Thursday, March 31, 2005


Day two: House three. Jessica. A very happy young gal who is getting married and needs someone to take over her contract for summer/fall. SWEET! This street level condo, one block from the Bayou is offering a single bedroom with as private bath, HUGE closet, bed, desk, bookshelf,dresser and big window that looks out at the street. A washer, dryer, large shared living space and large kitchen, plus great roomies in the basement. To throw a bone our way, Jessica dropped the price for the summer contract by $50.00 per month! WaHooo!

Next came Creepy Landlord Guy. Upon entering his office he remains seated as he throws keys at my daughter through a counter window. (In your best Eeyore) "All the apartments are the same. Go all the way to the end of this hall, then all the way down the next. #114 is open." So we walk down to #114, unlock the door and promptly smack it into the closet that faces the door. To the right is a large kitchen. We didn't realize there was a living room to the left until we shut the front door because there wasn't a space between the door and the closet to view the room from. The kitchen leads to a communal bathroom sink type area with rather sticky drawers that SCREECH when they are being opened. There are more cupboard closets across from the sinks that line the mid hallway. Equal bedrooms are on either side. Both mirror the other and are large and have two twin beds in each. The closets have fold down tables that act like desks. The trip here is that almost every cupboard door is off a hinge, or two. The carpets and drapes are grimy and dingy and I don't want to describe the bathroom and shower. UGH. So we return the key to Eeyore. "Did you say on the phone that you had singles?" "Yeah, if someone wants a single we just add the other beds into the other room. The apartment ALWAYS has at least 4 and the majority have 6 people." (Great, so the princess who has a huge private room to herself gets the resentment of the others whom she has inconvenienced. Read: The other roomies take every opportunity to cough in her food.) No thanks.

House #5 was the internet preview choice number one. Great location, fairly new and reasonably priced. After seeing in person, not so much. That and watching the "Kramer" neighbor drinking chocolate milk out of the jug while telling us how much she LOVES this apartment kind of messed with the illusion.

House #6. Party Central. Enter Art School Barbie and her friend Sick in Bed Midge. Barbie gives us a quick tour. Her room is Gynormous with a double bed et al. Really nice rooms but shared bathrooms. Still, all in all, a very nice place. Art school Barbie has displayed her talents via the acrylic sofa sized painting of a freaky surfer girl. Over the kitchen table she waxed cultural and went for the Asian characters and symbolic red and gold square objects in black frames. Magazine and movie choices are edgy. But hey, this is college right? The hallway is papered with Abercrombie and Fitch male models... hubba hubba. There are sundry art objects everywhere and the ward is TOTALLY COOL!

House #7 is another great find. Here we have the H&G co-ed ideal for the truly matured gal entering adulthood. Beige leather sofa, on a non-traditional angle to offset the structure of the square floor plan. Fine art and tiny sculpture. Immaculate and smelling of a crock pot roast. Bedroom out of a model home with private bath. Mom and Dad own the apartment and she is graduating. It was probably THE perfect choice so far - except the price is a tad too high.

We called almost every phone number listed in the Provo Real Estate market. Marge was the main contact for the majority of places we were interested in. When we were finally able to contact her, she informed us that she didn't show the homes, she just handles paperwork. "If you are interested in seeing a place you just need to walk up, knock on the door and tell them you want to look at the place. Then decide and call me back." For this she gets a boatload of money for managing half of Provo. It's a nutty way to conduct business. "Hi, I'm a complete stranger from out of state. Let me in your home unannounced to look through your closets and lingerie drawers."

We decided on number 3. Just like in the funeral business (more on that later), number 3 is the best seller. Both nieces and their hubbies approved the location, price and even knew the ward. One of the nephew-in-laws has one brother currently living across the street in the men's apartments and another younger brother on the way in the fall. She will have plenty of family around for support. There is also a warning about a particular men's building where illicit action is currently taking place and a stern warning to avoid these "men" during church and other activities. Thanks you guys, family is the best!

add to sk*rt

Just get a magic wand and a message delivering owl....

Day one: Searching for the "Private single women's housing, BYU approved, as close to campus as possible, washer/dryer included, most utilities paid, internet access, good ward, preferably with good roomies and reasonably priced (read CHEAP)" room.

Met with Ashley and Alley. Very nice and informative roomies who showed us the open space. A 3 level condo, one block off campus. The single bedroom is upstairs, shares a shower bathroom with another gal, with sinks in the hall. The bedroom space is large enough to accommodate a twin bed on cinder blocks (for storage space below), a small desk and dresser with closet. The main floor has a large shared living space with an equally large kitchen with W/D and "boys" bathroom. The basement "belongs" to Ashley and Alley "because we were the only ones to clean it out and now it's our office space". The rent is reasonable considering the location and utilities paid. The 4th year roomies also informed us on neighborhood personalities and lifestyles and offered to give their opinions on other properties we would look at to "make sure you're in a good place for a good price." They praised the ward for being a place for people who want to attend church, have callings and actually increase their testimonies. "This is not a party ward." Sounds perfect for #5; but this is the first place we have looked, so onto number two.

Ever wonder where Harry Potter spent his miserable childhood? In a quaint little bungalow just down the road. We caught an appointment and went in for a look. As we approached the basement entrance hot pink and hot purple porch lights announced our arrival. The door opened and we are greeted by the blonde equivalent of Wednesday Adams. We entered into the dim living space. The kitchen wasn't much brighter, but it was indeed large and spacious, but dreadfully stuck in post war amenities. We cross through the kitchen space to get to the "private" single room offered. Wednesday swings the door open to reveal a twin bed surrounded on three (count 'em -3!) walls. Granted one side of the bed has a wall that only goes half way down the bed as it bends to the "closet" space. The slant of the 6 foot ceiling grows ever closer to the floor cutting the closet space very triangular. There is a built in shelf (desk?) on the opposite wall. Wednesday explains that the shelf in the middle of the room should go next to the entrance door and that is used as both book shelving and dresser. The closet cannot accommodate dresses or lengthily clothes and that any of those items are usually stored in the other girls' closet. The GAPING hole in the ceiling (with exposed shards of wet wood and dripping pink insulation) will be repaired soon. There is indeed a curtain, but alas no window. It's there for effect only. The loud noise we hear is hidden behind the entrance door. Closing it we see another door and understand it to be the "maintenance room" complete with boiler (boiler???) and washer and dryer. These are communal and the lock on this door is there so that the gals from upstairs can't just saunter through your room. (although the downstair girls will be able to do so.) The noise is loud and vibrating. Wednesday tells us that the landlord is lovely, sweet and very attentive to repairs, etc. "You can't get a better guy." But that she is moving because she gets too cold in the winter. The girls upstairs control the heat and cooling; and heat rises, so they (the downstairs gals) are always cold. That and they pay half the utilities; "why pay for something you never get?" So she's outta there and so are we.

add to sk*rt

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Road Trip

We took the drive through the desert up into Utah. All in all it can be one of the more tedious drives you can get. The scenery doesn't change much. But yesterday was different. We live in the Mojave and lately our weather has been really nice, warming up, last week with heavy winds. As we got further away from home and more into Nevada the weather provided us with glimpses of spring wild flowers - so abundant this year. Hubby has wanted to venture into Death Valley to see for himself but time just isn't enough for us to do that. So as I drove near there I scanned as best I could and, although there aren't as many as I expected the flowers were out and very pretty.

