Saturday, June 28, 2008

Learn Nothing Day ART!

Holly Dodd did the photo-artistry additions to lettering by Sandra. Notes on the creation are here

By the end of the day you will be able to upload and use it as you wish, in several different sizes, and as a link to the main page which is still being worked on. Look here for an explanation of what "Learn Nothing Day" is meant to be and to accomplish.

You can order t-shirts or other things (CafePress site), or use the art to make your own (the art is here).

There will be contests.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday of an odd, jittery week

I shall do the Friday thang down below, but I wanted to mention the week's been weird for me. I've been sleeping oddly, dreaming too hard, and feeling jumpy. Probably some combination of being an old woman with biochemical malfunctions ("changes..." yeah, but not smooth comfortable changes), and being me, with a normal range of fluctuations without patterns. Then there's trying to continue to do LOTS of things at once. Then there were bug bites. Lots. On my hip and thereabout. Maybe they made me stupid. Ant bites, maybe. Spider maybe? But if so, definitely not The Big Ones (black widow or brown recluse, because I know what those are like and it wasn't that).

So I'm kind of a-twitch.

The weather might be marionetting me around too. Every day it clouds up and gets humid and then doesn't rain. We had a big verga sunset the other day. Holly climbed up on the roof to get some nice shots without power lines, but there are trees up there. If you click either of the top two photos, you can see other views of our verga sunset.

I watched the third (of five, I think) of the Fruits Basket anime series. It's very sweet, the art is nice, and I'm doing the socio-politically-incorrect thing of listening to it in English. I do some penance by watching all the special features, and if a scene seems odd or pivotal, I might wind back and watch it in Japanese. But the main male character's voice is done by a woman and that distracts me, and the main female character is voiced by someone with a teensy high girlie voice. I prefer it all down an octave. It's Netflix, so I have time to reflect and recover between disks.

The same way I am frustrated every single time that the letter isn't delivered in Romeo and Juliet (when will those people learn!?), I keep thinking maybe in each episode of Fruits Basket they'll figure out that all their problems would be solved if they'd just stop going to school!

Friday Fill In #77 and #78

1. A smile is my umbrella?.
2. Five Crowns is my current favorite board or card game.
3. I would love to have more youth in my life and less old age!
4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of nekkid hippies dancing around a fire when it's summer. Wait for WINTER, crazy hippies!.
5. I just remembered I need to scan the art I did this afternoon.
6. One of my favorite song lyrics goes like this:"If you want to be somebody else, change your mind."

And then it starts over because while I was working on last week's, they posted this week's:

1. Birthdays are coming soon (Keith' next week, and then mine and Kirby's at the end of the month).

2. Autumn is my favorite season because my vines are all blooming, I can wear boots and hoodies, and the air smells good..

3. I feel my best when ... this is too present-tense for the moment, but in my life I felt my best when I was pregnant.

4. Potatoes are my favorite food!

5. First impressions are prone to glitches.

6. The best piece of advice I ever received was be your child's partner, not his adversary. (La Leche League, Carol Rice-McClure and Lori Odhner, my initial leaders. Kathy Hoag soon after, same message.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to working on an art project with Holly, tomorrow my plans include meeting the Sorooshians at the train station on their way home from New York and Sunday, I want to have slept a long natural sleep without a lot of dramatic and mysterious dreams, and wake up feeling strong and brilliant! (or win a million dollars; either one)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a little poster grows up

Holly has my three copies of that Donovan handbill. I gave one to her and one to her boyfriend and she asked if she could have all three to put up on the wall together. (I introduced this in my blog on June 4.)

So the art above isn't my scan times three, it's a photo of those three with Holly superimposed artfully. We don't really have three giant Donovan posters. It's been a long time since I heard the phrase "a photo doesn't lie."

Marty's home! He was housesitting for a week and a bit, across town. Now he's back in his own bed. He was staying there because of dogs and chickens, so today he might get to sleep a while in relative quiet. He'll get up and put his armor on and go to practice, probably (well, the other way around, but still...).

