Friday, August 31, 2007

Keys... The Keys to Everything! (updated)

This isn't about the key to happiness. Or even the keys to success. This entry is about my keys. #$(*&(* The ones I can't FIND!

I've looked everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. And still they elude me.

The upside is that I cleaned the couch... you know, the stuff you find when you pick up the cusions. That kind of clean-up. No keys, though.

The funny thing is, I had them in my hands this morning when I went out to have a cigarette. (It was still dark out, too.) I had them in my hands because what I was wearing didn't have any pockets. When I stumbled back in and put down my "portable ashtray" I remember having a thought about trouble finding the keys. And I don't know why I would think that since I was putting everything on the coffee table.

I've got my 'portable ashtray' and my.... wait, do I have my lighter? Hold on a minute.

I'm back and, yes, I do have my lighter. And these things were all together with my keys.

The Universe is dinking around with me this morning. Sigh. Well... the only thing else I could think of doing was to write about the missing keys. I'm betting on finding the keys after I post this entry. I'll let you know.

About an Hour Later: I found them! (she's smiles with relief.) What an odd place, too. A place that I seldom use... but one that is with me always. I found them in my bra between my boobs. Go figure. But I remember standing outside with the ashtray, my lighter, and a cigarette as I tried to hang on to the keys. Thats when I had the brilliant idea to put the keys down into my bra. DUH. I totally spaced it out. But let me turn this into a hint for others to try if/when they need it. I think the secret to locating my keys was me relaxing and letting the thought of finding the keys go. Thats what I did (ahem, after asking the Universe to help me find them).... I took a break from looking through the garbage, you know... just in case, and was just sitting on the couch. There was a quick moment where, looking back on it, it seemed like I wasn't thinking of anything. A very quick moment. It was during that quick moment when a fleeting thought came through. The thought wasn't about the keys, but it was about the space between my boobs. It made me put my fingers down there... and viola!! After I stopped laughing, I came here to post the update. I knew it was just a matter of time before the keys showed up.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Folk Artist Video (4+ min.)

I like her style. I like her colors. And I hope you have your sound on when/if you watch this. You can find her web site here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not Much.... You?

 Not much going on around here and nothing to share unless I critiqued old TV shows.

Its a little after 6 in the morning here... I've got both windows open with a gentle breeze coming thru North to South. Its cool right now, 59 degrees F, but is expected to reach 90+ today. When I can get it cooled off in the apt. and close it up, then it stays fairly cool. Yesterday I wore a winter top until early afternoon.

OHMYGAWD... I'm talking about the weather, fer gawd sake!! I'm outta here. Enjoy the day.
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Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday's Show-and-Tell

A moleskine for a sketch journal? Who needs it. Its a fad that many artists are using. A small notebook (with many different options) to keep notes in or sketch the view. Its biggest selling point is that it lays flat and the sketch-type can take watercolor without falling apart. Or so I've been told.

For those 'new' to the product: Moleskine: pronounced mole'skine or mol-a-skeen-a if you want to pretend you're Italian.

Here's the little sketch book I decided to use as a daily journal. It lays flat too and was a lot cheaper. I had a coupon.

Below: the tape dispenser is there to show the size of the sketch book... I mean, sketch JOURNAL. 4" x 6"

Below: page sample. If its not legible, I've used portions of conversations. "I heard you said I deal drugs. I don't." Its the boyfriend in apartment F. He was looking really tired that day.

Below: another sample page... It starts off with Bear is back. 'Bear' is the nickname I gave to one of the regulars who stop by apartment F. (You know, the one where the boyfriend says he doesn't do drugs.) I first noticed Bear last year. I named him Bear because he lumbers like one. He went up to apt. F and left 5 seconds later. It doesn't take long to purchase drugs. Hand the money over and stuff the 'bounty' in your pocket and leave.

I keep the sketch journal on the coffee table with a pencil or pen handy. I don't put EVERYTHING in it, just some small 'happenings' of the day with a very quick little sketch. Now I'll get to see just how long I keep it up.
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Speaking of Pastels

"Speaking of Pastels? Who was speaking of pastels?" Well, I was, sort of... see attempt at using cheap colored chalk here.

