art stuff

I forgot Friday last week. The whole week was out of whack because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, which made me think that Monday was Wednesday and Wednesday was the first day of the weekend and then the real weekend came around and I remembered that Friday was yesterday, and I forgot to launch my blog post.

But by then I was in full magical realism/Northern Exposure mode, exploring the way myth, fantasy, and Alaska inform my daily life as is always the case with me in my post-white-wine blow-out mood, and I said to myself, “Sometimes, Ed, you just gotta do something bad, just to know you’re alive.”

So I apologize for skipping last week’s get-together. That means that this week’s round up of all the horror and whimsy  that is life on this planet (focus on the north shore of Long Island) will be extra long, organized into four parts: Reasons to be Happy, Current Horrendous Events, Life in the Pandemic Surrounded by CovIdiots, and Words to Live By While the Wine Chills.

P.S. to Jeanie, Steve, and Citizen Reader: look for the Easter Eggs just for you.

But first, let’s get in the mood with some 2020 feels:

 

This one is late, but still funny:

 

Last month I packed an overnight bag and ample refreshments and I dialed the phone humber of the “Help” line of the company that “hosts” this blog to discuss an issue that many of you Dear Readers have brought to my attention, namely, that the Comments that you all so kindly write to me don’t show in the public Comments section. After a predictably lengthy wait, and a predictably lengthy chat, along with a predictable fee of $49.99, I was able to secure a technician who updated some widgets and eliminated a few gizmos and added several new doodads and voila: the Comments appeared. 

Supposedly. Let me know if this is true. 

I was also advised that the version of WordPress that I am working on is almost obsolete so, although I have paid for this blog to be continued until 2022, all this might disappear, one day, all on its own unless I get new hardware soon and, well, you might as well shit on a cracker and call it Sharon before I’ll do that. I do not want to even think about getting a new computer because  I just got this one in 2012 and I have more fun things to do than listen to a sales guy tell me about Core i5 chips, hybrid drives, 1920 x 1080 dis, etc. I also dread having to sit down and upload stuff on a new computer; cleaning up my email in-box, which is only a matter of repetitively clicking my mouse, already feels like hard labor and I’m not in the mood. 

Reasons To Be Happy: When I say fun things, I mean I might even head out to Manhattan’s Upper West Side and go owl watching. There’s a big story in New York City about a barred owl that has been spotted in Central Park, and people are going crazy for this bird. Here’s what it looks like when the owl wakes up at dusk and prepares to go hunting:

Photo credit: J. Alex Tarquino.

Photo credit: J. Alex Tarquino.

I think that’s kind of sweet. People come out in real life when they could be watching TV…good for them.

Did you all feel the culture shift last week? Did you feel the shudder of the enormous tilt in civilization as we know it?

Why do I ask? Because at 1:45 PM on November 24, 2020, a group of Korean artists were nominated for a Grammy in Best Pop Duo/Group Category, along with the usual [western,main stream] suspects (Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift):

While this  explosion of the cultural axis might have gone unnoticed in your house (I mean, the Grammies were irrelevant to me, until just this year), it was such a big story in South Korea that it was covered in real time on TV:

But wait, that’s not all. 

The next week, BTS debuted their latest single, Life Goes On, at No. 1 on Billboard, their third No. 1 in three months, and the first No. 1 in the Korean language

A Korean language song topping the Billboard Hot 100 might not be earth-shattering news to you, or make you and your friends jump and scream and cry, but it was major news in South Korea:

All the TV channels covered the story:

 

 

 

Over the past three decades South Korea has spent a lot of money promoting their popular culture for export as a “soft power” move to expand its economy and its political influence in the world, so this was by far the biggest coup for the Korean Wave since it began as a ripple in 1992. What France was to the 18th-century, Korea will be to the 21st-century. There might even be a legendary ex-pat “Lost Generation” story about Americans in Korea being lived over there right now; I swear that if I were in my 20s, I’d be lighting out for Seoul tomorrow.

But if BTS isn’t on your radar yet as this generation’s Beatles, then maybe you’ll take the word of an actual Beatle, that these guys are The Real Thing (transcript of an interview on Smartness podcast hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes):

We live in terrible, crazy, awful times here in the U S of A, and it’s these seven Koreans who keep me feeling less suicidal about the future.

And here is where we head into the Current Horrendous Events portion of this blog.

Things are so deranged here that it hardly made a ripple when a recently pardoned general began urging the president to suspend the constitution, declare martial law, and have the military supervise a new election. . . 

. . .  because that president that Flynn was cajoling into sedition was himself busy, entertaining/horrifying us with a 46-minute rambling, bat-shit crazy address to the American people, holding up bits of paper to “prove” the nutty conspiracy theories of a stolen election that have, so far, been shot down in 41 seperate court rulings.

