PRATIE PLACE

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Muzak Top Ten (Roz Chast)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Vendor Client relationship (woes of freelancers)

Via Drawn.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why is it ok that laptop computers are so expensive yet so disposable?

Over the years my two kids and I have experienced the fury and frustration and time-wastage and data-loss of constant laptop failures!

My computer tech says the lifespan of various parts of a laptop, including the hard drive, can't be expected to exceed two or three years! We've had trouble with the charger jacks, keyboards, monitors, hard drives, and the upshot is that we're furious with them all. Well, except Hannah thinks her Mac is good - but then, she hasn't had it very long.

Saw this graph in Consumerist this morning. Currently my son and I have Lenovo laptops and have had miseries with them. I see here the least-unreliable machine is an Asus, maybe we'll try that next?

Monday, April 26, 2010

My new standing desk


Ezra was very excited the other day about working while standing up, he said he was very productive, so I thought I'd try it. This is a bench from my grandmother, on top of my kitchen table. Cost: 0.

I love it, it's particularly good for translating, because there is room for my three dictionaries around the netbook and best of all, I can just walk a step to the right to look in one of them. It's great! I'm gonna leave it like this.

Chickens waiting for breakfast: a still life

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Ahead."

Sorry, but A HEAD is all I've got. I did it as if the head was captured in infrared.

8 x 12 acrylic on canvas

Mark

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

The horse and donkey games are on.

I take these pictures from quite a distance away, because the games take place before breakfast, and if Jethro sees me he immediately stops and commences with his donkey yoga, designed to draw breakfast toward him. In the picture with chicken spectators, Superman is but a blur of tail at the left of the screen.







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Quilt examples

The next couple months are pretty supercharged around here with Ezra graduating from college and Hannah getting married. I'm afraid I'll suffer overstimulation and/or exhilaration-withdrawal afterwards, so I thought maybe I'd try a quilt to sooth my nerves.

Turns out Hannah had the same idea independently! So I'm posting my cache of quilt examples for her to enjoy - and everybody else too.





















































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Imagine if the Tea Party were black.

Extracts from
Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black - Tim Wise

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government...

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired... this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: "He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun." Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to "suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do." This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the s-t we do, on a daily basis.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Team Ezra, back in the game!

Hi, this is Ezra posting on my mom's blog because I think this is important:
Note: This is a post about why I'm asking for your help, if you'd donate some money to support me as I run Relay for Life... If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, just visit http://main.acsevents.org/goto/Ezra. Thanks!

I've got some big news today, something that I've never shared online before.

It all started years ago, when conclusive and stunningly expensive neural imaging exams discovered a tumor riding on my cerebellum (according to an oncologist, as overheard while pretending to sleep: "medulloblastoma... it's a tricky sucker"). Treatment and removal was, predictably, a pretty poor year on the Ezra calendar, but that's not what I'm talking about today. Soon after diagnosis and surgery, some of my Dad's athlete buddies joined an ultra-marathon out west in my honor, under the name "Team Ezra." I hadn't thought about it for years, but now Team Ezra is back, and it's me running this time in a 16-hour Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Here's why:

I've always been reluctant to accept the "war on cancer" metaphor. I just sort of decided that my hell was over and I didn't want to think about it anymore. But the thing is, as I realized in my course last semester ("metaphors and illness") that there really is no such thing as a survivor. Your "success" is measured in terms of *probability of remission*. If your scans are clear one year out, the gauge of your "survival" is based on the percentage of "survivors" who've suffered a remission more than one year out. So your risk of getting sent back into the "war," for another tour of duty, dwindles year after year, approaching zero, but who's to say you won't be the statistical outlier?

So I guess I had those thoughts in my head and the idea that maybe setting cancer within the warlike metaphor is more appropriate than I'd thought. I'd never participated in any kind of fundraising and outreach, keeping my story mostly private, but this year, when I saw the posters for the Relay for Life, I wanted to "go public" with my experience more than ever before.

Now I'm signed up and raising money. If you read this, please go to my "personal page" on the ACS website and throw some coins in the bucket! Thanks!

