Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday

The guys took off with their bikes loaded in the back of the truck for Herman Park. They may ride around by the park, they may go to the zoo, they may go to the Museum of Science, they may do something else completely spontaneous. The mood here before they left was one of somber quiet, with smatterings of insignificant partial sentences. Gordy will be leaving us tomorrow morning. We don't know when we will see him again next time, most likely it is after he does some time in Iraq. Last night I could not bring myself to turn off the news radio in the bedroom as I listened to people speculate what was likely to happen in Iraq following the execution of Saddam.

Life is weird. With the chain of unlikely and unrelated events I find myself here, selfishly loving this young man like my own son, wishing I could do something to make it better, wishing I had words of wisdom to give him, falling sadly short on all accounts, only able to ask him to please wear his damn glasses despite the fact that they are uncomfortable.

He is not ready to go and is frustrated with every moment he spent sleeping or watching TV while he was on leave. His father and I are hardly prepared to tell him goodbye tomorrow. I suppose we will try to treat it like every other time we have said goodbye, like when he left for school in the morning or was taking the dog for a walk or going to work for the evening. We certainly won't let him see us cry. We will wait until we are walking out of the airport like last time. yep.

I know he won't come here to read this, he thinks my blog is boring :) so i feel okay about indulging in a little sadness. I am going to miss him and our private discussions about life/death/humanity/religion... seems every time we get together we have a tendency to "go to the dark side." shit, i hope that he comes back okay.

Friday, December 29, 2006

4:30 on a Friday

It has been dreadfully quiet here at work all week. I am so tired of looking at a computer screen I could poke out my own eyeballs to avoid having to do so ever again.

There are only three members of our crew here at work, we three are distributed throughout the building in such a way that if you drew a line between us it would create a scalene triangle of which the shortest distance is about 50% of the longest of three sides, and the mid-length side is approximately 85% of the longest side. The two people who are located at the points at either end of the shortest side are in cubicles (I am one of those points) so there hasn't been much bantering today at work. Approximately three times today we all got up and converged at some point between us and briefly talked about whatever came to mind.

The three topics d'jour:

1) A discussion about work we were doing.
2) A discussion about a meeting we will have next week updating our coworkers on work we have been doing.
3) A discussion about how quiet it has been here this week.

Right now Gordy and Chelsea are headed toward Austin to return Chelsea to her rightful home. It has been grey, rainy, and windy outside all day.

Random thought #145,300,987,632,140

Most people seem to require the exacting and narrow path of a single religion. However, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of humanity is being quite able to embrace the good of many religions and philosophies, while tossing aside those bits of doctrine driven by agendas and remain whole-heartedly on "the righteous path."

František Kupka

This information is for Cindy, regarding the "The Yellow Scale" - a painting by František Kupka that is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Following is the description that accompanies the painting.

František Kupka
Czechoslovakian, 1871 ~ 1957
The Yellow Scale
c. 1907
Oil on Canvas

Gift of Audrey Jones Beck

In addition to serving as a self-portrait, this painting explores the expressive power and complexity of the color yellow.
The intense hues combine with František Kupka's confident gaze, the book in one hand, cigarette in the other, to convey a strong sense of the artist's personality--Kupka was an eccentric, sensual man with a lifelong fascination for spiritualism and the occult.
Though he never completely abandoned naturalistic representation, Kupka was one of the pioneers in developing abstract painting early in the 20th century.

MFAH Trip

Expose yourself...


A print of the above photo taken by Michael Ryerson is one of many that hangs on the walls of Anderson Fair. I smile every time I see it. I really need to get a copy of this to have at the house.
Here's a link to the story behind the photo:
The TRUE story as told by Michael

Torrit Grey

Via Robert Genn's newsletter - learned about this interesting "only-comes-out-once-a-year-and-never-the-same" paint from Gamblin

Torrit Grey

Thursday, December 28, 2006

*sigh*

Hanging on to dreams... *
smiling all the while,
the world loves smiles!
thank ya world.

Daily dose of Buddhism

swiped this (out of context) because i like it.

"...even though he attends to the minutest detail of whatever must be done, he never grasps it or tries to make ultimate sense of it, because he knows it has no enduring substance of its own." ~somebody quoting Buddha

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

okay...back to the update:

So's the lasagna was a hit...I had some more for "breakfast" and made Michelle eat some too. We have managed to convince Chelsea to take some aspirin and some tylenol flu stuff...she is not doing well at all.

okay...gotta run...see ya later!

