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I wasn’t here last week so this is my first blog of 2022 and we have some catching up to do.


We WILL be painting today — a dog portrait of a lovely lady called Olga — but first things first:

OK, so the good news is that we start 2022 without Donald Trump as president, but the bad news is that we start 2022 without Betty White:







And for all us who watched TV in the ’70s:

I didn’t make any New Year Resolutions, but if I did. . . 




One great bit of news for 2022 is that Marjorie Taylor Greene, the batshit crazy neo-Nazi  Republican congressional representative from the suburbs of Atlanta, got thrown off of Twitter for good:

OK, we’re caught up.





 NOW we’re caught up. Let’s do some watercoloring!

Meet Olga at the English seaside:

For my purposes, this is the Olga I’ll be painting:

Olga is a sweet senior lady who lives in London with Steve Reed, another former Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa (Morocco), journalist,  librarian, and street photographer also known as blogger Shadows & Light.

When I saw this photo of Olga, I immediately loved her smile, and I liked the 3/4 turn of her head. But I knew that that ear was going to be a problem — it takes up a lot of space in the picture here, and if you don’t get it right you’re going to have a messy blob perched on top of her head — as a painter sussing it out, this photo is as much a picture of Olga’s ear as it is of her face.

Also, she’s not got fur so much as suede, and there is a lot of pink peeking out under that fine white coat. I didn’t know if that would be hard to handle, or not. But after taking a long look, I decided that I was up for the challenge.

First, the pencil drawing:

It was a sunny morning here on the north shore of Long Island on the day that I painted Olga, and I was wearing my  bathrobe, which is very fluffy and hot pink, which I did not notice was throwing off a reflection in the photographs. So you will see a pinky glow on some of the following pix, that’s all me, a rosy glow in your life.

As usual, I start with the eyes:

For Olg’as white fur/suede, I painted in an undercoat of China White — I LOVE a China White base because I enjoy the way other paint bleeds into it and  Olga is giving me a lot of opportunity to have fun with this:

Here goes the first dabs of pink pant that I am bleeding into China White:

Add some shading. . .

As usual, I am using blue instead of gray to add shadow to the contours of Olga’s face:

Now for the part that always gives me trouble — the nose:




No, her snoot is not deformed — that’s her right upper lip, hanging out the side. It’s a dark gray in the photo but that won’t work in this painting, so I will fix this by lightening it up so it doesn’t look like Olga has a weird proboscis.

Ah, the mouth: I underestimated how hard it was going to be to paint Olga’s mouth and teefers. I thought I understood what was going on there in Olga’s smile, but once I started to actually paint it I understood that it was going to be tricky to make sure I didn’t make a mess of this. Suffice to say, a dog’s mouth is complicated, and Olga is letting it all hang out:


OK, the mouth is not a disaster.

Oh shit. Now I have to do the ear.

You can’t tell (below), but there I was, having got past the eyes, the nose, and the mouth without incident, only to have me drop a big paint brush onto the wet paint in Olga’s ear and have it roll across the paper. I quickly dabbed up the mess and — whew — there wasn’t much damage, but it was a tense  few moments. I am SO RELIEVED  that I didn’t have to start all over.

I don’t have an in-progress shot of The Ear, so here it is done (below) and now let’s skip to the shoulder, where I am using blue paint again for shade:

This was the most breezy part of painting Olga. Some dogs I look at and know that they are going to be very impressionistic (see: Winston). But Olga was going to have to be a very detailed, very persnickety painting. Until I got to the shoulder: then I let rip and I dabbed it fast and furious and I think it took me 15 seconds to finish.

I let this rest overnight and went back to look at it the next morning and I saw two things that I neededto fix. The lip situation still isn’t right, and I  missed a teeny little bit of expression on her face.

So first, I gave her s tiny little eyebrow that gives her face just a touch of gentleness:


Next, I am going to lighten up that right side of her upper lip by painting it with a thin coat of acrylic paint:

And now I can say that  Olga is DONE:


So far, neither Top Cat nor I have had a bout with ill health during this latest Omicron outbreak, and we hope that all our Dear Readers are staying safe and keeping healthy too. After nearly 2 years of this, you’d think people would have smartened up about COVID and we’d have come together to wipe this out, but nooooo. . . 






Then there’s this leader of the “Vaccine Police”, Christopher Key . . .

Judging by the photo, where he’s wearing his Vaccine Police uniform on the right, does Christopher Key think that you can also shoot the COVID virus to death?

Any way . . .


Oh well. Living with COVID might be the new normal for us in the early 21st century, so we should all just get used to it, right?




Here’s a reason to hope that 2022 is the year when we see Republicans eat each other: Trump is starting to urge his followers to get the vaccine (I guess he realizes that it’s mostly unvaccinated Republicans dying these days), and he went after Florida Republican governor and 2024 presidential hopeful, Ron DeSantis,  for being coy about his vaccine status:

Trump picking on Ron DeSantis  made Ann Coulter, a conservative gadfly, angry at Trump, which was big news for half a day:

Here is Ann’s actual tweet:

I agree with Amy Lynn:


And this from another Republican fuckwit about the fetish that Republicans seem to have for guns:





This (below) makes me wonder the owners of Sea World are Republican because, well, you’ll see:


You can buy the T-shirt here.

Meanwhile, in Missouri:

The mother of a woman who was killed in a car crash, who police confirmed was by a Capitol riot suspect, has asked why the driver was not already in jail.

Police accused the Capitol riot suspect Emily Hernandez of driving drunk and killing 32-year-old Victoria Wilson, a mother of two, in a car crash on Wednesday. 

Hernandez, 22, was charged in relation to the January 6, 2021, riot and was out on bond at the time. Photos from the insurrection showed Hernandez holding a broken sign belonging to the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

After the crash, Hernandez was charged  with “driving while intoxicated resulting in death of another, driving while intoxicated resulting in serious physical injury, excessive BAC” — Blood Alcohol Content — after the crash.

What I want to know is, WHY AREN’T THEY ALL IN JAIL????

