Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

IT CERTAINLY IS BIG, ISN'T IT?


The Rogue Speaks:

The editorial cartoon, I mean. You all know that I am not tech savvy, so the only way I could figure out how to make it big enough so you could actually read it and laugh along with me was to use a gadget. Works for me!

So let's talk about those idiots Fitz is referring to in his cartoon. They used to really piss me off, but now, not so much. Now I just find them annoying and stupid. They have been fueled by the right-wingnut conservatives who have wound them up like the Energizer Bunny, and they keep going and going. First, they were mad that Obama was a member of Rev. Wright's Christian church, and now they're outraged because they think Obama's secretly a Muslim (I know, Fitz, but I liked yours better).

I guess I should be a little scared that there are SO MANY idiots in America today, listening to the wingnuts' and Fox, and Rush Limbaugh, who is in my opinion a genuine sociopath. He has the innate ability to know just how to push people's buttons and garner their support by fueling their rage. He does it only for money and fame, but they haven't figured that out yet, and may never!

O.k., well, I am a little scared. It is so hard to get through to some of these people! They have just enough education to know how to read, but not enough to recognize fact from fiction. We are going to see more and more of these idiots if funding to education keeps dropping.

I know what you're thinking--"she's going back to her 'art and music in schools' jag." Well, maybe. You have to agree that creative people like artists, musicians, and writers, just aren't as narrow-minded and mean-spirited as those ultra-conservative types.

You have to agree that better education produces more informed, more creative members of society, exactly the kind of individuals that we want to run our country in the future. It's sad that the idiots are too busy being enraged to see that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can Artists and Politicians Mate Effectively?

The Rogue Speaks:

Several months ago, we received an invitation to a party at the home of a couple who are a little more than acquaintances, but not really friends. They are a nice, cheerful couple, and we have gone out to dinner with them a few times in the past.

I declined their invitation, even though I knew the food would be fabulous. The reason I declined is that they had a guest of honor--a fellow who is running for the U.S. Congress, against a person whom I helped vote into office last time around. He was expecting a donation for his war chest. I have a firm and fast rule about NOT discussing politics or religion with anyone who is not either an artist friend, or someone who views life the way I do, and I have an even firmer rule about giving money to people who don't need it to put food on their tables, or clothes on their backs. People seem to have become pretty vicious about politics these days, and I don't need that meanness in my life. It destroys my creative spirit, and makes me want to slap that meanness right out of those vicious folks.

I have found that when a certain brand of politician is voted into office, the muses suffer. Art and music programs are dropped from the schools, and grants for non-profit art organizations seem to just go up in smoke. Young people NEED the arts in their lives in order to become well-rounded adults. We had art and music classes in school when I was a kid, and I still remember just how interesting and fun they were. I cannot say that those classes made me normal by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel that I am well-rounded, and not from eating pizza, either.


If you are not an artist, and you are reading this just because you are a friend, and if you have children or grandchildren in a school without an art program, don't despair! Your progeny can still reap the benefit of having art in their lives. On the right side of my blog is a spot labeled "links." Click on the link for Toscana Studio and Gallery, and you will find wonderful classes for not only children, but adults as well, and if you happen to live somewhere other than here, please check out your town's art galleries and museums. They just may offer classes, too.

Picasso once said, "Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life."

Our lives have become pretty dusty these days, and not only from greenhouse gas emissions, and oil spills, or fights over who can build what where, and which religions are excluded from our Constitutional amendments. All the dirt that the politicians are throwing around is polluting our souls, and making us sick at heart and unhappy with the state of affairs. Do something healthy for yourself--make art a part of your everyday life, and see just how much better you feel.

If you thought that this post was going to be about the mating rituals of artists and politicians, so sorry to disappoint you. I’m off to the polls—maybe I’ll see you there

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Was I Thinking???