Kirby will be here for five or six days at the end of July, so we can have a joint birthday party. My birthday is the 24th and his is the 29th. He'll be 22 and I'll be 55.

The night before last I had long, long seemed-like-realtime dreams. One long story, with a short break for me to become aware enough to think "this is the longest dream I've had for years" and then I was back into it. It was like a novel—like a long, slow dramatic mystery novel. I didn't order it; I didn't plan it. Yesterday I was emotionally exhausted and sensitive, and figured out at some point I must have been emotionally drained from my marathon dream. So last night I took pills to try to sleep more like a log and less like a soap opera. I doubt I'll want to become dependent on thought-prevention pills. It's just totally not my style.

I did think of The Rolling Stones' "Mothers Little Helper," though. I generally figured that was about valium. Maybe amphetamines. I never wondered much about it until just now. I was too young to identify (until just now). Or maybe this is the first time I've thought of that song since I was old enough to potentially identify. What was a little yellow pill in the 1960's? My mom had valium but it was kinda purple. And the "pep pills" here in those days were white (hence "whites"). I need 40 year old drug information from the U.K.

(I actually wrote this one before the five-places meme below, and I've moved this up so it won't get lost. Kirby's coming home! That's important information.)

5 places I've lived

Name 5 places you've lived. Be as specific or generic as you like.
List 5 memories associated with each of those places.
Tag 5 others. (I tag not; neither do I sleep.)

I got this from Frank whose life has been way more exciting than mine, who had a VW van in 1969 and a boat in New Orleans during Katrina. Frank got it from Colleen who had it from Places I Have Called Home, which had thirteen places, in England, Hong Kong, France. That's intimidating for me and my wimpy past. Keith has offered to move us to places, and would've had jobs, but I'm just too used to green chile enchiladas and having a large house that's not so expensive. So I feel guilty for sticking Keith to the ground. Oh wait! That wasn't the question.

The question was where have I lived and what do I remember.

Vesta Farley Road, Fort Worth Texas

1) Rolling the magnets that went with my piano-lessons music-learning magnet board down a hole after a big beetle. Couldn't figure out how to get them back out. Went to get my mom, then couldn't find the hole (we were on a couple of acres out in the country where other plots were defined but not many other houses were built). Driving downtown (rare; I remember going downtown only three times) to get more magnets, the store had just closed, and my dad got a ticket. I tried to explain to the policeman about the bug hole and my piano lesson. Somehow that wasn't helping.

2) Going from having an outhouse to a real indoors bathroom and being in the shower when my mom turned on the kitchen faucet and the water went all totally hot. That could NEVER happen in an outhouse, or in a bath in a washtub.

3) Pulling a four-drawer chest over on myself trying to get the remote control car off the top to show guests. It was a blue Ford convertible, and the hard top would go into the trunk. The remote (had a wire) had a little steering wheel on it.

4) A rain so big and so long that all the puddles had stuff growing in them. Tadpoles. Crawdads. Some kind of whippy water worms that looked like little snakes.

5) Moving halfway through the first grade to a brand new school within easy walking distance. W.M.Green Elementary. It had a community bombshelter under it! All spiff. We could choose a hamburger instead of the regular plate meal and we could choose chocolate milk instead of plain, and there were LIGHTS everywhere. Flat parts of the ceiling lit up! (Drop ceiling with flourescent lights, I knew later, but at first it was like modern magic.)

The Ranchero Motel, Española, New Mexico

I had written the memories and then I went to look for the photo. It has the swings, too!

1) My cousin Nada living with us and having her doll Pat. The doll's name was on the back of its neck. "Pat Pending." We didn't know until later... (That's Pat in the middle, in Nada's right arm. The other kid is my sister, Irene.)

2) Meeting Annette DeLay and her family.

3) Starting second grade at San Juan Pueblo, only wearing "thongs" (flip-flops) and getting goatheads all in them on the playground. Crying. (We were rezoned to Española Elementary early in the school year. I still cried a lot.)

