Friday, December 28, 2012

Whale Watching

This is my first "Movie" and I am not sure that it will work but I gave it an effort.
The day after Christmas we went to the coast, an hour and a half drive from our valley home.
It is Whale Watching Season in the Pacific along the Oregon Coast where up to 30 whales per hour, about 16,000 total migrate each year from their Alaskan Feeding grounds to the warmer waters off the Southern California Coast.  It is a sight to see although there are none in this movie.
There are NO Private beaches in Oregon, no place you have to pay to visit, no boardwalks or carnival atmosphere and no one serving drinks under umbrellas. And almost never crowded even in the height of the summer season.  If you see more than six people you just move down the beach for your own private place.
   We do have sandy beaches in Oregon, miles and miles of sand dunes and open beaches and a couple special areas with a particular sand the sardines like and they can easily be scooped up with a net.
Salmon can be caught directly off the beach.  We also have rocky areas, my personal favorite where at high tide one can see the power of the Ocean as it beats upon the rocks.  At low tide you can go exploring and find the pools with crabs and star fish and all kinds of sea life.
   We stayed in a Motel above this rocky ledge and had a balcony view.  My daughters are adults now but a visit to the ocean always brings back fond memories of our visits there when they were small children.  And we had real fish and chips, fresh Ling Cod, not that frozen imitation.  Wonderful.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Proper way to stock up for the end of times!!!

Red Dots

We are still alive and that is grand!  I will enjoy every bite of the cheesecake!
   So, yesterday, as it might have been the last day, I went to our local Art Gallery to pick up a couple of steel and copper wall panel "paintings" that have been there for the month of December.  I had plans,
because I thought the Mayans might be wrong, to give these as Christmas gifts.
It is a big gallery with one great room and several adjoining rooms all full with over 300 pieces, all the works of local artists who support this particular gallery.  It is not a juried show.  Each December, for the members, we can hang our works for the public to see and with luck purchase items for Christmas. There is some good work represented there and some average and some downright beginners kind of art.  It is a mish mash of styles and talents all professionally hung with little placards
naming the piece with the artist's name and, of course, the price.  The gallery takes a third which is reasonable for their work and all the bills they incur.  Prices were all over the board, beginning at the low end of $65 and all the up to over $2,500.  There was a relationship to the price and how much oil paint was on the canvas and I suppose a beginning artist always charges less.  For those that might have no interest in paintings there was an entire room for ceramic artists.  Bowls and dishes and clay statues and paperweights aplenty.  There was also a wooden section, furniture and cutting boards and modern art pieces in all price ranges.  Practical gifts and whimsical, some to gain value and many useful.  Some clearly Art.
   All of these pieces were locally made.  American made. Artist made in small studios and on kitchen tables.  Made from the soul.
   I didn't go to the "Opening Night" and I regret that.   I am inherently lazy and don't seek attention.
I wonder now if there were a crowd there?  What people came and who were they?  Yesterday, the day before the last day (today it is still OPEN) I was the only person there.  This was great in that I had the place to myself and could wander around at my leisure examining and studying and learning.  Each artist was allowed only two pieces so there were about 150 artists represented and all were displayed beautifully.  Even crap displayed on a gallery wall looks pretty good and most of it was far better than that.  It was sad too that I was alone, had the gallery to myself.  I think of the lines at Walmart, the Christmas rush at the Big Box Stores, people buying junk that won't be around next year and I am saddened.
   Red Dots on the display card with the artist's name mean that the piece has sold.  In the entire gallery there were fewer than a dozen.  I know this means something.  We complain about the loss of American industry and like moths to a flame we are driven to foreign imports.  We complain about shoddy work and buy stuff that will fall apart the day after Christmas.  I just don't know.  Lil' Abner had it right:  "We have met the enemy and he is us."  We also have local craft fairs and farmer's markets.  I hope they did better.
    Red Dots?  Yes, I received one.  I am happy that someone liked my creation and in someone's home this Christmas it will be given as a gift and hang on their wall.  I am IN someone's home! An invited guest.
Merry Christmas!
My daughters will be home today!  For a short week.  They live on the other side, 3000 miles away and that is far too far away.  I am lucky they are healthy and employed and have a life and lucky they choose to visit this time of year when there is a whole world to explore.  It will be a great week.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

One Day Left!

