Tuesday, October 28, 2008
After observing Sarah Palin for awhile now, it is my sadly too-experienced opinion that she is a Pathological Narcissist. My mother and sister were both PNs, my former spousal unit was, and I certainly have strong narcissistic tendencies in me, though they don't present at pathological levels. Because of my awareness, I have done my level best to nip any growth in the bud.
Not sure what a Pathological Narcissist is? The Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, aka the DSM, revision 4 (which is the current psychological diagnosis standard for the medical community) lists the disorder as number 301.81; Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I have compiled and written an entire web page on the subject, so if you really want to understand it enough to decide for yourself regarding Ms. Palin, please read my page.
Pathological Narcissists are dangerous creatures, for they are utterly without conscience. Want an example? Bill Clinton. Yep, he's been labeled as a PN by a tremendous number of people in the know. I don't happen to dislike Bill or care about his dalliances, but the fact stands that he has no guilt or shame about the Oval Office episode; witness his "I did not have sex with that woman." Sigh...yes, Bill. You did. But he truly believed he didn't, as only a Narcissist can.
Another easy example? OJ Simpson. Yep. Starting to see the pattern? These people do not believe in accountibility in connection with their own actions, and suffer no sleepless nights worrying about what people might think of them. They're empty shells, and they KNOW they're empty, and that makes them cruel at the core.
Sarah Palin is a dangerous person, and cannot be allowed into the second highest office in our land.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Can you say "soup line"? How about "bread line"? The human toll of an economic crash and the ensuing catastrophic ripples are beyond my reckoning. I can study the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties and form some small understanding of the overall social effect, and I learned a lot about how it affected the individual by listening to my parents. My mother was ten in 1929, and her family owned an essential service - a feed store - so she had little memory of undue hardships. My father was twenty in 1929, and newly married, soon to have three little ones with their constant set of needs, so he was responsible for five people's lives, not just his one. He said it was hard, but if you were willing to really dig in and work, jobs could be found. Knowing my dad as I do, he busted his butt keeping his family fed and sheltered. I don't think he knew how to behave any other way. As my mother used to say "Your father was always a great provider." Doesn't sound like much of a compliment, these days, but someone who could be counted on to make sure his wife and children never went hungry, never needed for shelter or shoes, well in hard times there are few higher compliments to be had, I should think.
So many people struggled just to live during the Thirties, and there were so fewer people than there are today.
My dad taught me to "make the world a better place for your having been here." So when faced with a crisis such as the current worldwide situation, my eye begins to search for ways I can help, some possibility of making a positive difference for the world.
One person who made a tangible difference was Dorothea Lange, a tremendous photographer and journalist who is probably best known for her work documenting the human toll of the Great Depression. Her images were instrumental in getting the politicians and other power brokers to act, to make a difference for so many hungry, hopeless individuals.
But what can each of us do? Each of us is only one tiny voice in the midst of a tremendous choreutic upswell, and will never be heard, will never matter, you say? "Rubbish! Nonsense! Bosh!" Each of us matters, and our voices, both individually and collectively, are very, very important.
Here's what I suggest; get to a library and spend the few minutes it takes to read Dr. Seuss' slim volume of wisdom, "Horton Hears A Who."
There you will learn that each one of us, joined with others, adds up to a voice that CAN be heard. And never, EVER forget that "a person's a person, no matter how small."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
There's finally a sequel on the horizon, due out sometime in 2011, and there're all kinds of rumours and tantalizing glimpses of possibilities buzzing around the Net, foremost of which is the bootlegged video of the trailer shown at Comic Con this year. It's fuzzy, but you can see enough of the toys and tricks to get excited, and that's what matters to We the Sci-Fi Nerds. Here it is:
I'll leave you with two trailers for the original Tron movie. First, the original trailer that was released with the film in '82, and then a trailer that was created by one "Master of the Cut" on YouTube's HDFINC's Channel.
I'll let you be the arbiter of taste here...which do you think is better?
