28 February 2007

No Game...

Round two of the volleyball playoffs.

I am way too competitive. Years of organized team sports. High school, college, semi-pro. I can take losing. But it drives me nuts to play with people who don't try.

We had a 6 to 4 person advantage in tonights match, and still lost. There was no thinking, no shot selection, no team work, no hustle, no effort.

If you are going to play. Play your best. If you lose, you lose. But you did your best. I find it humiliating to show up and just flounder around. Why even play?

27 February 2007

Game On...

Our volleyball team has managed to make it into the play offs. Alright, to be fair, all the teams made it. As bad as we are, we were not in last place. Next to.

Yesterday was our first play off game. We won. Yes I said that right. We won. Fine, the other team had to forfeit because only two of them showed up. Still a win. The momentum is ours now.

Tomorrow night we play game two. Here I am at practice calling the shots.


Oops, my bad. We don't practice. Different game. Not me. Although I do look good in a speedo.

24 February 2007

The God Given Right To Kill...

Growing up in western Montana I was taught to hunt. I learned to shoot guns at the age of 6. At 10 I was given my Grandfathers 30-30 rifle. At 11 I was out hunting with my father and killed my first deer that year. Over the next several years I was given many more weapons and purchased several more. At 13 I discovered archery. A bow was my weapon of choice. I stopped hunting with guns that year. We hunted for food, and every part of the animals were used. Nothing went to waste. We respected the prey.

I was a hunter until I was 20 and had become very good at tracking and killing. Then I had an experience in the woods that I see as clearly today, as I saw it 20 years ago. I never went hunting again. I kept all of my weapons until I was 34 when I gave them back to my father for safe keeping.

The NRA, National Rifle Association, was never my favorite group. I always thought they were just a bit on the radical side. Today I read an article that has confirmed that for me. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17307316/

The NRA is one scary bunch of people. They can see no farther than their own selfishness and they hide behind a 250 year old "amendment" to our constitution. Amendments can and have been changed. They are not set in stone. Remember prohibition?

Mr Jumbo was a life long member of the NRA and one comment about hunting with assault rifles has ended his career. Instantly. The organization he gave more than 40 years to, turned on him without mercy. Has the NRA bothered to read the rest of the constitution, say the part about freedom of speech? It looks like that right has no place in the NRA.

I have come to believe that in a truly "civilized society" there is no place for firearms. The main purpose of firearms is to kill, and make killing easier. The NRA says that we have the right to hunt, shoot for fun and keep guns for protection. How does any of this make this country or world a better place? To me these are the weakest of arguments. If your life is incomplete because you can't go shoot things you might think about getting some professional help. If you are a true hunter and not just someone who likes to kill, you can use a bow. If it's about target shooting, you can use a BB gun, a cross bow or bow, or a sling shot. If it's about protection. Statistics say that most gun owners have their own weapons used against them in cases of home break-ins.

If you ask me, and this comes from experience, guns are for nothing more than trying to inflict fear and killing.

I send my support out to Mr. Zumbo. I think he got screwed. I hope he spends the rest of his life fighting the NRA. They need to be stopped. Let's take these pin-heads bowling.

As my son grows, I will teach him the skills I learned growing up. How to survive in the wild. How to track animals. How to live in harmony with the world. How to respect nature. I will teach him how to shoot a bow. I will teach him how guns work and how to use them so he can be safe if he is ever around them. Ignorance kills. I won't let him have a gun of his own while he lives under our roof. I won't teach him how to kill.

22 February 2007

Never mind...

In the amount of time it took me to write the last post, it clouded over and is now raining and hailing.

Puke!

Painting...



I have spent the last five days working on this. "Chadette No 45, Victoria". She is 12 x 36 inches, oil on canvas. I was pleased with her. She has more of the quality I am trying to achieve. She still needs a little more work to be finished. A better photo will help also.

Today is the first day it hasn't rained in almost two weeks. The sun was even out. I have been in some kind of strange funk for...well...the last four months. Would it be too soon for another vacation? I thought not. I need Marseille.

19 February 2007

Rainy Day...

I had lived in the Pacific Northwest before. I have lived in many places that had winters. Cold and foul weather. I never imagined that coming back to the northwest, after close to ten years in places of constant summer, would be so hard. It has been 10 months now. It's not just the northwest. It's small town northwest. I am pretty sure it's the small town part of this equation that I am still having trouble with. Even though I grew up in small towns, I have clearly been away from them for too long. I don't understand many things. I have become a snob. My expectations of others are unrealistic. Do I make things better by lowering my expectations or am I giving up? Is it fair for me to expect so much?

I have been told that I need to be more realistic. That I tend to spend too much time dreaming and worse, following those dreams. Is that a bad thing? What am I if I don't follow my dreams?

I know I have written about this same thing many times. That's what these sites are for right? Working these things out. Some days I'm at a total loss.

