Creative Prompt for Today

Today’s inspiration is a childhood memory.  So first close your eyes and focus on a landmark from  childhood.  This may have been a friend’s or relative’s home, a park, a backyard sandbox,  snow fort, swimming hole/pool.  The possibilities are endless.

More Snow Forts

More Snow Forts (Photo credit: CaZaTo Ma)

Now take out a crayon or some other crude implement of mark-making. If you have anything else around the house that could help jar some memories, get that too.  Something with scent is good: a flower, a can of play-doh, a chocolate chip cookie, etc.  (Personally I like bubbles for this exercise when I assign it to my college writers.)

Missing chocolate chip cookie.

Missing chocolate chip cookie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next take the crayon/implement and begin to draw the place/item from memory.  (You can use more than one color.)

The second step asks you to take it to the next level.Once you finish, you can branch out with whatever you do that’s creative.

For fiction writers and poets, the memory can be used for narrative inspiration, image and detail.  Essay and memoir writers may even want to talk about the process itself and then proceed to the story and descriptions.

If you’re wanting to do something visual, continue the drawing on your medium of choice:  canvas, drawing paper, assemblage, sculpture, collage, film-making or whatever else strikes your fancy.  Just let the child-like brain keep plowing forward.

Play-Doh festival

Cannabis Flower Cologne, Anyone?

So today on a facebook thread someone totally turned me on to this  fascinating little line of creatively-named all natural and cruelty-free fragrances that sounds so fun it’s almost poetry.

I will tell you the names in a paragraph or so. . .we need to get your eyes moving down this page  after all.  For now, I can give you a teaser preview though and I will begin with this one:  Wet Garden, Play-Doh, Sex on the Beach.

If, when you get there, you find  yourself yawning at something as familiar as dirt, my apologies. Sadly  I  don’t get out much. . .

So anyway, it was a thread where someone  had started a conversation about overpowering scent and how obnoxious it can be to get ambushed by a fog as far-reaching as thirteen floors after the offender has left the elevator.

Pretty soon we started typing about the ones we COULD tolerate and wear.   And in no time, it became something of a consensus that fragrance should at least be clean and  free of  noxious cloud formations with the stunning and stopping power of apocalyptic taser pistols.

And I was saying how much I like the Origins Ginger Essence and also Lemon Verbena by L’Occitane (the latter I fell in love with shortly after a very sweet student presented a bottle as a thank-you gift. )

demeter fragrance bar at loblaw

demeter fragrance bar at loblaw (Photo credit: wyn ♥ lok)

And  with that, the thread’s author mentioned a line called Demeter, specifically its offering called Thunderstorm, which really got my olfactory imagination going.  So I googled it up. . . and what an interesting list of scents I found there.

Lots of foodie names at first: Banana Flambe, Bubblegum, Jolly Rancher Green Apple, Vanilla Cake Batter, Gin and Tonic. . .

Banana Flambe, aka Bananas Foster

Banana Flambe, aka Bananas Foster (Photo credit: Nealy-J)

My brain gave way like a Land Rover on the High Street as I read those product descriptions.

The reviews on Amazon were pretty positive for the most part too. . .

And how about these names :

Angel Food

Tomato

Paperback, Pipe Tobacco, Hello Kitty, and another called Cannabis Flower.

 Cannabis Flower?  How is that even legal?  

I guess maybe the R and D department has devised a  way of mixing stuff like peppermint and  cabbage to get it.  But still, the only frame of reference I have at this particular juncture of my life is occasional brushes with contact high on the Metrobus.

Actually I carry a small flask of rollerball cologne for quick application on the end of my nose for such occasions. . .the ginger works nicely, though it stings a bit if you use too much. . .

So after facebook, I found myself chatting all of this up once more to a pen-pal best friend in Sweden and he was quick to correct my preconceptions.  “It’s not like tobacco,” he wrote. “More like incense.”

Not sure if he meant the flower though.

But then he’s a guy from a country where the official state bird is pickled herring. . .so that would invariably have an impact on one’s olfactory preferences I guess.

Still I’m intrigued. . .

sugar_frosted

sugar_frosted (Photo credit: sillydog)

Hmmm. . .

So what’s  your favorite scent, gentle reader?

Dear Sisyphus: Today’s Craziness!

Dear Sisyphus,

There is no me.  That was just Buddha and Krishna messing with the cosmic vibrations again and having some fun at your expense.  Let go of it already.

Love,

God

PS. . .this post is in no way intended to poke fun at anything except myself.