The Rogue Speaks:

Mulligan is the second of our transition dogs. Precious was the first. Watson, our Maltese was our first dog baby. He was the cutest ball of snow white fur I had ever seen! He was born outside of New Orleans, and we all drove down to pick him up when he was ready to leave his mom. We stayed with our daughter, Beth, who owned the sweetest pit bull on earth. His name was Brutus. When we brought Watson back to Beth's house, we were a bit apprehensive about Brutus' reaction to this rambunctious little tornado. Brutus took Watson in stride,however, and put up with all his puppy play. When Brutus had had enough, he simply put his big paw on Watson's head as if to say, "Time out, little fellow!"

Watson was an utter delight, and a wonderful addition to our family. Joey and Keil were still at home, and they loved him and played with him just like a little brother. We lived on a golf course in Memphis, and whenever Watson got the chance, he would dash out the door and onto the 8th fairway to terrorize the golfers, who would laugh and tell him to scram!

He slept in the bed with us, snuggled up against my back. Rod was still traveling at the time, and after a week of having Rod's side of the bed all to himself, he would growl when Rod tried to get in the bed on Friday night.

The years went by, and gradually Watson begin to slow down. I hated to see that happen, and worried about just what I would do if something happened to my little boy. Then Precious showed up.

One day our neighbor said, "I am going to get a new puppy today, and her name is Precious!" If we thought Watson was a handful, Miss Precious had him beat hands down! From the moment she came on the scene, it was chaos! Our poor neighbor called frequently to have me come over and help her repair some damage that Precious had done--chewed carpet, and handmade silk throw-pillows, to name a few. Our neighbor worked all day, and Precious was left to her own devices.

The transition began gradually. Our neighbor would let Precious out in the mornings to do her business, and after that was accomplished, she would sit right on the property line and wait for me to open the back door. Then lickety-split, she would make a dash for our house, and when inside, would announce, "I'm staying here today!" This became an everyday occurrence, and when our neighbor had to go in for back surgery, we volunteered to take care of Precious until she recovered.

And so it became a two-dog night. Several weeks went by until our neighbor decided that she had recuperated enough to take Precious back. Big mistake! Precious became even more destructive than before, and we found that she was "sleeping over" more and more often.

"Marilyn," I told my neighbor one day, "if it ever gets out in the neighborhood that your dog sleeps with us at night, we will be the laughing stock of Eagle Ridge. Maybe you should just give her to us."

After a couple of days, she agreed that I was right. "Take her,"she said. "I'm going to get another dog--a NICE one!" So Precious became our first transition dog.

After we moved to Tucson, Watson continued to decline. He became blind, and deaf, and when he was almost 16, we had to make the most painful of all decisions. Precious, by that time, had established herself as the alpha dog. She prissed around the house like she owned the place, and began screaming at Watson when he was trying to eat his dinner. What did he care! He couldn't hear her anyway!

One afternoon, after we had told our little boy good-bye, we sat Precious down and told her, "Your brother Watson has gone to doggy heaven." She looked up at us and said, "Who?" And so she became the exalted empress of Oro Valley.

Precious is almost 14 now, and we had been thinking it was about time for another transition dog, just in case something happened. You already know how Mulligan came on the scene, so I won't bore you with the details. I'm sure I mentioned that Precious thought she had struck gold when she found out that his food was much tastier than hers. She quickly turned into a little thieving porker when our backs were turned. When overnight, it seems, she began slowing down, we thought it was because she was stuffed to capacity with all Mulligan's food.

Last week we took her to the vet for her check-up. She was, of course, overweight, but to be on the safe side, our vet decided to run some blood tests. It seems that our little girl has Cushing's disease. It can and will be treated, but when we asked the vet just how much longer he thought she had, he told us it was probably about a year.

Dr. Nunn, our vet, sent us home after scheduling an appointment on Monday to run a few more tests. He gave Precious a shot for a tooth infection, and sent us home with antibiotics. He said she would start feeling better by evening. He was right.