Oh, right. Because:

Speaking of the capitol riots on Jan. 2, 2021. . . 


P.S. Clarence Thomas is a Bush 41 appointee to the Supreme Court.




Speaking of which, I hope, one  day, that this will be true (see: below). Please, Canada, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE . . . 



This just happened:



Is it finally happening? Will the Dept. of Justice go all the way to the top? Have they got all  the receipts and are ready to start knocking down the leaders of the Jan 6 riot? ARE THEY GOING AFTER TRUMP and all the Republicans who conspired to subvert the will of American voters???

Stay tuned. This is going to be fun.

Meanwhile . . . 

. . .  here’s the latest on the institutionalization of undervaluing workers in America:








I post a lot of Robert Reich’s tweets but I’ve forgotten to explain that he was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, so he knows a thousand things or two about the economy and the workforce:

Another cause I’m in favor of is cancelling student debt. Except…

…I like everything about the list (below) except for the “making babies” part. It almost makes me re-think  my position . . . 

On this whole “having babies” issue, someone more famous than I issued a New Year’s statement about multiplying your sorry-ass genes:

So says The Pope, who is forbidden by his religion to have kids, and whose religion also forbids ANY of its priests to have kids so, I guess what he’s saying its that his entire church is a detriment to civilization, which is something that I can totally get behind.

And that’s the State of the World this week. brought to you by Yours Truly.

Now  let’s get to the important stuff.

Sorry this is late but I had to include it because I love the feets:




























Have a great weekend, everyone. Let’s get together next week and paint some more doggies, and let’s stay tuned to see how many more seditionists will fall in the next 48 hours. My dreams are finally coming true! The Karma Train has pulled into he station!!!

How good does that feel? 

How about THIS good:

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Everybody, meet Winston:

Winston is a very handsome long-haired daschund who lives in Washington state and I’m going to paint him today!

The photograph (above) beautifully captures an expression that makes me think Winston was doing his best to not  give the side-eye to whoever was holding the camera…he’s got attitude and I am here for it. As much as I like the photo (above), in order to paint it I had to lighten the contrast so I could see the details better, and when I say “details”, I mean “nose”:

The only problem I was going to have with Winston is that he is a blond, and is photographed against a nice dark background which I will not be able to replicate (until I learn how to paint on black velvet and then WHOA! Call me the New Michelangelo!). So, with a print of the original photo and the   lightened version on my phone, I am ready to paint:

I always start with the eyes because if I don’t get the eyes right the whole picture is fucked so I might as well get it over with; also, I’ve realized that I like having the face I’m painting look back at me while I work, to keep me company:

I should say that I’ve tried to orient Winston’s head on the paper with then same slight turn to his right as in the photo because that, along with those eyes, give a sense of Winston’s whole demeanor:

I took a lot of time drawing Winston’s nose even though I’m not going to paint it in detail, because dog noses still puzzle me and if I don’t get the structure totally correct, it will show, even if I’m going to be painting most of it in shadow. When I think I’ve got the nose down, I first paint it with a layer of blue, for the lighter areas:

I layer black and gray paint:


I’m also using blue paint for the shadows in Winston’s lustrous blond locks:


I’m also using blue paint for contrast in the lighter areas of Winston’s face because I think it makes the portrait, as a painting, more interesting:

I put in some white acrylic paint over Winston’s left (his right) eye, which I will paint over later, just to give him some definition there:

I mixed four colors to get the right shade of “blond” for Winston, and here  I am pointing wet-in-wet for the large flat triangular area that  is his left ear:

I’m not going to paint a lot in there because I don’t want to over-do it…that ear could easily become too much of a focus and  it’s actually not a very interesting part of his face any way:

I also don’t want to do too much with his cute neck, but I do need something  in there to give Winston a proper posture:

I’ve painted over the white acrylic highlights and I’ve given more definition to Winston’s mouth so his little “hurumph” shows, and here he is…


Thank you, Winston, and thank you, Alex, for giving me this fetching subject. He was fun to paint!

Thank you all who sent me your delightful holiday cards and letters — Top Cat and I are grateful to be inn your thoughts at this time of year. As you know, I make a card every ear and I forgot to show you all this year’s ChrisHanuKwanSolstice card, so here it is:

I tried to get the sparkles to shine for you, but it ended up being over-exposed…sorry for the bad quality.


And before the CHKS holiday/New Year celebrations wind down completely, let’s take a look back at the season of light, OK?








And now’s let’s keep up the  spreading of joy with the best of this week’s news:

in case you’re wondering, the answer is Yes, Yes we should definitely be glad when an anti-vaxxer gets his date with karma, as with this guy from my last post:

One of the best bloggers out there, Stonekettle Station, was recently celebrating e fact that there was one less asshole to spread theBig Lie when a Commentor tried to shame him for being so “mean” — “be the better person”, the Ceommentor said. Here’s a sample of how that went:

You can read his complete take-down on his blog, here.

But wait. . . there’s more:







So, did you hear about the guy who hollered “Let’s Go Brandon” to President Biden when Biden was on TV talking to kids about how the government was tacking Santa Clause on NORAD (which is a cute thing presidents do every year and I’m sick of it but still…shouting “Let’s Go Brandon” was a new level of tasteless)? And for those who don’t know, “Let’s Go Brandon” is Qanon/Republican code for “Fuck Joe Biden. So. . . 


The guy who shouted “Let’s Go Brandon” is a guy from Oregon named Jared Schmeck — you can’t make this shit up — and he’s had to disappear from social media because of the blow-back from his stunt, wall the while complaining about being “cancelled” on many, many appearances on right-wing TV and radio. He’s even had to let his business go dark, which is a family-owned electrical service company called Winema Electric (sounds like “enema”) that is “based on Christian principles”. This is why I can’t put up a Solstice tree. I worry that my pagan sparkle-lighted holiday evergreen will make me look too much like a Christian. 


We should not give this guy any more attention because – – – 

Speaking of Republicans . . . 



