Sunday, February 19, 2006

unfurling fern. Doesn't it look like a sea creature? Posted by Picasa

Money...why do people insist on throwing money into any outdoors-like structure that contains water? Dorks. Go buy a lottery ticket, fuh Chrissake, stop polluting the waterfall in the fern room! I stopped one kid from throwing pennies in the goldfish pond. Little punk.  Posted by Picasa

Big goldfish in a fountain at Como. I love how the ripples in the water came out in this shot. This is now my wallpaper on my computer. Posted by Picasa

Cyclamen with candy-cane-like striping Posted by Picasa

purty yellow flowers Posted by Picasa

pink flowers at Como Posted by Picasa

Me and J. at the Como Conservatory on Friday Feb. 17th, 3rd anniversary of losing Miranda. We've sort of made this a tradition now. John takes off this day from work, we go to mass at the Basilica, then over to the Conservatory to take in some colorful beauty in the middle of drab winter. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Let's Talk Olympics

I've been in the chair watching a lot of the Olympics this week, mostly because I've been plagued by headaches. Anyway, at least there's something fun to watch. I watched parts of the opening ceremonies and I have to complain about NBC's idea to have their stupid Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on as a commentator. Bob Costas is a professional, he doesn't need any help. And Williams was trying to make it into hard news, instead of sports. I'm not that big into sports, but I mean, come on, this is THE ultimate sporting event, the best opportunity all these countries have to leave behind politics and come together in a peaceful setting to play and compete. So when the Danish team came into the stadium, stupidhead Williams was saying things about those cartoons that are pissing off the Muslim world that originated in a Danish paper. Oh, shut up. And sometimes his comments were not only annoying, they were incredibly inane, such as when the team from Madagascar filed into the stadium. Williams: "Known to children across America as an animated feature..." Okay, Williams, just shut it.

I'd also like to complain about the whiningest event announcers at the Olympics: figure skating!! In every other event I've watched, the announcers are able to explain the event enough so that we the viewers understand what things the judges are watching for in scoring. And they are also pointing out all the good things that each competitor is doing. Not figure skating! All they do is bitch, bitch, bitch! If the person hasn't already screwed up, they'll talk about how they had a terrible practice or how they're inconsistent or they don't like this or that or wah wah wah! Shut up and let us enjoy it!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A House of Many Voices

3-D piece I created for a local exhibit called "Art is the Key." You had to use a key in the piece somewhere and my idea was that a community is "A House of Many Voices" and art is key to accessing all those voices. It's a small piece, only about 5.5 x 5.5 inches. There's text in several different languages, including Greek and Vietnamese. The black letters are painted alphabet pasta. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Breakdown of Movable Parts: Lucy Rose Fischer

This is from an exhibit called "Old Lady Art." What a great title for an exhibit. I really liked this collage/assemblage piece. Most of the pieces this artist makes are painted glass, so this one was a bit different. Lucy Rose Fischer is a geriatric researcher, as well as an artist. Interesting mix of careers. Posted by Picasa

birdie by Carmen Van Altenberg

birdie in the kitchen! Sorry, don't remember what this one was called. Posted by Picasa

Art Exhibit

These pics are all from Hopkins Center For The Arts.


Little birdie. I've never head of the O'o before, but evidently it's from Hawaii and might be extinct. Posted by Picasa

California Condor

birdie art from Steve Nowatzki. He has a whole stamp series. Posted by Picasa


More bird. I like this juxtaposition of nature and man-made objects. It not only gives you scale but the birdie looks so cute. The artist is Carmen Vaz Altenberg. Posted by Picasa


Enough with the crabbiness, thought I'd share some art. This is from an exhibit called Wings, in celebration of National Bird Feeding Month. The artist is Steve Nowatzki.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"The Carriers Have Enough To Do"

It all started yesterday when I walked two blocks to a public mailbox to mail several books I'd packaged up for sending as part of my participation in the national community book swapping operation that is Despite their name, they do hardback books as well, and that's what I was mailing. I couldn't fit them in my mailbox at home so I walked. As I was about to drop my parcels in the box, I noticed a warning that I've never really had occasion to read before, that basically says due to improved security measures, you aren't allowed to put anything in the box that's over 1 pound. WHAT?? You have to take them in to the post office and hand them to a clerk over the counter, even if you already have all the postage on them they need. Yeah, like this is so going to catch any terrorists. AS IF.

So I did that, I went to the stupid post office, and handed the clerk my parcels...and I had to explain to her that I was not allowed to put them in the drop box. At first she didn't know what I was talking about, then she was like "Oh, yeah." Well, that inspired confidence. They're really taking this seriously, huh?

