Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I cannot wait to experiment with some new fall glazes. I want to imitate and play with the electric cone 5 shinos. I had only started this idea before I left for Hawaii.
I also started a new angel as I begin to plan for this seasons angels.
Today, my very generous friend Jerry donated several hours of helping me. He helped put up bright lights over my work tables. He is very knowledgeable and loves to talk about art projects, tool making and new ideas. He likes a good challenge.
I met him a few years ago when he came in to purchase some enameling materials and other art materials as well. Over time he brought in several pieces of artwork to show me and I was very impressed with his work. It was very creative in both design and craftsmanship.
After seeing his paintings, I invited him to show them in my shop and really enjoyed working with the paintings in my shop. They sparked a lot of interest and good comments. When I get the chance I will post photos of them on this blog or make a link to his web page. He has a Native American heritage and I love the contemporary nature of his work.
He is very generous with his time and various talents. He helps me build pedestals, hang signs, hang lights, hook up water and is a great friend. He knows a lot about all kinds of materials and has a great deal of patience as well.
He offers help and additional information to my son who is always trying to learn more about sculptural materials. He is a good mentor and understands the young man spirit and the desire to learn.
He has a loving wife and cares for her everyday and is totally devoted to her ever since he met her. What a nice guy. What a generous soul. He makes Brookside Pottery a better place to be.
Tina Howe, the playwrite from New York has a rubber stamp that she stamped on my husband's arm as well as the arms of several others.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Every year I count monarchs until I see no more as they migrate to Mexico. Someday I will go visit them in Mexico.I came across this interesting article on line through Mother Earth News a site you should visit if you think 60's or are inclined to be earthy. You know the type. We recycle, compost and count butterflies for fun. One year I counted 120 coming down Peoria Ave and around my house. I counted about 12 before the hurricane rain and now I am only up to 16. I don't know enough to know if these things are related but I am still counting. It is not a very scientific study on my part but it is fun and I let my family count with me as well as close friends who care. So, here is some real data on my lovely flying friends from Mother Earth News. Visit their site and if you have any cash, send them some.
Monarchs Are On the Move
Migrating populations of monarch butterflies are predicted to be on the low side this year, but that doesn't mean you won't notice them. If you look up in the sky late in the afternoon during the next few weeks, chances are good that you will see determined monarch butterflies flitting toward Mexico.
Butterfly watchers in the upper Midwest are already seeing roosts in which dozens of monarchs gather in a single bush or tree for the night. Here in southwest Virginia, a continuous stream of monarchs are stopping to sip nectar from the native asters and zinnias I planted just for them.
Want to track this year's migration and report sightings? The animated migration map, based on the citizen reporting system hosted by JourneyNorth.org, provides great graphics. Or, you can participate in the forum for sightings sponsored by MonarchWatch.org.
Sometimes it may look like monarchs are flying in the wrong direction, but don't worry. Recent scientific papers by neurobiologist Steven R. Reppert have identified a sophisticated inner clock mechanism that enables monarchs to constantly reorient themselves, insuring that they stay on a sound migratory course.
Photo by Barbara Pleasant
Sunday, September 28, 2008
It is time again to make an art piece for Philbrook"s Festival of Trees. I have so many ideas it is hard to narrow it to one and I need the answer soon for the museum. It is a good excuse to make some fine sculpture and keep the rest to sell.
Last year the theme was Frank Lloyd Wright. I admire the man and his architecture but I am not inspired to work in a similar way. Last year I tried to push myself in a new direction, studying his work and trying to absorb some influences. I ended up with some OK pieces that did not sell at the festival that were totally out of character of my work. I had friends bickering in my studio as I tried to think and complete my ideas and several new pieces on the shelves which I examined with one eyebrow in the air. Never before did I have friends fighting with each other as they talked about the work I was creating. That should have been a clue to bail out and do what I pleased. That is what I get for having an open studio.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my work highlighted as I came into the Philbrook, there in the front, well lit and a glowing red glaze at Christmas. It is just that they were so rectangular and not, as all the men objected to, "straight rectangular tubes." Women seemed to prefer the slightly organic look. I felt like a worm, leaning one way and then the other. Pushing clay to act like metal or wood was a new challenge. I felt good exploring but felt a bit uneasy with friends arguing. At least I evoked a response and that is better than apathy.
