Category Archives: Art

Billboards, Posters, Dogs

The first thing I do each time I check into a hotel is to check out the view from the window. This is particularly interesting when I am in a city or airport hotel – as the variety is so great.  In Peru, the first of our hotels was literally just across four lanes of traffic from the Lima Airport so I was happy that my room actually faced the parking lot on the city side and not the actual airport.  (Although I have to admit that it didn’t really matter as I spent very little time in this room!)

One of the things that I’ve noticed about many cityscapes worldwide is that many countries have not yet abandoned the billboard the way that we have here in the states, although I don’t think I’ve EVER seen anything like the giant six-pack of Coke that was in my view. The other thing that is very common is posters plastered around business entrances.  In Peru, the zoning laws are spotty so you can have business and residences crowded together, making it likely that you’ll be looking at posters for all kinds of goods and services as you approach your home.

The other noticeable difference is the large numbers of stray dogs that roam around many of the cities in Peru (although not as much in Lima). Most of the dogs I saw seemed not only well-fed but well-behaved.  And very nonchalant about their lifestyle.  You could find dogs sleeping in all kinds of places where  you would think they would be skittish.  This dog decided to plop itself down to snooze among a group of Japanese tourists in the train station – as if he were just part of the luggage:

Tell me about the view from your window!

Lost Arts

Several years ago Husband and I were in a Fargo furniture store where we purchased a pair of lovely table lamps. They are Tiffany  glass and mica and go well with the Mission/Craftsman style furniture we have in our bedroom. They sit on either side of the bed.

I have had some buyer’s remorse since we purchased them as I didn’t take into account how fragile the shades are. Both Husband and I have  accidentally whacked the shades. I even knocked one on to the floor one morning. That resulted in a dent in the base of  the shade.

Stained glass artisans are not very common out here. We had one in Hettinger, about 80 miles south of us, but she retired a couple of years ago. She worked a lot on stained glass windows in local churches. I am fortunate that one of my coworkers is an artsy person and does some stained glass work, and was able to fix my shade.

We used to have furniture refinishers  and clock repairers out here, but no more.   There are a couple of  upholsterers in town.  They are old guys who I assume will retire one of these days. Then what?  I worry about too many arts lost.

Where do you get things fixed?  What lost arts would you like to see revived?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Witness

Nick Clifford, the last remaining member of the team of 400 who carved Mount Rushmore, has passed away. He was 98.  Clifford got the job as a teenager because he already knew how to use a jack hammer.

Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor behind the monument chose four presidents to symbolize key events in US history. Washington represents its birth, Jefferson epitomizes its growth, Lincoln illustrates its preservation and Roosevelt embodies its development.

Leaving aside the issue of defacing a lovely mountain, what four heads do YOU think should be jack hammered on Mount Rushmore?

The Horror!

During the day yesterday, YA called me while I was at work.

YA: Do I need a library card to use the computers at the library?
Me:   I’m not sure.  Did you call to ask them?
YA: I’m there now. I don’t think I have a library card.
Me: I’m sure you do.
(Me rustling in purse)
Me: I have your card right here.  Do you need the number?
YA: No – they gave me a temporary number.

This seemed innocuous enough until the real implications of the phone encounter hit me. I had her library card in my wallet because when she was a toddler and kindergartner, she didn’t have a place to keep her library card, so I held onto it.  After all, back then, we were usually at the library together.

But if I still have her card, that means that since we quit going together (once she hit 2nd or 3rd grade),  SHE HAS NEVER STEPPED FOOT IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY ON HER OWN.

Not having a reader for a child has been a hard pill to swallow. Obviously your children aren’t little models of yourself, but when they differ from you in a treasured part of your life, it takes some getting used to.  I thought I had long ago come to this acceptance but yesterday’s realization was like that proverbial cold bucket of water.  Ouch.  If I was still in therapy we’d have to talk about this at my next appointment!

Any epiphanies recently?  (Good or bad.)

Armadillos!!!!

I am a calendar person. I love them.  I have multiple calendars at work: one online, my Daytimer, a year-long calendar on the wall so I can look ahead and a month-at-a-time –print out on which I cross off each day as it goes by.  I started doing this last year, to count down to a program that was driving me crazy and after the program was over, I just kept doing it (I assume one of these days I will decide I really don’t need to do this anymore.)

At home I have a pretty calendar on the fridge, a handmade calendar in my bedroom that attaches to a wooden pedestal and a birthday list in my studio that “says” it’s a calendar, but it’s just a listing by month of birthdays so I think that might be stretching it. I also keep a few things on my phone calendar.

In addition to having birthdays listed on the “calendar” in my studio, I also keep birthdays in my Daytimer. This means that once a year I go through the old Daytimer pages and copy the birthdays over to new Daytimer pages.  It’s a relaxing project; this year I used magenta ink.

As I was copying over the birthdays yesterday, I came across a notation on June 27 of this year that said “Armadillos”. It was written in big letters in the after-hours section of the day.  And it had several  exclamation marks and was highlighted!   I have no idea what this was about.  Was it a southwestern-themed bar that I was supposed to go to after work with colleagues.  Was it a concert that someone on the Trail mentioned?  Was it some National Geographic special I wanted to watch?  No clue.

Any idea why I wrote “Armadillos” in my Daytimer?

Retro Bribery

The news today is that McDonald’s has decided to re-introduce some of their retro Happy Meal toys. To celebrate the 40th birthday of Happy Meals, they are bringing back some of the toys that were most popular in the past.  This means some little Beanie Babies, a Mulan figurine and even a Tamagotchi.  I remember my sister waiting in line repeatedly for the little Beanie Baby toys from McDonalds for her kids; I expect we will see more of the same with this promotion.

When YA was young, our go-to restaurant was Noodles, who didn’t do kids’ meals or toys. McDonalds still isn’t the most vegetarian-friendly place and it certainly wasn’t 24 years ago.  Same with Burger King, Wendy’s and the rest.  I do remember that Taco Bell (our other favorite) had a kid’s meal w/ a toy, but Child didn’t like the inclusions, so she never got the kids’ meal.  And if there was an occasional cheap plastic toy, it usually went in the trash when we got home.  Two big dogs and little cheap plastic toys are not a good combination.  (Side story.  When Child was little I had told all my nearest and dearest that I didn’t want Barbies in the house.  Not because I have anything intrinsically against a Barbie doll, but because they always come with lots of little bits; Child was still too little to be held responsible for picking up lots of little toy accessories and I didn’t want the dogs ingesting them.  That Solstice, middle sister sent an Arial doll.  Little coconut bra, little comb, little Sebastian and little Flounder.  When I questioned my sister, she said “but it isn’t a Barbie”.  We donated it.)

Long story short, it makes me wonder that our society thinks we can’t ask our kids to sit through a short meal without being bribed by a toy and now retro toys.   Personally I save bribery for much bigger issues!!

Have you ever had to coerce someone with toys/treats/gifts?

The Cosmic Kitty

You probably never thought that you wake up to Verily Sherrilee recommending a car shop. Well, I guess recommend is a strong word.  Here’s the deal.

Last month my BFF and I went to a concert downtown (same night as *45s rally but luckily no consequences from that). As we were parking the car in the underground ramp, I saw this crazy decorated car.  It looked like one of those “art cars” that you see at the state fair.   I know I wouldn’t want to drive this around all the time (heck, I can’t even bring myself to put a bumper sticker on my car) but I thought it might be fun for a bit so I took a couple of quick pictures.

As we were heading back to the car after the concert, there was a woman unlocking it so I stopped to talk. I told her that I loved the car and hoped she didn’t mind if I had taken a couple of photos.  She said not a problem because it wasn’t her car.  It was a loaner car from the garage where her car was getting repaired.

Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive was easy to find online and they are different than most other garages. They have photos of all their employees (mostly younger than you would expect) online, have a nice-looking garage cat, are involved in a lot of giving back to the community and then there are the art cars.  Looks like there are at least two: Cosmic Kitty and another sedan with oceanscape scenery.

They look intriguing to me so in the future, I might have to schlep farther north for car repair to see if I can get the Cosmic Kitty on loan!

Who do you trust to fix YOUR stuff?