My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Friday, November 30, 2007

*Putting on Publicity Agent's Hat*

(We interrupt your regularly scheduled
blog to promote my husband's work...)

The 3rd book in Charles Gramlich's "Talera Cycle" was recently released in print. If you're in the area, he has a signing coming up at 6:30pm on Jan. 14, 2008 at the Slidell branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library. Be there or be square! If you're not in the area, all of his books are available at local booksellers or through Amazon & other, online retailers. They make great Christmas gifts!

Lion Head & Last Night's Dream; Spiritual Group

I was the leader of a spiritual group. We had our own headquarters, where we spent much of our time. The main room was large & open. We had various papers or small sculptures relating to our cause. They were artistic, however, as opposed to prosteletyzing. At one point we'd put them up on a shelf like a loft near the front door, but soon I realized that they should be out & on display, so I moved them to a table nearby. Shortly afterwards, I engaged J.B. in a slow dance to "Sentimental Journey." At first he was hesitant, but once he realized the song, he acquiesced. We didn’t hold each other close, as we were platonic friends.

The lion's head was requested many years ago by a group of high school students who had lost their friend in a tragic car accident. It was to represent their friend's nobility and courage. I didn't charge them for it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Canada Goose & Last Night's Dream; Jimmy Johnson, Sea-doos & Stars

I was dating Jimmy Johnson. We were sitting at a table, talking. Later I had an old, smaller style, red sea-doo. I buzzed around in an indoor, man-made pool of some kind with other entertainers. My sea-doo rode particularly low in the water, but according to piped-in instructions, the lower the better. Eventually Charles called me over to one side & extended legs from under the front of it, which made it more like a ski-doo. We all had to do some office work from time to time. I resented it greatly--it wasn’t the job I’d applied for & we got no extra pay for it. The rest of the group turned it into a kind of social hour, during which they spoke to one another or to friends on the phone. Keanu Reaves & Alex Winter talked about how they stop by their online fan site for a few minutes every day, although they clearly held most of their fans in contempt for idolizing them so.

I wanted to portray this Canada Goose (above) by only drawing the dark parts on white paper--kind of a study in positive/negative space. It's one of my favorites.

Middle Name Meme

I was tagged by Julie. Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules before you give the facts.
2. List one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name make one up or use the one you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your post, choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.


R; Roxlynn was almost my first name. I'm glad it's not, as people seem to have enough trouble with "Lana."
O; Ontario. I lived there for nearly 20 years & never learned all the words to "O Canada" (there's a line toward the end that I always have to fake.)
S; Scrabble is my favorite board game & I'll likely beat you at it.
E; Egrets. I'd always wanted to see one & there are a lot here in S. Louisiana. Most of the locals call every wading bird (including the white ibis & great blue heron,) an "egret" & it annoys the hell out of me.

I've tagged Rob, Erik, Mad Hatter & Brave Astronaut.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wood Duck & Last Night's Dream; Helicopter, Books & Teddy Ruxpin

I was with a man (Gene Hackman?) who took us up in a helicopter. It had to be parked in a particular spot, so it could be hooked up to something on the ground (a recharger?) At one point I was allowed to take the helicopter up, myself. I had fun flying around the area before I realized that I don't know how to fly a helicopter. I landed kind of fast & hard, on the other side of a building from where the helicopter needed to be hooked up. Other people were on the ground now. When I asked the man if I needed to move the helicopter to the other spot (for hookup,) he was clearly exasperated & said, "Yes," but he would do it. Later I was at the library, shelving all different kinds of books (fiction & non-fiction,) about native Americans. We had at least 3 long shelves full of them & I was putting related books together. The spines of the books didn't have titles, but rather illustrations of the native Americans depicted within. On the bottom shelf I found a book on how to draw a remorhaz. The cover depicted a front view of an attacking remorhaz, but inside the instructions were on how to draw the side-view of one in a tunnel. I set it aside, partly because it didn't belong among the native Americans & partly because I was somewhat interested in looking at it further. I stood up--there was a short bookshelf behind me, perpendicular to the wall. My manager was there, speaking with a man who was asking about the talking teddy bear from the '80s. They were trying to remember the name. My manager said something that sounded like an old-style phone number (i.e.; RIverside-62495.) I knew that wasn't it & started wracking my brain. I eventually came up with K.D. Ruxpin, which brought me immediately to Teddy Ruxpin.