Republicans. . .

This is a sample of what Peter Wehner (who served two Bush presidents and was also in Reagan’s administration,i.e.,arealRepublican)wrote about Don Jr:

But I think the same can be said about  any of the Trump kids. And their father.

I don’t have any good Eat The Rich memes for you this week, but I am still against 60% of capitalism and I found this to explain why we have to stick together and overthrow the billionaires who want to keep everyone poor and beholden:

And now for the feel-gooder part of this blog:





This deserves to be true, even if it isn’t:

P.S. I fact-checked this, and it’s true, according to Discover Magazine, which calls the horseshoe swap meet a “conga line”. So now I’m happy for the world, that there are such things as horseshoe crabs in it.


Now, on the eve of 2022, are you wondering what you can do to make the world a better place? Meet Tim Wong, who breeds rare butterflies in California sos he can set them free:

If you can’t read the text, here it is: Today I Learned about Tim Wong who successfully singlehandedly repopulated the rare California Pipeline Swallowtail butterfly in San Fransisco. In the past few years, he’s cultivated more than 200 pipeline pants (their only food source) and gives thousands of caterpillars to his local botanical garden. 

Way to go, Tim Wong. 

I feel that I need to do something extra special this year, to honor and commemorate another tough year in the history of the world and to welcome in a better one with open arms and a loving heart and no, I’m not drunk…I am just hoping that this year will not be the same old same old, and that we all will break free of the past, and that the New York Attorney General has  a big New years Day surprise for Trump and his spawn. 

I want to make my first day of 2022 special, memorable, like this memo from Lapland:

Living in Northern Finland, near the Arctic Circle, we have a rite of passage, like an ancient tradition that is supposed to guarantee good fortune for the net year. Those who turned 16 during the year have to ride a polar bear, like you would a horse. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

However, if you don’t live in proximity to polar bears, maybe you’d like to try this:

I did this and my four words were: Change, Health, Lessons, and Connection. And who says the universe is random?

Have a great New Year weekend, everyone. I won’t be here net Friday unless there’s a Trump perp walk to discuss in which case I will have photos of me and Top Cat and 100,000 New Yorkers dancing in the streets.

Until then, enjoy this photo of a snowy owl: 

May all your dreams and wishes for 2022 come to you on the hush wings of guardian angels and totem spirits.

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I don’t celebrate the Christmas holiday but I get it. If not for the Christian overtones, Xmas would be a fucking hoot – all the bustle and bonhomie and glorification of tree worship and displays of light adding shine and wonder to the slow glimmer of a world welcoming the shift of the Earth’s axis towards the lengthening of the days (northern hemisphere, southern semi: you got Summer coming!!) — yeah, that’s a holiday I could get behind.  















All this is just a run-up to the celebration of a brand spanking New Year for all of us to feel renewed and rejuvenated and  born again (in a agan, non-blood-of-the-lamb way) and isn’t that a good thing?



While you are mapping out your desires for 2021, I thought I’d show you some polar bears that a Russian photographer found in an abandoned research station near the North Pole because, Dear Readers, who knows how much longer we may be able to share the Earth with these magnificent creatures who are so vulnerable to climate change?





Aside from polar bears, the animals that live in my dreams are wild horses and THIS is a dream come true:


I wanted to collect only sweeties and light to see out the year of 2021, but shit…politics still suck and we can’t afford to ignore it. But on the bright side, lookie here, it seems SOMEONE has got the Xmas spirit:


This bit of news DEFINITELY got ME in the Xmas spirit:

A few weeks ago I put this story up on my blog but for me, the main mystery was, “What the fuck is this guy doing in El Salvador???” I guess the answer is, “Catching a deadly completely preventable  disease that the will die from.”

Other stuff:





I agree (with above), so this gives me hope:

And this:






Yeah, we Americans live in a shit hole country right now, and we will have to be vigilant and active to make sure the Republicans don’t gain any ground in 2022, but let’s take a break from the bad news and remember what an excellent planet we all happen to be sharing together.

Here’s some random stuff that makes me delighted that I am an Earthling:

Interesting fact about our nearest star:

If you can’t read the fine print, it says: The Sun is extremely loud but we can’t hear it because sound doesn’t travel in the vacuum of space. 

Interesting, but this is more relevant to my life:













Life on Earth, and how it’s filled with every day miracles:






Have a great weekend, everyone. I hope 2022 will be a year illuminated for you with love, and adventure, and stunning surprises and windfalls of good fortune and many, many moments of ordinary bliss when you realize you are alive and in your body and breathing on this wondrous, insignificant speck of dirt and ice and sea water on the outer edge of the Milky Way and it’s all a miracle and you’re a miracle, and there’s nothing you can do about it except be amazed and grateful.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?


Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

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I just have a few the things to note about this week’s news, not counting the splendid cache of emails that the January 6 Committee have found between Trump and his congressional co-conspirators which are too numerous and too incriminating to get into, but watch this space…there’s  a Trump perp walk in our future!




And in other happy legal news:

All in all, it’s been an outstanding week for legal news.

Did you hear that the governor of California and the AG of New York are proposing statues that mimic the Texas law that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and those who use their services (now that it’s been upheld by the Supreme Country) THE DIFFERENCE BEING that in CA and NY you’ll be able to sue gun manufacturers and owners. So now the Texas Republicans are sweating bullets (ha ha) and re-thnking that bounty they placed on pregnant women. 




The US Navy has started ridding its ranks of seditious white supremacists AKA “anti-vaxxers”, too:


But,wait…isn’t that your name?They just want to use your name,dude, the name your parents gave you:


I’ve never dated a guy who drove a truck, but if I were a single lady I’d reconsider for this guy:


And this proves that there IS a sign ion intelligence in Alabama (one sign, that’s  it, that’s the story):





I don’t eat cereal but if you do, please don’t buy Kellogg’s products:



In case you can’t tell, I’m a pro-union, pro-$25 minimum wage  girl:

That’s it for the news portion of this get-together. Let’s spend a few moments appreciating this beautiful planet that we live on, OK?



