January 31, 2010

Howard Zinn

Just learned that Howard Zinn died this past week. The world has lost a great man.

Current Fave TV Shows

The thing about being sick is that I get to lay on the couch and catch up on my fave TV shows:

1. Heroes
Love this series. Am currently watching shows in Season 3 and they do seem to have lost their way a bit. The thing I really like about the show is that the story line changes multiple times - oh you thought he was dead? - not if we go back in time and change this thing. Fun. So if you could have any super power what would it be? Yes, the obvious answer is be like Peter who absorbs the powers of those around him. But I would love to fly.

2. Dollhouse
Am currently watching Season 1. I tend to like stuff that Joss Whedon does, so thought I'd check out this series. It is an interesting cross between Alias and My Own Worst Enemy, but there is also something very creepy about this show. In the final analysis, are these "dolls" really more than expensive whores? That aspect must have disturbed other viewers, so the sex was toned down in several of the shows. The idea that a person can get imprinted with characteristics that make him/her the perfect date for the very rich reminds me of the saying: Cocaine is God's way of telling you that you have too much money. Do you watch the show? What do you think?

3. Brothers and Sisters
Am currently watching Season 2. A family drama that follows the life of members of a family as they deal with various issues. Love Sally Field in this series. She is brilliant. The thing that bothers me? Again we have a white, very wealthy family in California. Okay, they did throw in a gay son. But still. So why do I watch? Sally Field. Rob Lowe. The strength of the family bonds that stretch but do not quite break.

4. Mad Men
Am currently watching Season 2. Such a clever show about ad execs and life in the 60s. The acting, the costumes, the dialog, and oh the drinking and smoking. Love this show.

Recent Reads

1. Catching Fire
The second in The Hunger Games trilogy. Devoured this YA book in less than a day - yup, did not do much of anything else until I closed the book. I love this series. Yes, it is dark, but there is such a sense of hope and resistance as well. And maybe what is unexpected is that the main character is a girl. That makes a nice change no? Cannot wait for the final book that comes out later this year.

2. For Your Listening Pleasure
If you have never read or heard David Sedaris, what are you waiting for? He is funny, and caustic, and self-absorbed, and did I mention funny? Listened to this short audio recording while doing the dishes and cannot think of the last time that chore was so much fun. I've read all his stuff, and he makes me laugh out loud.

January 30, 2010


Attended a gratitude gathering recently. There were 50+ women in attendance - I heard later that the number was about 70. That's quite a crowd. A gaggle. A flock. What does one call a group of women anyway?

But I digress. The purpose of the gathering was to talk about gratitude. What is it? How is is similar or different from appreciation? What people were especially grateful for. Etc. It is an interesting thing to be part of a group immersed in such a conversation. Impossible to be intimate with that many women, but still, an interesting experience.

This journal entry captures some of what I am grateful for right now. What are you grateful for?

January 29, 2010

Play Dates

I think taking time out to play is vital to a healthy, happy life. Adults, especially women, are often demonized and called "selfish" for taking time for themselves. But how can you give what you do not have?

When was your last play date? If it's been too long, close your eyes and think of something you love to do. What is the first thing that comes to mind? How can you carve out the time this weekend or upcoming week to charge your own batteries?

Created this page while at a new art friend's house. Karen has a fully stocked room with loads of supplies. I was like a kid in a toy store - what to play with first?

January 28, 2010

Recent Reads

1. Plain Truth
I found this story of family, faith and loss set among the Amish, an interesting read. I know so little about this community and enjoyed learning more about their traditions. This book is not as well written as some of her other ones, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.

2. What the Dead Know
What is the difference between a mystery and crime novel? Gather that this book is in the crime genre. While I found the story interesting, in the end did not find this a satisfying read. The ending simply did not grok.

3. Creative Awakenings
Envisioning the life of your dreams through art. Twelve artists go through the process and record their experiences. An interesting look at how these artists create.