The wood duck sketch, above, was an experiment in charcoal & chalk on manilla paper. I like how it came out, but it was relatively easy, as the subject was stuffed & mounted on my wall at the time. The wall had a mural of a flowery mountainside on it, so it really gave the impression of a duck flying over the landscape. It was kind of funny, in retrospect.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Painting & Correction

Did this little painting tonight; "Misty Autumn Morning." It was inspired by another picture I took back in Canada.
I also need to correct a claim I made on my Nov. 24th posts; Mars is not currently in Leo, it's in Gemini. I was thrown on Saturday primarily due to the full moon, which washed out many of the stars that night. Since I sleep nights these days (instead of working,) I don't spend the time I used to monitoring the stars' rotations & locations. I thought something didn't seem right about it the other night & tonight I was able to clearly see my error. Apologies.

Last Night's Dream; Catalogue Shopping & "Requiem for a Dream"

I was perusing a catalogue (paper, not online,) & picked out a couple of small things I liked that I could afford. One was a square, mostly blue, leaded glass decoration (to hang in a window.) Somehow both items & shipping came to less than $20. Later I was in an SUV at the beach with a male friend. We had the back hatch open & were relaxing in the back, watching people go by. I was telling him about the movie, "Requiem for a Dream," trying to explain what it was about. There's so much to it, of course, that I was having difficulty, but he seemed to get the gist, regardless.

A good friend introduced me to the unedited version of "Requiem for a Dream" some years ago. This may be the most horrific movie I've ever seen, perhaps because it's events are completely viable in real life & no doubt happen to people every day. It had a profound effect on me. Sara's struggles with loneliness, delusion & ultimately madness were all too reminiscent of my own mother's past issues & toward the end the electro-shocked character even looked like mom. I highly recommend the movie (in unedited form,) but be warned; it's not for the overly sensitive, squeamish, prudish or faint of heart.
(Note; The 2nd link to the movie, above, leads to the movie's actual website. This site is partly designed to appear like a marketing website and at various points it appears to cause computer problems, but no harm will come to your computer. These are merely part of the Flash animation related to the movie, itself & are designed to illustrate the deterioration of the characters' sanity & lives.)
The trailer doesn't even begin to hint at the depth & horror of the movie, but there's only so much you can show on TV. Here it is, at any rate;

Monday, November 26, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Clean Car & Break In at the Old Neighborhood

Someone had washed my car. Although it was nice of them, I knew it was a pretty pointless exercise. Later I went to the old neighborhood, where I had to break into a 2-story house to do something upstairs. Most of one wall was glass--the general design of the place was very modern. On my way out, I passed Mr. Archer's house. I cast a furtive glance in that direction, assuming he was still mad at me. I went to a different neighborhood, where I had to meet up with others in a sheltered area behind an apartment building on the corner.

Washing my car is a pointless exercise because the streets in my neighborhood aren't paved. As a result, it's covered in new dust every day. Considering this, I haven't bothered to wash it since we moved in 15 months ago. Every so often a good rain comes along & gives it a rinse, which is the best I can hope for.
Mr. Archer was a man who lived down the street from me who had always been pretty friendly (probably too friendly for my parents' comfort, although nothing untoward had ever happened.) One day I'd tried to pet one of his cats that was across the street at my friend's house. It avoided me at all costs, which frustrated me. As a result, I eventually jumped & yelled at it, startling it out of its hiding spot & sending it running for cover elsewhere. Mr. Archer had watched the whole thing from his doorway & evidently took it rather personally (despite the fact that at my tender age of 6 it should have been a forgiveable offense.) After that, when walking around the neighborhood, he'd typically stop by our fence to tease & spit at our dog. Little did he know that I'd immediately & always felt guilty about having done it, to begin with.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blue Birds


Bluebirds are rare visitors to my feeders, but I was fortunate enough to see one this morning. Although we had quite a few blue jays all summer, they'd vanished like the red-bellied woodpeckers. It appears that one of them has returned, as well. Although their "song" is a bit harsh on the ears, very little is more lovely to the eyes.

