Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sunset Boulevard in Houston ... this is the West University neighborhood, one of the most charming areas of the city. Our street could look this way in maybe twenty years. Live oaks grow incredibly fast here.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Botz sent me this bluejay ornament ... I had told her that "I see dead people" as bluejays. My departed loved ones' spirits come to me and insist on letting me know they are doing well. For whatever reason, they appear as bluejays, which I love anyway.
LOVE this gift! Thank you Botz, very very thoughtful gift.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Yesterday I had an opening at Mysterio Gallery for Osprey's posters from the past year, mostly from her photography contests. The people who attended were a great crowd, said Osprey. I responded they are your friends! Of COURSE they are a great crowd!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Tonight Kirk (Steve's son) called and offered us a couple of the movies Steve had collected. We use the DVR and do not really watch our own DVDs, so we said no. I asked Kirk if it was difficult for them, and he said it was. Steve loved his movies.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Apparently this angelic, seemingly timid little dude was hiding a DEMON DOG under that sweet face! The more comfortable he became at our house, the worse his behavior became. He started tearing our grass out by the roots, chewing the carpet, our clothing, hands, feet (the shoes were on the agenda, but I never let it get to that point). He cried in that piercing puppy whine when I confined him, and cried and scratched at the door when I left him out in the back yard alone. He jumped onto our bed repeatedly, so that we had to shove him off bodily. I offered him treats to train him to sit, lie down, and stay, and he was obedient off and on. Yesterday he began lunging at the hand with the treat in it, engulfing my hand in a sharp-toothed mouth. Gordon played with him last night and he started barking at Gordon! Not a playful bark, an aggressive bark!
I am accustomed to a dog mouthing my hand, and I have always trained my dogs to be gentle, by yelping when their mouths gripped too firmly. They always responded by being gentler, but not Bear. He actually took my wrist in his mouth and clamped down.
The upshot is, we had him taken away to a boarding training facility. He is supposed to return a changed dog, without cruel treatment or fear-based methods. CROSS YOUR FINGERS! He should be back next Monday.
Last night I slept the entire night without being interrupted by a dog trying to bite the sheets, jump onto the bed, or paw me, for the first time since we got him. It was heavenly quiet. When he gets back, we have to learn the correction method, which utilizes the choke collar. I know the basics of that method, but this place claims they can train the dog to lie down unattended in the yard with other dogs playing around him for HOURS. We shall see!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Bear is an endearing puppy who "dogs my tracks". He sleeps as close to me as he can, and would love to jump into bed with us, if we would let him. So far we have resisted giving him people food, which the veterinarian strongly discourages. Bear thinks this policy is harsh. I am sure his charm comes through the photo. People are already stopping me and asking what sort of dog he is. He is the same delightful mixture of breeds that produced Rosie, and no one knows his parents' secret formula for the perfect mutt.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Since Rosie died, I have not really wanted a dog. Then Valari got an SPCA dog, on Sunday, for her birthday, and I got the dog fever! I checked online on Monday and saw this little guy. I went down on Tuesday and adopted him. Today he came home with me. He looks lighter than Rosie in this pic but to me he looks a LOT like her, just taller, a boy, with darker ears, and a whiter face. Say hello to BEAR!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I bought a charm for Steve's memory. It is the heart in the middle of my bracelet. It says "the heart remembers". The inscription is the last line of a poem written by a 15-yr-old girl whose grandmother died of Alzheimer's. It is a good charm for anyone who has, or had, a loved one suffering for a long time.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Steve grew up in Wisconsin, lived in New York City, served in the Marines in California, and then moved to Houston. He worked hard and was wild about NASCAR.
Steve was a loving and devoted father, and his children Kirk and Valari are beautiful, happy and healthy. They are in the process of becoming productive adults, thanks to Steve and his wife Panda.
Steve worked for many years at Home Depot, and later worked for Gyro Data. He would have loved to go on working and being productive, and would have, were it not for his untimely death from congestive heart failure.
Steve made lots of friends wherever he went, including at St. Luke’s Hospital, where he underwent three open-heart surgeries in his last year of life. The doctors, surgeons and staff fought heroically to save him, and it is because of their efforts that he had another year. We are all deeply thankful for that.
During the time of his illness, he was courageous in the face of frightening and invasive surgeries. He made peace with everyone, and he said just before his third surgery, “I have had a good life.”
Steve loved life, and he wanted others to have quality of life as well. Because of this, Steve gave blood many, many times. When he was hospitalized, sadly he was no longer able to give blood. Now, in death, he has given again of his body to help others, as an organ donor.
Steve loved good food, and was an excellent cook. His barbecues were a treat for the rest of us. He owned a lot of movies, mostly comedies, and watched them frequently. He also loved the movie “Thunderheart”, which is a tragic modern Western. He RULED at Literati, an online form of Scrabble.
He enjoyed racing, in particular NASCAR, and was a big Tony Stewart fan. He attended the airshow at Ellington AFB as often as he could, and was an Astros fan as well.
All in all, it was a full life, and Steve had many admirable qualities.
He is survived by his wife Panda and his two children, Kirk and Valari, his brother Patrick and sister Laura. His father Mike and Mike’s wife Margo are also left behind. His mother Ellen and her husband Gordon survive him as well.
Goodbye Steve, you will be profoundly missed!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Mr. Toad would envy me this delightful vehicle I am sure. It is painted flat black, with golden and blue flames ... fenders, front and rear (to prevent that unsightly mud stripe up my back), a CHAIN GUARD (wOOt!), whitewalls and coaster brakes. I have to relearn bike riding (yes I know, you never forget, blah blah blah). It has three speeds, the third of which reminds me of my old bike from childhood.
I was so excited to get that red Schwinn, after having ridden a huge old rattling bike handed down to me. Then it got a flat tire. I walked it down to the service station and asked them to fix it.
And then ... and then ... and THEN ... I left it there forever. I forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Dad said I had to go get it myself, but I was so embarrassed about having forgotten it, I never went back and never mentioned that bike ever again. Strange thing to do, but it made sense to me at the time.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Yesterday I had a sudden inspiration to have a party ... it was Osprey's birthday, and I had just cleared out my little house, so I put up only her paintings and a poster she made for Linden Labs years ago, put out virtual birthday cake and champagne, and invited all her friends I could think of. I made an event as well, just in case some of her friends I don't know might see it and come by. As it was, there was quite a crowd. My "tv", which is basically a slide show of pix I have taken and friends have given me, was "all Osprey, all the time" except for one image of some dude I barely know. Salazar could not attend :(( but otherwise, a lot of very close friends of Osprey's were there: Tina, Racer, Sarah, Vlad, Selador, Amu, Ida ... it was a fun party.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Salazar Jack has begun his "build" for this year's Burning Life. He has a spiral of beach grass plants, all waving in unison, which he says will be a trip through time, starting with the Great Erase. I did not experience the Great Erase, but it sounds like it was horrific.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Eileen McTeague sends her regards.
We recorded our real life voices yesterday for the movie trailer, which you can see HERE. I am the woman who answers the door, and talks on the phone in a red dress. The trailer is very well done, conveying the mood of the film, without giving away the ending.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Osprey put one of the comics on her site, so I got all worked up thinking ... I SHOULD DO THAT! So here is Captain Atom. Strangely, my little "site-a-day" calendar waited ten days after Nagasaki Day to print this little gem. The first response was in August of 1945, with a pulp book announcing the opening of the Atomic Age.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The doctor used a big stainless steel syringe, and it looked like an instrument of torture. He carried it in his black snap-shut leather doctor bag when he made house calls. If I had some fever or bacterial infection, out it would come, full of penicillin. It may have saved my life, but I will never know.
The polio epidemic was in full swing then. Every summer, children were kept out of public swimming pools. Victims were kept alive in "iron lungs", where they had to see their visitors by looking into a mirror that reflected the visitors' faces to them, because they were completely paralyzed and had to spend their lives lying on their backs in a steel tubular machine, while mechanical bellows worked their lungs.
There was no vaccine that worked. There was, however, a SHOT. Gamma globulin was tested and seemed to prevent paralysis to some extent.
Dad rounded up my two younger sisters and me and herded us to the hospital, about two blocks from the house. We hated shots in the first place, and this one was reputed to be absolutely horrendous. We all screamed and cried and pleaded, to no avail. He took us to a room in the hospital, where we were told to relax, so that the shots would not hurt as much. Of course, I clenched my little buttocks into mounds of granite. The shot hurt like hell, of course!
We did not get polio, thank God, or maybe, thank gamma globulin. When the Salk vaccine came out, we were injected in long lines at school. Ah, but the Sabin vaccine doses were given in sugar cubes. I much preferred that method.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Anyhow, Mom said she and her brothers and sisters called these grandparents Mimmi and Pippi. What wonderful, affectionate names!
Emma LaFleur is still a mystery figure. In later years, Mom claimed she came from France, only passing through Canada. In fact, she said, Emma came from Paris (giving the family a touch of Parisian grandeur).
Whether Emma was a woman of the Ojibway, or of the Parisi, she added that air of mystery to the family roots, and it is welcome.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Dancoyote Antonelli: I call this edifice Modernist Marvel. It is 200 meters tall. I worked with 3 architects to get what I wanted. I call my work Hyperformalism. http://spensley.com/hyperformalism. I build my own museums because galleries are too small for my work. I think many artists make a mistake with scale in Second Life. The proportions compared to the avatar figure are not the same in Second Life as in Real Life.
DC: Much of the work I am displaying here is in private collections. I do not sell copies of my work, so it appreciates in value like real art. Because it IS real art.
EC: Of course it is.
DC: I have sold nearly half a million in 4 months; all original work.
EC: People rip off art all the time here, not to mention textures etc
DC: I have countermeasures.
EC: What do you do?
DC: For instance, [someone] has been photographing my work in Second Life and publishing the photos.
DC: I have asked her to stop twice; but now let me show you what I made. See that?
EC: Ah, a watermark.
DC: It is a script. It detects her avatar and puts up the shield when she is around. However I have levels of countermeasures, down to Adobe watermarks embedded in the work. This is the painting she photographed last. See the moire? It is [there] for two reasons: an aesthetic layer, and for copy protection. It gives it life in a way, and protects it in a way too. Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not paranoid, I just aim to be on top of this issue in Second Life, as I am in RL. Professionalism is very important to me in the arts. I have to do both [business and artwork] and do them well.
EC: This [painting priced at L$65000] is only $216 in Real Life money, which seems really reasonable for an original piece.
DC: Thank you for understanding.
EC: how would someone keep it in Real Life? If something should happen to Second Life, for example?
DC: How would someone keep a Real Life work after a fire in their home? It is the same thing. Collectors have rights in Second Life.
EC: Do you construct ways to show this sort of work in Real Life?
DC: I am working on museum shows. I do not fancy the Real Life gallery scene for this work
EC: These would be outstanding in Real Life, large size.
DC: I am a museum artist. It is cost prohibitive; a 42-inch Plasma is 10K, way too much.
DC: … and I do work in Real Life; other work.
EC: What medium? Or media?
DC: I am a polyartist, Enjah. I work in all mediums: audio, video, performance, conceptual, etc. I am a 20-year dilettante.
EC: I feel a bit intimidated. I am just a simple painter. My family and I have had health problems, so painting has not been really feasible recently and I miss it.
DC: Health trumps art, sadly … and make no mistake; I put my relationships before art.
EC: I think it is better that way … for me it is. People talk about artists who wrecked the lives around themselves, like they deserved to do that, which I think is absurd.
DC: I don’t subscribe to that bunk. Your responsibility as a human far exceeds your mandate as an artist.
EC: I guess when I said I was intimidated, I really meant I am intimidated by conceptual art itself; I don't know how people come up with the translation between a philosophical concept and the actual event or piece. I have plenty of philosophical beliefs, but I have NO CLUE how to put them into images.
DC: I am a new breed of conceptual artist; not like the mean spirited. I put them in action in a simple way. Hyperformalism is about wonder; it is about transcending anthropomorphic concerns. [It is] about optimism and [the] hope that there is more. It is not mired in the sordid human condition. It reminds us that we can be lovely, we can be ethereal.
DC: See the yellow bands on my arms and legs? They are a symbol of emancipation.
EC: Emancipation of whom, from what?
DC: From Real Life; from the bonds and limitations of our Real Life preconceptions and prejudices. We are born without gender or race in Second Life. I like that very much. It is a teaching place that clearly illustrates that gender and race are constructs. Do you know Judith Butler?
DC: She's a philosopher at Berkley [whose work] I read and study. [It] is all about the gender construct and debunking it.
EC: Well there are biological events in the lives of men and women that are different.
DC: Your sex is one thing … gender is another.
EC: I really like a lot of these pieces, but I doubt I could spend the kind of money you ask; I would have to think a long time about it.
DC: People do … and I put everything back into Second Life. It is not about the money for me. I employ a dozen people. I employ scripters, builders, architects, publicists. I have work in 50 locations in Second Life. I have been inworld for 4 months, but doing digital art with fine art intent since Photoshop 1.0. I am on fire because in Real Life my digital work is misunderstood. People think it is files or graphics. In Second Life my digital work becomes the fine art I have always intended it to be.
DC: Have you seen my logo? See the 6th finger? It symbolizes the mouse cursor; our intervention into the metaverse. The black hand is something from cave paintings Lasceaux 16,000 years ago.
EC: Black? I remember them being red,
DC: Hehe, black shows better. The ancient artists were just like us, using new technology.
EC: The hand is an important symbol.
DC: and the sixth finger is crucial. It represents scripting.DC: I perform as Dan Coyote. I love coyotes and what they symbolize, and try to do honor to the name. However it is also a narrative pun, as you must realize already.
EC: Er, um, no.
DC: … for Don Quixote. I am also a knight errant
EC: … and you are tilting at …?
DC: I am tilting at Intellectual property
[Dan demonstrated part of his Second Life dance performance, which is described at sl-art-news blog.
DCi: I am performing at Fryes museum in Seattle and hope to do so at the Queens museum in October In NYC.
EC: Wow, thank you Dan, I really enjoyed my tour and interview
DC: I am honored to meet you Enjah
[EC: Aw the honor is mine
DC: thanks for supporting the arts in Second Life.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
hi! I am Elle Michabo, diva. In this costume, I am portraying a 60s woman of fashion. Note the beehive, the tight pants with the open-fronted skirt. I made my costume, all but the sunglasses and shoes, which I bought from two geniuses of Second Life.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
This is a comment I made to a Hiroshima post on AlterNet:
I was born 10 months after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore I was conceived when the nuclear clouds had dispersed around the globe. I cannot escape ... every year on August 6, and August 9, I feel the tragedy; I imagine that the atomic cloud that moved around the world became part of my body as it formed in my mother's womb ... those people are part of me.
My Generation ... the gap ... in grade school, and again in high school, teachers remarked that we were different, those of us born after WWII. We WERE different. We had no innocence, no somnolent sense of security in the world around us. We were haunted by The Bomb.
People who grew up later, as in 10 years younger than I am, or more, may not dream of the flash, but I do. I awake unsure if a nuclear bomb exploded nearby or not.
I think there is a positive result in certain ways. During my lifetime there has been more and more contact between people of all cultures ... the threat of global extinction from nuclear war (and various other threats that bombard us daily) ties us together in a way that helps us see our commonalities.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Edward is a detective in Second Life. Here he is at his desk. For those of you who do not know ... in Second Life, the residents MAKE all the objects. I made the desk, the lamp, the phone book, the phone, the blotter, the map, the legal pad, and of course .... Ed's appearance.
Clive is a murderer, folks. He appeared in the mystery I wrote called "Murder at Gormley Castle". He was portrayed by Edward Manray, who also played the lead! Osprey had to stand in for Edward when they finally fought on the parapet of the castle and Clive fell to his death.
What I am really good at in Second Life is creating character avatars. My posts below show a few of them, and I intend to post more. The angry child was delightful to do, a change from all the bland characters. She is a young, restless graffiti artist. I could not think of how to explain her at the time I created her, shot a photo of her and posted that pic. She now has a pierced nose and an ear cuff. She will get tattoos.
Jean Frolic, seen below in Eileen's Roles, is a tad forgetful and sloppy. Her clothes do not match and her bra peeks out of her blouse. She was a witness in a news article in Second Life, exposing Emma Metropolitan's secret past.
If you do not understand something about a post, or Second Life, or my characters, please do not make assumptions about me ... just ASK!
Eileen McTeague, star of stage and screen, grants an interview. "This is how I usually look, luscious and appealing."
Eileen McTeague as Jean Frolic.
Eileen McTeague as Trixie Slade, the victim in "The Dore Trolley Murder"
Eileen McTeague in "From the Shadows", a Second Life play by Enjah Mysterio, from a concept by Osprey Therian, who also did the set design.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Vivian Kendall: "I tried within my role to be everything supportive for my students. One boy told me, 'I had a dream that you were my mother.' "
ElleCoyote: "How many years did you teach at Wa he Lut School?"
VK: "16 years … 1990-2006"
EC: "… You taught art, but what else?"
VK: "What else? Nothing. Life! I'm not a teacher; I'm an artist."
EC: "Ok, so what kinds of things did they learn from making art?"
VK: "I tried to have the projects be relevant to their lives - so general problem-solving and work-ethic, but also things like silkscreening T-shirts and using power tools.
My kids often had no fathers so no one taught them how to hammer in a nail.
Years ago, one of my students--whose mother was a drunk, father gone, many kids, different fathers, etc.--said to me, 'Can me and Ed come and live with you cause my mom will be happy with just the younger kids?'
I had to say, 'Well, the world doesn't work that way'; she said, 'I wish you were my mom.' "
VK: “We did complex projects when I did whole classes, like using good reference material make a black and white native design, that can then be copied onto colored paper, which we will use for a kind of clip-board thing we will make from wood, using wing nuts and power drills; so we covered a lot in one project.”
VK: “Or we would do a collage, scan it into computer, manipulate it and add text, print out and put in a CD thing as a CD cover.
I never taught anything but technique. I gave them materials and directed their questions to people who knew and were experts in their own culture.”
VK: "I used to apologise if I did something wrong. They were amazed.”
VK: “I love my kids.”
E: “Is there anything you would like to say to any of your students who may read this interview?”
E: “You said you love them, but do you have any words of wisdom for them?”
VK: “I did the best I could for them, but I wasn't always right. I believe in mentoring as the best way to teach and learn. In my room we were all just artists at different stages of development.”
Friday, July 28, 2006
True Confession One:
My group of girls arrived at the hotel and went to our room. The room overlooked an airwell on the interior of the hotel. It was on the 20th floor or so. We had a peek around, and found strange looking objects on the radiator. There were two jars of what, to us, looked like a science project, under a towel. None of us had ever rented a hotel room before, and we assumed they were left by the previous occupant. We gleefully threw the first of the glass jars out the window and watched it smash to bits on the roof below our room, 5 stories down.
Just then someone unlocked the door and came in. It was the maid, who was absolutely furious with us. We had destroyed her lunch! Abashed and horror-struck we gave her some cash, but she was really upset. Her lovely greens cooked with chunks of ham .... so much for that delicious lunch she had brought with her!
True Confession Two:
In the evening we had little to do, and decided to go to the movie "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" which was truly terrifying and had some unexpected twists. Sometime during the movie a sailor sat down next to me. I was riveted by the movie and never looked at him, but when the dome was lifted on that grisly dinner, I screamed and grabbed his hand! He was very kind and did not try anything further, but simply held my hand for a minute or two. I let go and he and I watched the rest of the movie without touching again or even speaking.
True Confession Three:
I met a boy from a nearby state during the afternoon and he told me his name was Joe Butzer (not his real first name). I laughed, then had to explain why, since it was a perfectly innocent name. Butz was our word for fart ... the U was pronounced like the "oo" in "wood", and his name was pronounced the same way. So I had met Joe Farter!
Ah the Confessions of my youth!
This cold has been rotten but finally I tried to do the Iyengar yoga routine specifically designed for colds. Either I was already recovering rapidly or it worked!
It seemed counter-intuitive to me that when I have a lot of congestion in my head, I should do these inverted postures, such as the Shoulderstand! I spoke to my yoga teacher about it, and she said that inverted postures help get the immune system flowing better, as it flows toward the heart.
image from www.iyengar-yoga.org.nz