topiary cats

topiary cats

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Intentions

Wow, I actually managed a blog post every single day this year!

The new year is the start of a new cycle, a beginning. It is a beginning the world. for the most part, collectively agrees on. So there is a lot of collective new-start-another-chance energy.

It makes sense because of the winter solstice, the Birth of Light.
What will we do with that new light?

2015 was pretty awful though there were some nice bits, like visiting Cathy and Dru and Branwen and Carey. And my apartment is all nice and clean and organized permanently.
Maintaining it is no big deal. So that's good.

But losing three long-term best friends, one right after another, in one year, really stinks.
It is mind-numbing. I want to just leave it all behind.
This year has seen the 10-year mark on a few different things.
Next year will bring two more 10-year marks.

So here are my 2016 intentions:
1. Drink a lot of tea
2. Paint some pictures

That's it.

Daya and I went to New Jersey for Christmas. We stayed for 2 days.
This is significant because
1) I like to stay home and do absolutely nothing on Christmas and
2) it's New Jersey.

But Branwen is worth it.
There's something everyone should know about Branwen, and it is that she is amazing and fabulous.
I have to say this was a very, very nice holiday- better than I expected, and it is thanks in large part to her.  And Dru. I am very grateful.

I will do a post on Branwen's Beasties, but for now here is Lucky the Amazing, Gorgeous, and Super-charming kitty. And Dru's rat Aloysious, who is so awesome he wins the Umber award.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye, Squishalicious

The Toys R Us flagship store in Times Square is closing as of tomorrow. I remembered when it opened 16 years ago.  It is huge, with a ferris wheel, a giant Barbie castle, and... Squishalicious.

Squishalicious is the huge robotic dinosaur on the third floor.
I named him Squishalicious after Carey thought he should have a name.
Because he is so adorable and cuddly.

Squishalicious is probably the coolest thing about Times Square, and now he has to find another home.

Also, now I don't know where to get my pink grapefruit gummy bears.

Although the huge Toys R Us was mostly a tourist attraction, and every time I went in there I was disoriented by the sheer visual chaos, I will miss it.  It was convenient.

We also lost FAO Schwartz, although they are apparently re-opening somewhere else, but it isn't the same. No one can afford the cost of operating a physical store anymore.  They cannot compete with online retailers who have better prices and better selection.

The huge space will be broken up into smaller retail shops.

We love you forever Squishalicious

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mad ACEO: Snow

We had a mid-week theme change...theme is snow!

I got three done. All are 2.5 x 3.5" oil pastel on bristol.
The first two have a double coat of acrylic glitter glaze, which is really difficult to photograph.
Oh well.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Recital Rehearsal

We got back from NJ last night and I'm tired.  Too tired to go through the cool photos from the weekend and put a blog post together.

In the meantime, here is a video from 2011 of a rehearsal of Daya's first (or second??) ballet recital.  She started dance in October 2009.

Daya is wearing the pink flower in her hair.

Daya was always so serious about it- not only did she insist on doing it right, she wanted everyone else to do it right also! She would get so frustrated when others weren't as serious.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

5th Grade Math Test

Daya brought home a math test for me to look at.
Of course she got an A on it.
She loves math.

Can you pass the 5th grade math test?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Under the Tree

There were a few things besides cats under the tree for Daya. The cats were there too, helping. Supervising. 
At 4am.

That huge present was a ballet barre and mirrors.
Daya is ridiculously happy.

Furball is afraid of Christmas morning.


Cats like to sleep on 5lb Hershey bars.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A New Tradition

Last night Daya and I floated around Manhattan just because we could.

I like the holiday lights.
The tree in Rockefeller Center is pretty at night.

It is bizarrely warm here in NYC- almost 70 degrees. So much for my blizzard.

Anyhow, I have started a new Christmas Eve tradition with Daya.  I told her that I hope she continues this for the rest of her life, no matter where she is and who she is with.

Very simply, tonight is the night to wish for and ask for the seemingly-impossible.
It is something private, not shared with anyone but god.
We both lit candles.

When I spoke to Daya about it, she already knew exactly what she wanted to wish for.
I hope she gets it.

No one does Christmas like NYC.
We love our city.

Looking down 5th ave

Full Moon

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to Torture Your Child

I got Daya a Very Large Present in three parts.
Two of those three parts are HUGE.
It is separate from what Santa will deliver.
She didn't ask for it, or even think about it.
Which means she doesn't even know where to start guessing.

Because I have nowhere else to put it, I wrapped it and put it under behind the tree.
Last week.

It is driving Daya absolutely batshit crazy.

Every time she walks by the tree.....which is all the time......
She is going nuts and I think it is hilarious.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Vanilla" Blogging- Notsomuch Here

Huh.  I didn't even know that was a thing.

I learned that vanilla blogging is when people try to make their lives look perfect and they only write/show nice pretty happy things.

Yeah, notsomuch here! LOL

I wonder what flavor my blog would be.
Tea-flavored, probably.