Clouds gathered as we spent time in the car and by the time we got to Mesquite we had sprinkles. Cedar City met us with more rain and Beaver still had snow on the ground! 2 hours out of Provo and we had snowy-ish sprinkles that when the wipers shed it from the windshield, it came off in sheets of slushy ice. Too weird for this California girl. As we readied for bed, snow was falling and it was quite pretty.

My niece and her hubby invited us to stay with them while we are here. They have a really nice apartment, much nicer than when hubby and I first started out a thousand years ago. It has just been remodeled with new tile and carpet. The rooms are few but large and they have a great Spirit in their home. They are very sweet and generous with us all invading their space. My niece has such a cute personality and is friendly and warm. She is encouraging to my daughter and giving her all kinds of good advice and information about living at the Bayou. She tells of great socials and parties and gave a few warnings about what to do and what not to do to fit in and have a good experience here. I think she'll have a wonderful time here and feel good knowing that she has family so close by.

While we were there, my other niece came by while her hubby was attending a class. So we had a chance to visit and get her opinion on life here also. After our conversation with her I think a trip over to their place is on the schedule, she has stocked up on all kinds of ice cream! (If it snows in Utah they have to put ice cream on sale - right?)

We visited and watched t.v. and joked about my sister's obsession with "The Amazing Race". (I for one am glad the mean guy and his poor girlfriend are eliminated! I think someone should intervene with the gal and tell her to find a less abusive man to involve herself with. That guy's a jerk!) I'm glad the old people are still on, they seem really nice. I have always been really bad at these things. I don't care much for confrontation and mean competitiveness. I like a good game, but...

Back to the apartment. My niece showed me fabric that she will use to reupholstered the sofa and love seat. It's a gorgeous deep red and will look great. Walls are decorated with all kinds of familial pictures and wedding photos. She has always been very photogenic, and now so is their baby - who is very much the girly girl. Dress that baby in army fatigues and you could still tell she is of the feminine variety. She is so pink and sweet!

So we're off to SLC to catch s few museums and such. Catch up with you later!

add to sk*rt

Monday, March 28, 2005

It's a S'mall world...

Went to the Small today. We call it the small because the folks here think it's a mall, but it really isn't. I went to purchase a new pair of jeans. Up until about 12 years ago I never owned a pair of jeans, now they're all I want to wear. After watching one too many "What not to wear" episodes, I realize that I should just burn my closet to the ground, rob a bank and shop only at Banana Republic. Problem is, I am not a Banana Republic size, more like Watermelon Republic.

So off I go into Lane Bryant. It cracks me up that the models -even at Lane Bryant- are thin. There is no possible way the gal flaunted in the window posters is anywhere near a size 18. Even size 14 would be pushing it.

I saunter over to the jeans section. A literal wall of jeans. Relaxed fit. Boot cut. Stretch Classic. After trying on my size in all available options I have decided that #1 I have the legs of a troll; #2 perhaps it is time for S'mee to quit wearing jeans again.

I exhausted the jean department and the sales gal suggested that, "If the jeans are too long, perhaps crop pants would be a better choice." O.k. I bite. I'll try on a pair of crop pants, although I am telling myself, "No one has seen my legs since 1978 and they won't be seeing them today!" Into the dressing room I go. (Good time to play "The Girl From Imponema") I wriggle into said crops and viola! They fit. They are best fitting pants I have tried on today. The problem you ask? Well, crop pants are supposed to hit your leg somewhere right about mid-calf (they named that part of my body correctly...moooo!), or about an inch or so below your knee. HA HA HA HA HA! These crop pants hit me just about one inch above my ankle! Seriously and without ANY exaggeration if they had been one inch longer I would have paid the lousy $60.00 and bought them as pants.

So I bought a shirt instead and went to look for a new phone deal.

"Hello, I am looking for a "family plan" and would like to upgrade my old phone." "How old is your old plan?" "Well, here's my old phone...." (salesman, upon seeing the old phone is trying hard not to laugh) "Um, ma'am, that phone is like 9 years old..." (just about half his age) Do you remember the phones from the old Army movies that came with this big lock box and a crank to get them going? They required the user to hold it with both hands? Yup, that's my phone. "Um... do you know how many minutes were on your old plan?" "Well, no, but my free minutes were from 2 a.m. through 5 a.m. and weekends if you live in Guam." 'Nuff said. He knew he had a live one. Hubby and my daughter are now driving to the Small to get a new phone and deal. Whatever it is, I hope that I can finally use my phone during waking hours.

add to sk*rt

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Sunday

With so much going on- today will be brief. As will most of next week. My 18 yr. old is headed up to the "Bayou" (B.Y. - U.) to check out housing. Ma is tagging along so that I can check it out too, and take in a few classes on Wednesday. Lots of friends in Utah will keep us all busy and therefore probably away from a computer.

One definite trip will be to the LDS Church History Museum, where a young friend of mine has her work on display. Last year I encouraged a 9 year old girl who has a keen ability in art to use that gift and participate in a worldwide event that asked young children to draw a picture of a Prophet. It could be from any era in time. She chose to depict the greatest prophet of all time, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. She drew Him calling His disciples after they had fished all day. Her drawing was chosen to be on display for one year along with other honorees. I am very excited and glad for Ms. Allison! (Allison treats me to weekly installments of her original cartoon series. She has developed characters and heroes and plot lines that keep me coming back for more. That and other drawings she does in her spare time. She will be famous some day!)

Other than the difficulty in extracting a small snickers from it's crackly cover and the really good grilled fresh pineapple that accompanied the roast - today is pretty tame.

Happy Resurrection Day everyone!

add to sk*rt

Friday, March 25, 2005

Wednesday Afternoon Theatre

The following is a small narration. To make it even more exciting please use the following voices in your head while you read the green and orange parts.
Green = A nice dull Ben Stine impression - think "Bueller...Bueller..."
Orange = Let's do your best Marie Barone - you know, Raymond's mom

Have you ever been in a situation where a random -yet specific- question was thrown out to you and those in the room you are in? Something like, "Introduce yourself and tell us ONE colour you really hate."

The circle of folks begin their responses. (cue party music)

"My name is Ophelia and I can't stand beige."
"My name is Prudence and I detest lavender."
"Hi, I'm Eliza and I am not a huge fan of turquoise."