This (below) is a flight (wing) feather from an American Bald Eagle, in case you’ve never seen one up close:



















Dear Reader, if you are feeling frazzled this week, stressed and worn out from all the expectations heaped upon you by others or yourself, please take a minute to BREATHE. Inhale. Exhale. Go watch a sunset, step outside to see some stars. Take a long hot bath, have an extra glass of wine while listening to your favorite album. Find the quietest place in your heart and sit there. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Be like a fox.


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Hey. Weren’t we here a year ago?













You know who else is still alive? The nut jobs who think that Covid is a hoax:

And in a case of sweet, sweet karma, these anti-vaxxers (the parents of the kid who shot and killed four of his fellow students at Oxford High school i the suburbs of Detroit on Nov. 30) got schooled:


Yes, Dear readers, I am back from my Los Angeles adventure. The weather was awful; cold and misty and damp. This is what it looked like from my hotel room  at 9 AM:

And this is what it looked like  (below) at the entrance to SoFi stadium at 4:30 PM on  when I got there early to buy merch that was sold out 48 hours after it had gone on sale earlier in the week. Oh well. At least I got to stand in line for an hour before the doors opened.

ARMY amasses inside:

It was very humid for all 4 days I was in LA so my hair decided to have a wild party on my head.

Over 4 concerts, BTS sold a total of 214,000 tickets.

The concerts grossed $33.3 million.

It’s the largest gross for run of shows at a single venue since 2012, when Roger Waters earned $38 million over nine shows at Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It’s the biggest U.S.-based Boxscore in 18 years, and the second-biggest ever in the 30-year-plus history of Billboard Boxscore in North America (and biggest ever in California), behind Bruce Springsteen’s 10-show marathon at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (38.7 million).

The shows cap a banner year for BTS, following three Billboard Hot 100-topping songs — including a 10-week stretch at No. 1 on the chart with “Butter.”

I went to two shows at SoFi stadium, and each one was exhilarating.

On the last night, for their last song, Chris Martin from Coldplay came out and did their collaboration, My Universe (that’s Chris in the middle, below):

Then the boys took a bow, and they were gone.

These are fan photos of the concerts from Twitter which explain why millions of fans worldwide are OK with BTS singing in Korean:

HOT AF is a universal language, n’est-ce pas?

I also saw BTS for a third night when they opened the iHeart Radio annual Jingle Ball at the LA Forum. I left after their performance because I wasn’t  interested in Doja Cat, Kid Laroi, Saweetie, or Ed Sheehan or any of the other 14 acts (the show was over 4 hours long). I would have stayed if Dua Lipa hadn’t contracted laryngitis and cancelled, but alas, she was a no-show, so I took off. I wasn’t alone. There were plenty of other ARMY who were heading out to the Sizzler restaurant across the street from the Forum, which seemed to be the designated pick-up spot for ride shares.

Have you seen the painting by Edward Hopper, Nighthawks? The Sizzler is like that; I felt very sorry for everyone who was spending Friday night dining at the Sizzler on Manchester Blvd in Inglewood, LA, and I felt even sorrier for myself, waiting in the Sizzler on a cold December Friday night in Inglewood, LA, for a very late car and  driver. The Forum, in my option, is a dump,  and the Sizzler is even dumpier than the Forum and it was such a scuzzy way to wrap up a magical BTS experience. And as such, it was the perfect dose of squalor that I’d been missing. I have a thing for squalor. 

On this trip I had chance to observe myself out alone in the world for the first time in two years and I must say, my travel chill is gone. Kaput. Nonexistent. Zero. I was basically an imbecile. It was the kindness of strangers and old friends who rescued me time and time again that made this trip a success and I would love to tell you all about my fuck-ups in detail but time is short and art is long and one of the things that this trip taught me was that I have to get off my blogging ass and write another book. I already have a title. I’m fixing to discuss it with my agent in the next month.

The consequence is that while I will still be here from time to time in 2022, I may be not be as reliable a correspondent as I’ve been, meeting you all here once a week. 

So let’s all head into 2022 with a renewed sense of our old selves. Shake things up, shake off 2020 and 2021. We’ve learned to take Covid in stride now, and it’s time to get bak and take off, if you know what I mean. 

Here’s a kitty to help you make the transition to a newer, brighter, funner YOU:




My sister Buffy sent me these next photos of a cat who’s famous on TicTok for obvious reasons:





She also sent me this:

The rest is stuff I found myself:














That’s it for this week, Dear Readers. I hope you’re all whooping it up over the demise of another atrocious year, and looking at 2022 with relief and anticipation and gratitude. Let’s all hope for a Trump perp walk in the near future — keep hope alive!

Have a great weekend, everyone.











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Dear Readers,

I suck at time management.

I am suddenly really busy with out-of-the-house stuff and I just didn’t get around to uploading all the  news this week.

Next week I’ll be in Los Angeles and I will DEFinately not have access to a computer nor will I have the time to curate the current events that never seem to stop.

I am deeply sorry to be a no-show this week and next…and if things turn out, I might be on a honeymoon in Korea after Dec. 5th so don’t be surprised if this thing never gets up and running again!

P.S. Chances are I won’t be running off to Korea but still, you never know.

Go take  some long walks, with some trashy movies that make you laugh, listen to sad songs that make you wish you were a love-sick 20-year old again (that’s what I do when I’m bored). 

Mucho xxoo



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Top Cat and I  have had 18 Thanksgiving dinners together, and even when it’s only been the two of us (thanks to COVID, 2021 will be a tete-a-tete Thanksgiving) it’s the biggest meal of the year for us and we do the whole spread: turkey, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli, cole slaw, stuffing, pie) and every year we stress out over  the ingredients and the menu and we get nervous about getting everything done on time so we can serve it hot from the oven…every year, it’s as if we’ve never done this before.

If you, too, get Thanksgiving jitters, I hope the following will give you perspective on the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect on this day:








Did I mention that Thanksgiving biscuits and gravy are my favorite part of the meal?