Last Night's Dream; Duck Game, Car "Ride" & My Ex

I was in a large atrium at a mall. There were video games against one wall. One of the games had to do with ducks. Later I was outside at a fair. One of the rides consisted of a large structure with 3 separate arms. 2 of the arms were for people, one was for people in their cars & trucks, which were set in neutral. It made me very nervous as it clearly had to be unbalanced. I was certain that disaster loomed. Someone asked me if I wanted to ride, which I certainly didn't. Later my ex showed up, wanting some of this things back. I didn't even want to speak to him. Soon he wanted us to get back together, but I wasn't interested in the slightest. He ended up sleeping on a couch that was perpendicular to another couch with a young man sleeping there. The area was cluttered, filled with piles of clothes.

The painting here, "Stellar Nursury," is one of the few things I've enjoyed airbrushing. Unfortunately, outside of the 70's van market, there's not much call for nebulous space scenes.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Alcoholic Mom, Star Map, Biking for Art & Mad at C.G.

I was with Mom at a bar. I didn't want to be there, but had no choice. I let her know I wasn’t impressed. In a little while a woman came over & sat with us. She had a strange map of the night sky. There was a huge dot in the area of Leo (the constellation.) She confirmed what I'd thought--it was Mars. There were also 3 dots close together to the right of Leo. I'd thought they were planets, too, & excitedly called someone (Charles?) over to look at them. The names written near the dots were clearly not planetary, however. I assumed they were asteroids, which were still exciting to me. I asked the woman where the constellation Libra was. She told me it was off the edge of the map to the right, as it was already setting. A couple of other women came. One of them asked if I'd like to go on a charity motorcycle ride to support the arts. I agreed & told Mom I was going, regardless of her protests. On my way out I ran into Charles, who I was very mad at. I'd written him a note, explaining that I was leaving him, at least for a little while. When he approached & tried to speak with me, I merely gestured to the note in his hand & went on my way.

A few recurring themes over the past couple of weeks, including my mother (who was an alcoholic & died a couple of years ago,) a motorcycle & support for art. The star map was clearly influenced by last night's hike (particularly as I noticed that Mars was in Leo.)

Correction (realized 11/27/07); Mars was in Gemini, not Leo.

Last Night's Pictures & Hike

A raccoon & an opossum came up for some scraps last night. I was surprised they were so tolerant of one another.

Later we went for a midnight hike at the Flatwoods. I always used to make a point of going on full moon night hikes & hope to reinstate that now that things are settling down (although I'm not leaving the house in August, EVER, now that I live in "the deep South.")
Mars

Sirius, the brightest star in our sky after the Sun. Find it by following Orion's belt down toward the horizon. It's the enormously bright star--you can't possibly miss it. I was fortunate enough to view it once through a high powered telescope, where it glittered & flashed like no diamond ever could.

The moon through some cloud cover. Within five minutes of our arriving for the hike, the clouds gave way completely. The full moon was so bright it looked like predawn.

We heard some critters during our hike, including a bird close to the path that took off as we approached, but we weren't able to see anything (regardless of the flashlight.) Still, it's wonderfully peaceful out there at night & will make a perfect place for viewing meteor showers.

Some Eye Candy

One of my favorite "kids," a Carolina Wren. He stopped by for a visit during our wedding last month. I recently discovered that there are actually two around. Most of the past year I've only ever seen one.

Sunrise over Niagara Falls, inspiration for a painting.

One of my personal faves & a bestselling print (regardless of the powers that be considering it "not art"); "Flight."