Back to pastels. I was over at EBSQ checking out the winners of the last three contest and then looking at the current contest entries. The current contest subject is lavender. Thats where I noticed the art of Brenda Boylan (dot com, if you want to see her web site.) Most of her current work is done in pastels (and they look like they were painted). She has more of her art on EBSQ than she has on her web site. Oh... and she's a Portland artist so I can relate to some of her locations. Or at least kind of visualize the areas that I've been around.
(coding is so particular. I had a hyphen instead of the equal sign and it didn't create a 'hot link'. mmmmmm Hot links... with mustard. And a cold beer. mmmmmm.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

'Visitors' seems to be the theme for today

'Visitors' is the subject for Illustration Friday this week... and I just had a visitor. The ex-neighbor. Sigh.

Last night one of my dream snippets showed the ex-neighbor following her ex-boyfriend (the one who worked for the property management company for a few months) as they walked towards her former apartment. He was carrying a power screw driver and gave me a little wave with it as he smiled. (The apt. door is covered by a sheet of plywood.) In the dream it was his way of saying 'we're getting into the apartment'. (Did I mention he had stopped by the other day in real life to see what had happened to the ex-neighbor?) And that was all of the snippet.

Then earlier today I noticed the ex-neighbor walking down the street carrying a couple of plastic bags. Plastic bags seems to be some sort of identifying badge or something with the addicts. So many of them carry one or two. Or maybe its because they're homeless. Anyway, I just watched her walk on by. She's wearing the same clothes and is looking a bit straggly. (She had a chance to get some of her clothes at the time she was evicted, but she chose not to... for whatever reason.)

A few hours later I was standing outside by my door having a cigarette and she came around the back corner of the building and came up to me.... like she had already decided to come to my place. (soft internal moan of 'oh no....') I know she's after something. Most likely a place to stay, or use of the shower, or a few cigarettes or change.... something.

We talk for a few minutes. She's on the street. No place to stay. The night it rained she stayed in an abandoned car. Her kids won't even help her. (All of her kids are staying with the oldest son. (Three sons/one daughter) These are the kids that she kicked out of her apartment and she wouldn't let her daughter get any of her own clothes, etc.) "They wouldn't even let me stay there until I go into rehab on Monday." (I don't blame them, although she does. I think she's forgotten how shitty she's treated them.) Everyone else seems to be wrong, in her opinion, for not helping her out of her own mess.

She's been to court for when she robbed her employer and they dropped the charges. She asked the court for help... that she needed help in getting off the drugs, and I guess that is how she got the rehab lined up for Monday. If the rehab story is true.

Anyway... she talked for a while then she gathered up her things and I went inside as she left. She had given me the opportunity to invite her to stay with me for a couple of days, but I didn't take the bait... and she didn't come right out and ask me, either. The answer would have still been no. I'm not going to invite a crackhead into my home. When I was younger, I was more "use-able", but not now. Addicts are desparate people who do desparate things. Their intentions are always good and always sincere.... at the time, but intentions fade quickly in the sight of temptation.

Seems my dream snippet was a heads up so I wouldn't be caught off balance. I hope things work out for the ex-neighbor, but I can't help her. I won't put myself in harms way. Chickenshit? Perhaps.... but I'm not a fool. Usually.

Illustration Friday: Visitors


The infectious smiles on these ladies faces made me feel good when I saw them. (picture in a magazine) Then I found myself making up a short story about how the lady in the flowered dress had stopped by to visit the sisters and they ended up looking at the wild flowers out by the dirt road.... laughing over the silliest stuff!!

I sketched it in ink and used watercolor type pens to color it.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Going Postal on Dish Network

That's what I would like to do.... go postal on whoever decided to use telemarketing aggressively. THEY ARE HARRASSING MY ASS AND I DON'T LIKE IT!!

I think I've probably gotten 30+ calls from people trying to get me to sign up. They call early in the morning and late at know, just to bookend the calls made in the middle of the day. They feature people who speak English and people who don't. They come from recorded messages as well as live people. The live people I yell at... I know they're just trying to earn a buck, but I can't reach anyone else to yell at AND IF I DON'T YELL AT SOMEONE I'LL EXPLODE!!