The other great part of Thanksgiving dinner is the nap you get to take afterwards:


In other news, The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26 (the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference) being held n Glasgow,Scotland, finished their meeting this week and issued some blah blah blah about the protecting Planet Earth, our only home in the universe:


As of this typing, there is no verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial (Rittenhouse is the teenager who took a gun to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin to “protect” the city, in which he did not live nor did he have a business or relatives there. If you’ve been paying attention, you already know how fucked up this whole trial had been with a judge who is obviously doing his best to get the shit stain acquitted, but just when you think he can’t get any more blatant about it, shit happens:





Matt Gaetz is the Republican representative from the Florida panhandle who is undeyinvestigation for trafficking underage girls for sex:



The only thing that makes me feel good about Kyle Rittenhouse and his band of supporters is that they are sad, angry, poor, and stupid and when they turn 38 years old they look like this:

This is Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother and she is 38 years old.

Paul Gosar, the Republican asshat from Iowa, sent an animated video out to his supporters which depicted him killing the Representative from New York, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, known as AOC:





It’s another week and I’m still pissed off at Merrick Garland:


Let’s hope that this (below) is and  indictment with teeth…and I mean T-Rex size choppers:





And can’t the Department of Justice look into all those other shit bags who incited the Jan 6 riot?








I came across this story (below) and I thought it was about a standard Republican anti-vcxx ass hat getting divine retribution, but then I thought, “Why the fuck is he in El Salvador??”

And now I think this guy needs to be investigated because it’s obvious that he goes to El Salvador A LOT, but why??? This was the story from way back last March, when he was ALSO in El Salvador for mucho tiempo:

Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen has missed more votes than any other state lawmaker this year, with some of his absences from the current legislative action occurring while he was observing elections in El Salvador.

Ericksen, who represents the 42nd District in Whatcom County, told The Bellingham Herald that the trip was separate from consulting and lobbying work he does for the country of Cambodia. He registered as foreign agent for his work for Cambodia in 2019, and the company he launched with former state Rep. Jay Rodne has a $500,000 contract with the country’s government.

Ericksen’s roll call voting record for the session through March 9 shows he missed 38 of 205 votes on bills’ final passage. Using that same data, senators had been marked “absent” or “excused” 131 times at that point in session for those sort of votes — Ericksen accounted for 29 percent of them.

My question is, “Why are Republicans so evil? That is, when they aren’t being sanctimonious?” 


Some kind soul on the inter webs fixed MTG’s bullshit:


Here’s another Republican genius who has decided that we need a race war AND a religious war:


Speaking of fake Christians. . . 




On second thought, is there any other kind of “Christian” but a fake one? I’m asking for a friend with half a brain:




Now for the part of this blog that I call, Eat The Rich:


And, finally, Yay for the good guys:

But the  the fight isn’t over:







Time for a break from all the bleak news:














And that’s it for today, Dear Readers. I did some more painting this week so I’ll post it next Friday and we cal all watch paint dry together, sounds FUN, right?

Have a great weekend, whether you’re in the half of the world that is warming up for some blazing hot Summer days or in the part of the planet that is turning cold and dark. But hey, here’s one good thing about Winter:


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I didn’t do any watercoloring this week…well, nothing that I want to show here because I did, actually, spend a few days jabbing at paper with brushes loaded up with watercolors but it was all garbage and it was all very aggravating so, in place of us watching paint dry today, I found some moments of Zen in my iPhoto files so let’s all get a cup of tea, take a deep breath, and let these images of peace and calm get us in the mood for our Friday visit:














Breaking News: I cancelled my appointment to get my rotten new hair cut fixed (see last week’s fascinating coverage of The Big Chop) because, as Top Cat pointed out, did it make sense to have the guy who gave me a rotten cut in the first place  “fix” it? So I’m going to live with it, until I can’t, I guess.

So here’s what my hair looks like on a good day:

It’s a real nothingburger hair cut. It looks like I cut it myself during lockdown … when I was drunk … and bored … and had a pair of scissors handy … and wondered what I’d look like if I were poor. The side layers are OK:

Maybe I should get about two inches cut off the bottom?

But I have to face the world head-on and on a good day, with this cut, I look bedraggled. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Otherwise, all I can do is wait a year for it to grow out and I can start again. But a dire new hair cut isn’t the only thing I’m having to adjust to.

Every year, when we turn our clocks back one hour in the Fall, it reminds me how much I dislike this business of adding and deleting an hour to accommodate an ancient rural lifestyle when people had to milk cows first thing in the morning so they need sunlight at 6AM which is completely irrelevant to 99% of people in the 21st century. 

I deeply dislike it now that the sun sets at 5 o’clock and every part of my reptile brain feels that the day is over but yet there are sooooooo many hours of darkness before I can put myself to bed so what’s a girl to do?  I already watch too much TV. Am I supposed to read? (There aren’t enough good books to keep me occupied until April.) Make fruit preserves? (I loathe fruit in any form.) Knit? (And do what while I’m at it? Hum? Pray? Recite the periodic table?) 

It’s time to come up with a plan to get through the next four months of long, cold, darkness. I mean, that’s what creative, optimistic, cheerful, and forward-thinking people do, right? Didn’t I even write about it, and call it “Winter Mind”? 

Right. Getting my Winter Mind is on the To Do List. But for now, I need a nap. 




This story from California caught my attention:

I’m interested in California condors but it’s not because someone who was instrumental in re-introducing them into the wild gave me 2 magnificent condor feathers to frame and hang in my work room because that would be illegal, but these birds are HUGE and until you’ve held a wing feather in your own hands you might not be able to appreciate the scale of these rare creatures. 

I’ve never seen a California condor in flight, but I’ve read that it is an impressive sight. With a nine-foot plus wingspan, the birds can stay aloft for hours, floating up to 15,000 feet on warm air thermals. This is North America’s largest flying bird, weighing up t0 26 pounds. (Does North America have a non-flying bird?)