Update :)

Today is Gordy's birthday... I made him breakfast in bed, which ringing my own bell even included fresh-squeezed orange juice of the delicious oranges straight from Gordy's sister's tree down in Corpus Christi. I've been running around doing an ass-load of laundry, dishes, picking up trash, taking care of the farm chores...still in my pajamas!

In a little bit, Michelle will be dropping by for a visit. Michelle went to school with Chelsea and is just like a daughter to me. She has already done a tour of duty in Iraq, came back mostly with wounds on the inside.

Whoops! infact she is here now... they are hollering at me from downstairs...gotta go, more later!!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The traditional Christmas Lasagna...

...is now baking in the oven and I am having my traditional 2-3+ glasses of wine to celebrate the last how ever many hours spent in the kitchen roasting garlic, sauteing onions, bell peppers, zuchini squash, fresh herbs and spices, frying up 3 lbs of Italian sausage, stirring a delightful sauce as it simmers away...blah, blah, blah... I LOVE lasagna! Yummmm...I can't wait!

Chelsea, Jamie, Shannon, and Gordon are all here with us. Presents have been opened and every one has been watching their new movies in the living room as I cooked.

Chelsea has the flu, we have been keeping her bundled up and organically medicated for two days now.

I don't have a lot more to say other than if you come here and read this blog (the handful of folks whom I know do) I love you! I love my family so much, i love my friends, I am a very lucky woman for sure. It is times like this when we can be together that I know I would have never done my life differently knowing it would turn out this way.

So on that note... Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

it is by the grace of...

... ___ (insert the deity of your choice) that I find myself compelled to communicate in color, for those artists who are cast off into the "world of word" are held to the highest of all expectations. Nuances of word make it necessary to be so precise that, frankly, it scaires me. One tiny slip of tongue or spelling and you are instantly nailed to a cross.

I post this just so's you know the amount of respect that I have for your art.

of course all this drunken drivel is based on the fact that truly i believe you don't have the luxury, nor liberty of choosing your form of expression... I think it is handed out to you in some weird divine crap-shoot of gifts... "gift" i say, because the ability to express oneself in ways that don't really hurt others is nothing less than a gift for sure.

cheerz and goodnight!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

HOWDY! All is well and wonderful here in Humble town...Hope it is the same with whomever reads this.

Today...

In my typical procrastinating tradition, today I am in vacation so that I can rush around doing all the last minute shopping. Our week is pretty packed here, shopping, attend developers meeting, work, birdy breads, doctors appointments, drive to Corpus, drive to Austin, eegads! I don't do well with a big "todo" list...panic sets in!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Reiterating G's post...

...about Allstate Insurance:

You’re in good hands with Allstate … Bullshit!
Monday, December 18, 2006

Recently we receive a letter from Allstate. In it they say they will not be renewing our home insurance because our home falls into the category of those “most suseptible to significanat wind related damage.”

Now I’m not sure why they would say that. We are about 70 miles from the coast. We have never had a claim on our homeowner’s insurance policy [8 years!]. When I contacted our insurance agent’s office (Ed Dormer in Kindwood, TX) and spoke to Bridgette, she told me it “was nothing personal.”

I asked about our options. She said they could obtain insurance for us through some state-funded plan that was several times more expensive than our current policy. But I would have to first apply to at least one other company and get denied by them.

Oh and yes, I would lose my multi-policy discount with Allstate (I have auto insurance with them as well).

Here is a scan of the letter.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

In about 3...

...hours Gordy will be here from Georgia. He gets to stay until December 31.

Friday, December 15, 2006

all my new paintings...

...that i may or may not have posted pics of.


Smoker


Youth


Man on Bicycle


Church in Nova Scotia


Landscape


Life


Feed the Birds


Landscape


Angel


Blue Tree

Thursday, December 14, 2006

note to self:

LA BELLE ET LA BETE
http://www.playswithknives.com

that will take you directly to here.

Just rolled over...

...to google's beta blog.

Are you a rubber-necker?

