After going to Skok and having geoduck chowder and apple cake with Pete and Marilee and Kareem and Felicia, and talking to Susan about a website for her weavings, and taking a few pictures (a having Marilee take more for me!), I drove into Oly to see Connie and Dave. They just finished replacing a dead Japanese maple with a fabola bermed tree-and-rocks-and-plants. Looks very nice and Zen-like. I suggested Sam might create watery-wavy lines in the lawn by carefully pouring gasoline in the correct pattern, then firing it. I don't think they're going to take me up on my suggestion. I wonder why not? Connie has just given away a large houseplant she'd nutured for 30 years. Don't trust any houseplants over 30! I always say that. They have a huge fern that would be great in a palm-tree trunk base -- I like that idea a lot -- maybe I'll make a million off it. Next! They fed me dinner -- I'm a lucky cadger! I drove home and have been fielding questions from several sources while trying to process the images from my camera. Some Pete, some Susan, some Pete and Kareem.
I went up to Skok to see Pete and Marilee and Kareem and Felicia -- I started taking Kareem up to learn carving when he was 13 -- now he's just a month from 17. I believe in mentoring, and that for many kids it takes someone to speak up and arrange things, and commit to it, and drive -- and that's AS WELL AS the mentor -- hey, as I always say, I'm just the driver (I'm out of a job now Felicia is driving!). All this is about helping children become wonderful adults -- and some people can use more help than others. If you make a commitment in your heart to help children learn what they need to know to be happy and good, you can realistically only help a few at the most in a big way, but you may help many more in a lesser way, and also by providing a role model, or by being a role model for an adult who may become a mentor.
That's all good, right?
I wrote: you've been mentioned in my blog -- and Caitlin and GooGooGoggles, too. hope that was ok. and dotty pez, but i don't care what he/she thinks. how can you tell if dotty pez is male or female? or maybe it's just none of my (human) business. l,v
In answer to my query Anji writes: i think you can tell that dotty pez is a female due to the amount of make up she wears...however that could just be a man's inner desires surfacing...i catch them all in compromising positions all the time.
Lucia says I should point out that the little girl in the picture at the bottom is me. That was about 1958 or 9, I would reckon. I am from a big bow-and-arrow nation, as you can see. If I didn't have MS I think I'd probably be doing archery. I used to be rather good at fencing, and of course, I had horses until I was in my middle thirties. One thing I despise about being a freaking crip is that I can't have the relationship I want with my environment -- in other words, I used to spend hours just about every day walking or riding in the woods, and now I trip on anything with a trippable surface. Trippable means a lump the thickness of a piece of paper (just about, anyway). Or a depression, or an incline, or a loose surface... I am actually glad for the things I've learned from having MS, but -- get this -- I'M DONE, now.
26 October 2002
I posted Lucia's pages today at www.luciaperillo.com -- then got her to look at them, then fooled around more with the anthology heading. I'm still just barely satisfied -- but that's how it goes. As soon as I stop and go on to something else that will be it and it'll probably be difficult to get me to move something over an inch or whatever. I should be putting Pete's stuff on a disk so I can take it up to Skokomish tomorrow. I've had some lovely, encouraging missives from a man who is a founder of a brand-new (never met but will soon) digital image group here in town that I'm a member of (through a friend). It's called DOG which is cool. Martin wrote: 'Anne told me a bit about your condition. She also said you were an amazing person. I figure you have to be a "life time member" of our group (which has yet to meet) because it embodies your spirit. Come as often as you can, or until it is no longer fun....I'm looking forward to meeting you. I visited your site...very intriguing. Anne said you were a character...truly!' It's so good I wonder if I should spoil it by turning up! I guess I have to break down admit I'm a character. Sounds weird, but if someone said I had no character I'd be mightily insulted, so being a character must be... good! Not something one aspires to, though, I will say.