-Ezra

Afterthought: some unknown and untraceable (we tried) person left a really nice camera in my house at the beginning of the year. I'll be taking pictures and documenting the relay, so check back this weekend for more!

My son is running in the American Cancer Society 'Relay for Life.'

I haven't written here much about the fact that right after his 13th birthday my son Ezra was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor which in the days before radiation therapy was 100% fatal. He got chucked immediately into the pediatric Intensive Care Unit, had a 7.5 hour brain surgery and then six weeks of daily radiation. On the last day of the radiation therapy - green, thin, and on the point of barfing at any minute - he was bar mitzvah, can you believe that guy? There was a little party afterwards at his dad's house, and Ezra's friends were there, but he went to bed, he was too tired.

The surgery really impaired his coordination and it took a long time for him to remember which direction was "UP" (cutting through a guy's cerebellum will do that) and even longer for him to walk confidently. and etc etc this is a story I don't want to get into, but ...

He wrote this on his Facebook -
I could really use your help in fundraising for the Relay for Life... there is really an epic war going on. Please hit the link and pitch in, in honor of the struggles of me and so many others who've been hit by this cancer s**t.
If you go to the page he mentioned, Relay for Life, you can donate in his honor. I am so impressed that he will be running in this race. There were times I was just relieved he wasn't falling down. Go Ez!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winnipeg's finest all-Yiddish radio program!

I met Rekhl Zucker at the Medem Bibliotheque at the intensive Yiddish seminars and got on the mailing list for her radio show, which airs most Sundays. She has an amazing record collection, I've heard some gems on her programs.

You can listen live on Sundays, 2:00-2:30 CDT, on CKJS.com.

And here is Rekhl's Yiddish radio archive where her old shows are kept. (You can search by date.)

Here's a singer, Joanne Borts, that I first heard on Rekhl's program. Just a snippet (the actual song starts about 0:49):

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Durham Chapel Hill Complaints Choir will be on WUNC-TV Thursday and Friday this week.


Katy Loebrich of WUNC-TV came with a cameraman to film the first meeting of our Durham Chapel Hill Complaints Choir and the segment she did on us will be airing on WUNC Thursday April 22 at 9 pm and Friday April 23 at 8 pm on the show called North Carolina Weekend. It also streams on the internet and you can get the podcast!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

North Carolina badgers Amazon to cough up our personal information

Extracts from
Amazon fights demand for customer records
by Declan McCullagh for CNET.com


Amazon.com filed a lawsuit on Monday to fend off a sweeping demand from North Carolina's tax collectors: detailed records including names and addresses of customers and information about exactly what they purchased.

The lawsuit says the demand violates the privacy and First Amendment rights of Amazon's customers. North Carolina's Department of Revenue had ordered the online retailer to provide full details on nearly 50 million purchases made by state residents between 2003 and 2010.

Because Amazon has no offices or warehouses in North Carolina, it's not required to collect the customary 5.75 percent sales tax on shipments, although tax collectors have reminded residents that what's known as a use tax applies on anything "purchased or received" through the mail.

North Carolina threatened to sue if the retailer did not divulge the names and addresses linked to each order--in other words, personally identifiable information that could be used to collect additional use taxes that might be owed by state residents.

In a 2002 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects "an individual's fundamental right to purchase books anonymously, free from governmental interference."

North Carolina's aggressive push for customer records comes as other states are experimenting with new ways to collect taxes from online retailers. California may require retailers to report the total dollar value of purchases made by each state resident, as CNET reported last month, and Colorado already has enacted such a law. A decision is expected at any time in a related case that Amazon filed against New York state.

Last year, Amazon discontinued its affiliate program in North Carolina, which provides referrers with a small slice of the transaction, after the state legislature enacted a new law that would have used that program to force the company to collect sales taxes.

A North Carolina legislator said at the time that the state would be able to force online retailers to collect even retroactive taxes; tax officials have reportedly sent letters to online retailers in the last few months saying they're required to pay retroactive sales taxes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Melinama does Illustration Friday: "Detective."

