In Search of might find Tomorrow

I had my Dark_Art project out on the bed and thought, I should see if MMH still has the project up on one of her several websites.

It took me ages to find her newest venture, like so many of us, a blog, but no sign of her original website with our work.

So, do I want to open the door that leads back to yesterday in order to find tomorrow and write to her?

Image: AJ Tarot ©

Jails: Immigrants and More

This video on immigrants in jail really hit me hard.

I am familiar with Rhode Island jails, and I don't think jailing immigrants is in anyone's interest--least of all the families and those incarcerated.

I also know that many States have taken to building and renovating older jails for profit. In fact, more entrepreneurial corporations are running the penal system and fewer are in the hands of local government.

And it seems Senator Jim Webb and I are on the same wavelength this week, but on different paths as he is questioning the entire US jail system.

One Source Shopping! Does it Exist?

If I want to combine orders and buy, say another Lamy, I can only get a narrow EF nib at Jetpens and I'd like a broader nib.

If I want a particular Rhodia or Clairefontaine product I might have to go to The Daily Planner, Vickerey and then still search out other resources on the internet like ShiptheWeb for multiple sizes, shapes and styles.

If I want a pencil, I might be able to get most at pencilthings, but I can't get the Clairefontaine or Rhodia pads I want at the same time.

If I want ink, I might have to search two, three or six online stores to meet my needs. Swisher now carries my favourite Noodler's El Lawrence, but I'm hoping Pendemonium will re-stock and I can get the three inks I have on back-order. And if Sam restocked perhaps they'll carry most, if not all, of the Clairefontaine and Rhodia's I might buy.

If I want my latest obsession, a Sapporo Rhodium Music nib fountain pen, it is probably best to keep cruising.

Unspoken Ownership of a Bridge

I would reckon there are a few bridges many folks wished they owned, and I am one of these people.

Ownership for nostalgia, not gain!

But it seems that one of my three or four favourite bridges is earmarked for demolition.

The Memorial Bridge that spans from the Eastern point of New Hampshire at Portsmouth into Maine is having its share of infrastructure problems and talk is growing of its demise.

I have taken this bridge as many times as I have taken any bridge other than the Queensboro (59th Street), Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridges, and nearly as often as the Jamestown Bridge (RI)--which did see repair and replacement.

I see this as an enormous loss and hope that if a decision is made in favour of its demolition, a replacement is simultaneously, thoughtfully and seriously considered.

...Celestial Sky...31 December 2008

If you are sober, sane and have a telescope, perhaps this will be a landmark viewing for those moments between 2008 and 2009.

The coming together of the Moon, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter in the southwestern sky.

Pilot Iroshizuku Series ink

Just imagine how Tsutsuji (Japanese Town flower) would look as a bud peering out of the snow.

Just imagine how Momiji (Japanese Maple leaf) would look as a flowering tree.
Just imagine how Yama-budo (Japanese Wild Grape) would taste today.

These moments of imagination may be as close as I get to these costly inks unless they get imported to the States.

Card of the Day: 6 of Cups

I rose early hoping against hope the sky would be blue, perhaps not that perfect cerulean blue or even that dark cobalt that covers the sky in early morning or late evening, but not grey and definitely not white.

My hopes turned to disappointment as I peered out the window and saw the earth once more covered in snow, and the sky yielding massive wet flakes of undifferentiated crystals, first lazy and infrequent, then more heavily and steady until the once dry path to my car was nearly invisible.

I can remember three times I actually saw a crystal dendrite forming that unimaginable fractal pattern: once waiting for the 2nd Avenue bus with my daughter at dusk, a second time in the car with Eddie driving home from Newport (Rhode Island) and an evening about six or more years ago in Burlington (Vermont) when a fellow graduate student called my daughter urging her to go outside for a splendorous view. And that it was. Each crystal was so well formed we could pluck them out of the sky or off the wrought iron gate, touch and taste their sweetness for what seemed an infinite time in space.

But today, there are no clear dendrite crystals just a never ending flurry of wet snow.

Yet, Angel Paths says of the Six of Cups,

The Lord of Pleasure is a welcome card in any reading, bringing in a sense of harmony and balance. Existing relationships broaden and deepen, giving an extended sense of contentment and satisfaction.

And that is undoubtedly how I should and can look at this opportunity to bring the inner life into harmony with the outer vision.

Image: Comparative Tarot, Cerridwen Genetti©

Urban Sketchers Wrap up for '08

Check out how many of these Urban sketchers use a Moleskine!


If you don't use it, lose it!

More than a year, or perhaps even longer ago, I wrote "if you don't use it, lose it" and had it appear on my desk-top day after day.

It is probably time to remind myself of this and start a new clean-out of stuff I've accumulated since then, including

Crystal Inkpot with nice leather like top (SOLD at FPn)

Parker Duofold Centennial fountain pen (SOLD at PT)

Cross Century, 1980s (SOLD at FPn)

Montblanc Slimline fountain pen and ballpoint set (SOLD at FPn)

Laban Labrados Spider Fountain pen and Ballpoint set

Waterman Gentleman in blue lacquer

Pochade and Case (SOLD at WC)

and much more....accept losses as gains!

Card of the Day: The Devil

Image: Hezicos Tarot by Mary Griffin ©


What is a collection? Pelikans

M200, Blueboy; M200, Greyboy; 100 Falcon; M215 Lozzy

Pelikan M215, 100

M200s (1991)

This is my 4-pen Pelikan collection. The two M200s are male and the 100 and M215 are female.

All my pens seem to have genders and many have names.

What is a collection? White

If its Sunday, you'll often find Pentrace members sharing their collections or individual pens by category, season, colour or manufacturer.

Whenever I look at some, not all, of these collections I realize that my own assortment of fountain pens is not a collection but a montage of size, colour and code.

I also realize that the number of fountain pens I've amassed these many years is insignifcant compared to most, if not all, the Pentrace member collectors.

One member shared some of his Bexleys. Ten whites!

I thought I was excessive with two white pens.

* Pentrace is a member fountain pen group; easy to join.

The Medical Profession and Drug Money

This story is such old news it is laughable.

Pharmaceutical companies have been supporting (read underwriting) symposia in support of their drugs since the 1960s or earlier.

Pharmaceutical companies have supported direct basic research for as many years as I have lived.

Pharmaceutical companies have paid medical professionals for speaking engagements for as long as they have existed.

Pharmaceutical companies have endorsed and paid for major medical publications since the 1950s.

Pharmaceutical companies have supported medical libraries, seminars and other in-house medical school operations since the advent of the medical school.

So why is this expose new and why the psychiatrists?

Card of the Day: The Moon

It fascinates me when I pull a card in the morning nearly as much as it delights me to pull a card later in the day or early evening and see how it reflected my day.

Today, just three days after pulling the Moon, I pulled it again in the Golden Tarot, Kat Black's beautifully illustrated deck. In the Golden Tarot deck (pictured here) the images on the card cover both the negative and positive aspects of the Moon's meaning.

Determining which to accept for one's own reading is a judgement call of the reader, and in my case, I am both the reader and the querent.


Card of the Day: Page of Coins (Pentacles)

Emotions and finances very much on my mind and in my heart today, I returned that black bag I bought at Nest in Narrowsburg before the holidays, and Anna was a pleasure to deal with--no hassles, immediately return of funds.

When I went to NYC I took the bag with me as a trial for a longer outing and the zipper pull immediately broke, not a good sign for a bag of this cost.

Knowing Anna herself is not rolling in funds I hesitated making this return but I feel so much better about myself for doing what was the right thing in this case and I know I'll be buying other merchandise from her in the future.

I also went over to -j's for a final brunch with the mob of children and grand-children.

A good pentacles day with a heart of gold.

Image: Victorian Romantic ©

Honesty in a Box

A good story, and a terrific lesson learned for the little girl who plucked a cracker box from a grocery shelf and found ten thousand dollars in cash.

