Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mayor Daley

File this in the "I never knew that before" category. I just learned that the mayor of the fair city of which I am a suburbanite, Richard M. Daley, had a son who died of spina bifida. For those of you who don't know, this is a disability I was also born with.
His official bio gives a brief mention, indicating his son was only three years old when he died in 1981. However, there is no reference to the cause of death being spina bifida.
As far as I know, spina bifida doesn't have the same kind of spokesperson power behind its fundraising and research as many other illnesses and diseases. I wonder what a little political muscle could accomplish if it were used for such a purpose.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Star Book

I've been a bit busy working on some book art. I've got a couple of books in process. One of them is a star book. It's a little hard to just describe, so I thought this video might be useful in giving the basic idea of how the book is constructed.
Stay tuned for part two of how to make a star book. I've got to get back to my kitchen come art studio.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Are you a creative person? Sometimes I feel like a creative person, and other times I feel like my muse has run away from home. There are those really creative types who are talented in any artistic effort they endeavor. Most of us though, I think, tend to have a main creative outlet we treat as a hobby. So when it's not working; when your guitar won't tune, your paints won't blend, or your sauce won't simmer, does that mean you aren't creative? More importantly, how do you manage when the thing you do to unwind & feel good about yourself has become a source of frustration?
Well, maybe your muse needs to be let out to wander for a bit. Perhaps our creativity can benefit from having more than one outlet. Instead of leaving the picture or the poem to go pay the bills or do the dishes, walk away and do something else. Something else creative. In the rest of our lives, we get bored doing just one thing. The same exercise routine, the same place for dinner, the same conversations with the same people. No, we need variety. New subjects to explore, new ways to stretch our bodies, new ways to nourish our souls.
Maybe the care & feeding of the muse works the same way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holy Week

Holy Week started with Palm Sunday a few days ago and will soon culminate with Easter. This year, our church did something different for Palm Sunday. Usually this particular day is all about celebrating and honoring Christ as our true King. Last Sunday we did that, but it was in the context of what's in store for the rest of the week. Our liturgy was an overview of the coming week.
I often find Holy Week a reflective, somewhat emotional time. So I was a little unprepared to dive right in like we did on Sunday. I'm not sure what I think of it. Jesus' contemporaries did not have the same context in which to place the events of that first Holy Week. We know the rest of the story. Like I said, I'm not sure what I think about celebrating within that context, but it sure does have me thinking.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hope Is The Thing

I have often struggled with the concept of hope. I'm not saying I feel hopeless, it's just that as a concept hope seems like a contradiction to me. First of all, wanting or having hope implies there is a less than positive circumstance one is struggling against. In the face of a discouraging reality hope may seem irrationally optimistic. It can occupy the same connotation as gossamer wishes and dreams that have no substance, no foundation to hold them together.
Then I found this quote by Emily Dickinson. I like that it highlights the persistent, tenacious quality of hope. Persistence is something I can relate to.

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all."

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Here she is. Yeah, I know you can't see much of her in this picture. But I'm telling you, this is my favorite puppy part. I love that little white bit at the end of her tail.
It's nice to be able to post pictures without turning blogging into an all night project. I'm just beginning to discover the kind of power my new computer has & I'm quite happy with it. Once I get new speakers, I'll be absolutely thrilled. Isn't it weird how sometimes we think we need certain forms of technology to survive, and find we don't need them at all? Then other times we find a new level of technology and it improves life to such a degree that we don't know how we ever managed without it. Like anything, we can end up abusing that technology and allowing it to become destructive. The important thing is to use our resources to focus on well-being and productivity.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

How To Learn Empathy

Do not assume that she who seeks to comfort you now lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. Her life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, she would never have been able to find these words.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Untitled Randomness

  • The other day I was eating a salad that included bagged spinach. In and amongst my spinach salad was a three leaf clover. Would have been cooler if it was a four leaf, but it was still pretty amusing to find it in my salad.
  • Disrespect annoys me. Really. Really really. Nothing can turn my day south faster than people who demand respect for themselves in a way that steals it from others. Guess what kind of day I had today?
  • I have a new computer. In theory, I will be able to post pictures and other multimedia things onto my blog now. I just haven't found the perfect Youtube thing yet. Soon I'll post a picture or two of my brother's new puppy. Her tail is the cutest thing ever.
  • I want to watch a movie tonight. I have standing rule that I save my Netflix movies for the weekend so I can be productive during the week. I think guidelines like this are good because they lend me some structure. I also think guidelines like this are arbitrary & should be flexed once in a while because, well, because I want to watch a movie tonight.