Then comes this:

"I'm Ethel and.." "Ethel is my daughter, I'm Ursula and I know Prudence. We played polo together as children. And this is Armando, he's my husband."

(Armondo has sat in the same position for the last 15 minutes as if he were the lead in "Awakenings" [catatonic])

"um, I'm Ethel. I went to Westminster Central Park three years ago. It was right when they were building the new Greek pavilion and I lived right there you know. And..." "And she was there when the Prime Minister of Guava Imports was there to bless the Guava crops near by." "well yeah, I was there, and then, but I lived right there you know? And then the Prime Minister of Guava Imports came to bless the crops and he had his Ambassador of Roots and Shoots with him and well if you all remember that was when the Ambassador got sick."
- -tiny side bar- - this is when pretty much everyone in the room began to look around at each other in an uncomfortable "where are the exits?"- way, a slight pause and then...
"Well he got sick, came home and DIED! You remember how he DIED? Yeah, it was right then and I was there then, and then he DIED!"
--well o.k. then, moving right along--
"She was, she was right there when it was happening. You know -when the Ambassador got sick and DIED! Strange huh? Yes, well, like I said I'm Ursula, and she's my daughter and, what was I supposed to hate?"

That was my party last night. Dang if I don't know how to throw 'em! Call me if you ever need a good getting-to-know-you game. Then again, perhaps there are folks we just don't want to know too much about. ugh!

originally posted in 2005. reposted today because I am having a few tech-difficulties. enjoy the rerun!

add to sk*rt

We're blighters and beggars and ne'r do well cads

Yesterday a friend of mine and I went to Disneyland. The Happiest Place on Earth. The theme park of our childhood. The envy of 10 year olds everywhere. It took us forever to get there, but then if you live in SoCAL you know that no one should ever drive the 91 for anything. EVER. Nuclear holocaust headed your way and the 91 is your ONLY escape route? Forget it and take the hit. You were going to die eventually anyway. At least this way it would be fast.

We finally get to the happiest place on Earth and realize, "It's Spring Break!" Yeah! A gazillion people are here today! YEAH! No one likes standing in line for "120 minutes from this point" like I do. HOLY HANNAH break out the balloons this is FUN!

Let me back up just a tad. We arrive at said "happy place". It's 3:30 by the time we are frisked, cavity searched, metal detected, x-rayed, shoe removal-ed, virus scanned, (o.k. so I exaggerate here... the rest is REAL) ticketed and allowed to stand in our first line of the day - the bathroom.

On the tram from the parking structure we met a family from Wisconsin who were there for the first time. How bad do I now feel for these folks and their three tiny kids who are now here for probably the only time in their lives and will now wait (in your best "Sandlot" voice)
FOR EV ER! to ride each and every "attraction"! I bleed for these people. $50.oo to stand in a Disney-freaking-line! Yo ho my sorry Pirate! This is absurd!

Add into the mix that these folks are seeing Disneyland -the theme park that started them all, the one that sets the bar, for the first time and they are greeted by rusted poles on the Monorail, peeling ceilings in the Pirate's of the Caribbean, and torn and stripped wallpaper in the Haunted Mansion to mention only a few 'problems'.

This is not the Disneyland we grew up with. It's a mess. In the coffee/cookie/hot cocoa shop on Main Street (right next to the fruit stand and the lockers) we stood under very filthy fire sprinkler heads (hello Health and Fire codes) while we waited to be waited on. As we looked up at the dangling dust flowing off the sprinkler heads like moss in Magnolia trees we also noticed that the fruit holding glass display jars obviously hadn't been dusted in a good year or 2. They belonged over at the haunted mansion with all the other old dusty stuff. Problem is: this dust and grime is real. When it's my turn I lean over and whisper to the gal waiting on me, "Is there a manager available?" "No, can I help you?" "Well, I am just noticing how the place needs a little attention in the cleaning department." "huh?" "Well, the shelves over there are draped with hanging dust as are your sprinkler heads; and the fruit jars behind you are so thick with dust we can't see the fruit through the top of the jars." "Oh." (play elevator music here, maybe "Ceilings...nothing more than ceilings...") "O.k. then! Well my work here is done. You have a nice day now." "Um, o.k. ma'am, you wanna bag for that?" "No, no thank you, bye now." Problem solved. I am sure they are cleaning it up as we speak.

This year mark's Disneyland's 50th year in operation. A gynormous celebration is to begin on May 5th. There have been ads and flyers and promotions sent out to pretty much every Californian and probably the same things are being used to bring in the tourists from out of state and country. Walt Disney is rolling in his grave. I enjoy the fact that I am blessed enough to afford an annual pass. I really like going there just for dinner and sight seeing. I think Disneyland can bring a lot of happiness to people. But for heaven's sake, these people are making a huge profit off of sentiment and hype. Back in the day Walt made sure things were perfect. PERFECT! It was a true fantasy land. No one ever saw a mess, rust, dust, real rodents, decay, repairs or the construction. It was behind decorative wood barricades, painted prettily to conceal the mess and usually with some story line to match whatever the theme of that area was. Now it's a huge blue or grey structure, of wood, but just there -looming- with a large sign saying they'll be glad to take your money while maintenance is being had. We're all being had.

C'mon Disney. Get it together. I know that you are succeeding on the out of state market and foreign tourists. But hey, after a while, they too will get tired of the steadily declining product you are selling and tell their friends. It's a Mouse Trap.

P.S. Highlight of the day was Scott. A low on the totem pole employee who went out of his way to make my friend and I extremely comfortable in an embarrassing situation. Thanks Scott. If Walt were alive, you would get a promotion. You know what Disneyland is -or was- all about.

add to sk*rt

Making "comments" easier!

After spending some time with my blog-o-matic sister on Wednesday night, she helped me do some new things to my blog. One of them makes it really easy for you to comment. She installed a new comment tool -Haloscan- that allows you to comment just by clicking on the comment icon at the bottom of the post. After that a little window pops up. You just fill in the blanks, name= the name you want to show on the screen, your e-mail address (you can click on a button to hide that from public view if you wish), and then a "URL" box., not really sure what that does, but if you don't either chances are you won't need it to comment! Then just go to the empty box and write away! See you soon!

***If you have commented prior to Haloscan being installed Wednesday night, it was erased. My apologies. But if you are like "Chronicler" you can just rewrite them if you want! Thanks Chronicler!

add to sk*rt

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It isn't easy being green

O.K. So I go shopping once a week and now that I am a grown up I treat myself to fresh flowers regularly. I used to hope hubby would bring them home to me, but reality struck and I clued in. So who cares who brings them? I LOVE having fresh flowers in the house.

I live in the flipping Mojave Desert. Good luck trying to grow my own. I see some neighbors who have had success, but they also have water bills that rival the national debt. So I search around the local shops, stores and farmer's markets and there you go.