So, I had decided to ignore the theme this year and work from my heart and style. It was juried this year and I felt luck to get in as I wrote and said, "I just moved, have no photos ready for you so maybe I will just join in next year because I am not prepared to submit anything because I have been moving my shop. See my blog for photos of my work but that is probably too much trouble." I expected to be "out" this year but they said fine, you are in.
And wouldn't you know the theme this year is "Southwest." How could I not do that? The front of my car has a license plate on it from the dime store on the square of Santa Fe that reads "Santa Fe."
Birds, trees, leaves and angels. I was leaving my pottery shop a couple days ago after working on an angel for a few hours and aha, there on the vined wall was a dove, sitting there. That would make a cool sculpture if the bird was setting on the hand of an angel. I slammed on my bicycle brakes, dug my camera out of my purse, turned around to capture that Kodak moment but the bird got nervous and flew away. I tried to look uninterested and hang out for a few minutes, a cardinal came by landed, saw me and left as well. So my photo is only of the wall and I must imagine the rest. Meanwhile I found a few more birds and snapped there photos for basic bird shapes.
And then, I started thinking about large gorgeous sculptural punch bowls and then about large traditional primitive fired burnished coil vessels.
Well, I don't lack for ideas so I will just go sneak in my shop and work tomorrow and see what happens and what I like the most. The Philbrook is getting artist friendly now and will even have awards money. That has never happened in the 17 years I have done the show, awards money that is. I find that a bit inspiring.
I like to be alone in my studio working and thinking. I enjoy the company of good friends as well but I'm glad to be in a smaller shop where I have the choice and not quite so public.
I chose to begin work with low lights, quiet and solitude. Ah, solitude and quiet. I can think again.
Yes, "Southwest" is a theme I cannot resist. I will publish photos of pots in the works as time goes by.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My plan? Clear the tables and get to work. Work on what? Bowls, plates and angels. The designs I want to do are birds, leaves and trees. Affordable and expensive. Small bowls with care and unique designs, angels with birds of peace, and some very nice large deep bowl/platters with interesting textures and bas relief.
I will have a few opening and do a few shows but stay low key and open for my best and favorite customers and their friends. Because of the economy predictions I will buy very few "extras." I do not have to fill such a large space now!
I want to support local Tulsa artists as well by inviting them to show at my openings, just a few. I think this will be fun and intimate.
Now if we can just get our patrons to help us survive these money pinching times. With a variety of prices I think it can work.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Half listening to NPR yesterday, I heard part of an interview about growing the grapes for wine in Oregon and the master of pinot noirs said something like "Just like people, the older vines produce fewer grapes but finer grapes." Sounds good to me.
I have an old bad habit of trying to produce a lot so everyone can have some pottery in their daily lives and and be able to afford it. I like that idea but maybe it is time to be an old fine grape now. I will still make affordable pots and also some very special pots but I am going to slow town and work smarter. I do not want to drag the weight of the old shop into my new shop.
I had a nice compliment Saturday when someone I did not know very well came in and said, "This feels a lot like Taos when I come into your shop. (Yes!) And, I remember the alley ways in Taos in the early 70's and how much I liked it with the smells of herbs and spices for sale and unique kite shops. Now if I can just stay in my new spot for a year or so! Little Taos.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
How do we stand back so others can learn? It is so easy to give the obvious answers.
We each have to experience our own journey to find our way.
Wanting to help others sometimes can get in their way of learning.
Spread your wings and fly. Find your way and be confident.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
But what I am really worried about now is we are avoiding some very important issues. We are not looking at the war. Isn't it still really very important? Mothers and Fathers are separated way too long from their families, people are dying and it is costing a fortune. We are making more and more new enemies every day. Bush created this giant mess and we know it was a big mistake. Why is this not talked about everyday? Does anyone care that we are still at war?