When I was in quite an exhausted mood in 2005, after Ezra went off to college, I decided to start painting, and my first painting, I think, was a rather severe self-portrait. I repainted that picture today with a magnifying glass for today's prompt.

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Mark does Illustration Friday: "Detective."

"PRIVATE EYE"
(Men in Hats series)

Acrylic on canvas 8 x 12

My friend says, "Paint in another eye." "No, that one is private." "It's like a person with no belly button." "I leave that to your imagination."

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Vi azoy lebt der keyser? aka "How does the tsar drink tea?"

I just bought an amazing mp3 of Paul Robeson singing this song in quite good Yiddish. Nu?







Vi azoy lebt der keyser? (How does the tsar live?)
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg,Gentlemen, gentlemen, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn,I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zshe, freg zhe, freg,- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy trinkt der keyser tey?How does the Csar drink tea?
Me nemt a hitele tsuker,You take a cylinder of sugar,
Un me makht in dem a lekhele,And carve a hole on the top,
Un me gist arayn heyse vaser,And into it you pour hot water
Un me misht, un me misht ...And then stir and stir.
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy trinkt der keyser tey!That's how the Csar drinks tea.
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a bregGentlemen, gentlemen, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn.I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zhe, freg zhe, freg.- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy est der keyser bulbes?How does the Csar eat potatoes?
Me nemt a fesele puterYou take a barrel of butter
Un me shtelt avek dem keyser oyf der anderer zayt,And you place it opposite the Csar
Un a rote soldatn, mit harmatn,And a company of soldiers, with cannons,
Shisn di bulbes durkh der puterShoot the potatoes through the butter
Dem keyser glaykh in moyl arayn ...Straight into the Csar's mouth.
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy est der keyser bulbes!That's how the Csar eats potatoes.
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg,Gentlemen, gentlemenn, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn.I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zhe, freg zhe, freg.- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht?How does the Csar sleep at night?
Me shit on a fuln kheyder mit federn,You fill a room with feathers
Un me khmalet ahin arayn dem keyser,And you wham the Csar in,
Un dray polk soldatnAnd three regiments of soldiers
Shteyen a gantse nakht un shrayen:Stand all night and shout:
Sha! Sha! Sha!Shah! Shah! Shah!
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht!That's how the Csar sleeps at night.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

From Unclutterer, 10 things to do every day for a calmer life

I am increasingly irritable when my house is messy and full of stuff. I'm going to try at least part of this list from Sherri Kruger of 10 uncluttering things you can do each day.
  1. Reset your home each evening. This doesn’t have to take long, but it’s really effective. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on a quick run-through of your home. Straighten books and knickknacks, return dishes to the kitchen, and hang up jackets. Don’t strive for perfection, this is just a quick pick up.

  2. Never leave a room empty handed. Look around you. Are there things that don’t belong? When you leave the room, for whatever reason, be sure to grab a glass and return it to the kitchen, or whatever the case may be.

  3. When you’re done with something, put it away. Right away. Clutter arises when we take something out, use it for awhile and neglect to return it to its proper home. Remember the Unclutterer’s gospel, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

  4. Hit the laundry basket. Every time. It may seem easier to simply let your clothes fall where they may, but this only creates clutter. Take 30 seconds to hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry basket. Erin recommends getting ready for bed an hour before you plan so you’re not exhausted when handling your clothes.

  5. Take out the garbage. Perhaps garbage day occurs only once a week, but emptying the garbage nightly, even if not entirely full, is a great habit start. Over-flowing bins are not attractive.

  6. Vacuum everyday. Vacuuming ensures everything is up off the floor. Essentially, you’re doing a nightly reset during the day making it even easier to keep on top of clutter.

  7. Clear out your e-mail inbox. Hundreds of e-mail messages in your inbox can be incredibly overwhelming. Take time at the end of each day to clear out your inbox. When you come back in the morning, it’ll be a lot less daunting.

  8. Cut out the non-essentials. Re-evaluate the necessity of your involvement in groups, clubs, committees or boards. Limit yourself to participating in things that are important to you and make you happy.

