Gifts, Gluttony & Goodwill Watch & Listen Play List: November 30-December 2

twelve days of christmas adoseofdani
Gift-giving. Gluttony. Goodwill.

So begins the holiday season. Everybody, get your holiday spirit on! 

I'll be getting my holidays spirits from The Hive with their brilliant and tasty cranberry wine and mulled honey wine.

Enjoy the holiday music!

Something About December - Christina Perry
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
All My Friends - Land of Talk
White Christmas - Diana Krall
Feel It All Around - Washed Out
Mistletoe - Colbie Caillat
The Christmas Song - Paul McCartney
Joy to the World - Aretha Franklin
White Christmas - Tony Bennett
Sleigh Ride - Fun
A Great Big Sled - The Killers
Wonderful Christmastime - The Shins
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Frosty the Snowman - Fiona Apple
Felicidade - Joe Henderson
Carol of the Bells - The Bird and The Bee
On This Winter's Night - Lady Antebellum
Let It Snow - Michael Buble
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Come On Santa - The Raveonettes
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan

Artist of the Day: Letterpress Calendar - Ilee

2013 letterpress & silkscreen desktop calendar  ilee
I am sitting here, chin in hand, ready to lean further into the cliche, by literally scratching my head. I am looking at Ilee's beautful 2013 calendars, and wondering, where did 2012 go?
Are you wondering how the days and months flew by or that the year is closing its doors so soon?
More importantly, do you actually believe the Mayans predicted the end of the world, so you've quit exercising, and are charging your cards to the limit? Me neither, but I am planning on hosting Pink Apocalypse: The End of the World bash.
I can not believe the year is over.
Ilee doesn't have a bio up on her site, so I have created one for her.
artist bio: Big-hearted artist, Ilee of Seattle, is the creative force behind the of vibrant images and calendar, label, and note card designs.
"This 2013 letterpress and silkscreen printed desk calendar includes 12 monthly cards with original artwork and one extra year at a glance card. Each set comes in a clear jewel case stand. Dimensions: 4 -7/8" x 5-1/2.

Portion of the sale will be donated to a non-profit organization called “Specialized Options for Disabled Adults,”"

Twelve Days of Christmas Wish List: Homemade & Vintage Gifts

The month of gift giving, gluttony, and goodwill begins this Saturday.

I haven't hung one decoration. The tree and all the ornaments are upstairs in the abyss I call my studio. I have an urge to buy stuffed Grinch dolls and attach them to the wreaths I have yet to hang on the doors of my house.

I'm not saying I am a grinch, or feel like the Grinch, or that have anything against the season, I just understand him more and more.  My favorite Christmas stories are: A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and It's A Wonderful Life. I am drawn to the characters of Ebeneezer Scrooge, The Grinch, George Bailey.

If you think about it, all three are stories of redemption. We all need a little redemption. At least I do. What about you?

I decided to take another one of my favorite Christmas standards and give it a little twist. Instead of a true love giving me gifts, it's about discovering treasures that inspire and delight.

For the Twelve Days of Christmas I discovered:

one folk art bird primitive

two little dove wire drawing sculpture ornaments

three origami birds

 four sumo wrestlers


 ten santasaurus rex holiday cookies



Poem Therapy 28 November 2012 5:55 P.M.: The Kite and The Hawk - Lorenzo Thomas

The Kite and The Hawk
Lorenzo Thomas

Man is no longer alone in the universe!

The day I found the hieroglyphic formula
For happiness for all mankind
I had to promise to give it away.

It is we have to find a way
For everyone to have
one more of something
Than your neighbor has

For you--here is a dollar!

And for you,
I feel warm brotherhood
And love intense
Beyond what anyone has ever felt before.

You didn't think I'm going around
And giving everybody money?

For me
The syllable of antique power
To shift the Light above
Enough to cast the second or third shadow
The Grand Prize
In the lottery of loneliness.
 So, the solution to outwitting loneliness is to shift the sun's light and cast it on someone other than yourself. Warm brotherhood. Warm sisterhood.

That is how I am choosing to read this poem.

On first reading, I fully intended to write about the six-million dollar lottery frenzy going on around the country, but after the second and third reading, my thoughts went in an entirely different bent.