Last year, on a sunny, beautiful day I was in town to meet my barn advisers for brunch in the local eatery and a wee bit early I dropped by to say hello to one of the merchants I was interviewing for another story. As I was leaving the shop, I spotted a white, somewhat bulky envelope on the door sill. There were no notes, no address, no identification on or in the envelope stuffed with small bills totally just over one hundred dollars.

I immediately started asking, "did anyone say they lost some money?"

I went up and down the street in town asking "did anyone report losing money?"

I had the real estate agent check around.

The waitresses asked around.

The antique dealer asked around.

Weeks went by and I got a call from a local acquaintance who said she had lost some money. Unfortunately the sum she lost (more than a thousand dollars) was not the sum in my found envelope.

More weeks went by as the white, crumbled envelope sat in one of the pigeon holes in my desk.

Months went by and no one claimed the money.

Finally after about six months I guiltily spent it.


Juggling see, to touch, to read, to do

I have many interests, but unfortunately, it seems that each takes time, and time runs through the hour-glass quicker than I'd like.

Movies/films have not held a high priority this year, nor I am sad to say has reading, but I am going to devote this coming year to a more balanced approach in the "to see, to touch, to read, and to do" categories and balance my schedule.

Some of these indies film sound good.

My Amazon wish list is about to tumble down from the weight of its content.

My drafting table, thanks to my SIL, is finally steady on her feet.

I am nearly finished "house" fixing and probably only have two or three days needed to finish up some projects.

Card of the Day: King of Cups

Image: Lyle Stewart ©


Card of the Day: The Moon

The Curious Case of Romance: Benjamin Button, and then Valkyrie

Inside a facade of cool detachment I am a soppy romantic, but towards the end of this review in Salon, I wonder, "how much romance can a person buy at the theatre."

Should I see this movie, now currently playing at our local(ish) theatre or not?

And then there is Valkyrie, a movie I might have seen before reading this review.

The gift of giving. Accolades to Jet Pens

Jet Pens' Christmas drive produced the gift of giving 2500 pens.

Congratulations to our friends at Jet Pens and my best wishes to all the recipients.

And check out Jet for more offers and goodies on their Facebook page.

A bumpy ride: NEA

I'm not certain the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) has ever had anything but a bumpy ride--one year, another year down; one Administration in support, another indifference and yet another unaware.

So what will happen to the NEA in a greatly depressed economy?


Card of the Day: 6 of Coins (Pentacles)

Bunning says, "the Six of Pentacles asks you to look very deeply into the whole issue of what having really means both materially (resources) and immaterially (knowledge, power, love). You may see yourself on one side or the other, but this card asks you to reconsider."

On this Christmas Day with two beautiful grand-children in my bed, a roast in the oven, my children out for a walk with the dog, light in the sky, looking too far for what I might have is not difficult at all.

Image: Comparative Tarot (Group); Winter Wren ©

Sailor Sapporo - Tracking Prices

12/24 - ebay Sapporo Rhodium, F - 92.99 plus 13.00 shipping (Japan)

12/28 - ebay 1911 Profit, F 92.00 plus 13.00 shipping (Japan)

12/29 - ebay 1911 Profit, Music nib, demonstrator, 139.20 plus shipping 13.00 (Japan)

12/31 - ebay Sapporo Rhodium, F - 102.50 plus 13.00 shipping (Japan)

Interesting note. When I first started searching for the Sapporo, and also checking prices for the 1911m, one of the Japanese sellers had buy it now for 95.00; yesterday he raised his price to 105.00 plus his usual 13.00 shipping cost.

I ended my search tonight, 12/31/08, 10.53pm


Christmas in Bethlehem

One year, I spent Christmas Eve in Bethlehem with some friends from Maastricht (the Netherlands).

It was an overcast night, but not so cold that we couldn't walk around, browse shops, talk to strangers and participate in the events surrounding the celebration of Christ's birth.

We didn't know we needed either permission or tickets to enter some of the holy places, but we enjoyed ourselves immensely and took away many memories of the city, the people, the security guards posted everywhere and what it might have been like hundreds of years ago.