So today I had some more books to mail, and I had to get stamps anyway, so I went to another post office. Because I wanted to make sure, I asked the clerk there if it was okay to put these in my home mailbox. So first she says "Oh, you can put them in the drop box." Super. More diligence from government employees. So I explain to her, no I can't, because they're over a pound. "Well, you can put them in the drop box here," she says, meaning in the lobby of the post office building we're in. "No," I explain, "the notice says I have to physically hand them to a clerk if they're over 1 pound." Pause. Blank look. "Oh, right, right," she says. Mm hmmm. So back to my question about if I can put them in my own mailbox. "No," she says, considering. So I ask again, if I just have a couple that will fit in my mail slot, is it okay (maybe I should have said "legal") to put them in there? "No," she says, "you need to bring them in here to a clerk, because the carriers have enough to do." Oh, so I don't have enough to do? It's less important that I be inconvenienced and have to drive to a frickin' post office every time I have a book to mail that's over 1 stinkin' pound than it is for the mail carrier to do her job and pick up mail? I mean, it obviously isn't the law, this clerk just decided on the spot this should be the rule. BAH! Annoying!

Have I mentioned how crabby I've been feeling the last few days?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Fun Fun (and unintentionally eating bugs)

Saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang at the Riverview the other night, our neighborhood "dollar" theatre--actually, it's $3 now, but worth it. They also have perfect movie popcorn with real butter, not butter "flavoring" which, if you have read the news lately, could mean dead bugs. Bleah! If you haven't heard, you need to read this article from the Wall Street Journal about what foods actually have dead bug parts in them, used for coloring. Nasty! And if you'd like to see these foods clearly labeled so you can avoid eating bugs, public comment is being taken by the FDA (read the proposal here) until May 1st, and you can submit your comment as an individual consumer! Submit comments to the FDA here.

But I digress. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang made me laugh . Snappy funny dialogue that we missed a good bit of from laughing so hard and not quite being able to keep up. Intelligent dialogue, such a rarity in American movies, alas. So it was really funny. Robert Downey, Jr. kind of played himself, I think , so not a big stretch for him, but he was good. Val Kilmer is still cool, may he always be cool.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

How much does The Brothers Grimm suck?

A very lot. I just watched this on DVD and I can't believe Terry Gilliam directed this movie. Is he on drugs that he thinks this is good work? Getting old and soft in the head? I mean, it's crap. It doesn't make any sense, but not in a good way like Brazil didn't make sense. Brazil made Kafka-esque sense, while The Brothers Grimm doesn't make sense in a writing-is-crap kind of way. It's a comedy, it's a fantasy, it's slapstick, it's horror. And none of them work. Really the most comedic moment is the first time you see Matt Damon's teeth, because then all suspension of disbelief is gone--it's a period piece, yes? But Damon's gleaming teeth just don't go, they're like an iPod in Charles Dickens. Ew. P.U. Don't bother, that's my recommendation.

Little Girls Ice Skating

I'll be forty this year, and I'm going to learn to ice skate, by golly. I've always wanted to do it, and loved being on ice skates when I was a kid (the two or three times I ever was on ice skates) but the only way I know how to stop is to basically run into the wall. Might be an okay method for a kid, when your bones are more rubbery, but not so much as an adult. I don't want to be Peggy Fleming, and there's no way in heck I'll ever wear one of those little skirty outfits. I just want to be able to skate. For some reason it appeals to me. Maybe it will be a nice contrast to the falling I'm trying not to do right now on the ice on the sidewalks outside.

So this Monday I went to the rink and stood in line for registration. They had told me ahead of time to get there early because the classes fill up fast, and sure enough, there were at least 50 people in line by the time registration opened. While I waited in line, I looked around and found I was surrounded mostly by parents who were registering their kids, mostly little girls, for ice skating classes. We were basically standing at the top of the ice rink, and down below there were pre-teen girls doing spins and double-axles and whatnot, wearing those glittery costumes that only ice skaters can wear and get away with. A little throng of preschool girls gathered down at the first row of bleachers , watching the big girls. Maybe they dreamt of one day having legs that long, and skating that gracefully, and basically looking like princesses, like Gesley Kirkland in the Nutcracker Suite with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Oh, wait, that was my dream. I remember watching that "special IBM presentation" every year on TV in the Seventies. But truth be told, I wanted to be Baryshnikov, not wussy Gesley. Hey, I was a tomboy! And that man could fly, I swear.

So, anyhow, I feel more like a Midwesterner already, now that I'm taking ice skating lessons. My brother-in-law says every real Minnesotan should play ice hockey, but let's do one thing at a time here. Maybe when I'm fifty I'll take up hockey. Ha!