Oh, lord, it’s been one of those weeks, again.

Roll the film, Jimmy:

 

Let’s talk about the hearing that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliana, held in Michigan re: voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. You owe it to yourselves to watch the tape, because the witnesses were truly magnificent.

Magnificent piles of hot, steaming horseshit:

But is it less racist if the witness starts her “testimony” by saying “Some people think all Indian-Americans look alike [the witness is Indian-American], but I think Chinese all look alike.”? The answer is, No, No, Hell no.

When this lady started talking, it instantly became Must See TV:
She was AWESOME!!

And, to follow up on the Mike Flynn controversy:

Raise your hand if you think EVERY person in the Trump administration should be investigated and brought up on charges.

Some people are getting a jump on it:

But let’s not hold our breath:

 

47 more days. That’s all we have to endure: 47 more days.

 

 

 

 

 

These are real, and they are being posted all around Manhattan:

 

 

 

 

This one is for Citizen Reader:

 

 

 

 

As the wing-nuts march around with their “Stop the Steal” signs in support of their crack-pot theories of voter fraud, the resistance is going with “Stop the Stupid”.

 

File this one under: “Yep, this is about what I expect of Trump Christians”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need another reason to love Scotland? Try this:

The headline: Political campaigners lit up Donald Trump’s Ayrshire golf course with “LOSER” to remind the outgoing president he lost the election.”

And here’s another reason to love Paris:

 

 

 

 

While Fox News was talking about voter fraud in Wisconsin, they did this (for you, Jeanie):

Let us now check out the latest happenings in the CovIdiot Saga:

 

 

 

 

On November 26,  Alice Willow bragged about her love of Jesus on Twitter. . .

. . . but  days later she wasn’t all that “Ride or Die” about it:

People on Twitter, a platform noted for expressing compassion, responded with sympathy. Here’s a sample:

 

 

 

Within a day, Alice Willow closed her Twitter account. I wish her the best, because I’m a “people person”, and I hope that her wish to die for her religion comes true. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Next week I have another Pet Portrait to paint with you, and a photo essay called Cats Being Jerks, and more of the feel-good homey musings and gentle introspections that make this blog (and its author) such a kindly, meditative, and reverential presence on your Friday scrollings.

 

 

 

I don’t really understand this joke, but it still made me laugh.

 

 

 

 

And, lastly, since I don’t say Fuck Trump at the end of this any more because he is not worth the effort except when it comes time to rally for indictments, this is for Steve and Olga in London:

To Catch The Squirrel, You Must Be The Squirrel.

 

All I have to say is, “Amen”.

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…my life would be totally different.

That’s my  Deep Thought  for February.

Because if I drank beer ( a beverage I still can’t stand the taste of) when I went to Ireland, I would have spent more time in pubs getting drunk and flirting with black-haired blue-eyed Irishmen,  and less time doing this:

(Note: clever use of tea cup instead of Triscuit.)

For those of you reading along, we are in the Febraury chapter, page 31, of When Wanderers Cease to Roam. If you have my book, this is Back Story Stuff  but if you don’t have my book, well, then, this is Story Stuff.

I wasn’t always an immensely talented watercolor artist. Once upon a time I  was a dedicated embroiderer. So, when I was in a panic about turning 30 [in 1986] and I bought a one-way ticket to the most outlandish place I could think of — Ireland — (I was a big U2 fan) of course I packed about 100 skeins of beautiful French embroidery floss.

In Galway I bought some muslin, a light-weight muslin that gave me problems, but which I stubbornly refused to stop sewing on.

And that’s what I did on my down time  in Ireland: I sewed. I sewed on park benches, I sewed (one memorable rainy Bank Holiday in Roscommon) in the waiting room of a bus shelter for eight hours; I sewed in the evenings in the common rooms of youth hostels. The above Celtic sampler is what I sewed. It took me six weeks. I made it up as I went along — that’s why it’s such a jumble. Also, I did say that I was a mite depressed during this time; maybe that also shows in the wayward looks of it.

That bird (above) in the lower right corner is the bird that is was the Irish pence coin at the time; the harp of course is a national symbol; the creatures hovering above the letters “e ” and “f” are, I believe, from the Book of Kells, and the various knots are various knots.

That piece of embroidery shows up in my book on page 31:

You will never believe how I got that stitch work onto the page:

I took my embroidery to Staples and I laid it down on a color copier. Then I cut up the color copy and taped bits of it along the edge of my journal page. That ratty taped-up color copy is what I turned in to Bloomsbury when I gave them my manuscript; Bloomsbury is such a high-quality printer that what they give you in the book is their scan of my color copy of my embroidery and you can still see the stitches!  (It’s all chain stitch, by the way.)

Trade secrets, my dears, trade secrets.

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