Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide

The good news is that you can get all these delightful items in one place!! These are all real things you can purchase at Design Toscano.


Who doesn't want a face contorted with pain and rage hanging on their wall? It's so much easier than looking in the mirror!Oh, how fun! Gigantic fake dinosaur bones to delight the children and confound the neighbors.
Looky here! It's a sneaky, bashful Yeti hiding behind your tree. Gotcha!
Want to indulge your inner Peeping Tom but don't want to go to the expense of all those hidden cameras? What about a bronze wall hanging instead?
This is part of Toscano's exclusive Temptresses line. Why, if it isn't a saucy witch, spread eagle, holding your iPod!
This is what you call a real "conversation piece!" (if you need an ice breaker at your orgy)
Nothing complements a spring garden like a zombie statue crawling out of your azaleas.
A political statement on our country's obesity problem? Or a fun way to poke fun at Michelangelo's most famous sculpture? You be the judge!
I saved the best for last. Words fail me. It's an Obama gargoyle, y'all. USA!!

Little Things I Read

Why do I continue to torture myself by reading the comments on local news articles?

Here's a gem I found today, copied & pasted in entirety:

" it sounds like you are not very supportive of law enforcement. If you don't support cops then you don't support America. If you don't support America then that makes you a terrorist. A TERRORIST!!!"

On the other hand, though, thanks to Lori, I read this wonderful little list of 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has or Will. Ain't that the truth. I'm going to type up #1 in 48 point font and post it around my house. Recognize happy moments when they happen!

I'm hoping to have one of those tonight when I make dinner for my grandmother, who has finally returned from down South after her brother's funeral. Black bean soup and skillet cornbread for your belated birthday, Mommom!

I'm in the holiday spirit - look out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Things & Good Times

Last Thursday my sister had a holiday open house at her boutique, Good Things. Just as it was starting, we were gifted with this incredible sunset (all these photos are time!):

Stella and her boyfriend, Ian, sipping hot cider. Those handbags behind Ian are awesome. I covet them.
Holiday shoppers at Good Things
Outside, looking in

The very next day after the Good Things open house, I got on a bus with 42 international students for an overnight trip to Kansas City. We had a great time, despite the frigid winds. We will definitely take students again...when it's a little warmer.

Our hotel was two blocks from the Country Club Plaza, with plenty of shopping for the students. Marty met me there and indulged my wish for some quick Christmas shopping at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.
We went to dinner in Westport. On our way to the restaurant we passed one guy with a guitar and an amp, just playing away in the freezing cold. Turns out he may be Christian Blues Jesus.
That's him.
Saturday morning Marty saved the day once more when the restaurant at the hotel was completely backed up. She took us to this incredible Swiss confectionery store, Andre's. I had to take photos of their amazing display cases:

It was FREEZING COLD at Liberty Memorial and the World War I Museum...but the view was great!

From there we went to the Nelson Atkins Museum. This was my third time to visit the museum. I have already sung its praises. I love this museum. Check it out - a Caravaggio!
And a gigantic Buddha.
A Bodhisattva who really, really looks like she's holding a remote control:
Did you know that way back when the Chinese kept and collected crickets and fought them, as in cockfighting? Here is a cricket fighting "stadium" from many centuries ago:
Another view. This was part of a display that also had elaborate cricket cages, tongs used to provoke them to fight and feeding troughs. CRICKETS!!
There was an exhibition of African art and textiles. Keith Haring, whether conscious of it or not, was directly informed by these kinds of designs.
Looking out toward the sculpture garden. That's a Rodin's Thinker and two of the iconic Shuttlecocks.

We got home late Saturday evening and all I could do was collapse on the couch and be disappointed by SNL. The dogs were very happy to have everyone at home together again, though. Look at these cuties!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Donned in Gay Apparel

One of my favorite parts of each term with my international students is our trip to Little Rock. I haven't posted photos from one of these trips in a while, and I really liked how these photos turned out.

I LOVE our state capitol building. It is beautiful and regal all the time, but during the holiday season it's REALLY beautiful. I love visiting in December. Elena from Russia on the stairwell
Our state Christmas tree, from somewhere in the state. It's huge.
Obligatory self portrait in giant ornament
Elena and Cristiane from Brazil
Antionieta from Peru downstairs under the rotunda
Outside on the south side of the capitol building
Our silly shot
U.S. and Arkansas flags mirrored in the panels outside the Clinton museum
Our group outside the Clinton museum

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"If I Share With You This Story, Would You Share Your Dollar With Me?"

What a week. Wednesday evening my sister Jessy, Stella, and I drove down to Horatio, AR, about a four hour drive. I hadn't been to my grandmother's hometown in at least 10 years, but Jess and I both remembered how to get places (not hard - it's a town of less than 1,000 people). It was heartbreaking seeing my grandmother and my great-uncle's wife and daughter so dad and distressed, but I was really glad to get to see so much of my extended family on my mother's side. It was also very good for Stella to get to see all that family. We're a funny bunch - weird and emotional and Southern.

One day I'll have to write about the funeral itself. It was cinematic...if you like sad, weird, funny movies like I do.

We turned around and drove home Thursday evening. Then I got up Friday morning and drove a group of students to Little Rock (3 hours). I did get to have a fun dinner with friends and laughed really hard for the first time in days and days. Saturday the weather in Little Rock was lovely and mild. But I was barely hanging on. Sunday I couldn't do much of anything but forced myself to vacuum and clean out the refrigerator.

And here we are in the working week again. It's holiday season which means lots of parties and overeating and overdrinking. I'm trying not to...but I love food and drink so it's hard.

I'm starting to think about putting together my annual Christmess Mix CD....I know it will have my favorite song of 2010 on it. This song could very well be America's anthem for 2010. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Stretching Thinner

My great uncle Devoe died unexpectedly Monday morning. This is a photo I took of him last March when he was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was a legend in our family and a legend in SW Arkansas. We will all miss him very much. I have wonderful memories of visiting his house when I was younger and waking up to a calf in the kitchen. The calf had been rejected by its mother and had to be brought inside and nursed by hand. I remember Uncle Devoe loving banana pudding with vanilla wafers in it, brown beans cooked with bacon fat and skillet cornbread, and him taking us riding in his big truck as he drove around his property feeding his cows.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Golden Turkey

Some of these hit a little close to home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Weekends These Days

This whole month of November I've been going over to Patt and Craig' first thinking I was taking care of her as she recovered from gall bladder surgery and then knowing that there was a cancer, cleaning, singing, surrounding her with that good energy. Even when my own energy has been exhausted, dark, cynical, and angry.

Stella and I haven't talked yet about the awful fighting of last week. But at least the tension has dissolved. She went with us last weekend to the river and it was good for everyone involved. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks:

A paper flower/ornament/decoration that Loretta and Audrey made. The young boys, Kole and Cavin, had an absolute blast dancing to D.'s guitar playing. Their #1 request? Songs about "spiders and snakes." So he played "Wipe Out" and the Batman theme song. They danced ferociously.
Last Saturday evening the full moon rose over the ridge at Trigger Gap.
Sacnite, one of the Three Stooges.
Clay, enchanting us with his music.
My Stella, giving Tigger some love.
D. and Clay....imagine the most beautiful guitar playing. Then imagine it doubled!
Clay loves Gonzai, the territorial but adorable Shiba Inu.
Patt and Craig have quality pets. Like Bella (naughty Django naps behind her).
And Tigger the kitty loaf.

We're keeping our spirits up. As of this afternoon I am OFF WORK until Monday! Angela is here in Arkansas! There are pies to be made. So, yeah...soldier on.