This company is getting on my last nerve.

Nobody to blame but myself, however. Until now I have not signed up for the Do-Not-Call list, so shame on me. I did sign up today and it should be in effect in 31 days and will remain effective for five years. That should get 'er done. (The bulk of the calls, anyway.)
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Are My Eyes Crossed?

Are There Curly Question Marks Coming Out of My Head? Steam Escaping from My Cranial Openings? If Yes.... SLAP ME NOW!!

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Oh... wait. Hold on. Let me get a grip.
"Oh. Guess what I have" she said as she put on a fake smiley face. "I just loaded Corel Paint Shop!"

I've taken a quick look, tried one feature...erasing the background (I think), but I couldn't figure out how to apply the change so I could see how it looked. Thats when the steam started appearing. As I looked through the help menu, those pesky little question marks started popping out. But I exaggggerate for effect only. However, this is going to take some learnin' fer sure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

She Sells Sea Shells....

What a mess that was... I've already got the pastels stored away. All thats left is a fine dusting of chalk.


My next move is to search for the fixative and then try to figure out what to do with this picture to keep anything from touching it. But its done and, again, a great learning experience. Although something may look easy to draw, its not necessarily so.

Okay... Who's choosing the next one?
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'Should You Accept this Mission...."

Mission Impossible. Kind of appropriate in a way, huh. And maybe that should read 'commission', but I digress.

Here's my selection for the next art project. I've had this picture saved for over a year. Its from someone's photo blog. I do remember asking the person if I could save her photo so I could use it to paint. She said it was totally okay. So to the unnamed Blogger... we thank you!


Unless this one just spews out of me, I'm fairly certain I won't be posting my results until tomorrow. I have errands to run and I HAVE TO do something with that other painting I should have had done eight months ago.

I do hope others who want to join in do so without hesitation. The only stipulation is that you let either Sandy or me know about it. We wanna see, we wanna see!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Larry Lizard - I

I think I've done all I can to mess Larry up. I should have stopped with the last version in the post below... but of course I didn't. Nonetheless, he's done and that, in itself, is an accomplishment. And all those folds of leathery skin... well between the folds and the scales, I got totally lost. And a little motion sick.

Good exercise. Nice challenge. Hard challenge.
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Larry Lizard - II

Below, my initial ink sketch

Below, first laying in of color. My plan was to follow up by going back over the scales again.

Below, I got lost in all the folds of leather. But I think this is the version I should have stopped at... but no matter. Its all good exercise. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!

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A Short "Visit"

11am and I've already fielded three telemarketing calls... then I hear an insistent knock on my door. Mumble Mumble because I'm putting down some watercolor and (sigh) it dries quickly.... stomp stomp. Open the door. There, looking a bit straggly, is my ex-neighbor. The one who fell into drugs (again) and recently got evicted. She asked if she could use my phone.

I left her standing at the door while I got the phone. She had to use it standing by my door because I don't invite people into my apartment. I grabbed a cigarette and went out to wait until she was done. When I went out I noticed a police car. The officer got out and came up to talk to the 'ex-neighbor'. He was asking generalized questions (how'd your face get scratched, where's your friends once the drugs are gone, you keep hanging out with them and they just use you, etc.)

I volunteered that she had just asked to use the phone and thats why I was out there. I wasn't very quick. It wasn't until later that I realized she had asked to use the phone thinking I might invite her in so the cop wouldn't see her. After the ex-neighbor left, the cop said he had seen her up on the corner with a couple of prostitutes and when she saw him, she quickly tried to leave the area. Thats always a guilty move. Apparently he followed her here.... and must not have had anything "on her" to do anything except talk. (He learned she had been evicted and refreshed his memory of her full name.)

"Well, I'm glad you stopped and came up here" I said to him. "She use to be okay and then she fell into the drugs." Blah blah blah. Any chance I get, I'm thanking the police because I want them to know I'm on their side.... even if I do know that some of them are real jerks and bullies. But they're usually having to deal with folks who need jerking around and put in their place. (I'm really trying to straddle the fence, aren't I.)