Salons Top 10: Movies

I haven't been to see a film all year.

I need to catch up.

And some of these films/movies sound good.

Worth Noting: Most Literate Cities

Seattle doesn't surprise me as one of the two top contenders for "most literate" city, although Portland (OR) can't be far behind.

Minneapolis (MN), a city I am less familiar with got my interest peaked.

What did and does surprise me is the contention that internet online reading, and the number of book stores were not responsible for the data.

Worth a Comment: In Life and in Death, Pardoned

It seems strange, but I suppose the living can appreciate the pardoning of the dead.

And certainly if I were Jimmy Winters I would feel my father, Charlie Winters, was vindicated by this pardon, albeit posthumously.

But what I find equally strange is that after WWII, the Neutrality Act was subject to a blind eye policy for several American soldiers who went directly from their European fronts to fight in Israel and that this policy didn't extend to Mr. Winters.

Politics make strange bedfellows, don't they?

Rhodia History

I hadn't thought about it but now that Rhodia is celebrating its 75th birthday, Rhodia Drive has put up a wee history.

And now I realize why I wasn't aware of the merger/buy out by Clairfontaine of the Rhodia line.

I haven't frequented a Paris, Lyon or Arles shop for too many years.

Always nice to know from whence it all comes.

Card of the Day: The Star

My two grands are coming today.

They should be here just after dark when
the Stars come out!


Review III: Quo Vadis Habana Academic Minister 08/09

The Quo Vadis Habana Academic Minister is 6-1/4" X 9-1/2" (16 X 24 cm) with 80 sheets of 90g acid free, pH neutral paper, rounded corners, and good to the touch.

It includes a back pocket with ample room for those collectibles, and matching elastic closure.

At the front of the planner is a personal notes section, international phone codes for those international jet setters; a time schedule page for academic planning of classes or lectures (wisely excluding Sunday); and an annual planner which allows for those unexpected changes in schedule(s) or planning.

This weekly planner is well laid out with space for date and day data and separate blocks on the right for: Phone #s; Fax or Email #s; See-Do and Pay Receive Lists; and Notes; five in total, each approximately ~1-1.2 x 3 (~3.8 x by 7.6 cm). You can see the layout in its entirety here at Quo Vadis website.

At the top of each day and date is a space indicating holidays and room to add a priority or two to follow up which is also expanded at the bottom of all but Sunday.

At the back of the Academic Minister is a second annual calendar carried over to 2010; a world time zone map; maps of North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Asia and Africa.

Four pages for Notes and an calendar for 2008-2010, inclusive takes you to the back cover and the expandable pocket.

The Paper is super, 90g and behaves very well with both a narrow and a broad nib, J. Herbin and Waterman ink, respectively.

My Overall impressions of this Quo Vadis Academic Minister weekly planner is very positive. The cover is similar to the Habana series, the paper is my favourite Clairfontaine 90g, the size of the blocks for planning schedules is adequate even for my larger than average hand writing and with one single exception might be considered a perfect agenda. The single exception is the absence of a ribbon marker. And as you can see from my photograph, temporarily, I used the elastic closure to mark the page I was working on. Not a terrible omission, but its inclusion would rank this A+ and not the A I have given it.

Check the Quo Vadis site for pricing and availability.

Serendipity II

Can you name those romances, those moments in your life that got away?

Romance can lead to a love affair, a relationship or just a sparkling single memory. Here are some I remember.

Romance 2
--a voice in a crowded club. I nearly married that voice, and dated him on and off for more than five years.

Serendipity, Ice Cream and Romance

Unlike the film, Serendipity, I never had a single romance at the famous 60th Street Ice Cream Parlor, but I certainly had my fair share of sundaes, banana splits and fair-to-middling coffee over the course of ten years.

But like the film, and while I was watching it at 2-4am in the morning, I recorded in a working written journal the moments in my life I call, "romancing the past." I went back to my 16th birthday.