What time tomorrow will the bells toll?  Tomorrow, December 21st, the End of Times according to some attempting to interpret the Mayan Calendar.  I wonder if we can have breakfast first?  Will it end in a millisecond or take up the entire day?
   When I had my fight with cancer I thought each night was my last, that I would never wake up the next morning.  When you get to that point the lists of things you want to do become very small indeed.
It is the sick and the dying who have little thought of the future and secretly wish it would come fast.
I wonder about extreme beliefs and the people who find comfort in them.  I have read that all over the world, crisscrossing the globe and regardless of religion people have been preparing for this winter event.  Stockpiling food and guns and batteries and such.  Maybe they think it will take longer than a day?
   What an inspiration for our children!  The World will end...SOON!  Maybe tomorrow! or with Armageddon on its way, certainly in your lifetime!  No time for rosebuds and silly poetry, gather ye armaments while ye may!  Before the Government shuts this avenue down and we have to use Molotov
Cocktails!  Our last days gathering empty bottles and siphoning gasoline from abandoned automobiles!
Such an apocalyptic world view, why are we so BAD?
   Today I will buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with lights and balls and tinsel. I might buy a cheesecake because I would like that taste if tomorrow is the last day.
   If I wake up tomorrow and the day is still here I will make plans.  I want to see and be in the middle of a great big forest, away from roads and wires and buildings, the scars of man.  I want to see the Ocean and breath the salty air.  I will hug my children and laugh and tell them, no, the World is not going to end.  You will have to go to work tomorrow and plan for your future.  It will be as you want it to be.

Monday, December 17, 2012

One More Kiss!

It has been in the news that the gunman's mother (I won't respect them with a name) was an "end of times" believer, a believer in a horrible Armageddon , end of Government, mass hysteria, shootings in the streets, famine and each for his own.  It is not known yet if this is a religious belief or maybe, just Four Days From Now: December 21st and the Mayan Calendar.  Whatever, she was prepared. Stockpiling of food, lots of guns and thousands of bullets and she taught her son to shoot, good mother that she was.  To them and the children, the end of times was near and they brought it about.
     I am not a believer.  Not in that kind of stuff, only in the self fulfillment part.  We get what we look for in this life.
   In my drinking days I used to say that if that time were near, only a day or so left, I would head to the liquor store and today I would probably do the same...It is a crazy world where we propose scenarios in  which we pit one neighbor against another.  In that last moment (where we may or may not see God) we want to go out with so much anger!  I remember the Chinese student during the Tianiman Square protests who put flowers into the barrel of the gun on the tank and think I would rather be like him.
Fifteen rounds per second, that is what that rifle shoots.  Instant hamburger, not a good hunting rifle.
It is not the way I would choose to be.  I am more like "gather ye rosebuds while ye may"! One last poem, scratch my name in the sand, another painting, one more piece of metal worked, another kiss!
I am suspicious of people who believe in Armageddon, especially those with guns and self fulfilled prophesies.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gun Issues

I have tried to keep my opinions out of this blog since the elections and that is why I haven't been commenting much.  Take my opinions away from me and there isn't much left, even art is opinionated.
There will be talk now about gun control.  Obama will be that Black Kenyon boogie man out to get control and destroy this nation because that is how many are comfortable in seeing him. It is easy to lose sight of the argument when there is a boogieman and we can shift the blame to him.
   We have lots of school shootings in our country, one a few years ago in my home town.  They are devastating. I remember the recent Movie Theater shooting and some people suggested that if the theater patrons were armed it wouldn't have happened.  At least not so much, someone could have shot him on the stage.  With that thinking there will be suggestions to arm the kids in school  First year in kindergarten and you will be issued your own Glock!
   I don't play video games but from what I've read they are violent.  I know TV and Movies are full of blood and guts.  We have a culture of Anger.  We have angry games, angry politics, angry discussions and angry protests.  I think anger is always a substitute for something else that is missing.  It is always what steps in when we feel powerless, lost our argument in another way.
     It is so easy to blame this on a parent when we ourselves have no sense of community, don't even know our neighbors and they don't know us.  Feelings become personal and stuffed with limited ways to express them.
   They no longer teach art in school.  No theater. No poetry and literature. It is all pretty insane and once in awhile someone will come along and show us that it is.
   How about limiting clips of bullets to a thousand rounds? or maybe just a hundred? That should be enough.  or maybe just six and then you have to reload?