Anyway... back to the art work. It started out as a nice sketch but 'I'm a feared I'm messing it up with the watercolor.' But oh well. Its a good learning experience. Back to work.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Watercolor Portrait - 4 min.

Love the art and found it very helpful to watch. I'll be watching it over and over, but now I must go visit the web site listed at the end of the video. (love the music background, too) Wished I had seen this before my attempt at watercolor portraits, but oh-well... I'll be able to see it now. Check the video out. (added: You you've got to check out her website. Lots of goodies to look at. Margaret Crowley Kiggins.)

From Reagan's Diary (pilfered)

Quote from the Reagan Diaries
From an entry dated May 17, 1986:

"A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne're-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."

You know what they say.... anyone can become president. Its been proven true, too. The other saying is that we get the government we deserve. Damnit.

Monday's Show-and-Tell - I

Below are photos from Peninsula Rose Garden. (part II follows with three more pictures.)

This is the city's first public rose garden and community center. The sunken rose garden, with the 100+ yr. old fountain is on the South side of the park. On the North side of the park, beyond the octogon bandstand is a baseball field, playground area, tennis court, and swimming pool.



The park area was purchased in 1909 and completed in 1913. The park was a result of the city's 1912 "City Beautiful" movement and was the first offical rose test garden (which was later moved to the Southwest hills next to Forest Park.) For a little more history, click here. For you gardeners who are interested in roses, click here for information about this and other rose gardens in the city.
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Monday's Show-and-Tell - II

Below is a shot of the brick staircase. There are four sets of staircases, one on each side of the sunken rose garden.

Below, one rose bloom at the end of its life cycle.

Below, fortunately I noticed this sign before I attempted to snap off a rose bud... you know, just as a keepsake. (weak smile) In case you can't read it, the red sign says there's a $500 fine for taking any of the roses.

The top sign says "Adopt-A-Park Helensview High School is Proud Steward of Peninsula Rose Garden."
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Damn Marketing!!!

I'm getting so damn sick and tired of all these frigging marketing tricks that jam advertising down my throat.... I'M CHOKING, YOU ASSES!!!

Not only am I bombarded with telemarketing calls (5 to 10 a frigging day some times), and big ads jumping up on the screen because I let my cursor accidently roll over an ad.... now they're on my site meter!!! I go to look at a logged visit I don't get any details at all (such as what part of the country the visitor was from) I get a FRIGGING ASS AD IN MY FACE!!!!!!

MYGAWD... the greed is horrendous!!!!!

Calm down, Crusty.... calm down. No doubt its a way for site counter to get you to pay for the service. After all, you got it free for a while. Well F**K 'EM! I'll delete the crap.

Seems like today has a theme.... greedy USA marketing. Advertising. After all, look what advertising did for tap water. Put it in a plastic bottle and you can get a buck for it. The idiots will go for anything if you advertise it enough!! Its true... we get what we deserve. And we're idiots. Idiots with a sheep mentality.

Crap. I better go meditate now. Maybe I'll come up with a way to get back at 'em! One thing for sure, I'm deleting Sitemeter!!

Added: Its done. Sitemeter is now off of my site. My tiny tinyt protest stands. Probably stands unnoticed, but stands nonetheless!! Now I feel calmer.


Why are we seeing advertisements for medication that is available by prescription only?

I was stewing about this question when CBS's Sunday Morning had a segment on it. How timely is that? (Am I becoming more psychic? No. I've stewed about this question before. But I digress.)

There are only two countries in the world that allow this kind of marketing. The USA and New Zealand. All the rest ban this type of advertisement.... and New Zealand is considering banning it too.

I'm tired of all these hands trying to get into my pockets. It might have been exciting in my twenties, but its really pissing me off, now!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Smart-assed Oracle!!

Its been like over a decade since I've been into a Starbucks. (the author notices her nose is growing.) Well, more like seven years, okay. Anyway, someone has created a Starbucks Oracle guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Here's what I got:

Personality type: Ass-clown

You tell people that you're an executive at your company. You think that your repeated references to being "addicted" to caffeine make you seem intriguing and dangerous. People think you're a sucker because you spend 60% of your annual income at Starbucks. Everyone who drinks Venti Latte with extra shot ends up addicted to crack.