January 26, 2010

Football woes

Ah, the ecstasy and the agony that is Brett Farve. Love to watch him play, and glad that he is still in the game. What an amazing job he did getting the Vikings to the championship games this year. But what mismanagement of the clock in the last 2 minutes of the game against the Saints - what the heck went wrong?

So, now gotta root for Brees and the Saints - anyone but Manning. Go Saints!

Book marks

As someone who reads much, I often have various book marks scattered around the house. Do not recall where I got this one - it is a snake that clips onto the page. Quite cool.

January 25, 2010


The "disaster recovery team" is still at work with the room that was damaged by the water leak. Here are some pics of phase 1: the floor and portions of the walls were ripped up. Then the guys put in these huge fans and dehumidifiers to dry everything up. These had to run for several days - cannot wait to see the electric bill for this month. It is taking much longer than I expected to get this room back to normal.

January 24, 2010


Still fighting a bug. Dang it. So today am going to focus on doing things that make me feel good.
How are you doing with the new year so far? Have you been taking time for yourself? To charge your batteries? If not, what can you do today/this week to nurture yourself?

Recent Reads

1. Deconstructing Penguins
I loved this book. How would you run a parent/adult - child book club? The authors walk us through how to discuss the setting, characters and themes of a book using examples. Should be required reading for parents and educators. What the heck, most adult book clubs would benefit from reading this book as well.

2. Something to Declare'
Absolute crap. I love good travel writing, and this book is not one of them. Granted I did not read the entire book - I dipped in and read several stories - do not waste your time.

3. Home Safe
This is a feel-good-fuzzy-chick-lit story. It is a good read, but not anywhere as good as some of the other books by this author.

4. The Hunger Games
Loved this YA book. It has graphic violence, but the story is well written and the main characters compelling. Would love to be a part of a book club with young adults to discuss this book - lots of grand themes worth exploring. I will be reading the entire series.

5. Celebrate Your Creative Self
I dip into this book periodically for inspiration. Love it.

January 22, 2010


Fighting those dang dudus again. Seem to be some tough ones around this flu season.

January 21, 2010

Ms Productive

The thing about procrastination is that it takes up a lot of mental and psychic energy that would be better spent in other more useful ways. Been slacking on my to-do list, and found myself unable to sleep last night. So got up (think it was 2am) and dumped on paper all that clutter in my mind. Spent some time prioritizing and not surprisingly today has been an incredibly productive day. If I moved any faster, there would be smoke.

Have a play date scheduled with a new art journal friend tonight. It's an interesting endeavor when you go to someone else's home with your supplies - especially when you are determined to not take every single item you own. What if you need something you left at home? I find that can create some of the most interesting pieces.

This page was sketched as I was sipping hot tea at a bookstore. I like having pages with some color on them ready to go for moments like this.

January 20, 2010

Disappointed in MA

You know how you have a bad feeling about some things? Well, the results for the senate seat in MA are in, and Scott Brown (R) won. Sometimes I feel that we take 4 steps forward only to take 3 back. In my opinion the DNC blew it. Last minute robo-calls from Bill Clinton and President Obama were a little too little too late. I disagree with so much of this man's politics, but what continues to surprise me is how anyone who is not a uber-rich white man could vote for this guy. The drinking of the Kool-Aide continues I guess. Sigh.

The blue strip on the left of this journal page is actually tape from Japan. Who knew that tape came in such colors?

January 18, 2010

Reading with kids

Had the boys over for a sleepover, and in addition to making fires, playing outside, building an igloo, and drinking hot chocolate, we read a bunch of books:

1. Scaredy Squirrel
Read a reference to this book in a book I read recently - though cannot recall which one. This is a wonderful book to set the stage to talk to kids about fears they might have. The boys loved it and we all laughed out loud as we read about what to do in case of an emergency. Luke took this book in the car with him so he could read it aloud to us over and over. Love that. I will be checking out the other books in the series.

2. Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks
A fun story about a boy who decides not to change his socks for a month. Read this book with Jonah and we talked about why that might not be such a good idea.

3. Amazing Dolphins!
Luke has been working his way through this fun and informative series. He read it aloud to us, and we talked about the new things they learned - both dolphins and bats use echolocation for example.

