Wednesday, November 30, 2005


We saw Wicked last night. It was great; I enjoyed it more than I expected and especially liked some of the special effects. The plot line was engaging and cleverly executed. The woman who played Elphaba stood out for me; she was terrific. I am so-so on the music. I won't be humming it for days like the songs from Phantom or anything like that.

The production was at the Fox, in downtown St. Louis.
The Fox is well named - it truly is fabulous with a gorgeous art deco interior. When we lived here before we had tickets to the Broadway series. Our seats last night were perhaps a row or two away from where we used to sit in the Mezzanine. It's the best spot for me because the height allows me to see without my vision being blocked by some tall person. But it's still close enough to get a nice view of the stage.

And it brought back fond memories of a night long ago when I had just gotten my engagement ring from John. The pre-show lighting was magical and my ring looked absolutely stunning. We had been searching for wedding rings that same day and found one (for me) we liked a lot but it was more than either of us had budgeted. That night at the show John told me he wanted to go ahead and get it for me. In all my life I never had anyone spoil me like that and I didn't know what to say. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is this my theme song?

I feel like I haven't written anything of substance for awhile. Actually I haven't done anything of substance for awhile, or at least it feels that way. I am a hamster on a wheel. Not really going anywhere, just spinning away.

The problem is the same. I have gotten seriously out of balance. I hate it when this happens. Somehow my exercise has fallen by the wayside and that is key for me. I have gone from 2 Yoga classes a week to one every few weeks. Not good. My walk/run routine has fallen apart too ever since that hip issue which still isn't perfect and bugs me from time to time. And, as my exercise has fallen apart, my work has increased (which is good) so I have been quite busy, but further out of whack.

Days turn into weeks turn into months and here I am, struggling to keep up, maintain pace, fulfill the obligations falling off my plate. Naturally I meet all the deadlines, I am driven that way, to a fault.

But I absolutely CRAVE some downtime. Like a food craving, except I feel it in every single pore. Real, serious, uninterrupted(this is key) downtime, not spent doing familial or other self imposed obligations. But selfish (yes, this is how it feels) ME time, I even sort of cringe to say it that way, it feels waaaayyy too self indulgent, worse than a pedicure which I also haven't had time for. But I digress. I want time when I can do whatever I want, just mess around in the studio and PLAY. Make Christmas cookies. Read a book. Do some sketching. Hike. Take a nap. Perhaps fix dinner, like actually cook, I think I remember how.

I promised my coach I would devote 2 full weeks after my shows are over, starting on Dec. 12th. Now of course I am negotiating with myself. Because honestly I can't really start just then, I have all the Christmas gifts to attend to, not only buying and wrapping, but shipping since 80% of our recipients live out of town. So I have pushed myself back to the 18th. And now my brother and his wife want to come and visit us between Xmas and New Year's, further eroding my time. Which means I have a window of about 5 days.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Indulging in Moderation

I need to remember this one every day. Courtesy of
November 28, 2005
Cancer Daily Horoscope
Food, drink, laughter, exercise, or love may be on your mind today, as you could be feeling a strong desire to indulge your physical senses. Your enjoyment can be more meaningful and intense if you make the choice to practice moderation. If you choose not to indulge excessively today, you can experience the pleasure and delight inherent in satisfying your cravings without any unpleasant effects. You may also want to find creative outlets that can inspire or excite you such as dancing, singing, cooking, or drawing. If there is a restaurant or dance class you've been meaning to try, today can be a great day to do so. When we practice moderation, we can fully savor what we love without fear of overindulgence or eventual boredom. When we do what we love to the point of fulfillment, we can't help want but to do more. We also don't fill ourselves beyond our thresholds. There can always be room for more later, and sometimes that means not filling yourself to overflowing. Too much of anything good can sometimes be bad for you. Even doing what we love can become tedious or tiring if we do too much of it. By indulging yourself through moderation today, you will be able to take pleasure in all of your activities and leave space for more later.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanskgiving

We are in Cincinnati celebrating with my family. Since we won't be together this year for Xmas (we do that every other year thing), Thanksgiving seemed like a good idea. My youngest brother and his family are flying in this morning. We got here Tuesday night and are at my parent's house. We'll move over to my brother Chris' house tonight so Brad, Kim and the kids can have the guest rooms here. And that way everyone gets to spend a little one on one time with my mom and dad.

