Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday Girl - Aubrey!

Exercising your brain...

Hmmm...as I contemplate going back to school I'm also contemplating how this aged brain is going to compete with all the younger, firmer specimens in my class...came across this as a result of looking for brain exercises...what do you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's a cold Sunday

Cold, overcast, pink skies...the kind of day that freezes nose hairs. Hmmm...and why AM I in Michigan? Playing Mexican music with the furnace on high does not take me to a warm beach. Recent car repairs puts the kibosh on a warm week-end escape...that along with the anticipation of additional college loans makes my balance sheet look very unbalanced and fewer trips on the horizon.

Ok, so I'm bucking up...breathing deep, going for a cold walk with Frida. I'm sure things will look better when I'm back...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For the love of chocolate

Can you tell we're related?

Civil War in the family

Well...what an interesting outcome. The elections are over, our candidate won by a landslide. Proposals I thought critical were passed. My local candidates won too. But now, at what cost? What price did I personally pay for the outcome of this election?

First, the benefits...my immediate family and I were one voice in this election outcome. We were united in our beliefs...and I am proud of the choices we made. There is hope for change...economically, internationally, domestically and socially. As I listened to both of Obama's speeches...the night of the election results and his first press conference, I was awed. Logical, thoughtful, hopeful and inspiring...words of a great leader yet to be tested...and based on what I have seen and heard thus far, he will pass the test if we support him.

Next, the challenges...my not-so-immediate family chose the opposite camp. The differences and our conversations about those differences were emotionally charged. We forgot to focus on the process...forgot to focus on the issues. Some very personal disparaging remarks were exchanged...some in jest...some seriously.

Finally, do I want to mend those relationships? Do I want to step back to where we were before the election? How important is this relationship? How important is it to understand diverse points of view? Family or not?

I applaud appreciation for differences. I applaud tolerance and acceptance of others' religious and social beliefs. I applaud open-minded and spirited debate...then why is this one so difficult for me to accept? Maybe because I expect more from them. I expect them to see clearly the right (my?) way.

Hmmm...guess somebody needs to start 'walking the talk' and accept them for who they are, no not just accept, appreciate! This will be a hard one.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sex in the City

Well, well, well...last night after a long day at work, I decided to 'treat myself' to a movie and a beer. Hmmm...I bought Sex and the City, EXTENDED VERSION. And it was a treat! Now my question....what about Sex in the Country!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sorrowful Time - Please help me out

My friend of thirty years called this morning to tell me her daughter, Tammy, a beautiful, bright woman committed suicide yesterday. This daughter, the one that shared my birthday, would have been forty-something tomorrow. She was a mom, daughter, granddaughter, stepdaughter, cousin, sister, friend and wife.

We knew she was in emotional as well as physical pain these past couple years and her mom, my friend, tried tirelessly to help her. Financially, emotionally, physically...whatever it took, Linda was there. This while working full-time and most times overtime to meet her own financial obligations. All the while helping to take care of her sick, ninety-year-old mom and stroke-victim husband (he's in a nursing home).

So please help me out here...take a minute and pay homage to this woman. Say a prayer, light a candle, make a wish on a star that her life be a bit easier for her. She's heading toward the funeral home now to make arrangements for Tammy's services. Please give her strength...let her remember Tammy's light, laugh, spunk and love. Let her see and hold Tammy in her grandchildren...let Tammy's kids see her in their grandma's eyes and feel her love in their grandma's hugs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Women and their relationships

Last night some friends (all women) went out to eat and to see the movie, Women. Critics weren't too fond of it...


And I have to admit there were a couple of times I wondered if I snored...but all in all I really enjoyed it. Not because it relaxed me to the point of snoring, but because it's great to see women as supportive friends and not displayed as rivals or lovers (there were also both of these.) Which brings me to another point...

Toward the end of the movie, a friend asked about the number of gay/lesbian people there were on staff. Which has really gotten me thinking about women and relationships..whether straight, homosexual or 'just' friends. Although I didn't say so at the time...didn't say anything...other than respond to who I thought might be gay or not, it did give me a bit of a 'start'. Was she subtly asking about me? Because I'm alone...happily, have mostly women friends, aggressively support women's right to choose in more ways than abortion, and outspoken about the pitfalls of men/women relationships...hmmm. Am I protesting too much? Do I know my own sexual orientation?

Whew...I thought alot about this, and yes I can happily say I do know myself. I do prefer men. My knees tremble, my stomach churns, my body quivers (I think I'm sharing too much...I hope my kids don't read this) at the touch/thought/sight of an appealing man. I'm old but not dead and I don't believe sexual orientation changes after the age of 55, 56, 57...ok,ok...so I'll be 59 this year!

What does happen at this age, though, for me anyway, is that I have become a bit more selective. I don't go to bars and meet men...I will not and never did consider a relationship with a married man...Internet blind dates didn't work for me...Social gatherings are normally a bust...either I can't seem to get myself there or I'm uncomfortable enough that I leave early...

So maybe for me, life as it is now is life as it will be! And I'm fine with that...oh and by the way, the friends that started this conversation with myself...thank you I appreciate and value your friendships!! ;)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Elephant Painting

You know, I watched a bear dancing on a friend's blog post recently. So of course, since I can't think of anything else to write about this week, here's my version of our talented animal friends.