The original version:
Joni Mitchell collaborated with Jean Grand-Maître, Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director to create a ballet titled "The Fiddle and the Drum," centered around some of her most unusual and exquisite works. Though far from her most popular music, these are some of my favourites. The ballet is ramping up for its second season in Feb.09, with some new songs added, too!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
If you don't already know, Denny Crane is the character William Shatner has played for 8 years on Boston Legal, a television program on the ABC network. Denny Crane is an eccentric man, and a staunch conservative Republican. One his centralmost foiables (my opinion) is his strong opposition to gun control, claiming that "It's for communists." He keeps a veritable armory of weapons, loaded, in his office, and has used them, in the workplace, on more than one occasion.
If you know me at all, or have even been reading this blog, you'll have noticed I am far from a conservative anything, especially a Republican. So Denny and I are diametrically opposed in our political views, and likely in our social principles, too. But our core values are aligned, and that is what so moves me about Denny. His approach is simple; life is for living, and far too short for all the misery people seem to prefer over joie de vivre. Denny has a lust for life that few men a quarter his age have, and that's what plucks my magic twanger, Froggy. As an aside, that last bit's an obscure reference to a VERY strange character (Froggy the Gremlin) on a Saturday morning kids show I barely remember from the 5os called "Andy's Gang," with Andy Devine, who I just adored Here's some rare footage of Andy and Froggy
There's a strange symbiosis in having Denny Crane and Froggy the Gremlin in the same post...
But back to Denny. In forming my focused Cosmic intent for a Great Love, fleshing out the man I'd like to find, I came to the realization that, beyond the obvious differences in our political and social views, Denny has a fatal flaw as a potential partner. Denny is, I have absolutely zero doubt, techno-phobic. I mean, can you imagine him using anything beyond the occasional cell phone? Computers? I don't think so, he'd tell you that's what secretaries are for (among other things). An iPod? "Why?" he'd ask, taking another pull on his cigar and a swig of scotch, "When I have a perfectly good stereo, and Boston has wonderful clubs and the Symphony, all of which would be thrilled to have Denny Crane grace their establishments?"
Sadly, I now know that Denny and I are doomed to failure, for the man I embrace and offer the depth of my delights must be ALIVE, embracing the new as well as dancing to the old.
So if you're a voracious reader, piercingly intelligent, like the oldies but you've an appreciation for hip-hop and maybe even the occasional bit of rap; if trying new things sounds like fun; if dancing is something you enjoy and howling or singing doesn't seem daunting, and all of this and everything else around you makes you laugh, why not drop me a line? Oh, and if you're a conservative, be prepared for heated debates.
Seriously, I'd love to hear from you...maybe you'll get lucky and pluck my magic twanger!
Friday, October 24, 2008
There's another cd in the works for Mr. Castle, and is due out any time now. All his cds can be purchased from Twisted Fiddle Music.
Here's a video treat, Geoffrey Castle performing "Float Downstream" (there are links to more videos after the finish):
First of all, I REALLY need someone to tell me what the problem is with Socialism. One blog that helps a bit is "The Economics of Social Ownership." I THINK the poster above explains the underlying aversion of many, but do they really understand Socialism?
I've needed this answer since I was a teenager, btw. I came home from school one day and announced "I think Socialism is a good idea." My father came unDONE. "Who's putting these ideas in your head?!?" he shouted. "I read some books and figured it out for myself!" I yelled back. "You don't just come up with an idea like that, someone had to give it to you!" Yeah, there were a lot of exclamation points in that dialog. I'm STILL miffed at my dad about his apparent assumption that I couldn't have an idea of my own. That really chapped my hide, and still does.
For decades I've visited places that were Socialist Democracies - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada, England, Germany, Australia, etc. It has seemed to me throughout the years that the people living in those socialised countries were better cared for than a lot of the people here or in pure-d monarchies or dictatorships around the world. So I have never understood the extreme reaction in this country to the idea of Socialism.
