Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Is the moment that the egg and sperm unite and it divides into to two cells? Is it when the cells form a body that can live on its own outside the womb? I don’t think that we will ever completely agree upon the moment when human life starts. Medical advances permit premature babies to survive that would have perished only a few years ago. Nine months may not be needed for gestation and survival of a new human life.

Abstinence is an illusion. Humans are sexual creatures and “just say no” isn’t logical. Sexual intercourse happens, pregnancy can be the result. I wish that every dividing egg would be born as a healthy child. Reality can be harsh. Many pregnancies end in a spontaneous miscarriage. For whatever reason, the pregnancy was not viable and the womb empties itself to prepare for another pregnancy. The woman may not be aware that she was pregnant. I had just learned that I was pregnant when my body rejected the baby. I was devastated emotionally when this occured but was a physically healthy 21 year old.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the old saying states. Pro-life and pro-choice people can agree on this issue. I am PRO-PREVENTION. Birth control should be free/low cost and easy to use for everyone engaging in heterosexual intercourse. When a male wants to mate, they must wear a condom. Men can’t rely on The Pill or any other birth control mechanism to thwart the sperm’s journey. Women are responsible to take The Pill, use a diaphragm or some mechanism to stop the matching of the egg with sperm. Females can’t rely on the condom working 100% of the time. When BOTH partners use some form of birth control, the chance of an unwanted pregnancy is reduced.

Controlling hormones can be a challenge with passion rises and clouds judgment. Practice Prevention Every Time That You Have Sex! Period. End of Discussion.

Be Pro-Prevention, provide free/low cost birth control!
© 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I enjoyed the visceral experience walking through dusty buildings smelling of musk, art processes and damp human bodies. The thunder and torrential rainstorms added to the ambiance of Art-A-Whirl but the North Minneapolis Tornado was frightening. The cool of the rain gave way to humidity. I wish that I had worn shorts. At least I tread around in comfy tennis shoes; some fools teetered on heels or slid on wet flip-flops.

Hummus with pita chips and salsa with tortilla chips were the standard treats offered by hospitable folks. Some artists served refreshments and it was very nice when they offered coffee/tea or wine. Interestingly enough, artists who utilized vegetables in their artwork usually served veggies. Strawberries were the favorite fruit. Oddly, no one was burning incense or had out perfume sticks. Very few incorporated music (live or recorded) in their studios.

Lots of naked females and clitoris were featured in artwork. Very few male nudes and nary a penis to be had. Nothing wrong with the naked human body but balance is needed. We need more nude males and their bits to even things out. Also, what about using normal sized people? One artist only photographed anorexic females, ugh. Big is beautiful too.

Disappointed by the lack of ethnic diversity. Very few artists of color were represented in the buildings that I called upon. The patrons were not very diverse either. There must be some way to better represent the real demographics of the core city. Perhaps I was visiting the wrong buildings. I was irritated by artists who were dismissive of the visitors. If they really do not care, why did they bother to open their studio? It would be better to close the doors than be rude to fans and potential patrons or hire a friendly host to welcome people to the studio space.

Here is a list of wonderful artists from the 2011 Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis, MN. I was greatly impressed with many but only have space to highlight a few. Exclusion does not mean that I didn’t like their work; I just can’t include fifty artists. These are not listed in any specific order. Please contact these talented folks for more information perchance to buy! Let them know that you read about them on my blog.

* Alison Price’s paintings explode off the wall. They are neon bright with swooping movements. Definitely a WOW!
* Mill City Makery featured cheerful working girl aprons and stitched goods.
* Hannah Albert’s Japanese woodblock inspired series is fabulous. She blends the outline of a photo with color. Amazing flow.
* Joseph Greco makes certain that his mixed media is interpreted correctly with their individual story. Folkartist almost child-like quality though he is an experienced artist. 612-760-2768.
* Susan Elnora captures skulls and bones with her jewelry.
* Andrea Martin creates intricate hand cut paper art. Bugs can be beautiful.
* Laura Hallen paints hyper flowers. They hum from the canvas.
* Andree Tracey makes collages. Her fifties fashionista series is quite delightful.
* Brian VanVoorst’s exquisite watercolors look like batik over photographs.
* Sarah Thornton’s paint-by-number approach to animal portraits is charming.
* S.A. Roman haunting ghostly images of the veiled prairie.
* Marisa Martinez incorporates cool beads and mini glass sculptures into jewelry.
* Karen Gustafson works in many forms but the sonographic prints are eerie.
* Nancy Reyner’s waves feel like they are about to crash upon you.
* Ochen K features bright starburst quality art. Looks like Hubble photos.