*****

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary:
It rains, and the wind is never weary:
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary:
It rains, and the wind is never weary:
My thought still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining:
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining:
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

*****


Yes, it's been raining for the last two weeks. Do you think it's getting to me?

16 February 2007

Watching What I Say...part 1

I am in my studio painting. Mr. Man is at his easel painting beside me.

"Crud", I said, as I messed something up.

"What's matter Daddy?" he says.

I tell him, "Daddy made a mistake"

"Aw, that's a bummer, I paint, I fix it for you!"


I have not laughed so hard in a long while. Where do kids pick up stuff like that? I'm sure he most likely heard it from me at one point, I just don't remember saying it.

*****

Precious and I joined a co-ed volley ball team. So far we are 1 and 7. That's one win, seven losses. This week after our game. We are walking out of the gym.

Mr. Man says, "Daddy, know what?"

"What's that Buddy?' I ask.

"You guys suck!"


I was speechless. Trying very hard not to laugh. Precious did not see the humor. I am pretty sure I have never said anything like that in front of him. We quickly told him why that was not something you told people. He listened intently and said "OK Daddy, chase me."

The funniest part is that he said it like it was a compliment. He was so proud.

*****

Yesterday we are all driving to the pool for a swim. As I am cutting through the lot I mention that none of the cars are in parking spaces. From the back seat comes this gem from Mr. Man...

"You guys park like morons."

This time I giggled, but quickly caught myself. Again with the talk about why this is not something nice to say. Again we get, "OK".

This I am sure he heard from me while driving around. I really need to work harder about watching what I say.

Mr. Man will be 3 in April. Everything he hears is remembered and repeated.

It is quite frightening at times.

13 February 2007

Santa Has VD...

For the last few days Mr. man has been asking when Santa will come and bring him hearts and candy.

I have no idea where he got the idea that Santa would be involved in Valentines day. He seems to think that every holiday is run by Santa.

I still don't know why he got so excited about Valentines day. As holidays go, Valentines day is my least favorite. A made up holiday to boost the profit margin of Hallmark and make men feel like schmucks for not spending money.

Expressions of love should be done on a regular basis, not just once a year. Personally, I prefer to make everyday something special. Life is short and not guaranteed. Don't wait to tell those special to you how you feel about them. Do it every time you get the chance.

This year though, against my better judgment, Mr. Man will wake up to a couple of heart shaped balloons and a box of sweethearts. He's only 2 after all. I can ruin Valentines day for him next year.

Best Movie Ever...

Werewolf!

Werewolf?

There...

What?

There, wolf...

There, castle...

(laughing so hard I fell off my chair)

I have seen this movie a thousand times. It never gets old. It is so funny. I could watch it over and over. In fact, I do.

For those of you that did not recognize the quote...

Young Frankenstein. Brooks at his finest!

12 February 2007

Miss you

I miss you in the morning, dear,
When all the world is new;
I know the day can bring no joy
because it brings not you.
I miss the well-loved voice of you,
your tender smile for me,
the charm of you, the joy of your
unfailing sympathy.

I miss you at the noontide, dear;
the crowded street
seems but a desert now, I walk
in solitude complete.
I miss your hand beside my own
the light touch of your hand,
the quick gleam in the eyes of you
so sure to understand.

I miss you in the evening, dear,
when daylight fades away;
I miss the sheltering arms of you
to rest me from the day,
I try to think I see you yet
There where the firelight gleams.
Weary at last, I sleep, and still
I miss you in my dreams.

08 February 2007

Georgia On My Mind...

My mind and creative output have been all over the place this week. Still something strange in the air. Anyone know where my moon is? Maybe it's in retrograde.

The New York Art Expo is in three weeks. We don't get to go. Phooey.

This is one of three works. High contrast figures. Still working on the color ranges.
These are 11 x 14 inch. Oil on textured canvas board.

Have been reading about the Georgia O"Keeffe estate this week. Home work. She did some amazing work. This is one of two so far in my attempts at florals.
This is 20 x 24 inches. Oil on canvas.

There has been absolutely no one coming through the gallery for the last couple of weeks. It is like living in a ghost town. The streets are empty. The shops are empty. The only people I see are the other store owners. I have sent cards,emailed and phoned everyone who has ever been in the gallery about 3 times each this month. I am driving them nuts.

This is what I have been doing in the extra time. Pastels on paper. 8 x 8 to 8 x 11 inches.
I am working on a series of mixed media works that have poetry on them. This was the first. They still need some work.

07 February 2007

Someone I Am Now...

How many of you have children?
Did you ever think about your age or mortality before you had kids? Did you get much more sentimental and emotional about amazingly silly things? Like Disney movies?

We waited longer than most to have a child. I was near 38 when Mr. Man was born.
For 37 years, it never really dawned on me that I was 37.

