Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August and Everything After

This is from an email I sent out earlier this month, in order to jump start my blogging once again:

You may have heard, either from myself or one of the news outlets, that we had a day last month with a temperature of 102! It's true! Well, last night, we experienced almost the inverse of that...
We had tickets for Joan Baez, who was playing at the zoo, less than two miles away. The zoo concerts are pretty mellow affairs, 6 p.m. start time, a mostly older crowd, some small children, nothing too obnoxious. We made a picnic lunch to take, packed a blanket and some low seating. As we were packing up, Mark noticed it had started to raining. We found some rain gear, put on hats, grabbed a large umbrella. The zoo doesn't cancel on account of rain.
Naturally, all the parking near the zoo was full up, so we found street parking about a quarter mile from the entrance. It was now raining steadily, not that lovely mizzle (mist-drizzle) that we normally experience in summer, but a regular October rain. We huffed up a hill and found the ticketholders line right outside the gate. At least that's where it started...
The rain got heavier, a late November rain, and as we marched to the end of the line, some six blocks, I marveled that the show was sold out. Not such an odd thing in and of itself, until you see the hundreds of people in slickers, armed with tarps and plastic. Only one woman was offering her tickets for sale on account of the weather. The rest of us were just going to tough it out, which is how we do it in Seattle. If we let the rain dictate our actions, we'd almost never get to go outside. LOL
On the zoo grounds, there was little in the way of protection from the elements, and those few spaces were well populated, so Mark and I resigned ourselves to sitting on the middle of the field, in the grass. "It's gonna let up any minute now", I kept repeating. We made an agreement that we would leave if we got too squishy. Even with the rain, people packed in around us.
Once you resign yourself to the fact that you're going to be wet, there's nothing else for it but to enjoy yourself. We brought wine in a water flask, ate our sandwiches and laughed. Joan seemed quite surprised that the crowd was so large...she called us her "rain people" and admitted that this would never have come about in CA.
And then, about midway through the second song....yup, the rain slowed. By the third song, it had stopped entirely. We took down our umbrella and so did everyone else, and you could finally see the stage. Woo-hoo! Joan played "Diamonds and Rust", telling us we deserved it for sitting out in the rain. She has a great sense of humor...singing the last of "Don't Think Twice" in an exaggerated Bob Dylan accent. Hilarious!

Once we got home, we put all our clothes in the dryer and Mark made hot chocolate. What a great evening.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


MYOB, as most folks know, means mind your own business. People will say this to you if they think you're being nosy...perhaps you overhear a conversation and have something to add, or a solution to a problem. But, as with so many other things, it's not black and white. How do you know if someone means well, or if you should just remind them: MYOB?
Generally, I try to mind my own business, I really do. Other times, I struggle with whether or not to get involved. My question to myself is always it going to hurt, or help?
Case in point; yesterday we were in Corvallis, Oregon. There was a yarn shop I was interested in, so we drove by it in the morning. It didn't look open. Mark suggested we at least peek in the windows, so we parked and walked up towards the door. The sign in a window said they opened @ 10 a.m., and it was just after nine, so we'd have to come back. Then we noticed something very odd about the door.
Fiber Nooks and Crannies had been broken into. A piece of the door frame had been broken off, the latch was ajar, and the strike plate had been pried away and thrown into the bushes. We backed away from the door. Was someone in there?
We honestly weren't sure what to do...I was concerned that someone might think we were the ones who had broken in!
We walked down to the corner and called the police. Then, we washed the car, because the car wash was right next door to the yarn store. As we went through rinse cycle, some police officers showed up. I think I scared them, because one of them jumped when I said hello. They checked the door, pulled their pistols, announced their presence and went in. No one was there. None of the merchandise had been touched, thereby eliminating the possibility of a crazy crafter trying to finish a project at the last minute.
When we returned later and were checking out, the owner realized only then that her place had been broken into and that the cash drawer had been stolen.
She felt violated, needless to say. Mark and I hadn't intended to say anything to her, but she clearly had not been informed by the police of the break-in. We were obligated to tell her that much. I felt badly because no one had even called her! The officers left a card in the (broken) door with the report number, which she hadn't seen because she entered in the back and simply unlocked the front door from within; no indication of anything wrong.
I hope she feels better. I know I feel better for doing something besides minding my own business.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mami Wata

After what seems like an awful lot of trouble, I am finally able to show you the work I created for 150 Feet of Art.
This is Mami Wata, a goddess of Africa and its diaspora (I really like being able to use the word "diaspora" in a sentence!). She is known by many names...La Sirene in Haiti, Yemanya in Brazil, for example. I was introduced to her the day before I was asked to contribute my work, through an article in the NY Times about a show at the Smithsonian. I find her and her history captivating... she may be a recent addition to many mythologies, which demonstrates that mythology is not dead or stagnant; it still breathes and evolves.
I tried very hard to create her in an authentic folk style. I (mostly) used only materials I already had on hand, and I feel kind of bad about that, because I have access to more art supplies than the people in many of these countries could ever dream of. On the other hand, I DID get to use the stuff I've been hoarding forever!