On a separate but related note, I saw where a GOP official in New Mexico had a letter published in the local paper that made a number of sadly ignorant and inflammatory statements about Muslims, and specifically called Barrack Obama "a muslim socialist." Otero County's GOP Head, Interior Decorator Marcia Stirman has been asked by the Otero County GOP Chairwoman, Sassy Tinling, to step down after a fairly massive outcry against the letter. All I can say is "wow." I mean, in this day and age seeing the AP wield archaic terms such as "interior decorator" and "chairwoman" is pretty stunning, and then there's that name "Sassy.." What? Oh the bit about Obama being called "a muslim solicalist?" Well his middle name IS Hussein!
The core point here is, why should it make any difference WHAT religion a candidate is? I don't remember American History class teaching us that the Pilgrims fled Europe in order to practice only Christianity. "Religious freedom" is the term I remember best. Not "freedom to be Christian," but "freedom of religion." The underlying intent seems clean to me; Ya gets ta be whateveh ya wants ta here.
Can you imagine being a Muslim in this country right now? Does ANYone think we're making the situation with the Peoples of the Middle East any better by out and out loathing anyone who even looks like someone's idea of a Muslim? Does ANYone else remember Hitler and his racial profiling, or the painful embarrassment of the Japanese Interment camps here in the US during WWII? I remember my first MIL, who was Chinese, telling me how they saved their Japanese friends' things for them when they were taken away to the camps, and of how she had to wear a big pin on her coat that stated "I am Chinese." MIT has a terrific Asian American Studies site, including a stunning WWII pamphlet on How to Tell Japs From the Chinese."
I was born years after WWII's end, and when I was 12 my first real boyfriend was the son of a half-Japanese man and his very blond Caucasian wife. In otherwords, Bob was 1/4 Japanese, and his father was a bonafide American war hero, to boot! Once again, my father came unDONE. Fortunately, my mother prevailed, and Bob ended up sharing my first kiss, a very fond memory.
I think the most dangerous emotion is fear. And people in this country are afraid right now. Afraid of being hurt, killed, but most of all afraid that our quiet little lives will be taken away somehow. Disrupted and changed, and change is the scariest thing of all when you've been top dog forever. The challenge facing the world right now, and in particular the American People, is to release our fears and embrace the possiblities inherent in change. We can do it, folks. Smile at one another, give someone a helping hand or appreciation, love one another and laugh. Let's not take it all so damned serious, okay? Please?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I got a bookish look and you’re all hot for teacha
Todd lookin fine on his snow machine
So hot boy gonna need a go between
In Wasilla we just chill baby chilla
But when I see oil let’s drill baby drilla
The REAL news came this morning on Meet The Press, where Gen. Colin Powell gave a VERY articulate summation of the two Presidential candidates, and concluded with his well-considered endorsement. Take a look...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.
The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised
The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
Take the Test to Find Out.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Although humans don't migrate, per se, there must surely still be some remnant of reptilian brain within me, for every year at this time I long to GO. To get in my bus and drive to the sea or into the mountains. I long to walk amongst the falling down of the year and smell the forest as it decays beneath a new layer of wet leaves. To see the fierce Autumn winds whipping the sea to froth, the sea in turn tossing about logs that could support an entire house with their immense girth!
It seems to me that migration is one of the world's great mystery-miracles. Invisible sensors that somehow know both when and where to go. Although science is ready with explanations for the phenomenon, their statements are prefaced with "It is believed..."indicating at best a lack of substantiation.
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, those delicate little jewels of the air, make the 20 hour trip non-stop and all alone from Texas, skimming just above the surface of the Gulf of Mexico; over 450 miles of water, and usually with a 20 mile an hour headwind!