I was with Precious for her C-section. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The doctor said it was the first time a father had given a play by play to the mother. I was fascinated. The first four hours of his life he spent in my hands. I wouldn't let go. The first instant our eyes met, the me I had been, disappeared, and I became the someone I am now.

*****

I will catch myself calculating my age when Mr. Man is 10, 20, 30...
"I will be 68 when he's 30". I'll say. "That's too old to have kids. What were we thinking?"

Precious will laugh at me. "He will be 30..."
"You're not 68 yet."

*****

I see the world very differently now.
Pre-child I could take the most gruesome things. I had seen blood, guts and dead bodies without so much as flinching.

Now, I can't help but think about what would happen to my son If anything bad happened to me. Or what I would do if something happened to him.

Even seeing an animal dead on the side of the road can bring me to tears. Was that animal some ones parent? Was it some ones child?

I can't watch TV. I never really noticed how many shows are about missing or exploited children. Or how many shows kill children and animals.

Last week reading Heather Anne's story about J.K. Rowling and what she is doing for children around the world. I was sobbing. Three years ago I would have thought, "Good for her", and went about my day. I haven't stopped thinking about those poor kids living in cages. I can't get that vision out of my head. I keep seeing my son in one of them. Wondering why. Wondering what happened to me. Why I would leave him there.

How can people mistreat children? How do you look at a small, fragile, innocent human being and hurt them? Physically or verbally. How do you do that?

*****

I read about a 29 year old(Sex offender)man who was posing as a 12 year old. He had fooled two convicted child molesters into believing him. They went from school to school trying to recruit kids into some fake club they started. The two older men were mad when they found out this guy wasn't a child. They were afraid people might think they were gay. It was ok that they were having sex with an under age boy, but God forbid they have sex with an adult male.

I thought about the parents at the schools where this happened. I was outraged for them. I thought about what I would do. I hoped that this man would be let go. And that the parents would get a hold of him. I thought about what I could and would do to some one who hurt my son.

On television shows when things like this happen. When the victims get hold of some one like this. A person who has committed the most horrible acts of cruelty. They always beg for mercy. As if they deserve some kind of special treatment for being cruel to others.

I would want them to beg the entire time I was making them suffer. I would want to hear them scream until the last bit of life slipped from their lips.

Three years ago I would never have thought such things.

05 February 2007

Kick Me...

Can I get a, WTF?

I used to work with a woman who was always telling me that our Moon was in retrograde. Or Mars or something like that. Quite honestly I never really listened to her that much. She was a bit of a curmudgeon. I never could figure out how our moon was ALWAYS in retrograde. Although I never knew what that meant. Still don't. Nor do I care.

The point. She always said it when things were going poorly, or out of sorts. Today my Moon is definitely some place it should not be.

Despite the fact that I only slept for about 3 hours last night, I had a positive outlook on the day. That is until my day actually got going. This is where I need the WTF?

I can't see it but I know the universe has put a kick me sign on my back. And kick me it has. Repeatedly!

Ok, I give. You got me. Everyone laugh.

If I am ever given the chance at a Super Power. It's going to be Invisibility.
This is the reason people use drugs. It's days like this that the voices get really, really loud.

*****

I know, indulge me while I rant.

I have been talking with a family about a painting for the last three weeks. They all love it. It's $3500.

Instead of buying it, they spent $5000 to spend three days in Las Vegas gambling. Then told me they went to Vegas hoping they would win enough to buy the painting. And they were serious.

Did I wake up in Bizarro World today?

Lets see...

Spend $3500 on something that will appreciate over time. Something that they can enjoy for countless generations to come. Something that will give them daily pleasure.

Or...

Spend $5000 on three days in Vegas pissing away your hard earned money gambling.

I so don't understand people.

Someone...for the love of God...explain this to me...

03 February 2007

Lost and Found...

Yesterday Mr. Man, Ivydog and I went on an adventure. We hiked down the hill from our back yard to the Pacific. We walked along the rocky beach for more than two miles. Along the way we found a golf ball, spent fire works, a dead seal, whale bones and more trash than I could believe considering where we were.

We came home to do a few chores. Wash the car, laundry, house cleaning, painting, homework.
All of this was before noon. Time for a nap. For both of us.

When we woke, I reached for something and noticed that my wedding ring was not on my hand.

Can you say PANIC?

I have never really been attached to inanimate objects, but this was different. My wedding ring means a lot to me. Mr. Man must have noticed my anxiety attack.

"What's matter daddy? What's matter?" I told him my ring was missing. We needed to find it, fast.

With out me even asking, he started pulling cushions of the furniture, looking through his toy box, under things. "I help find it daddy. I help find it." he said. It was really quite adorable.

We had torn the house apart. So much for the cleaning. We were just about ready to go back to the beach and start turning over every rock on the Oregon coast. I gave one more look through the house. As I was tearing apart the washer and dryer one more time, I found it inside the rubber door liner of the washing machine.

Relief.