She is a strong woman, beautiful and somewhat vain. The gods and goddesses of the African diaspora are every bit as human as those of Greek mythology, and I like that better than Christianity's supposedly infallible God. The spiral beads covering her breasts are snakes; some of the iconography I've seen shows her with the serpents wrapped around her arms, but other articles I've read describe her breasts as actual snakes. It's voudou-esque, and I liked the thought of it very much. In fact, my inspiration was a Haitian voudou banner.
Clearly, I need lessons in drawing anatomy, but that's part of the charm. I could have copied someone else's torso, but this is ALL me.
Mami Wata haunted me for the entire month of April...I couldn't turn around without running into her someplace, and that's not including the Starbucks mermaid. No, she was on tv, billboards, a cup that I rediscovered after nearly twenty years. It couldn't have been clearer that I was on the right track.

I feel my representation is alive, living and breathing, like the mythology from which she swims forth. And if no one else finds her intriguing enough to make her a part of their home, I'm okay with that. It will only mean she's supposed to come home to me, and if that happens, I intend to create a lovely altar for her.

Friday, May 1, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday...

and not half bad, for having it at work. Yup, I have, as Mark likes to say, made another trip around the sun.
It's a beautiful, sunny day, I had lunch with a friend, one co-worker brought me a ginormous cookie as a gift, and another, a bottle of wine. At 4 p.m., I'm going to pop a cork and have my own Happy (Birthday) Hour. I got to wear a tiara to work and NO ONE minded!
I do think every woman should have a tiara. It goes along with that Scandinavian saying: "In every woman there is a queen. Speak to the queen and the queen will answer." Queens like tiaras. And it helps to make you feel beautiful, even if all you're wearing is a t-shirt and jeans. It makes you sit taller in your chair and accentuates your crown chakra. I also believe every woman ought to have a feather boa, but I won't go down that
I will say day isn't nearly enough to celebrate!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Where the heck did April go? I remember starting it, but it seems to have sped on quickly without me.
Yup it's been busy, and kind of weird, but not with its happy moments.
Currently, I'm working on some art. I know, I'm always working on something, but this includes a...deadline. Yikes!
I was attending an opening for my friend, Zeke, on April 3rd. June, the curator of the show, was giving a blank canvas to someone, and I asked if it was time for the fundraiser that the gallery does, called 150 Feet of Art. Yes, she said, and then added, " You should submit a work this year, Kendyl".
I could have said no; in fact, I usually say no. I am not all that confident in my abilities as an artist. On a good day, I consider myself a dilettante, which may explain my limited success at most endeavors. Like Socrates, I don't claim to know anything, and that attitude has manifested itself in my professional life.

However, June caught me off guard, and with no hesitation, I replied, "Okay!".
So before I knew it, I was holding a one foot square canvas. In the car on the way home, I started having ideas. And that's what I've been doing.

I don't want to give it away, not just yet. I will post a photo of the work here before I submit it. The due date is May 1st, which is also my birthday. Just one of the many little "coincidences" the Universe has been sending my way of late.

It's funny; as nervous as it makes me feel when I think of all the other, more experienced artists who will be participating, I know that I'm doing the right thing. The coincidences are signs, if you will. I've never had so many clear signs in my life, ever.
The Universe is finally giving me a freaking map. Yippee!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


As I watched "Reno 911" tonight, I noticed one of the new actors was named Ian Roberts. I performed in a play with a guy named Ian Roberts @ Grinnell College. It was kind of an odd play...all about the randomness of life.

Turns out, it's the very same Ian Roberts! He was a lovely guy who lived down the hall from my friend, Tracy, and was very accommodating toward us two silly girls who loved to torment him with chocolate pudding/orange sherbet concoctions as well as weird quotes on his memo board. All three of us were in the play, so we spent quite a bit of time together.
Someone I worked with is on the telly! How cool is that? Hurrah!