Also drinks: Zima
Can also be found at: Karaoke bars

After laughing, I read it again. Without being pretentious or anything, this Oracle needs to go back to oracle school or something. I would never go to a karaoke bar!!

On a different note, here's an aside... after watching a few days of interviews it seems the latest language fad is to say "yeahyeahyeah". Maybe it will take the place of "like" or worse, just be added to it. Such important news... yeahyeahyeah, I had to share it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

"Dad and Me"


My reference was from the monitor.

Sandy had sent me a collaged photo of her and her dad and thats what I used. I cropped the heads and then "zoom in" several times to make it large enough to see better. Unfortunately, I did not get much of her leather jacket that she loves/loved because my paper was too small. Besides, I go for the facial features. I had to guess with S's eyes because in the photo they are in deep shadow.

Took several days... mainly spent in simply looking at each and every swipe of the paint brush before moving on... nervous about screwing it up. I did turn my head to the heavens and asked for Dad to help me and I think he did. Anyway, I hope he did.
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Initial steps to "Dad and Me"

Lightly done pencil outline. (my finger at bottom)

First person....

Second person...

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Makes you wonder, doesn't it.....

Thursday, August 16, 2007


There are a couple of sheriff cars outside and a couple of policemen standing outside of apartment D. (are sheriff folks called police or something else?) The neighbor in apt. D is being evicted today, I guess. I didn't think it would happen this quickly. It hasn't been thirty days since the notice to vacate was posted. I wonder whats up with that.

I heard one of the officers ask the neighbor, who was sitting down by the street, if she was going to get any of her things out... that they'd give her twenty minutes. She got up and went inside and came back out with her purse, wallet, and some keys and left. Nothing else.

I was just noticing this morning that it had been very quiet at her place. I hadn't seen the druggies coming and going. I saw a couple now and then, but it looked like she didn't answer the door or else she turned them away. I was wondering what was up.

Its too bad things had to go this way but all her choices she made got her to this point. Based on what she shared with me regarding her history and what little I was aware of while she lived here, she seemed to be very self-destructive. Big Time. Sigh.

Just an aside... the police seemed to know her or rather remember dealings with her. I heard them ask "didn't your husband use to live here with you?" "What was his name, again?" (they weren't married, just boyfriend/girlfriend for a few months then he got the hell outta Dodge. He wasn't good for her either. But it was another rejection she had to deal with.)

In any event, thats the news of the day from here. I've never used her name nor posted a picture of her so I don't feel like.... oh, maybe I do a little. Never mind.

Added later: I got a quick look in the apt. The carpeting had been completely replaced before she/they moved in and now it is a complete mess. Huge and small stains all over it. And the door had been completely busted off its hinges so a piece of ply wood is being put up to cover it. They've also put in screws in the windows so they can't be opened. The maintenance person thinks the neighbor may be planning on coming back, thus the precautions. I suppose she can still break out the window but they would have to break out the entire glass since the frame won't be moving.

Doll Face (4 minutes)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Virual Postcard Virus

I just received an email about a "dangerous" virual postcard going around. I automatically check on a hoax/urban legend site to verify things before I pass them on... I've been burned too many times in the past. It looks like this could be for real. You can check here or I would urge you to google some key phrases to check for yourself.

The subject line says something similar to a family member has sent you a postcard. When you open the email and click on the link (which looks legit) it takes you some place else and you're zapped with a virus. It also sends more emails out using your address book.

So be very leary even if the greeting message looks like its from someone you know.

Its Four O'clock in the Morning.... Updated

Its four o'clock in the morning....

Isn't that in an old rock and roll song? Anyway.... I was awakened around 4am by the noise of a cranky crackhead yelling and shouting at someone. By the time I got up, checked out what was going on, and stumbled to get the phone, the angry woman and two men who were trying to calm her down were moving down the sidewalk so I didn't call the non-emergency police phone number. (a screaming addict does not constitute a true emergency.... just a nuisance.)

