a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

and another thing...

we all have a short-list of people we'd like to meet, don't we? some famous...some not. some serious...some funny. and some...well, there's just no explaining it. one of my "no explaining its" was Billy Mays. don't know why. just did. and i just got the newsflash - he died. no, he didn't discover a cure for anything...never won a Nobel prize...i don't even know if he was a nice guy or not. he was just...so enthusiastic. and ya can't fault a person for that. the world of infomercials will never be the same.
what could be better than an early sunday morning (Early!) on the deck...steaming mug of coffee...ipod playing Grand Mantra...making art as the sun just begins to yawn and stretch...a quiet walk with my freshly laundered Diva sending wafts of baby shampoo around her and looking proud with her pretty pink bindi...an afternoon at My Lake with terns diving and waves rolling in...heart shaped stones...a perfect lakefront property with an unreasonably low price...pan seared yellowfin tuna with lemon dill and spring mix greens with raspberries...a mug of decadent Tibetan tea...as the rain begins to patter a tune on the roof now, i ask you - what could be better? unless you were there to share it with me....L.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

i had a conversation recently with a dear friend. she's an incredible artist. has a brilliant career. against all odds, has raised The Cutest, smartest child. i am in awe of her ability, throughout her life, to have overcome, gone around, plowed through and just plain disregarded obstacles in her life that would knock most of us down. she never "got up and dusted herself off" because she refused to let whatever it was get her down to the mat in the first place. so what did we talk about? loneliness. she feels lonely. her marriage and career and family are wonderful. but she feels lonely. we women are wired for companionship. specifically, and despite other relationships, companionship of other women. they are our support system, our sounding boards, our Life Posse. only women understand women. and it isn't just humans. in the animal kingdom even, when the going gets tough, the "women" of the group will band together to fight off an intruder, protect, feed, care for, find shelter...whatever needs getting done. even if that species is not normally a community-minded group. the men of that same species will attempt the same tasks, yet solo. this is not a male-bashing post. my point is that we women, no matter how fulfilled we are in our day-to-day, still need the company of other like-minded women. notice your most treasured friendships. whether they be the once-a-year phone call variety, or the twice-a-day check-in type. within those closest friends, there are elements of ourselves. or elements we wish to mirror. but the friendships are equal...each getting the portion they need from it. and back to my original thought, i couldn't believe that someone with such a busy day, and with so many accomplishments to point to, could possibly feel lonely. but i realized the truth in her words as she explained that it was the gathering together with people cut from the same mindset...women that you didn't have to explain yourself to...women that understand the end of your sentence...who will nuture and cherish the friendship. there are times when one person may need a hand up - and maybe quite a lot of the time. as compared to the other part, who is able. each offers from their heart, however. and i realized how special we women are...how wonderful it is to be able to gather together and get the work done...whether it's Heart work, or Housework, or just plain laughing and talking over steaming mugs of tea...or holding one another till the tears subside. we women. i am thankful and filled with gratitude for all of the women i've had as role models, and friends, and more. i thank God for them, even though i know it's not fashionable to say "God." those golden threads cast around the world make a beautiful net. i thank you for being my friend, and hope i can be a better friend to you. L.

Friday, June 19, 2009

my gift to you

Just Go Here. prepare to be stupified with great harking laughter. you're welcome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

i'm not quite sure what is shifting under me...what is making my balance unsteady...but it sure packs a whollop...and today, it slammed me to the ground, then picked me up and dusted me off and (just for effect) did it again...how many 20-minute moments did i spend sobbing in the ladies room - who knows...starting my day with my husbands question "so have you called a lawyer," should have warned me back to bed for the day, but no, i pressed on furiously...tenacious as a terrier...curiously determined to make it to work on time, with or without mascara running down my face...it was, of course, the wrong choice...when everything in me was quietly telling me to be gentle with myself today...so i sobbed through the morning, took a late lunch, which included sobbing in the deli...that actually was kind of wonderful all-in-all, as Sophie and the grandma's came around the counter in their roast beef streaked aprons, all hugging me "what's wrrrong hooney? is a man? i tink a man? only a man could make for this cry." which of course made me cry more and want to be part of their big hugging family. the granddaughter works the checkout ...she's 30-ish, gorgeous, funny, and wonderful. and after 5 years, knows my life story. mostly. she took 1 look at me, all snotty and puffy, and said "husband or stepson? never mind. i keel both." that got us laughing and snarking...talking about the new special of the day, etc...luckily i had paid when moments later "our song" came on the radio, and i beat feet before i started all over again. so discombobulated. then i walked in the door at home, and felt i had made the right choice. just like that. just like the whole chaotic day had not happened. just like when one of my favorite patients called just at the right time "i may be a toothless waitress with a 5th grade education, but that s.o.b. is mean and i left him." that favorite. i told her that she deserved only good, and that she was a wonderful and strong woman. that tickled her. then, just because it was that kind of day, i gave her a free set of dentures. because i can. and because she deserved a hand-up (although she's doing pretty damn good on her own). she started crying...you guessed it - i started crying. i can't wait till the listeners-and-scorers hear that one. so my friends, it isn't really a pity party...just a little turbulence. now, i think an early lights-out is called for. and maybe a sick day real soon...heed the call to be gentle with myself. you do the same, now. L.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