Also it seems that patriotism is a big issue. Should it be? Is the more patriotic you appear to be make you a better thinking candidate? Rational thinking and understanding world politics, in my opinion is more important than wearing lapel pins and flag waving.
We need a President who is incredibly intelligent, not a bully, and a smart business person as well. And, the president better understand health insurance issues and social security too.
I don't see how anybody running for president could smile at the same time. What a difficult job. Back to the issues please.
More about pottery and art tomorrow. Could not help it. It's on my mind.
We did a quick drive through Jefferson City, the capitol of Missouri. It was small and lovely. It felt quite personal for a capitol and had a bit of an eastern feel. They obviously take pride in their history and held onto a lot of their beautiful old buildings. It was a good diversion from the highway.
Now we are home, safe and sound. It was great to see Rachel in her new college environment. The girl really has her act together.
We had a great visit and fun exploring little towns between here and there.
We saw more Baptist Churches than I have seen in a long time. And we saw lots of puppy farms and trucks full of chickens on their way to be lunch. We saw a sign reading "We buy quality puppies." What about the seconds?
The grass was very green and the ponds were full. And we finished our drive under a full moon.
Branson is like a white gated vacation community. It is not the melting pot of America. We looked hard to find any black people. We saw 4. Two tourists and two locals. I don't think I saw any Hispanics and of course there were a few Asian tourists.
We were alternative because we did not want waffles for breakfast. The breakfast server, a mannered white woman seemed shocked that we did not each want a waffle and not even want to split a waffle. The coffee was brown but weak. There was powdered coffee whitener on our table.
I don't think a whole foods market would do well there.
It reminded me of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Slow traffic, cars full of rubberneckers, water parks, go cart tracks, flashing lights and yellow and orange buildings. Walmart and tourists who probably don't walk much because they are a bit chunky. Steak houses and not many sidewalks.
I am prejudice about these kind of places. I know it. If you are from a small town with no interesting plays, movies or galleries, this could be fun. And it was clean, very very clean. And it was safe, very very safe.
It is not innovative, original or enlightening. I confess, I have stereotyped this place. I did not go to any shows or even eat there except for the motel breakfast. I did read their local paper as we drove out of town. It projected a corniness and was written with "dats" and "dem" and "thur's." There were way to many pictures of skits of older men pretending to be hillbillies. It reminded me of guys who never got over boy scout skits. Ugh.
The motel was not a chain and it was clean and reasonably priced. The drive from I44 to Branson was very pretty. It reminded me of the foothills of Tennessee or maybe even the rolling hills in southern Indiana along the Ohio river. We drove out to the dam to see the lake and that was lovely as well. It is easy to see why that was a natural spot for people to want to create a tourist community.
Will I go back even with a free room offer? Probably not.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Diets. I gave myself a C plus on my dieting skills last week. I did start exercising again but oh that sweet tooth. It gets me every time. Yes, I ate lots of salads and was well disciplined most of the time but, I was not the perfect dieter. And then the trip and the beer. By the way, the alcohol content must have been low. There was no buzz off that beer which is fine with me.
Tomorrow is a new day. I will keep trying to lighten up. It is hard when you travel or eat out. Live to eat or eat to live? I love cooking and I love good food. The balance of life can be a bit difficult. I hope to do better next week. Abundance of food and stuff, could be worse!
Friday, September 12, 2008
John and I are on our way to visit our freshman daughter at Missou, wonderful photo journalism student that she is and we did not want to drive 6 hours on Friday night. So, I searched the web and refused those interstate hotels at $89 a night and decided to go to motel city, Branson and find an inexpensive but good hotel. I found the Alpenrose Inn with a $55 room and great reviews. So far, so good. It is very clean and not plastic.
They describe themselves as "Bavarian." That is pushing it. So for an 3 hour away escape this might do. I will not be going to any of the corny shows, Andy Williams who must be 105 years old now, but it is a new experience and that is kind of fun. It is so dark and a bit rainy so I don't have a clue what this place really looks like.
When I went back to the car to get my cell phone I could hear someone at a local show singing an old 60's song so I guess old people music is a bit too familiar now.
So now I have to admit I've been to and stayed in Branson. and off season is probably the time to be here, drinking a good Zinfandel and eat chocolate.
We will leave early in the AM after this motel's recommended breakfast and visit with Little Roo. She is doing fine and glad we are coming to visit.
I'll be looking for pottery and galleries on the way out of town. Think I'll skip all these famous and not so famous performers. I just cannot get into harmonic country music.
What some people will do to avoid plastic interstate motels!
Ian will be in the shop at some point glazing tomorrow. If you need clay, tools or glazes just call and I will give you his number. He has been working hard at his new job and not around the shop much lately. He will be in the Brookside Artzz show next weekend handing out maps and brochures as well. I will keep the shop open for biz and so you all can see where I have moved. His booth will be in front of my old shop.
Guess I'll be cleaning a lot this week. Just have to get the place up and running soon.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The biggest difference is the silence and the lack of distractions. People who come to shop are coming to a destination and not just poking around. I think I will get more done if I ever have a space to work in with a table cleared off and a clean slab roller.
It is quiet and I can really feel nature. I see more birds and watch them in the puddles while I "nest" myself. I throw open the doors so as not to get claustrophobic. I gotta open the garage door windows for light and to redirect people to my new front door. I think I can make a funny little hinged shutter to peep out.
I like the feel of the new area. It is so much more of a studio atmosphere. It is a more alternative shopping feel than ever before. You can tell it is not Wall Mart. Also, the weather. I kind of feel like I am standing outside all the time. It feels good to feel where I am. It awakens the senses.
I am trying to lighten up indeed. My official hours are more limited but I will meet anyone any time I can.
New hours: Wed.-Fri. 12ish till 5 or so.
Open the 1st and 3rd Sat from 10ish till 4 or so
and by appointment
I am delivering tool kits to Waterworks the first night of class and other schools as well by request. Classes will start after I am more settled. Also, I will come to individual studios and teach for you in your own environment with your own equipment. Call for prices.
I also have a 6 week class scheduled at the Philbrook starting Oct. 16th. It should be fun. We will take advantage of the classroom, museum and gardens. Contact the Philbrook for more info.
I do hope everything is in place soon. Meanwhile I will spend this Saturday with Rachel and have been enjoying walking and the company of friends.
One was a message in the LA Times written by Gloria Steinem and the other was on the distraction Sarah causes for the Bush legacy. So, I wore myself out and gave up. I also checked with the American Library Association and their view on what happened at the library 12 years ago. So, if you care, look 'em up.
So, I think I will go back to writing about art and pottery. We will all keep up with political issues using our favorite sources.
I give up for a while. Back to pottery issues.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I am trying to get stronger and smarter. Lifting sucks.
I am starting with severe office cleaning. My dear friends who moved me made a pyramid of papers and assorted stuff in my office and I had to move all my books. I can see my books and I put a comfortable chair by them. I have a great art book collection and now we can all use it.
I am still jumping over and around things and I just got in another clay shipment of 900 pounds and had to find room for that. Selling fewer kinds of clay will help.
And thank you for Craig's list. It is like a permanent yard sale. What a great way to get rid of and share stuff.
One day at a time. Bird by Bird.
Hi - The following letter has been verified by Snopes as true and has been quoted in The Nation, The Illinois Daily Journal and the Anchorage Daily News, as well as on 200 websites as of this date. I'm passing it along because the woman who wrote it sent the original to just 40 family and friends. Thanks to the power of the Internet, thousands of people have learned a lot about Sarah Palin from someone who knows her well, Anne Kilkenny, a longtime Wasilla resident whose motivation for sharing this information is her belief that voters must be informed--and that's why I'm sharing it with you and hope you'll share it with YOUR friends.
If you want to check out the Snopes report, it's at http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/kilkenny.asp. If you'd rather not receive political news from me, please let me know.
So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last
2 days that I decided to write something up . . .
Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common:
their gender and their good looks. :)
You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with
my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any
websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .
ABOUT SARAH PALIN
I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone
here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name
basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my
child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with
her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during
her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.
She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular girl in
middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won't vote for
her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a "babe".
It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept
her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven
She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There
is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.
She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.
She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out there"
and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.
Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion
snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of
the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for
salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the
imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style
ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.
Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.
Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at
the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000
During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this
small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire
this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into
some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6 years
as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During
those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by
38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced
progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed
even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property
owners way more than they benefited residents.
The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't
enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was
needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with
indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters
to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported?
The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m
for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which
she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even
have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the
delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice
addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she
claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects
that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.
While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated
more than once.
These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.
As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in
Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us
energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed
distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended
that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed
distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for
She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or
compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her
staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City
Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the
library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the
defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out
censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People
who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this
Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for Mayor, so
what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the
experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or
elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally
dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely
loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal
agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the
State's top cop (see below).
As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated" her,
she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has
the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had
every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important
factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's
ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has
had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and
family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her
ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she
knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public
furor, she withdrew her support.
She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help.
The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing
her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her
first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal
City Administrator; even people who didn't like the guy were stunned by this
Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything
publicly about her.
When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the
best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the
few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in
oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid
$122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was
told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work.
Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State
Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In
a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political
suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job
she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics
and as a gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club" when she dramatically
quit, exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).
As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator
Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and
publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to nowhere" after it
became clear that it would be unwise not to.
As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines,
then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling
them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of
these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of
their importance--but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as
She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders
hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other
members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal
Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They
call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory
ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated
around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high
school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected
member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah
refused to endorse her.
As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of
legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march to the
beat of her drum.
Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global
warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state initiaitive
that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from
mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who
you listen to). She has pushed the State's lawsuit against the Dept. of the
Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.
McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a
heartbeat away from being President.
There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable
and experienced than she.
However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are
CLAIM VS FACT
*"Hockey mom": true for a few years.
*"PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not
*"NRA supporter": absolutely true
*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that
would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she
did this because it was unconsitutional).
*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote
*"Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT
declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
*"Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has
residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No
legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory
or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of
*political maverick: not at all
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining
*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
*"a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and
disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city
without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to
early 20th century standards.
*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on
*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in
*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make
her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is
WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I
am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the
schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find
references to my participation in local government, education, and
Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen when
good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because few have
gone to as many City Council meetings.
Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I
don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she
is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow
in the future: that's life.
Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so
people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at
Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say
anything because they were somehow vulnerable.
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in
spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from
information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla,
and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation?
for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person
to get any info out of City Hall--they are swamped. So I can't verify my
You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the
population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The day
Palin's selection was announced a city official told me that the current
population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have
used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was
growing rapidly in the mid-90's.
August 31, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
It is the Roman Art From The Louvre and will be on view until October 12Th. It includes 184 ancient artifacts of Roman history. There was a buy one get one ticket in Cox Cable's bill so we both saw the show for just $12. It was worth every penny. The show starts with an enormous marble head of a woman and includes incredible carved marble statues, clay and glass. The sculptors of around 150-200 AD were extremely talented and the attention to detail and the realism was fascinating. They were beautiful and sensitive and made the stone look soft. I recently ordered several contemporary art and pottery books on the human figure and I cannot help but think we cannot do as well. The Romans showed the beauty of the human form and most of the examples in the books I purchased were angst and miserable and unhappy. I vote for the Roman artists.
I carefully studied their lips, noses ears and hair. I would like to capture some of the beauty in my own work. Some of the figures looked contemporary and Henry Moore like. I wanted to see more Etruscan influence because that is one of my favorite time periods.
To get a preview visit
We stopped at Territorial Vineyards in Stroud on the way to OKC. We were greeted by their funny little dog who warned the owner we were there. We had tasted their wine at the ECO Fest in Tulsa this spring. We did not taste the wine, we just poked around and kept going. It was worth visiting and we will go back and wine taste next time.