I was tremendously pleased to see this female red-bellied woodpecker out back today. We had a local pair for most of the past year (they were the first birds that came to our feeders.) We were fortunate enough to see them bring their three chicks this past Spring, but shortly after that they all just vanished. Hopefully this means they're back.

Friday, November 23, 2007

An Imposter Among Doves & Fire Fairies

Snapping pictures of a flock of roughly 15 mourning doves out back, I inadvertantly caught a little imposter among them. This little pine warbler (on the stump to the right,) swooped in at the perfect moment. (As usual, click on the picture for a larger version.)

A sketch I did earlier this year (& have since gifted to a friend); "Fire Fairies." The original doesn't have as much contrast as this scan, but it's the only way the details would show clearly. I tried airbrushing it about 2 months ago, but it turned out to be a frustrating, utter failure. I haven't touched the airbrush since. If anything, I've been trying to sell the whole setup...cheap.

Yesterday's Critters & Last Night's Dream; Disaster Info

A woman was going from trailer to trailer for information on the local area. There’d recently been some kind of disaster. A woman at one of the trailers clearly didn't care, didn't want to help the other woman.

The trailers in this dream were more akin to vending trailers (like you see at fairs & special events,) than FEMA trailers, although the disaster part is reminiscent of the latter.
Yesterday, possibly owing to the extreme number of birds we had at our feeders (upwards of 30 or so,) a variety of different ones were kind enough to perch on nearby tree branches, allowing me to snap this chipping sparrow up close in all his glory. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards I was able to snap 4 squirrels meeting for lunch at Chez Lana, too. As it was Thanksgiving, however, I allowed them a short meal before chasing them off.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving at Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve

After Thanksgiving buffet lunch at a local restaurant (we're having our "formal" dinner on Sat.,) my husband & I enjoyed a peaceful stroll through our local nature center. Highlights;

A couple of bluebirds (amidst a group of about 12 that flitted around so frenetically I was surprised to even get this photo of 2.)

One of two large flocks that joined ahead of us to form Superflock. Unfortunately we hadn't brought the binoculars, so we weren't able to identify these birds. Amazing how they move in unison, however, like a school of fish.

Reflections of the Autumn woods in the waters of Abita Creek.

The nearly full moon rising over the woods.

"Reactor" & Last Night's Dream; Racing & Art

I was a race car driver and an artist, although I couldn’t get much respect for my art. I predominantly painted nature scenes with a lot of small, detailed, weedy brush. Most of my shows were at racetracks. In some instances my paintings were so good the vegetation clearly swayed in the breeze, as though it were a movie. Still, I couldn’t get much respect. A couple of my high school friends showed up at one point. Only one of them seemed to really like my work.

Painted "Reactor" last night, based on my dream from the other day. I needed to do a relatively brainless abstract again. (Update, 12/4/08; This painting is sold.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving



"Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion." ~Benjamin Franklin
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars." ~Henry Van Dyke
"What need have I of gold? The whole world is gold for me!" ~Naropa
"Seize the time...Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again." ~Captain Jean-Luc Picard
"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed." ~Mark Twain
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~Aristotle
"Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death." ~Mel Brooks
"'Better' is a highly subjective term." ~Commander Data
"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." ~Malcolm Forbes
"Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours." ~Tom Hopkins

Last Night's Dream; No Privacy & Rudeness

I was with a man (Nicholas Cage?) & someone else (a young girl, I think, about 6 years old?) We were outside, trying to find some privacy. We came upon a closed building with a sheltered entryway that would be the perfect place to talk. As we reached it, however, the man who ran the business in that building showed up & insisted we come inside for a tour. Later I went to my library, where people were getting on computers without signing in (as is required.) When I tried to sign them in they were rude.

A couple of pictures from yesterday; the moon (as seen through the trees,) over my house & a new visitor to the hermitage; an eastern gray tree frog. He hung out on the side of our house for hours yesterday evening, barely moving a muscle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some of My Fossils & Last Night's Dream; Rearranging & Butterflies

I was outside with my manager from work & someone else. We were rearranging an outside area near storefronts for a reopening. I moved the hanging stained glass with crystal (that a friend gave Charles & I as a wedding present,) to a more prominent place in the sun, on the south side of the space. At one point I went over to the storefronts, where I saw quite a few butterflies on the windows. One of them looked like a monarch. Excited, I called my manager over to see it. She rushed over & leaned in very close. Although I’d thought the butterflies might take off, to our delight they stayed put.

