Magic Beans and Mount Everest. You’ll Understand In a Sec.



My hair has officially gone COVID.

Since last October I’ve been growing it out and so far it’s gone through two of those weird, unsightly phases that you have to put up with when you’re switching from short to long hair, but this week it’s at a stage where, in different times, I would take it to a professional for “shaping”, but these are these times so I’m stuck with Duchess of Cornwall hair.

I’m not a fan of floof.

Half of the reason why I’m not going to see my hair stylist is a reluctance to expose myself to strangers, and the other half is 2020 apathy. I’m not going anywhere anyway, so why do I have to make a fuss?

But here’s something that will brighten all our days:

Miss Lizzie

Pet Portraits. I’ll be painting Pet Portraits, and returning this blog back into its original mission. Yes, we’ll be  Watching Paint Dry for the rest of the Summer and it’s all because of  The Stromness Rock.

The Rock in its original hiding place on Orkney, May 27, 2019 (before its beauty make over thanks to Rachel in Texas).

This is for the darling hosts of The Rock during its 8,465-mile tour of America: Gali, Carol, Jeanie, Angel, Susie, Alexandra, Marilyn, Thea, Rachel, Leslie, and OG Maryanne in SC.To thank you for your outstanding hospitality I would like to do a portrait of your pet(s). If you email me a photo of your beloved(s), I will turn it into a Vivian Swift Pet Portrait, which we will watch me paint right here on this blog.

I can do dogs, too.

Now remember, although these portraits appear to be life-sized, I am a miniaturist, so your portrait will be packed into a frame that is  approx. 4 ” x 4″.

So let’s start painting!

I hope that painting will keep us all a tiny bit sane, because life keeps getting crazier and crazier, and I’m not talking about my Korean classes and the fact that in Korean you have to conjugate adjectives. I’m talking about how 2020 keeps getting shittier and shittier, and to prove it let’s start with the stupidest thing I’ve seen on the internet this past week :

. . . and let’s take it from there:




















For those of you who have never seen one, here’s a picture of a baby squirrel:

And some cat stuff:






Here’s some stuff you should know in case you ever get on Jeopardy:




Excuse me, but it’s fewer. FEWER. F E W E R :














Have a great weekend, everyone. Don’t buy GOYA products.

And, oh yeah…Fuck Trump.









8 Comments, RSS

  1. Adrienne

    I’m so happy that you will be going back to painting, which is how I originally found you. Maybe it will even inspire me to start painting again too… (but loving all the Trump cartoons etc which are helping me get through this crazy time we’re living in, so thanks for that too)

  2. Alex


    THANK YOU for giving me the chance to show the Stromness Rock the wonders of eastern Washington state. We had a grand time of it. THANK YOU for doing these pet portraits — WHEE!!!!!

  3. Megan

    So many disturbing things in todays post. So much to think about. I love black beans but only buy an Australian brand, that advertising campaign is rather distasteful did they not look back at their story board before publishing? I learned about Everest from the wonderful Bill Bryson, interesting isn’t it? Conjugating adjectives does my head in, you are very smart to learn Korean. Your pet portraits are beautiful I will look forward to watching you paint, very fortunate hosts to get a portrait. Do not sell the Duchess of Cornwall short I’ve had very troublesome hair all my life, everyone who meets the Duchess sings her praises and I think she has a lot to put up with. Enjoy your weekend and thank you for the thought provoking post.

  4. Kirra

    Thanks to all the Stromness Rock hosts, look forward to seeing you paint their pets! Though I do enjoy the Fuck Trump updates, laughing being one of the only positive things out of the ridiculousness f having him as President.

    I do love the cat complaining about the human being in their house a lot, and I’m trying to figure out how flamingos drink boiling water……good luck with the hair! I finally had a haircut after three months but I have to go to work and we still have no cases in the community in my little Australian state, for now. I agree bouffy hair is annoying!

  5. Leslie

    Dear Vivian, I am overwhelmed. It’s like winning the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, only more beautiful. Thank you for your thank you gift offer. I will be sending you my kitty picture. I already love your painting of my darling girl.

  6. American Gothic a farmer and daughetr? I never knew that either!

    I’m so delighted you’re going to be painting again — and I expect to learn all sorts of things as we watch you share your pet tips! The best part is that it will include our own sweet creatures. I’ll be going through the Lizzie files and send a few options from which to choose! This will be fun to see every rock-hound’s furry friend! Thanks, Vivian. For that and for today’s smiles! (I can relate on the hair….)

  7. Maryanne in SC

    A pet portrait of our very own–?! Swooooooon.

    I can relate on the hair, too. Had mine cut finally, blown out straight and smooth. Two hours later, just a mass of anarchic graying curls sproing-ing in all directions. Thank you, South Carolina humidity.

    Thanks for the laughs each week –

    Maryanne in SC

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