Monarch Butterflies migrate from West of the Rockies to California (eastern Monarchs migrate to Mexico). I went to school in Pacific Grove, CA, a town whose slogan is "Butterfly Town, USA." Every year there's a Butterfly Parade in the Fall to celebrate the return of the butterflies to a scant few acres. When I lived there, PG was a "dry" town, that is, no alcohol was sold or served there. Having originated as a Methodist retreat, I suppose there was an historic basis for not encouraging the imbibing of spirits, but the irony of the butterfly hoopla was that the butterflies supposedly got "drunk" off the sap of the pines and eucalyptus trees to which they clung. Or at least that was the local belief when I lived there.
One of the wonders of the Monarch's migration is that because butterflies have such a short lifespan, the butterflies that make the migration are always new ones. How do they know what to do and where to go? Again, it is believed that they may rely on the Earth's magnetic field, the position of the sun, and the polarization of the sun's rays.
And then there's the Pacific Salmon. The life cycle of the salmon is fascinating. Spawned in freshwater streams, the young salmon travel to sea and its saltwater early. There they live one to five years, depending on their individual species, and upon reaching maturity, begin their return to the precise stream where their lives began.
The distance and terrain they travel and their return to the exact point on earth where they emerged from eggs is truly astounding. A very good and thorough description of the Pacific Salmon's life can be found at the Orca Network website.
The bottom line, again, is there's no real understanding of how the salmon know when/where to go, and how to accomplish their goal. There're not even a lot of "It is believed..." statements on the subject of salmon migration.
Accordingly, what is it within me that wants to just go out and get in the car and drive away. And where, if I could but tap into that ancient vein of instinct, would I end up?
Or as Joni Mitchell wrote: "I get the urge for going - When the meadow grass is turning brown - Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in"
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I have always loved dressing up in costumes. My grandmother used to send me marvelous boxes filled with hats and belts, and once in awhile a beautiful dress of tulle and satin she'd found at the church rummage sale. She also sent beautiful afghans she'd made from wool purchased in the form of old sweaters at those rummage sales. She carefully unraveled and then reworked the used wool into beautiful jeweled patterns of colour that kept me warm in my dreams throughout childhood. But this is about those strange and wondrous bits of costuming she sent a thrilled seven year old.
I literally wore out every evening gown she sent me over the years. I fantasized about being on a pirate ship where they ravished me, or about being at the Alamo where Travis and Bowie and Crockett ravished me, or being held captive by Indians in Colonial America, and yes, they ravished me, too. Of course, each imaginary session of ravishing required my dress be torn a bit, and as I liked wearing them off my shoulders so my non-breasts could pretend to swell with passion, those poor gowns were badly used very quickly. I suppose one could say with a smile that they were thoroughly ravished.
By the way, I really didn't have any idea what being "ravished" meant, only that it must surely be thrilling, judging by the looks on movie star's faces in those situations. Paulette Goddard in 1947's Unconquered, Maureen O'Hara in 1952's Against All Flags and 1942's The Black Swan were movies that thrilled my young heart, and still do. As for the fantasies about the men at the Alamo, well I was just in love with the John Wayne as Davy Crockett in the movie, and when I mother eventually managed to throw away my play rifle so I would no longer pretend to be Crockett in my play with friends, I invented a place for a comely lass instead!
I'm sure I must've dressed as some of the standard female roles as a kid, but I only remember being a Spanish senorita one year, and the debacle that was the paper mache' costume my dad constructed for me one year. Dad had a tendency to overbuild some things. If a single layer of paper mache is good enough to hold the thing together, then we'd better put ten layers on for sheer sturdiness! Wouldn't want this thing falling apart..EVER! So he made a spaceman costume for me, and it looked great. Unfortunately, I couldn't lift it, let alone walk around the neighborhood wearing it! As I recall, dad had to resort to hatchet and saw to disassemble that monster. Some other time I'll tell you about the kite he built.
I really started dressing up for Halloween when I was in my twenties. I wore some fairly revealing witch outfits to greet candy seekers, and more than once a kid - and his dad - would come back for a second or even third round. *sigh* What can I say? I was young and had it going on, so I flaunted it without understanding what kind of signals I was throwing out. And this, of course, dear reader, is where we finally get back to the premise of todays entry. Maybe I WANTed to emit "readiness" signals by wearing a tight black dress that laced up the front from belly upward.
