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It’s been so hot here (and everywhere in the northern hemisphere I hear) that I have no energy to do anything.  So, there is no painting this week.  Just some comments on death and dying.

Yep,  I figured it’s so hot you would need something really fun to perk you up.

A recent story of a woman who was a hoarder (think Collyer Brothers) fell in her home and died under an avalanche of her own “stuff”.  She was found four months later.   Don’t ask.

I told this story to a friend who said to me: “I always pray ‘God, don’t let me die stupid’.”  What she meant, of course, was don’t let me die on the toilet, tripping over the dog or setting my self aflame because my sweater caught on the toaster as I was making myself some cinnamon raisin toast.

So while I feel for this poor woman, I only hope that when it’s my time to go, it’s not by getting my hair caught in my shredder.

The pictured chair was done for a woman who had a paint your own pottery studio.  I no longer remember why, but she had a contest to paint the white chairs in her studio.  I came in 2nd or 3rd and won something.   So much for my memory.

A random thought:  Law and Order Los Angeles?  Really?

Stay cool dear blog readers.  Stay cool.

I woke up to this today:

I would have rather woken up to this:

This was the view from my room in St. Croix looking out onto the beach.   I love how there are always bent trees in the Caribbean.  I miss the warm weather and the beach.    Especially when today’s wardrobe included a fleece pullover, coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  Brrrrr!

Jim recently changed my tag on his blogroll.  It used to just say Carol King.  Now it says Carol King- artist, humorist, complainer.

Complainer indeed.  I prefer to think of it as social commentary.

But “complainer” works.

This is what I am going to comment (complain) about today.  The price of kids T-shirts in these small stores in Park Slope.  I wanted a size 4T shirt for a friend’s kid.  I thought I might get a nice little “Brooklyn” t-shirt.    I found one.  It was $24.00.  SERIOUSLY.  For a t-shirt that the kid will grow out of in a few months????  And end up in a stoop sale selling for 50 cents or a dollar.  A size 4T shirt is about 6″ across.  I’ve seen men’s handkerchiefs bigger than that.

I indignantly marched myself a few more blocks down the avenue to the next kid’s store only to discover that in this store the price of a kid’s t-shirt was $32.00 AND the collar was frayed.   On purpose.  WHAT?  I’m now ready to buy a white t-shirt and write on it with a Sharpie.  Are these people insane?  Who are their customers?  The stars that NAME their kids Brooklyn and Bronx?   Cause it can’t be the people LIVING in Brooklyn and The Bronx.

Only in NYC can people making $180,000 a year be considered middle income.

Charlie’s wife Liz told me she wanted to have a nice old fashioned Christmas and have everyone give a home-made gift.  Liz channels Martha Stewart and can make any dinner party elegant and wonderful.   Her friend to whom she made this suggestion countered with “how about an ‘As Seen On TV’ Christmas?”  Liz was outraged.  Charlie and I didn’t think it was a bad idea.   This did not go over well with Liz.

Ah, the holiday season is upon us and everyone is in a good mood.

Ho Ho Ho

Here’s a bit more about the drawing class.   After we drew Igor Stravinsky upside down and then drew our hand, we went on to perspective.  After a lecture and a demo, we all split up to find a corner to do a perspective drawing.

Since I’m having hot flashes lately (I KNOW!  What’s up with that????) and it was a nice day I decided to go upstairs onto the roof to do my perspective drawing joined by one other classmate.  We had an interesting view, looking through some broken lattice at roof tops.  So, in addition to doing my first “perspective” drawing, I was also doing it plein air.  (So there WRJones.)

City Scape 10-09The light changed so many times it was making me crazy.  One time when the teacher came up to check on us, we complained about the light.  He laughed and said that’s what made the Impressionists go insane.

Unfortunately, the above photo is not the best quality.  I was on a roof deck, looking through some woodwork with the lattice-work below and some bamboo on the right side.  Through this I could see some roof structures and then more buildings.  I really enjoyed doing this drawing.

The following day the instructor talked about portraits, did a demo and then it was our turn.  YIKES.  After the obligatory apologies to our “models” off we went.  My model was Brian (not the teacher Brian).   And here he is with help from the teacher.

My Portrait of BrianI needed help, but did a lot of it myself.  First of all, WHO KNEW the ear was SO FAR AWAY from the facial features.  And the back of the head???? Miles away.   The photo is a little blurry.  Sorry.  It’s probably for the best.

Next post will be my “final” which was a self-portrait.   I am giving you time to laugh now.

On another note, I have decided I am old.  How do I know this?

