TRY SOME ART TO TAKE THAT BAD POLITICAL TASTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH

ADAM SMITH

ADAM SMITH

I support Hillary Clinton—absolutely. And at one time I was excited about finally electing a female president. However any excitement (the good kind) about Campaign 2016 is long gone. First of all there’s no longer the possibility of a presidential campaign inspiring interesting ideas and arguments  because Shyster Trump doesn’t know/believe/think/talk actual policy so Hillary is left arguing with the air, saying the same smart but rote stuff over and over. That’s no fun. Then the first female president thing…well at this stage of the Shyster Trump revealment I would vote for a mongoose over the ‘orange one’ so that bit of pleasure is gone too. But—Go Hillary—all you have to do is keep the world safe for continuing to be the world.

I did go to Clinton headquarters a few times but the olden days of non-stop calls and drop-ins for paraphernalia are long gone so unless one is calling supporters (paid my dues in that activity a long time ago) there’s really not much to do. It’s all cell phones and data entry and I have a feeling they’re not letting just anyone off the street (that would be me) get near the computers. Republicans and Russians are not to be trusted (only a few Russians fit this ‘Untrustworthy’ category but it appears to apply to all Republicans). I don’t mind the idea of being mistaken for Russian (I am, after all, 3% Russian) but please please please do not ever mistake me for a Republican.

This is all just to say my extremely modest monthly contribution and my vote will have to be the extent of my Clinton campaign involvement because I’m going back to art where there’s reason and color and hope and joy.

I am extremely lucky to be working in a place where people make art all day. Here are some close-ups from around the Center…and a small piece by Adam Smith I just purchased. See, you feel better already, don’t you?

ORLANDO NAJAR

ORLANDO NAJAR

DIANA TWISS

DIANA TWISS

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HILLARY

I’m spending a few mornings at Hillary/Michelle/Maggie Headquarters so I should try to write a rational post or two about how I’m feeling about this election…saving the rants for Facebook. First of all can I just say how very fine it is to have these three women—smart experienced serious articulate Liberal Women running for offices to which it is quite likely they will all be elected.

First up—HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. FINALLY.

I have many reasons for voting for Hillary but let me get the woman part out of the way right now. Yes, I want a woman president, but not just any woman you understand…imagine Sarah Palin anywhere near the oval office and the cold chills up and down my spine are equal to imaging Mr. Shyster in charge—of anything. But Hillary, well I’m okay with smart, experienced, serious articulate and slightly leftish. And yes, she is flawed and after all these perfect guys running the world that’s a little challenging but I think I can deal with it.

I would find electing the first woman president of the U.S. even more exciting if we weren’t so damn late to the  party in terms of women leaders. Over 70 other countries already have or have had female heads of state…for god’s sake even Pakistan was ahead of us…and India and South Korea and the Philippines and on and on. Never mind the Scandinavian countries which are pretty much in the lead on every front. Even Africa where the good old boys are about as firmly in place as in the U.S. has had to resort to women now and then; for example Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, currently serving her second term and managing to bring some degree of stability to a country very nearly destroyed by the men on the scene lo those many years.

The Michelle mentioned above is Michelle Lujan Grisham, one of New Mexico’s three congressional representatives. I am ashamed to admit I’ve contributed neither time nor money to her campaigns—which must change since, from everything I do know, she is strong and she is right (meaning slightly left) on nearly every issue that’s important.

Maggie is Maggie Toulouse Oliver running for Secretary of State. I used to see her with her grandparents Jim and Charlotte Toulouse, Democratic Party stalwarts, when she was a kid. She came into the office last week—poised and polished and smart and ready to take on the world—or at least the state of New Mexico. Jim and Charlotte would be proud.

Here’s one of my theories about why we need way way more women in high office, besides the basic fairness of ‘equal representation.’ Intelligence and ability are probably pretty equally shared between the sexes but history has given women a break when it comes to temperament. Actually history and biology I suppose. Those cave women giving birth weren’t usually expected to go out and hack off the neighbors’ heads so the need to mark territories and victoriously exhibit dead-body trophies from just across the latest line in the sand didn’t get bred into female genes. Therefore we women aren’t as prone to the ‘mine’s bigger than yours’—referring to bloody sword-swinging hands or whatever the manly symbol might be for any given decade or century—syndrome which is probably responsible for half the world’s violence.