Romance 1--I was at an all girls camp that summer, and we had one cross over dance with a boys camp. Camp meant shorts, sneakers, sandals and dirty t-shirts, but that night I worn a two piece cotton skirt and top with a hideous stripe in earth colours.

In Jr. Counselor mode, I entered the large auditorium room and immediately turned my back to the room to make sure all the other campers had entered. When I turned back I saw a boy across the room staring at me. I can't remember if music was playing--after all this was a hundred years ago--but somehow the vast expanse disappeared and we were standing face to face and there was very little room between us.

I dated that boy until he became a man; two years.

Worth Noting: It's time for us to make peace

Ms. Etheridge has the right tone and a good approach to division.

Make peace!

The World under a Microscope

Olympus Microscope

Years ago I worked in a laboratory. We used many different types of microscopes but my favourite was an Olympus. Those microscopes introduced me to Olympus' fine optics and later I bought one of their cameras.

But I don't want to see the world, day after day, dissected and seen under a microscope.

With 24/7 news, bloggers, like me, hundreds of newspapers and press agents, nothing happens that doesn't get covered immediately, and often with poor and inaccurate precision.

The President-Elect breathes, moves, tosses his cap on and it is reported, and repeated over and over again. Anyone who can make news gets coverage as if they were those mosquitoes I once examined and dissected.

Mosquitoes are fascinating under the glass, but having the moment by moment, blow by blow, before an accurate, precise, informed conclusion can be drawn leads to some strange, inaccurate, lopsided, often damaging information that gets repeated again and again...until a perfectly innocent incident becomes not only news but the truth.

It never was the truth and won't become the truth by repetition.

But somehow it seems to appeal to many folks. It doesn't appeal to me and in fact often makes me more than annoyed.

Pondering: Either / Or

Russell Shorto makes some excellent, erudite points in this short article that appears in the international edition of NRC.

Books: Two translations from the German

It is a pity that when I learned Dutch my German faltered so badly that I can't seem to find my way back, but I may read these, as reviewed, less than perfect translations of Settlement and New Lives.

This quote from the reviewer demands my attention:

How should humans act when the gods who once ordered their fates withdraw and the authors who might guide them ahead would rather look back?

A most telling quote and one to reckon with!

Card of the Day: 8 of Wands

Fascinating the Tarot and how and if it speaks!

The 8 of Wands following the 8 of Swords is most significant, at least to me, and perhaps today.

Today is my last day to finish up the house chores before the Beanie Family arrives.

Today is one of the last days I have to regroup before the New Year and concentrate on my resolution.

And as for news, well I just received a gift in an email.

I wasn't expecting this gift and it caught me off balance.

Image: Tarot of Color, Leisa ReFalo ©


Memorable Quotes from "The Zookeeper's Wife"

Janusz Korczak (NB) said,
"I am a doctor by training, a pedagogue by chance, a writer by passion and a psychologist by necessity."

Irene Tomaszewski and co-author Tecia Webowski wrote, "...activists are by nature people who know people."

Schopenhauer said in Parerga and Paralipomena,
"If I maintain silence about my secret it is my prisoner; if I let it slip from my tongue, I am its prisoner."

On the tree of silence hangs the tree of peace.

NB: I identified with this sentence, perhaps too much.

Review: G. Lalo Verge de France

Biffybeans has already reviewed this paper, but I'll add my experience with it the other day.


Writing on the paper is like skating at Central Park's skating rink--as smooth as anyone could want from a writing tablet.

All the pens I tested just glided across the page like a dream with no feathering, bleeding or see through.

And as I had been fiddling with some older Crane paper, I'd say in a comparison I'd put my money on this G. Lalo paper, "Verge de France" for my limited but intimate correspondence.

Here's an example of some poetry scribbling I did.

Books: A memorial and the decline

It seems that like most industries, large, small, automotive, financial, the book publishing industry is in a bigger slump than I'd like to see. Forecasts are poor, and consolidations, buy-outs, loss of jobs and the demise of publishing houses continues.