Some of my fossils from Canada are shown in the top picture. The lighter colored ones are from Cedar Bay beach (mentioned yesterday.) The dark one (bottom left) was discovered by my friend's 6 year old son in their backyard. I loved it so much I gave him $10 for it. Needless to say, whenever I visited them after that, he would rush up with his latest finds to see if there were any others I might be interested in. The bottom picture includes some fossils I've picked up here & there; a large, fossilized tooth of some kind, an ammonite, a trilobite, a moth (& smaller bugs) in amber & a piece of petrified wood.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Painting & Fossils

Just finished this 8x10" painting (since gifted to a friend,) "Sunset at Cedar Bay," which was inspired by a picture I have from my favorite hangout back in Canada. It was my virtually private retreat on the shores of Lake Erie, where I spent many pleasant hours. Predominantly oak trees with the slightest smattering of hickories, there's not a cedar tree in sight. Scoured ages ago by the glaciers that eventually became the Great Lakes, the beach is also littered with coral fossils. I always thought I'd be blown away if the fossils were a million years old. After further research, I discovered that they're over 500 million years old, from the Ordovician period of the Paleozoic era. The tabulate & rugose coral fossils I'd found were among the earliest life forms on Earth.

Last Night's Dream; Boy Band & Superhero

I was promoting a boy band. We rehearsed their frenetic entry into a restaurant, which was received with much excitement. Later I was a superhero, fighting an underground war against a near-totalitarian regime. A man found out who I was & joined me.

The pictures are from yesterday's hike. If you can identify either of these critters please feel free to enlighten me.

This morning it appears that the yellow-rumped warblers (another migratory visitor,) are back. There are at least 7 of them suddenly hopping around my front yard.

I also spotted my first northern flicker (one of my favorite woodpeckers,) since moving down here. It's like being visited by an old friend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fontainebleau State Park

Today was my first visit to this historical site. Although I'd wanted to go down to the water (to get pictures of pelicans & such,) all access points were blocked off (as they've been since Hurricane Katrina.) I wasn't disappointed, however;

When this large raptor was closer (before I had my camera ready,) it appeared to be an osprey (but don't quote me on that...)

There were dozens of red-bellied woodpeckers. I also spotted a red-headed woodpecker, but he was too far away to shoot.

One of many gulf fritillaries. I also saw some buckeyes & a very pale, tiny, yellow/white butterfly (that didn't appear to be a sulphur.)

This raptor never really got close enough to identify, although I'm going to poke around now & see what I can find out (update; I'm leaning toward Cooper's hawk on this one.) I also heard an owl as I left this area.

I was delighted to come across this armadillo just off the trail. Although some people don't seem to have much respect for them, this was the first one I'd seen "in real life" & it was just a couple of feet away. It was the highlight of my day.

Last Night's Dream; Mom's Factory & the Hostages

Mom had passed away. A man was taking me to her old building, which I'd inherited. It loomed large on the horizon, a huge cube in the middle of a field, alone on a roadside. The exterior had been painted red. We went inside & up to the top floor, which had windows all the way around. A round section in the middle of every floor had been removed. The man explained that the building used to be a nuclear facility & that's where the reactor had been. Somehow it came up that someone else had died in the building & the fault lied with General Mills (the cereal company.) I wondered if they might also have something to do with Mom's death, but ultimately it didn't really matter. Later a mentally challenged man had been holding a man & woman hostage for a long time (years, perhaps?) Another woman came, unaware of the danger, & ended up a hostage, as well. The women went outside the front door at one point, where one pointed out a few large, beautiful, strange, dangerous birds. Shortly afterwards they were all rescued.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

STAA 50th Anniversary Members' Show & Leonid Meteors

I've just returned from the opening reception for this show & am delighted to announce that the painting I'd submitted sold last night. I'm particularly delighted because this was one of the pieces rejected by the North Shore Art Market jury as "not high quality" & "fantasy inspired" (which, as previously mentioned, means that it's "not art.") Here's mud in your eye, North Shore Art Fascists!