Though it wasn’t for sale it was neat to visit the 100,000+ cranes on view at the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota. Each crane represents one person affected by brain injury in Minnesota; the effect was powerful since the cranes cascaded throughout the entry hall. for more information.

Note: I also wrote about the Whirl on May 25th and the tornado on May 23rd.

Looking forward to Art A Whirl 2012!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


She didn’t recognize me. The party was in a stranger’s house mostly filled with people that we didn’t know. I arrived late and sat across the room. She smiled but did not make conversation. I had just cut my hair. She asked, “Who are you?” when I sat next to her. Those three words sliced into my heart. My own mother didn’t know her child. I told her that I was her daughter Ima. No light of understanding came into her eyes. She wasn’t able to make the connection.

My throat burned, it felt like someone hit me in the chest, and my eyes got moist. The party ended. I managed to make it to the car before I began sobbing. I couldn’t drive away for almost fifteen minutes. Feeling profound pity that her personality was fading away and anger at the damn disease of Alzheimer’s. Most of her great-grandchildren reside in different states and they will never know her benign troublemaking humor, wonderful desserts, and compassion. Unfortunately, my siblings are rather mean to her; they have always discounted her since my dad is dominant (which is probably why I despise misogynists).

Alzheimer’s is an insidious illness; it steals away the personality before the body dies. It heartbreaking to watch my mother get more confused and repeat herself. She has lot many items, including her wedding ring. I don’t live in the same community so every time that I visit she is a bit worse. We got the diagnosis two years ago from an expert (don’t rely on general practitioner but see a specialist, aka memory care medical doctor).

Mom can still hold a conversation and be home alone. However, the day is approaching when she will have to be moved into a nursing home. I’ve urged my dad to take her around to visit the various memory-care facilities. She can choose the one she wants and we can get her placed there. I wish that they would move into an assisted living facility now so that more people could help watch her. However, would the new environment speed her decline? Expense is an issue since they did not save for retirement. My dad is horrible with money. They are near 80 years old but could easily live for another fifteen years or so.

I fear for myself, too. My mom and her sister suffer from Alzheimer’s. What will be my fate? Will other members of the family come down with this disease? When will medical research be able to stop or vaccinate against the illness? Since I don’t have a spouse, who will watch out for me? My family can’t be relied upon and I don’t want to become a ward of the state. I have a Last Will but will my friend follow my wishes, will she even be alive when I reach the age of 75? I don’t have much saved for retirement due to unemployment and bad paying jobs. So many unknowns, it is overwhelming and frightening.

I need to attend some Alzheimer’s Association meetings. Perhaps that will reduce my anxiety. I want to be involved but family interactions are so painful that I avoid them. I have to give myself some time before calling because I know that will cry. I’ve accepted it but the pain is too recent. I feel too vulnerable.

It’s time to halt the Alz!
© 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The pain was too much. Options were exhausted. He chose to leap into the icy water from a bridge. What remained of the body was discovered nearly two weeks later nearly ten miles downstream. It is with great sadness that I write of Joshua who committed suicide a couple months ago. He was an intelligent, funny and nice person. We had been acquainted for several years since we had mutual friends. I would chat with him at parties and give him a hug. I was always happy to bump into him while out and about since he was so very personable.

I never knew of his depression or anxieties. He only informed a few people in our group of friends. I worked for several years with people who have SPMI serious and persistent mental illness. Joshua was interested in my work but never told me of his own challenges. I wish that he had reached out to someone during his last hour of life. Perhaps they could have gotten him to a hospital for help. Suicide is final. I fear that he changed his mind as he neared the water but it was too late. If he did survive the fall, the cold water would have rendered him unconscious within ten minutes or so. I hope he was at least knocked out from the fall and did not suffer physical pain on top of the mental anguish.