I'm making a website for Lucia, and for Ann -- two more different aesthetics I can't imagine. Both know what they want/don't want -- and that's a help. I enjoy doing the work, and if I have to figure out something new, so much the better. I have art genes from both parents and engineering genes from my paternal side -- come in handy, by God. I've always had a kind of latent engineering thing, and during various living-with-someone-or-married times I'd be the one fixing the impossible problem. I'd always say, "Give me five minutes alone with it -- I probably can't do anything because I don't know anything about this piece of machinery, but just GIVE ME FIVE MINUTES." Then I'd fix it, whatever it was. It's like channeling -- I don't take any personal credit. I just inherited some affinity for machines. And three-dimensional possibilities. Useful in art -- especially if you are me -- a painter who can't paint anymore. I can just feel a stirring in the reader -- "What's different about the websites?" OK, OK. Ann wants lush, decorated, deep-toned pages that have mystery and involve as many senses as possible. Lucia wants stipped-down and earnest pages that have zero b.s. and present an open face to the world. Makes me think of open-faced sandwiches. If something has no top piece of bread how can it be called a sandwich? It's just something on bread. I'm always telling my students to approach things with an open heart -- which sounds gristly in the extreme, but those are the words that pop out. I also say, "Be subtle. There's no time in your life when being subtle will be a liability." At least that doesn't sound like surgery, which open-heart does. Open heart, open face. Gee.
23 October 2002
On 9-10-02 half the 5th grade class came in to draw a still-life. A new boy named Alan didn't listen, etc., was disruptive. After half an hour I told him to go back to his classroom. Actually, now that I think of it, he threw a piece of silver paper in my general direction, then denied that he'd thrown it. "It wasn't me. I didn't do ANYTHING." The kids (5 minutes later) said (horrified) "He's out in the hall! He didn't go back to class!!" I said, "It doesn't matter -- I will tell your teacher and he'll be in worse trouble than when he left here." Then he came in some time later with a folded note (that I thought was from the teacher as it was 15 minutes later) --that said "I am sorry what I did so can I stay please. if I do it iginon I will get a fine. Sincirle Alan" He told the other students to mind their own business while I read it. I did, and said, "I'd like to believe you but...." "I promise. I always keep my word." "I'd like to believe you but I can't so just go back to your classroom. Good-bye." He left. Later I said to the others, "Gee, I felt really mean, but if I'd let him stay it would've been unfair to you." They said, "He made his choice!" I'm just relating this as he seems to be an intelligent, little boy who needs a big, solid wall put up in front of the road to bad behaviour. With a sign on it that reads, "You will REALLY regret going down here." And then he will probably have a happy life and cause no problems for himself. Usually I don't see who did something, or whatever, and that's too bad, but this time I did and maybe it will be helpful to the child. Also a boy said, "Why do you make boys draw the same things as girls?" I asked him what he meant, and he said, "Flowers are sissy things." I said, "You don't think boys like flowers?" He said they were sissy, girl things. Incredulous, I repeated, "You don't think BOYS like FLOWERS????? All right." I shook my head. I immediately thought of being in a car with 2 un-named boys (one high school age) in the back who were discussing the roses they'd seen that day in Portland -- describing the color, etc., in a very serious and detailed way. And one time I gave my car mechanic some flowers out of the blue -- and he was pleased and flabbergasted at the same time. Why is it people pull their gender-boundaries in so tightly -- is it fear? Fear of what?
I am getting weekly organic vegetable shares -- and I'm eating a ton of vegetables but I still can't keep up -- I used to have the nice empty fridge I called "an old-age home for condiments," but for the next week or two it'll be a zucchini graveyard. El Reeko. I was motivated to get the share because a) it's good for me, b) my friends were starting a horticultural therapy program and I wanted to support their good work, and c) my mother has been having chemo since Christmas (it's over now, thank heavens) and I thought it would be a help to her to have high-quality food. Well, I'm trying. "Very trying," Connie would say.