Sure sure, we believe the big conflicts are all about oil and religion and race and ethnicity and territory and yes on the surface they are… Still there’s a huge element of the boys and their toys challenging each other out there—in the name of course of one of those ‘bigger’ issues. Overall Women Will Be Less Apt to Engage in Those Competitions. I Think. We played with different toys!

I have other theories as well…equally unscientific and possibly irrational…but we’ll never know until an equal number of females are in positions to bomb or not to bomb will we?

There are so many other reasons to elect Hillary Clinton—her lifelong support of women’s issues among them. Maybe I’ll talk more about that in future posts. Everyone else in the world is—why not me?

 

 

 

 

A DANCE FESTIVAL IS BORN…YAY, SHIFT DANCE FESTIVAL

Shift Dance has done it! Created an interesting, solid, successful dance festival. They’ve been smart enough to start small, include the local dance community and bring in artists from out of state who added diversity, polish and another perspective.

The opening night performances by Shift Dance founders and Albuquerque dance artists (choreographers Donna Jewell, Kelsey Paschich, Jacqueline Garcia and Lisa Nevada) represented contemporary dance with professionalism and imagination; the second night Allie Hankins offered up an absolutely delightful, sometimes sharp, sometimes very funny, dance-theater solo and tonight, the third night, it’s Jaxon Movement Arts with a beautiful contemporary ballet, looking all shiny and sophisticated.

I’ve enjoyed it tremendously…and I’m saying this as someone who has not attended an entire dance performance for exactly three years! So I guess I’ve proven addiction can be overcome…but why…?

Here are a few rather bad photos from the GOOD Jaxon Movement rehearsal just now.

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DANCE FESTIVALS—ALIVE AND WELL IN ALBUQUERQUE

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TWO OF SHIFT DANCE FOUNDERS, kELSEY PASCHICH AND JACQUELINE GARCIA. LISA NEVADA THE THIRD SHIFT CREATOR WASN’T AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PHOTO OP.

Well Done Shift Dance. What a treat your Shift Dance Festival offered for the dance aficionados among us. We Albuquerqueans are privy to so little contemporary dance in our corner of the wild west making this event …well…an EVENT. The Festival opened last night (Thursday) and runs through Saturday night at the North Fourth Art Center and it is a professional presentation of the first order. The whole production, at least what we’ve seen so far, is polished; the PR is obviously good, attested to by a full house last night; the programs looked slick; and, best of all, the four dances were strong in themselves and complimented each other perfectly. The mood of the evening’s work ranged from somber to sexy and the dancers showed off the considerable talent available on the local scene.

I am not a dance critic and besides would never be able to critique these dance friends impartially. We all have our favorite pieces of art of whatever genre but the important thing about the Festival is that it’s a chance to see enough dance to even have favorites. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Good Luck Shift Dance.

 

 

THE CURTAIN GOES UP…AND DANCERS APPEAR

 

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You may have noticed that I’ve paid slight attention to dance since 2013 when Global DanceFest was put to bed. After focusing on contemporary dance much of the time for 25 years or so I was so through—not however because I no longer loved my dancer friends or the art itself. I just couldn’t prostrate myself to one more grantor or worry about one more half full house or have one more person tell me how much they appreciated the brilliant dance I was bringing to Albuquerque when they’d only been to one performance in the past year! There. Promise. That was my One Long Whining sentence. (Trump is going to make more people ashamed of whining—as the disreputable master of the act—than all of our mothers ever managed to do with their stern admonishments against the nasty practice.)

Enough about me—except for the part about how I’m regaining some interest in and pleasure from Dance. This is about dance—or about how the next few posts will be about dance. The Shift Dance Festival is about to happen—the curtain is going up tonight at the North Fourth Art Center. I’ll write more about the artists and the work later but for now it feels good just to say I’m excited about the next three nights of dance.

Shift Dance is a company of young dancers who have banded together to bring some excitement back to the Albuquerque dance scene—which right now does not exist at the local level and certainly we are invisible at the national and international level. So Shift wants to fix this sad situation. Great Good Luck to Them.

Here are a few photos from a couple of nights ago when Allie Hankins from Portland was rehearsing; I watched for awhile and am happy to report that she is a most fascinating performer…I say fascinating especially because she made me curious, wanting to know what was coming just around the next moves, the next words, the next shift… And that’s all I ask of artists really…just please make me curious. Allie is performing Friday night, so be sure and come to that if you’re here in New Mexico, and definitely come tonight and Saturday night as well…IT’S ALL GOOD.

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TODAYSSS………..

Just can’t do that daily thing can I? Making goals I pretty much know I cannot attain keeps me forever a failure…in which case I try harder, right? Or just eat more doughnuts and drink more wine.

Here are the highlights of the week so far:

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Sunday Pork chops at Steve’s, brilliant sunset on way home (to which my smart phone camera doesn’t do justice but it’s better than a photo of a pork chip), and last but most certainly not least… I. Finished. The. Good. Wife. Done. Seven seasons in under one year.

What an ending. Harsh. Whatever happened to happy music and waltzing into the arms of your great love? Instead Alicia starts down a long drab hall, slumped and rumpled, but as she walks her stiff upper lip persona comes to the fore, she straightens up, shoulders back, pulls her suit into place and you just know her lips are pressed tightly together, eyes flinty, stray wisp of hair whisked off the forehead…yeah, you just know she’ll be okay though always deep-down sad. Will really really really is dead dead dead, the investigator’s disappeared, but Alicia’s still got Peter to whip into shape, and Eli has her running for high office, and she needs to slide the firm out from under Diane’s pissed-off nose. So Just Do It, Hil….I mean Alicia.’

Maybe when Hillary is feeling down…is saying to herself, ‘Screw it, who needs this grief,’ she calls Julianna and says, ‘Okay tell me again how this all ends.’

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Monday.  Work.

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Tuesday. Womaned the front desk at Hillary Campaign Headquarter this morning. Almost everything’s on line now so there’s none of the bustle of olden times…ample bumper stickers, yard signs and free t-shirts are also a thing of the past. It’s all happening on social media except for a few elders like us down here manning a desk, calling a voter, who remember how gloriously hectic and crazy these last weeks could be.

I did not watch the debate because Sensible battling Sleaze cannot be a pretty picture but I was most happy the Hillary’s calm smart amused demeanor apparently carried the day.

 

POLLYANNA AND FRANK SINATRA

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I miss blogging when I don’t do it. Since I seem to have blogs for all seasons and reasons—travel, books, my New Mexico environment and even documenting each ordinary day, it should be very easy to post something of some minor interest often. But then life happens and writing get pushed into its back corner and attention focuses on the stuff of renewing auto tags and carrying out the garbage and stopping at the store for milk and driving down the hill to work! There’s the more worthy competition for my time too—studying poetry or Buddhism or the Islamic or Arctic worlds, and hanging out with friends, and netflixing and the gym and….

Blogging stands out among good things though because it is first of all writing and secondly the perfect opportunity for each and every one of us to become brilliant amateur photographers. Instead of scribbling away at my back-bedroom desk and dreaming of a future book, I can, by clicking ‘post’ hurl my deathless prose and ever so brilliant photos into cyberspace for the pleasure and edification of Everyone in the Whole Wide World…or at least my FB Friends and the relatives I’ve coerced into subscribing.

Each of my blogs has its place in my personal blogosphere; sometimes appearing dead, only to spring to life again. Now seems like a good time to revive Today—a good time because ‘if taken correctly’ Today can perk up flagging spirits. Here’s how that happens. If I set out to capture a highlight of my day, I have to find that highlight first and it must be picturesque in some odd or interesting or scenic way. To do that, I must look at the upside, the bright side, the pluses of my ordinary days. In other words, it requires at least a modicum of optimism and a lot of Paying Attention to the hours and minutes as they approach and then pass. And, in those hours and minutes, finding an okay image of a better-than-okay moment in time.

Maybe Today is one of my prescriptions for finding ageing a not-unpleasant process—it makes me Pay Attention. Ignored hours can’t be snatched back and repaired. Childhood, youth, middle age, done, checked off. So, invoking Pollyanna and Frank Sinatra… You see, when you’re hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget about the sad things, Pollyanna said. (Much as I loathed Pollyanna when my mother used her as an example, I’m now seeing the value of her philosophy—otherwise in this election year I would go mad). And can’t you hear Frank singing, “…Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few/September, November/And these few precious days I’ll spend—Paying Attention to my World.