4. Slinky Scaly Snakes
Another snake book that Luke read - there is just so much fascinating stuff about snakes. He was so impressed that a rock python can swallow a Thomson's gazelle whole. Umm, not a snake I want to meet!

5. The Day The Dinosaurs Died
Read this book to Jonah. We recently had a conversation about how dinos were extinct long before the ice age - never mind what happens in Ice Age: The Dawn of the Dinos movie. Well, why exactly did they disappear? Jonah believes that God created that big rock that fell from the sky and made the fire. Do I have a budding creationist in the family?

6. The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches
One of our bedtime books. A story about a young witch who finds out that she is more powerful than she knows.

7. Here Come The Aliens!
Another fun read that the boys loved. There was much giggling about the way the aliens look and everyone talked "alien" for a while. Fun read.

January 16, 2010

Disaster Recovery

The news of the devastation in Haiti has been heart breaking. Haiti was already a country in crisis. And here is yet another blow to her people. I cannot even begin to imagine the suffering that is taking place.

This week has been a crazy one at home. A leak from a frozen pipe has created serious water damage in a room downstairs. Yes, a room that was recently renovated. Yesterday the guys from the Disaster Recovery Team pulled up the floor, cut away huge chunks of the walls, ripped out wet insulation, and installed large fans and dehumidifiers that need to run for several days in an effort to dry the room out. Of course this sucks. But watching the news from Haiti puts the concept of disaster recovery into sharp perspective.

January 14, 2010

Reading with kids

I'm have a book club with my nephews - how cool is that? Here is what we have read recently:

1. Mummies in the Morning
Luke and I are working out way through the Magic Tree House series. These are about the fun adventures of Jack and Annie, and in this one they land in Egypt.

2. Pirates Past Noon
In this book, Jack and Annie are captured by pirates! Luke was fascinated by the gold medallion and thinks that the pirates must also be the ones who make our magic treasure box work.

3. Hot Dog
Beginner reader series. Jonah read this one all by himself. I cannot seem to find a link to the series.

4. Fat Cat
Beginner reader series. Jonah read this one all by himself. I cannot seem to find a link to the series.

5. Ten Little Fish
Luke read this "baby" book to Jonah yesterday. He had checked it out from his school library. I guess sometimes you need a break from chapter books.

6. Horton Hatches The Egg
This is one of my fave Seuss books and I loved that Luke read it. He was giggling as he pictured poor Horton on that nest.

7. Amazing Snakes
Luke loved this one. He learned about different kinds of snakes. His fave? Rattlesnake. He was convinced that he could outlive a constrictor, so we performed an experiment to see how long he could hold his breath as he was being slowly squeezed. How can you not love reading with kids?


The January theme of the month topic is Reflection. Here is my first entry - a journal entry. What better way to reflect? I used 3 sharpies - starting with the lightest color (in this case blue) and rotated the page by 90 degrees when I changed colors. It makes the writing illegible. Try it.

January 13, 2010

Visual Journal

I did not fill up the A2 journal on my trip, so am playing in the blank pages rather than put it away unfinished. I tend to like my journals completely filled.

January 12, 2010

A2 Journal Pages

Here are the final 2 pages from the A2 trip. Love creating a collage of all the ephemera I collect along the way. You can do this one of two ways:
1. Either collect stuff along the way and create the pages at the end of a trip, or
2. Create the pages a bit at a time during the trip.
I tend to prefer the second option. A snapshot of place and time.

January 11, 2010

Random Musings

  • So, the New England Patriots (football for those not in the know) lost yesterday and are done for the season. Well, not a surprise really, but still. Who to root for now? Love the angry look of the Cardinals logo. Maybe the Vikings - love Brett Farve.
  • Dropped my car off at the mechanic today. The engine is revving by itself - reminds me of Christine - and the temperature gauge gets pegged - it is overheating. The reason for all these trials - the car is not being driven enough! Good news is that is easy to fix.
  • Spent the afternoon with my nephews on Saturday and love the long philosophical and theological conversations we have. So much fun.
  • Cannot believe that in all my stacks of books from the library I have not a single fiction book to dive into. How that heck did that happen? Umm, yes, I am aware that I have loads of books on my bookshelves downstairs I have yet to read. But that is not the point. Maybe will take that car for a spin to the library later this evening.