If that's so, then what does it say about me that my two favourite costumes of the last thirty years have been either a clown or a bearded lady? I like to think I choose the clown get up because it's disarming, and few don't have some BIG reaction to seeing a clown. The bearded lady has a very interesting effect on people. See, I use crepe (stage) hair and spirit gum to "build" a beard on my face, blending colour and layers up from the neck. Once it's dry, you can tug on it and it doesn't go anywhere, and by carefully blending and building it as I do, it looks REAL. Too real, apparently.
The first time I wore the beard was to a party of a Playboy photographer. Now I knew there would be TONS of Bunnie and other over-the-top sexy costumes, and I also knew I didn't want to simply blend in. So I built the beard. And I curled my elbow length blond hair, donned full makeup (including RED! lipstick), and slithered into a Chinese red strapless dress. Oh, and I wrapped a gold snake around my arm. I was the IT girl at that party. Although there were a few who simply could NOT look at me, including my date, more men hit on me than ever before. I found their reaction extremely enlightening. The mixed gender message was clearly tantalizing to men, a fact I logged away for another time.
That time came my first Halloween at a mega computer corporation. I was one of only a scant handful of women in my entire software division, so I decided it was once again time to break out the spirit gum and crepe hair. This time I wore standard business attire, a dress and daytime makeup. The reaction from the men was the same as the last time, but the reaction that stunned me was that of a top female executive. She positively snarled at me! I won a prize for my costume, though. First prize went to another gender-bender - two VERY large and manly men (think burly Scots or Viking dudes) dressed as a pair of ballerinas in pink and powder blue tutus. They were great!
So the question before us today is; what do our Halloween costume choices say about us? For me, I think it's 1) about wanting approval and 2) about showing my Alpha dog tendencies. And I'm not even gonna THINK about what all those ravishing fantasies meant!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I only stopped at three studios, a masterful batik artist, a queen of the felting arts, and an artist of inspirational copper icons and bas reliefs.
The batik artist, Sakura Onuma Davis, is clearly a highly disciplined and exacting master of her media. Capturing the exquisite combination of Japanese and Pacific Northwest influences, Ms. Davis' art is layered in the most delicate detail work I've seen done in batik. Absolutely beautiful, and judging by the throngs crowding her spacious studio, I am not alone in my opinion.
My next stop was most welcome, as I have long admired Janice Speck's felt work. Located in a deliciously private setting, the walk to and from her studio from the gravel driveway was the calming experience I have come to expect from artists in the Northwest. Unexpected delights at every turn of the garden path led me to yet another lovely, spacious and light-filled studio. One wall was a blaze of rainbow coloured roving that made my heart race and my breath come faster. I love colour, and wool is such a wonder to work with. Standing at the large central table, Janice worked a silk and wool piece in shades of sky and sea as she talked with the ladies who preceded me. I lingered so I might have a chance to talk with Ms. Speck for a bit, and we had a very nice exchange about how important it is to understand and master your materials and techniques, but that the real pleasure comes later, when the "happy accidents" occur. I left her my contact information, and hope she has both the time and inclination to put it to use.
Lastly, I stopped at the studio of Sofia Christine, who creates luminous bas-relief, cast and copper works derived from Byzantine and Buddhist sacred imagery. To gain access to Ms. Christine's studio, a pilgrimage of sorts is required. A steady climb from street level to tower, through trees and up slate steps, past the weathered iron table and chairs, and up the hand hewn circling stairs to a windowed room where a view of the sea fills the eye. The artist's gilded images hang on the walls and the room feels much as a sacred chapel might. It is in this perfect metaphor of a studio that Ms. Christine, whose name must surely have played a part in dictating her direction in art, creates lovely images that allow the eye to fill with a peace seldom found simply by gazing at art. You may think I was quite taken with Ms. Christine's art, and you'd be right. But more than that, I was enchanted by the place, the art, and the woman who encompasses it all. I very much enjoyed seeing her work, and hope someday to own a piece.
