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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Ups and Downs

We had a very nice Thanksgiving in spite of the fact I came down with a cold the day before. I took Cold-Eeze all day long, felt horrible, but on Thanksgiving I was fine. I think I have discovered the cure for the common cold. I never got well so fast.

I saw a show about long-lived people, and the Okinawans are notable among them. Apparently they all say a prayer, or a chant, "Hara Hachi Bu," before they eat. This tells them to eat 80%, instead of gorging themselves 100% to fullness. My family didn't go for it, especially my husband, who ate 150%.

What is a bargain worth on Black Friday? Apparently, a human life. Shoppers at a Wal-Mart trampled a clerk to death in order to save a few bucks. I want followup to this story; how do they feel today? How about on Christmas day? My Ninth-Grade Civics teacher taught us that a mob has no brain. My suspicion is that these people have no brain individually, either. And perhaps no conscience.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Profound Sayings




My son taught me a new factoid the other day. All this time I thought the saying, "The Good Lord willing and the Creek don't rise" was a reference to a stream of water. But no, it is a quote from Andrew Jackson about the Creek Indians possibly having an uprising. Therefore, the grammar is correct after all, "Creek" being plural. I live for these things.

Today I am having a pity party because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am the cook and I have a horrid cold; my nose is stuffy, my eyes runny, my throat hurts, my head hurts...but you know me, I can't complain.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Betsy


This is my sister's fabulous dog, Betsy.

Greed

I don't pay too much attention to commercials, and I love my DVR, because I can fast forward past them, but this morning one got through. It's the Chase Credit Card commercial, and the jingle says, "I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now." Now, isn't that the whole problem with the economy right now? I want it whether I can pay for it or not, I just want it now. Put that together with unrealistic views of the ability to pay for it and greedy lenders, multiply that millions of times, and you have the mess we're in now. And let's not forget the CEOs who just can't get enough wealth, they want it ALL, and they want it NOW. A worker is not a human being, he or she is a unit of work, as dispensable as a rusty nail. CEOs of failing companies should all be sentenced to live for a month on a worker's salary and see how well they manage. They have the only jobs where you can perform extremely poorly and still take home obscene bonuses. But don't get me started...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ye Olde Nigerian Scam

My first email this morning was from a guy in the UK wanting to rent our duplex. He saw it on Craigslist. He will have a check sent to our bank for $6950, and we will take out our move-in deposit ($1500) and send the rest to his "decorator", who will make our little 2-bedroom rental fit his discriminating taste. I can't believe people are still falling for this, but they must be or he wouldn't have tried it. The second email I opened was an artist's newsletter, where he reported the same scam, but this time the person wanted to buy a piece of expensive art. The person could barely write English. The Nigerian Scam is alive and well, apparently. If you receive such an email, go to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

This is my Public Service Announcement.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Painting Food


Paint what you love, right? One of my favorite things is food, and I like to paint it too. I've been doing some little food paintings lately, and it is a lovely way to "repurpose." I paint it, then I eat it. Isn't that a good way to Go Green? This is a little 5 x 7, and it was delicious.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More from South Carolina

River of Tears


I'm very excited because I have been included in a very significant project. I was one of the artists selected for the Art and Addiction exhibit sponsored by Innovators Combating Substance Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Medicine. Sixty-five were chosen from 900 entries. After the art was exhibited in May and June, a calendar was made to be circulated to professionals working in the substance abuse field, and to foundations supporting treatment and prevention centers. My painting, River of Tears, was one of the 13 used in the calendar. This has been such a meaningful project. Here are my words that accompanied my entry:

"My father gave up his fight against alcoholism by taking his own life. In the River of Tears are those most affected by his act: his children, wife, and mother. How many rivers of tears have been shed because of addiction? Each tear in the background of my painting represents a family member whose demise was hastened by his or her own addictions."

And I must qualify that by saying that cigarettes have been more deadly for my family than any other substance.