1.  I no longer know who the “people” are who are featured in People Magazine.

2.  If I see Jon and Kate on TV one more time my head will explode.  That will NOT make an attractive self portrait the next time I give it a try.  (I never even knew who they were before they split.)

3.  Does anyone care that David Letterman had an affair?  Or affairs?  My only reaction was REALLY?   Women actually agreed to sleep with him?


GArages 090609

Tonight’s dog walk consisted of the following conversation:  I mentioned that I was watching a show on HBO called “Youth Knows No Pain” which was a documentary of sorts about America’s use of wrinkle reducing “cosmetics” and cosmetic surgery.    Why are we so obsessed with the way we look?  Let me tell you, some of those people in the show were downright scary.  Nipped, tucked, botoxed!  They were one step away from Joan Rivers or that woman that wants to look like a cat. And don’t even get me started about that woman that has had a bazillion surgeries so she can look like Barbie.  SHE WANTS TO LOOK LIKE A TOY!   At some point one has to learn to age gracefully and accept those wrinkles as a sign that one has been lucky enough to live long enough to get those wrinkles in the first place!  And, if you’re lucky, some knowledge to go with them. As I ranted, Charlie was more concerned about the fact that now he can’t remember things sometimes.   I asked if he would consider getting any sort of plastic surgery.  HA!  He said  since he wasn’t that great looking when he was younger he didn’t care that much about it now.  He continued that had he looked like Brad Pitt when he was in his 20’s and Jackie Gleason when he was in his 30’s he’d be concerned.

Continuing on we noticed yet another new nail salon called “Classy” was going to open.  We knew it was going to be called “Classy” as it said “Classy” in neon lights  right in the window.  As I wondered what it said about our society that our neighborhoods have two nail salons on every block but can’t seem to have health care for all of its citizens,  Charlie was more concerned that if “classy” was in neon, how could it be classy?  Wasn’t that sort of an oxymoron?

We need more to do.

I completed this painting of my sister’s garages.  (Yep, that’s right, plural. Who’s better than her?)  I had more fun with colors with this painting.  And I think I’m painting a little looser which I like.

color wheel 8-26-09

One day I took a walk with the husband and the dog.  It was a beautiful Saturday and the streets were crowded.

We leave the house.


As we tried to pass a couple with some kids: Damn yuppies with their double wide strollers taking up the whole sidewalk.  They think they own the street.

As we tried to pass a guy with a dog who was trying to go after our dog: Damn people with their dogs they aren’t paying attention to.

As someone was just about to walk into us: Damn people walking and texting at the same time.

After about an hour of this I gave him the “look”.  For those of you who have been married for more than 15 minutes, you know the “look.”

Then I told him this walk was worse then when I walk the dogs with Charlie at night.  I said he better get to work where a nice bloody crime scene might lower his blood pressure.


Charlie (luckily) laughs and then tells me he is going to be Peter Positive.  So since then, just as Charlie is about to complain about the people, the dogs, the buildings, his job, he will stop himself and change the sentence around so that it’s positive.

Just a few days ago, as we walked by some horrible new construction that has been going up all over Park Slope, Charlie turns to me and as he is about to say something about how horrible the building is or how it will probably fall apart and be an eyesore and a ghetto in a few years he stops himself, smiles and says “Isn’t it interesting how that building has changed the landscape of Park Slope.”

Peter Positive lasted 15 minutes.

A leopard can’t change it’s spots.

A color wheel can’t change it’s colors.   Or can it?   We learned some color theory in class on Wed.   It was fun to see how different primary colors change the secondary colors and tertiary colors.  I have to do another one as homework using different primaries.   I tried one already, but it was on Strathmore paper which DOESN’T COMPARE to Arches.

White vase with apples 8-30-09

On another note, I finished the white vase with apples and brought it home.  I showed it to my husband the art critic who said “the vase needs more shading.  It looks like someone just cut out a rectangle where the vase is.”

Oh well,  I call it artistic license.  It’s staying as is.   I have color wheels to do.

I have discovered the magic of masking tape.  And not for use in a watercolor painting sense.

Pear or light bulb 8-16-09

Every workday I leave my apartment and walk a few blocks to the subway.   There are two staircases that lead down to where people ride in a hole in the ground.   One day I noticed the staircase I always used was boarded up.  An official MTA  sign said that the stairway was being repaired and had spots where one can write in the dates that the staircase would be out of service.

The sign said that the stairway would be out of order from 6/30/09 to 7/30/09.   I silently laughed when I saw those dates.  HA!  The city can’t do anything in a month.  “We will see” I thought.  And each day for the month of July I watched and waited.  August finally rolled around and the sign still said the same thing.  But then ONE DAY, masking tape appeared over the completion date.   With no new date for completion.  Just masking tape.  As if masking tape was MAGIC tape and by putting it over the completion date, it just made that date disappear.  Wow.  How stupid does the MTA think we are?  Really?   No,   Really?

Wouldn’t it be nice it we could just put masking tape over our calendar whenever we had a due date for something that we weren’t going to complete on time.

Carol to IRS on April 16: No, my taxes aren’t due on the 15th.  I put masking tape over that date on my calendar.  And I haven’t filled in a new due date yet.

IRS to Carol: Nice try.  Pay up.  With interest.

But for some reason The City (and by The City, I mean NYC, but I have a feeling other major cities in the US and around the world would also fall into this category) manages to get away with stuff like that.  I want my stair case back.  I don’t want to have to walk all the way to the corner to use the other stairway.  Rat Bastards.

*Update to the completion of the staircase*  I passed by today and some cynical person had hand written something in.  It now says the staircase will be out of service from 6/30/09 to Infinity.  I laughed.

On another subway note, today, after having to walk the extra 50 feet to the dreaded OTHER STAIRCASE, I boarded the R train to City Hall.  I was very lucky to get a seat.  I looked across from me and there was a rather plainish looking girl rummaging through her rather large purse.  Suddenly, out came foundation, blush, mascara.  I’ve seen all this before.  I used to laugh and laugh and the woman who would pull out her eyelash curler right around DeKalb Ave. on the D train every day and squeeze it on her lashes and look around like she was holding some sort of bizarre monocle above her eye.  But I digress.  The woman today transformed herself in just a few stops.  I really wasn’t paying that much attention until she pulled out a pair of tweezers and started tweezing her eyebrows.  HUH?   Now is that really a good idea?  One sharp jerk of the train and I was expecting to see an eyeball roll across the subway car and hit my feet.   Come on!  There are just some things that should be done in the privacy of your own home.

Oh,  and I worked on the pear/light bulb painting.  It didn’t come out anything like I had expected it to when I started it.  But I like it.  And I think it works well as a companion piece to the crab apples.  Once again I over-worked it so I ended up having to add some gouache at the end.


On my way to work a few mornings ago I photographed this sign that was just posted in the window of a local restaurant.

I couldn’t decide if I was more appalled at the message or the sentence structure and grammar.  (Did it cost extra to add a period after the word help?) And that stupid picture of a defeated boxer for extra drama.  Stop it!

Really???  It was OUR fault that your restaurant failed?  Really???  Maybe it failed because you write sentences like:  “Some of you will be really sad as Us…”   They may have put their heart into the place, but obviously no customer put his/her foot into the place!

I probably would have found this sign quite funny had it not been for the content and the fact that the longer they stayed open with no customers, the more rainbow flags and stickers got plastered on their windows, walls and menus.   My sister, among others, will be annoyed that there is no apostrophe after the “s” in friends.    That bothered me too, but now that I’ve read “THE ROAD”, not so much.  I read the first few pages of  “THE ROAD” and saw that the author wrote cant and wont and didnt and I thought, hmmmm, they have typos in this book.   But no.  Apparently when living in a post-apocalyptic world, grammar regarding contractions is the least of your problems.

I have to admit that I’m also annoyed by the way some people write things. Like “R U going 2nite?”   I want to reply:  “No I ain’t.”   You can’t type all the letters?   I know that with typing and texting and emailing and im’ing and tweeting and facebooking one’s fingers may get tired.  Still. It annoys me.  I can’t help it.

One of my favorite new words I heard recently was “ambulamps”.   Meaning: ambulance.   How in the world did that get morphed from one to the other?  Who knows,  maybe years from now ambulamps will be considered the proper pronunciation for that word.  By all the Baby Daddys in the world.

They say English is a living language.  It’s changing all the time.  If we don’t have a word in English and they have a word in another language that works, well, we just steal it outright.  No problem.  Unlike the French.  “We don’t like those damn English words creeping into their language.  Le weekend?   We don’t think so!”

We stole schadenfreude right out from under the Germans and it is one of my favorite words ever!

Let the language change.  I will still speak it the way the nuns taught me.

And to anyone who will read this and immediately comment to say I misspelled something, was grammatically incorrect in one sentence or another…please…. Gimme a break.   I have to go text my husband, i-m my sister, email my brother and see what everyone is doing on facebook.   I don’t got no time to spel chek.

After all that I be going to eat.  Where you be goin’?

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