All day long, she has been screaming at Mulligan just the way she used to scream at Watson. It is driving us crazy! I go in and shake my finger in her face and tell her to knock it off, and five minutes later, she is back at it! Thank goodness Mulligan just lies there, quietly and takes her abuse.

What was I thinking! I may have to listen to this screaming for another year! On the other hand, I know that I will miss her like crazy, and I will be glad that I got a transition dog to help ease my loneliness when the time comes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Summer Reading List

The Rogue Speaks:

Summer is my time to catch up on my reading. One can usually find me floating around in the pool with a Diet Coke and a book. This summer was a little different, however, since we were away for seven weeks. I am not a good traveler, and depend on books to get me through the rough spots. There were a lot of rough spots this summer, and I read 36 books and two manuscripts. Two of the books are not on my reading list, and frankly I don't even remember the titles. The manuscripts, I read early on, before we took off for the southeast. They were both excellent reads, and I am looking forward to getting a copy of each when they are published. I don't think I should say any more about them, however, since I don't have permission from the authors.

There were several books that I felt to be outstanding, beginning with Isabel Allende's book, Island Beneath The Sea. She writes in the classical style that I love, and does a lot of research to make sure her history is accurate. If you have never read her, you have missed something special. I was first introduced to Isabel Allende when her book, House Of The Spirits, was made into a movie with Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep. This is a very captivating film that made me want to investigate her body of work, and thus, I became a big fan.

I'm sure you are all familiar with Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, and many, many more. Oryx and Crake is the first in a trilogy, and I am anxious to read the next two books. I am not frequently drawn to futuristic writing, but I could not put this book down.

Kristin Hannah's The Winter Garden is the best of the ones I have read by this author. It is wonderfully written, and I felt myself in the story so much that her description of the garden in the winter actually made me feel cold.

Also by Kristin Hannah is Sarah's Key, a story that takes place in Nazi Germany, and ends in America. Don't read this one without Kleenex.

I have read all three of the Stieg Larsson books and found them to be excellent, real page turners! I am sure many of you have read them as well, but if not, please head out to the bookstore or library today!

Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian is also written in the classical style. No reading down the center of the page for this book. I devoured every word. It is historically accurate, and lets the reader know that Vlad the Impaler, the Dracula of myth, was a real person who fought the Ottoman Turks for his kingdom. I know I will read this book again.

I was going through Mum's bookshelves, trying to find something else to read, and came across a book that I had accidentally left there several years ago. It was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Satterfield. Many of you have probably read it, but it was really worth reading again. I did not leave it behind this time.

I can recommend any and all of the books on my book list on the left, but these were the cream of the crop. Just scroll down the left side of my blog for the semi-complete list. If you have read any really excellent books this summer, please let me know so I can add them to my fall reading list.

I am off to the pool now, with my book and my Diet Coke. See you later!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's NOT All About You!


The Rogue Speaks:

Have you ever met a person who is so desperate to be acknowledged that he/she will do or say anything to get attention? This kind of person really wears me out! He/she doesn't really listen during a conversation, and is only thinking about what they are going to say next in order to promote their own agenda. They will try to turn the most inane subject around into a conversation about their own warped philosophy in an attempt to appear smarter than the listener, hoping to garner respect for their "superiority."

I find these people so tiresome in their desire to "dialogue" that I will do whatever I can to get away from them, short of chewing off my own foot. I would like to tell them that I don't give a rat's ass about their views of life on earth, but instead, I simply get up and leave. One would think that walking away should be a very strong clue that the "conversation" is over, but that is not always the case, and at the next opportunity the offending party will attempt to continue the monologue. Yikes! Get me out of here! And don't try to flatter me in an attempt to get me to come around. Flattery doesn't work on me--it only works on you, and not in a good way either.

How do you feel about people who think life is all about them? Do you know any of these people? How do you deal with them? Is your strategy effective?