Thursday, November 12, 2015

Phantosmia Pareidolia and A Happy Day

Today was a fantastic day, start to just ending. My brother had a confused beginning, which my father identified as probably having had no sleep. An extraordinary engagement from Dad. We talked about a history hiccup I found on the Veterans Day internet, got more clarity on Dad's experience. Walked Wild Wing trail in company with first experience nature encounters, called a friend to meet for lunch, and then my niece called stuck in traffic minutes from where we were. The two women in my life who are recently certified rescue people - one alpine rescue; my niece, certified deep water rescue met for the first time. I found a new interesting connecting person in my long-time search for people who understand that science is not disparate from divinity, is in fact completely related. Alistir McGrath, professor of both science and religion and labeled a Christian Apologist on wikipedia, but that's a subject for other people, another time. Found some forward motion on the writing I've been mulling long and scribing short. Not a single pareidolia event, but if I live long enough I'll find Carl Sagan's face in the spots on my hands. And this final note before I sleep: I had another phantosmia experience. I was reading a facebook post from a friend about how war communications were sometimes sent (Western Union, although how terrifying for a woman waiting for news - opening that not knowing if it was I love you or sorry to report) and I smelled the fragrance worn by the woman receiving the telegram. Distinct. I've had this experience a handful of times before - Another Country with Rupert Everett, he was wearing a boutonniere, and I smelled it, with the movie on over my shoulder, not watching, and smelling the flower, turned to the TV to see it in his lapel) I looked up olfactory hallucination when that happened. Stroke, Parkinson's, okay. A book I reviewed on goodreads, which I could find but not today - I saw the author at her desk writing the book, smelled the paper, ink. My first public disclosure of this stuff. Does it matter? No. If I lived in any other century but this one, I'd be in a walled bin somewhere for even mentioning this. I think it's just the continuation of a marvelous 24 hours in any person's life, only I looked at every hour. Appreciated each quarter hour. A singular day.  It cannot be surprising that all my senses are open to the wondrous.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Surrounded by Men

Anxiety levels inexplicably elevated, I checked a free biorhythm site this morning. Okay, so I checked two. Not helpful and not surprising. What's wrong with me? Not knowing when the next time I'll get to Vault of Midnight, thought I'd order Monstress Vol. 1, and also a couple of other female-drawn/written comics, so I searched what's out there. And light dawned! Two compilation lists of Top 50 Female Comics people: both by men. Looking up Nancy Meyers filmography to compare to Nora Ephron filmography earlier today, I find on imdb a "weighted average" for a couple of favorite movies. Doesn't seem possible that males under 18 and males over 45 all rated one movie exactly 5.1, but imdb writes we weight and we're not telling you how. Read some reviews of Spectre earlier. All men. Because reviewers are. Men. Comic book bloggers. Men. Rotten Tomatoes reviewers. Men. Men men men men. Does it surprise you that 5000 men thought Mixed Nuts was so so? Liev Schreiber alone is outstanding in that movie. Madeline Kahn, divine as always. I am fully aware there is woman-driven media out there. But not the first results in a search. You have to dig to find women reviewers, directors, subject matter experts, and even when the search has woman or female in the search parameters, the results are male written. Double whammy. Female content is curated by male gaters. Is that because male views are more popular? More searched for? I doubt it. But I've been wrong before. PS I just tried to find a link to Monstress, and got this. While I'm sure Asian-American pedagogy is a worthy subject - another G U Y! aaiieee! PPS The default players in my multiplayer games are men. Have to actively switch to female. PPPS Phoned Vault of Midnight, set up an account, signed for email notification of new Monstress and Captain Marvel releases. Monstress Vol. 1 is in my box, waiting to be collected. Life is calmer now.

Monday, October 26, 2015

You Can Create the Art You Were Born to Create

This may be my first not square art on my blog. That already is weird. I signed on for a watercolor class for September 2013. Had supplies in satchel as I was on my way out the door and my father was on the couch breathing funny. I called 911 instead of leaving for class. I called the only number I had to credit my absence. A couple days later, another artist called to tell me I had some options: 1) join the artist's class in another city, 2) wait until next year, or 3) she'd teach me what she'd learned in individual sessions at the art center I belong to. I am still overwhelmed at her generosity. As serendipity goes, I owned two watercolors painted by this artist proposing. I've been afraid of watercolor all my life. Talking with a friend today I realized and confessed that art was something I came up with to do instead of finishing writing. Third grade, 4th, I had a play produced in school, and then 5th grade I was done. There are studies about this phenomena, 9 year old girls get whacked in the world. Back to art: at 9 I started winning art awards. Art, write, art, write, different art, different write. So. Afraid of watercolor. And now I'm not. Not at all. It's expensive, but not as expensive as oil which never suited my hurry up and dry sensibilities. I like acrylics because of the control. You put down, it stays there. It is always the color in the tube. Dries fast. To do anything else with the color, you have to add mediums, which are varied and crazy. Float. Matte extend. And it has black and white, which should have indicated to me that it didn't suit me. I am so watered mystical indefinable, black and white are not in my vocabulary, and...what was I thinking? $20 for a float medium? $30 for something to make the whole expensive Watercolor has no white. Nor black. When you look at the sky in life, it has clouds with varying shades of gray, palish blue, white. When you look at the sky as watercolor, there is no black, no white. The blue is the piece you need to focus on. The paper is white. Lordy, lord. And flow. I'm a paddler. Water rules. You lose focus with water in a white water river, you die. You lose focus in a watercolor painting, you live. My teacher is Barbara Weisenburg. One of her teachers is Nita Engle.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lady Tree Down