So I looked into this story of the gang of  condors, and it all began with this tweet from Seana Lyn:

The birds have trashed the deck — ruining a spa cover, decorative flags and lawn ornaments. Plants have been knocked over, railings are scratched and there are droppings everywhere.

“She’s definitely frustrated but also is in awe of this and knows what an unusual experience this is,” said Seana Lyn of her mother.

California condors almost vanished in the 1980s before the few remaining birds were captured and placed in zoos for captive breeding. A few hundred birds are now in the wild. 

As condors re-colonize parts of their historical range, people could increasingly find themselves interacting with the “curious, intelligent, social” birds, a California wildlife official said.


In other much less impressive, but far more annoying news, the new Republican governor-elect of Virginia wants people to stop picking on his child. His “child” is a 17-year old snot nose baby Republican shit bag:



Gov-elect Youngkin, who made election integrity an issue in his high-stakes campaign, was recently asked about the incident.

“It was silliness, I think,” Youngkin said.  

He went on to say that “there’s real confusion on where a 17-year-old can vote or not.”

Underage people cannot vote in general elections.

Youngkin said his son “had a friend that said he might be able to vote. He went up and asked. I know my son really well. He’s an incredibly respectful young man. He presented his ID and when they said he couldn’t vote, he said ‘okay,’ and went to school.”


Now lets’ move on to another shit bag 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse.

Someone has to get rid of the judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder case. Bruce Schroeder is giving very indication, from the bench, that he approves of Rittenhouse acquiring an illegal automatic weapon and having his mother drive him across state lines to attend a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin which led  him to shoot three people, killing two. Schroeder did not allow the prosecution to call the murdered men “victims”, and when Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand to answer questions about the sequence of events before he shot and killed his first non-victim, the jury was forced to watch the video evidence play out in miniature — because Rittenhouse’s defense lawyer came up with the wild notion that Apple has “artificial intelligence” that manipulates footage when you pinch-to-zoom on an iPad, and Judge Bruce Schroeder totally bought into that possibility.

Judge Schroeder argued that it was the prosecution — not the defense — that had the burden of proving that Apple doesn’t use artificial intelligence to manipulate footage, demanding that they provide an expert to testify, and didn’t allow the prosecution to adjourn to find that expert before bringing Rittenhouse up for cross-examination. The judge suggested that prosecutors could somehow find that expert in 20 minutes while they took a brief recess. “Maybe you can get someone to testify on this within minutes, I don’t know,” said the judge. No such expert was there by the time the trial resumed.



And then Kyle took the witness stand and cried.



Let’s assume that ALL white supremacists are cry babies:

This guy’s name is Scott Fairlamb and he has a brother who works in the Secret Service, and even served on Michelle Obama’s security detail. 

So a far-right Republican tweeted out a video of him killing a Democratic congresswoman and Twitter flagged it but wouldn’t take it down at it is “in the public interest” to let politicians act  as crazy as they want, and so far the Attorney General hasn’t arrested this asshole:

I used to feel sorry for Merrick Garland for having his Supreme Court nomination torpedoed by Mitch McConnell, but now. . .


A famous football quarterback, Aaron Rodgers,  turns out to have lied about getting the Covid vaccine, and he was  bounced from a few games and then he went on the inter webs and talked about having “500 pages of research” that shows masks don’t work and the coronavirus is only a flu.





But there IS some good news!


I missed it when Mitch McConnell’s wife, a millionaire named Elaine Cho who used to  work in Trump’s cabinet, went on TV and told people that they should work at jobs that stink:





About this (above)…the Jew whom Mark Pukita was talking about is Josh Mandel and if Mandel weren’t one of the biggest Republican shit bags in America I would be very offended by this, but Mandel is only getting what he dishes out so I say, go at it, both of you, and let it get snugly that the Democrat manages to win the seat next November.

Let’s check in with the rest of the Republicans:









And this is  just because we can’t stand Eric Trump:

If you are looking for a new hobby, have you ever thought of leaving a funny product review on Amazon?

















And that’s all the news for this week in America, Dear Readers. I am still thinking of getting my winter Mind in gear and I have to say that, although Trump has been up to his Trumpfuckery and gotten a stay on the National Archive release of his presidential papers until Nov. 30, there will come a day when we will see him be held accountable for insurrection and corruption. The hope of seeing him in a perp walk in 2022 is what gives me and my Winter mind joy and peace and love.

That day will come. It will. 


Have a great weekend, everyone. See you here next Friday. 


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If you recall, last week I was so smitten with this photograph of an old coal mine in Yorkshire (Halifax, to be exact) . . . 

. . .  that I painted it.

The problem is that it wasn’t until I saw this watercolor up here on the computer machine that I  realized that I hated it. It’s a horrible painting. Thank you to all you Dear Readers who said nice things about this painting, but LOOK AT IT! It doesn’t capture the drama or the awesome compositional oomph of the photograph, which has a lot of dark and light shadow play and has four very strong diagonals that criss-cross the whole picture plane from side to side.  

For my own peace of mind I had to draw the angles of the tower that I couldn’t see in the photo.

So we’re going to rescue it today. By starting over from scratch.

But this time, I have a new strategy. As you see, the background of this photo has a lot of detail and, as it depicts an actual place (in Halifax, Yorkshire, England) all those details have to be in precise place. So I put the photo on a grid:

And when I drew my pencil guide-lines for my watercolor, I also put in a grid:

I started with the sky, same as I did last week:

But as you can see, it was shitty. So I started over  again, but this time I had a new  strategy (this painting is all about new strategies and how they can make your life easier make your paintings better).

For Sky #2, I been by painting the whole sky area with my favorite China white paint:

I’m making my life easier by tapping off the edges of this picture so I don’t have to bother with “staying in the lines”.

I like using white paint because it does strange things when you put wet colored paint on top of it. Also, I had an idea that I wanted to let the paper and the water and the paint do its thing, rather than having me “paint”, because I like watercolors that look like water and color.