I'm just sitting here wondering why many visitors to this blog don't ever say "Howdy!" - are your eyes drawn here periodically as if viewing some horrible car wreck and there simply aren't words to be uttered?... are you shy?... are you too disgusted for words?... you think i'm too weird and might follow you home?... you find it so juvenile/boring/non-essential/so lacking in intelligent thought whatsoever that it doesn't merit a response?...so amused you fall over laughing, hit your head on your chair, and simply forget to comment?...

Talk to me chilidawg! Lemme know you came by... I don't bite, well not very often and certainly not with bad intent. I would really like to know who you are :)

-------Update--------

All right fine, you don't have to say Hello.

Oh my...

Carolyn Cohen sent me an email about this yesterday, and this morning I received a Google Alert about it - so I simply can't ignore it. This fellow chooses to paint with his buttox and dangly-bits, but alas, he has been exposed and now suspended from his day job as an art teacher in a public school for it... c'mon folks! Since time began people have done MUCH stranger things with their nether regions and no doubt gotten away with it.

Lord knows, just with my own eyes i've seen more than I should have of men ATTEMPTING to do much stranger things than paint with 'em. Ah, but THOSE stories belong in another blog.

The story on Click2 Houston News

As a final note, in a show of solidarity... one of my own first butterflies is compelled to wing its sunshiny self to the surface again!



Cheers to rears!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wha???!

Settling down tonight on the couch watching TV I am reminded of something I learned about only a few days ago... the anti-holocaust conference going on in Iran.

I can only say that when events like this can happen in today's world it is open season for every sort of opinion and belief conceivable...if someone can actually deny that the holocaust happened...well, shit, anything goes.

Problem solving moment

On the brief 5-minute drive home from work today I had a lightbulb go off upstairs and came up with two solutions:

1) Get a different job so that Gordy and I get to experience being happy to see each other after a long day at work.

2) Split Christmas into two seperate holidays: One being the religious day for those wanting to remember Jesus' birth, the other holiday being the gift-giving-marketing-extravaganza-family-shindig. Then we wouldn't have so much trouble with the politically correct stuff.

Daily dose from BeliefNet...

It is in everybody's interest to seek those [actions] that lead to happiness and avoid those which lead to suffering. And because our interests are inextricably linked, we are compelled to accept ethics as the indispensable interface between my desire to be happy and yours.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Cool! Something about his selection of words makes me think the Dalai Lama has a little techno-geek dwelling within him.

Recent update to my website

I thought someone might enjoy this update to my "artist bio"...

But how it really got started...

Born in Raritan, New Jersey in 1963, Belin attributes a life-time love affair with creative expression to a handful of early childhood experiences. Beginning with a kindegarten teacher who after viewing a family portrait painted on ceramic by 6-year old Belin, stated: "Jeez! You should NEVER seek a career as an artist! This is awful, you really should have tried a little harder to do something nice for your parent's Christmas present!" Little did the teacher know she totally stoked the fire of Belin's soon to be well-documented rebellious nature.

A year or so later after Belin and her younger sister, Cheryl, came to find themselves living with an estranged (as well as strange) native-Texan mother-of-step in Poughkeepsie, New York - Belin was caught stealing balloons out of her teacher's desk after she decided to give the balloons away like Robin Hood to the rest of her classmates. This act resulted in being carted off to a psychologist once a week for approximately a year. Included in those awkward visits were numerous batteries of evaluation, including many requests to graphically represent family members as well as her feelings in order to grock deeper insight in to the workings of Belin's assumed deranged state of mind.

After coming to live in Texas and upon returning to life with her mother, at 14-years, Belin's rebelliousness again won her a seat in the office of yet another trained professional in the study of physchology... by this time she had become quite adept at creating pictures representative of her emotional state and people close to her, for she received numerous accolades from her doctor and who's resulting diagnosis accurately stated: "She is merely a rebellious teenager, and will eventually grow-up."

And so it goes...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The 2006 Geminid Meteor Shower

(passing this on from my birding group)
Dec. 12 , 2006: The best meteor shower of the year peaks this week on Dec. 13th and 14th.

see caption"It's the Geminid meteor shower," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, Alabama. "Start watching on Wednesday evening, Dec. 13th, around 9 p.m. local time," he advises. "The display will start small but grow in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas could see one or two meteors every minute."

The source of the Geminids is a mysterious object named 3200 Phaethon. "No one can decide what it is," says Cooke.