This week has been a terrible temptation for S'mee. I saw the flowers and plants and I did indeed partake! At one store there were bunches of one dozen orchid stems with the most gorgeous magenta blooms! I snagged those puppies right up. Then there were the Calla Lilies and these funky waxy curly very long stems of whatever variety. Add in some deep purple Iris and I was hooked. Today I was picking up some last minute items for a small get together tonight and there in the grocery store were gallon sized (in nice pots) tropical plants. At 2 for $16.00 I bought 3. (I never admit to being good at math - so hush!) Two are 3 foot tall palms, different varieties, and the third is a big bushy bush thing. O.k. I promise when I see someone with botany skills I'll ask what they are.

Normally I am Charles Manson to the botany world, but the last two summers the plant gods have shown mercy on me and allowed me to grow indoor plants of all kinds. I am blessed! My little home grown (from the actual pineapple top) pineapple is still hanging in there and I smile when I think we ate it's momma 2 years ago. I have a bird of paradise that is currently mad at me but in cahoots with 6 foot palm. (Note to self: never move said plants- even when laying down new flooring! They get even!) All those and a few bromeliads that I adore!

So Now I need to find new homes for the newbies, show them a little S'mee lovin' and hope they like it here.

So here's the question of the moment: What's your weakness each week?

add to sk*rt


My hubby is a freak about the list. This is a man who has been known to procrastinate, but not when it comes to making a list. What is it about lists?

Grocery List. So we don't forget the one ingredient that will make dinner just perfect.
Target List. They have too much stuff there to just go and browse. This list keeps you from impulse buying.
To Do List. Can be both good and bad, fun and depressing. Oh the things that need to be done!
The Check List. This one is for all of us wanna-be pilots. Airplane - check! Steering Wheel that is cut in two - check! Lots of dials and buttons - check! Tickets - Tickets - Dang!

Then there are the other lists. The lists that I seem to find only on blogs or in personal journals. The whole personal journal thing is hard at best, because you have to wait to be invited to read it, or wait for the person to die so that you can finally figure out what they were writing about all that time. These are, however, the lists I enjoy the most.

My daughter - in - law made a list of "happy thoughts" as she was growing up. A small book which contained moments in her life that were exceptionally happy. Then during a particularly bad day she could just go to the book, find a page, and relive a happy moment. She shared her book with me just after her engagement to my son. It made me happy too, and I didn't even remember the actual event! (there was that one entry that I kind of wanted to relive...hmmm)

The List of Things to Do Before I Die List: These ones I really like. Although there is a sense of "Man! I NEVER thought of that!" envy when I have finished reading them. Lots of bloggers have these lists and they include some odd things (roller blading through a cathedral), to the mundane (public speaking), to the daring (eating sweet breads). Most have some random place on the planet to visit - which for me, that list would be long. I think I'll pass on the sweet breads - trust me -we're not talking banana bread.

The Things About Me List: A list where one explains either in very short or very detailed images what makes them a character worth reading everyday. "I was arrested in New Mexico for monkey smuggling in 1968" Some of these I really enjoy because they help me understand the person's sense of humour, or lack there of.

The Book, Music, ETC. List: This is where they list the latest "____" they are enjoying. Sometimes I wonder if they really are reading that French Novel or just trying to impress (or depress) me. "Yeah, I'm cool, I' m listening to Russian Folk Music while reading an Inuit Ancestral Novel in the original tongue." You can't fool me, They were too busy hunting whale and eating seals to write a novel!

Then there are the Things You Can Buy For Me Even Though I Am A Stranger To You List: This one cracks me up! People actually have a "wish" list of things they hope some generous philanthropist will grant them. Now I actually know people from both those groups who have actually done that, and it seems like a really cool idea. Mainly it's books and stuff like that, but folks actually ask for boats, cars and today I saw one hoping that Harry Connick Jr. would leave his super model wife and realize he loved her instead. (Now there's a wish I can relate to!) Maybe someday I will make a wish list also and someone really nice will see it, like me and there you go! I'll have that new thing that will change my view of the world. It could happen!

Then there are the Lists Of Lists: Things like this entry. I'll go now.

add to sk*rt

Monday, March 21, 2005

Paint Chips

S'mee is happy! Yesterday I put the final step on the painting and as we chat it rests above the family room sofa. I am still disappointed in parts of it, but all in all it's nice to see my own art work up on the wall instead of someone else's.

On another note: I am an Interior Artist. I'm the gal you call when you want ivy, flowers, murals, and other such stuff on your walls. I do faux (that's French for fake) finishes like parchment and brick, sponging drives me crazy, but most people still like it. I really enjoy painting faux windows.

This morning I went to a consult with a new client who saw my work in a model home. She contacted me via the seller as I do not advertise and make it rather difficult for clients to hunt me down. This bugs the heck out of the model home folks, but in reality I am lazy and don't want to work. Anyway, Dani is the perfect client. She is confident in what she wants but also in my ability to give her what I think she would want more. It's a tricky thing.

When I read that I think, "Oh my heck! I'm the hair lady of doom!" You know who I am talking about. The gal you tell to just take off 2 inches in the back and she ends up feathering your hair because she just knows you'll like it better. I guess it's like that, but with a twist.

I never do anything without prior consent and always - with one huge exception- have given the client what they asked for which makes them HAPPY! (I must interject that there have been plenty of jobs where happy clients reign, but unhappy artist leaves knowing it could have been better if only...) The huge exception was "Lori" who insisted we do things her way and long story short - it came out exactly how she wanted it until she saw it and then it was too late to fix or change. Try as I did she would not yield and the results were disastrous and in the long run she blamed me. Now I have had others do the same - STAND FIRM! - but when it turns out horrid they accept responsibility and either ask me to change it to my idea or accept it and move on.

Dani will be fun to work with. We talked about several rooms in her brand new house. We will start with some palm trees and a monkey in the nursery. She wanted me to paint the boys' bathroom, but really I think she and her sister can do that project without me just fine. She just needs some confidence and frankly, I think her sister will do fine. The big boy room is another idea. She wants wall paper. Wall paper is cheap and really cool and easy to deal with - until you get tired of it. Then you rue the day you ever thought about putting it up. Sister is again trying to talk Dani out of putting it up and I agree. Paint is more expensive (if you have someone like me doing it); but in the long run, when you hate it all you do is paint over it and it's done. No scrapping for a day just to get started. I told Dani I think we can get the same effect with paint as she wants from the paper, so she's getting samples and we'll talk again. I think what she wants she and her sister can do.

The same for the master bedroom and her kitchen/dining/family room. So many of the faux finishes are EASY to do and it's nuts to pay someone like me to paint them if you have an ounce of talent and the gumption to do it. For some folks it's just not worth the effort and that's when I get paid. Like the gal who INSISTED I fold her towels like they did in the models. You know, the typical 3-way fold with a ribbon around it and a flower, etc., shoved in the knot. I argued with this gal for about 15 minutes trying to convince her that she could do it herself and that it wasn't anything she hadn't already done. She ended up paying me $40.00 to fold 2 towels and hang them up. Some people are nuts.

So that's my day. I am off now to do some mock ups for Dani to preview later this week. See you tamale!

add to sk*rt

Sunday, March 20, 2005


If you're going to read my blog you may as well know now that on Sundays I will more than likely talk about what went on during church. So if you don't want to know - skip Sundays.

The theme for today must have been "repentance" because the 2 main speakers, the hymns and pretty much even the ePrimary Sharing Time all taught the principles of repentance.

I love the scripture in Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool."

It's great to know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who from the beginning understood me. He has granted us this "knot in the string" ato prove [us] herewith, to see if [we] will do all things which the Lord [our] God shall command [us]. We are here to grow and learn but He knew we would mess up, make mistakes, even sin and therefore bcould not stand in His presence until we were sanctified. Christ makes repentance possible through His atoning sacrifice. I LOVE that we teach this to c"our children [so that they] may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

In Primary Sharing Time the instructor taught the children an easy way to remember the steps of true repentance A-B-C-D: Admit you made a mistake. Be truly sorry and repent to Heavenly Father and the other person(s). Correct what you did and try to make it right again. Don't do it again! I had never heard this before, but thought it was a way for the children to remember.

After her lesson, the instructor asked the children why God would forgive us. One child said, "Just because He loves us and wants us back." Out of the mouths of babes! One other child said, "He tries harder than we do, because he knows we are gonna mess up all the time." and one of my favorite answers: "Because if Jesus was the only one who is perfect then Heavenly Father would get real lonely with only Jesus to talk to." I am glad Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that my Saviour loves me enough to atone for my sins - which are many!

In the dSacrament Meeting one of the speakers brought up commandments, and the fact that we break a lot of them! Commandments! Things we never get to do or the things we have to do- right? gGordon B. Hinckley was interviewed by Larry King a few years back and this same question about too many hard commandments came up. Gordon Hinckley's reply was (paraphrasing) "Aren't they great?! All those commandments help keep us away from all the things that would bring us unhappiness! We have a Heavenly Father who truly loves us!" This same sentiment was reflected in the words of the speaker this morning. God understood we needed to be perfect to live with Him again. This wasn't going to happen in a world with agency and LOTS of tempting things to get us off track. All the commandments are there to help us keep focused on what the goal is: Eternal Life with God. Cool things these commandments. Now if I can only do what is required to f"make [those] weak things become strong..."

a: Abraham 3:25 b: Alma 13:12 c: 2 Nephi 25:26 d. Sacrament Meeting is a sacred Sunday meeting in the LDS church where we gather to worship the Saviour and partake of His sacrament to renew the covenants we made at our baptism e. Primary is the 'Sunday School' for the 18 month through 12 year old children. They are taught 45 minutes of lesson time in age specific classrooms and then another 45 minutes of 'Sharing Time' with lessons being taught by the leaders of the organization and through Music. f. Ether 12:27 g. Gordon B. Hinckley is President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

add to sk*rt

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday Rambling

Today hubby and I were to attend both a wedding and a funeral. We opted out of both for reasons to numerous to explain here. Instead we spent the better part of the morning with #4.

He is to be married late summer and has the opportunity to purchase 10 acres of land and a small house out in the toolies for $10,000 over the original owners current loan - well under what it is being appraised at by perhaps 2/3rds. The only problem will be qualifying and, because of his age and job, etc., that may or may not happen. But we drove out and saw "his land". It has a small little house, a well for water and is run by solar and generated power.

He has a beautiful view as it sits deceivingly high on a low hill that you don't realize you are climbing until you look out over the valley below. Off to the east is a rather large town with a rather popular freeway that cuts through a mountain pass. This will definitely glitter prettily at night as well as the tiny tiny community to the south west of his property. The tiny town also has a small lake which will sparkle just about sunset, which he tells us glows in all shades of hot pinks and oranges and settles down into a turquoise blue and violet splendor. In between these two towns lay a stretch of verdant farm land and riverbed that tip toes through the desert cliffs; which I think resemble a rather minuscule version of the Grand Canyon. So all in all if it were me, and I could afford it, I would pounce on this land for nothing more than the view.

His bride to be has approved of the idea and is already imagining improvements and shades of fresh paint. The closest neighbor happens -coincidentally- to be a retired couple of which the husband is of good acquaintance with my hubby. So that's another plus.

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent with #1; whose wife is in New York this week with a group of cheerleaders, whom she coaches. (they came in 2nd!) He came up to visit and keep his mind busy, and from what he said, "to avoid cleaning the house". He can't fool us, that kid is lonely without his bride! We went driving and looked at houses they are looking at. The market is still climbing, but there are some who predict it will begin to come down soon... so they are playing a waiting game. Signs for them have been the new incentives they are noticing developers offering new buyers such as covering closing costs, front yard landscaping included and one even has built in pools for every home purchased in the next phase of the development.

We looked at a couple of sites and walked away less than impressed. "All like Orange County. Big houses, no land, funky plans in some - others great, but all on top of each other or situated so that you can peruse the neighborhood from your up stairs bathroom and see what everyone else is having for dinner." They would prefer a home closer to where they both currently live and work. They are in the minority (I think) of folks who live in SoCAL - they both work and live in the same town and the commute is short. Most folks in our area have at least one person commuting an hour one way. That's crazy, but true.

Hubby and I will spend the rest of the evening in solitude I believe, unless something changes. But for now it is weird and the feeling of what is to come. A quiet house. Good thing we are friends and enjoy each other!

add to sk*rt

Friday, March 18, 2005

even better...

O.k. - I run down to the store to get more fresh fruit. Upon my return #5's best friend is here and secretly informs me that in addition to "National #5 Appreciation Day" it's also "let's surprise the heck out of #5 evening". It seems that everyone one on the party list had school projects, early bed times, track meets, shampooing of hair or other lame excuses and couldn't make it over tonight. Because they are throwing #5 a surprise party at a different location! So she was a little disappointed, but was taking it very well. After an hour or so best friend said it was time to go home and feed the chickens and off they went. The only problem with this whole day was that I wasn't there to witness the surprises. Oh well, I am happy for her and it is so cool when your kids have great friends!

add to sk*rt

Who says teenagers are bad these days?

Today my #5 came home absolutely exhilarated from school. It seems a random group of her friends and acquaintances conspired with each other and decided that today was "National #5 Appreciation Day!" When she arrived at school a small group met her at her first class with a bouquet of mixed flowers and hugs with the above celebratory reason. As she proceeded from class to class teachers chimed in and announced to each class that #5 was being celebrated and appreciated. (Two of her teachers added other positive remarks - which lately- she really needed to hear) She exclaimed that other kids in the hall also would shout accolades and "yo!" and she felt quite loved by the end of the day. So tonight we party!