I did very little “painting” here (below) and instead  let the paint groove with the layer of what paint under it, and I think I finally captured some luminance :

P.S. I had to put masking fluid on the tower, too, while I painted the sky.

Using the grid, I can check my position in the painting with the corresponding grid cell in the photograph, and will be able to paint the background details more accurately than in my first attempt where, to tell the truth, I often got lost:

I’m using masking fluid to add texture to the middle ground bushes:

While I’m working with so much green paint, I’m going to protect my beautiful sky with a sheet of tracing paper because I tend to drop a lot of blobs of paint or water while I paint:


P.S. At some point while working on this, I did drop a little blob of green paint onto my unprotected sky and my heart stopped, but I was able to lift up and cover it up with white paint so that you can’t see it…WHEW.

OK, for the foreground of yellow “weeds”, I’ve used a new strategy. I dipped a brand new toothbrush into masking fluid and I flicked it onto the lower third of this painting (sorry, I didn’t take photos of this because I needed both hands for flicking). I wanted a more random pattern to the weeds here, and by flicking the masking fluid I was able to get that randomness and also little teeny tiny drops onto the paper:





There in the foreground, this is what it looked like BEFORE I lifted off some of the masking fluid off it.

I’ve lifted the masking  fluid off to this small bit of foreground because I was dying to see how this turned out:

I like how the masking fluid worked here!

I painted in some green and darker yellow to add  depth and variety to the weeds:

Now I lift off the masking fluid from the foreground:

Touch up:




I removed the tape so the top edges curled up.

Compare to last week’s painting:

So now that I’ve done my good deed for the week, let’s see what mischief the rest  of America has been up to.  

Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who on August 25, 2020, packed  a gun and travelled fromAntioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin to look for trouble at a Black Lives matter protest , is on trial for shooting three protestors, killing two and injuring one.


The judge, Bruce Schroeder, is an asshole:


The Charleston church shooting was a mass shooting on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine African Americans were killed by a scrawny piece of shit white supremacist during  Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

President Biden is trying to pass a major piece of domestic legislation:


President Biden went to Rome to meet the leaders of the G20 and to talk with the pope, via the Vatican’s  translator:

I don’t have anything good to say about the pope, or about religion in general because: 





But as long as we’ve brought Trump into the discussion . . . 




Remember Jenna Ryan, the dip shit Trumper from Texas?


This gives me hope for the future:

As of Nov. 1, 691 people have been charged with crimes relating to the January 6 insurrection, but they’ve all been low-level rioters. So far, none of the ring leaders have been  charged.


But maybe we have other problems besides a political minority that is itching for another civil war…namely, we might soon have a revolution on our hands:





Now for some GOOD NEWS:

By the way, this is the fire that the cat survived:


Here is a sample of the “poetry” that nurse Steve Shurden wrote:

Their jabbing all arms, now we may need a booster

They came too late, to fool this savy rooster.

“Their”…”savy”…do they let just anyone be a nurse these days? His wife is still very proud of her Christian husband, who died to own the libs. 

Whenever a Trumper dies of Covid, a golden retriever gets a moment of zen:






















Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. I hope you take the moral of today’s post — it’s  never to late to start over and make things better — and give yourself a do-over if you need it. And you have some BFFs in the same boat, friends who could use a rescue, you might want to turn this journey  to redemption into a road trip:





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I’m back!

Thank you, all you Dear Readers, especially Bea, Betsy, Carol, Jeanie, Judy, Kirra, Leslie, Maryanne (the OG), Megan, The Artist Currently Known as Rachel, Robert, Steve, and Susie, for your concern. Thank you, Mom, and Thank You Anonymous who sent me a post card from the V&A Museum from somewhere in America. I’m fine. I’m still miffed that it’s October but I’m fine.

It was a series of unfortunate events that kept me away for two weeks. I was not seriously ill (truth to tell, I had a hangover for the first time in, oh…15 years) because our oldest cat, Candy, died (and it was not an easy or pretty death, at home because of bad timing with the vet) the day before the first anniversary of my best friend’s death, and my dream of seeing BTS in LA was in peril because of computer problems and Ticketmaster susks, and so Top Cat replaced our WiFi hardware which shut us down completely, and I don’t have to tell you that dealing with the cable company SUCKS but here’s how it went On Day Three, when we were told that the problem would be fixed within three hours; naturally, Top Cat was skeptical so he repeated: “Three Hours?” and the customer service guy said “Yes, three hours. Or 24 at the most.”

So yeah, it’s hasn’t been a great month and the Republicans are still hell-bent on destroying democracy in America and I didn’t want to deal. I’m sorry for going AWOL but you know, sometimes you just gotta throw up your hands and take a day or week or two off. 

One thing that I squared away while I was taking time off was our Halloween candy situation. We do not give out “fun” size candy because they are skimpy and an insult to the spirit of the holiday, so I insist that we give out regular-size candy bars and this year Top Cat said he had it under control. But this is what he thinks is a Treat: Mounds bars (ew — coconut), Snickers (ew — peanuts) and Mocha Kit Kats (MOCHA). If I, as a kid (or as an adult) were to be given any of those candy bars I would put you on  my Mischief list, so I went out and got the good stuff. Come to my house and if I get to the candy dish first, I’ll be handing out Three Musketeers,  dark chocolate Milky Ways, and Cabury’s Caramels.  There’s even a few Heath bars in the mix.

I’ve also been wheeling and dealing every damn day, making deals and appeals and I finally have my Los Angeles trip sorted out, as of just last night. Through machinations that I never want to go through again I have tickets to two nights of BTS at SoFi Stadium HEART BE STILL, and a bonus ticket to a show called the Jingle Ball, hosted by iHeart Radio, at the Forum. BTS is only going to do 2 songs at the Jingle Ball, but Ed Sheehan will be there and Dua Lipa will be there, and a slew of people I have never heard of who are probably very famous but I’m old and don’t have a clue. The Kid LAROI? Tate McRae? Bazzie? 