In other news, the Leonid meteor shower peaks tonight. Although this year isn't scheduled to be a "super Leonid shower" (or "meteor storm,") this shower is always particularly lovely. It's called "Leonids" because the radiant (aka; "where the meteors appear to come from,") is the constellation Leo. The best viewing starts after midnight & improves throughout the night, until sunrise overpowers the sky. Enjoy!

"The Usual" Cardinals

This picture is an example of why I refer to them as "the usual" cardinals. There are 10 here, in addition to 3 mourning doves (click on picture for larger image.) I was unable to get all of "the usual" cardinals in this shot, however--there were at least 7 more off to the right. As previously mentioned, we've had upwards of 20 at a time here, most of which were juveniles we've watched grow up since this past Spring. I know they won't all be around forever--they're already starting to get more territorial & fight with one another--so perhaps I shouldn't take them so for granted, but we humans are good at that...

(Note; By Summer of '08 there were so many cardinals an accurate count became impossible. The highest I managed successfully was 33 at once. After Hurricane Gustav, most of all of "our" birds are gone.)

Last Night's Dream; The Ride and the Art Show

I watched people on a ride inside of a building. When their cars came back to the station, people who had been on before looked through their old car for something they’d lost. Someone went up, onto a ledge over the station. It was designed to look like a big, vinyl record. The owner of the ride went up there with him, to the delight of the crowd. I went on the ride with a guy. When our car got back to the station, a couple of people were waiting there to look through it for something they’d lost. I pointed them out to the guy I was with, as though it were some kind of honor. Later I was at an art show that featured some of my work. A man picked up a small study I’d done for the "Moonset Over Fog Lake" painting (pictured here.) The painting, itself, fell out of the frame & onto the table. He asked me, incredulously, "You’re trying to SELL this, right?" I went over to explain that no, actually, that was just the STUDY for the main painting, which I’m sure he’d prefer & I was selling at a good price. That seemed to appease him.

Although I don’t tend to have recurring dreams, I do tend to have dreams during which events recur, like this one. I see or go through something, only have to see or do it all again (with few changes from the original, if any.) Not sure what that’s about yet...
The part about the painting stems pretty clearly from real life; tonight I need to make an appearance at the open reception for the STAA’s 50th Anniversary Members’ Show, & I'm probably feeling antsy about it, considering other recent rejections by the local art community. Ultimately I should remember Bender's words of wisdom from my dream the other night. My decriers can "bite my shiny, metal ass."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mystery Sparrow; Help?

From the distance, it appeared as though I had 2 female cardinals on this tree stump. Seeing it on the computer, however, it became clear that it's a female cardinal and some kind of sparrow, but I'm not sure which kind. It's clearly larger & has different markings than a chipping sparrow. It reminds me of a white-throated sparrow, although it doesn't have the proper coloration, unless it's a female, maybe? My guidebook doesn't have a picture of the female & I'm having trouble even finding a picture of one online. At any rate, any help offered on identifying the bird on the left (click for larger image,) would be greatly appreciated;