So you can cancel the doomsday PR toot sweet.  (Damnit Man! I never could spell in French.)

PSPS Love you more.  xoxo

Tess F’s Most Excellent Film Scenes and Ones to Watch a Hundred Times and Catch all the Metaphor and Splendorousness

The genius of Wes Anderson. . .nobody tops this kind of sophisticated craziness if you ask me.  Layers and layers to watch and learn from. . .

be on the lookout for  rhinestone bluefin and one-eyed research turtles!  :)

The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions

The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who’s Sorry Now: A Godzilla Apology

So what to do when you’ve had a huge fight with your bestie in forever

and the thing has snowballed to the size of Argentina in a heatwave. ..

and you have been ridiculous and he has been insensitive. . .

and  hammered at each other to the point of senselessness. ..

each too stubborn to give an inch, but especially HIM?

You take it to the mattresses for a godzilla apology!

Listen, you reptilain toad fart! So I don’t have to say this again:

I am sorry for being such a three-headed she-beast..

Now stop brooding about and give me a hug, please.  You know you miss me already and the feeling is mutual.

What do you say we go a couple more rounds in imaginary Japan?

xoxo  Kisses and Hugs from your bestie who can’t imagine a minute of madnees without you.

Tess F’s Most Excellent List of Superheroes Who Do Not Exist, But You Really Wish They Did

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (Photo credit: Looking Glass)

(Note to parents: This post contains openthroated gut spiattering emo stuff nobody wants to let themselves see let alone the kids looking over their shoulders.  You might want to close your eyes for this one)

OK so it will probably take awhile for me to come up with more of an actual list here, but I just really needed to get this off my chest and say that I am tired of doing everybody else’s job instead of mine right now,

and that is being a  hideous sycophant to the point of no return, free to roam the earth and lick the shoes of mean people everywhere:

Ahem. So here is number one and if you want more, you will just have to invent them yourself because I am spent from trying to digest most copious amounts of wax and lacquer:

Tess F’s Excellent List of Superheroes Who Don’t Exist, But You Really Wish They Did

And the Reasons Why We Need Em:

1.Tess F’s Most Excellent and Much Needed Frankenterminator and How!!!

Reason A: We need somebody to ice that guy Frank because he never has anything productive to add to the conversation.

Reason B: There is no reason B.  Reason A is reason enough.:) ibid et al see the reason below:

“Madam, may I please be be Frank?”

“Don’t call me Madam.  I am not the kind of a girl.”

“Mademoiselle, please.  I simply must be frank.”

“Ummm, well hmm. ..Mademoiselle is much Frencher and I like French, but tell me this first please: what happens to YOU when Frank takes over?.”

“Well, you might not like what I am about to say, but alas I feel I must be. . .”

The League of Frightened Men (1937 film)

Image via Wikipedia

“Oh, whoa. Dear me.  Somebody please save me from the awfulness of truth!”

Dun Da Da Presto!  Enter Frankenterminator

“FrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtttTTTTTTTTT

fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffrittitittatfirtitittatffffffffffffffffffffffffit.

I’ll be back!

There.  Aren’t you glad I invented him?  Now you can be an idiot all you want and nobody will be the wiser.  :But especially you.

OK.  My job is over for today.  Now it’s your turn.

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Norwegian Wood and Bubblegum Soul: On Dylan, Dope and the Breakup of the Beatles

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Image via Wikipedia

Ah get born, keep warm

Short pants, romance, learn to dance

Get dressed, get blessed

Try to be a success

Please her, please him, buy gifts

Don’t steal, don’t lift

Twenty years of schoolin’

And they put you on the day shift

Look out kid

They keep it all hid

Better jump down a manhole

Light yourself a candle

Don’t wear sandals

Try to avoid the scandals

Don’t wanna be a bum

You better chew gum

The pump don’t work

‘Cause the vandals took the handles.

Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

Aug, 1964  Hotel DelMonico, New York City:

After much anticipation and excitement, Dylan  meets the Beatles for the first time. . .his jealousy over their “bubble gum” success almost palpable. . .

As the story goes, the unwashed phenomenon offers the fab four their first marijuana cigarette and bam, music is changed forever.

At least that is what they say anyway.  It was the drugs that did it.

Fine.  I will grant you that one in theory.  No doubt the sloshing and slowdown of brain function had an impact. . .there’s zero denying that.  Love minus zero denying the altered state and how it changes things. And if you want to go to that altar and worship the gods of creativity, you can use drugs to do it. . .