Trout Lake in Island Lake Recreation Area is a deep gravel pit. The land surrounding has few big trees, except on a ridge that separates Trout Lake from another lake, probably another pit with the immediate area scoured long ago. Towering over the other trees on the ridge was a dead tree I called the Lady Tree. It was a solitary majestic presence- could see it at great distance. I felt strongly the presence of my matriarchal ancestors at her feet, and I'd trudge up the wide path to share the views. A lake on either shoulder. When my best friend died in 2010, I'd lean against the Lady Tree and cry until I couldn't cry any more. I stopped walking at Island Lake when a couple of hunters came out of the bush next to me 3 years ago. You could see the Lady Tree from Kensington Rd., but the last year I haven't spotted her. Today I walked to find her. There's just a narrow path now and I walked slowly uphill. Fallen. Feels like a transition that I can accept at this point in my life. The ancestors and other women I loved have moved on. The tree is now habitat for other generations of living things. Feels like the natural order of life. Walking back to the parking lot, I thought about how nature and women are the same. I thought about man's ongoing efforts to control nature. And women. And I understood today that the unrelenting pursuit for control of nature and women's bodies won't succeed. Nature has her own plans.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Glass Half Full

Autumn! Michigan in autumn is a watercolor palette of crimson, orange, yellow, copper, green gold. I even like the gray down comforter of the sky. When it slides off its sky bed, a sheet of singular blue. Michigan October blue. October is a month of thinking in color. Stand under a maple tree and count the tubes of paint for the leaves. Alizarin Crimson, Scarlet Lake. Quinacridone Coral, Rose of Ultramarine. I can whisper colors to myself. For my brother, at the dinner table, saying no a hundred times: rose of ultramarine. It has sediment and an ongoing exchange of blue and pink: makes great shadows. I can close my eyes and see a tree shaped like a red wine glass, while my father wonders what this bottle of soy sauce is for, and should he put it on his salad? Add to my cheap joe's wishlist in my head as my lovely neighbor friend, wheelchair-bound, is driven to New York to live with her brother. Opera pink for her: good light fastness but may fade over time. And for me, I wonder how it is that oak leaves seem to land on tiptoe, and perhaps burnt sienna mixed with aureolin yellow for the strong spine lifted to the October sky. Or brown madder? 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stellar Repo Reboot

Stellar has been backburnered for so long now, I had to reboot my own knowledge of who she is.  There are 2 excerpts hanging out in the interwebs. Ah! And a synopsis from nanowrimo.


Stellar Repo will bring you back your stuff from wherever in the galaxies it may be transplanted. If someone snatched it, that's one price. If you lost it, that's another. And if you trick her into chasing stuff that really doesn't belong to you, that's going to cost you plenty.

Excerpt I

Excerpt II

I feel at the controls again. And I like this visual better, although it's not final yet. The ninja outfit is too loose and has ties that would trip a stealth repoer up. Liking the idea of multiple parts to clothing though. This ninja outfit has 11 pieces (made by Reload Action, which is cool all by its onesies.) One of my expando file slots for SR has potential wardrobe drawings in it. But the tools are hers. Crowbar. Bolt cutters. And the attitude is hers. Once upon a time, I was collection manager for a bank aircraft finance department. It was a crazy assignment - I took it because no one else wanted it. And it was a chance to 1) earn more loot, and 2) inadvertently begin the long road of being the first woman to do some thing. Comes under the heading of because it was there. Or as my mother said - slow learner.  So. Begin again.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jeep and Me

Aging. Load exceeds vehicle recommendations. Rust blooms where elements erode or pool. Creaky knees. Stiff hips. Short-term memory problem, will stall if left idle. Range of vision shortened by starring. Left shoulder sagging. Voluntary reflexes work this time, maybe not next. Skin dull overall. Could use a full service day spa for a week. Long miles on the engine, some hard distance. The stopping mechanism needs work. Filters less effective. We adjust. We coast.