So.... now I'm wide awake. Hopefully I'll get to the store early and get that chore out of the way.

Added at noon: Now the druggie neighbor is calling the police to get her "friends" out of her apartment. Between my calls and hers I think I can rest assured that the police are aware of her apartment being full of undesirables. When you lay down with dogs.... there's always a good chance that you'll get bit. DUH.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday's Show-and-Tell

Today's show-and-tell is about a creative project that is also earth friendly because it uses recycled material which keeps it out of the landfill. The amount of time and effort used to create this item can be minimal or extensive. Its all up to the creator. (That would be you.)

I needed a container... a container to hold CDs and/or DVDs, should I ever acquire any. I had noticed various "official" CD holders in the stores, but they left me cold. I wanted one that would reflect my personality, my style, and my creativity... so thats what I did. I created my own.

The most effort involved finding the basic material, the basic building blocks, if you will. I searched my own apartment to see what was available, but did not find anything that was the suitable size for my needs. Did I give up? No. I kept my eyes opened and waited for the Universe to bring me something that was perfect. It didn't take long.

My tall daughter left the perfect container for me to use. It was the right size. (She has large feet.)
As you can see, it can also be used for other purposes, if the need arises. A multi-purpose decorated container.
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Middle of the Night

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Something I need to remember... don't believe everything I think.

I woke up in the middle of the night and can't seem to get back to it. I've been sort of watching Poker After Dark. I know nothing about it. Something to do with flops and rivers... ?? Oh, I know what a hand is, but thats about all.

Turn it off? Oh sure, if I turned off the TV and laid down it might help get me back to sleep, but then I couldn't watch (means 'listen to') the comings and goings of other people. There are some weird schedules.

Guess I'll play a couple of hands of free cell then call it a night... Put on some Tolle to listen to and that usually puts me to sleep. (Eckard Tolle, in case you were wondering.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Peeking behind the broad leaves, looking under the pile....

A few months ago I signed up for a-word-a-day newsletter ( to try and increase my vocabulary. (I'm often amazed at how much I don't know. And I can't imagine what kind of conversation I would need to have in order to use most of them... and lord knows who I would be conversing with to be able to slip them out of my mouth as though they belonged there.) It always includes how the word is to be pronounced and a sample sentence. Today's word is/was hardscrabble. (Did someone say scrabble?)

From the newsletter:

hardscrabble (HARD-skrab-uhl) adjective

1. Yielding little for much effort.

2. Relating to a place that provides for bare subsistence.


-Anu Garg (words at

"How did young Mildred, a homely, chubby, fatherless kid, reared on
a hardscrabble Iowa farm during the Great Depression manage to work
up the genius to relish every minute of her life?"
Elizabeth Gilbert; The Home Place; The New York Times; Jul 1, 2007.

Well, the example of how to use the word intrigued me so I googled it and came up with the entire book review. You can find it here. I suspect this might be more interesting for older baby-boomers and back, (I'm pre-baby boomer by a couple of years... officially speaking) because we can remember hearing about the times. You know, during our actual life-time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Great Blog/Website

I've been blog surfing using Sandy's juicy list of links and just came from Karin Jurick's art blog. I love her work! Check out her website, too (link on the right of her blog). I enjoyed reading her "about me" page. Very interesting.

A big ole 'thanks' to Sandy's Dusty Duck Tales for her terrific links lists!!

Thats a Strong One!!

Man, Indonesia just can't catch a break!! I saw this as BREAKING NEWS on the locate news web site:

7.3 earthquake hits Indonesia, near capital of Jakarta

No text to go with it... must have just happened. 7.3 is a biggin'. That country just seems to be getting pounded with all types of natural disaster.

added later: Looks like maybe they did catch a break... no huge destruction. Missed that bullet!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


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Thats pretty much my list of things to do....

Its Tuesday. Nothing much going on around here. The crackheads have been somewhat quiet the last twelve hours or so. They must have run out of money for now. Just a guess.

The tenent that brought the crackheads here is losing weight. If one were to meet her today, that comment might be a surprise to them because she's still very much a rolly-polly, but I can tell. Twenty pounds in a month. That, too, is a guess.