It is not just the financial crisis but the internet, and a paper-less push that reduces the print numbers, and the fierce competition between and among book distributors and sellers.

At one time I'd say a good portion of my daily or weekly expenses went to book buying, often spontaneous purchases, but as often thoughtful purchases.

Now with the ease of reading, too much, on line and living in rural America with the closest good book store an hour away, I've bought fewer books this year, but not as few as when I lived in Taos.

Since Ranchos de Taos I've relied more heavily on the library.

Card of the Day: 8 of Swords

I certainly do feel "fenced" in but by snow and inclemency.

Ross came over, dug me out and I am off to overcome the obstacles or at least try.

A Green Life: In Japan

A CS Monitor's article on the green life in a small Japanese village is fascinating as reported in Crooks & Ladders.

I remember when I was the perennial hostess, my Japanese colleagues wouldn't bring plastic, paper or disposables. All their food contributions were carried and wrapped in cloth.

A beautiful touch and an elegant way to save money.


Poet: Wallace Stevens

What a perfect stanza from a wonderful, observant poet for today:

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

Sleeping with the Enemy: Madoff

Like other regions, New England, large as it is, is also as small as the palm of my hand and stories like this one touch very closely on relationships that spread like ubiquitous poison ivy.

The Jaffe family is well known throughout New England and this can only hurt them and those around them.

Another branch of the Jaffe family tree lived and worked in Rhode Island. One of the younger Jaffe's opened the first health food store in Providence on Hope Street and his father had an open door policy and often provided funds to local organisations and for local events.

As the list grows of those affected by Madoff, I shudder!

Card of the Day: Hierophant

I haven't pulled this card for a very long time but it seems and feels right to pull the Hierophant on a Sunday filled with more white snow. The snow is so high now that I literally can only see out of the office window a wee crack and then only if I lean forward and drop down a ways to get any view at all.

While not deliberately retreating there is no way I can get the car ploughed out and I may not be able to get out of any of the four doors as yesterday my Mucks were so wet I couldn't bare to put them on my feet. Today the snow is that much higher and I suspect is as high as the top of my boot line.

Not surprising I am in a pensive mood and the cards often reflect or project what is happening all around me.

Image: Millennium Tarot


More to come on the word, the movie and me.


Social Networking: The Art Community

I have made only one New Year's resolution, and that is to get back to art in a serious, dedicated manner and stick with it.

I've been offered a show.

I've been asked to submit work for inclusion in a Lark Book.

And what do I do, I paint floors!

I have even forgotten all the marketing networks I am a member of but yesterday Art Bistro's newsletter arrived in my mailbox and I realize it has become a rather large and informative social and marketing network for artists.

When I was on the road I wrote a great deal about all the towns, cities, communities I visited and now that I've landed in the Upper Delaware Valley I am at the end of the road and need to take myself more seriously.

January 1st is just down the road for Ontheroad.

Christmas is coming, in spite of me

The post office delivered 5 lbs of Puerto Rican coffee, a huge box of something from Amazon, two bottles of J. Herbin ink, Bleu Azur and Perle Noire and a Habana Academic Minister.

The planner is red, has the Habana cover, and has 90g paper. I can't wait to get to test this one with a fountain pen but I am covered with floor paint.

Not bad for a snowy day!

Books: As a Friend

Occasionally it is as interesting to know and perhaps understand the reviewer as much as the book reviewed. Perhaps that is true of Forrest Gander's book, "As a Friend " and Jeanette Winterson's review of this poet's first novel. Winterson's own first novel Written On The Body has a somewhat similar theme--lost love.

And Winterson knows how to wrap a book in colourful language. Even her provocative titles excite the senses: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit & Sexing The Cherry.

But regardless of personalities, passions and prejudices, my own and others, this book sounds like a must read. I place it on that list because the power of the written word is my first choice for a good read, and honesty in prose stands side by side with power of intention.

Photograph: Nina Sabun ©

Books: Plummer, known as Christopher

Before there was science there was art, and under that heading is theatre, often with a capital T.

Christopher Plummer's new book, "In Spite of Myself " is probably spelled with the capital letter as he hits on some of those he knew and knows that ranked at the top of the class on Broadway and off.

One of several of the references in the review rings as true as if it were coming from my own lips. Very early 60s, I thought for moments or let's say a year or two, "I'll become an actress." In those sprint like years I met more actors than I now see on stage or even on the movie screen.

So the "Where's Jason?" line resonates true. There was a bar somewhere in the West 40s, West of Broadway itself, where everyone who was anyone and everyone who wanted to be somebody went for an after hours drink. I don't recall seeing Mr. Plummer there, but you can be sure Mr. Robards was there if he was anywhere.

Might be a good read.

Card of the Day: Wheel of Fortune

The entire road is blanketed with snow. It is a white world all around me and I pull the Wheel of Fortune.

My mail box got tossed again. M came over to put it right.

I had three nice packages in it--haven't opened them all, but one has some J. Herbin ink in it. And another looks like a gift of coffee.

And I was able to open the downstairs (read cellar) door because twice yesterday I shoveled the snow away from under and near the door. This was one of those precautions I learned from last year when I couldn't get out of "any" of my four doors.

So, the Wheel of Fortune may be lessons learned and new lessons to learn during the next few days as another storm is headed our way, the Bean Family coming--although I just called to arrange for a Plan B but only left a message--and no easy way to the town where all the goodies are for Christmas and where to get a tree that I don't have to cut.

All this snow doesn't seem like fortune but perhaps it is good for the Mother Earth.

Image: Black's Gold Tarot


Pondering Politics: Candidate Kennedy

Ms. Parker makes good points. She is bright, and from the little of her column I've read, I sense she is fair minded.

Ruth Marcus says honestly in the same newspaper she tosses and turns over her emotional and intellectual responses to Caroline Kennedy's possible chances to win (read get appointed) to the U. S. Senate seat, so do I.

I am of an age, temperament, gender and regional bias that makes weighing this possibility a quagmire fraught with emotion, thus leaving my brain power in the toilet.

Although a Mid-Atlantian born and bred (read New York City), I've spent more than 35 years, on and off, living full or part-time in one New England state or another, and my ties to the region are strong and my allegiances to the Kennedy name embedded in my adoptive genes.

And unlike others who vied for and got the seat, she isn't a carpetbagger and I sense, don't know, that she has valid reasons for seeking the seat and now.

If I had to vote, I would have no hesitation to pull the lever for Caroline Kennedy because of history, not Camelot, and in the hope that this Kennedy would make a positive difference at a time that difference is vital.

Card of the Day: The Fool

It started slowly.

At half past 8, a light coating on the ground.

By 10am the ground was covered.

At Noon the entire sky was white, the ground covered, the sparse trees and shrubs coated, the road nearly invisible.

It is the perfect day for a fool.

Image: Artists Inner Vision, Red Dog Scott


Card of the Day: Queen of Coins (Pentacles)

You'd think with the Queen of Coins as the Card of the Day, I'd have nothing but luck but as it turned out I went out to the car, parked haphazardly on the lawn two days earlier to discover for the 2nd time in a week that he wouldn't start.

This time no doors had been left open; no lights had been left on overnight. No sign or symptom of why all the interior lights worked but the engine refused to turn over.

A visit from M, a call to AAA and the arrival of Joe R from Callicoon got the car revving but only until I got to Joe's shop. He had hoped that if he put the battery on the recharger for an hour or so it would revive. He was convinced that nothing else but the battery was in need of help.

Nearly an hour and a half or more later, we discovered the battery wouldn't take a charge. A new battery, total darkness, no food in the house, too late to get to Honesdale for the errands that I had on my mandatory list for today and the Bean Family arriving in less than 6 days.

Trouble in Galilee, I'd say, trouble with time, trouble with meeting deadlines. We have a storm coming either tonight or tomorrow, 10 inches of snow predicted.

Oh, dear, what can a person do with inclement weather, distances and Christmas just around the corner.

I am frustrated with this car. He's seen two countries, 25 States and has been loyal, but he is getting really old even for a Nissan, with 175,000 miles.

So, while I was waiting for Joe to charge the battery, I found a possible replacemnt. It is probably twice as much as I can afford, but Joe said he'd lend me the car for a couple of days to try her out--it is definitely a girl.

Image: Jacques Vieville.

Biffybean on a Roll: Fabriano Venezia Sketchbook

With so many journals, and dozens of sketchbooks, it registered but in the farthest recesses of my mind that I have one of these Fabriano Venezia sketchbooks.*

Perhaps I forgot because I didn't buy it. The sketchbook was given to me by a good friend when we did a workshop with Juliana Coles in 2006 at Frenzy Stamper in Arizona.

Here's a peek at some artwork and a review from the Lynne Perrella book "Artists Journals & Sketchbooks, Exploring and Creating Personal Pages in which Juliana Coles' work appears. Juliana also had some work in Jan Bode Smiley's book on The Art of Fabric Books in which I have a piece on page 100 from my "Failure is Impossible" book.

Juliana is best known for her "extreme visual journaling" works and I think it was one of these workshops I attended.

Now that Biffybeans has reviewed this sketchbook I see it is not 15 feet away and just waiting for more journaling. I'll now have to try a fountain pen amidst all that gesso, acrylic and extreme visual journaling.

* New York Central, the land of paper is a place to buy these!


Paper and Ink Comparison

I conducted the blind test on six pieces of 8-1/2 x 11 paper with three inks: Levenger's Amethyst, Noodlers Concord Bream and Private Reserve Tanzanite.

It will be interesting to see what the proctor makes of it all, but my impressions are my Rotring 600, Italic Fine nib, is a very manageable pen on nearly any paper. It certainly needs to be congratulated on responsiveness under duress.

Encaustic International

It seems the international gallery of Encaustic is going down after three years.

Times are really tough, and wax is expensive or...there is another reason that I am missing. I have to brush up on my German and Dutch to read the whys.

And I've been a very remiss member.

Card of the Day: Ace of Cups

A good day and a beautiful depiction of the Ace.

HP Tarot - Ace of Cups by *Ellygator on deviantART


I rarely read about the rich and famous or entertainers but the Warren Buffett name has so much cache in philanthropic circles, I read this article and wondered.

What did I wonder about?

Family ties!



And if $40,000 is a small or large amount of money in San Francisco?

Being Smart

A few stories hit me this morning about time, how it is used, and being smart. Some of this hit my brain bone, while others hit me hard in my stomach.

This story made me think about the power of intelligence, or at least the power granted to us by inquiry.

And this book review in The New Republic about time made me look at my own use of it, and when I thought for more than one minute, I could hear my Mother shouting at me, "You are wasting time."

What I was doing whilst Mom was doing this shouting was "reading."

I have probably spent in excess of 10% and perhaps as much as 25-50% of my adolescent and adult life reading something. Occasionally, I'll spend an entire day or weekend enthralled by a book.

With the advent of the internet and retirement I can spend hours (not tallied) checking one story after another, often taking me on paths little tread, unfamiliar and fascinating.

Another lament of my Mother's, "Girls are not supposed to be smart." Smart was the killer for marriage and success. And success was measured by how early and who you married.

Well, I married well enough and at a dangerously late age for my generation, but more important to me, always, was to to keep on learning. I did keep on learning, going to school after school racking up degrees, gathering up ideas, not things; studying a subject until I could qualify myself as learned and tilting windmills with ideas.

But still, on this snowy day, it was my Mother's voice I heard when I realized I had spent the entire day learning and not doing a single task.

Time Special

One of the things I miss by not living in an urban setting is the freedom to just walk by a newspaper kiosk and at random buy a newspaper or magazine.

It was one of the first things I did before embarking on my journey back to the Delaware last Thursday afternoon.

It is impossible to subscribe to all the magazines and newspapers I can now read on line but I sure miss the feel of the pages crinkling.

This week's Time is a round up of 2008 faces.