The picture was taken at an elephant village in Thailand last spring. I hope he is having as much fun as I do when I draw and paint. However, the point of the post (other than mimicking Maria's since I had no other good ideas) was to remind all those drawing students out there...drawing and painting are LEARNED skills. As much as we (who DO draw and paint regularly) would like to think it's a talent, it's simply the old formula of hard work and practice = success. Some start out at it better than others (like any sport or skill), however, with learning to see, learning to draw what you see and practice, practice, practice...you'll be drawing painting right along with this guy...and probably much, much better, by the way!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Las Vegas in August

Well, as a final fling before school started, my sister Tricia, Melissa, Nick and Dillon and I all met in Las Vegas for a week's worth of relaxation (riiight).

Tricia and I met on a Sunday evening at the airport in Vegas, she from northern California and me from Michigan. We rented a car, went to the Monte Carlo and immediately ate...we were both starving, money was no object, and good thing as the steaks cost us well over $150...yikes!

We drove to Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Grand Canyon, Red Hills north of Las Vegas, Lake Las Vegas, Laughlin, Nevada and the Colorado River to site-see. The countryside is beautiful. We played the slots of course, did very little winning, but had a lot of fun. My sis has the gambling 'mojo' I unfortunately, don't.

Melissa and family met us mid-week so we had Dillon a couple of nights, went to the pool and swam one day. We saw the dolphins, white tigers and lions at the Mirage. I took a quick trip to the art gallery at the Bellagio to see some great American artists work on display...Georgia O'Keefe was one and they had some really nice paintings. On Chip's (my sis's husband's recommendation) we went to the Great Outdoors and saw wonderful aquariums...one salt water..one fresh water fish. I was really disappointed as none of those pics turned out ;(

So great end of summer trip...next year I think I'll try Elderhostel...anyone want to come along?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well, last night I thought I was going to see a film which turned out to be a concert SPONSORED by the film festival people. Four of us, Erin (new art instructor), Joan (freelance designer), Maria (math instructor), and me (graphic design instructor) met at Fricano's in Muskegon and then went to the film turned concert event...description following;

Rock The Boat
Four Finger Five and the USS LST 393, in conjunction with The Muskegon Film Festival, are pleased to announce the Rock The Boat Fundraiser; a fundraiser to benefit The USS LST 393 and The Muskegon Film Festival. Join Four Finger Five for a night of Boat Rocking Entertainment on the deck of the legendary Navy ship The LST 393 located at the Mart Dock in Downtown Muskegon. Rock to the music of Four Finger Five while a VJ spins a montage of short films from MODERNCINE. Music, movies, a killer sunset and a couple of great causes. The event is for 21 and over. Tickets are available at the door for $8 per person. In addition to the fundraising event, a special raffle will be held to benefit the Family of Troy Vanderstelt, a Real Estate Agent of Muskegon who was brutally murdered at his office. Please help remember and honor a special friend. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to The Family of Troy Vanderstelt Educational Fund. For more information about Rock The Boat or the Family of Troy Vanderstelt Educational Fund Raffle, please call 231-727-0805 www.muskegonfilmfestival.com

The video is a brief (thank goodness...I need a class on shooting videos) screenview of some of the breakdancers that exhibited their talents prior to the concert.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School

Second day of faculty seminar days and I'm anxious to get to the lab! Classes start on next Tuesday and we've got a lot of new things going on! Creative Suite 3...already loaded on all the lab computers (Indesign,Photoshop and Illustrator). New Blackboard features that allow all classes to be included immediately. We can simply use it to upload our syllabi and course documents or we can get easily not use it at all..our choice.

I've built this avatar...hopefully shown below. But each time I try to add her, it totally messes up the layout! Maria, where are you NOW?

Get a Voki now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Women of Courage

Last night's dinner, Women's Equality, reminded me of a group of women I saw this spring in Thailand. The focus of the speaker and the evening in general was courageous women. The speaker, Megan Raphael is one of the authors of The Courage Code. Her topic was the feminine face of courage, the quieter side of courage...the side women usually display.

Although we all have plenty of examples of courageous women in our lives here in the US, I was especially drawn to these Thai woman living in Longneck Karen Village. Their livelihood and to some extent, the village's, depended on their willingness to keep their collars on. Our guide indicated the women thought it an honor to wear and it was perceived as a token of beauty, but I wonder. The perception, according to our guide, that the neck muscles are destroyed is false...it simply (simply?) lowers the shoulders after years of wearing. They can and do take it off whenever they choose. An older woman also had brass rings on her knees and legs. This is a family tradition and we met three (maybe four) generations of collared women. They seemed to quietly celebrate this badge of courage.

But here and now? The quieter side of courage? Listen to one of our sisters in childbirth, protecting her young, mourning the loss of a child, speaking out for family, her beliefs, her rights...there's no whispering going on here! I'm proud of the outspoken women I've met over the years. I embrace their strength and congratulate them on their willingness to stand up and be heard. Maybe one day, Longneck Karen Village will find another shoulder to lean on...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Well, now that I've started, I'm going crazy! Last week-end, before I left for Vegas, the kids, grandkids and I all went to Leon Sr's cabin for the day. I just finished my final design for the theater, my homework was started (not done) I hadn't packed and was leaving the following morning for a week's vacation in Vegas and surrounding area...but how could I pass this up??

Who Am I?

Well here it goes...my first foray into serious blogging. I can't imagine who might be interested in my thoughts, activities, and general goings on...but I have to try it! My friend Maria...a serious blogger and great techie...has not steered me wrong thus far, so it is on her recommendation that I begin this process.

I have three great interests in my life...family, travel and work. So the majority of my stuff will definitely be about one of these.

Here is a link that introduces me and some of my art and design in more detail...


Road trip 2021

 A picture review of 2021 Sister Trip. As baby of the family, I’ve committed to visiting my three older sisters as often as possible, before...