As I wound down the stairs and out the door and followed the footpath to the street, I found myself thinking about how I no longer feel so utterly isolated here, and that after two years, I suddenly have come to love this place.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Short Subject Animation, The Danish Poet, from Director Torill Kove and narrated by Liv Ullmann, is a gentle film of love and intent and the underlying order of the Universe.
Can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter?
The narrator of The Danish Poet considers these questions as we follow Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer, Sigrid Undset. As Kasper's quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
As soon as I made coffee, I was off and running. In and out and in and out of the garage, getting the animal cage, then the baby gate, then the cat carrier, etc. etc., and I experimented with how to deal with this situation and/or was cleaning up after one or another of the critters ALL day.
I fed all the furry eyes, and then decided to stir the blackberry cordial. Licking the spoon, I dribbled juice down the front of my favourite white shirt! SO I boiled water, poured it over the stains, and then put it over on the stair rail to be taken down to the washer.
I had moved Shadoe to the cage by that point in the proceedings, and she was even MORE frantic without an exit from that space. So I increased the size of her enclosure with chairs and boards and god knows what else I grabbed from the garage, including the old and funky cat box (I had to do a small repair on it before putting it into use). I added some food and water and let poor Miss Grey Kitty out.
I went off for my second cup of coffee, and just as I started to sip, the sound of something "not quite right" as Madeline's Miss Clavell would say, wafted in from the direction of Shadoe's enclosure, so off I went to check on her. Ack! She had peed in the cat box, then walked (circling, ever circling) across the other side and INTO the water, then into her food then into the cat box then then then...get the picture? WET cat litter and water ALL over the place before I noticed. Segue a half hour forward, THAT mess was cleaned up and Shadoe was roaming and circling....twirling small grey cat. Now AS I dashed around, trying to clean up Shadoe's mess, Brady jumped up in the middle of my art mess on the dining table, looked me in the eye and hurled a monster cat ook onto my workspace. Oh GREAT...cleaned that up. AS I was throwing that paper towel in the garbage, Big jumped up and knocked a FULL glass of apple juice over the art space. The good news? Cleaning up after Brady,I had JUST moved all the just completed watercolour cards for a swap, PLUS a chunky page that was finished. The bad news? The juice went EVERYWHERE...even into the tub of watercolour tubes and my pens. AGGGGGHHHHH! Segue an hour forward. Everything was washed and dried or thrown out, and the floor was poorly mopped.
At this point I decided to seal the bedrooms and stairway off with the baby gate in an attempt to contain Shadoe within the kitchen-dining-living rooms. Fine. I got the baby gate secured and only THEN discovered that I was on the wrong side. Opened the gate, went to the other side, closed it. Grabbed the blouse to take to the washer and noticed that as it sat on the railing, it had picked some other frip that required another fifteen minutes scrubbing in the laundry room before throwing it in washer with some other stuff.
While down there, I grabbed the shop vac and started back upstairs. Oh, wait, I told myself, you need to get some stuff from your studio while you're down here! Better check your mail while you're in here. Oh cool, a note from Ang; I can sit for a minute. Lalalalala...brain on holiday suddenly.
Who knows how long to fast forward this time, but I finally hit send, finally realising I still had stuff to tend to upstairs. I grabbed the shop vac and got up there only to remember I had forgotten what I needed from my studio. Of course, by that time I was on the wrong side of the baby gate again.
I think you get the frantic picture. And I didn't even mention the part where on one of my trips to the garage, I noticed that I hadn't dropped the rent check off on Friday! Ack! So I drove downtown to do that, and of COURSE this was the day of the Kinetic Race, a Festival of Kraziness that CULMINATES at the Fairgrounds across the street from my house. NOT surprisingly, said culmination corresponded to me pulling out for that trip into town. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!
I was more than a little twitchy by the end of the day, and ended it by taking a bath and falling gratefully into bed...