  9. Do just one thing each day. Pick a drawer, closet, or shelf that’s driving you nuts. Focus on doing one little thing to move yourself closer to the clutter free state you’re Seeking. Ask yourself: Is this really important? Can I get this again relatively easily?

  10. One thing out everyday. Walk through your home with a critical eye. Look for one thing you don’t need, use, or want. Keep a couple of boxes by the garage or front door for temporary storage.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Monkey hook! Great product! Great video!


I got a few packs of these Monkey hooks on closeout at Kmart. Why were they on close-out? They are the greatest! Unlike 99.99% of products, they are absolutely as wonderful as advertised.

You'll like the magnificent promo video, it's so cute I watched it twice.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is no time to be frail!

BoingBoing comes up with the most marvelous images.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pratie Projects for April and May 2010

Here is the partial to-do list file for the next couple months...
  • Finish translating "Di Alte Mayse" (The Old Story) by Mendele Moyher Sforim;
  • Finish reading "Alter" by Jacob Dineson so I can give the precis to my Dineson maven Scott Davis;
  • Buy a new keyboard for my laptop, which hasn't made capital letters via the shift button since I spilled tea on it;
  • Play at a couple weddings and a couple special events like the Hillsborough Arts Council event this weekend;
  • Finish making wedding knick-knacks for Hannah's wedding;
  • Make a couple more dresses for the wedding festivities;
  • Fix the low voltage lights along the driveway;
  • Find a camper top for my pickup truck so I can safely bring Ezra's stuff back from Wesleyan;
  • Get the tiles replaced in my pantry (wedding beautification project);
  • Get the new (actually, an antique cast-iron farm sink I had re-enameled) kitchen sink installed (thanks, Bob!);
  • Clean up the whole outdoors around my house and remove the redneck lawn sculpture left there by Doug Karger when he replaced my water pressure tank (ie, the old water-logged pressure tank);
  • Do several performances (the first and last and only) of the Durham Chapel Hill Complaints Choir on May 2;
  • Fly up to Wesleyan to visit Ezra while he writes the LAST TWO PAPERS OF HIS COLLEGE CAREER;
  • Then a couple weeks later drive up there for his COLLEGE GRADUATION and then hang around in Connecticut for a few days and then go to my college reunion the following weekend;
  • Drive home and supervise the pressure washing, window cleaning, and rug steaming projects which will complete the wedding beautification project;
  • Do my first-ever concert with pianist Aviva Enoch (Yiddish music) on June 12;
  • Enjoy my daughter's wedding.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Intro to "The Old Story" by Mendele Moykher Sforim

I know I said I'd blog every day this month but I've had a huge number of projects on. Here's one of them - I've been translating a short piece by the famous Yiddish author Mendele Moykher Sforim - it's called "the Old Story" and here is the preamble...

And so sayeth Mendele Mokher Sforim, the story I plan to tell you is at first glance an old one, but whatever, gentlemen, it still serves us Jews quite well in these modern times. "What are we? What is our life?" I ask you! What, then, is Jewish life as a whole? In essence a long, old story, repeating itself forever anew, in various forms and appearances according to the fashion of every epoch. Always the same story with different uproars, nuisances, pressuring, rushing about, with botherations and disputations, muddled machinations, squeezing, itching and bedevilment.

Every generation has its sages, good pious folks, as well as the languishing, crestfallen, down-trodden, poor things, and fools, and up and coming newly minted fools, and strivers, aggrandized insolent faces, boors, busybodies stirring the pot something dreadful... that Korukh, the long-ago rich man, leader of a gang, the bully who pushed himself toward the priesthood in order to be the great elder, the uppermost - Korukh is still with us today, too, his name is Yonkl, Berl, Yotsmakh, Shmerl, just with a tiny twist: he also pushes his way to the head of the table (place of honor) and wants to be indispensable.

