topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, October 04, 2015

This Sums it Up Nicely

The middle school fair was basically a presentation where the man speaking said the same exact thing about 17 times.

Then the superintendent showed up and talked to us about "options" for our "little gems". She said apply to many schools, 12 or 20. (what!!!!)

Yeah right.  There is something called Life Logistics.

Anyhow, we will apply to two (2) schools.  Open houses are next week. Whichever school Daya is accepted into, she already has dance team friends there. So that's nice.

Here is the middle school directory for our district.  I think it sums up the education system very nicely: walking up a bunch of stairs when there are elevators.


Check out that girl over there at the bottom...
she's thinking serious expletives

Saturday, October 03, 2015


Q-Tip and Munchie love cheeze puffs.

Friday, October 02, 2015


My friend Fran found me some-odd years ago through my blog.  Back when our kids were still in strollers.

We used to hang out in the Museum of Natural History, down in the big ocean life room under the whale. We played with play-dough and ate our kids' snacks. We had good conversations.

Amelia and Daya
Museum of Nat History
November 2008

Sometimes I would go to Harlem and hang out with Fran,  We had sleepovers.  She had a beautiful cat named Peppermint. It was fun. Fran is clever and interesting, and our kids got along well.

On one of those sleepovers, I unclogged Fran's toilet, which was old and temperamental, as many things in old NYC apartments are. I taught her how to properly use the plunger.

This was one of those defining moments of friendship.

I will plunge your toilet too,
if you are in need

Fran moved to Georgia.  I miss her a lot. But we are still friends, even though we can't hang out at the playground or museums anymore.

In a most bizarre coincidence a few years ago, a former co-worker (FCW) of mine also met Fran because they were living in the same neighborhood.  That would have been really fun, except that FCW and I got off to a difficult start.  FCW got very upset with me on their second day of work because while I was training them, I "didn't let them talk enough".

FCW did many very strange things that first year, including leaving their desk to work upstairs in the cafeteria every afternoon, But the weirdest was going out on medical leave for what they initially said would be less than a week, and it turned into the whole summer.  During that time they had an out-of-town guest staying with them.  Oh, and also during that time, FCW CALLED HR ON ME because they wanted to move their desk. The reason? They just didn't want to sit next to me.

No talk with our manager, no talk with me, just immediate escalation to HR while they were out of the office.

HR is obligated by law to do a full investigation, which went on for too many months. So they asked various people around the office about me.  They made inquiries. No one had anything negative to say. Finally, they asked FCW to produce an incident list of actual things I did or said to justify the case.  FCW said nothing specific had really ever happened, there was no incident list, she just had "bad feelings" about me. Since she could not produce any specific incidents of my offensive behavior (because THERE NEVER WERE ANY), the case was dropped.

At the conclusion of it all, I told our manager that I wanted FCW to know that I knew about the whole thing, because she was not aware that I knew-, my manager told me because she thought it was unfair for me to not know a case was being launched against me. She told FCW I was aware of what happened.

I had to sit next to her the whole time- for months!- and pretend I didn't know anything.

FCW never approached me to make peace, start over, apologize, nothing.

It was extremely stressful and hurtful.  And I never spoke against her to anyone else in the office.  To this day I haven't told people what happened.

So, under different conditions, I would have been hanging out with Fran and FCW and we would have all been great friends.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

October Winds

Have you ever wanted something so badly, over such a long period of time, and it just never happens no matter how hard you try, or how much you let go and stop trying?

And then it shows up to taunt you, but disappears, then comes back to remind you, then disappears again?

It's hard.  Too hard.

Two years ago when my ex-BFF was living with me for a month (October 2013) with her two kids and her boyfriend, Archangel Michael showed up very strongly and directly in a very specific and tangible dream. It was energy I desperately needed at the time, and it contained a gift, and a message.

Do angels lie?

The change of seasons always brings remembered resonance of seasons past.
Sometimes that is nice and sometimes it is not.

Daya goes to Middle School next year.  We are going to apply to two- one we are zoned for (which will take her no matter what) and another in the neighborhood that would be better.  I have to learn what they want for applications, to see if she can get in on audition for their performing arts program. Either way, Middle School will be fine.  There is a Middle School Fair later today.  Lots to find out.

Orange Tree, Bronx Zoo
October 2013

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apartment Re-Org: Done

My apartment re-org is officially done. I started in 2013 with some new furniture and painting.  That took a lot of time, energy, and money. That was Part 1.

This year was Part 2.  And it's done. I started in the Spring, around April-May.  Again, it took a lot of time, energy, and some more money. Things were a little chaotic for a while, but that's all done.

I do still have a few things that I need to go through and sort, but it's not that much and it is put away neatly. And I do still need to go through my books, but it is ok for now.

Everything is organized.  Everything is clean. Everything has a home. I know what I have, and I know where it is. My entire apartment is clean and organized from the inside-out. Best of all, it has been staying like that!

Over the summer, Daya outgrew literally ALL of her clothing.  All of it.  Even socks and underwear. So I had to buy two new wardrobes for her in the past few months- warm weather and cool weather. That was *REALLY* expensive.  I need time to recover from that. But it made cleaning and sorting really easy- there were no "maybe's".