I need to do some serious grocery shopping... the kind that fills up the cupboards a little. The cupboards and refrigerator are beginning to echo. Maybe I'll get to it this evening. Or maybe not.

Some folks have finally moved into the apartment above me. They are relatives or friends with the Asian tenents, so hopefully they will be as good a neighbor as the others have been. No drugs. No fighting. Things like that.

Its a yawning kind of day. Yaaawwnnnnn.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday's Show-and-Tell

A few things I see around the ole homestead....


I just know there's a joke somewhere in this new billboard, but it hasn't come to me yet.


A small water bureau cover in the street. I'm guessing its about 8 inches across.


And, of course, lots of Queen Anne's Lace. I always think about a great pastel done on a dark green paper. (searching google's images brings up lots of good photos, too.)
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Per Sandy's request... WIP

WIP... Work in Progress. BWAH HA HA HA HA HA. I crack me up. I have the balls to use the word "progress". HAHAHAHA Nevertheless, here's where the two paintings now stand. (Yes, I decided I better work on both of them at the same time. hahaha 'work on them' hahahaha)

The one below is a group of four guys/friends standing in front of a trailer/trailer park with a sign over head saying "Park It". Thats suppose to be the name of their film they are going to be making. I was given a photo of the four friends (can you make it out at the bottom of the easel?) to use and one of a mobile home. I used the projector to outline the guys. It made it a lot easier. And all this was the fun part. Now its time to go to the place where I can really screw it up... however, I'm starting to get tired of thinking about it so maybe I'll get her cranked out. I want to be done with it. And when I get to that place, more 'progress' is made.


This is an island scene a friend has asked me to copy from a greeting card she received. Since it will only be seen in her house, I don't think I need to worry about copyright stuff. And this one should be a lot easier since there are no people in it.

I hope to get more of it done today. It would be nice to have the room to set things up and leave them out for quick access but I'm working in my kitchen and its not that big. I'll post more progress shots (snicker) as I go along.
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Like Ants on a Hot Dog

That describes the crackheads milling around here.... yet again. Like ants on an abandoned hot dog. This time it wasn't a new tenent bringing the drug activity to the apartments with them, but an existing tenent who has decided to jump off the rehab wagon and run head long down the road that leads to the bottom of the barrow. Its a one-way path and she knows it. She's been down there before. Can you say 'self-destructive'?

This tenent lost her last two jobs because of stealing from the till. The first one involved a reported robbery and there was no evidence to support her claim. The last one also involved her taking money from the till and then leaving her shift and disappearing for several days. This 'finger-dipping' was caught on video. I saw her handcuffed and taken away. She was back home within four hours and has been coming and going ever since. It seems like no one stays in jail any more.

On July 25th she was given a 30 day notice to move. It wasn't because of the drug activity, but because she hadn't paid her rent. I'm glad and relieved that she wasn't able to make rent because I think its easier that way. No hard feelings because a neighbor turned her in for drugs. Less chance of retaliation. However, I now know it takes longer than 30 days to get someone out, unless they leave on their own. It takes more like two or three months, to do it all legally. I doubt that she has anywhere to move to... no job, no "legal" income, and her friends all seem to be crackheads living at her place. Living and conducting business there.

Late last night I went to close the bedroom window and saw three dark figures coming across the yard next door and up to the apartments.... to apartment D's window to be exact. She must have seen me at my window because I heard a female voice say something to the effect of 'its me... I locked myself out'. I don't think so. Its possible, but I had watched too many people going to apt. D and they didn't seem to have any difficulties getting in.... I think she is trying not to be seen by any police going by, or something. She may not have shown up for her court date on the robbery thing and there's a bench warrant out for her. Or else a crackhead is after her.

Anyway... here we go again. Crackheads, including hookers, coming and going all day and night. Like I said before, ants on a hot dog. I'm guessing it won't be long before some fighting starts. It always seems to end up that way... desparate crackheads angry because someone ripped off their money or their drugs. It will give me a reason to call the cops. Nothing may come of it, but it will give them a reason, also, to access the apartment and maybe they'll find some drugs inside. Or check id's and discover who has a warrant out on them.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Timely Visit

We're having a coolish weekend, however the humidity is a bit high. As long as you don't move, everything is cool. Move and buckets.... okay, pints of sweat start dripping. I'd rather have it this way, though, than 90 degrees of dry heat.