outsider art?

...maybe a different sort....this morning i loaded up my sewing machine, yarn, tubs and baskets and more baskets of supplies, and took it outside. there i've been since 10am-ish...the sun warming my shoulders and back, then creeping around to the front...inspiration through my ipod in one ear, and a persistant cardinal in the other. jeweltones under my fingers as a magic cloak takes form. lest you think i'm procrastinating...oh no my friend. just working out the back kinks with a brief cup of tea, a smidge of a sun salutation and a quick note to say hello. looking at marlene's video brought tears to my eyes...an unexpected lump in the throat...the wishing and longing kind. i expect something very different and very much the same this time, as i have changed since that day...that trip down that dirt road still chokes me up, with the going away part. i feel geeky almost to have this one thing that feeds me so. you must think i have a very little teeny life. in some respects i do...not so much teeny, as refined through fire down to the essential...people that i love fiercely...things i long for in ways so deep and profound i know them to be true...the sight of my diva's little belly and how her tail wags as if to make her airborne...these are irreplaceable and all mine...all different levels of my candybox of savorings, yet i honor each with a gratitude and knowledge that so much can change so quickly. my tea is finished, my sewing machine waits impatiently, so i say good afternoon to you...you are most precious to me, friend. know that. L.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

yes hello..it's me procrastinating. well, not so much procrastinating as reworking...trying to keep the monkey mind occupied with 1 hand while the other hand stirs the creative stew. yes - the mannquin. i just don't like what i have worked up. so i unworked it and will begin again. the problem: 3 different ways to go with it. i must re-focus on my intent for the piece, then let her go about doing what she wants anyway. a local gallery owner tasked me with creating a piece (a few years ago) that was an homage to his long ago relative. she grew up as caretaker of her siblings, parents, aunts, and eventually died, alone, in a nursing home, having never left the small town she grew up in. her story touched and intrigued me. it all started when the gallery owner...wait - backup...the gallery is in a huge HUGE ancient building that dates back to the 1800's or early 1900's and was a factory of some sort. upstairs from the gallery proper, are floors and floors of studios. one end of at least one floor is a giant storage area. now back to our story. one day he let me wander through the storage area (hundreds x hundreds big) to look for rusty metal. as if i had to look far. but then in a small locked room, were Things. he let me in the room, and it appeared to be leftover props from shows, but no - it was actually some of his family's old furniture, etc that was being stored there...50's couches and 60's chairs...and a suitcase. i was in my suitcase phase at the time, so this caught my eye. i asked if i could have it, and he said he had to ask another family member downstairs (i didn't realize this was family stuff yet). seemed odd, but i said ok. that's when the story of this suitcase, and it's owner came to light. the other family member said a reluctant yes, because the gallery owner had told her i was going to do a piece about the suitcase's owner. i was?? there were amazing, magical things that happened with that suitcase, and how the family history came falling into my lap from bizarre and miraculous sources. i wasn't even looking into it that much, but everywhere i turned, there was someone who was from that tiny tiny town and knew the history, or a postcard featuring the town found at a gigantic antique show...it was spooky cool. but the piece wouldn't come. too much of a real person to try to capture. so i kept the suitcase on a shelf for another time. fast forward a few years. the mannequin project. and after rough mind-sketching, and beginning parts of it (that remain) i realized...i was making the piece the gallery owner had somewhat commissioned. she stands in the