That long-ago traitor Sonbalat with his gang of backbiters, liars, schemers, skillful at dismissing anyone with tedious monologues, with slander, not slow to whip out a pen and write a "song of praise" to make things worse, to destroy someone with a wall of words -- those fine people, oh well, the devil hasn't taken them away from us in these modern times. They're here, they grow and sprout, thank God! The point is, really, as the saying goes: "That which was, will be," there's nothing new under the bright sun. The thing is, something comes along - colonies, for instance - and people say, "See, this is new!" No, brothers, it's already been with us in the world for a long time, just take a look, if you will, at this story here, you'll see that Jews have had their heads buried in the dirt for a long time already ... you'll also see that just as every town has her village idiot, her ruffians and pranksters all around, so she also has her wise man, her sage advisor, and - set against him - her immensely powerful nabob, a fine skillful fellow, who will, for spite, turn everything upside down and backwards, and beyond that is oy, okh un vey iz mir!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In honor of planners everywhere

Monday, April 12, 2010

Games equids play

Until I got Jethro, I didn't know the word equid - it includes the equine (horses) but also zebras and donkeys...

It took a while for Jethro the donkey and Superman the miniature horse to figure each other out. I think there was an immediate recognition of a fellow hooved being, but their temperaments are very different. Jethro is high strung, like me: he notices everything in his environment and has an opinion about it. Superman is stolid and troll-like. If he doesn't have to care about something, he doesn't. When he got here, the only thing in life that got him excited was dinner.

Then after a while I noticed the only time he EVER whinnied was when I took Jethro away for a walk. Although he never seems to notice anything but dinner, Superman doesn't like being alone. (He is always invited to come along on the walk but sometimes he would rather conserve his strength, standing motionless for hours.)

Now there is one more thing that gets him excited: he and Jethro have devised a game, the running chasing biting game.

Jethro always starts the game, even though he is also usually the loser. You know the game is about to begin because he
  • Looks at Superman, who's usually standing stolidly at his ease somewhere;
  • Lowers his head to Superman's height;
  • Pins his ears back;
  • Charges!
His long neck held low, head pointed, ears back, Jethro lopes after Superman, who starts out at a brisk little trot on his dwarfish little legs and soon is driven to a gallop.

When Superman gets tired of being charged, he suddenly turns and faces Jethro, who skids to a stop.

Now Jethro raises his head high and bobs it from side to side as Superman attempts to bite his jowls. Superman is short so he often has to rise up on his back legs to land his bites. After they stand and do the biting for a while, they take off around the pen some more.

Sometimes Superman bites the back of Jethro's legs. This causes Jethro to tuck his tail in very tightly under the area where his genitals used to be; then Jethro tries to sit on Superman's head to stop the leg-biting.

Lately Jethro tries to bite the backs of Superman's legs too - difficult because that's a long way down for him. Then they go in circles as each tries to bite the back of the others' rear legs. It's harder for Jethro because Superman's turning radius is much tighter.

After a while they break out of the biting and go back to running all over the place. Sometimes one is ahead, sometimes the other.

Sometimes Superman rears up like the Lone Ranger's horse, with his mane flying, and gets his front hooves up over Jethro's back. Sometimes Jethro rears up too, but as there is no opponent up at that height, there isn't much point.

They really seem to like this game. Jethro never lands a bite at all, as far as I can see, though sometimes he gets a mouthful of Superman's mane and hauls him around that way for a little while. Jethro's neck is covered with scabs. Is this S & M entertainment?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New plates, first I've bought in decades

I was in Kohl's killing time and saw these plates on 50% discount. I just bought the three. After all, I live alone and how many plates does one person need? The colors make me happy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Linked."

Strange Chicken

This is my first oil painting. I'm trying to find connection or links between the techniques I've grown comfortable with using acrylic paint to make the jump to oil.

Mark

4 x 6

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Friday, April 09, 2010

The Makers' Bill of Rights

I hate owning things that can't be fixed.

If you can't open it, you don't own it:
a Maker's Bill of Rights to accessible, extensive, and repairable hardware.

by Mister Jalopy

  • Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included.

  • Cases shall be easy to open.

  • Batteries should be replaceable.

  • Special tools are allowed only for darn good reasons.