(Incidentally, I have a stake in lottery tickets from Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, and Oregon. What will I do if we win? I will travel everywhere, write and make art all the livelong day, lallygag, fiddle dee dee, and la di da. That is what I will do).

Back to my entirely non-lottery bent: Making certain my neighbor has a little more or shifting the light reminds me of the advice I received from my gentle, very sweet, non-judgemental, totally Mormon, non-confrontational sister: pray for my enemies. I know when she told me this I rolled my eyes and probably covered my phone and said pfft!

You know what? It worked. At first you better believe I prayed for my enemy: to have a biblical plague descend upon her, to exit the bathroom with a trail of toilet paper tucked in the waist of her pants and for no one to tell her, for Monty Python's paper cutout finger of god to come out of the heavens and wag at her, for Karma to circle round and be a mighty bitch and just get her and get her again, to... and to... and to...

You get the idea.

After I cooled down and grew up and stopped praying for an apocalypse to befall her, I tried wishing for very specific good things to happen for her. I saw her happy. I saw her apologize and mean it. And then suddenly I couldn't remember the specifics of the problem, exactly. The story had gone cold. And then suddenly, I didn't think about her. Ever.  The next time I saw her, four years later, I greeted her like we were still friends, because I had forgotten she was my enemy. I remember she was shocked. She said she didn't know why she did what she did. It was nice to receive an apology, but I had already seen it in my wish. And that was real enough for me to move on.

So, it just may be that the solution is to shift the light.

Artist of the Day: The Bath House - Carey Primeau

the bath house  cary primeau

I love Chicago based photographer Carry Primeau's Neglected Beauty series: a collection of images of Detroit and Chicago landmarks in various stages of decay and ruin.

Looking at this photograph I keep running over terms from art history: Roman arch, pier, barrel vault column, pendentive, Doric column, come to mind.

I hope Detroit finds a new purpose for this grand station, and also, that the station keeps the amber patina of age.

I could see the station transformed into a destination spot centered around a vibrate arts community, perhaps an artist colony with artists and craftsmen of all stripes with art studios and residences, a co-op art gallery, and a host of bookshops, cafes and bistros.

An art makeover may be just the thing to revitalize the city, after all, Art Saves.
artist bio: Chicago Based Fine Art and Wedding Photographer.

Detroit, Michigan Central Station

Built in 1913 this massive 18 story train station was designed by the same firm as New York’s Grand Central Station and not a single detail was sacrificed. I see this building not much different from the ruins of ancient civilizations and can only hope that it will never be torn down. Its current condition symbolizes Detroit's predicament yet its beauty has the potential to awe and inspire generations to come.


The Day in Cartoons: What Day Is It - David Fitzsimmons

what day is it David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
Gray Thursday. Black Friday. Shop Small Saturday. Cyber Monday.
Shop. Shop. Shop.
Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do.
Shopping small to support local businesses and restaurants? Yes. Shopping at 5 a.m in a big box store or the mall? No.
I have to admit, even though it is meant ironically, I like Thrift Store Thursday.
Now here's a real event day to get excited about: Giving Tuesday
What I am going to do and be this season is more generous. In addition to the usual gift giving, I want to give more intangibles:
Forgiveness I've been denying. Kindnesses I've been hesitant about offering out of fear of misinterpreation. Compliments I've withheld for a myriad of lame reasons. Silence when I want to fix something when what is required is to just shut up and listen. Time and patience even when I am out of both.
Here is my plan with the concrete, the tangibles:
Pack up clothing, dishes, furniture and donate to the local Goodwill. Clear the shelves of canned goods and donate to the local shelter. Make beet cake for my favorite (and not so favorite neighbors).

Finch Lane Galleries Art Barn Holiday Show - 2012

carved clay beads

  carved and pierced bracelets with beads
Carving clay has turned out to be an obsession. It is deeply, deeply satisfying to subtract clay and watch a design emerge. Usually craft art is a sublimation. This is therapy. And I've found a way to translate this technique into my paintings,  assemblages and sculptures.
I've been carving clay since early October in preparation for this holiday show. I did not take pictures of the beads assembled into necklaces and earrings - forgot in the rush to make the deadline for delivery - 8 p.m. last evening. A few bracelets are visible in the second photo.
What I've discovered is that I love carving clay. Love it! I have now transferred the medium and process to my fine art. fyi: in case my use of "fine art" sounds snobby, "craft art" has a different purpose, hence the adjective). I am in process at this moment of carving a painting for a submission, due this weekend. I will remember to take a photo and post it.