Anyone referencing Pollyanna and Frank Sinatra in the same paragraph is obviously old old old. Such a nice hour I’ve spent writing this though. Paying attention.

Sorry for all these words in what is basically a Photo Blog…it’s Saturday morning…a glorious Saturday morning because I have 48 hours ahead to write and think and read and do a little Ancestry detective work and have a lemon garlic pasta and red wine lunch and take a nap and possibly work in an episode or two of the five I have to go of The Good Wife (but that’s not allowed until Sunday night).

 

Cheers.

NICE THINGS

Today is about the stuff of today, ordinary days, nice things happening on ordinary days. Here are a few nice things from this month.

JESSIE GOT MARRIED

STEVE, MICHELE AND I WENT FOR A 11.5 K WALK IN THE BOSQUE–JUST TO BE SURE I’M READY FOR THE 10 K WALK AT THE DUKE CITY MARATHON.

PATRICIA, LUNA AND I WENT TO THE DOG PARK. WHERE LUNA TURNED DOWN THE PHOTO OP.

 

AND I’M ORGANIZING MY WORK SPACE AND MATERIALS IN PREPARATION FOR SOME SERIOUS FALL WRITING.

FIRST WEEK HOME: LUNA AND ART

 

Re-entry is never easy even if you think you have it under control. Seven hours time difference between here Albuquerque and London and a world of culture shock. I loved being in Northern Europe and Greenland, the latter being a little Canadian, a little European, and totally all itself. But now I’m not there.

So what’s good about being home is this. A morning at the dog park with my very favorite family member of all time–at least since Princess and Max days. Patricia was home from Lubbock for a few days so it was much fun to have a little visiting time with my human granddaughter and then the special treat of time with Luna!

 

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I was supposed to have a guest for some part of a friend’s wedding weekend so I finally got the guest bedroom/library/laundry in its almost final shape. Another good.

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And tonight’s a gallery opening at our N4th Gallery. Tim and Chris, our art curators, always manage to make the space look quite professional and elegant. There’s a piece I want which reminds me so much of Greenland and a large bottle of white wine chilling in the kitchen.

By CATHERINE LYNCH, love this piece. Reminds me so much of Greenland and stark landscape and glaciers.

By CATHERINE LYNCH, love this piece. Reminds me so much of Greenland and stark landscape and glaciers.

AND the heat wave has broken, it’s all monsoon-damp and mostly cloudy with sporadic rain. Oh thank you great weather spirit.

And new odd plant-like things have sprouted out front. What are they?

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Oh yeah, AND maybe Trump is tanking. Because if not we are in such trouble, he is so very mentally ill (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and evil-enough to make me almost believe in an actual devil.

I guess I’m okay with being home.

Here’s where I was.

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WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY BEFORE A BIG TRIP

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NEW BAMBOO PLANT

It’s Wednesday (actually now it’s Thursday). On Sunday this big trip begins. Big trips are good except except that once you’ve gone big it’s hard to go back down to a week or two. Just does not seem travel worthy.

So my granddaughter are coming over shortly to get ‘watering the plants’ instructions. Yes. I said plants. After years of being responsible for nary plant, animal or mineral (does the lava I snuck out from Hawaii many years ago count as a mineral?) other then my living breathing self…I have plants. I love having them. I worry about them. Too much water. Too little water. Not enough sun…well that’s how it goes with plants isn’t it?

I’m really panicked just a little tonight about this trip. Just the Greenland part. Which is a cash guzzling/REI dependent mystery at the moment. There are questions of weather  and unknown guides and are-we-tourists-or-trekkers? and how will raw whale really taste? and will there be an actual giant ice bergs all about? and can I sleep on a floor with just a mat in a sleeping bag. Thank god for good drugs.

When I return I’m just going to dig up my tiny new apartment-dwelling-size back yard and grow green things and watch every Netflix/Amazon series I’m behind on and spend NO money and eat more vegetables.

For now I’ll finish my New Belgium Heavy Melon beer and eat some dinner spinach with a nice dab,  big chunk actually, of butter.

 

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