It is C-O-L-D. We woke up to snow yesterday which was unexpected, at least for me since I never read the weather report. Fortunately I had grabbed my down coat before we left home.

I am glad we are here. I almost canceled the trip because I have so much work that needs to be done at home. But luckily I came to my senses because this is where I need to be right now. I am thankful for many things today.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm doin' Chemistry

This is the first time I have posted one of these tests.......I always take them "on the sly" usually after I find one on Ruth's site and I seldom agree with the results. But this one was kind of fun. I guess I like the idea of being an element. Plus it pegged me to some extent. You can do it yourself by clicking the link at the bottom.

So, for my stepdaughter Beth.......

You scored 27 Mass, 39 Electronegativity, 48 Metal, and 0 Radioactivity!
Nobody understands you... no, not even organic chemists. The social individualist. You like your attention... but not TOO MUCH attention. You are able to form incredibly close relationships with many individuals, but you don't really get along with preexisting groups. You value equality in relationships, and don't deal well with overly submissive or demanding people. Well, whatever... thanks for making life possible... oh, and cut the global warming out.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Holiday Show Schedule

In case you haven't already received my shameless publicity via some other delivery (mail, email, etc) here it is......I am hoping to see some people out at my reception December 9th at Subterranean. Naturally I have this (hopefully unwarranted) fear that no one will show up.

Please note new times for the Art Market on Dec 10-11th.

Oct 28 – Nov 26
Body and Soul
Three Sinks Gallery (314) 963-3448
8715 Big Bend
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Dec 3
Saturday Monday Sale
The Monday Club
37 South Maple
Webster Groves, MO

Dec 9 – Jan 9
Subterranean Books
Please join me for a reception on Dec 9 from 7- 9
Solo Show
6275 Delmar
University City, MO 63130

Dec 10-11
Independent Art Market
12-10 on Sat and 12-6 on Sun
Shaw’s Gallery
4065 Shaw
St. Louis, MO 63110

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Everything's coming up feathers

When we were in Memphis, the hotel had this amazing bed that must have had a feather topper. I didn't really look under the sheet, but it seemed like it and reminded me of this little boutique hotel where we lived in San Francisco before our condo was ready. The bed was so fluffy and wonderful for sleep I simply didn't want to get up.

Nowadays, I don't sleep so much and I rarely sleep well, so the fact I got good sleep in Memphis reminded me of how much I like these feathery products and got me going on my new "must have" item, that being a featherbed topper to place on our mattress.

Today was the day, one of the local department stores was having a big sale and Claire tipped me off that feather stuff was greatly reduced. After looking at a few I found there is a lot of variance in these toppers, some are made from the feathers only and feel way to dense for my taste. I prefer the ones made from down surrounding a core of feathers. So after feeling every single one of them I finally made my selection and wrestled it out to the car. We have a king size bed and you cannot believe how big it is; I saw more than several people chuckling as I walked by. Thankfully the package had a handle. .

Couldn't wait to get it on the bed, so I stripped off all the sheets and mattress pad because I wanted to have perfectly fresh linens (of course!). I placed the feather topper right on the mattress, then put the mattress pad over it and sheets on top. Luckily I have the extra deep fitted sheets so it all fit.

Oh. My. Gosh. It feels like a cloud. So glorious, John was laughing at me because I was in bed rolling around luxuriating in the excess of it all. The funny thing is the reaction of the cats. Gilligan jumped up on the bed and just stood there like he was paralyzed. Finally he walked a bit, then pawed around as if testing the give and take of this new surface. He must have approved because he is currently fast asleep on the bed.

All I can say is everyone needs one of these. If you aren't allergic to feathers, go now. Do not delay.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Elvis Lives

I saw him myself at Graceland....seriously, there was this guy in line for the shuttle with Elvis hair(I was too much a chicken shit to snap his picture). It was amazing. He was wearing very retro jeans with the hem turned up in a cuff. They had a button fly and two buttons were undone(I know, why was I looking anyway!?!). It kind of destroyed the look but I didn't have the heart to tell him.