Celebrate the holidays with a visit to the Art Barn for the 29th annual Holiday Craft Exhibit & Sale, a distinctly artful experience of original craftwork by dozens of local artists.

Offering an abundance of choices for gift-giving, the show includes jewelry, bowls and vases, holiday cards, clothing, ornaments, and much more. The Holiday Craft Exhibit & Sale is a feast for all the senses, with craftwork in glass, metal, silk, wool, paper, wood, clay, paint, and natural materials.

Holiday Opening Reception

Monday through Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Gallery Stroll
Friday December 7: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m

Craft Show Gallery Hours
Monday through Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m

Artist of the Day: Winter Wonderland - Yann Photographer

winter wonderland yann photographer
Thanksgiving is over and now Christmas is on the horizon.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish it would snow. I'm ready for turtlenecks and sweaters, heavy socks and snow boots. I'm ready to sit by the fire all wrapped up in a blanket and sigh for the warmth and flowers of spring.
We've had our first snow, but it has been an unseasonably warm early winter. I remember slogging through a foot of snow by this time in years past. I've pulled out my heavier scarves, vests, and serapes, but have yet to wear a coat.
This photo illustrates the confusion of the season well. Perhaps I want it to snow only if it looks as lovely as these flowers weighted down with a skiff of snow.
My perennial and annual flowers all wilted from the bite of frost and heavy snow a few weeks ago, but my herbs and decorative grasses are still green and upright.  I will have to photograph them once it snows again.
artist bio: I am a French professional photographer. I specialize in many things: portraits, products, landscapes, reportages. Feel free to have a look at my website on

Land of Deseret: In My Own Back Yard

I was surprised to discover that one of my neighbors has been raising their own turkeys. Both Toms were very friendly. I was a little revolted by their wattles, which they waggled a great deal. They also shook their tail feathers and posed for my pictures. If they didn't have those terrible wattles, I think I would consider a turkey as a pet. An outside pet. The hen did not trust me one bit, and protested from a safe distance.

I asked if these two Toms were given pardons. Sadly, no. They made it through Thanksgiving alive, but one of the duo will be the main course for Christmas. Man eat turkey world.

My neighbors have big plans to become farmers. They have plowed up their back yard and plan to raise corn. They have a fat goat that has yellow billy goat eyes, the kind from childhood horror fairytale stories. The goat likes to body slam.  I am not a fan of that damn goat.

I read on NPR yesterday that Farm School is the new black.

I wish them luck.

December Books 2012

I didn't post a list for October or November for three reasons:
1.  I was rereading sections from 2012's January-September books.
2.  I was glued to my laptop and iPhone reading all things Presidential Election 2012!
3.  I've been carving and painting like mad getting ready for holiday shows.

I suppose I could list all the articles I read, but on second thought, no.

Happy reading!

Bad Marie - Marcy Dermansky
Bad Marie is the story of Marie, tall, voluptuous, beautiful, thirty years old, and fresh from six years in prison for being an accessory to murder and armed robbery. The only job Marie can get on the outside is as a nanny for her childhood friend Ellen Kendall, an upwardly mobile Manhattan executive whose mother employed Marie's mother as a housekeeper. After Marie moves in with Ellen, Ellen's angelic baby Caitlin, and Ellen's husband, a very attractive French novelist named Benoit Doniel, things get complicated, and almost before she knows what she's doing, Marie has absconded to Paris with both Caitlin and Benoit Doniel. On the run and out of her depth, Marie will travel to distant shores and experience the highs and lows of foreign culture, lawless living, and motherhood as she figures out how to be an adult; how deeply she can love; and what it truly means to be "bad".

Birds In Fall - Brad Kessler
One fall night, an innkeeper on a remote island in Nova Scotia watches an airplane plummet to the sea. As the search for survivors envelops the island, the mourning families gather at the inn, waiting for news of those they have lost. Here among strangers, they form an unusual community, struggling for comfort and consolation. A Taiwanese couple sets out fruit for their daughter's ghost. A Bulgarian man plays piano in the dark, sending the music to his lost wife. Two Dutch teenagers rage against their parents' death. An Iranian exile, mourning his niece, recites the Persian tales that carry the wisdom of centuries. At the center of this striking novel is Ana Gathreaux, an ornithologist who specializes in bird migration, and whose husband perished on the flight.

The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family - Jon Katz
In an increasingly fragmented and disconnected society, dogs are often treated not as pets, but as family members and human surrogates. The New Work of Dogs profiles a dozen such relationships in a New Jersey town, like the story of Harry, a Welsh corgi who provides sustaining emotional strength for a woman battling terminal breast cancer; Cherokee, companion of a man who has few friends and doesn’t know how to talk to his family; the Divorced Dogs Club, whose funny, acerbic, and sometimes angry women turn to their dogs to help them rebuild their lives; and Betty Jean, the frantic founder of a tiny rescue group that has saved five hundred dogs from abuse or abandonment in recent years.

Justinian's Flea: The First Great Plague and The End of the Roman Empire - William Rosen
During the golden age of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian reigned over a territory that stretched from Italy to North Africa. It was the zenith of his achievements and the last of them. In 542 AD, the bubonic plague struck. In weeks, the glorious classical world of Justinian had been plunged into the medieval and modern Europe was born. At its height, five thousand people died every day in Constantinople. Cities were completely depopulated. It was the first pandemic the world had ever known and it left its indelible mark: when the plague finally ended, more than 25 million people were dead. Weaving together history, microbiology, ecology, jurisprudence, theology, and epidemiology, Justinian's Flea is a unique and sweeping account of the little known event that changed the course of a continent.

The Black Book - Orhan Pamuk
Galip is a lawyer living in Istanbul. His wife, the detective novel–loving Ruya, has disappeared. Could she have left him for her ex-husband or Celâl, a popular newspaper columnist? But Celâl, too, seems to have vanished. As Galip investigates, he finds himself assuming the enviable Celâl's identity, wearing his clothes, answering his phone calls, even writing his columns. Galip pursues every conceivable clue, but the nature of the mystery keeps changing, and when he receives a death threat, he begins to fear the worst.

If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path - Charlotte Kasl Ph.D.
Kasl brings a compassionate understanding to the anxiety and uneasiness of new love, and helps readers discover their potential for vibrant human connection based on awareness, kindness, and honesty. She approaches the dating process as a means for awakening, reminding us that when we live by spiritual rules, we bring curiosity and a light heart to the romantic journey.

The Art of Civilized Conversation - Margaret Shepherd
In our fast-paced, electronic society, the most basic social interaction—talking face-to-face—can be a challenge for even the most educated and self-assured individuals. And yet making conversation is a highly practical skill: those who do it well shine at networking parties, interviews, and business lunches. Good conversation also opens doors to a happier love life, warmer friendships, and more rewarding time with family.

Slow Dance on the Fault Line - Donald Rawley
From the seedy sun-drenched bungalows to Polo Lounge booths to opulent mansions along winding canyon drives, Donald Rawley shines a merciless light on a city perched precariously on the rim of the desert and edge of reality. In these fourteen finely crafted gems of impassioned lyricism, the author rakes his pen across the glistening veneer of Los Angeles' elusive fantasy and hard-boiled glamour to expose the unvarnished, unsavory truth underneath. Whether focusing on a comedian's homicidal greed, a second-rate screenwriter pondering his lot sitting naked in a Bentley, or a valium-addicted beauty seeking gratification amid a tawdry carnival sideshow, Donald Rawley relentlessly excavates LA's sun-bleached graveyard of broken hopes, shattered dreams and sordid memories.

The Middlesteins - Jami Attenberg
For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle-- a whippet thin perfectionist-- is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvah party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?

The Round House - Louise Erdrich
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver
Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Magic Hours:  Essays on Creators and Creation - Tom Bissel
In Magic Hours, award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of The Big Bang Theory to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox's work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter.