I think my great niece Caitlin's fishes GooGooGoggles and Co. should have a website and a store. I want my niece to take pictures and write amusing words and I'll make the site and a store. The company that makes the products is pretty cool -- I guess some people do a lot of business. If GooGooGoggles makes himself some money he can buy a bigger tank. Or a mail-order bride. Mrs. Goggles. Froo-Froo Goggles. Dorothy Goggles, nee Pez. I say "Dorothy," because Caitlin's newest fish is named Dorothy, despite Anji lobbying for "Pez" in my honor. So I think of it as Dotty Pez. Dotty Pez is a replacement for the much-loved, personality-rich Spot, who, as Anji explained, Entered Another World Through the Toilet. Maybe it will be a children's book. We are somewhat hindered in our desire to take over the worl... I mean do this as we live in different hemispheres TWICE -- I'm northern/western, she's southern/eastern.
I spent Sunday up at Skokomish visiting Marilee with Ann and Larry. Marilee's husband, Pete, is a traditional carver who makes, among other things, bent wood boxes, masks, and jewelry. They live in a community that has been there forever, and if you look at the GOOD things and not the bad, there's a lot of ways to learn about having a place for people to live. I suppose it's not going to work very well to try to have 350 million people living off the land, but in that place people do gather and share things like salmon, mushrooms, berries, game, garden produce. A big obstacle to more people feeling they have the leeway to be generous with their time and money is that they have to come up with a huge chunk of money every month for mortgage or rent. Is that an absolutely-positively type thing? I always said that was a defining factor of the 90s and on -- the high cost of shelter. Remember when even ordinary people had a vacation cabin? It wasn't fancy -- but maybe that went along with not having two cars -- but then there was probably only one breadwinner. Oh, it's so confusing. There's a used car lot in Lacey called the "Second Car" company. What an out-dated expression that seems to be! My friend just got a job -- in these hard-to-find-a-job times -- and she said it wasn't hard and that most people must be wanting $100,000. That's not it! People have to work for a job that pays enough for them to live on! Sometimes they have to turn down a job that won't pay their rent. I pay $625 and I'm a cripple! I don't get any breaks in anything -- everything's just harder. I guess at some point it becomes impossible, then they strip you of your remaining dignity and fling you on the dung heap. I suppose. Hey! I'm tap dancing as fast as I can! That's a different rant, however, so let me drop it immediately. Where was I? Oh, yeah -- rent. What do you pay? Who is being made happy by this, and why is it possible to own the land, anyway? Is it because there's no family structure? Are we all spoiled?
21 October 2002
OK -- but how can we have a world where people can live their lives with what they need, fulfilled by their work, joined with their communities? You tell me. Basics are: healthcare, housing, dignified work, and ? other things. As an artist I always felt like society wanted what I could give, but they didn't value it -- "Paint this mural, teach art to our children, but do it for free because we know you like to do it. What do you mean you have to pay rent?" I felt outside society, and disrespected by society, because I had to have a "real" job, then go home and do my work -- painting. Society thought working as a waitress was a valuable contribution, but being an artist was not.
Marilee sent me this:
" Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Hitler's #2 man, before being sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials
20 October 2002
This is actually a blog with a broader purpose: coming up with a way people can live in the world with more fairness, morality, happiness, and feeling of the way everything is knitted-together. HOWEVER, I do concede that all that is moot if somebody blows the world up or otherwise destroys it. So here's my friend's rant --
The only Terrorists I fear are the ones in the White House
An Anti-War Rant by..C. Easter
For the past few weeks it has been difficult to concentrate on my many tasks. I am deeply disturbed by how out of sync our unelected president is
with the American people and the world. How voices of opposition throughout the nation/world are blatantly ignored as plans are made to bull doze
through another country. How the mutilation of human lives will be written off with political justification and the Nazi tactics being used to create
patriotic fervor. I am also distressed by the monopolization of giant corporations, their control over legislature/politics, manipulation of the media, their role in world instability, ultimately being the root of chaos, poverty and violence worldwide. And lastly by the powerlessness we as millions of people have toward a handful of tyrants.
In less than a year we will be torpedoed with election campaigns, we are already oversaturated with rhetoric and fear tactics. The state of terror
and instability projected by our leaders is a bone to chew to distract us from alternative motives. It is hard to believe that a majority of the
people cannot see through the thin veil these tyrants hide behind. Like the Wizard of Oz in his fearsome Emerald Palace.
