Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Listen Hear, My Dear

Isn't she pretty? This is Beryl playing a piano somewhere, sometime. Is it the 1950's? And where is this piano? Maybe she can provide me with more information to post here. Meanwhile, let's all wish her a Happy Birthday today with Many Happy Returns!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Have a Banana, Hannah!

Have any of you received Christmas cards from me yet? No? That's because I'm wasting my time futzing around here. I know I'm becoming the video queen, and I apologize for my lack of creativity. I know that this stuff is basically the equivalent of junk mail (or empty calories) but I can't help myself!

For my birthday, Jeff gave me a second visit to the land of Slava's Snowshow. We saw it a couple years ago at the Union Square Theater and again last night at the Helen Hayes Theater. As a result, this morning I became fired with the ambition to use Slava himself to exemplify and share some essence of clowndom. Most videos of the Snowshow focus on the special effects, the mayhem and the wild blizzardy finale, but I was able to find one clip from the show that is both touching and funny and conveys some of its quieter charm:

I thought I gave up clowning long ago in favor of pursuing storytelling (from totally nonverbal to totally verbal!) When I've revisited clowning in recent years, I've enjoyed myself, but I've had a hard time reconciling my old makeup to my new face. When I first became a clown, my makeup was based on a face without glasses. And yes, I know that I could get clownish frames with my prescription (contact lenses won't work, trust me), but that's kind of a big commitment for the occasional festival appearance or classroom demonstration, don't you think? Also (and this is really weird) - I have wrinkles now. That old white greasepaint just doesn't spread as smoothly as it used to...

Plus - are you aware of how many people are afraid of clowns? When they say that they are "freaked out", it really means they are afraid. And who wants to go around scaring people? It can be very isolating.

However, here's something from Slava's earlier career that makes me think maybe clowning is not so much in my past as I thought:

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a little ditty called Blue Canary. The song has been a signature of Slava's and his compatriots for years. This is an older clip. Slava is not one of the trio. He's the one in yellow blowing bubbles with a red pipe (and I suspect he's also a guy in the audience.) I LOVE the way the tall clown in the middle is just oodles of thrilled with his singing friends:

Monday, December 8, 2008

In a Zoo, Kangaroo!

Back in the summer of 2007, BooBoo used to be called Smokey and SissyCat used to be called T.C. They lived in isolation in a cage in the back of the pickup truck while they had shots and got tested for ferocious diseases. BooBoo now lives with Jeff and SissyCat lives with Sailor and me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Don't Be So Bashful, Nashville

This is the first digital video that I ever took. It's at least a couple years old. I uploaded it to YouTube only minutes ago--my first time! The floodgates are open (now you're really in for it.) Sorry for the off-key singing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

You're Really Cute, Monkey Suit....

I'm watching Channel of the Apes (All Apes! All Weekend! All the Time!!!!!) and cleaning out my bookmarks. (Isn't tomorrow the last day of the month? Aren't we all supposed to be paying bills right now or something?) Some of you know that I'm a walk-a-holic. I walk during my lunch hour as often as I can. Here's a little film I found that shows some of the haunts from my jaunts (please stop me from doing that.) Anyway...the film maker captured a lot of my favorite nooks and crannies: purple Russian sage, tidal river wind on American flags, river water sparkles, tossing rustling grasses...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What's the Word, Bird?

SOME people might be interested in the fact that the infamous children's picture book, Walter the Farting Dog, is being made into a movie starring the even more famous Jonas Brothers. SOME people who might be interested can read all about it here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You're Such a Tease, Socrates!

It's a COLD day and the birds are going crazy at the feeders. The sun is streaming in the windows, the cats are napping, the Thanksgiving cactuses (I refuse to say "cacti") are in bloom and all's right with the world. I took the day off from work!

Today's funny picture is brought to you by my beautiful sister Sandy, and I'd also like to add this little tidbit from a fortune cookie that Jeff opened last week (and ate, of course--you have to eat the cookie for the fortune to be true):

"Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought."

Now let's just all think about that for a minute......

OK - we're done.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What's the Scoop, Monkey Poop?

Today's glob is brought to you by my crack team of globbers. The title of this post is from Annie-anne, fondly known to many of us as Anne K. (she's quite the poet, and don't I know it...) And then, when I opened up my email today (for the first time this week probably) there was a little Halloween gift from Patricia---->Follow this link to draw yourself a cute jack o' lantern. The Halloween Cat photo was taken by Jeff last year (I don't THINK he'll mind...) I am SO in the Halloween spirit this year. I have the day off to celebrate!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ring a Bell for Joan Blondell

This number always just blows me away. I think it contains Joan Blondell's finest moments on screen. And singer Etta Moten really adds a whole lotta soul. If you get bored around the middle during all the marching, take a closer look at all the wounded WWI soldiers and think what they went through. Some of the people on YouTube said it better than I can:
- "They fought in 'the war to end all wars' and came back to poverty and despair."
- "First comes the war. When they come home, the world they knew is completely different. 10 years later, the depression. after the depression, comes ww2-which their kids fight in. After the second war is over, things become a little better-but they're too old to enjoy it. And, during their final years, everyone hates them-because they're supposedly all racist and sexist bigots. Not a good time to be born."
- "Joan Blondell really conveyed such heartfelt emotion that I can't help but be moved by it. The singer is wonderful and her voice is so strong and powerful. I remembered seeing this movie years ago and was surprised by this downbeat ending. It's as if the director knows that even though this movie is a comedy, the reality of life cannot be ignored."
Well--just watch it anyway. It's got a catchy tune!

Go to Your Corner, Jack Horner!

I love love love my new "office." I started my cold-weather nesting early this year, so I've already been using this space for a few weeks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In the House, Mouse?

With the onset of autumn came a sudden (obsessive) interest in a certain spot under these steps. The interest has waned a bit now, but we had 36 hours or so of nonstop fun (and I mean nonstop!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tell Us a Fable, Mabel!

At last summer's storytelling workshop, we made up our own fables (with morals!) and told them with tangrams on pizza box flannelboards. Here are the happy storytellers after a successful performance. Give 'em a hand, folks!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What's Up, Buttercup?

We went to see Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night, Saint-Rémy, June 1889. Oil on canvas" at the Yale Art Gallery. It's on loan from The Museum of Modern Art, along with "Cypresses" from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cool to see them side by side because they don't normally live together. There are a gazillion videos that pay tribute to Vincent. I chose this one for its simplicity and because the colors of the paintings looked good on my screen. I am (pathetically) doing the whole Vincent thing: reading DEAR THEO, singing with Don McLean in my head, cutting off my ear, etc.

(after last night's rain, the big spike on my wild verbascum has burst into bloom for a second time!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's the Score, Agadore?

Here is my "Hero's Journey" board game that I created this past spring. There actually isn't any scorekeeping because the object of the game is to tell a story. Players spin a wheel (Phil helped me make it) to choose a quest and then roll a die to move their hero along a rainbow path gathering adventures. Alice and Brook helped me test the game out. They had some really good ideas that have helped me a lot when I've played with larger groups of kids. And I got to use felt and yarn and blanket stitch!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's Shakin', Bacon?

I know a guy who is having a birthday today. Maybe he would like me to give him a pretty little kitty in a flower pot!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Whaddya Know, Joe?

Welcome to my teeny tiny world. There are ten of you who receive emails whenever I create new posts here. I love you all and some of you I don't get to see very often. I promise not to go crazy with updating. This is just a little space where I can deposit some of my spare brain cells, so you can bet that the content will be minimal. If the emails become an annoyance, please let me know and zap!--you'll be off the list. So. I spent some time last week updating my storyvine. Looks good on the scanner, no?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Not a Snake, Jake!

I finally finished the piece that I was working on when we were in Tucson in April 2007. It's called "Ocotillo" in honor of the towering red desert blooms against brilliant blue skies.