Or you can just let the awkardly emo chips fall where they may.

There is a price to pay for imbibing. . .no denying that either. And speaking strictly for me, I would have to admit that my own delicate physiological state can’t absorb the shock of it so I choose to abstain. . . not out of any kind of moral high ground choice. . .it’s just simply a result of cause, effect and lesson learned.  I simply cannot handle the crash that follows a high.  It feeds these suicidal tendencies, ones that I already have a hard enough time with, minus any other kind of input from unprescribed chemistry. But there is also a price to pay for sobriety, especially when it comes to friends and fitting in, having something significant to offer in a situation wherein many of the participants are saying things you really can’t relate to. . .

It’s not hip to open that can of worms, I know. And I await the backlash to come. But whatever.  (I still say that 40 minutes of meditation does a kickass job at calming the nerves and relieving social anxiety, without the accompanying slowdown of actual awareness followed by a significant chemistry crash and paranoia.  And people forget to mention it. ..especially in a culture dominated by a consumer mindset, one that says if you are lacking something, especially charisma, creativity, self-confidence, there’s an app for that.)

Again, you get screwed up for turning it down too. . .you spend a lot of artist time alone for being such a square that way. . .  That’s life, I guess.

So anyway, back to the Beatles vs. Bob and August 1964.

And a question for you to ponder. Just suspend your belief system for  a minute with me here, and then let go of everything you know about music and drugs. Then consider this  question and proposal if you will:

What happens when strong emotional input follows intellectual stimulation, mixed with a bit of jealous venom from the guy who could/would smash the competition in a single strum?

And there is just no denying it. Something happened that day. ..something that had a massive impact on the fab four plus one.  So here we go again. ..which one had the most impact that day? The weed or the seed?  Maybe a bit of both; you decide.

No doubt it had to hurt the first time the boys heard  Bob’s unabashedly sneering parody of Norwegian Wood. . .

Enough for them to have wanted to break free of that kind of scrutiny, looking for the cracks in the floor, lettin the shortcomings slip into them. . .

And what ARE you really saying with your art when all you do is sit in a room and pencil dream about some girl who’s got you by the short and curly:

Bob Dylan holds a cue card in the music video ...

Image via Wikipedia

And then enter Yoko, who was undeservingly designated as breakup scapegoat for a lot of years. . .I guess if you forget about Bob, you might want to grab a club and go after that, but think about it.  That moment when Dylan saunters out of the room after having been introduced to the newest Lennon/McCartney collaboration.

Think of it again.  Hard.  Imagine half of that creative team walking away that much more determined in his resolve to writing “Silly Love Songs,” and the other just feeling crushed and stuck to the bottom of Bob’s bootheel.

And now to drive it home and see if I can get there without anybody getting hurt by this rant. ..(with apologies to Doors fans as well as anybody who has to deal with the insanity of the prison industrial complex, one that punishes us all for just trying to escape this ratrace and make some art.  Love to you all. xoxo)

This is your brain on drugs:

English: Mug shot of Jim Morrison.

Image via Wikipedia

This is your brain on Bob.

Any questions?  ;)

Eben Oben Gleeben Globen Swedish Glogg: Drink it up Yum!

So a few posts back, I told you about my friend in Sweden  and how we make art for each other. ..he writes, sings, plays guitar . . .and I paint, poem, and mix media. . .but not to worry: I haven’t forgotten my promise to show you the unabashedly creepy new work I whipped up for him. . .after he sees it!

But this week he sent me the happiest Xmas parcel already, all boxed up in the man way with duct tape to smash the wrapping paper on. . .

And I am not sure what I liked best about it: the pink and white Lovika mittens, knitted by his mom’s friend. . .

the fragrant and leafy Gavle tea, which has a nice orange spicy taste to it. ..yum!

or this sweet and spiced bottled glogg, which is a traditional Christmas drink in Scandinavia as well as just a whole bunch of heaven in a glass:

http://www.explorechicagotourism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/glogg.jpg

According to Meathead, the Barbeque Whisperer:

“Samuel Johnson, author of the first English dictionary, wrote “Claret is the drink for boys, port for men, but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” By that definition, Scandinavian glögg will make us saintly.

Glögg, pronounced more or less like glooog, is a sweet, high-octane, mulled wine, which is to say it is made with a potpourri of spices and all three of the above: Claret (red wine), port, and brandy. Because it is served warm it is especially popular around Christmas. It is the perfect cold-weather drink, warming the body and soul from the inside out.

How does it work? The warm liquid raises the temperature of the mouth and stomach slightly, and because alcohol is a vasodilator, it forces blood to the skin, making us feel warm and blushing on the outside.”

http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/drinks/glogg.html

The mittens are warm and soft and the beverages are fragrant and tasty, but I do believe my favorite part of this package was the sweet little drawing he included, a pencil drawing on graph paper. ..one he’d fashioned as a little boy.  The drawing depicted a little animal rock band. . .so sweet.  There was also a postcard, with a nice little description of everything with a pic of his town square, home to this crazy Christmas goat:

So anyway,  here’s a pic of the pastel I made for him a couple of years ago:

which used to have too many flowers in it to suit his taste so I lopped them out; Johnny has the original, but I also made prints of this, which you can get at my Etsy shop. (at this point I must also explain that he is adamantly allergic to the color pink, something he once let go. . .after I’d shown him one of the flower paintings I did. . .”It’s brilliant,” he said, ” but I just wish you’d give that color a rest.”  I think he said it was too disturbing or loud maybe, which I just think is endearingly quirky and silly.  It makes me laugh remembering that story.

Meanwhile, here is a link for a recipe for glogg from Meathead Goldwyn, Hedonist Evangelist:

http://knol.google.com/k/gl%C3%B6gg-the-ultimate-recipe#

Our Art is All Made of Stars: On Finding a Twin Spirit on the Tumblr

Today right off the bat, as I opened the dashboard on my tumblr account, smack!  this image hits me right between the eyes.  Seriously!  Like pow right in the kisser and then some!

Really engaging you know. . .understated. ..movie star glamour, movie star glamour ..and beautiful and minimalist yet oddly sort of disturbingly like a few of the works from my own portfolio. ..online portfolio, also mind you. ..except you know minimalist!

Minimalist and kickass!

(which if I had a lick of sense I would learn to do myself instead of so many feathers and flourishes all the time. ..alas poor Yorick I knew he used too much mascara.)

English: Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet.

Image via Wikipedia

But back to my initial rant.  About the work that wasn’t mine. . .

I know! Yipes, right?  My ideas are still mine and nobody else can borrow.

Just look adoringly and you know longingly. . .with much respect and appreciation for the genius that isn’t me.

Bimbo Breads Logo

Image via Wikipedia

me thinking I had been so original with that star man stuff. . .first using a small school of fish to represent he form of an intangible man, young girl embracing it as if. ..well  you know, aria and chrysanthemums everywhere. ..

--Tess Farnham "Ophelia and the School of Fish," 9x12 collage

Tess Farnham, mixed media, 9x12

So of course the minimalist version of either of those would just be this:

English: A catwalk for the gutter.

Image via Wikipedia

A piece that is called ironically enough, “Catwalk for the Gutter.”

So anyway, sadness sets in when I see this  Tumblr collage image that depicts, sigh,  a bombshell from the fifties (silky locks, slinky evening gown.) .locked in an embrace with a silhouette of stars, I think to myself:

Hey!  Wait a minute!  I save stars!  I mean books and books of stars in my life here!

Nebulas, and galaxies and Chevy Novas!

And damn, I wanted that woman embracing a silouhette of star-like stuff to just be mine.

But then I remembered something. . .kind of in the back of my head. . .

"The moonlit knight" Genesis, Massey...

Image via Wikipedia

Sledgehammer video.  Peter Gabriel.  Circa something the eighties. . .

Guy made of stars. . .remember that, sort of this big hulking dude all made of stars.

at any rate, whatever you do, do not let yourself be tempted to google images using these keywords “Sledgehammer star man.”  All you get is a screen full of porn!

And then you know there’s Moby.  As in the opposite of minimalist concrete art. ..and this song, which is pretty great too.  So I guess, it wasn’t my idea anyway. . . not anybody’s really.  Just part of the fabric of you and me all woven together like a sweater. . .made of yeah, you guessed it:

Ten Best Lines from Comedy Films: “These go to Eleven.”

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!   People who don’t like socialism be advised and enter at your own risk.  There are a lot of Marxist ideas in here and I don’t want anybody getting injured from laughing at how crazy it is to live in America without them!

OK seriously, this is just a random assortment of lines and segments from films that I like so please don’t throw shoes if you’re disappointed with the writer for not spending more time on research, reason, or numbers.

Besides the only person who gets permanently hurt when someone throws shoes is George Bush, and sadly he can’t leave the country just now because he is wanted in sixteen states for torture.