Cooking the Blues Away: Beet Cake

The days are shorter, the holidays are here, so I'm back cooking my blues away. I made this beet cake from tiger in a jar's video recipe I found over at designmom. It was a hit, and I loved the looks of shock when everyone discovered the chocolate cake was actually a beet cake.
You will want to watch this lovely recipe video, but here is a standard list of ingredients with my additions in parentheses:
Beet Cake
2 c. beets (pureed)
2 c. flour
1 1/2 dark brown sugar
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt (kosher)
1 t. vanilla (Mexican)
1 c. butter
3 eggs
(dash powdered sugar)
(heavy cream whipped)
(mix ingredients together, bake for 30 minutes at 375)
(allow cake to cool, then dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream)

Black Friday Wish List: Homemade & Vintage Gifts

I don't participate in Black Friday. The introduction of Gray Thursday is just way beyond the pale. It's not that I have anything against it, I just cannot see the point of getting up before the sun is up to power shop and fight and push and maybe endanger other people.
I also don't participate in Cyber Monday. I'm not a shopper. 
But, to be completely honest, if there were a store that specialized in original artwork and was offering cutthroat prices, well, I might consider and grab a cart and run like hell, no excuse me, just get out of the way!
I would hang the following art on one wall. Here's my wish list:

Poetry & Music Mash Up: Twenty Questions - Jim Moore + Holding on to Good - Delta Rae


be thankful oliveandbirch

Holding On To Good


Twenty Questions

Did I forget to look at the sky this morning
when I first woke up? Did I miss the willow tree?
The white gravel road that goes up from the cemetery,
but to where? And the abandoned house on the hill, did it get
even a moment? Did I notice the small clouds so slowly
moving away? And did I think of the right hand
of God? What if it is a slow cloud descending
on earth as rain? As snow? As shade? Don't you think
I should move on to the mop? How it just sits there, too often
unused? And the stolen rose on its stem?
Why would I write a poem without one?
Wouldn't it be wrong not to mention joy? Sadness,
its sleepy-eyed twin? If I'd caught the boat
to Mykonos that time when I was nineteen
would the moon have risen out of the sea
and shone on my life so clearly
I would have loved it
just as it was? Is the boat
still in the harbor, pointing
in the direction of the open sea? Am I
still nineteen? Going in or going out,
can I let the tide make of me
what it must? Did I already ask that?

Song of the Day: History's Door - Husky


History's Door

I can't tell you how many times I've sung along with this song. Today, I actually heard it.

Life is like that. You search and search for the answer, and it's been in front of you all this time, but you refused to see it, until today.

Free your heart
That is the hardest part,
He says, “Your heart won't lie.”

Find your hope forget your home
Heed that feeling in your bones
For your heart knows you'll never win
Until you’re free from him

Don't look back
There is no use in wondering
Just how or why
If you leave now
You might just make it home
Before the morning light

Poem Therapy: Butter - Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander

My mother loves butter more than I do,
more than anyone. She pulls chunks off
the stick and eats it plain, explaining
cream spun around into butter! Growing up
we ate turkey cutlets sauteed in lemon
and butter, butter and cheese on green noodles,
butter melting in small pools in the hearts
of Yorkshire puddings, butter better
than gravy staining white rice yellow,
butter glazing corn in slipping squares,
butter the lava in white volcanoes
of hominy grits, butter softening
in a white bowl to be creamed with white
sugar, butter disappearing into
whipped sweet potatoes, with pineapple,
butter melted and curdy to pour
over pancakes, butter licked off the plate
with warm Alaga syrup. When I picture
the good old days I am grinning greasy
with my brother, having watched the tiger
chase his tail and turn to butter. We are
Mumbo and Jumbo’s children despite  
historical revision, despite
our parent’s efforts, glowing from the inside
out, one hundred megawatts of butter.
When my daughter was a toddler, she would eat an entire stick of butter if I let her. She loved butter on absolutely everything. Now that she's older and more health conscious, she eats butter sparingly. All of the food I am preparing for dinner tomorrow require generous portions of butter.
Butter makes everything better.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the United States day of thanks. I have so much that many times I take it for granted and forget to be grateful.
I am grateful for my daughter, my step children and grandbabies, my family and friends, my dogs, my imagination, my health, my too big home, my freedoms too numerous to count, my possessions that at times possess me, my work, my talents that I sometimes ignore until they rebel and demand attention, for second chances to remake the world according to me, for possibilities.
What are you grateful for?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Song of the Day: Sugar Sand Stitched Lip & The Hale and The Hearty - Heyward Howkins

Heyward Howkins

Have a listen to both of these:
Sugar Sand Stitched Lip & The Hale & The Hearty

I haven't posted a song of the day for quite a while, but this weekend Heyward Howkins showed up in my inbox. I'm not sure how this happens, especially since my tiny blog is something of an online journal/ramble, but I'm very happy the singer and his music did.

