Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 249. Through the Smoky Haze at Cafe Silencio

Serge thought he was the last person to leave Cafe Silencio that night.  Noctural amblings in Parisian nightclubs had become his practice.  He was in a foul mood, warding off several advances from those that had offered them.  Now he regretted it.  Some company at 4 a.m. wouldn't have been so bad.  Alors, off he started to go.

Suddenly, he heard the scratch of chair legs against the floor.  Someone else was here?  How could that be?  Although, how could it not, it was so smoky in here, he could barely see a thing.  And then, a husky female voice said, "Got a light?"  Serge hurriedly struck a match, to oblige, yes; but more so, to illuminate the body from whence the request came.  He was not disappointed.  Even shrouded in a nicotine cloud of darkness, he could see her dangerous beauty.  In his head, he heard another voice--one that warned, "Il n'y a pas de fumée sans feu" (where there's smoke there's fire).  He hesitated briefly, enough so that he could comprehend the surrealism of the situation.  Perilous femme fatale in a club created by David Lynch himself...he could be entering into a scene from "Blue Velvet."  And yet, he couldn't stop tantalizing, the danger of lust. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 248. Cricket Goo in My Shoe (SOLD)

A few nights ago, I was--what else--walking my dog Ebert right before bed.  It was dark out, and he was pulling me along.  Suddenly I felt something cold and wet on the underside of one of my feet.  We were just walking past a huge pine tree, and as you may now, a lot of times loamy material starts to form under the shade and debris of those big coniferous creatures.  I wasn't too concerned, until the streetlight shined above us, and I thought, I've got to get a good look at what I'm a feelin'.

And, eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!  A squished cricket was sticking to my sole and my shoe!  I looked around and there were all sorts of these little guys jumping around on the sidewalk, out for a moonlight stroll, or hop, as if were.  Geez, I really did feel bad for the one I had squished--he had accidentally jumped into my pathway of rising foot/gaping shoe at just the wrong time.  )-:  I'm sorry cricket man.  I probably would have mourned you even more if my stomach hadn't been churning, and I hadn't been rushing toward a patch of grass for goo removal.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 247. Fall Is Creeping In

Oh, red-hot summer.  She's still lounging around like she's in a hammock of endless days.  Summer has really been roasting us this past week, giving us a reminder that she's still in control, capable of making us miserable and forcing us to run into the nearest air-conditioned oasis of cool.

But, this chili pepper of a season is slowing being seduced by fall.  He's creeping in without our gal truly realizing she's losing her power.  He's a gentle fellow.  I've seen his presence at the tippy top of our neighbor's maple true.  Hidden among the green leaves, there he is--just a few leaves turning scarlet orange--already!  In August!  And I've spotted other tell-tale signs of his dalliances.  Buckeyes, still in their round, green casings, hitting the ground.  Crabapples and black walnuts beginning to fall to the earth, and an oversized catalpa leaf, golden bown, almost looking like a supple piece of leather.  There they all are, letting us know a change is near.

Keep burning bright, summer girl.  You're starting to fall into a deep nap...not quite yet...but soon.

 Fall creeping in on summer - soon, the world will be more brown than green.

So beautiful--leaf as leather.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 246. Calamari Cravings

To her husband's exasperation, Juliette constantly had seafood cravings after their kitchen renovation.

Just an aside--Suddenly I'm thinking of this childhood movie, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."  I remember I used to sing this song when I went swimming in our local public pool.  I'd hold my breath, and "bop" along the bottom of the pool.  Crazy memories! (-:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 245. Hummingbird Surprise (SOLD)

Sunday I made my husband sit out on our front steps, eat breakfast, and soak up the lazy summer day.  We were talking, and all of a sudden, a moment of magic!  I could barely believe what I was seeing.  Just a few feet from our heads flitted a hummingbird.  And, it just stopped right there in the air, furiously pumping its little wings, but levitating perfectly in place like a toy helicopter.  I could only utter one word, it almost catching in my throat, "Hummingbird," as I simultaneously pointed my finger.  We both stared at it in disbelief.  It then zipped over to some half-opened blossoms of our magnolia tree, again, hung briefly in place, and then zoomed off into nowhere.

I felt sprinkled with stardust or a glittering of day dust.  What an enchanting gift from nature, unasked for, unsuspected, but given anyway.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 244. Bleeding Lips - The New Sexy? SOLD

O.K., Myrtle thought, she may be old, but she had granddaughters, and she knew that these days, vampires were in.  She had even let the girls talk her into watching a few episodes of "True Blood" and my goodness, there sure were some hotties on there, although she could do without some of that tearing of flesh.  She had to turn her head at that gruesomeness.

