Archive for November, 2011

I’ve been working on a drawing in my journal (a Canson watercolor paper pad). Here it is so far:

simply believe

The words are from a Bible verse (of course I can’t remember which one). Jesus was telling his disciples, if only they would simply believe…everything would be so much easier!

I started by sketching everything in pencil. I then traced all the outlines with a Pigma Micron pen, and colored in with a black Sharpie (I recently bought a set of fine-point Sharpies in a bunch of colors. They’re very pretty and I love working with them, but they really stink! I try not to breathe them in too much.). It’s not bad, I think. The “if” got a bit smeared. I’m going to color in the background with watercolor pencils. It needs a little color.

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Happy thanksgiving!
Here are 24 little things I am thankful for:

1. chocolate
2. music
3. the internet
4. rainy days
5. cookies
6. Wegman’s
7. Denise Austin workouts
8. my Kindle
9. my ipod
10. B101 playing Christmas music already
11. Bare Minerals makeup
12. clean water
13. indoor plumbing
14. good heathful food
15. Wegman’s german chocolate brownies
16. popcorn
17. Dr. Who
18. books
19. Absolutely Fabulous
20. Photoshop
21. Joggles
22. AC Moore
23. Joyce Meyer’s teachings
24. potatoes

And of course I am very thankful for my family and friends, for my wonderful children and husband. I am thankful for my health, and that I have a house to live in, and good food to eat, a nice car, a good job, clean water, and the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!


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So I finished reading Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I liked it very much but I like Sense and Sensibility better. I was happy that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy got together in the end, and very happy that Jane and Mr. Bingley got together. I loved Jane – she was my favorite character. I admired her sweet nature and her refusal to think ill of anyone and to always give people the benefit of the doubt.

I think one of the reasons I liked this book less than Sense and Sensibility is that there are so many unlikable characters. Mrs. Bennet immediately comes to mind in that regard, and then there are Miss Bingley, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Mr. Collins. And probably some others I’m forgetting.

Mrs. Bennet’s all-consuming concern in marrying her daughters, and her resulting inappropriate and ill-mannered behavior were the reasons she was unlikable to me. I did eventually have a revelation that, while not making Mrs. Bennett more likable, made her actions more understandable. Hers was a family composed of five daughters. In those old-fashioned days, women truly needed to be married. They generally couldn’t work, and so needed a husband to support them. Naturally she wouldn’t want them to marry just anyone, hence her concern to have them marry well. Plus it was a feather in her own cap.

I started reading another book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Ann Jacobs. It is the true life story of a woman who was born a slave in the South. I hesitated to read it, because I knew it would be very sad and depressing. And it is. But it is also profound, beautifully written, compelling, and full of insight into slavery and human nature. Miss Jacobs is very intelligent, and an excellent writer.

It is difficult to believe, in this day and age, that there was a time when people thought that it was not only ok, but the natural order of things and G-d’s will that other human beings could be one’s property, to do with as one pleased. It’s inconceivable to me, and is a reminder that horrible things still go on in this world, even though we ought to know better.

The torturous things that were done to the slaves – to those poor human beings – is unimaginable. The utter hypocrisy of the white people who supported this “institution” is amazing; they called themselves Christians and yet had no love in them. And all the laws they had to create to protect themselves from recognizing the evil they were perpetrating should have been a clear sign that something was terribly wrong.

Thankfully Miss Jacobs eventually gained her freedom.

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tori amos

I’ve been meaning to post about Tori’s new album, Night of Hunters, for about a month now, but because of work and other time constraints – and inchies! – I haven’t had a chance.

It certainly is different from her prevous work. The music is really beautiful and so is her voice. I think Tori achieved her goal of presenting an epic song cycle about one woman’s journey, while touching on the themes and archetypes that are typical of classical music. The blend of story, lyrics, and music is done very well.

I have to say, I thought it was so funny – on the cd wrapper there was a sticker that said, and I’m paraphrasing, that the cd presents the journey of a woman whose story is only unravelled after traveling to mythic Ireland! Naturally. That’s where I unravel all of my stories.

The songs do present the story as myth. There are all sorts of creatures about – Annabelle, a shape-shifting creature of duality, the Star Whisperer, Cloudriders, the Fire Muse and the Seven Sisters.

There is also much mention of nature on this album – the sun, moon, stars, sea, trees, sky; nature serves as a secondary character. When I listen to the songs I imagine everything taking place outside, and much of the piano music gives a feeling of running or flying.

A delightful surprise is her daughter’s appearance on the album as the aforementioned Annabelle. Miss Hawley also appeared on Mid Winter Graces, but to a much lesser extent than on Night of Hunters. She has a great voice; it presents an interesting contrast to her mom’s. Miss Hawley sings on several songs, most notably Job’s Coffin (one of my favorites), where she sings pretty much the entire song.

I love the cd book, which is an actual little book (I have the deluxe version). The photographs are a bit stylized (they remind me of the photos for Abnormally Attracted to Sin) but are beautiful and complement the songs. I love her clothes too!

One thing that I have always loved and appreciated about Tori is her need/desire to take her art in different directions, a clear characteristic of a true artist. Each of her albums is different, and you never know what you’re going to get! She is quite brave in that regard, because when an artist tries different things, there is always the risk of disapproval from the fans. And certainly for Tori several of her albums have been received in a not-so-happy manner from some of her fans. However I have always loved her work, and I can’t imagine her creating anything that I wouldn’t like. The basic themes that she is concerned with are always there, as well as her poetical and metaphorical lyrics.

Also I know some of her fans are tired of the themed albums, but I don’t mind them at all. I appreciate the extra work she puts into them, and I feel like it gives my brain more to play with! I like that she wants to create a whole world for her albums.

My favorite songs on Night of Hunters include Shattering Sea, Snowblind, Battle of Trees, Fearlessness, Job’s Coffin, and Nautical Twilight. I think my most favorite though might be Star Whisperer. I don’t know yet who exactly the Star Whisperer is, but I’m very intrigued. I love the lines “why have you locked up your sky? Night sky whisper me back to life.” And there’s something about the music and lyrics and her voice – it’s all very dramatic and I just love it. It’s my song.

Have a wonderful day!


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