So if you are looking for a different kind of afternoon and love art take a spontaneous trip to the OKC Museum of Art. OKC has come a long way since we moved to OK in 1990. They have lots of apartments downtown and they have planted a lot of trees. Bricktown is pretty good and the restaurants aren't bad either. It is a nice change of pace and a day I did not have to work on arranging stuff after moving.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I took a couple days off, even though I stopped by a couple of times both days, but I needed a break from the move.
I am still thinking about new hours, allowing myself more time to work and play. The new hours may be Wed.-Fri from 12-5 and open the first and third Saturday of each month and by appointment. That is not for sure yet.
I found my business cards left over from my original shop and if I could just change 1138 to 1138D East 37th Street, I would have the right address. That is just plain weird.
I was originally in that space for 2 years and a lot of my friends have been in that space too.
So, give me a little more time to clean and straighten and come see me soon. It is a bit embarrassing now as we have to jump over stuff.
I am looking for simplicity and that is not easy. Less is more. More pleasant.
I am so lucky to have such a problem. I still have too much stuff even after giving a lot away to Restore and Neighbor to Neighbor. What a luxurious problem I have, too much not too little.
I will be teaching a Thursday night class and it should be fun. It will meet for 6 weeks and we will search the grounds and the museum for inspiration. We will focus on forms, leaves and birds. See the website for more info. It starts October 16th. Join in. It is a fun space to take classes and we will definitely take advantage of being in the museum.
New Programs include:
Free Family Day
Starts September 13th
Every 2nd Saturday of the month is free
Drop in 10:30-4pm
Hands-on art activities, scavenger hunts, family-friendly tours
Starts in October
Available any time
Toolkit with art supplies, activity guide
(I saw these toolkits and they look fun and you get more art materials for the tool kit every time you visit and it is free)
Every 3rd Thursday of the month
so firstFREE Family Day
Saturday, September 13
Drop in anytime between 10:30am to 4pm
Bring the whole family to the Philbrook Museum of Art
for hands-on art projects, family-friendly tours,
scavenger hunts, prize giveaways, and much more!
For more information, visit www.philbrook.org.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I am afraid people will not see past the girl next door who wants to be President. I don't think being president of the PTA is a very good reference. I wonder why she went to 6 universities in 5 years.
Now here is a little more from MoveOn. A few more details about Sarah Palin:
- Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is "God's task." She's even admitted she hasn't thought about the war much—just last year she was quoted saying, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." 1, 2
- Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union—to "keep up the good work" and "wished the party luck on what she called its 'inspiring convention.'" 3
- Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn't made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact.4
- Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade." 5
- Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP. 6
- Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn't even support abortion in the case of rape or incest. 7
- Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. 8
- As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them—shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, "news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor." 9
- She DID support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." 1
1. "Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'," Associated Press, September 3, 2008
2. "Palin wasn't 'really focused much' on the Iraq war," ThinkProgress, August 30, 2008
3. "The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
4. "McCain and Palin differ on issues," Associated Press, September 3, 2008
6. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
9. "Mayor Palin: A Rough Record," Time, September 2, 2008
10. The Sarah Palin Digest," ThinkProgress, September 4, 2008
My GreatGrandmother was the first President of the Women's Garment Union in Ohio. I owe it to her to find a great first female in the white house. I want to believe people will be aware of what Sarah is really saying, not just that she is a woman and how she seems smart and sweet and strong. Listen to her! Look at the facts and her history. This is not a good choice.
She has added excitement to a boring republican candidate. But our world is scary now and we have a country to rebuild. We need insurance and health care as good as the rest of the worlds and we need financial recovery and world respect again.
I loved Clinton's line, "We should lead by the power of example, not the example of power."Everything is so complicated and we need very intelligent leaders. Please listen to what the candidates are saying and choose wisely.
Here is more about her background from MoveOn with sources:
Today is John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:
- She was elected
's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage.1 Alaska
- Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
- She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
- Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
- She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
- She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as a threatened species-she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.
We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:
She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. â€”Rose M., Fairbanks, AK
She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. â€”Christine B., Denali Park, AK
As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. â€”Karen L., Anchorage, AK
Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.â€”Sherry C., Anchorage, AK
She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. â€”Marina L., Juneau, AK
I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.â€”Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK
So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.
1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spinâ€”ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008