But the day she looked into the mirror and saw her rose red lipstick bleeding into the lines at the corners of her mouth and traveling up into those crevices above her upper lip, she looked anything but attractive!  What's a gal to do?  She had run out of her Estee Lauder Perfectionist Correcting Concentrate for Lip Lines.  That's it!  Tomorrow she was off to the cosmetic counter.  After all, it's not always a good thing to have bleeding lips, even in these days.

Here's how I was trying to figure out how I wanted to draw a swivel lipstick tube:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 243. She Knew Her Face Said Crankerella

The man belched at the bar, and she could feel her forehead furrow.  She knew that her face said, "Crankerella," but truly, are there no manners left?

Her distaste grew, but now she turned it upon herself.  There was something, about this neanderthal...something sexy...  Ugh!  She could feel herself falling for the wrong man again.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 242. Wrecked By Wild-Caught Sardines in Olive Oil (Part 2 of 2)

...until...10 minutes later when I opened a can of wild-caught sardines in olive oil.  J.Crew outfit completely wrecked--I even had olive oil on my shoe!   Splatter, splatter, splatter, shadoobie!

These are the type of things that happen to me all the time--preventing from achieving complete, pulled-together status!

Day 241. Lookin' Cute and Summery (Part 1 of 2)

Hair turned out well, sporty little J.Crew number on with matching sandals...I was looking cute and summery...

Day 240. Turning Into A Broccoli Stalk

Just because Ron talked out of one side of his mouth and behind his hand, people could still hear him.  When he complained, "there are so many broccoli stalks in this soup I'm becoming one," we cringed at his rudeness.  Luckily the cafeteria lady was quite deaf; she had gone to a lot of Jefferson Airplane concerts in her youth.  Plus, Ronnie was funny, had perfectly aligned teeth in his lopsided mouth, and he quipped without true malice.  He did look like he was turning a little green, too.

We forgave him.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 238. He Mourned The Loss of Summer

He mourned the loss of summer just like any child.  No more cotton candy, corn dogs, or raspberry- blue snow cones. The end of fairs, festivals, burning heat, and red sunburned skin aching for shade.
His sorrow was deeper, of course, because there was more carnival food behind him than ahead.  The carousel's song had whirled through his ears more times than he could remember, and he was starting to lose the sound. 

Then, again, he was still here.  He still had time for another ride on a rickety roller coaster ratcheted together by dentally-challenged men.  He still had time for another funnel cake...perhaps next year.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 237. You're Never Too Old..."

You're never too old to discover the treasure that you are.  Keep searching.
(Acrylic, Ink, Magnifying glass, Charm, Gemstone)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 236. Marabou Black Saltlakrits

My Spanish student, Morgan, went to Norway and Sweden this summer, and she thoughtfully brought we back this candy bar.

I quote from the Marabou website:  "In 2013, Nordic markets will benefit from a highly-differentiated new tablet offer from popular brand Marabou: Marabou Black Saltlakrits. A delicious blend of Marabou milk chocolate and salt liquorice pieces, this latest addition to the Marabou tablet portfolio delivers an exciting flavor combination that fits perfectly with the taste buds of the Nordic region. As a result, Marabou Black is certain to attract existing brand lovers and newcomers alike."

Here's my watercolor version with just a few slight color liberties:

Here's a close-up of the chocolate bar.  You can see all the pieces of licorice.  Please excuse the chipped nail polish.  Painting is tough on a manicure. (-;  The original wrapper is in the background.

Now normally, I'm not a black licorice gal, but this is really, really good.  It's such a subtle flavor, and the generous crunch of the sea salt against the licorice and milk chocolate hits it just right.  It actually is quite addictive!  Morgan tells me there's black licorice flavor everywhere--black licorice fudge, black licorice ice cream, etc.  It's so fun learning about different cultures.  I'm feeling a little Nordic with this generous gift. (-:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 235. Be Proud of What You've Got! (No Longer Available)

Helena had always been looked down upon for being a little bit "spicy."  She may not be a textbook beauty, but honey, she's got the 'tude that matters.  "Be proud of what you've got," has always been her mantra.  When the opportunity arose for her to be an artist's life model, she peeled off those layers of cotton, silk, and leather (shoes), and let her admirer use her for the muse that she was!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 234. Cool Night Drive with Van Morrison

I have a handful, maybe two, of all-time favorite singers.  Van Morrison is right up there at the top.  I'm sure I first was aware of him with "Gloria" and "Brown-Eyed Girl" listening to them on WLS out of Chicago.  I can remember seeing him on Wolfman Jack's "Midnight Special" tv show and singing "Domino" when I was a little kid.  I think I fell in love with him, though, in Martin Scorsese's 1978 rockumentary of The Band's final concert, "The Last Waltz" where he sang, "Caravan." I once read that he at times suffered from debilitating stage fright.  He seemed so romantic--this other-worldly voice filled with so much soul--he seemed to pull out his deepest emotions, lost almost in a trance, and grab you with him as you fell into an whirling hole of mysticism and smoldering magic. 