suitcase. and the rest is a big secret for now. subject to change anyway. i spent part of today doing a "hair" weave on her a la Hey Girl salon downtown. not sure if it will stay, but have decided never not ever to get a weave personally. ouch and who can sit that long. when i need to clear my head, i walk diva, or go meditate in my closet. diva has been walked to within an inch of her life and runs under the bed when i come near. so i guess it's time to get into the closet. speaking of which...can i just say that i attract some of the strangest people to me? it mostly wonderful, sometimes a little scary, always enhancing, but why me?? i don't think i look anything like someone who has all the planetary connections to help mankind. in fact, most days i am not quite public-ready...racing to the grocery store from 5 hours in the studio - eyes glazed, half shot from caffeine, glue and plaster and paint in my hair and all over my clothes. i would run from me if i saw me. and yet. maybe they think i need a friend and the best they could come up with as an opening line is "can you reach the bisquick i have to make 200 biscuits for this funeral thing well not really a funeral more like a celebration of a life but if the persons gone then why do they call it that you know and i just don't know why i got into catering...." etc. 1 breath - 1 hour. while you wait. buckshot conversation. while i nod at appropriate times as if encouraging and empathizing. once - i pretended to speak a different language and tried to tell them i had no f-ing clue what they were saying. they continued. louder though so i'd understand their english better. oy. although that did work with the person trying to sell me Sprint phone service. they called 3 times. THREE times during dinner. THREE times in a half hour. so i finally pretended to be the senile grandmother visiting from China. "ello?" i repeated after everything they said. interspersed with an approximation of what i thought perhaps sounded somewhat similar to maybe Cantonese vulgarity. which is not a language i speak, nor have ever heard, to my knowledge, but maybe. the man on the other end became frustrated yet amused..."can you hear me now??" he finally asked. anyone knows he stole that from verizon. so i finally said "you vera bad boy" and hung up. no more sprint. but meanwhile, i feel like i could burst from being a human secret warehouse...people i've never met just...tell me things. my secret-keeping ability wavers. if it's very very important that i keep the secret, i will. if it's moderately to not so important, it will find it's way past my lips. i can't help it. i mean, i spoiled my own surprise party by telling myself. (i had somewhat planned it, control freak that i am, and let my husband think he did it all). ( but it was glorious and wonderful in all the ways that are impossible to plan.) and i can't help but let a few slip because i just have too many inside me. years as an investigative reporter and as a woman have filled me to the very brim. i am a levee near high tides...some day someone will just drop one too many secrets on me, and BAM! i'll just sit down wherever i am and spew out everything i know. EVERYthing. it would make an amazing and embarrassing performance piece, this verbal diarhea, but it's like holding back tears - once they start, there is just no stopping them till they are done. so all that said, i've lost my train of thought which is good - it means i can get back to art now. but i leave you with this: The Journey One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice-- though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. "Mend my life!" each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do-- determined to save the only life you could save. -Mary Oliver my inspiration for my mannequin piece. now there's a hint of a secret. L.

Monday, June 08, 2009

ahoy there! check this out!

my dentist - who is an artist - told me about this place...so very cool! i hope he wasn't suggesting i need a bath. naw. it was started by an artist, who refurbished a 100+ year old barn down a dirt road off in the middle of nowhere. and the place is always packed, he said.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