The lack of coffee pushed me out to the store earlier this morning. Coffee and the possibility of a great deal at one of the stores around here. Buy one set of Sharpie pens and get two free.... so three sets for the price of one. Sigh. I got the coffee, but the store was out of Sharpies, however, I did walk away with a rain-check. (Today was the final day of the sale.)

By the second cup, it was time to go outside and have a smoke. Thats when I saw a familar face... sort of. Let me set the background. When I first moved in I noticed a young man who seemed to spend a great deal of time in his car. (Anyone younger than me is a "young" person.... even if they're forty.) Once in a while I would see him go up to one of the apartments. We finally got to the place where we would wave or nod hello at each other in passing, but that was about it. He did not look like a happy man. He was (and is) a very thin man who shuffled along as though he had a great deal of weight on his shoulders.

About five months ago I realized that I had not seen him for a long time. I briefly wondered how/what he was doing, but that was about it. Just a brief thought. This morning he pulls up in a different car and on his way to one of the apartments, he came over and we had a long conversation. I think he was feeling good. His life was looking up.

He is/was from Kenya and although he spoke English very well I had to really focus in order to understand him. The apartment he would visit is where his ex-girlfriend lives. They are still friends. He had been homeless and living in his car... thats why I would always see him in his car. (I had suspected as much.) And if you have to park it somewhere, I'm thinking its handy to have it by someone you know who might let you use the bathroom now and then.

He had recently been in a car accident and "if you saw my car you would be surprised that I am alive...." He is now driving a better car. And he is no longer homeless. He apparently was working for a well-to-do couple and was taking care of the father. The father has since died. When he finally mentioned his homeless state to his former employers, they told him he could stay with them as long as he needed to... just vaccum a little and pick the place up. (Rich empty-nesters.) I think this is who he is buying the car from... anyway, he's been very honest with them (finding things/money when vaccuming and giving it to them instead of keeping it) and they've been very generous to him. And he's shared his good fortune with others back home in Kenya.

So... from a 'not-so-good thing' (car accident) has come a lot of 'good' for him. And he is feeling much better. His talkativeness and smile says so.

But you know what all of this is leading up to? Not the plight of this man, but in his timely arrival here and him helping me!

I locked myself out! AGAIN! For the second time!! (knocks head several times against the door. It still doesn't open.) Besides a dead-bolt, the door has a locking door knob where you can open it from the inside, even though it is locked. Sigh. Dangerous things. Danerous, Dangerous things. Handy as hell, but ohmygawd you have to be so careful with them.

My front window was open... I just had to get the screen off and squeeze my fat ass through the narrow opening. Much, much easier said than done, let me tell ya. First of all I had nothing to stick into the screen frame to force it out. I didn't even dwell on the squeezing part. First things first. Thank goodness the window was open!

As I was standing there mentally kicking myself, the young man came out. Apparently his friend was not at home. Boldly I asked if he could help me. He was able to get the screen off and nimbly get through the window to open the door for me, skinny little thing that he is. Thank God he was here.... otherwise I don't know what I would have done. Well... I do know. I would have ripped the screen completely out of the frame and then would not have been able to have the window open. You know, bugs and all.

Now... I'm sharing this overly long, overly wordy "adventure" because to me it just smacks of the Universe helping me out or destiny.... or sumpin'.

I was not surprised that I had locked myself out, because the thought of that occurring has been skipping through my mind for over a week now. So much so, that I would often checked to make sure the door was unlocked and/or picked up the keys when I went out. But, of course, not today. But I had someone here to help me and it became a non-issue. Someone who I had not seen for months and had never talked to before today. It just kind of has that Twilight-Zone feeling, but in a good way.

So... how's your day going?

Doodling Noodle - 1

One minute sketches using permanent markers. (from imagination) I was thinking of trying for a "story" like Sandy does, but all that came to me was a blank.
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