I don’t regret the time, effort, and $$$ it’s going to take for me to travel 3,000 miles, on Top Cat’s birthday, to be in the same giant stadium with my Korean husbands because last week this came up on my Twitter timeline and put it all in perspective:

Seize the day, Dear Readers. Seize the day.

So let’s seize today, shall we?

Today I’m going to take you to Yorkshire, England, to a small valley near Halifax. This is the view where there once was a coal mine owned by the the local landowner Anne Lister, who called her mine works the Walker Pit, after her life partner Ann Walker (whose money financed the operation). The tower you see is actually a ventilation shaft from the underground mineshaft.

I’m going to paint this for my friend the author Janet Lea, whose book, The Gentleman Jack Effect,  is all about the enormous influence that Anne Lister, and her wife Ann Walker, have had on the worldwide LGBTQ+ community. Janet took this photo (above) on her recent visit to Halifax for her book launch in September.

There is one thing about this photo that I am dying to paint, and one thing that I am dreading. What I’m dreading is the tower, because as you can see, it is a challenging structure because I happen to know what it looks like on a bright, sunny day:

The tower (above, in bright sunshine) would be very easy to paint and it is exactly the kind of thing I love painting.  It is architectural, it has a simple  geometry, and it has a pattern (I love patterns, esp. stone patterns).

But, as you can see in Janet’s photo, her tower is not like the one pictured above. Janet’s photo was shot from a very different angle than the one above, on a moody, rain-threatened afternoon.  The problem is that Janet’s tower looks nothing like the tidy octagonal net-gothic obelisk above; it looks almost as if it is a ruin. In order to paint it I will have to paint only what I see in the photo, that is, be like Monet, and paint it as if it were nothing but planes of shadow and light, and forget about what I know is there.

P.S. I’m not good at that kind of thing. 

But what excites me about this photo, and what I am dying to paint, is the foreground:

To paint these (for want of a better word) weeds in the foreground I want to try something here that I’ve never done, and I’m excited to get started. So, the first thing I do is lay down a base coat of straw color:  

I have used masking fluid to cover the top  bit of the tower — the part that is in the sky — and I am using the same masking fluid (below) to draw stalks and flower-heads on top of my base coat of straw color: 

While the masking fluid is drying, I am going to paint the sky. I start with a wash  of clean water:

I dab white paint on my brush because white paint does weird things, and I  also dip it into a blue/gray mix that  I made and I’m going to let the pigments duke it out on the paper:

I’ll be dipping my brush into darker and darker blue/gray mixes and watching how it all reacts to the water that is soaking the paper:

Once I have a good slurry of paint on the paper, I twist a Kleenex (see below) and will use it to pick up a strategic amount of color. . .  

. . . in order to expose the white paper underneath:

Drop in some more paint for contrast:

And let dry:

Although I am itching to paint those foreground weeds, I have to be methodical, so I start doing the delightful little fields and forests in the background:

This is persnickety stuff because the landscape here is very specific, and I have to get every tree and field:



I have this new thing I do when the paint is wet. I use a toothpick to etch grooves into the paper in order to make fine lines. Here (below), I’m doing it to add texture to a middle ground bush:

At last! I can start on the weeds! First, I’m going to paint over the masking fluid!



While that dries, I’m going to tackle the tower:


Although I’m only showing two photos of the tower-painting,  I spent a LOT of time getting the shadows right. I also fucked , up the perspective (as you can see, above) and had to fix it. In real time, I worked on this tower over two different days because I needed a break so I could come back to it with rested and fresh eyes. 

But once I had to tower done to my satisfaction, I had to do the middle ground in front of it. I used white acrylic paint to add in some stray stalks over the background:



I stopped here again, and when I came back to this paiting the next day I saw something that I had not noticed the day before. Namely, that I had made a mess of the middle ground. I hate that there is a line that bi-sects this middle ground area of wild brambles (below) — can you see it too?

Luckily I was able to “erase” the line:

And now I can lift off the masking fluid on the foreground and get to the FUN PART:

I start by adding long stokes of color:



This is an intermediate look at the WIP. I took another day to make lots of detail in the foreground . . . 

Here’s the story. When Janet was climbing the  hills above Walker’s Pit, she spotted a bit of blue gleaming in the tall grass. Lo and behold, it was the iridescent sparkle of a rook’s wing feather:

She brought that feather all the way back to New Mexico, where she placed it in a LeDuree macaroon box and sent it to Yours Truly, to whom it is a prized possession.

Everything looks better with a mat:

So, if you’ve been paying attention to the Congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, you’ve noticed how hoard the Republicans are working to gaslight the House and the American people about how the riot was not a big deal and that Democrats should Get Over It. Tucker Carlson, the shit stain who defends white supremacy on Fox News, has a documentary coming out in January that claims the whole thing was an FBI “false flag” operation.

I can’t s[end too much time soon this shit because it makes my blood boil. Honestly, I can feel a tightness n my chest every time I think about Trump and his enablers and his shit-for-brains supporters. This can’t be good for my mental or physical health, so I have to go light on the current events this week. But here are some highlights:




Here’s the receipt:





P.S. This is Steve Bannon, Trump’s political consultant who was in the War Room on January 6, calling the shots on the insurrection:

To be fair, Steve Bannon looks half dead already.

This is from January 7, 2021:



So far in 2021, there have been 232 mass shootings in America, with 437 deaths. 






All over the country police unions are protesting their city’s vaccine mandates. Here in New York City, the protests are large and noisy, but I only have  photos from Seattle so let’s shit on Seattle PD today:




And now for something completely different.

I pulled some great Halloween costumes from the inter webs but I have to admit, I’m partial to the Squid Game ones:









This is Mrs. Hall, social studies teacher, doing Dwight Shrute. Standing O for Mrs. Hall.

















Have a great weekend, everyone. Take your mind off of the world’s dire problems and go get a sugar coma (whether from too much candy corn or tequila, ii don’t judge) and enjoy all the fun of Halloween. As Janet Lea says, Have a Blue Feather Day.












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