Daya helped tremendously with the whole process- she did all her clothing and toys herself.  Keep, donate, trash. And she did a wonderful job.  It saved me days of work, and she learned how to go through the process. She has ownership and accountability- and control- over her space, which is her bedroom.

We threw out a lot. Between the two of us, we donated 17 (or thereabouts) REALLY LARGE bags of clothing, toys, and other items.  They went to a friend's daughter's charity, which directly helps families who are in real immediate need. I heard back that one family in particular, with four girls, was so happy to receive Daya's outgrown clothing. I shared that with Daya, and that made her happy. so everyone benefited.

Moving all that stuff out cleared out my storage space for things I need and use. Because I have a small living space (NYC apartment!), anything that stays in the apartment needs to have a purpose. There has to be a justification for stuff to stay. Otherwise, it has to go.

This clearing has made all housework incredibly manageable, all over my apartment. I can honestly say it is no longer the bane of my existence.  It's fine, easy, not a big deal. I'm not even sure how that happened, but it did. I'm a bit baffled, but definitely not complaining.

This has been a long ongoing process. I have turned a corner, I have finally arrived at my destination as far as having a nice orderly living space. It is very humble, very simple, but it is mine.  I am proud of the work I have done. It is an accomplishment. It is something I can permanently mark off my Life Issues List.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The world was supposed to end yesterday. Again.

I really have to wonder how people who staunchly predict the apocalyptic end of the world feel and think when it doesn't happen. That's just...really embarrassing.

Some people put a whole lot of effort into this Armageddon.
And it was just one of many in a long line of failed predictions.

Everyone talks about massive change with fear and destruction and horror- but what if this massive change is beneficial and positive- say, the end to the mass oppression of daily life?  Things coming back into balance, such as more equitable distribution of wealth?  Things coming to an end which should end? Things we, as a human collective, would welcome?

For what it's worth, I actually like the Pope.  He has a better message of compassion and tolerance, which is a major change the world really needs.

He was here in NYC as everyone knows.  I didn't get to see him but a friend of mine did.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Strange Fruit

In the deli on the corner of 5th ave and 22nd street...

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Pebbles could not make it to the cat bed before falling asleep.
Please note proximity.

Clearly on her way.... close......

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Color Junkie

I have had these for almost a week now, and they haven't gotten a blog post!

Urban Decay released TWO new color palettes!! Urban Spectrum and Vice 4.
Oh man are they awesome.  Love.

Seriously, LOVE.

Urban Spectrum

Vice 4

Friday, September 25, 2015

Great Minds.....

..... buy the same stuff!

When visiting Dru, I have noticed that we have a lot of the same stuff. And I'm not just talking about art supplies, though we both have our fair share of brushes...

part of Dru's brush farm

Most of my Brush Farm
cats are stunningly absent


Dru also lives in Paper Heaven.
I *love* Dru's papers.

This is not even all my different papers.  
I know I missed some, like my 4x6 watercolor block.
And my tracing papers.
I also have several pads of wonderful 18x24 papers
that I didn't feel like pulling out.
NOTE: Not included- a lot 
of assorted panels and canvas

(I always thought Dru should get into oils. She disagrees.)


Dru has me beat in the gouache collecting.

My Gouache
I think I have a few more tubes
in a drawer somewhere

In the art store, Dru showed me her favorite fur-painting brush so I have one too.....

But aside from art supplies, which really is to be expected, there are other, less-expected samenesses.

1. We have the same camera. We both got the same bundle of accessories with it.

Rebels in the graveyard

2. Matching Dustbusters!!!! Really, how cool is that?



3. Urban Decay Naked 3

4. Essie "For the Twill of It"

5. Tea.  We both have a whole lot of tea.

Dru protects her stash with knives

6. Fridge child-proofers, which she saw at my apartment and got for her fridge.

Keeps the cats out.
Does not keep the child out.

7. Holey noses.  Yep, both of us.

8. Matching West Side Highway rats!

Q-Tip and Munchie!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Evil Kitty Plot

Isis attempted to keep Nancy from leaving yesterday but she failed.

Evil Kitty Plot

Aren't these great clouds?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Today Nance and I went back to the Met to sketch in the sculpture garden in the American Wing.

Nance made two (2) drawings and I made one (1). Mine is the dark one in the middle.

Here is some nice Tiffany glass.

Then we went down to Jerry's Palette Shop to see Rosemary from Rosemary's Brushes. Her brushes are seriously superior in every way.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We Met at the Met

Sid came from Maryland, Dru came from Hudson, Nancy came from Oklahoma, I came from right here and we all went to the Met to see Sargent.

Nancy confessed she loves Sargent a little bit more than she loves me, but this is understandable so i forgive her.

Anyhow, we all had a really lovely time and the art was wonderful and the company was even better.

There are crabs on the roof of the Met

What an awesome show.

I had to visit my favorite Memling painting.

We went to dinner after.  Sid of course had to get a complementary color drink.

While I took Sid to Penn Station, Dru and Nancy went to Sephora.

Then it got late and we all went home.

Welcome to autumn!