With that said I hereby declare ____?___ on political and corporate terrorists that wreak havoc on cultures worldwide. And VOW to do everything in my power to remove the maniacs from the White House in the Next Election, by raising public awareness that will enable the general population into rejecting fear tactics, dispel the myth about war being good for the economy and the power to say NO to contributing to corporate corruption.
The best way to do this is to play hard ball with the spin doctors and create our own spin that will reverse the rhetoric flooding the media. By Acting NOW we have enough time to counteract the negativity and slander with our own political messages for change and removal of the current administration.
There is much talent and creativity amongst us to pull this off. After some thought here is my suggestion to get the ball rolling:
1. We create a series of 15 / 30 second and one minute PSAs that will increase public awareness, are informative and creative (think Volkswagen),
2. We contact non-profit grass roots groups locally and nationwide that are campaigning for peace and alternative lifestyles (energy etc.), tell them of our mission and distribute submaster copies to them to circulate to their local television stations.
*Note: in a past life I worked as a production assistant in advertising for
a main media television station and handled all PSAs, so have an
understanding to their usage.
3. It is likely there will not be enough exposure through the Public Service Sector. The alternate is each grassroots organization, individually raise funds to pay for television timeslots in their locale.
4. Another way to collect creative ads is to have a tvset contest for people-empowering political ads. There are a multitude of talented passionate people seeking a way to direct their angst towards current events. The grand prize could be national distribution and maybe we could get a local business to donate something to the cause.
I am willing to take on the role of Public relations, get contacts, handle
distribution, etc. But need your help in creation and production. The
maximum cost will be your time and master tapes, being such small spots,
several can be recorded onto one tape.
With modern technology and our wits we have the capability and know how to
do this, so should. I believe it¹s possible to reverse the barbaric behavior
that has been dominating this planet for millenniums. Teaming together we
can make a difference and be part of a movement for positive change in our
political and economic structure. Lets pour water over the wicked witch of
the west before anymore societal damage is done.
Once again -- I woke up and got coffee, then checked my email. I got two from a friend who has concerns about the state of the world -- yes, we are worried about it! I've always been more interested in the world having a balance and fairness than for my personal gain. I have a wonderful family of students who live in tiny apartment with toxic mold. The dad works, the mom looks after the baby and kids, the kids are talented and smart. What are they doing wrong? Nothing I can see. Then why can't they have a house? The kids could have more room, they could have a dog! I've been mulling this over for weeks. Last week they told me they might have a house. I brought up the dog. "Yes, we talked about getting a dog!" they said. If it happens, it's because the person renting the house believes it should be this way -- I know that other people with no children were there first. That would be less wear-and-tear on the house, sure -- but each person can make a decision -- great or tiny -- to do something that's right, not merely profitable. In this case, what seems to be safe (renting to a no-child couple), is actually not safe at all -- because we must be concerned with the good of everyone, and not just our own immediate good.
19 October 2002
My website (www.vivian-oblivion.com) is a place where I try out stuff -- so it looks like shit right now. I have to clean house. My paintings are good, however, and worth looking at. I have MS, and I can't use my right hand now, but it's lucky for me there's plenty of things I can do. I have been way into video, and for about five years my students have been making animated movies -- some are good. The students are, max, fourteen, and mostly younger, but we do the movies, edit on the computer, and this year we're going to post a virtual moviehouse to our school's website. We're heavy into making animated GIFs at the moment. Christy has a skull with a coral snake that goes through the eye sockets and mouth and around and around -- quite nice. The website for the school is: www.wahelut.bia.edu
Schools could be small, neighborhood schools.
Go look at my paintings if you want to: www.vivian-oblivion.com
And while I'm thinking about it, let's not have another war. K?
-----------------> Greetings, Earthlings! <------------------
Here's my thought that I want to help to grow in the mass consciousness:
WE CAN ORGANISE THE WORLD BETTER
Right now things are all organised around money -- can't we do better than that?
Could small areas be governed by a system like the jury system, where you are chosen at random to be a part of the council for a certain length of time?
Can we have healthcare for people?
Please think about this. I believe thinking is under-rated. If you have any definite thoughts or ideas, please email me.