  • Profiting by selling expensive special tools is wrong and not making special tools available is even worse.

  • Torx is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.

  • Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.

  • Consumables, like fuses and filters, shall be easy to access.

  • Circuit boards shall be commented.

  • Power from USB is good; power from proprietary power adapters is bad.

  • Standard connecters shall have pinouts defined.

  • If it snaps shut, it shall snap open.

  • Screws better than glues.

  • Docs and drivers shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at archive.org.

  • Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.

  • Metric or standard, not both.

  • Schematics shall be included.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wow, some hope for women who don't color their hair...

I started to go grey very young and in my 30s and 40s I colored my hair. How embarrassing!

Some very unkind comments from an unmentionable acquaintance, the mess of it all, and its being contrary to my nature were percolating; when my son got sick, I just gave it up. Now I have grey (salt and pepper? more salt all the time) hair. How embarrassing!

Almost all my friends color their hair, and when I see that my 85-year-old friend still is a blond it makes me nervous. This article cheered me right up.

Extracts from
Young Trendsetters Streak Their Hair With Gray
By Ruth La Ferla for the New York Times

ACTING on an impulse last month, Faran Krentcil dipped her shoulder-length curls into a bathtub filled with Virgin Snow, a pale lavender tint, in the hope, she said, of emerging a "rock 'n' roll fairy princess."

Ms. Krentcil, the 28-year old digital director at Nylon magazine, got her wish and then some, her lilac fading within days to an otherworldly gray. A mistake? Sure, but no matter, Ms. Krentcil said. During New York Fashion Week, she stood out like a beacon. "More people took notice," she said. "I got photographed a lot."

Her color malfunction had placed her, it seemed, in a league with fashion's bright young things, affluent trendsetters...

In embracing a tint their mothers would have shunned ... in Manhattan's West Village, models and bohemian types began asking for gray streaks about six months ago... "When one gets on the bandwagon, they all do."

Sharon Dorram, an influential New York colorist, said that among her downtown New York patrons, it is mostly younger women, renegade types, who request gray. Not lost on Ms. Dorram is the irony that their older, more conventional counterparts spent $1.3 billion to cover their grays last year, according to Nielsen.

Women warming to the arctic look are streaking, tipping or bleaching their hair in tones from Warhol white to Brillo steel. Some are experimenting with color at home, as Ms. Krentcil did, or adding clip-on streaks like those sold online by Eva Scrivo, who tipped the models' hair gray at the Thakoon show in New York last fall.

Others may part with $200 or more to affect the appearance of the White Queen in "Alice in Wonderland," or any number of Park Avenue divas... to dye one's hair gray is to flout one of fashion's last taboos.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

[Hannah]: Wedding Weirdness, Cont'd

OK, here is my theory:

Women don't spend years knitting blankets for their trousseaus and stuff anymore, but the urge to prepare and plan and make pretty things and handicrafts for your wedding has somehow not died. Maybe it's instinctive, like pregnant nesting or something. Anyway. So I do understand the impulse, particularly for those who don't have particularly "creative" jobs or outlets in their lives, to throw themselves into a flurry of handicraft projects, gluing, printing, cutting, sewing, etc etc etc.

But I don't understand why this impulse, here, gets channeled into etting your picture taken with your significant other

1) with pastries
2) shaped like hearts, get it?
3) being served to you on a metal tray
4) by your fiance in a beret and suspenders
5) under a tree that you covered with TP

but...

TO EACH HER OWN! (....?)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The ketubah is finally finished.

I finally finished it! As I got closer and closer, I stayed away for longer and longer, afraid to wreck what I'd done already. Finally yesterday I bit the bullet and put the paintbrush on this for the last time. The original is 22 x 30.

By the way, around here there aren't many places to go to get such a large piece scanned. I recommend Pam-Or Fine Print in Raleigh - the owner is mighty nice and he did this right on the spot (I did get a couple pages of Yiddish translated while I waited, it's not so quick).

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Mark does Illustration Friday: "Dip."

DIPPER BIRD

Acrylic on canvas 8 x 12
Mark

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