4) Playing on the cool steel swingset at night on the lawn in the middle of the motel.

5) Watching the big boys climb up and rearrange the letters on the Starlighter Drive-in Theater sign while we waited for the school bus.

Lower San Pedro Road, Española, New Mexico

1) Starting to own my own books and records.

2) Getting my piano back, playing clarinet, learning to play guitar. I remember lots of music in that house—my mom singing and playing guitar and inviting musicians over after the bar closed a few times. I had my grandmothers big old former-Sunday-School upright there when I was a teen, and after reading that when the Santa Fe Opera house burned they went ahead with their show elsewhere, and put thumbtacks on the piano's hammers to simulate a harpsichord, that piano became a dedicated simulated harpsichord. (For a few years I really did have two pianos in one house.)

3) Riding my bike wherever I wanted to with the wind in my hair, and coasting down the long twisty dirt road (Petra Lane) between Upper and Lower San Pedro, straight to my yard.

4) Having a few boyfriends—some very nice guys I still remember fondly.

5) I remember feeling that life was long and good.

That was followed by seven years of college dorms, living temporarily with people, in little adobe houses, and in trailer houses, and another rambly adobe farmhouse from 1915 or so, somewhat like the one I had lived in for so long in San Pedro. (The neighborhoods have names, in the Española Valley. Few people actually live "in Española." I never did. Out of town we'd say so, but in town, only one small part west of the river, between Guachapungue and Hernandez, was Española proper.) I had two serious long relationships in that time, but neither involved a house of my own at all.

8116 Princess Jeanne NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1) The SCA was GREAT at and from this house in the late 70's and early 80's, and we had a long string of excellent SCA housemates. This was the house Keith's parents bought in the late 50's when they moved to New Mexico. They moved to Alamogordo when Keith was still very young (he was born in 1956). He was the last of the boys to go to the big city to college, and ended up buying the house from them.

2) We had babies! Three good ones.

3) We had worked on our yard gradually over the years and the kids could go barefooted out there and roll around and there were zero stickers or rocks, and the broken glass and all that renters before us and some of Keith's roommates (before I came along and spoiled a portion of the party) had thrown out there was long gone.

4) My memories of La Leche League and "The Goof Group" unschooling park-days play group involve that house.

5) We had some great neighbors (and some weird ones), and I'm still friends with Mo Palmer who lived just east of us.

Tahiti Court, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1) The kids finally had their own rooms after sharing one.

2) Finding out that the reason we weren't getting trick-or-treaters is that our house was "the nut house." Kids that age had been told their whole lives to stay away from this house. (It was a halfway house for schizophrenics and recovering drug addicts for nine years, and then empty for a year or more, then us.)

3) Watering the yard and discovering there were lots of long-neglected plants down there just waiting (ten years) for some water!!

4) Philosophy discussions and beautiful vigils by candlelight in the library.

5) Having enough room for people to come and stay and visit and laugh.

It's not in the category of a memory yet because it's still unfolding, but I'm sure that ten years from now if I'm asked for a list of five things, this house will be remembered as the place I watched my children grow into adulthood.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

fleeting, long-term

Two exciting big things happened today. One was fleeting. One is a five-year commitment.

Marty, Holly, Brett (her boyfriend) and I went to the train station to meet and visit Pam, Roxana and Rosie Sorooshian, as they had a 45 minute stop in Albuquerque on their journey to New York City.

The video is not momentous.

When Pam called me from Gallup, I asked if we should bring anything, and she said they could use a block of ice for their little cooler, if I had something. I had a frozen Gatorade bottle and a reuseable ice pack.

Holly was asking Roxana and Rosie about their intentions for those. They got out of a cool train into the SERIOUS heat Albuquerque is having, so the ice packs were getting some immediate personal use.

The first one is a photo of the candid mirror symmetry of crossed legs. That was determined after it was taken and found in the batch.

We got to walk them out to the train, and that was nice.