What's on the menu? Well prior to knowing we are entertaining -Gramma's Goulash is in the making. We are preparing a salad so that when her guests arrive later this evening they can munch on choices of Euro greens with almonds, craisins, and apples with a balsamic vinaigrette; fresh citrus salad ala Aunt Chronicler; fresh strawberries and blue berries; Aunt H's famous baked cream cheese cake; and "maybe some popcorn". (I still make it on the stove, which none of these kids knew you could do until they came over - progress!) An odd snack menu at best, but hey, it's not totally without merit considering it is feeding teenagers with the munchies.

add to sk*rt

Time keeps on tickin'

Who is a happy camper? S'mee is a happy camper! I woke up way too early this morning with some homework requests from #5 -ugh! (she is becoming the queen of the "I forgot about it until now and I'll need that by 2nd period, THANKS" procrastinator) But after I got all of that accomplished I sauntered over to the ol' canvas on the easel to check on the drying of some very stubborn oil paint and VOILA! It's beginning to finally take on a rubbery texture! This means sometime in the very near future (like maybe next week) I can FINALLY begin the final stages of my painting! Oh joy! Oh rapture!

I haven't painted (oil on canvas) in over 20 some years and began again last summer. This one painting has been a re-learning experience. I have made huge mistakes, but most "regular" folks seem to like it... a lot. Which pleases me. Most un-artsy people aren't as critical as myself so that tells me that at least it is on the right track and that the next painting will only get better. Last week a fellow drove up to show #3 a car -which she ended up purchasing, proof of the power of prayer (thank You, thank You!) . While he was waiting for her to finish discussing the major details with her dad the fellow asked how much I wanted for the painting. Without thinking I blurted out "15". He looked at me and said, "$15,000?" with a very 'whatever' face. I replied, "Oh no! 15-hundred". "Do you accept commissions? Do you do all kinds of scenes? Can I have my wife call you?" I was a tad skeptical because he was trying to sell my daughter a car and yada yada yada, complementing the artist mom can't hurt, right? But when we went to pick up the car the gal actually invited me through her garden and brought up the artwork again. So at least I know he went home and talked with her about it.

So I will finish it and move onto the new painting that has haunted my dreams for about 3 months now. I am excited. Dream induced art has always proved to be successful for me. I have dreams, very vivid dreams almost every night. Every once in a while I will dream of an art project and when I get up and actually produce it, it flows right out of me. Most art - if it is a passion in me- will also flow; but dream induced is almost in a blur it comes so quickly, so I am anxious to get to the new canvas.

Why wait? Well, our house is quite small- especially when considering all the folks who share this space. Add in too much furniture (to accommodate said family members), and then lots of visits from the grand baby (I LOVE that little boy!) and well, there ain't no room for a studio!

So I paint in the kitchen to get the best light. Our kitchen is whopping 8'x6'. The fridge is right beside the sliding glass door, and consequently because of that you can't open the door fully. (If you need to get the veggie drawers all the way open or out you need to pull the fridge out and into the middle of the kitchen floor! Which is easy enough, just "WHY?") So I bring the easel over in front of the fridge while everyone is gone, or I paint during the middle of the night when folks are asleep. Then when I get to a finishing point for the day I carefully pick up the canvas and place it aside while I put the easel back into the front room. Canvas back on easel to dry and there you go.

Now that creates a bit of trouble as well. *As you walk in the front room from the door you are In the living room. No entryway here, no sir! Immediately to your left is hubby's huge office desk. Beyond that is the family desk, and a very large drafters cabinet with all kinds of crafty stuff in it and in little containers on top of it. On the wall to your right -right as you walk in - is a studio piano flanked on both sides by 6' bookshelves. On the far wall is my grampa's old steamer trunk, and to the left of that is my mom's old buffet. Did I mention that on the far side of the book shelf flanked studio piano there was a baby grand? The baby grand sits in what should be a dining room (trying really hard not to laugh at that description!) . The dining room also has a country sized table for 8; but shoved against the far wall so you can actually walk into the family room. My easel, with wet oil painting, sits in front of the bookshelf and right beside the baby grand. Touching a wet looking painting is an absolute must for about 80% of the population.

You can see my dilemma. There is no room in the inn for another canvas/easel. So I wait. But after this morning it won't be too much longer and I am happy, Happy, HAPPY!

*If I can figure this all out, I'll post a photo. Maybe after Tuesday when I will have had a nice tutorial from my wonderful sister!

add to sk*rt

Thursday, March 17, 2005

More about me than you'd ever want to know:

Some people have those "100 Things about me:" posts. This is mine, sort of. In a nutshell I am basically like everyone else. I have had a ton of jobs, most of them in the art/design industries.
Here's a quasi resume if you're interested, followed by a bunch of other items:

I married my best friend when I was 18 and he was 19 (in 1976!). We have been pretty happy ever since. I am the mom to the best 5 people on the planet. Gramma to 4 little boys and one little girl!

I could put these things on my resume (i.e. things for which I went to work on a schedule and received financial compensation!):

Fast Food, Hair Salon Grunt, Homekeeper, Nanny. (pre-marriage years.)

Graphic Art: Logos. Graphics. Private Business/Client Holiday Cards. Window Lettering- Holiday/Event Ads. Commercial Signs/Ads, Brochures, Promotional. Calligrapher. Business Cards to Billboards...I have designed them.

Designer: Visual Display (Windows Displays, Product Placement, Christmas Trees!). Packaging and Professional Gift Baskets. Event Rooms. Floral. Model Home Interior Asst.. Interior Art. Murals. Faux Texture. Bridal/Event Rooms.

Manager: Bridal Staff. Wedding Planner/Bridal Consultant Asst.. Sanrio Surprises. (I was offered a top level position by the owner’s son, Daniel; I declined*).

Working with the Deaf: Instructional Aide for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Interpreter for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Social Coordinator for Deaf Events.

Volunteer: Domestic Violence Shelter. Shelter/Home for Severely Abused Children. Hospitals. Elder Care Centers. Community Parks and Rec.. American Red Cross. Salvation Army. Schools. Church.

I designed the original logo, mascot, incentive/award patches and tee-shirts/hats, buttons, etc. for a Science and Technology Center. I also designed the NASA/Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial that encircles the (S&T C) patio and flag pole on the grounds. There is one obelisk, in ascending order for each of the seven crew members who died aboard on January 28, 1986; along with bas relief sculptures of each crew member, information, and the field of science that was their main focus/specialty.

Three of the logos I have designed have been for local schools. I designed their mascots (and other items) as well.

Awards: International Visual Design Competition – Sweepstakes once, 1st place four times.
National Interior Room Design Competition– 3rd place, Children's Bedroom Division. Graphic Arts Contest National Art Magazine, published with bio and small write up, twice.

While working for this corporation, I was so desperate for cash that I traded prize money for credit; meaning I did the artwork, gave the credit to my boss in return for cash incentives and monetary awards. He kept the certificates and trophies with his name and store number on them.

I entered contest in Rubber Stamp Madness magazine. They couldn't decide between the two entries I sent in so they published one each for two consecutive months. I won 5 copies of each those two issues. That cracks me up.

I entered a contest with this magazine, and submitted two entries. I won, however they never disclosed which entry won. Not knowing has bugged me to this day.

All of this with only a high school education. : p

The very best job I have ever had is being a mom. Followed very closely by Gramma, which rocks.

*which is why I passed at Sanrio.

Church Callings: Ward: Primary teacher for: Targeteer! (for anyone old enough to remember that class?)CTR-A/B, Valiant A/B, Merrie Miss A/B, Primary Chorister, Primary Pianist, Primary President, 1st & 2nd Counselors, Primary Secretary, Den Leader, Young Women: Beehive, Mia Maid, & Laurel Adviser, Young Women 1st Counselor, Young Women Secretary, Girl's Camp Counselor, Silent Adult Counselor, Unit Leader, Hand Crafts Specialist, Relief Society: "Homemaking" Leader, Secretary, 1st (Education) Counselor, Visiting Teacher, (Acting President while Ward R.S. President was on an extended leave), Other: Interpreter for the Deaf, Deaf Social Specialist, 13-14 year old Sunday School Teacher, Co-Teacher Temple Preparation. Stake: Primary -Secretary, 1st & 2nd Counselor, Relief Society - (1st) Education Counselor, Seminary Teacher, Interpreter for the Deaf, Art Director/Design for Public Relations and/or Pioneer Events.

When the lids were little, I designed and sewed their clothes. Patterns cost too much, so I used newspaper. I'm not the best seamstress in the world, but I get by o.k. My favourite thing to sew/design: Halloween costumes!

I really really like cats, kittens are the best. Cats like me. I have my favorites, George, Lewison-Mama-Kitty, Googiewhump, and Prozack. All of whom are currently chasing mice and eating plates of tuna in kitty heaven. But trust me when I say I really miss them and their squishy tummies.

I have no cats currently, so it makes me kind of sad. Allergies got out of hand for everyone in the house.

I like birds also.

Scared of most dogs.

Despise all forms of vermin. Paranoid, actually of all forms of vermin.

I am seriously crazy about the beach. Can't get enough of it. It energizes me and makes me instantly happy when I can smell that funky briny salt air.

I love music, most music, so I am easy to take to a concert.

I love live theatre and opera.

I love to drive. I love to ride. I love to travel.

I make friends very easily. My family jokes that if I stand in line (or an elevator, walk to my car in the lot, wait for the light to change at the corner...) a minute too long I will make a new friend. It has happened. Many times.

People confide in me easily. Strangers confide in me.

Math bad. Paint good.

I am a contradiction. By psychoanalytical definition I am a true 50/50 split personality. Sanguine/Melancholy. This drives most people in this 2 percentile of the population crazy. I took a jet.

Kids are my idea of honesty.

Thor, our kids, and myself once assembled pistons that were used in the Bellagio Hotel's "Dancing Fountains", the circuit boards for the computers that were used to choreograph the fountains with music, and also did the same for the Royal Residential Palace in Brunei. Neither of those I am fond of, however, it did pay the bills at the time.

"Put it in a bubble and blow it away" -good advice if you can follow it.

I don't believe in original thought.

I have my own versions of "foil hats".

I don't trust the government or corporate America, "Big Business".

I like to sing.

I get out of control during autumn with decorating the house for the holidays.

I do "Nightmare Before Christmas at Halloween". No one ever sees it because no one Trick-or-Treats door to door in our town. Sad. We are not 'Halloween Town' at all!

I have convinced my D-i-L to host a Hula-ween party each year. We both love Hawaii and the culture. Seems like a good idea.

I decorate over 16+ trees (on average) each Christmas, each with a different theme.

I like fresh; or frozen in a pinch, never canned. (This makes eating all that canned food storage, um, less than pleasant, but how can your store 'fresh'?)

I have a serious relationship with Chocolate.

I prefer Pepsi... decaf please.

I don't do the microwave very well. It is a $250.00 butter melter.

I like grass. Um, lawns.

I like to keep my dining room table dressed all day.

I'm hilarious.

My favourite love song is about suicide.

I think in symbols.

I think God prefers Polynesians.

I wish I could sing like k.d. lang; or my friend Conni.

People do too much to fish when they cook it.

Lobsters aren't all they are cracked up to be.

If so many people die to bring us crab legs should we really be eating that many of them?

I get stirred up over weird things.

I write "smarter" (more intelligently?) than I speak in real person most of the time.

I know how to organize.

I once found a real one hundred dollar bill between the tire of my husband's truck and a city gutter.

I have 'period' teeth. (meaning I could play someone from the Elizabethan period.)

I have 'cankles'. (but nice looking feet)

I really really dislike Las Vegas. creepy.

Being late is akin to murder. You can't give time or life back. To make someone wait is an ultimate arrogance.

Not impressed with money, but rather what is done with it.

It's safer to swim past the breakers than close to the shore. There's a life lesson in there somewhere.

I have been pulled naked from the Kern River by a deaf man. He saved my life. (It makes for a really hilarious true story though.)

I am not afraid to die. I am afraid of pain. I am afraid I may not be ready for my judgment.

When I look at the "world clock" it makes me cry inside.

I wonder how many dimples are on the average starfish.

I count things when I am in an uncomfortable situation and then find the multiple that connects the items in a room or pattern.

I like chocolate with orange.

I think kiwi green is a neutral.

I've been to Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Oahu, Ohio, Texas (finally!), Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Mexico (technically only into Tijuana, but it still counts.)

I refuse to dye my hair.

I like change.

I am 'Charles Manson' to the botany world. This makes me sad and unhappy.

I make a mean "But what a way to go!" Pie. My original recipe. Can be used to kill/maim/coma-tize (yes, that is a word. sort of ) people with a low resistance to sugar or calories or yummy goodness.

I have a abnormally heightened sense of smell.

I have been known to "sign" in my sleep.

I love it that Thor thinks I'm worth it.

I've had my girl parts yanked and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs it and is sitting on the fence with making that decision.

One really is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.

Favourite scents: Newborn baby, baking bread, the beach, rain and Coco by CHANEL.

If I could decorate in any one style, without consideration of cost or availability, it would more than likely be Craftsman or Mid-Century. And then I would bend it totally into a Polynesian Casual.

I lost my wedding ring at a hotel along with another ring. Someone actually turned them back in. This was one of the best things that has happened to me. If you're the person who turned them in, I send you my heart felt sincere thanks.

My kids think I make the best Mac and Cheese. They will testify this at my funeral.
Art Saves Lives.

I am not an English major; nor do I have the skills and abilities to use an or correct proper English grammar. Deal.

Sometimes it is better to be happy rather than right. Especially if someone else's feelings/ idea/thoughts/attitude/political bend/or otherwise are wrong.

Play nice. Be a good human. Be happy. Find joy.

That's good for now.

*last update: February 2009

add to sk*rt

Mister Rogers

Every once in a while you come across a post, or a comment that makes you sit up and reread it. The following is one that did that for me. Following the passing of Mr. Rogers, a thread began on
MetaFilter, analyzing the personality of Fred Rogers. Some of the comments were nostalgic, some were cynical, some were a comment, not only on Mr. Rogers, but our society.

There are some misspellings, and some terms and words that I don't approve of, but all in all, I believe that "Pastabagel" has said something important.

You know, it's quite a strange thing. The single most common adjective applied to Mister Rogers in this and other thread is the word 'creepy'?

I think I know why he strikes people as creepy. It's because his isn't at all 'cool'. There is no cynicism, no irony, no condescension in him at all. He is not simply unhip, he is ahip. And this is what people calling him creepy are picking up on.

We are conditioned to traffic in cool. You have to look cool, not look nice or distinguished or presentable, but cool. But it's all so generic. Everyone seems to have the same new haircut that no one 5 years ago had. We all have the same cynical politics.

Something about the counterculture from the 60's is still with us but it has been co-opted into a form of synchronized periodic obsolescence and mockery of that which came before. There is something fundamentally anti-intellectual about this, but I can't quite articulate it. There some element of arrogance there. Like everyone is perpetually 18.

Cool is America's code, and I really do think this is an American problem, because cool is propagated mainly though mass media, and there is no greater media saturated culture on earth than America's. Will I look cool wearing this? Will I sound cool saying this, or reading this or doing this. We're committing mass murder in other parts of the world because somebody figured out how to make violence cool and tough-talk politics cool, and then they combined the too. Swagger is cool. Cowboys and fighter jets and JDAMs and war porn are cool. So that's what we have. We are the Kingdom of Whatever.

Of course he hated ad-libbing on camera, because ad-libbing on camera is inexcusably lazy. It's what you do so you don't have to write or rehearse. Actors and comedians and musicians improvise as a way of living within a moment that is in some way artificial. A method actor may improvise because he is trying to become the character, but he isn't the character to begin with. A Jazz musician improvises because while the structure and the changes are the same, and the audience is familiar with them, the particular moment of performance is not, and that has it's own emotional context.

Mister Rogers was the same guy, so why improvise? The show wasn't about his character, it was about the kids, os you have to work out ahead of time how best to communicate with the child viewers. Everything was planned.

He talks slowly not because kids are dumb but because as studies have shown, children's brains are considerably more active than adults', and they need time to return to the original thought communicated to them after branching off in multitudinous directions.

The puppets? Puppets are good because they are considerably smaller than the human actors around them, and thus kids perceive them as safe. They look like toys. Contrast this with a giant seven foot all yellow bird, and ask yourself which inspired more nightmares.

The show is glacially paced and had the same structure with the same things happening in the same order because children respond to structure and routine is a source of comfort, particularly in children whose lives were anything but predictable.

Maybe that's what cool is - withdrawing from the context of one's life into an artificial one, in which the cool perceives itself to be somehow outside of reality, looking in and commenting on it. But this isn't insight, it's not reflecting on the world. It's standing at the edge of the world sniping into it.

Mister Rogers isn't creepy. CSI with is gruesome bloody corpses every Thursday at promptly 9:14 EST is creepy. Thirty million people looking at that and snaking on chips while they watch is creepy.

Listening to some rapper sing about his genitals and sexual conquests is creepy. Approach crowds of people and talk to them about the aroused state of your genitals, and watch how quickly you end up in a squad car. But somehow it's ok on TV because...why exactly?

Watching a war unfold on television in near real time is beyond creepy. It is obscene. You watch people screaming over their dead loved ones, and then you turn it off and go have dinner, or go to bed? No empathy, no revulsion. What the hell kind of civilization is this?

You know, I watched some 9-11 footage on youtube the other day (because I'm a masochist, apparently), and it occured to me that in the 6 years since it happened, I've never once heard anyone say "I'm sorry for those people who are so consumed by hate for people they've never met and places they've never been. What can we do to lift that burden from them?"

Because that isn't cool. That's being a pussy (or a fag if you are on FreeRepublic). There's no posture to be struck there, no pose. It's something that has to be done in earnest, and that's what's been lacking in the American culture.

Think about the Pope, entering the cell to confront his assassin. He forgave him, we all know that. But can you imagine the conversation? Can you imagine either someone being so perceptive that they can reach into a perfect stranger and expose their soul, or someone whose personality is so shallow that their emotions or ideologies are so shallow that any attempt to probe their depth displaces them entirely?

Mr. Rogers may have been the last earnest man.
posted by Pastabagel, on June 1,2007 at Metafilter

add to sk*rt


As I was rearing our 5 children there would be times when I would wonder to myself, "When are their real parents coming to pick them up?" Kind of a baby sitter moment in time when I wondered how I came into charge of all these really incredible people who out think me and will definitely out perform me in a matter of years. "I am incompetent!" "I am transparent and unworthy!" "I am woman - hear me snore!"

I think about the utter panic God must have felt when He looked down and noticed that hubby and I had actually conceived and were about ready to give birth to His kids. It was with the first one that He must have thrown His hands in the air and then sent some whammy on us so that they would turn out as well as they did. (There have been comments made over the years referring our parenting skills to those of wolves.)

Well, yesterday number five had her 18th birthday. According to the law of the land hubby and I are no longer responsible for her nor any of her siblings. The good ol' U.S. of A. has declared us free spirits. I should be happy and delirious with thoughts of road trips and naked house keeping (or so they tell me...although there are visuals that prohibit too many of those thoughts). In the back of my gray matter there are indeed scenes of redoing the bedroom so that it accommodates years of my imaginations and desires for creativity... but then there are the other thoughts.

Melancholy set in hard and heavy about 5:00 p.m. and a full gale reigned (and rained) in about 9:30 or so. My "babies" are all grown up and "officially" my work is done. But there are the eternal whisperings that tell me it's all just beginning and not to get too anxious about those surf short curtains a newly redone bedroom. Not like she'll be coming back any time soon; but that even with the older ones already gone and living with their own families, she'll still need me from time to time. Me, the momma wolf who, at times, understood why mother's in the wild sometimes eat their young.

add to sk*rt

Where's my pencil?

O.k. Thanks to my sister's encouragement I am starting a blog. Now what? Hopefully, each day I will send my thoughts out into this imaginary world, make new imaginary friends, and get some feedback. I will probably wax verbose and put you to sleep more than anything, but on occasion something of import may spew forth and enlighten.

I am a wife first, mom second, and have a zillion other callings in my life which means this blog will be varied at least. I am all over lousy with technology, so be patient with me and hopefully I'll figure this all out in time.

Until later, have a good one.


add to sk*rt