My uncle had grown up in the '60's, and he had given me all his albums when he moved to the west coast.  I had all the classics--original Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Small Faces, a.k.a The Faces, and Van Morrison.  I had 1968's "Astral Weeks,"  one of the most incredible, classic albums of all time.  I remember that Rolling Stone Magazine--back in its heyday--had published an Encyclopedia of Rock and had given "Astral Weeks" its highest rating--5 stars.  I used to listen to it over and over again in college--you have to understand, I was in love with that era musically--I always felt that I should have grown up in that time.


O.K., so fast forward to 2008 (released in 2009), Van the Man re-recorded that album as "Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl."  It's more uptempo with additional musicians.  Both versions are spectacular so please listen to both.  Where the h-e-double-toothpick am I going with this rock 'n' roll lesson?  Well, I'm going here:

I'm driving home tonight in the cool, night air.  I went out to dinner with a friend and then drove home.  It was dark out, with swirling puffs of night-time clouds.  And I was playing "AWLATHB."  And I was playing track 3, "Slim-Slow Slider/Stop Breaking Down."  Listen as he opens, "Slim-Slow Rider" and someone in the audience yells, "Yeaaaaaaaaaaah" at 00:18.  You know you're in for something great.  And really listen to what makes Van Morrison so special.  Listen to that phrasing at 1:01-1:05 and again at 1:16-1:19 when he sings, "the fruit grove this morning."  The timing, the melody.  God, I love it so much.  And I love it even more while sticking my hand out into the air through my sun roof and feeling the coolness swirling through my fingers--and more still while glancing my eyes quickly upward at the inky sky above me, so close that it's a part of me and I'm a part of it.  And the thing is, at that moment, I feel such joy--such a complete feeling of utter, utter happiness.  The music, Van Morrison, the air, the sky...a moment of immense joy for being alive and feeling all of it.

Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl - Slim Slow Slider/Stop Breaking Down

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 232. Invigorated by Her Ingenuity

With a dull spark and a puff of smoke, Midge's toaster bit the dust.  What was she to do?  She was a woman of routine, and she enjoyed her coffee, hard-boiled egg, and 2 pieces of toast each morning for taste and ritual.  If her pattern was altered, her day felt off-kilter.  Her eyes darted frantically around her tiny kitchen.  Could the skillet work?  Why not?  After all, she made "toasted" cheese sandwiches, didn't she?  Wasn't a skillet a flat toaster?

Of course, her hypothesis worked perfectly, as many have toasted bread like this for years.  Midge didn't know about that though.  She felt energized, not only because she had fed her body the breakfast it craved, but also because she was newly invigorated by her ingenuity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 231. Ever Watchful, He Lie in Wait

Ever watchful, 
Borigard lie in wait in the tall grass, 
waiting for careless butterflies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 230. Indian with Green Earring

Indian with Green Earring

I guess I could put the mouth in the right place, but it's so predictable.  This actually started out as a balloon-faced, cartoon chicken.  You just never know.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 10. August Photo Challenge - RED


Day 9 August Photo Challenge - TASTE

Taste this.

North African Scampi

Day 8 August Photo Challenge - Selfie

A Girl Who Loves Her Shoes - Self- Portrait

Day 7 August Photo Challenge Skyline

 August Skyline in Illinois (definitely not in Chicago today)

Day 229. She Could Go Anywhere (SOLD)

Yes, she had a pasty, pallid face that glowed in the dark and dishwater brown hair that had never known a highlight in the sun. Yet lying on her floor with a book in front of her, she could be anyone, go anywhere, breathe in adventure, love, and fantasy at any moment.  Why, she had traveled to places unknown to those around her.  She was...content.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 226. Feeling a Bit Sluggish

A conversation with my subconscious:

"Hurry up!  The world is WHIZZING BY!"

"I know, but I'm feeling a bit sluggish."

"I'd say!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 225. He Was Coming Out of His Shell

It was finally happening.  The day came when he was finally coming out of his shell. (-: