice ever for over 20 years.

I followed that Frontline with an episode of Bill Moyers who had Neil deGrasse Tyson on. Besides making science a lot of fun, he also puts it all in perspective. Astrophysicists only understand 4% of what's happening in space. They can measure the other 96% by the ability to see the effects of that 96%, but have no idea what it is. They measure time, matter and molecules in billions, trillions. The numbers are so large, you are immediately struck by your own smallness. He talked about how astrophysicists are faced with their own ignorance every day. By how much they don't know. Yet, we are made from the same material as the stars. We are connected to and a part of everything in the Universe. We are very tiny yet super cool simultaneously.

My time here, in this fragile human container, is so short, there really is no point to getting all worked up about Steve Cohen's pile and my crevasse of nothingness. I have a friend who regularly likes to smugly advise, usually unsolicited. To determine you have it all figured out is as arrogant as Steve Cohen's absolute confidence he has the world by the balls. Maybe they're happier because they think they are? I know I don't get most of why the Universe does what it does. Maybe that's why I'm so unsatisfied. There aren't many definitive answers. I do ok when my life is humming along and I'm not afraid of annihilation. I haven't hummed in 2 ½ years. Last year things improved. I was going into 2014 with hope. I let myself dream a little. Last week, I watched it dissolve. It's not destroyed, but it's precarious again. Son of a bitch. I am so tired from fighting I folded. Hit the couch. And the chocolate. I had to let that wash over me and out. Got extraordinarily angry this morning and decided to ride it out. 40 aggressive minutes on the bike helped. I'm not out of it, but I'm calmer. Time to devise a plan. Since I don't seem to be getting much help from those who represent me or for whom I work, I have to do it myself. As always. Again. Fine. Art is such a ridiculous career. But when I get to end of days, I want to know I tried. That I gave it everything I had. Left it all out on the field. That I didn't succumb to society's pressure to follow along. That even though I took a beating once in a while, I never quit. I don't want to find out had I stayed, I was going to hit that very next day. Sometimes success means just hanging in there. Trying just one more time. I want to cash in today. If I do, will I regret it? Yes. I'll always wonder. Can't live with that. Don't want to die with it. Wall Street will have to go on with one less rat. My stupid compass points toward art. I'm an idiot. I'd just like to be a happy one.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

I wrote this shortly after the altercation with my family this spring. I felt it was too soon to post as the injured parties weren't likely interested in how I was feeling just then. Might not be now. But as I reread it, yep, all still true. And as good a warning as I can give for those who are willing to risk hanging out with me.

Spoke to a man I've know about 20 years today. Related the recent series of events. When I told him "I said some shit," he replied "ya did?" in that sing-song what-a-shock sort of way. He knows me. He added that my comments sometimes "hit like a blunt instrument." Yep. He and I are very similar. We both have a crusty, prickly exterior. My personality is not for the easily wounded or the faint of heart. I'll tell you this: if you have the capacity to withstand those moments, you will be rewarded 10 fold. I'll love you with all I have. I'll take a bullet for you. Walk through fire for you. Stand against impossible odds with you. One of my cousins had the lady balls to tell me what was being said about me. I'm humbled by her courage. Grateful for the opportunity make things right.

I realize turning 50 isn't that old. And I don't mean to be maudlin, but I know I have more days behind me than I do ahead. How do I want to spend what's left? With those who really love me. We've likely thrown punches at each other and are still standing. Feelings have been hurt. Apologies made. Kept going. I will never say anything behind your back I'm not willing to say to your face (or on the internet as it turned out). I was accused of being gutless and insincere. My friend laughed at those. I'm many things and my short comings numerous. I don't possess those two items.

I'm hard to love. I'm not all fluffy and pink or politically correct. I'm queen of the blurg. The blurg will always be true, however difficult it is to hear*. I realize this is not going to sit well with most folks. The good news about brutal honesty is you don't have to worry about being lied to. I can't do it. You'll never have to guess how I feel. You will know. Today I honor those who take all that and love me anyway. You are the bravest people I've ever met. In return, I love you right back. As fiercely as anything that comes out of my mouth.

I read one woman's perspective on hot flashes as a burning off all the negative. Burning out bad behavior, old resentments, disappointments, failures, and the like. I LOVE this interpretation. My life is going through a massive face lift in every area: career, family, physically, spiritually, friends, all aspects. Burning off what doesn't fit any more and growing in a new and fabulous direction! I am a child of the Universe and whether or not things are clear to me, it's all unfolding as it should. With all of life's sham, drudgery and broken dreams, there's still beauty and heroism in every day. I was born the kind that sees the glass half empty. I just slugged down the contents of that glass. Now it's completely empty. Open to fill back up with whatever I want. I'm free.

2014 is the year I get out of bed in the morning and I'm not immediately seized with the sense that my life is just a slow, pointless slog toward death. Ha. Baby steps.

*the caveat to my harsh rhetoric, I only blab my own secrets, not yours. If you told me something in confidence, it's vaulted.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


written quickly eager to be cast out
a final pact sealed in black
the words glow red, shrink and curl
once burned bright
now without window light
faded tale left unfurled
might have taken a different route
smoke swirls with whispered ghosts
frosted panes will forget
winter's path grows green and warm
color steers without permission
deserted hearts flutter; reborn.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sappy But Sincere

I hate sap. Seems so insincere, or, at the very least, Pollyanna. Facebook's 30 days of gratitude makes me hurl, then temporarily block you. I always launch the holiday season with hope that ultimately gets dashed since life doesn't take a vacay in December. The constant bombardment of media images that don't look anything like my life makes me question my choices. Single people are lonely sots. Only a romance can rectify that condition. Or a couple cats.


I actually am grateful this year. 2012 flattened me. The turnaround started about this time a year ago. Things aren't exactly the way I want them but they are better. A lot better. After some violent hormonal swings, I've leveled off and gotten into a comfortable routine. Sold a painting for a boatload. I never thought anyone would pay that much for something I made. Invitations to jury and critique. Starting to build a following at the BBAC; very happy with this developing relationship. A trip to Austin, TX that was an opportunity to rekindle a friendship with a soul sister, make a little money and open a door to more work. After a year ½ hiatus from dating (frankly no desire due to full on survival mode), I've taken a couple chances. They haven't worked out, but I seem to have rallied some interest. To my closest friends' delight, I'm much more pleasant to be around. I'm knocked out by their ability to hang in there and I love them more deeply than ever.

The result is I'm much less afraid and self-centered. I give without thinking (ok, a little bit of hesitation before I throw some change into the Salvation Army bucket or write a check. I may need that!). I'm so happy to be up off the floor and walking again, I want to pass it on. I don't know if this mood will last. (I better decorate before it does or it won't happen.) I have some holiday plans I can't wait for. Hope. There's a fine line between hope and expectation. How do you keep it going without hope? It's damn near impossible. I'm going to try and remember how good I have it despite its imperfection. One of the hardest paths I've taken is truth. My truth isn't necessarily your truth. But it is someone else's truth. You are never alone if you look for kindred spirits. They're there. I do accept the consequences of my choices. Even if they weren't what I thought they would be. I have the wisdom to know what needs to be done. And the courage to do it. I've got a ways to go still, but it's lookin' good y'all. Gratitude from the darkest corner of my soul. Thank you for being there whether you knew you propped me up or not. You did. And I'll be here when you need to lean in.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wait For It

I'm waiting. I hate waiting. I do it a lot. Why? Because I won't settle for something less than what I really want. Good things come to those who wait. Maybe. What they don't tell you is how uncomfortable it is in the dark speculating on that thing you covet. Crave. Salivate over. Desire. I lump greed, lust, envy, gluttony into that category. Sloth and procrastination are the other side of the same coin. I'm just avoiding desire. See? I'm cool. Not. Thirst. Everybody is thirsty for something. Be nice if all I sought was peace. But I'm human. Humans want. Humans compare. Humans strive. Americans in particular. We love winning. I love winning. (not in a Charlie Sheen kind of way) The trouble with relying on pleasure, accomplishment, winning, is when it's not available. I will consider compromising myself and maybe someone else to get what I want. To get that feeling. That hit. Give me the juice.