The mystery, properly told, begins in the 19th century: Before the mid-1800s there were no Geminids, or at least not enough to attract attention. The first Geminids appeared suddenly in 1862, surprising onlookers who saw dozens of meteors shoot out of the constellation Gemini. (That's how the shower gets its name, the Geminids.)

Astronomers immediately began looking for a comet. Meteor showers result from debris that boils off a comet when it passes close to the Sun. When Earth passes through the debris, we see a meteor shower.

For more than a hundred years astronomers searched in vain for the parent comet. Finally, in 1983, NASA's Infra-Red Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) spotted something. It was several kilometers wide and moved in about the same orbit as the Geminid meteoroids. Scientists named it 3200 Phaethon.

Just one problem: Meteor showers are supposed to come from comets, but 3200 Phaethon seems to be an asteroid. It is rocky (not icy, like a comet) and has no obvious tail. Officially, 3200 Phaethon is catalogued as a "PHA"—a potentially hazardous asteroid whose path misses Earth's orbit by only 2 million miles.

If 3200 Phaethon is truly an asteroid, with no tail, how did it produce the Geminids? "Maybe it bumped up against another asteroid," offers Cooke. "A collision could have created a cloud of dust and rock that follows Phaethon around in its orbit."

This jibes with studies of Geminid fireballs. Some astronomers have studied the brightest Geminid meteors and concluded that the underlying debris must be rocky. Density estimates range from 1 to 3 g/cm3. That's much denser than flakes of comet dust (0.3 g/cm3), but close to the density of rock (3 g/cm3).

So, are the Geminids an "asteroid shower"?

Cooke isn't convinced. 3200 Phaethon might be a comet after all--"an extinct comet," he says. The object's orbit carries it even closer to the Sun than Mercury. Extreme solar heat could've boiled away all of Phaethon's ice long ago, leaving behind this rocky skeleton "that merely looks like an asteroid."

In short, no one knows. It's a mystery to savor under the stars—the shooting stars—this Thursday morning.

Really?

truly...
what color do you see?

misc desktop image...

Discarded roses

Clicking on the above image will load a really big graphic for you to pilfer if you want to use it as a desktop image.

Breakfast of Champions


Almost every morning for the last "??" years I am greeted in the kitchen by a naked man preparing the days provisions for our flock of pissy parrots. Okay, well not fully naked, as typically, there is either a parrot or some type of adornment involved- be it a scarf on "cold" mornings (as pictured), a gun belt, ankle weights, a safari hat, perhaps an iPod from time to time... just makes me smile... and yes I got his permission before posting this!

hee hee. admit it, its funny.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Best solution for your penis...

Is it just me or are the penis spammers getting more creative lately with their subject lines? Last week I found myself cracking up at work with the latest batch of emails seemingly concerned with my penis length. I wish I could remember what they were so I could share, but just within the last 4 hours here are a few along the lines of what I am talking about:

"Take your award - Mr. Smallest Johnson 2006"

"Hei Comorade with small thing!"

"Where did you get so small one-eyed monster?"

"Why do you have so small sausage?"

Its 52 degrees and raining outside

So this morning i called my girls to pester them again about making Christmas lists for me. I woke Chelsea up at 10:30, 5 minutes before her alarm was set to go off, I robbed her of her last 5 minutes of sleep! :)

I'm sitting here now with my hair soaking in nasty dye, I've had the stuff fer awhile but found that i was intrigued with all the new grey I have now and was letting it grow out. The night before last Gordy was hugging me and said "EW, looks like it is time for a touch up on your color!" So what the heck, I like the red, cover me I'm going in again. Funny how I am not much for artificial stuff and yet I sport my own fair share of it. Also funny how often I get compliments on my hair color from stangers - they tell me how much they like my red hair, old men in particular will make comments to the tune of "My how I like red-headed women!" I always feel the need to explain that it is not natural and I would be happy to hand over the dye name and number so they could sport their very own.

on a more somber note...Today is the Life Celebration/Memorial service for Rex Bass. I like very much the whole idea of celebrating a life rather than focusing on the sadness of losing a loved one or friend. You know those scenes in movies, where the parade of people walk through the streets of New Orleans, playing music and holding the coffin above their heads? I don't know if that ever happens now-a-days, but the concept fascinates me.