so, i'm not sure what's up with this...this morning, i felt like i had a choice: church or flea market. the only reason why this stands out as a "one of these things is not like the other" kind of day, is that i haven't been to church-church in Many Years, and in fact would fear structural collapse of the building, lightening, etc should i attend at this point. so for the sake of the other Good People, i decline all requests. so it struck me odd that with all the infinte choices before me on this beautiful sunday, why "church" would even make the hamster wheel. so off i went to the flea market, armed with leftover vacation money, and a fairly clear idea of what i was looking for. a box a certain proportions. 2 hours later, i left. not with a box, but box after box of religious articles. mostly catholic. i have been "mostly" a lot of different religions in my life. catholic was never on the list. never got to it, i guess. so Why? i asked myself. oh - and also a huge, incredible bag of correspondance between a local (apparently) deceased (apparantly) reverend, and a younger girl who bore him a child. Rev. Baby's Daddy. when i say incredible...her letter to him saying she was pregnant. a covert letter from her aunt with a picture of the child. a leter from Family Court asking that he be there, or: rev or not...here we come. a subpoena i think is the official name of the document. Baby's Momma returned a birthday card he sent, unopened. i was the first to see the greeting. no cash inside. always a disappointment. and the lamest card you could have found, in my estimation. i mean, a woman has your child, never goes public, and all you get her is a lame-o card? to be fair, comparing postmarks, the card arrived 2 days before the court papers were sent. perhaps she was equally as disappointed. word to the wise...when you care enough, go Hallmark. the baby is now a grown man with his own family, no doubt, with the last envelopes dating in the late 80's and newspaper pictures of him doing good things in school. Godspeed to you, Baby K. so why the strong religious attraction today? don't know. i have statues and statuettes and mourning cards and medals and rosaries and missals and 2 creepy crucifixes. maybe that's why i never went catholic...the whole crucifix thing is scarier than a 1920's baby doll face. the very first thing that grabbed my attention by falling on my foot, is this metal thing. yes - it always starts with metal. it looks like a stained glass window without the glass. i picked it up and put it down 3 times. the vendor came over and said he thought i was meant to have it and could give it to me for a buck - a full $3 off the asking price. unheard of...no bartering. so that got my attention tweaked a little. i wondered what to do with it, but had that excited little feeling that this was to be part of an epic piece. like i need another one. and that's when all the religious memorabilia began throwing itself at me. i mean, i have a serious load of stuff. and spent far far less than anticipated. like $20 for all this stuff. and that included a genuine pashima wrap, hand beaded and sequined in India. never worn. brand new. no teapots. so i can't wait to see what story is trying to tell itself with all these goodies. oh - and Mrs. Walker, the psychic, has a booth there now. i almost stopped by, but felt the soft pretzel calling me harder, and spent my money next door to her. have you ever gone to her? i interviewed her at the State Fair one year. when i was a reporter, every year we had to do endless State Fair stories throughout the event. one year, we had a contest with real cash prizes. who could come up with the most original story. so i interviewed the psychics at the Fair, to see who was the most accurate. the handwriting guy...the "romanian gypsy" woman who looked more italian with makeup than romanian, and i would know... as a bonus, i interviewed the "Ice Cream of the Future" guy (those freeze dried dots - Dippin Dots, yeah). and asked him which flavors gave the best predictions. he looked at me like i wished i had a camera instead of a tape deck, and said "it's ICE CREAM, lady....just ICE CREAM.' thank you for the "lady" part, i said, but then i don't get it...isn't this psychic ice cream? Ice cream of the FUTURE?? he became patient, figuring my dad owned the radio station or something. and explained in incredible detail about Dippin Dots. that was in the early/mid nineties. i still pee myself every year when i see the stand selling dippin dots. oh so and Mrs. Walker was there. i was upfront with her about who i was and why i was there, figuring, as a psychic, she already knew. she's just like someone's old Italian aunt. with a vibe. she said some interesting things, i admit. and some did come true. so when i saw her today i thought i'd say hi. but the pretzel caught my attention, and true to ADD form, went for it. so anyway, i'm off to figure out this rosary thing. i'll be missaling you! L.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

i am

sometimes i'll grab a minute or 4 and look back through some of my posts, and it sometimes amazes me. sometimes i don't recognize the person who wrote it. sometimes i think someone stole my passwaord and wrote a post. that person sometimes sounds so ungrateful, so shallow, so out of touch with what is essential. sometimes i want to delete the post, lest someone else read it and think maybe I am totally absorbed with myself and every little drama that wisps past me. but, ah, it's out there already. so i wondered how i could feel so detached from that person, as i read some of those posts...how could i not feel that those writings belonged, somehow, in my blog? and i realized that yes, for better or worse, those posts are a part of me...they are the story of a heart and of a spirit as they grow...as they feel beneath the cover of earth for one another and graft together, then break through the ground into the sustaining sunshine...from opposite ends of my garden come the yin and the yang...the wild child weed and the cultivated rose...belonging together to create a whole...each part needing the other - one for strength and stamina and perserverence to get through the hard crust of earth...one for softening the edges and providing beautiful fragrance to those passing by. lately, i feel the graft taking hold more and more...not having to feel that being Earth Mother is mutually exclusive of being silly and so-called immature. each are true and authentic...each are respectable and acceptable. i have a friend who's a Tibetan monk...he is titled "Venerable." i think it's time i, too, feel that title for myself...not in ego or boasting...but in acceptance of my self as the person i was meant to be...no less than those i have admiration for, it's time to move past comparisons and wonderings. and just be. i am. i AM. I am....all those things and a few more and a few less...but just exactly what i am supposed to be. i will allow myself introspection. and i will allow myself silly, shallow moments, as always. but i think i will just Be with them and stop trying to figure out which is more correct or more "me." they are both part of me, and i know i have been comfortable with that, deep inside, for a very long time. i just didn't know it was okay. so i guess, half the time this blog is for amusement and entertainment as i go through my I Love Lucy-like life, and the other half is Mantra-momma. and when i figure out the bigger questions, i'll be sure to let you know. L.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