( And by states, I mean mental states. Mine. And by torture, I mean the the horse’s mouth: . . .”And so during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessings.”)

But take my word for it; you don’t want to go there. Not even on a sunny day.

Please also note that the quote from “Best in Show” is at the top of this list because I liked the irony of having a slutty waitress from”Best in Show” in first place.

To begin, I thought I would start with  this one I found as I was editing, post-publication, just because squinting to remember that scene from Fargo will be a good exercise for when you have to try and figure out why I chose these quotes:

“For what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tchya know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well, I just don’t understand it.” –Marge Gunderson

10. (this one is a series of lines. ..I just didn’t know where to stop cutting and pasting.)

From Stepbrothers (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly):

Dale Doback: You yelled “rape” at the top of your lungs.

Brennan Huff: Mom, I honestly thought I was gonna be raped for a second. He had the craziest look in his eyes. And at one point he said, “Lets get it on.”

Doback: That was about the fighting. I am so not a raper!

Brennan Huff: Look, I didn’t touch your drum set, okay?

Dale Doback: I witnessed with my eyes your testicles touching my drum set.

I am not sure what Brennan says back, but you can bet it has nothing to do with helping you figure out how George Bush ever slithered into this conversation!

9. From “A Day at the Races” (with Groucho Marx):

Random Stranger:  Are you a man or a mouse?

Groucho: Put a piece of cheese on the floor and you’ll find out.

8.  From “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail” (with John Cleese):

I blow my nose achoo, English peegdog.  Your muhzzair was a hamstair and your fahzzair smelled of eldairberries.

Castle Stalker - 03

Image by leguan001 via Flickr

7. From Groucho Marx:

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

(not sure what film that’s from, or if it is even from a film. . .but still it’s a good one. If you didn’t get it the first time, just close your eyes and think of what happens to a banana on the windowsill all summer.  Did you see how the banana grew some wings and then went sailing to the moon?  If you did, then you have a MUCh better imagination than I do.  Close but no Tiparillo.  Try again and don’t go all the way to outer space this time.  )

7. From “A Night at the Opera“:

Groucho: “Get outta here before I get arrested.”
Chico: “Nah I’d like to stay and see that.”

The stateroom scene. Groucho says, "Is it...

Image via Wikipedia

6. From “Better Off Dead” (with John Cusack):

[Lane (Cusack) waves to two tree trimmers from the cargo hold of a garbage truck]

Tree Trimmer: [to fellow tree trimmer] Now that’s a real shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good white boy like that.

5. From “Better Off Dead” (with John Cusack):

Lane Myer: [indicating to Mrs. Smith's accident] Gee, I’m really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky, guess she won’t be able to eat any spicy foods for awhile

The contract scene between Chico and Groucho

Image via Wikipedia

4. From “Raising Arizona” with Holly Hunter (Ed) and Nicholas Cage (H.I.):

H.I.: Wake up, Son. [aims gun at the clerk]

H.I.: I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got.

Ed McDonnough: [sees H.I. from the car] That son’ bitch. That son of a bitch! You son of a bitch!

H.I.: Better hurry it up, I’m in dutch with the wife.

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

3.  From “Fargo” ( ):

Marge Gunderson: Say, Lou, didya hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalized plates, so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?

Lou: Yah, that’s a good one.

2.  From “A Night at the Opera”(Groucho Marx):

This one has a Christmas theme!

Groucho Marx: Well, I don’t know, you must have been out on a tail last night. But anyhow, we’re all set now, are we? Now just you put your name right down there, then the deal is legal.
Chico Marx: I forgot to tell you, I can’t write.
Groucho Marx: Well that’s all right, there’s no ink in the pen anyhow. But listen, it’s a contract isn’t it? We’ve got a contract, no matter how small it is.
Chico Marx: Oh sure. You bet. Hey wait, wait. What does this say here, this thing here?
Groucho Marx: Oh that? Oh that’s the usual clause, that’s in every contract. That just says, it says, ‘If any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.’
Chico Marx: Well, I don’t know.
Groucho Marx: It’s all right, that’s in every contract. That’s what they call a sanity clause.
Chico Marx: You can’t fool me, there ain’t no sanity clause.

1. (with Catherine O’Hara)

Malcolm: I’ve banged a lot of waitresses in my day, but you, you, you were the best.

Cookie Fleck: You don’t forget the best.

–Best in Show

English: Groucho Marx & Eve Arden in At the Ci...

Image via Wikipedia