When Rudy died I found the most comforting part of accepting the loss was when I sat around with old hippy friends, some of whom i had not seen in a long time, some i had never met, telling stories about the wonderful-happy-joking man we all knew and loved, and for those moments we were all connected in a way that was much deeper than any other time i had spent with friends.

I recall sitting in the funeral home making arrangements for his cremation, the juxtoposition of his death being one of the saddest things i had ever known at the time against sudden outbursts of the jovial shenanagans his wife, his "connection" and myself participated in was so surreal... but we KNEW that Rudy would have adored such shenanagans and most assuredly been heading the silliness up. At one point while waiting for the funeral arranger to rejoin us in the break room and finalize the arrangements I lifted my shirt and flashed a gardner working outside the window... i thought when I did it that the glass was reflective and he could not see me, minutes after I had displayed myself to his unresponsiveness he stopped what he was doing, set down his tools, grinned and waved hello to me.

We roared with laughter and swore we heard Rudy laughing with us.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

thoughts...

Wow! When I look at this picture of you Mom, it takes me back places i have never been yet are strangely familiar. Perhaps the little girl in the swimsuit there in the middle seems so familiar to me because she was the one ever-quietly-present and watching from inside the much different mom who raised me?

wild!

On a completely different note, I can NOT believe that Charlie Fisher allowed you to have the swimsuit your little friend borrowed - showing belly-button?!!!

Love you Mom!

Well then!

I'll take the CHEESE (and the bacon for that matter) - throw in that box o' crackers and yas got yourself a deal! Goodness, I'm flattered with all this bribery to get me to post. I just wish I had something to say that would make all your efforts worth while!

I stole from time this morning - slept in until eleven o'clock. Came upstairs to my smoking/painting place for that always splendid first hot cup of coffee and a nasty cigarette...i'm writing this blurry-eyed and still within the realm of my sleepy disjointed thoughts.

I was having great dreams this morning as I attempted to remain asleep as long as i could get away with. For some reason one of my favorite morning pastimes is to lay there in bed after slowly waking up and sort through my dreams categorically reviewing what parts were based on real stuff and what parts should be relegated to fantasy.

I have this belief that it is our dream world that has the potential to make the reality of our really old age (like nursing home age) at the least tolerable, at best a splendid limitless "2nd life."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

whoops... slackin off again!

Been a wee bit busy the last few days and still not feeling to great. I am annoyed as heck because for reasons out of my control I have to cancel my doctors appointment today that I have waited almost a month for.

On a more uplifting note, tonight is the Art opening for "Imbued" at Elderstreet Artist's Lofts. After work I'll be picking up Martin and scrambling to get down there. It should be a fun night. Of the six paintings I have in the show, I included the one I did recently of Cheryl. I am quite interested in seeing what type of feedback I might get from that painting.

After work yesterday evening I came home to find a box on the front door step waiting for me... A big box with the words "Grow your own Mushrooms!" printed on it. I immediately grinned knowing full well the ONE person who would send just such a box...Mom!

I plan on documenting the progress of my little crop of portobella mushrooms.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Getting caught up...

This past Saturday was the Yale Street Arts Market (sadly enough, I forgot to mention this before Saturday.) It was a great day for the market. This time the Heights had "MistleToe Madness" festivities going on in conjunction with the market. Trolleys, horse drawn carriages, and carolers were all over the heights. A truck-load of Santas showed up at the market and sang their untraditional and colorful renditions of typically traditional Christmas songs. Businesses all around the Heights handed out free drinks (sponsored by Bacardi) so I wasted no time at all making my way to the closest "free drink station" for some warm wassail and rum...yum!


Hamming with some of my very most favorite peoples... Carolyn and Mitch Cohen, at the Market. I stole this pic from Mitch's set on flickr.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Oil Painter's Journal: Color Mixing Secrets

I read this artist's blog every day, today he has a great post regarding his personal thoughts on the "science" of color-mixing. After a few passes through this post it still reads like a koan, but i am determined to make sense of it none the less.
Oil Painter's Journal: Color Mixing Secrets

Harvey the Hurricane, control (NOT), and cats

Today was a day of diligence. I cleaned the Nubby Buddha and managed to change ALL their litter boxes, plus the inside litter boxes, and bir...