making up for lost time i guess

yow...just how many posts in a day?! so here's the thing...what a crazy world this has become...i grew up in a time of rotary dial phones..the biggest deal was a pink princess phone...then a pushbutton phone! 3 channels on TV (on a good night) all black & white...with rabbit ear antenna covered in tinfoil on top...am radio...transistor radios swinging from 1-speed manual pedal bikes...the ice cream man was not a child molester...anyone's mother could swat you if you misbehaved...mrs. smingler regularly turned the hose on us for being loud...we spent days out playing kickball and baseball and dodgeball and hide-and-seek and mermaids in the pool...we dressed our barbie dolls and played house and slipped down hills on flying saucers in the winter...cars had air conditioning called 4-50 (all 4 windows down, 50 MPH on the highway)...they had cigarette lighters AND ashtrays...no one wore seat belts except very short people like me and that was to hold them on the phone book they sat on in order to see over the steering wheel...you could call someone a doodyhead and not get shot...weed was something we pulled from the garden when we were grounded and had to help mom...fast forward a few decades and i have a cell phone and a computer and 3 color TV's and air conditioning, of course, at the touch of a button in my car and in my house...i have faxes and call waiting and call forwarding and ipods and digital cameras...and a Tibetan monk asking me to be his facebook friend, and the Dalai Lama on Twitter QOTD: "Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck." ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama...and i have to wonder sometimes........
in the spirit of being good and kind and gentle with myself, i have an announcement: fuck the etsy store. (can i say the F-word?) It has been a non-stop stream of aggravation for me to get this together, and the whole thing behind it is of the release of negativity. so. there i said it and i just feel good enough about it to actually now make it happen. so amuse yourselves and look at the pretty pictures in the next post. i am going to smoke. Linda

ok i promised pictures....

From the Delavan show...Nuno felted "Flow" artfan, Dreamweaver the Crow art i forgot i made: broseph graduates..lost dog cafe gasp! is that Peter Frampton?? who HAS this much time?? a car made of legos...life size The sign says it all...found on a bridge in Boston...a bridge: Boston whale watch it was THIS close i tell you!

rules for living

there are (at least) 2 undeniable rules of life...1) cats are fast, and 2)plaster is messy. combined, these 2 rules spin off an entire list of others. i spent the day working on an element of my super-double-secret project, which involved quite a bit of mask making. and this was such an interesting activity for the cats, i found myself saying "NO!" more than a kindergarten teacher in a Catholic school. of course, NO to a cat means "check back in a minute and see if i really meant it." cats and teenagers. same animal. as the finished masks were drying on the deck, the crows then took a keen interest in them...friend or foe? they cakked and cawed for hours, with the audience growing in proportion to the number of masks, it seems. i have learned another rule of life...knowing FULL WELL that i despise the feel of grease on my hands, i decided to suck it up and make a casting of my hands. i started on left, slathering vaseline on it, fighting yarkitude. began wrapping plaster strips, and realized i would be wearing this for a very long time...no way to get it off. der. so quickly regrouped and shucked it all off, following by relentless, ocd-like handwashing. no hand cast. and i'm okay with that. and because i had to stand guard on my plaster, water, vaseline, mask set-up, i couldn't leave to get to the loo. sweet lord. what would Jesus do? i asked myself. no answer, so i dragged the cats in with me...just to be sure. now i'm sure YOU would have thought of this, but in my bladder-weakened state, it never occured to me just what fur+vaseline would equal. i looked like the werewolf and then worried what would happen when they decided to lick this junk off. THESE ARE NOT MY CATS. and yet. you notice no mention of diva. she was such a good girl, sunning herself for a while on the deck, then napping inside. g'ma came by to take her around the woodspath, which is like a daily trip to Disney for my girl. i feel guilty for what gummifriend no doubt had to deal with today without me at work, but sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. and today, for me, that was not work in a cubicle. normally when i feel the need for a sick day, i make myself make a list of what i will accomplish if i stay home. today i gave myself a fritter day...just fritter it away in any form i felt like. and i ended up accomplishing quite a bit. my sculpture is coming along good...with the general story/concept rearranging itself and gelling more. (mostly it's me understanding what it wants to say). i'm in the zone with it and it feels good, and it feels right. how to ship it? oy. who knows. there's time to figure that out. does it really do any good to label "this end up," or do shippers consider it a challenge to see how many OTHER ways up they can make a thing go? time for some stretches and tea. my back reminds me that it needs rest.