Other photos of our brief but happy gathering are here:

All morning before that I had been at the credit union, trying to figure out how to complete the deal so that Marty could have this:

It was 4:00 or so before he really had keys and was sitting in it, ready to drive off the lot. It was an exhausting day for me, but a rich one.

A forty-five minute visit seems small compared to the purchase of one's first automobile, but looking back on a longer life, I know that friendships well tended can outlast several cars and trucks! I'm pretty sure that when Marty's Jeep is all paid for and he's moved on to other vehicles and passions, he'll still be friends with the Sorooshians.

When they pass through again in a week and a half, maybe they can see the Jeep! We'll definitely be waiting at the train station.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why to wash hair

One day, long ago, my friend Norman Rhee came over with his camera. He was taking photos of all kinds of things, en route to being a great artsy photographer.

I still, 38 years later, really really wish I had washed my hair that day or the day before. In my defense, we didn't have a shower and I had to wash it in the bathtub (not great with long hair) or the sink. Still... Take this reminder to make small decisions today so you'll be happier in 38 years, or sometime between now and then.

The shirt, I made. It was navy blue. The VW bug was a '64, and it was red. The year was 1970, I think.

The print is all ratty and damaged from being in a box of high school souvenirs for.... most of that time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

internet site maintenance

About six months ago, my computer got as messy as my desk. About six days ago, my internet sites did too. So I'm spending some time going through webpages and cross-links and that. If anyone finds errors and problems on my sites, I would seriously appreciate any notices of typos or glitchy formats.

Oh! I have a question/problem about one page in Internet Explorer. It's fine in Safari and Foxfire:
If anyone sees what I need to change, I'd love to make it work. There should be words flushright under the art.

I have unschooling pages, SCA pages, personal pages,
some that are none of the above,
pages on other people (I think I love those best--some are links to writings, some are photos and quotes)
so comments, corrections (not about tree bark colors; that's all fine), dead links—I'd love to know.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Holly Lynn Dodd

I'm grateful to Keith for providing us with the means to own and maintain a digital camera and I'm glad of Holly's artistic sense.

I'm humbled to have a daughter like Holly,

and glad her life is fun.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the moon from my yard

I didn't realize until after I saw the photo that I had four different trees (three and a vine) in it.

Earlier in the evening I didn't have a camera and I saw the moon in an absolutely clear blue sky, with a plane passing. The pink of sunset was lighting up the plane and the contrail, even though it wasn't sunset on the ground yet. The angle was interesting.

This morning Holly and I were out in the yard and the sky was bright, plain, boring blue without a cloud. I said I should take a photo of the mountains on one of these days, so people would better understand why I get excited about clouds.

So when I saw that plane, I wondered whether there are people who live places where you can't see a plane at 30,000 feet, with the light of sunset on it. I figure there are. We see those dinky little miniature jets all the time. When I was growing up 90 miles from the airport, *all* jets looked like that. In Albuquerque, there are a variety of sizes of machines in the sky. Also, because of the air base, sometimes fighter jets and big helicopters. And because of the police and news programs, little helicopters.

But tonight it was still and clear and quiet and I brought you the moon.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Amy Steinberg at Beth Fuller's house

There would have been more photos, but life is mysterious and unpredictable and when we got home, only the photos from after the battery change had survived. I don't like mysteries, but I'm glad we do still have some photos, and the kid-dancing videos are good.

Unfortunately, our photos of Marty playing the bowl are gone, so please, if others got any photos I'd love to be able to see/have/share them, if possible!

You can buy Amy Steinberg's CDs here:

INSERTION on Saturday June 7 of the photos and captions from Amy's MySpace of the evening:

the Fuller Life House Concert!
Albuquerque!!!! Yippee!

Kevin, Beth and I!
We are so good looking.

The famous Holly. of
Unschooling fame.

The famous Marty. of
Unschooling fame.

the prettiest girl in the world. and me.
her name is Emma.

(now back to our photos:)
You can look at these photos at Photobucket where they reside
or click any of the stills to see a larger image: