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Monday, June 29, 2009

Mondegreen alert!

My 14-year-old's new favorite song is a John Mayer cover of Tom Petty's great song, "Free Falling.

So there she was yesterday, helping me out with some paperwork and singing along when --- well, it was the best Mondegreen I'd heard in a long, long time.

This post is dedicated to Lylah -- thanks for the belly laugh, honey -- and to Jackie, ever on the Mondegreens prowl.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Have you loved your newspaper today?

Whether you live in Cleveland or Charlotte or New York City or San Francisco (I know
you Europeans don't need this nudge), please support your local newspaper today. Buy it, read it, shop the advertisers and tell them why you're there.

Today, if you're lucky enough to live in C-town, you can read from John Caniglia's fantastic story that pushes back against Hollywood's lionizing of gangster John Dillinger, who destroyed lives here in Ohio; you can read Evelyn Theiss's terrific tale of the Kokoon Club, a Cleveland gather of avant-garders who held racy "masked balls" in the early 20th century; and you can see terrific watchdog reporting as Joe Guillen exposes how often the Cuyahoga County commissioners abuse the state's Sunshine Law, which is meant to keep decisions about your tax dollars from being made in secret.

And that's just a start. Cleveland is still fortunate enough to have a book-review section when other city papers have dropped theirs. I could go on and on. But I won't.

Here's one little link -- to Caniglia's Dillinger story, but I really hope you've already read it in your own newspaper. Or, better yet, that you'll go buy the paper and decide to engage your hometown in this way.

And yes, you've already seen a version of this drawing.
And yes, I do intend to be an occasionally insufferable proponent of the local press. I'm not employed as a journalist anymore. Maybe that's why I love the paper ever more fiercely.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Book heaven

Stopped by the Larchmere Flea Market today on Larchmere Ave., the Shaker Heights/Cleveland street full of funky shops. This presented me with the opportunity to make my second visit in a week to Loganberry Books, home of great new, used and rare volumes. I waited far too long to wander into Loganberry, but I was glad when I finally got there. I don't know a bookstore with a better collection of illustrated books, vintage pop-ups or children's books of all kinds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My people were from chilly climates

I mean, really.
I have Swedish genes. And Irish genes.
Eighty degrees is the beginning of heat-stroke as far as my cells are concerned.
Would it kill them to turn it down to 75?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cooking lessons

The little women did the baking today for father's day. The pie was so successful that the big black dog helped herself.
Happy father's day, if you are one.
Happy father's day even if you aren't.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Forsaking monastic traditions ...

"Forsaking monastic traditions, twelve jovial friars gave up their vocation for a questionable existence on the flying trapeze."

You know what that is, right? It's a pangram, better known as a word, sentence or paragraph containing every letter of the alphabet.
Our digital design class assignment was to choose from a list of pangrams and illustrate one in a poster using Adobe Illustrator.
(The sentence appears in its entirety, beginning at the top of the tether on the left. But I don't expect you to read it here.)

We got a nice version from the digital output center at school.
I have to admit, I had a good time making this. And now we're on to another really fun assignment. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good Lord II

I don't get much happier than this.
I'm the one on the left. The one on the right, a rather freshly hatched screech owl, was blissed out at the moment, too. S/he was eating morseled-up rat meat. Some people hear that raptor rehabilitation includes chopping up dead rodents and say things like, "Oh, uh, that must be very ... interesting." (Eye roll.)
But in fact, the up-close connection to these birds -- young, middle-aged and old -- is worth every stinky moment in the "kitchen." It is totally, totally captivating.

My friend Earl's work involves helping actual human beings. I told him recently that I knew he was on a higher plane than I am in the contributions-to-the-planet department. Helping animals, while not easy (especially for those who do it full-time), is usually rewarding and emotionally uncomplicated because animals are so free of the things that make human beings hard to deal with. Helping animals is a reward unto itself. I think helping other humans is a very high spiritual calling. But it is, sadly, less likely to involve the delight of touching owl-chick feathers.

Of course, there's nothing that says we can't do both, right?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hmmn ...

I wanted to make a beautiful drawing, but I made this instead.
Trouble with the plate and all.
The sandwich plate is one of the last from a nice set I had many years ago.
The dog, too, is from the past, sort of. He's part someone-I-used-to-know and a kind of fictional creature who keeps me company on the page at times.

The cherries are newer than all that.

This is the last week of my Photoshop/Illustrator class. I really did make monks fly, by the way. I'll show you soon.
Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ta-Da ...

Creeping ever-so-slowly into the digital age, I post here my first Photoshop-created self-portrait. It took me a ridiculously long time.