Last Night's Dream; Hell's Kitchen

I applied for a part-time job at a snack bar &/or coffee shop & was hired, starting immediately. The person who hired me trained me briefly--there wasn’t much to learn--& left. Among the other staff members was one particularly young man. Soon I realized that I was responsible for much more than I’d been told about, including keeping the place clean. My coworkers were complete slobs, so this was the hardest part of the job. No matter what I said or how I begged, they tended to leave garbage & dirty dishes everywhere. By the end of my first shift I was so overwhelmed by it that I had to stay for hours after my shift, catching up on cleaning. At one point the entire staff left the building. I followed them down to water behind the restaurant. The young man was the last in line & clearly in my sights. When we reached the water, we found a large, dead bird floating in the water. The young man was fascinated by it & flipped it over, but both sides seemed much the same. Somehow I got everyone to go back to the snack bar, although they continued to be uncaring slobs. I emptied a bucket of garbage that was on a shelf near the coffee maker in the back. While there, someone else came & threw some kind of garbage onto the shelf. I was like, “Do you MIND?” They shrugged it off. After a few shifts I was starting to get the hang of it, almost finishing on time every day. It was stressful & frustrating, though, certainly not worth what I was being paid. One day, in the midst of my rushing around, one of the waitresses went out front, across the street. I was too busy to chase after her. Soon I saw her in the window, heading back toward us, holding her hand to her head as though it were a phone, mouthing something like, “There’s been an accident.” I went to call the cops as other co-workers abandoned their stations to go see what had happened.

The part-time job was likely inspired by real life considerations. I only work part-time currently, but the other day a transmission problem reared it's ugly head. Although I make enough to cover my mortgage & my few other, small bills, it certainly isn't going to cover a transmission replacement (if that's what's required here,) thus my thoughts about getting another part-time job.
Much of the rest of this dream's content (including the dead bird, the careless slobs, my hopeless frustration & the accident,) seems to stem from the recent oil spills in Russia & San Francisco. I am always so horrified, sickened & pained by humanity's carelessness with the global environment that I can't spend much time in conscious contemplation of such anymore, so it sometimes bubbles up in my dreams. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some Yard Birds

Chipping sparrow watching a rat bastard I've chased off.

A clearer picture of the Eastern towhee from the other day.

A couple of our brown headed nuthatches.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fog & Last Night's Dream; Life in Reverse

I was living backwards in time, somehow. Although time seemed to move in the normal, linear fashion internally, external things seemed to go in reverse (plants un-growing, etc.) My brain was struggling to integrate these opposites (& failing miserably.)

Woke early this morning to find our neighborhood shrouded in fog (perhaps my favorite "weather condition.")

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last Night's Dream; Bridge, Art Show & Alien Queen

I can't even begin to explain where this doozy came from...

I was in a car. A guy was driving. We were headed toward a large, tall bridge. Before the span was an open area of concrete. A few people were standing next to tables there & waved us over. We pulled over & they handed us something, saying, “G-mac.” We responded in kind & headed over the bridge. On the other side of the bridge were other people in cars. We were all handing over what we’d been given to other people near tables on the road. It turns out that we’d been given "The Gods Must Be Crazy" VHS tape, which the library had weeded from their system. We realized then that "G-mac" represented the first letters of each word of the movie. I was dropped off at a place where I had my art on display & went inside. Many other people (pagans?) were there. I spoke (privately) with the woman running the show. She agreed to do me a special favor (either keeping my art longer or letting me pick it up early.) I went back outside, where a frigid, blasting wind blew deepening snow everywhere. I found a triangle cleared in the snow on the sidewalk. Beneath it was a layer of ice over a rainbow on a black background (reminiscent of the cover of Pink Floyd’s "Dark Side of the Moon" album.) Soon a space alien queen (about 7-8’ tall,) came, completely unfazed by the frigid wind & snow. She spoke with me angrily & wouldn’t listen to what I had to say. She kicked snow over the cleared triangle on the ground, shouting at me. I stumbled away, toward the road, but fell in the snow. Although I was wearing a Winter parka, it was so cold, the wind was blowing so hard & I felt so weak that I wasn’t sure I could survive, never mind get up & go on. As I struggled to my feet & continued toward the street (where 2 roads merged into one,) Bender from "Futurama" showed up. Unintimidated by the alien queen, he told her to “bite my shiny, metal ass.” It was enough of a distraction to allow me to escape.

One thing's pretty clear; I'm NOT in control (of anything, evidently.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

As Previously Mentioned...the Shelf

I finished painting the shelf I mentioned the other day. I had some trouble photographing it--without flash it came out too dark, with flash it looked washed out. I've adjusted it as close to the "real thing" as I could with Photoimpact. You get the idea, at any rate. Although it looks like it's hanging on a wall, it's actually laid down on a table here.