The Secret is teaching that all you have to do is think about what you want and it will magically materialize. If it doesn't manifest, then you're not doing it right. Buddha taught that we cause our own suffering via desire, ignorance, anger, fear and pride. He also taught we can learn to quiet this human condition via mediation. My experience is a bit of both. There is something to be said for setting goals. Write it down. Say it out loud. The Universe won't believe you if you don't. You have to put it out there with conviction. Then wait. This is the hard part. The Secret folks tell you to keep focusing on the thing. (They spend a lot of time on things. Money in particular. A little conflicted about that.) I find the second I send out a desire, goal, prayer, whatever, I immediately have to let it go. It's about trusting the Universe heard and believed me and will now open the path to achieve my goal. What I don't know is how long it'll take to get down that path. Other people's free will not withstanding. I have witnessed a clear response/result from whatever variety of energy I'm putting out. If you think you can, if you think you can't, you're right.

I want to hurry up and add that 2012 was sooo bad I couldn't think my way out of a paper bag. I needed my friends to employ the Secret for me. It was an act of kindness by someone else that got the ball rolling the other direction. The most critical component in all of this is love. Giving, yes. The completed circuit is in receiving also. I cannot do this all by myself. That's the real secret. So while I'm waiting for this thing I've ordered from the Universe, shipping date undisclosed, I'll indulge in company that soothes my soul, lets me breathe, grants me patience. Good friends, art, music, oreo cheescake, apple pie, that hot guy over there . . . oops.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Still Alive and Well

Carolyn Wonderland

When it turns, it turns. Raining just as hard as when it went bad. This storm's a sweet warm rain on a parched landscape. I'm still astonished when it all clicks right into place. When it's easy. No effort required. All I have to do is show up. Not just flow but upgrades. Surprises. Wow. The Universe can knock you out the other way, too. I have to do my part. Get up in the morning, put a foot out there and give my best. My best can be barely perceptible. As long it's my best, it counts. I think the Universe needs the time to set things up for you. The wait's a bitch. I could see it turning earlier this year, it took until now to get some traction and really get moving. And I have the sense it isn't any where near top speed. I'm just pulling out of the station. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little scary. Beginnings usually are. Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway.

Most fear is born out of fatigue and loneliness. When it gets a hold of you, it can feed on itself and drag you right down. It can take everything you have not to drown. My lifeline was the monumental patience of my devoted friends. They loved me through when I was incapable of loving myself. Not to discount my own strength. When I managed some daylight, it was on me to crawl out under my own steam. It hurt. I was weak and shaky. Still am. But I'm through the wormhole. Holy shit. What a ride. What I got out of it is A. more compassion for those who are in a troubled space and B. confidence I can withstand damn near anything. I'm going forward with one badass backbone.

My recent trip to Texas sealed a couple things. I'm ready for new adventures, new landscapes. It reminded me the value of my friendships with women, and family. I reminded me to let the Universe do its job. It'll send angels you didn't even know you needed. If you let it. I had to stop fighting. It's the story of the drowning person who's fighting so hard the lifeguard has to knock them out in order to save them. I could feel the energy and support last week. One of those weeks it's so obvious you'd have to be unconscious not to see it. Meeting all the right people at the right time to develop business in Austin. Tickets to the Longhorns game (you know how I love college football! Hook 'em Horns!) with a parking pass. Scoring impossibly difficult to get tickets to Austin City Limits. The talent at that show was so powerful, they unstuck the painted closed window to the part of my heart that connects with all of my creativity. And a lovely boy I started to get to know right before I left. He's so easy, natural and honest. Sweet and gentle. I didn't know how badly I've needed that. I've been in battle mode, tough, I don't need anyone mentality. I have no expectations regarding his stay. Doesn't matter. He's beautiful today.

Firing on all cylinders. Haven't had this feeling in way too long. Happy. What the hell? As my new musical crush Carolyn Wonderland would say, every now and then it's kinda hard to tell, but I'm still alive and well. These days, I think you can tell.