We are back home now. The return trip was uneventful which is good. Memphis seems like it is trying to be a baby New Orleans? This is the view we had from the balcony of the hotel. Weird lighting that first night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A questionably auspicious start

Through storms, tornadoes, and more storms we finally made it and are here in Memphis.

Absolutely horrendous driving weather - it was the kind where your butt puckers, your shoulders tense, your jaw clenches and you can't see a foot beyond the car no matter how hard you squint or how fast your wipers go. And I was just in the passenger seat.

We were listening to CD's and had not heard any weather reports, I mean shit, it was right out the window it wasn't like we needed to hear the reports. As we approached Memphis we switched over to local radio at the exact moment the Emergency signal sounded, yeah, it was that emergency signal, the ear piercing one that this time wasn't a test. They announced a list of towns in immediate danger and one of them was the town identified on the exit sign we were driving past. Since the National Weather service was urging people to seek immediate cover, we had a brief pow wow and decided to take action. We drove by lines of cars stopped along the highway, but in the event of a real tornado (and one had been spotted) it is better to actually exit the vehicle. McDonald's or a gas station were our only options. The McDonald's employees were so totally low key we started to question what we had heard and weren't sure we had gotten the towns right. Using our "when in Memphis" thinking, we assumed we were mistaken. So I ordered my very first McFlurry with oreos(yum). We later saw the national news which showed the path of the storm......hmm, pretty much the exact route we had traveled.

Checked into the hotel, a glammed up Hampton in the heart of Memphis, proximate to most everything. We have an apartment size suite with a semi-circular wall of windows and balcony. King size bed with amazing linens and duvet, poofy and wonderful. Very sweet indeed.

We had dinner at Rendezvous, one of the well known Bar-b-que spots. Excellent dry rubbed ribs and pulled pork. Then wandered around town a bit on foot. I was delighted to find a huge Tower records across the street from the hotel. Naturally I had to indulge in every single listening station in the store where I heard some great new music and bought CD's. Happy Birthday to John or something like that, yeesh, am I a little piggy or what.

All Aboard

Tomorrow is John's birthday, he is turning 60 believe it or not. Doesn't seem like it, yeesh, he isn't getting older, just better. And we are heading out of town to celebrate. We have had a lot of trips this year including Hawaii in May, so I just wanted to surprise him with a little get away. In usual MB fashion, I considered all sorts of wide ranging options from Santa Fe to San Francisco, but it seemed like the trip was turning in to what I wanted to do rather than what John would want. Plus I knew it was getting out of control when I actually considered a weekend in London. I ultimately decided to ask John what he wanted to do and he stunned me by saying he wanted to go to Memphis.

Hmmm, Memphis wasn't really on my radar. That would mean Graceland, blues and bar-b-que. Actually the kitsch of it all pleased me very much. With a little guidance from the recent NY Times article, I set it up. And I think it will be great fun.

We are heading out today. So Happy Birthday a day early sweetie. You know I couldn't do anything without are my rock and my foundation.....a wonderful dad, an inspired grandfather and absolutely the best husband I could have ever dreamed up.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Little Bunny Foo Foo

We are watching the grandkids tonight. They arrived late this afternoon and are now in bed fast alseep. Which is where I am going to be shortly as they have worn my butt out. You can see from the faces we have been having a good time.

Aidan is singing now. He is quite good with the lyrics, of Little Bunny Foo Foo; very accurate pronunciation, especially when he gets to the word "goon" which for some reason sounds hilarious to me coming out of the mouth of a 3-1/2 year old. He can also spell his name and can count to 33. Naturally I think he is brilliant. We spent time making art like we usually do. He loves to draw, fish of course, that is what he always draws. Lots of sharks that are accurate depictions; he knows which variety and can point out their dorsal fins. He drew a Moray Eel and identified it properly. I was cutting out his drawings and running them through my Xyron machine to make them into stickers. I showed him how to use the Xyron, let him turn the handle. He thinks this is all very cool.

