This Watercolor Life

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Hello Kitty & The Penguin

Today, I'm looking at two nearby figures that have been standing guard for a while now atop my computer desk.  It's no secret that I love Hello Kitty and this little figurine was given to me by a shopkeeper a couple of years ago. She was originally on my key chain, but the link broke, so I put her where I could see her every day. I had another Hello Kitty key chain which was an unexpected surprise with an e-bay purchase....more

Blue Roses, Tennessee Williams and Alice Caviness

I was lucky enough to purchase some earrings the other day at the Salvation Army that are signed Alice Caviness. Alice was a costume jewelry designer who rates up there with Else Schiaparelli, Hattie Carnegie, Nettie Rosenstein, et al. These are killer, clip-ons from the 50s. What really kills me about them is that the centerpiece is a porcelain disk with a blue rose decal on it. ...more

How to Stop 'Why'ning

'Why' is a spiky, sharp, penetrating word; a word  that can stop you in your tracks. A question containing 'why' is rarely welcome unless you are a philosopher, (and everyone knows how annoying they are. Socrates was sentenced to death for asking 'why' one time too many). Young children, being natural philosophers, often ask why....more

Crosspost: Feel the Pressure

I recently finished reading The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts, and it's one of those rare little gems of a book that I am going to re-read right away, before moving on to more of his works....more

Day 6: Enough Is Enough (Truism, Not Tautology)

When I was in my early twenties, I went through a bad spell financially, occupationally, and spiritually. I had a college degree in the humanities (English literature, with a 4.0 GPA) and a frenzied determination to be a writer. At 22, despite that 4.0 GPA, “starving artist” had an appealing, adventurous ring to it. ...more

Learning to Think Like Salmon

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What Kind of World Do You Want to Live in?

Last night I had the incredible good fortune to spend the evening with a group of dynamic, passionate, clever individuals. Most of them I have never met before, but we all share one vital quality. We all want to live in a world rooted in humanity, honesty, compassion and a shared sense of fulfillment and we are all willing to begin acting as though we do in order to effect that change. ...more

You Look So Much Like Your....

My mother's side of the family has a very distinctive "look." All but one of her siblings is female, and they all fit a similar profile, not very tall, olive-colored Ukrainian skin, round faces and their father's freckles. Lots of freckles. ...more

Compassion Isn't Always a Good Thing

"Idiot compassion." I was re-reading Michael Greenberg's "Hurry Down Sunshine" last week for a writing workshop I'm taking and when I saw the phrase 'idiot compassion,' it struck me as though I hadn't read it before.  In fact, I think this was one of those memoirs I read so quickly and superficially that I'm very grateful I was led to read it again for this class.  I don't think I absorbed much of it at all the first time and I suspect that is because the notion of being locked away for mental health treatment is something I fear almost more than anything else. ...more