January 7, 2010

Recent Movies

1. Julie and Julia
Saw this movie over the holidays and loved it. Meryl Streep is simply incredible as Julia.

2. Coraline
Is is me, or was this a really creepy movie? It was made for kids? I think not! The only upside in my mind is that the cat was a good guy.

3. The Edge of Love
This is dark story about the two women who influenced the poet Dylan Thomas in the 1940s. Interesting to me was that the men were incidental in the movie - it was the friendship between the two women that is luminescent.

4. Adoration
I found this a disturbing movie on many levels. What happens when we tell a lie and really believe it? How are people affected by this lie? How does it change us?

Recent Reads

1. Collaborative Art Journals and Shared Visions in Mixed Media
Don't you just love the title? This was one of my xmas presents, and I dived right in. Colorful. Informative. Fun.

2. The Templar Legacy
Needed a literary candy type of read. Had read this book many years ago, and it is not bad as thrillers go. I love Templar stories, and if you know nothing about them, this is a good introduction.

3. The Great Man
My book club will be discussing this on Sunday. It is my first book by the author and I loved it. Unlike what you'd expect from the title, it is not really about a man, but rather about the group of women in his lives. The story explores the idea of relationships - between partners, between parents and their children. How do the choices we make affect us? How do they affect our children? I would highly recommend this book. It is a fab read.

January 6, 2010


I find it interesting to see how different cultures communicate information. Here are two signs that I found in and around UMMA that I loved.


Have you seen this new show on TV? There is something fun about it - kinda like watching a Bollywood movie. So imagine my delight when I find these banners on State St in A2. Go Blue!

January 3, 2010

Recent Reads

1. The Best American Comics 2008
Quite fun. I loved reading comics as a kid - especially those from India. This is not a book for kids though.

2. Journal Bliss
Did not like this book much. Some interesting ideas, but on the whole did not work for me.

3. Images Art Workshop
Some interesting ideas for how to alter images. But would not recommend the book.

4. Echo Park
Perfect road trip audio book. If you have not met Harry Bosch, this is a fun mystery series.

5. The Overlook
Another road trip audio book. Do not bother with this one. It is the next in the Harry Bosch series after Echo Park, but the author must have written it in a weekend to meet a deadline. Does not have the depth of his other work.

6. The Almost Moon
I was shocked while reading this book. Here is the first line: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily." It took me almost 3 weeks to finish this book - granted it is not a good holidays with family type of read. Excellent writing. Pulled me right in. But I could only read a handful of pages at a times, and had to put it down and come back to it. There are images that will stay with me a long time. It is such an insightful look at the parent-child relationship across generations. Would highly recommend it.

Santa Claus

The December theme of the month was Santa Claus.

January 2, 2010


I find these kinds of doodles really calming and soothing. Was recovering from a long day in the car - about 12 hours, and played with line and color while listening to a podcast.

Winter Wonderland

The expression of this penguin captures my feelings exactly. Time to dig out those snow shoes!

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

May 2010 be the best year yet.

So this is typically resolution time. Yup, those unreasonable goals I used to set in the midst of a burst of motivation, only to fall off the plan once the adrenaline wore off. So changed all that in the past several years. Instead I reflect on where I am right now and where I'd like to be at the end of year. Then I come up a word or phrase that captures my intention for the entire year.

For example:
2008 was Health and Wealth
2009 was Passion

And for 2010?
My word is Connect.

Themes include: Deepen relationships with those I care about. Strengthen my mind-body connection. Build a wider, more diverse community. Explore ideas that change, enhance or deepen my mental models. Pay attention to the butterfly effect - how do my actions, thoughts, words manifest themselves? Connect the dots.

If you had to pick one theme for the new year. What would it be?