Ian is a total cut up. The kid climbs like nothing I have ever seen which means we have to watch him like a hawk. He is also talking a lot and quite communicative although we don't know what he is saying much of the time but he somehow manages to convey whatever he needs perfectly. And he knows every word we are saying, I am convinced of it. He picks up books and then does this adorable little babble thing like he is reading out loud. When I am sitting on the floor (which is most of the time) he walks up, turns around and literally"backs" into my lap. He smashed his finger and instead of crying made a smooching sound with his lips and held it up so John could kiss it then he was fine. Melts my heart.

Too bad they aren't cute.
I am perhaps just a little biased. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Decision Time

I need to make a decision on the Florida shows. You may remember back a few months when I was entering the shows; it seemed like such a great idea - travel and see the world, spend the cold St. Louis winter in Florida, ahhhh, what could be better. I am being facetious but you get the point.

So I looked at a four week window of time, basically Febuary-early March. And I entered a bunch of high end, overlapping shows, hoping that I would get in enough of them to make the trip worthwhile from a financial standpoint. I was thinking that either 2 or 3 back to back shows and I would head down to Florida no problem.

I got rejected (that's "not accepted" here in the trade but it feels more like rejected) from Coconut Grove and Naples National. I did get in to 2 shows(Artigras & Boca), and am waitlisted for a 3rd(Gasparilla). But I pulled out of Boca already based on the bad artist rap that was so pervasive (and persuasive) when I was at the Plaza show(in retrospect, I maybe pulled the trigger a little too quickly, but everything I heard was so unappealing I simply regretted having sent the application). This situation leaves me with one for sure show and another waitlist. With a 2 week down time in between.....basically the worst case scenario. Now what do to do?

The money man (that would be John) figured it all out and came up with a $2000 price tag to do Artigras. That is pretty much the same figure I came up with(doing it in my head of course). It is kind of funny as he and all nearly always come to the same place but we seldom do it the same way. Needless to say this is an expensive show and would make for a tight profit picture. And I think it would be crazy to stay 3 weeks to maybe do 2 shows, cause I might not even get into the Gasparilla. It's not so much the money as the downtime in between that I can't afford. Collage is simply too complicated to try and travel with supplies - I use so much stuff in my work I cannot imagine trying to create them "on the road." So that's not an option.

I'm leaning toward trying Artigras. It will be like sticking my toe into the Florida season.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Knitting fool

Now that the weather is getting colder I want to nest and that means I am back to my knitting. Which I was doing last night with all three (!) cats gathered around me, oh my my, life is good.

Here is my latest project...... this was my first time making something other than a scarf or dishcloth. For this purse I had to teach myself to purl which is the "other half" of the knitting game. Cause knit and purl combine in seemingly limitless combinations to create all kinds of fancy textures, patterns, etc. all with just these 2 stitches. Meaning the sky is the limit.

So anyway, the purse was great fun and ultimately so rewarding.....I made a lining for it, sewed it all together and everything actually worked. As you can see it turned out, well, looking like a purse, woo hoo, how cool is that?

The embellishments are some of my grandmother's earrings that are simply over the top garish and, while I wouldn't wear them on my ears, I think they are perfect here. Since they are clips I can even take them on and off as my mood changes. I am also going to look for a big silk flower pin as another decorative feature. And now I can't wait to make another one. Seems like a good Xmas gift, yes?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

At what price?

I am somewhat vain, ok, maybe a little more than "somewhat." I think it might be genetic as my middle brother (not my younger one who couldn't give a shit) is terribly vain. We used to have huge wars over sharing the bathroom when we were kids. Plus who could ever forget his face mask escapades, I mean he spent more time with skin care than I did, used to put this bright blue crap all over his face.

Imagine my reaction when earlier this week I found a furrow in my brow. Honestly I never knew what that word "furrow" even meant until I noticed one on my face and I went, oh, yeah, that's what it means. Yee Gads, it was enormous and I have no idea when it arrived. I know I didn't have it last year; I don't think I had it during the summer and swear it wasn't on my face last month. I am certain it made it's furrowey way onto my face sometime last week. I sort of pride myself on my low wrinkle factor, like I had anything to do with it, a genetic predisposition to wrinkles or not. But I like to think my careful (read obsessive) efforts at skin care have also worked to preserve my skin.