Fantasy Don't Get No Respect

What is it about fantasy (art or writing,) that most people find unacceptable or even childish, particularly in our currently Harry Potter obsessed world? Even science fiction gets a better rap (if only slightly.) The way I see it, if I want to see or hear about the "real," I'll look out my window or go to some kind of meeting. What makes a painting of a heron art, when a painting of a dragon is "not art" (according to the "powers that be.") Is it that we can gauge the heron's likeness against the real thing, where we can't do that with a dragon? Personally I prefer fantasy (& sci-fi,) because they involve things I'll never see in "real" life. To me they involve far more imagination, but perhaps that's the root of the problem. "Imagination" is not something we seem to encourage in our society. It's a subversive activity reduced to mere "daydreaming" by those too afraid to enter the darker recesses of their own minds.
My husband writes horror and fantasy, and he writes well. For some reason, however, whenever either of us talk about what we do, we inadvertantly come up against the same old, close-minded sheeple who assume that what we do is "for kids." A few people appreciate what we do, certainly, but the vast majority seem to shrug it off as meaningless. My favorite painter & a respected master, John William Waterhouse, primarily dealt with mythological themes. Were his works "meaningless?" Was "Lord of the Rings" meaningless? Is Frank Frazetta's work "meaningless?" If so, one can only notice that "meaningless" works can actually be highly respeted & profitable. The problem is finding those all too few outlets willing to promote imagination.

(Update; the heron painting sold, Feb. 2008.)

This Afternoon's Birds

I was fortunate enough this morning to snap this picture of an eastern towhee, a Carolina wren and a pair of cardinals. In addition to this group (& the usual plethora of cardinals,) were some Carolina chickadees, a tufted titmouse & a couple of mourning doves. I haven't seen the doves in a while (when they used to be regular visitors,) & actually just mentioned that to Charles last night. That's an odd thing I've noticed--whenever I say something about "the kids" to someone, they'll prove me wrong the next day. For example;
1. When I started putting seed out, I had no takers. I was on the verge of quitting & complained to Charles about it. The next day I had all kinds of birds all of a sudden.
2. In speaking with a co-worker about indigo buntings, I told her I'd never seen any & would love to. The next day 5 of them showed up at my feeder & stuck around for about a week (they were migrating.)
3. I mentioned to Charles that I hadn't seen the red-bellied woodpeckers in quite a while (they were also regular visitors.) The next day they showed up with their brood.
4. I once complained to a friend that I could never find primary flight feathers from large birds in good condition. Although it wasn't the next day, shortly afterward I found the nesting site of a flock of Canada geese who were moulting. I still have dozens of those perfect, primary flight feathers.
I've tried mentioning that the birds haven't brought me a million dollars, but there haven't been any hits on that yet.

Last Night's Dream; Motorcycle, No Helmet

I was walking outside in another state. Someone came on a motorcycle & told me to hop on. Excited, I did so. As we waited for a light to change, I realized I didn’t have a helmet & I wondered if that was against the law. When the light changed, we made a left onto the main road. I hoped we wouldn’t be in an accident.

Possibly inspired by thinking about Charles' past accidents yesterday. It was fun to be on a bike again, though, even if it was just a dream.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve

We went to the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve this evening. It's about a mile from home, which is wonderfully convenient. Although it had never previously been marked in any way, today we found that a sign had been erected;Coincidentally, we also saw 3 other vehicles there, too (we'd never seen a single soul there before.) Although it's probably good to educate people, it was nice to have a virtually private nature preserve, too.We saw quite a few sedge wrens, whose numbers are in decline due to loss of habitat.I love the changing colors. Although perhaps not as striking as in Canada, it's certainly better than on the South shore, where leaves typically just turn brown & fall off. (As of Oct. '08 I've learned that this is the horribly invasive Chinese tallow tree.)
On our way out, sunset on the pines.
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