I spent the day listening to Heyward, and watching his videos, most of them filmed by BITBY - bands in the backyard.

I watched the Sugar video first, which I assume is a reimaging of the selkie legend in a post-apocalyptic world, but it was the second video I watched, with Heyward playing his guitar on a deck in a Blues Brothers suit, lily pond as back drop, somewhere in New Jersey, that got my attention. He didn't skip a beat when the white noise of a passing plane overhead almost drowned him out around 1:20, but just leaned hard into the music. When he closed his eyes and stamped out a beat, then whistled a riff, well, that's when I kicked off my shoes and settled right in.

An interesting biographical note Howkins claims: his ancestor Thomas Howkins signed the Declaration of Independence.

Watch & Listen Play List: November 16-18

american gastronomy map  lucy stephens

Oh America! You are a steaming post-election hot mess.

All fifty states have petitions for secession now, talking heads are wallowing in lame excuse dredges up to their eyeballs. You know for certain you're a bowl of sour grapes if former First Lady Barbara Bush tells you to stop your whining and move on.

The five stages of grief are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

I'm adding a sixth stage:The Blues.

How about we all agree, there's this last weekend to wallow and wail, and then come Monday, it's a new week? And it is the week of Thanks, (notice the capital "t"?)

I have a great play list all lined up for you. Go ahead, drown your sorrows, but leave the last glass half. Okay? Then, make a pot of black coffee, and sober up. And, remember that a spoonful of sugar will make the medicine go down sweeter.

Here's the thing: Everybody here in these United States, you are mine, and you don't get to go anywhere. We can slam doors, pull hair, spit on each other's laundry, give each other the silent treatment, mutter under our breath, scream and shout, but you need to know, you're still invited to Thanksgiving Dinner. And for drinks and dessert, later.

Statesboro Blues - Taj Mahal
All I Could Do Was Cry - Etta James
Sit & Cry the Blues - John Nemeth
You've Got to Hurt Before You Heal - Kenny Neal
You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had - Mud Morganfield
Doom & Gloom - Rolling Stones
Jumpin' at Shadows - Gary Moore
Sunrise Blues - Samuel James
Firewater - Django Django
Whiskey River - Willie Nelson
When I Get Drunk - Carey Bell
Black Coffee - Delta Moon
Medicine - Tad Benoit
My Story - Chuck Willis
Honolulu Blues - Craig Finn
Rave On - M Ward
Something for Nothing - Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Crossroads - Cream
Grounds for Divorce - Elbow
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
The Story - Brandie Carlile
Don't You Lie to Me - Junior Wells
I'm on to You - Joe Louis Walker
Don't Owe You a Thang - Gary Clark Jr.
You Gonna Need Me - Mark Butcher Band
Thankful and Thoughtful - Betty LaVette
Welcome to the Human Race - Walter Trout
Enough of the Blues - Gary Moore

Poetry & Music Mash Up: America (Try saying wren) - Joseph Lease + Mad World - Gary Jules

the world gone mad meganzii

Mad World


America (Try saying wren)

                 Try saying wren.

It's midnight

in my body, 4 a.m. in my body, breading and olives and
cherries. Wait, it's all rotten. How am I ever. Oh notebook.
A clown explains the war. What start or color or kind of
grace. I have to teach. I have to run, eat less junk. Oh CNN.
What start or color. There's a fist of meat in my solar plexus
and green light in my mouth and little chips of dream flake
off my skin. Try saying wren. Try saying

                          Try anything.

Artist of the Day: Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names - Ben Gibson


grand taxonomy of rap names ben gibson popchartlab
Do we need a grand taxonomy of rap names? Yes. Yes, we do.
artist bio: Pop Chart Lab is a collaboration between a book editor and a graphic designer. From our lair in Brooklyn we aim to do nothing less than to bring order to a swirling chaos.That is, we seek to put the world in charts.

Artist of the Day: Red Fox I Love You - Flavia Marele & Ildiko Muresan

red fox i love you doublefoxstudio

I love every single drawing, print, art doll, brooch, and necklace on this site.

The expressive art of Cluj-Napoca , Europe-based dynamic artistic duo, Flavia Marele and Ildiko Muresan, alludes to the distinctive style of ancient pictographs, symbolism of religious Milagros, and the iconography of contemporary graphic design.