So consider my AF (after furrow) state of mind; I was feeling more than vulnerable when the "Lip Injection" sample arrived in the mail from Nordstrom. Since I couldn't imagine any immediate improvement in the furrow I figured I may as well help my lips. They are on the thin side, always have been, no Angelina pout for me. Aging has not been kind to them and lately I have wondered what I would look like with some modest collagen injection, something controlled, not Goldie Hawn in First Wives Club. So "Lip Injection" sounded like just the thing, "plumps your lips for lasting fullness - without a needle."

We were headed out to dinner and the theater last Thursday night, the perfect time to plump up my lips and take them for a trial run......

"To Use: Apply a generous coat over the entire lip area. You may experience a slightly intense tingle that can last up to 5-10 minutes, but don't worry sweetie, it's so worth it!
Note: Apply only within perimeter of lips. If applied on skin, a temporary redness may occur. If any discomfort is present, remove and discontinue use. "
Oh yeah baby, I could hardly wait as I carefully applied the extremely sticky high gloss gel to my lips. Within about 2 seconds I felt the burning, more than what I would call a tingle, more than what I would consider intense. It was like someone set my lips on fire. I started to breathe faster.........but wait.......look how cute and pink my lips were? Maybe I should hold on for a second because my lips were actually starting to plump up and they were such a pretty natural color plus it looked totally sexy. Did it really matter if it felt like they were covered in acid, oh surely I could tolerate this cause it was likely to stop in say 10 minutes, right? I left it on. Tried to distract myself but I felt the "tingling" spreading around my entire mouth, all the way up to my nose and down my chin. The delightful natural color was not such a good one round my mouth - I looked like a freak show clown.
Shitshitshit, I started to panic and grabbed some soap. The stuff was sticky and insidiously fused to my skin, but I finally got it off. Which is when I really started to panic. I was swollen and red all over the bottom half of my face. Plus it still tingled and hurt. I remembered something about using a high-fat milk product on your face to calm sensitive red skin. I went downstairs to get some half and half. Didn't dare show my face to John, so I just told him I was having a slight beauty emergency. I prepared a little compress of half and half which felt wonderful and was totally soothing. My skin finally started to settle down and the swelling subsided. After careful makeup application I disguised the remaining redness sufficiently to the point that John couldn't tell anything was wrong.
So now I am in the throes of a dilemma. Do I dare try it again, maybe under more controlled circumstances to see what happens? I mean what's a little pain? My lips looked so friggin amazing........

Friday, November 04, 2005

Body and Soul

The show opened earlier this week but the reception was tonight and it was quite well attended. Thank goodness we had great weather because the crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk. I knew a surprising number of people and am continually amazed at all the folks I have met in our 2 years here.

I was pleased with how the show was hung. That is my friend Marlene's piece to the right of mine.

John and I grabbed some Thai food before the show and had that terrific coconut milk/lemongrass comfort soup that I require when my throat is bothering me. Once at the show we hung out with some friends (thanks for coming Peggy and Neil!). It was nice all around. But I am tired and feel a little bit like I am fighting off something, maybe just sinus, who knows. Thanks Claire for this picture (which was taken Monday when there were no people around).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Horse Crazed

I went on another horse venture this past Saturday, a trail ride. It was beyond fun.

I really love those horses, they are amazing creatures. The more I am around them the more I like them. I am moving into a little bit of a comfort zone, like I led Rosie back into her stall, actually walked with her where I was on the ground, holding her rope, etc. I know that seems so basic but I've never spent enough time around horses to feel at ease before.

We rode for an hour or so. When we finished and I was back on the ground, Rosie nudged me with her head, practically knocking me over, sweetly acknowledging the experience we had together, girl to girl bonding. Bud said she was just scratching her nose and maybe so, but it felt like an expression of affection to me, similar to a head butt from a cat. And the way the horses deal with each other is so cool and unexpected. For instance, after the ride, we had the horses tied on opposite sides of the trailer. Bud loaded his horse onto the trailer first and Rosie just went crazy. It was very obvious she was afraid we would forget to put her in the trailer, that we might accidentally leave her at the park. Another example...Bud has 3 horses and only 2 of them got to go on the ride. When we arrived back at the house, the "left at home" horse was in the pasture and she ran along the driveway neighing her head off. It cracked me up, the way she galloped beside the vehicle clearly trying to say something.......perhaps give us shit for leaving her behind, maybe just talking to her buddies, who knows.

