Tuesday, October 28, 2008

oh, for the love of blogger

My blog has been driving me crazy of late. It's been in need of an extreme makeover for ages, but since I lack the necessary skills to make it work (thank you, Tim Gunn) nothing ever came of it. Still, I wanted to upload some new pics and finally just couldn't stand to put them in the old space. Thus, I have been screwing around with this thing for practically the entire day. And now it's 2:00 am.

Can you say obsessive, boys and girls? Yes, of course you can. And can you spell Xanax too? Hint ~ it starts and stops with the same letter! I know, it's so cool. Now go write mama a nice prescription. Before she starts this whole thing over again. From scratch.

She'll do it too. You know she will. She is in a dark place, apparently. A dark blogger place.

But ~ yay (!) I think. A new look at last; not exactly how I wanted it (or tried for hours to get it...ok, sorry...letting it go) but there it is. The picture is an acrylic I did ages ago when I was thinking of trying to develop some quick and cute character paintings to sell on eBay. But I never do anything quick, or cute, or to the point of usefulness, so I never developed the theme. Or sold anything on eBay. How nice that here at last I find a purpose for my little lotus flowers. And props to my friend Robbie for the sub-heading ~ it's actually printed on a martini glass she gave me for Christmas one year. And here I thought I was the only yoga babe with issues. So much for original neurosis.

I'm off to bed. I wonder if this thing will still be here in the morning.

And I so totally forget what I wanted to post in the first place.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

going postal

I did it. Yesterday, I voted. And because I still don't trust my vote to electronic machines manufactured by companies owned by avowed party loyalists who have, in their less-guarded past, vowed to "deliver" states to the Republicans, have been known to mysteriously switch votes cast for Democrats and are still hackable within 3 minutes by a fifth grader with a laptop and incentive, I voted via absentee ballot. If this is the modern equivalent of chiseling my choices on a stone and throwing it though the window of election headquarters, so be it. I'm crazy that way.

On local measures, I voted for women's choice and against voiding gay rights. I voted for mass transit and against animal cruelty; for slow-growth candidates and against T. Boone Pickens' ability to buy personal legislation. I would have voted against Arnold Schwarzenegger again but he doesn't seem to be running for anything. Or running anything, for that matter. Is he still in charge around here? Somebody find him and ask.

Most of all, I voted for change. I voted against fear and for hope. I voted for the liberal ideals of the founding fathers as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.
I voted for a return to fact-based science and compassionate and rational governance. I voted for an end to Bush's War and the corporate hijacking of the ship of state; for a rebirth of global leadership and the respect of nations. I voted for the Republic and for the People.

I feel fabulous.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

at sixes and sevens

Still not here but no longer there, I can't quite bring myself to settle back into my mundane suburban existence. All twitchy disorientation, I have one foot in Costco and one in the Aegean as I pay bills, sort papers and delete emails (only 131 to go!) I have yet to fully unpack, and my traveling cosmetic bag still hangs on a hook on the bathroom door, as if anticipating a move on to fresh accommodation in the morning. There is laundry and grocery shopping still to be done, as well as closets and photographs to organize. Lots and lots of photographs.

I took exactly 1147 pictures on my trip, which awed even Turk, who had begun to complain that he could no longer recognize me without a camera in front of my face. And yet as it turns out, I did not take quite enough.

Downloading the contents of my tiny Canon Elph, I realize that not once did I capture that deep, diamond-studded blue of the Mediterranean Sea, so clear at the shoreline that I could have counted grains of sand from the air. Nor did I immortalize the glorious reds of the bougainvillea that adorned the whitewashed brilliance of Mykonos, or the peach-drenched burst of a Santorini sunset. Although we spent hours exploring it, the Athenian Acropolis was beyond my ability to embrace digitally, as was the incredible Palace at Knossos. The photographs pale in comparison to the real thing, as may be expected, and the true glories of the monuments there will forever be a thing of memory for me.

But the single most exceptional memory I will always have of Greece is the genuine expansiveness and humanity of her people. In all of our travels, Turk and I have never encountered such gracious, fun-loving and open-hearted people. From taxi drivers to waiters, gas station attendants and bank clerks; housewives, teenagers and old men alike; nearly every single human being we encountered exuded welcome and warmth. Particularly on the islands, everyone we stopped on the street to ask for directions or otherwise inquire was eager and willing to help a foreign stranger; if that person didn't speak English, as was sometimes the case, they'd take us by the hand and lead us to someone who could. Who would in turn go and find a map, draw us a picture and, if we were clearly very, very dense, as was sometimes the case, would hop on their vespas and show us the way. Then, with a smile and a wave and a puff of a tsigharo, be gone. Not once did anyone treat us with anything less than respect, patience and good humor, no matter how obtuse or annoying we must have been. Truly, it was an amazing thing for a couple of old cynics to behold, for this one certainly, and a lesson in an elevated state of being. I owe the people of Greece a debt of gratitude for this alone ~ an education on the ways of an enlightened humanity.


Now I'm off to the bank. I gather there've been some sort of financial shenanigans going on. I wonder how my Wachovia stock is doing. Catch you later. Yiassou...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

yiassou, babies!

It was a fabulous trip; a wonderful journey, an experience of a lifetime.

And as with those oft-dreaded dinner parties of yore; the ones after which guests payed for their feast by viewing their hosts' interminably narrated vacation film (god, I miss those parties. Hey ~ it's me in front of the Temple of Athena! Now, from over this side!) I fully intend to bore everyone to tears with tales of it before long. It's what I do.

We got in late Tuesday night following a grueling 17 hour flight with the good people of Delta Airlines (motto: happily breaking kneecaps since 1975!) and spent yesterday in some sort of peanut-induced coma. Rather than unpacking, and before uploading my 537 pictures of the Parthenon taken from 87 different angles and in varying lights (At sunset! At dawn! At 5 minutes after dawn! In widescreen! Slightly bigger than widescreen! A movie!) I hit the net to make a quick survey of my fave blogs to ensure that everyone was well and whole and not under indictment or fleeing the country or anything. Most of them were not, I'm surprised and perhaps even a little disappointed to say.

Honestly people, I expect more from you. Don't make me go back to Europe for my entertainments. Or do.

Anyway, after spending 3 weeks mercifully campaign-free ~ CNN was available at only a few of the hotels in which we stayed, and American newspapers a hit-and- miss affair ~ I was leery of once again entering the fray. When last we saw our heroine, Sarah I-can't-name-a-newspaper-because-I-read-all-of-them Palin, the right-wing press was swooning over Caribou Barbie and her obvious feminist credentials (look~ she's a girl!) and I wondered how well that image had played out with the American people.

Seems I needn't have worried. Way to go, my fellow Americans! And when I found this at Girly Shoes, my best source for such pithy links and always the best damn ANTM and Project Runway recaps ever, I laughed so hard I was almost glad to be home. Almost.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pick up 3 weeks worth of junk mail, which means I have to go rent a truck. In the meantime, if you haven't seen it, enjoy.

For my part, if this woman gets in you can find me and the Turk nursing our wounds with a bottle of ouzo, a bowl of olives and a pack of Sante's on the beautiful isle of Crete.