Some people consider suicide as selfish. I think that is rarely the case. I have contemplated ceasing existence many times. I didn’t think that my life was worth the bother. No one would miss me if I were dead. I was in fact a burden upon the planet. Thankfully, I was able to quell those negative thoughts with the assistance of a talented therapist. I haven’t felt that bad for years but occasionally the fleeting idea of suicide enters my mind. It is not a viable option anymore. If anything, my cats need me.

Most people with mental illness are highly intelligent and profoundly sensitive. Unfortunately, our society still attaches stigma to this medical condition. Mental health is a biological genetic disposition, the person neither weak of personal will nor did they choose to feel differently. We need to accept mental illness like any other treatable malady. People with SPMI are contributing members of our society and you probably aren’t aware of who has mental health issues and who doesn’t. Very very few people fall into the stereotypical “crazy” behavior. has a lot of great information.

If you have suicidal thoughts contact the Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 and visit for other resources. Suicide Awareness – Voices of Education is a wonderful organization and also offers support for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Just reach out, we need you to stay on this planet. I wish I could have told that to Joshua.

Choose to Live.
© 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011


Nearly one year of unemployment. I have sent out almost 250 resumes and have an interview #8 scheduled. I just want to scream, "I have skills, hire me!" I need enough money to pay the bills since the lazy cats refuse to work. I want a job that isn't mind numbingly boring nor morally reprehensible. Is that too much to ask? Thankfully, I still receive unemployment but I continue to draw down my savings account. I fear the day when my unemployment benefits are exhausted.

It irks me that posh corporate administrators get paid millions if not billions of dollars per year and most don’t even pay their custodians enough to survive. There are some wonderfully socially conscious financially blessed people but too many are selfish bastards. Lower middle class and financially stressed people give a higher percentage of their income to charity and are more likely to volunteer. They also pay a higher percentage of taxes to the government than people who are in the upper income bracket. Those are the facts, it’s published.

If you know of a job for a sassy opinionated person in the Twin Cities, MN, please contact me.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Peruse previous reviews posted on May 9, 2011, April 10, 2011, February 17, 2011 and September 14, 2010. Please become a follower of this blog, join me on Facebook and Twitter. I welcome suggestions of books to read which are available in the library system (MELSA in the Twin Cities, MN area).

Song Yet Sung by James McBride Three and a half worms
Difficult subject matter, slavery. Hard to read the “N-word” so much. I consider it distasteful since it is still used to dehumanize people. Compelling story but a bit confusing at times. A map in the front of the book would have helped with the geography. I had to take a break from it several times because the story was so horrific. The action was fast paced and exciting toward the end. Disturbingly well written.

Hit By a Farm by Catharine Friend Three worms
Two city-raised greenhorns encounter strife, sorrow and hilarity while starting a farm. Somehow they manage to raise sheep, poultry, and grow grape vines. I wonder why they didn’t serve an apprenticeship on a working farm before beginning their endeavor. They are fortunate to have survived physically, emotionally and financially. Good humor interspersed with the harsh reality of the life cycle. I know, I’ve spent a lot of time on farms.

Healer by Carol Cassella Three worms
Very descriptive focusing on a wealthy family thrown into financial crisis. It would have been nice to include a map in the front of the book. The character of the daughter is annoying. The ending is rushed. It could use more descriptors and a bit more follow up instead of an abrupt ceasing of the story line.

The Way Things Look To Me by Roopa Farooqi Two and a half worms
An interesting method of framing Asperger Syndrome (AS). I know several people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the description is authentic for those who are high functioning. However, the extended family wouldn’t have abandoned the kids. The ending is way too sappy.

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom Two worms
Difficult connecting the disparate profiles until the final chapter. Pleasant fluffy literature. He completely excludes female religious leaders or even acknowledges that they exist, pathetic.

I have been favoring large type books lately. I really need a new pair of glasses with bifocals. No insurance and I can’t afford to purchase eyeglasses now. It would be nice if authors took time to make certain that the large type font books looked as nice as the regular edition. I really hate it when the text is hyphenated at the end of a line instead of bumped into the next line. It slows down reading when you have to assemble words. Some large type books bold all the words and that makes it difficult to read, too. Their paper is often of a lesser grade and no illustrations are included.

Seeking to reduce eyestrain.