Every little thing that happens is new for me, but I am especially fascinated with how the horses act and interact. I am definitely enthralled by the whole scene. With the possible exception of that bruised feeling between my legs........or is that too much information?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Running with Scissors

Although I don't remember where I first heard it, I have always loved this phrase and sort of adopted it as my theme song so to speak - it's part of the tagline for my profile here on Blogger. Much to the chagrin of my family I am sure. So imagine my surprise when I find out there is a book by this name!

Claire turned me on to it, Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. It is a memoir of this guy who has lived an unbelievable life filled with dysfunction that is both tragic but also hilarious, a very dark humor which I absolutely love. I can no longer read the book while I am eating my lunch because it made me laugh out loud and snort my tomato soup, Not a pretty site.

If you like tales of crazy families, and I mean who doesn't (?)I would strongly recommend this book. It is strangely endearing. Plus this guy can really write. There is a movie in the works if you want to wait for that but I always prefer to read the book and frankly I can't imagine how they will put some of his experiences on the screen. You may want to check out his website for additional information I was pleased to find that he and I agree on a number of favorite books including Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you will recall that was the book which spawned my run away from home trip to Chicago this past summer, tee, hee, hee....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Is anybody else getting tired of Oprah?

I have been an Oprah lover from years, when she was fat, when she was thin, when she got fat again, when she went New Age (coincided with my time in CA, so that's what I was doing too), when she got thin again. It's been so long I can't even tell you how many times I have used the phrase, "well I saw this thing on Oprah......" during conversation. In the beginning I read her books and watched every show without fail. I even subscribed to her magazine.

First I fell off the bookclub path as the choices seemed so depressing and dysfunctional, then they were classics I had already read, and now books I'm not sure I want to read anyway. Then I failed to renew my magazine subscription. And these days I rarely even watch a show that I have Tivoed. My stepdaughter stunned me with her announcement a few days ago......she took Oprah off of Tivo. Said, what's the point, she simply deleted them each day. And I guess that's where I am too. I can't even remember the last one that I watched. Maybe when Nate announced his new line of products? That had to have been a couple weeks ago at least.

So what's up with this and why don't we like Oprah anymore?

I think Oprah has transcended herself and become one of the celebrities. I liked her better when I somehow felt like she was "one of us" even though I knew she had a gazillion dollars socked away somewhere. In the old days she still made clothing mistakes and had bad hair days. These days she is perfect all the time, clearly she has a stylist or an army of people working it on her behalf. Never a hair out of place, always a great outfit appropriately accessorized. I mean good for her, but I guess I related to her better when she seemed normal. She had a farm in Indiana for God's sake, I mean how normal is that.

And this celebrity thing is out of hand. Ok, so she has them on her show. Sure, we want to see celebs spill their guts, talk about their movies, relationships, etc. Except they don't. They talk about when they "hung out" with Oprah. I mean it used to be that Maria Shriver was the main Oprah "friend," Maya Angelou, the "mentor." Now John Travolta, Jennifer Anniston, Julia Roberts.........Oprah has not just had them on her show, she has partied with them, shared weekends together, HUNG OUT with them. She has clearly crossed the line here. I think this is why all the interviews are suddenly so insipid except for that crazy one with Tom Cruise where he jumped on her furniture and I watched that like I was watching the scene of an accident.

So when did it all happen? Reflecting back, it seems like it has been coming for awhile and I should have seen the signs. Around the time Oprah ate that chicken sandwich and then bought the restaurant. Then the over the top birthday party, then the Legends thingie, I mean did you SEE the jewelry she gave the guests!?!? Enough already.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud her success, I say You go girl and truly mean that. It's just that I don't enjoy the show anymore and can't really relate to this new persona. So I am almost finished with her. I say "almost" because I still have hopes she may reinvent herself and once again seem more real to me. I'm keeping her on my Tivo but this could change any moment.