So, Launna wrote about self-dialogue and self esteem.
I describe self esteem simply as being friends with yourself.

I am great friends with myself. My internal dialogue is not harsh, or judgmental.  I am kind to myself. Nice. I treat myself the way I want to be treated by others. That doesn't always work out- with how others treat me- but I'm still nice to myself at all times because I know I am doing my best and I have been through a lot. A whole lot.

This, actually, is one of the reasons I am so fed up with everything.

Because I am doing everything right and it doesn't change my balance from negative experiences with other people into positive ones. I can't seem to cross over even into neutral territory. Basically, I lose important people year after year and no one else shows up.

Things I am doing right:
*My self-esteem/inner dialogue is always positive and has been for YEARS
*I take care of myself regarding good diet, outward appearance, enough sleep
*I pursue interests and things I like such as my art, blog, yoga, meditation
*I am more than willing to break out of/expand my comfort zone.
*I have a good stable job and I am financially responsible
*My apartment is clean and organized
*My child and animals are all happy and healthy

And yet, none of it actually matters.

Because despite how far I have come, the strength I posses, what I come from and have come through, and all that I maintain, nothing in my outer world really changes. I lose people- important people- year after year and there isn't anything I can do about it.

The right people don't show up at all for me. In fact, the wrong people don't show up either!
No one shows up.

I am so sick and tired of everything and there are many moments in many days when I can't wait until it is all over. It's just not worth it. I get through because I have to but mostly it is all pretty hopeless.

It is worth mentioning that, while feeling deeply bleak isn't, of course, optimal, in my opinion it is much better to be bleak in NYC than in the middle of nowhere. At least here a person can go be bleak at the Met, or the Cloisters, or the cathedral, or by the river, or secluded in nature, too. We do have that. The Botanical Gardens. The Bronx River. The parks. A short ride on Metro-North. Or just walking, floating around the city. It doesn't matter where you go, or if you just walk to nowhere, without purpose. It doesn't even matter where you end up.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Solstice / Mad ACEO

Last night was the winter solstice. 11:49pm here in NYC.
The longest night.


The "birth of light" follows, as now the nights get shorter.

Last year on the solstice I went to St Patrick's Cathedral and lit a candle for someone.

This year I lit a candle for myself.

Mad ACEO: "I've Got a Bad Feeling About This"

Carey likes these long-title themes. It is a Star Wars reference.
However, I decided to take it to a different level.

A very snarky angle.

Because, as modern art history as a reflection of society goes,

I've got a bad feeling about this!

Pastel and oil pastel all over clear oil pastel
on various papers because I'm running low and I don't feel like cutting any more
2.5 x 3.5"

Cy Twombly's Crap
oil pastel

Rothko's Crap
pan pastel

Pollock's Crap
oil pastel

Frankenthaler's Crap
pan pastel

de Kooning's Crap
pan pastel

Carey's bad feelings are here.

PS You don't have to think these "artists" produced tons and tons of crap but I do and this is my blog so I'll say whatever I damn well please.  So there. They can call my work crap too, except that they're all dead now so I guess they can't.  So there.

PPS I am genuinely apologetic to the materials used in creating these ACEOs. At least the papers can be saved by washing them with solvent, which I will do.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Vintage Train

Every year the MTA runs one of the really old trains for a few Sundays in December.  We rode the train this year.  There were cars from the 1930s. It was so cool.

Seriously cool.

I was choosing pictures to post here but when I realized how many there were.... it was too many.
If you want to see all the pictures they are here.

Here are a few.  I get carried away with pictures because they are just so stinking COOL.  I love the history.  I love the old advertisements.  I LOVE the old maps!!  I love thinking about the people who rode these trains and their daily lives.  I love the history of this city.

actually you're probably DEAD now...

We took the train on its full route, from Queens Plaza down to 2nd Ave.  Since we were going to visit a friend afterward, it was easiest to just take the M train from Essex St on the Lower East Side.

Daya hasn't spent much time down there, so we walked over to the Delancey/Essex Street station.
The Lower East Side is an old part of the city with tons and tons of history.  The Bowery is the original skid row. Tenement houses. Squalor. Poverty. It's really a fascinating place.

And...while walking down Delancey, I saw there is a Tenement Museum!! I must go.

I NEED to go here!

In keeping with the general "oldness" of the area, the Essex Street station is also very old.  So is the Bowery has an interesting history.  Half of it has been closed, but I remember when it was fully open and operational.  It was originally meant to grow into a larger "hub" station which didn't happen.

Anyhow, Essex Street.  It is old and cool.  Here is a view from one of the platforms.  That is not a window, it is a mirror.

We got on the M train which runs from the Lower East Side (Manhattan) into Brooklyn and Queens. After Essex Street it goes above ground over the Williamsburg Bridge.

Come ride the M train with us over the Williamsburg Bridge (crossing the East River going east) into Brooklyn, to Marcy Ave.