What their art is, is, cool, or sweet, or hip, or sic. Whatever adjective works for you, that's what it is.
artist bio: We are Flavia Marele and Ildiko Muresan. We've been creating together since 2003. We are both artists who like experiencing with different mediums creating all sort of strange creatures, drawings and photography.We both love art, traveling, offering gifts,reading, dogs and every animal on the planet ! We've had many exhibitions and we've also participated at Contemporary Art Fairs (Cologne,Berlin). Follow us on: , &

Artist of the Day: Old Matchbox Cars - Esther & Moritz

old matchbox cars esther and moritz makelifeparadise
I'm a safe/defensive driver. That hasn't mattered at all the past few days, which have been a bit of perilous times in the car/driving department. 
This last Sunday, my father and I drove over to my grandmother's historical home to see the new sets and improvements on the old barn the film crew had made. While we were looking, we drove right into one of the holes they had dug in order to film from ground level. Both back wheels were off the ground and we were listing to the right. I couldn't open the passenger door, so I unlocked my seat belt, opened the window, held my phone out and took a photo of the front end of the car so I could see what we'd fallen into. Once I looked at the photo, I immediately belted up, told my father to put the car in neutral, and called my husband to come pull us out. The bumper was the only thing that kept us from going all the way to the bottom of the hole.
Last night I was rear ended by a driver, just two houses from my home. I was slowing down for the light and then suddenly rammed and pushed a few feet into the car in front of me, sending that car into the car in front of it. My Cd's were thrown out of the cubby, (yes, I still have Cd's), and my cinnabar Buddha hit me in the chest. The seat belt was twisted in its restraint. That's how hard the car behind me hit.
I'm sure that on impact, when I grabbed my neck with both hands, I looked like bad actors do in whiplash infomercials. Time didn't slow down. I couldn't process what was happening, because I had both feet on the brake trying not to hit the car in front of me. Over an hour and one half later, after the police had talked to all involved and given us a driver information exchange handout, everyone drove away, safe and sound.
Random, unexpected things happen, like driving into a hole, or being hit from behind. Both events are amusing anecdotal stories. Do they mean something in a greater sense? Probably not anything more than the story I tell myself, and that story so far is that, life is short. I need to wake up. Right now.
But, I've been telling myself that for the last year. Maybe it's time to listen.
After listening to everyone's stories of getting hit and feeling fine until the next morning and then not being able to get out of bed, I decided to stay home to go to the doctor. Tomorrow, I'm seeing a structural reiki therapist.
Be safe everybody, and watch out for holes.
artist bio: Hi! We are Esther and Moritz. Living in Berlin, Germany, after having lived in Amsterdam in the Netherlands for the last 7 years. We love to go out on photo shooting trips, exploring the city. Our shop name is a combination of our German and Dutch last names, (very) roughly translated in English: Moritz last name means Make life and Esther's last name is Van Eden.

The Day in Cartoons : Secession Chill Out - J.D. Crowe


Secession Chill Out J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register
Texas has exceeded the signature requirement to petition for secession from these united states, but Governor Rick Perry is not having it. Texas will stay in the Union.
Utah has over 5000 signatures. Utah! Seriously.
When my daughter was a child, she used to throw herself on the ground, kick, and hold her breath until she nearly passed out. When she realized the tactic wasn't working, she got control of herself and stomped off to sulk.
Right around dinner time, she was ready to be reasonable. Truth be told, she was hungry. 
My analogy? Would be secessionists, go ahead, throw yourself on the ground. Kick all you like. Hold your breath until you pass out. Then go have yourself a cleansing cry. And then get yourself up to the table.
So your guy didn't win. One side always loses. This time was your turn.
You will survive. And so will the Union.
P.S. I hear the local super mart near you has big girl panties on sale.
Interesting Reading:
National Review - Against Secession

Artist of the Day: Contemplation - Lynn Cameron

contemplation lynn cameron
Today has been one of those days where all I can do is to lean my cares on an elbow.
The view from the cathedral may not fix the issue I'm leaning into, but it would make it a bit more tolerable to contemplate. 
Tomorrow is another day.
artist bio: I live in Seattle with my husband and two little ones. I've been a professional photographer for nine years. Taking pictures while traveling the world is my passion!